Trust funds have been set up. Get details at CBS5.
I plan to attend the 6pm vigil tonight at 74th and MacArthur.
Spot.US covers post-incident news as does blog ABO.
Today’s shootings were terrible and sad. It’s already been covered over at ORPN and ABO. This may also explain the seeming no-BS stance of OPD tonight that I observed around downtown.
I don’t think anyone, even the hard core anti-“pig” set including fans of Oscar Grant and the other young man who was gunned down on MLK at 54th, would condone today’s activities. Nevermind: obviously some privileged people will cheer, as well as the ignorant. We are collectively not angels, and we need “Watchmen” aka police. Including at the Securities and Exchange Commission.
We are reminded to take a critical look at our broken criminal “justice” system in which the rich can buy their way out of jail (OJ, Michael Milken), or at least relax in their Manhattan penthouse (Made-off). The US is undoubtedly one of the world’s top jailers, if not the pre-eminent one, with an increasing jail population in private, corporate jails. (For-profit jails–do you see a problem here?) We are increasingly a mirror to South Africa, Israel or the Soviet Union in this sense.
I am not saying to let even one killer or violent felon out of jail. People who murder intentionally or whatnot, deserve to be kept out of society. However, there are many thousands of people in jail because of our Orwellian “War on Drugs” from the 1990s from the Bush I era. We must deal with people differently based on violent crimes against people, vs crimes of theft or simply, vice. If there weren’t so many frivolous “offenders” behind bars, we could keep chronic problem cases like Mr. Mixon on a tighter leash, or at least have more money to spend on social services helping these people get on their feet and stay clean.
If and when the state or federal governments were ever to run out of their budgets, thousands of prisoners would necessarily be released immediately en masse — instead of gradually as in a parole-based system. And these wouldn’t all be mere pot-smokers and such. Imagine daily life then. No wonder gun sales are up nationally. People have low confidence in the future of state and local governance to maintain social order.
I am sure that our national justice system is broken, when only a roomful of AIG execs and Bernie Madoff are publicly outed, while thousands of others remain comfortable, tax-free money safely ensconced in offshore pirate havens of the British crown or in the Swiss Alps. We wouldn’t have over $100 billion in taxpayers’ income taxes stolen through bailouts and the Madoff/Enron scandals if basic rules were being enforced. Meanwhile, we have thousands of people in $30-80,000 per year corporate for-profit prison beds. (And this is all before getting into the international drug trade and false “war on drugs.” Remember Iran-Contra? And now after the election, after we stop hearing “Bush out of Iraq” we hear only silence about Obama’s Afghanistan moves. At least part of that game is opium. Hello reporters?)
You can be sure that our country will look quite different in our lifetimes when these unnatural trends revert to, or beyond historical norms. It will at the least be a time to start over.
For more of this line of thinking, read Dmitry Orlov’s Reinventing Collapse. Dmitry also keeps a blog.
Elaine Supkis, Mark Dettinger and the Market Oracle also write about our corrupt financial “leadership.” Bloomberg provides solid journalism, including suing the Treasury/Fed via FOIA requests for the names of TARP bailout bankster piggies.
Ella Baker Center, an Oakland nonprofit, runs “Books Not Bars” and “Silence the Violence” among other programs including the national Green4All campaign.
When I walked around DTO tonight I counted four homeless people. Three sleeping at the door of the church by Giant Burger, and a guy posted up at Taco Hell. I bought them burritos. And Taco Hell has an inane, environmentally and lower-class unfriendly policy of requiring that you drive a car thru the drivethru to receive service.
Since I live so close, I walked, and had to co-order with the not-so-well-to-do folks in the car behind me. (Their car was missing doorlocks and paint. And they asked me for gas money. It’s hard to feel sorry for people who waste money on gas/car/cigs but they were doing me a favor.) Owning a car is over-rated and as Orlov the author points out, the lowest common denominator of claiming to be “middle class” in America — our version of official Soviet egalitarianism.
I hope that real criminals don’t start using rifles extensively–no body armor can stop rifles and this just sounds bad all around.
Learn more about organized crime at the federal level – that is, HUD fraud and private prison creation in the early 90s from someone who was in the thick of it:
Dillon Read & the Aristocracy of Stock Profits