Saturday, November 12, 2016

Lest we forget 2012

     The presidential election of 2012; ah, I remember it like it was yesterday.  You remember; The Republicans really thought they had that one boy!  A week before the election Mitt Romney had a lead in the polls, the debates were so one sided on the issues that Candy Crowley had to save the President's bacon by insisting Romney was wrong on a detail he was absolutely correct on and the country was in an uproar on its' way to a divisiveness like we had never seen.  This divisiveness was not just a racial or gender divide either.  The economy was not doing well, health premiums were skyrocketing due to an unpopular health care law and what new jobs were being created were part time or hourly with no benefits.  Small businesses were crumbling.  Romney was going to win.
     Then Hurricane Sandy hit.  The President correctly travels to New Jersey to survey the damage and offer concern, hugs the Republican Governor of New Jersey and pulls off a stunning come from behind victory.  The aftermath of that election result was scary.
     If you don't remember allow me to refresh your memory.  Election night at the Romney campaign headquarters was devastating to all of his followers; tears were flowing to the point that senior citizens were almost in convulsions from crying so hard and loud.  Facial contortions never seen before or since as if every household pet in Republican homes across the country had been hit by a car all at one time; even the goldfish!  Romney himself was so overcome with the emotion of not winning a position that was totally owed to him just couldn't drag himself to the stage to express his gratitude to his campaign workers for all they had done for him, having to be convinced that it wasn't really their fault he lost.  He sent his campaign manager to the stage to tell everyone to go home while we finished counting the votes, only to concede the election five seconds later.  He did manage to drag himself to the stage the next day to make a short speech before going back into hiding and sending his wife out to shake hands and thank everyone.
     College campuses at places like Liberty University and Bob Jones University had to call in grief counselors from all over the country and cancel classes for a day to help these poor, disillusioned students get past the destruction caused to their psychological systems by a constitutionally mandated election process that was somehow "unfair" because their guy didn't win.  At Brigham Young University and the University of Utah, students marched and rioted because they believed that those that voted against Romney had to be anti-Mormon and voted against him ONLY for this reason.
     In cities such as Oklahoma City, Salt Lake City, Columbia, Austin, Jackson, Baton Rouge, Knoxville, Jefferson City, Kansas City and many more like them, Republican supporters marched and rioted, proving their points by using profanity and gestures to TV cameras, breaking store front windows, looting property and burning cars and buildings.  Police in those communities resorted to riot and civil disturbance training to disperse those crowds because the Mayors in those cities sat on their hands, pleased that those in their party were upset that the political process did not yield their desired results.  Those politicians showed them;  we didn't get our way so tear it up!! 
     You remember that don't you?  Yeah, me neither.  Their is more than enough sample size to clearly state that this phenomenon is a left wing progressive extremist thing; and we don't understand.  It's also something else.  It is currently THE face of the Democrat Party.  Turn on the TV and what do you see?  No matter the reason you see the same thing.  There is always the same excuse too; "the peaceful protesters are not the ones doing that stuff".  Do you SEE any peaceful protesters?  "Well, the media is only showing the ones causing the problems".  You mean the media that has depicted this years Republican nominee in every negative light and from every negative angle they could find?  You would think that a media so left wing biased could produce some intelligent interviews of these non-violent protesters or better yet, interviews of the Mayors of these cities that would at least speak out against tearing up their own cities.  Of course, the media is also not reporting that these "events" are only occurring in cities that are being governed by left wing, progressive forms of government.  These cities are notorious for disorganized chaos and allowing these events to grow and fester.  They seem to want and welcome these types of uprisings as opposed to a legal uprising, such as a constitutionally mandated election.
     Again, take a look at these incidents and tell me what you see?  I see a few things.  With the exception of a few folks (like the professional rioters) I see a group of young people that probably only remembers our current President.  Most college students were ages 10-13 the last time someone was President other than President Obama.  They all grew up getting a trophy and have not been taught how to compete, how to handle losing graciously, how to handle adversity and how to work harder instead of complaining louder when something doesn't go your way.  I see young people who have grown up not learning how to communicate by any other means than electronic devices and has been taught that angry rhetoric is a form of effective communication.  I see young people that have bought into a "victim" mentality and bought into the left wing media biased reporting, taking what they read and hear as gospel and not bothering to confirm facts for themselves.  I see young people buying into left leaning educators on college campuses and not bothering to seek other points of view.
     For instance, Donald Trump liked to stick his foot in his mouth quite a bit during this election.  That still wasn't good enough for left wingers.  By the time November 8th rolled around they had convinced all of their minions that Trump was an unequivocal racist.  Does he want to properly vet Muslims entering the country from terrorist inhabited parts of the world; yep.  Does he want to prohibit illegal immigration and deport feloniously convicted illegal immigrants; yep.  Does that make him a racist?  Nope.
     Trump was endorsed by David Duke who he does not know. He was endorsed by other KKK publications as was Hillary Clinton.  Does that make either of them racist?  Nope.  Does Trump have any direct ties to the KKK or ANY other ring wing extremist nut bag outfit?  I haven't seen any such reports; only left wing liberal media innuendo.
     Ever hear of US Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia?  Hillary Clinton credits him for being her mentor and offered a very public and heartfelt eulogy when he passed away.  He was also an admitted member of the KKK while he was in office!  How about J. William Fulbright?  He was President Bill Clinton's admitted mentor and a Senator from Arkansas.  President Clinton offered a heartfelt public eulogy when Fulbright passed away while he was a sitting President.  Mr. Fulbright was also a devout segregationist.  These are examples of direct ties to racism yet left wing progressives routinely dismiss these relationships.**
     The point is that the American middle class rose up and said "enough".  Yet progressives still make excuses.
     They voted for Trump because they are racist.  Hillary Clinton is white.
     No, they are racist because they were really voting against Obama.  Obama wasn't running.
     No, I mean they were voting against her because they were against Obama because they didn't like his policies because he is black.  Every election is an exercise in voting for someone new or for/against the incumbents record and policies.  The US electorate gave President Obama the benefit of the doubt in 2012.  Hillary Clinton decided to run her campaign in large part based on staying the Obama course.  There are no policies or philosophies that I have read about or researched that contained or was dependent upon the fact that President Obama is black.
     Polling has shown for the past 4 years up to this election day that 70% of Americans believe the country is headed in the wrong direction.  70% of the country is not Republican.  It is statistically impossible that the 70% is all white.  It is statistically impossible that the 70% is all uneducated, deplorable white males.  It is entirely possible that the 70% is made up of what middle class may be left in this country and probably current or former union workers who have seen little from a progressively run federal government and switched their voting tendencies because they actually heard a voice that included them.  That shrinking middle class isn't entirely white, uneducated males either.
     In its' simplest form, what happened last Tuesday is this; Americans were tired of progressive, divisive policies that have failed at every level of government in this country.  They are tired of being blamed for every "social injustice" that comes down the pike as if they are personally to blame.  They are tired of a double standard when it comes to the laws of the land.  They are tired of an apologistic attitude to our foreign enemies and the ridiculous policy of trusting governments whose radical religious beliefs consider it honorable to lie.  They are tired of excuse making and a lack of use of common sense.  They are tired of social and educational enabling that has encouraged dependence on government for everyday existence.  They are tired of being bullied and being categorized when voicing opposition to left wing policies. They are ready for a new way, a new direction and a person not consumed with his own political ambition.  They are tired of a government that not only does not work for them but one that does not work, period!
     This election produced two candidates that the majority of citizens did not personally like.  This left most voters, myself included, to consider the policies and philosophies both candidates represented.  Fortunately, the differences were stark allowing for a decision based on those differences.  The accusations by those on the left that everyone that voted for Trump are racist, misogynist, homophobic, etc. are ridiculous and indicative of why the Democrats lost big in this election.  The country is tired of the bully pulpit.  
     This election was about the economy and the direction of the country.  Donald Trump and the Republicans offered a different economic prospective.  Hillary Clinton had no record of achievement to run on; hers or the Democrat's.  Election over and all the marching, rioting and vandalism will not change it.
     
