Lazy Caturday ReadsPosted: December 4, 2021
I’m getting a late start today. The news this week has been so awful; I feel really exhausted and drained of energy.
Using the computer has gotten more difficult for me as I’ve gotten older. I can’t believe I just turned 74. Reading on the computer really bothers my eyes now; fortunately I have a tablet with a large screen as well as a Kindle. I can still read things with those and my phone. I use computer glasses and have turned down the brightness on my laptop, but I still can’t stay on the computer for more than a couple of hours without getting eyestrain and a headache. That’s why I don’t comment as much as I used to.
I still love writing these posts. It helps me to deal with all the bad news by trying to organize it a bit in my mind. It also helps to be able to share the frustration with you guys. We have gone through so much together since 2008. It’s hard to believe all that has happened. Things are still really awful in our politics, but we have to hang in there and keep hope alive. What other choice do we have?
In Today’s News
Today is the anniversary of the murders of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark by the Chicago Police in 1969. The murders were part of J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI COINTELPRO program, which infiltrated and undermined social justice groups–civil rights, feminists, anti-war, you name it. Hampton and Clark were members of the Black Panther Party. This is from the Equal Justice Initiative calendar for December 4: Chicago Police Assassinate Black Panther Party Leaders Fred Hampton and Mark Clark in Pre-Dawn Raid.
Around 4:30 am on December 4, 1969, plainclothes officers from the Chicago Police Department armed with shotguns and machine guns kicked down the door of the Chicago apartment where several Black Panther Party members were staying and opened fire on them. Though the Party members were asleep at the time and posed no threat, the officers fired over 90 bullets into the apartment, killing Fred Hampton, 21, and Mark Clark, 22—two leaders of the Black Panther Party—and critically wounding four other Party members. Mr. Hampton had been asleep next to his fiancé, who was eight-months-pregnant when he was killed.
Following Mr. Hampton and Mr. Clark’s assassinations on December 4, seven Panthers at the apartment that night, who had allegedly wounded two officers, were charged with attempted murder. In a statement released after the shooting, Edward Hanrahan, the Cook County state’s attorney who had ordered the violent raid, said: “The immediate, violent, criminal reaction of the occupants in shooting at announced police officers emphasizes the extreme viciousness of the Black Panther Party.”
Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale formed the Black Panther Party for Self Defense in Oakland, California, in 1966. Spurning civil rights tactics of marches, sit-ins, and boycotts, the Black Panther Party was inspired by the self-determination philosophy of Malcolm X and the “Black Power” speeches of Kwame Ture (born Stokely Carmichael). The Party founded youth centers and free breakfast programs, organized legally-armed patrols to guard against police brutality in Black neighborhoods, and became popular among Black urban youth as chapters spread throughout the country. In the 1968-69 school year, the Black Panther Party fed as many as 20,000 children.
Despite their goals of community empowerment and self-help, the Party was condemned by President Lyndon B. Johnson and other national leaders. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover called the group “the most dangerous threat to the internal security of the country” in the late 1960s. The FBI also launched an aggressive counter-intelligence program aimed at dismantling the Black Panther Party through misinformation, infiltration, and by facilitating violent attacks against the group.
Just four days after the Chicago shooting, on December 8, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) violently raided the Black Panther Party’s headquarters in Los Angeles, California. In 1968, as urban riots were spreading across the country in response to police brutality, the Southern California Chapter of the Black Panther Party formed to help combat the growing threat. The Party established monitoring patrols in Black neighborhoods and worked to ensure police accountability.
Read more at the link. If you would like to know more about the Black Panther Party and their work, I highly recommend Bobby Seale’s autobiography Seize the Time: The Story of the Black Panther Party and Huey P. Newton. You can learn a bit more about Mark Clark from his sister at HBCU.org: 50 Years After His Death, Mark Clark’s Sister Shares His Story With Peoria And the World. Both these men were only in their early 20s when they were murdered.
The parents of Michigan school shooter Ethan Crumbley were located early this morning after they fled involuntary manslaughter charges, leaving their deeply troubled 15-year-old son to fend for himself. Detroit Free Press: James and Jennifer Crumbley caught, arrested after vehicle is found in Detroit.
