Tuesday Open Thread

I'll be in court almost all week. Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    "A state of emergency." (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by Anne on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 10:44:33 AM EST
    So sayeth Jay Nixon's executive order, here.

    My favorite part?  Organized militia:

    I further order, pursuant to Section 41.480, RSMo, the Adjutant General of the State of Missouri, or his designee, to forthwith call and order into active service such portions of the organized militia as he deems necessary to protect life and property and assist civilian authorities and it is further directed that the Adjutant General or his designee, and through him, the commanding officer of any unit or other organization of such organized militia so called into active service take such action and employ such equipment as may be necessary to carry out requests processed through the Missouri State Highway Patrol and ordered by the Governor of the state to protect life and property and support civilian authorities.

    Gives new meaning to "tin soldiers and Nixon coming..."

    And let's not forget about this danger (my bold):

    St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar says they are concerned that the Black Panthers or communist activists might blend in with peaceful protestors and try to hurt police. "We do have concerns about that. We're seeing on the social media, there's a lot of threats out there against police officers. Again, we're trying to discern which of those are legitimate and which are not," Belmar says. "I have a feeling 99 percent of them are not going to amount to anything, but you know what? It just takes one."

    "Communist activists?"  Really?  Is it the 1950's again?  

    I keep hoping (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 10:47:30 AM EST
    for some small sign this won't be a disaster and I'm not seeing it.  

    Hmmmmm (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 10:56:37 AM EST
    So if people organize and become activists against police abuse of civilians they are communists?  That isn't insane at all.  And that is exactly what the nation's founders wanted, Americans with legal authority over others to become thugs, and the rest of us just lay down for it.

    Try as I might - and I really have tried - (5.00 / 8) (#8)
    by Anne on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 11:12:47 AM EST
    I simply cannot comprehend the mindset of those who seem to believe that only bad people - communists and Black Panthers - would be out in the streets.  "Good people don't protest" seems to be the message.  This is what has filtered down from the "if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear" declarations.  I guess the streets looking like a military review of arms and armament, complete with camo-clad, weapons-bearing "police,"  won't frighten the law-abiding citizens, right?

    Yes, I know that there are those who will glom onto protest for reasons that have nothing to do with what is being protested, but I guess what bothers me are the kinds of seeds being planted in advance of anything actually happening.  One little sentence about people having the right to peacefully assemble does not make this about protecting civil rights; I'm actually not convinced the SLCPD understands even what that means.  

    Like others, I do not see any good coming from this, for anyone.  The example it sets around the country does not cheer me for the future existence of anyone's civil or other rights.


    The corridinated offensive (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by sj on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 11:21:37 AM EST
    on Occupy was the trial run. And that grew out of the creation of "free speech zones". Which must have grown out of something. So that's the trajectory.

    Frightening, really, if you look at it comprehensively.


    Frightening spelling, too (none / 0) (#15)
    by sj on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 12:02:42 PM EST




    Spelling don't count. (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by desertswine on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 02:22:58 PM EST
    Grammar either.

    street littered with camoed cops... (none / 0) (#171)
    by Mr Natural on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 11:27:53 AM EST
    Like the great Dubya Dubya Du**** said,
    "jest go about your business; hit those shopping malls. Santa's on his way to the gun store.  Load up on camo and ammo."

    Who's going to be in camo? (5.00 / 1) (#178)
    by jbindc on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 11:38:06 AM EST
    It's already been stated that the police will be in uniform, unless they need to break out the riot gear, and as a last resort.

    The only ones in camo will be the National Guard at secondary points.


    You know, jb (5.00 / 1) (#181)
    by sj on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 11:50:15 AM EST
    It's already been stated that the police will be in uniform, unless they need to break out the riot gear, and as a last resort.
    I really hope you're right. But I don't believe that for a second.

    I believe riot gear will be the first resort. We shall see. But I consider this and this to be riot gear. Not just vehicles like these.


    I really hope (none / 0) (#182)
    by jbindc on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 11:54:01 AM EST
    That people who want to protest do so peacefully, are allowed to do so peacefully, and that the few a$$holes who want to get on TV to prove some kind of point or use this as an excuse to get new stuff - I hope they just stay home.

    So do I (5.00 / 1) (#183)
    by sj on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 12:00:36 PM EST
    [new] I really hope (none / 0) (#182)
    by jbindc on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 10:54:01 AM MDT

    That people who want to protest do so peacefully, are allowed to do so peacefully

    But, again, I don't believe it for a second.

    I believe that it is likely the police who will escalate the protests into a riot state.


    Not really (2.00 / 1) (#121)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 09:36:17 PM EST
    So if people organize and become activists against police abuse of civilians they are communists?

    That's not what is being said.

    Now, are some communists?? I don't know.

    Neither do you.


    That you are in a state of ignorance (none / 0) (#140)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 08:09:12 AM EST
    doesn't necessarily hold true for anybody else commenting here.

    You really should drop your mind-reading shtick, as in my case, you probably have an accuracy rate of 0% most of the time.


    Calling someone ignorant (none / 0) (#147)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 09:20:40 AM EST
    after you demonstrate you don't recognize sarcasm in response to sarcasm does little for your image.

    Now, please quit attacking me. I am done here.


    I'm sorry that your nose (none / 0) (#149)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 09:26:19 AM EST
    Get out of joint when you're called out on your mind-reading act.

    You can dish it out, but you can't take it.  Good to know.


    Mordi, weren't you (5.00 / 2) (#190)
    by fishcamp on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 01:16:32 PM EST
    supposed to take a couple of daze off, and come back happy and cheerful?

    But you only quoted (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by jbindc on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 11:34:09 AM EST
    once piece of the state of emergency order.  The Unified Command will be comprised of local law enforcement units, to be on the front line as first responders and to help keep the peace, with Ferguson PD doing things like answering phones and taking a back seat. The National Guard will help if the needs arise as they expand into other jurisdictions.  

    He also mobilized the National Guard and any reserve officers into active service, and specified that this Unified Command could expand to other jurisdictions to protect civil rights and public safety. This means that even though there are 90 municipalities in St. Louis County, the Unified Command would have equal authority in all of them (as opposed to individual police forces claiming authority over individual towns.)

    Legal experts say that the move, while unusual, could help Nixon maintain a sense of order if the protests lead to the sort of tumult that followed the days and weeks after Brown's August death. "You've got all these various civil authorities, but they're not in any way a unified command structure," says Michael Wolff, Dean of the Saint Louis University School of Law and former chief justice of the Missouri Supreme Court. He also noted that this may help avoid repeating the mistakes made in the the police's response to the initial Ferguson protests, which "showed poor command structure, and poor discipline."

    "If there is unrest, he won't be coming late to what's going on," says Peter Joy, a law professor at Washington University in St. Louis. "And it's a signal that if there is violence, there will be a coordinated response.""

    The comment about the Communists probably arises out of accusations by St. Louis Alderman Antonio French, from this summer, when he accused members of the RCP (Revolutionary Communist Party) of trying to start a riot.


    The order was too long to (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by Anne on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 12:08:59 PM EST
    quote in full, which is why I provided a link to it.

    I can understand the trepidation the authorities are feeling in advance of the GJ decision and in light of what transpired in the immediate wake of the shooting, but if the police believe that a more coordinated approach and a pre-protest warning of their willingness to use force is going to contribute to a more peaceful protest, they clearly did not learn much from the last time they were involved in protest activity.

    At what point does the threat of a militarized response serve to suppress citizen protest?  And is there a better way to honor the rights of the citizenry, and facilitate peaceful protest, than turning the streets into a display of arms and armament?

    I don't think the police have yet digested the fact that it was that kind of overly-militarized presence - accompanied by overly authoritarian responses to people who weren't breaking any laws - that served to fan the flames last summer.


    True (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by jbindc on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 12:13:55 PM EST
    But what would you have them do? Say Wilson isn't indicted.  People protest.  Most are peaceful.  But some aren't - once again, stores are looted, windows broken, and fires are started by a small minority and other people get caught up in it - either willingly or not.  Do you want the same response by law enforcement - one that came out of being reactionary to the situation, instead of being part of a proactive plan (and possible deterrent)? I don't think there's an answer here that will satisfy everyone, but, I think this helps reduce whatever nonsense might be brewing. (And no, it won't reduce it all because there are always people out there who want to take advantage of a large media presence to rabble rouse and supposedly prove some point they are making).

    Question . . . (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by nycstray on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 12:37:38 PM EST
    Do you think they should have declared a state of emergency in both KC and SF before the 7th game of the world series? Cause ya know, windows get broken and some looting happens by a few, while the masses are generally peaceful and just having fun . . .

    Did fans in KC and SF (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by jbindc on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 12:41:07 PM EST
    Have a history of riots and looting before the World Series games were played/  'Cuz ya know, that would be a more apt comparison.

    Yes. In SF at least. (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by nycstray on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 12:57:15 PM EST
    I think at this point, most championship cities do. It is why before the game they added more police and asked fans to play nice. SOP, 'cuz ya know . . .

    How about Keene State College (5.00 / 4) (#59)
    by MO Blue on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 03:48:55 PM EST
    The  white college students at Keene State College have a history of riots, injuring bystanders, attacking police and destroying private and public property.

    No state of emergency was declared prior to this years Pumpkin Fest.

    It was high comedy. Twitter had great fun with mocking and calling out the foolishness of the white pumpkin rioters.

    It was also deadly serious. Fires were set, cars destroyed, bottles and other dangerous objects were thrown at random people, and the police were attacked by the white students at Keene's pumpkin festival. Link

    Once again the situation was handled differently when white students were involved just like the very public threats of the KKK Clan are being ignored while the governor and the COP stress that scary black people (Black Panthers) and communists have issued threats.


    IDK, did any fans put out a hit list (none / 0) (#21)
    by leftwig on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 12:51:39 PM EST
    or threaten to kill cops?  I would surmise that both cities had police on high alert and I do recall seeing SF police in riot gear patrolling the streets.

    "The aftermath of the team's 2012 victory over the Detroit Tigers included a victory riot that ended with a city bus up in flames. The team's 2010 win over the Texas Rangers was followed by bonfires and a few fist fights outside AT&T Park.

    This year, police will bump up staffing Tuesday night -- and Wednesday, too, should the best-of-seven series continue to a seventh game -- to try to stifle any crime that might come out of a World Series title -- or defeat."


    And they still had problems (none / 0) (#25)
    by nycstray on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 12:59:36 PM EST
    including shootings or stabbings (can't remember which). So state of emergency before championship games anyone?

    The governor (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by jbindc on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 04:41:15 PM EST
    would be remiss if he didn't proactively act in a situation where there's been rioting before, the KKK is marginally involved, and threats have been put out (whether believable or not) against law enforcement officers, not only in Ferguson and the surrounding areas, but across the nation.

