The City of Boulder’s Circular Firing Squad

Was Ms. Nagel Mobbed for Alleged Anti-Semitic Comments?

Dr. Zimbardo’s insight into bullying inside groups, any group, is that certain seemingly normal group dynamics can, if not understood properly, lead to the adoption of herd morality and group malevolence. He states that individual pathological behavior is the outcome of social vectors of malevolence wherein herd morality is encouraged and reinforced by those in authority. He postulates that group mobbing is pathological malevolence, and when understood as such can be addressed as a public health issue. (The Lucifer Effect by Dr. Philip Zimbardo)

It’s also a crime under Colorado state statute.

The Socialized Public Health Problem of Evil;

Seven Known Vectors of Malevolence

  • Someone mindlessly took Nagel’s words out of context without consulting her first as to what she meant, and repeated them, most probably with malevolent intent.
  • The postcard fed into this shame and blame narrative which became an anonymous slur campaign, which is a textbook dispersion of individual responsibility for malevolence.
  • Those on council who organized a rebuttal did it with impunity, as did everyone else that signed-on, because after all it was a broad statement against a known evil, and not intended to hurt her politically or personally; or so it was alleged.
  • The council denounced anti-Semitic remarks and false equivalencies, group norms that make denunciation nothing more than picking low hanging, over-ripe fruit for everybody to throw at the target of the rumors and innuendo.
  • Friend calls in the ADL, the Rose Institute, and the rest of the cavalry of the PC Left; at this point Ms. Friend, is seemingly out-of-control with self-inflicted indignation, otherwise known as PC madness.
  • Everyone on Council signs on to the false comparison agenda, only the false comparison is between what Nagel actually said and meant, and what the mob decided she said and meant, without talking to her.
  • Nobody apologizes to Mirabai after her eloquent explanation as Wallach piles on, Sam remains morally rudderless, and Bob remains silent in defending her right to speak freely.

The Banal Face of Malevolence in a Self-righteous Mobbing

Are any of those involved in the smear campaign, in spreading the gossip and innuendo to the point of having to make a public declaration of their PC bone fides, evil people individually, or are they ordinary people who can’t think straight about their own responsibility in a mobbing because they have no underlying ethical, rather than political, framework for civil discourse?

Or is it that they lack political perspective with a personal philosophy of human dignity at its center, a viewpoint of humanity that can allow them to see and measure the form of some of the most odious facets of human beings, like gossip and innuendo, through a group dynamic psychological lens, so that they don’t once again go off down a rabbit hole, this time of anti anti-Semitic declarations, on a mindless tangent over something that wasn’t even true to begin with?

Understanding the crime of a mobbing is about understanding how herd morality develops inside tribal group dynamics, and as Professor Zimbardo states in the book, these vectors of malevolence are a public heath issue, as I’ve been trying to point out for over a year now. It happened to me, it’s in the book you didn’t read, and here you’ve gone and done it to yourselves.

Am I happy because this incident proves my point about the nature of group malevolence? No, I’m sad, sad for both Ms. Nagel and Ms. Friend. The first one will more than likely never forget this moment of public humiliation, and the other will have to come to terms with her own undeniable adoption of an illiberal liberal herd morality; PC culture in its worst form.

The Parties Fomenting the Mobbing

Ms. Friend has now become the Bob Yates on the other end of the political spectrum which is to say that both are more political propagandists for divisive agendas, than leaders with healing visions of personal integrity and community.

In calling in other organizations, specifically the ADL, to formulate a Council proclamation against the alleged ‘false equivalencies’ spoken by a Jewish woman without apparently consulting her first is one of the most craven actions I’ve ever seen one politician do to another. Ms. Friend may have done more damage than she knows; because what she did served to add a dark ‘legitimacy’ to the gossip and innuendo with her declaration of ‘city council purity’ when she should have listened to Mirabai and defended her right to say and feel as she wished.

This kind of virtue signaling by illiberal liberals makes them as guilty of the same sort of reputation destroying political gamesmanship as are Bob and Sam and Mark. In my estimation, Ms. Friend would show unusual political courage if she apologized to Mirabai for damage she doesn’t know she’s done, yet.


Mark Wallach appears to be a co-conspirator in bringing the condemnation of the ‘alleged’ defamation through the rubric of false comparisons to fruition, as the annoying neighbor. One of the great benefits of a public pillorying is that those who do the flogging feel morally superior to the rest of us, and Mark’s false equivalencies are brought to light as evidenced by his statement claiming that what happened in the holocaust was the ‘worst genocide in human history’; which presumes we don’t know our history, and, well, it all but proves he doesn’t know his history.

Mark has a homunculus worldview with all the nerve endings in him and his Jewish heritage, which makes him more or less indifferent to others’ sufferings, as is witnessed in the last council meeting where he made the remark that his personal ‘comfort’ should not be impinged upon when it comes to what happens to the homeless in the town, where he ran for office to represent all the People; and that’s called chutzpah!


Aaron Brocket didn’t add anything of value to the conversation when he implied that Mirabai’s blaming of the media for spinning what they thought she’d said into an out-of-control frenzy, and that it was partially to blame for the situation, the mobbing. He saw this as an attempt to scapegoat the media, which he seemingly felt needed his protection, over Mirabai’s reputation or free speech rights.

Frankly, I don’t think she intended to take down NBC at 30 Rock for being lame, but rather I think she was talking about local media; the gossipy, un-vetted parts of The Weakly’s and The Daily Camera’s so-called journalism. Just for the record, the Weakly and the Camera aren’t what I’d call great bastions of the Fourth Estate either, or the city of Boulder wouldn’t be in such a rudderless political state as it continues to be divided on political fault lines over PC culture and a general lack of accountability for the Councilmen Weaver, and Yates, and Wallach and the rest.


Sam Weaver and Bob Yates just watched from the sidelines as the illiberal liberal shot herself in the foot over and over. Basically neither one of them could bring any sensible leadership and moderation to the discussion; because again they have no philosophy of moral leadership guiding the civil discourse at Council meetings.

The problem with both of these politicians is they are unprincipled in their politics; they rule by division. Therefore, because they don’t exercise and exemplify principled decision making by putting human dignity as designated by individual sovereignty first and foremost in their deliberations, the conversations always deteriorate into something politically pathological, with tragic outcomes for all, including fellow council members, but most especially the citizens.

Good leadership would never have let this type of mobbing happen, along with it’s concomitant divisiveness because they would’ve read my book and thereby would know a thing or two about how the tribalism of a mobbing works to destroy individual sovereignty in both the public and legal arena.

Coulder North is after all an entire book on the local politics of a very specific criminal mobbing in their town, and that case with its unofficial denial of the crime, combined with city council’s lack of their own avenues of civil discourse or recourse, has gotten us to this pitiful state of affairs; they’ve self-mobbed themselves!

Boulder’s political class, with its reactionaries on one side focused on division and chaos, and its illiberal liberals on the other side virtue signaling over false equivalencies, and a city attorney’s office that regularly disregards both individual sovereignty and the Rule of Law, all under Sam and Bob’s years-long morally vacuous leadership has allowed this lowly state of affairs to develop and continue with tragic outcomes for all, again, especially the town’s citizen.

But then, just like the illiberal liberals, the conservatives already know everything there is to know about the institutional criminality of the CJS, the insular tribalism of staff, and the malevolent banality of their town’s institutions of governance because they’re getting elected over and over; I say they see the community as a political chess game and themselves as political ‘players’ instead of representatives of all the People. Therefore, when a mobbing occurs, they don’t know how to use it as a teaching moment but rather just watch from the sidelines because they lack political courage, insight into the public heath problem of mobbing and, or the practical knowledge to act to unify, and are therefore unfit to lead on yet another level of having a vision of how to heal the community.


Junie Joseph has already experienced Ms. Friend’s friendship, so she wisely kept quiet, as did Mr. Swetlik, smartly, and Mary Young to her credit as she too watched the illiberal liberal virtue signaling her People as they all tacitly signed on to the low-hanging fruit of the declaration; because as I said before, everybody hates Nazis, and in my case predators, and it doesn’t matter whether that libel is fact-based or transmitted by innuendo and gossip, because both are equally valid as evidenced in Boulder courtroom as my encounter with John Stavley can attest.


Ms. Nagel was superior to every dirty, ugly, unfounded accusation hurled at her; good for her. She held her head high, stood up for herself, and acquitted herself with grace in her words. This may seem like her political nadir but in time it will be one of her fondest memories; the day she stood up for free speech, speechless groundhogs, and, yes, even the human animals of the world that are being desensitized to the suffering of all animals, including human animals, and in doing so displayed a depth of feeling and compassion toward the world few humans enjoy. I’d defend her stand on the animal kingdom over feigned political indignation any day.


Some Random thoughts on Self-Censorship


So once again the Council got off-track and went down the anti-Semitic rabbit hole, a spurious tangent based on a false rumor, and spent their time condemning what Mirabai may or may not have said or meant, which she didn’t have time to fully explain when it happened, because as she stated, she was cut short; and after all, she was just trying to engage another councilmember as the retreat coach had asked her to do. So that half of what she said, and none of what she meant, got tweeted out into the gossip-sphere, the rumor mill of social media, and she became an instant public enemy.

That’s what you call a mobbing, a modern, social media fueled, vigilante mobbing.

She went on to say she was sorry for any hurt feelings, but that she was being misunderstood, and that she is from a Jewish background, and she, like everyone, hates what happened to her people. She also quoted a holocaust survivor and Nobel Laureate, ‘the way we treat animals can be directly linked to the way we treat humans,’ and in this sentiment one need look no further than the indifference displayed by Yates and Weaver and Wallach to the homeless man’s recent death, behind a church of all places, to see that there is some merit in what she’s quoting; even though she too supported the camping ban. After all of that, Ms. Friend somehow managed to accept her apology while at the same time virtue signaling her hatred of hate speech, which we all hate, and that makes it just more low-hanging fruit.

The truth of the matter in these PC times that we live in is that if anyone says anything remotely anti-Semitic (the Palestinians are a Semitic people too, so figure that one out for yourselves) they become instant targets of the morally self-righteous and everyone climbs aboard, liberals and conservatives become lovers of self-righteousness, over what in this case, as in most PC incidents, turns out to be just another case of gossip and innuendo run wild as Mirabai’s reputation is smashed and her right to speak her mind freely, is censored once again by a politicizing leadership that gives way to PC cultural intolerance as it turns its back on yet another homeless man’s death. This ultimately leads to self-censorship and stifles disparate voices at the table as those that would like to speak for the voiceless don’t want into the kind of fratricide, the circular firing squad Mr. Weaver and Mr. Yates have made of the council because they lack both practical leadership skills and a unifying vision of community.




Where was all the outrage when the homeless man died behind the church? Or when Demetrius died at the hands of the sheriff’s deputies, in the back of a van, utterly alone in his death throes? Or when the spit bag tasering happened at the jail, and the review board signed off on it, and the $800K settlement was not questioned? Or when Lolotai was doing his worst? Or when Chief Harold wrote a glowing letter of recommendation for him? Where is your outrage when a Lieutenant and Deputy Chief perjured themselves in their official reports?

Where was your outrage then, Mr. Wallach, Ms. Friend? Where is the outrage now that Pella has decided to defy the NAACP about the use of restraint chairs even after you too have reviewed the video? You did look at the Video, didn’t you? Not doing your jobs, obviously, because you were too busy consulting the ADL and the Rose institute about a gossipy rumor.

If Wallach and Friend really cared about the People they serve they wouldn’t have used this obvious misunderstanding to publicly shame a fellow council member for something they’d clearly misunderstood, but would instead be heading a probe into Tom Carr’s and Sam Weaver’s multiple cover-ups in the CJS lawsuit cases that just keep coming.

