Criminalizing feeding the homeless should be a felony

November 7, 2014

Friday, November 7, 2014

Good morning:

That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn.

To the rhythm of protesters chanting, “Hey, Jack, what do you say? How many homeless did you starve today?” the Fort Lauderdale city commissioners passed an ordinance at 3:30 am on October 22, 2014 criminalizing feeding the homeless on public property. ‘Jack’ is Jack Seiler, the mayor who is determined to drive the homeless out his city by criminalizing charitable efforts to feed them.

The ordinance requires groups feeding the homeless to be at least 500 feet away from residential properties and 500 feet away from each other. In case there is a city block more than 500 feet long, the ordinance prohibits more than one group feeding the homeless per city block. Those who feed the homeless also are required to obtain permission to do so from the nearby property owners and, last but not least, they are required to provide porta-potties for the homeless.

Arnold Abbott, 90, a second world war veteran and founder of the interfaith Love Thy Neighbour non-profit group, has been operating a kitchen in the Sanctuary Church and feeding the homeless for more than 20 years. Abott and Duane Black, the pastor of the Sanctuary Church, and another pastor from a local church were arrested by police for violating the law on a Sunday two days after it went into effect. Police stopped the feed just after it started thereby forcing the homeless to go without.

Undeterred by the threat of fines and a jail sentence, Abbott and Pastor Black vowed to continue the street feeds.

“We have been feeding the homeless for a long time. It is our calling and our duty to not let another human being go hungry. But now it’s a crime to feed a hungry person,” Black told the Guardian.

“The city says that it creates an eyesore; they are saying that human beings being fed is an eyesore. What they are doing is wrong. It lacks all compassion.”

They were arrested a second time on Wednesday and plan to continue what they are doing in defiance of the law, no matter what happens.

Mayor Seiler opposes feeding the homeless because he says it encourages people to remain homeless, which is like saying people who are paralyzed shouldn’t have wheelchairs because it would encourage them to remain paralyzed.

Now Anonymous has announced its support for feeding the homeless.

This song is for you, Mayor Seiler.


No immunity hearing in Zimmerman case

March 5, 2013

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

At today’s hearing, Judge Nelson asked Mark O’Mara if he still needed the two weeks she had set aside in April for the defendant’s immunity hearing.

He responded, “No.”

Does this mean that the defendant will be waiving his right to an immunity hearing?

I believe the answer is, “Yes.”

Although O’Mara has previously suggested that the immunity hearing and the trial be combined, I do not believe that makes any sense for the following reasons.

The purpose of the immunity hearing is to determine whether there is any need for a trial. If the judge grants the defendant’s motion for immunity, there is no trial and no jurors need be summoned to come to court. No time has to be reserved for the trial.

There is no reason to have an immunity hearing, unless it takes place before the trial.

The defense goes first in the immunity hearing and has the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant acted in self-defense, As a practical matter, this means the defendant must testify.

The defense has no burden of proof in the trial. The defendant and the prosecution must go first and the defendant is presumed innocent.

Combining the two hearings would, in effect, deny the presumption of innocence to the defendant and that would be a major constitutional error requiring reversal.

Judge Nelson and BDLR certainly know that.

The judge is not going to go through 2-3 weeks of jury selection if that is not necessary.

Therefore, MOM has in effect waived the immunity hearing.

BOTTOM LINE: The defense cannot risk putting the defendant on the stand at an immunity hearing because of the tsunami of extremely negative publicity that would result from the evisceration of the defendant on cross by the prosecution.

O’Mara does not want to admit that his client is not credible and I can understand why because the physical and forensic evidence refutes everything he says and he has given so many contradictory and inconsistent statements about what happened that with only eight exceptions, no one will believe anything he says.

The eight exceptions are:

1. I got in my truck.

2. I followed him in my truck.

3. He ran.

4. I got out of my truck.

5. Fucking coons (or if you prefer, fucking punks).

6. These assholes, they always get away.

7. Tell the officer (that was dispatched to the neighborhood) to call me on my cell phone when he gets here so that I can tell him where to find me.

8. I shot him (Trayvon Martin).

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Obama’s Vile Assassination Doctrine

March 7, 2012

President Obama’s assassination doctrine is a blatant violation of the Fifth Amendment and an insult to everyone who believes in due process of law, the rule of law, and the Constitution. No one is above the law, especially the President. That he would think and proclaim otherwise, says volumes about his arrogance and ignorance.

