Sunday, January 31, 2010

What Freedom, is it a constant fight?

My main blog:
http://starkravingviking.blogspot.com/

The U.S. Constitution: The 18th Century Patriot Act

At some point in the past, the American ethos was centered on suspicion of government –whether liberal, conservative, or otherwise. For most of America’s first two centuries, Americans were taxed less, regulated less, and left more alone by their government than any other people in the world. These conditions resulted in an explosion of innovation, wealth, and culture unsurpassed at any time in human history.

As that trend seems to have reversed, Americans look to their past to try to establish where we have gone wrong and what we can do to solve our problems. Increasingly, some Americans point to the U.S. Constitution and our abandonment of its “limits on government” as the reason for our downfall. It is generally argued by “strict constitutionalists” that the purpose of the U.S. Constitution was to limit the power of the government. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Don’t get me wrong. If our government were limited to the powers granted it in that document, the United States of America would be far freer, far more prosperous, and likely not facing any of the monumental problems that it is facing now. However, that does not change the facts about why the Constitutional Convention was called or why the Constitution itself was created. If you are astounded that any Republican can still claim that George Bush was “pro-freedom” or that any Democrat can claim that Barack Obama is “anti-war,” you should be equally surprised that anyone can claim that the U.S. Constitution limited the powers of the central government.

Remember that there was already a federal government of the United States prior to the U.S. Constitution. It was defined in a document called the Articles of Confederation and had been in existence since 1778. Under the Articles, the young nation had defeated the mightiest military empire in human history to win its independence. Acknowledging the true meaning of the words “federation” and “federal,” the document defined the relationship between the states as “a firm league of friendship with each other.” There was no implication that the United States was one nation and the several states merely subdivisions within it. There was no president to usurp power. There was no Supreme Court to legally sanction tyranny. There was no IRS. While the federal government would pay for any war fought by the federation out of a common treasury, the Articles left the actual act of taxation to the States.

“The taxes for paying that proportion shall be laid and levied by the authority and direction of the legislatures of the several States within the time agreed upon by the United States in Congress assembled."[1]

Compared to the overtaxed, overregulated society that is America today, the America of the 19th century was one of astounding liberty and prosperity. However, even America after 1787 had much more government than America in its first decade. We are taught that this was a grave problem and that the Constitution was necessary to avoid imminent destruction from any number of horrors, including invasion by a foreign power, civil war, or economic upheaval as a result of protectionism by the states. We accept these assertions as facts because of the reverence we hold for the founders of our country. However, how different was the atmosphere surrounding the Constitutional Convention from that surrounding the Patriot Act, the TARP bailout, or the current efforts to expand government power in the name of environmentalism? Despite the pure heresy of the idea, there was really no difference at all.

By 1787, there were two dominant parties in America. Unlike the two dominant parties today, the Federalists and what would later become the Democratic-Republicans of that time really were diametrically opposed on fundamental issues. Led by Alexander Hamilton, the Federalists sought a much more powerful central government with a central bank, a standing army, and an alliance with big business that would control the economy. In opposition to them were Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and their followers that believed that the central government’s powers should be limited, and that power should be concentrated locally (and mistrusted generally). They opposed a central bank and a standing army and supported a truly free market.

It was not Thomas Jefferson or Patrick Henry that led the effort to call the Constitutional Convention, which neither even attended. It was Hamilton and his Federalists that wanted it. As superbly documented in his book, Hamilton’s Curse, Thomas Dilorenzo reminds us that Hamilton actually wanted even more power for the central government than he eventually got into the Constitution.

“At the convention, Hamilton proposed a permanent president and senate, with all political power in the national government, as far away as possible from the people, and centered in the executive. He also wanted “all laws of the particular states, contrary to the constitution or the laws of the United States [government], to be utterly void,” and he proposed that “the governor…of each state shall be appointed by the general government, and shall have a negative [i.e., a veto] upon the laws about to be passed in the state of which he is governor.”[2]

Hamilton did not succeed in getting all of the power he wanted for the central government, but he succeeded in increasing that power quite a bit. This too should seem familiar. At every point in American history that interested parties have tried to expand the power of government, they have attempted at expansive powers and settled for something less than they sought but more than they previously had. With each “compromise,” Americans have lost a little more of their liberty.

When viewed objectively, the very words of the Constitution reveal its true purpose. Constitutionalists often cite Article I Section 8 as proof of the limits on the powers granted to the federal government, but let’s not forget what that section actually says. It begins,

“The Congress shall have the power to…”

What follows is a long list of powers that the central government did not previously have. Each subsequent section of the Constitution invests power in the one of the three branches of government. Nowhere in the document are these powers limited, except for the short (but nevertheless important) list of exceptions contained in Section 9.

Of course, supporters of the Constitution would point out that the first ten amendments to the Constitution are actually a list of specific limits on government. Indeed they are. However, most people miss the point of those precious amendments. They represent the compromise, the attempt to limit the damage that was already done by the original document. Although several states tried to hold out for a bill of rights before ratifying the Constitution, those ten amendments weren’t actually ratified until 1791 – four years after the Constitution was ratified. They do not change the intent or nature of the Constitution itself – the massive expansion of the power of the central government.

Like the Patriot Act, the TARP bill, and the coming Climate Treaty, The U.S Constitution was conceived and drafted in an atmosphere of panic that was created by proponents of big government for the express purpose of using fear to win support for a massive expansion of government power. Also like TARP or the Patriot Act, it was debated in secret by a convention of delegates that were told that unspeakable horrors awaited America if they did not pass it immediately. Like most expansions of government power, its proponents did not get everything that they hoped for, but they got a lot more power than they had. Most importantly, the next debate over the size and scope of government started from there. The seeds of America’s multi-trillion dollar welfare-warfare state really lie in this seminal expansion of government power.

The U.S. Constitution does not embody the American spirit. It is a document that grants power to government. The document that truly embodies the American spirit is the Declaration of Independence, which was written expressly to remove all power from the existing government. If Americans are truly interested in reclaiming their liberty, they should look to this revolutionary document as the source of their inspiration. After such a long train of abuses, it is past time that we instituted new guards for our future security.

[1] Article VIII, Articles of Confederation

[2] Dilorenzo, Thomas Hamilton’s Curse Crown Publishing Group (Random House) New York, NY 2008 Pg. 16

Check out Tom Mullen’s new book, A Return to Common Sense: Reawakening Liberty in the Inhabitants of America. Right Here!

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© Thomas Mullen 2009


http://whatreallyhappened.com/

Why you should always plead the 5th

The Fifth Amendment should be used to prevent you from being a victim of a witch hunt. A statute can be found to prosecute anyone, for anything, anytime. Police do set up those who complain about police misconduct. It is dangerous to talk to police. If you are ever arrested talking to police, and not remaining silence, only means that you will be prosecuted to a greater extent, period.

