Former FBI Asst. Director: “Trump Family Organized Crime”

It was nice to hear Frank Figliuzzi today, former FBI Assistant Director of Counter Intelligence, state live on MSNBC that Donald Trump is and has been engaged in ‘organized crime’…He specifically referred to the Trump family as clearly an organized crime family unto itself. Again, this is a former FBI Assistant Director of Counter Intelligence.

As many of my readers know, I have been writing about Trump’s deep connections with organized crime since before Trump’s disgraceful election by Republicans and Independents, many of whom are even cops and working in law enforcement, who know of those documented mafia connections and still called him the “law enforcement candidate”.

The monumental shame and lack of basic moral principle behind such a mentality, especially reflected by arguably the vast majority in such a field of public service, is what I call a desperate “911 emergency wake up call” of its own to the rest of the American people.

And if the above wasn’t disgraceful enough, over the weekend we witnessed Donald Trump going out of his way to mock and sarcastically denigrate former George H.W. Bush’s well known call to volunteerism, when he referred to the large growing numbers of caring and loving volunteers as being comparable to ‘a thousand points of light’ across the country…

Trump proceeded to mock that statement at a Montana rally this past weekend, asking the crowd if anyone knew ‘what the hell that even means’? His disgraceful sheep-like followers hooted with cheers and applause as he further scoffed at and put down such a call for caring, integrity and goodness that was the OBVIOUS message of Bush’s ‘thousand points of light’ speech.

Trump told the crowd that his motto ‘Make America Great Again’ was what everyone understands, and again sarcastically mocked the ‘thousand points of light’ as being an example in his opinion of the opposite message that American’s don’t care about.

And such a statement by Trump reveals everything about his lack of morals…Such a statement reveals everything about his lack of even an ounce of integrity and good character. Because understand this…The fundamental foundation that makes any country “GREAT” is first and foremost the measure of the GOODNESS and BENEVOLENCE of its people!

Trump’s denigrating of Bush’s ‘thousand points of light’ context in that regard is exhibit A of his and his followers’ utter contempt for that truth. It is exhibit A of why they, including so many in law enforcement, chose to call him the ‘law enforcement candidate’, even having been made aware of his deep connections with organized crime.

Good Americans cannot allow this national shame and disgrace to be tolerated or ‘normalized’.

In addition to the above, during the same Montana rally, Trump continued to show his adoration for one of the biggest human rights abusers alive today, that being Russian President Vladimir Putin. He mentioned many Americans’ deep concerns and the media’s reporting that Putin is “KGB”…Trump again was very sarcastic in bringing such concerns up during his speech, and proceeded to say that “Putin is fine”, and added, “we’re all just people”.

As anyone knows who has not been living in a ‘partisan cave’ for the last decade, Putin is the opposite of ‘fine’ or a ‘fine person’…He is the opposite of ‘the fine people’ he has often killed and abused.

He is responsible for propping up one of this decades’ most monstrous genocidal killers, that being Syria’s President Assad, who has used chemical gas on his own people on multiple occasions, with many HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of innocent refugees murdered in his ongoing genocidal war to hold on to power. Putin has ACTIVELY SUPPORTED Assad in doing so.

In addition, Putin is responsible for countless dissidents being poisoned, murdered and jailed just for trying to speak out in the media about his rigged elections and human rights atrocities, and for trying to call for electoral reform and for others to run against him, etc. He is also responsible for the same kind of murderous acts against many reporters and journalists who did the same.

In addition, Putin the ‘fine man’ Trump refers to, is also responsible for the Russian downing of an airliner over Ukraine during his invasion of Crimea, which cost the lives of hundreds of innocent human beings. And I’m just listing but a short list of only a few of his most recent human rights atrocities…there are many, many more.

But Trump’s supporters, who he recently referred to in another recent rally speech as ‘SUPER ELITES’ to giant applause, just shamefully continue to make an active choice to IGNORE these truths, while Trump calls Putin “fine” and still repeatedly continues to question the established documented facts from not just our intelligence agencies, but confirmed by international intelligence agencies of our allies in Europe and abroad, that Putin actively interfered with our Presidential election in the interest of helping Trump get elected.

His supporters dutifully bury their heads in their “MAGA sandboxes”, actively refusing to face the obvious reality that Putin clearly has Trump in his pocket, and this is a clear and present danger – a dire threat to the security of our nation and our democracy.

Again, good Americans cannot allow this shameful behavior and lack of moral principle to be tolerated or normalized. If you have not been speaking out about this, it’s imperative you begin letting your voice be heard at every reasonable opportunity as we approach the midterm election in November 2018.

The question is not ‘will honorable Americans hold Trump accountable’…That is absolutely going to happen. The question is how quickly are we going to do it, so as to minimize the extent of damage to our democracy that he and his shameful, sheep-like followers will be allowed to inflict?

Connie Bryan

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(Connie Bryan is a writer in Sacramento, CA…Check out all of her material on her website and blog at http://www.conniebryan.com)

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Connie Bryan’s “IG Inspector Senate Hearing” SNL Style Comedy Sketch

(The following is Connie Bryan’s unofficial transcript of part of the recent U.S. Senate hearing, questioning Inspector General Michael Horowitz about his report into whether there was bias in the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton private email investigation…While it may not be exactly ‘verbatim’, it reflects the overall ‘gist’ of the proceedings in Connie’s opinion…In traditional Saturday Night Live style, picture Connie Bryan in the role of Senator Amy Klobuchar, Will Ferrell as IG Inspector Horowitz, and Alec Baldwin as the senior Senate Hearing Moderator/Chairperson)

 

Moderator: The Chair recognizes the gentle lady from Minnesota, Senator Amy Klobuchar

Sen: Thank you Chairman…Insp Horowitz, let’s get right to the heart of the matter… Are you familiar with the television show Law & Order? (Side note for the reader…Yes, Senator Klobuchar DID actually make references and comparison to the TV show “Law and Order” during her time speaking during the hearings)

Insp: Uhhh (looking around surprised) YES?… Yes Senator, I’m familiar with the TV show.

Sen: Would it be accurate to say that the first half of Law and Order is always dedicated to the criminal investigation by the FBI, and the second half of the show is always devoted to the DA’s prosecution?

Insp: Ummm, I’ll have to take your word on that Senator…but don’t ask me when they schedule their commercial breaks (ha ha ha)

Sen: What are you trying to be, a stand up comic or an IG Inspector? That wasn’t very funny…I’d advise you to keep your day job Inspector…Now, would you ever have ANY reason to question the ethics or integrity of any of the FBI agents on the cast of Law & Order?

Insp: Senator, no… but you know they are actors right?

Sen: Let it be noted on the record that the inspector indicated he recognizes the honesty and integrity of ALL of the cast members portraying the FBI on Law & Order…

Now, Inspector, Let’s say FBI agent Dean Porter, while investigating a famous money laundering, mob connected, womanizing real estate mogul with, let’s say a history of defrauding students at his fraudulent college, and of failing to pay contractors who did work for him, forcing them to sue him so that he could get them to settle for hundreds of thousands less…

And let’s say of trying to use ‘imminent domain’ to force an elderly woman to sell her property to him just for the purposes of building a ‘limousine garage’ for his New Jersey casino, not to mention a history of not wanting to rent to minorities…most specifically blacks in his housing projects…And let’s say with an admitted history of bragging about sexually assaulting women just because of his star status…

If while agent Porter was investigating this individual, let’s say he were to TEXT another agent with a comment, expressing his opinion that this individual was CLEARLY a “LOATHSOME HUMAN BEING”… How would that in any way tarnish the moral integrity of his investigation of said real estate mogul?

Insp: Senator, I’m not sure I completely follow you?

Sen: Inspector, It’s obvious what I’m saying… Wouldn’t ANY viewer with an ounce of moral fiber, who was tuning in to the show…Wouldn’t they ALREADY ALSO have determined in their mind, that said real estate mogul was, at a MINIMUM, a “LOATHSOME HUMAN BEING”? And as a matter of additional fact, wouldn’t you agree that the ONLY REASON the millions of fans of Law and Order would be watching IN THE FIRST PLACE, is because they want to see that “loathsome human being” brought to justice??

Insp: Ummm, Senator, once again…You DO understand the character on the show you keep referring to, agent Dean Porter, is NOT an actual FBI agent? He’s an character played by actor Vincent Spano.

