An American Tragedy … Part Two

   AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY

                     Part Two; the Tragedy for the People of Boulder

The Final Report on Demetrius’s Death

On October sixth, twenty-eighteen, twenty-nine days after his birthday and subsequent ‘arrest’ for a misdemeanor infraction of the law, Demetrius Roy Shankling was pronounced dead by the Boulder County Medical Examiner’s Office; a homicide.’

District Attorney Dougherty had his own take on Demetrius’s killing and called it a case of ‘fourth degree involuntary manslaughter’ which is a technical classification of murder punishable by a non-mandatory two to six year sentence.

This charge is a slap on the wrist to the current CJS community, another slap in the face for all the citizens that believe the Rule of Law applies to any of them under current DA Dougherty or City Attorney Tom Carr, and a kick in the teeth to his family because obviously no one, especially those that have created a culture of criminal cover-ups regarding the CJS is going to be held accountable; Yates, Weaver, Jones Carr or County Sheriff Pella.

Some say because these are County Sheriff’s deputies under Mr. Pella’s command that the city attorney had nothing to do with Debo’s murder; I disagree. I believe the two street cops that executed the handover of Debo to Lunn and O’ Brian are just as guilty as Pella’s thugs. But the City Attorney and the DA, in meetings before the charges were announced, made sure the city could wash their hands of it by pretending that the cops involved had nothing to do with supervising the handing over process, only the misdemeanor arrest for public intoxication, and that their, and conveniently the City’s liability, was over when they turned Debo over to Sheriff Pella’s criminal idiots.

Hear no Evil; See no Evil; Speak in Platitudes to the Multitudes

I believe they shoved Demetrius into the van on his face intentionally; to teach him a lesson. I contend that they didn’t like being disrespected and they were just dishing out a little street justice, none of them I suppose, really wanted to kill that young man on his birthday, just like Pella’s goons  didn’t intend to hurt or humiliate the countless other victims of their exercise of qualified immunity in the jailhouse either, I suppose. They, Pella’s men, were just dealing out a little street justice, the kind other city employees, including Ms. Cole, were used to dishing out innumerable times before without consequence under the auspices of Tom Carr and Stan Garnett and now Mr. Dougherty.

Deputy O’Brian had even broken a county jail inmate’s leg to keep a sense of respect and fear for his authority at the county jail; and having gotten by with that crime of felony assault, certainly felt no fetters on his behavior. The victim of his assault, desiring real cultural change in the CJS, took the case to the state supreme court instead of settling the case for cash, and lost. Does anyone but this writer see the irony of that broken leg case in the manner in which Debo’s died? Is what happened irony or something predictable given the track record of the CJS, mainly the prosecutorial branch, of covering for criminal behavior?

O’Brian’s assistant Deputy Lunn was all in with the thin blue line cultural mentality of street justice in the sense that he was also imbued by an elevated sense of prosecutorial impunity because he was actually working for the gang of lawyerly thugs inside the CJS, the gang of city and county prosecutors and council men and women that really run the town and have decided to turn a blind eye to the abuse of that immunity, and thus Lunn moved with the rest of the herd; he moved with the culture of thin-skinned police pride because it was tolerated and even safe to go along with the mindless meting out of street level justice a la Lolotai.

Actually it was the safest move he could make given that he worked for the biggest criminal element, judging by the lawsuit payoffs and mangled and dead bodies, in town; the unaccountable City Attorney Tom Carr and County DA Dougherty.

Does anyone remember the Ryan Partridge case? You Might want to look into it … he had a psychotic episode, brought on by his inhumane incarceration in Pella’s jail … he couldn’t get basic help so he put his own eyes out! Is anybody on council getting the desperation of the people caught up in the CJS under this kind of sadistic philosophy of  ‘law and order’ which is aimed at setting about creating an ‘them’ vs. ‘us’ fear state.

The other two cops involved in the arrest of Debo, well they must have been the ones supervising the safe handover of Demetrius because obviously O’Brian and Lunn weren’t supervising themselves, they were too busy dealing out some street justice, and thus for their outstanding supervision those other two accomplices to his murder were rewarded by not getting indicted even though they took part in creating the crime scene.

Public Intoxication is a misdemeanor, and Debo’s friends had offered to help him home safely but no one, no one, disrespects a city employee while Tom Carr and Michael Dougherty are around. That is the code of solidarity they both embrace; a hear no evil, see no evil, and speak only in platitudes upon political death, observed for years now by Councilman Yates and Sam Weaver and Stan Garnett and former Mayor Jones and now Dougherty on the institutionalized corruption of the Criminal Justice System in the Most Beautiful city in America.

The Perpetuation of Institutional Malevolence in Boulder Colorado’s CJS

Mr. Carr currently makes sixteen percent more money than any other city attorney in the state of Colorado, roughly thirty thousand dollars more per year; they actually gave him a raise a year after Debo’s murder; based on what I do not know given his track record of lawsuits, the promulgation of illegal legislative regulations and their attendant lawsuits, and last but not least his seemingly intentionally, at least unaccountably, misinformed voting advice.

Mr. Carr has a very long track record of just such treatment of citizens going all the way back to his days as the City Attorney for the city of Seattle Washington; in his tenure there he had over four hundred citizen complaints about police enforcement abuse that were left uninvestigated on his desk; one of which was of a pregnant woman tasered four times by an officer for not complying during a traffic stop; a Sandra Bland type of case in which the officer was clearly out of control. She sued and it took eight years before the case was settled; this is how Mr. Carr practices law for any city he works for with a competence that is marginal if not downright malevolent; look it up!

Weaver and Yates and others under the current administration that voted for his pay raise did this for him just last year so that it looks like he is actually being rewarded for his long standing efforts at defending the ongoing culture of cover up of the criminal activity of the city’s CJS.

I suggest the City Council under the heavy hand of Mr. Yates and Mr. Weaver’s Polly Anna style leadership in the particular are in cahoots with Mr. Carr and Dougherty whether by outright commission and certainly by omission, have chosen to ignore Debo’s murder at the hands of their own un-indicted employees due to their own very corrupted relationship with the overall CJS community; district, county and city.

Mr. Weaver thinks the police are doing a great job rescuing Jeeps, and therefore is predisposed to think Polly Anna thoughts about the unlawful use of violence, while Mr. Yates thinks he has a private line to the cop shop anytime he needs to criminalize some poor people for the sake of a merchant. Neither one of these men have come to terms with their own failures and responsibility in Demetrius’s case and therefore continue to refuse to name Debo in the first five minutes of any council meeting thus far; a see no evil, speak no evil policy toward the biggest criminal organization in … in The Most Beautiful City in America.

Meanwhile these ‘leaders’ are giving lip service to police reform; note the one hundred plus sweeps of homeless encampments thus far this year… speak in platitudes and carry a big stick is, I guess, the new norm. They do this to distract from the real core issues; incompetent and worst yet, unaccountable leadership

A Few Rhetorical Questions

Can anybody on the current City Council see Demetrius or the spit bag victim out there among the other casualties of this ongoing effort by these leaders to brush aside the malfeasance of the City Attorney and protect the status quo at any cost?

Is there no voice to speak for these victims except an outlawed writer’s pen? Is there no political leader out there with the courage to speak of the divided and blighted social-cultural landscape the CJS and Jones and Yates and Weaver have made of the counterculture culture they inherited from the Bohemians?

Can anybody on the sitting council muster enough personal courage of character to say Debo’s name aloud at the first of every meeting between now and the trial of his murderers; Mr. Yates perhaps, or Mr. Weaver, or even Mush-mouth Wallach or the current Ms. Jones?

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An American Tragedy … Crime and Punishment in America’s most Beautiful City

An American Tragedy

Crime and Punishment in America’s Most Beautiful City

It’s a fall morning in a working class neighborhood on the edge of one of the most beautiful, wealthiest, and brightest little towns in America. Boulder, Colorado sits on the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains overlooking the vast, oceanic High Plains like the fabled City on a Hill of legend and lore; it was once the capital of the Bohemian Republic of Boulder.

A Working Class Neighborhood

It’s just before sunrise and Demetrius, Demetrius Shankling, ‘Debo’ to his family and friends, is just coming out of the shower in his garage apartment. It’s a small affair, kitchen and living room as one open room, with the bedroom and shower separated by a pony wall. He towels off and picks up a pair of old jeans laying on the back of the sofa; his legs sliding into the leg holes like fingers into a loose glove, his lean, athletic body moving effortlessly at his thoughtless command.

He sits down, pulls a black T-shirt from a pile of rumpled clothes next to him on the couch, smells it, and pulls it over his head. He puts on his socks and work boots, then picks up his phone and keys, and is out the door. The door he goes out is the door to the garage apartment he’s been living in the past few years since he’s been going to university. He stays there because it’s cheap; as in being his parent’s garage apartment rent-free cheap. They’d made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.

He’s up so early because he’s hoping to get to his girlfriend’s place before she goes to work. But today being his birthday he knows his mother will have fixed his favorite breakfast, and will be waiting in the kitchen for a little conversation. He also knows that if he broke their little tradition, or any family tradition for that matter, he’d not hear the end of it until the following year, when he’d be expected to exercise it correctly. Family tradition was everything in the world to his mom; she was the keeper of the flame of family traditions, almost all of which she’d personally started herself, out of a desire to create a lace curtain family from her own hard work and imagination. He knew he had to go to the main house before he left, even if it cost him an extra twenty minutes. Nicole would have to wait for family tradition, for Momma.

It’s quiet in the neighborhood; none of the neighbors are out in the predawn darkness. There are no motor noises, or the sounds of the usual hustle and bustle on the street from students going to school, or contractors leaving for work in the tonier neighborhoods. He noted that the crickets were still sleeping and the birds were only chirping mutedly, clearing their throats sporadically; not territorially, because like the dogs in the neighborhood, they were cool with this part of the morning as a sort of ceasefire time for the yard dogs and cats on the block, before the neighborhood-wide backyard jungle racket woke everybody up.

The air is still and cool and crisp as the Earth turns silently into the sun, slowly lighting the shallow crevices of his part of the backyard jungle; the patio furniture and plants reveal themselves in degrees of color as a sea of grey is slowly drained from the land. There’s a golden hue on the horizon as the rays of the sun’s coming cresting pushes back the deep darkness of infinity, as the sky above him blushes blue, then white, as it awaits the sun’s arrival.

Momma

Demetrius quietly opens the back screen door, turns the antique brass doorknob on the stained glass door, and enters the main house stealthily. It was an old door with a stained-glass window he’d found on one of his construction cleanup jobs, and he’d installed it on the back instead of the front of the house because it fit that jam perfectly, and since that’s where the family really lived, out in the backyard, it would be seen more. It was all in an effort to please his mother’s lace-curtain tastes; and so for him it was a just another door into her heart that they both could use.

The house is quiet, only the humming of the furnace can be heard as the family dog silently greets him. The dog was cool, he knew how to be stealthy, he was simpatico with the early morning code of silence, and so, like on so many mornings before his birthday, the dog had kept his cool when Demetrius opened the back door. The dog knew that if he kept cool anything flying out of the refrigerator that was left over from the night before that Demetrius didn’t eat, was his alone, no cats involved. So he kept his mouth shut, as he silently followed Demetrius into the kitchen, waging his tail expectantly, noisily, annoyingly.

As Demetrius continued down the back hall to the kitchen he heard his mom humming an old tune, scurrying around the stove and slaving away no doubt at his birthday feast that would happen later that day.

“Momma, momma, I told you, no … no breakfast this morning. I’m in a hurry; I have to be at work in ten minutes.”

“Do you think that’s what I told the doctor that delivered you? ‘Please, hurry up Doctor, my son is impatient to get to work!’ ”

“Momma, I love you, but time isn’t on my side this morning!” was all he could say to her gentle chide as he smiled and kissed her on the forehead.

On the table were what she called ‘old country’ burritos; minced sausage and chopped eggs topped with cheese and sandwiched between potato pancakes; all of it wrapped in foil for his lunch. On the table were a glass of orange juice and a bowl of frosted flakes for his breakfast; his favorite birthday breakfast cereal since before he could ask for them by name.

“Please, my little Debo, sit with your momma and talk a little before you go.”

She’d called him Debo since he was born; it was a made-up magical name for a miracle baby. When he first appeared in the world he was sickly and she thought she’d lose him to the cold and damp; it was a bad New York winter when he was born, and the heat in the house had been cut off more than once. And then there was the lack of proper medicine too, which had added to her worry because they were so wretchedly poor back then they couldn’t even afford to go to the doctor regularly, much less afford the medicine he prescribed. But through it all they’d persevered as a family, on the old remedies of hard work and moral courage; and now it was his twenty-third birthday, and he was healthy and happy, and all was well with her world, so she wanted to take stock before he left that morning. He was her miracle gift to the world too, her world-beater. She gave him love, and he gave her a dream of a better world, a world with grandchildren.

“Please, spend some time with your mother before you rush off,” she pleaded.

He couldn’t deny her his affections, his love, so they sat and talked about the house in New York they’d lived in before moving to Bolder Boulder and how he used to bounce a tennis ball off the garage door and catch it on the fly and then run and slide and call the invisible man he was chasing ‘Safe!’ or ‘Out!’

And they talked about how hot and humid it’d been and how relieved they were when they knew for sure that they were moving to Boulder. And that made him think of everything that’d happened since they’d moved. Somehow he’d managed to get into CU right after they’d come and it was a first generation achievement for the family, which for him meant he was setting a new tradition, a new way forward, and he knew that was part of what made his mother so proud that day; he was one year away from both his, and her, graduation.

Since they’d moved he’d found that he loved the place. At first it was just him and the dog and Chautauqua Park with a soccer ball, but it didn’t take long for him to find new friends, because there was always a pick-up game at the park or the intramural fields on campus. And his new friends had girlfriends and they had friends.

