"Non-authenticated email address: You must have an authenticated email address in order to post to another account"
With little publicity, Obama declared a “national emergency with respect to significant malicious cyber-enabled activities” on April 1, 2015. Under the terms of Executive Order 13694, the secretary of the treasury, in consultation with the attorney general and the secretary of state, may designate for economic sanctions, including freezing of all property and bank accounts in the United States, any person they designate as a target.That's the message I get from Livejournal when I try to create a new entry. I had one of those free emails when I initially opened the account, but as I described in the entry here, I got rid of it.
I don't intend to open another one.
Apparently I can still update and add to any current diary entries (private or public) that have not yet maxed out the size allotted. So I'll continue doing that.
Anyone “responsible for or complicit in, or... engaged in, directly or indirectly, cyber-enabled activities” directed or originating “from outside the United States,” whose purpose, in the judgment of these officials, would harm the US infrastructure, disrupt computer networks, cause misappropriation of funds or affect the US elections, is a potential target for US government retaliation.But whatever the reasons Livejournal has for requiring that its users keep an email address, I think taking away the ability to post a new entry for lack of one is a bit draconian. A banner that springs up now when I log in refers to it as "access to all features":
"To gain access to all LiveJournal features you should validate your email."
Given that virtually all human interaction in economically developed countries is “cyber-enabled,” and that the World Wide Web is by definition a global entity “outside the United States,” this language is a mandate for the exercise of essentially unlimited, arbitrary power.Kind of like, Oh, he's not dead, he's just lost access to certain features, such as breathing.
The text of the executive order, as posted on the White House web site, contains vague, sweeping language that has ominous implications for the democratic rights of the American people. Any political activist opposed to the official two-party system could face sanctions or even criminal charges for actions “with the purpose or effect of interfering with or undermining election processes or institutions."
Is uncovering internal documents of the Democratic National Committee or the emails of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta “interfering with or undermining election processes or institutions”? Evidently so, since that is the principal crime alleged against the Russian government.
What about making those documents widely available, as the WikiLeaks organization did? What about publishing excerpts or the full texts of those documents, as virtually the entire American media did? Where do “interfering with or undermining” end and freedom of speech and freedom of the press begin? Obama’s executive order makes no distinction.In many instances, said and said and said!
The corporate-controlled media, ever compliant with the dictates of the US military-intelligence apparatus, has made no challenge to the legality or constitutionality of Obama’s order. It has not criticized [but embraced] the refusal of the White House to provide a single fact to substantiate its claims of Russian hacking directed against the Democrats.
Instead, the presumption of Russian guilt is taken up by the entire corporate media in the United States to pummel public opinion with the necessity for unspecified retaliatory action against Moscow and prepare the political climate for direct military conflict with Russia, whether in the Middle East, Ukraine or Eastern Europe. -Obama escalates anti-Russian campaign with new sanctions and threats
Yesterday Ava and I went out walking, and she tugged me to an unfamiliar block, Ninety-fourth Street, beyond First Avenue, almost to York. There we discovered a street corner where a flock of gray-jacketed, white-bellied birds were scattered like jimmies over a mound of snow, a mound some custodian must have heaped up in the process of clearing the gated courtyard where it lay—a church courtyard, when I looked up to see. The birds pecked at seed strewn over the icy heap, until Ava, uncharacteristically, and despite the heavy black iron that divided them, made a leash-snapping charge and scattered the birds to the sky. It was as if she wanted them in the air. Only after they found the altitude they liked, that which made them feel safe or free or whatever it was birds found in their places in the sky, and began wheeling, passing between buildings and repeatedly in and out of view, did I judge the shape of the church’s spire and knew that these were my birds, that we stood at the foot of my tower.
Badiou has acknowledged, with a frankness that is worthy of respect, that no alternative has been discovered to take the place of the rejected orthodox Marxism.
They can feel, but they do not necessarily understand. -Meryl Streep, Donald Trump and the Golden Globes
In an essay of confession that bears the title, “Our Contemporary Impotence,” Badiou writes: "I think that what we are experiencing today is… that the majority of the political categories movement activists are trying to use to think and transform our current situations are, as they now stand, largely inoperative." -Philosophy and Politics in an Age of War and RevolutionWe watched a while and then headed home, and when we had ridden up in the elevator and gone inside and I’d freed Ava from the leash I went to my window for the first time in two months to see if they were still aloft, to catch a bit of the aerial pandemonium ballet it now seemed to me I’d been heedlessly neglecting. The birds were there, still satisfyingly continuous in their asymmetries and divergences, as if I’d been abiding with them through all these weeks and days. But I noticed something else as well. The Dorffl Tower had shifted a little to the right, shaving another margin from my window’s view. I don’t know how this can be possible, but then again there are so many things that escape me. It’s still a view I can live with. I only hope it doesn’t get any smaller. -last chapter, Chronic City
Update Saturday January 14th, 2017
New York City has increasingly become a playground for the super-rich and the wealthiest layers of the middle class. The construction of luxury apartments that cost thousands of dollars a month to rent and millions to purchase is proceeding at a heated pace.
