Saturday, February 28, 2015

CPAC 2015 Conservatives and Republicans are destroying the Nation because they Hate America

"Oh, the naive Obama State Department. They say we can't kill our way out of war. Really? Tell that to the Nazis. Oh wait, you can't. They're dead. We killed 'em" -Sarah I read all of 'em Palin.
Gather round while I sing you of Wernher Von Braun
A man whose allegience
Is ruled by expedience
Call him a Nazi, he won't even frown
'Ha Nazi-Schmazi,' says Wernher Von Braun - Tom Lehrer

It's always good to start of the Conservative Clown Car cavalcade of cowardly chickenhawks with a pig-ignorant Sarah Palin quote and link (warning The Blaze) to the right-wing buffoons who know nothing of history.

As we watch the Republican Congressional Circus fail to fund The Department of Homeland Security and Clowns at CPAC 2015 the big takeaways are the mounting evidence that Conservatives and Republicans are destroying the Nation they profese to love so dearly, in service to their Plutocratic Masters.

Because Conservatives don't love the real America they love Imaginary America. Their Imaginary America is even more of a mockery than Ronnie Raygun's Shining City on a Hill because it's a Plutocratic Neo-Feudalist Wage Slavery State in which trickle down economics works, conservative icons like Bullshit O'Lielly, Racist Limpballs and Sean Insannity are Icons of Veracity and dogmatic truth-tellers, where the Iraq War was a massive success, where skin color, gender, and sexual orientation are not used against people ever, where poverty is totally the fault of the child born into it, where everyone could be rich if you were just willing to work harder, and everyone can get healthcare coverage sans the Government.

It's a Total Fantasy. But, conservatives also demand everyone publically swear fealty to Imaginary America. And woe be unto anyone who does not for the 1% will sic their Conservative Media and Republican Attack dogs to destroy that person.

For the Plutocracy knows that with their Media and Government they can destroy any challenges to their hegemony, which is why they've spent the last 50 years buying them both up.

At CPAC, Wisconsin (a subsidiary of Koch Industries) Governor Scott Walker proclaimed Wisconsin Liberals and Union Employees are exactly the same as ISIS terrorists. Because to the Koch Brothers, Walker's owners, anything which threatens their total domination and creation of a Neo-Feudalist America is a threat.

The Rich destroyed Occupy Wall Street, they destroyed the Anti-Iraq War Protests, they've stolen Voting Rights away from thousands, they've bleed Unions, they've methodically enacted Right-to-Work for Less laws but, they won't be satisifed until every American is shackled into Corporate Bondage and ground down into penury and crushing poverty.

For the Plutocracy sees no Nation, they respect no Flag, or National Borders; what they see in the United States is a labor force which is too expensive.

And Conservatives are their New Pinkertons, the new strike breakers ready to beat liberals, shoot minorities, murder homosexuals, put unchaste women in their place and destroy America and replace it with Imaginary America.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Sleeping Truck Drivers and Fatal Accidents are another gift from Capitalism

A Semi-Truck accident from 2014 is back in the news and it highlights the problem of sleeping truck drivers but not the underlying cause.

Last January 27th in the Chicagoland area, a truck driver Renato Velasquez fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into a State Police Crusier and an IDOT assistance truck which had stopped on I-88 near Route 59 to aid a stranded motorist. The IDOT worker Vincent Petrella was killed and the State Trooper Douglas Balder was severely injured.

Velasquez' trial has begun and he is being charged with operating a commercial motor vehicle while fatigued or impaired and making a false report of his record and duty status.

Prosecutors stated Velasquez frequently, falsified his in-cab log books to indicate he was abiding by federal rules that require truck drivers to sleep for 10 consecutive hours after driving for 11 hours.

In Illinois, the only change to Highway Traffic Laws passed recently was State Senator Jim Oberweis speed limit increase, which he pushed through in order that his delivery truck drivers could go 70+mph to make him more money on his Dairy Empire. Safety of truck drivers and everyone else in Illinois be damned.

Truck Drivers are rountinely given timetables which require them to either: 1) Speed or 2) Eschew Sleep in order to get their loads on schedule.

A quick perusal will find dozens of news stories of sleeping truck drivers and several spectacular crashes caught on video. The underlying cause for all of them is the Capitalist System which has placed Profit over every other concern.

Do not fret though because the system is safe. After these accidents happen Capitalism will never be charged, will never be questioned, the individual truck driver will be punished for Capitalism's systemic flaws and disregard for the safety and well-being of those affected.

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Shocking Profligate Nature of Republican Congressman Aaron Schock (updated)

Dude? Do you even legislate, Brah?
Aaron here's a mini-tractor and a million dollar check 
for your house in thanks for your impartial House Votes!
Congressman Aaron Shock (R-Illinois 18th District), another of the young Republican Males seeking to exert their Dudebro ideas on the Nation is in trouble for yet another Ethics Violation and misuse of Taxpayer dollars.

