Tuesday, March 19, 2013

I Need Police Protection

I bother some people. A lot. I know this from reading the comments about me that appear everywhere these columns are read. It has been made clear to me more than once that some people with wealth and power in this town don’t like that I publish my opinions every week. There are people who would very much like me to dissociate my writings from Illinois College, where I work.

People with less personal connection with me have much harsher ideas in mind. They say I shouldn’t be a teacher, that I shouldn’t be allowed to write for a newspaper, that I am an evil person. They want to shut me up entirely.

What if they were in charge? What if our political system, at any level, were dominated by the people who want to get rid of me? That’s not such a far-fetched possibility.

When a police car drives by my house now, I have nothing more to fear than my neighbors do. That is a privilege enjoyed by few people on this earth. We Americans talk a lot about our rights. It is easy to forget that our ability to express our opinions without worry that the cops will show up at our door tomorrow is rare in the world, and has often been violated here at home. We must always be vigilant in protection of our sweet liberty.

That’s why I pay close attention to what political leaders do and say, especially those who most loudly disagree with me. Here is what I see.

Proponents of gun ownership in communities across the nation have proposed that every household in their towns be required to own a gun. Such an ordinance was passed unanimously by the city council in rural Nelson, GA: “every head of household residing in the city limits is required to maintain a firearm, together with ammunition therefore”. Kennesaw, GA, has had such a municipal ordinance since 1982. Towns in Idaho and Utah are also considering such laws. The city council in Byron, ME, passed a mandatory gun ownership law. That caused outrage among the town’s citizens, nearly half of whom packed a town meeting to nearly unanimously reject that idea.

Laws about “concealed carry” sometimes restrict the rights of private entities to control what happens on their property. Concealed carry laws have been proposed in Iowa and Ohio which would prevent private educational institutions from banning guns on their campuses. Some participants in the current discussion in Illinois about concealed carry wish to forbid private entities from banning guns on their property. What if those people were in charge?

What if the police showed up in my classroom, because I refused to teach while some students were carrying guns? What if they were required to enforce a law that mandated that my household possess a gun? Suppose they heard from reliable sources that I did not own a gun. Would they have the right to search my home?

The makers of these laws always say that they will allow exceptions. The Kennesaw GA law reads: “Exempt from the effect of this section are those heads of households who suffer a physical or mental disability which would prohibit them from using such a firearm. . . . who are paupers or who conscientiously oppose maintaining firearms as a result of beliefs or religious doctrine, or persons convicted of a felony.”

What if I said publically that I refuse to own a gun? Would they test me for mental disability? If I wanted to plead poverty, would I have to show them my tax forms? Who would decide whether my beliefs are conscientious or what religion I have?

I don’t think these things will happen where I live. But there are politicians I worry about. Hispanic citizens of East Haven, CT, have been subjected to police terror for years. In January 2012, the FBI arrested four police officers, including the president of the local police union, on charges that they “assaulted individuals while they were handcuffed, unlawfully searched Latino businesses, and harassed and intimidated individuals”.

In parts of the US, doctors and nurses cannot safely practice medicine, if that involves the legal procedure called abortion. The kind of social practices that used to be called riots when they were protesting discrimination or the Vietnam War are now commonplace around abortion clinics in some states. Dr. George Tiller’s clinic was the scene of many instances of violence before he was murdered in 2009. He had been described by Bill O’Reilly on national television as “Dr. Killer” and “Tiller the baby killer”, and he was pursued by a prosecutor in the Kansas Attorney General’s office.

What if those people were in charge?

Extreme conservatives talk a lot about liberty. But their definition of liberty doesn’t always include my liberty. I want my police force to protect me from all kinds of threat, including those of the far right.

Steve Hochstadt
Jacksonville IL
Published in the Jacksonville Journal-Courier, March 19, 2013


  1. The FBI’s shameful recruitment of Nazi war criminals
    By Richard Rashke
    March 6, 2013

    This essay is adapted from Useful Enemies: John Demjanjuk and America’s
    Open-Door Policy for Nazi War Criminals, which was recently published by
    Delphinium Books.