Setting the pretext for continuous US provocation.
The NYPD presence comes on top of a security review by the DHS and months of a media campaign led by the city’s two tabloids, the Daily News and the New York Post, the latter of which routinely refers to the unhoused homeless people as “bums.” Both newspapers speak for the rich and the upper middle class that would like to see the homeless locked up and out of sight.
The homeless will also be subject to increased state surveillance. As the DHS notes, it has “revamped the surveillance system and infrastructure at the 30th Street Men’s Shelter through the installation of more than 300 surveillance cameras, all of which are now fully operational.” While the social crisis itself has made shelters dangerous places, the NYPD supervision will not seek to protect the homeless, one of the most oppressed and vulnerable segments of the population, but rather to terrorize and monitor them.
“But for the belief that he would be protected, both by fellow officers and by the department, from serious consequences, Defendant Officer Lowell Houser would not have engaged in the conduct that resulted in the shooting and death of Jose Angel Felipe Nieves.”-Chicago police officer charged with first-degree murder for killing unarmed manWith nearly 1,000 people killed by police in 2016 nationally—and nine in New York City—it is a farce to claim that the city’s homeless will be safer under NYPD oversight. -NYPD to take over security at New York City homeless shelters
Criminalizing The Poor
“Trump attacked immigrants as ‘criminals, rapists, and drug dealers’ but the real criminals…are to be found in the White House, Congress, the Pentagon, the CIA, the FBI, the NSA, the Department of Homeland Security, the Border Patrol, ICE, Wall Street, and every major police department in this country.”
The attack on MSF was not a “mistake.” It was a crime. The purpose of Hickman’s inquiry will be to cover up for those responsible. -New evidence that US Army deliberately targeted hospital in KunduzThis part received the largest applause and approval from the audience. -Hundreds attend IYSSE rallies to defend immigrant rights in New York and San Diego
Who are the real criminals?
At least 10 state legislatures are planning to vote on bills attacking the right to protest in various ways. “I’ve never seen a coordinated attack on protesters’ rights anywhere near this scale,” stated the American Civil Liberties Union’s senior staff attorney Lee Rowland to the Washington Post. “What all of these bills have in common is they may be dressed up as being about obstruction or public safety, but make no mistake about it: These are about suppressing protests with draconian penalties so that the average person would think twice before getting out on the street and making their voice heard.” -Lawmakers push legislation seeking to criminalize protest throughout the US
Yesterday, Friday morning the 13th at 4:30am, after more than 28 months of not being arrested for illegal lodging (or for anything for that matter), I was arrested for illegal lodging and taken to jail by San Diego sheriff's deputies.
After being sworn in, Sessions said he would direct his offices to end immigrant “lawlessness,” counter “an increased threat from terrorism,” and beat back an alleged growth of violent crime. He described the latter as a “dangerous permanent trend,” though data on violent crime demonstrates that it is at its lowest level in decades.
The result will be a massive increase in deportations, an increase in workplace and home raids by ICE officials and police, and the incarceration of hundreds of thousands or millions of workers for the “crime” of bringing their families to the US to escape violence or look for work. -Trump orders could affect up to 8 million immigrants as deportations beginThis is coded language for a major increase in US police powers to target the entire working class. -Sessions sworn in as attorney general as Trump signs orders to increase police powers
It was pouring rain at the time I was arrested. It had been pouring all through the night so I was at the covered spot on C street between Front street and Union street where the San Diego County Court House crosses over C street creating a shelter over the street and the sidewalk from the rain. I have been going to this exact location when it rains for over 10 years now and have never been arrested for illegal lodging. I've been going to this spot all this past winter, starting in late October and thru to December of 2016 and into January of this year. In fact, I spent the night at the same spot earlier in the week on Tuesday January 10th.
Out of all those times I've never seen one person get arrested at this location for illegal lodging until this morning when about one hour before I get up at this spot at 5:30am the San Diego sheriffs woke me up yelling, "Wake up! San Diego sheriffs! Wake up!"
While I sat up in my sleeping bag and said, "What's going on?" I quickly put on my fleece fuzzy pullover (which I was using as a pillow) as well as my glasses. The sheriff's deputy told me to show ID. When I started to put on my fleece sweat pants (which I was also using for a pillow) I heard the female deputy indicate to the male deputy that I was getting dressed. So while I was about to put my legs into the pants the sheriff's deputy snatched them out of my hands and threw them behind him on the sidewalk yelling in my face to stand up.