As I’ve said, I’ll take no prisoners; from Weaver to Wallach to Friend and Brocket and Yates, mobbing is tribalism. It’s a crime, one for which Ms. Cole and Judge Stavley have yet to be held accountable. The courtroom is an arena of conflicting narrative; the transcript in my case shows no over-arching narrative of a crime or misdemeanor, it literally has no narrative. Read it for yourself, because all it contains is the inaudible gossip and innuendo of self-righteous PC people, as in this case, and of course the pesky problem of free speech, as in a few lines of my stories were taken out of context and used against me as ‘evidence’ of possible potential future crimes; thought crimes.

The only antidote to tribalism is individual sovereignty and the Rule of Law, both of which are routinely ignored by Tom Carr, which has turned the whole town tribal with vying camps of virtue signaling demagogues, (Yates on Floyd George’s back) on both sides of the aisle that don’t have any clue that the line of good and evil runs right down the middle of all of us, them too.

That’s why I call all of this feigned distress about what was basically rumor and innuendo conveniently applied to PC cultural bullshit; criminal bullshit. This is the exact crime Ms. Cole and Judge John Stavley and Tom Carr did to me; it’s a crime under the Rule of Law. Where is your outrage over the very real and provable criminal acts these individuals committed?

I’ll state it clearly for all of you; Ms. Cole instigated a mobbing, a crime under Colorado statute, based solely on rumor and innuendo. I’ll also state here flatly, that Judge Stavley was in contact with the city attorney’s office because there is no over-arching narrative in the transcript and therefore one can only conclude sentencing was handed down because an alternate narrative was presented in another forum, in an ex parte meeting. In addition, there was no opening charge cited, nor a finding of facts, before sentencing was applied with devastating results.

And finally, where is the outrage for the young woman and her family who were manipulated by Tom Carr, Ms. Cole, and Judge Stavley for their own political, virtue signaling ends?


Was Mirabai mobbed? You tell me, you have the evidence to convict.




Robert Augustus Gerard


Author of Coulder North, a book about Boulder’s Political Class




Some Random Thoughts on Anti-Semitism


Not many people on council know their history very well or they would’ve challenged Mark when he went overboard in his condemnation of Mirabai’s right to free speech.

Mr. Wallach was pleased with the generalized statement the Council made against the false equivalency of the holocaust and the gassing of the groundhogs, but then he went on his own tangent to say that the Jewish holocaust was the ‘worst genocide in human history,’ conveniently forgetting Stalin’s 30 million and Mao’s 100 million. Not to mention our brother and sister Palestinians in the Gaza Strip who are currently victims of collective punishment, itself a war crime, or Israel’s defiance of UN resolutions concerning confiscated territories which indicates to me that Zionists, a subculture to be sure, feel that they are above the law, international law anyway; due, I imagine, to the same claim of the aforementioned ‘worst genocide in human history.’

Mister Wallach is ignorant of history among other things. What he did at the end of the meeting is called grandstanding; he learned it from Yates when Bob stood on George Floyd’s back without acknowledging Demetrius Shankling. Frankly, I’m not sure that Jewish suffering is any more sacred than Russian or Chinese suffering, or what the Palestinians are suffering now at the hands of the Jewish state in real time.

Is that a false equivalence? Am I anti-Semitic for saying that; again reminding you that Palestinians too are a Semitic people? Who’s running the PC show this week? Ms. Friend, Bob, Mark?

I read in the paper the ICC has taken up the Palestinian agenda, to which the Prime Minister of Israel responded by calling the ICC anti-Semitic, just after walking out of his third corruption trial. But then again the pro-Israel political apologists around the world allowed the slaughter of the Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon that were allegedly under the protection of Ariel Sharon pass by without speaking any outrage, so who’s to say what a false equivalency or justice looks like from a Jewish or Palestinian perspective? Not me and certainly not a City Council in Colorado that flaunts the Rule of Law and individual sovereignty as freely as it does under Tom Carr and Mayor Weaver while the homeless freeze and the Police perjure themselves, multiple times, without being held accountable.

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Institutional Denial Bolder Boulder Style

Brought to you by Bob, Sam, Mark, and the rest of the COVID Council

City Council Meeting 1-5-2021

 Denial, denial, denial … are these the men; Officer Rappold, Commander Trujillo, and Deputy Chief Weinheimer that Sam has been chatting-up in the last few meetings, or just another example of a few more ‘bad apples’? Are any of these city employees going to be held accountable, like Pella was for the four hundred thousand dollar lawsuit, and the death of Demetrius? Or is this just business as usual; precedents set by Yates and Weaver, and Pella and Jones last season?

This latest incident of police brutality with a hefty financial penalty was a perfect opportunity to challenge some of the Mayor Weaver’s Pollyanna positions about law enforcement. Yet not one person on Council made use of the opening the tragedy presented for an exploration of law enforcement abuses, including filing false reports.

What kind of signal was that to the culture of the police force; to the People?

How many of these tragedies will it take before Council Members do their jobs?

When will the individual people on Council take personal responsibility for their office, as if their personal freedom from injury and death where at stake?

This incident goes back to the hypocrisy of Mr. Yates standing on George Floyd’s back without acknowledging Demetrius Shankling. This goes to Sam’s hypocrisy of acknowledging Officer Good Guy’s jeep saving story, while at the same time shorting the consent agenda review that was an undeniable acknowledgment of law enforcement officers abusing their offices.

The cover-ups are a pattern, the undeniable conspiracy of constant cover-ups is systemic; and yet the Council sees no evil. No amount of letters, good reference books, or strong intellectual arguments can do much if it’s a ‘see no evil’ public conversation.

None of the dissembling will be unwound, no responsibility will be enforced; even after both officers involved, Luna and Rappold, had received specific training in the areas that they ignored, and none of the higher-ups, including on the jailhouse review panel, will be fired or demoted or even acknowledged in their deceptions. Which is why good people continue to get maimed and killed by the hypocritical decisions the Council keeps making. Is this how representative politics is supposed to work? Is this what you signed up for; covering up class warfare and institutionalized crimes; like falsifying reports?

When I came to Boulder I expected reality tinged with good faith and good will, and this is what I found, an on-going tragedy of cruelty and sadism within the city government that has infected the body politic. It’s beyond disgusting. I have no words for what I saw Sam do by parliamentary process tonight, except denial – the denial of justice. If this is the best staff and Council can do, and if you can’t stand up to the bureaucratic bullying by Yates and Weaver, then I recommend you resign while you still have a reputation, much less a conscience.

“A body of men holding themselves accountable to nobody ought not to be trusted by anybody.”                                 

Thomas Paine


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Act II A Renaissance of a Bohemian Vision of Boulder Colorado

A Vision of the Future brought to you by Prince Ralphie,

A Philosopher Prince of Ennobling and Emboldening Ideas

The Future is Before Us

 The time for a Renaissance of Boulder’s Bohemian past has arrived; a more beneficent future depends on it. We, the common people, could go on like this for the remainder of Weaver’s tenure as some council members continue to complain about complainers, which is exactly what Messrs. Yates and Wallach want, because mud-wallowing is what they do instead of the People’s business. But Prince Ralphie has decided that with the conclusion of the first year of his tenure on just such a whiney note a new page will have to be turned in the War on Ignorance that will be taking place soon in the shadowy recesses of Boulder’s political class.

As the Philosopher Prince said to me recently, “I am not troubled – I will test myself against the wearying ways of officialdom, and though I be but one small dragon, and have been driven out of the City on the Hill by the kind of men who would burn books if they had a chance, I will fight the good fight for a better future for all because I’m indeed a dragon, a bibliophilic dragon full of ideas to be sure, and I have found no one yet better equipped than I to fight these fights!”

Prince Ralphie, as you already know, has voluntarily exiled himself these past seven years because he refused to respect the legitimacy of the local authorities; fleeing the corrupt political troglodytes infesting the institutions of the CJS with its marsupial judge, rattus rodentia city attorney and a gaggle of political hacks trying to hack representative democracy, none of which has done anything positive for the People in the last year, or decade for that matter.

In light of the debasing corruption of the Rule of Law by Carr, Stavley, Weaver, Wallach, and Yates, Prince Ralphie has set himself the task of creating a new paradigm of social engagement; to wit, a new social contract. Prince Ralphie’s hope for a better future lies in bringing into the realm of possibilities the ideals of a civic humanitarianism born out of the Italian Renaissance, and reflected in Boulder’s own renaissance at the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, by redefining the importance of a careful study of the humanities for the benefit of the citizens of Boulder in forming a more perfect union between the People and their Government.

“As of the New Year, We the People, and various sundry dragons of the Bohemian Republic of Boulder are done with this odious class warfare wherein a two-tiered justice system has spawned a political class of otherworldly creatures that have emerged as worms of dissemblance, disinformation and disingenuousness in the heart of the city … heartworms … and are continuing to thrive by the political chicanery of men like Messrs. Yates, Weaver, Carr, and Wallach.”

The Prince of all things ennobling and emboldening went on like this at some length, in a Rooseveltian ‘forgotten man’ populist speechifying fashion for most of it, as he slipped into Kennedyesque moments full of Sorensenian soliloquies. The threads of these monologues were from his theatrical training mostly, speeches and swashbuckling type stuff full of grandiose gestures that he’d learned in playing great men who strutted and fretted in the theatre of his imagination.

But the gist of what he said to me that night was that he didn’t like being bullied by book burners, and that he was going to do his level best to see that those men who had tried to take his life from him, by burning his stories at the stake of public opprobrium, suffered the pangs of everlasting moral regret for their outrageous conduct toward artists of all stripes who have been dehumanized for breathing life into their thoughts of rebellion and anarchy, and agapé love, and the power of spiritual redemption.

“I am not troubled; I am invigorated – and I will test my writing against the very real evil of these petty tyrants! It will be a bonfire of their vanities!” were the gist of his words as best I can recall.

Prince Ralphie’s Call to Revolution

‘When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.’

This, you will all recognize, is the beginning of the Declaration of Independence; and for purposes of expediency I will substitute the COVID Council for the King:

  • The Council has refused the assent of the Law in repeatedly re-presenting the same camping and car sleeping ban year after year without addressing the root issues of homelessness.
  • The Council has set the Public Heath department against the Police department in a pandemic, as well as ignoring the pleas of the Governor of the state during the public health crisis.
  • The Council has continually ignored pleas to change the culture of the Police Department, as well as the rest of the CJS, starting with Tom Carr.
  • The Council has refused to take on the responsibility for the homeless, who are a part of the constituency of the city for which they ran for office.
  • This could go on for the length of Weaver’s tenure but you get the point; they’re unfit for office because they can’t meet the basic needs of the People for accountability in governance.

The main point of this indictment is that the current and past leadership, by bent of continuing to ignore the pleas of the People for ‘justice,’ and consistently acting in bad faith on multiple issues, has lost the confidence of the people and thus has undermined its own legitimacy.

Prince Ralphie’s Rawlsian Justice

This continuing, depressing gridlock on the social issues related to real justice and democratic representation at Council calls for a new social contract, one that was brought to life by the late American political philosopher John Rawls, who published his thinking on the subject in a book called A Theory of Justice, Harvard Press 1971.

What is called for now is a Rawlsian Revolution; according to Prince Ralphie.

Plato’s Republic, cited earlier in Prince Ralphie’s campaign as a foundational text, starts with the question of ‘justice.’ Rawls explains his idea of how to ensure legal and social justice in a simple thought experiment, who do you give the knife to when you want to divide a cake fairly? The answer is, the one who gets the last piece of course. It’s a little more complicated than that, but the idea of self-interested morality is at its heart.

Remember, his theory is based on a thought experiment, and it goes something like this: one has to put one’s self behind what Rawls calls a ‘veil of ignorance’ into a time before they were born, and from that perspective choose a society in which they would wish to be born into; simple, right?

