• Four members of the Supreme Court disrespect Constitution they are sworn to uphold.

    Trying to be objective as I can, I am attempting to wrap my mind around the Supreme Court rulings today regarding Hobby Lobby and public unions. I’m not addressing the actual substance of the rulings with which, you will not be surprised to hear, I agree. The difficulty I’m having is in how four United States Supreme Court justices could rule in a way, that, had they gotten their ways, would have clearly abridged the freedom of religion.

    A person, on the political far left, may not care that it is a violation, but that doesn’t negate the fact an opposite ruling would have infringed on a fundamental right. I understand that some issues may be intensely political, and each side having its sincerely held beliefs. Still, how can learned SCOTUS justices argue that the owner(s) of closely held companies freedom of religion does not extend to a business they own? This is not a matter of having chosen a place to work as an employee; this is someone who created a private business entity. What other convictions and virtues should be left outside as a business owner walks into the company he or she has built?

    The fundamental rights issue extends to the other decision today, which essentially ruled that a public union cannot exact involuntary union dues from family caretakers of their own physically/mentally challenged relatives. The fact that four Supreme Court justices thought it was perfectly fine for a public union to steal money from a mom taking care of her own child boggles the mind.

    The fact that these four justices apparently also believe that public unions may collect union dues from any non-union member is abhorrent in a free country. Many believe that the very existence of public unions, in and of themselves, is corrupt. Even FDR, a saint in the pantheon of progressivism, felt public unions were anathema to the U.S. economic system.

    Another fundamental and no less mind-boggling element of this discussion is how Supreme Court justices can swear oaths to uphold the U.S. Constitution when they clearly and repeatedly demonstrate that they do not respect the Constitution as it exists and have no intention of upholding it. Rather than upholding, or even simply interpreting the U.S. Constitution, they act to alter it toward their personal political beliefs.

    Perhaps they cross their fingers behind their backs while swearing their oaths, all the while thinking, … uphold the Constitution (as I believe it should exist) against all enemies…

  • Seattle media continues to fail to put fraudulent DOJ consent decree against Seattle police in context.

    Although I have no illusions that anything will come of this, I’ll cry out from the wilderness once again, if for nothing else, that some call for context and fairness in Seattle media exist in some form exist on the record. I’m talking about yet another report from a local news media regarding the fraudulent DOJ consent decree foisted upon Seattle’s police department.

    To briefly review. The DOJ came to Seattle to find use-of-force and bias misconduct on the part of Seattle’s police officers, and what do you know, they found it. In fact, they found a lot of it—enough to implement a consent decree. After an investigation where the DOJ—to this day—refuses to release its methodology, they asserted that, they found the SPD violated suspect’s constitutional rights a statistically absurd twenty percent of the time.

    Seattle University criminal justice professor, Matthew J. Hickman, a former DOJ statistician, conducted his own research based upon much more data than the DOJ used. Hickman found the DOJ findings to be in such error that he advised Seattle to call the DOJ’s bluff and demand an apology. The implementation of the consent decree was based upon the above-descried corrupt findings.

    Now, let’s get to the point at hand. This morning, I was listening to the John Carlson Show on KVI Radio. During an ABC news broadcast announcing the swearing in of Seattle’s new police chief, Kathleen O’Keefe, the reporter referred to the chief facing the challenge of heading a police department under a DOJ consent decree for, excessive force and bias policing issues.

    Once again, the public is left with the impression that the consent decree was arrived at through a process of integrity when it was anything but. No caveat or context was provided to indicate the extreme bias with which the DOJ instituted the consent decree against the men and women of the Seattle Police Department.

  • Seattle Police Officer’s File Suit, receive disrespect from all parties involved. Even from their own guild.

    Sometimes when controversies arise circumstances pit good people on one side of an issue against good people on the other. Such is current situation involving Seattle police officers, some of whom have banded together to sue the Department of Justice and city entities over the new, and severely flawed, police use of force policy. But, what happens when good people decide to do bad things to those other good people?

    Regarding the federal lawsuit recently filed by over 125 Seattle police officers, a few facts must be understood. Many people wonder why so much of the support for the suit came from the North Precinct compared with the other precincts. One simple reason is that the lawsuit organizers began informing officers, logically, where they are currently assigned: the North Precinct. It is logical to assume that the suit would have attracted similar support from the other precincts.

    Next, the organizers attempted to expand awareness by informing officers from other precincts about the lawsuit. However, SPD commanders and the Guild worked to prevent the information about the lawsuit from getting out to police officers. The SPD is not the largest police force in America, but with five precincts and three watches for some 1300 sworn officers, information does not automatically broadcast across the department. This is true especially when city and guild leaders make a concerted effort to prevent that information from being disseminated.

    Regardless of whether one supports or opposes legal action to address the dangerous new use of force policy, those who are supporting the lawsuit have nothing more than officer safety as a primary motivator. Admittedly, many officers do harbor resentment for the DOJ and for good reasons, after all, who would feel kindly toward someone who slandered his or her professional conduct? However, officer and public safety are the preeminent motivations.

    The embarrassing thing about the guild’s (as directed by its president) behavior is in its apparent lack of trust in its membership to have all of the information about issues that affect them in order to make intelligent and responsible decisions. Unfortunately, the guild, instead of intelligent and responsible decisions, may be more interested in making political decisions.

    Here is a firsthand example of an organized effort to prevent officers from learning about the lawsuit: Prior to my recent retirement, I wrote a farewell article for The Guardian. In the original article, as submitted, I’d written, “I urge everyone to support the efforts to fight the DOJ injustice by supporting the civil rights lawsuit. Any officer who takes the time to read the complaint will easily see the necessity, logic and even life-saving aspects of this courageous effort. Please sign the petition in support of this legitimate grievance on behalf of all of Seattle’s cops. It’s too bad our commanders aren’t publicly championing this for us. A damned shame, actually.” This passage was censored before publication and the article appeared without it. The Guardian is mailed out to every member of the police guild.

    The reason this censorship is more significant than it might seem is, Police Guild President Ron Smith, a very good man, which makes this all the more astonishing, after having censored this call for officer support in the union newspaper, spoke publicly about a “lack of support” for the lawsuit.

    After telling KIRO TV that the officers are, “wasting their time,” Smith said, “most officers refused (emphasis mine) to sign the suit. ‘The Seattle Police Officers Guild is made up of about 1,250 members. One hundred and twenty six, that’s less than 10 percent, took this action. That’s 90% who didn’t.”

    I don’t think any further embellishment is necessary to emphasize the disingenuousness of this statement meant to disparage fellow officers, all of whom, a guild president is elected and sworn to represent. Smith could have addressed the opposition without using such a smarmy political technique.The sad truth is, the lack of support was the result of some officers simply not knowing about the suit and other officers feeling intimidated into not signing it.

    After actively preventing officers from even knowing about the lawsuit, to imply that ignorance of the lawsuit is akin to refusing to sign it, is blatantly dishonest and shows disrespect for what is supposed to be an open and transparent process, which should allow intelligent police officers to make up their own minds on issues that affect their safety.

    When good people are in disagreement on an issue, it is imperative that respect for both sides be maintained and that each gives the other the benefit of the doubt. However, in no case should a police guild ever hold their members in such contempt.