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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sometimes You Think You Know

On Feb 15th Utica recorded the first homicide of 09'. Like all murders it was a tragic, senseless, 100% preventable act. An undelible blemish on an otherwise exemplary crime rate track-record for the City of Utica.

We do not live in Maybary. Utica is no stranger to violence, but in recent years the typical street violence associated with drug dealing and other forms of organized crime had been on a steady decline.
Senseless violence, however, is a different story. It really doesn't matter how a particular set of circumstances lead to a murder. It is the act, itself that defines the circumstance.
The fact that violence is the first option for some of us is alarming.
This murder is an abberation. It is an anomoly.
Murder, thank God, is an abberation- an anomoly.
Rich, poor, black white. It does not matter.
In this case, the case of 17 yr old Joshua Smith, we are at a loss. We can isolate contributing factors. We can use statistics and say one group of people is more prone to violence than the other.
Someone always undoubtedly bucks the odds and at the end of the day it is always about loss, waste and regret.
This case is no different. The two main suspects, Harold Jones and Anthony Ruffin were not typical neighborhood thugs. The two teenage cousins spent a lot of time together, most of it, by all appearances innocent.
What goes on in the minds of young people has been a baffling question for adults since the dawn of man. As grown-ups we all reach a point where the void from childhood to adulthood can be a mazelike chasm as confusing as income taxes but through it all we learn to trust, to have faith in the good advice we, as adults, may have shared.
We trust and hope they will not get involved with 'bad things' and they will always do the right thing.
Then something happens. They become teenagers armed with the confidence your good advice gave them. Now they want to see for themselves what all the hubbub is about. Some go a little farther than others revealing issues that may have lied dormant until now. The innocence is withering away.
Who can forget the 13yr old kid in Vernon who killed his father with a shotgun.
No one on the outside ever saw it coming. Only later was it divulged the child may have suffered from some severe mental disorders. But even his dad thought...he was safe.
This case is no different.
We know these kids.
16 yr old Anthony 'Man - Man' Ruffin was an avid basketball player who spent most his time working on his jumper and schooling everyone on his ( and my)block, Linwood Pl.. He has a loving mother and father. A tighknit family with an eye on responsibilty.
There were solid examples for him to follow and not follow. He went to school regularly evan had a curfew.
His cousin and alleged accomplice Harold 'Nick' Jones was also an avid ballplayer and was quickly developing into a man sprouting nearly two inches in little over a year. His development was also validated by his newly acquired squeaky-deep voice. He has allegedly had a few recent brushes with the law and I know of at least one awkward and potentially explosive situation regarding his behavior,but none of these things equalled murder.
Not even close.
According to both of them it was an accident. I am inclined to believe them.
Remember, I saw them everyday.
I choose to give them the benefit of the doubt because the alternative is to hard to accept. I can't get my mind around it. I choose to believe them because I cannot imagine these boys that I have known all these years killing anyone on purpose. I can't imagine these guys walking around playing the dozens with murderous intentions fooling everyone. Most career criminals, prone to violence, work their way up to murder. We would have at least labeled them 'bad kids'.
They weren't had to be an accident.
In the meantime we look for answers. We wonder: How did they get a gun? A 'perfect storm' of negative moments punctuated by gunfire.
Utica is a battle scarred city losing the fight against a stagnant economy. Violence should be a bit further down the list when one counts all the problems that plague segments of our community.
But it isn't, rightfully so.
But that does not comfort the family of Joshua Thompson. The fact it does not happen everyday does not make it any easier to accept.
I offer no solution.
But I will readily admit, I was raised in violent times, more violent than now.
The cup is still half-full.
We can each help fill it.


no_slappz said...


Why are so many white people on Welfare?

For the same reasons all people are on welfare -- they need it.

Collecting welfare is not a crime. Unless the person collecting is collecting fraudulently, which is a huge problem in New York, especially in NY City.

The more interesting aspect of your silly question comes down to the fact that you responded to a question about violent crime in the black community with a rhetorical question about people utilizing a social program aimed at helping people.

In other words, you engaged in a non-sequitur.

If you want to compare apples to apples, you might compare crime rates between blacks, whites, hispanics and asian who are welfare recipients. But you won't because you already know the answer.

