Air National Guardsman Bill Sager
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – An eyewitness who was in Mollys Pub in Buffalo the night an airman was shoved down a flight of stairs is coming forward on the same day that two off-duty officers who were working security were suspended without pay. (more…)
Air National Guardsman Bill Sager
We Are Change
Occupy Wall Street has produced so many positive things. It has joined people together, to moved them out onto the street, voicing their opinions. It has gone worldwide, with a focus on greed, which we can all feel and see, and have many ways to expressing its cause and effect.
I will keep my thoughts simple. People have realized that moral values must change. The road we are on is not sustainable. This machine must be stopped. I will use the word machine to describe the many faceted structures which we find our world in control, as Mario Savio said so eloquently. Terms and words like, the ninety-nine percent, the one percent, end the fed, fiat currency, corporate greed, banks, and democracy, are just a few that has come to the forefront to describe this controlling machine.
We need to question everything, to open our minds, and change. Why do we live in a world of competition, instead of cooperation? America is democratic, but have we forgotten that we are a republic? Is democracy a mob rule? Many questions have brought us to challenge this current level of greed. Are we getting to the edge of a cliff? Is it time to stop, and look back? Is it time for a paradigm shift? Or is it time to do both? To look back at something that can bring about a paradigm shift for society.
So what’s next? What should we go back to for a paradigm shift? Is there a Pandora’s Box for the 21st century that will put back all the bad that was released? To put back all that Occupy Wall Street is rebelling against, all the problems with banks, money, corporations, and governments. Stop all corruption that seems to be leading us to a New World Order, and elevate our moral values. Did we forget what we need to do? I think so. We need to go back to the time where everything changed. Have we forgotten about 9/11? Just because the tenth anniversary came and went, do we put it to the side. This is the Pandora’s box of the 21st century. Exposing 9/11 will expose all the faceted structures keeping us captive, because that machine is responsible and must be held accountable. The next step for Occupy Wall Street should be a full focus on 9/11. It will expose this controlling machine we all wish to stop.
So what stops many from doing this? It’s the negative driving force that controls the majority; fear. The majority does not see the magic that was performed on 9/11, as the controlling machine is making sure they do not see or learn about the trick. The trick is yet to be discovered because the majority cannot come to grips with the concept that they were diverted from the truth. The lie is so much easier to handle. The truth takes time to find and understand. You have to make a guided effort. We all need to put forth the proposition that 9/11 exposure and accountability have always been the step to stop the madness in the world.
A former police officer was convicted on Thursday of lying about a collision with a bicyclist who was taking part in a Critical Mass ride in Times Square in 2008 — an altercation that was videotaped and became a viral presence on the Internet.
The jury found the officer, Patrick Pogan, 24, guilty of filing a criminal complaint that contained false statements concerning the cyclist, Christopher Long, including an assertion that Mr. Long knocked Mr. Pogan down by intentionally steering his bicycle into him. (The video showed that Mr. Pogan remained on his feet, while Mr. Long flew to the pavement.)
Mr. Pogan’s conviction carries a maximum sentence of four years in prison.
Mr. Pogan, who resigned from the Police Department after the episode, was also convicted of a misdemeanor for attesting to the complaint’s truthfulness, even though it contained a warning against making false statements.
But Mr. Pogan, who was in his 11th day on the force when the collision happened, was acquitted of a misdemeanor charge of reckless assault.
Prosecutors had contended that Mr. Pogan should have known that the force he used on Mr. Long presented a substantial risk of injury. None of the jurors, who reached their verdict in the third day of deliberations, were available for comment.
But Mr. Long said in an interview he was pleased with the verdict, in part because it would prevent Mr. Pogan from becoming a police officer again.
“The worst of it is he lied, and fortunately the jury saw it that way and convicted him on those charges,” Mr. Long said. “I don’t think he ever really intended to assault me.”
Mr. Pogan, who is scheduled to be sentenced on June 23, wore a blank stare as the verdict was read. He left the courthouse without commenting.
Outside the courthouse, Stuart London, Mr. Pogan’s lawyer, said he was pleased that his client was exonerated of assault, but was disappointed in the convictions.
“The important part to remember is, regardless of what’s on these documents, if at the time you filled them out you believe you’re being truthful, then that’s really all that should matter,” Mr. London said.
The collision between Mr. Long and Mr. Pogan occurred during Critical Mass, a monthly group ride that is viewed by the Police Department as a way for agitators to rile up the police.
Bill DiPaola, the director of Time’s Up, a cycling and environmental advocacy group, said he hoped the trial, which lasted about a week, would force the police to change the way they treat riders.