    Again - talk to me when all this is present before a World Series game.  You can't even begin to compare the two.


    As I mentioned above, I know of no threats (5.00 / 2) (#124)
    by leftwig on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 10:38:06 PM EST
    made against specific individuals or police officers prior to game 7 of the world series.  If you can cite some, then maybe we'd have some apples to compare.

    So the state of emergency and ... (5.00 / 3) (#133)
    by Yman on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 06:27:47 AM EST
    ... the National Guard are there to deal with personal threats against specific individuals, as opposed to riots and looting?

    Interesting theory.


    The National Guard (5.00 / 1) (#141)
    by jbindc on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 08:13:13 AM EST
    The St. Louis mayor asked for 400 National Guard troops to be posted in the city, but they will not be near where protestors are assembled, unless they are needed for backup or there is an emergency.

    Slay said the city will post the guardsmen along with civilian police officers at 45 locations throughout the city to "prevent random acts of violence, property destruction, looting or other criminal activity away from the demonstrations." The city has about 1,000 police officers.

    Oh, and those National Guard troops to be in Ferguson?  The plan is to position them at police and fire stations and other locations that may become vulnerable after the grand jury decision is announced.


    Yep .. only if needed ... (none / 0) (#194)
    by Yman on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 01:33:16 PM EST
    ... to deal with riots/looting.

    Absolutely nothing to do with alleged that's against particular individuals.


    Really? (5.00 / 1) (#146)
    by Palli on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 09:04:03 AM EST
    Hundreds of Nat. Guard troops are now acting as body guards for police officers?

    In that case wouldn't it be cheaper to just tell the cops to stand down.


    So I guess your answer is (none / 0) (#139)
    by leftwig on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 07:59:29 AM EST
    that you know of no such specific threats against human life made by fans of the SF giants prior to game 7.

    Uhhmmmm, ... no (none / 0) (#193)
    by Yman on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 01:29:40 PM EST
    My answer is your distinction is irrelevant to the reason the NG being called in.

    Missouri Constitution: (none / 0) (#27)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 01:14:58 PM EST
    I googled around regarding "communists" (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 12:35:00 PM EST
    and Ferguson and found a bunch of stuff that was news to me, not sure if you had seen it before.

    Merely informational, it at least gives some insight to Belmar's comments.

    Anyway, this is an example from the Revolutionary Communist Party website:

    To the powers-that-be, the facts of the case do not matter and they never did.

    The only thing that made them even think about backing up at all was the way that people in Ferguson rebelled, joined by many thousands around the country.

    The powers must not be allowed to go ahead with this whitewash and then jam it down people's throats with no resistance, or just some token "protest."

    Now is not the time to negotiate with the pigs about how to "keep the peace"--the only peace they accept is one where people are kept walking around in circles, going nowhere.

    Now is not the time for bootlickers to talk about "policing ourselves" and to cooperate with police to repress, assault, and arrest those protestors who they decide are "out of line."

    All this kind of talk just accepts that these monsters can do what they want.


    What is the point of the authorities (5.00 / 3) (#24)
    by Anne on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 12:58:50 PM EST
    putting out for public consumption the "information" about communists and Black Panthers?

    Maybe I'm not thinking about this right, but it feels to me like a case of putting themselves in a position to defend any accusations of mistreatment or abuse of authority by being able to say they believed those people were communists or Black Panthers.  Or whatever other kind of bogeyman they can conjure up that will get people to say, "oh, okay then."

    Like I said, it has a feel of "only bad people protest - the good ones mind their manners."

    And for what it's worth, I can't say as I completely disagree with the message of the communists, to the extent that it's about preserving the right of protest and not rolling over in fear.  Not advocating violence or threats of violence, just so we're clear.


    the public RCP message walking a pretty fine line, and wonders what discussions or plans have been made in private.

    From poking around on their website it appears that several of the RCP leaders were previously arrested in Ferguson while protesting, so the popo and the RCP have had direct contact.

    I'd like to think they were not arrested w/o cause, but who knows...


    I see it more as a (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Reconstructionist on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 01:19:21 PM EST
      PR effort suggesting that the local community would protest peacefully but  we're worried professional "outside agitators" will exploit the tensions and take a peaceful protest off the rails.

      Moreover, regardless of what you think about the case or the broader societal issues, the authorities do find themselves in a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation.

     If the cop lay back and there is rioting, destruction of property, injuries, etc., they'll be criticized for not being prepared and proactive. If they make a large show of numbers and that causes outbursts aimed at the cops, they'll be blamed for being provocative. Even if they are out in force and nothing much happens, they will still face criticism from some or being heavy-handed and oppressive and in some way limiting freedom of speech and assembly.

      The only scenario where they won't face criticism is if despite a limited show of numbers nothing happens beyond a peaceful protest ensues. Frankly, I can understand why that is considered the least likely thing to happen.



    The problem is that for many of (5.00 / 2) (#58)
    by Anne on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 03:35:40 PM EST
    those protesting, the police aren't just symbols of the problem, they are the problem; based on a lot of the reading I've done, it's hard to deny the existence of systemic  problems with the the various and sundry police departments in the area - some of which is a function of the municipalities themselves, which have based entire budgets on collecting fines and fees from residents, with the majority on the receiving end of it being African-American/people of color

    Entire police departments are not shut down because they are models of good policing.  That some of the officers then found homes in the Ferguson PD is even more of a lightning rod.

    What have these police departments done since August to change the toxic atmosphere in these communities?  How have they reached out to the community, to show more alignment and less opposition?  How do you change an adversarial relationship to one of community?

     It's much harder to fight your friends than your enemies, easier to see the good in people if they show you that good.  John Doe is less likely to hurl objects at the police if the cop in his line of sight is the cop who came and talked to his son's school, organized a food drive or showed up with his cop friends to refurbish a playground.  When you are face-to-face with someone with whom you have stood shoulder-to-shoulder, I have to think the potential for violence is much lower.

    Maybe that kind of thing has been happening in the greater Ferguson area, but if so, it must be happening on the DL.

    In the meantime, when a line about protecting people's civil rights and right to peacefully assemble is sandwiched in between what sounds like a call to arms and promise to use force, it doesn't feel like anyone's rights are at the top of the priority list.

    I do not have a lot of confidence that, other than being able to be more organized about it, the area PDs have really learned the lessons they needed to to make sure whatever happens next goes better than it did in August.


    Anne it is meant to feel that way. (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by Palli on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 04:52:36 PM EST
    Protestors protest, they are not violent and do not riot.
    Outside agitators have and are being identified by Ferguson Protestors. Apparently, however, to the Police in the county and St.Louis city, journalists are outside agitators.  Twenty three have been arrested. More than 300 others have been arrested. There have been no police arrests. And strange to hear Chief Dotson bragged in an interview this week: "There were no deaths in August." [Think on that]

    A bigger problem is police instigators. There is a reason to wonder why there has been no FPD report on the fire that damaged the QT in Ferguson on Aug.19. There is reason to wonder why the bullet that was surgically removed from Mya Aaten-White sKull on Aug. 13 has vanished.

    The Governor brags about 5000 hours of training for police officers. At best he is saying 1000 officers received 5 hours of training. That's not going to change the bullies in blue I've seen in the St Louis area. Are the 3 other officers who also killed African American young men in the last 3 months going to part of this Unified Command?

    Threats to Protestors are ignored or worse. Chief Belmar (St. Louis Co. and part of the Unified Command) recently dismissed threats of lethal force against Protestors with "They're the biggest bunch of bed-wetters. Those guys are a bunch of punks."


    OMG! Bob Avakian is still alive! (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 01:06:40 PM EST
    How terribly sad to have spent an entire lifetime cultivating a political cult of personality, only to repeatedly attract the same relative handful of socio-economic dogmatists and dysfunctional miscreants.

    But enough about me. Seriously, Avakian was the RCP's chairman when I first heard of him while in 9th grade, which would be 40 years ago next year. I'm rather surprised that he hasn't yet traded in his Mao cap for a Panama hat and some sunblock, and moved to an island in the Caribbean.

    To paraphrase Norman Thayer in "On Golden Pond," I suppose that there's something to be said for a politically deviant lifestyle.



    Do you think this manifesto (5.00 / 4) (#75)
    by Peter G on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 05:20:01 PM EST
    came from the top leadership of the "Revolutionary Communist Party" (i.e., Bob Avakian) or from the entire membership, that is, all eleven of them?

    LOL! (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 05:38:48 PM EST
    Actually, Peter, when I attended UW in Seattle during the early 1980s, the RCP was everywhere that there was a demonstration. There were about 30 to 35 members in Seattle at the time, as far as I could tell.

    During the Washington State Legislature's 1982 regular session, lawmakers were considering substantial tuition increases at both UW and WSU, which drew considerable public ire from the student bodies of both campuses.

    True to form, RCP members dutifully made a spectacle of themselves by repeatedly disrupting public hearings on the matter in Olympia, and then topped it off by throwing eggs at House members from the upstairs gallery during the measure's Second Reading.

    Thus, the RCP proved themselves to be useful idiots by giving legislators all the cover they needed, to dismiss student opposition to the tuition hikes as nothing more than the handiwork of communist agitators.



    Hee hee...! (none / 0) (#81)
    by Angel on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 05:27:49 PM EST
    Your guess is as good as mine. (none / 0) (#84)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 05:36:21 PM EST
    Communists? Did he just cut and paste from (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by ruffian on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 01:29:25 PM EST
    some old executive order? Or more likely he can't say 'Black Panthers' without automatically adding 'Communists'. His name is Nixon, after all.

    Don't see any reference to (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by MO Blue on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 03:32:46 PM EST
    the KKK Clan threatening to use lethal force against the protesters any where in that statement. It would just take one Clansman to ignite the entire situation but I guess Nixon and Belmar are just concerned with scary black men.

    MO Blue - Perhaps one already did (none / 0) (#122)
    by Palli on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 10:33:17 PM EST
    MO Blue - Perhaps one already did (none / 0) (#123)
    by Palli on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 10:33:17 PM EST
    ".. the Black Panthers or communist (none / 0) (#42)
    by KeysDan on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 02:46:59 PM EST
    activists might blend in with peaceful protestors and try to hurt police.."    It would have been thoughtful if Chief Beimar would, at least, have rounded out his statement that the Black Panthers or communist activists might blend in with peaceful protestors and try to hurt police--and harm peaceful protestors.   But, then, that is no doubt implied as a part of serve and protect.

    Apparently, panthers (at least black ones) and communist activists (those outsiders that disturb an otherwise placid citizenry) and are an enduring menace--always fresh, never stale.  


