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Tom Milone, above, called me yesterday afternoon, expressing concern that I might be homeless again. I thanked him, said he’s the first person to do that, of all the people who read my posts. I said I found that outrageously hilarious, all the things people worry about, and worry me about, and just he said he is concerned for me.
Tom also said he is concerned about my homeless friend, described in yesterday’s post at www.goodmorningkeywest.com, who told me a KW cop took her expired driver’s license away, her only identification, and now she has no identification. I encouraged Tom to get the KW Citizen Police Review Board, on which he sits, to find out from the KWPD if its cops are taking up expired drivers licenses, and if the law allows for that.
Tom said the last thing the city wants to do to a homeless person is take away his or her ID. How can that homeless person then get a job? I said the cops don’t think that way. They like doing things like that to homeless people. As do the mayor and city commissioners and city manager like for the cops to do it to homeless people. As do most people in Key West like it.
I gave Tom an analogy.
As reported in the Citizen yesterday morning, during Tuesday night’s city commission meeting there was a discussion on the dais about whether or not the city will hire a consultant to help them decide where and if to build a new parking deck. I said that really concerns those city officials and city staff. Taking a homeless person’s ID away does not concern them.
“Mud Dawg” Mike Tolbert sent a civil rights howler before the dawn’s early light today:
Who screwed this guy more? his lawyers or the cops! Was in your neck of the woods too. If you know these lawyers mention to them they may just be the slime that gives lawyers a bad name.
Alabama man gets $1,000 in police settlement, his lawyers get $459,000
BY SHERREL WHEELER STEWART
BIRMINGHAM Ala. Wed Oct 22, 2014 9:54pm EDT
(Reuters) – An Alabama man who sued over being hit and kicked by police after leading them on a high-speed chase will get $1,000 in a settlement with the city of Birmingham, while his attorneys will take in $459,000, officials said Wednesday.
The incident gained public attention with the release of a 2008 video of police officers punching and kicking Anthony Warren as he lay on the ground after leading them on a roughly 20-minute high-speed chase.
Warren is serving a 20-year sentence for attempted murder stemming from his running over a police officer during the chase, in which he also hit a school bus and a patrol car before crashing and being ejected from his vehicle.
Under the terms of the settlement of Warren’s 2009 federal suit, in which he accused five Birmingham police officers of excessive force, his attorneys will receive $100,000 for expenses and $359,000 in fees, said Michael Choy, an attorney representing the officers on behalf of the city.
The agreement was reached last month and approved on Tuesday by the Birmingham City Council.
The city settled to avoid further litigation and the risk of a higher payout, Choy said.
Warren’s attorneys, Wendy Brooks Crew, Alyson Hood Rains and Cameron Hogan, did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.
(Editing by Jonathan Kaminsky and Mohammad Zargham)
This ex-Birmingham lawyer replied:
Did you amnesia this part of the article?
“Warren is serving a 20-year sentence for attempted murder stemming from his running over a police officer during the chase, in which he also hit a school bus and a patrol car before crashing and being ejected from his vehicle.”
If that report is accurate, I can’t say I blame the cops for beating the crap out of Warren, even if it wasn’t legal.
Looks like Warren had three women lawyers, whose names I don’t recognize, although there is a Hood family in Birmingham, one of whose members was a fraternity brother of mine at Vanderbilt.
Just my redneck justice thinking, Warren himself agreed to the settlement, or it would not have been approved by the federal judge; $1,000 was way too much to pay Warren; and the three women lawyers should have their panties pulled down and their fannies switched in front of the federal courthouse for filing the lawsuit, the public switching videoed and put up on You Tube.
Night owl John Donnelly, of Key Largo, Vietnam combat veteran, sent out an email blast at 2 a.m. today:
The Drone That Killed My Grandson
By NASSER al-AWLAKI
Published: July 17, 2013 759 Comments
SANA, Yemen — I LEARNED that my 16-year-old grandson, Abdulrahman — a United States citizen — had been killed by an American drone strike from news reports the morning after he died.
The missile killed him, his teenage cousin and at least five other civilians on Oct. 14, 2011, while the boys were eating dinner at an open-air restaurant in southern Yemen.
