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As an American expat living in the European Union, while I accept that western Europe is at times a deeply imperfect place with poverty, crime, injustice and yes, racism, in my experience I found these things to be far less acute than what my experience was in America. There are things that I miss about America, such as Twinkies and Mountain Dew. Of course I miss the green grass of home, family and friends but what I don't miss is the horrifying for-profit American medical system, the Tea Party and when I see a child play cops and robbers at a playground I don't worry about whether the police will come by and shoot and kill them because they're holding a plastic toy gun.

I also don't see large numbers of people holding up cardboard signs often with family members) saying "Will work for food". These things are dramatically absent here, or at least substantially reduced. Yes, there are problems of course in Germany in particular where Islam populations feel they are oppressed through racism, the same is true in France and Britain. Yet through it's imperfections and history, western Europe has come together to form a more perfect union referred to as the European Union which has a population greater than that of the United States and whose currency the Euro rivals the US Dollar in power. So I invite you in the course of this diary to be my fellow American expat and walk with me. Let me show some of the key differences of living here and living in America. It will be a difference to you that is immediately visually apparent.

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A difference that you can immediately see:

One of the immediate things a person notices is how good everyone's teeth seem to be, irrespective of their social background or the job they hold. Pretty much everyone that I see in sharp contrast to America has really great teeth. It doesn't matter if it is the chambermaid in your hotel, the waiter that is serving you, the meter maid, the street sweeper or garbage man, or the folks that work fastfood restaurants, even the unemployed all have compared to a huge number of Americans really great teeth, especially the children. Now I think that is something to really smile about don't you. I can't count the number of children I have seen in the past year and a half with what in the States would be very expensive braces, which over here virtually speaking are free. What an amazing, immediately visually, undeniable difference as compared to my experience in the United States. Western Europe is a large land mass with a population bigger than that of the United States, so it is difficult to generalize but generally speaking universal dental coverage of some type is essentially available to virtually everyone irrespective of employment status. So they don't generate media events where people are sleeping in their cars to line up for early morning charity care slots.  

Another difference you can see:

While we can definitely see poor people in the European Union countries, there is a difference between being poor and deprived to the point of humiliation.
How many Americans have we all seen who work low paid service jobs, who have to wear what for lack of a better term what might be called ratty looking glasses. That is to say glasses that have deep scratches or gouges, that have been broken and are glued together with obvious big cracks in the plastic or they are held together with tape, perhaps even white surgical tape right across the nose bridge. In Western Europe that isn't something you see very much of among low paid service workers, because a basic set of eyeglass frames and lenses are made available to people and their children virtually free of charge. The eye test is either free or the equivalent of about $15. If you want fancier frames in the German system or under the British NHS as well as other systems, now those you have to pay for. If you want fancy lenses with no bi-focal lines, wafer thin etc.., those you also have to pay for. To reiterate Western Europe is a big place, so these things do change slightly from country to country, but basic coverage is generally available universally everywhere as it applies to medical and dental care to all populations, even the homeless.  

A prescription for working families' future:

A trip to a pharmacy also yields an immediate, visually apparent difference, because little or no money ever seems to be exchanged compared to American pharmacies, which are regular retail enterprises because in Western Europe virtually any medication can be had no matter how expensive for a co-pay of a maximum of $25 US or usually less as a rough generality in most but not all cases. Most medications for chronic conditions in most Western European countries are traditionally completely free or again substantially available at reduced costs. Depending on the country in Western Europe for seniors and children, medications are provided at little or often no cost at all. Now isn't that a prescription for working class Americans' future?

Choosing your own doctor:

As I've been in Western Europe on and off for the last 20 years, I've never seen a medical plan where people were not able to choose their own doctors. Nor have I ever spoken to anyone over here who has had that experience. This leads one to ask the question, how is it that the paid liars for the Republican party are able to scare people with their prevarication filled diatribes telling them that under a public option plan would not be able to choose their own doctors, because the govt would do that for you. Wherein they forget to mention that American HMO's regularly not only choose your doctor for you but also your hospital, but I guess that's ok because they're not the govt, and to be quite pejorative about it, we're too dumb to know the difference right? We're also too dumb to know that health insurance companies regularly deny care and claims as well as ration care for the good people. As for the 50 million uninsured well the truth is we are to reiterate just socialized to step over them, therein empowering our politicians, with almost complete impunity even in the Democratic party not to give a public option in health care reform a fair hearing.  

Collective responsibility versus individual responsibility:

What I see in Western Europe is collective responsibility being practiced. Wherein everyone irrespective of income, irrespective of education or social background has basic access to medical and dental care to include prescription plans as a right of citizenship, therein covering nearly 100 percent of their populations in a way that provides for substantive cost control to govt, business and society, because health care is considered to be a public good available as a right of citizenship. What I've seen in American society is that our leaders in govt and business lie to the people basically telling them that they can have a free lunch by shifting the responsibility away from the collective to the individual. Therein ignoring the postulate that says if you want good roads, clean communities, good infrastructure, good schools, good public services and a good health care system then you have to be prepared to collectively pay for them, because there is no such thing as a free lunch.

This is in sharp contrast to the Republican ethos that espouses it is ok to bankrupt the country if only it means enriching yourself, because medical care to these people is a private good and not a public good available as a right of citizenship. What we are therefore left with is the most expensive health care system in the world. That allows for Americans on average to live 3 years less.

Let's take a walk to the unemployment office together where I can show you some pamphlets where you'll be able to see that unemployment insurance in  Germany when it runs out is replaced by a system called unemployment assistance, which is a financial benefit program that never runs out. While you're on the benefit program, you and your family members are medically covered, this program is not however at all unique to Germany. Other countries have it as well in the European Union, such as England for example where jobless benefits never run out and even people who are unemployed are always medically covered because your medical coverage isn't dictated by your employment under the British NHS health scheme.  

All of this is to say nothing over the immense amount of fear and suffering and financial insecurity that the failed for-profit health care industry has hoist on the American people. That is why finally we need a public option, because competition works to improve health care delivery and access. We should understand that though the European Union is an imperfect place, they have learned many lessons of history that benefit us in real and meaningful ways. We can learn from each other, because when there's a will, there is always a way. We've made great progress in America but we should ask ourselves, can we do better? More over, do we deserve to do better?

Medical bills prompt more than 60 percent of U.S. bankruptcies
http://edition.cnn.com/...
Of course there are some people in America who would never want change because they're happy with the status quo, but usually those people are associated with the Tea Party.

If we work together we'll always find a way to improve things because we can always do better and on that note of optimism, I end this diary and thank you for your support in taking the time to read it.

Discuss

(Written by American expat living in the European Union)


(This diary is written by an American expat living in the European Union who is a male business librarian who holds a graduate library degree (MLS) and a Master's degree in business administration in marketing).

As an American librarian I am glad to be living in the European Union where library funding isn't under attack to the extent that it is back home in the United States, because readership, literacy and an open based knowledge system that is publicly funded is still valued, the same way it was in the America I grew up in. Where what you knew was considered as valuable as what you own, and therefore the library was always regarded as a valuable public good.  In the 2014 America however that seems to have changed, library budgets have become low hanging fruit for conservative local and state politicians.Louisiana is the worse case in point where Gov. Bobby Jindal has eliminated state library funding all together. Not only does it beg the question will your state be next but it asks the question what will you do  when they come for your library and your kid's summer reading program? Do you really know how many books it's really going to take to make that special child or grandchild in your life a lifelong reader. Do you think you have anywhere near those numbers of books in your private collection? Do we understand that libraries traditionally in America have always promoted literacy. Do we also understand that America's prison population traditionally has been functionally illiterate, wherein many prison inmates cannot read and write above the 6th to 7th grade reading level. Do we understand what de-funding institutions that support literacy in America does?

According to a study conducted in late April (2013) by the U.S. Department of Education and the National Institute of Literacy, 32 million adults in the U.S. can't read. That's 14 percent of the population. 21 percent of adults in the U.S. read below a 5th grade level, and 19 percent of high school graduates can't read.
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According to the Department of Justice, "The link between academic failure and delinquency, violence, and crime is welded to reading failure." The stats back up this claim: 85 percent of all juveniles who interface with the juvenile court system are functionally illiterate, and over 70 percent of inmates in America's prisons cannot read above a fourth grade level, according to BeginToRead.com.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

What is the public library? Who does it benefit and who owns it?
The answer is the public library is a repository of everyone that has ever thought and everyone who has ever written. It is part of our collective memory of who we are and how we got here. If we know more than those who went before us, then it's only because we're standing on the shoulders of those who went before us. The library is an institution, which as a public good revolves around access instead of ownership, it's value comes not from what you own but rather from what you know. It is therefore a completely socialized good, which must be seen therefore as a public good, wherein every person be it a homeless citizen or the mayor, they all have access to the same egalitarian level and scope of services. It is not just America's last best truly socialized good which is publicly owned that they're trying to take away from you. It is your very intellectual freedom that is at stake and that they through economic censorship want to remove from you. Whereupon it should be noted that the American Library Association has a wonderful freedom to read statement, which is believed comes directly from your first amendment right of free speech, which has been defended in wars, where brave American men and women have given their lives, so that we can exercise free speech and intellectual freedom. Will you now simply stand by and let that freedom be taken from you by censors, in what may become the first generation to lose intellectual freedom in America. Therefore it is strongly defended by librarians for not to do so, would be to give way to censorship. As librarians, we are trained to fight censorship in all of its guises because we understand very clearly that working families cannot begin to have access, for example to all of the books needed to turn that special child in your life into a life long reader. We know how important this is for working families, because a child who is not a lifelong reader, simply put is lost and will have very poor chances in the American knowledge based society. In a clear case where drug use, teen pregnancy and juvenile crime statistics are all closely tied with poor literacy rates. Whereas high literacy rates are closely associated with academic success, which breeds monetary success in professional life, as well as social networking. Reading is literally a life changer for any child, that is even associated with better health and a longer lifespan.  

Here is how censorship works. It's quite insidious, because the censor will come along to tell you that they have your best interests at heart and are not trying to hurt you but protect you from bad authors on the internet, on blog sites, in books, magazines, journals and other types of serial publications. In history there were book burnings. Not just in Nazi Germany, but right in the good old USA by people associated historically with what has been called the far Christian right. Books deemed to be too radical. Authors believed to be too dangerous to exercise their intellectual freedom. They too must be censored! Of course there are electronic de facto book burnings and blog burnings, but more often than not the GOP and it's supporter trolls are imposing a form of economic censorship through the de-funding of libraries. This in America has become a national epidemic.

The New York Public Library Saved His Life by Beth Hays  

Munoz, a junior-high dropout and recovering addict, had never set foot in a Library until two years ago.

Now, Tompkins Square Library is his favorite spot in the city — the place that gave him the strength to turn his life around. “The Library has saved my life. Without it, I would still be out there on the street,” says Munoz, who has been learning to read and write at free adult-literacy center at Tompkins Square Library. “The Library has given me hope and confidence,” added Munoz, who is now inspired to go on to earn his high school diploma. “The Library is the most important place for me in the whole city.”

http://www.nypl.org/...

Miami Herald - Public libraries save lives
Public libraries saved my life and made me who I am. The first one was a shabby little branch of the Miami Public Library, on Northwest Seventh Street, not too far from the Orange Bowl site. It was 1963, and those who lived in that neighborhood were poor. That library no longer exists, but I remember every detail of its interior, especially its shelves and treasure trove of books. It was a few blocks from the group home for juvenile delinquents where I'd been dumped by social workers, and it offered me refuge from constant abuse by my house parents and from the pressure to join a gang.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/...

Are you aware that teen pregnancy  rises with illiteracy wherein a recent study has shown that teen girls with low reading skills are twice as likely to get pregnant during their teen years. So ask yourself when we allow organizations like the library who support literacy for young people to be defunded, what is the real cost of that to American society?

Illiteracy is a common driver historically in poverty, that is say people who are functionally illiterate are at a real disadvantage colloquially put in the modern American esoteric knowledge economy, as are their children. We should also note that in America this means there has always been a racial component in poverty, so that people of color have been especially hard hit. So it is that people traditionally with low literacy rates have populated America's prison systems in the American slave wage economy, where their work in prisons will be paid for as little as 10 cents an hour in the modern American for profit prison industrial complex. This has its roots in chattel slavery dating back to the earliest times in colonial America.

The mass incarceration rates clearly show that in America per 100,000 incarcerates more people per capita than any other country in the world, wherein it becomes clear that nearly

"63% of all inmates are functionally illiterate according to the U.S. Department of Education, National Institute of Literacy" (2013).
http://www.statisticbrain.com/...
We've all heard the heartwarming tales of how the Ferguson public library after being underfunded for years as a public good recently received $350,000 in donations from the public. So it's clear that even if the city of Ferguson municipal government doesn't see the Ferguson public library which had only one paid staff member as a public good, this is an analysis that the public in America does not share.

The very purpose of censorship historically has always been by a few organized malcontents to impose their will on others. Most particularly on young people and children so as to grow bigotry, racism, homophobia, sexism and every contorted description of hatred. If people cannot be allowed to see both sides of the coin on every issue, what will happen is these people will develop a strange myopic view point that is almost entirely one sided, given their information access restrictions as determined by their economic class. If an author is too expensive to read, then this author will be unread. Therefore it becomes easy for authors to become the victims of censorship, because their works will simply be unavailable in a type of strangulation of intellectual freedom. As an outgrowth of this the very freedom of speech becomes at risk, where dangerous ideas and subversive authors disappear from view. The poverty of intellectual freedom which is left behind has a multiplier effect, when science is replaced by religiosity in the classroom in a position where there is no library to turn to, then these students become a captured audience for creationism supplanting science, along with revisionist history and an intolerant morality, wherein people who don't think like us, people who don't speak the way we speak, people who don't look the way we look and people who don't pray the way we pray and people who don't love the way we love are singled out in witch hunts and targeted for different treatment. This has been the whole history of the world and as it is said if we do not want to repeat history, we must learn from it. But how can we learn when open learning institutions are being de-funded in a type of open book burning by de-funding libraries, one library at a time and one state at a time. If you don't believe in the danger of this domino effect, please look at the development in recent years in states like Louisiana.

Libraries brace for funding loss
Libraries like the Missouri River Regional Library could lose tens of thousands in state funding if recent cuts are sustained.

Karen Hayden, the director of the Little Dixie Regional Library, told KRCG 13 Wednesday she canceled standing orders for some new audio books and CDs after the funding was withheld earlier this summer. She said her library system could lose about $50,000 if the cuts are maintained.
http://www.connectmidmissouri.com/...

Now some people think mistakenly that because we have the Internet we no longer need libraries, because we have more information than we can ever use. This is precisely why we need libraries, because we have more information than we can ever use. You see in librarianship there is something called pertinence, where you want information that is pertinent and retrieval where information that is found may be considered to be retrieved, so you want your information retrieval to be low and you want your pertinence of that information to be high. What the Internet offers is high retrieval with low pertinence, which is just the opposite of what you want. Anyone who has ever tried to find anything in Google will know that because the information matrices as they are constructed in Google are lacking. By contrast the National Library of Medicine classification scheme was developed over a period of 50 years for example so its data matrices and information nodes are far better organized. To get access to that you need to go to a library. Even if you think you have great information you should go to the library, because chances are you will find out you think you have great information because you don't know what you are missing. So libraries in the age of the Internet are more relevant than ever, because libraries organize information far better than anyone has historically through in depth cataloging rules through AACR2 for example.  
But it doesn't have to be that way as members of the public we can change that. All we have to do is to care, care enough to get involved, care enough to defend the free speech that is put out by the library. Care enough to defend progressive authors who add value to peoples' lives, who open up the minds of young readers and who are intent in supporting intellectual freedom through the right to read for one and all, both today, tomorrow and forever.

Let's please remember that libraries do change lives through literacy, innovation, and community engagement. To that end, let me please leave you with a link from the President of the American Librarian Assoication Barbara K. Stripling. She tells us that individuals and communities have a right to libraries.

Individuals and communities have a right to libraries: As a child, I dreamed of changing the world. And then I encountered Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy: “You must be the change you want to see in the world.” I realized that dreams become reality only when we take action. So I embarked on a lifelong path to “being” the change through librarianship.
http://www.americanlibrariesmagazine.org/...
Here's a link to another diary I wrote that deserves your attention. Thank you for your support.
http://www.dailykos.com/...
Discuss

(Written by a Caucasian, American expat living in Germany).

                                    THE AMERICAN 200 YEAR RACE WAR!!
The German magazine Der Spiegel's English language edition is the equivalent of TIME magazine. As I'm a professional librarian and an American expat living in Germany, I've been asked by librarians often to review articles and I am pleased to do so, as what emerges out of this Spiegel magazine series is the ugly history of Ferguson, Missouri  and indeed America's past of chattel slavery and sanctioned militarized police state violence against African American males under color of law.


Spiegel quote: In Ferguson: "IF WE DON'T DESTROY......THEY WON'T PAY ATTENTION".

Spiegel quote: "BUT IT IS ACCURATE TO SAY THAT IT IS MOSTLY WHITE MEN WHO SHOOT YOUNG AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE SERVICE OF THE STATE".

Spiegel quotes Ferguson whites: They need to finally learn how to behave,""They are crazy". one woman shrieks, "LIKE ANIMALS"
 
Spiegel quote: Chicago pastor and friend Jeremiah Wright, who had accused the US government of crimes against blacks. "GOD DAMN AMERICA......FOR KILLING INNOCENT PEOPLE" he intoned from the pulpit in a sermon that threatened to derail Obama's candidacy.
Is Pastor Jeremiah Wright correct? Does America have a long history which in fact dates back to hundreds of years of killing innocent people?
Update - "Here is the photograph. Take a good look at Jesse Washington’s stiffened body tied to the tree. He had been sentenced to death for the murder of a white woman. No witnesses saw the crime; he allegedly confessed but the truth of the allegations would never be tested. The grand jury took just four minutes to return a guilty verdict, but there was no appeal, no review, no prison time. Instead, a courtroom mob dragged him outside, pinned him to the ground, and cut off his testicles. A bonfire was quickly built and lit. For two hours, Jesse Washington — alive — was raised and lowered over the flames. Again and again and again. City officials and police stood by, approvingly. According to some estimates, the crowd grew to as many as 15,000. There were taunts, cheers and laughter. Reporters described hearing “shouts of delight.”

"Jesse Washington was just one black man to die horribly at the hands of white death squads. Between 1882 and 1968 — 1968! — there were 4,743 recorded lynchings in the US. About a quarter of them were white people, many of whom had been killed for sympathizing with black folks.

http://www.dailykos.com/...