Meanwhile, the social pathologies that lead to murder in the black population are the same pathologies that lead to murder in the white, hispanic and asian populations.

However, there is a difference in murder rates when the data is analyzed by race and ethnicity.

Therefore, I ask again, why is the murder rate as high as it is among blacks?

You can write anything you want on my site. It's okay. It's too bad you are cowardly when it comes to your own site.

David B. Dancy said...

I posted this comment because slappz came here again to point the finger at Black people. We have ongoing correspondence that makes no sense seeing as he will never reveal who he really is.
Because he would probably be fired from his job or committed.
As far as the murder rate for black people. I don't get it.
It will take years for black folks to catch up with everyone else. I stand solidly behind the notion that the race of the people commiting the crime is not relevant to preventing it. Murder is a perverse and desperate act under most circumstances.
I said most... we have accomplished killers of all races killing right now. In our name. there?
Remember predator drones kill as well, but the guy flying it is underground Somewhere in the southwest.
Does it matter what race he is?
To does.
So you can conveniently point to statistics compiled by the justice department. But you can't measure the reality of how many people knowingly kill. How about corporate indifference to existing laws meant to protect people? A good example would be the salmonella scare with eight dead. Their race does not matter to me.
If someone dumps Asbestos in your backyard that causes your early death did he kill you?
Their are many ways to kill.
Ask all the white serial killers.
But don't be dismayed we (black people) will kill you over cereal.
Later slappy.
I mean pussy.

David B. Dancy said...

I responded the way I di9d with the white people crack because you made a PERSONAL ATTACK AGAINST TWO KIDS. Kids I know. It would be in bad taste to allow your misguided opinions any space.
All of your (Slappy's) malicious views are motivated by racist ideals. You are caught in a rut and cannot get out or don't want to. There must be some type of reward for you to hold on so tightly to what you THINK is important.

no_slappz said...

DBD, as I've said, you can put any comments you want on my blog.

Why? Because your screwball views are just your views and it's always good for people to put their thoughts into words available to all.

It's only people who are uncomfortable with facts and truth who try to keep them from view. That's you.

What should happen to your neighbor the murderer? The kid who planned an attack on another kid and stacked everything in his favor by bringing a gun to the scene of his planned robbery.

Any and every thug carrying a gun thinks of using his weapon. Your neighbor thug thought about it and fired it. For no reason whatsoever, except for the fact that he is so maladjusted his plan of armed robbery was consistent with his life.

If the weapons had been knives or bats, the victim would have lived to report the crime. But, your swell neighbor believed that killing the only witness solved his own getaway problems.

Anyway, it seems likely you will contruct some weird rationalization that someone other than your neighbor is to blame for the murder. Based on your previous posts, you may well claim that slavery was a contributing factor.

David B. Dancy said...

Screwball views? And no, it isn't always o.k. to put your views out for the world to see. That is why bestiality is illegal.
I also do not care if you post my responses or not. I care thay YOU read it. I am not corresponding with peanut gallery. Oh yeah I forgot that is exactly what NO Slappz is.
A peanut gallery where Ol is infinite and alternative fuel is a screwball idea.
One more question: Can cars run on water?
It's rhetorical stupid.

no_slappz said...

DBD, you wrote:

"And no, it isn't always o.k. to put your views out for the world to see. That is why bestiality is illegal."

Writing about anything is legal. Expressing personal views in writing is legal insofar as the expression does not impugn the integrity or standing of a person or organization with a reputaton to protect.

Since you and I are anonymous Internet jabberers, Libel is an impossibility.

You can make any claim you want about no_slappz, but no harm will come of it.

As for beastiality, you can write about it all day long and post your writings wherever you want.

However, you might run into trouble if you post photos -- evidence -- of actual criminal acts.

As for your goofy question about cars running on water -- well, two points are immediately evident. First, you know nothing about technology. Second, you're an easy mark for people selling flying carpets and perpetual motion machines.

Next, the question is NOT whether a car can run on water. The real question is whether water is a fuel that contains energy which a reaction can release.

You are probably one of those people who just heard about fuel cells.

