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Superfriends (and Superfoes) in Battle Creek’s Press Release Responding to Media’s Coverage of Hug/Moye Incident

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Written by Jeremiah Bannister
Research by Autumn Smith

After last night’s news coverage by both Dave Spencer of Fox 17 and Julia Fellows of Newschannel 3 regarding the controversial video obtained and published by PaleoRadio capturing Battle Creek Police Officer Christopher Hug’s arrest and treatment of Kenneth Moye, the City of Battle Creek has issued a press release, entitled, “City leaders discuss 2012 use of force incident timeline.” (You may read the press release by clicking on the image below.)

Press Release 1

(VIDEO & BLOG – “BCPD Cover-Up: Officer Body-Slams Local Resident)

Editor’s Note – The debate over whether Hug used excessive force seems to be all but settled here–though there’s always the possibility that the Michigan State Police officials scrutinizing the incident may conclude otherwise. The reason is simple: sides were settled in the city’s story. It’s all about narratives.

Allow me to explain, using a comparison to one of my all-time favorite vintage cartoons: Superfriends.

First, consider those exonerating Hug. Let’s refer to them as the Legion of Doom. The Legion would be comprised of:

1. Then-Police Chief Jackie Hampton, who resigned his post amidst all the controversy–much of it having landed at his doorstep!

2. Then-City Manager Ken Tsuchiyama, who, like Hampton, resigned his post after having quite enough of the nagging media rain clouds associated with Hurricane PaleoRadio.

3. Lastly, there’s the not-so-dynamic duo of Deputy Chief Jim Saylor and Inspector Maria Alonso. These folks have had a rought time of things lately, finding themselves in the fires of simultaneous lawsuits. One suit is on their own behalf, arguing that the city denied them due process–and that the city has ruined there careers. The other suit, however, names them as defendents, arguing that they are, to one degree or another, culpable for unauthorized secret cameras being placed in the BCPD women’s locker room.

On the other side–those who are skeptical of Hug’s exoneration–we’ve got the Hall of Justice. Members of this group within the story are:

1. Interim Police Chief Jim Blocker, “who has worked to address the incident since his appointment on Feb. 25.”

2. Two unnamed officers who’d witnessed the event. These officers had made additional claims, stressing that they had prohibited by Sgt. Jim Walters from filling out an accurate report on the incident. They were also refused the right to review the video so as to determine one way or another whether they say the incident rightly.

3. City Attorney Jill Steele, who, upon seeing the video, disagreed with those exonerating Hug. She went further than mere disagreement, requesting a “meeting with police use of force officials to review the legal use of force.”

4. Lastly*, there’s Dr. Darrell Ross, of Valdosta State University in Georgia. Ross is an expect brought in per the request of Blocker and Steele. After reviewing the video, he “determined that excessive force was used in the incident between Hug and Moye.”

* I know I said Ross was the last one, but I really ought to put Calhoun County Prosecutor Dave Gilbert on the side of the Hall of Justice within the city’s narrative. After all, the narrative aligns him with parties unconvinced by the Legion of Doom’s exoneration of Hug. At bare minimum, an asterisked ally.

It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out, to see how city officials and members of the media choose to frame the incident, how they choose to portray the characters and the institutions involved. Who will be a superfriend? Who will be a superfoe? Who knows? Nevertheless, and nuance notwithstanding, I don’t think it takes Superman’s exceptional vision to read the writing on these walls of Jericho…

BCPD Cover-Up: Officer Body-Slams Local Resident!

Written by Jeremiah Bannister
Research by Autumn Smith

In October of 2012, Kenneth Moye, a resident of Battle Creek, was violently beaten by Battle Creek Police Officer Chris Hug. Moye was beaten unconscious. Worse yet, he was body-slammed to the pavement! (Seriously, the maneuver Hug pulled off is the kind of thing you’d typically expect to see on WWE’s Monday Night Raw! WATCH THE VIDEO on PaleoRadio’s Facebook page!) Adding insult to injury, Moye was arrested for resisting arrest. After recovery, and after a little legal back-and-forth with the city, the decision was made to settle with Moye for over tens of thousands of dollars… and to allow Hug to keep his position… without penalty.