So the Spiegel provides an international perspective which is missing in the for-profit American plutocrat owned media in a clear case where there's no publicly owned media on America's publicly owned airwaves. Therefore I invite you to give a careful reading to this groundbreaking Spiegel magazine article series on racism in America, emanating from a history of chattel slavery that Americans live in denial of and will not address through reparations or any sensible redress, as the country is addicted to the economic benefits provided to those who hold white privilege and profit daily from the racist American militarized police state's actions, acting under color of law. Educated Europeans have come to see America as a country of angry white conservative haters in a nation under the heel of a racist American militarized police force which is dominated by the death penalty and three strikes law (even in Blue states) which primarily target poor people and people of color. The country courtesy of Tea Party headlines is full of intolerance, bigotry and open hatred in an out of control gun culture, wherein 11,000 firearm deaths annually are considered the norm and acceptable collateral damage. In a nation where the psychiatric state of fear has become the norm that allows 40 million of its citizens that inhumanely don't have access to medical insurance; while the US spends more money on the military than the rest of the world combined in a neo-feudalist 2014 America. In a clear case wherein a Princeton University study concluded that the United States is no longer a functioning democracy but functions as an Oligarchy.
TMC
ByBrendan JamesPublishedApril 18, 2014,
 "A new study from Princeton spells bad news for American democracy—namely,
 that it no longer exists".
Spiegel quote: Indeed, the kinds of deadly events that took place in Ferguson and Cleveland have now convinced many blacks that it wasn't Obama who was right back in the spring of 2008. Rather, it was his angry pastor, Jeremiah Wright.
Spiegel quote: The American problem has many different facets, BUT IT IS ACCURATE TO SAY THAT IT IS MOSTLY WHITE MEN WHO SHOOT YOUNG AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE SERVICE OF THE STATE. The actor Morgan Freeman recently told GERMAN NEWS MAGAZINE STERN THAT THE COLOR OF THE LAW IS WHITE.
Spiegel gives us insights that are both revealing and shocking to members of the white privileged class who profit on a daily basis from institutionalized state racism of the type that has turned America into a militarized police racist pariah state. This is turning America into an international laughing stock, as a cauldron of hatred, political division and the world's leading racist militarized police state, though it has only 5% of the world's population has 25% of the world's inmates, the majority of whom are persons of color, most particularly African American males. Though they're only 6% of America's population. In many states African American males comprise the majority of prison inmates, people on probation and parole, wherein a public de facto type of lynching through the use of firearms has become the norm, to the point where white America is becoming more desensitized to racial violence perpetrated by the state, because they're profiting from it at the expense of African Americans.
 
Spiegel quote: Six years after Obama's race speech, more than a quarter of blacks in American live below the poverty line. Among whites, that figure is 12.8 percent. According to the Pew Research Center, the median annual income of a white household was about $27,000 higher than that of a black household in 2011, with the difference having grown over the course of the last several decades. The black "island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity," which Martin Luther King complained about 50 years ago, still exists in 2014. Every third African-American child born between 1985 and 2000 grew up in a neighborhood marked by extreme poverty.
Huffington Post Headline: Thousands March On NYPD Headquarters To Protest Police Killings
We must understand that Europeans in their history are taught that one of the reasons the American Revolution was fought was because Britain was in the process of abolishing slavery in America. This was one of the substantial causes of the American Revolutionary War by the American monied class, who were primarily slave owners, (who were also engaged in exterminating indigenous people) which unfortunately included the ranks of some of America's founding fathers.
For the Americans the American Revolutionary War was essentially two parallel wars: while the war in the east was a struggle against British rule, the war in the west was an "Indian War". The newly proclaimed United States competed with the British for control of the territory of Native American nations east of the Mississippi River. The colonial interest in westward colonization, as opposed to the British policy of maintaining peace by designating areas reserved to Native Americans west of the Appalachians following the end of the Seven Years' War, was one cause of the revolution. Most Native Americans who joined the struggle sided with the British, as they hoped to win the opportunity to reduce settlement and expansion onto their land.  
THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR WAS THE MOST EXTENSIVE AND DESTRUCTIVE INDIAN WAR IN THE UNITED STATES HISTORY!


http://en.wikipedia.org/...

When the Americans won the Revolutionary War, it proved to be the harbinger of death for the Native American peoples because under the Westphalia system of international law, this left the new American government free without international interference to embark on a campaign of genocide against Native American peoples. In America today it is only so called political dissidents such as MIT professor Noam Chomsky who speak out on this tragic point of American history. It should be noted that a perfidious United States government who broke every treaty they ever made to Native American peoples reaching into modern day which is highlighted by Native American peoples from the Plains, having received by treaty lands in the Black Hills in perpetuity which lasted only until gold was found there. Then that land was stolen by the US government. This created a state of war between the US army and Native American peoples wherein the US Army was defeated at the battle of Little Big Horn. This caused a false history to be taught in American schools of a heroic last stand by General George Armstrong Custer and his men, when in fact battlefield archeology has proven there was no heroic last stand and the US Army suffered it's most humiliating defeat by a superior force of American warriors on American soil during that battle, which by revenge led to the battle of Wounded Knee which battlefield archeology reveals wasn't a battle at all, but rather a Holocaust-type extermination campaign against Native peoples to include large numbers of women and children by the glorious US cavalry. If our American readers are going to understand this Spiegel article, we have to make an effort to understand what educated Europeans have and are being taught about the United States. Otherwise we will lack the background to properly put the Spiegel's article into a substantial perspective leading to an understanding and sensitivity, where we must try to in the spirit of intellectual freedom have tolerance, so as to allow ourselves to understand their perspective on our country and its history. A history as it turns out that we ourselves may want to turn away from, as it is in its plain unvarnished truth most certainly ugly, oppressive and bloody. Of course the educated Europeans haven't forgotten the tragedy, courtesy of the US Army that was perpetrated during the Trail of Tears.

As Americans, we must understand this is the history that Europeans and people from other highly developed countries have been taught about America in our history of slavery and the American history of wars of extermination against Native American peoples. Is it any wonder why their press and their media see us so differently than we in self-congratulatory terms see ourselves? And why the Plutocrat owned corporatist media has wrapped the American people in a red-white-and-blue brainwashed media circus cocoon, so we're never allowed to understand that the rest of the educated world has come to see America as a pariah nation given it's history of slavery, campaigns of extermination and violence against Native American peoples and African American slavery.  

Native American Reservation Poverty is shocking and is kept hidden away, out of sight and out of mind in geographically often remotely located rural reservations which have sadly become islands of poverty to essentially half or more its proud Native American residents.

They've been taught that the US government has tried to subjugate and exterminate Native American culture from the face of the earth for all time and eternity. This has led to various situations to include the fact that US government has admitted to the theft of native lands and offered to pay compensation of 10,000 dollars per tribal member in the area of Monuments Park. Though these proud Native American peoples of the Plains are among the most severely economically disadvantaged people on the planet in any highly industrialized country, they have turned down this money because their sacred ancestral lands were never for sale to the US government or anyone else at any price. Though this seems strange to Americans, Native American peoples never consider their ancestors to be for sale at any price. The US government simply put refuses to accept this reality in its wholesale theft of Native lands to include the Black Hills of the Dakotas which includes the area of Mount Rushmore.

The sad fact is everything in America is always for sale and nothing is scared. Not even ones' ancestors. Ergo the fact that Native peoples in the matter of their ancestral scared lands do not subscribe to the American notion of commerce uber alles is foreign to Americans but is well understood by the peoples of Europe, especially the Germans.

(This understanding has arrived at in part through German literature of Native American culture by famous German writers such as Karl May who though he wrote fictionalized tales of the old American West where until near the end of his life he had never even been (in his book Winnetou which sold 200 million copies worldwide)and in doing so positively portrayed the honor of the proud Native American peoples in a way that has for over 100 years relentlessly captured the imaginations of Europeans. (Imagine if in literature, that is books and movies the Indians were always portrayed as positively as being the good guys and the cowboys were always portrayed as being the bad boys, what effect would that have on our culture? Well guess what, you don't have to imagine. All you have to do is look to Germany because that exactly is what's happened here, in no small part due to the writings of authors like Karl May.)

Especially the Germans who have become completely infatuated to the point of a positive obsession of everything related to Native American history and culture wherein throughout the last century when German children play Cowboys and Indians, everyone always wants to be the Native Americans because Karl May always portrayed Native Americans as being the good guys and the cavalry were always portrayed as the bad guys. So it is even in writings of fiction, the hearts of the German people always go on the side of the Native American people as opposed to the dominate contemporary American culture. In doing so the German people who have their own history as a very tribal nation, hold as a nation Native Americans in the highest regard and as such see with great condemnation the fact that the US government has perfidiously broken every treaty ever signed with the Native American peoples).

Therefore the Germans understand this very well. The fact that Native Americans continue to resist the fraud perpetrated against them by the United States government to this very day, and the people of the European Union (which has a population greater than that of the US and whose currency the Euro rivals the power of the US dollar) has an entirely different perspective on human rights, not shared by the dominant American culture on issues of racism, and even the death penalty. It should be noted, the death penalty in the European Union has been completely outlawed for decades and they will not even export drugs to the United States that may be used to inflict a death penalty.

We must accept that educated Europeans are taught that
during the Revolutionary War, the ranks of the British Army were full of soldiers of African descent fighting for what they believed was to end American slavery, a fact that would be echoed later in America's own Civil War. Yet the history of the struggle of American civil rights went on long after the Civil War to the Voting Rights Act to Dr. Martin Luther King. So it is in a continuation of the civil rights' struggle we find ourselves as guests of the Spiegel staff, in a ride along with Jurmael in Ferguson, Missouri, the 2014 America. Here is what we see and unless we avert our eyes, some of this seen through the perspective of European eyes will be ugly in reviewing the true face of bigotry, racism and the ugly American in the year 2014.

This is what the European media tells Europeans everyday... but we in America never hear about that through the US plutocrat owned corporatist media. Why is that?

Spiegel quote form part one of Spiegel series:
The car is now driving past large, old wooden homes with fresh-painted verandas and well-groomed front yards, small oases of order. "Look right up there," Jurmael says as he points to the front door of a house. There's a bronze plaque on the door, as there are at many homes in the area. It notes that a slave owner once lived in the home.........The plaques are not intended as memorials. Instead they appear to reflect the pride some of these homeowners have in their house's history. The neighborhood is the city's Historic District and is a tourist attraction. Even today, though, the district is inhabited exclusively by white people........

In the days leading up to Brown's funeral on Monday, white signs bearing the slogan of a new movement had been posted in the front yards of the former slave-owners' district. They read, "I love Ferguson." On this particular morning, the organizers of the initiative have gathered at the Corner Coffee House. A long line formed at one table with people waiting to buy signs and t-shirts. There's not a single African American in the cafe -- not among the guests or among the service personnel. Only the guy in the kitchen is black. The people gathering here are part of what could be described as the white countermovement.

Ferguson is a divided town like too many towns in America today. Maybe it's a bit like your town and maybe you're one of the people who like it or not profit from white privilege which has it roots in America's slave history.
Quote from part 2 of Spiegel series:
Marley's Bar & Grill, the only restaurant in the area that has remained open despite the protests, is just 500 meters away from the police station, but it is a totally different world. All 15 people sitting at the counter are white. Three of the televisions inside are showing ice hockey, while just one is tuned to CNN. Suddenly, "Breaking News" begins flashing on the screen: "Police car attacked in Ferguson."

Voices become raised at the counter. "They are crazy. They need to finally learn how to behave," one woman shrieks. "Like animals," her partner adds.

In the history of America, violence has occasionally paved the way for political improvements for the country's black population. When the escaped slave Shadrach Minkins was captured in Boston in 1851 under the Fugitive Slave Act, for example, slavery opponents stormed the courthouse, assaulted the court marshals and freed Minkins. The incident marked the beginning of a shift in attitudes

Please let's understand as the African American population stands at about 12.6% in America today wherein approximately 50% of that population is male, this would by way of basic arithmetic mean that the male African American population is, on or about 6%. These are the people who make up essentially 40% of the nation's inmates in accordance with the quote below. We can see this isn't a case of something being rotten in Denmark whose prison population is per capita ten times lower, but rather a case of something being rotten in the American racist militarized police state and the prison industrial complex. "In comparison with the US, Denmark has 73 prisoners for every 100,000 residents, while the US has 730."
Spiegel quote: Almost half of all murder victims and about 40 percent of the US prison population are black, even though the African-American share of the population is just 12.6 percent. And in many states, those with a criminal record forfeit many rights, such as access to welfare, for example. In 10 states, those who have been convicted of a criminal offense lose their right to vote for life.
America when it comes to social welfare is one of the least generous countries, so single people in America unlike essentially all countries in Western Europe, already can't get cash benefit to do things like pay rent, because the plutocrat owned American state wants to press these people into forced low wage slave work poverty to keep from being homeless. But now in 10 states anyone who has been convicted of a serious crime can't get any meager assistance to include medical and food stamps, therein ensuring they continue to be trapped in a cycle of criminal recidivism in order to survive at great cost to the society. A society which has become an international pariah state in the eyes of most educated people in Western Europe especially in view of the history of slavery and wars of extermination against Native and African American people on the territory of the United States. Also in terms of social welfare and human rights, where America is the only major industrialized country in the world that doesn't have universal medical coverage; doesn't have job protected paid maternity leave by right of law. So it is no accident that America given its history of chattel slavery in the king of the low or no benefit wage slave economy,and concurrently a cauldron of racist militarized police state racism, viewed as an international badge of shame and pariah state across Western Europe.  

There are no official govt statistics as to how many American citizens police kill annually, that is comprehensive. Though to be clear the exact number is well known to government, to police and the police unions, especially as a matter of accountancy every time a member of the police causes the death of an American, the police union will spend between 25 to $35,000 in legal fees on behalf of the member of the police involved in the killing. So as a matter of straightforward responsible accountancy and bookkeeping the number of persons killed by police in America is very well known by everyone except the American public. Why is that? Who benefits from that? Why as members of the public and voters do we tolerate this lack of accountability from our public servants, who work for us? Please let me invite to read. "No comprehensive, reliable database of police shootings exists" February 19, 2013  By Pat Schneider

CNN - August 19th 2014
Erin Burnett of CNN speaks with Michael Bell.

"Erin says: There is still no national set of statistics for how many people are killed by police officers."

http://edition.cnn.com/...  
While it is clear that every police death denotes the tragic loss of life of a human being, shouldn't we ask ourselves why the govt given the statistics cited below turns each and every one of those tragic deaths into a media event. Concurrently the same govt will not in any one comprehensive source provide the statistics for the number of people killed in America annually by police. Why is it that in the United States we are not allowed in a so called free press to know what that statistic is? Who benefits from this? Who profits from that status quo and dearth of information? Most importantly why do we tolerate this? Last but not least, in view of the fact that crime has been going down since the '90's, given the statistics below of in line of duty police deaths, is the militarization of America's police warranted, and is the police participation in the Pentagon's 1044 program providing military grade equipment justified, and indeed reasonable.
American Line of Duty Police Deaths for 2014: 67
Assault: 1

Automobile accident: 15
Fire: 1

Gunfire: 27

Gunfire (Accidental): 1
Heart attack: 8
Motorcycle accident: 2
Struck by vehicle: 3
Vehicle pursuit: 2
Vehicular assault: 7

Link: http://www.odmp.org/...

The propaganda put out by the racist American militarized police state on the neo-fedualist American airways plutocrat owned media telling us TALL tales of woe of the mean streets of America, where gang members roam the streets with Uzi's and Tech9's and monster built AK47 rifles who often have police out gunned and applying for the Pentagon's 1044 program for more tanks, heavy body armor, Kevlar helmets and helicopters but wait! Hold on to your hats sport fans! The crime rate in America according to federal statistics from the FBI has been falling since the early part of the 1990s all over America and the number of police deaths annually due to gun fire nationwide is a few dozen.

So you see in just the same way the American people have been lied into wars, we're being lied into the militarization of the police. Indeed it maybe said by some that though it may not violate the letter, it certainly violates the spirit of the Posse Comitatus actwhich states the military isn't supposed to be used to police America.

Only when a person can't tell the difference between the military and the police by looking at them anymore, what good is having the Posse Comitatus act, when the Pentagon has militarized the police substantially through its 1044 program. We in America have since become a laughing stock in the international legal scholarly community. It was bad enough that state governors could use the National Guard when wearing their state hat to conduct law enforcement to dance around the Posse Comitatus act to commit tragedies which has a history with the shooting of unarmed students protesting the Vietnam War at Kent State.  
For anyone too young to remember or know the reason why Kent State is important is because in America militarized police state violence has a history of repeating itself. Therefore it is important for people to remember our fallen brothers and sisters now, always and forever, because they laid down their lives for us, for our democracy. This is the legacy of the progressive hippie movement.

Why do National Guard soldiers have US Army printed on their uniforms?
 Though the National Guard even when I was serving it in, it was always concurrently deemed to be a reserve of the United States Army. So it was that my military ID card said "Armed Forces of the United States". Also under the Insurrection act the U.S. military may be used to act as Police force on American streets.  

The law changed the name of the chapter from "Insurrection" to "Enforcement of the Laws to Restore Public Order." http://en.wikipedia.org/...

 Is it any wonder that the international legal community looks at these laws as an international laughing stock of a racist militarized police state, wherein to quote Morgan Freeman who once played God in a movie  told the German magazine Stern that "the color of the law in America is WHITE". That really says it all, doesn't it?

Ask yourself why is America putting out a militarized police response in the face of a low police death rate and falling crime statistics that have been dropping off for the better part of 2 decades. Why is it that America has the highest incarceration rate of any major industrialized country in the world per 100,000? Who profits from that and why?? Wherein the majority of the inmates, particularly in the for-profit prisons are members of the minority community, particularly African American males.

Racial Disparities in Incarceration
* African Americans now constitute nearly 1 million of the total 2.3 million incarcerated population
* African Americans are incarcerated at nearly six times the rate of whites
            http://www.naacp.org/...
Faced with this reality, it's difficult not to agree with the Spiegel's conclusion which is that African American males in the United States are being openly hunted by an increasingly militarized (primarily) white police force, where white men in the service of the state are killing young black men with regular de facto summary executions taking place on American streets even in broad daylight of African American males,  even if they are unarmed as was the case with 18 year old Michael Brown in America's racist militarized police state, which acts and looks more like an army of occupation in terrorist style terrorizing the African American community.
Spiegel quote: Making matters worse is the discrimination practiced by state institutions such as law enforcement. The chances that a young black man will be shot dead by the police, for example, is 21 times greater than it is for young white males. The death of 18-year-old Michael Brown is far from abnormal. Just 10 days ago, a 12-year-old boy was shot and killed by a police officer in Cleveland because he was playing with a toy pistol at a playground.
Spiegel quote: Their expressions reveal hate and the word "fuck" is everywhere, in combination with words such as police, system, judiciary, government and power.  
'If We Don't Destroy ... They Won't Pay Attention'
Spiegel quote: Yet peaceful movements, and the courts, have also played a role. Rosa Parks' refusal to move to the back of a public bus on Dec. 1, 1955 -- which led to a Supreme Court ruling that segregation on public transport was unconstitutional -- is just one example. But it was the civil rights movement led by Martin Luther King Jr. that achieved perhaps the greatest victory for racial equality in the form of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, using peaceful protests and civil disobedience. Even so, there was a threat of violence in the background, in the form of Malcolm X and his followers.
"The U.S. militarization of police displayed in Ferguson has been going on across America for decades" by Meteor Blades

"When cops treat people the way an occupying army would, the consequences for citizens, for constitutional protections, for the police themselves are exactly the opposite of what is needed in a civilized society. "Serve and protect" is transformed into a sick joke."

