Posts Tagged ‘ed rosenthal’
Probably everybody who is reading this blog has seen the Kony 2012 video that went viral, amassing 28 million hits in its first day. When we say “viral” we think of something spreading instantaneously over a wide swath of demographics. However, some things spread more like cancers. They dont necessarily infect a large swath of people but when they do they have profound effects. It is especially important for our government to consider this spread when it trys to engineer social behavior. A good example is when the government started a program forcing welfare fathers to work, inadvertantly promoting single parent families. See you babe! Government programs have unanticipated impacts all the time.
I have mentioned that when Dennis Peron’s dispensary, the first in the world, was shut down in San Francisco more dispensaries exponentially metastasized in its place. so what is going to happen with Richard Lee’s dispensary now that it has been shut down (although the school has vowed to remain open)?
There are a few early indications. Oakland has approved operating permits for four new dispensaries and more underground Measure Z Clubs are operating all over the city. Now rather than a center hub it is more of an independent network system. You can close down one source or several sources but they cant close the network, it is too large. The risk is relatively low, with so many dispensaries the chance of any single dispensary being harassed is relatively low.
If I were writing a press release for the Cannabis Medical Dispensary Association which cannot be reached because it does not exist it would go something like this:
The unfair and unwarranted destruction of the Blue Sky Dispensary by the federal government was despicable, however, it remains ineffectual not one medical marijuana patient is without medicine because of this raid. The government faces a losing choice whether or not it prosecutes Lee. By taking Lee out the government created a big hole in the forest, its fertile soil and its well seeded. So we would like to congratulate the Federal Government for helping out industry grow.
But, getting back to that metastasis, Lee has trained hundreds of people as employees or interns who will now be able to go out and use their entrepreneurial training to open up their own cannabusinesses.
So to all my readers, go forth and prosper. Happy 420!
Every parent’s hope is to have a healthy, happy baby. And no matter how much parents would love a child who has a serious chronic or genetic disease, they hope their baby would not have one of those problems. These children, through no guilt of their own, create havoc in families, disrupt the lives of their siblings and realistically are often sent away and housed in warehouses because their care is beyond the family’s abiity to cope.
Science and medicine have given us a way to determine these characteristics early in the pregnancy. This advance is part of science medical march. If not for modern medicine I wouldn’t be here now. I was born a blue baby and needed transfusions at birth. Thank you 20th century medicine. I had a hernia, an appendectomy, then another hernia. All of these operations were available only beginning in the last century. For the hundreds of thousands of years before, we were in the hands of God, or some said the Devil when we were afflicted.
When I was a child I saw people behind Coke bottle glasses using their last vestiges of sight before they went blind from cataracts. I had the same problem a few years ago, but my biological eye lenses were replaced with hinged lenses that give me better sight than I had before the cataracts. Thank you 21st century science. Now we have the chance to determine whether the fetus is healthy. When they suffer from debilitating problems they can be terminated in favor of a child that will not face a life of insurmountable difficulties, pain, or one cut short while other children are blossoming.
In the monotheistic tradition believers have always tried to think of God as just but benevolent, wanting the best for people. Religious people pray for happiness, health, deliverance from war, weather, accidents, pain, disease and pestilence. The one time God toyed with people, with Job and his family, He was tricked into his actions by a mocking angel. This was not his best moment. People hope for God’s mercy and justice.
On the other hand, people think of disaster as the work of the Devil. He is associated with disease, war, hate, pain, and suffering. So the question might come up when a person preaches for disease and burden rather than joy and growth, just who is he speaking for?
I’ve had it up to my nostrils with the putrid odor of Republican hypocrites; anti-gay voting closeted representatives like Larry Craig, super-rich candidates like Romney talking about opportunity. Now Santorum, who has been defined correctly on Google, is trying to claim to be God’s candidate. How does he know? Did someone claiming to be God speak to him while he was brushing his teeth? Did the voice beam through his hair dryer?
What all this is getting to is Santorum’s recent comments regarding free pre-natal care…
He said on Face the Nation, “The bottom line is that a lot of prenatal tests are done to identify deformities in utero and the customary procedure is to encourage abortions.” He singled out amniocentesis, a procedure in which amniotic fluid is extracted to examine chromosomes and check for birth defects.”
