Rule of St. Benedict for Mothers

vintage cradle mom and babyI didn’t change a thing for this one:

Above all let her not neglect or undervalue
the welfare of the souls committed to her,
in a greater concern for fleeting, earthly, perishable things;
but let her always bear in mind
that she has undertaken the government of souls
and that she will have to give an account of them.
And if she be tempted to allege a lack of earthly means,
let her remember what is written:
“First seek the kingdom of God and His justice,
and all these things shall be given you besides” (Ps. 33[34]:10).
And again:
“Nothing is wanting to those who fear Him.”
Let her know, then,
that she who has undertaken the government of souls
must prepare herself to render an account of them.
Whatever number of sisters she knows she has under her care,
she may be sure beyond doubt that on Judgment Day
she will have to give the Lord an account of all these souls,
as well as of her own soul.
Thus the constant apprehension
about her coming examination as shepherd (Ezech. 34)
concerning the sheep entrusted to her,
and her anxiety over the account that must be given for others,
make her careful of her own record.
And while by her admonitions she is helping others to amend,
she herself is cleansed of her faults.

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Eugenics in America

eugenics-treeedited repost

A few years ago I wrote a post titled The Disappearance of the Disabled. We linked to the post Eradicating the Disabled, by Wilfred McClay. It was a brilliant piece of writing. Wilfred noted that “the “right” to abort has become, increasingly, regarded as a social and moral duty.”

I’ve been thinking about those articles quite a bit. I am old enough to remember when Roe V. Wade declared open season on the preborn. I am old enough to remember the arguments that swirled around it. I remember when the pro-life forces argued that abortion would be used as birth control and that it would lead to the infanticide of disabled infants and the devaluing of life, especially for the disabled, in the public forum. The pro-aborts scoffed and sneered about ‘slipper slope’ fallacies and insisted it would never happen. The Pro-Life forces were right-but they were so right that now the pro-abortion crowd is responding with ‘so what?’ instead of ‘can’t happen.’

The article that prompted Wilfred McClay’s piece is another indication of how far we’ve fallen, but it might also be a glimmer of light. This article by the mother of a child with Down Syndrome who wonders why everybody is in such hot haste to see that children like hers never see the light of day (or life) was able to have her essay published in the Washington Post, hardly a bastion of Pro-Lifers.

That’s progress.
Consider this 1998 account by a woman with a disability:

I have had a disability from
birth, it is not genetic. When I was pregnant with my daughter, by gynecologist
did her best to get me to abort. She was so ignorant about disability that she
asked me “What if your baby has a defect like you?” My answer to to her was “So
what if she is?”

I have been in groups with other disabled women who share remarkably similar
experiences with doctors and other health care professionals.

Then there’s the story of Bree Walker Lampley. In the 1990s she was an anchorwoman for a CBS affiliate in LA. Bree  has a genetic disability called ectrodactyly. In the unenlightened past it was known as ‘lobster-claw syndrome.’ The bones of the digits in the hands and/or feet are fused together, sometimes looking like pincers, or lobster-claws.
I am reasonably sure that Ms Walker and I do not share many of the same politics or other issues. From other things she’s written, I’m guessing she’s not even pro-life. But she has witnessed firsthand how some very outspoken ‘pro-choice’ voices have used the ‘pro-choice’ mantra to give a semi-respectable sheen to their bigoted anti-disability views.

In 1988 she was working in New York. She says,

“While I was anchoring news broadcasts at WCBS-TV in New York, I got pregnant with my first child, Andrea Walker, and soon found myself at the center of a firestorm of controversy when one of my co-anchors blithely asked on the air whether my parents would have chosen to abort me if they could have known I be born with my disability. This touched off a public discussion of whether women with hereditary disabilities should choose not to have children.”

The irony of a ‘pro-choice’ discussion about whether or not disabled women have a moral right to ‘choose’ to have children is just killing me. It’s killing somebody, anyway.

In 1991 she had moved to L.A., still anchoring for a CBS affiliate and was expecting her second child. A local ‘shock-jock’ type radio personality, Jane Norris, opened up her program for people to call in and voice their opinions about whether or not Bree should be allowed to have children. Callers who told her it was none of her business were told it was everybody’s business. Callers who tried to educate her about the disability (she got several things wrong in her description of ectrodactyly, including the name of the disability) were not permitted on the air.

Bree and her husband filed a complaint with the FCC and others joined them. Bree has said that she did not see it as a free speech issue, but ‘about having balance and fairness in important discussions about people with disabilities.’ The FCC decided not to hear their complaints, and Jane Norris and her radio station insisted they had no regrets about the program. Ms. Walker said that ultimately, what was most important to her was the opportunity to have many voices in the disabled community speak out against injustice and to gain an opportunity to get the word out that disabled people can and do live fulfilling and normal lives. She believes she was ultimately successful in that effort, but it came with a cost. She says, “it definitely did not earn me any brownie points with CBS management. Shortly after that time, I was told by CBS management that this was a troublesome issue and that my choosing to speak out instead of just letting it go away presented a thorny issue for them. They said I was all of a sudden a “Controversial Issue” as opposed to a news reader. … Of course, the same as they were unhappy with me for speaking out, I was unhappy with them for not being proud of me for standing up for this issue.” She left CBS and is pursuing other venues, now, including acting (she was the Scorpion Queen is HBO’s Carnivale).

You can read more about this story here and here. This second link is a PDF file of some length. The section about Bree Walker and Jane Norris is somewhere in the middle- use the search function to find it.

In 1992 I miscarried a baby at 16 weeks. A month later I still had not ‘finished’ miscarrying, and I was definitely not pregnant anymore (sometimes a woman will miscarry a twin, but the other twin will survive- if too hasty phsyicians do not talk her into a D&C), so I had to go into the hospital to have a D & C. We were already in the process of adopting the Cherub at that point. We had met her. I had her picture on our refrigator. We knew she was mentally retarded, and probably not ‘educably’ so.
And there in the sterile operating room on the cold steel table as I went through a grim and ghastly procedure I began to cry. My anesthesiologist asked me what I was crying about. Unable to believe her sheer heartlessness and barely able to speak and hissed out through gritted teeth that I wanted my baby.
Briskly and coldly she dismissed my concerns and said, “No, you don’t want that. This baby was probably handicapped anyway, and you wouldn’t want to bring a handicapped child into the world, would you? Nobody would want that.”
I wanted to scream, “I would, I would!” I wanted to tell her about our Cherub proudly, coldly, fiercely, and in scathing tones. I wanted to push her away. I wanted to push everybody away and get up and walk out of the room.
All I could do was shut my eyes while the tears silently escaped from my closed eyelids and the lump in my throat grew so large it was difficult to breathe.

Are we as a society going to get off this slippery slope and regain the moral high ground by valuing each person simply because he is a person, no matter how long or how short it has been since he was conceived and no matter how whole he is in mind or body? Or we are going to slide faster and farther down into the mire?

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Cell Phone!

I’m moving into the 21st century.  With the changing dynamics at home, we changed our cell phones and plans, which means I have one for the first time since the Headmaster lost his job as regional manager with the grocery stores.

