Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Harney County DA Tim Colahan Declines to Prosecute--AGAIN....

Tim Colahan, Baker County DA Matt Shirtcliff's Go-To guy for possible Brocato prosecutions has once again declined to pursue a prosecution of Steve Brocato, Harassment in this case, or any other possible charge related to Mr. Brocato's aggressive behavior across the street from the Yervasi and Pope law office back on August 24th of this year. This is the second time in a row that DA Shirtcliff, citing a conflict of interest, has farmed out an investigation of Steve Brocato for Harassment, both of which have ended up with the Harney County DA, who declined to prosecute.

The first incident, you may remember, was when Colahan declined to prosecute Mr. Brocato after witnesses said he had seized an 8 year old disabled girl by the face back on May 19th, 2008. See: D.A. won't pursue claim against Brocato

See also:

Harney County DA Declines to Prosecute City Manager

Read DA Colahan's review of the latest incident on Scribd.

This time around, while seeming to avoid any mention of the charge "Harassment," which happens to be the possible charge referred to in the police report, DA Colahan clearly errors with a blatant and incomprehensible misstatement of the facts found within it. With reference to what he read in the "report" he states that "No other person is identified as witnessing this incident . . . ." Because the Police Report is readily available, anyone who is interested can see that there are four witnesses who stated that they saw Steve Brocato knock Jason Bland's hat off: Jason, Andrew Bryan, Milo Pope and myself. Given DA Colahan's inaccurate statement about a lone witness, I called Matt Shirtcliff's office to find out if there is another police report that DA Colahan might be referring to. His secretary asked him personally and told me he said that "He is aware of only one police report." The only other possible explanation I can think of is that for some reason, DA Colahan only read the first three pages of a six page police report. (The entirety of the above issue was not reported in yesterday's (9/29/10) offline Herald article, and they do not question the discrepancy between Colahan's erroneous statement and what's in the police report.)

In his review, DA Colahan declines to prosecute. He then begins to outline his reasoning with the sentence "Based on the report, there is no evidence of an assault having occurred." During the short discussion that follows, concerning Steve Brocato knocking Jason Bland's hat off, Colahan never once uses the word "harassment," even though it is the charge that is specifically mentioned in the Police Report by Officer Plaza ( "I told Bland he could file a harassment report if he wanted." ) Both of our local papers, while mentioning that DA Colahan wrote that there was no evidence of an assault, neglected to mention that no one ever said there was. The charge of harassment, which happens to be the offense mentioned in the police report, was ignored in DA Colahan's review. Another potential charge, such as "Initiating a false report" was not mentioned and apparently was not investigated.

I previously filed a complaint with the Baker City Police Department claiming that Milo Pope had violated City Ordinance 130.045 Public Urination. It can be found on

DA Colahan, agreeing with the local police department, states that "It also appears prosecution cannot be made under Baker City Ordinance 130.043 because the incident was not observed by a police officer." and later:
"It is clear that a private citizen may only commence violation proceedings for boating violations, traffic violations, wildlife, commercial fishing and certain agricultural weight violations. ORS 153.058(8). I am unaware of any provision in the Baker City Ordinance Code which allows for violations to be commenced by a private oitizen."

I too believe, after reading the statute, that it is clear that state law does not allow a private citizen to "commence" violation proceedings for a Public Urination violation in Baker City.(Seems pretty wacky to me, considering you can commence a proceeding alleging that someone ran a stop light or has violated any one of numerous city ordinances.) The use of the word "appears" by DA Colahan earlier leaves me to wonder if perhaps a prosecution could proceed if an appropriate officer were to "commence" a complaint. Chapter 40 of the Oregon evidence Code does allow photographs to be submitted as evidence under many circumstances, and it seems reasonable that if a citizen shows a police officer photographic evidence of a violation, that the police officer could then "commence" proceedings for a violation of the ordinance. Additionally, people file complaints about violations of the Property Maintenance Ordinance and point out evidence of the violation to officers all the time, and they quite often "commence" proceedings against the alleged violator.

In yesterday's (9/29/10) Herald article, Councilor Milo Pope, the great spinmeister, tries to say his behavior wasn't a violation of the public urination ordinance. According to the paper, Councilor Pope said: "it
wasn't public urination in the first place,
" he said. "It was in the dark."

You would think that a former Circuit Court judge and lawyer, Milo Pope, would know the Oregon laws, and the Baker City public urination ordinance in particular. Here it is (again):

Chapter 130: General Offenses

130.045 Public Urination

It shall be unlawful for any person to urinate or defecate in or upon any street, alley, public place, or in any place open to public view. [emphasis added]

- Milo Takes a Break

The important clause in the ordinance for Milo's case is "in any place open to public view." Milo was in plain sight of anyone walking by on either sidewalk, and could also be seen clearly by anyone in the alley or on the street in that often frequented downtown area across from Ace Hardware.. The photograph shows that his behavior was in fact "open to public view," and anyone familiar with the scene, like, for example, Milo Pope, knows that.

So. . . it was "public urination" as defined by the ordinance. Milo implies then that it is of no consequence, because, hey--"It was in the dark." But was it?

On August 24, 2010, the U. S. Naval Observatory sunrise/sunset table for Baker City, says that the sun set at 6:42 PM. Dusk or twilight begins at that time. As any one who has been out after sunset knows, the period of ambient light can continue for 30 minutes or more, but it varies with location and time of year. When this period of ambient light ends, it is officially "dark," as in "It was in the dark."

The photo of Councilor Pope taking a break in public view was taken at 7:04 PM, 22 minutes after sunset. The following photo, of Milo checking his cell phone was taken 8 minutes later, at 7:12 PM. It is clearly not "dark." In addition, even if it had of been "dark," which it wasn't, there are two street lights along 3rd at the Ace Hardware Parking lot, and a powerful lamp near the south west corner of the same store. There is an additional street light at 2nd and Washington. It is a fairly well lit up place--that is why Milo and friends could easily see me on the sidewalk across the street, and I them, even when it did become "dark."

- Milo Checks Cell

Why did former Circuit Court judge and still lawyer and Councilor Milo Pope apparently tell the Herald "it wasn't public urination in the first place," "It was in the dark."???

In today's Record Courier article on the subject, Mr. Pope states that "Those two village spies had no legitimate interest in knowing where I was during that time. That I was absent was obvious."

Just more spin. As both Jason Bland and myself have said previously, a major concern of ours was whether Councilor Pope was skipping a Council meeting to meet with former City Manager Steve Brocato, who happens to be suing the City and the four Councilors to whom Mr. Pope appears to have shown contempt. A lot of people think that is worth checking into and reporting on.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Obama condemns Ahmadinejad's UN speech

[Edited and better videos added, 9/25/10]
Obama condemns Ahmadinejad's UN speech about 9/11 attack - 24 Sept. 2010
Video Below

"Iran's president sparked a mass walk-out by US delegates yesterday after telling a UN summit that most people believe the American government was behind the 9/11 attacks." 9/11 Was An Inside Job?

In his speech to the UN, Obama states:

It was offensive, it was hateful—and particularly for him to make the statement here in Manhattan, just a little north of Ground Zero, where families lost their loved ones… people of all faiths, all ethnicities who see this as the seminal tragedy of this generation. . . . which is frankly disgusting to make in a place like New York … you can understand why we’re so mistrustful, so wary of having dealings with the Iranian government.

Say what??? This is reminiscent of the line offered by some, which Obama rejected, that a Muslim community center near "Ground Zero" is an affront to the victims of 9/11. More importantly, it is illogical (which suggests it is political), given that at least "40 family members of those killed on 9/11," while not going to far as to suggest who was responsible, have also called for an inquiry into what actually happened (see: Respected Leaders and Families Launch 9/11 Truth Statement Demanding Deeper Investigation into the Events of 9/11

There is absolutely nothing inappropriate for any American, or any person from another country, to ask for an inquiry of the questionable findings of the 9/11 Commission report or to suggest other alternative narratives. Many have done so, for good reasons, including:

Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth

Pilots for 9/11 Truth

Firefighters for 9/11 Truth

Veterans for 9/11 Truth

Medical Professionals for 9/11 Truth

Lawyers for 9/11 Truth

To paraphrase/quote Shakespeare, the President "doth protest too much, methinks." His speeches increasingly reveal a Bush in sheep's clothing. Nothing more than a puppet, looking more everyday like a wind-up doll, for the powers that be behind the scenes.

