Category Archives: Taxes

Illegal alien bus driver in Louisiana crash that killed three sentenced to 15 years in prison

illegal amaya rodriguez

Not nearly enough time for his crime.

From WDSU.com:  (EDGAR, La) — Denis Amaya-Rodriguez was sentenced Monday (April 9) to 15 years in prison for killing three people.

Rodriguez was driving a bus that crashed into a group of firefighters and multiple vehicles on the Interstate 10 bridge in LaPlace on Aug. 28, 2016. St. John District Fire Chief Spencer Chauvin, Jermaine Starr and Vontarous Kelly were all killed. Starr and Kelly were passengers in a car that was crushed by the bus. Chauvin died after being thrown over the bridge, along with two other firefighters who were seriously injured.

One of the two surviving firefighters testified at trial.

Amaya-Rodriguez was sentenced Monday to five years in prison on each count of negligent homicide, which is the maximum sentence. In an unusual move, the judge ordered the sentences be served consecutively, sending Rodriguez to prison for 15 years, minus credit for time served. He was also ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and court costs.

Judge Sterling Snowdy told Rodriguez he posed too great a risk to the community to be released sooner.

At the sentencing hearing, a video of Chauvin’s two children, ages 8 and 6 was played for the judge, in which they talked about time they spent with their father and his favorite things. Chauvin’s son honored his father’s public service as a firefighter, and said, “The call he died in, he blocked the two other people. They survived, and he is in a better place.”

Chauvin’s widow, Jennifer, brought the courtroom to tears delivering an emotional and detailed statement. She recalled having to tell her son about the crash. He was 6 years old at the time. Jennifer said, “’There’s been an accident,’ and I told him he’s never coming home again.”

She said it has been 1 year, 7 months and 13 days since Chauvin was killed and that their lives will never be the same.

“No matter how many years he gets, consecutive, concurrent, you know we have to live the rest of our lives without my husband, their son, her brother. My kids don’t have a father, so to me the sentence doesn’t matter, because my sentence, our sentence, is greater than any sentence he could ever get,” Chauvin said.

Rodriguez did not testify at his trial, but did address the judge, through an interpreter, before sentencing.

Rodriguez said, “I don’t consider myself truthfully guilty, but I do need to obey the laws.” He also talked about his faith and said he feels very bad for what happened.

During the trial in January, prosecutors argued that Rodriguez could have stopped the bus but didn’t. According to authorities, Rodriguez is an immigrant without legal permission to be in the country illegal alien. He will face deportation after he is released from prison.

“After a conviction for negligent homicide, an individual would be subject to immediate removal,” Thomas Byrd, with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said when Rodriguez was convicted.

Rodriguez still faces more than 40 outstanding misdemeanor charges related to the crash. Snowdy set a status hearing on those charges for May 14.

The site of the crash was dedicated to Spencer Chauvin in March and renamed the Spencer Chauvin Memorial Bridge.

“Our department made a promise that we will never forget Spencer or the sacrifices he has made for our community, and together, with his family and friends and the Parish President, we are keeping that promise,” said St. John Parish Office of Fire Services Chief of Operations, Cain Dufrene. “Spencer was a remarkable firefighter and selfless servant, and it is only fitting that we memorialize him near the scene where he gave his life. We hope that everyone driving in and out of our Parish thinks of Spencer when they see that sign and his heroic dedication to St. John and the Fire Department.”

DCG

The result of strict gun control in the UK: One machete crime every 90 minutes on Britain’s streets

saddiq khan

Paging Piers Morgan…

From Daily Mail: Machete attacks are taking place every 90 minutes on our streets, figures reveal. Criminals are increasingly picking the jungle blades as their weapons of choice to instill terror in victims and rival gang members.

Police forces are dealing with rising numbers of machete-wielding thugs carrying out murders, rapes, robberies and burglaries.

In February, 20-year-old Sadiq Aadam was hacked to death in Belsize Park, north London, by a gang carrying the blades. A teenager has since appeared in court charged with murdering two young men.

Days earlier, father-of-two David Pugh suffered serious injuries after fighting off four machete-wielding robbers who broke into his home and started beating his 17-year-old son in Solihull, West Midlands.

And in March, a man was left with life-changing injuries after a ‘chilling’ machete attack at a bar in Manchester. The victim, in his 30s, had been at the nightspot with his friends when another man walked past him and shouted abuse at a group of people in the bar.

