Police Officers

Donald Trump, The Authoritarian Who Loves Human Rights Violators, And Promotes The Same In America!

Donald Trump clearly is an authoritarian personality, and that should be alarming to everyone.

He is a fan of human rights violators, as in Russia, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the Philippines, among others.

He talks law and order all the time, while violating law and order on a regular basis.

He is said to have been joking about how police officers should mistreat criminal suspects, forgetting that we have a Bill of Rights and a Constitution that has lasted 228 years.

He advocated violence against demonstrators at his rallies during the 2016 Presidential campaign, and his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, is advocating a tough law and order approach that threatens civil liberties of all of us.

We have a system of separation of powers, and checks and balances, but Donald Trump would love to tip the balance and make himself a dictator, if only he could get away with it.

That is precisely why he must be fully investigated for his actions during the 2016 campaign and while in the Oval Office since January 20, as he presents a menace to our basic freedoms, even more than Richard Nixon in the 1970s.

Can General John Kelly, New White House Chief Of Staff, Reign In Donald Trump? Unlikely!

Wow, what a week!

First, we have Anthony Scaramucci come in as White House Communications Director and then go on a profanity laced tirade, which reminds us so much of Donald Trump, almost like a mini Trump.

No one at the White House had any issue with this misbehavior, including Kelly Anne Conway, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and the President, who was reported to be very happy with his attack on Reince Priebus and Steve Bannon.

Soon, Reince Priebus, the White House Chief of Staff, is fired, a week after the firing of Sean Spicer, the White House Press Secretary, eliminating the two major connections to the Republican Establishment and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.

Meanwhile, the attack on Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Twitter by President Trump continues, and Sessions just shrugs it off, and only says it is “hurtful”.

The President makes a fool of himself and embarrasses the Boy Scout Jamboree with his political comments, and then tells police officers to be brutal with suspects, a violation of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.

Then, Trump appoints General John Kelly, the Secretary of Homeland Security, to be his new White House Chief of Staff, and yesterday, his first day on the job, Kelly fired Scaramucci after only ten days in office, and not yet on the payroll!

The chaos and anarchy is continuing, and one had to wonder whether Kelly can reign in Donald Trump, and his behavior, including his abuse of Twitter.

If Kelly cannot do it, then no one can, clear and simple!

The Trump Presidency has reached a new low, and the calendar schedule for his ultimate downfall has been hastened by what, arguably, has been his worst week in office, although every week has been horrendous!

The Growing Militarization And Right Wing Nature Of The Nation’s Law Enforcement Network A Danger To Democracy In America!

There is growing evidence of the militarization and right wing nature of the nation’s law enforcement network, a true danger to democracy!

We see more police officers breaking the law in the handling of suspects and the general public, including easy willingness to shoot and kill, rather than less aggressive tactics, particularly with African American and Latino young men.

We see law enforcement being uncovered as secret members of the Ku Klux Klan and other domestic terrorist and right wing militia groups, and preaching racism and hatred in many forms.

We see hints, strong hints, that members of the Secret Service are, in some cases, unfit for duty, as they harbor deep resentment against our first African American President, Barack Obama, and his family, and being less than zealous in their handling of his security, in a way not seen to such an extent for earlier Presidents.

The feeling is growing, that the American public can no longer feel relaxed with their local police, as there are many signs of aggressiveness, abusive language, and the wielding of power by law enforcement who have too much military style hardware and weapons, as in Ferguson, Missouri, way more than is needed in almost all situations.

The concept that the law enforcement authorities are out to protect us has become one of rather of some of them lacking proper training in sociology and psychology, and getting a power and ego trip by their ability to threaten us or mistreat us with impunity.

This is a feeling that some would say reminds historians of the concept of storm troopers and secret police in Fascist, Nazi, and Communist dictatorships, far from the concept of equal justice and fairness that is the benchmark of the American legal and judicial system over the history of our nation, and a warning sign for the future, to be alert and aware of possible abuses!

What Has Happened To The Image Of The Police We Used To Have As Children And Young Adults?

This author and blogger grew up totally respectful of police officers, admiring them for their courage and willingness to serve the citizenry.  It was never thought that we needed to be fearful of police officers.

But that has changed dramatically in recent years, and particularly in the past few months, as we have seen numerous cases of police officers all over the nation abusing their power and position, and too quick to shoot to kill many unarmed people, many of them African American or Hispanic, but also those who are disabled, and some victims who are also whites.

These abusive police have been quick to use their tasers and their firearms in an aggressive manner, when in so many of these cases, it has been totally unnecessary to do so.  They have lost the concern for life of their victims, and instead of, if needed, shooting to wound, they have gone for the chest and the head, in so many situations all over the country!