If Santorum had his way poor women would be denied this prenatal care. Women who can afford it will get the care even without coverage. However, poor women, who must choose between necessities and medical care are unlikely to get the recommended tests. So, for the most part, the burden of special needs children will fall on the poor. Does Santorum at least offer them support for the burden he would impose on them? Healthcare, financial assistance, a caring government. No he says- Let God care for them.
Santorum’s thought processes and the natural outcomes of his rhetoric would cause individuals and society pain and suffering, heartbreak and loss. He claims to represent God, but he advocates policies that please the Devil.
Santorum is a man deceived by the Devil into thinking he is doing God’s work. His brain is writhing now as if being consumed by worms and maggots. He needs an exorcism.
Last night Rick Santorum swept elections in the states of Colorado, Missouri and Minnesota. This made only one thing clear: Republicans don’t want to elect Newt Gingrich or Mitt Romney President. The voter turnout was low in all three states, indicating that the party base is generally unenthused about the primaries.
But I think America is really fortunate to have the free entertainment and circus of idiocy that is the Republican primaries. Every day the campaign brings me new joy and love for life. Rather than dreading the news I get on my local Pacifica radio station that usually sets me off into either anger or depression, I awaken fresh and eagerly awaiting the next explosive remarks by this cast of clowns.
Just imagine Mitt Romney on a golf course in an argument with his golf buddy over just who won the Super Bowl in ’99. He says “Betcha $10,000 Chip” and his buddy says “I’ll take you up on it, Mittens.”
You really just can’t blame him for saying that publicly at the debate because that might not be out of the ordinary with the people he hangs with. However, Romney was deemed unqualified by the evangelical bigot committee to be President because he was a Mormon, which these people, some of whom talk in tongues, consider a cult.
I don’t think Mormonism is a cult. In fact I am rather intrigued with Mormonism and am thinking of forming my own Mormon sect based on my own revelations, which I received on Mount Tamalpais (just north of San Francisco).
It was a golden sunset and I was listening to the radio and there was a serious discussion of Mormonism while I was watching the sunset. One of the revelations I had from this radio program was that when you reach a certain degree of Mormonism you and your spouse will go beyond heaven and be given your own planet. It was then that I realized that Mormonism had a lot of attractions.
At first, I felt it would be pretty cool to be the God of my very own planet, but then I started having some reservations. There are a lot of planets out there. Would I get placed on some planet in some distant galaxy or would I get placed on a planet in the center of things? And then, just where is the center of things? If I get my own planet are there going to be people on it? It would be no fun being a God without other people around. I mean would I even get animals? Animals don’t even speak English.
But I digress. What I want to know very sincerely is, has Romney paid enough to the church to get a good planet? Does his 10% tithe to the Mormon Church instead of the government buy him a good planet filled with English speaking animals and other people to socialize with? Does he get just the family rate or family and friends?
But I digress again. Ron Paul published or didn’t publish a publication which he didn’t read, had no control over, didn’t see or wasn’t aware of which was totally racist. Then he appeared in front of a Confederate Flag, said the South was right– and they were, very right, extreme right! SO right that they were fascists. Although I like his foreign policy and some of his internal policies ideas, this guy is a racist pig, I sort of imagine him being attacked by someone inspired by the Girl With a Dragon Tattoo, holding him down and tattooing his chest with “I am a racist pig.”
And Gingrich, the serial cheater who crusaded against Bill Clinton’s infidelity as he had a relationships with multiple women, somehow has the right to be offended by a question about it. None of these people have a clue that as they veer further and further to the right they become more and more unelectable. This leaves the voting public only two choices: Obama or a write-in candidate (Me).
Now I haven’t been pushing my campaign recently because I have been waiting to see what would happen in the Republican Party. If this does become a brokered convention I would be an extreme dark horse for the party. In fact, some people would say invisible. But I could lead it in a different direction, towards the oblivion it deserves… more ramblings later.
President Eisenhower warned of the perniciousness of the “military-industrial complex” in 1961. Since that time the U.S. has become steadily more belligerent. There hasn’t been a day our lives that the U.S. hasn’t been engaged in active military action. In fact, there hasn’t been a day since the government was formed in 1789 that the U.S. hasn’t been fighting somewhere.
