[Portion removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language.]
*Censorship is the suppression of speech or deletion of communicative material which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or inconvenient to the government or media organizations as determined by a censor.
It’s amazing the number of community posts removed by the editorial staff of the Palo Alto Online namely headed by its founder Jay Thorwaldon.
I think it’s safe to say most people would rather remain anonymous including me for many reasons and that’s okay with me when commenting or blogging.
What I set out to do was to determine the extent to which posts were censored by the Palo Alto Online and the findings were rather revealing.
But first, let us examine the comments most notably made by a past US President and Eric Arthur Blair better known by his pen name George Orwell, an English author and journalist.
(*Most research material used for this editorial can be found on the internet and through Wikipedia – The Free Encyclopedia)
“We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.”
-John Fitzgerald Kennedy-
“If this nation is to be wise as well as strong, if we are to achieve our destiny, then we need more new ideas for more wise men reading more good books in more public libraries. These libraries should be open to all-except the censor.
We must know all the facts and hear all the alternatives and listen to all the criticisms. Let us welcome controversial books and controversial authors. For the Bill of Rights is the guardian of our security as well as our liberty.”
-John Fitzgerald Kennedy-
“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”
Having said this, what I found which was extremely disturbing in my attempts at uncovering the truth was the way the (Weekly) the Palo Alto On-line version, censors and at times completely removes “blogger” posts without further explanation.
For this editorial I set out to question one of the key writers of the Weekly, Gennady Sheyner. He was clearly irritated with my line of questioning concerning censorship, and First Amendment issues.
The following are just a few of his comments I was able to glean before he cut me off.
Mr. Gennady stated he was unaware that any of the articles authored by him were being edited, partially removed or deleted. I found that very hard to believe.
In fact he stated that in some cases the editing and or the removal of posts he felt were completely acceptable and personally, would not view such actions as being defined as censorship.
When I questioned him further about changing post comments to fit the story-line, then things got a little tense and he excused himself.
He did say that the actual editing of posts were the responsibility of the editorial staff. I’m assuming that’s Jay Thorwaldon chief censor.
I found his attitude very surprising, especially coming from a reported who you would think, would view the First Amendment as the equivalent of the “Holy Grail”.
We did have one thing in common which I was not given the time to discuss. Anthony Lewis – Author of “Gideon’s Trumpet”.
The story of Clearance Earl Gideon a personal mentor and a man with an 8th grade education that changed the course of legal history as we know it today.
Again, *Censorship is the suppression of speech or deletion of communicative material which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or inconvenient to the government or media organizations as determined by a censor.
And in my opinion, by editing, changing the content or removing posts altogether without further explanation, Mr. Thorwaldon personally places our First Amendment rights on a very, very slippery slope to the degree; our personal liberties may be taken away from us altogether.
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Paloaltofreepress.com will be covering this event and will stream video live to our site. See latest video from the main page.
Mayor Sid Espinosa
cordially invites you to the
State of the City
Monday, January 24, 2011 at 7 P.M.
Cubberley Community Center Theatre
4000 Middlefield Road
Reception following in Gymnasium B
Tony Ciampi has once again demonstrated the power of his legal prowess in a resent email exchange with city attorney Donald Larkin over the releasing of Ciampi’s tazer video to the media as playing dirty pool.
Mr. Ciampi did not receive an invitation to this event and for that matter either did I.
Note the absence of any legal arguments coming from TOP city attorney for the City of Palo Alto Donald Larkin.
Yea Tony – Looks like your getting ready to push him off the cliff…..Is it any wonder why city attorney Donald Larkin is so frustrated? Has he met his match?
From: Tony Ciampi [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Thursday, January 20, 2011 10:15 AM To: Larkin, Donald; City Attorney; Council, City; Keene, James; email@example.com Subject: Palo Alto City Attorney Don Larkin To Hold Another Showing of the Videos with Ciampi Present?
Palo Alto City Attorney
Please provide some available dates to re-show the media the videos with me present so that I can defend myself against your manipulated presentation of the falsified videos and evidence.
We will start off with making another copy of Temores’ MAV video so that the PAPD can demonstrate how they need to remove the embedded watermark in order to make copies for the Court.
