U.C. Davis Police Chief Suspended; Chancellor Still Won’t Resign

UC Davis Police pepper spraying peaceful protesters

LA Times:

UC Davis placed Police Chief Annette Spicuzza on administrative leave Monday in the wake of controversy over the pepper-spraying of student protesters last week by campus police officers.

The move by UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi came less than a day after she put two UC Davis police officers on leave.

“as I have gathered more information about the events that took place on our Quad on Friday, it has become clear to me that this is a necessary step toward restoring trust on our campus,” Katehi said in a statement.

Spicuzza had initially defended the police action, telling reporters Saturday, “The students had encircled the officers. They needed to exit. They were looking to leave but were unable to get out.”

Katehi has resisted calls by some UC Davis faculty members for her to resign.

Katahi’s words, “As I gathered more information…” are probably code for “I’m doing this in hopes that I don’t lose my job.” The President of the California state university system has made a strong statement about the events at U.C. Davis.

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

The president of the University of California system said he was “appalled” at images of protesters being doused with pepper spray and plans an assessment of law enforcement procedures on all 10 campuses, as the police chief and two officers were placed on administrative leave.

“Free speech is part of the DNA of this university, and non-violent protest has long been central to our history,” UC President Mark G. Yudof said in a statement Sunday in response to the spraying of students sitting passively at UC Davis. “It is a value we must protect with vigilance.”

Yudof said it was not his intention to “micromanage our campus police forces,” but he said all 10 chancellors would convene soon for a discussion “about how to ensure proportional law enforcement response to non-violent protest.”

Protesters have planned a rally on the UC Davis campus today at noon Pacific time. Let’s hope the campus police leave their pepper spray and their tasers behind and act as if they respect the U.S. Constitution for a change.


SDB Evening News Reads for 081811: United Front Against Assad, Topless Protest and Women’s Rights

Today’s evening reads will focus on the PLUB war against women, and I will warn you know now, be ready for some flowery language…

But first, a few world news updates that should be mentioned…

We knew that the call for Assad to step down has been coming, well today the US is leading that global call for Assad to leave Syria.  Secretary Clinton: For the Sake of Syrian People, the Time Has Come for President Asad To Step Aside | U.S. Department of State Blog

Today, President Obama called for the President of Syria, Bashar al-Asad, to step aside and took the strongest financial action against the Syrian regime thus far. Following the President’s statement, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton addressed the situation in Syria.Secretary Clinton said, “For months, the world has borne witness to the Asad regime’s contempt for its own people. In peaceful demonstrations across the nation, Syrians are demanding their universal human rights. The regime has answered their demands with empty promises and horrific violence, torturing opposition leaders, laying siege to cities, slaughtering thousands of unarmed civilians, including children.”The Asad government has now been condemned by countries in all parts of the world and can look only to Iran for support for its brutal and unjust crackdown.”This morning, President Obama called on Asad to step aside and announced the strongest set of sanctions to date targeting the Syrian Government. These sanctions include the energy sector to increase pressure on the regime. The transition to democracy in Syria has begun, and it’s time for Asad to get out of the way.”As President Obama said this morning, no outside power can or should impose on this transition. It is up to the Syrian people to choose their own leaders in a democratic system based on the rule of law and dedicated to protecting the rights of all citizens, regardless of ethnicity, religion, sect, or gender.
[…]
In closing, Secretary Clinton said, “…The people of Syria deserve a government that respects their dignity, protects their rights, and lives up to their aspirations. Asad is standing in their way. For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for him to step aside and leave this transition to the Syrians themselves, and that is what we will continue to work to achieve.”You can read a complete transcript of the Secretary’s remarks here.

Other leaders in the European Union have joined Obama’s call for Assad to step down. Syria: Assad must resign, says Obama | World news | The Guardian

The US president was joined by David Cameron of Britain, Nicolas Sarkozy of France and Angela Merkel of Germany, as well as the European Union in demanding Assad immediately resign.

[…]

David Cameron issued a joint statement with and Merkel that noted Assad had ignored appeals from other Middle East states, the Arab League and the United Nations security council to end the violent crackdown.

