News

Sex on Autopilot

Just read about Stephen Bradley Mell, now 53, who pled guilty in court to sex crimes.

In the air.

With a 15-year-old.

TimesNow News has more background and it’s really sordid.

Mell clearly groomed his victim, arranged for a time and place, then knowingly put a dangerous vehicle on autopilot so he could have intercourse with a fifteen-year-old girl.

I mean, what could GO WRONG?

Final upshot: yet another victim in the neverending stream of abused, rich guy horks up some cash, hangs out for a few years and in all likelyhood, gets out and does it again – except now with expert support from people like Jeffrey Epstein.

Seven years in prison, five of supervised release, $40,000 fine, $32,500 restitution, $5,000 for Victims of Trafficking Act assessment.

Honestly? That’s it?

No punishment for doing something so reckless with an aircraft??

Does the FAA endorse sex while flying? They must… because I didn’t see a peep about them in the article. I’m just thinking of the people on the ground who could have easily gotten screwed as well if any of a number of things had forced the plane down.

One more case of aerial moronity.

YO. Air community. Let’s be safe up there. (cause it’s US you crash down on)

The GOP and Women

Dust bowl mom

Almost a century now of GOP abuse of women.

Women: “Can I have birth control?”
Republicans: “No.”

Women: “I couldn’t get birth control so I got pregnant. Can I have an abortion?”
Republicans: “No.”

Women: “You prevented me from having an abortion so I’m carrying the fetus, but my employer won’t provide reasonable accommodations and is threatening to fire me. Would you please pass the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act?”
Republicans: “No”

Women: “I had the baby, but I’m out of work. Can I have WIC and food stamps until I get back on my feet?”
Republicans: “No.”

Women: “I found a job, but it doesn’t offer me insurance. Can I have government guaranteed insurance?”
Republicans: “No.”

Women: “My kid got sick and I got fired because I missed time caring for him. Can I get unemployment?”
Republicans: “No.”

Women: “I’m having a hard time getting my kid from school consistently. Can we fund after-school programs?”
Republicans: “No.”

Women: “I’m prepared to work to support my family. Can you make sure that a full-time job’s minimum wage is enough to do that?”
Republicans: No. But what’s the matter with you and your family, that working two jobs can’t lift you out of poverty? And what kind of a mother are you, letting someone else watch your child while you work? If your child doesn’t do well in school or gets in trouble, it’s entirely your fault. You shouldn’t have had a child if you weren’t prepared to take care of her.”

Planks

Bruce Lindner - Portland, OR - Pony Espresso
Bruce Lindner, Portland, OR

Things I expect the 2020 Democratic nominee to support:

  • Return the U.S. to the Paris Climate Accords, fast-track climate change measures domesticallyReturn the U.S. to the JCPOA
  • ERA: It’s 4 decades overdue. Renew it, expand it to include race, religion, gender, etc., push it hard, pass it. Git ‘er done.
  • Double-down on rectifying GOP ObamaCare sabotage, promote healthcare for ALL
  • Establish fair working wage job standards
  • Declare all out war on Citizens United. Draft a Constitutional Amendment that would regulate money in politics
  • Challenge the NRA at every turn, push for a ban on military-style weapons from public ownership
  • Fire every single functionary leftover from the Trump administration: CLEAN HOUSE! Fumigate, if necessary
  • Abolish the tariffs
  • Restore our commitment to NATO. Beg Canada, Mexico, Australia, our European allies to forgive us for our arrogance and bravado… even China
  • Propose (internally) standards to deal with any future nations that attempt to interfere in our elections
  • Reinstate the Fairness Doctrine
  • Restart normalization of relations with Cuba. Offer olive branch to some other ostracized nations, even Iran, Venezuela, in exchange for specific diplomatic goals: Eliminate “my way or the highway” global U.S. attitude
  • Declare war on RACISM, white supremacism. Establish defined parameters for race-based and faith-based terrorism
  • Renew our commitment to a Two-State solution in the Middle East. Make any potential foreign aid to 👉🏼 either side 👈🏼 contingent upon it. Demand compliance with U.N. resolutions 242 and 338
  • Make nepotism on a Federal level punishable by law
  • Require all future Presidents, Supreme Court Justices, Senators, Congressmen/women to submit to a mental evaluation before they can serve
  • Require all future Presidents, Supreme Court Justices, Senators, Congressmen/women to make their tax records public before they can serve
  • Fund green programs, infrastructure, etc., restore all Obama era environmental, Interior Department, National Parks protections
  • Restore the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to previous administration’s vision. Regulate payday lenders. Unless she’s elected POTUS 46, insist that the job be given to Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

But… but Bruce! If we do all that, then NO Republicans will crossover and vote Democratic! It’s just sooo radical! 😱

That’s 👉🏼 the POINT! 👈🏼 If we do all that, we won’t NEED to woo them. We’ll win everyone else. Okay?

So what did I leave out? 🤔 Feel free to amend it. Is there anything on this list that’s so unreasonable, so radical, so batshit CRAZY that any of the Democratic candidates for President couldn’t embrace it?

Let the above (or a reasonably modified version of it) be the foundation for the official platform. Let’s build on it.

Thanks!

Police Harrass Journalist

Marshall Joseph Patterson of the Patagonia, AZ police department needs fired. NOW.