First and Foremost, IOKIYAR. Now that's out of the way, Wonkette is rereporting,
Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., has repeatedly spent taxpayer and campaign funds to rent aircraft that are not certified charter services, despite House rules and federal law that generally prohibit the use of private aircraft for official and campaign use. 
House rules have some exemptions, such as an Ethics Committee waiver that allows a lawmaker to use a private plane. Neither Schock nor his representatives, however, replied to repeated e-mails and calls about whether he obtained permission for the flights.
This comes after revelations that Schock spent over a $100,000 U.S. Taxpayer dollars getting his D.C. Congressional Offices completely renevated in a DownTown Abbey motif and it was uncovered that Schock sold his home for a whopping $925,000 to former Caterpillar executive Ali Bahaj, also a Schock donor, during the Housing Crash and Republican Recession.

Schock's Congressional Homepage, proudly proclaims how he worked to weaken EPA regulations as payback for the money given to him Caterpillar. It also unironically states, it was discovered that a federal agency spent over $800,000 for a 2010 conference held in Las Vegas. This type of lavish spending is unacceptable and as a result, I supported legislation in both the 112th and 113th Congress that seeks to bring transparency to the process...

Lavish Spending is Unacceptable... for thee NOT for me, the personal Dudebro lifting mantra of the unethical and lawless Aaron Schock. The Party of Personal Responsibility Strikes Again.

Since I wrote this post there have been more revelations of the Party Dude lifestyle Congressman Aaron Schock has been leading. Including using Taxpayer Money for deep-tissue massages, Katy Perry Concerts, Super Bowl Tickets and tickets to the Country Music Awards. Must be Fabulous to be a young white Republican because you get to jet to Aspen for the weekend all the while being free to slash food aid to sick and poor while never having to worry about criminal prosecution because IOKIYAR.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Illinois has a Measles Epidemic but Governor Rauner only cares about giving Big Government Salaries to his Cronies

Another Measles case has been confirmed at the Palatine Kindercare. This is the 14th case in Illinois since the outbreak began less than a month ago.

But, don't worry Illinois, Governor Bruce Rauner is making sure Illinois Tax Payer Dollars are going to the Right People these days!

In between being "liberated" to impoverish Illinois Workers, Bruce Rauner has been steadily rewarding his Cronies and their families with lucrative, high paying Government Jobs;
  • Rauner gave 25 year old Emily Clamp a $70,000 job at the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency just days after declaring a State Employee Spending Freeze. Clamp just happens to be the sister of his Senior Campaign Political Advisor Sarah Clamp who helped with Rauner's campaign "Tactics" of attacking Governor Pat Quinn for Patronage hires.
  • Now, Rauner has hired through a no-bid contract process a Piss-Down-Your-Back and Tell-You-It's Raining Reaganomics Superstar Donna Arduin to help him with the Budget Process of screwing over the Working Class. Arduin will take in a cool $120,000 USC for her "work" of shifting the burden of the Illinois Budget onto the backs of the Working Class while helping the Land of Lincoln become a 1%er's Paradise.
  • Multiple members of Rauner's Staff have been given salaries far higher than those under Governor Quinn's Office. A longtime friend and business associate of Rauner's was installed with a salary twice that off his predecessor.
  • And to top it off, Rauner hired a $100,000-a-year Chief of Staff Sara Wojcicki Jimenez for his Wife Diana Rauner in her Official First Lady Duties of Nothing.
But, Illinois Conservatives you can rest comfortable that those people are going to have the minisule aid slashed by Pharaoh Rauner. So, just remember to thank your Pharaoh when your kid contracts Measles because you had to put your child into cheap daycare to work an extra job to make up for the money Rauner took from your paycheck to pay for his Wife's Chief of Staff.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Governor Bruce Rauner's continuing Quest to Impoverish Illinois, Crush Unions, Raise Taxes on the Poor, and Lower Taxes on the Rich

Well I've got a little somethin'
Guaranteed to ease your mind
It's called Snake Oil y'all
It's been around for a long, long time - Snake Oil, Copperhead Road Steve Earle (1988)
Illinois Governor Pharaoh Bruce Rauner was handed an Executive set-back last Friday the 13th when his hand-picked Comptroller Leslie Munger, based on advice from Attorney General Lisa Madigan's Office, ruled Pharaoh Rauner's Imperial Order on Union Dues was not legal.

So, Pharaoh Rauner, in his goal to Impoverish Illinois, simply ignored the ruling of Comptroller Munger and ordered State Agencies to withhold "Fair Share" fees from Unions in escrow accounts. The escrow accounts, in and of themselves are also illegal under Illinois Law but, who cares we've got an Plutocrat here who wants to screw workers and Unions over!

Rauner is constrained by the 1947 Taft-Hartley act which allowed for the creation of Right-to-Work For Less Laws but, specifically enumerated only in States or Territories. Bruce Rauner will never get Right-to-Work For Less passed in the Illinois Legislature so he's trying to set up a Supreme Court fight going by allowing local municipalities break their local Unions themselves.

Rauner is a despicable thief and Vandal Capitalist, therefore he will never be dissuaded from his Quest to crush the power of workers and impoverish regular Illinois citizens.

What's clear is Bruce Rauner wants to impose Austerity on Illinois and make Illinois "favorable" for Business. The details of Rauner's New Budget are still shrouded in secrecy but will be revealed in his Budget Speech on 02/18/15. He gave a closed-door preview to House Speaker Mike Madigan today.

