Are You Getting Ready For The Big R: Retirement?

Twenty and Thirty Somethings are being warned by financial advisors that it’s never too early to start planning for their Retirement. Of course, they’re talking about dollars. How much will you need to live on? How much should you put away each year? The answers are toted up using actuarial tables for life span and adjustments for inflation. All very quantitative and orderly.

Meanwhile, a surprising new AARP survey reveals that more than half of our 76 million Baby Boomers plan to work past the traditional retirement age. And not for the money. Rather, because they enjoy their work or want to try something completely new.

In Washington, Congress tiptoes around the perennial budget busters, Social Security and Medicare. Dare they raise the retirement age to 67 or even to 70? Can they even have serious discussions in election years? They know only too well that senior citizens vote in large numbers. Whoa! When it comes to the Big R, we may all need to question our basic assumptions and attitudes about work and retirement.

First, there are certain people who announce clearly and firmly that they will never retire. We read an obituary describing an octogenarian (or older) who “went into the office every day until last Thursday”. We know doctors, lawyers, small store owners, writers, entertainers and others who never stop their full time endeavors.

However, most men and women today do leave full time work at 62 or 65 when Social Security kicks in. And they often take this gigantic step into the unknown without a plan in place. When this happens, the other dimensions of Retirement take center stage. Yes, money is important. But two other crucial factors: good health and pursuing one’s interests in life. While we are putting away our savings and growing the IRAs and 401K plans, are we planning and building the other two dimensions as well?

As children, we were plagued by adults asking the nagging question, “What are you going to be when you grow up?” Now, that we have not only grown up but have also grown older, and hopefully wiser, there seems to be a new question. One that we tend to ask ourselves during serious reflection at three in the morning, “What am I going to do with the rest of my life?”

Some retirees avoid such existential distress. Their plans were made decades ago. Escape the cold winters and move to Florida or Arizona. Become ‘Snow Birds’. Play golf and tennis. Read. Relax. Buy a RV and see the country. Spend more time with the grandchildren. Deep six the alarm clock! And, yet, for many others, the retirement years may not fall neatly into a projected design.

In her provocative book, Wisdom and The Senses, Joan Erikson wrote, “Love, intimacy and work provide life with its essential meaning…” A strong statement, in a book that stresses creativity as the key to healthy human growth and development. Erikson, a psychologist, wrote this book when she was well beyond retirement age.

The Boomers appear to agree with her. They expect Social Security and Medicare to be there for them, but they are not planning to give up work. They do plan to be healthy, active and pursuing new careers or interests. So much for “old dogs not learning new tricks”.

What appears to be emerging is a new perspective on the Big R. Yes, we need to put away our savings and grow the 401K plans and the IRAs. And yes, we need to eat right, exercise regularly and stay fit. The big change is that retirement is no longer seen as a sharp break from the world of work. It is emerging as a gradual shift to more freedom of choice in one’s pursuits. That choice may include full time or part time work, or volunteer work for worthy causes.

One friend of 82 who recently gave up his full time job is searching for a “ passion”, a reason to get up in the morning as he describes it. He’s way ahead of the Boomers in age, but definitely on the same wave length. He summed it up the other day, when he said, “I’m never going to retire from life.”

I’ll second that. How about you? Are you getting ready for the Big R?

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

“Wisdom and the Senses” by Joan Erikson and “Ripening Time: Inside Stories for Aging With Grace” by Sherry Ruth Anderson are both available on Amazon.com

Advertisements

Holocaust Museums: Jerusalem and Whitwell, Tennessee

Sixty years after the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp, a new Holocaust history museum opened in Jerusalem at Yad Vashem on March 15, 2005. Heads of state and cabinet ministers from over 40 countries — mostly from Europe — gathered at the museum that was created and built over a ten years period.

Ariel Sharon, Israel’s Prime Minister, told the 1,500 guests and dignitaries, “When you leave this museum, you see the sky of Jerusalem. I know how a Jew feels when he emerges from these depths and breathes the air of Jerusalem. He feels at home. He feels protected. He feels the terrible difference between living in one’s own country which can provide protection and standing alone, utterly defenseless, confronting a beast in human form.”

