Here is an interesting essay by Sandy Levinson concerning his theme for the last few years: that the US Constitution is in dire need of reform to eliminate anachronisms, bottlenecks, and gaps that have become apparent over the last 222 years. What sets him off here is the seemingly mundane question of when a presidential transition should begin, but as we learned on 9/11 and are learning in today's Treasury Department, sometimes transitions lead to dangerous gaps in personnel and knowledge:
With Wagoner gone, GM may be on its way to its endgame. Or, at least, the bond holders and the UAW are being given fair warning that This Is It. U.S. Threatens Bankruptcy for GM, Chrysler
GM looks increasingly like it will be forced into filing for bankruptcy
protection, sometime in mid-to-late May, and that the surviving "new GM" will retain select brands and some international operations, said several people familiar with the situation.Stakes in this new GM could be given to creditors. It is also possible the new company could be sold whole or in parts to investors or its shares sold in an initial public offering. The UAW's retiree health-care fund would likely get either some shares or proceeds from the sale of the stock.A key ingredient in acting on this plan is getting the UAW to agree to an entirely new contract, including major reductions in health-care benefits, said several people involved in the matter. "That's the No.1 wild card here," one of these people said Monday.
President Obama argued Monday that the U.S. auto industry -- and, by default, its largest component, GM -- was unique in its centrality to the U.S. economy. "This industry is, like no other, an emblem of theAmerican spirit," he said. "It is a pillar of our economy." He went on to insist that the government had no intention of running
Not exactly a household name now, Numa was known to the Ancients as the law giver of Rome. As with others of the earliest of Plutarch's Lives, the extant information about Numa is limited, with much of his life shrouded in legend. Thus, like in the life of Lycurgus, the reader learns more about the society and culture Numa helped to establish, than about the man himself.
Lots of noise being made over the governement's firing of Rick Waggoner as a condition of further bailouts to GM. Theoretically, it is disquieting that the gov't is now deciding who should or should not managing major multi-national corporations like GM. but I am not feeling disquieted now. GM's board should have done this four years ago. GM's shareholders should have done it 2 years ago. GM's dealers should have been jumping up and down over this one year ago. But none of these supposed stakeholders lifted a finger.
I like to think I'm a hip free market kind of person, but the last few months have been positively embarassing. The behavior of the so-called capitalists at the banks, AIG, the Wall Street investment houses, and now the auto companies does not give one any hope that these firms can be turned around. They demand their profits and perquisites in good times, but when the economic tide inevitably turns (and it always does. Do they still teach this at B-School?) they came running to the government for help. It's almost like it was part of their business plan. It should have been a pre-condition for all of these guys that the boards and officers all resign before acceptin any bailout money. Instead, they have been clinging to their planes, golf tournaments, and bonuses. Talk about moral hazard.
Is Caterpiller doing this? No, it's gritting its teeth and laying people off. Is Harley-Davidson doing this? No, they are running defiant "red, white, and blue" ads. Is Ford doing this? No, they brought in a new CEO who took names, looked for inefficiencies, and rationalized the product line. God forbid Waggoner do this 4 years ago when GM was already buckling under the pressures of its legacy costs, union rules, and dealer networks.
I still think that there will be a GM in five years with a reduced product line, smaller work force, and deservedly smaller set of dealers. You can talk about the free market all you want, but the Bailed Out haven't been participants in one for a long time. Now, we have the distasteful spectable of the president demanding the resignation of a corporate cheiftain. and offering guarantees for every GM warranty. Hopefully, the gov't will get out of this as quickly as it got in, but if it doesn't Obama will not be the only one to share the blame. The big league capitalists have failed spectacularly, and the political reality is that they cannot try to save their seats in the Executive Washroom with a bankruptcy. Rather than cry for the Death of the Free Market, let's make sure this "public-private" partnership is as short and forgettable as a Las Vegas wedding.
The same Spanish judge who hounded Augusto Pinochet (but who studiously ignored Daniel Ortega and the Castro brothers) has found a new band of arch-right "merchants of death" to bring charges against for supposed crimes against humanity:Spanish Court Weighs Inquiry on Torture for 6 Bush-Era Officials:
A Spanish court has taken the first steps toward opening a criminal investigation into allegations that six former high-level Bush administration officials violated international law by providing the legal framework to justify the torture of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, an official close to the case said.The case, against former Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and others, was sent to the prosecutor’s office for review by Baltasar Garzón, the crusading investigative judge who ordered the arrest of the former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. The official said that it was “highly probable” that the case would go forward and that it could lead to arrest warrants.
