Saturday, May 28, 2011

Osama bin Laden Rises from the Grave

Osama bin Laden rises from the grave to pronounce judgement upon YOU, Americans.

If you are interested in the vote, check out this: "Extending the Republican Police State" - With a whole lot of "bipartisan" (sell-out) Democratic help. This is how serious Barack Obama is about changing America: "Obama Signs Last-Minute Patriot Act Extension" - "The White House said Obama had signed the bill from Europe using an autopen machine that holds a pen and signs his actual signature. It is only used with proper authorization of the president."

The shameless, in-your-face hypocrisy of Barack Obama's sellout betrayal is breathtaking. In 2008 I told everyone he had set this country up for a big betrayal and was resoundly chastised and ridiculed for my efforts. It is reassuring today to see the emerging signs of vindication: Hooked on Hope by Dylan Ratigan where he shows the effects of the betrayal "Mr. Hopey Changey," to quote John Pilger (Welcome to the violent world of Mr. Hopey Changey), has effected on American society. Speaking from experience, the traumatic consequences of personal and family betrayal are profoundly long-lasting. Couple that with the fact that the betrayer is always faced with the never-ending need to justify the betrayal and loss of trust by MORE betrayal. 

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Myth of "Protect and Serve"

This morning, Thursday, May 26, 2011, we're confronted with some intersting prospects as we consider our ever-changing community. What caught my attention today were the words on page A3 of the Times-Standard newspaper right under four pictures of Eureka Police officers' swearing in ceremony that said, "Eureka Police Department: To protect and serve."

To Protect and Serve

Click to Enlarge
Makes you all warm a fuzzy when you see the new officer's girlfriend giving him his new badve. First impressions makes you think the police are there working for our needs, for the best interests of of all us law-abiding citizens, property owners and business people, doesn't it? On the same page, just two days earlier,  we were confronted with this picture and these words: "Suspect with felony warrant arrested." That picture make you feel all safe and secure? This is what happens to BAD GUYS in Eurkea California! 

To read this, you'd think the police had a "felony warrant" in their hands, went out and found this "suspect" and forcefully arrested him on the spot. To see the picture and the headline you would also think our fearless police officers were arresting a really bad person, wouldn't you? Officer Leonard LaFrance has his knee on the guy's head and his other knee on his leg pinning him while wrenching his arm behind his back jamming his body apparently on his other arm. For whatever reason, he is reported to be striking the "suspect" on the back with his fist. All of this is happening to only a "suspect." Notice the report: "He was detained and was found to have a felony warrant for his arrest." They did not know at the time of the arrest that this guy had an outstanding "felony warrant." Since he's a wanted fellon, all is justified.

Think this couldn't happen to you? If so, try "thinking" again.

In view of the above, and how the police edict is that has moved away from "Protect and Serve the tax-paying public citizen" to "Protect and Serve police self-interests," it would be good to review a couple of articles dealing with this very issue and how it is impacting every community across America. When considering these issues it would be good to keep in mind the implications of the Secret Patriot Act that was pushed through right after 9/11/2001 and congress is extending for another four years. Juan Cole concludes:

Congress is set to extend the unconstitutional law, which contravenes the 4th Amendment, for 4 years without debate.

So an elective dictatorship is imposing a dictatorial and unconstitutional law on Americans without so much as a discussion.
Couple that with the recent Supreme Court decision that basically gives the police the legal right to enter your home without a warrant. Not that little technicality really served as much of a protection.

Now read what John W. Whitehead lays out in his article: The Changing Face of the Police and the Death of the Fourth Amendment - This, the complete article, is a REAL EYE-OPENER. He starts by saying:
In early America, citizens were considered equals with law enforcement officials. Authorities were rarely permitted to enter one’s home without permission or in a deceitful manner. And it was not uncommon for police officers to be held personally liable for trespass when they wrongfully invaded a citizen’s home. Unlike today, early Americans could resist arrest when a police officer tried to restrain them without proper justification or a warrant – which the police had to allow citizens to read before arresting them. (Daring to dispute a warrant with a police official today who is armed with high-tech military weapons and tasers would be nothing short of suicidal.) This clear demand for a right to privacy was not a byproduct of simpler times. Much like today, early Americans dealt with problems such as petty thievery, murder and attacks by foreign enemies. Rather, the demand for privacy stemmed from a harbored suspicion of law enforcement officials and the unbridled discretion they could abuse.

The Fourth Amendment, which assures that "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated," was included in the Bill of Rights in response to the oppressive way British soldiers treated American colonists through their use of "Writs of Assistance." These were court orders that authorized British agents to conduct general searches of premises for contraband. The exact nature of the materials being sought did not have to be detailed, nor did their locations. The powerful new court orders enabled government officials to inspect not only shops and warehouses, but also private homes. These searches resulted in the violation of many of the colonists’ rights and the destruction of much of the colonists’ personal property. It quickly became apparent to many colonists that their homes were no longer their castles.