But, as expected, there’s more to the story.

Battle Creek Police Officer Tom Rivera witnessed Hug maliciously attack Moye. He was straightforward about it in his report, stating that he believed Hug’s use of force was both extreme and excessive–a critical criticism, as Hug has worked within the department as a trainer in defensive tactics. (Read: proper use and escalation of force) But Rivera was stopped short by Sgt. Jim Walters, who insisted that those details be excluded. Rivera claims that he was told he wasn’t even permitted to review the video. (In fact, Rivera saw the video for the first time only after it was published on PaleoRadio’s Facebook page!) For the BCPD, Hug’s macho man stunt was a tale best denied.

Enter: Calhoun County Prosecutor Dave Gilbert.

Officers from the BCPD approached Gilbert with news of this cover-up in April, 2013. During the discussion, the officers were told that, if true, this would be criminal activity–falsification of government documents is a felony. Within only a few hours, however, Gilbert pivoted positions when speaking to the media, insisting that he had not been made aware of any criminal activity within the department.

With the wave of their magically malicious wand, the BCPD and the County Prosecutor’s Office made sure the treacherous deeds of the day had been kept off the books and in the shadows.

Alas! PaleoRadio, loathers of secrets, lovers of light!

As the story unfolds, and it will–we’ve received word that Dave Spencer of Fox 17 may be covering our story later this evening!–we here at PaleoRadio encourage you to reflect seriously on the details. These details will be a few years old, and a litany of persons relevant to the investigation have bid farewell to city work.

For instance, some details will be familiar. Per usual, the Battle Creek Enquirer completely dropped the ball, as did every other television and radio news affiliate in the region. And as has come to be expected, the BCPD didn’t punish Hug–an internal “investigation” found him innocent of wrongdoing–and the prosecutor’s office decided against charging Hug with any crime at all.

But many details have changed! In fact, many of the people who may have been key players have since left public service. Former City Manager Ken Tsuchiyama is gone, as is former Police Chief Jackie Hampton. Then there’s Deputy Police Chief James Saylor and Inspector Maria Alonso, who right now are pressing federal charges against the city, claiming that they were denied due process… and that their careers were ruined. (And remember, this suit is happening while both Saylor and Alonso are named as defendants in an entirely different case brought by three female officers–two active, one formerly active–claiming that superiors had, among other things, secretly placed cameras throughout the BCPD women’s locker room for three months!) These people are gone or on their way out, which makes connecting dots for determining culpability a rather cumbersome task.

Ah, no worries, we here at PaleoRadio eat cumbersome tasks for breakfast…


Jeremiah Bannister is the creator, host and editor of PaleoRadio. Contact him at 269.317.1263 or at jeremiah.bannister@gmail.com.

Autumn Smith is an independent citizen journalist serving as a contributing editor to PaleoRadio. Contact her at 269.223.7812 or email her at autumns@reachoutjobsearch.com

Jehovah Loves the Insanely Faithful

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Here’s another gem from the The Watchtower magazine the Jehovah’s Witnesses recently gave me. This one comes from pg. 25 and is entitled, “Making Jehovah Your God.” The piece is aimed at encouraging Witnesses to commit their lives more fully to Jehovah and focuses on the lives of three men: Father Abraham, King David and the prophet Elijah.

With each of these men there is a story in focusFor Abraham, the focus was on his willingness in Genesis 22 to act upon a thought or feeling that in order to prove his love and obedience to his new-found deity, he was to sacrifice his only son, he and Sarah’s miracle baby Isaac. There’s no indication that he sought any counsel. In fact, there’s no indication that Jehovah conversing with him was anything different from what modern believers describe when insisting that God has told them to go on a mission trip or to give up chocolate for Lent. More than this, however, Abraham lied repeatedly about his intentions–he lied to pretty much everyone of importance in his life–failing even to mention the meddlesome fact that he intended to murder his own son! Abraham harbored these intentions for three days while walking alongside (and likely conversing with) his son and servants.

