Roaming Charges: Watching the Detectives, the Year in Police Crime

Cops standing around in the hall as kids are slaughtered at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

January 7

+ Since 1970, the number of incarcerated people in the US has increased by 700%, to the point that the US prison population is the largest in the world both per capita and in total numbers. As of 2019, there are an estimated 2.3 million people behind bars.

+ How COINTELPRO returned to Portland (assuming it ever left): “The F.B.I. set up extensive surveillance operations inside Portland’s protest movement, according to documents obtained by The New York Times and current and former federal officials, with agents standing shoulder to shoulder with activists, tailing vandalism suspects to guide the local police toward arrests and furtively videotaping inside one of the country’s most active domestic protest movements.”

+ Derek Kammerzell, an assistant police chief in Kent, Washington, posted Nazi insignia on his office door above his nameplate. The oak leaves and diamonds represent the rank of “obergruppenführer” in Hitler’s SS. This wasn’t Kammerzell’s first offense. He admitted to police investigators that he had previously grown his facial hair into a “Hitler mustache” and repeatedly told a joke to the effect that his grandfather had died in the Holocaust — when he got drunk and fell out of a guard tower. Kammerzell oversees the Kent police department’s patrol division. Apparently, none of these incidents are fireable offense. The assistant chief was merely sent home for two weeks without pay.

+ For nearly four decades, the key witness who had accused Willie Stokes of murder said that his testimony against Stokes was a lie, made up by homicide detectives who bribed him with sex and drugs. Now Stokes may finally be freed. But what about the cops who sent him away?

+ For years, Oregon prosecutors have been charging public defenders for turning over discovery documents in criminal cases. That constitutionally-questionable practice is coming to and. “This was never appropriate or proper from its inception,” Stephen Singer, the new Executive Director of the Oregon Public Defenders Service told OPB.  “There is no provision in Oregon law that allows district attorneys or the state to pass these costs on to indigent criminal defendants.”

+ New Mexico Democrats are pushing bills increasing pay for cops, imposing more severe penalties for shoplifting, and giving judges more leeway to keep people jailed pretrial.

+ The House Progressive caucus has endorsed the Judiciary Act, a bill that would add four seats to the Supreme Court. Can I be impolite and ask: What’s the point, when three out of four would turn out to be Federalist Society approved…?

January 14

+ According to the latest figures from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, 458 officers died in the “line of duty” in the US last year, making it the deadliest year in more than 90 years. There’s a big caveat in those numbers. Two thirds of them 301 died because of Covid-19.

+ In 2021, 84 police offers were killed by “felonious assaults,” 62 with firearms. Meanwhile, police killed 1132 people in 2021, far exceeding the 10-1 ratio set by Vietnam War planners. These figures do not include those who died from COVID, which they contracted from encounters with unvaccinated and contagious officers.

+ An officer with the LAPD placed a sign on the doors of the Wilshire Division offices falsely claiming that “Due to defunding We are currently short staffed for today 01/08/22 Our desk will be closed Sorry for the Inconvenience.”

+ Four inmates in an Arkansas jail are suing the jail and its doctor for giving them Ivermectin as a treatment for Covid without their knowledge. The suit charges that the inmates were told they were being given “vitamins, antibiotics or steroids.

+ New NYC Mayor Eric Adams, who it now seems will run a more repressive regime than Giuliani, when asked why some people might see his appointing his brother Deputy Commissioner of Police an act of political nepotism: “I don’t understand that. Protection is personal. With the increase in anarchists in this city, we have a serious problem with white supremacy.”

+ You heard it here first: BlueMAGA is going to run Adams as the Democratic presidential candidate in 2024.

+ The average Police salary in the United States is $68,000.

The average Paramedic salary in the United States is $46,000.

+ Police in Virginia Beach routinely used forged DNA reports during interrogations to try coerce confessions. In at least one case, the forged reports were introduced as evidence at trial.

January 21

+ Ron DeSantis is calling for a special police force to monitor elections in Florida…He’d better be prepared to send a SWAT team to those retirement compounds in The Villages

+ Police officers taking the place of teachers in Moore, Oklahoma? Don’t let DeSantis see this…

+ An off-duty Chicago Police Officer shot three people at bowling alley in Blue Island, Illinois this week, after they tried to intervene in a dispute the cop was having with his girlfriend the bathroom. As the cop fled the scene, he tossed the gun out the window of his car (it was later recovered).

+ $759 million: the amount the US spends each day on police and prisons.

+ According to a new study from Mapping Police Violence, in 2021 police killed at least 1,134 people. The vast majority of these killings began with a mental health crisis, traffic violation, disturbance, other non-violent offense or situation where no crime was alleged. Only 1 in 3 cases began with a reported violent crime. Just 11 of the 1,134 police killings in 2021 resulted in officers being charged with a crime. From 2013-21, police officers have been charged in fewer than 3% of all cases  and in most cities/counties no officers were charged for any killings during this period.

+ A federal judge dismissed a request to grant an early release to Treasury Department whistleblower Natalie May Edwards (who leaked the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) files) following a COVID outbreak at the West Virginia-based Federal Prison Camp Alderson where she is currently serving a 6 month sentence.

+ How Texas is defunding its prison system, one Trump-demanded election audit after another…”After Texas Republicans failed to budget enough money, $4 million from the state prison system was shifted to pay for sham election reviews.”


+ One of the reasons the FBI was on Martin Luther King Jr.’s ass nearly his entire adult life:

Call it democracy, or call it democratic socialism, but there must be a better distribution of wealth in this country. (Negro American Labor Council, 1960)

+ The US government’s surveillance of the King family didn’t start with MLK Jr. As an in-depth investigation by the Memphis Commercial Appeal revealed in 1993, the US Army, including Green Berets, spied on King’s maternal grandfather, Reverend Adam Daniel Williams during WW I and King’s father during WW 2, fearing that blacks were “ripe for subversion.”

+How the US Army justified spying on black Americans…

“The Army was over a barrel. Blacks were using the uncertainty of the Vietnam period and taking advantage of it. You couldn’t expect people to be rational and look at this in a cool way. We were trying to fight a war at the same time where the home base was being eroded.”

– Maj. Gen. William P. Yarborough, the Army’s top spy in the mid-1960s

January 28

+ The Eric Adams Era begins in earnest, by bringing back a secret police unit that was abolished two years ago for its repeated violations of civil liberties and Constitutional rights.

+ The City Attorney for Portland apologized on Tuesday to the Justice Department for not turning over riot-police training materials that included a Proud Boys meme about bashing “dirty” hippies.

February 4

+ With COVID running rampant, the last two years have been by far the deadliest on record inside US prisons and jails. There have been at least 2,800 hundred deaths of incarcerated individuals, according to the COVID Prison Project. And now comes word that Leonard Peltier, one of the US’s longest serving political prisoners, has contracted COVID. Yet, there’s no sign of Biden moving to reduce the US prison population.  In fact, we may be entering a prison boom.

+ It’s time for my periodic visit to the Biden Pardon Scoreboard, where it’s still a shutout.
Federal Prison Population: 153,293
Biden Pardons: 0.

In fact, the prison population is up by 255 since Biden took office.

+ “The Supreme Court is NOT Political”…This weekend Justice Neil Gorsuch is appearing at a Federalist Society event also featuring Mike Pence, Ron deSantis and Trump’s former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnaney…

+ During senatorial banter at a private GOP luncheon about Biden’s promise to nominate a black woman to the Supreme Court, Senator John Kennedy blurted that he wants “a nominee who knows a law book from a J. Crew catalog.” Obviously, Kennedy is remembering that time when Jay Z hooked up with 2LiveCrew for an assault on the First Amendment…

+ Senator Roger Wicker, the Mississippi neo-segregationist: “The irony is the Supreme Court, at the very same time, is hearing cases about this sort of affirmative racial discrimination and while adding someone who is the beneficiary of this sort of quota. The majority of the court might be saying, writ large, it’s unconstitutional. We’ll see how that irony works out.”

+ Affirmative action, Reagan-style…

+ Ohio’s Secretary of State’s office detected 27 potential cases of voter fraud in the 2020 elections. With more than 5.9 million registered voters casting ballots that means the rate of potential fraud — assuming all of the 27 cases are in fact fraud —at whopping 0.0005%.

+ Pamela Moses, a black woman living in Memphis, was just sentenced to six years in prison for “illegally” registering to vote, even though the errors that led her to try registering were made by state election officials. Meanwhile, the average sentence for the J6 rioters who tried to overthrow the 2020 elections is 45 days.

+ Next thing you know the New York Times will be re-endorsing Broken Windows policing, Stop-and-Frisk and an Adams plan to deputize subway vigilantes…

February 11

+ One analysis suggests that police officers are 14 times more likely to be involved in a sex crime than people on the sex offender registry are to repeat their offenses.

+ In your city, Mayor Adams, that “anything goes” mindset starts on Wall Street and runs all the way through the NYPD…

+ Cops lie, about matters big and trivial: Eric Adams, the self-proclaimed vegan, was outed ordering fish last week in a NYC restaurant.

+ Eric Adams: “You take someone hooked on heroin, put them in one room, and someone hooked on cheese, put them in another room, and you take it away, I challenge you to tell me the person that’s hooked on heroin and who’s hooked on cheese.” Sounds like the mayor may be hooked on something, himself.

+ Welcome to the Adamsification of the Democratic Party. Soon they’ll all be campaigning as Vegans (Who Eat Fsh on Fridays) for Stop-and-Frisk.

+ Val Demings is the Biden Crime Bill come to life…

+ So tax cuts and more money for police are the cornerstones of Demings’ domestic campaign strategy for defeating Rubio. Can’t wait to hear how she squeezes to the right of Marco on Cuba and Venezuela.

+ Two the Minneapolis police officers on a SWAT team that was captured on body camera video firing at citizens without warning from an unmarked cargo van days after the police killing of George Floyd were also part of the no-knock raid that led to Amir Locke’s killing.

+ Peter Cahill, the judge in the Chauvin trial, signed the no-knock warrant in the raid that led to the police shooting and killing Amir Locke…

+ Nearly two-thirds of Black people in the US have had an immediate family member incarcerated…

+ Kafka in Gitmo: “Legally there is no mechanism whereby a court, in habeas corpus cases, or Periodic Review Boards, can actually secure the release of men who have ‘won their freedom’. There is no legal requirement for their release to actually take place.” – Shelby Sullivan-Bennis, attorney for Gitmo detainees.

+ Bloomberg’s going to take stop-and-frisk to an entirely new level….

February 13

MPD body cam image of the shooting of Amir Locke.

The raid was to take place in the dark. That’s what the warrant said. While the people in the apartment were sleeping. So as to take them by surprise. It would be safer this way. Safer for whom was left unsaid, though we know who they mean.

The lock would be picked. The door opened and the apartment flooded with SWAT team commandos. No one bothered to knock. After they got in, they were supposed to say, “police” and “search warrant” to alert the sleeping people inside. To assure them that this wasn’t a criminal break-in. To let the sleeping people know everything would be ok. It was just the police.  No reason to panic.

The raid took 10 seconds before one of the sleeping people was dead. Shot multiple times by a cop. He’d been sleeping on a couch not far from the door. He wasn’t the person they were searching for. Neither were the other two sleeping people in the apartment. The person they were searching for wasn’t there. He was 100 miles away.

The police officer who shot the man who had been sleeping on the couch wasn’t a member of the police force who was searching for the man who wasn’t there. The police force who was searching for the wanted man was prohibited from doing these kinds of raids. So they farmed it out to the one who did. They call them the Twin Cities. But they’re not identical twins.

The man on the couch was 22-years-old. He was sleeping over at his cousin’s apartment in downtown Minneapolis. He had a job delivering food for DoorDash. But he was bored with it and was preparing to move to Dallas for a new career in his real passion: music. The delivery gig didn’t pay well and it took him into some of Minneapolis’ most dangerous neighborhoods. That’s why he had a gun. That’s why he had a gun license and a concealed-carry permit. To protect himself. Just like the NRA says.

His name was Amir Locke. He was a sound sleeper, his mom says. He may not have heard the door burst open. He may not have understood what the men with the guns were saying. It only took 10 seconds. He had his own gun on the couch. He pulled it out to defend himself against a home invasion. His finger wasn’t on the trigger.

Just like they didn’t knock before entering, the cops didn’t wait to explain the situation. They just shot, hitting Locke twice in the chest, once in the wrist. They didn’t know who they were shooting. They didn’t know if he was the guy they wanted or not. The young life of Amir Locke bled out in 13 minutes.

Before Locke’s body was even cold, the smearing of him began. The initial statements from the Minneapolis Police Department said Locke was the target of the warrant, implying that he was wanted for a murder in St. Paul. He wasn’t. Locke’s name wasn’t on the warrant. He didn’t have a criminal record. Next, the Department began leaking information about the apartment itself. That they’d been called there 10 times for loud noises, drugs, domestic argument complaints. None of those matters were part of the warrant.

Then the PR operation began to target the apartment’s other occupant, Marlon Speed, who they suggested had a violent animus toward police that may have somehow justified the shooting of Locke. Afterall, Speed had a ”criminal record.” It was said that he once “threatened an officer’s family” and that he was arrested for “attempting to headbutt” a police officer at a traffic stop. But Speed wasn’t a target of the raid or a part of St. Paul’s investigation.

There was only one reason to release this information before the body cam footage of the shooting came out: to obscure the real crime, the killing of Amir Locke, a death the coroner quickly ruled a homicide. They needed to deflect why the Minneapolis Police Department was running no-knock raids for the St. Paul Police. They needed to draw attention away from the fact that Minneapolis was doing no-knock raids at all, especially after the mayor had supposedly curtailed their use after the killing of George Floyd and the death of Breonna Taylor, who killed in similar circumstances in a no-knock raid in Louisville.

In fact, the Minneapolis Police had never stopped doing no-knock raids. For the past 10 years, the MPD has averaged 137 no knock raids a year. In January 2022, they’d already requested and received 13 warrants for no-knock, night-time raids. One more than the 12 regular search warrants they’d requested. No knocks are the way the MPD rolls. And presumably the St. Paul Police Department knew as much.

The police officer who killed Amir Locke is named Mark Hanneman, a member of the department’s SWAT team. Ten seconds after breaking into the apartment, Hanneman shot Locke, who had just awakened from sleep. Shot him dead. Amelia Huffman, Minneapolis’ interim police chief, leapt to the defense of Hanneman:

“That’s the moment when the officer had to make a split-second decision to assess […] an articulable threat, that the threat was of imminent harm, great bodily harm, or death, and that he needed to take action.”

A split-second decision? Perhaps. But Hanneman had more time to decide what to do than Locke, who did not immediately fire his gun when he awoke to find guns pointed at him. Unlike with Locke and Marlon Speed, Huffman did not emphasize (or even mention) that Hanneman had been the subject of three previous complaints (all dismissed by internal investigations).

Huffman also failed to disclose that two members of the SWAT team that raided the apartment when Locke was killed had previously been captured on body cameras firing without warning from an unmarked van at protesters a few days after the murder of George Floyd.

One has to ask, who is training these units? This is, after all, the same department which assigned Derek Chauvin the role of mentoring new officers. So how much have they learned since one of their trainers thrust his knee on the neck of George Floyd until he expired? Not much it appears.

Last month, Acting Chief Huffman appointed a cop named David Garman to head the department’s training program. Garman has a checkered resume. He was fired from the department in 2009, after a unit he led in the department’s Metro Gang Strike Force seized cellphones for private use during a drug raid. Garman was also the subject of a lawsuit claiming that his unit raided a house looking for a suspected gang member, who again proved not to be on the property. During the raid, the cops broke 20 windows, forced several women to the floor at gunpoint, screamed expletives at them and seized a digital camera and other property that wasn’t returned. The city later settled the suit for $16,000. Garman won his job back after a prolonged arbitration.