Nicole

That’s where he’d met his girlfriend, after a pick-up game on the intramural fields on campus. She’d been watching him and his friends play, and when the game was over she’d said, by way of introducing herself to him, “You must be David Beckham.” Which was a great conversation starter as far as he was concerned. They’d actually met a year earlier in one of his biology classes and she’d made an impression but it was a hurried introduction and there were a lot of other people around and he’d forgotten about her until the day he’d met her again on that playing field.

It was a beautiful fall day when they’d met, just like his birthday was shaping up to be. He remembered the leaves had been tawny and molting, falling from the trees and moving in swirls along the street, and then gathering in the gutters. He remembered it because he’d walked her home that day, and today smelled the same too.

It was serendipity when they’d run into each other on that field, and that it was in the evening, in what the photographers call the ‘golden hour’ which made her seem ethereal the second time they’d met. Or maybe there was an opening in his heart just her size and she’d fallen into it. But regardless of dreams and desires and mystical forces, from that time forward they became inseparable and had never, ever, in all their time together, spoken to each other in anything but trusting and kind terms. They were simpatico from the start.

Neither one of them could fight well enough to carry a grudge for more than a few minutes because they loved each other’s company too much. While they had a lot of friends and a good social circle, they lived in their own world; a world they’d cobbled together out of his garage apartment, and the dog, and skiing and sailing dates. So they did what they needed to do to achieve their own dreams, and that meant they stayed home a lot, and watched old movies to save money for such adventures.

He was just the kind of person she’d dreamed of one day meeting, athletic, smart and well-educated, which are different things; tall with broad shoulders, and from a very loving family. But most of all he was gentle in spirit. She on the other hand was beyond his wildest dreams; out of his league his friends had told him. So instead of making a big deal of it he’d told himself he’d just play along to see where it went, and that’s how he came to let his guard down and fall in love; after a month he was smitten.

Until only recently he’d thought of himself as younger than he was, because the shoes he had to fill were so big. The family responsibilities that were coming to him with graduation were so big that he didn’t really want to fill them too soon; so he played at life with her and the dog because he figured he still had one more year of real freedom before he had to decide any of the big questions, namely how he was now going to help his family, his mother, reach her dreams; it was his last year without man-sized responsibilities.

The Escape Plan

He also had an escape plan if everything went sideways after graduation. The summer after he’d met Nicole they’d gotten into sailing and had begun to take lessons from an old man on Horse Tooth Lake. His dockside name was Captain Travis; but nobody knew his real name, not even him as it turned out. They took lessons from him every weekend on a twenty-two foot Catalina he rented them before they finally saved enough to settle into a twenty-seven foot Cat with a cabin below deck in the third year. It turns out that sailing isn’t for everybody, so they’d gotten it super cheap.

That’s when they both decided to go to the East Coast after graduation for a breather. They figured that by sailing the intercostals that summer, until they really got good at sailing, they’d be ready for the open ocean, and then they’d decide to either return to town or just sail away from all of it.

In those summers the old man and Demetrius had grown close. As close as you can get to an old man who thought he knew everything about sailing the open ocean you ever wanted to know, and claimed that he’d sailed the seven seas several times in fact; but also had bad breath, as well as no sense of social etiquette, and spit tobacco juice everywhere, including more than once inside the cockpit of their boat.

All of this flashed through his mind as he sat in the small alcove of the kitchen and ate his frosted flakes as his mom continued shuffling around the stove, humming old Greek songs.

“Dinner’s at six-thirty. You gonna be there, right? You have to be on time, you know. You know how much Aunt Ida and Uncle Henry want to see you. They came all the way from New York, and they’re only going to be here until Monday.”

She says this as she begins work on the big birthday bash by pulling the best china and flatware out of the cabinets and drawers.

“You’re gonna bring your girl too, right? Your aunt and uncle want to meet her, you know.” She looks at him sheepishly, and then makes a few promises she won’t keep.

“I know, I know, I won’t talk about marriage, I promise.”

She looks at him again and blushes mischievously, because they both knew that’s all she’d talk about with his aunt and uncle. He also knew it was impossible for her to do otherwise; and that conversation about who he was going to marry would be open to speculation by all in the family until he was actually married.

“And no talk about kids either, you understand?”

He knew she understood but would talk about everything anyway; she was a born blabbermouth. The family could be taxing for any girl who dared come too close, so he chose carefully when and where to expose Nicole to their interrogations, but the birthday after dinner inquisition was unavoidable.

“Oh never mind, Momma,” he chuckled defeatedly, as he tucked the burritos into his jacket pockets, kissed her on the check, and was out the back door before she could make any further demands or protestations. Just as he got outside he saw Nicole at the top of the stairs on the landing of the garage apartment, and was relieved that he didn’t have to spend time getting to her place.

The Unknowable Future

Once inside Nicole hesitated unnaturally before taking off her coat, and when she did he was transported to heaven, girlfriend heaven, to first love heaven, to a youthful athletic heaven, to a place beyond current cares and woes where everything is possible in an unknowable future with love alone.

His bed smelled like him, his body, and a little like his dog. She smelled like he thought the fragrance of heaven would smell like; like rain and baby kittens. They made love with their bodies and their minds and souls as they held each other and dreamed and planned and plotted where they’d be in a year, and what dockside marina life held in store for them.

The alarm went off in the middle of their dreaming and loving, and they both knew they had places to be and responsibilities to meet; so that after the second snooze alarm went off it was a long kiss and a short goodbye, and they were off to their destinies, she to her classes, then to work; and him to work, no classes. They’d both agreed that they’d meet up for the family dinner around six.

The Crew

He arrived late to work, but since it was just him and few of his friends working a catch-as-catch-can construction operation, it didn’t matter much; but he still felt bad when he was late that morning, because it was just the responsible thing to do, to show up when you signed up for the work. Luckily the guy who was renting the dump truck was late too, so it was all good.

Steve was already there and Tim arrived with the truck soon after, so that work fell into a groove right away. They were in the middle of tearing down and hauling away an old wood barn for a client and they’d done most of the work in the previous two days. So all that was left of it was debris that needed to be hauled away, and by that third day they’d become a machine so that they didn’t speak much in the morning, and only really got warmed up once the lunchtime hacky sack game got underway.

They were all students in the crew. There were ten of them all together in the business that they’d formed together; and they signed up and worked whatever jobs they needed or could work according to their talents and class schedules. They had a business major do the books, but what was remarkable about their construction crew over others in the same business, what bound them together with an esprit de corps, was that they were all soccer players; most had been on high school teams and thus were really good, and some even came from the university team.

They were all top players, and to rank them would have been absurd because at that level of play it was just a matter of whether you were ‘hot’ on a given day, because being hot was the only edge you could get over any of them.

These noonday hacky sack games were just practice for them, and what they practiced was sporting style. It’s one thing to beat your opponent in any sport, but quite another to beat them with style. It’s called sportsmanship, and that’s really what they were practicing, because over the years, on countless fields, they’d taught themselves this one truth about their game, that it’s not whether you win, it’s how you play to win; and in this way they found they were always winners, even when the scoreboard was against them.

They finished the work early that day, but not soon enough to beat it to the dump on the last run, so they took the rental truck with them as they moved their never-ending game of one-upmanship to the intramural fields, grabbing a few beers along the way. They parked in an empty lot, empty except for the no truck tow-away zone signs everywhere, and popped the tops. Soon enough they all felt bulletproof as they sat on the tailgate, and the fact that no one was hassling them about parking the truck where they had, emboldened them to go on to play soccer with the gods; they felt crazily lucky.

It was a glorious day, and running in the cool breeze in the late afternoon sun made it seem to him like he was literally riding the wind; he felt shoulder to shoulder with the gods that celebrated life itself through athletic competition. The beer buzz brought all the elements of the day into one dream-like state of consciousness; the hard work, the brilliant sun, the gentle breeze, the ultra-green grass, his body, his life, his love; his whole being celebrated being young and thoughtlessly graceful and strong and beautiful in spirit, as he got on one of the hottest streaks of his life, scoring three unassisted goals that afternoon.

After the game they returned to the truck to find a hundred dollar ticket waiting for them.

The Birthday Dinner

Debo got back to the house a little after six and went to the garage apartment and showered. He was late, again, but that didn’t hold up the family get together in the main house. Nicole arrived shortly thereafter and they both went into the house to meet the family, some of them for her for the first time.

Sometimes being late works out okay, because for him and her being late that day had spared them from a pre-dinner inquisition. Aunt Ida and Uncle Henry would’ve demanded answers and wouldn’t have been deterred in their pointed bluntness from taking a pound of flesh back home for further consumption. So that being late for his own party was in this case the best of all possible worlds for Nicole.

There was the dinner of course where everyone spoke Greek and he did the translations for her. Then there were the after dinner birthday rituals which involved baby pictures being passed around with accompanying embarrassing stories told by people that couldn’t tell a story straight, much less remember the pertinent parts. So that his whispered interpretations followed a better narrative of his younger years, along with a running description of what it was to be born into a family with no good storytellers; which made her laugh at the wrong parts almost uncontrollably, embarrassingly.

But when he received the new snow skis from his mother, and the skipper’s cap and nautical sunglasses from Nicole, he got choked-up, which surprised him. Since he couldn’t say the words that were stuck in his throat, he just kissed them both tenderly and blushed. After an hour and a half Nicole and the birthday boy slipped out the back door and sat outside on a patio glider under the star-filled sky and talked about nothing in particular, and everything that you didn’t need to say with words. It was getting cooler so they snuggled under a large blanket against the cold, her on the edge of shivering, him sheltering her with the warmth of his body.

They fell asleep nestled in each other’s arms under that blanket of stars and when they awoke it was already after ten and Nicole had to get back to her life; but not before she produced a first mate’s cap of her own, and then insisted on showing him the rest of her new sailor’s uniform. She left him an hour later, in his bed peacefully asleep as she slipped out of the garage apartment, down the steps and back to her place.

Time Marches On

About a half hour after she left he got a call from Steve asking him if he was going to meet up with the rest of the crew as planned to celebrate his birthday. Him being one of the key players on the team, both the construction and soccer teams, he felt he had to go to his own party because for one it would be a lost opportunity to celebrate the good life, his good life with his friends; and two, he felt it wouldn’t be sporting to live his life with unexplored opportunities. So he got out of bed for the second time that day, this time much more tired than before.

He slipped on his jeans, slipped a T-shirt over his head, slipped his feet into some loafers, sans socks, then grabbed his phone and keys, and was out the door, the door of the garage apartment he got to stay in for free while he was in college.

The bar wasn’t far from his place and since he was still a little sleepy and groggy from the dinner wine he decided to walk. When he got to the bar most of the crew was already celebrating and had been for some time. They’d secured their favorite pool table in the corner of the room, meaning that they could see every girl in the place without looking obvious about it. Debo had taken to calling it the crow’s nest, and playing pool at that bar had become one of their weekly rituals precisely because it lent itself to girl watching; which was another game they participated in at every opportunity.

For Demetrius the day had been long and exhausting; but at the end of it he was glad to be among friends, friends that he’d met and been friends with almost from the first day he got to Boulder. These were friends that he’d met after leaving New York, after leaving high school, and thus were a world apart from where he’d grown up, which was mostly around his New York cousins.

They’d all come-of-age together in the study halls and sports fields of the university, and by working together they’d miraculously, not by design, formed a small, tight group that had their own chivalric round table, him and the crew. Most of them were going on to graduate in a year, and then they’d be scattered to the winds on their own quests; so they all knew this year, this next year of school, and its untroubled lifestyle, was theirs to enjoy perhaps for the last time in their lives. They’d mastered the scholarly tasks set before each of them and it was heady, and the future was bright, and so they made a lot of plans and promises of lifelong fidelity to each other that night, and in the meantime promised to do as many things together as they could squeeze into their schedules, knowing this last year was going to be their signature year.

Debo poured a beer from the crew’s pitcher and put some quarters on the pool table when he arrived. It was a pairs’ competition so the games were long and drawn-out and there seemed to be no groove for him to slide into as he began to play and then got caught up in side conversations and occasional girl watching. One of the most remarkable things of that day was that from the time his quarters came up on the table until he left, he got on one of the hottest shooting streaks anyone in the bar had ever seen. It was slow to take hold at first, but from the beginning he was on his game and he never let up.

Above all else that night, the object for the crew was to hold the crow’s nest as long as they could, so that as long as one of the crew was playing the table, beating all comers, or even losing, they could still hold the crow’s nest if they had enough quarters on the table. Holding the table was the game inside their game, and that meant that they had to be on the watch for sidewinders, rapscallions, and usurpers, but that night no one was on watch; they were untroubled.

Their strategy was simple; they put their quarters down several places ahead so that even if they lost a game or two they’d have several attempts to take it back without giving up the best seats in the house. As Demetrius shot and won time after time the crowd in the bar started noticing, and the more drunk he got, the more he won. But on the inside of his brain he could see his aim was getting worse and worse.

Yet his luck was such that day, his twenty-third birthday day, that in that final game, even when he didn’t aim, he still won the table.

The Game of a Lifetime

That game, for the crew’s bar bragging rights, for the history books, went something like this; some off-duty policemen had just arrived at the bar, body-building types with buzz cuts, and they’d somehow managed to put their quarters on the table without anybody in the crew noticing.

In addition, and because his winning streak had begun over an hour before when his beer high had just begun, and because it took so long between shots being a pairs’ game, and thus more drinks between shots, his powers of focusing on the ball he was to shoot had completely left him by the time the greatest pool game of his life had begun. Consequently they, Demetrius and his pool partner Tim, were initially savaged.

Every time Tim, Debo’s partner, took a shot he had a roughly fifty-fifty chance of making the pocket because he’d arrived late and hadn’t drunk as much as the rest and was thereby chosen; whereas the other team, both being sober, probably had a seventy-thirty chance, and Demetrius who was drunk by then, had about a zero chance of making the pocket because his hot steak was petering out into a death spiral. Then it happened; just when all hope was lost, and there were five balls on the crew’s side, and only the eight ball was left on the police squad side, Debo made the singular greatest move that has since gone down as legend in that bar; he outgunned the keystone cops with style.

