Friday, March 15, 2019

IMPEACHMENT




15 March 2019
In an interview with Breitbart, Donald Trump had a not-at-all-subtle message for his opponents. “I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump,” he claimed. “I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough—until they go to a certain point and then it would be very bad, very bad.” Breitbart  Note: this venue is a mainline injection point for the Trump army. (emphasis mine)

Explicit threats of authoritarian violence from the orange ogre. We should take him at his word because we know some elements of his assumed army  of "tough people" are capable of acting on such suggestions.

Considering the vile pronouncements which spew from this nut job's pie hole, it is obvious Trump is a threat to the safety of peoples all over the world. The New Zealand Islamaphobic shooter was likely inspired by our hate champion.

With regard to police supporting Trump, all you have to do is look at the video of Suffolk County police officers, including ranking officers, clapping, smiling and smirking as stage backdrop for Trump's theater event in Brentwod NY in 2017.  youtube Do not watch this on a full stomach. Disclosure: I am an alumni of the aforementioned institution and can no longer be proud of that association.

It is long past time for an impeachment investigation to have begun. Palosi is just wrong about "He's just not worth it." We are in a constitutional crisis and congress is thus required to act!

Mr. Delgado, get on board with impeachment now!

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Friday, January 11, 2019

DEMOCRACY REQUIRES JUSTICE



1 January 2019

Letitia James
New York Attorney General
The Capitol, Albany
NY 12224-0341

Attorney General James,

I read with considerable interest the following statement published on your campaign web page:

...as Attorney General, reforming the criminal justice system will be one of my top priorities... I have fought for measures to build trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve. ...when there is no accountability or transparency, incidents of misconduct are magnified and it becomes impossible for people to trust that the process is fair and the right result is being reached.”1

Accordingly, I am hopeful your office will re-examine a decision made by the Special Investigations and Prosecutions Unit in 2016 concerning the death of motorist Joshua Camp who was struck by a pursuing Schoharie County Sheriff’s Deputy. At that time the SIPU declined to take the case under authority of the 2015 Executive Order #147.

I have been following this case for the past two years and have repeatedly advocated for an independent investigation. I have addressed the Schoharie County Board of Supervisors and the County Sheriff imploring them to request your office review this case. I have previously written Acting Attorney General Underwood asking the same but received no response. All my communications concerning the case can be accessed here: https://scfpg.blogspot.com/p/camp-homicide.html

In August 2018 I finally received the State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit Report concerning this incident2. That report is glaring confirmation of the need for an independent investigation as required by the Governor’s Executive Order. My analysis3 of that report is enclosed. Documentation of two similar incidents is provided in which the SIPU has accepted responsibility for conducting investigations; the Oct. 2016 Corbitt case in Dutchess County, and the Nov. 2018 Roldan case in Schoharie County.


My report, “NY State Police, Police Pursuit Fatal Collision Report, The Joshua C. Camp Case: An Analysis” is provided for your edification and action as appropriate. The document is provided because the circumstances and facts it reveals are persuasive evidence of the need for your agency’s intervention.
I am available at your convenience to discuss this matter with you or one of your investigators.

Sincerely,

Wayne R Stinson

Contact: stinson@midtel.net or 518-287-1463.

Enclosures:
5/17/2018 letter to Acting Attorney General Underwood
NY State Police, Police Pursuit Fatal Collision Report, The Joshua C. Camp Case: An Analysis
6/23/2017 SIPU Report on the investigation into the death of Warren Corbett
11/21/2018 Times Journal report concerning death of Gerald Roldan III

CC:
Earl VanWormer, Chairman Schoharie County Board of Supervisors
Ronald Stevens, Sheriff Schoharie County
George P. Beach, Superintendent New York State Police

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

MARCH TO FASCISM


13 August 2019

President Trump is preparing to sign an executive order creating an Internet speech police with sweeping powers to censor the Internet.
A draft copy of the executive order was leaked to the media, giving us a chance to alert the public and generate the grassroots backlash needed to kill Trump’s “Internet speech police” executive order.1
The leaked executive order would put the FCC and the FTC in charge of deciding what political speech is—and isn’t—permissible on the Internet.
The order comes in response to a myth pushed by far-right activists that Internet platforms like Facebook and Google are biased against conservatives.2 
But instead of protecting free speech, Trump’s executive order would put political appointees in charge of deciding what speech is allowed and what speech isn’t. 
[1] White House drafting executive order to tackle Silicon Valley’s alleged anti-conservative bias: Politico
[2] The myth of social media anti-conservative bias refuses to die: Columbia Journalism Review