There’s no doubt that Officer Hanneman bears some degree of responsibility for the death of Amir Locke. Yes, the situation was tense and dangerous. But the frightened and disoriented young man on the couch didn’t shoot. The man with the body armor, the back-up and the training did. But others are more culpable.

This wasn’t a random encounter or an emergency call. This raid was planned. The police chose the day and the time of the raid. They had the opportunity to surveil the apartment and determine who was there. The plan had a chain of command. It was approved by a SWAT commander, a police commander and a finally by a judge. And their plan went wrong and an innocent man was killed.

Who was the judge that gave this no-knock raid the imprimatur of law? None other than Peter Cahill, the judge who preside over the trial of Derek Chauvin–a trial which functioned as a kind of theater, where Chauvin was portrayed as a rogue officer, a relic of a bygone era of policing. The trial and sentencing of Chauvin were meant to project a purging of the past, a self-cleansing of toxic elements by the Minneapolis justice system.

It turns out that instead of reform, we get recapitulation, a recycling of the old parts under a new management, all taking place under the eyes of a judiciary system that is meant to hold the police accountable but instead legitimizes their most reckless tactics.

In effect, Judge Cahill signed the death warrant of someone he didn’t know, who was not wanted for any crime, who had done nothing to have his sleep disturbed or his life ended.

What the judge apparently did know is that the forced entry raid he authorized was targeting a juvenile, a 17-year-old kid, who was ultimately located and apprehended in Winona, Minnesota, about 100 miles southeast of Minneapolis with no shots fired. But if he had been on that couch, suddenly awakened at 6:30 in the morning by trigger-happy SWAT commandos, he would have been just as frightened and confused as his cousin Amir Locke and just as likely to have been shot where he had been sleeping, still wrapped in a blanket.

The most sinister crimes are the ones our judicial system gives itself the permission to commit.

February 18

+ Michelle Childs seems to be at the top of the leaderboard of  Biden’s list of “non-ideological” candidates to replace Stephen Breyer on the Supreme Court. Childs’ candidacy is being aggressively pushed by Red. Jim Clyburn, the man who “fixed” South Carolina for Biden in the 2020 Democratic primaries, ending the Sanders surge. Childs has a reputation as a “tough on crime”, pro-police jurist, taking an especially punitive to drug cases. In 2009, as a circuit court judge in Columbia, South Carolina, Childs sentenced Willie Ray Goodwin to 12 years in state prison for selling 8 ounces of marijuana. According to Goodwin, “I had more time than people in there who killed somebody.” You can see why she appeals to Biden.

+ After being locked away in Angola prison for 44 years, a Louisiana judge ruled that Vincent Simmons did not get a fair trial when he was convicted of attempted aggravated rape in 1977. Judge ordered new trial. The local District Attorney said he will not retry Simmons.

+ It’s been nearly two years since a federal officer shot Donavan LaBella in the face with a “non-lethal” munition during a protest in Portland, inflicting debilitating head injuries. We still don’t know the officer’s name and the Feds are fighting to keep it that way.

February 25

+ Two weeks ago Salem (OR) police shot a homeless man with a history of mental illness 5 times for “pulling out of a parking lot without stopping.” There were 18 bullet holes in his car. Meyers died at the scene. His dog was also shot and had to euthanized. The shooting was just ruled “justified.”

+ Zach Kenney, one of the Portland Police officers who fired fatal shots at an individual in SW Portland this weekend wrote an o-ed in 2010 defending police use of lethal force.

+ According to a study in JAMA, Stand Your Ground laws produced an 11% increase in gun homicides over 18 years starting in 1999. There’s likely to be a parallel if not greater increase in non-fatal shootings in Stand Your Ground states.

March 4

+ Biden: “Judge Brown has the endorsement of the Fraternal Order of Police.” Of course, she does!

+ By the way, Ketanji Brown is related to Paul Ryan, who introduced her during the confirmation hearings for her nomination to the DC Court of Appeals. We’re a nation of 330 million people run by a tiny network of inter-related powerbrokers. These incestuous power-loops aren’t just familial. If confirmed, Brown will become the fourth current member of the Supreme Court to be plucked from the DC Court of Appeals, as well as the fourth of eight justices appointed since 2000 to have graduated from Harvard Law.  No wonder people believe that Free Masons and pedophile rings are behind it all.

+ In the wake of the George Floyd protests, law enforcement agencies across Minnesota developed a plan to spy on protesters and journalists. The surveillance program was called Operation Safety Net. According to MIT Technology Review:

Documents unearthed as part of this investigation shine a light on secretive surveillance programs, new technology vendors, murky supply chains used to arm riot police, and several watch lists, as well as other previously unreported information. Taken together, they reveal how advanced surveillance techniques and technologies employed by the state, sometimes in an extra-legal fashion, have changed the nature of protest in the United States, effectively bringing an end to Americans’ ability to exercise their First Amendment rights anonymously in public spaces.

+ Equating the homeless with trash is the kind of Hipster Fascism we’ve come to expect from the greedheads who run Portland…

March 11

+ The combined budgets of the LA police and sheriff’s departments are larger than the entire Ukrainian military, which gives you an idea how much firepower American police have.

+ Newly unsealed documents from the raft of lawsuit over talcum “baby” powder reveal that Johnson & Johnson helped fund a study 50 years ago that involved injecting asbestos into prison inmates, most of them black men…

+ The Don’t Say Gay political block says “gay” more often than any teacher they’re trying to gag. If there was ever an outright ban on the word, they’d be the first ones to violate it. They can’t help saying “gay” and “trans.” They’re obsessed with the words. The thoughts and images won’t leave their minds. They should just come out of the closet or transition and lead happier lives…

+ In a perverse new variation on the Mann Act, Missouri legislators are pushing legislation that would criminalize getting abortions out of state. I have a feeling that they’re just getting started with this kind of shit.

+ This is a stunningly ignorant statement by a man who has always pretended to know much more than he actually does. Comey needs to read more American history, especially about the post-Reconstruction Era, which, of course, hasn’t ended yet.

+ ICE has been secretly collecting data on tens of thousands of money transfers sent to and from the US under the pretext of investigating “money laundering.” In fact, it seems clear that they are tracking remittances to family members of immigrants.

March 18

+ From the Annals of the Free World:

Amman al-Baluchi is a 44-year-old Kuwaiti man with brain damage, the result of being repeatedly slammed against a wall by CIA interrogators for more than 2 hours. Baluchi is a prisoner in Guantanamo, awaiting trial as a suspected 9/11 plotter.  According to a newly declassified IG report, Baluchi was used as a living prop for the training of CIA torturers in an abusive technique called “walling.” In 2003, Baluchi was illegally kidnapped by the CIA in Pakistan and renditioned to a black site north of Kabul. His interrogation was conducted by two CIA torturers going by the code names “the Salt Pit” and Cobalt. Before bashing his head against the wall, the interrogators drenched Baluchi in ice water, then jammed a stick behind his knees and repeatedly forced him back into a kneeling position, a technique known to inflict excruciating pain. (Both of these methods were considered “extra-legal.”) But the worst was yet to come and it came with the full-approval of the Agency. Baluchi was stripped naked. His heels were placed against a plywood wall and a rolled-up towel was strapped behind his neck. Then, according to the IG report, “the interrogators would … grab the ends of the towel in front of and below the detainees face and shove [Baluchi] backwards into the wall, never letting go of the towel.” The goal was to make Baluchi “bounce.” The “bouncing” of Baluchi went on for a couple of hours, as CIA interrogators lined up to take a crack at slamming his head against the wall, so that they could get “certified” in “their ability to use the technique.” Baluchi was left with permanent brain trauma. The CIA never learned a useful tidbit of information from him. But that, apparently, wasn’t the point of these torture sessions. They were meant to terrify the detainees into compliance.

+ Christopher Benfey: “One advantage of writing nonfiction is that it doesn’t have to be plausible.”

March 25

+ Detention of immigrants and refugees was once reserved only for those who threatened public safety or posed a flight risk. Now the US has the largest immigrant detention gulag in world. But only forty years ago, this system did not exist.

+ ICE is shoveling millions to private companies for detention contracts, while many of the companies aren’t spending the money for even the minimum level of sanitary conditions they’ve agreed to provide. The contracts come with little or no oversight.

+ The state of South Carolina has just legalized the use of firing squads for executions, as measure first proposed by Democratic state Sen. Dick Harpootlian as a “more humane method of execution” than lethal injection or the electric chair.

+ The histrionics of the GOP senators on display at Jackson’s confirmation hearings are refreshing in at least one respect: no one can believe the court is a collection of legal scholars who dispassionately interpret the Constitution. The court is an instrument of political power, ruthless, partisan & often quite violent. The bipartisan charade of the years when Biden ruled the Judiciary Committee and went easy on mad dog jurists like Clarence Thomas so as not to alienate his senate pals like Strom Thurmond are long gone. Lives are at stake. Fight like it.

+ Texas Sen. John Cornyn asserted that Judge Jackson had called George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld “war criminals”. If only she had! While she was a public defender, Jackson filed a habeas corpus petition on behalf of a GTMO detainee alleging that he had been tortured in violation of international law; Bush and Rumsfeld were respondents. As the case dragged on into 2009, the respondents in the case were changed to Barack Obama and Robert Gates.

+ Ted Cruz to Jackson: “I’m an Hispanic man. Could I decide I was an Asian man?”

+ “Teenage dating habits:” How Ted Cruz described the sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh.

+ Another question from the most ridiculous person in a city packed with ridiculous people: “Do you agree that babies are racist?”

+ Matthew Dowd: “I will say this again having worked with Ted Cruz in 2000 campaign: when people asked me why do folks take such an instant dislike to Cruz, my answer was it saves time.”

+ REPORTER: “You would be okay with the Supreme Court leaving the issue of interracial marriage to the states?”

SEN. MIKE BRAUN (R-IN): “Yes. If you are not wanting the Supreme Court to weigh in on issues like that, you are not going to be able to have your cake and eat it too.”

+ I’m sure the senator from Indiana meant to say, “cupcakes.”

+ After taking political heat for these comments, even back home in Indiana, Braun reversed (or perhaps backed over) himself a day later, saying: “I wasn’t paying close enough attention to it. Once I got into it, I didn’t want to litigate anything other than Roe vs Wade.”

+ Marsha Blackburn: “Can you provide a definition for the word, woman?

Jackson: “Can I provide a definition? No, I can’t.”

Blackburn: “You can’t?”

Jackson: “Not in this context – I’m not a biologist. In my work as a judge what I do is I address disputes.”

+ Once Blackburn thought “glitter” was the future…


+ Blackburn to Jackson: “Do you believe child predators are misunderstood?”

+ Blackburn, and about half of her colleagues in the Senate, would fail the test to become a US citizen.

+ Senator Thom Tillis prefacing an inane question on the rights of abortion protestors: “I’m not an attorney, I watch ‘Law & Order’ from time to time…” 

+ For a clearer understanding of Jackson’s views on “sex crimes”, child porn and pedophilia, I highly recommend JoAnn Wypijewski’s recent essay on Jackson  in The Nation.

+ Even so, the American Bar Association confirmed my own assessment of Jackson: she’s shown no particular leniency in her sentencing and has shown a deference to cops. If Jackson was “soft on crime,” as Hawley, Cruz and Graham allege, why did most of the police unions, including the Fraternal Order of Police, support her–which for me was an initial red flag (along with her ruling for Trump’s border wall) against her?

+ Lindsay Graham, during the Jackson hearings: “If you’re listening to my voice right now on a computer and looking at images of child porn…” Complete this sentence with…

A. Why didn’t you answer the Lady G ads?
B. How do you do that?
C. How do I sound?

April 1

+ As Jane Mayer reported in the New Yorker, before she met Clarence, Ginni Thomas was a member of the Lifespring cult, which forced its adherents to strip themselves naked in a group setting and ridicule each others bodies.

+ Here’s some Pelosi-speak on the Clarence and Ginni Thomas imbroglio…

+ How much did she weigh the ethical propriety of her husband Paul making millions in stock trades while she was privy to inside information on COVID and other economic matters capable of shifting the market?

+ They called it Operation Whistle Pig. It was a surveillance program and leak investigation run by a secretive unit of Customs and Border Protection that scoured the federal government’s most sensitive databases to investigate the finances, travel and personal connections of journalists, congressional members and staff, none of whom were suspected of any crimes. The Department of Homeland Security has now been forced to turn over to Congress a two-year long probe into the operation conducted by the department’s Inspector General, who had recommended three of the agents involved in the program for prosecution. The DoJ refused to prosecute, however, citing “the lack of policies and procedures governing the division’s work.” All three officials remain in their positions.

+ Both Apple and Facebook provided user data in response to forged legal requests sent by hackers using infiltrated law enforcement email systems, according to a report in Bloomberg News.

April 8

+ The federal prison population has increased by 3,000 people since Biden took office. In 1980, before the bipartisan drug war Biden helped launch, the federal prison population was 25,000. Now it’s more than 150,000 and rising again.

+ The Minneapolis cops who shot Amir Locke during a no-knock raid will not be charged. In sum: Police can break into your apartment while you’re sleeping and within a few seconds of entering shoot you while you’re on the couch without any legal consequences…even when you’re not the person they were looking for. But we are not, I repeat NOT, living in a police state.

+ You’d think the standard of behavior for cops and ex-cops pretending to be cops would be higher than for the rest of us, but it’s actually much lower. In fact, it’s almost as if there isn’t a standard at all. Consider the case of the ex-Hialeah, Florida police officer who wrote bogus traffic tickets to people he never pulled over and will do no jail time and eventually have the conviction erased from his records.

+ Thomas Meaney on Gramsci’s letters from prison: “In his letters, Gramsci theorized in every direction. He had a theory about Goethe’s grammar, a theory as to whether the Dinkas of Sudan had a religion that was ecologically determined, a theory about the political import of jazz, a theory about the effects of American toys on children, a theory about the inner lives of sparrows.”

+ The value of forgiveness: The New York Public Library reports that tens of thousands of books have been returned since the library adopted a policy of no late fees.

April 15

+ Cathy Scott-Clark, whose new book The Forever Prisoner links the CIA’s torture program to the sadistic acts of the guards at Abu Ghraib prison, writes of one of the Agency’s torture shrinks:  “Jim [Mitchell] can rightly say ‘I didn’t design what went wrong at Abu Ghraib’, but he has to accept responsibility that he created something that got out of control.”

+ At least 325 people have been killed by police in this year, for an average of nearly 3 each day, which puts the US on pace for one of the worst years for police violence on records. What was that Biden saying this week about the police needing morefunding not less?

+ As the Brooklyn subway shooting reiterates for the umpteenth (good Midwest word) time, police, who are all over NY’s subway system (at least 3,000 at any given moment) harassing turnstile jumpers and the homeless, don’t prevent crime. They respond to it, usually ineffectually, often with lethal consequences for bystanders.

+ Uber surge profiteering after Brooklyn subway shooting…

+ Public historian Dominique Jean-Louis: “Because I’ve seen some misinformation out there, Sunset Park is not ‘yuppies with $7 lattes’ Brooklyn, it’s not ‘spread love, it’s the Brooklyn way’ Brooklyn. It’s soccer and paletas and ‘ICE couldn’t detain anyone because their neighbors chased them out the building’ Brooklyn.”

+ 3,500 cops in the NY subway system, but no working cameras! “The search for the gunman was being hampered Tuesday afternoon by the fact that none of the security cameras inside the subway station that might have captured the scene were in operation, according to a senior law enforcement official.”

+ Even as the subway shooter escaped (likely due to a screw up by an NYPD officer), the NYPD’s Strategic Response Group, a counter terror unit, was out in full-force at Tompkins Square Park evicting people from a homeless camp, a mere block away from where Frank James was eventually spotted by a vape shop manager who saw him on his security camera.