He cleared the table, smiling a drunken, slaphappy smile the whole way.

The off-duty cops were trying to spook him the whole while, standing over a pocket and grabbing their nuts when he lined up the shot, as a way to intimidate him, or coughing loudly at the last second to distract him, or talking trash. But none of it had worked; and when he was down to the eight ball he called the pocket on a bank shot and did it thoughtlessly, effortlessly, mercilessly, as the bar erupted with cheers.

The off-duty cops, who’d taken Debo’s drunken, slaphappy smile to be a smirk, claimed that he’d cheated, and that they’d been set-up by a shark, and demanded a rematch. Which was very unsporting and absolutely not in keeping with the rules of the table; much less the crew’s chivalric code, so the losers were booted.

But not before Demetrius saluted them and their nonsense by making a drunken fart sound with flappy lips and then said, “I fart in your general direction!” which didn’t set well with any of them. At this point Steve and Tim, Demetrius’ oldest and best friends in Boulder, grabbed him under his arms and carried him outside to get some fresh air.

The Real Cops

Outside the bar they ran into another set of cops, except these were on-duty cops and they had guns and uniforms and cudgels; and that’s where Demetrius’ hot streak, his youthful good fortune, and one of the most glorious days of his life became a death spiral in the back of a police van.

As soon as they got outside and Demetrius stood on his own feet, he fell into some bushes. His friends pulled him up and were leaving the bar with him in tow when the commotion in the bushes attracted the attention of two city police officers that were stationed on the street outside the bar; they came over and started interrogating the three of them.

Assessing that Demetrius was intoxicated, they proceeded to arrest him for public intoxication, a misdemeanor, and called for a transport van to take Debo to a special detox facility that had been set up specifically for students returning to university who’d celebrated their return too much; a catch and release program.

Demetrius had seen enough of the cops for the day, uniform or not, so he began speaking his peace, drunkenly; so of course they didn’t understand him, except to note that he took a belligerent exception to his arrest. His friends offered to get him home safely, but the offer was refused; and the more the young men protested, and as Demetrius added more sense to his original two-cents, the more adamant the on-duty cops became; to the point of threatening the two friends with arrest if they didn’t move on.

Soon after this, after his friends had indeed moved on as ordered, Demetrius was trundled into the transport van by four rather burly men; between the four of them they couldn’t have gotten his transport more wrong.

He was already handcuffed, drunk, and tired. And although he was mouthy, which was to be expected given that the best hot streak he’d ever been on had just come crashing to an ignoble end, he was in their charge physically, and in his own mind mentally aware enough to know what was happening to him and his body, even if his responses had become delayed and a bit out of order.

The Deputies Double-down on the Street Justice

The four of them, cops and deputies all, city and county employees all, four of them watching and participating, managed to put him in the van, head first, lying on his stomach. Not buckled on the bench as is mandated by law, not on his back, not sideways or even fully laid-out on an open (un-partitioned) floor. They’d shoved him into the van head first, on his stomach, into the smaller of the two sides of the divided compartment.

Demetrius was over six foot; the compartment floor is four foot seven, a difference of about a foot and a half. To accommodate this difference one of the four men who were seeing to his safe transport bent Demetrius’s leg at the knee and shut the door on it; thereby pinning it between the metal partition of the compartment and the door itself. He then said to his partners, the cops who’d made the arrest, “Another satisfied customer!”

As Demetrius lay in the van he began to sober up pretty fast, not legally sober but in his mind sober, because the danger was real. He felt the cold steel on his face, his hands cuffed behind his back, and his leg pinned. His head was turned at ninety degrees and pressed against the steel wall of the passenger compartment, and his shoulders lay flat against the floor. He was sober now as he began to gasp for air. The alcohol wasn’t working against him now; it was giving him extra strength. He used that extra strength to try to unwedge his leg from between the partition and door, but it was pinned too tightly.

Surprisingly, he even thought about how ironic it was that it was the same leg he’d just made three unassisted goals with, and then he mused that if he had to he’d break it, if it meant he could breath. He was thinking that clearly, at first.

He struggled to curl his body so he could lift himself out of the position of having his face pressed against the wall, so he could breathe; but with his hands being cuffed behind him he found it impossible. He then tried to turn onto his side, but the half compartment was too narrow to move. Finally, in desperation, he tried to break his own leg, but couldn’t because he could get no angle on it. He languished in terror for his life for a good nine minutes before his brain became so deprived of oxygen that he began to blackout, and the real world drifted in and out of focus.

Sheriff Pella’s thugs, Lunn and O’Brian, put him in that way as a rough joke among their colleagues, and laughed and talked sports in the passenger compartment on their way to the detox center. They talked about the women they’d meet at the upcoming Police Union’s annual barbecue as Debo called out several times the best he could, then he screamed and gasped wildly, and then finally fell silent, as they carried on blathering about more important things.

They’d had one job to do, get him the center safely, and they’d failed.

At that moment, at that very moment, when councilman Yates was saying goodnight to his cat, and councilman Weaver was cooking some popcorn because he couldn’t sleep, and former Mayor Jones was dreaming of what a beautiful city Bolder Boulder is and how wonderful it had all been being mayor of the most beautiful city in America, Demetrius was fighting for his life in the back of a van they’d been driving for years.

They’d had one job to do above all else, to protect the citizens of Boulder, and they’d failed, and failed, and failed.

The Dreamtime

Debo watched from above after the last blackout. He watched as the van sped through the streets of Bolder Boulder. He watched as they arrived at the detox center and realized he was not in the van; that he’d left his body and escaped. He watched as they worked on him, his body, and then called an ambulance. He watched as he was transported to the hospital, and as the doctors intubated him in the emergency room. He watched as he was wheeled upstairs to the ICU unit, in a coma.

He watched the nurses and doctors work on him, his body, as he noticed time pass without measure. He watched as his body was being washed, and as the attendant pulled him forward and washed his back, he felt the lukewarm cloth against his skin. It felt glorious, like warm water and cloth and skin; his skin, and his body, and his soul, and his mind lay in that state, in that hospital bed, for twenty-nine days as he felt both attached to it, and very much outside of it.

In the in-between times he watched as his parents and Nicole came and went, and when they came he was in his body and could hear them but couldn’t speak, and when they left he would once again watch everything the medical staff was doing to his body from a corner of the room near the ceiling.

In the final days, when he’d go into his body to sleep, he dreamed of his family and Nicole, and their future. He dreamed of Boulder a lot too, of soccer and school. He dreamed of the move west with his family, of losing old friends, and then finding new ones on the intramural fields. He dreamed of his getting into CU and how hard that’d been. He dreamed of his classes and even some of the professors, and how he’d actually made it to his last year, which surprised him most of all.

Mostly though, he dreamed of sailing his twenty-seven-foot Cat up the inter-coastal with Nicole. Near the end, he started dreaming of Travis, the old man he’d met when he started sailing some years earlier. In his final dream he saw the old man as clear as day. He was sleeping hard when he got near to death, the drugs he was on kept him in a coma so his body could heal, but his mind and heart and soul had already left, he’d only stayed around to comfort those he loved … and they were not comforted … he could no longer talk, could no longer tell them how much he loved them; he was helpless to help them.

In his final dream, in which the drugs had finally taken him under, he dreamed of Nicole again, but not her exactly, directly. He dreamed of her smile and smell. The air was filled with her smell, like rain and baby kittens, and he drifted off and soon found himself flying above a sailboat that was fully underway, coming out of a secluded bay just at sunrise. The boat was unfamiliar, and maybe a thirty-three-footer he guessed, the bay was isolated and beautiful, and the water was crystal clear.

Next he felt himself descending, still flying but getting closer to the ketch until he was just a few feet above the deck and closing fast like a sea bird. As he came abeam of the cockpit he saw that the old man, Travis himself, was captaining the vessel, and forward he could see there was a couple sitting on the raised deck of the cabin below, arms around each other as they basked in the light of the breaking dawn. As he flew closer still, he saw that the girl was Nicole, and that he was sitting beside her.

Just then, in a flash, as things often happen in dreams, he was captaining the vessel and Nicole was in the cockpit too, and the old man had vanished and nothing but the open ocean lay in front of them.

Postscript

Demetrius Roy Shankling, Debo to his family and friends, spent the rest of that month in the county hospital in a coma; and died without ever regaining consciousness.

To this day, almost two years later, Tim and Steve have survivor’s remorse and are at times racked with guilt over what happened to their friend; one of the best of the crew. The crew didn’t survive that night; none of them could come to terms with the horror of his death at the hands of the police, or the guilt, so they just drifted apart and didn’t speak of it as they waited for justice from the Courts in Bolder Boulder.

Author’s Note

Demetrius was failed by the entire system of governmental checks and balances meant to disallow the emergence of personal pathologies in social vectors that could potentially promote it. Most especially where the state has a monopoly of power and violence, the City Council, the DA’s office, the City Attorney Tom Carr, and Judges like John F. Stavley, all failed this beautiful young man that night when he was caught defenseless in front of a couple of low-level thugs; they were his only defense, and they were home thinking of themselves and their good governance.

The city council has continually failed to protect its citizens for years, probably since City Attorney Tom Carr and former DA Stan Garnett had come on the scene; what more proof do you need of their malfeasance? How many body bags before we learn the Vietnam War is over, and we no longer kill our kids in the name of the status quo?

 

Robert Augustus Gerard

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Bolder Boulder’s COVID COUNCIL presents Bob Yates and his Reactionaries

Bolder Boulder’s  Covid Council presents a Bob Yates Performance on Boulder’s Political Broadway

   A Study in Bobvillian Theatre

The first rule of the theatre is the willing suspension of disbelief, and when it comes to Bob Yates and his performance as one of the leaders on the COVID council this frame of mind is essential. The auditions for this new term were a year ago and some numbskulls in town decided that Bob’s act should be held over, until he magically made their right to petition disappear, but they needn’t of been surprised, that’s what a real hack politician does; they bamboozle the audience. He’s a bamboozler, it comes with the way he practices law, for his own and his ilk’s benefit; tribally.

The second rule of the theatre is to not break the fourth wall. The performance is the performance, and the audience is the audience. In the live theatre the actor’s may seem to petition the audience for redress, but it’s only rhetorically. Bob and Sam and Mark are only petitioning the audience as pro forma, the script and the quandary it illuminates has already been solved by them beforehand and therefore doesn’t require audience participation; the City Council meetings are political theatre, there is no real discussion of the issues if you don’t include the audience, much less the other voices on council.

So the question becomes; who’s writing the script for these reactionaries on the city council? For that answer we turn to the culture of elitism and unaccountability for criminal incompetence which has metastasized under Mr. Carr, into the institutions of city governance.

The Bobvillian act which is currently playing on Bolder Boulder’s Broadway, in the People’s forum of the City Council Meetings, creates the illusion of democratic participation on a public stage from what is really a script of opportunistic democratic fascism that Bob and his fellow clowns, Weaver and Wallach, repeatedly sing the praises of like a Grecian chorus in their voting pattern; on Covid petitioning, on pay regularization, on overnight parking ordnances, all of which have had very strong opposition that was ignored and dismissed behind fallacious arguments.

It’s political theatre; settle down People, no audience participation is needed!

Paving the Way to Authoritarianism

Fascism, as defined by Jason Stanley in his recent book, How Fascism Works;

Fascism is an ideology based on power, or loyalty, or fear of the ‘other,’ where the other is defined as anyone outside the tribe; local, national, by sex or ethnicity, and the leader(s) represents ‘US.’ Therefore you may indeed have a fascistic political crisis within a democracy even in the most beautiful city in America.

This ideology of power, loyalty and fear, is identified by its consequences; the following patterns are some things to look for.

First, the press sometimes weakens democracy from within, its institutions by not utilizing critical investigative reporting to its best purpose. In Boulder we need only look to the Weakly and Daily Camera to see that they have given up on meaningful journalistic oversight of the City Attorney and the county DA, much less the Judges and City Council by way of ignoring the plight of the victims of Mr. Carr’s and his ilk’s rule of the CJS, which doesn’t care about the Rule of Law.

Second, the ad hoc creation of fascist statutes and institutions to identify and eliminate the ‘other,’ are created outside accepted legal norms. ICE’s Bortac forces do this on the federal level by identifying immigrants as drug addicts and rapists. Does this sound familiar to the city’s staff report on the homeless? Well, that’s not by chance.

And correspondingly on the city-wide level the extralegal maneuver of maintaining so called ‘watch lists,’ or alternately, arresting and then dismissing charges against anyone that challenges police street authority, or arresting and then holding people on misdemeanor charges while assaulting them for their outrage by putting a spit bag over their head, as well as then manhandling them and accusing them of being suicidal in their outrage, and of course Mr. Carr’s legacy of multiple lawsuit payouts over the years for illegal police practices that have cost the city millions of dollars.

These criminal practices are carried out by the entrenched political regime (the reactionaries Bob, Tom, Sam and Mark) to identify outliers from the so-called ‘normal’ citizen and punish them for crimes against the status quo.

We see this kind of systemic elitism, this attempt to vilify the ‘other,’ in the simple act of providing shelter for only those homeless individuals that live in the county or city of Boulder, as if Boulder is a separate country with its own Bortac police force.

Third, they create, by promulgating illegal ordinances ad nauseam, a perpetual state of fear in need of a militia police force that is the police, but not the police. A police force that functions as a weapon for the xenophobia of the ruling merchant political class, and here I cite the overnight campers in the Diagonal parking lot that Bob Yates called the cops on thereby criminalizing their poverty out of hand.

Bob, Sam, Mark, what happened to you’alls hearts that you’ve become so cruel in such an out of hand fashion?

