October 17, 2015
On the news this morning an unarmed sixteen year old black male shot and killed by a police officer. Early in their interaction the young man asked the police officer for his badge number. The police officer refused to supply the requested information. In my opinion everything the officer did after that point should have been considered to be illegal. At least one night during the protests in Ferguson the police officers all put black tape over their badge number. Hiding their badge numbers, in my opinion, turned them into a gang of thugs, they were no longer a bona fide police force.
If an officer is being fired upon he certainly has the right to take whatever action is necessary to protect his life, but all citizens have that right. In my opinion refusing to supply your badge number should remove a person from the ranks of the police force until that information is supplied. A police officer has no right to anonymity while on duty, they must be willing, and required, to supply their badge number at the request of any citizen.
May 19, 2015
According Nestlé’s Chairman of the Board, Peter Brabeck, “The one opinion, which I think is extreme, is represented by the NGOs, who bang on about declaring water a public right. That means as a human being you should have a right to water. That’s an extreme solution.” Having a right to water is an ‘extreme solution’. That is equivalent to saying humans having a right to be alive is an ‘extreme solution’. Wasn’t a right to life the first of our Declaration of Independence’s ‘God given’ rights?
The Nestlé company seems to be trying to walk back their chairman’s heartfelt deceleration of human beings lack of basic rights. This might be more believable if they hadn’t, at the World Water Forum in 2000, successfully lobbied to stop water from being declared a universal right, declaring open hunting season on our local water resources by the multinational corporations looking to control them.
This is more than Nestlè’s continuing to pump, and profit from, California’s irreplaceable ground water during our worst draught in history, across the globe, Nestlé is pushing to privatize and control public water resources. Truly the ultimate expression of a Libertarian Utopia. The rich get water, everyone else dies.
May 13, 2015
The Progressive Agenda
1-Lift the Floor for Working People »
-Raise the federal minimum wage, so that it reaches $15/hour, while indexing it to inflation.
-Reform the National Labor Relations Act, to enhance workers’ right to organize and rebuild the middle class.
-Pass comprehensive immigration reform to grow the economy and protect against exploitation of low-wage workers.
-Oppose trade deals that hand more power to corporations at the expense of American jobs, workers’ rights, and the environment.
2-Support Working Families »
-Pass national paid sick leave.
-Pass national paid family leave.
-Make Pre-K, after-school programs and childcare universal.
-Expand the Earned Income Tax Credit.
-Allow students to refinance student loan debt to take advantage of lower interest rates.
3-Tax Fairness »
-Close the carried interest loophole.
-End tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas.
-Implement the “Buffett Rule” so millionaires pay their fair share.
-Close the CEO tax loophole that allows corporations to take advantage of “performance pay” write-offs.
The Progressive Agenda
April 22, 2015
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who guards the guardians? or Who watches the watchers?
In a modern translation, who polices the police. It has become undeniably obvious that the police cannot or will not police themselves, and we cannot depend on civil authorities to bring the police under control. There is an answer. We, the people, police the law officers we pay for.
Each of us has a camera and video recorder in our possession and we are getting better at making videos whenever we see police officers using what seems to be excessive force on a citizen. We need to extend this surveillance. Take pictures of every on duty police officer or sheriff’s deputy you see during the day in or out of their patrol cars. Post the pictures using the hash tag #PolicingThePolice. Let them know that, since they will not take care of the problem themselves, law abiding citizens will be watching them. We will not allow violent officers to remain hidden by their fellow officers who refuse to control them or eliminate them from the force.
For several years I worked in a job that brought me into contact with police officers at crime scenes. While I have never had anything but friendly interactions with law officers of all varieties, and I firmly believe that the vast majority of law officers in this country are honestly trying to do the best job they are able for the community they serve, they have not been able to remove the overly violent officers they serve with.
November 2, 2014
We’ve seen the maps of the United States with areas colored red, or blue, depending on how the citizens vote. It’s always so overwhelmingly red. This map is adjusted for population. Notice it’s not so overwhelmingly read.
August 17, 2014
Watching the events in #Ferguson it’s hard not to believe that everyone, from the governor down wants the black community to riot. It will continue to move the story away from the murder of an unarmed young man who was holding his hands up in the universal sign of surrender. The only reason to release a video that the Police Chief himself said was irrelevant to the case was to incite more unrest in the community, smear the young man who was murdered by the police officer, and start the story moving away from the murder.
The Chief of Police said, with almost a smirk on his face, that he released it because the news media insisted and he couldn’t hold it any longer. In truth, the news media didn’t know this video existed, they asked for the incident report of the murder to be released which, Missouri state law requires. That incident report still has not been released. All the witnesses agree that the young man was shot while running away, then stopped, raised his hands and turned around. Autopsy reports have not been released. Excuse me for believing they are being withheld because they agree with the eye witnesses.
May 10, 2014
Through all the hyperventilation, hysterics, rumor mongering, fund raising, and attempts to trump up a scandal, the Republicans in the House have not done one thing that actually makes our diplomats safer. In fact, they’ve cut the security budget for the State Department. Even now the new select committee is not investigating what can be done to to increase the security for our diplomats, they are investigating who had input in writing the ‘talking points’ for our Ambassador to the United Nations to use when she talked about the tragedy on national television. Despite them not being able to point to anything that has been covered up, they desperately want to prove that there was a cover up.
It’s no surprise that there was a lot of thought, care, and communications involved in crafting the talking points, there was a CIA operation involved. When the CIA is involved we need to be vary careful about what we say in public. Of course Republicans, seeing their willingness to expose CIA operatives, probably don’t think it’s all that important.
It is obvious that the Select Committee on Benghazi is more about fund raising, the mid term elections, and tarnishing Hillary Clinton’s reputation before the 2016 presidential election than it is about the safety of our diplomats abroad.