Spiegel quote: At the same time, it is also true that Obama has never really presented himself as an advocate of African-Americans during his time in office. He learned during a very early stage of his presidency the kind of fury he might unleash if he commented on conflicts with a racial element.
Here's the link the full Spiegel article for anyone that is interested, it's entitled:
"Racial Divide: The Tragedy of America's First Black President"

The Spiegel quote above correctly identifies the fact that though Pres. Obama (whom I voted for twice)  has been seen to disappoint many of those who have voted for him. Please let's understand he is the President of a country which doesn't have for the most part a national police force. This is not an accident by any stretch of the imagination, because what happened in Ferguson with Michael Brown could not have happened anywhere in America, if America had a federal nationwide police force say critics. Now whatever it is that we may like to think about that or not, the effect of that is clear, which is that police forces in America are primarily local. This system of not having a federal nationwide police force has kept the federal government to some extent dis-empowered, while concurrently empowering local racist rubes in places like Ferguson to apply their trade and to sow hatred and division, along with their contributions of a racist militarized American police force that has a history dating back to chattel slavery in places like Ferguson, Missouri.

One of the problems that the media never wants to report on is the fact that only 1% of police departments require a four year college degree. This means there are more discipline problems with American police.

    FBI.gov - Research estimated that less than 1 percent of all local law enforcement agencies require a 4-year degree. Also in 2014 why would the FBI rely on a 2006 report on it's website?
    http://www.fbi.gov/....

    Only two states mandate higher education for officers: Minnesota and Wisconsin both require associate’s degrees.  Other states require a minimum of a high school diploma or GED.  It’s up to the individual agency to meet or exceed that requirement – which many do.  According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1% of all local police departments require a 4-year college degree; 15% require a 2-year college degree or some college.
    http://blog.discoverpolicing.org/....

There are a number of recent studies that provide evidence in support of the fact that police officers that are college graduates tend to have fewer disciplinary problems and tend to resort to force at a lower rate than police officers who are not college graduates. Whereupon it should be noted that 17% of police agencies, particularly in rural areas don't always even require a high school diploma or its equivalent. Clearly it would help professionalism in police agencies to hire better educated police officers.

--------------
Western Europe has learned its lessons from WWII well but America hasn't.

The US government to this very day has never offered financial compensation to Japanese-Americans who they wrongly interned in World War 2 as so-called "enemy aliens" under doubtlessly racist policies of the US government. Likewise many tens of thousands of Italian-American families and German-American families were are also classified as so-called "enemy aliens" during World War 2. None of which even to this very day have received any adequate financial reparations. This is all part of the history of shameful historic racist and xenophobic practices of the US government which were never acknowledged by reparations so that history could be interminably practiced against future generations of so-called "enemy aliens" who would lose all of their constitutional protections at the hands of a historically xenophobic and racist policies of the US government.

To be clear educated people everywhere know that the German Spiegel's article series which this diary has reviewed is to be read in a context whereupon it's axiomatically clear that Germany has learned well its lessons from World War 2. This fact has become clear to educated people all over the world as peace has broken out across Western Europe. Germany has also learned the lessons of history and has now become a progressive nation and the richest country in the European Union who is the world's second leading exporting nation in the world, where its workers receive universal medical, dental and unlike in the US receive by law paid vacation, paid sick leave and also paid maternity leave. Germany has taken responsibility for her past in providing reparations to nations and people that it's wronged. We however in America have made no effort in this regard, either with Native American peoples or people of African ancestry or Japanese people and others who were wrongly imprisoned in internment camps during World War 2. To reiterate again, this includes no adequate compensation has been given to persons of Japanese ancestry wrongly put into internment camps during WWII as is presented in this video by famous actor George Takei (who starred in the original Star Trek television series). America must come to grips with its history of xenophobia, racism and oppression. Isn't it time that America take responsibility and finally provide meaningful reparations to people that it has wronged, because until that happens we will continue to see the type of tragedies that we have seen in Ferguson, Missouri.

While it is true, we can all be proud Americans this doesn't necessarily mean that we have to be proud of everything that America does or has done.
(3 minute interview from George Takei as a Japanese American interment camp victim during World War 2 classified as "an enemy non-alien")

Quote from George Takei: "You can't imprison people for their race but that's what we were imprisoned for."
Unlike Germany which has taken responsibility for its past wrongful actions during World War 2 by (among other things) paying reparations, the United States has never paid adequate reparations to any group. It is simply put nothing short of being a reparation's denier, to say yes that was wrong but it happened long ago therefore I shouldn't be held to account, in terms of my ability to continue to profit from those past wrongs, the booty of which I have inherited either individually or collectively in a case of joint and several liability. We must say that wealth extorted through slavery and lands wrongly confiscated by the US government, especially from native peoples, are still stolen property even to this very day.

This comment below is taken from a quote by Meteor Blades on a story unrelated to this article, but his post nonetheless makes interesting reading as it correctly refers to the principle of persons being in possession of stolen property and outlines further the principle of and need for reparations from those who suffered from theft and genocide.

I suspect you view the situation with...  

…American Indians similarly, adopting the view that there is no connection between today's generations and what happened oh-so-supposedly-long-ago.

Except, of course, little things like the fact most people who own property in this country today are in receipt of stolen goods. If you buy a car from somebody who stole that car, you can't say, "Well, I didn't steal it, I paid for it, so it's mine." In fact, under the law, it's not yours. But that law, of course, conveniently does not apply to land stolen from Indians. We're just supposed to "get over it" because nobody today is to blame. Certainly that's true when it comes to the outright genocide of past centuries. But the blame assigns to the unwillingness to accept that the genocide and theft has given advantages and continues to those who weren't Indians or slaves (or both).

Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

by Meteor Blades on Thu Feb 05, 2015 at 12:32:02 AM CET
http://www.dailykos.com/...

Until we do take responsibility by paying adequate reparations, the tragedy of American xenophobia and bigotry will continue to remain profitable from those who shamefully profit from it and advocate from others who like themselves continue to be able to profit from it.
----------------------------------------------------

Below there is a comment from a reader of this diary who disagrees with this postulate to which this diary asks you to judge for yourself.
                                                    Title:
Spiegel quote: It is mostly white men who shoot young African Americans in the service of the state.

Isn't this sort of as obvious as "It was mostly Germanic Aryans who shot down Jews in the service of the Homeland (State)" years ago?......

" My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974
by gchaucer2 on Sat Dec 13, 2014 at 07:46:51 PM CET
http://www.dailykos.com/...

Here is a reader who asks essentially why has the Daily Kos progressive community and self-moderation broken down to allow something that resembles a flabbergasting display of parochial and xenophobic trolling of the type we associate with wingnut sites ordinarily. To which I would add that the history of racism in America seems to have infected every corner of this nation and if we are the safe guard the gains of made by Dr King and others, we must practice eternal vigilance even in our ranks wherein we must remember the words of Dr. King.

So I ask that our readers support the issues raised in my article please.

flabbergasted by the parochialism and xenophobia in the comments to this diary. Wtf. Since when do Kossacks not welcome with open arms and ears critical insights into American's challenges, as seen through foreigners' eyes? Reading the comments here makes me feel like I've stumbled into some anti-foreigner, Know Nothing offshoot of RedState.

by BvueDem on Sun Dec 14, 2014 at 03:11:27 AM PST
http://www.dailykos.com/...

The criticism of the Spiegel article from another reader translatorpro below speaks for itself with the excerpt from their quote. A link to the full comment offered below.
This may not come across in the English translation, and I'm pretty sure he did not get out of the car to check himself. That means if he got it wrong, then it is more due to sloppy background research than to intentional misinformation. Der Spiegel has a large research department, but I think they dropped the ball on this one. If you have a complaint, why not write to the journalist, who is in the Washington D.C. bureau of Der Spiegel: Markus Feldenkirchen, 1202 National Press Building, Washington, D.C. 20 045, Tel. (001202) 3475222, Fax 3473194

„Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht
by translatorpro on Mon Dec 15, 2014 at 02:14:15 PM CET
http://www.dailykos.com/...

As citizens of a democracy we have a duty to speak out in defense of human rights and constitutional freedoms. That is exactly what this diary has attempted to do. Both from a historic and contemporary perspective in keeping with long standing democratic progressive values.
I don't understand why so many commenters think only Americans can criticize America.  Der Spiegel hasn't said anything that hasn't already been said in American media.  It is always hurtful when "outsiders" are critical:  it's ok for me to criticize my mom, for example.  But if anyone outside my immediate family dares to criticize her, they have earned my wrath. Weird how that works.

by Emmy on Sat Dec 13, 2014 at 10:15:10 PM PST
http://www.dailykos.com/...

To be clear we in America have made real progress in many areas. However before we get too self-congratulatory shouldn't we ask can we do better? While it is true, we can all be proud Americans this doesn't necessarily mean that we have to be proud of everything that America does or has done.

Dr King has shown us the way when he reminded us that those who have gone before us in facing the forces of xenophobia, racism and bigotry of all sorts have said "enough".
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PS: Please note, this diary is being heavily trolled. Your support is much appreciated! Thank you.

Discuss

(Written by an American expat living in the European Union)

Here's the answer that the American corporatist oligarchs in your face wealth machine wants to provide entertainment services for desperate, poor working class people to injure themselves by throwing themselves at their glass ceiling in futile attempts to shatter their glass and take the loot home which is they know impossible. So what winds up happening is these poor desperate people throwing themselves against their glass ceiling winds up creating advertising revenue along with entertainment for  the corporatist banksters looking to profit from more audacious human misery and desperation. In any case they're absolutely going to be insured for any losses.  
The bottom line is their business risks are socialized, and their profits are privatized. A third of all homes in America are in under water mortgages to the point of $1.2 trillion, and we have a student loan bubble building of approx another $1.2 trillion. So you see the Wall Street bankster suit and tie generation have put us in deep trouble. And now working class people when using public transport are being taunted by millions of dollars in a bullet proof impregnable glass case on public display.

So here are people who use public transport, not all but many of whom can't afford a car. At least some of whom are homeless and in pain, because they can't afford medical care. You know what the Wall Street corporatist suit and tie generation pigs who in 2008 nearly collapsed the American economy and therewith the world economy, because they stole more money than in all of the bank robberies in the history of the United States put together and now put millions of dollars of (guess what) your money in glass cases, taunting desperate people to smash up against it. So as to provide them with advertising, infotainment for their product. The reason I say it's your money and not their money they're putting on display is because they stole it from you in the oligarch's wage slave economy and if too much of it gets stolen as they're too big to fail, they're going to force you through the best government money can buy to bail them out yet once again. They expect to shove it down our throats again whether we like it or not. They don't care how many families they will destroy in the process, because they don't respect our humanity. To them we're just useful fools without human dignity.  

Well you know what, there is in the Democratic Party something called the still alive progressive hippie movement which says we told you so. We told you this would happen. If you get into bed with the Wall Street suit and tie generation and all of their corrupt bought politicians that they were going to poison mother earth, poison your food (think GMOs) and start a chain of Vietnam-like for-profit wars that will be endless because America spends more money on the military than the rest of the world combine. So when you listen to the above video, ask yourself did the dirty f*king hippies really get it right? If they did, remember you too are one of us.

Join our group at the Daily Kos here and follow us and please log in to Facebook to like our Facebook page because we need your support. Remember we are the wing of the  Democratic Party and the progressive movement that has never sold out to the K-Street lobbyists and remained loyal to the American working class dream, loyal to mother earth as the first environmentalists and loyal to the party of peace and love, because happiness and integrity is our goal instead of money.  

Please remember that in America 80% of political campaigns are financed with private capital, primarily financial capital from Wall Street and to continue the misery, once we send someone to Capitol Hill the K-Street lobbyists try to buy anyone that's elected in a clear case where of the best government that money can buy, the progressive hippie movement and the Democratic party stand alone as never having sold out American working class values, never having sold out Mother Earth as the first environmentalists. We are the only part of the Democratic Party with the kind of integrity that you can believe in. That's a difference worth organizing and worth voting for in the Democratic Party.  

Please remember to be a flower child there's no age requirement. Being a flower child is about putting out good copacetic vibes and trusting the universe. It's about understanding that happiness is more valuable than money and that peace and love isn't just the way, it's the only sustainable way to protect people and to protect mother earth. Join us at Progressive Hippies because you are already one of us. Welcome back home to the tribe of true progressive Americans with integrity in the American body politic. The status quo dominant culture has given us 40 million without medical insurance, 45 million on food stamps, 132 million without dental insurance and though we have only 5% of the world's population, we have 25% of the world's inmates. To reiterate in 2008, the Wall Street suit and tie generation collapsed the American economy and therewith very nearly the world banking system. Don't you think it's time to turn away from the dominant culture, to tune in and drop out as a member of America's counterculture because the dirty f*king hippies were right.


PS: Back in the day when classic rock was king, Creedence Clearwater Revival wrote  a song called 'Fortunate Son' because everyone knew even back then in Vietnam style wars of choice for profit, how it is that the fortunate sons and daughters of oligarchs are treated. I think this song should be given the credence of a Black Water warning, it presents as being applicable to Iraq and all corporatist future coming wars for profit. To which I invite you to read the lyrics and sing along because truth has no sell by or expiration date. So it's as true today as it was the day it was penned.

Progressive hippies dare to imagine something better for America and for the world. Join us. It's the American progressive hippie thing to do. It's an act of civic patriotism to imagine.
John Lennon we love you man!! :-)

Peace out.

A message from Progressive Hippies as the last best hope for the American working class dream.
(ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ©)

Discuss

(Written by an American expat living in the European Union)

Edited and republished at the request of readers.

In New Hampshire, a GOP state Rep. Steve Vaillancourt poses as the dapper don turned self appointed defacto beauty pageant judge. Pronounces Democratic incumbent Ann McLane Kuster "as ugly as sin" and therefore too ugly to win!! But in saying so, he says he hopes he hasn't offended sin!! So it is the GOP tries to WIN UGLY AGAIN. By turning this congressional race into his own private circus where in he hoists his ageism and sexist pronouncements on us in a orgy bordering on a misogynistic theater of the absurd!!

Steve Vaillancourt, a Republican state representative for New Hampshire attempts to turn the New Hampshire's 2nd district congressional race into his own personal defacto beauty pageant wherein he acts as the self-appointed judge, wherein he pronounces in his judgement that the determining factor in the race will come down to the matter of his judgement that incumbent Democratic state Rep. Ann McLane Kuster is "as ugly as sin" and cannot win. In a continuation of his sexist remarks, he goes on to shockingly say that drag queens even look better than her and in doing so tries to create what may only be seen as a circus-like beauty pageant atmosphere to grab headlines in yet another desperate Republican bid to win ugly.

58 year old Rep. Ann McLane Kuster is the Democratic incumbent for the New Hampshire 2nd congressional district who is running for re-election against her Republican opponent 31 year old Marilinda Garcia.


New Hampshire State Rep. Steve Vaillancourt wrote a long blog post predicting the outcome of the race in the state's 2nd Congressional District on one factor: incumbent Democratic Rep. Ann McLane Kuster's looks.

"Let's be honest. Does anyone not believe that Congressman Annie Kuster is as UGLY AS SIN? AND I HOPE I HAVEN'T OFFENDED SIN," Vaillancourt wrote on NH Insider, a New Hampshire politics blog.

By contrast, he wrote, Kuster's Republican challenger, State Rep. Marilinda Garcia, is "one of the most attractive women on the political scene anywhere, not so attractive as to be intimidating [sic], but truly attractive."

At first glance most progressives on it's face would not take Rep. Steve Vaillancourt seriously. However, in the face of this type of sexism if we do not take his behavior seriously, we do so at our peril because it isn't possible to let this type of behavior go on unanswered. In fact the simple truth is this gives new meaning to the charge that Republicans are quite prepared to win ugly if need be but win at all costs by going negative.

So where is the backlash? Why Mr and Mrs Progressive America do we tolerate this type of hatred from the GOP from a guy whose conceit knows no end. In proclaiming himself as a type of defacto self-appointed beauty pageant judge turning a congressional race into his own private circus and theater of the absurd, whereupon he hoists his ageism and sexist pronouncements on us in a clear case where if these were two male candidates it wouldn't even be possible to have such a vacuous conversation in a congressional campaign where real people have real problems that we can ill afford to have hi-jacked by the GOP election circus agenda. In a disgraceful showing of ageism and sexism which initially was not repudiated by either State Rep. Marilinda Garcia or the GOP party, both of them initially were prepared to profit from their silence while they were waiting to see what effect this may have (if any) on the latest polling numbers. Having waited and first profited from it for 3 days, Rep. Garcia finally came out and repudiated Rep. Vaillancourt's remarks as sexist. In doing so, Rep. Garcia in good GOP form is a day late and a dollar short as usual.

"How ugly is Annie Kuster?" he begins. By the end of the story, he concludes, "By now you probably know why I think of Annie Kuster whenever I walk by Mados; sad to say, but the drag queens are more attractive than Annie Kuster....not that there's anything wrong with that."...... "Annie Kuster looks more like a drag queen than most men in drag," he concludes.
Source: http://www.cbsnews.com/...

In America today we have real problems: 40 million people without access to medical care, 45 million people on food stamps, 130 million people who don't have any dental coverage. Millions more unemployed and homeless. Can we really afford to stand by and let GOP supporters turn congressional elections into a circus by their sad and poor behavior, and therein their own personal theater of the absurd?

 Vaillancourt as a six term member of the New Hampshire House of  Representatives has a rich controversial history. Which includes the fact that as we can see here in this you tube video link which shows Vaillancourt had to apologize for uttering the the Nazi salute "Sieg Heil," on the floor of the New Hampshire House in a heated moment back on May 15, 2012 as reported by the Chicago Tribune.
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/...

(Here are some words of wisdom from MAnn Coulter.)

The sad truth is it seems like in every election someone, somewhere is always playing to the lowest base instinct of the male GOP base, in their position on objectifying women. As for Mr Vaillancourt one can only wonder in all honesty what he is prepared to say if Hillary Clinton or other female progressive candidates run in November 2016 in federal and statewide elections. It seems that we better all sit down and buckle our seatbelts, because the 2016 election cycle is likely to be the most expensive and dirtiest elections in American history. Thanks in no small part to people like Mr Vaillancourt playing to the lowest base instincts of the male GOP electorate.

 (End of Article). (All rights reserved by author) ©
----------------------------------------------------

UPDATE: Nov. 5th 2014

Rep. Annie Kuster in a landslide won against Marilinda Garcia

Huffington Post: "Annie Kuster Defeats Marilinda Garcia In 2014 New Hampshire Congressional Race"
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...
---------------------------------------------

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Here is an article on a different issue that has received 30.000 facebook shares that deserves your attention. "Germany just eliminated tuition, while Americans are drowning in $1.2 trillion student loan debt".
http://www.dailykos.com/...