+ According to a study by Latino Justice, nearly 200 NYPD cops lied to the Citizens Complaint Review Board during disciplinary hearings, most received no punishment, many ended up being promoted.

+ The NYPD’s $10,000,000,000 budget would make it the 24th largest military spender on the planet. (H/T Public Citizen).

+ The murder rate in New York City is 5.5 per 100,000, which is lower than the averages in 32 states: Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Missouri, Arkansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Maryland, Illinois, New Mexico, Georgia, Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Oklahoma, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Florida, Texas, Arizona, Nevada, Alaska, West Virginia, Kansas, Montana, South Dakota, Virginia, Wisconsin, California, and Colorado.

+ According to the National Registry of Exonerations, at least 161 individuals were exonerated last year for crimes they never committed or for which they were wrongfully charged. Collectively, those people spent 1,849 years spent behind bars.

+ 15,000: the number of bail bond business in the US.

+ In California, cops are blaring Disney music from their cars to ensure citizen videos of them on the job get copyright flagged and taken down from social media sites and YouTube.

+ Radley Balko: “The lesson from the Michigan kidnapping cases isn’t that the FBI is politically biased. Federal police agencies pull this crap across the board. The lesson is that it only gets exposed when they make the mistake of targeting someone who has the resources to fight back.”

+ Clarence Dixon is scheduled to be put to death next month by the state of Arizona. His chances for a reprieve are slim given the fact that the Arizona clemency board, which will decide his fate, is loaded with former law enforcement officers, a pro-death composition which Dixon’s attorneys argue violates state law.

April 22

+ Since Los Angeles put into place the zero-dollar bail policy in June of 2020, court appearance rates and re-arrest rates have remained steady or dropped. Ending bail does not increase crime rates or promote recidivism.

+ Eric Adams, the black Il Duce, who is going out of his way to make sure the trains don’t run on time

+ In a study that examined data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in all 50 states from 2011 to 2019, researchers at Cornell University found a decline in the volume of prescriptions for pain, depression, anxiety, sleep, psychosis and seizures in states that have legalized recreational use of marijuana.

+ By a 6-3 vote, the Roberts Court refused to even consider a Texas death penalty case (Love v. Texas) where a juror admitted on the record before trial that he believed “non-white” races to be “the more violent races.”

+ The Portland Police budget is the only sector of the economy here that has kept pace with housing prices…

+ Is it a violation of privacy rights to lift the hood on a member of the KKK?

April 29

+ The concerned citizens who took over the Llano County, Texas library board wanted to remove two books they considered “pornographic” from the libraries digital and audio books collection. They couldn’t figure out a technical way to do this, so they simply deleted all 17,000 volumes from the collection.

+ Biden’s first three pardons, issued more than 460 days into his presidency, only highlight just how miserly he has been with an unlimited executive power to show compassion and empathy in a country that gets more sour and cruel by the hour. He remains stubbornly reluctant to reverse the enormous damage he did in drafting the punitive laws that grossly expanded the carceral state.

+ LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva is investigating LA Times reporter Alene Tchekmedyian for stealing LA sheriff’s office property. The property in question? A leaked video of deputies abusing a prisoner…

+ Villanueva claimed that he learned that the LA sheriff’s deputy kneeled on a handcuffed inmate’s head eight months after it happened. But the sheriff department’s own commander (a kind of inspector general), Allen Castellano, filed a claim charging that Villanueva watched the video a mere five days after it happened and then directed the cover-up, saying: “We do not need bad media at this time.”

+ A two-year-long investigation by the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, found that the Minneapolis Police Department engaged in systemic and illegal racial discrimination over more than a decade. In a blistering 72-page report, the human rights department cited racial disparities in how Minneapolis police officers “use force, stop, search, arrest, and cite people of color, particularly Black individuals, compared to white individuals in similar circumstances.”

+ According to the Dept. of Human Rights report, Minneapolis police set up fake social media accounts and posed as members of the public to criticize elected officials and spied on Black activists and organizations “without a public safety objective.”

+ In a 4-3 decision, the NY Court of Appeals ruled that 19-year-old boy named Malik Dawson didn’t invoke his right to counsel in the following interchange while being interrogated by police:

+ Herb Robinson, a 30-year veteran of the Kansas City police department, is suing his own department for racial profiling, after being pulled over last year while on duty in an unmarked car. Robinson was wearing his uniform at the time.

+ Eric Adams on his favorite subject…the anointed one, himself, Eric Adams: “God made the decision that Eric Adams and all of his life experiences was going to become the mayor of the city of New York.”

May 6

+ According to a 12-year-long study just published in the JAMA Psychiatry journal, women living in households where guns were present had “substantially higher” suicide rates that those in non-gun households–about 337 women, or 15 percent of the suicides in that cohort, used a firearm.

+ 700: the number of homeless sweeps NYPD has conducted since the beginning of March.

+ Portland, Oregon’s homeless population has grown by more than 1,000 since 2019–a 30% increase in just three years. Nearly all of them are currently living in unsheltered locations.

+ The right to an abortion wasn’t “granted” by the Supreme Court, it was won through decades of organizing. Similarly, it wasn’t taken away by a “court” but by a decades long counter-revolution, often violent, cruel and vicious, that included clinic bombings, the assassinations of abortion providers, the harassment of women seeking abortions. The liberals never really fought back, even as over the past 20 years, clinics have steadily disappeared across the South and rural Midwest, leaving some states with only one or two clinics, meaning for all practical purposes only wealthy women had a “right” to an abortion, which is not a right at all.

+ Abortion as a constitutional right for all ended in 1976 with the passage of the Hyde Amendment banning federal funding of abortions–a measure supported by many Democrats, including Biden. It meant only three years after Roe, instead of being a right, abortion had already become a mere privilege of those who could afford one. The erosion has been steady ever since. Now the price of abortions will be even higher and for many will include a plane ticket to the 15 states where abortions will remain legal until a national ban is passed, which is now likely than ever. After which, women will have to fly to places where abortion was once banned, like Ireland and Mexico, to legally get one…

+ Kathleen Belew: “One historian of abortion argues that abortion stays at pretty much the same rate per capita over time whether it’s legal or banned. What changes when you make it illegal is how many people die from it.”

+ Marcus Rediker: “I met Justice Samuel Alito in 2008 when I accepted the George Washington Book Prize at black-tie dinner of 500 at Mount Vernon. He sat ten feet from me and glared angrily as I explained how the enslaved were the nation’s real founding mothers and fathers. It was a happy moment! Alito did not like history from below!”

May 13 

+ There have been 11 murders of abortion clinic workers since 1990 and 41 bombings and 173 arsons at abortion clinics since 1977.

+ Eric Rudolph, the Centennial Park (Atlanta Olympics) bomber, was an anti-abortion zealot and member of the Army of God, who conducted a series of terrorist attacks across the American South from 1996-98 that injured and maimed more than 100 people.

+ Sen Dick Durbin on protests outside Alito and Kavanaugh’s houses: “I think it’s reprehensible. Stay away from the homes and families of elected officials and members of the court.”

+ Tom Cotton wants to go even further. He’s demanding that Biden send federal agents to arrest people protesting in public spaces near the houses of Supreme Court justices.

+ The Supreme Court has conducted a no-knock raid into our bedrooms, but we can’t stand on the sidewalk in front of their houses…

+ Andrew Lawrence: “The Right will defend Rittenhouse and 1/6 and pass laws that you can use your car to run over protesters and Democrats will condemn their own voters for chanting loudly outside someone’s house.”

+ In the 90s, the Supreme Court held in Madsen v. Women’s Health Center that protesting outside people’s “private homes” was protected by the First Amendment–the private homes of people who work at abortion clinics.

+ Justice Harry Blackmun faced constant harassment after the release of his opinion in Roe, including thousands of death threats, many very graphic. Blackmun said he’d been called “Butcher of Dachau, murderer, Pontius Pilate, King Herod, you name it.” In 1983, someone fired a shot into the Blackmun’s townhouse in DC. Blackmun had just walked out of the room, but the 9 mm round put a baseball size hole in the window and showered glass on Mrs. Blackmun who was sitting in the room, when the bullet struck a nearby chair.

+ Louisiana’s abortion ban bill says the state can disregard any federal court order curtailing the law and that state judges who declare the law unconstitutional or stay enforcement will be impeached…

+ According to a new report commissioned by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, more than 500 missing Indigenous children reported dead after being taken from their homes by the US government and forced into 19 boarding schools run largely by the Catholic Church. The real death toll is probably in the thousands. Can’t wait to see how this is revolting chapter of US history gets translated in the Patriotic Textbooks of Texas and Florida…

“Under U.S. military control, surviving Apache children were forcibly removed from their families and shipped by train to the Carlisle Indian Industrial School…Some some Apache children never returned- comprising one-fourth of Carlisle gravesites.”

+ Corporate crime in America has achieved herd immunity.

+ Arizona prison officials struggled for more than 25 minutes to insert IV lines into Clarence Dixon before his execution on Wednesday morning. Finally, they sliced into his groin area and had to “wipe up a fair amount of blood” before they could kill him. Nothing cruel or unusual here, alas. This is the way almost all executions in the US take place these days.

+ A state audit found that police departments across California engage in bigoted and racist behavior, including social media posts and conversations between officers that mocked transgender people, women, Latinos, Black people and immigrants.

+ San Francisco police are now using driverless cars for mobile surveillance. The cars “record their surroundings continuously” and transmit the data to police.

May 20

+ The Buffalo shooting will be used to increase funding for police–the same police who didn’t stop the racist shooter, who across the country have aligned themselves with white supremacist movements and who regularly shoot young blacks suspected of committing minor offenses like jaywalking or shoplifting.

+ Not shot by police: Dylann Roof (21), Kyle Rittenhouse (18), Payton S. Gendron (18).

Shot by police: Tamir Rice (12), Laquan McDonald (17), Michael Brown (18)

Number of people killed by Roof, Rittenhouse, Gendron: 21

Number of people killed by Rice, McDonald, Brown: 0

+ Oh, joy, a Patriot Act for you, me and our pets: “Democrats are vowing to push through domestic terrorism legislation to improve intelligence sharing and coordination between law enforcement agencies following the mass shooting in Buffalo — despite growing Republican opposition.”

+ Remember how Bill Clinton exploited the Oklahoma City bombing to push through his Comprehensive Anti-Terrorism and “Effective Death Penalty Act”, which Biden escorted through the senate? It did nothing to suppress the growth of racist violence in the US. In fact, it seems to have fertilized it. But it did gut habeas corpus, expand the surveillance state, create joint FBI “terror” task forces that manufactured crimes which they used to entrapped unwitting, often mentally disabled, people, placed severe limits on asylum requests from refugees fleeing political repression, and expanded the death penalty to crimes not involving murder. None of this had the slightest effect on “terrorism”, as the country learned the hard way four years later…

+ The Patriot Act didn’t materialize out of Dark Lord Cheney’s head fully formed like Athena after 9/11. Most of it was already sitting on the shelf, the key provisions having been drafted by Clinton’s Justice Department…

+ Murder was a crime before the 10 Commandments. Terrorism has always been a crime. New more punitive laws will not stop murders or terrorism. What terrorist is going to think twice because they might get 3 life terms instead of 2, if they’re white & survive their mass slaughters? New laws create new crimes. But they don’t stop crimes from taking place. They will however be used to harass, surveil and disrupt any political movement (environmental, antiwar, civil rights, animal rights, Palestinian rights, abortion rights, homeless, religious minorities) that criticizes the policies of the government or the corporations that suborn the people who run the government.

+ They’re rationing vaccines, running out of infant formula, charging for Covid tests (if you can find one that works) and Biden wants unspent Covid relief $$ to go to the….police.

+ In the aftermath of the Buffalo mass-shooting, the response from FoxNews & Tucker Carlson won’t be to back away from its venomous promotion of Great Replacement “Theory” but to double-down on it.

+ Buffalo shooter: “White birth rates must change…people must achieve a birth rate…that is about 2.06 births per woman.”

Alito: “the domestic supply of infants relinquished at birth or within the first month of life…had become virtually nonexistent.”

+ Globally, whites have always been a minority. In the 18 century, whites totaled about 21.6% of the world’s population.  Peak whiteness was achieved around 1900 at 31.4% and has now receded back to where it was at about 20 percent of the Earth’s total human population. (See: The Coming White Minority by Dale Maharidge.)

+ Biden in Buffalo: “White supremacy is a poison … running through our body politic… The ideology of white supremacy has no place in America. None. Failure to say that is going to be complicity.”

+ Also Biden: “Did ever tell you about the time Strom and I pulled a prank on Carol Moseley-Braun?”

+ As a caveat to this speech, one might want to consider the fact that in the 70s Biden not only broke bread with segregationists, he fought to keep schools from being integrated.

+ Biden was a pre-Clinton Clintonite without any of Bubba’s political skills…

+ Glenn Greenwald’s insta-column posted soon after the Buffalo massacre is one of his most revolting. It read less as a defense of his pal Tucker Carlson than a “manifesto-by-proxy” of Glenn’s own rancid views on immigration…

+ After Greenwald’s full-throated defense of Replacement Theory, you wonder how much longer he’ll have any utility at all to the rightwing roosts he’s been perching on for years, where he was only useful because they portrayed him as a left-winger attacking the Left. Now he’s clearly just another reactionary craving the spotlight to air his writhing knot of grievances. But Glenn’s not nearly as entertaining as the 100-proofers Marjorie Taylor Greene, Dan Bongino or Gregg Gutfeld. More & more, his airplay on Fox will be “replaced” by Gabbard.

+ How many immigrants do you imagine toiled in the factories that built the two fortunes Tucker grew up as a scion of: Winslow Brothers & Smith Tannery and Swanson Frozen Foods?

+ If Elizabeth Kübler-Ross were around to profile the MAGA right’s reaction to mass shootings, she’d probably conclude that the False Flag response is the first stage on the path to the ultimate acceptance and full embrace of the motives of the shooter…

+ There have been more than 200 “mass shootings” in the US this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive, almost all of them with “legal” guns.

+ The United States is the only country in the world where civilian guns outnumber people.

+ There’s Replacement “Theory” and there’s Replacement in Fact: European settlers killed more than 56 million indigenous people over about 100 years in South, Central and North America.

May 27

“The horror is that America changes all the time, without ever changing at all.”

– James Baldwin

+ Is there any country that kills more–at home and abroad– than this one, while its politicians and preachers prattle on endlessly about the “sanctity of life”?

+ I understand why gun sales go up after mass killings in the US. No matter how much $$, arms and gear is poured into police agencies, they won’t be there to protect you or your kids. They’ll wait outside until the shooting stops, then outline the bodies in chalk & mop up the blood We are on our own inside one of the most violent societies that’s ever existed, a society whose cultural & economic structures pit us against each other for survival. The tragedy is that being armed makes it more likely that you or someone in your family will die from a gunshot.

+ Many of the same politicians who just sent $40 billion in weapons to Ukraine are lamenting the domestic slaughter from military-style assault weapons at home without pausing for a second to contemplate any possible connection between the two…

+ Biden: “When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?”

+ $118.5 million: Pentagon contractor lobbying expenditures for 2021.

+ Speaking of gun control, US arms exports totaled $138.2 billion in 2021, before the blank check given to Ukraine.

+ Has Raytheon cashed their checks, yet?

+ $15.7 million: Gun industry/rights lobbying expenditures for 2021

+ Nearly 500 gun manufacturers and retailers cashed COVID relief checks totally more than $125 million. Daniel Defense, the company that made the assault rifle used by the Uvalde mass shooter, pocketed a $3.1 million loan from the federal government in April 2020.

+ There are two complimentary ways to interpret this Financial Times chart of mass shootings in the US. One is that mass shootings exploded after the assault weapons ban expired in 2004. The other is that the longer the Forever Wars went on the more blowback there was here in terms of mass shootings. Violence abroad breeds violence at home.