Once reaching the mountain, he continues deceiving everyone involved, assuring them that he and Isaac will be right back. Abraham couples this with a weird barrage of last minute attempts to name-and-claim his alternative sacrifice into existence, assuring Isaac, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” Upon reaching the mountaintop, Abraham binds his son, raises his blade to the sky, and at the last minute hears yet another voice tell him that the point has been made and that it’s now okay to kill a ram instead of his son.

The story abruptly ends, never talking about the aftermath of the insanity. No mention of how Sarah felt once realizing what the hell Abraham was up to. There’s no reference to the psychological ramifications this may have had on any and all of those involved. Nothing of Isaac, nothing about the servants, nothing at all.

For Kind David, all the attention was on his rendezvous with Bathsheba in 2 Samuel 12. King David sees Bathsheba, lusting after her from a distance, only to close that gap with a little skin on skin. Bathsheba gets pregnant. But there’s one irksome fact he just can’t dodge: Bathsheba is married to a man named Uriah. Uriah is a patriot, a soldier fighting for the king and the kingdom; but Uriah had to go. So David plotted against him, placing him on the front line of a battle. It was a death sentence.

After Uriah was dead, David took Bathsheba for his own. But Jehovah let the prophet in on this nasty little bit of treachery, so he confronted David. Once David realized he was busted, he repented. But that wasn’t enough. Jehovah looked the fool  in the eyes of his enemies, and Jehovah cares deeply about that kinda thing. Apparently, the best (or only) option was for Jehovah to kill the baby Bathsheba was delivering via a divinely-induced abortion.

As for Elijah, the Watchtower honed in on the epic face-off between Jehovah’s prophet and the prophet of Baal in I Kings 18. Long story short, Elijah was fed up with the claims of the prophets of Baal, so he challenged them to a duel of sorts: a prayer-off!

This prayer-off was different, though. Each side was to build an altar, pray to their god, and wait to see which god cared enough show himself. In one corner, 450 prophets of Baal slashing their flesh, babbling prophecies and dancing about. In the other corner, one prophet of Jehovah, Elijah. He wasn’t cutting his flesh but he was talking some serious godsmack, asking whether Baal had gone to the side–read: Is Baal hiding around the corner, taking a whiz? The prayer-off ends with Jehovah responding to Elijah’s prayer with a rather superb display of fire pouring out of heaven devouring the altar drenched multiple times with water so as to clear up any doubt that fire from heaven was magical.

But that wasn’t all! Oh, no, Elijah then went on to slay the 450 prophets of Baal with his sword. Predictably, this murderous stunt landed him in the hot seat with kingdom royalty–the priests functioned as state officials. So Elijah, fearing for his life, fled to an isolated place where he felt so sorely alone. (Go figure!)

These stories are wildly popular narratives. Most Americans know something or other about Father Abraham and King David, though the tale of Elijah is a little more obscure–I was surprised that The Watchtower chose Elijah over Job, but whatever.

It makes me wonder, though. Why are these stories so popular? They’re recklessly barbaric tales involving insanely faithful ancients doing treacherous things that most Americans–even most modern American believers–deem morally offensive and/or outright illegal! Do most people not cringe upon hearing someone insist that Jehovah, Jesus or Allah instructed them to prove their faith with a divinely-inspired willingness to lie, cheat and steal? What drives believers to view such sickening stories as legendary tales of faith and good works to be understood and appreciated by modern people? And what may we really learn from the popular reception of these stories, particularly among those who otherwise harbor a healthy distaste for the kind of immoral and illegal behavior enshrined in these stories?

I’m sure people have their answers–I once had my own–and I’m as sure that they’re answers are as curiously complex. So I’ll keep my answer to The Watchtower’s invitation to make Jehovah my god to the point: All things in your pitch considered, I think I’ll leave Jehovah to those better able to stomach his insidious inspirations and diabolical demands.

