From Russia Today. Talk about a gangland execution!
Hearing a knock on his door at 1:30 am, a perplexed Florida man answered the door to see what kind of unannounced visitors were outside. Holding a gun for security, 26-year old Andrew Scott was instantly shot dead by police after he opened the door.
It took the Lake County Police Department an hour and a half to realize they had killed an innocent man.
Luna @ A Hopeful Pessimist on truants, prozzies, paternalism, and Social Darwinism.
Well, I’m back again. I didn’t intend to take this long to write again, but due to technological troubles, I was offline for awhile, thus making it impossible to post more entries. This is not ideal because my lead in story in this post is now somewhat older news. Anyhow, what I hope to do in this entry is combine several possible posts that I have been planning to do in the past, so hopefully, despite my lack on consistency in writing here, I will partially make it up by killing several birds with one stone, so to speak.
Okay, I want to start this post with a story I originally came across on attackthesystem.com, about an incident in Montgomery County in the grand old State of Texas, where a 17-year-old high-school student by the name of Diane Tran was sentenced to a day in jail and a fine for contempt of court (I believe) because of missing too many days of school. This despite the fact that the student in question was working two jobs to support her siblings because of her parents splitting up, and despite missing some classes over being extremely tired from that out-of-school work (Who wouldn’t be?), she apparently managed to make the honour roll. Anyhow this story became viral and spread around the world, prompting outrage and leading to some donation campaign set up specifically for Tran, with a website set up for that purpose. Anyhow, what eventually happened was that the charges were dropped, with Mr. Judge Moriarty backing down from his hard-line stance to some extent. Anyways, if you are curious about this story, there are more articles here, and probably even more if you care to search for them on the net. Now when I came across this story, I was immediately interested because I had read some articles about a county in Texas with a Judge who was well known for incarcerating students who were chronic truants from school, and I had planned to write a blog post about two articles about this 1, 2.More…
Imagine for a moment that China, in an effort to reduce cigarette smoking and associated health costs among its population, declared war on U.S. tobacco production. Imagine Chinese planes flying over American tobacco fields, spraying crop-killing poison that destroys not just tobacco, but all vegetation, wiping out farmers’ livelihoods, displacing millions of families, and contaminating the environment. Such an act of hostility and disregard for national sovereignty would provoke, at the very least, military aggression from the United States. Yet, unbeknownst to most Americans, for the past 20 years the U.S. has conducted just such a campaign against Colombian coca farmers.
This passage caught my attention: “I am chagrined, if not surprised, that rural upstate legislators are the primary obstacles to reform. Keeping watch over the largely downstate prison population has become a staple of the regional economy, a degradation to which we have become accustomed. Prison jobs sure beat Wal-Mart.”
Another illustration of why we need radical decentralization and pan-secession.
I had drinks one night with an old friend who had spent the previous year in jail. Despite my entreaties, and my guarantee that it would provide rare cachet, he refused to loudly begin a sentence, “When I was in the joint…” In fact, he denied that prisoners ever called their domicile the joint, the rock, or the big house, and he confessed to not having met a single grizzled veteran of the pen who dispensed such gnomes as “Do time; don’t let time do you.”
You mean the movies lie about all this?
My levity shamed me. There’s really nothing funny about having to live in a cage. My friend’s fellow penmen ranged from the violent to the pathetic, from apparently unredeemable scumbags to the luckless and the dumb. Innocent was seldom an apt description of these men, but look hard enough and you can see the face of Christ in each one.
Since early 2011 the mainstream press has expressed moral panic over an alleged “War on Cops.” That panic was sparked by a rash of police killings in January 2011. According to a March Christian Science Monitor article, 24 cops were killed on the job compared to only 15 during the same period in 2010. Speculation as to cause included rising anti-government sentiment, or disrespect for law enforcement.
The panic itself apparently fostered a “shoot first” mentality among police, reflected in a record number of so-called “justifiable homicides.” US Attorney General Eric Holder called this state of affairs — the spike in cop deaths, not the over-reaction — unacceptable, promising federal action.
Like most moral panics used to justify government “just doing something,” this one turned out to be — to say the least — quite overblown. Smith County, Texas, Sheriff J.B. Smith was quoted as saying: “I think it’s a hundred times more likely today that an officer will be assaulted compared to twenty, thirty years ago. It has become one of the most hazardous jobs in the United States, undoubtedly — in the top five.”
Well, not quite (that’s a polite, family-friendly substitute for “bull—-!”). In fact on-the-job police deaths had declined by almost half over the previous twenty years, at the same time as the number of police nearly doubled. The short-term upward fluctuation in police deaths was an anomaly, albeit a very visible one against the background of such low levels. That’s why statisticians look for large sample sizes.
Since 1971 the Southern Policy Law Center (SPLC) has fought racism and hate crimes in America, most notably in the Deep South. Particularly during its earlier years when its co-founder, Atlanta civil rights activist Julian Bond, was still involved, the SPLC achieved an admirable record in helping bring to justice those accused of racially based murders, lynchings, and beatings.