James and Jennifer Crumbley, the parents of the teen charged in the Oxford High School shooting, were located and arrested early Saturday in Detroit after a citizen saw their vehicle and called police.
“Yes, they are both in custody and will be on the way to the Oakland County Jail soon,” said Oakland County Undersheriff Mike McCabe. “Kudos to Detroit PD and all the other agencies that assisted.”
Police arrived at the scene, in the area of the 1100 block of Bellevue near E. Lafayette, about 10 p.m. or 10:30 p.m., Detroit Police Chief James White told reporters about 3 a.m. Saturday morning.
It’s believed the Crumbleys — facing charges of involuntary manslaughter connected to the Oxford High School mass shooting in which their son is accused — were let into a commercial building by someone, White said.
Police know who that someone is and those who aided the couple could face criminal charges, White said.
The Crumbleys were found hiding inside and were “distressed” White said. They were unarmed.
He said security video had helped officers by revealing one of the Crumbleys entering the building.
Authorities had been searching for the Crumbleys most of the day Friday after they were charged with four counts each of involuntary manslaughter in the shooting deaths at the high school in northern suburban Detroit. Their son, Ethan Crumbley, is charged with terrorism and first-degree murder in the case.
The Crumbley parents did not show for their arraignment Friday afternoon in Rochester Hills and the U.S. Marshals Service offered a reward for information leading to their arrests.
Of course they are Trump supporters. What kids have to go through in school these days is horrible. What kind of a country and world are we leaving them with? Republicans are ruining this country with their refusal to do anything about guns, the environment, and anything else that helps make life worth living.
Have you heard the latest from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis? He wants to start a state militia at taxpayers’ expense that would answer to him alone. Michael Daly at The Daily Beast: The Disgusting Reality Behind Ron DeSantis’ New ‘Army.’
As governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis is understandably big on gators.
He had a gator logo along with the words “Don’t Tread on Florida” stenciled onto a sign he unveiled in October when calling for a special session of the legislature to counter federal COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
And his office had that gator’s twin on another sign with the words “Let Us Alone” affixed to the podium at a national guard armory in Pensacola on Thursday. The staging was completed with a huge American flag and a dozen national guardsmen who stood at attention as DeSantis entered.
“At ease,” he quietly told them.
The soldiers immediately obeyed, for they are under his command unless nationalized by presidential order. He was there to announce increased funding for the Florida National Guard.
But he also made known a plan to revive a state military unit whose uniforms will say FLORIDA rather than U.S. ARMY like those worn by the soldiers who stood at ease behind him as he now took to the podium. No matter what the president might want, the Florida State Guard will answer only to the governor—meaning DeSantis.
Call it Ron’s army.
“The Florida State Guard will act as a civilian volunteer force that will have the ability to assist the national guard in state-specific emergencies,” DeSantis said.
Like what? Beating up protesters? DeSantis has already signed a law that allows people to drive their cars into protests without punishment. A bit of history:
Back at the start of World War II, the federal government authorized the states to form military units to fill in for the National Guard, which had been incorporated into the U.S military to fight in Europe and the Pacific. The Florida Guard was formed in 1941. Its motto, “Let Us Alone,” invoked fealty to Florida, not to America, even though this was a time that called for national unity against a common enemy.
Those same three words had appeared on a flag that Florida’s first governor, William Moseley, flew at his inauguration in 1841. But, perhaps because Florida’s leading business people were actively engaged in trade with folks from beyond its borders, the state senate took exception to the words and never officially approved the flag.
The words reappeared on April 8, 1861, when members of the Florida militia took control of Fort Clinch in Fernandina Beach. That was four days before the Battle of Fort Sumter in South Carolina marked the start of the Civil War.
“Hurrah for Florida, Let Us Alone,” this banner read.
There’s much more at the link.
Vladimir Putin has been busy. The Washington Post: Russia planning massive military offensive against Ukraine involving 175,000 troops, U.S. intelligence warns.