July 14, 2010

POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) Economy Line of the Day

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 1:26 pm

It’s from Instapundit and it’s about the President, but it could be about any of the three progenitors of the POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) Economy as it gets further into its third year:

when people say “Obama’s Katrina,” it’s a contraction, not a possessive . . . .

The line could really apply to the entirety of the administration’s non-performance … except that in the case of Katrina, Bush 43 was “assisted” by a incompetent governor and mayor from the other party. Obama has no such fall guys and gals now, though he’s continually tries to invent them.

Killer of Five Children Executed in Ohio; AP Story Allows Half-Truths and Untruths to Live On

GarnerThreeVictimsWilliamGarnerIn October 2007, I put up a BizzyBlog post (also cross-posted at the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s short-lived Wide Open Blog) about William Garner (pictured at right), the Ohio man who killed five children (three of them and the lone survivor also pictured at right) to cover up a burglary in 1992.

At the time, it appeared that Garner’s date with the executioner had been indefinitely called off, for specious Miranda-related reasons that you have to read to believe (and even then, it will be difficult).

On Tuesday, Garner’s attempts to avoid his death sentence ultimately failed. Sadly, the Associated Press’s unbylined coverage of his execution by lethal injection Tuesday allowed Garner and his lawyers to put forth one final batch of half-truths and untruths that require refutation (bolds and numbered tags are mine):

An Ohio man said he was “heartily sorry” for his carelessness (1) before he was executed Tuesday for the murders of five children in a 1992 Cincinnati apartment fire he set in an attempt to destroy evidence of a burglary. William Garner, 37, died at 10:38 a.m. at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility, 18 minutes after the lethal injection began.

As he lay on the execution table, Garner held a dreadlock of hair from a female friend and read a mostly inaudible lengthy final statement from notebook paper held by the execution team leader. He thanked several people as well as the state of Ohio. “I’m heartily sorry,” he said. “God bless everyone who has been robbed in this procedure. I thought I’d never be free, but I’m free now.”

Garner was sentenced to death for the Jan. 26, 1992, pre-dawn deaths of the children in the apartment of Addie Mack, who was in the emergency room of a nearby hospital. Garner had stolen keys from her purse while she received care and took a cab to the apartment to steal a television, radio, VCR and telephone. Four girls and two boys, ages 8 to 13, were at the apartment alone, and Garner knew they were there when he threw a lit match onto a couch. Garner has admitted setting the fire but said he thought the children would escape (2). Only one, 13-year-old Rod Mack, made it out alive.

… Because so many people wanted to witness the execution on behalf of the young victims, the prison opened a second viewing room, prisons spokeswoman Julie Walburn said. Six witnesses for the victims and Garner’s niece and legal team were accommodated in the witness room facing the execution chamber, and another three victims’ witnesses watched on closed-circuit TV in the spillover room, she said.

Garner had said a secondary motivation for setting the fire was to draw attention to the children’s squalid living conditions (3). He told police that he had noticed the bedroom “full of girls” and that one of them had asked him for water, which he provided, according to a report by the Ohio Parole Board. He also said he had been in another bedroom where the two boys slept.

His lawyers had argued that the death sentences be set aside because Garner had developmental disabilities, a limited IQ and a violent, abusive upbringing (4) that caused him to function on the level of a 14-year-old at the time of the deaths.

How is this AP story incomplete and wrong? Let’s count the ways. But first, brace yourself for the horror that follows.

A Cincinnati Enquirer report that is no longer available but is excerpted at the October 2007 BizzyBlog post shows that Garner was a cold-blooded, calculating burglar who did everything he could not to leave any tracks, even if it meant killing six children who were sleeping (as noted earlier, one got out alive):

Hours before the fire, Garner slipped into University Hospital, looking for an easy mark. There, he found (apartment unit residents Marshandra) Jackson and Addie Mack, who had fallen and hurt her wrist.

Garner snatched up Mack’s purse when she wasn’t looking, stealing money and her apartment keys.

He took a taxi to the English Woods apartment, telling the driver to wait while he retrieved his belongings. He carted out electronic equipment, at one point waking up one of the children.

Garner spun a tale about her mother sending him to check everyone and sent her back to bed with a glass of water.

Before leaving, Garner set three fires in the apartment.

Then, he grabbed the phone and smoke detectors and left …

Now let’s get to the bolded and tagged items in the AP excerpt.

(1) – “Carelessness”? The Enquirer excerpt, which originates in Garner’s original police questioning and confession, thoroughly discredits that risible claim.

(2) – He “thought the children would escape”? He set three fires, plural (i.e., earth to AP, he did a lot more than throw “a lit match on a couch”). He removed the landline phone and the smoke detectors. How were these children supposed to call for help? How were they going to escape if they weren’t going to wake up until the flames were already out of control?

(3) – He wanted “to draw attention to the children’s squalid living conditions”? Mr. Garner had a sick way of demonstrating his concern. The original Enquirer article gave no indication that Mr. Garner had such “noble” thoughts, and I daresay you won’t find any such thoughts expressed in police or legal documents relating to the original arrest and trial.

(4) He had “developmental disabilities, a limited IQ and a violent, abusive upbringing”? Gee, he was clever enough to sneak in and out of a hospital; patient enough to wait for the right moment to snatch a purse; cool-headed enough to keep one of his victims calm, giving her a drink of water before sending her back to bed; and sufficiently forward-thinking to disconnect the children’s two best defenses against getting burned alive.

