We all know about the shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, where an unarmed young black man was killed by a white police officer. We also know that after that shooting riots broke out. The rioters were confronted by police officers, some of whom were clothed in military-type gear. The cops were condemned for being too militaristic. Little condemnation fell upon the heads of those who broke the law.
Unmentioned is that the actions of the police brought the riots to an end with no deaths or major injuries. Rather than suggesting that perhaps using military style responses to riots seemed to work we were told that it was something awful. We were told not to believe our eyes. We were told that indeed something done by the police was quite horrific even though from all we could see the result of their action was quite benign and order was restored.
Having brought about some type of calm, the criminal justice system slowly moved into action. An investigation into the events brought about by Michael Brown’s death commenced. The normal process is to have information about the shooting presented to a grand jury for its determination. That was done. It is near its end of the evidentiary presentation. The grand jury is about to decide whether to indict the white police officer.
Overriding this whole affair is the matter of race. Blacks feel the killing would not have happened had Michael Brown been white; blacks also feel that the cop will get a pass on the killing because he is white. Blacks don’t understand why he has not been quickly indicted and brought to trial. It is well-known in the black and white community that a prosecutor can indict a ham sandwich. Put another way, it is common knowledge that whether a grand jury indicts someone or not is up to the prosecutor. It follows some believe because the prosecutor is white that there will be a white wash.
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Rule by Mob: Ferguson Questions. Read the whole post here
The one thing those who set up this country, people who actually put their lives and wealth at risk, for after all a revolt against the king was treason punishable by a neck noose on a scaffold, was to insure that no king would govern our land.
The idea that they came up with was a tripartite type government with each part having its own separate duties and responsibilities in which two could always act as a check upon another one usurping areas outside its assigned realm.
Article I, states: “All legislative Powers granted shall be vested in a Congress . . . . “ Congress consisted of two houses, a senate and house of representative. Among the powers of Congress explicitly noted were “To regulate commerce with foreign Nations” and “To establish an Uniform Rule of Naturalization”
Article II, states: “The executive power shall be vested in the President of the United States . . . .” Prior to taking office the president must take the following oath: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully executed the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States”
The powers granted to the president are those of “Commander in Chief”, and with Senate oversight to “make Treaties”, “appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, judges of the Supreme Court” and other officers. He can fill vacancies in those offices, give a report to Congress on the State of the Union, “recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient,” recall Congress in cases of disagreement, receive Ambassadors, and “shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed . . . . “
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A Clear Violation of the Constitution: What is the remedy? Is There One?. Read the whole post here
The last two days I posted about the actions by supporters of Israel who hope to push America into war. I told how they plan to pay money to candidates on the condition they promise to be more aggressive against Iran. I’ve written how these money people have a long history of seeking to bring us to war with that nation.
On the first day I posted on this issue there was a horrific terrorist early morning attack in Jerusalem by two Palestinians who somehow believe murdering peaceful men at prayer will accomplish whatever goal they seek. I was tempted to call them brainwashed or deranged but neither definition fit. I hope at some point I can find out what motivated this evil act.
Four rabbis and an Israeli police officer were murdered. The rabbis were all men of peace and good will struck down in the midst of their prayers. The police officer was responding to the desperation of others. A truly horrific event.
Rabbi Moshe Twersky, 59, from our area was called studious, caring, quiet and brilliant; Rabbi Kaiman Ze’ev Levine, 55, from Kansas City spent much of his time promoting tolerance; Rabbi Aryeh Kupinsky, 43, born in Rhode Island and raised in Oak Park, Michigan, the father of five young children, was said to be kind and looking for ways to help people, and Rabbi Abraham Shmuel Goldberg, 68, also the father of five, grew up in Liverpool and was deeply religious and not political.
This void act that accomplished nothing is as evil as any act committed by ISIS. How incomprehensible striking down people engaged in prayer. “Up, sword,” cried Hamlet seeing the king he was bent to murder in prayer believing that to murder him at such a time would send his soul to heaven. So what little comfort we can achieve from this dastardly act is these rabbis died doing what was most important to them, praying to God. What reward lies after a good life certainly awaits them.
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Thoughts on The Murder of the Four Rabbis. Read the whole post here
The American Enterprise Institute (AEI), Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), and the Israeli American Council (IAC) are beating the war drums. Each of these groups is composed of neo-cons. Each is funded by people interested foremost in Israel. They want war with Iran a country of 81 million people almost three times the size of one of the last countries we attacked, Iraq, and they are right out front seeking it without any hiding.
Eleven years after the Iraq attack we are heading back into that country because the decade we spent in building up its army was wasted. Our overthrow of the order of things has led to the creation of ISIS whose leaders are former Iraqi prisoners. We are still in the middle of our doomed Iraq adventure and we are being pushed into another encounter.