Sen: Inspector, what does that have to do with the price of Stormy Daniels in China? And I’m asking the questions here… Would you have any reason to believe that ANY such comment by Special Agent Spano, during his investigation of such an obviously loathsome suspect, that indicated his personal opinion that he believed the suspect was in fact ‘LOATHSOME’…would such an honest comment in any way indicate an unfair, ‘BIASED’ investigation, so that the D.A. would not be able to continue with a fair prosecution during the second half of the show?

Insp: Ummm, I’d prefer not to engage in these kind of Hollywood hypotheticals Senator.

Sen: You are clearly dodging my question, Inspector…You have already indicated on the record that you recognize the integrity of the cast of Law and Order, to the extent that they represent the FBI on America’s beloved crime series…Now I’m asking you ONE MORE TIME… If you were watching said episode of Law & Order, maybe with your significant other, let’s say after a glass or two of Bordeaux…and you’re cuddling together on the couch, maybe hoping for a little ‘action’ after the episode…

CHAIRMAN: Ah, excuse me, but I will need to ask the Senator from Minnesota to please avoid such unnecessary detailed descriptives of a personal nature here today, and to move on with her question please!

Sen: Yes of course, my apologies… My point is…What was my point? Oh yes, my point was Inspector, if you were watching the aforementioned Law and Order episode, wouldn’t you yourself have likely already expressed to your significant other, words to the effect that this fraudulent, mob connected, money laundering and womanizing real estate mogul was OBVIOUSLY a ‘loathesome human being’? YES or NO?? REMEMBER sir, you are under oath.

Insp: I just…OK, I just want to make SURE that I understand the question you are asking Senator…Reading between the lines, it APPEARS you are asking me if I, and most of the millions of fans of Law and Order, think that DONALD TRUMP is obviously a ‘loathesome human being’?… And that by simply recognizing that obvious truth OUT LOUD or in a TEXT, would an FBI investigator be in any way jeopardizing his or her investigation?

Sen: GOOD GRIEF, YES! Yes of COURSE that is what I am asking you Inspector!! Would you please answer the question in the interest of my time?

Insp: Senator, like I said before, I don’t want to engage in hypotheticals here today…But I WILL say, if you were to ask me, if I walked out of my house to go to work in the morning, and there were very dark and threatening clouds in the sky, wouldn’t I bring an umbrella because it was obvious it might rain?

Sen: Yes, YES Inspector, exactly!! And your response would be??

Insp: On second thought, while I’d like to answer your question Senator, my hands are tied because that again is a hypothetical, and I’ve been asked by those who charged me with producing this IG report , NOT to engage in any hypotheticals.

Sen: And I think we can assume that those who charged you with producing this report are likely NOT honorable American fans of Law and Order, would you agree with that assessment Inspector?

Insp: Senator, I can’t vouch for whether or not Atty General Jeff Sessions is a fan of the show Law and Order. However, I DO know he has frequently asked me on occasion if I recalled various episodes of “Swamp Pawn Stars” , “Honey Boo Boo” and “The Beverly Hillbillies”.

Sen: My time is almost up Inspector Horowitz, but I do have one more line of questioning…Did you see the Law and Order episode where –

CHAIRMAN: Excuse me Senator, but I really must question your obsession with constantly referring to this FICTIONAL television series in your questions here today.

Sen: EXCUSE ME, Mr. Chairman!… But Law and Order is NOT just a ‘fictional TV series’…it is the GOLD STANDARD by which most Americans today understand the operations of the Federal Bureau of Investigations…And I would caution you about undermining the show in any way during these proceedings today, at your own political peril!

Moderator: Senator, I’m not undermining the show, but I am asking you to please, in God’s name, wrap this up!

Sen: Thank you…Now, Inspector, as I was saying, did you SEE the episode of Law and Order where agent Dean Porter was investigating a Hollywood, high profile serial sexual predator?

Insp: Uhh, yes actually I did…I don’t watch the show a lot, but my wife is a BIG Law and Order fan, and we actually watched a re-run together of that very episode last week…Ironically it WAS after a couple glasses of wine…and I WAS hoping to get a little act-

CHAIRMAN: ONCE AGAIN, I can’t believe I have to do this, but it appears I need to caution EVERYONE here today on getting into too much PERSONAL detail in your questions and answers…Please proceed with that understanding Inspector.

Insp: Sorry Mr. Chairman… So the answer is yes Senator…I did happen to catch a re-run of that episode recently with my wife.

Sen: Thank you Inspector…Now, let’s say Agent Porter had texted another agent during a coffee break, while interrogating the serial sexual predator on the episode, and let’s say the message of his text was simply an observation that the serial predator IN HIS OPINION, was a ‘loathesome human being’…

Now, In YOUR opinion as IG Inspector, would that text from Agent Porter have in any way INVALIDATED the integrity of the FBI’s case on that episode? The fact that he, along with the MILLIONS of American Law and Order fans watching, had formed such an obvious opinion of Donald (Woops, I’m sorry – Freudian slip!)…I meant of said ‘sexual predator’?

Insp: Again Senator, that is another hypothetical… However I WILL say, you might as well be asking me an obvious question like, “If I was at a Manhattan dog park, and a cocker spaniel came up and raised his leg next to me, wouldn’t I probably assume he was about to pee on me, and would I just stand there and watch?”

Sen: Yes, YES EXACTLY!!…That would be just as OBVIOUS!!…And your answer Inspector??

Insp: Darn, that’s actually another hypothetical… And as I’ve said –

Sen: Ok, well let me rephrase the question in a way that is NOT a hypothetical…

While watching said Law and Order episode, having admitted you watched it with your WIFE… And remember you are UNDER OATH Inspector…While watching said episode, did your WIFE indicate to you at any time during that episode, that said serial predator was, in her opinion, a ‘loathesome human being’?

Insp: Actually Senator, she said something even more specific than that.

Sen: And will you at least share that with us today Inspector?

Insp: Um…Well to be honest, she said the sexual predator in the episode reminded her of Donald Trump…

Sen: Ok, now we’re getting somewhere…And did your wife say anything else?

Insp: Yes…She said Trump reminded her of the corrupt ‘MONEY CHANGERS’ that Jesus used a whip to drive out of the TEMPLE…

Sen: OK, Now we’re COOKING WITH GAS!!…Did she say anything else Inspector? Remember, this is not a hypothetical question I’m asking you.

Insp: (Heavy sigh) Then she told me, JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF could have been running the Hillary Clinton email investigation… and even as the Son of God, he could have texted the obvious truth that Trump needed to be stopped, and that he was a ‘loathesome human being’, and Sessions would have called not just for his firing, but for his CRUCIFIXION!

(Sound of shock and chaos in the chamber)

CHAIRMAN: ORDER IN THE CHAMBER!! I WILL HAVE ORDER IN THE CHAMBER!! YOU’RE TIME IS UP SENATOR!

Sen: I just have one final question for the Inspector General…Did you AGREE with your wife when she said that??

Insp: What do YOU think Senator?? Like I said, we’d had a couple glasses of wine, we were cuddling on the couch, and I was too close to getting at least a reach around!!

Moderator: ALRIGHT THAT’S IT!! ORDER!! THERE WILL BE NO TALK ABOUT “REACH AROUNDS” IN THE SENATE!!

 

Connie Bryan

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(Connie Bryan is a writer and comedian in Sacramento, CA…Check out her blog, standup and all of her comedy material on her website at http://www.conniebryan.com)

“Citizen Control” Is Change Needed for Modern Policing Today

ObamaLastSpeechWhen President Obama gave the last speech of his Presidency, he chose to do so in Greece. As he praised the Greeks for being the founders of democracy 25 centuries ago, he reminded us all of something very important. He said the most important title in the world is not President, or Prime Minister…it is “Citizen”.

For some time I have been writing about the problem of the “us against them” fraternal mindset of the majority of those in law enforcement. I know of this deep-seeded unhealthy culture in policing because I experienced it first hand during my time in law enforcement as a deputy sheriff. As a nation, the overwhelming majority of us as concerned citizens are collectively witnessing that reality in our respective communities on an all too commonly frequent basis.

For but one very relevant example, I want to point to the very dishonest and commonly embraced law enforcement ‘group think’ and police mantra that celebrated Donald Trump as the “law enforcement candidate” in the last Presidential election.

Despite the mindblowing degree of lying and dishonesty we routinely see and hear from Trump…Despite the shocking connections he is known to have with organized crime in both America and Russia…

Despite the bewildering amount of evidence now slowly being uncovered in the Russia investigation, that has already revealed many attempts on his part to cover up his campaign’s contacts with Russian foreign nationals, this common mantra of the vast majority of police in America today that Trump is the ‘law enforcement candidate’ remains steadfast.