    Did Chief Beimer, (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by Zorba on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 03:06:30 PM EST
    to your knowledge, also address the Missouri KKK threats To use "lethal force" against protesters who "threaten their safety"?
    If not, I wonder why?

    Because that is (5.00 / 2) (#60)
    by MO Blue on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 03:56:00 PM EST
    A horse of a different color.

    Or perhaps, (none / 0) (#62)
    by Zorba on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 04:13:45 PM EST
    instead of a horse of a different color (and how apropos that phrase is in this context!), it shows the chief to be more of a, how shall I say this, part of a horse's anatomy at the tail end of the horse.

    The St. Louis America (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 04:28:23 PM EST
    From Politicus:
    The St. Louis American, a newspaper that caters to St. Louis' black community, interviewed the three police leaders that will serve as the unified command of law enforcement providing security in Ferguson and other areas in the St. Louis metro region that protesters may gather in the wake of the grand jury decision.

    The three commanders all agreed that the KKK does not pose a serious threat and they aren't concerned with them causing any additional problems during demonstrations.

        "Let me handle this one," [St. Louis County police chief Jon] Belmar said, when asked about those threats. "The only problem we'll have if the KKK comes in is the hotels changing the bed sheets. They're the biggest bunch of bed-wetters. Those guys are a bunch of punks."

    The police do not view the KKK Clan (5.00 / 3) (#69)
    by MO Blue on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 04:45:28 PM EST
    As a serious threat. Written threats against protesters no big deal. The possibility that Clansmen may confront black protesters just shrugged off. That Belmar doesn't see Clan involvement as worthy of his consideration is no surprise at all.

    What could possibly go wrong with armed Clansmen strutting their stuff at the protests.


    Well, because (5.00 / 2) (#83)
    by Zorba on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 05:32:43 PM EST
    the Klansmen are, to be brutally frank, white.
    Never mind that there really aren't all that many nouveau Black Panthers or Revolutionary Communist Party members, although nor are there, I'm betting, a very huge number of Missouri KKK members. (And I would love to know the actual numbers in those three groups.)
    The fact that the terms "black panthers" and "communists" are scary buzzwords, while the KKK is ignored, says a whole he!! of a lot about the mind-set of the police.
    We really haven't come that far, have we?  {{Sigh}}

    Is Bob Avakian not white? (none / 0) (#87)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 05:40:47 PM EST
    And your point is? (5.00 / 2) (#104)
    by Zorba on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 06:44:40 PM EST
    That the members of the KKK are white, the new Black Panthers are not, and that Avakian is white, himself,  so what?
    The KKK is a white supremacist group.  The Revolutionary Communist Party is not a white supremacist group.
    My point is that the buzz words "black panthers" and "communists" are apparently alarming to the police, while the "KKK" is not.
    And again I ask, what is your point?  

    Well... (2.00 / 1) (#109)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 07:05:27 PM EST
    you said Belmar is not concerned with the KKK because they're white.

    Well, because (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by Zorba on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 02:32:43 PM PST
    the Klansmen are, to be brutally frank, white.
    Well, Avakian, head of the RCP is also white, and Belmar is, apparently, concerned with the RCP.

    The KKK (5.00 / 3) (#115)
    by Zorba on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 07:29:05 PM EST
    Is, as I said, a white supremacist group.
    The RCP is not.
    You are nit-picking, and I'm not sure why you are.
    What is your basic point?  Belmar is concerned about both black "radical" groups and "communist" groups (regardless of their racial make-up), but does not seem to be concerned about white supremacist groups.  Both "black" groups and "communist" groups seem to be alarming to him.
    And that is the last word I have to say to you.

    No, that's not, at all, what you said (1.00 / 1) (#118)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 08:12:43 PM EST
    in your original comment that I responded to.

    I do appreciate your further explanation.


    One thing that has happened (5.00 / 2) (#96)
    by Palli on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 06:12:54 PM EST
    Anonymous has outed about 10 KKK members; placed pictures (in full regalia and in street clothes passing as normal people) on the web and Twitter; hacked many of their twitter and the MO internet websites; and has archived the contents for FBI investigations. The work continues as more KKK is uncovered.
    White vans are ubiquitous in the Klan and a white van was observed near the QuikTrip that was burned and Mya Aaten-White was shot in the head. Legal efforts have produced no answers for the victim. The FPD did little investigation in the months since that Aug. 12th night and surprise there appears no FPD Incident Report exists. The bullet that was surgically removed from her head has "vanished". We are told the St Louis Co. cops are supposedly "looking" into the matter.

    What year is it, again? (5.00 / 2) (#98)
    by nycstray on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 06:16:39 PM EST
    Judging by recent statements ... (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 07:16:49 PM EST
    ... from those Missouri public officials who've apparently booked passage in Mr. Peabody's Wayback Machine for inspiration, I would believe that it's probably 1967 or thereabouts.



    ... where our handful of political radicals merely agitate for the restoration of the Hawaiian Kingdom.

    Apparently (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 01:36:16 PM EST
    the GOP is thinking about shutting down the government again. Good grief. Are they already going to prove that they can't govern even before the next session begins?

    Good. (5.00 / 2) (#102)
    by lentinel on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 06:33:20 PM EST
    Shut it down.
    Throw it away.

    lol; where's that bathtub? (5.00 / 2) (#105)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 06:48:07 PM EST
    Ironic, isn't it (5.00 / 2) (#177)
    by sj on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 11:38:02 AM EST
    Norquist wanted that bathtub because he wanted all the resources to go to all the people that already had all the resources.

    "We" want the bathtub because Norquist's goals are being realized. Incrementally.

    Speaking of "incrementally", those increments of one step forward two steps back hide the reality that the ultimate direction is backward.


    Speaking of that bathtub (5.00 / 1) (#187)
    by sj on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 01:03:11 PM EST
    Their efforts at privatizing the Post Office are way too close for comfort.

    What a way to make a statement! (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by christinep on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 01:39:27 PM EST
    Yesterday, I read about & saw a film clip showing a creative TV media anchor-person ... in Sydney, Australia.  

    If you have not heard about the "statement" from the Sydney guy about how-women-are-treated-differently-than-men and more, this gentleman expressed it more strikingly than any chart, graph, essay, or statistic could.  The particular matter concerned what so many alert individuals have pointed out from time to time ... namely, that women's attire is scrutinized more than the substance of the female person.  So ... our new role model from Sydney delightfully revealed that he had worn the same blue suit every single day for one year.  The same suit.  During that time, viewers would comment--positively & negatively--about the various clothes/outfits worn by the female co-anchor sitting next to him ... yet, no one ever noticed or otherwise commented about his same suit.  

    A great statement!

    often give each other the top-to-bottom "once over." Thinking about it, I see it more in public places than among friends.

    Gonna get myself in hot water again (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by Reconstructionist on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 04:17:11 PM EST
      but I definitely think more often  women scrutinize other women more than men do. I also think most  women get more satisfaction from their clothes (not appearance in toto, just clothes-- men tend to be just as vain just in a different way) than men.

      I won't deny noticing when women wear sexy clothes and allowing myself a discreet eyeful but I've never once thought or heard another guy  say what women will say  abut how "that color is wrong for her" or "her waist is too thick for that dress" or "she's too old to wear that" etc.

      My wife has a lot of divorced, unattached friends, (and I only have daughters so I'm outnumbered in the family too)so  I am fairly often the only guy in the room and I hear that stuff quite a bit.

      I'm actually a fairly good dresser myself, but in terms of thoughts about other guys, I really have  none except you shouldn't wear a muscle shirt if you have  flabby arms and a gut and no man over thirty should wear his ballcap backwards.



    Always fun to watch the boys (5.00 / 2) (#68)
    by nycstray on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 04:43:11 PM EST
    discuss this and not realize/acknowledge the role they play . . .

    Continue . . .


    I'll admit (none / 0) (#72)
    by Reconstructionist on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 04:56:53 PM EST
      I evidently don't realize the role I play when it comes to women and clothes.  Cut us a break and don't be so cryptic.

    My friends talk the same way as your wife's (none / 0) (#78)
    by christinep on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 05:25:02 PM EST
    friends. In fact--I might have heard myself making a comment about clothes & hair. Mea culpa.

    Now, allow me to try my own squirming.  It goes this way: I've made remarks over the years about men & women & style (and teenagers & youngsters.) Most of the time, my attitude focuses on the positive and the compliment.  Not always, admittedly.  But ... my observations aren't limited to noticing what women wear; and that may be for the reason that my Dad enjoyed looking his best and would speak in terms of form and what flattered individuals (oh, his avocation & passion--long before it became popular--was ice-dancing & that attention served as illustration about what flattered form when man or woman filled the rink.)

    I also think, tho, that we all fall into a pattern of commenting about "dress" that can and does overlap with assessment of who is good, who is professional, who is capable of being in a high-level business or governmental position.  Thankfully, as our eyes and our culture become conditioned to seeing more women in positions of authority, the ultra-scrutiny about female plumage should not be so predominant.  The goose & gander & all that.


    Well, if you mean (none / 0) (#89)
    by Reconstructionist on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 05:45:23 PM EST
      that certain outfits don't look professional I am guilty of thinking so. I don't think, for example,  a low cut backless dress would be appropriate for a lawyer to wear to court I also don't think a guy should go to court without  a suit (or at least sports coat and dress slacks), tie,  pressed shirt and dress shoes.

       On the other hand, I don't think a woman who wears that type of thing to a party is cheap or slutty, just that certain clothes are not for work.



    Congratulations! (none / 0) (#106)
    by christinep on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 06:49:10 PM EST
    I think that if you were concerned about your initial response...you more than acquitted yourself.

    Now ... for everyone ... assuming H runs, comments about the color and look of pantsuits won't work, huh?



    And why am I (none / 0) (#51)
    by Zorba on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 03:16:45 PM EST
    not surprised?   :-D

    Does everybody (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 08:54:49 PM EST
    just live for an open thread to come up here? It seems that once it opens up, it fills up very quickly.

    I read the other threads, very interesting (none / 0) (#197)
    by ruffian on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 02:01:06 PM EST
    re ISIS...I just don't have anything to add. I've run out of ways to express how horrible the whole situation is.

    Symbiosis. (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by lentinel on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 08:57:13 PM EST
    Obama Orders Review of U.S. Hostage Policy

    Christine Wormuth, the undersecretary of Defense for policy and one of the Pentagon's most senior officials, said the review will include a "specific emphasis on examining family engagement, intelligence collection, and diplomatic engagement policies."

    The emphasis on the families of hostages is particularly noteworthy; the parents of Americans murdered by ISIS have criticized the White House for threatening them with potential criminal prosecution if they were to pay a ransom.

    I would say a "review" of our "hostage policy" is about due.

    Senate rejects Keystone XL pipeline; (5.00 / 2) (#125)
    by Anne on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 10:52:41 PM EST
    it needed 60 votes to pass - it got 59.