What if before you were born, before you knew how tall or rich you would be, or your IQ, or your country or religion of birth, or what kind and class of family you might be born into, all of which are arbitrary traits and fates that you have no hand in deciding, you could choose the society you would be born into?

Obviously you would choose the most egalitarian society possible, because it would be in your own self-interest if you were born into a circumstance of low opportunity. From that perspective, that thought experiment, you can derive both a humanitarian morality and a set of practical ethics as to how to make decisions concerning the governance of the People; because political leaders shape society perhaps as much, or more, than its artists.

This theory of benevolent governance was known back in the day; and so that’s why I call this second Bohemian Revolution a renaissance. They had this all figured out years ago in terms like ‘the man,’ ‘the fuzz,’ the ‘machine’ … and then that clarity was clouded by the ‘establishment’ … with consumerism and trickled-on economics in which everyone’s self-interest was alleged to be in exploiting each other for high status toys and trophy houses, no matter the cultural consequences.

It’s a smash-and-grab social contract called neoliberal capitalism, which we have spread around the world, and suffer under locally with low paying gig jobs and consumer debt peonage. In Yates’ case with regard to Boulder it looks to be a ‘smash the poor and homeless with a police truncheon,’ and ‘grab the good properties with the scenic views’ kind of Darwinism; because ‘it makes good business sense’ to gut punch the hapless.

Therefore this Revolution for the People has to be started somewhere, by someone, even if that someone is a bibliophilic dragon; and since Ralphie has found one of the darkest places on the wasteland of the imaginal American Dream to be Boulder Colorado, it’s his unqualified duty as a classic exiled writer, like Dante or Petrarca, holding to individual sovereignty and the Rule of Law, to put pen to paper and give impetus to his fellow citizens to dream the impossible dream.

The Power of Great Ideas

The American Constitution sets forth an ideal of a just society; or rather, a set of ethical ideals, natural laws that a whole society has been built around. So that believing in an ideal of justice as the foundational basis of a community is not out of the norm for most citizens. Most people believe in the Rule of Law; and most, although they might not be able to articulate its historical genesis, believe in the sovereignty of the individual.

It seems that neither of these tenets, which are at the heart of the current system of justice as written into the Constitution, was observed by John Stavley in his office as a civil judge for Boulder County, nor does it appear that are they currently being observed by Tom Carr or the Council under Mr. Weaver; and that state of affairs is what has created this crisis of accountability and legitimacy.

The sovereignty of the individual cannot be upheld in a two-tiered legal system, which is what Messrs. Yates and Weaver and Wallach have promulgated and are currently defending by blaming the complainants, me included. This happens not only at ‘comment time’ during the meetings but because of the Council’s continuing denial of dealing with the criminal act of mobbing that I experienced at the hands of Mr. Stavley and Mr. Carr, the violation of the Rule of Law and individual sovereignty of the individual has become demonstrably codified and normalized.

It would appear that the Council is in denial of the outcomes of its current policy of ‘see no evil, hear no evil’ and of course ‘speak no evil of the CJS,’ and this lack of rational outcomes to vexing social and criminal issues, some involving criminal misconduct by its own staff and employees, has a direct connection to accountability in representational government, and thus the current dysfunctional situation leaves the citizen no choice but to revolt, as stated in the declaration cited earlier.

Where this State of Affairs Leads

Apart from the problem of the lawlessness, as cited by numerous courts, of the CJS under Carr and Pella, in Carr’s case the frozen corpse casualties of his and Yates’ class warfare via camping bans are on the streets for all to witness, and in Pella’s case, after the murder of Demetrius and the spit-bag lawsuit in which no one, including him, has been demoted or fired, there is also the problem of entropy and tribalism within the institutions themselves; remember that Officer Luna was defended by the taxpayers of the county after breaking an inmate’s leg in Joe Pella’s jail, only to go on to murder Mr. Shankling.

These problems are exacerbated by the continued defense of these failures of leadership by Messrs. Weaver and Wallach and Yates in their supercilious ad hominem attacks on the public for breaches of etiquette; which leaves no room for the discussion of the complex questions of real accountability and reconciliation.

In governing institutions that tend toward authoritarianism, without real representative accountability, these are the outcomes you get – death and division; and for the artist there is the larger tragedy of the destruction of the vitality of the culture.

In the coming political campaign Prince Ralphie will offer up the idea that the role of art, and the freedom of artists to express themselves, is as much at stake as critical thought is in the current political environment. The loss of freedom for a writer to express his thoughts is just a precursor of what is at stake for the community, the culture itself.

In Closing

Being a writer is the same as being the permanent ‘other’ described in all heroic myths; and thus its unique perspective is both a blessing and a curse. We who exist outside the tribal ‘norms’ of society are called weirdoes and cranks, and even predators, so that our thoughts and ideas can be delegitimized without ever being heard as voices of reason and integrity.

What Prince Ralphie is campaigning for here is not just a personal matter for me, but also for those that come after me and have to go against bureaucratic bullies like John Stavley, and Joe Pella, and Tom Carr, and Bob Yates; who, if you will remember, wanted public buildings used for jail space over housing for the homeless. These men, for me as an artist, comprise a cultural threat to critical thought and free expression for all.

Put yourselves in my position, in exile, fighting for your good name from a thousand miles away, seven years after the so-called ‘facts.’ You too would naturally become the outsider par excellence and fight, seemingly alone if need be, against bureaucratic bullies who have used state-sanctioned violence against you for your simple stories, your thoughts; for ‘thought’ crimes.

This is a David and Goliath situation and within that frame there are countless other frames, interpersonal and societal, psychological and philosophical, practical and irrelevant; and thus you, in my shoes, would have to artistically apply your aesthetics of justice, and the role of the artist in society, as a role of speaking truth to power in such a way as not to offend those who would want at some point to help Prince Ralphie’s cause because they too see the danger to the Republic that these men pose.

In that vein it would seem this crime of a virtue signaling judge, leading a vigilante mobbing to a public lynching intended as a psychological castration, may just be the perfect injustice for a fearless writer in these politically correct times when our basic communal values are under an inquisition type interrogation by splintering factions that would divide us one from another for political gain.

Some say Prince Ralphie’s campaign against the malevolence and ignorance of the institutionalized criminal status quo is hopeless, some contend it is without merit, but as long as the fate of the Bohemian Republic hangs in the balance, you too, as a fearless writer, would want to do your best to become the Thomas Paine of the coming Rawlsian Revolution; otherwise known as Prince Ralphie’s Revolution for the heart and soul of the Bohemian Republic. Because that is what fearless writers do, they’re the conscience of the People staring down hypocrisy in the ruling class who lack such hindrances in their lusting for more and more power, property, and social position in their delusions of grandeur, which are actually just petty tyrannies of social control operating under the sobriquet of ‘law and order.’

Robert Augustus Gerard

Author of

Café 66, Coulder North, The Epic Adventures of Prince Ralphie

A body of men holding themselves accountable to nobody ought not to be trusted by anybody.

Thomas Paine

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The American Tragedy of a PC Culture at Council

The Continuing Saga of Crime and Punishment

in America’s Most Beautiful City

Brought to you by Bob, Sam, Mark, and the rest of the COVID Council

The Problems with Tom Carr

Well folks here we are again, Tom’s been traumatized by harsh words and the rest of the council has come to his aid. Never mind that Tom oversaw an investigation into the tasing of a pregnant woman by a police officer in a traffic stop when he was the city attorney of Seattle in which she was tased four times, and yet he found no fault with the officer’s conduct. Brutality is a one-way street with Tom. The case was later settled, after he was voted out of office for such insensitivity and malfeasance, and I imagine more than her feelings were hurt; she’s Seattle’s Sandra Bland.

Tom also found nothing wrong with what Officer Lolotai was doing with the citizens of Boulder because he never charged him with anything, or tried to fire him, even when there was video evidence of his misconduct. It actually took a citizen’s video of officer Lolotai’s personal web site before he got dismissed, and yet Tom’s friends, almost all of those on the COVID council, rushed once again to his side to defend his malfeasance both in the petitioning scandal, and his corruption of the law concerning the homeless camping bans.

Two very informed citizens passionately advocated for a change in the petitioning schema, begging the council for a two tiered system as a back up after the fiasco of the previous year, yet they were pushed aside because Tom said it would change the staff needs from two to thirteen and that would cost the city a ‘lot’ more money. A back of the envelope calculation is thirteen people, times eight hours, times ten days, at roughly thirty dollars an hour equals approximately thirty one thousand dollars, $31,200 out of a three hundred and fifty million dollar budget, 350,000,000 or .000089 percent of the budget. In addition, he said that the last time it was done that way the petitions were counted by volunteers, which Swetlik immediately signed on for, good for him and bad on Tom.

Mark Wallach then upped the ante to twenty persons on his own, in defense of Tom’s position on insisting signature verification couldn’t be done. This is why I call him ‘mush mouth,’ because everything that comes out of his mouth is a mash-up of fact and fiction; thirteen turned into twenty somewhere between his ears and his mouth. Is it then inappropriate to call him ‘mush mouth,’ or would you prefer I call him a liar because that is what is called lying. As to Tom’ dissembling you only have to look at minute 3:30 wherein he blames everyone including the voter’s for their fecklessness and all of this exchange is right there on the video for any other councilmember to look at, yet here we are once again worrying about ‘staff’s’ feelings.

If your City Attorney is acting in a political modality then its only semantics as to whether or not he is ‘staff,’ and calling him staff, and then pretending that he is not the source of a lot of the city’s problems is political, dare I say, Bobvillian misdirection. This is what I expect out of Bobvillian Bob, who once again avoided the calls of outrage by citing some of the caller’s, but not most, use of rough language and ‘ad homonym’ attacks. At approximately minute 3:50 he uses his time to launch into a denunciation of those that would approach him on any issue if they did it in less than a tone he wanted to hear. It is actually an amazing display of arrogance and indifference and again it is there for anyone to examine in detail.

The whole conversation then got sidetracked into an ad homonym attack on the callers as Tom defended his choices of a sunnier tomorrow after the People got ‘used to’ the new system, as he then went on to paint a rosy scenario for the rest of … believe it or not … the year after next year when he’d learned from the mistakes of twenty twenty-one; which is pie in the sky as everyone knows, as he kicked the houses for people petitioning can down the road at least another two years from the original fiasco.

He illuminated no back up plan in case his scheme didn’t work, just like last year, and to back up not having a backup plan, he said at approximately minute 3:35 it would cost ‘much more’ to change the format by way of the new contract parameters of a two-tiered scheme, but tellingly he did not know how much that would actually cost, exactly, beyond a vague ‘a lot’ having not quizzed the contractor before coming to the meeting.

This is either incompetence, or just business as usual under Tom’s leadership.

I’ve now given you three different ways you could have come after his proposal; no back up plan if something goes wrong, nothing beyond the cost of thirteen extra staff, Mark’s twenty, which neither had figures for, and could be ameliorated by volunteers, and finally no cost estimate from the contractor for fixing the problems as they have arisen. As I said this is either bald-faced incompetence, or malfeasance, or both.

The On-going Alleged Problem of Addressing ‘Staff’

All of that aside, the council again took up valuable time asking to be addressed properly, yet no one was using rough language in what Sam conveniently characterized as ad homonym attacks. This gave the rest of the Gang of Five one more swing at those pesky citizens that had taken the time to call in and identify Tom as the fox in the hen house, to which the council replied ‘fox, what fox,’ missing the subject of the sentiment entirely.

No one was cussing, no one was outrageous, they said what they said in anger but that doesn’t change the point that Tom is the source, along with Bob and Mark and Sam, of the continuing loss of good faith between council and those they represent. The habit of defending those that are not doing their jobs on ‘staff’ because they are called ‘staff’ is semantics and making citizens that are not as articulate as Bob, or Sam, but not Mark, because as I’ve pointed out he can’t keep the facts straight five minutes after he’s heard them, is putting lipstick on a pig, or pigs as you prefer.

