Fear strikes AT, not OUT!

Memories come and go, but important ones seem to stay with us for entirety. This writer can recall, so vividly, traumatic events from my early youth. At the age of five, I lived in a working-class Brooklyn neighborhood made up of almost all white people. I was walking to the store one morning with my Mom, holding her hand as little boys do. As we turned the corner of Avenue P she suddenly tightened her grip and pulled me even closer to her. At that moment a man was approaching us… a black man, or as many whites would refer to him in polite terms, a ‘Colored man’. As he went by us, my Mom then loosened her grip on my hand. No words were spoken between us, but I got the drift of it all. Later on that same year, our family stayed in a ‘bungalow colony’ upstate N.Y. for the summer. Two incidents occurred to form a ‘syllabus of fear’ for such a young boy. The first incident was when a wasp stung me on my earlobe, causing a reaction that gave me convulsions. While this was happening my Mom and her mother screamed in fear that a purple ‘monster like’ change was occurring to my face. I thought I was going to die! Thank goodness that there was an MD on the grounds, and he gave me the injection and medicine needed. Finally, but not secondary to the power of fear, a few weeks later I fell off of a tree branch and hit my forehead on a rock. The cut allowed the blood to stream out and I ran looking for my Mom, feeling dizzy and full of fear. When I yelled for her outside of the bungalow where she was visiting with other women, my Mom came running out. Unfortunately for this writer, she never was able to touch me in any way. Instead, she had a hysterical fit while screaming “He’s going to die! Oh, my God, he’s going to die!” One of the other ladies pushed her aside and attended to me. Psychiatrists would have a field day with any or all of the aforementioned anecdotes. For years I had this ‘uncertain’ feeling when a black man would walk towards me in the street. I still have this aversion to the sight of blood, especially my own. For years I shied away from any sighting of a wasp, even becoming a stalwart ‘wasp killer’ when given the opportunity. Fear had turned into hatred.

Continuing on that important aspect of what fear can do to us, a look back at the late 50s and early 60s and the fear of the Russians is interesting. We baby boomers should remember the famous ‘Duck and Cover’ of our elementary school days during that era. The Cold War was getting increasingly paranoid and it showed itself in how America reacted to this (supposed) ‘Soviet Communist threat’. Every so often our school would have these ‘A Bomb drills’ for a better use of the phrase. The alarm bell would ring and our teachers had us get under our desks and cover our heads; or, later on, the entire school would march out and sit along the stone walls in the hallways. Then the alarm bell would sound again and it was over… until the next drill…or until the Russians really did attack. In the early 60s things had gotten so paranoid that a new found invention took hold throughout America: The Fall Out Shelter. These were concrete block shelters in the basements or right alongside a home where people could live until whatever fall-out from an A-Bomb attack by the Russians was over. This was all exacerbated when we had the ‘Cuban Missile Crisis’ in October 1962. In my Brooklyn neighborhood during those thirteen days of fear, our churches were filled with people attending ‘Novenas’ to pray for peace. Many of us thought that it was only days before a full-scale thermonuclear war. The Russians were hated as was any semblance of Communism. The fear had transcended into out and out hatred for an entire people (Sound familiar?).

As is always the case, the mainstream media ‘whores itself’ to those in power. During the Cold War or during the convoluted and phony ‘Iraq WMD crisis’ the mainstream press always danced to the government tune. Careers were made by those who ‘danced’ the best. This writer always brings to mind a guy who was front and center, and believe it or not, he worked for a so-called ‘liberal’ news station, MSNBC. Lester Holt was like that ‘Good German’ during the 1930s who reported all the **** the Nazi regime told him to. In this case, Holt sat there and gave viewers the empire’s **** about our so-called ‘War with Iraq’. Watching him and his colleagues expressing almost glee as they reported on our carpet bombing destruction of Iraq and its citizenry sickened this writer’s stomach!  It was a career-making time for Holt and many others. For him, now 13 years later, an anchor position on NBC news and of course the moderator for NBC’s 2016 presidential debate. What a journalist! Presently, in addition to the new ‘Cold War brew’ by the empire’s witches and it’s Dump Trump campaign (for ALL the wrong reasons to want to dump this buffoon) the media has to keep playing the Fear Card as to our latest ‘War on Terror’, which of course will NEVER end. The fear of the Muslim jihadists, whose population perhaps is in the tens of thousands out of a worldwide Muslim population of ONE Billion, is what drives this right wing engine of empire. Any rational person should surmise that if in fact we NEVER destroyed, invaded and occupied Afghanistan and Iraq, and destroyed Libya as well, the crazy ISIL would not even exist at this time!