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Friday, March 15, 2019

IMPEACHMENT

15 March 2019
In an interview with Breitbart, Donald Trump had a not-at-all-subtle message for his opponents. “I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump,” he claimed. “I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough—until they go to a certain point and then it would be very bad, very bad.” Breitbart  Note: this venue is a mainline injection point for the Trump army. (emphasis mine)

Explicit threats of authoritarian violence from the orange ogre. We should take him at his word because we know some elements of his assumed army  of "tough people" are capable of acting on such suggestions.

Considering the vile pronouncements which spew from this nut job's pie hole, it is obvious Trump is a threat to the safety of peoples all over the world. The New Zealand Islamaphobic shooter was likely inspired by our hate champion.

With regard to police supporting Trump, all you have to do is look at the video of Suffolk County police officers, including ranking officers, clapping, smiling and smirking as stage backdrop for Trump's theater event in Brentwod NY in 2017.  youtube Do not watch this on a full stomach. Disclosure: I am an alumni of the aforementioned institution and can no longer be proud of that association.

It is long past time for an impeachment investigation to have begun. Palosi is just wrong about "He's just not worth it." We are in a constitutional crisis and congress is thus required to act!

Mr. Delgado, get on board with impeachment now!


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But Then It Was Too Late

“They Thought They Were Free” by Milton Mayer, 1954,
Interviews of German citizens to discover their engagement with Nazism
From Chapter 13, “But Then It Was Too Late”, an excerpt:

“What no one seemed to notice,” said a colleague of mine, a philologist, “was the ever widening gap after 1933, between the government and the people. Just think how very wide this gap was to begin with, here in Germany. And it became always wider. You know, it doesn’t make people close to their government to be told that this is a people’s government, a true democracy, or to be enrolled in civilian defense, or even to vote. All this has little, really nothing, to do with knowing one is governing.

“What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to be governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could understand it, it could not be released because of national security. And their sense of identification with Hitler, their trust in him, made it easier to widen the gap and reassured those who would otherwise have worried about it.

“This separation of government from the people, this widening of the gap, took place so gradually and insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance or with real social purposes. And all the crises and reforms (real reforms, too) so occupied the people that they did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter. 
...

“Those,” I said, “are the words of my friend the baker. “One had no time to think. There was so much going on.” Your friend the baker was right,” said my colleague. “The dictatorship, and the whole process of its coming into being, was above all diverting. It provided an excuse not to think for people who did not want to think anyway. I do not speak of your “little men,” your baker and so on; I speak of my colleagues and myself, learned men, mind you. Most of us did not want to think about fundamental things and never had. There was no need to. Nazism gave us some dreadful, fundamental things to think about-we were decent people-and kept us so busy with continuous changes and ‘crises’ and so fascinated, yes, fascinated, by machinations of the ‘national enemies’ without and within, that we had no time to think about these dreadful things that were growing, little by little, all around us. Unconsciously, I suppose, we were grateful. Who wants to think?

To live in this process is absolutely not to be able to notice it-please try to believe me-unless one has a much greater degree of political awareness, acuity, than most of us ever had occasion to develop. Each step was small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, ‘regretted’ that, unless one were detached from the whole process from the beginning, unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle, what all these ‘little measures’ that no ‘patriotic German’ could resent must some day lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing. One day it is over his head.

How tall is our corn?    Wayne



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How the Administration Is Manufacturing a New Border Crisis

Ryan Devereaux | The Intercept October 29 2018

  Note: this story is primarily about ICE releasing large numbers of immigrants to civil service organizations probably for the purpose of inflaming the right-wing base leading up to the midterms. This is dangerous in that it puts some of those innocent folks at risk given the anti-immigrant sentiment the administration has engendered. But there is a larger issue I will explain below. 

  “...Trump ... urgently informing his base that the real “national emergency” facing the United States was external, and the result of brown-skinned migrants.

It’s political theater, but it’s had real-world consequences. ... the accused shooter in the Pittsburgh synagogue attack, included the Trumpian conspiracy theory among the deeply anti-Semitic complaints he posted on a right-wing social media site.

  Trump ... called up military assets to respond to the caravan. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, “Operation Faithful Patriot” will include the deployment of 5,000 troops to the border. As the paper noted, “the additional troops would mean that the number of U.S. forces deployed at the border would be greater than those currently in Syria and Iraq, and roughly half of those deployed in Afghanistan.”