I’ve written and I’ve been polite, and yet here we are once again with the city council chasing paper tigers and why is that? Well, just for the record I call Bob, Bobvillian Bob, for this very reason of his twisting the alleged ‘outrageous ad homonym’ attacks into a city council meeting show stopper in defense of ol’ Tom, which is a distraction from the real issue, the People are getting pissed off … is that too rough for any of you?

And finally I call Sam the Supercilious Sausage King because he has yet to conduct a meeting in which he stays on topic long enough to resolve an ‘outrageous’ complaint without blaming the People for their anger, and, or, then dismissing their complaints as if he’d never heard them; petitioning, police misconduct, housing, take your pick.

Are any of these essays I’ve created in the course of politically lampooning Boulder’s politicians reasons for dismissing what I’m saying about their superciliousness, shall I gently approach each of you, being careful in choosing my words so as not to hurt your feelings when I express my outrage? In spite of what Tom Carr, and former Justice John F. Stavley has done to me. Shall I bow and scrape too.

After witnessing, once again the Bobvillian Sideshow of misdirection and feigned outrage I am weary. I personally, in my business, have to deal with all stripes of zebras and I don’t get the privilege of asking them to be polite, I take ‘em as they come, as do most people in the real world. Yet it seems that you can only approach the politically explosive issue of Tom Carr’s incompetence, bordering on criminality, on bended knee. The meetings are turning into a game of semantics and political correctness and that’s why I call him the Supercilious Sausage King of what looks like a high school Student Council meeting; its not really a meeting in the public interest, it’s a feel good meeting for those that are ‘doing their best,’ and no discordant chord will be tolerated at court.

Finally, almost everyone on council threatened to not listen to the People if they did not comport themselves properly … and what can you say to that … a PC culture taken to the extreme and for what, to excuse all the malfeasance and feigned competence. And that my friends, is how good hearted people at council become hacks; they can’t see the forest for the trees. The People are outraged because they’re hurting, and you can’t see their anger as pleas for justice because it rubs you the wrong way when they identify a fox in the hen house; actually there are several.

I predict Tom will be out of a job before another year is over; by recall petition, and I’ll start it myself if need be. I also think Mr. Yates and Mr. Weaver and Mr. Wallach are politically finished, and not just for the COVID vote but for everything they represent that is lowering the bar of civil discourse; the misdirection, the outright cruelty toward the disenfranchised, and last but not least, for lacking a unifying vision of the town and its future in a chaotic world that seems to be without a guiding philosophy.

These men, all four of them, lack a basic philosophical narrative of the future for the whole community to aspire to; like a Sorensen or a Shakespeare would have given us, something to embolden and ennoble everyone swept up in the current crisis of political leadership at the national level that is only a reflection of what is going on in Boulder.

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The American Tragedy of Politically Demagoging the Homeless

The Continuing Saga of

Crime and Punishment in America’s Most Beautiful City

Brought to you by Bob, Sam, Mark, and the rest of the COVID Council

The Status Quo

This week’s play is about creating politicized vectors of malevolence that give rise to the acting out of personal psychopathologies within the institutions of governance by city employees; to wit, the City Council’s approach to the Homeless Public Health crisis and some political, as well as possible psychopathological reasons, that Bob, Sam, and Mark take the approach they do to the issue as one ripe for political demagoguery and public division.

Hopefully this essay will also help explain how, by the council’s lack of a humane policy toward the homeless crisis, wherein the homeless are treated as second-class citizens by Mr. Weaver and the CJS, the status quo is failing the most vulnerable in the community right in front of everybody, and why Bob and Sam and Mark and their true believers don’t see this as a failure of public health policy but rather use it as a political football.

The current city council policy, as defined by staff under former manager Jane Brautigam and the City Attorney Tom Carr, outlined an approach to the crisis using illegal statutes and periodic police sweeps of the camps as an articulated ‘dirty hands’ policy which I will contend in this essay is a political rather than a practical solution, intended to appeal by fearmongering to the darker nature of the collective unconscious of the townsfolk, the inherent sense of tribalism in all people.

I will further try to persuade you that these political operatives, Bob, Sam, and Mark, along with Tom and Jane in bureaucratic disguise, have nurtured and enabled chaos and division on the humanitarian nature of this issue by tapping into the rich blood of tribalism, using fraud and deceit as a modality of political policy expediency instead of doing their jobs with intellectual honesty, much less practical commonsense.

These individuals have politicized innate human compassion; it’s stupefying.

My Case is as Follows

For this essay on politically incited institutional malevolence I cite two books:

  • Evil Geniuses by Kurt Andersen, in which he details the slow motion coup of the past fifty years by the financial sector of the economy; how it happened and what its consequences have been for the past two generations on the middle class and working poor.
  • The Lucifer Effect by Dr. Philip Zimbardo, which details how social vectors of malevolence allow personal psychopathologies to emerge in social and institutional settings.

Kurt Andersen is a Pulitzer Prize winner, and Dr. Zimbardo is the psychologist behind the infamous ‘Stanford Prison Experiment’ whose parallels to the now infamous Boulder County Jail ‘spit bag’ incident are uncanny; more about Sheriff Pella and his penchant for condoning what can only be described as sadistic practices within the Boulder County Jail staff, later. I suspect he may be a closet sadist himself.

If there is not sufficient evidence in this essay of pathological institutional malevolence under the current council’s leadership within the institutions of governance in Boulder to convince you that it does exist, I can also cite Dr. Janice Harper’s work on ‘mobbing’ as a criminal act in my own case, and submit the transcript of the kangaroo court I went through, presided over by John Stavley, which was nothing less than a malicious prosecution, alongside the Boulder County Jail House Review Panel’s disingenuous report of the spit-bag incident prior to the lawsuit, as further evidence of the patterns of cover up of malfeasance and criminal behavior within the CJS.

Act One – a Trial in Absentia of Bolder Boulder’s COVID Council

Exhibit A

In his recently released book Evil Geniuses, author Kurt Andersen goes to great lengths to show how the realities of neo-liberal economics, the ‘trickle-down’ economics of the Reagan Era, right through to the present moment of Goldman Sachs’ vice president Mnuchin’s pillage of the Treasury by the institutional operatives of the top ten percent, has turned the American Dream of economic independence on its head with the help of a cabal of rightwing economists led by Milton Friedman out of the Chicago School of Economics, and conservative rightwing judicial review of labor organizations as strategized in the infamous ‘Powell Memorandum’ and made manifest in the Citizens United case, and the current packing of the bench by the Federalist Society.

In his book he makes the case that these banking and mercantile elites, in league with conservative think tanks and political and judicial operatives, some on the Supreme Court, have in essence overtaken democratic representation with a corporate agenda that has led to the current state of affairs as far as the American Dream of political, as well as, economic empowerment are concerned.

He details how the top ten percent’s agenda was made manifest in an unresponsive Congress, and debt peonage for the middle working class. Not to mention the criminalization of poverty for the working poor, and how this state of affairs has vomited up characters on the national stage like the Clintons and Mr. Trump, and on the local political stage, like good ol’ Bob Yates and Tom Carr and Jane Brautigam, not to mention Sam Weaver, and last but not least mush-mouth Wallach; each of them seemingly without a moral compass or philosophical foundation in regard to those that have stumbled and fallen by the wayside of a predatory capitalist system that is notorious the world over for exploitation of all labor.

Exhibit B

In Dr. Zimbardo’s book The Lucifer Effect, he outlines seven critical factors in creating social and institutional vectors of malevolence:

  • Mindlessly taking the first step by making the first slander

The first slander of the homeless was by Jane’s staff in labeling most of them as meth addicts and sex offenders, ‘the homeless covet our treasury, want to do drugs all day and rape our women by night’ was the implied subtext of the fraudulent report for which there is no apparent evidence or accountability.

  • Creating tribal solidarity

Dehumanizing the victims of the slander is the first step in creating tribal solidarity; seeing them as ‘second-class’ citizens is the antithesis of the individual sovereignty which undergirds our Rule of Law, and thus by stigmatizing the ‘other,’ the homeless, (in this case as sex addicts and meth offenders) is without consequence because it is seen as protecting the interests of the tribe.

  • De-individuation of self-responsibility for immoral behavior by the ‘tribal’ council

He, she, or they (the economic victims, the homeless in this instance) are labeled and libeled as ‘bad actors’ in police jargon; or as ‘drug addicts and sex fiends’ as mischaracterized by the city staff’s report on the homeless, who then communicated this libel among the authority figures they speak to, the main institutional actors being the city council, police, judges, and prosecutors.

This was further facilitated by the city council accepting the staff’s despicable report; the report that headlined the ‘homeless’ not as survivors of on-going economic and personal tragedies at the same time, but as meth addicts and sex offenders; kudos Jane and her crack staff of bureaucrats for vilifying that which she and they have no understanding of; namely humanity itself.

  • Diffusion of personal responsibility

In this case, by the city staff and the city council doing what they do to the homeless under the mind-numbing slogan of saying ‘it’s best for the community’ to label the homeless as ‘bad actors’ in absentia, rather than as the refugees of economic upheavals beyond their ken that they truly are, and so by bureaucratic fiat the city staff has trumped the real facts and the Rule of Law, i.e. the illegal camping ban that keeps getting overturned, in spite of Tom’s and Sam’s and Bob’s and Mark’s best efforts at criminalizing poor people’s poverty.

This is also called the ‘dirty hands’ problem in political science arenas. But in the richest country in the world, in one of the richest communities in that country, with adequate resources to at least let the homeless into its emergency shelters when it gets below fifty degrees, this doesn’t hold much water; this argument is basically a political fraud.

  • Blind obedience to tradition and authority

The normalization of humiliation and cruelty by the Boulder Police Department in maintaining its constant sweeps of the camps, then leaving people to freeze to death if it’s one degree above twenty in temperature speaks to something other than ‘law and order’; perhaps the institutionalization of malevolence by the CJS.

The past policy of ten degrees has led to two frozen people on Jane’s and Tom’s and Sam’s and Bob’s watch in the last three years that I know of, but that won’t be the end of the corpses on their watch as long as there is no opposition to this policy of institutionalized malevolence through the continued criminalization of poverty demonstrated by Tom Carr and the leadership of the council, first and foremost.

  • Uncritical conformity to group norms of vilification and dismissal

In this case the former City Council’s approach to the issue is summarized as follows: we have discouraged ‘undesirable’ people from accessing our community chest by the threat of freezing them to death, to wit the latest victim, or through extrajudicial institutional malevolence in illegally ticketing them for camping, a non-crime, or in finding other ways of entraining them into the CJS by way of drugs or ‘weapons’ violations. Or simply by saying ‘things got messy when we tried to help,’ and that apparently being enough of an excuse for not continuing to find better ways to act humanely.

  • Passive tolerance of the dehumanizing process through inaction

This is a crime of omission, of indifference, and by turning a blind eye to the cruelty as dispensed by Mark and Sam and Bob in their continuing voting patterns, and their reliance on the ‘dirty hands’ and ‘magnet’ arguments, one becomes a ‘hack’ politician. Mark, like Bob in his grandstanding on George Floyd’s back, has basked in the reflected glory of RBG but apparently learned little in her class; she, unlike he, worked to give the voiceless a place at the table.

A Public Healthcare Model of Malevolence in Action

This last element of Dr. Zimbardo’s schema of the creation of social and institutional vectors of malevolence implicates the entire current city council in the face of not calling out the reprehensibly fraudulent report, the illegal statutes, and the continuing harassment by the police in their ongoing sweeps of the camps. In this way, most obviously by not responding to the citizen review board’s outing of Jane’s report when in session, everyone on the council is now complicit in the crime of covering up Tom and Jane’s malevolently criminal ineptitude. I say criminal because I believe their feigned incompetence and stonewalling is intentional. They’re lawyers, they know how to parse their words and dissemble.

