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Joe Horn cleared by grand jury in Pasadena shootings

June 30th, 2008 . by TexasFred

A Harris County grand jury decided today that Joe Horn should not be charged with a crime for shooting two suspected burglars he confronted outside his neighbor’s home in Pasadena last fall.

The decision to clear Horn of wrongdoing came two weeks after the grand jury began considering evidence in the case, including Horn’s testimony last week.

Horn, a 62-year-old retiree, became the focus of an intense public debate after the Nov. 14 shootings. Many supporters praised him as a hero for using deadly force to protect property, while others dismissed him as a killer who should have heeded a 911 operator’s instructions to stay in his house and wait for police.

Horn called authorities after hearing breaking glass and seeing two men climb through a window into his next-door neighbor’s home in the 7400 block of Timberline.

The 911 operator urged Horn to remain inside, but he went outside with his 12-gauge shotgun and came face-to-face with Diego Ortiz, 30, and Hernando Riascos Torres, 38.

Full Story Here:
Joe Horn cleared by grand jury in Pasadena shootings

Make no mistake about it, I am very happy that Mr. Horn is not going to be charged with any crime, but I feel this action sets a new precedent here in Texas, simply because of this one line in the story: Ortiz and Torres died a short distance from Horn’s house, both shot in the back.

OK, I understand these 2 had burglarized a residence, I completely understand that they were bad guys and their leaving this world was no loss to ANY of us, and I am fine with that.

Here’s the part I just don’t understand, I know that if I feel my life is in danger from a person or persons in the commission of a crime, in my home or on my property, the Castle Doctrine reigns supreme, that part I DO understand, but how was Horn’s life threatened?? If BOTH of these burglars were shot in the back, HOW could they have presented ANY kind of life threatening, clear and present danger to Mr. Horn?

I am, and have been, of the opinion that Mr. Horn made a horrific mistake by placing himself in the position he did, he was told, specifically

According to a transcript of Horn’s 911 call, which he made about 2 p.m., the operator repeatedly urged Horn to stay in his house, but Horn said he did not believe it would be right to let the burglars get away.

“Well, here it goes, buddy,” Horn can be heard telling the operator. “You hear the shotgun clicking and I’m going.”

The operator replies: “Don’t go outside.”

That’s one of the things that still bugs me about this whole thing, as I said, I don’t mourn the loss of the 2 burglars, but they were guilty of burglary, not rape or murder, and even if they HAD committed a rape or murder, Horn had no way of knowing that, all he knew for a certain fact was that the 2 had made entry into his neighbors dwelling, thus, he assumed it was a burglary in progress.

I guess what this ruling has done is set the stage for Texas home owners to become judge, jury and executioner, it’s going to be very interesting to see how the next case turns out, in somewhere other than Harris county.

Why hell, if WE can kill em ourselves, why bother with calling the police? Look at the money we could save if all the cops had to do was come clean up the mess, there’s very little expense incurred to remove dead bodies, just call the *meat wagon* and they’ll send out 2 attendants, scoop up the garbage in a body bag and tote it off for you, and there’s no court costs.

Ya know, all things considered, if the interpretation is applied correctly, this could turn into a good thing after all.

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Bush signs $162 billion war spending bill

June 30th, 2008 . by TexasFred

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Bush on Monday signed legislation to pay for the war operations in Iraq and Afghanistan for the rest of his presidency and beyond, hailing the $162 billion plan as a rare product of bipartisan cooperation.

“This bill shows the American people that even in an election year, Republicans and Democrats can come together to stand behind our troops and their families,” Bush said in an Oval Office ceremony.

Bush made clear to thank members of both parties in Congress, singling out some sponsors of the long-delayed, compromise measure for praise. His positive comments contrasted with the confrontational tone that has dominated the debate between Congress and his administration over Iraq.

The legislation will bring to more than $650 billion the amount Congress has provided for the Iraq war since it began more than five years ago. For operations in Afghanistan, the total is nearly $200 billion, according to congressional officials.

