Friday, October 05, 2007

Several States Are Discussing Secession From The United States

"When you read the headline of this brief story, it's reminiscent of what occurred prior to the beginning of the Civil War. The news came as a surprise to me, as I wasn't aware there was a "Secessionist" movement in the United States, but there it is, right before your eyes." I have been expecting this for some time - and yet it still takes me by surprise. More on this later.

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

To the Boys and Girls at No Such Agency.

Call this an exercise in free-enterprise intelligence analysis and a strong advisory that in tapping our phones, you might just be distracted from far more significant indicators of what's going on domestically.

I am concerned - as everyone else should be - as to what displays like this do for public respect for the rule of law. It's certainly eroding mine, and making me consider applying for a concealed carry permit so that I may ensure my own safety without involving such people. When a person as risk-averse as myself starts seeing a pistol and a lime pit as being potentially a safer response to aggression than a call to 911, it represents a serious erosion of everything that the word "civilization" represents.

While the possibly racist and certainly political nature of this incident is well worth screaming about, such incidents transcend the importance of those two considerations, because there is one factor that is more important than race or politics.

The day "authorities" assume the right to pick and choose which citizens (even David Duke) may attend on any basis other than fire regulations - it's time to set a match to the place and build anew. If you think that's an Unamerican and unpatriotic thing to say, or even think, I refer you to the Preamble of the Declaration of Independence.

Our Revolutionary war and our Civil War both started with what, in my opinion, were far fewer sins of less significance than we have endured under George Bush's misrule. Our self-appointed Masters, our self-styled earls and would-be Counts should thank God and Al Gore that the Internet has for this time proven a more attractive battleground than the fields and valleys that still reek of the blood of Patriot dead. And the forces of reason are winning, the voices supporting the president have steadily diminished until there remain only those that any rational and reasonable administration would be embarrassed to associate with; the Dead-Enders like Coulter, Malkin and O'Rielly - those incapable of uttering a single paragraph without saying something that is either racist, illiterate, breathtakingly stupid or an obvious lie. Often it's all of the above.

Bush is the dog. These are the fleas. Any questions?

But should they be of the cynical opinion that the Internet provides an outlet with no real impact, one they can shut down any time they like - I should advise them that given current technology, the best they could expect to do is choke down the bandwidth - and essentially create a huge, Pearl-Harbor level event to motivate people to switch to more active demonstrations of non-compliance. Amazing how it's progressed from geeky obsession to critical infrastructure in ten years; all, apparently with the implications eluding those who are too self-important to sully themselves by exploring it themselves. Considering it's incredible importance of these here "tubes," it's kind of insulting to have a leadership so technically impaired and intellectually challenged that they cannot grasp the implications.

You can't shut it down. There would be an instantaneous financial panic.

But the fact that SAC was unable to maintain operational security on an attempted clandestine transfer of six nuclear cruise missiles should have been a clue as to the danger it presents to the ambitions of the powerful. The fact that hundreds, if not thousands of former military persons with appropriate knowledge have unhesitatingly shredded every single lame and implausible "explanation" for this incident should be another clue.

And one reason for our seething discontent with our leadership is that they have not bothered to demonstrate any great competence for or even great interest in the the posts of power they hold. Why should we even consider permitting your ambition? Those who lust after the power of kings should be at least capable of wiping their own assess without needing instructions printed on each sheet of toilet paper. And I most especially include politicians of all stripes and sexes noted more for their ambition than their principles. Yes, Ms. Clinton, that does include you.

Right on top of the pile.

It concerns me that your outrage at the transgressions against the American People, our rights and our liberties are so very muted, it seems to me that such powers tempt you unduly. And I give you the credit of being smart enough to be really dangerous.

Yes, we need to talk about health care. But it seems to me that when there's a sitting lame-duck president who is clearly seeking a pretext to nuke a sovereign nation in order to create a "national emergency" that will facilitate whatever increasingly delusional plans exist in his addled brain, it's not the first priority.

I'm going to vote for whoever understands this. And if I don't get the chance to vote, a conspiracy theorist paranoia which seems to have evolved into a very credible suspicion, I will stand up and march alongside anyone with the courage to say "enough!"

I've never taken any precautions regarding having my communications monitored by the government, so I'm sure there is a file somewhere. The only thing I ask is that someone read it, and consider that I - and likely everyone else in same bin I'm in - are saying the same things, have been saying it for some time, and have been expressing increasing frustration and impatience. And as a whole, we have been willing to give endless benefit of the doubt, we have been enormously patient with you, oh, our arrogant masters, and have been rewarded with responses that would make a mildly retarded five-year old feel patronized.

The latest form letter from my Republican Senator, John Ensign, in response to my expressed concerns about illegal detentions, secret trials and erosions of the constitution has convinced me that self-importance and ideology can produce all the same symptoms of congenital retardation. Clearly, he's a 15 watt bulb in a 200 watt socket, barely capable of breathing and holding up his own hair.

As far as I'm concerned, he is the best single argument against the neocon ideology and it's culture of intellectual, social and moral corruption - he appears to genuinely believe and support it's every jot and tittle. Even now. He's THAT stupid.

