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Unsettling Video Shows Oakland Cop Spit on a Man for Filming Him

August 30, 2015 in Blogs

By Matt Agorist, The Free Thought Project

While it is unclear as to what was happening during the video, the actions of this officer are not disputed.

Oakland, CA — A short video was uploaded to Facebook Saturday that epitomizes the rift between police and the citizens.

The video was posted to Facebook by Peter Garza on Saturday, with the following description:

A OAKLAND,CA police officer spat on a friend of mine last night and he got it on video.. the cop claims it’s not assault, but if it was the other way around I’m sure my friend would of [sic] got charged with “Assault on a peace officer. THIS IS NOT RIGHT! MAKE THIS GO VIRAL

While it is unclear as to what was happening during the video, the actions of this officer are not disputed.

He spat on a man who was filming him.

The act of spitting on a person is considered assault under California law. A California assault can occur even if the touching involved did not or could not cause any sort of injury. It doesn’t need to be direct either—it can be done indirectly by causing an object to touch the “victim,” according to SHouse California Law Group.

CALCRIM 915 – Simple Assault (Pen. Code, § 240). (“The terms application of force and apply force mean to touch in a harmful or offensive manner. The slightest touching can be enough if it is done in a rude or angry way. Making contact with another person, including through his or her clothing, is enough. The touching does not have to cause pain or injury of any kind. [The touching can be done indirectly by causing an object [or someone else] to touch the other person.] [The People are not required to prove that the defendant actually touched someone.]”)


This officer clearly meant to spit in the face of another person. It can in no way be considered a part of his official duty, and he was in obvious violation of the law.

How could this police officer justify spitting on someone? If the roles were reversed in this scenario and the man filming spat on the police officer, you could rest assured …read more


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Stephen Colbert Reveals the Truth About His 'Colbert Report' Character: 'I Had to Actually Leave, I Had to Change'

August 30, 2015 in Blogs

By Colin Gorenstein, Salon

Colbert explains why he was ready to say goodbye and the struggle to 'not let people in.'

In TIME’s cover story this week, a profile of soon-to-be “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert, we learn a great deal. For example: As a child, Colbert said he was “occasionally reckless,” destroying cars and chandeliers and anything placed in front of him. He chose the pronunciation of his last name with the emphasis on the second syllable because he thought it had more of a “worldly ring” to it. He has a deep-seated fear that the public perceives him as a politician (and a comedian, secondarily).

As it goes with any print publication, that comprehensive profile had to be whittled down quite a bit. Today, TIME released the extended version of the interview which includes an interesting look into Colbert’s headspace as he neared the end of “The Colbert Report.” As we already knew, Colbert was more than ready to sign off from the show.  Expanding on this point for TIME, Colbert said that “it became very hard to watch punditry of any kind, of whatever political stripe.”

“I wouldn’t want anybody to mistake my comedy for engagement in punditry itself,” Colbert said. “And to change that expectation from an audience, or to change that need for me to be steeped in cable news and punditry, I had to actually leave. I had to change.”

Keeping up with the character, Colbert said, also quickly became a tedious task. He was tired of “not letting people in.”

“Toward the end of the last show, it was an act of discipline for me to continue to do the character,” he said. “The discipline was not even just keeping the character’s point of view in mind or his agenda or a bible of his views, but there was also a need to not let people in, not let people see back stage—not necessarily know who I am so that the character can be the strongest suggestion in their mind when I do the show. If I let them know too much about me or our process, then I would be picking …read more


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Why Enlisting Turkey to Fight the Islamic State Was a Bad Idea

August 30, 2015 in Economics

By Brad Stapleton

Brad Stapleton

Earlier last week, Turkey announced that it is poised to launch “comprehensive” air operations, in cooperation with the United States, against Islamic State (IS) militants in northern Syria. That announcement is surely welcome news to the Obama administration, whose campaign to degrade and defeat ISIS is now in its second year. Yet this burden sharing entails costs as well as benefits.

Since taking office, Obama has insisted that in the wake of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States’ allies will have to shoulder more of the burden in addressing new and ongoing international security challenges. In the campaign against IS, the administration has ruled out the deployment of U.S. ground troops. Instead, the U.S. military has been restricted to launching airstrikes against IS targets in support of local ground forces in Iraq and Syria. Meanwhile, the administration has pressured regional allies, Turkey in particular, to play a more active role in the conflict.

In the future, the White House should not try to pressure allies into combating threats to international security on Washington’s behalf.”

There are certainly benefits to the administration’s approach. Most importantly, it keeps U.S. servicemen out of harms way. In so doing, it shields the war from the intense public scrutiny that invariably accompanies the sacrifice of American lives. Proponents also contend that ceding greater responsibility to regional allies endows military campaigns with invaluable legitimacy. As national security adviser Susan Rice argued in June 2014: “When we spur collective action, we deliver outcomes that are more legitimate, more sustainable, and less costly.”

Yet Turkey’s intervention in Syria is likely to prove that the ultimate goals and objectives of America’s allies will often deviate quite significantly from those of the United States. Already, the Obama administration has encountered substantial difficulty convincing Turkey to engage in a campaign focused solely on eradicating IS. Ankara has long contended that the campaign must also remove President Assad so that a new government, with greater legitimacy, can reestablish authority throughout Syria. That objective is clearly inspired by a fear that permitting the Syrian Kurds to carve out an autonomous zone in northern Syria would establish a precedent that might prompt the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a group that Ankara and Washington have both categorized as a terrorist organization, to renew its fight for autonomy from Turkey.

Given that concern, it should have come as no surprise …read more

Source: OP-EDS