Confidentially, you’re all beginning to look like bumps on a log when Sam asks, each and every time the public comment phase is over, ‘Are there any comments from council?’ and not one of you has had the moral courage to stop this outrage, or the innumerable other fabrications foisted on the city by these political operatives in bureaucratic disguise. The inevitable end of this kind of political conformity without critique is that innocent people are being killed in your names, because as elected representatives even your inaction has life and death consequences, especially on the most vulnerable. Your lack of outrage exemplifies the conformist nature of a public health model of institutionalized malevolence.

With these cited books I do away with credentialing my arguments concerning institutionalized malevolence in this critique, so that I bring a constellation of academic and seemingly obvious conclusions together to counter the current dogma surrounding this issue, and reveal the personal psychopathology behind it. This is warranted in regards to the current city council’s policy on the pernicious public health crises of the so-called homeless ‘problem’ which through this lens appears more and more to be a problem of a multi-decade, calculated white collar crime as stated by Andersen, and bureaucratic malfeasance and incompetence within the institutions of government; both in the staff’s report and in the current culture of the city council in its ‘see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil’ approach to the issue of institutional malevolence as expressed by the Gang of Five when they collectively said, ‘things got ugly when we tried to play nice with the homeless.’ Thereby, one assumes, they washed their hands of the ‘problem’ without really offering a viable solution for those on the street.

Of course they got ugly; all that the disenfranchised know of the ‘system’ in Boulder has been through their interactions with officers like Lolotai and Smyly, and city attorney Tom Carr. If the city attorney were an elected official he’d be gone, but instead it’s a political office without any voter check on its power, with Sam and Bob and Mark supporting its malfeasance with every vote. Carr’s not an independent arbiter of facts. He, like Bob and Jane, represent the worst types of lawyers, self-serving.

Not to mention Sam’s dismissal of the most vulnerable during the open council meeting’s public comment time, while covering for criminal cops Smyly and Lolotai by bringing out the old trope of heroic loyalty to public service. It’s not the good cops that the public is criticizing Sam, it’s your continued use of them in deploying Tom’s illegal ordinances, and in asking those few good ones left on the force to execute potentially illegal sweeps of the camps when the homeless public health crisis is not a criminal issue but rather a societal one, as in class warfare, as you well know. You pass the legislation and then go home. The homeless go out into the living hell that you and Bob and Mark have created for them, and then the cops dutifully roust them around town while criminalizing their poverty, thereby creating a second-class citizenry. As Vicky exemplified in her report when she said, “the homeless find their way around to the resource centers,” referring to them as a herd of subhuman creatures I suppose; and yet somehow you think this is an adequate and humane approach to the issue.

You’re being supercilious, Sam. You and Bob and Mark act with arrogance in discounting the ‘other,’ either by citing their inarticulate articulation, or subpar income, as if you think Boulder is y’alls personal property and that you can do as you please by criminalizing poor people’s poverty, and then running them off; individual sovereignty and the Rule of Law be damned. Perspective Sam, get yourself some; then pass it around because you weren’t hired to just do justice in the issues you care about, but also the ones that have proven the most intractable. Do your jobs, all of you; and quit acting like you’re being put upon. You asked for the job, do it with grace and maybe a little humility. Ultimately, long after your terms are up, you will have to live with yourselves and your sins of omission; and in Tom’s and Jane’s and Bob’s and Sam’s and Mark’s cases, commission.

During this critique I’ve intentionally used the word malevolence instead of evil because that word is so stigmatized. But make no mistake, I’m talking about how the city staff and the city council is conspiring through political demagoguery, the abuse of office, turning a blind eye to the malfeasance, and outright deception, to infect the culture of the city with the cancer of institutionalized malevolence based on the psychopathologies of its leaders. Which, as it turns out, is ‘evil’ personified; and made manifest in Tom, Jane, Sam, Bob and ol’ mush mouth’s incoherent polemics against the poor.

The city council has become, in Dr. Zimbardo’s words, a vector of institutional malevolence through its lack of political courage in changing course when public feedback and your own lying eyes tell you you’re on the wrong course.

ACT II – How Malevolence becomes Condoned, Normalized, and then Codified

Now I’m going to pivot and use the current deadly policy to pull apart, in psychopathological terms, how social vectors of malevolence, created and condoned by the city council, allow for the personal pathologies of Sam and Bob and Mark and Tom and Jane to emerge in all strata of the community; handed down from thuggish bureaucrats like Jane and Tom, to thuggish councilmen like Bob, Sam and Mark, to a thuggish jail house review panel headed by Pella, down to a thuggish patrolmen like Lolotai on the beat, that abuse homeless, as well as ordinary citizens, indiscriminately and with impunity.

I’ll use their voting records, and the lack of meaningful staff accountability, to explain how the current city council’s stance against most of Boulder’s citizens’ sentiments concerning homelessness, police brutality, and housing are continually and cavalierly brushed aside as proof of the current vectors of malevolence within the institutions of governance that are twisting and damaging the culture of the old republic. In the midst of a crisis of leadership, accountability, and competence in offices held both by elected and appointed officials, I’ll expose the true nature of the demagogue and his demagoguery as seen through the lens of personal psychopathologies given free reign inside institutional decision making processes, and then how this attitude of callous indifference toward the poor is transmitted from the hack politician to the street level cop. I’m going to relate what I see in Sam’s and Bob’s and Wallach’s voting patterns as personal psychopathological tendencies toward sociopathy expressing themselves under the rubric of ‘the good of the community.’

I do this to show how their demagogic rhetoric is just cover for something much darker, collectivism, also known as tribalism in which demonizing the ‘other’ is nothing more then a Durkean and Hobbesian race to the bottom; man against man nihilism which has little to do with creating a sense of community. In other words, I’ll show the reader why these men play politics as a zero sum game for the voiceless citizens of the town, and why that is morally wrong in light of the research available to anyone with an internet connection; except for the council members without internet, who Jane suspiciously couldn’t find the money out of a three hundred and fifty million dollar budget to fund. Jane was a paragon of political pettiness.

All of my research is available at a mouse click, and most of it is on YouTube straight from the writers and researchers’ mouths. No need to count on Jane and staff for the truth because they’ve proven to be unreliable, if not downright deceptive in their report.

The Intellectual Hollowness of Fearmongering, and Scapegoating the Homeless

Let’s go back to the beginning. Bob is both a lawyer and a carpetbagger. Lawyers, by temperament are conscientious people; at least that’s how the majority of them rate on the Big Five personality profile. I would suspect his IQ is in the hundred and thirty range. This part of his personality profile can also be used for both Jane and Tom. These three are not ignorant people, nor I would suggest incompetent in the technical sense of the word, that don’t know what they’re doing or the deeper borderline criminal implications of their actions; here I cite Tom’s ongoing voter suppression by playing the ‘incompetent’ that can’t get his ducks lined up on petitioning, and the illegal camping ban he insists on re-presenting in spite of numerous court defeats, and Jane’s report on the public health homeless crisis that was fraudulent on every level, including its title.

But let’s get back to Bob. He comes from the corporate world, which is very undemocratic; and from that world we get the status-hierarchy career ladder as a modality of access to better goods and rewards within the authoritarian structure of the corporation. From that world he also brings the concept of ‘externalities.’ This is expressed in his ongoing opposition to Bedrooms for Boulder. His idea on how to keep property values high and taxes low is to externalize the costs of Fire, Police, Hospitals, and Education to Denver, and make people commute into Boulder every day for their jobs; a two-hour commute for most people, an intangible burden on the working class.

This is an inversion of his claim that if Boulder offered adequate services to the homeless community that it would become a ‘magnet’ for the homeless, a discredited theory in the literature on the subject, and ironically the opposite of his fearmongering rhetoric that exemplifies the demagoguery of the demagogue. Boulder is a parasite on Denver’s tax structure, and is externalizing not only the homeless health problem, but half of almost everything else, as well. Bob wants Denver to finance his ascendancy to the pinnacle of his carpetbagged fiefdom by way of threatening the city’s wealthy property owners with the fear of higher taxes, and the rest of the citizenry with the fear of unhinged criminal vagrants.

Bob’s attitude towards the homeless resembles the recent discriminatory immigration policy at our borders. And, like his evil genius Republican alter egos, he, along with Tom and Jane and Sam and Mark, have built a wall of illegal statutes based on unproven accusations while failing to hold accountable the incompetence in the staff report, or the city attorney’s offices, or on the police payroll, when it favors tribal discrimination and fearmongering. Thus infusing into a healthy culture a cancer of deception and official obfuscation that has already been thoroughly disseminated as the status quo throughout the body politic by former Mayor Jones, former Police Chief Testa, former DA Garnett, and now DA Dougherty; and these are not even very good arguments that they present to the council for maintaining it. So that the question becomes, do we really need another day of Bobvillian theatrical ‘politics as usual’ informing a policy that is an obvious failure, or can the city council create something better, more interactively responsive to the needs of the People, more just and humane and less Bobvillian misdirection of grandstanding and fearmongering?

The problem for Bob, and lawyers like Jane and Tom and Mark, is that they don’t even know what motivates their own malevolence. They’re not given to critical self-reflection; they’re given to climbing power hierarchies by any means possible, even obvious deception, so it’s not in their temperament to think empathetically about those with lower IQ’s.

Nor are they informed in their perspectives by the four other types of personality profiles or IQ scores, or the weight of generational poverty; much less national labor trends and their local impacts, or the psychological dimensions of abuse and addiction. They are, in a few words, provincial, mercurial, hack politicians, lacking in intellectual curiosity and the moral benefits of pitiless self-reflection.

From Bob’s vote against pay regularization, to his threats to cut off donations to non-profits if they don’t support his goals, his political skullduggery has no bottom; or for that matter, no soaring heights to climb to either. On second thought he’s probably not as smart as I give him credit for being, and so here I turn to William Blakes’ words,

‘The wise man doesn’t see the same tree as the fool.’

Thereby reminding Bob and Sam and Mark that being politically clever and disguising personal pathological malevolence toward the ‘other’ as public policy is not the same as being wise, or even practical in governance. Sam, you couldn’t have picked a worse mentor than Bob Yates.

From Bobvillian Politics to Broadway

I have approached Bob and the rest of the council with the idea of the homeless all being princes and princesses, innocent children when they started life’s perilous journey. I’ve also broached the idea that their concern for the ‘other’ might be religiously based in citing the poetic ‘there but for the grace of God go I’ notion of identification of the ‘other’ in them. Now I’ve turned to pure reason in citing these two books in my vivisection of their obvious political manipulation of the discussion.

The evidence is out there, if any of the council chooses to avail themselves of something other than the staff report on the homeless, but that would take real political courage; and as of yet, except for Ms. Friend, Mr. Swetlik, and Mr. Brocket, I see little. Mr. Swetlik and Mr. Brocket are coming up fast though; I just hope it’s fast enough to stop another man from dying. Both of these gentlemen are asking the right questions and are making some headway, as are Junie and Mary. Meanwhile, real people’s lives hang in the balance. Here I reference a video on YouTube called ‘Emerald Village’ about a tiny house project in Eugene, Oregon started by a church, Mary Young’s idea, and lauded over by all concerned; mayor and council, including those in the neighborhood of the tiny home village who’d initially opposed it. Broaden the discussion, and go beyond the conversation delineated by Sam, Bob, and Mark.

Class Warfare vs. Personal Sociopathic Tendencies

In conclusion I say that the city council has two choices in listening to the demagoguery vomited up by Bob and Sam and Mark concerning the homeless. Do a little research on the ‘magnet’ and ‘dirty hands’ theory concerning the homeless services offered nationwide and you’ll find that much of it’s been debunked by experts in the field, and then remember that the camping bans have been struck down several times in court, both of which point to political contrivance rather than good governance.

