Bones of contention made explicit

A small skirmish on the periphery of the global-warming/climate-change wars. . .

Given below is a series of emails exchanged between Harry, an MBA classmate, a few others and myself. They are in the order received/generated and comprise my humble attempt to separate cause from effect, fact from fiction, science from politics and reason from emotion regarding “CLIMATE CHANGE”. The scientific paper I refer to in the emails may be found here.

* * *

To Harry from his fraternity brother
Sent: Wednesday, October 28, 2015 3:25 PM
Subject: Greenland Is Melting Away

I send this along to point out to the ignorantura, that the credibility of climate change assessment is not a function of how well models do, or do not, predict the changes in the environment.

Rather, it is the analysis and interpretation of measured physical variables that tells the story.

This is why a cretinous infatuation with predictions of where the global temperature is, or is not going, is rather beside the point. This is the province of asshole journalists, Ingrish Majers, history students, and alleged meteorologists. Notice that scientists are not immune from this inappropriate seduction into delusional behavior.

Concentrate on the fact that it is not possible to deny the ongoing monotonic accumulation of HEAT that comes from spewing 34 gigatons of CO2 into the atmosphere every year. Try and ask yourself where that HEAT is going, because unless you are totally daft, you must accept that the HEAT so trapped cannot be destroyed – it can only be moved around.

Of course, there is an alternative: If you can PROVE that there are far right-wing Republican CO2 molecules, that refuse to absorb the infrared radiation nature says they must, because they know this is part of a left-wing conspiracy on the part of communist pinko preeeeeverts, designed to rob real red-blooded American patriots of their vital essence. Just ask Cliven Bundy….


“We scientists love to sit at our computers and use climate models to make those predictions,” said Laurence C. Smith, head of the geography department at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the leader of the team that worked in Greenland this summer. “But to really know what’s happening, that kind of understanding can only come about through empirical measurements in the field.”

For years, scientists have studied the impact of the planet’s warming on the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. But while researchers have satellite images to track the icebergs that break off, and have created models to simulate the thawing, they have little on-the-ground information and so have trouble predicting precisely how fast sea levels will rise.

* * *

From Harry to myself et al.
Sent: Thursday, October 29, 2015 08:11
Subject: FW: Greenland Is Melting Away


Other than the fact that this elitist guy (a fraternity friend), disdains skeptics, I don’t know what to make of this tirade.

For years they told us to spend billions if not trillions to fix a problem that “models” predicted will destroy the earth within 20 years or was it 100 years, and all of a sudden we hear “never mind”! Forget the models, they don’t have to be right. They are not right.

I am not an expert but I do not understand how come 95% of the scientists who it is claimed believe in anthropomorphic global warming, cannot accurately model what would happen to the accumulated heat in the CO2 which is spewed. How difficult a problem can it be?

Doesn’t that fact tell us that it is not “settled science” yet?


* * *

From me to Harry et al.
Sent: Thursday, Oct 29, 2015, at 9:14 AM
Subject: FW: Greenland Is Melting Away

My Dear Fellow Climate-change Cretins,

As far as I know, no one has ever claimed that the heat generated from the burning of fossil fuels is directly causing the global temperature to increase. The heat output of human activity is miniscule when compared to the effect of solar radiation. “Human Heat”, if you will, is to a great extent radiated out into space. Urban heat islands may have a small effect on the “average” global temperature. But for the past fifteen years, based primarily on satellite data, there has been no measurable increase in the average global atmospheric temperature. Things have moved around a bit and there are some warmer and cooler spots. If the atmosphere’s average temperature has remained stable, how has the heat released through human activity found it’s way into the Greenland glaciers? What’s the mechanism? How do you measure the effect? Or is it merely hypothesis?

The theory of global-warming/climate-change began with the hypothesis that the increase of atmospheric CO2 that has resulted from the combustion of fossil fuels would increase the heat trapped in the atmosphere and there would be a resulting increase in surface temperatures. Atmosphere warms first, surface temps increase as a result. Then the ice melts. Period. Perhaps the heat that is melting Greenland is coming up from the interior of the earth? Perhaps it’s just continuing to melt after the warming that was/is coincident with the end of the last ice age? I don’t know. But it’s not because the atmosphere is warming.

