10
Aug
14

A Few Thoughts on Ferguson

I can’t even pretend to internalize what’s going on through the hearts of Mike Brown’s family. I can’t pretend to internalize what African Americans all over the country are feeling at young Mr. Brown’s execution.

I can ask a few questions.

What was the last time a white teenager was killed for stealing a candy bar?

What was the last time a white teenager was killed by a community watch vigilante for walking down the street?

What was the last time a white father was gunned down by police for handling an air rifle at Walmart?

If you are scratching your heads trying to come up with the answer, the answer is simple: never.

If your answer then is to say “Well, they [all those black folks] looked suspicious”, then you’re part of the festering racism which works to hold back this country.

I straddle two worlds. As a child of Cuban immigrants, I’m putatively in the Latino world. You can ask Chicanos from East L.A. of their run ins with police.

However, the Latino community is as diverse as the broader American community. It spans my black Dominican friends with whom I grew up in New York, to my brown Mexican sister in law, to my immdediate family, virtually indistinguishable from “white America”. You can be Latino and not have that fraught relationship with the police which so many African Americans have. I remember my mother having a version of “the talk” with me; her version was “Don’t be afraid of the police. They’re on our side.” That’s not the talk African American parents have with their black sons.

Abraham Lincoln said that a country cannot survive half slave and half free. A modern variation on that aphorism would be that a country cannot survive half free and half under siege. What happened to Mike Brown is what happens to a community under siege, policed closely, any infraction a possible cause of death by police fire. What was so threatening about that young man that he had to be shot ten times? Was there no other course of action the police could have taken to prevent a needless death, a family’s anguish, a community’s outrage? Too often, the police work to “serve and protect” one segment of society while keeping other segments under a heavy thumb. That shouldn’t be how police operates. Entire communities shouldn’t be suspect and subjected to oppression. Police should work with all communities in respect, making sure all communities are safe. When police see entire communities as suspect, that leads to a morgue full of Mike Browns.

I will never be pulled over for “driving while white”. I will never have shopkeepers follow me around in department stores, making sure I don’t steal. I don’t even think of these things, until something like Ferguson happens, and I’m forced to consider my own privilege. For any white father reading this, who may disagree with me, ask yourself: Is “the talk” you have with your son about sex, or about the police? Which facts of life you teach your son about reflect the privilege in which you live. It’s such a comfortable cocoon that you don’t even know it exists. But it’s there, nevertheless.

There is much that is wonderful about this country. But to pretend that it doesn’t operate under the shadow of the original sin of racism is to bury your head in your sand. Yes, it elected a black president. But this same president has been subjected to an opprobrium which none of his white predecessors have been, solely because he’s black. America is not post-racial. Barack Obama’s career has been in the teeth of racism, not because it has vanished. Until communities like Ferguson are policed in the same manner that communities like Brentwood are, any talk of “post racial America” is as so much fairy dust. It’s work as old as the Republic, and will continue for some time. But it’s the only thing we can do; otherwise, we may as well expect the fire.


156 Responses to “A Few Thoughts on Ferguson”


  1. August 10, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    • August 10, 2014 at 2:56 pm

      Until Americans, overwhelmingly, address the dichotomy represented in this tweet, we remain uncivilized. We know the root causes. We have no excuses. We’ll see on 4 Nov 2014 if we’re prepared to begin the process of effecting the systemic changes required.

      #FORWARD Together

  2. 4 LDS
    August 10, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    Good morning, TOD family. I have so much to catch up on.
    Thank you for all the work you do.

  3. August 10, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    • August 10, 2014 at 3:06 pm

      “I can’t even pretend to internalize what’s going on through the hearts of Mike Brown’s family. I can’t pretend to internalize what African Americans all over the country are feeling at young Mr. Brown’s execution.”

      Agree, LL. White Americans, no matter how empathetic we are, simply cannot grasp the indignity and inequality every Black American has experienced and continues to experience. We cannot understand it. But, we most definitely can STOP BEING THE CAUSE OF IT.

      That is our responsibility. To date, we’ve failed.

      • August 10, 2014 at 3:35 pm

        It’s not on minorities to fix racism. It’s on the dominant culture. Until white America rises up and says “enough”, we’ll have more Mike Browns.