And apparently, - at least according to his correspondence with me, that is how intelligent he thinks I am.

We all know the intelligence infrastructure is monitoring the Internet, our telephones and indeed all forms of private communications between citizens in defiance of custom, law and constitution. We know this in part because our Dear Leader, he who is propped up by the Assets of Evil, has bragged about it. Publicly. To reassure us that we are safe in his hands from the forces of Terror.

I, for one, am convinced that he would not recognize a real terrorist plot if arrived on his desk wrapped in flayed human skin powdered in anthrax with a video recording of Osama Bin Ladin chanting "this is a terrorist plot."

Dear goddess in heaven, can't you revoke his security clearance or something? But we know you are at least trying to monitor our private communications and our public blog postings. Just in case we are harboring terrorists in Hoboken or Eureka. So, presumably, at least one poor underpaid G4 knows what the rumblings in these here "internets" reveal and has dutifully forwarded it to those who need to know.

How can it be that such critical intelligence can so clearly be dismissed as unimportant; irrelevant to the clear and clearly stupid goals this administration and it's supporters cling to like some unwashed, urine soaked blankie?

Please try again. Use smaller words. Perhaps a big red felt marker would help. Jump up and down if you have to. Supply diagrams.

I'm not hooked into the intelligence community - but with an Internet connection and a three digit IQ, I'm prepared to draw some of my own conclusions, based on access to information and correlative resources Allan Dullies would have cheerfully sacrificed his left testicle to have. I wonder if it's dawned on anyone at CIA, DIA or NSA that millions of people analyzing and sharing publicly available information is a resource that likely trumps anything Carnivore or the NSA eavesdropping can reveal?

There simply are not enough warm bodies with the right security clearances and qualifications for it to shake out any other way. It hasn't helped that gays, liberals, and apparently anyone who speaks Farsi or Arabic is considered a security risk.

You may well be concerned at the resources broadband Internet puts in the hands of rogue and third world states, as well you should be. And I'd be surprised if you were not concerned about the reliability (and motivations) of sources in the EU, Israel and the Middle East.

But you should be even more concerned about what this means in the hands of an increasingly impatient citizenry who are easily able to act on the maxim "Trust, but Verify." I'm sorry, "trust us, we know what we are doing" is no longer a credible response. It's a punchline, as hilarious as President whastisbeard saying "we have no homosexuals in Iran."

So far, and I state this regretfully, that the last seven years have demonstrated either a complete failure on the part of various intelligence agencies to gather useful, actionable and relevant information, the inability to analyze it, or the complete failure to communicate it's implications to people making decisions. What we see expressed in every decision, policy and appointment is a complete ignorance of or a stunningly foolish indifference to consequence.

And I state this without any need to assume "realpoltik" motivations, hidden agendas, or the need to placate the American people with reasons for actions they find palatable.

Even in the most cynical light, taking the word of the "Project for a New American Century" and accepting the idea that it's proper to act with frank and deliberate intent to dominate the world and impose a Pax Americana, this administration's actions have made that vision laughably absurd. We are LESS of a world power now than we were when George Bush took office, with LESS military might, LESS ability to apply economic pressure, LESS influence by any measure - and we are trembling on the brink of irrelevance - of becoming not merely a second-rank power, but a scattered assortment of balkanized, competing states.

Such a consummation is devoutly wished by many - many of them being our supposed allies. Should there be any degree of civil unrest, much less outright civil war, those leading it will find no lack of financial and military support.

And if you can't meaningfully interdict the drug trade - I don't think you are gonna do any better stopping the flow of supplies to any determined insurgency. Our borders make those of Iraq look like the Berlin wall. And we are all painfully aware of how successful we have been in our efforts against determined insurgencies. I think it rather likely that insurgent citizens can do rather better than Iraqis, or even the North Vietnamese Army. After all, while they did have General Giap - an admitted military genius - Bush has fired every military leader that has shown any evidence of understanding the military realities well enough to object to his ambitions - so there will be no "leadership gap."

So the only way for this administration to "win" a civil war is to not declare one. I mention that aloud as it's one obvious possibility, considering all the many and various preparations George has made, against that day.

Why George's manifest and compounded stupidities seem to lead toward some fulfillment of Armageddon matters little. The final battle for world domination is an inherently BAD thing - EVEN IF Jesus comes in glory to save the shell-shocked remnant of the Just. However, I doubt that would occur. The bible is pretty clear that if you think you know the hour and the day, you are wrong. I'm pretty sure He would consider it presumptuous for some world leader to force His hand.

And I think it would be amazing, frankly, if there are many, if any world leaders willing to permit it. If anything, they are tacitly, if not actively conspiring to allow us to destroy ourselves, rather than take more active countermeasures. However, if there are not British, French, Russian and Chinese missiles allocated for every single aircraft carrier and strategic asset - including the Dark Cube With No Address - I would be absolutely flabbergasted.

