Hold Politicians Accountable: Greater access to Legislature and an orderly and informed process of passing laws

13 Jul

 

California Legislature Transparent Act | Proposition 54

How Prop. 54 Works

Proposition 54 was enacted to give Californians greater access to their State Legislature and ensure a more orderly and informed process of passing laws.

Before Prop. 54, an average Californian voter had few options to figure out what their elected representatives were doing in the State Legislature. In fact, even the legislators were often uninformed about what they were voting on. As a result, legislation was often poorly vetted and Californians had little voice in our democracy.

So a diverse group of government reform experts designed Prop. 54 to improve the legislative process by enacting three reforms:

  1. Creating a public notice period for new legislation. Prop. 54 says that new legislation must be printed and online for at least 72 hours before it can be passed by either house of the Legislature. This allows every lawmaker to read the legislation before having to vote on it. It also allows every Californian to read the legislation online and contact their representatives if they wish to make their voice heard.
  2. Putting every legislative meeting online. Prop. 54 says any meeting of the Legislature that is already supposed to be open to the public should be recorded and posted online. This ensures that every Californian can watch the discussions that lead to legislative action, without having to repeatedly travel to Sacramento.
  3. Guaranteeing the right of individuals to create and share records of open public legislative meetings. Since legislative meetings are supposed to be public forums, Prop. 54 says Californians can record them with their phones or other devices to share with their friends or the general public. This allows Californians to share news from the State Capitol and help keep the public informed.

What You Can Expect

So, now that California’s voters passed Prop. 54 into law, here’s what the public can expect from their Legislature:

  • If you’re tracking a piece of legislation, and it’s rewritten or modified, you will always have at least 72 hours’ notice to call your legislator or make your voice heard, before it can be passed by either house. Before Prop. 54, that legislation could have been entirely rewritten and passed by the Legislature in the span of a few minutes, or in the dead of night, before you had any way of knowing about it.
  • If a committee in the Legislature takes some action that you’re interested in, you don’t have to travel to Sacramento to watch it in person. And you don’t have to know about it ahead of time. You can simply go online, look up the meeting by date and committee, and watch it from home. Before Prop. 54, figuring out what a committee did to a bill you cared about often meant traveling to Sacramento and sitting through hours of proceedings – because many meetings were not posted online. If you were tracking a particular bill through the legislative process, you may have to travel to Sacramento a dozen or more times in a single year. Prop. 54 allows you to stay home, as long as you have Internet service. Committee meetings are posted online within 24 hours of adjournment. (This provision will go into effect January 1, 2018).
  • If you are attending a meeting of the Legislature in person, and you want others to know about it, you can record it yourself with your phone or any other device (so long as it doesn’t cause a disruption), and email it to friends, post on social media, or otherwise share it. This allows you to help keep the public informed, while catching anything that the “official” video record might miss.

Why was Prop. 54 needed?

Before Prop. 54 was enacted, the operations of the Legislature were often secretive and last-minute, where only a few insiders really knew what policies were moving forward before it was too late to do anything about it.

It was routine for the Legislature’s leaders to rewrite bills at the last minute, then require the rank-and-file legislators to vote on the new language before anyone had time to read it. These last-minute rewrites (sometimes called “gut-and-amends”) were typically rushed through the process with little to no public oversight, at the behest of interest groups and lobbyists.

In addition to creating policies with little vetting, this practice also made it impossible for Californians to hold their elected representatives accountable. How could Californians hold their representatives accountable for casting a particular vote, when lawmakers could honestly say they had no way of knowing what was in the bill?

And, even when proposed legislation was publicly discussed, those meetings were often inaccessible to most of the public. The Constitution says legislative proceedings must be open to the public. But in practice, many of those proceedings required you to attend in person, or be left out entirely. Some of the Legislature’s committee meetings were broadcast on the California Channel, but many were not. So, to keep track of legislation, most Californians would have to drive or fly to Sacramento a dozen or more times in a single year, each time to sit through hours of proceedings. (And even if you did all that, the bill might still get rewritten outside committee and rushed to a vote before anyone could read it).

It’s no wonder virtually all of the people who attend committee meetings are lobbyists, spokespeople, or other individuals funded by interest groups to be there.

As a result, most of California’s lawmaking was taking place in the dark, contrary to the principles of democratic governance and responsible lawmaking.

That is why a diverse coalition of government experts, taxpayer groups, and others advocated passing Prop. 54 — which was passed by the voters in all 58 counties of California.  Prop. 54 ensures legislative proceedings are conducted fairly and openly, and enables the public to observe and share what is happening in the Legislature so the public can more fully participate in the democratic process.

https://holdpoliticiansaccountable.org/prop-54-works/

 

The Legislature passes hundreds of new laws every year affecting average Californians. These laws are supposed to be enacted through a process that is open to the public so that average Californians can make their voice heard.

But historically, interest groups that hire lobbyists have enjoyed a monopoly over public information which is used to influence legislation. Off-the-record legislative meetings attended only by professional lobbyists, as well as the common practice of rewriting legislation moments before it is voted on, were used regularly to exclude the average Californian from the democratic process. The public couldn’t know who to hold accountable because the process is so opaque.

That is why Prop. 54 now gives the public access to every legislative meeting by posting them online. Prop. 54 also ends the practice of holding floor votes on last-minute bills, so that every lawmaker can be held accountable by their constituents for how they vote on such measures. Prop. 54 gives average Californians the information they need to participate in a political process that, currently, has been dominated by special interests.

 

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Watch Dogs


People Watching the Government
, and we still don’t know hardly anything about what’s happening and why. The good news is that there are thousands of people who are working to improve the system, and also trying educate more people.

Missed VotesU.S. Office of Government Ethics (gov)
Government Waste
Judicial Watch – Judges
Activism.net
Ruckus Society
Watchdog.net
Hold Politicians Accountable

Ombudsman is a government appointee who investigates complaints by private
persons against the government.

Whistle Blowers
Corporate Watch Dogs

OBM Watch
Government Oversight POGO
Citizens United
Pro Publica
Foreign Lobbying
Foreign Open Source
Sunlight Foundation
Get involved in Government
Get Involved in local Politics
Source Watch
State Watch (Europe)
PR Watch
Freedom Watch USA
Map Light
Little Sis
Public Accountability
How we know us
Open Congress
Participatory Politics
Open Secrets
Gov Track
Big Government
Government Docs
Electronic Frontier Foundation – Copyrights 
Center for Social Media

Opportunity Solutions Project is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization that seeks to improve lives by advocating for public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, individual liberty, and a limited, accountable government.

Internet Privacy – Internet Safety

Activism (knowledge base)

Graph and Chart Samples

Fact Checking
Fact Check
Politi Fact
Marist Poll
USA Facts Federal, state and local data from over 70 government sources.
Wiki Tribune Evidence-based journalism.
Fact Scan fact Checking Canadian Politics

Research Resources
Journalism Investigation

Government Printing Office (GPO)

Validity
Ratings
Surveys

Openness

Open Government
How Politicians VotedOpen Government Initiative
City Management

Oversight Committee

Conflict of Interest
Contradiction
Corruption

Policy
Policy Archive
Brookings
Heritage Foundation
Pioneer Institute
American Policy
Public Policy Research
Institute for Policy Studies
Cato Institute
Federal Register
Rand
Act

US Action
Our Future
Ad Action
People for American Way
Independent Politics
America Speaks
Democracy Corps
No Labels
Common Cause

Accountability

Why they VoteGovernment Accountability Office is a government agency that provides Auditing, evaluation, and Investigative services for the United States Congress. It is the supreme audit institution of the federal government of the United States.

U.S. Government Accountability Office (gov)
Government Accountability Project (wiki)

Accountable (politics)

How to Hold Politicians Accountable (how to)

United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

Like having a Fox Guard the Henhouse.

Oversight Hearings

Consumer Protection

Office of Special Counsel

Inspector General is an investigative official in a civil or military organization that leads an organization charged with examining the actions of a government agency, military organization, or military contractor as a general auditor of their operations to ensure they are operating in compliance with generally established policies of the government, to audit the effectiveness of security procedures, or to discover the possibility of misconduct, waste, fraud, theft, or certain types of criminal activity by individuals or groups related to the agency’s operation, usually involving some misuse of the organization’s funds or credit. In the United States, there are numerous offices of inspector general at the federal, state, and local levels.

Watch Dogs

Petitions

Petition is a request submitted to an authority, formally and in writing, requesting something to be done or not to be done. Activism.

Start a Petition
Go Petition
I Petitions
Credo Action
Petition Spot
Sign on
Change.org
Mechanical Turk
Demand Progress
Causes
Daily Kos
Move On
Progress Now
Take Part

Freedom to Petition the Government is the right to make a complaint to, or seek the assistance of, one’s government, without fear of punishment or reprisals. The Article 44 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union ensures the right to petition to the European Parliament. The right can be traced back to the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany, the Bill of Rights 1689, the Petition of Right (1628), and Magna Carta (1215).

Relevance Today

Human Rights – Constitution

Activism – List of Peace Activists – List of Civil Rights Leaders

Government Departments

Departments of the United States Government Government Departments List (usa.gov) – 90,000 Jurisdictions and 23 Million Employees.

Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress which, along with the House of Representatives, the lower chamber, composes the legislature of the United States. The annual salary of each senator, since 2009, is $174,000; the president pro tempore and party leaders receive $193,400. In June 2003, at least 40 of the then-senators were millionaires. When they leave office most become criminal lobbyist’s.
Senate.gov

 

http://www.basicknowledge101.com/subjects/governmentwebsites.html#socialism

Holding Politicians Accountable – Government Information and Corporation Abuses

 

Working Together

Theses videos below by the The Trap TV Series were taken down by corrupt and ignorant people, so please search for them.
BBC – The Trap, What Happened to Our Dreams of Freedom, 1 of 3, March 11, 2007 (youtube).
BBC – The Trap, What Happened to Our Dreams of Freedom, 2 of 3 – The Lonely Robot (youtube).
BBC – The Trap, What Happened to Our Dreams of Freedom, 3 of 3 – We Will Force You to Be Free (youtube).
Government Documentaries
The Future of Transparency: Bringing Government into the Digital Age US Deputy Chief Technology Officer Beth Noveck (video)  FORA.tv Technology  Season 1 Episode 23 | Aired: 04/29/2010  1:45:22

Two Concepts of Liberty was the inaugural lecture delivered by the liberal philosopher Isaiah Berlin before the University of Oxford on 31 October 1958.

James M. Buchanan was an American economist known for his work on public choice theory (included in his most famous work The Calculus of Consent).

