Constant's pations

If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Adrift at sea but important

Cigarettes can be risky.

Not just if you smoke them, but if you talk about them.

Louisiana Police certainly have a problem. Not only do they like to beat people up, as seen on tape, but they like to blame the victim.

This is how government in America looks at citizens in the wake of the Patriot Act: Those who dare go about their business, are to be thrown on the ground; and if they dare attempt to act like a human, that attempt to stand with honor is used to bring charges.

Classic blame the victim approach which the arrogant JTTF has grown into fashion using, not just stateside but which remains at the heart of the CIFA abuses in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib.

* * *

I've been rather amazed at law enforcement's reaction in the Gulf Coast, prompting me to caution all travelers: Watch out.

* * *

Long ago, I was part of America that trusted government and law enforcement.

But the post 9-11 era has changed my view. Officers too often use the "new era" as a pretext to muddle around in things, and then dare to accuse those who simply "noticing reality" as if they have the problem.

This is what happened in Louisiana. And those officers in Louisiana who are under the spotlight should know that their actions reflect not only discredit on themselves, but the American values.

We stand for freedom, not slavery.

We stand for courage, not groveling.

We stand for reality, not coverups.

* * *

America in the "post 9-11 era" has gotten into the bad habit of accepting "we have to put up with this."

No, we don't.

And a man in Louisiana knew better.

He was simply asking questions about cigarettes.

The problem he had was when someone approached him, and started to meddle in the conversation.

I'm glad he said, "I'm not talking to you," or "This conversation doesn't involve you." Law enforcement does that all the time: They provoke someone, then those who dare notice what is going on, officers will use their reaction as an example to others.

* * *

This is how fascists in Nazi Germany in the 1930s took hold. Asserted power. And intimidated a nation to comply with abuse.

And this is what is going on in Louisiana and across the nation in the wake of 9-11.

Officers lie all the time. They do so to cover-up, feign knowledge, and use manipulation to put people in jail, gather evidence.

They aren't just doing their job. They're interrogating you without the presence of your attorney.

* * *

Law enforcement will play games, pretending that the "information gathering with the intent of putting you in jail," is about helping you out, or "following up."

Whatever the story, law enforcement should not be trusted. Not simply because they lie and violate the law when they get away with it; but because of the Constitution.

The reason the framers included your right to a jury trial was so that evidence, not accusations, was used to deny your liberty.

The Miranda rules were designed to ensure that you had "on your side" a force that would offset the other side of the equation: The prosecutor and law enforcement.

* * *

If you are ever approached by law enforcement, know they are well trained. And the reason attorneys advise you to remain silent, is so that you can delay the interaction with law enforcement until you have on your side a counterweight or force that will tip the scales back to neutral: An attorney.

Law enforcement are not your friends. They are public servants, but their loyalty is not to the public. Their loyalty is to themselves, their career, their profession.

They will violate the law in order to put people in jail if they perceive "that is the best outcome."

Law enforcement have violated the law by fabricating video-evidence in NYC; then they lie about it in court.

The only reason we have a credible defense against law enforcement is that there are video tapes showing what actually happened. And those tapes are sometimes doctored.

* * *

In the case of NYC and Louisiana, the video tapes survived as evidence because they were outside law enforcement control.

Law enforcement will seize evidence and make it disappear.

People are executed on the basis of illusory evidence, false charges, and perjured testimony.

American law enforcement will lie on the stand, convict innocent people, and they are put to death.

* * *

But the process is much quicker in a war zone, or in a prison or interrogation cell. Officers will make summary judge as both "evidence gatherer" and "judge and jury" on who shall live or die.

We've seen the photos. Americans killed people in prison, just like the Nazis did in Germany.

The numbers are far less, but each death is still a crime against humanity.

* * *

Law enforcement is trained how to interrogate. Some of the elite get training at Ft. Huachuca. Others go to the FBI Academy and other locations.

Interrogations are about gathering information to ultimately deprive people of their liberty, property, and lives.

The American Psychological Association has absurdly issued guidance on how to 'ethically' support these unlawful interrogations. It is impossible to ethically do what is unethical and unlawful.

I have written about this before.

* * *

America can be a nation that stands on shoulders of truth, accountability, and the responsiveness to the rule of law.

If you are fortunate enough to talk to prisoners, you'll realize that all of them have a story to tell. They don't like to talk about the abuse that goes on, as the truth, if the guards find out, can result in retribution.

Things are always "fine," but there are problems.

* * *

The closer you get to law enforcement, the more you'll wonder: Are the right people in jail.

Standards and oaths of office are there to ensure we rise above the treatment of tyrants, and ensure we as a people are civil.

