I barely can’t even go outside anymore, can’t ride my bike, can’t play ball, can’t go play with my cousins, because you have to watch your back every 30 seconds,” said Malik, who hopes to go to college, play basketball and be drafted, and if not, become a teacher. “I know the president’s letter isn’t going to like solve the safety reasons out here, and it’s still going to be dangerous, but I’m excited the president of the United States wrote to me, and I can’t wait to show it off.”College? Not writing like that. Basketball and drafted: Long odds. Hit the books young man. Become a teacher: Not with writing like that. We gotta do better. Gotta do better.
Monday, December 29, 2014
From the Chicago Sun Times
Sunday, December 28, 2014
So just now I was watching the news when this guy, didn't note his name, said that the "police need the community to do their jobs". I beg to differ. Why do the police exist? In a completely perfect world, they exist to act as a deterrent from crime. Failing that, because some people are undeterred by the presence of people licensed to kill, They are there to apprehend those who have committed a crime, preferably alive. Why do they do that? Because "the community" wants / needs to be safe so that they can live their lives. Police are a part of the larger social contract that allows every day people to not have to learn how to shoot or other forms of self-community defense and can spend their time doing other things. In other words police exist in order to secure a community. It is the community that needs the police doing their jobs. NOt the police that needs a particular community. If a particular community decides that it is going to harbor and defend those who engage in criminal activity, then the police have no job to do there. If you don't believe that then let the police exit those places where the residents claim they are "occupiers" and see what happens. Hint: It won't be pretty. Think Crack in '85.
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
I remember not too long ago (but ancient times in this short term memory diseased culture) when the Dow first went over 14,000. That was under Bush. Folks complained about corporate profits. I remember when it crossed 10,000 under the nearly finished term of Clinton. Then the tech bubble burst. So I would advise folks who are crowing about how this proves something about Democrats vs. Republicans to think a bit before speaking.
Reading this NYT article on the Russian Lada made me think of stories we all know of the bright kid in the class who, full of great potential, is satisfied with just doing the minimum required to get by. It is clear to anyone who pays attention that Russians are not incapable of doing many things. But looking over this story (among others) it is clear that what the Russians really lack is the motivation. The drive to be as great as they could be. I think this is what probably bothers NATO and the rest so much. Imagine a Russia with the drive of Chinese (similar government structure).
President Vladimir V. Putin has repeatedly said this month that Western sanctions mean Russia has to go it alone. So resurrecting Avtovaz is a parable for changes needed by all Russian manufacturing. It is not quite “As Avtovaz goes, so goes the nation,” but close.It may turn out that the sanctions on Russia will be the biggest kick in the arse that it needs to stop being the bright but lazy kid in the class.
From a recent article on Counterpunch:
The company’s own web site informs that it has played an important role in the United States’ geopolitical and military strategy in the Middle East: “Following the 9/11 attacks of 2001 and the subsequent U.S. military actions, DAI was called on to lead a variety of challenging development projects in the midst of the counterinsurgency in Afghanistan, a country where we worked as early as 1977. Similarly, after the United States toppled the Iraqi regime in 2003, DAI won a project to help provide legitimate governance in the country. Other assignments in Iraq covered agriculture.” It is most interesting that DAI would be in Afghanistan in 1977, way before the Soviet invasion, just when the CIA was arming and training an islamic fundamentalist insurgent force to destabilize the country. [my italicized inner quote]Who later turned into the Taliban, which would later organize itself enough to fly planes into the WTC sparking a war in the Middle East that has thus far included Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. With "pop up" groups in Nigeria, Somalia and Kenya. Not to mention inspired "lone wolf" killers. As Commander Lock said in the Matrix Revolutions:
Monday, December 22, 2014
From Jodi Kantor's piece in the NY Times about Stanford's class of 1994
Scott Walker, one of the only African-Americans in the class to try founding a start-up, said in an interview that he regretted spending so much time at his all-black fraternity, which took him away from the white friends from freshman year who went on to found and then invest in technology companies.Which brings me to the title question: What were the frat brothers of (name of black frat here) doing where there wasn't enough of them to produce entrepreneurs? Also isn't it rather stunning that of all the classes of people that he felt were "necessary" to get into technology, it was white people?
Within a few more years, he, Mr. Thiel, Mr. Rabois and others had transformed themselves into a close-knit network of technology entrepreneurs — innovators who created billion-dollar business after billion-dollar business, using the ideas, ethos and group bonds they had honed at The Stanford Review.So three white people got together, bonded and created billion-dollar businesses, one after the other and supposedly a entire black fraternity could not do the same. Again. what were these guys doing? Let me lay it out: Back in the 1920s (even before, but for our purposes we will use that time frame), There were two major pushes in black America: Integration in the face of NAACP and Nationalism in the face of the UNIA. The UNIA failed for various reasons including the total unwillingness of black folks to build business with, among and for themselves (to export to others). And so black America went to the latter in which we get to buy, consume and what-have-you, what other people create, build and sell. The purpose of school for black folk is to get a "good job downtown" rather than to create a job uptown that is better than the job downtown. The "Billion dollar business" creators of the linked piece had the latter attitude.
Saturday, December 20, 2014
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
WASHINGTON — The United States will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba and open an embassy in Havana for the first time in more than a half-century after the release of an American contractor held in prison for five years, American officials said Wednesday. In a deal negotiated during 18 months of secret talks hosted largely by Canada and encouraged by Pope Francis, who hosted a final meeting at the Vatican, President Obama and President Raúl Castro of Cuba agreed in a telephone call to put aside decades of hostility to find a new relationship between the United States and the island nation just 90 minutes off the American coast.Bravo Obama! Long time overdue.
On Dec 15 the Smoking Gun posted a report about one of the Ferguson grand jury witnesses. Witness 40. I dealt with Witness 40 in an earlier post. But apparently the Smoking Gun thinks that Witness 40 was what sunk the indictment. I mean you see how long that piece is? This is what happens when people cling to a narrative so hard that they need to focus on irrelevant stuff in order to convince themselves that they are correct. Witness 40 is not the witness that sunk the indictment. Dorian Johnson sunk the indictment along with witness 14 and witness 10. TSG needs to read the undisputed testimony of those persons and put down whatever it is they are smoking.
Saturday, December 13, 2014
I know I know....but one last observation about the story Not a single mention of Asians (far or near east). I wonder why. Surely if everyone is equally acting a fool in school then we should be able to compare the behavior of Asian students. Did anyone look at Asian rates of discipline? If they did, what were they? And if they are so miniscule compared to the population, then does that mean that Asians are being treated way more leniently than everybody else or that their behavior never warrants disciplinary action? And if it is the latter, then what is it that the Asian kids are doing that the other kids are not? Studying perhaps?
Last one from that article:
Compared with black boys, who are disciplined at higher rates than boys of other races and ethnicities, researchers say black girls tend to be penalized more subjectively, like for having a bad attitude or being defiant. [my underline]Subjective. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Black+girl+school+fights And https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=white+girl+school+fights Count 'em up and disregard the compilations. These are the ones caught on video and posted to YouTube. haven't even gone to World Star or other sites. And remember, the research shows that black women/females are the number one instigators of inter-personal violence But you know, it's always easier to call attention to those who have to deal with the BS than to call attention to those doing the BS.
Culling from the same piece:
Mikia’s case is not unique. At a sparsely attended committee meeting in Henry County where school officials, advocates and elected officials gathered to address discipline methods in the county, a handful of parents of black girls shared their stories. Sakinah White, a single mother of three who is an elementary schoolteacher in nearby Clayton County, said her 17-year-old daughter had been treated unfairly after she was expelled from her high school over an incident in which she was accused of hitting a white male student with a book. Criminal charges were also filed in the juvenile court system, Ms. White said. “It’s a form of child abuse,” she said. After a semester-long expulsion, her daughter became suicidal, Ms. White said, and began cutting herself with soda can tops. Ultimately, the criminal charges were dropped, Ms. White said, and the state board of education reversed the expulsion.Dropped criminal charges doesn't mean the incident didn't happen. As someone has has in fact been hit by a female while in school, at that age, I know it could have happened. We can debate whether or not it was appropriate to have criminal charges brought against the girl, we should NOT overlook whether the incident actually happened. If she did in fact hit the boy with the book, then she should have faced disciplinary proceedings. expulsion may be over top given the public school mandate to educate all students. But I'm bothered by the entire fuss about the consequences rather than why the accusation came up in the first place.