Social Choice and Individual Values a theorem within it created modern social choice theory, a rigorous melding of social ethics and voting theory with an economic flavor.

Game Theory is the study of mathematical models of conflict and cooperation between intelligent rational decision-makers.

John Forbes Nash, Jr. was an American mathematician who made fundamental contributions to game theory, differential geometry, and the study of partial differential equations.

RAND Corporation is an American nonprofit global policy think tank originally formed by Douglas Aircraft Company to offer research and analysis to the United States Armed Forces.

“You can’t have a representative government without respecting the sovereignty of the individual.”   Robert Scheer

“The cycle of ignorance will continue forever if we never improve education and make it available to everyone, and revolution is futile if people don’t become fully educated and aware.”

“People make the mistake of looking at the government as some sort of separate entity. The Government is People, people who have responsibilities. You have to Know the people, you have to Know their responsibilities.”

“Conservatism is an oxymoron, you can’t preserve the best by ignoring changes, how do you think that the best came about, by people making changes you moron, so don’t be an idiot.”

Government Crimes
Documentaries – Media Literacy
Citizen Action – Economics
Politics – Money – Power

The problem with capitalism is that it puts profit over people. Capitalism also tries to excuse itself from the laws of nature at the expense of everyone else. Not cool.

Education Reform is absolutely necessary but will take to long, we need an education revolution.

Karl Marx understood the importance of an organized revolutionary action, but he failed to understand that any socio-economic change is worthless and doomed to fail without educated citizens who possess clear defined goals and are not vulnerable to corruption. We are so fortunate to have almost a Democracy in America, though imperfect in some areas, it is one of the few political structures that allows the time needed for it’s ignorant citizens to realize its mistakes and injustices in order to correct them accordingly. Hopefully we can correct the problems before the country experiences a total collapse. And being in a recession is clearly saying that we are now close to the edge. With so much work that needs to be done we should have absolutely no unemployment at all. So we need to define our priorities and our responsibilities and put people to work on the most important issues and at the same time start educating our students so that they are prepared for the jobs that will be created when we finally define our priorities and finally define our responsibilities. Two of those priorities are Education Reform where we need an education system that is more comprehensive and effective. And the second priority is Government Reform where we need to remove all the corrupt elements that are destroying our democracy and holding back progress. This is just the beginning. And we can’t measure how much something costs using money as our only gauge because we will never be able to fully understand the true worth of our actions.  more

Remember, ending poverty, ending hunger, providing healthcare, and even with all the greatest advances and improvements that we make in this world, non of these will mean nothing if we never increase the quality and quantity of our education. Give a person a fish you feed them for a day, teach that person how to fish and you feed them for a lifetime.

“Feeling good about government is like looking on the bright side of any catastrophe. When you quit looking on the bright side, the catastrophe is still there.”

“Government alone cannot solve the problems we deal with in our correctional facilities, treatment centers, homeless shelters and crisis centers – we need our faith-based and community partners.”

Activism Quotes

Holding Politicians Accountable
By Kim Bobo

The elections of 1994 demonstrated the power of constituent organizing (mostly done by the right wing), the dissatisfaction of many voters with the current work of elected officials, and the importance of participating in the electoral process. In very few races were housing issues even discussed, except in the general context of slashing government spending. Now in the aftermath of the elections, we see low-income housing under attack.

We can mourn the state of affairs, or we can use the elections as a wake-up call. We must make housing a political issue, and we can begin by holding our elected officials accountable. This is no easy task. It requires consistent vigilance and hard work. And yet, if we want a more just society in which everyone is adequately housed, we must hold them accountable.

Sadly, elected officials care about one thing: votes. The keys to votes – and to the power needed to hold elected officials accountable – are people and money. Housing activists need to learn how to use these keys to influence elected officials. Use this four-step process to analyze your potential to hold your elected officials accountable and visibly demonstrate your organization’s power. Government Watch Dogs

1. Analyze Elected Officials
Learn as much as possible about your elected officials. Learning about them one-by-one is crucial, because elections are held ward-by-ward or district-by-district.
By how much did the elected official win the election? The smaller the victory, the better for you – he or she will be eager to hear from constituents.
Who were the primary groups of people supporting the elected official? How many were “hard core” supporters and how many were possible swing voters?
What are the elected official’s positions on your issues? Are they firm ideologi-cally, or are they more flexible depending upon the voters’ positions?
Where did the elected official’s money come from? Is any of it from groups that oppose you? Is there evidence to suggest that the elected official is “bought” by moneyed interests?

2. Analyze Your Supporters and Potential Supporters
Who are the people who care most about your issues? Money and votes flow from the committed supporters.
Who else might care about your issues? What other groups might be willing to vote based at least in part upon your issues?
Are your supporters and potential supporters registered to vote, and did they vote in the last election?
Did any of your supporters or potential supporters contribute money to their elected official?
How can we “cut” our issues so they appeal to a broad segment of voters? In order to be successful in the long run, we need a majority in the district or ward supporting our positions. This means we have to define our issues more broadly to unite poor and working class families. If not, they’ll be pitted against one another, and we all lose.

3. Make a Plan
Is your elected official strong on your issues, and has he or she won the election by a wide margin? If so, keep up the good work. Maintain a relationship with the elected official and help that person strengthen the base in the community, but focus more attention on other, less agreeable or less popular elected officials.
Is your elected official a supporter of your issues who won by a small margin? If so, you will need to shore up his or her support. Make sure your supporters are registered and come out to vote. Register other voters. Educate potential supporters about your positions and the importance of having your elected official’s support.
Is your elected official flexible (a moderate), depending upon the perceived interests of the district? You must demonstrate that a sizable portion of the district cares about your issues. The closer the election, the more the elected official cares about groups of voters; however, you must make sure that your group’s support doesn’t diminish the elected official’s support from another group. If it does, you will have to demonstrate that votes and money support your position.
Is your elected official indifferent or adverse to your issues while having won the election by a small margin? Unless you think the elected official is redeemable, it is probably best to begin looking for another candidate to support and begin educating the voters about the official’s position on your issues, so they will vote for an alternative candidate in the next election.
Does your elected official oppose your issues but enjoy wide electoral support? This is the worst situation. Unless a very large number of unregistered voters could be registered and mobilized, you may want to consider focusing your efforts on other districts.

4. Demonstrate Your Power. It is not enough to have the people and campaign contributors on your side, you must visibly demonstrate that power. A few tried and true tactics for demonstrating your power include:
Voter-registration drives. Make sure all new supporters are registered.
Turn out the vote campaigns. Except in times of high publicity and high voter
turnout, a well-orchestrated campaign to turn out the vote is an effective demonstration of power.
Orchestrate communication with elected officials to help them gauge their constituents’ concerns.
Personal letters get the most weight, but they are hardest to generate. Postcards or petitions are less influential unless people send them in large quantities. It may be easier to collect 5000 postcards than 50 personal letters. Ideally, collect both.
Use the phone and fax also. Seek quantity rather than quality. Politicians are seldom moved by the merits of the position, but they may well be moved by the breadth of constituent interest.
Town hall meetings. Turn your supporters out to these meetings. Wear visible buttons or pins. Grab the mikes early and ask your questions. Be a visible force.
Media coverage. Issues covered by the media are believed to concern constituents. Have supporters write letters to the editor (the second most widely read section of the paper), seek editorial board endorsements, write guest editorials. Try to get media coverage of every event possible demonstrating public support for your issues. Media coverage gives the impression of broad support and educates potential supporters.
Accountability sessions. Ask the elected official to commit to your issue at a well-planned, large meeting between your supporters and the official. Invite the media and large segments of the community. These meetings are effective ways to demonstrate power and work especially well with flexible elected officials who won close election races.

“Government Failures are also the failures of Citizens. We have to take certain responsibilities out of the hands of incompetent and criminal people, and share these responsibilities among citizens.”

April 15th is Representation Day: An annual national day of action to build power for the grassroots movement to fix America’s corrupt political system. This year, Representation Day coincides with Democracy Spring and Democracy Awakening in Washington D.C.

Exploiting ignorant people, just so you can spread even more ignorance, and do it for money, now that’s just insane and also the kind of Psychopathic Behavior that is really damaging to society. It’s also a direct threat to humanity. But hey that’s politicsfor you, and that’s also TV too. But simply changing the channel will not fix the problem, nor would simply voting for someone else change anything. You have to take Action. And the first action you take is to educate yourself so that you can have a clear understanding about the Choices that you must make, because no one is going to do it for you.

Won’t Get Fooled Again (youtube)
We’ll be fighting in the streets
With our children at our feet
And the morals when they worship will be gone
And the men who spurred us on
Sit in judgment of all wrong
They decide and the shotgun sings the song

I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
We don’t get fooled again

The change, it had to come
We knew it all along
We were liberated from the foe, that’s all
And the world looks just the same
And history ain’t changed
‘Cause the banners, they’d all flown in the last war

I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
We don’t get fooled again
No, no!

I’ll move myself and my family aside
If we happen to be left half alive
I’ll get all my papers and smile at the sky
For I know that the hypnotized never lie
Do ya?

Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

There’s nothing in the street
Looks any different to me
And the slogans are out-phased, by-the-bye
And the parting on the left
Is now parting on the right
And their beards have all grown longer overnight

I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
We don’t get fooled again
Don’t get fooled again
No, no!

Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss

Inspiration 101

People need to stop thinking that the government is some separate entity. The government resembles you, it reflects you. If we are stupid, then the government is stupid. If you don’t give a sh*t, then the government don’t give a sh*t. If you let money control your decisions, then the government will let money control their decisions too. You need to stop saying the government, and you need to start saying “the people and I”, and if that contradicts what is happening, then you must act or you will be an accessory to a crime, a contributor of death and destruction, and a coconspirator of our demise. So it’s time that we start clearing our names and start setting things right.