The complaint under review also names John C. Yoo, the former Justice Department lawyer who wrote secret legal opinions saying the president had the authority to circumvent the Geneva Conventions, and Douglas J. Feith, the former under secretary of defense for policy.....The other Americans named in the complaint were William J. Haynes II, former general counsel for the Department of Defense; Jay S. Bybee, Mr. Yoo’s former boss at the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel; and David S. Addington, who was the chief of staff and legal adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney.
Mr. Feith, who was the top policy official at the Pentagon when the prison at Guantánamo was established, said he did not make the decision on interrogation methods and was baffled by the allegations. “I didn’t even argue for the thing I understand they’re objecting to,” he said.
Some enterprising Canadians - hired by the Dalai Lama to find out why his group's computers seemed to be infected by viruses - have stumbled on to (ahem) Something Big: Vast Spy System Loots Computers in 103 Countries:
A vast electronic spying operation has infiltrated computers and has stolen documents from hundreds of government and private offices around the world, including those of the Dalai Lama, Canadian researchers have concluded.
Although the Canadian researchers said that most of the computers behind the spying were in China, they cautioned against concluding that China’s government was involved. The spying could be a nonstate, for-profit operation, for example, or one run by private citizens in China known as “patriotic hackers.”
Their sleuthing opened a window into a broader operation that, in less than two years, has infiltrated at least 1,295 computers in 103 countries, including many belonging to embassies, foreign ministries and other government offices, as well as the Dalai Lama’s Tibetan exile centers in India, Brussels, London and New York.
The researchers, who have a record of detecting computer espionage, said they believed that in addition to the spying on the Dalai Lama, the system, which they called GhostNet, was focused on the governments of South Asian and Southeast Asian countries.
Quick! Someone call Lynn Stewart and the ACLU! Civil liberties are being crushed for real this time!
The malware is remarkable both for its sweep — in computer jargon, it has not been merely “phishing” for random consumers’ information, but “whaling” for particular important targets — and for its Big Brother-style capacities. It can, for example, turn on the camera and audio-recording functions of an infected computer, enabling monitors to see and hear what goes on in a room. The investigators say they do not know if this facet has been employed.
The researchers were able to monitor the commands given to infected computers and to see the names of documents retrieved by the spies, but in most cases the contents of the stolen files have not been determined. Working with the Tibetans, however, the researchers found that specific correspondence had been stolen and that the intruders had gained control of the electronic mail server computers of the Dalai Lama’s organization.
Those darn patriotic hackers! What sort of mischief will they get into next?
As the world gets farther on-line, it would seem that our greatest secrets might have to re-enter the analogue world. Much of the US's military might is dependent on computers and satellite technology that may not be as secure as we like. We may never be able to leave homing pigeons and semaphores behind.
The 4 Oakland police officers shot by a thug parolee were buried today. The memorial service was massive, but mostly it was fellow cops who turned out: More than 20,000 honor slain Oakland police
Remember the "story" of the Israeli sniper who claimed to have shot women and children in Gaza? Yeah, it might have some credibility problems: Israel Disputes Soldiers’ Accounts of Gaza Abuses:
The accounts that have received the most attention came from a taped conversation of Gaza veterans at a pre-military course. The soldiers there told of a sniper killing a woman and her two children walking in a no-go zone and of another case in which an elderly woman was shot dead for approaching a commandeered house.
The army’s advocate general has opened an investigation and has not yet issued a report. But officers familiar with the investigation say that those who spoke of the killing of the mother and her children did not witness it and that it almost certainly did not occur. Warning shots were fired near the family but not at it, the officers said, and a rumor spread among the troops of an improper shooting.
The worst about Israel is always reported as fact. Even Israel does not claim to be perfect. But, the most explosive allegations against her are easily refuted and, frankly, should be seen as dubious to begin with. I specifically wrote that the sniper story was bogus and was comfortable in saying so. Those who believe otherwise - Israel's enemies in the West and the Middle East, the credulous media, and even the fifth columnists within the ranks of the IDF who often help spread such tales - demonstrate their bad faith for the world to see, but the world never seems to catch on.
it really should be a source of despair that the most educated among us have become convinced that the World Could End because of "climate change" (nee' "global warming") based on little more than the power point slides and ominous animation produced by non-scientist Al Gore. Hopefully stories like this can reverse the tide: Compact Fluorescent Bulbs Draw Quality Complaints
A lot of people these days are finding the new compact fluorescent bulbs anything but simple. Consumers who are trying them say they sometimes fail to work, or wear out early. At best, people discover that using the bulbs requires learning a long list of dos and don’ts.