In Ferguson, Missouri, the perpetrator of the death of Michael Brown, a police officer named Darren Wilson has not faced any charges, or detention, while a grand jury takes forever to move forward, and one cannot be sure that they will even indict  Wilson at all. A grand jury in Ohio refused to indict a police officer who killed a young black man in Walmart, who had picked up a toy gun and was shot for holding it, while Ohio allows unlimited display of firearms in any public place, but obviously really only for white citizens!

A police officer in South Carolina opened up fire on a driver who went into his car to get his drivers license, and wounded him over an issue of not wearing seat belts!  All cases lately have been white officers against black men, many of them young black men!

This situation is out of control, and makes one feel as if our police officers are, in too many cases, abusing their positions, and acting as if they are Nazi Gestapo or a Secret Police force, while Omar J. Gonzalez, when he scaled the White House fence and ran to the North Portico and was able to gain entrance to the building without being stopped before that occurred, and carrying a pocket knife, was not even shot at by the Secret Service, when such an action deserved a shoot to kill order in that circumstance!

Of course, the multitude of police officers do their job well, but the renegades are undermining the whole concept of law enforcement, and there needs, desperately, for better training of police, and the drumming out of those who are ill qualified by temperament and their performance record to keep their positions as police officers!

The Tragedy Of Detroit: A Sign Of The Future?

Detroit, the “Motor City”, the fourth largest city in population (1.8 million) in 1950, has declared bankruptcy, and has shrunk to 700,000 population in 2010.

This city, which was the center of industrial expansion, success, and prosperity in the first two thirds of the 20th century, is the largest entity in America ever to declare bankruptcy!

At least $18 billion in debt, the impact of this bankruptcy will likely cause further decline of the once great city, which is now a total disaster in relation to housing abandonment, crime, destruction of education, and the total deterioration of the quality of life for those who remain.

And the idea that those who have devoted their lives to working for the city–as cops, firefighters, teachers, social workers and others–will now be likely to lose their pensions in their old age, is totally unconscionable, totally immoral! Why would anyone ever wish to work another day for a government that will not keep the legal agreements to its employees who devote their lives to service, often at much lower rates than workers in the private sector?

If this can happen in Detroit, is that a warning sign that other cities, and state governments, could also cancel all obligations to their workers, and leave them impoverished in their old age?

Are governments now to become no different than corporations who too often cheat their workers out of a hard earned pension, while the elite at the top continue to enrich themselves in a greedy manner?

If this becomes a trend, it will not be surprising if we see people unwilling to work for government at all levels, and that will lead to chaos and anarchy, as we cannot allow all government workers, or any of them, to be so totally mistreated and disregarded as if they are willing “slaves” who can be kicked around as no better than garbage!

Two Important Supreme Court Anniversaries On June 13: Miranda Decision And Nomination Of Thurgood Marshall

On this day, 47 years ago, the Supreme Court made one of its most important decisions in modern times, in the case Miranda V. Arizona, declaring that anyone stopped and questioned as a suspect by police officers must be read his basic rights before any questions are asked. While law enforcement was furious about this at the time, it has become one of the most important expansions of civil liberties in modern times, although one wonders if the Roberts Court would favor it, if a case came up to reverse it, as the Warren Court was a special, unique period in Supreme Court history.

Also, a year later on this day, President Lyndon B. Johnson nominated the first African American Supreme Court Justice, Solicitor General Thurgood Marshall, who went on to a distinguished 24 year career on the Supreme Court as one of its leading liberals. Sadly, he was replaced by Clarence Thomas, who is the direct opposite of everything Marshall believed in, with the only common theme being that Thomas is the only other African American ever to serve on the Supreme Court.

These two events transformed the Court in major ways, and this is an occasion to celebrate both events, as we await major decisions facing the Court in the next two weeks!

The True Heroes Of Natural And Man Made Disasters: Teachers, Nurses, Paramedics, Police Officers, Firefighters!

Again, with the Oklahoma and Boston Marathon tragedies, as so many others, it is PUBLIC servants–teachers, nurses, paramedics, police officers, firefighters–who are the true heroes, doing beyond the call of duty to rescue and save lives!

But yet, these public servants are constantly pilloried and condemned, if they demand a living wage and decent benefits, as appreciation for their services, while people in the world of business make outrageous salaries and perks on Wall Street, and think that they deserve what they get, despite having messed up the economy, causing the Great Recession of 2008, as they have in every recession since the Great Depression!

We are told to worship Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan Chase, and other bank CEO’s who, by all justification, should be in prison for their actions!

We allow the Koch Brothers and the Walmart heirs to run rampant without any consideration of how they exploit their work force, and these are just examples, not the only ones.

