Why The Secret?

We are educated in our traffic laws.  We must stop at “Stop” signs.  We must stop when a traffic light turns red.  We had to know these aspects of traffic law before we could get a license.

Why then is the public not informed or educated as to when the police may use force or “deadly” force.  Why are these protocols kept secret.  For that matter shouldn’t they be taught as well as traffic laws.

If I know that asking an officer why I am being detained means that he may use force, shouldn’t that be information that would be helpful to both me and the officer trying to do his duty.

Do you as a non law inforcement citizen know the protocol of you local policle, sheriff, and highway patrol for the following:

– a citizen demands to know why he is being detained,

– a citizen asks for an officer’s badge number or name,

– a citizen refuses to get face down on the ground,

– a citizen puts his hand in his pocket while being questioned,

– a citizen runs away,

– a citizen flees the scene in a non-violent incident,

– in which situations may an officer engage in a high speed chase and in what kind of places such as residential neighborhoods, highly congested areas, etc.,

– in which situations may an officer draw his weapon,

– under what circumstances may he fire that weapoon,

– is an officer required to use other means of resolving a conflict before he resorts to physical force?

I remind you that the question was whether you “know” not whether you think, guess, or have heard.

If you don’t know, does government and its law enforcement officers share in the responsibility of keeping you informed?

Please feel free to share your comments.

Class Warfare

When Republicans accuse Democrats of class warfare, the response by Democrats ought to be “Damn Right”.  We are on the side of the middle class workers.

Which side are you fighting for?  The same one you have been on for decades with your failed “trickle down economics”?

You need to remember Einstein’s description of insanity.

Einstein

WE USED TO AS A NATION DO GREAT THINGS

 

Being of the Sixties generation, we set the DVR to record the CNN series: “The Sixties – The Space Race”.
It was Thanksgiving before we got around to watching it. At first we were caught up in the nostalgia and then the exhilaration of our nation joining the space race and ultimately putting a man on the moon.  But, as we continued to watch, I turned to my wife and said, “We used to as a nation do great things”. She responded, “We used to have lofty goals”.

How sad it is that now we have become a nation of crumbling infrastructure, slow rail, outdated airports, and shabby cities. What happened?  Is ours just another story of a declining civilization brought about by greed and an aristocratic, narcissistic government with politicians focused only on their own enrichment?

How do we bring the country back to its greatest time? Where are the leaders that we need? How do we wrestle our country back from those who have stolen it through the political process? Can we unrig the game?

Let me be perfectly clear. I have traveled this great country of ours, and it is not the people. It is the crazies and the wing-nuts that the media glorifies, but the majority of us are good people who want to work hard, play hard, have a better life for our children and grandchildren. We want once again to aim for the stars and be proud of what our country does.
Yes, there was the Vietnam war; but we ended it.
Yes, there was discrimination; but we put in place the legislation to end it.
Yes, there was disenfranchisement; but we outlawed it.
Yes, there was greed on Wall Street; but we legislated to control it.
Yes, there was sexism; but we cracked the glass ceiling.

Is there no one who will stir the embers of the freedom fire till it roars to life again?

Is there no one who will set their torch to that flame and light the way to greatness again?

Where are you?

Or, was T.S. Eliot correct when he says int The Hollow Men that the world ends “…not with a bang, but a whimper.”

Where Communism Failed

Congress and particularly the Republican far right, corporations, K Street, state legislators, the Supreme Court and an apathetic citizenry have succeeded.  They, working in concerted effort, under the corporate owned monopolistic media, have destroyed the middle class and our democracy.

The Republicans by failing to control their party’s far right has refused to participate in the governing process having dedicated themselves to making sure that government cannot work through obstructionism.  They just say “No!” without presenting any real alternatives.  They did not hesitate to shut down the government.  In fact they were delighted to not only do that, but also to put our international credit rating at risk.

K Street simply continues to endanger our country by their relentless buying of our elected officials.  At least they are honest in their motives.  Certainly though they must share some responsibility for influencing congress in much the same way that a person who offers a bribe is as guilty as the person who accepts it.

Our state legislators through gerrymandering have rigged the representation process so that they cannot be challenged in an election.  They constantly act in opposition to the will of the people and in favor of special interests who will line their pockets either now or after they leave office.  The people have supported  in huge percentages increasing the minimum wage to a living wage.  The people, includig the members of the NRA have supported reasonable gun safety issues like background checks.  The majority support equal pay for women and yet legislatures refuse to address the issue.

The Supreme Court through recent rulings such as Citizens United and Hobby Lobby have given corporations the same rights as people without any of the responsibilities.  They have given states with a proven track record the freedom to disenfranchise voters.  They have said that racism is dead.  I guess the news from Florida and Missouri doesn’t reach their ivory towers.

Our citizizens are happy to get their information from bumper stickers and the entertainment media like CNN.

People get the government they deserve.  Unfortunately, all of us must suffer because of the apathy of the majority.

The Fortune Teller’s Globe

Was Thomas Paine looking into the fortune teller’s lens when he penned these words?

“THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”

Today, we experience the tyranny of the minority; and like Payne we must dedicate ourselves to fighting it.  Fighting it not with musket and ball, but rather by fighting it with the vote.

Taxatlon without representation is tyranny.  What is forgotten or neglected is the fact that representation can only be obtained with the right to vote.  No right to vote; no representation.

And yet, Republican legislatures in state after state are passing laws whose intention is to disenfranchise voters.  Some even argue that voting should be limited to white land owners.  When one takes a holistic view of the framers and the Constitution, the opposite is intended.  The intention has always been and ought to be to extend the right to vote to all citizens.

Our country was founded on the concept of rule of law.

Our country was founded on the principle of majority rule.

And, it is the responsibility of the majority to protect the rights of the minority.

What makes these times so trying is that we now have a faction who have been elected to office in our government whose sole function is to destroy the government from within.  Their sole function is to not only NOT govern, but to also keep others from governing.  They would rather tear this government down to replace it with oligarchy.

Our founding fathers could not have conceived that citizens, much less elected officials, would try to destroy the Constitution instead of preserving it.  They provided ways for the majority to change or amend the Constitution.  They did not intend to provide a legal means for the minority to tear down what the majority wanted.  They could not have anticipated this type of tyranny.

Time after time we have seen these legislatures go against the will of the majority of their constituents, whether it was over backround checks or immigration.

We have a Congress that does not want to legislate and work for the majority of the people; they just want to work for their political donors.

These truly are times that try men’s souls.

GET PEOPLE REGISTERED THEN GET OUT THE VOTE!

Why I Might Approve SCOTUS Ruling In Favor of Hobby Lobby

Ok, SCOTUS has already ruled that corporations are people.  Then, people must be corporations.

If the court rules that corporations can not obey the law of the land if it disagrees with their religious freedom, then people are entitled to the same protection under the Constitution.

That means that if it is my belief that war is immoral and I am  opposed to the actions of our military, I will not have to pay my income tax for whatever percentage of the budget that was for the military.

If it is my belief that it is immoral to kill animals for food, then I will not have to pay that percentage of the federal budget that provides benefits or tax benefits to the beef industry.

If it is my belief that the Congress is immoral in the way that they fail to conduct the business of the people, I can deduct the portion of my tax bill that goes to paying their and their aids salaries.

I could certainly the savings in my tax dollars.  What if I believe it is immoral to take form someone that belongs to them without their permission;  I wouldn’ have to pay any income tax at all.

I’m not a lawyer or Supreme Court judge; but….