Friday, August 19, 2005

Ethnic Divisiveness - We'll Show 'Em


Michigan State Trooper Charged with Murder

By Michael Rosenfield
Web produced by Christine Lasek
May 9, 2005

A Michigan State Trooper is being charged with murder for a controversial shooting outside of a Detroit bar. The trooper is being asked to turn himself in.

Family members of the victim say they are relieved that a murder charge is now being brought against the trooper. Investigators say this case has taken several weeks because it is always difficult to investigate a police agency.

Wayne Co. Prosecutor Kym Worthy announced Monday morning that Michigan State Trooper Jay Morningstar will be charged in the April 14th incident that left a homeless man dead in the street.

According to Worthy, "After a thorough investigation, we are charging Trooper Jay Morningstar with one count of murder in the 2nd degree, and a separate count of manslaughter, intentionally aimed without malice."
What was missing in that news account?


Trooper held in homeless man's death

$200,000 bond set; accounts of shooting differ about details

May 11, 2005

The two departments have given conflicting details.

A court file says Williams, whose family said he had mental problems, was harassing customers inside the bar and broke two windows while being escorted from the bar.

Detroit police said in a report that Williams had his pants down around his knees and walked toward Morningstar before the trooper shot him.

But Sgt. Mike Herendeen, president of the Michigan State Police Troopers Association, said Williams was not partially naked. He said Williams' baggy pants were sliding down as he approached Morningstar, and his hands were in his waist area.

Morningstar said: "Stop. Show me your hands," at least twice, according to Herendeen.

"This is not something he wanted to get involved in that night," Herendeen said. "Certainly this is devastating. He's charged with a serious crime for essentially doing his job and doing it the way he was trained to do it."


Friday, May 13, 2005

Trooper pays price for Detroit's incompetence

By Frank Beckmann / Special to The Detroit News

Frank Koss sits in the Beaubien Street Saloon, right next door to the Old Detroiter. As a pseudo-doorman, he knew Magoo (nickname for the man who was killed), all too well.

"He'd come by every other night at 9 o'clock, and I'd give him 5 bucks to keep him out of here," Koss told me. "By midnight, he was a different guy."

And what made him different? The alcohol he would buy with the money he scrounged from Koss and anyone he could panhandle. Koss says Magoo was as "mean as a snake when he got a snoot full."

He tells of Magoo threatening a couple with a screwdriver in a nearby parking lot one night "when they wouldn't give him any money."

Pointing toward Beaubien Street, Koss says Magoo was known, without provocation, to "attack moving cars out in the street. If I'm lyin', I'm dyin'!"

Jim Steel works behind the bar at Beaubien Street Saloon. Still puzzled by the events of that night, he says "I just don't understand why you don't listen to a cop."

Let's set aside for the moment the obvious involving Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy -- that she overcharged -- and move to another contemptible part of this tragedy.

At Trooper Morningstar's arraignment this week, Magistrate Sidney Barthwell Jr. (who was repremanded formally when he was a lawyer - Barthwell Jr., Sidney-Notice-NOTICE OF REPRIMAND-98-237-GA- 03/01/1999) called the defendant a danger to the community and set his bond at a staggering $200,000 at the request of Worthy's office.

This courtroom scene was pure grandstanding.

Noted Detroit criminal attorney Stephen Fishman told me, "I have represented many police officers charged with homicide. I have never had the prosecution request, nor the judge set, anything other than personal bond in those cases."


Let's look at what's in play here:
  • The incident occurred around 1:00 am in Detroit
  • The man who was killed is black and on other occasions was violent and erratic
  • The officer is white
  • The prosecutor is black
  • The judge is black and was reprimanded as a lawyer in 1999 - maybe not the straightest arrow in the quiver???
I really hate to think that this a case of "We'll show 'em!" This really should not be a racial statement by Kim Worthy or Sidney Barthwell Jr. State Troopers are black and white; they do their jobs based on the law, not on racial bias. But, I get the sense that this prosecution of Officer Morningstar is about racial grandstanding... so much so that I just mailed a contribution to:




CANTON, MI 48187

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There is always an easy solution to every human problem—neat, plausible, and wrong.
Henry Louis Mencken (1880–1956)
“The Divine Afflatus,” A Mencken Chrestomathy, chapter 25, p. 443 (1949)
... and one could add "not all human problems really are."
It was beautiful and simple, as truly great swindles are.
- O. Henry
... The Government is on course for an embarrassing showdown with the European Union, business groups and environmental charities after refusing to guarantee that billions of pounds of revenue it stands to earn from carbon-permit trading will be spent on combating climate change.
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Tracking Interest Rates

Tracking Interest Rates


SEARCH BLOG: FEDERAL RESERVE for full versions... or use the Blog Archive pulldown menu.

