Monday, July 12, 2010

Epilogue: The Oakland (non) Riots

Well, it appears that my machine is now on the mend and I can start posting again.

Mayberry often complains about his "computersaurus-rex", and I can empathize. Mine is probably slightly newer than his machine. However, the newest machine in the house belongs to the kid. She got the awesome quad core with the dual SLI linked video cards all built into a very girly pink case complete with matching pink mouse and keyboard.

Mine was built from cast off parts.

What is the eco-bully's phrase of choice? "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle"

I prefer "Waste Not, Want Not"

The last series of updates to XP did something somewhere, and even though I attempted to uninstall the updates (among other things), the problems continued and I was forced to re-image my machine with a back up copy. Then installing the software I use was a pain.

In doing so, I found that the new version of Firefox behaves oddly on certain websites with certain plug-ins installed. Eventually, I found that by turning off the hardware acceleration in Adobe's Flash Player, most of the bugs went away.

I have no explanation for why this is.

I still have more software suites to install and update, but at least I have access to all my drives now and can go to the web without the machine locking up.

First, apologies for the duplicate link in my previous post regarding the vandalism that occurred at a Maywood Catholic Church. Here is the correct link, with video: St. Rose Of Lima Parish School Vandalized.

An ABC Local Affiliate Story: Search Is On For Church Hate Crime Vandals

So, before we go on to the non-Riots in Oakland, I have to ask, just what the heck is going on over there in England? Maybe BP has something to do with this since both stories seem to imply the copious use of lubricants. (Hey Kids - this is a good time to stop reading and watch a politically incorrect Porky Pig Cartoon, in living black and white!).

Nanny Died From Watching Porn

Big Budget Porn Movie Filmed In London Hospital

Don't let the folks over there in charge of Obama-care hear about these two stories. I'm sure we'll see a ban on vibrators (Late Night PSA commercial: Use a Vibrator: Go to jail) and hospitals and doctors offices being rented out to porn producers. I can see Bill Clinton fighting Barney Frank to control the newly formed government bureaucracy.

AC/DC - Givin The Dog A Bone

Finished with the cartoon? Good, you can start reading here.

If you followed the story of Oscar Grant, the unarmed man shot in the back by a thug hiding behind a badge, you know that a verdict of involuntary manslaughter was returned against the shooter by a Los Angeles jury.

After the verdict was returned, a number of people gathered in downtown Oakland to voice their displeasure at a system that is viewed as having failed the victim and the family left behind. The estimates I've read say that the number of peaceful protesters was somewhere between 800 and 1500 people.

The protests were uneventful, until after dark.

I'm not sure what the media around the rest of the country showed of the so-called Oakland Riots following the verdict, but it wasn't much of a riot. Local videos and photos often showed more curious people standing around (many with cameras) and media types watching the commotion than actual rioters. Most video seems to be centered around the looting of a shoe store by some opportunists.

Initially local stories carried numbers of " a thousand or more" rioters, but after it was all said and done, the number of people present seems to have coalesced around 500 to 800 within a six block area. That includes the curious, the protesters and the rioters together. The number of arrested seems to have settled around 80.

Police in riot gear from 15 agencies as far away as Sacramento, California descended into Oakland to prepare for expected large scale rioting such as that which followed the Rodney King verdicts. The Oakland Police has declined to state exactly how many officers were on the street during "Operation Verdict", but witnesses say that it was in the hundreds. A command post was established at the Port Of Oakland, and the National Guard was put on alert as well.

Following the Rodney King verdicts, rioting rocked Los Angeles for six days, and by its end had seen blocks of businesses looted and burned. 53 people died, thousands were injured, and an estimated $1 Billion in damages occurred.

In contrast, a Footlocker shoe store, a Subway sandwich shop, and a jewelry store were looted or damaged in Oakland. A few small fires were started in trash bins, and some city and police vehicles were damaged. Oh yeah, a few walls were spray painted, but that happens every night in Oakland.

If you watch the videos (three below), it is obvious the people participating in the looting are opportunists and not really interested in the issue of Grant's verdict.

So, what does this mean?

Hundreds of police are unable to protect three shops from opportunistic looters.

Does that really bode well for serious domestic unrest? Most of us can smell it coming as things continue to deteriorate.

An unnatural calm following an extremely emotionally upsetting verdict. This is especially noteworthy when it was revealed that the judge, Robert Perry who presided over the Johannes Mehserle trial, was allegedly involved in the police cover-ups regarding the Rampart Scandal. To top it off, Judge Perry took the choice of 1st Degree Murder away from the jury, tried to invoke the California Policeman's Bill Of Rights (removes prior misconduct from testimony), put a gag order into effect, and allegedly worked to exclude blacks from the jury pool (Mehserle's attorney, Michael Rain wanted blacks excluded....the sitting jury did not have a single black). The people of Oakland were well aware of Mehserle's previous attack on an engineer, Kenneth Carrethers and stories of Mehserle brandishing his taser and threatening people.

Uh, yeah, that is really very scary. Either people just don't care (wanna buy a bridge?) or something is building that will explode.


Anonymous said...

Frankly, I think it's building all over the country. I see and feel the tension in the blogosphere. People jumping on other people over little things. Threats and general short-temperedness all over.

note; w/v = lowar (low war? a war conducted at street level? Coincidence?)

Western Mass. Man said...

I agree with Furt.
It's almost like there is something in the air so to speak. I've been seeing this increase in my area.
Dunno, maybe the heat?
Thanks Catman.