Friday Linkage

A man who rose to fame covering Bob Marley songs and riding the coattails of Lauryn Hill’s amazing voice will probably be the next President of Haiti. Why? Because Presidential elections there probably have the same student-council election vibe that they do here in the ‘States.

Hey, if the good ol’ U.S. of A can elect a man with zero executive experience to the land’s highest office on the strength of his ability to give a speech and celebrity status, who are we to tell Haiti they can’t do the same? Sean Penn, of all people, questioned Wyclef’s motives. The musician tried to allay Penn’s concerns by saying,

I just want Sean Penn to fully understand I am a Haitian, born in Haiti and I’ve been coming to my country ever since (I was) a child. He might just want to pick up the phone and meet, so he fully understands the man.

Oh, OK that should make Spicoli feel a lot better.

America’s sweetheart has converted to Hinduism. So America’s most beloved hooker is now a Hindu while her white trick in shining armor is a Buddhist. In the words of the often imitated but never duplicated Darth Vader, “The circle is now complete”.

I hope none of my ancestors came back as the oysters that produced those pearls

Next time you think about using your car horn when you’re in H-town, consider this.

A federal judge’s decision to strike down California’s Proposition 8 should encourage polygamists nationwide to push for the legalization of their chosen way of life.

The Guardian interviews Tariq Aziz.

Could this be a viable alternative? I smell cow manure, oh wait…

There are throwbacks whose idea of a good time is the beheading of infidels and there are throwbacks whose idea of a swell time differs just a tad.

Texas is #4 in the preseason Coaches’ poll? Methinks that’s a bit high considering it’s a “rebuilding” year…

Photo credit: Touchstone Pictures

Man shot down by Houston Police

While the title of this post seems to indicate that an injustice has taken place, the course of the investigation will bear this out. To be sure though, any loss of human life must be viewed as a tragedy.

The Houston Chronicle ran a story on this unfortunate incident,
“HPD officer shoots, kills naked man who chased him”

After reading the story, I noticed some characteristics of police shootings (in Houston at least).

1) The perhaps understandable picture of outrage of the family of the deceased
311xinlinegallery.jpgHouston Chronicle

The picture of course shows the ones stand the most to lose, the kids.

2) The victim is a black man who was first tasered then shot

  • some actually think that the police have nothing better to do than to go around tasering and/or shooting black people for no good reason; given the history of race relations in this country I don’t blame them but their reactions makes me think of the boy who cried wolf.

3) Quanell X is somehow involved

  • Enough said. Though in this case his involvement is a head-scratcher given that there is no suspect who Quanell can convince to turn himself in so Mr. X can collect the reward money. I say this because Quanell, not to mention his Hispanic counterpart, Rodolfo X were uncharacteristically silent after Officer Rodney Johnson was killed in the line of duty by an undocumented immigrant.

4) An eyewitness (or 2 in some cases) has an account of the events which differs or contradicts the official police statement, which by the way, the people in the dead man’s community aren’t buying,

“You’ll have to come up with a better story than that!” one person shouted… Relatives at the scene Thursday afternoon were skeptical of the police officer’s version of the events.

5) The paper strangely left out the fact that the dead man (who was acting rowdy) weighed almost 300 pounds.

  • I’m not sure how much the police officer weighed but how do you control a non-compliant and naked 270 lb. man when even the taser doesn’t work?

6) Friends and family of the deceased are shocked that he would do any of the things in the police’s account (in this case getting undressed and chasing the police officer)

  • This from a cousin,

“Every time you saw him he had a smile on his face and he always wanted to give you a hug,” said Evelyn Swan, the slain man’s cousin. “He is not a rowdy person.”

  • From the man’s father,

Smith’s father, Raymond Sr., said he could not explain his son’s behavior as it was describe by police. He said that his son did not have a history of mental illness and was not on any medications.

7) The fond memories family members have of the deceased tend to ignore or conveniently forget the man’s past criminal record and/or prison time.

Court records show Smith had a criminal record dating to 1995–eight convictions, half of them on drug charges… and served almost all of a two-year prison sentence, records show.

  • I realize that the man’s history does not make the police’s account true, but it does not make it outrageous either. I like what the father said about medications in the face of his son’s most recent charge in 2003,

He pleaded guilty in June of that year to the manufacture an delivery of less than a gram of a controlled substance

I guess a controlled substance isn’t really medication?

While this is a sad, sad story it is one more reminder of a good rule of thumb: If a cop asks you to do something, do it.

Don’t get naked (allegedly), don’t run away (allegedly), and for sure don’t start chasing the cop (allegedly).

Remember, there are a lot more of them than there are of you.