Saturday, June 6

It Starts with the Anti-Tax Rants, then comes the Supremacism, then the Doctor Shooting...

The brief and sad history of Scott Reoder, Tax Zealot, Sovereign, Bigot, Anti-Abortion Crusader - Murderer.

The revelation that Scott Roeder, the alleged murderer of Dr. George Tiller, belonged to an anti-government, white separatist group called the Montana Freemen might seem like an unlikely twist. After all, such groups are generally thought of as either indifferent to the issue of abortion or actively enthusiastic about its potential for reducing the nonwhite population. As it turns out, however, the journey from radical racialist to anti-abortionist isn't as unusual as you might think.

Many reporters, particularly those on the Right, have gleefully commented on Roeders involvement with the Anti-Government "Freemen" from Montana. Few have simultaneously mentioned the groups virulent Racist Streak, or how many of their issues began in ways simular to what we've seen lately.

As Tax Protesters.

His ex-wife, Lindsey, said that after a few years of marriage, Roeder became increasingly involved with the Freemen and its anti-government ideology. "The anti-tax stuff came first, and then it grew and grew. He became very anti-abortion…That's all he cared about is anti-abortion. 'The church is this. God is this.' Yadda yadda."

Lindsey eventually left Scott largely because of his radical views.

Then came the racism.

Roeder and the Freemen belonged to a little-recognized nativist political movement that began in the early 20th century.... This movement was often called "the posse," after a core group named the Posse Comitatus. ..., they all held tightly to the notion that the true white sovereigns, who had rightfully been given this land by God, were being threatened by race traitors "inferior races" creeping across the borders from Mexico and lands farther south.

Hey, Tancredo and Dobbs - are you Listening???

Originally the Klanish elements of the far right saw abortion as a benefit, since it would help stem the tide of black and brown babies over-running this "naturally white nation". But that eventually changed during the 80's under the leadership of Bob Mathew's, head of the Terrorist Group known as "The Order" who saw abortion as the "Suicide" of the White Race, and railed against Jewish doctors who helped perform them. Members of "The Order" - who took they name and inspiration from virulently racist novel "The Turner Diaries" which also inspired Timothy McVeigh - were prosecuted for the assasionation of Jewish/Progressive Radio Talk Show Host Alan Berg in 1984.

It really shouldn't be all that surprising then that a member from that movement is now responsible for the murder of the most prominent abortion Doctors in the nation, George Tiller. As I wrote the other day, the White Supremacist Movement has found common cause with the Tax-Day Tea Baggers and the virulent anti-Abortionist such as Army of God leader "Rev." Donald Spitz.

But we should all know this, we were all warned weren't we?


And Here...

[R]ightwing extremists may be gaining new recruits by playing on their fears about several emergent issues. The economic downturn and the election of the first African American president present unique drivers for rightwing radicalization and recruitment.

Over the past five years, various rightwing extremists, including militias and
white supremacists, have adopted the immigration issue as a call to action, rallying point, and recruiting tool. Debates over appropriate immigration levels and enforcement policy generally fall within the realm of protected political speech under the First Amendment, but in some cases, anti-immigration or strident pro-enforcement fervor has been directed against specific groups and has the potential to turn violent.

DHS/I&A assesses that the combination of environmental factors that echo
the 1990s, including heightened interest in legislation for tighter firearms restrictions and returning military veterans, as well as several new trends, including an uncertain economy and a perceived rising influence of other countries, may be invigorating rightwing extremist activity, specifically the white supremacist and militia movements. To the extent that these factors persist, rightwing extremism is likely to grow in strength.

All the warning signs are there, we just need to seriously listening to them. Hopefully we start to do so before the bodies begin to pile up.


Friday, June 5

Obama's Ground-breaking Cairo Speech

MSNBC The Rachel Maddow Show - 4 June 2009: The 3rd Rail - Obama's game-changing speech in Egypt.

RICHARD ENGEL of NBC NEWS DESCRIBING REACTION: "A lot of people in Kabul and across the Islamic world simply had their mouths open when they were listening to this speech. They couldn't believe what they were hearing. They had not heard this kind of language from an American president."

RACHEL MADDOW: "President Obama today spoke frankly and directly about the United States, about our closest allies, about our friends in the region and about our enemies. He said things that American politicians never say in public, especially American presidents, especially while they're overseas, especially while they're in the Middle East, especially all in one speech. It was like he grabbed onto the third rail and decided he was not going to let go."

