Beep Won’t Like This: Iraq War Vet Critical After Police Violence at Oakland Occupy Protest

26 10 2011

The Oakland Police Department fired tear gas on Occupy Oakland demonstrators Tuesday night as they marched through downtown, determined to reclaim the camp that officers destroyed that morning. As the marchers zigged and zagged in search of safe ground, authorities bombarded and barricaded the activists into a drawn-out stalemate that resulted in further arrests.

The local police’s use of force seriously injured an Occupy activist and Iraq War veteran.

Scott Olsen, 24, remains sedated on a respirator, in stable but critical condition at Oakland’s Highland Hospital after being hit in the head with a police projectile.

. . .New video posted to YouTube suggests that Olsen was hit [in the face] at close range with a tear-gas canister. After demonstrators rush to Olsen’s aid, an Oakland cop waits a few beats before lobbing a second tear-gas canister at the crowd. They are attending to Olsen when the canister explodes, sending smoke everywhere.

No, Beep won’t like it.
I don’t like it.
No one should like it.
WTF America . . .



49 responses

26 10 2011

Odd how the Tea Partiers who showed up to protests with loaded guns and signs threatening violent overthrow of the government were never subjected to the same treatment.

26 10 2011

No kidding! A good (and disturbing) point.

Thom Hartmann said on the radio this afternoon, that Oakland police were behaving lawfully as directed by the mayor and city council (unlike White-Shirt Pepper Spray Shooter in NYC) so that was where the power rested and where complaints and outrage should be directed . . .

26 10 2011
27 10 2011

If I had the money I would just leave this country. I don’t know what’s become of it. It’s full of disgusting pigs who think they are entitled to treat people like animals, and then there is shit like this.

You are right JJ.

We are not amused.

27 10 2011

Although honestly, after seeing the antics of cops in California, I cannot say that I am surprised.

27 10 2011

But this might surprise you, a frankly incredible story all around — read the whole thing down to this know-nothing mayor’s own activist history protecting the people of Oakland FROM police, and see if it leaves your jaw hanging open:

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan: “I Don’t Know Everything”

. . . is being criticized from all sides for a police sweep of the Occupy Oakland encampment, said Wednesday that she was not involved in the planning and did not even know when the action was going to take place.

27 10 2011

That story reminds me of what I wrote about Kathleen Blanco’s incompetence as civil authority in LA during Katrina, comparing her to Sarah Palin who was claiming that she could command the National Guard and therefore could be Commander in Chief.

Public policy administration is serious business. It matters whether it’s done well or not. Heck, even my 1980s career in a large school system dealt with angry citizens, civil rights, media controversy, arrests and assaults, bullying, race tensions, collective bargaining, lawsuits, public health hazards, police relations and investigations and overreach. . . and that was in less fraught times, and we were an extraordinarily professional team.

27 10 2011

Believe me I know. Way back about 15 years ago, I fought the local city hall. I was called the T-word on the radio in town and compared to some really bad people. Why? All I have ever gotten in life was speeding tickets on occasion. My sin was being visible. It was helping organize neighbors who were not willing to drink the local kool-aid. The best part was it was local Dems who did it. They thought they were so goddamn smart trying to hang me out to dry. They even made it sound like me being a veteran made me dangerous.

And as corny as this sounds JJ, it broke my heart to hear that stuff said about me. If they were just opposing me I could understand that, but the attempts to assassinate my character, the cops following ME-personally around all the time. The rumors, it was awful. It wasn’t a tear gas canister in the face, but it was still awful and disappointing, and eye opening.

I had threatened their precious fucking money. That was it. These political prostitutes were afraid I was going to make their golden goose eggbound. And this was their response. To demonize us. Not talk with the people whose lives they were trying to destroy, but just to demonize us, silence us and harass us.

27 10 2011


Maybe one piece of good news is that 15 years later, it’s gone so far that enough people can’t buy into it anymore. I know *I* see things differently than I did in the mid-90s!

27 10 2011

Links of interest: the Oakland mayor changes her tune and now says the city “supports” the Occupy movement, and Rachel Maddow last night drew historical parallel back to the “Bonus Army” . . .

