Transcendental PE@Reed

It was the beginning of the second week so I asked one of the students to pick the attendance question. S, who is already a strong player, said ‘Favorite breakfast cereal’. I started with, ‘O equals K….. my name is Joe and I like Honey Crunches of Oats’. And I do like Honey Crunches of Oats and all that good-for-you-looking sweetness. Anyway, it comes around to S-who-is-a-strong-player and they say,’My name is S, and I like coffee and a bagel’. Shoot, I would have said ‘coffee and a bagel’ in a second.

After attendance I asked if there were any philosophy majors in the class. When no one raised their hand, I reminded them about K Popper’s theory of knowledge. Popper considered human knowledge as a separate organ shaped by conjecture and refutation. Popper calls induction an illusion and deprecates conjecture to guess, leaving refutation to do the work. His theory is attractive not in the least because of its fine homologonimity with Darwinian evolution. In any case, this is just how you learn ping-pong: Every shot a conjecture; The net the benignly-indifferent critic. Within K Popper’s theory of knowledge then, the role of the instructor, c’est moi, is to provide realms in which students can fruitiously err. Part of that realm is called: Forehand equals forearm to forehead, like this!

Pair Up!

Couple of simple ones and then try to step back from the table. That’s the ticket, couple of good ones there. Don’t forget your giant fish bowl: don’t break through the middle, polish the whole thing, like this! Good, good, good. Put the lid on it! Like this! Try and see how slowly you can hit it: large momentum plus small velocity equals good shot. Nice! Get your luggage. Like this! Good equals shot! Don’t forget: they bounce space craft off Jupiter not Mercury!

We rotated partners every five minutes counter clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere, skipped coaches, and continued our practice in a like manner until special-treat game time at 6. It was easy to split the class into two teams since there were 8 of them and still at table. I never liked that thing about lining them up against the wall and having two captains pick them to the last drop.

Okay! This game is called ‘Round About’. You have 4 players to a team and you start with a player at each of the 4 sides of the table. Like bridge, we will call these North, South, East and West. Play starts with South serving to North and continues with North hitting to West who has taken South’s place, West hitting to East who has replaced North, East to North, North to West who hits to South, starting the cycle again. The goal is to get consecutive hits. To start the game I will say the word ‘Start’. Start.

Luckily, my assistant coach asked me to maybe pick up a couple of balls and they got started rotating the table while keeping the ball in play in no time. After ten minutes I rang the ding-ding-ding bell and found out that the score was 14-7 with just 4 minutes left. Luckily, said I, the second round is double scoring. Each team selects a Vogel-im-Baum and the other three rotate the table. To start the game, I name a category and each time the ball is struck the Vogel-im-Baum has to say something in that category. If Vogel-im-Baum can’t think of anything or repeats then that is the same as a miss: I equals E start equals over. Ready: ‘Animals of North America!’

My assistant coach admitted that they didn’t really remember this version themselves. And I suggested, ‘Bear’, ‘Deer’, ‘Salmon’. After some further elucidation we were ready to try again. Ready: ‘transcendental numbers’.

Luckily, the bell rang, with a: Ding-ding-ding thanks for a fun class, if you have a few minutes please help put the equipment away. And I think I saw D-who-knows-pi-to-200-digits smile.

Eastside democratic Club Minutes 20160705

EsdC 20160705

12:12 David Welcomes and asks for announcements.

Harriet announced that Sisters of the Road is doing a money match right now for donations. Since we usually donate to them at the end of the year, how about we donate while the money match is happening. It was moved and seconded that EdC donate $75.00. Passed 35ish – 0.

David announced a petition for county-wide campaign finance reform.

Our first guest was David Rodgers of the Oregon ALCU. David spoke about DAs as the most powerful elected official you rarely vote for. 80% of DA elections in Oregon are uncontested and this gives them a free pass. The DA association actively and effectively lobby lawmakers and block reform. Since 90% of cases are settled by plea bargain and mandatory minimums are daunting, the DA has become the most powerful player in the justice system. DA’s have the habit or retiring mid-term so that their appointed successor can glide in as an incumbent.

After the break, Jason Renuad spoke about the DOJ settlement with the Portland Police. Jason introduced himself as someone who works at the intersection of law inforcement and people with mental illness. Following up on Mr Rodgers’ talk, he mentioned that DA’s are notoriously lax in filing charges against police officers. Mr Renaud is collecting stats about death in custody and keeps fields like ‘experiencing mental illness’. The DOJ settlement has 186 items and addresses training, accountability, and the mental health system. The settlement is so complex that it is a diversion. What is needed is the ability to hold individual officers accountable and what is prescribed is aimed at everyone. That is, we need the ability to fire individual cops more than we need another level of training for everyone.

Eastside democratic Club Minutes

une 7, 2016

The meeting started around 12:08 with David Delk presiding and 25ish in attendance.

David called for announcements:

Hershel is making the coffee while Maxine recovers.