So I stood up only wearing my socks, gym shorts and t-shirt under my pullover, and they instructed me to sit against the wall, telling me again to show ID. When I told them they were harassing me and I refused to "cooperate " they hand cuffed me and took me to jail.
This is the first time I've been arrested by San Diego sheriff's deputies instead of the city police. But they locked me in the same old dungeon at the county jail. This time I was put into a tiny holding cell that had a steal bench that was only 3 feet long which sat directly under a ceiling vent that was blowing cold air from when I was placed in the cell at 5:30 am until 8 pm that Friday evening.
After almost 15 hours in the same cell with no food or drinkable water they ordered me out and took my finger prints and brought me to the booking window. It was then that I learned that I was going to be designated "B&R"--to be booked and then released. I was put into another holding cell and at 6am the folloing Saturday, this morning, I was released with a notice to appear in court at 8am February 24th.
My backpack, sleeping bag, coat, hat, twice-daily triglyceride medication, toiletries and wallet including my St. Vinny's food card, EBT card and library card have all been impounded so that when I got out on the street at 6am the only thing I had to wear were my shoes, socks, gym shorts and t-shirt under my pullover. I have no money.
The building where the deputies sent my belongings is at a facility located miles (not within walking distance) from downtown and is not open on weekends or holidays.
Since they've arrested me just before the holiday weekend I won't be able to claim my belongings until Tuesday, January 17th.
So tonight when the temperature goes down to the forecasted 53 degrees I'll be out in shorts and no jacket with no sleeping bag. That means I can't go to sleep tonight, tomorrow night or the night after.
After almost 2 and a half years of not being arrested. As if they had all along been saving it up.
Update Tuesday January 17th, 2017
Of the three nights without a sleeping bag, coat etc., Saturday night was the worst. I froze. Starting at 10pm and for the next 6 hours I had to stay moving. Eventually my left leg, which has an injury, started to freeze up making it uncomfortable to move. By 4am I was at the downtown Horton Plaza Park. Between 4am and 7pm is generally the coldest part of any night. At that point I had my t-shirt pulled up to my mouth so that I could blow warm air into my shirt while breathing in through my nose. But as I was sitting in a chair with my elbows on my knees, I kept falling asleep. When I'd awake, it seemed my core body temperature was even colder than before. Eventually blowing warm air into my shirt lost its effectiveness so I got up and decided to start moving again. But just then, one of the workers at the park showed up to unlock the bathroom. The bathroom was not heated but it was a couple of degrees warmer than outside--I suppose because of the wind chill factor. Anyway, I stayed in the bathroom for nearly 3 hours. I was the only one in there. At one point I went into the stall and sat on the toilet and fell asleep for about 30 minutes. When I woke up I couldn't move my legs, the circulation had cut off.
At 7pm I headed to Burger King which opens on Sunday mornings at that time. As I mentioned, my EBT card was impounded and I had no money. Since lately I've been going to BK every morning for coffee and a value meal burrito, I was hoping one of the homeless people I usually see there in the mornings could buy me coffee with their EBT and I'd pay them back Wednesday morning. Otherwise I'd just take a seat in the dining area and try to warm up, inconspicuously.
On the walk over to BK I came across a linen sheet and a blanket lying on the sidewalk next to a pillow. Now I had come across bedding before lying on the ground but those times the blankets looked pretty used and dirty. The last thing I need is an infestation of bedbugs or worse. But this time the bedding seemed to a have a detergent scent so I gathered them both and left the pillow.
When I got to BK I was lucky to run into someone I've seen and talked to before and he used his EBT to buy me a large coffee. I felt awful asking him because EBT only gets each person a paltry amount. But when I got the coffee it was the best I've ever had and the refill was free.
Later in the morning on Sunday I went to St. Vinny's. I had taken a shower at Vinny's the previous day on Saturday by giving them my card number. Luckily I had memorized it (6 digits) because the card itself was also impounded. And when I went to lunch (both Saturday and Sunday) I was able to get a temporary card so food was not a problem.
Sunday afternoon I went to the Logan Heights branch library. On Saturday I was able to access the internet and begin these entries because luckily I could remember my library card number which has 14 digits. Unfortunately, since the deputies had also impounded my library book I couldn't get another one without a library card and some form of ID which were also impounded. That meant that on the holiday when the library was closed I had nothing to read.
Sunday evening on my way back from the library I came across a heavy, extra large hooded sweat shirt that was next to the sidewalk but not on private property. It looked like someone took it off while walking down the sidewalk, turning it inside out and tossing it on the grass. I rang the doorbell of the house it was in front of but nobody answered--which was what I was desperately hoping. I put the hooded sweatshirt on and knew right then that it was a game changer.