In addition to fighting overseas, the U.S. has conducted three wars on its citizens- the Indian actions, the Civil War and the long running Drug War. To top it off, before Bush botched it up, the neo-conservatives were calling for “The American Century”. THEY planned for a military and cultural empire.
In his book “The Assassination of Caesar”, Michael Franti shows how Rome’s middle-class was drained of its wealth and income to support the empire. The booty from the adventurist policies went to the influential, either wealthy or military plunderers.
Rome went from republic to Caeserian Empire and the middle class devolved to Rome’s welfare class, who were controlled and disenfranchised with bread and circuses of cruelty- Animal against animal; animals vs. people. The Romans decimated North African wildlife and executed many Christians in these arenas of bloodlust.
George McGovern was the first and last candidate to bring up the empire issue in his disastrous run against Nixon in 1972. Since then the anti-empirists and pro-peace, anti-war groups have been invisible to the press. Empire has not been the issue- only how to conduct it.
Now Ron Paul has brought the issue to the forefront by endorsing my platform calling for withdrawal of all U.S. bases from other countries. He has shown how the corporations benefit from our military and the U.S. population suffers. His arguments cannot be ignored.
Paul has put the anti-war, anti-empire argument on the discussion table. The philosophy of not being a military bully has made a giant jump into American consciousness thanks to him. By pulling from the right he gave it a legitimacy that it didn’t have coming from the left.
At first I thought Ron Paul’s campaign was more powerful than the multitude of voices opposing U.S. militarism. But the Occupation movement with its Greek chorus of human microphones has also had a hand in turning public opinion around. It took both right and left to set the stage for a re-evaluation of American exceptionalism. Forty years is a long time to wait for the discussion. Obama, are you listening?
RESCIND OBAMA’S NOBEL PEACE PRIZE
I would assume that the Nobel Committee selected Obama for the Peace Prize in 2009 in anticipation of the good acts they expected of him. Perhaps the closing of Guantanamo, stopping torture of prisoners, pulling out of Iraq, stopping support of tyrants like Mubarek, Assad and Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan. Perhaps they thought he would sign the Kyoto Accords or the Land-Mine Treaty.
He turned out to be another U.S. President-warmonger. He’s the world’s biggest arms dealer. He commands the biggest army. Spends as much on military as the next 10 nations combined, and he just signed a law allowing the use of military courts and military justice on U.S. citizens in the U.S.
Well, its just another example of paying the contractor before the job is completed and inspected. Advance payment is a often a set-up for disappointment and shoddy workmanship.
What should the Nobel Committee do? Rescind the Prize! And rescind Henry Kissinger’s, too. He was an architect of the Vietnam War, which destroyed the lives of millions of people. Instead send both of these suspects to the World Court in the Hague to stand trial for crimes against humanity and genocide. Obama’s eligible now and he’s still piling up the body count*. First step: Rescind their Nobels. Isn’t it unseemly for the Committee to award prizes to these creeps and not to Pete Seeger, one of the world’s foremost peace-mongers?
* Sorry Bush, no prize for you, but you are eligible for the one way to the Hague.
I’ve got something special for you all today. After last season’s harvest I created this short video describing the hash making process. Both beginners and those with experience should check out this instructional video so that when you wind up with excess material this harvest you’ll know exactly what to do with it! Happy Hash [...]
You’ll see that I’m full of ideas this week, here’s another one. The one solution to the U.S.’s economic woes that everyone in government turns a blind eye to is a cutback on our biggest expenditure– preparing for war and then warring other countries. Perhaps we need an indirect route to becoming a peace-loving country.
Of course, the solution is right under our noses. What’s more American than volunteering? In small communities we have volunteer fire departments, schools, hospitals, animal shelters and hospices.
So, it’s kind of insulting to the people who provide their time and services for free to call our military a voluntary service. That’s like calling a salesperson at the Gap or a clerk at Costco a volunteer. Yes, the truth is all three, the soldier and the two workers, are all volunteers. They volunteer to sell part of their time on planet Earth for a few bucks an hour and to be exploited by the very rich. But that isn’t really volunteering. All three are working for food and shelter.
What’s more American than volunteering?
The Republicrats say that the way to solve the budget crisis is to cut spending, not raise revenues (taxes). So let’s look at where we are spending the most. I knew you’d guess the military. What if we made it truly volunteer? Anyone who wants can volunteer, for no pay. I’m sure the sadistic generals who send young people to fight and get injured or die would continue to serve. And a certain number of gung-ho hypersuperpatriots would wish to fight others who they think aren’t like them.
