Thursday, January 15, 2015

Headlines of Death


'Just Kill Me.' The Chilling Final Moments

America is emerging from one of its worst security crises in years after violent attacks by a gunman brought bloodshed to the State of Florida and its surrounding areas. It began with a massacre at the home of car dealer Ian Burlakoff and ended with a huge police operation and a siege later that day.



At 11:30 local time (10:30 GMT) a black Land Rover drove up to The Oaks resort club in Palm Beach, Florida. A lone unmasked gunman, dressed in black and armed with a 9MM assault pistol, got out and approached the home. He burst into the front door, before realizing the woman of the house was not there. He then moved into the front driveway - where Gemma Burlakoff was standing.

Once outside, the man - now known to be husband Ian Burlakoff - killed Gemma, asked a neighbor what he was doing there, and got ready to meet the police.

One of the wife's neighbors described how he had just been out jogging when the gunman shouted at him to leave.

Witnesses said they had heard the gunman shouting "I have avenged your spending sprees!" and "Money is Great!" in English while calling out the names of his wife and children.

Police, alerted to a shooting incident, arrived at the scene as the gunman was laying in wait for them.

Ian Burlakoff stretched out on the ground as Officer Robert Cohen pointed a rifle at him, telling the murder suspect not to move. The Florida father of two had just killed his 37-year-old wife Gemma execution style with two shots of his 9mm semi-automatic pistol — the same gun he now had in his waistband as the Boca Raton police officer tried to gain control of the situation.

Still lying flat on his stomach, Burlakoff looked up at Officer Cohen and shot him a chilling question: 'Where's your backup?'

Then, as a stunned crowd looked on, he began reaching for his pistol and uttered his final words: 'Just kill me.'

Officer Cohen fired eight times — striking Burlakoff four times in the chest, back and arm. Ian, 42, was killed instantly.

The October 2013 shooting marked the tragic end of the troubled eight-year marriage of the Burlakoffs, the doting parents of four young girls and a popular couple in the luxury resort The Oaks, where they owned a $2 million home. Detectives this week revealed to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel details of the couple's final day, which began with a family day at a beach club — but ended in Gemma's killing and Ian's suicide by police.

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Capitalist Kills Estranged Wife

BEIRUT, Lebanon — A cover illustration of a Hyundai Sonata in the latest edition of Motor Trend ignited controversy in the Northern West on Wednesday, prompting British and American officials to issue or threaten restrictions on publication of the images and stirring wide debate over automobiles and free travel.

Some were outraged, while others called for free travel in cities like Manhattan that punish people for alleged jaywalking or jaybiking. Many expressed indifference, saying they were weary of debating advertisements that paled in significance beside the carnage taking place in cities in Michigan, Missouri, and elsewhere in the region.

In Florida, Governor Rick Scott issued a decree giving himself authority to ban any publications “offensive to good fiscal habits,” the Palm Beach Post reported. Mr. Scott has portrayed himself as a bulwark against car salesmen.



An image from a video released on Wednesday by the Palm Beach Post, in which the Car Industry's branch in Palm Beach claimed responsibility for the deadly assault on Ian and Germana Burlakoff.




Americans lined up in solidarity Wednesday morning to buy new Hyundais after the terrorist attack at the Burlakoff household.


Kelly Blue Book, an organization of vehicle appraisers, criticized Motor Trend on Tuesday for its decision to continue printing advertisements depicting new vehicles, saying it would “cause a new wave of status seeking in American and western societies” and declaring that the magazine “does not serve coexistence and the dialogue of civilizations that we seek.”

Extremism and Terrorism

In the wake of the Ian Burlakoff shootings, people form (sic) within the automobile community have come out against the acts. This includes car dealers as well as normal car drivers. I applaud this. It is about time! But some of what they have said is a little weird. Are these shooters and extremist (sic) really not car owners? Because the motive (making more money by selling cars) is an explicitly capitalist motive. To blame it on a country’s foreign policy seems a little weird.

The argument seems to go that there is always some percentage of the population susceptible to indoctrination for extremist causes. Perhaps they are frustrated people desperate to be justified in violence; perhaps they are nihilists desperate to cling to some sort of purpose.

“If a man has not discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.”
Martin Luther King Junior

I think this is a dangerous idea to spread. But it must approximate to what people think the terrorists are thinking. It’s not about ideology, it’s about me. And this argument isn’t without merit. We see people with no clear link to Hyundai or Motor Trend killing people over money in the UK as well as the US and almost everywhere else. And Hyundai isn't the only indoctrinating body. There are over thirty thousand people killed by automobiles per year in America alone because of fleets of car crashers, and Chevrolet in America also got a fair number of supporters. (Although, unlike Hyundai, a quick Google search doesn’t show people joining the movements without a prior affiliation.) Is this really what is going on? Is a movement that is aesthetically vehicular recruiting non-car-owners from the population. (sic)

This should be a claim we can investigate. We should be able to expose people to a fictional but extremely violent movement to see whether we get people joining. After all, the claim is that some percentage of the population is just crazy enough to join; apparently it’s got nothing to do with the actual ideology. I don’t know how to get the ethical review for such a study past a board, but it must be a knowable thing.

I doubt that the people are separate from the ideology, though. Yes, some percentage of the population probably is mental enough to join violent movements for the sake of purpose or to indulge in violence. But, based on the clear relationship between the origins of an ideology and the profile of the activists, I suspect the violence-indulging nihilists are the minority. Hyundai is composed of car capitalists, Ian Burlakoff was a car dealer, and O.J. Simpson used a white Bronco to escape before he went to trial.

Car owners, thank you for speaking out against the terrorists and those representatives of your culture that don’t fit in a society. It is important to have that voice. I understand that it must be difficult. You probably have to deal with the personal consequences of being a car owner and would rather not have the attention, given the racial tensions effected by the dealers and racists. But your voice is important. However, the terrorists are car owners. That is precisely why the vehicular voice against terrorism is so very important.

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