1. Condemns Israeli Settlements
2. Denounces Arab Attacks
3. Labels Iraq "War of Choice"
4. Admits U.S. Role in Iran Coup
5. Dismisses 9/11 Conspiracies
6. Attacks Holocaust Deniers
7. Criticizes Arab "Democracies"
8. Admits U.S. Tortured


Tuesday, June 2

Uncovering The American Taliban

Dr. Hern : There is no middle-ground with people who want to kill you. The Only Difference between the American Anti-Abortion Movement and the Taliban - is about 8000 Miles.

In following up on the Tiller Assassination story I realized that elements seemed familiar. Less than a week or so ago, before the shooting I had seen one of those late night crime stories about a middle-aged woman who had been put on trial for shooting a doctor.

The story focused not so much on her crime, which didn't kill the doctor in question but merely injured him or her claims in court that her lousy aim should be considered a mitigating faster, instead the piece focused on her connections to an underground network of rabid anti-abortionists. Including Paul Hill who had shot and killed a clinic physician and his escort with a shotgun in Pensacola Florida.

She had written to Paul, and to other incarcerated anti-abortion killers such as Michael Griffin. Through them she had gained encouragement, and even direction - but the prosecutors were frustrated in proving conspiracy charges.

Here's a sample tribute video I found to Paul Hill.

I had forgotten about the report, then after the the Tiller shooting I started to wonder and decided to look up the name of the person mentioned by Rachel Maddow as having previously shot Dr. Tiller in both arms - that person was Shelly Shannon - the same person from the report I'd seen last week - and what I immediately found was this...

- or -

How to Destroy a Killing Center if You're Just an Old Grandma
Who Can't Even Get the Fire Started in Her Fireplace

by Shelley Shannon

*Please re-type or photocopy this and burn the copy you were given, with
the fingerprints thereof
. Thanks.

What followed was quite literally a how to/confession of a Terrorist Act, the fire-bombing of on a Women's Clinic. It's almost comically inept and pathetic - but still in many ways that only makes it's deadliness even more serious. Murder and Arson for Dummy Grandma's! Estelle Getty with suicide bomb strapped on. Silly, but still Deadly.

"Photocopy this then burn the pages" -- it's almost like something from "Get Smart" with the Cone of Silence. Shelley Shannon Super-Sleuth. Not exactly. James Bond and AQ Khan she ain't. Hence the Prison! Heaven help us if someone whose actually seen an entire season of any version of CSI or Criminal Minds gets hooked up with these dullards.

I found another shock/irony when I read the tagline, because as far as I know Shelley Shannon is serving prison time until 2018 for her attack on Dr. Tiller and a set of subsequence fires and her Muy Talibanish acid attacks.

To contact: e-mail:
Telephone 1-757-204-4454
Or write to: Rev. Donald Spitz
Pro-Life Virginia
P.O. Box 2876
Chesapeake VA 23327

Do people in prison get email? Also - uh- "Rev. Donald Spitz"?

Again, something strangely familiar. Several weeks ago I wrote a post about the the Knoxville Tennesee Gunman who killed two people and injured fived in a gun attack on a Unitarian Church who was "Trying to Kill Liberals".

I got a response on my personal blog - It was from a Rev. Donald Spitz. He said...

Don't tell me about Eric Rudolph. At least he stopped the babykilling abortionist from murdering any more children. What have you done to stopped these babies from being murdered?

How many straight children have been molested and murdered by homosexuals like you? A lot. How many Christians have been assaulted by homosexuals like you because you didn't like the way they voted? A lot. How many Christian churches have been burned down by homosexuals like you because you disagree with the Holy Bible? A lot. Matthew Shepard is in eternal hell fire now and will never get out.

Whatever you think, you will not be able to change God's Word and will one day have to pay the price for not believing what God has written.

Leviticus 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

When I clicked on his name it showed this...

Sweet guy. At the time I blew it off, there are plenty of nuts and fruits on the net. No biggie.

I'm not blowing it off anymore. This is like having Ramzi Yousef leave a Firepie on your front porch.

His blog - has only three posts, and they're about as smart and coherent as the one he left on my blog praising Eric Rudolph and calling me Gay (which I'm not, particularly after 17 years of nice simple Opposite Marriage).

By the way, go back to that Paul Hill Tribute Video, notice anything... like "by RevSpitz"?


Yet another Super-sleuth.

As it turns our Rev Spitz runs the entire Army of God website which features include the Official "Authorized" Websites for Paul Hill, Eric Rudolph and several other Anti-Abortion Heroes Murderous zealots as well as references to an Army of God Manual for Anti-Abortion "Warriors" - think of it as an Anarchist Cookbook for Christian Wing-nut Terrorists Dumbasses - a copy of which was first found in the possession of Shelley Shannon during her apprehension for the previous shooting of Dr. Tiller. It's like - "Need proof I'm a potential mass-murder - here's my instruction manual with nice neat little hand-written notes in the margins, take me away!".