Take the case of Karen Zuercher and her husband, in San Francisco. Inspired by watching the movie “An Inconvenient Truth,” they decided to swap out nearly every incandescent bulb in their home for energy-saving compact fluorescents. Instead of having a satisfying green moment, however, they wound up coping with a mess.
“Here’s my sad collection of bulbs that didn’t work,” Ms. Zuercher said the other day as she pulled a cardboard box containing defunct bulbs from her laundry shelf.
Congratulations, Barack Obama! You are now the proud owner of the War in Afghanistan! That's the one we've come to know as the "Good War" where we "Took Our Eyes Off The Ball" and failed to find Osama bin Laden! Obama Unveils Afghan Plan to Add Troops and Set Goals
In strikingly ominous tones, Mr. Obama warned — just as PresidentGeorge W. Bush did repeatedly over the years — of intelligence estimates that al Qaeda “is actively planning attacks on the U.S. homeland from its safe haven in Pakistan.”
Sheesh! Maybe Bush wasn't kidding when he was talking about dangers to America in "strikingly ominous tones." Mayhap, Obama has seen the light.
“The situation is increasingly perilous,” he told government officials, top military officers and diplomats in remarks at the White House.
He added, “We have a clear and focused goal to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and to prevent their return to either country in the future.”
But President Obama promised neither to write a “blank check” nor to “blindly stay the course” if his risky new strategy does not achieve its ambitious goals.
Nope! No dopey course staying for Obama! Halliburton stock must have dropped like rock after he said that.
In imposing conditions on the Afghans and Pakistanis, Mr. Obama is replicating an approach used in Iraq two years ago both to justify a deeper American commitment and prod shaky governments in the region to take more responsibility for fighting insurgents and building lasting political institutions.The new strategy, officials said, will send 4,000 more troops to train Afghan security forces on top of the 17,000 extra combat troops that he already ordered to Afghanistan shortly after taking office.
Cue portentious "Graveyard of Empires" music.
And you might have missed it, but Obama seems to have mumbled something about sending 4,000 more troops than he originally stated. I'm sure the guys at The American Empire Project just blew a few gaskets.
Although the administration is still developing the specific benchmarks for Afghanistan and Pakistan, officials said they would be the most explicit demands ever presented to the governments in Kabul and Islamabad. In effect, Mr. Obama would be insisting that two fractured countries plagued by ancient tribal rivalries and modern geopolitical hostility find ways to work together and transform their societies.
Israel apparently attacked a weapons convoy two months ago. The convoy was carrying munitions from an unnamed nation to Gaza. Big deal, right? Well, you would think so, since the attack occurred in The Sudan: U.S. Officials Say Israel Struck in Sudan
American officials said the airstrike took place as Israel sought to stop the flow of weapons to Gaza during the weeks it was fighting a war with Hamas there.
Two American officials who are privy to classified intelligence assessments said that Iran had been involved in the effort to smuggle weapons to Gaza. They also noted that there had been intelligence reports that an operative with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary GuardsCorps had gone to Sudan to coordinate the effort.
But one former official said that the exact provenance of the arms that were being smuggled via Sudan was unclear.
Although the airstrike was carried out two months ago, it was not publicized until Sudanese officials said Thursday that a convoy of trucks in the remote eastern part of Sudan was bombed by what they called “American fighters,” killing dozens. The strikes were first reported on several Internet-based news sites, including cbsnews.com.
I honestly don't care whether Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) retains her Senate seat next year, but the NY Times sure does. It has put together a lengthy attack piece about Gillibrand's work as an attorney for Philip Morris - or, "Big Tobacco" as the sophisticates at the Times like to say - when she was a junior associate. As a Young Lawyer, Gillibrand Defended Big Tobacco
Now in the Senate seat formerly held by Hillary Rodham Clinton, Ms. Gillibrand plays down her work as a lawyer representing Philip Morris, saying she was a junior associate with little control over the cases she was handed and limited involvement in defending the tobacco maker.
But a review of thousands of documents and interviews with dozens of lawyers and industry experts indicate that Ms. Gillibrand was involved in some of the most sensitive matters related to the defense of the tobacco giant as it confronted pivotal legal battles beginning in the mid-1990s
During her most recent congressional race, Ms. Gillibrand, who is a former smoker, accepted $18,200 in campaign donations from tobacco companies and their executives — putting her among the top dozen House Democrats for such contributions. Many Congressional Democrats do not accept tobacco money.
