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June 25, 2018

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And the beat goes on....
Updated On: Mar 06, 2012

The attack on public safety continues with ever increasing demands for sacrifice by the protectors of civility and society. The propaganda from the far right continues with no regard for the facts or the truth.  

Whatever contributions and personal sacrifices, including with our lives, that we have made in the past have been erased from the conscience of many of today's so called conservative politicians.  Many of the politicians who are towing this line do so out of fear of Tea Party retribution if they do not.

America's finest have been re-branded by them as America's greediest. Although many police officers have been blasted into reality about this and now see the light, most police officers are afflicted with a macabre apathy. They continue to support those who would take from them and give nothing in return.  When will enough be enough? How long are we going to take it? When are we going to say enough is enough?

The old Republican party has been hijacked by the extreme right.  The inmates have taken over the asylum.  Every day these politicians become more emboldened in their insanity.  The rights of public employees are being eroded, and with each growing attack our members are waking up to the fact that they will no longer be like lambs obediently being led to the slaughter.  We have had enough.  We will hold them accountable for their actions against us.  The real Republicans must come out of their hiding places, stand up, and take their party back.


Following Article by E. J. Montini, columnist - Mar. 1, 2012 12:00 AM
The Republic |

  A couple of hundred "thugs" are expected to gather at the state Capitol today. That's how Arizona lawmakers have described them, anyway.  They've also called them "goons" and even suggested that the way they operate makes them members of a "cartel," a word most often used to describe Mexican drug lords.

Only these aren't Mexican drug lords.  They're police officers. And firefighters. And teachers. And government workers. In other words, your neighbors.

They're the people to whom you entrust your children. Or count on to process your tax returns or business licenses. The people you call in the middle of the night when you hear a noise outside your window. The men and women who respond to your 911 call when you smell smoke. The people who come in the ambulance when your husband is experiencing chest pains.

You know, evil people.  At least that's how they have been portrayed lately by members of the Legislature and the Goldwater Institute puppeteers pulling their strings. 

Cops, firefighters, teachers and others have formed collectives over the years in order to bargain for wages and benefits. That right was earned by generations of American working men and women who suffered through deplorable conditions and, in some cases, physical assaults and death.

The fact that a few working people in Arizona still join unions has caused at least one member of the Legislature to call them "communists."  Others -- with the help of the fancy suits at Goldwater -- want to eliminate their ability to collectively bargain.

A raft of bills that would kill unions has been introduced, along with Gov. Jan Brewer's plan to make it easier to fire state employees. It's the most concentrated assault on working people in recent Arizona history.

"It's not just our members that they're going after," said Rebekah Friend of the Arizona AFL-CIO.  "In addition to the attacks on police, firefighters, teachers and public workers, there also are bills that go after young people. One to eliminate the minimum wage for some. Another that would make it a lot more difficult for kids to afford college.

"Over the past several years, the atmosphere at the Capitol has shifted dramatically. It's as if these days there is no room for any discussion, no debate, no deliberation.  "Now, it's a lot of name calling. Union members are bad. We're thugs and goons. With some legislators, even the way they say things has a disrespectful tone to it. Some of them, when they say the word 'teacher,' it's as if they are spitting."

The anti-union bills (SB 1484, SB 1485, SB 1486, SB 1487) would do everything from prohibiting the deduction of union dues from public-employee paychecks without annual authorizations to abolishing collective bargaining between state agencies or political subdivisions and any union.

So, today at 1 p.m. at the Capitol, the AFL-CIO will host a gathering of its members.  A few of them hope to get an opportunity to speak with their representatives so that lawmakers will see them for the hardworking, regular people they are rather than members of a cartel.

"I've been active at the Capitol for a while, and there used to be a lot more conversation about issues," Friend told me. "You don't expect everyone to agree, but some of issues are quite complicated -- workers compensation, for example -- and there used to be a lot of give-and-take among legislators and people on all sides. You don't see that anymore."

