Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Identified as a trouble maker by the authorities since childhood, and resolved to live up to the description, Charles Carreon soon discovered that mischief is most effectively fomented through speech. Having mastered the art of flinging verbal pipe-bombs and molotov cocktails at an early age, he refined his skills by writing legal briefs and journalistic exposes, while developing a poetic style that meandered from the lyrical to the political. Journey with him into the dark caves of the human experience, illuminated by the torch of an outraged sense of injustice.

Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Sat Oct 05, 2013 6:41 am


Werewolves in Ashland, by Joshua Carreon

I. The Werewolf Expert

“It is not true in every case that the werewolf becomes a cannibal on the night of the full moon.” As he wrote these words, Professor Probst realized that statement contradicted the expressed view of many experts, but he was sure it was true. Were he unsure, he would not have recorded it in his diary. He had a rule about what he wrote in his diary, a document that he meant to serve as a scientifically accurate record of his observations. On the inside front cover he had written as a reminder the phrase: “Clear observation – No speculation.” The rule had served him well. It was necessary to maintain psychic hygiene, especially when dealing with matters involving the supernatural, as Probst routinely did. He was, after all, the world’s greatest living expert on werewolves.

Probst was so dedicated to his study of lycanthropy that he hadn’t noticed when the community college where he had taught in California eliminated all of his teaching hours and took him off the payroll. He didn’t figure it out until he went looking for a class schedule, and discovered his name wasn’t on it. He had moved to Ashland, Oregon eleven years earlier, and had seen plenty of evidence of werewolves in the area, more than once observing the telltale signs of lycanthropism among certain members of the populace.

In addition to its unusually large werewolf population, Ashland was an excellent place to network with other supernatural explorers, although there were some phonies at work. Housing was a problem, and particularly so during nights of the full moon, when cops made use of the additional light to hunt up homeless people flaunting the law against having no money. Which is why Probst’s old VW van was pulled up under the spreading arms of a huge cedar that was dripping wet on this rainy summer morning, and Probst was sitting up in his sleeping bag, writing in his thirteenth composition notebook on the secret lives of werewolves. The other twelve volumes were stored neatly in an orange crate to his left, an anachronism from a prior era decorated with the bright illustration of a buxom caramel-skinned woman with blue-black hair spilling from under her red bandana, bearing a basket of oranges over her left shoulder. Probst had preserved the crate, a relic from the era when oranges were still shipped in crates, in memory of a girlfriend who had somewhat resembled the attractive fruit picker. Carla had been her name. Or perhaps Marla.

Perhaps her name was Marla, he mused, then abandoned his daydreaming about her caramel skin, and resumed his writing. “The full moon transformation does not affect all lycanthropes in the precise same way, and in certain places and times, far from being considered grotesque, the wolfmen have been considered a form of deviant nobility.” Probst had been broadening his searches on the Internet. New information appeared all the time. He would do more research today down at the library. He would continue observing the local werewolves. At this stage in his research, he needed to dig into the fieldwork -- stalk them in their nocturnal haunts, watch them surrender to animal abandon, and record it all in his careful, draftsman-style handwriting. His intuition told him that werewolves might be resurging because of global warming, that was paradoxically increasing precipitation and snowfalls in the area, but he wasn’t ready to write it in his notebook. He needed evidence. This next full moon, if it wasn’t raining again. His eyes fixed in the middle distance, he grasped the silver bullet that hung ‘round his neck -- a keepsake from his wanderings in the Balkans. He had no ill will toward the lycanthropic race, indeed he suspected he was romantically attracted to them, but the weighty cartridge comforted him on lonely nights when the howling and barking got too close to the van. Deviant nobility – he liked that term. He smiled and chewed the end of his pencil.

Probst heard a rap on the side of the van, and looked up to see his friend Rodney smiling in the driver side window. He probably wanted to take a walk. Rodney lived in a truck, and took long walks as a way of keeping himself occupied and exercised. Rodney didn’t believe in werewolves, but that was all right with Probst. Rodney played chess and published a poetry magazine on an occasional basis. He climbed inside the front seat of the van, and pulled the door shut.

“Whaddaya workin’ on, Probst, your life story? Better get some exercise, or it’ll be a short one.” Rodney laughed as if he’d just taken Probst’s pawn in a chess game, and pushed ahead with his usual bravado. “C’mon, let’s take a walk, amigo!”

“You didn’t bring me any coffee, man,” replied Probst. “It’s all wet. I’ll have to put on my rain gear.”

“Don’t worry, it’s barely drizzling. Live dangerously, or better yet, use an umbrella, professor,” said Rodney.

“I’ll just suit up,” said Probst. Probst pulled corduroy pants over his long underwear, a plaid coat over his flannel shirt, and some thick woolen socks over his feet, while Rodney launched into a monologue about local politics. Rodney didn’t always require responses to his statements, and Probst had gotten the hang of nodding at the right time a long time ago. So he and Rodney got along perfectly well. They walked out from under the big, dripping cedar, onto the little gravel track Probst had found leading up to his hideout, and down onto the road.

Probst had set up his squat with careful attention to “the three S’s” – “shape, shadow and size,” an old military acronym he’d picked up during his service in Nam as a spotter for the B-52s that pummeled the Ho Chi Minh Trail every night with high explosives bombs like seeds that trickled from the devil’s overflowing maw. To identify rebel supply and construction locations on aerial photographs, the places where huge Russian and Chinese bulldozers and trucks would lie hidden during the night, spotters searched for unusual shapes and shadows, and objects of unusual size. Anything square or blocky, or casting straight line shadows, or just too damn big to be a natural form, would be marked for destruction.

Probst had first become aware of werewolves in Nam, when he realized that his sergeant was one. Racine was the sergeant’s name, and Racine’s secret was no secret to anyone. One night when their platoon was in a forward position separated from the rest of G Company, the huge Vietnamese full moon came up over the Mekong River, he underwent the classic transformation in front of the entire squad. Racine was a decent fellow, actually the best kind of sergeant, and after the event he remembered nothing, so everyone covered for him, even though the scene was weirder than anything you’d see in Apocalypse Now.

It started with Racine heating up a cup of instant coffee in his canteen cup over a little sputtering fire he’d made from a pinch of plastic explosive. Usually by this hour of the night, everyone would’ve loosened up with a heroin-laced spleef, but the squad’s drug dealer had been injured by a booby trap a week before and nobody else had been able to score since he got helicoptered out. So they were all straight except for a couple of the guys from California, who had a stash of acid. That stuff didn’t agree with Probst, so he was just jonesin’ for a joint when Racine started coughing.

Nobody said anything until the coughing had kept up for a couple of minutes, and Racine was doubled over in a squat, his head between his knees, hacking in a hoarse voice deep in his throat. Then all of a sudden he whipped his head up and snapped his whole body into a wolf posture, his mouth tilted open to the sky, and emitted a howl that could’ve come out of the mouth of a timber wolf. Then he kept doing it for so long that even the acid heads stopped laughing and got scared, confused looks on their faces. What the fuck was Sarge doing, howling like a goddamned coyote? Then the huge moon came up over the rim of the jungle foliage and cast a ray of light on Racine. The sergeant’s face was shockingly transformed, as was his entire body. His shoulder, neck and arm muscles were bulging with strength, his tongue seemed elongated, his canines shone brightly, and his facial muscles had shaped themselves into such a doglike resemblance that the acid heads freaked out, shouting simultaneously, “He’s a fucking werewolf!” and reached for their weapons.

Probst liked ready firepower, and grunts could carry any sidearm they wanted. He’d opted for a sawed-off twelve-gauge pump shotgun. He’d carved the stock into a pistol grip, and loaded the magazine with alternating deer slugs and double-odd shot. The slugs would punch through twelve inches of wet phone book, and the shot would melt the skin off bones. Probst thought of it as his personal shield, and so far nobody had gotten past it. When Probst racked the pump and leveled it at the trippers, fumbling with the safeties on their M-16s, he got their close attention.

Probst’s head shook lightly in the moonlight as he assured the men in a calm voice, “Sarge is on a bummer. Stand down, gentlemen. I’ll take care of him.” A gentle wave of the sawed-off reassured them that Probst was in charge, and the acid heads released their automatic rifles.

“It’s cool, man,” said Retro, a black nineteen-year old from Pomona who looked like he was comin’ down fast off the acid buzz.

“Yeah, cool,” echoed Lenny, the second tripper, a Pacific Palisades boy who seemed far from sure that anything was cool.

The third tripper, Carlito, a Latino from Silverlake in LA, said nothing, still riveted on the sight of Racine, whose howls continued to split the night.

Then Lt. Darcy showed up, pulled away from the warm arms of his underage prostitute by the sergeant’s ear-splitting howls. Flashing his light around, he saw Probst with his leveled gun, the nervous acid heads with eyes glittering, and Racine howling like Rin Tin Tin mourning the death of Lassie, turned right around, and walked into his tent. Then he came back out with his service .45 in his hand and walked over to Probst.

In a breathy voice loaded with good whiskey, Darcy whispered in Probst’s ear in his cultured southern drawl, “What the fuck is going on here? Is Racine high, or what?”

“I have no idea. I’m just watching. Why don’t you go back to bed Lieutenant. I’ll see this through.” Probst kept his eyes on the acid heads while talking to Darcy.

Darcy continued his twangy whispering, “Perhaps it hasn’t occurred to you, Corporal, that this might give away our position to the enemy.”

“Yes, I did, but I’m hoping they’ll think it’s a dog, and the US Army rarely operates with canine patrols.”

“Can’t you shut him up?”