Here is the hardy perrennial of any US-recession: the "human interest" story about the "modern Hoover-ville" of tent cities and shanty town's that are "springing up" "nationwide." Cities Deal With a Surge in Shantytowns
Like a dozen or so other cities across the nation, Fresno is dealing with an unhappy déjà vu: the arrival of modern-day Hoovervilles, illegal encampments of homeless people that are reminiscent, on a far smaller scale, of Depression-era shantytowns. At his news conference on Tuesday night,President Obama was asked directly about the tent cities and responded by saying that it was “not acceptable for children and families to be without a roof over their heads in a country as wealthy as ours.”
On a recent afternoon, nobody seemed thrilled to be living in New Jack City, a filthy collection of rain- and wind-battered tents in a garbage-strewn lot. Several weary-looking residents sat on decaying sofas as a pair of pit bulls chained to a fence howled.
Doug Brown, a freelance electrical engineer, said he had discovered the Village of Hope while unemployed a few years back and had returned after losing his job in October.
That mix is already evident in a walk around Taco Flats, where Sean Langer, 42, who lost a trucking job in December and could pass for a soccer dad, lives in his car in front of a sturdy shanty that is home to Barbara Smith, 41, a crack addict with a wild cackle for a laugh.
“This is a one-bedroom house,” said Ms. Smith, proudly taking a visitor through her home built with scrap wood and scavenged two-by-fours. “We got a roof, and it does not leak.”
Daniel Kent, a clean-shaven 27-year-old from Oregon, has been living in Taco Flats for three months after running out of money on a planned hitchhiking trip to Florida. He did manage to earn $35 a day holding up a going-out-of-business sign for Mervyn’s until the department store actually went of out business.
Mr. Kent planned to attend a job fair soon, but said he did not completely mind living outdoors.
The problem in Fresno is different in that it is both chronic and largely outside the national limelight. Homelessness here has long been fed by the ups and downs in seasonal and subsistence jobs in agriculture, but now the recession has cast a wider net and drawn in hundreds of the newly homeless — from hitchhikers to truck drivers to electricians.
“These are able-bodied folks that did day labor, at minimum wage or better, who were previously able to house themselves based on their income,” said Michael Stoops, the executive director of the National Coalition for the Homeless, an advocacy group based in Washington.
Hillary Clinton is in Mexico offering succor to its besieged government, which is seeing an ever-spiraling level of drug violence and corruption. And, she's always ready to apologize for US sins. Clinton promotes US-Mexican relations in Monterrey
The Governator is managing to get one or two things right, even as the state spirals towards insolvency. He has been involved in a long running dispute with the courts and a federal receiver who have decided - rather high handedly - that CA's prison health services are constitutionally inadequate and constitute "cruel & unusual punishment."
The Indispensable Man finally had a good day Monday. The Street liked his toxic assets plan - what's not to like when taxpayers will be subsidizing virtually their entire "investment" in said assets - giving him some much needed breathing room, but now he's back to "normal." Geithner Comments Send Dollar For a Ride.
In a blink of an eye, the U.S. dollar has collapsed against the Euro, Japanese Yen and other major currencies. The trigger was comments from Tim Geithner who said that the U.S. is "quite open" to China's suggestion of moving towards a Special Drawing Right (SDR) linked currency system. If the world adopts the SDR, which was created by the IMF as an international reserve asset, it would mean that countries around the world would need to hold less U.S. dollars. The U.S. is probably open to this suggestion because a weaker dollar is stimulative for the U.S. economy and would relieve the U.S. from having to implement effective monetary policy while balancing the international demand for a reserve currency.
Paul Volcker, the former Federal Reserve chairman, threw cold water Wednesday on a Chinese proposal to downgrade the dollar, the second day in a row he has supported the greenback's primacy.
"I understand restiveness about the lopsided nature of the present international monetary system that's so dependent on the dollar," Reuters quoted Volcker as saying at a panel with Prime Minister Gordon Brownof Britain at New York University.Volcker first spoke out against the Chinese proposal Tuesday, saying at a Wall Street Journal conference that the Chinese, "are a little disingenuous to say, 'Now isn't it so bad that we hold all these dollars.' They hold all these dollars because they chose to buy the dollars, and they didn't want to sell the dollars because they didn't want to depreciate their currency."
