Sunday, May 31, 2015

Condemning "police violence" and black on black violence at the same time.

Image result for black lives matter images         When we say that"black lives matter" we mean that "black lives matter" regardless of who is taking them. This includes other black people."

It's just that when someone takes a black life because of their own bias or prejudice, and that  someone happens to be someone who is supposed to be protecting and serving us, then we have a problem. 

Anyway, once again my man David A. Love has come through with an excellent article that happens to address this particular subject.

"We pay lots of attention when police kill unarmed black people — and we should — but do we care as much when black people kill each other?

We do, and it is ok to care about both at the same time.

In a damning report on the Cleveland Police Department, the U.S. Department of Justice takes that city’s police force to task for its excessive, unnecessary and unreasonable use of deadly force. The cops in Cleveland, according to the DOJ, shoot at people who pose no threat, brutalize unarmed people and misuse stun guns. Meanwhile, the CPD has agreed to accept federal oversight and limits on how and when their officers are able to use force.

That is serious business and certainly a matter which demands our attention, whether in Cleveland, or Baltimore or Ferguson, or any other of a countless number of cities across America.

And yet, at the same time, there is a violence of a different type taking place in the community, and we need to address it. For example, in Chicago, 12 people were killed and 43 wounded, including a 4-year-old girl, during the Memorial Day weekend. This comes as Baltimore — the scene for protests and unrest of late, due to the police killing of Freddie Gray has experienced a deadly month with 35 homicides, 108 so far this year.

Someone, somewhere is asking why black folks don’t rally in the streets when members of the community kill each other and the police are not involved. It is a fair and reasonable question.

Before we go any further, let us first dismiss those voices from Fox News and similar places who will bring up so-called “black-on-black” violence because they want to change the subject and make you forget that police brutality is a chronic problem in communities of color. They want to pretend we are not monitored, harassed and hunted down, dismiss our pain and our fear for our children’s safety and sweep the crisis of police violence and racist policies under the rug. Or, they wish to downplay the violence occurring in the white community and act as if black people are inherently violent or some special case. So, let’s not even go down that path.

But let’s get back to the violence in the black community that is not the fault of the cops but due to our own actions.  Certainly, there are many who have sounded the alarm on this epidemic, of babies killing babies, of the community turning on itself, of honor students, star athletes and pregnant mothers snuffed out by a bullet, taken from us in the prime of their life, way too soon.

Further, we should keep in mind that this is a public health crisis. Homicide is the leading cause of death for young black men — more than car accidents, diseases and suicide combined, and at a rate six times higher than whites. Let that sink in for a minute.

Those who would suggest we cannot focus simultaneously on police violence and violence from the kid across the way are presenting false choices. In a way, they are two sides of the same coin, all part of a vicious cycle.

Nothing should stop the community from speaking out and demanding action in order to rein in police abuse, whether it means the federal government investigating every last police department in the land of the free, or setting uniform guidelines for law enforcement across the country.

Yet, if #BlackLivesMatter, should it matter to you who does the killing or how those lives are lost? Should it matter if the gang wears blue and carries a badge? We must get a hold of the fact that there are no gun manufacturers in the black community, and still it seems some black children can access a weapon more readily than they can find a good education or a nutritious meal.

The NRA and its wholly-owned subsidiary known as Congress, or any given state house, are playing both sides of the fence. And they care little about who gets killed so long as they are moving their product and their checks come in, and the Second Amendment has nothing to do with it. They enact laws making it easier for whites to kill blacks in the name of self-defense (Stand Your Ground) and for people to carry guns in public places (Open Carry), including in parks, schools and churches. And they maintain their poker face when children are slaughtered, as in the case of the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting, when a gunman killed 20 children and 6 adults in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012.

If politicians and their masters in the gun lobby react with indifference when children in suburbia are murdered, one can imagine their reaction (or lack thereof) when gun violence tears apart the inner city. But if the black community does not care when black people are murdered from within, why should anyone else? And doesn’t homicide in the black community just make the racist abusive cop’s job that much easier?