Don't Talk to Police
by Darren Wolfe

A law school professor and former criminal defense attorney tells you why you should never agree to be interviewed by the police.

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(HT:Lew Rockwell)

Darren Wolfe, otherwise known as The International Libertarian, is the former Eastern Vice Chair of the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania. He grew up in Puerto Rico and lived in Venezuela for seven years, including the first year of Chavez' rule. (more...)

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More:
http://judicialmisconduct.blogspot.com/2011/08/police-state-abuse-of-gps-cell-phone.html

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Saturday, January 30, 2010

US Police State Legislation?

How Could We Forgot The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act?

By William Cormier (about the author)

opednews.com Permalink

All of us need to remember Senate Bill S-1959 and House Bill 1955. The "Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007″ was one of the most egregious assaults on the freedom and liberty of Americans that had ever been presented to Congress. (Notwithstanding the Patriot (Sic) Act.) It took hard work, and as people began to grasp the impact of this bill we can now state that overall, it was one of those rare times that public outrage and calls to our Congress were actually successful.

Both of these bills were under a press blackout which made our fight even tougher than it should have been; after passing the House with only six "nay" votes, the bill was ""Fast-Tracked" for what those in Congress thought was a sure win. But on this issue, people understood that the very essence of freedom and liberty were being challenged and we arose to the challenge. The switchboard(s) at Capitol Hill was literally swamped with calls and Senators/Representatives found their email clogged with petitions and countless emails from their constituents.

HR 1955 and S-1959 demonstrated loud and clear that when the public bands together for the common good and we stand together in solidarity, the government has no choice but to heed the will of the of the American people. Our Congress attempted to pass this egregious bill under the radar, refused to comment publicly on the bill, and the MSM was subjected to a press blackout. Our fight against this assault on our democracy was defeated largely by the segment of the population that received their news from the Internet. The bill was sent to committee from the House of Representatives where it languished and was eventually shelved with little or no fanfare. Unfortunately, because of the press blackout on this bill, the public never celebrated nor fully understood the significance of our ability to change the course of our history and that's the way the government wanted it! If the public woke-up and comprehended the power of the people when we stand together, it might have empowered us to tackle bigger and better things. For all practical purposes, our victory in the face of tyranny was forgotten, shelved along with the bill in the hopes that a wakening electorate would yawn and go back to their slumber and it worked.

Now we are faced with another issue that strikes at the heart of our democracy. There have been thousands of articles and Op-Ed's written on this decision, and the majority of them agree that this ruling, if allowed to stand, will forever alter the course of our struggling democracy:

A "Massive Tilt in Our Democracy"

Michael Waldman, the executive director of the Brennan Center of Justice at New York University School of Law, which filed amicus briefs in the case, said the ruling means that "Exxon could spend Bloomberg-level money in every Congressional campaign around the country." Waldman was referring to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who tapped into his vast wealth and spent more than $70 million of his own money on his first mayoral campaign.

Waldman added that the Supreme Court justices "chose to intervene in the political process in a way they didn't have to," which will now result in a "massive tilt in our democracy." He warned that the "impact of this case could dwarf the impact of this election."

Burt Neuborne, a law professor at NYU and a Supreme Court litigator, agreed.

"[The decision] gives a green light for a massive flow of corporate treasury money into our democracy," he said, adding that the decision "changes the ground rules [of] our democracy." Link

President Obama and several members of congress have vowed to pass legislation to neuter the SCOTUS decision, however, attempting to pass legislation is time consuming at best, and with Republican obstructionism it is extremely unlikely this matter will be resolved in time to mitigate its effects on the upcoming Congressional elections. With corporations allowed to spend whatever is necessary to elect shills that favor fascism rather than democracy, there is an extremely high probability that November's election will be tainted by corporate influence, effectively changing the course of an election through deceit and subterfuge.

Remember, an "activist "Florida Court of Appeals unanimously agreed with an assertion by FOX News that there is no rule against distorting or falsifying the news in the United States." If Fox News, which by their designation as a news source is allowed to lie and distort the truth, try and imagine the propaganda that will stifle our airways by Corporate America spending countless millions of dollars to elect Congressmen/women that will vote in favor of profit at the expense of the American people. It stands to reason if a news source can legally deceive the public that corporations will be allowed to do the same"

The principles and heart of our democracy is being attacked. In the few short days since this odious decision by SCOTUS was rendered, there have been more than three thousand articles and Op-Ed's that have evaluated and opined this decision; there is no press blackout on the issue and the American public is well aware of the threat that we now face. The public has a moral duty to uphold and protect the Constitution and the Bill of Rights of the United States. If we allow Congress and President Obama to drag their feet, there is little doubt Corporate America will negatively impact the upcoming election, forever altering the course of our nation and are likely to move our country towards the abyss of fascism but working together, we can again alter the course of history! We cannot allow this coup against the people to stand!

If you believe that Justice Roberts should be impeached, call the White House and your Congressional representative and demand that impeachment proceeding begin immediately; not tomorrow, not next week, but now!

If you believe that legislation is the best way to resolve this issue, call the White House and your Congressional representative and demand that legislation begin immediately.

If you believe that Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito should be arrested for treason, call the White House and your Congressional representatives and demand that both of them be arrested immediately.



If you don't know what to do, call the President and Congress and demand that they make this matter their number one priority, and do it now so we will have as close to a fair election in November as possible.

Remember HR-155 and S-19589! We know that we can move mountains when we band together for a common cause. We fought and won against a Congress that was hell bent on depriving the people of our nation their basic constitutional rights. Even though this may seem to be an insurmountable task, we have taken on tasks that also seemed impossible to win, but the perseverance of our activists nd the participation of hundreds of thousands of Americans change the course of history in 2007 and we can damn sure do it again!

These are two phone number for the White House:

(202) 456-1111 202-456-1414

This is the main switchboard for Congress, and several alternate numbers:

(202)224-312 (Main)

1-800-828-0498 1-866-340-9281

1-866-338-1015 1-866-220-0044

1-877-851-6437 1-800-459-1887

1-800-614-2803

No matter which course of action you believe will solve this crisis as quickly as possible, all roads, no matter which option you choose, all lead to democracy and freedom. We didn't make history in one day on HR-1955 and S-1959. Our phone and email campaign lasted days and weeks and if we understand that now is the time for action we can do it again! In this author's opinion, freedom and democracy are firmly in the hands of the people, and only by exercising our right to free speech and being persistent in our efforts will we again defeat the forces of tyranny and fascism. Doing nothing will forever destroy the last vestiges of freedom and democracy in the United States. Pick up your phones"

William J. Cormier

http://justanothercoverup.com/

I am nothing more than a patriotic American that is doing whatever I can to further the cause of democracy, the rule of law, and am absolutely outraged on how the Bush administration is defying our Congress, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights! (more...)

