Wardsmith’s WTO Blanket Party


BlaiseP is the pseudonym of a peripatetic software contractor whose worldly goods can fit into an elderly Isuzu Rodeo. Bitter and recondite, he favors the long view of life, the chords of Steely Dan and Umphrey's McGee, the writings of William Vollman and Thomas Pynchon, the taste of red ale and his own gumbo. Having escaped after serving seven years of a lifetime sentence to confinement in hotel rooms, he currently resides in the wilds of Eau Claire County and contemplates the intersection of mixed SRID geometries in PostGIS.

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20 Responses

  1. Ian M. says:

    Your story jibes with my parent’s description of protests in the 60s. Everyone took out ear rings because police habitually ripped them off the ears. They took off glasses because police routinely broke them. I have a picture of my dad moments after a police officer drove a billy club through his glasses into his eye. He’s pretty happy not to have been blinded.


  2. b-psycho says:

    Curious if Ward has reconsidered how reconcilable the dueling concepts he starts this off with since those events.  Interesting that basically, were it not for the rare understanding of one cop (albeit with the odd inverse bribe of the ride in exchange for not pressing charges) the others would’ve killed him.



    • Will H. in reply to b-psycho says:

      Cops kill with impunity every other day in this nation.
      Get that through your skull.
      It matters not one whit if you’re a “law-abiding citizen” or not.
      There’s Team Blue, and then there’s the Bad Guys.
      If you don’t have a badge, that makes you a target.

      I saw a man I had known for 11 years shot to death by the police. He was the most phenomenal drummer I have ever known, and I have worked with about 20 different drummers in my time.
      The police stood milling about in roughly the same spot for about twenty minutes before the pistols came out. Then they lined up a firing squad, waited about five minutes, and then shot him when he fell over backwards off of a log.
      This was the lead story on the local news in Kansas City for two days running back in March of 2010. Every station carried the story for about a week-and-a-half to two weeks. And the Star was, without question, the consistently least reliable source of information.
      By December of that year, I was in constant fear of my life. I went into hiding in March of 2011.
      I really have no heart to go on about it now.
      I just woke up a few minutes ago anyway.

      But since that time, things have been better, and things have been worse. For much of Dec. 2011 through Feb. 2012, I lived my life in a constant state of panic; meaning I would snap wide-awake in a panic, and that panic would continue through every moment of the day in varying degrees, until I finally fell asleep, exhausted, in a panic.
      Feb. 13 I spent over an hour-and-a half at the FBI field office in Springfield. I delivered over 200 pages of documentation at that time. Then I was old that their policy concerning witness intimidation is to let the local authorities deal with the matter– which is exactly what I’m afraid of.

      Police can and do kill, and often they kill without cause.
      It is a rare thing to find a jury that will convict a police officer.
      Very rare.

      As for our wardsmith, I’m glad he came out of it in not worse shape.
      But the verbal agreement he entered into with the detective was illegal, because it was entered to under duress. You can’t waive your rights in exchange for not being assaulted.Report

      • b-psycho in reply to Will H. says:

        Cops kill with impunity every other day in this nation.
        Get that through your skull.

        You’re tellin me somethin I’ve recognized for quite awhile.Report

        • Will H. in reply to b-psycho says:

          Some places are really bad about it, and others (or so I hear) are more trustworthy.
          Better not to take the chance when it’s a life-and-death matter, the way I call it.

          Just wondering:
          You ever sat on a jury?Report

        • Will H. in reply to b-psycho says:

          Hey, b-psych. I hope you realize that comment above was supposed to go to the OP. And really, the one below was supposed to go as a reply to that one.
          I told you I’d just woke up.
          I was hoping you had replied elsewhere, so I could think that you had figured it out by now. But you didn’t, so I felt the need to fess up.
          I’ve been trying to cut down on that sort of thing, but I did it twice on one thread– a personal record.
          Anyway, sorry for any misunderstanding.Report

      • Tom Van Dyke in reply to Will H. says:

        Ward, I thought you grabbing the cop’s gun [even if only to take out the clip] was crazy.  I don’t care what led up to it, if you’d have been gunned down with a police weapon in your hand, well, the joke would be on you, eh?

        BTW, my office was hit by a bullet from this the other day, and another 20 slugs hit our building.


        120 shots fired in total.

        This stuff seems unimaginable, 120 shots?  Wouldn’t a hundred cover it?  Twenty, and then see what happens?

        On the other hand there’s nothing in the cop’s contract with society to die.  Better fired than dead, and anybody who would perform the job differently—or expect anybody else to—is not living in reality.