The pullover fuzzy that I wear is no longer fuzzy, it's matted and thin. When I got it was used and I've had it for over 5 years. The collar zipper is gummed up so you can't zip it up, but other than that this one piece of clothing seems indestructible. Nevertheless, wearing it I was already cold walking out of the library (the computer room was frigid) that evening and dreading the prospect of another night trying to stay warm--even with the bedding I found. But now, that bedding together with the hooded sweatshirt (and a piece of cardboard I came across) I had the chance of getting some sleep.
The only problem was by the time I got under the covers to go to sleep that night a major cold was kicking in. In fact, besides congestion, a sore throat and coughing, it felt like someone tried to kick in my back. That's where colds usually settle since I've been homeless. Sometimes in the right shoulder too. But this time it was all over my back, especially at the small of my back and over my kidneys. Every 15 minutes I had to roll to my other side to alleviate the pain. The temperature went down to 53 again but eventually I went into a deep sleep.
The next morning on Monday I went over to the Horton Plaza Park and the same worker who had been there Sunday morning brought me one of those large fuzzy blankets. Now I was good to go for Monday night. It still wouldn't be as warm as my sleeping bag but I'd be able to get some sleep. I was especially fortunate to get that extra blanket as that Monday night it was forecasted to go down to 49 degrees.
On Tuesday morning, today, I used the transit pass they issue to you when you're exiting the jail if you don't have any money (I didn't even have my wallet). I took the bus to Fashion Valley transit center and from there took a bus up Genesee Ave past Balboa to Mt. Etna where the Sheriff's Crime Lab is located (that's what they call it). The woman who turned my belongings over to me told me I was lucky they had already been delivered to that location. I suspect there's an implicit threat to that statement, although she seemed very nice.
The result was that later today I was able to keep my dentist's appointment I'd made back in September of 2016.
During my walking that first Saturday night I passed by the Civic Center. Apparently the police have been, for the time being anyway, allowing homeless people to lie up against the wall under the second story walkway in the Civic Center courtyard to shelter from rain. I have observed over the years (see 2011 diary entry here) that when it comes to allowing homeless people to sleep overnight at the Civic Center, the city has had an on again off again record.
I don't know what brought about the sudden change in policy--if there was one, but I would think it's decidedly temporary. Every weekday morning streams of city workers head through the court yard on their way to their offices. And what do they see right under their noses? Or what will they be seeing soon if not already?
To answer that question, let me describe what happened at the spot where I was just arrested at C street between Front street and Union streets. As I mentioned, I've been going there for over 10 years when the forecast says rain. It used to be mostly older people who would go there to sleep over night, and I mean sleep. That's what attracted me to that area.
Anarchist groups such as ANTIFA are politically reactionary. They represent demoralized sections of the middle class that are hostile to any struggle to politically educate and mobilize the working class and youth against the capitalist system. Their tactics, gratuitous violence and destruction of property, flow from and reflect their bankrupt politics.
Undercover police and paid provocateurs would act no differently at a mass demonstration than ANTIFA did Wednesday evening in Berkeley. In fact, such organizations are, by dint of their politics and the social forces they attract, magnets for police infiltration. There can be little doubt that significant numbers of the hooded anarchists who rioted in Berkeley were police agents or informants. -Trump threatens UC Berkeley funding cut after protest against fascistic provocateur
Then in 2015, rather abruptly, a whole new set of people began spending overnight at that spot, driving out the people who wanted to sleep because these new groups would stay up all night. They acted as if they were untouchable (i.e., not arrestable). As such they began defecating on the sidewalk around the corner on Union street where the cops park their SUVs in the morning. This despite the fact that the city public bathroom on 3rd and C is just a couple of blocks away. Worse, they began defecating not just on the sidewalk, but splattering feces against the wall of the court house.
While thousands of Berkeley students turned out to protest peacefully against Yiannopoulos, a reactionary provocateur who laces his speeches with Islamophobia, racism and right-wing nationalism, a minority of about 150 black-masked demonstrators organized under an amorphous coalition describing itself as ANTIFA, standing for anti-fascist, marched onto the campus and carried out acts of gratuitous violence that an overwhelming majority of the students at the protest opposed.
The ANTIFA contingent smashed windows, set fires, shot fireworks at police, assaulted the few Trump supporters in the area and vandalized local stores, buildings and ATMs.
The intervention by these hooded vandals managed to turn a mass protest into a police provocation. -Why is the New York Times promoting the “black bloc”?
It appeared to me to be a deliberate provocation.