In a nation plagued by racism, poverty and violence, black folks are dealing with a number of issues, including internalized racism, trauma, stress, deprivation, lack of self-esteem and lack of opportunity. Just to add to that, black families have been decimated due to the war on drugs and mass incarceration. Going after bad cops alone will not overcome these challenges.

So yes, it is OK for black America to condemn both police violence and teen and gang violence at the same time.

It is also very necessary." [Article here.]

Saturday, May 30, 2015


I need a caption for this pic.

For example:

Where is that little Mexican lady who I refused to hug?  I sure hope that she didn't fix this drink.  

Friday, May 29, 2015

Black behind the "blue wall".

The Field Negro education series continues.

"On any given day, in any police department in the nation, 15 percent of officers will do the right thing no matter what is happening. Fifteen percent of officers will abuse their authority at every opportunity. The remaining 70 percent could go either way depending on whom they are working with.
That's a theory from my friend K.L. Williams, who has trained thousands of officers around the country in use of force. Based on what I experienced as a black man serving in the St. Louis Police Department for five years, I agree with him. I worked with men and women who became cops for all the right reasons — they really wanted to help make their communities better. And I worked with people like the president of my police academy class, who sent out an email after President Obama won the 2008 election that included the statement, "I can't believe I live in a country full of ni**er lovers!!!!!!!!" He patrolled the streets in St. Louis in a number of black communities with the authority to act under the color of law.

That remaining 70 percent of officers are highly susceptible to the culture in a given department. In the absence of any real effort to challenge department cultures, they become part of the problem. If their command ranks are racist or allow institutional racism to persist, or if a number of officers in their department are racist, they may end up doing terrible things.

It is not only white officers who abuse their authority. The effect of institutional racism is such that no matter what color the officer abusing the citizen is, in the vast majority of those cases of abuse that citizen will be black or brown. That is what is allowed.

And no matter what an officer has done to a black person, that officer can always cover himself in the running narrative of heroism, risk, and sacrifice that is available to a uniformed police officer by virtue of simply reporting for duty. Cleveland police officer Michael Brelo was recently acquitted of all charges against him in the shooting deaths of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams, both black and unarmed. Thirteen Cleveland police officers fired 137 shots at them. Brelo, having reloaded at some point during the shooting, fired 49 of the 137 shots. He took his final 15 shots at them after all the other officers stopped firing (122 shots at that point) and, "fearing for his life," he jumped onto the hood of the car and shot 15 times through the windshield.

About that 15 percent of officers who regularly abuse their power: they exert an outsize influence
Not only was this excessive, it was tactically asinine if Brelo believed they were armed and firing. But they weren't armed, and they weren't firing. Judge John O'Donnell acquitted Brelo under the rationale that because he couldn't determine which shots actually killed Russell and Williams, no one is guilty. Let's be clear: this is part of what the Department of Justice means when it describes a "pattern of unconstitutional policing and excessive force."

Nevertheless, many Americans believe that police officers are generally good, noble heroes. A Gallup poll from last year asked Americans to rate the honesty and ethical standards of people in various fields: police officers ranked in the top five, just above members of the clergy. The profession — the endeavor — is noble. But this myth about the general goodness of cops obscures the truth of what needs to be done to fix the system. It makes it look like all we need to do is hire good people, rather than fix the entire system. Institutional racism runs throughout our criminal justice system. Its presence in police culture, though often flatly denied by the many police apologists that appear in the media now, has been central to the breakdown in police-community relationships for decades in spite of good people doing police work.

Here's what I wish Americans understood about the men and women who serve in their police departments — and what needs to be done to make the system better for everyone.

1) There are officers who willfully violate the human rights of the people in the communities they serve

As a new officer with the St. Louis in the mid-1990s, I responded to a call for an "officer in need of aid." I was partnered that day with a white female officer. When we got to the scene, it turned out that the officer was fine, and the aid call was canceled. He'd been in a foot pursuit chasing a suspect in an armed robbery and lost him.

The officer I was with asked him if he'd seen where the suspect went. The officer picked a house on the block we were on, and we went to it and knocked on the door. A young man about 18 years old answered the door, partially opening it and peering out at my partner and me. He was standing on crutches. My partner accused him of harboring a suspect. He denied it. He said that this was his family's home and he was home alone.

