Archive for December 21st, 2011

by jhwygirl

These are some serious issues that deserve some serious attention, folks. There’e no reason to dismiss this stuff as crazy blog stuff, as this and the story below are merely op eds that ask questions of stories written in the Missoulian.

Also in today’s paper was this story of a guy who was out driving so under the influence on Mullen Road that he forced a car and a school bus onto the shoulder of the road.

Thing is, the subsequent arrest for this alleged activity was his fifth.

Now, in wacky Montana (for any of you who might be reading from outside our regressive state) DUI offenders get three “passes” from mandatory jail time. It’s not until the 4th where mandatory sentencing occurs.

I’m sure it’s probably no more than 90 days…

In this case, Gordon James Shaffer – a registered violent offender – was free to drive a school bus off the road because somewhere along the line after he allegedly hit-and-run under the influence and six other offenses, his charges were eventually dropped because paperwork was not filed in time.

In this case, that appears to have been in the county attorney’s office? The same office who told the judge on the last charges that Shaffer is “somebody who’s going to kill somebody if he’s not stopped.”

Nice to know someone is concerned.

That attorney’s office has long been overworked and overburdened. In this case, that lack of adequate staffing has nearly resulted in disaster.

They’re pleading out cases to avoid trial – and they’re losing paperwork such that menaces to society are being released into the public.

To force school buses to drive off the road.

Hey – again…If I had kids….

by jhwygirl

What exactly goes on in this town regarding rape? The University of Montana investigating crimes on its own campus with its own attorney/investigator? And not involving police? Are Universities their own political subdivision?

A woman goes to the police to inquire about rape and assault charges and they don’t immediately find her an advocate? A friggin’ possible rape victim who might be in shock goes to the police station to ask about assault and they don’t immediately try and seek medical attention for her?!

What goes on? Is anyone else even concerned? Bueller? Bueller?

Today we get a story of another rape victim who reported an assault and the police never filed charges. KECI reported tonight, with someone from Missoula PD saying that they didn’t pursue charges after speaking with 5 football players and their story didn’t corroborate that of the victims.

You don’t say?

If I were a parent of a young lady that resided here in the City of Missoula, I’d be mightily concerned. Picture a 22 year old woman concerned enough to head off to the police station to ask about assault or rape or any sort of crime. That said 22 year old woman has to talk first with someone who wants to know what she wants – and she could be standing out in the hallway at the front desk. With people standing in line. Then if she gets her guts up enough to get in the door she has to discuss assault – sexual or otherwise – with a stranger who doesn’t even seem to have the common sense to bring in a counselor or some sort of advocate. It’s a situation that I find very uncomfortable to think about.

Are female crime victims dismissed? Or ignored? I’ve heard a number of disturbing stories over the last 6 months or so – two being two separate trials related to domestic violence, unrelated, two juries, and two people, one one each jury – and disturbingly, both cases detailed a litany of lost paperwork and unfiled warrants – and even recorded police conversations where the police advised someone who had an order of protection against him that he could go over to his ex girlfriends if it was for the purpose of obtaining his property. Which, of course, resulted in the assault that put the victim in the hospital – and in that court for trial.

I’ll close (for now) with just one more observation – one more name that is all over this like flies on shit is Vice President Jim Foley. When it comes to thuggery, the taxpayers of Montana are sure getting their money’s worth. His salary has got to be in the 6-digit range.

Just what I want my tax dollars funding.

Hey Hey, Ho Ho – Jim Foley Has Got to Go!

Good Americans

by lizard

I read an article by Sam Smith at Counterpunch today, titled America’s Silent Collapse, that’s really worth reading. Something that really jumped out, though, was a statement made by a German university professor to journalist Milton Mayer about what it was like to live through Germany’s dark transformation during the 1930’s:

To live in the process is absolutely not to notice it — please try to believe me — unless one has a much greater degree of political awareness, acuity, than most of us ever had occasion to develop. Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, ‘regretted.’. . .

Believe me this is true. Each act, each occasion is worse than the last, but only a little worse. You wait for the next and the next. You wait for one shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join you in resisting somehow.. . .

Suddenly it all comes down, all at once. You see what you are, what you have done, or, more accurately, what you haven’t done (for that was all that was required of most of us: that we did nothing). You remember those early meetings of your department in the university when, if one had stood, others would have stood, perhaps, but no one stood. A small matter, a matter of hiring this man or that, and you hired this one rather than that. You remember everything now, and your heart breaks. Too late. You are compromised beyond repair.

I’m afraid there will be no single rousing shock to jolt us good Americans from our stupor. But we are certainly taking impressive strides these days with legislation like NDAA and SOPA slowly moving toward becoming our new reality.

Other little examples of the noose tightening will come and go. David Seaman speculated a few days ago that his twitter account was taken down because he was tweeting too much about topics like #NDAA and #OWS. But who cares if some dude has his little tweets impeded?

Despite all the hiccups and stumbles that necessarily accompany any emerging popular movement, OWS continues to evolve and elude co-optation. Targeting Obama’s campaign office in Iowa is a smart move, IMHO, because it shifts a sliver of attention away from the crazy train running the GOP off the tracks to our sitting president who is doing his share to shred the constitution he was hired by the American people to uphold.

Going back to the Smith article, the conclusion echoes a sentiment I’ve tried articulating before; I like the way Smith says it though, so here it is:

Basically, our country is now divided between those who still believe in democracy and those who believe only in a culture of impunity to those with power and devoid of honor. With stunningly few exceptions, the latter includes not only Republican and Democratic politicians but our business leaders, media figures and a surprising number of academics. One need only to compare the role of today’s intellectuals with those of the 1960s to see how far our purported best and brightest have also fallen.

To do something about this, we do not have to forego our concerns for economic, ecological, and social issues, but we must understand and act on the fact that the biggest division in our country today is between those who still believe in democracy, decency and liberty and those who consider America just one big hedge fund that no one can, or cares to, regulate..

It might help, for example, if Greens and Libertarians came up with a joint plan to confront this crisis. Or if Bernie Sanders and Ron Paul jointly formed a movement to give it life. Or if the Occupiers and the Tea Party took a tip from their members in Memphis and Richmond and, despite all their other profound disagreements, worked together on the simply recovery of a constitutional society. As Tea Party member and Marine Corporal Stephen Mark Allen, put it, “Nothing would terrify the establishment more than a united Occupy Tea Party movement.

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