Discuss!

Too Little Too Late

by Mary Pitt

As the time nears for the Democratic Congress to take office, debate is beginning to rage about whether the Pelosi approach is the correct one and it is more prudent for the Congress to launch investigations to hold responsible certain individuals in reverse chain-of-command fashion, dealing with rapscallions on each level in order to obtain testimony against those higher on the food chain or whether the direct attack would be more immediate and productive and follow the leadership of outgoing-Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and others of like mind and go directly to impeachment. It is the opinion of this writer that both approaches to haltering the rampant adventurism of this administration are too little and too late.

Big Brother Apparently Has a British Accent

From Bloomberg.com

George Orwell Was Right: Spy Cameras See Britons& Every Move

By Nick Allen

Dec. 22 (Bloomberg) — It’s Saturday night in Middlesbrough, England, and drunken university students are celebrating the start of the school year, known as Freshers’ Week.

One picks up a traffic cone and runs down the street. Suddenly, a disembodied voice booms out from above:

“You in the black jacket! Yes, you! Put it back!” The confused student obeys as his friends look bewildered.

Much Ado About Nothing

by Mary Pitt

The elephant called the Iraq Sudy Group has labored long and hard and, after keeping their secret until “after the election”, has brought forth a gnat. They have utterly failed to discover a method for extracting W’s grubby little fist from the cookie jar this time. Instead they have delivered another missive of pomposity which has nothing new to offer and can only prove one thing. We are in another quagmire and there is no way we can get out of it without being covered with mud. One does not walk out of a door with honor after walking in without any. This committe recemmendation deserves only one title: “Too Little, Too Late”.

NIST Condemns Paperless Voting

“Paperless electronic voting machines ‘cannot be made secure‘ [pdf] according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). In the most sweeping condemnation of voting machines issued by any federal agency, NIST echoes what critics have been saying all along, that due to the lack of verifiability, ‘a single programmer could rig a major election.’ Rather than adding printers, though, NIST endorses the hand-marked optical-scan system as the most reliable.”

Golly gee whiz.

Like no one’s been SCREAMING that for YEARS. Nice to see the kids at NIST weigh in on this. Hopefully now all the naysayers will WTF up.

MPAA says no more home theatre

From BBspot

http://www.bbspot.com/News/2006/11/home-theater-regulations.html

Monday, November 27 12:00 AM ET

MPAA Lobbying for Home Theater Regulations

By Scott Small

Los Angeles , CA – The MPAA is lobbying congress to push through a new bill that would make unauthorized home theaters illegal. The group feels that all theaters should be sanctioned, whether they be commercial settings or at home.

Tiny Victim

From Powell and Associates website:

http://www.rrpassociates.com/press.html

PRESS RELEASE FOR NOVEMBER 24TH, 2006

The Law Offices Of Robert R. Powell will be holding a press conference at 6:30 p.m. on November 27th, 2006, at the Clarion Hotel, located at 1355 North Fourth Street, in San Jose, California regarding the death of Jamie Ceballos while in foster care with Monterey County on November 27th, 2005. The Law Offices Of Robert R. Powell will be filing a complaint in the U.S. District Court of Northern California (San Jose) on the 27th of November, seeking damages for the wrongful death of Jamie on behalf of Megan Allen, Jamie’s mother. The complaint also alleges the unlawful removal of Jamie and his three siblings from Ms. Allen by Monterey County Child Protection Services social workers.

At two years of age, Jamie and his siblings were removed from their mother after Ms. Allen contacted the police to make a report about allegations by daughter that she had been molested in some manner by a family relative. There were no allegations of abuse by mother of any kind.

After the children’s removal by Monterey CPS, they were placed in a foster home, where Jamie was later found deceased in a hallway of the home on November 27th, 2005. At the time of his death, Jamie had multiple bruises all over his body, a depression of his skull from some unknown blunt force trauma, and had suffered a series of blows to his abdominal area, with one or more blows delivered with enough force to tear his colon and rupture other internal organs. He died a slow agonizing death, without receiving any medical treatment. Amazingly, the Monterey County Sheriff concluded the death was “accidental.”

Jamies sister had been removed from the home not long prior to Jamie’s death for alleged abuse against her by the foster parents which was deemed “substantiated,” and CPS had received numerous complaints of abuse of the children, not only from the mother, to whom the children reported abuse during visitations and revealed visible marks of their injuries to visitation supervisors, but also from third party witnesses, including neighbors of the foster family.