Reposted from the Orange Street News without permission.

By Hilde Kate Lysiak

The OSN was working on a story in Patagonia, Arizona when a law enforcement officer threatened the reporter with arrest unless she stopped reporting the news.

The OSN was biking down Roadrunner Lane investigating the tip at about 1:30 pm on February 18th when the reporter was stopped by Patagonia Marshal Joseph Patterson and asked for identification.

The Orange Street News identified herself as a member of the media, including name and phone number.

“I don’t want to hear about any of that freedom of the press stuff,” said Patterson.

The Marshal continued “I’m going to have you arrested and thrown in juvey. “

The Marshal didn’t have his lights on and passed several people who were on the streets without stopping them or questioning them.

“I can have you arrested, do you understand?” the Marshal answered.

Asked what he could arrested for, the officer first said it was for “disobeying his command,” then said it was for riding on the wrong side of the road. Finally, the officer said a Mountain Lion was spotted in the area despite their being other people in the area who were not kicked off the road.

“I’m worried about your safety, the area you were in we were dealing with a mountain lion,” said Patterson.”

“I gave you a lawful order and if you disobey a law enforcement officer….Lying to me and saying you were going to your friends house wasn’t acceptable.”

“If you paste my face on the internet it’s against the law so I’m not giving you permission to use my picture or my face on the internet, do you understand all that?”

The OSN answered, “I understand all that.”

The court says the First Amendment gives citizens the right to record police officers in public while they are performing their duties. But that doesn’t mean you’re allowed to record if you’re doing so secretly interfering with the officer, or otherwise breaking the law.

The Officer told the reporter he was calling her parents.

“You aren’t an adult so don’t act like,” Marshal Patterson said before driving off.


Ironic that Marshall Patterson’s final remark sums up how I feel about HIM. Officer, you’re a DISGRACE to the badge, you should be arrested and jailed for threatening a journalist with LIES! Big hero you are. Why don’t you go DO your job and stop harassing kids you sad excuse for a man. – FRL

Encrypted Police Radio

American police departments have used two-way radios for 85 years to great advantage, and with no adverse effects. But recently the Times-Call reported that without prior public notification, our Longmont Police Department has begun encrypting previously open radio communications between dispatch and officers so that the public cannot hear a single word. They call it a “pilot program” but it has no end date. I find this entire action extremely disturbing.

Longmont Police notice about encryption of dispatch radio.

The argument is that sometimes sensitive information is broadcast that has the potential to compromise victim privacy and perhaps, officer safety. The police spokesman insists that this move will not affect transparency, but how could it not? No secondary distribution or publication of police-filtered accounts could possibly replace the real-time radio narrative of police and citizen interactions in our community. Other local municipalities are also encrypting communications, but that is no reason for Longmont to get on some imaginary bandwagon. There is a need to balance privacy against the public’s right to know, but this is going too far.

What is the records retention policy for all these hours, days and weeks of regular communications? Will every second of every police communication be recorded and backed up forever in case it’s needed? We need to know that. Attorneys will definitely need to know to prepare for defense or prosecution of future cases.

What’s especially difficult to understand is that it was reported that this was not done in response to a specific issue or complaint from any quarter, just some vague “buildup of concerns.” Clearly this is a solution in search of a problem. I normally don’t buy into slippery slope arguments, but will make an exception this time, and here’s one reason why.

About a month ago, it was reported that the Long Beach, California police department has adopted the use of a cell phone messaging app called TigerText that automatically and permanently deletes messages a short time after they are read. There is no possibility of data recall, and these conversations cannot be “discovered” in subsequent legal actions involving the police, especially in complaint proceedings against the department.

“I find it odd that we have a communication system that circumvents everything that we are supposed to be doing,” one officer said. How novel, an automatic electronic cover-up system that obliterates transparency when it’s needed the most.

Long Beach PD quickly suspended TigerText after civil liberties advocates and media outlets raised concerns that the app could be used to hide evidence useful to the other side in criminal and civil court cases. The city said the decision to halt the use of TigerText came “pending further review of whether the use is consistent with the city’s record retention policy and administrative regulations for the use of mobile devices.”

Do we know if the Longmont PD is also using the TigerText or Signal apps in their text communications? Please ask, Times-Call.

So I fail to see much difference between encrypted radio communications and self-deleting texts. They all lead to the same bad end, a severe compromise of the public’s right to know what their taxpayer funded police are doing, and how they are doing it.

The City Council should request and receive regular detailed information about this pilot-program-with-no-end, and be part of the implementation decision going forward because it doesn’t sound like they are now. And I hope they decide that this pilot program should be ejected without a parachute.

Charlie Fellenbaum

The writer is a former news reporter and photographer, and a Longmont resident for 12 years.

Portrait of a Traitor

by James Dunlap

Donald John Trump – Soon to be tried for treason

Ok, so I’ve actually sat down and read the entire 29 page Mueller indictment against the 12 Russian intelligence officers, and it is totally insane. I literally can’t believe the scope of this thing. I’m making this status public (i.e., shareable), because people need to know about this shit. There is no way you can read the actual indictment and not conclude that 1) there WAS a RUSSIAN conspiracy, 2) that the scope of that conspiracy was GARGANTUAN, 3) that it was organized BY THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT [i.e., there’s no way Putin didn’t know about this], 4) That people connected to the Trump campaign [and, shockingly, other U.S. Gov’t officials] WERE INVOLVED, and 5) this is just the beginning. If Mueller has already uncovered this amount of information with such specificity regarding the goings-on in far-away Russia, there’s NO WAY some serious shit isn’t going to hit the fan going forward right here in the U.S.

