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We know how you voted, we are watching you, say mailers from both parties

surveillance cameras

Democrat Colin McEnroe at the Hartford Courant says the Connecticut Democratic Party just keeps getting sleazier. He’s gotten three mailers detailing how he and neighbors voted in the past, warning his voting will be monitored in the coming election. This is supposed to encourage you to vote? But then, this is what happens when a political party is out of ideas, clues, and ethics. Republicans do same thing, trying to threaten and shame people into voting. This race to bottom is bipartisan and shows the moral bankruptcy of both parties. Neither have coherent platforms and exist primarily to attack each other and to grovel for legal bribes called campaign contributions.

Just when you thought this campaign season couldn’t sink any lower or become any more repulsive, the Connecticut Democrats have found a new crack they can slither down into.

Connecticut voters have been receiving mail pieces — three different ones to this address — in which the addressee’s pattern of showing up to vote is listed, apparently just to prove that the people sending the mail know which elections you voted in. The most disgusting of the three — sent by the state central committee of the Connecticut Democrats — also lists two other people from your street, with data about whether they voted in the last three elections.

The tone of the mailings is chilling, like something you’d get from Stasi in East Berlin in 1967. “Who you vote for is private, but whether or not you vote is public record,” it says.

And then: “We will be reviewing these records after the election to determine whether or not you joined your neighbor in voting.” Oh you will, will you?

In a comical display of incompetence, many of the mailers were addressed to the wrong person.

So this tactic — despicable on its face — has been made even worse through incompetence.

Imagine that you were a recently naturalized citizen or an older person who feels a little shaky and vulnerable. How would this make you feel?

It would probably scare them at least somewhat, and make them less likely to vote for that party.

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Mainstream liberal media loves Big Brother

obey. obeygiant.com

Mainstream liberal media is totally ok with repressive policies coming from the White House so long as a Democrat is the occupant. They defend Obama for doing what they attacked Bush for, and are terribly, terribly upset by what those scalawags Greenwald and Snowden are doing, with exposing state secrets and making the government look like thugs. Like Bob Dylan once said, “You just want to be on the side that’s winning.”

Yet this does not disconcert much of the liberal media elite. Many writers who used to focus on bashing Bush for his transgressions now direct their energies against those who are sounding alarms about the pervasiveness of the national-security state. Others, despite their liberal affectations, have perhaps always been enthusiasts for a strong security state.

Criticize the government in any meaningful sense and you become an enemy of the state, say these mainstream liberals, who appear to favor Stasi-like surveillance and a docile, cowed populace. With them holding positions of power, or course.

Wilentz apparently sees Greenwald and Snowden, quite literally, as enemies of the state. By attacking the NSA, they are undermining faith in the federal government and hence, Wilentz intimates, in liberalism itself.

Mainstream liberals just can’t fathom a world where their tedious divisions between left and right are meaningless. The real split is between authoritarian and non-authoritarian, and such liberals are sharply on the authoritarian side. They know what is best for you and criticism of the national security state undermines democracy just, because.

Nonetheless, Snowden’s “distrust of institutions and hostility to any intrusion on personal autonomy place him beyond the sphere in American politics where left and right are relevant categories.”

Kinsley is even worse, saying our government should have final say on what journalists publish, a view which is anti-freedom and anti-democratic at core.

Kinsley argues that not only can we not trust Glenn Greenwald with decisions over the disclosure of information, but we shouldn’t trust journalists or publishers either. While Kinsley acknowledges that the Snowden revelations were a “legitimate scoop,” which revealed criminal behavior by the NSA, he argues that governments have to have the “final say” over which information gets published in democracies.

Drat these troublesome upstarts from the lower classes who clearly do not know their place.

Kinsley’s objection concerns what a member of the British ruling classes might describe as Greenwald’s and Snowden’s lack of soundness. He clearly believes that neither Greenwald nor Snowden has the right disposition to make good choices in ticklish situations.