+ Steven Salaita: “The biggest mistake many people make in the aftermath of a schoolhouse massacre is assuming that politicians give a damn about their children’s well-being.”

+ Police officers killed by gunfire 2022: 20
School kids killed by gunfire 2022: 24

+ 90% of all firearm deaths for children 0-14 years of age in high-income countries occur in the US.

+ In areas where new gun stores open, gun homicides increase

+ More than 30 studies have demonstrated that not only does gun ownership not reduce violent crimes (murder, rape armed robbery), it facilitates them..

+ Meet the Ulvade Police SWAT team. Where were they? Outside the school, waiting on reinforcements. When one parent shouted, “Let’s just rush in because the cops aren’t doing anything like they are supposed to,” they took out their Tasers to keep parents from entering the school to try and save their kids.

+ All that military hardware, body armor and firepower that’s been shoveled to them for decades and they sat for an hour as the mass killer emptied his magazines on defenseless 10 year-olds and their teachers.

+ So this is how it went down. The shooter entered a classroom and locked the door . The police on scene left him in there. When Border Patrol showed up they couldn’t break down the door. After 40-60 minutes they finally got a member of the school staff to unlock it with a key. Imagine how they would have plunged into action, if someone had been reported smoking pot in the bathroom?

Student calls to 911:

12:03—whispered she’s in room 112
12:10—said multiple dead
12:13—called again
12:16—says 8-9 students alive
12:19—student calls from room 111
12:21—3 shots heard on call
12:36—another call
12:43—asks for police
12:47—asks for police

+ $7.4 billion: amount of military equipment transferred to police in the US since 1990.

+ For from being defunded, the Uvalde Police Department consumes 40% of the town’s budget.

+ The main function of a militarized police is the US is to crackdown on protests against police abuses, either killing innocent people or standing by as innocent people are killed.

+ The shit that public school teachers have had to endure for the past 20 years–even from Obama and his gang of “reformers”–is appalling & then to have them put their bodies in front of their young students, as cops in body armor with automatic weapons cowered outside for an hour.

+ What a pretty hat. It would have been a shame to get any sweat or blood on it…

+ It only took the Minneapolis Police Department 13 seconds to break down the door to the apartment where Amir Locke was sleeping and shoot him while he was laying on the sofa…

+ For argument’s sake, let’s take the Uvalde cops at their (specious) word: there felt no rush to enter the building b/c they believed the shooting was over. So they waited an hour for wounded kids–who they had heard screaming–to bleed out? That’s depraved indifference and it’s vile.

+ Derrida: “Such a caring for death, an awakening that keeps vigil over death, a conscience that looks death in the face, is another name for freedom.” This is the opposite kind of “freedom” from that piously proclaimed by American politicians & tycoons, which is the “freedom” to ignore the often lethal consequences of their actions, to dismiss the dead as losers in Trump’s crass phrase, as as weak and somehow responsible for their own fate, and valorize the survivors as winners in the Darwinian struggle that defines late-stage capitalism in the US.

+ Michael Parenti: “You see there are people who believe the function of the police is to fight crime, and that’s not true, the function of the police is social control and protection of property.”

+ Every mass shooting is a fundraising bonanza for all the political players: NRA, GOP and DNC. Hardly a surprise why we are seeing more not less of them.

+ The challenge for the Democrats is to find a “common sense” (ie, toothless) compromise on gun legislation that will win over Manchin, so that (unlike with codifying Roe) when it inevitably fails in the Senate they can blame Republicans.

+ Five minutes after Paul Gosar (Bigot-AZ) claimed that the Ulvade mass murderer was a “transsexual leftist illegal alien”, Glenn is lamenting to his soul(less)mate Tucker Carlson how the left is politicizing the shooting…

+ What’s really “fucking nuts” is that it isn’t “fucking nuts.” Doing nothing (on school shootings, COVID, or climate change) is a perfectly rational response to the financial incentives that drive the US political system in the post-Citizens United era.

+ Though many police departments use the motto “protect and serve,” cops don’t have to come to your rescue, help you when you’re in distress or try to save your child from being shot. Under a Supreme Court case called Castle Rock v. Gonzalez, the police can’t be held accountable for not coming to your aid, even if the lives of your children are at stake. Yet they have the absolute right to taser, cuff and arrest you, if you complain too loudly about them sitting on their asses as kids are being shot in front of them.

+ Surviving spring break in Daytona is nothing compared to surviving study hall in many American schools.

+ After the history of the Uvalde massacre is finally written, how soon will it be re-written to conform with the standards of school textbooks in Texas?

+ How many students has Critical Race Theory killed?

+ After the Parkland High mass shooting in 2018, the Florida legislature responded by passing a law requiring armed police in every public elementary, middle and high school in the state. Predictably, the presence of police didn’t make the schools any safer, but it did lead to treating more and more students like criminals. Within two years, student arrests had hit new highs, the number of students expelled from school climbed by 43 percent and the number of students being physically restrained quadrupled. Meanwhile, there are now more police officers (3650) in Florida schools than nurses (2286), psychologists (1452) and social workers (1414).

+ More than 311,000 students in the US have been exposed to school shootings in the US since Columbine.


+ In its latest assault on habeas corpus, the Supreme Court ruled this week that two men on Arizona’s death row could not argue ineffective assistant of counsel to have their convictions overturned, even though in one of the cases the court-appointed indigent attorney was so incompetent that they failed to introduce evidence that their client was innocent of the crime. The court ruled that Bill Clinton’s heinous Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (co-written and shepherded through the Senate by Joe Biden in 1994) prohibits federal courts from examining evidence that an “ineffective” counsel failed to produce at trial. The logic here is beyond Kafka and Heller: your lawyer is so incompetent that he neglected to introduce evidence of your innocence. But because the evidence wasn’t used at trial, you can’t use the evidence on appeal to prove the incompetence of your counsel. We’ve reached the point where innocence is no defense.

+ Like many people on death row, Barry Jones was convicted and sentenced to death based on the testimony of a state expert witness, in this case a “bloodstain pattern analyst,” who dazzled the jury with a blizzard of “junk forensics.” The so-called expert had achieved that exalted status by attending one weeklong class.

+ The opinion in Shinn v. Martinez Ramirez was written (or at least signed by) Clarence Thomas, who called the idea of a federal court conducting a hearing on evidence that someone on death row might be innocent “an affront to the State.”

June 3

+ Police lie. They lie as a matter of course. They lie incidentally. They lie strategically. They lie habitually. They lie when lives are on the line. They lie to protect their own skin. They lie to protect their buddies. They change their stories to fit the facts. They change the “facts” to fit their stories. They lie when they interrogate you. They lie in affidavits and depositions. They lie on TV. They lie in court testimony. They lie to put you away. When the lies run out, they stop talking. They refuse to cooperate. They blame you for not trusting them.

This pattern of lying has played out over the past 10 days since the Uvalde mass shooting. The police lied about what they did. They lied about what they didn’t do. They lied about the time line of the shooting. They lied about who was on the scene, when they got there and what they did. They lied about barricades, 911 calls, and the shooter’s weapons. They lied about doors. They lied about the school resource officer. They lied about a teacher. They lied about their lies.

+ The police did their job. What you saw them doing in Uvalde, on a sidewalk in Minneapolis and in Breonna Taylor’s apartment was their job. These disparate events were not aberrations.

+ Every police atrocity–either by actions (Floyd, Taylor, Brown), negligence or incompetence–will inevitably be used as a justification for more police power.

+ Nearly every one who spoke at the NRA convention was blasting the gun violence in Chicago (perceived as a black city with a black mayor with strict gun control laws). The level of gun violence in Chicago is certainly appalling, but nowhere near as bloody as many other cities. Most of the the guns used in Chicago shootings have poured in from other states–states where you’re much more likely to be killed by a gun than in Illinois.

+ According to Alex Vitale, “almost 7% of all homicides in the US are committed by police officers […] I found cities where there were years when 15% of all homicides in that city were committed by police.”

+ James Madison Preparatory Academy, a Florida charter high school, raffled off guns as part of a fundraising campaign. Every day, from May 2-to June first the school picked a name from a tumbler. On Tuesday, a week after the shooting in Uvalde that killed 21 people, the school raffled an AK 47. School officials said, “It was all about the kids.”

+ More children die by gunfire in a year than on-duty police officers and active military members…

+ In St. Louis, a man who was open-carrying his rifle at a grocery store was robbed at gunpoint of his rifle. He went to his car to grab another gun. A shoot-out ensued. One of the shooters and a couple of bystanders were wounded…

+ GOP on the causes of mass shootings: doors, mental illness, social media, wokeness, video games, single parent homes, porn, unarmed teachers, and pot…

+ How many mass shooters are misogynists? The Uvalde shooter frequently harassed and threatened girls in his high school. He sent them photos of guns and threatened to rape or kidnap them. This behavior reminded me of one of the bloodiest mass shootings in Texas history, the Luby’s diner massacre. In 1991  a man ran his truck into a packed cafeteria in Killeen. Before he started firing his semi-automatic handguns, he screamed: “All women of Killeen and Belton are vipers!” He shot 50 people, 23 of whom died.

+ Biden: Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn are “rational Republicans” who could “get something done” on gun control. The dementia is progressing quite rapidly now…

+ Earlier this month, two Trump-appointed federal judges overturned California’s law prohibiting people under 21 from buying AR-15s or other semi-automatic weapons.

+ We all all know that the GOP is against intrusive government mandates. Of course, there are exceptions: A new Texas law requires every bank and professional services firm to file statements affirming that they will do business with the NRA and gun makers.

+ On same day Biden gives his big speech assailing assault weapons, he agreed to sent Ukraine High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems capable of inflicting mass death. The assault weapons won’t be banned, but the rocket systems will be used.

+ The American Medical Association has repeatedly condemned gun violence and called for stricter gun laws. The sincerity of this message is called into question by the fact that its political action committee regularly donates more money to pro-gun candidates than it does to those who support gun control.

+ Brendan Behan: “I have never seen a situation so dismal that a policeman couldn’t make it worse.”

June 10

“There is not one single police officer in America that I am not afraid of and not one that I would trust to tell the truth or obey the laws they are sworn to uphold. I do not believe they protect me in any way.”

– Henry Rollins

+ America’s shooters–sports and mass–can thank the Mad Bomber himself General Curtis LeMay for the current popularity of the AR-15. In the early 1960s, when the US was scrambling to develop a combat weapon to counter the lethality and reliability of the Soviet-made AK-47, LeMay began talking up a rifle manufactured by his buddies at Colt: the AR-15. The Pentagon brass weren’t convinced, but LeMay plunged forward on his own, ordering 8,5000 guns for the Air Force to use in Vietnam. The purchase increased the press on the US Army to make a decision. Ballistic testing was ordered. The US Army  wanted to find out how fast the gun fired and how much damage a bullet fired from the gun would do. First they used the gun to shoot 176 live goats tethered to a cart on a moving track, from distances of 25 to 500 meters. They measured the entrance and exit wounds. The bullets punched gaping holes in the thick-pelted animals. But the testers really wanted to find out what the gun would do to human heads. Thinking it would be impolitic to use American skulls for target practice, they secured 27 human heads from India and filled the desiccated brainpans with gelatin. Heads were shot from multiple distances by both weapons. The testers compared the explosive power of the AR-15 to that of the Soviet-designed AK-47. After mapping the blood splatter patterns, the Pentagon determined that the AR-15 was the more powerful weapon, since it shattered the heads into more fragments than the AK-47.  Later the Pentagon also did “field testing” of the destructive power of the weapons in Vietnam. A survey of enemy Killed in Action reports showed that many PLAF fighters were decapitated when hit in the head by bullets fired from M16s (AR-15). (See C.J. Chivers’ book on the development and rivalry between the AK-47 and the M-16, The Gun).

+ Though the exploding head tests were enough to convince Defense Secretary Robert McNamara to rush the rifle into mass production, the results were almost certainly cooked. The AR-15/M-16 was never a match for the AK-47. In the humid and wet conditions of Vietnam, the M-16 tended to corrode and rust. It routinely jammed and misfired. Many grunts in that war started using AK-47 taken from captured or killed Vietnamese soldiers.  “We called it the Mattel 16 because it was made of plastic. At that time it was a piece of garbage,” according to former Marine Jim Wodecki.  (See: Misfire: the Tragic Failure of the M16 in Vietnam by Bob Orkund and Lymon Dureya.)

+ Dr. Roy Guerrero, a pediatrician who treated the victims at the emergency room of Uvalde’s hospital, testifying before Congress on what he saw: “Two children, whose bodies had been so pulverized by the bullets fired at them, over and over again, decapitated, whose flesh had been so ripped apart, that the only clue to their  identities was their blood-spattered cartoon clothes still clinging to them, clinging for life and finding none.”

+ Democratic politics is a game of limbo. Set the bar low and see how much lower you can go…Senator Chris Murphy says the Senate won’t compromise Second Amendment rights: “Listen, we’re not going to do everything I want. We’re not going to put a piece of legislation on the table that will ban assault weapons or pass comprehensive background checks.”

+ Uvalde teacher Arnulfo Reyes, who was shot three times while trying to protect his students, on the police response: “After everything, I get more and more angry. One of the students from the next-door classroom was saying, ‘Officer, we’re in here. We’re in here.’ But they had already left…You had a bulletproof vest. I had nothing. They’re cowards. They sit there and did nothing for our community. They took a long time to go in. There is no excuse for their actions. I will never forgive them.”

+ Miah Cerrillo, 11-year-old survivor of Uvalde mass shooting: “He shot my friend that was next to me and I thought he would come back to the room so I got blood and put it all over me.”

+ Will smearing yourself with the blood of your classmate become a part of active shooter survival drills?

+ Christopher Hooks on the governor and lieutenant governor of Texas:

Taken at their word, Abbott and Patrick believe they are governing a Texas where a growing proportion of the population is dealing with pervasive mental illness, some of whom are possibly demonically touched, who are farther than ever from God, and more and more capable of committing evil and violent acts. They also believe that everyone in this population should have nearly unregulated access to military-grade weapons.

+ The problem Texas is having is that every previous response to a mass shooting in the state has been to liberalize gun laws to the point where you can open carry your AK-15 everywhere except at an NRA convention. They’ve reached the point of maximum ballistic liberalization.  Now they’ll have to start forcing people to carry guns in schools.

+ I’m more convinced than ever that it’s not the NRA that paralyzes the Congress on even basic gun control measures, but the very palpable fear that they might get shot if they do anything to defang the beast they’ve created…

+ There are more guns in private hands in the US than in the other 26 top gun-owning countries…combined.

+ The average daily gun deaths of children in the United States have nearly doubled since 2019

+ Sen. John Thune on AR-15s: “The challenge you have on that is there’s 20 million of them in the country already. They are a sporting rifle. And it’s something that a lot of people for purposes of going out target shooting — in my state they use them to shoot prairie dogs.”

+ Nationally, 2% of homicide cases are ruled “justifiable” by the police or prosecutors. When it comes to non-Hispanic white men who kill black men that figure rises to 17%.

+ Blowing the heads off of prairie dogs while sitting in a chair with your AR-15 is, apparently, a thing in Montana and the Dakotas.

+ Rounds per minute of AR-15: 45

Rounds per minute of muskets owned by authors of 2nd Amendment: 5

+ For the sake of argument, let’s assume Louis Gohmert’s right about mass shootings being a (much delayed) reaction to the Supreme Court having banned prayer in public schools 37 years before Columbine. How then does he explain mass shootings in churches, many of them–including the bloodiest–in Texas? This phenomenon prompts one to inquire: Just what is the Supreme Deity’s beef with the churches of Texas? Why are Texas’ churches targeted so frequently by avengers with assault rifles? When worshippers say their prayers down there are they reading from a blasphemous edition of the Holy text, like the woke Revised New Standard instead of the King James?

