Snipers … When Did It Be Gun ….

January 26, 2015

Following the weekend box-office success of the Clint Eastwood film <em>Sniper</em>, Michael Moore tweeted that when he was growing up, his father, a WWII Vet, told him that snipers were “cowards” and “they would shoot you in the back if they had to.” Moore stated that this was because a sniper in WWII had killed his uncle. While he didn’t mention the film by name, the media absurdly connected the statement to the movie.

The point here is that snipers are trained to shoot people in order to kill them, in the front or the back or the middle, provided they get the job done. At least snipers trained as soldiers, that is. The soldier featured in the film is U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, who is portrayed saving his own men, and avenging attacks on Americans. Kyle was later fatally shot in America, by another veteran with PTSD; the very disorder that the film alludes to Kyle having overcome.

Moore, in his tweet, used the example of Martin Luther King, Jr. to illustrate his point about snipers not being heroes. He was hopeful that the American public wasn’t viewing them as such, especially at the time of year when we honor and remember Dr. King.

I’m not quite sure that the film shows Kyle as a hero.Rather, it focuses on the point that soldier snipers are human beings. Indeed, there was even some anti-war sentiment in the film.

The sniper who killed Dr. King, and the one who shot JFK, were former Marines. Cowards? Of course. Sociopaths with guns. The man who assassinated John Lennon wasn’t a sniper, he just aimed at close range and landed four of the five bullets into Lennon’s back.

We human beings form opinions and proceed to justify them based upon what is important to us. Moore was taught that snipers were cowards because of his uncle’s death. Oswald and James Earl Ray reinforce that belief. Obviously many regard Chris Kyle as a hero. The difference is which side of the fence you are on when the sniping starts.


Guns, Guns and More Guns

January 16, 2015

One reaction to the terrorist attack on the office of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo is to ask a somewhat thought-provoking question about what’s going on.

What if the gunmen had not declared their allegiance to Al-Qaeda? Would this then become just another massacre that the public has become immune to? How is it that only attacks in the name of the Muslim religion make the front pages?

The use of military-class weapons by the two brothers responsible for the attack led to the realization that although these arms are illegal in France, they are becoming increasingly available there. What if this attack had happened on U.S. soil where these weapons are sold openly at gun shows? As long as the perpetrator isn’t a Muslim, it would be covered for a day or two at most. And then, forgotten.

According to a spokesperson for the NRA, this attack had “actually” nothing to do with guns at all. This is just another example of the NRA trying to miscast a tragedy for the association’s benefit. The more joiners they entice, the higher gun sales, and the less defending they have to do of their mindlessly self-serving policies.

The NRA doesn’t care what guns are doing, as long as they keep being manufactured and sold. Their spokesman is correct, the guns, “lacking brains”, did not plan the raid on Charlie Hebdo. But guns did enable the killings.

The bottom line is that we have slaughters every day in America, as bad as anything that happened in France. As long as an Al Qaeda sympathizer does not commit the slaughter, we Americans could care less.

20 school children can be gunned down at Sandyhook, and we do nothing. Nothing! We will never limit access to the guns that enable the slaughter – UNLESS ……..what if all those Al Qaeda nuts suddenly realize that it is way easier to slaughter people in America with our easy access to sophisticated weaponry, courtesy of the NRA? Then maybe, just maybe, this Country might do something about guns? Naw.


GUNS AND COMMON SENSE

January 13, 2015

Guns have one purpose. To kill.

Four years ago, Representative Gabby Gifford was shot in the head while preparing to give a talk in her hometown. Twelve people were killed in Paris for drawing “offensive” satirical cartoons. Two years ago nearly two dozen children were slaughtered at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Only a year or so before that, a lunatic killed a dozen movie goers in Colorado. It goes on, and on, and on, and on…

Incredibly, the news coverage of these regularly occurring massacres never assesses the deluge of guns in America as a contributing factor. The media doesn’t even explore or report on why we, Americans, mindlessly encourage easy access to guns, or why we are the only country in the world that does so.