The new museum, designed by the Israeli architect Moshe Safdie, is housed in a concrete building that cuts across the Mount of Remembrance. Largely underground, it tries to tell the story of the six million Jewish dead — half of whom are still un-named— through the diaries, photographs, experiences and testimonials of about one hundred individuals. Behind the dais with the dignitaries on dedication day were projected images, the faces of Jewish children who had perished. The museum employs modern film techniques and recreation of reality through artifacts from the Nazi era of deportation to the death camps.

Elie Wiesel, the Nobel laureate and author of Night and other books about the Holocaust, has said that it is impossible to tell six million stories. “One can tell one story.” Wiesel has also reached the supremely ironic conclusion, “The Jews of Europe lacked imagination. They couldn’t imagine that anyone would do what the Nazis did to them.” The aim at Yad Vashem is to tell one hundred stories of the Jews of Europe who were exterminated — and through them to transmit the authentic horror of the Holocaust.

Another Holocaust museum has been created thousands of miles from Jerusalem in the tiny town of Whitwell Tennessee, (population 1,600) nestled in a valley between the mountains of Appalachia. This most unlikely of sites grew out of a remarkable project started in the public schools in l998 when the principal and two eighth grade teachers wanted to teach their students about diversity, prejudice and tolerance. In this all white and all Christian community, they chose the Holocaust as the subject for the project.

The powerful documentary movie, “Paper Clips” follows the classes as they decide to collect six million paper clips to symbolize the Jews who were killed by the Nazis. Paper clips had been invented in Norway and they learned that citizens of Norway wore paper clips in their lapels during the Nazi era to show their defiance. The students’ task was daunting but they approached it in many ways. Studying and learning what had happened in Europe was the first step. Almost all were unfamiliar with the Holocaust when they began. Thus the plan was “simple but profound” as the principal described it. Their aim was “to honor every soul” who had died.

As they sought ways to publicize their project, hundreds of thousands of paper clips started to arrive. There were also letters and memoirs from survivors. And photographs. A feature on NBC news spread the story across the United States and overseas. Every set of paper clips that came in was recorded as to sender. The numbers grew as paper clips flowed into the Whitwell post office. An old battered suitcase came from Germany with paper clips inside, each with a note in German, as to the person they represented. A translator was found to read each note in English.

A group of survivors from Long Island traveled to Whitwell to meet the students and to tell them about the death camps — and the families they had lost. This experience was very emotional for the students, their teachers and the Whitwell citizens who attended an open meeting. The film recorded the evening and the reactions of the students to listening to the survivors. For the students, meeting these men and women put a human face on the millions of paper clips flooding into their school.

Over a four year period as the project continued, 25 million paper clips were collected — and recorded. 25,000 personal letters, memoirs and photographs were received and catalogued. The cap stone of the project was the transporting of one of the rail cars from the Nazi era that had been used to take Jews to the death camps. An American couple of German heritage, the Shroeders, had become interested in the project and went to Germany where they found the car and supervised the shipping to Whitwell by ocean freighter and flat bed truck.

The railway car stands today as the central focus of the Whitwell Holocaust Museum. Inside the rough wooden walls, preserved with the narrow slits showing glimpses of light, is the space that once held up to one hundred people. The car now holds exhibits of the letters, the photographs, the suitcase from Germany and eleven million paper clips in containers— six million for the Jews who died and five million for Gypsies, homosexuals, political prisoners and others who also died as victims of the Nazi regime.

Classes visit Whitwell from all over the region. Eighth grade students act as guides inside the railway car museum. They show the exhibits and the paper clips — and tell the story of the Holocaust to the visitors. The paper clips project stands as a tribute to the educators and their students who dedicated themselves to understanding how the evil of the Holocaust could have happened. The Whitwell Museum is a permanent monument to their inspiring endeavor.

Enhanced Interrogation Meant Torture!

Enhanced Interrogation Meant Torture!

This has been a week of startling revelations about how the Central Intelligence Agency (C.I.A.) reacted to protect the country from further attacks after the September 11, 2001 disaster. There is no question that our leaders and citizens were all in shock when the Twin Towers collapsed after two hijacked airplanes flew directly into them. Viewers across the nation and the world were riveted by live pictures from New York City on television. The Pentagon was hit next by a third hi-jacked plane, while the fourth was brought down by courageous passengers before it could reach its target in Washington D.C.