Hungary, a nation of 10 million, has three million pensioners. BesidesThere are just 4 million Hungarians working to support the pensions of 3 million. Hungary has funded these pensions through bond sales, but people are no longer buying Hungarian bonds. The pensions themselves are ridiculously generous. Pensioners from higher income work receive a higher percentage of their working pay from their pension payments, for example.
writing checks for regular retirees, the government gives special benefits to
accident victims, the disabled, military and police veterans, mayors, widows,
farmers, miners and "excellent and recognized" artists. The average Hungarian
retires at 58, and just 14% of Hungarians between 60 and 64 are working,
compared with more than half of Americans.
The very idea that the pensions might need to be reined in is already causing political upheaval in Hungary. The linked article has the usual quotes from querelous old folks. You would think the first rule of reforming a pension program would be to immediately make it non-negotiable that pensions not be taken from people over, say 65 years old. The ones who need to be reformed (i.e. eliminated) are the pensions for middle aged, but able bodied, adults who would just as soon keep coasting, if at all possible.
The pensions are a legacy from Hungary's communist past, reason enough to reform them. If Hungarians decide they need to dig in their heels, then pretty soon nobody - old folks or limping 40-year olds - will have pensions.
Here is something that is becoming increasingly rare - somebody standing up for themselves:
I am proud of everything I have done for the commodity and equity divisions of A.I.G.-F.P. I was in no way involved in — or responsible for — the credit default swap transactions that have hamstrung A.I.G. Nor were more than a handful of the 400 current employees of A.I.G.-F.P. Most of those responsible have left the company and have conspicuously escaped the public outrage.
After 12 months of hard work dismantling the company — during which A.I.G. reassured us many times we would be rewarded in March 2009 — we in the financial products unit have been betrayed by A.I.G. and are being unfairly persecuted by elected officials. In response to this, I will now leave the company and donate my entire post-tax retention payment to those suffering from the global economic downturn. My intent is to keep none of the money myself.
I take this action after 11 years of dedicated, honorable service to A.I.G. I can no longer effectively perform my duties in this dysfunctional environment, nor am I being paid to do so. Like you, I was asked to work for an annual salary of $1, and I agreed out of a sense of duty to the company and to the public officials who have come to its aid. Having now been let down by both, I can no longer justify spending 10, 12, 14 hours a day away from my family for the benefit of those who have let me down.
Th writer is able to go out with his head held high ecause he believes he has done nothing wrong and has been ill-used by his bosses and his ostensible political leaders.
Ultimaltely, AIG's non-felonious employees are suffering for the sins of a razzle-dazzle group that has apparently been allowed to leave AIG quietly and, so far, retain their "earnings" from the last few years, leaving others to clean up their mess and face a full frontal assault from statist Dems and their media allies. That is a basic fraying of the social contract that canno tbe repaired without prosecutions and public exposure of the wrong-doers, and a show of restraint and respect for law from our elites. Neither of these options appear to be on the table.
The problem with the AIG bailout has been the utter lack of transparency. Until last week the $170 billion bailout had barely been spoken of, as AIG, the government, and the media engaged in a seeming conspiracy of silence to obfuscate and hide the truth of what was happening there.
The letter writer speaks of working 14 hour days to help AIG. Have you ever had a sense that this was happening? I haven't. After 9/11, there was a very publci display of flags and workers at the disaster sites. There has been no such display by AIG. No one really knows what's going on there, or at its counter-parties. In an atmosphere like that, of course a bonus payment - even if deserved - would look bad.
I have no idea what the writer's political associations are. It could be he's non-political. Then, again he makes an effort to emphasize his humble "son of two teachers," "mill town" roots, which makes him sound like a Democrat. If he is, he has undoubtedly marinated in tales of "stupid" Republicans," and the like. For people who like to think of themselves as liberal, I hope the last 8 weeks have been educational. Their preferred leaders have revealed themselves to be little more than disingenuous statist authoritarians, prone to panic and punitive acts to salve their left-wing base. Whatever rising tide of anger is out there, don't call it "populist." Call it a revolt of the productive class against those who have abused it.
China called for the creation of a new currency to eventually replace the dollar as the world's standard, proposing a sweeping overhaul of global finance that reflects developing nations' growing unhappiness with the U.S. role in the world economy.
The unusual proposal, made by central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan in an essay released Monday in Beijing, is part of China's increasingly assertive approach to shaping the global response to the financial crisis.
The central banker's proposal reflects both China's desire to hold its $1.95 trillion in reserves in something other than U.S. dollars and the fact that Beijing has few alternatives. With more U.S. dollars continuing to pour into China from trade and investment, Beijing has no realistic option other than storing them in U.S. debt.