“Our three countries believe that President Assad, who is resorting to brutal military force against his own people and who is responsible for the situation, has lost all legitimacy and can no longer claim to lead the country. We call on him to face the reality of the complete rejection of his regime by the Syrian people and to step aside in the best interests of Syria and the unity of its people.”

The EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, said there had been a “complete loss of Bashar Assad’s legitimacy in the eyes of the Syrian people”.

I guess the President and other leaders were waiting on a UN report that was just released, as sort of a back up for Assad to step down.

The call from western capitals came as it was revealed that UN human rights investigators have listed the names of 50 regime figures who could be prosecuted by the international criminal court (ICC) for crimes committed against civilians during the violent crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators.

The list is believed to contain officials from the president’s inner circle and security agencies. It marks the first time that government insiders have faced the prospect of criminal charges since the five-month uprising began.

A decision on whether to refer the names to the ICC is likely to be made on Thursday.

The UN report accuses officials of torture, summary executions and abuse of children – allegations that could amount to crimes against humanity. It accuses security forces of indiscriminately firing at demonstrators, sometimes from helicopters, and says injured protesters have been killed inside hospitals, sometimes being locked alive in mortuary freezers. It says Syrian officials confirmed that around 1,900 demonstrators had been killed by mid-July, and states that hundreds more have been killed since then.

“Children have not only been targeted by security forces, but they have been repeatedly subject to the same human rights and criminal violations as adults, including torture,” the report said.

The report’s authors were denied access to Syria and spent four months interviewing defectors and demonstrators who had fled the country.

In US Political news…It looks like more and more professional pundits are seeing the light, just wish they would have listened to us a few years ago…George W. Obama? – CBS News

Read the rest of this entry »


These are not My American Values

The U.S. Constitution clearly states that the government shall not establish any religion as a state religion.  It confirms the rights of people to be safe in their privacy and that they should not be subject to unreasonable search or seizure. There are very clear powers delineated so that the majority cannot assert a form of tyranny and remove the rights of the minority.  For a group that holds that Constitution supposedly in esteem, Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann,  many Republicans, and a good deal of the so-called Tea Party movement sure don’t seem to get the fundamentals of the U.S. Constitution. I descended from two signers of that document and five signers of the Declaration of Independence.  I grew up surrounded by lawyers and veterans of foreign wars that knew what it meant to fight for the rights there in. That is why I get totally mad when I read things like this: Herman Cain: Americans Have The Right To Ban Mosques .

Herman Cain says voters across the country should have the right to prevent Muslims from building mosques in their communities.

In an exchange on “Fox News Sunday,” the Republican presidential contender said that he sided with some in a town near Nashville who were trying to prevent Muslims from worshiping in their community.

“Our Constitution guarantees the separation of church and state,” he said. “Islam combines church and state. They’re using the church part of our First Amendment to infuse their morals in that community, and the people of that community do not like it. They disagree with it.”

Asked by host Chris Wallace if any community could ban a mosque if it wanted to, Cain said: “They have a right to do that.”

Cain, an African-American who grew up during the civil rights era, claimed he was not discriminating against Muslims. He said it was “totally different” than the fight for racial equality because there were laws prohibiting blacks from advancing.

Nonetheless, Cain has drawn backlash for comments about Muslims in the past, saying that he would be uncomfortable if a Muslim served in his Cabinet if he were elected president.

“I’m willing to take a harder look at people that might be terrorists,” Cain said Sunday. “If you look at my career, I have never discriminated against anybody. … I’m going to err on the side of caution.”

It’s difficult to think of things to say to this other than it’s plain old bigotry and hatred.  Bigotry and hatred are not one of my American Values.  I value tolerance.

Here’s another example of something that should go without saying.

He may not agree with the vote in New York to legalize gay marriage, but former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said the Republican Party should butt out of the bedroom and stick to fiscal policy. “I think the Republican Party would be well advised to get the heck out of people’s bedrooms and let these things get decided by states,” Giuliani said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “We’d be a much more successful political party if we stuck to our economic, conservative roots.”