+ Mitch McConnell called on Democrats to pass the “Supreme Court security bill” after a California man (described as a “Democratic hit man” by Sen. Tom Cotton) was arrested outside Brett Kavanaugh’s home: “House Democrats must pass this bill and they need to do it today. No more fiddling around with this, they need to pass it today …before the sun sets.”

+ Does the bill include a provision to limit the number of doors in the houses of Supreme Court justices?

+ Isn’t someone angrily pacing in front of a Supreme Court justice’s house with an AR-15, pissed off about a life-or-death decision made by an unelected body, exactly the “last resort against tyranny” justification many gun advocates–including some prominent members of Congress and the federal judiciary–repeatedly invoke to sanctify their peculiar reading of the 2nd Amendment?

+ The Uvalde School Superintendent said on Thursday that the district would hiring “more police.” They’re going to need a bigger lounge…

+ On the morning of the Parkland High School mass shooting  the school’s deputy Scot Peterson allegedly conducted an unlawful search of the backpacks of more than 10 students. He claimed he was looking for drugs. Peterson seized $200 from a Parkland student who had saved the cash for a Valentine’s Day dinner. When the student protested, the deputy told the kid that was “not manly enough to own up to what he did.” But the student had no drugs, just a few unsigned late passes. Peterson’s intrusive search went on for a couple of hours that morning. Then the shooting started and the deputy stood outside for 48 minutes as the massacre unfolded.

+ Last month three police officers watched a homeless black man drown in Tempe, Arizona. When Sean Bickings begged for their help, one officer told him to “swim to a pylon.” Bickings said he was drowning and couldn’t swim. The cop responded: “Okay, I’m not jumping in after you.” A few seconds later Bickings is heard to say: “I can’t touch. Oh God. Please help me. Help me.” Then he went under for the last time. The three cops have been placed on leave. Paid leave.

+ Andre Hernandez, Jr. was 13 when a San Antonio, Texas cop shot him last Friday. It took the police department five days to tell Hernandez’s mother they’d killed her son.

+ The Supreme Court’s carving away of habeas corpus is bad enough, but check out this statement from the Democratic Mayor of Chicago Lori Lightfoot, arguing that bail should be denied to people arrest for “serious crimes” because they wouldn’t have been arrested if they weren’t guilty: “We shouldn’t be locking up nonviolent individuals just because they can’t afford to pay bail. But, given the exacting standards that the state’s attorney has for charging a case, which is proof beyond a reasonable doubt, when those charges are brought, these people are guilty.”

+ A new study in the Quarterly Journal of Economics finds that ending welfare benefits for young adults led to an increase in the number of criminal charges by 20% and the annual likelihood of incarceration by 60%: “We find that SSI removal increases the number of criminal charges by a statistically significant 20% over the next two decades. The increase in charges is concentrated in offenses for which income generation is a primary motivation (60% increase).” In other words, expanding welfare benefits reduces crime.

+ Before NYC Mayor Eric Adams’ criminalization of the homeless policy, the NYPD participated in roughly 30% of homeless sweeps. Now the city’s cops are at just about nearly ever raid, targeting the same population of shelterless people time and time again. According to data compiled by the Gothamist, the cops have throw out belongings of 415 people so far.

June 17

+ Uvalde police have hired a private law firm to fight requests to release the bodycam footage of the school shooting because they claim it could be used by other shooters to determine “weaknesses” in cop response to crimes.

+ A new Ohio law cuts the training required for teachers, school staff and bus drivers to carry guns in schools to a maximum of 24 hours, down from 700 hours….

+ What set him off? Video games, hip hop or pot?

+ Linda Reza was notified that her stepdaughter had died by a voicemail, an increasing common practice in the US prison system : “Yes, hello, this message is for Linda Reza, stepmother of inmate Rocha, Erika, here at California Institution for Women. It is imperative that you contact the facility as soon as possible. We have some information relative to your stepdaughter’s demise.”

+ Andrew Johnson is a black US Army veteran who spent 16 months in solitary confinement on attempted murder charges before a jury ever heard any evidence against him. Johnson claims he was defending himself after being attacked by two strangers in Santa Clara County, California. It only took a jury two hours to acquit him, after he’d spent three years in jail. Neither he nor his parents were ever told why he was placed in solitary before trial. “There’s no way I’m going to stay in this country after what it’s done to me,” he says. “I’m not going to wait for the police to come and shoot me after I win.”

+ Johnson’s case isn’t exceptional. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, between 2014 and 2018, there were around 735,000 people who were being held at any given time in the nation’s 3,000 jails, most of them awaiting trial. While there’s no systematic tracking of the number of prisoners held in solitary in jails, one study of 357 jails housing around 53,000 inmates, it found that 2.7 percent were held in solitary, some of them for 30 days or more.

+ For the second time, the US Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal from Texas death row inmate Don Flores, who was convicted of a 1998 murder based largely on the testimony of a witness whose memory had been “refreshed” through the use of “police hypnosis.”

+ In Louisiana, a man raped a teenage girl after offering her a ride. The rape resulted in a pregnancy. The teenager raised her baby girl. Years later the rapist found out about teen’s baby, demanded full custody and child support. Court ruled for the rapist, awarding him custody and ordering his victim to pay child support.

June 24

+ In 1973 the Espionage Act case against Daniel Ellsberg for violating  was dismissed by Judge William Byrnes after it was revealed that the Nixon administration had bugged Ellsberg’s phones and broken into his shrink’s office. There was also a plot by Howard Hunt and Gordon Liddy to use a Cuban exile hit team to “totally incapacitate” (ie, assassinate) him. Surely, the CIA’s very similar plot to kill Julian Assange is at least as odious as what Nixon’s plumbers did to Ellsberg and the thinly manufactured case against Assange is deserving of the same peremptory fate.

+ PEN America on Julian Assange’s extradition: “The Biden Administration must return to its stated principles and drop these charges, in the interest of press freedom and the United States’ global standing with respect to human rights.”

+ The key thing in American politics is to be the first to wrongly interpret a result (ie., the recent elections were a clear rebuke to criminal justice reformers) and to loudly stick with your take long after it has been disproven.

+ Big city crime waves? NYC’s homicide rate is down 13.3% and shootings are down 11.5%, year to date. Murder numbers are the 8th lowest of past 50 years.

+ Thirty years after cities started imposing juvenile curfews, there’s no evidence that these measures reduce juvenile crime.

+ The Supreme Court is doing its part to increase the lagging murder rates.

+ Here’s Clarence Thomas invoking Justice Taney and his Dred Scott opinion in support of Thomas’ ruling to strike down NYC’s concealed carry law…

+ There’s nothing like applying an “historical test” for regulations governing weapons that didn’t exist in the historical epoch the Originalists fetishize. Here’s more from Thomas’ opinion: “Respondents do not offer any evidence showing that, in the early 18th Century or after, the mere public carrying of a handgun would terrify people.”

+ 83 million: the number of Americans who lived in communities were concealed carry permits were limited to those who had a demonstrated need for self-defense.

+ It’s official. 50 years of a Constitutional right to an abortion has been overturned in a 6-3 decision. So much for Chief Justice Roberts as a “moderating” force.

+ The National Right to “Life” Committee released model legislation for states to adopt after the Supreme Court overturns Roe. The language would criminalize providing information on self-managed abortion “over the telephone, the internet, or any other medium of communication”. So much for free speech…

+ So states can’t regulate gun control, but can regulate when, where or whether you can get an abortion.

+ Stanley Cohen: “The SCOTUS has decided that the issue of what a woman chooses to do with regard to her bodily choices is up to each state. . . yet the state has no role to play in deciding how much or little a woman is to be protected from gunshot murder.”

+ In a week of gut-wrenching Supreme Court decisions, rulings which will irrevocably alter daily life in the Republic for millions, one of the worst, the gutting of Miranda, was supported by the Biden administration. Common ground with this court will be a death warrant for many, especially the poor, the infirm and the marginalized.

+ Meanwhile, in Vega v. Tekoh, the Supreme Court eviscerated what’s left of Miranda, with Alito concluding that you can’t sue cops who don’t provide you with your Miranda warnings and then use your statements against you in court. The Biden administration supported the ruling. During oral arguments, the DoJ’s attorney Vivek Suri told the court: “It isn’t a substantive right to receive the Miranda warnings themselves. A police officer who fails to provide the Miranda warnings accordingly himself doesn’t violate the constitutional right.”

+ Last week I quoted a few passages from the National Right to Life Council’s “model legislation” it is sending to states that are likely to outlaw abortion. A deeper reading of the legislation shows that the anti-abortion zealots want to subject people to criminal and civil penalties for “aiding or abetting” an abortion, including “hosting or maintaining a website, or providing internet service, that encourages or facilitates efforts to obtain an illegal abortion.”

+ It’s happened before. In 1967, a California doctor was convicted (People vs. Belous) after referring a young woman to an abortionist. Abortions in the state were illegal at the time, except to save a woman’s life.

+ In 2010, current Oklahoma Senator, and leading Christian conservative, James Lankfort testified in a deposition his belief that 13-year-olds can consent to sex. (The age of consent in Oklahoma is 16.) The deposition was part of a civil case filed against a Christian Youth Camp, where a 13-year-old girl was raped by a 15-year-old boy. At the time, Lankfort was director of youth programming at the Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center, a campground south of Oklahoma City which attracts more than 50,000 young campers (age 12 to 18) a year.

July 15

+ On July 6th, Albuquerque police were searching for a 27-year-old black man named Qiaunt Kelly. The cops claimed that Kelly was wanted on a federal felony warrant. They tracked him to a neighborhood in southeast Albuquerque, where they spotted him working on a motorcycle. When they tried to detain Kelly, he took off, running into a nearby house and locking himself inside.

More cops arrived on the scene. The SWAT team was called in. Robots were deployed and drones were sent aloft. The house was put under siege. With Kelly inside, the SWAT team begin launching tear gas cannisters, smoke bombs and flash grenades into the house. What the cops may or may not have known when they started bombing the house with grenades and “irritants”  (aka, chemical weapons) is that a 15-year-old boy named Brett Rosenau, also black, had followed Kelly into the house.

According to neighbors, the police kept shelling the residence with tears gas, smoke bombs, and flash grenades every thirty minutes for the next five and a half hours, until the house caught fire and smoke began to pour out of the windows. Still the cops waited another 40 minutes to call the fire department. Some witnesses reported hearing gunshots fired by the police, though the department denies it.

Eventually, Kelly emerged burning building, was arrested and taken to the hospital to be treated for burns and smoke inhalation.  After the flames were extinguished, firefighters discovered the body of Brett Rosenau. The boy had been burned alive, an eerie echo of Waco and the MOVE bombing in Philly. Rosenau wasn’t a suspect and wasn’t wanted by the police. The family dog was also killed in the blaze. The house was in ruins. The family who lived there were left homeless.

Then the lies began.

In a statement picked up and reported local and national media, the ABQ Police Department defended their extreme actions by trying to paint Kelly as a dangerous menace, claiming he’d been wanted on  a “federal felony warrant.” It didn’t take long for that to unravel. There were no federal warrants for Kelly at all, felony or misdemeanor. The only outstanding warrant was for a state parole violation, after Kelly removed a monitoring device.

In a final, bitter irony, it turns out that 15-years ago ABQ police shot and killed Brett Rosenau’s father, Brett David Rosenau. The first thing I thought was: what are the odds? Then when you look at the record of the ABQ police, you’re forced to conclude: pretty good.

Brett Rosenau.

+ Keith Gladstone, a former Baltimore cop who worked in the department’s notorious Gun Trace Task Force, was sentenced to twenty-one months in prison for planting a BB gun on a man that a fellow Baltimore cop hit with a car. The victim was jailed for 317 days on the spurious gun charge.

+ A federal court has denied the city of Washington, DC’s attempt to dismiss a lawsuit claiming that in his former job as head of the Metropolitan Police Department Peter Newsham, current Prince William County Police Chief, created a “watchlist” of lawyers, activists and journalists whose requests for public records would be delayed or denied in order to limit the release of information that “may lead to criticism of the department.”

+ Security guards at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis arrested a black man on the grounds that he was “casing” cars in the parking garage. The cops roughed him up, then told him “never come pack.” It tuns out the man was a patient overgoing treatment for kidney failure who was looking for his own parked car.

+ A sergeant in the Talladega, Alabama police department stated in a deposition for a lawsuit brought by people who’d been injured by K-9 patrol dog bites, said that he overheard his lieutenant say: “He wanted a dog that would bite a Black person. But he didn’t say it that nice.”

+ 43 million: the number of guns sold in the first two years (2020-21) of the pandemic, a record.

+ 45 thousand: the number of gun deaths in 2021, also a record.

July 22

+ At about 8 PM last Saturday night, two police in an unmarked car drove slowly by Robert Adams, who was standing in a parking lot in San Bernardino, California, 60 miles east of Los Angeles. The car abruptly stops. The cops spring out, guns drawn. Five seconds later Adams is down on the ground, bleeding out after being shot in the back multiple times, “execution-style”, according to Benjamin Crump, the lawyer for Adams’ family. He was 23-years old and had not wanted for any crime.

The rationale of the police for the shooting–to the extent they felt obliged to present any at all–is by now familiar to anyone who follows these kinds of shootings. Adams “fit the description” of a person they were looking for. (He was a young black man.) He was in a “high crime” area. (He was standing in a parking lot.) He had a gun and pointed it at police. (No evidence he pointed his gun at the cops.) He made threatening movements. (He ran away.) The cops feared for their lives. (They shot him in the back.)

+ 1054 people have been killed by police in the US in the last year. I wonder how many of those were shot in the back?

+ There were 376 law enforcement officers on the scene at Uvalde, who mulled around for more than an hour as a lone gunman with an AR-15 slaughtered teachers and students. Most of them were federal and state cops: 149 were Border Patrol, 91 were state police, who under Texas law are charged with responding to “mass attacks in public places.” Only 25 were from Uvalde, and another 19 from the local sheriff’s department. The remainder were deputies from neighboring counties, US Marshalls and DEA agents. In all there were 116 more law enforcement officers on the scene that day than there were members of the Texian militia inside the Alamo when it was routed by Santa Ana’s Mexican army. Too bad there wasn’t something for them to do…

+ Crime Bill Joe strikes again. He’s push a $37 billion “crime prevention” package, the centerpiece of which is an allocation of $13 billion to put 100,000 new cops on the street (just like in 1994). And like Clinton before him, they’ll still attack him for being “soft on crime.” Which he is. Police and corporate crime, that is.

+ The rich white tech crowd that runs San Francisco got progressive DA Chesa Boudin evicted from office. He’s been replace by interim DA, Brooke Jenkins, who just disbanded the Innocence Commission and promoted the same prosecutor who “withheld evidence in a homicide trial” to manage her homicide team.

+ Max Boot throws his former Post colleague Jamal Khashoggi under the bus…”MBS is a more ambivalent figure than the cartoon villain that he is so often made out to be in media coverage. It’s true that he is cruel and repressive. But, while illiberal politically, he is liberalizing Saudi society. His reforms are revolutionary.” Chop, chop…

July 29

+ Under Texas’ SB 8, doctors who terminate a pregnancy because of a medical emergency may face lawsuits from abortion bounty hunters and the burden of proof is on the doctors to demonstrate by a preponderance of evidence that the abortion was medically necessary. This had led to some truly disturbing dilemmas for Texas doctors, hospitals and patients. One recent story, recounted by NPR, is of the awful ordeal inflicted on Elizabeth, a Texas woman who experienced a partial miscarriage. The hospital, against the advice of her OB/GYN refused to terminate the pregnancy because there was still a fetal heartbeat. The doctors told the woman she needed have a “severe infection” before they could perform an abortion under Texas law. She was sent home, developed a fever and began passing black fluid. She bagged up some of the “foul discharge” to take to the hospital as evidence to prove that her life was at risk…

+ A similar law is now in place in Missouri, where doctors who terminate a pregnancy for a medical emergency must report their decision to the state, where it is reviewed prosecutors to decide whether or not to charge them with a felony violation of the state’s abortion ban.

