Friday, March 27, 2009

LKL probes "smiley face" deaths; Cafferty talks about recession; Anderson Cooper in Juarez

Larry King Live, on Thursday March 26, 2009, offered a fifteen minute discussion of the “Smiley Face” deaths around the northeastern part of the country, ranging from Minnesota and Iowa to New York City.

Dr. Cyril Wecht, a forensic pathologist, said that there are far too many coincidences in the cases for them to be accidental drownings. There were fly larvae found on some of the bodies, and his blood alcohol would not have been as high pre-mortem as post-mortem. Parents Jack and Pat McNiel appeared on the show; there son was a Fordham University student, and believe that the police simply are wrong, and don’t have the resources to investigate properly.

The FBI has said that it cannot make a definite link between the cases.

Minnesota professor Lee Gilbertson said that most of the incidents have occurred in the winter, when most natural drownings occur during the summer, especially in these states. Gilbertson also noted that the profile of the victims, in terms of physical characteristics, has very narrow standard deviations.

The embedded segment doesn’t quite cover the entire report, but they ran out of time getting into theories of the incidents. There was a general comparison to the Charles Manson cult in 1969 (the tv film “Helter Skelter,” recently reviewed on my movies blog).It was thought that the incidents were coordinated laterally on the Internet (they started in 1997 about the time the Web was taking off), which is not how sleeper cells, as from Al Qaeda, would work. What kind of ideology could explain this? I noticed that the movie “Watchmen” also has a yellow smiley face symbol from the comic books, but the smiley face is somewhat different. But the ideology in the movie was “pre-emption” (of the Doomsday Clock). I don’t see how that makes any sense here. There is another blogspot forum ("They Don't See Through Us") on this with some detailed coverage here. There are many links here to follow, including eventually an ABC Good Morning America interview. The young men all seemed to have reputations for behaving prudently.

The LKL show also interviewed Jack Cafferty, who previously authored “It’s Getting Ugly Out There” now has “Now or Never: Getting Down to the Business of Saving our American Dream.” In his 2007 book, Cafferty had criticized ending the draft and said that we should at least implement mandatory national service! On LKL, Cafferty discussed the sudden loss of his wife to an aneurysm. It can happen to anybody.

Anderson Cooper reported on the critical situation in Juarez Mexico with the drug wars. His blog entry “The streets of Juarez” is here. The report continued on Anderson Cooper 360 at 10 PM. This sounds like a serious national security problem. Will Mexico become a failed state right on our border? Recently, I watched and reviewed the movie “Bordertown” which covers a related problem in Juarez, the kidnapping and murder of women working in maquildoras.

Later, on his Friday (March 27) 360 Program, Anderson presented FBI agents and terrorism experts who explained that the Mexican cartel controls "wholesale" distribution of drugs in the Southwest, and that the Colombian cartel "controls" the Northeast in "Mafia" fashion. The cartels have linked "cells" in major cities, that use street gangs to distribute the drugs to consumers. Anderson's presentation suggests that this organized crime structure explains the extreme violence of some crimes that catch the media attention and that appear to be like "hits".

Libertarians rightfully ask the appropriate question: are we doing this to ourselves by making personal use of substances a crime? Aren't our drug laws based on circular "reasoning" and don't they invite more crime than they prevent?

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