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A strange thing happened on my way to reading the coverage about this tragedy. I came across the Mother Jones coverage of the 911 logs and in looking at the night of the killing of Trayvon Martin there appears to be a "Nixon" problem - something is missing. First listen to the unedited version of the 911 call:

In the logs obtained by Mother Jones there also appears to be a second call that was placed to the Sanford PD - about 10 minutes after the first 4:14 second call by Zimmerman. Zimmerman's family claims he was reaching for his phone when confronting Martin, the call only lasted about 20 seconds - BUT is stamped at 7:20. The first call was at 7:11 and Martin's phone records indicate he was on the phone with his girlfriend who heard a "scuffle" until 7:16 when the phone went dead. Zimmerman hung up at 7:15. That is approximately
240 seconds of time for Zimmerman to "do what he did" as his father put it.

The 911 call timing logs from the other callers/witnesses are going to be absolutely essential to this case.

Also, in the previous 2 calls to 911 made by Zimmerman on 1/29 and 2/2 the officer that responded was - I'm shocked here - Officer Timothy Smith. The very same officer that was first on the scene when Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin and the one who conveniently wrote there was grass on his jacket and he was "bleeding from his head and his nose". A very strategic omission of any detail whatsoever as to the extent or location of such ostensible bleeding.
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Sat Mar 31, 2012 at 03:42 PM PDT

Oh Sinnerman-Zimmerman

by RvgAqs

Nina had it right. Where you going to run to? Oh Sinnerman.

Or Zimmerman.

I don't believe for a second that George Zimmerman went out seeking to shoot down Trayvon Martin in cold blood, just got out of his car in a rage hunted him down, saw him and blew him away. That would be murder. There are those in our country who keep calling him a murderer. This does not advance the calls for justice for Trayvon Martin, it in fact diminishes them by making them look as irrational as the immoral professional excusers for Zimmerman on the right.

I DO believe that this man with a demonstrable history of anger management "issues" created the situation in which Trayvon Martin's death occurred. He did that. Not Martin.

I am more interested in what has not been determined than what has. And there are a great deal of problems for Mr. Zimmerman and those who would defend him on that score.

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Thu Nov 24, 2011 at 10:00 AM PST


by RvgAqs

On this day of Thanksgiving, it may seem paradoxical - even in bad taste perhaps - to talk about the state of our nation. But in doing so, i find a fundamental optimism in our capacity for human kindness and compassion.

There is a great deal of bloodlust in the collective waters of our national consciousness during these contentious days in our fractured country.

There are those who look at U.C. Davis students sitting in a row across a sidewalk being blasted from point blank range with a chemical weapon and quite understandably recoil in horror. Others look at the exact same picture and immediately seek to dismiss the pain received by those kids by tilting towards a more punitive stance of moral relativism: they somehow "deserved it" because they were not compliant with an order to move by a uniformed police officer. Nevermind the obviation of the First Amendment that this response implies. Yet when those virtually identical images are seen in foreign lands, they are often the first to cry out at the injustice and brutality of such behavior.

The first group seeks, somewhat paradoxically, that an immediate (and some have even argued for violent) dispensation of "justice" be meted out upon the police and their superiors in a chain of command. The second group seeks a response from a more doctrinaire "law and order" worldview, looking at the totality of the circumstance by recognizing that the police were following their orders.

Which is "right"? / Which is "wrong"?

In seeking that answer for ourselves lies the conundrum within all of us as to how we view the civic square of our country today.

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Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 04:49 PM PST

Occupy or Trespass?

by RvgAqs

When the contentious occupation of 19th and Telegraph was ended peaceably and the last tents cleared out of Snow Park the next place where the Occupy Oakland encampment was set up was - ostensibly with the owners permission - a vacant lot in the heart of West Oakland next to a house owned by the same owner that is days away from foreclosure by Wells Fargo Bank. All to the good, a logical heroic and smart direction in evolution for the Occupy Oakland movement to go.

Except it apparently isn't true.

The owner has been asking since around Noon today for the Occupiers to please leave her property. The response? Twitter appeals for more people to come, kitchens being constructed and tents being brought in.

This will be a feeding frenzy for the Occupy haters out there. Imagine it. A distressed property owner in danger of foreclosure asking for people to leave her property and the camp refusing to do so. The bank does not own the property until December 11th, it is still her property.

I don't know what else to call this but trespassing. And stupid trespassing at that.

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Their next full meeting will be on 11/17. They only meet once per month.

The meeting will be held in City Hall at 6:15 PM, Hearing Room 1 on the first floor.

You can read their agenda here:

I suggest that members of this community write to the Board constructively with their own personal history if you were actually there in Oakland on 10/25 as a way to augment their research into the events. Offer to testify if you feel so inclined, or to have sworn affidavits sent if requested, or to share any photos and video you personally have taken. It is very important that we attend these meetings as many people as possible to keep the visible presence on the Board. They only meet monthly so this first meeting is critical.

It is equally viable to write to them and express respectfully your desired outcome of their investigations if you weren't there. Blanket assertions about what assholes the cops are will not help the process whatsoever and in fact may make us look less credible.