PS – May something be said of The Watchtower artist’s decision to place a Jesus lookalike on Abraham’s altar? Penny for your thoughts.

Can I Get a (Scientific) Witness?

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A few weeks ago, Jehovah’s Witnesses stopped by the house to leave me with what was intended to be their thought-out response to a number of questions that arose during our last discussion a few months back. The bone of contention at that time: how their Young Earth Creationism and bible-literalism smack in the face of what we know both of ourselves and of the cosmos via science. The common refrain during the discussion was, “I’m not sure how to answer that, Jeremiah. We’ll have to speak with other Witnesses and get back with you.” So I was a little peeved once I realize that the long-awaited reply took the form of the April 1, 2005 edition of The Watchtower entitled, “Science and the Bible: Do They Contradict Each Other?”

It was bad… oh, so bad.

Allow me to summarize with the intended takeaway from the feature:

“One religion writer observed: ‘The lesson to be learned from Galileo, it appears, is not that the Church held too tightly to biblical truths; but rather that it did not hold tightly enough.’”

(Intrusio – The quote above is taken from, uuuuuummmm, Eden Communications’ Mark Van Bebber… sure, you know him, that one religion writer from Films for Christ? Anyway, The Watchtower doesn’t mention him or his organization by name; in fact, like a myriad of quotes in their publication, there is no reference whatsoever. Apparently, the folks over at The Watchtower propaganda mill aren’t sticklers for proper citation… or for recognizable sources.)

So how exactly did The Watchtower arrive at this conclusion? Brashly, predictably. Here’s the rundown:

A few jabs at Greek philosophers here… a couple shots at Roman Catholics there… an assurance that the bible is generally accurate when talking about natural phenomenon… here’s a reference to ancient speculation regarding what moderns now refer to as the water cycle… oh, and lookie here, there’s even a reference to something a few prophets vaguely referred to as “statutes of the moon and stars” … wrapping up with a reminder of how amazing it is that the ancients in Israel knew what the rest of the world took thousands of years to discover.

Voila! Convinced now, Jeremiah?

Um, give me a second… (wait for it)… no.

Even so, I’m not exactly sure how to take all this. I mean, there’s a part of me that can’t help but to feel offended. This was supposed to be the Witnesses respectfully though-out response to what they all admitted to be respectfully thought-out questions and criticisms. I felt like one of those poor guys who have family members come back from vacation with nothing more than a stupid hat reminding everyone that all they got was a stupid hat. Seriously, lame.

Then I got to thinking, this likely is just that: the best they could come up with! This consideration wasn’t so much offensive as it was saddening–so saddening, in fact, that I felt a sense of guilt for even being offended in the first place! If this was the best they had to offer–as their actions seem to indicate–then what ought I to think, and how ought I to feel? And what should I say upon their return? Surely they’ll ask…

Un-com-fortable!

And as much as I hate judging books by their covers, I think the cover of the April 1, 2005 edition of The Watchtower may prove a reasonable exception. After all, it seems awfully symbolic of the entire “science and Young Earth Creationism” debate to have the planets, stars and telescope photo edited into a picture of a man looking all sorts of perturbed while reading his bible! All being read and done, this picture alone would’ve sufficed…

RELEVANT INVITATION – Not satisfied with religious mumbo-jumbo parading itself as science? Consider watching Cosmos: A Space Odyssey, featuring Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Better yet, if you live in or around Grand Rapids, consider joining others like-minded souls at Mayan Buzz Cafe on Sunday nights for an evening of coffee and Cosmos! The show airs at 9 p.m. EST on the Fox network but people start rolling in around 8-8:30. Hope to see you there!

The Media’s Madness Over Mental Illness Lacks Perspective

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Manning an M60 machine gun atop a Humvee while standing guard near the piers at Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut.