I have wondered if anyone has thought about what happens when we attack Iran. Iran is no Iraq. Its influence reaches down into Syria, Iraq and Lebanon. One thing for sure you can count on, the attack will unite the Iranian people. (Remember what 9/11 did to us.) Have we prepared ourselves for what will follow after the attack? Has that even been discussed?
I noted that Senator Lindsey Graham in a speech at IAC last week called the Iran situation “the most significant event in modern history.” Graham is one of the Senate leaders acting on behalf of these pro-Israeli groups. He is part of the group we once knew as the three amigos, John McCain, soon to be chairman of the Armed Services Committee, and Joe Lieberman, former senator from Connecticut being the others.
This is a preview of
Bringing America To War: No Hiding the Footprints. Read the whole post here
I’ve written in the past how I could not vote for Romney because he was in hock to Sheldon Adelson. I’ve noted how Adelson lusts for war with Iran. He suggested dropping nukes on it. Adelson at the same time has told us he regrets serving in the uniform of the U.S. and hopes his boys join the army. Not the American one but the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).
It is common knowledge, or at least I hope it is, that Benjamin Netanyahu has been trying to have the United States attack Iran since he came into power in Israel. The whole need to attack Iran has been like the doomsday clock that some scientists used to continually predict the happening of a nuclear war within a few days. Year after year for at least a dozen years we have been warned by Netanyahu and others that Iran would have a nuclear bomb in a year or so.
When the U.S. seemed less than enthusiastic, Netanyahu suggested as far back as 2012 that if the U.S. would not attack Iran then Israel would do it on its own. That was never a serious consideration. Just like the Arabs won’t put their troops at risk preferring the United States to do the fighting for them; so is it Israel would prefer the United States fight its war with Iran. Not that I blame them, why lose your own boys and girls and spend your national treasure if another nation can be bought into losing their young men and women and spend its money doing it for you.
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American Blood For Sale; Buying An American War.. Read the whole post here
Trigger warnings in Academia and elsewhere are becoming de rigueur or put in another way : “the in-thing to do.” They are descendants from the Legion of Decency’s censoring of movies that began in the ‘30s protecting young and old from suggestive sexual material and violence. They are reflected in the Hollywood lettering system: G, PG, PG – 13, R, or NC -17 which advises parents of the type of material they are about to view on the big (or now the little) screen so that they can protect their children. There was a finally an acceptance that adults were able to censor their own viewing habits.
Today’s trigger warnings don’t relate to what one might see but what one might hear or read. Although it also may relate to some things that are visible. You all recall the kerfuffle at Wellesley College over the sculpture “sleepwalker” that graced the Wellesley campus. Some students suggested it was: “a source of apprehension, fear, and triggering thoughts regarding sexual assault for some members of our campus community.” We were told that some feared some students viewing the statute might end up with post-traumatic stress disorder.
The idea behind the need for trigger warnings is to protect the sensitivity of the most sensitive. A discussion of the issue by the American Association of University Professors noted there are proposals: “that students be alerted to all manner of topics that some believe may deeply offend and even set off a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) response in some individuals.”
An article by Boston lawyer Harvey Silverglate touches upon the issue. He wrote about a woman on a panel at Smith College, Wendy Kaminer, who was defending free speech which she suggested was being thwarted by the “proliferation of campus speech codes that restrict supposedly offensive languages.” During her presentation the issue of Mark Twain’s “The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn” came up which apparently is considered “hate speech” because it has the n-word in it.
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America The Sensitive: The Era of Trigger Warnings.. Read the whole post here
Steve Flemmi had to come up with the tale of the meeting at the Miami Jai Alai fronton to get his deal to avoid the death penalty prosecution in Oklahoma and Florida. He had to get himself out of a jam by offering up FBI Agent Paul Rico. His story doesn’t work out when examined closely. Unfortunately it was never tested under cross-examination.
John Martorano, as you might expect, tells a similar story since he was the gunman in both murders so he too had to escape the Oklahoma and Florida death penalties. Martorano told his story first. Of course, Martorano never met Rico (nor did he meet FBI agent John Connolly who he testified against). He too, though, implicates Rico in the murder of Wheeler. How could Flemmi and Martorano tell a similar story?
They had opportunities to spend a lot of time together. They were incarcerated in the Plymouth, MA, jail from around 1995 through 1997. They were also questioned by the same agents. We also heard how Salemme said these agents gave him the book Black Mass to refresh his recollection. Reading Flemmi’s statement to the agents it is clear they were asking him about certain incidents, refreshing his recollection and leading him.
