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Friday, February 12, 2016

Contracts between police and city authorities, leaked after hackers breached the website of the country's biggest law enforcement union, contain guarantees that disciplinary records and complaints made against officers are kept secret or even destroyed. A Guardian analysis of dozens of contracts obtained from the servers of the Fraternal Order of Police found that more than a third featured clauses allowing -- and often mandating -- the destruction of records of civilian complaints, departmental investigations, or disciplinary actions after a negotiated period of time. read more


Saturday, February 06, 2016

In Grinnell Ward 1, the precinct where elite liberal arts college Grinnell College is located, 19 delegates were awarded to Bernie Sanders and seven were awarded toHillary Clinton on caucus night. However, the Iowa Democratic party decided to shift one delegate from Sanders to Clinton on the night and did not notify precinct secretary J Pablo Silva that they had done so. Silva only discovered that this happened the next day, when checking the precinct results in other parts of the county.

The shift of one delegate at a county convention level would not have significantly affected the ultimate outcome of the caucus, but rather, it raises questions aboutthe Iowa Democratic party's management of caucus night. read more


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

...Clinton is narrowing her presidential chances when she privileges elite professional women at men's expense.

Gloria Steinem... famously said, "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle." [Rodham Clinton] has unfortunately adopted the Steinem brand of blame-men-first feminism, which defines women as perpetual victims requiring government protections. Childhood photos of Bill Clinton show his gregarious, fun-loving charm already fully formed. The young Hillary Rodham, in contrast, looks armored, with a sharp gaze and a tense, over-bright smile.

As a teenager, Hillary Rodham adopted her father's conservatism and campaigned for Barry Goldwater in the 1964 presidential campaign. In her freshman year at the all-woman Wellesley College, she was president of the Young Republicans club. [Her views had shifted by graduation.] read more


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Ritualised brutality. Vengeful blood lust. Vicious savagery justified by medieval notions of retribution. We all know how dark the world can be these days. A world where men are garrotted and impaled. Where they're speared and disembowelled and have their necks slashed and their genitals sliced off. Where they're killed for no other reason than revenge. This isn't Raqqa, though, it's 'The Revenant.' read more


High doses of cocaine can cause the brain to eat itself, research suggests. A mouse study found that the drug can trigger out-of-control ''autophagy," a process by which cells literally digest themselves. When it is properly regulated, autophagy provides a valuable clean-up service: getting rid of unwanted debris that is dissolved away by enzymes within cell ''pockets''. ''Autophagy is the housekeeper that takes out the trash - it's usually a good thing. But cocaine makes the housekeeper throw away really important things, like mitochondria, which produce energy for the cell.'' read more


Comments

www.austinchronicle.com

" 'Peace Officer' is such a timely film, it's almost absurd. The documentary, which won the grand jury prize this week [3/20/2015] at SXSW, deals with the rise of police militarization and use-of-force deaths.
"However, the film is no quickly-cobbled-together attempt to capitalize on the public's sudden interest in these issues, but instead the product of years of work. First-time feature filmmakers Scott Christopherson and Brad Barber began working on 'Peace Officer' in 2012 after meeting William "Dub" Lawrence, the movie's central character."

=+=

i attended a police cadet graduation ceremony, in my last year with the dept; audience participation was encouraged. Sub-groups of the class worked on projects involving issues for the City. The leader of the focus group on gay issues asked for a show of hands of gays in the audience. (NO hands raised on the class.) (Orientation is a protected class for City employees - yeah, sure!)

At some point i raised two points: thought crime and Posse Comitatis (separation of military & police). The class president approached me & argued the case for back uniforms, e.g., officers need camouflage at night.

There is no Posse Comitatis now, by the way. We are a police state.

Link to 3 or 4 examples of polce misconduct; 1 of them excerpted from The Guardian:

Feidin Santana relives the morning of Saturday 4 April 2015 on a near continuous loop. It was around 9.30am and the 23-year-old was running uncharacteristically late for work. As he walked his usual route through the back streets of North Charleston, something caught his eye: a black man running away from a white police officer.

Santana followed the chase for a few yards to a deserted patch of lawn behind a pawn shop and a car dealership. Here the officer caught up with the man, and ended up on top of him. Watching from behind a chainlink fence, Santana instinctively reached for his phone and pressed record.

The morning was still, silent. "You could hear birds flying, the swing of their wings," Santana says as he stands, three months later, where he was that day. "You could hear everything; the sounds of the officer, the gunshots. Everything."

Santana's steady hand captured the moment the unarmed, 50-year-old man, Walter Scott, broke away from the officer, Michael Slager, and attempted to flee. The officer paused for a moment, pointed his gun and fired about eight rounds until Scott lay face down on the ground.

"Everything happened too fast," Santana says. "I never imagined he'd pull his gun out. There was no way out. He [Scott] was running slow." In the grainy footage, Slager can be seen opening fire, then walking over to Scott's body, yanking his floppy arms and placing them in handcuffs.

Oh sh--," Santana can be heard whispering, as he follows the officer. Slager jogs back to the site he fired from, picks up an object from the floor – perhaps his Taser – and drops it next to the body as another officer arrives. "F--king abuse," Santana mutters. The two officers gaze down on Scott's corpse, seemingly oblivious to the fact that they are being filmed. Santana moves right up to the fence as Slager places his finger on Scott's neck, checking for a pulse.

Once Santana's footage went public, Slager was arrested and charged with murder. Santana's split-second decision that day marked a turning point in a new civil rights movement in the US.

... But the surge in vigilante recording is being met with aggressive resistance from police. Judges uphold the right of American people to film law enforcement officers under the first amendment of the US constitution, and lawmakers in several states have proposed new laws specifically protecting such recording. But officers...

For many who capture horrific acts of violence, returning to a normal life becomes impossible. They complain of harassment by police, of threats against their life and of recurring trauma as a result of the death and brutality they have witnessed.

www.theguardian.com

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