This is inexcusable, and furthermore it is one of the most effective examples I can use to shine a spotlight of truth on the problem in policing today that has gone unchecked for too long. Let me put it in very simple terms…If one is in policing for the right reasons, then one has the opposite mindset…You would have the ethical values and character of someone like Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller – someone who I can guarantee you is not of the mindset that Donald Trump represents either those values, or is by any stretch of the imagination, the ‘law enforcement candidate’.

As I have written about not long ago, I was on a ride along with a local agency in the Sacramento area not long before the last Presidential election. The purpose of the ride along was a pre-employment interest. The deputy I was riding with was aware of this. Suddenly, I was taken by surprise when he began quizzing me about my politics. He asked me point blank WHO I was planning on voting for in the Presidential election.

This was of course completely unprofessional and improper. This individual proceeded to make sure that I understood his view that reflected the commonly held views of others on the agency, that Donald Trump was the ‘law enforcement candidate’.

I simply responded that while I wish we had better choices for President than we had to choose from, that I certainly could not support Trump precisely BECAUSE of my law enforcement values. I encouraged the deputy I was assigned to ride with to go and do a Google search on “Donald Trump and Organized Crime” in order to get a full picture of his deep connections to the mob in New Jersey and New York in the building of his casino empire.

Within a matter of a few minutes of sharing this answer to his question, I was dropped back off at my car in the department parking lot and told to have a nice evening.

I share this story because it is emblematic of something at the root of the problem we face in policing today. That problem is that those who have the RIGHT values and ethical mindset, who try to serve in law enforcement, are more often being ostracized and rejected…They are seen as ‘undesirable’ by the vast majority on the job who would routinely champion for the clearly corrupt and unethical, often even racist leaning values of someone like Trump.

It is time for a radical change and overall re-boot to the culture of policing in America today, in the interest of our nation’s constitutional guarantee of equal justice for all citizens. That change and that overall re-boot will require active and total CITIZEN CONTROL of police agencies.

As such, this will result in the re-training of police to understand that they are not “sworn officers” verses “unsworn civilians”. This point is so important…It is critical to understand that this is where things went wrong in the police mindset a long time ago.

The practice of telling new law enforcement recruits that they are now elevated to a sworn “officer” title as opposed to continuing just as a “citizen” with law enforcement job responsibilities, has resulted long ago in this ‘us against them’ mentality that is so ubiquitous and widespread in law enforcement.

Police must be re-trained, and this “officer vs civilian” mindset must be deconstructed and re-defined at a minimum. New training from a new citizen controlled agency model must fundamentally reinforce the proper mindset that Sir Robert Peel was known for originating…

SirRobertPeelSir Robert Peel, founder of the British Conservative Party who served twice as Prime Minister for the United Kingdom in the early to mid 1800’s, is considered the “father of modern policing”.  Peel is widely credited with the proper philosophy that the citizens ARE the police first and foremost, with those chosen to do the work of policing are actually subordinate to the citizenry, not elevated to a title that sees the citizens as ‘civilians’ compared to themselves as ‘officers’, and as such, ‘non-civilians’.

The new model must teach officers that there is no distinction…that working in law enforcement, they did not move into a status of ‘non-civilian’. The mindset of police that they are somehow not a civilian is actually coming from a MILITARY mindset completely. And we know that our nation’s constitution specifically mandates that the police are NOT the military, and as such they are properly categorized as ‘civilians’ hired to serve as peace keepers for their fellow civilians. The constitution specifically prohibits the military from operating in a law enforcement role except under ‘martial law’.

But this proper mindset was compromised a long time ago when those in law enforcement began to try to brand themselves as APART FROM the citizenry, and began appropriating a title to refer to themselves like the military, that delineated them as ‘NON-CIVILIANS’, etc. That should never have been allowed to happen.

More so than just the current ‘city council’ model, this new ‘citizen controlled’ model needed in policing will require that a citizen commission be hands on full time, running the police agency and dictating policy and procedures for the agency. If any “Sheriff” or “Police Chief” title is to continue, that individual will understand they are subordinate to that citizen commission as their ‘at will’ employer, the same as every other subordinate member of said police agency.

This new citizen controlled law enforcement model will require members of the commission or their designated representatives (preferably representatives chosen who have mental health and advanced social skills training) to routinely ride along on a daily basis with those on patrol, monitoring behavior, making sure all body cameras and dash cameras are in operation, etc, and reporting back to the citizen commission regularly – Especially on any areas of concern they observe that may violate the police employees’ mandate as an ambassador for the civilians who employ them and who they are tasked to serve equally.

This new citizen controlled law enforcement model will also require that a more concerted effort be made to find law enforcement recruits who are FROM economically challenged neighborhoods that are disproportionately affected by higher crime rates.(Communities commonly referred to in law enforcement circles as “the hood” or other more derogatory slang terminology)

PoliceDiversityPicSuch crime challenged, often largely minority populated neighborhoods need to have law enforcement patrolling their communities with more of a balanced number of those who CAME FROM those communities. This will go a long way toward helping other law enforcement members with their ‘implicit biases’, a term that has been recently coined and tossed about as a euphemism for ‘latent’ if not conscious prejudice or fear.

The mistake that is often continuing to be made is that communities are electing Sheriffs’ or appointing Police Chiefs’ based primarily on their extensive law enforcement ‘veteran’ experience. It is so easy for such individuals to say all the right things that a city council or local electorate wants to hear about a belief in ‘community policing’, etc. But what we routinely see is that despite such ‘politically correct rhetoric’ for the most part nothing changes in the culture of policing with this ‘veteran experience’ emphasis.

This is because there is an endemic, intensely protected ‘power mentality’ ever present in the current culture of policing, which we see too often abused in law enforcement. This power mentality – this self-admitted ‘para-military’ mindset that ‘we are sworn NON-civilians’ patrolling ‘un-sworn civilians’ is an unhealthy wrong mentality that veterans dogmatically see as against their personal interests to change.

It will require a forcible change from largely ‘non veteran’ civilian public servants with a passion for healthy law enforcement, who understand this problem, and who are appointed to such department leadership positions as Sheriff and Police Chief. And as I said above, such department leaders under the new citizen controlled model of policing will serve entirely at the pleasure of that citizen body, with that citizen commission being the employer and authority for the agency.

I’d like to close with one other important point…It is all to common for effective views like these that I am sharing to be scoffed at and mocked by those currently in law enforcement as ‘weak minded’, etc. But nothing could be further from the truth, and such a common attack toward such a ‘citizen prioritized’, true community policing approach is only helping to make my point for me.

When I was on the job, I was always ready and willing to be tough when I had to be, but I was equally sensitive, fair and kind to ALL citizens I served FIRST and FOREMOST.

Please note that I included the word ‘sensitive’ specifically. Kindness and sensitivity are what we all need, especially from those who are given the responsibility of patrolling our communities and enforcing the law. The current model of policing that champions Donald Trump’s personality as being the “law enforcement candidate” does not equate sensitivity and kindness first and foremost as a fundamental quality they are looking to recruit, and actually often denigrates that quality as a liability, when in fact such a character quality is what most citizens would want first and foremost in any police member they would ever find themselves having to deal with.

I hate to compare the police to ‘parents’, although the job does often include a lot of baby sitting, especially in dealing with irresponsible juveniles in the absence of their parents, so please indulge me with this example for just a moment…You are not a ‘weak parent’, but you are the right kind of parent in teaching and bringing up your kids when you are sensitive and kindhearted first and foremost, but ready and willing to be tough with your kids if you have to be, in order to teach them proper boundaries within which to live a safe, healthy and productive life.

When I was on the job, there were of course occasions where I had to use reasonable force to control and/or arrest individuals where it was immediately recognized as necessary to do so. But my overall strength and effectiveness as a law enforcement officer came as a direct result of my not looking at the citizenry I served as ‘civilians’ with myself being a ‘non’ civilian…

But on the contrary, my overall greatest strength on the job came by my recognizing that I was entrusted to the job as the citizens’ ambassador, and accordingly by my treating others the same as I wanted to be treated by them, with equal respect and sensitivity to their needs and emotions in any given situation.

That is not ‘weakness’…On the contrary, it is strength and it is integral to the job of policing, but something that is sadly not seen as desirable by many in the current policing culture today.

ChangeIsComingChange is coming, and I believe strongly that the days are numbered for that unhealthy mindset to be allowed to continue in law enforcement, as it has remained unchecked for too long in our communities up to now.