In the movie Ip Man 2, there is a scene where Ip Man, one of his students and one of his ex-foes end up in jail over a fight Ip Man's student got into with a student of another school. Ip Man's wife came to bail him out, after getting money from a family friend. Ip Man having been released discreetly asks his wife and friend if they had any money to bail out the student who apparently had no family of his own. Neither of them had the money but the ex-foe begged his wife for the money. The entire purpose of that scene, as I understand it, was to show the high character of Ip Man. I don't know if it's true but the story demonstrates the point that's going to be made here: If you hang around with people with high character, when you are in trouble, or if they get into trouble with you, they won't leave you hanging. This brings us to the subject of this piece.
it was a surprise for her grandmother when Mikia, 12, and a friend got into trouble for writing graffiti on the walls of a gym bathroom at Dutchtown Middle School in Henry County last year. Even more of a surprise was the penalty after her family disputed the role she was accused of playing in the vandalism and said it could not pay about $100 in restitution. While both students were suspended from school for a few days, Mikia had to face a school disciplinary hearing and, a few weeks later, a visit by a uniformed officer from the local Sheriff’s Department, who served her grandmother with papers accusing Mikia of a trespassing misdemeanor and, potentially, a felony.... Her friend, who is white, was let go after her parents paid restitution. [My underlines]While the article this quote is lifted from is focusing on the race angle, I'd like to focus on the company this girl kept. Much like the guy who's back was broken when he decided to roll with a set of bikers who assaulted a man in a Land Rover, this girl, and I assume her family, has learned a hard lesson in being mindful of the company she keeps. If these two girls were friends, then how come the other family didn't offer to help them? Of course the most logical answer here was that the other family was looking out for themselves and their kid. And honestly that's their only real obligation. But it goes to show, when the chips fall off the table, the greedy only think of themselves.
Friday, December 12, 2014
Since folks are concerned about Ferguson, Mo. Check the map provided by the NYT in relation it's article on men not working:
Monday, December 08, 2014
I recently rehashed a commentary I made about the staggering loss of life that black on black crime has on the overall population of African-Americans:
I looked at an article on a Boston high school in which the school in question had 1842 students. A 67 person murder rate, over ten years would see 1/3 of the school population disappear. That doesn't include the shooters. If we add the shooters, then over ten years 1340 persons no longer in the population due to being dead or being put in jail for the crime. That would be close to an entire school population gone every 10 years (of course many, if not most murders go unsolved and so the number of shooters do not match the number shot. Also as with other crimes, one person may have killed multiple people. Therefore the math would be off by quite a bit but is still alarming considering that even unfound killers are a drain on the communities they live in). Multiply that by all the mostly black communities spread out across the United States. Every 10 years black folks in America eliminate one school's worth of people in each of their communities.Now check this article and the associated picture:
Members of Mount Beulah Missionary Baptist Church placed nearly 140 crosses on the church lawn to honor those killed in the St. Louis area throughout 2014.Now I cannot say for certain that all of those victims are black. Usually the statistics on homicides are between 80 and 90 percent black victims.
Of the 567 homicides from 2008 to 2011, for which the race of the victim is available in the SLMPD annual reports, 502 are listed as black, while 64 were white. Over that period, 89% of those killed in the city were black. In a city that's very nearly 50/50 black/white, those 64 homicides would give an annual murder rate of ~10/100,000 for white residents and ~78/100,000 black residents.There were 140 crosses laid out. 80% of 140 is 112. If you have a class of 30 students, then that would be 4 classrooms of black students gone this year. Four. Entire. Classrooms. Poof. Gone. Would we think it acceptable if someone rolled up into a school and killed an entire classroom of kids? Would we think it acceptable if someone rolled up into a school and took out 4 classrooms of kids? But that is exactly what this murder rate is like. Who's marching over that? Or do you think the police are responsible for all that?
Friday, December 05, 2014
Ramsey Orta said the following in an interview with the NY Daily News
“When I went to the grand jury to speak on my behalf, nobody in the grand jury was even paying attention to what I had to say,” Orta said. “People were on their phones, people were talking. I feel like they didn’t give (Garner) a fair grand jury. “People was on their phones, people were having side conversations, like it was just a regular day to them,” he said of the jurors.I just had jury duty. You cannot enter the courthouse with your cell phone. It is taken from you after you go through the metal detectors. You are given a number that corresponds with the spot your phone is in. Now I'll be totally honest and say that I saw one person with his cell phone while I was waiting to be called in. On the last jury trial I was on, a court officer came into the room where we gathered and had us give him our phones for the day. So unless someone who was ON the grand jury comes out and verifies this claim, I'm calling this guy a liar. Now let me go onto the other part of his story:
One of them “wasn’t even asking no questions about the police officer, he was asking all the questions toward Eric,” Orta said. “What was Eric doing there? Why was Eric there? “Nothing pertaining to the cop choking him,” he said.Here's the thing. This line of questioning implies that the juror was thinking about the reason for contact with Garner. The thinking here would be that since Garner was selling "loosies" and had been arrested for doing that before, that the officer was justified in his contact with Garner. I share Orta's feeling that such a concentration on what Garner was doing was problematic. No one is disputing that the officers had a legal authority to arrest Garner, though I, as well as many others have issues with this idea of arresting someone over selling a loose cigarette (not to minors). The issue was and is not whether the officers had the authority to arrest Garner, the actions in question was HOW that arrest was effected. The chokehold and the subsequent chest compressions that directly lead to Garner's death. In that sense Orta really shouldn't have even been brought in for questioning because he provided evidence (the video) and only needed to verify that he took it.
Thursday, December 04, 2014
Once again a liberal has trotted out ye olde horse named "No Agency" (can we get Di Blasio to ban it?)
The data suggests that, in the nation as a whole, that isn’t so. Racial profiling is real. Disparate treatment of black and brown men by police officers is real. Grotesquely disproportionate numbers of killings of black men by the police are real.Well yeah. However disproportionate does not equal racist. I know, I know, disparate impact is one of the books of the liberal bible. If black folks suffer from something it's racist. If they excel at something (track, basketball, etc.) then it's because we are the bomb.com. Kinda like those businesses that like to privatize profits and socialize losses. Maybe, just maybe an partial, actually predominant, reason for those dead black men via suicide by cop is because black men, unfortunately, disproportionately engage in criminal behavior that involves a weapon. That behavior often being shooting at another black man, or two or three. Tis true.
No one denies that police officers have hard jobs, but they volunteer to enter that line of work. There is no draft. So these disparities cannot go unaddressed and uncorrected. To be held in high esteem you must also be held to a higher standard.Absolutely. With much power comes much responsibility. But again, the DATA says that the large portion of the "disparity" is due to the disproportionate amount of crime black folks do relative to their population. Ask Newark mayor Ras Baraka if you doubt me. But how about that citizens also owe themselves and the police a level of comity. How about black folks recognize that [unfortunately] the reason for police running around our communities in the first place is because perhaps we are fucking up when it comes to raising our sons? Not all of our sons. Not even most of our sons. But a large enough portion of them. How about holding ourselves up to that "high" standard?
And no one denies that high-crime neighborhoods disproportionately overlap with minority neighborhoods. But the intersections don’t stop there. Concentrated poverty plays a consequential role.Say Mr. Blow, how much crime are there in poor white communities? How much crime are there in poor Asian communities? Or how about we look at the recent report out of California where it seems that race and not poverty is the major distinction in homicide rates.