27 10 2011

Here’s the “penal code 409” that I heard an interviewed Occupy Oakland protester say they were accused via megaphone of violating, interesting reading:

409. Every person remaining present at the place of any riot, rout, or unlawful assembly, after the same has been lawfully warned to
disperse, except public officers and persons assisting them in attempting to disperse the same, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

409.3. Whenever law enforcement officers and emergency medical
technicians are at the scene of an accident, management of the scene
of the accident shall be vested in the appropriate law enforcement
agency, whose representative shall consult with representatives of
other response agencies at the scene to ensure that all appropriate
resources are properly utilized. However, authority for patient care
management at the scene of an accident shall be determined in
accordance with Section 1798.6 of the Health and Safety Code.
For purposes of this section, “management of the scene of an
accident” means the coordination of operations which occur at the
location of an accident.

409.5. (a) Whenever a menace to the public health or safety is
created by a calamity including a flood, storm, fire, earthquake,
explosion, accident, or other disaster, officers of the Department of
the California Highway Patrol, police departments, marshal’s office
or sheriff’s office, any officer or employee of the Department of
Forestry and Fire Protection designated a peace officer by
subdivision (g) of Section 830.2, any officer or employee of the
Department of Parks and Recreation designated a peace officer by
subdivision (f) of Section 830.2, any officer or employee of the
Department of Fish and Game designated a peace officer under
subdivision (e) of Section 830.2, and any publicly employed full-time
lifeguard or publicly employed full-time marine safety officer while
acting in a supervisory position in the performance of his or her
official duties, may close the area where the menace exists for the
duration thereof by means of ropes, markers, or guards to any and all
persons not authorized by the lifeguard or officer to enter or
remain within the enclosed area. If the calamity creates an immediate
menace to the public health, the local health officer may close the
area where the menace exists pursuant to the conditions set forth in
this section.
(b) Officers of the Department of the California Highway Patrol,
police departments, marshal’s office or sheriff’s office, officers of
the Department of Fish and Game designated as peace officers by
subdivision (e) of Section 830.2, or officers of the Department of
Forestry and Fire Protection designated as peace officers by
subdivision (g) of Section 830.2 may close the immediate area
surrounding any emergency field command post or any other command
post activated for the purpose of abating any calamity enumerated in
this section or any riot or other civil disturbance to any and all
unauthorized persons pursuant to the conditions set forth in this
section whether or not the field command post or other command post
is located near to the actual calamity or riot or other civil
(c) Any unauthorized person who willfully and knowingly enters an
area closed pursuant to subdivision (a) or (b) and who willfully
remains within the area after receiving notice to evacuate or leave
shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
(d) Nothing in this section shall prevent a duly authorized
representative of any news service, newspaper, or radio or television
station or network from entering the areas closed pursuant to this

27 10 2011

Of course there WAS no riot or disaster or calamity or whatever, until they first intentionally created a crisis and then used it to justify force.

27 10 2011

How do these cops sleep at night is what I wonder? How do they justify this bullshit to themselves? I don’t mean that they have to agree with OWs, but the part where they brutalize these people after setting them up for inescapable confrontations?

27 10 2011

Bonus Vets is a good comparison or will be soon if certain GOPer Goatropers succeed in cutting our retirement benefits.

We really do depend on those payments to live. So it would be devastating. And if they did cut that–one wonders what they think we would do?

What would there be to hold us back at all?

That old song line: Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to loose.

That isn’t necessarily a beneficent statement.

The same thing with the currently chronically jobless and homeless.

They have no stake in the infrastructure of society as the plutocracy has made it. So why expect them to adhere to any of those rules? What’s their pay off if they do that?

More of the same.

28 10 2011

I cannot access the first page of Curioser. I cannot get to it from my computer, though I can see the page to Speaking Truth to Power from here, but not the latest post.

Can you see it?

28 10 2011

Beep might not have been reading here the last time I talked about working in school board policy and legislation. One big project I headed was rethinking, researching, rewriting and recoding the district’s policy manual and code of conduct/ethics for students, staff, parents and officials (which has the force of law in Florida.) Also I was the superintendent’s hearing officer rendering written final judgments in his name that could not be appealed, under that code.