“He just started a minute ago. I’m hoping he’ll shut up soon. If he doesn’t maybe we’ll have to call for a medic. Gimme a little bit.”

Then, something even stranger happened. Another howl burst out of the jungle to Probst’s right, and it sounded remarkably near. Then, in an eerie chorus, the howls began to sound all around them, blending with Racine’s into a moonlight serenade of soaring unity. The acid heads looked around and up at the sky in wonder, and started howling, too, laughing their asses off as a war zone turned into a primeval forest. As the moon rose higher, the scene of pandemonium unfolded, Probst lowered his sidearm and turned to Darcy, nodding as if he knew something. Darcy sullenly returned to his tent, the embraces of his bedtime companion, as the jungle around them echoed with an ever-increasing number of howling voices. In the morning, Racine was himself again, sleeping like a baby next to a canteen-cup of cold coffee.

II. Saigon Days

The incident with Sgt. Racine had been a one-time event that never recurred. Although not a doper on a regular basis, from then on, Racine slept through every full-moon night, retiring early to his tent with two shots of vodka laced with a dose of pharmaceutical morphine. Racine was a lifer, then in his early fifties. He had stormed beaches in the South Pacific and served in the postwar occupation of Japan. He was a committed non-com who had refused a promotion to officer status more than once. He was fanatical about handling prisoners according to the rules of war.

Racine had a run-in with Darcy once, when the lieutenant was on the verge of executing an old man who had concealed a stash of mortars in his rice bin.

Quoting Army regulations, Racine swiftly recited: “Sir! Persons captured or detained by the U.S. Military Services shall normally be handed over for safeguarding to U.S. Army Military Police as soon as practical.”

Of course, Darcy, with his fuck-your-procedure attitude, had aired back the hammer on his pistol, and kept looking straight at Racine, as if he would splatter the old man’s brains if he felt like it. The old man hadn’t flinched – he was twice the man Darcy tried to be – and neither had Racine, who just quoted another regulation: “Sir! All military personnel shall ensure that suspected or alleged violations of the international law of war are promptly reported to the appropriate authorities and investigated in accordance with Department of Defense directives.”

A look of disgust distorted Darcy’s blonde good looks, and without taking his eyes off Racine, he moved the pistol two inches to the right and pulled the trigger next to the old man’s ear, simultaneously destroying the man’s hearing and firing a round into the dirt floor of the bamboo hut. “Well then,” said Darcy, “take care of the prisoner, sergeant.” He spit the last word.

Racine didn’t like Darcy, either, but early on, he had saved the lieutenant’s ass from becoming a casualty of friendly fire. The grunts had made a list of Darcy’s most hate-able traits, among them commandeering the best-looking prostitutes for himself, hoarding liquor, and his tendency to order minorities to walk point on patrol. This lists of unofficial beefs, Racine well knew, amounted to an indictment that would culminate in a regrettable accident. As the hatred for Darcy in the unit had seethed and simmered, Racine nipped it in the bud, but not by quoting procedure to the grunts. He’d had a little sit-down with Darcy that went like this:

He began, “Excuse me, Lieutenant, may I have a moment with you.”

“Yes?” Darcy responded in irritation, lifting his eyes but not raising his head from the paperback novel he was reading.

“Sir,” continued Racine, “You know you are the third lieutenant this platoon has had in the last sixteen months.”

Annoyed, Darcy looked up fully from the book and asked, “Are you suggesting something?”

“No sir, I’m just reviewing the facts,” answered Racine.

“Yeah,” responded Darcy laconically, “well I’m not going home like the rest of them. My great grandfather fought at the Battle of Bull Run under Stonewall Jackson.”

Racine shook his head and leaned forward gently, “Precisely, Sir. General Westmoreland isn’t Stonewall Jackson, and the men in your unit aren’t southern gentlemen. They’re young draftees, they’re scared, and frankly, they don’t like you.”

Darcy blanched whiter than usual, swallowed and said, “They wouldn’t dare.”

“Sir,” responded Racine, “I would not bet on that.” Then he took one step back, snapped to attention, delivered a crisp salute, and left the silent lieutenant alone in his tent.

Probst heard this story from Racine while they sat having drinks in a Saigon bar during the last few months before the fall of the South Vietnamese government. The two were reminiscing about Darcy, who had been promoted several times and shipped back to Washington to take a job at the Pentagon. While they sipped their drinks, Racine grew nostalgic, and started talking about his days in the South Pacific.

Racine began, “I was on some tiny, no-name coral atoll with some palm trees, a helluva lot of spiders, and a shitload of Japs. My buddy and I got sent out on recon to find a source of fresh water, and got lost around nightfall. We ended up hiding out in a collapsed palm hut, and damn if the Japs didn’t come and set up camp right in front of the damn thing. They built a fire and cooked some fish. Man, I was hungry smellin’ that fish, but we couldn’t move. We were hidden away in a big pile of palm fronds at the back of the hut, just watchin’ ‘em eatin’ and talkin’ Japanese. My buddy wanted to kill ‘em and steal their food, but that would’ve been crazy, I thought, and I told him so. Probably woulda brought a whole bunch of their pals down around our neck. Mighta been a better idea than what we did, though.”

“What did you do?”

“We laid there all night in the palm fronds while the Japs stuffed themselves with fish and swapped dirty jokes. In the morning, I was the only one alive.”

“Why’s that?”

“The fuckin’ spiders. Fuckin’ spiders, man…”

“Whaddaya mean? Spider bite killed your buddy?”

“Yeah, and nearly killed me. I probably woulda died, actually, except for ...”

Probst interrupted Racine. “Knocked you out for a while?”

“For how long, I don’t know, man.”

“You’re kidding…”

“No, I’m serious. When I woke up, my buddy was not only dead, there wasn’t much left of him. Some wild dogs had been eatin’ on him, and they were startin’ in on me. I woke up with one of ‘em biting into my right shin – right here –“ Racine stopped his narrative to raise his pants leg, roll down his sock, and expose the scar.

After rolling his pants leg back down, Racine resumed. “My sidearm was still strapped on. I couldn’t get it out of the holster, because I could barely move my hand. But I got the safety off and fired a round that spooked the bastard and his buddies. They were howling all around the hut after that, but they didn’t come back in. I wasn’t bleeding too bad, and the pain kept working on my brain, so pretty soon I was regaining some strength. I dragged myself out of the goddamn hut, and kept crawling toward the beach. I laid on the sand all night, as close to the water as I could. Every now and then a wave would wash over me and wake me up. I knew I had to stay out of that jungle, and away from that hut. The spiders or the dogs would get me if I stayed. As it was, the dogs kept watch all night over me, their eyes glowing like the waves. The next morning, my strength was gone. I couldn’t move from the spot. I figured I was gonna die there, one more soldier dead on a beach with no one to cry over him.”

“How’d it turn out?” asked Probst, eager to know the end of the story.

“Never saw that fuckin’ island again. My unit found me the next day on the beach. I woke up on a hospital ship on the way to Manila with a morphine drip in my arm and a Filipina nurse giving me a nasty look. First thing she said to me was ‘GI, hands off!’ Cracked me up. Like I was thinkin’ about her body! After all I’d been through, all I wanted was for nothin’ to happen ever again. I just wanted to sit for about six months. Instead they sent me to the VA hospital in Los Angeles. You know the place.”

Probst knew the place, of course. So many vets had been through that medical hell-hole over the years, and few had good memories. Lobotomies, electroshock, insulin shock, chemical restraints, you name it, the VA medicos had tried it on some poor vet.

“Why’d they send you there?” asked Probst.

“Said I was a headcase.”

“Were you?” Probst didn’t place great on emphasis this question, just kept peering into his beer mildly.

“No, I wasn’t.”

“So why’d they say you were?”

“You remember that night with the platoon, when Darcy was still our CO?”

“The night you made like Wolfman Jack and scared the piss out of the Cali boys?”

Racine first grunted and shifted his shoulders forward to acknowledge Probst’s recollection, then resumed his explanation. “That happened before. It happened around my family. I had a wife. She wouldn’t have me around. Said on the full moon I got crazy, acted like a dog, treated her like a dog.” Racine seemed humiliated.

“You don’t have to tell me this, Sarge,” said Probst, leaning forward even farther over the bar to whisper this with a meaningful, sincere glance. “You don’t have to explain. It never happened again.”

“It doesn’t happen if I’m knocked out, so that’s why, y’know, the vodka and the hard stuff. I never do that otherwise.”

“I know, Sarge. You’re a straight guy. It’s a problem you deal with.”

“Yeah, I deal with it,” said Racine, looking straight into Probst’s eyes. “I deal with it, but I don’t understand it. And if it happens again, don’t call a medic. I don’t hurt nobody. I just scared my wife that one time. But the medics, they like to study strange problems. I don’t want to be a lab animal.”

“Right. Gotcha, Sarge. Happens again, no medics.”

“It won’t happen again,” emphasized Racine with a small smile, “but just in case it does.”

“Sure, no worries,” replied Probst, extending his hand to exchange a soul-brother grip with Racine. Then he turned to the waitress, raised his eyebrows, lit up a Park Lane, and asked for another round – “Another couple of Tigers over here, okay Lily?”

The bargirl joked -- “You guys drink too much. Don’t you want girl?”

Probst pulled in another lungful of reefer smoke and exhaled, smiling through the intoxicating cloud and watching Racine’s reflection in the mirror behind the bar -- “Just the beer.”

