Saturday, December 21, 2013

War On Drugs Simply Turns From Militaristic To Bureaucratic

Well, superficially, anyway...

The Therapeutic Use of Cannabis Advisory Council, established by the NH state legislature this very year via HB573, and signed into law by the governor on 7/23/2013, herewith holds its latest Regular Meeting in the Legislative Office Building, Concord, NH, 12/19/2013. (See the April Senate hearing here.)

Do please note that the ostensible "public member" is not only a government employee, not only a cop, but a police chief. If you've been following this blog, or the issue of NH prohibition in general, you should be painfully aware that law enforcement has a very definite -- and self-serving -- position on rolling back the "War on People Who Use (Some) Drugs"™, even for those in pain. Even for those dying. They're against it. Unequivocally. Suck it up, employer.

In your humble chronicler's opinion, Chief Shagoury (nor any other enforcer) has no business whatsoever claiming to represent "the public" in this matter. He is no less a representative of servant government than is the HHS representative, or those from the State Board of Medicine or the Dept of Safety or the Dept of "Justice" (who, jbtw, is still feverishly searching, as of this writing, for a means to justify the summary execution at a donut shop of an alleged low-level drug dealer in a 'Keystone Kops drug-sting gone horribly wrong' by Weare PD way back in the middle of August). Indeed, he and his kind quite arguably suffer from an even more distinct, documented and transparent conflict of interest than any other member of this council. 'Gosh, we hadn't noticed...'

This is (still) a stacked deck, dear taxpayer. Long live the unconstitutional, ineffective, and profoundly expensive in both blood and treasure (to say nothing of liberties) drug war. Long live the rogue government...

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Meet the New Boss...

(This is a whole hell of a lot of inglorious history to attempt to archive. If you find that a link of interest has gone missing, then copy the url, search for it here, and please do your humble chronicler a big favor and let him know what you find. TIA...)

So. What's been happening in Weare lately. Oh yeah...




Who could make this shit up? Or there's the Select Board's stumping efforts to regain control of the police chief selection process (since they'd been so good at it previously), and the subsequent conveniently rapid retirement of Begin so they could just get on with it. First order of business? Gunning a man down at a donut shop, a casualty of the rights- and resources-annihilating drug war. In August -- how's that investigation coming, anyway? And notably, there's the last election for chief, with the curious shenanigans involving opponents Massaro and Bolduc, which has completely disappeared down the memory hole -- but I have digital copies of some articles if'n yer interested. Titles like...
  • Controversial N.H. Chief Wins Re-Election (3/2011)
  • Weare Chief wins third term (3/2011)
(The short-ish version: Begin won only a plurality against a current and a retired state cop when, less than a week before the election, the current state cop informed the front-running retired state cop that he'd lose his pension if he accepted the gig. He dropped out, but the electorate couldn't be apprised in time to transfer sufficient of his support to the current state cop.)
I challenge another community to produce a list (nominally proportional to population, let's be fair) even remotely as relentlessly ignominious -- if you can do it, you have my utmost sympathy. All of which resulted (mercifully, eventually, [yet still somehow surprisingly] predictably) in...

2013 (continued)

"... Even the unit’s longtime motto, 'Maintaining Unity in the Community,' was overhauled. It now reads: 'Preserving the Peace.'
'That’s what our community wants us to do,' Velleca said. 'They want us to understand, "Look, it’s peaceful here. Try and keep it that way. Don’t disrupt it. We’ll call you when we need you, and when we need you, please be professional and intelligent and know your job. But until then, let us be."' ..."

Leaving us (ok, not so much as of only 10/2014 anymore, a mere year later) with John Velleca, late of the New Haven, CT, pd's drug war, introduced and taking the oath of office as the new police chief in Weare, NH, 10/26/2013...

It's been suggested that we really should give them -- the Select Board and their new enforcer -- yet another chance. When, exactly, do they run out of automatic 2nd chances? What does it take to finally suspend credulity, stop granting passes, and expect obliterated trust to be withheld until actively earned?

Put another way, Velleca is the board's excited choice. Why should we naturally presume that the individual the BoS hired to run their department will install any different priorities than those the board, itself, oversaw subsequent to (the elected, most recently by only a plurality, and under rather questionable political circumstances, to boot) Begin's convenient departure, and quickly resulting in the violent 'Keystone Kops' department sacrificing a man's life and crashing 2 cars to the profoundly immoral "War on People Who Use (Some) Drugs"™ (and there's a rumor supplied by a credible source that the board may have already voted for the taxpayers to cover the criminal defense of the 2 cops involved, if and when necessary [and finally, here's the first, um, 'smoking gun' -- and it's all 5, not just 2]? For all his faults as a public servant and ostensible "peace officer," at least Begin's department hadn't gone that far. But the department the board now again oversees already has. And now they've installed a professional drug warrior. So yeah, I have my doubts.

And if Velleca (not to mention the board that's sat idly by while the above cataloged inglorious history and more has transpired unrestrained) doesn't fully expect (and understand that the situation richly deserves) a "difficult" reception, he's not much of an investigator.