So does the school-to-prison pipeline. So do the scars of historical oppression. In fact, these and other factors intersect to such a degree that trying to separate any one — most often, the racial one — from the rest is bound to render a flimsy argument based on the fallacy of discrete factors. Yet people continue to make such arguments, which can usually be distilled to some variation of this: Black dysfunction is mostly or even solely the result of black pathology. This argument is racist at its core because it rests too heavily on choice and too lightly on context. If you scratch it, what oozes out reeks of race-informed cultural decay or even genetic deficiency and predisposition, as if America is not the progenitor — the great-grandmother — of African-American violence.Funny thing about that school to prison pipeline. Way back when I was on Twitter a scholar asked his audience to provide him any documentation about a school to prison pipeline. Last I heard he couldn't find documentation of such a pipeline. And to be clear he meant that idea that schools "expect" a certain number of their students to be criminals and therefore treat them accordingly. But if you want to talk about a pipeline then please be bright about it and recognize it's not a school to prison but womb to prison pipeline. It begins by exposing your young children to violent and sexist (misogynist and misandrist) music. It's putting them in front of TV for hours on end rather than, you know, parenting. It's having a trailer load of men in and out of your house, in front of your kids, each one of which eventually is called a "no good nigga" in front of that very impressionable child. It is not reading to your children and not encouraging them to read. it is teaching them to speak so called "ebonics" rather than the proper pronounciation of words because you don't want them to "sound white". It is teaching them to disregard authority figures so that when they do get to school they don't respect the teachers and other elders so they get into trouble. it is thinking that those rules of conduct are "racist" and don't apply to your children. It is all these things and more. But it's rarely the school's fault. The school didn't make you have a child you couldn't afford to have. School didn't make you a piss poor parent (I mean attitude not money). You did that. And the school has to put up with the messed up kids YOU sent there. And of course we have The Horse(tm)
Yet people continue to make such arguments, which can usually be distilled to some variation of this: Black dysfunction is mostly or even solely the result of black pathology.Because black dysfunction, where it exists is "mostly" the result of something or someone other than the folks exhibiting said dysfunction. I bet Blow believes trannies are sane as well. If a person or group of people's behavior are not predominantly caused by their own choices then those persons are effectively agent-less (is that a word?). Blow has asserted that black dysfunction, where it exists cannot be mostly the result of pathological thinking or even culture. His argument is that they are the fault, mostly, or white folks
as if America is not the progenitor — the great-grandmother — of African-American violence.Because America! Meaning white folks. Always with the white folks with these folks.
Today, too many people are gun-shy about using the word racism, lest they themselves be called race-baiters.I agree and lets add to that that too many [black] people are willing to own up to ugly truths about ourselves lest we "give credence" to the "racists". So we'll act like Polar Bear hunting isn't a hate crime (for the record I don't like or agree with the concept of hate crimes). We'll act like the Bosnian killed by a hammer wielding black guy wasn't a hate crime. We'll act like the knockout game that has been going on for years, isn't a hate crime. And we (not including me) won't admit that Michael Brown was a two bit thug who robbed a store, assaulted it's owner. Laughed about it to his boy DOrian, punched a cop in his face when that cop tried to stop him as a suspect in that robbery, went for his gun, got shot in the hand and then got dead because of his behavior. No Mr. Blow doesn't want real deal, fact based conversation. He'd be out of a job 'cause he wouldn't be able to trot out that "No Agency" horse. Oh and by the way...
New York isn’t about making a martyr of “Big Mike” or “Big E” as much as it is about making the most of a moment, counternarratives notwithstanding.Liar. Cause in August Blow said Mike Brown was a stand in for black men. There he wrote:
Brown had just finished high school and was to start college this week. The investigation will hopefully clarify what led to his killing. But it is clear even now that his killing occurred in a context, one that we would do well to recognize.Before he even KNEW anything about the facts of the case. Now he wants to distract us from his utter failure in August to see. Here he is doing the "gentle giant" thing:
The response to the killing of the unarmed teenager Michael Brown — whom his family called the “gentle giant” — by the Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson — who was described by his police chief as “a gentle, quiet man” and “a gentleman” — has been anything but genteel.Here is Blow on the Funeral:
And when the person being shot is shot not by one of the bad guys (people all parents teach children to avoid as best they can) but by one of the people we as a society count as one of the good guys (police officers sworn to protect and serve) there are obviously going to be questions that need answering.Of course Brown WAS the "bad guy". And did blow bother with fielding the "questions that need answering"? Nope. He has not spent a single piece in discussing the facts of the case that are available to all to read and see for themselves. This is a guy I'm supposed to take seriously on his proclamations about racism and black pathology? No thank you.
In NY State criminally negligent homicide is defined as: N.Y. PEN. LAW § 125.10 : NY Code - Section 125.10: Criminally negligent homicide
A person is guilty of criminally negligent homicide when, with criminal negligence, he causes the death of another person. Criminally negligent homicide is a class E felony.What is negligence under NY State law?
4. "Criminal negligence." A person acts with criminal negligence with respect to a result or to a circumstance described by a statute defining an offense when he fails to perceive a substantial and unjustifiable risk that such result will occur or that such circumstance exists. The risk must be of such nature and degree that the failure to perceive it constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would observe in the situation. [My underlines]Given that NYPD agents (police) are under instructions that the use of chokeholds is banned and that officer Pantaleo knew of such a ban and decided to employ such a chokehold anyway. As we see above "criminal negligence" includes a failure to perceive risk (death or other physical ailments) and it is clear that Pantaleo "deviated" from standard of care that a reasonable person (all NYPD officers who have received notice about chokeholds) would observe. That's one point. The second point is that the medical examiner said that Garner died due in part to compression of his chest. So after employing a banned chokehold, they then sat on him. However, once Garner declared that he could not breath, the officers continued to restrict air to Garner by pressing his face to the ground. What jury instruction did the grand jury receive under which they didn't find probable cause for criminally negligent homicide?
The NY Times has a piece up on the possible reasons for the grand jury to have decided to not indict Daniel Pantaleo on any charges.
Mr. Garner pulls his hands away, again raising the question of resistance. The difference in size between the officers and Mr. Garner is apparent. Whether Officer Pantaleo felt his life was threatened could also be an issue in whether he acted criminally. If the grand jury viewed Officer Pantaleo’s actions as self-defense, then there would be no crime, said Eugene O'Donnell, a former police officer and professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.The NY Times is using stills to make it's case. This is misleading. When we see the full video of Garner we see that though he did indeed pull his arm back from the arresting officer, he did not, I repeat did not make any moves whatsoever to assault any of the officers. Once he pulled his arm away he immediately put them back up in front of him with his palms facing forward. He did not grab at any of the officers. He did not ball up his fists. He did not attempt to flee the scene. Garner's actions were threatening to none of the officers. Therefore none of them can claim that they were in fear of their lives or even bodily harm. Even if they did, since the video does not support such a claim. Continuing:
Officer Pantaleo reaches around Mr. Garner’s neck. He holds Mr. Garner in what William J. Bratton, the police commissioner, said appeared to be a chokehold. The New York City Police Department has banned the use of this particular hold, but the grand jury would only consider this to the extent that it indicated whether the officer was intentionally trying to kill Mr. Garner, acting “recklessly,” or in a “criminally negligent” manner, the legal definitions of various levels of murder and manslaughter. [My underlines]This goes back to my discussion of intent. It is nigh impossible to convict a police officer on a charge that requires intent simply due to the definitive nature of the occupation. So we put the "intentionally" aside. That leaves us with "reckless" and "criminally negligent manner". If the use of a chokehold is banned by the NYPD and this officer used the banned technique then he was acting recklessly. The very fact that there is a ban on the use of chokeholds by the NYPD (probably for the very reason we have this case) is enough probable cause against the officer. He may still be acquitted in the due course of a trial, but there is enough probable cause to charge him with reckless behavior at the very least. What it comes down to is WHAT the prosecutor asked the grand jury to consider. While the deliberations of the grand jury is secret for understandable reasons I think it is within reason for the public to know what charges they had to consider.
Wednesday, December 03, 2014
This sounds like a discussion I had with the father of Corey Stingley who asserted that store thefts by African-American males is a common thing as to not warrant much commentary. First I'll just say Bouie is an idiot for making that assertion. Because by saying that he is saying that all black people, have at some point in their lives robbed stores. How else could his classroom be a proverbial ghost town? The second thing is, how bad does Bouie make black folks look to make such a claim in public? Really sir? You believe that just about all black teenagers engage in robbery? With black spokepersons like that I don't need racist white people (liberal or conservative) around. Lastly while it's not robbery, I have pointed out in a few posts that the rate of murder in various black communities (I was focusing on Camden) as population control:
@chrislhayes Like I’ve said before, if every teenager who robbed a store were killed, I would have attended a ghost town for high school.
— Jamelle Bouie (@jbouie) December 1, 2014
I looked at an article on a Boston high school in which the school in question had 1842 students. A 67 person murder rate, over ten years would see 1/3 of the school population disappear. That doesn't include the shooters. If we add the shooters, then over ten years 1340 persons no longer in the population due to being dead or being put in jail for the crime. That would be close to an entire school population gone every 10 years (of course many, if not most murders go unsolved and so the number of shooters do not match the number shot. Also as with other crimes, one person may have killed multiple people. Therefore the math would be off by quite a bit but is still alarming considering that even unfound killers are a drain on the communities they live in). Multiply that by all the mostly black communities spread out across the United States. Every 10 years black folks in America eliminate one school's worth of people in each of their communities.Now that IS alarming no?