But have great faith in Bush's ability to fail, even without help. What I do care about is that presumably smarter and saner people continue to permit him to live in the White House, instead of a secure basement suite in Bethesda - along with Dick Cheney, a man with equally obvious and severe mental disqualifications for office.

At some point, you have to decide whether or not you signed on for such a thorough professional cornholing, and consider what price you are paying to continue excusing behaviors you would not tolerate from your toddlers.

Great source for weight loss products.

One of the great ironies of being on a diet is that you are literally paying more for less food.

Some of that is, of course, the fact that there are some real technical challenges in making less food with fewer calories satisfying enough replace our great cultural downfall - the double cheeseburger, large fries and 28oz drink sweetened with high fructose corn syrup.

Hey, I'm a damn good cook, and I'm still struggling to get the calories, cholesterol and sodium down. So I know that you are paying in part for the science and some very complex formulas that it might not be possible to replicate in the kitchen, even if you could assemble the ingredients.

Still, there's a component of greed with an undercurrent of punitive glee within the weight-loss industry, I've always thought, and the irony of having to pay extra to diet has always struck me as somewhat unfair. That resentment (and the expense) can be a significant barrier to settling on a lower calorie diet that works for you and allows you to achieve and maintain your ideal weight. That, and my great weakness- the 99 cent cheeseburger.

So it's great news that there's a website that's out there selling the same diet products you might get through a weight loss clinic or subscription program at significant discounts, with every indication that it's a stable, reputable and reliable firm, and of course without having to walk into a store and face a 97 pound blond teenage checkout girl.

They offer free shipping - so the price is what the price is.

Now, when you get there, remember to scroll down and read the disclaimer at the bottom. I'm saying this because these people are being up front - these products are not magical. They have to be used - and this is NOT merely a standard disclaimer - in conjunction with a sensible plan of regular exercise, in consultation with your physician.

Girls - as an aside, there are lots of men who prefer padded corners, so if you are talking about a couple of vanity pounds, and you are stable at that weight, I'd say new jeans are a better investment. But if you need to lose a good deal of weight, they offer products like Hoodia and Chitosan Fat Blockers with significant markdowns. BUT!

In consultation with your physician, please! These are the power tools of weight loss, they have inherent risks, and you need to balance those risks with those of being overweight. It's important that you monitor your health very closely while on any aggressive weight loss program.

If you need to loose weight, have a plan, are committed to sticking to it, this site will help. Not because any of these things are magic, but because they will make it a lot easier to put together a varied diet with appropriate supplements that you can stick to.

While you are there, remember the rest of the family. They offer a wide variety of high quality supplements at prices competitive with supermarket brands.

There is one other thing worth knowing about that could be considered a diet aid and you will not find here - although the concept will be found in many of the products, and it's spices and substitution.

So, while you are looking at these products and thinking about all the things you are going to miss, remember that if your spice cupboard is full, you can vary your diet even more, with the addition of no or almost no calories.

And I think - heck, I KNOW that in this ongoing adventure you will find things that are not substitutes for what you lost, but rather things you cannot imagine having lived your life without, and you might just find several of them here.

Soy based, high-protein cookies. Who knew? I wonder what they taste like? I may just have to order some...

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Bad Cop. No Doughnut.

This post started as a response to a comment on a now notorious YouTube video by one akfuzz.

Here's the video again.



Here's what he said:

Obviously you have never been in this type of situation. Perhaps you could go out and do the job since you seem to know what the deal is. When you get stabbed or, or worse, shot, by an irrational handcuffed suspect, write back and let us know what you think, eh? BTW, I was not defending this officer, merely stating that given the limited video, 'tis hard to say what really happened.


Ok, that sounds almost reasonable, until you actually think about it.

There are two minutes and thirteen seconds of sadistic pornography captured on that tape - and as a cop, in a live situation, you are expected to assess threats, probable perps, instigators and victims in under 15 seconds, with any more time being a distinct luxury.

But with good training, that's easily possible, and that's a good thing, because you can get all sorts of dead in 15 seconds. So I KNOW who the perp is. And I really don't care that the victim was "acting out."

Here's what SHE said about it:

In the video, Gill, once inside the police car, kicks the back-seat window and continues to scream. "At this point, I had been Tased for so long and just drug around by my handcuffs. I was terrified of this man. He was no longer a police officer to me."
I suggest to you that that was not compliant mindset the officer was supposedly intending.

And if you ever find yourself in this situation, I assure you that a jury will find that amount of video more than enough time to assess whether sober compliance or panicked flailing is "more reasonable" to expect of a drunken woman already - by her own admission and according to the testimony of others- already in an aroused emotional state.