        • August 10, 2014 at 5:46 pm

          as good as that sounds…LL….it will not happen in that manner…the lion share of struggle is on communities of color…as it has always been…but what is needed is for ALL of us… blk…white…etc…..to see the necessary work that has to be done….for whites to first accept that there is white privilege and to then join forces with POC to eradicate it….

          we have to be ever conscious that this struggle has no real end…because rights won have to be Defended…aka…VRA……because those forces who seek to destroy us will ever be working to do so..

  4. August 10, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    Just popped back in to catch up and saw the young man’s face. More tears for the family. He looks like so many of the young men in my family and friends. Thank you LL for speaking out and writing. In your heart, in all our hearts, senseless loss is loss no matter what race or colour and we can all empathize.

    • August 10, 2014 at 3:38 pm

      Thank you, v. Many roads led to Ferguson. Unwinding them will take decades. I certainly think that the militarization of our police plays a huge role. Why does a police force need tanks?

      • August 10, 2014 at 3:58 pm

        why do they need to shoot to kill? What on earth do they fear, because I do believe that fear drives them more than anything. We only need to resort to that kind of response when we are deathly afraid otherwise we are just animals. Even then, animals kill for purpose. This has just been senseless.

  5. August 10, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    Thank you LL for this poignant piece of writing.
    My kids are grown, no longer teenagers BUT, that does not take away or even alleviate the constant concern
    my husband and I have for their safety in public, because of the color of their skin. We try not to instill fear in them, but at
    the same time we have always had to make sure that they understand the dangers they can be subjected to.

    Isn’t it about time this burden is lifted from the shoulders of POC in the most advanced country in the world?

    My heart goes out to the family of Michael Brown. I pray for comfort for them in their time of grief. Words fail me right now.

  6. 15 forus50
    August 10, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    Hello TOD family. What sadness today – I just read the posts from last night and this morning. Heartbreaking sadness and anger that the police have become a lawless militia; as weaponized as any soldier in a war. I saw where AMK had said something about the militarizing of the police and I sadly agree –seeing police using tanks in the streets of towns and cities is sickening. I wouldn’t be surprised if all that military warfare they now use for everyday police work was bought with our tax dollars from companies connected to War Criminal Cheney.

    The proliferation of concealed and open carry military warfare equipment has every sane person on edge I would think. On Friday I was having breakfast on a sidewalk cafe in downtown Chicago and this idiot “businessman” took a call and proceeded to stand about 3 feet away from me talking loudly through the microphone (versus holding the cell up to his mouth). For at least 5 minutes; so rude. I finally couldn’t take it any longer so I interrupted his call to ask him, “Do you have to have this loud cell phone conversation this close to the restaurant?”. But the thought went through my head as I walked away if he might have anger management issues and shoot me in the back. Sadly, I can honestly say that that thought wouldn’t have crossed my mind in years past when having a mild disagreement with a stranger and now it was the first thought.

    But NONE of that general unease or fear can justify the cold murder of this young boy by this racist cop. And now it sounds like the stolen candy was a lie and he was shot in the back. I feel like the world is spinning out of control.

  7. 16 GGail
    August 10, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    This what an article in WAPO relates as what happened – where did the “candy” story come from?

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/missouri-crowd-after-shooting-kill-the-police/2014/08/09/bee84a46-2021-11e4-9b6c-12e30cbe86a3_story.html

    St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said at a news conference that an officer encountered two people on the street near an apartment complex Saturday afternoon in Ferguson, a predominantly black suburb a few miles north of downtown St. Louis.

    Belmar said one of the men pushed the officer back into his squad car and a struggle began. Belmar said at least one shot was fired from the officer’s gun inside the police car. Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson said authorities were still sorting out what happened inside the police car.

    • 17 99ts
      August 10, 2014 at 6:23 pm

      The “candy” story was the early police excuse – typical black kid who steals – the police were out there looking for him.

      The news conference was the story when it was proven the theft did not happen – even the media were gobsmacked into silence after that fairy tale was given. 8 hours of sleep time later – I am still in amazement as to how the police guy dared to even think up that story – let alone tell the world.

  8. August 10, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    No, I won’t support La Clinton.

    • 19 carla4obama
      August 10, 2014 at 3:21 pm

      She and her EGO make me sick.

      • August 10, 2014 at 3:36 pm

        read my tweets below, Don. the piece was a bit click-baitish, but a larger point still holds.