See also:
Dark Suspicions About 9/11

First, a 7 minute 15 second clip from Amadinejad's UN speech:

Ahmadinejad on 9/11 at UN General Assembly 2010

Obama's Response:

Obama condemns Ahmadinejad's UN speech about 9/11 attack - 24 Sept. 2010

President Obama United Nations Speech (Israelis Are A NO SHOW!) pt.1

Obama UN Speech on Mideast Talks "Filled with Empty Words"

"Diana Buttu, Palestinian Canadian lawyer, former adviser to Palestinian negotiators, . . . policy adviser to the Palestinian Policy Network, Al-Shabaka. . .[from] the Harvard Kennedy School of Government" said:
"The sad part of the speech is that it was filled with empty words. He didn’t say anything new. He didn’t press Israel to stop its violations of international law. And he simply made it seem as though the Israelis and Palestinians are to equal parties who should just come together and shake hands and the world will be a better place. It’s ignoring reality.
. . . .
We’ve had this peace process go on now for seventeen years, and it’s failed for seventeen years. And the reason that it’s failed for seventeen years is because there’s been no focus on international law and on international human rights. Instead, it’s been just an attempt to try to get the parties together in the same room, hoping that somehow having the parties in the same room will make all of the ills go away. But what Obama seemed to ignore in this speech, and other presidents have ignored, is that there have been now over four decades of Israel’s colonization of the West Bank, and in particular this year, as well. While he spoke of a moratorium, there hasn’t been a moratorium on the ground. The situation hasn’t approved for Palestinians. We’ve seen more and more Israeli settlers moving into the West Bank and more human rights violations going on.

JUAN GONZALEZ: Now, he seemed, on one hand, to urge a continuation of the moratorium, but not to link that continuation to continuation of the peace talks.

DIANA BUTTU: Yes, and this is precisely the problem. Yeah, as a Palestinian, how am I going to have any faith that this process is going to lead to any result, that it’s going to lead to Israelis actually evacuating the West Bank, when at the same time they’re not even willing to halt the construction of settlements while the negotiations are taking place? So, it just doesn’t make any sense, and it’s become—rather than focusing and demanding that international law be applied, he’s instead changing international law and saying to the Palestinians, "Simply accept what Israel is doing, and we hope that things will get better in the end." But they won’t.

AMY GOODMAN: What is the role, Diana Buttu, of the United Nations? President Obama is calling for support for the US-sponsored peace talks. Where does the UN fit in?

DIANA BUTTU: Well, the United Nations is one member of a four-member quartet, but its role has been very heavily curtailed and diminished. And the reason is because the United States has seized the reins, so to speak, when it comes to the peace process. And it has—rather than adopting a position that is principled and on the basis of law, it’s adopting a position that’s on the basis of power, on the basis of its relations with Israel. So the United Nations does play a role, but that role has now been subsumed and overshadowed by that of the United States.

JUAN GONZALEZ: But Obama has now at least staked out sort of his reputation on getting this resolved and getting some kind of a peace deal within the next year, hasn’t he? And that’s going to, to some degree, I would assume, exert pressure on Israel to come up with some kind of concessions in terms of the negotiations.

DIANA BUTTU: I am not so hopeful. If you read what the Israeli government has said, they’ve said that Jerusalem talks are off the table. Talk of refugees, who haven’t been able to return to their homes for six decades because they’re not Jewish, is off the table. Talk of a settlement freeze is off the table. The only thing that appears to be on the table at this point is more and more demands for security. So they may be able to come up with an agreement that focuses on security, but it’s certainly not going to address the core issue, which is the denial of Palestinian freedom."
See the link above for more.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Iranian President Ahmadinejad in His Own Words

In This Issue:

- Ahmadinejad on Palestine & Holocaust
-Transcript of Iranian President Ahmadinejad's U.N. Speech
- Glenn Greenwald on Iran, Tea Party, Jon Stewart and Obama’s Assassination Policy

[Edited 9/24/10]

No comments on Iranian President Ahmadinejad's words from me--they speak for themselves to those who are willing to listen and learn the history. Ahmadinejad is the new Saddam to the mindless masses who believe their masters in the corporate mainstream media, Congress, AIPAC, and elsewhere. My bad memory still recalls the weapons of mass destruction that weren't, and the invasion and never-ending occupation of Iraq, not to mention nearly 5,000 American soldiers killed, thousands more seriously wounded, hundreds of billions of dollars spent (perhaps you can think of other American needs to spend the money on?), and more than a million dead Iraqis. Do you want hundreds of thousands of dead Iranians and another destroyed country on your conscience? Why not at least acquaint yourself with the man (not to mention his country) before committing support to another illegal atrocity?

Blatant self-interest and ignorance of voters aside, an interesting thing about "democracy" is that we all get to vote and have our opinion, whether we know the facts, have any actual intellectual ability, or have even tried to to understand events. Listening and believing in the "authoritative" demagogues on Fox news and the mainstream media is quite enough. Right? That is why we believed the lies of George W. Bush and now, at least some, of the lies by Barack Obama.

Iran's Ahmadinejad on Palestine & Holocaust
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is asked by MSNBC anchor Brian Williams to clarify his statements about the Holocaust. (September 2006)


Transcript of Iranian President Ahmadinejad's U.N. Speech

The following is a transcript of remarks by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the United Nations General Assembly in New York. September 19, 2010

Madam President, Distinguished Heads of State and Government, Distinguished Heads of Delegation, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I praise the Merciful, All-Knowing and Almighty God for blessing me with another opportunity to address this Assembly on behalf of the great nation of Iran and to bring a number of issues to the attention of the international community.

I also praise the Almighty for the increasing vigilance of peoples across the globe, their courageous presence in different international settings, and the brave expression of their views and aspirations regarding global issues.

Today, humanity passionately craves commitment to the Truth, devotion to God, quest for Justice and respect for the dignity of human beings. Rejection of domination and aggression, defense of the oppressed, and longing for peace constitute the legitimate demand of the peoples of the world, particularly the new generations and the spirited youth, who aspire a world free from decadence, aggression and injustice, and replete with love and compassion. The youth have a right to seek justice and the Truth; and they have a right to build their own future on the foundations of love, compassion and tranquility. And, I praise the Almighty for this immense blessing.

Madame President, Excellencies,

What afflicts humanity today is certainly not compatible with human dignity; the Almighty has not created human beings so that they could transgress against others and oppress them.

By causing war and conflict, some are fast expanding their domination, accumulating greater wealth and usurping all the resources, while others endure the resulting poverty, suffering and misery.

Some seek to rule the world relying on weapons and threats, while others live in perpetual insecurity and danger.

Some occupy the homeland of others, thousands of kilometers away from their borders, interfere in their affairs and control their oil and other resources and strategic routes, while others are bombarded daily in their own homes; their children murdered in the streets and alleys of their own country and their homes reduced to rubble.

Such behavior is not worthy of human beings and runs counter to the Truth, to justice and to human dignity. The fundamental question is that under such conditions, where should the oppressed seek justice? Who, or what organization defends the rights of the oppressed, and suppresses acts of aggression and oppression? Where is the seat of global justice?

A brief glance at a few examples of the most pressing global issues can further illustrate the problem.

A. The unbridled expansion of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons

Some powers proudly announce their production of second and third generations of nuclear weapons. What do they need these weapons for? Is the development and stockpiling of these deadly weapons designed to promote peace and democracy? Or, are these weapons, in fact, instruments of coercion and threat against other peoples and governments? How long should the people of the world live with the nightmare of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons? What bounds the powers producing and possessing these weapons? How can they be held accountable before the international community? And, are the inhabitants of these countries content with the waste of their wealth and resources for the production of such destructive arsenals? Is it not possible to rely on justice, ethics and wisdom instead of these instruments of death? Aren't wisdom and justice more compatible with peace and tranquility than nuclear, chemical and biological weapons? If wisdom, ethics and justice prevail, then oppression and aggression will be uprooted, threats will wither away and no reason will remain for conflict. This is a solid proposition because most global conflicts emanate from injustice, and from the powerful, not being contented with their own rights, striving to devour the rights of others.

People across the globe embrace justice and are willing to sacrifice for its sake.

Would it not be easier for global powers to ensure their longevity and win hearts and minds through the championing of real promotion of justice, compassion and peace, than through continuing the proliferation of nuclear and chemical weapons and the threat of their use?

The experience of the threat and the use of nuclear weapons is before us. Has it achieved anything for the perpetrators other than exacerbation of tension, hatred and animosity among nations?

B. Occupation of countries and exacerbation of hostilities

Occupation of countries, including Iraq, has continued for the last three years. Not a day goes by without hundreds of people getting killed in cold blood. The occupiers are incapable of establishing security in Iraq. Despite the establishment of the lawful Government and National Assembly of Iraq, there are covert and overt efforts to heighten insecurity, magnify and aggravate differences within Iraqi society, and instigate civil strife.