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http://judicialmisconduct.blogspot.com/

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Censored on the Internet

[click here] for background post, scroll down

The following items were forbidden in Wikipedia, and the latest explanation for their exclusion - they were part of the "Richard Fine Movement"


10-01-28 New feature in Wikipedia - View subjects censored in Wikipedia...

[]

NEW FEATURE: VIEW SUBJECTS CENSORED IN WIKIPEDIA

NUEVO PUNTO: VER TEMAS VER CENSURADO EN WIKIPEDIA

NEU POSTEN: SEHEN SICH ZENSUREN THEMEN VON WIKIPEDIA

NOUVEAU TITRE: VOIR SUJETS VUE CENSURé DANS WIKIPEDIA

http://www.liveleak.com/user/jz12345

1) Large-Scale False Imprisonments in Los Angeles County, California:
http://www.liveleak.com/item?a=view&token=f03_1263860781
Leaked: January 19, 2010; Views as of January 28, 2010: 365

2) Richard Isaac Fine:
http://www.liveleak.com/item?a=view&token=90f_1264590719
Leaked: January 27, 2010; Views as of January 28, 2010: 80

3) Rampart FIPs (Falsely Imprisoned Persons)
http://www.liveleak.com/item?a=view&token=c7f_1264673024
Leaked: January 28, 2010; Views as of January 28, 2010: 0 (just leaked)

--InproperinLA (talk) 10:27, 28 January 2010 (UTC)


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The below video has gotten almost 3000 hits as of the date of this post

The Greatest Fraud Ever Pulled, a Children's story? Link:
http://judicialmisconduct.blogspot.com/2010/01/greatest-fraud-ever-pulled-kids-story.html

Attorney Richard I. Fine is in solitary confinement, so judges and banksters won't be exposed for possibly the biggest banking fraud ever:
http://thegetjusticecoalition.blogspot.com/2010/01/judges-jailing-to-block-free-speech.html

Is Los Angeles Justice Alex Kozinski ruling over 50 million people in the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals? Are 200 Judges taking $45,000/year bribes for the past 10 years to rig cases as not to expose the banking fraud? Are attorneys who expose this fraud being whisked away to jail to be held in solitary confinement as political prisoners?

Are Countrywide Home Loan and Bank of America international crime syndicate banking cartels? Have they ripped off more than 200 billion dollars from US taxpayers?

Are judges part of the LA PD conspiracy to bring crack cocaine and heroin to American streets?
Capture This Video
Record This Video

The Supreme Court's Partisanship

Note: the blog owner thinks that Republicans and Democrats can suck equally.

By Robert Parry (about the author)

opednews.com Permalink



The U.S. Supreme Court's landmark ruling that lets corporations spend all they want to punish political enemies and reward political friends is a reminder that the panel's Republican majority has become one more potent weapon in the Right's already intimidating arsenal.

Over the past several decades, the American Right has assembled such an array of political weaponry ranging from a vast propaganda apparatus that defines "reality" for tens of millions of Americans to specialized attack groups that can target troublesome figures in the press or academia that it's hard to envision how this powerful grip on U.S. democracy can now be broken.

The Right's influence is so wide and so deep that it can front for wealthy special interests under the guise of "populism" and persuade many Americans that their real enemy is not Big Corporations, but Big Government.

Guided by Fox News and other well-financed parts of the right-wing media, the Tea Partiers apparently believe they are engaged in a movement to free the Republic from the tyranny of the federal government, when they're actually helping consolidate the power of corporations against the only force that can possibly check corporate domination, a democratized federal government.

Adding to this political imbalance, the Supreme Court voted 5-4 on Jan. 21 to cede more power to corporate money by striking down restrictions on what corporations and other special interests can do to finance attacks on or support for a particular political candidate.

The five Republican-appointed justices left little doubt that they will be very active when partisan questions come before the court, despite their prior assurances that they detest "activist judges" and despite their promises to show great respect for legal precedents. The campaign-finance decision shattered decades of precedents and tilts the political playing field even more in the Republican direction.

This transformation of the federal courts into a powerful line of defense for Republican and corporate interests began several decades ago when the Right denounced "liberal judges" who ended racial segregation and restricted state anti-abortion laws.

Packing the courts with politically reliable partisans became a key behind-the-scenes goal of President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. Yet, because turnover on the Supreme Court is slow, Reagan took aim first at the influential U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., appointing hardliners like Laurence Silberman and David Sentelle.

Reagan's strategy paid off after the Iran-Contra scandal exploded in November 1986, with disclosures that Reagan's White House had been running a secret war in Nicaragua funded, in part, by illegal weapons sales to the radical Islamic government of Iran. White House officials were caught lying about both Nicaragua and Iran.

The Reagan administration's response was to sacrifice a few low-level officials, such as Lt. Col. Oliver North, and insist that senior officials had been kept in the dark.

To avert a constitutional crisis, congressional Democrats mostly went along with this cover story, concentrating their criticism on North and letting Reagan and then-Vice President George H.W. Bush mostly off the hook.

The Walsh Factor

However, the Iran-Contra cover-up ran into trouble when special prosecutor Lawrence Walsh conducted a methodical investigation that stripped away one layer of lies after another.

Walsh was a former Republican judge who was appointed to run the Iran-Contra criminal investigation by a three-judge panel then headed by another Republican, senior U.S. Appeals Court Judge George MacKinnon.

However, both Walsh and MacKinnon were old-school Republican conservatives from the Eisenhower era. They took seriously their duty to pursue justice and the truth.

Despite legal difficulties created by congressional grants of immunity, Walsh won convictions against North in 1989 and Reagan's national security adviser John Poindexter in 1990. Republicans scrambled to keep the scandal from spreading to Reagan and his successor, President George H.W. Bush.

Some of that fury played out within judicial circles. In Firewall, Walsh's memoir about the Iran-Contra scandal, the special prosecutor described how black-robed Republican appointees to the U.S. Appeals Court in Washington "waited like the strategic reserves of an embattled army."

A leader of this partisan faction was Judge Silberman, an obstreperous neoconservative who had served as a foreign policy adviser to Reagan's 1980 campaign. At one point during the Iran-Contra scandal, Silberman berated MacKinnon Walsh's principal protector for supporting the special-prosecutor law.

"At a D.C. circuit conference, he [Silberman] had gotten into a shouting match about independent counsel with Judge George MacKinnon," Walsh wrote. "Silberman not only had hostile views but seemed to hold them in anger."

On the North appeal in 1990, Silberman teamed up with a younger conservative, Judge Sentelle, to overturn the three felony counts against North. The appeals court vote was 2-1, as these two Republican "law-and-order" judges suddenly were voting to expand the rights of criminal defendants in cases involving limited immunity, which North had secured from Congress before testifying.

Sentelle, a protégé of conservative Sen. Jesse Helms, R-North Carolina, also served on a second appeals panel that overturned the conviction of Poindexter on similar grounds.