There is one condition, should I prove to those in attendance that any part of the evidence has been tampered with, you will personally file a report with the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office in order to bring forth criminal charges against the culpuble Palo Alto police officers for violating the various offenses including but not limited to: PC 118, 181, 132, 134, and 141b.
You could also ask DA Jeff Rosen to send a representative to be present as well.
Subject: RE: Palo Alto City Attorney Don Larkin To Hold Another Showing of the Videos with Ciampi Present?
Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2011 15:34:35 -0800 From: Donald.Larkin@CityofPaloAlto.org
As was reported, I showed several reporters the videos prepared by the Santa Clara County Crime Lab. At this point, I do not intend to show them again. You are (of course) free to show the videos yourself.
With regard to your request that I file a report with the District Attorney, at this point there is no evidence to show that the videos have been altered in any way. All of the evidence points to the fact that the videos are true and correct depictions of the events. However, if it was proven to me that the videos were intentionally altered, I would support criminal charges against the person who altered the videos.
Interim City Attorney
City of Palo Alto
This e-mail may contain confidential and/or attorney-client privileged material. If you have received this message in error, please immediately notify the sender and delete this e-mail message from your computer.
Mr. Larkin refuses to show the videos with Ciampi present
Jan 20 (2 days ago)
Palo Alto City Attorney
Please explain to the media why the PAPD needs to remove the embedded watermark on the MAV videos as directed by the Chief of Police and authorized by your office.
You already know that the officers violated the law as I have provided it to you in Court Documents 55 and 109.
Exhibit 45 from Court Document 55 of Case # C09-02655 proves that Office Kelly Burger committed perjury during my Pre-Trial Examination by stating that he placed his taser gun back in his holster when his own taser video contradicts his statement. Burger viewed the video four days prior to giving his testimony.
Exhibit 46 from Court Document 55 of Case # C09-02655 proves that Manuel Temores, Natasha Powers and others either themselves or knowingly commissioned others to remove 4 to 5 seconds of video footage from Temores’ taser video which is a violation of PC 132, 134 and 182.
Exhibits 46 and 47 from Court Document 55 of Case # C09-02655 and Exhibits 162, 163, 166, 167, from Court Document 109 of Case # C09-02655 verify the Officers Manuel Temores fired his taser gun and that Manuel Temores, Kelly Burger and Natasha Powers removed Temores’ taser cartridge, probes, wires, blast doors and AFIDS from the crime scene and destroyed them in violation of PC 141b and 182. Additionally, the video footage of Temores firing his taser gun has been removed from both his taser video and MAV video, another violation of PC 132 and 134 by Temores, Powers and others and or by whom they commissioned to remove the video footage.
Exhibit 172 from Court Document 109 of Case # C09-02655 proves that April Wagner violated 118 by making false statements in the police report contradicted by Temores’ MAV and Taser videos.
Exhibit 172 from Court Document 109 of Case # C09-02655 proves that Manuel Temores committed perjury during the Pre-Trial Examination.
Exhibits 164, 165, 169 and 170 from Court Document 109 of Case # C09-02655 prove that video footage is missing and has been edited from Manuel Temores MAV video verifying that Manuel Temores, Powers and others and or by whom Temores and Powers commissioned to remove the video footage violated PC 132 and 134.
Exhibit 171 from Court Document 109 of Case # C09-02655 proves that Kelly Burger’s taser guns data port has been tampered with, for his taser gun is seen discharging electricity several seconds after the data port documents that the discharge stopped. Burger, Powers and others who helped them achieve this falsification of the evidence violated PC 132, 134 and 141(b).
Exhibits 178 and 179 from Court Document 109 of Case # C09-02655 proves that Chief Burns knowingly submitted falsified activation data from Burger’s and Temores’ Taser guns.
Exhibit 48 from Court Document 55 of Case # C09-02655 proves that the dialog recorded in Kelly Burger’s MAV has been edited and altered verifying the Burger, Powers and others and or whom they commissioned to edit the MAV recording violated PC 132 and 134.
I could keep going.