Racine nodded his head in agreement, and took a long drink.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Sat Oct 05, 2013 6:47 am


Speech on Fire, by Tara Carreon

Just Gimme Some Truth

Dow Jones, the company that monitors the financial markets like an aging relative’s blood pressure, owns The Wall Street Journal. The WSJ was once the best place to get all the news the elites allowed themselves to learn about, without fear that it would be learned by the rest of the world. But those days are over -- the truth is too hot for any major news agency to handle. Just look at this Mark Foley scandal. A brace of young boys had been accusing ex-Congressman Foley of pervy behavior for over a year, and telling the press about it. Sure, you wouldn’t expect the FBI to investigate -- if it’s not terrorism or a bank robbery, they don’t have time. You wouldn’t expect Congress to investigate -- they’re busy trying to bankrupt the nation by selling their vote to the carousel of lobbyists who alternately terrorize and seduce them. But we cherish a hope that the newspapers will move on this stuff. What a pain to learn they are as crooked as the cops and the Congress.

Crime, What Crime?

The WSJ covered the Clinton scandal very thoroughly, as I recall, because that involved the unforgiveable crime of having sex in a special room where, apparently, only symbolic acts of fellatio are permitted. The current Oval Office occupant has committed many crimes, but the WSJ never bothers to report on law-breaking by the President, because the Attorney General persuades Congress to alter the laws retroactively to eliminate any taint of illegality that might have attached to the initial misdeed. Of course, then it’s not news anymore, so there’s no point in reporting on it at all. Let’s face it. There’s no point in reporting on a crime if it’s just going to be made legal as soon as it’s discovered. That’s just a waste of ink.

Truth is, the WSJ stopped reporting anything controversial once the War on Terror became the number one concern of every news-person. You may recall that Hollywood also froze up, and hasn’t really made a good movie since the three towers collapsed. The first casualty of war, as they say, is the truth. Since this war on terror is scheduled to last forever, that must mean that the truth has been permanently banished from our nation.

The Internet is going to save us, right? There will be robust debate on bulletin boards. The Ashland Daily Tidings, for example, allows readers to post comments on its articles. They have to be short comments, because the Tidings only lets people post about five lines. This is as at best as stupid as Dilbert’s boss thinking his company would save computer memory if everyone word-processed using smaller fonts. Now I realize that short posts are better because none would be best of all.

On August 25, 2006, the Tidings ran Bob Plain’s article on Michael Ruppert, “Wilderness Relocates to Venezuela.” The article provoked many comments, and a poster we’ll call Teesee was doing her best in the restricted space format to post some serious information about Ruppert and his CIA connections. The Tidings actually employs a censor to review posts before they appear online, though, and Teese was uploading faster than the censor was reading. The censor then jumbled her posts so they didn’t make sense. Soon she started to harvest a stream of nasty comments from some online bullies. Then the Tidings censor refused to post her replies to the bullies. The Tidings censor added decisive strength to one side of a debate, allowing Teese to be pelted with verbal abuse, and depriving her of the means to respond. Somewhere, a corporate halfwit was working hard damping down digital conflict. The Tidings’ fluffy reporting accentuates the positive, while the censor eradicates the offensive. Under the guise of protecting itself from liability, or readers from offensive speech, the Tidings is abusing its media power, distorting the image of our community. The censor doesn’t protect the Tidings from liability, either. Comment boards have an absolute exemption from libel and other forms of “publisher liability” for third party statements under 47 USC Sec. 230(c)(1). See Zeran v. AOL, 129 F.3d at 331. The Tidings enjoys free speech rights under the First Amendment. It should accord some to its readers.

Oh, That Community Forum...

For a couple of days in August, The Tidings opened a “Community Forum” that allowed posters to post comments about any topic, of any length, with image-upload capabilities. Neat! Teesee started posting. After two days, the Community Forum went offline, and stayed off. The AFP sent an email to Tidings Editor Scott Bolsinger asking what had happened to the Community Forum. He replied that the Forum was still up. What? Is everyone on the Bush plan? Just saying whatever’s convenient? It’s gone! Why is the Community Forum gone, Scott? Did the censor fear impending unemployment? Did it keep you up at night thinking what someone might post?

Ashland, New York

The Tidings, like 23 other newspapers, is owned by Dow Jones subsidiary Ottaway Community Newspapers. The company website says that Ottaway’s CEO John Wilcox, “has residences in Washingtonville, New York and on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.” You need those on the east coast. He has the advanced degrees, the management training, the pedigree. Perhaps he’s been to Oregon. The website quotes former CEO Jim Ottoway, Jr.: “We’re constantly walking a tightrope to avoid benign neglect of papers or, on the other hand, too much management.” Benign neglect, huh? I’ll go for the “neglect” part.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Sat Oct 05, 2013 6:51 am


Stock Up On Republicans!, by Tara Carreon

The Tidings Has An Obvious Epiphany

Wow, for a moment I thought I was reading the wrong website. The Ashland Daily Tidings has gone and blown the lid off the journalistic ban on talking about the gigantic, unanswered questions about 9/11! This shows how nimble a corporate colossus like Dow Jones Newspapers can be when the winds of change have blown with a clear and sustained direction, as they appear to have done in this period of exultant Democratic upheaval. All things are possible! Mountains are there to be moved! The Tidings labored and brought forth the obvious.

Dow Jones Did Not

The Tidings “called for an investigation,” a call in which the Ashland Free Press would loudly join, if it had not been informing its readers about sloppy 9/11 investigations and Bush/Cheney coverups for years, as our back issues will show. But that is not to take the wind out of The Tidings’ sails. In these times, bold proclamations will issue from unfamiliar quarters, and we must take everyone seriously. Of the 23 newspapers owned and operated by the Ottaway Community Newspapers, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dow Jones, this is the only one that is “calling for an investigation.” Ashland certainly should congratulate itself on having shown such a progressive vein that Ottaway would allow this sort of editorial expression, because I’m sure those are not the kind of proclamations that are issuing from other Ottaway newspaper websites. For example, today I surfed over to the Press Republican, that serves upstate New York, and the cover article was about how Plattsburg State University was getting ROTC on campus! I promise, however, to take the Tidings’ proclamation more seriously when the central Dow Jones newspaper, The Wall Street Journal, issues the same call. Otherwise, it’s just more small town spin.

Watch Us Spin

If there is to be media spin of the Democratic win, and of course there will be spin, spin, spin, it will be of the sort intended to lull us into contentment, so that we shall be easily governable citizens. Calls for investigations are such lovely things, like trumpets heard in the distance, signaling that the hunt is on, but we must be ever vigilant that the precious governing body of our nation is not distracted from the business of governing. The ship of state is dangerously listing, spending is out of control, and we are still in the grip of a demented war cooked up by religious zealots.

Memo to Congress: Please Don’t Screw Up The 9/11 Prosecution

Congress should avoid getting bogged down in a 9/11 investigation that will be a vehicle for exonerating the culprits by grants of immunity as was the case in the sham Iran/Contra investigation, that didn't slow down North or Poindexter one bit. Poindexter came back in 2002 as the “Total Information Awareness” czar, and North was just down in Nicaragua giving his old foe Daniel Ortega grief yesterday. The mud of Iran/Contra washed off easily because they both beat their felony convictions on appeal despite all of Special Prosecutor Walsh's proof of their overwhelming guilt, because Congress had allowed North and Poindexter to exclude their confessions before Congress from the criminal case because of the grants of immunity Congress gave in the interests of getting “full disclosure.” We don’t need full disclosure. We need convictions of the 9/11 murderers. We do not need Congress to misuse its investigative power to grant absolution for tyrannical conduct in defiance of the Constitution and law of the land, which is what happened with Iran/Contra, and with the first 9/11 Commission, and will happen with any other investigation run by politicians, of whatever party persuasion. Pelosi is wise to steer clear of this morass, although it took me a while to get the wisdom of her position.

David Boies, This Is Your Moment

Fortunately, Congress can give the work to someone else with the stroke of a pen. Just write a new Independent Counsel Act, appoint David Boies to convict all of the murderers, whether they’re found in Saudi Arabia, in Pakistan, or in a bunker with his thumb on the nuclear trigger. I can give him a really big lead on his investigation, too. Shortcut everything, and go straight to Larry Silverstein. He lost three buildings that day in exactly the same way and made out like a bandit. Definitely he has a lot of explaining to do, since he admitted that he deliberately agreed to destroy Building 7 in consultation with a bunch of bigwigs, because there “had been such a loss of life.”

Memo To The Tidings: Plenty of 9/11 News You Haven’t Touched Yet

It’s good that the Tidings mentions Building 7 in its investigation-call, but for a daily newspaper, there is a great deal more to say about Building 7. More than asking for Congress to mount one more whitewash investigation the Tidings just needs to start publishing the facts of 9/11 – the ones that are out there, everywhere on the Internet, but still not breaking through the front pages of America’s daily papers. Start publishing the stifled speech of people who have been silenced by the FBI, and the FBI and CIA agents themselves who cannot speak what they know. The fall of the three towers was a huge conspiracy, obviously accomplished by people far more skilled than the box-cutter-wielding type of folks who have soaked up the blame, along with poor Mr. Moussawi, who’s so crazy he aided in his own conviction, claimed he deserved the death penalty, and mocked the jurors as softheaded fools for sparing his life. Justice demands the appointment of an Independent Prosecutor with a commission to convict the perpetrators – financial, strategic, and operational, regardless of who they know or how much money they have. Obviously, this Independent Prosecutor will need capable bodyguards, and a huge witness protection fund will have to be established. All good business for big lawfirms and small, so Congress should be happy to send the business to their friends who sent campaign contributions. The fruit of their labors will be far more satisfying than the blunderings of a Congress eager to not step in something.