Police said when the victim asked him to calm down, the offender turned to his friend and asked for a machete before striking the victim’s hand.

The shocking statistics come after Home Secretary Amber Rudd launched the Government’s long-awaited Serious Violence Strategy, which aims to tackle knife crime, earlier this week. It came amid a shooting and stabbing spree that has claimed 56 lives in London so far this year.

Figures uncovered using freedom of information requests show that in the last two months of 2017 police dealt with 928 crimes involving machetes. This is an average of 15 a day – or one every 90 minutes. London saw 425 of the attacks, with 99 in Greater Manchester, 77 in the West Midlands and 29 each in Merseyside and West Yorkshire.

It represents a dramatic rise from just three years before, when the deadly blades were used in only 100 crimes a month over the same period.

The machete was originally intended as a tool used to cut undergrowth or sugar cane in Latin America and Africa. Critics say they have little legitimate use in the UK, but they are not on a list of banned blades such as butterfly or flick-knives.

Gangsters are increasingly carrying the fearsome blades as status symbols and to spread fear with gruesome attacks.

Machetes came to public prominence in May 2013 when British soldier Lee Rigby was butchered in broad daylight by two Islamist fanatics.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that in the year to September 2017 the police recorded 37,443 offences involving a knife or sharp instrument – a 21 per cent increase on the previous year, and the highest since records began seven years ago.

On Monday, Miss Rudd promised an Offensive Weapons Bill, which will ban online knife sales to under-18s and make it illegal to possess so-called zombie knives, with long, serrated blades with a maximum four-year jail penalty.

See also:

h/t Breitbart

DCG

Second Amendment rallies across America: FOTM’s Stovepipe reports from Connecticut!

On Saturday, April 14, 2018, thousands of Americans — many carrying rifles and ammunition — peacefully gathered at state capitols across the United States to reassert our constitutional Second Amendment right to bear arms against recent efforts to pass gun-control laws. See:

In 2008, the Supreme Court ruled 5:4 that the Second Amendment applies to individuals, not militias, and may include military weapons.

Thousands of patriots were at the rally in Hartford, Connecticut. Below is a first-person report and photos from FOTM reader Stovepipe, the commenter formerly known as Bob:

Joining many other rallies in state capitols across America, we held a Pro-2nd Amendment Rally at the State Capitol Building in Hartford, Connecticut, on Saturday, April 14, 2018. The rally was organized and hosted by CCDL (Connecticut Citizens Defense League).

The local Mainstream Media said the rally drew hundreds. But I can attest to approximately 3,000 patriots in attendance at the peak of the rally.

It was a great day. The whole event went off without a single problem. Even the weather was perfect — truly a memorable event.

The rally had all the characteristics of a Trump rally, a love fest of sorts. Most of the attendees were open carrying. There were no anti-gun rights protesters, not one. Even the police engaged the crowd with like minded, friendly conversation: I can personally attest to their pro-Second Amendment attitude.

At one point, I almost forgot I was in blue-state Connecticut!

Almost everyone I spoke with was wide awake, on issues from the Parkland school shooting to the communist coup d’êtat by “Progressives” within America’s borders.

The NRA had speakers come up from Washington, DC. Six local gubernatorial contenders spoke in reference to Connecticut’s upcoming Governor’s race, each making a boat load of campaign promises as usual. We have an unprecedented number of gubernatorial candidates this year: 12 declared, 4 potential, 5 have declined, and 1 has withdrawn.

Connecticut is in a fiscal free-fall, destroyed by the Democrats, especially by the widely-loathed two-term governor, Dannel Malloy. Connecticut is not only dead broke, we are so far in debt that our bond rating has been lowered.

But the Democrats continue to spend money we don’t have to build a new (third) casino; a new  stadium — a construction debacle that is already a failure; and a new rail system from Massachusetts to New York, with 40-year-old train cars that Connecticut will lease from Massachusetts. Highway tolls are being implemented; walking trails and bike lanes are built. Taxpayers are forced to pay for a whole new renovation project at the failing XL Center in downtown Hartford — an attempt to resuscitate the old Civic Center with a roof that had collapsed back in 1978.

Spend, spend, spend. They’re bankrupting the state by design.

Connecticut is also a sanctuary state, thanks to our liberal, Progressive, socialist governor. In addition to illegals getting driver’s licenses, in-state college tuition, and free health care, Governor Malloy is now considering Voting by Mail. At the same time, the state is phasing out early voting. Our own governor appears to hate his state and its citizens, reminiscent of Barack Obama’s animus against America.

