The Sacred Cause of “Officer Safety”

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“It’s just about being safe.”
Thus spoke Deputy Corry Bassett of the Lincoln County, Wyoming Sheriff’s Office as he struggled to justify handcuffing Robert Pierson during an August 11, 2011 traffic stop
Pierson, a Marine combat veteran, had been riding his motorcycle near Alpine when another motorist called to complain about a biker passing a number of slow-moving motor homes. Pierson was not charged with a traffic violation or a criminal offense — but he was arrested and detained in handcuffs for 45 minutes because the sight of a Mundane carrying a firearm caused Bassett to irrigate his underwear.
“I know you have a gun,” Bassett said a few seconds into the stop, which was recordedon Pierson’s cell phone. “Are you a cop?”
When Pierson indicated that he was not part of the armed revenue-extracting caste, Bassett muttered: “OK, what I’m going to do is – put your hands behind your back right now.”
As he handcuffed the compliant motorist, Bassett explained, “I don’t like someone with a gun,” while insisting, “You’re not under arrest.”
The second statement is an unalloyed lie: Whenever a police officer restrains someone, that person is under arrest. The first statement is a lie by omission: If Pierson had been a police officer, Bassett would not have complained about him carrying a gun. The category of “someone” thus applies only to Mundanes, whose very existence is seen as a threat to the unimaginably precious personages who wear state-issued costumes.
“It’s the first thing you should have told me, [that] you’ve got a gun,” simpered Bassett, whose panic-tinged voice was thrown into sharp relief by Pierson’s composure.
“Well, actually I’m not required to tell you in either Idaho or Wyoming,” Pierson correctly pointed out.
“Yes, you are,” insisted Bassett. “If you’re packing a gun, I want to know about it.”
“Well, I’m open-carrying,” Pierson observed, stating the obvious. As Bassett began a rote speech describing the sacred imperative of “officer safety,” Pierson pointed out that he had done nothing wrong or illegal, that the deputy’s safety “is not in any way in jeopardy,” and that actually “it’s not my concern.”
“It is!” yelped Bassett. “It’s my concern!”
“My only concern is my personal rights and individual liberties, which you are violating right now,” noted Pierson.
“No, I am not,” Bassett lied.
“You have me handcuffed,” Pierson reminded the increasingly petulant officer.
“I handcuffed you for [sic] number one, you did not tell me you had a gun on you, ‘kay?” Bassett groused. “You do not get off your bike and face me, and I see a weapon on you! I don’t like that!”
“You asked me if I could get off my bike, and you said `yes,’” recounted Pierson.
“I understand your concerns about search and seizure, but you have to understand one thing about where we’re at in law enforcement,” stated Bassett. “I’m asking you for my safety. I don’t know you. I don’t know your intentions.”
The same could have been said by Pierson about Bassett, who was, after all, just another armed stranger. One critical difference, of course, is that Pierson knew that Bassett’s intentions were malign: After all, the deputy had detained him, which is an act of aggression by any definition.
Recall that when Bassett noted that Pierson had a gun, his first question was: “Are you a cop?” If Pierson had been a fellow member of the Brotherhood of Official Plunder, this would have allayed Bassett’s concerns.
In fact, after noticing that Pierson carried a military ID, Bassett suggested that the detainee should see the encounter in terms of “force security” in a battle zone.
“You’re in the military,” Bassett began. “You ever been shot at? Would you like, if you roll up on somebody you have no idea who they are … wouldn’t it be a question in your mind if this person’s got weapons on them?”
Bassett, who never served in the military, clearly saw himself as part of an army of occupation – and insisted on unqualified submission to his supposed authority.
“Your safety does not trump my right and my liberty,” Pierson tutored the deputy.
“When I stop you, yes it does,” asserted Bassett.
“Your personal safety is more important than all the laws, the Constitution, and every one of my personal rights and liberties,” summarized Pierson, his voice heavy with disgusted incredulity.
“When I’m in a traffic stop, yes,” declared Bassett. “I’m in control of this situation.”
“The Constitution is in control of this situation,” Pierson rejoined.
“No – I am… and if I feel that I’m going to be threatened by the fact that you have a gun on your side, by hell I’m gonna do it,” concluded Bassett.
 
