Category Archives: Crime/Corruption

Was I Wrong About the Denver Police Department?

denver-pd

In 1998 I was semi-involved in something really unsettling, and I’m now wondering if I just badly misinterpreted what happened.

The story begins in graf 4. Here’s where it gets interesting:

While I’m waiting for the whites to dry there’s a small crash up the street – a fender-bender a block or two up. A few seconds later a guy, probably in his mid-20s, comes running past the front of the laundromat, looking back up the street at somebody. A few seconds later two more men come down the street after him, moving at a brisk walk. As they pass, we can all see clearly that one of the men is hiding a fairly large knife behind his back. They’re taunting the first man to come back to them.

I called 911. Five minutes later I had to call them again. Five more minutes and the cops finally arrived. Whereupon the dumbfucks ignored what I was saying about armed men chasing an unarmed man and headed back up the street to check out the mini-wreck.

I already had low expectations of the Denver PD but this was absurd even by their standards. And I drew a conclusion that has stayed with me to this day:

The police cannot protect me.

Recent events have me rethinking the whole episode, though. In the quoted piece above I omitted a couple of details. At the time I wrote the original post they seemed irrelevant, I guess, and now I’m feeling exceptionally naïve.

The guy running was black. The three men chasing him were Latino. And in an attempt to be as thorough as possible, I told this to the dispatcher.

The cops who turned up were white.

So, were the cops that day swamped and it just took a while to respond? Were they merely not very good at their jobs?

Or was the delay about racism?

If I hadn’t specified would the police have arrived sooner? What if I’d said the guy being chased was white? What if I’d said, in my perfectly white accent, that the Mexican guys were menacing a laundromat full of innocent people?

Did the cops take forever because they were incompetent or because they were okay with brown people carving up other brown people?

I don’t know and I never will, but I have all the evidence I need to suspect the worst, don’t I?

Do Billionaires Get a Bad Rap?

Monopoly-ManA famous man once said “it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

I thought about this as I was talking with my friend Bryan yesterday. The subject was NBA and MLB players striking in protest against the attempted murder of Jacob Blake by the Kenosha PD, and Bryan was saying that it can’t always just be the players. The owners need to stand up, too.

He’s right, but I have very little faith in owners. It’s nearly impossible for a person with a soul to amass a billion dollars. “Less sociopathic” is the best we can hope for.

I mean, remind me – who is Colin Kaepernick playing for this season?

As to my reply, though, what do you think? Is it possible to be a billionaire and a good person at the same time? It’s odd. In theory it should be easier for the rich because they’re free of the oft-corrupting demands of need. Billionaires rarely have to steal bread to feed their starving children. Or, in an example from closer to home, billionaires don’t have to serve clients with shady ethical practices just to pay the rent.

Of course, that probably has the question backward. It isn’t can a billionaire be a good person, it’s can a good person become a billionaire.

We sometimes point to examples, like Warren Buffett, who routinely argues for a more equitable economic policy. Some folks respect Mark Cuban’s stances on social justice issues. Bill and Melinda Gates have given away the GDP of a medium-sized country. And a Google search for [good billionaire] returns plenty of nominations.

Maybe. I don’t have a comprehensive knowledge of how all these fortunes were amassed, so possibly one can reach the top of that mountain of gold ethically.

It seems clear enough, though, that if you are a “good billionaire” you’re the exception.

And if the people with all the money are good human beings that rarely, it says something dire about the system that produces them and it has pointed implications for policy reform.

Defund the Police? Good Cops, Bad Cops…

defund-the-police_lg

The individual tells you nothing about the system. The system tells you nothing about the individual.

The issue isn’t whether you respect Black Lives Matter. It isn’t whether you respect the Police. It’s whether the Police believe all are equal under the law. Recent weeks and months (and years) have set before our eyes a wealth of evidence answering that question. Read more

Who Are The “Protesters” in Black?

Watch this video now.

Whoever these people are, they are not protesters.