President Obama was largely echoing Dr. Martin Luther King when he pointed out in his last speech as President that the most important title in the world is that of ‘CITIZEN’.

And it is that growing recognition by the citizenry, fueled by the disgraceful corruption we are seeing from Donald Trump, and aided by much of law enforcement’s bewildering embracing of him as the “law enforcement candidate”, that will ultimately bring about this long overdue ethical change to the current unhealthy police culture.

Connie Bryan

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(Connie Bryan is a writer in Sacramento, CA…Check out all of her material on her website and blog at http://www.conniebryan.com)

Are You Focused on what REALLY Matters Here?

Let me approach this question I posed by pointing out that a lot of people have a completely false understanding of the term ‘Yin and Yang’. The first example they falsely come up with for it is ‘good’ verses ‘evil’. But this is due to the many false teachings they’ve been brainwashed with by organized religion.

The Yin and the Yang have absolutely nothing to do with ‘good’ verses ‘evil’…They have less to do with ‘opposites’, and everything to do with ‘BALANCE’… They are the balancing, complimentary aspects of the universe that can sometimes seem to be ‘opposites’, but are all a part of us…all a part of all that is good…the balance that brings harmony.

Here are but a few examples, ending with the most important one…”Male” and “Female”…”Day” and “Night”…”Hot” and “Cold”…”Happy” and “Sad”…And, as I mentioned, the most important to understand of all…”The Physical” and “The Spiritual”.

We have a very ugly and selfish, unhealthy and elitist culture in America growing like a tumor by the day, as evidenced by both the growing drug culture as well as the mass ignorance that is responsible for perverting the highest office of our country with the disgraceful likes of Donald Trump…and this having been done largely by those who claim to be following “God’s will”.

It is obvious that the majority have lost sight of what has real value and real meaning, in pursuit of selfish and material obsessions, all while putting on a daily facade of being ‘Catholics’ or ‘Evangelicals’ or ‘Jews’ or ‘Muslims’ or ‘Mormons’, etc. etc. etc.

But understanding the most important example of the “Yin and Yang” is what keeps the rest of us focused on bringing healing to this sick culture that needs that healing so bad right now.

That is the understanding that we are NOT DIVIDED in ANY way with such religious dogma attached to those religions and denominations listed above…Here in the ‘physical’, we are all one with the ‘spiritual’ EVEN NOW.  This most important example of Yin and Yang shows us that there is NO SEPARATION between us and what we refer to as “God”…In other words, there is no division or separation between what we are NOW in the physical, and what is SPIRITUAL and DIVINE…

We are ALL HOLY FAMILY…Those of you who embrace religious doctrine that teaches otherwise are part of the cancer here that the rest of us are going to heal, whether you understand that at the moment or not. Most of you who don’t understand that are completely responsible for this national disgrace we are in the process of healing at present.

We are going to heal it, at least in the upcoming 2018 midterms, and along with the help of Special Prosecutor Mueller’s major findings that will be forthcoming against Trump for his massive corrupt activities, not to mention impeachment proceedings which likely will begin happening after those midterms and before Mueller’s criminal proceedings finish.

What really matters is integrity and moral conviction, rooted not in dogmatic religious morals so polluted by man-made elitism, bigotry and division, but rooted in “The Golden Rule”…meaning HUMAN VALUES and real SPIRITUAL LOVE. Organized religion is the number one polluter of that correct understanding, and the primary cause that has kept humanity divided.

The Yin and the Yang is the beautiful spiritual lesson of love and harmony that reminds us that “Black” and “White”…”Red”, “Brown” and “Yellow”…and all colors of the rainbow are not SEPARATE or OPPOSITE from each other, but are all a ‘HOLY FAMILY’ of colors, united in the universe as a part of “Creation”…as a PART of what is Divine. (Divinity EQUALS Diversity).

What really matters? Where is your focus and your attention? Where are your values? Time here in the physical is short. Are you being a ‘conforming sheep’ to the man made teachings of religion that divide falsely in the name of “God”? Are you supporting such man-made lies, because it is popular to do so with those you are conforming alongside, who share such divided and elitist beliefs from their religion?

Are you willing to speak out and let your voice be heard in bringing the healing I am speaking of? Or are you part of the problem by either keeping silent when you could speak, or holding a belief that you are somehow superior in your beliefs, or somehow more deserving than immigrants of the blessings you are enjoying here in the U.S.?

Spiritual truth is not found in organized religion as a rule. Christianity, Islam, Judaism…all of the ‘Big Three’ religions at their fundamental core teach DIVISION in the name of God…they teach the OPPOSITE of the most important spiritual truth there is, as I have described above with the Yin and the Yang teaching…

The ‘Big Three’ religions fundamentally teach the lie that “God” is some entity who is SEPARATE from you, arbitrarily waiting to either ‘save’ or ‘condemn’ you based on whether you believe their divisive preferred dogma…That is man-made bigotry masquerading as “Gospel”.

Spiritual truth is this…There is NO CONDEMNATION in LOVE.

Love cannot condemn. What those man-made institutions are brainwashing the masses with is ‘CONDITIONAL LOVE’, not UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. It is a perversion of the word ‘love’ by using it as a weapon, and making it only available ‘on condition’…

And by the way, have you ever stopped to ask yourself how people could be so sick as to believe in a “God” that needs to have a ‘blood lust’ satisfied with either animal or human blood sacrifice (i.e. the crucifixion)?

People are quick to call any such reference to human or animal sacrifice as a ‘cult’ or ‘Satanic’, but they deny to themselves that such a sick practice is at the fundamental foundation of their very sick Christian, Jewish or Islamic beliefs.

That is not what “God” is…that is a very ignorant and sick perversion by very sick men who used fear based dogma to control the masses. It is time to wake up from this ugly man-made cause of so much violence, genocide, pedophilia and demeaning of women in various ways, all in the name of “God” over thousands of years.

What really matters is seeing others as just as much an EQUAL PART of what “God” is as you are…and your obligation to be the love and the healing of God that others need.

That universal healing and love is part of the Yin and Yang, and it is your ONLY purpose here. You’re purpose here is not to be a ‘conforming sheep’, but to bring healing and correction to the harmful, divisive ignorance and religious bigotry shamefully masquerading as “God’s Word”.

Connie Bryan

(Connie Bryan is a writer in Sacramento, CA…Check out all of her material on her blog and website at http://www.conniebryan.com)

ConnieHdshtSmallFile1

The REAL SH#T-HOLE is Trump’s Shameful Racist MOUTH

TrumpClspThough I do appreciate Senator Linsday Graham’s backing up Senator Durbin’s account of Trump’s recent vile and racist comments calling Haiti and African American countries “sh#t-hole” countries, I need to take exception with Senator Graham’s followup comment the day after. Graham said that as a result of ‘discourse being low’, others in his line of work need to ‘up their game’.
 
No Senator Graham…They don’t need to ‘up their game’…they need to UP THEIR MORAL PRINCIPLE!
 
And it is up to you and me to hold them accountable between now and the upcoming MID TERM elections, and not respond like I’m hearing way too many respond when I bring up the topic: “Oh, I try to avoid anything to do with politics!” Are you kidding me?
 
When you take that attitude, you become just as much a part of the problem as the corrupt racist and elitist politicians playing their game at the people’s expense.
 
What many folks need to understand is that by standing up, letting your voice be heard and taking a stand with the rest of us on this, you aren’t ‘talking politics’, you are DEMANDING PRINCIPLES!
 
It is kind of revealing that Senator Graham used the term ‘up their game’ about his fellow Republican politicians…It has been obvious for way too long now that politicians in general see their elected positions not as a moral public trust, but as a corrupt game that must be ‘played’ with subtle skill. This is especially true and taken now to an all new shameful and disgraceful level by Trump supporting Republicans and the voters who elected him.
It’s hard to find strong enough descriptive terms for the level of dishonesty and hypocrisy we are witnessing…For the shameful behavior so many are taking part in trying to ‘normalize’. I’m trying to think of a word stronger than even the term ‘monumental’…
All I keep coming up with is ‘mind-blowing’ or ‘bewildering’, like one person used during my interview with him about Trump for my local cable access TV show a few months back(see my website to watch the program on demand)…’MIND-BLOWING’ dishonesty and hypocrisy revealing a disgracefully shameful underbelly of our country that fortunately has at least now been exposed, so that the rest of us can get to work on standing up to it, healing and changing it.
 