The evidence of Jane’s and Tom’s deceptions are easy enough to expose because we all know they’ve both been less than forthcoming with the facts, and proffered less than truthful testimony in the report, in voting, and in promulgating illegal statutes. Bob and Mark and Sam should already know this, so that the research to catch them out is out there and alternatives are out there in the zeitgeist too, and a little research on the rest of council’s part would finally strip naked their self-serving arguments and fearmongering. Don’t be content to rely on staff, which has a proven track record of incompetence and deception by way of your own citizen review boards.

This is where the personal psychopathological nature of these politicians’ subconscious narratives of the ‘other’ comes to the fore, and can be examined in the light of reason for the cancer upon the body politic that their dogma is, in creating a tribalistic, divisive agenda, sans facts. Remember, this essay is about describing institutionalized malevolence in terms of the leadership’s psychopathological tendencies.

You have two choices in assessing these men’s arguments. Either Bob and Sam and Mark are sociopathic, which is not beyond the realm of possibility as the business community CEOs rank among the highest scores, one in five, for sociopathic tendencies, and Bob is a former vice president of a multi-national corporation, and appears to be their philosophical leader. Or, that this policy and these men are the actual faces and hollow arguments of class warfare.

The point is that neither of these options is great because it means these men are pursuing a political ‘dirty hands’ policy, rather than a fact-based policy toward the homeless, or conversely that they’re just carpetbagging idiots, Bob and Tom, and a few local yokels, Sam and Mark and Tom and Jane, in over their heads with Bobvillian Bob in charge; and that can’t be good for anyone, them included, when the public gets wind of what they’re up to.

As competent council members you might want to ask yourselves what’s up with dodging responsibility for the most vulnerable People in the community, as you try to form public policy by way of a fact-based, data-driven framework. I suggest these individuals are psychopathologically driven by subconscious forces within them that they themselves don’t understand, or are even aware of, and therefore don’t care about the Rule of Law, or honest intellectual debate or, not surprisingly, moral turpitude.

These people, Sam, Mark, and Bob, as well as Tom and Jane, are entitled, self-serving, and unable to deal with the truth in a straightforward discussion regarding the philosophical foundation of their political agenda outside of power, loyalty, and fear. With bold faces they deny the failure of the current public health policy that everybody else sees on Pearl Street by demonizing the victims of economic upheaval for things that are beyond the ken, but not the commonsense sensibilities, of the homeless.

The homeless know they’ve been screwed out of their futures by the millionaire and billionaire class; no national healthcare, no welfare net for moms or children, much less the morally wounded men who’ve been pushed out of the labor market by international treaty, and mechanization, and the death of mom and pop stores; hence the anger when they get that final shove by some smug, sanctimonious, reactionary carpetbaggers who really don’t know their own shit from Shinola as far as how good government policy is constructed. In summation, they’re incapable of empathy by temperament, and obviously intellectually incurious by nature; unfit for the office they hold.

Prince Ralphie’s Political Ambitions

Prince Ralphie, by bent of artistic reason discussed in letters like these is going to take the city council meetings from Bobvillian Theatrical Politics to Broadway, not by magic wish-thought of princes and princesses, or by personal acknowledgment of the Transcendent, but rather by demanding a more rigorous intellectual discussion of the real facts, and not the reports and actions vomited up by Jane’s and Tom’s malfeasance.

Obviously Prince Ralphie is an imaginary dragon in love with words and books and ideas, and has no real desire to run for political office, especially in a place in which he can’t establish residency beyond the imagination of its citizens, but he can form political alliances and create a platform with a thicket of named candidates.

In this manner these letters constitute the humble beginnings of a radical political movement; a call to radical social justice for Boulder’s never-named, but so treated, ‘second-class’ citizens; the homeless and forgotten men and women that have been brushed aside and abused by Tom Carr and the CJS, and all the other never-heard of heroes of long forgotten social justice fights. By creating a vision of a more beneficent Republic of Boulder and removing the Scales of Injustice from the eyes of the People, the Ralphie Revolution in the War on Ignorance will attempt to bring about a renaissance of the philosophically enlightened community!

Post Script

I’m afraid the irate caller was right; council’s decisions do have life and death consequences, and Sam’s flippancy toward public comments that are abrasive betrays contempt for the outraged citizens themselves; which, as it turns out, is politically more irresponsible than any inarticulate comments of those outraged citizens. The contempt you have for public comment time is evident at every meeting as you call into question their issues by pointing to their rough language, which discounts the anger and frustration that is sometimes not as well-spoken as your own eloquent defense of fraudulent staff reports on the homeless, and rogue cops that get sweetheart severance deals when fired.

They’re not talking about the cops that do their jobs, Sam; they’re talking about city leadership that condones institutional malevolence; although they can’t articulate that as well as I can … but that doesn’t matter … because either way, you can’t hear them.

Note also that Sam gives every councilmember a chance to comment on the public comments, so that the problem of speaking up against the intellectually insipid arguments leveled by Bob and Mark and Sam and Tom and Jane is always there; but alas, I see no councilmember hands in the air when time is allocated for council commenting on the public’s comments. The fact is, if the council had spent as much time worrying about how the man that froze to death found himself in that situation in the most beautiful city in America, rather than worrying about Jane’s being told to “fuck off” or Bob’s being called a “creep”; then maybe the last few meetings would have been more productive in the sphere of public engagement. But instead of dealing with the drifter’s death, council decided to spend their valuable time resetting the parameters for polite engagement with the citizens as a diversion to facing the growing anger in the community over council’s increasingly self-serving indifference, and taking that anger seriously.

That wouldn’t have been half as bad as it was to watch, if public engagement were a sincere process of self-reflection. But I’ve been writing the council for over a year, in a very civilized tone, on the record, and have yet to receive a single reply; which means you’re either hypocrites, and won’t mind being called out as such when I return after the pandemic, or outright liars. Take your pick, because the charade of desired community engagement seems, from my perspective, to be a fiction.

In light of the second death of a homeless citizen on the COVID Council’s watch their first year in office, the third for Bob and Sam, that I know of, and in light of their lack of acknowledgement of the death of Demetrius Shankling at the time of the George Floyd protests, or at anytime, and the blinding of Ryan Spalding by Sheriff Pella’s staff through criminal neglect, and the lack of acknowledgement of the work of officer Lolotai in disgracing his colleagues’ uniform, and the reputation of the town, these three men are not fit to continue to serve. They lack both the philosophy that informs a humanitarian vision of community, and the leadership skills of listening to anybody but good ol’ Bob who is poisoning the civil discourse with fearmongering. These men are the problem impeding a full and frank discussion of the public health issue because they lack the intellectual curiosity to find better answers than to lock up the indigent for being in ‘their’ town.

Is that eloquent enough for you Sam? How about you Bob? Mark?

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Katie Brautigam’s Backstory


The Legacy of Class Warfare, Another Type of American Tragedy The Continuing Saga of Crime and Punishment in America’s Most Beautiful City

Staring:  Bob Yates, Tom Carr, Mark Wallach, Sam Weaver,Jane Brautigam, and the rest of the COVID Council

Katie Brautigam’s Reform School Visit #5                       December 24, 2028

Katie had been captured in a rebel homeless camp just outside of town in a drugs and weapons sweep, and had been assigned to the Boulder School for Future Leadership once again. It was her fifth time at the institution; most of the girls that’d joined the rebels and been captured giving comfort to the enemy homeless, and were brought to the school repeatedly, rarely even got a third chance, much less a fourth or fifth to reform, but Katie was a Brautigam. Her grandmother was Jane Brautigam, a Founding Mother of the Bobvillian Republic of Duplicities on Boulder Creek; now called the Republic of Bolder Boulder, as the city officials had regressed into using PR doublespeak for all their correspondence.

Bob Yates, its prime minister without philosophical portfolio, had been in power since before the beginning of the homeless uprisings when he was just the lowly mayor pro tem of what used to be called Boulder, Colorado. He had, with the help of Tom Carr and Jane Brautigam, crafted most of the illegal statutes that had outlawed helping the poor in any fashion since before the reactionary coup of the early twenty-twenties actually happened, wherein the Gang of Five, Brautigam, Carr, Wallach, Weaver, and Yates, finally took over the administration of the heavenly City on the Hill by bureaucratic fiat, and made it into a living hell for the working poor and homeless.

Some said Katie’s grandmother was the main bureaucrat responsible for the homeless uprisings; pushing the homeless around the city from pillar to post for over twelve years, mostly by continually reporting false claims about the disenfranchised to the city council. Some said it was Tom Carr alone by his behind the scenes defense of officers like Lolotai. Some said all five were architects of the class warfare that ensued by way of their draconian policies concerning the homeless based on Jane’s fraudulent reports and Mark and Bob’s legal ‘expertise’ in avoiding legal or public accountability, much less moral responsibility.

While still others claimed the Gang of Five couldn’t have succeeded in the reactionary’s cultural coup without the lackadaisical cooperation of council members Joseph, Nagel, and Young in effectively restraining the left-leaning council members Friend, Swetlik, and Brocket as they tried their best to stop the unnecessary and cruel suffering which ultimately created the homeless crisis in the first place.

For instance, it seems a good browbeating over pay regularization for the friendly three was all it took for those middling three to question their own political courage, and so they thanked Jane profusely, ad nauseam, for her fraud upon the homeless because they couldn’t think of going into radical political action mode when it would have really meant something significant to the old bohemian culture of freewheeling civil discourse in the fabled city.

And when the uprising finally did occur, Bob and Jane and Sam and Tom joined forces with Chief Harold, another mother of the reactionary coup, and were ready and willing with the right equipment to put down the rebels. So that within days of the first ‘riot’ they rolled out the new crowd-control trucks the city had bought to control the housing occupancy protesters who where getting politically radical on their own, and turned them on the homeless; at once scouring the creek basins and city parks, microwaving the homeless and helpless without mercy.

The council had decided against showing the homeless mercy in an emergency session after someone threw a rock through mayor pro tem Yates’s kitchen window. Some said that that was the trigger that lit the fuse on the Gang of Five’s long simmering class war.

Some said that Bob had done it himself when he was mowing his grass and had just gotten a little overexcited and trigger happy that the commies in black pajamas, the homeless in rags, were going to take over Saigon or Bolder Boulder or all of Western civilization. So he’d called for an emergency session; and the five of them through the usual fearmongering had declared martial law, with the acquiescence of the middling three.

Some, in a cynical and mocking tone, said Bob’s dog had done it.

But all that was in the past now as Katie lay on her bunk and stared blankly out the window at the concertina wire strung atop the wall of the reform school, and thought about how sweet her grandmother had always been to her, and wondered why she’d been so mean to the homeless.

The Forgotten Man Riots

The Bobvillian Republic of Bolder Boulder was founded just days after the Forgotten Man uprisings of twenty-twenty one, which the city’s mothers determined was a riot. Wherein the economic pressure cooker of the past five decades of the unfettered neoliberal capitalism of minimum wage serfdom had finally boiled over onto the Dizznified streets of Bolder Boulder’s boutique shops and upscale restaurants on Pearl Street, and the Great War on the COVID Council’s Ignorance had finally begun to show its beautiful, as opposed to its tormented side, in downtown Boulder, in casual acts of civil disobedience; wherein, unfortunately, some rock throwing was involved, and thus the linkage.

The Bobvillian Republic of Bolder Boulder was founded just after it was announced by the President of the United States that the states were ‘on their own’ in the economic crises that had been left in the wake of trickled-on economics, a scandalous lack of healthcare coverage for all citizens in a pandemic, and economic inequality exacerbated by welfare for the rich in the form of extravagant tax cuts for capital gains.