The Thinker Man

 

True?:

http://www.basicknowledge101.com/subjects/activism.html#brutality
The Term: Opposing Putin (2014 – 52 min.)
Will Potter: The Shocking move to Criminalize Non-Violent Protest (video)
How to Change the World Movie Mind Bomb
Owned & Operated 1:48:06
Published on Apr 15, 2012
Sons of the Clouds: The Last Colony (10/16/2012  |  1 hr. 21 min.)
Revealing the reality in Western SaharaMorocco needs to stop violating the Human Rights of the Sahrawi People where nearly 200,000 are living in Refugee Camps, some have been living in exile for over 40 years.
Pirate for the Sea is the biography of Paul Watson, the most influential ocean environmental activist ever.
(08/30/2008 | 1 hr. 41 min.)  “The most powerful weapon in the world, as far as I’m concerned, is the camera.”
Activist Facts
Eco-Action

Say No to Palm Oil. The industry is linked to major issues such as Deforestationhabitat degradationclimate change, animal cruelty and indigenous rights abuses in the countries where it is produced, as the land and forests must be cleared for the development of the oil palm plantations. According to the World Wildlife Fund, an area the equivalent size of 300 football fields of rainforest is cleared each hour to make way for palm oil production. This large-scale deforestation is pushing many species toextinction, and findings show that if nothing changes species like the orangutan could. Climate Focus

Saying No to Red Meat also has similar benefits as not buying products with palm oil, not eating red meat is also healthier for you, and the planet.

Don’t Eat Bananas from Chiquita or Dole
Banana Land – Blood, Bullets & Poison (English)  Banana Land Movie Website
United Fruit Company (UFC) exploits the land and the people.  Banana Republic
United Fruit paid the right-wing United Self Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC)
United Fruit Company mass-murder in Columbia Banana Massacre
United Fruit encompasses all Chiquita, Dole, and Fresh Express brands. Chiquita Corruption blogspot  Corpwatch
DBCP Soil fumigant formerly used in American agriculture. Mancozeb  Fungicide  Occidental Petroleum  Banana (wiki)
Social, Economic, and Environmental Issues: Workers are exposed to harmful chemicals that have carcinogenic properties causing high rates of cervical cancer, testicular cancer, Male infertility and leukemia in non-organic banana farms.
The pesticides used to grow on non-organic banana crops permeate the drainage ditches and rivers. At least 25% of pesticides sprayed on bananas miss their mark and land in farms, ponds, or streams.
90% of Costa Rica’s reefs have been killed by pesticides used to grow non-organic bananas.
In Costa Rica, the banana industry is one of the largest job industries in the nation. However, the government allows companies to hire workers for no more than 3 months, meaning at least 70% or workers don’t receive health, social security, and vacation benefits. With decreased job security comes the higher rates of alcoholism, sexual abuse, drug abuse, and prostitution in poor banana communities. Eating Bananas – Fair-Trade
Costa Rican produced bananas generate 550-700 million dollars when exported to the United States. The corporations keep almost all of this money, generating nearly no money for the countries who grow them.
Bananas crops require Costa Rican marshlands to be drained, removing tropical plants and wildlife, etc. This depletes the land of nutrients to form a “homogenous chemical landscape.” 18 tree species are now extinct.
Increased rates of deforestation in Central America and the Caribbean because of the increased demand for bananas worldwide.
Where does your fruit come from and at what cost? | DW Documentary (youtube) – Organic Food

Cops gone Bad

The Dangers of Protesting.

Not all Cops Attack Civilians, but sadly there are a few that will. What is really disturbing is how police, who have sworn duty to the constitution, can disrespect their uniform and their country by becoming criminals and puppets for corporations, it’s like the police have been brainwashedConformity Dangers – Authority Abuses

Need to Improve Training – Initiations

Justice System Crimes and Abuse (police partners in crime)

Our Justice System protects people from criminals and violations against human rights, but it’s also being used to attack, control and abuse people. So our Justice System does not protect people from all criminals, or from all criminal activity. That’s because criminals are controlling and manipulating our justice system. These deadly loopholes in our Justice System needs to be stopped. Humans will never free themselves from criminal activities if they allow certain people to be above the law. All murders, wars, diseases, poverty, starvation, abuses, corruption, theft, and the poisoning of the water, air and food, is all because our Justice system is faulty and being corrupted. If everyone is held accountable, then everyone will stop being victimized by criminals who paid to be above the law. But these improvements will not come easy, but they need to come, and people need to be active in the process in making these improvements happen. If your immune system stops working correctly, then you will get sick, and if you do not improve your immune system, then you will die prematurely. Our Justice system is sick, and it needs to be cured. If not, then people will continue to die and suffer, and all because of this ignorance.

Civil Liberties – Filming Police

Rule of Law is the legal principle that law should govern a nation, as opposed to being governed by arbitrary decisions of individual government officials, who mostly represent wealthy scumbags. It primarily refers to the influence and authority of law within society, particularly as a constraint upon behaviour, including behaviour of government officials.

Police Oath

Rules of Engagement define the circumstances, conditions, degree, and manner in which the use of force, or actions which might be construed as provocative, may be applied.

Warning Shot (Deadly Force, PDF)

Discrimination – Prejudice

False Confession is an admission of guilt for a crime for which the confessor is not responsible.

False Arrest is being held in custody without Probable Cause, or without an order issued by a court of competent jurisdiction. it is possible to sue law enforcement officials for false arrest.

False Evidence is information created or obtained illegally, to sway the verdict in a court case. Falsified evidence could be created by either side in a case (including the police/prosecution in a criminal case), or by someone sympathetic to either side.Misleading by Suppressing Evidence can also be considered a form of false evidence (by omission), however, in some cases, suppressed evidence is excluded because it cannot be proved the accused was aware of the items found or of their location. The analysis of evidence (forensic evidence) may also be forged if the person doing the forensic work finds it easier to fabricate evidence and test results than to perform the actual work involved. Superficial Evidence – Racism

Parallel Construction is a form of false evidence in which the evidence is truthful but its origins are untruthfully described, at times in order to avoid evidence being excluded as inadmissible due to unlawful means of procurement such as an unlawful search, when law enforcement officers violate an individual’s constitutional rights under the Fourth Amendment, and a search or seizure is deemed unlawful, any evidence derived from that search or seizure will almost certainly be kept out of any criminal case against the person whose rights were violated.

Accused – Alleged – Entrapment (setup)

Mistaken Identity is a defense in criminal law which claims the actual innocence of the criminal defendant, and attempts to undermine evidence of guilt by asserting that any eyewitness to the crime incorrectly thought that they saw the defendant, when in fact the person seen by the witness was someone else. The defendant may question both the memory of the witness (suggesting, for example, that the identification is the result of a false memory), and the perception of the witness (suggesting, for example, that the witness had poor eyesight, or that the crime occurred in a poorly lit place). Because the prosecution in a criminal case must prove the guilt of the accused beyond a reasonable doubt, the defendant must convince the jury that there is reasonable doubt about whether the witness actually saw what he or she claims to have seen, or recalls having seen. Although scientific studies have shown that mistaken identity is a common phenomenon, jurors give very strong credence to eyewitness testimony, particularly where the eyewitness is resolute in believing that their identification of the defendant was correct.

Political Prisoner is someone imprisoned because they have opposed or criticized the government responsible for their imprisonment. The term is used by persons or groups challenging the legitimacy of the detention of a prisoner. Supporters of the term define a political prisoner as someone who is imprisoned for his or her participation in political activity. If a political offense was not the official reason for the prisoner’s detention, the term would imply that the detention was motivated by the prisoner’s politics.

Search Warrant is a court order that a magistrate, judge or Supreme Court official issues to authorize law enforcement officers to conduct a search of a person, location, or vehicle for evidence of a crime and to confiscate any Evidence they find. In most countries a search warrant cannot be issued in aid of civil process. Jurisdictions that respect the rule of law and a right to privacy constrain police powers, and typically require search warrants or an equivalent procedure for searches police conducted in the course of a criminal investigation. The laws usually make an exception for hot pursuit: a police officer following a criminal who has fled the scene of a crime has the right to enter a property where the criminal has sought shelter. This contrasts with authoritarian regimes, where police typically can search property and people without having to provide justification or secure court permission.

Warrantless Searches used in gathering evidence against people and the government is deciding for itself what counts as a genuinely independent source of information or what constitutes inevitable discovery. Mass surveillance programs, wiretaps, computer and phone surveillance and physical surveillance. “Fruit of the Poisonous Tree“doctrine. That’s where a judge bars the prosecution from introducing evidence the government obtained through illegal activities. In essence, the government may beconcealing certain investigative activities based on its own determination that it’s not tainted by unlawful conduct.  They will need to reveal more via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) about location-tracking surveillance technology used in criminal investigations. Violating of the Public Records Act. Law enforcement abuse and misconduct in response to suppression motions – was ruled exempt from disclosure as privileged “attorney work product.” Democratic accountability and government transparency. Unit within the DEA called the Special Operations Division. “The end is not justified because they are using ignorance in their reasoning, going after small time criminals while they let bigger criminals mass murder people, you’re not doing your job, they are just pretending to do a job while police violate the US Constitution, which makes law enforcement the real criminals.”

Intimidation is intentional behavior that “would cause a person of ordinary sensibilities” to fear injury or harm. It is not necessary to prove that the behavior was so violent as to cause terror or that the victim was actually frightened. Threat, criminal threatening (or threatening behavior) is the crime of intentionally or knowingly putting another person in fear of bodily injury. “Threat of Harm generally involves a perception of injury…physical or mental damage…act or instance of injury, or a material and detriment or loss to a person.” “A terroristic threat is a crime generally involving a threat to commit violence communicated with the intent to terrorize other.” “Intimidation” is the name of a criminal offense in several U.S. states.

Mass Arrests On Inauguration Day Swept Up Journalists And Legal Observers — And Their Phones. Police illegally seized the cell phones and cameras of journalists and legal observers arrested during Inauguration Day demonstrations in Americas Capitol Washington DC on January 20, 2017. Prosecutors have dropped the criminal charges against many of them, but concerns persist about the seizure and possible search of their electronic devices, some never returned.

Obtaining Information From, or Records of, Members of the News Media; and Questioning, Arresting, or Charging Members of the News Media.

Disturbance Control Manual is used to deny people human rights and freedoms. Disturbance Control Manual should be about protecting citizens and people, and not used to attack people and citizens.

Handling First Amendment Assemblies and Mass Demonstrations Standard Operating Procedure (PDF)

Parallel Construction is a law enforcement process of building a parallel—or separate—evidentiary basis for a criminal investigation in order to conceal how an investigation actually began.

Arresting Children

Police Brutality is one of several forms of police misconduct, which include: false arrestintimidationracial profiling; political repression; surveillance abuse; sexual abuse; and police corruption.

Police Misconduct refers to inappropriate or illegal actions taken by police officers in connection with their official duties.

Dereliction of Duty is a service member who is derelict has willfully refused to perform his duties (or follow a given order) or has incapacitated himself in such a way that he cannot perform his duties.

Assault is an attempt to initiate harmful or offensive contact with a person, or a threat to do so. It is distinct from battery, which refers to the actual achievement of such contact.

