Conventional collectivist created authority is a deception in consciousness. You are your own Authority!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Where was God?

 Saudi authorities are being blamed for the horrific human stampede last week during the Muslim hajj that killed 769 people and injured several hundred others. It’s the worst of several similar tragedies to occur with that annual religious pilgrimage in the last 25 years. Only days before, a construction crane collapsed at the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca, Islam's holiest site, killing 109 people including many foreigners.

It happened as the world's 1.5 billion Muslims marked Eid al-Adha, the Feast of Sacrifice, the most important holiday of the Islamic calendar. Officials say that 1,952,817 pilgrims, most of them from abroad, were there.

Iranian authorities, who said that 131 of its nationals were among the victims, are especially upset with the Saudi’s claiming that they are responsible for the disaster despite the fact that Saudi Arabia has spent billions of dollars on hajj safety measures. They’re demanding that affected countries have a role in the investigation into the cause.

The stampede broke out in Mina, about three miles from Mecca, during the symbolic "stoning of the devil" ritual. Two massive moving crowds of worshipers were converging on Mina's Jamarat Bridge to throw pebbles at the holy shrine. The stoning bridge was erected in the past decade at a cost of more than $1billion and was intended to improve safety after several similar past disasters.

The two crowd’s collided violently leaving the hapless victims with nowhere to escape being trampled in the melee. Witnesses said pilgrims died with arms draped around each other. "There was no room to maneuver," said one eye witness.

"I can blame the Saudi government because they did not control (the situation). I was there. I survived," said a Kenyan survivor who was part of a group which lost three people. But Saudi Health Minister Khaled al-Falih faulted worshippers themselves,  saying that if "the pilgrims had followed instructions, this type of accident could have been avoided".

Other pilgrims blamed road closures and poor management of the flow of hundreds of thousands of worshipers running together en mass in the hot temperatures. "People were stumbling, falling, trying to get up. They were dehydrated, getting disorientated; they were dying in front of our eyes," observed a South African businessman. "The great heat and fatigue of the pilgrims contributed to the large number of victims," said a Saudi Interior ministry spokesman

"There's no crowd control," declared a spokesman for the Mecca-based Islamic Heritage Research Foundation. The police were not properly trained and lacked the language skills for communicating with foreigners.

Of course, there is no doubt what-so-ever that this terrible disaster was caused by human fallibility and systemic incompetence. Yet, even so; here there were almost 2 million people converging upon the holiest of Muslim places to worship their all powerful God. Surely if that God exists as an entity within the cognitive contextual reality of existence, instead of merely as a consciously created conceptual abstraction in the minds of the worshipers, He might have interceded in some fashion to avert the horrible tragedy.

But amidst all the blaming and finger pointing, no one apparently bothers to ask the obvious compelling question:

Where was God?

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Profanity is protected speech

“Fuck your shitty town bitches,” wrote Willian Barboza, a 22-year-old Connecticut man, on the payment section of his $175 speeding ticket which he then mailed back to the Liberty NY town clerk’s office after crossing out the town’s name “Liberty” and substituting the word “Tyranny.”

This didn’t sit well with the ladies working in the clerk’s office. So they forwarded the document to a local judge complaining that the profanity upset and alarmed their delicate sensibilities. The judge in turn referred the matter to a prosecutor and ordered Barboza to appear in his court where was reprimanded and arrested for the “crime” of aggravated harassment. The accused criminal was handcuffed and taken away before his eventual release on $200 bail. 

The charges were later dismissed.

Barboza sued the town and the prosecutor for damages claiming that he was treated as a criminal for a "few harmless words." "Instead of protecting freedom of speech, government officers in Liberty handcuffed me, arrested me for a crime and almost sent me to jail because I harmlessly expressed my frustration with a speeding ticket,"

U.S. District Judge Cathy Seibel agreed. She recently ruled that his First Amendment rights were violated and allowed the civil lawsuit to proceed on claims that the defendants failed to properly train police officers about free speech. She also ruled that the prosecutor is not protected by governmental immunity because his actions were unreasonable.

Barboza's phrase was crude and offensive to some, observed the court, but "did not convey an imminent threat and was made in the context of complaining about government activity." "That the court clerks who received plaintiff's message were apparently alarmed by it does not alter the analysis," she concluded.

