Archive for April, 2012

The Debate Over American Airspace

Last December, SF discussed the introduction of unmanned drones over American airspace. 

http://www.badgerwordsmith.com/spingolafiles/2011/12/11/predator-spy-drones-hoovering-above-your-town-soon/

Now, John Whitehead, the leader of the Rutherford Institute—one of this nation’s prominent watchdog organizations for religious rights and civil liberties—details the intrusive nature of drones in his commentary, The Empire Strikes Back: the Attack of the Drones.

https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/the_empire_strikes_back_attack_of_the_drones

 SF encourages its readers to write their congressional representatives and request that federal lawmakers pass strict regulations concerning the use of drones over American airspace.

Drones make use of infrared technology—intrusive heat sensors than can monitor the movements of Americans inside of their homes.  Drones can also hit on Wi-Fi connections and intercept Internet data.

Americans who appreicate the small tad of privacy we have left need to get involved and try to put this genie back in the bottle before it is too late.

UPDATE:  On May 7, the Rutherford Institute released this video regarding the use of drones in the United States.

https://www.rutherford.org/multimedia/on_target/the_empire_strikes_back_attack_of_the_drones/

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His new book, Best of the Spingola Files, is now available at Amazon.com.

If your group is in need of a fascinating guest speaker, consider the Spingola Files Psychology of Homicide presentation.  For more information, visit www.badgerwordsmith.com/the_psychology_of_homicide_presentation.html

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2012


Two Major Police Unions Make Endorsements in State-Wide Recall

With this summer’s state-wide recall elections quickly approaching, two major police unions have made their endorsements in the race for governor.

The Wisconsin Professional Police Officers Association (WPPA), an umbrella group that represents officers from smaller police agencies, has endorsed Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.  This is an interesting decision, especially since Barrett figuratively put a gun to the leadership of the Milwaukee Police Association (MPA)—a group whose members were exempted from Gov. Walker’s Act 10 budget repair bill—and threatened furlough days for Milwaukee police officers if they refused  to accept Act 10 provisions.

So how can Barrett advocate for the repeal of Act 10 and then demand than his city’s police officers, who received an exemption, comply with the provisions of this act for the purposes of trimming millions of dollars from the City of Milwaukee’s budget?

“At a news conference at WPPA headquarters,” Real Clear Politics reports, “Barrett insisted he supports collective bargaining rights for all public workers. He said he made the request to expand the law to Milwaukee police and firefighters because he realized Walker was trying to “divide and conquer” public workers and he couldn’t afford to pit city workers against one other.”

But other labor leaders are suspicious of Barrett, as they believe the mayor gladly used the provisions of Gov. Walker’s budget repair bill. One of the state’s largest public employee unions released a video highly critical of the Milwaukee mayor.

 http://fox6now.com/2012/04/09/afscme-video-attacking-tom-barrett-was-over-the-top/

Moreover, one has to challenge the wisdom of Jim Palmer, the current WPPA Executive Director.  Why would a police union endorse Barrett—a politician who insists that police officers, who received an exemption from Act 10 by Gov. Walker, lose their exemption?  Why not endorse Kathleen Falk, who has made a quid pro quo deal with state unions to repeal Act 10 or support Gov. Walker, who exempted Palmer’s members from Act 10?

Some of you might recall that Palmer from this prior SF post.

http://www.badgerwordsmith.com/spingolafiles/2011/03/13/letter-from-state-police-union-executive-draws-fire/

On the other side of the coin, the two public safety unions that know Barrett best—the Milwaukee Police Association and the Milwaukee Professional Firefighters Association—have endorsed Gov. Walker.

“Gov. Walker has a strong record of supporting public safety with an unwavering commitment to first responders,” said Michael Crivello, president of the Milwaukee Police Association.

http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/govt-and-politics/capitol-report/capitol-report-milwaukee-public-safety-unions-again-endorse-walker/article_6f06c8f4-7d08-11e1-907d-0019bb2963f4.html

As the recall election quickly approaches, it remains to be seen how these law enforcement endorsements will affect the outcome.  However, if the last state Supreme Court race is a barometer, a few hundred votes might decide who wins or loses.

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His new book, Best of the Spingola Files, is now available at Amazon.com.

If your group is in need of a fascinating guest speaker, consider the Spingola Files Psychology of Homicide presentation.  For more information, visit www.badgerwordsmith.com/the_psychology_of_homicide_presentation.html

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2012


Security vs. Privacy: An Interview with WUWM

Yesterday, WUWM aired an interview I did with Lake Effect’s Stephanie Lecci regarding America’s post-9/11 surveillance state. We discussed the use of drones, the expansion of intelligence fusion centers, infrared technology, the spread of facial recognition software, as well as the ever-evolving state of the law pertaining to surveillance.

To hear the interview, please visit the following link:

http://www.wuwm.com/programs/lake_effect/lake_effect_segment.php?segmentid=9105

BOOK UPDATE:  to learn more about intelligence fusion centers and the role of the local police in the surveillance state, checkout privacy advocate Miles Kinard’s magazine exposé: American Stasi: Fusion Center’s and Domestic Spying.  The article is climbing the charts at Amazon.com—listed at #3 at 5 p.m. CST. 

http://www.amazon.com/American-Stasi-Centers-Domesitc-ebook/dp/B006YZQFL8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1334787921&sr=8-1

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His new book, Best of the Spingola Files, is now available at Amazon.com.

If your group is in need of a fascinating guest speaker, consider the Spingola Files Psychology of Homicide presentation.  For more information, visit www.badgerwordsmith.com/the_psychology_of_homicide_presentation.html

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2012


The New ‘Mark of the Beast’ has Investigators Lovin’ It

To view this article, checkout Best of the Spingola Files, Vol. II: Here’s Looking at You coming to Amazon.com in December 2012.