Earlier, akfuzz had uttered this deadpan confirmation of observations and criticisms I'd made earlier about cops, tasers and contempt of those currently in power for the rights and dignity of the citizenry.

akfuzz (2 days ago)
And, the Taser is used to gain compliance, nothing more. A suspect who continues to resist will be Taser'd again, handcuffed or not, male or female...It is not a gender bias thing, I have seen both men and women do horrible things while handcuffed. Nobody can say what they would have done unless they were in the same situation, not even other police officers such as myself. It would not be fair.
akfuzz (2 days ago)

It is very hard to Monday morning QB something like this. I could see where folks would be upset seeing this limited video footage, however, not knowing all the details makes it wrong to judge either the officer or the suspect. I am sure the internal investigation will reveal what really happened, and it's not right to bow to political pressure or the media, such as it appears in this case.
Yes, fuzzynuts, we HAVE seen how tasers are used to "gain compliance, nothing more." Even when it's a compliance that's a flat out violation of constitutional rights or completely unreasonable to expect, due to the obvious mental state of the person being tasered.

And in both cases, there's reasonable evidence to suggest from the raw video that there's a component of sadistic enjoyment in using the taser to inflict pain and enforce compliance.

Now, sir, my standards tell me that a person doing that without a badge has no right to expect restraint on my part to end their offense against the decent expectations of civilized persons. How do you then excuse those who do the exact same thing under color of law? Have you no shame? Have you no professional standards? Aren't you personally embarrassed by the mere existence of such walking trouser stains?

The raw footage from an officer's dash camera - a device intended to prevent the impasse of "he said, she said" situations in court is not "media pressure." It's presenting evidence of a situation that is of concern to the community.

In the real world where knowing truth from fiction is important, outside of the realm of Fox news, facts are facts, and evidence trumps protests of supposed innocence.

Note, when I say "evidence," I mean precisely that, in an exact legal sense. Whatever motivations or training deficits turn up, we don't need to wait to find out what "really happened." The why of it may be of interest, but what we saw IS exactly what happened. What we saw was a repeated assault against a person who was no threat to the officer.

What we do not know is what caused the situation to escalate to that point out of range of the camera - but it would be unwise to assume that testimony from either the cop, the club or the bartender mentioned in the dispute will be without any trace or shade of self-excusing selective interpretation. Besides, we know another thing.

ALL assaults against a person are, in fact, intended to "gain compliance, nothing more."

The blunt truth is, if you have to immediately resort to force to gain compliance, it doesn't show a lot of confidence in your own ability to control a situation, or much respect for the willingness of the average citizen to comply with reasonable, lawful directions in a tense situation.

Perhaps this is because their contempt for your understanding of "lawful order" is well earned? Perhaps it's due to the fact that, having a central nervous system capable of pointing and firing a Taser, you also have some doubts about the solidity of citizen support for your authority that the actual existence of the Taser implies - a means of enforcing compliance that any semi-trained thug can use in situations where a citizen's rightful response would otherwise be amused or enraged contempt at best?

You see, when you pull a weapon to enforce your will, you admit your powerlessness to affect the situation without it. You have abandoned any pretence of moral or lawful authority. You directly state - simply by carrying the damn thing - that you are no longer willing to depend on citizens being willing to comply because they respect you as a symbol of the rule of law and order. You expect them to comply out of fear.

But you pull the trigger, even on a "less lethal" weapon, you have just publicly admitted that your willingness to settle for fear and enforced compliance has bought you a buttload of paperwork - and that's the BEST possible outcome.

I've never been a cop - but I've ten years of martial arts under my belt, an art with a heavy emphasis on avoiding situations and resolving them with an absolute minimum of force. You learn to read body language, you develop a sixth sense for body language, and you make a habit of respectfully treating everyone as if they were Bruce Lee dipped in nitroglycerin. Why?

Because the most dangerous opponent is the one who realizes they don't exist on your threat-o-meter and is just drunk or distraught enough to need to prove you wrong.

Wait, make that a city councilman, a partner in the state's largest personal injury firm, who happens to be Bruce Lee, dipped in nitroglycerin.

And here's another why you should think like that. This jerk figured there was no downside to shocking the hell out of the pretty blond who wouldn't even look at him out of uniform.

What's she gonna do about it? He asks himself, Have a hissy fit?

Yeah. On CNN, no less. With her lawyer. With his very own porn tape playing in the background.

That cartoon cop was confident in the lack of power the suspect had in the situation, and willing to exploit that power imbalance to publicly humiliate her and disrespect her in front of her friends and peers - in order to avoid the heavy lifting (mental and physical) that is the job.

To protect and to serve includes suspects and panicked drunken blond chicks. It does NOT include acts that can be validly compared, metaphorically and in terms of impact on the victim and onlookers, to literal, physical rape.

Your primary tools are your presence, you aura of confident command, your knowledge of law, your reputation, your ability to create peace and security out of thin air, your patience and your integrity. All the rest of the crap hanging off you is available to any five buck an hour security guard - strike that, to anyone with an Internet connection. Including the uniform and the badge.

So the first thing you MUST keep in mind is that the casual use of said crap can erode every one of your main tools. The last thing you want is for peaceful citizens - even peaceful CRIMINAL citizens - to see you as a random, personal threat.

There must be fifty people who saw that incident, and one thing you can rely on - they will hesitate to call the cops in any preventative way, because they are now aware that calling the police will not prevent a situation from turning into an incident, it will absolutely guarantee it.

And people wonder why the violent crime rate is so high in the US.