Their worst fears sound great to me.

Wilentz intimates that Greenwald is plotting to create a United Front of anti-imperialist left-wingers, libertarians and isolationist paleoconservatives.

Malcolm X, 1963

The white liberal differs from the white conservative only in one way: the liberal is more deceitful than the conservative. The liberal is more hypocritical than the conservative.

Both want power, but the white liberal is the one who has perfected the art of posing as the Negro’s friend and benefactor; and by winning the friendship, allegiance, and support of the Negro, the white liberal is able to use the Negro as a pawn or tool in this political “football game” that is constantly raging between the white liberals and white conservatives.

Liberal duplicity hasn’t changed much since 1963.

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What could possibly go wrong with Google nano particles in your body?

We promise to not be harmful and  to never abuse your medical privacy

We promise to not be harmful and to never abuse your medical privacy

Google is becoming positively Stasi-esque in its relentless march to monitor every facet of our lives. It is creating nano particles to journey through our bodies, reporting data back to whoever. Google assures a perhaps skeptical public that the particles are completely safe, comparing this to their self-driving car, which isn’t safe at all since it can’t handle real world weather conditions. So then, it’s not really safe at all, is it?

Conrad likened the way these nano particles travel through your body to “a self driving car for your body,” and said that the particles itself are very safe.

As for the thorny privacy issue of who gets to read the data, Google approaches that like arms merchants. They just sell the technology. What happens to the data is not their business. Of course they may secretly send it all to their servers and then to NSA. Am I paranoid? I think not. Google has shown many times they care little for user privacy and have been in bed with the government for years, and at the highest levels too.

Google wants to partner with others to make this nano platform commercially available. Conrad didn’t mention any potential partners by name, but said that Google would leave all the data capturing and the cooperation with doctors and health care providers to those partners. He said Google’s role would be more like GE, which also doesn’t own everyone’s MRI, but simply is behind the technology powering MRI machines.

So, as the No Agenda podcast says, “Shut up, slaves” and accept the wonderfulness that is Google invading every inch of your lives.

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Active Shooter situations. Have a plan, be aware.

Michael Zehaf Bibeau running towards Parliament with a rifle

Michael Zehaf Bibeau running towards Parliament with a rifle

In an active shooter situation, professionals with weapons move in and eliminate the shooter. The rest of us should probably get out of the way and hide someplace safe unless events force us to take action.

Active Response Training has useful information on situations like this, presented clearly and unemotionally. They use the recent Canadian shooter as an example. First off, shooting situations happen very fast. Do not rely on police and security to protect you. They will be seriously preoccupied and may not know what is going on either or where the shooter is. If you do know where the shooter is, tell law enforcement immediately. If you are in the middle of something like this, you are on your own. Be aware of what is happening everywhere. Chaos coming from a seemingly unrelated area may be part of the shooter’s plan.

Make no mistake, the Canadian shooter may have been a homeless, crazy, drug addict. However his plan was well-thought out.

The murderer here handled a part of his attack in textbook fashion. He attacked one location and had an escape vehicle at the ready. He quickly ditched that car in the event that its description was broadcast to the authorities and stole another one before making a second attack at a different location.

Does your workplace have contingency plans and safe rooms?

Lockdown without a plan in the event the killer breaches it is useless. The Canadians did this right. As soon as they were aware the Parliament was under attack, legislators were hustled into a room with locked doors. Then they made preparations in the event the locked doors were breached. The Telegraph reported:

“Hearing the shooting outside, the parliamentarians grabbed flag poles tipped with the maple leaf, Canada’s national symbol.

“People took the flag poles with the maple leafs on the end – they’d make pretty good spears – and said ok, if the son of a b—- is coming through the doors we’re going to make him pay,” Laurie Hawn, a government MP.”

While I would have liked to seen them armed with something more substantial than improvised spears, I commend them for taking the initiative to protect themselves. I doubt our American politicians would perform as well.