The sites current headline that says..

George Tiller will never murder another child again.

Abortionist George Tiller, now in eternal hell fire for shedding the blood of innocent children

Ok, so I get what The Donald has to say... but what do others say about him? Others like say, the Southern Poverty Law Center?

The Rev. Donald Spitz has never been a pleasant man. Considered a wild-eyed extremist even among his colleagues on the radical anti-abortion scene, the head of Pro-Life Virginia and long-time principal of the Army of God Web site ( applauds the murderers of physicians, clinic workers and secretaries.

He rails against "filthy faggots" and "lesbos." Islam is "Satanic," Arabs are "Rag-Heads," and Muslims "should not be allowed to live in the United States." New York City is a "sex perverted cesspool" that richly deserved Sept. 11.

But there is one type of vicious group hatred Don Spitz has always denied — the "false accusations of racism" against blacks "put out by desperate babykilling abortionists." If a black man accepts Christ, "then that man is my brother."

Well, maybe. And maybe not.


Yeah, on top of everything else, the Christo-Fascism, the homophobia and being a signatory on a "defensive action statement" declaring the murder of abortionist as "justifiable" - Good Ole' RevSpitz is a White Supremacist. Lovely.

We do have a American Taliban, and they aren't hiding very far from the surface. Not at all. And if I was member of the Joint Counter Terrorist Task Force, I think I know where to direct a little NSA Surveillance or at least y'know - a WARRANT - since he and 30 others signed a open DEATH THREAT ON HIS FELLOW AMERICAN CITIZENS.
"We, the undersigned, declare the justice of taking all godly action necessary to defend innocent human life including the use of force. We proclaim that whatever force is legitimate to defend the life of a born child is legitimate to defend the life of an unborn child. We assert that if Michael Griffin did in fact kill David Gunn, his use of lethal force was justifiable provided it was carried out for the purpose of defending the lives of unborn children. Therefore, he ought to be acquitted of the charges against him."

* Kenneth Arndt, Windham, N.H.
* Mary Beddingfield, Pittsburgh, Pa.
* Dan Bray, Bowie, Md.
* Donna Bray, Bowie, Md.
* Michael Bray, Bowie, Md.
* John Brockhoeft, prisoner, Burlington, Ky.
* Andrew Burnett, Portland, Ore.
* Thomas Carleton, prisoner, Billerica, Mass.
* David Craig, Hope, Ind.
* David Crane, Norfolk, Va.
* Paul deParrie, Portland, Ore.
* Regina Dinwiddie, Kansas City, Mo.
* Michael Dodds, Kansas
* Henry Felisone, Queens, N.Y.
* Joseph Foreman, Bluejay, Calif.
* Mary Friberg, New Brighton, Minn.
* David Graham, Olathe, Kan.
* Paul J. Hill, prisoner, Pensacola, Fla.
* Michael Jarecki, Brushton, N.Y.
* Bill Koehler, North Bergen, N.J.
* Dave Leach, Des Moines, Iowa
* C. Roy McMillan, Jackson, Miss.
* Mike Meyer, Cincinnati, Ohio
* Jacob Miller, Tampa, Fla.
* Joseph F. O'Hara, Pennsylvania
* Robert Pearson, West Long Branch, N.J.
* Tony Piso, Forest Hill, N.Y.
* Cathy Ramey, Portland, Ore.
* Donald Spitz, Norfolk, Va.
* Dawn Stover, Portland, Ore.
* Matt Trewhella, Milwaukee, Wisc.
* David Trosch, Mobile, Ala.
* Mike Walker, Alabama
* Valerie Zyskowski, Pittsburgh, Pa.

I'm just saying... when people openly declare they support the commission of a capital offense, maybe we should be listening to them, maybe we should let them Know we're listening them, and that they will be held accountable for their actions.

P.S. His site sucks. ugly colors, bad design, shitty fonts, cheesy graphics, stupid ideas. Like something a 12-year-old in a 50-year-old body would make. Perfectly Fitting.


General Sanchez calls for Truth Commission

Following the recent comments from Gen Taguba, the author of the Abu Ghraib report, that "the Bush Administration perpetrated War Crimes", and an admission from Gen David Petreaus that "Geneva was violated" in Iraq, former Multinational Forces Commander Lt. Gen Ricardo Sanchez has called for a Truth Commission to reveal what did and didn't happen at Abu Ghraib and in Iraq.

From Huffpo

The General described the failures at all levels of civilian and military command that led to the abuses in Iraq, "and that is why I support the formation of a truth commission."