But now it’s called climate change because there hasn’t been any warming for at least the last decade and a half. But things are still melting, polar bears are still dying (even though their population is steady or going up), oceans are rising (but not nearly as fast as predicted by any means), and numerous giant storms are battering humankind (even though we continue to have relatively quiet hurricane seasons). Did I leave anything out? If so, please insert the unnatural disaster of your choice.

There are a whole host of other considerations such as the relative effectiveness of the various greenhouse gases, i.e., CO2, CH4, H2O vapor, et cetera. Also, There is no reason to believe that some degree of warming is all that bad.

As the man said, “Rather, it is the analysis and interpretation of measured physical variables that tells the story.” I agree wholeheartedly. Feel free to pass this along should you so wish.


* * *

From: Art
Sent: Thursday, October 29, 2015 5:01 PM
To: Dennis Sevakis
Cc: Harry; Mark; Mel
Subject: Re: Greenland Is Melting Away

Very well said. I agree with all your points and would add a few more.

With regard to climate models–there is almost universal agreement regarding the heat trapping capacity of CO2. The calculations are straight forward and they yield only a modest rise in temperature which diminishes as as concentrations rise, i.e. at higher CO2 concentrations, each increment of additional CO2 produces less temperature rise. The key point is that the CO2 “greenhouse” effect alone does not produce enough temperature rise for even Al Gore to worry about. The problem arises–and the model uncertainty is introduced–when so called forcing factors are introduced. An example might be the postulation that the slight temperature rise from the greenhouse effect would reduce snow cover which reduces the sun’s reflection which heats the earth. Another would be the greenhouse increase raises ocean temperatures which causes the release of more CO2 which creates more warming. These are offset by negative forcing such as higher temperatures evaporate more water forming clouds which reflect heat away from the earth. It’s the attempt to model all that which is the source of so much uncertainty and subjectivity.

Indeed, some degree of warming is not bad and some degree of added CO2 is likely good for the planet. There is mounting evidence that global vegetation is expanding and the higher levels of CO2 might be contributing to rising crop yields. There are a lot of mouths to feed.

Final point–There have been numerous studies on the cost to “stop climate change” (whatever that means) vs. adapting to changes. Adaption is the clear winner–the best use of scarce resources. Maybe Greenland can become the poster child–a country that adapted and actually benefited from change–probably asking too much.

Best, Art

* * *

From: Harry
Sent: Friday, October 30, 2015 22:57
To: Art; Dennis Sevakis
Cc: Mark; Mel
Subject: RE: Greenland Is Melting Away

I too agree with all your comments. But I insist, on my original argument.

I do not understand how come 95% of the world’s most acclaimed scientists who, it is claimed, believe in anthropomorphic global warming, cannot accurately model what would happen to the accumulation of HEAT that comes from spewing 34 gigatons of CO2 into the atmosphere every year. In spite of all the forcing factors Art is talking about. How difficult a problem can it be? What a waste of brainpower?

Doesn’t that fact alone tell us that it is not “settled science” yet?

And yes I believe in adaptation. The Dutch dikes are perhaps the best example in history of adapting to control the environment since the times of the Roman Empire!


* * *

From: Dennis Sevakis
Sent: Tuesday, November 03, 2015 12:54
To: Harry; Art
Cc: Mark; Mel
Subject: Re: Greenland Is Melting Away


Please forgive me for repeating myself, but I have no really new response to what you have stated. But in an effort to restate my argument more clearly (convincingly?) I offer the following:

1. I have never seen the “95% of the world’s most acclaimed scientists” figure documented. The only documentation I have seen is a letter to, I believe, the U.S. Senate signed by 100 atmospheric scientist/physicists who are among what are commonly called the “deniers.” Not that they deny the possibility of human influence on climate. They just deny that the politically manufactured and MSM promoted panic over global-warming/climate-change is unwarranted. The postulated mechanism for climate change, i.e., a warming of the atmosphere resulting from heat, infrared radiation, trapped by additional CO2 in the atmosphere, has not been verified. All the media hoopla is naught but obfuscation. Measurement of atmospheric temperatures over the past two decades do not match the predictions of the CO2 models. That’s what is demonstrated in the 2007 paper that I have often referred to. I have not come across any scientific paper that contradicts it. The MSM never, ever reference it. Not difficult to understand why.

2. I have not come across any postulated alternative mechanism for human influenced global-warming/climate-change. Everything is based, whether or not explicitly so stated, on the CO2 hypothesis. It has utterly failed quantitatively.