The two teens and both parents, all with cell phones.  The FYB is giddy.  The teens are paying for theirs.  We went with Droids- the adults have Moto G; the teens paid extra for something more.  We have 3G, they have 4G.

We went through Republic Wireless- there were other options which would be better for other people, but the HM works at a small country school in a tiny country town, population just over 2,000, and at least one of the big names doesn’t really even get service out there.

I’m now shopping like a girl looking at cases at Amazon.  I especially liked these:

flip case floralPpIiNnKk Flower Wallet PU Leather Stand Flip Case Cover for Motorola Moto G
Roses, roses, roses.

flip case mint and strawberries IZENGATE wallet flip case cover: solid minty green on the outside, a cheery fruity red and white print on the inside.

flip case butterfly Magnetic Flip Hard Case Cover Stand (Black Butterfly)

flip case paris and roses
Paris and Roses Leather Magnetic Flip Hard Case Cover

phone case sugar skull


UNQUITI MOTOROLA MOTO G 4G LTE Case – TuMax Hybrid Cover(Red Black) – DESIGN (Sugar Skull)

flip case elephant

Magnetic Flip Hard Case Cover Stand, elephant

Next up is learning how to actually use my phone, and then….. the apps.

What are your favorites?  I’m mainly interested in apps for me, the mom, writer, menu planner, reader, book-seller, political junky, language learner, K-drama addict, etc, etc, etc.  What do you love and find improves your life and how and why?

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PTSD, Me, and Creepy Crawlies

mirror“I miss you,” wrote a friend a few months ago. Or maybe a few weeks, time is a hazy, undefined mist for me. Mostly, it’s always now.
“I miss me, too,” I said.

Every word added sharp rocks to my throat, constricting it so I couldn’t swallow.  My eyes burned and stung with a sea of unshed tears.  It hurt so much to write that. It still does. I’m pretty sure the me I once knew is gone and I’m never really going to get her back.  With therapy and all the work I do there (and here) there is a path to a new and different me, a better functioning than now me, but not really back to that person I once was.
On a different occasion different friends were in an online conversation about stuff- PTSD, depression, various traumas. “It’s changed me” said one. She wasn’t who she used to be, she didn’t see things the way she used to see them.
I know what she’s been through, and I can feel a lot more sympathy for her than for myself. I also can think about it more clearly, at least, I think so. Understand we are talking about serious, hard, traumatic stuff. And I thought-
I’m not sure we’re ever supposed to be the same person we were before something this big in our lives, whatever it is. I mean, it would be weirder *not* to be changed by these things.
trauma changes you PTSDWouldn’t it? A child dies, a family member suffers a horrible life threatening experience as you watch, you spend weeks or months battling the angel of death in the NICU, you have spent your childhood being grievously abused, you are raped and left for dead, or you are assaulted by your husband, who you thought was Prince Charming until the honeymoon, or you are diagnosed with a fatal disease and live with that diagnose for months or years, fighting to overcome it, you witness a murder, you are caught up in some horrific event with fatalities involved- and yet absolutely nothing about you changes, life goes on exactly as before, and you are precisely the same person you were before, all the way down to your bones.

That’s not admirable, it’s kind of chilling. It’s not even altogether human- it’s so bizarre that most of us would consider that alone to be a symptom of trauma.  It doesn’t even have to be a change as severe as PTSD, nor does it even need to be diagnosed, necessarily   Trauma changes you.  Life changes you.

And for some of us, that change is PTSD.  More women than men get PTSD.  The largest cause of PTSD is childhood trauma (about half of abused kids!). But combat vets aren’t even second. (A larger cause of PTSD than combat service for adults is actually traumatic car accidents. )
I’m changed, so changed. And mostly I hate it. No, not mostly.  I hate it all. Not mostly. Altogether.
scared rabbitSome of it is just stupid. Take bugs. Or fear in general.  Take everything.  I used to never be afraid of anything at all, and I now I feel like a rabbit in a daily fox chase.  I jump out of my skin when somebody walks in the room, when a light goes on, when one goes off, when the phone rings, when there’s  a knock at the door, when I am opening a can of biscuits and it pops (even though I am the one opening the can so I know it’s going to happen!), when somebody wakes up up, when I see the dog wag his tail out of the corner of my eye, when a piece of paper skitters across the floor.  It’s insane (why, yes, yes, it is).
But bugs.

miss muffet had exaggerated startle reflex

The me I was before deliberately did not kill spiders in my house because I liked them and I liked the bug control they provided. When we lived in Japan I didn’t kill bugs in my house because I wanted the geckos in the house to have enough to eat. I was once that mom who cheerfully told other moms who were afraid of bugs, “Nature study!”
I’m sorry, if you were one of the bug paranoid mothers to whom I said those callous words. I see now that I was wrong. I am a repentant homeschool mom terrorist, and I won’t do it anymore.
The new and unimproved me is stupidly very much afraid of bugs. I’ve been trying to figure out why- especially because it’s not exactly all bugs.
And, of course, I’m trying to understand this PTSD thing- partly that’s because that is one part of me that is still unchanged- I research. I sort information, I collect, organize, and compare, draw conclusions, try to understand.  Some things scare me, stress me, make me jump, make me meltdown because they are triggers- that is, there are real connections between those things and traumatic events.  But a lot of other things have no connection in particular to any previous trauma, they just trigger my now obnoxiously hyperactive startle reflex.
So at this point, this is part of what I think I understand (and yes, it could all be really wrong, but this is not a encyclopedia article it’s me rambling through my brain organizing bits of information into something that is chohesive enough for me, solid enough, that I can use it in working towards the more functional me).
Children’s brains are still developing well into their teens. Childhood trauma causes all kinds of things to happen to the brain- cortisol levels skyrocket, changing the way the hippocampus functions. In some kids, this is a permanent change. It varies based on all kinds of stuff, probably a combination of genetics, the length of the ongoing trauma, the availability of good support that can allow the victim to relax and get some relief from those off the chart cortisol levels. But lots of traumatized kids do not have any of those things.   And then imagine what it’s like to live like this (I don’t have to imagine) – and the changes in the brain are themselves contributors to more stress in the person’s life, so, as one writer put it ( I wish I knew, somebody on the internet, I forgot to make a note of her site’s URL), some kids spend their entire childhood essentially marinating their brains in high levels of cortisol.

Well, that can’t be good.

And then, if you are me, once you escape that hell and put it far, far behind you (hello, Japan), you are living life and doing your best to function and things aren’t perfect, but they are mostly pretty nice, and then life kicks you in the teeth with this, that, and another thing, and you keeping spitting out your teeth and washing life’s treadmarks off of your face, and then…. that of which we do not speak happens, followed by one-two punches and a few good solid left hooks and a couple cut you off at the knees episodes.

