Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Beat Goes On

Time for another therapeutic rant...it's cold outside and I'm hot inside. Here are a couple of things I need to get off my chest:

They released a list of all fifty states showing each state's debt per capita...not the personal debts of the state's people but the amount of state debt owed per resident. Free-spending Connecticut was highest at $4900 per capita while thrifty North Dakota came in at an astounding $15 per capita. Now you can argue that there's not much to spend money on in North Dakota, but that's only part of the equation. States like Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts and New York have simply lost track of the value of money and where it comes from. They whine about budget cuts forgetting that so much of their current bloated budgets are loaded with unjustifiable giveaway programs that have proliferated unchallenged for years. Maybe we should bring in the politicians from North Dakota and give them a crack at running these fiscally irresponsible Northeast state governments. I think the fat would fly.

There was an item in today's news about a Valley Stream man named Martin Heidgen, 29, who was the first drunken driver ever convicted of murder in Nassau County. His lawyer argued his client should have been charged with manslaughter, not murder, in the deaths of 7-year-old Katie Flynn and limo driver Stanley Rabinowitz after colliding with their limo. The basis for the appeal: his client was too drunk to commit murder and should be charged with the lesser crime of manslaughter. It could take the court months to come to a decision on the appeal. Heidgen is serving a sentence of 18 years to life in prison. Maybe they should release him early from jail just to give family members of the victims whose lives he took a chance to run him over.

Meanwhile, back in the courtroom, a foul-mouthed Brooklyn defendant, after being found guilty of murder during a botched robbery, promptly shot himself in the foot during his sentencing hearing. Zaire Page, 24, was hit with 107 years to life for killing Lethania Garcia and wounding four others in a brazen October 2008 Fort Greene shootout. Before getting the maximum possible sentence, Paige tried to get one last dig in at the judge, Vincent Del Giudice, telling him, "With all due respect and from the bottom of my heart, suck my d---." There's a sensible young man. I'll bet his appeal hearing will go well.

This one makes my blood run cold. Shannon Johnson, age 34, of Fort Lupton, Colorado was arraigned January 14 for her son’s death on September 20. He drowned in the tub while she was playing Cafe World on Facebook. She’s being held on a $100,000 bail for a felony charge of child abuse and knowingly or recklessly causing death. Unfortunately, it's not the first time we’ve seen a violent death related to Facebook addicts. One of the most trafficked posts of all time on Facebook: Alexandra V. Tobias, a 22-year-old from Jacksonville, Florida killed her baby for crying during a Farmville Game. I feel for these lost children, and even for their mothers when it dawns on them what they have done. People’s addiction to Facebook can have some very disturbing consequences.

Not a day goes by that a story like the ones above pops up in my morning newspaper and gets my pulse racing. I know there will always be evil, brutality, ignorance and incompetence in the world, I just wish there was less of it.


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joe del broccolo said...

For too many years, we have embraced a liberal knee jerk reaction that says: let's spend what we don't have, and let's make government as involved in your personal life as possible. The government will take care of you, even at the risk of bankruptcy, both fiscally and morally.

Jim Pantaleno said...

Bingo Joseph, you nailed it. It's a disturbing trend that we must reverse if America is to be the country it once was.