350 dot org has lots of neighborhood groups and you might want to join one.

Paying the Price for Peace will show at the Clinton Street Theater Sunday July 3rd with S Brian Willson in attendance.

Joe moved that the Eastside democratic Club endorse the measure to reform campaign finance.
John seconded and it passed 21-0.

Joe moved that the Eastside democratic Club endorse the measure to keep outdoor school open.
John seconded an it passed 19-0.

We heard from Jules Boykoff on a political history off the Olympics. It started as a
game among financial elites: if you ever worked you were disqualified. Prof Boykoff intoned that just as fear is used to fleece, so to are the magic rings of the games. Projected public expense of putting on the games is typically low balled by a factor of between 5 and 10 and it keeps working! To date, only the voters of Denver successfully rejected Olympic overtures.

After a short break we heard from Brandon Thompson of Keep Oregon Working. Rich people are funding a lot of anti-progressive measures for the November ballot. They want to roll back workers rights and limit access to basic health care.

Script for White Man Said Walk

Teressa Raiford Trial Recreation

Juror:  An activist herself.
Defense Attorney: patient, logical, right
Prosecutor: sharp guy, wants to win, frustrated by lack of evidence
Officer Sue: Trying to fit into the tough guy environment, admires Jake.
Officer Jake: Tough guy smiling for the $%#% jury, want to help Sue fit in.
Officer Kris: Veteran officer, weary of this, tilting testimony out of duty not conviction.
Officer Randi:    Simple ‘yes sir’ attitude, conflates clumsily  

Notation Notes:
  ‘…’ means to take a full breath on mic

Narrator:: Monday morning Judge Michael Greenlick held a pretrial hearing to see if the police even had probable cause to arrest Ms Raiford. The prosecutor started by calling Portland Police Sergeant Jacob Clark to the Stand.

Prosecutor:: Were you the officer in charge on Aug 9, 2015,

JacobClark:: I was.

Prosecutor:: What were your goals on that day?

JacobClark:: Our goals were to allow people to protest, to ensure the public safety, and to keep traffic moving.

Prosecutor:: What happened?

JacobClark::  I got a call shortly after three from Officer Billard. About 100 protesters took over the intersection at 82nd and Division.

Prosecutor:: Then what happened?

JacobClark::  I put out a call for all available units and headed over. By the time I got there the intersection was clear. Almost all of the other protesters moved to the sidewalk on the South side of the street. When she remained in the street, I assembled a team of volunteers on the North side. I went over with my volunteers and gave her several warnings to get on the sidewalk…

I told her to get out of the street or else she would be arrested.
She just walked away from me.
THAT’s when I gave the order to arrested her.

Prosecutor:: No further questions.

Narrator:: Before we continue with the cross examination of Sergeant Clark, let’s hear from Kelly Simon from ACLU-Oregon on what defines disorderly conduct.

Narrator:: Back in court, Mr Matthew McHenry cross examined Sargent Jacob Clark for the defense (..that is for Teressa Raiford)

McHenry:: Did you see Ms Raiford block any cars?

JacobClark:: No

McHenry:: Did you see any cars have to alter in any way?

JacobClark:: No

McHenry:: Why did you arrest Teressa Raiford?

JacobClark:: She was standing in the street, that is disorderly conduct. I told her several times to get out of the street. When she disobeyed, I had her arrested.

McHenry:: No more questions.

Narrator:: Then Portland Police Officer Susan Billard took the stand and the Prosecutor asked:

Prosecutor:: What happened on August 9, 2015?

Billard: I was driving North on 82nd at about 3 PM. There was a crowd of protesters blocking the intersection at Division. I called it in.

Prosecutor:: What happened next?

Billard:: Sergeant Clark was the officer in charge and he had us observing from the North side of the street. Then he called for volunteers to go across the street.  I volunteered.

Prosecutor:: Then what happened?

Billard:: We went across and she was still standing in the street yelling and screaming and blocking traffic. We gave her several warnings. When she disobeyed Sergeant Clark gave the order and I arrested her. I arrested her with Officer Miller.  We thought it would be nice if two female officers arrested her.

Prosecutor:: No more questions

Narrator:: Defense Attorney Matthew McHenry cross-examined Officer Billard

McHenry:: Why did you arrest Teressa Raiford?

Billard: Sergeant Clark ordered me to.

McHenry::  …Before you arrested her, you observed her from the North side of the street?

Billard: Yes

McHenry: and you could see that she was in the street?

Billard::  Yes, everyone else obeyed, she only one left in the street.

McHenry:: and did you see her obstruct traffic?

Billard::  Yes, several cars had to stop; they were honking and couldn’t get through.

McHenry: … OK, About how long did they have to stop?

Billard:: Probably 5 minutes. In was at rush hour on Monday and there was a lot of traffic. 82nd is officially designated a highway, it’s Oregon Highway 213.

McHenry:  uhhhh, can you check your notes, was August 9th a Monday?