Forty-five minutes later, Deputy Rob Andazola arrived to provide “backup.” At that point, as Bassett has admitted in a sworn deposition, the deputies offered to unshackle Pierson if he allowed Andazola to draw his weapon and shoot the motorcyclist in the event he made any gesture perceived as a “threat.”

Pierson didn’t agree to those terms. Eventually a patrol supervisor reached the scene and acknowledged that the motorcyclist had done nothing wrong. Until that happened, however, Pierson was handcuffed, disarmed, and entirely at the mercy of two armed strangers who considered it their right – if not their duty – to kill him if he displayed any behavior that made them uneasy. 
 
“I didn’t know whether kicking my leg over the bike, or walking away, or what they could possibly constitute as a hostile act,” Pierson told the Associated Press. “And I was a little unnerved by the fact that they were threatening lethal force with a deadly weapon against a man who was compliant, in handcuffs, who had been screened.”

In the sacred cause of “officer safety,” no precaution is excessive, no imposition unjustified – and no constitutional “guarantee” of individual rights is binding.
Pierson’s legitimate concern for citizen safety in the presence of police is underscored by an incident that occurred near Canton, Ohio just weeks before the traffic stop in Wyoming. 
 
 

On June 8, 2011, Patrolman Daniel Harless of the Canton, Ohio Police Department, repeatedly threatened to murder the driver, William E. Bartlett, for carrying a concealed handgun for which he had obtained the appropriate permit. 

At all times, Bartlett was composed and cooperative. He made every effort to comply with the Ohio concealed carry ordinance by notifying Harless that he was carrying a weapon, and displaying his concealed carry license. He was rewarded with a profane outburst in which Harless made it clear that he was eager for a chance to kill somebody.

“As soon as I felt your gun I should have took [sic] two steps back, pulled my Glock 40 and just put 10 bullets in your ass and let you drop,” ranted Harless. “And I wouldn’t have lost any sleep.”
After threatening to “put lumps on” a witness to the incident, Harless told Bartlett, “I’m so close to caving in your f*****g head…. You’re just a stupid human being…. F*****g talking to me with a f*****g gun. You want me to pull mine and stick it to your head?”
Unlike Harless, who was obviously deranged, Bassett and Andazola did not dissolve into puddles of psychotic rage. But lurking behind their veneer of “professionalism” was a willingness to commit homicide simply because the sight of a Mundane with a firearm made them feel kind of funny. 
When contacted by Pro Libertate to comment on the case, Captain John Steztenbach of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office explained that “Our lawyer has told us that we are to say absolutely nothing about this case. I would love nothing more that for the other side of the story to be told, and we’re very frustrated that we can’t tell it, but it’s been made clear that until this goes to court, we’re not to comment on any aspect of this case.”
Stetzenbach, a courteous and well-spoken Connecticut native, explained that the gag order applies not only to the details of Pierson’s arrest, but also to any discussion of the department’s instructions and guidelines dealing with matters of “officer safety.” After describing how he had come to the Rocky Mountain West to study at a gunsmith trade school in Colorado, Stetzenbach proclaimed that both he and the department he serves are “very pro-Second Amendment,” and promised that when the legal issues are settled he will be very eager to “tell the whole story.”
 
“It always amazes me how in situations like this, one side gets out very quickly, and it’s not ours; that’s really frustrating,” Stetzenbach complained.

In this case – as in other “situations” of its kind – the officers have themselves to blame for the fact that the public hasn’t seen “their side” of the story, since the dashcam recordings of the encounter have mysteriously disappeared. 
The victim documented the incident, and the chief assailant has confirmed all of the victim’s key assertions. Res ipsa loquitir.
In his sworn deposition (as paraphrased by the AP), Bassett admitted that he had been “trained to put his personal safety above the rights of a citizen openly carrying a handgun.”
 “We’re told every day, our safety is first,” Bassett pointed out. “We’re here to come home every night.”

Remember that admission next time you’re told that the police are here to protect and serve the public. 

The Dispossessed Majority by PCR

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The bumper sticker on the beat-up pickup truck read: “Friends don’t let friends vote Democrat.”