To those of us who pay attention to the facts, we know that the proper comparison here is not to Mike Brown but to Sean Bell. When the Sean Bell was killed and his buddy Guzman shot up, I watched that trial closely and learned a few things that I discussed in a post after that verdict came down:
If you read all the counts you'll note that there is NO second degree manslaughter charge against Isnora or Oliver for shooting at Guzman. This is significant because first degree manslaughter charges requires the proof of intent. I said back in march of 2007 that intent would not be provable. Second degree manslaughter requires no intent. Once it was shown in court, by both Isnora and Oliver that the target of their weapons fire was Guzman, it didn't matter what happened to Bell (case wise) Bell becomes collateral damage from the assault on Guzman. So the question that needs to be asked is why was there no second degree manslaughter (or attempted manslaughter if such a charge exists) leveled at Isnora and Oliver? If the prosecutor did not ask for such an indictment, was he or his office acting in concert with the police department to assure that the officers would be acquitted?This is significant. We do not know what charges the grand jury in this case were given, thus we cannot cast aspersions on those jury members because they cannot indict someone on charges that they were not told to consider. What is most problematic with this is that Eric Garner, who was admittedly resisting arrest, did not pose any threat to any of the 3-4 police officers who were surrounding him. Garner did not assault any of the officers. He had no weapons. He was not a suspect of a felony. He was not a suspect of a just committed crime. He was not a fugitive from justice. He had his hands in full view with palms facing the officers. There is no debate as to whether Eric Garner posed a threat to anyone at any time. Therefore it is without dispute that it was the police officer(s) that were responsible for escalating what appears to be a civil offense (a ticket or desk appearance). Secondly, while it is not illegal for a police officer to use a choke hold, it is in fact banned by the NYPD. The officers on the scene knew this. It is clear to anyone watching the video that a choke hold was applied to him. This is beyond dispute. It is beyond dispute that the officer using that hold used that pressure on his neck to take him to the ground, severely limiting his ability to breath and possibly causing damage to his trachea. For a person who suffers asthma, that is deadly. Thirdly we hear Garner say clearly that he could not breath. Yet the officer kept applying pressure to Garner's head in total disregard for his distress. These actions were clearly negligent. There is no doubt about that. If the DA did not ask the Grand Jury to consider any charge that included negligence then we have yet another piece of evidence of systemic failure to hold the police responsible for their actions. If the grand jury was instructed to consider any charge that included negligence (or non-intent) and they failed to indict (which is not the same as finding someone guilty) then the jury made a grievous error. I understand that there is a request to have some of the evidence presented to the public. I would be interested to see what they considered and what exactly they heard or saw, aside from the self serving testimony of the police officer, that would make them decline to indict on any charge that did not require intent.
Friday, November 28, 2014
So unlike most of those out protesting with the discredited "hands up don't shoot" signs, I've been reading the transcripts of the witness testimony. As I read Dorian Johnson's portion I was struck by how he, and Brown, were examples of our, the grown adults of our communities, failure to socialize our children. Says Dorian:
So we are walking down the street...and traffic started going, but no one blew their horns, no one made irregular turns to get around us like we were in the way and no one yelled out their windows, you guys are in the way, get out of the street, anything like that.What Dorian is saying is that the adults in the community never set an expectation of behavior and therefore never enforced such behavior. And because the adults never made him observe what we call common courtesy and civilized behavior, Dorian later took offense to a police officer doing exactly what the adults in his community should have done: told him to "get the fuck out the street". It is our failures to teach these "little things" that add up that causes problems. I've passed a lot of people in the middle of the street, crossing the street and wide diagonal angles that puts them in the street far longer than necessary. Folks who will take their own sweet time and look at me like they dare me to hit 'em. Nobody says anything. Why? Mr. Brown demonstrated why. Believe me, the people who aren't annoyed by this behavior and attitude are far and few between.
Thursday, November 27, 2014
Tell me about it. A few gems:
One woman, who said she was smoking a cigarette with a friend nearby, claimed she saw a second police officer in the passenger seat of Wilson's vehicle. When quizzed by a prosecutor, she elaborated: The officer was white, "middle age or young" and in uniform. She said she was positive there was a second officer — even though there was not.I see police. Everywhere.
Another woman testified that she saw Brown leaning through the officer's window "from his navel up," with his hand moving up and down, as if he were punching the officer. But when the same witness returned to testify again on another day, she said she suffers from mental disorder, has racist views and that she has trouble distinguishing the truth from things she had read online.So was it that her 'racist views" that made her see Brown hitting Wilson or...?
Another witness had told the FBI that Wilson shot Brown in the back and then "stood over him and finished him off." But in his grand jury testimony, this witness acknowledged that he had not seen that part of the shooting, and that what he told the FBI was "based on me being where I'm from, and that can be the only assumption that I have."This is what I saw....while not looking.
Another man, describing himself as a friend of Brown's, told a federal investigator that he heard the first gunshot, looked out his window and saw an officer with a gun drawn and Brown "on his knees with his hands in the air." He added: "I seen him shoot him in the head." But when later pressed by the investigator, the friend said he had not seen the actual shooting because he was walking down the stairs at the time and instead had heard details from someone in the apartment complex.Sir. I can see through walls.
"I ain't feeling comfortable," he said.My nose! My NOSE!!
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
There is a legal term called Malicious Prosecution:
While the two claims are similar, malicious prosecution and abuse of process claims have some essential differences. A plaintiff can sue for abuse of process when a defendant starts a legal process with the intention to obtain results for which the process was not designed. A plaintiff can sue for malicious prosecution when a defendant “maliciously” prosecutes a criminal case or uses a civil proceeding against the plaintiff when the defendant knows he or she doesn’t have a case. In addition, the plaintiff must have already obtained a “favorable termination” of the defendant’s malicious case before he or she can sue for malicious prosecution.Anyone familiar with this legal concept understands why the DA spent so much time with a grand jury and why the DOJ will be unable to do anything to Wilson other than make a lot of noise for public consumption
Essential Elements of Malicious ProsecutionAs we can see what Crump and others have been asking the DA to do is to engage in malicious prosecution. Also by calling on the feds, they are trying to get that entity to engage in malicious prosecution.
A successful malicious prosecution claim requires all of the following:
beginning or continuing a criminal or civil legal proceeding
without reasonable grounds to believe the allegations of the proceeding with a purpose other than simply getting a judgment in the proceeding, and that
the proceeding has terminated in the favor of the person being prosecuted or sued (i.e. the future plaintiff in the malicious prosecution suit must first win the suit against him or her).
Even if the people bringing the criminal or civil proceeding think they have a winning case and are suing for a legitimate reason when they begin the case, they can be guilty of malicious prosecution if they discover a reason they cannot win during the case, but continue the case for improper motives anyway. [ My underlines]What Benjamin Crump and others have been calling for is for the DA to try a case "just because" rather than by following the law. Had the DA done so, the city could have been sued for abuse of process. And example of a city being sued for malicious prosecution
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Matt Walsh over at The Blaze tells that hard truth:
This decision is not what you wanted, I realize, but that’s only because you never wanted justice at all. You wanted a certain outcome, and you have demanded that outcome from the very beginning, before listening to the other side, before looking at the evidence, before hearing from all of the witnesses, before giving the dust a chance to settle. You came to a conclusion based on rumor and conjecture, and you have not strayed from that conclusion or adjusted it or even acknowledged that any other conclusions are possible. This, my fellow citizens, is not the behavior of people who want justice and fairness. This is the behavior of a lynch mob. This is the behavior of tyrants who are perfectly willing to send an innocent man to jail if it means winning some kind of bizarre ideological victory. This is behavior that ought to be exposed and shamed, in no uncertain terms.I'd end up quoting the entire piece. There is no escaping this logic.
One of the two most credible witnesses I've read thus far. Had this gone to a trial, this witness along with witness 11 would likely have sunk the prosecutions case. While I disagree with this witnesses assertion as to what was "necessary". I applaud and deeply respect his stated motives for coming forward and telling his story.