Lack of gun control wasn’t the issue here.

More stringent gun control laws will not deter active killers. The killer in this event had two prior criminal convictions. Those convictions would have barred him from legally purchasing ANY firearm. It’s also clear that banning semi-automatic rifles isn’t an effective strategy either. The killer used a Winchester .30-30. The gun is lever action and has been around since 1894. It is likely the single most popular deer hunting rifle in North America and has never been the target of any gun banning legislation.

Everyone should have a plan for if they are in a situation like this. Do you have a plan?

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Ferguson: Spare us from another meaningless commission

ferguson

Oh gosh, another pointless commission, this time in Missouri, which will proclaim that racism, poverty, and political powerlessness are indeed underlying causes for protests over the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson. It will recommend the same things that previous commissions on race and unrest did and the result will be the same. The Kerner Commission in 1967 concluded “Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white—separate and unequal.” Most everyone agreed this was true. The report was then almost completely ignored. Riots broke out nationwide shortly thereafter when Martin Luther King was murdered.

Most people believe that mass incarceration and police brutality is wrong. We can all see how chronic unemployment or voter discrimination is problematic, and maybe even a few of us will even concede that such marginalization among communities of color is profitable. But understanding that something is wrong is the easy part. By now, we know that deciding to make structural changes to the system is not a matter of resources, but of will.

For effective change to occur, Americans are going to have to reimagine how they foresee the world they want to live in—not just examine its problems. Today, I find myself even questioning the method of marches and protests. We can no longer recycle the old troupes of commissions or marches. And no, the revolution will not be tweeted.

I agree that marches and protests are little more than symbolic. The problem is protests have no political power and can’t force change, especially when the power elites are studiously and steadfastly deaf. They don’t want change. So, instead, when unrest gets dicey, another toothless commission reports what we already know. The media sighs about how deeply tragic is all is, Then, the event and conclusions of the report are forgotten.

This is far from hopeless. History shows that corrupt, comatose ruling classes can and do fall.It happens all the time, usually by a seemingly spontaneous uprising of the people against a government that ignores or brutalizes them. In the end, apartheid fell in South Africa without a shot being fired. The USSR collapsed under its own dead weight. Sure, beware of the new boss who may be the same (or worse) than the old boss. However, problems in the US are so ingrained and the political class so remote from the citizenry, that when real  change comes to the US (and it will), it will no doubt be sudden and jolting. And will not be the result of yet another commission.

Bernie Sanders:

“When you see the kind of force that’s been used in Ferguson, it really does make it appear that the police department there is an occupying army in a hostile territory and that is absolutely not what we want to see in the United States,” Sen. Bernie Sanders said on Monday. “We’ve got to rethink a lot of this heavy equipment that police departments around the country are utilizing.”

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Crested Saguaro

Crested saguaro

 

Crested saguaro

Crested saguaro are quite rare. I’ve been trying to get good photos of this one for quite a while and finally did. Most everything in the Arizona desert will bite, stab, or sting you. It is rugged, unforgiving, and can be quite beautiful. This is in Oro Valley AZ.

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Cops freak out over free speech in Vermont

Mumia

Police Go Nuts Over Mumia Abu-Jamal’s Remote Speech in Vermont
How a non-event becomes an “event” that ends in anti-climax

When Mumia Abu-Jamal was the pre-recorded speaker at a Goddard College commencement in Plainfield, Vermont, in 2008, almost no one outside the Goddard community paid any attention. This year, when Goddard announced that students had chosen Mumia to do a return engagement at their graduation, Philadelphia police, politicians, media, and Fox News went crazy with angry rhetoric aimed at curbing free speech.

In the end, this breakdown in civil society resulted in nothing worse than hundreds of police-instigated threats of violence to the Goddard community. For the sake of security, Goddard moved the graduation up three hours, with no public announcement, and the full-house ceremony for 24 students went forward with private security and without incident.