But on Saturday, hundreds of patriots — men and women, young and old — showed Malloy and all the Leftists that we, the hard working, gun toting, Bible clinging, deplorable taxpayers of Connecticut have a voice, and it was loud.

The rally made me proud to be a U.S. Army veteran.

Sincerely,

Stovepipe

Fellowship of the Minds thanks Stovepipe for his report and for his service to our country.

~Eowyn

Gun control, Chiraq style: One woman killed, 7 others wounded in Thursday shootings

chicago

From MyFoxChicago: (Sun-Times Media Wire) – A woman was killed and at least seven other people were wounded Thursday in shootings across Chicago.

The woman was found shot to death Thursday morning in the West Garfield Park neighborhood. Tiwaconda Williams, 36, of Forth Worth, Texas, was found with a gunshot wound to the head at 7:08 a.m. inside a vehicle in the 4300 block of West Madison, Chicago Police and the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office said. She was taken to Stroger Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. The medical examiner’s office ruled her death a homicide.

The most recent nonfatal shooting Thursday happened in the South Side Gresham neighborhood. The 22-year-old man was shot in the shoulder at 5:47 p.m. when two people walked up to him and opened fire in the 7900 block of South Hermitage, police said. He was in good condition at Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.

An hour earlier, two men, ages 19 and 21, were shot in the Uptown neighborhood on the North Side. About 4:30 p.m., the two were standing in a parking lot in the 4500 block of North Magnolia when someone fired shots at them from a dark-colored vehicle, police said.

The 19-year-old man suffered gunshot wounds to his leg and groin and was taken to Illinois Masonic Medical Center in critical condition, police said. The 21-year-old man was shot in the buttocks and was also taken to Illinois Masonic, where his condition had stabilized.

About 2 p.m., an 81-year-old man was shot in West Pullman on the Far South Side. The man was sitting outside the front of his home in the 12400 block of South Union when he was shot on the side of his abdomen, police said.He was taken to MetroSouth Medical Center in Blue Island in good condition.

An hour before that, a man was shot in Lawndale. The 32-year-old was found in the street with gunshot wounds to the hip and groin at 12:56 p.m. in the 800 block of South Kolmar, police said. He was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in serious condition.

About 9:50 a.m., a man was shot in the Austin neighborhood. The 18-year-old man was shot in his right foot in the 5800 block of West Chicago, according to police. Two male suspects left the area in a black vehicle. The man was taken to West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park, where his condition was stabilized.

In the first reported shooting Thursday, a woman was shot while waiting for a bus in the Hermosa neighborhood on the Northwest Side. The 58-year-old was waiting at a bus stop at 4:44 a.m. in the 4200 block of West North Avenue when a male in a gray hooded sweatshirt walked past her, police said. She then heard gunshots and felt pain in her lower left leg. She was taken to Stroger Hospital with a gunshot wound to her left ankle. Her condition was stabilized.

See also:

DCG

Convicted Cuomo aide still gets his pension thanks to loophole

joe percoco

Tax dollars at work.

From NY Post: It’s a loophole big enough to squeeze a pension through.

Joe Percoco, the disgraced former top aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, will be able to cash in once again on his time in government and collect his pension — despite three felony convictions on corruption charges.

Voters gave judges the authority in 2017 to strip government employees of their retirement checks if they’re nailed on felonies. But the law only covers crimes committed after Jan. 1, 2018.

Percoco’s crimes date from 2012 through 2016.

Since the law isn’t retroactive, Percoco gets to keep his pension, which could be worth as much as $36,000 a year.

The story was first reported by the Syracuse Post-Standard.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan convicted Percoco on three corruption counts stemming from pay-to-play schemes that netted him an estimated $300,000.

Jurors acquitted Cuomo’s former right-hand man of three other corruption charges at the conclusion of the seven-week trial.

Percoco’s sentencing is scheduled for June. He faces up to 50 years in prison.

DCG

Sweden school bans homework and tests to “reduce stress”

Judge Judy shakes head rolls eyes

The students are happy with this decision. Duh.

Guess that’ll give them more time to enjoy their smart phones…

From Yahoo: It’s no secret that homework is stressful. But in recent decades, researchers have begun to wonder whether the anxiety it produces outweighs its benefits. A myriad of research suggests that indeed, the bad may overshadow the good. One study in particular, from Stanford University in 2014, found excessive homework not only heightens stress, but causes difficulty sleeping, and exacerbates other physical ailments such as headaches.