Fear always translates into anger which can translate into violence. Thus, it can never strike out, only ‘strike AT!’

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Trump delays Paris climate agreement

President Trump said he would decide sometime next week on whether the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. He had met with world leaders earlier this week at the G7 Summit, where a group of 7 industrialized democracies come together annually to discuss issues such as global economic governance, international security, and energy policy. The U.S. did not participate in the climate part of the meetings this year.

Intense debates and lobbying occurred over the weekend at the summit, trying to convince Trump to commit to the agreement, but it ended unresolved. “The president’s only been in office for a certain period of time, and they respect that,” said Gary D. Cohn, the director of the National Economic Council. He added: “We’re all allies. We’re all trying to get to the right place and be respectful of each other.”

The other 6 countries at the summit agreed to continue cutting greenhouse-gas emissions.

“It seems President Trump is seeking to build the kind of suspense that is usually reserved for reality shows,” Heather Coleman, climate and energy director at the charity giant Oxfam America, told HuffPost by email on Saturday morning. “Climate change is not a TV show, it is and will continue to have devastating consequences for all of us on this planet, especially the poorest and most vulnerable among us.”

During his campaigning, Trump had assured supporters he would rip up the agreement if elected.

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Asia: 260 million indigenous peoples marginalized, discriminated

Asia is home to the largest number of indigenous peoples on Earth, with an estimated 260 million of a total of 370 million original inhabitants worldwide. In spite of their huge number-equaling half of the combined population of Europe– they are often victims of discrimination and denial of their rights.

With its 4.4 billion inhabitants, Asia is, in fact, one of the most culturally diverse regions in the world. “Indigenous peoples live in all the Asian countries,” said to IPS Signe Leth, Senior Advisor on women and land rights in Asia at the International Working Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA).

However, Asian indigenous peoples face problems such as denial of self-determination, the loss of control over their land and natural resources, discrimination and marginalization, heavy assimilation pressure and violent repression by state security forces, she explained.

“Several countries have legislations that to some extent protect the rights of indigenous peoples, like the Philippines, India and Nepal, Signe Leth said.

“These rights are, however, systematically watered down, often simply ignored or overruled.”

Asked about the Asian indigenous people’s knowledge and their contribution as custodians and protectors of nature, the IWGIA’s expert explained to IPS that they fight against forest degradation, protect biodiversity, and lead a sustainable life with respect for the surrounding nature.

“However, they are often fighting highly powerful forces trying to exploit their areas – even paying for it with their lives.”

The Copenhagen-based IWGIA on 25 April launched its report “The Indigenous World 2017,” which focuses on the state of indigenous peoples worldwide, on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The IWGIA report, elaboration of which counted on over 70 contributors from all over the world, was released during the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues meeting (24 April – 5 May).

India’s “Scheduled Tribes”

In India, 461 ethnic groups are recognized as “Scheduled Tribes.” They are considered to be India’s indigenous peoples, according to IWGIA‘s independent authors.

In mainland India, the Scheduled Tribes are usually referred to as Adivasis, which literally means indigenous peoples. With an estimated population of 84.3 million, they comprise 8.2 percent of the country’s total population.

“There are, however, many more ethnic groups that would qualify for Scheduled Tribe status but which are not officially recognized. Estimates of the total number of tribal groups are as high as 635.”

The largest concentrations of indigenous peoples are found in the seven states of North-East India, and the so-called “central tribal belt” stretching from Rajasthan to West Bengal, according to the IWGIA Indian chapter’s independent authors.

“India has a long history of indigenous peoples’ movements aimed at asserting their rights”.

This Asian giant has several laws and constitutional provisions, such as the Fifth Schedule for mainland India and the Sixth Schedule for certain areas of North-East India, which recognize indigenous peoples’ rights to land and self-governance.