Nobody had the slightest reason to believe that Garner was disabled or mentally challenged in 1992 when he was arrested and confessed, or when he was tried and convicted. There’s plenty of reason to believe that his lawyers’ contention while Garner was on Death Row was a fundamentally dishonest, after-the-fact concoction with no basis in fact whose only purpose was to prevent the state from carrying out its sentence.

The AP’s weak coverage of Garner’s heinous crime is perhaps instructive to all who read future establishment press dispatches concerning death-penalty executions. The lesson is that the true story and full circumstances of what the killer did may be much worse than what the press chooses to tell readers on Execution Day.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Positivity: Pro-life Freedom Rides inspired by historic US civil rights events

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 8:46 am

http://i739.photobucket.com/albums/xx40/mmatters/AlvedaKing07_13_2010_KingOutstanding — From Washington (bolds are mine):

July 14, 2010 / 06:03 am

Drawing on the Freedom Rides of the civil rights movement in 1961, Alveda King, the niece of Martin Luther King, Jr., is promoting an event called Pro-life Freedom Rides in Alabama and Georgia. The reason for the event, she explained to CNA, is that the focus of the new civil rights movement is the defenseless unborn child.

The Freedom Rides will begin with an assembly at Birmingham, Alabama on July 23. After a Saturday morning prayer vigil at a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic, participants will caravan to Atlanta, Georgia for a pro-life service at the grave of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

In a Tuesday phone interview with CNA, Dr. Alveda King recounted the civil rights era and its connection with the pro-life movement.

“We went through a lot of dramatic experiences on behalf of human dignity, and love for humanity,” she said. “Back in those days we were primarily fighting against oppression on color of skin. Now in the twenty-first century the focus is on the babies in the womb.”

Though she noted the disproportionate number of black babies killed in abortion, she emphasized that the effort to end abortion is “about all humanity.”

“We are fighting for dignity, for justice, for compassion for all people.

“Today, the little baby in the womb appears to his or her mother very much like a little slave. He or she cannot decide whether he or she will live or die, but the mother, sometimes the parents, the medical providers (though I say that cautiously because it is not a medical procedure to kill a person) … those decisions are made without the baby having a lawyer to defend his or her human life.

“He or she is just like a slave at mercy of slave owners,” Alveda King told CNA.

Asked about the original Freedom Rides, she explained that in 1961, laws were passed on behalf of black people so that they could stay in hotels, ride the bus, and have “the same rights that all people had.”

“There were students in 1961 who boarded the bus to test those laws. Those were very tumultuous times, and people lost their lives. Not just black people, but all people of goodwill who were involved in that.”

Alveda King explained that she, Priests for Life head Fr. Frank Pavone, and many pro-life leaders from across America, will take the bus to Atlanta and pray at the tomb of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

She said she looked forward to “the whole experience” of the Pro-Life Freedom Rides Campaign, especially “revisiting another time period that was very important to me.” She also thought she would enjoy being with pro-life leaders from across America and joining in prayers with “many, many people who are praying for life.”

Jim Pinto, the Birmingham-based organizer of the Pro-Life Freedom Rides, in a separate phone interview told CNA that the original freedom rides faced “great resistance,” including the burning of one of the buses in Birmingham.

“Those who stood up for the rights of human beings, and the violence and brutality they suffered, were portrayed for all the country to see,” he explained. “In a few moments, the civil rights movement impacted this nation in a way that may be unprecedented.”

He noted that as a child Alveda King’s house was bombed in reaction to her family’s civil rights work.

The Birmingham events were one of the reasons the Pro-Life Freedom Ride Campaign chose Birmingham, Pinto continued, because it is “synonymous” with the civil rights movement that “changed the nation forever.”

“The whole idea is to say that every human being is endowed with liberty and freedom by God to be the human beings that God has called them to be.

He explained that Alveda King emphasizes that the pro-life movement is “the civil rights movement of our time.”

“The foundation of the civil rights movement, the foundation of the pro-life movement, is one foundation: the sacredness and dignity of the person, the inviolable right to life, the equality of all people inside and outside of the womb,” Pinto said.

The unborn “are people, they are persons, even though this nation is denying their personhood … We are sponsoring the Pro-life Freedom Ride Campaign to declare their liberty, their freedom, their personhood.”

He said organizers had no estimated number of participants, as there was no registration process. However, he predicted “quite a big response.”

Pinto reported that the campaign has the “full support” of both the Catholic Bishop of Birmingham Robert Baker and the Archdiocese of Atlanta. The campaign also has support from Protestants including Pentecostal and Evangelical churches. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

The website of the Pro-Life Freedom Rides is at http://www.priestsforlife.org/action/pro-life-freedom-rides.htm

Related: In January 2009, I did a post on the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s likely stance on abortion (“Martin Luther King Was Outspokenly Prolife in 1963 Letter”). Abortion didn’t become a nationally contentious issue until shortly after his assassination, but the preponderance of the evidence, particularly his strong belief in natural law as explained by St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine, the beliefs and actions of other family members, and his civil-rights successors’ prolife views in the early years after his death, all support the belief that MLK would have been strongly prolife, and would certainly have been horrified at the abortion-on-demand culture that permeates so much of the African-American community.