I visited the site later, once I was able to bear the pain of seeing where he sat in his final moments. Local residents told me his body was blown to pieces. They showed me the grave where they buried his remains. I stood over it, asking why my grandchild was dead.
Nearly two years later, I still have no answers. The United States government has refused to explain why Abdulrahman was killed. It was not until May of this year that the Obama administration, in a supposed effort to be more transparent, publicly acknowledged what the world already knew — that it was responsible for his death.
The attorney general, Eric H. Holder Jr., said only that Abdulrahman was not “specifically targeted,” raising more questions than he answered.
My grandson was killed by his own government. The Obama administration must answer for its actions and be held accountable. On Friday, I will petition a federal court in Washington to require the government to do just that.
Abdulrahman was born in Denver. He lived in America until he was 7, then came to live with me in Yemen. He was a typical teenager — he watched “The Simpsons,” listened to Snoop Dogg, read “Harry Potter” and had a Facebook page with many friends. He had a mop of curly hair, glasses like me and a wide, goofy smile.
In 2010, the Obama administration put Abdulrahman’s father, my son Anwar, on C.I.A. and Pentagon “kill lists” of suspected terrorists targeted for death. A drone took his life on Sept. 30, 2011.
The government repeatedly made accusations of terrorism against Anwar — who was also an American citizen — but never charged him with a crime. No court ever reviewed the government’s claims nor was any evidence of criminal wrongdoing ever presented to a court. He did not deserve to be deprived of his constitutional rights as an American citizen and killed.
Early one morning in September 2011, Abdulrahman set out from our home in Sana by himself. He went to look for his father, whom he hadn’t seen for years. He left a note for his mother explaining that he missed his father and wanted to find him, and asking her to forgive him for leaving without permission.
A couple of days after Abdulrahman left, we were relieved to receive word that he was safe and with cousins in southern Yemen, where our family is from. Days later, his father was targeted and killed by American drones in a northern province, hundreds of miles away. After Anwar died, Abdulrahman called us and said he was going to return home.
That was the last time I heard his voice. He was killed just two weeks after his father.
A country that believes it does not even need to answer for killing its own is not the America I once knew. From 1966 to 1977, I fulfilled a childhood dream and studied in the United States as a Fulbright scholar, earning my doctorate and then working as a researcher and assistant professor at universities in New Mexico, Nebraska and Minnesota.
I have fond memories of those years. When I first came to the United States as a student, my host family took me camping by the ocean and on road trips to places like Yosemite, Disneyland and New York — and it was wonderful.
After returning to Yemen, I used my American education and skills to help my country, serving as Yemen’s minister of agriculture and fisheries and establishing one of the country’s leading institutions of higher learning, Ibb University. Abdulrahman used to tell me he wanted to follow in my footsteps and go back to America to study. I can’t bear to think of those conversations now.
After Anwar was put on the government’s list, but before he was killed, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights represented me in a lawsuit challenging the government’s claim that it could kill anyone it deemed an enemy of the state.
The court dismissed the case, saying that I did not have standing to sue on my son’s behalf and that the government’s targeted killing program was outside the court’s jurisdiction anyway.
After the deaths of Abdulrahman and Anwar, I filed another lawsuit, seeking answers and accountability. The government has argued once again that its targeted killing program is beyond the reach of the courts. I find it hard to believe that this can be legal in a constitutional democracy based on a system of checks and balances.
The government has killed a 16-year-old American boy. Shouldn’t it at least have to explain why?
Nasser al-Awlaki, the founder of Ibb University and former president of Sana University, served as Yemen’s minister of agriculture and fisheries from 1988 to 1990.
Morning, John –
Head drone here is President Obama, his puppet master is the Devil. His drone predecessor, G.W. Bush, had the same puppet master. Drone President Lyndon Johnson had the same puppet master. I hope your sending me this today is heralds your turning your attentions and efforts to protesting and hounding USA War, Inc. to hell and back.
I don’t see much difference between using drones in Yemen and B-52s dropping countless bombs and Agent Orange on Vietnam. Lots of civilians mowed down either way.
The US Government has been killing targeted enemies for a very long time without getting court approval. It’s just recently that the public has been told about it, is my take.