     "Elections have consequences"
                       President Barack Obama, 2009.

     "So does a record of failed policies and misguided social enabling"
                       Marc Ridgill, 2016


**  If you google "Bill Clinton mentor" or "Hillary Clinton mentor",  these individuals and their beliefs are revealed.   

             

Monday, October 31, 2016

Whose Procedure? Whose Justice?

     Procedural Justice!!!

     That is what we practice here in Greensboro today; a newfangled idea in the world of policing here in our fair city.  Effective?  You be the judge.  You see, among all the police bashing and politics that are being dictated to our department by city council and the city manager's office these days are also their ideas of HOW policing should be done.  None of these politicians or bureaucrats have one iotas worth of law enforcement experience or training mind you, none!  However it seems that our Mayor and her buddies Nelson Johnson, Lewis Pitts and all their little subversives from both outside the department and within the department have been allowed to have great input on police department procedures.  In their fantasy world of progressive and even communist politics and philosophies, criminals are to be handled as "victims".  It is apparently police officers and all the citizens who support law and order who are at fault.  Too many criminals are getting arrested.  Therefore, we must comply with the agitators because they who speak loudest must be right.  The Greensboro Police Department, a department that has been recognized in the not so distant past as being a national model of law enforcement professionalism and policing techniques has now been reduced to a scapegoat for bad political decision making and a lack of leadership and control at the highest level of government.  It's not progressive, liberal policies that are to blame.  It's not the lack of control of even the simplest forms of formal government procedure (i.e. running an efficient council meeting).  It has got to be the police.
     What is procedural justice?  There are several definitions that are longer than this article would be.  After researching this term, I was able to locate a lesson plan completed by COPS (Community Oriented Policing Services; cops.usdoj.gov).  In a nutshell, the basic premise is nothing more than the way police officers have been taught to conduct interviews and public interaction for years.  The one addition that I can see is an over-emphasis on allowing citizens to come up with solutions to disputes on their own.  This may be effective when officers are attempting to mediate civil or domestic disagreements but again, this is nothing new.  However, when you apply this to criminal or public peace situations it rarely results in resolutions, especially if the crime being investigated is a felony and you are attempting to get a criminal suspect to conform to this philosophy.  As we have seen in recent Body Worn Camera video, a criminal is only looking for a solution that results in his or her getting away with their crime.  For instance, if an officer is attempting to restore peace and order on a crime scene and has given several lawful orders to an individual causing the disturbance to stop or disperse, asking him "sir, is there anything I can say to you to get you to comply" basically undermines the officer's authority and gives the authority to the suspect causing the disturbance.  Does placing the citizen in the position of authority help the officer achieve the goal of compliance?  Probably about the same as telling your teenager that "this time I REALLY mean it" when he has come home 4 hours past curfew for the umpteenth time.  Once reasonable suspicion or probable cause that a law has been violated exists, taking away the officer's authority and giving it to the suspect just doesn't work.
     Are we doing this in Greensboro?  Examples?  Okay; of course this is based on my observations during 29 years of experience and observing successful police officers.

Don't stop for equipment violations.

This one was implemented because our politicians were "appalled" at a New York Times article based on partial and incomplete research as well as information leaked to that reporter by a local left wing extremist "journalist".  The findings were later researched to a greater extent and found to be wrong.  Though these violations were NC state law it was decided they were being used to target African Americans by our socialist leaning Mayor and Council.  The usefulness of these stops combined with investigative technique were invaluable in preventing further criminal activity and locating an otherwise transient group of criminals with outstanding criminal charges.  Suspending these lawful stops resulted in also suspending the capturing of these wanted suspects and preventing them from committing other crimes.

Don't use Tasers unless a deadly force or eminent threat exists.

So wait until you are attacked, not when compliance is not imminent and the threat of attack is likely.  That makes sense; wait until you are attacked then try to taze him at close range.  This results in the greater likelihood of injury to the officer, the suspect and immediately brings the possibility of deadly force into the picture.

The city manager dictating the dropping of charges that a magistrate has found probable cause for and not allowing a Judge to rule on the legality.

Judges and other judicial officials are trained and qualified to determine the lawfulness of an arrest.  Mayors and City Managers are not.  Quite frankly, some police commanders don't have the policing experience to do so.  Apologizing to burglars and paying off law breakers before a judge or court rules on a case is simply asinine.  It is a practice that has been prevalent here in Greensboro the past few years and it needs to stop.  Local antagonists are being enabled and empowered when they are constantly given in to, reducing the effectiveness of the police to maintain order.

The results of these non proactive actions?

Let's just look at the past few days.  7 shootings in Greensboro this weekend.  Last evening, three occupied dwellings fired into over 30 times in a gang type shooting; you know, the gangs we don't have in Greensboro. Officers being called out en mass due to the problems caused by these groups during what should be a time of peaceful celebration of tradition.
     Our violent crime rate in Greensboro is up 25%.  Try as they may to suppress it, I believe the FBI will soon report that Greensboro is second only to Los Angeles in violent crime per capita.  Not New York.  Not Chicago.  Greensboro, North Carolina.
     Is this the way you want your city to be protected?  Is this the way you want your city perceived?  Do you want a police department that has problems recruiting new officers and maintaining current staff because the Mayor, the City Council, the City Manager and the political agitators want to maintain their cozy relationships?  Do you want these same politicians to dictate to the police how they do their jobs based on pushing ahead their progressive political philosophies?
     I have previously stated that we are very close to becoming Baltimore.  If our District Attorney were to retire and a "Baltimore type" District Attorney steps in, we are there.
 
     Violent Crime Per Capita in the United States of America
1st   Los Angeles
2nd  Greensboro

Wake up folks!

 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Time is running out Greensboro; how do you want it?