Madigan didn't pull any punches on the so-called "tough medicine" Rauner is peddling,
"I said 10 days ago, I don’t think you can cut your way out of the problem. I think you need some additional revenue, and that’ll be my position tomorrow."
Rauner isn't peddling "tough medicine" but the typical Republican Brew; Snake Oil. 

It's indisputable Rauner's New Illinois Budget will include; Higher Taxes on the Poor, Lower Taxes on the Rich, Taxes on Pensions, new taxes on services, food and medications and dramatic reductions to Social Services for those most in need.

So... Get Ready for Republican Governance, Illinois. Get Ready for Economic Zones in which Corporations pay less than 1/100th of 1% in Taxes while your taxes go up.  Get Ready for Austerity. Get Ready for Pharaoh Rauner's Right-Wing Snake Oil.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Vicious Conservatives have broken the Social Contract in order to shred the Social Safety Net

The Guard Dogs of the Plutocracy, the Republican Party in the 114th Congress are tasked with destroying the Holy Grail of the Social Safety Net, Social Security. Thus, they immediately took up the task of swindling the 99% out of their earned benefits by setting disabled Americans against elderly Americans.

By the end of 2016, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, which benefit 11 million disabled Americans, will be facing a budget hole, so of course, the Republicans are using this opportunity and their Congressional control to change the way funds are transferred between Social Security to SSDI. The Republican changes demand any transfers to Disability funds must be accompanied by benefit cuts or tax increases.

Republicans have no problem using Legerdermain and chicanery to accomplish the goals of their Rich Masters. Vicious Conservatives are out to swindle Social Security in order to remove any hope of help for poor retired Americans or those unable to work due to injury and illness.
"Our preference has always been that the depletion of the DI trust fund become the impetus for comprehensive Social Security reform," Ed Lorenzen, senior advisor to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.
Vicious Conservatives, their Libertarian "intellectuals" and Republican Masters seek nothing less than the return of the Feudal System in which Corporate Monsters like Duke Energy, AmWay and Koch Industries are in charge of huge swaths of the Nation-State beholden to no government, constrained by no regulations and free to crush the working class under the iron heel of wage slavery and corporate bondage.

Right-Wingers readily go along with this because they no longer see a compact with their fellow Americans. They've been conditioned to view 47% of their countrymen as moochers. They've been lead to believe Republicans will stop "those people" from stealing Social Security. They'd rather Let'em Die.

But, Republicans can not tell their duped right-wing drones that they are actually out to destroy Social Security entirely, including for them, so they lie about saving it and return to the tried and true method of warning them of "fraud".

Congressman P90X Ryan who benefited from Social Security as a teenager, when his father died, wants to pull the Ladder Up and make sure it isn't there for poor Americans but, doesn't want to be known as the Granny-Starving Congressman, so the Ways and Means Chairman sent his sub-chairman Republican Representative Sam Johnson to proclaim SSDI is "fraud-plagued",
"This program cannot afford more fraud. It is only a matter of time when Congress may be asked to bailout this program with the retirement side having to come to the rescue. If that is the case then all taxpayers and beneficiaries will shoulder the crime wave."
The crime wave? Ridiculous. What Republicans think is a crime is that Poor and Working Class people have protections from Vandal Capitalists. So, they are fervently working to remove that protection.

Without any Government protection, you and your fellow working class members will have No Shield from rapacious capitalists who see no country and no countrymen. To them there are only assets and liabilities.

So what are you going to do when Koch Industries dumps 4000 tons of Petcoke on your doorstep? Whom will you turn to for assistance when a pipeline bursts and floods your drinking water with sweet, sweet crude oil? How will you eat when Social Security is declared insolvent after the next Wall Street implosion? What hopes for redress will you get when Obamacare is repealed and you're denied medical care for your pre-existing condition?

You will have none; just as the Republican Lap Dogs of the 1% intend. Getting rid of Social Security and having their duped vicious Conservative drones aid them will help the Republican Party shackle Americans with the chains of Wage Slavery.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Governor Bruce Rauner says it's time to Break Illinois

In his State of the State Address, Bruce Rauner laid out his vision for Illinois Workers; Wage Slavery and Corporate Bondage.
"It is make or break time for the Land of Lincoln," Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner.
As always Rauner was short on specifics, he nonetheless let the Public Employee and Private Sector workers in Illinois know that he'll not stand for them making so much money.

Rauner declared his intent to destroy Unions (both Public and Private) and Public Sector Bargaining and he'll do so by whatever means available. Bruce Rauner issued an Executive Order declaring "Fair Share" employees Union dues should be held in a Trust until he can get his "Employee Empowerment Zones" established.

Rauner's Employee Empowerment Zones are the newest attempt to undercut Unions by allowing local muncipalities to create Right-to-Work Zones without the State of Illinois passing the necessary legislation.

Right-to-Work laws are best known as Right-to-Work for Less. Once passed these laws transfer all bargaining power to Business, which immediately enact cuts to pay and benefits.

Rauner claims these Orwellian-titled Empowerment Zones are needed because of the broken economic situation in Illinois. Of course, it was Bruce Rauner and his Hedge Fund Wealth Manager buddies who broke Illinois Public employees pensions.