   Sure this is political theater, but it is also very likely a premeditated fascist-authoritarian power grab; create a crisis, exaggerate the threat, declare yourself the nation’s guardian, then mobilize the military within our own borders. What happens next might require additional “angry mobs” or subversive agitators.

   We are being set up for the military to serve as a domestic “peace-keeping” presence. I suspect the Republicans are anticipating rebellious civil disobedience if/when Democratic candidates fall victim to voter dis-enfranchisement, voter intimidation, and election fraud. This could get ugly very fast.

Wayne

Monday, October 29, 2018

A WEEK OF BUILDING FASCISM



A Week Of American Hate: Bombs Mailed, Black People Executed, Jews Slaughtered

Hate showed what it is truly capable of in America this week.

A man executed two black people at a grocery store, but didn’t engage a white man outside because “whites don’t shoot whites.”

A Donald Trump supporter and apparent anti-Semite who looked up to white supremacists sent bombs in the mail to the president’s opposition.

An avowed anti-Semite walked into a synagogue and killed 11 people after screaming, “All Jews must die!” huffingtonpost.com



The President a proud nationalist

As a general rule, presidents do not refer to themselves as a “nationalist” given the freighted history of the word. But as President Trump tries to galvanize his conservative base to turn out in the midterm elections, he has adopted the label as a badge of honor.

At a rally in Houston on Monday night, he embraced the term as unabashedly as he ever has. “Really, we’re not supposed to use that word,” he told supporters in a nod to the usual political sensibilities that he relishes disrupting. “You know what I am? I’m a nationalist, O.K.? I’m a nationalist. Nationalist! Use that word! Use that word!” nytimes.com

"Nationalist! Use that word!" apparently proud of what he has wrought. WRS

I call it A Week Of Building Fascism - call it by its name and vote to deny them power 11/6!


Friday, October 26, 2018

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS COMMENTS



Privilege of the floor comments, Board of Supervisors meeting 9/21/18

Thank you Mr. Chairman - and Thank you to the board for your attention this morning. I hope you have had the opportunity to examine my analysis of the New York State Police Collision report concerning the Joshua Camp case.

For those who may be unfamiliar with the case:
On a warm summer evening in June of 2016 Joshua Camp rode his unregistered motorcycle down to the Middleburgh Stewarts store. There he encountered a Sheriff’s Deputy who began pursuit after Mr. Camp failed to submit to the Deputy’s authority.
Moments later Mr. Camp lay fatally injured and trapped under the Sheriff’s vehicle in the back yard of a residence just a few blocks away. The New York State Police investigated the incident and produced the Collision Reconstruction Report which is the subject of my analysis.

Josh Camp made some poor decisions that day. First, operating an unregistered vehicle on the public roads, and then defying the authority of a Sheriff’s Deputy and attempting to evade apprehension. The State Police collision report places blame for the collision only on Mr. Camp.
 
But Josh Camp is not the only person who made mistakes that day. He is not alone in responsibility for the collision. The collision report fails to recognize the actions of the Deputy which contributed to the collision.
 
I examined the state police report seeking to understand how the collision could have happened, and to learn more about how Schoharie County officials responded to the incident. My analysis reveals that, in addition to a serious error in judgment by the Deputy which significantly contributed in causing the collision, state and county officials made their own serious mis-judgements following the incident.
 
The recommendations I offer in the analysis are provided with hope for greater accountability of law enforcement and improved performance of county government. To that end, I urge the Board of Supervisors to take the lead in requesting the NY Attorney General’s office review this case. Additionally, the board should give serious consideration to establishing a Citizen Law Enforcement Oversight Board to assist you in this responsibility. Failing to do so would be a missed opportunity for improved government, and a serious disservice to the citizens of Schoharie County.
 
Democracy requires the rule of law – rules which are accepted and honored by the citizens and equally applied to all - regardless of position, prestige or station. To date, we have failed that ideal.
 
Thank you for your attention to this issue, I invite any questions you might have.



Thursday, August 30, 2018

STATE POLICE COLLISION REPORT - CAMP CASE



Conclusions

The New York State Police Collision Reconstruction Report is seriously flawed. It is inaccurate, incomplete and misleading. These problems can not be solely attributable to incompetence on the part of the investigator, or to the lack of oversight by superiors. It is very likely this report was intentionally designed to place blame for the collision on the deceased, Joshua C. Camp, and to absolve the Sheriff’s Deputy, then Sheriff Anthony Desmond, then Undersheriff Ronald Stevens, and Schoharie County of any responsibility for the incident.