My partner then forced the door the rest of the way open, grabbed him by his throat, and snatched him out of the house onto the front porch. She took him to the ledge of the porch and, still holding him by the throat, punched him hard in the face and then in the groin. My partner that day snatched an 18-year-old kid off crutches and assaulted him, simply for stating the fact that he was home alone.
I got the officer off of him. But because an aid call had gone out, several other officers had arrived on the scene. One of those officers, who was black, ascended the stairs and asked what was going on. My partner pointed to the young man, still lying on the porch, and said, "That son of a bitch just assaulted me." The black officer then went up to the young man and told him to "get the fuck up, I'm taking you in for assaulting an officer." The young man looked up at the officer and said, "Man ... you see I can't go." His crutches lay not far from him.

The officer picked him up, cuffed him, and slammed him into the house, where he was able to prop himself up by leaning against it. The officer then told him again to get moving to the police car on the street because he was under arrest. The young man told him one last time, in a pleading tone that was somehow angry at the same time, "You see I can't go!" The officer reached down and grabbed both the young man's ankles and yanked up. This caused the young man to strike his head on the porch. The officer then dragged him to the police car. We then searched the house. No one was in it.

These kinds of scenes play themselves out everyday all over our country in black and brown communities. Beyond the many unarmed blacks killed by police, including recently Freddie Gray in Baltimore, other police abuses that don't result in death foment resentment, distrust, and malice toward police in black and brown communities all over the country. Long before Darren Wilson shot and killed unarmed Michael Brown last August, there was a poisonous relationship between the Ferguson, Missouri, department and the community it claimed to serve. For example, in 2009 Henry Davis was stopped unlawfully in Ferguson, taken to the police station, and brutally beaten while in handcuffs. He was then charged for bleeding on the officers' uniforms after they beat him.

2) The bad officers corrupt the departments they work for

About that 15 percent of officers who regularly abuse their power: a major problem is they exert an outsize influence on department culture and find support for their actions from ranking officers and police unions. Chicago is a prime example of this: the city has created a reparations fund for the hundreds of victims who were tortured by former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge and officers under his command from the 1970s to the early ‘90s.

The victims were electrically shocked, suffocated, and beaten into false confessions that resulted in many of them being convicted and serving time for crimes they didn't commit.  One man, Darrell Cannon, spent 24 years in prison for a crime he confessed to but didn't commit. He confessed when officers repeatedly appeared to load a shotgun and after doing so each time put it in his mouth and pulled the trigger. Other men received electric shocks until they confessed." [Read more]

Because the more you know.......

Thursday, May 28, 2015

State violence redux.

Image result for san bernardino pregnant woman image      We can thank the institution of body cameras on law enforcement officials for allowing us to get yet another glimpse of encounters between police officers and citizens here in America.

"Shocking body camera video shows two Southern California cops slam an eight-months pregnant woman to the ground after a parking lot dispute started as the woman dropped her child off at school.
The city of Barstow, an Inland Empire city in San Bernardino County, defended the officers' actions, writing in a statement that Charlena Michelle Cooks was actively resisting arrest during the January incident.

"The Barstow Police Department continues to be proactive in training its officers to assess and handle interactions with emotionally charged individuals while conducting an investigation, for the protection of everyone involved," the statement, obtained by the Desert Dispatch, reads.

The bizarre confrontation began when Cooks and another woman, a school employee, got into a “road rage” confrontation in the parking lot at Crestline Elementary School, where Cooks was dropping off her second-grade daughter.

The officer, speaking to the other woman, says no crime has been committed and he’ll go speak to Cooks about what happened and “document her name.”

As Cooks explains her side, the officer suddenly cuts her off and asks for identification, something he hadn’t done with the other woman.

"I don't even think that that disagreement in the parking lot was enough to warrant a call to the police," Cooks told the Dispatch.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, which took up Cooks’ case and released the video, says California law does not require someone to identify themselves “for no reason.”Cooks, in the video, tells the officer that she’d like to call her boyfriend and verify the law about identification. But the officer, after first promising to give her “two minutes” to find out whether she must give up her name, walks up to Cooks after 20 seconds and grabs her arm as she wriggles and starts to yell.