And today – right now – there is a bill waiting to be signed by Rick Snyder that will further loosen gun laws in the state of Michigan – because we obviously need looser gun regulations amid the gun violence, don’t we?

This bill would make it possible for people who have been charged with stalking to have a concealed weapons permit, and thus, keep a gun on their person. This means anyone who has a PPO against them could get a gun. The stalkers lobby must be really strong in Michigan.

The bill also shortens the waiting time to get a gun. In the past, people had to go through a background check and get fingerprinted. Sometimes it would take up to 60 days or more for the background check to be cleared. Isn’t that good?

Under the new law, the application process will only be allowed to take 45 days. If the background check isn’t done by then, the applicant will get a temporary permit regardless.

This means that ANYONE — criminals, the insane, lunatics — will be able to get a gun because the bureaucracy may take too long to issue a decision. And the legislature has provided no new funds to speed up the process.

Our bureaucracy takes long to do anything. Look at the thousands of rape kits that haven’t been processed in the city of Detroit. Where is the money going to come from now to pay for this new expedited gun permit process??

Everything costs, everything takes time, but because gun manufacturers want as many people as possible to have guns, our Republican lawmakers are only too happy to oblige.

Does this make sense? Are we crazy?

The only good news is that Snyder hasn’t signed the bill. Yet. Perhaps, if any sense is left in our Republican dominated state, this bill will be left to die. Common sense would dictate that it never sees the light of day. However, if I have learned anything over the last 64 years, it’s that when it comes to guns, America has no common sense.


CIA Torture

January 6, 2015

Torture.

One of the excuses to go to war in Iraq was that Saddam tortured his own people. Remember?

Then, in response to 9/11, America began to detain human beings and torturing them to get “information.”

The Bush-Cheney administration approved methods of “interrogating,” including: waterboarding, rectal re-hydration, shock treatment, sleep deprivation, confined movement, beatings, threats, forced nudity, and the list goes on. This is torture, no matter how you spin it.

The Bushies referred to these methods of torture as “enhanced interrogation techniques.” Mr. Cheney recently said he would do them again “in a minute.”

What has happened to our country?

I understand that September 11th 2001 will never be forgotten and that it will never be right – but to engage in torture in response does nothing to honor the lives lost on that terrible day, or protect us.

In fact, many detainees were only being held in Guantanamo because people in the Bush administration “thought” that they had intelligence. It turned out, they didn’t. And now, we don’t know what to do with these people.

And let’s not forget the fact that this truly was George Bush’s and Dick Cheney’s doing. The only thing that stopped the torture was Obama signing an executive order upon taking office, banning it.

Although the recent senate report says that the Bush Administration was “misled” about the extent of the torture, Darth Cheney actually admits that he and George knew about the torture and approved it.

One person who did have something to do with Al-Qaeda was captured in Pakistan in 2002, and before ever being tortured, he confessed through legal interrogation techniques. After he confessed, he was tortured: waterboarded 83 times.

Waterboarding, for those that don’t know, is when someone is placed on a board nearly upside down. A cloth is put over there face and water gets poured down there throat, simulating drowning. It makes people think they are dying and induces panic. “Torturers” would continue pouring water for up to 45 seconds, give the detainee a break, and then, start again.

When U.S. soldiers were waterboarded by the Japanese during World War II, the Japanese were tried and executed as war criminals – by the U.S.

Like I said, what this country endured, what the people in the twin towers went through –is unforgivable, it’s sickening and wrong. But this country is supposed to be a paragon of enlightenment when it comes to human rights. When we torture people, what moral ground can we possibly stand on now?

In my America, this would have never happened. But in Bush and Cheney’s America (and in the Republican Party’s America) this is what America should be.

God help us.


Riots are the Language of the Unheard

December 8, 2014

No indictment.

No formal charges brought against a white cop for killing a black teenager. I guess if you’re a cop, some rules don’t apply. Usually, when you murder someone, you get charged, arrested and tried … in St. Louis County, Miss., you don’t even get charged.