With that background I read the above code as discouragingly, needlessly authoritarian, the same way school penal-ty codes tend to be. It reflects a militaristic mindset of control and enforcement over a captive population — which Compulsory School literally is, much more so than an American city — demanding unquestioning compliance behavior on pain of escalating punishment that tends to escalate rather than resolve real problems.

Failure to obey the original command becomes its own crime in this mindset and is punished evermore harshly to “break” the disobedience and serve as a cautionary example to others who might dare the same if the troublemaker isn’t crushed.

28 10 2011

Re: your blog trouble — I see it, no problem. Were you wanting to link your new Occupy post, perhaps?

30 10 2011

Important — this issue about law and order, penal codes and enforcement, etc. is much bigger and more fundamentally unfair than how Occupy protesters are being treated.

Glenn Greenwald is on “Up with Chris Hayes” this morning (Sunday) tying it all together, as about “how the State exercises power and in whose favor it exercises power.” (His new book is out this week on the same theme.)

Here he is on Rachel Maddow the other night:

30 10 2011

IOW, there has been a legal immunity conferred upon our elites, not just an economic immunity. And it’s not just hurting our pocketbooks but our most precious liberties.The penal code above is a tiny peek at just how oppressive our “free” society has gotten toward ordinary Americans living and pursuing happiness in ordinary ways.

Greenwald’s new book is “With Liberty and Justice for Some: How the Law is Used to Destroy Liberty and Protect the Powerful.”

Greenwald has consistently exposed the hypocrisy beneath United States’ commitment to the rule of law, whether he is writing about the “war on terror,” the politicization of Department of Justice, or the Wall Street bailout. With Liberty and Justice for Some weaves these stories together into a powerful indictment of a nation that has lost its way.

. . .The book begins with the origins of elite immunity, which Greenwald traces to early precedents such as Ford’s pardon of Nixon and the Iran-Contra affair under Reagan. Greenwald then describes how elite immunity has spread through the public and private sectors and Republican and Democratic administrations alike.

. . .In his final chapter, Greenwald turns to the terrible irony at the heart of his story: that while elites routinely evade sanction, average citizens are subject to the one of the most draconian criminal justice systems in the world. The United States incarcerates far more people and for longer periods of time than almost every other country, including for nonviolent crimes for which other Western nations rarely if ever impose jail terms, from petty drug offenses to writing bad checks.

Not surprisingly, in a country where criminal justice outcomes are heavily influenced by a person’s relative wealth and power, U.S. crime and sentencing laws have the severest impact on racial minorities and the country’s poorest.

30 10 2011

I really like Greenwald. I remember specifically his coverage of the BP disaster. He has been targeted several times in the hopes of silencing him. I think it was some group loosely associated with an alphabet agency that was having him surveiled.

Disgusting but true. 😦

30 10 2011

Greenwald could go back much further to Shays Rebellion and the Whiskey Rebellion to see how this has been the SOP in the US for a long time.

30 10 2011

From Beep at her blog:

But then 2006 happened. Luckily for us, we didn’t *have to move. But others who were still active duty still had to transfer. Only now they have a house that they cannot sell, even at fire-sale prices. And they still have to find a place to live to rent or own for the next few years at their new duty station. This financially ruined many military families and could have ruined more than a few security clearances as well. Uncle Sam frowns upon service members [esp those in sensitive jobs] who have money or credit problems. This is in addition to all the deployments during the 2 wars going on and all that mess.

And they wonder why so many vets and others are getting involved in OWS.

31 10 2011
Nance Confer

It’s been SOP everywhere forever. The folks with the money write and enforce the rules to protect themselves. Off to read more at Beep’s. . .

31 10 2011
31 10 2011
Nance Confer

My favorite part —

But there were a few — mostly black cops — who, as we were transferred from point A to point B, told us openly, “We support you. If I could, I’d participate in what you’re doing.”

31 10 2011

But you can tell they are afraid. They are suffering the chilling effect, because they are afraid of loosing their jobs due to the perception that they are not allowed to express their political views.

And in that vein: Check out this cartoon from Daily Kos

31 10 2011

Two thoughts –

First, the Discovery Channel’s recreation of the Milgram shock experiment last night and second, recent research about the role of LUCK for those super-elite “job creators” and “corporate persons.”