In addition, Jamie and his siblings were placed in a foster home that was carrying more than the allowable number of children under state law, and was not properly licensed and/or qualified for providing services to “special needs” children, a description Monterey CPS executives have claimed fit Jamie at the time of his death.

When Jamie was found in the hallway of the foster family’s home early on the morning of November 27th, 2005, no attempts were made to resuscitate the child.

Refreshments and copies of the complaint available at the press conference.

Means to an End

During a discussion with my cousin Joe I asked him what steps he would take to end the war in Iraq. His response (after qualifying that I might not like it) was that we should simply ‘dust’ people at funerals.

I submit this as evidence that such tactics usually don’t lead to peace:

http://politics.guardian.co.uk/northernirelandassembly/story/0,,1956753,00.html

Uproar at Stormont as loyalist killer with bomb tries to storm assembly

Dark Cow

Three rings for the elven cows under the sky

Seven for the dwarf cows in their stalls of stone

Nine for McDonald’s cows, doomed to die

One for the Dark Cow on her Dark Throne

In the Land of Moodor where the milkshakes fly

One Cow to rule them all, One Cow to bilk them

One Cow to bring them all and in the darkness milk them

In the Land of Moodor where the milkshakes fly

Police POV on UCLA Tasering

Seen at Slashdot

The following is an anonymous post, no way to determine if the person really is a police officer, but his points are valid.

police POV (Score:5, Interesting)

by Anonymous Coward* on Tuesday November 21, @01:38AM

(*Slashdot software automatically assigns that name to non-signed-in users -MDW)

As a police officer, I have two things to say about this:

  1. This kid sounds like an ass and I’m certain that there will be more than enough “He got what he deserved posts.” I might even agree in the moral sense, but not in the ethical or legal sense, because…
  2. This cop should never work in law enforcement again. This is inappropriate use of force by any professional standard. One post is not nearly enough to recount the things he did incorrectly, but I’ll hit the high points;

General rules for any controlled encounter (one where you aren’t in danger from the get go) include finding out what the issue is, telling the subject what he/she needs to do, and explaining what will happen if they do not. There is almost never a need to place your hands on anyone for any reason until you are ready to take them into custody unless you are suddenly attacked. This “officer” is grossly incompetent. Understand we deal with aggressive people that posture by yelling and swearing at us all the time – this should not disrupt the officer on bit. Keep. Your. Cool. So, screaming/swearing or not, this encounter should have been over with three sentences from the officer.

  1. “Sir, per university rules and regs, I need you to show me your valid student ID or leave the library.”
  2. “I need to to show me your valid student ID or leave the library right now, or I’ll have to take you into custody for trespassing and disturbing the peace.”
  3. “Sir, I am placing you under arrest.” Then Mirandize him and be done with it. If he does anything but exactly what you tell him (“Sir, place your hands behind your back.”) then…

Now and only now, if he/she resists (NOT if he simply fails to cooperate i.e. passive resistence), you may use force sufficient to subdue him to the point of having him cease to be a danger to the officer or bystanders. That’s pretty simple stuff, folks. Basically, never be the first to use force, but when you do – do it quickly and overwhelmingly then STOP when he’s restrained. You are a trained professional who owns the situation and NOT a street brawler.

From what I can tell, he never told the subject he was under arrest until after at least five taserings, some of which occurred while he was in cuffs and all but the first while he was on the ground unable to stand under his own power. This “officer” grabbed the guy’s arm while he was leaving. Bad move, even if it seems like a little thing. Physical contact constitutes use of force, and any trained officer knows this is a big line to cross. I don’t care if he didn’t leave immediately – in that case place him calmly in custody early on and be done with it, no argument needed. You’re the cop; you NEVER need to be in an argument. You aren’t asking him what he wants to do, you’re telling him. Never ever let a subject think they are in control. Arguing tells the subject they have some power.

What he did is inexcusable. If this power-tripping bully didn’t have a badge what would you think of somebody tasering a defenseless person on the ground FIVE TIMES some while he was handcuffed and yelling at him to “get up.” A badge doesn’t free you from responsibility, it adds to to it exponentially.

This sadistic SOB gives all true professional LEOs a bad name and is part of the reason so many distrust cops. I’ve had training on most of the common less-than-lethal systems (lawyers don’t let us call them non-lethal) including tasers, stun guns, pepper spray, rubber bullets and even conducted some training on the same. Unless this guy was issued a system with no training, he knows damn well the individual won’t be getting up immediately after one tasing, let alone five. Frankly, I hope this guy answers for assault charges.