This my fellow countrymen, is the old ‘us’ verses ‘them’ routine of political fear mongering, and it creates a militia police and militant populace that is trained in identifying the marginalized and disenfranchised as enemies of the community, it does this by targeting non residents as pilferers of the public treasury in its very policies on residency. The homeless are presented by staff as lawless and out of order, meth and sex addicts. All of this in turn foments and exacerbates the problem by creating unfounded fears within the community; thus increasing calls for law and order politicians; like ol’ Bobby and his buds.

Bob, take a deep breath, nobody’s going to get your shit; nobody wants it.

The continuing public health problem of homelessness evident on Pearl Street and Broadway is an indication the current policy is a complete, disastrous failure of leadership, and the city’s staff preparation of its report on the homeless crisis was countervailed against by facts brought to the attention of the City Council in the stinging rebuke by one of the civilian boards that had actually checked on their stats and found them fraudulent; the staff, under Jane’s leadership, is apparently infected with tribalism too.

The problem for the city of Boulder, with the level of leadership demonstrated by Mr. Yates and his ilk, and Jane and her staff, is that there is no vision of how to properly handle the multiple crises now afflicting the city, a vision of the future that the People can rally around with justice for all.

Where Boulder should be a world leader in finding new and innovative ways of approaching the next decade these men and women are mired in the internecine politics of having the CJS go against the city’s own health department in the middle of a pandemic among other nefarious schemes that promote division.

Chaos is the devil’s workshop, or in this case Bob and his buddies theatre.

Bob and his buddies will continue to freeze out any opposition voice, he can’t hear me, or Debo, or the spit bag victim, or Ms. Friend, or Mr. Swetlik or the voices of the petitioners; he’s no leader, he’s a lawyer, and for him running the city council is about power, loyalty and fear.

Bob, like all of us, could actually become a great leader on any of a variety of issues, like homelessness or voting rights, locally, then regionally, then maybe statewide by creating a real vision, with a real mandate concerning the suffering and disenfranchisement we are all enduring in this moment of tremendous political upheaval, but instead he plays the citizens of Bolder Boulder off against each other with local tribalism and xenophobia. He plays cavalierly with no pay regularization in an attempt to pack the council with more moneyed men, and its his town and no body is allowed to sleep overnight in his town, even if the ordinance is illegal and will cost the taxpayers, not him personally, more money to defend. He does all of this in an effort to create an ‘us’ versus ‘them’ modality of political operation; under the pretext of guarding the public treasury, and public safety among other ploys.

Plainly speaking, Bob ain’t dealing with a straight deck and you can take that either way. Bob, would you like to debate your voting record, Sam, anyone?

I thought not.

If you look on Bob’s campaign web cite you’ll see early on, when he first ran, he claimed that the reason the city governance was so dysfunctional at that time was because it lacked clear representation and communication with the council; then he made his opportunistic COVID vote.

Bob will say anything, to anybody, if it furthers his political interests, just read up on his past campaign promises; hurry, before he deletes them.

Bob’s got to go, as does Weaver and Wallach and Carr, ASAP, by recall petition if necessary, to avoid further losses in the arena of constitutional rights of representation, if nothing else, in their long list of nefarious activities against the Bohemian Republic; its free thinkers.

 Mr. Weaver doesn’t know how to lead a council meeting with conflicting voices at the table, which is different from running a meeting with a pro forma agenda. I think he’s actually over his head and caught up and compromised by misplaced loyalties to cops he’s known, city staff he worked with and complimentary friendships that lay outside of his responsibilities as a representative of the People.

Robert Augustus Gerard

Post Script:

As to the status of Ralphie’s City Council’s campaign I have the following news.

To start with Ralphie intends to label this current city council the ‘Covid Council’ and name the Gang of Five in upcoming Prince Ralphie campaign literature; that should make a nice voting pamphlet to hand out. I know he’s just an imaginary dragon; but he’s going to eat your lunch if you don’t start acting with some dignity and a sense of civic responsibility.

Ms. Friend and Mr. Swetlik should get more radical, because as it stands you’re being frozen out of the process by the process as Mr. Weaver is running it; he runs a sausage-maker of a meeting. The People are being frozen out too so they’re behind you, and you can also take courage in knowing that you’re on the right side of Boulder’s Bohemian history of encouraging free thought, which is its real heritage and gift to the world.

Its time to stop touting yourselves as America’s most beautiful city, Mr. Yates and Carr and Weaver, and Stavley and Cole, because on closer examination it gets pretty ugly.

First they laugh, then they ignore you, then they fight … and then you win!

                                                           Gandhi

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The Ralphie Revolution

 

Our Reasons for Revolution

When, in the course of history, a subjugated People finds itself estranged from its own governance, debased from its historical foundation based on the Rule of Law, it is morally incumbent upon them to rebel, lest they perish into the abyss of ideological demagoguery stoked by partisan cultural warfare agent-provocateurs. For the writer, the present moment in the struggle for free expression is a particularly acute one, especially with the current threat of authoritarian inanity on the horizon, backed up with no legal limits on state-sanctioned violence.

Therefore Prince Ralphie of the Realm of the Imagination, in consultation with all his imaginary friends, has decided upon a campaign of spiritual enlightenment into the nether regions of the heart of darkness; namely Boulder, Colorado’s CJS.

Ralphie has no army to do this with, nor cabinet ministers, or even a Sancho Panza; but nonetheless he has the power of ten hundred men in the books he’s read and the adventures he’s been on through them. So that in this upcoming endeavor to educate and edify the people of the Bohemian Republic of Boulder to their current peril, and thereby conquer the hearts of his foes, he will arm himself with great ideas and search for truth wherever it leads him; thus bringing about a renaissance of the old traditions of individual sovereignty, inalienable rights, and freedom from self-censorship by way of cultural tyranny.

The premise for this revolution in thought is that art can overcome even the darkest force of malevolence in a civilized society. The campaign will be called The Great War on Ignorance of the Transcendent, and will be co-authored by many other writers yet unknown to the Prince. This will be a small affair at first and will mainly consist of a writer, and an editor-illustrator as a co-collaborator, and a plan to conquer the world in the name of grace, humility, and compassion with the sword of the pen.

So let it be known, far and wide, that the Ralphie Revolution has begun!

Our Goals

Our goal is nothing less than the overthrow of the current reactionary regime in the CJS of Boulder. We feel this is warranted by a continuing lack of accountability on the parts of the District Attorney’s and the City Attorney’s offices.

Our Methodology

            We believe that art can save the world. Therefore, we align ourselves with free thought and free speech, as we seek to divine fundamental truths about the world, and ourselves, and our place in the history of eternity.

Our Terms

We fight this battle by way of the Chivalric Code. We seek not our enemies’ demise, but rather their enlightenment and the reunion with the brotherhood of man. We pledge not to take another person’s humanity, dignity, or integrity in this necessary battle. We pledge to protect all harmless creatures, including man, from cruel people.

Our Hopes

Our hope is that we can bring more voices to the table as we all try to form a more perfect union of the metaphysical and the material worlds. This effort at overcoming the ignorance of the Transcendent is a struggle that has gone on since the beginning of time; so that we are realistic about our goals. However, this Time and this Place has chosen all of us to do this work for the sake of community, for the sake of generations to come; to work eternity’s will and not our own.

 

This is a living document so that it will be amended from time to time.

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of lost kingdoms

There were obvious shortcomings in the data the staff put forward, but who cares that they populated the list of the homeless with meth addicts and sex offenders? It could just as well have been veterans and homeless women for all I care; at least it wasn’t peripatetic philosophers.

Chief Harold states outright that between ten and twenty percent of the city’s Police work is spent on the homeless, which is obviously a chunk of money that could be freed up for other purposes, if alternate approaches proved more successful. Judge Cooke then added a comment concerning sex offenders being mostly made up of misdemeanor cases. She actually volunteered the information as she put all her cards on the table, and brought to light the disinformation under the sensational, Homeless Meth Addicts and Sex Offenders Overrun Paradise headline produced by the city’s staff.

The city’s staff then went on to put all the other undefined homeless under the rubric of ‘the most difficult part of the population to deal with,’ which shows a lack of imagination, because they left out the ne’er-do-wells, gypsies, and traveling musicians. In doing so it is well demonstrated that the staff is the most unimaginative part of the population to deal with, because they lack a practical vision of the sacredness of all humanity. Understanding the nature and circumstances of homelessness is all about using the perspective of the transcendent; the one the artists, writers, and musicians use.

Like Dante, I remain in exile from my beloved City on the Hill, but unlike him I will return to fight the good fight until my good name and all the lands of my imaginal kingdom are restored. The city of Florence never did return Dante’s lands, and so he remained in exile, writing about an ideal sense of justice with a jaundiced eye and a clearer understanding of human nature, which made him immortal.

He was very young when he was forced out of town and therefore, in his memory, he often got Urbino, an actual city on a hill in the Tuscan mountains, mixed up with Florence, a city in the Arno River valley. But it’s of no matter; because what he wrote about was a metaphorical relationship he had as an artist with an idea of a compassionate justice practiced with ease in an ideal City on the Hill, like Urbino under the Duke of Montefeltro.

Before I got to Boulder I had no land, and I have no title to speak of; except maybe, Prince of the Realm of the Imagination, which does include some of Boulder, the Café Metropole and the Laughing Goat mostly, but for the other parts extends well over all the rest of the country. So that what I write about is an ideal of a city on a hill that embraces justice for its freethinkers. Tonight I stand astonished at the conduct of Boulder’s political class, brilliant work, nuts and bolts, and ragged edges and all; the subject of homelessness was covered nicely … for niggardly people.

Nobody answered the bathroom question after it was noted that the library was closed … staff, council, people of Boulder, where are you when you’re needed by the most vulnerable in our society? What is it they say in the Christian world, ‘how you treat the least of my children is how you treat me …’ personal hygiene is a basic human need. “Throw a bottle of water at us if you’re feeling generous as you pull up the draw bridge!” they shout.

I’ve been homeless in Boulder. If you’ve read my blog you’d know that for the past ten years I’ve been experiencing and writing about the homeless and their aspirations to live in their own City on the Hill. I think that was part of the reason I got put on the second-class train of justice; why I was then railroaded through a kangaroo court on a trumped-up charge.

Entering the CJS as a second-class citizen is a place where you don’t get the Rule of Law but rather judicial discretion; where you don’t get due process but rather a rush to judgment; where you don’t get normal, procedural ‘evidence’ of a crime, but rather are convicted on gossip and innuendo and speculation about thoughtcrimes. A place where ‘standing’ in the case brought against you by the city, is hidden behind people who are gaslit with fear by the town’s city lawyers’ office, Tom Carr’s office; which in turn teaches the plaintiffs that lying, ‘for the good of the community,’ or Rec Center tribe, is acceptable.

I know how I must have looked back then, all mug-faced with my nose pushed against the glass, peering into a world I never wanted to live in, but did so because the money was good and I like living the café lifestyle on the cheap. I was an outsider looking in when I arrived in twenty fourteen and Ms. Cole picked up the truncheon of state sanctioned violence and hit me across the face with it, for my uncomfortable gaze; my writer’s gaze. In the hit, in her lying manipulation of the ‘system,’ she knocked my humanity right out of me; she dehumanized me and turned me into a sexual predator, a sexual fiend, by way of gossip and innuendo. Which is understandable; because at the time, as now, the city had only two definitions for the homeless, sex offender or meth addict.

“Your kind of writers are not wanted here!” she and Mr. Carr shouted, as Judge Stavley gave me a boot that sent me flying all the way into a psych ward on a suicide watch. That’s what you get for ogling the gilt of the gilded rose, much less writing about the worms at its center.

I’m returning after the COVID. I’m very serious about what I’m doing, as a writer, as a man, and as a human being. So I hope you get to know my point of view on homelessness, and the two-tiered legal system all freethinkers must fight to survive as human beings in your town. And that means you’ve also got to worry about the young lady involved in my case; because it appears she and her family were manipulated by Mr. Carr’s office, so it would be no surprise if she sues you too. This is a scandal that Mr. Carr and Ms. Cole and Judge Stavley and the former council left for you to sort out, and if you’re not careful, you just might get some of the cover-up blowback on you.

The reason I bring this up, again, is because I was taken into court over what I wrote as a homeless person. Writing about the despair, the alienation, the loneliness of homelessness, which was and still is in the public domain on my blog; just as I’m now writing about the despair of trying to communicate with the insular and smug elitists of Boulder. I do this so that when the next homeless romantic, gypsy, ne’er-do-well, with his face pressed against the glass, appears at the Rec Center pool, he won’t be slandered with gossip and innuendo, and treated like a the Biblical leper; or more pointedly, a Toxic Male.

My writings betrayed me as a homeless person on the edge of society, on the edge of town living in a horse trailer, or at least that’s how I believe the people in the city attorney’s office read them; and I contend that is when they decided that this homeless guy, this alleged sex predator, needed to consider suicide. It evidently never registered with them, as well read as they are, that the ‘Romantic’ part of the title, the Homeless Romantic, has a double meaning; and was also referring to the Romantic Tradition in writing. So good ol’ Judge Stavley, as well versed in the law as he is, attempted to legally murder my reputation. The three of them ganged-up and threw the law books at me without reading them; it was a vigilante hanging; it was tribal, it was ugly.

I was poor; I was sleeping in a horse trailer until I found a place to live. I’d been working since I’d arrived. I was going to the gym to shower and swim. All of it I wrote down, because for me, until I got to your town, I was just adventuring and writing and trying to find my place in society, a society that I most fervently think is illegitimate. Look at Trump with his open racism, and Biden with his hidden omnibus crime bill racism, then at Mr. Stavley with his hard cruel judgment of social lepers, and Mr. Carr’s intransigence to do the right thing, even at this late date.