    A trove of recently declassified documents leads to several inescapable
    conclusions about the FBI’s role in protecting both proven and alleged
    Nazi war criminals in America. First, there can be no doubt that J. Edgar
    Hoover collected Nazis and Nazi collaborators like pennies from heaven.
    Unlike the military and its highly structured Operation Paperclip — with
    its specific targets, systematic falsification of visa applications, and
    creation of bogus biographies — Hoover had no organized program to find,
    vet, and recruit alleged Nazis and Nazi collaborators as confidential
    sources, informants, and unofficial spies in émigré communities around
    the country. America’s No. 1 crime buster was guided only by opportunism
    and moral indifference.

  2. see link for full story

    February 22, 2013
    FBI agents caught sexting and dating drug dealers
    Dating drug dealers, harassing ex-boyfriends with naked pictures, and pointing guns at pet dogs: these were just a few of the offences committed recently by serving FBI agents, according to internal documents.
    The US provided officers from the Egyptian secret police with training at the FBI, despite allegations that they routinely tortured detainees and suppressed political opposition.

    By Raf Sanchez, Washington

    Disciplinary files from the Bureau's Office of Professional Responsibility record an extraordinary range of transgressions that reveal the chaotic personal lives of some of America's top law enforcers.

    One male agent was sacked after police were called to his mistress's house following reports of domestic incident. When officers arrived they found the agent "drunk and uncooperative" and eventually had to physically subdue him and wrestle away his loaded gun.

    A woman e-mailed a "nude photograph of herself to her ex-boyfriend's wife" and then continued to harass the couple despite two warnings from senior officials. The Bureau concluded she was suffering from depression related to the break-up and allowed her to return to work after 10 days.

  3. Court Decision: U.S. “Government Agencies” Found Guilty in Martin Luther King’s Assassination
    Circuit Court of Shelby County, Tennessee Thirtieth Judicial District at Memphis, December 1999
    By Carl Herman
    Global Research, January 22, 2013
    Washington's Blog 21 January 2013
    Region: USA
    Theme: Law and Justice
    288 39


    Coretta Scott King: “We have done what we can to reveal the truth, and we now urge you as members of the media, and we call upon elected officials, and other persons of influence to do what they can to share the revelation of this case to the widest possible audience.” – King Family Press Conference, Dec. 9, 1999.

    From the King Center on the family’s civil trial that found the US government guilty in Martin’s assassination:

    After four weeks of testimony and over 70 witnesses in a civil trial in Memphis, Tennessee, twelve jurors reached a unanimous verdict on December 8, 1999 after about an hour of deliberations that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated as a result of a conspiracy. In a press statement held the following day in Atlanta, Mrs. Coretta Scott King welcomed the verdict, saying ,

    “There is abundant evidence of a major high level conspiracy in the assassination of my husband, Martin Luther King, Jr. And the civil court’s unanimous verdict has validated our belief. I wholeheartedly applaud the verdict of the jury and I feel that justice has been well served in their deliberations. This verdict is not only a great victory for my family, but also a great victory for America. It is a great victory for truth itself. It is important to know that this was a SWIFT verdict, delivered after about an hour of jury deliberation.

    The jury was clearly convinced by the extensive evidence that was presented during the trial that, in addition to Mr. Jowers, the conspiracy of the Mafia, local, state and federal government agencies, were deeply involved in the assassination of my husband. The jury also affirmed overwhelming evidence that identified someone else, not James Earl Ray, as the shooter, and that Mr. Ray was set up to take the blame. I want to make it clear that my family has no interest in retribution. Instead, our sole concern has been that the full truth of the assassination has been revealed and adjudicated in a court of law… My husband once said, “The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” To-day, almost 32 years after my husband and the father of my four children was assassinated, I feel that the jury’s verdict clearly affirms this principle. With this faith, we can begin the 21st century and the new millennium with a new spirit of hope and healing.”


    View Full Trial Transcript>

    View Transcript of King Family Press Conference on the Verdict

  4. FBI Agent Accused Of Masturbating In Public
    May 25, 2007
    FBI Agent Accused Of Masturbating In Public

    Posted by, Marissa Pasquet KOLD News 13 News Editor

    FBI Special Agent Ryan Seese, 34, is facing sex offense charges after a cleaning woman said she found him masturbating in a women's lavatory on campus, according to a University of Arizona police spokesman.

  5. The History Channel made a 9 part series about the Assassination of President Kennedy.
    The last show in the series was called THE GUILTY MEN.
    It details the evidence for President Kennedy being assassinated by the FBI.
    After becoming the most popular show in the series the History Channel pulled it off the air and refuse to sell it.
    Google the guilty men jfk youtube
    and watch the 45 minute version or click here to watch it