     Okay folks, you have a little less than a year to make a decision.  No, not you, the majority of the 11.5% that keeps voting this same weak city council back into office.  I'm talking to the 88.5% that for whatever reason stays home during city elections.  I know, city elections are inconveniently held in odd numbered years when no one else votes.  My belief is that it is designed that way because of that very reason.  Notice the bond issues are on the ballot this year?  Are you going to vote to give this bunch more taxpayer dollars to blow?  Can you as an individual citizen of Greensboro actually define "participatory budgeting" or just who receives and spends that money?  How about on what? 
     However, I'll leave the local economy, the horrible economic numbers and the lack of solutions this bunch possesses for a later time.  The more pressing issue at the moment is the absolute supporting and enabling of attacks on our public safety workers by city council and their agitating pals that have been never-ending over the past 2 years.  The main culprits have been documented here.  Nancy Vaughn and her bosom buddy Nelson Johnson are running rampant and out of control at the moment.  They do not support our Police Department no matter what Vaughn says.  Johnson hasn't supported anything but his personal message of hate for the past 50+ years and yet our Mayor has allowed him unprecedented access and influence over city matters.  This Mayor has allowed social issues to far exceed the actual business and day to day running of the city and created a downward slide for which she has no answer.  Nelson Johnson could care less about the financial and economic health of Greensboro.  He simply wants to call the shots, continue to see his name in the headlines and ensure he is in prime position to heavily influence or maybe even name the next Chief of Police himself.  He and his new partner in crime Lewis Pitts have been allowed unlimited access to disrupt council meetings with the Mayor providing absolutely zero consequences for their "out of order behavior".  Yet this past week, she dares lecture Councilman Tony Wilkins on council decorum when he correctly requested Councilman Jamal Fox to identify the elected officials he was accusing of being intolerant of Muslims.  Even Councilperson Sharon Hightower, the epitome of council disruption, chimed in to scold Mr. Wilkins.
     We all know who Fox was referring to because whether the council believes it or not, we can count; that would be 8 Democrats to 1 Republican.  Gee, I wonder who Jamal was targeting?  This is the same bunch who would also have you believe that there is no gang problem in Greensboro.  "Nope, doesn't exist" they say.  Dismantle that gang unit, we don't need them.  Just the very suggestion that we have gangs in Greensboro is somehow "politically incorrect".  No sir, not here; we are progressive and we love and tolerate everybody.  Gang problem in Greensboro; noooooo!

     POPPYCOCK!  (I can't say horseshit because my Mom reads my blog)

     My last 8 years I worked as a School Resource Officer at Grimsley High School.  I saw first hand the existence of gangs.  I also observed the lack of organization in gangs that occurred when the gang unit of the Greensboro Police Department identified and certified gang members and assisted in removing their leaders from the streets.  Proactive pursuit of these gangs resulted in a reduction of activity and membership.  The disbanding of this unit has allowed new leaders to emerge and a full-fledged recruiting effort to rise. They are once again becoming more organized. These recruiting efforts include gang initiation acts of violence and criminal acts.  Proactive policing allows you to stay on top of these problems.  Ignoring that they exist or proclaiming the problem "solved" is simply displaying ignorance of the "real world".  The council should be listening and deferring to law enforcement expertise, not trying to dictate how the department performs its' job based on an agitator's opinion and agenda.
     This council in general and this Mayor in particular have gone out of their way to enable and appease the agitators in this city.  Nelson Johnson doesn't represent a fraction of the African American community in Greensboro.  He is not a trusted leader.  Yet there he is, disrupting and interrupting formal council meetings and making veiled threats about "Greensboro getting ready to explode".  Why hasn't anyone on that council and specifically the Mayor not ask him to explain that comment?  If he believes (and he apparently does) that he can make such bold statements then get him on record as to what "explode" consists of?  He makes the public statement, call him out and get the public explanation.  Is he threatening violence?  He certainly has a history of threatening and committing violent acts.  There is a difference in a constitutionally guaranteed right to assemble  and a violation of NC General Statutes regarding inciting a riot.  This is a guy that stood by Jorge Cornell, a leader of one of those gangs that "don't exist" in Greensboro.  You may have forgotten about him because he has been away in Federal prison for crimes he committed in relation to that gang city council says "doesn't exist" here.
     Why am I talking about gangs and the political future of Greensboro?  Here is the reason.  This past week we have had an unusually high number of shootings here.  A security guard gunned down by a 16 year old while working at one of the only grocery stores serving east Greensboro.  Motive?  No argument.  No confrontation.  The shooter was participating in a gang initiation and believed he was shooting a uniformed Greensboro Police Officer.  How about a paramedic, one who saves lives no matter who they are, who steps outside to take a quick smoke break only to have a gun stuck in her face by a male displaying the red flag of the Bloods gang.  Why; to verbally threaten her that she and all other paramedics had better "watch their backs" insinuating that shootings and killings are imminent.  These gangs are actively recruiting, holding initiations and now are boldly accosting and attacking emergency service workers simply for wearing a uniform.  Police Officers, Firefighters and Paramedics all understand that the job sometimes puts their lives in harms way.  However, contrary to popular belief they are not required to lay down their life for yours.  And they certainly should not be in fear of random violence simply because we have a City Council and Mayor whose actions and policies cater to the festering of such actions.
     Nelson Johnson has publicly denounced the hiring of Wayne Scott over his preferred candidates beginning with Chief Scott's opening press conference.  Wayne has been operating behind the 8 ball his entire term with zero support from the council.  Johnson has constantly made reference to other violent riots and situations such as Ferguson, Missouri when speaking out against the police and Chief Scott.  The City Council has gone out of its' way to appease Johnson with the effect being only to embolden him to speak more rhetoric against police and push for more and more control.  He and Pitts consistently ignore decorum and requests to stop disrupting meetings yet the Mayor like an enabling parent continues to draw lines only to move them.  Mayor Vaughn, are you in with them or scared of them?  
     In the past year we have seen knee jerk reactions to nonsense that attack our Police Officers.  For instance a partially investigated news report on vehicle stops that when researched further was proven false.  The article was written by that bastion of journalistic integrity the New York Times and based on incomplete information provided by a local left wing journalist here in Greensboro,  When proven false by a study completed by a university (an African American researcher) the results were proven inaccurate and the article research incomplete at best.  Yet, council members who were "shocked and appalled" never walked that "jumped to" conclusion back nearly as publicly or loudly, allowing the perception that those problems were rampant.  As a result, policies limiting traffic stops, types of laws enforced and even officer discretion were implemented in an effort to "even up the numbers".  Officers have been unfairly punished and their reputations smeared in an effort to further appease Johnson.  The results of limiting and in some cases eliminating proactive police practices have led to a rise in the violent crime rate (25%) and attrition of our police force.  It has been reported through sources within the department that we are currently approximately 50 positions short.  The current recruit class started with only 22.  With High Point and Winston-Salem needing officers and offering competitive salaries and benefits, Greensboro is in danger of losing large numbers of officers.  Why would they stay?  It is obvious to them and anyone paying attention that the Mayor and the vast majority of City Council intend to continue to support and enable Nelson Johnson and all the other civil agitators with left wing extremist agendas instead of the men and women who do put their lives in harms way to protect us.
     Even thousands of tax payer dollars have been given out to criminals based on the threats of "civil unrest" and approved by "someone" in city government.  Why do I say "someone"?  Because when I filed a PIRT request for documents pertaining to a lawsuit, confirmation of payment and the person with the city that signed off on the authorization of payment, I was provided a copy of the lawsuit and confirmation.  I was told in writing that the information on the authorization was unavailable.  When I pressed further I was told in writing that there was no name attached to the check or file.  In other words, they would have us believe that we paid $10,000 to settle a lawsuit but no one authorized it.  This lawsuit was paid to a member of Johnson's Beloved Community Center and in the lawsuit he admits to violating the law he claims he was falsely arrested for.  We even told 2 officers that they had somehow done wrong when a judicial official said otherwise.  The case never was tried and justice was interrupted to appease.
     We paid 2 brothers $50,000 at the insistence of Johnson that a judicial official found probable cause to charge without them even bothering to sue.  Again, we didn't wait and see if they were convicted in court instead cowering to Johnson and his threats and demands.  An officer was smeared after having been originally cleared of wrongdoing in an administrative investigation.
     Now we have Mr. Yourse.  Mayor Vaughn publicly apologized to a convicted habitual felon who has a vast criminal history of committing felonious crimes of deception (frauds, false pretenses, etc)  She apologized for not allowing Mr. Yourse to break into his mother's house AGAIN and steal from her.  Mayor Vaughn and her council once again jumped to a conclusion that seems to fit her narrative and agenda.  I wonder how much tax payer dollars we will pay Mr. Yourse.  Once again, a judicial official found probable cause and once again the case will not be tried in court.  Once again, Nelson Johnson is involved.  When was it that the laws of the land were changed to allow political figures to take on the role of judges and prosecutors and determine when officers have made improper arrests?
     Yet, this is the climate that Nancy Vaughn and her council has created; police officers are wrong and the poor criminals need to be paid.  Disrupt a meeting as an agitator or supporter of Nelson Johnson; no problem,  Raise your voice to a condescending councilman that is accusing you of being an "elected official" that discriminates against Muslims and gutlessly refusing to say it out loud; then we have a "decorum issue".  I would pose the question "Mayor Vaughn, whose side are you on; law and order and public peace and prosperity or supporting progressive mayhem and chaos"?  No need; your actions have answered that question for us.
     Greensboro is and has been a "blue" city.  This is no longer about Democrats and Republicans.  We are now having trouble recruiting new officers.  We are now having to take extra precautions to protect emergency service workers that do not carry weapons to protect themselves.  The void of any confidence in our city government and administration by police officers is already leading to an increasing rate of attrition.  Morale is at the bottom.  Confidence in an undermined  police administration is non-existent.  Fear that Nelson Johnson will get his way in naming the next Chief of Police is very real.  Leaks in confidential information by subversives within the police department to council members such as Sharon Hightower are becoming the norm.  Quite frankly, one could surmise that a conspiracy may be taking place.
     Are you listening Greensboro?  All is not well.  New businesses already do not come here.  We have a "food desert" situation on east Greensboro in part to the lack of ability to secure and protect businesses.  Your police department is being attacked by subversive entities that are being allowed and enabled to operate by a lack of strength and leadership in our local governing body.  You have less than a year before you the voting citizen can correct it.  We need redistricting to occur.  We need new and talented citizens to step forward and lead.  We need citizens to stop believing media reports that support the nonsense that is going on downtown and speak up in support of your emergency service workers.  We are losing the fight against agendist with absolutely no regard for the welfare of anyone but themselves.  We have to take this next city election seriously.  4 more years of this and you will not have a police department to protect you.   
                     