Police Accountability: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) (youtube)
Policeman Murders Homeless Man During Camping Arrest (youtube)
Dashcam Shows Cop Tasering Teen Bryce Masters Into A Coma (youtube)
Rampant INjustice v2 (youtube)
Documentaries

Logic – America ft. Black Thought, Chuck D, Big Lenbo, No I.D. (youtube)

Connecticut’s Police used Tasers 650 times in 2015.

Black men were about three times more likely to be Tased than simply warned. For Latino men, it was over 40 percent more likely to be Tased than warned. For white men, the chance of being Tased or warned were about the same. Police claim that Tasersare a tool that’s used to gain compliance for people being uncooperative.

Lack of Training

Excessive Force by a law enforcement officer(s) is a violation of a person’s constitutional rights. The use of force greater than that which a reasonable and prudent law enforcement officer would use under the circumstances is generally considered to be excessive.

Shoot to Kill – Murder
Kidnapping – Arrest – Torture

Non-Lethal Weapon are weapons intended to be less likely to kill a living target than conventional weapons such as knives and firearms.

Tear Gas Knowledge

Special Prosecutor

Pinkerton’s have never really gone away.

Special police officers like the two that killed Alonzo are not quite full police officers, but they’re more than security guards. They are a private police force, empowered to make arrests and carry guns. But because they work for private contractors and not public agencies, their actions are often shrouded in mystery. Today, D.C. has 120 private companies that employ 16,580 law enforcement agents: 7,720 special officers along with 8,860 guards, stationed at apartment buildings, colleges, commercial buildings, and hospitals, compared to approximately 3,700 MPD officers in the city. Some are stationed in D.C. government buildings, including the Wilson Building, where the mayor and city council member’s offices are located. And 4,523 of those special officers are armed. History does not repeat itself, it’s just that ignorant people are still being raised the same way by a incompetent education system. 

The Miami Model of police tactics are basically turning our police into American Born Terrorists. These defectors of the U.S. Constitution are The New ISIS, which stands for Ignorant Scumbags Irritating Society. When you deny Americans the Right to Peacefully Protest, you are asking for a Revolution. And revolutions never ends well for the scumbags in power, or for anyone. But this new American Revolution will be like no other revolution before. Peace will prevail and true democracy will be restored.

The Trouble I’ve Seen investigations of three harrowing civil rights cold cases (youtube)
Northeastern University

62 incidents of video footage contradicting an officer’s statement in a police report or testimony. From traffic stops to fatal force, these cases reveal how cops are incentivized to lie — and why they get away with it.

Stephen Coleman: The Moral Dangers of Non Lethal Weapons (video)

Should Cops only be allowed to have Guns?

US Violates Chemical Weapons Convention (wiki)
Use of Force By and Against Victorian Police (PDF)
Drone Attacks on Americans (wiki)
Operation Condor (wiki)

Please remember that not all cops are a**holes. Some cops were a**holes before they became cops, and other cops became a**holes because their minds were corrupted by the power of authority, and some were just influenced by other a**holes they associated with, because for some reason, being an a**hole is acceptable behavior in certain areas of public service. This is also the same for some prosecutors, lawyers, judges, politicians and other people who pretend to care about society. And sadly, the ones who are not a**holes end up leaving public service jobs, mostly because no one wants to work for, or work with, a**holes. So the number of a**holes in public service increases, while the number of good people in public service decreases. So we have to change the laws that protect a**holes so that they are fired immediately, or at least given a chance to rehabilitate themselves. We also need to educate our children fully so that they will never grow up to be an a**hole, no matter what they chose to do in their life. After all, only ignorant people become full fledged a**holes. Smart people, or people with good common sense, never become a**holes. They may act like ones temporarily and occasionally, but they definitely know better, thus, good or smart people never become full-fledged a**holes. And thank God that we have more good people then bad ones. So when that time finally does come, good people will come together to do what’s right. In the mean time there are many things involved in creating a good conscience, things that we can easily teach at school, that’s if we improve the curriculum, of course.

 

Setup – Entrapment

Trevor Aaronson: How this FBI Strategy is actually creating U.S. Based Terrorists (video)

Entrapment is a practice whereby a law enforcement agent induces a person to commit a criminal offence that the person would have otherwise been unlikely to commit. It “is the conception and planning of an offence by an officer, and his procurement of its commission by one who would not have perpetrated it except for the TrickeryPersuasion or Fraud of the officer.

False Flag – False Evidence

Sting Operation is a deceptive operation designed to catch a person committing a crime. A typical sting will have a law enforcement officer or cooperative member of the public play a role as criminal partner or potential victim and go along with a suspect’s actions to gather evidence of the suspect’s wrongdoing. Even mass media journalists resort to sting operations to record video and broadcast to expose criminal activity.

Frameup or setup, is the act of framing someone, that is, providing false evidence or false testimony in order to falsely prove someone guilty of a crime.

Flawed Testimony

Mollen Commission, Sometimes Cops Lie, in 59 disciplinary cases involving a false official statement where the officer was found guilty. Of those, 41 kept their jobs.

Fraud – Scams – Con Jobs – Lying
Obstruction of Justice

The government makes up crimes to catch criminals, but what if they’re not criminals, and they’re just people who are desperate and hungry?

Al Jazeera Investigates – Informants (youtube)
Attacks by Extremists and other Criminals

Do some people become cops just so that they can murder someone without getting into trouble? It seems that racism is one of the police requirements, or are they forced to be racists? People can do some really stupid things when have other people watching their back. That’s the main reason why a lot of corrupt people get away with committing crimes. The reasons why we don’t see more politicians or corporate leaders going to jail is because it’s easy to get away with being a criminal when you have the people who are responsible for arresting criminals, told to look the other way. It’s time to wake up people, it’s time to start learning, it’s time to start doing. It’s time.

Why do the Police Allow Rapists to get Away and continue to rape more people?

Guardian analysis reveals district attorneys cleared colleagues in more than 200 cases in 2015, how investigations into police killings really work.

Black on Black Violence is the result of economic oppression and segregation, where you have blacks fighting each other for survival, which has happened to most races throughout history.  Civil War – Domestic Violence
But black on black violence is still not as bad as “white against the world violence”, where politicians and corporate leaders kill thousands everyday.

Corporate Takeover of America Timeline
Corporate Takeover of America’s Education System

 

Grand juries are a joke. Grand juries are too many times being used as a weapon against people. They are too easily controlled and manipulated, which make them ineffective and criminal. That is why we made Bribing Public Officials and Jury Tamperinga crime. Grand juries need to be fixed. We can no longer use them for protecting the law, or protecting peoples rights. Grand jury decisions should be ignored because they are corrupted and unfounded. Grand juries have blood on their hands for encouraging officers to commit murder and incite violence. Grand juries also show no respect for people, and the law, which they are supposed to have. Grand juries need to be indicted for encouraging murder, and inciting violence, which is also forcing people to protest. Hand it down, hand it down.  Federal Prosecution of public corruption in the United States
Muck Rock

Police work is stressful and dangerous. We need more people involved in making our police safer, and we need more ways of making police work a lot less stressful.

126 Law Enforcement Officer Fatalities Nationwide in 2014
Officer Fatalities Data

Training

More Communication and Less Extermination

too little training Commanders from the largest U.S. police departments are saying that..officers generally receive far too little training in de-escalating conflict and often are embedded in a culture that encourages them to rapidly resort to physical force. Many police agencies give officers extensive training on how to shoot a gun, but officers spend “much less time” learning the “importance of de-escalation tactics and Crisis Intervention strategies for dealing with mentally ill persons, homeless persons, and other challenging situations.” Never Events

Crisis Intervention Training
Crisis Intervention Team Training, or C.I.T

We have to have fair wages for part-time officers. And we can’t use money as an excuse to give less training or have less accountability because of the lack of resources, which is actually the lack of knowledge and education.

 

Apps to Report Police Abuse
Mobile App: Five-0
Video
Five-O! Rate & Review your local law enforcement 

We know that cops are not morons and that cops can figure out proper ways to communicate more effectively with people. After all cops took an oath to protect people, not an oath to attack people. This is not a war, so why are cops turning these situations into a war? Is it a lack of training? Or are cops getting the wrong type of training? Or are cops just puppets controlled by psychopathic people in charge? Fighting fire with fire is ignorant and dangerous. And Judges who look the other way are accessories to this crime. The power to enforce the law does not include the power to punish people. It’s as if you look at humans as wild animals, asubspecies to control. It’s like you’re part of a real life Stanford Prison Experiment, wakeup it’s time to get back to reality. You also act like the kids from the story Lord of the Flies, you seem to have lost your mind a little. But you’re not broken, you’re just bent. So it’s time to stand up straight and face the truth. Your methods are flawed and your reasoning is not inline with todays level of knowledge and understanding that we have in the world. Improvements must be made, we must keep order, but not by victimizing people. It’s time to put away our childish ways. I bet a lot of the people in the justice system were abused as children by strict parents who believe that hitting a child is needed in order to teach a child, I guess if you were a ignorant parent that would be true. So why haven’t you grown up yet? We are doing all that we can to teach you, so why don’t you learn? We all learn, so I guess that we haven’t found a way that would increase your understanding of the world. We have a lot of work to do, a lot of things need improving. Let the century of restoration begin. Justice for Cecily

Mario Savio: The Operation of the Machine (youtube)

Filming Police – Accountable

“All of us, as we walk around, have to understand that we could be filmed, we could be taped,” “But police officers above all others should be subject to This Kind of Filming because we have a duty to hold them accountable as powerful public servants.” (Deborah Jacobs, director of the ACLU chapter, commenting on police officers who harass people for filming them)

Dancing in Public is not against the Law?(youtube)
Videotaping Police (youtube)
Video Recording Police (youtube)
Strawman – The Nature of the Cage (OFFICIAL) (youtube)
Photographing Police (ACLU)
Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) (wiki)
National Geographic Surveillance (youtube)
San Diego Cop Fears Camera is Weapon (youtube) and you wonder why improving education is so important..
Bruno Torturra: Got a smartphone, start broadcasting
Ninja Media

Brutality 

Since officers started wearing body cameras complaints against officers fell 88%, and the use of force dropped 60%.

“Cops are using broadly-written laws to violate the First Amendment rights of all American citizens. Police officers have also deleted incriminating video from cell phones and video equipment, which is a crime. And on top of that, the innocent people who have been illegally detained, arrested, sometimes jailed, with some paying expensive legal fees, their charges are almost always either subsequently dropped or dismissed in court. This is such a waste and abuse of authority that it is no doubt criminal. And the police themselves rarely pay damages in law suits that are brought against them because of this, the taxpayers have to pay, so everyone in this country is a victim of this abuse of authority.”