By Rauner's own estimate 2/3rds of the funds for his Hedge Fund Firm GTCR were supplied by Public Pensions. In Illinois, GTCR "mismanaged" money for the Illinois Teachers' Retirement System (TRS) and the Illinois State Board of Investment, the state's largest and third-largest, respectively. Additionally, GTCR had access to state and municipal pension plans from the San Francisco City and County Employees' Retirement System to the Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board.

For this "work" GTCR, takes 20% or more plus consultation and management fees. Rauner got his compensation no matter what the funds he "managed" did.

So, it's not surprising that Illinois and other Public Pensions began to go into insolvency once Rauner and other Vandal Capitalists got their hands on the funds. In fiscal year 2009, TRS lost $4.4 Billion (22% of its' value) in 2008 TRS lost 5% of it's value because of the Management of their Portfolios by Rauner-types.

Rauner made his fortune through "coin-clipping" he and his Vandal Capitalists clipped points off of Worker's Pensions to make their fortunes. Additionally, in keeping with his Transfer of Wealth Upwards, Rauner wants to lower taxes on the Rich and Corporations and expand sales taxes because those taxes hit the Working Class the hardest.

Rauner and his aides know exactly what Employee Empowerment Zones, his Reverse Robin Hood Tax Rates and Theft of Pensions will do to Illinois during interviews with the Chicago Tribune; how to improve the state's business climate as companies move out of state in search of a cheaper workforce.

So yes, Rauner wants to bring jobs here, the kind of jobs where you work 40 hours a week for wages which barely get you over the poverty line, with no prospects of being able to retire and no pension, working until the day you die.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Muslim Terrorism Strikes Chapel Hill, North Carolina

"[W]hen you take Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, whatever, their combined killings in the name of religion -- well, that would be zero." - Eric Bolling, Faux News
But, you won't hear about this latest incident of "muslim terrorism" on Faux News because the Muslims are the victims. The murderer is a Southern White Male Gun Nut. While the three murdered muslims were college age students.

Prior to the murders the killer, Craig S. Hicks, allegedly posted photos of his .38 in a holster and wrote, "When it comes to insults, your religion started this, not me. If your religion kept its big mouth shut, so would I" on his facebook account.

So immediately, the white privilege defense mechanisms kick into high gear to absolve a white killer and Whiteness in General of the crime.

Whenever a murderer is white we are treated to an overall media silence coupled with built-in rationalizations, e.g. "The killer was a lone wolf", "The killer is mentally unstable". As always the Conservative Media Apparatus engages in this blatant hypocrisy of downplaying White Mass Murderers because it benefits their narrative and helps them to continue grifting.

Already we've seen conservatives take to their computers to declare, This wasn't terrorism but an argument over a parking spaces, while a reversal of the victims and perpetrators would have had Sean Hannity and the entire Right-Wing Internet Fart Bubble screaming for President Obama to declare this Islamic Extremism while they cross-contaminated their blogs which incestuous amplification of the noisome emissions that President Obama secretly aided the killers.

So, as with Adam Lanza or James Holmes or when a Jimmy Lee Dykes murders a bus driver and kidnaps a 6 year old, holding the boy hostage for 8 days in his underground bunker, this latest mass killings is by definition not an Act of Terror because the shooter is a white male.

And there's a built in defense because Hicks is reportedly an atheist. So once more the right-wing criminals who have hammered the drums that Muslim=Terrorist can wash their hands and proclaim they had nothing to do with a southern white gun nut domestic terrorist murdering 3 young muslim students.

So, don't expect a rally attended by World Leaders. Don't expect Bill O'Reilly to question his morality. Don't expect NC Troopers to turn their backs on White Male Gun Owners and declare them responsible en masse for these deaths. Mass Murderers, when the perpetrator is a White Male, are coddled in this Nation. And just like Right-Wing Violence it is thus encouraged.

Crisis Averted!

Hicks isn't a Bundyist Right-Wing Domestic Terrorist like Jerad Miller but is instead a "Looney Liberal" with the small incongruity of being a Gun Humping Fanatic. Talking Points Memo is reporting Hicks is vehemently anti-theist, being especially critical of American Christian Dominonists, and was a fan of Dogs Against Romney facebook page.

So, any twinge of doubt which might have momentarily plagued Conservatives can now be safely jettisoned and the NRA can proclaim what was needed here were more guns especially in the hands of young muslim males. Of course, it will be oddly shameful for Conservatives to villify Hicks for doing on a small scale exactly what Chris Kyle did on a large scale.

Monday, February 9, 2015

The 2015 National Prayer Breakfast highlights Conservative Values of Murder, Slavery and Genocide

Intolerance and Oppression are the core building blocks of the modern Conservative. Unless one swears allegiance to genocide and slavery one can not be an American Right-Winger today. To be a Conservative in America today means to be devoid of historical knowledge, secure in righteous ignorance and an active proponent of afflicting the afflicted and harming the innocent.

The two recent right-wing poutrages over American Sniper and the President Obama's comments at the 2015 National Prayer Breakfast serve to show the despicable nature of the American Conservatives.