Judge Seibel also noted that that between 2003 and 2012 as many as 63 arrests by police officers in the village had occurred "because of the use of vulgar words in what may be perceived as a threatening context." She said one arrest occurred when a defendant called someone a slut, another resulted from someone talking about sexual acts on a police department phone line and another came after a defendant threatened to kill someone's dog.

It’s about time that cops in the United States of America – the land of the free and home of the brave -- learn once and for all that it’s legal to complain about government activity and that profanity is protected speech. 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Kangaroo Court in Phoenix

“We got him! Great work by Arizona DPS investigators and SWAT team," proclaimed Arizona Governor Doug Ducey after police swooped into a local Wal-Mart store and arrested 21-year-old Leslie Allen Merritt for the recent string of freeway shootings in Phoenix.

Authorities say they have “forensically linked” the defendant’s gun to four of the 11 cars hit. That’s quite enough evidence for Governor Ducey, who already has his mind made up about Mr. Merritt’s guilt, and isn’t shy about saying so publicly. 

The same can be said for the police, the prosecutor and the judge who presided over Merritt’s bail hearing the day after his arrest. They’ve all decided that they got their man and that man is guilty; so much so that they don’t even believe it’s necessary to afford him fundamental due process of law.

It was a kangaroo court at the Phoenix jailhouse yesterday. And the judge allowed the proceedings to be televised to the whole world.

Authorities didn’t even bother to bring the defendant to a court of law. Instead they conducted a legal farce via closed circuit TV from the jailhouse. Merritt was brought out of his cell totally disheveled in appearance, shackled in handcuffs and chains, wearing a black and white striped prison jumpsuit, to stand alone in front of a counter before the closed circuit camera.

His hair was a mess and it looked like he hadn’t bathed in days. In short, he looked like a despicable convict, guilty from the get go, and, of course, that is precisely the indelible impression about Mr. Merritt the authorities have intentionally left with the public, including jurors who might be called later to sit in judgment at his trial, as well as the whole world.  

He was alone. There was no defense attorney representing him as the judge read off a lengthy laundry list of serious felony charges against him, including four counts each of drive-by shooting, intentional acts of terrorism, discharging a firearm within city limits, criminal damage, endangerment and disorderly conduct involving a weapon.

“I have appointed an attorney to represent you,” said the judge. But that attorney will only start representing him at future hearings in the case. So this defendant was denied his Sixth Amendment right to counsel at a crucial stage of the proceedings against him.

She then allowed the prosecutor to make a lengthy statement concerning why in his opinion Merritt’s bail should be set at $1million cash bond. That’s a cash bond, mind you – not the normal 10% that the defendant or a bondsman would have to put up to make bail – he has to come up with $1million in cash or languish in jail before his trial. The purpose of bail is to insure the appearance of the defendant at future proceedings – not to punish him before his trial.

“The state’s position is that the suspect presents a dramatic and profound threat to the community,” said the prosecutor. There are four separate victims who were instilled with fear, he argued. Everyone on the freeway was instilled with fear of an intense nature for several weeks. The fear he instilled in the community justifies a $1million cash bond.

Of course this statement went entirely un-rebutted because the defendant wasn’t represented by an attorney at this crucial stage of the proceedings. He was denied his Fifth Amendment right to due process of law.

The court simply rubber stamped the prosecutor’s bail request, saying that she finds very sufficient probable cause to set an amount of bail which is clearly excessive in violation of the Eighth Amendment. This was not a capital case; not a murder; not even any serious injuries alleged; and there was no flight risk presented.

Merritt timidly asked the judge: “May I speak?”  Remember, he should have at an attorney present to speak for him. Instead of providing that attorney, the judge warned that anything he said could be used against him in court, and took it upon herself to give him her own unsolicited legal advice about people often thinking that they can help themselves about making statements about what did or did not happen and that he really should reserve any such statements with his attorney.

What attorney? He was up against the powers of the State of Arizona alone. The court had obviously already made up her mind about his bail and clearly wasn’t interested in what he had to say.

“All I have to say is that I’m the wrong guy…” Merritt meekly declared. “I could never afford that bond. “I got two kids.”  With that, the accused was led shackled and handcuffed back to his cell to be punished there probably for months and months before his trial – before he is found to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt – simply because he had allegedly in the past “caused fear in the community.”