It is now more than thirteen years later and we have learned how the C.I.A. was given the power to capture and imprison terrorists with Al Qaeda by a secret order signed by President George W. Bush. They first planned to adhere to the United States Army Field Manual which prohibits coerced, painful questioning. C.I.A. lawyers wrote in November, 2001 that the prisons would “be tailored to meet the requirements of U.S. law and the federal rules of criminal procedure.” We now know that plan never happened.

On Tuesday, December 9, Senator Dianne Feinstein, chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, spoke for an hour on the floor of the chamber. She disclosed essential parts of the five- year committee report on the actions of the C.I.A. since 9/11 to the senators and the world. In the foreword to the report, she wrote, “It is my sincere and deep hope that through the release of these findings and conclusions and executive summary that U.S. policy will never again allow for the secretive indefinite detention and the use of coercive interrogations.” Five hundred pages were released to the media including the executive summary and conclusions of the still classified 6,700 page complete investigation.

Newspaper front page articles and television commentators explored key findings of the report. They included: Explicit descriptions of the “enhanced interrogation” methods used to extract information from prisoners in the “black sites” overseas . The countries where the prisons existed stretched from Poland and Lithuania in Europe, to Morocco in Africa , Afghanistan in the Middle East and Thailand in Asia. Thirteen brutal methods included: water boarding, prolonged sleep deprivation, wall slamming, nudity, iced water dousing, stress positions and threats to their families. The most important conclusion committee members reached from their years of studying cables, memos, emails, reports and other documents was that the harsh methods DID NOT WORK. They certainly did not produce information that led to the capture and death of Osama Bin Laden It was traditional methods of questioning a detainee, Hassan Ghul, by skilled C.I.A investigators in 2002 that caused him to sing “like a Tweetie bird” . This led to the courier , the compound in Pakistan and Bin Laden’s eventual death.

The Senate Intelligence Report also related how outside contractors were hired to plan and supervise the interrogation of prisoners. Two former military psychologists, James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, had taught Air Force officers how to resist torture if captured during the Korean War. However, they had no experience as actual interrogators, did not speak any of the detainees languages and had no knowledge of Al Qaeda or Islam. They drew on a theory developed in the 1960’s to create “ a sense of helplessness” in dogs. In a laboratory setting, the dogs were given shocks until they reached a stage of “ learned helplessness”. Mitchell and Jessen became convinced that brutal techniques including water boarding would eliminate detainees “sense of control and predictability” and induce a desired level of “helplessness”. It should be noted that when the report was released, one of the original researchers, the psychologist who conducted the initial studies on dogs, Martin Seligman, said he was “grieved and horrified” that his work was cited to justify abusive interrogations of humans.

Dianne Feinstein had been under enormous pressure from the administration and the Republicans not to release the Intelligence Committee Report. Secretary of State John Kerry warned that there would be severe repercussions from the countries where the ‘black site’ prisons had existed. The Republican members of the committee, who did not participate in the five year investigation, released their own Minority Report. Both reports made clear that President Bush did not know the extent of the brutal interrogations from 2002 until 2006 when he was given more detailed information. His three lawyers insisted that the enhanced interrogations were legal and not torture as defined by the Geneva Conventions. They were David S. Addington, Jay S. Bybee and John C. Yoo.

When Barack Obama became president in 2009, he declared the enhanced interrogation techniques to be “torture” and ordered an immediate stop to them in all government prisons here and abroad. By 2014, he felt release of the Senate Intelligence Report would put the nation’s focus back on the past when his goal was to shape the future years. Yet, Senator Feinstein knew that if she did not release the report, the Republicans who would control the Intelligence Committee in January would never release it. She said, “I came to the conclusion that America’s greatness is being able to say we made a mistake and we are going to correct it and go from there.” She felt that a relatively small number of C.I.A. workers were guilty of “brutality in stark contrast to our values as a nation.” Senator Martin Heinrich, who sat on the committee, said, “Given the coordinated efforts to try to keep that report from coming out, you can just see how much strength and backbone she has.”