And lastly, on the issue of Trump’s shameful comments asking ‘Why do we have all these people coming here from ‘sh#t-hole’ countries?’, and adding that ‘We need more people from countries like NORWAY!’…
The second part referring to wanting ‘more people from Norway’ is what wraps it up with a racist ‘bow’ so to speak…That is IF you needed more than the first ‘sh#t-hole’ part to clarify that his context was racist.
 
I will give one simple metaphor here to prove it…
 
Imagine Los Angeles city council members are discussing providing funding for community development, and behind closed doors the Mayor says, “Why do we want to give any more funding to sh#t-hole neighborhoods like (and they name some well known minority areas like East Central and others, often referred to as ‘THE HOOD’)…Then imagine the mayor continues…”If we are going to invest this money for community development, I want to do it with neighborhoods like Bel Aire and Brentwood!”
 
Is there any question the context is racist? Is there any question that the vile slur has to do with the PEOPLE residing in said ‘sh#t-hole’ neighborhoods?Those were rhetorical questions…The context of the comment screams racism.
 
trumpmouthFurthermore, it is what we call a ‘distinction without a difference’ to try to use semantics to argue that Trump said ‘sh#t-HOUSE’ countries as opposed to ‘sh#t-HOLE’ countries. This also just takes the lying of Trump and his dutiful orange ass-kissers to a ‘doubled down’ level.
 
In my hypothetical example above, insert the word ‘sh#t-HOUSE’ by the Mayor in that conversation, and you have no change in the context.
trumpbileTruth be known, Trump is well aware and very bothered by the fact that the majority in his own country, and the entire rest of the world have been using that term ‘sh#t-hole’ already, but in regard to the United States…Ironically, they have been using it for some time now to refer to Trump’s sh#t-hole of a MOUTH.
 
Connie Bryan
ConnieHdshtSmallFile1(Connie Bryan is a writer in Sacramento, CA…Check out all of her material on her website and blog at http://www.conniebryan.com)

The Change Demanded As We Enter 2018

It is utterly disgusting and shameful as a human race, that we haven’t gotten it together by now…that we haven’t embraced one another on this planet as spiritual brothers and sisters, irrespective of ‘styles’ of religious practice and cultures. It is almost 2018, and it is beyond inexcusable that we still haven’t gotten that right, and that we are still held back by tens of millions of ignorant bigoted individuals, often in the name of “JESUS” of all things!

I was raised in a “Christian evangelical” family, and cut my teeth on the Bible. I memorized a lot of it in private Christian school. Early on as a child I couldn’t help but recognize the hate and bigotry throughout the Bible…the constant anti-loving, vengeful fear imagery of God, and I had to constantly force myself to go along with it from the family conditioning that used that man made fear in the Bible to tell me that I would go to Hell if I didn’t believe it…Constant bigoted conditioning that crammed down my throat ‘holy’ beliefs that all other religions/faiths were going to Hell as well, along with gay people, transgender people, etc.

Being transgender myself, despite the horrible societal suffering that accompanies such a condition, was ironically the miracle that brought my TRUE SALVATION from those bigoted religious lies from my family and the ‘church’, fraudulently taught in the name of Jesus.

The fact that we are this far along as a human race, and we STILL have so many who embrace such bigotry in the name of God is beyond inexcusable. It is crucial to understand that this is the PRIMARY thing preventing the achieving of world peace and unity on our shared planet…one could almost say now that it is the ONLY thing…

Because when you get that right…and I’m talking about the understanding that all of us are ASPECTS OF GOD, not separate from what “God” is…when you understand that, a light bulb comes on inside your mind…which is your soul or your spirit…and you suddenly realize your responsibility to love everyone, and not look at them as separate or beneath you in any way.

HOWEVER…and this is really important…When you are fraudulently taught a belief that God is an arbitrary being outside of what you are, who may or may not CONDEMN you for perceived mistakes…and when you are taught the fraudulent teaching of religions like Christianity, Islam and Judaism that maintain that you are a condemned sinner by nature, BUT you can be forgiven if you will believe one specific faith, what is the psychology that results from such a belief?

The result is, you then have a gigantic COP-OUT. What do I mean by that?

It is nothing but a huge cop-out to say that you are just a sinner, and as such you can’t help but sin. And if you just align with one ‘faith’, that uncontrollable sinful nature you have is forgiven.

That is a man-made hypocritical excuse of a religious belief. It is the very thing that has ironically held mankind back from real spiritual growth and healing. It condemns the diversity of mankind with fraudulent man-made dogma that has absolutely NOTHING to do with the love of God that we ALL ARE BY NATURE.

When you get that right, as I said above, you understand there is no cop-out or excuse such as you being ‘sinful by nature’…On the contrary…There is an understanding that you have a huge responsibility due to your being HOLY BY NATURE.

It isn’t a lack of humility to recognize that not only YOU, but everyone who shares existence with you…all of us are a PART OF GOD…

And if we are a PART OF GOD, we are HOLY BY NATURE. When we realize we are holy by nature, the result that begins to happen is a healing transformation in our lives that was meant for us. But, that healing and those blessings and miracles are held back with the opposite mindset that you are separate from God, and can’t help the “sin” you commit. That is absolutely untrue.

The huge problem with that kind of fraudulent teaching in the name of God, is that you then don’t realize it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY…OUR COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY, TO CREATE HEAVEN FOR ONE ANOTHER HERE AND NOW!

You see, Christians, Jews and Muslims (and I use them as examples because they are the biggest and most popular examples of this man made fraudulent teaching) all have at the core of their belief that “Heaven” is something they have ZERO to do with CREATING…That they each respectively have the primary rights to heaven, being ‘preferred’ above others in the eyes of God, and their ‘heaven’ is controlled by a potentially condemning God, only to be experienced at some imagined time in the future, in some fairy tale place, etc.

That IS the primary, absolutely inexcusable bigotry and sick belief system that is in the way of achieving world peace. If you study history, you will see that this sick kind of divisive man made religion has almost always been at the root of all the major warmongering, genocide and enslavement of other cultures over the centuries.

Many of you reading this may be Catholics. You should be very aware of the history of such behavior by the Catholic church. You should be very aware of the Catholic church’s hugely patriarchal, second class and demeaning treatment of women in the name of Jesus, which is no different than any of the sexually demeaning harassment and constant climate of inequality demonstrated by men today, who are currently being singled out in various other institutions and corporations…

As a Catholic, you should be very aware of that hypocritical institution’s continued turning of a collective blind eye to the epidemic of pedophilia by its sick priests for hundreds of years now…over and over and over again. Yet you continue to practice those beliefs and align yourself with such mind blowing corruption, elitism and bigotry deeply represented by such a history?

As a Catholic, ironically you may have even looked down your nose at the Christian evangelicals who supported accused pedophile Roy Moore in Alabama, while you continue to align yourself with such a hypocritically corrupt institution as the Catholic church.

There is no excuse for such conformity in the face of such a history of hate and bigotry in the name of God.

If you want to know where healing and true happiness comes from, I have an answer for you…The key is simply this: UNLEARNING the religious lies fed to us, and being strong enough not to just conform to them because it is comfortable to do so, and because such beliefs may be popular with those around us.

I can’t believe how many people actively resist this basic truth when I try to share it with them. Healing is meant for you, in every way that you need it. But healing and happiness beyond your wildest dreams will NEVER come unless you remove the bigoted beliefs that you use to think of yourself as ‘preferred’ in the eyes of God…It will NEVER come until you see EVERYONE as forgiven…Until you see EVERYONE as an EQUAL PART OF GOD, despite your differences of faith, sexual preference, etc.

Simply put, as I’ve said in some of my previous articles on this topic, ‘religion’
IS NOT synonymous with spirituality.

Religion, if seen correctly so that healing and happiness WILL come through to you, should be understood to be like everyone’s ‘favorite color’… That is to say, I don’t look down on you and think you are condemned because your religion’s preferred color is RED, while my religion’s preferred color is GREEN.

True spirituality is the understanding that all of the colors are a PART of the rainbow, equally TOGETHER…That is the perfect metaphor to understand our spiritual nature. Put simply, DIVERSITY IS DIVINITY.

When you get that right, you open the pathway up not only to all the healing and happiness you need and were meant to have, that has been held back by fraudulent, elitist beliefs of religion, but it begins to bring healing, happiness and peace across national and cultural boundaries, as was also always MEANT TO BE.

As I began this article at the top, it is absolutely inexcusable that we have resisted these truths, and have not come together as a human race by 2018. What do you say we make a New Year’s Resolution to change that before 2020!

