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Archive for the ‘Freedom(tm)’ Category

The most dangerous place for a reporter to be in America today is at a protest. Not because they’re attacked by protesters. Rather, because police officers regularly attack the press at protests and regularly destroy their equipment. 1st Amendment guarantee of a free press? The Constitution is just a piece of paper, right?

Meanwhile, even when reporters do get the story, media outlets are afraid to print investigative reporting about oligarchs because the oligarchs own the courts and can put them out of business.

Indiana proposes licensing only “responsible” people to be reporters. Presumably any reporter who dares report on a protest or reports things the oligarchs don’t want reported is “irresponsible”.

And of course the Orange Racist Russian Stooge keeps trumpeting that any media critical of him is “fake” and his deplorable followers regularly threaten reporters.

Combined with the fact that most reporters now aren’t full-time staffers of newspapers, they’re part-time stringers for wire services who don’t have access to the legal resources of a major media outlet, and you get a serious issue where proper reporting is being suppressed by the government and the government’s supporters.

One of the first things that fascist regimes try to do is shut down any media that’s critical of them. Erdogan has done that in Turkey, and it appears the deplorables and their God-Emperor Donald the Trump are bound and determined to see that happen here too. Because remember, people. The Constitution, and the 1st Amendment that it contains, is just a piece of paper.

Or is it that the Constitution just has one paragraph, the 2nd Amendment?

So confusing!

– Badtux the Press Penguin

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Says that the statute of limitations for false imprisonment starts when you’re initially falsely imprisoned, not when you’re released.

In this case, a U.S. citizen was falsely imprisoned for 3 years by ICE, which accused him of being a non-citizen despite his repeated assertions to the contrary including copies of his father’s naturalization certificate and his birth certificate showing otherwise. A Federal court ordered that he be paid damages for his false imprisonment. The court of appeals overturned that order, stating that the clock on the statute of limitations started ticking when he was imprisoned, not when he was released. Even though it took three years for him to prove false imprisonment in the first place so that he could be released.

So it appears that if the U.S. government wishes to avoid paying damages for false imprisonment, all they have to do is drag the case out for more than two years, and any award granted will be overturned because the statute of limitations has run out.

Yeesh.

If California courts followed that reasoning, that the statute of limitations starts ticking when the crime starts, not when the crime ends, all I’d have to do is kidnap a kid, hold her for 10 years and 1 day, and then I’d be home free because the statute of limitations in California is 10 years so I couldn’t be prosecuted for kidnapping. If that seems fair or right to you, you’re a loon.

– Badtux the Disgusted Penguin

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Not even controversial amongst scholars. Criminalizing black people with discriminatory “black codes” enforced only against black people was one of the primary tools used to re-enslave black people in much of the USA after they were officially freed by the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.

In fact, the whole reason felons can’t vote in much of the US is exactly because of that — because it allowed the white power structure in much of America to remove the right to vote from wide swathes of black and brown people by simply arresting them and convicting them of crimes that would not have resulted in arrests and convictions if it had been white people. This is why Texas is a solid Republican state with a virtually all-white state government and congressional delegation right now, even though white non-Hispanic people are only 42.6% of the population in Texas (Hispanics are 39.1%, blacks are 12.6%, “other” for the rest). If you disenfranchise black and brown people, you can stay in charge even though you’re only 42.6% of the population. Yay.

But hey, we have Freedom(tm) here in America. U S A! U S A! U S A! Fuck yeah, land of the Free(*) and home of the Brave(**)!!!!

– Badtux the Snarky Penguin
(*) Offer void upon having wrong skin complexion.
(**) For definitions of the word “brave” that only include being terrified by people of color.

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The Bakersfield P.D. and Kern County Sheriff’s Department are the most brutal police departments in the country, killing more people per capita than any other police departments in the country.