..and so after uh, weighing ourselves, and I'm not coming forward, what I'm coming forward now now because it's weighing on me. You know, but uh, the reason I hadn't, I hesitated is because one I live in the area, two if the things that was said by other people who, which is not really what happened and I was a eye witness to it...by living out there if you go against what they are saying, I think they might nut up. Uh, go crazy...Allow me to stop here for a minute. This guy has stated unequivocally that what was being said in August by "other people" was wrong. I repeatedly pointed out various outlets and characters who were repeating information that was wrong. These outlets and "reporters' ought to be named and shamed and put out of work. Secondly, it is a sad commentary that our so called "black leadership" helped to create and/or foster an environment where truth tellers had to hesitate before telling their truths. That is completely unacceptable.
If I see it at any time that this is gonna cause or bring....or bring any drama towards us or...., it's ended. Okay? I'm sorry. It's ended. Okay. .... So, uh after talking to.....cause....was adamant for me not to say anything. not going to say anything but is really scared. Um, I talked it over with another fan....the other family members and let 'em know that it was weighing on me and uh I decided after seeing and hearing certain civil lead...civic leaders say certain things that I know, they were true but not quite accurate. And I want to set it straight, because the family needs to know what actually happened.... Okay, on the day of the incident I always sit, I stay on the floor, my bedroom window. I can look straight down Canfield towards west Florissant. And I was at that time, I was looking out the window and I happen to see two young men coming down the street, but they were in the middle of the street and I was like what the heck are they doing? Why are they in the middle of the street? I didn't really think much of it because a lot of people walk out in the street. I've walked it, but a closer to the curb, but I have walked in the street. A lot of us do that. And then I saw the police truck and he passed him a few feet and then he backed up. When he backed up I knew something was about to happen, so I got up and went to the door and I came out and stood on the porch. By the time I got there they were tussling, in the car, it looks like, I don't know if the officer had grabbed him or the boy reached into the car. I didn't see that part. But, I dispute the fact that the officer was out of that truck. He was not. They were wrestling in the truck, 'cause when he was wrestling with him I saw something fly. I don't know it if was a hat or something, then I heard a shot. "Pow." The boy backed up and ran and I'll show you in a diagram. And he got to a certain spot which was maybe 25 30 feet maybe more. You can measure it, I'll show you. And when he turned to face the officer he raised his hands but he didn't raise them all the way up. He raised them up and looked and you could see that something was on his hands and he looked down like he was looking at his side and he looked at, and then he turned and faced the officer like what happens why ya know. I gonna, I don't know what was going through his mind but if I had a guy shot I would have came at like why did you shoot me or ya know whatever. The officer exited the vehicle came around back he's about, at the, well I can't say he was on the passenger side but he wasn't quite at the end of the truck-.... The officer the boy was still standing on the, on the, on the partially on the parking lot and on the grass. 'Cause he had ran that way. The officer came out came around got into his stance. And he said "stop."I'm gonna pause here for a minute. Right here we have felony assault on a peace officer. Then we have what can be reasonably thought to be attempted murder of a police officer and on top of that failure to obey police commands to stop moving.
Because the boy looked up at him and he took two steps, about two or three steps. Pow, pow he fired off about three rounds and he hit him the boy kinda wiggled. And when he came back up he had the weirdest look on his face and he started coming forward. Not in a, like he was trying' to attack him, it's like he's coming to him like to plea with him stop. The officer did say, "stop, stop, stop." Well after the third time, he let loose. And the boy was coming forward slowly. Real slowly. But you could see that he was hurt, 'cause he was like this. And rocking back and forth. He wasn't in a upright position he was kinda hunched over. And as he was coming forward and he fired off the volley he was falling. He didn't fall to his knees, he fell straight down. And as he was going, he kept firing. He kept firing. Until he hit the ground. Okay.Now this witness is a witness meaning he really cannot speak to whether the Officer viewed Brown as threatening. What is significant here is that he says that Brown was ordered to stop 4 times and ignored those commands. What person in their right mind looks at a cop with a firearm pointed at them, telling them to stop and still moves towards the cop? Was Brown suicidal? I'm going to skip a bit of the statement.
..And after that it was everyone started coming from the back, saying "oh my God. He had his hands in the air, tellin' him don't shoot, don't shoot, don't shoot." He never uttered a word [ my underlines]This credible witness to the entire event has demolished the "don't shoot" narrative.
,because after hit that that that second boll...first vole, he could. it was like he couldn't talk. He was like, cause he couldn't believe what was happening. You know. And he was kinda and I'm going to say it again. He was walking forward. But not in a menacing way [note: Once told by a police officer to stop, any walking movement in any direction is seen as a threat], he was coming to him as if to....help me, stop or something. It awe, after he said the last time the officer said stop, he just let loose. To me he was already injured. If he had not fired that last volley, I think the boy might have survived. "cause it looked like he hit him here, okay. But as he was going down, I don't know where the bullets hit him. You know, all I saw was his body going down and the guy, and he was steady firing. Okay he st...he never came out of his stance. You know and I know you, do both of you know what I am talking about? Okay, and like I said when that happen that's when everyone come back and all of them start saying things like oh he was on his knees, and when they shot him he shot him on his knees. Uh, then they came by and and they said oh he was laying down and the officer came and shot him in his head. No, he may have, if he does have a head shot it was because he was coming down [Note: I already diagrammed exactly how that head shot would have happened. This witness who saw the events supports that supposition]. That's the only way I could see it. Okay, I've fired weapons, I've been training myself, I've gone to gun ranges and everything else. As he was coming down that the only way I could see that...if he was hit in the head, it was as he was falling. He did not intentionally shoot him, walk up and shoot him in the head but he did not have to fire that last volley [note: in his opinion but he wasn't the peace officer so his opinion doesn't mean anything.]. That's what killed him, to me. Because he didn't look like he was ready. You know. He was, to me and I'm going to say it, he was executed. He had made up his mind he was going to kill him. Because he was a big guy but that big guy was on his way down after that first volley. He wasn't getting ready to go down. And then when he started shooting again he was really coming down. And that's all I have to say about that. [ My underlines]This is where I diverge from the witness. The peace officer doesn't have the luxury of being on the porch watching it all go down and then like quicksilver from X-Men, jump up and move shit around. By the witnesses own words, Brown was told to stop four times. That he was still moving after the first volley rather than, you know, stopped, he brought that second set on himself. Also, by the autopsy, we know that the other shots hit him in the arm. That may have hurt but that was not going to bring him "down".
And I'm going to re-iterate, when he fired that last volley which he did not have to do [note: in his opinion], that boy was gonna go down [note: he knows this how?] And he might have lived because if they could have got the EMT's to him they, right then he may have lived. [note: by the autopsy that is a correct statement since brown only sustained other shots to the arm]...He had no intention of letting him come, move [note: which is how police operate]. None. Maybe he got caught up in the heat of the moment or whatever was his intention I cannot read that officer's mind, but he did not have to fire that last volley [note: because though he cannot read the officer's mind, he can read the officer's mind as to know that the officer didn't think it was necessary.]
He told me that he needed to talk to me with you all and to state what I seen and told him I was scared because I've been gettin' a lot of calls that's threatening me and only thing, I don't even know these people. I don't stay, I used to live in Ferguson, I have a cousin live in Ferguson I go over and see him in them apartments[emphasis and underlines added]Wait till I post up Witness 14....
As the witness testimony rolls in, the the eternal shame of many so called "respectable" news media, all of whom should be sitting down their so called reporters and explaining how unemployment benefits work, we find Witness number 10:
I seen Mr. Brown in the window of the police car looked...it appeared as they were wrestling through the window and one gunshot had let off. And, Mr. Brown took off running and my first thought was like "oh my gosh" did I actually just witness a police officer being murdered because it took a while for the police officer to get out of the car and pursue the suspect. And I wanna say maybe six seconds, but it seemed like it was forever after the the the first gunshot. So, tyne police officer exited the vehicle with his weapon drawn pursuing Mr. Brown. Mr. Brown was quite a distance and he stopped and when he stopped he didn't get down on the ground or anything. He turned around and he did some type of movement. I never seen him put his hands up or anything. I can't recall the movement he did. I'm not sure if he pulled his pants up or-or whatever he did but I seen some type of movement and he started charging towards the police officer. The police officer then returned fire. Well, not returned fire on Mr. Browm. Um, if I had to guess the shots and the-the distance between him and, a, Mr Brown, it would have to be five to ten yards and the shots that were fired was four, five to six shots fired and Mr. Brown was still standing up. Um, and my thoughts was while he's missing this guy this close, is he-is he hitting him or because Mr. Brown there was no reaction from him to show that he had been hit. Um, after that, Mr. Brown then paused. He-he-he stopped running and when he stopped running the police officer stopped firing. And, then Mr. Brown continued, started again to charge towards him and after that the police officer returned fire and um well not returned, I'm using the wrong...a started to fire once more at him. Um, if I had to guess the rounds that were fired then it would be four to five more shots and after that Mr. Brown collapsed and fell to the ground.
