- Prisoner assaulted by staff in Ely State Prison. NPW, Nevada Prison Watch (2009-12-30).
1st of December 2009I would like to open this letter with my utmost respects. I was told to write you & tell you about my story in hopes of a little help! Here´s the truthful story about an assault that two C.O.´s put on me.My name is Jeremiah Van Clinton….(Linked Wednesday 2010-01-06.)
- Nevada pot activists aim high again. chall, MPP Nevada (2009-12-17).
Jason Whited Las Vegas City Life December 17, 2009(Linked Wednesday 2010-01-06.)
- Investigation ordered into inmate death. Nevada Prison Watch (2010-01-06). In which a “patient” is killed by prison “medical care.” Of course, the “care” was psychiatric, and hence was forced on the prisoner against his will. “We had an individual who we have repeatedly had to give forced meds …. Apparently the last time we forced his meds, he died.” (Linked Wednesday 2010-01-06.)
- From Arizona Prison Watch: Protest on 12-18 at AZ DOC. NPW, Nevada Prison Watch (2009-12-15).
This comes from our Allies at Arizona Prison Watch, who do a good job in creating consciousness in the Prison Industrial Complex. They also supply a creative and clear voice to protest the killing of AZ inmate Marcia Powell in an outdoor cage, on May 20th, 2009.Protest on 12-18 at…(Linked Wednesday 2010-01-06.)
- Teaching is not a crime. Democracy Sucks (2010-01-06). The War on the Informal Sector (Cont’d.): state of Virginia vs. independent Yoga instructors / (P.S.: Institute for Justice wants you to know that this ridiculous screwjob of a law is against the Constitution. But who cares? If the Constitution allowed for it, that wouldn’t make it any more just, or any less of a ridiculous screwjob.) (Linked Wednesday 2010-01-06.)
- Post-Literate. Dorothy, Cat and Girl (2010-01-06). (Linked Thursday 2010-01-07.)
So, it’s Sunday. The news from northwest Aztlan is that, unlike many a Sunday, I’m not in Vegas — we’ve been in Texas most of the week, and were planning to be back in Vegas last night. Instead, we got stopped in Flagstaff, Arizona by snow in the mountains. We’re hoping to make it through the mountains and back to Vegas in time for a late lunch.
But in the meantime, neither rain, nor sleet, nor snowed-over mountain passes will stop the Shamelessness.
And you? What have you been up to this week? Write anything? Leave a link and a short description for your post in the comments. Or fire away about anything else you might want to talk about.
Over My Shoulder #45: How Empire comes home in sado-statism and police brutality. From Fred Woodworth, “Evil Empire Notes,” in The Match! # 107 (Summer, 2009)
At the top of the post, make a list of the books you’ve read all or part of, in print, over the course of the past week, at least as far as you can remember them. (These should be books that you’ve actually read as a part of your normal life, and not just something that you picked up to
reada page of just in order to be able to post your favorite quote.)
Pick one of those books from the list, and pick out a quote of one or more paragraphs, to post underneath the list.
Avoid commentary above and beyond a couple sentences, which should be more a matter of context-setting or a sort of caption for the text than they are a matter of discussing the material.
Quoting a passage absolutely does not entail endorsement of what's said in it. You may agree or you may not. Whether you do isn't really the point of the exercise anyway.
Here’s the books:
- Sonia Johnson (1989). Wildfire: Igniting the She/Volution. (Albuquerque: Wildfire Books. I picked it up some time ago through BookMooch.)
- Richard Gombin (1975), The Origins of Modern Leftism. Translated from the French by Michael K. Perl. (Baltimore: Penguin. Picked up this very week for 49¢ from the Shaman Drum used books sale rack!)
- Fred Woodworth, The Match! Issue No. 107 (Summer, 2009). (Tucson: Fred Woodworth. PO Box 3012, Tucson, Arizona 85702. I picked my copy up last week from May Day Books in Minneapolis.)
And here’s the quote. This is taken from Fred Woodworth’s Evil Empire Notes, Issue No. 107 of The Match! (Summer 2009; also, incidentally, the 40th anniversary issue of The Match!). This was airplane reading, taken in somewhere in the sky between Minneapolis and Las Vegas.
GIVEN all the millions of horrifying stories in the naked country, now and then it’s good to pluck out one to hear an authentic voice rather than a statistic. Amnesty International printed up this one, by Donald Boyd of Chicago:
I have been a victim of racial profiling since I was 17 years old. Once when I was walking to the cleaners, I stopped to talk with some young men…. When I walked away, the police just automatically accused me of purchasing drugs. Two officers jumped out of a car and kept askingWhat did they sell you?I repeatedly replied no one sold me anything. … They cuffed me and drove me to a police substation.
