Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Police Brutality in Ferguson

     I don't live in Missouri. I'm not there protesting or observing the protest. I am at home, sitting at the computer desk. For the second night in a row, I am watching the live feeds from Ferguson.

     Any mistakes in this account are my own. Here is what I have gathered has been happening in and around Ferguson, Missouri:

On August 9, eighteen year old [?] Michael Brown and a friend were thought to have stolen 48 dollars worth of cigars or cigarellos from a Ferguson convenience store. Several blocks later, an officer in a car stopped the two young men who were on foot. 

Michael did not have a weapon. He possibly was grabbed by the throat by the police officer who was in the car. Michael left and ran off. [I would have ran off too if an officer was wanting to choke me]. The officer maybe gave chase or ordered him to stop or something. Michael did so. The officer thought Michael was acting aggressively even though Michael was unarmed. Michael may have put his hands up. The officer shot him dead six times, including two shots to his head. Michael was dead.

I don't know what happened to his friend.

Ferguson erupted into protests. Included was and is the chant, "Hands Up, Don't Shoot."

The traditional news media typically is portraying the events in Ferguson as being a racial thing-- black versus white.

While it may be true that the police officer is white and Michael was black, bunches of people of all colors are out protesting this police brutality.

Eric Holder said some stuff and has visited or is planning a visit to Ferguson and promises a fair investigation and stuff.

Barack Obama a.k.a. Obummer was going to visit Ferguson but perhaps now is chickening now. Or, he probably ain't coming.

The National Lawyers Guild is in Ferguson. Amnesty was escorted out.

Sunday night, police reported shots fired. The National Guard arrived with heavy duty stuff. On the feeds last night, I saw police in riot gear with riot shields and tasers and stun guns and shooting tear gas and sound cannons. I also saw on the feeds last night a huge black vehicle (a swat tank?).

Cops began to demand that people keep moving and stay off the streets last night on the live feeds.

Then cops reported two shots fired and demanded that the press relocate to a pen near the command post but the road leading to it was blocked. This effectively caused a media blackout. Info from then on came from the cops or from people who were still reporting to the journalists

Some journalists were arrested but later released. 

A bunch of people were arrested. Most of them were arrested for refusing to move.

Reports earlier today[?] that a second black man near Ferguson but not in Ferguson itself was shot by the cops. He stole two drinks from a convenience store and some pastries. The excuse: He was acting erratically.

Things tonight on the feeds are very noisy. Cops are demanding that people stay on the sidewalk, keep moving, and not cross the street.

A grand jury is convening re: the police officer who shot Michael Brown. They do not have to convene in Missouri. I suspect no charges will be brought.

radical sapphoq says: No one deserves to die for stealing small things from a store. The cop couldn't taser Michael Brown or even fire a shot into his kneecap instead of using lethal force???
I am considering taking the professional observer course from the NLG.
To the people of and around Ferguson, Sail Strong. To the family of Michael Brown, I wish you healing and peace.

Three live feeds: [must create free account]

Two twitter accounts:

Some of the many articles:

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

RIP Robin Williams

I made it myself. You can take it and use it if you want to.

     I liked Robin Williams' acting. I thought he was funny. The movies left me rolling in laughter and hiccups [except for Good Will Hunting which was a more serious movie which I enjoyed for other reasons]. Who could forget Mrs. Doubtfire? Or Jack? Or The Bird Cage? Or Happy Feet?

     I didn't find out until the news broke of his suicide by hanging about his past addiction history or the clinical depression. Those things would not have changed my opinion of him as an actor. [I've never met him and I guess I won't meet him now].

     Robin Williams was not the first suicide of a recovering addict that I've known about. I lost a close friend to suicide [she jumped off of a bridge into traffic] some years ago. She did it clean but she was still dead. Two others also suicided that year-- they got drunk before pulling the trigger-- one of those was a severe diabetic who ensured his demise by also taking a bunch of diabetes meds all at once.