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Daily Kos: Democrats Ramshield
http://www.dailykos.com/...

My email address: democratsramshield@yahoo.com

 

Discuss

(Written by an American expat of European descent living in the European Union) While the media is telling us to be patient and wait for all the facts to come in, the simple fact is convicting a killer under Missouri law, if he is a police officer is basically impossible. If the police officer is white and the victim is black it seems to make matters even more difficult..if the defendant claims includes evidence of self defense. The DA must beyond a reasonable doubt disprove any claim of self defense. Under that standard generally speaking under Mo. law is basically impossible to convict cops. So the usually the fix is in, even if the facts are not. Trust me more likely then not, it's all over but the crying. It really is a "MISSION IMPOSSIBLE BASICALLY"!!

As we all know that Ferguson, Missouri is the place that Michael Brown was killed in what is basically a suburb of St. Louis Missouri and it is St. Louis which is the site of the latest killing of yet another young African American male by a white police officer.
So people think killings perpetrated by police have become the default where little or almost no burden of a justified killing is needed in states like Missouri. If that is so, may we ask are American militarized police who look like an occupying army acting as if they are in a state of war on American streets? If so what kind of war is it? As most killers are white policemen and the dead are usually African American, may we not ask is it a race war? A race war coming out of a history of slavery in the St. Louis area. Until we in America come face to face with our history and change the laws in a state like Missouri, the race war will go on where poor people and people of color are killed with what seems like impunity by America's militarized police, who will not even tell the American public how many people they've killed nationwide from a single comprehensive source that is reliable. So while police conduct is a problem, so is the law that enables their conduct to go on, which must be seen through the history of slavery in the St. Louis area. This is pointed out in the German magazine Der Spiegel's article entitled "We're Like Animals To Them': An American City's Daily Racism" which was published shortly after the shooting of Michael Brown.
Spiegel staff got a tour from a man know only as Jurmael. Here is what happened on at tour of Ferguson Mo.

Spiegel quote:The car is now driving past large, old wooden homes with fresh-painted verandas and well-groomed front yards, small oases of order. "Look right up there," Jurmael says as he points to the front door of a house. There's a bronze plaque on the door, as there are at many homes in the area. It notes that a slave owner once lived in the home.........The plaques are not intended as memorials. Instead they appear to reflect the pride some of these homeowners have in their house's history. The neighborhood is the city's Historic District and is a tourist attraction. Even today, though, the district is inhabited exclusively by white people........ In the days leading up to Brown's funeral on Monday, white signs bearing the slogan of a new movement had been posted in the front yards of the former slave-owners' district. They read, "I love Ferguson." On this particular morning, the organizers of the initiative have gathered at the Corner Coffee House. A long line formed at one table with people waiting to buy signs and t-shirts. There's not a single African American in the cafe -- not among the guests or among the service personnel. Only the guy in the kitchen is black. The people gathering here are part of what could be described as the white countermovement.
http://www.spiegel.de/...

Has this quote by Yishai Schwartz reporting on the killing of Michael Brown proven to be a prophetic nightmare come true in the police killing of yet another young black male by white policeman? If we are in a war what kind of war is it? Is it a race war by the militarized police state?

This is basically what Yishai Schwartz reported in the matter of the killing of Michael Brown, a young African American male shot to death by Darren Wilson, a white policeman. So while the plutocratic owned corporatist media is telling us to withhold judgment until all the facts are in, everyone in the know (that is to say everyone who understands the position of Missouri law) already knows before the facts come in that given the position of the law in states like Missouri, it will basically be impossible to obtain a conviction against police. Especially if the victim is an African American male and the killer is a white police person. Therefore may we not reasonably ask, when the media tells us to wait until the facts are in shouldn't we tell the media that we know the fix is in, even if the facts are out and that it's all over but the crying, even before it starts in the racist militarized police state of 2014. According to the German magazine Der Spiegel, the St. Louis area suffers under a history of chattel slavery which continues to make itself felt, even in the 2014 America leading members of the African American community tell European press outlets like Spiegel that "they're treating us like animals".

Convicting Darren Wilson will be basically impossible. You can thank Missouri law for that. New Republic August 20, 2014
By Yishai Schwartz

In this case, a combination of entrenched racial and occupational biases, and most importantly the details of Missouri law, all but ensures that a conviction is off the table.
.........We are supposed to presume guilt, and it is the shooter who must prove that his actions were justified. Unless the shooter is a policeman. And unless the victim is a black male. And unless the shooting happens in a state with self-defense laws like Missouri.  
http://www.newrepublic.com/...

The "race war" under Missouri law means Ferguson and St. Louis means that cops that kill barely have to justify the killing.
"We have a word for a situation where killing is the default, where violence is so expected that the burden is no longer on a killer to prove his actions are justified. That word is war. It has no place in suburban St. Louis."
The above quote by Yishai Schwartz reporting on the killing of Michael Brown have proven to be a prophetic nightmare come true in the police killing of yet another young African American male by a white police officer. This was also in the St. Louis area just 3 days ago. Therefore we may view this author's cogent remarks as likewise having application to this most recent tragic killing. Here is the ugly truth in the mind of many legal scholars in all states today, save Ohio and  possible to some extent Louisiana if the defendant claims includes evidence of self defense. The DA must beyond a reasonable doubt disprove any claim of self defense. Under that standard under Mo. law is basically impossible to convict cops. So usually General speaking the fix is in, even if the facts are not. Trust me it's all over but the crying. It really is "MISSION IMPOSSIBLE BASICALLY"!!
New Republic August 20, 2014 - By Yishai Schwartz

In other states, claims of self-defense need to be proven as more likely than not, or in legal speak, to a “preponderance of the evidence.” It’s still the state’s obligation to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the defendant actually killed the victim. But once that’s established, the prosecution doesn’t also have to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the killing wasn’t justified. That’s because justifications—like self-defense—require the accused to make an active case, called an “affirmative defense,” that the circumstances were exceptional. The logic here is simple: As a rule, homicide is a crime and justification is reserved for extraordinary cases. Once the state has proven that a defendant did in fact kill someone, it should be the accused's obligation to prove his or her actions were justified.

Not in most states today, including Missouri. INSTEAD, AS LONG AS THERE IS A MODICUM OF EVIDENCE AND REASONABLE PLAUSIBILITY IN SUPPORT OF SELF-DEFENSE CLAIM A COURT MUST ACCEPT THE CLAIM AND ACQUIT THE ACCUSED.
The prosecution must not only prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime, but also disprove a defendant’s claim of self-defense to the same high standard......In other words, he only needs to produce some evidence (his own testimony counts) supporting the claim. Once he does so, “any reasonable doubt on the issue requires a finding for the defendant.”

http://www.newrepublic.com/...


To reiterate any prosecutor in Mo. must beyond a reasonable doubt disprove any claim of self defense. If there is any reasonable modicum of evidence as to a plausible case for self defense the court is required to acquit the defendant. Generally speaking the Police will usually say that they felt the victim threatened them in some way,( even if unarmed) and  so they had to shoot to protect themselves and the community. Under that standard under Mo. law it is basically impossible to convict cops. A fact exacerbated by racism emanating from the history of slavery in the St Louis area. So usually the fix is in, even if the facts are not. And the fact is basically the only state that has a substantial civil independent review process of police shootings is Wisconsin, which only occurred through the heroic efforts of Mr Michael Bell Senior, who is a retired lieutenant colonel from the United States Air Force. He is the father of Michael Bell Junior who approx 10 years ago was executed in cold blood (though unarmed), right in front of his mother and sister. It is only through the tireless efforts of the Bell family, who have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of their own money, that change in Wisconsin was effectuated. But sadly in the 2014 America,Wisconsin in this regard in America, stands alone in terms of having a civilian review board investigated shooting of police involved homicides.

We must all remember that Dr Martin Luther King was put into prison as an innocent man and in these United States by a racist militarized police force whose legacy lives on in Ferguson, MO, where yet another innocent African American man by the name of Henry Davis was in prison. Even after they found out they had the wrong man, they beat him bloody and then they charged him and fined him $3,000 for bleeding on them. It's hard to believe but it's true. This is our America and we all of us allowed this happen. Now we must take responsibility at the ballot box to stop it because just like Dr King told us, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
Spiegel quote: Racist Incidents in Ferguson, Missouri

When asked why so many blacks are stopped by the police on the streets, Fletcher replies that it is unrelated to the color of their skin... He claims the record speaks for itself. To be sure, there isn't much in the official record, but there is plenty of evidence to the contrary. Take the account of Henry Davis. Five years ago, police pulled the 52-year-old African American over one night. They checked his papers and allegedly found there was an arrest warrant against him. At the Ferguson police station, one officer told them that they had picked up the wrong MAN.

Nevertheless, Davis was still forced into a cell by four white policemen. As he lay on the floor, they punched him in the back and in the head........
Henry still sounds furious and distressed when he tells his story today. "They hit us blacks and they kill us blacks," he says. "And they do everything they can to cover it up."............... In Ferguson, officials accused of excessive violence fill out the investigation reports themselves -- so it comes as little surprise that cases like the Davis beating never crossed former mayor Fletcher's desk. The police claimed that Davis had fallen against a wall. Instead of justice, Davis was charged two weeks later with counts of destruction of property, for "knowingly bleeding on their uniforms," and ordered to pay $3,000."I don't believe they would have done this kind of thing to a white man," Davis says today. He says he was incapable of working for a long time and that he still suffers from migraine headaches and memory loss. He continues to challenge the fine he was ordered to pay, but he hasn't had any success so far.

There are no official govt statistics as to how many American citizens police kill annually, that is comprehensive. Though to be clear the exact number is well known to government, to police and the police unions, especially as a matter of accountancy every time a member of the police causes the death of an American, the police union will spend between 25 to $35,000 in legal fees on behalf of the member of the police involved in the killing. So as a matter of straightforward responsible accountancy and bookkeeping the number of persons killed by police in America is very well known by everyone except the American public. Why is that? Who benefits from that? Why as members of the public and voters do we tolerate this lack of accountability from our public servants, who work for us? Please let me invite you to please read. "No comprehensive, reliable database of police shootings exists" February 19, 2013  Written by Pat Schneider
 
August 19th 2014 Erin Burnett of CNN speaks with Michael Bell.

"Erin says: There is still no national set of statistics for how many people are killed by police officers."
http://edition.cnn.com/...

American Line of Duty Police Deaths for 2014: 67
    Assault: 1

    Automobile accident: 15
    Fire: 1
Gunfire: 27
    Gunfire (Accidental): 1
   Heart attack: 8
    Motorcycle accident: 2
    Struck by vehicle: 3
    Vehicle pursuit: 2
    Vehicular assault: 7
Link: http://www.odmp.org/...

It's odd and perhaps even ominous that the corporatist plutocrat owned media is telling us to exercise patience until all of the facts are in, in the matter of shooting of a young African American male in suburban St. Louis. So as to coax into exercising calm patience because we must be fair, after all we must wait patiently until the facts are in, when in fact those that already know the law know that the fix is already in Missouri  law and in states whose laws are like Missouri, which basically make it impossible for police officers to be successfully prosecuted provided the victim is working class or poor and is often the case is an African American.  They're able to act with such impunity that basically they don't even have to bother to tell the American public how many citizens the police are killing through a single reliable data source, yet they're very good about informing the public about every single inline of duty deaths by police, every one of which becomes a media event in newspapers, radio, television and on the internet. Yes, of course we must wait for all the facts to be in about the latest shooting in the matter of a white police officer and a young African American male because we must be fair and we must be patient. We must always be aware that in states like Missouri the fix is in and it will stay in until the voters take ownership of this issue at the ballot box and demand accountability from our government and the police that it hires.

One of the problems that the media never wants to report on is the fact that only 1% of police departments require a four year college degree. This means there are more discipline problems with American police.

FBI.gov - Research estimated that less than 1 percent of all local law enforcement agencies require a 4-year degree. Also in 2014 why would the FBI rely on a 2006 report on it's website?
http://www.fbi.gov/...
Only two states mandate higher education for officers: Minnesota and Wisconsin both require associate’s degrees.  Other states require a minimum of a high school diploma or GED.  It’s up to the individual agency to meet or exceed that requirement – which many do.  According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1% of all local police departments require a 4-year college degree; 15% require a 2-year college degree or some college.
http://blog.discoverpolicing.org/...
There are a number of recent studies that provide evidence in support of the fact that police officers that are college graduates tend to have fewer disciplinary problems and tend to resort to force at a lower rate than police officers who are not college graduates. Whereupon it should be noted that 17% of police agencies, particularly in rural areas don't always even require a high school diploma or its equivalent. Clearly it would help professionalism in police agencies to hire better educated police officers.
Discuss

(By popular request of readers this diary has been updated and republished at the following link where under Daily Kos rules, reader participation through comments may now be accepted whereas the original publication of the diary below no longer allows for new comments)

Written by an American MBA expat living in Germany.

Germany has just joined other nations of the Continental European Union to eliminate all university tuition, as a human right. So it is that we find ourself as part of the neo
feudalist American state that has left Americans mired by contrast in $1.2 trillion in student loan debt, in what must be described as state supported student loan slavery. It should further be noted that the modus operandi of student loan enslavement is consistent with the anti-democratic model of what may only be described as the United States of oligarchy. A recent Princeton university study, that has since gone viral from Princeton, has declared the United States is no longer a democracy, and has in fact become an oligarchy. To which this article notes it is an oligarchy that has mired the American people in $1.2 trillion of student loan debt. This has become so onerous for the American economy to bear that it is now become a threat to the US economy itself.    

TMC
ByBrendan JamesPublishedApril 18, 2014,
 "A new study from Princeton spells bad news for American democracy—namely,
 that it no longer exists".
This comes in addition to the fact that all countries in the European Union as a human right have some type of medical access for all of its citizens. Yet on these benchmarks the neo feudalist  United States continues to lag far behind. In doing so creates a separate and unequal state mired in a wage slave economy emanating out of a history of chattel slavery. So the $1.2 trillion dollar student loan debt slavery economy has become an intricate mechanism to keep the American working class impoverished in neo feudalist America, along with the concurrent effects of medical bankruptcy, (which accounts for most bankruptcies) and underwater mortgages in which there is no bailout in sight, in an economy and state where only Wall Street banksters received bailouts, because as they own almost everything in the economy they are considered to be too big to fail by the best government money could buy through the power of its K Street lobbyists. Additionally it should be noted that these same K Street lobbyists did successfully lobby Congress to eliminate the ordinary bankruptcy protection, so that in the United States student loans cannot be discharged even in bankruptcy ordinarily.


Imagine as the American federal government doesn't honestly (colloquially put) give a big enough rat's ass about you or your kids to offer you a tuition free university education(in a government for and by the 1%),
but the German government does care enough about your family as a human right to give you a free university education, even if you've never been to Germany and never paid any taxes to the German government, all you got to do is come to Germany. Oh by the way, you also get access for yourself and your family members to a student health medical plan which has no deductibles, and doesn't have pre-existing conditions restrictions. That is the difference between a government working for working class people, as opposed to the best government money can buy, who works overwhelmingly for the 1%.

Quote from USA Today -
"According to the Congressional Budget Office's latest projections, the federal government projects a record $50-billion profit on student loans this year. ExxonMobil made $44.9 billion in 2012, according to published reports, making it the most profitable company in the country."

http://www.usatoday.com/...
Please ask yourself, who benefits from the $1.2 trillion in student loan debt in what has been labeled by defacto by USA Today as the most profitable business in America to date. Now you may ask, how big is a trillion dollars? When asked how big a trillion was, noted mathematician John Allen Paulos told CNN...
“1 million seconds is about 11.5 days, 1 billion seconds is about 32 years while a trillion seconds is equal to 32,000 years“.

The Times (British newspaper) September 22 2014
German universities scrap all tuition fees

All German universities will be free of charge when term starts next week after fees were abandoned in Lower Saxony
http://www.thetimes.co.uk/...

Forbes: "There Is No Such Thing As A Free College Education" (Oct. 3rd 2014)
------------------------------------------------------
Dorothee Stapelfeldt, senator for science in Hamburg, states “Tuition fees are socially unjust” and that “they particularly discourage young people who do not have a traditional academic family background from taking up studies.”
Spiegel Quote:'America Must Learn from Germany -- Before It Is Too Late'

'

We Need To Learn from Germany': How the German Economy Became a Model

By Thomas Schulz in New York

It wasn't so long ago that many viewed Germany's economic model as outdated and the country as the "sick man of Europe." These days, however, even the Americans have come to praise parts of it, though they still doubt whether they would be able -- or willing -- to adopt it wholesale.
http://www.spiegel.de/...

 

 Spiegel US newsweekly Time writes that the wide range of German economic and social reforms have been "farsighted" and that German firms, together with those reforms, have forged "the most competitive industrial sector of any advanced economy." The New York Times, meanwhile, says that: "The German economy has been one of the wonders of the world over the last couple of years."
http://www.spiegel.de/...
As an American expat living in the European Union the fact that all workers throughout the EU are medically insured as are their families from cradle to grave as a human right. They enjoy benefits such as a child maintenance allowance, paid sick leave, paid maternity leave and paid annual leave by right of law is something that most American workers are blissfully kept ignorant of by the American owned plutocrat media, even in an election year. Because America's top 1% wealth holders and their surrogates are getting disgustingly richer, and as such they have no desire to learn from the economic success of the European Union, and most saliently the success of the top economies in Europe of Britain, France and Germany. As such the German mainstream magazine Der Spiegel wrote a blistering article, which excoriates America's neo feudalist ruling elites unwillingness to acknowledge and learn from the recent German economic miracle, where in Germany has risen to the third largest exporting nation in the world. Germany instead of having a trade deficit as is the case in America, they have a trade surplus, wherein they grow manufacturing jobs. As such as a business librarian, this diary provides a review of the aforementioned Spiegel article.

Has the United States become an neo feudalist oligarchy?
For anyone not familiar with the English language edition of the award winning German magazine Der Spiegel, it is the equivalent of TIME magazine in the United States. The German magazine Der Spiegel is no johnny come lately in it's investigative journalism of inequality and the wholesale evisceration of the American working class by the 1%. They have been publishing about this since the 2008 crash wherein as far back as 2011, they openly asked if the United States of America has become an oligarchy. Well, Mr and Mrs Progressive America please tell us, has the United States become an oligarchy, wherein the American government works overwhelmingly along with their militarized police forces to benefit the 1% instead of the 99% of working class America?

 


Spiegle quote:"THE SECOND GILDED AGE: HAS AMERICA BECOME AN OLIGARCHY?"
http://www.spiegel.de/...
Please give this Princeton study a close read. "Princeton Study: U.S. No Longer An Actual Democracy"

Scholar Behind Viral 'Oligarchy' Study Tells You What It MeansA new political science
study that's gone viral finds that majority-rule democracy exists only in theory in the
United States --not so much in practice.