“Free and Open Discussion of Governmental Affairs”

How to Film Police and Protests 
Best Archive and Distribute Footage
Witness
Yvonne Ng (video)

Citizen Journalism

“Beijing in 2012 is spending $111 billion on its domestic security budget, which covers the police, state security, militia, courts and jails, which is now higher than its publicly disclosed military expenditure. The Paradox: If a country that is born from revolution, tries to stop future revolutions, will actually become less stable.” Put your Money in Education.

We often see law enforcement overreach and target civilians in the name of protecting public safety when many more clear threats to public safety actually exist.”

Entrapment – Implied Consent

“Isn’t it weird how when a cop drives by you feel paranoid instead of protected.”

“We live in a society where pizza gets to your house before the police.”

The Senate voted on 11/29/11 to keep a controversial provision to let the military detain terrorism suspects on U.S. soil and hold them indefinitely without trial. The 16 who voted for the harsh detainee rules were Sens. Bob Casey (Pa.), Kent Conrad (N.D.), Kay Hagan (N.C.), Daniel Inouye (Hawaii), Herb Kohl (Wis.), Mary Landrieu (La.), Carl Levin (Mich.), Joe Manchin (W. Va.), Clair McCaskill (Mo.), Robert Menendez (N.J.), Ben Nelson (Neb.), Mark Pryor (Ark.), Jack Reed (R.I.)Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.), Debbie Stabenow (Mich.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.). National defense hawk and independent Sen. Joe Lieberman (Conn.) also voted in favor of the tougher language. Attacking our Constitution is a terrorist act.

Treason – Rule of Law – Chomsky

If you knew how your representatives voted, you would never vote for them. But even then the system is rigged because you can’t fire these criminal politicians and you have no good choices to vote for that would replace them.

Habeas Corpus

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
Benjamin Franklin Feb 17, 1775

We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.” ~ Abraham Lincoln.

Do our Civil Servants even know the meaning of Oath?

Oath – Service Oaths

United States Uniformed Services Oath of Office – I will Support and Defend the Constitution of the United States against allEnemiesForeign and Domestic. – Police Oath

Soldier’s Creed – I will serve the people of the United States. I am a guardian of freedom. I am an expert and I am a professional.

Article II, Section I, of the Constitution – I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. “So help me God.”

Trading with the Enemy Act – Espionage

Murder – Crimes Against Humanity

“You have to decide what you are, a Puppet or a Person?”

Central Intelligence Agency – CIA

America’s Not the Greatest Country Any Longer… But It Can (youtube)

 

==

 

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Franklin D. Roosevelt quote: “We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace – business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering. They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob. Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me – and I welcome their hatred.”: How is it today?

10 Jul

TOP QUOTES from A-Z Quotes

We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace - business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering. They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob. Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me - and I welcome their hatred. - Franklin D. Roosevelt

 

We must especially beware of that small group of selfish men who would clip the wings of the American Eagle in order to feather their own nests.

 

The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much it is whether we provide enough for those who have little.

 

Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.

 

Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them.

 

Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and Senators and Congressmen and Government officials but the voters of this country.

 

Never underestimate a man who overestimates himself.

 

Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.

 

The principle on which this country was founded and by which it has always been governed is that Americanism is a matter of the mind and heart; Americanism is not, and never was, a matter of race or ancestry.

 

In our democracy officers of the government are the servants, and never the masters of the people.

 

Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth.

 

True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.

 

The value of love will always be stronger than the value of hate. Any nation or group of nations which employs hatred eventually is torn to pieces by hatred.

 

In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way.

 

==

George Washington:

However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.

The power under the Constitution will always be in the people. It is entrusted for certain defined purposes, and for a certain limited period, to representatives of their own choosing; and whenever it is executed contrary to their interest, or not agreeable to their wishes, their servants can, and undoubtedly will, be recalled.
The power under the Constitution will always be in the people. It is entrusted for certain defined purposes, and for a certain limited period, to representatives of their own choosing; and whenever it is executed contrary to their interest, or not agreeable to their wishes, their servants can, and undoubtedly will, be recalled. - George Washington
Associate yourself with men of good quality, if you esteem your reputation. Be not apt to relate news, if you know not the truth thereof. Speak no evil of the absent, for it is unjust. Undertake not what you cannot perform, but be careful to keep your promise. There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth, and pursue it steadily. Nothing but harmony, honesty, industry and frugality are necessary to make us a great and happy nation.
==
ELEANOR ROOSEVELT

Eleanor Roosevelt quote: Do what you feel in your heart to be right - for you'll...

Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.

 

 

True patriotism springs from a belief in the dignity of the individual, freedom and equality not only for Americans but for all people on earth, universal brotherhood and good will, and a constant and earnest striving toward the principles and ideals on which this country was founded.

 

Someone once asked me what I regarded as the three most important requirements for happiness. My answer was: A feeling that you have been honest with yourself and those around you; a feeling that you have done the best you could both in your personal life and in your work; and the ability to love others.

 

I can’t tell you how to succeed, but I can tell you how to fail: Try to please everybody.

 

Long ago, there was a noble word, liberal, which derives from the word free. Now a strange thing happened to that word. A man named Hitler made it a term of abuse, a matter of suspicion, because those who were not with him were against him, and liberals had no use for Hitler. And then another man named McCarthy cast the same opprobrium on the word. … We must cherish and honor the word free or it will cease to apply to us.

 

If human beings can be trained for cruelty and greed and a belief in power which comes through hate and fear and force, certainly we can train equally well for greatness and mercy and the power of love which comes because of the strength of the good qualities to be found in the soul of every human being.

 

It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.

 

Eleanor Roosevelt quote: For our own success to be real, it must contribute to the success...

For our own success to be real, it must contribute to the success of others.

 

==

Churchill

 

Winston Churchill quote: You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at...

You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.

 

Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen: all know how to die: but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome.

 

The POSITIVE THINKER sees the INVISIBLE, feels the INTANGIBLE, and achieves the IMPOSSIBLE.

 

The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.

 

All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.

 

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.

 

Success comes from continuing to strive, fail and learn without losing enthusiasm.

 

Winston Churchill quote: Diplomacy is the art of telling people to go to hell in such...

Diplomacy is the art of telling people to go to hell in such a way that they ask for directions.

 

When you’re 20 you care what everyone thinks, when you’re 40 you stop caring what everyone thinks, when you’re 60 you realize no one was ever thinking about you in the first place. You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.

 

==

All men are brothers, like the seas throughout the world; So why do winds and waves clash so fiercely everywhere?

 

==

If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.

 

The liberties of our country, the freedoms of our civil Constitution are worth defending at all hazards; it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors. They purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood. It will bring a mark of everlasting infamy on the present generation – enlightened as it is – if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of designing men.
A true patriot would keep the attention of his fellow citizens awake to their grievances, and not allow them to rest till the causes of their just complaints are removed.
==

 

There are two ways to conquer and enslave a country. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.

When economic power became concentrated in a few hands, then political power flowed to those possessors and away from the citizens, ultimately resulting in an oligarchy or tyranny.

John Adams quote: Power always thinks... that it is doing God's service when it is violating...

Power always thinks… that it is doing God’s service when it is violating all his laws.

 

Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.

 

Be not intimidated… nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberties by any pretense of politeness, delicacy, or decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery and cowardice.

 

The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people, and must be willing to bear the expenses of it. There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves.

 

==

John Hancock

 

people who pay greater respect to a wealthy villain than to an honest, upright man in poverty, almost deserve to be enslaved; they plainly show that wealth, however it may be acquired, is, in their esteem, to be preferred to virtue.

 

The more people who own little businesses of their own, the safer our country will be, and the better off its cities and towns; for the people who have a stake in their country and their community are its best citizens.

 

 

Please fund my project: I will install warning “Two-Way Bike Route” signs

4 Jul

The current sign in many places is a confusing “One-way”. Bikes that come from the right will not be seen because the unaware driver looks only to his left for the highway traffic!

I will install a “Two-Way Bike Route” sign like in the video. I will install it at every street or road that intersects the Bike Routes and Paths everywhere in the USA then in the rest of the entire world.
Risks and challenges
The risks are high now where there is no proper sign!

The link is https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/godscolors/1059075277?ref=531713&token=4446ae65

 

 

Death by Stop Sign – The Economist reminds us that American traffic-control arrangements are among the worst in the world | Psychology Today

16 Jun

recent article in The Economist reminds us that American traffic-control arrangements are among the worst in the world. The data are shocking and the reasons have been obvious for some time.

In 2013, France, Australia, Spain, Britain, and Germany suffered between 2.9 (Britain) and 5.4 (Australia) road fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants. The United States suffered 10.6 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, a rate twice as high as the worst of these developed nations. But we drive more than the Brits, don’t we? No matter. British fatalities per billion vehicle/kilometers over the same period are 3.6 vs. 7.1 for the U.S. Per capita or per mile driven, U.S. traffic death figures are the worst among developed countries.

The differences between Britain and the U.S. are not small. The U.S. suffers from about 23,000 avoidable traffic deaths per year. By comparison, the things we are constantly told to be afraid of like airplane flights and terrorism are completely insignificant. Deaths resulting from terrorist activities in our worst recent year totaled just over 3,000.

TargetSearch What is the reason for the enormous disparity between U.S. traffic deaths and deaths in, say, Britain? The answer is that U.S. signs, signals, and road design ignore psychology. Traffic signs in the U.S. always control rather than inform. They tell you what you must do, rather than giving the information you need to make intelligent decisions. In the process, traffic signs distract drivers by directing attention away from the road. So accidents happen—many more than if driver’s attention were undivided.

Look at the familiar stop sign. It does two bad things: First, it makes you look at the stop sign rather than the traffic—it distracts. Second, it doesn’t tell you what you need to know. It tells you to stop even when you can see perfectly well that there is no cross traffic. It shouts “don’t trust your own judgment!”

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Source: JS image

The picture above shows three stop signs that perfectly illustrate this problem. Two of the signs have additional confusing and distracting signs directly under them. Why are these necessary? Obviously people have come to ignore stop signs because they so often conflict with traffic realities. Stop signs often tell you to stop when it’s clearly safe to proceed. The added words puzzle and distract. Why the extra sign? Just what does it mean? All of this reasoning consumes time and attention.

The third sign, the double one, again shows that people ignore stop signs. The local Department of Transportation evidently decided that a REALLY BIG sign, even one with an outline different from the one people are used to (hence recognized more slowly), might actually get people to obey. But if “stop” really meant stop, none of this would be necessary.