High Times for High Crimes & Misdemeanors

What Congress should do is impeach Bush and Cheney for high crimes and misdemeanors, and remove Alberto Gonzales, the perfidious greaser of imperialist fantasies, from his position as the Torturer General. The articles of impeachment have already been set forth quite nicely by thoughtful prosecutors looking ahead to the day when justice will receive its due from these arch-war-criminals. Polls show that 87% of Americans want this from Congress, and it is precisely work that only Congress can do. Any lawyer can prosecute murders. It takes the House to impeach, and the Senate to try an impeachment. So let them put their hands to the work that the people want done, and not delude themselves that we will be satisfied with anything else. John Conyers has the fire in the belly needed to take these bastards down. Let the games begin. Impeach!
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Sun Oct 06, 2013 7:03 am


9:24 pm, December 5, 2006

Barbara Lee

Staying Ahead By Staying Behind

The Tao Teh Ching, a Chinese book written by a wise man for the edification of kings, says "The sage stays ahead by staying behind." By this definition, Barbara Lee, the Democratic Congresswoman from Oakland and Berkeley, has certainly earned her props as a sage. Back on September 15, 2001, four days after WTC Towers One, Two and Seven came crashing down, she stood alone on the House floor and cast the only vote against authorizing "President" Bush to go bomb the hell out of Iraq. Not one other Congressperson stood with her, and 420 stood against her. Still, she stayed behind, following the dictates of her conscience.

Now Barbara Lee should be hailed as far-seeing, and elevated for her wisdom. I hear Democrats asking, "Who shall guide us in this time of uncertainty?" Obviously, those who had the foresight, like Barbara Lee, to see that we would inevitably end up here, bleeding, bruised, and broke, after five years of mayhem passing for a military adventure. But I doubt that Barbara Lee's phone is ringing off the hook from Nancy Pelosi, who pre-promised Bush-man a no-impeachment, no embarrassment, anti-fiasco, pro-America agenda as a peace offering from one hypocrite to another.

Back when she was the only person in Congress who didn't want to issue "Letters of Marque and Reprisal" against Iraq, Mother Jones interviewed Lee, who showed that she indeed understood very well what she was doing when she voted against making Bush into a "war President." In the interview, Lee expresses concern about not letting "things get out of control." This note of caution rings presciently now that the Blunderer in Chief and his Torturer General have explained to the courts that the vote authorizing the use of force against Iraq also authorized them to spy on good American citizens in every imaginable way. Even the privateers of old wouldn't have had the gall to overreach their authority to such a degree. Lee understood the type of villainy that had made its lair in the White House and knew to be on guard.

Mother Jones wrote:

Mother Jones: I read that you made up your mind as you were sitting in the National Cathedral during the prayer service for the victims. You listened, as so many Americans did, to the dean of the National Cathedral as he prayed that "as we act, we not become the evil we deplore." At that moment, you said, you knew what you had to do.

Barbara Lee: Well, the vote was a very agonizing vote. Like the nation, I'm grieving and searching, in mourning, angry, trying to sort through all my feelings. I think everyone is doing that. And of course the memorial service was a time to really stop and reflect on all those who so tragically died, the victims and their families, and what an appropriate testimonial to them would be. ... And so in that context I was listening to the members of the clergy, searching to try and see if I could find some direction and clarity. You know, in moments like these — when you're agonizing, when you're uncertain in terms of the ramifications of any very serious actions that you're going to take — you have to go within, and use your head and your heart, and all the faculties that you have, to try to make decisions. And so, as I thought about that one line in the prayer, I said, "You know, this is the right vote — you've got to vote no."

MJ: Did you know before casting your vote that you were likely to be the only dissenting member of Congress?

Lee: Oh, no — I did not know that. Many members have these same concerns. The use of restraint is of concern to a lot of them. We don't want to see this spiral out of control; we don't want to see the cycle of violence continue.

We all agree that we've got to bring these terrorists to justice and to make sure that they're never allowed to perpetrate such an evil act as they did. And so all of us are dealing with that. We know that the President has the authority to go to war under the War Powers Act. The Congress has a responsibility to provide the checks and balances and to exercise some oversight. I don't believe that we should disenfranchise the people of America in the war-making decision-making process. At least minimally, we should be able to know which nation we're planning to attack and have some input into that. We should know what the exit strategy is. I'm not talking about all the details of a war plan, but certainly we should have more than a five-hour debate. To me, that's just not the best way to make public policy. ... 9/lee.html

Bringing All The Troops Home, For Good

Barbara Lee is now sounding another note of caution on Iraq. Beware of partial withdrawals, stay-behind forces, and permanent bases.

Barbara Lee wrote:

While Congress debates how to best, and most quickly end the occupation and bring our troops home, we need to begin with an agreement on the outcome: when our troops come home, they should all come home. There should be no permanent military bases in Iraq. When President Bush refused to rule out permanent bases, as he did in a recent press conference, he fed the widespread perception that the U.S. intends a permanent occupation of Iraq, which is one of the forces that is fueling violence on the ground.

It is also not too soon to begin the process of ensuring that the lessons of this failed war are learned. That means oversight and accountability: we must examine how we got into this position – the administration’s case for war, the use of prewar intelligence, the implementation of the war, everything – in order to ensure that our nation NEVER finds itself in this position again. ... tionTree=2

The mistakes of the past are not the place to dwell. There are so many challenges facing the nation, the world and humanity at this time that we must look forward constantly. While excoriating Bush is always pleasant, the Democratic majority is taking shape at this time. Those who get to the table first with the best ideas will have the greatest opportunity to shape the future. As resurgent liberals, we need to MAINTAIN MOMENTUM, which means keeping the political heat on our representatives to turn the Ship of State around at a swift clip.

Stopping Genocide In Darfur by Stopping Trade With Sudan

One of the things the nation isn't addressing is "Islamic fascism" and state-sponsored terrorism in Darfur. The reason is simple — we don't want to piss off the Sudan dictatorship, because it sells us oil. Although Colin Powell called it genocide in September 2004, and the African Union managed to paper over the bloodshed with a bilateral disarmament agreement in May 2006, around 80 infants are dying per day according to the current Wikipedia article on this topic.

Barbara Lee has sponsored legislation, HR 6140 supported by 70 cosponsors that would ban the US Government from contracting with any companies that do business in Sudan, aside from those business activities that further implementation of the Darfur Peace Agreement of May 5, 2006.

Now that's the kind of "unrealistic" legislation that I fully support. Why? Because it would be effective, and could only save the taxpayers money. Because of its drastic effect, it would immediately alter the course of Sudan's conduct as soon as it became law. Democrats, it's time to start refusing to write war checks! 'Cause what's a War President who can't pay his soldiers? A loser! As if you hadn't heard.


A New ABOL Page: Black Members of the US Congress From 1870-2005

11:00 pm, December 5, 2006

The American Buddha Online Library (ABOL) is an educational resource for students of democracy. Webmistress AmbuFortunaZapataGaudi has just posted a new page that presents for the first time in standard web format the entire record of all of the Black Members of the US Congress From 1870-2005. In addition to liberating the original document prepared by The Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress from its PDF format, the ABOL version provides photographs of each of the Congresspeople. Give the page a visit and bone up on Black Congressional history. You will have to get a free ABOL library membership to enter the site, which is well worth your consideration.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Sun Oct 06, 2013 7:08 am



Dick Cheney, the Saudi water-boy, brings bad tidings from our Saudi masters: If the US pulls out, the Saudis will fund the “Sunni insurgency.”

Official: Saudis to back Sunnis if U.S. leaves Iraq

Saudi King Abdullah reportedly has said his kingdom would back Sunnis if the United States leaves Iraq.


December 13, 2006

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has warned Vice President Dick Cheney that Saudi Arabia would back the Sunnis if the United States pulls out of Iraq, according to a senior American official.

The official said the king "read the riot act" to the vice president when the two met last month in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

The New York Times first reported the conversation Wednesday, saying Saudi support would include financial backing for minority Sunnis in the event of a civil war between them and Iraq's Shiite majority.

Asked about the meeting, a senior Saudi official -- who spoke on condition he not be named -- ruled out using terminology such as "warning" or "threatening." He said, "I believe the Saudi position was clear, that things might deteriorate or drift in Iraq, and then the kingdom will find itself forced to interfere."

The official also added: "This is not only expected from Saudi Arabia, but also Jordan and a lot of other Arab countries can't stand still and see things going that direction."

A senior Jordanian official, asked if this issue was also discussed during President Bush's meeting with King Abdullah of Jordan, said: "This is a matter that His Majesty is always concerned about."

The White House dismissed the report.

"That's not Saudi government policy," press secretary Tony Snow said in Washington, according to The Associated Press.

"The Saudis have made it clear that they're committed to the same goals we are, which is a self-sustaining Iraq that can sustain, govern and defend itself, that will recognize and protect the rights of all, regardless of sect or religion," Snow said, the AP reported.

Cheney's November 25 visit marked his fourth trip to Saudi Arabia as vice president. An official with Cheney's office said the one-on-one meeting lasted two hours.

The Saudi king told Cheney that his country would be forced to step in and support "like-minded Sunni Arabs" if the situation in Iraq fell apart and the Sunnis' safety was in jeopardy, the senior U.S. official said.

The monarch said he would "intervene aggressively on one side absent an American presence," the source said.

The source said the king did not mean to imply that Saudi Arabia would support al Qaeda in Iraq, but rather tribal groups. However, some of those groups overlap with insurgents who are fighting Americans, the source conceded.