Despite the reversals, Walsh continued to make investigative progress, stripping away one layer of the cover-up after another. In early 1992, he brought obstruction-of-justice charges against former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger and several senior CIA officials. The case was moving dangerously close to then-President Bush.

Picking a Partisan

At that point, Walsh received a call from MacKinnon with some troubling news. U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist, who controlled appointments to the three-judge panel that picked special prosecutors, had decided to oust MacKinnon, Walsh's ally.

Rehnquist was pushing MacKinnon out and putting Sentelle in. Rehnquist made this move although it defied the legal language of the 1978 Ethics in Government Act, the law that created the special prosecutor post.

As a safeguard against partisanship on the three-judge panel that picked special prosecutors, the law stipulated that in appointments to the panel, "priority shall be given to senior circuit judges and retired judges."

That provision had always been followed until 1992 when Rehnquist waived its provisions and reached down for an active junior judge, Sentelle.

Beyond Sentelle's lacking "senior" status, he was known as one of the most conservative partisans on the federal bench. A Reagan appointee, Sentelle had named his daughter, Reagan, after the President.

Sentelle also continued denouncing liberals even after his appointment to the federal bench. In one article published in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy in winter 1991, Sentelle accused "leftist heretics" of wishing to turn the United States into "a collectivist, egalitarian, materialistic, race-conscious, hyper-secular, and socially permissive state."

By picking Sentelle, Rehnquist guaranteed that future special prosecutors would be more politically attuned to Republican political needs. Through the 1990s, Sentelle did what he was expected to do, make sure that conservative prosecutors controlled the special prosecutor apparatus, especially on politically sensitive cases.

In Senate testimony in 1999, Sentelle explained that he consciously selected political adversaries to conduct these investigations. For instance, Sentelle said he looked for Republicans "who had been active on the other side of the political fence" to investigate President Bill Clinton and his administration.

Beyond the view of many legal experts that prosecutors should be as impartial as possible neither friends nor foes of the person under investigation Sentelle also had applied his selection strategy differently in 1992 when the subject was George H.W. Bush's administration. Then, he picked a fellow Republican, Joe DiGenova, to handle the investigation.

Most famously, Sentelle picked Republican lawyer Kenneth Starr to investigate Clinton, first over his Whitewater real estate investment and later over Clinton's sexual dalliance with Monica Lewinsky.

Arguably, the hidden hand behind this anti-Clinton strategy was Supreme Court Chief Justice Rehnquist, who had been named to the Supreme Court by Richard Nixon and elevated to Chief Justice by Ronald Reagan. Rehnquist handpicked Sentelle who, in turn, handpicked the special prosecutors.

Before his death in 1995, MacKinnon told his family that if he had remained in charge of the special prosecutor panel he would not have appointed Starr. A son, James D. MacKinnon, said Judge MacKinnon objected to Starr's appointment in 1994 because of the appearance of partisanship arising from Starr's senior position as Solicitor General in the prior administration.

Judge MacKinnon also expressed concern about Starr's frequent public appearances, which the judge felt "were wholly inappropriate for an independent counsel," James MacKinnon stated. "My father always felt that independent counsels and judges should be extraordinarily discreet with any public comments, and be as anonymous as possible and simply do their work."

As the U.S. Judiciary grew more partisan during the Reagan and Bush-I years, the stage was set for the Supreme Court's direct intervention into the political process.

In 2000, when Al Gore and George W. Bush were locked in a tight election in Florida that would determine the presidency, Gore sought and got a state court-ordered recount in Florida.

The statewide recount began on the morning of Dec. 9. Immediately, the canvassers began finding scores of legitimate votes that voting machines had missed. Bush's lawyers first raced to the U.S. Appeals Court in Atlanta to stop the count. Though dominated by conservative jusges, that court found no grounds to intervene.

A frantic Bush then turned to the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington. There, in the late afternoon, the court took the unprecedented step of stopping the counting of votes cast by American citizens.

Justice Antonin Scalia made clear that the purpose of the court's action was to prevent Bush from falling behind in the tally and thus raising questions about his legitimacy should the Supreme Court later declare him the winner.

That outcome would "cast a cloud" over the "legitimacy" of an eventual Bush presidency, explained Scalia. "Count first, and rule upon the legality afterwards, is not a recipe for producing election results that have the public acceptance democratic stability requires," Scalia wrote.

Trusting the Law

Still, Gore and his lawyers voiced confidence that the rule of law would prevail, that the U.S. Supreme Court would rise above any partisan concerns and insist that the votes be counted and that the will of the voters be respected.

The Gore team went before Rehnquist's court on Dec. 11 apparently still not cognizant of the reality that whatever they argued, the five conservative justices were determined to make Bush the next President.

At about 10 p.m. on Dec. 12, 2000, five Republican justices Rehnquist, Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Sandra Day O'Connor and Anthony Kennedy ruled that the Florida recount was flawed and gave the state only two hours to correct the shortcomings and complete the tally.

Since that was impossible, the ruling essentially handed the White House to Bush.

Later, information emerged revealing that the five Republican justices had flipped their legal rationale nearly 180 degrees between Dec. 11, when they were first prepared to rule in Bush's favor, and the night of Dec. 12 when the decision to make Bush the next President finally was announced.

The judicial gymnastics showed that the five justices settled on their desired political outcome Bush's victory and then dressed up their partisan choice in acceptable legal verbiage.

In an article on Jan. 22, 2001, USA Today's legal correspondent Joan Biskupic described the inside story of the strains that the Bush v. Gore ruling had created within the court.

Though the article was sympathetic to the five conservative justices, it disclosed an important fact: that the five justices were planning to rule for Bush after oral arguments on Dec. 11. The court even sent out for Chinese food for the clerks, so the work could be completed that night.

The legal rationale for stopping the recount was to have been that the Florida Supreme Court had made "new law" when it referenced the state constitution in an initial recount decision rather than simply interpreting state statutes.

Even though the argument was technical, it at least conformed with the conservative principles of the five-member majority, supposedly hostile to judicial "activism."

A Wrench

However, the Florida Supreme Court threw a wrench into the plan. On the evening of Dec. 11, the state court submitted a revised ruling that deleted a passing reference to the state constitution. The revised state ruling based its reasoning entirely on state statutes that permitted recounts in close elections.

This revised state ruling drew little attention from the press, but it created a crisis for the five justices. O'Connor and Kennedy no longer felt they could agree with the "new law" rationale for striking down the recount, though Justices Rehnquist, Scalia and Thomas still would.

O'Connor and Kennedy then veered off in very different direction. Through the day of Dec. 12, they worked on an opinion arguing that the Florida Supreme Court had failed to set consistent standards for the recount and that the disparate county-by-county standards constituted a violation of the "equal protection" rules of the 14th Amendment.

This argument was quite thin and Kennedy reportedly had trouble committing it to writing. To anyone who had followed the Florida election, it was obvious that varied standards already had been applied throughout the state.