        • 22 forus50
          August 10, 2014 at 3:43 pm

          Yes, the fact that it’s also presented in word for word interview style makes it hard to not believe what she says. It was an opportunity for her to be FULLY supportive of the administration’s foreign policy and Sec. Kerry but instead she chose to equivocate and portray POTUS as being overly cautious versus rightly cautious and smart in every move. The only style she knows is elevating herself by putting someone else down.

    • 23 anniebella
      August 10, 2014 at 4:31 pm

      I have already commented on Hillary and her distanced herself from President Obama, what she doesn’t know is she also might be turning off people she will need if she runs in 2016, I am already tired of her already. Wise up Hillary, your behind ought to be out there trying to help the Dems win in 2014, but you are only thinking of yourself and Bill getting back in that WH.

    • 24 CaliCat
      August 10, 2014 at 6:53 pm

      Hillary is once again proving she’s not fit for the presidency. There is zero reason for her to distance herself from POTUS. He’s still a popular president. Hillary should be criticizing the GOP but we all know how she feels about PBO. I truly cannot stand the woman.

  9. 25 carla4obama
    August 10, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    My husband and i just re-watched Spike Lee’s movie “Do The Right Thing”…while watching it I thought “wow this is the movie our President took his future wife (FLOTUS) to see on their first date.” Exactly what is the Right thing? I’m not even sure. How can we expect Shiites and Sunnis, Palestinians/Israeli’s to work together when we in our own country kill groups of people that are not “the white” class? We point fingers but we never look in the mirror. I wont tell the president what to do, as I know his heart is heavy with so much evil that is around the world and in our own country….but this must be addressed.

  10. August 10, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    “I’m forced to consider my own privilege.”

    LL, I love you. You speak for me. Thank you so, so, so much for this beautiful piece.

  11. August 10, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    • 29 Don
      August 10, 2014 at 3:42 pm

      She triangulates because she wants all bases covered, which also means she doesn’t trust her instincts. You can’t point to any time in Barack’s presidency where you thought he was trying to run some sort of game.

      • August 10, 2014 at 4:00 pm

        The only mistakes the president made was not realizing that the republicans were just saying no on everything and turn blaming him.
        He gave the republicans 270 billion in tax cuts as a compromise in the stimulus. That was a waste.
        Then, he tried working with grassley on healthcare… That was a waste.
        Then, he tried to work with boner on Debt. That was a waste.
        So, he has made some mistakes, as well.
        Nobody’s perfect.
        Just saying!

        • 32 Layla
          August 10, 2014 at 5:09 pm

          ‘The only mistakes the president made was not realizing that the republicans were just saying no on everything and turn blaming him’ Like Hillary you obviously underestimate this President!

        • August 10, 2014 at 6:11 pm

          I strongly disagree! I don’t consider the things you listed mistakes. He is a President of all the United States. At least he tried his best to work and compromise with the opposition party. If he hadn’t done that, then people will be here blaming him for that.

        • 36 TrumpDog
          August 10, 2014 at 6:29 pm

          Trying to work with them was not a mistake. That is what he campaigned on and he’s said he would be willing to come to the table with anyone that disagees with him to find a common ground. He tried to change how business was being done in Washington.

          I commend him for trying.

    • August 10, 2014 at 5:57 pm

      I must say, the more I read about what Hillary says the more it frightens me if she were elected we would just be going back to the old ways and thinking. It is getting harder to distinguish her from the GOP. Our fine President’s hard work to have people see there are more thoughtful, reflective ways to make decisions about our place in the world and how to navigate world politics will vanish and go back to politics as usual. We need to work to get Biden, O’Malley, Warren, or any Dem with closer vision to Prez Obama.

    • 39 pkayden
      August 10, 2014 at 6:41 pm

      Since President Obama won twice (and quite easily), why does HRC feel the need to distance herself from him? That’s what I don’t understand. I could see her distancing herself from him if he was a one-term President like Carter. She needs to be careful about ticking off his supporters, of which there are legions.

  12. 40 a4alice
    August 10, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    another great piece LL. There is just so much violence everywhere it’s making my head explode.

  13. 41 forus50
    August 10, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    Speaking of privilege; I can only imagine NASCAR’s reaction if Tony Stewart was African American. Granted, Kevin Ward shouldn’t have been on the track but other drivers and emergency personnel are often on the track and don’t get run over. And NASCAR drivers by definition are supposed to be good drivers. So it’s very hard to look at a professional driver under the caution flag in this situation and not see it as intentional. I hope he is arrested and charged with – at the very least – vehicular manslaughter.