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His new book, Best of the Spingola Files, is now available at Amazon.com.

If your group is in need of a fascinating guest speaker, consider the Spingola Files Psychology of Homicide presentation.  For more information, visit www.badgerwordsmith.com/the_psychology_of_homicide_presentation.html

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2012


Don’t Blame “the Gun” in Trayvon’s Death; Blame the Hucksters

Like a spectator at a gladiator fight in the Roman coliseum, I have sat back and watched the finger-pointing unfold in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida. 

With his budget shot down 414-0 in the House of Representatives, his approval numbers in free fall, and a portion of his health care legislation of the verge of being ruled unconstitutional, President Obama wasted little time weighing in on Martin’s tragic death, even though the federal government arguably has no jurisdiction in the matter.  

And, of course, the usual suspects—Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton—could hardly resist jumping into the fray. Jackson would rather talk about an unjustifiable intervention by a self-declared neighborhood watch captain than a love child.[1]  While Sharpton—damaged goods in the minds of many after the Tawana Brawley debacle—is always on the lookout for ways to raise his profile.[2]

It is, however, the recent remarks of Bill Cosby—a celebrity whose candid comments regarding bigotry and personal responsibility have opened a dialogue on race relations—that are, unpredictably, off base. 

Yesterday, Washington Times columnist Deborah Simmons noted that Cosby believes that “the gun” was the impetus for Trayvon Martin’s death.

“We’ve got to get the gun out of the hands of people who are supposed to be on neighborhood watch,” Cosby told Simmons.[3]

True, guns do not belong in the hands of some people. Individuals convicted of felonies and/or domestic violence, those abusing drugs, and persons suffering from mental health issues are ticking time bombs when a firearm is figured-in to the equation.  

Yet if Cosby had taken the time to research the background of the shooter, he might conclude that, had the system done its job, “the gun,” at least lawfully, would not be an issue.

“Charged with resisting arrest without violence,” in July 2005, the Los Angeles Times reported, “he [Zimmerman] avoided conviction by entering a pretrial-diversion program, something common for first-time offenders.”[4]

Zimmerman’s former girlfriend also filed a domestic violence injunction against him. Zimmerman countered with his own injunction, although it appears the police did not investigate.[5]

Had the system done its job by placing Zimmerman, who is Hispanic, on an extended period of probation for the incident outside a central Florida night spot, the court, in all likelihood, would have prohibited him from possessing firearms while serving his sentence.

Ironically, Jackson and Sharpton continually take the criminal justice system to task for its treatment of minority offenders—often times encouraging prosecutors to send those charged with acts of violence, such as fighting with law enforcement officers, into diversion programs.  

In the Zimmerman’s case, it appears that a Florida prosecutor bought-in to the charlatanism of the Jackson/Sharpton school of justice—the ugly results of which are now in plan view for all to see. 

Unfortunately, Bill Cosby chooses to blame “the gun” instead of Jackson and Sharpton—the hucksters of criminal justice diversion, who then go on to incite the populous when those sentenced to the same diversion programs they advocate for predictably reoffend.   

Some might call it a conspiracy of sorts, while others, rightfully, the revolving door of ignorance and the politics of self-pity.

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His new book, Best of the Spingola Files, is now available at Amazon.com.

If your group is in need of a fascinating guest speaker, consider the Spingola Files Psychology of Homicide presentation.  For more information, visit www.badgerwordsmith.com/the_psychology_of_homicide_presentation.html

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2012 


 


[1] “Jesse Jackson Confesses to Love Child,” www.guradian.co.uk.  January 18, 2001.  7 April 2012.  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2001/jan/18/2

[2] Kennedy, H. “Rev. Al Shrapton: I Won’t Apologize for Handling of Tawana Brawley Case.” www.articles.dailynews.com.  May 19, 2011.  7 April 2012.  http://articles.nydailynews.com/2011-05-19/local/29579330_1_tawana-brawley-group-of-white-men-racial-tensions

[3] Simmons, D. “Simmons: Bill Cosby Weighs in on Trayvon Martin Case.” www.washingtontimes.com. April 7, 2012.  8 April 2012.  http://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/apr/7/simmons-bill-cosby-weighs-trayvon-martin-case/

[4] Muskal, M. “Trayvon Martin Case: George Zimmerman, Mystery Gunman.” www.latimes.com.  March 23, 2012.  8 April 2012.  http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-george-zimmerman-20120323,0,6326075.story

[5] Sieczkowski, C. “Who is George Zimmerman? Florida Shooter has Checkered Past of ‘Vigilantism’ and Domestic Violence.” www.ibtimes.com.  March 23, 2012. 8 April 2012.  http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/318716/20120323/george-zimmerman-florida-shooting-trayvon-martin.htm


Normal for a Day

Tomorrow evening (April 2), SF is traveling to Illinois State University, located in the city of Normal, where I will present the Psychology of Homicide—an hour-an-a-half seminar that explores the motives and mindsets of predatory killers. Sponsored by students majoring in the field of psychology, the event begins at 6 p.m. and is open to the public.

For more information visit and click on April 2:

http://events.illinoisstate.edu/cal/event/showEventMore.rdo

 If your organization is interested in sponsoring a Psychology of Homicide presentation, please send an e-mail to livia@badgerwordsmith.com

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Steve Spingola is the author of the recently released book Best of the Spingola Files, Vol. I, available exclusively at Amazon.com (see the below link):

http://www.amazon.com/Best-Spingola-Files-Vol-ebook/dp/B006YZCG6Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1333283176&sr=8-1