There is no indication that the occupiers have the necessary political will to eliminate the sources of instability. Numerous terrorists were apprehended by the Government of Iraq, only to be let loose under various pretexts by the occupiers.

It seems that intensification of hostilities and terrorism serves as a pretext for the continued presence of foreign forces in Iraq.

Where can the people of Iraq seek refuge, and from whom should the Government of Iraq seek justice?

Who can ensure Iraq's security? Insecurity in Iraq affects the entire region. Can the Security Council play a role in restoring peace and security in Iraq, while the occupiers are themselves permanent members of the Council? Can the Security Council adopt a fair decision in this regard?

Consider the situation in Palestine:

The roots of the Palestinian problem go back to the Second World War. Under the pretext of protecting some of the survivors of that War, the land of Palestine was occupied through war, aggression and the displacement of millions of its inhabitants; it was placed under the control of some of the War survivors, bringing even larger population groups from elsewhere in the world, who had not been even affected by the Second World War; and a government was established in the territory of others with a population collected from across the world at the expense of driving millions of the rightful inhabitants of the land into a diaspora and homelessness. This is a great tragedy with hardly a precedent in history. Refugees continue to live in temporary refugee camps, and many have died still hoping to one day return to their land. Can any logic, law or legal reasoning justify this tragedy? Can any member of the United Nations accept such a tragedy occurring in their own homeland?

The pretexts for the creation of the regime occupying Al-Qods Al-Sharif are so weak that its proponents want to silence any voice trying to merely speak about them, as they are concerned that shedding light on the facts would undermine the raison d'être of this regime, as it has. The tragedy does not end with the establishment of a regime in the territory of others. Regrettably, from its inception, that regime has been a constant source of threat and insecurity in the Middle East region, waging war and spilling blood and impeding the progress of regional countries, and has also been used by some powers as an instrument of division, coercion, and pressure on the people of the region. Reference to these historical realities may cause some disquiet among supporters of this regime. But these are sheer facts and not myth. History has unfolded before our eyes.

Worst yet, is the blanket and unwarranted support provided to this regime.

Just watch what is happening in the Palestinian land. People are being bombarded in their own homes and their children murdered in their own streets and alleys. But no authority, not even the Security Council, can afford them any support or protection. Why?

At the same time, a Government is formed democratically and through the free choice of the electorate in a part of the Palestinian territory. But instead of receiving the support of the so-called champions of democracy, its Ministers and Members of Parliament are illegally abducted and incarcerated in full view of the international community.

Which council or international organization stands up to protect this brutally besieged Government? And why can't the Security Council take any steps?

Let me here address Lebanon:

For thirty-three long days, the Lebanese lived under the barrage of fire and bombs and close to 1.5 million of them were displaced; meanwhile some members of the Security Council practically chose a path that provided ample opportunity for the aggressor to achieve its objectives militarily. We witnessed that the Security Council of the United Nations was practically incapacitated by certain powers to even call for a ceasefire. The Security Council sat idly by for so many days, witnessing the cruel scenes of atrocities against the Lebanese while tragedies such as Qana were persistently repeated. Why?

In all these cases, the answer is self-evident. When the power behind the hostilities is itself a permanent member of the Security Council, how then can this Council fulfill its responsibilities?

C. Lack of respect for the rights of members of the international community


I now wish to refer to some of the grievances of the Iranian people and speak to the injustices against them.

The Islamic Republic of Iran is a member of the IAEA and is committed to the NPT. All our nuclear activities are transparent, peaceful and under the watchful eyes of IAEA inspectors. Why then are there objections to our legally recognized rights? Which governments object to these rights? Governments that themselves benefit from nuclear energy and the fuel cycle. Some of them have abused nuclear technology for non-peaceful ends including the production of nuclear bombs, and some even have a bleak record of using them against humanity.

Which organization or Council should address these injustices? Is the Security Council in a position to address them? Can it stop violations of the inalienable rights of countries? Can it prevent certain powers from impeding scientific progress of other countries?

The abuse of the Security Council, as an instrument of threat and coercion, is indeed a source of grave concern.

Some permanent members of the Security Council, even when they are themselves parties to international disputes, conveniently threaten others with the Security Council and declare, even before any decision by the Council, the condemnation of their opponents by the Council. The question is: what can justify such exploitation of the Security Council, and doesn't it erode the credibility and effectiveness of the Council? Can such behavior contribute to the ability of the Council to maintain security?


A review of the preceding historical realities would lead to the conclusion that regrettably, justice has become a victim of force and aggression. Many global arrangements have become unjust, discriminatory and irresponsible as a result of undue pressure from some of the powerful; Threats with nuclear weapons and other instruments of war by some powers have taken the place of respect for the rights of nations and the maintenance and promotion of peace and tranquility;

For some powers, claims of promotion of human rights and democracy can only last as long as they can be used as instruments of pressure and intimidation against other nations. But when it comes to the interests of the claimants, concepts such as democracy, the right of self-determination of nations, respect for the rights and intelligence of peoples, international law and justice have no place or value. This is blatantly manifested in the way the elected Government of the Palestinian people is treated as well as in the support extended to the Zionist regime. It does not matter if people are murdered in Palestine, turned into refugees, captured, imprisoned or besieged; that must not violate human rights.

- Nations are not equal in exercising their rights recognized by international law. Enjoying these rights is dependent on the whim of certain major powers.

- Apparently the Security Council can only be used to ensure the security and the rights of some big powers. But when the oppressed are decimated under bombardment, the Security Council must remain aloof and not even call for a ceasefire. Is this not a tragedy of historic proportions for the Security Council, which is charged with maintaining the security of countries?

- The prevailing order of contemporary global interactions is such that certain powers equate themselves with the international community, and consider their decisions superseding that of over 180 countries. They consider themselves the masters and rulers of the entire world and other nations as only second class in the world order.


The question needs to be asked: if the Governments of the United States or the United Kingdom who are permanent members of the Security Council, commit aggression, occupation and violation of international law, which of the organs of the UN can take them to account? Can a Council in which they are privileged members address their violations? Has this ever happened? In fact, we have repeatedly seen the reverse. If they have differences with a nation or state, they drag it to the Security Council and as claimants, arrogate to themselves simultaneously the roles of prosecutor, judge and executioner. Is this a just order? Can there be a more vivid case of discrimination and more clear evidence of injustice?

Regrettably, the persistence of some hegemonic powers in imposing their exclusionist policies on international decision making mechanisms, including the Security Council, has resulted in a growing mistrust in global public opinion, undermining the credibility and effectiveness of this most universal system of collective security.


How long can such a situation last in the world? It is evident that the behavior of some powers constitutes the greatest challenge before the Security Council, the entire organization and its affiliated agencies.

The present structure and working methods of the Security Council, which are legacies of the Second World War, are not responsive to the expectations of the current generation and the contemporary needs of humanity.

Today, it is undeniable that the Security Council, most critically and urgently, needs legitimacy and effectiveness. It must be acknowledged that as long as the Council is unable to act on behalf of the entire international community in a transparent, just and democratic manner, it will neither be legitimate nor effective. Furthermore, the direct relation between the abuse of veto and the erosion of the legitimacy and effectiveness of the Council has now been clearly and undeniably established. We cannot, and should not, expect the eradication, or even containment, of injustice, imposition and oppression without reforming the structure and working methods of the Council.

Is it appropriate to expect this generation to submit to the decisions and arrangements established over half a century ago? Doesn't this generation or future generations have the right to decide themselves about the world in which they want to live?

Today, serious reform in the structure and working methods of the Security Council is, more than ever before, necessary. Justice and democracy dictate that the role of the General Assembly, as the highest organ of the United Nations, must be respected. The General Assembly can then, through appropriate mechanisms, take on the task of reforming the Organization and particularly rescue the Security Council from its current state. In the interim, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the African continent should each have a representative as a permanent member of the Security Council, with veto privilege. The resulting balance would hopefully prevent further trampling of the rights of nations.

Madame President,


It is essential that spirituality and ethics find their rightful place in international relations. Without ethics and spirituality, attained in light of the teachings of Divine prophets, justice, freedom and human rights cannot be guaranteed.

Resolution of contemporary human crises lies in observing ethics and spirituality and the governance of righteous people of high competence and piety.

Should respect for the rights of human beings become the predominant objective, then injustice, ill-temperament, aggression and war will fade away.

Human beings are all God's creatures and are all endowed with dignity and respect.

No one has superiority over others. No individual or states can arrogate to themselves special privileges, nor can they disregard the rights of others and, through influence and pressure, position themselves as the "international community".