The double stop sign is a on a four-way stop, the ultimate in stop sign idiocy—because what on earth is the point of halting traffic from all directions? We know that stopping and starting are a major contributor to pollution. Engines are least efficient when starting from an idle. And time is wasted. No other country I know of has four-way stops. They should be abolished, along with most other stop signs.

The fundamental problem is that a stop sign tells you to ignore what you are seeing. It tells you NOT to use your own judgement. What the sign should do is inform; it should tell you which road, yours or the cross-street you are approaching, and which one has the right of way. That is what you need to know—you don’t need to be told to stop even when the road is completely clear. The elaborate and confusing signs in the picture above could all be replaced with a yield sign, which tells you what you need to know: Whether to continue or first look for cross traffic.

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Source: JS image

The picture above shows how drivers are informed rather than bullied in Britain, which has the lowest traffic-death rate and almost no stop signs. The picture shows a one-way street in York, a small town in the north of England. In the U.S., a street like this would have a stop sign at the T-junction with the cross street. Instead, there’s a double dashed line across the street. That’s the British version of a yield sign. It tells the driver that the cross street has right of way. The driver can stop or not, depending on the traffic. The lines on the road are better than a sign because they are right in front of the driver, just where he or she should be looking, not off to one side, acting as a distraction.

Almost all U.S. stop signs should be replaced by yield signs (or roundabouts—more about those another time). This would save time and lives, reduce pollution, and cause fewer drivers to break the law. Impoverished precincts might also be less tempted to use safe but illegal behavior as a means of revenue enhancement.

Stop signs are but one of many problems with U.S. traffic control. I’ll have more to say about the other problems in later posts.

How I turned a traffic ticket into the constitutional trial of the century | Ars Technica

16 Jun

My story is not legal advice. I offer it only to show how our ruling elites have corrupted the rule of law and to suggest why this matters for the American experiment in self-governance.

The Ticket

My story begins with a confession: I got a traffic-camera ticket. An affidavit signed by a Montgomery City police officer, it averred that I had committed a particular traffic violation on a certain date, at a certain time and location. It showed a photograph of one of our family vehicles. It charged me with a “civil violation” of “criminal law.”

I wasn’t driving the car. In fact, at the time I was in a faculty meeting at the law school where I teach. Thus, I decided to challenge this injustice on the principle of the thing.

Municipal Court

On the appointed day, I tromped over to municipal court and sat down among those accused of armed robbery, drug dealing, and other misdeeds. After an hour, a bailiff emerged to herd into a corner of the courtroom those of us who had appeared for the slightly more respectable offense of owning a speeding vehicle. We waited some more, first for the clerk, and then to be called individually to meet the clerk. Those of us who requested a hearing (evoking an exasperated, poor-idiot-thinks-he’s-Perry-Mason expression) then waited for a magistrate to show up. Then we each waited our turn to appear before the magistrate.

After a summary hearing, the magistrate ruled against me. So I appealed to the county-level Circuit Court.

Actually, I tried to appeal. The clerk’s office made me wait in the lobby. When they finally saw me, they insisted that I provide a criminal appeal bond. But I wasn’t convicted of a crime, I protested. No matter. No appeal bond; no appeal.

No, we don’t accept checks. Come back with the amount of your ticket in cash. I found an ATM and returned, only to be left waiting in the lobby again. When I was readmitted, I saw a different employee who insisted on twice the amount of the ticket in cash. I left and returned again.

More waiting.

The City Attorney

Next, I called the City Attorney to see if she really wanted to go through with this. She did.

One does not expect municipal officials to be paragons of lawfulness. But it is a bit jarring to encounter a City Attorney who evinces no interest in, much less knowledge of, her constitutional duties.

I asked her whether this was a criminal action or a civil action. She replied, “It’s hard to explain it in those terms.” I asked whether she intended to proceed under criminal procedural rules or in civil procedure. We would proceed under the “rules of criminal procedure,” she answered because this is a criminal case. I asked when I could expect to be charged, indicted, or have a probable cause determination. She replied that none of those events would occur because this is “a civil action.” So I could expect to be served with a complaint? No, no. As she had already explained, we would proceed under the criminal rules.

(For the record, the Montgomery City Attorney never studied law with me.)

She asserted that I had violated the “rules of the road” and explained, “you were caught on camera speeding.” I asked her for any evidence. She replied that she did not need evidence. I was deemed liable because an automobile that I own “was caught speeding.” But the complaint is against me, I noted, not my car. But I am liable, she insisted, because I loaned my vehicle to “someone who speeds.”

I asked where in the laws it prohibits me from loaning my vehicle, and how I am to know in advance that any particular person is going to speed using my car. Agitated by my “semantics,” she advised me to raise any due process issues with the trial court.

[*click*]

This was going to be fun.

The Trial

Before the trial, I moved to dismiss the case. I wanted the judge to pay attention, so I tried to make the motion interesting. Okay, maybe “interesting” isn’t the best word. It was over the top. I alluded to Hobbes and Locke. I quoted the Declaration of Independence. I suggested the success of the American experiment was at stake. I resorted to superlatives. You know: all the stuff I teach my law students never to do.

We proceeded to trial. The city produced one witness, the police officer who had signed the affidavit. On direct examination, he explained how the traffic camera system works. A corporation in another state called American Traffic Solutions operates the camera system, chooses the photographs on which to predicate enforcement, recommends the Montgomery police department initiate an action against a vehicle’s owner, and is paid for its work.

On cross-examination, I established that:

– He was not present at the time of the alleged violation.

– He has no photographic evidence of the driver.

– There were no witnesses.

– He does not know where Adam MacLeod was at the time of the alleged violation.

And so on. I then asked the question one is taught never to ask on cross—the last one. “So, you signed an affidavit under the pains and penalties of perjury alleging probable cause to believe that Adam MacLeod committed a violation of traffic laws without any evidence that was so?”

Without hesitating he answered, “Yes.” This surprised both of us. It also surprised the judge, who looked up from his desk for the first time. A police officer had just testified under oath that he perjured himself in service to a city government and a mysterious, far-away corporation whose officers probably earn many times his salary.

The city then rested its case. I renewed my motion to dismiss, which the judge immediately granted.

Vindication! Well, sort of. When I tried to recover my doubled appeal bond, I was told that the clerk was not authorized to give me my money. Naturally, the law contains no procedure for return of the bond and imposes on the court no duty to return it. I was advised to write a motion. Weeks later, when the court still had not ruled on my motion, I was told I could file a motion asking for a ruling on my earlier motion. Bowing to absurdity, I did so. Still nothing has happened now several months later.

Why This Matters

Traffic camera laws are popular in part because they appeal to a law-and-order impulse. If we are going to stop those nefarious evildoers who jeopardize the health of the republic by sliding through yellow lights when no one else is around and driving through empty streets at thirty miles per hour in twenty-five zones, then we need a way around such pesky impediments as a lack of eyewitnesses.

Yet traffic cameras do not always produce probable cause that a particular person has committed a crime. To get around this “problem” (as a certain law-and-order president-elect might call it), several states have created an entirely novel phylum of law: the civil violation of a criminal prohibition. Using this nifty device, a city can charge you of a crime without any witnesses, without any probable cause determination, and without any civil due process.

In short, municipal officials and their private contractors have at their disposal the powers of both criminal and civil law and are excused from the due process duties of both criminal and civil law. It’s a neat trick that would have made King George III blush.

Standing and the Fundamentals of Constitutionalism

Equally troubling is that the municipality is authorized to make the owner answer a civil suit without any standing. Standing is a requirement for a person who wishes to enlist a state’s judicial power against another person. No fellow citizen can haul you into court without first alleging that you wrongly caused some particular injury to that person.

A city cannot lawfully do to you what your fellow citizen cannot do to you. And it has no standing if it has suffered no particular injury. If a driver rolls through a yellow light at an empty intersection and fails to cross the line before the light turns red, no one is injured, least of all the city.

In my case, the City Attorney argued that my city has standing because someone exceeded the speed limit while driving my car and thereby breached his or her duty to obey the law. Certainly, all citizens have a duty not to break criminal laws with culpable intent. But we owe that duty neither to the city nor to the state but to each other. If we breach the duty, the city prosecutes on behalf of the people and must afford us criminal due process.

That is American Constitutionalism 101.

The Mayor

The story continues. Lovers of liberty in Alabama kept political pressure on the state legislature, and earlier this year the legislature repealed the traffic-camera law. Yet Montgomery’s defiant mayor announced that the city would continue to operate the program. Curiously, he asserted that to stop issuing tickets would breach the city’s contract with American Traffic Solutions. One wonders how many tickets the city is contractually obligated to issue.

Finally, after the Attorney General told him to knock off the foolishness, the mayor backed down. Sort of. The city will no longer use car-based cameras, though it will continue to use stationary cameras mounted at intersections. In a fit of petulance, and belying his insistence that the program is motivated by safety concerns rather than revenue, the mayor announced that the amounts of fines for ordinary traffic violations will now be tripled.

A Small Inconvenience, a Big Problem for Self-Government

Traffic-camera laws seem like such minor, insignificant intrusions on liberty that few grasp their constitutional significance. But they reflect a profoundly mistaken view of American constitutionalism. One might say that the traffic camera is a sign of our times. Its widespread use and acceptance reveals how far we have drifted from our fundamental commitment to self-government. When our governing officials dismiss due process as mere semantics, when they exercise powers they don’t have and ignore duties they actually bear, and when we let them get away with it, we have ceased to be our own rulers.

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Rewarding Whistleblowing to Fight Kleptocracy — GAB | The Global Anticorruption Blog

16 Jun

Last February, Massachusetts Congressman Stephen Lynch introduced the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Rewards Act (KARRA), which seeks to improve detection of stolen assets housed in American financial institutions by paying whistleblowers for reports that lead to the identification and seizure of these assets. The logic of paying rewards to whistleblowers is straightforward, and nicely summarized in […]

via Rewarding Whistleblowing to Fight Kleptocracy — GAB | The Global Anticorruption Blog

Six Ways America Is Like a Third-World [(Modern Slavery)] Country – Rolling Stone

7 Jun

Although the U.S. is one of the richest societies in history, it still lags behind other developed nations in many important indicators of human development – key factors like how we educate our children, how we treat our prisoners, how we take care of the sick and more. In some instances, the U.S.’s performance is downright abysmal, far below foreign countries that are snidely looked-down-upon as “third world.” Here are six of the most egregious examples that show how far we still have to go:

1. Criminal Justice

We all know the U.S. criminal justice system is flawed, but few are likely aware of just how bad it is compared to the rest of the world. The International Center for Prison Studies estimates that America imprisons 716 people per 100,000 citizens (of any age). That’s significantly worse than Russia (484 prisoners per 100,000 citizens), China (121) and Iran (284). The only country that incarcerates a higher percentage of its population than we do is North Korea. The U.S. is also the only developed country that executes prisoners – and our death penalty has a serious race problem: 42 percent of those on death row are black, compared to less than 15 percent of the overall population.