You don’t have any teeth left to spit and you want to stay somewhere safe and quiet and off the beaten path so life’s tires can’t come steamrolling anywhere near you ever again.  But even there, you can’t really totally escape.  You know life hates you and it’s watching and lurking around every corner, in every closet, you are what is known as keyed up and on edge all the time because your brain doesn’t know what’s like not to function without shooting cortisol (fight or flight stuff) out at fire hydrant levels all day (and all night, too).

And out of the corner of your eye, a creepy, nasty, wicked little bug scurries by, wiggling tenuously thin little things that ought not to be wigging anywhere near you.

Victims of childhood abuse and domestic violence, their brains respond to what is being done to them in very similar ways to combat vets, and even more similarly to the brains of vets who have been prisoners of war (resulting in Complex PTSD, and I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of that one).  You know how you’re watching a movie and they set you up for a scary scene, the music is creepy, the scene is dark, the whole shot is loaded with building suspense, and then, GOTCHA!  My whole life is like that.  Every day, all day, gotcha moments.  It would make anybody tense, crotchety, grumpy, keyed up, and then exhausting.  Life as a horror movie is draining.




Lady bugs do not bother me.  Moths do not bother me. Fireflies are fine.  I saw some strange, bizarre leaf sucking beetles out in the yard the other day, and they didn’t bother me.  They also didn’t move.  It’s the bugs that scurry that make me jump, cause my heart to actually ache it beats so hard, and that apparently, based on my best guess, send fight or flight hormones spurting into every cell of my body, fire hosing them through my brain, making me very nearly completely irrational.

My son would say totally irrational, but I know this is not true because, although I really, really, really,  wanted to, when I was in the shower yesterday and a scurrying, nasty, creepy roach came crawling up the shower curtain I did not shriek out in terror for my son to come in to kill it while I was still in the shower.  I even contemplated leaping out of the shower, sliding on into the Cherub’s room which connects to our bathroom, and then screaming for my son to come kill it, but the small, grey, objective spectator part of me watching the large, red, screaming ninny part of me recognized that this was also silly.

So instead I danced in the shower crying hysterically while beating the shower curtain blindly with my shampoo bottle and then held the curtain outside the tub and sprayed it with a hose (yes, that means I was spraying the shower hose pretty much right onto my bathroom floor) for a couple of seconds.  I turned off the water and scooted out, hyperventilating while I pulled on dry clothes over my still very wet self and shot out of the bathroom.  I put my head down and squashed my hands against my mouth to stop myself from screaming (THIS, this totally ridiculous and humiliating insanity from a woman who was once not the least afraid of bugs!)- my son walked in to tell me something and I grabbed him and said, “Give me a hug.”

He awkwardly patted my shoulder for a few seconds and then stopped.  I asked for another hug.  My theory is that if you want to soothe those cortisol levels back down to something less than threat-condition level 1E (emergency) or severe, red, then no rational discussion about how I am bigger than a bug and they cannot hurt me and I am in a freaking totally different room now is going to do it.

My reptile brain overdosing on cortisol needs to be patted, soothed, gently shooshed and made to feel loved and safe.  Not a single one of my family members at home is on board with this, btw.  Not one.

He gave me another awkward 16 year old boy man-child with a crazy mom hug.  I practiced breathing through my nose and thinking about, oh, books.  K-dramas.  The pleasant feeling of having a 16 year old son who towers over you.  The number of hours before my husband would be home.  Chocolate.

My son was talking (I don’t even remember for sure what he was saying- something about his plans for the evening.  Or maybe for school.  One day he will recognize the symptoms better and ask me if he can have the car forever and I will say yes and later will only remember a buzzing noise).

He finished talking.  I sent him to examine my bathtub and bathroom floor and kill whatever he found there.  I heard the shower running, so I guess he did, or I already had and he just got rid of the body.

When I was a child there was this wonderful child-magnet lady at church named Charlotte.  There has never been a child in the world who met her and didn’t love and adore her.  She was afraid of bugs.  She was afraid of things you said were bugs, even they were actually only bits of paper you blew across the floor when she didn’t have her glasses on.  When I was a nasty, detestable and subhuman preteen I often spent the night at her house with her kids (she had a son my age and a girl slightly older and we were good friends) and sometimes other friends at church who were also nasty, detestable subhuman preteens.  We used to tease her endlessly, sneaking up behind her and tickling her hair while another of us would yell, ‘Bug” and then we’d watch her jump up and down and shriek while we rolled on the floor laughing at our cleverness.  Wretched little brats.  She was so kind.  I would like to think that she actually was putting it on for us because she was the sort of good natured, fun loving person who might just get a kick out of giving even wretched little monsters like ourselves the chance to laugh.

But on the chance that I am mistaken, I’m sorry.  I am so, so, so sorry.



I’m so sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry (because there’s a K-pop song for everything)

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News, links, thinks, stuff

Yes, cops have a hard job. So of course that justifies everything they do, including petulantly issuing nearly 200 dollar tickets to civilians who take their pictures.

NYPD arrested, strip-searched an innocent bystander for photographing them while they put a black market ciggy seller in a chokehold and killed him.  Naturally, they didn’t like being photographed, but it’s not illegal.  Now the NYPD has to pay the innocent bystander $125K,:

This student fulfilled a student writing assignment by writing about buying a gun to take care of business and kill his neighbor’s pet dinosuar.  The teacher reported him, police were called in, they searched his locker and bookbag, and then arrested him.  Police, of course, say the arrest had nothing to do with the writing assignment, but his disruptive conduct.  Pretty sure I’d be disruptive, too, under the circumstances, and it would be really, really difficult for my own 16 year old son to keep his cool and be polite about such nonsense.  I suspect this is another case of that horrible crime, ‘contempt of cop.’ He’s also suspended, btw.  He says he regrets it because it’s on his record now, but he still doesn’t see the harm in what he wrote.

Remember the baby severely injured by SWAT flash grenade? SWAT won’t pay for the medical bills:

A few days after the Ferguson shooting there was another fatal cop shooting just a few miles away- cops shot and killed a man armed with a knife.  There hasn’t been much press about it. I ignored the story of the cops who shot a man w/knife, because, knife. But….

No news helicoptors over Ferguson because…..

Cop to reporter, “I’ll bust your head right here.” “I’ll confiscate your film.”  And worse.  His language is foul and coarse.  He’s been suspended, btw, but that’s because he was caught on film.  This is how he behaved when he KNEW he was being filmed.  Do you think he’s nicer when not on camera?  He’s been ordered for psych evaluation, too, which is good, but if you or I pointed a weapon at a peaceful person and said the things he said, we’d been in jail. Why isn’t he?

Things maybe bad in Ferguson, but honestly, the MO governor is whackadoodle dangerous.

There’s a lot of info in this article, but this is what caught my attention: Of 163 arrested in Ferguson, only 7 of them actually live in Ferguson.  And only 21 were arrested in connection with looting:

Demonstrations began after the Aug. 9 shooting of Michael Brown, and authorities have arrested at least 163 people in the protest area. Data provided Thursday by St. Louis County showed that while the majority of those arrested are Missourians, just seven live in Ferguson, a St. Louis suburb. The vast majority, 128 people, were cited for failure to disperse. Twenty-one face burglary-related charges.