  14. August 10, 2014 at 3:43 pm

  15. 43 africa
    August 10, 2014 at 3:52 pm

  16. 45 africa
    August 10, 2014 at 3:55 pm

  17. 46 Vicki
    August 10, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    I keep wanting to explain and understand the inexplainable and inexplicable.

    The tweet Bob cites as the first entry on this post has it right. Until we are ready to confront and end the split between calling groups of unarmed black people “angry mobs” and gangs of heavily armed white militia aiming at Federal troops “supporters” it is difficult for justice and sense to get further forward .
    To put it another way, until we own the media and get to shape public opinion truthfully and compassionately, how can we stop the murder of black children.

  18. 47 JER
    August 10, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    • 48 HZ
      August 10, 2014 at 4:55 pm

      Thank you, JER. I get so much joy and peace when I know he is with his family and dear friends and getting some deserved relaxation.

      Lots of love you the best president ever. Have a great day, Mr. President. And thank you for your great and decent AG Eric Holder. HZ

  19. 49 forus50
    August 10, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    • August 10, 2014 at 4:10 pm

      She’s going after that moderate republican vote. Strong military crap, Reagan democrat stuff.
      Bill Clinton was definitely a conservative democrat, Hillary is too.
      She’s to the left on domestic issues with this president, and way to the right of this president on foreign policy.
      Near McCains positions, on Foreign policy.

    • 51 SUE DUVALL SMITH
      August 10, 2014 at 4:14 pm

      THE PRESIDENT WAS KIND ENOUGH TO BRING HER INTO THE WHITEHOUSE WITH STATUS FOLLOWING RUNNING AGAINST EACH OTHER..IF SHE HAS SOMETHING TO SAY SHE NEEDS TO SAY IT TO HIS FACE….I’VE NEVER BEEN IMPRESSED WITH HER ANYWAY…

      • 52 HZ
        August 10, 2014 at 5:03 pm

        TY, Sue. ‘If she has something to say she needs to say it to his face….I’ve never been impressed with her anyway…”

        HRC will learn sooner or later that PBO is not running for president in 2016. Also she will need us to win the WH. I would say to her,”Keep pretending that PBO’s supporters are not still around, and that will be a big mistake for you, HRC. You will need more than 16 millions to finish cracking that ceiling. The building has changed since you last entered it. Just saying my truth. Now let us move on to 2014. Please.HZ

    • 56 forus50
      August 10, 2014 at 5:20 pm

      I was just following LL’s link to Balloon Juice (great comments there on HRC btw) and saw that John Cole said the exact same thing. Damn I thought he was a 2008 HRC fan. Guess not.

  20. August 10, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    The Iraqi are a strange divided bunch.

    • 59 pkayden
      August 10, 2014 at 6:43 pm

      That’s why I’m glad that President Obama has emphasized the US’ limited role in their civil war and promised no boots on the ground.

  21. 60 vcprezofan2
    August 10, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    TI, but have to catch up on last two posts….

  22. 61 0388jojothecat
    August 10, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    Thank you LL for this great post. I am so thankful for everyone here at TOD that we have a place to share our love & appreciation of President Obama and his family because our corrupt media won’t show him as the true leader and great president. I am thankful for everyone sharing their experiences and those that don’t have similar experiences I appreciate your compassion and understanding. I truly believe that close to 80% of Americans are like us at TOD. We care and get along with our neighbors and co-workers of different races, cultures, genders…it’s just that 20% who would rather live in hate, fear and indifferent to the rest of us. I don’t have children but I have friends who have wonderful AA sons, going to college, wanting to make a better life and who want a future. I worry for their sons just as some of you AA or Latina moms worry that your sons or grandsons will be mistaken for gangbangers because they wear their jeans low or hoodies. I worry for the young AA males just walking to the park or store that they will be pulled over for no reason. Fortunately my brothers were never treated this way but I will never forget the young AA man I met in 1976 who worked after school bagging groceries. He told me how the police harassed him all the time. He was a soft spoken young man and non-threatening. He told me of the night he walked his girl friend home after the prom and was heading home by himself in his white tux. LAPD made him lay down in the street in oil frisking him for drugs. It’s been almost 40 yrs since I was told that story and I still see the pain, hurt and humiliation in his face. It left me without words other than shake my head in how shameful the police acted and how he felt Black cops were no different if not worse. There is NO community in America where AA young men are safe and it pisses me off that Teabaggers complain about not having freedom and wanting their country back or how there’s a war on Whites. I always think if young white men were mistreated by Black or Latino cops the media would have wall to wall coverage and demand that these cops be fired….no retraining….just fired. There would be zero tolerance. When a mentally ill white man was beaten to death by Latino and White cop in Fullerton, a right wing radio host in L.A. had wall to wall coverage to get justice for this guy because he was white. Granted NO one should be beaten to death but this same radio host had NO compassion for Rodney King. There clearly is a double standard in America as to who is protected and who is targeted in this country. President Obama says we are better than the meanness that is portrayed by the GOP and the media, it’s just that the mean people control the politicians and media.