The prosecutor, Bob McCulloch, used a secret grand jury to “decide” whether or not to indict Darren Wilson, the officer who killed Michael Brown. The grand jury consisted of nine whites and three blacks and it would’ve required nine votes to get an indictment.

Typically, prosecutors tell the grand jury a variety of charges that could be brought forth against the defendant. McCulloch didn’t recommend any charges.

Usually grand juries don’t hear from the defense, but in McCulloch’s grand jury, Wilson testified for hours.

Usually they announce the decision of the grand jury at a later date; in this case, however, the announcement was made around 8 at night, as if to incite certain violence and instability, and ensure there was no way to get any questions answered.

Seems fair doesn’t it?

Grand juries tend to side with the prosecutor which would usually be bad for the defense.

Not the case of Ferguson, because the prosecutor didn’t want to indict Wilson. He didn’t want to bring charges against him. McCulloch’s father was a police officer who was killed by a black man, so of course he didn’t want to charge a man with manslaughter (or worse) who was a cop just “doing his job.”

After the murder of Michael Brown, the police department started using tear gas to control riots. Tear gas, by the way, has been banned in warfare since 1993, but apparently Ferguson police have an arsenal of it. Then they brought out the big guns and began roaming the streets with tanks to show the citizens of Ferguson how much cops like to “protect” their city.

Dr. Martin Luther King once said that “riots are the language of the unheard.” Maybe it’s time someone starts listening to the people of Ferguson.


Faulty Airbags Symptom of Larger Issue

December 8, 2014

Exploding airbags, spontaneous combustion, unresponsive brakes and ignition key failures. What’s next? These are only a few of the many dangerous risks that are facing millions of drivers every day in this country.

About a month ago, a young woman died in a traffic accident. The police thought she had been violently stabbed beforehand, perhaps causing the accident, but no. It turns out that the horrible stab wounds were actually caused by “shrapnel” that flew into her body because of a faulty airbag.

Now, 7.9 million cars have been recalled for “faulty” airbags. This is in addition to GM’s 26 million recalled vehicles. There have been at least 35 recalls announced by auto manufacturers in the last month alone.

Why are manufacturers able to get away with cutting corners and risking the lives of millions of people? Well, for one, did you know that the Michigan Republican legislature immunized drug manufacturers? That’s right, immunized! Michigan citizens are the only ones who cannot sue if a drug manufacturer kills or injures you.

Don’t you feel safer?

Republicans also made it virtually impossible to sue all other manufacturers, including auto. That’s why you never see or hear of a verdict in Michigan for a defective product – like Jeep rollovers, etc.

Feel safer?

These manufacturers can only get away with it if the people are sheep, following along and allowing them to do whatever they want.

It’s time for a little Fieger Time rabble rousing if you ask me.


The Problem with Appellate Courts

December 8, 2014

At Fieger Law, I have preached holding the values of our democracy to a higher standard. We care for our clients and we win for them whether the case is in trial or on appeal.
We are not afraid to win.
In my America, people have the right to be judged by their peers, to have a trial lawyer fight for their rights in the court of law.
People are supposed to be given due process and are presumed innocent. But, that isn’t how it works, is it?
It’s also important to have an experienced attorney represent you in the appellate courts. At Fieger Law we have experienced trial lawyers and we also have an entire appellate department specializing in appeals.
The Fieger Law Appellate Department is considered our “think tank.” Our appellate attorneys provide the firm with research and expertise in the law. They spend all of their time focusing on every aspect of the law, constantly doing research to ensure that we win every case that comes through our doors.
In the appellate courts there are no juries and decisions are made by politically appointed judges.
The appellate courts don’t allow full hearing, only oral argument.
Once a decision has been made by the Court of Appeals, it is difficult to appeal the decision again. The only place to turn after an appellate decision is to the high courts: the State Supreme Court, or the U.S. Supreme Court. These courts hear few cases, and tend to turn down appeals unless there is some question regarding the law itself.
This often leaves ordinary folks with nowhere to turn.
You may have won a case at trial only to have an appeals court overrule the win, often for political reasons.


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