TMC
ByBrendan JamesPublishedApril 18, 2014,
 A new study from Princeton spells bad news for American democracy—namely,
 that it no longer exists.

Asking "[w]ho really rules?" researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page argue that over the past few decades America's political system has slowly transformed from a DEMOCRACY INTO AN OLIGARCHY,where wealthy elites wield most power.
http://talkingpointsmemo.com/...

I'd say that contrary to what decades of political science research might lead you to believe, ordinary citizens have virtually no influence over what their government does in the United States. And economic elites and interest groups, especially those representing business, have a substantial degree of influence. Government
http://talkingpointsmemo.com/...
Yes we've all recently heard about Germany winning the World Cup in soccer in Brazil which is arguably the heart of the world's soccer culture. Of course we've all heard about the fact that Germany has become the world's second largest exporting nation (as part of the European Union), where Germany is now rated as the richest country in the European Union. The EU's population which is greater than that of the United States and whose currency the Euro rivals the power of the US dollar. Of course we've all heard about the NSA spying scandal, wherein the NSA is alleged to have spied on the phones of millions of Germans, to include even the private cell phone of Chancellor Angela Merkel whom Forbes magazine has rated as being the most powerful woman in the world. On the back of that litany coming out of Germany, is that Germany has recently set a world record in solar powered green energy generation. Also Germany has just done away with all university tuition nationwide which is now taking center stage in world headlines. The question is how is a country of 83 million people with little or no natural resources continuing to lead the world and earn its way into world headlines, again and again. What can we as Americans learn from the German model, along with the other more socialized models of the great social democracies of Western Europe, because let's face it...American capitalism is failing the American working class by all international statistical modeling.

If we look at the Gini co-efficient in the map below we see that the United States in terms of income inequality has fallen behind every major industrialized country in Western Europe. As a particular badge of shame we incarcerate more people per 100,000 than anyone else in the world, wherein clearly it seems America is going backwards. The question is why and who exactly is profiting from our backwardness? So all the people after graduating who can't get a job wind up moving into their parents' basements, where fully a third of those homes are in underwater mortgages. So these people are living in the basement of their parents' underwater houses, being quietly drowned in $1.2 trillion dollars of student loan debt, as part of the corporatist student loan debt slavery economy, because clearly people who are distressed under no benefit, low wage slavery, further distressed by student loan debt can't assert themselves in the way their Western European counterparts have. This has led to the United States having a lower Gini co-efficient than essentially all of the Western European countries, as part of the European Union, as demonstrated by the map below, which has become not only an international badge of shame, but is making America an international laughing stock of inequality.

The Case of Student Loan Slavery in 2014 neo-feudalist America
What! What you say you didn't know that. You say you don't care because... you don't believe in socialism as a good Fox News watcher. Well, did you know that since 1985 college tuition in America is up 544%. Ah, so you don't care about that either because you don't think it affects you and therefore you candidly don't give a rat's ass.  Did you know that in America (as we're always proud of being number one) that with 1.2 trillion dollars outstanding in student loan debt slavery, we're number one in student loan debt slavery in the world. I am going to guess you don't care about that either because you think that's not going to affect you and you only care about what affects you and not others, because you're axiomatically speaking a capitalist pig and we all know pigs proudly have no shame, in a system designed to give more to those who already have more, at the expense of those who have less or fully in the case of over half of all Americans who have nothing at all, that is to say zero net assets. Doesn't this give new meaning to the old turn of phrase only in America. In a clear case where every country in Western Europe have universal medical access as a human right, and they usually spend about 9% of GNP, whereas we spend about 16% of GNP. They cover 100% of their population and we don't cover 40 million people and don't live as long as they do. So what kind of an outcome is that? Also did you know the United States is the only major industrialized country in the world that doesn't have job protected paid maternity leave by right of law? Why won't the plutocrat corporatist American media tell you that, whereas this blog just did, and who does that benefit? Does it benefit you? If not you, then who?

STUDENT LOAN DEBT SLAVERY IS KILLING THE AMERICAN HOUSING MARKET

Your student loan is killing the housing market
USA TODAY:Rick Munarriz, The Motley Fool EDT October 5, 2014

Home builder adviser John Burns Consulting published details from a study earlier this
month concluding that student loan payments will cost the housing industry 414,000
transactions this year that would have totaled $83 billion in sales.

http://www.usatoday.com/...
Well, here's something that will affect you. When all of these people are in student loan debt slavery to the tune of $1.2 trillion, it starts to retard the American (GDP) 17.3 trillion dollar economy as a whole. Everything, from new car sales, to new home sales, to people's ability to save for retirement by buying mutual funds through 401k's, etc. Yes, this also affects interest rates. So unless you're out living in a cave somewhere this is going to affect you. In fact it already has and if you weren't quite so ignorant and misinformed by listening to one too many infotainment programs from Fox News, you would already know that. Then again, studies have shown Fox News watchers know less than people who don't watch any news at all which begs to ask the question, what or who are the Fox News' anchors appealing to?
Quote Oct. 2014 form the: Other 98
 "The Bubble That Ate America
Student loan debt (now well over $1 TRILLION)
has increased over 500% since 1999, making it by far the fastest growing debt in the nation. Remember the housing bubble that kicked off the 2008 recession? This one is twice as big".
http://other98.com/...
Christopher Denhart is a research assistant at the Center for College Affordability and Productivity and he just last year completed his 4 year bachelor’s degree. As such he was able to publish an article at what is probably the flagship of the elite corporatist media over at Forbes. He entirely misstates what we MBAs call the assumption of risk as it relates to the cost issues that have hoist $1.2 trillion in student loan debt on Americans. He does so in his misplaced criticism in bashing public funding of higher education in Germany wherein he postulates that elite private higher education is more efficient because students will consume less, whereas he claims in the U.S. at so-called state funded school the advent of the 5 year (or 6 year) bachelor’s degree is in, therefore this is evidence that the German system will fail or so he postulates without providing any substantial linkage or evidence of the same (wherein he entirely fails to take into account that high school graduates in Germany are the product of a superior publicly funded high school education system which will allow them to graduate faster as they are better prepared).
Forbes: There Is No Such Thing As A Free College Education
By Christopher Denhart, October 3rd 2014
"The United States has seen the rise of the five year degree. Of the 60% of students who graduate from public schools in the U.S., over half take longer than four years to graduate. Compare that with private institutions (there are natural differences in students at each type of school that pay a role) which see 80 percent of its graduates out in four years. Their sensitivity to the marginal cost of that fifth or sixth year factors into their decision to consume."
(Please note: The misleading title of "There is no such thing as a free college education", his title if it were honest should read 'there is no such thing as a tuition free education'. Of course he would never publish such a title because many millions of the children of America's privileged have obtained a tuition free education, thanks to their families (and large annual government subsidies), to include George W. Bush).
Quote by http://billmoyers.com
October 17, 2014
by Robert Reich
Why Government Spends More Per Pupil at Elite Private Universities Than at Public Universities

A few years back, Meg Whitman, now CEO of Hewlett-Packard, contributed $30 million to Princeton. In return she received a tax break estimated to be around $10 million. In effect, Princeton received $20 million from Whitman and $10 million from the U.S. Treasury – that is, from you and me and other taxpayers who made up the difference.................
Divide by the relatively small number of students attending these institutions, and the amount of subsidy per student is huge.......The annual government subsidy to Princeton University, for example, is about $54,000 per student, according to an estimate by economist Richard Vedder. Other elite privates aren’t far behind........... That means the average annual government subsidy per student at a public university comes to less than $4,000, about one-tenth the per student government subsidy at the elite privates.
http://billmoyers.com/...



Mr. Denhart not only creates a proposition wholly at tension with itself, but also in the employment of sophistry erects a straw-man argument. The simple fact of the matter is his position though widely disseminated is none the less intellectually irresponsible and laden with sophistry as an ill-formed deceptive and misleading postulate. Axiomatically speaking we know the $1.2 trillion student loan debt burden shouldered by student borrowers and often their co-signing parents is brought about by financial distressed circumstances, wherein these American families have been forced to take on this debt. It is the same distressed financial circumstances that have caused people to graduate all too often in their fifth or even sixth year as an axiomatic economic reality of students working their way through college and university and it’s taking longer to graduate as a straight forward malfunction of the American tuition paying system. For Mr. Denhart in a sophistry laden fashion to attempt to convolute this into a badge of pride for the tuition paying system is to turn reality upside down. As it’s an absolute axiomatic reality that the vast majority of students who are able to afford to attend private expensive tuition paying universities in the United States cannot be seen as being economically distressed students who have to work their way through college and university and who are forced to devout much of their time to work for money instead more exclusively to their studies. Therefore their faster graduation time axiomatically speaking is a reflection of their socially privileged status (which often includes graduating from expensive private preparatory schools that have academically given them an advantage allowing for quicker college completion) which cannot be converted into claims of greater efficiencies by elite high priced tuition paying private universities and colleges in America, who are responsible for the destruction of affordable tuition everywhere through greed and elitism. Mr. Denhart’s position must be seen as nothing more than an attempt to confuse the uninitiated in his support of a system that is designed to give more to those who already have more at the expense of those who have less in a clear posture where now the majority of Americans have nothing at all. Ergo, the $1.2 trillion student loan debt has become so onerous that it now threatens the growth of the entire $17 trillion dollar economy in the United States, which concurrently threatens now the world economy. In a clear posture where just like during the 2008 crash, the 1% and the Wall Street banksters are happy to wreck the American and global economy if only it means enriching themselves.  

"I'm 57 and owe $152,000 in student loans"
NEW YORK (CNNMoney)
"Rosemary Anderson, 57, is on the hook for $152,000 in student loans she took out 20 years ago.

The divorced mother of two grown daughters represents a growing number of older Americans with student debt.

The 50-and-over crowd makes up 17% of $1.2 trillion in outstanding student loan debt -- a 30% increase since 2005, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York".
------------------------------------
Link: http://money.cnn.com/...

Now let's be honest the German mainstream magazine Der Spiegel recently pointed out that Ferguson, MO has a history of slavery which I reviewed in a recent article, which thanks to the generosity of the Kos community was voted #1 on Jotter's list for September 17th. I would also hasten to point out that given America's history of chattel slavery as a continuing blight of our history, which we've never dealt with in the same way that Germany has dealt with its blight on history. Germany has paid reparations and is continuing to pay for reparations to this day because Germany has taken responsibility for its past actions. Therefore they are able to move on, whereas we in America to date have never confronted our history of slavery in terms of offering reparations to redress past wrongs of chattel slavery. Until we do, the mentality which allows for the low wage slave economy as an outgrowth of the history of chattel slavery of how America treats its poor and working class will never change.

Let's face it, student loan debt enslavement is an important part of the American wage slave economy in neo-feudalist America, because when you have young people and some older workers stuck hopelessly in permanent student loan debt you have a compliant wage slave work force, because they really need that job. Therefore politically they're going to be too afraid and demoralized and too atomized to push for the kind of reforms that we see in the countries of the European Union in general, (Germany in particular where there's no university tuition as education is believed to be a human right). As a person's future shouldn't depend on the family that they were by luck born into, being able to afford to pay for their education without causing that person to fall into permanent student loan debt slavery. This is the sad truth about what's happened in America in terms of its neo-feudalist student loan debt slavery market, now valued at 1.2 trillion dollars as part of the overall wage slave economy of ever lower wages and little or no benefits in pushed to the wall America, where you have people literally working themselves to death. This was recently the case with 32 year old Maria Fernandes. Maria worked 3 jobs and fell asleep in a parking lot with her car running in-between jobs and died of carbon monoxide poisoning. The only people who are really talking about this issue seriously are people like Noam Chomsky and Andrea Tosi founder of the Swiss based RePeace group, who seriously talk about to what extent our elected politicians have betrayed the American working class dream in favor of the 1% of the richest Americans.  


These types of tragedies in the American wage slave economy are the types of tragedies that are the mark of a pariah state built on slavery in a history of chattel slavery turned contemporary wage slave state. We put people on a trend mill to nowhere, because no matter how hard they run for the carrot they can never reach it and never get ahead, further exacerbated by their student loan enslavement as well. That means for most Americans today they can never afford to retire either because this is the ugly truth. When the burden in terms of the assumption of risk moved from companies that we work for, who provided a retirement and a gold watch at the end of your working life, to secure our retirement, to the individual IRA or 401k plan, the individual worker took on the assumption of risk, that we MBA's refer to it as, became staggering and indeed untenable. What that means is Corporate America just got a whole lot richer than working class America in cost shifting of your retirement burden which just got YOU a whole lot poorer. So in Germany where they have a secure state pension system funded by the tax payer, workers are protected from being ripped off by Wall Street, in the way that American workers aren't protected as in evidence by the 2008 Wall Street crash. Afterwards the Federal Government bailed out the Wall Street banksters! Well how about bailing out working class Americans by ending tuition in America today for everyone, as a human right. How about bailing out Main Street America from its 1.2 trillion dollar burden of student loan debt, (with COMPLETE student loan forgiveness), because of all this crap about lowering interest rates doesn't stop student loan debt slavery. This is untenable and has become so onerous that it has now threatened the growth of the entire economy and must be addressed with immediate student loan debt forgiveness, so as to provide substantial redress and concurrently provide (just like in Germany) free tuition for ALL current and future students.

In other words in the United States, the 1.2 trillion dollar student loan debt has become too large not to fail. But as the federal government works for the 1% of the richest Americans and not the 99% of working Americans, there is therefore no $1.2 trillion student loan bailout in the offering for working class America from the best government that money can buy. Nor is there any offering to end tuition in America anywhere on the horizon.

$1 trillion student loan debt widens US wealth gap
Zbylut, an accountant-turned-attorney in Glendale, Calif. He's been chipping away at nearly $160,000 in student debt since graduating in 2005 from law school at Loyola University in Chicago. Now 48, the tax attorney estimates he could have $150,000 to $200,000 in a 401(k) had the money he's paid toward loans gone there.

"I'm sitting here in traffic. I've got a Mercedes behind me and an Audi in front of me and I'm thinking, 'What did they do that I didn't do?'" Zbylut said by cellphone from his Chevrolet. He's been turned down twice for the type of mortgage he needs to buy a home big enough for himself, the fiancee he would have married already if not for his debts and her 10-year-old son.

"I have more education and more degrees than my father, as does she than her parents, and yet our parents are better off than we are. What's wrong with this picture?" he said.
http://bigstory.ap.org/...

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What is wrong with this picture is he and his family have been betrayed by the best Government money can buy. You may ask is it that simple? The short answer is yes! The working class social compact has been broken in neo feudalist America.

Now you might think with all of its accomplishments that Germany would be the happiest place on earth. It would seem that the people of Denmark under the Scandinavian system have that title instead. What do you think? Are they right? Oh yes, they also have no university tuition there either. Maybe it's time that we eliminated tuition in America as a human right as well. What do you think? Please give us your comments below.

Also German non university blue collar vocational apprenticeship programs are second to none in the world, where apprenticeships are virtually speaking free of charge. In fact apprentices are paid modest salaries while training.

Now that Unions in America have been eviscerated there are very few apprenticeship training programs in the U.S.


Spiegel quote:"The United States has no equivalent to the German training system or comparable programs for retraining or continuing education."

http://www.spiegel.de/...
There is a lot of hidden poverty in America, but historically Americans have always been pretty innovative at looking good in terms of their personal appearance, even at the height of the Great Depression during the 1930s. So there is an appearance reality distinction that we must understand. That is to say the appearance of affluence in America may well belie the reality which is, a lot of people are struggling in hidden poverty. As a male I have personal knowledge of examples of that, wherein I have seen prominent online mens' stylists, such as Antonio Centeno (How to Look Like A Millionaire On A $100 Budget) and Aaron Marino from Alpha M in their published comments refer people to thrift stores to leverage the best value possible for their money. When prominent online stylists give you permission to shop at thrift stores you know that thrift store shopping has just gotten a whole lot cooler with cache, style and the dollar bargains that American families have to have in order to make ends meet in this pushed-to-the-wall economy. Precisely the same thing can be said of ladies and children's wear, in an economy where people are struggling to maintain their personal appearance and that of their family members. Likewise there's a lot of new cars on the road. What we don't realize is those cars a lot of times are on payments that all too often people are behind on those payments, and people even if they step out of those cars, well groomed and well dressed are clients of charity shops like the Goodwill and the Salvation Army, as well as local food banks, which report a banner business like they never had before.
USA Today: Hunger in America: 1 in 7 rely on food banks - LORTON, Va. – When Mary Smallenburg, 35, of Fort Belvoir, Va., opened a package from her mother to find cereal and ramen noodles, she burst into tears. Without it, she wouldn't be able to feed her four children. "It got to the point where I opened my pantry and there was nothing. Nothing. What was I going to feed my kids?" Smallenburg says, adjusting a bag of fresh groceries on her arm. Smallenburg's family is one of 50 military families that regularly visit the Lorton Community Action Center food bank. Volunteers wave a familiar hello as she walks in the door.
http://www.usatoday.com/...
We have 45 million Americans on food stamps. 130 million who don't have access to dental care. 40 million who don't have medical insurance. A lot of Americans are in underwater mortgages to the tune of $1.2 trillion. The economic pain in America is real because unlike Germany, we in America have stopped large scale manufacturing, because WE HAVE BEEN SOLD A LIE that those manufacturing jobs have to be exported to developing economies because Americans can't compete with the wages in developing economies, yet Germany is a high wage exporting and manufacturing superpower. Within the European Union, Germany has become the second largest exporter in the world precisely because it kept a hold of its high wage manufacturing jobs, and people in Europe and in Germany in particular are dressed well. They can afford to be. They are after all the richest country in the European Union. So can we in America once we get our manufacturing sector back to support our local tax base, so as to re-build the working class American dream from the ground up. All we have to do is take charge at the ballot box and vote the people out who work for the 1% and vote people in who will work for the 99%. You might ask is it that simple, yes it really is. Because as American voters we are the owners of this country, all we have to do is simply take ownership of our futures at the ballot box.  

German society is able to produce goods that countries to include developing countries around the world want at competitive prices, while leveraging economies of scale, which the United States is not able to do, because unions which have been traditional sponsors of employee education have been routed out in America in the GOP led class warfare, which has left America's manufacturing base internationally impotent. This has led to large scale evisceration and destruction of the American working class, which is rapidly being deskilled, de-industrialized, as a product of the GOP led class warfare against the masses of the great American working class.  

Perhaps in America today there should be a new movement. Not a protest movement or a movement espousing anything at all other than the words unity for mass default on all the bankster's predatory lending in the neo-feudalist American state. In the mass default of predatory student loan debt and in the mass default of underwater mortgages the system has to breakdown, because the system relies on your compliance in rules that completely operate to your detriment. If a mass default ensued, there would have to be a market correction to the benefit of American working class borrowers because they cannot foreclose on everyone, the courts would be backed up for decades; it couldn't happen. It would be impossible to produce, the only question is could we produce the unity needed to effectuate such a mass default of predatory bankster lending. If the answer is yes, it could happen from sea to shining sea, then the American working class would be the winner and tuition free education would likely be the norm in America as well, as much of Continental Europe.