  23. August 10, 2014 at 4:23 pm

  24. August 10, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    Reuters poll has this president at 37%.
    Right? Whatever!!!!
    According to Reuters-The peoples president that nobody likes.
    Maybe he should just start wars give into the military industrial complex and kiss wall streets ass?
    Then, maybe America would love him? :( :(

    • 64 hopefruit2
      August 10, 2014 at 4:39 pm

      Jovie – why do you keep posting these bogus polling data and commenting as if they were legit…we know what the deal is already. Their sampling is seriously flawed!!!

      • 65 anniebella
        August 10, 2014 at 6:14 pm

        Jovie, I guess we will have to prove Reuters wrong. Are you ready to help us? November 2014 let’s go VOTE.

  25. August 10, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    From Balloon Juice:

    Hunter Gathers says:
    August 10, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    Hillary Clinton is the vehicle in which a radical conservative
    will ride to the White House in 2020. If she runs in 2016, unless she
    completely screws up, she’ll win by a very comfortable margin. She
    won’t be able to get anything passed legislatively that deals with
    domestic issues, so she’s going to have to start a war to show the
    Villagers that she can ‘work with Republicans to get things done’.

    She’s still as hawkish as she was in 2008, which means she’ll be more than happy to cut the legs out from under a Democratic led Senate to join with GOPers and conservative Dems in order to get a war in the Middle East so she can prove how ‘tough’ she is. Her new war in the Middle East will have ‘bipartisan support’, meaning that conservatives from both sides came together to kill brown people who pray to the wrong god. And since it’s bipartisan, the Press will deem the war declaration as the greatest bipartisan achievement since Reagan, or some dumb ass shit like that.

    Since during the debate during the run up to her little war will
    involve an absolute shit-ton of hippie punching and ignoring of the
    concerns of black, hispanic and asian voters, she’s not going to get
    support from either side when it blows up in her face. Which it will.
    Spectacularly. The conservatives she wooed to get the resolution to go to war passed in the first place will abandon her two seconds after the invasion begins, as is their wont. And after telling the so-called
    hippies and minority voters to go fuck themselves, she’ll get no support from them. The Press will drop her like a bad habit once the war goes to shit and they remember that she and her husband trashed the place a while back.

    She’ll end up like LBJ in 1964 – totally fucked from every side.
    She’ll still get the nom in 2020, but enough Dems are going to be so
    fucking pissed off that if a billionaire ran on an anti-war platform as
    an independent, she’d loose an ass ton of votes to that billionaire.
    Which would put Ted Cruz in the White House. And smash the Democratic Party into a billion pieces.

    The most important thing to remember about the Clintons is that they
    are total, complete fuck ups. Bill was a fuck-up who accomplished next to nothing in office, other than paving the way to wipe out all the
    economic gains made during his time in office. All he’s going to be
    remembered for is the blow job. Nothing else. Hillary fucked up a
    guaranteed win in 2008 by hiring shitty, stupid handlers, thinking that
    the Iraq war vote wasn’t going to hurt her, and sending her walking
    stereotype of a husband to tell black voters to go fuck themselves in
    South Carolina. Those two have accomplished nothing, and will continue to accomplish nothing.

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/2014/08/10/dont-do-stupid-shit/#comment-5079784

  26. August 10, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    Looking at a picture of Mike Brown. Like Trayvon, he still had his babyface. He looks so damn young.

  27. 69 hopefruit2
    August 10, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    https://twitter.com/Cornbread_Cunt/status/498558318877487105

    Okay…I’m finding so much wrong with this tweet, I don’t know quite where to start. First of all, she assumes that that PBO’s attitude towards race is lacking, not “urgent” enough. This is almost similar to the drivel spewed by the likes of Cornel West and nothing could be further from the truth. Secondly, she may want to explain the attitudes of Clarence Thomas, Herman Cain, Condi Rice, Ben Carson, etc., as far as I know they all had both parents Black…

    • 70 nospin
      August 10, 2014 at 5:08 pm

      okay my first thought was that this ignorance wasn’t worth repeating.