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Forget Ferguson. This right here is the real deal. Unlike Mr. Brown, this guy hadn't just tried to rob a store and assault the manager. Unlike Mr. Brown, this guy didn't grab up a police officer and grab up that officer's gun. No. This guy was taking the stairs in a building (something the author does all the time). The police are saying that this was an accident. This is unacceptable. Unless they can show that there was either a crime in progress or that the police had reason to believe an armed person had entered the stairway after or on the way to commit a crime, there is no reason for this officer to have had his gun drawn and chambered. Currently there is talk about how he can be fired because he was on probation as a new cop. But this here looks very much like criminally negligent homicide. He was walking in a stairway where unarmed residents come and go. Again. Short recordings that a crime was occurring or that a suspect had fled into the stairwell, this guy should be seeing charges.
A panicked rookie cop in a pitch-black housing project stairwell killed an unarmed man with a single gunshot to the chest as the officer fumbled around in the darkness with a flashlight and a handgun. The fatal shooting, which officials described as a tragic accident, happened during a vertical patrol late Thursday — months after the superintendent of the Brooklyn development asked NYCHA to fix the stairwell lightsAnd note:
I shot him accidentally,” the devastated cop confessed to his colleagues. His partner Landau never pulled his weapon from its holster. Bratton and de Blasio agreed the shooting was a terrible mistake — although Liang had yet to tell his story to police.Never pulled his weapon. This means there were no suspects that they were looking for or a crime they were responding to. Otherwise Landau would have had his gun drawn covering their back.
Friday, November 21, 2014
He took to the university campus waving an infamous black-and-white flag - the emblem of the Islamic State (IS, formerly known as ISIS/ISIL). “ISIS is misunderstood. We just want our own state. Why does America keep bombing us? America and Western imperialism are to blame, not ISIS,” he was shouting in the video released by Fox news on Wednesday However, the students, who Horowitz says in his blog “clearly have a lot of intellect,” didn’t react at all. “A couple of thousand students walked by me and not saying anything negative. In fact, there were some positive responses. [It] really blew me away,” he said in an interview with RT. “Not a single person has a negative response. It was completely shocking.” There was no harsh condemnation of the group and no one mentioned the IS’ beheading of three US citizens. One passerby nodded towards Horowitz and said, “Good luck.”And then.
he returned with an Israeli flag, trying to show the ‘tolerance’ of Berkeley students. However, he received less-than-warm reception as the students started assailing him with hatred. “F*** Israel,” exclaimed one man, “You’re killing kids,” said another. “All of Israel are killers,” added a woman. “That flag you wave is the psychological genocide of this planet. This institution is part of the people who enslaved the whole planet,” one of passerby said in a tirade. In his RT interview, Horowitz said that one student told him that Israel is “the worst country in Europe,”I'm not at all surprised by this. There is this disease on the left in which being critical of imperialism means that one cannot also be critical of the actions of those either under imperialism. When it comes to black folks it is similar. One is free to discuss White Supremacy at length. One may not however discuss the dysfunctional habits of black folks because black folks under White Supremacy have no agency. Now to be fair, I don't have a foundational problem with ISIS wanting it's own state and engaging in revolution to get to that end. This is how countries and nations have been created and changed throughout history. I do object to the means by which ISIS deals with it's enemies and it's fundamentalism. Simply put one can condemn the settler state that is Israel AND the actions of ISIS. This is not hard people.
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
From the Daily News:
Students at Booker T. Washington High School in Norfolk and the NAACP slammed Amy Strickland ― a former teacher of the year ― for retweeting an offensive joke apparently mocking interracial couples, WAVY reported.So, so far a person re-tweeted a tweet without commentary. I don't see what the problem is.
The tweet featured a photo of high school couples posing for a prom photo: Each of the girls were white, and all of the guys were black. The photo’s caption read, “Every white girl’s father’s worst nightmare.”Which wasn't HER caption. It was the caption on the original photo. So again. I don't see what the problem is.
Students told the school’s principal about their find ― and planned the Monday walkout when the school failed to take action.So they found a retweet on her page with a caption they considered offensive and ran to the principal to get her in trouble. So in essence if you retweet a tweet of someone else without commentary YOU are now the author of the original tweet? Really?
“I could have been any one of the boys in the picture,” junior Michael LeMelle told the TV station Monday. “And I really don’t see myself … as anyone’s worst nightmare.”Ok. That's nice. See so what you do is retweet with a comment to that effect or AT the original tweeter and say "Nah". Problem solved.
On Tuesday, the school board said it was investigating. But the probe ― which was announced only after the student walkout ― should have launched days ago, activists said.What is there to investigate. A RT (retweet) without commentary is neither an endorsement or refutation of the original statement. It is merely passing it through your account to your followers (if private) or the public (if public). Anyone else is free to look at or further interact. I note the conspicuous absence of any mention of any commentary by the assistant principal.
While Dillard applauded the students for their peaceful protest, he urged the school to reprimand Strickland and take control of the schoolReprimand her for what? What exactly is there to reprimand her about? They don't like what she retweets? Hello, can we say "prior restraint of speech" (if that is a public school)? They will be lucky if it turns out that they are dealing with yet another white guilt having white person ready to fall down sobbing and apologizing. They will he VERY unlucky if this woman has any backbone and sues the pants and skirts off anyone who touches this case. She will win if she does
Friday, November 14, 2014
Two officers approached Mr. Gonzalez with their firearms pointed at him and told him to stop. He continued running, and the officers decided not to use lethal force because they did not believe he was armed.And
The officer put his finger on the trigger of his gun, pointed it at Mr. Gonzalez as he came up the stairs, and told him to stop. But, Mr. Gonzalez continued running and the officer did not shoot because he did not believe Mr. Gonzalez was armed. It was later discovered that Mr. Gonzalez had a knife.And
“After attempting twice to physically take Gonzalez down but failing to do so because of the size disparity between the two, the officer then attempted to draw her baton but accidentally grabbed her flashlight instead,” the report said. “The officer threw down her flashlight, drew her firearm, and continued to give Gonzalez commands that he ignored.”Ferguson: Unarmed man shot because he posed a threat to officer. White House: "Unarmed" man NOT shot because he posed a threat to the president. One of these scenarios is wrong. Question: Do any of these people actually have orders to shoot threats? Or do they just talk to them and hope they comply?
From Clergy reach out to wary high school students in wake of Brown shooting
How many of you had that thought it could have been me?” said the Rev. Robert White, a St. Louis pastor, to nearly 50 students in the library of East St. Louis High School Thursday.This is a heavily loaded question. If one is talking about a totally random event like a car running off the road into a sidewalk then INDEED it "could" have been you. However when an event is determined by the behavior of more than one party, the "coulda been me" argument starts to fall apart. On the one hand in the real of possibility, ANYTHING can happen. But when we analyze situations we often find that the probability falls or rises based on other items. The problem with a lot of common black thought is that race in and of itself mediates certain outcomes with police when they actually do not.