Billard::   …ummm,well, it was a very busy hour on Sunday and it is highway 213..that is true.

McHenry:: You testified that several cars were stopped for ‘up to 5 minutes’

Billard:: yes, about 5 minutes.

McHenry:: So, if there were a video it would show cars (stopped because of..)

Prosecutor:: Object! Speculation, he said `if`

McHenry:: …I have no further questions

Narrator::After the police witnesses leave, Defense attorney Matthew McHenry argued that officer Billard’s testimony was unreliable: she got the day wrong and her testimony of stopped cars contradicted the youtube video of the events that occurred on August 9, 2015. Here is what Judge Michael Greenlick said, audio courtesy of the Oregonian.

Narrator::Since Sergeant Clark didn’t see Ms Raiford block traffic and Officer Billard was found not truthful, Judge Greenlick ruled that there was no probable cause for the arrest. Yet the trial moved ahead. Again, here’s Kelly Simon from the ACLU to explain why:


Narrator:: With Judge Greenlick determining the trial should continue, jury selection was held on   Tuesday morning. The pool of twenty-one potential jurors included three minorities, none of whom were African-American. A panel of six jurors and one alternate was finally selected. Shortly before 2pm, the prosecution began with its opening arguments.

Prosecution::  Black lives do matter. Black lives, definitely, do, matter. And on August 9, 2015 Teressa Raiford went to 82nd and Division with the intent of making that story heard. And she has every right to tell her story; to honor Mike Brown, to wave her signs, and to chant her chants. Sadly, Ms Raiford’s story that day was more than just speech.  She intentionally led hundreds of protesters into a busy Portland intersection and she shut, traffic, down.  You will see a video with a full bus trapped, and cars honking, all while protesters are shouting ‘whose streets? Our streets!’ – That is all the evidence you need to know that she intended to obstruct traffic and that she did in fact obstruct traffic on a public highway.

You will hear testimony showing that the police gave the defendant several warnings and when she refused to get out of the street she was arrested. Your job as a jury is to separate Ms Raiford’s passionate message that Black lives really do matter with her actions on August 9th. Her plan that day was to take over that intersection, to obstruct the public way, to force people to listen to her story – even if they had someplace else to go.

When you consider all of the evidence it is clear that Teressa Raiford had the intent to, and did in fact, intentionally obstruct traffic on a public way. According to Oregon Law, that is disorderly conduct. This is not about free speech, this it is about taking responsibility for your actions, it is about following the law. I am confident you will dispassionately consider the evidence, do your duty, and see, justice, done.

Narrator::Defense attorney McHenry started with a brief biography

McHenry:: My client, Teressa Raiford is a native Portlander. She graduated from Jefferson High school and eventually  moved to Texas where she was a successful business women. In 2010 she came back to Portland for a visit and while she was here, tragically, her nephew was killed. Ms Raiford never returned to Texas and has been an activist ever since. She started leading demonstrations, advocating for change, and she made a lot of people very uncomfortable. Her work as an activist often draws a police presence and they know exactly who, she, is.  ‘

On August 9, 2015 Ms Raiford organized a community art project to honor the life of Mike Brown. It was a family event with many children present. There was an open mic session in which many people spoke, then there was a group decision to take it outside. As you will see on a video, there is art, drumming, chanting as a large group took over the intersection for 4 and a half minutes to collectively honor the 4 and a half hours Mike Brown spent dying in the street. Then the vast majority of demonstrators moved out of the intersection and back on to the sidewalk.  Some people, including Ms Raiford and several other individuals, continued to lead chants, to keep the energy up and the sign waving going.

Suddenly, a large police presence appeared across the street and THAT changed the mood of the crowd. Ms Raiford continues to lead chants and keep other activists on the sidewalk.  She sees other people in the street and they are not arrested. Then, 4 heavily armed officers march over and arrest Teressa Raiford and charge her with disorderly conduct.  

The evidence will show that she was raising her voice that day, the same as dozens of others. The evidence will show that the police had a plan to arrest Teressa Raiford before the event even started. The evidence will show that Teressa Raiford was arrested because she is Teressa Raiford not because she committed any crime that day. Thank you.

Narrator: The first witness in front of the jury was Sergeant Jacob Clark.  The prosecutor asked:

Prosecutor:: Sergeant Clark, how long have you been with the force?

JacobClark:: I’ve been with the force for about 12 years

Prosecutor: Is 82nd a busy street?

JacobClark:: – Yes, 82nd is busy. It’s officially designated Oregon highway 213.
Prosecutor:: What happened on August 9th?

JacobClark:: A group of about a 100 protesters took over the intersection of 82nd and Division.  We got everyone back on the sidewalk except one women would not get out of the street.

Prosecutor:: And is that was women in this courtroom?

JacobClark:: – yes

Prosecutor::  Can you point her out?

JacobClark:: – Yeah, She is right over there

Narrator:: And he points right at Teressa Raiford.

Prosecutor:: Did you give her a warning before you arrested her?  