The General went on to say that, "during my time in Iraq there was not one instance of actionable intelligence that came out of these interrogation techniques."

I interviewed General Sanchez after the event and asked him to elaborate on why he felt the US needed such a commission. "For the American people to really know what happened, " he replied, "...this was an institutional failure, a personal failure on the part of many...."

"If we do not find out what happened," continued the General, "then we are doomed to repeat it."


O'Reilly makes HIMSELF the Victim in the Tiller Assasination

Yes, hard though it may be to believe - BillO actually tried to claim these he's the real victim in all of this sturm and drang over the shooting of "infamous abortionist" George Tiller - because now all those Evil Liberals are gonna be Mean to Him!

And he's not alone..

Juan Williams: I think there are people who are for abortion rights who are going to use this now, as a political tool to beat people up and make them all seem to be extremists

Maybe people have a problem with BillO, because of BILLO! Y'think?

Notice that O'Reilly never talks about the fact the Tiller was SHOT AND MURDERED IN HIS CHURCH, all his does is try to distance himself from any responsibility for it - all the while repeating his own hateful rhetorical focusing on the Washington Times claim of "60,000" late-time abortions performed by Dr. Tiller during the length of his 35 year career.

Why doesn't he talk about the 60,000 (and frankly far more) women who were helped by Dr. Tiller in the midst of a traumatic health crisis?

And what of those who critized O'Reilly? Have they really tried to conflate honest legitimate opposition to Abortion with those who are the most extreme and violent?

Take a look, Here's Rachel Maddow discussing the issue with Jonathon Turley.

Not much blame or conflating thrown around here. As Turley notes the Brandenburg standard may allow you to say "This person should be killed", but not "Kill HIM NOW!" So did O'Reilly ever cross that line? Probably not, but he certainly danced on it a couple dozen times.

Then again here's what repentant Right-Wing Evangelist Frank Schaeffer had to say about it. (And he should know, he was there when the Right-Wing first starting using the Anti-Abortion plank as part of their political platform) Sometimes it's not what you say - it's what you mean.

Also note that O'Reilly completely fails to recognize the links between Scott Roeder and "Operation Rescue" (which is technically the same organization as "Operation Save America": and the long history of violence against both Women's doctors and gays, including Eric Rudolph the Olympic Park Bomber.

Like Schaeffer, and using his words as his basis, Keith was equally forceful in his criticism while calling for an outright Quarantine of Fox news

As Schaeffer discusses, these guys may not have technically crossed the legal line in public - but their intentions are clear from the pattern of Hate Speech that has spewed from that channel for years.

Hate Speech may be legal, but it's still Hate Speech.

If the law can't hold them accountable, them maybe we should follow Keith's suggestions and make them pay in the only way they'll recognize - in the pocket book.


Monday, June 1

Why the Assasination of Dr. Tiller was a Hate-Crime Against Women

For years this country had argued over abortion in the wake of Roe v Wade. In recent years this debate has become even more contentious with the increased highlighting of so-called "Partial-Birth" Abortions which take place in the last term of a pregnancy.

Then of course it's hard to Fight Blind Faith with Fact when you have people on national TV shouting "Tiller the Baby Killer" over and over again.

During the Bush Administration this practice was outlawed at least partially. The law prohibited the use of a procedure called D&E (Dilation and Extraction) which sought to remove a non-viable fetus in one piece, but left legal as less safe option called D&X (Dilation and Escavation) where the fetus is sliced into pieces then removed increasing the likelihood of infection and complications for the mother.

The was challenged and went all the way to the Supreme Court in 2007, where it was upheld - but not without a scathing descent by Justice Ginsberg.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, speaking out in the courtroom for the dissenters, called the ruling “an alarming decision” that refuses “to take seriously” the Court’s 1992 decisions reaffirming most of Roe v. Wade and its 2000 decision in Stenberg v. Carhart striking down a state partial-birth abortion law.

Ginsburg, in a lengthy statement, said “the Court’s opinion tolerates, indeed applauds, federal intervention to ban nationwide a procedure found necessary and proper in certain cases by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. For the first time since Roe, the Court blesses a prohibition with no exception protecting a woman’s health.”

The American College of OB/GYN's stated in response.

The intact variant of D&E offers significant safety advantages over the non-intact method, including a reduced risk of catastrophic hemorrhage and life-threatening infection. These safety advantages are widely recognized by experts in the field of women’s health, authoritative medical texts, peer-reviewed studies, and the nation’s leading medical schools.

Of course the facts rarely deter people like Randal Terry who said this about Tiller's Murder.