      When I took a second look at her handle “cornbread_c*nt”… that confirmed it.

    • August 10, 2014 at 5:15 pm

      I hope you twitter-ites light her ass up.

    • 80 HZ
      August 10, 2014 at 5:29 pm

      First, she said, “I think.” Wrong. Then she had the audacity to invoke “a Black woman’s womb.” Hell, what happen to just the beautiful womb, a glorious carriage for a wonderful precious life of a baby child? She is hopeless. Then she goes for PBO’s attitudes. How many seconds has she been in his presence to know much about his attitudes? Really now. Oh, and “his behavior towards race.” When was the private meeting granted where she could ascertain his behaviors towards race and come away giving so much insightfulness?
      Shame on her. Then” the different thing.” What the hell is she looking for there? Oh, this must be it. “The more urgent feeling.” Wonder what are the elements of “urgent feeling?”

      This person needs to leave the room and STFU. Stop laying every thing that is so wrong in this country on President Barack Obama!!! Stop this shit, lady. We have things to do and will do without your assumptions about President Barack Obama. We will let you know when our feelings are Urgent about asinine thoughts such as yours.HZ

    • 81 globalcitizenlinda
      August 10, 2014 at 5:32 pm

      Look at her twittering handle – enough said!

    • August 10, 2014 at 6:18 pm

      her name says it all for me…why would a woman name herself cornbread c—-

    • 85 anniebella
      August 10, 2014 at 6:21 pm

      Hay Ms. Bree Van de Tramp, Obama came from were he was suppose to come from.

    • 86 pkayden
      August 10, 2014 at 6:47 pm

      Who is she? Her thinking is flawed and racist so I’m not sure she or her opinion is worth any consideration.

    • August 10, 2014 at 8:20 pm

      That is just pure ignorance!

  28. 88 dotster3
    August 10, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    • August 10, 2014 at 6:30 pm

      this from the article..

      It’s also useful to see the bigger pictures, of course. “Consciously focus yourself on the evidence around you that the news is picking out the extremes and the bad things,” McNaughton-Cassill said. In other words, understand that you’re seeing a lot of bad news not because the world is an inherently evil place, but because news outlets—not to mention individual Twitter and Facebook users—have lots of incentives to broadcast explosively negative news stories

  29. 90 dotster3
    August 10, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    Wise words

  30. 91 dotster3
    August 10, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    New study says Keystone Pipeline could produce 4 times more global warming pollution that St. Dept. calculated….

    http://www.wthr.com/story/26243668/2014/08/10/study-keystone-carbon-pollution-more-than-figured

  31. August 10, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    Red-light cameras a case study in Chicago corruption, waste and failure
    21 Jul 2014
    Austin Berg

    Chicago has the most red-light cameras of any city in the country. Since 2003, the city’s 352 cameras have levied nearly half a billion dollars in fines.

    These cameras are sold to the public as a way to promote traffic safety, but the real outcome of the city’s program has been to grift lawful drivers while making sweetheart deals with poorly run companies.

    The Chicago Tribune is now reporting that cameras throughout the city have burdened thousands of Chicagoans with wrongfully issued $100 tickets over the last five years, at least.

    After analyzing 4 million tickets issued by the cameras since 2007, Tribune reporters David Kidwell and Alex Richards found instances of dramatic, arbitrary spikes in the number of drivers ticketed by the cameras.

    It’s not surprising.

    The company that installed and operated the cameras, Redflex, was fired last year after admitting to “likely” paying $2 million in bribes to Madigan-insider John Bills. Redflex was supposed to have monitored its system for spikes like this, but that never happened.

    The improper tickets were caused by shortened or irregular yellow-light patterns, as well as error-prone analysis of rolling stops on right turns. The wrongful right-turn tickets were caused by limitations of the cameras’ technology. It’s just too difficult to tell if a car has come to a complete stop, is inching forward to see if it’s clear to make the turn or if these maneuvers are at all unsafe.

    As for the irregular yellow lights, experts consulted by the Tribune could think of only two explanations:

    “Either someone deliberately tinkered with cameras to generate more tickets, or the system malfunctioned repeatedly, resulting in wrongful citations. Those anomalies, they said, should have been detected and addressed.”