“Because we only talk about mental illness in relation to violence, it seems natural to connect them. But these connections lead us to bad judgments.” From “Guns, Media and Mental Illness After Newtown,” by B.D. McClay.


In light of tragic events in Fort Hood, I’ve decided to speak openly about something rather personal. I don’t speak of this often but I’ve been diagnosed with bipolar disorder since 2002. It didn’t come as a shock–it came as a mental breakdown during my first year in the United States Navy. I was stationed at Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut. At the time, I was part of the base’s Auxiliary Security Force (ASF). As someone qualified to use an M60, most of my time was spent manning the guns atop a Humvee at various gates as well as standing watch at the end of the piers where the submarines were in port. In short, an undiagnosed bipolar sailor whose job it was to guard the base with M60s, handguns, and military rifles had a mental breakdown.

So far, so bad. But how did things play out?

Simply put, I realized I was having a mental breakdown and called the base hospital. My fiance–the woman I’m now married to–accompanied me to the base, where we explained the nature of our visit to my shipmates standing guard. I was a wreck, crying, then laughing, then getting angry, then crying, then laughing because I was crying, on and on and on. Within a few hours, I was off (of my own accord) to a civilian mental clinic where they would analyze me, diagnose me, medicate me, and involve me in group therapy. After two weeks, I was sent back to the base where the Navy began discharge procedures.

Why do I tell you this? After all, it’s grossly embarrassing. I loved what I was doing, and I loved my shipmates. Plus, I was soon to start A School for sonar technicians. The last thing I wanted was, I dunno, a nervous breakdown resulting in my being diagnosed bipolar and discharged from the Navy. But I wasn’t violent, and I definitely didn’t go racing around town for guns to kill my shipmates. More importantly, since being discharged, I’ve met and spoken with so many veterans also diagnosed with having mental health issues. Of all those men and women, none were raging murderers. In fact, and unsurprisingly given the data, most of these people were strongly opposed to violence–myself included.

Admittedly, I haven’t spoken to every veteran in the United States. Additionally, their stories, along with my own, are anecdotal–and riddled with a host of personal biases, I’m sure. But so are the instances of people with (or without) mental health issues going on a killing spree, and that’s really my point. Not every person with mental health problems is a raging lunatic–to conjure up the spirit of the National Rifle Association’s Wayne LaPierre–much less a raging murderer lying in wait.

And while reflecting on these things, bookmark this entry concerning a study regarding the cost of unmet mental health treatment for veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. According to a study by the National Council for Behavioral Health, “The report calculates that of the 2.4 million active duty and reserves who were deployed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001, almost 30 percent (730,000 men and women) will have a mental health condition. More than 18 percent will suffer from PTSD, major depression or a combination of both disorders.” 

Sadomasochistic Christianity on Display at Liberty University

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“Religious liberty has never been more under attack.” Sen. Ted Cruz (R, TX)

Case-in-point, Senator Cruz? Wow, really, you’re talking about the Affordable Care Act? And to think, for a second, I was almost taking you seriously…

I hear this kind of religiopolitical sensationalism all the time. (Correction: I’ve heard that kind of religiopolitical sensationalism all my life!) Having attended dozens of churches pastored by dozens of End Times enthusiasts and newspaper exegetes, I can admit to hearing that nonsense, I dunno, a few gazllion times, give or take. Eventually, it reminded me of the ancient Jewish proverb regarding visitors & fish: after a while, shit just gets old.

“Ah, man, I accidentally pulled my speech about how Obama disagrees with Jesus on the Second Amendment! Where is my speech about Obamacare’s assault on that old tyme religious opposition to birth control? No, that’s not it, either. That’s my speech about how Obama plans to put Christians in jail for decorating Christmas trees. Screw it, these things always read the same anyway. I’ll just fill in the blanks, no one will know the difference. *scribble, scribble, scribble* Voila! Thank the trinitarian Jesus for boilerplate, baby!”