I don't want enforcers. I want peace officers. If peace exists, leave it the hell alone. Don't 'destroy the peace in order to save it.' If it ain't broke, don't break it. No victim, no crime. Keep the peace, protect my rights. That's it. That's the priority. Otherwise, be invisible. And jbtw? "Touched the white line" isn't an example of a peace-breaching infraction -- yet that issue (among too many others) is demonstrably an unhealthy fixation of this department. Leave peaceful people alone. Find something productive and helpful to do. If you can't, then perhaps the taxpayers are being forced to fund too large a payroll -- to say nothing of reparations for its "indiscretions".

What does it take to impress this upon my employees? 'Andy Taylor' doesn't have to be dead if the employers, the taxpayers, relentlessly insist that he's not. That he will not be. Sadly, for quite some time, the greatest single threat to the public peace in Weare has been its own police department. Maybe it's just me, but I'm gonna need some actual convincing now, not just vague (and arguably still meaningless at best) platitudes and assurances. The department's liability insurers just may at this point, as well...

Next Chapter ('cuz it's gotta go somewhere, so...)




"... In 2014, the town of Weare, New Hampshire, paid $57,500 to settle a federal civil rights lawsuit brought by a woman who said police were wrong to charge her for videotaping a traffic stop. ..."
And $35,000,and $6,000, let's not forget. And as with this new case, those settlements were all paid by the taxpayers, too. You can be forgiven for thinking that, following 'Glik', too, the abomination of "qualified immunity" -- on at least this issue, anyway -- was well and truly dead. Evidently government and its 'enforcer class' and its pet courts prefer not to see it that way, so piss off, citizen. And pay up. What will the next excuse be? "Look what he was wearing...!"?

What will it take before the cops, rather than the taxpayers,  are held responsible for the cost -- which, apparently, is doing nothing but going up -- of their lawlessness? What do the taxpayers need to do? Well, I guess "care" would be an important first step...





Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Concord Gets a BEARCAT!

The Concord (NH) City Council reconvenes to pull the Concord PD's federal grant application for a 'BEARCAT' Attack Truck off the table and -- ignoring raucous public outcry rooted in concern for both fiscal conservatism and civil liberties, and including 2 rallies and 1500 petition signatures -- give it an imperviously armored escort to approval, 9/9/2013.

They needed a two-thirds majority vote, and wouldn't ya know, they made it with one vote to spare. Elections are coming, Concord citizens (oh, and the filing period is open until 9/16, if you're of a particularly singular mind)...

Learn more about Concord area law enforcement's giddy anticipation of their 'Ballistic Engineered Armored Response Counter Attack Truck', with lots of previous media coverage, here.


Monday, August 26, 2013

If You Don't Tell Your Employees To Stop, Who Will? press conference opposing just the next Concord, NH, 'BEARCAT' Attack Truck, 8/26/2013. If you're a Concord resident, go sign the petition, then come back and watch the video. Go ahead. We'll wait...

Learn more about Concord area law enforcement's giddy anticipation of their 'Ballistic Engineered Armored Response Counter Attack Truck' here.


Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Front Line Against Police Militarization

That's the people, btw. You, in point of fact, dear reader. By special request, some highlighted testimony from the City Council public hearing regarding the acquisition of a ManBearPig-- er, I mean BearCat, AKA, "Ballistic Engineered Armored Response Counter Attack Truck," the "Homeland Security" grant-subsidized (so, your money, regardless) armored attack truck (the manufacturer's description, although the cops prefer the rather more innocuous "rescue vehicle," which isn't exactly prominent in the militarizing marketing materials for some reason) by local law enforcement's Special Operations Unit, in Concord, NH, 8/12/2013. Sign the petition at No More BEARCATS. See the full hearing and links to lots of previous media here.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Why Would 5 Dozen People Help One Family Move?

Mary and Jason "Mr. Free State Project" Sorens -- who additionally explains their motivations here -- arrive in NH to stay. Some friends stop by to welcome them.

Music courtesy of Kevin MacLeod.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Police State Too Much? Send in a Marine!

During testimony at the Concord City Council public hearing regarding the acquisition of a ManBearPig-- er, I mean BearCat, the "Homeland Security" grant-subsidized (so, your money, regardless) armored attack truck (the manufacturer's description, although the cops prefer "rescue vehicle," which isn't exactly prominent in the marketing materials for some reason) by local law enforcement's Special Operations Unit, in Concord, NH, 8/12/2013, there was this little gem from retired Marine Colonel Pete Martino.


"Peter Martino is a citizen of the State of New Hampshire. Mr. Martino is a Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve who has been mobilized three times. During his military career, he commanded an infantry platoon, company, and battalion. He was also the senior U.S. adviser to an Iraqi Army brigade. Mr. Martino has had a successful civilian career providing training, consulting, and program management services to private companies and to state and federal agency contractors. Mr. Martino presently holds a top secret security clearance."