The driver was obviously not affluent. Yet, despite all the news about mega-trillion dollar bankster bailouts, mega-million dollar bonuses for financial crooks, and unimaginable compensation packages for corporate CEOs who have moved middle class jobs out of America, something made the down-and-out pickup truck driver associate with the political party of the super-rich.

As I wondered at this strange alliance of the dirt poor with the mega-rich, I remembered that in 2004 Thomas Frank wondered about how the Republicans had managed to convince the poor to vote against their best interests. Frank’s answer, or part of his answer, is that the Republicans use “social issues,” such as gay marriage and Janet Jackson’s exposed nipple to work up indignation over the threat to moral values posed by liberal Democrats.

The working poor have been convinced by Republican propaganda that voting Democrat means giving the working poor’s tax dollars to the non-working poor, to providing medical care and schooling for illegal aliens, and being soft on terrorism.

To the pick-up truck driver, standing up for America means standing up for bankster bailouts and the military/security complex’s multi-trillion dollar wars.

The Karl Rove Dirty Tricks Team has honed the Republican propaganda. Republicans send each other via email an endless number of nonsense stories about Obama being a Muslim, about Obama being a Marxist, about Obama being a Manchurian Candidate turning America over to the New World Order or the United Nations, or to some other dastardly plotting organization. But never is Obama accused of turning the US over to Wall Street, the military/security complex, or Israel.

There is never any citation or source for the accusations in the emails. None are needed, because the words are what the Republicans want to hear. Ask them why Obama would be killing Muslims in seven countries if he was a Muslim, or why Wall Street and the military/security complex would put a Marxist in the White House, and they turn purple with rage. Just by asking the obvious questions instead of joining in the denunciations, a person confirms the propaganda that America is threatened by Obama dupes who won’t stand up for the country.

The non-affluent who rage about welfare, medicaid, Obamacare, and public schools can’t seem to put two and two together. The $750 billion TARP bankster bailout, a small part of the total and ongoing bailout, would have sufficed to cover any holes in these budgets for a long time.. Instead, the money went to reward those who caused the financial crisis and threw millions of Americans out of their homes. As far as I know, the pickup truck driver is one of the dispossessed.

The same brainwashed Americans who rage against Obamacare and are lined up to vote for Romney are oblivious to the fact that Romney, while governor of the eastern liberal Democratic state of Massachusetts, had his version of Obamacare enacted at the state level.

The greatest irony about Obamacare is that it was written by the private insurance companies and diverts Medicaid and Medicare funds to their profits. It is socialized medicine alright, but it is socialism for the private insurance companies.

All it took to convince Red staters to go along with the military/security complex squandering $6 trillion on the Iraq and Afghan wars was yellow ribbon decals and a slogan, “support the troops.”

Obama, Republicans claim, won’t stand up to Syria, or against Iran, or for Israel. But Republicans are proud when Romney goes to Israel to slither on his belly pandering to the crazed, blood-thirsty Israeli prime minister Netanyahu, who called Israeli top generals “pussies” for warning against attacking Iran. Romney told Netanyahu, just tell me what to do, and I’ll do it; I am loyal to Israel. Apparently, flag-waving Republican patriots are not bothered when their presidential candidate announces that as soon as he is in office he will turn over US foreign policy to Netanyahu and send more americans to death and bankruptcy for Netanyahu.

Karl Rove didn’t have any trouble at all in brainwashing red staters to support their own demise. The pickup truck driver could just as well have sported a bumper sticker that read: “Don’t support a Democrat. He might do something for you.”

Yes, I know. It is almost as easy to beat up on Democrats. Bush and Cheney and their neocon hoodlums destroyed the Constitution and, thereby, America. But the Democrats let them. It was Nancy Pelosi, who as Speaker of the House stridently declared Bush’s impeachment to be “off the table.”

Bush and Cheney unquestionably violated both US and international laws and the Constitution. Nancy Pelosi’s refusal to hold them accountable established the precedent that the executive branch is no longer accountable to law or to the Constitution. In effect, the executive branch now comprises a dictatorship. It acts outside of law and constitutional restraints. On some issues it still has to consult with Congress or the courts, but as the executive branch’s power and audacity grows, consultation will become a formality and then drop away. Congress will have no more influence than the Roman senate under the empire, and courts will become stages for show trials.