Homelessness, I can tell you about homelessness in your town, but then again, in your eyes I’m not even human, or so it seems. So why would you pay any attention to me? I can tell this about my own humanity because no one on staff has asked me a single question about the book, or the situation I faced in encountering Bolder Boulder’s two-tiered legal system as a second-class citizen, so that I am now forced into writing myself into the town’s consciousness; which is not such a bad thing for a writer. Can you see me now, Ms. Cole, Mr. Stavley, Ms. Jones, Mr. Yates, anyone …?

This is how self-servingly stupid you can become when you take a bureaucrat’s word for homelessness. They forgot the category of all the kings and queens of imaginal and lost kingdoms in their tally; which describes about all of the homeless I’ve ever written about. This ‘problem’ of homelessness is a matter of philosophical distortion and artistic sterility only on your parts. For example, if you’d approach these people as if they were exiled royalty your interactions might have better outcomes.

We are, after all, all of us, individual sovereigns of imaginal kingdoms where we show off our clothes and cars and houses as symbols of our far-reaching reign, and describe for our friends why we need the clothes and cars and castle in relation to our own questing ambitions.

The homeless are no different; and if you can’t see the castle keep and furrowed fields of their particular kingdom, that is more your fault than theirs. The ‘system’ works exceedingly well for you; but whether by temperament or trauma, it doesn’t work for them. It brings no shelter, no privacy, no space to breathe; only police harassment as they privately torture themselves over their appearance, their past failures, their present dilemma, as they peer into the wrathful judgment of elitism in the eyes of strangers, stationed as they are as soulful spirits in a material world they can’t get to work, or find a place in that’s safe. It’s a living hell you’re witnessing right in front of you, and you can’t see it.

Now let me show you as they cluster in threes and fives in individual courts, and then meet up with fifteen or twenty more, and form a new court outside that court; some coming as visiting dignitaries, and some as court jesters, or musicians, or artists (tattoo artists qualify as court artists), at this new court; and as with all courts, there will be troublemakers. Nonetheless, they can identify a royal narrative; they all have stories of legendary feats of derring-do. Some were even with the rest of society at one point, and fought as Knights of the Imperial Army for the glory of our country’s values of freedom of thought; we call them vets, which is another missing category in the report.

Look, this may be too kumbaya for most lawyerly personality types, but if you gave them back their integrity, their humanity, their dignity in the way you’re looking at the social landscape, maybe through the eyes of the writers of great literature, you might have better interactions and outcomes. In a bureaucratic vision of the world these categories I’m speaking of don’t exist; so that you’d have to develop an artistic aesthetic of perception of the original kingdoms these common people hail from. They were all children once, as you were, with realer than real kingdoms of their own.

Maybe, just maybe, if you approached the homeless situation with more of a ‘but for the grace of God go I’ mindset, your eyes might open to their humanity. These are traumatized people, millions of miles from their imaginal kingdoms, which have become distant memories to them. Look at me, I consider myself a rounder, which is an old school word for someone who travels the country looking for adventure, working his way along. Or I might fit into the category of being a flaneur which is a French term for a philosopher poet who visits coffee shops all day, writing sonnets and poems as he watches the world go by because he’s haunted by curiosity and beauty.

My blog and books are full of the tales of exiled kings and queens, and their stories would enlighten you as to your current dilemma. But it appears I can’t help you, with my story, because you see I was, and still am, considered a second-class citizen; relatively invisible.

Ms. Cole tagged me purposefully as a source of ‘harassment,’ attempting to destroy my credibility as a writer; writing about her. The story of the Homeless Romantic is a story about a failed prior investigation on my person, instigated by a nitwit, executed by a halfwit, and then turned into a civil charge by a dimwit, in which I was exonerated only a month prior to my expulsion.

She knew, as did Carr and Stavley, that the charge was so pejorative that I would never be believed, and that I would be run out of town via a ‘watch list,’ which is an extralegal maneuver of the ruling class’s enforcement arm in the CJS, that Judge Stavley coupled to judicial desecration, as he railroaded me out of town to make sure the community was safe from yet another writer-dreamer-rounder who considered himself to be the king of an imaginal kingdom; a philosopher carpenter who needed crucifying.

This is a story your grandfather should have told you.

There was a new chick in the barnyard, and being new and all didn’t really understand the workings of the farm, most essentially, the butchery. One day the farmer entered the henhouse and took a young bird out, to the killing stump, and chopped its head off. The young chick looked on in stunned silence, not comprehending what had happened. So the chick asked the old rooster, him being the oldest and having seen the most, about what had just happened. The old rooster explained that it was murder plain and simple, but the young chick was incredulous. “But I saw the farmer cry, and maybe that hen was sick, or injured and needed to be killed to put it out of its misery; and besides, I watched the farmer’s eyes, and he was crying!”

“Yes, you’re correct, he was crying; but his hands committed murder.”

The facade of institutionalized, bureaucratic malevolence has an ordinary face; like Ms. Cole’s, or Judge Stavley’s or Mr. Carr’s or even Mr. Yates’ face, and they shed crocodile tears too, for those they say they’re protecting, the poor, the hapless, the most difficult among us, for the good of the community. But you have to watch what their hands are doing.

Boulder has a median income of eighty-five k per household, three Rec Centers, and is set in a gorgeous natural setting, surrounded by incredible parks and trails. How much do you need, how much distance from reality can your money get you? How sterile do you want the city to become, culturally? And finally, where is your allegiance to a freethinking society, your real and true cultural heritage? You know ‘The Bohemian Republic of Boulder.’

Whatever happened to noblesse oblige?

Robert Augustus Gerard

Let it be Known

Let it be known that on the twenty-fourth of July, in the Year of Our Lord twenty-twenty, that the Ralphie Revolution will have begun. This revolution is based on the premise that in a civilized society Art can overcome the Forces of Darkness with non-violence.

This piece on the homeless is just the opening salvo. It is the first in a series of artworks that I am using to create an interactive dialogue with the City of Boulder in an effort to use artful narrative to persuade the City Council to awaken to a more benevolent destiny.

There will be further details on my blog @ thetriptonowhere.wordpress.com and a full declaration of the goals posted on the thirtieth of July; so tell your friends as you wait in anticipation of the next essay in this series, A Day in the Life, which will be a fictionalized account of Demetrius Shankling’s last day on planet Boulder.

 

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Just say his Name

Boulder City Council

7-7-2020

Council Members,

It’s déjà vu all over again; I’ll be specific, the overnight parking ordinance.

The assistant city attorney, Ms. Llanes, for the third time, presented a proposal that lacked any supporting evidence that the problem with the overnight parking statute, the illegal ordinance that the city was hauled into court on the first time, was ‘fixed.’

The city has obviously already paid to defend a previously illegal ordinance, and now the assistant city attorney comes forth with this new proposal without any supporting information as to parking usage and storage allotment concerning apartment parking, and trailer storage for small business operators, or for such varied and specialized vehicles as fifth wheels pulled behind trucks, and those RVs under their own power, and even less clarity on other vehicles, like vans, that come under its purview among many other such nuanced refinements.

But what’s worse is that she also ‘conveniently’ forgot to use the equity tool that the city council had previously worked on for just such a case … darn it? The only thing that could be worse than that level of unpreparedness was that even lacking this fundamental background knowledge, the council, under Mr. Weavers’ leadership, voted on the ordinance anyway.

So let’s break that down. Mr. Yates made his appearance on the issue to vote for another draconian ordinance without the complete picture. Remember his COVID vote, the one that kind of screwed everybody in town with a legitimate grievance? You see Bob is impervious to the pleas of the tender at heart. Bob is busy building a track record of indifference to his constituency that will become his legendary legacy to Bolder Boulder.

Now let’s look at Mr. Weaver. He allows the City Attorney, Tom Carr, to basically turn in an incomplete resolution. He does this unquestioningly, without sending him back to make it complete, thus limiting the discussion before it starts to only those things Sandra or Tom, have prepared themselves to talk about. Does his or her incompetence really serve the council, or the city? Is she just phoning it in, like her boss? Because in my case I know they do that kind of a half-ass job all the time, so it’s perfectly possible that that is the level of product they produce for everybody.

In spite of all of this, and the called-in comments by Ms. Riley on the ACLU’s warnings about such statutes, which will probably lead to another losing court case, Mr. Weaver holds a vote anyway. So you have to ask, is the premature vote count a sign of incompetence, or bad leadership, or does he not know what’s at stake for the city, like financing a new lawsuit; is he over his head and missing the mark again? Do you remember his drowning Jeep story? What goes on with this man who just made another piece of sausage out of the offal coming out of the City Attorney’s offices?

What goes on with the City Attorney’s office under Mr. Carr?

I contend what we’re all witnessing is a failure of leadership for the whole community by these three men; mostly they’re betraying those they would rather not serve, and serving those that probably see them as clearly as I do, as vacuous politicians, empty suits; people without a psychological understanding of the malevolence in their voting pattern.

Anyway, I contend these men, this voting block of reactionaries, have no understanding of how the marginalized citizen lives and works in their community, and therefore may have no real legitimacy, much less a mandate to run such a shoddy show. I’m speaking specifically to Mr. Yates, Mr. Weaver, Mr. Wallach, and their ilk; which includes Mr. Carr. Again, the same people who voted against the online petition, voted for the resolution whose obvious faults over vehicle size and use, whether grandma would become criminalized, etcetera, showed its lack of merit in its composition; it was an incomplete high school book report that Ms. Llanes gave on an ordinance she’d just skimmed through and didn’t really research. She tried to cover this by pointing to the shaved ice trailer, which did look pretty annoying, as her basic case.

These three councilmen and Mr. Carr have in essence rammed yet another piece of ill-thought-out legislation through the meat grinder Mr. Weaver calls a City Council meeting, in spite of the lack of competency and coherency of the report prepared by the apparently incapable and unaccountable City Attorney’s office.

The true People’s politicians, the ones that are now beginning to lead with moral courage, are in the minority as usual, boxed in by incompetence (Mr. Carr), arrogance (Mr. Yates), dull-mindedness (Mr. Wallach), and a lack of a working philosophical vision (Mr. Weaver) that has, as its foundation, human dignity and individual sovereignty.

What all of you are involved in, whether you know it or not, whichever side you’re on, is part of the Great War on Ignorance. These men, wittingly or not, want to make Boulder into a gated community, encircled by illegal statutes that marginalize and discriminate against the working poor, encircling a tribe of elitist know-it-alls like themselves; they want the streets cleared of the vagrants and vagabonds, and they want the trains to run on time. That’s a reference to the good ol’ days in Italy, in the thirties.

These are law and order men; these are the soft faces of the kind of reactionary malevolence that makes its presence felt through the restructuring of the community, into a society of fear, around an ‘us vs. them’ or ‘good for the community’ narrative to push out those people who they consider ‘undesirable’; the socially marginalized.

It’s class warfare they’re up to, whether they admit it or not; it’s tribal, it’s ugly.

These men look quite ordinary, but they speak in political gibberish to create roadblocks to reform. For instance, as a thought experiment; right now the City Council could rescind itself and take another vote on the online petition resolution; but it won’t, in spite of the fact that the pandemic is going to be with us longer than first anticipated, and it would probably make heroes out of all of you. And so, like that vote, the overnight parking ordinance vote will stick, even though it will probably prove to be indefensible, and the city will once again find itself paying for the incompetence of its city lawyers; probably, as Ms. Riley cautioned, in a case brought by the ACLU.

In my estimation, Mr. Weaver doesn’t know how to hold a meeting where competent people can discuss complex issues coherently; whatever his moral leanings are, he can’t be allowed to continue to ram through these serious matters of community concern and consequence without a check of some kind on his power base. I suggest a radical revolt. Hold the floor and refuse to give it up until you personally are satisfied with what the City Attorney is explaining; and if she, or he, comes into a City Council meeting with an incomplete report, censure Mr. Carr, her boss, by refusing to vote on it; period. Why would you vote on something that you were given an incomplete explanation on?

Demand competence!

Or else it’ll be déjà vu all over again, and again, and again, ad infinitum; and the status quo will not have changed one iota during your tenure. Find your political courage in your life experience, stiffen your philosophical backbone and fight the good fight fearlessly. And remember, the truth of the matter is that Bob, and Sam, and Mark are human too, retrievable, redeemable, and even loveable.

I’ve got my doubts about Mr. Carr though, sitting over there in his million dollar house, all coy all this time I’ve been writing, knowing that the case I’m bringing happened on his watch. Very tricky Mr. Carr, but I see you, now; would you like to dance?

The problem for the city is that these men can’t discuss their views properly, in open court or debate, and thereby allow their ideas to really come under critical review. So they play dirty politics, deal from the bottom of the deck, call for premature votes, like ol’ judge Stavley did to me. They should be recalled by petition, all of them for lack of competence in performing their jobs. Mr. Carr has made more than a million dollars since he was hired ten years ago, and look at his track record of lawsuits … the financial, as well as cultural damage he’s brought to the city … is he really worth the trouble he’s brought?

Are any of the other three really helpful in these changing times?

What’s going to happen when the pandemic throws everybody under the bus, and the homeless problem explodes? Are societies’ economic ills issues of personal responsibility or are we all, ultimately, our brother’s keeper?

 

 

Robert Augustus Gerard

 

 

Post Script:

I was doing some research on Deputy O’Brian, the murderer, and I came across a case in which an inmate of the jail sued him. The city offered a settlement but the plaintiff, Robert Cotton Kirkland, refused to settle and took it to the Supreme Court. Mr. Kirkland, I believe was acting out of principle, with courage, and he is just one of ten that I can name that have tried to warn this council and others that the bad apples are at the top. He lost in that principled effort; the lost soldiers of justice are all around you. Can you name ten?

It turns out that O’Brian, well you know, killed an innocent young man on his twenty-third birthday, for drinking too much and mouthing off. Who defended O’Brian the first time? Who paid for his defense? Mr. O’Brian and Mr. Lunn have been walking around free and easy since the murder, on a $25,000 bond, which is $2,500 to them, or the officers’ association.