In the week between the announcement and the event, “Mumia Abu-Jamal” the symbol served once again as a triggering Rorschach blot exposing aspects of American character in 2014, reflecting and denying realities decades and centuries past. In a sense what Goddard students provoked with their commencement speaker choice was a weeklong confrontation between the symbolic “Mumia Abu-Jamal” and the actual Mumia Abu-Jamal, without much success in joining them in there single, complex reality.

What does “Mumia Abu-Jamal” actually mean, or should he just be? 

Understanding “Mumia Abu Jamal” in full requires more time and space that is available here. The man and the symbol and those who pillory him all have significant complexity, both real and unreal. There are at least two contexts that are fundamental to understanding the Mumia phenomenon itself and the mini-drama it produced at Goddard:

First, whatever else he is, Mumia is a political prisoner and has been a political target at least since he was 15. Mumia was born in 1954 as Wesley Cook. As he became an articulate member of the Black Panther party (until he was 16) and a representative of black resistance generally, he was targeted for his political expression by police agencies that included the FBI and its illegal COINTELPRO program. On December 9, 1981, radio reporter Mumia was moonlighting as a cab driver. He was on the scene when officer Daniel Faulkner made a traffic stop of Mumia’s younger brother, William Cook. In the next few moments, Faulkner was shot and killed and Mumia was shot and disabled. Little else about the event is reliably clear. Anyone who takes the time to look disinterestedly into the record of the investigation and subsequent trials will soon understand that Mumia’s conviction for killing officer Faulkner may or may not be a miscarriage of justice in terms of Mumia’s actual guilt, which remains unproved. Mumia denied his guilt at trial and ever since. The investigation and judicial process are so fundamentally flawed in so many ways, they offer the best evidence that Mumia’s conviction is morally and factually insupportable.

Second, and probably more important for context, is the abiding corruption of the Philadelphia legal system, both police and courts. At the time of Mumia’s arrest, he had been talking on the radio about police corruption. At the same time, there was a federal investigation going on that would lead to the conviction of 31 Philadelphia police officers. In 1981, Officer Faulkner, 26, was working undercover inside the department, gathering evidence against his fellow officers. Another wave of Philadelphia police corruption and brutality in the 1990s came to be known as the 39th District scandal. In July 2014, federal prosecutors indicted six officers in “what Philadelphia’s police commissioner described as one of the worst cases of corruption,” according to CNN. CBS Philly has a special page for Philadelphia police corruption. Currently, after some 20 years of abusing civil forfeiture laws to pad city budgets (by an average $6 million a year), Philadelphia faces a class action lawsuit filed by the Institute for Justice seeking to end the abuse, which includes an inherently corrupting conflict of interest.

When you’re under fire, it’s useful to have a distracting scapegoat

One of the epicenters of reflexive Mumia-bashing is the 325,000 member Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), whose website has no prominent (if any) expressed opposition to police corruption.  The Order was instrumental in unscrupulously attacking an Obama administration nominee for U.S. Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Dept. of Justice, who eventually withdrew his name from nomination. Attorney Debo Adegbile, 48, was fully qualified to serve, but the FOP opposed him because he had, as part of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, tangentially participated in Mumia Abu-Jamal’s appeals process. None of this was improper, but the FOP used inflammatory guilt-by-association in a McCarthyite campaign that effectively intimidated Democratic Senators into joining their prejudiced Republican colleagues in race-based opposition to a qualified candidate for the “sin” of representing the “wrong” client, an expectation of attorneys actually expressed in the U.S. Constitution. Given its Mumia-obsession, the FOP was quick to join the counter-constitutional attack on personal and institutional free speech at Goddard.