So… color me unsurprised that they beat the shit out of a black girl that likely gave them lip when they stopped her on the street thinking she was a man. In the police report, the suspect was described as “a 5’10”-6’0″ tall, 160-170 pound black male in his 20s or 30s with a shaved head and goatee, who is ‘transient in appearance.'” Which is not a 5’2″ 120 pound girl, no matter how muscular she is (good slave genes, that).

And the response of the police union? “It’s their job to detain and question people who fit the description of a wanted individual.”

Which totally describes a 120 pound girl when the wanted individual is a 170 pound black male with a shaved head and goatee… SNRK!

But hey, she’s just a darkie, so nothing’s gonna happen. Nobody will get arrested. Nobody will get fired. Hell, nobody would go to prison even if she’d been a white girl, though they would likely have fired the cop for that. But a black girl? Naw. Paid vacation, at most. That’s all.

‘Cause that’s how it rolls, in a police state. In a police state, the police can do anything they want, and nobody will — or can — do anything about it. Yay, Freedom(tm)! For cops, anyhow. And rich people who can buy the law. So it goes.

– Badtux the Sovok Penguin

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Watch. Then read the rapidly changing story.

Turns out that the roid-raging skinhead who attacked the kid was a LAPD cop, so he gets a get-out-of-jail free card from the Anaheim Police, and the kid gets arrested. Of course, that doesn’t stop the inevitable civil lawsuit. But the chances of this roid raging skinhead actually being charged with assault is slim to none.

I have now watched all the videos. I don’t see a gang of thugs. What I see is a bunch of ordinary middle school students pretty much like the ones I used to teach, complete with book bags and attitudes. They aren’t behaving in a threatening manner until the very end, they’re gathered around expressing their concern, granted not in a respectful manner, but they’re middle school students for fucks sake, meaning automatically they’re mouthy, hormonal, and disrespectful. It’s an age where, if you ask your hormonal 13 year old kid to clean his room, he yells “I hate you! I wish you were dead!” and you eye-roll and say “no you don’t. Clean your room, or you’re not getting supper”. These kids are puppy dogs, whining “C’mon, let our little buddy go!” and the cop smirks and says “No!”. And this roid-raging skinhead needed a gun to deal with them. To deal with a dozen ordinary middle school students. A dozen ordinary puppy dog middle school kids who for the most part who are acting more mature than he is.

Talk about your ball-less wonder. Needs a fucking gun to deal with a half dozen ordinary middle school kids? Jesus fucking Christ on a goddamn stick, the tiniest little old lady middle school teacher has more balls than this skinhead asswipe, she goes into classrooms with 35 middle school kids six times a day, and she goes in there, she teaches what she can teach to 35 hormonal disrespectful loud middle-school kids (hey, look, it’s not easy, okay?), then she walks out at the end of the day and goes home and puts up her feet and grades papers. All without having to pull out a gun, or call for police backup, or anything.

But that little old lady middle school teacher has balls (well, big fucking ovaries, anyhow), and this roid-raging skinhead doesn’t. The steroids have shrunk them until they’re teeny, tiny little peas.

And no, these aren’t gang bangers. If they were gang bangers, the skinhead cop would be dead. Did you see that lame-ass draw? It musta took him ten seconds to get that gun out of its holster! Gang bangers woulda curb-stomped him to death way before then. Yeah, I taught gang bangers one year at an alternative school. That’s why I know the difference between gang bangers and ordinary puppy dog middle school kids. This lame-ass roid raging skinhead cop better hope he never comes up against real gang-bangers, ’cause he’ll be dead if this is how lame he really is.

Oh yeah, what sparked the altercation? Apparently the skinhead cop’s house is on the corner, and the kids cut across his front yard to get from the middle school to their street. So he starts yelling at the kids, they roll their eyes at him and mouth off at him (but obviously kept going, since this video was shot three houses down) with one of the kids yelling back at him to be respectful to the girl the skinhead was cursing at, and the skinhead chases them down and grabs the kid who yelled to be respectful to the womenfolk, a shrimpy little thirteen year old kid. Because he wasn’t going to grab one of the bigger fifteen year old kids. A bigger kid might have been mean to him. And that’s where the video starts.