The brothers, in short, were crazy. That’s the end of it. Does this explain anything? In fact, there are many unanswered questions surrounding the Tsarnaevs and their activities—none of them pursued by Berg, Wahlberg and company. Above all, there are the brothers’ evident connections to US intelligence agencies and anti-Russian groups in Chechnya. Tamerlan, in particular, was well known to both the CIA and FBI. In what is something of a brief moment of (private) embarrassment and frustration for the agents involved, someone mentions they “might know this guy.” The true significance of that fact, however, is essentially ignored.
And of course the cops used it as a pretext to do what they had already planned to do which has been year by year closing off from homeless people places that provide shelter out of the rain. A now notorious (national news) example were the pointy stones that were cemented into the sidewalk where the I-5 highway overpass shelters the sidewalk at Imperial ave.
As usual, Berg and Wahlberg ignore the broader social forces at work in the events they dramatize, remaining instead at the tabloid level of “human interest,” which drifts into a kind of right-wing populism. They continue to celebrate the police and the military.
What I'm trying to communicate with this diary entry is one aspect of ruling establishment's policy. That's the focus of this diary entry. It's not about lack of compassion or humanity. Those things have nothing to do with what drives such sadistic class policies described above. The police and deputies themselves might be compassionate and humane in their personal lives, but the purpose of law enforcement of which they are complicit is bent on one and only one thing, to serve the interests of the ruling class no matter how sick, depraved and sadistic doing so may be.
The stuff of real life is entirely absent from this film. In its place are populist mythologies about salt-of-the-earth cops and banal monologues about love conquering hate. The taste for revenge is also present. When the victim of the Tsarnaevs’ carjacking tells a cop to “Go get those m-------rs!,” one has the feeling it is the motto and mood of the entire work. -Patriots Day: An ode to law enforcement and repression
I got lucky this weekend. I'm afraid to think of what would have happened if I hadn't found that sweatshirt and bedding. Pneumonia would be a distinct possibility. Maybe even death. I'm a year shy of 50 but I'm still pretty strong and healthy. I don't want to think about what would happen to someone else. For someone with compromised health, which there are many in the numbers of homeless people, it would be a death sentence.
The growth of poverty and the increasing economic precariousness for ever-larger sections of workers and youth is not an aberration but the deliberate policy pursued by the Obama administration over the last eight years in order to funnel wealth from the bottom to the top 1 percent. The Trump administration intends to carry out this same policy, only more nakedly and with greater brutality.
The deaths of 279 homeless persons in the Portland area since 2011―when the medical examiners’ office first started recording these fatalities―underscores not only the life-and-death conditions facing the homeless on a year round-basis but makes clear the entirely predictable, and therefore preventable, nature of these latest deaths. In 2015, 88 homeless persons, the highest recorded so far, died on Portland’s streets. -Four homeless dead in Portland, Oregon since beginning of 2017
Another, more direct--as in deadly, aspect of ruling class policy has been the number of police
killings of unarmed poor people year after year after year.
Richard Gonsalves, the San Diego police officer who last year shot and killed Alfred Olango, an unarmed immigrant from Uganda, will not face criminal charges. San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis announced at a press conference last week that the shooting, along with five other shootings involving San Diego police officers last year, was justified. In announcing and excusing the other shootings, two of which were not caught on camera, Dumanis and others sought to minimize the public outcry over the shooting of Olango. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, only six officers have been prosecuted “in the hundreds of shootings in the county since 1980.” -San Diego police cleared of wrongdoing in shooting death of Alfred Olango
Update Thursday January 19th, 2017
Since it was raining last night I slept in the courtyard at the Civic Center. At 4:30 am the security guard came through saying it was time to get up and kicked everybody out. It was still raining and the people around me were slow in getting up. The security guard said if people didn't move quicker, the next time the wake up call would be 4:am.
I noticed most of the people were elderly. I suspected as much since during the night it was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop. The younger, Smarter Set must have moved on to greener pastures.
It was a sad sight watching these older people trudge off, disappearing into the rain and darkness to who knows where because at that hour, nothing is open. The whole thing was nothing less than cruel and arbitrarily punitive.
At 5:20 am, once again during the coldest part of the night, I was at the Horton Plaza Park, hacking and coughing, sitting at one of the tables that had an umbrella when it started pouring. Of course this time the restrooms were closed. But now I was wearing my coat, sweatpants and thermal hat--not to mention my hooded sweatshirt.
Update Tuesday, January 24th, 2017
This morning at the Civic Center the security guard woke us up and kicked us out at 4:00am. It rained all morning long. I asked the security guard why 4:00am and not 4:30am? He ignored the question.
Update Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017
Yesterday on Tuesday at about 9:30 am I went over to the downtown superior court to see if a case had been filed with regard to my arrest last January described above.
The sheriff's deputies wouldn't let me in the court house.