So, without further ado, here are the highlights:

Article 1 of the indictment states that the Russian government actively set up multiple intelligence units (known as the GRU) with the sole aim of interfering with the 2016 election. Two of these units, 26165, and 74455, were specifically tasked with acquiring and releasing stolen documents via hacking.

Article 2 specifically calls this a “conspiracy” and states that the 12 indicted Russians had contacts with “persons known and unknown to the Grand Jury.”

Article 3: The aforementioned Russian intelligence units deliberately targeted the Clinton campaign.

Article 4: They deliberately targeted the DNC as a whole.

Article 6: In June of 2016, they released TENS OF THOUSANDS of hacked documents using fictitious online personas.

Article 10: One of the intelligence officers, Boris Antonov, oversaw a department within 26165 tasked with hacking the U.S. military, governmental (i.e., political) and non-governmental organizations. [i.e., they were spying on every level of our gov’t].

Articles 12-18: The Russian hackers often used various online aliases, both male and female, such as (but not limited to) “Kate Milton,” “James McMorgans,” and “Karen Millen.” Sergey Morgachev, another Russian hacker, was a Lt. Colonel in the Russian military. He created the hacking malware used by dept. 26165, known as “X-Agent.” Another hacker named in the indictment, Nikolay Kozachek, was a Lt. Captain in the Russian military. Artem Malyshev (also named in the indictment) was a Second Lieutenant in the Russian military. Aleksandr Osadchuk (also named in the indictment) is a Colonel in the Russian Military. He oversaw the creation and dissemination of anti-Clinton material online.

Article 19: Russian Military Officer Aleksey Potemkin, assigned to 74455, supervised the creation of fake social media accounts used (among other things) in the release of DNC documents.

Article 21: Over 300 individuals affiliated with the DNC were SUCCESSFULLY targeted. (Article 21 is lengthy, and includes a detailed, play-by-play account of how 26165 and 74455 achieved their aims. Spoiler alert: It’s crazy).

Article 24, subsection B: The Russian’s hacking of the DNC was so advanced that they were able to monitor individual computers in real time. Subsection C states that their malware sent actual screenshots of DNC computer activity to a server in Arizona that the Russians had access to. They were also able to capture keystrokes entered by DCCC employees.

Article 24, subsection D: They monitored individual DNC / DCCC employees for hours on end, and obtained information about DNC fundraising plans and even banking information (as well as other personal information).

Article 26 subsection A: By June 2016 the Russians had complete access to 33 DNC computers, totally and completely.

Article 27: The GRU gained access to information regarding DNC opposition research, field operation plans, and the Benghazi operation.

Article 28, subsection B: Aside from the server in Arizona, the GRU also stored data to a server in Illinois, to which they filtered large gigabytes of stolen information via a program they developed known as “X-Tunnel.”

Article 32: The DNC became aware of Russian attempts to hack their servers and hired a security firm to identify the extent of the intrusions. The security firm (identified in the indictment only as “company 1”) also put in place measures to halt GRU access to DNC computers, but, despite this, the GRU was so efficient that they continued to maintain access via “X-Agent” well through October of 2016.

Article 33: The GRU immediately became aware of “company 1’s” (referring here to the security firm that the DNC hired) efforts, and took countermeasures in response. This included investigating / hacking “company 1” itself, and later, apparently as a retaliatory measure against the DNC, setting up a wesbsite that redirected from a DNC online political donations website, to another website set up by the GRU (in other words, the GRU took funds from DNC donors, using the pretext of a false DNC donations website).

Articles 35-36: The GRU set up another website, the sole purpose of which was to release stolen DNC documents. They created fake social media accounts that falsely attributed this website’s creation to a group of “American hacktivists.” It received over 1 million hits.

Article 37: The GRU has also released stolen documents dating back to 2015 (i.e., they’ve been up to this for quite a while).

Article 40: The notion of a “lone Romanian hacker” being responsible for the DNC leaks was a fiction deliberately created by the GRU and disseminated via fake social media accounts.

Article 42: Using a popular blogging site, the GRU set up a blog that used the most “searched for” keywords by conspiracy theorists, (e.g., “Illuminati,” “Worldwide,” “Conspiracy,” et. al.), -and used this website to further disseminate the “lone Romanian hacker” conspiracy theory. (Article 46 of the indictment further states that later entries on this blog site posted articles positing that the released, stolen documents had “nothing to do with Russia.”)

Article 43, Subsection A: An individual the indictment identifies only as “a known member of congress” contacted an online GRU dummy persona, (“Guccifer 2.0”) and requested stolen documents related to their political opponent, and the GRU / “Guccifer” responded by giving said member of congress access to the stolen data they were requesting.

Article 43, Subsection B: The GRU released stolen documents to what the indictment identifies as “a lobbyist and online source of political news.”

Subsection C: “Guccifer” / The GRU sent stolen documents pertaining to the “Black Lives Matter” movement to a reporter (unidentified in the indictment), to which the reporter not only responded, but offered to write an article using said information.