And who is Cruz trying to kid, anyway? He’s speaking at Liberty University! The school has over 12,000 residential students and 90,000 online students, making LU the largest Evangelical Christian university on the planet… and it’s right here in the gool ol’ U.S. of A. The campus includes a theological seminary, a cinematic arts school, a college of osteopathic medicine, a law school, and a school of music. The students are at least nominally Christian as they must adhere to The Liberty Way, an obligatory university standard regarding faith and practice. With the exception of scientific work–LU embraces the long-discredited religious belief in Young Earth Creationism–graduates from the school go on to do work in most every relevant field within the American political economy! Lo, the hardships of being a Christian in the U.S.

So what could make an arena of relatively educated Christians gobble up Cruz’s recycled nonsense?

Truth: Among other things, the reception of Cruz’s apocalyptic message has less to do with the reality of America’s political, cultural or legal situation so much as it is to do with the cognitive dissonance experienced by conservative Christians in attendance as a result of the school being a culture that embraces a pessimistic dispensational eschatology (read: Rapture Madness!) while simultaneously advocating a kind of sado-masochistic social dominionism that wishes to subject “all things American” to Jesus via the partisan vehicle of the Republican party. It’s the same sort of mental gymnastics required of Christians who, on the one hand, loathe themselves as radically depraved worms totally undeserving of Jesus’s mercy while, on the other hand, going on to insist that they’re a chosen race, a royal priesthood, and a holy nation that shouldn’t hide their light under a bushel so much as they should shove it in the faces of any and all neighbors who happen to disagree with them. It’s tantamount to insisting that Jesus wants everyone to shine brass on a sinking ship… or else there’s hell to pay!

In fairness, Cruz probably kinda sorta believes what he’s peddling. The same holds true for those listening to his speech at Liberty University. But in so far as everyday life is concerned, these folks know better. All of them! They’re members of the biggest religious club in town: Christianity. They live, move and have their being in relative peace, enjoying what they otherwise boast of as a religious liberty unrivaled by any nation in human history. They attend church, talk about religion publicly, witness to friends, attend Christian concerts, watch Christian television, read Christian magazines, listen to Christian radio, participate in worship groups, start Christian businesses, attend Christian schools, like Christian Facebook pages, listen to Christian podcasts, run as Christian politicians, etc. etc. etc. The list could go on and on and on, ad nauseam!

BOTTOM LINE: I think that, if nothing else, an openly religious senator talking openly about religion to an openly-religious audience in an openly religious school in the overwhelmingly religious state of Virginia within the predominantly religious United States ought to be sufficient to prove the obvious: religious liberty in modern American is doing juuuuust fine.

I Believe What I Believe Because…

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“We form our beliefs for a variety of subjective, personal, emotional, and psychological reasons in the context of environments created by family, friends, colleagues, culture, and society at large; after forming our beliefs we then defend, justify, and rationalize them with a host of intellectual reasons, cogent arguments, and rational explanations. Beliefs come first, explanation for beliefs follow. I call this process belief-dependent realism, where our perceptions about reality are dependent on the beliefs that we hold about it. Reality exists independent of human minds, but our understanding of it depends upon the beliefs we hold at any given time.”

From the prologue of Michael Shermer‘s book, The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies – How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths.

Jiminy Cricket whispers this in my ear every time I hear someone say, “I used to believe X for no reason at all” or “I don’t believe anything unless I familiarize myself with all the literature.” You know you’ve heard someone say something similar to that before! Heck, you’ve probably said it yourself about a thing or two over the years, right? Silly humans, these mental tricks are for… darn it, they’re for everyone? Even me? Aw, man, what a bummer…

All joking aside, this seems to be a pretty decent recipe for understanding the diversity of worldviews entertained by fellow human beings–including ourselves, of course. It’s not difficult to imagine how accepting as much could assist humans in better maneuvering in and about sticky social  situations wherein disagreements run both deep & wide. (Thanksgiving dinner, anyone? And what of, I dunno, matters like war, prejudice and partisan politics, sectarian religion, sports talk radio, etc.?) It all rings of humility, I think… the kind of humility that a good dose of reality seems to both require and provide.