3. I do not understand the phrase “the accumulation of HEAT that comes from spewing 34 gigatons of CO2 into the atmosphere every year.” What heat? Are you talking about the heat released by the exothermic reaction that is the burning of carbon? If so, as I mentioned earlier, most of that, all of it eventually, is radiated back out into space — not unlike the solar energy that warms the earth in the daytime is radiated back out at night, barring cloud cover and high humidity, that is. That’s why desert areas have such high diurnal temperature swings. No H2O in the form of vapor or clouds to stop the drop — H2O being a much better greenhouse gas than CO2. Also, CO2 is not the only product of combustion. Obviously water is another when burning hydrocarbons.

4. Our current knowledge regarding the massively complex system that is “climate” is woefully inadequate to build a model that is predictive in any meaningful sense. The climate system is also chaotic and therefore not predictable in a detailed way. All the dire predictions of the “95%” are therefore pure speculation, whoever the 95% may or may not be.

5. This climate brouhaha is 95% politics, 5% science. And that is not just my opinion. And that is also why it is such a conflated emotional battle, almost religious in nature.


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Old, New or Warmed-Over Cold War?

SourceLink From FOX News:

Russia has never flown bomber patrols over Gulf of Mexico before,
US official claims
Published November 13, 2014

Russia’s decision to send long-range strategic bombers on regular patrol missions across the Gulf of Mexico is unprecedented, a senior U.S. military official said Wednesday, claiming that the country has never done so before – even during the Cold War.

The official, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to discuss the flights publicly, also said that the pace of Russian flights around North America, including the Arctic, have largely remained steady, with about five incidents per year.

Long-range bombers have been in the area before, but only to participate in various visits to the region when the aircraft stopped over night at locations in South or Central America. During the Cold War, other types of Russian aircraft flew patrols there, including surveillance flights and anti-submarine aircraft.

Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, declined to call this a Russian provocation.

Now, I’d like you to think real hard, which President closed the Vieques naval gunnery range, along with the Roosevelt Roads naval base and air station at the Eastern end of Puerto Rico? This was the air station once used as a base for Navy submarine patrol aircraft cruising the Caribbean. What was the name of this President’s advisor who ran around Washington in the summer of 2001 (pre-9/11 of course) stamping out pockets of GOP support for keeping the range and base open? Hmmm? Oh, and one more thing, have a bite of this tasty tidbit:

On Vieques, No Hispanic Is An Island
Banding Together, Latino muscle Forces W To Cave
Jun 25, 2001 Issue

Other factors may have come into play. Later this year Rosewood Hotels & Resorts of Dallas plans to open a luxury resort on Vieques. The company, which last year gave $100,000 in soft money to the Republican National Committee, is half-owned by Caroline Rose Hunt, whose half brother was Bush’s Texas Finance chairman. According to one source intimately familiar with the Vieques dispute, the Navy’s bombing “had raised concerns” about development plans on the island. But a Rosewood spokeswoman insisted that the company had not spoken to anyone in the administration about the project.

Of course not.

We now have the Chinese operating the Panama Canal (admittedly starting on Clinton’s watch), the Russians planning on taking over our Caribbean air patrols, and who-knows-who pouring in over the Southern border of the U.S. One might even get the impression there’s a slo-mo invasion going on. Well, maybe not quite so slo-mo.

Yeah, the Cold War is over all right – NOT!

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Wealth: Personal vs. National

SourceLinkOriginally published at American Thinker

September 25, 2014
Wealth: Personal vs. National
By Dennis Sevakis

If you were stranded on an island in the middle of the Pacific with a couple of tons of gold bars, would you be wealthy? Would you feel wealthy? Having a shortwave (solar powered, of course) might make for a more affirmative answer to the question, but the ability to communicate would then be more fundamental to your wealth than the gold.

I started doing thought experiments such as this while contemplating the question: “What is Wealth”? Gargantuan trade deficits claimed by economic pundits to be of little or no consequence to Americans, Bush II era fiscal folly, and the abandonment of U.S. manufacturing by multinational corporations led me on this esoteric pursuit in search of an answer.

The short answer: The capacity to produce goods and provide services.

The longer answer regarding a nation’s wealth includes natural resources, climate, infrastructure, a skilled workforce, et cetera. Or, as Wikipedia so graciously noted:

The United Nations definition of inclusive wealth is a monetary measure which includes the sum of natural, human and physical assets. Natural capital includes land, forests, fossil fuels, and minerals. Human capital is the population’s education and skills. Physical (or “manufactured”) capital includes such things as machinery, buildings, and infrastructure.