+ The bodies of 10-year-old girls are not made to give birth to children. Pregnancy alone can exact physiological damage and forced births can cause traumatic injuries that mar bodies for life. Typically, labors for young girls are longer and often obstructed. The head of the fetus tends to pound, sometimes for days, dangerously on the young girl’s bladder and urethra. Frequently, the tissue between the bladder, vagina and rectum is torn.  Teenage pregnancies are more likely to develop anemia, eclampsia, pre-eclampsia, hypertension and infections, all of which increase the likelihood of Caesarian sections. The mortality rate for women giving birth before the age of 20 is twice as high as for those 20 and older and the rate for girls under the age of 15 is over triple. Many young girls who give birth in these circumstances develop a vesicovaginal fistula, a hole in the tissue between the bladder and the vagina. In 25 percent of these cases, the prolonged labor will also result in a rupture of the rectum, causing the girl to leak both urine and feces. These fistulas take months to heal and can result in fatal infections.

+ The descriptions of vesicovaginal fistulas reminded me of the unnerving account of the death of Charles Dickens’ father in A.N. Wilson’s terrific exploration of the great man’s life, The Mysteries of Dickens:

In a week he would lose his youngest child and the father who begat him.

When Dickens arrived at Keppel Street in Bloomsbury (just behind the British Museum) it was to see his father, who was in delirious agony.

The doctor was summoned, ‘who instantly performed (without chloroform) the most terrible operation known in surgery, as the only chance of saving him.’ This involved cutting a vagina-like incision between the anus and scrotum and unsexing the patient. ‘He bore it,’ wrote Dickens, ‘with astonishing fortitude, and I saw him directly afterwards–in his room, a slaughterhouse of blood.’ A few days later, when Dickens visited at eleven o’clock at night and sat beside the unconscious figure, ‘he died–O so quietly.’

+ That’s as close as most men will have ever come to experiencing the pain thousands of pre-teen girls will soon be forced to endure in order to give birth to what one anti-abortion lawmaker called “a blessing from God.”

+ Biden’s response to the criminalization of abortion is to demand that Congress appropriate $37 billion to hire 100,000 more state and local police and arm them with new weapons and surveillance technology.

+ Last week, I wrote about the police shooting of Robert Adams, a young black man who was shot in the back by cops in San Bernardino. I ended by asking how many people each year are shot in similar circumstances, that is shot in the back by cops who say they feared for their lives. It turns out there is a number. Nearly 1-in-3 people killed by U.S. police since 2015 were trying to flee. In these 2,500 killings, police officers were convicted just .35% of the time. 

+ According to a new AP-NORC poll:67% of Americans favor term limits for Supreme Court justices, including 82% of Democrats and 57% of Republicans and 43% say they have don’t any confidence in the court — up from 27% three months ago.

August 5

+ The executive director of a new crisis pregnancy center in Houston, Texas proclaims that “a lot of 13-year-olds do phenomenal” as mothers. It’s no real mystery why they believe this. Their liturgy teaches that Mary (clearly a victim of child rape, which a least the Greek myths are explicit about) gave birth between the ages of 12 & 14, depicting the poor child as a girl who “said ‘yes’ to a call from God…Mary didn’t let her youth stop her from boldly moving forward into the plans God had for her life.”

+ The Justice Department asked Federal Judge Dabney Friedrich to attach a “terrorism enhancement” to the sentence of J6 defendant Guy Reffit, a recruiter for the far-right militia group the Texas Three Percenters. Like most criminal defendants, Friedrich had been offered a much shorter sentence if he’d plead guilty. But he chose to go to trial and was found guilty of five criminal counts, including obstructing the certification of the 2020 election results for Joe Biden and transporting a firearm to stir civil unrest. But Friedrich didn’t assault any police and didn’t break into the Capitol. The judge questioned the severity of the sentence proposed by the prosecution and cut it in half, saying “his decision to exercise his constitutional right to go to trial should not result in a dramatically different sentence.” Let’s hope Judge Friedrich applies this standard of scrutiny to the circumstances of every coercive plea bargain that comes before her court…

+ The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals held that locking special ed. students in a small room and a time-our corner, grabbing a student and pushing him into a swimming pool, and pinning a student in order to strip him and force a swimming suit on him represented unconstitutional seizures under the Fourth Amendment. All of this was done by a teacher, however. A cop would have likely enjoyed Qualified Immunity…

+ Why the song remains the same…An analysis of the judicial voting patterns of Brett Kavanaugh and Merrick Garland when they served on the same Federal Appeals Court showed that they voted together 93 percent of the time.

+ This week the LAPD shot a Black man named Jermaine Petit in the back three times and then charged him with felony assault on a police officer with a deadly weapon. The police say they thought he had a gun, but the “deadly weapon” turned out to be a car part. He’s currently in custody at a local hospital. His bail was set at $100,000.

+ How did Los Angeles spend the $1.08 billion it got in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds? Nearly 2/3 ($696 million) went to LA Police and Fire Department salaries. Another $240 million went to cover salaries in other departments. None went into housing or homeless shelters.

+ Brittney Griner was just sentenced to 9 years in a prison labor camp for possessing a small amount of cannabis vaping oil. This is an outrage, but perhaps not as appalling as what happened here in the US in June, when the Mississippi Supreme Court upheld a life sentence for a marijuana possession charge. On any given day in the US, more than 374,000 people are in prison or jail for a drug “crime”. End the drug wars, here, there, everywhere.

+ Kamala Harris: “With today’s sentencing, Russia continues its wrongful detention of Brittney Griner. She should be released immediately. POTUS and I, and our entire Administration, are working every day to reunite Brittney, as well as Paul Whelan, with loved ones who miss each of them dearly.”

+ There are now more people in federal prisons on cannabis charges than there were under Trump. Federal cannabis arrests have climbed 25 percent since Biden took office.

+ Griner’s 9.5-year sentence is actually 6 months less than John Sinclair got for possession of 2 joints in Michigan in 1971.

+ Every prisoner jailed on drug crimes is a political prisoner. Nixon was clear that his drug war was meant as a political weapon against dissidents: the young, the antiwar movement and especially, in his words, “the blacks.” It’s no different in Russia, France or Saudi Arabia.

+ John Ehrlichman:

“You want to know what this [war on drugs] was really all about? The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news.  Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

+ A study in Science found that 11% of all black men in Pennsylvania, born 1986 between 1989, were incarcerated in solitary confinement by the age of 32. One-in-ten black men were held in solitary for more than 15 consecutive days (a violation of UN standards for the treatment of incarcerated people), while nearly 1-in-100 black men experienced solitary confinement for a period of a year or longer. By comparison, the prevalence is of solitary confinement for Latinos is 3.4% and only 1.4% for white men.

+ Brett Hankison is among four Louisville police officers who were arrested Thursday morning by the FBI for their role in the killing of Breonna Taylor. The 3 others are Joshua Jaynes, Kelly Hanna Goodlett, and Kyle Meany. The charges against Hankison include two counts of Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law. The indictments described the officers’ action as “unjustified force that shocks the conscience.” It alleges that members of the department’s Place-Based Investigations Unit falsified the affidavit used to obtain the search warrant of Taylor’s home, an act that violated federal civil rights laws, and that those transgressions resulted in Taylor’s death.

+ Here’s a reminder of what this case is all about…

August 12

+ The St. Louis jail system is a hellhole. According to use of force reports obtained by Grid News, officers at the jail have repeatedly pepper-sprayed people on suicide watch, including several times because a person wanted to keep on their underwear.

+ A grand jury in Mississippi has refused to indict Carolyn Bryant whose lies drove the lynching of black teenager Emmett Till almost 70 years ago, despite revelations about an unserved arrest warrant and a newly revealed memoir by the Bryant.

+ More than 650 children, a disproportionate number of them black boys, were strip-searched in London by the police over a three-year period between 2018 and 2020.

+ A Nebraska police officer named Ben McBride decided to investigate a 17-year-old’s stillbirth by obtaining records from Facebook indicating the young woman, Celeste Burgess, and her mother, Jessica, acquired a medication called Pregnot. The state jailed both mother and daughter and intends to prosecute them on several felony charges–perform/attempt abortion at more than 20 weeks, perform abortion by non-licensed doctor, and removing/concealing a dead human body. How much of the anti-Big Tech/police state right, enraged by the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago, has said a word about this much more intrusive and ominous act of collusion between social media companies and the police?

+ An editorial in the NYT this week described the Catholic Church as “New York’s Hottest Club.” What’s the draw? Do they re-enact the burning of Giordano Bruno?

+ The member of the Inquisition most responsible for the gruesome torture and execution of Bruno‘s execution (as well as the condemnation of Galileo Galilei in 1633), Cardinal Roberto Bellarmino was canonized a saint in by Pius XI 1930 and conferred the title Doctor of the Church, one of only 37 in the history of the Vatican.

+ Terry Mitchum, the chief of the Brookville, Indiana police department, and his chief investigator, Ryan Geiser, were suspended (with pay) after arresting Trevin Thalheimer, on trumped up drug possession charges, in order to stop him from running for city council because they considered him “anti-police.” Three days before the arrest, chief was quoted as saying, “We don’t want him on the town board because he hates cops.” It took months for the facts to emerge, leaving  Thalmeimer to say, “I have a bad taste in my mouth about politics. I knew politics was dirty, but I didn’t know I’d have to dumpster dive.”

+ A new report by the Disability Law Center discloses that staff physically restrained and involuntarily medicated over half of their patients at the Massachusetts Department of Correction’s Bridgewater State Hospital over six months.

+ In Tallahassee, the police have been getting trained at a place called Stronghold Solutions Defense Company by none other than MAGA-star Eddie “the Blade” Gallagher, the sadistic Navy SEAL sniper, whose multiple acts of cruelty and depravity revolting even members of his own, who turned him in. Of course, these were the very acts that appealed to Trump, who pardoned Gallagher of war crimes. One wonders how closely the newly trained Tallahassee cops will adhere to the Gallagher Method of ‘”killing anything that moved.”

August 19

+ Maybe the “crime wave” isn’t the fault of progressive prosecutors after all: “Research shows that on average, violent crime increases by over 5% on days hotter than 85 degrees compared to days below that threshold. Studies mapping violent crime and weather in L.A. and Chicago show violence reliably rising with the temperature.”

+ According to a study by two Georgia State University criminologists, police forces that require at least a two-year college degree for employment are less likely to employ officers who engage in actions that cause the deaths of Black and unarmed citizens.

+ It’s time to end probation and parole. That’s the conclusion of a new reportpublished by the American Society of Criminology, which concludes that the current punitive system of supervision, that keeps nearly 3.9 million Americans (about one in every 66 adults)  shackled under some sort of government oversight, has failed to reduce the rate of incarceration and recidivism.

+ There are still 73,000 people locked in federal prisons on non-violent drug crimes, but the Post wants Biden to pardon Trump, who isn’t (and isn’t likely to be) charged with anything…

+ A travel advisory for people thinking of visiting Portland…

+ A Florida appeals court just affirmed an order prohibiting a parentless 16-year-old from terminating her pregnancy, ruling that young woman failed to prove she is “mature” enough to get an abortion. But apparently mature enough to give birth and raise a child…

+ As Olayemi Olurin, a public defender in New York, disclosed in a column for News One, after a New York City corrections officer named Dion Middleton shot and killed a teen for spraying him with a toy water gun, the Department of Corrections claimed that his actions “in no way reflects the other corrections officers.” The problem is that Middleton was responsible for training the new officers.

+ In the 2021 Texas passed a law that says if anyone donates framed “In God We Trust” posters, school districts are required to display them in a “conspicuous place.”  The law was drafted by the same legislator who wrote the state’s anti-CRT law and was done at the behest of a conservative Christian outfit called Patriot Mobile, which has been donating the signs to Dallas-area schools.

+ The GOP’s recent messaging on the Justice Department, FBI and prosecutors is, to be charitable, mixed…


+ In San Francisco, the message is becoming clearer by the day. Brooke Jenkins, the new unelected District Attorney of San Francisco put into office by people who good liberals who share Rubio’s mentality, has within a few weeks of replacing reformist prosecutor Chesa Boudin fired or demoted every single attorney in the office who had investigated or prosecuted police officers.

+ Radley Balko: “We must let the rogue, corrupt ex-president steal classified documents and continue to undermine our democracy with impunity. Otherwise, he and his supporters who stormed the Capitol and think those who disagree with them should be executed might lose respect for the rule of law.”

+ Florida prisons have banned family members from wearing “Visits Matter” shirtsduring visits with their incarcerated loved ones, alleging that the offending shirts are “inflammatory” and pose a security risk.

+ Meanwhile, Whole Foods has fired workers in six states for wearing Black Lives Matter apparel. The workers and the NLRB argue that labor law protects their right to wear BLM apparel, but a Whole Foods lawyer defended the company’s action by claiming to the NLRB that “President Trump referred to BLM as a ‘symbol of hate’…”

+ A Louisiana woman named Nancy Davis says she’s being forced to either carry a fetus to term that is missing its skull and part of its head or travel to Florida for the closest legal abortion. “It’s hard knowing that I’m carrying it to bury it,” Davis said.

+ Move over, Obama, there’s a new Deporter-in-Chief in town: With more than a month left in the fiscal year, 2022 has already surpassed 2021’s record of nearly 1.7 million migrants arrested at the southern border, topping  1.82 million. At this rate, more than two million will have been arrested by the end of September.

August 26

+ A 2020 study in the Sociology of Race and Ethnicity journal found that homicides in predominantly Black neighborhoods received less coverage than those in predominantly White neighborhoods: “On average, Black victims received 2.8 news articles each, versus 3.8 news articles for White victims and 2.6 for Hispanic victims.”

+ Rayshard Brooks was sleeping in his car in a Wendy’s parking lot in Atlanta 2020. Some busy body called the police. They awakened Brooks, forced him to take a breathalyzer, handcuffed him, took him to the ground, and wrestled with him. When Brooks somehow got his hands on one of the cops’ tasers, by now discharged, they shot him in the back twice. The cops were initially charged with manslaughter. Now two years later a special prosecutor has dropped all the charges against the two cops who killed him, saying that the cops feared for their lives and that the events must be seen “through the eyes of the officer on the scene.”

+ Don’t worry, if these cops get fired Biden has already funded their replacements–and 100,000 more just like them.

+ By now, it should be clear to just about everyone that these are not rogue cops practicing rogue compliance techniques. They’ve been trained in this kind of brutality. Here’s how one police sergeant in North Carolina explained the practice of beating suspects into submission: “It’s like hitting that funny bone to make that muscle go numb, then that officer can pull that arm away from whatever it may be.”

+ Between August 1, 2021 and May 31, 2022 there were 193 incidents of gunfire in US schools, more than doubling the total of the previous year and rivaling any numbers recorded in nearly a decade.

+ A University of Chicago/AP poll finds more than 59 percent of respondents favor a ban on the sale of AR-15 rifles and similar semiautomatic weapons, and for making 21 the minimum age to buy a gun nationwide.

+ Despite the manufactured panic over a new crime wave, newly released figures show that since 1996 youth arrests are down 84 percent.

+ An Atlanta city judge named Terrine Gundy–who has gained a reputation for intentionally holding people in jail for days with even a first appearance hearing–has been reprimanded by the Georgia Supreme Court for “excessive tardiness,” showing up two hours late for 8 am sessions at least 50 times!

+ A Yale Law School study estimates that there are between 41,000 and 48,000 prisoners in the US kept in solitary confinement, under conditions that UN considers a form of torture.