I’m going to use this email exchange in today’s post at goodmorningkeywest.com.
Also, I will use your and my most recent emails about the judge race between Jack Bridges and Bonnie Helms. Someone told me recently that Bonnie never has tried a case in court to conclusion. I said that was the first I’d heard of that, and if it was true, it should have been bought out in the candidate forums and in the newspapers, etc.
The person asked me who I favored in that race. I said I didn’t particularly like either candidate. The person echoed that.
Bonnie Helms and Jack Bridges
Maybe six weeks ago now, a woman friend told me Jack Bridges and a man came to her place of work and said they had been sent to her by Rosemary Enright, who is our local Public Defender and whose husband is now former Judge Tegan Slaton, who came in third behind Jack Bridges, who came in second behind Bonnie Helms in the primary election for the judge seat Tegan held.
My friend said the man with Jack did the talking, Jack just listened. The man tried to persuade my friend to back Jack, instead of Bonnie. My friend said she told them that put her in a difficult position, as Bonnie was her lawyer. The man said Bonnie will not make a good judge. Please back Jack. They asked her to put a vote for Jack Bridges sign in her yard. She said she didn’t feel comfortable doing that. The man wrote down his phone number and gave it to her, in case she changed her mind.
My friend told me that she was conflicted; maybe she should do what they asked, or let Bonnie and Jack both put signs in her yard. She might end up in court before one of them, and would there be retaliation, if she had not backed them? I told her to back the candidate she wanted to see in office and not be intimidated by what might happen down the road.
I published that story, more or less, a couple of times. Then John Donnelly wrote to me, praising Jack Bridges to high heaven – no way would Jack participate in something like that. I replied, John wrote back that he was out of the Keys, and when he returned he would talk with Jack about it. I published that, and heard nothing further from John about his talk with Jack. Later, I reminded John that he had said he would speak to Jack.
Then John sent this:
Greetings….Getting back to you…Securing data concerning an alleged event, from an anonymous source, can be challenging.
After my conversation with Jack Bridges, it appears unlikely, if not impossible, for the alleged incident to have occurred, as described to you by your friend.
The two individuals identified by your friend, have not campaigned jointly. Your friend could not have been approached by both of them together.
Jack Bridges is a refined and polished ‘class act’. His gracious and gentle manner are a clear and present reality.
Mr. Bridges’ behavior and conduct are reflective of a brilliance and wisdom, rarely experienced in public life.
In conclusion, it defies logic for any candidate to offend or be discourteous to a voter. Particularly, when said candidate’s nature is antithetical to any type of contumelious action.
With Love, Blessings & Respect,
Hi, John –
My friend is a waitress. She works the morning shift into early afternoon. I saw her this morning. She said she was busy, could only take a minute.
She said Jack Bridges, whom she recognized, and a man and a woman she did not know came in to the restaurant and took a window booth. She pointed to the booth.
She said the man said he was Jack’s spokesperson, and he did all the talking.
She first told me about it a day or so after Jack was in Key West for Hometown PAC’s candidate forum in the Tennessee Williams Theater at the Community College, which forum I attended.
During the candidate forum, Jack was asked by one of Hometown’s panelists how he might try to make up votes in the lower Keys and Key West, where Bonnie had done very well in the primary election? Jack said he was going to have to campaign harder down here, if he hoped to win the general election.
My waitress friend has been in Key West a long time; she might be old enough to be Jack Bridges’ mother. She knows a lot of people here, including Rosemary Enright and Tegan Slaton. She is liked by a lot of people here. I understand why she was approached to get her to back Jack Bridges.
As for, John Donnelly’s comment:
“…. it defies logic for any candidate to offend or be discourteous to a voter. Particularly, when said candidate’s nature is antithetical to any type of contumelious action.”
I had to look up the definition of contumelious – I’d never heard of that word.
Definition of CONTUMELIOUS. : insolently abusive and humiliating. — con·tu·me·li·ous·ly adverb.
Then I had to think back over having run for public office eight times in the Florida Keys.
Then I had to conclude the only person I know who ran for public office down here, who consistently went out of his way to be insolently abusive toward and humiliate voters was me.