Authority and Luck both greatly affect individuals whether we understand their influence or not, even as we prefer to believe each person acts with free will and reaps either reward or punishment as deserved, experiencing straightforward cause-and-effect.

As parents and citizens we need to do a better job teaching kids (and ourselves!) about both Authority and Luck .

We learned as children and in turn have taught our kids way too well from the earliest ages, to comply with Authority. All Authority, just because it IS Authority. That conditioning hurts them and it hurts us, as society. We need to cut it out!

And we teach them not nearly enough (if anything?) about Luck, how big a role luck good and bad plays in success AND failure, no matter how hard they work and how smart and worthy they are, nor how much they want it or wish/hope/pray for it happen. To what extent accidents of birth determine our fate. Geography as destiny. Random chance, black swans, enormous unearned privilege and disadvantage.

Nothing is Immutable Including School Rules:

Nothing about school is immutable, none of the who, what, where, why, when or how, certainly not its administrative authority over the rights of sovereign citizens such as the legal construct of uncrossable school zones say, conceived and enforced as critical borders worth sacrificing children to, nor how to mark the race box on school registration and test forms, much less academic pronouncements even when they *aren’t* borne of changes in religious or political power of story — which planets aren’t planets anymore when the rules and definitions change, say, or something as seemingly cut and dried as how to spell a word correctly

But instead, school and church and society teach us to believe in right versus wrong answers,bootstraps and butt cracks, “merit pay” and The Little Red Hen, charity and blind justice and life without parole.

Desperate for Control? Abusive Parenting, Abusive Politics

Schooling is too much about Authority, not enough about Luck (except Waiting for Superman-type admission lotteries, boy, there’s a tough life lesson!) and so is Churching, which is all about conditioning kids to comply with Authority no matter how confusing or wicked the command (hurt yourself and others e.g.) and also makes them believe “everything happens for a reason” IOW literally according to Plan. No luck good or bad.

31 10 2011

“You-as a poor person when you pay someone to represent your interests and your money, really do not expect to be ripped off by respectable institutions. Poor people are conditioned to think that they have to work hard to be as moral and righteous as the wealthy [institution or people]. It is only later when we have our impoverished asses handed back to us on a platter, that we learn otherwise.”

It’s a work in progress, but it seems to be along the lines of thinking you are discussing. Which is about conditioning as education and vice versa.

31 10 2011

Beep’s new post on what to teach our kids: Homeschooling Financial Literacy

31 10 2011

LOL – we crossed posts! Great minds and all that . . .

31 10 2011


31 10 2011

Something else that relates:
Thinking We’re Thinking is What’s Wrong

I also read Natural Happiness and the real-world research of “decision scientists” in the NYT Magazine — if we can educate ourselves with better information about how our own brains and minds make such complex social decisions, and why, then maybe we can manage our own ambiguity and flailing about and wiring for failure?

CW, you might like Bono’s [ambiguous and almost poetic] piece on feeding soul and spirit individually, as society and an economy . . .

31 10 2011

Soul Feeding causes me to think of Women Who Run with the Wolves.

Good Book!

2 11 2011
Nance Confer

A suggestion from the Rude Pundit —

Instead of buying crap we don’t need on Black Friday, he suggests we donate stuff they do need to survive the winter to OWS sites.

5 11 2011

Beep – did you see that another Iraq vet has been critically injured by the Oakland police, this time on purpose, with multiple officers beating him with batons until his spleen was damaged and then locking him up without treatment for nearly 24 hours until he finally was taken to the intensive care unit of the same hospital Scott Olsen was in?

Olbermann last night did a whole segment (Shuster sitting in as host) and another vet named Dottie Guy (who was there when it happened, I think) described the protesting vets at the forefront, said that “a lot of people got very rich from our wars” and now vets are returning to an economy without good jobs and the war-enriched refuse to honor them.

6 11 2011

From Liza at Culture Kitchen, remember her from early homeschool discussions?

Local governments like New York City’s rule by the tyranny of ordinances and permits; effectively turning every potential exercise of the First Amendment into a nuisance that deserves immediate suppression.