Do not touch me, do not touch me, I’m pregnant!” Cooks begs as she’s pushed against a chain link fence. “What the f--k is going on!”

A second officer comes over and the officer with the camera on asks, “Why are you resisting, ma’am?”

He and the other officer then took her to the ground, stomach down, and handcuffed her behind her back.

“This is ridiculous, what are you doing?” the incredulous Cooks asks. “I didn’t even do anything wrong.”

"I don't think I've ever been that terrified in my life," Cooks recently told the Dispatch. "I never saw that coming. I told him I was pregnant so he could proceed with caution. That didn't happen and the first thing I thought was I didn't want to fall to the ground. I felt the pressure on my stomach from falling and I was calling for help. But those guys are supposed to help me. But who is supposed to help me when they are attacking me?"

Cooks was put in the back of a police cruiser and later booked on a charge of resisting or obstructing a police officer, a charge later tossed by a judge.

The officer involved in the incident is shown on video recounting for another officer what happened.
“I gave her a minute to give up her name and I went to put her under arrest and she resisted arrest,” he said. “That’s all there is to it.”' [See video and story here]

Yep, "That's all there is to it."


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Rand vs. the hawks.

Image result for rand paul hawks cartoon imagesAnd now a few words from Rand Paul:

"I would say it's exactly the opposite.... "ISIS exists and grew stronger because of the hawks in our party who gave arms indiscriminately, and most of those arms were snatched up by ISIS. These hawks also wanted to bomb [Syrian dictator Bashar] Assad, which would have made ISIS's job even easier."

Thank you Mr. Paul. It's nice to see that there is at least one GOP candidate who understands the nuanced and complicated reality that is the Middle East.

We just can't bomb and fight our way out of this problem. At some point we have to find a political solution. Clearly the military option has not been working.

Memo to our current president: You drone program is not the answer, either. 

"The thing is that people need to understand the Middle East is complicated and there are no easy answers. We need to do what we do to protect American interests..... The ultimate victory is going to come when civilized Islam steps up and civilized Islam says that this aberration that is ISIS is intolerable."

I am not sure how Rand Paul will do in the republican primary. But if I  had a vote he would get some serious consideration.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

State violence?

C"Conservatives  seem to think that there has been a spike in violence nationwide thanks to president Obama and feral Negroes running wild.

Now while I will acknowledge that there is too much violence in our country, and that there is too much black on black crime in urban areas struggling with generational poverty; I submit to you that we now live in a country where some in law enforcement are no better than the criminal element that they took an oath to protect us from.  

"I'm going to punt you in your pussy."

These were the words of LAPD Officer Mary O'Callaghan to Alesia Thomas. Handcuffed with her legs restrained, Alesia can be seen getting punched in the throat by Officer O'Callaghan who then delivered on her promise and kicked her directly in her groin - repeatedly. This was nearly 3 years ago.

It was recorded on the dashcam.
As O'Callaghan jabbed at the woman's throat with her hand, Thomas looked into the camera with wide eyes. The recording captured Thomas, who also had her legs tied with a nylon hobble restraint, repeatedly saying, “I can’t.”
The video showed O’Callaghan raise her boot and strike Thomas, whose body shook in response. A few minutes later, Thomas’ eyes closed and her head fell backward, the video showed. The recording then cut off.

She died at the hospital that evening. The video of her being assaulted was just released for the first time in court and can be seen below.'. [Source]

I know that policing is a dangerous job, but if a perp is handcuffed and you still choose to give them the Rodney King treatment, you might just need to find another line of work.

Monday, May 25, 2015

The Republican Crusades.

The Field Negro education series continues.

"One of the hot issues in the 2016 presidential election is how to deal with terror and slaughter in the name of Islam. President Obama and Hillary Clinton refuse to call such violence Islamic. They insist that Muslims are victims, not allies, of ISIS and al-Qaida.