Saudi fears

The bipartisan Iraq Study Group that reported to President Bush and Congress said last week that money from Saudi citizens is funding Sunni insurgents in Iraq, although the Saudis may not know exactly where their money is going. (Watch how Saudis may be helping Iraqi insurgents)

Kenneth Pollack of the Brookings Institution said Saudi Arabia has a reason to take sides.

"They're terrified that Iraq is going to fall into civil war. They're terrified that civil war will spill over into Saudi Arabia. But they're also terrified that the Iranians, backing the various Shiite militias in Iraq, will come out the big winner in a civil war," Pollack told CNN.

However, the king's tough words to Cheney don't mean Saudi support for the United States is wavering, said Richard Murphy, former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

"This has nothing to do with the Saudi-American alliance," Murphy said. "What it has to do with is the Saudi concern that we will quickly evacuate Iraq and that the Shia majority will take revenge actions against the Sunni."

In his meeting with Cheney, the Saudi king voiced strong opposition to talks between the United States and Iran, which has a majority Shiite population. According to the senior American official, the king told Cheney that Sunni Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, believed that talking to Iran was dangerous.

The Iraq Study Group called for engaging other countries in the region, including Iran and Syria, in the search for solutions in Iraq.

The Saudis are "nervous about giving Iran any more legitimacy or any more influence in Iraq," Murphy said.

"[Iraq is in] everybody's backyard -- Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iran," he said. "And they all have interests, they're all watching each other very closely lest one get an undue advantage over the other. And it's going to take an extraordinarily skillful, wide-ranging regional diplomacy on America's part to cope with that."

A senior U.S. official said the conversation between Cheney and King Abdullah reflects the "anxiety about the situation" and the Saudi concern about being left "high and dry" if the United States leaves Iraq.

But the official said leaving Iraq is a "doomsday scenario" that will not happen because the United States isn't going to withdraw.

"We are not walking away from it," the official said.

CNN's Elise Labott, Kelli Arena, John King, Elaine Quijano, Caroline Varaj and Zain Verjee contributed to this report.

Copyright 2006 CNN. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.

To borrow a colorful phrase from the elder Bush — when the Saudi's have got your back, you're in deep doo-doo. The truth, of course, is that the Saudis are already funding the terrorist bombing that is killing Iraqi people and keeping US forces tied down in what the New York Times is at last calling an “occupation.”

The Saudis are making it clear that the US Occupation of Iraq is for the benefit of the House of Saud.

Check out this excellent video, only ten minutes long, about the complicity between the FBI and the Saudi planebombers. (Unfortunately, this video is no longer available on YouTube.)
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Sun Oct 06, 2013 7:14 am




As Orwell Said

As George Orwell explained in “Politics and the English Language,” we can't understand our own thoughts if we use phony language. We communicate, and think, within the limits of our active vocabulary. Prior to the Iraq war, I think I had heard the word “drawdown” maybe once or twice outside the context of gunplay. For example, a cop might say, “I thought he was going to draw down on me,” to explain why he repeatedly fired dozens of bullets into the body of a homeless man, “in accordance with Department policy on use of force.” Aside from that context, “drawdown” was a term used by bean-counters and silo-operators, who might draw on their reserves of cash or agricultural foodstuffs using a vertical dispenser. Otherwise, it just didn't come up much.

A New Word for A New World Order

“Drawdown” is now used all the time to describe troop movements, but it has not been used in consistently the same way. Early in the war, like in 2002-2004, it was used to describe troop transfers from one area of the globe to another, as from Europe to Iraq. Nowadays, the military impresarios have started using their favorite term “theater” to describe war zones. (I guess that leaves the civilian population in the lobby somewhere, while the soldiers put on the real show.) In any event, staying on point here — this means that “drawdown” was essentially being used in the sense of increasing our troop commitments in Iraq (and simultaneously decreasing troop force in Europe). Now, the same term is being used to describe decreasing our troop commitments in Iraq. The government is using the same word to describe two different things. In the first case, we are moving troops into the war zone, and in the second case moving them out of the war zone, so of course we use the same word for both types of troop movements. By this means, you will note, that the rhetoric of war remains the same, while its meaning changes to suit the needs of the day.

A Visit to Merriam-Webster Discloses Institutionalized Lexicographical Self-Contradiction and No Spanish Equivalent In The Entries for “Drawdown”

I got curious, and looked up “drawdown” in the thesaurus, to see if any other word equates to it. The answer? No. “Drawdown” is sui generis, which is Latin for one of a kind. Check it out:

Merriam-Webster's Online Thesaurus
No entries found that match drawdown.

If you run drawdown through the Merriam-Webster Spanish/English dictionary, you get no entries.

The Dictionary gives you two choices, a one-word noun, and a two-word verb:

1. drawdown, noun: 1: a lowering of a water lever (as in a reservoir) or 2a: the process of depleting, or 2b: reduction.

2. draw down, verb: to deplete by using or spending

Thus we see that the dictionary definition itself incorporates two different words with two different meanings that sound the same. That is to say, they are homonyms that can work as antonyms. These are very dangerous words that can be used as weapons, in the wrong hands.

Remembering Alexander (Haig, that is)

In military parlance, nouns often get “verbed” as in the famous “Haigisms” of Alexander Haig, who turned the noun “impact” into the verb of the same name. It used to be that a meteor would crash into the earth at its “point of impact.” Now, thanks to Al, the earth gets “impacted.” One wag said that Haig had “discovered a new way to vocabulary his thoughts.” I think he was just using an established way of screwing with our heads — making the same word mean two things. This served his further agenda of obfuscating the matters under his command, by for example denying that he had lied, insisting he'd only engaged in a “terminological inexactitude” and a “tactical misrepresentation.”

Returning to the use of “drawdown” or “draw down” and/or both, what are we to make of the sudden popularity of this term that is both verb and noun. It was first used as a verb -- “to deplete” as in “use or spend” soldiers as a resource by moving them from safety in Germany to danger in Iraq. Now it is being used as a noun, “a reduction,” as in our commitment of troops, in order to save them from the risks of combat. By “drawing down” our soldiers we may either be sending them into harm's way or pulling them out of the line of fire. Who's to know?

Let Us Pass Through The Looking Glass To Explore The Theory of Inconsistent Meanings With The Master

The master of these linguistic debates was Lewis Carroll, whose Alice had an exchange with Humpty Dumpty in Through The Looking Glass, Chapter 6, that explains the entire matter of ambiguous language — it leaves the interpretation to the person who created the confusion. It makes them, in the words of Humpty Dumpty, “the Master.”

[quote]”...There's glory for you!”

“I don't know what you mean by ‘glory,'” Alice said.

Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. “Of course you don't — till I tell you. I meant ‘there's a nice knock-down argument for you!"'

“But ‘glory’ doesn't mean ‘a nice knock-down argument,’” Alice objected.

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”

“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master — that's all.”

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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Sun Oct 06, 2013 7:22 am



The “discovery” that “circumcision prevents AIDS” is being trumpeted around the globe as “truth,” although the trumpeters haven't even published their research. Here's the story as spun by MSNBC:

The study was conducted on more than 3,000 HIV-negative South African men, ages 18 to 24. Half of the men were randomly selected to be circumcised while the other half remained uncircumcised.

After following the men for a year, the researchers found that for every 10 uncircumcised men in the study who became infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, only an estimated three circumcised men contracted the virus, the newspaper reported.

The study is considered significant because scientists have yet to discover an effective vaccine against the HIV virus or develop a reliable way to prevent infection other than through abstinence or safe-sex practices.

Previous studies have linked circumcision with increased HIV infection.

Yes, it certainly does contradict the published research, which states:

Based on the studies published to date, recommending routine circumcision as a prophylactic measure to prevent HIV infection in Africa, or elsewhere, is scientifically unfounded.

As a Philadelphia physician who posted to put it succinctly:

If you study the history of male circumcision, you will see a repeating pattern of claims that it prevents any number of different ailments from epilepsy to penile cancer to venereal disease. Invariably, the “protective effects” of circumcision vanish when the variables are properly controlled.

Here is a news article about Dr. Mishra's research.

Lee Weinstein
Philadelphia PA ... 003191.htm

The news article linked to by Dr. Weinstein is this one:

Male Circumcision May Not Protect Against HIV Infection: Presented at AIDS 2006

By Danny Kucharsky TORONTO, CANADA — August 17, 2006

HIV prevalence is not necessarily lower in populations that have higher male circumcision rates, according to findings from a study of African countries presented here at the 16th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2006).

The study, which examined the association between male circumcision and HIV infection in 8 Sub-Saharan African countries, contradicts the findings of previous research and the opinion of several prominent personalities active in the fight against AIDS, such as former US President Bill Clinton.

While several studies have indicated that male circumcision has a protective effect against sexually transmitted infections (STI), including HIV infection, the evidence is inconclusive, said investigator Vinod Mishra, MD, director of research, ORC Macro, Calverton, Maryland. “We're just questioning that push,” he said of the optimism displayed by Clinton and others.

The study used demographic findings from recent demographic and health surveys in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, and Malawi, and AIDS indicator surveys from Tanzania and Uganda. The surveys were conducted from 2003 to 2005 and sample sizes ranged from 3,300 men in Lesotho to 10,000 men in Uganda.

In survey fieldwork in each country, men aged 15 to 59 gave blood for anonymous HIV testing. Information on circumcision status and on STI/STI symptoms was based on men's responses to questions in survey interviews.

Prevalence of male circumcision ranged from a high of 96% in Ghana to a low of 21% in Malawi. Among the other countries, circumcision rates were 84% in Kenya, 89% in Burkina Faso, and 25% in Uganda.