JacobClark:: Yes, we gave her several warnings.

Prosecutor:: Why did you arrest her?

JacobClark:: She was the only one that wouldn’t get out of the street, standing in the street is disorderly conduct, so I had her arrested.

Prosecutor: No more questions.

Narrator:: Defense attorney Mr. Matthew McHenry cross examined Portland Police Sergeant Clark

McHenry: Did you receive training in how to testify?

JacobClark:: Yeah, a long time ago.

McHenry:: To look the jury in the eye?

JacobClark:: Sure

McHenry:: You got the call from Officer Billard just after 3?

JacobClark:: yeah, about that.

McHenry:: And got back at what, 3:10, 315?

JacobClark:: yeah, about that.

McHenry:: That wasn’t the first time you were at 82nd and Division that day?

JacobClark:: True

McHenry:: You had been staking them out since noon?

JacobClark:: I was parked nearby since about noon.

McHenry: You were parked where they couldn’t see you?

JacobClark:: I’d hope so.

McHenry:: And what time did you leave the scene?

JacobClark:: I left about 3 minutes before I got the call from Officer Billard.

McHenry:: When you got back to 82nd and Division, did you see any cars blocked?

JacobClark:: No

McHenry:: Did you see any car have to alter in any way?

JacobClark:: No

McHenry:: Did anyone from the public complain to the police?

JacobClark:: No

McHenry:: Why did you focus on Teressa Raiford?

JacobClark:: – She was the one most blatantly disobeying.

McHenry:: Your assembled about a dozen Police officers on the north side of the street?

JacobClark:: Yes

McHenry:: While still on the north side of the street, did you give the order to ‘arrest that women’?

JacobClark:: –  No, I went over with 3-4 volunteers to give her a warning.  She walked away and we arrested her.

McHenry:: No further questions.

Narrator:: Then the state called officer Susan Billard.

Prosecutor:: What happened on August 9, 2015?

Billard: I was driving North on 82nd at about 3 PM. My beat is East of 205, I just happen to be driving up 82nd. There was a crowd of protesters blocking the intersection at Division and traffic was heavy. I called it in.

Prosecutor:: What happened next?

Billard:: Sergeant Clark was the officer in charge.  He had us assemble on the North side of the street where we observed. When he called for volunteers to go across the street,  I volunteered.

Prosecutor:: What happened next?

Billard:: We went across and she was still standing in the street yelling and screaming and blocking a lane of traffic. We gave her several warnings. When she just walked away Sergeant Clark gave the order and I arrested her. I arrested her with Officer Miller.  We thought it would be nice if two female officers arrested her.

Prosecutor:: Did officer Clark give her one final warning before arresting her?

Billard:: Yes, if she moved onto the sidewalk she would not have been arrested.

Prosecutor:: No more questions.

Narrator:: And Mr Matthew McHenry cross examined Officer Billard

McHenry: You were the first officer on the scene that day?

Billard:: I was.

McHenry:: At that time about 100 protester were in the intersection?

Billard: Yes, about 100.

McHenry:: Did you speak with a police liaison from the group?  

Billard:: I did

McHenry:: And this was a white male about 5’6”

Billard:: About.

Billard:: And he told you they would be finished soon?

Billard:: Yes

McHenry: And he stayed in the street?

Billard::: Yes

McHenry: And you didn’t arrest him?

Billard::  I didn’t

McHenry:: And the protesters DID soon move out of the intersection?

Billard:: Yes

McHenry:: You told protesters that they were not allowed to block traffic again?

Billard::   I said they couldn’t be in street.

McHenry:: um, Can you check you report on that.

Billard:: umm…OK, I said they couldn’t block traffic

McHenry:: Did you see Ms Raiford blocking traffic?

Billard:: She was in the street

McHenry:: Was she stopping cars?

Billlard::  I don’t remember

McHenry:: Do you remember testifying yesterday that she was stopping cars?

Billard:: You tricked me. Defense attorneys like you alway try to get me in trouble.
McHenry:: Do you remember Teressa Raiford blocking cars?

Billard:: I wasn’t monitoring traffic

McHenry:: What did Clark tell you when you were still on the North side of the street?

Billard: He gave the order to follow him. Later on he said to arrest her.

McHenry:: When you cross the street you are focused on Teressa Raiford?

B::  I was

McHenry:: And the order was to ‘arrest women in black with bandanna’, not ‘arrest people in street’?

B:: It was

McHenry:: What happened after the arrest?

B:: She was resisting me and screaming at me, she was loud and angry.

McHenry:: You said she was fortunate to live in PDX where the police are professional?

B:: Yes

McHenry:: Then you told her that 90% of black people are killed by other black people?

B:: Yes

McHenry:: And that was professional?

B::  I was trying to start a conversation, build a relationship.

McHenry:: You reported that Teressa Raiford resisted you? –

B:: Yes, she lowered her shoulder and shoved me as she was getting into the car.