First they’d have to raise money for arms and equipment through bake sales, carwashes and the like. Most of their current funding would have to be rerouted to schools, education and re-industrializing the U.S., leaving very little left to spend on war. So, if you want that missile you can take up a collection at the office for war. “Hello, My name is Sergeant Wildman, and I’m trying to raise money to go kill people in Afghanistan. Could you contribute? Since our funding was cut we can’t get over there to fight for the oil companies.”
“Hello, My name is Sergeant Wildman, and I’m trying to raise money to go kill people in Afghanistan. Could you contribute? Since our funding was cut we can’t get over there to fight for the oil companies.”
Well Obama, did you ever think that you’d be the world’s biggest warmonger? The biggest arms dealer? That you’d fight against justice in Palestine? It’s all the result of your Marijuana Deficiency Syndrome (MDS). Gore had it too. Smoke a joint and get your head clear. End the budget impasse by making the army all volunteer. We will pay off the debt in no time.
I heard the news today, oh boy. It seems Chevron is trying to repair its holes and has decided to plug the leak of $2 million a year streaming into The PBS News Hour with Jim Lehrer. Frankly, I don’t understand why they did it. Lehrer has been pretty kind to them, as kind as can be considering their human rights record in central America, their manipulation of the California government to avoid taxes, and their relationships in their home city of Richmond, CA… etc. etc. etc.
The News Hour is a for-profit company subcontracted to PBS, so it has a good understanding of the problems that Chevron faces. At first I thought Jim Lehrer should announce it with a report like this “We have stopped getting our annual subsidy of $2 million from the Chevron Corporation so now we will be able to report their international abuses more objectively.” That won’t happen. It is more likely that he is now looking to Exxon-Mobil, Shell or BP– all of which could use some good PR.
Then it came to me, this is the perfect opening for the national medical marijuana industry. For only $2 million a year we could buy Jim Lehrer’s favor. Ok… make that $2 million a year plus party favors. He will finally understand how important medical marijuana is and start reporting on it. If only half the dispensaries agreed to participate, we would have over a thousand sponsors. Here is how it works: $2 million dollars a year is approx $40,000 a week. Divided by 1000 dispensaries, that comes to $400 a week or about 1-2 ounces based on quality. It is a small price to pay to get such incredible publicity.
“Good evening I’m Jim Lehrer. In the news today, yet another new bomb attack in Miscellaneoustan, then we go to Idaho for an American profile: Johnny Northstred a man who recites his poetry exclusively to bears. But first, the California crackdown on the medical marijuana industry: is it political or a police boondoggle? All that ahead on the News Hour. Our program tonight is brought to you buy Ford Motor Company, Johnson’s Wax and the American Medical Cannabis Association.” What a dream, but it can come true. Can you imagine Obama listening to this broadcast and hearing that pitch night after night?
I know that this blog is read by a lot of sick people who use cannabis medicinally. Just print this blog and bring it to your nearest dispensary and kindly suggest to them that they get in touch with me so that we can start the ad purchase soon.
Weed Wars, the new four-part series on the Discover Channel debuted on Dec. 1st and will run through Dec. 22nd. So set your Tune in tonight at 10 PM – I’ve been told by cast members that episode #2 has some tense moments.This documentary follows daily life in the world’s largest marijuana retail shop. Harborside Medical Center, which services patients in San Francisco’s East Bay, provides medicine to 1,000 patients a day and has cash-flow of about $25,000,000 a year, and growing.