You’ve probably heard by now that police claim Wilson suffered an eye socket fracture.  This is still unconfirmed, although that doesn’t mean it’s not true.  They have been sort of harebrained about what they release and where and why.  Still,  I am really curious about why they took so long to say so.  However, I know they did say from the first press conference that he had suffered some sort of injury and had swelling to his face, and that’s pretty much been confirmed. I know in the video I watched (some witness’s cell phone after the shooting), he looked dazed and confused to me. I’ve been convinced since the autopsy report showed he wasn’t shot in the back that Wilson believed Mike was a threat, but, again, to me the story of Mike Brown and Officer Wilson is very much a local matter, while the story of the over the top police response is a national matter:

The message was clear: The public is the enemy. And as we the people started getting that message, Ferguson starting working harder to shoot the messengers.


Police repeatedly ordered protesters to turn off cameras and cell phones recording law enforcement. In response, the ACLU of Missouri had to go into court to seek an emergency agreement reminding the police that photographing them is a constitutionally protected right. Roving SWAT teams, perplexingly, raided a McDonald’s and arrested two journalists engaged in the suspicious act of recharging their phones. Police aimed tear gas canisters directly at members of the press. A local news crew caught police riding up afterwards and disassembling another crew’s media equipment.

Then came more systemic approaches to shutting down the speech of the public and the press. First: a nighttime curfew, applied to a broad area, whose details were obscure and seemingly applied ad hoc on the ground. Of the seven people arrested that night, three claim to have been on their own driveway. Of course, since journalists were subject to the curfew, we don’t have a lot of objective facts about what happened in those wee hours.

That curfew only lasted a few days. It was then replaced by a “no standing” rule of dubious origin and authority, under which police threatened the arrest of anyone who stood still for more than 5 seconds, day or night. That also included press.

Read more:


I read this really dumb article today- the author tried to go for thoughtful, measured, academic, and probably she’s used to being patted on the head for her success at those efforts in academia. In the real world, she made no sense. Her main point seemed to be that it was racist to think that people walking around in baggy pants showing their underwear and swearing at each other loudly might be behaving badly, and it was somehow internalizing the racism if you were black and criticized that behavior. I did not know that not showing your underwear in public was a whites only value because I guess all the black people I know have internalized racism or something. People really do think like this, though. If you’re in college, or you’re going to be, you will run into it. This is is a pretty good response to it (there is language). Here’s a taste:

Quote from original article: “No One Treats African-Americans Worse Than We Treat Each Other” The troubling self-flagellation in Ferguson’s black community
Response: “Already, we’re off to a bad start. And that’s the [blasphemy deleted] title. I haven’t even read the article yet. Automatically deeming any negative comments a black person makes about their ethnic community as “self-flagellation” makes no sense. Apply that to anyone else and you’ll see how it makes no sense. Some random white person who has never done anything bad to black people ever and actively works to improve impoverished communities feeling personal white guilt over the state of affairs because slavery is bad is engaging in self-flagellation. But the black person who says, “Hey, we’ve got some problems that are more than just a little bit our fault. Here they are.” is not engaging in self-flagellation. Maybe they are, but the phrase “No one treats African-Americans worse than we treat each other” doesn’t automatically indicate that, especially if the person who says that backs up their point with intelligence. Acknowledging that the group you’re in has its own issues that can’t be universally blamed on the actions of another party isn’t the same as having crippling self-hatred for yourself and your group. It’s called being realistic. And saying that all the bad things they do can’t at all be blamed on personal autonomy and disposition but entirely on being vaguely downtrodden by someone else doesn’t cut it.”

I linked before to that op-ed piece by a former cop and current prof of homeland security- you know, the one where he said that if you don’t want to get shot, baby, just do what you’re told, because how hard is that?  Ken White at Popehat goes through it and highlights most of the most horrific stuff and slights of hand.  Good read.

Understanding Ferguson- this is an interesting article.  There are so many things to think about.  I’m reminded of the graduation speech where David McCullough said going through life without knowing history is like trying to plant a garden with cut flowers.

The side of Ferguson reporters aren’t showing:

Joe Costephens, the white pastor of an interracial congregation, the Passage Community Church in Florissant, confirmed to WND that most of the riot activity had taken place in the three or four blocks around the location of the shooting at West Florissant Avenue and Canfield Drive.

“The Ferguson you see on the national news is different from the Ferguson I know,” he told WND.

“There’s an emphasis on families in Ferguson and on community. We are definitely an interracial community, and I’m proud to minister to an interracial congregation,” Costephens said.

“While things were going crazy with the Michael Brown shooting on Sunday, we had a pool party in my neighborhood, and it was half-white and half-black,” he said. “It was a beautiful thing, families loving one another, both races, with a sense of community.”

Read it all- it’s a good read.  Again (and again, and again), the big story here to me has never been Officer Wilson’s shooting of Mike Brown- it’s the subsequent police response.


Meanwhile… The Fast & Furious scandal continues.  A judge gives DOJ to Oct. 1 to produce documents that Congress has been requesting this weary while: .

Within minutes (really, minutes) of giving his po-faced Foley speech, our President began a 5 hr golf round, with grins and fistbumps.

It was so bad, even the NYT tsked over it.  This president seems to have totally checked out.  I think the responsibilities of the presidency may have been too much for him.  Seriously, maybe he needs therapy.

Perry says it’s a real possibility that members of ISIS have crossed in over the Mexican border.  Of course, he would say that, but the thing is, the way we handle the border makes that a real possibility ever day.

Speaking of Perry, one of the  Grand Jury members was also a Dem. Party Delegate during the GJ proceedings and there are photographs of her with one of the Democrat witnesses:

Racebased hate crimes spike in D.C. Whites victimized most, though some think it’s because minorities are afraid to report:

The plight of the historic Christian community in Iraq is beyond heartbreaking:


Government to Farmers: Host Same-Sex Wedding or Pay a $13,000 Fine -

There is a massive difference between *serving* gays, and participating in a service that is in violation of the owner’s religions views. Should a muslim owned business be forced to serve pork? If not, why not?

I find it sickly ironic that many of the same people defending this assault on personal freedoms probably, five years ago, would have insisted this sort of thing would never happen and people concerned about it were just being paranoid. 

You don’t give up your religious values just because you are a business owner. Remember the baker who wouldn’t make a cake that said Happy Birthday Adolf with a swastika? That was their right. I see nothing persuasive in any argument that seeks to limit a person’s conscience to the four walls of their church building.

ISIS dude who said he was gonna rise Islamic flag over the White House (why can’t they build their own? Why take over everybody else’s stuff?)- now dead.

Oversight group concludes Obama broke the law with his Taliban swap: “The GAO concluded in a report issued Thursday that the Obama administration failed to provide proper notification of the Taliban release and illegally used taxpayer funds that were not appropriated to enable the inmate transfer, according to the report.” 