Founded in 1863 as a Universalist seminary in the Green Mountains, Goddard College has about 600 students, most of whom are not college-age and most whom are not on campus most of the time. Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Goddard offers undergraduate degrees as well as Masters degrees in fields including Education, Health Sciences, Psychology, and Creative Writing. Mumia Abu-Jamal first came to Goddard in the 1970s, earning his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1996 from prison. In 2008, graduating students unanimously and “proudly” chose Mumia to give a pre-recorded commencement speech at Goddard. On August 10, 2008, he gave his speech, apparently without incident and without much media or other attention. Having had that experience, Goddard made a routine announcement on a Monday, setting off a chain of events, with these highlights:

September 29, 2014.

Goddard publicized Mumia’s October 5 speech in a matter-of-fact press release with this headline:

Mumia Abu-Jamal to Give Commencement Speech at Goddard College
Inmate Journalist and Goddard Graduate to Address Newest Class of Radical Thinkers

The release noted that Mumia was convicted for the 1981 murder of officer Faulkner and was serving a sentence of life in prison without parole. The release quoted interim college president Bob Kenny saying, almost prophetically: “Choosing Mumia as their commencement speaker, to me, shows how this newest group of Goddard graduates expresses their freedom to engage and think radically and critically in a world that often sets up barriers to do just that.”

The same day the Burlington Free Press picked up the news in a brief, bland item that began: “Goddard College students have chosen a famous alumnus as their fall commencement speaker, but his remarks have been pre-recorded and he won’t be at the ceremony on Sunday.” The Free Press was apparently alone in this reporting. So far, so calm.

September 30, 2014. 

Philadelphia’s CBS local station broke the calm with a story that began: “A small Vermont college is poking a lot of people in the eye by having convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal as its commencement speaker next Sunday.” Fox News also pushed the story: “A man serving life in prison for killing a Philadelphia police officer in 1981 has been selected as a commencement speaker at his Vermont alma mater.”

The spin on the story was inspired by the president of the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police, John Nesby, who is quoted saying: “We have somebody who’s a convicted murderer, who’s in prison, and they’re allowed to be able to have special privileges. It just seems the only one being penalized here is [officer Faulkner’s widow] Maureen Faulkner and she’s fed up with it.” The CBS headline read:

Convicted Cop-Killer Mumia Abu-Jamal Selected As Commencement Speaker For College In Vermont

CBS also reported Corrections Department spokeswoman Sue McNaughton trying to distance the department from controversy, saying that: Mumia is merely making use of his phone privileges. He’s done this before in the past. He’s made other commencement addresses. They’re not live, from what I understand. They’re recorded and then played…. the department does not endorse Mumia’s speech, but he has the right to talk.

Picking up on the cue from the Philadelphia FOP, the Vermont Troopers’ Association president, Michael O’Neil, wrote a public letterto the Goddard president, “on behalf of the 280 members of the Vermont Troopers’ Association and the families of slain police officers….” O’Neil asked the college to rescind the invitation, writing in part:

“Your invitation to this convicted murderer demonstrates an absolute disregard for the family of Danny Faulkner…. While our nation is searching for solutions to gun violence in our schools and communities, we are outraged that Goddard College is hosting a man who shot and killed a police officer. A college commencement ceremony should be conducted to honor the achievements of graduates, not provide a forum for recognition of a convicted killer.”

The Troopers Association did not respond to questions submitted in writing.

October 1, 2014. Using some language word-for-word from the Philadelphia FOP letter, the national office of the Fraternal Order of Police issuedwhat it titled:

STATEMENT OF NATIONAL PRESIDENT CHUCK CANTERBURY ON COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS BY COP-KILLER ABU-JAMAL

Canterbury, like McNeil, urged “that Goddard College rescind its invitation to this repugnant murderer.” Despite the police pile-on, the story gained little traction nationally. The Washington Post played it fairly neutrally, first referring to Mumia as “an infamous American prisoner.”

October 2, 2014.  