"George Tiller was a mass murderer and we cannot stop saying that," Terry said. "He was an evil man -- his hands were covered with blood."

Terry said he was now concerned that the Obama administration "will use Tiller's killing to intimidate pro-lifers into surrendering our most effective rhetoric and actions."

Despite the arguments of rabid Pro-Lifers like Terry and USA Today, this procedure - under law - can not be used on a fetus that is likely a capable of survival in Kansas.

Kansas law generally allows abortions even into the third trimester so long as the physician determines the fetus isn't viable. A doctor who makes such a determination after 21 weeks gestation must report the reasons why the determination was made.

"Third trimester abortion is simply a part of abortion," Tiller told Wichita TV station KAKE in 1999. "We have constructed our clinic and our philosophy along the lines that until you have natural survivalhood [of the fetus], the woman is the patient, not the fetus.

"When does natural survivalhood come on? ... Sometime after the end of the second trimester."

But even if a fetus is determined to be viable after 21 weeks, Kansas law still permits a doctor to perform an abortion if that physician and another determine the procedure is necessary to preserve the life of the pregnant woman.

It is a LIE to claim that Dr. Tiller performed late-term abortions of viable babies, and that now without access to this service the risks of survivability for pregnant women in Kansas has greatly increased.

Killing Tiller will not save the lives of children, any more than being against embryonic stem-cell researches helps a single potential child - both positions only hurt others - mothers and the sick.

But this is fairly consistent with the general failure of the "Pro-Life" position to actually help children live, as you can see from the Chart from the CDC, after President Clinton implemented policies of access to condoms and full spectrum sex eductation and prevention the rate of nation wide abortions dived like a rock dropped over a cliff - but that drop came to a near Complete STOP when the Republican Congress and later President Bush begun to oppose those effort and instead put forward ineffective "Abstinence Only" programs which misled young people into thinking "Condom's Don't Work".

Rather than increasing Life the Anti-Choice/Anti-Freedom groups have actually reduced the quality of Women's health and put them at greater risk, time and time again.

Killing Dr. Tiller only furthers this agenda but does nothing to protect "innocent life".

But then again what else would you expect from Domestic Christian Terrorists like Scott Roeder.

Suspect Is Identified in Killing of Abortion Doctor

WICHITA, Kan. — The suspect in the fatal shooting of one of the nation’s only doctors to perform late-term abortions had professed an anti-government, anti-abortion philosophy in years past, some who knew him said on Monday.

Scott Roeder, 51, of Merriam, Kan., whom authorities have described as a suspect in Sunday’s fatal shooting here of George Tiller, the doctor who had been a focal point for abortion opponents for decades, was once a subscriber and occasional contributor to a newsletter, Prayer and Action News, said to Dave Leach, an anti-abortion activist from Des Moines who runs the newsletter. Mr. Leach said he and Mr. Roeder had met once, and Mr. Roeder had described similar views to his own. Of Dr. Tiller’s death, Mr. Leach said, "To call this a crime is too simplistic," adding, "There is Christian scripture that would support this."

The connections made between Roeder and Operation Rescue/Save America are not to be taken lightly considering their long history of similar associations, and the fact that until just an hour or so ago, Operation Rescue's website maintained a "Tiller Watch" which helped target the doctor.

Operation Rescue as formerly headed by Randall Terry were sued by NOW (National Organization for Women) due to their connection with the murders of abortion doctors, as well as violence and bombings at womens clinics. (The issue was settled out of court).

These actions include the Murder of Dr. Barnett Slepian by Operation Rescue member James Kopp, which was denounced as "Terrorism" by Janet Reno.

The Southern Poverty Law Center notes the activities of various former Operation Rescue members.
Murder and the Theocratic Revolution

By the early 1990s, Michael Bray had come to advocate the murder of abortion doctors and call for theocratic revolution with the aim of instituting biblical law. During the same period, professed AOG member Rachelle "Shelley" Shannon, who had earlier launched butyric acid and arson attacks on clinics throughout the western United States, attempted to murder Dr. George Tiller in Wichita, Kan., wounding him badly.

High-profile murders in the early 1990s marked a turning point in the violence, transforming the movement and riveting the attention of the nation.

In 1993, Dr. David Gunn was shot to death by Rescue America activist Michael Griffin. Paul Hill then became the focus of attention through his efforts to promote the notion that the murder of Dr. Gunn and other abortion providers was "justifiable homicide." Hill received the prominent support of Fr. David Trosch, Bray and 31 others (see Justifiable Homicide: The Signers).

