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Men of Pieces

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A recent headline on the Oakland Tribune was, "They Were Men of Peace", and the story below it started, "Mourners from across the country packed Oracle Arena to the rafters Friday, as the city and nation said a heavy-hearted goodby to four Oakland police officers fatally shot in the line of duy March 21."

My immediate reaction when I saw it was to wish that more of these same people would show up for Golden State Warriors NBA games, which are played in the same arena.  A second later, I started thinking about my articles, "The American Criminal Injustice System" and "One Step Above the Law" which have been posted on a number of different Web venues since I wrote 'em back in 2005.  Then a flash of "inspiration" popped into my mind:  "These weren't men of peace, they were men of pieces. "  And my next thought was,  "There's enough food for thought in that pun to nourish quite a substantial article, so I might as well start writing it."

ALL cops are "men of pieces" because their job requires them to behave as if "all power grows out of the barrel of a gun".  And they're more likely to get "blown to pieces" or at least "blown away" than most people are -- the old adage "live by the sword, die by the sword" definitely applies here.

And after I started planning the article, I thought of a third meaning:  far too many cops want "pieces" of the criminal-justice pie that only judges and politicians should have.  For example, when they practice any kind of "selective enforcement" of the law they're either pardoning the guilty or persecuting the innocent .... when two people jaywalk, they're either both guilty of a crime or they're both innocent .... and if a cop arrests one but not the other, injustice has been served.

I also had another flash of illumination when I reread the messages about the shootings I'd posted on one of my own forums shortly after the events occurred:  I'd already written the bulk of the article, and all I had to do was edit the "pieces" together.

As for my opinions on the shooting themselves and the people involved, let me just paste in some excerpts from a couple of messages on the shootings  I posted on my Yuku Community shortly after the events occured:

One of the other members of the forum posted:  "I was listening to Savage talk about some cops getting killed in Oakland earlier tonight and I only kept it on with the twisted thought that he might start yelling and give off a sort of a primal therapy we all need. Luckily the station faded out after a while."

My reply was:  "I have no idea what Michael Savage might have said about the shooting of the four cops in Oakland the other day .... but I'm sure it was miles from the truth as I see it. What happened is that some ex-con on probation was about to be busted for a minor traffic offense and assumed he'd be thrown back into prison for a parole violation.  So he acted out one of those 'you'll never take me alive' scenarios and took four cops with him. I have no idea if the killer was just a petty crook or a real monster in human form, or if the cops involved were 'good cops' or 'bad cops', and it doesn't matter. The most probable cause of the whole mess is simply that ALL of the California state prisons are real hell-holes, and it's perfectly understandible why someone would prefer to die fighting what actually IS a 'criminal injustice system' than to surrender to it and be tortured for years to come. And the opinion of the California prisons I just stated is supported by quite a number of international agencies who specialize in investigating such things -- as can easily be verified with a simple Google search, but is almost never mentioned on the mass media, even by the self-styled 'progressives'....."

The other person responded:  "Savage basically went through the whole liberal system is broken bit and that if this were the 1950's the cops would have had rules of engagement that would have left less of them dead to give a quick paraphrase."

I replied, "Well, the liberal system IS broken -- it was the Republican did it, and the Democrats are now hoping (IMO, most likely in vain) to patch it back together in time to prevent a revolution. I grew up in California during the Fifties and I know from personal experience that the police "rules of engagement" were EXACTLY the same as they are today. What's different is that the guy would most have been a lot less likely to do what he did because because there much less reason to fear imprisonment then. The prisons were managed by officials who still believed in 'rehabilitation', run by guards instead of by criminal gangs, and there was a LOT less torture, rape, and intimidation "inside" than there is now.

"He also said later in same message: "I'll bet Amnesty International has a room full of files on the jails in California alone.  They make alot of reality shows apparently about that. They even had Rodney King on one show about celebrity rehab I saw not too long ago(reality shows are an excellent reason to post online more often lol). Having Rodney King as a 'celebrity' shows an irony about America I wonder if any other country shares.

"Yup, AI has a room full of such files, and so do a lot of other American and international human rights organizations that are less controversial.  Much of the actual statistical and anecdotal evidence on this is posted on line, accessible by simple Google searches. And even though 'celebrity rahab' in jails and prisons gets major media coverage, the atrocious conditions the vast majority of inmates are subjected to is barely mentioned. Hell, when ex-cons or criminology experts call up even the most 'liberal' radio or TV talk shows and start telling real horror stories about 'life inside', they invariable get 'blown off' one way or another. And ALL network TV shows that claim to dramatize present-day prison life realistically actually sugar-coat it enough to make anyone who knows the truth want to puke."

Back to real time.  I could write a lot more on this subject right off the top of my head, but I think it's a better idea to wait and let any comments I get guide what I say next....
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Let's take the turtle off the fence post. The turtle is the 99% and the fence post is artificial scarcity and a climate of fear. My main activity on the Internet right now is running the "Comparing Beliefs" Forum on the "Innersence" Yuku (more...)
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