The Vermont Police Chiefs Association joined the law enforcement chorus against Goddard and Mumia. The head of the association, Vergennes Police Chief George Merkel was quoted saying:

“It is beyond belief that an educational institution would even consider such an act of disrespect to the family of slain Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner and the law enforcement community of Vermont…. It obviously means nothing to the school administration and graduates that Mumia Abu-Jamal murdered Officer Faulkner in cold blood by shooting him five times.

While we support the protection of individual rights in Vermont, we find the choice of this convicted murderer as a commencement speaker offensive, and shows a lack of judgment on behalf of the college and its graduates, as well as a total disrespect for the family of the slain officer, who was sworn also to protect individual rights….”

The only member of Congress to take a public position, apparently, was Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, who wrote an outraged letter to Goddard in which said, among other things:

“Is there any crime so heinous that Goddard would not reward the perpetrator with a spot as commencement speaker? I cannot fathom how anyone could think it appropriate to honor a cold-blooded murderer….”

Earlier in the year, Toomey led the effort to deny the appointment of Debo Adegbile to the Justice Dept., because Adegbile had had the temerity to give meaning to the Constitution’s promise that Mumia should have adequate counsel.

The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections joined the official outcry against hearing the voice of “a convicted cop killer.” A spokesperson described a proper speaker. Ironically, that description also fits Mumia: “a commencement speaker worthy of their time such as a survivor of crime to impart things like resiliency, courage and strength.”

The National Review offered a smooth, cleverly argued critique of Goddard’s choice of Mumia, beginning with the G.K. Chesterton warning against being “so open-minded that your brains fall out.” At the end, the piece sarcastically suggests:

“Perhaps Goddard’s graduating class is not so intellectually atrophied and morally adrift as to actually think that entertaining a cop-killer as its commencement speaker was a bold, revolutionary decision. Perhaps they just invited Goddard’s most distinguished graduate.”

Vermont Public Radio exaggeratedly reported that “Goddard College is facing a storm of criticism for inviting a man convicted of murdering a police officer to speak….” Vermont Public Radio did not mention that it used to broadcast Mumia’s radio programs when they were carried by National Public Radio (until another political attack drove them off the air).

As a Goddard spokesman pointed out, Mumia speaks from a unique perspective, an “an imprisoned African-American male,… an under-represented and almost invisible population.”  Goddard Community Radio, WGDR-WGDH FM, currently carries Mumia’s syndicated Prison Radio show, at 7 PM on Sunday.

“Murder is wrong. Free speech is right…. these exist together.”

Without responding formally to police demands to cancel Mumia, Goddard pushed back. Goddard communications manager Samantha Kolber sent out two tweets about an hour apart that evening:

10:28 PM – “Free people have a right to decide for themselves what they want to hear.” – @MumiaAbuJamal

11:43 PM – “Murder is wrong. Free speech is right. Sometimes these exist together. #Duality #truth #complexity

In an interview, Kolber had said that the graduating students “chose Mumia because to them, Mumia represents a struggle for freedom of the mind, body, and spirit. Those were values important to this graduating class.”

Late that same day, a North Carolina prison released an ex-police commander to a halfway house, after three and a half years behind bars. The former Chicago police officer was Jon Burge, 66, convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice relating to his participation in using torture to coerce false confessions from men in custody. Although a final count is uncertain, police commander Burge took part in torturing more than 100 black men, sometimes using electro-shock.

A Chicago police pension board has affirmed Burge’s $4000-a-month police pension. The capture and conviction of Burge, as well as settlements to victims, is estimated to have cost $120 million to Chicago taxpayers.

The police organizations attacking Goddard College have not objected to the public paying a convicted police torturer some $48,000 a year in retirement.

October 3, 2014. In great part because of the police protest, Goddard was receiving hundreds of threats of non-specific violence by phone and social media (https://twitter.com/hashtag/supportmumiagraduationspeech?src=hashTwitter was busy, and there was also Mumia support). Goddard reported these to the Vermont State Police, who said through a spokesperson that they planned to investigate the source of the threats and would keep in touch with the college in case the college needed help.  According to VTDigger:

Goddard has received hundreds of phone calls, about one per minute Friday, and letting all of them go to voicemail, Goddard spokesperson Samantha Kolber said. College officials were responding to only the most urgent calls, she said. Some of the calls threatened violence and sexual assault.

