Friday, July 19, 2013

The Inglorious Exploits of Dear Leader, Episode 4: Default before Dishonor

Dear Leader faced a vexing problem: Detroit had filed for bankruptcy, and he was on record as saying that he had refused to let Detroit go bankrupt.  His loyal minions had fanned out on Twitter, doing battle over the real meaning of his words: he had saved the auto industry, not the municipal government.  It's not what he said; it's what he meant.

Still, Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr was obstinately persisting his quest to move Detroit into bankruptcy, after the impossibility of 9,700 current employees supporting the pension obligations of 21,000 retirees became apparent. Oh, sure, there were those massive spending sprees on stadiums for the Tigers, the Lions, and the Red Wings.  Economic revitalization costs money, and so Detroit had to spend money to make money.

However, the problems were structural, with 26% of the population lost between 2000 and 2011, and 78,000 abandoned buildings, two out of every five street lights broken, and just a third of the ambulances in service.  Detroit residents wait almost an hour for a 911 response, as opposed to the national average of 11 minutes.
Years of projecting 8.5% returns on pension investments in the face of actual returns that were much, much lower had caught up with Dear Leader's beloved Detroit.  He was sorely wrothed, mightily vexed, and sulking in the Oval Office when one of Michigan's own judges came to his rescue and the rescue of the People's Glorious Socialist Municipality of Detroit.

Ingham County Judge Rosemarie E. Aquilina, whose first year law courses had taught her that Michigan state law supersedes federal bankruptcy law no matter what, ruled that Michigan Governor Bill Snyder and City Manager Orr were in error.  They had filed for bankruptcy when Michigan's laws prohibit the slashing of pensions and retiree health insurance coverage, and most of all, they had egregiously insulted Dear Leader.
Attorney General Bill Schuette took his flogging from Judge Aquilina:
“It’s cheating, sir, and it’s cheating good people who work,” the judge told assistant state Attorney General Brian Devlin. “It’s also not honoring the (United States) president, who took (Detroit’s auto companies) out of bankruptcy.”
How could Schuette not honor Dear Leader?! The nerve! The audacity! Judge Aquilina said that she would get the President a copy of her order, because Dear Leader needed to know about her order!  After all, as Judge Aquilina declared, "I know he's watching this."

He sees you when you're sleeping.  He knows when you're awake, because his CIA can track your room to room movements via your appliances.  He knows what you've been thinking, because he reads your emails and eavesdrops on your phone calls via the NSA, so be good for goodness' sake.  Dear Leader knows all, and he will not be dishonored via the default or bankruptcy of some middling elected official in Michigan.  No, not at all!

The Police Are Not Your Friends: He Man Woman Haters Edition

The police are not your friends, and today's He Man Woman Haters Edition shows the best and the brightest of the bottom of the law enforcement barrel at their worst.  We begin with San Marcos, Texas policeman James Angelo Palermo, who was in the midst of a traffic stop when he noticed a female pedestrian. He accosted her immediately, because he is the law, and he was entitled to know what she was doing and who she was doing it with.  When the pedestrian stepped back as Palermo moved towards her, he grabbed her and slammed her against the back of the stopped car, then spun his body in order to slam her into the concrete driveway between his patrol car the stopped car.

Palermo slapped on some handcuffs, arresting the woman for obstruction.  He managed to knock out her teeth and give her a concussion in the process of his He Man Woman Hater show of force.  After San Marcos Police Chief Howard Williams ordered an internal investigation, the findings led to Palermo's arrest.  However, even after an illegal arrest, and a charge of aggravated assault, Palermo's time in jail was brief. By 6:50 pm the day of his arrest, Palermo was out on $25,000 bail, and he was still on the payroll of the San Marcos Police Department.

Our next He Man Woman Hater law enforcement professional is Anthony Abbate of Chicago, who got drunk at a bar, and then proceeded to hit, kick, and throw his 125 lb female bartender around the bar in a brutal assault.  Abbate is 250 lbs, and he claimed self-defense, but the video of the attack did not corroborate his claims.  His victim, Karolina Obrycka, confronted Abbate after he forced his way behind the bar.  Obrycka attempted to force him to leave, and Judge John Fleming said she was justified in pushing Abbate in order to protect the bar's property.  Abbate was convicted, and sentenced to probation.

Obrycka later sued the City of Chicago and won a jury award of $850,000, along with a verdict that found that Chicago police adhered to a code of silence in order to protect lawbreaking officers.  The jury found that Abbate's superiors and his fellow officers attempted to cover up the attack, and "they concluded that Abbate's knowledge of his fellow officers' willingness to cover him created an environment that led to the attack on Obrycka."

Jasper, Texas is the scene of our next He Man Woman Haters law enforcement example.  Jasper Police Department Officers Ricky Grissom and Ryan Cunningham were dismissed from their jobs after they brutalized Keyarika Diggles.  Diggles had been brought to police headquarters for an unpaid fine, and as she attempted to call her mother to arrange payment, Officer Grissom slammed his hand over the phone and ended the call. Diggles and Grissom began to argue, and Officer Cunningham slammed Diggles's head into the countertop. He then attempted to handcuff her, and followed that effort by wrestling Diggles to the floor with Officer Grissom's assistance.  The two men then dragged Diggles to a jail cell by her ankles.

Who says chivalry is dead?

Diggles broke a tooth, and her braces were knocked off in the assault.  She was later charged with resisting arrest, but the charges were dropped when video surveillance of the attack by the two officers revealed their use of excessive force.

Our final example of He Man Woman Hater police brutality comes to us from Washington, where Megan Graham of Federal Way, Washington, was on her way to visit a friend at an apartment complex.  The police saw her using a cell phone while she was driving, and Graham told the police she was going to her friend's apartment to drop her dog off.  This is where the story gets interesting, because Graham has cognitive and hearing disabilities, and at the time of the incident, she had an injured hip as well.  She didn't hear the officer's command to get back into her car, and the officer then grabbed her wrist.  As he began twisting her arm, Graham called 911 on the police, only to be punched in the face repeatedly by another responding officer.

When yet another responding officer put weight on Graham's injured hip, she tried to flip over, which is when Federal Way officers allege that Graham assaulted an officer.  The police say that Graham attempted to square off with them, but eyewitness testimony from Graham's friend Deborah Fenwick disputes the police version of events:
“That woman was not resisting, I saw it. That woman doesn't have a violent bone in her body. She's got a heart of gold. If she would have understood the officer's commands in the first place, she would have absolutely complied with him.”
The Federal Way Police Department has yet to release any dash camera footage to contradict Graham's version of events.

Beating on disabled women isn't the way you should think of this. Megan Graham, like every woman in this article was just another uppity woman getting out of line, and the He Man Woman Haters Law Enforcement Club can't have uppity women getting out of line. After all, a woman walking past a traffic stop could be a real threat.  A 125 lb. bartender trying to push a drunken off-duty cop out from behind a bar is a threat to the peace, and a woman making a phone call to arrange payment for a phone call is clearly challenging the authority of officers on the scene.  A disabled, injured woman with cognitive and hearing disabilities is a clear and present danger to the safety of officers.

The police are not your friends, especially if you're a woman faced with a member of the He Man Woman Haters Law Enforcement Fraternity.

Michael Hastings Witness Interview (The Young Turks)