If you have to rely on your uniform, your badge or your service issue plastic penis to prove you are a cop - like the fat-ass lazy jerk in the video - if you have to enforce compliance with a perfectly reasonable command - in the back of your mind, in the dead of night, and especially as you do the routine CYA in the report, realize that somehow you screwed up and were lucky enough to live through it because the citizen or citizen you abused or oppressed gave you a pass. Don't turn that mistake into a freaking policy, much less get lazy and expect you have a right to a life where it doesn't matter that you stupidity is committed in front of your own dashboard camera.

I mean, were I a lawyer, I would surely point out the fact height of arrogance that reveals and the depths of contempt for the good opinion of the citizenry implied by that particular lapse.

As for the risks involved in policing, do not whine to us about that. You get the uniform, you get the fast car with the sirens, you get to play with things that go bang and the county pays you for the ammo. It's an inherently dangerous job, with the perk of all the free adrenaline rushes you can stand. People actually jump out of perfectly good airplanes to get that rush, at a couple-hundred bucks a pop. You, well, we pay you for that.

Besides, it's a lot like a snowboarder stressing about wipe-outs. The only proper response is to try and keep a straight face and gently suggest golf as an alternate avocation.

A cop unwilling to take risks on behalf of the citizenry is simply an armed thug. And when I look at something like that and realize that as a potentially armed citizen I could handle that situation better - I will. And while I could not do your job on a day to day basis, Sir, there is nothing that would prevent me from handling such an incident far better. I know this as a fact, because I've been in such a situation, with a drunken, possibly suicidal citizen talking about the revolver he had in his waistband.

Not only did I handle the situation, I handled it without violence and without anyone at the bar I happened to be in becoming aware that there was a situation. That is because I relied on my ability to talk him down, rather than on the concealed weapon under MY shirt.

I'll bet you a box of Krispy Kreems that Ohio club has now hired their own security, so they don't have to rely on the risk of the city sending some random jerk to deal with loud drunks. Just because they wanted her gone that day didn't mean they didn't want her to come back - but not only did you traumatize her, but you scared the hell out of everyone else who was there. And it's a fact that whether it's fair or not, people avoid people and situations that remind them of very traumatic events. So the taxpaying owners have a very legitimate beef with that cop, his boss and the city. I imagine they have lawyers calculating the odds of successfully suing the city - and everyone else in range - for the loss of business.

So, really, it would probably have been better for everyone had that cop just slept off his ill-gotten doughnuts because his "resolution" of a breach of the peace was worse than the scuffs, hurt feelings and property damage he was sent to prevent.

Here's a new, related video that's brand new, and I'd like your professional opinion:

Consider this - and remember that tasers actually log their usage, for later use in court.

Now, here we don't know the exact situation, but it's difficult to imagine how a properly trained officer could end up tasering a schizophrenic woman - the person, by the way, who had actually CALLED 911 - and expect this to be taken as a good outcome. Oh, by the way, she passed away as a result of being tazed multiple times with two separate weapons. And yes, she was armed and she was delusional.

Oh well, that just adds to the challenge for a good cop. With good cops, situations like this end with rueful handshakes and mysterious appearances of chocolate chip cookies in the squad room. Anything that ends in a death is considered less than ideal, pretty much by the "duh" standard.

I know, I know, "we can't know what really happened." But, actually, we do know what happened - a homicide occurred as the outcome of a routine call.

We pay police to handle situations exactly like this with the expectation that they will be trained and equipped to as a matter of routine, with as little fuss and conflict as possible. We have the reasonable expectation that they have the training to deal with such situations better than we could. Let's recall that she called and asked for help. Obviously, help is precisely what she did not get.

So, whatever the resolution, whatever the facts, no matter what happened to make it all drop in the pot and to cause TWO able-bodied, fully armed cops to taser a morbidly obese schizophrenic confined to a power chair. She had two paring knives and a hammer. They carried guns fully capable of disabling the power chair, rendering her immobile, or at least very, very slow.

So why is she dead? WHY is the person who called the police for help dead as a direct result of police action, and what affect will that have on the willingness of people to call for help?

Presumably the cops expected a delusional schizophrenic to process an order to drop the weapons as if she were a sane, solid citizen who was NOT being menaced with the threat of force. They were clearly unwilling to accept even the tiniest risk of injury to themselves. But she was too freaking crazy to process that order, and the normal response of police - as you yourself stated - is to apply pain to "encourage" compliance.

Now, here's the bottom line. You are not employed by the "good citizens" in order to keep the "bad guys" in line. You are employed by the taxpayers - that would be all of us - to maintain law and order. So when you commit a breach of the peace as stock reaction to a fuckup in progress, you simply make a far worse fuckup than if you just stayed home.

Who in their right mind would call you for help, and why should you be collecting a paycheck? Hey, there are lots of people willing to beat the crap out of other folks for free, we surely don't need to pay for such a dubious "service."

Seems to me people who react like this are on the wrong side of the bars. When situations like this become commonplace, a widespread disrespect for and distrust of peace officers is inevitable. It makes the job more difficult and dangerous and ensures that when a situation does come to your attention, it's far worse than it would be for a society that is well policed and is generally law-abiding by choice.