Following Dr. Gunn's murder, Joseph Scheidler presided over a summit meeting of militant pro-life leaders in Chicago to discuss the movement's future. The conclave degenerated into a debate about violence, and led to the formation of the hard-line American Coalition of Life Activists (ACLA), many of whose leaders signed the "justifiable homicide" statement. Many ACLA members had previously been prominent in Operation Rescue, the group founded and long headed by Randall Terry.

In 1994, Hill murdered a doctor and his escort outside a Pensacola, Fla., clinic. He drew moral support from the likes of ACLA leader Andrew Burnett, who appeared in one photograph holding a sign reading "Free Paul Hill! JAIL Abortionists." Burnett's magazine, Life Advocate, has been the leading editorial voice of the pro-violence faction.

In 1995, a young, mentally unstable hairdresser named John Salvi shot up two clinics in Brookline, Mass., killing two people and wounding five.

From ProChoice Online.

Link between anti-abortion militants and right-wing militias

Observers of right-wing activities are noting a convergence of philosophy and technique between anti-abortion militancy and extremist militia activity. Bombings at the Atlanta clinic (where a second bomb exploded an hour after the first) are just one example; clinics vandalized with hangman's nooses and bullet- riddled signs, as was done by militia leader Larry Ball at a Lincoln, Nebraska, Planned Parenthood clinic, are another. Look deeper and hear the rhetoric used by extremist militias, radical tax protesters, and extreme anti-choicers merging: Both anti-abortion and militia leaders often cite Roe u Wade and FACE (the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances law) as evidence of "anti-Christian" bigotry and defiance of "God's law."

One militia leader has been fined over $500,000 for his participation in abortion blockades with Oregon-based Advocates for Life. This same man also conducted target practice with Shelley Shannon four days before her attempted murder of Dr. George Tiller in Wichita. Larry Pratt, former Pat Buchanan aide and executive director of Gun Owners of America, a favorite speaker at white supremacist gatherings, raised $150,000 to pay Operation Rescue's bills. Many pro-gun, anti-government zealots have connections to Operation Rescue, and OR activists have demonstrated at the Waco compound.

Not long before the murder of Tiller there was the the Knoxville Tennessee Church Shooting by James Addkisson, as well as the Pittsburg Cop-Killer Richard Poplawski and the attempted Maine Dirty Bomber.

Militant Militias, the anti-Choice and Anti-Gay crowd all coming together?

Sounds exactly like what the Homeland Security Report on Potential Right-Wing Terrorism reported in May. Coincidence? I think not.


White NYPD Cop Shoots Black NYPD Cop - Again!

Many people are arguing on both sides that this is simply a Blue-on-Blue tragedy, while others say that this is part of a pattern of White Officers shooting Black cops and Black or Latino citizens.

ep. Charlie Rangel even stated when asked what Obama should do when he comes to New york - "Make certain he doesn’t run around in East Harlem without identification."

According to the NYTimes report they didn't realize that Omar Edwards was a member of the police until they attempted to perform CPR and found his Police Academy T-Shirt underneath.

The entire situation sounds really sad and tragic, the police supporter in this report argues that the black cop - while chasing a perpetrator who broken into his car while off-duty - was spotted chasing a man with his gun drawn by other plain-clothes officers and was told "Stop, Police!." Supposedly he didn't drop his weapon and tried to turn, that's when shots were fired.

Here's the thing that jumps out at me - HE WAS SHOT IN THE BACK!

If he legitimately tried to turn and didn't follow protocol, which would have been to drop his weapon - why didn't he get hit in the side?

Just like the shooting of Amadou Diallo a decade ago, who was hit 41 times by shots fired by plain-clothes Officers when he allegedly reached for what they *thought* was a weapon. It turned out to be a his wallet.

But that's not all...

In November 1992, a black undercover police officer, Derwin Pannell, was trying to arrest a fare beater when he was mistaken for a mugger and shot by white fellow officers outside a subway station in Canarsie, Brooklyn. Police officials initially said the episode, involving an inadvertent encounter between two teams of plainclothes police officers, was not about race.


In August 1994, a black plainclothes transit police officer, Desmond Robinson, was shot and wounded by a white officer, Peter Del-Debbio, on a crowded East Side subway platform. The case generated outrage because of evidence showing that the black officer was shot several times in the back while he was falling or already lying face down.


In January 2006, a rookie police officer, Eric Hernandez, was assaulted at a White Castle restaurant in the Bronx, and then shot three times by a fellow officer, Alfredo Toro, who was responding to a 911 call. He died 11 days later.

People like Al Sharpton and Charlie Rangel are not trumpeting to this HILLS that this is a case of Racism and Racial Profiling - that isn't clear yet. They're simply asking the question - is this part of a pattern?