Mr. Zhou argued, without mentioning the dollar by name, that the loss of the dollar's de facto reserve status would benefit the U.S. by avoiding future crises. Because other nations continued to park their money in U.S. dollars, the argument goes, the Federal Reserve was able to pursue an irresponsible policy in recent years, keeping interest rates too low for too long and thereby helping to inflate a bubble in the housing market.
Oh, for Pete's sake. AIG's now notorious "Financial Products" division is in trouble with the IRS for helping set up dodgy tax shelters for its counter-parties: AIG's Bonus Unit Now in IRS's Sights
Some of the same banks that got government-funded payouts to settle contracts with American International Group Inc. also turned to the insurer for help cutting their income taxes in the U.S. and Europe, according to court records and people familiar with the business.
The Internal Revenue Service is challenging some of the tax deals structured by AIG Financial Products Corp., the same unit of the New York company that has caused political ire over $165 million in employee bonuses.
The company paid $61 million last year in disputed taxes stemming from the deals but sued the U.S. government last month in federal court in New York, seeking a refund, according to filings in the case.
Banks that worked with AIG on tax deals include Crédit Agricole SA of France, Bank of Ireland and Bank of America Corp., according to AIG's lawsuit. The banks declined to comment.
This is a story that has not been getting a lot of attention. You would think that two American journalists being kidnapped by North Korea would be causing a bit more of a furor. Report: NKorea suspects US journalists were spying
Lycurgus was famed in the Ancient World as the Law Giver of Sparta. He was credited with creating the unique social and political structures that made Sparta a military power in its day, and a source of fascination for classics scholars and military historians ever since. While Athens is admired as the birthplace of democracy, and of western civilization, Sparta has drawn interest for its austerity, its military skill, and the regimented way of life it was able to maintain for generations.
I lived in the DC area back when it was the "murder capital of the world." Oakland doesn't strike me as being more violent than DC, but nothing like this ever happened: 4 Oakland Police officers filled by single gunman.
Three Oakland police sergeants were shot and killed and a fourth officer
was critically wounded Saturday in a pair of related incidents that together
rank among the deadliest attacks on law enforcement in California history.
The fourth officer has since died.
Officer John Hege always wanted to be a motorcycle cop, and in the last
few months he got his wish. Hege, 41, joined the Oakland Police Department
10 years ago after a stint as a reserve officer. He graduated from St.
Mary's College in Moraga and had taught physical education and oversaw study
hall at Tennyson High School in Hayward.
Sgt. Mark Dunakin knew he was needed in Oakland and would never have chosen to be an officer anywhere else. Dunakin, 40, lived in Tracy and was an Oakland cop for 18 years. The father of three was a graduate of Chabot College in Hayward. He was
promoted to sergeant in 1999 and worked homicide cases in the criminal investigation division
Sgt. Ervin Romans, 43, of Danville was a member of the SWAT entry team, busting
down doors to arrest barricaded suspects. It was during just
such an operation Saturday in which Romans was shot to death in an East Oakland
Sgt. Daniel Sakai was a rising star on the Oakland police SWAT team. He lovedNotice that at least 3 of these men were college graduates, and obviously well educated. Frankly, I am not sure Oakland deserved their service or their sacrifice.
nature and studied forestry at UC Berkeley, where he also worked as a community
service officer, escorting students around campus at night. After graduation,
he spent a year in Japan teaching English, said Jim Yu, who was a fellow
community service officer.
It's maybe too obvious to point this out, but when the police shoot someone - even by accident - there is always a rent-a-mob and some college kids ready to "take it into the streets" in protest. But, when a cop (or 4) is shot, the only people around here who care are their colleagues and their families. No one might want to hear this right now, but I think that shows where Oakland's priorities are. They would rather act out a Theater of Rebellion, rather than show respect for guys who put themselves in harms way everyday, and are mostly paid back with complaints from the "community" about racism and brutality. In your dreams! Oakland needs more police "brutality" (meaning arrests), not less.
And here is a perspective I could care less about:
Lovelle Mixon's shocked family, gathering at an East Oakland home where the
parolee had been living until recently, apologized to the officers' families and
to the public, and said they don't understand what might have triggered his
burst of violence.
Sorry, I'm not persuaded.
"He's not a monster," said his sister, 24-year-old Enjoli Mixon, whose apartment on 74th Avenue was where Mixon was slain in a gun battle with police that left two Oakland SWAT officers dead. "I don't want people to think he's a monster. He's just not. He's just not."