Jeez; people like the cops shown in these videos - of which there are far, far too many to choose from - make Reno 911 look like a training film. And yes, we note "the blue wall" reaction, the automatic assumption that a fellow cop can do no wrong.

Well, as understandable and as human as that reaction is, policing is a profession with a skill set and a desired outcome - which is peace, safety, law and order. You are expected to handle confrontation, stress, danger, irrational and unreasonable people BETTER than other people.

When that does not occur, questions must arise, and you - as a person directly affected by the damage bad cops do to the reputation of good cops - should be the one asking them. Quite frankly, incompetent cops cause situations that get good cops maimed and killed. Believe it or not, I consider that an unacceptable outcome even though I stand firmly behind the next statement.

As citizens, we have the second amendment right to bear arms in order to protect ourselves from the abuse of power by armed thugs, especially armed thugs employed by governments and powerful people who wish to "enforce compliance."

We delegate that power to the police, but nobody who has actually read and studied our Constitution, our history, and the Founder's intent can delude themselves that any cop has more authority than that, or needs it. Your badge simply signifies that you are a citizen trained to keep the peace and can, presumably be trusted with that duty.

There is no inherent right for a peace officer to use force to impose their will, nor do they have any broader mandate to use force than, say, me. Actually, their mandate to use force is narrower, tied to the reasonable force doctrine with the understanding that they can be reasonably be expected to react faster and be better armed in most ordinary situations, as well as mentally prepared to make actually skillful decisions in dangerous situations. Therefore, a situation where I might be excused for blowing someone away would not excuse a police officer in the same circumstances, because a cop has more options than I do.

There is no authority they may appeal to that is superior to that of any other citizen. Indeed, their authority is identical, coming from the same constitutional authority. The citizen - and that includes the one you may be arresting at the time - has exactly the same responsibility and obligation to uphold and ensure the peace.

There is no "cop exception." A cop is simply a member of a "well regulated militia" who's especially trained to do that better than an armed mob.

And if it becomes clear that they cannot regulate themselves, and ARE no better than an armed mob, if they become arrogant and abusive it's not merely the right, but the actual, literal constitutional duty of a citizen to suck it up, and deal with the threat that band of thugs presents to the community.

Because, if I see a large armed man torturing a woman who is clearly no credible threat, I know what the immediate problem is. I also know what reasonable force doctrine tells me is a reasonable response for citizen without training and experience presented with such a situation - exactly enough force to resolve the situation without danger to bystanders or unacceptable risk to the citizen.

So for the average armed citizen with a concealed-carry permit, that would be three to the center of mass if you failed to comply with a reasonable order to "STAND DOWN, SIR!"

Understand clearly; under our Constitution, Law is not imposed by force, it exists by consent. When the use of force against citizens becomes routine, it becomes exactly the situation the constitution was enacted to prevent - and it not just authorizes, but mandates getting rid of not just the particular offenders, but all of those who employ them knowing that is what they will do.

That's the situation George Washington found himself in - and you, sir, are excusing as standard procedure the exact actions of Redcoats; in large part illiterate Hessian mercenaries who, after all, were just trying to earn a living until they were eligible for their pensions, such as they were.

And that sir, is exactly what you defend when you retreat to your "blue wall" tactics of solidarity. You are actually defending the philosophy of hired Hessian mercenaries who were not paid well enough to much care for taking risks in the line of duty, people that professional British soldiers held in contempt for good reason.

Mercenaries almost always prefer massive overkill - because it minimizes their personal risks. Of course, it also means they consider themselves separate from and not answerable to the folks they may find themselves shooting. Hell, Hessiens didn't even consider themselves part of the same physical Empire!

Now, when I see street cops expressing that same attitude, of not even being in the same empire as the ordinary schlubs they deal with every day, it seems to me that we have become two entire empires - those who get to tell the police who to beat up, and those the police get to charge with the "crime" of scuffing the officer's shoes with their objectionable asses.

And when you buy into that, you are a mercinary in the pay of would-be Earls and Kings.

So my question for you is this: Are you a cop in service to the people and the Constitution of this Grand Republic? Or are you a redcoat mercenary, jacking off to your copy of Soldier of Fortune and willing to do as you are told without conscience or question, so long as the king's schilling rings true upon the iron?

Is your ethos "to protect and to serve," or is it "Kill 'em all, let God sort them out?"

If you are the former, there is little I'm unwilling to do to support you in your duties, up to and including some personal risk on my own behalf. If you are the second - well, my forebears considered you excellent fertilizer, and so do I.

You should consider that situation deeply, because perception is everything. In order for you to do your proper job, the one we assume you signed up to do, the first thought of an average citizen should not be the desire to be suddenly elsewhere, but to welcome you and cheerfully aid you in your inquiries.

The first thought of a citizen should NOT be whether they will have to defend themselves against a police assault. They should not have to consider the possibility that they may be beaten up and than imprisoned for having protested that they were being assaulted.