This guy was railroaded. This was kangaroo justice in a kangaroo court in Phoenix. 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Juvenile Sexual Assault & Battery

Picture this: A 13-year-old juvenile delinquent predator, on a dare from his eighth grade juvenile delinquent cretin classmates last week, decided that he enjoyed license to stalk, confront and forcefully grab an unwilling female classmate by her blouse, yank her body toward his, plant his filthy wet slobbering open mouth over hers, and thrust his tongue inside.
Baltimore Maryland police have charged him in juvenile court with second-degree assault. But some people think that all he did was innocently steal a little kiss. They don’t even think that his act rose to the level of an assault.
"I don't know if an unwanted kiss is a second-degree assault of a person," said one woman. Another man said that the school should handle the situation first without getting police involved. "And then, if the parents want to press charges then there's nothing else that can be done."
Here’s my take: If that girl were my daughter I’d want that little bastard taken out and shot. We’re not talking about a little peck on the cheek here. This wasn’t just an innocent school house prank. This was a sexual assault and battery. Where did he get the idea that he has the right to lay his hands upon an unsuspecting and unwilling female, much less force himself upon her in that fashion?
He committed a crime. The girl is a victim. A sexual assault includes unwanted grabbing, touching, and kissing. Rape is not necessary to make a case for sexual assault. Think about how this happening to her made her feel. This was not about puppy love; it was about violence, physical and emotional abuse.
A charge of second-degree assault doesn’t begin to right this wrong. That little criminal should be punished severely before he gets the bright idea that he can go out and rape his next victim. The cretin companions who dared him to do what he did should likewise be punished.
No 13-year-old boy in America should believe for a moment that he has a right to commit juvenile sexual assault and battery.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Taxpayers Screwed Again

Government officials in the city of Baltimore will pay $6.4 million in taxpayer dollars to the family and estate of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old man who sustained fatal neck injuries while in police custody last April. The incident resulted in several nights of protests and rioting and six cops have been charged with his murder.

He died from a broken neck allegedly caused by a “rough ride” in the back of a police van following his arrest.  The officer who was driving the police van has been charged with second-degree murder. Three other officers are charged with manslaughter and two with assault.
Now, maybe this was a wrongful or even an intentional death for which the city is liable and maybe it wasn’t, but one thing is certain: the officials are proposing this settlement long before all the evidence is adduced and the public knows what happened and who is responsible. The police officers accused in the case haven’t even been tried yet. There hasn’t even been a civil lawsuit filed yet.
This "should not be interpreted as a judgment on the guilt or innocence of the officers facing trial," says Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. “This settlement is being proposed solely because it is in the best interest of the city.”
Well, if the officers aren’t guilty of wrongfully or intentionally causing Gray’s death, then the city isn’t liable, and if the city isn’t liable how can it be in the best interests of the city? If the cops weren’t legally responsible then there is no reason on Earth for the taxpayers to have to shell out $6.4 million. Even if this was a wrongful death, are the damages to the estate really $6.4 million?
“To suggest that there is any reason to settle prior to the adjudication of the pending criminal cases is obscene,” said Fraternal Order of Police president Gene Ryan.
Gray was raised in a fatherless home by his mother who couldn’t read, was on welfare and addicted to heroin. He was unemployed at the time of his death. In school he read at a level four grades behind. He had a lengthy criminal record having been arrested 18 times, mostly for narcotics offenses.
Assuming this were a legitimate wrongful case death for which the city was liable, the total damages wouldn’t come close to $1 million much less $6.4 million. He was unemployed. No one depended on him for support. He wasn’t supporting his mother. But she will receive $5.6 million in the settlement. His father, who had abandoned the family long ago, will get $640,000. The remainder of $400,000 will be paid to the estate.

In short, the taxpayers of Baltimore are screwed again. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Spiritual Desperation in Nashville

Religious extremists in America are finally facing up to the inevitability that their traditional stranglehold on political and cultural authority over the people is beginning to wane. Their desperation is showing.

This trend is evident, for example, in the current controversy over gay rights characterized by Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who played the martyr card by going to jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gays, and the religious extremist politicians who rushed to her defense claiming that her rights were the ones which were violated.

The overwhelming response of the public to that charade was that her religious rights were not violated. She deserves no sympathy. In fact it was she who was violating the rights of others by imposing her religious beliefs on them. She was bound by the U.S. Supreme Court, the law of the land, and her oath of office to do her job.

In light of this development, I think I can safely predict that the 2016 GOP presidential nomination will not go to Mike Huckabee or any of the other religious extremists in the race.