But as I’ve mentioned before it’s the little differences in recounting a story that tell whether people are telling the truth. It’s easy to say for them to say they met with Rico, but not so to get the details right, especially those details that may have easily been overlooked or forgotten in trying to retell a rehearsed story but which should have been remembered if the event occurred.
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An FBI Story: Told By A Gangster Named Flemmi: Part Three. Read the whole post here
The information that follows about the activity in court today is courtesy of the tweets by Bob McGovern at the Herald. @BobMcGovernJr to whom I owe my thanks.
After calling the case one of massive corruption last Thursday Judge Young appeared to have reconsidered what was involved in the matter. Thankfully he did because up until the sentencing time I was expecting O’Brien to go away for five years. He got 18 months while the prosecutor asked for 70 months, almost 6 years. O’Brien’s co-defendant Taveres got 3 months and Burke got probation while the prosecutors wanted 46 months for them.
Young, although refusing to stay the sentences pending appeal which probably means the two defendants sentenced to prison will serve their time prior to the hearing of their appeals which doesn’t make much sense, looked into his heart and in a stinging rebuke to the prosecutors took into account the true nature of the matter that he was dealing with was system-wide patronage.
He recognized that O’Brien did not create the system of patronage and that it has existed for time immemorial in Massachusetts and elsewhere in America. He also must have recognized that those who were the beneficiaries of the patronage, the judges and politicians who had their friends hired were not before the court. It is clear he knew that O’Brien put no money in his pocket and took that into account.
Young came back at Prosecutor Wyshak who said O’Brien should get a greater sentence because he showed no remorse. He said: “I’m not going to punish him if he doesn’t beg for forgiveness” and “no one is going to be punished for exercising his Constitutional right” in going to trial.
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Judge Young’s Turnabout – You Gotta Have Courage and Heart!. Read the whole post here
I can only scratch my heads at the shenanigans of the Florida Appeals Court.
Here’s a little background. November 6, 2008, Connolly was convicted by a Florida jury and sentenced to 40 years in prison for murder by gun when the gun that murdered the victim was wielded by another (a witness against him) and Connolly was 1500 miles away. The actual murderer got 12 years which wrapped up another 19 murders. Connolly was acquitted of first degree murder and conspiracy to murder.
Connolly appealed his conviction. May 26, 2014, a written decision is filed by the Appeals Court overturning his conviction. If you are any good at math you’ll see it took five and a half years for that decision to be rendered.
The government appealed that decision. Today, November 13, 2014, six months after overturning his conviction the Florida Appeals Court wants to hear his appeal again. It will do this in February 12, 2015. This will be by all the judges on that court. In the meantime Connolly remains in prison.
I’m not sure how long it will take all those judges to make up their minds but I expect judging from the snail’s pace of justice in Florida it will be another nine months at a minimum. I guess Connolly’s going to have to continue being patient because the judges have no problem going very slowly.
If Connolly conviction is then overturned, it will have been seven years after he first appealed. That’s a pretty long time for a person wrongfully convicted to wait to get his justice. But here’s the problem, a dose of reality. Does the Florida Appeals court really want to be known for having kept an innocent guy in prison for that long? I think not. The best way to get egg off its face is to not overturn the conviction. So things look dire for Mr. Connolly.
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Continuing Florida Injustice: Connolly Case To Be Heard Again. Read the whole post here
Correction: O’Brien sentencing is today. Yesterday I said it was going to happen then but I erred. But another day gives me a chance for another comment on the matter.
I missed this but last Thursday in preparation for his sentencing today Judge Young made the following pronouncements. He said: “Mr. O’Brien was the organizer and leader of criminal activity and abused a position of public trust.” He added that O’Brien was guilty of “massive corruption.”
By the way this gang that O’Brien organized consisted of two other people in the probation department both of whom had no criminal records. One was a woman and the other a guy now in his seventies. So the leader that Judge Young was talking about had two followers.
The concept of being a leader usually connotes a bigger following than that. The lowest leadership position I’ve known prior to this was a leader of a Marine fire team but he had three people following him. I’ve never heard of someone being a leader of so few people. When I think leader and organizer I think of someone like a Mafia boss not someone like Grouch Marx.
The reason for making O’Brien into a leader and organizer is so that Judge Young can give O’Brien an enhanced sentence of up to two more years than that provided by the sentencing guidelines. According to them O’Brien should get three years but Young can now almost double it to almost six. Of course the prosecutors having pulled off this scam where they have turned patronage into a crime want him to do about six years because he showed no remorse. I’m not quite sure how he’d do that other than pleading guilty but he couldn’t do that because he doesn’t believe he committed a crime.
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John O’Brien May Have Been Better Off In The Mafia:. Read the whole post here