NFL Launches Probe into Shooting at Michael Vick’s Birthday Party

Michael Vick could be in hot waters again, after NFL launches probe into shooting occurs at his birthday party outside Virginia Beach.

Michael Vick is in the news again. According to media reports, the National Football League and the Philadelphia Eagles are gathering information on a shooting that occurred after Vick’s birthday party outside Virginia Beach last Thursday. Vick could have a big problem if they find he violated player conduct policy or he violated his federal probation order, stemming from a dogfighting conviction. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, his lawyer said he was not involved in the shooting.

Well, we have heard denials of accusations from Vick before that were later proven in court. If the probe shows he knew about this, he could be looking at another suspension from the league. For his sake, I hope he had left the party before the shooting occurred. Either he has the worst luck or he hasn’t learned his lesson from the dogfighting charges.

Ex-Con Michael Eric Ballard Goes on Murderous Rampage Killing Ex-Girlfriend, Denise Merhi & Three Others

Ex-convict Michael Eric Ballard kills ex-girlfriend Denise Merhi, her father, grandfather & neighbor Steven Zernhelt in Northampton, Pa.

The news from the weekend has been tinged with acts of gun violence. Michael Eric Ballard, who served prison time for a 1992 murder was charged Sunday with fatally stabbing four people, including his ex-girlfriend Denise Merhi. Ballard went on the murderous rampage Saturday in the town of Northampton, located about 70 miles north of Philadelphia, Pa. He also killed Merhi’s father and grandfather, along with a neighbor who came to help after he heard the initial screams coming from her home. According to the Allentown Morning Call, Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli said he will seek the death penalty.

According to court documents, Ballard told police he “murdered [his] girlfriend and her family and then the neighbor,” according to court documents.

Ballard pleaded guilty to third-degree murder in 1992 and was sentenced to 10 to 20 years in prison, according to court records in Lehigh County. Ballard, then 18, was accused of stabbing Donald Richard in December 1991 in Richard’s Allentown apartment, according to newspaper accounts from the time. Police identified the other victims as Merhi’s father, Dennis Marsh, 62; her grandfather, Alvin Marsh Jr.; and her neighbor, Steven Zernhelt, 53. Merhi had two children, but neither was home at the time of the attack.

Ballard, who was injured in a car accident shortly after the rampage, was arraigned at his hospital bedside. It was not immediately clear if he had an attorney. Source

Ballard was arrested late Saturday afternoon after crashing his car less than two miles from the home at 1917 Lincoln Ave. where the bodies were found. According to the Morning Call, police said they found Ballard seriously wounded, with apparent knife wounds to his legs and injuries to his face and hands. Further, police said when an officer asked him what happened, Ballard said, “It’s obvious, I just killed everyone.” The motive for the “slaughter” is unclear, but police theorize that there was “some type of relationship” between Merhi and Ballard. My thoughts and prayers go out to the children of Ms. Mehri and pray they will live as normal a life as possible. How many more women have to die at the hands of men with whom they have or have had a relationship? To put it simply, this is a travesty.

U.S. Supreme Court Deals Blow to Chicago’s 28-Year Ban on Gun Ownership, Saying Its Unconstitutional

The U.S. Supreme Court has dealt blow to Chicago and its 28-year ban on gun ownership, saying it was unconstitutional. This is a major victory for gun owners. The conservative majority of justices reiterated its two-year old position that the Constitution gives individuals equal or greater power than states to own certain firm-arms for protection.

The court, however, said that local jurisdictions still retain the flexibility to preserve some “reasonable gun control measures” that are currently in place across the United States.

Not surprising, the vote was 5-4 along party lines.

Darnell Thomas Charged with One Count of Murder in Death of 17-Mo.-Old Jamar Harris on Chicago’s South Side

Darnell Thomas, who has a long criminal history, charged with one count of murder in the death of 17-month-old baby Jamar Harris on Chicago’s South Side.

Why are some women attracted to lowlife men? Darnell Thomas, who has had a history of battery arrests has been charged with the murder of 17-month-old Jamar Harris, whose mother left him in his care. The South Side Chicago boy died of multiple blunt force trauma early Saturday morning, according to the Chicago Sun Times. He has also been charged with abusing the boy’s three-year old brother.

Thomas, 21, has been charged with one count of first-degree murder in the death of the baby, according to the Sun Times. He has also been charged with one count of misdemeanor domestic battery for the alleged abuse of the brother. He is expected to appear in Cook County Criminal Court on Monday.

What is reprehensible is that this man has had a long rap sheet that includes arrests for unlawful use of a weapon and misdemeanor battery. The sad fact is that they often progress to more serious crimes, including murder. Thomas allegedly told the police that the boy had fallen down the stairs. According to the Sun Times, he had bruising on his abdomen area, on his arms and a cut to the mouth.

The mother, who is pregnant, was away at work, but I scarcely believe this was the first time this monster abused this baby and his brother. Why do women continue to have relationships with men who have had long criminal histories? I can understand if someone had one brush with the law that did not include murder or rape of a child, but Darnell Thomas was a ticking time bomb and he capped off a long criminal history with murdering an innocent baby.

Chris Brown, a Woman Beater, Should Not be the Person to Give Tribute to Michael Jackson

Sorry, but Chris Brown, woman beater, should not be the person to give a tribute to Michael Jackson on BET. That is a disgrace. This shows that BET has no standards, but then again, I am not surprised. So, are these tears for real? Or is this like Judas Iscariot. Sorry, I don’t buy these crocodile tears. He didn’t cry when he was pounding Rihanna relentlessly. It’s just like asking Ike Turner singing at the lighting of the Christmas Tree at Disney World.