Instead, lawmakers listen only to their philosophical gurus from places like the Goldwater Institute and ignore the people they're supposed to represent.  Then again, if lawmakers make it more difficult for young people to go to college and manage to frighten away the best teachers of subjects like, for instance, history, Arizona's next generation won't know whom legislators are supposed to represent anyway.

And the Beat Goes On................... 

The disturbing trend that is highlighted in this bill only amplifies what has been an agenda growing against public safety workers in this country on many different fronts since 2009. They love us catching bad guys but for them the buck stops there. Read on.

Indiana House approves bill covering police entering homes

INDIANAPOLIS - Hoosiers could legally defend themselves against police officers who enter their home under a measure that the Indiana House approved on a 74-24 vote, moving it another step toward becoming law, on Thursday. 

This is a NRA promoted and Republican sponsored bill that in all liklihood will result in the death or injury to police, or the fool that shoots at them under this law. This irresponsible act is so popular with conservatives in the Indiana legislature that they made it their number 1 bill of this year's session (SB-1). 

The measure would overturn last year’s Indiana Supreme Court decision. The court ruled that homeowners do not have the right to use force against law enforcement officials who they believe are illegally entering their homes.

That decision came in the case of Richard Barnes, 57, (not Richard Barnes Jr., 38, who was sentenced to prison in 2010 in an unrelated case, or the Rev. Richard Barnes of Evansville) an Evansville man who filed a lawsuit against police who followed him into his house while they were responding to a domestic dispute Barnes had with his wife.

Proponents said the measure provides police with additional legal protection, while affirming the “Castle Doctrine” idea that homeowners have the right to resist anyone, including police, who invades their homes.

In a rare appearance off the rostrum and on the House floor, Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, urged the chamber to approve Senate Bill 1.  “What we’re doing here is we’re writing a jury instruction. We’re writing an appellate standard to see who’s responsible; who has a defense,” he said.“What this says is when it does get to the courts and the courts have to sort out who’s right, who’s wrong, this clarifies that we’re back to the same standard we had in this county, in this state, for more than 200 years.”

Other members were more forceful about the measure’s impact.

Rep. Mike Speedy, R-Indianapolis, said the measure would help Hoosiers who would otherwise “lose freedom” to “the coercive power of government.” He said without action, police officers who kill citizens in their own homes would be protected.  “We can’t kid ourselves – it is as powerful as ever, and without undoing the Barnes decision, it has crept into our home in a way that is wildly unpopular in our communities,” he said.

Rep. Matt Pierce, D-Bloomington, said the measure protects Hoosiers from “rogue cops,” but said he thinks there will be few instances when police improperly enter homes, or where Hoosiers use force against police officers because of the measure.  “I admit that the number of times that is going to happen in our state is going to be infinitesimally small,” he said. “I’m not concerned that we’re going to suddenly have meth-heads sitting in their La-Z-Boy with their shotgun and SB 1 in their hand.”

Pierce, one of the House’s most liberal members, drew laughter when he said it felt uncomfortable to be casting a vote that the National Rifle Association’s lobbyist approved of.

Rep. Mike White, D-Muncie, said he could not vote for the measure and then return to his district and look police officers in the eye.  “Even though I know that factually, this is probably the right thing to do, sometimes law isn’t about fact – sometimes it’s about perception, and it’s that perception that I fear,” he said.

Rep. Craig Fry, D-South Bend, said the bill “is going to cause people to die.”  “And it’s too late after somebody dies for a jury to sort it out. Somebody’s going to die, whether it’s a police officer or an individual who thinks a police officer is entering their home unlawfully. People are going to die,” he said.

Rep. Linda Lawson, a Hammond Democrat who has worked as a police officer and has trained other law enforcement officials, said she believes the measure would create an “open season on law enforcement.”  She said the measure is opposed by “1,250 state police officers and 14,000 men and women in blue, brown and green.”

The bill now returns to the Senate. That chamber could approve it in the form that passed the House, or the House and Senate could have a joint committee try to hash out the differences before sending it back to both chambers for final approval.

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