    The controversial Keystone XL pipeline project to expand an oil pipeline running from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico has failed the approval of Congress, after the Senate voted against the project Tuesday. The House passed its version of the bill Friday.

    An early tally showed 35 for and 30 against the bill; subsequent calls for senators' votes failed to net the 60 votes needed for passage. The decisive 41st "No" vote came with 55 votes in favor, and the final tally was 59-41.

    Bye Bye, (none / 0) (#135)
    by jbindc on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 07:36:48 AM EST
    And of course, (none / 0) (#138)
    by jbindc on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 07:43:47 AM EST
    It will pass in the next Congress.

    From my link:

    So in a last-ditch effort to move the needle, she launched the Keystone campaign. Nevermind that the very same bill will probably pass with ease once Republicans take control of the Senate in January. She wanted to prove she could make it happen two months earlier -- because why not.

    And Senate Democrats -- who, again, have abandoned her financially -- have now abandoned her in spirit too. The vote wasn't just meaningless because Republicans will pass the bill come next year; it was also meaningless because the White House has basically said it would veto the bill, as the State Department is still reviewing the project.

    Here's what's next (none / 0) (#148)
    by jbindc on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 09:22:50 AM EST
    for KXL

    But when the Senate lands in the hands of Republicans at the start of next year, the upper chamber appears to have a filibuster-proof majority in favor of the project. That has not been lost on Republicans. "We had 59 votes today but if you look at the new Congress ... you can see that we'll be well over 60," Hoeven told reporters in the Capitol.

    The White House has strongly suggested that President Obama would veto Keystone legislation but stopped short of an explicit threat in the run-up to the Senate vote. Obama in recent days has also made critical comments about the pipeline.

    Republicans won't be content to merely pass a pro-Keystone bill--they plan to do everything in their power to ensure that the president green-lights the pipeline. Hoeven said he believes a GOP-controlled Senate may be able to marshall the 67 votes needed to override a presidential veto of the pipeline, if it comes to that.

    The North Dakota senator said he is counting on "yes" votes from a slate of pro-Keystone Republicans who were voted into office in the midterm elections earlier this month. But Hoeven added he has also been talking to Democratic senators who are currently on the fence but who he believes may be persuaded to vote in favor of the pipeline next year.

    But will the veto be overridden? (none / 0) (#166)
    by christinep on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 10:50:13 AM EST
    Or--also quite possible--may better terms for US as to priority use/more discounted costs of oil be negotiated in attempt to avoid such a veto??

    I'm not a vote counter (5.00 / 1) (#169)
    by Reconstructionist on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 11:07:27 AM EST
      but I don't believe the next Congress will have the necessary 2/3 in both houses to override.

       It would take a  huge abandonment by Dems and  joining an override is even more of a slap than a vote on the pre-veto  passage.

      That doesn't mean it won't eventually be built, because the bill isn't an  up or down on the project but an attempt to force  a bypass of the normal procedure needed for approval.



    Possibly (none / 0) (#168)
    by jbindc on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 11:00:27 AM EST
    Hoeven said he believes a GOP-controlled Senate may be able to marshall the 67 votes needed to override a presidential veto of the pipeline, if it comes to that

    And Mary (none / 0) (#143)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 08:34:24 AM EST
    voted for it. The loss of Mary will mean the GOP goes even more southern and further right I'm guessing.

    Yep (none / 0) (#144)
    by jbindc on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 08:47:02 AM EST
    And all the polls show Cassidy ahead [and have since July] - including the latest from Gravis (don't know anything about them).  This poll does seem to be an outlier though - it shows him up by 21!

    Gravis (none / 0) (#156)
    by CoralGables on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 10:05:29 AM EST
    Last I read, is a guy that works out of his house in Orlando. I'd be surprised if he polls at all. A guy named Doug Kaplan that is mostly known as a scam artist.

    This of course doesn't mean Landrieu has a chance. She'll likely get crushed as expected and with that the Senate will continue to swing further right.


    Yeah (none / 0) (#157)
    by jbindc on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 10:09:10 AM EST
    It seemed like an outlier.  That being said, she hasn't been ahead in any poll since July.

    Rebuilding the old Confederacy (none / 0) (#167)
    by christinep on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 10:52:59 AM EST
    Except that the new version of "solid South" will be Republican.  Shades of Nixon and shades of lots of things.  Fascinating.

    Voting yes in such a transparent (none / 0) (#173)
    by ruffian on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 11:30:40 AM EST
    attempt to save one probably-doomed-anyway Senate seat would have been about as craven as it comes. I'm glad there either was no heavy arm-twisting or that it was resisted.

    Probably (5.00 / 2) (#162)
    by jbindc on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 10:42:29 AM EST
    No new Attorney General until next year.

    With only a handful of legislative days left before Congress calls it quits for the holiday season, it appears increasingly likely that Democratic Leader Harry Reid will cede the Senate majority to Republicans without confirming a new attorney general, leaving Eric Holder with the job he quit almost two months ago until at least January.

    The process to confirm a new attorney general, which typically takes weeks, has barely begun as members of the Senate have turned their focus to the Keystone pipeline, a bill to curb the National Security Agency's powers, and dozens of lower-level administration nominees.

    Given the time line, Reid told reporters Tuesday that it is his "personal feeling" that the nomination of U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch to succeed Holder will have to wait until 2015, after Republicans have taken control of the Senate. The White House, Reid said, has told him, "don't be pushing that."

    Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy of Vermont still has not said explicitly whether confirming Lynch will be possible in the lame-duck session, but he said Tuesday that his committee hasn't even received Lynch's paperwork and thus has not been able to begin the process of considering her nomination -- much less scheduling a hearing. "We can't really start talking about it until we get the nomination [paperwork]," Leahy said.

    A minority female as sacrificial lamb. (none / 0) (#164)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 10:46:57 AM EST

    Sadder still.. (5.00 / 1) (#165)
    by kdog on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 10:49:25 AM EST
    we're stuck with Eric "How may I better serve you Mr. Dimon sir?" Holder.

    Shades of Lani Guinier. (none / 0) (#185)
    by caseyOR on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 12:55:34 PM EST
    And Susan Rice.

    I wonder (none / 0) (#170)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 11:08:16 AM EST
    if they are going to crank up the jihad on this poor lady.

    You wonder? (none / 0) (#188)
    by caseyOR on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 01:03:58 PM EST
    Oh, wonder no more, my friend. The cranking has begun. Lynch prosecuted cops. She must be destroyed.

    Shouldn't (none / 0) (#189)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 01:07:07 PM EST
    be surprised. I knew the we're going to be "bipartisan" wasn't going to last and now the senate is going to as insane as the house has been. It's going to be jihad 24/7 and they're going to do a great job of making sure Hillary becomes president in a landslide. I have to say though 2 years of jihad by the GOP is going to give everyone migraines outside of the jihadists themselves.

    While the opposition is gearing up (none / 0) (#199)
    by christinep on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 02:14:01 PM EST
    against her, the usual Repub overreach on this one could backfire.  From what I understand nominee Lynch knows how to counter with the best of them.  And ... you really have to wonder how many major demographic groups the Repubs are going to alienate for generations by the time their recent games are finished.  (Let's see: Demonstrated attitude of hostility toward black men and women, Hispanics, single women, college-age youth, disabled individuals, etc.)

    I always hope their overreach (5.00 / 1) (#202)
    by sj on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 02:32:49 PM EST
    will backfire, but I don't see how that helps the Lynch nomination since
    The White House, Reid said, has told him, "don't be pushing that."
    It was unclear Tuesday why the White House had not yet sent over the full paperwork relating to Lynch's nomination.
    So who is hostile to this accomplished woman of color? Or at best, non-supportive?

    The way I see it, that non-support takes away a lot of the venom to any sting the GOP may feel about this situation.


    Senator Rand Paul (R. KY) (5.00 / 1) (#192)
    by KeysDan on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 01:22:28 PM EST
    the libertarian-ish Republican who has been railing against government surveillance and intrusion as a key plank in his national barnstorming, voted against ending debate so as to move forward on reform of NSA (USA Freedom Act).  

    In so doing, Paul has aligned himself with Kentucky compatriot and incoming power, Mitch McConnell.  Paul did say that he "felt bad" because his vote was probably needed.  Paul and McConnell present different reasons, McConnell's, apparently because he is a Republican, and Paul's because he did not feel the Act went far enough--it did not end the Patriot Act.  Perhaps, Senator Paul  only votes for perfect bills, or else, he feels that passage of a bill that includes all his requirements has a much better chance next year with the Republicans in the majority.  Or, it make Primary sense to be on the good side of McConnell and his ilk.  

    Ah, little R. Paul ... (5.00 / 2) (#200)
    by christinep on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 02:19:54 PM EST
    as predictably political as anyone.  Ah, poor Paul, he forgot his followers (and, he will surely forget his brands a lot more by the time the process is over.) Pretzel Paul.

    This is a nice story that cheered me; (5.00 / 3) (#201)
    by Anne on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 02:21:08 PM EST
    I think we all could use something positive for a change:

    Here's the beginning:

    Gate A-4:

    Wandering around the Albuquerque Airport Terminal, after learning my flight had been delayed four hours, I heard an announcement: "If anyone in the vicinity of Gate A-4 understands any Arabic, please come to the gate immediately." Well-- one pauses these days. Gate A-4 was my own gate. I went there.

    An older woman in full traditional Palestinian embroidered dress, just like my grandma wore, was crumpled to the floor, wailing. "Help," said the flight agent. "Talk to her . What is her problem? We told her the flight was going to be late and she did this."

    Really, read it all - it's not too long.

    Anyone else NEVER trying Uber? (5.00 / 1) (#204)
    by ruffian on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 03:55:16 PM EST
    Creepy spy car service....when pretty mainstream fanboy web sites are giving instructions on how to uninstall the Uber app, it tells me this is going to be a pretty spectacular fall.

    This is meerely your opnion (5.00 / 1) (#205)
    by leftwig on Thu Nov 20, 2014 at 08:26:12 AM EST
    "My answer is your distinction is irrelevant to the reason the NG being called in. "

    I've never said the guard was being called in to protect the police or specifically the individuals that have been threatened.  I am stating that groups have made specific threats to harm individuals so they are showing their hand that they intend to break the law and go after people.  The guard is being called in for protection for everyone from various groups that appears bent on wreaking havoc.  The threats against human life are the precursor that did not exist in the comparison made about post World Series "celebrations".  I know you are smart enough to see the difference.

    Al Sharpton (3.00 / 2) (#38)
    by Slado on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 02:18:59 PM EST
    Owes Millions in taxes

    And uses his "Charity" as a money hole.