Even if it isn't racial, why does this keep happening - shouldn't that question be answered?

That's quite a difference from people accusing our latest Supreme Court Justice of Racism because of ( a gross mis-reading of) one sentence. In one case a person dared to say "White" and "Latino" in the same sentence, in another case - someone is DEAD, and those asking "Why" are supposedly being "Irresponsible?"

I think not.


Sunday, May 31

New Rules - Greed ISN'T Good!

Maher: How can one American kill another American to save a little cash? in L.A. we've been having a problem of Hospital dumping patients who can't pay on the street to save money. Everybody doesn't act this way.

What is the Health Care system in America but Insurances Companies Fucking People out of their coverage and killing them, which they do?

Stop the Sotomayor "Superiority" Madness!

I know this plea will go unheeded, yet I make it still... STOP THE MADNESS!

Just as we saw during the 2008 campaign with "Marxist/Social/Muslim-ism", wild and unfounded accusations of "judicial activism and racist" are now flying about like spittle from a just punched boxer.

It's got to stop. We have to end the parade of horrid tableaux such as this one:

Buchanan pushes two primary arguments which have become religious dogma to many on the Right 1) Sotomayor thinks Latina's are "Superior" to Whites and 2) Sotomayor implemented some form of "Reverse Discrimination" against the mostly White (and one Latino) Fire-fighter in New Haven.

Point one comes from this lecture given by Judge Sotomayor at UC Berkeley on the subject of what means to be a Latina Judge.

The offending line, as we've all heard/read it.

I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life.

Looking purely at this many have latched only three key words "Latina - Better (than) White" and in doing so the ignore literally everything else in the sentence. Let's just for the sake of discussion try this sentence written race neutrally.

I would hope that a wise (person) with the richness of (their) experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than (another person) who hasn't lived that life.

What this simple modification shows that even if you were to change the sentence around an make the "better" person white - it still rings true. A person with rich life experiences honestly Should make better decisions drawing from those experience than someone without them, regardless of who they are -- however the reality is that sometimes they don't.

Let's again focus on the beginning of the sentence... "I would hope..."

The clear indication of this phrase is that she has her doubts that this will be the case, that a wise person with rich experiences - even if Latina - would make better decisions than a person without those experiences - even if White.

She Doubts this premise.

The simple truth is that Judge Sotomayor's point is almost exactly opposite to what those who scream RACIST in the night have claimed. This is further illustrated if you dare look at, gasp, the entire paragraph.

Whether born from experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences, a possibility I abhor less or discount less than my colleague Judge Cedarbaum, our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging. Justice O'Connor has often been cited as saying that a wise old man and wise old woman will reach the same conclusion in deciding cases. I am not so sure Justice O'Connor is the author of that line since Professor Resnik attributes that line to Supreme Court Justice Coyle. I am also not so sure that I agree with the statement. First, as Professor Martha Minnow has noted, there can never be a universal definition of wise. Second, I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life.

Clearly she's saying that our backgrounds can make a difference, but not that they necessarily will or that that difference will also be a positive one. This is further shown as we go to - gulp - the very next paragraph.

Let us not forget that wise men like Oliver Wendell Holmes and Justice Cardozo voted on cases which upheld both sex and race discrimination in our society. Until 1972, no Supreme Court case ever upheld the claim of a woman in a gender discrimination case. I, like Professor Carter, believe that we should not be so myopic as to believe that others of different experiences or backgrounds are incapable of understanding the values and needs of people from a different group. Many are so capable. As Judge Cedarbaum pointed out to me, nine white men on the Supreme Court in the past have done so on many occasions and on many issues including Brown.

This cements the point home, she is clearly not saying that Latina's are better than Whites, she's simply saying that she would HOPE that they would make as wise a decision as previous White MEN on the the court such as Holmes and Cordoza (who was technically of Portugese descent) have clearly shown in the past.

In other words, You CAN'T judge a book by it's cover. People can surprise you.

The second of Pat's points is in regards to the Ricci Case, where just 7 Figherfighters our of 70 applications were to be granted promotions to Lieutenant and Captain based largely on their exam results. For some reason, all except for 2 Latinos were White - none were Black.

The city had attempted to craft a race neutral test, but when the results were so clearly racially-biased the city decided to throw that test out and craft a new one. 17 White Firefighters and 1 Latino sued. The initial judge threw out the case arguing...

"The decision to disregard the test results affected all applicants equally," "New Haven did not race-norm the scores [to favor minority candidates], they simply decided to start over," the judge said. "While the evidence shows that race was taken into account in the decision not to certify the test results, the result was race-neutral: all the test results were discarded."