Forty years later the SPLC has evolved into the cash cow of the civil rights movement and behaves as though it were the left-wing equivalent of the John Birch Society, a right-wing, 1950’s anticommunist group which was certain that behind every bush was a card-carrying communist. Today anyone with whom the SPLC happens to disagree is assumed to be either a racist or guilty of a hate crime.
But in its zealous pursuit of alleged racists such as the League of the South or hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan, the SPLC has completely overlooked the 900-pound gorilla, namely the United States Government. The American Empire is arguably the most racist empire of all-time which routinely engages in hate crimes and crimes against humanity on a scale heretofore unimaginable. The transgressions of the likes of the League of the South and the Ku Klux Klan pale in comparison to those of the White House, the Congress, the Pentagon, and the military industrial complex.
As the global wave of rebellion that began in 2011 and eventually spread to the beating heart of Empire, and the new subcultures of resistance it has spawned, continues to grow and diversify, there is an obvious dilemma that will have to be worked out if we are serious about changing American society in any meaningful way. Of the many obstacles facing what, from our current vantage point, looks to be the only light shining on the dark and blotted American socialscape, one stands out for its menacing and ubiquitous presence in American social life. It casts its dark shadow wherever it goes, which is anywhere it wants. But where it must always go is where there are even the slightest rumblings of the world that is to come, a world in which there is no place for them as they are now, the armed defenders of oligarchs and politicians. Attend any protest or political action in America, or simply walk down the streets of our increasingly fortressed cities, and you will surely encounter these sorry souls, caught in the awkward position of having to justify their continued loyalty to the American ruling class to protesters and passersby they have more in common with than the elites they’re protecting. The obstacle of which I speak is, of course, the police.
First smoking, then soda — now there’s no dancing in New York City.
Caroline Stern, 55, and her boyfriend George Hess, 54, claim they were handcuffed for having happy feet on the platform of the Columbus Circle subway station — and spent 23 hours in custody as a result.
“I’m a dentist, and I’m 55, and I got arrested for dancing,” Stern told The Post. “It was absolutely ridiculous that this happened.”
It was nearly midnight when Stern and Hess, a film-industry prop master, headed home last July from Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night’s Swing. As they waited for the train, a musician started playing steel drums on the nearly empty platform and Stern and Hess began to feel the beat.
I’m sure most Americans are mighty proud of the fact that Julian Assange is so frightened of falling into the custody of the United States that he had to seek sanctuary in the embassy of Ecuador, a tiny and poor Third World country, without any way of knowing how it would turn out. He might be forced to be there for years. “That’ll teach him to mess with the most powerful country in the world! All you other terrorists and anti-Americans out there — Take Note! When you fuck around with God’s country you pay a price!”
How true. You do pay a price. Ask the people of Cuba, Vietnam, Chile, Yugoslavia, Iraq, Iran, Haiti, etc., etc., etc. And ask the people of Guantánamo, Diego Garcia, Bagram, and a dozen other torture centers to which God’s country offers free transportation.
You think with the whole world watching, the United States would not be so obvious as to torture Assange if they got hold of him? Ask Bradley Manning. At a bare minimum, prolonged solitary confinement is torture. Before too long the world may ban it. Not that that would keep God’s country and other police states from using it.
You think with the whole world watching, the United States would not be so obvious as to target Assange with a drone? They’ve done it with American citizens. Assange is a mere Aussie.
And Ecuador and its president, Rafael Correa, will pay a price. You think with the whole world watching, the United States would not intervene in Ecuador? In Latin America, it comes very naturally for Washington. During the Cold War it was said that the United States could cause the downfall of a government south of the border … with a frown. The dissolution of the Soviet Union didn’t bring any change in that because it was never the Soviet Union per se that the United States was fighting. It was the threat of a good example of an alternative to the capitalist model.
An Open Letter to Chris Hedges
In response to “The Cancer in Occupy,” by Chris Hedges.
I am writing this on the premise that you are a well-meaning person who wishes Occupy Wall Street to succeed. I am also writing as someone who was deeply involved in the early stages of planning Occupy in New York.
I am also an anarchist who has participated in many Black Blocs. While I have never personally engaged in acts of property destruction, I have on more than one occasion taken part in Blocs where property damage has occurred. (I have taken part in even more Blocs that did not engage in such tactics. It is a common fallacy that this is what Black Blocs are all about. It isn’t.)
I was hardly the only Black Bloc veteran who took part in planning the initial strategy for Occupy Wall Street. In fact, anarchists like myself were the real core of the group that came up with the idea of occupying Zuccotti Park, the “99%” slogan, the General Assembly process, and, in fact, who collectively decided that we would adopt a strategy of Gandhian non-violence and eschew acts of property damage. Many of us had taken part in Black Blocs. We just didn’t feel that was an appropriate tactic for the situation we were in.