We have Apple and Walmart and Target and numerous other companies which exploit foreign workers, and do not give a damn about safety or a decent living wage for these poor women and men who died in the disaster recently in Bangladesh!

It is time to hold these corporate leaders and companies accountable, and stop complaining about public servants who deserve respect and dignity and better pay for their sacrifices and dedication to the people they serve!

Educators Should NOT Be Responsible For Security, Or To Carry Guns!

As an educator, it is clear to this author that it is totally insane to expect or suggest that educators, whether teachers or administrators, should have as part of their responsibility, to carry guns, and be ready to use them against someone who is violent in a school situation!

Educators are not paid enough, and are mistreated and disrespected enough as it is, and particularly in Republican controlled states, and now they should become security guards as well?

Many educators would object to the concept that students would be aware that they have deadly weapons on their person or nearby, as that is NOT the proper educational environment, whether elementary school, middle school, high school or a college or university!

Education is designed to reach reason, humanity, thoughtfulness, consideration of the value of human life, It is not designed to act as police officers or military personnel. And many teachers and administrators might over react in a crisis, and lead to the death of more people as a result, including themselves!

Under no circumstances would I ever consider learning about guns, as I have no desire to do so, and no educator should be expected to do so!

Hire uniformed police officers, full time, and military veterans as well, as long as they have been fully investigated as to whether they might have psychological problems, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from combat!

The job of educators is to educate, not be a crime fighting force!

So Texas Congressman, Republican Louie Gohmert, himself a certifiable whacko lunatic, should be totally dismissed as reckless and dangerous, with his ridiculous suggestion of the arming of educators!

The Unsung Public Employees Prove Themselves Again: Time To Stop Trashing Them!

The massive human and property tragedy of Hurricane Sandy has proved once again how much we depend upon, and yet overlook, the sacrifices of public employees.

When one sees the sacrifices, hard work, and dedication of New York fire fighters, police officers, nurses, paramedics and others, who are working non stop in the crisis presented by the hurricane, it reminds us of September 11.

And this is multiplied by the similar sacrifices of public employees all over the Northeast, not just New York City.

And yet, we have politicians, particularly Republicans, who love to trash and dismiss the importance of public employees, and do not wish to pay them properly and give them appropriate benefits, as with the “Bully” governors, including Chris Christie of New Jersey, Scott Walker of Wisconsin, John Kasich of Ohio, and others of their ilk!

These unsung public employees deserve our respect and thanks, and politicians who use them as a whipping boy need to be repudiated, including Mitt Romney, who has no regard for workers in general, and public employees in particular!

Those Against “Reasonable” Gun Control Laws Are Promoting Anarchy And Lawlessness, Undermining Police And Law Enforcement Agencies!

With the horrific events in Aurora, Colorado, on Friday, the Movie Multiplex Massacre conducted by James Holmes, we are seeing conservatives, Republicans, and the National Rifle Association ready to fight to prevent even “reasonable” gun control laws.

Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson, elected with the help of the Tea Party in 2010 over the great progressive Russ Feingold, came out swinging against any gun control legislation, using the same crazy viewpoint of Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert that if others in the audience had possessed guns, they could have stopped the gunman, fully misunderstanding that several people using guns would have likely led to far greater casualties, as no one would know who was the perpetrator, and who was trying to stop him!

Johnson, on Fox News Channel, saying this ridiculous comment, was contradicted by Senator Diane Feinstein of California, who knows the horrors of guns, witnessing the assassination of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk in 1978.

As Feinstein asserted, there is ABSOLUTELY no reason for ANYONE other than the military and police forces to have access to assault rifles, and magazines of large numbers of ammunition. Handguns and hunting rifles for specific purposes, after a total background check are reasonable, but not AK 47s or other types of rapidly firing machine guns that can kill large numbers of people, as this massacre was conducted two days ago.

This is a struggle that needs to be fought against the unreasonableness of the National Rifle Association, and those Republicans, and even Democrats, who seem to have the belief that we are fighting the Indians on the frontier, or are fighting the Crusades in the Middle East in the medieval period.

A civilized society MUST put controls on guns that are unnecessary, and that only crazy people would wish to possess, as what is the purpose of having assault weapons, except to kill large numbers of people? It is not like a handgun to protect oneself, or a hunting rifle to go hunting for deer, or whatever!

Sanity must be demonstrated, and requires courage by Barack Obama and Mitt Romney and those who understand that if nothing is done, the massacre in Colorado will be repeated with much higher numbers of casualties, far surpassing the all time record of 70 victims which occurred two days ago!

Also ask law enforcement agencies, and one will find that the police see themselves as the front line of possible victims, as even with their own defenses, the widespread ownership of assault weapons endangers their lives, even more than the average civilian!