Full Story Here:
Bush signs $162 billion war spending bill

$850 BILLION U.S. taxpayer dollars, total, so far, have been spent on the war in Iraq and the efforts in Afghanistan.

And just exactly what do WE have to show for it?? What is OUR payoff for these huge monetary expenditures?

Iraq is still a highly volatile place, we have troops dying there on an almost daily basis, and for ALL of our efforts, the Iraqi government is still a joke, they would fold like a cheap suit if we walked away, and all of our efforts would have been for naught.

Afghanistan?? You want to talk about Afghanistan?? Read this piece: Pentagon: Taliban a resilient force in Afghanistan, it says all I can think of to say.

We are spending BILLIONS of our dollars to police the world, to make Iraq a decent and peaceful place for it’s citizens, that’s according to the last release of mission definition, and now this, Iraq opens 6 oil fields to international bidding, what about some massive repayment for OUR losses taking place 1st?? What about some compensation for the expenditure of OUR tax dollars?

Where’s the payoff for OUR efforts? When does America get to enjoy the fruits of it’s labor?

Not wanting to appear one way, but if there’s no direct benefit to the America people, why go? Why bankrupt US so others can benefit?

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Medicare fees to doctors to fall starting Tuesday

June 30th, 2008 . by TexasFred

WASHINGTON (AP) – One unpleasant task lawmakers will have over the July 4 recess is explaining to seniors why they didn’t stop a 10 percent fee cut, going into effect Tuesday, for doctors who treat Medicare patients.

Physicians have been running ads hinting that patients may find doctors less willing to treat them.

In a particularly vitriolic exchange, Democrats and Republicans blamed each other for what Dr. Nancy H. Nielsen, president of the American Medical Association, said has put the country “at the brink of a Medicare meltdown.”

“Seniors need continued access to the doctors they trust. It’s urgent that Congress make that happen,” the AMA said in ads taken out in Capitol Hill newspapers read by members of Congress and their aides.

Full Story Here:
Medicare fees to doctors to fall starting Tuesday

 I am one of those people that believes you have to work for what you get, I detest welfare, I believe that welfare tends to breed a welfare state of mind, and I have heard some say that the welfare of Medicare needs to end.

Medicare isn’t welfare, for those that don’t know it, Medicare is set in place to provide health care for those that have worked all their lives and paid their money into the Social Security Administration system on the premise that Social Security was going to be their retirement, Medicare is anything but welfare.

Every time the administration cuts Medicare payments to doctors, our seniors, and the disabled that rely on Medicare for their health care, are the ones that suffer the most, a lot of doctors aren’t in the medical profession simply for love of the game, many are in it for the money and Medicare just won’t pay enough for some of the more highly skilled, and field specific to become a part of that system. 

One near-certainty was that lawmakers, not willing to face millions of angry seniors at the polls in November, will act quickly when they return to Washington the week of July 7 to reverse the fee cut and provide retroactive payments to doctors for losses they incur after July 1.

I would certainly hope that our lawmakers would rectify this situation, quite frankly, there is no excuse for letting Medicare get into this position in the 1st place, Medicare and Social Security are quite often robbed to take up the slack and shortfalls of other greatly funded government agencies, agencies that are deemed more important than the providing of health care to some old bastards that are going to die pretty soon anyway, that seems to be the line of thought.

We can afford to keep on funding the war in Iraq with billions of American tax dollars, we can afford to hand Mexico $400M U.S. tax dollars so it can be embezzled, or most likely just plain stolen by corrupt Mexican officials SOURCE but we’re cutting the money that goes to taking care of our elderly, retired and disabled workers?

They might as well cut the money, I mean why the hell not, it seems like some of our government agencies are having to cut corners where the health and well-being of our military vets and retirees is concerned too.

A government that will take care of other nations before it will provide proper health care for it’s own citizens is not a government that I can trust nor be particularly proud of.

EDIT TO ADD: WASHINGTON - The Bush administration said Monday it is freezing a scheduled 10% fee cut for doctors who treat Medicare patients, giving Congress time to act to stop the cuts when lawmakers return from a July 4 recess.

Full Story Here: Medicare Fee Cut Put on Hold

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