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Whereas...

     "Whereas, we are saddened and outraged at the recent escalation of hateful rhetoric against Muslims, those perceived to be Muslims, immigrants, and all people of color, and we are particularly concerned to see political figures and elected officials leading this escalation and using it to gain power".
             -Greensboro City Council resolution from the October 18, 2016 meeting

     I only recently became aware of this "resolution" stuff when the council decided to make a resolution to tell our District Attorney how to do his job as they were apologizing to a convicted habitual felon for having the nerve to arrest him after not allowing him to break into his mother's house for the third time.  As it has been explained to me these resolutions are not introduction of ordinance or law and are only meant to be "suggestions" or perhaps "policy stances".  Fortunately, our District Attorney gave the previous resolution to reconsider charging a police officer in a case where he did nothing wrong (again) the appropriate consideration by rejecting it immediately for the piece of comedic material it was.  Our DA knows a good "joke" when he sees it.  So do I.
     As I watched the video clip of last night's episode of Progressive Smoke and Mirrors", my first thought was a very basic one; what the heck does this have to do with the effective running of city government?  Answer; not a doggone thing. This is another in a long line of resolutions, creations of "special" days, and targeting of a large quantity of Greensboro residents in an effort to deny, deflect and distract from the massive failure this Mayor's and this Council's policies and lack of action on important city matters has been.  The very wording of the above paragraph is hypocritical and Jamal Fox's efforts to not answer a question last night from Tony Wilkins by attempting to put him on the spot and offering to add Wilkins' name to the resolution was bush league at best.  Fox has followed Nancy Vaughn this past year, skipping merrily down the path of boisterous left wing extremism in lieu of actually presenting even one single morsel of positive ideas or legislation that would be helpful to his constituents.  You see, as happens everywhere else that progressive politicians have had significant time to rule. the economic failures are such that they have to convince city residents that social issues are more important to tackle than the business of running the city.  Deny, deflect, attack dissenting opinions and assign them the blame; take no responsibility.
     BUT, when in Rome......right?

Whereas, I am saddened and outraged;

That Greensboro has the highest unemployment rate and non-participation in the work force rate in North Carolina and YOU, City Council have done absolutely nothing to address it.

That Greensboro has the second highest rate of poverty of comparable cities in North Carolina and we are about to overtake Durham for first, and YOU have done nothing to address it.

That Greensboro has the highest percentage of food stamp usage in North Carolina and YOU have done nothing to address it.

That YOU still assess the highest property taxes in North Carolina on Greensboro citizens despite your failures in all other economic areas.

That Mayor Vaughn and her council minions have undermined the police department administration and imposed your extremist social agenda on how officers perform their duties, placing them in more danger than they normally would be, taking away their discretion and choosing which laws you deem unfit to follow.  This government suppression of proactive policing and refusal to enforce ALL state laws have given rise to Greensboro's violent crime rate; a 25% increase.  Mayor Vaughn and the Greensboro City Council are destroying our police department.

That YOU are allowed to make resolutions such as this one while providing zero evidence of your claim.  Yes, this is a claim; you are claiming that you have specific evidence that is unquestionable that there is "recent escalation" of these items mentioned in your resolution.  Since you are charged with representing the people of Greensboro we can surmise that you are speaking of Greensboro citizens.  To speak of anyone else would simply not be your concern or what you have been elected to do.

That council is wasting time and effort on ridiculous resolutions that accomplish nothing but further division and isolation of citizens that have no representation or voice on this council.

That Jamal Fox used this issue last night to "to gain political power".  Your amateurish attack on Mr. Wilkins and your grandstanding to the crowd was evidence of your lack of ability to bring anything positive to this city.  I'm used to you ignoring and deceiving the folks in my area of District 2 but now you seem empowered the past few months to be more aggressive in your criticisms of anything to the right of extreme left.  Quite frankly you look foolish doing it.