BET Awards Show Starts With Expletive After Expletive in Kanye West Opening Act

The BET Awards has started and they are living up to their usual gaudiness. The show started with Kanye West will hurled expletive after expletive in his opening act. As usual, he thinks he’s all that. He is standing on a mountain with a rod — Moses on the Mount, perhaps? What an egotist.

I am just waiting to see Patti Labelle’s tribute to Prince and then I will stop watching.

Clive Crook, Financial Times Columnist, Says President Obama Wrong to Lecture Other Countries on Fiscal Policy

Clive Crook, Financial Times columnist, tells President Obama not to lecture other countries on fiscal policy when the US has largely been unsuccessful in the same.

Financial Times columnist Clive Crook delivered a major slap to the United States at the G20 Summit in Toronto, Canada. He lambasted President Barack Obama for ‘lecturing’ others on fiscal policy when we have a financial mess in the country that keeps manifesting itself in many ways on a daily basis. Here’s an excerpt from his commentary, Fiscal Disarray is the Least of G20’s Sins:

Under these circumstances one could forgive the US for lecturing others on fiscal policy, were it not for the fact that (a) poor US financial regulation and inattentive monetary policy caused the crisis in the first place, and (b) its own fiscal policy is a shambles. President Barack Obama is telling other countries to maintain fiscal stimulus even as his own fades and the US Congress is denying his modest requests for extra spending. For this, Mr Obama himself is mostly to blame.

He and his allies in Congress bungled last year’s stimulus. A big package was needed, and was duly delivered. But its design was poor: too much spending on shovel-ready projects that weren’t; too little in tax cuts. It was seriously oversold, leaving voters sceptical that more stimulus would do any good. Worst of all, with public debt through the roof, the administration has failed to give the smallest sign of its exit strategy. Last week its budget director, Peter Orszag, disclosed his own. He said he was quitting; colleagues said (though he denied) that he was frustrated by White House indecision over medium-term fiscal control.

The complaint after Toronto is that nations are concentrating on their own economies and ignoring global welfare. So far as taxes and spending go, my reaction is: if only. Attending to strictly national demands would get the world most of the way to the budget policies it needs. In other areas, however, unilateralism is less productive and co-operation not just valuable but essential. Financial regulation and trade are the most salient cases. This is where the failure to get along really counts.

To be fair, this financial quagmire didn’t start with President Obama, but I can’t understand why he and the Congress have been largely unsuccessful in getting anything that will help the middle class passed. Health care legislation they rammed through is still an enigma to many and let’s not talk about two wars, high unemployment and foreclosure rates, plus a largely unsuccessful foreclosure recovery program, for example. Sorry Mr. President, Washington is a far more complex place to be than Chicago and the same rules don’t apply.

Read more: Fiscal disarray is the least of the G20’s sins | Financial Times

Stephen Powell, Fatally Shot, Two Others Injured as Personal Dispute Turns Deadly at San Francisco Gay Pride Festivities

SHOCK: Violence at San Francisco Gay Pride celebrations. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, a personal dispute turned deadly in the Castro District late Saturday, leading to the death of Stephen Powell, 19, and two others were shot, sending horrified revelers running for their lives.

After the shots rang out at about 11:30 p.m., some in the surrounding crowd of hundreds began throwing bottles, witnesses told police. Officers in riot gear responded to the scene within minutes, quelled the fracas, and arrested a 19-year-old suspect in the shootings. They also recovered a handgun they believe was used in the attack. “This was definitely not a hate crime,” said Officer Phil Gordon. “We think they (the shooter and at least one victim) knew each other.”

The other two victims in the attack, a 19-year-old woman and a 29-year-old man, were both hit in the leg and expected to recover from their injuries, officials said.

Read more: One dead, Two injured in Castro shootings | San Francisco Chronicle

Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) Hospitalized in Washington D.C.-Area Hospital in Grave Condition

Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV), longest serving senator in U.S. Congress, dies after being hospitalized.

Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) is reportedly in serious condition in a Washington-area hospital. His office issued a statement Sunday: “Byrd was admitted to the hospital late last week suffering from what was believed to be heat exhaustion and severe dehydration as a result of the extreme temperatures. He was expected to remain in the hospital not more than a few days. “However, upon further examination by his doctors, other conditions have developed which has resulted in his condition being described as ‘serious.'”

Sen. Byrd is proof that no senator in America should be elected repeatedly to serve in any elected office for so long. Byrd, once a member of the Ku Klux Klan, began his career in Washington D.C. in 1952 with his election to the House of Representatives. He was later elected to the Senate six years later. He has been in frail health in recent years and it begs the question of why he hasn’t stepped aside to allow someone else to take his place.

UPDATE#1: Sen. Byrd’s office is reporting that the has died. I am amazed at the outpouring of support and praise for Byrd, though they seem to have forgotten his past, which was a very dark one. Sorry, but I can’t sing the virtues of a former Ku Klux Klan member. Another stain on his  political career is the note he wrote in 1944 to racist Sen. Theodore Bilbo of Mississippi about a move to integrate the armed forces:

I shall never fight in the armed forces with a Negro by my side… Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds.

To add insult to injury, 12 years into his service in Congress, he voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Act and held up the vote in the Senate with a long filibuster. He later said he wished he could take that vote back. I could go on and on.