In fact, the tearing down of “occupies” all across the nation proves vividly that as individuals we’ve lost our freedom to assembly and freedom speech while the 1%ers have amassed, through Citizen’s United, an unprecedented amount of power without accountability thanks to the “money as free speech” and “corporate personhood” rulings. .

Case in point over the weekend: is fake conservative “corporate personhood” or authentic American citizen personhood, being honored by this arrest news?

According to APD Sgt. Tim Landeis, the arrests occurred when protesters dressed in hazmat suits spilled fake paper money outside the mall’s branch office of the Wells Fargo bank, then made loud noises as they picked it up.

And here is Michael Moore’s warning about protest violence, on the Rachel Maddow Show:

Moore told protesters [in Denver] “if you see someone trying to incite violence, start with the assumption that that person is…undercover homeland security or a cop or whatever, because this is the history of America, where those in charge have tried to ignite people, incite them to commit acts of violence.

“I tell them, don’t be incited. Just assume right away that person is not part of the Occupy movement if that’s what they’re calling on people to do.”

8 11 2011

Yes, I saw that. I have been distracted by the quakes and severe weather. It appears Pat Robertson has been practicing Voodoo in Oklahoma again, so we have some demonic forces of nature to put to rest. 😉

I did watch the Michael Moore video. Normally I am not such a great fan of his. It’s not that I disagree with his points or observations, its just sometimes I think he is an asshole to the people who lack the authority or power to grant his wishes or answer his questions. That annoys me.

I am going to visit these other links though, They do make some good points that I had thought about, but clearly they have really reflected on these matters and offer some keen insights I could benefit from.
Thank you for sharing–as always, I love all the materials you collect to read, and I really appreciate how you put them together.

8 11 2011

Beep, I was not much of a Michael Moore fan either, for years and years. I’ve only gradually and indeed recently, realized that he’s kinda boyish and idealistic and cute. 🙂

8 11 2011

And thanks — truly — for the acclaim you give us here. Mostly I think we don’t deserve praise for much (although we’ll take it!) except that we’re old. We’ve been around most of the blocks a bunch of times now . . .

9 11 2011

I think that is what thrills me the most. When we come together and compare block runs. I don’t get to do that much in real life.

9 11 2011

Btw, back to the war vet and Occupy blocks, let’s think about this piece of shockingly honest and establishment-damning thought:

I did not serve my country in Iraq; I served the 1%.

. . . My “service” served Exxon-Mobil, Halliburton, KBR, Blackwater, and other multinational corporations in Iraq.

. . .We decry police brutality at home, while the U.S. war machine brutalizes innocent people abroad. We need to understand that Iraqis, Afghans, Palestinians, Libyans and everyone else who has fallen victim to the 1% and its war machine are part of the 99%, too.

We can love our country, but we should not value American lives more than any other.

9 11 2011

Via homeschool dad Paul D. from the Atlantic, comes “Cops with Machine Guns: How the War on Terror Has Militarized the Police”:

“… Americans should remain mindful bringing military-style training to domestic law enforcement has real consequences. When police officers are dressed like soldiers, armed like soldiers, and trained like soldiers, it’s not surprising that they are beginning to act like soldiers.

And remember: a soldier’s main objective is to kill the enemy.”

10 11 2011

And two articles (from the Economist and from Wired) bear on what’s gone wrong with Oakland policing along with authority everywhere including Church and State and Wall Street wealth, TX courts and Penn State football:

“How Power Corrupts”

“The very traits that helped leaders accumulate control in the first place all but disappear once they rise to power. Instead of being polite, honest and outgoing, they become impulsive, reckless and rude.

According to psychologists, one of the main problems with authority is that it makes us less sympathetic to the concerns and emotions of others. For instance, several studies have found that people in positions of authority are more likely to rely on stereotypes and generalizations when judging other people.”

“The Psychology of Power: Power corrupts, but it corrupts only those who think they deserve it”

These results, then, suggest that the powerful do indeed behave hypocritically, condemning the transgressions of others more than they condemn their own. Which comes as no great surprise, although it is always nice to have everyday observation confirmed by systematic analysis.