Article 44: The GRU, posing as “Guccifer 2.0” wrote to a person who was in regular contact with SENIOR MEMBERS OF THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN. (The indictment includes direct quotes of their online conversation, and this is CLEARLY referring to Roger Stone).

Article 45, subsection B: The GRU, using an alias, contacted a U.S. reporter (unnamed in the indictment) and ultimately gave them access to stolen DNC data.

Articles 47-49: Here the indictment refers to an organization, identified only as “Organization 1,” [I’m thinking, Wikileaks] -which actually reached out to the GRU aliases seeking the stolen emails / data. “Organization 1” is directly quoted by the indictment as having communicated to “Guccifer,” that they should “send [Organization 1] any new material [i.e., stolen data] here for us to review and it will have a much higher impact than what you are doing.” Organization 1 was given, and later released, said data, approximately 3 days before the Democratic National Convention. In total, between October and November of 2016, over 50,000 stolen documents were released.

Articles 50-79 : Lists the counts against the 11 Russian Military Personnel, which include charges of 1) Conspiracy to Commit Offenses Against The United States, 2) Aggravated Identity Theft, 3) Conspiracy to Launder Money [according to the indictment, over 95,000 USD$ was laundered], i.e. using cryptocurrency, that was then use to register domain names, set up websites, create server infrastructure, et. al.,3) The Use of Transferred Money To Commit Crimes Against The United States, 4) General Unlawful Conspiracy [It should be noted that many of these counts have sub-crimes attached to them, such as unlawful hacking, etc.].

So, there it is folks. This WAS A RUSSIAN CONSPIRACY, massive in scope, directly linked to the Trump campaign, the sole aim of which was to subvert Democracy. There is no way around it.

Here’s Mueller’s evidence against Paul Manafort.

Mob Rule at The Denver Post

The Denver Post’s civility policy for its online forums is anything but civil. It is an online version of mob rule, where opinions are weighed not for accuracy or merit but by how well they conform to the demands of the Right Wing Thought Police.

On December 13, the Denver Post ran a story about the surprising Democratic victory over Republican pedophile Roy Moore in Alabama. The Post story quoted Cory Gardner’s statement, “I hope Senator-elect Doug Jones will do the right thing and truly represent Alabama by choosing to vote with the Senate Republican Majority.”

I replied to this story in the Comments section following the article. This is what I wrote:

Gardner believes that Alabama is “really” a Republican state and that the majority of Alabamans are Republicans; therefore, the new Senator should behave like a Republican. By that logic, Trump should behave like a Democrat, since he lost the election by 3 million votes. 3 Million votes would seem to say that America is actually a Democratic nation. The Senate should also “do the right thing” and pass Democratic policies. There were 39 million people who voted for Republican members of Congress, compared to 45 million who voted for Democrats. If Gardner is so concerned about “doing the right thing”, then he should support legislation that the majority of America wants, like gun control, healthcare, climate protection, Net neutrality, and other issues where Republicans are out of step with America. Gardner and the Republicans have never cared about “doing the right thing.” They don’t even care about representing voters. They only care about their donors and their own careers.

The Denver Post uses a system that asks readers whether a post is “Civil.” There doesn’t seem to be any computer algorithm involved in this judgement. It is a simple vote of Post readers who happen to be online at the time.

My comment “was rated below the civility threshold for publication” and was deleted. Apparently, the people who were online at the time were Republicans.

I am not angry that my comment was deleted. I have been deleted or blocked from forums before. My own Congressman, Ken Buck, blocked me from his Facebook page and deleted my comments shortly after he came into office. My comments magically reappeared after an article I had written about his censorship appeared on HuffingtonPost.

I am concerned because we have reached the point where any disagreement, any challenge, can now be dismissed as “Uncivil” regardless of how polite the wording. I agree that civil discourse is important. But “civility” has been redefined as “people who agree with me.” Anyone who dares to disagree is ridiculed and dismissed. Trump’s attacks on the media have metastasized like an authoritarian cancer.

Facts are not always polite. Truth doesn’t care about your politics or your feelings. The fact is that America is now ruled by a political party that is out of step with what the majority of Americans think about most major issues. Republicans are in power – and our freedoms are at risk –  because of gerrymandering and voter suppression, not because the majority of Americans agree with Alt-Right ideology. Right wing propaganda, foreign and domestic, fueled the Trump campaign. The Denver Post is adding to this problem when it blocks comments that use facts to make a strong argument.

I am obviously free to post comments on left-learning, Progressive forums. But nothing will change if Progressives and Conservatives are only allowed to speak in their respective safe places. If we want discourse, we must be willing to listen to those who disagree.

Coup d’état?

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), days after his swearing in (so his oath should have been fresh in his mind) – made a thinly-veiled threat that if the investigation into Trump’s crimes isn’t stopped, the United States is in danger of a “coup d’état”.

REALLY?

Mr. Gaetz, if the GOP impedes the investigation into Trump’s crimes, your entire party will be labelled as traitors for all time.

Sit down, shut up and READ YOUR DAMN OATH you oaf.

This is an open message to ALL Trump supporters – you idiots START a civil war and we’ll FINISH IT. When we’re done with  you there won’t be two bricks on top of each other in the red states. It will make Sherman’s march look like a church picnic.