First of all, the United States of America should not have a National Prayer Anything as the United States "is not, in any sense founded on the Christian religion" and the US Constitution specifically forbids the establishment of religion by the Federal Government. Of course, the National Prayer Breakfast was created in the 1950s (akin to the under god addition to the Pledge of Allegiance) in response to the godless Soviet Union to prove Gott Mit Uns.

Secondly, responding to right-wing outrage is a ridiculous task. Whether they are foaming at the mouth over Dijon Mustard, Umbrellas, Dan Daly's USMC Cover or Lattes no group in the history of the world is as wimpy, thin-skinned, petulant, actively ignorant or violently stupid as Conservatives.

Now, American Sniper has become a purity litmus test for Conservatives. For years conservatives have gnashed their teeth; as they've been champing at the bit to declare the Iraq War a Noble Crusade and Glorious Victory and beatify anyone who reveled in murdering Muslims. Since 2003 and dozens of time afterwards, Conservatives declared Iraq "Won" culminating in the Right-Wing Blog-o-sphere declaring Victory in Iraq Day (VI Day) on 11/22/2008.

The Iraq War was a miserable failure, a war crime, resulting in the murder of thousands of innocent Iraqis, a complete waste of American lives and money, which utterly destabilized the region, created ISIS and has in no way made US or anyone else in the world safer.

But, when Obama dared to point out, at the 2015 National Prayer Breakfast, the history of Christianity being used by the powerful to justify heinous crimes well that's just too much.

Conservatives believe Slavery is justified because it exposed the slaves and their descendants to the light of Christianity and the "freedom" of America. Conservatives believe the genocide of Native Americans was justified because genocide is a staunch conservative value. Just as they believe the slaughter of more than a hundred thousand Iraqis is justified because Iraq is "free" now thanks to George W. Bush and Chris Kyle.

So when, former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore has a temper tantrum and pouts,
"This goes further to the point that Mr. Obama does not believe in America or the values we all share." 
He's absolutely correct. President Obama does not share the American Values of Conservatives because those values are; Oppression, Intolerance, Fawning Adulation of the Rich, Slavery, Murder, and Genocide.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Finanical Criminals only get punished when they Steal from the Rich

"There is only one crime among Vampires; Kill your Own Kind." - Stephen Rea, Interview with the Vampire (1994)
Eric Bloom, the former head of the Northbrook, Illinois based Hedge Fund Sentinel Management Group, was sentenced last week for convictions on18 counts of wire fraud and 1 count of investment adviser fraud.

During the 2007 Republican Recession, Bloom's thievery cause Sentinel to implode and go bankrupt in a Billion Dollar vanishing of investors assets. But, as far back as 2003 Bloom began secretly using his clients funds to make high-risk investments and as collateral for multi-million dollars loans for his, his fathers' and his associates benefit.

Bloom was sentenced to 14 years for defrauding his clients of at least $665 Million. Bloom has been free on bond since the trial began last year has until April 30th to turn himself in. Bloom begged for leniency and declared, "I am not a thief". He reportedly also wrote a letter expressing his fear about his prison sentence and its' effect on his wife and daughter.


Charles Mosley, the head trader for Sentinel and a long-time friend of Bloom, plead guilty in October 2013 to Investor Fraud but, wasn't sentenced till last month. Mosely got 8 years.

It sure pays to be a rich white criminal.

For some reason neither Bloom nor Mosley received a death sentence, of course they didn't steal a $50 pack of Swisher Sweets. But, as with Bernie Madoff we see criminals like Eric Bloom only get jail time when they swindle Rich People.

Thieves like Bruce Rauner and Mitt Romney, who steal from poor people and "make" their fortunes robbing Working Class Pensions, get elected Governor.

Monday, January 26, 2015

The NYPD, Broken Windows, Collars for Dollars and Control of the Poor

Continuing the topic of Police Departments the discussion now focuses on what is the role of Police Departments have in society.

Contrary to popular belief and the motto's stenciled on squad cars, Police Departments were not created to 'Serve & Protect' and keep the peace but, to exert control over the poor and working class. The creation of the Modern Police Force in the United States coincided with increases in immigration, the Industrial Revolution, and the end of Slavery. As such Police Departments were tasked by the Ruling elite to keep the American Working Class, immigrants and minorities in check.

The 1% actually sees only two legitimate "Constitutional" Roles for the US Government, a military for expanding and opening up Foreign Shores for exploitation and the quelling of Domestic Dissent and control of the Poor by the Police

As the work slow down by the New York Brats in Blue has shown not much changed on the home front.

Apparently, the NYPD thinks their slow down is helping them win in their Political Struggle against Mayor Bill de Blasio. As a Police Officer I'm disappointed by their acknowledgement their arrests, notices to appear and citations were not to 'Serve & Protect' but, for the purpose of revenue collection and social control.

It's more than a tacit admission, it's a bold statement the Broken Windows Policing doesn't reduce serious crime but, transforms Police Officers into revenue streams.

The Broken Windows theory, a hypothesis first appearing in 1982 that clamping down small crimes will help keep down more serious crime, while compelling is not supported by the evidence of the last 30 years.