What kind of signal is that? What kind of cultural status quo are you endorsing and defending? As far as I can tell Boulder is run by a handful of men, and more than a few empty suits. I have an idea for the slogan of the coming Ralphie for city council campaign … “just say his name.” What do you think, it’s something the whole town, and you too, can rally behind … “just say his name” … “just say his name” … you remember … Demetrius … what a beautiful name.

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Sixteen Forgotten Minutes

Boulder City Council Meeting

6-9-20

Sixteen minutes was the amount of time Demetrius Shankling spent in the back of his coffin-van, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine … ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen … almost twice the time Big Floyd spent with his killers.

Mr. Yates started off this week’s city council meeting by making a motion to observe nine minutes of silence in respect of George Floyd’s murder and martyrdom. But he wasn’t the only one who missed the corpse in the parlor, and not only is Demetrius Shankling’s corpse in the parlor, but you have the jailhouse thugs in the basement dungeon waiting for their next victim, and good ol’ Officer Lolotai hanging around the front door in case anyone needs to be shoved around.

Given what looks to be Mr. Yates’ willful blindness toward the criminality of the CJS, his silence is not surprising. But what was surprising was that not a disparaging word was heard from anyone else on the council either about any of these recent incidents, and that may point to something more sinister than a just few bad acts by some low-level employees; like a subculture within the CJS that coddles criminals on the police force, on the jailer’s staff, and in the Judiciary; that sinister culture comes from the DA’s office, and may just be the source of the problem.

Ignorance is not always a lack of knowledge; sometimes it is just a lack of courage to ask the right questions.

It seems that life is indeed cheap in Boulder; that is if you inadvertently end up on the wrong end of the truncheon wielded by the CJS. Because the City Council doesn’t even give you honorable mention as a human being in the midst of a city council review of coming police reform. Your problem is not with the deputies, any of them; it’s with the council’s inability to discuss the corpse in the front parlor in front of the DA.

You see, the real problem is not in the details of these incidents but rather that this behavior is emblematic of a culture of tribal authoritarianism deeply seated within the CJS, in the DA’s office. This issue is not just about racism. It’s about dehumanizing people. That’s why Demetrius wasn’t mentioned; he isn’t people, he’s a problem for the DA, but apparently not much of one, because no one on council knows how to describe Mr. Dougherty’s institutionalized malevolent evil in terms everyone can understand.

Here is what evil is; it is otherwise normal people doing extra-legal things, either in commission, or omission of a crime; as in a cover up. There’s an abuse-of-office pattern here, of a DA who is willing to hide behind Jail Review Panels, and other dodges like statute limits, when it comes to filing assault charges against jail staff, or Judges; and when he is made to be held accountable, as in the Shankling case, he blames it on a few bad apples and dismisses the issue entirely by seeking the lowest sentence possible for murder. The fish rots from the head, council members.

How do you fix a problem like him, petition for a recall election during a pandemic?

In light of his past record in dealing with police and judicial misconduct, Mr. Dougherty should recuse himself from the current discussion on Police reform and resign, that’s assuming he has an ethical disposition. Unfortunately, it appears he simply can’t be trusted to do the right thing, left to his own devices, as he has already demonstrated.

In light of the low charges in Demetrius’ death it would simply be the noble thing for him to do, to resign, because he has failed too many times in the last few years to be trusted with such a serious reform project. From my perspective, he is the problem; he’s unaccountable to anyone; you, the citizens of Boulder, much less Mr. Shankling’s family, or me, because my humanity disappeared for the rest of my life when I was brought before John Stavley’s kangaroo court and apparently cannot be claimed again.

I am Demetrius! We are all Demetrius.

The City Council Meeting

Ms. Joseph

I want to say to Junie that police brutality is not personal; it’s a fact of life for everyone. I’m off-white, Demetrius was off-white, the young lady in the spit hood was off-white, the woman shoved to the pavement by officer Lolotai was off-white, so let us not further divide ourselves and do our detractors’ work for them; police racism and brutality is a larger fragment of the broken social contract with all levels of the Boulder CJS, it also includes the courts and the city and district attorney’s offices; they decide more of the moral agenda, the moral tone of the CJS than the police do.

For instance, I’m still talking about the time when I couldn’t breathe as Judge Stavley put his knee on my neck, and no one in the CJS, or on the council, is listening to me, darn it. None of this is personal in the sense that we can afford to get personally offended by simply talking about police and judicial misconduct, or me in my case not receiving any correspondence from the city on a matter that I feel screams out for justice; this is the darkness of willful blindness into which you do not want to look.

This is a Saint George and the Dragon moment. The Dragon is in the DA’s office.

You see, there’s a corpse in the front parlor no one is talking about, as well as the two women who I’d guess were pretty traumatized in their encounter with the law, under the rule of your current DA, Michael Dougherty. The spit bag victim was further traumatized when a review of the incident went nowhere, even though they had a video of a gang of thugs strapping her into a restraint chair.

Bobvillian

Sam opens, and then Bob makes his grandstand play for nine minutes of silence, artfully forgetting Demetrius in the parlor, and then he makes his next move in trying to close down the open hearing in Gun Barrel. You got to hand it to him; he’s ambitious.

Police Chief Maris Harold

An hour and a half later, Police Chief Harold gives her reform presentation. She is articulate and organized, and she brought a lot of slides with her; she’s a sociologist and thinks in terms of implementing reform schemes, never mentioning the corpse left by Chief Testa in the front parlor, or how she’s going to fight the corrupt policing culture left in Testa’s wake, or the trouble she’s going to have with the corrupted DA’s office. And in the end, she said her plans would take eighteen months to two years to come to fruition. Needless to say, by then most of you will either be gone or on your way out; thus you’re rendered impotent by time itself before you even start. If the reforms are left to her, and handled in this bureaucratic fashion, you may even be superfluous to a process that you so far have no real agency over.

Mary Young

Mary has too much on her plate and can’t be bothered with exploring the depths of the Police reform package, although this may just be the most important civil rights legislation she will ever be involved in; something she could be proud of and recount years from now in talking to her friends.

Mark Wallach and Sam Weaver

Mark, as usual, is for this, and against that, he wants to wrestle in the mud over minutia; some big picture, some small picture stuff, mixed together into a reform around the edges. Sam, wants to terminate the reform discussion before it has even started to develop into some depth. Sam then claims that you have to work the big picture in with the small picture, and that’s just the way the sausage is made; I think he may be going philosophical; regrettably into the sophistry of sausage making.

Mrs. Friend

Mrs. Friend brings the matter home; she speaks about having a larger frame, maybe even a sociological and psychological and, yes, even aphilosophical frame. She doesn’t want to rubber-stamp yet another police reform package that takes two years to implement, and wasn’t anything close to what was discussed, or fair.

My View

My understanding of the world, as a carpenter philosopher, is that if you don’t have a solid philosophical foundation, you may as well not build the house, because you’ll just have to rebuild it in twenty years. So all of you will have to know something from each of those fields and how you can merge that knowledge into the law to tackle this issue; as in knowing the historical value of Individual Sovereignty and the role of the Rule of Law in facing a corrupted CJS; and what it really means to uphold those tenets in the funk and stank of the coming battle.

At this point to call me a crank, or kook, or creep is only pejorative, we’re well past that point, and we’re coming to the point where the Rule of Law should take over; but thus far the DA’s office should have kicked in with a prosecution of a malicious slander, except it hasn’t. So you have to ask yourself, why am I not being heard?

I have approached this problem in the most civilized way possible, and yet I can’t be heard by anyone. What is it that makes my humanity so easily dismissed? Is it that I don’t live there currently and therefore don’t count? Or is it the charge I make of corruption in the DA’s office? Is such a charge so unthinkable that I can be dismissed without reading anything I’ve written? Or is it in my approach to you on the City Council instead of the courts that is so repugnant? I write these stories, and I wrote that book, because I can’t afford an attorney. So what is it about me, and my cries for help breathing which seems so insignificant to all of you?

But then again, you might ask why nobody mentioned the corpse in the parlor.

Apparently there is a willful blindness about all of this, as it seems you can’t see what is right in front of you; and when Mrs. Friend and Mr. Swetlik try to open that Pandora’s Box of Police Reform, they are misunderstood by their audience. I think they believe that exploring real reform might be something bigger than just giving the Police Department a makeover. There are examples of Policing re-imagined all over the country; Camden New Jersey for one; ten years de-funded, crime down thirty percent citywide.

Notice also that Brother Bob didn’t say a word during the reform discussion; that’s because, I contend, he’s already in cahoots with DA Dougherty’s Justice League that believes councilmen, like Bob, should be able to call-in merchant complaints as priorities with the Police.

Brother Bob

Here’s the bottom line on Brother Bob from where I stand; Bob can only be counted on to make the most cosmetic of changes in the CJS, he’s too compromised both by his past ties to the Police in the flagrant abuse of his office, and also by the merchants, as shown in his concern for the developer involved in the Gun Barrel land development scheme, as opposed to hearing from the public; he sidled to the right side of the issue only after he saw that he was outnumbered, so the recorded record may be different.

From my perspective, Mr. Yates is not a moral leader, and unfortunately Mr. Weaver’s loyalties appear suspect to the point that he may not be of much help if you want to get to the heart of the matter of true CJS reform. Mr. Weaver’s story of the heroic policeman who waded into Boulder Creek at two in the morning to save a Jeep was a tearjerker, but what does that have to do with Police brutality? It’s the ‘bad apples’ we’re talking about, like the DA.

We’re talking about authoritarianism, the belief that might makes right. Look at me, I wrote a whole book on a crime coming out of your CJS and I still have no right to be heard in a real courtroom. The fact is, the way the current CJS is bureaucratically structured, it has manifested and enabled a culture of denial and obfuscation and calculated delay. Remember, it’ll be two years before anything significant happens in the way of real Police reform, and yet the nut of the matter is right there living and breathing in front of you, the Dragon of St. George … your own District Attorney. It’s time you all call him on the carpet; make him answer for the jail review board, for officer Lolotai and why he is still on the force, if he is, and have him answer for the lowering of the charges in the Demetrius Shankling case.

Your Moment

Mr. Swetlik is right, this is your moment, the forces of history and culture and the cosmos have combined to give you a historically defining moment, not just for the future of the town you love, but also for yourselves. Because whatever you do now will define your character too. This is your time, your moment; and you too can be the hero of your own heart, and save the world too. Life is truly magical, just believe in yourself and hold to the chivalric code; honesty, grace, compassion and, above all else, love your brother as you love yourself, provided you’re not ate up with neurosis.

 

Robert Augustus Gerard

thetriptonowhere.wordpress.com

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I Can’t Breathe, Boulder’s George Floyd

Does Bolder Boulder have its own George Floyd?

Yes it does, his name is Demetrius Shankling and he was killed by the Boulder Police Department and exactly who is going to be punished for it; two low level functionaries who will be sentenced to a non-mandatory two to six years. The Police force does not take responsibility for his death, because they decided, along with the DA Michael Dougherty’s office that his life was not worthy of a full investigation at the highest levels of the CJS as to what kind of militarized cultural training these two men got. What kind of underlying law enforcement practices and philosophy were they trained in and pursuing that night?

I believe Demetrius was pinned down in that van by an indifferent police culture, a militarized police force as he was crying out to them, “I Can’t Breathe” and what the crew said, what the establishment said was, “another satisfied customer.” No one should be surprised at what they did to him because I’ve been saying that the CJS is culturally corrupted by its lack of philosophical leadership at its core, for over a year!

The problem my case brings to the Boulder Law Enforcement community in Bolder Boulder is that I can prove that not only is that attitude found at the street level but it is also found in the court room; specifically John Stavley’s in which the Rule of Law was sidelined for a little virtue signaling by the Judge. I have applied for redress of this case of an outlaw judge that decided he was smarter than the rule of law and used his own desecration in deciding a case of a vigilante mobbing that had the net effect of sending me into suicidal ideation for over a year. When it was all over, after they double deal and had played every dirty trick in the extra-legal playbook that they play by, and I started to complain they simply said, “Another satisfied customer.”

The problem is not with two lowly deputies that went rogue one night, the problem is systemic, and it’s dehumanization policies contaminates the current District Attorney Mr. Dougherty. But it really began years ago under the former DA Stan Garnett. Judge John F. Stavley is as guilty as those two deputies in Demetrius’s case as in my case and I accuse him right here of being equal, at a minimum to the charge of fourth degree felony attempted murder in my case. I also indict Mr. Garnett and Mr. Dougherty as accomplices, and just because I survived my murder’s attempt on my life and I can still breathe, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen the way I say it did.

I believe Mr. Shankling’s last unheard and unheeded words were, “I can’t breathe”

I’m telling you now those too have been my words for over a year, and to date no one in the hierarchy of law enforcement has heard me!

I call for the District Attorney to be fired, as well as Ms. Cole.

Judge Stavley is retired, so he can just rot in the Hell that finds an man in old age as he sees the fruit of his illegitimate legacy eat him alive.

I am a survivor with a voice and a sharp pen and I will demand these men resign, because real change in law enforcement practices will not occurred unless those at the top lose their immunity and are charged themselves with dereliction of their duties … and fired, fined and jailed.

Mr. Dougherty is a blight on the culture of the community, as was the former Police Chief, as is Ms. Cole and John F. Stavley and Mr. Garnett.

I will not stop my effort to hold these seemingly indestructible people responsible, until I can breathe freely the freedom given to me by my birth into this free country, constitutionally, once again. My words will give voice to Demetrius, and the victim of the jail house spit bag gang, and the woman that was shoved to the ground by officer Lolotai, who should not now be employed by the city, and the countless others that found themselves chocked-out at the hands of John F. Stavley in his courtroom, and DA Garnett, and Dougherty in their refusal to investigate troubling cases and the former Police Chief who was one of the biggest bullies in town.