Americans elected Obama president expecting that he would restore the rule of law. Instead, he codified the Bush regime’s transgressions and added some of his own. No one of my generation could have imagined the president of the US sitting in the Oval Office signing off on lists of American citizens to be murdered without evidence or due process of law.

So which do you want? The Republican panderer to the rich and Israel whose foreign policy is war or the Democrat panderer to the rich and Israel whose foreign policy is war? As Gerald Celente wrote in the July issue of the Trends Journal, americans “argue among themselves why their freak is better than the other freak. They will get angry with you if you call their freak a freak. They will actually fight and die to defend their freaks.”

It is extraordinary that millions of americans actually believe fervently that it matters whether Romney freak or Obama freak gets elected. If americans had any sense, they would stay home and not vote. The 1% control the country, and the 99% had just as well own up to it and stay at home. Nothing is going to change because of the ballot box.

What do you suppose the Ron Paul supporters will do? Will they see Romney as the less socialist of the two and vote for the Republicans who stole the nomination from Ron Paul? (Jaret Glenn, “How the GOP Establishment Stole the Nomination from Ron Paul,” published on August 6 on the OpEdNews website. (http://www.opednews.com/populum/printer_friendly.php?content=a&id=154033)

The US is ruled by a private oligarchy. The government is merely their front. The country’s resources are diverted to the pockets of Wall Street, the military/security complex, and to the service of greater Israel. The oil, mining, timber, and agribusiness companies control the Environmental Protection Agency and the Forestry Service, which is why regulation only pertains to the small individual, while fracking, mountaintop removal mining, and pollution of air, water, and soil run wild.

The oligarchs have succeeded in making americans a dispossessed majority in their own country. In November americans will again give their approval to one of the oligarchy’s two candidates.

Follow the Trend: Batman Shooter James Holmes Was On Hardcore Pharmaceutical Drugs

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Like virtually all massacre shooters before him, the notorious Batman shooter James Holmes is now reported to have been taking hardcore pharmaceutical drugs. In Holmes’ case, they happen to be the very same drugs that ultimately led to the early death of actor Heath Ledger. With a fix for ‘altering his state of mind’, the ‘Batman shooter’ was heavily hooked on the prescription painkiller Vicodin. Holmes even reportedly dosed up on a pharmaceutical cocktail just before the shooting.
Side effects of Vicodin use, even at ‘recommended’ levels which Holmes likely far exceeded, includealtered mental states’ and ‘unusual thoughts or behavior’.

While also abusing the same prescription pharmaceuticals as Heath Ledger (who played The Joker in a previous Batman), Holmes actually told police that he was The Joker. The statements made by Holmes were even curious to many friends and relatives, who said just a year ago Holmes was seen as an ‘all-American boy’ with an affinity for his family. It appears what changed was the Batman shooter’s decision to begin altering his mental state with prescription drug abuse. Abuse which may have far extended beyond painkillers and potentially included psychotropic drugs — the very same drugs that almost every single massacre shooter have taken.
On his online dating profile, Holmes refuses to answer the question as to whether or not he uses drugs and to what extent. In response to the question, Homes writes “prefer not to say.”

Batman Shooter on Drugs Deadlier than Cocaine, Heroin Combined

Prescription painkillers alone have been shown to be even deadlier and more damaging than many illegal drugs. In 2008, more Americans died from pharmaceuticals painkillers than illegal drugs like cocaine and heroin combined. Going even further, statistical analysis reveals that prescription drug deaths outnumber traffic accidents when it comes to fatalities. One reason for this is the change in mental activity, which can potentially lead to destructive and radical behavior.
In fact, more than 12 million individuals in the United States reported taking prescription painkillers ‘purely for the high‘ that they cause instead of their intended purpose.
As more information comes out on the case, it will likely reveal an increasingly deep history of prescription drug abuse on behalf of Holmes. Just as the Columbine incident continued to develop into a horrific story of drug abuse and an obsession with mind alteration, it appears this case will follow a similar trend.

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