Seriously. Stop the talk of insurrection. Do it now. It’s disgusting and unAmerican – which is becoming the GOPs callsign.

Racism against Native Americans persists

Note: the opinions expressed in this column are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of High Country News, its board or staff. If you’d like to share an opinion piece of your own, please write Betsy Marston at betsym@hcn.org.

Evelyn Red LodgeEvelyn Red Lodge is a contributor to Writers on the Range, the opinion service of High Country News. A writer in Rapid City, South Dakota, she is a correspondent for Native Sun News Today and member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.

During my 13 years in Rapid City, South Dakota, I’ve learned that racism and ignorance almost always go hand-in-hand. The West was “won,” many people learn in school, but what did westward expansion mean for the Native people who were already living on the land?

The lure of gold brought explorers, miners and then homesteaders to South Dakota during the 19th and early 20th centuries. I imagine that most of those “invaders” — from my point of view — didn’t think twice about booting the local people out of the way. But that was then. The question today is why racism persists when America prides itself on tolerance and respecting diversity.

Here are examples from my life that reveal the kind of blatant racism I’ve experienced, as well as some of the unconscious racism that is sometimes almost comical.

I go to a Rapid City council meeting where a white local suggests placing statues of Native Americans in Founders Park, rather than in the proposed First Nations Sculpture Gallery in Halley Park. As Native author Elizabeth Cook-Lynn put it, the suggestion was made “without a hint of irony.” After all, who were the original founders if not Native people?

I go to the veterans’ parade where the 7th United States Cavalry, formed in 1866 to protect homesteaders and raid Native villages, is still honored. These days, of course, more Natives serve in the military per capita than any other ethnic group, according to the director of the National Museum of the American Indian. But few Natives march with the veterans in the parade.

I find a Black Hills trail guide listing the 7th Cavalry Trail as if it’s fun for people to follow the trail of mass murderers who killed anywhere from 75 to 125 babies, children and women at Wounded Knee in 1890.

Members of the 7th Cavalry Drum and Bugle Corps perform in a parade in downtown Rapid City, S.D., Nov. 11, 2007. Rapid City hosted the parade to honor those who have served and are currently serving in the U.S. military. The 7th Cavalry Corps is a volunteer marching band that dresses in authentic 19th century costume during parades in the area. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael B. Keller) (Released)

I buy a Happy Meal for my daughter only to find a 7th Cavalry Custer doll inside. She gets upset when I try to explain why I think it belongs in the trash.

In a jewelry shop along Mount Rushmore Road, I look at the gold for which my grandparents’ territory was invaded and spot a wine-bottle holder depicting a Native chief chugging a bottle of wine. Old stereotypes die hard. According to a recent study in the journal Drug and Alcohol Drug Dependence, alcohol consumption by Natives is shown to be generally less than that of Caucasians in the United States.

Just walking downtown in Rapid City, the so-called City of Presidents, I spot the stores along the way that used to sport signs saying “No Indians or Dogs Allowed.” I go to He Sapa — the Black Mountains — where I look upon the faces of past U.S. presidents who helped wipe out so many Indigenous peoples. I remember that Natives were only declared to be citizens by the United States Congress less than 100 years ago.

In 2015, I feared to go to any sporting event after a drunk beer salesman poured beer on Native students at a hockey game and shouted, “Go back to the reservation!” Within days, dumping beer on Natives had become a common occurrence at other venues.

I picked up the local newspaper four days after the drunk hockey fan did his business, and the question was raised on the front page: Had the Native students who were attacked stood for the national anthem? (Not that it should make any difference, but it was reported that the students did stand.)

I feared to walk on the north side of Rapid City in 2009 and 2010, after at least two Native families with children were egged while racial slurs were hurled at them. “Go back to where you came from!” is a laughable favorite. One Native woman, who was disabled, was run off the road while driving her car. Urine in bottles was thrown on other Natives. Some Natives were shot with pellet guns.

At the same time — and I am glad to report this — many of the attackers were held accountable after much public outcry:

The jewelry store owner removed the wine holder featuring a drunken Native from her window after local media asked why she’d given it prominence.

The newspaper removed its victim-blaming story from its Internet site.

Two 21-year-old women were arrested in the incident involving the disabled woman, becoming the first in the state to be charged with its new hate-crime law, “malicious intimidation or harassment.”

As for failures in the quest for justice, the drunk hockey fan was eventually acquitted of his one and only charge of disorderly conduct. And I am unaware of any charges brought against anyone for the attacks involving egg and urine throwing and pellet guns.

Racism persists, I am sorry to report. I still feel it every day.

Full disclosure: I am a Facebook friend to Evelyn Red Lodge – FRL – Thanks to High Country News!

CO GOP Fights Disabled Access

Time to warm up your dialing fingers again — H.R. 620 aims to make it incumbent upon disabled people to complain when a business does not provide adequate access for them… and then there is a window of many months before any action might be required. This is ridiculous. Disabled and mobility – impaired people have a right to go about their daily business without having to make complaints about compliance. The ADA says the onus should be on the businesses, and that is where it should remain.

Three Colorado Representatives are on the co-sponsor list for this bill – due to be voted on, on Thursday!