On Thursday, December 11, John Brennan, the Director of the C.I. A. gave a 40 minute speech and press conference to defend the agency against charges of “torture”. He called the C.I.A. workers “patriots” and declared cryptically that the results of harsh tactics are “unknown and unknowable.” He was questioned in depth by reporters but stayed with his original narrative of how from 9/11 on, the C.I.A. workers stayed on their posts to avert any more attacks and to keep Americans safe. Brennan never used the word ‘torture’, but did acknowledge that a small number of C.I.A. officers had used “interrogation methods that were not authorized, were abhorrent and rightly should be repudiated by all.” He stressed that, “the overwhelming majority of officers involved in the program” carried out their responsibilities “faithfully and in accordance with the legal and policy guidance they were provided.”

Severe critics of the Intelligence report are led by former Vice President Dick Cheney, who appeared on Fox News and vehemently insisted that everything that was done was legal. He declared, “I would do it again in a minute!“ Cheney did admit he had not read the Senate Intelligence report —but it was “full of crap.” He was joined by several Fox commentators who blamed the committee for never interviewing C.I.A. officials. Apparently they did not know the facts — that a federal investigation was going on from 2006 that prohibited anyone interviewing C.I.A. officials. Dick Cheney secured five deferments during wartime and never served in the military. His responses to the torture allegations are in direct contrast to Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona.

Senator McCain was a navy fighter pilot during the Vietnam War who was captured and brutally tortured for years at the ‘Hanoi Hilton’ prison. On the day Senator Feinstein spoke to the Senate, he rose and said, “ I understand the reasons that governed the decision to resort to these interrogative methods, and I know that those who approved them and those who used them were dedicated to secure justice for the victims of terrorist attacks and to protecting Americans from further harm… but I dispute wholeheartedly that it was all right for them to use these methods, which this report makes clear were neither in the best interests of justice nor our security nor the ideals we have sacrificed so much blood and treasure to defend. Torture is a stain on our national conscience. We are always Americans, and different, stronger and better than those who would destroy us.”

Food Insecure Means Hungry!

Food Insecure Means Hungry !

The United States Department of Agriculture released a report the first week of September, 2013 that found for the fifth year in a row one in six Americans are “food insecure” — millions of them children. Although government language often deals in euphemisms, this one dates back to the Reagan administration in the 80’s when White House officials denied there was hunger in the United States. Since then, researchers at the Agriculture Department do not use the word ‘hunger’.

SNAP, the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, known to most Americans as food stamps, provides necessary sustenance to families in need. For four decades, food stamps have been a bulwark against hunger and malnutrition for millions of American families whose income falls below the poverty line. Most of the millions are children, the elderly, disabled and working poor. Before the 2008 recession, 26 million received food stamps. Since then, the number has grown to almost 47 million. Food stamps have become essential to the unemployed who may never have needed them before.

There is an ongoing contrast of fact versus fiction about the SNAP program and who the people in the program are. At present, members of Congress are debating cutting food stamps to balance the budget. Representative Paul Ryan, ( Republican of Wisconsin) is skeptical of people who “take” but do not “make” in our society in his support for cutting SNAP. As the chair of the Budget Committee, he carries huge weight and is joined by others who agree with him. Another representative reported seeing a man with a “crab legs in his shopping cart” using food stamps. His comment, “I can’t afford crab legs!” is the kind of single negative anecdote that is at odds with the overwhelming statistics and information from research agencies.

The Health Impact Project in Washington D.C. reported on July 30, 2013 that cutting SNAP would not only have the direct effect of causing hunger, but would also increase poverty. This combination of lack of food and poverty would lead to increases in illness like heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure among adults. Among children, the study found the cuts would lead to higher rates of asthma and depression. It was estimated that diabetes alone could increase federal and state health care costs by nearly $15 billion over the next decade.

Aaron Wernham, the director of the Health Impact Project, warned, “The SNAP program has implications for health, and we want to make sure that health is part of the debate. There is a large body of public health research which shows how food insecurity affects health.” Although he too used the euphemistic term, his conclusion was clear and significant. Yet, Representative Stephen Fincher, (Republican of Tennessee) who supported cutting SNAP in 2013, cited a Biblical reference in the food stamp debate in the House, “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” One wonders if he was referring to the children, the elderly or the disabled?

Nearly 47 million people currently receive food stamp benefits, costing about $80 billion a year. “These are the poorest of the poor,” said Kevin Concannon, the undersecretary for food, nutrition and consumer services at the Agriculture Department. “In many cases, these are people who are working who cannot make ends meet.” Aaron Wernham explained, “It’s a trade -off between paying for rent, medicine or food. Policy makers need to understand what the health impacts are going to be if they make the kinds of changes they are considering to the SNAP program.”