That city government has slowed to a social issue crawl, never seems to attack the real issues and has not come up with one effective idea to right the sinking ship that is Greensboro.  Our Mayor and her minions spend more time pissing off state legislature and giving undeserved thousands of tax payer dollars to criminals than they do governing.

That this council who regularly celebrates tolerance, displays absolute intolerance of any dissent to their agenda.  Was that really Sharon Hightower lecturing on decorum last night?  

     I could go on and on and on.  Rehashing what we know is now the consistent norm for this council would be an exercise in futility.  Only a sweeping change in our next city election will solve Greensboro's ills.  The only way that occurs is a sweeping change in our voter participation.  We know the 11.5% of registered voters that did vote is not a mandate by any stretch yet these left wing extremists council people act as if it was.  What do the other 88.5% think?  Or are they the ones with their house for sale and looking to escape to a place in North Carolina where the economy is trending positively?  Their choices are many; that's most every place but Greensboro.
     One of my facebook friends posted a thought provoking, insightful and seemingly accurate post.

     "Blue lives don't care about Red lives in Greensboro".

For a Mayor and Council that are constantly touting their ratings on tolerance and inclusiveness, why don't you try these traits out on your own population.  I found it very interesting watching Nancy Vaughn call down and invoke decorum on Mr. Wilkins last night.  When I see you do that as quickly and as fervently on Lewis Pitts or any of Nelson Johnson's crew, only then will I take you seriously.
     I make the resolution that we stop with useless resolutions that are specifically designed to cause more division and target citizens that do not agree with left wing progressive agendas.  Try to paint it anyway you like; this resolution was created to specifically target conservatives in general and yes Mr. Fox, Tony Wilkins in particular.  Your intent was to corner him into voting for this resolution or portray him as something he is not if he didn't vote for it.

     "I can attach your name to it if you want Mr. Wilkins?  Either vote yes or no"

You just did attach his name to it Jamal.  Bush league.  Non professional.  Cheap political ploy to gain power.  You used this issue to gain what you stated you were "saddened and outraged" about.  That makes you Jamal Fox, a hypocrite.  