    I just don't get it.  TV Show, Racial leader etc... etc...  Why does anyone take this guy seriously?

    Well (5.00 / 3) (#41)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 02:26:12 PM EST
    he's in good company with the tea party using their operation as a charity hole. Maybe the laws need to be changed on that account. Huh?

    Wow (none / 0) (#47)
    by Slado on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 03:02:38 PM EST
    Exactly which law are you referring to?

    Sharpton is not running campaign group.  He's running a "Charity" that according to the NYT's he uses for personal wealth and prestige and fails to pay taxes so he can at best keep it going and at worst enrich himself.

    Not sure how that compares to Tea Party groups trying to run campaign adds.


    The law (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 03:20:34 PM EST
    that changed the definition of charity I believe it was Citizens United. It's now legal to not even have a charitable goal to be considered a "charity"

    Sharpton is doing the EXACT same thing people like Jenny Beth Martin and others are doing in the tea party.


    Per the IRS website, ... (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 05:21:28 PM EST
    ... the 501(c)(4) law ostensibly addresses the tax-exempt status of social welfare organizations, civic leagues and local associations of employees, both of which may or may not be defined as a charity because public advocacy groups may also fall under this heading.

    Through my own consulting work with not-for-profit chartitable organizations, as well as my extracurricular political activities, I'm pretty familiar with the non-profit classifications under 501(c) federal law. It is the 501(c)(3) classification which specifically addresses the tax-exempt status of charitable organizations, as well as scientific, religious, literary, amateur sports and child / animal cruelty organizations. And still another law, 501(c)(6), exempts chambers of commerce, business leagues and guilds, trade organizations and real estate boards from taxation.

    (Here's how the IRS differentiates 501(c)(3) organizations from 501(c)(4) organizations.)

    That said, it's also pretty clear that the IRS took it upon itself to offer a much more expansive view of the 501(c)(4) law, than was likely the original congressional intent. Here's how Congress originally and specifically defined a 501(c)(4) organization:

    "Civic leagues or organizations not organized for profit but operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare." (Emphasis is mine.)

    And here's how, 55 years ago and without any congressional authorization to do so, the IRS re-defined a 501(c)(4) organization by carving out its own huge loophole in the law, so that one could practically drive a truck through the word "exclusively":

    "To be operated exclusively to promote social welfare, an organization must operate primarily to further the common good and general welfare of the people of the community." (Emphasis is mine.)

    For the purposes of practicing the politics of cynicism to its fullest extent, obtaining a 501(c)(4) classification for one's organization is much more preferable to a 527-class certification, i.e., political action committees (PACs) and SuperPACs, because while the latter is required by law to disclose its donors, a 501(c)(4)-class organization does not have to do so.

    It's therefore hardly surprising that in the immediate wake of SCOTUS's Citizens United decision, politically-related expenditures by so-called "social welfare not-for-profit organizations" during the 2010 midterms were over 50% greater than those by PACs and SuperPACs, and further accounts for over 60% of all politically-related expenditures by non-candidate committees.

    And finally, for purposes of your discussion with Slado, both Al Sharpton's Political Action Network and the Tea Party / Tea Party Express have been defined by the IRS as 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations.



    Thanks (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 05:25:46 PM EST
    Donald. Like I said the if you don't like what Sharpton is doing then you shouldn't like what the tea party is doing either. And if you don't like either change the law to where these bogus social welfare organizations are no longer tax exempt.

    A 501(c)(3) public charity is not the same (none / 0) (#79)
    by Peter G on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 05:25:21 PM EST
    as a 501(c)(4) public welfare organization, for tax purposes. Neither type of entity itself pays taxes, but contributions to a (c)(4) are not deductible by the donors.

    I neglected to mention that aspect in my comment above (No. 77).

    The tea party (none / 0) (#52)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 03:18:43 PM EST
    is claiming they are a "social welfare" organization when they actually are closer to a PAC. Jenny Beth Martin is pulling down half a million a year fleecing the rubes and she's not helping anybody but herself. So if you consider that a charity then you have a very different understanding of what a charity is.

    They say that... (5.00 / 1) (#127)
    by unitron on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 12:27:07 AM EST
    ...charity begins at home.

    In this case, apparently her's.


    If you are saying (2.00 / 1) (#150)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 09:29:56 AM EST
    right wing snookers are as bad as your snookers.....

    I guess you believe two wrongs make a right,


    No (5.00 / 4) (#153)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 09:44:14 AM EST
    I'm saying if you don't like it change the law for charities and if you have a problem with Sharpton doing the same thing that the tea party is then you're just being idiotic. Don't just whine about Sharpton when he's doing the same thing the tea party is. And it's all legal because of Citizen's United. Now if you're willing to join the rest of us in proposing a constitutional amendment to kill of Citizen's United we'll welcome your help.

    No, jim, what she's saying is that (5.00 / 4) (#158)
    by Anne on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 10:10:35 AM EST
    if people are not going to hold members of their own party or of their own political persuasion or philosophy accountable for skimming/fleecing/treating these "organizations" as their own personal slush funds, then when they believe those on the opposite side are doing it, they should STFU.

    Or, if they're really concerned with ethics and morals and doing the right thing, they should work to change the law that, together with the help of the Supreme Court, made it possible for this kind of abuse to go on.

    [Your disingenuous efforts to stir the pot by being  deliberately obtuse are one reason - there are others - why no one takes you seriously.]


    Y'all (5.00 / 1) (#159)
    by Reconstructionist on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 10:17:51 AM EST
      are conflating several distinct issues.

     § 501 (c)(3) is a provision of the TAX CODE. The IRs describes the important criteria necessary:

    To be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an organization must be organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3), and none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual. In addition, it may not be an action organization, i.e., it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.

    Organizations described in section 501(c)(3) are commonly referred to as charitable organizations. Organizations described in section 501(c)(3), other than testing for public safety organizations, are eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions in accordance with Code section 170.

    The organization must not be organized or operated for the benefit of private interests, and no part of a section 501(c)(3) organization's net earnings may inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual. If the organization engages in an excess benefit transaction with a person having substantial influence over the organization, an excise tax may be imposed on the person and any organization managers agreeing to the transaction.



    continuing (5.00 / 1) (#161)
    by Reconstructionist on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 10:29:42 AM EST
      A claim that Sharpton is using an organization with § 501 (c)C3) status for his private benefit (i.e. earnings (contributions or investment) are being diverted to support him personally rather  than to promote the exempt purposes stated in its (c)(3) application is different than claims:

      -- that a (c)(3) organization is engaging in prohibited political advocacy; or

     -- that a (c)(4) organization, which is an entirely different animal is allegedly doing something wrong.

      Sharpton (or anyone else)is allowed to be paid a salary, benefits and have expenses incurred in doing the charity's work paid from tax-exempt contributions.

      This link helps explain where the line is drawn between fair compensation for services and reasonable coverage of expenses and excess benefits are drawn. As is often the case, it's not a bright line when you attempt to apply it to specific transactions (which is why tax lawyers make good money)


    More on the Rev's monetary pecadillos (5.00 / 1) (#179)
    by Mr Natural on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 11:40:46 AM EST
    Sort of like the NRA? (none / 0) (#73)
    by Angel on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 05:04:26 PM EST
    They have charitable status and don't pay taxes.  They're not a charity, they aren't providing public service, etc.  Talk about a SCAM!

    Not exactly (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by Reconstructionist on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 05:27:57 PM EST
     The NRA itself is a § 501 (c)(4)organization; that is defined as one whose primary purpose is "social welfare." Link That provides more limited tax relief than that afforded § 501 (c)(3) organizations (those organized for charitable, religious, scientific, literary, education or amateur sports purposes)

      (c)(4) organizations have much greater political freedom than (c)(3) organizations are allowed, but contributions to (c)(4)orgs  are not tax deductible (although  a potion of the membership dues might for some be deductible as a business expense; that portion is the pro rata amount not dedicated to political activity).

      the significance of citizens United is that it struck down the provision in McCain-Feingold  prohibiting (c)(4) orggs from running  advertising aimed at influenceing elections.

      The NRA does have a subsidiary foundation that  qualifies for (c)(3) treatment but it can't use its money to support political candidates, political parties and most lobbying. I believe the Foundation is used as a goodwill tool giving money to groups that promote outdoor sports, etc.


    They have 501(c)(4) and 501(c)(3) status. (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by Angel on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 05:39:11 PM EST
    The NRA Foundation is a 501(c)(3).  One can make donations to the foundation, take a tax write-off, and the NRA doesn't pay any taxes on the donations.  They are a scam.  Regardless of what their missions says, they are not a public charity by any stretch of the imagination.

    I agree with you in its practical aspects. (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 06:20:16 PM EST
    But in terms of federal 501(c) law, the NRA Foundation is indeed a legitimate charitable organization, because the monies its receives through donations are then allocated exclusively to organizations that have similar 501(c)(3) not-for-profit status.

    As far as I can tell from the foundation's 900 filings, such funds are not recycled to individuals or the NRA proper, nor are they used for purposes of lobbying and "promotion of the social welfare" -- that is, politics.

    I probably don't care for the National Rifle Association any more than do you, but I've got to be fair here. As a matter of personal disclosure, I've consulted with organizations that have applied for and received grant funding from the NRA Foundation. Further, many large corporations such as WalMart also maintain affiliated charitable organizations.

    We should always keep in mind that while the corporate Mother Ship itself may be a truly detestable entity, its 501(c)(3) charitable affiliate may have an entirely separate mission, and as such it likely does good work in the communities it serves.

    After all, the steel magnate Andrew Carnegie was a ruthless corporate magnate in his lifetime, who had some questionable business ethics, engaged in some very detestable corporate practices, and was generally no friend of labor. But Carnegie also once said about personal wealth: "The man who dies rich, also dies in disgrace." His personal philosophy of philanthropy, as summed up in his essay "The Gospel of Wealth," is worth a read.

    And in that regard, I'd note that both Carnegie and his charitable arm, the Carnegie Foundation, provided the original endowment for many of this country's various public library systems, which ultimately funded the construction of nearly 1,700 libraries across the states and territories, a number of which still exist today.



    Donald, I understand the difference between the (none / 0) (#101)
    by Angel on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 06:33:18 PM EST
    NRA and the NRA Foundation.  I've reviewed their 990s and all of the other information that's available through Guidestar, etc.  If we're going to be honest about it, let's both admit that it doesn't take a lot to gain the public charity status. I stand behind my assertion that the NRA is not a public charity, nor is the Foundation since it's my belief they are just a fundraising and grant-making arm of the NRA, which in itself is an organization whose true mission is advancement of their beliefs regarding the second amendment.    