“Tell me,” he said to a girl at a front table. “Why are you saying that could have been you?” “Because I’m black,” Monecia Hudson, a junior, told him. “It really doesn’t make a difference what gender you are. Police — they don’t care who you are. If they feel you’re doing something wrong they’re going to do whatever they feel.”Let me stop off race and turn to gender. I usually upset certain women when I discuss the issue of women hitting men and men hitting those women back such as what happened recently on the F Train in NYC. A large number of women (and men) are quick to condemn those men who strike back and say that those persons who agree with that support violence against women. My only comment to such persons are as follows: Are you the type who would strike a man (or anyone else for that matter) for any reason other than self defense? If not then why are you supporting those persons who DO strike men (or other people) for reasons other than self-defense? Secondly do YOU engage in such behavior? if not then you have nearly zero chance of finding yourself in such a situation even IF you were involved with a man disposed to striking back. The result is universal: Silence. Similar logic works here. Brown is not dead because he is black. He is dead because he acted inappropriately to someone with a firearm who was ALSO a peace officer. Brown would be alive today and likely in jail or probation, if her had done the following: 1) Did not walk down the middle of the street obstructing traffic. 2) Did not attempt to take and use Wilson't firearm even IF Wilson had grabbed Brown up through the car window or "hit him with his car door". 3) Upon running and being fired upon, stopped with his hands WAY over his head, not only to his side as some witnesses stated, 4) Not moved towards to officer but stood still. With this in mind, the proper question that should have been asked of the students should have been: How many of you would assault a police officer? How many of you would run away from a police officer after assaulting him? How many of you would disregard an order to stop and continue to move towards an officer you just assaulted? Seen this way none of the hands should have gone up. And that is the real lesson of "could have been me". Civilization requires a certain level of responsibility and behaviors. The same way we expect, as we should, a certain level of behavior from police, we should also expect and require a certain level of behavior from citizens.
So while awaiting the grand jury decision the LA Times decided to post a "back story" on the events in Ferguson. Of course there were problems.
St. Louis County grand jury is expected to decide soon whether to indict a white police officer who fatally shot an unarmed 18-year-old black man on Aug. 9 in Ferguson, Mo., setting off protests and unrest. Here’s what we know about the deadly encounter involving Michael Brown and Officer Darren Wilson, and what’s likely to happen next.Well unlike August when he was a "teen" the unfurling narrative still presents the "unarmed" angle. Though anyone with sense knows full well that an "unarmed" person is not the same as a "non-threatening" person. And also never mind that Brown was already on tape assaulting the manager. See, this is what we call the Set Up. The implication here is that Brown is innocent (because he's black) and that Wilson is guilty because he is white and therefore racist.
Wilson has not spoken publicly about what happened, and no direct video of the shooting has surfaced.Because? Because Ferguson police do not use dash cams or body cams. In most police misconduct (and citizen misconduct) cases, the cameras are turned on after the initial contact. Someone getting stopped by a police officer doesn't cause a camera to be turned on but a cop hitting someone after the stop does. So absent the video (which the ghost thinks should be mandatory for all law enforcement personnel) We have witness statements and forensics. We already know through research that witness statements are not entirely reliable. So forensics gets a higher weighting than "I swore I saw so and so do such and such".
the confrontation began when Wilson, on patrol, spotted Brown and a friend, Dorian Johnson, walking in the street.Well actually the confrontation started when Wilson, who was called to respond to a report of a strong arm robbery at a convenience store came upon Brown and Johnson walking in the middle of the street obstructing traffic which included a now emergency vehicle. This part is important because "on patrol" implies that Wilson was simply driving around looking for someone to mess with. The actual case shows that Wilson was in a state of high alert trying to get to a scene of a crime. Entirely different mindset.
Wilson “observed the two individuals, he requested that they get out of the roadway. The deceased became belligerent towards Officer Wilson,” the report stated."Observed" is standard police speak. Of course he "observed". they were likely in his way as he was responding to the reported crime. "requested" is also police speak. It is likely that he yelled at them. He likely had his siren and/or lights on (though that was never mentioned and would actually be relevant). Of course Wilson would not be 'nice" as he is trying to get to a scene of a reported crime.
"As Officer Wilson attempted to exit out of his patrol vehicle the deceased pushed his door shut and began to struggle with Officer Wilson, during the struggle the Officer’s weapon was un-holstered. The weapon discharged during the struggle.Of course this leaves out pertinent information such as the fact that AFTER yelling at Brown and Johnson, Wilson continued on to the location of the reported crime. It was AFTER he heard the description of the suspect, and the description matched one of the persons he just yelled at, that he turned around to confront Brown Secondly, by pushing the door onto officer Wilson, Brown committed assault on a peace officer. You'd think that noting that would be relevant to the "back story". Secondly the fact is that the gun discharged twice in the vehicle and that witnesses say that Johnson took off running after the first shot. Which would imply that he could not have seen everything that transpired after that first shot.
Johnson says that when the incident began, Wilson used profanity to tell the young men to get out of the street, hit Brown with his car door while trying to open it, then grabbed Brown by the neck.So Wilson, sitting in his vehicle, after cussing at Brown, attempted to knock Brown down with his door. Then failing to exit his vehicle, reached out the window to grab up Brown? Do those events even sound right to you. If anything the order would have to have been "Grabbed first, opened door after". And even in that case why would a police officer entrap his arm in a car door window grabbing onto a suspect when he knows he has to lose contact when the door is fully opened? Reader: Try that at home. Get a buddy. Grab him by the neck out your car window and then open the door and see how that works out for you(Convertible owners exempted).
“They’re not wrestling so much as his arm went from his throat to now clenched on his shirt,” Johnson told MSNBC. “It’s like tug of war. He’s trying to pull him in. He’s pulling away, that’s when I heard, ‘I’m gonna shoot you.’”Lets take this at face value. If Wilson in fact did this, it would be an epic training fail on his part. What purpose does pulling Brown into the driver's side front seat serve for Wilson? Is he gonna shoot Wilson in the head while his head is in the driver's seat? Knock him out with his gun? "Then he heard 'I'm gonna shoot you." He heard who say that? A police officer who is being assaulted WILL say "stop or I'll shoot". Since Wilson was being assaulted it is highly likely that he said something to that effect. Therefore it still cannot be seen as evidence of malice for him to be heard saying "i'll shoot." because we know he's in a scuffle. Secondly, if Wilson was interacting with Brown after realizing that Brown fit the description, that would explain why his gun was unlatched or unholstered when Brown reached for it. Professionals do not unlatch their guns because they KNOW that a 'free" gun is an invitation for an opponent to become armed.
After the first shot wounded Brown, Johnson said, Brown ran and Wilson chased him. Wilson then shot Brown in the back, and Brown stopped, turned with his hands up, and said, “I don’t have a gun, stop shooting!” according to Johnson’s account to MSNBC.Of course the autopsies (there were 3 done)showed that Brown was not shot in the back. The LA Times should have noted right there and then that Johnson't statement in that regard was false. Secondly, even IF Brown said anything like "I don't have a gun" it does not follow that he is not a threat. He is still obliged to follow all police directions and it is HIGHLY unlikely that Wilson told Brown to walk towards him. Police tell you to lay down on the ground with your hands on your back.
As Wilson stood face-to-face with Brown, the officer shot him several more times, Johnson said.Of course johnson's testimony was contradicted by other witnesses.
No. Among the earliest details to provoke fury from residents and demonstrators were witnesses’ statements to the media that Brown had his hands raised in surrender when Wilson shot him.Well they may have thought that was what they saw. So far the leaked GJ evidence and the autopsy indicates that Brown's hands were at his sides, elbows near his hips which is a far cry from hands over his heads claims made by others and which I demonstrated could be indicative of someone attacking someone
One witness, Tiffany Mitchell, told MSNBC that Wilson shot at Brown as he was running away, and Brown’s body jerked as if he had been shot. Mitchell said Brown “turned around and put his hands up, and the officer continued to walk up on him and shoot him until he goes all the way down to the ground.” Another witness, Piaget Crenshaw, gave a similar account.With all due respect to Tiffany Mitchell, her testimony is contradicted by other accounts. But by all means LA Times, don't let these other witness accounts get in the way of your narrative.
The Washington Post sparked controversy last month when it reported that several black witnesses had provided testimony to the grand jury that largely supported Wilson’s account of events.Controversy. Why is that controversial? Now THAT would make for a good news story.
After the grand jury’s decision is released, McCulloch’s office has promised to release all evidence and testimony from the proceedings, which are conducted in secret. The prosecutor would have to seek a judge’s approval for such a move, however, and if there is an indictment, some of the information might remain confidential until trial.If they do release this information then I hope they take every precaution to make sure that the witnesses who spoke truthfully have their identities protected. The reason GJ activities are secret is to protect both the reputations of those under investigation but also to protect the witnesses from retribution.