HIV prevalence was markedly lower among circumcised than uncircumcised men only in Kenya (11.5% among uncircumcised men vs 3.1% among circumcised men). A small protective effect of male circumcision was also seen in Burkina Faso (2.9% vs 1.7%, respectively) and Uganda (5.5% vs 3.7%).

In the other countries, there was either no difference in HIV rates between circumcised and uncircumcised men or circumcised men were more likely to be HIV-positive than uncircumcised men. For example, in Lesotho, HIV was seen in 23.4% of circumcised men compared with 15.4% of uncircumcised men.

“If anything, the correlation [between circumcision and HIV infection] goes the other way,” in most of the countries studied, Dr. Mishra said during his presentation on August 15th.

When adjusted for sociodemographic and behavioral factors, a small protective effect was observed in 6 of the 8 countries, but it was not statistically significant in any country, Dr. Mishra said.

In Kenya, and to a lesser extent, in Ghana, Malawi, Tanzania, and Uganda, circumcised men were less likely than uncircumcised men to report having had an STI or STI symptoms in the 12-month period prior to the survey (2.1% vs 5.4%, respectively). The relationship was reversed in Cameroon (8.0% vs 2.5%) and Lesotho (12.1% vs 7.5%).

With other factors controlled, male circumcision had some protective effect in 5 of the 8 countries, but the effect was statistically significant only in Tanzania.

In addition, “circumcised men tend to have more lifetime sex partners, so there's some [high-risk] behaviors that go with circumcision status,” he said.

A study limitation is that it was based on self-reported information on circumcision status and STI/STI symptoms. It also lacks data on age at circumcision and degree of circumcision, which might influence susceptibility to HIV infection.

However, Dr. Mishra said the study is consistent with other research that has failed to find a protective effect of male circumcision on HIV and STIs.

Here's what I know about circumcision — the Israelites used mass circumcision on at least one occasion as a means to weaken their enemies and kill them. This the Israelites did after they had been invited by the love-sick king Shechem of the Hivites to intermarry and share his kingdom. The Israelites used the opportunity to trick Shechem and all of his men to get their penises sliced, and as the entire male half of the nation of Hivites lay recovering from the operation, the Israelites rolled in, wiped them out, and took their wives and daughters. Surely the Hivite women were cursing their men for thinking with their dicks. After the murder was over, the Israelites had only one quibble: having used their sister Dineh for bait to trap an entire nation, she had thereby let an uncircumcised penis into her body. Her brother had a tough one for the rabbis: “Shall we deal with our sister as with an harlot?” Here's Genesis, Chapter 34:

And Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land.

2 And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled her.

3 And his soul clave unto Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the damsel, and spake kindly unto the damsel.

4 And Shechem spake unto his father Hamor, saying, Get me this damsel to wife.

5 And Jacob heard that he had defiled Dinah his daughter: now his sons were with his cattle in the field: and Jacob held his peace until they were come.

6 And Hamor the father of Shechem went out unto Jacob to commune with him.

7 And the sons of Jacob came out of the field when they heard it: and the men were grieved, and they were very wroth, because he had wrought folly in Israel in lying with Jacob's daughter: which thing ought not to be done.

8 And Hamor communed with them, saying, The soul of my son Shechem longeth for your daughter: I pray you give her him to wife.

9 And make ye marriages with us, and give your daughters unto us, and take our daughters unto you.

10 And ye shall dwell with us: and the land shall be before you; dwell and trade ye therein, and get you possessions therein.

11 And Shechem said unto her father and unto her brethren, Let me find grace in your eyes, and what ye shall say unto me I will give.

12 Ask me never so much dowry and gift, and I will give according as ye shall say unto me: but give me the damsel to wife.

13 And the sons of Jacob answered Shechem and Hamor his father deceitfully, and said, because he had defiled Dinah their sister:

14 And they said unto them, We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to one that is uncircumcised; for that were a reproach unto us:

15 But in this will we consent unto you: If ye will be as we be, that every male of you be circumcised;

16 Then will we give our daughters unto you, and we will take your daughters to us, and we will dwell with you, and we will become one people.

17 But if ye will not hearken unto us, to be circumcised; then will we take our daughter, and we will be gone.

18 And their words pleased Hamor, and Shechem Hamor's son.

19 And the young man deferred not to do the thing, because he had delight in Jacob's daughter: and he was more honourable than all the house of his father.

20 And Hamor and Shechem his son came unto the gate of their city, and communed with the men of their city, saying,

21 These men are peaceable with us; therefore let them dwell in the land, and trade therein; for the land, behold, it is large enough for them; let us take their daughters to us for wives, and let us give them our daughters.

22 Only herein will the men consent unto us for to dwell with us, to be one people, if every male among us be circumcised, as they are circumcised.

23 Shall not their cattle and their substance and every beast of their's be our's? only let us consent unto them, and they will dwell with us.

24 And unto Hamor and unto Shechem his son hearkened all that went out of the gate of his city; and every male was circumcised, all that went out of the gate of his city.

25 And it came to pass on the third day, when they were sore, that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah's brethren, took each man his sword, and came upon the city boldly, and slew all the males.

26 And they slew Hamor and Shechem his son with the edge of the sword, and took Dinah out of Shechem's house, and went out.

27 The sons of Jacob came upon the slain, and spoiled the city, because they had defiled their sister.

28 They took their sheep, and their oxen, and their asses, and that which was in the city, and that which was in the field,

29 And all their wealth, and all their little ones, and their wives took they captive, and spoiled even all that was in the house.

30 And Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, Ye have troubled me to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites: and I being few in number, they shall gather themselves together against me, and slay me; and I shall be destroyed, I and my house.

31 And they said, Should he deal with our sister as with an harlot?
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Sun Oct 06, 2013 7:25 am



The year was 1982. His name was Falcon, and he was a handsome, brown-bearded, long haired young man looking for help in his English composition class at the college Writing Lab. He happened to be a dyslexic Iranian eco-activist to boot, so we hit it off well. His life was more exciting than mine, because nightfall might find him in a teepee at the fringe of some at-risk stand of old-growth, whereas it would probably locate me with my wife and three children in the Ashlander two-bedroom apartment that we thought was such an improvement over living in a yurt in a field full of mud. I was on my way back into the system, while he seemed to be drawing the battle lines on behalf of mother Earth.

Our relationship was based on concrete concerns, however, and these types of musings took place only in the back of my mind. Falcon needed to complete some English composition papers, but due to his dyslexia and very Arabic habit of reading letters from right to left, he was an atrocious writer. So he talked his papers to me, and I typed them up on an old pea-green IBM Executive B-Model, my favorite typewriter design, with a clutch, and a gorgeous typestyle with variable spacing, and a long carriage return that came back with a slam like Ali’s left hook at the touch of a button. We enjoyed a few hours there at the keyboard of the B-Model, and although I can’t recall what we composed to satisfy his class requirements, he passed his composition class. Another successful mission at the writing lab, and a welcome relief from the humorless criminology majors who couldn’t spell, but were smart enough to know they’d go farther as cops if they could.

Quite a few years later, we met again. He walked into my office in the Old Armory and asked me to represent him in a lawsuit about trees. He was The Arborist now, and he’d gotten sued by a California lawyer over a tree-rehabilitation project. Having just come out of the DA’s office, I was more familiar with rehabilitating meth heads and domestic abusers, but the case was easy to resolve because I knew Judge Karaman would hate the lawyer who was suing Pete – he always hated impatient, arrogant California lawyers, like he hated me for a while until I mellowed out. I never had to get to the bottom of the facts in that case, but it had its roots in Pete trying too hard to please someone who should have been told to pound sand early on. Because that was how Pete was – he would rather care too much than not enough, and he not only wanted to be successful in business, he wanted to be good.

In Arabic literature it often appears that goodness and profit go hand-in-hand as the two pillars of the Prophet’s teachings, although the patience of Job may be required of the good man as Allah tests his goodness before delivering the profit. One of my favorite Sufi stories illustrates the traditional statement that Sufis are known for two characteristics – they are generous and haughty. This would be true of Pete, so perhaps the story is worth telling. A merchant fell on hard times when several of his caravans met with disaster, so he sent his sons to see a famous, wealthy Sufi, reputed to be generous, to request a loan. The sons went, and had only just stated their request when the Sufi, who barely deigned to acknowledge them, ordered his servant to take them to the courtyard, where they were handed the reins of a long train of camels loaded with silks, oil, dates, silver, gold, and other luxury commodities. Several months later, by trading energetically and wisely, the young men returned to the Sufi with a train of camels longer than they had been given, packed more heavily with precious items. The Sufi refused to see them, and would not accept the repayment that was offered. Bewildered, the young men stayed on, and finally gained audience by explaining that their father would in no way accept their explanation if they returned without repaying the loan. When the Sufi admitted them to his presence, he explained that Sufis are both haughty and generous, and they had evidently overlooked the significance of that second trait. He had never loaned them anything, and thus repayment was not welcome.

Pete will probably take the same attitude toward the enormous personal and financial costs he has suffered during the last four years. If he was haughty, he was also generous, and after reading the indictment against him, it is clear to me that generosity was his downfall. Everyone in Ashland knows that Pete did charity work, that he published brochures that explained Islam as a peaceful religion, and that he was constantly busy running his business, The Arborist, that employed a goodly number of local residents and gave tender, loving care to our leafy citizens.