Citizens of Asia, Africa, Europe and America are all equal. Over 6 billion inhabitants of the earth are all equal and worthy of respect. Justice and protection of human dignity are the two pillars in maintaining sustainable peace, security and tranquility in the world.

It is for this reason that we state:

Sustainable peace and tranquility in the world can only be attained through justice, spirituality, ethics, compassion and respect for human dignity.

All nations and states are entitled to peace, progress and security.

We are all members of the international community and we are all entitled to insist on the creation of a climate of compassion, love and justice.

All members of the United Nations are affected by both the bitter and the sweet events and developments in today's world.

We can adopt firm and logical decisions, thereby improving the prospects of a better life for current and future generations.

Together, we can eradicate the roots of bitter maladies and afflictions, and instead, through the promotion of universal and lasting values such as ethics, spirituality and justice, allow our nations to taste the sweetness of a better future.

Peoples, driven by their divine nature, intrinsically seek Good, Virtue, Perfection and Beauty. Relying on our peoples, we can take giant steps towards reform and pave the road for human perfection. Whether we like it or not, justice, peace and virtue will sooner or later prevail in the world with the will of Almighty God. It is imperative, and also desirable, that we too contribute to the promotion of justice and virtue.

The Almighty and Merciful God, who is the Creator of the Universe, is also its Lord and Ruler. Justice is His command. He commands His creatures to support one another in Good, virtue and piety, and not in decadence and corruption.

He commands His creatures to enjoin one another to righteousness and virtue and not to sin and transgression. All Divine prophets from the Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) to the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him), to the Prophet Jesus Christ (peace be upon him), to the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him), have all called humanity to monotheism, justice, brotherhood, love and compassion. Is it not possible to build a better world based on monotheism, justice, love and respect for the rights of human beings, and thereby transform animosities into friendship?

I emphatically declare that today's world, more than ever before, longs for just and righteous people with love for all humanity; and above all longs for the perfect righteous human being and the real savior who has been promised to all peoples and who will establish justice, peace and brotherhood on the planet.

0h, Almighty God, all men and women are Your creatures and You have ordained their guidance and salvation. Bestow upon humanity that thirsts for justice, the perfect human being promised to all by You, and make us among his followers and among those who strive for his return and his cause.

Glenn Greenwald on Iran, Tea Party Candidates, Jon Stewart and Obama’s Assassination Policy

We speak with Glenn Greenwald, a constitutional law attorney and the political and legal blogger for Greenwald discusses White House rhetoric toward Iran; Jon Stewart’s and Stephen Colbert’s planned rallies in Washington, DC; the Obama administration’s assassination policy that includes targeting US citizens; tea party candidates in the November midterm elections; and much more. [includes rush transcript]


Glenn Greenwald, constitutional law attorney and political/legal blogger at

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Iranian Nobel Peace Prize Winner Shirin Ebadi Presses Iran on Human Rights and Warns Against International Sanctions

AMY GOODMAN: World leaders have gathered in New York this week for a series of high-level meetings at the United Nations. Among them, the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who’s already attracted a range of critics protesting his presence outside the UN building.

On Monday, President Obama told a town hall meeting a military attack on Iran would not be the ideal solution to the "serious problem" of Iran’s nuclear program, he said, but that he’s not taking that option off the table.

For more on how the Obama administration is handling Iran, as well as other matters—for example, here at home, particularly looking at the tea party—we’re joined by Glenn Greenwald. He’s a constitutional law attorney and political/legal blogger for

Welcome to Democracy Now! Let’s start with Iran, and then we’ll move here to domestic politics. What about what President Obama said about Ahmadinejad and the nuclear program?

GLENN GREENWALD: There’s a great irony, because every time President Ahmadinejad comes to the United States, the same media commentary decrees him as some kind of crazy, threatening figure. The same set of two or three comments that he made that are of dubious translation are continuously repeated, much the way that Saddam Hussein, the fear mongering around him, was based on two or three assertions repeated over and over. And yet, what you have is evidence about what real aggression is, which is the President of the United States is always insinuating that we reserve the right, at any moment, at any time, at our will, to go on to military attack on Iran, even if they don’t attack us. Yesterday, Senator Lindsey Graham was at a luncheon at the American Enterprise Institute and said that we need to start finalizing plans for an attack on Iran that would not just be about striking at their nuclear facilities, but removing the regime, as well, though he said we shouldn’t do that with ground troops, but only with air and sea strikes, which would entail massive devastation of that country, huge numbers of civilian deaths. The very idea is monstrous. And you see these proposals talked about on an almost daily basis in leading American, and obviously Israeli, journals, as well. So when it comes to who threatens whom and crazy and deranged ideas, it is true that parties to this dispute are engaging in those kinds of actions, and sometimes Iran does, but far more often it’s not Iran who’s doing it.

AMY GOODMAN: Let’s look here at home at this election year, the midterm elections, and the significance of the tea party.

GLENN GREENWALD: I think the significance, principally, of the tea party for the Democrat Party is that they don’t really have much to talk about in terms of why voters and supporters ought to go out and keep the Democrats in power. And so, what you see from the Democratic Party is this fixation on the tea party as a means of ratcheting up fear levels among Democrats and others, in order to encourage them to go to the polls. I mean, every pollster has said that the huge threat to the Democratic—the Democrats maintaining their power is this enthusiasm gap, the fact that Democratic supporters don’t perceive any reason to go to the polls. And so, in the absence of any reason to give them, all that you hear is a lot of focus on individual candidates like Christine O’Donnell, Sharron Angle, these tea party candidates, to try and highlight their extremism, make people afraid of who they are, all as a means of encouraging people who don’t see any reason to go vote for the Democrats to do so. And I think that’s extremely telling, that two years into this administration, that that’s all the Democrats have is a fear campaign.

AMY GOODMAN: Talk about Sharron Angle and Harry Reid’s chances. He was just here in New York last night at a Democratic fundraiser.

GLENN GREENWALD: Right. Well, I mean, there was an incident yesterday that really illustrates why anyone has a very difficult time supporting Harry Reid. He was at a fundraiser on the Upper West Side for very wealthy Democratic Party donors, which is where these candidates spend most of their time. And the New York—New York’s junior senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, was present, and he was talking about her and introducing her, and he said, "And Kirsten Gillibrand is here, or, as we refer to her in the Senate, the hottest member of the United States Senate"—you know, an absolutely revolting remark, sexist in every single possible way and offensive. And so, when you hear things like that—and Harry Reid has been, you know, saying things like this. He came out and said that the Park51 community center ought to move. He said, "We don’t want any people in Guantánamo anywhere near the United States." And so, when you hear this series of remarks from the most powerful Democrat in the Senate, you can show people all you want the craziness of Sharron Angle, but it’s very difficult to get people to be motivated to go out and care whether or not Harry Reid, someone like Harry Reid, remains in the Senate.

AMY GOODMAN: At the same time, he’s battling to overturn "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell." At the Netroots Nation conference, he hugged Dan Choi and said he, you know, promised to give him his ring back when they overturned "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell," though it’s not clear he will beat McCain on this.

GLENN GREENWALD: Well, it’s incredibly cynical. I mean, you see this flurry of activity over the last four weeks from President Obama and from Democratic leaders suddenly trying to don once again their progressive masks to convince people that they ought to go to the polls. And they know that "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" won’t be repealed. They know the DREAM Act is not actually going to be enacted. All of these measures that they’re talking about to stimulate the economy and create jobs are things that they know won’t happen, and that’s why they’re able to advocate them. You even saw, with the cynical appointment of Elizabeth Warren, who probably will do some good being able to create this agency to police Wall Street abuses, nonetheless they stayed away from the fight to actually appoint her as the director of this agency, so that once the election is over, they can find somebody more pleasing to Wall Street. So you—

AMY GOODMAN: Explain that, what they actually did.

GLENN GREENWALD: Well, there’s this—one of the best parts about the financial regulation bill, maybe the only truly meaningful part, is the creation of this agency, which is the idea of Professor Elizabeth Warren at Harvard to essentially police the ability of Wall Street to put fine print into mortgage and credit applications that lure the consumer into extremely one-sided and imbalanced transactions that they don’t know about, because they lack the sophistication, they don’t have lawyers to do it. And the idea of the progressive base was that she is the person who ought to be heading this agency, because she is genuinely committed to the idea of limiting Wall Street abuses. She’s a crusader for economic justice and for protection of consumers, exactly the kind of person that this administration needs but doesn’t have in important financial positions.