McHenry:: Did you see Teressa Raiford with the crowd in the middle of the intersection?

B:: No

McHenry:: So, the only time you saw traffic blocked was when there were 100 people in the intersection. Why didn’t arrest anyone then?

B::  There were too many of them.

McHenry: I have no more questions.

Narrator:: The prosecution’s redirect of Billard was brief.

Prosecutor:: Did you or Clark give Ms Raiford a final warning?

Billard: Yes, she walked away and we arrested her.


Narrator:: And with that the judge called the court adjourned.  

The next morning a juror reported that  she witnessed an altercation between police and an audience member. The judge called her into the courtroom to describe this interaction. .

Carson – On my way out of court yesterday I heard an audience member say ‘can a police officer be arrested for lying’. I was surprised that the officer answered. I had seen that Billard was part of the group of police and I assume it was her. I thought she should have been more professional.

Narrator:: Judge Greenlick asked if she could still be fair, to which she replied:

Carson::  Oh sure, I didn’t learn anything new. I saw all of that yesterday

Narrator: And the judge and lawyers all agreed to leave her on the jury.

Carson:: Then I’m still a juror on this case?

Narrator:: Next the prosecution called Kris Barber to the stand.  He is important because of his role in the only other arrest that day: that of activist Diane Chavez.

Prosecutor:: How long have you been with the force?

KrisBarber:: I’ve been with the force for,,18 years now,

Prosecutor:: What happened on August 9th?

KrisBarber::  On April 9, 2015 I heard Officer Billard’s call that there was a crowd blocking the intersection at 82nd and Division. I was in Lents and headed up.  Sergeant Clark was the officer in charge and had us meet in the PCC parking lot.

Prosecutor:: Then what happened?

KrisBarber:: We moved to the North side of the street and monitored for about 15 minutes. Most of the protester were off the street. Later on I approached Ms Chavez because she got back into the street.

Prosecutor:: What did you tell her to do?

KrisBarber:: I told her to get back on the sidewalk. When she didn’t get back she was arrested.

Prosecutor:: No more questions

Narrator:: Matthew McHenry cross examined Sergeant Kris Barber.

McHenry:: You have received training in how to testify?

KrisBarber:: Some

McHenry:: And you studied Psychology?

KrisBarber: Sure, back in school.

McHenry:: By the time you got to division and 82nd the intersection was clear?

KrisBarber:: True

McHenry::  You were observing from the North side and the activists were on the South side?

KB:: yes

McHenry: In your report it says that you saw a Black women step off the sidewalk?

KrisBarber:: Yes, I did.

McHenry:: At this time other people were in the street?

KrisBarber:: I  don’t know

McHenry:: Did you see Ms Raiford obstruct traffic?

KrisBarber:: yeah, I saw her stop a car.

McHenry:: How long did they have to to stop?

KrisBarber:: I didn’t monitor the time.

McHenry:: About how long?

KrisBarber:: I dont ‘ know

McHenry:: Was the car prevented from turning?

KrisBarber::  They sure weren’t going to turn with all that.

McHenry:: All that? All what?

KrisBarber:: …uh, well, HER.

McHenry:: Clark and 4 others arrested Chavez?  

KB:: Yes

McHenry:: Because everyone else was back on the sidewalk?

KB:: well, on MY side they were.

McHenry:: Ms Chavez is a white women?

KB:: um,  I guess.

McHenry:: She put a camera in your face, was warned no less than 4 times, she stays in your face and you do not arrest her?

KB:  True

McHenry:: She walks away from your and still there is no arrest?

KB::  True

McHenry:: Clark warns her again and STILL no arrest

KB:: True

McHenry:: No more questions.

Narrator:: And the prosecutor’s redirect:

Prosecutor::  How long was it before the first warning to Ms Chavez and her arrest? –

KrisBarber::  3, maybe 5 minutes.

Prosecutor:: No further questions.

Narrator:: and the State calls Officer Randy Miller. Officer Miller arrested Teressa Raiford along with officer Billard.

Prosecutor:: You got a call around 3pm on August 9th?

Miller:: Yes, Officer Billard called in that protesters were blocking an intersection.

Prosecutor:: When you arrived at 82nd and Division, was there a staging area?

Miller::  Yes, Sergeant Clark was in charge and he gave order to wait and observe from the North side of the street.

Prosecutor:: Then what happened:

Miller:: I volunteered to go across. Sergeant Clark told her to get back on the sidewalk. When she stayed in the street Officer Billard and I arrested her. Then she started screaming and yelling, other people were screaming and yelling. Officer Billard was trying to explain to her what was happening.

Prosecutor::  No more questions.

Narrator:: Mr McHenry cross examined Officer Miller

McHenry:: By the time you got there, people were out of the street?  

Miller:: Yes

McHenry: And you were observing the protesters, along with a dozen other officers, from the North side of the street?

Miller::  Yes

McHenry:: When Sergeant Clark called for volunteers, you stepped up?