American missionaries with Ebola released, well.  Thrilled and thanking God to be alive.  I’ve never met Dr. Kent Brantley or any of his family and I’m sure they’ve never heard of me, but we’re members of the same church group (we don’t like to call ourselves a denomination), and we have many mutual friends and acquaintances.  That means I took personal umbrage at Ann Coulter’s harsh and wrongheaded (and wrong-hearted) article about it.  Ugh.


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Trifecta: Gee, Officer Krupke, You’ve got Humvee, a Helo, a Drone and an M-16

At this point, the cure is worse than the disease. Sometimes the ‘cure’ is causing disease.

The police are supposed to be in place to protect citizens from crime, but more and more they act like their job is to protect the government from citizens, and to play soldier (why are the police in Ferguson dressed in uniforms that are designed for military camouflage in Iraq, when they are in a midwestern town?)

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Watching Your Blood Sugar

Watching your blood sugar:

Learn what the glycemic index is, if you haven’t already.  Google Robert Mendoza, glycemic index for starters.

Cauliflower can be creamed, buttered, and seasoned and it tastes close enough to potatoes to make up for the lack (I think doctors are wrong to be so concerned about good fats in diabetics’ diets).
Quinoa is an alternative to rice- it’s a seed, not a grain, but it works like a grain to bulk up a diet.
Berries are lower on the glycemic index than bananas (I would watch for sales, buy them frozen, and pick them myself in bulk to freeze for later)
Pumpkin and squash seeds are also lower in the glycemic index than popcorn (the amount of fiber helps offset the carbs)
I like spaghetti squash baked, fluffed out with a fork and tossed with butter and parmesan cheese, and I like it with spaghetti sauce, too.
Tofu and Nopalitos are two items you might consider adding to your diet. Nopalitos are sort of like a green bean, they come from a prickly pear cactus and do not raise blood sugar levels.
Stevia is another- a sweetener that has no effect on blood sugar at all. You have to experiment a bit, and it seems expensive but lasts a long time as only a few drops go a long way (five drops of apricot stevia and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice in my quart sized mason jar of water and I have a very tasty fruit drink)
For lasagna, I have often used a large zucchini sliced in strips for the noodles.  I also matchstick slice squashes and fry them quickly for a ‘noodle’ base.  There are some noodles called shiritake noodles that don’t spike blood sugar levels at all.  I didn’t care for them, and they don’t keep a long time in the fridge (you buy them chilled, not dried), but other people love them.


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America’s Protest and Riot History

(content significantly edited because I accidentally hit post before I was done).

This is by no means remotely intended to be anything like comprehensive.  I basically just skipped around, going first by memory, and then I found a useful list and skimmed through it, just touching on whatever caught my eye.  The reasons why something may or may not have caught my attention are mostly purely arbitrary- I’ve been there, I remembered hearing about it, I didn’t remember hearing about it and was surprised, I liked the sound of the name (hardhat riot?  Disco demolition?), it just interested me for no reason I can pinpoint.  So if something isn’t mentioned here and you think it should be, tell me about it in the comments!

On a number of websites where I read about Ferguson, in the comments section somebody will inevitably descend to calling the protesters and the looters in Ferguson ‘animals.’ and will claim that only blacks riot like this, and thus the police response is totally called for.  It always makes me a little sick inside.  More than once somebody has even challenged other readers to just try to come up with one other protest where the protesters were primarily white and there was resulting violence, destruction, or looting.  This always frustrates me- I generally can’t register to comment on those sites (they usually use Disqus, which hates me), but seriously- these people have a memory about two minutes long, and a knowledge of history that doesn’t extend much further than last week.

Wapo put together a photo slide show of famous protests, riots, marches.  I don’t even think they chose the most significant ones.  I went on a search, first looking by memory, things I’ve read, stories I’ve heard (pops may have been a psychopath, and he was, but he was also a commy pinko with labor sympathies and a real knack for history), places I’ve visited.  Then I found this treasure trove listing.

I didn’t notice the Chicago ’68 protests at Wapo’s listing.

These are just screen shots of images from the 1968 Chicago protests. Click to enlarge:

chicago 4

chicago 68 3

chicago 68 2 chicago 68

Looking at them, I wondered what made this a protest, and Ferguson a ‘riot.’ I know conservatives and libertarians don’t like to admit it, but racism still is a factor. Of course, I also know that sometimes we won’t ‘admit’ it because it’s a counterfeit card that gets played far too often and it’s a false charge.  Nevertheless, Chicago, ’68 looks like a riot to me.

Of course, in the sixties we also had protests over the VietNam War, protests for the Civil Rights movements, protests and riots in the wake of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. In the first half of the 20th century we had numerous race riots as well as labour protests with often violent clashes between unions and police and national guard units.

In the post-civil war era, we also had race riots, suffragette marches and protests, clashes between protestants and Catholics, between the new immigrant groups (mostly Irish and German) and those who had been here longer.

Pre-Civil war, there were protests and riots over slavery, anti-abolitionist riots, over the Fugitive Slave Law, and, again, with the Irish Catholics and the Protestants.

America has a long history with protests and riots, and the lines are generally blurred about which is which.   And it seems to me the peaceful ones are the anomaly.

There was the Ludlow Massacre in Colorado in 1914. Miners protesting unsafe working conditions the constriction of Company Towns, and low pay were set upon by state militia, several were shot. The camp was set on fire. 11 children and two women who had taken refuge in a cellar dug beneath their tent suffocated to death- two women survived to tell the tale.  There was spin then, too. (We visited the site many years ago, at the time a sadly neglected and unprotected site- we were even able to go down into the cellar)

Most of the rest of the information below is culled from Wikipedia:


In 1834 there were riots in New York city, largely whites and Irish immigrants targeting blacks and abolitionists.  Several homes and churches were destroyed.  The mobs were provoked by a series of lies and libels about abolitionists deliberately printed in a paper whose owner wanted all blacks deported to Africa.

I’d never heard of this one (or don’t remember it): “The Baltimore bank riot of 1835 was a violent reaction to the failure of the Bank of Maryland in 1834. The riot, which lasted from 6–9 August, was aimed at the homes and property of a number of former directors of the bank, who had been accused of financial misconduct and fraud. The Baltimore bank riot was one of the most violent and destructive events in any American city prior to the Civil War. Rioters destroyed many of the homes of the city’s wealthiest and most prominent citizens, and much valuable property was smashed or burned. The authorities were unable to control the violence and effectively surrendered the city to the mob, which was actively or passively supported by numerous bystanders.”

The leaders were jailed and the property owners sued the state of Maryland and won.

In 1844 there were riots and protests in Pennsylvania- rumours spread that Catholics were trying to remove Bible reading from public schools, Irish immigrants attacked a ‘nativist’ (anti-Irish immigration) meeting, nativists retaliated, things escalated. People died. Property was destroyed.

The Squatter’s riot in 1850 took place in Sacramento- it involved land speculation, ownership, old land grants, and squatters who wanted to keep the land.  In the end there were several misunderstandings and broken promises which led to an altercation between the two groups, injuries, and deaths.  The squatters lost in court, but they did manage to get their leader, arrested and charged with murder, elected to the state legislature while he was still in prison.  Later he was the first governor of Kansas.