Monday, October 3, 2016

Anatomy of a Coup; the Hostile Takeover of the Greensboro Police Department

     Just how did we get here?  What exactly is going on in city hall?  Yes, I know that there is a national phenomenon that is in style in which left wing progressive extremists take a "one in a hundreds of thousands" incident, force a rush to judgment and present the incident as proof positive the police harass and unduly arrest minorities.  Never mind statistical data to the contrary.  Never mind statistical data showing almost the exact opposite of what they have sensationalized to be true.  Throughout the country every incident involving the police using deadly force on an African American the past two years has made headlines unless the facts are so blatantly in support of the officer even the media cannot justify making a sensationalized report.  Our local extremists fanatics have been fanning the flames in Greensboro for years.  Now it appears we have a Mayor, City Manager and a council member so weak that the fanatics are getting their way.
     No police officer WANTS to shoot anyone.  The scrutiny and investigation, the post trauma of taking another life was hard enough before the Monday morning quarterbacks with their agendas showed up.  Is there mistrust of the police in this country? Yes, somewhat among minority communities, more so among criminals.  Is there mistrust among police officers of community antagonists and politicians in this country?  You better believe it.  I feel qualified to say based on my 29 years of experience as a Greensboro Police Officer that no working man or woman, civilian or sworn officer including most of the command staff currently trusts the Mayor, the City Council or the City Manager to do their jobs properly or merely support them in their jobs.  Mayor Vaughn's apology to a convicted habitual felon using a body worn camera video as proof positive of two officers misconduct was reprehensible on many levels.  It is also typical of a pattern the Mayor has participated in with her new bosom buddy Nelson Johnson the past several years.  Johnson has almost single handedly controlled the narrative from council and has intimidated City Manager Jim Westmoreland so badly that the police department has lost almost all control of applying officer discipline.  The events are investigated, Nelson Johnson says "that's not good enough for me" and the case is reopened with the officer(s) receiving new disciplinary findings that appease Johnson.  Does this sound fair to you; the most notorious civil agitator in the history of Greensboro and a noted police "hater" calling the shots?  That is exactly what has been going on since Nancy Vaughn has been Mayor.
     Every time the city has hired a Police Chief from outside the department (with the exception of Jeter Williams in the late 1940's) the results have been no better than "mixed" and ranging to disastrous.  The hiring of Ken Miller from Charlotte (or the dumping on Greensboro from Charlotte, depending on who you ask) allowed Nelson Johnson greater access.  He had already successfully lobbied to have a state historical marker erected depicting his fictitious version of a gunfight by gaining council approval.  That move to appease him only enabled him to venture further into city policies and operation.  Miller was unequipped to understand real police work and all too willing to give in to a more progressive council's whims.  It didn't take long before the council with Miller's assistance were determining legalities of cases that only Judge's have the authority and expertise to decide, even after other judicial officials whose job it is to decide such legalities had already ruled.  By going down this road, Nelson Johnson and his new band of cronies including the Mayor and City Manager, now began to dictate what was a lawful arrest and what was not.  That sounds almost as ridiculous as appointing this same agitator to the search committee for the next Chief of Police once Miller retired to go to Greenville, SC.  Yeah, that happened too.
     Which brings us to where we are now.  You see, Nelson Johnson did not get his way.  He wanted to dictate who and what the next Chief would be.  His internal candidate did not make the finals.  His external candidate was simply not as qualified as any GPD officer the rank of Captain and above.  The committee got it right and the City Manager bumbled into the right decision though I'm not sure he was going that direction before the identity of the external candidate was leaked thus the Thursday announcement.  Nelson Johnson's response; he immediately held a press conference denouncing the hiring of a racist Chief and concluded his press conference by leading the chant "Ferguson, Greensboro...Greensboro, Ferguson".  He has preached against and hounded Chief Scott from the very moment he was introduced as Chief and still refers to him as a racist when speaking to attendees of his church .  He has NOT supported him in any way and has participated in subversive activities designed to have him removed so that he can convince the City Council in general and the Mayor in particular to replace him with his desired candidate.  I wrote a blog article that was published in the News and Record supporting the selection and comparing the qualifications of Chief Scott and the external candidate.  I supported Chief Scott then.  I do support him now.  I believe that recent department and disciplinary decisions have been unduly and unlawfully influenced by the city council and city manager and based on outside articles, antagonistic demands and an absolute lack of understanding of the law enforcement function.  Remove these ridiculous obstructions that are being built by the Mayor, City Manager with influence from Johnson and he could succeed.  Nelson Johnson's alternative is completely unacceptable.    
     A  few officers in the command staff of GPD have managed to ingratiate themselves to Johnson.  Maybe they have seen the handwriting on the wall and ambition or even survival instinct have taken over.  Whatever their reasons they have had a devastating effect on the department and its' officers.  Disciplinary investigations now are routinely re-opened with disciplinary actions changed or added coinciding with Johnson's demands.  Legal rulings by magistrate's, officials whose main purpose and job description is determining probable cause for arrests, are being overturned by pressure from Johnson with the backing of the City Manager, neither who have the legal expertise or authority by law to do so.  Pressure from the council and Johnson have seen restrictions placed on GPD officers in enforcing laws (equipment, chases) that the state clearly have legislated to enforce and limited use of tools such as tasers beyond what state law requires.   By allowing this to occur, the City Manager has placed the city in greater civil danger allowing Johnson to demand money whether a court has decided if the law was broken or not.  Obviously, a conviction in a court of law greatly diminishes or eliminates civil responsibility.
     Examples; here are three.
     One involves a local, known police agitator that represents and advocates for the Beloved Community Center which is Nelson Johnson's organization.  In his lawsuit in which he declared his arrest for Interfering with a Police Officer was unlawful, he actually admits to violating the law.  A magistrate found probable cause for the arrest.  The case was dismissed at the city level and we paid him $10,000.  I filed a PIRT request to obtain a copy of the lawsuit, confirmation of the payment and who authorized it.  I received the copy of the lawsuit and the confirmation of payment, however I was told that no information on who authorized the payment was available or could be located.  The city paid $10,000 of tax payer contributions to an admitted law breaker and did not record the name of the authorizing city employee?  Incompetent or was I lied to?
     Then there was the Scale's brothers case in which a video showing absolutely nothing that the officer did wrong was used as a means of declaring racial bias and harassment.  The arrest was lawful according to a magistrate and the enforcement action included a custodial arrest for an outstanding warrant.  The video was portrayed as the officer being "too physical" however nothing on the video depicted excessive force.  Nelson Johnson represented the two brothers and bullied the City Manager into re-opening the case and adding punishment that included days off without pay to an officer that had already been served his findings.  Mediation was attempted to appease Johnson and though he according to sources acknowledged "a good try" he intimidated the City Manager by threatening civil disturbance if the officer wasn't punished further.  To top this off, someone once again authorized payment in the sum of $50,000 without a lawsuit being filed and decided to drop the charges without the benefit of a court trial allowing a qualified judicial official to decide what the evidence in the case showed.
     Now, we have a convicted habitual felon with over 50 entries on his criminal record that got caught attempting to break into his mother's house.  He has done it twice before.  His mother thanked us for stopping him and confirmed he had been banned from the property.  He had outstanding warrants.  He attempted to call help to assist him.  He was lawfully detained.  He did not comply with lawful orders.  75% of his 50 criminal entries on his record was for crimes of felonious deception; frauds, false pretenses, etc.
     The body worn camera videos were released in this case.  No, wait; they were leaked in this case to City Councilperson Sharon Hightower without the officer's consent.  Who inside the department leaked the video?  I suppose one would have to determine who had something to gain by doing so?  The video is shown, the Mayor starts apologizing for this horrible case and Johnson starts depicting it as "a white officer that just decided to beat some black guy that was sitting on Mama's porch."  He punched him in the face they said; he repeatedly told the officers "I'm not resisting" meaning they roughed him up for no reason.  Unfortunately, the officer is the one they railroaded in the Scales' case so demands for his termination and arrest for assaulting this poor victim were immediate although criminal and internal investigation found no such evidence.  They insisted the District Attorney's Office re-examine the case and change their decision and charge the officer, even voting on a resolution to do so.  Oh the horror!
     Then the evidence came out.  I've watched this video several times.  I have yet to actually see a punch in the face.  I understand entirely why the cell phone became a problem.  I watched the body language and heard the verbal cues that officers are trained to see and hear.  I have been there before; many, many times.  I saw a suspect that was refusing to comply therefore by definition of the law was resisting regardless of what he was saying.  We now know that the suspect was attempting to grab items off of the officer's utility belts and had one of the officers in a position to break her arm.  That would constitute not only an assault on a police officer (which he has been convicted of before) but a felony assault had she suffered even the slightest injury.  Could the officer's use of profanity be a violation of departmental policy; yes.  A firing offense; absolutely not given the heightened state of the incident.  Were there actions in the video I would have criticism of; yes.  However, these are actions that do not in any way constitute a criminal offense, give reason to eliminate the criminal actions of the suspect or warrant elimination of the charges and certainly not worthy of an apology by the Mayor of Greensboro.  More importantly, there was nothing in that video to warrant the resignation (forced dismissal) of either officer; nothing!  The District Attorney's office basically told the Council to take a hike,
     By applying constant and undue pressure since the day of Wayne Scott's appointment, Nelson Johnson with help from his "allies within the department" have unfairly rendered Chief Scott unable to maintain morale and confidence in the GPD chain of command.
     In my opinion Councilperson Sharon Hightower violated the law by her role in leaking the video.
     City Manager Jim Westmoreland has not been able to shake his fear of Nelson Johnson and has not supported Chief Scott in an effective manner.  He has given in to demands of dismissing charges on criminals without allowing legitimate, qualified judicial officials to rule on cases and determine the lawfulness of arrests that Magistrates have already found probable cause for.  His background, education and training is in Civil Engineering not Public Administration.  He is not qualified for the position he is in and demonstrates a lack of backbone when dealing with civic agitators.
     Mayor Vaughn's stances have veered noticeably to the left this past year.  Her very obvious partnership with Nelson Johnson (even causing one local reporter to describe hand signals between the two during council meetings) has allowed external corruption to infiltrate City Hall.
     All of these things have conspired to leave our Police Chief between the proverbial "rock and a hard place".  He has no support from above; NONE.  His troops now have no confidence in being treated fairly as they have seen time and time again the past several years an outside agitator controlling discipline over and over and over.  The same agitator that stood by former Officer AJ Blake when the department disciplined him for an assault.  The same agitator that defended gang leader ( now Federal prisoner) Jorge Cornell against prosecution by the Greensboro Police Department.  The entire chain of command who originally investigated this current case of an "innocent guy checking for a dog under his mother's garage door with a shovel" are now on pins and needles wondering if they are the next sacrificial lambs.
     Low morale?  How about NO morale.
     Like it or not Nancy, Nelson, Sharon  and Jim, the city needs its' police department.  We are about to lose ours.  High Point is ready to accept and attract lateral transfers with a matching salary offer.  Winston-Salem, who now offers 100% retirement as well as the state supplement is looking to hire large numbers of officers.  Both would consider it ideal to hire officers already trained beyond state standards as Greensboro officers are.  We are already suffering high amounts of attrition.  Most officers are looking elsewhere even if it means changing professions.  Greensboro has had trouble filling recent recruit classes.  How much longer before we have to lower standards once again to attract not just qualified candidates but any candidates at all?
     Nelson Johnson and his buddies don't give a damn.  They want what they want; a coup that ends with Johnson completely controlling the city's police department as well as City Council.  He has the Mayor.  How much longer before he forces the weak City Manager to do his ultimate bidding.
     Solution?  The citizens of Greensboro have to care.  They have to stop their politically apathetic existence and rise against this coup.  The city is suffering; highest food stamp usage, highest rate of citizens out of the work force and second highest rate of poverty.  We have the highest property taxes to go with all of this.  Nothing positive has come from our council in several years.
     Mayor Vaughn is complicit in enabling Nelson Johnson to infiltrate city government and affecting police department personnel decisions.  Mayor Vaughn, you need to resign.
     Councilperson Sharon Hightower, you have violated sate personnel laws and you are protecting the internal source of the video leak.  Councilperson Hightower, you need to resign.
     City Manager Jim Westmoreland, you have been complicit in assisting Nelson Johnson in his attempts to control discipline within the Greensboro Police Department and have not protected Chief Wayne Scott from Johnson's constant and persistent efforts to undermine and subvert his position as leader of the Greensboro Police Department.  You are complicit in reducing the morale and confidence in city administration of the dedicated law enforcement officers and civilian personnel of the Greensboro Police Department.  Because of your incompetence and lack of support for city personnel in general and the police department in particular you need to resign; you should be terminated.
     There are other concerned citizens in Greensboro that can point to other examples of corruption.  This example means the most to me and all those officers who have retired and help build the tradition and excellent reputation of the Greensboro Police Department.  We are not going to stand idly by and allow the most notorious civil agitator in Greensboro history and his minions to destroy our police department simply for his own personal gain.  Citizens of Greensboro, please stand up and stop this hostile takeover before you have no department to protect you.                                                
         