Had this incident occurred 20 years ago, however, the public response would have been completely opposite. That’s because twenty years ago most people in America still thought that fellow Christians imposing their religious beliefs upon others was perfectly fine.  

Not anymore. Today, public confidence in organized religion and the cultural authority it professes has reached a new all time low of just 42%.  The decline became manifest in the 1980’s and the biggest drop off occurred in the early 2000s, when news of the Catholic Church’s widespread child rape and cover up broke.

“The church and organized religion is losing its footing as a pillar of moral leadership in the nation’s culture,” according to a recent Gallup poll and report. It once was one of the most reliable points of public confidence, but now has fallen below the military, small business and the police. Congress, the media and the medical industry are among the institutions with lower rankings.

“In the ’80s the church and organized religion were the No. 1,” said Lydia Saad, the author of the report. While almost all institutions lost public confidence, “the picture for religion is particularly bleak.” A growing number of Americans – 23% – say they do not identify with any religion at all.

So there is spiritual desperation in places like Nashville. To wit: political opponents of a Nashville mayoral candidate are going on the offensive by insinuating that she is secretly an atheist and they have (gasp!) witnessed her omit the phrase “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance.

“It is important that you know what I have witnessed before you vote…Right after being sworn in, it was pointed out to me that during the Pledge of Allegiance Megan Barry skips the words, ‘under God,'” proclaims a campaign ad for David Fox, her rival. “I never in four years heard her say the words, ‘under God,’ when we would recite the pledge,” claims Fox supporter, Councilman Michael Craddock.

Another ad for Fox breathlessly declares: “They’re opposing the National Day of Prayer, opposing prayer before high school football games, fighting with Christian faith-based organizations that he called, and I quote, ‘part of the Jesus Industrial Complex.’ Can you believe that?”

But a Barry supporter and fellow Metro Councilman who sits next to her in the council chamber responds: “I am embarrassed to tell you that we’re in an environment where I have to say this out loud, but yes, Megan Barry says the entire Pledge of Allegiance, including the word ‘God' … I’m perhaps the only person who could hear her every single time for four years.”

Pathetic, isn’t it? We have grownups arguing over whether someone running for office is leaving out the word “God” in the Pledge of Allegiance. They’re afraid an atheist might get elected Mayor.

It’s spiritual desperation in Nashville. 

Saturday, September 5, 2015

On a mission from God

Rowan County Kentucky clerk, Kim Davis, claims the right to conduct her government elected official job duties and responsibilities according to the dictates of her religion and “God’s authority.”

Forget about the law; the United States Constitution, the Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection clause, and the US Supreme Court. 
She’s on a mission from God.
She doesn’t think that gays have the right to marry -- it’s against her Christian religious beliefs -- and therefore, by God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost, she’s no longer going to perform her job duties as county clerk. Ever since SCOTUS decided a few months ago that marriage is a civil right, she will not issue and record marriage licenses for any couples, whether they’re gay or straight.
She recited this sworn oath when elected: "I do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this Commonwealth, and be faithful and true to the Commonwealth of Kentucky so long as I continue a citizen thereof, and that I will faithfully execute, to the best of my ability, the office of [Rowan County Clerk] according to law... so help me God."
So she took a solemn oath calling upon her God to help her uphold the Constitution and the law, but is violating that oath now based on what she claims is God’s authority. She doesn’t want God’s help anymore as far as her government job duties are concerned. That oath obviously meant nothing to her – not when it comes to her legal obligation to issue marriage licenses..
Let’s get one thing straight from the get go: I have read the Bible several times from cover to cover and not once did God or Jesus Christ ever say a single word about gay marriage. God said that homosexuality is a sin, but so are adultery, fornication, masturbation, and dozens of other sins.
Yet this woman, who has been married four times and divorced three; who gave birth to twins fathered by her third husband five months after divorcing her first husband, and adopted by her second husband, thinks it’s OK to deny marriage licenses to gays based upon God’s authority.
Of course, this begs the question: Why isn’t she denying marriage licenses based upon God’s authority to all the other sinners in Rowan County, including her? She’s committed adultery, fornication and God knows what else in her sordid life. Why does she think that she has the right to be married but that gays do not?
I’ll tell you why. It’s because this is not about her religion at all; it’s not about freedom of religion; it’s not about freedom of conscience; far from it – it’s all about Kim Davis being a card carrying homophobe and a deluded, neurotic irrational religious bigot.
“Some people have said I should resign, but I have done my job well,” declared the homophobe. “It is a Heaven or Hell decision.” She won’t resign.  
U.S. District Judge David Bunning told Davis she would be jailed until she complied with his order to issue the licenses. He stated that he had no choice but to jail her for contempt after she insisted that her "conscience will not allow" her to follow federal court rulings on gay marriage.
He bent over backward to keep her out of jail or to punish her at all for that matter if only she would agree not to interfere with her deputy clerks issuing the licenses, but she refused.
She fancies herself a martyr. Her lawyer compares her willingness to accept imprisonment to what Martin Luther King Jr. did to advance civil rights, saying: "everyone should lament and mourn the fact that her freedom has been taken away for what she believes."
This lady isn’t being punished for what she believes. It’s not about religion. Her First Amendment rights aren’t violated. She didn’t have to be punished at all. No one is forcing her to issue marriage licenses to gays, certainly not the judge.
But she refused to promise not to interfere with her deputies issuing the licenses in accordance with the law. She’s violated her sworn oath of office. She’s violated the Constitution and the civil rights of both gays and straights in her jurisdiction. That’s why she’s in jail.
Predictably though, several of the 17 GOP presidential hopefuls, including Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum, and Rand Paul have rushed to her defense. "I think it's absurd to put someone in jail for exercising their religious liberty," said the little mouse, Rand Paul. "I think this is a real mistake." Huckabee has scheduled a rally for Davis in Kentucky.  "The Supreme Court is not the supreme branch and it's certainly not the Supreme Being," he declared.
In short, these candidates believe that their religious extremism trumps the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America. That alone disqualifies them from holding the office of president.
Just like with Kim Davis, they are not inclined to observe the oath of office.