1855, Louisville, Kentucky, Bloody Monday:

The Know-Nothings formed armed groups to guard the polls on election day, but the riots took place after the polls closed as the armed groups moved into Catholic neighborhoods. Germans (primarily Catholics) were also caught up. By the time it was over, more than 100 businesses, private homes and tenements had been vandalized, looted and/or burned, including a block long row of houses known as Quinn’s Row. Historians estimate the death toll at 19-22,[5] while Catholics including Bishop Martin John Spalding of Louisville, said the death toll at well over 100 with entire families consumed in the fires.

Citizens were dragged from their homes and attacked on the streets and in their place of work. Weapons, arms and later bodies of the dead, were stored in Louisville Metro Hall (the old Jefferson County Courthouse, now the Mayor’s Office), a Know-Nothing stronghold at the time. Sporadic violence and attacks had occurred in the year and months leading up to August 6, continuing for some time afterward.[6]

Only by Louisville Mayor John Barbee‘s intervention, despite being a Know-Nothing, were the bloodshed and the property destruction brought to an end, including his personal intervention that saved two Catholic churches: the new German parish of St. Martin of Tours and the Cathedral of the Assumption from destruction by the mob.

In 1857, New York City’s Mayor Wood was known for the police corruption under his watch.  Statue legislature replaced him and his police force and ordered him to step aside and deliver police assets to the new police force.  He refused.  15 captains and some 800 patrolmen supported him, and this resulted in:

The New York City Police Riot of 1857, known at the time as the Great Police Riot, was a conflict which occurred between the recently dissolved New York Municipal Police and the newly formed Metropolitan Police on June 16, 1857. Arising over Mayor Fernando Wood‘s appointment of Charles Devlin over Daniel Conover for the position of city street commissioner, amid rumors that Devlin purchased the office for $50,000 from Wood himself, Municipal police battled Metropolitan officers attempting to arrest Mayor Wood.

Washington Riot:

On June 1, 1857, a band of American Party rowdies traveled by train from Baltimore to Washington, D.C. to assist local party members in controlling the polls at a municipal election. The band included members of the Plug Uglies, Rip Raps, and Shiffler Fire Company from Philadelphia. After word of their arrival spread and rioting began at several polls, President James Buchanan called out United States Marines from the Navy Yard to quell the fighting. At one of the polls, the Marines clashed with citizens, most of them Washingtonians. They opened fire, killing ten men, only one from Baltimore. The violence drew sharp condemnation of Buchanan’s resort to military force, but resulted in no significant criminal prosecutions.

The Lager Beer Riot:

The Lager Beer Riot occurred in Chicago, Illinois in 1855 after Mayor Levi Boone, great-nephew of Daniel Boone, renewed enforcement of an old local ordinance mandating that taverns be closed on Sundays and led the city council to raise the cost of a liquor license from $50 per year to $300 per year, renewable quarterly.[1] This move was seen as targeting German immigrants. On April 21, after several tavern owners were arrested for selling beer on Sunday, protesters clashed with police near the Cook County Court House. Waves of angry immigrants stormed the downtown area and the mayor ordered the swing bridges opened to stop further waves of protestors from crossing the river. This left some trapped on the bridges, police then fired shots at protesters stuck on the Clark Street Bridge over the Chicago River.[2] A policeman named George W. Hunt was shot in the arm by a rioter named Peter Martin. Martin was killed by police, and Hunt’s arm had to be amputated.


In the 1920s there were the Tulsa Race riots- whites attacked black communities and burned them to the ground.  It’s a sickening thing to read about- and it wasn’t an isolated event.

In 1937 in Chicago:,

‘On Memorial Day, May 30, 1937, police opened fire on a parade of striking steel workers and their families at the gate of the Republic Steel Company, in South Chicago. Fifty people were shot, of whom 10 later died; 100 others were beaten with clubs.’

In 1938 there was the Hilo Massacre in Hawaii.

The Hilo Massacre, also known as Bloody Monday,[1] was an incident that occurred on 1 August 1938, in Hilo, Hawaii, when over 70 police officers attempted to disband 200 unarmed protesters during a strike, injuring 50 of the demonstrators. In their attempts to disband the crowd, officers tear gassed, hosed and finally fired their riot guns, leading to 50 injuries, but no deaths.

I’m not sure why it’s called a massacre when there were no deaths.  The police officer in charge had the men exchange their ammunition for birdshot in an effort to avoid any fatalities, but some either did not hear or didn’t comply, and still there were no fatalities.

This one’s a little hard to believe, but it’s a great illustration of the shifting values of a nation- in the 1940s there were nylon riots because of a shortage of nylon stockings- panty-hose.  In Pittsburg 40,000 women actually stood in line for hours trying to get in a department store to buy a limited supply of nylons.  Fights broke out, police had to break them up.  There were riots and demonstrations and accusations that the owner of the patent (DuPont) was stocking up on them to keep the prices artificially inflated. I couldn’t tell what sort of injuries, if any, there were. I’d pull somebody’s hair in order NOT to have to wear panty-hose, so it’s hard to imagine a culture where the opposite is true.

Less amusing are the Peeksill Riots in New York, protesting communist singer Paul Robeson- he was an avowed communist or at least a supporter of known communists and it was the Cold War era, but the Associated Press certainly fanned the flames:

…he had appeared at the Soviet-sponsored World Peace Conference in Paris. Referring to the growing tensions between the USA and the USSR, he stated:

We in America do not forget that it was the backs of white workers from Europe and on the backs of millions of Blacks that the wealth of America was built. And we are resolved to share it equally. We reject any hysterical raving that urges us to make war on anyone. Our will to fight for peace is strong…We shall support peace and friendship among all nations, with Soviet Russia and the People’s Republics.[5][6]

What came over the wires to news agencies via the AP in the United States was as follows,

We colonial peoples have contributed to the building of the United States and are determined to share its wealth. We denounce the policy of the United States government which is similar to Hitler and Goebbels…. It is unthinkable that American Negros would go to war on behalf of those who have oppressed us for generations against the Soviet Union which in one generation has lifted our people to full human dignity.[7]

Research by historians would later show through time records that the AP had put the dispatch on the wires as Robeson was starting his speech.

During those riots:

The first black combat pilot and decorated World War I veteran, Eugene Bullard was knocked to the ground and beaten by the mob, which included white members of state and local law enforcement. The beating was captured on film and can be seen in the 1970s documentary The Tallest Tree in Our Forest and the Oscar winning Sidney Poitier narrated documentary Paul Robeson: Tribute to an Artist. Despite recorded evidence of the beating, no one was ever prosecuted for the assault.


Following the Peekskill Riots, Democratic House Representative John E. Rankin of Mississippi condemned Robeson on the house floor. When Republican New York Congressman Jacob Javits spoke to the United States House of Representatives, deploring the Peekskill riots as a violation of constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech and free assembly,[25] Rankin replied angrily. “It was not surprising to hear the gentlemen from New York defend the Communist enclave,” Rankin bellowed, saying that he wanted it known that the American people are not in sympathy “with that N***** Communist and that bunch of Reds who went up there.”