Broken Windows, though it still has its' adherents (namely Rudy Giuliani), has been undercut by an actual analysis of the data. Jens Ludwig and Bernard Harcourt in their 2006 thesis Broken Windows: New Evidence for New York City and a Five City Social Experiment posited the "Broken Yankees Hypothesis" wherein the number of NYC homicides decreases with the increase in Yankees Championships.

Additionally, the elimination if Lead in gasoline has been credibly linked to an overall decrease in crime.

But, that's the point, whether or not the rank and file of New York's Whiniest know it, they weren't created to 'Serve & Protect' and modern police practices are designed as a powerful social control to keep the established Plutocratic Hierarchy in place.

And the Working Classes in their place.

Review the iconic image from Occupy UC Davis, where non-violent "criminals" were treated savagely but, Wall Street criminals guilty of far worse offenses not only avoided this treatment but arrest and prosecution almost entirely,
Now, recall the overall crackdown on Occupy Wall Street and other sister demonstrators by Police Departments Nationwide was cheered and supported by 100% of conservatives. While later, 100% of conservatives supported recalcitrant lawbreaker Cliven Bundy and his army of insurrectionists with their plans to murder Law Enforcement Officers and use women and children as human shields, while Bundy and his other Cattle Barons annex US land for their profit.

In Joseph Wambaugh's first novel, The New Centurions, we follow 3 titular centurions conducting police work in the Civil Rights era in Los Angeles. As demonstrated by several chapters in Wambaugh's novel, the cops spend most of their time gleefully busting homosexuals and prostitutes as part of Vice Squads.

Wambaugh's later works especially The Blue Knight better captured the ennui of Police Officers but, Centurions while honestly reflecting the day-to-day grind of police work, is rife with Reactionary themes, including the "liberal" Officer getting shot mid-way through the book and being killed in the Watts Riots because he's too soft and Wambaugh's most racist 'I don't see black or white just assholes' speech presented by a "black" Officer.

But, another theme running throughout Centurions, is the belief in an early form of "Broken Windows",
"But today the 'dont's' are dying or being murdered in the name of freedom and we policemen can't save them. Once the people become accustomed to the death of a 'don't', well then, the other 'dont's' die much easier. Usually all the vice laws die first because people are generally vice-ridden anyway. Then the ordinary misdemeanors and some felonies become unenforceable until freedom prevails." - The New Centurions, pg. 86
The problem is once theories like, Broken Windows, Stop & Frisk, and the War on Drugs become conventional wisdom, accepted and entrenched in organizations as Reactionary as Police Departments they are difficult to dislodge.

The post Mike Brown death response by the Ferguson Police was the at least as egregious as Brown's killing. Faced with discontent over the situation the response was the force. It was a typical Police response, when faced with push back and perceived challenges to authority.

But, once you have gone with the full forceful response there are no other options than to further ratchet up force until the situation spirals out of your control.

But, well before the August 2014 killing of Mike Brown, the people of Ferguson have complained that like many poor neighborhoods they are faced with constant harassment and mistreatment by the Police as small infractions and petty violations are punished by fines, fees and costs.

And, once again, therein lies the real reason Police Departments were created for in the first place; Control.

Under the guise of Law & Order, poor and working class people are exposed to constant harassment, "Collars for Dollars", and criminalization for infractions which really aren't crimes. Because it controls them.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Pat Tillman was a Hero. Chris Kyle was a Butcher. (Updated with Sarah Palin's threat on Michael Moore's life)

Beyond the gross fetishization of every Servicemember being a Hero and every Servicemember having fought for our Freedoms the truth is that very little the US Military has done during the last 15 years has made America any safer, made Americans freer, or turned the world into a better place.

The Iraq War was a Monumental Failure, which has utterly destablized the region, stolen Trillions of dollars from the US Taxpayer, killed a million Iraqis, wounded a hundred thousand Americans, split the Nation asunder, and will be a black spot against the US for decades if not a century.

In the early stages of Iraq, after disgusting puke George W(orst President Ever) Bush declared the Iraq War over and was telling the Insurgency to bring it on, the Republican Warmongers and their feckless conservative lick-spittles needed a Hero to take heat off; Enter Pat Tillman.

Tillman, as most people know gave up a lucarative NFL career to enlist and served as an Army Ranger before being killed in a friendly fire incident in 2004.

After attempts by the Bush Department of Defense to cover up the facts surrounding Tillman's true cause of death and their use of Tillman's corpse to silence anti-war critics, we learned of Pat Tillman's atheism, utter disdain for George Bush, his disgust at the Iraq War, probable support of John Kerry for President and his admiration of Noam Chomsky.

Of course, Tillman was no longer a hero to conservatives. Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter, who had previously gushed and fawned over him, describing Tillman as "virtuous, masculine and pure as only the American Male can be" couldn't believe the man they had lionized would be against the War and read approvingly of works written by leftists.

So, conservatives abandoned the tributes to a fallen Soldier and buried his Hero Legacy with him.

Now, Chris Kyle is different. He massages every sick and twisted conservative pleasure center with his Book of Tall Tales. Blam! He killed so many Iraqis he became the Shaitan of Ar Ramadi... Blam! He gunned down looters in New Orleans during the Post-Katrina debacle... Blam! He punched out Jessie Ventura for bad-mouthing the US of A and President "I'm the Decider" Bush...