That was a first. The deputies manning the metal detector wouldn't allow me to bring in my backpack because it has a cable running through it. That's never prevented me before from entering the court house.
The cable frames the backpack and holds it together. I applied it a number of years ago when through wear and tear (and Sabotaggy) it became likely that the shoulder straps of the backpack were going to separate from the rest of the backpack. As that did happen, now I attach the shoulder straps to the cable at both the top and bottom of the backpack.
Removing the cable would mean I'd have to cut it out which would destroy what's left of the backpack's structural integrity. Besides, then where would I put the cable while I was inside the court house?
So I asked to see the supervising deputy who was in charge of the metal detectors so I could get their name (C.N. Allister) and see if there were any other alternatives (she recommended I leave it on the sidewalk) and document that I had actually gone to the court house to see if my case had been filed for my court appearance.
This Tuesday morning at about 10am, using the phone lab over at St. Vinny's I was able to get through the court's Byzantine phone menu and speak to a clerk, "Serena" who informed me no case has yet been filed with regard to my arrest. Normally, at over a month since my arrest, the case would have been filed if the prosecutor intended to move forward with the case. That's what I've been told in the past by the clerks in department one with regard to my other arrests for illegal lodging.
But as per "Serena" (who is not one of the clerks in department one) the case can be filed up until February 24th (the date on the ticket) and if I don't show up I will incur an FTA (failure to appear) and a bench warrant will be issued for my arrest. As per Serena, if that happens and I turn myself in at the police station (which I said I would do), I'll get another notice (ticket) to appear at the court, (which I also wouldn't be able to do without risking the loss of my belongings) creating a "vicious cycle" of FTAs.
Bench warrants are the lifeblood of the criminal justice system, they ensure an ever-growing need for armies of bureaucrats and deputies to process. (Hence the new multi-story superior court house downtown) The FTAs, as I've mentioned before in this diary, are used to deny release on OR (own recognizance) and fill jail beds until the appointed court date. Together they act in coordination, to grind and masticate the system's fodder--poor people like me.
Later on that Tuesday morning I stopped at Albertson's (as I usually do before heading to St. Vinny's) and was also told I couldn't bring my backpack with me (as described in the update here) while I was in the store.
Update Monday February 27th, 2017
The US military commander stated that “the major export of Iran is actually malign influence across the region.” He said that the US military buildup against Iran was designed to “make sure we have freedom of navigation through the Straits of Hormuz, and that we deter conflict and crisis in the region, and that we advance our interest to include our interest in dealing with violent extremism of all forms.” All of these alleged aims are pretexts for continuous US provocations aimed at countering Iran’s regional influence and furthering the drive for US hegemony in the Middle East.
This morning at 8:30 am once again using the phone lab over at St. Vinny's I was able to get through the court's phone menu and speak to a clerk who told me the prosecutor filed the case (apparently) last Friday.
According to unnamed US officials cited Friday by the Wall Street Journal, the proposal is expected to include “sending additional troops to Iraq and Syria” and “loosening battlefield restrictions” to “ease rules designed to minimize civilian casualties.”
As in previous US-backed offensives against Fallujah and Ramadi, Mosul faces the prospect of being reduced to rubble. It is in this city where the proposed changes in the “rules of engagement” will find their first expression in the elevated slaughter of Iraqi civilians. -Pentagon prepares for bigger, bloodier war in Iraq and Syria
So after calling around I was able to make arrangements with someone at the San Diego's Public Defender's Office to put my backpack there while I made arrangements at the court house regarding my appearance before a judge. As it stands now, certainly a bench warrant has been issued for my arrest.
Having kept that possibility in mind (however slight I thought at the time) over the past two rainy nights I've been sleeping (and getting rained on) at my usual spot which is not sheltered.
On Saturday evening it was forecasted to rain but when I walked through the Civic Center around 8:30 pm there was not one homeless person in the sheltered part of the court yard. I took a walk over to where the court house covers B street (between Front street and Union street) because I heard that the "police where allowing homeless people to sleep there." When I got there the sidewalks on both sides were full up, like sardines. On the wall behind people sleeping was the exact same no illegal lodging sign that's on the wall at C street just one block over where I was arrested last January.
Heading back toward my usual spot I passed by where I had been arrested and there were two people sleeping there.
So I continued on and slept at my usual spot and was awoken at 1:30 am by light rain. I moved across the street under one of the sidewalk trees. Luckily it only rained lightly for a few more minutes and I stayed dry for the rest of the night--despite the forecast--until about 5:30 Sunday morning when it started pouring. Since I was under the tree my sleeping bag was not soaked when I packed it into my backpack and headed down to the Horton Plaza Park. At a little past 6:00am while I was sitting at one of the tables with an umbrella, one of the security people (as described in the Sunday February 26th, 2017 update here) from the mall came and closed the umbrella at my table.