In Chicago there was also the Days of Rage:

The Days of Rage demonstrations were a series of direct actions taken over a course of three days in October 1969 in Chicago, and organized by the Weatherman faction of the counterculture-era groupStudents for a Democratic Society.

The group planned the October 8–11 event as a “National Action” built around John Jacobs’ slogan, “bring the war home”. The National Action grew out of a resolution drafted by Jacobs and introduced at the October 1968 SDS National Council meeting in Boulder, Colorado. The resolution, which read “The Elections Don’t Mean Shit—Vote Where the Power Is—Our Power Is In The Street”, was adopted by the council; it had been prompted by the success of the Democratic National Convention protests in August 1968 and reflected Jacobs’ strong advocacy of direct action as political strategy. Such direct actions included vandalizing homes, businesses, and automobiles as well as assaulting police officers. Dozens were injured, and more than 280 members of the Weather Underground were arrested.

[...]John Jacobs, Jeff Jones, David Gilbert and others led a charge south through the city toward the Drake Hotel and the exceptionally affluent Gold Coast neighborhood, smashing windows in automobiles and buildings as they went. The protesters attacked “ordinary cars, a barber shop…and the windows of lower-middle-class homes” as well as police cars and luxury businesses. The mass of the crowd ran about four blocks before encountering police barricades.

Even the Black Panthers disavowed their tactics and disassociated from the Weatherman and SDS.  Weatherman members (mostly white) also smashed windows in cars and stores on Chicago’s Loop.

In 1970, of course, there was Kent State, where four students were shot and killed by the national guard, shocking the nation (although it appears that police had been killing unarmed protestors for decades without getting much attention- maybe because this time the victims were college students from upper middle class families?  More likely because of television, though).

In the aftermath, a group of students in New York gathered to mourn the Kent State dead and express solidarity with their goals.  About 200 unionize construction workers opposed them, and chased down students to beat them with their hard hats, earning it the name of The Hard Hat Riot:

The workers chose those with the longest hair and beat them with their hard hats and otherwise.Attorneys, bankers and investment analysts from nearby Wall Street investment firms tried to protect many of the students but were themselves attacked. Onlookers reported that the police stood by and did nothing.

Construction workers converged on a nearby university building and smashed windows and beat several students, using clubs and crowbars this time.

The Memorial Park riots lasted over about 3 days in the 70s, in Michigan over the police closing a park the local counter culture had largely taken over- hippies, IOW, pretty much all white kids of fairly progressive parents, based on the news paper articles I read. Hundreds of kids (many under 16, based on arrest reports) rioted, throwing rocks and bottles, blocking traffic on a busy road by rolling tires into the road.  There were several injuries, none major.  500 kids were arrested.

In Chicago there was Disco Demolition Night, a gimmicky promotion to boost attendance at a White Sox game at Comiskey park, resulting in a destroyed batting cage, stolen bases (literally), and bats, and the destruction of the playing field as well.  During the first baseball game, attendees through disco records onto the field.  The second game had to be forfeited because the field was in no condition to play.  Property damage was significant, injuries were n0t- maybe as many as 30. Chicago police in riot gear came in to disperse the rampaging kids- most of them were apparently white teenagers who had been smoking pot.  There have been claims that this was racially motivated, because I guess you only dislike Disco if you hate blacks and gays.

Kansas has had at least two different riots related to football games in the eighties- lots of property damage.

In Huntington Beach there have been at least 3 riots during a surfing event- lots of property damage, police in riot gear and tear gas.  It’s interesting that the articles I read did not mention looting, but shop windows were smashed and at least one of the photographs clearly shows somebody helping himself to a bike from the shop.   That’s, um, just last year, btw.

In 1988 in New York’s Tompkin Square Park there was a riot over the gentrification efforts by those who lived or worked around the park. Some of the park users objected to being gentrified. Pushers, homeless people, and young people used the park. Neighbors around them wanted the park cleaned up but they didn’t all agree about how to go about it. Police stepped in. But apparently the police response was so brutal, they are largely viewed as having caused the subsequent riot, even by those who inititally welcomed their presence:

Although bottles reportedly flew, it was the police who charged the crowd.[8] Despite NYPD protestations that their actions were measured, “The police panicked and were beating up bystanders who had done nothing wrong and were just observing,” said poet Allen Ginsberg, a local resident and witness.[8] Captain McNamara countered, “We did everything in our power not to provoke an incident. They didn’t charge the crowd until the bricks and bottles started flying.” New York Times photographer Angel Franco saw the police beat a couple who emerged from a grocery store; when he tried to take photographs, an officer clubbed him. A New York Daily News reporter, Natalie Byfield, was also clubbed on the head. Both were wearing cards identifying them as the press.[12] Jeff Dean Kuipers, a reporter for Downtown Magazine, was clubbed after an officer told his African-American companion, Tisha Pryor, to “move along, you black nigger bitch.”[8]
[The police] ran into the crowds with horses. I saw residents pulled off their stoops … They cracked my friend’s head open. It didn’t matter if you were a journalist or a resident or a storekeeper.
— Jeff Dean Kuipers, to the Newsday press[1]
Pryor is in tears, with blood running down her neck, in a videotape made by artist Clayton Patterson.[8] Another video made by freelance cameraman Paul Garrin shows officers swinging clubs at him and slamming him against a wall. Photographer John McBride, taking still photos of the riot that were to be published in The Village Voice, was also struck by a policeman’s nightstick in the same attack taped by Garrin.[13] Mr. Fish, a travel promoter out for an evening on the town, attempted to hail a taxi on Avenue A near Sixth Street when he was suddenly struck on the head. “I was just standing there watching,” he said. “The next thing that I remember is seeing the stick, and then a young woman who was helping me.” Patterson’s videotape showed that no officers helped Fish until an ambulance arrived. A police helicopter hovered over the scene, contributing to a sense of chaos.

The park users retaliated, and things got even worse.

In 1992, after the Bulls won their first NBA title, rowdy fans caused $10 million in property damage during post-championship festivities. In Philadelphia, ’08, thousands of fans spilled into the streets and smashed windows and overturned cars to celebrate.
Denver, ’98: “After the Denver Broncos defeated the Green Bay Packers to win Super Bowl XXXII, 10,000 fans went a little overboard and tears of joy became tear-gas-induced tears when people began flipping cars, looting and destroying the Mile High City. The Broncos’ victory and the following riot were selected as top news stories of 1998 by newspaper and broadcast members of the Associated Press.”
Boston, ’07, fans celebrated by setting people’s cars on fire and throwing bottles at the police.

It’s kind of sad that in the early years most protests and riots were over significant social issues, even if people were wrong, they believed what they were protesting affected their lives, their values, their culture, their homes.  But in the late 20th and early 21st century we seem to riot more often because we’re excited about winning at the Roman circus, I mean, gladitorial, I mean, sporting event.