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'We're Like Animals To Them': An American City's Daily Racism (Spiegel quote)

As an American expat of European ancestry living in Germany this article provides a review from my perspective of a professional librarian, as to an important article written by the mainstream German publication Der Spiegel's English language edition which is essentially on par in Europe with Time Magazine.

In this review Spiegel staff are taken for a ride along by a young African-American male native to Ferguson, Missouri by the name of Jurmael, who in the drive through points to the slave owners' history in the housing of still segregated Ferguson, Missouri. This historical fact is all but completely ignored and if covered at all is in a form of press bias, only covered in the most cursory sound bites, which is the beautiful well manicured lawns and houses in the historically white part of Ferguson. It has an ugly history in its heritage houses of being the homes of Ferguson's former slave owners, in a clear case where plaques adorning the homes seem to celebrate the homes' history with the concurrence or acquiescence of its modern day property owners. We must understand that Europeans in their history are taught that one of the reasons the American Revolution was fought was because Britain was in the process of abolishing slavery in America. This was one of the substantial causes of the American Revolutionary War by the American monied class, who were primarily slave owners, (who were also engaged in exterminating indigenous people) which unfortunately included the ranks of some of America's founding fathers, and the ranks of the British Army were full of soldiers of African descent fighting for what they believed was to end American slavery, a fact that would be echoed later in America's own civil war. Yet the history of the struggle of American civil rights went on long after the Civil War to the Voting Rights Act to Martin Luther King. So it is in a continuation of the civil rights' struggle we find ourselves as guests of the Spiegel staff, in a ride along with Jurmael in Ferguson, Missouri, the 2014 America. Here is what we see and unless we avert our eyes, some of this seen through the perspective of European eyes will be ugly in reviewing the true face of bigotry, racism and the ugly American in the year 2014.

The car is now driving past large, old wooden homes with fresh-painted verandas and well-groomed front yards, small oases of order. "Look right up there," Jurmael says as he points to the front door of a house. There's a bronze plaque on the door, as there are at many homes in the area. It notes that a slave owner once lived in the home.........The plaques are not intended as memorials. Instead they appear to reflect the pride some of these homeowners have in their house's history. The neighborhood is the city's Historic District and is a tourist attraction. Even today, though, the district is inhabited exclusively by white people........ In the days leading up to Brown's funeral on Monday, white signs bearing the slogan of a new movement had been posted in the front yards of the former slave-owners' district. They read, "I love Ferguson." On this particular morning, the organizers of the initiative have gathered at the Corner Coffee House. A long line formed at one table with people waiting to buy signs and t-shirts. There's not a single African American in the cafe -- not among the guests or among the service personnel. Only the guy in the kitchen is black. The people gathering here are part of what could be described as the white countermovement.

Again to understand this in looking at it through European eyes we must understand history, which is Europeans are taught that throughout the ongoing civil rights' struggle, laws were promulgated through various statutory provisions and other law forms, which essentially exist to allow in order to keep America's racist, social pecking order in place, that allow American police through the modus operandi of racial profiling to belittle, harass and provoke primarily American poor people, especially working class and poor African-Americans with essentially almost complete impunity, where though the police are rather fastidious at publishing the tragic line of duty deaths of police, which are usually 67 deaths a year, wherein less than half are usually due to gunfire. For example in the statistics reported for 2013 it was 27.But concurrently there is no comprehensive centralized database or statistical resource to identify how many people nationally are killed by police annually. There are no official govt statistics as to how many American citizens police kill annually, that is comprehensive. Though to be clear the exact number is well known to government, to police and the police unions, especially as a matter of accountancy every time a member of the police causes the death of an American, the police union will spend between 25 to $35,000 in legal fees on behalf of the member of the police involved in the killing. So as a matter of straightforward responsible accountancy and bookkeeping the number of persons killed by police in America is very well known by everyone except the American public. Why is that? Who benefits from that? Why as members of the public and voters do we tolerate this lack of accountability from our public servants, who work for us? Please let me invite to read. "No comprehensive, reliable database of police shootings exists" February 19, 2013  By Pat Schneider
August 19th 2014
Erin Burnett of CNN speaks with Michael Bell.

"Erin says: There is still no national set of statistics for how many people are killed by police officers."

http://edition.cnn.com/...  
American Line of Duty Police Deaths for 2014: 67
Assault: 1

Automobile accident: 15
Fire: 1

Gunfire: 27

Gunfire (Accidental): 1
Heart attack: 8
Motorcycle accident: 2
Struck by vehicle: 3
Vehicle pursuit: 2
Vehicular assault: 7

Link: http://www.odmp.org/...

Ask yourself why is America putting out a militarized police response in the face of a low police death rate and falling crime statistics that have been dropping off for the better part of 2 decades. Why is it that America has the highest incarceration rate of any major industrialized country in the world per 100,000? Wherein the majority of the inmates, particularly in the for-profit prisons are members of the minority community, particularly African American males. Faced with this reality, it's difficult not to agree with the Spiegel's conclusion which is that African American males in the United States are being openly hunted by an increasingly militarized (primarily) white police force with regular de facto summary executions taking place on American streets even in broad daylight of African American males,  even if they are unarmed as was the case with 18 year old Michael Brown in America's racist militarized police state, which acts and looks more like an army of occupation in terrorist style terrorizing the African American community.

" It took the shooting of 18-year-old Brown on August 9, a young man who was unarmed, before anyone took an interest in the everyday reality of the city's African-American population and their demoralizing harassment by the police. It also took this tragedy before people began to ask an important question: Why does a city whose population of 21,000 is two-thirds African American have a police force that is 95 percent white?
The question ought to be asked why is the choice of Jurmael's girlfriend's partner a matter for the police? How is it that this member of the police acting with impunity may be allowed to comport themselves in the way described in the quote below?
"Jurmael then points to a place where he said he recently got pulled over. He says the police immediately spoke to his girlfriend, who happens to be white, and asked, "Why are you with him?" "He's my boyfriend," she said. The officer said, "You shouldn't be with him," and then left."

Truly may it be said that Jim Crow is still alive and well in more places in America than we care to admit, where people are essentially defenseless against acts of racial terrorism by a militarized police force, where they are with some regularity publicly murdered under the color of American law in too many states, with complete impunity by police. So it is we have these murderers walking amongst us, and particularly in the African-American community spreading terror and horror in killing people, in this case on their own property during a birthday party in modern day Ferguson, which as previously described has a colorful history of racism, as colored by slave ownership followed by Jim Crow, where readers of the English version of the Spiegel magazine in the great social democracies of Western Europe recoil rightfully at such a pariah community as Ferguson being openly tolerated in the United States in the year 2014. They look at us with open disgust in the tragic shooting of an 18 year old unarmed American male shot several times which hit him in the head, leaving brain matter splattered for a substantial distance on the pavement in the area surrounding the body of Michael Brown. Therein disturbingly suggesting these headshots took place while Michael Brown was already on the ground. In a timely fashion he wasn't even given the human dignity of being covered up, and just leaving him in the street, just as they historically and quite tragically have done with complete impunity so many times for over 200 years of American history again and again.  

Back on our drive, just as we approach Tyler's house, he points to a front yard. He says his neighbor, a black man, held a party there three years ago. At some point, Tyler says, the police arrived and complained that the music was too loud. A fight ensured and the host was soon dead. He died of a heart-attack after police zapped him with a Tazer. It had been his birthday party.

'People Are Completely Powerless'
"They don't treat us like humans," Jurmael says. "We're like animals to them, ones they can shoot down like deer." The wife of the man who was Tazered still hangs her husband's photo each year on a tree in the front yard to commemorate his birthday. She never filed a complaint.

In the quote below we see but yet once again the ugly face of American bigotry and racism by de facto being tolerated openly in public for all to see. Though the piggery of racism is vile, we all know that pigs have no shame. Therefore can never be publicly shamed into changing the error of their ways. Martin Luther King reminded us that it isn't at all the horrible words of the oppressors that we will remember, it is instead the silence of our friends that will be painfully remembered. For it is likewise said that all that has to happen for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing. Certainly the Spiegel in their quote got it right and we shouldn't turn away from that uncomfortable truth.

 

Shadows of the Past
Tyler wears a red cap with the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team logo on it. Several decades ago, black fans were still required to sit in a separate seating area in the stadium with inferior views of the field. But even after segregation ended, the seating arrangement remained. People were used to it. Indeed, the shadows of the past reach right up to today.
So it is that it starts in the same way it started one day on a bus with a lady by the name of Rosa Parks, who just didn't want to move to the back of the bus anymore. In such a simple act of moral courage caught the attention of a nation and the world, and we will never forget her. We should never forget Michael Brown's sacrifice, as an unarmed 18 year old African-American who died in a largely segregated town, with a largely segregated police dept, whose job it seems to be to needlessly harass and provoke young African-American males in an uncalled for manner, in an acronym well known to Ferguson residents walking while black (WWB).
We don't like the way our city is being portrayed," says Brian Fletcher. "We're not going to allow this incident to ruin our reputation." Fletcher served as mayor of Ferguson for six years until 2011. Now he's sitting at a desk watching over petitions signed by local residents.The people here have little regard for the African-American protesters who have been marching for justice each night. "They're like COCKROACHES," one woman next to Fletcher calls out. "THEY ONLY COME OUT OF THEIR HOLES AT NIGHT"......When asked why only three of the city's 53 police are African Americans, Fletcher answers: "They just don't apply. Or they don't pass the test to get in to the police academy."
Here we have a case of a system in Ferguson, as is the case in many other states and cities, that is so broken that essentially it is able to suppress written records of voluminous deeds of racism, bigotry, racial profiling and harassment, unlawful kidnapping, assaults, because the system allows the perpetrators essentially to cover up their actions, so that civic leaders and as is the case of former Mayor Fletcher can vociferously claim that it is a lie that there is racial strife in the city of Ferguson based on the records, as there is a system of record suppression in place, pointing to so called records as evidence of a lack of racism becomes nothing short of an axiomatic self-serving lie meant specifically to mislead the uninitiated in a system of in effect Jim Crow, wherein a pecking order is kept in place. It started in Ferguson under a system of slavery leading through Jim Crow to the 2014 Ferguson tolerance for racial profiling, which is a Jim Crow type system meant to intimidate and terrorize Ferguson's African-American community in specific acts of local govt terrorism against unarmed victims like Michael Brown, whose name through the media now has national and international recognition. Far less recognizable is the name of Henry Davis, wherein 52 year old Henry Davis was pulled over and arrested in a clear case of mistaken identity after police themselves identified this mistake, they however continued to hold and beat Mr Davis so severely that it has caused what appears to be permanent memory loss and disability in Mr Davis, making it difficult for him to hold employment due to the trauma he received.

Now you might think given the matter of his wrongful arrest and injury by police that Mr Davis would have received compensation. In fact he has received no compensation whatsoever and in the matter of his wrongful arrest and resulting beating he was charged with bleeding on the members of the Ferguson police' uniforms, who couldn't charge him with resisting arrest or anything else. This often seems to happen in places like Ferguson where police arrest innocent African-American males and then in order to try to cover up their mistake, they simply do their best to provoke their victim into displaying some type of reaction, which they can then use to launch criminal charges. However the only charge they could charge Mr Davis with was bleeding on their uniforms, resulting remarkably in a $3,000 fine, as published in the Spiegel article quote below, where its readers rightfully see us as a de facto pariah Jim Crow nation full of Ferguson type communities, where such regular horror shows in a consummated system of Jim Crow type acquiescence is alive and well, leading to working class Americans being terrorized by militarized police forces all over the United States, where swat teams now serve no knock warrants, even for the seemingly smallest of infractions.

As bad as this is in America, for persons of European ancestry it is remarkably worse for persons of African-American ancestry who feel often that local police for them are de facto terrorist organizations, who under color of law are allowed to kidnap and even kill at will people even if they are unarmed, and then they feel completely defenseless at this behavior. So it is that the German magazine Spiegel has conducted through its work in good old fashioned investigative journalism published in its English language edition a remarkable piece from which as Americans we could learn a lot by seeing ourselves through the eyes of European mainstream media, without averting our eyes from the belly of the beast of racism based on a history of American slavery in Ferguson, Missouri.  It is important to remind our readers that in fact we the American voters are the true owners of this country and not the 1% with all of their bought politicians. We do have the authority and power to change all of this as the owners of the country at the ballot box. Link: "Using the ballot box to lawfully disarm the American militarized police state-Police execution video". Thanks to the generosity of people like yourself that diary (in the hypertext link above) it has already received over 3,000 Facebook shares.

** We should understand  that the long history of chattel African American slavery in terms of labor exploitation has led to an enabling mentality in the American mindset that allows for the present day modern system of low wage, no benefit wage slavery to flourish in the United States in a way that is impossible to sustain in the European Union which doesn't have the history of slavery that America does, wherein ALL working class and poor Americans are substantially oppressed. Especially members of the African American community, whereas in the European Union even low wage full time fast food workers must receive 30 days paid vacation, complete medical and dental insurance for themselves and their family, to include a paid prescription benefit and even paid maternity leave. These policies are supported by even conservative politicians (in Europe) who on many of these issues are far to the left of the Democrats in America. The simple truth is the history of chattel African American slavery today continues to injure not only the African American community in Ferguson and beyond, but that same history ALSO injures poor and working class whites in America from sea to shining sea. Racism has hurt the United States in what may only be described as a long nightmare from which our collective national conscience must awaken in the acceptance of human rights for all people, irrespective of the color of their skin - to where instead we must look to the content of their character to judge them, just like Dr King said. This is the true hope and promise of his "I have a dream" speech which we must never forget. For not to do so will continue to diminish us all.

Racist Incidents

When asked why so many blacks are stopped by the police on the streets, Fletcher replies that it is unrelated to the color of their skin... He claims the record speaks for itself. To be sure, there isn't much in the official record, but there is plenty of evidence to the contrary. Take the account of Henry Davis. Five years ago, police pulled the 52-year-old African American over one night. They checked his papers and allegedly found there was an arrest warrant against him. At the Ferguson police station, one officer told them that they had picked up the wrong MAN.

Nevertheless, Davis was still forced into a cell by four white policemen. As he lay on the floor, they punched him in the back and in the head........
Henry still sounds furious and distressed when he tells his story today. "They hit us blacks and they kill us blacks," he says. "And they do everything they can to cover it up."............... In Ferguson, officials accused of excessive violence fill out the investigation reports themselves -- so it comes as little surprise that cases like the Davis beating never crossed former mayor Fletcher's desk. The police claimed that Davis had fallen against a wall. Instead of justice, Davis was charged two weeks later with counts of destruction of property, for "knowingly bleeding on their uniforms," and ordered to pay $3,000."I don't believe they would have done this kind of thing to a white man," Davis says today. He says he was incapable of working for a long time and that he still suffers from migraine headaches and memory loss. He continues to challenge the fine he was ordered to pay, but he hasn't had any success so far.


Here's a link to the full Spiegel article below:
'We're Like Animals To Them': An American City's Daily Racism
http://www.spiegel.de/...
And for those of us who are inclined to blame the Spiegel's review so as to turn this into a case of shoot the messenger, please remember the English word for Spiegel is mirror.

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(This diary is written by an American expat living in the European Union who is a male business librarian who holds a graduate library degree (MLS) and a Master's degree in business administration in marketing)..

Why is the Library the best truly socialized good in America today. That is because no other institution in America, that is a public good offers 100% egalitarian access and services to all of its patrons. This means that a homeless citizen can walk into the library and expect to receive the same level of access and service as the mayor. However this truly egalitarian institution is under serious threat, because libraries today in every state are under threat of having their funding cut or defunded entirely. Therefore this action diary is centered around the fact that our citizens, patrons and library users are asked urgently to share this diary and ones like it, to help us get the word out that libraries are an American success story, and a great investment for our communities, as part of a critical knowledge and information based infrastructure in support of working class progressive American values.
Will your state be the next state to eliminate library funding and lose the freedom of  information?

LA Times: Louisiana state library funding has been eliminated
Citing budget concerns, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has signed a $25-billion budget that eliminates almost $900,000 in state funding for its libraries. In a statement, the governor's chief budget aide, Paul Rainwater, said, In tight budget times, we prioritized funding for healthcare and education. Operations such as local libraries can be supported with local, not state dollars.€
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/...
Here is why America needs libraries!
Washington Post: U.S. adults lag most countries in literacy, math and computer skills (Published: October 13th 2013) "Policymakers and politicians who wring their hands about the mediocre performance of U.S. students on international math and reading tests have another worry: The nation’s grown-ups aren’t doing much better." http://www.washingtonpost.com/...
What about Prison rate? "Here is what 63% of all inmates are functionally illiterate" Now do you still think Libraries are too expensive to fund, when we consider the true cost of ignorance.
BBC: "Half of the world's prison population of about nine million is held in the US, China or Russia. Prison rates in the US are the world's highest, at 724 people per 100,000."
The mass incarceration rates clearly show that in America per 100,000 incarcerates more people per capita than any other country in the world, wherein it becomes clear that nearly 63% of all inmates are functionally illiterate according to the U.S. Department of Education, National Institute of Literacy (2013). If you consider library funding to be too expensive, please consider the cost of ignorance.  

How do Libraries support freedom of information? Libraries throughout history have survived censorship, book burnings, natural disasters and even the fires of the great libraries of Alexandria couldn't destroy the library which is a collection of anyone who has ever thought and written. It is a collective memory of the progress and enlightenment of humanity, human history and development in arts, culture, science, history, politics, etc. The budget cutting acts want to take it from you because they've decided that the library is the last truly socialized institution in America. Therefore the libraries have to be starved of funding because socialism in America is a bad thing in their view because it is a public good that benefits disproportionally working class families and this include minorities and women as a group. Some people hate that.

How do you feel about your library closing?
American libraries are among the last truly socialized goods in America. In fact that's the reason I become a librarian is because basically everyone who walks in the door of a library can be treated equally. It doesn't matter whether you're the mayor or unemployed, your library card gives you access to the same materials and services. It's a place where there is social justice and fairness and equal treatment for all and they're in the process of taking it away from you a bit more every day. Libraries are being starved all over America in these belt tightening times in favor of other organizations because the rich don't want to pay their fair share of taxes. This sad reality escapes the attention of most citizens because frankly they have a full plate in America today and they can lose sight of the fact that they're losing their community libraries which can have very tragic consequences.