Last Sunday night the overnight forecast called for 50% chance for rain. Yet again, when I walked through the Civic Center around the same time as the night before I didn't see one homeless person. Also again I took a walk over to where the court house covers B street and this time there were only about 15 or so people sleeping there. And also again I passed by where I got arrested last month and this time I counted 6 people sleeping there.
Figuring there's no rhyme or reason to where you can and can't sleep in shelter overnight from the rain, once again I slept at my usual spot but this time was awoken at 12:30 am by rain. Unlike the previous night, the rate of rain seemed to be increasing instead of diminishing so I packed up my sleeping bag (which had been soaked) and again headed down to the Horton Plaza Park. This time I was able to sit at a table under an umbrella until 5:23 am when I headed over to the Burger King which opens at 5:30 am.
Before heading to the park I passed through the Civic Center and counted 9 homeless people sheltered there by the rain. When I slept at the Civic Center the previous Friday night there must have been over 60 people sheltered there along with me. Keeping in mind the (what at that time I thought was the slight) possibility there might be a warrant out for my arrest, I decided to check with the security guard whose station is in one of the offices near the entrance. But looking through the glass doors to the office I did not see her, only where she left her coat on the back of her chair. Luckily I decided not to risk sleeping there and continued on to the park.
Otherwise, it's my gut feeling the police would have rousted me and found out (or knowing) that I have an outstanding warrant.
The court system “will be a lot more vigilant in protecting its own authority and privilege in the face of such bullying” from Trump, the ISO continues. “It’s a battle, in other words, between an incompetent and very stoppable presidential force versus a pliant and quite movable judicial object.”Coyote Pérez was detained in Livingston County on February 24 and had spoken at a protest in Rochester on February 3—only three weeks before his detention. After Coyote Pérez spoke, another immigrant threatened with deportation, Dolores Bustamante, spoke to the crowd about her impending immigration hearing. Like Coyote Pérez, Bustamante is a member of the Workers’ Center of Central New York. She is also on the board of Alianza de Mujeres Campasinas.
For this reason, the ISO concludes, protests are needed “to keep up the pressure on the courts.” In fact, these institutions of the capitalist state are responsible for creating the legal framework and military/police infrastructure that will be used to deport the millions of undocumented people living in the US today.The fact that both Coyote Pérez and Bustamante, along with 22-year-old Daniela Vargas, face deportation indicates that ICE may be targeting activists for daring to speak out against xenophobic measures and attempting to improve their conditions of life. The terror this is spreading in immigrant communities appears to be deliberate. -Protesters in Rochester, New York oppose detention of José Coyote Pérez
A genuine socialist response requires the opposite of what the ISO and SA propose. It completely rejects the entire reactionary framework of the so-called immigration “debate” between different factions of the ruling class. It insists on the unqualified right of all workers to live and work in the country of their choice, with full citizenship rights and without fear of repression or deportation. -International Socialist Organization, Socialist Alternative promote Democrats and courts as defenders of immigrantsThing is, I don't think it's expecting too much to be able to go to a place that's sheltered on a rainy (or forecasted to be raining) night and go to sleep without having to worry about the cops waking you up in the middle of the night demanding ID.
The terrorized population of Mosul—including an estimated 600,000 children—is being used as guinea pigs by the US military in preparing its forces for such operations, which it sees as inevitable given the vast social polarization created by the profit system. Such future urban battles, it is well aware, will be waged not only in war-torn countries in Africa and the Middle East, but in America’s own cities. -Pentagon exercises free rein in global military escalation
I did plan on going to court after lunch at Vinny's. But it was raining so hard all morning that I made the judgment call not to get into the food line which was outside during the downpour (which is yet another first described in the Thursday March 2nd, 2017 update here) and instead waited until 12:15 pm when there was a brief break in the heavy rain to walk up to the Logan Heights branch library after stopping at Walmart to buy lunch. Otherwise this afternoon would have found me downtown after getting out of the court house (presuming I got out) with no place to shelter from the rain (which picked right up again) nearby.
So I plan to go to the court house tomorrow morning. Hopefully it won't be in jail clothes. Tonight's forecast is 60% chance of rain.
Update Tuesday February 28, 2017
As I got out of the branch library yesterday evening at around 6:50 pm the rain was coming down in buckets. By the time I got to the Downtown Civic Center my shoes were water logged. It was still coming down hard but there were only about 15 other homeless people in the sheltered part of the courtyard. I talked with a couple of women who told me security had been through on their rounds and didn't object to people staying the night. So I slept there last night until 4:05 am when security came and told everyone to leave.