Now, that’s not so complicated, is it? Things get complicated because most persons, whether intentionally or mistakenly, conflate personal and national wealth. Bank balances, income, and the market value of one’s assets are how we gauge personal wealth. However, that is not national wealth, the pie we divide up with our monetary accounting, money merely being a claim against those national assets.

Today’s economic travails seem primarily a result of confusing national wealth with personal wealth. What’s good for the personal goose is not necessarily good for the national gander. Nor vice versa. Asset prices are not “wealth”; the stock market could drop 50% tomorrow and our current capacity to produce goods and provide services would essentially be unaffected.

What’s been done to the United Sates over the past fifty years or so, longer if you wish to quibble, is that we have dissipated or stunted our national wealth through a number of mechanisms. We’ve let our natural resources lie fallow through excessive environmental regulation. Infrastructure is left to crumble. Consumption is financed through debt rather than income. Multinationals have invested in productive and research capacity overseas rather than domestically. We’ve given away, sold, or permitted much of our commercial and military technology to be stolen. Our educational institutions have been corrupted and stunted at all levels with political correctness and a repudiation of Western history. Culturally we have, as the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan so eloquently put it, defined decency down.

Wealth can be created. However, doing so takes time. It is a laborious and intensive process. Financial markets do not create wealth. They merely move it around through redistribution or inflation. But they do it quickly. That is the attraction.

We’ve done a good job of killing the gander.

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The Reality of Jihad

You can hear “Iraq” mentioned more than once. This is ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) doin’ their thang in Iraq. Pretty rough stuff. Not for the faint of heart. Post-modern version of the ‘Adventures of Mohammed’?

Entire video including subtitles is currently (2014.07.30.1328z) available here


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Robert Spencer: We have met the enemy and he is us

Ignore at your own peril:

Robert Spencer: We Have Met the Enemy and He Is Us
June 26, 2014 by

Editor’s note: Below are the video and transcript SourceLink to Robert Spencer’s address at the Freedom Center’s 2014 Texas Weekend. The event took place May 2nd-4th at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas.

41m48s including Q&A

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Memorial Day 2014 II

The following is courtesy of Brigadier Rudy and the Super Sabre Society’s “Toss Bomb” newsletter. [Super Sabre = North American F-100] Perhaps those liberated appreciate the sacrifices of Americans in WW II a bit more than we do.

About six miles from Maastricht, in the Netherlands, lie buried 8,301 American soldiers who died in “Operation Market Garden” in the battles to liberate Holland in the fall-winter of 1944-45. Every one of the men buried in the cemetery, as well as those in the Canadian and British military cemeteries, has been adopted by a Dutch family who mind the grave, decorate it, and keep alive the memory of the soldier they have adopted. It is even the custom to keep a portrait of “their” American soldier in a place of honor in their home. Annually, on “Liberation Day,” memorial services are held for “the men who died to liberate Holland.” The day concludes with a concert. The final piece is always “Il Silenzio,” a memorial piece commissioned by the Dutch and first played in 1965 on the 20th anniversary of Holland’s liberation. It has been the concluding piece of the memorial concert ever since.

In 2008 the soloist was a 13-year-old Dutch girl, Melissa Venema, backed by André Rieu and his orchestra (the Royal Orchestra of the Netherlands). This beautiful concert piece is based upon the original version of taps and was written by Italian composer Nino Rossi.

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Memorial Day 2014

Military service changes a person in deep and lasting ways that are often bittersweet. Those who serve honorably carry with them the satisfaction of having done their duty even amid the pain of a lasting injury or the loss of comrades in arms. Perhaps only those who have served or lost a loved one can fully appreciate the significance of Memorial Day. And if we are to honor those who gave their last, full measure, we must also honor and value the ideals that are inseparable from their sacrifice. Otherwise, our tribute is hypocrisy.

A couple of years ago a classmate of mine was taken aback by what I said about two friends who had died in their early fifties in the ’90s. I commented that I considered the two men fortunate in at least one sense: they had not lived to witness the current advanced stage of America’s social and politically-correct disintegration. Should the same be said of our honored war dead? How is it that as a country we still hold true to their ideals when President Obama issues proclamations designating June “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month”? Is this the post-modern replacement for “God, Country and Family”?