Given this research, it was only a matter of time before schools began experimenting with a radical solution: eliminating homework altogether. The first to make news for trying this was an elementary school in Montreal, where the principal said he wanted his young students to be “playing” after school instead of working.

But now a school in Sweden has taken it a step further: banning not only homework but tests. The high school, located in a small town called Boden, reportedly informed its students of the new policy, aimed to reduce stress, in February. “It was my idea,” Petronella Sirkka, principal of the Sturenskolan School, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “The students have expressed that they are relieved, since they are under a lot of pressure during our school year.”

Sturenskolan’s homework and test ban has met mixed reviews in the town. But that hasn’t stopped Sirkka from pushing onward. “We are constantly receiving new reports that our children feel bad. And that’s because they have a very high stress level all the time,” Sirkka told SVT, the Swedish national public broadcaster. “This is our way of trying to reduce that stress.”

Sirkka said that the curriculum her students study is “very complicated” and “places extremely high demands” on them individually. Eliminating homework and tests (except for nationally required tests) is an attempt to make it “less challenging for their psychological well being” overall, according to a Sputnik News article.

Sirkka says that, since the students were away on Easter break, they haven’t been in class long enough for her to adequately judge how it’s going. But in general, she says the students are happy with the decision. For Sirkka, that’s good news. Her goal, if it goes well, is to introduce a permanent ban on homework and tests at Sturenskolan in 2019.

The anxiety that Sirkka’s solution is aimed at tackling isn’t unique to Sweden. Research shows that young Americans are more anxious than ever. According to the National Institutes of Mental Health, 31.9 percent of adolescents in the U.S. now have a diagnosable anxiety disorder, compared with just 19 percent of adults. In the last decade, the American Academy of Pediatrics reports, the number of adolescents and teens admitted to a hospital for suicidal thoughts has doubled.

Although there are many contributing factors to increased anxiety among teens — threats to physical safety being one of them — the burden of homework is real. The aforementioned Stanford study, published in the Journal of Experimental Education, looked at more than 4,000 students in upper-middle-class California communities (a demographic, it should be noted, that receives more homework help than others) and found that excessive homework, along with adding stress, leads to decreased socialization with friends and family.

Studies like that one, combined with anecdotal evidence from parents, have led to a growing irritation with after-school assignments. In a book titled The Case Against Homework, authors Sara Bennett and Nancy Kalish argue that there is no evidence showing actual benefits of homework among students — and a wealth of evidence proving its negative effects.

“Homework overload is compromising our parenting choices, jeopardizing our children’s health, and robbing us of precious family time,” Bennett and Kalish write. “Many ‘homework experts’ claim that one of the benefits of homework is increased parental involvement. But is it really beneficial when we constantly argue about homework or stay up late to do our kids’ assignments with them — or for them?”

Read the rest of the story here.

DCG

Whoopi Goldberg says riots over Trump firing Mueller would be “fun to watch”

whoopi-goldberg

Remember folks, being a liberal is “the best thing on earth you can be.”

From Fox News: Whoopi Goldberg said that if President Trump fires Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the potential resulting riots “would be fun to watch.”

Goldberg made the remark on “The View” on Wednesday as the co-hosts speculated what would happen if Trump terminated the special counsel, who is investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Following an FBI raid on Trump’s longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen, there has been growing speculation that Trump could fire Mueller, Attorney General Jeff Sessions or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Trump called the raid “disgraceful” and lambasted Mueller’s investigation as “an attack on our country.”

On “Your World,” conservative blogger Allie Beth Stuckey said Goldberg’s comment reflects how many on the left feel.

“They want this White House to be characterized by corruption and chaos. And I think they think that if he fires Mueller, that confirms all of their suspicions as well as, in their minds, precipitates impeachment, which they’ve been vying for” Stuckey said.

Democratic strategist Christy Setzer said there would be outrage if Trump fires Mueller because people want to see the conclusion of the investigation.

She pointed out that there have already been 19 indictments, five guilty pleas and one person sentenced to jail, and investigation seems to be getting closer and closer to Trump himself.

“The question is sort of what is going on, when are we finally going to get to whether or not Donald Trump himself has committed a crime?”

Watch the video here.

See also:

DCG