The Republican candidates for president say this reluctance to associate Islam with jihadi violence is naïve, wimpy, and dangerous. “We need a commander in chief who will once and for all call it what it is, and that is that radical Islamic terrorism is a threat to us all,” says Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. Rick Santorum agrees: “Islam is an ideology. And we need to be honest about the American public about what the nature of our enemy really is.” Sen. Marco Rubio promises a Reaganesque crusade:
[W]e must restore America’s willingness to think big—to state boldly what we stand for and why it is right. Just as Reagan never flinched in his criticisms of the Soviet Union’s political and economic repressions, we must never shy away from demanding that China allow true freedom for its 1.3 billion people. Nor should we hesitate in calling the source of atrocities in the Middle East by its real name—radical Islam.
The Republicans don’t just call the enemy Islamic. They criticize Clinton and Obama for preaching coexistence. At last weekend’s South Carolina Freedom Summit, they laughed off the Crusades and defended mockery of Islam. Carly Fiorina, a former Republican Senate nominee now running for president, demanded to know why Clinton has advocated “religious tolerance” and “the need to empathize with our enemies while Christians are being beheaded and crucified.”

Republicans who talk this way think they’re being tough. In reality, however, they’re aiding the enemy. They’re doing for ISIS what they did for al-Qaida: assisting its recruitment, social media, and political strategy. Rhetorically, ISIS and the GOP are in perfect harmony.
Don’t take it from me. Take it from the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. On Thursday his media team released a speech in which the would-be caliph presents his views on Islam, tolerance, and sectarian violence. Baghdadi sounds like a Republican candidate for president. Here’s what he says:
1. This is a war between Muslims and non-Muslims. ISIS, like al-Qaida, can’t wage a global or even regional war with 30,000 fighters. To build popular support, it needs to frame the conflict in religious terms. That’s why Baghdadi agrees with American conservatives who say our enemy is Islam:
O Muslims! Do not think the war that we are waging is the Islamic State’s war alone. Rather, it is the Muslims’ war altogether. It is the war of every Muslim in every place. … O Muslims everywhere, has the time not come for you to realize the truth of the conflict and that it is between disbelief and faith? … This war is only against you and against your religion.
2. Coexistence is impossible. Is authentic Islam compatible with Western values? Many conservative activists and politicians say it isn’t. This belief suits Baghdadi. He tells Muslims that they must choose:
O Muslims! Whoever thinks that it is within his capacity to conciliate with the Jews, Christians, and other disbelievers, and for them to conciliate with him, such that he coexists with them and they coexist with him while he is upon his religion and upon tawhīd (monotheism), then he has belied the explicit statement of his Lord (the Mighty and Majestic), who says, “And never will the Jews or the Christians approve of you until you follow their religion. … And they will continue to fight you until they turn you back from your religion.”
3. Islam is a religion of war. Santorum, Rudy Giuliani, and other Republicans say ISIS has a scriptural basis for its violence. Two weeks ago Jeb Bush said “part” of the Muslim world was “not a religion of peace.” Baghdadi, too, rejects the religion-of-peace narrative:
O Muslims, Islam was never for a day the religion of peace. Islam is the religion of war. Your Prophet (peace be upon him) was dispatched with the sword as a mercy to the creation. He was ordered with war until Allah is worshipped alone. He (peace be upon him) said to the polytheists of his people, “I came to you with slaughter.” … He never for a day grew tired of war.
The religion-of-war narrative, whatever its scholarly merits, serves political interests on both sides. It gives the Republicans red meat for the primaries, and it helps Baghdadi persuade Muslims that they’re commanded by God to support ISIS.
4. America doesn’t care about Muslim civilian casualties or civil liberties. Baghdadi says followers of Islam should stand with him because they can’t trust Western governments to protect their rights or spare their innocents. He warns Muslims:
And if the Crusaders today claim to avoid the Muslim public and to confine themselves to targeting the armed amongst them, then soon you will see them targeting every Muslim everywhere. And if the Crusaders today have begun to bother the Muslims who continue to live in the lands of the cross by monitoring them, arresting them, and questioning them, then soon they will begin to displace them and take them away either dead, imprisoned, or homeless.
Republicans seem determined to prove Baghdadi right. A few years ago, Rubio, Fiorina, Newt Gingrich, and other GOP leaders denounced peaceful Muslim pluralists for proposing to build a mosque in Manhattan near the site of the 9/11 attacks. Last weekend in South Carolina, Santorum complained that most of the planes we’re flying over ISIS territory “come back not having dropped their ordnance.” Apparently, Santorum thinks the military is too careful in its selection and examination of targets.