    "Public charity" cannot ... (none / 0) (#108)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 07:00:03 PM EST
    ... and should not be so narrowly defined, as to exclude those specific organizations with which we as individuals might otherwise maintain a fundamental dislike or disagreement. I don't think that we would appreciate others trying to do that to an organization we support.

    That said, I would wholeheartedly agree with you that the NRA Foundation has a specific mission to facilitate the general promotion of firearms and firearms culture in this country, and further that it's not necessarily a mission about which you and I are all that enthused. I'd certainly never be caught dead giving money to them, that's for sure.

    But I've also contracted to consult with legitimate not-for-profit educational organizations that have received grant funding from the NRA Foundation in the past -- albeit before I ever came on board, because I would personally never recommend them as a source of program funding.

    So in that regard, as much as you and I might not like it, the NRA Foundation is a charitable foundation. It just so happens to be one with which I happen to have some very serious issues, not unlike Susan G. Komen or Operation Lookout National Center for Missing Youth. And I'd do my best to convince others to steer their charitable donations elsewhere.



    The problem, as I see it, is it is just too easy (none / 0) (#113)
    by Angel on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 07:21:25 PM EST
    to qualify for the status.  Regardless of their stated mission, what they do day in and day out, and what they spend their funding on has to be taken into account. We'll have to agree to disagree on this.  

    I'm with you (none / 0) (#116)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 07:31:17 PM EST
    Nonprofits should have a charitable goal and the definition of what is a charity has completely been corrupted. What kind of social welfare organization is the tea party other than welfare for crackpots?

    "not-for-profit" (5.00 / 1) (#174)
    by Reconstructionist on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 11:31:13 AM EST
     and "charitable" are not synonymous.

      If you believe ONLY charitable organizations should be permitted to organize as not-for-profit organization I don't think you fully grasp the HUGE impact such an idea would have. "Not-for-profit" simply means that any excess of revenue over expenses cannot be distributed to owners or shareholders as "profit."

      § 501 (c) has 29
    subdivisions and only one of them --(3)-- applies to "charitable organizations."

       There is  variancein the tax treatment and restrictions



    continued (none / 0) (#176)
    by Reconstructionist on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 11:36:15 AM EST
     imposed among the 29 different classifications and any or all of them are can be amended or repealed, but this is far more complex than people here seem to be get.  I think relatively few appreciate the far-ranging ramifications of the simplistic ideas being floated here and these ideas seem to be based on nothing deeper than some groups I don't like don't have to pay income taxes, without any acknowledgment making them pay would also require making countless other, non-objectionable,  groups pay as well.



    Donald... (none / 0) (#128)
    by unitron on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 12:34:11 AM EST
    ...if you're on the self-assigned "not a fan of Komen" list, you might be interested in a fellow traveler.

    As severla have now explained (2.00 / 1) (#92)
    by Reconstructionist on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 05:55:32 PM EST
      (c)(4) is a not for "charitable organization" it is for "social welfare" organizations.

      You and Donald may disagree with the definition of "social welfare" or disagree with the tax status accorded such organizations, but you both seem more opposed to one particular group with which you disagree qualifying for (c)(4) status-- because you don't like its goals. You should bear in mind there are also certainly many groups whose aims you do support that get the same treatment and also engage in similar political activity.

     You might also recall we have this obscure thing called a Constitution that prohibits the government from discriminating between groups in according benefits based on the nature of their political aims.

       If we take away (c)(4) status for the NRA we'd also have to deny it to the many environmental, social justice, health care advocacy and on and on groups that are organized under (c)(4).


    I'm a former non-profit executive and still (none / 0) (#95)
    by Angel on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 06:06:26 PM EST
    give my time to several organizations in a voluntary capacity.  I know what the requirements are for the 501 status.  

    What I'm opposed to is an organization stating one thing for their mission but doing something else entirely, thus my poke at the NRA.  Yes, there are others, but they are among the worst with their $348 million in revenue in 2013.  The Foundation had an additional $43 million in revenue in 2013.  

    I'm the last person who needs a lecture on non-profits or the "Constitution" so spare yourself the typing and finger-pointing.  


    You obviously (2.00 / 1) (#155)
    by Reconstructionist on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 10:00:39 AM EST
      view yourself  "as the last person..." but what you say strongly belies that self-assessment. Not just on this. You are among the most close-minded people here, and that isn't easy to achieve.

      The NRA would hardly be among groups which attempt to hide their true intentions. It seems to be indisputably straightforward in advocating against gun control not matter how reasonable and promoting the possession and use of firearms.

      You and I may  both disagree with the proposition that more guns being possessed by more people is good for society, but people who disagree with us can't be treated differently merely because they have different views of social welfare.

      I don't think a society saturated with guns is a good thing but I am able to understand that there are people who do and that if we put limits on their efforts to organize and advocate  we have to put the same limits on the ability of groups with which we agree.

       What would you think if, for example, someone were to argue that environmental groups which engage in political advocacy should be singled ot for denial of (c)(4) status because their true motive is to forestall economic freedom, growth an prosperity and their actions are contrary to the "social welfare."

      We can't have a regime where only groups whose aims are universally shared are accorded (c)(4) status-- either all groups which advocate on issues about which people disagree  or no such groups can lawfully be granted a particular status.

      (We might also pause to ask whether there is any aim that is universally shared.)


    Seriously? (none / 0) (#160)
    by Angel on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 10:23:34 AM EST

    You are among the most close-minded people here, and that isn't easy to achieve.

    VERY (2.00 / 1) (#163)
    by Reconstructionist on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 10:46:54 AM EST
    Forgive me for not caring what you think. (5.00 / 1) (#191)
    by Angel on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 01:20:42 PM EST
    Angel and I are hardly in disagreement. (none / 0) (#103)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 06:38:24 PM EST
    Reconstructionist: "You and Donald may disagree with the definition of "social welfare" or disagree with the tax status accorded such organizations, but you both seem more opposed to one particular group with which you disagree qualifying for (c)(4) status ..."

    Further, nowhere in this thread have I voiced any objection to one particular group qualifying for 501(c)(4) status.

    Now, I can't and won't speak for Angel, but I would ask that in the future, you would please not be so presumptuous as to explain to others here what I've either said or meant. If I've made myself unclear or incoherent to people, I'll trust that they'll ask me themselves to further expound upon and clarify my remarks. I don't need you to act as an interpreter.

    Thank you.


    Neither the "NRA" nor (none / 0) (#90)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 05:50:20 PM EST
    "National Rifle Association" is listed by the IRS as an Exempt Organization (EO).

    None of the EOs with "rifle" in their name are the NRA.


    Baden (1.29 / 7) (#6)
    by whitecap333 on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 11:02:17 AM EST
    Dr. Baden was on "Faux News" again this morning.  He conceded, somewhat reluctantly,that his findings were "consistent with" Officer Wilson's version of events.

    Personally, I'm hoping the situation "on the ground" becomes atomic.  The last round of looting, arson and brick throwing was good for millions of conservative votes.

    Nice to see a conservative (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by nycstray on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 11:10:43 AM EST
    let us know how they really feel . . .

    One sick puppy.


    Is that a gun in your pocket or (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by Anne on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 11:27:50 AM EST
    are you just getting a little too excited about the possibility of violence in the streets?

    What am I saying?  Of course, it's both.


    Your momma must be so proud! (5.00 / 4) (#11)
    by kdog on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 11:31:47 AM EST
    I'll hope for justice and peace, and not worry about who wins something as unimportant as "votes".

    But with official keepers of the peace acting like masters of war over there, I'm probably dreaming on both counts.  


    FOX News headline: (none / 0) (#13)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 11:39:35 AM EST
    Are liberal news outlets begging for a race riot in Ferguson?

    As usual... (5.00 / 5) (#14)
    by kdog on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 11:54:33 AM EST
    they got it arse-backwards...whitecappy over here wants the riot.

    Who the cap fit, let them wear it...


    "White cap" (5.00 / 4) (#55)
    by Zorba on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 03:28:47 PM EST
    Or, perhaps more accurately, "white hood."
    He needs to change his username.

    Good observation (none / 0) (#137)
    by jbindc on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 07:42:02 AM EST
    I always took his/her name to be about the ocean - the whitecap waves.

    Handle (none / 0) (#186)
    by whitecap333 on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 12:59:10 PM EST
    If you must know, it was brought to mind by Aeschylus' "kumaton anarithmaton gelasma" (quite untranslatable.)

    Count me as a conservative that (none / 0) (#23)
    by leftwig on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 12:57:59 PM EST
    agrees with the hope for justice and peace.  I fear that whether justice is served or not is mostly irrelevant to whether there is peace because even if there are only a few who don't want peace, they will likely get their way.  I do pray for the safety of the peaceful protestors, the community in general and the government officials in charge of protecting the public.

    I hear ya... (none / 0) (#34)
    by kdog on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 01:50:55 PM EST
    no matter the decision of the grand jury, there will be a sizeable group thinking no justice was served.

    I think peace being maintained depends on how the law behaves itself this time, and if they will not let a few bad apple protestors dictate how they treat the non-violent protestors exercising their inalienable rights as a group.  Hopefully they won't throw gas on a fire this time, and have learned that military tactics have no place on Main St. USA.


    If protestors throw (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 01:56:10 PM EST
    Molotov cocktails, rocks, full water bottles etc. striking a law enforcement officer, how should law enforcement best respond?

    Doom and Gloom speaks. (5.00 / 5) (#36)
    by Chuck0 on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 02:05:24 PM EST
    How about arresting the guy that threw the rock? Not turning thugs with batons and water cannon loose on the entire group.

    I know, right? (4.40 / 5) (#39)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 02:21:32 PM EST
    Just arrest the guy that threw the rock.

    Simple as that.


    Sorry, I should have added a snark tag (3.00 / 2) (#50)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 03:14:52 PM EST
    to my comment.

    To be clear, it is not at all "as simple as that."


    There obviously is no easy answer (none / 0) (#46)
    by leftwig on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 03:01:33 PM EST
    Here in our neck of the woods (and I assume much of the country), there are curfews for minors.  Now, 90% of the minors aren't going to cause issues after 9PM, but its the 10% that would that causes the rest to have to give up their freedom.

    Thats somewhat how police should be handling this situation.  IF they cannot identify the rock throwers, or others bent on violence and those offenders are not given up by the peaceful protestors, then the police should shutdown the protests completely.  I believe that this was one of the things stated by police as a course of action and I think its reasonable.  Not only are violent offenders a threat to police, they are a threat to innocent bystanders and peaceful protestors and they need put down (arrested or given no safe heaven in the crowd).


    Pray tell how is a Protest shut down (5.00 / 3) (#126)
    by Palli on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 12:21:42 AM EST
    snatch and grab arrests, fire cannons, rubber bullets, tear gas, deafening sound machines, real bullets, bulldozers, tanks, cannons, mass arrests of sick and injured people...?