Later in the morning I entered the court house (having left my backpack at the Public Defenders' Office) and proceeded to Department One. Only now it's called the Misdemeanor Business Office. While I was sitting in the waiting area to be called I couldn't help but overhear an elderly woman who was at one of the windows speaking to a clerk. She was angry that she took the day off to come to the court house and no case had been filed. I got the impression she very much wanted her day in court. She demanded that the clerk provide her with a receipt or proof that she had shown up. It sounded like the clerk told her it would be an hour wait before she could get a receipt!
The supposed “war against ISIS” has been marked by the flagrant collective punishment of the civilian populations where ISIS established influence. In the first months of 2016, most of the western Iraqi cities of Ramadi and Fallujah were reduced to rubble to “liberate” them. The same policy has guided the attack on Mosul.
I'm guessing the woman had been written some sort of bullshit ticket by a cop who thought doing so would intimidate her. (She wasn't)
Above all, the political and media establishment attempt to conceal the fact that the very emergence of ISIS is the direct outcome of the US invasion and occupation of Iraq, followed by the destruction of Libya and the proxy war the US and its allies sponsored in Syria.
When the clerk called my name I gave him the case number M228702 and went through a list of questions, including the new name of the department and what the direct phone number is. (The phone hours are limited to weekdays between 8:30 am and 11:30 am) He told me there is no direct number, you have to go through the court's main number and phone menu where you get some random clerk who doesn't work in his department.
But the first question I asked was when the case had been filed. As I described above, over the phone on Wednesday February 22nd Serena had told me it had not been filed.
When he answered "February 17th" I was surprised. Then, before I could even ask another question or the next question on my list he said, "No warrant had been issued." I was more surprised. I asked, are you sure? When he said "Yes" he sounded more surprised than me.
My gut tells me that what Serena had told me was completely accurate.
Normally at that point the clerk would have filled out a slip of paper for me to go right into department two (the first court room), hand it to the bailiff and then sit and wait for my case to be called. Instead, the clerk gives me the slip of paper with the date March 16th written on it for me to return to the court house and go to court then.
A feature of American media coverage on the weekend was the paucity of commentary on the air strike and broader humanitarian catastrophe in Mosul, compared with the immense attention paid to the atrocity committed in London by a lone British-born extremist.
Barely months ago, every report of civilian casualties caused by the Russian and Syrian government assault on the US-backed rebel forces in the city of Aleppo was declared a war crime and accompanied by demands for an immediate ceasefire. In Mosul, even greater civilian deaths are dismissed as “unfortunate” and no reason to slow, let alone stop, the offensive. -The massacre in Mosul
That's yet another first.
The report by the human rights group, which chronicles bloody incidents that took place in eastern Mosul during the end of 2016 and the beginning of this year, has been released amid mounting evidence that the Pentagon carried out one of its worst atrocities in decades in the March 17 bombing of the Jadida neighborhood in the densely populated western sector of the city.
“Evidence gathered on the ground in East Mosul points to an alarming pattern of US-led coalition airstrikes which have destroyed whole houses with entire families inside,” reports Amnesty’s senior crisis response adviser Donatella Rovera following field investigations in the war-ravaged city. “We were all huddled in one room at the back of the house, 18 of us, three families. But when the house next door was bombed, it collapsed on us, precisely over the room we were sheltering in. My son Yusef, nine, and my daughter Shahad, three, were killed, together with my brother Mahmoud, his wife Manaya and their nine-year-old son Aws, and my niece Hanan. She was cradling her five-month-old daughter, who survived, thank God.”
When I retuned to the Public Defenders' Office to pick up my backpack I made arrangements to do the same thing all over on the 16th.
“We probably had a role in those casualties,” Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, the top US commander in Iraq and Syria, acknowledged to Pentagon reporters Tuesday. At the same time, however, Townsend suggested that the “the enemy had a hand in this,” alleging that there was no reason for civilians to have congregated inside buildings targeted by US warplanes other than their being exploited as “human shields.”
This attempted alibi is contradicted by multiple reports from survivors of the bombing raid, who said that entire families, terrorized by US bombs as well as mortar attacks by Iraqi government forces, had huddled in basements of homes in the neighborhood. Indeed, before launching the offensive last fall, the US-backed Iraqi military dropped leaflets on Mosul, a city of 1.8 million people, urging residents to “shelter in place” rather than flee to safety.
Even if the Islamist fighters showed indifference to human life, this did not justify the indiscriminate air strikes launched by US warplanes, the human rights group [Amnesty International] said. It also pointed out that the US-backed Iraqi military is setting up its own firing positions in and around civilian homes, exposing them to return fire from ISIS forces. -US accused of war crimes in air strikes on Iraqi city of Mosul
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