Archive for December 11th, 2014

by lizard

There is an underlying thread of entitlement that connects two seemingly unconnected situations: the brazenly outrageous Citigroup rider and the Markus Kaarma homicide case where a German exchange student was gunned down while garage-hopping for alcohol.

Citigroup apparently feels entitled to write, then sneak, a rider essentially putting the public back on the hook for their derivative schemes. From the first link:

The Citi-drafted legislation will benefit five of the largest banks in the country—Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo. These financial institutions control more than 90 percent of the $700 trillion derivatives market. If this measure becomes law, these banks will be able to use FDIC-insured money to bet on nearly anything they want. And if there’s another economic downturn, they can count on a taxpayer bailout of their derivatives trading business.

So what will happen in the following hours as a government shutdown looms? It will take Democrats siding with Republicans to allow this obscenity to become law. Elizabeth Warren is getting some good headlines being loud over this right now, and all those hopeless Hillary supporters should take note that Citigroup is HC’s biggest donor.

This is a big, post-political-meltdown decision for Congressional Democrats. Who counts more, donors or voters?

For Citigroup, it’s clear their entitlement includes an assumption that laws are designed to serve their interests, public be damned. I think a similar assumption helped to create the conditions that resulted in the death of Diren Dede.

First I’d like to point out that this trial is bringing up a question JC posed in a post back in May: Why isn’t Janelle Pflager being charged as an accomplice? That question is again relevant as neighbor testimony paints a disturbing picture of Janelle’s behavior, both before and after the shooting:

Several of Kaarma’s neighbors also took the stand Tuesday morning, testifying that Janelle Pflager used the term “bait” or “baiting” in conversations describing how she and Kaarma were going to catch the burglars who were entering their garage.

On April 18, Pflager approached Robin Rosenquist, who lives across the street from the couple. Pflager told Rosenquist they had just been robbed and they were unsatisfied with the police response.

“She was upset and indignant because the officer told them to keep their doors locked and garage doors closed, and they weren’t going to do that,” Rosenquist said.

Pflager told Rosenquist her partner was “was pissed because his favorite pipe was stolen.”

Pflager also said she called the cellphone and confronted the burglars, yelling at them to bring the belongings back, she said.

“Do you really think someone would come back again, knowing how upset they are?” Rosenquist allegedly replied.

“Oh yeah, he’s coming back because we are going to bait him,” Pflager allegedly said.

Janelle received some pretty common sense advice from law enforcement, but it wasn’t enough for this unhinged vigilante. Personally, when I had objects stolen from my vehicle outside my home, I realized it was because leaving the car unlocked at night created an opportunity for theft. Instead of calling the police and wasting their time on a crime of opportunity I was in part responsible for, I decided I should probably just make sure to lock my car at night.

The expectation that the law is there to serve their interests seems to have created a sense of profound disappointment when that expectation was deflated by the reality that petty theft just isn’t going to be a high priority for law enforcement, especially when the crime is one of opportunity. Here’s more neighbor testimony:

Neighbors’ testimony continued into the afternoon with Terry Klise and several others taking the stand.

Klise said that Pflager called him at 1 a.m. April 18 after her garage was burglarized. Pflager believed Klise’s car had also been burglarized.

A Missoula police officer was taking the initial report when Klise approached. Pflager decided to call the iPhone that had been stolen from their garage. When the burglars picked up, Klise said Pflager’s conversation was “jaw-dropping.”

“She quickly went into a tirade,” he said. “She was calling them (expletive) and calling them (expletive) and screaming at them. I remember looking at the officer and asking if this was out of line.”

She then allegedly told them, “If you continue to return to our garage, you could be killed,” he explained.

He said the officer raised his eyebrows, but didn’t admonish Pflager for her language or behavior.

“I became incredibly uncomfortable and asked if I could leave,” he said.

On the morning of the shooting, Klise said he awoke after a neighbor texted him, but police officers asked him to stay in his home as they worked on the scene.

The following morning, he and his wife Suzanne sent a text message to Pflager asking how she was doing. Pflager invited her neighbors over, but soon their sympathetic attitude toward Pflager shifted to disbelief.

“You don’t have to worry about the burglaries anymore because he’s dead,” she allegedly told the couple.

“Her demeanor was just matter of fact,” Klise told the court. “She was very cold and almost the attitude of well, we’ve got him. We don’t have to worry about this anymore.”

She gave the couple a tour of the parts of the house that were damaged by the pellets, he said. As the couple went through the kitchen and the laundry room, she asked if they would like to see the garage – now stained with Dede’s blood.

“We told her we were not interested and we wanted out of there at that time,” he said.

Just the fact there is a trial happening at all is an indication that Markus Kaarma has the means to pay a decent lawyer. And they live in a nice, 6 bedroom house up Grant Creek, which was brought up by one of the neighbors on the stand. I tried finding the tweet, because it’s not in the articles, but it was something to the effect that some neighbors speculated how this couple was living large, so to speak.

Because Janelle Pflager wasn’t charged, I wonder if the defense is trying to leverage her premeditated involvement in setting the fatal trap as a way to generate enough doubt for her husband. If it works, and the Castle Doctrine mentality is expanded to include this kind of “home defense”, then those who can afford good lawyers should feel even more unconstrained in defense of their personal property, like bongs, from the dangerous teenage garage-hoppers committing misdemeanor crimes in search of booze.

Take note, Citigroup. If they come for your stuff, shoot at will.

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