I’m a cop. If you don’t want to get hurt, don’t challenge me.

An article by Sunil Dutta in Washington Post, a must read by every family member. ( F. Sheikh)

“Even though it might sound harsh and impolitic, here is the bottom line: if you don’t want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you. Don’t argue with me, don’t call me names, don’t tell me that I can’t stop you, don’t say I’m a racist pig, don’t threaten that you’ll sue me and take away my badge. Don’t scream at me that you pay my salary, and don’t even think of aggressively walking towards me. Most field stops are complete in minutes. How difficult is it to cooperate for that long?”

Working the street, I can’t even count how many times I withstood curses, screaming tantrums, aggressive and menacing encroachments on my safety zone, and outright challenges to my authority. In the vast majority of such encounters, I was able to peacefully resolve the situation without using force. Cops deploy their training and their intuition creatively, and I wielded every trick in my arsenal, including verbal judo, humor, warnings and ostentatious displays of the lethal (and nonlethal) hardware resting in my duty belt. One time, for instance, my partner and I faced a belligerent man who had doused his car with gallons of gas and was about to create a firebomb at a busy mall filled with holiday shoppers. The potential for serious harm to the bystanders would have justified deadly force. Instead, I distracted him with a hook about his family and loved ones, and he disengaged without hurting anyone. Every day cops show similar restraint and resolve incidents that could easily end up in serious injuries or worse.

Sometimes, though, no amount of persuasion or warnings work on a belligerent person; that’s when cops have to use force, and the results can be tragic. We are still learning what transpired between Officer Darren Wilson and Brown, but in most cases it’s less ambiguous — and officers are rarely at fault. When they use force, they are defending their, or the public’s, safety.

I know it is scary for people to be stopped by cops. I also understand the anger and frustration if people believe they have been stopped unjustly or without a reason. I am aware that corrupt and bully cops exist. When it comes to police misconduct, I side with the ACLU: Having worked as an internal affairs investigator, I know that some officers engage in unprofessional and arrogant behavior; sometimes they behave like criminals themselves. I also believe every cop should use a body camera to record interactions with the community at all times. Every police car should have a video recorder. (This will prevent a situation like Mike Brown’s shooting, about which conflicting and self-serving statements allow people to believe what they want.) And you don’t have to submit to an illegal stop or search. You can refuse consent to search your car or home if there’s no warrant (though a pat-down is still allowed if there is cause for suspicion). Always ask the officer whether you are under detention or are free to leave. Unless the officer has a legal basis to stop and search you, he or she must let you go. Finally, cops are legally prohibited from using excessive force: The moment a suspect submits and stops resisting, the officers must cease use of force.

To read full article click on the link below




Imran Khan & Destructive Politics

What a shame and disappointment. Once hero of young and educated class, Imran Khan, is acting like loose cannon determined to destroy the same democratic process in which he vested so much-and is opting for mob rule. His speeches are disjointed, ill-thought, full of hot air and self-megalomaniac with repeated references to his heroic days of cricket matches as if it was not cricket but Jang-e-Badar. Many times he sounded like a street bully trying to scare two street smart Sharif brothers. It is tragic that a political party and a leader that would have played a great constructive role for political process and advancement of the country, may meet its own demise by self-inflicted wounds. Although Dr. Tahir-Al Qadiri and his followers showed more discipline but its course of action is also no more than a heavenly inspired political circus. Below are some excerpts from the opinion piece by Zahid Hussain in Dawn.( F. Sheikh)

“If not macabre, at the very least the situation is bizarre. Imran Khan came to storm the citadel of power and destroy the old order, but may have killed his own and his party’s political future in the bargain. He is trying to rock the boat that may sink him too. His call for civil disobedience followed by the decision to resign from the assemblies is a high-stakes game that he may never win.

Imran Khan seems to have boxed himself and his party in a blind alley with no exit. One wonders if there is any logic behind this apparent madness. How can a leader of a major political party be so thoughtless in his decisions — decisions that not only threaten the entire system but also politically isolate him and his party?””

“Over the next five days, it turned into a part-time dharna with the protesters reassembling in the evenings — almost corresponding to prime time TV viewership — to listen to the unending rants of their leaders with the blare of song and music in the background. The atmosphere was more festive than charged with revolutionary zeal.

The disconnect between the leadership and the audience could not be more obvious. While the leaders would return to the comfort of their place of residence after the end of the late-night dharna sessions, those who came from other towns were left to spend nights in the rain. It was a chaotic setting for the struggle that promised to deliver change.”