Here it is folks, marijuana being bought and sold shown on national TV just like it was “PawnStars.” It’s so outrageously blatant that it’s like a gauntlet thrown directly at the federal attorneys. That’s why this show presents a Hobson’s choice to the feds, who have been trying to restrict California dispensaries. The feds can ignore or prosecute. Both are losing positions. If they ignore Harborside it will stoke the fire of entrepreneurship the same way that NBC’s “Marijuana Inc.” did a year ago.Many recently unemployed will follow the lead and make a decision to join the marijuana industry, regardless of whether their state has medical exemptions to the laws. There are already dispensaries in non-medical states such as New York and Wisconsin. This will fuel the trend, making federal control more problematic.The other choice, to indict and prosecute, is also perilous. In my federal trial eight years ago, we were very close to a juror rebellion. Actually it occurred, but after the verdict was delivered. This time the government is not likely to be so lucky. The defense team will be honed by years of trial, the public is better informed and jurors will take marijuana’s medical qualities and Harborside’s upright position with the state into account. The feds are more than likely to lose and if they do, the fed’s breath will no longer intimidate the dispensaries. New ones will spring up.If Harborside should lose, the situation is even worse. One thousand customers a day will be looking for medicine. Will they be forced to go back to street or home dealers who provide virtually no choice of medicines? Is this what city and state governments want in their community?
Harborside is run by Steve DeAngelo, who has an independent background and sophisticated political analysis developed by close association with the Yippies! People associated with the movement tend to be very self-sufficient, insightful, and determined, even when they are faced with seemingly insurmountable obstacles. As a result, in most encounters with the law, they usually gain the upper hand.
I suppose most people would say they wouldn’t like to be in Steve’s position. I wouldn’t relish being in Attorney General Holder’s. He doesn’t realize the ideological zeal of medical marijuana adherents, their frustration with the Democratic Party and with the Obama Administration in particular. So that surge of internet donations he received in 2008 won’t be floating in from potheads this time. Their votes will be reluctant rather than enthusiastic. And now there’s a trend that can be stated as “I pledge not to vote for any candidate that wants to put me in jail, even for a short time.” The rock is about to meet the hard place.
February 2010, the Columbia Police Department in Columbia, Missouri, raided a Columbia residence on the basis of a confidential informant’s testimony and marijuana residue found through a trash pull. The confidential informant was never identified, and the SWAT raid occurred without any pre-raid intelligence or surveillance, 8 days after the search warrant had been signed. A video was made of the raid for training purposes, and released to the public in May 2010, sparking an international response as the video immediately went viral. The video shows Columbia SWAT entering the residence at night and immediately shooting the family pets, then manhandling the family inside as they cleared the house. Only a minuscule amount of marijuana was found, and the target of the raid, Jon Whitworth, was charged with felony child endangerment.
Last week, U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey granted summary judgement to dismiss the civil rights suit (raised under 42 U.S.C. § 1983) of Jonathan Whitworth, Brittany Whitworth, and their son. The civil rights claim stems from a February 2010 Columbia, Missouri SWAT raid that went viral when police footage was obtained by the Columbia Tribune.
At issue in the motion for summary judgement was whether the police officers’ discretionary behavior was reasonable, in the context of the situation, and whether it violated clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would be aware (Harlow v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 800 (1982), Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386 (1989)).
Such motions, under Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, are to be looked at in the most favorable light to the non-movant (Whitworth).
In reality, law enforcement is afforded such favorable light, via judicial imaginings of what might have been reasonable, that “qualified immunity provides ample protection to all but the plainly incompetent or those who knowingly violate the law.” Malley v. Briggs, 475 U.S. 335 (1986)
It is no surprise that Judge Laughrey was able to rationalize a context in which it might have been reasonable for an officer to kick Jonathan Whitworth in the head while he lay face down, unarmed, before a fully armed SWAT tactical unit.
“Thus, even if Hendrick indeed kicked Whitworth, a single kick to force swift compliance with an order, and to deter hesitation incompliance with future orders from a dangerous suspect, would be objectively reasonable in this context. It is also uncontested that Whitworth suffered no injury from this contact except pain.” Whitworth v. Bolinger
In the execution of the warrant, a paramilitary SWAT team entered the Whitworth’s family home. Police fired seven shots while in the Whitworth home. Both of the Whitworth family dogs were shot. One of the dogs was killed. The couple’s seven year old child was witness to the raid. Jonathan Whitworth was kicked in the head. Brittany Whitworth and her child were directed at gun point. As a result of the the raid, the police were able to find some drug paraphernalia and a small amount of cannabis. The police, initially, charged the Whitworths with child endangerment.