Over two and a half million American children have a parent behind bars. A whopping 60 percent of those incarcerated in U.S. prisons are non-violent offenders, many of them in prison for drug charges(overwhelmingly African-Americans). Even while our crime rate has fallen, our incarcerated population has climbed. As of 2011, an estimated 217,000 American prisoners were raped each year ­– that’s 600 new victims every day, a truly horrifying number. In 2010, the Department of Justice released a report about abuse in juvenile detention centers. The report found that 12.1 percent of all youth held in juvenile detention reported sexual violence; youth held for between seven and 12 months had a victimization rate of 14.2 percent.

2. Gun Violence

The U.S. leads the developed world in firearm-related murders, and the difference isn’t a slight gap – more like a chasm. According to United Nations data, the U.S. has 20 times more murders than the developed world average. Our murder rate also dwarfs many developing nations, like Iraq, which has a murder rate less than half ours. More than half of the most deadly mass shootings documented in the past 50 years around the world occurred in the United States, and 73 percent of the killers in the U.S. obtained their weapons legally. Another study finds that the U.S. has one of the highest proportion of suicides committed with a gun. Gun violence varies across the U.S., but some cities like New Orleans and Detroit rival the most violent Latin American countries, where gun violence is highest in the world.

3. Healthcare

A study last year found that in many American counties, especially in the deep South, life expectancy is lower than in Algeria, Nicaragua or Bangladesh. The U.S. is the only developed country that does not guarantee health care to its citizens; even after the Affordable Care Act, millions of poor Americans will remain uninsured because governors, mainly Republicans, have refused to expand Medicaid, which provides health insurance for low-income Americans. Although the federal government will pay for the expansion, many governors cited cost, even though the expansion would actually save money. America is unique among developed countries in that tens of thousands of poor Americans die because they lack health insurance, even while we spend more than twice as much of our GDP on healthcare than the average for the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), a collection of rich world countries. The U.S. has an infant mortality rate that dwarfs comparable nations, as well as the highest teenage-pregnancy rate in the developed world, largely because of the politically-motivated unavailability of contraception in many areas.

4. Education

The U.S. is among only three nations in the world that does not guarantee paid maternal leave (the other two are Papua New Guinea and Swaziland). This means many poor American mothers must choose between raising their children and keeping their jobs. The U.S. education system is plagued with structural racial biases, like the fact that schools are funded at the local, rather than national level. That means that schools attended by poor black people get far less funding than the schools attended by wealthier students. The Department of Education has confirmed that schools with high concentrations of poor students have lower levels of funding. It’s no wonder America has one of the highest achievement gaps between high income and low income students, as measured by the OECD. Schools today are actually more racially segregated than they were in the 1970s. Our higher education system is unique among developed nations in that is funded almost entirely privately, by debt. Students in the average OECD country can expect about 70 percent of their college tuition to be publicly funded; in the United States, only about 40 percent of the cost of education is publicly-funded. That’s one reason the U.S. has the highest tuition costs of any OECD country.

5. Inequality

By almost every measure, the U.S. tops out OECD countries in terms of income inequality, largely because America has the stingiest welfare state of any developed country. This inequality has deep and profound effects on American society. For instance, although the U.S. justifies its rampant inequality on the premise of upward mobility, many parts of the United States have abysmal levels of social mobility, where children born in the poorest quintile have a less than 3 percent chance of reaching the top quintile. Inequality harms our democracy, because the wealthy exert an outsized political influence. Sheldon Adelson, for instance, spent more to influence the 2012 election than the residents of 12 states combined. Inequality also tears at the social fabric, with a large body of research showing that inequality correlates with low levels of social trust. In their book The Spirit Level, Richard Pickett and Kate Wilkinson show that a wide variety of social indicators, including health and well-being are intimately tied to inequality.

6. Infrastructure

The United States infrastructure is slowly crumbling apart and is in desperate need for repair. One study estimates that our infrastructure system needs a $3.6 trillion investment over the next six years. In New York City, the development of Second Avenue subway line was first delayed by the outbreak of World War II; it’s still not finished. In South Dakota, Alaska and Pennsylvania, water is still transported via century-old wooden pipes. Some 45 percent of Americans lack access to public transit. Large portions of U.S. wastewater capacity are more than half a century old and in Detroit, some of the sewer lines date back to the mid-19th century. One in nine U.S. bridges (or 66,405 bridges) are considered “structurally deficient,” according to the National Bridge Inventory. All of this means that the U.S. has fallen rapidly in international rankings of infrastructure.

America is a great country, and it does many things well. But it has vast blind spots. The fact that nearly 6 million Americans, or 2.5 percent of the voting-age population, cannot vote because they have a felony on record means that politicians can lock up more and more citizens without fear of losing their seat. Our ideas of meritocracy and upward mobility blind us to the realities of class and inequality. Our healthcare system provides good care to some, but it comes at a cost – millions of people without health insurance. If we don’t critically examine these flaws, how can we ever hope to progress as a society?

These colleges are better than Harvard at making poor kids rich – schools like the City College of New York, or Cal State Los Angeles, or University of Texas Pan American (which has since become UT Rio Grande Valley). All three of those schools took more than a fifth of their students from the bottom fifth of the income scale, and all three are in the top 10 schools ranked by the share of students who move up two or more income quintiles.

26 May

 

Top ten colleges by mobility rate

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/2/28/14359140/chetty-friedman-college-mobility

 

How can we control the secret services: “the issue in “Marathon Man” was greed where those who are supposedly in Intelligence were really out to get the diamonds for themselves. That film said a lot about the character of the secret services and the potential for corruption when operating outside the law and outside democratic government and its institutions.”

5 Mar

Documentary: The Weather Underground

http://garydchance.tripod.com/surveillance/id34.html

It was an outstanding documentary with relevance to what is happening right now. Here’s why I think so:

I was at Columbia University from 1966 to 1969 and recall the development of this radical group.  Where you [BBC Four] say that this documentary will bring back memories of those who recall the period, it was for me being among the few thousand at Columbia a reminder of what was happening then as now.

I have a spectacular education as a result, and I’d like to comment on what I believe was the essence of the experience because I think it is relevant for the times we are living through right now.  It was SDS at Columbia which led to the Weatheman Underground.  Mark Rudd was the SDS Chairman and Ted Gold SDS Vice Chairman was always by his side. Ted Gold was killed while making the bomb in the West 11th Street brownstone.

I was a detached observer of this since I was an older student being a veteran struggling to finish my university education on my own by work, GI Bill, loans and grants while living in an SRO (Single Room Occupancy hotel) or what is known in the UK as a bedsit. I was sympathetic with the students and against the war in Vietnam but not radical or a participant in what happened at Columbia.

I did not realise that you where going to screen the documentary about the Weatherman Underground until I got your Email on Friday last.  Just before that I had seen “Marathon Man” with Dustin Hoffman and Laurence Olivier.  I had never seen it before.  Hoffman played a graduate student at Columbia, and the Roy Scheider character had a line to the effect that “. . . they were blowing up buildings making bombs in the basement.”

I wrote down in my own notes while watching the film that Dustin Hoffman had lived next door to the building blown up by the Weatherman Underground on West 12th [sic] Street, and Ted Gold had been one of the three killed.  Dustin Hoffman had gone out for a couple of hours. It saved his life.

His office where he would have been was destroyed.  By the way Dustin Hoffman’s father-in-law was connected with Columbia.  Hoffman was interestngly and fascinatingly shown in the documentary looking at the hole and rubble next to his building amid the fire trucks after the explosion.   Imagine what he must have felt when he came back home to see this.

I was quite surprised and pleased to see that you were going to screen this documentary about the Weatherman Underground and looked forward to seeing it.  It was West 11th Street (across from number 15) where the building was destroyed, and it was in March 1970 I learned.   This event was known but vague in my memory because by that time I was working for RCA Computer Systems Division and away in Cherry Hill, New Jersey for three months trainig.  The documentary filled in all the gaps.

I probably had one of the last classes at Columbia on 23rd April 1968 before the school was shut down.  It was a French class in Hamilton Hall.  After the class when we came down the stairs, the whole ground floor was crammed with students.  They were protesting at the acting College Dean’s office who was subsequently kept there all night.

The issue was not the war in Vietnam but the fact that Columbia was building a gymnasium on public park land (Morningside Park) between Columbia on Morningside Heights and Harlem below and to the east.   The university had gotten much criticism for being able to build on public park land.  To make it worse they offered the Harlem community “back door” access to the gym at the bottom of the hill on which it was to be built.  This set everyone off.

The real issue that brought the students into Hamilton Hall that afternoon from a sun dial rally of some 700 at noon in the centre of the campus was disciplinary procedures regarding demonstrating indoors which the university had forbidden.  This indoor demonstrations escalated to the point where the acting College Dean, Henry Coleman, was held captive all night in his office but released the next day.

During the night the blacks took over Hamilton Hall and drove the whites out. The blacks really meant business, and it was their issue with respect to the gym and the community.   The white guys left not know where to go or what to do.  They wandered up to the administration building, Low Library, in the centre of the campus about 5:30 in the morning and decided to go in and take it over.

It’s interesting to note in the documentary that the white versus black issue was the motivating factor driving the Weatherman Underground. Bernadine Dohrn noted that this was the situation where the whites in some sense were trying to establish their credentials and solidarity with the blacks.

They could never do this it was later stated in the documentary. Skin colour did make a difference, and the had advantages as a result. This was the realisation of the blacks at Columbia on the night of 23rd April 1968 and something the whites were always faced with hence their own actions which kept getting more and more extreme.

The whites expelled by the blacks from Hamilton Hall smashed their way in past a security guard who had no idea what was happening and went on to the president’s office (Grayson Kirk) which they took over.  It was all a fluke, and these students were as surprised as everyone by what they were able to do.  It was a tolerant university environment, and people were not supposed to act like this.  You might call it a soft target.  That is the essence of the university, but there were radical militant white students who seized the opportunity to take over the president’s office.  The rest is history.