You yourself violated Palo Alto Use of Force Policy 308.9.9 by refusing to provide the taser guns’ activation data with the original police report.
You are knowingly concealing the crimes of Palo Alto Police Officers a violation of PC 32. You probably actively engaged in the conspiracy to falsify and destroy all of the evidence in order to put me in prison by using a falsified video.
32. Every person who, after a felony has been committed, harbors, conceals or aids a principal in such felony, with the intent that said principal may avoid or escape from arrest, trial, conviction or punishment, having knowledge that said principal has committed such felony or has been charged with such felony or convicted thereof, is an accessory to such felony.
PC 118. (a) Every person who, having taken an oath that he or she will testify, declare, depose, or certify truly before any competent tribunal, officer, or person, in any of the cases in which the oath may by law of the State of California be administered, willfully and contrary to the oath, states as true any material matter which he or she knows to be false, and every person who testifies, declares, deposes, or certifies under penalty of perjury in any of the cases in which the testimony, declarations, depositions, or certification is permitted by law of the State of California under penalty of perjury and willfully states as true any material matter which he or she knows to be false, is guilty of perjury.
123. It is no defense to a prosecution for perjury that the accused did not know the materiality of the false statement made by him; or that it did not, in fact, affect the proceeding in or for which it was made. It is sufficient that it was material, and might have been used to affect such proceeding.
PC 132. Every person who upon any trial, proceeding, inquiry, or investigation whatever, authorized or permitted by law, offers in evidence, as genuine or true, any book, paper, document, record, or other instrument in writing, knowing the same to have been forged or fraudulently altered or ante-dated, is guilty of felony.
PC 134. Every person guilty of preparing any false or ante-dated book, paper, record, instrument in writing, or other matter or thing, with intent to produce it, or allow it to be produced for any fraudulent or deceitful purpose, as genuine or true, upon any trial, proceeding, or inquiry whatever, authorized by law, is guilty of felony.
PC 141. (b) Any peace officer who knowingly, willfully, and intentionally alters, modifies, plants, places, manufactures, conceals, or moves any physical matter, with specific intent that the action will result in a person being charged with a crime or with the specific intent that the physical matter will be wrongfully produced as genuine or true upon any trial, proceeding, or inquiry whatever, is guilty of a felony punishable by two, three, or five years in the state prison.
PC 118.1. Every peace officer who files any report with the agency which employs him or her regarding the commission of any crime or any investigation of any crime, if he or she knowingly and intentionally makes any statement regarding any material matter in the report which the officer knows to be false, whether or not the statement is certified or otherwise expressly reported as true, is guilty of filing a false report punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for up to one year, or in the state prison for one, two, or three years. This section shall not apply to the contents of any statement which the peace officer attributes in the report to any other person.
PC182. (a) If two or more persons conspire: (1) To commit any crime. (2) Falsely and maliciously to indict another for any crime, or to procure another to be charged or arrested for any crime. (3) Falsely to move or maintain any suit, action, or proceeding. (5) To commit any act injurious to the public health, to public morals, or to pervert or obstruct justice, or the due administration of the laws.
Five years ago I attended a police review hearing at night in the worst part of Berkeley, in a fluorescent lit room where the commissioners were trading jokes with the police like old friends at a barbeque. The commissioner presiding over the hearing was a former prosecutor who was on a first-name basis with the police. The subject officer had a lawyer representing him, and the room was full of uniformed officers and one captain. The complainant was alone.
When we got to the moment where the subject officers had ripped the sweater the complainant was wearing completely off her body in front of her neighbors, one of the commissioners, a woman, leaned in to ask the police if it wasn’t routine to undress people who were being arrested. The lawyer answered in a level tone that, no, it was not routine, but gave her a small smile, appreciating the slow, underhand lob over the plate.
The subject officers’ interviews were not scheduled at all by the staff of the Police Review Commission until long past a technical deadline, which meant even the remote possibility of disciplinary action was gone. There is no question that the staff is busy, obligated to make time for a closed-door, secret system of appeal for those few officers who receive a sustained complaint against them. No one tells the complainant if a case is overturned.