“The Court agrees that ideally officers would execute search warrants without pointing a gun at women and children not suspected of committing a crime. On the other hand, where officers are aware that a dangerous suspect and two large dogs are on the property, a reasonable officer could, in the heat of the moment, rely on such tactics to prod individuals to move swiftly through a potentially dangerous situation. This is especially true, where shouting and gun-pointing occurred as Mrs. Whitworth and P.M. stepped over Mr.Whitworth–who was lying on the floor–and the danger of resistance by any of the Whitworths was arguably at its highest. In this context, the behavior alleged by the Whitworths did not violate a clearly established constitutional right. The SWAT officers are thus entitled to qualified immunity on this claim.” Whitworth v. Bolinger
This is entirely consistent with scores of cases wherein citizens were plainly wronged and yet can find no corrective, civil recourse.
In 2010, Radley Balko described the false arrest and failed civil suit of Brian Kelly. The ordeal is as instructive as it is scary.
“When Rogers returned from writing a ticket, he noticed Kelly’s camera. Rogers demanded Kelly turn the camera off and hand it over to him. Kelly complied.
Rogers then returned to his car and called John Birbeck, an assistant district attorney in Cumberland County. Rogers asked Birbeck if Kelly’s recording violated Pennsylvania’s wiretapping law. Birbeck incorrectly told him it did. Rogers then called in back-up officers and placed Kelly under arrest. During the arrest, Rogers “bumped” (the term Kelly used in his lawsuit) Kelly, causing a staple from a rugby injury to rupture, causing Kelly’s leg to bleed. Kelly spent the night (27 hours) in jail. He was eventually charged with a felony punishable by up to seven years in prison. Cumberland County District Attorney David Freed would later tell the Patriot-News that while he sympathized with Kelly not being aware that what he did was illegal, and that he might (graciously!) allow Kelly to plead to a misdemeanor, “Obviously, ignorance of the law is no defense.”
Here’s the problem: Freed was the one who was ignorant of the law. So was Birbeck. And so was Rogers. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled in 1989 that recording on-duty public officials is not a violation of the state’s wiretapping law because public officials have no legitimate expectation of privacy while they’re on the job. The order for Kelly to stop videotaping was illegal. So was Kelly’s arrest and his incarceration. Freed eventually dropped all charges.
Kelly filed a civil rights lawsuit against Rogers and the town of Carlisle. In May of last year, Federal District Court Judge Yvette Kane dismissed Kelly’s suit. The reason? As a police officer, Rogers is protected by the doctrine of qualified immunity. In order to even get his case in front of a jury, Kelly has to show that Rogers (a) violated Kelly’s civil rights, and (b) the rights Rogers violated have been clearly established. Even if Kelly can meet those two burdens, he must also show that Roger’s actions in violating Kelly’s rights were unreasonable.
So it isn’t enough that the police are wrong about the law. They have to be very obviously wrong for you to collect any damages from a wrongful arrest.”
Kelly’s civil suit (Kelly v. Borough Of Carlisle) claimed that the arrest had violated his rights guaranteed by the First and Fourth Amendments. Upon dismissal by summary judgement, Kelly appealed to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Kelly’s First Amendment claim was rejected. All claims against the Borough of Carlisle were rejected. The summary judgement on Kelly’s Fourth Amendment claim was vacated and remanded for further proceedings consistent with the Third Circuit’s analysis. The remand instructed,
“that police officer who relies in good faith on a prosecutor’s legal opinion that the arrest is warranted under the law is presumptively entitled to qualified immunity from Fourth Amendment claims premised on a lack of probable cause. That reliance must itself be objectively reasonable, however, because “a wave of the prosecutor’s wand cannot magically transform an unreasonable probable cause determination into a reasonable one.” Accordingly, a plaintiff may rebut this presumption by showing that, under all the factual and legal circumstances surrounding the arrest, a reasonable officer would not have relied on the prosecutor’s advice.”