Miller:: yes, sir.

McHenry:: And you volunteered to conduct the arrest?

Miller:: yes

McHenry:: You were instructed by Sergeant Clark before you cross the street to arrest the `women with the black shirt and bandanna`?

Miller:: Yes

McHenry:: And Officer Billard told you,  ‘that’s Teressa Raiford’?

Miller::  Yes

McHenry:: Most other protesters were white?  

Miller:: I don’t know

McHenry: You were not instructed to give Ms Raiford one more chance

Miller:: True

McHenry:: So, you are testifying that officer Clark ordered you to arrest Teressa Raiford while you were still on the North side of the street?

Miller:: well, if she didn’t move

McHenry:: Can your please check your report on that?

Miller::   ok, my orders were to, ‘arrest the women in the black shirt and bandana’

McHenry:: And you got this order from Sergeant Clark while still on the North side of the street?

Miller:: true

McHenry:: No more questions

Narrator:: and the redirect from the prosecutor.

Prosecutor:: Did YOU make the decision to arrest?

Miller:: No

Prosecutor:: If Sergeant Clark told you to stop would you still have made the arrested?  

Miller:: No, if she stepped on the sidewalk, she would not have been arrested.

Prosecutor: No more questions.

Narrator: And with that the state rested.  The defense called several witnesses who were present during the events of August 9, 2015 to establish that Ms Raiford was not doing anything different from several other protesters.

On the final day of the trial, Ms Raiford wore that Black shirt and headband as she she took the stand in her own defense.

Take stand; background; texas; back to pdx;  nephew shot
BLM, first protest
Don’t shoot PDX, anti police,
Previous interactions with police
Aug 9 Mike Brown
Aug 9 civil disobedience planned? Impromptu panel, move outside  
Everyone went into intersection (waited for white man)
Lead chant Shut shit down?
After 4 1/2 mintues?
See the officers coming
Why were you arrested

The jury took three hour to reach their decision.  White Man Said Walk concludes with court audio of the verdict.

Dr. Al Frankowski, Northeastern Illinois University, “Race Realism and a Political Sense of Mourning”

I went to my first Philosophy lunch seminar at Reed today and I liked it. I’ve been investigating the idea if ‘Race’ with an audio piece I’m working on for KBOO. The talk had the word ‘Race’ in the title so I was finally motivated to go. It poured rain as I ran in on my green Prefontaine jacket and I entered wet as a dog. They had good hot coffee, roasted- asparagus, squash, red peppers and I love this kind professorial life.

As far as I understood it, Dr Frankowski was interested in exploring two extremes: that we live in a post racial world and that the United States will always be racist against Black people. Some claim that a Black president proves a post racial America. If ‘racial’ is measured as the sum of individual reality based on perceived race, then the proposition that we will always have racism is more tenable.

I hope to interview Dr Frankowski if I ever get that ‘perceived race’ audio worked up and I love ping pong.

East Side democratic Club Minutes March 1, 2016

Prior to the meeting the nominating committee nominated this slate of candidates:

President: David Delk
Vice president: Herschel Soles
Secretary: Joe Meyer
Membership Coordinator: Steve Elder
Treasurer: Celeste Soles
Agenda committee: Pam Allee, Maxine Wilkins

And we all won 21 – 0 !

There were two cameras at the meeting and Tom wanted to know what people thought about that.
David asked if there were any objections to the filming.
There was some discussion and we voted to vote on allowing filming and then voted to allow filming with both passing everyone to 0.

There were a few announcements including a recommendation of Micheal Moore’s new movie and of Beyond Measure, another education film, playing at Revolution Hall, and the you can get into Michel Moore’s film for $8.50 with some kind of ID.

Then we watched a forty minute documentary called “Building the Machine” describing the corporate takeover of our public schools

Then we took a 10 minute break and ate pizza and chatted.

When we reconvened, David announced that he will invite city hall candidates to next month’s meeting and then he passed the basket.

This was followed by a panel of three discussing their perspectives: Dana Brenner-Kelly, Mother; Michael Sonnleitner, Portland Community College Board Member, and Hyung Nam, high school teacher.

Each panel member was given a 5 minute introduction.

HN asked us to consider the larger context of economics, politics and corporate power. He argued that corporate power sees education as a threat and quoted a Powell memo citing unrest on campuses.

DBK told of how much things have changed in the time her oldest of 3 and youngest started grade school. She argued that the Common Core standards push a lot of responsibilities down to the very early grades; that behavioral data collection starts at this early age; and that this leads to a very early forking into the K-prison pipeline.

MS told us that he was like a toad in a pot of water on the stove. He first started to feel warm when corporate had him set seemingly harmless goals for himself and to simply check little boxed when he achieved his target performance. Three years ago, his pot grew too hot when corporate announced a new mandate to streamline the process and not to dumb it down. And students are complaining that essay questions are too hard, can’t you offer multiple choice and not dumb it down? And can’t you pass a higher percentage of students and not dumb it down?

