Archive for November 3rd, 2014

by lizard

Michael Gordon was just saying goodbye to some ladies he’s known since childhood when Christopher Hymel attacked him for no reason. That’s Gordon’s version of the story, as reported by the Missoulian. Hymel didn’t testify, because he’s dead. From the link:

The inquest began Monday morning with testimony from several of Hymel’s friends who were present during the shooting. The friends claim Gordon enticed Hymel to his truck after insulting Hymel’s girlfriend, Megan Navarro, and friend Chira Graham.

Gordon and Hymel exchanged punches through the driver’s-side window.

Missoula Police Det. Mitch Lang showed a surveillance video of the parking lot that showed Gordon and Hymel exiting the club and the fight that ensued.

In the video, Gordon left first and climbed into his truck, which he apparently started by remote. Several minutes later, Hymel and his group of four friends exited the club and walked past the truck.

The truck’s lights turned on and in audio footage played for the jury later, it’s clear Gordon revved his engine when the girls walked past.

According to the testimony of the four friends, Gordon was calling out to the girls vulgarly through his driver’s-side window. However, they couldn’t remember exactly what he said to them.

According to Gordon’s testimony, he opened his window to say goodbye to the girls, who he had known since childhood and the next thing he knew Hymel attacked him.

“I didn’t do anything. I didn’t say anything,” he said, during his emotional testimony. “I was attacked out of nowhere.”

Four people testify Gordon was calling out to the women vulgarly. Audio of the incident catches an engine being revved. Gordon maintains he was just saying adios to childhood friends. Just speaking from personal experience, I don’t associate the revving of a truck outside a strip club in the middle of the night with a cordial see you later coming from the operator of the gas pedal. But that’s just me.

The article goes on to describe what can be discerned from the video footage:

The video shows Hymel and Gordon fighting through the truck window, but it’s not clear to what extent Gordon was fighting back. At one point during the fight, the truck started shaking and pieces of the window’s rain shield shattered.

According to Gordon’s testimony, he was being brutally beat by Hymel and grabbed his gun from the center console while he was leaned over the center, protecting himself from the blows.

Hymel’s friend, Steven Ellingson, attempted to break up the fight, and grabbed Hymel from behind, ripping his shirt.

Hymel stepped back to remove his shirt, while Gordon opened car door and fired a shot at Hymel. The bullet pierced his lung and fatally ripped through his aorta.

In the heat of the moment, Gordon didn’t consider driving away, he said and he couldn’t roll up his window because he was using that arm to protect himself from Hymel’s punches, Gordon said.

So Michael Gordon had a loaded gun in his center console ready to go. Is that even legal? And what about alcohol? Did anyone on scene even bother to get a blood sample to determine if alcohol was a factor? Gordon was supposedly cooperative with law enforcement, right? WTF?

As an impressionable new gun owner, this case is forming my sense of what I can and can’t do with my handguns. What I’m learning is that I can travel around with a loaded gun in my car and if some sort of physical altercation ensues, I can grab my gun “in the heat of the moment”, open my car door, gun in hand, exit my car, aim my handgun, and shoot the person who attacked me.

And this is legally justified?

What kind of weight does a jury decision from a coroner’s inquest carry? Is this case all wrapped up now? Did the Missoula County attorney’s office get the desired outcome with this punt?

Inquiring minds would like to know.

by lizard

Tomorrow is election day. I plan on voting despite how diminished the impact of my vote has become in this brave new world of dark money.

So what does get results?

I like this story from Electronic Intifada: Bay Area activists declare victory after Israeli carrier cancels all ships. From the link:

On 28 October, San Francisco Bay Area activists organizing to block the unloading of Israeli shipping vessels declared their most significant victory yet: Israel’s Zim Integrated Shipping Services appears to have cancelled all future shipments to the Oakland Port.

This past summer, at the peak of Israel’s brutal bombardment of Gaza, the Bay Area’s Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC) mobilized the community in response to the military assault. Deciding to focus on a tangible, highly-visible and big-money target, the group set its sights on Israel’s Zim lines, determined to block the company every time it tried to dock a ship at the busy Port of Oakland.

But they didn’t know it would take only three months to send Israel’s largest shipping company packing — possibly for good — in what looks like an effort to avoid the tireless activists who have consistently out-maneuvered the cargo ships.

Over the summer, AROC spearheaded the original Block the Boat coalition. The movement quickly caught on in major shipping cities along the West Coast, and last week, Los Angeles activists delayed the unloading of a Zim shipping vessel for two days.

The power of the boycott helped break the back of apartheid in South Africa. Now, the BDS movement (boycott, divest, sanction) against the apartheid state of Israel is showing results.

Israel, for it’s part, continues proving why such a movement is absolutely necessary. Here are just a few recent links.

Huge new Israeli settlement in West Bank condemned by US and UK (the Guardian)

Al Aqsa Mosque is closed off for first time in 47 years as tensions flare (Mondoweiss)

Netanyahu’s cabinet backs bill to jail stone-throwers up to 10-20 years (Haartz)

SodaStream says it plans to leave West Bank for Negev, but boycotters promise not to let up (Mondoweiss)

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