The convergence of Republican rhetoric with jihadist propaganda isn’t new. It’s been building ever since George W. Bush left the White House. Liberated from presidential responsibility, Republicans degenerated into a party that uses Islam for domestic politics instead of thinking about how their words resonate overseas. That’s how they became backup singers for Osama Bin Laden. Now they’re working for Baghdadi. Remind me again who’s naïve." [Source]

*Pic from

Sunday, May 24, 2015

"The mistake on the lake"?

Image for the news result A now a word from the governor of Ohio after the acquittal of an officer for the alleged state- sanctioned killings in the city of Cleveland.

"The court has spoken and we must respect its decision. Everyone must have the right for their response to be heard––including when they are angry and hurt––and voicing that frustration in a peaceful way helps us all rise above those forces that would hold us back and tear us down. In Ohio we are working hard to rebuild strong communities where every voice is heard and respected––and we’re making progress, but we’ve got a lot of work to do. Our statewide initiative to improve the way that communities and police work together, with better training, oversight and cooperation, is a model for the country, but we must stay at it. Even in the middle of the strong feelings many have today we can’t lose sight of how Ohio has begun to successfully come together. We are one Cleveland and one Ohio and, with God’s help, together we will keep building for ourselves and our children the kind of world that we all deserve."

Yes, we must respect the court and the rule of law. As we must respect the right of every citizen to protest and exercise their First Amendment rights.

But what we must not allow is a hypocritical politician to make a mockery of the process itself and treat the rest of us as if we have no sense.

Nothing about what is happening in Cleveland, Ohio is a "model for the country". The killing of young Tamir Rice proves that.

Well written press releases will not make the pain and anger of generational poverty and injustice go away. It will not cure the hearts of bigots who only want to wear a uniform to live out some power-trip and take part in self-aggrandizing actions.

Cleveland might win their first professional championship in fifty years. I am sure that the last thing that the powers that be in that town want is a riot to spoil the parade.

"LeBron James urged the city of Cleveland to remain calm and channel its energy into the Cavaliers' playoff run in the aftermath of a judge's decision to acquit a police officer of manslaughter in a 2012 shooting which led to the death of two African-Americans.

"For the city of Cleveland, let's use our excitement or whatever passion that we have for our sport tomorrow, for the game tomorrow night, bring it tomorrow night ... our team we'll try to do our best to give it back to them," James said following the Cavaliers' light workout today."

I love LeBron, but jump shots can't cure injustice, and just "channeling its energy" into a basketball team will not change bad policing policies.

I understand this kind of rhetoric coming from the  governor. He is, after all, a politician. But I think it would have been best if the star of the Cleveland basketball team had said nothing at all.

Saturday, May 23, 2015


I need a caption for this pic.

Friday, May 22, 2015

I wish James Brown was around so that I could thank him for his service.

Image result for james brown el paso imagesAs we draw close to Memorial Day, I would like to share a story about a veteran with you.

"Twenty-six-year-old James Brown served two tours in Iraq. He didn't make it two days in a Texas jail.

In 2012, Brown was arrested in El Paso, Texas, where he was living with his family while on active duty, and sentenced to two days in the El Paso County Detention Facility for a DWI.
According to KFOX14, when Brown self-reported to the jail, he told the intake officer that he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Once in custody, he called his mom.

He said, 'They're trying to make me stay seven days instead of two days, so I just want to pay the court fine and get out of here,'" Dinette Robinson-Scott said. Brown asked his mother if she would pay the fine to get him released. She paid the money the next day and learned that overnight, her son had died.

"When a 26-year-old man checks into jail for a court-imposed sentence on a Friday, and he leaves Sunday in a casket, something went horribly wrong there," one of the Brown family attorneys, B.J. Crow, told the news station.
After a hard-fought battle to have video footage released of the incident that Brown's family believes led to his death, KFOX14 learned that during Brown's stay, several guards detained him and did not order medical attention even though Brown can be heard throughout the recording saying that he can't breathe. At one point, Brown can be heard yelling, "I'm choking on my blood."