    The confrontation is unnecessary. A Grand Jury decision does not have double jeopardy attached. There is a declared State of Emergency. Gov. Nixon could at any time appoint a Special Prosecutor to indict Police Officer Wilson and conduct a TRIAL.

    The trust and goodwill of thousands of Missouri citizens-Black, Brown, and White has been destroyed, millions of taxpayer dollars has been spent to circumvent the normal legal procedures and avoid a TRIAL for one 31 year old man who shot an eighteen year old man 7 times, the final bullet directly into his head.


    As I pointed out (1.67 / 6) (#130)
    by whitecap333 on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 01:46:22 AM EST
    in the last open thread, the newly released radio dispatches and other objective evidence leave no rational alternative to the conclusion that Brown attacked officer Wilson in a panicked attempt to escape serious jail time.  No intelligible response was made to that comment.  That is admission by silence.  Further, as indicated above, Dr. Baden admits that his findings are "consistent with" Wilson's claim of self-defense.  At least two witnesses admit that Brown was advancing on Wilson as he fired the fatal shots, retreating.

    The pretense that the greater public is sympathetic to the litany of grievances and resentments of the "Hands Up" crowd is simply perverse.  The "regulars" here have defiantly declared their indifference to public opinion, which is demonstrably supportive of Officer Wilson.  You want a cite to the most recent public opinion survey?  


    Not exactly (5.00 / 4) (#134)
    by Yman on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 06:31:31 AM EST
    As I pointed out in the last open thread, the newly released radio dispatches and other objective evidence leave no rational alternative to the conclusion that Brown attacked officer Wilson in a panicked attempt to escape serious jail time.  No intelligible response was made to that comment.  That is admission by silence.

    Just ignoring a troll.


    Um, hm (2.00 / 1) (#145)
    by whitecap333 on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 08:54:30 AM EST
    Give it a break.  You didn't hesitate to challenge me before those damning radio dispatches were released.

    Whitecap (5.00 / 1) (#151)
    by Uncle Chip on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 09:34:46 AM EST
    before those damning radio dispatches were released.

    Yep those dispatches are damning to Wilson -- especially when he shoots and kills someone 14 seconds after he has just called in for  backup.


    Your own judgments (none / 0) (#195)
    by Yman on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 01:39:09 PM EST
    ... and conclusory statements are just that ... nothing more.  Your attempt to claim they are admissions by silence I'd just silly.  Should we also conclude that every statement you don't come is an "admission"?

    Too funny.


    autocorrect on phone (none / 0) (#198)
    by Yman on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 02:09:45 PM EST
    "is just silly"

    "every statement you don't object to is an admission"


    First, (5.00 / 1) (#152)
    by Reconstructionist on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 09:37:45 AM EST
      no matter whom you support or sympathize with in a specific case or your more general political/social vies, we should all be able to agree on the fundamental principle that courts (and I mean that broadly to include GJs which are instruments of the courts and prosecutors who are officers of the court)  should NOT render decision based on public opinion, sympathy, antipathy...

      We should want for court decision to be based upon faithful application of the law to the facts as determined with impartial good faith. That is the ideal upon which our entire system is premised and everyone's individual and collective rights are promoted.

       Second, the decision that is going to come will necessarily depend primarily on the GJ's assessment of the various statements made by the percipient witnesses to the event. We can safely assume little more than some witnesses (including Wilson) testified to observing the event in a way that supports a "justification" defense and some testified to observing the event in a way that supports an indictment for a homicide offense of some degree.

      We as outside observers have no way of knowing, for example, whether any or all of the witnesses' testimony is subject to being reasonably discounted in good faith because,(non-exhaustively):

     -- it is not possibly accurate based on conflicts with objective physical evidence

    -- it is less likely to be accurate because the person offering that testimony gave other testimony that falls into the above category and therefore all his testimony should be received with caution

    --  it is less reliable than other evidence because the person had a more limited ability to view the event accurately than other witnesses

    -- it is suspect because the person offering it is reasonably viewed as less credible because of bias or other issues related to credibility

    -- even though the person has no apparent bias or credibility problem, his testimony differs so substantially from other witnesses who are reasonably seen as equally free of credibility issues that it is subject to heavier doubt


      What we should hope for is that the GJ acts in good faith when making the determinations necessary to its decision, free from outside influence.

      We need to also acknowledge that presenting the case as if the  finding as to Brown's actions at the vehicle should solely determine the outcome is wrong.

      Brown could have initiated a physical altercation at the vehicle without that meaning Wilson was justified in killing him.

      Brown also could have not initiated an altercation at the vehicle but merely been attempting to escape Wilson's clutches but subsequently been justifiably been shot, depending on his actions after breaking free.

      It's not as simple as if A then B/if not A then not B.


    In my simplicity, (none / 0) (#172)
    by whitecap333 on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 11:29:50 AM EST
    I had indeed supposed there might well be a causal nexus between what happened at the squad car and the firing of the fatal shots some hundred feet or so away.  As I understand Wilson's account, Brown slammed the door on him, as he attempted to exit, and began punching him. I see no reason to believe that Brown struck him gently. I further surmise, not unreasonably, I think, that Wilson, caught in a most vulnerable position, withdrew his firearm, in a lawful attempt to defend himself.  Brown, most likely, attempted to deflect it, and fled when shot.  You, of course, may prefer the account of Dorian Johnson.  I don't.  When the 290 lb. Brown began striking Wilson, and reached for his firearm,he forfeited all right to be regarded as anything other than extremely dangerous.  No rational officer would have allowed him to again come within lunging distance.  I suggest this is going to come down to whether Wilson instructed Brown to halt, and come no closer.  At least one witness says he heard such a command.

    Your own account (none / 0) (#196)
    by Reconstructionist on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 01:52:59 PM EST
    -- which assumes evidence supporting your position and discounts other-- demonstrates my point.

      Let's, for the purpose of discussion, assume this is correct:

      " I think, that Wilson, caught in a most vulnerable position, withdrew his firearm, in a lawful attempt to defend himself.  Brown, most likely, attempted to deflect it, and fled when shot."

      "and the firing of the fatal shots some hundred feet or so away."

       My point is even if we do assume that Wilson lawfully attempted to defend himself at the vehicle, it is still possible the later shots were not justified.

      You are not permitted to kill a person just because he is demonstrably "an extremely dangerous person." You must show that at the moment you killed that extremely dangerous person you reasonably believed he was an imminent threat of serious bodily harm to you or another.

       Brown's prior actions certainly are RELEVANT but not determinative. (or as you inaptly state "causal")

       If the person who just assaulted me is standing 20-30' from me (or any distance too far for him to strike or grab me) from me and I tell him to "freeze" or lie down" or "stop and put your hands up," the mere fact he does not comply does not dictate the conclusion that I am reasonable in believing he is an imminent threat even if he assaulted me very shortly before. The way in which he was non-compliant would be very important. If he defiantly took a single  walking step that would be much different than if he began sprinting toward me.


    The reason I addressed my question to (none / 0) (#56)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 03:31:14 PM EST
    kdog is that I anticipate he will answer the question I asked. In addition, his antipathy to law enforcement is well-known here.

    The protesters in Crawford TX with Sheehan (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 02:56:35 PM EST
    Had a local radio DJ claim that they threatened him so he ran back to his car and locked himself in and we threw bottles of water at his car.  Forgive me if I'm skeptical about bottled water abuse accusers.  It's like the only thing Liberals leave the house with is bottled water and then it seems believable that we weaponize it.  It's so Fox Faux News.

    How did law enforcement respond? (none / 0) (#97)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 06:15:49 PM EST
    They didn't even investigate his broadcast (5.00 / 1) (#142)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 08:21:16 AM EST
    Claims.  They did nothing in response.  Law enforcement across this nation seems at this time to reserve the right to be thugs though whenever they choose, and far too easily and often without challenge claim it is justified.  This mentality seems to be very similar to breakdowns you see in the military, seems to be leadership engineered and empowered, or what I have come to know under the buzzwords as "command environment".

    That lying jacka$$ though is probably the reason local residents showed up and tried to run protesters over.  Matt Taibbi shut him up. When a real reporter finally appeared it was Matt Taibbi, and he called the guy for an interview.

    But I have seen and experienced individuals who don't want protesters present just outright lie like a rug Before God and everyone who would listen.

    When did bottled water become such a protester weapon of choice?  It sounds like a bad modern day hippy cliche.  I wonder what would happen if that protest happened today?  Things have changed.


    The response (if any)... (5.00 / 3) (#154)
    by kdog on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 09:54:02 AM EST
    should work to deescalate the volatile situation, not escalate.  If that means a rock thrower "gets away with it", so be it.

    I tend to think if the coppers don't point machine guns at people, leave the military assault vehicles in the depot, and respect the constitutional right to assemble and protest, they'll be less chance of rock or Molotov throwing.  If the people feel they are in an occupied territory or under threat of violence, they will be more likely to behave violently.  the authorities need to set a proper tone, which basically means doing the opposite of what they did after the shooting.


    Excellent question (none / 0) (#37)
    by Reconstructionist on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 02:18:18 PM EST
      And one where the answer is dependent on what the primary objective of law enforcement should be.

      Some (likely many if not a majority) will state the primary objective should be to apprehend and prosecute the individuals throwing objects because they are breaking the law.

      Were that feasible without causing more trouble "than it's worth," I'd agree. I don't think it is feasible. Because the objects are usually tossed by a person or persons surrounded by a throng of people who are not breaking the law, attempting to apprehend the culprit (even if he or she can be identified) almost always requires measures which subject innocent people to injury and to cause the situation to escalate.

      I do believe it is prudent to have a substantial law enforcement  presence to keep the protesters on public property and deter looting, arson etc., but put the LEs in tacs with their shields and let them play defense if all that is occurring is the tossing of a few projectiles.

      That's not being soft or condoning the lawlessness, it's just being pragmatic and choosing the lesser evil.  


    The shields seemed to be a flash point (none / 0) (#43)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 02:47:22 PM EST
    immed. after the incident.

    How about they use Keene State College (none / 0) (#61)
    by MO Blue on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 04:01:33 PM EST
    as  an example. Treat them exactly like they are white college students.

    Actually, (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by Reconstructionist on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 04:31:43 PM EST
      the POLICE  in Keene are more similar than different:

     "Called out to deal with street partying by students that had got out of hand, police deployed officers and Swat teams in full riot gear, and others in military fatigues. They used paintball guns firing pepper balls, pepper spray and teargas on students and partygoers, as well as 40mm guns that fired sponge-bullets - a weapon that is equivalent, Keene police chief Kennet Meola said, to "a long-range baton strike"....