“The laws aimed at protecting indigenous peoples have, however, numerous shortcomings and their implementation is far from satisfactory.”

The International Working Group for Indigenous Affairs also reminds that the Indian government voted in favor of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) in the UN General Assembly in 2007.

“However, it does not consider the concept of “indigenous peoples”, and thus the UNDRIP, applicable to India.”

“Indigenous peoples” in China

Meanwhile, China officially proclaims itself a unified country with a multiple ethnic make-up, and all ethnic groups are considered equal before the law, IWGIA notes quoting the independent authors of this chapter on China, adding that besides the Han Chinese majority, the government recognizes 55 ethnic minority peoples within its borders.

According to China’s sixth national census of 2010, the population of ethnic minorities is 113,792,211 persons, or 8.49 percent of the country’s total population.

“However, there are still “unrecognized ethnic groups” in China numbering a total of 734,438 persons (2000 census figure), according to the Copenhagen-based Group. Most of them live in China’s South-West regions of Guizhou, Sichuan, Yunnan and Tibet.”

The officially recognized ethnic minority groups have rights protected by the Constitution, remind the IWGIA China chapter’s independent authors, explaining that this includes establishing ethnic autonomous regions, setting up their own local administrative governance and the right to practice their own language and culture.

“Ethnic autonomous regions” constitute around 60 percent of China’s land area.

The term “indigenous peoples”

Anyway, IWGIA clarifies, the Chinese (PRC) government does not recognize the term “indigenous peoples”, and representatives of China’s ethnic minorities have not readily identified themselves as indigenous peoples, and have rarely participated in international meetings related to indigenous peoples’ issues, say the independent authors of the IWGIA’s chapter on China.

“It has therefore not been clearly established which of China’s ethnic minority groups are to be considered indigenous peoples.”

“The Chinese government voted in favor of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP)Asian indigenous peoples face problems such as denial of self-determination, the loss of control over their land and natural resources, discrimination and marginalization, heavy assimilation pressure and violent repression by state security forces but, prior to its adoption, had already officially stated that there were no indigenous peoples in China, which means that, in their eyes, the UNDRIP does not apply to China.

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Trump’s epic budget swindle

Elect a fraudster to the presidency – remember Trump University and the Trump Foundation? – and he will soon deliver a fraudulent budget. What makes this presidential fraudster’s first budget so special is the simultaneous perpetration of multiple levels of fraud.

Aside from defense spending, the Trump budget violates nearly every programmatic promise he made to voters last year. And he pretends to fulfill his promise of balancing the budget with fake numbers.

Not only are the numbers phony but also they represent the most audacious mathematical con game in a federal budget in recent memory. It is phonier than the phony budgets cooked up during the Reagan era, when the president’s own budget director eventually confessed, “None of us really understands what’s going on with all these numbers.”

Trump is pretending that his tax cuts will produce revenue growth instead of revenue deficits.

Trump’s numbers aren’t really so hard to understand. First, he projects an average 3 percent growth in gross domestic product over the next decade, which no sane economist of either party considers possible. Then he estimates that this economic spurt will produce $2 trillion in federal revenues – and he counts those trillions twice in the same budget. It’s hard to believe but true: The same $2 trillion is supposed to offset the Trump tax cuts that mostly benefit the wealthiest taxpayers, and to balance the budget over the next 10 years.

So Trump is pretending that his tax cuts will produce revenue growth instead of revenue deficits. And he is claiming that his pretend $2 trillion will somehow fill up a $4 trillion hole. When reporters pointed out that this doesn’t add up as economics or arithmetic, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney amazingly affirmed that he had set down this double counting of trillions of dollars “on purpose.” He went on to claim that the budget would work out anyway because its other calculations are so “conservative.”

Meanwhile, the details of Trump’s budget show in black-and-white just how coldly he swindled the voters who believed him last year.