To summarize, to non-cops this might appear to be a case of overreacting during a tense moment with a belligerent person. To most professionals, this is about as vanilla an arrest as there is where the cop did basically everything wrong. So wrong, in fact, I intend to use these videos as a training aid.

This was so absurd that I actually laughed when the guy threatened to to taser the bystander who asked for his name and badge number. It’s almost like he was trying to get fired and sued.

Injured Police Sue Taser

From The Arizona Republic

http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/local/articles/0820taser20.html

Police in 5 states sue Taser in past 2 weeks (note – this story first appeared in 2005 -MDW)

Robert Anglen

The Arizona Republic

Aug. 20, 2005 12:00 AM Police officers in five states filed lawsuits against Scottsdale-based Taser International over the past two weeks claiming they were seriously injured after being shocked with the electronic stun gun during training classes.

Stunning Revelations

Reposted From In These Times

http://www.inthesetimes.com/site/main/article/2894/

November 13, 2006

Stunning Revelations

The untold story of Taser-related deaths

By Silja J.A. Talvi

TASER International Inc. maintains that its stun-guns are “changing the world and saving lives everyday.” There is no question that they changed Jack Wilson’s life. On Aug. 4, in Lafayette, Colo., policemen on a stakeout approached Jack’s son Ryan as he entered a field of a dozen young marijuana plants. When Ryan took off running, officer John Harris pursued the 22-year-old for a half-mile and then shot him once with an X-26 Taser. Ryan fell to the ground and began to convulse. The officer attempted cardiopulmonary resuscitation, but Ryan died.

Illegal Assault by UCLA police on students

First, watch this video all the way through – the action being referred to occurs very near the end.

Video

From AmericaBlog:

http://americablog.blogspot.com/2006/11/aclu-says-ucla-taser-cops-are-guilty.html

Thursday, November 16, 2006

ACLU says UCLA taser cops are guilty of “illegal assault” on bystanders

by John in DC – 11/16/2006 09:56:00 PM

The cops threatened, on video, to taser innocent student bystanders who simply asked for the cops’ name and badge numbers. The ACLU says that’s an illegal assault. I hope the UCLA students who were threatened by the police are filing charges against the cops.

“It is a real mistake to treat a Taser as some benign thing that painlessly brings people under control,” said Peter Eliasberg, managing attorney at the ACLU of Southern California.

“The Taser can be incredibly violent and result in death,” Eliasberg said.

According to an ACLU report, 148 people in the United States and Canada have died as a result of the use of Tasers since 1999.

During the altercation between Tabatabainejad and the officers, bystanders can be heard in the video repeatedly asking the officers to stop and requesting their names and identification numbers. The video showed one officer responding to a student by threatening that the student would “get Tased too.” At this point, the officer was still holding a Taser.

Such a threat of the use of force by a law enforcement officer in response to a request for a badge number is an “illegal assault,” Eliasberg said.

“It is absolutely illegal to threaten anyone who asks for a badge [number],” that’s assault,” he said.

Update – Read this. Excerpt: “The Meritorious Service/Taser Award was presented to Officers Joseph Eubank, Ethan Shear, Kevin Kay and Dan Jermansen for successfully subduing a patient without harm after he threatened staff at the Neuropsychiatric Hospital with metal scissors.”

That’s not going to look good in Court.

Coloradoan Hides Bias

It is my personal opinion, based on items posted at Colorado Media Matters and my own interactions, that the Coloradoan is deeply biased for the Republican Party. I’ll add more to this post as time permits detailing this.

Here’s some links for your reading pleasure:

Following Colorado Media Matters item, Coloradoan reports on Paccione’s Christian faith

Coloradoan reported voters support Musgrave because she is a Christian but omitted that Paccione also is a Christian.

When confronted with this information, both Kevin Darst and Bob Moore indicated they were confused and didn’t understand why I was upset. Their continued plea of innocence in the light of proof underlines this bias.

We Win!

Dems Take House - Nov 7 2006Dems Take Senate - Nov 7, 2006

Democrats have won majorities in both the House and Senate.

I’ve been watching for violent storms or hordes of locusts. Nothing so far.

Stay tuned.

Why Conservatives Balk at GOP

By William Frey, M.D.

October 26, 2006

Editor’s Note: George W. Bush frequently states that the U.S. government’s highest duty is to protect the safety of Americans. But many traditional conservatives — as well as many other Americans — disagree with Bush’s priority. They believe that the first responsibility of any President is to defend the Constitution and its guarantees of individual liberty.

Take Your Sticker and STICK IT

1st (2005) & 2nd (2006) Sessions of the 109th Congress showing the % of Yes Votes for Veterans Benefits*