And the problem was, progressives were demanding it, but their real constituency, which is Wall Street and business, are horrified by the idea of Elizabeth Warren, and they needed to find some solution, because if they didn’t nominate her, progressives would be in revolt before the election. And so, what they did was they created this hybrid solution, where they pretended that they were going to appoint her, even though she has no real authority—she’s just an adviser to the President—to set up the agency, but not to run it, and meanwhile they’re telling Wall Street, "Oh, don’t worry, she’s not really going to have any authority. She’s not going to be the person who’s running it." And it’s these kind of symbolic gestures in the last several weeks that I think are almost more offensive, as they try and pretend that they are something that for the last two years they haven’t been.

AMY GOODMAN: And Christine O’Donnell, her significance?

GLENN GREENWALD: Well, I mean, if you were a Martian who came down from—to Planet Earth in the last week and just turned on television news and watched, you would think that Christine O’Donnell was by far the most powerful person in the world, because, especially on stations devoted to maintaining Democratic power, like MSNBC and other cable shows, it’s twenty-four hours nonstop about Christine O’Donnell, because that way, if you’re on one of these stations, you don’t have to talk about the things that Tariq Ali was here just talking about, about what we’re doing in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the continuation of Bush-Cheney terrorism policies. You get to talk about Christine O’Donnell and comments she made fifteen years ago on some late night television show as a way of mocking her and deriding her and distracting people’s attention from what a failure this administration has been. That’s why she serves such an important role. It’s a way of manipulating and distracting the voting base.

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to go to another subject you’ve taken on, and that is Jon Stewart making his announcement that he’s going to be holding a protest in Washington to—what was it?—counter what he identified as extremists on both sides. Let’s go to a clip.

JON STEWART: I see you’re intrigued, but there’s something still bothering you. "As a reasonable, busy person, I’d love to come, Jon. But I really don’t have time to handcraft a message or some signage." Not to worry. That’s where we come in. We’re going to have signs for you down there, if you don’t have time. Of course, you can bring your own, but here’s a quick one: "I disagree with you, but I’m pretty sure you’re not Hitler."

You may be asking yourself right now, sitting at home, "But am I the right type of person to go to this rally?" The fact that you would even stop to ask yourself that question, as opposed to just, let’s say, jumping up, grabbing the nearest stack of burnable holy books, strapping on a diaper, and just pointing your car towards DC, that means, I think, you just might be right for it.

AMY GOODMAN: That was Jon Stewart on The Daily Show. You wrote a piece about this called "The Perils of False Equivalencies and Self-Proclaimed Centrism." Glenn Greenwald?

GLENN GREENWALD: Right. Well, I was somewhat ambivalent about this rally, because, on the one hand, I think everybody agrees that we need more rationality and substantive examination in our political discourse, and so, to the extent that he’s calling for that, that’s a perfectly fine and uncontroversial idea. And, as well, he reaches a demographic group, young people, who tend to be politically disengaged, and he draws them into the political process, which I think is a very commendable thing to do.

The problem that I had with how it was structured and what it is that he’s saying—and he’s far more than a comedian; I mean, he’s a very influential voice among progressives and in the media narratives—is that, for one thing, I don’t think the problem with our politics is tone. I think the problem is content. There are all kinds of people who advocate extremely heinous ideas, but do so in a very soft-spoken and civil manner. Bill Kristol comes to mind, John Yoo, as well. These are people who can go on and be extremely polite in conversation and have done that on his show. So I think the problem, in terms of extremism, is not about tone, but about content, and to talk about tone, I think, distracts from the issue.

I also think that we don’t really have a problem with excess activism in the United States, as he seems to suggest—we need to stand up for the virtuous people who don’t go to rallies. I think going to rallies and being politically engaged and even passionate is actually a virtue and something that ought to be encouraged.

But the real problem I had with it is that, in order to appear as though he was being more evenhanded, he didn’t depict the extremism as being a problem on the right, which is the reality. These extremist ideas are really quite pervasive on the right. And so, what he did was he tried to create an equivalency by saying, well, it’s—the problem is on the left, as well. And he picked out 9/11 Truthers and a CodePink rally and suggested that people who call Bush a war criminal are every bit as inflammatory and extremist and to be condemned as, say, people who say the President was not born in the United States. And that’s an extraordinary false equivalency, because these extremist ideas are pervasive on the right. People who go to CodePink rallies are a tiny minority, for better or for worse, among Democrats. But more so, the fact that Bush is a war criminal happens to be true, and there’s ample evidence for it, including, as I cited, the report by the four-star general, Antonio Taguba, who is in charge of investigating detainee abuse, who concluded that George Bush and top administration officials committed war crimes. And so, I think what he was trying to do was to show how fair-minded he was by condemning both the left and the right. This is a common disease in our media, even though left and right are not equal.

AMY GOODMAN: And the competing rally of Stephen Colbert?

GLENN GREENWALD: Well, that, I think, is actually something that I found incredibly encouraging, because the rally there is “to keep fear alive.” And, of course, the American right is dependent, more than anything else, on fear. And as we talked about earlier, Democrats use fear, as well, to motive their base. And so, the role that fear plays in our political culture and the way in which politicians exploit that, I think, is one of the most central issues. And to the extent this rally is designed to mock that, I think that’s a good thing.

AMY GOODMAN: Talk about your post, "Obama in Wonderland," at, where you talk about assassinations.

GLENN GREENWALD: Well, there’s this scene in Alice in Wonderland in which the Red Queen is sitting with the King, and Alice is in front of them, and they are condemning one convict after the next. And the King keeps saying, “Call in the accused. Let’s have the verdict and then the sentence.” And then, at one point, the Red Queen says, “No! I don’t want it that way. I want first the sentence and then the verdict.” And Alice objects, and the Queen threatens to execute her.

Well, if you look at what the President is doing with presidential assassinations, it’s almost exactly the same thing. Eight months ago, we learned that there’s a list that President Obama maintains with at least four Americans on it, one of whom is Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born cleric in Yemen, of individuals who President Obama, with no criminal charges, no trial, no due process, has ordered assassinated, to be killed anywhere they’re found, far away from a battlefield, no matter what they’re doing at the time, on the grounds—the accusation, unproven accusation—that they’re involved in terrorism. Well, that’s the sentence. The President has imposed the death penalty on these individuals. But two weeks ago, it was reported in the New York Times that the administration is now considering bringing an indictment against Awlaki in response to a lawsuit brought on his behalf and other—for other considerations, in order to bring him into a court and charge him with a crime, finally, in order to prove that he’s guilty—not in lieu of trying to kill him. They’re still trying to kill him, but just in case we don’t find him to kill him, at least we want to indict him. And the equivalence, how identical that was, was so striking. This was essentially Obama saying, “I, the President, hereby impose the death penalty on this American citizen with no trial,” and then eight months later he says, “Well, now it’s time to get around to charging him with a crime.” It’s sentence first, verdict after, just like the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland decreed.

AMY GOODMAN: Glenn Greenwald, the racial and ethnic exploitation of economic insecurity?

GLENN GREENWALD: Well, I think, you know, one of the real dangers in terms of political extremism is when there are people who are suffering economically. And we have pervasive economic suffering in the United States. And one of the problems has been is that the Democratic Party has offered people who are truly angry and scared about their futures very few solutions, because they’ve been perceived accurately as standing for public—for corporate interests and lobbyists. And so, the void that has been left has been filled by these extremists on the right who use, traditionally and right now, economic, racial and other forms of culturally divisive tactics in order to exploit this economic anxiety. You see that with Islamophobia. You see that with fear mongering over immigration. And I think that’s when it becomes quite dangerous, when you combine that kind of demagoguery with economic exploitation, like the right is doing.

AMY GOODMAN: Finally, you’re here in New York to participate in an event sponsored by Brooklyn Law School on the Mavi Marmara, on the Gaza aid flotilla. It’s an issue that you have taken on in a big way.

GLENN GREENWALD: Yeah, it’s Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. It’s at Brooklyn Law School. It’s open to the public. There’s a dinner served with it. And I think, you know, one of the real challenges that we have is to go back and look at how the American media depicted that incident, because the level of propaganda that shaped American discourse around that event, I think, was unlike any other. And it’s very—

AMY GOODMAN: This was the Memorial Day weekend in the United States, but it was when the Israeli commandos opened up fire on the Mavi Marvara and killed nine—eight Turks, one American citizen—onboard.

GLENN GREENWALD: Precisely. And if you go back and do a dissection, you know, kind of a post-mortem, about how the American media behaved and how the American people were misled about that incident, while it took place and in the weeks after, I think it’s incredibly instructive. And that’s what this event is intended to do.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, I want to thank you for being with us, Glenn Greenwald.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

9/14/2010 Council Meeting Videos: Pope Asked to Resign

In This Edition:

9/14/2010 Council Meeting Videos: Pope Asked to Resign


Below are three videos from the meeting. During that meeting, as seen in the first video below, Gary Dielman, representing several citizens who attended, and many more who did not, confronted Councilor Pope with his behavior on that night, when Mr. Pope chose to have a pizza and beer party with several former city officials who opposed the firing of former City Manager Steve Brocato, instead of attending to his duties at a Council meeting at which the Council was considering issues concerning the hiring of a new City Manager.