We have to raise our voices collectively not only about the disgrace that Trump supporters have created in the White House, but also about the disgraceful false teaching of the Big Three religions that has created such war, hate and division on our planet for too long.

It’s time for a “spiritual renaissance” that begins to create what we were meant to create as ‘aspects of what God is’…As holy, spiritual brothers and sisters…We were meant to see “God” in all of our diversity, and to act in love and healing in all things toward one another…That is how we CREATE HEAVEN ON EARTH HERE AND NOW.

Connie Bryan

(Connie Bryan is a writer in Sacramento, CA…Check out all of her material on her blog and website at http://www.conniebryan.com)

TRUMP EVANGELICALS & THEIR “WITCH HUNT” MANTRA

TrumpEvangelicalPosterTo the Trump gas-lit, evangelical hypocrites on the right talking out of their asses claiming the Trump-Russian collusion investigation is nothing but a fake news “WITCH HUNT”…What do you have to say now that FOUR ‘WITCHES’ have not only been found and charged with major crimes, but two of said ‘witches’, including senior Trump administration official Gen. Michael Flynn, are now cooperating with Special Prosecutor Bob Mueller to keep from doing major jail time?

Are you gonna keep lying out of your ass to defend the “Witch-in-Chief” in the name of Jesus? Are you gonna keep lying out of your ass to defend the accusations against Trump supported Roy Moore running for Senate in Alabama, accused by multiple women of preying on and sexually assaulting young teenage girls?

Are you gonna keep lying out of your ass as you flat out ignore Trump’s own words on the Access Hollywood tape, bragging about ‘grabbing women by the pussy’, saying he could do so because he is so big of a star that he ‘can get away with doing anything he wants’ to ‘attractive’ women that he meets?

If we are going to care about the smaller number of women who have come forward to accuse Senator Al Franken, Representative Conyers, Charlie Rose and Matt Lauer, then OF COURSE we’d have to care about the 12 or more women who bravely came forward to accuse the sitting PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES!

(Insert impersonation of hypocritical right-wing evangelicals dutifully parroting Trump’s lies here) “WELL THAT’S JUST A FAKE NEWS WITCH HUNT!”

Ummmm, you can’t say that without, at a minimum, sounding like you rode the little bus to school…Because after all, as I said above, we have MORE damning evidence in the “Witch-in-Chief’s” case, with his own proud ‘witch admission’ of such behavior on tape, than we do in all of these other cases combined.

Trump made that graphic, specific admission with impunity of his own volition…I mean, it wasn’t like Wolf Blitzer from CNN had bound him and was dipping him in and out of the fountain on the White House Mall, until he couldn’t take it anymore and told us he was a f#cking sexually assaulting, womanizing witch! (But isn’t that a beautiful thing to fantasize about coming true?…Can you imagine the viewer ratings for that CNN episode?)

Shame on those of you who claim to be ‘Christians’ and ‘Catholics’, while turning a blind eye to this national disgrace you have created in the name of Jesus! Dear God, save us from your followers, as the apt bumper sticker says.

Ignoring Trump’s admission on tape of sexually assaulting women with impunity, and parroting his claim that such bragging of specific behavior was just ‘harmless locker room talk”, is akin to if the POPE HIMSELF had been caught on such an Access Hollywood tape saying something similar…

Hypothetical Pope talking to hypothetical Billy Bush:
(Insert annoyingly slow, hard to understand Italian accent here)
“I used to have such a crush on Justin Beber before he grew up…He was so hot!” (This would be a much longer tape of course, as that statement alone would take 2 minutes for the actual Pope to say, and the following would take him 5 minutes to say) “You know, I’m so famous as the Pope, when I meet hot Catholic boys I can do whatever I want…I can grab ’em by their _____, anything I want! They’ll let me because I’m such a rock star!!”

Now follow my example here…That hypothetical tape goes VIRAL, as Trump’s tape did…Then the Pope excuses it away…”Oh that was just harmless ‘CHOIR ROOM TALK’…Everyone knows priests talk like that in the ‘choir room’, but it was harmless!”

Ignoring Trump’s own words…words that weren’t hypothetical, but that REALLY HAPPENED on tape, while holding all these others to the ‘witch flame’ like Louis CK, Franken, Conyers, Charlie Rose, etc…is exactly akin to if the Pope had been caught saying the above about his affinity for under age altar boys, and the Catholic Church responding by accepting his gas-lit BS that it was just ‘choir room banter’.

But, I guess the idea of the Catholic church looking the other way is ironically not so far fetched is it?…Not when you recall what we’ve all witnessed over the recent last couple of decades, as the Catholic church has actively tried to HIDE the mind blowing, ongoing priest pedophile epidemic still unfolding, and still being protected from the top.

So, you still wanna run around calling these things a ‘witch hunt’?
OK, but as such you go on record in your life, looking stupid if not utterly complicit yourself, because we clearly have ‘witches’ to hunt among us!…And as we continue to bring them down in the name of morality and justice, the question you should be asking yourself is, what is that going to say about YOU and all your defense of their behavior in the name of JESUS??

Connie Bryan

ConnieHdshtSmallFile1(Connie Bryan is a writer in Sacramento, CA…Check out all of her material on her website and blog at http://www.conniebryan.com)

MAJOR CHANGE NEEDED IN CULTURE OF LAW ENFORCEMENT (PART TWO)

SheriffClockIn PART ONE of this topic, I discussed that with the upcoming election for the office of Sheriff, Sacramento has an opportunity to lead by example for the nation, by seeking a candidate for Sheriff that will finally implement long overdue and major changes to the longstanding ‘us against them’ culture of law enforcement…

Changes that the majority of citizens not just in Sacramento, but across this entire nation, have been demanding for some time now, in the face of a national epidemic of increased shootings by police of unarmed minorities and other abuse of force incidents. Such a sea change and overhaul of the police mindset is imperative now more than ever, in the interest of justice and equality for all, regardless of race, ethnicity or income status.

Part one of this series was primarily dedicated to describing in some detail exactly how to bring about such an about-face police culture change. The current model, so often accurately referred to by most Americans as an obvious ‘good ole boy system’ – or ‘fraternal’ system that even proudly has established ‘Fraternal Orders of Police’ for practically every police agency in the nation…

That upside down, often corrupt and grossly abusive model must be dismantled in the interest of equal justice for all in the communities that police and deputies serve. It must be replaced with a ‘CITIZENS OVERSIGHT BOARD’ model, in which the ‘us against them’ mentality is replaced by retraining officers and deputies that they are not in any way SEPARATE or ‘elite’ from the citizens they are sworn to serve…

On the contrary, the citizens ARE the police, and the officers and deputies serve at the citizens’ discretion, and their continued employment is at the constant discretion of the citizen oversight board. This was described in detail in part one, and I will include a link to it at the bottom of this sequel.

Now for PART TWO of the innovative leadership required from the right candidate for Sacramento Sheriff in 2018…

The second major priority that will be needed from the next elected Sheriff will be to take the lead in creating and facilitating at least 2 ‘homeless safety zones’ on opposite ends of the county.

Homeless97YrsOldThe ‘NIMBY’ (not in my backyard) angry denigrating of the homeless in Sacramento by individuals in practically every area of our town has been allowed to go unchecked for too long by city and county politicians. Too many of our elected leaders have historically been more worried about alienating voters in their districts on this issue, than leading with the necessary solutions the majority of citizens know are critical and necessary to properly deal with the homeless epidemic we are facing.

The solution that we know is necessary is to create and properly facilitate permanent ‘safe zone’ areas where the homeless will be permitted to reside in our community.

HomelessGirlThe solution we know is necessary is to recognize that the majority of homeless do not have a place they know they can legally belong…and to recognize that they are our neighbors just as much as the neighbors who live next door to us. It is up to those of us with means to do what we can to help them recover from the down and out despair in which they are living day in and day out.

As such, at a MINIMUM, we have a humane obligation that the right candidate for Sheriff in 2018 will prioritize…That being to invest and implement the appropriate infrastructure – popular or not – that is necessary to give our community’s growing homeless population a SAFE ZONE where they can belong and get help.

Ideally, at least two locations on opposite sides of the county will be designated at the discretion of the Sheriff and the County Board of Supervisors. These homeless safe zones will allow for both temporary pitching of tents by the homeless who want to do so, and will also provide more solid structure temporary shelter, such as portable trailer units, small livable ‘tough shed’ type units, storage space, bathroom/shower facilities, daily meals, etc.