In analyzing the holding, Harvard Law Review noted,
“The Third Circuit had previously allocated the burdens of production reasonably: once the plaintiff established a prima facie case of wrongful arrest, the court required the police officer defendant to show probable cause, and it required the defendant to prove his or her qualified immunity defense. This arrangement accommodated the plaintiff’s limited right to pretrial discovery and the officer’s information advantage regarding the plaintiff’s arrest. The court’s opinion in Kelly will upset this sensible allocation in cases in which the police officer has consulted with a prosecutor: the plaintiff will now have the burden of showing that the officer was objectively unreasonable in following the advice. Kelly is representative of the plaintiffs on whom this burden will fall. He was neither committing nor about to commit a crime. A police officer nonetheless arrested him, and he went to jail. Because the arrest was made without probable cause, it violated Kelly’s Fourth Amendment right. Moreover, the law was clearly established in the relevant jurisdiction that the officer’s basis for arresting Kelly did not constitute probable cause. Thus, a reasonable officer would have known that he was violating Kelly’s rights. Yet, solely because a prosecutor confirmed the police officer’s inaccurate interpretation of the law, Kelly (and similarly situated civil rights plaintiffs) will now be required to produce evidence to rebut the judicially mandated inference that the police officer’s violation of his clearly established constitutional right was objectively reasonable. This presumption is unlikely to increase legal consultation; instead, it will allow courts to relieve law enforcement officers of their responsibility to exercise independent professional judgment and will decrease the likelihood that constitutional violations will be redressed.”
Qualified immunity has become so expansive that it frequently fails to correct these constitutional violations.
Simultaneously, law enforcement is increasingly funded by separate revenue streams that are not directly answerable to local voter intent. Big money is coming in from asset forfeitures and federal law enforcement grants. Each dollar acquired outside of the legislative appropriation model is one less piece of control that the citizenry wield. The funds are not enough to ignore the citizenry, but we do see prioritization that is substantially at odds with voter intent.
The Whitworth warrant was predicated on unnamed sources that claimed Jonathan Whitworth was a major cannabis dealer. That was more than five years after Columbia, Missouri passed a proposition to make the enforcement of cannabis the lowest priority by law enforcement. The measure passed by a 61% to 39% vote.
An estimated 130-150 SWAT raids occur everyday in the United States. That is some 40,000-50,000 paramilitary operations every year.
We are simultaneously escalating domestic paramilitary activity, increasing immunity from prosecution, and ceding budgetary control.
It’s obvious that Obama hates his job and wants to get his ass handed to him by Mitt Romney in 2012. Only a politician who wanted to lose his next election would shoot himself in the foot as many times as he has. Let’s go over just how badly this man wants to get out of his current gig as commander-in-chief of the dying empire:
- First, he takes office with a shitload of momentum behind him, and uses it to push through his bizarre healthcare plan which is going to take our tax dollars and hand them over to health insurance companies.
- Next, instead of closing Guantanamo (as promised during the campaign), he rolls over to the Republicans and keeps it open.
- Also, instead of pulling out of Iraq and Afghanistan (never promised, but hoped for by the majority of his supporters), he simply moved 50,000 troops from Iraq to Afghanistan. I wonder how many soldiers regrettably thought to themselves “It can’t possibly get any worse than this” while patrolling the dusty streets of Baghdad only to find themselves picking up dismembered body parts on the streets of Kabul three months later?
- Oh yeah, and then he actually sent us into a third war in Libya. America, fuck yeah.
Other items on his list of monumental failures include: rolling back EPA regulations, extending the Bush tax cuts for the rich in some insane horse trading with the right-wing fascists in Congress, imprisoning people who leak documents showing all the nasty shit our government has been up to, and just outright killing other American citizens without a trial.
So what’s latest on this list? Perhaps you’ve heard, but the Federales just announced that they aim to take down medical marijuana in the Golden State. Perhaps Obama thinks that nothing will give the U.S. economy the shot in the arm it needs more than shutting down hundreds of legitimate businesses throughout the state that employ tens of thousands of people. Or, more likely, his goal is to piss off yet another group of his supporters, thus assuring his self destruction in the 2012 election.
Of course, I suppose the silver lining in Obama’s latest move is that it gives a much-needed boost to my fledgling campaign for the presidency. After all, shutting down the dispensaries in California will disillusion hundreds of thousands of Obama supporters and drive them into the tender embrace of the Ed Rosenthal for President campaign. This may come across as crass opportunism, but I pledge right here and right now to allow the dispensaries in California to stay open. I’ll go one step further (I know this is going to be a huge shock to you all, and, by the way, kudos to you for making it this far into the blog post!) and vow that as president I will END MARIJUANA PROHIBITION!
So, thank you, Mr. President, for coming to my assistance and providing me with yet another reason to run for the presidency of this great nation. Your unwillingness to act rationally and in a sane manner may end up forcing me to run in the upcoming election.