Extreme Emotion Based Judgment

by Hal Mooz 16. March 2014 20:10

Teen father arrested for biting nose off infant

A teenage father in Northern California is under arrest after police say he bit the nose off his 1-month-old son because he was frustrated with the infant's crying. Joshua Cooper, 18, was being held Friday in the Solano County Jail on suspicion of child cruelty and aggravated mayhem, Fairfield police said in a news release.

Police said they received a call Thursday at 8 a.m. by a distraught woman who said her baby was bleeding from his nose. Doctors later determined the child suffered a skull fracture, a brain hemorrhage and that one third of the child's nose had been severed.

Police say they are still trying to determine how the skull fracture and brain hemorrhage occurred.


Solano County Chief Deputy District Attorney Terry Ray said that Cooper had not yet been charged but that she planned to charge him with child abuse and aggravated mayhem. The child-abuse charge carries a penalty of up to 12 years, and the aggravated mayhem charge carries a potential penalty of life in prison.





Tragic Perk Based Decision Judgment

by Hal Mooz 14. March 2014 09:36

Parents 'Boiling With Anger' After Daughter's Death in GM Car

Four years ago this week, Ken and Beth Melton got the phone call no parent wants to get. Their 29-year-old daughter Brooke was in a Georgia hospital with a broken neck after her Chevrolet Cobalt had spun out of control and sent her into the path of another vehicle.  

The Meltons say they’ve been in a “constant state of grief” ever since, but they’re also angry, because they say their daughter’s fatal accident was caused by a mechanical flaw that GM knew about before Brooke ever bought her car.

Brooke Melton’s 2005 Cobalt was among the 1.6 million cars GM recalled last month for problems with ignition switches. GM has now disclosed to federal regulators that it knew of problems with its ignition switches as early as 2001. But during testimony for a lawsuit that they filed against GM, the Meltons learned that the automaker had come up with a partial fix that would stop some ignition shut-off incidents, but had made a “business decision” not to implement it.

Four days before the accident, according to the Meltons. Brooke’s car had shut off while she was driving and she had lost her power steering and her brakes. She was able to pull her car over and restart it. She called her father, and he said they should take it to a dealership in the morning. Brooke got her car back from the dealership on March 9, 2010. She died in an accident the next day. “There was no doubt in my mind that it was caused by the same engine cutting off,” said Ken. The Meltons called a lawyer.

According to the Meltons, experts contacted by attorney Lance Cooper examined the “black box” from the accident and found that the key had slipped from the “on” to the “accessory” position three seconds before the accident, shutting off her power steering and power brakes. Brooke’s car had then hydroplaned on the wet highway and been struck by another car.

When the Meltons filed suit against GM, they learned via depositions from the automaker’s engineers that the company had been aware of problems before Brooke purchased her car in 2005, and had even considered a partial solution. Engineers were aware that if the key was jostled or stressed by a heavy dangling key chain it might slip and turn the car off. They proposed that GM keys be altered to make the opening for the key ring smaller and reduce jostling of the key.

Instead of changing the keys, however, GM designed an insert that could be added to the keys. It then sent a bulletin to dealer service managers that said the insert could be provided to car owners who came in and complained about ignition shut-offs. Under the program, according to GM warranty records, fewer than 500 drivers received the inserts.

During testimony, GM engineer David Trush, who helped implement the insert fix, called the insert a “good solution” for a “very small population” affected by the problem. “We put the solution out in the field,” said Trush, “the solution that would solve some of the stuff.”

Cooper, the Meltons’ attorney, asked witness Gary Altman, who was GM’s program engineering manager for the Cobalt in 2004 and 2005, if it was true that the car company “made a business decision not to fix this problem and five months later sold [Brooke Melton] a vehicle with the problem.” GM’s lawyer objected, but Altman answered, “That is what happened, yes.

 An engineer hired by the plaintiffs as an expert witness claimed in his testimony that internal GM documents showed that GM had estimated the cost per car of making the change would be less than $1.

 “It has to be money,” said Beth Melton. “It has to come down to money but that really doesn’t even make sense to me. In the end, they’re going to have to pay for it. They need to care about their customers. They need to care about human lives.”

According to GM’s figures, the defect has been linked to 12 deaths. Brooke Melton’s death is not among the deaths GM listed. “If it's caused one single death, to me that's enough,” said Ken Melton. “One single death is enough to make a recall."


Hate Emotion Based Judgment

by Hal Mooz 12. March 2014 14:47

White supremacist woman pleads guilty in Pacific Northwest killing spree

A white supremacist woman accused of killing four people during a violent road trip across the Pacific Northwest with her boyfriend pleaded guilty on Tuesday to racketeering in a deal that could send her to prison for life, federal prosecutors said.

The couple were arrested in 2011 in northern California after what authorities described as a bloody, two-week crime spree that began in the Puget Sound city of Everett, Washington, with the slayings of boyfriend David Joseph Pedersen's father and step-mother. The three-state road trip, during which the duo are accused of killing a middle-aged black man and a 19-year-old stranger singled out because they thought he was Jewish, ended with Grigsby allegedly telling police she and Pederson were on their way to "kill more Jews" in Sacramento, California.

The 24-page federal indictment says Pedersen researched the names and addresses of Jewish organizations in Seattle, Portland and Sacramento to identify "potential targets for elimination" and that he had a "draft 'press release' to alert the media about the purpose of the planned murders." The indictment describes their purpose as "promoting and advancing a white supremacist movement to 'purify' and 'preserve' the white race and 'reclaim our country.'"



Desperate Faith Based Decision Judgment

by Hal Mooz 8. March 2014 20:46

California farmers hire dowsers to find water

With California in the grips of drought, farmers throughout the state are using a mysterious and some say foolhardy tool for locating underground water: dowsers, or water witches. Practitioners of dowsing use rudimentary tools — usually copper sticks or wooden "divining rods" that resemble large wishbones — and what they describe as a natural energy to find water or minerals hidden deep underground.


 While both state and federal water scientists disapprove of dowsing, California "witchers" are busy as farmers seek to drill more groundwater wells due to the state's record drought that persists despite recent rain. "It's kind of bizarre. Scientists don't believe in it, but I do and most of the farmers in the Valley do," said Marc Mondavi, a vineyard owner whose family has been growing grapes and making wine since the mid-20th century in the Napa Valley.


While popular, scientists say dowsers are often just lucky, looking for water in places where it's already known to likely exist.

"There's no scientific basis to dowsing. If you want to go to a palm reader or a mentalist, then you're the same person who's going to go out and hire a dowser," said Tom Ballard, a hydrogeologist with Taber Consultants, a geological engineering firm based in West Sacramento. "The success is really an illusion. In most places you're going to be able to drill and find some water," he said.

Still, the consistent interest in water witches nationwide even spurred The U.S. Geological Survey to officially weigh in on the fairly harmless practice. Dowsing has not held up well under scientific scrutiny, the USGS said, adding that dowsers are often successful in areas where groundwater is abundant.


"The natural explanation of 'successful' water dowsing is that in many areas water would be hard to miss. The dowser commonly implies that the spot indicated by the rod is the only one where water could be found, but this is not necessarily true," the survey said in its report. Christopher Bonds, senior engineering geologist for the state Department of Water Resources, said his agency does not advocate using witchers.


 "DWR is an advocate for having qualified and licensed water professionals locate groundwater resources using established scientific methods," Bonds said in an email.






About Hal Mooz

Engineer, Project Manager, Entrepreneur, Author, Trainer, Lecturer, Thought Leader, Consultant

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