The food stamp program has been attacked openly by conservatives in Congress as it has grown over the past decade. Many Republicans claim that fraud is rampant in the program with benefits going to ineligible people. Yet, the Agriculture Department is on record saying fraud rates are higher in the crop insurance farm subsidies program than in the food stamp program. The Department of Agriculture uses an l8 item survey to determine ‘food insecurity‘. Questions are asked as whether they or any of their children have skipped eating for an entire day because of lack of money for food. The survey ranks the severity of their condition by the number of answers that indicate problems. About a third of households skipped meals and reduced portions during the past year. The other two thirds buy cheaper foods such as starches and rely heavily on food stamps, food pantries and soup kitchens. Parent reported that their children’s food needs came first.

The House of Representatives in 2013 proposed “work requirements” mandating able-bodied childless adults who did not find at least part- time employment would lose their food stamps after 90 days, even if local unemployment rates were very high. This punitive measure did not provide job training funds and ignored the fact that most food stamp recipients are children, the disabled, the elderly and lowest-income working parents. Eric Cantor, then the Majority Leader in the House had a plan that would encourage state governments to cut benefits back further so they could use dollars for various other programs.

Maura Daly, a Feeding America spokeswoman addressed the issue, “People have a lot of misimpressions about hunger in America. People think it is associated with homelessness, when in fact, it is working- poor families, it’s kids, it’s the elderly and disabled.” She also stressed that hunger is invisible particularly in rural areas. Representative Fincher, elected in 2010 on the Tea Party wave, had a very different view during the food stamp debate, “The role of citizens, of Christianity, of humanity is to take care of each other, not for Washington to steal from those in the country and give to others in the country. We have to remember there is not a big printing press in Washington that continually prints money over and over.” Robert Rector, of the conservative Heritage Foundation, advocated mandatory drug testing as well as work requirements for food stamp recipients.

When debate opens in the new Congress, we need to pay close attention to the House Agriculture Committee hearings. Chairman Frank Lucas (Republican of Oklahoma), raised concerns of food stamp supporters when he was quoted as saying, “I will not start with my bias” at future hearings on SNAP.

Travesty of Justice in Ferguson

Travesty of Justice in Ferguson

Millions of Americans waited across the country on Monday evening, November 24 to learn the decision of the Grand Jury in Ferguson, Missouri. Twelve men and women had been meeting since August 20 to hear evidence in the case of the shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, by Darren Wilson a white police officer on August 9.

On that day, instant pictures went viral across the nation and the world of the body of Michael Brown lying face down on the bloodied street for four hours in the August heat. Neighbors and onlookers called local news stations and posted images on Facebook and Twitter. Viewers reacted with shock and horror as hundreds of people gathered at the scene of the shooting. Over the next days, protestors came to Ferguson from other states with 24 hour coverage on cable TV. There were weeks of demonstrations that the police met initially with tear gas, rubber bullets and surplus military equipment supplied by the federal government to many cities. Governor Jay Nixon deployed the Missouri National Guard to maintain order.

Several autopsies were performed, one by Dr, Michael Baden, the former chief medical examiner of the City of New York. He found that Michael Brown was shot at least six times, twice in the head, with one entering the top of his skull causing a fatal injury. Eye witnesses at the scene gave reports to the police and the news media. Several said they saw a scuffle at the open door of the police car between Brown and Wilson and heard two shots. Other witnesses described Brown running away from the car, being shot and turning with his empty hands raised to face Wilson who continued to fire at him. One witness made an audio record of the shots which he gave to the police: two shots…. then a pause… six more shots.

A grand jury of twelve St. Louis County residents had been impaneled in May. They were asked to determine if there was “probable cause” to believe Officer Wilson had committed a crime. There were nine white members and three black members on the jury who began to meet secretly on August 20. As with all grand juries, their task was not to try a case; it was to decide if a true bill would be brought in for a specific crime. The jurors would hear evidence from witnesses and consider crimes that ranged from first-degree murder to involuntary manslaughter. The St. Louis County prosecutor, Robert P. Mc Culloch would be the key person to decide what evidence and witnesses would be presented to the jury. He was aided by two assistant prosecuting attorneys. Grand jurors were told that they could never reveal their deliberations to anyone — with a penalty of imprisonment if they did.

Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis with 20,000 residents, changed over the last three decades from a predominantly white community into one that is about two-thirds black. The median household income , $37,000 is less than the statewide average. The mayor and five of the six City Council members are white. The town’s police force of 53 has only three black officers. After the all white seven member district school board ousted the black superintendent , three board positions were up for election. Several black candidates ran and only one was elected to a seat. There were ongoing grievances with the police routinely giving traffic tickets resulting in jail time. And skepticism that the tickets were a way to raise funds for the city.

When Robert Mc Culloch was appointed to head the grand jury, there were immediate protests from the Brown family lawyers and black community leaders. They urged Governor Nixon to appoint an independent prosecutor. Mc Culloch had a reputation of being closely connected to the police force and protecting officers. In his 23 years on the job, there had not been a single prosecution of a shooting by the police. When he did present evidence to a grand jury in four such cases, the result was no true bill for an indictment. In addition, they knew that his father, a police officer, had been killed by a black suspect. Although that did not disqualify him, they felt Mc Culloch could hold bias from that severe trauma in his personal life.

The calls for appointing an independent prosecutor were denied . Robert Mc Culloch moved forward, completely in charge of the grand jury investigation. From the outset, he made significant changes in the way such hearings have always been conducted nationwide. First, early in the hearings, he called the defendant, Officer Darren Wilson. This was an extremely rare event, since the prosecutor’s role has always been to lead and direct the grand jury with evidence and witnesses that support a particular indictment. Thus, early in September , Wilson was able to look at the jurors and give his very strong vivid account of what happened on August 9. He testified for four hours and there was no cross-examination since this was not a trial. Wilson answered “gentle questions” from the assistant prosecutor and his words are in the transcript of the hearings that McCulloch ordered released on November 24.

Wilson said he had stopped his car with the window down to tell Brown and a companion to clear the street. Brown approached, “looking like a demon” and calling him “pussy” and other epithets . Brown reached through the window and a struggle for Wilson’s gun ensued. Wilson said he was terrified and “felt like a 5 year old holding on to Hulk Hogan.” (Brown was six-six and 292 pounds; Wilson is six-four and 210 pounds.) Wilson yelled, “Get back or I’m going to shoot you.” A shot went off that hit Brown’s hand. Brown turned and ran. Wilson left the car. He testified that Brown reversed course and charged at him. Wilson then fired a round of shots. “I remember looking at my sites and firing. All I see is his head and that’s what I shot.” In the final weeks of November, Wilson, who had been on paid administrative leave, gave an interview in which he reasserted that he feared for his life and completely denied that Brown had his hands raised above his head when he was shot.

During successive meetings of the grand jury through October and November, there was sworn testimony over seventy hours from sixty other witnesses. From the transcript, it is apparent that eye-witnesses were all challenged vigorously by the two assistant prosecutors as to the veracity and reliability of their statements. They were not treated with deference as Wilson had been. When the grand jury sessions were over, Mc Culloch again did something completely different from the normal close. He did not instruct the grand jury as to the true bill they should bring in with the specific crime in the indictment. He told them to review all the testimony they had heard and make a decision on whether to bring an indictment.

On Monday night, August 24, Robert McCulloch waited until pitch dark in Ferguson to announce the lack of an indictment in a rambling 45 minute speech that excoriated the witnesses and blamed the media for creating the background for violent protests and demonstrations that had taken place in August. He also said he would release the transcript of the grand jury proceedings, another startling change from the concept of grand jury secrecy.

Legal scholars in the days that followed, analyzed Robert Mc Culloch’s role as prosecutor and his releasing thousands of pages of documents. Noah Feldman at Harvard, summed up, “ It looked like he wanted to appear there had been a public trial, when in fact there hadn’t been. The impression was that the prosecutor wanted an indictment — and didn’t want to be blamed for not getting one.” Many American citizens agreed that Mc Culloch’s three decisions: to allow Darren Wilson to testify and set the basic narrative for the grand jurors, to instruct his assistants to tear down witnesses’ testimony and third not to recommend a specific crime to the grand jury guaranteed there would be no indictment. Finally, waiting until dark which is rarely done insured that Ferguson would explode in fiery riots while across the country from New York to California enraged citizens protested this miscarriage of justice.