Wealthier precincts had benefited from optical voting machines that were simple to use and eliminated nearly all errors, while poorer precincts with many African-Americans and retired Jews were stuck with outmoded punch-card systems with far higher error rates. Some counties had conducted manual recounts, too, and those totals were part of the tallies giving Bush a tiny lead.

The statewide court-ordered recount was designed to reduce these disparities and thus bring the results closer to equality. Applying the "equal protection" provision, as planned by O'Connor and Kennedy, turned the 14th Amendment on its head, guaranteeing less equality than letting the recount go forward. The O'Connor-Kennedy "reasoning" ensured that the votes of wealthy Floridians were given greater weight than those of minorities and the poor.

Yet possibly even more startling than the stretched logic of O'Connor and Kennedy was the readiness of Rehnquist, Scalia and Thomas to sign on to a ruling that was almost completely at odds with their original legal rationale for blocking the recount.

On the night of Dec. 11, that trio was ready to bar the recount because the Florida Supreme Court had created "new law." On Dec. 12, the same trio prevented the recount because the Florida Supreme Court had not created "new law," the establishment of precise statewide recount standards.

The five conservatives had devised their own Catch-22. If the Florida Supreme Court set clearer standards, that would be struck down as creating "new law." If the state court didn't set clearer standards, that would be struck down as violating the "equal protection" principle. Heads Bush wins; tails Gore loses.

Rationalizing the Rationale

After the court's Dec. 12 ruling and Gore's concession the next day, Justice Thomas told a group of high school students that partisan considerations played "zero" part in the court's decisions. Later, asked whether Thomas's assessment was accurate, Rehnquist answered, "Absolutely."

In later comments about the court's role in the case, Rehnquist seemed unfazed by the inconsistency of the legal logic. His overriding rationale seemed to be that he viewed Bush's election as good for the country whether a plurality of voters thought so or not.

In a speech to a Catholic service organization on Jan. 7, 2001, the chief justice said sometimes the U.S. Supreme Court needed to intervene in politics to extricate the nation from a crisis.

Rehnquist's remarks were made in the context of the Hayes-Tilden race in 1876, when another popular vote loser, Rutherford B. Hayes, was awarded the presidency after justices participated in a special election commission.

"The political processes of the country had worked, admittedly in a rather unusual way, to avoid a serious crisis," Rehnquist said.

Scholars interpreted Rehnquist's remarks as shedding light on his thinking during the Bush v. Gore case as well.

"He's making a rather clear statement of what he thought the primary job of our governmental process was," said Michael Les Benedict, a history professor at Ohio State University. "That was to make sure the conflict is resolved peacefully, with no violence." [Washington Post, Jan. 19, 2001]

But where were the threats of violence in the 2000 election?

Gore had reined in his supporters, urging them to avoid confrontations and to trust in the "rule of law." The only violence had come from the Bush side, when protesters were flown from Washington to Miami to put pressure on local election boards.

On Nov. 22, 2000, as the Miami-Dade canvassing board was preparing to examine ballots rejected by the voting machines, a well-dressed mob of Republican operatives charged the office, roughed up some Democrats and pounded on the walls. The canvassing board promptly reversed itself and decided to forego the recount.

The next night, the Bush-Cheney campaign feted these brown-shirts-in-blue-blazers at a hotel party in Fort Lauderdale. Starring at the event was crooner Wayne Newton singing "Danke Schoen," but the highlight for the operatives was a thank-you call from George W. Bush and his running mate, Dick Cheney, both of whom joked about the Miami-Dade incident. [Wall Street Journal, Nov. 27, 2000]

The Journal also reported that the assault on the Miami-Dade canvassing board was led by national Republican operatives "on all expense-paid trips, courtesy of the Bush campaign."

The Journal noted that "behind the rowdy rallies in South Florida this past weekend was a well-organized effort by Republican operatives to entice supporters to South Florida," with House Majority Whip Tom DeLay's Capitol Hill office taking charge of the recruitment.

Rewarding Violence

If one were to take Rehnquist's "good-for-the-country" rationale seriously, it would mean that the U.S. Supreme Court was ready to award the presidency to the side most willing to use violence and other anti-democratic means to overturn the will of the voters.

But it seems more likely that Rehnquist and the other four justices were just acting as partisan Republicans.

That reality of a deeply politicized judiciary willing to manipulate court cases for partisan purposes also means that the nature of American democracy has changed.

With its unique position as the final arbiter of American law, the U.S. Supreme Court, now controlled by five conservatives, has appropriated the power to use whatever "logic" is handy to deliver the politically appropriate result.

Almost a decade after Bush v. Gore, with John Roberts replacing the late William Rehnquist as Chief Justice and right-wing legal theorist Samuel Alito filling Sandra Day O'Connor's seat, the Court has now reshaped the political landscape to make it even more favorable for Republicans by opening the floodgates so corporate money can flow at unprecedented rates.

As Iran-Contra special prosecutor Lawrence Walsh might have appreciated, the Supreme Court has emerged as the ultimate "strategic reserves" for the Republican Party -- and for an entrenched army of corporate interests.

http://www.consortiumnews.com

Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq, can be ordered at more...)

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[click here] for:

Five Supreme Court Judges Do Da Corporate Takeover Hustle, And They Must Be Stopped

Conspiracy theories and Haiti?

Disclaimer: Just because I cut and paste it here, doesn't mean I agree, or disagree, just that I have found it interesting. There are rumors floating around that George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush laundered their heroin and cocaine CIA money in Haitian Banks. If investigators were poking around before, or wanted to now, the bank records would be no where to be found ...

A conspiracy theory with video accusing the US Government of using HAARP and causing the earthquake in Haiti. [found here]

I found the below [here]

WHAT'S REALLY GOING ON IN HAITI?

By Chuck Baldwin
January 26, 2010
NewsWithViews.com

People of goodwill everywhere are rightly sympathetic to the plight of hundreds of thousands of innocent Haitians in the aftermath of the terrible earthquake that rocked the island country. Private donations and volunteer efforts are pouring into Haiti from all over the globe—especially from the United States. This is a good thing, right? So, why am I troubled?

Simply put, I cannot remember such an all-out "relief effort" by our nation's military and government forces following a natural disaster anywhere—ever! Not even New Orleans, Louisiana, and surrounding Gulf Coast communities here in the homeland received the kind of attention from Washington, D.C., that Haiti is receiving.

According to Agence France-Press (AFP), "The US military is ramping up its mission in quake-hit Haiti, with 20,000 US troops expected to operate on ground and offshore by Sunday [January 24], the US commander overseeing the region said."

No doubt, this would include ships and personnel from the USS Carl Vinson carrier group. Cost to US taxpayers to send an entire carrier group—along with more than 20,000 (so far) military personnel—to Haiti already numbers in the multiplied millions of dollars. It is also almost certain that there will be no quick exit from the island nation. There never is. In other words, our military presence (dare I say occupation?) in Haiti will doubtless last for years. At least, that's the way Latin American and European countries see it. And they are probably right.