… The next morning they loaded 45 people into a van made for 32. The men were almost all black and Latino. When we arrived at the jail, sheriff’s deputies, dressed in riot gear, met us. They shouted obscenities and threats. The deputies assaulted several people, including me, for supposedly not complying with their every word.
At each step in the process–arrest, detention and bond hearing–we were lined up, and numbers were scribbled on our arms with black marking pens…. In court, you appear before a judge, but via a television screen. You don’t get to speak, and the judge never even looks you in the face…. They treat our communities with disdain and contempt. I had to hire a lawyer and spend thousands of dollars to get the charges dismissed….
ASLawbecomes increasingly complex, with hundreds of thousands and even millions of laws stacked on top of each other, almost no one can confront officialdom in any way without a lawyer. But what happens when your lawyer takes your money and does no work, don’t file basic motions or writs, and essentially shafts you? Not much. Bar associations have a cap of compensatory payments they sometimes make to incompetent or dishonest lawyers’ clients, but the amouts are often based on century-old, or even older, stated maximums. And it’s next to impossible to go after such a lawyer legally, because to do so you need… another lawyer.
EIGHT COPS raided a home in Minneapolis in ’08. They shot up the place, accidentally not killing anyone. Well, it was thewronghouse (there is norighthouse for something like this). This is completely comparable to a surgeon amputating the wrong leg, but if the doctor who did this to you then got a commendation from the medical association, wouldn’t you feel absolutely floored? So did the family whose home was raided and shot up. All eight cops received medals.
Undoubtedly this sounds like hyperbole or mere rhetoric, but the simple fact is that there is no conceivable way anyone can interpret this but as an official statement ofGood Work, Mento stupid, negligent, incompetent thugs for terrorizing and injuring innocent people.
NOT SURPRISINGLY, when humanitarian spirit is dead in officialdom it’s not partly alive; it really is extinct and defunct. Also in Minnesota, a poor wild bear somehow got a plstic jar or bucket stuck on its head. Official solution: shoot the bear. No sympathy for an unfortunate creature; no imaginative or bold remedy. Just kill.
AS REPORTED by the Washington Post, prison guards at Prince George’s County Jail in Maryland are apt to be the kind of guys the average person expects to hear of as BEHIND bars. An investigation by the paper found guards who’ve been charged with assault, theft, beating and threatening their wives with death, having sex with prisoners, robbery at gunpoint, and other crimes.
Among the nine officers was Mark R. Bradley, whose then-wife asked for a protective order in 1998, claiming he had threatened, taunted, punched and slapped her… When she reached for the phone, Bradley who had been on the force for almost four years, yanked it away… His wife recalled him saying:Call the police… Make me lose my job. I’ll kill you.Almost a decade later, he was still on the payroll at the jail, despite three protective orders issued against him in the late 1990s. In 2004, he pleaded guilty to assaulting another woman, whose rib was broken. The woman, who had been pregnant with his child, told police that after a beating days earlier, she had a miscarriage. A judge put Bradley on probation and ordered him to take an anger management class.
AIRPORT FASCISM is being extended to railroads. Amtrak, the railroad passenger company, has brought in a SWAT-style phalanx of agents in full combat gear to sweep through train stations, randomlyscreeningand searching passengers. Therandomlychosen passengers will have to place their bags on a platform and be swabbed with chemicals that are claimed to react to traces of explosives. You can also be ratted out by dogs.
ONE OF THE factors that propelled the United States as far along into the police state that it now is, was the Vietnam War. There’s plenty of evidence that soldiers in ALL wars become brutalized, but something extraordinary seems to have taken place in Vietnam. Whatever it was, American men who went there (and survived) tended to come back in a vicious state of mind. Ordinary people were their enemy. They made up stories (essentially none has ever been verified) of people spitting on them when they arrived at stateside airports; and they formed cliques of us-versus-them. Looking for work, a high proportion of them went into law enforcement, and there they reinforced and amplified the already-existing us versus them mentality, ratcheting the propensity toward police brutality to amazing heights.
Now the same thing is happening with Iraq. Our guess is that the psychological corruption happens when soldiers fight amid a culture and a language that has few points of contact with the west and with Indo-European languages. It is one thing to fight, say, Germans or Italians, whose general culture is largely familiar (same religions, for instance) and whose languages have a large percentage of words that are the same or nearly enough so to be comprehensible even to the monolingual standard American youth. But in Vietnam–and now in Iraq–these military people are surrounded by words and behaviors utterly alien to them. Our own idle theory, therefore, is that this operate on their minds in such a way that the enemy becomes completely dehumanized. This creates the us-versus-them, and when they return to the USA, they still have it.