Attorney General Eric Holder delivered a speech at the Northwestern University School of Law purporting to justify the assassination doctrine as an acceptable form of non-judicial process that has never been reviewed, much less approved, by a court of law. Worse, the administration refuses to share and discuss the legal memorandum upon which Mr. Holder and Mr. Obama rely in claiming the assassination power.

As with everything else in this secretive administration, we are supposed to shut-up and trust them. I refuse to do so.

Support for the death penalty in this country has declined substantially due to the hundreds of innocent people wrongfully convicted and sentenced to death. Why would anyone think that the President should be trusted to get it right when he targets someone for assassination, if our criminal justice system and its vaunted trial by jury so often gets it wrong? What is to stop a president from targeting a political rival or a Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. for assassination?

Nothing. The person is assassinated and we the people are never provided with an explanation. Absent a whistleblower, and we all know how much this president loves and welcomes whistleblowers, we would never know the president ordered the hit, much less why. Indeed, one might reasonably suppose that he or she would be next, if they asked too many questions.

I am truly disgusted and alarmed beyond words by this development. Under no circumstances will I vote for Barack Obama or any other candidate who supports his assassination doctrine.


Has Obama Decided To Start A War With Iran To Assure That He Wins The 2012 Election?

February 18, 2012

I write to warn everyone that President Obama likely intends to start a war with Iran before the November election even though two days ago,

(a) Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, admitted that Iran is enriching uranium for peaceful purposes and not attempting to develop a nuclear weapon; and

(b) Chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Lieutenant General Ronald Burgess, admitted that Iran is unlikely to start a war on its own.

Jason Ditz at antiwar.com reports today,

Officials say Obama has been telling Israel he wants to “give sufficient time” to the current round of sanctions before starting the war, though they say that in the end the result will start be a war because Iran is “behaving like sanctions don’t matter.”

Ditz further reports that,

Obama advisers are now calling September or October the “sweet spot.”

For additional information on what I believe to be Obama’s complete capitulation to corporate America’s lust for unfettered access to Iranian oil and his decision to act in “lockstep” with Israel, allowing Netanyahu to drag us into an aggressive, unnecessary and illegal war with Iran in order to assure that he defangs the eventual Republican nominee for president and wins the November election, please listen to this 24-minute interview of David Bromwich by Scott Horton at antiwar.com.

Also, please take a few minutes to read Bromwich’s article at the Huffington Post titled, Obama’s Drift Toward War In Iran.


The Real Estate Forfeiture Settlement Is A Mirage

February 11, 2012

In one of his articles yesterday at Firedoglake, David Dayen mentioned that the settlement agreement has not been reduced to writing.

That is astonishing.

Let me repeat. That. Is. Astonishing.

The biggest problem with settlement agreements in particular, and all agreements in general, is reaching a so-called ‘meeting of the minds’ regarding the details and ‘chiseling them into stone’ by reducing them to writing. As I used to warn my clients when I was practicing law, we do not have an agreement until it has been reduced to writing, thoroughly reviewed, and signed by each of the parties. That has obviously not happened in this case.

Experience has taught us that humans dealing in good faith make mistakes, no matter how careful they are, and the potential for mistakes, misunderstandings and subsequent disagreements about the terms of an agreement cannot be overestimated. That potential becomes a certainty when one or more parties to an agreement is dealing in bad faith.

That, my friends, is why we have a law called the Statute of Frauds, which requires that certain types of agreements be in writing or they are invalid and unenforceable.

For example, contracts regarding the sale of real estate must be in writing or they are invalid and unenforceable.

Given the absence of a written agreement and the vagueness regarding its terms, which is virtually incomprehensible to me, I cannot help but wonder if everyone involved in the settlement talks is being less than candid when they say an agreement was reached.

Obama would not be the first person to declare publicly that an agreement had been reached when, in fact, that was a false statement.

Why would he do that?

To pressure reluctant parties to settle. It is a variation on the old ploy, “I have scheduled a press conference in two hours at which I intend to announce that we have reached a global agreement that settles all claims in this case and provides desperately needed relief to homeowners. These discussions have gone on long enough. Agree to these terms now because they are not going to get better and if you do not, I will announce publicly that we would have had a deal except for you. Then you can explain to your constituents why there is no deal.”