It saddens me to see one of the two major political parties hellbent on preventing women from practicing their constitutional right to abortion and access to birth control, stopping GLBT citizens from having full civil rights, and standing in the way of any religion to practice their beliefs as they see fit.  These are extremist religious positions and have nothing to do with any American Value that I’ve ever grown up knowing.   We need to keep speaking up vehemently that we will not tolerate any one in this country decimating the civil liberties and constitutional rights of others. It’s WE THE PEOPLE, not we the white, right wing, extremist christians in the country.

Something to think about from My Fellow American.


Does Big Brother Prefer an aisle or window seat?

Just when you thought it was safe to board that airplane again,  a new restraint saves you from that odd looking seat mate.  Will it be some one who is some what middle eastern looking?  Is it some one who utters a prayer in an indistinguishable language before take off?  Will these security measures saves you from the next terrorist or will it be those security measures identifying you as the enemy?  What about the air flight attendant who thinks you look a bit odd?  Perhaps the navigator that thinks you look a little radical for his tastes? Maybe it’s just a flight attendant that is extremely tired of that screaming toddler in the seat next to yours?  Who will get control of this button?

http://www.washingtontimes.com/weblogs/aviation-security/2008/Jul/01/

I hate to see this article labeled aviation security because it seems a lot more Orwellian to me.  The headline actually read:

Want some torture with your peanuts?

“Just when you thought you’ve heard it all…

A senior government official with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has expressed great interest in a so-called safety bracelet that would serve as a stun device, similar to that of a police Taser®. According to this promotional video found at the Lamperd Less Lethal, Inc. website, the bracelet would be worn by all airline passengers (video also shown below).

This bracelet would:

• Take the place of an airline boarding pass

• Contain personal information about the traveler

• Be able to monitor the whereabouts of each passenger and his/her luggage

• Shock the wearer on command, completely immobilizing him/her for several minutes

The Electronic ID Bracelet, as it’s referred to, would be worn by every traveler “until they disembark the flight at their destination.”  Yes, you read that correctly. Every airline passenger would be tracked by a government-funded GPS, containing personal, private and confidential information, and would shock the customer worse than an electronic dog collar if the passenger got out of line.

Clearly the Electronic ID Bracelet is a euphemism for the EMD Safety Bracelet, or at least it has a nefarious hidden ability (thus the term ID Bracelet is ambiguous at best). EMD stands for Electro-Musclar Disruption. Again, according to the promotional video, the bracelet can completely immobilize the wearer for several minutes.

So is the government really that interested in this bracelet?

Apparently so.

According to this letter from DHS official, Paul S. Ruwaldt of the Science and Technology Directorate, office of Research and Development, which was written to the inventor whom he had previously met with, Ruwaldt wrote, “To make it clear, we [the federal government] are interested in . . . the immobilizing security bracelet, and look forward to receiving a written proposal.”

The letterhead, in case you were wondering, is from a U.S. Department of Homeland Security office at the William J. Hughes Technical Center at the Atlantic City International Airport, or the Federal Aviation Administration headquarters.

In another part of the letter, Mr. Ruwaldt confirmed, “In addition, it is conceivable to envision a use to improve air security, on passenger planes.”

Would every paying airline passenger flying on a commercial airplane be mandated to wear one of these devices? I cringe at the thought. Not only could it be used as a physical restraining device, but also as a method of interrogation, according to the same aforementioned letter from Mr. Ruwaldt.

Would you let them put one of those on your wrist? Would you allow the airline employees, which would be mandated by the government, to place such a bracelet on any member of your family?

Why are tax dollars being spent on something like this?

Is this a police state or is this America?”

I’m quoting Fox News, so be very afraid.  Homeland Security thinks this is “interesting”.  These EMD bracelets seem way over the top to me. But, maybe I read 1984 too many times.  What do you think?

