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.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Bonjour, Paris! Conservatives sommes Merde-flinging surrender monkeys

Ridiculous Right-Wingers all took to their laptops and iPhones to tweet, blog, facebook and post their "embarassment" that President Barack Obama did not attend the Paris World Leaders Rally in face of the Charlie Hebdo/Jewish Deli terrorist attacks. That is from the comfort of their plush, warm living rooms here Stateside.

Thus, continues the never-ending War Conservatives engage upon where they throw shit on everything in the hopes that some of their shit will stick and they can exploit the stink. The Right-Wing Blame Barack Campaign is a well-worn, tried and true method for causing fatigue in the American populace. In the 2014 elections, the ISIS Panic and EBOLA Fear won the Republicans the Senate, so the manufactured freak-outs make sense politically.

Even if they are not internally consistent with other Right-Wing rhetoric. In 2009, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, every conservative blogger and all their right-wing drones derided President Obama for ordering Dijon-Mustard on his Hamburger!

Rawr! Dijon Mustard was renamed by Republicans under the Awesome W Presidency as FREEDOM MUSTARD to go-along with your FREEDOM FRIES! Only God-Reagan approved HFCS Ketchup is allowed on American Burgers! Freedom!

And merely 10 years ago, every single conservative was in lock-step with President Bush and his Faux News enbablers denouncing Democratic Presidential Candidate John Kerry for being too French-looking and speaking En Francais.

Time and time and time again, conservatives have tried to manufacture controversy surrounding the Obama Presidency, it hasn't worked because besides being as cool as the other side of the pillow President Obama and his cabinet has been moral and just and not beset with the War Crimes and other misdemeanors of the W(orst President in History) and his staff of villains.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Conservatives plan to use the NYPD assassinations as a pretext to murder Liberals and overthrow the Government

Right-Wing Violence is coddled and encouraged in America. There is a real danger of the American Right using the murders of NYPD Officers Liu and Ramos to kill minorities and leftists and then Overthrow the US Government. At least, that's the dream of Right-Wing Domestic Terrorists.

Right-Wingers all have the same delusion. They think they are The Thin White Line o' Heroes.
"The next time there’s a die-in, make sure they’re dead. The next time they block the road, run their asses over," Stan Solomon talking to Larry Pratt, Head of the Gunowners of America, on reacting to protests. Note the demonstrators Solomon is itching to murder are not looters but, non-violent demonstrators.
These White-Wing Hateriots do have several things in common; they loathe Democracy and the Democratic Republic for which We Stand. Conservatism is Terrorism.

Fortunately, in reality, while some of the craftier conservatives will use this to fund raise and fleece more right-wingers, additional Right-Wing Murder Sprees will not happen. The Oathbreakers will have a fundraising drive, FU de Blasio T-Shirts (made in China) will be sold, more parcels of land in the Galtian Paradise will be purchased, Alex Jones Infowars will increase his viewership, more Liberal Hunting Permits will be issued, and this incident will go down as another of the 968 impeachable offenses committed by Barack HUSSEIN Obama.

However, this doesn't diminish the aching desire Conservatives have to start murdering Liberals. They are waiting for a signal, for their imagined Casus Belli.

Over at Hullabaloo the blog of Digby, I read the latest Call to Arms from Confederate Yankee Bob Owens. His sthick has been the same for 6 years. The stay-at-home schocastic terrorist throwing his toxic emissions into the seething cauldron of right-wing rage in the hopes some "Lone Wolf" will go out and murder a Liberal,

It’s Time To Play Cowboys and Communists

Posted by Bob Owens on December 29, 2014 at 1:03 pm

If, my friends, you would like to preserve and restore liberty you must decide, today, what you will tolerate.

You must determine how much more you are going to tolerate as they attempt to destroy this nation from the inside.

You must determine what you are willing to sacrifice in order for your children and grandchildren to remain free.

I ask you to stand your ground, my proud fellow American citizens. Keep your weapons oiled, your bores bright, and your magazines loaded. Pledge to protect those who protect us.

We do not want war, but we will not surrender our liberty to rabble who crave the chains of tyranny, or who dream of lording over free men.

Will you choose to be Sons of Liberty, or sons of Obama?
Laughably earlier in his column Bob Owens wrote;
This string of attempted, escalating, (and sometimes regrettably successful) cop killings is a part of a low-intensity civil war on the very fabric of our society.
Richard Poplawski, Jerad and Amanda Miller, Andrew Joseph Stack, James W. Von Brunn*, Joseph T. Kane, Dennis Marx*, Nathanial Kangas have all attacked or killed Law Enforcement Officials yet evoked no response and weren't a Cause Célèbre for Conservatives.

Right-wingers only support Police Officers and the Rule of Law when those LEOs and that Rule is being used to oppress Minorities, Leftist Protests, and Unions.

Right-Wingers really are itching for any reason they can grasp to begin the slaughter of Liberals. Criticism of Chris Kyle and American Sniper has brought out the typical Conservative Death Threats towards anyone who dares point out that Kyle didn't win the war, murdered a bunch of people we shouldn't have been killing and died because he was a gun humping moron. When Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton win the Presidency in 2016 I'm certain a Right-Wing Insurrection and mass murder spree of Liberals, Democrats, Progressives will begin.