As crime rates drop around the country, a somewhat predictable but disturbing trend is starting to pop up in big cities across America. In a number of large metropolitan areas throughout the country, where guns are severely restricted, crime is actually increasing. In fact, it’s increasing at a rather alarming rate.
Take the notoriously Anti-Gun city of Chicago, where in the first 6 months of this year the city has already seen over 228 Homicides. Last weekend alone, Fifty-three people were shot; nine of them fatally, in what’s becoming a deadly weekly trend on the streets of Chicago. From Flash Mobs attacking shoppers on Michigan Avenue, to the Gang Violence that’s plaguing the city, Chicago has become more violent than the deadly war zones in the Middle East.
While gun control advocates point to Chicago as being a major reason for needing stricter gun laws, what they fail to mention is that nationally crime rates are actually dropping. In areas that actually respect your right to bear arms, crime rates have been dropping year after year.
Last week, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced that violent crime decreased 4 percent in 2011.
So why are national rates dropping when places like Chicago become deadlier?
While national crime rates are dropping, the cities mentioned above are becoming gang infested warzones with sky rocketing murder rates. If these gun control measures actually worked, then why are these cities all in the middle of unprecedented violent crime wave?
When will they ever learn?
Chicago’s answer to the problem is almost too stupid to believe. This week Chicago is encouraging residents to turn in their guns in exchange for a $100 gift card. The Chicago Police Department is asking residents to get guns out of their homes and turn them in during their annual gun turn-in program, “Don’t Kill a Dream, Save a Life.”
Anyone who turns in a gun will get a $100 gift card, no questions asked!
In a public statement, the City of Chicago said they are encouraging:
“people come out that have weapons lying around the house, or weapons, maybe, that they don’t necessarily want in their house. This is a chance to get some money for their weapon, and get another dangerous weapon on the street.”
I fail to see how asking law abiding citizens to turn in their guns and leave their homes defenseless is a viable option for solving the violent crime issue in Chicago. I mean let’s get real here, we all know criminals are not going to be the ones showing up to turn their guns; so who are they really targeting with this campaign? If you ask me, it seems like all they’re doing is making it that much easier for the criminals to rob and steal without fear of being held accountable.
Photo by Antonio Buehler
It was just after midnight on New Year’s Day when Antonio Buehler spotted a pair of Austin cops manhandling a woman at a gas station during a DUI investigation, so he pulled out his cell phone and began taking photos.
That, of course, prompted one of the cops to storm up to him and accuse him of interfering with the investigation.
Austin police officer Pat Oborski shoved Buehler against his truck before handcuffing him. He later claimed in his arrest report that Buehler had spit in his face.
Buehler was charged with resisting arrest and felony harassment on a public servant, the latter punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
After spending 16 hours in jail, Buehler began seeking witnesses to the incident.
“We started posting flyers around the gas station,” Buehler said in an interview with Photography is Not a Crime Sunday afternoon.
“I went on Facebook and on Twitter and I put something up on Craig’s List.”
By January 4, he had obtained a video from a witness who had been standing across the street watching the exchange between Buehler and Oborski.
The video doesn’t show Buehler spitting on the cop but it might be difficult to capture that from across the street with a cell phone camera.
However, it does show Oborski pinning Buehler against the truck, making it obvious that the cop had stormed up to him rather than the other way around.
But in the arrest report, Oborski claims that Buehler was “in my face,” which is why he had to place his hands on his shoulders to “distance him away.”
Oborski also claimed that he wiped his face after Buehler had supposedly spit on him, then pulled out the handcuffs to arrest him, but the video doesn’t show that either.
All the video shows is Oborski pushing Buehler against the truck before wrestling him down to arrest him.
The video also shows Buehler’s friend acting as if he is video recording the arrest, but Buehler says he was not recording.
Buehler then filed an internal affairs complaint against Oborski in late January thinking that the cell phone video – coupled with dash video and audio from the patrol car, the footage from the gas station surveillance camera and audio from a recorder Oborski was wearing on his uniform – would prove that he was unlawfully arrested.
But as we’ve seen so many times before, internal affairs did not substantiate a single one of Buehler’s complaints against the officers.
A TSA worker at an airport in Florida violated the agency’s policy when she opened a container containing the ashes of a passenger’s grandfather and spilled them on the terminal floor, according to Indianapolis, Indiana’s ABC affiliate station, WRTV Channel 6.
(NaturalNews) As the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) continues to approve scores of drone applications for a range of federal, state and local agencies, concern among Americans and privacy groups is rising about the use of these drones for illegal surveillance.
The latest federal agency to potentially have violated constitutional protections against invasive, unauthorized drone surveillance is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a federal leviathan within a leviathan that is developing quite a reputation for flexing authority it doesn’t really have.
In fact, Congress recently launched a probe into whether this out-of-control, rogue agency has used drones to monitor the activities of farmers in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa.
In early June, Nebraska’s congressional delegation submitted a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to express their concern about the heavily invasive actions and legality of such monitoring.