Mr. Long took the witness stand, and the bulk of the cross-examination focused on his background, which he admitted included frequent marijuana use and causing the death of a man in a traffic accident.
During Mr. Pogan’s testimony, he acknowledged that he told both his sergeant and an assistant district attorney that Mr. Long knocked him down with his bicycle, but characterized that as an honest mistake. He said he had confused the initial collision with two later instances in which he went to the ground while trying to handcuff Mr. Long.
The jury also acquitted Mr. Pogan on charges that he falsified the initial arrest report filed after the collision. (Mr. Long initially faced charges of attempted assault, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, but they were all dropped.)
The jurors apparently placed significance on Mr. Pogan’s testimony that his sergeant filled out and filed the arrest report, which Mr. Pogan did not have to sign.
The acquittal on the assault charge was perhaps indicative of the public’s belief that police officers should be given latitude to use force when they perceive a threat, said Philip Karasyk, a defense lawyer who regularly defends police officers.
“When an officer puts on that badge and uniform, he’s not feeling a heightened sense of security — he’s feeling a heightened sense of insecurity and a sense of being on guard,” he said.
Colin Moynihan contributed reporting.
Lawsuit: School administrator ‘may be a voyeur’ who spied on kids for personal gratification
A Philadelphia-area school district secretly took “thousands” of webcam photos of students in their homes and tracked their Web site visits and parts of online chats through spy software installed on the students’ school-issued laptops, a Pennsylvania court heard yesterday.
In February, the family of Blake Robbins, a student at Harriton High School in Rosemont, sued the Lower Merion School District after the district admitted to them it had been spying on students via a remote-activated feature on the laptops it issued to all its 2,300 high school pupils.
In a motion filed in court on Thursday, Robbins’ lawyers asserted that the school district had taken at least 400 snapshots of 15-year-old Robbins, including some of him sleeping. The motion also stated that “thousands of webcam pictures and screen shots have been taken of numerous other students in their homes,” the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
And in a strange twist to the story, the lawyers also suggested that Carol Cafiero, one of two school administrators with access to the spying technology, “may be a voyeur” who spied on students for her personal gratification, as some of the images taken by the laptops may have ended up on her personal computer.
The motion asks the judge to force Cafiero to turn over her home computer, which she has refused to do so far. Earlier this week, during a deposition, Cafiero pleaded the Fifth Amendment to all questions regarding her involvement in the alleged school spying.
Watching the students at home was like “a little [Lower Merion School District] soap opera,” said a staffer in an email obtained by Robbins’ lawyers.
“I know, I love it,” Cafiero responded in a reply email, as quoted at the Inquirer.
If true, the allegations against Cafiero would realize privacy advocates’ worst fears about the school district’s monitoring of students at home: That the technology is all too open to abuse by those who would seek to exploit children.
So far, there have been no allegations that the cameras captured any images of nude students, which could fall within the definition of child pornography.
On Thursday, the judge presiding over the case in a federal courtroom in Philadelphia restricted access to the images to the lawyers involved in the case, reports KYW news radio. The school board says it will soon notify the parents of children whose pictures were taken by the spy software, and is working on a way to transfer the photos to the parents, the Inquirer reported Friday.
The latest claims made against the school district contradict what the district itself has said about the use of the cameras. In February, when news of the spy software broke, the school districtpublished a statement saying administrators had activated the monitoring system only 42 times, most of those in order to retrieve lost or stolen laptops.
But the allegations made Thursday suggest “there were 42 instances when they began intensive surveillance on the suspected stolen computers,” reports tech blog Slashdot. “This consisted of (among other things) transmitting a picture from the laptop’s webcam every 15 minutes. This may have gone on for weeks.”
The school district announced in February it was shutting down the spy software, shortly after news of the spy software went public.
Robbins’ family launched the lawsuit two months ago after Blake Robbins was called into a vice-principal’s office and accused of taking drugs. As evidence, the vice-principal showed a photo of pills in Robbins’ bedroom. The Robbins family said the pills were candy, and launched a class-action lawsuit alleging the school district violated Blake’s right to privacy.
This week, Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA), who held hearings into the Lower Merion School District’s spying activities, introduced legislation limiting the use of surveillance software.
The proposed Surreptitious Video Surveillance Act of 2010 “would update the federal wiretapping statute to create serious criminal and civil penalties for secret, nonconsensual video surveillance inside any temporary or permanent residence, be it your house, your apartment, or your hotel room,”reports the Electronic Frontier Foundation.