HomelessColdBut most importantly, they will be able to receive critical and necessary social services on site by qualified providers, with daily shuttle transportation to related off site providers and job training as required.

This model will also seek to designate some of the funding to be used for the creation of job opportunities to be extended to properly screened homeless individuals, who would like to be employed in various needed areas at these very safe zone communities.

When you get out and interact with the homeless, one of the first things you encounter is their common passion for independence, as opposed to feeling ‘trapped’ or beholding to a particular shelter or service provider for various reasons.

HomelessNeighborWith that understanding, as much of an emphasis as practical would be placed on allowing those homeless individuals who are screened and shown to be capable, to be part of the ‘citizen oversight’ of their safe zone community, as opposed to feeling nothing but a ‘heavy hand’ from law enforcement. This can be done in partnership with the Sheriff’s personnel, who would always be there assisting at all times with any ‘difficulties’ or security issues that might arise.

Social workers will tell you that many homeless individuals long for a chance to feel like they are a part of a community, but they need our help to create that opportunity. While a significant number of the homeless are dealing with drug and alcohol addiction, ironically their feelings of despair and abandonment in our community only create more of a downward spiral ‘gravity’ in that respect.

The significant number who are dealing with mental health issues don’t often know how to care for themselves, let alone where to get the services they need. They would find that appropriate assistance in such a safe zone model.

HomelessBagBlanketThe prioritizing of such quality, well serviced and facilitated safe zone areas will provide our homeless that very sense of community and belonging that many of them are missing. It will reduce crime by meeting many of the needs of much of our homeless, protecting them from being frequent victims of crime on the street. In addition, it will give our law enforcement officers a powerful and effective resource, where they can bring the homeless who they encounter in need and without shelter.

Designed correctly, our homeless neighbors will not feel ‘trapped’, but will feel that they can maintain dignity and independence, being free to come and go as they please, while having daily access to a place to sleep, meals, bathrooms/showers, and the social services and other opportunities they may have generally never had access to, or even known existed beforehand.

SheriffBadgeThe right candidate for the next Sheriff of Sacramento County will take the lead on this issue. And they will do so despite the inevitable number of angry ‘not in my backyard’ individuals, who routinely try to prevent such critical innovation to help those among us who have the least, and who need a humane opportunity to get back on their feet again.

This is one of the most pressing challenges our community is currently facing, and as a public safety concern for various reasons, it is very well suited for the Sheriff to take the lead on prioritizing and implementing.

(LINK TO PART ONE- https://conniebryan.wordpress.com/…/with-upcoming-sacramen…/)

Connie Fishbaugh

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What Would Jesus Say to “The Landpark Society” About Their Harassment of our Homeless?

HomelessGirlHere in the Capitol of California, just like many other cities across our country, we are dealing with a growing homeless population that is in dire need of help, shelter and services. With that in mind, I want to address some recent unacceptable and hypocritical behavior by some local residents in two communities in the Sacramento area, whose comments were proudly featured recently in our local Sacramento Bee.

Despite the deep despair homeless individuals have to bear day in and day out, not knowing where they will be allowed to sleep, or if they will just be able to stay warm enough…not knowing whether they will be robbed during the night, or where their next meal will come from…

HomelessColdDespite those challenges, they are up against a surprising number of selfish members in our community who you can bet are almost always die hard Trump supporters, and who to be honest, are ironically the REAL UNDESIRABLES…

People like the lady who has created a popular Sacramento Facebook Group in the community of Landpark called “Landpark Society”, and who I’ve been told loves riding around in her nice comfy SUV taking all the video she can find with her cell phone of the homeless under the overpass, who are trying to find some shade and shelter. Then she reports them to the police while posting the videos online and on Facebook.

HomelessNeighborThis gallant member of our community was quoted in a recent newspaper story saying, “It’s the worst I’ve ever seen it” and “It’s not up to us to come up with a solution”. Actually, the ‘worst’ our community is seeing is more reflected from you, lady…And actually, it IS ‘up to us’ to create solutions to help these people. They are our neighbors just as much as your golf or bridge playing ‘Landpark Society!’

But the ‘worst’ gets worse…

When our Sacramento City leaders recently announced they were moving forward with plans to create a desperately needed homeless temporary housing facility on the north side, residents came out of the woodwork to angrily lash out at the homeless, and call such plans an ‘unfair burden’ on them…

NSacChamberPeople like Mr. Shane Curry, the PRESIDENT of the North Sacramento Chamber of Commerce, who was actually quoted like a spoiled crybaby with his way over the top hyperbole in the paper saying, “They might as well start selling nuclear waste sites around here” and “It’s not like these people (referring to those seeking help and shelter) are going to become contributing, productive citizens”

Homeless97YrsOldHomeless people seeking help have it bad enough without those who have it SO GOOD making it so much harder for them to get help and services to get back on their feet again. The TRUTH is, those like Curry who behave and speak in such a selfish way in the face of so much dire need, end up revealing themselves to be the REAL ‘undesirables’ in a community that knows it is long overdue that we rise to the challenge and provide shelter and services for these suffering ‘down but not out’ neighbors of ours.

HomelessDecrimHearing those absolutely untrue and unwarranted judgmental words from Mr. Curry, I could say the same thing about him…Because such ugly, selfish and uncaring comments speak volumes, and often call into question whether the one speaking them is a ‘contributing, productive citizen’!

HomelessFlagPeople with the mindset Mr. Curry is angrily showcasing often ironically consider themselves to be a ‘Christian’…You know how Conservative, often Trump supporter types love to wave their Bibles around and wrap themselves in either the American flag or the Confederate flag, or BOTH…

Well, if you believe in the teachings of Jesus, what would Jesus say about Mr. Curry’s comments, or about the behavior of the lady with the Facebook group ratting out the homeless under the overpass?

HomelessBagBlanketJesus said ‘that which you do to the LEAST of my children, you do to ME!’

Remember how Jesus was known for rebuking the local greedy Pharisees and temple hypocrites as being the opposite of God’s love?…I don’t think he’d handle this issue any different today…

Something for Mr. Curry and the “Landpark Society” Facebook Nazi lady to think about maybe?

Connie Bryan

ConnieHdshtSmallFile1

(Connie Bryan is a writer in Sacramento, CA…Check out all of her material on her website and blog at http://www.conniebryan.com)

With Upcoming Sacramento Sheriff Election, Major Change Needed in Culture of Law Enforcement (Part 1)

(PART ONE)

SheriffBadge

The majority of Americans, especially minority Americans, have seen more than enough to realize long before now, that it is high time for a sea change in the culture of law enforcement in America.

With a mind boggling and growing number of questionable police shootings of unarmed minorities and other similar incidents of abuse of force not just nationwide, but also reported here in our own Sacramento county…

And with Scott Jones, the current embattled Republican Sheriff of Sacramento County, so often publicly and unapologetically shown in the news acting in ‘Trump-like’ contention with his desire to enforce immigration law against Mexican immigrants…And most recently his similar unapologetic angry expression of disdain for the Sacramento advocacy chapter of ‘Black Lives Matter’…

And with Jones’ recently announcing that he is not running for another term in the upcoming election for Sheriff, now is the time to create and vote for that culture change that is long overdue, and that I am going to describe in more detail below.

But first, understand this important fact: Many who are a part of the current “good ole’ boy” law enforcement culture that so clearly has to change, are going to resist doing so kicking and screaming.

They are going to actively denigrate anyone who seeks to put an end to their “blue line” fraternal system that has served THEM so well, but has not served all of the public by any stretch of the imagination. It has been allowed to go unchecked for too many decades now…probably for close to a century to be honest.

Here in California’s charming capitol of Sacramento, we need to be the ones to finally lead by example and make that law enforcement cultural change happen now, especially with the corruption and ‘dog whistle’ race-baiting we are witnessing on almost a daily basis from the Trump administration.

Sir Robert Peel, a British peace officer in the late 19th Century, is widely credited as the ‘father of modern policing’. He is known for pioneering the ‘citizen oversight’ concept long swept under the rug by the current culture.

Peel effectively advocated that the CITIZENS are the police…not the long abused law enforcement culture currently being practiced of the police behaving as though they are ABOVE the citizenry, with their often ‘self-admitted’ philosophy of “us against them”.

On background, I have been a private investigator in Sacramento for the last several years. My law enforcement experience includes having been an NCO in the U.S. Air Force Security Police from 1982 to 1988 during the Cold War under Ronald Reagan.