Then they go into law enforcement.
Already we are beginning to read about cases in which police–now Iraq war veterans–are opening fire on people merely running away from them. And already, too, the convoluted excuses are starting to evolve:Re-experiencing a war zone is one of several classic signs of combat stress reaction,says the Department of Veterans Affairs. If persistent and untreated, the Department goes on, this can result inpost traumatic stress disorder.
Whatever verbal gimmickery you haul out to gloss over the facts, the truth is that these men (generally they are men) have been ruined, corrupted fatally and irretrievably, by being sent out to murder masses of people for no good reason in a country where they ought never to have gone. Mostly it’s their own fault, too, since ultimately it was their own volition that was compliant in their going there.
The bottom line is that Bush’s freudian effort to surpass his father’s Panama coup by similarly taking Saddam Hussein, unresisted by the press and the American people at the outset, is now going to result in thirty or forty more years of ever-worsening police violence against the public here. With this on top of everything else–the overpopulation, insanely burgeoning law-pollution, disastrous shift to digital culture, etc.–America is rapidly turning into an unliveable hell. Then add global warming.
IMMIGRATION PRISONS, where you’re sent for not having adequate proof of being a so-called citizen, are the new concentration camps of the Evil Empire. There are now a whole class of persons of various ethnicities who are afraid to travel outside of the towns or cities where they live, because of the possibility of being stopped by some profiling trick excused as a broken taillight, and then being sent sprawling into a cell at an immigration prison.
A recent well-publicized case in some of the larger newspapers (and excluded from the local dailies) concerned one Hiu Lui Ng, who’d come to the US from Hong Kong. Making the mistake of going to immigraiton headquarters in New York City to get agreen card(legal authorization to live and work in this country), he was grabbed and put behind bars. There he developed cancer, was in severe pain, laughed at by themedicalmatrons, and eventually died from the rampaging and untreated disease.
They denied him a wheelchair and refused pleas for an independent medical evaluation. Instead, … guards at the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls, Rhode Island, dragged him from his bed on July 30, craried him in shackles to a car, bruising his arms and legs, and drove him two hours to a federal lock-up in Hartford, where an immigration officer pressured him to withdraw all pending appeals of his case.(New York Times.)
One out of hundreds of thousands.
–Fred Woodworth, Evil Empire Notes, in The Match! Issue No. 107 (Summer, 2009). 19–21.
There are certain questions that shouldn’t need to be asked. Which, if they come up, are a sign that there is something deeply wrong with the kind of conversation that you’re having. Here’s an example of one, which recently appeared in my Google News feed:
For background on this case, which I’ve discussed here before when it was before the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, see GT 2007-10-02: Public schooling. The story is back in the news because the case has reached the Supreme Court.
If you think that there is any reasonable debate to be had about whether it could possibly be legitimate or appropriate for government school officials to corral an unwilling 13-year-old girl into the school nurse’s office, then force her to undergo a humiliating strip-search, all in order to serve the Compelling State Interest of making sure that she wasn’t covertly carrying any ibuprofen on her person — and, this is, apparently, something that the most distinguished jurists of the government of the United States of America believe — then I will say that there is something deeply wrong with the kind of conversations that you are having about 13 year old girls, their rights, the role of schools in a humane society, and the prerogatives of the State. By the time you get around to trying to answer a question like that, it’s already too late; the fact that it was ever open for you says more than enough about you, and about the masters that you serve.
You tell me when you spot the terrorism in this case.
Four members of an anti-government movement, known as theSovereign Movement,have been arrested after a three-year investigation by the Nevada Joint Terrorism Task Force on allegations of money laundering, tax evasion and possessing unregistered machine guns.
The four men were arrested Thursday in the Las Vegas area, said Greg Brower, U.S. Attorney for Nevada.
Samuel Davis, 54, of Council, Idaho; Shawn Rice, 46, of Seligman, Ariz.; Harold Call, 67, of Las Vegas; and Jan Lindsey, 66, of Henderson, were taken into custody, Brower said.
Davis and Rice are charged in a federal indictment with one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and 30 counts of money laundering. If convicted, they face up to 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine on each count.
Call is charged in a federal indictment with two counts of possession and transfer of a machine gun and three counts of possession of an unregistered machine gun. If convicted, Call faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count.
Undercover agents working for the FBI infiltrated the anti-government group, which often met at a Denny’s restaurant at Fremont Street and Boulder Highway, and for $750 purchased parts from Call to turn guns into machine guns, the search warrants said.
