Friday, July 27, 2012

Did you see a bulge in his pants before the NYPD officer put his hands all over him, body slamming him against the wall? By law, to conduct a frisk -- a light pat-down over the clothes -- police must observe a bulge they believe to be a weapon. The officer also appears to reach down into his suspect's pockets, a search that is only legal if the frisk uncovers what the cop at least thinks is a weapon. 
The Constitutional apathy begins before the illegal searches, however, with the initial stop. The NYPD can only stop someone they have reasonable suspicion to believe is engaging in criminal activity.  Unfortunately, the law is so vague suspicion can include "furtive movements," which apparently Black and Laitno people make a lot of. 
While the lawlessness of stop-and-frisk is believed to be widespread, proving an unjust stop or search can be nearly impossible. An article in The New York Times about the young man in the video above, 19-year-old Sean Pagan, reveals the difficulty behind proving police misbehavior without a camera:
[Sean] Pagan said he did not know why he had been stopped in the first place, but a police spokesman said Mr. Pagan had entered the subway station without paying, then refused to show the officer his identification and resisted arrest. He was charged with theft of services and resisting arrest. According to the police, Mr. Pagan had been arrested nine times prior to last Thursday and once since then, for offenses including criminal mischief, creating graffiti, intent to damage property, telephone harassment and criminal contempt.
Mr. Pagan, who is Hispanic, said the officers at the precinct house where he was taken joked and laughed about his body-slamming.
Without the video, he said, he would not have known how to draw attention to his arrest. Even his mother did not believe his story until she saw the video, he said.
“It would’ve been his word over mine,” he said. “He would’ve said I was resisting and going crazy. It would’ve been brushed under the rug.”
So, how many more are like Pagan? Every year, the NYPD stops more than half-a-million people,  about half of them who are frisked.  Nearly 90% of them are Black or Latino, the vast majority are young, and almost all of them are found of innocent of any crime.
AlterNet / By Kristen Gwynne

Posted at July 27, 2012, 10:26am

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

In modern times, nearly every nation has had a psychopath or two commit a mass murder, regardless of how strict their gun laws are – the crazed white supremacist in Norway one year ago Sunday, the schoolyard butcher in Dunblane, Scotland, the École Polytechnique killer in Montreal, the mass murderer in Erfurt, Germany … the list seems endless.
And now the Aurora shooter last Friday. There have always been insane people, and there always will be.
But here's the difference between the rest of the world and us: We have TWO Auroras that take place every single day of every single year! At least 24 Americans every day (8-9,000 a year) are killed by people with guns – and that doesn't count the ones accidentally killed by guns or who commit suicide with a gun. Count them and you can triple that number to over 25,000.
That means the United States is responsible for over 80% of all the gun deaths in the 23 richest countries combined. Considering that the people of those countries, as human beings, are no better or worse than any of us, well, then, why us?
Both conservatives and liberals in America operate with firmly held beliefs as to "the why" of this problem. And the reason neither can find their way out of the box toward a real solution is because, in fact, they're both half right.
The right believes that the Founding Fathers, through some sort of divine decree, have guaranteed them the absolute right to own as many guns as they desire. And they will ceaselessly remind you that a gun cannot fire itself – that "Guns don't kill people, people kill people."
Of course, they know they're being intellectually dishonest (if I can use that word) when they say that about the Second Amendment because they know the men who wrote the constitution just wanted to make sure a militia could be quickly called up from amongst the farmers and merchants should the Brits decide to return and wreak some havoc.
But they are half right when they say "Guns don't kill people." I would just alter that slogan slightly to speak the real truth: "Guns don't kill people, Americans kill people."

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Yesterday we reported on the Anaheim, California police department opening fire and releasing dogs into a crowd of women and children.
Today we learn, via Firedoglake that the cops in question must have been aware how bad their actions were, as they were eager to cover their tracks:
The segment ends with Jackson saying what I believe is the real story (and what I put in the headline). After police fired at innocent men, women and children, who were at most angry about a shooting in their community, the police went into damage control mode. They asked multiple people, who had been shooting video with their cell phones to let officers “buy” their footage so it would not be seen on the Internet.
KCAL’s segment on the shooting is the kind of reporting that should come from a local news outlet. It represents the truth of what was happening on the ground, but one will also notice it lacks an official statement from any police officials on what happened. Therefore, this is what was broadcast before police could propagandize the situation with their talking points.
However, an investigation of these claims and characterizations by AlterNet and the Investigative Fund at the Nation Institute makes clear that they are patently false. Not only did both Simcox and Gilchrist have extensive dealings with Forde over the years, both repeatedly courted her work and her organization. Simcox didn’t chase Forde out of the MCDC: he begged Forde not to leave his fold. In the case of Gilchrist, one witness to the conversation says that, in 2008, he and Forde discussed her plan to finance the movement by ripping off drug dealers — and that he was enthusiastic about it. Forde not only was fully empowered by Minuteman movement leadership, she was enacting a violent scheme with what she believed was their tacit approval.
you cant talk to a man if he dont want to understand

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Is prayer really the last refuge of the scoundrel?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Reed has described FFC, launched in 2009, as "a 21st century version of the Christian Coalition on steroids." Reed's new organization seeks to meld the religious right with the Tea Party movement through the use of voter turnout stratedgies. But however successful he was in bringing right-wing evangelical voters to the polls during his tenure at the Christian Coalition, his managerial skills and business ethics appeared to be less than stellar.

Friday, July 6, 2012

are there no poor houses are there no prisons?

During this time, Republicans have moved farther to the right — on economic issues, at least — than Democrats have moved to the left. Asked whether the government should take care of people who cannot take care of themselves, 75 percent of Democrats now say yes, down only slightly from 79 percent in 1987. But just 40 percent of Republicans say so, down from 62 percent in 1987.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

I think I’ve changed a lot, and it’s not because I’ve become a liberal from being a conservative — it’s just that I thought about it more. The issues are so complex, you can’t just go with some ideological mantra for each substantive issue.

oh you grew up?