I can’t breathe, I’m telling you in these letters, and you all need to get the fuck of my back and do your fucking jobs; which doesn’t entail the free use of the words, “another satisfied customer,” but rather does entail using the full investigative resources you have at hand to deal with my case as well as the other victims of its past practices. Until you deal with me you haven’t learned a thing about me, or Mr. Shankling, or the people you are supposed to be helping, or future police tactics, because i have the story that will show the rot goes all the way to the core of the CJS.

Until you can hear me in these letters saying, that ‘I can’t breathe,” the CJS won’t be of any use to the citizens of the city. Until you unlearn that protecting the illegal status quo of the current administration, which is harboring a culture of protecting the bureaucratic outlaws in the system, over the rule of law, things won’t change. So that after the flames die down, and we all move on from this moment of challenge, and political courage, the people of Boulder will once again have been bamboozled by their leaders.

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the Aliens are coming to Boulder

Boulder City Council Meeting 5-26-2020

Although Ms. Friend would scoff at the notion, I believe the aliens are coming, and I for one am glad to know Bob has a copy of the City Charter to take to the shelter with him; because we’re going to need some kind of civil framework once the aliens get through with Bolder Boulder and we can once again take it back from the public relations firm that put the Bolder in front of Boulder.

But of course that means he’ll insist we change the name to Yatesville; like old man Potter in the Frank Capra movie, because he was the only nerd nerdy enough to think to bring the sacred charter, and therefore he alone has the right to rename the town and reform it in his image. That’s both a movie reference to It’s a wonderful Life, and the fantastical imagination of Councilman Yates’ recently expressed concern as to changing the charter in ways that encourage facile city name changes by erstwhile councilmen, done on a willy-nilly basis. Mr. Yates is ahead of the curve, he loves to read, but it’s his thought tree that is a mystery to me; some men are born geniuses, I guess.

It looks like Bob is going to win the Potter Award this year too, what with the way in which he quashed the pay reform package presented to the Council by the City Manager’s staff. That was a very simple issue there, Bob; no pay increase but rather a more equitable payment solution for those members of the council that are not as well-heeled as you and your friend, Mr. Wallace.

I don’t know if Mark is as well-heeled as you Bob, but I will say this for him, he’s got one of the worst cases of mush-mouth I’ve ever seen. Just try to make sense out of what his comments on the pay issue add up to; I dare you. If you can find a cogent argument among the debris field of half sentences and unfinished thoughts that constitute his talking points on the matter, I’ll eat my hat. Basically, what I got out of his voyage into the nether regions of his verbal reasoning is that he thinks that if you’re flying too close to the tree tops financially, you have no right to sit on the council, and shouldn’t even ask. This, Brother Mark, smells of elitism, but then I don’t speak mush-mouth as fluently as you do.

There’s a smell coming off those council meetings and it smells like sophomoric snobbery, or bush-league elitism, or just plain old-fashioned, moronic bullshit; fill in your own descriptive category. It works like this, if you push people out of the opportunity to participate in their government, because they lack the means to financially support their terrific and fantastic ideas, even though they may have some of the most fantastic ideas for governance ever, even on something as simple as a pay regularization program, which was nicely explained by a city staffer who eloquently described the payroll change as a pay regularization program and not a pay raise, and kudos to her for speaking so straightforwardly, and you still can’t seem to come to your senses, Mr. Weaver and Yates and Wallace, about what the equitable solution to a problem like that might look like, then you end up with what you have, a clubby, cliquish, High School Student Council Meeting instead of a serious discussion among the councilmen and women. The discussion is reduced to its lowest common denominator; to Yates’ self-serving hardball politics through obfuscation by any means, and Mr. Weaver’s idea of what a High School level Student Council meeting might look, with Mr. Wallace mumbling incoherently.

This brings me to Mr. Weaver, who can obviously run a cliquish, clubby High School Student Council meeting with efficiency, no small feat, but is really out of his depth around a man like Yates, not to mention DA Dougherty and the other department heads of the CJS. Face it, Mr. Weaver, Mr. Yates is running the City Council part of the big city show, and you and Mr. Wallace are his henchmen; and in that move against the pay scheme, you and he were trying to freeze-out the only opposition to your insanity. These men want to become their own supermajority power block, along with the CJS, creating their own super-duper power force within the city government, wherein might alone makes them right. Look at the way he finished the vote count on the pay issue after several voices where still heard in dissension, while others seemed to be requesting further explanation; I speak here of Mr. Swetlik for one, and I’m not sure he even took the right count.

The interesting thing to note here is that it was a simple, straightforward proposition, and would have cost the city nothing to implement. But after Bob’s ‘over elaborate explanation tree’ of why he was against it, and Sam’s seemingly innocent comment about raises in pay applying to next term members only; and therefore, that the proposition was not even relevant, and then being set straight by the aforementioned wonderfully eloquent staff member so that there was no question that what he was asking after did not apply to that particular problem, and therefore his comment was made irrelevant, and still insisting on voting against it. And then Mark’s further mudding of the waters with his big, flappy, floppy mush-mouth, it’s easy to see why nothing got done on something that should’ve been quite simple to enact. It should have taken five minutes.

This is why I call it a High School Student Council Meeting. Knock it off with the cquallique stuff; I can’t even spell the word, much less see why you don’t just say, “I’d like to add to that,” or, “I have something to share on that issue.” It’s just mind-numbingly silly the way it’s done. And it’s things like that, of style over substance, instead of really intellectually challenging Bob, or Mark, or Sam on their logic for standing against the pay regularization scheme that sends me into pangs of despair, knowing that eventually I’m going to actually have to talk with some of these halfwits with the presumption that they can think complete thoughts and speak in complete sentences. It’s this inane formality, when a simpler informality would add more time for substance, that explains in some measure why the Bolder Boulder City Council is so obviously dysfunctional.

But I for one am glad Bob has the City Charter in hand, and a strategy for changing the name of the town in case aliens land and are looking for apathetic thinkers like Bob, or mush-mouth over-talkers like Mark, or irrelevant mayoral sophomores that live in cities named Bolder Boulder. They’ll need it to build their new utopia for halfwits after the apocalypse of their inane rule.

Frankly, I hear the name Boulder, as in the City of Boulder, was okay with the aliens, and it’s only when the public relations people downtown put the ‘Bolder’ slogan in front of Boulder that they took an interest in the town, which then set them to thinking of a takeover. Aliens love to eat people that think in terms of slogans, and from what I’ve been told by many of them in confidence, they say sloganeers are the most delicious of all the people they eat because of their soft mushy heads, and that makes most of the city’s posers, like Bob, and Sam, and Mark, and reactionaries like Stavley, and Garnett, and Dougherty, vulnerable to alien attack, unless the City Charter is flexible enough to allow a name change.

Now, really, get over yourselves gentlemen; really, because to me what these three men did was just old-school political payback against those standing in opposition to Mr. Yates and his collaborators in the online petition vote attempted coup. From my distance, their votes, Mark’s, and Bob’s, and Sam’s, having seen men like this behave like playground misfits before, appeared to be petty, small-minded and, well … Bobvillian.

Bobvillian, now that is a good name, it’s the Bob and Mark and Sam sham show of city governance; but Bob gets top billing because he’s the one driving the clown bus.

Do you remember, Mr. Yates, A Christmas Story, the movie? Do you remember how Ralphie was tormented by the playground bully, and how every day he tried to avoid him and find a different way home? Well, one day Ralphie had gotten trapped in an alley by this bully and although he wanted to get out of the fight he had no exit, so he decided he’d had enough and went after the bully who was terrorizing not just him, but the whole school. Needless to say, his henchmen fled as soon as Ralphie landed the first punch.

Well, Mr. Yates, you’ve met your Ralphie.

I suggest we change the name back to just plain Boulder, to protect Mr. Yates from himself and the aliens in his wild imagination that want to change the name of Bolder Boulder back to just plain Boulder. I know there’s a beautiful mind in there somewhere, Brother Bob; you’ve just got the public service business model upside-down, politics is bottom up, not top down. And the rest of you, don’t be too judgmental with Brother Bob, we just need to give him some time, to let him calm down, to loosen his tie … to unclench his buttocks.

p.s. Remember to stock up on tin foil, if Bob hasn’t already cornered the market.

Robert Augustus Gerard

Writer of: café 66; an immoral imperative; Coulder North; and

The Epic Adventures of Prince Ralphie; as well as innumerable short stories.

One letter, one book, at a time – Vive la Revolution!

thetriptonowhere.wordpress.com

The riots roiling the country means that political change is in the air, so don’t be surprised if you fall, Mr. Yates and Mr. Dougherty; through recall elections for one. The cities are burning, and the Demetrius murder still looms large around the neck of Mr. Dougherty. I’ll state it clearly so that no one misreads me, the CJS in Boulder is operated like a criminal organization and has embraced the dismissal and degradation of life for too long. I think the Ralphie Revolution should start with a recall election of the DA for failing Mr. Shankling and every other citizen of Boulder, in every way.

The evidence for the recall is on Google, just look up the lawsuits against the city for the last five years. Mr. Dougherty’s failure in that case, and mine, puts him in league with the old guard, puts him on the side of endorsing police brutality. That is the same side you’ll find Mr. Yates on, and Mr. Stavley, and Mr. Garnett; all of these men are going to see the other side of their malfeasance come to haunt their reputations if I have anything to do with it. I look forward to seeing all of you at next council meeting; the picture of Ralphie can be used to photo bomb the meeting. Love you all.

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Prince Ralphie declares his Candidacy for City Council; Boulder, Colorado

Boulder City Council

5-25-2020

The Online Petition Vote, Demetrius Shankling, and Prince Ralphie

Once again the fearless leadership of the Boulder City Council, lead by that man for all seasons, Mr. Yates, along with Mayor Weaver holding his coattails, has made it more difficult and confusing for the citizens of Boulder to direct their government and hold them accountable. In point of fact, the online petition vote is going to define those two gentlemen for the rest of their tenure; I’m going to make sure of it. Starting right now I’m going to run my own candidate for office in Bolder Boulder, Prince Ralphie, and this is his opening salvo. Interestingly, but not surprisingly, behind those two misfits is a list of the who’s who in the CJS set to sow confusion with the city’s own Health Department; this is not leadership, it’s dysfunction!

The first obstacle to Prince Ralphie’s campaign for good government is Mr. Yates

Mr. Yates is an ex corporate lawyer, who by his own admission didn’t know ten people in Boulder ten years ago, yet he’s been entrusted by the people of the city to help them achieve their goals and, one would hope, ensure the legacy of those that came before him. In this case I’m not referring to his last tenure, during which he admitted in an interview, it took him two to three years to become effective. His recent vote on the petition issue demonstrates how effective, or dangerous, he has become.

As a lawyer he’ll remember his philosophy of law classes and their focus on where the rights of the citizen, as opposed to the rights reserved for the state, (city government, even under home rule) are to be exercised. Therefore, I don’t have to remind him that in our form of governmental social contract, those rights come from, and are reserved to, the People, when not otherwise stated. This is a Lockean versus Durkean problem that was resolved in Locke’s favor and written into our very own Bill of Rights, under George Mason’s tutelage; but apparently, Mr. Yates and Mr. Weaver think those rights are reserved to them personally as functionaries of the People’s interests.

This is the kind of thing I was trying to warn you about concerning Mr. Yates’ personal agenda. This vote shows Mr. Yates without his political smile on, because any casual observer can see that that political move is self-serving. I understand there is also a proposition before council on the popular election of the Mayor, which means the mayor-elect doesn’t necessarily have to get along with his colleagues to get the office, and Mr. Yates was, after all, the biggest vote getter this past election, so I’m warning the current council, as Prince Ralphie’s campaign manager, against voting for it.

Mr. Yates is not focused on the will of the People of Boulder, he’s focused on becoming the King of Bolder Boulder, or at least a kingmaker for the next twenty years of his life, and therefore his votes reflect that he intends to be a power player within the libertine bureaucracy he is now helping to engineer. He feels he can fearlessly form internal bureaucratic cliques, or blocks of power, or nodes of political cover within the CJS, and the various committees and departments he’s been carefully building relationships with, while at the same time limiting the common citizen’s access to the voting box and other forms of accountability, like online petitions.

His hubris has and will spread far and wide over the years, and soon enough he’ll become an old school political boss; you got to hand it to him, he has ambition. This can also be demonstrated by his specific actions concerning the homeless people under his care, in that he called the police on some people sleeping in a merchant’s parking lot at night. The merchants called him, he called the police, but he didn’t go down and talk to those people and try to understand their predicament, because he doesn’t see the homeless as his constituents, or his ‘problem,’ although he was elected to serve all the citizens of Boulder, and thus their poverty was criminalized that night; and I’ll bet he never asked after the them to understand the consequences of his actions. He pushed them off the lot; he pushed them around like a bully does, except he used law enforcement to do it like an old time political boss.

So it has come to pass that surprisingly soon in this new administration, with this unexpected pandemic upon us all, the gods have presented Mr. Yates and Mr. Weaver with a snapshot moment of truth, as in which one of these two legal philosophies comes into play for those two as leaders of the community. All of you know this, or should, because an awful lot of you are lawyers, and now that he and the mayor have been exposed for their lack of empathy for the homeless, as well as the homebound, I for one can see them for what they are; Ayn Rand, Hobbesean, Durkean type characters, with no real political theory driving them, except their own ambitions, so it’s now up to the rest of the city council to stand their ground against him and his ilk; the Mayor and the others who voted it down.

This will take political courage, as already demonstrated by Rachel Friend and her colleagues in voting it up. Be prepared for anything in the near future because Mr. Yates is going to throw every legal obstacle into your path; instead of helpfully getting around the road blocks, he’s going to try to subvert a clear understanding of the statutes, and by hook and crook jerry-rig the tabled addenda before the deadline. Inch by inch, issue by issue, he’s going to build a fortress of bureaucratic indifference that only he and a few select others, like the DA, are going to be able to understand and run. Because remember, Mr. Dougherty and Mr. Garnett and Mr. Stavley have already given up on the Rule of Law.