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Enough is Enough....AGAIN

     On May 15th, 2015, I published an article titled "Enough is Enough".  I will not rehash it other than to say this article is going to be eerily similar.  Frankly, I had forgotten that I used that title but apparently some of you remembered it because it has been recently read again by several folks.  Have things gotten better?  NO; in fact much worse.
     Our magical Mayor Nancy Vaughn has developed a new trick in which she turns criminals into victims.  Fox 8's headline regarding the "disturbing" Body Worn Camera video had me concerned that I was about to witness a vicious assault on some poor, helpless and innocent African American man with absolutely no reason to even approach him.  Media outlets charged that the incident was needlessly escalated by the Police Officers on scene and reported on potential riots in Greensboro.  Of all the "incidents" of reported police abuse covered by the News and Record and the local TV stations, my first concern was "Did they actually get one right?"
     So onto the Fox 8 website I go, just as I did in May 2015 to watch the latest reportedly "disturbing" video.  What did I find; the same ridiculous accusation accompanied by no investigation of the facts surrounding the case.  However, this isn't Fox 8's fault.  The City of Greensboro, specifically the City Council is withholding the total facts of this case.  Nancy Vaughn in her ridiculously embarrassing apology to Dejuan Yourse gave the impression that Police Officers approached an innocent man just minding his own business and not only harassed him and beat him  but unlawfully arrested him.  Of course, opportunistic agitator Nelson Johnson was right in the middle again, perpetuating his eternal hatred of the Greensboro Police Department and demanding that everybody be fired.  Johnson is so desperate to have a "riot moment" here in Greensboro, I am sure he believed having this incident on the heels of Charlotte would finally fulfill his wish.  Fortunately, his target audience appears to be just as apathetic as the 88.5% of registered voters that keep allowing these same ineffective Council members to be elected time and time again.
     Of course, Johnson has a much bigger agenda item he is working on.  He has a Chief of Police candidate in mind and has been working tirelessly to subvert Chief Wayne Scott.  Johnson has continued to tell his members of the Beloved Community Center and anyone who will listen that he believes Chief Scott is racist.  There is no evidence of that whatsoever and was born out of Johnson's frustration of not getting his way when Chief Scott was appointed.  He even held a press conference about his disdain for the selection that ended with the chant "Greensboro, Ferguson, Ferguson, Greensboro".  One city had absolutely nothing to do with the other, nor did Baltimore, New York or Charlotte.  But that's how he operates and he has the Council and especially the City Manager scared to death.  This Mayor and this Council should be ashamed of the way they have allowed the most notorious civil agitator in Greensboro's history to run roughshod over City Hall.  In my opinion, Chief Scott should sue Johnson and make him prove that he is a racist.  He can't prove it because IT IS NOT TRUE!!!
     So who did Mayor Vaughn apologize to and what did she apologize for?  Let me fill in the blanks.
     Neighbors observed a subject using a shovel appearing to attempt prying open a garage door.  Officers arrived and located the subject who decided to go and sit on the front porch with the shovel.  He told them he was waiting on his mother and that he lived there.  If you watched the video, you observed the conversation between both officers and our suspect as being cordial.  Yes, he was a suspect; suspected of having a shovel and trying to pry open a door.  He said that he did have the shovel under the garage door because he was "checking to see if his dog was in the garage".  With a shovel?  Is the dog deaf, mute with no sense of smell?  Did the dog bark once during this incident?
     He had no key.  He was evasive about his name and even the pronunciation of his name.  He said he had no ID though he later produced some document that had his information.  As he was being lawfully and correctly detained, he became agitated and defensive; not because he was being detained but because he knew he was wanted, knew he was not supposed to be there and was concerned the officers were about to find out.  He finally made a desperate attempt to call help but the officers intervened.  A wrestling match ensued.  The suspect shouted over and over "I am not resisting" as he proceeded to resist and struggle, fighting to keep from being handcuffed then continuing to resist after handcuffing so much that additional officers had to be called.  The suspect had five felony warrants as well as having been banned from the residence he was trying to break into.
     Was the video void of Officer mistakes?  What we are seeing in these videos nationwide is use of profanity (especially the word "fuck") which quite frankly does nothing to enhance command presence and brings your professionalism down to the suspect's level.  That plays into agitators hands.  I cannot throw stones as I admittedly live in a glass house here.  However, if we are going to use BWC's we are going to have to be more cognizant of our demeanor so that a contrast can be drawn between the bad behavior of the suspect and our professional behavior.  Also, we cannot allow the suspect to trap us into arguments after the fact especially while the adrenaline is still pumping.  There is no need to allow the suspect to try the case on the scene.  Was there a "criminal" offense committed by either officer?  Absolutely not and the District Attorney confirmed it.  The ridiculous 8-0 vote by the Council to ask the District Attorney to reconsider charges on the officer is another example of the incompetence of this council to understand the real world of law enforcement and the total sell out of our Police Department and its' officers to the whims of Nelson Johnson.
     More about the suspect who checks for dogs with shovels.  Investigation shows 50 entries on his public criminal record since 2002.  He has a couple of driving offenses (revoked license).  He has been convicted of felony offenses regarding sales and possession of Cocaine.  He has been charged with Auto Theft, Assault, Assault on a Female, Communicating Threats, numerous Felony Probation violations and even some Gran Jury indictments.  The bulk of his criminal history is made up of crimes of deception; Forgery and Uttering, False Pretense, Possession of Stolen Goods, Financial Transaction Card Fraud,  And yes, he has been charged and convicted of Resisting Arrest and Assault on a Government Official.  In other words, he has a history of deception and feloniously stealing from others.  This is who Nancy Vaughn apologized to as if he were some innocent, sweet unsuspecting citizen just enjoying his day on a front porch....with a shovel....that he used to check on a dog....by prying up a garage door....to a house that wasn't his.
     Part of the problem with civilians depending on Body Worn Cameras is that they have no frame of reference in which to understand what they are seeing.  This council has shown a propensity to take Nelson Johnson's word for everything, either out of ignorance or fear, and form their opinion (his opinion) on what he demands they see.  I will guarantee you that none of the FACTS that I have just presented to you were even remotely considered by the council.  As usual they made a decision and formed an opinion based on emotion and the bullying agenda of Nelson Johnson.  He even convinced the owner of the house (his mother) to show up in the Council Chambers though she had banned her son from the property.
     Did our crack elected civil servants even ask for all the information?  You know our crack local newspaper investigative reporters didn't.  Do they care?  Of course not; police bashing is in style and Nelson Johnson is desperate for a national headline.  He is desperate to get his man into the Chief's chair and is tired of waiting.  He is running the city and no one on City Council seems to have the guts to put up even the least bit of resistance.  8-0.  
     Just as paying $50,000 to the Scales brothers without them even suing and giving  $10,000 to an agitator who admitted fault in his law suit was asinine, our council  continues to undermine our Police Department and it's ability to protect the entire community.  They also have been allowed without challenge to dictate when charges are dropped though they have absolutely no legal authority to do so.  Only one of them is even qualified to offer an opinion on criminal law.  This council is no friend to the majority of Greensboro in general and the Greensboro Police Department and your officers in particular.
     88.5%.  That is how many of Greensboro's registered voters decided to have no say in how our city's business is conducted.  Are we going to sit back and allow criminals to be treated as victims and police officers to be walked over for the political security of our Mayor and Council and appeasement of a notorious antagonizer?  Does ANY of this resonate and at least make you wonder what else they may be hiding from you?
     This situation is critical whether the local media or politicians admit it or not.  Attrition is already occurring.  Wake up; you are damn close to losing your Police Department.  If Nelson Johnson gets his way, you will.        
                           