Write to Rep. Lamborn, Doug [R-CO-5] or Call (202) 225-4422

Write to Rep. Tipton, Scott R. [R-CO-3] or Call (202) 225-4761

Write to Rep. Coffman, Mike [R-CO-6] or Call (202) 225-7882


From ACLU.org

Congress Wants to Change the Americans With Disabilities Act and Undermine the Civil Rights of People With Disabilities

Tyler Ray, ACLU Washington Legislative Office
& Vania Leveille, Senior Legislative Counsel
September 6, 2017 | 5:30 PM

The Americans with Disabilities Act is the most comprehensive and foundational civil rights law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability. Yet, 27 years after it was passed, people with disabilities still face enormous barriers. People with mobility disabilities routinely find themselves blocked from the simplest of social interactions. They are unable to go to the corner grocery store to pick up a quart of milk because there is a step at the door. They are unable to go to the local movie theatre with their friends because there is no accessible seating. They might be able to get into the door of the local restaurant, but are stymied if they have to go to the bathroom while they are there, because it is the size of a postage stamp.

Title III of the ADA creates a proactive duty on businesses to remove architectural barriers and other obstacles that impede access to the establishment. But businesses have resisted making such changes for decades. And, now, they are asking Congress to help them. A harmful new bill in the House of Representatives, the so-called ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017 (H.R. 620), is gaining steam. It will be debated in the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday morning and may go to House floor for a vote soon thereafter.

We must stop this bill from ever becoming law.

H.R. 620 would completely change the way in which a business is required to comply with the ADA. Instead of requiring that a business comply proactively, the bill would place the burden on the individual who is being denied access. This bill proposes that after an individual with a disability is denied access she must first notify the business owner, with exacting specificity, that her civil rights were violated, and then wait for six months to see if the business will make “substantial progress” toward access, before going to a court to order compliance.

Business owners can spend years out of compliance and face no penalty even after they receive notice, so long as the owners claim “substantial progress.” By allowing a business an endless amount of time to become compliant with the ADA’s reasonable requirements, H.R. 620 removes any incentive for a business to proactively ensure that people with disabilities have access. Instead, the bill encourages businesses to just wait until an individual’s civil rights are violated before making any changes.

Those who support H.R. 620, particularly business groups, have argued that the bill makes only a minor and noncontroversial change to the ADA. They claim that the bill merely gives business owners additional time to make their facility accessible after they are notified of a problem. This argument is specious at best and should be rejected.

Supporters of this legislation ignore that shifting the burden in the bill goes completely against how our nation has enforced its civil rights laws since the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964. When Congress passed the Civil Rights Act, it included a provision that allowed an individual who is denied access to a public accommodation because of race, color, religion, or national origin to immediately seek relief to gain access. This enforcement mechanism served as a powerful and incentivizing tool to ensure that businesses proactively complied with the law.

The success of the public accommodation provision in the Civil Rights Act influenced Congress when it drafted the Americans with Disabilities Act. Indeed, the public accommodation enforcement provision in the ADA is modeled on the enforcement provision in the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Congress recognized that the civil rights of people with disabilities and their access to places of public accommodations should be treated no differently than the civil rights protections based on race, color, religion, or national origin.

This principle has stood in law for more than a quarter century. But now some in Congress are trying to change the way our country treats the civil rights of people with disabilities. That’s why the ACLU is fighting to ensure that the guarantees of the ADA continue; that the civil rights of people with disabilities are protected; and, in keeping with the intent of Congress, that they be treated no differently than others.

It is imperative that members of Congress stand up for the rights of people with disabilities. The Judiciary Committee in the House of Representatives is planning to vote and debate H.R. 620 on Thursday. The ACLU is urging all members of the Committee to vote against the bill and to stop it from going to the full House for a vote.

The bottom line is that people who use wheelchairs or who have other needs deserve the same right to visit local businesses as any other individual. Forcing people with disabilities to wait months to visit a supermarket or bookstore is precisely the kind of discrimination the ADA was designed to prevent. Businesses have had more than enough “notification” to comply with disability rights law. People with disabilities deserve equal access today — civil rights should not be delayed or tied up in bureaucratic red tape.

The GOP and the Tall Tree

From Shareblue Media:

Missouri state Rep. Warren Love said on Facebook that he hoped Confederate statue vandals are lynched.

Missouri state Rep. Warren Love

Ever since the deadly neo-Nazi riot in Charlottesville, which centered on a condemned statue of Robert E. Lee, efforts to remove Confederate monuments have intensified.

But the statues, many of which were erected by white supremacist groups explicitly to protest Black civil rights, still have defenders.

Several Republicans, including Donald Trump and Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie, insist the statues are necessary to honor Southern history, even as they hypocritically allow Black heroes of the Civil War era to go unhonored and forgotten.

On Thursday, Missouri state Rep. Warren Love took his defense of Confederate statues to a violent extreme.

After a Confederate monument in Springfield National Cemetery was vandalized, Love took to Facebook to write, “This is totally against the law. I hope they are found & hung from a tall tree with a long rope.”

The idea of an elected lawmaker calling for people who defaced a statue to be lynched is horrifying. Love is explicitly invoking a terrorist act historically used by the KKK and white supremacist mobs.

During the 19th and 20th centuries, Black men were lynched for everything from trying to register to vote, to looking the wrong way at a white woman. Whites who were too outspoken in sympathy for Black rights were also targeted. People seen as a threat to the white social order were randomly made examples of, to terrify the rest into compliance.