To Police and Politicians: “Hands Off Goddard College!” 

That was the headline of a piece in Counterpunch, an appeal by two college professors, one from the City College of New York, the other from the Princeton Theological Seminary.  They note, in support of both Goddard and Mumi that: “His death sentence was ruled unconstitutional in 2001, and finally vacated in 2011.”

They characterize Mumia as “a political prisoner, who was framed in the courts for his political beliefs and affiliations,” whose supporters include Amnesty International and Bishop Desmond Tutu.

They characterize his current attackers as guardians of “a center that quashes the right to speak of needed voices from among the marginalized and politically repressed, they cease being a center worthy of public respect.

They conclude that:

‘The students occupy the moral and intellectual high ground. Let them proceed without intimidation by officials who command guns and prisons. The youth of today, those who must forge tomorrow’s freedom and real democracy, should be neither chained nor intimidated by guardians of the old center.

October 4, 2014.  The Fox News program FOX&friends continued attack on Goddard and Mumia. Officer Faulkner’s widow, Maureen, and Sen. Toomey were guests and the views of the guests and anchor were predictably one-sided and without nuance

Reinforcing the dominant narrative that requires Mumia to be a one-dimensional Black Panther cop-killer, pictures of Mumia typically show him as a much younger man, with long dreds, and sometimes a threatening appearance. The very pro-Mumia website of Rachel Wolkenstein, one of his attorneys, has a picture from 2012 showing Mumia with his wife and attorney Wolkenstein.

October 5, 2014. 

The graduation ceremony went off without reported incident.

The college hired private security to supplement college staff, since relying on Vermont police who had been attacking the college all week didn’t seem rational. As it turned out, some 20 police were busy peacefully protesting the graduation. Interesting work all around with the “serve and protect” thing.

There might have been a bigger protest, but Goddard had quietly and privately changed the time of the ceremony from 4 PM to 1 PM. Mumia’s pre-recorded speech (audio only, though often reported as video) was not his best work, but adequate to the occasion. One highlight, when he spoke more personally, first of the 1970s:

“Let me say something that I’ve never said before: when I came to Goddard, I was intimidated. Although teachers and adults told me that I could do the work, I rarely believed them. I felt woefully unprepared. But guess what? Goddard gave me confidence, and I never lost that feeling….”

And then he spoke of the 1990s:

“In one of the most repressive environments on earth (Death Row), Goddard allowed me to study and research human liberation and anti-colonial struggles on two continents: Africa and Latin/Central America. I think you for that grand opportunity….”

In Philadelphia, uniformed police there held a 30-minute silent vigil at the site of a plaque commemorating Officer Faulkner, an event organized by the FOP to honor Maureen Faulkner and her husband and other fallen police officers.

In California, Maureen Faulkner issued an angry statement in which she said, in part:

“Once again, my family and I find ourselves being assaulted by the obscenity that is Mumia Abu-Jamal.

On Sunday October 5th, my husband’s killer will once again air his voice from what masquerades as a prison, and spew his thoughts and ideas at another college commencement. Mumia Abu-Jamal will be heard and honored as a victim and a hero by a pack of adolescent sycophants at Goddard College….

Shame on Goddard College and all associated with that school for choosing to honor an arrogant remorseless killer as their commencement speaker. Unfortunately, this is something that I am certain they will be proud of for the rest of their lives.”