Thursday, September 15, 2016

A Modern Day Civil War? (Part 2)

     The War Between the States.

     For those of us that grew up during the 60's, 70's or even earlier this was a term more widely used to describe the American Civil War.  We were taught that in this war, neighbors fought neighbors, brothers fought brothers, fathers fought sons.  The issues surrounding the causes were as divisive then as some of the ones we face today.  Historians, folks that record and interpret data and get paid to do so do not even agree on everything regarding the reasons this war was fought.  Most of today's population simply reduce the cause of the war to slavery.  Many dismiss this as a primary reason choosing to include it inside a larger problem of economics.  Some point to the elitist and hypocritical views of northern politicians bent on forcing their views on what they perceived to be a southern population that was somehow "beneath them".  Whatever cause you support, there is one undeniable fact; the country was so divided that citizens chose to withdraw from the United States.  The further removed from that time that we get (151 years and counting) the less impact it seems to have on today's Americans.  While the thought of individual states actually seceding from the Union seems like some ridiculous fantasy to our younger generations, we are getting to a point in our 's nation's history where tensions are so high between the federal government and the states that some have even suggested secession.  While this is highly unlikely to occur in our society today the tensions are still volatile enough that courts are increasingly having to rule on differences of philosophies as our federal government tries more and more to dictate state laws.  The Federal Department of Justice has virtually ignored prosecution of federal laws choosing instead to interfere with individual local matters even to the point of beginning investigations regarding social issues before the actual criminal investigations are completed.  At times they have been dispatched before the bodies are even cold.  It is not just an appearance that the DOJ has been trying to influence investigations at the local level while ignoring overwhelming evidence of criminal law at the federal level, it is reality.  The highest level of law enforcement, one that has to be free of political influence to be effective, has been corrupted.  To say that state governments and the federal government are at distinct odds would be an understatement, especially in those states that are considered "purple" states for the purposes of a national election.  See our own North Carolina as an example.
     Personally, what I have experienced the past 18 months is somewhat depressing.  I have seen those who express radical ideas vehemently defended and even advocated for by the media though their positions represent less than .1% of the general population.  I have seen those same folks shouting down more commonly held beliefs by citizens from both political affiliations and attacked as being somehow "prejudiced" or worse though they are only expressing their beliefs which is also protected free speech.  On the one hand the radical minority is screaming tolerance yet have zero "tolerance" themselves for those who hold more mainstream views.  The notion that everything that is a commonly held belief, principle or religious choice contrary to radical thought is somehow racist or even bigoted has caused a withdrawal of participation by those that are actually interested in improving society.  It does not matter how loud you shout at extremists or how much you try to reason while presenting data contrary to their beliefs; they will not change their positions one iota. Citizens that hold more moderate or reasonable political positions are the best hope for improvement.  They are not going to be reached when being constantly attacked and challenged simply because they do not take an extreme position or "take a side".  If compromise is your goal then that has to begin with reasonable, receptive people.  Strict categorization cannot be taken back by adding the qualifier "oh, we didn't mean you".  Again, the louder you shout and the more aggressively insistent you are, the less likely I am to hear what you are saying or give consideration to your cause.
     The example of my "almost 50 year friend" is not exclusive to them.  Moderate positions are currently "out of style" even to the point of condemnation.  This isn't divided simply between conservatives and liberals.  I have observed folks that I have known 30 years or more turn into angry and much more radical people than I ever imagined.  Obviously a good many of these acquaintances are of a differing political philosophy though were raised in a very similar family structure.  However, I have also observed those of similar political philosophies go completely intolerant of even friends of a moderate slight left lean.  The conversations have turned almost exclusively confrontational, rarely ending in any level of consensus.  No compromise.  No give and take.  No positive dialogue.  The sum of these ingredients is no positive progress.  It has led me to the position that those in the news and front and center in our political landscape are not interested in solutions, just their own personal gain.  If you wave a magic wand and allowed positive dialogue causing real progress to be made, many of them would be out of a job and out of the limelight.  Do you believe they are willing to sacrifice their notoriety, fame and personal fortune making for the betterment of common folks?  Those who would defend such individuals are either naive or aspire to be just like them.
     There are friends that I have known for years that have become aggressive and even inflammatory whenever political opinions are presented.  People I have rarely or never had a cross word with now argue vehemently even when there is no argument.  They are so consumed with defending their positions that they do not care to listen to what is actually being said to them and become defensive if you do not roll over and say "I agree with everything you said" regardless of whether they are basing their positions on fact or third hand propaganda.  Some I have unfriended.  A lot I have "un-followed".  A few I have been hurt by because they have decided to categorize me simply because I don't see things their way.  What really bothers me is that I and most all of us have allowed extremist politics to infringe on our personal lives and relationships in this negative manner.  We are divided as a country and as citizens of a state and community.  We are divided among our friends and even families.  We have been divided and we are are close to being conquered.  The War Between the States; can we survive another?
     Are we willing as American citizens to unite and defeat these foes that are much more common to us all than we have been willing to admit?  Or will we continue to elect the same mistakes over and over providing political fertilizer for their selfish ambitions of power and wealth?
     We must unite to do this ourselves.  I don't see Abraham Lincoln walking through the door to the White House anytime soon.