Revolutionary patriot James Otis was Advocate-General when the legality of these warrants came under question by the colonists. Called upon to defend that legality, he promptly resigned his office. After living through an age of oppressive policies under the British empire, those of the founding generation, such as Otis, wanted to ensure that Americans would never have to face intrusive government measures again.

Fast forward 250 years and we seem to be right back where we started, living in an era of oppressive government policies and a militarized police whose unauthorized, forceful intrusions into our homes and our lives have been increasingly condoned by the courts. ...
Read the complete article.

The paranoid fears of some improbable "terrorist" attack are small potatoes (unimportant, insignificant) compared the the occupying army we confront every day as they "Protect and Serve."

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Who the Hell Is Hank Sims?

Lately, it seems, anytime you open up the Times-Standard newspaper, there's that "name," Hank Sims, staring out at you. Today, Wednesday, May 11, 2011, right  under “Guest Columnist” is the half-page rhetorical and bombastic, “Lost Coast Outpost: Parliament of apes plays to baser instincts.” Here he is, ostensibly, writing about the emails pulled out for public scrutiny and their supposedly (un)intended consequences of trying to vilify and delegitimize, on the one hand a hardworking city councilman and on the other, preoccupying his extremely valuable time, contending with the “animal passion of the citizenry – combating it, engaging in it, studiously ignoring it.”

I'm always amused when the pious, self-righteous hypocrite seeks to speak or write, actually tries to define, how people think, believe and act. To press my point, Sims says:
“It's so much easier than inviting people to think through policy and make informed choices.” 
What is? Why personally attacking the individual, by lying, vilifying and trying to delegitimize who they are. Here, of course, he is speaking for himself, as he continues:
“We are a simple species. We strongly prefer fairy tales to nuanced literature, and will strength all evidence to populate worlds of our imagination with noble knights, disfigured ogres and helpless maidens on the verge of being defiled. We want this same story again and again and again, because it shrinks things to a size that our poor brains can comprehend.”
Do you see how he has completely defined exactly what he just wrote? Then he concludes by saying:
“That's where we're at. You can point out this state of affairs, and encourage others to at least recognize it when they see it. Perhaps you can go a little out of your way to thank and support those who decline to reduce government to a simple morality tale for children. Don't expect either to accomplish very much.”
What makes him a “Guest Columnist”? That is the question Barbara Kennedy submitted in her letter posted in the same edition titled: It's simple, Hank, don't be mystified - Letters to the Editor, Posted: 05/11/2011 12:30:27 AM PDT

Perhaps a better question is, why is the Times-Standard promoting his website and that of the Humboldt Herald Blog? Not that his loyalties and personal affinities are not screaming out at you in his article - that is more “Opinion” that anything. It is here, the obvious connection and promotion of a select group are revealing themselves in their “baser instincts.”

Perhaps, that's the answer.

PS. I couldn't find a link in the Times-Standard for this column. I did find an Internet copy on the Lost Coast Outpost website.

Friday, May 6, 2011


[UPDATE Below - Showing the Real Face of Obama]
[UPDATE II - Showing the Real Face of Policing]
[UPDATE III - Digby Says It Best]

A broken rake handle justifies the use of lethal or deadly force.
According to the DA's review, Lundie ordered Garth to the ground but he did not comply and instead quickly advanced on Lundie with the rake handle “held high as if about to strike a potentially lethal blow.” [Emphasis added]
Refusal to immediately obey a police officer's "order to the ground" also justifies the use of lethal or deadly force.

This is the same precedent set in American-style justice as established by President Obama and his ordered killing of Osama bin Laden. The difference here merely an implication versus an accusation. The end results, however, are the same.

The Times-Standard reports today, Friday, May 6, 2011, that "DA determines officer-involved shooting was legal" - Sheriff's office cleared in last year's shooting on State Route 299.

Again, according to the report, we find two officers appearing on the scene of two men struggling over a weapon where deadly force is used to kill one of these men. Without knowing who the aggressor is and who is struggling to defend themselves, failure to instantly comply to the officer's orders results in a death.

In that report, Sheriff Mike "Downey said the shootings determination as lawful was not a surprise, but comes as a relief to the department." When you have an inbred system where one hand washes the other, I would guess not.

Downy also says something that is relevant to all people living in Humboldt County when speaking about the officer's involved in the shooting, who were "able" to duty shortly after the incident: "'They're at work,' Downey said. 'They're doing their jobs as they always have.'"