After I left the Air Force with an honorable discharge, I worked for three different law enforcement agencies. The first being as a dispatcher for the Florida Highway Patrol. The other two agencies I worked as a deputy sheriff on routine road patrol.

Before going into the Air Force, I was in the “police explorers” program from the age of 15 years old, because very early on as a teenager I knew that I wanted to serve the public as a police officer. The police explorer program was very effective in helping me ‘explore’ and develop that passion and calling even further.

But when I completed the police academy in Orlando, Florida and began working as a deputy sheriff, I was shocked at the deeply entrenched anti-public servant, elitist and ‘abuse of authority culture’ that existed even back then. And it has only worsened exponentially ever since.

One story I recall not long after being hired involved witnessing an experienced K-9 handler who chose to violate department policy and release his dog on a ‘traffic charges only’ subject we had chased down on foot when he bailed from his vehicle.

As the K-9 handler was allowing the dog to so seriously violate department policy, attacking the subject who had surrendered on the ground, and as we were trying to handcuff the subject,(I was actually having to yell at the handler to call off his dog because until he did, we couldn’t handcuff the suspect for fear of being bitten as well) he intentionally delayed calling the dog off the subject in order to make the dog a more aggressive performer. This K-9 handler actually admitted this to all of us as we returned to our patrol cars.

After this abuse of authority occurrence, of course I felt I had no choice but to bring this to our lieutenant’s attention. He gave me 20 years of an education in one sentence when he looked at me sideways and said, “You aren’t really a ‘team player’ are you?” Looking back, I should have said, “Well I thought we were on the same team…I am on the team that is serving the community for the Sheriff…What team are you on sir?”

I have a lot of other anecdotes and stories I could share on this critical topic, but the majority of Americans have seen and heard enough for themselves, both in the news and in their own experiences with the current unhealthy, upside down culture in law enforcement. Suffice to say it is undeniable that police culture is to routinely see themselves NOT on the level as a citizen themselves, but generally speaking on a level set apart and above the citizenry.

This unchecked ‘cancer’ has been left unchecked for too long. It has metastasized over the years, and has produced much of the growing number of bad/excessive/over-reactive police shootings and general abuse of power that we as citizens have witnessed in the news overall, especially toward Blacks and Hispanics. It is an upside down police culture that is undeniably at the root cause of this growing, intolerable trend. The vast majority of us have grown despondent over reading about too much of this growing trend in our own Sacramento Bee in just the last few years alone.

SheriffClockIt has never been more clear that NOW is the time to make some major organizational and philosophy changes from the top down in law enforcement here in our own community going forward.

Those changes must begin with retraining those that want to be police officers and deputy sheriffs, that if you want to remain in this career, then your dutiful and respectful actions and demeanor will DAILY demonstrate that you understand the following axiom loud and clear:

‘ALL Sacramento citizens are not just who you patrol…They ARE ‘the police’ and they have extended an honor to you to be their ‘citizen ambassadors’ in this career, on their behalf…The citizenry are who you WORK for. There is no more ‘blue line’. There is no more ‘us against them’ mentality.

This culture change begins with those who want to remain as police officers and deputies being retrained to understand that the CITIZENRY of Sacramento ARE the police, and they as law enforcement officers are given a badge and gun as ambassadors and employees who ANSWER to all of those citizens.

Make no mistake, this is a very unpopular change for those who are currently in the career field. There will be many who likely will not last in the wake of such retraining and oversight. And that is actually a necessary result, because they will be replaced by public servants who resonate with this ethical, transparent cultural change.

It is very important for me to stress here that this Progressive and critically needed overhaul of the current fraternal and out of balance law enforcement mindset does not in any way need to detract from being uncompromisingly tough on crime.

Teaching police that they will be held accountable by daily citizen oversight, and that they will behave ethically, and that they will see themselves as working at the discretion of all the citizens in the communities they patrol, has nothing to do with effectiveness in fighting crime.

On the contrary, it will result in more of a focus on real crime rather than abuse of authority that often is the only major crime that was committed.

I mentioned I have other stories…here’s a very recent and relevant example:

I was in a California police academy refresher course not long ago. On the very first break during the required ‘Ethics’ curriculum of the law enforcement training course, I overheard the very young 20-something male recruit sitting next to me, angrily expressing his disgust for the topic, and calling the ethics class a total waste of his time.

This individual had never been a police officer, was there with us because he was seeking to become a road deputy, but had only worked so far as a corrections officer for a major Sheriff’s Office which will remain unnamed.

As a result I immediately addressed this individual, asking him why he would say such a thing if he wanted to pursue a career as a law enforcement officer. I took the opportunity to remind him, or possibly educate him, that ethics are the most important foundation and prerequisite for entering such a career.

The look of utter disgust on his face toward me as I asked him that question caught me even more by surprise. He lashed out at me with an aura of impunity that I wasn’t expecting.

It was as though he knew he was in good company with not only some of the others in the class, but with the entire culture of his agency where he worked as a corrections officer, and for whom he was slated to begin working as a road patrol deputy contingent upon his successful completion of this academy course.

He proceeded to tell me that ‘community policing’,(which emphasizes ethics and rapport building with the community, especially in problem oriented and high crime areas) was “total bullshit”. He then added, and I am quoting him pretty closely here: “I don’t care about the people in my community. I know what they think about me, and they know what I think about them.” His context was clearly referring to minorities.

This was of course a gigantic red flag that this individual had no business being a corrections officer where he worked, let alone a deputy sheriff patrolling for the general public. But again, his angry comments were unapologetic because he knew his disdain for such ‘community ethics’ was reflecting the commonly held mindset in the culture of his agency.

There’s an even more relevant and disturbing reason why I am sharing this story with you. It goes beyond just this clearly unsuitable candidate for the career that I encountered. When you are in a police academy setting, and someone reveals such a red flag about something that important which can involve life or death consequences for the public, ironically ‘ethics’ requires that it be brought to someone’s attention. We can all agree on that, right?

Well, awkward as it was, and yet knowing that was necessary, I was even more blindsided by the shock of what I encountered when I privately tried to bring it to the academy director’s attention. Instead of being even remotely concerned, his reaction was to be irritated that I was taking his time to inform him about the matter.

If that wasn’t bad enough, he chose to tell me to “mind my own business” in the class from then on. I explained that this person’s comments were loudly being expressed immediately next to me in the academy classroom on the Ethics course break, and they were not comments that I was somehow seeking to eavesdrop on.

The academy director became more adversarial the more I showed how surprised I was at his reaction. I of course took it over his head, but long story short, no one cared.

There is absolutely no excuse that such apathy toward such a critical thing would take place at the early police academy level, and in our neck of the woods in Northern California no less…

This story is but one of many that are emblematic of how badly we need to lead by example with a thorough and complete overhaul of this unethical and upside down law enforcement culture that has gone unchecked for way too long, beginning with this upcoming election for Sacramento Sheriff.

As I mentioned earlier above, the model of change that the next Sheriff needs to implement is first and foremost a citizen’s control emphasis…

This is accomplished with a citizens’ board/advisory panel led by the Sheriff as the citizen’s top elected ambassador. All the deputies are then retrained and educated to understand that their continued employment on the agency is at the direct will of the citizenry and that board.

Working body cameras will be worn by all deputies at ALL times. Dash cameras will be operational at ALL times during ALL traffic stops, and during ALL responses to calls for service. All actions taken by deputies in the performance of their duties will be constantly subject to review by the citizen oversight board.

In addition, every week citizens in the community who are selected as volunteers by the department’s citizen board and the Sheriff, will conduct regular, ongoing ride-alongs with deputies in order to maintain not only transparency, but also to develop the important community rapport that is emphasized in the concept of ‘community policing’.

Deputies will be reminded by their sergeants at the beginning of these weekly ride-alongs that the citizen who is accompanying them on their shift represents their employer, that being the department’s citizen oversight board and the Sheriff.

These changes are long overdue to be implemented, not just locally but nationwide. They will be wildly unpopular and resisted by many of those currently on the job.

As such, all the more for that very reason, the right candidate for Sheriff of Sacramento in the upcoming election will lead by example DESPITE the lack of popularity with those on the agency resistant to it.

The right candidate will promise to implement and prioritize these transparent, ethics driven, CITIZEN OVERSIGHT changes…

The right candidate for Sacramento Sheriff will begin to create and pioneer a new ‘citizens culture’ of policing, as it was originally intended…a culture that uses such citizen management and oversight to equally ensure justice for ALL residents, irrespective of race, color, creed, sexual orientation or housing/income status.

Connie Fishbaugh

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