Love’s post was met with immediate outrage. State House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty thundered that Love “invoked a form of political violence used throughout the South to keep African-Americans subjugated for generations following the fall of the Confederacy.” Missouri Democratic Party chair Stephen Webber demanded his resignation. Sen. Claire McCaskill agreed, calling his comments “unacceptable.”

Amazingly, Love is not even the first Republican lawmaker this week to threaten racial violence.

On Tuesday, Georgia state Rep. Jason Spencer warned former Black Democratic lawmaker LaDawn Jones that if she keeps criticizing Confederate statues, “I can guarantee you won’t be met with torches but something a lot more definitive. People in South Georgia are people of action, not drama.” He added that people who do not watch what they say “will go missing in the Okefenokee. Too many necks they are red around here.”

Republicans insist their support of Confederate statues has nothing to do with white supremacy. But their impulse to echo the threat of white terror betrays their motives.


Author

Freelance Political Writer

Matthew Chapman

Video game designer and science fiction author from Texas. Can be found on Twitter @fawfulfan.

Remembering LBJ

Lyndon B. Johnson – 8/27/08 – 1/22/73 – 36th President of the United States

Any of you folks from my generation remember this picture? It was taken 45 years ago today. High school teacher >> Congressman >> Senator >> Senate Majority Whip >> Senate Majority Leader >> Vice President >> President >> derelict. What a long, strange trip it was.

I remember Lady Bird took some heat for telling the hippies to “get a haircut.” Though both were diehard liberals, Lady Bird took a stand against us longhairs. Yet when LBJ retired, he grew his hair out, as if in solidarity. Or maybe as an apology. Whatever the reason, it was in defiance of his own wife’s cleanup campaign (which also included a war on billboards).

Lyndon Johnson was a complex man. He did so much good during his 5+ years in office, yet he’s the president who told us “We have to save face” in Vietnam. To which, those of us nearing draft age wore T-shirts that read “Save Lives, Not Face.” Mine was dark blue with white lettering.

He pushed through civil rights legislation (against the will of the Dixiecrats), established his landmark Great Society, and when the day came when he was challenged by “Mr. Conservative” a mere year after ascending to the White House via Lee Harvey Oswald’s marksmanship, LBJ crushed Barry Goldwater like a smoldering cigarette butt.

It’s odd to think that I’m older today than he ever lived to be. His oddball ways notwithstanding, I don’t think he was a bad man. I think he was a decent man who tried to do the right thing during tumultuous times, but those times simply swallowed him up. I don’t think he lived long enough to ever admit that the escalation of Vietnam was a colossal mistake, but I KNOW he knew it.

In fact, I believe it’s what killed him. He died from a heart attack, five months after this picture was taken. 58,000 + 1.

RIP, LBJ

Bruce Lindner, Portland, OR

Bruce Lindner is a political commentator, humorist, coffee expert and part-time mechanic.

Longmont Council Needs Prodding to Adopt Drop Zone Fees

When will the next one land on Airport Road?

For several months, the Longmont city council has been considering a signficant increase drop zone fees, which would be based on the drop zone square footage of 338,000 sf (recommended by the USPA.) The fees would go from the current $7,800 to $70,000 per year.

Longmont airport advisory board Aug agenda and June minutes – search for keyword $70,000

For many years, Mile-Hi Skydiving has been getting a free ride, while the airport enterprise fund can barely meet operating expenses. They were paying zero dollars for the 40-acre drop zone area until we made council aware of the oversight. Then they began paying the annual permit fee of $7,500 codified in the city ordinance – still a paltry sum compared to the damage they are causing. Worse yet, in 2016 Longmont tax dollars – to the tune of $40,000 – were siphoned from the General Fund to pay for airport expenses. Your tax dollars were misdirected and taken away from other worthwhile public projects and amenities.

The drop zone fee proposal has languished since the AAB began reviewing it, and has not moved forward for at least 3 months now.

At least one council member has suggested that it would be very helpful for Longmont residents to speak at their meeting (PITBH) and urge them to proceed with the fees, without further input from the AAB. Your opportunity is tonight, Tuesday 8/22 at the Longmont city council meeting, 7 pm – I hope you will be there and also send an email to council. We must have Longmont residents driving this issue – I cannot do it for you but will provide full support.

Longmont city council email address

June 20, 2017 email: Kimberly: Attached is the information you requested regarding the airport. The answer to question 4 below is as follows: In 2016 the General Fund funded $40,000 for “Development Funds for Airport Utilities and Drainage Master Plan”.

Valeria Skitt
City Clerk

Many thanks,
Kimberly Gibbs
Founder, Citizens For Quiet Skies, Boulder County, Colorado

Stop by our table at the Longmont Farmers Market – Sept 2nd and Oct 7th

Resist

Someone in West Philly, god love her, put this together. Take action.

“Hi, I’m real fucking mad. So I did a thing. Here is a list of state legislators who introduced bills to protect drivers who hit protestors. Maybe give them a call? This will be updated as my research continues. Find the updates on the public post on my profile.

North Carolina: in April 2017, the House passed a bill that removes civil liability from drivers if they hit pedestrians who are, “participating in a protest or demonstration.” The legislation passed in a 67-48 vote. House Bill 330 was sponsored and introduced by Rep. Justin Burr of Albemarle (R).