Missouri law provides wide latitude for police to use deadly force, particularly if the officer believes it’s necessary to protect his or her safety or the safety of others. But that law might not shield Wilson. “If Michael Brown was trying to surrender at the time, that makes this defense not applicable,” Washington University law professor Peter Joy said. “So the question is: Was Michael Brown clearly trying to surrender at the time that the fatal gunshots were fired?”No, actually the standard is whether Wilson, the accused believed his life was still in danger, not whether someone thinks Brown was surrendering. I'm surprised a law professor misunderstands this point. If the witness statements that Wilson took steps back as Brown stepped towards him, then it goes to show Wilson's belief that he was in danger.
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
The government made sure to not call it a "penalty".
Taibbi noted that $7 billion of the settlement was tax deductible, meaning “American taxpayers coughed up $2.4 billion of this settlement for JP Morgan Chase. An ordinary person, when they suffer a criminal penalty, they cannot deduct that from their taxes… because the government very specifically did not call this a ‘penalty’ in the settlement … that allows the bank to deduct that money, which means all of us get to pay a big chunk of that fine for them. Which is incredible.”
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
So yesterday I saw the now infamous F train slap video. There are a number of things about this video that deserve commentary: 1) Street (or Subway) Harassment: It was only a few weeks ago that we were shown a video of a woman walking around NYC for 10 hours where she was "harassed" by random men. The worst thing that happened to her was that one dude walked beside her as if she was with him and a second one was quite persistent about getting the mute Shoshana to at least say "no thank you". This guy was apparently minding his own business on a subway while at least 3 young women berated him about his choice of clothing and who proceeded to physically assault him over it. Lets see how long it takes for the regular feminists to spend time discussing the "sense of entitlement" that these women had and how dangerous it can be for a man minding his own business on a train. 2) As I discussed in my lengthy piece about the facts of domestic violence, black women are the leaders of initiators of domestic violence (30%). I said then, as I'll say here, if we want to deal with domestic violence in black communities we have to deal with the women who initiate this violence. These women believe that they have a right to put their hands, feet or objects on men when they are upset and this is unacceptable. This video shows just how early this sense of entitlement to hit men starts. 3) Equal Treatment: There are people who believe in equality for women and then there are feminists. This video is an epic show of what equality looks like. See, there is this rule that men generally understand. The rule is simple: If you hit someone, expect to be hit back. Therefore it is in your best interest to not hit someone unless you know you can "take them". This general rule is why inter-male violence is generally low. Men regularly size each other up, particularly on the first meet in order to make a threat assessment. Is he fit? How large is he? How big are his arms? Does he have dominant or passive body language? etc. Women on the other hand given their relative weakness usually default to the "he's a physical danger" pose when confronted with most males. It's assumed he cannot be "taken out" in unarmed conflict. This became codified in cultural norms in that men do not hit women BECAUSE women are weaker. However along with this code is that women do not assault men. The only exceptions that have been allowed have been "emotional outbursts" where women were allowed to slap a man when he upsets her. This code, which is quite sexist, is based on the idea that women, like children, were and are incapable of controlling their emotions (prone to hysterics, a word based on their reproductive organs). What is happening of late is that many women want the equality without the corresponding responsibility. Equality means that you don't operate under the sexist assumption that women are incapable of controlling their emotions and therefore their arms and hands (or feet). Equality means that you don't hit men when you are upset. equality means if you do hit a man when you're upset, that you expect to be hit back. Any other expectation is one of privilege. Unearned privilege at that. And this is what we saw in the video. The female initiated the verbal confrontation. She elevated the situation by lashing out at any man that upset her. Then she struck out at man who had made no physical or verbal threats to her. It is clear to me that Mr. 8 Ball jacket is the victim here. He was not only assaulted by the female (verbally and physically) but other people assaulted him when he retaliated against his assailant. He was minding his business. He shouldn't be wanted for arrest, he should be wanted as a victim of a crime and as a witness against the people who assaulted him on that train. Of course there are going to be people reading this who think I'm advocating violence against women. This is the usual claptrap of those who seek to excuse and diminish the very real (and documented) violence committed by women against men (and other women). The fact is that the ONLY principled position here is that nobody, male or female is obligated to allow other people to assault them. They are within their rights to "dissuade" anyone who has already assaulted them from continuing to do so. I believe that men and women have equal rights to defend themselves. I believe that women are not children and are quite capable of controlling their bodies. It's high time the rest of society catches up with this.
Sunday, November 09, 2014
The Ghost is pro Single Payer. I've said a few times that the proper and constitutional way that the federal government to cover everyone, which is and was entirely possible, was to simply amend medicare/medicaid to all citizens and legal residents (illegal immigrants get proper and humane emergency treatment and then a one way ticket home). But no. Instead we got a 200+ page law that nobody read before voting on that was designed to provide customers to healthcare corporations with the federal government acting as enforcer and collection agency. Something that NEVER should have happened. So it turns out that since nobody read the law, they didn't notice that little piece of text that said:
“through an exchange established by the state.”Someone on This Week actually said that sentence didn't mean what it said. Seriously. I think the reason that fellow could even move his mouth to say such nonsense about the law, is because too many people on the left thik that laws mean whatever they think it means at the time rather than what it actually says. For example when the charges were brought against Zimmerman, I pointed out the problem with murder because it requires intent. There was ample evidence in the offering that provided reasonable doubt as far as intent is concerned and therefore Zimmerman should have been charged with criminally negligent homicide with a focus on the totality of the event. People actually said that I must "be on Zimmerman's side" because to them, the fact that I understood the law and the concept of reasonable doubt, that somehow to be on Trayvon's side I had to disregard what the law says. You don't convict someone of a crime because you think "eh, it's close enough to X". Judges give explicit instructions as to what the law is and how a jury is to look at evidence. Why? Because the language of the law matters. Another example, a man was tried for shooting up skirt videos in Mass. He was acquitted because the relevant law did not cover what that man did (the mechanics). So even thought the state wanted and perhaps meant that such behavior be deemed criminal, the law as written did not support such a contention. Judges are required to follow the law not what they think or wish the law to be. They cannot legislate from the bench (even thought not a few have been getting away with just that). Legislating comes from a legislative body. Not the executive or the judicial bodies. Which brings us back to the ACA. The language is very clear to those who understand the English language (something that is apparently becoming a problem....). Lets look at the sentence:
“through an exchange established by the state.”In this sentence "an exchange" is the object. "Established" is the action. That object is established by "the state". The state is the party that does the action (establishment) of "an exchange" that whatever is gone "though". Simple English. In the US the "state" or "states" always refers to one of the 50 states. When talking about the federal government, it is referred to as The Fed. Don't believe me? Look at the full text of the ACA Do a search for "state". It shows up 75 times in the document. Here's a relevant example:
Subtitle C—Medicaid SEC. 1201. FEDERAL FUNDING FOR STATES.And
AMOUNT OF INCREASE.—Notwithstanding subsection (b), the Federal medical assistance percentage for a State thatSee? Fed. State. Another:
f the number of percentage points by which— ‘‘(I) such Federal medical assistance percentage for the State, is less thanNow look at the actual paragraph that contains the quote in question:
In the event that allotments provided under sec- tion 2104 are insufficient to provide coverage to all chil- dren who are eligible to be targeted low-income children under the State child health plan under this title, a State shall establish procedures to ensure that such children are screened for eligibility for medical assistance under the State plan under title XIX or a waiver of that plan and, if found eligible, enrolled in such plan or a waiver. In the case of such children who, as a result of such screening, are determined to not be eligible for medical assistance under the State plan or a waiver under title XIX, the State shall establish procedures to ensure that the children are enrolled in a qualified health plan that has been certified by the Secretary under subparagraph (C) and is offered through an Exchange established by the State under sec- tion 1311 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. For purposes of eligibility for premium assistance for the purchase of a qualified health plan under section 36B of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and reduced cost- sharing under section 1402 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, children described in the preceding sentence shall be deemed to be ineligible for coverage under the State child health plan.See? No mention of the federal government. The only way this goes in favor of the administration is if a majority of the justices buy the [not]legal argument that the congress "meant" something other than what was written or if they wish to legislate from the bench. If they don't buy the "meant to" argument and decline to legislate from the bench, it should be a unanimous decision in favor of the plaintiff. Of course that would mean that either the law would have to be amended, and we know what kind of fight that would be; or the states would have to set up exchanges, particularly if there is a public outcry from those who lose coverage that technically they should have have gotten. Of course alllllll of this could have been avoided had Obama and his crew passed single payer while the Democrats had the majorities in both houses of Congress. But we know how that went. But now we'll hear them whine about Conservatives this and Republicans that when the total failure was theirs.