During the meeting of September 14, two City Councilors, and Mr. Dielman, asked Councilor Pope to resign.

Here are the three videos:
This is part one (of three) videos from the meeting of September 14, 2010.

In this clip , Former Councilor, school teacher, probation department head, and my favorite Baker County historian, Gary Dielman, as a representative of several citizens, asks Council and Mr. Pope three questions:

1. "Why wasn't he there on the 24th of August" for important Council sessions?

2. "Why did Councilor Pope cross Washington Street from his [law] office and confront Chris Christie? and

3. Why did Councilor Pope think he had a right to straddle Chris Christie's front wheel of his bicycle, thereby detaining him, making him a captive audience, uh . . . for the comments he [Pope] was making to Christie, which I believe were very offensive." . . . .

Mr. Pope responds with, among other things, that:

"I can only tell you, Mr. Dielman, I was glad to be able to occupy Mr. Christie and Mr. Bland after dark with perhaps the hope of keeping them out of a tavern."

Of course, this last is classic Milo, the intelligent and legally trained old spinmeister at work. He takes the focus off his bad behavior, which included drinking with anti-Council friends during an important Council meeting he chose to miss, urinating outside his law office, and detaining a person on the public right of way. Instead of facing the facts, he spins the focus onto his saving you from his own imaginings of Mr. Bland's and my alleged future behavior, as if he were some sort of good hearted woman fighting the evils of alcohol in the days leading up to its ban during the prohibition period. The problem is this fictional narrative only existed in his head for self-serving purposes. Jason and I, across the street on public property, were simply preparing to go home separately, and I was intent on getting back to my computer to process the photos I had taken.

See Also:

What was Milo Pope Doing While AWOL from the August 24, 2010 Council Meeting?

Follow-up on Councilor Pope’s “Fellowship” with Steve Brocato and Friends.

Butterflies and Minor Aggravations

Video #1:
Citizen Asks Councilor Pope Tough Questions-091410.m4v


Here is part two (of three) videos from the meeting of September 14, 2010.

In this clip from the September 14, 2010 Baker City Council meeting, Steve Bogart, interim City Manager, states that basically, the County District Attorney will determine whether there were any "illegal actions" on the part of Mr. Pope. In reality, the DA has said that he will likely be referring the file to a DA in another county for that, due to a possible conflict of interest on his part. In any event, anyone, including Gary Dielman, can read the statutes and determine for themselves whether or not they think a violation of any city or Oregon statute has occurred, even if a DA my not concur.

Councilor Calder then offers objections to Mr. Pope's conduct, and provides more historical context to his actions, including his "Ground Hog Day" style "squeaking" about the Brocato firing, and his meeting with the former City Manager who is suing the city, with many former city officials of similar opinion attending Milo's party that night during a Council meeting.

Both Councilor Calder and Mr. Dielman then express their wish that Councilor Pope resign.

Mr Pope declines, alleging that he was spied upon (as opposed to reporters covering his whereabouts), while ignoring the problem of who he was meeting with. He states that "there is nothing I could tell him [Mr. Brocato] that, that, he can't find out from city archives." This was a particularly interesting statement, given that the city, while Mr. Brocato's friend and Assistant City Manager, Ms. Watkins, (who was meeting with Mr. Pope and Mr. Brocato that particular evening during the Council meeting) was working for the city when the city, in June of this year, dumped a truckload of city "archives" at the local recycle center.

City "Archives" in Baker Sanitary Dumpster
See: "House Cleaning at City Hall"

Mr. Pope, in a "Ground Hog Day" moment, then refers to the firing of Mr. Brocato as "craven and cowardly," even though it took tremendous courage for the four Councilors to fire Mr. Brocato.

Video #2
Citizen and Councilor Ask Councilor Pope To Resign ( #2-091410).m4v


This is part three (of three) from an event at the Baker City Council meeting on September 14, 2010.

In this clip from the September 14, 2010 Baker City Council meeting, planner Jenny Long talks about planning issues, including concerns about obstruction of stop signs by tree branches, etc., and about lower lying limbs from trees getting in the way of school busses and privately owned vehicles, like garbage trucks. She is, or will be, sending out letters to affected property owners to ask them to correct these conditions.

Councilor Duman asks Councilor Pope to consider resigning.

Councilor Bonebrake apologizes to Councilor Pope for events I am unaware of and do not understand.

Councilor Pope declines to resign, stating that his privacy has been invaded, despite the fact that he is a public figure who chose to evade a Council meeting and who was observed urinating in a public place downtown, in violation of a city ordinance. State statutes do not support any allegation of invasion of personal privacy--See: ORS 163.700

Councilor Clair Button assures Mr. Pope that the Council doesn't have the authority to throw him out. He also states that "It would be good if we all re-read [Council] Resolution 3407, and thought about the words in there--I haven't felt craven in quite a few years." (Res. 3407 addresses the appropriateness of talking ill about other Councilors.)

Councilor Aletha Bonebrake thanks departing City Manager Steve Bogart for his service.

Council Comments (Part Three 091410)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Butterflies and Minor Aggravations

[Edited 9/11/10]

- Four Baker City Butterflies
- Milo Pope/Steve Brocato Incident: Articles and Followup

- My response to the local media
- Jason Bland on Milo's Dilemma
- Gary Dielman gives A Summary of the Events of August 24, 2010
- Note to Deb from Beverly Calder

Four Baker City Butterflies

Recently, both of our local papers had articles concerning a pretty decent outbreak, or transitory and occasional population increase, in a butterfly, the pine white. It commonly feeds on ponderosa and other pines, but may also feed on other conifers, like Douglas or red fir and the true firs, like the white, grand, and sub-alpine firs found in our local mountains.

Bugs could pose problem for pines
Written by Lisa Britton September 01, 2010 10:45 am

In my view, Bob Parker did a great job describing the periodic effects on local forests from these periodic outbreaks. I would only add, that while these butterflies and other insects may periodically kill a large percentage of trees over thousands of acres, there is little evidence to indicate that the events are unnatural or any cause for much concern.

One study about insect outbreaks, INSECTS AND ROADLESS FORESTS; A Scientific Review of Causes, Consequences and Management Alternatives, had some findings that are relevant to insect outbreaks in general, including those of the pine white butterfly.

First important finding was that “Insect outbreaks and fires have been part of the ecology of these forests for millennia.” More importantly, in my mind was this summary of that finding:

“Green and familiar forests will eventually return following insect outbreaks in most locations.
Forests have continued to develop following past insect outbreaks. Although the current outbreaks are very large and may even be unprecedented in extent and severity in recent history, there is no evidence that affected forests cannot regenerate following these disturbances. The forests that are now losing many trees to insect attack will not look the same in our lifetimes, but healthy trees and familiar forest structures will eventually return in most locations. Although beetle [or other insect] affected forests may look different to the human eye, they are still functioning ecosystems that provide food and shelter for animals and water for fish and people.”

It is the last sentence that appears the most important to me. Disturbance, whether caused from fire, insect outbreaks, or whatever, if it is not too extreme, pervasive, or unnatural, is a normal part of forest ecosystems. My favorite example of disturbance that is extreme, pervasive, or unnatural, is that which occurs in many of our forest riparian areas from cattle grazing. There are actually many species of plants, animals, and microscopic life that are dependent on disturbance, including the occasional massive disturbance by insects. A forest isn’t always a forest in the sense of what we often think a forest is, it also normally includes the brushlands, grasslands and snags that occur after fire or other disturbance. Many species, from certain woodpeckers and other birds, to various bugs, butterflies, and etc., depend on the conditions provided by disturbance; the plants and other forms of life that are able to grow and flourish due to the change from shaded forest to sunny open grass or brush-covered slopes. Please don’t take these earlier successional stages, or the species that depend upon them, for granted. They add to what is a glorious, or at least a certainly interesting, diversity, if you take the time to look. A normally functioning forest depends on these changes. The forest is not a simple commodity for human exploitation. If you love your forest, embrace (oh god, not that word, got your arms out?), how about know and enjoy, all that it is, and must be.

Well, anyway, Four Baker City Butterflies.

So back in August, I photographed a few of the pine whites passing through my good friend’s front yard, after previously seeing them in my own. I had intended to write an article on them, but both the Courier and the Herald did an admirable job of doing that before I got ‘round to it. Not much to add other than what is written above, but here are two photos of a male and female pine white butterfly.