Rep. Justin Burr
N.C. House of Representatives
300 N Salisbury Street, Room 307A
Raleigh, NC 27603-5925
919-733-5908
Justin.Burr@ncleg.net
Note: Burr is a bail bondsman. Interesting.

Tennessee: In February 2017, a bill was introducing in both the House and The Senate which would remove liability from drivers who hit protestors. It was introduced by Rep. Matthew Hill (R) and Sen. Bill Ketron (R). Rep. Hill called the bill “common-sense legislation.”

Rep. Matthew Hill
301 6th Avenue North
Suite 23 Legislative Plaza
Nashville, TN 37243
Phone (615) 741-2251
Fax (615) 253-0299
Note: Hill is a “proud Christian” and a broadcaster.

Sen. Bill Ketron
301 6th Avenue North
Suite 5 Legislative Plaza
Nashville, TN 37243
Phone: (615) 741-6853
Fax: (615) 253-0282
Note: He is a member First United Methodist Church and owns Universal International Insurance, both in Murfreesboro, TN

North Dakota: In early January 2017, as a direct response to the convergence of the Water Protectors at Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota, House Bill 1203 was introduced. The bill’s text, in effect, creates a specific exception to North Dakota’s code of criminal law relating to negligent homicide, which is classified as a felony in the state, allowing for drivers who hit persons in the roadway to walk away with zero liability. Rep. Keith Kempenich (R) was the bill’s lead sponsor; it was also sponsored by Representatives Michael Brandenburg (R), Vernon Laning (R), Bill Oliver (R), Karen Rohr (R) and Senators Dwight Cook (R) and Donald Schaible (R).

Rep. Keith Kempernich has removed all contact information from the state website. His email is kkempenich@nd.gov.
Note: Kempernich is the owner of Box K Trucking

Rep. Mike Brandenberg
8044 County Road 34
Edgeley, ND 58433-9761
Home Telephone: 701-493-2915
Office Telephone: 701-493-2915
Cellphone: 701-709-0237
Email: mbrandenburg@nd.gov
Note: Bradenberg is a member of the Lions’ Club, and sits on the Zion Lutheran Church Council

Rep. Vernon Laning
4121 78th Avenue NE
Bismarck, ND 58503-6396
Home Telephone: 701-355-0364
Cellphone: 701-226-2113
Email: vrlaning@nd.gov

Rep. Bill Oliver
P.O. Box 1264
New Town, ND 58763-1264
Email: boliver@nd.gov
Note: Oliver is a member of the US Air Force and serves on the Newtown, ND city council.

Rep. Karen Rohr
1704 Fourth Street NE
Mandan, ND 58554-3814
Cellphone: 701-202-1956
Email: kmrohr@nd.gov
Note: Rohr is a Board Certified Nurse Practioner; NPI Number 1518142868, ND License Number R18505

Sen. Dwight Cook
1408 17th Street SE
Mandan, ND 58554-4895
Cellphone: 701-220-3850
Email: dcook@nd.gov
Note: Cook is the owner of Cook Industrial Sales, is the Chair of the Morton County Housing Authority, sits on the Streamlined Sales Tax Governing Board, is a member of the Kiwanis and American Legion, and is “a proud Lutheran.”

Rep. Don Schaible
9115 Highway 21
Mott, ND 58646-9200
Home Telephone: 701-824-3168
Email: dgschaible@nd.gov
Note: Schaible is an EMT-1 with Mott Ambulance Service, an FFI, Mott Volunteer Fire Brigade, and Trustee for Zoar Congregational Church.

I would appreciate help researching lawmakers who voted for these bills as well.”

Trump’s Minions

This is the narrative that Trump’s minions have adopted. Whenever you bring up Trump/Russia collusion, they always refer to this: “Your side lost. Russia is just an excuse for your butthurt.”

My retort to the Trump faithful: If it was really just about Dems looking for an excuse for their loss, then…

  • Why did the Director of the FBI, Jim Comey, a REPUBLICAN up until a few months ago, confirm it?
  • Why did the Director of the CIA last year, John Brennan, an Independent, NOT A DEMOCRAT, confirm it?
  • Why did your own CIA Director, Mike Pompeo, a REPUBLICAN, confirm it?
  • Why did your own Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coates, a REPUBLICAN, confirm it?
  • Why did the Director of the NSA, Mike Rogers, an Independent, NOT A DEMOCRAT, confirm it?
  • Why did several of the above Directors either imply or confirm that Trump asked them to scuttle the investigation?
  • Why did Trump fire Director Comey after Comey declined to drop the investigation?
  • Why did Trump admit that the Russia investigation was what motivated him to fire Comey?
  • Why did none of the remaining fourteen intelligence agencies dispute the CIA, FBI, NSA analysis?
  • Why did Trump threaten to fire his own Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, a STAUNCH REPUBLICAN, for recusing himself from the investigation?
  • Why did the REPUBLICAN controlled U.S. House of Representatives vote 419 to 3 to sanction Russia for hacking our election?
  • Why did the REPUBLICAN controlled U.S. Senate vote 98 to 2 to sanction Russia for hacking our election?

That’s some “Democratic excuse” they pulled off!