Of late, this nation has condoned the slide into righteous abuse and arrogance.

Clearly, the abuses are not on the same scale as we saw when slaves were routinely killed simply because they decided to break free and live as a human.

* * *

Do we need to be this way? Of course not, as evidenced by the reforms since the 1960s.

The people can push to ensure the laws of humanity are not only enforced, but raised to dignify all.

Although it is a tough struggle, we out it not only to our children but ourselves, to raise the standard, expect excellence of those who freely choose to take the oath, and demand civility.

* * *

I grow tired of the whine from law enforcement that they are "under attack" or "in a war zone."

Indeed, thanks to law enforcement, so too are American citizens. We are in this together.

But that doesn't mean Americans have to grovel at the feet of arrogance.

Nor shall we.

But to strike a man simply because he dares question whether you are "appropriately" part of a conversation is outrageous.

* * *

Law enforcement has two options: They can either regulate themselves or have outside regulation.

But there shall be enforcement of the standards of conduct.

It is more egregious that the public, despite the pattern of abuses, continues to be told "there is no evidence" and "nothing can be done" and "put up with it."


Why are free people told to "put up with" that which is wrong and contrary to standard?

The response rests with law enforcement to explain, not for the people to hunt around and "figure out."

* * *

We, the people, are the source of power, not law enforcement. We do not grovel on the ground simply because "you decide" that's what's right.

We don't have to do anything.

Law enforcement, as always, has the burden of proof: Why should we trust you; why should we believe you; why should we bother to consider you a reliable source of assistance?

* * *

Self evidently, simply asking for information about lawful commodities "commands" an intrusive question; those who dare tell law enforcement to "mind your own business" are given a pat down.

* * *

Law enforcement: Why don't you mind your own, review your own, look over your own personnel.

Maybe when you get your own personnel "up to standard," I might believe you're someone I might consider going to.

We're not there yet.

You have the burden of proof.

And the fact that someone expresses their view, or tells you to "mind your own business," is something you should listen to: Mind your own business.

Do your job. Read your police standards training. Follow your own standards.

When you do that, I might believe you.

* * *

This is your public relations problem. Not something you can "solve" by blaming someone else.

* * *

Law enforcement has a nasty habit of looking at everything "as if it were the tip of the iceberg."

The public can also do the same: Your nose is butting too close to our iceberg.

* * *

I'm sure you've got plenty of checklists, review procedures in your laptops, and all sorts of lovely items to review.

Here's a hint: Use them, don't find excuses and stories to justify otherwise.

We, the people, shall continue to test you: Are you reliable; do you respond; how difficult is it to get assistance.

When we know that, we might make an effort to respect you as a person.

* * *

Don't waste your time playing the, "What's a solution"-game. That's just diverting attention from what you already know: The standards.

Its your profession. You have the standards. And you are trained to provide leadership.

A free citizenry supposedly should rely on your leadership to do that: Lead.

It's not our job to lead, but if your leadership proves wanting or incompetent as it self-evident does, then we shall step in.

Rest assured, you're not going to be happy with "our solution."

And stop whining that "we don't understand." Sure we do: You have freely chosen not to provide leadership and discipline to your own officers.

That is not our problem to solve. It is your problem to fix.

* * *

If you don't want to do "what you're supposed to do," then you're not needed. There's the gate. Find something else to do.

* * *

It's clear that despite the standards, training, threats of loss of job, and potential for 42 USC 1983 actions ["a 1983"], you continue to require the catalyst of public mockery, video, and overwhelming evidence to remind you of the law, your standards, and what it means to treat a citizen with civility.

If you have an "issue" with a particular "old client" or "previous incident" and that makes you "suspicious and forever wary", then you need to deal with that.

Quit your arrogant tone. Some people will simply come to you with offers of help.

The worst thing you can do is turn a trusting citizen into someone who gets targeted, turned into a defendant, and then mocked for simply standing up for what is reasonable.

* * *

The burden of proof is on law enforcement. You need citizens. Self-evidently given Katrina, the world knows you cannot be everywhere at once.

You need us.

We don't need you.

We can find another person to do the job.

You can't find another Constitution.

We're all you have.

You're not all we have.

* * *

One thing that is interesting is how law enforcement will jump to conclusions.

We can do the same.

It is reasonable to conclude that law enforcement is something to stay away from, not ask for assistance, and simply wait until "someone else" does something.

But that's the "broken window" problem: Windows get broken, nobody fixes them, and then the grass doesn't get cut, and then . . . [blah, blah]

* * *

If you are in law enforcement, and have a problem, I'm less inclined to care. Why should we? Why should I?