I doubt that those we honor this Memorial Day would be very pleased with what our country has and is becoming. Mourn both them and the America we’ve lost.

Dennis Sevakis
Former Captain USAF

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Boy Scouts: The Rift be closing in about them … and us

This past Thursday Walt Disney World dropped a Florida Boy Scouts council as a recognized charity for its employees. Henceforth, there will no Disney contributions to that BSA council in an employee’s name. And the reason?


The corporate giant — whose Orlando park is a major destination for “Gay Day” events in early June — will also no longer offer the council or its units grant funding, apparently a signal that the BSA decision, by keeping the adult ban, did not go far enough.


The company is a top-ranked gay-friendly employer, according to the Human Rights Campaign, and in 2013, openly gay executive George Kalogridis was announced as president of Walt Disney World.

News of the policy change appeared on websites, including Scouts for Equality, an advocacy group started by Eagle Scout Zach Wahls to get the BSA to change their previous restrictive membership policies on gays.

I’m not a very relious person, more like agnostic-Lite, and I’m not in the habit of quoting scripture, but it seems that Mr. Kalogridis is at serious risk of running afoul of the following admonition:

And whoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me,
it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck,
and he were cast into the sea.
–Matthew 18:6,10

French essayist Julien Benda once penned the following:

Humanity did evil for two thousand years, but honored good.
This contradiction was an honor to the human species,
and formed the rift whereby civilization slipped into the world.
–Julien Benda, Treason of the Intellectuals, 1927

What Benda is describing applies only to Western Civilization as being formed by this rift. And if it is closing, Islam — whether or not one can call Islam a “civilization” — and the Chinese aren’t about to be swallowed by that closing. Only us.

In 1992 Roger Kimball wrote a stunning essay about the writings of Messrs. Benda and Finkielkraut with the following heading:

When hatred of culture becomes itself a part of culture,
the life of the mind loses all meaning.
—Alain Finkielkraut,The Undoing of Thought

Today we are trying to spread knowledge everywhere.
Who knows if in centuries to come there will not be universities
for re-establishing our former ignorance?
—Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742-1799)

Today we do know. At least when peering into the ivy corridors of philosophy and ethics, that is.

Whereby we came to this exaggerated public acceptance of homosexuality as an alternative “life-style”, whether or not it be the result of tangled DNA, was much of a mystery to me until I read Dr. Judith Reisman’s law review article, “Crafting Bi/Homosexual Youth”, introduced by this quotation:

The press can both stimulate public opinion and miseducate it . . .
The press has become the greatest power within the Western countries, more powerful than the legislature, the executive, and judiciary. One would then like to ask: By what law has it been elected and to whom is it responsible.
–Aleksander Solzhenitsyn, Harvard University Commencement, 1978

But there’s nothing better than being “top-ranked” when you’re also considered “gay-friendly” by the press, is there? Disney boycott, anyone? Fat chance.


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Seeking Truth: Anything but Easy & It’s Not Looking for You

One lesson I’ve learned from my past fifteen years scouring the internet is that the “TRUTH” doesn’t seek you out and simply show up in your email in-box. I’ve had people get totally pissed at me because I burst a bubble or two of theirs found bobbing upon the cybersea with the other flotsam. And it’s also why I don’t pay much heed to most of the undocumented stuff that washes in over my internet transom – unless I can independently verify it from sources more substantive than relatively obscure web sites or the mainstream media.

After having gone through this process on a multitude of occasions, I’m convinced that most of the emails floating around the internet that seem conservative and are also erroneous, if not flat out false, are the work of progressives/leftists or even RINOs, and are designed to confuse readers, i.e., you and me, by telling us what we wish to hear or believe. Deception and misdirection have always been the hallmark of Communists, fascists and all tyrannical forms of politics. Consider this excerpt from a recent posting by Michael Ledeen:

The Desert of Mirrors: Who’s Really Who in the Middle East? SourceLink
Posted By Michael Ledeen
On February 2, 2014 @ 10:401


I don’t know the answer (although I think that the keys to unlocking the mystery are probably in the Iranian and/or Russian archives), but it reminds me of one of the greatest of all grand deceptions, the Soviet-created “Trust” just after the Revolution. That was organized by the Soviet intelligence service, which created a phony opposition movement whose “leaders” contacted Western governments with offers to topple the Bolshevik regime. The “Trust” leaders provided the Western strategists with secret documents, and even assassinated Soviet officials in order to establish the bona fides of the Trust. The West bought the deception, and funded the Trust, giving the Soviets money, knowledge of Western plans, and the ability to manipulate Western anti-Soviet operations. The Trust’s most celebrated victim was the British official “Reilly Ace of Spies,” who was lured to a meeting, arrested, tortured, and executed.