+ Of the 11,000 federal prisoners released on home confinement under the CARES initiative only 17 were arrested for new crimes and most of those were drug related.

+ About 25% of the people in US prisons are locked up not because of new crimes but for technical violations of their probation or parole, usually from failing a urine test or missing a meeting with a parole officer.

September 2

+ We now have definitive proof that the broken-windows policing strategy, which is being reinstitute under Mayor Eric Adams, is a bust. Worse than a  bust. The massive increases in arrests for low-level crimes—of poverty, health, housing—have done opposite of reducing violent crime. Nine percent of the detainees at the city’s troubled Rikers Island jail complex are now there on misdemeanor charges.

+ A mentally-disturbed man named Michael Nieves locked up in Rikers slit his throat with a razor as guards and a captain watched for at least 10 minutes as the man bled before seeking medical help. Nieves was declared brain dead and taken off of life support on Tuesday. He died soon after. Nieves is the third person suspected of dying by suicide and the 13th person to die this year after being held on Rikers Island.

+ Houston’s bail reforms reduced jail time, crime and recidivism rates and also saved the community $100,000,000s every year by keeping people in their jobs, preserving people’s medical care, reducing unnecessary jailing costs, and keeping people and their children in their homes.

+ Twenty-year Donovan Lewis was in bed when police in Columbus, Ohio broke into his home to try to enforce an arrest warrant. Within a couple of seconds after they opened the door to his bedroom, police shot and killed him while he sat on the edge of his bed. Lewis was unarmed. The only object near him was a vape pen on the night table.

+ Mariame Kaba and Andrea J Ritchie, authors of the new book No More Police: A Case for Abolition, on how police have blamed the criminal justice reform movement for their own incompetence:

So after 2020, all they had to do was redouble their efforts. The cops are yelling in every local community about the fact that “defund happened and they are now suffering as a result”. We’ve had to endure constant articlesabout how cops’ morale is so low, and that’s why “crime is spiking”, because the cops feel bad and they don’t know what to do with themselves and now they can’t kneel on some man’s neck for nine minutes. If we say anything about the impunity with which they harm people, this is going to hurt their feelings. And hurt feelings equals massive crime! It sounds ridiculous if you actually think about it, but it is convincing to vast swaths of the country. What other profession do we say that because they have low morale, we have to suffer violence as a result?

+ Five years ago a San Diego cop named Mike Pina shot and killed an unarmed man named Jacob Dominguez, a 35-year-old father of three. From 10 feet away, Pina fired a police assault rifle at Dominguez’s head, hitting him in the jaw. Dominguez was holding his hands up when he was shot, just 20 seconds after being pulled over by the cops who wrongly suspected him of using a gun at a robbery. Instead of being charged or fired, Pina was promoted to sergeant. Dominguez’s family filed a civil action against the cop. During the trial, Pina said: “All day I’m thinking he’s armed, so I’m not letting him come up with a cell phone.” A jury just found him liable for the use of excessive force. He’s still a member of the San Diego Police Department.

+ A Pew survey finds that almost nine-in-ten Black adults say policing (87%), the courts and judicial process (86%), and the prison system (86%) require major changes or need to be completely restructured in order for Black people to be treated fairly.

+ There are now 18 state laws banning teenage trans girls from participating in K-12 sports. How many teenage trans girls are there currently participating in K-12 sports nationwide? Even one of the most vocal supporters of these discriminatory statutes can only point to 5.

+ This is the story of a young northern California girl and her pet goat, Cedar, who the girl had fed and nurtured and brushed and cared for since the goat was four months old. So proud was the girl of her chocolate-and-white haired goat friend that she entered Cedar in the Shasta County Fair, unaware that once she did so, people would begin eyeing Cedar for much different reasons. Indeed, once Cedar showed up at the fairgrounds the fair itself set in motion the process of auctioning the animal off for slaughter. Indeed, soon enough the fair announced the winning bid of $902 for Cedar’s flesh, made by the local State Senator. Like most rational beings who have raised animals, the young girl–she was only 9-years-old herself–was horrified at Cedar being killed, his body hacked apart for human consumption. She tearfully pleaded with her mother to save Cedar’s life and, like most good mother’s, the girl’s complied, taking Cedar from her holding pen at the fairgrounds and driving the goat to a farm in Sonoma County, far away from those who had lethal designs on the animal. The family offered to compensate the fair for the lost money. The state senator agreed to rescind his bid. But the fair’s livestock director would not be appeased. He threatened to file charges against the girl’s family (the girl herself was only 8 years old) for grand theft, grand theft goat. There must be blood! The fair officials contacted the Shasta County Sheriff, who soon dispatched two deputies to drive 500 miles on the taxpayer’s dime ($5.17 a gallon), across six counties lines to seize Cedar the pet goat from her sanctuary and haul him back to Shasta County, where he was promptly slaughtered, his meat sold off for $11 per pound. In the last year, the Shasta County Fair has made $2.3 million from auctioning farm animals and pets for butchering, probably one of the most profitable ventures in the entire county. Tears be damned.

September 9

+ Although it’s allegedly a cherished constitutional right, few people brought to trial on criminal charges in the US ever truly face a “jury of their peers.” Usually, they’re confronting a jury of the prosecution’s peers. For example, even though 45% of Americans oppose the death penalty under any circumstances, those people are automatically excluded from hearing death penalty cases. So the system is rigged to favor a pre-determined result. It is, of course, almost unheard of that a defendant (or the subject of an investigation) would face a judge of his peers– never mind a judge he has put on the bench and hand-picked to hear his case. But that is exactly the situation playing out in the Trump document theft case. There are multiple levels of impunity encoded into our justice system, where the master criminals, the ones who kill, rob and steal the most, those who exploit their positions in government or business for their  own enrichment, are forever shielded from popular justice, while the poor and the powerless remain at the mercy of a system that is designed to keep them in a state of perpetual obedience.

+ The real American exceptionalism, the systemic rot at the core of the Republic, has long been that the people who write, enforce and judge of the laws of the country are the least likely to be held accountable to them, especially when they achieve ranks of power where they’re required to take an oath to uphold them.

+ I’m all for strictly limiting the power of the state to search your house and seize your property, as long as it’s a right enjoyed by all of us. But when has a special master ever been convened in a drug asset seizure case, where police departments have sold off houses, jewelry, boats, and cars–even before people have been convicted of crimes? There is no right to an attorney in these proceedings, which often target low-income people who exist in a cash economy. The legal standard for confiscating your entire bank account is not “beyond a reasonable doubt”, but merely a “preponderance of the evidence.” This kind of “policing for profit” happens all the time up and down the criminal justice system, from local town cops to the federal Dept. of Justice itself, which prepared a memo in 1990 saying, “We must significantly increase forfeiture production to reach our budget target. Every effort must be made to increase forfeiture income.”

+ What did Marsha (aka, Sen. Mopsy) Blackburn say when the Louisville Police Department lied in a warrant application to raid Breonna Taylor’s apartment and shot her, no questions asked?

+ Few, if any, of us would be able to stop a federal espionage investigation in its tracks because of the potential “reputational harm” a search of our property might pose.

+ The judge in the case, Aileen Cannon, is only on the federal bench because 12 Democratic senators, hoping to earn anti-Cuba political cred, voted to confirm her, even though she was rated “unqualified” for the lifetime position by the American Bar Association.

+ According to the Washington Post, among the more than 300 classified files seized from Mar-a-Lago this year was a document describing a “foreign government’s military defenses”, including its “nuclear capabilities.” Israel is the only country whose “nuclear capabilities” are at all in question…do they have 90 or 400 nuclear weapons? As for the buyer, it could be the Saudis or, I guess, even the Israelis, seeking to buy back their own secrets. Jared Kushner did extract $2.5 billion from MBS’s sovereign wealth fund after sharing (according to MBS) US intel on his domestic opponents, many of whom were rounded up. Perhaps Trump thought he could shake them down for even more money…

+ Olbermann sounds like he would have personally flipped the switch on the Rosenbergs…(There shouldn’t be any “nuclear secrets,” whether they’re in the hands of the US governor or offered up as collateral on overdue loans at Mar-a-Lago.)

+ The right has no qualms about using the court they’ve put in place, forum-shopping their test cases in front of the judges they’ve appointed. And they shouldn’t. Laws are political artifacts, the judges who interpret them political actors. The notion that justice is blind, that laws are impartial, judges apolitical and sagacious arbiters of fairness are fairytales only the most naive can still cling to at their own peril, as if they’d been seduced by Thomas More’s airy speech to Roper (“I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake.”) in A Man for All Seasons without recalling how that turned out for him.

+ Whenever Trump goes apeshit over some politically-motivated intrusive action by the State, you can be assured that it’s something he tried–and invariably–failed to do himself. Consider the revelations from Geoffrey Berman’s new memoir, Holding the Line. Berman’s was Trump’s pick to head the US Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York, replacing Preet Bharara, who Trump had unceremoniously fired. Berman had volunteered for Trump’s campaign, but was unprepared for the demands that would be placed on him once he became the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan. Throughout my tenure as U.S. attorney,” Berman writes. “Trump’s Justice Department kept demanding that I use my office to aid them politically, and I kept declining — in ways just tactful enough to keep me from being fired.” Among those political enemies Trump pressured Berman to indict was John Kerry, for supposedly violating the Logan Act regarding his interactions with Iran.


+ That would indeed be a very Biden thing to do and the “fucknuts” liberals would probably support it, even though many of those “secrets” are classified in order to hide illegal conduct by the US government, often against US citizens….

+ In the past, I suspect most of Trump’s special masters have dressed in black leather and wielded a riding crop.

September 16

+ It takes 38 days of full-time work in the Indiana State Women’s prison to afford a bra…

+ Eric Adams called 25-year-old Rameek Smith a “dangerous criminal” and praised the cops who shot and killed him in May, saying they were defending their own lives. But new body cam footage shows that Smith never fired a gun and that he was shot in the back by the cops while he was running away.

+ After prison staff strip-searched him twice and then sent him to be examined by a doctor, a transgender man says he refused still another illegal genital examination. In response, prison guards threw him into solitary confinement.

+ Last July, a cop in Joliet, Illinois handcuffed Eric Lurry, a black man who was suffering from a drug overdose. The cop shoved a baton in his mouth, restricting his airway and called him called him a “bitch.” Lurry later died. When the cop’s brutal actions were exposed, the cop was suspended 6 days. But Javier Esqueda, the police Sergeant who revealed this abusive behavior, was expelled from the cop union. Now Esqueda faces 20 years prison for whistleblowing.

+ 5 million: the number of formerly incarcerated people living in the US. Their unemployment rate is 27 percent.

September 30

+ In 2020, per capita murder rates were 40% higher in states won by Donald Trump than those won by Joe Biden. 8 of the 10 states with the highest murder rates in 2020 voted for the Republican presidential nominee in every election this century.

+ During COVID, 11,000 federal prisoners were released early for home confinement. Only 17 of them reoffended, nearly all on drug charges. Only one committed a new violent crime (aggravated assault) , meaning the recidivism rate for violent crimes was 0.009%.

+ Ishtiaq Ahmed, a Pakistani-American taxi driver in Brooklyn, was enforcing social distancing rules at his mosque, when he told an NYPD officer she couldn’t enter. In response, she had him arrested for assault. CCTV footage showed there was no assault, but Ahmed’s taxi license was frozen until the case was dismissed. Now he’s suing, alleging that his arrest inside his own mosque was retaliatory.

+ In 2019, a Black man named Elijah McClain died after an  encounter with police in suburban Denver. An amended autopsy report publicly released last week disclosed that McClain died after he was injected with an overdose of ketamine (a powerful sedative) while being forcibly restrained by the cops.

+ Translation of Washington Post headline: Kidnapped girl escapes, runs toward the cops for help, who shoot and kill her thinking she’s attacking them.

+ A study published in the Quarterly Journal of Economics of the 2015-2016 Trump campaign used data on 35 million traffic stops and found the probability that a stopped driver is Black increases after one of his rallies.

+ Abortion in Arizona will now be governed under an 1864 law, first enacted by the state’s territorial legislature, which mandates a two- to five-year prison sentence for anyone who helps a woman obtain an abortion.

October 7

+ Like the end of the Afghan War, the pardoning people convicted of federal marijuana possession crimes is long overdue, but Biden did it and deserves credit for it, so far as it goes. Still as with all Biden proposals from the $2,000 check to Student Loan Forgiveness, you’ve got to read the fine print and here the welcome marijuana pardons seem a little less impressive. Biden will pardon 6,500 people convicted of federal pot possession, one of the largest mass pardons in history. But none of these people currently are jailed and there will be no pardons for the more than 2,700 people in federal prison for dealing pot. It might be nice to pardon some people who actually are IN PRISON, like those convicted for dealing a substance Biden says has been over- (if not wrongly) criminalized.

Trump actually pardoned a few people who were doing time. This measure won’t get anyone out of jail and won’t necessarily keep anyone from going to jail on federal pot charges in the future.

Moreover, there are thousands of people doing much more time than they should because a pot arrest was used as an enhancing factor in the “get tough” sentences Bill and Joe scripted into the Crime Bill. Free them too!

+ Will the Biden administration stop testing federal workers for THC (not just CBD)? Will it rehire the hundreds of federal employees fired for marijuana use, including dozens of workers fired after admitting to past marijuana use when applying for medical waivers?

+ Biden’s marijuana pardon policy even comes with a Stephen Miller codicil…

+ Another case of up in smoke, down in mirrors.

+ Biden’s pardon of people not actually serving time for marijuana busts will at least allow them to now apply for student loans–thus replacing the 6,500 or so student loans which will likely be the grand total ultimately “forgiven” by his plan once he’s finished slashing it to fend off GOP lawsuits. Banks and loan companies will support it!

+ Has Larry Summers come out against Biden’s marijuana pardons as inflationary yet?

+ Meanwhile, in Oklahoma prosecutors are charging pregnant women who use medical marijuana with felony child neglect.

+ This is not such a bad platform, if they’d just stick to it! (Thanks Laura!)

+ Update on the Crime Wave: According to FBI crime estimates released today, “violent crime” decreased 1% in 2021 and “property crime” decreased 3.8%.

+ It’s a good thing that the murder rate has dropped, because police are getting worse at solving murder cases. In 2020, the clearance rate hit an all-time low of nearly 50 percent.

+ Alabama is set to execute Kenneth Smith on November 17, despite the fact that his jury voted 11-1 in favor of a life sentence.

+ An investigation by the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal and ProPublica has found that nearly two-thirds of Mississippi’s county-level justice courts prevent access to some or all search warrants and related documents. So do municipal courts in at least five of the state’s 10 largest cities, including Jackson, the capital.

+ A Baltimore Police officer named Eric Banks entered an Alford plea (essentially agreeing that there is enough evidence for a conviction without admitted guilt) to second-degree murder for the death of his 15-year-old stepson Dasan Jones. Jones’ body was found stuffed into a crawl space.

+ According to a study by the Marshall Project, more than $26 billion in Covid relief funds allocated to the states went to the police or jails, dwarfing the amount spent on health and infrastructure. In Illinois, for example, thousands were spent on buying new riot control gear…

October 21

+ The federal prison population under Biden is experiencing a growth spurt, climbing to new highs…(This is what happens when the only mass pardons you issue are for people who aren’t serving time (This is what happens when the only mass pardons you issue are for people who aren’t serving time and continue to aggressively enforce punitive laws for victimless crimes.)