Please note, while public library budget cuts are an epidemic all over America, the following states are especially hard hit. As we have reviewed the shocking statistical correlation at 63% of adult inmates being functionally illiterate -- with children and youths it is even higher at 85% deemed to be functionally illiterate who interface with the judicial system. The rich don't care about these illiterate adult and youth inmates and alleged offenders. You see it's because they're behind high walls, security cameras and gated communities guarded by vigilantes by George Zimmerman because they think they're not going to be victims of these crimes. They think you're going to be their victims, as average working class Americans and they don't care about you anymore than they do illiterate American adults and youth who have contact with the justice system, that is until they leave their gated communities and are carjacked or worse. The rich will say "it wasn't suppose to happen to me" and they're right. Statistically it's suppose to happen to people like you, good decent working class Americans but I say to you it doesn't have to be that way because full funding of library programs support adult and youth literacy. As such this provides really cheap insurance against crime and the terrible human waste of having over 2 million American incarcerated which is a number far greater then America's active duty military personnel in the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps combine.  America can't afford to lose this type of potential. Please support adult and youth literacy.

Please see literacy statistics and juvenile court: 85 percent of all juveniles who interface with the juvenile court system are functionally illiterate.
Maryland: Summer reading is the latest budget-cutback victim

New Jersey: Public library board readies for municipal budget cuts

New York: Budget cuts forces Queens Library to shutter 14 branches, cut 300 workers and reduce hours

California: L.A. book lovers to protest city library budget cuts
California:Siskiyou County could close libraries

Illinois: Illinois Cooperatives Suffering Massive Service Cuts, Dozens of Lay-Offs

Links are from the American Library Association
http://www.ala.org/...

Did you know that about 20% of American households don't have access to the internet.
To be clear, we're not talking about the number of people who are on old computer and dial-up. We're talking about 20% of the American population that doesn't have access to the internet at all, therefore libraries provide an important access point with in-house computers to connect to the internet. The library also makes available free wi-fi for people with mobile devices, some of whom may have limited or no internet access. To that end, I invite you to watch the one minute video below.

What about that special child in your life?
For example, do you know truly how many books it takes to turn a child, your child, a grandchild, a niece or nephew into a reader for life? No one's home library is going to be big enough to do that. The consequence of not doing it are profound for that child even into adulthood and this has led to some really odd statistics such as the fact that America right now is leading the world in people of middle age in their high school completion rates.  To be clear we should always support the advancement of adult literacy issues but clearly these are matters best addressed in childhood, where a young child can learn the love of reading as a habit which will stay with them throughout their lives creating a better citizen, a more informed voter who can't be easily tricked into voting against their own self interest.

How do you feel about censorship?
Most people don't realize they are already suffering from censorship in the matter of ebooks, they are often already censored from being circulated, except to be bought at a bookstore of some type because for the most part ebooks given their licensing already cannot be lent out by libraries. So this is an economic form of censorship. Unlike in the US, EU courts have ruled to make ebooks accessible at least in libraries. Therefore keeping the doors open to a fully funded library in the EU is a higher priority than it is in the US and this fact should be noted because we need to do better in America. EU court rules libraries can digitize books without permission

 Starving libraries of funding is an old tried and true tactic of censorship conducted by the rich and powerful throughout the ages. Please don't be fooled by the same old story. As librarians, we are trained to resist censorship in all of its guises and embrace intellectual freedom. When they cut library budgets, they make it difficult and even impossible for intellectual freedom to prevail. We must have intellectual freedom in America or we will lose our tolerance and democracy. That's why your support of your library is so crucial. We can't do it without you. We need your help in order to support the maintenance of our community library collection development and collection maintenance budget.

Censorship is the opposite of intellectual freedom which is the life blood of any democratic society. Without intellectual freedom, progressive America is dead. Intellectual freedom also fights prejudice and intolerance against sexism, racism and discrimination based on a person's sexual orientation and opens up our minds. While this is important for everyone, it is really crucial for children who cannot get access to the proper materials without an adequate collection development budget in their formative years.

Are you one of those people who feel with the internet we don't need libraries any more?
There are people who say, "I have more information I could ever use on the internet, why do I need a library?". The answer is because you have more information than you could ever use, that's why you need a library because most of that information is going to be irrelevant to what you are looking for. What you need what we in library circles refer to as low retrieval with high pertinence. That is to say, you only get a small amount of information that is the most relevant information in satisfaction of your information needs rather than getting voluminous irrelevant information that you can't use which doesn't have the sufficient depth and scope. That's why you need a library that has professional collection development and collection maintenance that mirrors the needs of the community as determined by a community analysis conducted by professional library staff.

In an era of economic library censorship what will that do to America?
Here's the simple truth and it goes to the issue of what kind of society do you want to live in? Do you want to live in a society that practices censorship of information by economic means for the information have nots. Is that the America that we want to leave to the next generation, because here's what that America will look like, the America of censorship. You see the censor says well you don't really need this information anyway, you can trust me. You only need to look at one side of the coin in order to determine its value. When a generation grows up and it never gets to see the other side of the coin, it develops a one sided view. This intolerant one sided view of the world grows racism. It grows sexism, it grows an intolerant view of all people who are different from me and you. It causes people to be homophobic. Causes people to develop feelings of religious intolerance. We know the Tea Party says they want to take America back, but how far back do they want to take America in time?


Libraries offer a lot more then you think!
Libraries also provide internet access to patrons, they provide large collections of music CDs and DVD movie type media and they even have games in their collections for young people or those young at heart. They have wonderful collections of all types of books, magazines, newspapers from around the country and around the world. Anything your library doesn't have, it can get through inter-library loan. In tight economic times, your library is a valuable resource that can add value to the lives of your families and communities. Please consider supporting your library today and ask your family, friends and neighbors to do the same. Working together we can make a difference. We can save America's libraries for ourselves and the next generation. All you have to do is care and care enough to get involved. Care enough to make a difference today.

I will close on this positive note and call to action.
American libraries are a success story that America can ill afford to lose. It cannot be replaced with the sophistry of censorship and it's twin illiteracy which spawns ignorance and hatred as well as bigotry in all forms which include racism, sexism, the hatred of anyone who is different, who prays different, or whose sexual orientation  is different. These people keep screaming that they want their country back, and if we let them they will take America back all the way to Jim Crow, back to before women were empowered to control their reproductive systems, because the censorship in all of its guises, be it political or economic always says the same thing which is trust me. The problem with such trust is that these people are human and will make mistakes at the expense of freedom. The American library association and its wonderful freedom to read statement puts forth the proposition that our right to read comes directly from the first amendment of the Constitution of the United States, a constitution that many Americans fought and died to preserve. Will this generation of Americans lose the right to the freedom of information that it provides? Let's remember that 63% of most prison inmates are functionally illiterate and an excess of 32 million Americans cannot read.

 The library serves as a children and adult's learning center. It supports and promulgates literacy. It is the last and best socialized institution in America wherein the mayor and a homeless person can expect the same level of service. If you love freedom of information and liberty, I invite you to support access to your local libraries by sharing this information on all social media. Let the call go out and let them hear us everywhere. We are for libraries and intellectual freedom in America today, tomorrow and forever!

PS: Though this library article has ended our library discussion below has just started! Everyone is invited to participate. Please read on because it is in the comments, that is where the action really is. Thank you for reading and sharing this article.

Here's the link to another library diary I wrote that deserves your attention which received over 10,000 Facebook shares on a similar subject matter.
"The library is the last, best socialized institution in America today and you're about to lose it"
http://www.dailykos.com/...
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(Written by an American expat living in the European Union)

Maria Fernandes, (32 years old) of Newark, New Jersey died when she fell asleep in her car from carbon monoxide poisoning and gasoline fumes while traveling between her 4 jobs. (RIP Maria Fernandes tribute youtube video at end of diary).

When Four Jobs Aren't Enough: Why We Need a Living Wage
Tuesday, 02 September 2014 10:31 By Robin Marty, Care2 | Op-Ed
"No person should die because they were too exhausted to leave the car, after working multiple shifts just to make ends meet. We need to stop being a country that allows our poor to work themselves to death."
http://truth-out.org/...
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Let's understand please this type of thing happens to low wage working class and working poor Americans all over America every single day. The difference being that they don't grab national and international headlines as did this poor lady because of the fact that she was a beautiful young woman with stunning super model-like good looks whose death the American for-profit media could sensationalize to not draw attention to the problem of America's low wage, no benefit economy but rather to sell copy and make money for themselves. This point becomes axiomatic in the way that the corporatist media is providing short shrift with the most superficial coverage in what is a complex problem and an international badge of American shame of low wage worker exploitation and the American wage slave economy, where people are literally worked to death everyday.

BBC News: US fast-food protests lead to several arrests
Protestors in NYC At least 24 protesters were arrested in New York City for blocking traffic and other offenses

Hundreds of US fast food workers have been arrested at protests after staging sit-ins demanding a so-called "living wage" of $15 (£9) per hour.
http://www.bbc.com/...

Farcical American for-profit corporatist owned press outlets pretend that fact checking this through research and letter writing campaigns is necessary, when in fact not only in Denmark but throughout the European Union, this information is an open secret regarding McDonald wages and all wages for decades. The fact that the American press is just now discovering this for those Americans living in Europe is an observe disturbing joke because every school child knows this open secret over here. Finally they neglect in their fact check to add in the value of the strong European pension systems, unemployment benefit systems and full medical coverage which substantially increases the value of the Danish McDonald wage even further. (Shame on you fact checker)
http://www.politifact.com/...

Reuters: I’m making $21 an hour at McDonald’s. Why aren’t you? By Louise Marie Rantzau
May 15, 2014

To anyone who says that fast-food jobs can’t be good jobs, I would answer that mine isn’t bad. In fact, parts of it are just fine. Under our union’s agreement with McDonald’s, for example, I receive paid sick leave that workers are still fighting for in many parts of the world. We also get overtime pay, guaranteed hours and at least two days off a week, unlike workers in most countries. At least 10 percent of the staff in any given restaurant must work at least 30 hours a week.
http://blogs.reuters.com/...

Here is the truth, if Maria Fernandes was working in a fast food operation in Denmark (like Louise Marie Rantzau) instead of working in the United States, she likely wouldn't have needed 4 jobs to make ends meet and wouldn't have died needlessly from overwork. This ugly truth is not being reported to the extent that it should be in the plutocrat owned corporate media. Therefore for a greater in-depth understanding of this issue, we must look to alternative media sources published in America such as this diary which may only be circulated widely with the help of readers such as yourself on Facebook, Twitter and other social media to help us get the word out on this issue. Sadly we can't do anything to help Maria Fernandes but what we can do is to prevent the untimely passing of the next victim, provided you help.

Let's for a moment look at international norms in other highly industrialized countries where in the charts below it becomes plain to see that workers aren't being exploited and literally worked to death. In looking at these data sets, please ask yourself how can we as American workers profit from importing the system of worker protections that you see plainly expressed in the charts below, because America is literally dying for better worker protections of the type that we see in every other major industrialized country in the world where, yes even fast food workers get 30 days paid vacation, they get complete medical and dental for themselves and their families which includes prescription coverage and includes paid sick leave and paid maternity leave. Did you know that the United States is the only major industrialized country in the world that doesn't have paid maternity leave by right of law. If you didn't know this, ask yourself why didn't you know this? Why are you learning about this possibly for the first time ever on a Daily Kos blog? Why isn't the corporate media telling you this? Why?

Some days we can truly say that a picture is worth a thousand words. Please keep this thought in mind when reviewing the graphic below and ask yourself, is it true that what you're being asked to give up over many years of your working life time is so great that if you add compound interest to it, even if you did make it some day, you would never be able to recover the loss in a clear understanding of the fact that in the reality of the 2014 America, most people never make it big. Too many American low wage workers die building and maintaining America everyday. In 2012, 4628 workers died on the job according to US government statistics. The best way we can honor the memory of their loss is in a spirit of grateful remembrance that it is the American worker who builds America and not the 1% who build nothing but seem to own almost everything. In a system designed to give more to the those who already have more, at the expense of those who have less or who like in the case of Maria Fernandes have nothing at all except her life and now they have taken that from her as well.



RIP Maria Fernandes. We will never forget you.
Here's a tribute to her on youtube!!
Discuss

Written by American expat living in Germany, wherein the police in 2011 fired 85 bullets, half of them were warning shots.



Dedication: this diary is dedicated to Eric Garner, whose murder/execution is documented in this diary's embedded Youtube video, where he was an unarmed African-American male placed in a chokehold and strangled to death by a New York City policeman on July 17th 2014!                   May Eric rest in peace.

Using the ballot box to lawfully disarm the American militarized police state

(Shouldn't someone ask the Ferguson P.D. why can't they wear police uniforms)?
"When you see the kind of force that's being used in Ferguson it really does make it appear that the police department there is an occupying army in a hostile territory and that is absolutely not what we want to see in the United States."
(End of quote) Senator Bernie Sanders on the Ed Schultz show (MSNBC) - Aug. 18th 2014
"The U.S. militarization of police displayed in Ferguson has been going on across America for decades" by Meteor Blades

"When cops treat people the way an occupying army would, the consequences for citizens, for constitutional protections, for the police themselves are exactly the opposite of what is needed in a civilized society. "Serve and protect" is transformed into a sick joke."

Doesn't the recent evidence coming out of Ferguson, Missouri show us that we are not dealing with a protest, but rather a rebellion against the American racist  militarized police state. Elizabeth Warren is recently quoted as saying this is not a war zone but rather America, when decrying the American police state, along with Bernie Sanders and many others tell us the answer is not to buy more tanks for the police but rather to create jobs for Americans with that money. But America's war profiteers make a lot of money selling military equipment all over the world so now that they can't make money in Iraq militarizing their streets they want to make even more money by continuing to militarizing American streets by militarizing the police even faster through the 1033 Program which provides military equipment to police essentially at federal expense. Many members of the police have served as members of the national guard or reserve in Iraq, so to them a militarization of the police seems natural given their socialization from the Iraq war! (This socialization extends to the wearing of Iraq style urban combat uniforms, as opposed to the ordinary police SWAT blue tactical uniforms, which would send a completely different message to the public). This has given America's war profiteers the opportunity to embrace fully the Iraq war socialization of many members of the police force as if it's a marriage made in heaven and a marketing dream with endless tax advantages.
War Comes Home
The Excessive Militarization of American Policing 2014 ACLU Foundation
"Militarization of policing encourages officers to adopt a “warrior” mentality
and think of the people they are supposed to serve as enemies".

(page 24 In 2013, "The Department of Defense started giving away MRAPs through the 1033 Program. According to the Department of Defense, MRAPs are designed to protect occupants against armor-piercing roadside bombs. 47 In 2007, the United States spent $50 billion to produce 27,000 MRAPs and deploy them to Iraq and Afghanistan. 48 No longer needed overseas, MRAPs have made their way into local communities. Because the ACLU launched this investigation in early 2013 and requested records only from 2011-2012, we did not ask the jurisdictions studied to send documentation of MRAP requests, so it is not possible to know from this investigation how many towns have acquired such vehicles through the 1033 Program. Media accounts put the number at around 500. 49 Dallas, Texas, has one. 50 So does Salinas, California, 51 as well as the Utah Highway Patrol. 52 And, perhaps most bizarrely, the Ohio State University Police has one—in order to provide “presence” on football game days". 53
https://www.aclu.org/...

 As such this action diary asks an important question isn't it time to put a referendum on the ballot to disarm the police, who don't need to be armed. I've been to England and I saw firsthand outstanding community policing, where many peace officers in the police dept were unarmed, that is to say they did not carry firearms. Now to be sure there are specialized units which may be called into action at a moment's notice, ready to respond 24/7 that are armed specialized units, who do carry firearms in the UK. As such shouldn't we ask is it really necessary for every single cop in America to be armed and to be armed all the time with often fully militarized firearms? Now to be clear I'm not talking about Sheriff Andy Griffith, who never wore a firearm. I am talking about real life police constables in large metropolitan areas to include London, who do not regularly carry firearms, because they believe to do so would provoke violence and put citizens in unnecessary danger.

British police come out of the comparison well. Last year only two people were shot dead by police in England and Wales, while the country's largest force, the Metropolitan Police, fired just six shots in the 2009-10 figures.
http://www.theweek.co.uk/...
Shortly after I arrived in Germany in 2011, there was a standing joke being circulated through the media which bluntly put says, that the American police kill more people in America than the crooks kill in Germany, and that this came on the back of a study that was published just 2 years ago in 2012 that showed that the German police in the previous year of 2011 shot just 85 bullets at people and half of them were warning shots.
German police used 85 bullets in 2011, according to a report.
LA police fired 90 in one incident....
LAST UPDATED AT 11:41 ON Mon 14 May 2012

But perhaps shootings aren’t the worst risk in the US. Amnesty International estimates that more than 500 people have been killed by police using supposedly 'non-lethal' Tasers since 2001.
http://www.theweek.co.uk/...

Some political activists have made the point that the militarized American police response in light of the number of in line of duty deaths is overly aggressive and cannot be justified in its use of force policies and what should happen is a more peace officer like European style community based policing model that is far less aggressive which should be adopted in the United States. This diary will not speak to that issue but will instead let you as the reader come to your own conclusions on that point as to whether or not the militarized American police response is truly justified or not.
 
American Line of Duty Police Deaths for 2014: 67
Assault: 1
Automobile accident: 15
Fire: 1
Gunfire: 27
Gunfire (Accidental): 1
Heart attack: 8
Motorcycle accident: 2
Struck by vehicle: 3
Vehicle pursuit: 2
Vehicular assault: 7

Link: http://www.odmp.org/...

It should be noted that while the federal government and private groups in America keep track of the number of police who are killed in the line of duty by being shot at, there is no part of the federal government or any private groups who track the number of citizens in America who are shot and killed by the police. So that number for the above reasons is historically and permanently unavailable, whereupon this diary invites you to draw to your own conclusions from that.
From New York Times journalist Matt Apuzzo in  PBS Newshour Interview (at 28mins, 20secs) on Aug 14, 2014  
"The idea that America's streets are so dangerous that the police are outgun isn't just born out of the data.We're looking at violent crime in the United States now
is at a generational low and police shootings have been steadily declining, shootings against police. I should note that while the federal government and private groups keep data when people shoot police, no such data is collected when the police shoot people..." (End of quote)

Youtube link: https://www.youtube.com/...

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WARNING: Viewer discretion is advised. This video below shows graphic matter wherein an unarmed African American male, Eric Garner is choked to death by a white police officer in broad daylight, on camera, with complete impunity wherein no criminal charges have been filed against the police. As this type of thing has happened thousands of times in America, can we understand the reaction of the African American community in Ferguson and across America.    

As a male of European ethnicity it is honestly difficult for me to believe that these racially profiled motivated killings by police, who are entitled to use deadly force even against unarmed Americans wherein the clear subtext is that the lives of police are more important than the lives of unarmed American citizens (as an axiomatic issue). Also why aren't students all across America today following the lead of the students at Howard University, peacefully posing for pictures like the one below.

Before the tragedy in Ferguson unfolded where a young unarmed African American male by the name of Micheal Brown was killed, and I would argue actually racially profiled and murdered by white policemen, I wrote about a young 13 year old boy by the name of Andy Lopez who was also racially profiled and was killed wherein he was initially shot in the back (by a white policeman who was an Iraq war veteran) on his way home while carrying a plastic toy BB gun next to a field that was a regular playground for neighborhood kids.