This turned out to be an ultimately unsustainable predatory capitalist system of such vast inequality that each individual state had, by populist militia default, through months of rioting, separated into statute-gated enclaves of money and power wherein city cops acted as an armed militia for the rich and powerful, and economic wastelands skirted these enclaves wherein the rest of the people now lived and dreamed and died in slums reminiscent of third world favelas right in the heart of the land of plenty. These favelas were run by white supremacist criminal gangs, the wealthy enclaves were run by political hacks like Bob and Mark and Sam, and there was no more Rule of Law anywhere for anyone; thanks to mothers like Tom and Bob and Sam.

The land between Denver and the Republic had become a lawless no man’s land with camps for the homeless run mostly by criminal gangs fronting as populist political parties which had now cornered the manual labor market and made treaties with communities like the Republic of Bolder Boulder to supply gardeners and painters and carpenters and waiters and bartenders and busboys at cut-rate prices without the cost of externalities like police and sewers and hospitals; providing services and luxuries that where now only available to the wealthy like Bob and Sam and Mark and Stavley and the rest of the bureaucratic insiders who’d worked so hard to build the illegal statute walls that had now turned into armed barricades with militarized police checkpoints.

As Katie lay back on her bunk she couldn’t help but wonder, was her grandma an executioner of the most vulnerable, the mental patients, the addicted, the forlorn, and forgotten? Was grandma an Otto Eichmann in granny glasses? Were uncle Bob and Sam and Mark killer xenophobes too? Is the face of malevolence that banal up-close? And what is justice for those without family ties and good political connections?

Katie, unlike her grandmother, was a broad reader and good listener; which made her question everything, including her own family’s complicity in class warfare. Katie was beginning to realize that she lived in a dystopian world that let the most vulnerable people she now knew as living, breathing, warmhearted people to freeze in the cold, without shelter, or sanitary water, or even human dignity.

It was a dystopian world created by her own grandmother and her grandmother’s lawyerly friends; and she fought against thinking such thoughts. What does the face of malevolence look like was a question she was coming to ask herself more often as she read more and more about the period before the uprisings, when things could have been made better with a little more truth-telling in reporting the needs and dreams of the homeless.

While Katie didn’t care much for Mr. Wallace, he kind of made her feel uncomfortable in an unspecified way, Mr. Yates and Mr. Weaver had always been nice to her. So that for her to consider their murderous malfeasance as a conspiracy of malevolence wasn’t easy on her heart.

The existential problem for Katie, as she was coming to know her own family’s responsibility in the uprisings, was that the rebels had introduced her to the writings of Robert Augustus Gerard, a fierce opponent of her grandmother’s and the COVID Council’s questionable legal handiwork toward the homeless prior to the uprisings.

She’d read his history of Boulder’s bohemian culture before the war, prior to the ‘riots.’ It was distressing to her heart that her grandmother hadn’t paid attention to his letters, or read any of his books. Katie was having a hard time growing up inside the contradiction that was her grandmother’s political legacy of class warfare; and that’s why she’d returned to the reformatory so many times; she didn’t want to face the truth about her own politically criminal family.

She didn’t want to think about any of it because it would kill her heart if she found out that her grandmother, in confederation with her friends Bob and Sam, had been the root cause of much of the suffering she’d witnessed in the rebel camps, the hunger, the lack of healthcare, the lack of toilets and showers, so she turned to her favorite book and read herself to sleep as the book fell onto her chest and she dreamed of a better world than her grandmother had left her.

The book she’d loved since she was a child, and always read herself to sleep by, was The Epic Adventures of Prince Ralphie, which, until her latest foray into enemy territory, she hadn’t known was written by the same author who was now a leading writer for the rebels. It turned out that Demetrius Shankling and Ryan Spalding were the nom de plumes for none other than Robert Augustus Gerard; who was also the writer of the most hated book in all of the Bobvillian Republic of Bolder Boulder, Coulder North … an Encounter with the Horrific Feminine.

It turns out he’d also authored her favorite road book, Café 66.


Merry Christmas and bah humbug to Jane ‘sex and meth’ Brautigam, and Bob ‘dirty-hands’ Yates, and Sam ‘the sausage king’ Weaver, and Mark ‘ol’ mush-mouth’ Wallach, and last but certainly not least, Tom ‘cite ’em for sleeping in their cars’ Carr. Bah humbug you miserly bunch of Scrooges, I hope you choke on your Christmas meal, you mean-spirited, miserable bunch of mothersssssss.

Merry Christmas to the rest of the COVID Council too; and here’s hoping a homeless man doesn’t freeze to death this Christmas Eve as one had the temerity to do in twenty eighteen under Sam and Bob’s and former Mayor Jones’ leadership.

Try to remember that just as they’d sat down with their families to give thanks for their blessings, a man died outside their window, just down the street and around the corner, seemingly out of their purview. Alone, without a friend to light a candle in his honor, because all the kindness in humanity, in the whole of the community of Boulder, the old Republic of Boulder, had met its match in Bob’s and Sam’s frustration when the homeless wouldn’t play nice with them; so they gave up trying to help.

Screw all of you Scrooges of Christmas Past and Present, including former Mayor Jones for setting the precedent in twenty-eighteen, and probably, without radical political challenge and change, Christmas Future. This includes all of you who’ve failed to get radical on this issue this winter; because being elected means you’re a representative of ALL The People; especially the most vulnerable, especially at Christmas.

Quit going along with a corrupt and corrupting status quo that is illegal and illegitimate! Changing the ten degrees to twenty as a point of inflection to open the emergency shelters is not enough. Is that supposed to be a joke? At long last, have you no shame Mayor Weaver, Ms. Brautigam, Mr. Carr, Mr. Wallach, and last but not least … well, no, I know you have no shame so I won’t even ask you to be kind to those who’ve done nothing to you, Mr. Yates. It seems Mr. Yates lacks the milk of human kindness, it’s congenital, and so have mercy on him this season; forgive him, for he knows not what he does to the forgotten man.

And happy birthday, Jane; I know the children and grandchildren must be so proud of your handiwork with the homeless. Their participation at the city council meeting on your birthday inspired this essay. However, I can’t help but wonder what those two men’s children and grandchildren and friends and mothers and fathers are celebrating this year. Their loved ones died in the most beautiful city in the country, alone, without a friend to comfort and soothe their hearts with tender mercies in their last moments of despair and loneliness.

I don’t think they, the forgotten families of these forgotten men made the meeting this year, the one in which every one congratulated you, Jane, and your staff, on such a thorough report on the homeless. But I’d still like to hear from them and their wishes for the city council that allowed you to get by with that final, poisoning report as you skated out the door without being held accountable for any of the human destruction and division that you and Tom Carr have wrought upon the poorer citizens of the city for the past ten years.

Merry Christmas, Katie; you may redeem your family name yet.

bert Augustus Gerard

Author of The Epic Adventures of Prince Ralphie


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How We Got Here

On January 27, 2014 I was given a PRO out of the Civil Courtroom of John F. Stavley that was generated out of the Boulder North Rec Center in a complaint filed by a city-employed lifeguard who worked there at the time.

Following are the five ways that I believe John Stavley violated his oath of office:

  • No declaration of the charge, or explanation of the offense.
  • I believe there was a party participating in the hearing who did not establish standing, the city attorney’s office itself; I also believe there was a lawyer from that office who watched the proceedings, while he never identified himself to the court or me, he did introduce himself to the Plaintiff’s table.
  • I believe Cole’s staff at the Rec Department were guided by the city attorney’s office, which I believe led to ex parte meetings with John Stavley.
  • The evidence in the case was based on a report by another lifeguard, who was not in the courtroom to be cross-examined, as well as stories I’d written and posted to my blog; and as I had a body of work at the time I believe this was illegal … First Amendment.
  • And finally, Judge Stavley did not summarize his findings, and instead based the PRO entirely on his abuse of Judicial Discretion; which, as Justice Marshall has declared, doesn’t actually exist under the Rule of Law.

At the time I could not afford an attorney, so that I represented myself. Currently I still cannot afford an attorney, so I cannot avail myself of the appeals process. The appeals process for a civil charge like this consists of a panel of three judges who review the transcript of the court proceedings behind closed doors. I invite any and all to exam the transcript; it’s a public record. On its face this appeal process has as much credibility as the Jailhouse Review Panel; because at a certain point the legal process is an insider’s game and only a high-priced lawyer out of Denver, without skin in the local political game, would work. And again, I have no money for lawyers.

The fact is my only ‘crime’ in Boulder was that I couldn’t afford an attorney in the first place, because in such a case the financial burden lies with the defendant; and given my experiences since then, in appealing to the various journalists and lawyers in Boulder, is that I have come to have little faith in their courage when they have to go against a CJS that is as corrupt as the mess Tom Carr has made of his office and the town as far as following the Rule of Law is concerned.

The problem for the city, if my accusation proves true, is that they will face two lawsuits in the public forum, one from me, and one from the family of the young lady, who I believe was gaslit into filing the complaint. The implication being that this was a malicious prosecution born from the fertile imagination of Ms. Cole, in which she encouraged a smear campaign of unchecked gossip that resulted in a textbook case of Mobbing; I base this on the work of Dr. Janice Harper, among others, which verifies what I’m saying, as the situation at the time had five of the six elements that she outlines as the typical structure of a Mobbing.

The fact of the matter is that there is a two-tiered justice system at work in the CJS, and Tom Carr, as well as the City Council, both current and previous, have built an institutional culture of corruption in which they cannot face their mistakes and will do anything to avoid accountability. In this instance I have petitioned for redress for over a year and have yet to receive a single correspondence from the city. If Tom investigates himself he’ll have to make a finding; and a finding can be challenged … et voilà.

Robert Augustus Gerard

Case no: 2014 000021   Boulder County Civil Court   1-27-2014   John Stavley presiding

The full story is told in Coulder North, available on in Paperback and Kindle.

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Another Type of American Tragedy

The Continuing Saga of

Crime and Punishment in America’s Most Beautiful City

Brought to you by Bob Yates and the COVID Council

The homeless man was found outside the Holy Savior Church in the late morning, face down in the parking lot, in back of the building, where no one noticed him for hours because he was covered by snow. The paramedics said he’d been there for some time; his core body temperature was seventy-five degrees when they found him. No identification was found on him, or at his campsite, so that he became known to the City Council as the ‘Drifter’ until they could find out who he was and how he got into the sacred City on the Hill.

The outer extremities of his body had become brittle with frostbite. When they brought the stretcher closer and unlocked it, its spring-loaded wheels landed on his hands, which had been folded in a prayer clasp, and his fingers snapped off and fell into the snow. They lay on the freezing ground, uncollected in the rush. Hours later when I drifted by, I collected these frozen fingers with the intention of using them to point to those who’d sentenced him to this fate.

He was an unheralded homeless prince, this man who’d met his fate by freezing to death in America’s most beautiful city, this man they’d labeled the ‘Drifter’ … this man whom literature calls the ‘Forgotten Man.’

Bob Yates; Yet Another Tragic Death on His Watch

This would be considered an unfortunate winter tragedy in most cities. But in this case, with Bob’s unrelenting attacks on the poor and criminally vagrant, it was an unavoidable tragedy, maybe even a mean-spirited homicide, if there were such a category, because what comes out of Mr. Yates’ mouth toward the homeless is, if not outright cruel, downright distressing in its display of his lack of empathy for the most vulnerable sector of his constituency.

Personally, I bring my dog in when it gets below fifty degrees; but according to Bob’s recent proclamations at council, Boulder should bring its homeless in only when it gets down to ten degrees. So even given the recent death of this ‘criminal vagrant,’ Bob still sees himself as the attack dog on Bolder Boulder’s front porch; protecting the families inside their second homes from nameless nobodies; freeloaders.