    Keene is already something of an emblem of police militarisation. The town received national attention when it was revealed that the police department had applied to purchase a military-style BearCat mine-resistant armoured vehicle. The application named the pumpkin festival - a traditional local event for the past 24 years, in which thousands of people flock to see numerous displays of jack-o'-lanterns, and other festive jollities - as a possible target for terrorists. (The BearCat was deployed on Saturday afternoon to near the college campus, but was not used)...

    Middleton said that the police were "trying to calm it", but that he saw "some pretty fucked-up stuff. One kid I saw, he was trying to save his girlfriend; they pushed him to the ground and pepper-sprayed him pretty hard."

      I'd agree that the media reports thing much differently and the justice system might often treat the arrested differently,  but cops, as Keene demonstrates, are often little different in small college towns than they are in more urban areas.


    The level of response was not even close (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by MO Blue on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 05:58:55 PM EST
    IMO to the response in Ferguson. Keene had riots in the past. The National Guard was not activated nor did the police precondition the community to anticipate riots and their plan to use as much force as necessary to keep the students under control.

    From LRADs to MRAPs, here's a brief guide to the equipment being used against civilians in the St. Louis suburb.

    The LRAD, or Long Range Acoustic Device, is basically a sound cannon: it has the ability to send loud, targeted bursts of sound designed to disperse military targets, pirates, and crowds. They are not just noisy. The sound they emit is powerful enough to cause severe physical pain and headaches to those in range. According to an executive at the firm that manufactures LRADs, the devices can also cause permanent hearing loss if used in anything more than short bursts.
    Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles, or MRAPs, are heavily armored trucks designed to withstand the detonation of land mines or IEDs. They were first deployed by the US military in 2007, designed specifically for use in Iraq, where al-Qaeda and Iranian-backed Shia militias were using highly developed IEDs. Now the vehicles are being passed down to police departments. Link

    No reports of LRADs being used in Keene. No MRAPs rolled down the streets of Keene. (Their bear cat was not used). No photos of cops sitting atop tanks with their rifles pointed at students who were standing in front of them. They were used in Ferguson.

    Images of police sitting on top of military vehicle with rifles pointed at protesters.


    Why do people think (none / 0) (#175)
    by sj on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 11:33:13 AM EST
    that kind of response is okay? I look at those images and easily conflate them with movie images of a dystopian society ("Mockingjay" opens this weekend). So that kind of armor is different from these, but really, only in style. Not in intent.

    Yes. (5.00 / 1) (#180)
    by Zorba on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 11:45:40 AM EST
    Although, Star Wars had them first.

    You mean (3.50 / 2) (#70)
    by jbindc on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 04:47:23 PM EST
    Disperse them with tear gas and pepper spray and arrest them, as they did in Keene?

    In Ferguson they reacted with tear gas and pepper (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by MO Blue on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 05:21:18 PM EST
    spray after a few bottles were thrown.

    I can't find the article but the riots were out of control at Keene, people had been injured, fires set etc., when the police showed up and dispersed them with tear gas and pepper spray.  

    A difference in the timing and the amount of response. No pictures of police pointing guns at the college students from the top of tanks even when the crowd was completely out of control. No tanks rolled down the streets of Keene. Their bear cat(s) stayed in the garage.


    Personally, I'm hoping this (5.00 / 3) (#44)
    by KeysDan on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 02:56:31 PM EST
    "atomic" comment is deleted.

    I think he wandered (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Zorba on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 03:12:38 PM EST
    onto the wrong blog, if he thought he would get any support here.
    OTOH, sometimes it is a useful reminder to us that there are still people (and I use the term loosely) who actually think like this.  It reminds us that we can never let down our vigilance.

    Nah, (none / 0) (#94)
    by MO Blue on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 06:05:48 PM EST
    he has dropped these pieces of sh!t into other threads that refer to Brown and related topics.

    As Charlie Pierce is known to say, It is a good thing it is not about race because it is never about race.


    If you don't have a low cost supplier, (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by MO Blue on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 07:37:43 AM EST
    whitecap please do not (2.00 / 1) (#131)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 01:50:02 AM EST
    promote violence on this site. It's not allowed. I realize you used the word "atomic" but the import was clear. If you want to promote or goad people to violence, please do it elsewhere.

    Sorry. (none / 0) (#132)
    by whitecap333 on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 05:11:38 AM EST
    It was hardly my intent to promote the violence I referred to, specifically, "looting, arson and brick throwing."  I was simply trying to make the point that such violence does not seem to be having the effect those who do promote it apparently hope for, which I take to be sympathy for their grievances.  Fine by me if you delete the comment.

    consumer marketing DNA tests (none / 0) (#2)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 10:44:56 AM EST
    I just saw a commercial for this.

    Trying to decide if it's cool or creepy.  Or both.

    I wonder if it is any more (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by nycstray on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 10:56:37 AM EST
    accurate than the ones for dogs . . . :P

    I will admit I did the 23andme DNA test (5.00 / 5) (#31)
    by ruffian on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 01:35:26 PM EST
    They could only do my maternal line, since I have no Y chromosomes...but it was interesting! No surprises geographically - UK and western Europe, as expected...BUT - I have a higher % of Neanderthal DNA than most people. So go ahead, call me a Neanderthal- I wear it with pride!

    If you do one, do 23andme (5.00 / 3) (#65)
    by toggle on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 04:30:50 PM EST
    I did it back when they still gave the health reports. The data that gave was absolutely invaluable given that my family has a history of certain inherited conditions. You can be a "carrier" -- healthy but capable of passing it on -- if you have one gene since a person would need two for it to manifest (which, if you have one, you could give to your kids if the other parent also has it). 23andme answered these questions definitively, which was worth way more than a hundred bucks. Unfortunately the FDA has taken these simple analyses to be some kind of medical procedure and forbidden 23andme to continue offering them.

    But if you're interested you can still get the raw data from 23andme and look at it yourself.

    As for the ancestry aspect of it, I've used both 23andme and ancestry.com. Both will identify even distant relatives from their customers. 23andme had a lot more for me. The closest match I got was a second cousin with a relationship that was immediately obvious to me. Very neat.

    The countries/regions of ancestry estimator from 23andme is vastly superior and was quite accurate for me initially. It gets better results if you can get a close relative to submit their DNA as well. I got one my parents to do it and the refined numbers are very close to my own documented ancestry. Very neat.

    You can also see where people who have DNA segments that match yours live, and where their grandparents lived (if they submitted that data, which they often do but don't have to).

    That's not to say there weren't surprises. You can trace your direct maternal line through your mtDNA -- from that they can give you the origin of your great-great-great-great-great. . . great maternal grandmother. It's not particularly valuable information since women have been traded around between populations so much throughout history, but it's neat nonetheless. Y-DNA (which you get from your dad's dad's dad etc.) is more closely linked with historical populations for obvious reasons. My result was somewhat unusual in the region where my family is from, suggesting that my direct paternal ancestor may have been part of an invasion recorded in history -- very neat.

    23andme also suggested I may have remote (but but still "recent," relatively speaking) African ancestry, about 1/250th to be precise. Since I'm from Louisiana and French/Spanish descent this is certainly possible. Most of the authorities seem to hold that you need to have substantially more (2% or so) for the results to be reliable.

    I did (and I'm not sure if you still can) submit the raw data to another site (gedmatch) and run an analysis of rare DNA sequences on the chromosome where African DNA was identified, and sure enough, nearly all of the other people with those sequences were Americans with significant African ancestry. They also had significant European ancestry as well (most American blacks do) so it's not definitive, however, but it is interesting.

    There's a lot more you can do with both 23andme and GEDmatch (which has third-party applications, relative matches, ancestry calculators, etc). I'm only starting to describe it all. Certainly worth a hundred bucks.


    Glad to hear this (none / 0) (#100)
    by sallywally on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 06:32:00 PM EST
    since I bought the 23 and me product but haven't sent it in because of negative info about it. I'll send it in now and get the raw data on health if I can.

    The raw data (none / 0) (#117)
    by toggle on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 07:33:56 PM EST
    Is very raw. It's a 15 megabyte text file of every single gene (called "SNPs") that they test for. I'm not sure how many SNPs it is, exactly, but it's hundreds of thousands at least.

    If you had access to a sample 23andme health report you could go through each health report manually and compare what they look at with what you got. Each SNP has a unique identifier and 23andme tells you which ones have been studied and found to correlate with health risks. Their service also gave reliability information regarding the research, comments, etc.

    There is a much easier option out there than going through your file manually--a service called "Promethease" (or something like that) which will, for $5, run the same analysis 23andme would give you for free if the FDA would let them. It's probably worth it, though there are obviously some privacy risks involved with giving your DNA profile to a third party service.


    Worst Possible ISIS Nightmare (none / 0) (#74)
    by RickyJim on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 05:09:37 PM EST
    Oxford's word of the year: "Vape" (none / 0) (#107)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 06:59:34 PM EST
    E-cigarettes were invented in China in 2003, however, the earliest known use of the word vape is from a 1983 UK magazine.  In an article on smoking Rob Stepney described a hypothetical device as: "an inhaler or 'non-combustible' cigarette, looking much like the real thing, but delivering a metered dose of nicotine vapour.

    Well, according to the good folks at the Atlantic Monthly, we are -- and further, we apparently like it that way.

    What do you mean "we"? (none / 0) (#129)
    by unitron on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 12:39:30 AM EST
    Both of us are long removed from the target demographic.

    Updated Ferguson 8/9/14 Timeline: (none / 0) (#184)
    by Uncle Chip on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 12:47:37 PM EST
    Timeline based on St Louis Public Radio, the Post Dispatch, and Ferguson Police Documents:

    12:00:07 Wilson leaves earlier call about a half mile away.

    12:01:~ Wilson makes initial contact with the jaywalkers at Canfield.

    12:01:50 Call to Ferguson PD of 4230 Disturbance in Progress on Canfield: Ferguson Event Report #2014-029062 / Complaint 14-12391.

    Per St Louis Public Radio this "12:01:50 call" was referred to by police dispatch as "Shooting Event Opened"

    12:02:00 Wilson calls dispatch saying: "21. Put me on Canfield with two. And send me another car".

    12:02:14 Glide audio recording ends with 10 shots fired in sequences of 6 then 4. 135 feet from the vehicle Brown now lays dead on the street.

    12:02:22 2nd Ferguson PD Unit Arrival per Ferguson Event Report #2014-029062 [linked above].

    12:02:41 3rd Ferguson PD arrives on Canfield -- Unit 25.

    12:02:48 4th Ferguson PD arrives on Canfield -- Unit 22.

    12:03:13 Unit 25 requests a supervisor aka Unit 23.

    12:06:00 Cellphone video of scene begins

    developing ...

    Anne, that was a nice story, thanks for sharing. (none / 0) (#203)
    by Angel on Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 03:01:42 PM EST