The staff had not bothered to interview one of the officers, since the city had “declined to hire” him after the incident, arguing that he was no longer under their jurisdiction, even though he was an employee on the day in question.
Berkeley’s system of police review was once touted as one of the county’s strongest because it had subpoena power, a power it has never used. If it had used its subpoena power, the argument from the city attorney’s office goes, it would have lost the power entirely to a legal challenge.
The same year as that hearing, a Berkeley sergeant stole (and was convicted of stealing) $310,000 in cash and narcotics evidence with a street value of $1.5 million from the evidence and property room. According to a recent report by Berkeley’s city auditor, the department has taken only minimal steps to improve the evidence room situation.
Misconduct by police did not stop when state-wide privacy laws specific to police officers were passed in alleged conflict with the Brown Act’s open meeting provisions. They just slid it under the rug, leaving communities at risk not just of misconduct from individual officers, but of the collective cost of community after community with no recourse to address misconduct and mistrust.
Police officers and their state lobbyists need to recognize this collective cost. Police review in a private setting is just a biased show for staff who happen to be present, staff sometimes appointed to confound the very concept of police accountability. In Berkeley, the Police Review Commission staff crow about the few complaints received (so few that any statistics derived from them skew wildly from year to year) as though it meant that no misconduct existed.
Without public hearings, the snide remarks, the rolled eyes, the obvious exasperation with the idea of respect for the public’s rights will go underground, fitting right in with the national climate regarding human rights. If the public is blindfolded, citizen review no longer exists.
It’s time for communities with a commitment to eliminating police misconduct to commit to a public review process, and only hire officers whose commitment to public services acknowledges the necessity of a public process to establish community trust. The trust established between a community and its police department will be much more valuable than guns, pepper spray, and tasers in keeping the public safe.
Perhaps one of the worst winter driving conditions one can encounter is “black ice”. Black ice is an extremely hazardous road condition that is known to cause numerous fatalities annually. We couldn’t find any insurance statistics on it, but it’s a well-understood phenomenon in winter months…
This condition cannot be easily detected by eye when driving even under ordinary visibility, because the road appears normal and trustworthy, due to the ice’s deceptive transparency. That is why it is termed “black”.
Likewise, readers would never question the authenticity of published news accounts in the local newspapers, or while cruising the Internet Superhighway.
PaloAltoPatch.com has recently lost traction and credibility, by creating its own slippery slope of “black ice” plagiarism.
Plagiarism is defined as the unauthorized use or publication of another’s written work. And there appear to be no checks or balances with PaloAltoPatch.com on news material being delivered to your virtual “curb side,” now desktop. Despite their pleas for forgiveness from his publishers, who wish to remain anonymous.
We recently discovered that one of our freelance writers lifted information for one of his business reports from VentureBeat, an online news site covering technology and innovation in Silicon Valley and elsewhere. While we expect every freelancer to practice the highest standards of journalism, we also audit to make sure that all Palo Alto Patch content is original or fully and properly attributed.
The writer has been told that taking work of other writers or news organizations without attribution is absolutely not acceptable. We have apologized to VentureBeat, whose work was copied. We apologize to you, the reader.
We know that you expect Palo Alto Patch to provide accurate and original reporting on our community, which is why we will continue to be relentless in making certain our reporting, meets the high standards our readers expect.”
Well, we wholeheartedly agree with the apologist’s expressed views, and applaud Palo Alto Patch’s courageous mea culpas, noting that’s great news of their intention to audit! But what other safeguards will they implement to prevent future acts of plagiarism?
It’s a wait-and-see game at this point. But we can only comment, What a way to deliver your news product into the Palo Alto community in the first few weeks, stolen from someone else’s work verbatim, without their express permission or syndication rights!
I’m very surprised neither the Palo Alto Weekly, Daily Post, nor The Daily News have commented on the plagiarism. PatchAltoPatch.com’s writing fails the journalistic smell test, even though they do cite a very impressive line-up of news reporters, according to their website. Bottom line? These acts of plagiarism are ethically no better than backdating stock options.