Look what your fellow peers have done in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib: Killed people, without evidence, simply because they choose to act like a human.

You want dogs. Why don't you go down to the K9 kennels and throw a ball in there. Enjoy.

We're not dogs. We're people.

People under your care, are that: People.

We don't do what the Nazis do; and we don't do what you've been trained "about what the enemy might do."

We're Americans. We treat people with respect.

* * *

One of the reasons the US did well in Germany and Italy after WWII was the POWs were treated well. They weren't locked up and treated like dogs.

After the American Civil War, the "losing" side wasn't treated like dogs. Lincoln told the northern commanders to have peace with honor. Former opponents in battle were allowed to keep their guns.

* * *

The standards we violate, under the Geneva Conventions, become the laundry list of things that our opponents are allowed to violate.

But you've gone one step further, presuming a violation you engage in current abuse.

You're simply justifying unethical conduct.

There's no need to come up with "new rules" to justify what you're doing; rather, you need to work with the existing rules.

If prisoners aren't prohibited form doing something, don't invent "new combinations of things" in order to justify treatment and abuses.

* * *

The world notices.

* * *

If you want to reveal information to induce someone to comply with groveling, you have made a poor choice.

The words will continue.

That sound is the drumbeat of liberty.

You are going to lose.

We have seen it, on tape, and the world can see with their own eyes: Fascism continues to flourish in America.

And you dare to justify your arrogance with excuses.

* * *

It is clear that you have great need for therapy.

You emphatically command others to respond to whether they are able to comply.

Your questions are numerous.

Your problem is that you are fixated on an outcome: Compliance, without thinking about the real goal: A civil society under the umbrella of a constitution.

* * *

Your problem is that you hope the world understands your perspective, all the while you fail to look at the situation from a perspective that slightly resembles one of civility and the rule of law.

There are far larger issues here than what you can or cannot do to induce others to comply with your petit requests; to what extent you may or may not intrude in affairs that you should stay out of.

* * *

Your problem is that you have a problem with boundaries. You threaten to deny them; while at the same time, doing little to communicate that you are willing to respect those boundaries.

Your oft prattled promise of civility, good order, and respect is at odds with your actions.

Your words are proven to be of hot air.

Your words are not to be relied upon.

* * *

Once someone breaks their promise to do their job or respect the rules of civility, you are no longer to be trusted.

The test was there. You failed. And now you want another chance.

No, you are old enough to know better.

You're also old enough to know that you don't now everything.

And old enough to know that sometimes things aren't what they appear to be.

The small child you think can be treated like a cat, may be an aspiring police officer. Your words have simply changed their view on whether they will pursue a life in law enforcement, or whether they are a 42 USC 1983 civil rights lawyer.

You made a poor choice, in the moment, simply because you wanted to exert your leverage.

And you were willing to do this with a child, someone you was trusting enough to dare to expose their true self.

You made a poor choice. But your questions raise doubts as to whether you believe you made the right choice. Indeed, you are not sure. You are demanding for compliance, yet the more you try to impose your will, the harder it becomes for you to achieve your goal.

* * *

Things in the world do or do not happen, not because of you, but in spite of you.

It is not our job to make things clear or explain.

Perhaps you should spend more time explaining yourself. To go into greater detail on that question. To make a longer list of questions that you want.

We do enjoy rules, regulations, and laws. They are lovely to follow.

If only you were polite enough to reciprocate.

But no matter, we need not trifle ourselves with testing or challenges or evidence gathering when self-evidently, you are willing to cross the line over something as small as a pack of cigarettes.

* * *

You grow tired of the attention. You find yourself exhausted.

"They're just not understanding."

Indeed, we do not understand why you continue to repeat yourself.

The Constitution is not changing, despite your desire otherwise.

The rule of law, not man.

The rule of civility, not barbarism.

* * *

You are invited to explain yourself, if you dare. To speak, if you have something to share.

To dance before us. Convince us. With overwhelming evidence: That there is a good reason to trust you.

It is clear, in the absence of our trust, that you are not trying hard enough.

Do you believe if you ignore the morning bird song, that the sun will not rise?

* * *

Along the shore, there are a few grains of sand.

Each one of them is of no consequence.

To prove you know this, go up to each grain of sand.

Remind it that it is of no consequence.

Eventually, the grains of sand will understand.

The grains will embrace your words as gospel.

They will see that you are the shining light.

Go. Stand before the ocean.

Tell each wave that it is of no consequence.

Tell each bird that it is not important.

Tell each shell, each drifting wood, it is unimportant.

They belong. As they are.

Even if they drift.

Their voyage not yet known.

But it may one day be understood.