Chris Kyle is a hero to conservatives because he killed lots of Iraqis, whom Kyle called "savages". The same Savage Iraqis who attacked Us on 9/11! In reality, did anything Chris Kyle do in Iraq help the Iraqi people or the United States? Nope.

By all accounts he loved killing and thought every problem could be solved by guns. Thus, he lived by the sword and died by the sword... And the world is better off without him.

Remember when Free Speech Rights were the most important thing in the Universe? Ha, that was sooooo 2 weeks ago.

To Conservatives, "Free Speech" means the freedom for them to insult islam and threaten liberals. Semi-literate, mentally disabled right-wing darling Sarah Palin, not content with getting Congresswoman Gabby Giffords shot (in an attack which killed 6 and wounded 18 people) now is telling her cultists to 'set their sights' on Michael Moore.
Palin, along with MoH recipient Dakota Meyer. What's especially disgusting is the despicable Bush Regime used the natural sense of military brotherhood and camaraderie to stifle anti-war dissent.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The NRA bears much Responsibility for the recent Police Shootings

Dashcam footage from New Jersey of another Police Shooting of a suspect exiting his vehicle unarmed is now making the rounds. Last December 30th, Jerame Reid was a passenger in a vehicle. During a traffic stop by Bridgeton Officers Braheme Days and Roger Worley, a gun was apparently located in the passenger side glove box by Officer Days who displayed good instincts, was alert and observent.

But then entering rapidly goes to shit. The next and final minute of Reid's life were a mix of rapid and contradictory commands leading him to exit the vehicle hands raised and after the gun had been confiscated by Officer Days. At which point the two Officers shot and killed him.

But, I'm not here to exercrate the Officers, but to point out why it is seemingly unarmed and cooperating men are getting gunned down.

While it's unequivocally true the Modern Police Department was created as a Social Control of the Working Class, immigrants and freed Slaves, the recent spate of shootings stems from the Reactionary Wayne LaPierre lead-NRA and their 35 year push to get guns everywhere and to allow gun violence to go unrestricted.

The Nation is awash in Guns. 300 million or more and those guns have a habit of "walking away" and ending up in the hands of criminals quite easily. Gun Nuts and their groups use every mass shooting to further weaken the anemic gun control laws left. And the Powerful Unrestricted Gun Violence Lobby has won 2 very important SCOTUS decisions as gotten hundreds of local ordinances eliminated.

Now that Illinois has passed Concealed Carry, every state in the Union has some version of CC and President Obama even loosened gun control regulations on Federal Parks and Lands.

Thus, Police Officers face the real threat that everyone they come in contact with and every vehicle they stop has a gun. Officers faced with this knowledge and sporting the maxim Better to be tried by 12 than carried by 6, have ended up shooting many seemingly cooperative suspects.
But, those shootings have a counterpoint because Police Officers are receiving training and reviewing these incidents,
  • Oregon State Trooper is confronted and has a shoot-out with a former Army National Guardsman during traffic stop.
  • An Arlington Heights Officer shot by suspect during Domestic Violence call.
  • Cliven Bundy participants and Conservative Terrorists Jerad and Amanda Miller murder 2 Officers and another man during their Right-Wing Revolution.
  • And recently over at Green Eagle comes the story of a black Oklahoma Police Chief shot 4 times by a right-wing White Supremacist, who was wanted in connection to calling in false bomb threat reports. This last incident along with the Millers continues to show that Right-Wing Violence including murder and attempted murder of Police Officers is coddled and encouraged in the United States.
Because the iconic image from the ClivenBundyInsurrection is the NRA man ready to shoot LEOs:

The conservative commenters on the youtube videos for this incident call this a "good shoot". I wonder what training, what Use of Force, what readings/discussion of the 4th Amendment, what personal experience at drawing down on someone or shooting/being shot at they can reference in order to support their viewpoint and then I remember that the man killed was Black and it's ipso facto always a good shoot to conservatives when a Black man is shot.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

How Capitalism drives Crime but only dark skinned criminals concern Conservatives

I've left a bigoted rambling comment up on my post about John Wrana's death and the trial of Officer Craig Taylor because it is illustrative of a terrible blight on this nation, How Conservative Bigotry blinds them and thus they focus on only dark-skinned criminals.

Here is the comment from Rational Nauseous,
Marty King was a communist who cheated on his wife frequently. He was a tremendous advocate for Negro self-sufficiency and a color blind society. So we honor his memory by not working, not going to school etc. But to be honest, I think if Marty was still alive he would commit suicide, if he saw what direction the black community has taken. Lets see all the accomplishment that the blacks have made since Marty King’s days, Black folks has denigrated so very badly, with their stupid music, stupid cloths, pants sagging down and their ass cracks showing, their willing to stand out in the cold at shoe stores for days and nights for a pair of stupid sneakers from a basketball player, Michael Jordan endorsed and made a fortune from, their teenage pregnancies and parent homes, multiple fathers to litters of children drawing welfare checks and food stamps, drinking Booze in the streets and drunk driving, pointless killings, looting and burning down homes and store and calling it “protesting”
When it comes to MLKJr, Right-Wingers are flummoxed. They fervently tried to destroy his image, beliefs and works before and after murdering his body, but have been absolutely unsuccessful so conservatives have tried to co-opt Doctor King as one of them while still believing the John Bircher propaganda.