A Three-Judge Panel on the 2nd Circuit (which included Sotomayer) made the follow statement in their upholding the lower court.

"We are not unsympathetic to the plaintiffs' expression of frustration," the panel wrote. "Mr. Ricci, for example, who is dyslexic, made intensive efforts that appear to have resulted in his scoring highly on one of the exams, only to have it invalidated. But it simply does not follow that he has a viable Title VII claim."

The appeals court panel concluded that city officials acted within the law when they threw out the test results. They were simply trying to fulfill their obligations under anti-discrimination laws when confronted with test results that produced a disproportionate racial impact, the panel said.

Apparently Judge Sotomayer asked quite a few questions during the hearing including...

We’re not suggesting that unqualified people be hired, the city’s not suggesting that,” she told Ms. Torre. But “if your test is going to always put a certain group at the bottom of the pass rate so they’re never, ever going to be promoted, and there is a fair test that could be devised that measures knowledge in a more substantive way, then why shouldn’t the city have an opportunity to try to look and see if it can develop that?

Rather than being an "activist" judge who would have overturned precedent to meet her own whims, Judge Sotomayor voted with the majority to continue the established rule of trying to make race neutral attempts to avoid a disparate impact on minority applicants.

The fact is that sometimes discrimination doesn't come in the form of Bull Connor with a pack of dogs, sometimes it comes in small little conceits of clubiness, additional access and resources to the insiders or simply a tendency to "norm" everything to the tastes, style and preference of the majority to the detriment of any outsider/minority. Sometimes this is completely unwitting and sometimes it's deliberately Covert since the Civil Rights Act long ago made obvious acts of discrimination criminally and civilly liable.

These days bias is rarely, if ever, overtly and obviously shown by anyone in authority.

What we also want to avoid is over-reacting to the potential civil liability by assuming bias when none is necesarily present. It's in many ways a "Catch-22" of trying to end continue bias, without creating a NEW bias (so-called "Reverse Racism") .

But then again, what if those who do want to implement deliberate anti-minority (or majority) discrimination have simply figured out new and better ways to game the system? Should we just ignore the evidence when a situation as stark and hard to believe as the New Haven test results appear? Can it really be true that not ONE Black person was able to score high enough on the test? (Contract this argument with one I recently posted where Buchanan argued the exact opposite, that it wasn't possible that NOT ONE WHITE MAN could have been considered for the nomination that Sotomayor received -- "It HAS TO BE AFFIRMATIVE ACTION" he argued. It's couldn't have been the Suma Cum Laude, the Phi Beta Kappa or the 17 years of Federal Bench experience? Yeah, ok - whatever)

Admittedly this is a difficult case, and there are sympathetic persons on all sides of the issue. Was the Test Fair? Were the Black Firefighters just simply outscored? If in fact, the test wasn't flawed and they had performed a "Do Over" with a new better (and still race neutral) test, wouldn't the better performing applicants have still prevailed?

Rather than go against the facts and the lower courts on this matter, Sotomayor followed precedent and the rule of stare decisis (settled law).

The third issue, which isn't addressed in the video, but is still relevant is Sotomayor's "Courts make policy" statement from a Duke University Conferrence. Much too has been made of this statement as it makes her appear to be a wild-eyed activits.

All of the legal defense funds out there, they're looking for people out there with court of appeals experience, because court of appeals is where policy is made. And I know, I know this is on tape and I should never say that because we don't make law, I know. I know.

To this I've read reasonable sounding responses such as...

Excuse me, I thought it was the job of Congress to decide "policy". At least according to the Constitution... isn't that what she's supposed to be protecting... the rule of Constitutional law? Isn't that in fact the "job" of a Supreme Court Justice?

The simple answer to that is "No". The final arbiter of what is "Law" and Constitutional is the Courts, particularly the Supreme Court as was established 206 years ago by Marbury v Madison.

Marbury v. Madison was the first time the Supreme Court declared something "unconstitutional," and established the concept of judicial review in the U.S. (the idea that courts may oversee and nullify the actions of another branch of government). The landmark decision helped define the "checks and balances" of the American form of government.

All she was saying, was the truth. Congress may make the law, the President may sign it - but the Court then review it and ultimately decide if it should remain standing under the Constitution - OR NOT.

The hysterical bleets of the wing-nuts on these issues need to be either ignored, or completely taken apart to the point that no one with half-a-brain and any self-respect would even consider repeating these baseless, demeaning and racially-projectionist arguments against the most experienced and educated Supreme Court Nominee in over a Century.

Stop. The. Fracking. Madness!!