Now: 1) Crossing someone’s front lawn is not a criminal offense in California. It is a civil offense, civil trespass. If the kids had lingered on his lawn and refused to move on, it would have then been criminal trespass, but the fact that this is taking place three houses down from the corner is pretty much proof that wasn’t the case. 2) Being a mouthy 13 year old is not a crime. Otherwise nobody’s kid would survive being 13 years old. 3) Police officers are only allowed to detain people when there is a reasonable suspicion of a crime. Since neither civil trespass nor being mouthy is a crime, this skinhead quite clearly was not functioning in his capacity as a police officer. 4) The skinhead then makes up a threat that the 13 year old was going to “shoot him” for (illegally) grabbing the 13 year old, even though everybody around agrees that the 13 year old said “sue” and even though the skinhead was committing assault and battery in the first place by illegally grabbing the 13 year old without reasonable suspicion of a crime and thus under self defense doctrine, the kid would have been justified in shooting the officer. 5) The skinhead then starts pulling the 13 year old kid across a neighbor’s lawn (incidentally, committing the same act of civil trespass that he was accusing the kids of committing!), panics when the kids swarm around him and start trying to pull their homie away from him, pulls out his gun, and fires it. Which a jury in the state of California would throw the book at if he were a civilian, because there’s an easier solution which is to let the 13 year old go, step back, and wait for the Anaheim cops to handle it. This is a state where a woman got sent to prison for ten years for shooting and killing her ex-husband when he entered her home in violation of a restraining order. Yeah, there’s no “duty to retreat” in state law, but juries have pretty much written one there.

Now, about the supposed “threat” to “shoot” the roid raging skinhead that both the kid and his homies deny he said. The thing is, a threat is more than just saying something mouthy. There has to be a reasonable fear that the person saying something actually intends harm. Did that dude look like he felt threatened by that kid at the start of the video? No? Well, no terroristic threat. So even if the kid *had* said “shoot” rather than “sue”, it would have been like if one of my middle school students had said “You gave me an F! I hate you! I’m gonna shoot you!”. I would have just given him an eyeroll and said “no you’re not. Open your book to page 102, and study this time” and moved on. Arrest him? Call the cops on him? Pull a goddamn gun on him? Fuck, if I had done that with every middle school kid who got mouthy and disrespectful during the course of a school year, all my students would have either been in jail, or dead!

It’s all about balls. Little old lady middle school teachers got’em (well, the ovary sort) This ball-less wonder skinhead cop? He wouldn’t have lasted ten minutes in a middle school classroom with typical mouthy disrespectful middle school kids. They would have jabbed at him, he would have raged at them, and by the end of ten minutes he would have lost it and done something that got him fired. ‘Cause it takes balls to deal with middle school kids. You have to be calm, dispassionate, and not take anything personally, but firm. You have to be willing to make a snarky comment where necessary, and where *not* to make a snarky comment for that matter. You have to *talk* to the kids — *really* talk, not just dismissive snark all the time. You have to connect with the kids, figure out where they’re coming from, and try to move them to where they need to be. It’s fucking *work*, and takes balls that fucking *clang*, and this roid-ragin’ skinhead? Ten minutes. Max. I guarantee. That’s the longest he would last in a classroom with 35 middle school kids. Ten minutes, and he’d be fucking *out* of there.

What a fucking loser.

– Badtux the Former Middle School Teacher Penguin

Update: A defense lawyer costs $10,000, so the family of the 13 year old put up a YouCaring fundraiser to raise the $10,000. The fundraiser was up for only twelve hours and already raised over $15,000. Plus lawsuits have now been filed against the officer and against the City of Anaheim. Yeah, with all this video evidence and all these witnesses this cop may stay out of jail thanks to the Anaheim PD doing a cover-up for him, but he’s going to be living in a shoe box afterwards.