Anyway, fuel cells, and the theory on which they operate, have been around for a long time. But we're decades away from a time when a fuel cell will power a car.

When it comes to devices to power cars, there are two camps of dreamers: those who dream of batteries that hold as much energy as a tank of gas, and those who dream of fuel cells.

It is a fact that the genius who creates a battery that weighs no more than a tank of gas, contains as much energy as a tank of gas AND can be recharged in a hurry will become the richest man in the world.

The person who perfects the fuel cell will probably become equally rich.

In other words, scientists and engineers are working on the problem -- but progress has been slow and there is no reason to believe the pace will improve.

But you can dream.

David B. Dancy said...

Progress is slow to the uninformed. There is innovation, according to moore's law...
You are getting a 'little' better.
I can go through your archives and list a million reasons why YOU think the energy infrastructure change, that will inevitably occur, is waste, a knee jerk reaction to 'the global warming hoax'.
Hoax or not...oil will run out.
It is about the future.

no_slappz said...


Science and engineering are mysteries to most people. The scientifically uneducated believe great technical leaps can occur because a president says such leaps are merely slowed by a lack of government involvement.

Of course there's no evidence of this. Government backing has never been the source of scientific innovation.

By citing "Moore's Law" you show again that you know nothing about technology.

Moore's Law is simply a casual observation about the pace of development in the semiconductor field. It has no application elsewhere. The "law" comes from Gordon Moore, a pioneer in the semiconductor field.

However, there is undoubtedly a pundit for every technology who has made a memorable statement about his field of expertise.

In fact, there are plenty of people who have commented on the oil industry. Mainly predicting when supplies will run out.

So far, every prediction has been wrong. Now we have a variation -- Peak Oil -- which is another silly concept of no particular value.

Have you heard about Peak Oil? Its believers claim we have or will soon reach a point of maximum global production.

Of course this claim is baseless because we do not drill in all the areas of known reserves. Then, there is the fact that there are billions of barrels of reserves we have not yet mapped because there is no need.

You may see more solar panels, electric vehicles and wind generators around the country in the coming years, but the US and the world will stick with oil until all the global reserves are truly depleted.

The internal-combustion engine has a great future. Meanwhile, without oil for fuel, airlines cannot fly, commercial ships cannot sail and millions of homes would have no heat. We're sticking with oil for the long term.

The other forms of energy will take no more than 20% of the growing market in the future. But it will be a long time before they have 20%.

David B. Dancy said...

20% In the future?
The future is a long time. If you are reffering to the 'future' specifically within your life span I am inclined to agree.
Homes do not need oil for heat. There is thermal heat. Many other forms of energy besides oil that can effectively heat entire buildings. in the Netherlands, Iceland and many other places they have perfected these techniques. Ever heard of methane it is natural by-product that comes from your mouth every time you breath.

no_slappz said...

DBD, you wrote:

"20% In the future?
The future is a long time. If you are reffering to the 'future' specifically within your life span I am inclined to agree."

I'll give you a year -- 2050.

That's when solar, wind, water, tidal and geothermal will provide 20% of the nation's energy -- maybe.

You wrote:

"Homes do not need oil for heat."

In the US about 98% of homes are heated with oil and natural gas (methane). These two fuels will continue to heat houses even if 20% of our energy needs come from alternative sources.

You wrote:

"There is thermal heat. Many other forms of energy besides oil that can effectively heat entire buildings. in the Netherlands, Iceland and many other places they have perfected these techniques."

The US is the world's largest user of geothermal heat. It is fully exploited in Oregon and California. The problem with geothermal heat is the fact that it exists where Nature puts it, which is only here and there.

Iceland is a country with lots of geothermal sources on one island that is home to a country of less than a million people. It works for them. There's too few geothermal sources to matter here.

You wrote:

"Ever heard of methane it is natural by-product that comes from your mouth every time you breath."

Maybe you are attempting to make a joke. It's true that methane comes out of the human body. But not the mouth. You are looking at the wrong orifice.

Meanwhile, methane (natural gas) is a primary fuel for powering electricity generating plants as well as heating homes. It's standard stuff.

David B. Dancy said...

I am not looking at any orifice. In your case the mouth is correct.