Evil, or malevolence, is a difficult thing to discern in what are otherwise called normal people, and it will be hard for you to look across the table at Mr. Yates, or the DA, or Mr. Weaver, and think of them as evil; and you’ll want to give them the benefit of the doubt, probably because you’re soft-hearted yourselves, but you don’t need to evaluate them personally or psychologically, it’s their actions you’ll have to hold them accountable for, and voting the way they did was without compassion for their fellow citizens. They actually acted maliciously toward their own constituents in daring them to get sick in order to fight for their right to vote! Are you going to believe me, or your lying eyes?

You are now compelled to consider why they did what they did, without giving those who voted against the online option the benefit of the doubt to avoid becoming involved in a co-dependant relationship with them. You’ll have to look at your fellow council members with coldly appraising eyes, because the net effect of their decisions, past the statute argument, is the loss of participation for the citizen.

They know this, those who voted it down. This is how Trump and his sycophants operate; by calling into question the voting process itself. And by making allowances for them, Mr. Yates and his colleagues, because you’re kindhearted, you will allow him to slowly pick apart the fundamental tenets of the fruit of our Lockean experiment in representative democracy. You need to watch out for Mr. Yates. My observations of his record, and his treatment of my own personal petition, because I did after all meet him personally, forces me to come to the conclusion that he is, at heart, a lawyerly type of bureaucratic paper shuffling bully, as is Mr. Dougherty.

This is also the story of a DA that can’t find a crime in his own office, even if you write a book full of evidence about it.

So now we come to the next problem that Prince Ralphie hopes to address in his campaign for good governance; addressing the real obstacle to everyday justice and the Rule of Law in Bolder Boulder by asking why the entire CJS is working against the city’s own health department on the pandemic issue by backing this power grab on Yates and Weaver’s parts?

Rhetorically speaking, I sincerely hope you didn’t assign DA Dougherty to read my book, because judging by the lack of his response to the crime of a malicious prosecution I identified in my book, a crime coming out of the former DA’s office, tells me he either didn’t read it, or didn’t read it well, and by covering for Garnett and Cole and Stavley he has now become complicit in the cover-up.

You got to walk your talk Mr. Dougherty. If you say you’re looking into past malfeasance in the DA’s office, then you have to at least talk to someone who’s been through the sausage mill, and documented in excruciating detail not only the crime of a malicious prosecution, but also it’s profound psychological ramifications. You probably don’t realize it, but in giving you the book I’ve actually invited you to indict the legitimacy of your reconciliation committee and your own office’s obligations in this case. One of which would have been to inform the young lady that she and her family might have a Tort of Outrage suit to file.

And so, council members, you will want to ask, ‘What would Mr. Dougherty be covering up?’ Maybe that Stan Garnett’s office, through directing the Director of Aquatics, Ms. Cole, to gaslight the young woman involved in my case, as well as her family, into thinking that they what were doing, in filing their charges, was ‘for the good of the community.’ That’s the secondary crime of which I was the first victim, which is now turning into a tertiary crime of a cover-up, of which the council is the victim; because they had no case, as all of you should know by now!

This was the same idea of preserving the ‘good of the People’ that former Judge, I hate to use that title with him because he was so incompetent in that office, John Stavley was laboring under; that’s why he subverted the Rule of Law in my case and based his actions in the hearing and his decision on judicial discretion; that’s called tribalism, and the only antidote to tribalism is Individual Sovereignty; you know, the right to a fair hearing with real evidence, etc.

They had no evidence, so Mr. Stavley had no choice, he had to run a kangaroo court, based on judicial discretion, and Mr. Dougherty and Mr. Garnett also know this. The fact is Mr. Dougherty has been put in the position of defending a malicious prosecution to protect at least ten city employees, including some in his office, and the city itself, from being sued by the young lady and her family, let alone me. I can prove this very simply, just ask your DA if he has informed, by way of due diligence, the family that filed for the PRO against me; did he inform them that they just may have the legal basis of a tort of outrage, given that they were manipulated into doing what they did by Ms. Cole and her staff?

 The Mayor

The Mayor, from what I gather, is both an energy engineer and a businessman; but he can’t get his mind around the muni question. He said he was ‘surprised’ that Xcel would want to delay the takeover even longer by offering all kinds of contract teasers with no city criteria met, and backed up by no commitment on meeting any of them.

Either the city has hired some of the worst negotiators in the history of finagling, or there is directed corporate opposition to this change over. Ten years is eight years too long, Mr. Weaver, especially for someone with your residency and background. My point is, that this man appears to be qualified, yet unable to do his job, and has allowed himself to be ‘surprised’ by a delaying tactic that is so obvious that it wouldn’t work in a game of marbles with five year-olds. Yet he thinks he can dodge his responsibility and his accountability by claiming he was ‘surprised’!

 Posers and Reactionaries

Both of these individuals are qualified technocrats, which means they should be able to follow or pursue contract law and statute law in its nuances, its nomenclature, even as ensconced as it is in its bureaucratic culture, but in this case it appears they do this as it suits their purposes, that’s how the city avoids direct responsibility for anything; including what the CJS does.

Remember the spit bag gang on the city payroll that presented the DA’s office with the problem of accountability? The one in which the jail staff was exonerated of the abuse of their offices, by their bosses! This is the bureaucratic Hall of Mirrors you’re in, where seemingly rational and good people vote for their own interests, this is how these legal shenanigans work to vacate bureaucratic responsibility from the inside.

That’s why there’s an obvious disconnect between what the people want and what their representatives are voting for, as exemplified by the numerous pleas for leniency in meeting deadlines during the city council meetings after the vote was taken, and which were later consistently blocked by those two and their collaborators. I fear personal vanities and vested interests pull these guys’ strings, and the People’s will is consistently subverted over the obvious power plays of silly men with grandiose self-images; city governance is a jungle of Hobbesean characters. Without moral leadership based on the clear understanding that Locke, and Mason, and Paine have already fought this fight, and written laws which unequivocally embrace representative government, you end up with a city ruled by a plurality of middling and mediocre functionaries.

The point is, none of them can tell you what philosophical part of the law they’re actually following. They’re technocrats; which means they’re leaders with a vision of the future that incorporates an underlying philosophy of bureaucratic intrigue.

You have a City Manager, that’s his job, to run the city. The Mayor and council are supposed to lead, to find the middle ground, to find a way to enact the People’s wishes. But, without an online vote … who, besides Trump, and the Michigan Supreme Court … makes people vote or collect signatures … in the middle of a pandemic? That’s beyond disgusting, it’s craven, it’s political trickery, it’s what hack politicians do, it’s self-serving and reactionary, just as I described the town’s leadership in my book; these people are very dangerous because they hold office and therefore determine other people’s fates.

In case you forgot, all this hubbub is about Art and Artists, and their cultural role in forming a sense of community.

Enclosed you will find the first chapter of a children’s book I’ll be releasing in June. It’s about a precocious dragon that is also a bohemian intellectual; an Alice in Wonderland, Lemony Snicket sort of story, for adults too.

So once again I want you to remember I didn’t ask for this fight. But since the city has decided to do nothing about the case, and since I can’t afford an attorney to go through a process whose outcome has already been determined by Stan Garnett in his statement that, ‘The DA’s office does not exonerate people,’ and poverty being my only crime, I will continue to be a fly in your ear. The reason is obvious; I can’t sell my books if some idiot from your city decides once again to slander me; Ms. Cole, Mr. Stavley, Scout, or Paddy, because they’re all in my Coulder North book.

I don’t need to remind you of the presidential candidate, and the Supreme Court candidate, or the countless others who’ve been maligned and have fallen afoul of the public on spurious harassment allegations. What you need to know is that I had a life before I came to your town, I’d already written one book about a bicycle ride I took down ol’ Route 66, and when I was there in your city I was continuing on that same course and not harassing anyone; in point of fact I was the one being harassed, by Ms. Cole’s staff, and then later it continued with Mr. Stavley, when he put me on the police watch-list, to the point that I was run out of town; at great personal and financial loss.

In fact, the stories I wrote on my blog about my experiences at the gym were used against me in court, so there’s that pesky First Amendment issue too, and not in the way the Supreme Court has bastardized the amendment by giving corporations a voice in the public arena, but in the regular interpretation.

Mr. Dougherty is not serving the city well when he hides from the Rule of Law under the paperwork on his desk, and pretends he knows nothing about the criminals inside the CJS. Mr. Garnett is going to pull Mr. Dougherty into the pit of trying to defend the indefensible, as Ms. Cole pulls John Stavley, and I push Mr. Yates and whoever else wants to obfuscate and evade responsibility in this case, in with them.

I send this book excerpt because I want you to know I continue to write in different genres, and I will continue to fight you too at the same time. My reputation is important to me, and I will not be sidelined or marginalized. I will seek exoneration even if it means I have to follow the actions and voting records of everyone on the council until justice for everyone in the city is a part of everyday life in Bolder Boulder.

I am an artist, this argument of what, when, and where a writer can write, in terms of state censorship through kangaroo hearings that lead to self-censorship from the fear of a malicious prosecution, as well as the Rule of Law versus judicial discretion, is not going away. I have other projects, it took me eight months to write the book you’re now reading, but I’ll return to this issue over and over again, until through social activism and public outcry if necessary, justice and liberty for all is reestablished in the fabled City on the Hill.

I naturally hope you like the story, I’m sure your children and nieces and nephews will; and please, this time don’t accuse me of being a pedophile because you think I’ve committed a thoughtcrime against a child by writing a children’s book. I’ve written on other themes in your town, and it sent me into a kangaroo court on a trumped-up charge; so it’s not as absurd as it sounds that the DA will try some kind of legal shenanigans to avoid facing the issue of a malicious prosecution, because I’ve learned in your town anything extra-legal is possible.

Some Advice

The only thing I can tell you, to really help you, is that the answers to this fight between authoritarian rule and individual sovereignty, as in might makes right, are to be found in the places you don’t want to look, like under DA Dougherty’s desk, and in the record of that hearing, and the stories of others like me, that also got the ‘treatment’ I got by Garnett and Stavley, and still haven’t found their voices. Opening yourselves to deal with this case may actually be beneficial.

So you might want to follow my blog, theroadtonowhere.wordpress.com to see the open letter I penned to DA Dougherty.

Demetrius Shankling and the Future of Bolder Boulder

One more note, inside the booklet I sent, you’ll see I’ve memorialized the book to the life of Demetrius Shankling. Mr. Shankling had promise, just like me, and we’ll never know whether or not he would have become a writer, or poet, or musician, and put smiles on kid’s faces, or would go on to raise a good and well-adjusted family; the city killed him, or at least it killed him in its continuing negligent oversight of the CJS.

The question that Ralphie’s campaign for council office is going to kick off with, is how is this council going to deal with his murder? Not what was done, there is no recovery from death, but what it’s going to do to find accountability at the highest levels.

What is the city going to do in regards to his murder and memory?

The DA’s office is going to memorialize him by going for a two to six year non-mandatory fourth degree felony murder charge. How is the city planning to embrace and own that murder, outside its corrupted legal system? This case represents a serious question for the leadership of the city, and those that pass on this opportunity to put the spotlight on the CJS will miss what may be their only opportunity to put the brakes on a corrupt and corrupting set of self-serving dictums within the DA’s office.

We know where Mr. Yates stands; he thinks the police department is his personal law enforcement crew, as a rep of the merchant class. He called the police on the families sleeping in their cars, and metaphorically speaking, he’s the same sort of character that picked up Mr. Shankling and threw him into the van too, by expressing the same mindset the DA is displaying in my case. He knows by now who I am and what my record reflects. He knows I have no land, or cattle, or connections, but I have a very clean record. So I warn you, we are all expendable if we are disenfranchised and dismissed; even if you are legit, like the Ramseys. He refuses to call for an investigation in my case of a malicious criminal persecution, so I have to calculate he wants to avoid the issue by delay, and perhaps even by misrepresenting the facts, to you, and the young lady and her family.

I don’t care for bullies of any kind, I don’t like to see it in myself, so don’t misread what I’m saying about Brother Bob, or the rest of them. I’m not his nemesis, nor John Stavley’s, nor Mr. Dougherty’s. I believe no one is beyond reasonable argument, or redemption; but willful blindness and reckless disregard for human beings and their safety, including mine, becomes, at a certain point, criminal malevolence.

We know where Demetrius Shankling stands, or lies on this matter. Because for the DA’s office he is just someone who created a headache for Mr. Dougherty, and not a real person, as is revealed in his seeking the lowest level, non-mandatory sentence possible. To him I’m just another headache too and not a real person, to be dismissed and ignored, and if need be, if I get too noisy, dragged through the mud.

Demetrius’ life was ended in the back of a city van, where his cries for help were ignored and mocked. They said, ‘another satisfied customer’ to each other as he cried out for help. Has Mr. Yates, or Mr. Dougherty, or Mr. Stavley, or Ms. Cole said this or something like it about me, and my cries for help? I too almost died at the hands of an indifferent judicial functionary.

Demetrius’ life is ending ingloriously in a culture coffin built by your current and former DAs, out of dictums that embrace aggressive prosecutions, using lethal force at street level, and by actively delaying justice, no investigation and minimal sentences for city employees indicted for murder. In the same vein, Mr. Yates is now trying to build the voters a culture coffin by shoving statutes down their throats to silence dissenting voices; he is, by my estimation, a man who does not do his work in good faith. Demetrius can’t attend your meetings, or write you letters to try to stir your moral conscience, but I can, and will, in his stead.

Demetrius is without a voice; give him a voice!

Robert Augustus Gerard

Writer of, café 66, an immoral imperative, Coulder North, and

The Epic Adventures of Prince Ralphie, as well as innumerable short stories.

 

One letter, one book, at a time; Vive la Revolution!

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