But another everyday observation is that powerful people who have been caught out often show little sign of contrition. It is not just that they abuse the system; they also seem to feel entitled to abuse it.

. . .This sense of entitlement is crucial to understanding why people misbehave in high office. In its absence, abuses will be less likely. The word “privilege” translates as “private law”. If Dr Lammers and Dr Galinsky are right, the sense which some powerful people seem to have that different rules apply to them is not just a convenient smoke screen. They genuinely believe it.

10 11 2011

I think this also “absolutely” relates to what with a huffy sense of entitlement is called parent rights by those who feel empowered and demand their right to abuse children in all sorts of monstrous yet (too often) technically legal ways.

And teaching them they should submit to Authority (whether taught through physical pain and confinement, emotional manipulation, behavioral conditioning with punishments and rewards, secrets and lies, schooling, religious doctrine or all combinations thereof ) surely is the single most dangerous abuse of all.

10 11 2011

The word “privilege” translates as “private law”.

Wouldn’t we have to conclude then, that Religion — the doctrines of which are so cherished as Private Law that its believers keep trying to make its demands on private behavior into Public Law, too — is literally Privilege? This would explain a LOT of what goes on in America.

10 11 2011

I don’t serve my country, I serve the 1 %.

Its funny how that works. Recruiting ads paint a different picture entirely. What we are conditioned to believe in school and church as well–that you serve “your country” which is the 100 percent. Identity is shared.

But he is right. Lately it has been the 1 percent. It takes a while though, to bust through the bullshit and see it for what it is.

10 11 2011

Identity is shared.

Funny you’d mention that, because I just heard someone explaining the Penn State students rioting to keep child molester enablers on campus, as being about a desperate desire not to lose their shared pride in identity. The argument went that we’ve lost trust in so many institutions from which we draw common identity, and what happened at Penn State was tragic because it was all some people had left, so it shouldn’t be sullied, and if nobody finds out it’s hurting children, then at least the rest of us don”t have to suffer loss too. . . .

[COD put our shared identity as Thinking Homeschoolers to good use, though, to refute this argument beautifully by sharing this, see summary below.]

As a rabid Gator football fan, I get the “protect the home team” loyalty meme. But as an old and overly educated person, I get the first part about harboring horrible people like rapists even more powerfully — so we’ve all been abused lately, individually and collectively, and EVERYTHING is being stolen from us, right down to our honor and trust and intelligence and self-governance. Along with our shared identity.

Some public person I admire said the other day — Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, I think — that if we didn’t do something smart very soon about how we’ve been robbed of everything we believed in as shared identity, this nation would break apart and we’d have no identity to share at all anymore, as Americans. There would BE no America anymore. It happened to the USSR. Why are we still blind to the likelihood something similar is being lost here?

[Ursula K. LeGuin’s] story posits a fantastic utopian city, where everything is beautiful, with one catch: In order for all this comfort and beauty to exist, one child must be kept in filth and misery. Every citizen of Omelas, when they come of age, is told about that one blameless child being put through hell. And they have a choice: Accept that is the price for their perfect lives in Omelas, or walk away from that paradise, into uncertainty and possibly chaos.

11 11 2011

The whole situation is very sad for all the reasons mentioned and then some. Sexual crimes are crimes that people like to cluck at in the paper on on the television, but when faced with having to intervene in real life, a lot of people freeze up. They fail. I honestly think that it’s because it’s so disturbing, ugly and scary that they freeze like a deer in headlights. They are afraid of telling because even a hint of such a crime is life/career ending and what if they got it wrong.

I think it terrifies people on many levels. That is not to excuse the abuse of children or the enabling of abuse. It is just something I have observed. There seem to be two extremes–The child never lies and the frozen in fear people.

Neither of these offer us a reasonable means to take steps in a forward direction. I blame this on our justice system and the press.

Innocent until proven guilty should mean no stories in the paper until a verdict has been reached–with a few exceptions.

Otherwise it reduces this aspect of our justice system to a circus like atmosphere that ruins lives in the court of public opinion before there has been an investigation and a trial.

12 11 2011

And it can be “life/career-ending” even if you get it right, just because you tell. Especially if you’re the victim . . .

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