At the big rallies where he basked in their adulation, Trump’s supporters heard him promise, again and again, that he would “save Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, without cuts.” They heard him angrily accuse other Republican candidates of wanting to cut those popular, vital and successful programs. They heard him vow to “solve the student loan crisis,” which was hurting their kids, because they “should not be asked to pay more on their loans than they can afford and the debt should not be an albatross around their necks for the rest of their lives.” They heard him guarantee, in the most emotional terms, that their narcotics-addicted families, friends and neighbors, would receive “the top treatment” necessary to “get better.” They heard him swear to expand Medicaid treatment in communities ravaged by opioid addiction. And they wildly applauded when he described a trillion-dollar infrastructure program to rebuild the nation and create millions of high-wage jobs.

According to the budget – grandly titled “A New Foundation For American Greatness” – those speeches were all hyperbole or, to put it less politely, a pack of lies.

There is in that document no sign of a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan, just the mindless observation that “simply providing more federal funding for infrastructure is not the solution.” There is no expansion of treatment slots for opioid addiction, just massive cutbacks in all drug treatment and prevention programs. There is no solution to the student-loan crisis, just the elimination of the entire federally subsidized student-loan program and the public service loan forgiveness program, which will make life worse for millions of young Americans. There is no plan to protect Social Security or Medicaid, just nearly a trillion dollars in reductions in Medicaid funding that will cut off health care for at least 14 million low-income Americans, including children, and a steep cut in Social Security disability programs.

Of course, there are mammoth tax cuts for the wealthiest fraction of one percent at the plutocratic top, the same people whose loopholes Trump promised to close.

Only a politician who thinks his supporters will never figure out how he scammed them would attempt such an epic betrayal. And perhaps that is the worst insult of all.

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‘Sexy Cop’ Impersonator Arrested In Las Vegas But Now 3 Officers Face Trial

Three Las Vegas police officers must stand trial for arresting a woman dressed as a “sexy cop” and seeking tips from tourists, the Ninth Circuit ruled Wednesday.

The panel reversed and remanded summary judgment for the three police officers who arrested plaintiff Michele Santopietro, who claims Las Vegas Metropolitan police Officers Clayborn Howell, Kristine Crawford and Francisco Lopez-Rosende violated her right to free speech.

The plainclothes officers arrested Santopietro and Lea Patrick on Las Vegas Strip on May 28, 2011, and charged them with seeking payment for services without a business license.

The two California women were dressed as “sexy cops” and sought tips for tourists to take a photo with them.

Officer Howell had Officer Crawford take a photo of him with the two women.

Santopietro told the plainclothes officers it did not cost anything to take a photo with her and her partner, but they accept tips, Ninth Circuit Judge Marsha Berzon wrote for the panel.

When they refused to tip, Patrick told them to delete the photo, and they were arrested.

The case was dismissed, but Santopietro sued the officers in Federal Court.

U.S. District Judge James Mahan granted the officers summary judgment, finding they had probable cause to arrest her and were not liable for civil rights violations. Santopietro appealed.

“The central dispute is whether Santopietro’s actions went beyond protected expression and moved into the realm of business activity,” Berzon wrote for the unanimous three-judge panel.

“Like the sale of an artist’s paintings, the sale of a snapshot of a performer’s protected street performance is likely protected in itself. Although the ‘customer’ is involved in the process of creating the work at issue here, because Crawford took the photo of Howell interacting with the ‘sexy cops,’ there is no dispute that Santopietro and Patrick ‘applie[d their] creative talents.’” (Citations omitted.)

For the the full article please visit : http://www.courthousenews.com/sexy-cop-impersonator-will-get-day-court/

Source Article from http://filmingcops.com/sexy-cop-impersonator-arrested-las-vegas-now-3-officers-face-trial/

Is Shooting Unarmed Black Men Now Considered ‘Law-And-Order’?

The disregard for black Americans could scarcely have been more visible: Betty Shelby, a police officer in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is back at work just days after a jury decided that her moment of fear justified the killing of Terrence Crutcher, an unarmed motorist. For those who cried out for justice in this case, it seems that call will go unanswered.

When Donald Trump spent the 2016 campaign saying that he would be a “law-and-order candidate”, is this what he had in mind? When his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, says that the US Department of Justice “undermined the respect for our police and made, oftentimes, their job more difficult” through such things as consent decrees and investigations into the police violence that fills our television screens with its bloody aftermath on a nightly basis, can we credibly expect that those who abuse their power will be brought to task?