Suffice it to say that the United States military is now completely in charge in Haiti.

At this point, it would be very enlightening for everyone to read Walter Williams' column dated January 20, 2010, entitled "Haiti's Avoidable Death Toll."

See Walter's column here.

In short, Williams notes that the high death toll in Haiti is directly related to the inferior political/economic philosophies of the Haitian government. There is no economic liberty, which has relegated it to being one of the world's poorest nations, with no opportunity to build the kind of homes and businesses that can withstand natural disasters. Williams is right when he says, "President Barack Obama called the quake 'especially cruel and incomprehensible.' He would be closer to the truth if he had said that the Haitian political and economic climate that make Haitians helpless in the face of natural disasters are 'especially cruel and incomprehensible.'"

Williams also observes, "Corruption is rampant" in Haiti. Crime is, likewise, ubiquitous in Haiti, with little real law enforcement. Private property rights are nonexistent. Like many (if not most) third world countries, people live in tyranny and bondage to insensitive, power-mad strongmen who use up the country's resources for their own selfish purposes. Tyranny always impoverishes people; freedom enriches them.

Williams rightly concludes, "Haiti's disaster demands immediate Western assistance but it's only the Haitian people who can relieve themselves of the deeper tragedy of self-inflicted poverty." Amen.

All of that said, however, there are still several things bugging me about the Haiti story.

For one thing, why was an earthquake of this magnitude not felt beyond Port-au-Prince? (The only reports saying tremors were felt out of Haiti belong to US-controlled sources.) All of the testimonies that I have read from people living in the adjoining country of the Dominican Republic (which shares the same island with Haiti) that were quoted by French, British, or Spanish outlets universally say they felt nothing. If the foreign press is reporting the story accurately, the devastation was almost exclusively contained in and around Port-au-Prince. That is very strange to me. Even most of the roads reportedly remained open after the quake.

Another oddity is the fact that this earthquake did not produce a tsunami. It is being called "miraculous" that an earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter Scale did not produce a colossal tsunami, which would have affected everyone in the region.


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Furthermore, does the French government know something that we don't—but should? According to a report of the Global Analysis International Intelligence (GAII), "Not coincidentally, Agence France-Press (AFP), which of course is closely affiliated with French intelligence, filed a report on 14th January which contained the following concluding sentence:

"'On Wednesday, Obama ordered a "swift, coordinated and aggressive effort to save lives" in Haiti following the murderous quake, as a massive US aid mission swung into action, using troops, naval forces, aircraft and rescue teams.'

"FACT: An 'act of God,' or natural calamity, is NOT a 'murderous quake.'

"The use of the word MURDEROUS here implies that someone is doing the MURDERING."

GAII further speculates that the earthquake may have been the work of US Black Ops, which "flattened the French embassy and many of its officials, imploded the United Nations' own establishments in the Haitian capital, and no doubt obliterated evidence of US Government and rogue official drug-running complicity . . . channeled through the Haitian capital for many years."

See the intelligence report here.

Intelligence reports are also circulating about the possible disruption of liens and seizures of trillions of dollars by the international community relative to past crimes committed by former Presidents George Bush I and II, and Bill Clinton, which were being channeled through Haiti's Central Bank.

If any of this is even remotely true, it is certainly more than convenient that the Haitian capital was destroyed.

This particular part of the story is a real sore spot with me. And I know if I broach this topic, many readers (especially my Christian brethren who live under the delusion that the Bush family can do no wrong) will refuse to believe anything I report and will even take their anger and umbrage out on me. So be it.

I am personally convinced that certain members of the Bush and Clinton families have been involved in the international smuggling of illicit drugs for decades. I have spoken in confidence with those who were in positions to know, and they have emphatically told me that both then-Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton and then-President George H.W. Bush were complicit in CIA-assisted drug running out of Mena, Arkansas. (You don't think I would say this if I did not have absolute confidence in the integrity and credibility of these sources, do you? Plus, why would they tell me this at potential great harm to themselves, if it were not true? And, no, I cannot divulge their names, for obvious reasons.) And there is absolutely no reason to believe that similar operations are not ongoing. In my opinion, it would be utterly naïve to think otherwise.

After all, it has been often reported that the CIA used Army Special Forces troops to facilitate the smuggling of drugs out of Indochina during the Vietnam War, has it not? Yes, it has. That rogue elements within the US government would use war--or even earthquakes—as cover and facilitation for illegal drug smuggling or money laundering would not surprise me one bit.

I realize it is extremely difficult for many Americans to contemplate that members of their own federal government could be evil enough to be involved in anything such as is implied above. According to the thinking of many Americans, evil people only live in Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, or North Korea. And, of course, that is exactly what government propagandists want us to believe.

The truth is, no country or people has a monopoly on sin. As the prophet Jeremiah was inspired to say, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17:9) The Apostle Paul agreed. He told the Philippians, "We . . . have no confidence in the flesh." (Philippians 3:3)

Thomas Jefferson said virtually the same thing when he said, "In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution."

This is why Jefferson and the rest of America's founders insisted that we should be diligent to hold our civil magistrates accountable to the limits and protections of the US Constitution. They well understood the sentiments so wisely expressed by Lord Acton, "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men." Christians, of all people, should understand this.

So, why are so many of us so quick to believe everything our government and their toadies in the national media are telling us? Are we so naïve as to believe that unregenerate politicians in Washington, D.C., are incapable of the same evil acts of barbarity and savagery that might be found in other parts of the world? Are sinners less sinful because they happened to receive their fallen nature from American bloodlines?

Am I saying that Black Ops personnel manufactured the earthquake in Haiti—and killed tens of thousands of people in the process—for the purpose of hiding or facilitating illegal activity? No, I am not. How in the world would I know it, even if it were true?

What I am saying is that, once again, for me, there are many things that do not add up regarding what is going on in Haiti. The way the earthquake behaved; the lack of related seismic and tsunamic activity usually associated with earthquakes of this magnitude; the unprecedented involvement of US military forces being used for "relief efforts" even as commanders are desperate to fill combat theaters in Iraq and Afghanistan; the occupation of another independent nation, which occurred at lightning speed; the vast sums of US taxpayer dollars being expended; the devastation done to key Haitian governmental and banking institutions—which were known to be conduits for international financial disbursements—with virtually no devastation experienced anywhere else; and intelligence reports of surreptitious activity circulating all over Europe and Latin America all add up to one big question, What's really going on in Haiti?

*If you appreciate this column and want to help me distribute these editorial opinions to an ever-growing audience, donations may now be made by credit card, check, or Money Order. Use this link.

© 2010 Chuck Baldwin - All Rights Reserved

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Chuck Baldwin is Founder-Pastor of Crossroads Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida. In 1985 the church was recognized by President Ronald Reagan for its unusual growth and influence.