According to KFOX14, at some point during his incarceration, Brown had an "episode in his cell that caused him to bleed." The footage does not show how Brown began bleeding or how the blood got onto the walls of his one-person cell, but officers can be seen asking Brown questions. Brown refuses to answer, and guards in riot gear enter the cell and force Brown to the ground. As many as five guards can be seen on top of Brown, who appears to be flat on the ground. At no point during the footage does Brown appear to be resisting the officers, but he can be heard yelling, "I can't breathe."Throughout the recording, Brown appears to be losing consciousness. At one point, he begs guards to remove the spit guard they have placed over his mouth. At another point, he begs officers for water. He is given half a Dixie cup.

KFOX14 notes that, "By the end of the clip, Brown's physical condition appears to deteriorate, showing shallow breathing and no longer blinking or being responsive. Brown appears to no longer be capable of pleading for anything. Attorneys say at no time was an ambulance or 911 called for help."

After Brown is completely unresponsive, KFOX14 reports that Brown is taken to University Medical Center, where he is pronounced dead.

The official autopsy report lists "natural causes by sickle cell crisis," the news station notes.
"Mr. Brown's death was an unfortunate tragedy," El Paso County Sheriff Richard Wiles said in a statement viewed by KFOX14. "The sheriff's office has conducted a thorough review of the facts surrounding Mr. Brown's death and, based upon all the evidence obtained, determined that his death was caused by a pre-existing medical condition. The specific evidence cannot be discussed because of pending litigation."
Thee news station noted that Brown did not have a known history of sickle cell crisis and had never suffered an incident before, but added that sickle cell can stay dormant and be triggered by stress and dehydration". [Story and video here]

Hmmm, two tours in Iraq, and it took this incident to trigger a "sickle cell crisis".

Ok then.

Anyway, it should be interesting to see where this investigation takes us. I have my own thoughts on how this will go down. I mean El Paso is in Texas, right?

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Rewriting our history in Iraq .

Image result for war middle east images"Only the dead have seen the end of war.” ~Plato~ 

Be careful America, I believe that there will soon be a war coming to a television near you.

"For the last week, liberals and conservatives have been arguing over the Iraq war. They agree that it was a mistake. But where liberals see lies and misinformation—“America invaded Iraq because the Bush administration wanted a war,” writes Paul Krugman—conservatives see an honest error. “[C]learly there were mistakes as it related to faulty intelligence in the lead-up to the war and the lack of focus on security,” said Jeb Bush in one of his four follow-ups to a now-consequential question on the Iraq war last week. “The intelligence was clearly wrong,” said former CEO Carly Fiorina, “And so had we known that the intelligence was wrong, no, I would not have gone in.

Outside of the presidential race, conservative writers have tried to highlight the “honest” part of the mistake by emphasizing the national consensus around Saddam Hussein and weapons of mass destruction. “Though certainly not unanimous,” writes Matt Lewis for the Daily Caller, “the truth is that there was a strong bipartisan consensus that Iraq had WMDs. This included President Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, and even Nancy Pelosi.” Lewis ends there, but the intended argument is clear: You can’t accuse Bush of misleading the public when everyone, independent of the administration, also believed that Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

Except that you can. As Jonathan Chait notes for New York, “misleading the public” into a war of choice isn’t mutually exclusive to having faulty intelligence, especially given the official conclusion that “the administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when in reality it was unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even non-existent.” As Chait writes, “The Bush administration was the victim of bad intelligence, but also the perpetrator. Its defense lies in pretending that those two things cannot both be the case.” And at Mother Jones, David Corn points to the long trail of evidence showing the extent to which Bush officials exaggerated existing evidence and actively deceived the public about Iraq’s threat to the United States. Not only did Vice President Dick Cheney insist there was “very clear evidence” Hussein was developing nuclear weapons (there wasn’t), but he—along with President Bush and other members of the administration—worked to link Hussein to the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. “In November 2002,” notes Corn, “Bush said Saddam ‘is a threat because he’s dealing with Al Qaeda.’ ”
But there’s more to this dispute than the details of the run-up to the Iraq war. Conservatives don’t just want to avoid the extent to which the invasion was an active decision and not the passive result of “faulty intelligence.” They also want to enshrine the underlying logic of the war. The argument that the Iraq war was an honest mistake from bad assessments is also an argument that the invasion was the proper response to the potential threat of a WMD-equipped Saddam. It’s an endorsement of the Bush-Cheney strategy of “preventive war.”