My Mammalian Me

Cookie, by Donald Roller Wilson

Great Apes? Tis true,
bona fide, through-&-through! 

True story: I’ve always had a psychological difficulty with the fact that humans are animals.  Well, that’s not completely true. I never had a hard time imagining other humans to be animals, particularly those I didn’t much care for. But me? An animal? No way.

The reasons are complex, no doubt, but I’m sure they’re also common. I’m certain, for example, that some of it can be traced to my upbringing. My parents believed (and continue to believe) in young earth creationism–unabashed in its dominionistic anthropocentrism. The same is true of the churches we attended and the schools we were enrolled in. (Heck, I can’t recall a single out-and-open Darwinist in our family’s social networks… not ever!) Or maybe it had more to do with my various phobias. Fear of the dark, fear of deep water, fear of the unknown and uncontrollable. Or is it likely that human nature is simply so pervasive that it kinda hides itself in plain sight? Whatever the reasons, I’m sure it’s a mishmash of these factors (and many more!), each playing diverse roles and bearing varying emphases throughout different seasons of my life. 

Alas, somewhere along the line, it hit me. To quote from The Moral Animal, by Robert Wright: “The human species is the human predicament.” For all the time and energy wasted kicking the goads, accepting that what I have been, what I currently am, and what I will always be is an animal required nothing more than accepting that what I have been, what I currently am, and what I will always be is me. Behold! The leopard has changed his spots!

Now selah for yourselves, bitches!

PS – I have this thing all the kids are calling Facebook. Send me a friend request!

 

Saying Goodbye to MH370

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Reuters reports, “Speaking at a late night press conference in Kuala Lumpur, [Prime Minister] Najib Razak said the conclusion [that MH370 was lost in the Indian Ocean] was based on new analysis of data from an automated satellite system on the plane. He asked the media to respect the privacy of the families.”

(Watch the prime minister’s emotional announcement here.)

We here at PaleoRadio would like to extend our sympathies to the surviving family and friends of the 239 passengers and crew lost on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

Employee Relations Director Claggett, Bails as Cards Continue to Fall

Written by: Autumn Smith

Russ Claggett, the Employee Relations Director for the City of Battle Creek, is now the latest casualty among city officials who have decided to part ways and seek employment elsewhere since the corruption allegations within the BCPD continue to be substantiated and city leadership continues to fall. Claggett announced that he intends to part ways with the city effective May 16, 2014.

Claggett’s role in the corruption issues can be best compared to the ‘man behind the curtain’ in the movie The Wizard of Oz. Tasked with handling employee relation concerns, Claggett is more of the behind the scenes guy that deals with employee issues as needed. He also directly works with department heads who oversee employees and the city manager.

With Claggett’s position being part of the chain of command should employee’s have a grievance or issue they want to address, many of the serious issues that we have reported here at PaleoRadio had went across Mr. Claggett’s desk where many times, nothing was done.

Claggett was involved in the complaint that a officer made regarding a knife that was stuck in his mailbox, a death threat–in which Mr. Claggett failed to follow city policy and even respond within the 10 day time frame city policy requires. Claggett’s timing to announce and part ways isn’t fishy at all  (insert sarcasm) since in recent weeks the city has seen a mass exodus of the cities top ranking officials including the city manager and police chief  along with the current pending lawsuit against the city involving unauthorized cameras being placed in the female locker room in the police department.  The city is expected to settle the lawsuit out of court, and due to the serious nature of the violations alleged, could cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars or more.

It is no surprise that Claggett was next to run away considering that he appeared to pledge his loyalty to in all of this– Tsuchiyama, Hampton, and Saylor-and recent weeks have shown how well they have panned out. And now that his three buddies are out of the picture, Claggett has done what any honorable person would do, instead of owning up and admitting anything– he is clicking his heals together getting the hell out of dodge and leaving the land of Oz.

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