It’s an unethical and slippery patch of ice that should blow away a news writer’s credibility to his readers. We believe any seasoned or reputable journalist quoting sources who wishes to protect his professional integrity and credibility and not wind up in the virtual ditches in hyperspace must always follow the “rules of the road,” black ice or not, by indicating approved attribution or syndication rights wherever possible, and by either indenting or enclosing the borrowed material in quotations as we did here, so that readers can be alerted to it’s source or hearsay value and judge the credibility of the source themselves.
Like “junk science” there should be no room for “junk news”.
Paloaltofreepress.com will be covering this event and will stream video live from our site. See latest video from the main page.
The Palo Alto Police Department has been investigating several robberies that have occurred since September 20, 2010. Of these 20 robberies, 8 suspects have been arrested after thorough investigations and 6 individual cases have been solved. All available personnel have been dedicated to the investigation of these robberies. The Police Chief has made the robbery trend the department’s highest priority.
The Palo Alto Police Department realizes the community’s concern. In addition to the investigative efforts, the Palo Alto Police Department will be hosting a Community Awareness Meeting on Wednesday evening, 7:00 pm, January 19, 2011 at the Cubberley Theater at 4000 Middlefield Road.
The Police Department is offering a reward up to $10,000 dollars for information which leads to the arrest and conviction of the suspect(s) responsible for committing these robberies beginning September 20th, 2010.
Any person with information regarding any of these crimes is encouraged to call the Palo Alto Police Department Tip Line at 650-329-2190, or tips can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, or texted to 650-383-8984.
In the interest of “Full” disclosure and transparency, I retired from AT&T. So my views are biased, only because I have never, never ever received a “dead” land-line dial tone when picking up the receiver at home, unlike my AT&T cell phone service — i.e. dropped calls.
I’ll explain later.
Since AT&T’s inception, their business plan, network strategy, shareholder responsibility and profitability is has been built on the very concept of reliability. And, I might add, this has extended internationally as well.
After divestiture, more commonly known as the breakup of the Bell System, and as a direct result of this, I assisted in closing down an AT&T division located in Sunnyvale, California. Knowing the writing was on the wall; I applied for and was accepted by a company called ROLM Systems.
ROLM Systems was the telecommunications division of IBM specializing in BPX equipment and voicemail.
With ROLM Systems, the problem was that their network seemed to go down or “dead” all the time, and this would severely impact my customer base.
Well, I would bitterly complaint about this to my management, saying, I never experienced this problem with AT&T!! Needless to say, my management was not too pleased with me.
Which leads us to the present, and I’ll stop babbling. AT&T cell phone reception is horrible and I have complained about this, time and time again, with no resulting improvement in performance.
So, guess what? They’re wanting to place a tower in your neighborhood!, And judging by the community meeting attendance last night, where the installation is planned and–of all places — on the top of St. Albert the Great Church, located on 1095 Channing Ave.
On whose side do you think God is on? The church or AT&T? Same idea, during all cell or territory wars, past and present.
As history reflects, one side would claim God is with them and the other side likewise. The battle lines were clearly drawn last night. The opposition and strong comments expressed in this planned cell-tower-of-babble meeting got heated at times. An almost religious revolt.
I was experimenting with new filming software technology that allows broadcasting or to “stream live” directly to Paloaltofreepress.com. Unfortunately, I was only able to pick up audio portions with limited video. See latest video from main page then click menu.
Since I’m running this new technology on AT&T’s network — well, as you might have guessed — it was limited, and at time was reception the culprit.
This controversy is far from being over, and there is going to be much-continued babbling based on the reception, or lack of reception, received at last nights community meeting. So, stayed tuned to this site, “Your community, Your Voice”.
Not exactly “Head Line” news, taking a back seat to “Angry night before murder”. Especially after Glenn Roberts portrayed the Daily Post as fiction writers at last nights Palo Alto’s city council retirement ceremony.
“Its obviously not the truth, so it must be fiction” -Glenn Roberts- I would nominate this to be quote of the New Year.
As many of us may recall the Daily Post was not particularly kind with Mr. Roberts after he allegedly created a “nuclear winter zone” or the clear cutting of all the trees on California Ave without public vetting.