She accuses Mumia of hating America, she blames Goddard for hiding behind the First Amendment, she calls that “a convenient way to dodge their responsibility to take a moral position on this situation.” Moments later, she contradicts this and describes the moral position she says they’ve already taken:

“Let’s be honest. The instructors, administrators and graduates at Goddard College embrace having this killer as their commencement speaker not despite the fact that he brutally murdered a cop, but because he brutally murdered a cop.”  [emphasis added]

If that paranoia is heartfelt and widespread in the FOP and other police associations, police might consider why anyone would believe such a thing, whether out of rage or guilt. And they might wonder what effect it has, on others and themselves, to demonize supposed cop-killers while giving killer cops a pass.  

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

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Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, deranged lone-wolf killer, recent Islam convert

michael-zehalf-bibeau

ISIS actively recruits mentally unbalanced zealots to be used as the equivalent of suicide bombers. The mentally ill find such causes because it helps quiet the voices in the heads. Wackos seek out Islamist websites where they are carefully cultivated, groomed, and exploited. Plant a few messages and wait for the explosion to happen. It can also happen with no overt contact. This has little to do with religion and quite a lot to do with politics. Religion is the cover.

Two Canadians have been killed in three days, seemingly at random, by loner lunatics who recently converted to Islam. The killings had no obvious political message. Professionals would have made sure the message was unmistakable and the body count was high. Only idiot amateurs with a tenuous grasp on reality kill randomly in hopes of sending a political message. Michael Zehaf-Bibeau killed a solider at a Canadian war memorial . Martin Rouleau-Couture ran over over two Canadians soldiers with his car. Both actions are as stupid, senseless, and deranged as the loser tweaker couple who in June shot two cops eating pizza in Las Vegas hoping it would start a revolution.

Zehaf-Bibeau and Rouleau-Couture were recent Muslim converts who had their passports recently seized because Canadian authorities deemed them “high-risk.” Both actions were so random and unpredictable it is difficult to see how they could have been stopped.

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Second Texas health-care worked has Ebola. CDC admits screwing up

ebola-virus

The supposed best medical system in the world, the US, botched its response to Ebola. The Dallas hospital apparently had nonexistent procedures and let hazardous waste pile up. CDC has finally stopped blaming the victims and is admitting it it could have done way better.

Frieden outlined new steps this week designed to stop the spread of the disease, including the creation of an Ebola response team.

CDC is just now creating a response team? This should have been done weeks ago. Instead, what we got from CDC was arrogant statements about how they totally had everything under control. And now it’s clear, they didn’t. And still don’t.

“I wish we had put a team like this on the ground the day the patient — the first patient — was diagnosed. That might have prevented this infection,” Frieden said.

In a conference call late Tuesday, the nation’s largest nurses’ union described how the patient, Duncan, was left in an open area of the emergency room for hours. National Nurses United, citing unnamed nurses, said staff treated Duncan for days without the correct protective gear, that hazardous waste was allowed to pile up to the ceiling and safety protocols constantly changed.

A nurse’s union polled their members who said training in procedures on Ebola were vague and sloppy at hospitals across the country and many hospitals are not prepared for an outbreak. Conditions at the Dallas hospital seem, well, appalling.

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Sitting in a casino pool watching atomic bombs explode

Horseshoe_Club_Atomic_Bombs

Memes collide. Postcard for Benny Binion’s Horseshoe Club in Las Vegas circa 1950’s proudly features nearby open-air atomic bomb explosions. People would sit on casino roofs drinking cocktails, watching the a-bombs explode. The nice people from the government said there was no risk, no risk at all, and of course the government would never lie.

The government often waited for the winds to blow to the north before exploding the bombs so the radiation would fall, as some moral cripple in the government put it, on a “low-use segment of the population” in Utah. Victims of that fallout are called Downwinders. Some of them died. Others developed strange forms of cancer. Plenty of livestock died too. The government lied., evaded, and slimed the victims for decades. It was Dubya Bush who finally ruled that those affected deserved compensation.

No doubt some people went to Vegas to gamble and to watch the bombs detonate. Benny Binion was happy to have postcards advertising the bomb blasts and his casino. Give the people what they want.

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