Dear Lord in Heaven, the idea that it might be a better option to shoot a cop than to let a jury sort things out shouldn't cross even a criminal's mind, much less every single Black Florida citizen driving up from the keys to Miami.

But I bet it does.

And it does because people now consider their government and their police to be a potential, direct threat to their persons and their Liberty. Police abuse has become routine in the service of the interests of the powerful, people have been deliberately made reluctant to stand on their rights. But when you "send a message" to people - as was clearly part of the intent when Andrew Meyer was "dealt with" in order to prevent him from further embarrassing one of our Lords and Masters - you may not be sending quite the message you thought.

Here's another authoritarian response to the Meyer/Kerry incident and a citizen's reply.

conebone42 (1 day ago)

Ok, this guy deserved what he got. Not only was he SCREAMING at a US Senator, he refused to go quietly when the police asked him to leave for acting that way. Nothing that they did was out of line. You resist arrest, you get tazered. The police had every right to do what they did.

nyarltep (1 day ago)

im sure that attitude will keep you out of the fema camps

Here Endeth the Lesson son. Come the day, I hope you know which side of the thin red line to stand on.

Monday, October 01, 2007

It's only five bucks - but the irony is priceless.

So I drop by PayPerPost to see how the balance between conscience and greed work out today - seeing as I've just finished bashing Dan Rather for that, my day as a semi-pro Journalist would not be complete without emulating the realities of the MSM. And guess what I find.

Custom-writing.org is professional custom essays, research papers, term papers, dissertations and theses writing service. All our papers are 100% plagiarism free. We offer unlimited revisions and free plagiarism report for out customers.
Grammar checking and proofreading might be a thought, too. Oh, and they add this note:

This opportunity is only for posts that do not include a sponsored disclosure within the post (site-wide disclosure only).
Ooops. Did I imply that I was being PAID for this?

Somehow I doubt that will occur. But that's ok - 'cause I'm banning your asses, for two reasons - asking me to compromise my integrety (by not clearly identifying this as a paid post) AND for expecting me to do that for five bucks.

But first, you get to see this and what a non-humor- impaired Libertarian does when someone such a thing of him.

He CHARGES you for his refusal. And mentions your name.

By the way, I did not visit the link. Hell, if you can't even write one paragraph of basic English, when you are in the business of writing (supposedly) A-quality research papers so frat-house dinks like George Bush can buy essays, I can't be bothered to waste those precious photons.

Because, not even George Bush would click though with that example of writing, and my readers are, I hope to Ghu, SMARTER than Shrubaru.

However, I will suggest Jon Swift review this post; after all, he, in a long and enlightening relationship with Amazon.com, has pioneered exactly the sort of review this firm is seeking, and a good editorialist always seeks the tension of a countervailing opinion.

Due to his inspiration, it occurred to me that I should review a product at amazon myself - without of course actually commending the Luv Ewe to either my attempted client or Jon Swift.

TASERS: Symbol of a new age of compliance.

Sidebar to: Graphictruth: Greg Palast, Dan Rather and the new symbol of the age....

As Randi Rhodes says, "do your homework."



Link to Wikipedia article on Taser and related Electroshock Weaponry.

There are several sections, including a look at the next generation of these weapons as well as some slight discussion over the drawbacks of the devices, with this Bradford Non-Lethal Weapons Research Project (BNLWRP) Report, Electrical stun weapons; alternative to lethal force or a compliance tool?

The lessons of wider deployment from the United States are not encouraging. A report from Amnesty International in 2004 found evidence that “…far from being used to avoid lethal force, many US police agencies are deploying Tasers as a routine force option to subdue non-compliant or disturbed individuals who do not pose a serious danger to themselves or others.”
In other words, the Taser has suffered from mission creep. It is not merely employed against dangerous individuals where the alternative is lethal force, but also against school children, mentally ill individuals, people in handcuffs or other restraints, and people passively resisting or simply arguing with the police. In an increasing number of cases it has become a compliance tool for police officers rather than a weapon used to prevent injury or death caused by use of other means. A 2004 study by the Denver Post of Taser use in Colorado found that in one county a third of the 112 people shot with a Taser had been handcuffed at the time. The 1990 UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials state that “Law enforcement officials, in carrying out their duty, shall, as far as possible, apply non-violent means before resorting to the use of force and firearms.” Unfortunately the US experience indicates that non-violent techniques, such as simple negotiation, are being bypassed in many instances by early use of the Taser to gain compliance.
The report concludes:


The Home Office and UK police forces have engaged in an in depth review of Taser weapons and participated in some public debate with respect to their deployment plans. Their conclusions are that potential adverse health effects and possibilities of abuse are outweighed by their operational utility. But we would argue that the painful and degrading effects of the Taser, its susceptibility to misuse, and the associated health risks militate against a wider deployment on our streets and could, as the US experience has shown, result in the weapon becoming a compliance tool. Of course we must support the police so that they can carry out, on our behalf, often difficult and dangerous duties, but we are concerned that such a wider deployment of the Taser will further undermine the ethos of ‘policing by consent’ and increase a perception of armed officers ‘policing by compliance’. [Emphasis Mine-BK]
Or indeed, using it as a means of torture and public example.