The optics are bad shooting up peaceful gatherings so it’s important for authority to establish at least the illusion of justification. By whatever means necessary. So if the protesters won’t loot and burn, then maybe somebody masquerading as a protester has to do it.

The real protesters confronting the guy bashing in windows at the AutoZone suspect he’s a cop. That’s my first guess, too. Hopefully proof of his identity will emerge. If it’s not a cop it’s an unusually well-dressed white supremacist militia yahoo.

In any case, somebody is looking for an excuse to start shooting. Any excuse.

Heads up out there.

Video credit to In the Now. Follow them on Facebook.

Uber “Greyball” scandal: it’s time to consider the death penalty for corporations

delete-uberUber says they’ll stop using Greyball. But this is only the latest outrage from America’s most incorrigibly corrupt business. Time to#DeleteUBER. As in, delete the company. Permanently.

You may say I’m a dreamer / But I’m not the only one

The American corporation exists for one purpose: to “maximize shareholder value.” Thanks to a variety of factors, including a Supreme Court decision that codified this particularly sociopathic view, employees don’t matter, communities don’t matter, the environment doesn’t matter, and really the only commandment when it comes to bending the rules is “thou shalt not get caught.” Read more

Everything you need to know about the Sessions controversy in a few short paragraphs

The Attorney General should resign – whether he’s guilty or not. Here’s why.

Jeff SessionsBy now you have probably read a good bit about Attorney General Jeff Sessions and whether or not he unlawfully met with the Russian ambassador to discuss the 2016 Presidential election. There is a great deal of lawyering on the horizon, but for the moment here’s what we need to understand.

In his confirmation hearing Sessions was asked directly about contact with the Russians by himself or the Trump campaign. At that moment, there were a couple of ways to answer.

If his goal were transparency, he’d answer something like this: Read more

WTF is the NC GOP up to with the attempted “Bathroom Bill” repeal?

The people who passed HB2 now want to unpass it because they hate teh queers, love the money and fear the people.

[Note: Please forgive the snark in this post. I’m in one of those moods, but despite the tone this is a wholly factual analysis.]

The yahoos who run my native state of North Carolina have been a marvel to watch in recent months. Their latest act was to convene another of their dread “special sessions” for the purpose of repealing the state’s infamously discriminatory HB2 – the “bathroom law.”

Of course, things fell apart. If you’d like a self-serving blow-by-blow from one of the perps, I highly recommend the narrative from NC District 41 (that’s Lincolnton, I believe) Senator Jeff Tarte. If you can’t stomach that, here’s the Reader’s Digest version:

  • Charlotte passes ordinance to outlaw discrimination against LGBT citizens
  • Republican lawmakers pass HB2, which makes it illegal to interfere with civil rights violations against gays, lesbians and transgender citizens
  • The world shuns NC, costing it untold millions of dollars
  • Now, on the way out the door, Gov. “One-Term” Pat McCrory decides to repeal the law
  • However, the repeal fails because apparently it was predicated on Charlotte repealing the ordinance that started the legislative ball rolling in the first place

So, what’s the GOP’s motivation here? Read more

Boulder, Colorado Bureau of Investigation planning new DNA analysis in JonBenet Ramsey case

Can new procedures tell us who killed the child pageant queen? Were there multiple murderers?

JonBenet Ramsey

JonBenet Ramsey

According to NBC News, “new DNA testing is planned in the unsolved murder of 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey.”

The news was first reported by NBC affiliate KUSA in Denver, Colorado, and by the Boulder Daily Camera. The two news outlets did a joint investigation in October which pointed to a variety of potential flaws in the interpretation of the DNA evidence in the case.

Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett confirmed in a statement to NBC News Wednesday that his office had met with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, which he said will be conducting “some further testing of the DNA evidence in the Ramsey case, as well as other cold case homicides and pending investigations,” in a new lab with new testing procedures.

There is now doubt as to the conclusions reached by former Boulder District Attorney Mary Lacy in her 2008 letter clearing the family. Specifically: Read more

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