February 3, 2006
Go back to 1999-2000 and see what the Fed did. They are following the same pattern for 2005-06. If it ain't broke, the Fed will fix it... and good!
August 29, 2006 The Federal Reserve always acts on old information... and is the only cause of U.S. recessions.
December 5, 2006 Last spring I wrote about what I saw to be a sharp downturn in the economy in the "rustbelt" states, particularly Michigan.
March 28, 2007
The Federal Reserve sees no need to cut interest rates in the light of adverse recent economic data, Ben Bernanke said on Wednesday.
The Fed chairman said ”to date, the incoming data have supported the view that the current stance of policy is likely to foster sustainable economic growth and a gradual ebbing in core inflation”.

July 21, 2007 My guess is that if there is an interest rate change, a cut is more likely than an increase. The key variables to be watching at this point are real estate prices and the inventory of unsold homes.
August 11, 2007 I suspect that within 6 months the Federal Reserve will be forced to lower interest rates before housing becomes a black hole.
September 11, 2007 It only means that the overall process has flaws guaranteeing it will be slow in responding to changes in the economy... and tend to over-react as a result.
September 18, 2007 I think a 4% rate is really what is needed to turn the economy back on the right course. The rate may not get there, but more cuts will be needed with employment rates down and foreclosure rates up.
October 25, 2007 How long will it be before I will be able to write: "The Federal Reserve lowered its lending rate to 4% in response to the collapse of the U.S. housing market and massive numbers of foreclosures that threaten the banking and mortgage sectors."
"Should the elevated turbulence persist, it would increase the possibility of further tightening in financial conditions for households and businesses," he said.

"Uncertainties about the economic outlook are unusually high right now," he said. "These uncertainties require flexible and pragmatic policymaking -- nimble is the adjective I used a few weeks ago."

December 11, 2007 Somehow the Fed misses the obvious.
[Image from:]
December 13, 2007 [from The Christian Science Monitor]
"The odds of a recession are now above 50 percent," says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's "We are right on the edge of a recession in part because of the Fed's reluctance to reduce interest rates more aggressively." [see my comments of September 11]
January 7, 2008 The real problem now is that consumers can't rescue the economy and manufacturing, which is already weakening, will continue to weaken. We've gutted the forces that could avoid a downturn. The question is not whether there will be a recession, but can it be dampened sufficiently so that it is very short.
January 11, 2008 This is death by a thousand cuts.
January 13, 2008 [N.Y. Times]
“The question is not whether we will have a recession, but how deep and prolonged it will be,” said David Rosenberg, the chief North American economist at Merrill Lynch. “Even if the Fed’s moves are going to work, it will not show up until the later part of 2008 or 2009.
January 17, 2008 A few days ago, Anna Schwartz, nonagenarian economist, implicated the Federal Reserve as the cause of the present lending crisis [from the Telegraph - UK]:
The high priestess of US monetarism - a revered figure at the Fed - says the central bank is itself the chief cause of the credit bubble, and now seems stunned as the consequences of its own actions engulf the financial system. "The new group at the Fed is not equal to the problem that faces it," she says, daring to utter a thought that fellow critics mostly utter sotto voce.
January 22, 2008 The cut has become infected and a limb is in danger. Ben Bernanke is panicking and the Fed has its emergency triage team cutting rates... this time by 3/4%. ...

What should the Federal Reserve do now? Step back... and don't be so anxious to raise rates at the first sign of economic improvement.
Individuals and businesses need stability in their financial cost structures so that they can plan effectively and keep their ships afloat. Wildly fluctuating rates... regardless of what the absolute levels are... create problems. Either too much spending or too much fear. It's just not that difficult to comprehend. Why has it been so difficult for the Fed?

About Me

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Michigan, United States
Air Force (SAC) captain 1968-72. Retired after 35 years of business and logistical planning, including running a small business. Two sons with advanced degrees; one with a business and pre-law degree. Beautiful wife who has put up with me for 4 decades. Education: B.A. (Sociology major; minors in philosopy, English literature, and German) M.S. Operations Management (like a mixture of an MBA with logistical planning)