Prior to that  I wrote about a mentally disturbed African American man who had a knife in his hand and was killed by New York City Police running racial profiling operations in the most iconic of American places, right in Times Square in the heart of New York City.

  I recently had an important conversation with a European friend who was as rightly disturbed by the American militarized police state as I was. He related to me a personal experience that deserves your attention, wherein over here he reported a knife wielding mentally disturbed man to the police, they responded. The man came at them with a knife and these police officers exercised such restraint, that they actually got into their cars and closed the doors. The man then proceeded to damage their police vehicle smashing the headlights and causing other damage. The officers stayed seated until such time as a canine police patrol unit appeared on the scene. At which point a dog subdued the man and he was taken into custody without any serious injury. My friend recalls seeing the man waving at him behind a fenced mental health facility, waving at all cars as they went by. He was alive and well and hopefully on his way to recovery with the help of competent health care professionals at a hospital facility. Given our experience as Americans I would have to say it would be very unlikely that this man would have been allowed to survive in most jurisdictions in the United States, because American police are trained differently!

* Here's a link to the German article, wherein the machete wielding intoxicated mentally disturbed German man was shot once in the leg and survived  (June 11th 2014) .
Isn't it time we imported European police officers from the German police service and the police services of other European countries to train American police to stop summary firing squad time executions of mentally disturbed people by police in the United States. Certainly its an international badge of shame how poorly in the use of force American police are trained compared to their European counterparts who displayed  a much higher level of competence in this regard.

By contrast, near Ferguson in St. Louis the police shot  a mentally deranged young African American male from accounts in possession of a butter knife, police fired 8 times, killing him. This is real evidence of how poorly trained the American police are compared to European police forces as in the example of Germany.  


(Clearly these statistics for the Ferguson Police must be seen as badge of shame).


We in America actually have more people in federal, state and local lockups, than we have service members in the active duty military. This is an enormous loss of human potential, which has become an international badge of shame in the militarized American police state. The only protection that we as citizens have against the militarized police state is the ballot box. We must vote the militarized American police state out of existence in order to protect public safety and our democracy. We must act bravely and swiftly to stop this criminalized police state from robbing still more of our needed taxpayer funds, so that greedy war profiteers, who have grown fat and rich on human misery, the world over now believe they have found a new market segmentation, this time on American streets. They are now doing to the American people what America through military intervention and through the intimidation of gunboat diplomacy has done all over the world, where we have well over 200 military bases worldwide. There is always plenty of money for the worldwide American police state, but there is never enough money for universal medical care, dental care, prescription medications. There is never enough money for American food security, environmental protection and rebuilding crumbling critical infrastructures. Our last line of defense is the ballot box, because it is only through the ballot box that we can save our communities from the American militarized police state.  

Regarding the rebellion taking place in Ferguson. The Reverend Jesse Jackson has been quoted by the BBC as detailed below with what one may only refer to as sobering words indeed. Please give Reverend Jackson's remarks and full article a close read.

'Overkill'

Earlier, following a rally organised by civil rights activist the Reverend Jesse Jackson, he described Mr Brown's death as part of "a pattern around the country of a black man being shot by white police, [falsely] arrested, stop and frisk, excessive jailing."

"This is a kind of lynching in 2014," Mr Jackson added.
http://www.bbc.com/...

Please let's remember as the American working class continues to be pushed to the wall by the 1% and their Wall Street surrogates, the pockets of the third world will continue to grow as will the militarized police force to ensure the oppression by the rich of America's poor and working class. Therefore the militarization of America's police forces are a frightening trend which must be addressed by the voters at the ballot box. If our politicians don't show the political will that's necessary then our voters must organize referendum ballot measures in order to protect public safety and to ensure the continued democracy of the United States.

  Please note the intent of this action diary is not to provide any comprehensive treatment of the subject matter, but rather merely to provide an ice breaker type discussion starter in a public space by American voters!

PS: UPDATE: 20th August 2014
 Eric Holder Attorney General of the United States announced today that he will be visiting Ferguson shortly, so there is good reason for hope, and we must always work to support each other and keep hope alive. So there is some hope of
a prosecution under Federal law. This is important because any hope of a successful prosecution under Missouri laws all but zero! In fact in states like Missouri the laws are specifically written to make a successful prosecution in cases like Michael Brown all but impossible, especially when the killer is a policeman. While the prosecutor has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt who killed Michael Brown. Basically once that's done the person who killed him only has to provide evidence that he was acting in self-defense, instead of being required to mount a vigorous, full on affirmative defense. The evidentiary standard for a claim of self-defense under Missouri law is so low, it would be almost impossible for a policeman through his own testimony, stating he was in fear and acted in self-defense wouldn't be sufficient. This evidence may be established through the killers own testimony. In which case Missouri law so heavily in its weight favors the killer, that any reasonable chance of a conviction becomes so unlikely, especially in the case of a policeman being the killer, that it's extremely unlikely that the prosecutor would ever pursue such a case, because securing a conviction, especially if the victim is African-American and the killer is a policeman, under Missouri state law the situation becomes essentially almost hopeless. Therefore the visit of Eric Holder, as the Attorney General of the United States offers some real hope of a federal prosecution being effectuated in the matter of Michael Brown's civil rights being violated.

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(Written by an American expat living in Germany where German Police Used Only 85 Bullets Against People in 2011)

This week the Sonoma County California prosecutor stated they will not prosecute a Northern California sheriff's deputy in the matter of the shooting death of 13 year old Andy Lopez. Socorro Shiels, Santa Rosa schools superintendent, said of Andy: "His administrators and teachers will remember him as kind, intelligent and capable." http://www.petaluma360.com/...

Andy Lopez was a 13 year old all American boy of Hispanic descent from Santa Rosa, Calif who while walking home from school with a friend's BB gun was shot and killed by Deputy Gelhaus on October 22nd 2013. After a full investigation Sonoma county prosecutor just as in the 60 cases that had proceeded this incident elected not to prosecute law enforcement officers in the matter of the killing. In doing so this created wide spread protests in the Santa Rosa Hispanic community and beyond.

The story prima facie seems to pattern itself indistinguishably to a long list of such shooting tragedies that occur throughout America with such regularity that they become accepted as part of the social norm. Except that as an American expat living in the EU I know that internationally this is not the norm. Therefore this diary offers a perspective that is different enough that you are likely to find this is anything but the run of the mill usual story. In fact this is also due in part to the fact Deputy Gelhaus has been unusually outspoken publicly in his position, as a published author essentially advocating a policy of shoot first and ask questions later for police officers. So strongly does he advocate this position in his published writings, that one begs to ask the question does such advocacy come close to the standard of mens rea which in law refers to the guilty mind required for premeditation. So you see this isn't at all your run of the mill shooting tragedy article, and indeed if you take the time to read on you may find this diary is an altogether different event.

As a young boy growing up in America of European ethnicity, we never were in fear of being shot to death when we ran around in our neighborhood with our BB guns during our pre-teen years. Later in our teens many of us graduated to responsible gun ownership in our first 22 rifle and learned responsible gun ownership and gun safety almost as a right of passage before we went into the military. By which time many of us were crackshots already. Of course in the military either on active duty or in the National Guard we learned that we had to operate within certain rules of engagement which meant that the decision to pull the trigger was never taken beforehand. This is the direct opposite of what Deputy Gelhaus as a military and police firearm's instructor and SWAT officer advocates in his published writings. He says you have to take that decision beforehand or you may not come home. Certainly we must ask is this why Andy Lopez never made it home that day and in fact will never be allowed to come home again.

Let's look at the brief facts of the case as shown in the video below taken by a passerby's cell phone camera moments after the shooting, which shows Officer Gelhaus hiding behind the open door of his police cruiser and his partner doing the same thing right after it is believed the fatal shots had already rang out. Statements taken show that Andy was walking home when the police cruiser came up behind him, where the police officers came out, hid behind their doors and allegedly ordered Andy several times to drop the gun. As Andy Lopez was wearing a hoodie covering his ears it's possible he may not have clearly heard the officer's command and when predictably as the startled child, finally turned around to see what was going on according to witnesses he was shot and killed by Deputy Gelhaus, who claims that the barrel of the BB gun as Andy was turning was moving in his direction. He therefore felt threatened and in fear of his life and for this reason he claims he took the decision to shoot Andy to death, where he shot him 7 times. Concurrently his partner for reasons unknown did not shoot Andy at all. This was the tragic and indeed very sad set of circumstances that unraveled. The community's feeling a sense of betrayal and deja vu concurrently having suffered 60 deaths in the past decade was visibly shaken, disturbed and rightly grief stricken. Clearly if there had been a good community policing effort the officers should have known Andy who had lived in the area all his life. But deputy Gelhaus was a complete stranger to Andy.

California law isn't really too much different than the law in other States, in that it gives police officers an enormous amount of discretion, as to whether or not to shoot and kill a suspect, who they genuinely feel their lives are threatened by, fearing death or serious injury would come to themselves or someone else. It is this trust that the law places in its sworn police officers that the community in Rosa feels has betrayed them, that in fact it was plainly visible and indeed obvious to witnesses at the time of the shooting that neither of these officers or anyone else was ever in any danger from Andy Lopez. This becomes clear from the account of witness Ismael Mondragon, who said that he could tell that this was clearly just a toy gun by the way Andy was carrying it, swinging it around because it had no weight to it at all. He says quote, "no because it was very light, when he was walking with that very light." Even cut versions of the Ak47 like the AIMR and the AKS-74U aren't weightless.

Indeed this very issue is in evidence with the photographs below. A close examination of which proves Mr Mondragon's point. In what appears to be a public relation's move by the Sheriff's dept and County prosecutor, in what may only be described as a show and tell public relation's exercise, we see that the Deputy holding the toy BB gun in his right hand furthest away from the camera is able to hold it right out there easily for what was a sustained period of a photo op. Whereas the real AKA 47 he holds in the other hand is held in much closer to his body, this is due to the weight of the weapon, and anyone who knows anything about firearms at all would immediately understand that.  

 The BB gun which is continually referred to by the Sheriff's Dept and the press as a replica AKA 47 assault rifle is anything but an actual replica. However many Americans have been shot to death by police at their front door holding nothing more than a remote control in their hands, because an officer claims he was in genuine fear of his life and took a split second decision to fire his weapon and kill the resident. So the fact the BB gun isn't an actual AKA 47 replica, (it doesn't even have a front iron sight) that has no weight to it at all doesn't really matter as much as we would think. You see because that kind of a weapon with its weight couldn't be carried in the left arm in a sustained fashion walking along by the average skinny armed 13 year old child under 5 foot in height. If such a weapon were in fact real it would have to be carried with a sling . Still when confronting a 24 year veteran Sheriff's Deputy Gelhaus, who has had military experience in Iraq and is a trained swat officer, you would expect his trained powers of observation to have noted what witnesses at the scene, to include Mr Mondragon noticed, which was the toy gun had no weight to it at all.

But that really didn't matter, because Deputy Gelhaus in his writings clearly stated that you have to make the decision to kill in advance. We know that's true because he did kill Andy Lopez without hesitation just as the boy was turning around, even before his partner could take a decision to shoot. From accounts Andy Lopez was already dead because Deputy Gelhaus took the decision in advance by way of premeditation that he would be coming home that night, which for Andy tragically meant that he would never be able to come home again.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In another online post, Gelhaus described his tenure as a deputy as a time of "the good, bad, terrible & indifferent," and advised one person asking for career advice to consider the potential of having to face the "very rare" situation of "having to take a life so that you survive and go home to yours."

Gelhaus wrote.
 THE TIME TO MAKE THAT DECISION IS NOW, NOT AT 1A.M. IN A MUDDY DITCH OR GARBAGE-FILLED PARKING LOT,"
http://www.petaluma360.com/...
 

 .

ACCORDING TO THE BRITISH NEWS PAPER THE MAIL. FROM THE TIME GELHAUS REPORTED SEEING ANDY HE WOULD HAVE LESS THEN 10 SECONDS TO LIVE.
This clearly speaks to a degree of disturbing premeditation,

The Daily Mail
Those who have protested the shooting said the deputy did not give ample warning
before opening fire. Investigators have said 10 seconds elapsed between the time
Gelhaus and a trainee reported a 'suspicious person' and then reported shots fired
to dispatchers. The trainee did not open fire
.

 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/...

Because while no one can know what exactly at the moment the shots rang out what a police officer is thinking, and the laws says in Calif if he is in fear of his life and he is able to convince others of that fact, that he will not be prosecuted. As the law provides for a presumption that we will trust the police officer's word in this regard, there isn't any way for the public to actually know what Deputy Gelhaus was thinking. therefore he is entitled to say that he felt in fear of his life, and therefore fired his service revolver 7 times into Andy Lopez, almost instantly as he was turning around. From the autopsy report we know that Andy was shot in the back before he was even able to turn all the way around as he was stuck in the right buttock.
"During Thursday's autopsy, Dr. Arthur Josselson with the Forensic Medical Group determined one of the fatal bullets entered the right side of Lopez's chest and a second fatal wound was caused by a bullet that entered his right hip, Henry said.

Lopez was also wounded on his right wrist, left bicep, right forearm, right buttocks and right hip, all non-fatal injuries, Henry said. The doctor recovered three bullets from the body.

Investigators also found four rounds in the area of the shooting."

http://www.pressdemocrat.com/...

As a defense Gelhaus simply says he was in fear of his life and had to shoot.
 As none of us are mind readers, this type of police officer's defense could never be interfered with by the public, except for one thing, Deputy Gelhaus published that you have to make this decision in advance in his writings. This is truly disturbing, because this speaks to a clear degree of premeditation. The law doesn't say you are allowed to take this decision beforehand as to how you will or won't react. The law says you must take that decision right there and then, and that meant at 3:14 pm on October 22nd 2013 which was the time of Andy's death, that decision had to be taken by, because that is the only instant that Deputy Gelhaus is allowed under the color of law to take the life of Andy, as a justifiable homicide.
Whereas Deputy Gelhaus says in his heart he had already taken that decision beforehand, and therefore he is not entitled to the protection provided by California law given his premeditation as in evidence by his writing. Where he incites others to do the same thing.
In law school I learned for the first time the phrase police testalying. Where it is believed veteran police officers mentor younger police officers on how to best lie when testifying in Court. Is this what Gelhaus with complete impunity is doing here below? If not why not and how should we feel about police officers suborning perjury with complete impunity as the price of them protecting the property of the rich, so as to keep them in power no matter what the cost!!
__________

Gelhaus' participation in the forum was confirmed Friday by Denny Hansen, S.W.A.T.'s editor-in-chief.

In one revealing thread, forum members debated whether the use of force is justified if someone brandishes or fires a BB GUN at another person.

Gelhaus chimed in, writing that "It's going to come down to YOUR ability to
articulate to law enforcement and very likely the Court
that you were in fear of death or serious bodily injury.

"I think we keep coming back to this, articulation -- your ability to explain why --
will be quite significant," Gelhaus wrote.

http://www.petaluma360.com/...
__________

Now we get to the real tragedy of the matter because the prosecutor in the case knew all about this. She even knew about Deputy Gelhaus' writings on point and she still refused to prosecute him, even refusing to take the matter to the Grand Jury, who therefore was never entitled based on their preponderance of the evidence to take a decision. As such given the unlawful actions of Deputy Gelhaus and the prosecutorial negligence, the people are crying out that the Federal Dept of Justice investigate the matter. There seems to be clear evidence that law enforcement in this case is unable to police itself properly and as such I ask and urge you to write to your member of Congress and ask them to forward your letter to the Dept of Justice, even if you're not from the State of Calif, because this is an area of federal responsibility and jurisdiction, as the civil right's of Andy Lopez have been clearly violated. To prevent further abuses all across America, a full Dept of Justice investigation is warranted, particularly as in the past decade there has been in excess of 60 suspicious deaths, where law enforcement to date has not been held to account in Santa Rosa. I say let there be a full and thorough investigation by the Dept of Justice, and let the evidence dictate how the matter is progressed. Therefore I urge you to write a letter to the White House directly to President Obama, because it is his Dept of Justice which has the responsibility to investigate the killing of Andy.

Is Lt. Henry lying?  

"The deputy then fired several rounds from his service weapon at the subject," said Lt. Paul Henry, "striking him at least one time. The subject immediately fell to the ground."

Neighbor Ethan Oliver said he saw things a little differently. Oliver claims he exited his house after hearing two gun shots and saw Lopez already on the ground.

"Then the cops went at it again and unloaded like 6 to 7 shots,” said Oliver. Asked if he meant the deputy shot Andy while he was on the ground, Oliver responded, "Yeah. Exactly what I saw."

 http://www.upi.com/...


HOW DO OTHER HIGHLY INDUSTRIALIZED NATIONS HANDLE THESE TYPES OF PROBLEMS?
As a quick final thought as an American expat living in Germany, the year before last (that is 2012) there was a publication made based on a study throughout all of 2011 that here in Germany police fired less than 85 bullets for the entire year. Half of those shots were warning shots.
German Police Used Only 85 Bullets Against People in 2011

According to Germany's Der Spiegel, German police shot only 85 bullets in all of 2011, a stark reminder that not every country is as gun-crazy as the U.S. of A.
http://news.yahoo.com/...


(Yes it's true German Highway Police drive Porsches as there is no speed limit on the AutoBahn. But then again they are one of the best Police force/PEACE OFFICERS in the world in the richest country in the E.U. Maybe we should import them to train American police in Community policing and public safety).

DID YOU KNOW THAT FROM FROM 1995 TO 2010 THAT THE ENGLISH POLICE ONLY SHOT 33 PEOPLE?

Police have shot dead 33 people since 1995 -

Updated: 00:49 GMT, 26 September 2010
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/...


The truth is that we as Americans when we consider the cultural norms of other major industrialized countries like Germany, it's clear that we as Americans have given the militarized police state too much power and too much discretion. Isn't it time that as owners of the country at the ballot box we started taking back some of our power to protect our families, our communities and the American people at large from an out of control police state, who serve and protect primarily the property interests of the 1% instead of the interests and public safety of mainstream working class America. Until the responsible parties for Andy's death are investigated by the DOJ, none of us no matter where we are or who we are will ever be safe again, because this tragic incident has taken our peace of mind. In speaking for myself it has taken my ability to give my old BB gun to anyone else. I will not be able to pass that gift on, because though I never knew him in life, I will always remember Andy.    

Please help us get Andy's story out by sharing this diary and ones like it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media. We need your help to get the word out. Thank you.


* PS: As a number of posters have wrongly put the blame in their comments on the toy gun manufacturers in the matter of Andy's tragic shooting, rather than Deputy Gelhaus, I would simply like to ask why, oh why, isn't this a problem in Germany, Japan, England to the extent that it is in the U.S. How many more of these senseless tragedies must we suffer before we as owners of the country take action at the ballet box to assert control over the militarized American police state.  


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