There are no photographs of it, but there was Shay’s Rebellion:

an armed uprising that took place in central and western Massachusetts in 1786 and 1787. The rebellion was named after Daniel Shays, a veteran of the American Revolutionary War and one of the rebel leaders.
The rebellion started on August 29, 1786. It was precipitated by several factors: financial difficulties brought about by a post-war economic depression, a credit squeeze caused by a lack of hard currency, and fiscally harsh government policies instituted in 1785 to solve the state’s debt problems. Protesters, including many war veterans, shut down county courts in the later months of 1786 to stop the judicial hearings for tax and debt collection. The protesters became radicalized against the state government following the arrests of some of their leaders, and began to organize an armed force. A militia raised as a private army defeated a Shaysite (rebel) attempt to seize the federal Springfield Armory in late January 1787, killing four and wounding 20.

There was the Whiskey Rebellion, a protest against excise taxes on distilled spirits:

Throughout counties in Western Pennsylvania, protesters used violence and intimidation to prevent federal officials from collecting the tax. Resistance came to a climax in July 1794, when a U.S. marshal arrived in western Pennsylvania to serve writs to distillers who had not paid the excise. The alarm was raised, and more than 500 armed men attacked the fortified home of tax inspector General John Neville. Washington responded by sending peace commissioners to western Pennsylvania to negotiate with the rebels, while at the same time calling on governors to send a militia force to enforce the tax. With 13,000 militia provided by the governors of Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, Washington rode at the head of an army to suppress the insurgency. The rebels all went home before the arrival of the army, and there was no confrontation. About 20 men were arrested, but all were later acquitted or pardoned.

The Boston Tea Party itself was a protest with the immediate goal of destroying private property, abeit while making a protext against taxes and regulations geared toward collecting money for the government coffers.

Ferguson may have a connection to petty taxes and fines as well:

What seems clear at this point is that Ferguson – while in some ways a nicer and safer town than some have imagined – does suffer from a unusual degree of antagonism between police and residents, an antagonism that crucially involves race (the town is an extreme outlier in its now-famous extent of black underrepresentation in elected office) and yet has other vital dimensions as well. The town gets nearly a quarter of its municipal revenue from court fees – the figure in some neighboring towns is even higher – and according to the ArchCity Defenders report quoted in Newsweek, Ferguson’s municipal court is among the very worst in the way it adds its own hassle factor to the collection of petty fines.

Click through the link to see how many people in Ferguson have been arrested and compare that to their crime rate- they aren’t being arrested for what most of us consider crimes, but for minor infractions, mostly traffic violations (like jaywalking), and the city officers have a vested interest in protecting this significant source of municipal revenue.  The trouble in Ferguson has been simmering a very long time.  Mike Brown and Officer Wilson are just the unlucky matches set to this powder keg.

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Ferguson and Warrior Cops

Via Alex Jones, so take that into account:

A document released by the U.S. Army details preparations for “full scale riots” within the United States during which troops may be forced to engage in a “lethal response” to deal with unruly crowds of demonstrators.

The appearance of the document amidst growing unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, with the National Guard now being called in to deal with the disorder, is an ominous coincidence.

The 132-page document, titled U.S. Army Techniques Publication 3-39.33: Civil Disturbances (PDF), was written in April 2014 and recently obtained by Public Intelligence.

The document makes it clear that the techniques detailed therein are to be applied both outside andinside the “continental United States (CONUS)” in the event of “unruly and violent crowds” where it is “necessary to quell riots and restore public order.”

The training manual outlines scenarios under which, “Civil unrest may range from simple, nonviolent protests that address specific issues, to events that turn into full-scale riots.”

The most shocking aspect of the document is the fact that it describes the deployment of a “lethal response” directed against “unarmed civilians,” including “sniper response” and “small arms direct fire.”

Under the heading “sniper response,” the document states, “Ensure that target leaders or troublemakers are targeted,” in addition to a passage which states, “Exploit the psychological effect of an attack.”

More at the link.  And also, why all that black helicopter training over cities?

Via Reason:

“If you don’t want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground,” warns Officer Sunil Dutta of the Los Angeles Police Department, “just do what I tell you.”

The thing is, Officer Dutta (pictured) is also an Adjunct Professor of Homeland Security and Criminal Justice at Colorado Technical University. And he uttered those words not in the heat of the moment, but in an opinion piece in the Washington Post responding to widespread criticism of police attitudes and tactics currently on display in Ferguson, Missouri, but increasingly common nationwide.

More at the link.

This is curious- I have seen *several* pro-Ferguson cops stories where we are assured that the Ferguson police department was getting dash cams, even had them in possession already, they were due to be installed any day, and then this mess happened. But yesterday they released a statement with several promises to do better (the usual nebulous politi-speak ‘we are exploring a range of options’) , and that included this:
            “Commitment to raise funds and secure dash and vest cams for our patrol cars.”

So somebody was lying when they said the department already had cameras, just hadn’t installed them yet.
Pretty sure it was the chief of police there who said they had them already, just hadn’t installed them, because apparently they bought them but didn’t plan for the funding to install them (this is, he said, expensive?)

And I shared this story before, but it bears repeating:

The officers got the wrong man, but charged him anyway—with getting his blood on their uniforms. How the Ferguson PD ran the town where Michael Brown was gunned down.
Police in Ferguson, Missouri, once charged a man with destruction of property for bleeding on their uniforms while four of them allegedly beat him.

“On and/or about the 20th day of Sept. 20, 2009 at or near 222 S. Florissant within the corporate limits of Ferguson, Missouri, the above named defendant did then and there unlawfully commit the offense of ‘property damage’ to wit did transfer blood to the uniform,” reads the charge sheet.

I read that article and learned something else of interest:

…before a new chief took over in 2010 the department had a surprising protocol for non-fatal use-of-force reports.

“The officer himself could complete it and give it to the supervisor for his approval,” the prior chief, Thomas Moonier, testified in a deposition. “I would read it. It would be placed in my out basket, and my secretary would probably take it and put it with the case file.”

No copy was made for the officer’s personnel file.

As it turns out, the officer who shot Mike Brown has been in Ferguson six years. That means for the first two years of his service there, like all the other cops, if he took  any use-of-force actions he wrote the reports himself and then they were disposed of. So we don’t really know if his first two years are as clean as the police department claims (we don’t know they weren’t, but we do know that those first two years are a blank as far as reliable information).

The former police chief (the one who was Officer Wilson’s chief his first two years in Ferguson) testified under oath that there was no way he knew of “to identify any officers that were subject of one or more citizens’ complaints”

You should also know that in the brutality case where they gave a wrongfully arrested man a concussion and then charged him with bleeding on their uniforms, and then perjured themselves, one of those cops is now a city councilwoman.

I have to say that Ferguson has largely itself to blame for this- they are a majority black suburb, but not even ten percent of the black population there vote.

(Nationally,  we have only ourselves to blame for our increasingly militarized police force as well- polls show that a majority of Americans think it’s a great idea to arrest parents who let pre-teens play outside unsupervised.)

Must Reading: Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces

A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State

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Will Pharrel’s Happy in ASL

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