To that point, Sen. Marco Rubio flatly states that Iraq “was not a mistake” because “the president was presented with intelligence that said Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, it was governed by a man who had committed atrocities in the past with weapons of mass destruction.” Hussein’s brutality, in other words, was justification enough for the invasion. Likewise, in an interview with Bloomberg, Elliott Abrams—a former foreign policy adviser in the Bush administration and adviser to Rubio—said that “the proximate cause of the invasion was the intel about WMDs.”

The intelligence, in other words, compelled the invasion. Anyone else would have made the same choice.

But they wouldn’t have. In his speech against the Iraq war authorization bill, then-Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold agreed that Saddam posed “a genuine threat, especially in the form of weapons of mass destruction,” but didn’t think this required a new war:
Mr. President, I believe it is dangerous for the world, and especially dangerous for us, to take the tragedy of 9–11 and the word “terrorism” and all their powerful emotion and then too easily apply them to many other situations—situations that surely need our serious attention but are not necessarily, Mr. President, the same as individuals and organizations who have shown a willingness to fly planes into the World Trade Center and into the Pentagon.
Other opponents, like Al Gore, made similar statements. “It is reasonable to conclude that we face a problem that is severe, chronic, and likely to become worse over time,” said the former vice president of international terrorism in a September 2002 speech, “But is a general doctrine of pre-emption necessary in order to deal with this problem? With respect to weapons of mass destruction, the answer is clearly not.” Millions of Americans—upward of 40 percent—agreed. And to this you can add the scores of analysts, journalists, and wonks who sharply disagreed that a war was needed to keep Iraq from distributing or using nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons. Writing in National Review, for example, one Cato Institute scholar made the sensible point that Hussein had no incentive to give away the fruits of a nuclear program: “Baghdad would be the immediate suspect and likely target of retaliation should any terrorist deploy nuclear weapons, and Saddam knows this.” His conclusion? “There’s certainly no hurry to go to war. Nothing is different today from September 10, 2001, or any time since Iraq was ousted from Kuwait.”' [More here]

History will not be kind to the architects of the Iraq war. And it shouldn't be.

The sad thing is, though, that there are still politricksters out there trying to convince the rest of us that going after the madman that ruled over Iraq was the right thing to do. It was not.

By shaking up the hornet's nest that is the Middle East, George Bush and Dick Cheney thought that there were putting their "preventive" war strategy to good use.

Sadly for them, their "preventive" war has only prevented peace in the Middle East.


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

When aberrations get violent.

Image result for waco bike  imagesHmmm, so they found more than a few weapons where these thugs good red blooded Americans were just blowing off some steam in Waco, Texas, the other day.

Nothing to see here folks. Move along. This is not like when you Negroes loot and burn your neighborhoods and take all the good stuff that "the man" put there for you to buy.

Some of you Negroes are upset because of the way the media chose to cover this little misunderstanding between those road hogs down in Texas. You think that they treated this like just another fight between a bunch of guys who had a little too much to drink.

Who knows?

I do know one thing: If nine people had been murdered during those "riots" in Baltimore, the Special Forces would have been in that bad boy kicking ass and taking names.

"One of the most distinct characteristics of white privilege is the privilege to be unique. When white people commit violent acts, they are treated as aberrations, slips described with adjectives that show they are unusual and in no way representative of the broader racial group to which they belong. 
In fact, in much of the coverage of the Waco shootings, the race of the gang members isn't even mentioned, although pictures of the aftermath show groups of white bikers being held by police. By comparison, the day after Freddie Gray died in the custody of police officers in Baltimore, not only did most coverage mention that Gray was black, but also included a quote from the deputy police commissioner noting Gray was arrested in "a high-crime area known to have high narcotic incidents," implicitly smearing Gray and the entire community."
Those bikers are not white, sir; they are aberrations. Remember that.