David Ranta spent 23 years in prison for a murder he did not commit – as a consequence of false eyewitness identification, a bogus lineup, a jailhouse snitch, and police tunnel vision.
The David Ranta family is now suing the NYPD for $15 million for their suffering. See the Huff Post story here.
A Federal law enforcement investigation of this renegade, out of control police department is the only response that will communicate to the citizens of this community that this type of continual behavior will not be permitted. Come on Eric Holder, get with it!
We have posted often before about issues of police overreach and misconduct – phony lineups, ignoring evidence, fabricating evidence, coercing confessions, lying on the stand, and more. However it seems the Albuquerque, New Mexico police department has set a new standard for police overreach.
Albuquerque has an officer-involved shooting rate 4 times that of Chicago and 8 times that of New York. The Albuquerque police have killed 26 people in just the last four years, and the city has paid out $30 million in civil judgements – so far – as a result of those killings. However, in the last 30 years, not a single Albuquerque officer has even been charged, much less convicted, of using excessive force.
Watch the CNN video here, which shows the murder of a homeless man by the Albuquerque police. Warning – this will make you angry.
The US Justice Department has…
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Found a kindred soul in Orlando Weekly Editor, Erin Sullivan. We agreed to work together on an article for the Weekly on debtors prison in Florida. I have begun researching background materials and plan to do several days at the library next week. Digging in……
No news yet on Obamacare…..trying to finish Jim Wise latest book, DEAR WHITE AMERICA. Still trying to set up voter registration team, process. Challenging…..
Balance is the status I seek, in myself, and in the world. Not such a simple concept. Everyday brings new challenges, opportunities, options, and pitfalls. “I walk along the rim of the abyss, one foot on the steady soil….”(Katsansakis)
Just finished reading Tavis Smiley and Cornel West book THE RICH AND THE REST OF US. Further fuel on the fire. I find comfort in the thought that there are, apparently, others who share my interests, concerns, goals. I am working on mechanisms to share this information, spread the word, build a movement, and ultimately make a difference.
I want, and need, others to fill in the blanks adding their skills and talents so that we can begin to have an impact. How do we begin to address the needs of the poor so that they can lift themselves out of the cycle of poverty? The parts of which I am aware are as follows:
1. Funding needs to come from those who benefited from the creation of the current inequity.
2. Issues of healthcare, hunger, housing, and education need to be the among the first efforts.
3. Creation of communities, similar to kibbutzim, could form the matrix where efforts are focused on the homeless and those living under the poverty levels already identified.
4. Individual communities would have a form of self government for daily functioning.
5. Communities would include individuals, seniors, and families.
6. Economic self sufficiency would be a goal for each group with start up costs covered by the corporations, banks, and others who caused the housing and economic downturn.
7. Resources for training, crafts, clothing, foodstuffs, childcare, and healthcare would be based on the participation of the residents.
If the Superdome can be purchased for $500.000.00 dollars in Pontiac, Michigan, surely start up communities can be as affordable as well.
For the larger society:
1. Building skills, repairing neglected conditions, creating valuable institutions that are responsive to the needs of communities, and solving the inequities created by the 1% is where we are heading. Brave New World Revisited.
2. Cessation of the movement to privatize agencies, services and institutions would be required immediately.
3. A blend of capitalism with social components for healthcare and education would replace the current plutocracy.
4. Participation in these communities would be elected by the individual or the family.
5. Reformation of the prison system would focus on releasing those imprisoned for drug use, cessation of use of the death penalty, and implementation of programs focusing on education and rehabilitation.
6. Immigration reforms offering citizenship for those currently living in the U.S. and based on employment needs for future immigrants would be begun.
7. Support for all children to determine educational, healthcare, social and emotional needs would be instituted.
We must begin with an idea of where we want to go. What kind of world do we want to live in, and that which is needed. How to get there, the steps and stages remain to be discovered and developed.
Great progress can only be made when bold ideas are chosen.
Feeling the “call to action”, it is no longer enough to read books, blogs, emails, and various other posts alone. Feeling the passion for fairness, equality, democracy, reparation, I move toward action. Like a surgeon, I want to follow the learning pattern: SEE ONE, DO ONE, TEACH ONE.
It is my hope that you, dear reader, will see my blog, create an entry of your own, then move others to create the next blog. Let’s fill the blogosphere with light, information, correction, clarity and honesty. Let’s talk about those actions that have been taken that put us as a nation, and as individual citizens, where we are today and let us share with each other, and those parties best situated to have an impact moving toward fixing the problems, what needs to be done to reduce the poverty we see around us everyday in every town and state across America. If it is true that all boats rise on a high tide, let that tide begin here and now as a means to change the game, pull back the curtain, and move to action.
In recent days, following a series of classes I taught on Money Management, I have been reading various books on the Financial Meltdown of 2008, including those focusing specifically on banking and real estate issues, politics, race, sexism and the growth of a two class culture in America from what was once a three class culture. As thousands of middle-class families joined the lower class in this newly defined culture of poverty, I, like many others began to ask the usual questions. What is happening? How did it happen? What is our government and the corporate structure doing to remedy the problem? And lastly, what can I do to make my own life, and that of others better?
In the days preceding 2008 I remember reading a wonderful magazine story on the impact of race and poverty on individual health. I was shocked to learn that poverty was the primary indicator for diminishing the level of health. Fast forward to 2008 as millions suddenly swell the numbers of people joining the ranks of the poor. Now this is personal, ever the wake up call to many of us!
In the midst of all this comes a steady assault on the recently passed healthcare bill of 2010. I begin to connect the dots. I go to my local bookstore and gather recently published books on political issues, banking, real estate, poverty, race, and more. I start to volunteer to register voters, I develop a Money Management class for my local literacy center and sign on to teach another Finance course for the domestic violence center. I add my email address to those action groups providing news and actions to begin building a circle of information and involvement.
Like “love”, “caring” is a verb, that requires ACTION to have life.