They’re on a mission from God. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Unnecessary Evil

Law enforcement authorities in the United States of America can be downright evil at times. They violate constitutional rights. They’re often trigger-happy and overly aggressive. Some think they have a government license to commit highway robbery.
Nowhere is this unnecessary evil more apparent than with law enforcement taking advantage of asset forfeiture laws. A cop stops a motorist on the highway, for example. He notices a wad of cash in the suspect’s wallet. He asks the suspect where he got it. Regardless of the answer, he confiscates it based upon mere suspicion that it is drug money. The suspect is never charged with a crime. His money is never returned.
A Nevada state trooper pulled over citizen Gorman’s motor home for allegedly going too slow along Interstate 80.  You, see, if they can’t get you for going too fast they get you for going too slow. Gorman was wasn’t given a citation but for some unfathomable reason the trooper suspected that he was hiding cash. So he concocted an evil scheme to find a pretext for a search.
The cop couldn’t inspect the vehicle then and there because that would have required a canine unit -- a dog to sniff for and detect drugs, which would have created enough probable cause to get a search warrant. Never-mind that though; he radioed ahead for a county sheriff’s deputy to stop Gorman again -- this time with a drug-sniffing dog.
Despite the fact that no drugs were found during the second stop, the cop goons found $167,000 in cash. So they seized his vehicle, computer, cell phone and all the cash. Of course, they never charged Gorman with a crime. How could they? There was no evidence of any crime.
That was two years ago and the highway robbers with badges still have Gorman’s motor-home, computer, cell phone and $167,000 in cash. He’s innocent of any crime but they still have his property.
Gorman sued the goons in federal court. Last June, federal District Judge Larry Hicks, ordered that his property be returned, citing the “prolonged detention” for the alleged traffic violations and the failure to disclose that the first officer had requested the second stop.
“The second stop was not based on independent, reasonable suspicion sufficient to justify the prolonged investigation,” said the court. “The two stops were for minor traffic violations, and they both were extended beyond the legitimate purposes for such traffic stops.”
The second stop never would have happened if the first officer had not relayed information about the first stop, which included a vehicle description, suspicion about concealed cash and that a “canine sniff” would likely be needed to get probable cause for a search, the judge concluded.
The federal government crooks have appealed this ruling to the 9th Circuit. They’re hell bent on their quest to keep Gorman’s property in spite of the fact that he was denied his Fifth Amendment rights to due process of law and is totally innocent of any crime. They just believe that they can take a citizen’s property and keep it simply because they want it.

Is it any wonder why law enforcement officials seem to have targets on their backs lately? It’s a predictable response to the perception by some aggrieved individuals that the government authorities get away to often with unnecessary evil.