Then I had to give Jack Bridges, whom I don’t know very well, the benefit of that doubt.
But I never will give anybody running for public office the unconditional high praise John Donnelly gave to Jack Bridges, because the fact is, politicians shade, they spin, they tell what they want voters to hear. That’s what they do, because they want to be elected.
The fellow who asked me about the judge race and I agreed judges should not be elected. They should be appointed by the governor. Federal judges are appointed by the U.S. President, with approval of the U.S. Senate. That’s not perfect, but it’s better than state judges having to run for office.
Ebola just doesn’t seem to want to go away, either.
U.S. to track everyone coming from Ebola nations
Federal officials working to keep Ebola from spreading into the U.S. have ordered that all travelers who come into the U.S. from three Ebola-stricken West African nations now be monitored for three weeks.
Starting on Monday, anyone traveling from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone will have to report in with health officials daily and take their temperature twice a day.
The measure applies not only to visitors from those countries but also returning American aid workers, federal health employees and journalists. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the new step Wednesday.
The virus has killed more than 4,800 people in West Africa, nearly all in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
CDC Director Tom Frieden said monitoring will provide an extra level of safety. Passengers already get screened and temperature checks before they leave West Africa and again when they arrive in the United States.
The Obama administration has resisted increasing pressure to turn away any visitors from the three countries at the center of the Ebola outbreak, especially after a Liberian visitor to Dallas came down with the infectious disease days after he arrived and later died. Instead, passenger screening was put in place at 5 key U.S. airports. That was tightened Tuesday to funnel everyone coming from those countries through those airports so all are checked. (AP)
This tracking relies on cooperation by travelers from the ebola-hit countries, to work. Does the CDC and President Obama really believe it will work? Might be a rhetorical question.
This also is reported online today:
North Korea will bar entry to foreigners on tourist trips from Friday, because of worries over the spread of Ebola, operators of tours to the isolated country told Reuters.
It was not immediately clear if the North Korean ban also covered non-tourist members of the diplomatic or business community with ties to Pyongyang.
International travel to North Korea is rare and although there have been no reported cases of the virus in the reclusive country, which in the past has sealed its borders to foreign visitors over health concerns. (Reuters)
I see no way for America to seal its borders. However, America could require a 21-day quarantine off all people arriving from ebola-hit African countries. That would be a far more effective screen than the CDC’s procedure in the first ebola article above. In the end, though, I suppose there really is no way to stop ebola from immigrating to America.
Notre Dame-Florida State football game follow up:
Last Saturday, Florida State won, 31-27. The game was close all the way. In the closing seconds, Notre Dame had the ball near the Florida State goal line and threw a pass for a touchdown, which won the game. But wait. One of the officials flagged a Notre Dame receiver for offensive pass interference against a Florida State defender. Neither the receiver nor the defender were in the vicinity of where the pass was thrown and caught by another Notre Dame receiver. The guilty receiver and the not-guilty defender were doing the usual tussle receivers and defenders do when the receiver is trying to get open and the defender is trying to keep the receiver from getting open. This kind of interference call is often a judgment call by the refs. The video playback looked like it could have been called either way, and even that the Florida State defender was interfering with the Notre Dame receiver. But the call was made against Notre Dame. But wait. A Florida State defender took his helmet off when the apparent touchdown gave Notre Dame the win. That’s unsportsmanlike conduct, automatic 15- yard penalty, giving Notre Dame another shot at scoring with just a few seconds remaining on the clock. But wait. The officials did not call the obvious foul against Florida State. “Notre Dame was robbed!!!” became the mantra from Notre Dame and sportscasters. The argument rages still, online.
Notre Dame was supposed to decline to play Florida State, because Florida State had not benched its star quarterback, Jameis Winston, who has been allowed to play despite several of what a lot of people feel are egregious misbehavior of moral turpitude. Notre Dame was suppose decline to play Florida State, and lose by default. When Notre Dame didn’t to that, the angels fixed the final outcome, to give Notre Dame the loss.
How about some Facebook comic relief.
Might be the angels parked a monsoon over Key West this week, putting a serious dent in Fantasy Fest. Might be the angels didn’t do that to make the local Puritans happy. Might be the angels did it to make the people who put money first unhappy.