Unlike oral communications non-agenda items, city council is precluded from answering any criticism and since this was an agenda item, city council was free to move about the city council cabin and have the last word. Perhaps they too were fearful of agreeing with Mr. Roberts portrayal of the Daily Post. The news can often be brutal.
The Daily Post was not the only reporting agency to cover the tree cutting scandal on California Ave and the events surrounding his departure but, it was the only news paper in which Mr. Roberts singled out and targeted as “fiction” for many of the inaccuracies subsequently written by Dianne Diamond of the Daily Post.
The Daily Post definitely received a “Black Eye”. And it may be what Mr. Roberts really had in mind, was not necessarily Mark Twian but….famous journalist – Edward R. Murrow – “We cannot make good news out of bad practice”.
Some have referred to cities and communities as, “It’s a jungle out there,” in reference to a song written by Randy Newman. In fact, some websites cater to policing agencies with survival equipment. One such supplier product is called, The “CamelBak Urban Assault Pack, Perfect for the urban jungle.”
Without question it’s a jungle out there, and we can all appreciate the need to keep not only police safe, but the public as well.
Some object to the term, “human animal” and I have argued this point with KGO radio talk host Ray Taliaferro. He often refers to Homo sapiens as, “Human Animals.” I argue they are in a species all of their own.
Animals are instinctive like Squirrels. They gather nuts and place them in a special location later to be used in the wild or in a cage. It’s a naturally occurring event, like clockwork.
Animals don’t confer on nuclear disarmament. Some may argue this point as well. However, humans do display animal like aggressive behavior without question.
Police often times encounter animalistic behavior while policing the street of our urban jungle; in fact some may question the use of this analogy as well. However, there’s no denying the fact that police have no idea what they may encounter during the course of their shift or while driving and patrolling the streets of the so called asphalt jungle.
We recently witnessed and read in the news of a disabled man in a wheel chair shot by the San Francisco police. San Francisco police Chief George Gascón argued that if his officers were equipped with Tazers® the outcome would have been much different.
The jury is still out on this one, but Tazers are on the top of the list with the most fatalities of all of the less-than-lethal devices. By some accounts, the Taser related death toll now hovers around 530 plus in North America alone.
There should be no question about the need to reexamine alternatives in light of evolving technologies with respect to the use of Tazers. One such alternative was jointly developed by the US Army and Foster-Miller called WebShot®. On one of their sales brochures, which is no longer in distribution, WebShot® describes itself as a – *Nonlethal Entanglement Technology System (NETS).
WebShot® NETS* is a less lethal system that gives law enforcement officials an alternative method to catch, subdue and arrest criminals. Foster-Miller developed this system to combine speed and positive capture effectiveness in a compact, lightweight and standard weapons package. This device is the only response that can:
• Capture without pain compliance (complement other techniques).
• Restrict movement (both flight and fight).
• Minimize injury and collateral damage.
• Works indoors, outdoors and in all types of weather.
• Fits as a standard weapon or a customized, recyclable launcher.
• Neutralize threatening animals.
WebShot® NETS is an essential tool in the force continuum and contributes to a positive, responsible image in the community policing effort of law enforcement officials. WebShot® NETS is intended for use by Law Enforcement, Corrections, and Animal Control Officers ONLY.
There we go Mr. Taliaferro, capturing the human animal safely. I guess the whole point in all of this is if you must shoot someone that is obviously going through the stages of a psychiatric meltdown with a knife or potato peeler in his hands, please consider what appears to be a more humane high-tech solution rather than death by electrocution.
Tonight’s vote was unanimous. Sid Espinosa has become Palo Alto’s next city mayor and Yiaway Yeh will be serving next to him as Vice-Mayor.
Outgoing Mayor Pat Burt described both as demonstrating “outstanding leadership” sentiments which were expressed by all city council members before the final vote.
As mentioned, this past year the city was faced with many tough economic challenges and our new mayor mentioned some of these as “critical”, the Stanford project and the High Speed Rail. Issues which he feels should remain “Front and Center”.
Of course all of these remain to be seen as our new mayor and vice-mayor forge new directions for the city of Palo Alto.