Dr. Baldwin is the host of a lively, hard-hitting syndicated radio talk show on the Genesis Communications Network called, "Chuck Baldwin Live" This is a daily, one hour long call-in show in which Dr. Baldwin addresses current event topics from a conservative Christian point of view. Pastor Baldwin writes weekly articles on the internet ChuckBaldwinLive.com and newspapers.

To learn more about his radio talk show please visit his web site at: www.chuckbaldwinlive.com. When responding, please include your name, city and state.

E-mail: chuck@chuckbaldwinlive.com

Saturday, January 23, 2010

On a mission?

If I can get funding and use the set up I have, I'd like to produce a documentary to include the below subject. I received the below by email.

The transactions we are witnessing today in Huminski v Corsones (1:99-cv-00160) in Brattleboro, Vermont - a First Amendment case, and Fine v Sheriff (2:08-cv-01914) in Los Angeles, California - a Habeas Corpus Petition, provide additional evidence for my allegations of large-scale fraud in operation PACER & CM/ECF - the case management systems (CMSs) of the United States courts. It was further alleged, that such widespread misconduct of the courts was at the foundation of the current crisis. There simply is no way to exert honest banking regulation on the foundation of fraudulent conduct at the US courts from coast to coast. The remedy must include publicly-accountable validation (certified, functional logic verification) of CMSs in the courts, in prisons, in public corporations and in financial institutions.

The failing of the US District Court, Brattleboro, Vermont, to enter, or reject entry, of my Ex Parte Application
[1] in Huminski v Corsones (1:99-cv-00160), a landmark case in re: First Amendment rights, was no surprise at all. In fact, it was predicted in my previous emails to you, copied below... Please also notice the extra precautions in my proof of service. The mailing to the Vermont clerk, alone of all parties, was by certified, restricted, return receipt USPS mail. Furthermore, the certificate of service included a URL for an online, digitally signed, dated, and time-stamped copy of the paper, so that the there would be a public proof, in case the court adulterated my paper, which had often happened in the past.

Have you ever checked the "Related Transactions Report", or the "Docketing Activity Report" in PACER in your cases at the US courts? These are two of the remaining publicly-accessible safeguards for integrity of the dockets at the US courts, where available. Not all US courts permit pubic access to these reports either. For example, the US District Court, Los Angeles denies public access to the "Docket Activity Report" with no legal foundation at all for such denial of access. Review of such reports and CM/ECF manuals, would show that there is no way to enter your opposition
[2] to my ex parte application in an honest, valid, and effectual manner, if my ex parte application had never been entered in the docket in the first place. In fact, if your opposition would be entered without entering my ex parte application first, it would be a good documentation of the fraud in operation of PACER & CM/ECF at the US District Court, Vermont, which is what my ex parte application set out to accomplish in the first place.

Please notice me, in case the US District Court, Vermont, responds on your opposition with an NEF, a notice of discrepancy, or any other notice that would either accept or reject the entry of your paper. I would likewise expediently keep you posted if I ever get any communications regarding acceptance or rejection of my ex parte application.

None of the multiple US District Courts and US Courts of Appeals that I have examined had any local rules of courts providing permission for clerks and/or judges to have paper vanish - eliminate papers from court dockets at will. Likewise, none had local rules permitting the listing of false and deliberately misleading items in the online PACER dockets, which appeared to PACER users as entered, when in fact, CM/ECF users could tell that such items were not entered at all. However, all US courts that I examined engaged in such practices. Regarding my vanishing papers, I assume that judges and clerks misguidedly believed that they were authorized to do so, since my papers were deemed by them "scandalous". However, they should have documented through a lawful procedure, that a paper was filed, but was eliminated from the docket on such grounds, or any other grounds that they found to permit their conduct.

Furthermore, if you survey the PACER dockets in the various US courts, you would soon realize that even papers that were initially "docketed" were later removed in certain PACER dockets, with no sealing order, or any justification at all. In some cases, I found dockets in PACER , where particular records were removed from the PACER dockets, with a note - "Available in person at the clerk's office only". Such practice as found, for example, in records allegedly documenting racketeering in the courts across the US by Countrywide/Bank of America Corporation. Again - there was never any legal foundation for such practice by US judges and/or clerks.

Keeping honest dockets is fundamental to numerous Human Rights in ratified International Law, it is also fundamental for First, Fifth/Fourteenth, and Sixth Amendment rights in US Law. Likewise, it is also fundamental for honest banking regulation. Such concepts were well established for generations in the Paper Era.

My ex parte application in Huminski v Corsones was also served on Richard Fine, falsely hospitalized in Los Angeles since March 10, 2010. In a way, your abused docket in Huminski v Corsones and his abused docket in the habeas corpus petition - Fine v Sheriff - were linked through this filing, which alleged willful misconduct of the US courts from coast to coast through operation of PACER & CM/ECF. My filing in Huminski v Corsones also served to inform Richard Fine in jail, regarding the scope of the alleged fraud in the conduct of the US courts today. Fine started his journey as a believer in the US justice system - in contrast with the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles, whose widespread corruption he had documented, exposed, and rebuked.

Richard Fine's case is yet additional support for my claims of the central role of case management systems (CMSs), such as PACER & CM/ECF in the deterioration of the US justice system in the digital era. Richard Fine had served as a US Prosecutor. He was a highly accomplished attorney. Therefore, his faith in the US justice system had to reflect his own experience as an insider over a number of years in the Anti-trust Division of the US Dept of Justice. However, his experience there was during the Paper Era, while his current abuse and wrongful hospitalization, sanctioned by the US District Court, Los Angeles, and the US Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit, albeit - through fraudulent court papers - Kozinski Frauds - was exerted in the Digital Era. Finally - his story demonstrated that even a former US Prosecutor and highly accomplished attorney, had never figured out the fraud perpetrated on him through a quartet of CMSs in LA County and beyond:
a) LA Superior Court -
SUSTAIN
b) Sheriff Department - INMATE INFORMATION CENTER
c) US District Court, LA - PACER & CM/ECF platform, US District Court, LA version
d) US Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit -
PACER & CM/ECF platform, US Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit verion.

Court records of Huminski v Corsones (1:99-cv-00160) and Fine v Sheriff (2:08-cv-01914) documented willful misconduct of US District Courts from coast to coast in PACER & CM/ECF. The remedy must include publicly-accountable validation (certified, functional logic verification) of CMSs in the courts, in prisons, in public corporations and in financial institutions. The current US crisis is not a financial/ economic crisis per se, but an integrity crisis - similar to previous depressions, including, but not limited to the Great Depression that started in 1929, and which did not end in fact until WWII.

If no attempt is made to remedy the underlying integrity failure, the US should be ready for a prolonged economic depression.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Judges Jailing to Block Free Speech?