What does it mean to be “pro-law enforcement” in 2017?

It means less accountability. When Sessions announced that his Justice Department would be reviewing all consent decrees – the agreements that the federal government negotiates with police departments that have a history of brutality in an effort to reform them – he essentially took the work of policing the police off the table.

In a country where police officers are rarely charged with a crime after shooting an unarmed civilian – and even more rarely convicted of said crime – the possibility of removing any kind of federal oversight over police departments like the one in Ferguson, Missouri, once described as a “violent klepto-state”, should be frightening to us all.

But it should undoubtedly be more frightening to people of color, who have always borne the brunt of state violence in the United States. The history of this country is pockmarked by the overzealous policing of communities at the margins, and the reaction from those communities to brutality going unchallenged by our justice system. These communities can expect to find no relief from the Trump administration.

The first indication of this, of course, was his 2015 speech referring to Mexican immigrants as rapists and drug dealers. All throughout the campaign, Trump made clear that he considered immigrants from Latin America a group only to be punished, not to be welcomed. This sense only deepened when, during his Joint Address to Congress, he announced an initiative called Voice: Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement. This program, now up and running and housed within the Department of Homeland Security, would list all of the crimes committed by undocumented immigrants in the United States.

In addition to (wrongly) linking immigration to criminality, it also drew comparisons to Nazi Germany, where crimes committed by Jewish Germans were publicized and dramatized in the pro-Nazi daily Der Sturmer. We need not have gone overseas to find such analogies; one needs to only look at deadly race riots in Elaine, Arkansas, and Tulsa, Oklahoma, to find examples of media and government whipping people into a deadly hysteria.

The fear of such activities returning has only been heightened by the recent killings of Timothy Caughman in New York City and Richard Collins III in College Park, Maryland. In both instances, white supremacists allegedly committed these violent acts against black people without any provocation other than the color of their skin.

When you set up a political and ideological mainstream that sees people of color as populations of potential criminality, it is only a hop, skip and a jump from “Mexicans are rapists” and “knock the crap out of them” to taking the law into one’s own hands.

Everyone wants to be safe, and to walk their neighborhoods without fear. But that is not what Trump and Sessions are really after. That is clear by the fact that their justice agenda is centered around the agents of the state as opposed to the people that they have taken an oath – an oath whose hollowness is increasingly visible – to protect.

For the full article please visit : https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/may/25/terrence-crutcher-betty-shelby-law-order

Source Article from http://filmingcops.com/shooting-unarmed-black-men-now-considered-law-order/

Boynton Police Officer Arrested for Domestic Battery then Placed on Paid Leave


A Boynton Beach police officer has been placed on paid administrative leave after his arrest on a charge of domestic battery this week.

Vinicius Melo, 34, was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail on Wednesday, records show. He was released Thursday on his own recognizance.

“This is an active administrative investigation and we are precluded from commenting any further,” said police spokeswoman Stephanie Slater.

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Melo was hired by the department in December 2008, said Andrea Javier of the city’s Human Resources department.

According to a probable-cause affidavit released this week, Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputies were called to Melo’s home late Tuesday in response to a 911 hangup. Deputies later spoke with a woman who said she got into a fight with Melo and he already left the scene.

The woman had a cut on her left cheek that ran over the top of her nose, according to the affidavit. She told police Melo appeared to be drunk and had thrown a TV remote control at her.

The affidavit said the device hit the woman in the face and caused her left eye to swell shut. She went to the bathroom to look at her face, but Melo grabbed her in a “bear hug” and wouldn’t let her go. She tried to call 911 but Melo stopped her. She was eventually able to do so.

At Melo’s first-appearance hearing Thursday at the jail, Judge Dina Keever-Agrama ordered that he not possess any weapons, use either alcohol or drugs and have no contact with the victim, court records show. His next hearing is scheduled for June 12.

For the full story please visit : http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/local/just-boynton-police-officer-paid-leave-after-arrest/xdbn9cnYmc9tZVipaXemoL/

Source Article from http://filmingcops.com/boynton-police-officer-arrested-domestic-battery-placed-paid-leave/