There were no more classes that spring semester.   For a week the students took over building after building and shut everything down.  The administration finally called in the police which was a mistake.  A police riot ensued which was to be expected.   Faculty, students and administration were beaten indiscriminately.   There were hundreds of injuries, police vandalism and over 700 arrests.   It was a lesson in brutality on the rampage when the police are let loose.

The university community had been polarised by two extremes: the student radicals and the intransigent administration.  In between there was the mass of students, faculty and administration who had all worked around the clock trying to resolve the problem peacefully.  This was pre-empted when the administration called in the Tactical Patrol Force (TPF) or the riot police.

For most of us we had nothing to do with either extreme.  We were the ones in the middle who came to Columbia for an education, and we were certainly getting one.   Basically we went on strike but only refused to return to the buildings which the administration had placed on a higher value level than the lives of the people.   What happened is that we held classes outside.

I recall one beautiful sunny May afternoon when my French class was sitting outside on the grass of the South Lawn which stretches from the real library at one end of the campus, Butler Library, to the middle of the campus where the sun dial was located.  The sun dial was the centre for campus demonstrations.

Over in one corner was Wollman Auditorium and student centre.  Out on its patio the Grateful Dead played a concert all afternoon with their music bouncing around in this canyon of surrounding buildings (dormitories, schools including the journalism school, classrooms and library) which went up to around 16 stories high.

We were reading Franz Fanon’s “Les Damnes de la Terre” in French for this particular occasion.  This is his brilliant analysis of the French repression in Algeria and its impact there.   A key to this analysis was that a tactic used was to exert repression downward on the disenfranchised so that they would take out their aggressive response on each other.   In other words get them fighting amongst themselves and not against the forces of repression whatever they might be.

This was a key lesson learned in this environment at Columbia.  The most important aspect was not to start a conflict between ourselves over what had happened, but to direct efforts against the source of the problem.  Ultimately, what occurred was a complete investigation during the summer of 1968 with hearings conducted by Harvard Law School Professor and former Solicitor General of the US Archibald Cox.  He went into absolutely everything that had occurred getting testimony or written statements from anyone who wanted to be heard and had something to say.  Some radical student groups refused to participate.

These hearings were held in Harkness Theatre, were open to the public and broadcast on the student radio station.   I used to listen to them on the radio.  Archibald Cox was extraordinary in his questioning as were the other members of the Commission.    He was very good.  A very sad thing had happened on about 21st May when the police were brought onto the campus a second time in the middle of the night to clear it again some three weeks after the initial police “clearance.”  This was in response to further demonstrations about discipline.

What they did was not only drive students into their dormitories, but they entered the dormitories seeking out students to beat them.  I listened to this in the middle of the night since it was broadcast on the student radio station and recorded it.   I still have this recording to this day.  I lived off campus so I was not directly involved.  But, what had happened was a blatant act of repression where the police had been brought onto the campus, and the same police riot had occurred once again.

There was need of a thorough investigation and that took place.  Out of it came a tremendous book called “The Cox Commission Report: Crisis at Columbia.  Repot of the Fact-Finding Commission Appointed to Investigate the Disturbances at Columbia University in April and May 1968.”  Random House Vintage Books, New York, October 1968.   The Executive Committee of the Faculties of Columbia appointed this Commission which included other members as distinguished as Archibald Cox.

Although the Commission had the full support and cooperation of almost everyone including the Trustees and administration, once it was born it became fully independent to “chart its own course, conduct its own investigation and reach its own conclusions.”  The result was a comprehensive analysis of all that had occurred.   A better job could not have been done.  It is a book well worth reading.

Archibald Cox was later appointed Watergate Special Prosecutor.  He was too good for Nixon who wanted to control his investigation.  Nixon fired him in the infamous Saturday Night Massacre when Eliot Richardson, the US Attorney General, was sacked for refusing to fire Archibald Cox on orders from Nixon. I believe one other went too from the Justice Department before Nixon got someone to dismiss Archibald Cox.  I believe this was Bork.  Had this not occurred the Watergate Investigation might have come up with a comprehensive and thorough report as came out of the Columbia problems.   Problems cannot be solved unless they are fully understood.

Here is my analysis of what spawned the Weathrman Underground based upon what happened at Columbia.   The radical students succeeded beyond their wildest expectations.  They had a taste of power.  The only way they got that power was by extreme behaviour.  So they kept getting more and more extreme.  They would not define and accept a goal.  Their own objective was just more and more power which was achieved by taking more and more radically extreme positions which logically led to the Weatherman Underground and a terror campaign of bombings in the US.

They got trapped in their own power trip.   They were not trying to actually achieve anything other than revolutionary anarchy.  That was their objective.  As was stated in the documentary, they wanted to initially bomb an NCO dance at Fort Dix in New Jersey.  That’s why they made the bomb which blew up in the basement of the brownstone on West 11th Street while they were making it.  Then with their own deaths they realised, according to the documentary, that they were just terrorists killing innocent people for their own power accumulation’s sake.  Repression from the FBI helped to drive them along.

Thus, they switched to bombing buildings with warnings so that no one would be hurt.   Their campaign then swept the US.  It is my belief that the key to this terrorism came out of Columbia because the problems were not fully resolved.   Had different steps been taken, maybe, and I only say maybe, the Weatherman Underground might not have developed at all.  These were the few disenfranchised leaders of the student “revolution” excluded from the university who went on to create terror on a larger scale in the US.   Thank goodness they blew themselves up initially rather than those at the dance at Fort Dix. It’s tragic that anyone was killed, but they at least learned something from it. Fortunately, no one else was killed.

In the aftermath of the Columbia experience the two extremes were driven away.  President Grayson Kirk and his Vice President and Provost David Truman were replaced.   At the other end of the spectrum the student radical leaders were expelled.   Evidently no effective compromise could be reached.  I believe that this is what led to their ever growing need for extremist action which was transferred to the Weatherman Underground.

What is important in the documentary is that when they first formed nationwide in Chicago in 1969, there were only about 150 who actually showed up in the park and subsequently went on the rampage through the streets.

Finally, there was really only a small core of those who went underground and started their bombing campaign.  I believe that this could have been stopped had other action been taken at Columbia to incorporate these into the university somehow if that were possible.

The direct parallel that I see now occurring in the UK with regard to terrorism is the same thing with the terrorists having been branded as “evil” along with the extreme actions by the US and UK to bomb and invade Afghanistan and Iraq after 9/11.  This was the wrong action to take.  It did not address the problem of terrorism.  It helped create more of it on a very large scale.

There has been a domestic UK failure to really grapple with all the facts of why this country went to war.  There has been no comprehensive commission with powers to probe every aspect to get at all that needs to be investigated with respect to the invasion of Iraq.  A problem cannot be solved unless it is fully understood.

It becomes an ever escalating power struggle from each extreme: the top of the US/UK Governments on the one end and the ever growing terrorists on the other.  Each is making the other’s power maintenance struggle possible with all the rest of us caught in the middle and used as helpless pawns subjected to fear of terror and actual death in some instances.   As long as these two extremes blindly adhere to their power perogative at the expense of everyone else, terrorism will escalate.

That is why there is a great hope in the democratic response to terrorism in Spain.   The same remains true in the US and UK with respect to those in charge of their respective Governments.  They have not addressed the terrorism problem properly and acted only to maintain their own power by an inappropriate response to terrorist acts.  This is why it is necessary for the peple to democratically change these governments.

What I learned at Columbia during the spring of 1968 and its aftermath has been an indispensable part of my education for my life as I’ve watched this unfold over the decades.   Terrorism has been here for decades.  So far no one has actually got it right to address these problems properly.  One must address the causes of terrorism, but first they must be completely understood.  Knee jerk responses with military power are useless and counterproductive against terrorism.

Thanks for screening that documentary on the Weatherman Underground.  It did a little more than touch this experience in my life for me.  It raised those critical issues of democratic problem solving and change vis-a-vis those who want power for power’s sake and are willing to destroy for that no matter whether they are at the top of government or among “Les Damnes de la Terre.”

It was also fascinating to note that the issue in “Marathon Man” was greed where those who are supposedly in Intelligence were really out to get the diamonds for themselves.  That film said a lot about the character of the secret services and the potential for corruption when operating outside the law and outside democratic government and its institutions.  The Dustin Hoffman connection with these two films/issues is one of those fascinating conincidences or is it?

The problem of terrorism must be addressed by addressing the problems of humanity democratically and not by the methods of the terrorist and the uncertain effectiveness of secret service and police powers.

Corrupt self interest seems to be all that surfaces.

 

Human Being Used As Surveillance Device | Michigan Passes Anti Electronic Harassment Law Including Life in Prison | Surveillance & Dr David Kelly’s Death | Human Rights Destroyed By Military Justice and Extradition | Fabricated Intelligence | Cataract Surgery 9th June 2003 Resulting From 58 Months of Surveillance Technology | Abuse of Power for £36 Million | A Truly Unreasonable Search and Seizure | Shut Down Overview 3rd & 6th July 2002 | Shut Down Effort 27/28th July 2002 | Shut Down Effort 9/11th August 2002 | J’accuse: Crimes Against Humanity | US National Security Breach: Email to DIRNSA | Attempted Murder By Poisoning And Camp X-Ray | Direct Interference With Medical Care | Surveillance Overview and Table of Contents | Letter to the Prime Minister | Correspondence to My Member of Parliament – Abuse of Power I | Correspondence to My Member of Parliament – Abuse of Power II | Crime and Corruption: Tenant Management I | Crime and Corruption: Tenant Management II | Crime and Corruption: Tenant Management III | Child Abuse Reporting and Harassment | Personal Injuries | Sleep Deprivation Logs | Human Rights Act of 1998 | Protection from Harassment Act 1997 | Links | Search Links

 

A spectacular historical atlas refashioned for the 21st century: Charles O. Paullin and John K. Wright’s Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States, first published in 1932. This digital edition reproduces all of the atlas’s nearly 700 maps. Many of these beautiful maps are enhanced here in ways impossible in print, animated to show change over time or made clickable to view the underlying data—remarkable maps produced eight decades ago with the functionality of the twenty-first century.

5 Mar

 

Most maps in the atlas have been georectified, warped so that they can be placed consistently on top of a digital map.

Animated Maps

Series of maps in the atlas that show how something like the exploration of the continentdifferent reform movements, or the location of churches evolved over time can be animated.

Clickable Maps

Dozens of the maps like those illustrating presidential votingpopulation demographics, and crop production are clickable to access the underlying data in greater detail.

 

Military History, 1689-1919

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