When two trained officers are supposedly forced and totally justified to use lethal force to deal with this kind of a situation, EVERYONE and I mean EVERYONE is in immediate danger when confronted by any police officer. Any excuse that implies threat predetermines lethal force OVER arrest.

At the time it was reported that the so-called weapon, a broken rake handle, was not available for anyone to see. I don't see anything in the DA's report of the incident that addresses the "lethality" of the broke rake handle. Nor do I believe it was ever presented for public viewing. That broken metal rake handle goes right to the heart of "potentially lethal blow" since, apparently Robert Garth, the man shot, was using it to beat or assault another man. Which was the incident that first brought the deputies to the scene.

Lunging at someone with the threat of punching them out with your fist "held high as if about to strike a potentially lethal blow" can, in some circumstance, meet that justified standard. One really has to ask how business as usual is totally "justified" when such fragility was demonstrated by these officers.

[UPDATE :: Saturday, May 7, 2011 - Showing the REAL Face of Obama, President of these United States]

Is this the America we live in? One where President Barack Obama, “[T]arget(s) American citizens for assassination without a whiff of due process”? What's this got to do with the local police departments use of deadly or lethal force BEFORE arrest?

In Glenn Greenwald's latest, U.S. tries to assassinate U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki, he says:
“The killing of bin Laden got the testosterone pumping, the righteousness pulsating, and faith in the American military and its Commander-in-Chief skyrocketing to all-time highs. It made America feel good about itself in a way that no other event has since at least Obama's inauguration; we got to forget about rampant unemployment, home foreclosures by the millions, a decade's worth of militaristic futility and slaughter, and ever-growing Third-World levels of wealth inequality. This was a week for flag-waving, fist-pumping, and nationalistic chanting: even -- especially -- among liberals, who were able to take the lead and show the world (and themselves) that they are no wilting, delicate wimps; it's not merely swaggering right-wing Texans, but they, too, who can put bullets in people's heads and dump corpses into the ocean and then joke and cheer about it afterwards. It's inconceivable that this wave of collective pride, boosted self-esteem, vicarious strength, and renewed purpose won't produce a desire to replicate itself. Four days after bin Laden is killed, a missile rains down from the sky to try to execute Awlaki without due process, and that'll be far from the last such episode (indeed, also yesterday, the U.S. launched a drone attack in Pakistan, ending the lives of 15 more people: yawn). ”
Yeah! YAWN. – Dead is dead, right? They're all mentally sick and deranged. So what?

I'd say that REAL face of Obama looks a whole lot like a banshee?

[UPDATE :: Saturday, May 7, 2011 - What happens when kids refuse a cop's order]

Is this coming to Eureka and Humboldt County: "Cop Breaks a Kid's Arm and Tasers Him. His Offense? Saggy Pants."

In my book, communities that allow this kind of "overaggressive," over-policing - "the use of street-policing tactics against kids," deserve what they get.

[UPDATE :: Monday, May 9, 2011]

Cause of death
by digby

The location was convenient anyway:

A Connecticut man who was causing a ruckus in the lobby of a hospital died after being shocked with a Taser by police.

Police were called to Saint Mary's Hospital in Waterbury, Conn., at 12:30 a.m. on Sunday by employees complaining about a man causing a disturbance, the Hartford Courant reported.

Cops arrested the man and threw him in the back of their cruiser, where the man continued to act belligerent, police said.

One officer tasered the man and, shortly after, he fell unconscious.

He was rushed back to the hospital, where emergency crews tried to resuscitate him, but he died early Sunday morning.

Cops said an autopsy was planned to determine the cause of death.
Oh why bother? He was obviously going to die of something else (aren't we all?) so the taser couldn't possibly be the cause of death. Therefore, he died of natural causes.

Seriously, they are likely to say that he had "excited delirium" the organic disease that only manifests itself in people who are tasered by police. Taser international has spent a lot of money on junkets convincing coroners that this junk science is real.

h/t to bb
digby 5/08/2011 02:30:00 PM

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Recycle or BE RECYCLED

That's the new prospective for property owners in Eureka. "Eureka council authorizes liens for delinquent garbage accounts" was the front page notice awaiting everyone Wednesday, May 4, 2011, in the Times-Standard.

Making garbage and recycling MANDATORY was NOT a tax hike in Eureka, HUH? Now look what happens when you don't pay your bill and your "mandatory" account goes delinquent when you receive a "past due" notice. Now they can levy a "special assessment lien" on your property so they can lump what's owed in with and be collected along with your property taxes.

If that isn't bad enough, Eureka's ACE councilman, Lance Madsen, wants to punish these people by adding ADDITIONAL fees to cover "staff time" for their tax collection efforts. That's what we love, representatives that are constantly trying to figure out ways to get in our pockets.

So, it's recycle or get recycled.