    A Tribune case study showed a one-second shortening of a Lincoln Avenue yellow light generating 100 tickets over a 12-day boon.

    http://www.illinoispolicy.org/red-light-cameras-a-case-study-in-chicago-corruption-waste-and-failure/?utm_source=outbrain#sthash.JVnfIiW3.dpuf

    • August 10, 2014 at 6:01 pm

      Many SoCal cities removed them and lost money on these corrupt use of these cameras. In California you do not have to answer the camera initiated citations (wish I knew that when I got a ticket). They are very expensive and I swear I did not have a red light when I was going through the intersection. I believe I got caught by a shortened yellow light or some hocus pocus was done to the picture.

  32. August 10, 2014 at 5:28 pm

  33. August 10, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    One link in the tweet is broken so use – http://euromaidanpress.com/2014/08/10/what-can-the-civilized-world-and-nato-counter-russia-with/

    Definitely worth reading.

  34. August 10, 2014 at 5:47 pm

  35. August 10, 2014 at 5:50 pm

  36. August 10, 2014 at 5:53 pm

  37. 118 globalcitizenlinda
    August 10, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    a quick question:

    anyone familiar with Hawaii Democratic politics?

    why did the Dem Gov Neil Abercrombie loose the primary?

    Is there a scandal that was known locally and was less publicized on the press in other states?

    what are the chances that this could lead to a goper taking over that gov’s seat?

  38. 131 globalcitizenlinda
    August 10, 2014 at 6:02 pm

  39. August 10, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    • 133 Layla
      August 10, 2014 at 6:15 pm

      Yes indeed, thank YOU President Obama!!!!!!

    • August 10, 2014 at 6:40 pm

      Wow, really, so quickly?

      Our American pundits are so anti-American it makes me sick. Media consensus is that our military presence in Iraq will last as long as GWB’s did.

      They haven’t learned that among other things, one of President Obama’s innate qualities that makes him a great leader is that he never overpromises and underdelivers, which is something virtually every pol in the world do.

      Like I said on Friday night, love PBO more every day.

  40. 137 globalcitizenlinda
    August 10, 2014 at 6:05 pm

  41. August 10, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    • 140 desertflower
      August 10, 2014 at 6:20 pm

      wow:)

    • August 10, 2014 at 6:45 pm

      OMGosh, had no idea Secretary of State Kerry was in Burma — he’s been around the world and back this past month.

      I Googled “where is John Kerry” and the “today” autofilled, LOL.

      The harder our Secretary of State works, the madder I get at HRC. It is simply wrong to undercut a sitting President on foreign policy while events are unfolding if you were part of the Administration less than two years ago. Stunning.

  42. August 10, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    Report just done of shooting on our local news. Story: altercation began in car. Mike tried to get officer’s gun……..blah, blah, blah. You know rest of story. :(

  43. August 10, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    Very important!!

  44. August 10, 2014 at 6:28 pm

  45. 151 dotster3
    August 10, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    Chris Jansing, on NBC Nightly News, just asked if President Obama is “gambling with another 9/11——-after showing McCain saying PBO was putting American lives at risk, Peter King adding his fear-mongering, and then “even Hillary Clinton” saying PBO has made serious mistakes in foreign policy.
    I should be used to this kind of reporting, but I’m not. I think it’s so dishonest and unnecessarily alarmist——and shameful.
    And Chris Jansing—–not ready for prime time—-not qualified, stumbles and bumbles around, not confident—-and no wonder. Asking provocative questions, trying to make herself the story?

    • 152 desertflower
      August 10, 2014 at 6:52 pm

      You mean, Chris, “Obama was born in Kenya” Jansing? Screw her. Honestly why does she even still have a job?

    • 153 pkayden
      August 10, 2014 at 6:56 pm

      I’m confused. I thought that Benghazi was worst than 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and Watergate put together. I didn’t know that President Obama could do any worst than what he’s already done according to the Messy Media and Rethuglicans.

    • 154 COS
      August 10, 2014 at 8:07 pm

      OMG, this post is a whole lot to take in Dotst, and my blood is boiling, especially about Hillary’s statement. What is she trying to prove by dissing PBO’s foreign policy? It makes her look bad because she was a part of it.

  46. 155 forus50
    August 10, 2014 at 6:51 pm


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