The below [found here]

My Dad Tried to Right a Wrong, Now He's Behind Bars Unjustly

What's Your Reaction:
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As an editor at Huffington Post Impact, I have the honor of reporting daily the generous acts of others and the devastating issues that our communities have yet to address sufficiently to make this world a safe and healthy place for everyone.

I empathize with the subjects of our articles on a very personal level. My own parents are uninsured, facing foreclosure of their house, and my father is unjustly in jail. All because of his compulsion to help others.

Many of you may be familiar with California's budget mess. Around the state, parks are being closed, tuition hiked and state workers laid off in an attempt to salvage a very bad financial situation, one that is rife with misuse of funds and, in some cases, corruption. My father is a respected lawyer and has, for the last decade, dedicated his career to retrieving as much of these wrongly funneled funds back to taxpayers like you and me.

He is 69 years old, (he turns 70 on the Friday after next) and is known for his dapper bow ties and for seeing the world in strict terms of right and wrong. And since March, he has been taken a political prisoner of the L.A. County Jail System.

Richard I. Fine and Victoria Fine


In a country that prides itself on its adherence to the rule of law, my father has been in solitary confinement for more than nine months, deprived initially of paper, pen and telephone, without any legal charges being filed or indication of length of his incarceration. His crime? His belief that $300 million dollars in taxpayer money should be legally spent. And suggesting that Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge David P. Yaffe had violated state law by accepting bribes from a party before him in court -- namely, Los Angeles County. My father is being held in contempt of court by the judge he has embarrassed.

Every day, an uncountable number of people are unjustly held in prison for crimes they have not committed. Most of these people are too poor or too ill-connected to find advocates for their cause. They suffer in silence, and their families are torn apart in the aftermath of their incarceration. But my father is a first-generation American who, from sheer hard work, rose to found the first municipal antitrust division in the United States in Los Angeles and has served as a diplomat for Norway for the last 14 years. I never believed that a man like my dad could be in the same situation. And yet, here we are, my mother and me, sorting foreclosure papers while my dad waits in his jail cell for someone to recognize the ridiculousness of this affair.

What could have led a respected 69-year-old antitrust lawyer to nine months of solitary confinement?

On March 4, my father was arguing a case on behalf of a group of homeowners in Marina Del Rey. The case piggybacked on another case of his that was gaining some attention by local media, in which my father was representing a group of environmentalists who wanted to stop further development in the neighborhood of Playa Vista in Los Angeles. The city had allowed new homes to be built on methane gas deposits with allegedly faulty safety monitoring systems. In several of these cases, my father alleged that the county was selling taxpayer-owned land for rock-bottom prices in return for campaign donations.

These are the kinds of cases most lawyers don't want to take on. But my father believed that justice would be served to normal people who wanted houses that were safe to live in and their tax money to go toward sound investments.

His cases kept getting dismissed for nonsensical and strange reasons and it wasn't surprising to find out that the judges my dad was going up against had a very good reason to shoot down his arguments on behalf of homeowners and taxpayers. They were being paid off.

On that day in court, my father brought forth the argument that Judge Yaffe couldn't give an impartial ruling on his case against the county of Los Angeles because, like other L.A. Superior Court judges, Yaffe had drawn his salary not only from the state of California but also from Los Angeles County. Judges receive $46,436 in annual bonuses from the county, on top of a handsome salary of $178,789 from the state. The total compensation of $225,225 a year exceeds the pay of even Chief Justice John Roberts, who earns $217,000 a year.

The payments, my father maintained, were illegal under a 1997 state law that held that the state was solely responsible for paying the salaries of trial court judges. Just last year, California's Court of Appeals ruled the practice of double-dipping unconstitutional. In addition, my father noted that Judge Yaffe, like others, had failed to report this extra income in state financial disclosure statements, which also is a violation of law. How, my father asked, could a judge receiving an illegal annual bonus from the county render an objective judgment in a case involving the county?

Remember, this is $300 million we're talking about here. California's school bus system or more currently, California's colleges could have used some of the more than $300 million that Los Angeles County taxpayers have spent footing the costs of these illegal bonuses to judges.

But just as much of an issue for my father as the taxpayers' loss is the conflict of interest created by double-dipping. In a brief to the court, my father pointed out that in all cases brought over a three-year period by citizens against Los Angeles County, judges ruled against the citizens. It could reasonably be expected that the county would prevail most of the time, but it is a stretch to assume that a court should find that government is right all the time.

To be clear, many judges in the United States are paid by their county without suspicion of bias. What differentiates this circumstance is that Los Angeles judges do not publicly disclose that they receive two paychecks in state-mandated statements. Our city residents have no way of protecting themselves against judicial bias if they bring a case against L.A. county in front of these judges.

My father's incarceration appears indefinite. Judge Yaffe has said he would be freed if he signs a personal financial statement (so that the judge could order a fine) and accept disbarment without further options for recourse. This would leave my father, already financially ruined from this debacle, without hope of further employment in his career choice of 40 years for the remainder of his life.

Why would my father jeopardize his career and livelihood over a mere pay issue? It is not in his nature to close his eyes to what he regards as injustice. He believes that justice should prevail over insider politics. To him, the taxpayers are a bunch of Davids, facing a government Goliath who was supposed to protect them. He feels obligated to seek a hearing for his clients before a court without a conflict of interest.

In the face of this, Judge Yaffe is using coercive detention to stifle his dissent.

Richard I. Fine and Family
My father, my mother and me, Christmas 2006

In the meantime, the whole affair has ruined my family. My parents have been left with nothing, their house foreclosed on, their health insurance, due to age and stress, revoked. Their pleas ignored.

The only thing that hasn't been ignored, in a strange ironic twist, is the pay issue itself. As of late November, L.A. County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich revoked these illegal judicial benefits for new judges and has retroactively made the bonuses already paid out to judges legal. (That means that until November 23 of this year, the payments were officially recognized as illegal.)

Despite this, my father remains in jail. His request for release is ''under consideration'' but there's no deadline for courts to make a decision on his case. My father may very well have to face his birthday in a jail cell while he, and we, await the scrutiny and resolution that his situation deserves.

Every day at Impact, I work in the hopes that injustices will be given the attention they're entitled to. I hope that today, as my father faces a biased and unsympathetic court, you will keep this small injustice in mind and share his story with the people you know so that he can one day return to championing the causes of others.

You can learn more about my father's situation and how you can help on his supporters' site.

Follow Victoria Fine on Twitter: www.twitter.com/vfine

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[click here] for:

The Greatest Fraud Ever Pulled, A Kids' Story?

What do these below pictures have to do with a 3rd Grade Children's fairy story? Well, they don't, I am appealing to the reptilian part of your brain to create interest in reading what is written below.


Justice Alex Kozinski's hobby of portraying nude women as cows [post]


Justice Alex Kozinski [post]


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45 sec. video:


Is it a kids' story?

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[click here] for:

Target on Enemies List





This blogger's email: stevengerickson@yahoo.com