Such as this - and multiple related videos, to numerous to explore on an empty stomach:


Greg Palast, Dan Rather and the new symbol of the age....


"Andrew is just a student and still needs a couple of lessons in posing questions properly. (Lesson One: “Wear a grounding wire.”) But Andrew has the next lesson down pat: ask the question they don’t want to hear when they don’t want to hear it. Rather could use a few lessons in journalism himself - from Andrew - about taking the heat for the story." - Greg Palast


Dan Rather's lack of support for his own Texas Air National Guard scandal story in 2006 left me a little dazed, and like many, I frankly thought that the story was full of hot air and moonshine. You know the whole narrative; the documents turned out to be forgeries, there was nothing to it, nothing to see here. Move along, move along.

Well, according to Greg Palast, the story that ran was solid. But the story about why you didn't get the story is even more interesting.

DAN RATHER: TASED AND CONFUSED
The Still-Unreported Story of "Top Gun" George Bush


Monday September 24, 2007

New York- Newly unearthed records reveal that, in 2004, when Americans were in the midst of a brutal electoral battle over whether to reelect a president posing as a war hero, a commanding US reporter, Dan Rather, went AWOL.

Just three months before the election, Rather had a story that might have changed the outcome of that razor-close race. We now know that Dan cut a back-room deal to shut his mouth, grab his ankles, and let his network retract a story he knew to be absolutely true.

In September 2004 when Rather cowered, Bush was riding high in the polls. Now, with Bush's approval ratings are below smallpox, Rather has come out of hiding to shoot at the lame duck. Thanks, Dan.

It began on September 8, 2004, when Rather, on CBS, ran a story that Daddy Bush Senior had, in 1968, put in the fix to get his baby George out of the Vietnam War and into the Texas Air National Guard. Little George then rode out the war defending Houston from Viet Cong attack.

The story is stone-cold solid. I know, because we ran it on BBC Television a year before CBS (see that broadcast here). BBC has never retracted a word of it.

But CBS caved. So did Dan.

That's according to Rather's written confession, his law suit, which is as much a shameful set of admissions as it is a legal complaint. In the suit filed Thursday, Rather tells us that Sumner Redstone, CEO of Viacom, owner of CBS, was "enraged that the [Air Guard] Broadcast had hurt CBS in the eyes of the Bush administration." Viacom then set out to, "divert public attention from the accurate facts reported in the Broadcast concerning President Bush's service (and lack thereof) in the TexANG during the Vietnam War; and enable CBS and Viacom to curry favor with the White House…."

Redstone roared and Dan, hearing his Dark Lord's voice, admits he then "refrained from defending" the truths in the Broadcast. Dan shut his mouth, he confesses, in return for 30 pieces of Viacom silver: a promise that "his contract would be extended."

Had Rather stood up to the Viacommunist thugs and defended his story, President Kerry and our nation could today express gratitude for his public service. Instead, Dan traded the public interest for airtime on 60 Minutes. Yuck.

Now Dan is shocked to find that the network snakes didn't live up to their slimey bargain with him. Well, Dan, that's what happens with snakes. Get in bed with them and wake up slimed. (Lots More.)
Palast is not one to pull punches and he's what Rather used to be; a real, honest-to-gosh Investigative Reporter. He tells the story rather well on the air - I've heard him on a local talk show several times now;
"The Solution Zone." KJFK-1230, 3-4 pm weekdays - except during Baseball Season.

(Boo!)

I'm glad that this lawsuit will bring Conservative suits like Sumner Redstone of Viacom out of their closets of smug denial, but it is a sad and graphic truth that Rather is not suing CBS/Viacom for burning him publicly over a truthful story. He's suing them for breach of promises made regarding compensation for his willingness to take a dive.

It must be nice to build up enough integrity to be able to put a fair market value of seventy million dollars upon it, and apparently everyone does have their price. And it occurs to me that few politicians would be that expensive.

That's what is causing me to wonder furiously what other faint responses to obvious outrages are the result of money and pressure. Have we turned into a nation like Mexico, where "Plomo e Plata" is the bottom line?



For instance, UF student Andrew Meyer was tasered after asking the following question of John Kerry:

“Palast says, You won the 2004 election, isn’t that amazing? There was multiple reports on the day of the election of disenfranchisement of black voters in florida and ohio… How could you concede the election on that day?”

It just doesn't get any better than that, does it, Greg? I mean, how many reporters EVER get a moment like that, recorded on tape? When someone uses your work to speak truth to power while dropping your name and waving your book and becomes a headline due to Power's reaction - that's the working man's Pulitzer!

Greg Palast is the author of “The Necklace-ing of Dan Rather” in the New York Times bestselling book, Armed Madhouse:Armed Madhouse: From Baghdad to New Orleans - Sordid Secrets and Strange Tales of a White House Gone Wild (Penguin 2007).

Sign up for Palast’s investigative reports at www.GregPalast.com, check out the whole story in the documentary Bush Family Fortunes support the Palast Investigative Fund here.

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