     I do not consider my buddies who suicided as being failures. I consider that the system and specifically the mental health treatment industry failed them miserably. This is why I support research and best practices. We need more research into how to provide the best truly individualized treatment for those of us who have addictions and / or mental health problems. We need more effective medications without the troubling side effects. 

     If you are a male teen, would you want to take an anti-psychotic that guarantees that you cannot get it up? If you are a native of India who is told that you "need" E.C.T., would you want it? Especially knowing that because of the shortage of muscle relaxants in your country, you are at high risk of breaking bones and teeth? If you are used to keeping your own counsel, would you be willing to be shuttled off to some group home because some professional decided that your living situation was "unstable?" As an older adult, would you want to sit through a day of a day treatment program where the professionals offer you the latest pop psychology? If you are a lesbian, would you want to sit through a filming and discussion of men and women being from different planets? What makes you think that we want to have those experiences if you don't want to have them?

     When the list of "acceptable" side effects for psych drugs are longer than the list of "acceptable" side effects for all other meds, there is a problem. When an atheist is forced to sit through yet another discussion of peoples' Higher Powers, that sort of treatment does not help. When adults are informed in a day treatment program that they will be expelled from that program for a couple of days because they cursed, something is wrong.

     No one wants to be talked down to. No one enjoys doing something they are forced to do that has no meaning for them. No one wants other people to make decisions for them.

     I can't help but wonder what Robin Williams' experiences were with psych drugs and professionals who claimed to have his best interest at heart.

radical sapphoq says: If you are thinking about killing yourself or about hurting yourself, tell someone. Get some help. If you find yourself stuck in the mental hell system or the addictions treatment industry, go to the National Empowerment Center's website at and learn about self-empowerment. That information may not make you a more compliant patient. It may help you to become a more informed consumer. 
     Please stay alive. I've lost enough people to suicide. Thank you.


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Genocide, Mosquitoes, Georgia Peanuts, and DefCon

I took the picture of the cat and the background. I tubed the cat. I added the text. Anyone can use this picture except for those who are in favor of DRM and the NSA. And if you fancy yourself some kind of "copyright" police, you are not welcome here at this blog ever.

     I have not written about the Israeli-Gaza conflict/ war/ genocide because quite frankly, the whole thing has been a ball of confusion in my brain. While I'm perfectly willing to have Israel dissolve into Palestine, I'm not in favor of Hamas leading the way. I don't know who tossed the first bomb or bullet [housemate says it was Gaza] but I do know that I want the whole thing to stop. Yes, I do think it is genocide. That is all I will say about it for the present.

     The West Nile Virus seems to be having a hurrah in Louisiana and has now made an appearance in Washington state. That sucks badly. I know that massive spraying cannot possibly been "good" for the environment. I also know that we are dealing with human lives. I'd rather there be spraying than a rising death toll from the bite of a mosquito. I suppose there is or ought to be research to make sprays [that emit from trucks to counter the mosquitoes] more "eco-friendly" or whatever. That can happen as we take steps to prevent people from being infected with West Nile. We can't wait. We ought to be conducting massive spray campaigns now.

     Those guys from the Peanut Corporation of America plant in Georgia who knowingly sent out salmonella-infested peanuts which did in fact cause nine people to die and bunches more to get sick ought to experience legal consequences [other than or in addition to paying fines] for their actions. That the safety of any food depends upon corporations owing up to bad lots is piteous. Let the food inspectors inspect!

     One of these years I hope to go to DefCon. I was heartened to hear that John McAfee showed up to defend privacy. He also set up a new complaint list over at It is easy to use and I think he is on to something.

radical sapphoq says: I hate what is happening in Palestine. I have no particular love for mosquitoes, especially those that spread diseases. That bunches of peanuts with salmonella were sent out to people is hideous. I hate the N.S.A. and all of the corporations and politicians who do not understand things like privacy. Thumbs up to John McAfee.