  3. Will H. says:

    Here’s some good news.
    I just saw this on PACER, in a document filed 4/16/12:

    8. The parties anticipate it may be appropriate to seek issuance of a protective order with regard to anticipated discovery in this case. In accordance with Local Rule 16.1(f)(7), any party who anticipates requesting a protective order shall serve on every other party a proposed protective order and proposed stipulation for its entry no later than the date of serving initial disclosures required in Fed. R. Civ. p. 26(a)(1), or shall state the cause within any motion for protective order filed with the Court.

    I hope to God that’s me they’re talking about there.
    Because over this past week, I’ve been working on a little writing project called:

    Motion to Excuse Witness from Appearing, Testifying,
    and Otherwise Participating in Official Proceedings
    Due to Incredible Amount of
    Tampering with a Federal Witness under Color of Law
    which Has Already Occurred

    Might as well ask the judge if it’s ok if we knock it off with the witness intimidation, because I think I understand the local authorities position on the matter just fine.Report

  4. Kris says:

    I would’ve found this story more believable if you’d said, “When the fifth cop showed up, I gave him the Vulcan neck pinch. I’m no Spock, but after three years on the Enterprise, I had learned a thing or two. After destroying Robocop, Shaft and Serpico cam along and told me how awesome I had been, and they gave me a lift to the moon.”Report

    • jetan in reply to Kris says:

      I’m with Kris. I have some experience with resisting cops. The normal drill goes something like 1) Resist cop, or even speak wise 2) Be beaten into jelly by all of his cop friends. And the ones I know get plumb “hasty” if they are disarmed. Maybe the Seattle police are all Ghandis, but this would be a ticket to the morgue in my area.


      • Wardsmith in reply to jetan says:

        I had no intention nor idea this comment would.be “promoted” to front page status. If I’d ben asked I would have said no.
        Just to be clear I did not “win”. I got my ass kicked. Unlike a lot of people that day who were looking for trouble, I most certainly was not.Report

        • BlaiseP in reply to Wardsmith says:

          I apologise for FP-ing this story.   Whatever anyone else may say of it, many of us believe it’s a tale well worth telling.   It rings true to life.   Pay no attention to these ass-biters.   In life, it is a question of making the right enemies.Report

  5. chris m says:

    I guess those cops broke the unwritten social contract ?  Guys in $1000 suits and $300 suits are supposed to be immune from police brutality right.  How dare they attack you when they could have been beating up all those hippies.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to chris m says:

      Because, atheist god knows, the problem is not with police brutality against people who don’t deserve it but because there isn’t *ENOUGH* police brutality against people who don’t deserve it.Report

      • Will H. in reply to Jaybird says:

        Really, this strikes me as exposing the weakness in whole libertarian gig on a pragmatic basis, and of “small government” arguments generally.
        These rely on effective oversight.
        There are way too many ways that we just don’t have that.
        I’ve made a complaint to Internal Affairs against a police officer before. That is practically worthless. IS is all about CYA. They are there to find no wrong-doing.
        Likewise, in far too many cases, the courts act as if they are there for the purpose of protecting shoddy police work rather than protecting the rights of citizens.
        And it is a damned sad thing for me to see when ward could come forward to tell his story of what happened to him over ten years ago and people would put it up for review on the believability meter as if they’re watching John Carter. Get real.
        As stated in my motion (sorry, fellas, but I have no intention of remaining silent about the matter– speaking up is the best line of defense that I have), which I hope to have filed in the US District Court of Western Missouri by this time next week:

        It is important to this witness that the integrity of the Court and of its proceedings should be protected. This witness is of the understanding that it is the role of the Courts to defend the rights of ordinary citizens from encroachment by the State. This witness is well aware that it is only through grave threat to his life and liberty that he would make the statements to the Court contained in this Motion, although he does so reluctantly and only as a last resort.

        WHEREFORE, this Witness, having filed his Motion with this Court, prays that the Court give full and thoughtful consideration to all of the matters described therein; that all manner of remedy, whether injunctive, declaratory, or otherwise available, be considered as this Court should deem appropriate; that the personal safety of the witnesses of this Court should be strictly observed according to applicable statute, that the integrity of the testimony given should be preserved; that the incredible amount of tampering with a federal witness under color of law which has already occurred should be held to be fully sufficient, and that no further witness intimidation need occur; that no one should live their life in fear or have cause to flee from their home for having been called as a witness in a federal matter.Report

        • James K in reply to Will H. says:

          Really, this strikes me as exposing the weakness in whole libertarian gig on a pragmatic basis, and of “small government” arguments generally.
          These rely on effective oversight.

          I have 2 problems with this line of reasoning:

          1) It seems to me that the more government does, the more oversight is needed.

          2) In many ways reducing the scope of government would make oversight easier.

          I should probably write a full post to elaborate, maybe later this week.Report