The first is of a female pine white (Neophasia menapia):
female pine white
This one, sipping nectar from oregano flowers, has apparently had a run in with a bird or other predator, as witnessed by the missing section of the hind wing. The lower hind wing of the female normally has the orange markings seen above on the wing margins.

This next one is of the smaller male which is normally without any hint of orange in the lower wing margin.
male pine white

White butterflies, like the pine white, which is a species seen in areas of the western mountains, belong to the family referred to as Pieridae, which includes the whites and the sulfur butterflies. The sulfurs are of course yellow, with various markings. I’m sure you are familiar with at least one or more of these, which can often be seen in or near alfalfa fields. One white butterfly, which could conceivably be confused with the pine white is so common in the vegetable garden, that all gardeners know it. Many find it a bit of an aggravation, as it will lay eggs which hatch into larvae, or “worms” to feed on your favorite members of the cabbage family, including, cabbage, broccoli, collards, and the like. These vegetables are actually all members of the same species of plant, Brassica oleracea, which has been manipulated in various ways over several centuries, through human cultivation and selection, into plants with different characteristics useful for the dining room table. Some use a biological control such as Bacillus thuringiensis (BT) to keep the butterfly larvae at bay, and although I have some BT in my refrigerator, there it sits, because I don’t use it. While cabbage whites do cause some damage, they are more an annoyance than a serious pest, at least for me. If I find them in my heads of broccoli, I just wash them out before cooking, or pick their limp bodies out of the water afterwards. ;-) Haven’t checked them out as a culinary delight as yet, but one never knows what the future may bring.

The photo below, of a cabbage white butterfly (Pieris rapae), is not a great photo, as they are not always welcoming to a human presence, and as common as they are, I simply could not get close enough for a photo with my “close-up’ camera. They are often on my broccoli plants, and this one was feeding from the flowers of a neglected head.

cabbage white butterfly (Pieris rapae)

Here is a good photo of a cabbage white, and a very good source for assisting you in local butterfly identification, in case you are interested:
Butterflies and Moths of North America

This next photo is of one of our local hairstreaks that happened to be visiting the same oregano flowers on the day that the pine whites were visiting.
Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus)

There are about 75 species of these interesting butterflies in North America, and about 2,000 species worldwide. Their family, Lycaeninae, also includes butterflies like the commonly encountered blues and coppers. The gray hairtreak inhabits most of the sometimes United States. The hair-like “tails” and wing streaking give rise to their common name, and their simple beauty makes any encounter a pleasant occasion. Some think the “tails” and markings serve as an attraction to predators, like birds, so you will often find them missing a tail or portion of the hind wing. Another photo of them I have is from Pritchard Creek, in the county, north east of Durkee, but you might encounter them anywhere in Baker County. They have a good many host plants and you can find one account here: They are easily confused with the California hairstreak, which can also occur here.

Here is a more colorful specimen from Pritchard Creek;
Gray Hairstreak 2 (Strymon melinus)

The fourth butterfly, one of a few swallowtails you might find in your garden during spring and summer, is the Western Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio rutulus).

Western Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio rutulus).

These butterflies from the swallowtail family (the Papilionidae), of which there are about 30 species in North America, often visit my large ornamental delphiniums, as the one above has. They can be found, as the name implies, in most of the western states and portions of south western Canada. Two-tailed swallowtails also drop by. The western also comes in a black form, but I only see the yellow form here. It is difficult sometimes to distinguish them from the two-tailed, but the latter has a much longer lower tail. Larvae feed on plants of several families, including many in the large rose and willow families.

Pope/Brocato Incident: Part Three
There are a few contributions by other observers and participants below:

My response to the local media:

Well (please don't ever start a sentence with well!), there have been a few mentions of an uncomfortable subject in the local press recently,

First the Herald article on page 2 of the Wednesday, September 8th edition, which I can't find on their website (it's not likely there, at least at this time; even though most, if not all, the other articles about Milo Pope and Steve Brocato, are there).

The article states that "according to police reports" Jason and I were there "that evening and watching who came and went." That might be true, but it wasn't in the police report. It did say we "were there to photograph the meeting.," and to "to photograph a meeting between Bryan, Watkins, Brocato, and Pope." Splitting hairs perhaps, but what the Herald reported is not what was stated in the police report. As I stated in my first blog on this subject, which is not in the police report, "I only wanted a few photos to document that Milo Pope and and friends were there when he was supposed to be at a Council meeting."

The most important things in the police report, that Steve Brocato was named as a suspect, the only suspect, and that Officer Plaza told Bland "he could file a harassment report if he wanted," were not included in the Herald article. No surprise there?

While the Herald did truthfully say that the police report stated that I said that "Brocato came outside and saw the flash of his camera," I do not recall telling the police that, because I don't use, did not use, and never have used, the flash on my camera for any photos with a long lens, or in fact with any lens, on that particular camera. I did say something about my thinking that he probably saw me, or at least somebody, taking photos from across the street. If I did say anything about a flash from my camera, I would have quickly corrected it, or been talking about the flash from Andrew Bryan's camera as he was taking pictures of us. When they all came out as I was leaving with my camera and photos, they saw me attempt to take a few more. That is when Milo and company came across the street to give me a bad time. I guess the point here is that they didn't need to see the flash from a camera, because we were in plain sight, either when there was still the light of dusk, or under street illumination.

Of course there is no mention of AWOL Councilor Pope urinating under the tree even when he had a bathroom inside the law office to use for that purpose.

The Courier, in their "Attempt to Think" editorial column, backtracked only slightly from their position of a week earlier, where they stated that "spying on [Milo] and hid friends with a camera is a bit over the top. . .," by saying "we appreciate their disclosure of [some] information" but then dragged in an accusation the editor had used previously in a communication to another, that my report on Milo's whereabouts and behavior "was a little too much like tabloid style reporting or our tastes--." Perhaps, in fact, it was really a little too much like actual investigative reporting on our elected officials for their tastes.

Here are three more contributions on this subject:

Milo Pope missed the August 24th City Council meetings where the new City Manager was hired and introduced to the public.
By Jason Bland

On that same evening, Stephen J. Brocato almost hit me in the face, and then called the police on me. As bad as it was, this isn't about Brocato's temper and willingness to get physical -- most who've dealt with him are already aware of his strange, and often aggressive behavior. I don't believe his lawsuit has any merit, and after this incident and other documented incidents, hopefully the court will eventually agree that Brocato can't "blow the whistle" on his own bad behavior. Read the City Charter: City Council needed no reason whatsoever for terminating Brocato. The Charter allows the public to elect councilors, but not much else. The City Council need not take a public poll before terminating a city manager. Milo Pope, because he is Brocato's buddy, seems to keep putting these facts aside. But again, to me at this point, Steve Brocato is merely a nuisance, like a pesky fly. The real story is Milo Pope's behavior and complicity in this incident

In my opinion, Pope is openly subverting the city's political process and more importantly, its progress. His close association with Brocato (as documented drinking buddies) also makes me wonder whether Pope is living up to his professional and ethical responsibilities. Have Pope and Brocato discussed the lawsuit? Would you believe them if they denied discussing it at all? Shouldn't Pope wait until the lawsuit is over, or step down from City Council, before socializing with Brocato? I'm told by many that Pope once was a respectable attorney and judge in this town, but I've yet to meet that man. The only Milo Pope I know is the one I've seen urinating on Baker City -- both figuratively and literally. On August 24th, when I asked him why he wouldn't step down from council, he replied, laughing, "I'm having too much fun!"

For Baker City to finally begin a real and meaningful healing process, Pope must resign or be recalled. The city can't afford two more years of his nonsense. We need to truly move forward.

Chris and I were there that night to show the citizens of our community how subversive Pope and his friends really are. We did what the newspapers in town won't, that is, document and report on the whereabouts and actions of a city councilor who is supposed to be at city hall and living up to his oath of office. All of those attending Pope's party should have known that Pope was derelict in his duties that night. To me, those who attended the party clearly demonstrated that they only care about the city when they get to run it.

Again, if Milo Pope had attended the council meetings instead of privately drinking with his friends, including a plaintiff against the city, I wouldn't have received phone calls alerting me about his party. Moreover I wouldn't have to respectfully ask that the citizens of Baker City put public pressure on Pope to resign.

A Summary of the Events of August 24, 2010.
by Gary Dielman

The events I'm about to describe happened on Tuesday evening about three weeks ago. The newspapers have yet to print anything but the most rudimentary description of this story. A story so bizarre, that it's hard to believe.

But you just can't make these things up!

This summary is based on two police reports, recording of a 911 call, and interviews of two of the victims. For the reader's convenience, at the end of this summary I've included the State statutes and City ordinances I refer to. The underlining is mine.