The Collision Reconstruction Report was Exhibit #10 presented to a Schoharie County Grand Jury and likely influenced their verdict. Then Schoharie County District Attorney James Sacket is not without responsibility. He should have recognized the report’s deficiencies and introduced compensatory testimony. Of additional concern, is that District Attorney Sacket did not instruct the jury to consider possible criminal law violations by the Sheriff’s Deputy.
The incomplete, inaccurate and apparently biased NY State Police Collision Reconstruction Report does not provide justice for Mr. Camp, nor constructively serve the Schoharie County Sheriff’s Department, the personnel of that department, or the citizens of Schoharie County.
Recommendations
The New York State Attorney General should open an investigation into this case. The earlier decision to not assume responsibility for the investigation under authority of the Governor’s Executive Order #147 was not justifiable then and is not today. Additionally, the scope of the investigation should be sufficient to encompass the performance of all the involved public officials.

The Schoharie County Board of Supervisors must provide greater oversight of the Sheriff’s Department. It might be necessary to establish a citizen review board to assist the Board of Supervisors in this duty. Additionally, it would be constructive for Sheriff Stevens to support and cooperate in this effort.

The failure of the public officials involved to do their best for truth and justice represents a missed opportunity for improved government, and a serious disservice to the citizens of Schoharie County. Democracy requires the rule of law – rules which are accepted and honored by the citizens and equally applied to all regardless of position, prestige or station. In this case, we have failed that ideal.
The full analysis of the collision report can be accessed here .  

For additional reporting on the case see link at left.  WRS

Sunday, July 22, 2018

DEMOCRACY FAILING




To The Editor
The Mountain Eagle

Joshua Camp died over two years ago, June 17 2016 at about 7PM, to be precise. In the moments preceding his death a Schoharie County Sheriff’s Deputy was pursuing him, and his allegedly unregistered motorcycle, through Middleburgh Village. The pursuit ended on private property in a quiet residential area just a few blocks from where the chase began. Josh’s life ended there and then also.

Reports of the incident varied in describing how the end came with Sheriffs Dept. statement claiming “Mr. Camp was ejected from his motorcycle and came into contact with the patrol vehicle” and others reporting a collision of the vehicles.

The incomplete and differing early reports caused this observer to be skeptical. My professional experience required me to doubt their accuracy and to anticipate a more detailed explanation from the Sheriffs Department, State Police Investigators and County government. Two years on those explanations have not been provided.

A year earlier (8 July 2015) Governor Cuomo had issued Executive Order #147 ordering the Attorney General to assume investigatory responsibility in matters relating to the deaths of unarmed civilians caused by law enforcement officers. I was puzzled when over a year later the Schoharie County District Attorney stated that the NY AG did not assume jurisdiction for the investigation and that a local Grand Jury had heard the case. That Grand Jury’s report was unsealed one full year after Josh Camp’s death. There was no accompanying press release by our county officials. Instead of providing additional explanation of the circumstances surrounding Mr. Camp’s death the report only raised more questions.

For the past year I have been pressing county and state officials for a more detailed explanation of how it came to pass that a citizen’s death can occur during a bungled attempt to enforce a relatively minor Vehicle and Traffic Law and no fault on the part of the law enforcement officer is found. Multiple Freedom of Information Law requests for relevant documents have been deflected, delayed, denied or ignored. Only after repeated appeals has the State Police Records Unit finally agreed to provide a partially redacted Collision Reconstruction Report eight months after my initial filing.

A recent interview and correspondence with representatives of the NY Attorney General’s office has convinced me they will not be altering their earlier decision, a disappointment in that the transparency and accountability an independent investigation would have produced could have yielded improved community-law enforcement relations and likely, a more disciplined and professional Sheriffs Dept.

The failure of officials involved to do their best for truth and justice represents a missed opportunity for improved government, and a terrible disservice to the citizens of Schoharie County.

Democracy requires the rule of law – rules which are accepted and honored by citizens and fairly applied to all regardless of position, prestige or station. We have failed that ideal.

Wayne Stinson
Summit, NY

Update 4 Aug 2018: The New York State Police, Collision Reconstruction Unit report can be accessed here .  My analysis of the report is posted here