“A powerful demagogue, Qadri has upstaged Imran Khan with his more radical pitch. He proclaims himself a revolutionary in the “cast of Marx and Lenin with a strong Islamic shade”. His ‘revolutionary manifesto’ presents the outline of a ‘utopia’ where everyone will be equal. In contrast, what has been lost on the kaptan is that politics is not a game of cricket. Not being in electoral politics Qadri has nothing to lose, whatever the outcome of this confrontation.”

A new political alignment is emerging as the threat of the winding up of the system becomes real. All major political parties have closed ranks as the country descends into chaos. Even the Jamaat-i-Islami, the PTI’s only political ally, is not willing to support its decision to quit the assemblies and call for civil disobedience.

The destructive politics of the PTI seems to have given Sharif some space to regain his initiative. The support of parliament still is the biggest strength for the prime minister provided he wakes up from his deep slumber. But it may already be too late. His options are running out as he gets more deeply mired in the turbulent waters. Even support from other political forces is not much of help. The balance of power is already shifted to Rawalpindi.

Once again Pakistani politics has taken a unique twist just when a feeling had crept in of a return to the democratic process. Whatever the outcome of the last episodes of the melodrama, it has broken that slow reassurance amongst most Pakistanis. This confidence, important both for citizens and our image internationally, has been broken by the kaptan leaving deep scars on Pakistan’s already bleeding politics.




This Map Of US And Russian Arms Sales Says It All

Nasik Elah thought that you’d be interested in this article from Business Insider:

This article shows how modern conflicts around the world are being fueled by a multi-billion dollar arms bazar where the US and Russia are the main merchants.

This Map Of US And Russian Arms Sales Says It All
They say the Cold War is over, but Russia and…


Can New York City Survive The Sea ? By Ted Steinberg

Interesting article on how New York City claimed its land from the sea and, with Hurricane Sandy’s arrival, sudden realization that may be payback time is fast approaching! ( Posted by F. Sheikh)

 “And worse, the new FEMA maps reveal that almost 400,000 New Yorkers are living on the hundred-year floodplain. More people in New York than in any other U.S. city, including New Orleans, are living with the prospect of high water encroaching on their lives.”

New York has a long history of thumbing its nose at the sea. The Dutch colonists took some of the initial steps to wade out into the water—building a pier, for example—but it was the British who followed them who transformed underwater land into a commodity. This move formed the basis for the physical expansion of the island of Manhattan. Back in the 1600s, the lower part of the island ended at what is now Pearl Street, a couple of blocks inland from where it ends today. But grants to underwater land, made by the Crown and then the state of New York, expanded the city’s underwater real estate. By 2010 such expansion had added 2,286 acres—the equivalent of more than 1,700 football fields of land—to the island.

The process of encroaching on the sea, which began at the tip of Manhattan, was then replicated in other places around New York Harbor, including Brooklyn and Queens and, across the Hudson River, in Jersey City and Hoboken. Indeed, before massive landfilling operations in the 1800s, Hoboken was an island community, and Jersey City little more than a spit of land connected to the mainland at low tide by a soggy marsh.

As New York rose to become the nation’s largest city—a position it has retained for some 200 years—it continued to grow at the expense of its surrounding waters. The rise of the city’s red-hot real estate market in the latter part of the 1800s, meanwhile, helped to underwrite the idea of New York City as a limitless proposition. What historians Edwin Burrows and Mike Wallace have dubbed the “City of Capital” was premised on a particular relationship between land and sea, one founded on a growth imperative designed to produce more of New York’s scarcest commodity: land. The result was increased building on the floodplain and beyond on land wrested from the ocean itself.

By the twentieth century, those on the margins of the city experienced the brunt of the city’s quest to grow. Even as late as 1900, New York City was a swampy environment dominated by wetlands. Over the course of the century, however, in part under the leadership of that master builder Robert Moses, New York’s once magnificent stock of wetlands came under attack. Roads, parks, and landfills all started to bear down on the marshy grounds. At the Flushing Meadows in Queens, the 2,400 acres of marshland in existence in 1900 were completely wiped out by 1966. In New York Harbor as a whole, more than 17,000 acres of wetland estimated to exist in the mid-1800s vanished during the golden age of American capitalism (1953–73) to make way for roads, landfills, and the expansion of Kennedy Airport.