Call in one phone conversation said he phoned the IRS to see whether his account had been credited. He said that after asking a woman IRS four times for his account balance, Call learned the IRS had not credited his account. In the phone call with the undercover FBI agent, Call said,Every time I talk to the IRS, I just want to go kill somebody.
In addition to the STEN machine gun, the task force seized a mill and other equipment that allowed Call to transform weapons into machine guns and he demonstrated an AR-15 rifle he had converted to allow for fully automatic firing.
Lindsey is charged in a federal indictment with one count of evasion of payment of tax and four counts of tax evasion. If convicted, Lindsey faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count.
The indictments were returned by a federal grand jury Tuesday and unsealed on Thursday. The defendants were to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Lawrence R. Leavitt on Friday.
From March 2008 through the date of the indictment, Davis and Rice allegedly laundered about $1.3 million for FBI undercover agents, court records show. Davis and Rice were told by the undercover agents that the monies were proceeds of a bank fraud scheme, specifically from the theft and forgery of stolen official bank checks.
Davis and Rice laundered the money through a nominee trust account controlled by Davis and through an account of a purported religious organization controlled by Rice. The men took about $74,000 and $22,000, respectively, in fees for their money laundering services before handing the rest of the funds to the undercover FBI agents.
Davis is allegedly a national leader of the anti-government movement, traveling nationwide to teach different theories and ideologies of the movement, court records said. Rice allegedly claims that he is a lawyer and Rabbi, and uses his law school education and businesses to promote his sovereign ideas and to gain credibility in the community.
Call allegedly possessed and transferred anauto searorlightning link,a combination of firearm parts designed to convert a weapon from a single-shot manual one to automatic use, on Sept. 11, 2008, and Jan. 20, 2009, the court records said. Call allegedly possessed a STEN machine gun on Oct. 9, 2008, which was not registered to him in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record.
Lindsey is a retired FBI agent. He and Call are leaders of the Nevada Lawmen Group for Public Awareness, a group that is associated with the sovereign movement.
Lindsey allegedly failed to timely file or pay federal income tax for the years 1999 through 2006, and committed various acts designed to hide his income and assets from the IRS, including filing false tax returns, making false statements to the IRS, placing funds and property in the names of nominees, using fake negotiable instruments to attempt to pay his taxes and filing false documents with the IRS and Clark County.
In a detailed search warrant unsealed Friday, authorities said Lindsey underwent and passed a background investigation in 2000 for his work conducting FBI background checks, but in 2005 he revealed he had not filed his income taxes. The FBI’s Security Division determined he was a security risk and did not grant him clearances.
The search warrant said Lindsey owes the IRS $333,397.78 for unpaid taxes from 1999 to 2002.
On May 7, 2008, Lindsey filed a false tax form for 2000 saying his wife earned $13,638.33 from Azurix and $7,249.77 from Enron, when IRS wage records show she earned $169,109 and $174,142, respectively, from the two companies.
Unsealed search warrant affidavits allege that Rice, Davis, Lindsey and Call are heavily involved in theSovereign Movement,an extreme anti-government organization whose members attempt to disrupt and overthrow government and other forms of authority by usingpaper terroristtactics [N.B.:paper terrorismis a melodramatic phrase for using a flurry of fraudulent legal filings in order to harass an intended target], intimidation, harassment and violence, court records said.
Members of the group believe they do not have to pay taxes and believe the federal government deceived Americans into obtaining Social Security cards, drivers’ licenses, car registrations and wedding licenses, among other official records. The group believes that if these contracts are revoked, persons aresovereign citizens.
Members of this group also believe that U.S. currency is invalid. They widely use fictitious financial instruments, such as fake money orders, personal checks and sight drafts, and participate inredemptionschemes where the false financial documents are used to pay creditors.
The FBI-led Nevada Joint Terrorism Task Force includes the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Henderson Police Department, IRS Criminal Investigation, Metro Police, the Nevada Department of Public Safety and the North Las Vegas Police Department in addition to other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in Nevada, Council, Idaho, and Flagstaff and Seligman, Ariz.
The Federalis would like you to know that the charges have nothing to do with persecuting the targets for their political beliefs. Yeah, I’ll bet. Which is exatly why an anti-terrorism task force spent three years using federal anti-terrorism laws to infiltrate activist groups, in order to produce a bunch of money laundering, tax evasion, and firearms possession charges, all of which have exactly nothing whatever to do with even a single threat of a terrorist attack. And I’m also sure that the timing of these arrests also had absolutely nothing at all to do with the fact that your deadline for filing your federal income tax return is coming up in just over a month. And if you believe that, I’ve got some mortgage securities that you may be interested in buying.