Most everyone has seen the headlines referring to Pete as a “terrorist” who was the local leader of the “Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, Inc.,” an Oregon nonprofit corporation. Some people know that one of the “bad things” the FBI told Federal Judge Bob Jones that Portland lawyer Brandon Mayfield had done was allowing his Islamic wife to make one phone call to Pete Seda. When I read that Mayfield had been secretly arrested and hidden away for two weeks without access to his wife or attorney, I realized that knowing Pete Seda might be dangerous to my health. After all, I had received a few thousand dollars in fees from him, and even ate at his house once. If just one phone call to Pete’s house, by Mayfield’s wife, was worth listing in the secret affidavits filed by the FBI, I realized that my guilt by association would be far more compelling. I had known Seda for years, and whatever evidence the FBI seized in its various “sneak-and-peek” searches of Mayfield’s home and office, certainly they could have more fun at my place, with thirty years of marital clutter, and about forty boxes of client files that include more infamous associations than just Pete, including numerous illegal aliens, many youthful drug dealers and bank robbers, several swindlers and a couple of international criminals. I have traveled widely, whereas Mayfield had never even been to Spain, the country where the FBI said he helped bomb a train station on March 11, 2003. Besides, Mayfield was a former Air Force lawyer, didn’t have a ponytail, and didn’t even work in the criminal defense field! Further, the Oregon State Bar Association was so silent in the face of the secret internment that I found yet another reason to be ashamed of lawyers.

So I made a poster and went out to the streets with it, trying to make a spectacle of myself so that at least if I disappeared, people could say, “Well, that’s suspicious. Wasn’t he just protesting about people being secretly locked up?” However, it was not very satisfying, to tell the truth. I remained upset, feeling genuinely threatened by this move against a lawyer in my own state, at least in part because of an association with one of my longtime personal friends. I didn’t and still don’t think that it’s wise to discount the possibility of being spied on, kidnapped, and falsely accused of terrorist offenses that are prosecuted with secret evidence in sham proceedings that guarantee conviction. Mayfield did get out of jail, and represented by Gerry Spence, may someday get something out of his suit against the FBI. Mayfield narrowly escaped god-knows-what fate at the hands of his captors, however. He was released from jail only because, ironically, the Madrid train bombing that killed hundreds of people, resulted in an electoral upheaval when the Spanish people replaced longtime Bush ally President Aznar with Zapatero, a socialist who promised to pull Spanish troops out of Iraq, and did so promptly after he was elected. Zapatero’s government also captured the Tunisian man whose fingerprint, found on a piece of plastic in a car in Spain, the FBI had been insisting belonged to Mayfield. Zapatero’s police also refused to go along with the Bush Department of Justice request to keep that arrest hushed up, in order to maintain the myth that there were lawyer-terrorists living in Portland, conspiring with a mysterious Iranian operating a charity in Ashland.

Recently I decided to learn what I could about the charges against Pete. I logged onto PACER, the online records of the US Courts, and found the latest indictment signed by Christopher L. Cardani, Assistant US Attorney, whom you can email at or call at 541-465-6771 if you want more information on Southern Oregon’s most infamous Middle Eastern male. If you can get hold of Mr. Cardani, he will tell you that Pete Seda is charged with no terrorist offenses whatsoever, and that the government alleges only that in February 2000, Soliman Al-Buthe, a director of Al-Haramein, deposited a $150,000 check from a Saudi donor to Al-Haramein’s Ashland Bank of America account, and used $130,000 of that money to buy a hundred and thirty $1,000 Traveler’s Cheques that he then took out of the country without properly reporting the disposition of the money on IRS Form 4790. Pete allegedly was present when the transaction occurred, which should be easy to verify using B of A security videos, and might shed light on whether Pete, dyslexic and not that good with paperwork, knew that Al-Buthe, his fellow-director was going to misreport his disposition of the money. Pete personally issued a cashier’s check for $21,000 payable to Al-Buthe, with a notation that it is a “Donation for Chichania Refugees.” To record these transactions, Pete and Al-Buthe signed an agreement, that to the eyes of anyone who knows Pete’s way of doing business, virtually breathes innocence. On page ten of the indictment, Mr. Cardani quotes the agreement, that refers to Pete as “Abu Yunus,” his Islamic name:

“Abu Yunus is turning over all monies and responsibilities that were collected by the Brothers and Sisters in Chechnya over to Brother Soliman. Soliman states that he has received monies in the amount of $186,644.70 and he also fully relieves Abu Yunus of all responsibilities to the money.”

If I had been handling Pete’s corporate affairs, I would have advised him against handling the money in this way, but I know Pete well enough to know that he might think, in a sort of camel-trader kind of way, that if this is what it takes to get money to Chechnian refugees, this is what has to be done. I can see the old Falcon flying again in this gesture, and of course I would have advised hims against, as I would have corrected his dyslexic grammar years before, but I would not have expected it to result in his indictment for a crime.

It has turned out to be ironic that Pete was tainted by his association with Al-Haramein, which was branded as a terrorist organization by the “911 Plaintiffs” who have filed wrongful death lawsuits against a large number of Saudi-based organizations. Ironic because Al-Haramein, using high-powered lawyer Marc Blackman of Ranson Blackman LLP, has actually gotten all charges against it dismissed and its name edited out of the indictment, changes that Mr. Cardani obligingly accommodated after being confronted with Mr. Blackman’s well-planned strategy. The government tried to dismiss the indictment altogether, leaving the option of re-indicting open, because the government had been unable to arrest either Pete or his co-defendant Al-Buthe. Al-Haramein, however, insisted on going to trial immediately, arguing that the absence of Pete and Al-Buthe was not grounds for delaying a trial, and that its inclusion in the indictment was giving strength to the 911 Plaintiffs’ claims that Al-Haramein was in fact a terrorist organization. The government capitulated by removing Al-Haramein’s name from a “redacted indictment,” such that the corporate wrongdoer is now going scot-free, while Pete remains under the shadow of indictment. It has ever been thus.

It isn’t possible to know the entire history of the case, because 17 documents are not appearing on the PACER website, so I don’t know what Pete’s lawyers might have filed. What does seem clear to me is that as it stands, Pete is not charged with any crime of terrorism, as in trying to kill or injure people for political purposes, and the only connection between Al-Haramein and terrorism alleged in the indictment is some language that appeared on a website based in Saudi Arabia that allegedly spouted off about the duty to engage in holy warfare. First of all, it is highly unlikely that Mr. Cardani was able to present evidence of what was displaying back in year 2000, because there is nothing being hosted there now, and it is even more unlikely that this domain, that is registered to Alharamain Foundation, Box 69606, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, was under Pete’s control. Pete was not a website operator, whatever he was.

In any other time, Pete, accused of tax fraud, would have hired a lawyer and fought the case, but in these times, when the government bends heaven and earth to avoid fair trials in open court, invoking the power of vengeful hatred to terrorize rulings and verdicts from judges and juries, Pete has perhaps wisely taken another route, forsaking his business and home in Ashland to return to Iran. He had tried to get established in the United Arab Emirates, but the US influence there was too strong, and he had to move back to his original homeland. I understand his two sons, that he fought a long custody battle for the right to care for, are in Portland.

When I think of the friend that I sat with, banging out essays to satisfy academic requirements, and how years later he remembered me and sought me out when he had a legal problem, I know that we people of Ashland have lost a good friend to a witch hunt that happened with our silent complicity. Pete was driven from his home by the fear that he would not be treated fairly by our courts, that he would be framed and punished as an example. No one can say that his fears were unjustified. Now he bears the personal shame of being a fugitive, something that must be bitter indeed to a man as proud as himself. And we bear the shame of having allowed the standard of justice in our nation to fall so low.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Sun Oct 06, 2013 7:32 am

CHICKEN -- IT'S WHAT'S FOR DINNER, by Charles Carreon


(Artwork by Joshua Carreon)


Dick Cheney likes quail, but your average Republican eats a lot of chicken. What is great about chickens is that they all roost together, they never fight back when you capture one for the cooking pot, and they never catch on or organize against you. Just grab the next one, wring its neck, pluck it, and it’s ready for the stewpot. The last five years have been an endless feast of chicken dishes for our rancher-president. He snapped Al Gore’s rooster neck like a twig, broke Kerry’s beak, and has Hillary so tame she follows him around, pecking at every little bit of feed he drops. And he keeps collecting all those billions of dollars worth of eggs they keep laying in that chicken coop they call the Halls of Congress.

Nanci Pelosi

The two-party system, I learned in school, is the best system for voting in qualified candidates for public office in a representative democracy. One party rule is tyranny, three party rule is chaos, and two party rule is just right. Most of us don’t question this until later in life, when we realize that two is hardly enough politicians to choose from, especially when they are in agreement about most everything that matters to you.

Today, politicians of both parties are nearly indistinguishable on issues of important. They virtually all voted the President the authority to invade Iraq, none of them want to do anything to challenge his authority, the secret prisons are still open, the lies in and to Congress about weapons of mass destruction are no more than a passing embarrassment, the out of control spending on everything the president wants continues apace.

Charles Rangel

I for one am glad that John Kerry was not elected, because he would have continued all the same policies and performed a fantastic job of absorbing the blame for the wrongs his fellow Skull&Bones-man had committed. Our withdrawal from Iraq will very likely happen sooner than if Kerry were in office, and while it is painful having a dimwitted phony in the Oval Office, it would be more depressing to have a phony liberal pretending to be a “war president,” and repackaging imperialist oppression as a Kennedy-esque mission to spread liberty around the world. That’s what we’re getting from Bush anyway.