By bent of his dogged pursuit of a boundary wall between his tribe, and the less materially fortunate members of the human family that live in the town, he has created a political dialogue of demagoguery concerning the homeless issue in which a prince’s death, a forgotten man’s death, is seen only as a nameless drifter’s death, and not the final horrific outcome of his business theory of city governance. 

Let’s face it; it’s his town now, if not in name then at least in its outcomes for the working poor and those that choose not to be a part of Bob’s big ‘R’ Republic on Boulder Creek, or whatever he calls the City on the Hill, now that he’s basically running the show. Because it sure ain’t the former, small ‘r’ Bohemian Republic of Boulder that it once was.

Bob’s Practice of Political Realpolitik

Boulder has by now become the Republic of Bobvillian Political Theatre, or alternately for the poor and working class, Bob’s Orwellian Republic of Hell, with its own BORTAC force for working over the poor and disenfranchised, constantly at the ready to criminalize their poverty; which is a pernicious social condition rather than an individualized act of criminal mischief.

But don’t be alarmed; Bob’s been very transparent and vocal on the camping ban, and in aiding those that are like him in the business community; and by turn intentionally not helping anyone in the financially marginalized community. Their crime against him and his tribe is that they moved to Boulder without any meaningful money, and therefore cannot be allowed to be freeloaders. Which of course is a value judgment based on someone’s economic impact rather than their personhood; an economic means test for citizenship.

Bob has also made it his town by repeatedly ignoring the advice of the citizens, along with the citizens’ boards on the homeless; and even the advice of the governor of the state, on housing and COVID responses. But Bob’s not out there on his own in his maim and kill campaign against the human family in its rough funk and randy stank, he’s dragging the whole City Council along for the ride by colluding to disenfranchise even more People with the help of Wallach and Weaver and good ol’ kind-hearted Jane and Tom. All their rhetoric sounds Trumpean to me, what with the voter suppression and all, except with a unique Bolder Boulder gated-community twist. Bob makes out as if the bourgeoisie in Boulder were the actual victims of decades of neoliberal economics, rather than some of its main beneficiaries.

As Bob himself has stated, ‘once a lawyer, always a lawyer.’ Although it’s true that running a city sometimes needs a lawyer to help, Boulder already has two on staff in key positions to help the homeless; unfortunately it’s Jane and Tom. Nonetheless, the argument holds in most cases, so that this recent death, this homeless man freezing to death in America’s most beautiful city, is where Bob’s lawyerly theory of a corporate business approach to running the city by lawyerly political leaders falls tragically short.

When his kind of business approach means you kill the innocent for what are basically decades-long white collar economic crimes, and have an ongoing pattern of violence toward the powerless citizenry of the old Bohemian Republic, it’s normally called a failed political theory of governance.

Wherein Lies the Rub?

Is Bob personally responsible for this man’s tragic story from beginning to end? No, of course not, how could that be, Bob’s a lawyer, he knows how to avoid responsibility. But by the act of his running for office to represent all the People, is Bob bound in a moral fashion to this man’s tragic end? Unfortunately, in that context the answer is yes.

Is Jane Baumgartner also partly responsible for his death, by presenting fraudulent data to the City Council regarding the overall homeless situation? She’s also a lawyer and likewise knows how to avoid accountability.

Are Mark and Sam to be held accountable after consistently voting against critical aid for those on the street, lowering the number of beds available this winter by a hundred, calling previous attempts to address the health problem a ‘mess’ without giving nuance, and choosing instead to narrowly focus the discussion at council meetings on the ‘Housing First’ agenda, without focusing on the daily needs of the street homeless; their personal hygiene needs, showers and the like, in light of the closed library. Did anyone on Jane’s staff, or perhaps Mr. Kurt Firnhaber’s, follow up on that issue after the question regarding those needs in light of the library closure was dropped mid-discussion at the previous study session on the homeless?

Jane’s staff, along with Sam and Mark and Bob, are apparently too busy with bureaucratic turf wars to be held accountable; and the city staff doesn’t appear to be populated with any people who are currently brainstorming outside the box alternatives, given their past record and their leadership’s example. What about the rest of the City Council?

Finally, is the new police chief responsible for his death after more than a hundred harassing sweeps of the camps, and after saying in her first two presentations before council that ‘every life is sacred,’ but tellingly dropping it in her third at bat. Is she responsible because she’s fallen into the status quo of law enforcement harassment of the homeless at an alarming pace?

She even speaks of using futuristic gizmos for crowd control, an Active Denial System in the vernacular of the militarized policing school of thought, basically microwaving protesters, and being over-prepared for tower snipers even though Boulder has only one tower; she’s got a writer’s imagination and seems to be hyperventilating.

 Someone please, if you could lend a hand and get her feet back on the ground? Anyone?  Apparently there are no concrete, in the moment, on the ground changes concerning the homeless in relation to policing interactions coming from her, as her two-year-out slide presentation and current behavior demonstrates.

But all of that compromise and political weather-veining is nothing compared to her most recent betrayal of the People of Boulder’s trust when she wrote a love letter for Officer Lolotai’s departure from the Boulder police force … breathtakingly flattering … and she was not required to say anything! One has to wonder to what crowd she’s playing to as she gave a nod and a wink to another ‘gypsy’ cop; the People, or the real power of entrenched reactionaries that will violate individual sovereignty and the Rule of Law to achieve their political ends; Yates, Carr, Weaver, and Wallach?

The Police Reform Panel

Look, I don’t have time to run down each of these issues as to the latest development in each field as far as Police Reform, so pay attention to Radley Balko; he’s a writer for several leading newspapers and has written two books on the subject. Best of all, you can access his information on YouTube.

As to the City Council having anything to do with the Police Oversight Board’s selection of panelists, stay away because Friend is right, it’s ripe for politicization. The fact is the City Council already hires and fires the city attorney, who’s not elected by popular vote, so that there’s already a political headlock so to speak on the CJS; and they don’t come any more politicized than Tom Carr.

But more to the point, if two councilmen pre-select the candidates presented to council, and those two are Yates and Weaver, or Yates and Wallach, or Yates and anybody with conservative leanings, then how is that fair?

The system is already broken, or else there wouldn’t be a call for an oversight panel. But with Yates’ over-obvious contorted sense of logic it would seem the oversight of the oversight panel should be conducted by those who’ve already shown a willingness to abuse the system for political ends; to turn a blind eye and cover up all the other deaths and maimings by the city’s CJS; to the tune of four hundred thousand dollars on the latest spit-bag lawsuit. I know it’s a county lawsuit but don’t worry, you’re next; remember, you still owe me for the malicious prosecution and ongoing slander. 

The Consequences of Bob’s ‘War on the Poor’ Policies

You’re all now bloodied, and you now know the cost of not being radical in your opposition to Bob’s and Jane’s and Tom’s and Sam’s and Mark’s status quo as it stands regarding the homeless; brace yourselves, there may be more bodies before the winter is over.

So what will you do in the face of this homeless man’s death? Will you now start standing up for the pauper princes and princesses among the homeless People?

Elections should have consequences; it’s time to summon your moral courage, folks, because this is your moment to put your beliefs, your humanitarianism into action, starting with backing the Right to Rest Act, and implementing it immediately.

What is Good Governance?

The question behind each of these crises of leadership is the same; what kind of republic has Boulder become? For help with that answer you might turn to Plato’s Republic and his first question in that epic, ‘What is Justice?

The question for the council is, is Justice just based on the monopoly of power and violence, by Tom and Bob and his ilk, or does it have a moral aspect with attending civic responsibilities and cultural effects outside of lawyerly business practices?

Book One of The Republic is a good starting point for anyone trying to envision a brighter future, and might be worth reading if you haven’t already, because Prince Ralphie is going to use it to set out a brighter vision for Boulder’s future; one in which he calls for a rebirth of the Bohemian Republic of Boulder.

But the pathological issues of the City Council’s governance of Boulder’s future are so rooted in a corrupted CJS, creating social vectors of institutional malevolence, they may not be easily persuaded by reasoned argument alone to change. Unfortunately several more innocent princes may have to die as a result of horrific policy decisions made by Yates and Weaver and Wallach, to convince those who are waffling in their radicalization to address the homeless issue. 

The Quest for Justice

Who am I as a social critic; what is my role as a writer in the City on the Hill?

What is this political theatre I’m talking about?

What archetypes are Bob, and Jane and Tom; have we seen these characters in literature and myth before; Iago, and Faust and the Medusa, as Ms. Cole?

The writing material of their subconscious unspoken psychopathologies is on public display every Tuesday, and it’s up to me, as a self-proclaimed local artist-in-exile to portray them as I find them in their political milieu, as they bargain with their own dark subconscious impulses to tribalism and malevolence towards strangers, within the organs of government they consider their personal bureaucratic turf.

In this task I hope to examine what my civic responsibility is as a writer to the metaphorical, legendary City on the Hill, in the face of the very real ongoing quest for justice by the disenfranchised, as the culture of the sacred city of the republic hangs in the balance, philosophically speaking. How do I, as Ralphie’s philosophical adviser help him to inspire the Republic of Boulder, its citizens and leaders, to be more ennobled and emboldened?

That process is called creating a vision, and Ralphie and I are going to steal the start from Plato’s Republic to begin his years-long effort at energizing a Renaissance of the Benevolent Bohemian Republic of Boulder. My hope is that Ralphie is going to help you, Mr. Yates, to stop killing people as the cost of doing business, as the cost of running a city, much less the most beautiful city in America.

Real justice needs no more death sacrifices to the malignant status quo as proffered by you and Weaver when you say things got ‘messy’ when the previous City Council tried to ‘play nice’ with the homeless.

There’s no need for me to worry that I’m giving Prince Ralphie’s campaign strategy away because what he wants is a better future for the whole city, and if he can do that without getting too radical, so much the better. And if he can do that by the persuasion of his pen, then he’d have accomplished what he set out to do when he began his run; to reframe the question of Justice concerning Boulder’s politically elitist attitude towards its ‘second-class’ citizens.

The Renaissance of the Bohemian Republic of Boulder

            The full vision of this bohemian renaissance is not for me to determine. I’m only the artist who in light of the ongoing crisis of leadership is helping frame the issues at hand in Humanistic terms. The Italian Renaissance was mostly based on the free-flow of new ideas and ideals about Man and his governance with luminaries known to all; Machiavelli, Ludivico Lazzarelle, and Petrarca.

We have our own literary luminaries, Ken Kesey, Aldous Huxley, Robert Pirsig; and we have a wonderful past, and a bright future … if we can come to terms with the basic question of all republics’ philosophic foundations … What is Justice for the Forgotten Man?

Robert Augustus Gerard

Case no:  2014 000021   Boulder County Civil Court   1-27-2014   John Stavley presiding

My blog:

From Plato’s Seventh Letter

‘When, therefore, I considered all this, and the type of men who were administering the affairs of the city, with their laws too and their customs, the more I considered them and the more I advanced in years myself, the more difficult appeared to me the task of managing affairs of the city rightly.

So in my praise of the right philosophy I was compelled to declare that by it one is enabled to discern all forms of justice both political and individual. Wherefore the classes of mankind will have no cessation from evils until either the class of those who are right and true philosophers attains political supremacy, or else the class of those who hold power in the city becomes, by some dispensation of Heaven, really philosophic.

Until philosophers rule as kings or those who are now called kings and leading men genuinely and adequately philosophize, that is, until political power and philosophy entirely coincide, while the many natures who at present pursue either one exclusively are forcibly prevented from doing so, cities will have no rest from evils, … nor, I think, will the human race.’

This is a picture of Emily Zamourka, a trained opera star who fell on hard times, and was homeless for seven years. You can find her story on YouTube. She’s what I would call a princess of the silent opera of the homeless, seen but unheard.

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An American Tragedy … Part Two


                     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.


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.


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.


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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