Monday, April 22, 2019

Wasting time

First the news, then the "inciteful" analysis:

From The Texarkana Gazette:

A Maryland man seen tackling a federally protected pelican on video has been arrested on animal cruelty charges out of Florida.

Hardesty (above, and left)
Maryland State Police said in a Friday release that 31-year-old William Hunter Hardesty was arrested at a hotel in Ocean City, Maryland. News outlets report the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission investigated the video of Hardesty trying to capture a brown pelican at Florida's Key West Historic Seaport. The video was taken March 5 and posted on his Facebook page March 8.

Monroe County State Attorney Dennis Ward told The Miami Herald the charges amount to five misdemeanors. Hardesty is being held as a fugitive in the Worcester County Detention Center, awaiting extradition to Florida.

And more seriously, from Kreps on Security:

Tyler Barriss, a 26-year-old California man who admitted making a phony emergency call to police in late 2017 that led to the shooting death of an innocent Kansas resident, has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison.

Barriss has admitted to his role in the Kansas man’s death, as well as to dozens of other non-fatal “swatting” attacks. These dangerous hoaxes involve making false claims to emergency responders about phony hostage situations or bomb threats, with the intention of prompting a heavily-armed police response to the location of the claimed incident.

On Dec. 28, 2017, Barriss placed a call from California to police in Wichita, Kan., claiming that he was a local resident who’d just shot his father and was holding other family members hostage.

When Wichita officers responded to the address given by the caller — 1033 W. McCormick — they shot and killed 28-year-old Andrew Finch, a father of two who had done nothing wrong.

Barriss admitted setting that fatal swatting in motion after getting in the middle of a dispute between two Call of Duty online gamers, 18-year-old Casey Viner from Ohio and Shane Gaskill, 20, from Wichita. Viner and Gaskill are awaiting their own trials in connection with Finch’s death.

All of this leads me to one conclusion. I mentioned the other day how we heard from our parents and grandparents how they had to trudge seven miles to school in the middle of blizzards, and churn the butter and milk 37 cows before leaving for school.

All of today's time-and-labor saving devices have left us with so much time and extra energy to burn, and now look at us. We have people with nothing better to do than jump into the water and wrestle a poor helpless bird, and, a million times worse, make falls calls to 911 that end up with someone being killed.

My advice for Messrs Hardesty and Barriss: go to an animal shelter, a homeless shelter, an orphanage, a home for anyone or anything devoid of hope and energy. Do something worthwhile for a change.

The change will do you good.

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