Each panel member went well over the allotted 5 minutes and audience whistling was only heard once.

The first audience question was about how the new educators are trained. The panel responded that they are taught a narrow focus and prescriptive teaching. That they are union busing and setting us up for failure. BDK spoke of canned curricula and gave the example of teachers learning lessons by rote.

The second audience question was decrying for profit colleges and we ran out of time.

In closing Pat asked everyone to keep an eye on HB 2713 and someone said she is running for house district 44, Tina Kotek incumbent.

Then we adjourned.

Introducing pythonic access to data

PyQL stands for the Pythonic Query Language. It can be used everywhere SQL is used. The PyQL is handy in that you ‘have Python’ at the query prompt.

There are plenty of rules for getting UpperCase in SQL and, if you know some Python name.upper() is handy. Likewise with imported modules like re and math. Basically, if you like Python and or appreciate the pythonic approach then you will like PyQL.

The PyQL does not concern itself with maintaining databases, only access to the data. That is, the PyQL does not have anything corresponding to SQL’s CREATE, UPDATE, and INSERT. So narrow is the PyQL’s focus that a single invented symbol suffices: @.

PyQL is also a domain specific query language (DSQL) engine. General query languages, like SQL, know little of the user’s intent and are thereby rendered verbose. Domain specific query languages use expert knowledge to craft agile access to data.

The basic premise of PyQL is that every database deserves its own query language. Have look at:

Humanism at Reed

I try to ground my instruction at Reed within a humanistic philosophy. Part of the theory is that if I make an ass of myself then the students may find more space to err, and here is my lecture from last class.

What is learning you may ask? Philosopher Karl Popper taught that learning is the elimination of error. Babies flail their arms in an ergotic manner until they poke themselves in the eye. The resulting error signal programs the brain: do not poke self in eye. Likewise, learning to walk is really learning how not to fall down. I remember my own two kids learning to walk and they sure did fall down in many different ways. Popper went so far as to call induction a kind of mental illusion.

Sir Doktor Professor Popper was born in Austria in 19 oh-something into a highly cultured and educated family. From a science perspective, his most important work is on the demarcation between science and not-science, done while still a gym teacher in Wien. A theory or idea is scientific if it is falsifiable. Personally, I vacillate between thinking this profound and tautological.

Popper was Jewish and had to flee Austria before the N***s. He passed his fancy offer from Cambridge on to a less likely colleague and took a position in New Zealand. We will talk more about Popper’s work in the social sciences next week, so please read the first chapter of Open Society and its Enemies.

What is important for today’s class is the theory of learning. Learning in the context of our gathering today seems to involve an instructor and students. Perhaps this is a not an unfamiliar context in western education. Within this context and the context of Popper’s teachings, what then class are the respective responsibilities of instructor and student?

Anyone? Anyone?

Can we do hope to do better than poking ourselves in the eye?

Anyone? Anyone?

Very well then.

The responsibility of the instructor here is to shape the realm in which students can most fruitfully err. To set up a macro structure in which desired results are accessible via ergotic micro fluctuation.

The responsibility of the student is to gladly err within the macro structure.

Any question?

Student1: If we only miss two classes you have to pass us.

OK then, pair up and start with forehands. Try to get 3 or 4 simple ones before stepping back to loop. Get that nice follow-through there – all the way up. Couple of good ones! You can reduce your back swing for more control. Remember the cormorant drying itself on a rock. Yeah, that’s it. Don’t forget the giant fishbowl. Couple of good ones! Don’t forget your luggage when you loop. Nice shot! Good spin!

As we were putting the equipment away after class, a student approached me so kindly and asked, um, did you say that Popper was a gym teacher?

Well, Gymnasium, I said and we shared a laugh.

If that aint Humanism what is?

Four Score and Seven Years Ago Today…

Four score and seven years ago today a baby was born in Atlanta, Georgia. Like his father before him, he was named Micheal. According to his autobiography, he had a plain and yet idyllic early childhood and was surrounded by a large and loving family. He learned his first lesson about human phenotype when at age 6 his mother told him that he could no longer play with his best friend. When his mom explained the reasons for this, he writes, he decided to hate all white people.

In celebration of that life that started 87 year ago, I took today off of ‘work’. At 10am I biked downtown and found Don’t Shoot Portland organizers holding forth in front of the Justice Center across from the old occupy camps. There was speechifying, leafleting and an open mic session. I was talking with an organizer when I saw one of my ping-pong buddies walking past down third. I greeted him in my usual ping-pong fashion, ‘Hey, Hey Bob how are you doing? Feeling good?’ and offered him my outstretched hand.

Now, at our table tennis club Bob treats me with good esteem because of my mad pong skill, general friendliness, and position as assistant coach. On the street today he gave a terse shake of his looking-down head, stuffed his hands in his pocket, and hurried on past. He neither saw nor heard me and I had even called out his name. Welcome to my world indicated the women at my side.