Update #2: So some more information here: the roid-raging skinhead is apparently Kevin J Ferguson of 1603 W Palais Rd, Anaheim CA. The first lawn he drags the kid onto belongs to 1633 W. Palais Road, which is three houses down from the skinhead’s house. I.e., not his lawn. Once the kid is dragged over the hedge, they are then in the driveway of 1627 W. Palais Road, which again is not his driveway. He cannot go further than that because there is a white picket fence between the driveway and 1627’s lawn, then there is another house, then there is the concrete block wall that is around his back yard and protects his RV. So he stopped at that driveway and fired his gun to scare the other kids away.

Where was this skinhead trying to drag the kid, since obviously he wasn’t trying to drag the kid back to his own house? What kind of moron chases a bunch of kids for half a block then picks a fight with a dozen or more kids without backup?

Looking at his lawn, he could prevent kids from walking on his lawn by simply erecting a white picket fence exactly like that of 1627 W. Palais Street, which obviously is legal in that subdivision since 1627 has one. He certainly does have a well landscaped lawn, albeit one that won’t stand up well to foot traffic. But c’mon. We’re talking about frickin’ plants here. Frankly, if it were my front lawn, I’d just go ahead and xeriscape it with desert plants appropriate to the Anaheim climate and let the kids get tangled up in lots of chollo and prickly pear. Yeah, I think they’d stay off my lawn after picking chollo segments out of their clothing for the next few days ;).

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And freedom doesn’t mean what you think it means, either.

Freedom is a loaded word. I’m not free to punch you in the face. I’m not free to walk out into the middle of the street and start shooting random bystanders. I’m not free to walk into the middle of a movie theater and fire a shot into the ceiling and cause a panic that results in dozens of injuries and maybe a death. And you know what? I’m fine with that. Because hurting people is wrong. And freedoms that hurt other people are, therefore, wrong.

Something to think about, when somebody starts nattering “Freedom!”. Is he talking about being free to hurt someone else? Darlin’, that ain’t freedom, that’s just thuggery being dressed in fine silken robes.

– Badtux the Somewhat-free Penguin

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So the criticism is that the Democratic Party hasn’t done proper outreach to: racists, xenophobes, Christian Dominionists who want to impose Biblical law upon non-Christians, bigots who want to stone gays and trans-people to death, and other such deplorables of that sort. At which point I say: Wha?! Frankly, if the Democratic Party had embraced bigots, I would have voted Green Party because I can’t support a party that embraces bigots.

Not to mention that it would have been futile in the first place. Even if the Democrats had reached out to bigots, the Republican Party appears to have a lock on the bigot vote at present, having elected a President who actually was *convicted*, in a court of law, of being a bigot (he was fined major dollars multiple times for refusing to rent his apartments to black couples).

No, what the Democratic Party needs to do outreach to is, well, Democrats. If the same number of Democrats had voted in this election as had voted in 2012, we wouldn’t be talking about President Donald Trump, because the race would not have even been close. Not that it actually was close — Hillary Clinton won by 2.5 million votes, after all, the largest margin of victory-that-is-not-victory ever in American history, giving the lie to the notion that the United States is a democracy because in a democracy the person with the greatest number of votes wins. But the fact that 5 million Democrats stayed home means that what would have been a 7.5 million vote blowout instead turned into a 2.5 million vote win that was a defeat.

So: Democrats need to reach out to Democrats. Leave the racists, xenophobes, Christian Dominionists, bigots, neo-Nazis, and other such deplorables to the Republicans. The notion that Democrats need to reach out to deplorable people is contradicted by the electoral victories of Barack Obama. None of the deplorables voted for Obama, yet he won. Why? He reached out to Democrats. That’s why.

And the Democratic Party, going forward, needs to do the same.

– Badtux the “Fuck the deplorables” Penguin

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