I don’t think it’s really yellow journalism.  That’s what really scares me. Are we tracking luggage here or giving  some sadist flight attendant a way to get a thrill or worse yet a device to punish the socially or religious unknown for first amendment protected behavior?  Perhaps this button’s use will be extended to not cleaning up after yourself in those nasty bathrooms or trying to join the mile high club!  Frankly, I could see it being used for children dragged on airplanes by parents who put them into situations that are age inappropriate.

Just exactly how far will folks allow their civil liberties to be destroyed in the hope that we can be saved from terrorism?  Or is this some one’s way of finding peace from all of those screaming children and ineffective parents that find their way onto airplanes?


The New Democratic Party: Slightly less Evil version of the Republican Party? NOT ANY MORE!

What a way to get votes from people!  Position yourself as the party of the lesser evils to get votes from people that like their civil rights as the constitution promised.

Women!  Vote for us or the Republican Party will set up housekeeping in your uterus!  We really don’t do anything EVER about reproductive rights but hey, at least we SAY you have them!   Come on! Do you think that all those laws that have been shooting through the legislatures limiting Roe v. Wade could have gotten there without some kind of Democratic passive support?  How many Democratics with backbone does it take to filibuster an outrageous supreme court nomination like Alito?

GLBT Community!  We may not actually vote you your constitutional rights, but hey, we don’t talk about taking them away from you!  A few of us even show up to your parades every now and then!

African Americans!!!  Look, here’s a nice corporate candidate for you!  Not very qualified, he may set affirmative action back a few centuries, split the party into slivers, but you gotta hand it to us, we put an ‘acceptable’ black man right up there on the ticket for you!  (It’s up to you to figure out all that ‘acceptable’ implies and then you can join me under the bus.)  Look he’s even vetting a few hispanics for his VP!!!  That ought to bring the Hispanic vote into line!   And Jewish Americans!  Goodness, look at a few of his advisors!!!  Some one even wrote his AIPAC speech for him so he could say that unity thing about Jerusalem and irritate the Muslims!

Vote the Party and the Candidate that represents the Lesser Evil!  That’s us!

Well, this year, DNC, you just had to go and step over that line.  Tell me how Axelrod is different from Rove other than he’s the DNC brain of a DNC corporate candidate instead of a RNC brain of a RNC corporate candidate?  All those subprime guys doing the perp walk yesterday EXCEPT the head of Obama’s finance committe:  Penny Pritzker.  When does the Pritzker family’s role in the subprime and mortgage backed derivatives market get some attention?  Or is it because she donates Democrat instead of Republican that she gets a wave?

I’m getting pretty tired of choosing the lesser of two evils.  Frankly, since the DNC RBC pulled their stunt with the Michigan votes and delegates, I can’t tell the difference between the two parties anymore. (Where’s the gray in THOU SHALT NOT STEAL?)  Both of them want to rig elections and take votes away from folks and give them to others.  Both of them refuse to impeach George Bush and Dick Cheney.  Heck, Nancy Pelosi, per RON PAUL’s outing of all folks, just put a huge knife in the back to the anti war wing of the party.  How much more proof do you all need?

Ron Paul Exposes Pelosi – Says Iran Bill Spiked
Submitted by SadInAmerica on 2008, June 20 – 3:08am.

http://www.knowthelies.com/?q=node/2090

Representative Ron Paul says House Speaker Nancy Pelosi removed a section from a bill passed by Congress which would have barred the U.S. from going to war with Iran without a congressional vote, claiming she did so at the behest of the leadership of Israel and AIPAC.

Then there is this interview with Senator Obama who says on his website that during 2005 he supported a time schedule for withdrawal of troops.  This interview with him in 2005 implies otherwise.

As for me, I’m joining Lou Dobbs as an independent until somebody resurrects the Bull Moose Party also known as the American Progressive Party.  They had REAL women in that party. They carried banners around saying: “THOU SHALT NOT STEAL” because the way the RNC had stolen candidates from Roosevelt and given them to Taft.

http://www.theodoreroosevelt.org/life/bullmoose.htm

So, how about it?  Let’s throw a few crates of tea into Boston Harbor and bring back the Progressive Party.

I’m tired of supporting EVIL.  I can’t choose which one is the lesser, any more