If our public interactions with the staff and the Board of the OPRB are as reasoned and non violent in their rhetoric as most of us have been on the streets, it will reflect better on us as the investigations and determinations of fact move forward.

I have conducted a review of 5 years of minutes of the CPRB, and in almost every single complaint brought to them the complainant was denied and the complaint was administratively closed.

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Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 10:16 PM PST


by RvgAqs

This tide



Voters rejection of the so called "personhood amendment" in Mississippi was the first glimmer of this, the outright thumpery of Governor John Kasich in Ohio and his utterly reprehensible SB 5 was the second.

But perhaps the best indicator of this of all is the recall of the eminently odious Senator Pearce in Arizona.

Citizens of our country have shown yet again that despite the ever flawed "conventional wisdom" we are not, in fact, a "center right country" after all.

The results from tonight's elections show in the clearest possible terms a refudiaton (used purposefully natch) of the alleged "tide" of ersatz Conservatism that has been theoretically sweeping our country. It says more than anything that people are fed up with the politics of:

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The Oakland Citizens Police Review Board has received official complaints by citizens regarding the events of October 25th and has now opened a formal investigation into what happened. It is very important for us to remain engaged and following this review closely.

The last meeting of the OCPRB was on November 5th, and they were slated to do the following:

9:50 AM   CPRB Missions discussion and Commitment to CPRB
10:10 AM CPRB Group Team Building Exercise
10:40 AM T-Shirt Deisgn Review

I kid you not.

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I live in California, but have been following with interest and outrage the events which have transpired in Wisconsin over these last several weeks. My visceral reaction to the roller coaster that we all rode on the night of April 5th was one of tempered joy with an undercurrent of disquiet. The main reason for this was tracking the inexplicable Waukesha precinct count reporting on the AP stream and the very long delay from the county clerk office in reporting their numbers. Something just didn't look or smell right. I've been a campaign consultant for almost 20 years for candidates throughout the country and this "hop-scotchy" vote reporting did not feel right, especially given the stakes and the history of all the shenanigans in Ohio and elsewhere. Then I started to look in to the county and its elected Clerk and the bells started clanging very loud indeed. But what could she actually DO and still get away with any mischief given Wisconsin law I wondered.

I am still wondering. Perhaps counsel who read this site could help me understand.

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Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 08:30 AM PST

We are called

by RvgAqs

We have a duty. Now is the time, and there is no tomorrow. Get up. Get out. Have  a conversation, or two or three or ten. With your neighbors, with your father, with your cousin, with your friends.

The attacks on union members are not the end game, they are the just the current battle.

This is going to continue and deepen. Unless.

Unless we say enough is enough.

We can stop this, one conversation at a time.

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Mon Feb 28, 2011 at 12:46 PM PST

The Kochraken

by RvgAqs

“If I were to name the one crying evil of American life … it would be the indifference of the better people to public affairs … The indifference of the People is the opportunity of the despot. It is as true as that the whole is greater than the part, and the maxim is so old that it is trite - it is laughable. It is neglected and disused for the sake of some new ingenious and complicated theory, some wonderful scheme of reorganization, the fact remains, nevertheless, simple, fundamental, everlasting. The People have but to say 'No' and not the strongest tyranny, political, religious, or financial, that was ever organized, could survive one week."

--- Frank Norris

While we may seem powerless to intercede in the seemingly endless reach of industrial and political titans such as Koch Industries, history does in fact show us the way. Frank Norris knew this when he published "The Octopus", and Teddy Roosevelt got it when he went after that same Octopus. Our version is more of a Kraken - bigger, stronger, and more hidden.

So what do we do? We can choose to lob verbal mobs by being armchair revolutionaries
We no doubt all know someone - hell I've been that guy - who bemoans the corruption and wholesale destruction of the middle class by this or that bill or action of some less then benevolent government official and dutifully dispatches a letter to the editor, etc. and then moves on to the next windmill-tilted battle. For my part, I choose to ask my neighbors, friends, complete strangers on the BART train, the grocer, the bartender, and everyone I meet two things:

Have you heard about what is going in Wisconsin?
Do you know who is behind it?

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Yes! After decades in the wilderness and NEVER in San Francisco the Giants WIN. And what made it especially sweet was the look on former President Bush's face throughout. But this is not a diary about gloating (well not entirely - as a Giants fan living in the wilderness of A's-ville across the bay Orange can sometimes be a lonely color - but not today). There are parallels to where we are now in our "Blue" family to be sure.

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Wed Aug 18, 2010 at 06:10 AM PDT

Dear Mr. President, with respect

by RvgAqs

I implore you to take the damn gloves off.

I understand peripherally perhaps a minuscule portion of what you and your Administration must work with on a daily - indeed hourly - basis. Yet, I find myself daily mystified as to why in the face of such persistent intransigence on the part of your less than honorable counterparts -- those Republican members of the Senate and House and ostensible members of your own party (Nelson, Lincoln, et al) -- you seem to persist in praying that through some epiphany they will - against all demonstrable evidence and record - come to a bipartisan accord with any of your policy objectives. Getting to 60 means assuring enough pressure is slammed upon them to make voting against these necessary policies untenable. That simply hasn't happened with the gentlemanly conversations it appears you have been having.

With all due respect sir, you need to take the damn gloves off.

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