So, that’s how it’s done. And the Communists/Marxists/leftists/progressives, as well as fascists and other forms of tyranny, including Islamists, have been at it ever since the dawn of politics. So, why not American political movements? Left or right? And why not on the Internet?

When a person or organization in the public eye gets too close to spotlighting the truth, you can be certain the establishment will strike back. Consider what was done to Sarah Palin and what is being done to the Tea Party by both leftists and the likes of Fearless Talking Head Karl Rove. Below the radar of public scrutiny there seems to lay an army of anonymous writers pumping out deceptive, misleading and self-replicating infobots sent out en mass to confuse the ranks of conservatives and others holding traditional American values.

Yes, the truth will make you free. But getting at it is only one problem. Not swallowing artificial bait is another.


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Gulag America Update

There are a 300 million stories in Gulag America, from Reason here are four of them:

Peretz Partensky, 80-Year-Old Eugene Mallory, 13-year-old Andy Lopez and 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston

* * *

Another Grim Reminder Why It Is Always Dangerous to Call the Cops
Brian Doherty
Feb. 14, 2014 8:56 pm

It’s a crummy lesson, alas crummy police officers keep teaching it. Circulating around social networks this week–the first person account was written by a friend of a friend of mine–is this grim (and long) tale from

It’s about how when Peretz Partensky called 911 when he stumbled across an injured biker on a San Francisco street, it led to him being shoved, tackled, kneed in the temple, having an existing elbow injury exacerbated, cuffed face down on the street, his hands stomped on, arrested, told he “was going to be a problem,” denied medical attention, stripped and shoved into solitary confinement, then let out the next day. When he went to court he had his charges summarily dismissed.

cont’d. . .

* * *

Police Shoot, Kill 80-Year-Old Man In His Own Bed,
Don’t Find the Drugs They Were Looking For
Zach Weissmueller
February 13, 2014

In the early morning hours of June 27, 2013, a team of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies pulled up to the home of Eugene Mallory, an 80-year-old retired engineer living in the rural outskirts of Los Angeles county with his wife Tonya Pate and stepson Adrian Lamos.

cont’d. . .

* * *

California Pols Blame BB Guns, Not Militarized Cops
Steven Greenhut
Feb. 14, 2014 12:00 pm

SACRAMENTO — One of last year’s heartbreaking stories involved 13-year-old Andy Lopez, who was shot to death by a Sonoma County deputy sheriff in October after the deputy spotted him carrying a realistic-looking pellet gun. Deputy Erick Gelhaus said he called on Lopez to drop the gun, and shot him seven times as the boy turned toward the officer with the barrel of the gun rising.

The shooting continues to spark discussions about the proper use of force by police officers — especially after Lopez’s parents filed a lawsuit alleging that county officials “were long aware of the propensity of defendant Gelhaus to recklessly draw his firearm and to use excessive force.”

cont’d. . .

* * *

And the ever popular classic. . .

Kathryn Johnston: A Year Later
92-year-old woman’s death has done little to curb
the use of paramilitary police tactics around the country.
Radley Balko
November 23, 2007

It was one year ago this week that narcotics officers in Atlanta, Georgia broke into the home of 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston.

They had earlier arrested a man with a long rap sheet on drug charges. That man told the police officers that they’d find a large stash of cocaine in Johnston’s home. When police forced their way into Johnston’s home, she met them holding a rusty old revolver, fearing she was about to be robbed. The police opened fire, and killed her.

Shortly after the shooting, the police alleged that they had paid an informant to buy drugs from Ms. Johnston’s home. They said she fired at them first, and wounded two officers. And they alleged they found marijuana in her home.

We now know that these were all lies. In fact, everything about the Kathryn Johnston murder was corrupt. The initial arrest of the ex-con came via trumped-up charges. The police then invented an informant for the search warrant, and lied about overseeing a drug buy from Johnston’s home.

cont’d. . .

* * *


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