Thursday, September 30, 2010

The privatization of libraries

A private company in Maryland has taken over public libraries in ailing cities in California, Oregon, Tennessee and Texas, growing into the country’s fifth-largest library system.

Jobs programs in Oakland do what they can

Here's more on EOYDC:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Cops Lie

This is a very subtle case, but a good example nonetheless.
I’m not trying to say that police deserve to be shot, but if you hang out with drug dealers and buy or sell drugs on the streets, there does exist the chance that you might get shot.
You may have heard that in late August, another cop was shot in East Oakland.
Andrew Barrientos, who is believed to be a Union City gang member, shot Fremont Officer Todd Young, a member of a multi-agency drug and gang task force, on August 27. Officer Eric Tang, an Oakland police officer who was with Young when he was shot, was neither shot by, nor was he able to shoot or aprehend, the suspect.

Barrientos claims that the cops did not identify themselves. It is a known fact that they were not in uniform.
The official story is that they were “trying to serve an arrest warrant.” However, isn’t it more likely that they were trying to entrap Barrientos by purchasing drugs from him? If so, that wouldn’t make Barrientos innocent, or even a nice guy, but the bottom line is, the police are lying. What are they trying to hide with this lie? I doubt that the public would ultimately care about the difference between an undercover sting operation and two plainclothes officers legitimately serving an arrest warrant, but there are too many things that don’t add up here.

For instance, newspaper reports wove a tale about a “running gun battle” through the streets of Oakland. However, of the shots fired by Barrientos, the majority of the bullets ended up in a car he tried to hijack on Bancroft Ave, NOT on Auseon Ave where he was allegedly served the arrest warrant. In fact, the only published report of a bullet hitting a house occurred on 86th ave, NOT Auseon. This was most likely a bullet that was fired by Barrientos at one of the two cars he tried to hijack on Bancroft Ave. For those of you unfamiliar with the neighborhood, Auseon and 86th are parallel streets. Newspaper reports claim that that Barrientos was served the warrant on Auseon, then he fled up to Bancroft, being fired at and returning fire. However, most of the shell casings were on Bancroft, closer to 86th (where both carjacking attempts occurred). The physical evidence clearly blows holes in the "running gun battle with the cops" story.

Barrientos, who was caught two days later trying to cross the Mexico border, was wanted for pointing a gun at his girlfriend during an argument. Combined with his history as a gang member, he should have obviously been considered armed and dangerous. Is it believable that two plainclothes officers were serving him with an arrest warrant without visible backup? Is it possible that the officers were serving the warrant without their guns drawn? And even if so, how incompetent was Officer Tang that his partner got shot twice by a suspect who was allegedly running away, yet Tang could not shoot a 240 pound man who had just shot his partner twice? Remember, they were allegedly serving a warrant, so the altercation allegedly began at point blank range…after the two officers had allegedly identified themselves as cops. This is a classic case of the incompetence theory, yet something tells me that Officer Tang would not have drawn such an assignment if he weren’t somewhat competent as a police officer.
Eyewitness reports said multiple police cars were immediately on the scene within seconds after the shootout, but since Barrientos got away, it is safe to assume that they were not close enough. The obvious conclusion is that the backup officers were trying to remain hidden, which would be more consistent with an undercover sting operation than two officers serving a warrant. Police spokesmen have been very careful to not refer to the officers as “undercover.”

Interestingly, 70 of Young's fellow Fremont officers showed up at a recent court appearance for Barrientos in their uniforms, obviously to intimidate Barrientos. Maybe Officers Young and Tang should have been wearing theirs the day Young was shot too.