In the afternoon I was walking to the Peoples Solidarity March kicking off at 200 NE MLK when I ran into David Delk and friends holding up their ‘STOP TPP’ signs at the Burnside bridge. I was a little early so I picked up a sign and joined in. David is out there twice a week and I’ve biked past many times. This was my first time joining them and I liked it. We were a wall of signs and would all pivot West to get the cars coming off the bridge and then, when the light changed, pivot back North to get MLK traffic. I only messed up a couple of times.

I hardly recognized Anthony as he walk up Burnside heading for the march. He didn’t recognize me at all until I took off my glasses. Then we hugged pretty good. He lost his baby fat: was occupy that long ago? He believed that the new day was then and now he looks like getting by. His bright optimism dampened by reality. I liked it when people honked or gave the thumbs up and Mr David Delk reports that such encouraging signs are on the upswing.

Now I was a little late and joined the People’s Solidarity March just in time to take southbound MLK. I hadn’t been in the street much lately and I felt freer right away. Folks in cars were amazingly polite and just waited like another day in Portland. We turned right at Burnside, which is illegal in a car, at took the bridge a few hundred strong.

We stopped at R2D2 for more speechifying. Hazelnut Grove was well represented and represented very well. One resident recounted the first time, many years ago, he saw a human prone in the street. He naturally went over right away to see what was wrong. His older brother quickly corrected him – that man was just homeless. The only person dressed fancy in suit and tie told us of his unhoused youth, his time in Iraq, and he is running for office in Hillsborough.

There was a little march confusion as we headed next to City Hall. I experienced the split-flock decision making process as we eventually decided to march against oncoming traffic down 4th. Again drivers were more than tolerant, some even encouraging. We zigged up to 5th past the car wash fountain to at least go in the same direction as regular traffic. Some folks waiting for the MAX at Pioneer Square looked a bit crabby when they saw us scraggling by rather than their ride home. We took 5th to Main where we dropping back down to 4th. The middle of the street is somehow the best view of the Portland building.

There was already a crowd at City Hall with Portland Tenants United doing the organizing. We heard from Alyssa Pagan, Marih AlynClaire among others decrying sky rocketing rents, no-cause evictions, and general lack of affordable housing. And they were serving hot coffee and healthful carrot cake with no icing.

As I was getting set to walk back home I bumped into 99 just were he always used to be. He wanted to get out to Bend and see how those Bundy cats did it. Walking around with big weapons? Getting mail service? What? I sure do not understand that either and with that headed down Main for the Hawthorne Bridge.

Micheal’s parents in Atlanta were practicing Christians and explained the rule about loving thy enemy. As his parents poured in love, Micheal experienced some of the opposite in the larger Atlanta community. He writes how was not allowed in any public park or swimming pool, had to give up his seat on the bus, and was called a n**** and slapped in his little boy face for being too close to a white women in a department store.

Like his father before him Micheal took on the name of Martin and, in the face of hate, Martin Luther King Jr choose love. He write that his parents are his most important influence and then Gandhi, Tolstoy, and Thoreau. And that he choose love because hate was too great a burden to bear.

KBOO News Coverage of Bartlett Petition for Information

I interviewed Mark Bartlett in KBOO production studio 2 this morning at 9. It was like two old polar bears tolerating each other in a not unfriendly way for a few minutes.

This is a link to the 15 minute audio piece.

This is a link to the Combs’ Memo.

This is a link to Oregonian Coverage

Here is my KBOO reader for the evening news:

Portland Mayor Hales rushed an unusual item on council agenda yesterday:
Authorize the City Attorney to institute proceedings challenging the District Attorney’s Order in the petition of Mark Bartlett: 10 minutes requested
It turns out that Mr Bartlett had a request for information denied by the city; last week the Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill ordered the city to disclose the information; and yesterday city council voted 4-1 in favor of Hale’s proposal: to use tax payer money to fight the release of 25 year old public information.
According to documents received by KBOO, what is at stake is the legality of the on-going destruction of Portland’s open reservoirs at Washington Park and Mt Tabor.

Even Novick, who voted No, seems to want to keep the information secret. He is quoted in the Oregonian as saying:
“I just don’t see a way around this, I think the law should be changed.”

Mr Bartlett’s volunteerism around this issue began in 2006 , when Portland Parks under Dan Saltzman, entered negotiations to sell part of Mt Tabor to Warner Pacific.

Mr Bartlett knows of the existence and likely content of the contested documents through a 2002 memo from water bureau employee Dan Combs.

Mr Bartlett explains how it is more expedient for council to treat property at Mt Tabor and Washington Park as if under a single city ownership. And that this contrasts a simple reading of the law as well as the 2002 memo from water bureau employee Dan Combs.

At stake in the sequestered documents, referenced in the Combs’ memo, is the extent to which city council members knew that their ongoing destruction of our open reservoirs was illegal from the start. These same city council members are now fighting the district attorney over release of the documents.