Recall that he wanted to announce a global settlement during his SOTU address.

Why would the attorneys general agree?

A better question to ask would be how could they could not agree, given the severe financial limitations of state budgets these days and the practical impossibility of assembling and compensating a team of hundreds of dedicated professionals to work for many years investigating and prosecuting the numerous interstate and international crimes that have been committed. We are talking about millions of people who were defrauded during a period of close to twenty years and probably documents numbering in the hundreds of millions, if not billions. Imagine the resources that would be required to investigate and, figuratively speaking, get your arms around this vast coast-to-coast conspiracy that eventually went international in the form of exotic financial instruments of mass destruction that may yet still blow-up the world economy.

Practically speaking, only the Department of Justice has the capacity to investigate and prosecute the heinous crimes committed by the criminal banksters, and that has not and will not happen because Obama, Holder, and Breuer have decided not to do it.

This is why we have not seen a realistic and credible effort by any organization to thoroughly investigate this case. The little investigation we have seen by dedicated professionals working alone or in small groups has produced a few snapshots of wrongdoing in individual cases and resulted in a few lawsuits and indictments of low-hanging-fruit underlings, but that is all.

Having been involved in defending people in many complicated paper-intensive white collar racketeering and fraud cases, I do not believe the state attorneys general had the ponies they needed to ride in the race.Obama called their bluff and they caved.

I respect those who tried to do something, but I am not happy about their decision to not only acquiesce in approving of this apparent settlement agreement, but to try and sell it publicly. We are not stupid and we deserve to know the truth.

The truth is that Eric Holder, Lanny Breuer, and Barack Obama are corrupt and the proof is in the pudding, so to speak. The Department of Justice has refused to investigate and they casually brush aside all questions by saying no provable crimes were committed.

Come on, now. How in the hell could they know that, if they have not investigated the case? It is long past time to, figuratively speaking, slam them up against the wall, call bullshit, and hold them politically accountable for their lies. They insult our intelligence when they tell us that no provable crimes were committed.

I am an experienced trial lawyer with knowledge and experience defending people charged with white collar crimes and I know what it takes to prove a case. I am calling them on their bullshit.

I suspect Obama desperately needed two things: Money and a favorable settlement for the banks.

If you have been paying attention, you would know that Wall Street donations to Obama’s campaign for reelection have slowed to a trickle and he cannot win reelection without substantial financial support from the criminal banksters.

He needed to do something dramatic to open the spigot and restore the flow of their cash into his coffers.

He also needed to find a way to conceal their identities and how much they were giving so that we the people would not know that the money was a payoff for effectively cutting off bank liability for Forfeiture Gate.

What else has happened recently, aside from this ridiculous unwritten settlement agreement with a few numbers waved around that kind of sound impressive until one considers the vast scope of this criminal conspiracy?

Obama announced that he ‘regrettably’ must accept Super PAC money in order to compete with Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee for president. Super PACs are instruments of mass electoral corruption because there are no limits on the amount of money they can contribute and their donors can remain anonymous. That means the criminal banksters can anonymously pay him off with millions.

When I step back and look at this deal, I do not see an enforceable deal. I see the mirage of a deal. I do not believe anything has changed. The forfeitures relying on forged documents will continue. The states will get some bankster cost-of-doing-business bribe money to shut-up and few, if any, homeowners will ever see the ridiculous and insulting $1800 bribe.

And that, my friends, is yet another monstrous con.

Classic Obama extend and pretend.

And to the state attorneys general, I say: Tell us the truth and save your self-respect and professional reputations. Do not go down with this con.


The Deal

January 15, 2012

I am 64 years old. I have never been as disgusted with the political situation in the United States as I am now. On a scale from 1 to 10, I score all of the Republican candidates and Barack Obama at -1.

In other words, unfit and unqualified to serve.

Hell, I refuse to support Obama because I consider him to be a serial liar and a war criminal who supports indefinite detention, torture, and extrajudicial assassination. He’s flat out insane and dangerous. There is only one place he should be and it is not the White House. It is a prison cell.

The mind blowing fact about the campaigns of the various candidates is the absence of any acknowledgement and discussion of the important issues of these difficult times.

(1) Why empire?

(2) Why no civil liberties?

(3) Why are 2.3 million people locked up?