+ In 1980 a Massachusetts man named  Frederick Weichel was convicted of murder, based almost solely on eyewitness testimony that was fabricated by police, while the same Boston and Braintree cops covered up exculpatory evidence that would have proved his innocent. More than 30 years after his conviction, a detective’s report written days after the murder was discovered, which identified another man as the suspect depicted in an eyewitness sketch. This man was a convicted murderer who had been released from prison on furlough hours earlier. In 2017, Weichel’s first-degree murder conviction was overturned and he was released from prison. In 2018, he filed a lawsuit under the Massachusetts erroneous conviction statute, which allows the wrongfully convicted to sue for compensation. This week a  Massachusetts jury ruled in his favor, awarded $33 million to Weichel for his wrongful conviction, one of the highest in US history.

+ Deputies in Tarrant, Texas pepper-sprayed Robert Miller, a black inmate in the local jail, until he gasped: “I can’t breathe.” Miller passed out, his vital signs in distress. He was taken to a local hospital, where he was soon pronounced dead. The local coroner ruled that his death was the result of natural causes, claiming he suffered a “sickle cell crisis.” But Miller didn’t have sickle cell anemia. The Texas Rangers conducted a superficial investigation that didn’t probe very deeply. Then an investigation by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram unraveled the real circumstances of Miller’s death at the hands of the deputies and the multi-layered cover-up that followed…

+ Despite cries of how police departments have been “defunded,” an investigation by ABC News of 109 police budgets from communities across the country shows that only eight agencies cut police funds by more than 2% and 91 agencies increased law enforcement funding by at least 2%. In 49 cities or counties, police funding has increased by more than 10%. In Los Angeles, renegade LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva has made a habit of harping that Angelinos are at risk because of police budget cuts, even though his agency’s budget has increased by $250 million!

+ Last Friday, a Portland cop shot a homeless man named Jeremy Reick. The Portland Police Bureau refused to release the officer’s name. This is the third shooting this year where Portland police have refused to make public the officer’s name, a violation of city policy. This time they didn’t even provide an excuse…

+ Harry Seeders, a Louisville cop, was arrested for sending topless pictures of a former girlfriend to group chat in a case of revenge porn. This happened while he was the subject of a separate criminal proceeding in domestic violence case, where he is alleged to have hit a woman in the mouth and choked her for 30 seconds–a case that was opened while he was on leave for shooting and killing a man during a traffic stop…

+ Officers at a Florida prison broke Craig Ridley’s neck, then manhandled, mocked and ignored him as he lay in a cell unable to move or reach his meals, begging for help. “You ain’t paralyzed,” one officer told him. Ridley died of his injuries.

+ Since 2014,  law enforcement officers have routinely seized more property from American citizens than burglars. Last year police agencies across the US  deposited more than $5 billion into their respective asset forfeiture funds. That same year, according to FBI reports, loses to burglary losses only hit $3.5 billion.

+ Every time you think Ye has hit bottom, he bores closer to the center of the Earth…(Maybe he’ll eventually discover the bones of Arne Saknussemm. Cf, Jules Verne.) Here Ye is slandering George Floyd: “They hit him with the fentanyl. If you look, the guy’s knee (Derek Chauvin’s) wasn’t even on his neck like that.”

+ Ye’s new pal Candace Owen, the rightwing provocateur, said this week that “being a straight white male these days…is exactly like being a black American during segregation.” Back on Planet Earth, the wealth gap between white males and black men is just where it was during segregation: The median wealth of single white men under the age of 35 ($22,640) is 14.6 times greater than that of single Black men ($1,550).

+ Of course, Ye and Owen aren’t that far removed from Tulsi Gabbard who left the Democratic Party in a huff, claiming that the party is “driven by cowardly wokeness, who divide us by racializing every issue, and stoking anti-white racism…[They] actively work to undermine our God-given freedoms enshrined in the constitution, and are hostile to people of faith. They demonize the police, protect criminals at the expense of law-abiding Americans. They believe in open borders, and weaponize the National Security State to go after political opponents.” There are many reasons to abandon the Democratic Party, it’s “anti-white racism” isn’t one of them. I always said that a key thing to remember about Gabbard (aside from being in a religious cult) was that she was a military cop and had the mentality of a cop, even when she wasn’t dressing up as one.

+ It’s amazing to me that American blacks–who control less than 3 percent of the wealth of the country–can–according to Gabbard–exert total dominance over the largest political party in the country. And I was silly enough to think the Democrats catered to Goldman Sachs, Monsanto and Lockheed.

November 4

+ Corrections in Ink, Marshall Fund reporter Keri Blakinger’s riveting memoir of her own jail term, has been banned in Florida prisons.

+ The LA Sheriff’s office spends 90 percent of its budget on traffic stops. And who are they stopping? Mainly black drivers, who are pulled over 5 times more frequently than white drivers.

+ Prosecutors have nearly $1 billion more at their disposal than defense attorneys. It’s not a level playing field.

+ In 2020, over howls of protests from prosecutors, Honolulu opened the cell doors of its jails, releasing many inmates. A year later, crime rates fell to their lowest level since 1975.

+ Bite mark analysis is a form of junk science that has been deployed by prosecutors across the country to wrongly convict hundreds of people. But bite mark analysts often can’t even agree on what bite marks actually depict. In one 2015 study, 39 experts were asked to examine 100 case photos. The experts were asked to answer basic questions, such as: “whether a bite mark was human or not, and whether there was enough evidence in the photo to determine what (human or animal) or who (which person) made the bite. In only 8% of the cases did the experts agree at a high rate (90%). In other words, for almost every case photo given, experts couldn’t even agree on the basic facts: was the photo of a human bite mark, and did it have enough information to be useful.”

+ In 2000, former L.A. DA Gil Garcetti denied Maurice Hastings’ request for DNA testing in his 1983 murder conviction, as a result this innocent man spent an extra 22 years in prison before he was finally exonerated…

+ Four of the Uvalde victims were still alive when cops finally entered the classroom. Eva Mireles, the teacher who called her husband after being shot, died in an ambulance in the Robb Elementary parking lot. One child died in Hondo on the way to a San Antonio hospital and two children died at Uvalde Memorial Hospital. Ambulances were at the scene five minutes after the shooting was reported. Would they have survived if the police hadn’t cowered in the hallway for an hour as the gunman continued his heinous slaughter?

+ In San Diego, police are raiding homes using redacted search warrants, which kind of defeats the point, constitutionally speaking.

+ 4.6 million: the number of US citizens prohibited from voting because of felony convictions.

+ In the last week before the midterms, this is the kind of crap running on TVs in Georgia and other states…

+ Is Tiger Woods the new “Willie Horton”…?

+ Nearly two years into the Biden administration, more than 0ne-third of the people housed in adult cells in migrant prisons in the US are children.

+ There were at least 64 suicide attempts by young people at the Ware Youth Center in 2019 and 2020, a higher rate than in any other juvenile prison in Louisiana, a state notorious for its harsh treatment of jailed children.

November 11

+ In Pennsylvania, there are 1,100 people serving life terms under the state’s felony murder law, where a person can face a mandatory life sentence without parole when involved in a crime that led to a death, even if they didn’t pull a trigger or mean to kill. Nearly 70 percent of the people serving such sentences are black, in a state where black people make up only 12% of the population.

+ Police activity logs show that San Francisco Police Department engaged in a deliberate work slowdown under reformist District Attorney Chesa Boudin, which was almost immediately reversed after Boudin was recalled and Brooke Jenkins took office.

+ The increase of police in NYC’s subway has failed to reduce crime, but has led to more arrests for low-level violations, particularly of people of color. This result was not only predictable, but the point.

+ Jody Greene was reelected as sheriff in Columbus County, North Carolina two weeks after resigning following the release of leaked audio where he called his own deputies “black bastards.”

+ It appears that Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post offered two crime victims cover stories if they would say they were Democrats now voting from Republican Lee Zeldin.

+ Sister Helen Prejean: “Tough on crime” policies are not effective. If locking up as many people as possible was the solution, then the United States would be the safest place in the world. Prevention, accountability, and rehabilitation bring safety where retribution and extreme punishment have failed.”

+ In Rochester, New York cops pepper-sprayed a 9-year-old girl in the eyes because she wouldn’t get into a squad car. As the girl cried, “Please don’t do this to me,” the police officer  snapped: “You did it to yourself, hon.”

+ In 1994, two brothers were convicted of rape in Leeds, Alabama (near Birmingham) and sentenced to 20 years in prison, even though there was no physical evidence tying either of them to the crime. The brothers, Frank Meadows and Quentin Cook, served out their entire term, contending all along they were innocent. Thirty years later, a long-buried police report, which was never entered at trial or turned over to the police, surfaced, confirming the protestations. The hair samples in the report didn’t match either Meadows or Cook. The two brothers, both black, were officially exonerated this week.

+ Nevertheless, Speaker-of-the-House-in-Waiting Kevin McCarthy wants to take the drug war nuclear with a “frontal attack on China”…

+ Not to be outdone, Trump, who claimed the average drug dealer kills at least 500 Americans over the course of his career, called for the death penalty for drug dealers and human traffickers in two hour trials, culminating in the executioner’s bullet being sent to the families.

November 18

+ An 18-month Senate investigation found that migrant women detained at the Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia endured excessive, unnecessary gynecological procedures, often without consent. According to the report, immigrants at the Irwin County center were subjected to unnecessary transvaginal ultrasounds, contraceptive injections, and dilation and curettage procedures (ie., D&C abortions.) The doctor at the center of the Irwin County allegations accounted for 6.5% of OB-GYN visits among ICE detainees nationwide during a three-year period, but performed more than 90% of the contraceptive injections and more than 82% of the dilation and curettage procedures, which remove uterine lining.

+ ICE learned about the systematic medical abuse of migrant women detained at the Irwin County Detention Center as far back as 2018. Yet they refused to take any action. Instead, they began to cover evidence of the abuses and in the fall of 2020 began deporting survivors and witnesses. The Senate investigation confirmed earlier reporting by Project South.

+ A Trump-appointed federal judge named Patrick Wyrick ruled that a federal law barring individuals from acquiring a firearm while under federal indictment violates the Second Amendment. His “originalist” ruling argues that 10 historical laws aren’t enough contest and that even a tradition dating back to 1835 is too late to get at the original meaning of the 2nd Amendment.

+ Texas has now spent “a little over $26 million” to bus around 13,000 migrants to cities run by Democratic mayors in other states. That includes security, food, water, blankets. This works out to around $2166 per migrant to bus them to DC, NYC, or Chicago. At that price, Texas could have bought each person multiple first-class plane tickets.

+ Texas State Motto: “The Land of Gun Care and Health Control.”

+ There were two dreadful executions this week. The State of Arizona put to death 76-year-old Murray Hooper even though his case was riddled with allegations of official misconduct, starting with the fact that the investigation was largely overseen by Chicago police associated with Jon Burge, the CPD commander who was notorious for torturing confessions out of suspects. In the 40 years since he was sentenced to death for his alleged role in a contract killing, Hooper never wavered in proclaiming his innocence, even when to do so may have spared him from being executed. The case against him relied almost exclusively on witness testimony, notoriously unreliable, especially when the defendants are black men. In Hooper’s case, the cops seem to have rigged the identification, with a Chicago detective patting Hooper on the shoulder during the lineup. No physical evidence connected Hooper to the crime and his appellate lawyers were able to show that exculpatory evidence was withheld during his trial. None of this swayed the governor of Arizona or the clemency board. Reporter Liliana Segura broke the news of Hooper’s execution, writing: “Murray Hooper has been executed. They cut into his femoral artery to carry out the lethal injection. Thinking of him, the witnesses & prison staff who joked with him on the day I visited. Hooper said they didn’t want him to be killed even if they couldn’t say it. I believe him.”

+ Lucy Steigerwald: “The death penalty is the easiest problem to fix. New methods of justice might take time, rethinking punishment is daunting, but you could so easily just not kill people. Just stop legally scheduling a murder and carrying it out. Easy.”

+ Trump doubling down this week on his death to drug dealers campaign plank…

+ Sackler Family take note…

December 2

+ Through the end of November, police have killed at least 1,054 people this year–a higher rate of police killings than any year on record in the United States.

+ Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler whining about how Multnomah County won’t help his rounding up of Portland’s houseless population and confining them in concentration camps patrolled by the National Guard…”The main problem is nobody one wants to be in the mud with us. We’re in the mud. We deal in blood, we deal in mud, we deal… in human feces…We haven’t agreed who cleans up the mess,. Who is responsible for the manifestations of this humanitarian catastrophes on our streets?” The mayor (and his developer/real estate backers) are largely responsible…

+ San Francisco police clarified that its killer robot initiative would not arm robots with guns. Instead, they would be equipped with explosives. This is supposed to make us feel safer?

+ On Monday, ICE “accidentally” posted the names, birthdates, nationalities and locations of more than 6,000 immigrants who claimed to be fleeing torture and persecution to its website Monday. ICE only took down the info after it was up for more than 5 hours.

+ An NYC Corrections officer said the quiet part out loud this week when he testified that drugs and other contraband found on Rikers Island “usually” come in through corrupt officers and staff.

In Valley, Alabama police arrested an 82-year-old woman for failure to pay for trash service. The police chief issued a press release defending the arrest.

The woman, who was handcuffed and jailed, owed $77.80.

+ At a press conference with new right-wing school board chairman in Brevard County, Florida to call for more severe discipline of students, a Sheriff Wayne Ivey decried the fact that school children no longer fear having “the cheeks of their ass torn off.” But beware those “groomers!”

+ Three staffers in a Texas school have been accused of locking a boy student in a room and making him eat his own feces. None of them taught a single CRT lesson, so they should be fine…

+ According to a survey conducted by the Marshall Project, at least one-tenth of U.S. sheriffs say they’re willing to place themselves between a higher government authority and their constituents, or “interpose.” The term has a long, fraught history largely tied to Southerners fighting against desegregation.

+ According to a new study by the Federal Criminal Justice clinic, more than one-quarter of 94 federal district courts across the country do afford every arrestee the right to a lawyer at their initial appearance. In these courts, federal judges have locked up poor people deprived of lawyers 100% of the time; 92% them were people of color.

+ Last December a Pennsylvania inmate named Jamal Crummel was hospitalized for hypothermia from the frigid conditions in Dauphin County Prison. After he recovered in January, Crummel was returned to  the same cell block where he became hypothermic again a week later and died.

+ Texas’ highest criminal court has slammed the door on more than 450 of migrants swept up in the state’s “arrest-and-jail” border security crackdown, who tried to have their border-area trespassing charges thrown out by Austin judges.

+ So far this year, 14 people detained by the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office have died in the county jail. Four people died in November alone, the deadliest month to date–more than the total number of deaths for all of last year.

+ You have the “right” to carry a gun anywhere in Texas, but it gives the cops a justification for you shooting you on sight

+ Back in 2007, the FBI, then under the helm of liberal icon Robert Mueller, set about to define (and then pursue) “extremism” in America. It came up with three varieties: rightwing extremists, special interest extremists (environmentalists) and leftwing extremist (those who “espouse some form of communism or socialism”).

December 29

+ Location of mass shootings between December 17 and December 26: Georgia, Oklahoma, Florida, Kansas and Mississippi.

+  Across the country, criminal defendants are gettin sentenced to additional prison time for crimes that juries found they didn’t commit. For example, a jury convicted Dayonta McClinton of robbing a CVS drug store, but acquitted him of murder. But the judge in the case gave McClinton an extra 13 years in prison for the killing anyway.

+ Last week cops raided the hospital room of a terminally-ill Kansas man because he used a THC vape and paste to ease the symptoms of the cancer that will kill him within weeks. This country seems to run on equal parts greed and cruelty.

+ Cockburn and I wrote a piece on Al Gore coming out against medical marijuana, even as his own sister Nancy was using it to ease the pain from her terminal cancer…

+ 1124: the number of people killed by police in 2022.

While They Shoot, Shoot, Shoot….


Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch. His most recent book is An Orgy of Thieves: Neoliberalism and Its Discontents (with Alexander Cockburn). He can be reached at: or on Twitter @JeffreyStClair3