In the last five years, politicians of both parties have been pressured to stand united behind the president, rubber-stamping his edicts, ratifying his misdeeds, and failing to take effective action to stem a rising tide of civil rights abuses at home and abroad. Utterly cowed by our leader, who mercilessly uses the megaphone of mass media to induce mass braying in his bully flock of angry jackasses, the Democrats have been boxed into the strategies created by Rove and Cheney to make them look like traitors if they question the president. They are each terrified that they will be pilloried by some version of the mugging the media gave Howard Dean after he emitted his famous scream. The death of privacy, the experience of living splayed out like a butterfly in a collecting case, seems to have frozen politicians into immobility.

Condoleezza Rice

Meanwhile, armies of neocon lawyers have worked high-speed, no-stop to crank out huge volumes of repressive legislation, giveaways for Cheney’s cronies, regulatory rollbacks that will enrich industry and despoil the environment, all against the backdrop of a mythicalization of the Bush mystique as the man who should be king. Overwhelmed by the onslaught, lawmakers now sign everything they are presented, asking few questions. When they are seen, liberals are most often caught frozen in the gunsights of some conservative talk host, who is pumping them full of lead. Because on the networks, chicken is what’s for dinner.

Al Gore

There’s no need to go over the serial betrayals by Gore and Kerry at length. Gore proved to everyone that he was a terrible negotiator by first conceding, then attempting to unconcede. Memo to Al: never give up if you hope to win. Kerry proved to everyone that he was a dang fool, dragging around his rich wife with her Swiss accent, letting her open speeches for him, trying to play the war hero and promising to “kill terrorists.” Still, I was willing to swallow it all, as long as he would keep his promise to not concede until “the last vote was counted.” Instead, he conceded while the polls in Ohio were actively cheating people out of the right to vote, and completely defused Democratic focus on the possibility that widespread voting fraud was re-electing the president. Memo to Kerry: Fuck you.

What could cause Democrats to lose their ignominious plumage and turn into real fighting birds? Easy, a radical, new agenda directed toward the largest class of non-voters with a large influence base – single mothers and poor couples with children. Yep, if Hillary wants to get votes, she needs to promise one thing – not universal health care, not prescription drug benefits, not more funds to rebuild midtown Manhattan. If Hillary, or Barak Obama, for that matter, wants to get votes, they should promise universal health-care and day-care for working parents. There are millions of single, black mothers working two jobs in the big cities to care for families of children that the mass media wants to turn into gangsters and whores to populate the prisons and shopping malls of America. There are thousands of mothers in Jackson County who make dinner out of a jar of peanut butter, who can’t keep a job or get an education because there’s no one to take care of the kids. One thing – you’ll probably have to get them registered, because many have never voted in their lives.

Certainly the recruitment of the unrepresented to join the Democratic party would be easy if the platform offered something for poor, working parents. And if the movement toward treating women and children decently became a Democratic standard, you can bet that large numbers of people would get the message, and crazy agendas like bombing Iraq to save it would get the dirty-Pampers treatment. The next generation of Democratic voters would be raised in preschools and in homes that were made decent with the money and dignity that come from living in a home built with hard work. And young women, standing straight and tall with a wallet full of cash and a refrigerator stuffed with healthy groceries, could tell their child it was all thanks to the Democrats.

John Kerry
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Sun Oct 06, 2013 7:36 am




On Tuesday, April 4th, the last hours of Mike Bianca’s tenure as Ashland Chief of Police were ticking away. The rumor was everywhere that he had been fired or would resign. Young people were speaking about the departure of the popular Chief in somber tones. One young many stated his feelings bluntly — “I’m scared the cops are gonna get rougher.” There was more than enough shock and surprise to go around. Most solid citizens thought that the Chief’s position was secure, and that a team of consultants hired by the City were working out problems in management at the APD.

Sure, this was probably naïve, but the City had been all reassurances as part of cleaning up the highly public mess made last year by APD officers and their off-duty boosters, who went public with groundless complaints against the Chief in what appeared to be a bungled attempt to oust a popular City officer. The City hired consultants, the answer to every problem in governance, to iron things out within the APD, or at least that was the story. Anybody who ever worked at a large corporation knows that if your bosses hire consultants to help manage your department, the consultants have been hired to tell your bosses how to get along without you. It’s common sense – in an organization, the organization can never be the problem – it’s always the individual who is at fault. But people in Ashland are idealists, not realists, and they particularly put on their rosy lenses when viewing local politics. Good thing, too, otherwise the corpselike hue of corruption would depress them.

The Tuesday City Council meeting on April 5th was the natural flashpoint for widespread citizen anger about Bianca being forced out. As per its usual stealth methodology, the Council hadn’t put any item on the agenda that remotely related to Mike Bianca, but agenda item or no, folks who knew and cared geared up for one more showdown with a City government that seems bent on showing citizens that the job of governing is a party to which they are not invited.

As shadows stretched across the town under cloudy skies, a small group of Bianca’s supporters gathered in front of City Hall to oppose his rumored resignation. At around six o’clock, an hour before the scheduled City Council meeting, the Chief came out to speak to the group, and announced his resignation. Asked whether the Chief’s brief announcement took the fight out of the crowd, one observer said that Chief Bianca himself appeared to have little fight left in him. That tallied with my own observation of the Chief when I spoke with him briefly at another City Council meeting about a month ago. However, he said nothing about resigning, and instead said he was looking forward to making a presentation in May that would review the status of his Department and his achievements. Asked how the personnel problems were working out, he responded with only a touch of bitterness – “I just wish people would spend as much time working for the community as they spend fighting with me.”

City Councilor Cate Hartzell rose to the occasion by writing an extensive and candid essay on the lynching of the popular Chief, and no doubt this heartened his supporters, almost entirely a thoughtful, older crowd. These type of people are hard to buffalo, but that doesn’t mean the Mayor can’t try. As usual when a popular item crams the Council Chamber with citizens, the Mayor was at his most indulgent with allowing extensive discussion on every other agenda item until the time came for the Public Forum. Then the pace of the proceedings accelerated like Charlie Chaplin’s factory clock in “Modern Times” when the lunch hour comes around. A dozen speakers, all speaking in the Chief’s favor, were given only two minutes each, and Mayor Morrison absorbed their testimony with a stony visage.

One after another, the witnesses retraced the route to betrayal that the Mayor and other undisclosed parties had followed – giving reassurances of due process for the Chief that have proven false, making promises to allow citizen involvement that have not been fulfilled, and scheduling future proceedings to reach a community solution that has now been aborted. And never, ever, ever a peep out of the Council or the Mayor that Chief Bianca’s wagon was rumbling toward the guillotine.

Rarely do City Council meetings ring with eloquence like the polished presentation of Ralph Temple, a former ACLU lawyer from Washington D.C. Ralph presented a simple case against the Mayor’s unilateralist action, revealing the entire process for the backroom deal it obviously is, and closing with a moving plea for a reversal of the decision to demand, and then accept, the Chief’s resignation. Providing historical precedent for rejecting resignations of good people, Mat Marr informed the City Council that “Abraham Lincoln rejected the resignation of Samuel Chase seven times.” As applause rolled in for Ralph, Mat, and other speakers, Mayor Wet-blanket rigidly adjured the citizens to hold their applause. He just hates hearing people say they disagree with him, especially when he’s made up his mind to ignore them. But serious faces don’t deter John Dowd, who handily ticked off every occasion when the Chief had garnered support from citizens during the summer and fall of last year, including the letters to the newspaper, the rallies, the six pages of signatures on the petition that John circulated personally. He sounded like someone who knows how to demand customer service when he pointedly asked the Council, “Weren’t you listening?” The audience was behind him as he declared, “The citizens of Ashland reject Chief Bianca’s resignation!” But the issue seemed clearest when Linda Richards stepped forward with a slender blade of sharp insight that slid through the Mayor’s chain mail — “If you do not reverse this decision, I will always think that something corrupt happened.” Wow! That got their attention!

Well, it was déjà vu all over again as Cate Hartzell raced toward the end zone with one thing on her mind — to delay the outcome. She moved the Council to delay voting on the matter of the Chief’s resignation until at least an Executive Session of the Council at 4 pm on Thursday. That’s after press time, so we’ll have to report later on what means were deployed to subvert the public will.

If I’m wrong about the outcome, which seems predestined in spades, I will gladly eat this page of the Ashland Free Press. After all, it’s not about Mike Bianca – it’s the principle of the thing. If you let the people have a police chief who treats them like people, they’ll get used to it, and that’s not only dangerous, it’s disrespectful of a police officer’s right to be superior to ordinary citizens in all things. The power to stop people, search them, muscle them around, put them in handcuffs, and threaten to shoot them is not small stuff. All those personal, physical interactions raise a cop’s testosterone level, and that makes them moody, truculent, confidently paranoid. Their work allows them to bolster their self-image by carrying deadly weapons. They get paid good money to separate themselves from the rest of us and bond with each other by wearing uniforms, driving hopped-up cars, speeding down the main drag for no reason, and landing like a pack of dogs on any of the usual suspects they so easily find. Being policed by such people at least means we tolerate their juvenile behavior for our own safety, and cut them some slack, officially and personally, because we understand their position. But some people want to go much farther, insulating police from citizens, letting them live in an enclave of paramilitary narcissism, and uniformly backing them in any dispute with a citizen. For those who spit bile in Chief Bianca’s direction, his big defect is that he listens to citizens, and gives them the idea they matter. For this, some of his subordinates think he's a traitor who encourages citizens to mutiny against the overlords. One look at Morrison’s stone face will tell you what side of the argument he’s on, and one look at Bianca’s back will tell you whose dagger is lodged there.
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