(4) Why haven’t all drugs been legalized?

(5) Why isn’t anything being done about unemployment?

(6) Why not single-payer health insurance for all?

(7) Why not free college and graduate education?

(8) Why forfeiture?

(9) Why no prosecutions of war criminals and criminal banksters?

(10) Why haven’t the TBTF banks been allowed to fail or taken over and broken up?

(11) Why the extreme and increasing disproportional distribution of income and what can be done to reverse it?

(12) Why oil?

(13) Why nuclear?

(14) Why coal?

(15) Why poverty?

These are some, but not all of the problems that beset us and I neither want to hear, nor will I listen to all these stupid jerk candidates babbling about bullshit.

Fortunately, OWS is starting to change the dialogue, and that gives me hope.

Which brings me to The Deal.

Listen to this tune by the Grateful Dead with OWS as The Deal.

OWS is The Deal.

The Deal

Source: The Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics by David Dodd.

Words by Robert Hunter; music by Jerry Garcia
Copyright Ice Nine Publishing.

Since it cost a lot to win
and even more to lose
You and me bound to spend some time
wondring what to choose

Goes to show you don’t ever know
Watch each card you play
and play it slow
Wait until your deal come round
Don’t you let that deal go down

I been gambling here abouts
for ten good solid years
If I told you all that went down
it would burn off both your ears

It goes to show you don’t ever know
Watch each card you play
and play it slow
Wait until your deal come round
Don’t you let that deal go down

Since you poured the wine for me
and tightend up my shoes
I hate to leave you sittin there
composin lonesome blues

It goes to show you don’t ever know
Watch each card you play
and play it slow
Wait until your deal come round
Don’t you let that deal go down
Don’t you let that deal go down, no
Don’t you let your deal go down


Forensic Fraud (Part 2)

January 13, 2012

As I said yesterday in Part 1,

One of the biggest problems we’ve seen in crime labs is people testifying as experts regarding matters beyond their expertise.

This happened in Crane-Station’s case when a lab tech with a bachelor’s degree from Transylvania University in Lexington, KY, who routinely analyzes human blood samples for controlled substances in the Central Lab of the Kentucky State Crime Laboratory using gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (GCMC), testified as an expert toxicologist regarding the probable effects of Clonazepam on her. He was permitted to do this without objection from her lawyer, even though,

(1) he had not detected Clonazepam, or any other drugs in her blood when he analyzed her sample;

(2) he had no formal training in drug toxicology;

(3) he never had published a peer reviewed article in a professional journal on any subject;

(4) he did not know what constituted a toxic level of Clonazepam in human blood, as opposed to a safe level;

(5) the prosecutor told him that she had admitted taking her prescribed medication when she was arrested, which included Clonazepam, but he had no information regarding what dosage she had taken and when she had taken it.

Nevertheless, he was permitted to express his opinion as an ‘expert’ that she was probably under the influence of and impaired by Clonazepam when the deputy stopped her.

This was a travesty of speculative nonsense and never should have happened.

Now, how is it possible that she could have been under the influence of and impaired by Clonazepam, if he did not detect it in her blood sample?

Well, he testified that it is difficult to detect using gas chromatography and he might have been able to detect it using liquid chromatography, but the Kentucky State Crime Lab cannot afford the equipment to perform that analysis.

Could some other lab have performed the analysis?

Well, as a matter of fact, NMS Labs in Philadelphia can do it and the Kentucky State Crime Laboratory has a contract with NMS to do the test.

Did that happen in Crane’s case?

According to the Director of the Kentucky State Crime Laboratory, the lab sent her blood sample to NMS.

But Ryan Johnson claims that he did not send her blood sample to another lab and the prosecution denies that another lab tested her sample, or that there is an exculpatory lab result from NMS.

However, there is a 2-month gap between the date that Ryan Johnson completed his analysis and the date that it was approved by his supervisor.

Sure looks like he completed his analysis and sent her sample to NMS. They tested it and sent it back reporting an exculpatory result confirming his analysis without generating a written report, so his supervisor reviewed and signed off on his exculpatory result. Then the prosecution turned over his report without mentioning the NMS report.

NMS has referred all inquiries to the prosecutor and, as I said, the prosecutor claims there is no NMS Report or analysis.

This is the kind of bullshit that we are dealing with.


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