But, let's focus on the henious lies and ignorant bigotry throughout conservative thinking illustrated by Rational Nauseous; who ascribes crime, food stamps, absentee fathers and teenage pregnancies as something inherent in the black community.

These issues are endemic in all races and cultures. In fact, the overwhelming majority who use food stamps, SSDI and other government assistance programs are "white" people. Currently, white conservatives have convinced themselves they "earned" their medicare, social security benefits and blithely ignore crime and the fraying of society amongst "whites".

As Martin Luther King Jr, observed Rich White Men have always been able to convince poor whites that while they and their children may be sickly, uneducated and broken by poverty at least they're not black.

But, what every Police Officer knows is that poverty and lack of economic opportunities drives much* criminal activity.

We are a full generation into the Ronald Reagan destruction of the American Dream and elimination of the Middle Class. Crimes and abberant behavior once ascribed solely to black and brown communities is becoming common-place amongst whites. Once Republicans destroyed the manufacturing base, transformed the Nation into a service-based economy and eliminated laws and regulations on the Financial Industry they made the bottom quarter of Americans into extraneous persons about whom they care not one jot or tittle.

The Housing Crash and Republican Recession of 2007 showed, Capitalism cares nothing for your belief system and once Glorious Capitalism deems you expendable then you are expendable. This is something African-American, Asian, and Hispanic communities have known for generations.

In some ways the Creation of the Tea Party was a response to Capitalism's evil treatment of the white American Working Class until the Koch Brothers and their Republican Operatives quickly usurped authority and transformed Tea Baggers into a lobbying arm for Plutocratic interests, while ensuring the anger of the white community was transfered from the Destructive nature of Capitalism and Corporate Criminality towards Government and the Social Safety Net.

David Simon, creator of The Wire, Treme and former reporter the Baltimore Sun correctly observed once economic opportunities were taken away so-called drug crime became the only option in minority communities,
"We do not need 10-12% of our population; they've been abandoned. They don't have barbed wire around them, but they might as well." As a result, "drugs are the only industry left in places such as Baltimore and east St Louis" – an industry that employs "children, old people, people who've been shooting drugs for 20 years, it doesn't matter. It's the only factory that's still open. The doors are open. Capitalism has tried to jail its way out of the problem, the prison industry has been given over to capitalism. If we need to get rid of these people, we might as well make some money out of getting rid of them."
It is not an inherent criminal nature in black and brown communities it's a systematic denial of the American Dream which fueled much of the crime in those communities.

Now we see Capitalism has throw aside the poor white communities and undermined the Middle Class Dream of White America.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

John Wrana's death and Police Use of Force

Park Forest Police Officer Craig Taylor is on trial for killing 95 year WWII Veteran John Wrana during a July 2013 incident at the elderly man's retirement home.

During the incident, Taylor used Less than Lethal shotgun beanbag rounds when Wrana brandished a knife. Taylor fired 5 rounds and the autospy reported two rounds struck Wrana in the abdomen and one in the chest. Wrana died five hours later of internal bleeding from the blunt force trauma.

Now, Taylor wasn't the only Officer present, four other Park Forest officers responded as well. During testimony, two of the others stated they were in fear of their lives during the incident, with the on scene Surpervisor testifying, "I thought deadly force was authorized and we were using reasonable force under the circumstances."

However, a use of force expert and former Secret Service surpervisor Francis Murphy, referred to the 5 officers' tactics as "officer-created jeopardy", criticized their decision making, and offered up several alternatives they should have used,
"They didn't start by giving it a cooling-off time. They kept going into his room and agitating him."
Murphy did testify trying to shield rush Wrana or using pepper-spray could have jeopadized the officers or caused serious injuries to Wrana as well.

Do the facts that Wrana was a white 95 year old WWII veteran and Taylor is an African-American have anything to do with the decision to prosecute? I don't know.

I do know something about this type of incident, having responded to several near exact situations. In a recent one, I responded to a call out to an Hospice/Elder Care building.

At 2 in the morning an elderly, confused, angry and frightened man had somehow gotten an old claw hammer (not an Estwing) which he had hit a nurse in the shoulder and was outisde his room pounding on doors and furniture.

My on duty sergeant and another officer showed up. While my Sergeant chatted up the old man I moved to his side and out of his perherial vision. Several pieces of furniture had been moved around the man by members of the staff. He absent-mindedly brandished the hammer and at one point raised it up over his right shoulder. At which point I grabbed the hammer and yanked it from his grasp.

The man turned at me and demanded I return his hammer calling me a "little sneak thief". While the gentleman refused to go to his room, he sat down in a nearby chair and quickly fell asleep.

So, what should be lesson and take away from this and other Use of Force incidents?

I'm not sure. What I do know is I and other Police Officers are being counted upon more and more often to respond to incidents which really require trained medical personnel or Social Workers. But, because right-wingers have thrown in with the Guard Dogs of the Plutocracy, funding for those people and programs has been slashed mercilessly.

And now Republicans are coming to steal Social Security and working on rolling back even the modest gains from Obamacare.