In the evening of August 24, former Baker City manager Steve Brocato called 911 Emergency Dispatch. He told the dispatcher that Jason Bland, whom he referred to as "a freak," was trying to start a fight with him (Brocato), and with former city councilor Andrew Bryan, and with present city councilor and former circuit court judge Milo Pope. (It should be noted here that while he was city manager Brocato sat on the Baker County 911 Emergency Dispatch Oversight Board.) The dispatcher then dispatches two Baker City police officers to the scene of the incident in the area of Ace Hardware and Pope's law office (formerly Higgins Clinic).

The two officers arrive, interview people, and then write up their reports.

From those reports it's clear to me that Brocato called 911 when there was no emergency; doing so is a class A misdemeanor. The police reports also show, I believe, that Brocato made a false report to Emergency Dispatch, a class C misdemeanor, because it was not Bland who was trying to start a fight, it was Brocato himself, who got in Bland's face, hurled insults at him, and, in what was apparently an attempt to start a fight, knocked Bland's hat off his head. Bland was furious and gave back verbally as good as he got but restrained himself from lashing out physically against Brocato's provocations.

By getting in Bland's face and knocking Bland's hat off, Brocato committed, in my opinion, the crimes of Harassment and Disorderly Conduct, both class B misdemeanors.

There's more to the story. Before the police arrive and before Brocato's 911 call, Pope gave Chris Christie, who was there on his bicycle, a piece of his mind, by straddling the front tire of Christie's bicycle, and calling him, among other things, a "creep." In doing so, Pope committed, in my opinion, the crime of Disorderly Conduct by engaging in threatening behavior--Christie was fearful that Pope was going to grab his cameras--and by obstructing vehicular/pedestrian traffic on a public way.

But that's not all Pope did that evening. Even before the above events occurred, Christie photographed Pope urinating beside a tree outside his building.

So, what was this fracas all about? (I'm not referring to Pope's urinating in public. I have no idea what that was about, since the former doctor's office has a toilet and probably more than one.)

It all began when shortly before that night's city council meeting was to start, Pope called City Hall to say that something had come up and he would not be at the meeting. Well, it so happened that a couple of citizens at Ace Hardware noticed that City Councilor Pope was at his law office, when he was supposed to be at the city council meeting to, among other things, welcome newly hired City Manager Mike Kee. Instead Pope was having beer and pizza with several people formerly associated with City Hall, one of whom was Brocato. (Brocato is presently suing Baker City for firing him from his job as city manager.) Also present, besides Pope and Brocato, were former city councilor Andrew Bryan, former mayor Jeff Petry, and former assistant city manager Jennifer Watkins.

This news eventually made it to Bland and Christie, who both went separately to Ace Hardware, from which vantage point they watched the building to confirm the rumor that city councilor Pope was AWOL from the city council meeting. Besides taking a photo of Pope urinating, Christie took photos to show that Pope's car was there. When they discovered that Christie was the person taking photos, most of those present charged across the street to confront him, apparently angry that they were being surveilled. That's when Pope straddled Christie's front tire. Bland, who was sitting in his car on the north side of Washington St. got out of his car to go to Christie's aid, who was being detained and verbally accosted by Pope. Brocato then came across the street and got in Bland's face. And what happened next has been summarized above.

One more thing. Brocato's address on the police reports is 1655 1st Street. That's the address of City Hall! Now why would he give City Hall as his residence? Where does he actually sleep at night?

166.065 Harassment.
(1) A person commits the crime of harassment if the person intentionally:

(a) Harasses or annoys another person by:

(A) Subjecting such other person to offensive physical contact; or

(B) Publicly insulting such other person by abusive words or gestures in a manner intended and likely to provoke a violent response;

Harassment is a Class B misdemeanor.

166.025 Disorderly Conduct in the second degree
(1) A person commits the crime of disorderly conduct in the second degree if, with intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof, the person:
(a) Engages in fighting or in violent, tumultuous or threatening behavior;
(b) Makes unreasonable noise;
(c) Disturbs any lawful assembly of persons without lawful authority;
(d) Obstructs vehicular or pedestrian traffic on a public way;
(e) Congregates with other persons in a public place and refuses to comply with a lawful order of the police to disperse;
(f) Initiates or circulates a report, knowing it to be false, concerning an alleged or impending fire, explosion, crime, catastrophe or other emergency; or
(g) Creates a hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act which the person is not licensed or privileged to do.
(2) Disorderly conduct in the second degree is a Class B misdemeanor.162.375 Initiating a false report.
(1) A person commits the crime of initiating a false report if the person knowingly initiates a false alarm or report which is transmitted to a fire department, law enforcement agency or other organization that deals with emergencies involving danger to life or property.
(2) Initiating a false report is a class C misdemeanor.

165.570 Improper use of emergency reporting system
(1) A person commits the crime of improper use of an emergency reporting system if the person knowingly:
(a) Calls a 9-1-1 emergency reporting system or the School Safety Hotline for a purpose other than to report a situation that the person reasonably believes requires prompt service in order to preserve human life or property;
(3) Improper use of an emergency reporting system is a Class A misdemeanor.

Baker City Ordinance 130.04 INDECENT EXPOSURE.
No person shall willfully and indecently expose his or her person in any public place or any place
in which other persons might be offended thereby or make any exhibition of himself or herself to
public view in such a manner as to be offensive or designed to excite vicious or lewd thoughts.
(Ord. 2976, passed 1-8-1988) Penalty, see 130.99

Baker City Ordinance 130.045 PUBLIC URINATION.
It shall be unlawful for any person to urinate or defecate in or upon any street, alley, public
place, or in any place open to public view
(Ord. 2976, passed 1-8-1988) Penalty, see 130.99)

Note to Deb from Beverly Calder


Your reporter left a message on my cell minutes before your deadline last week, I didn't check it until the next time I used my cell which was days later. I work in a retail store, with expansive hours and published numbers - I don't carry my cell at work but I would argue that there isn't a more reachable council member than myself.

What I would've shared with her was the fact that 2 citizens - neither named Jason or Chris- had called to tell me that there was a gathering at Pope's office around 6pm just before our meetings. It would seem that many people in the community were aware (after all, ACE Hardware is one of the busiest places in downtown) of something that our local media wasn't aware of. That hardly constitutes spying in my book.

I arrived at City Hall where we were scheduled to discuss the contract for Mike Kee and then officially hiring him and welcoming him to his first council meeting. I wondered if Milo Pope would show up smelling of "good cheer", something that a majority of councilors are very aware of, but still assuming he would show up. Just minutes before the exec session began, Becky Fitzpatrick approached the Mayor to say that Milo Pope had just called and "something had come up, and he'd be "a little late."

We all know that he never made it to either meeting.
We all know that your story didn't include the above information, but did include his excuse of "fellowshipping".

As much crap- and I can't think of another more appropriate word- as Milo has put us all through, I don't find it the least bit odd that someone would find it interesting enough to take a photograph of an elected city official skipping a meeting in the company of someone currently suing the city. I also don't think that citizens keeping tabs on their elected officials qualifies as spying - without citizen watchdogs, you would rarely have a story. As it turned out, you reported the excuses brought to you by someone (clearly with personal self interest) to tell his side first.

Your paper should have REPORTED what happened before you printed a flimsy alibi for someone.

If you are so interested in spying, why didn't you weigh in when former CM Brocato had S. Regan conduct her secret surveillance on all council members properties? That was a clear breach of protocol if not spying.

Why didn't you weigh in on the fact that some councilors, Milo Pope in fact, were observed with code violations and were not cited? Not a benefit afforded the general population of Baker City, for certain.

Why didn't you weigh in on the fact that Milo Pope then filed a lengthy, and costly, complaint to the State Ethics commission on the basis that I had a conflict of interest (in his opinion) for participating in discussions about the Property Maintenance revision when I wasn't in violation of any of the ordinances?

That complaint was thrown out by the Ethics Board and one member commented that he couldn't believe an elected official would go that far for retribution. They had asked why Milo Pope would file a complaint against only me, when 5 members of council, including himself, didn't claim potential conflicts (there were 5 members of council with actual or potential violations in Brocato's surveillance document) and I had to state that it may have been related to the fact that I was 'one of four members that voted to remove the CM.'

How far can an elected official go in Baker City?

When it appears that both newspapers quote him far more often than the members of council that have opened their packets, studied the information and actually spoken with their constituents, it would appear that some elected officials get special treatment and can go very, very far without anyone from the press "spying" (or reporting) on their service, or lack thereof.

Beverly Calder

See also Richard Harris' Letter to the Editor Here:

A lot more to Pope-Brocato story