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Calling Out Stolen Valor

Good friend on mine in my early 20’s was a guy who was a Captain in some branch of the Military Police. He was usually in plain clothes when I saw him, and wouldn’t talk about what he actually did, but carried a real Government ID as verified by Military Guards on entry onto one of the local bases for lunch  at the Officer’s Club at one of the local bases. We were hitting the local clubs one night in a busy part of downtown trying to hit on the local “wildlife”, when he spotted a guy in Military Uniform walking down the street. I have never been in the Military, but knew enough about insignia’s to tell that the guy in question was part of the Old Guard, a spit and polish group who represent the Military at funerals and other honors at Arlington Cemetery. My friend shows his ID, calls the guy to attention, and proceeded to rip him a new one on the status of his uniform.

To an outsider it looks like BS, and my friends explanation of his actions really didn’t click in my mind until about year later when I did some work as a contractor at Fort Meyer, where the soldiers of the Old Guard are stationed, and a Cameron Station, a now defunct base nearby. The Old Guard represents the highest level of respect for the Military, and “spit and polish” in terms of presentation. On base, or off base, as long as they are in uniform – it has to be right.

This video hat popped up on YouTube brought me back to that. This young boy, running around in a uniform 3 sizes too large, missing most of the patches and other details trying to fool folks into believing he is a Major…

There is a YouTube channel devoted expressly to exposure of the folks who feel the need to impersonate members of the Military, and even to claim they have “won” various medals for Valor or Service. It is amazing.

 

 
 

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Inciting Riot – Should Trump Be Prosecuted?

When Trump encourages his supporters to attack protesters and the media at his rally’s…

That is criminal.

Donald Trump is a domestic terrorist: Why the demagogue’s violent provocations demand judicial action

Trump threatens riots if he’s not nominated. Let’s let the courts decide if this is politically protected speech

Donald Trump is a domestic terrorist. That assertion rests on two pillars: a definition and a pattern of facts.

In the definitions of terrorism, the common elements are the use of violence or the threat of violence to coerce or intimidate other people for political purposes.

It is widely recognized that Trump’s repeated incitements during campaign speeches are out of bounds.

He laments that his followers cannot follow the practice of older days when protesters were carried out of political meetings on stretchers. He expresses regret that he cannot punch protesters in the face. While he may not have engaged in violence himself, his inflammatory comments are virtual invitations for others to do so on his behalf — witness his campaign manager’s arrest for assault.

TIME TO INVOKE THE LAW?

Trump, of course, denies that he wishes to incite violence, exploiting the broad latitude for free speech under the first amendment. Yet, the context for assessing incitement has changed profoundly in recent years. There are ample grounds for seeking a fresh judicial review of what constitutes incitement in today’s circumstances.

The core principles on which the Supreme Court has relied stem from a distinction first made by then-Federal District Court Judge Learned Hand in 1917, namely that, to be prosecutable, language must be a “trigger to action” rather than “a key to persuasion”.

When Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes declared in 1919 that no one had the right to shout fire in a crowded theater, he added that the question was one of “proximity and degree”, that is, there must be a “clear and present danger” to public order.

In 1969, this precedent was tightened as the Supreme Court linked judgment about whether inflammatory statements tend to incite unlawful action to a verdict that such action is likely and imminent.

The court revised its earlier interpretations, now declaring that

…the constitutional guarantees of free speech and free press do not permit a State to forbid or proscribe advocacy of the use of force or of law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.

An admirable standard, but one open to reasonable refinement….More Here

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2016 in The Clown Bus, The Definition of Racism

 

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Georgia Judge Delivers a Message

Hopefully she gets through to a few of the hardheads…

Bibb County Superior Court Judge Verda Colvin

 
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Posted by on April 13, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Paypal Leaves North Carolina Over Anti-LGBT Law

Making bigotry (and stupidity) expensive…North Carolina just lost 400 jobs.

Now if Big Blue or some of the majors will pull out…

Now – if companies are willing to do this for LBGT people…Why not in states where minorities are persecuted? I mean…There are places I wouldn’t consider working because of economic or quality of life considerations. Quality of life also means the level of racism in a city. That impacts businesses ability to recruit and retain qualified and senior staff.

PayPal pulls plug on North Carolina unit to protest anti-gay law

Two weeks after unveiling plans to open a global operations center in Charlotte, North Carolina, that would employ more than 400 people, PayPal says it will instead look elsewhere due to a new state law that blocks anti-discrimination rules for gay and transgender people.

The legislation enacted by the state “invalidates protections of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender citizens and denies these members of our community equal rights under the law,” PayPal said in a statement on Tuesday. “Becoming an employer in North Carolina, where members of our teams will not have equal rights under the law, is simply untenable.”

The law, approved by the state’s Republican-controlled legislature and Gov. Pat McCrory, came in response to a Charlotte City Council ordinance approved in February that would have extended protections to gays and lesbians, as well as bisexual and transgender people, at hotels, restaurants and stores. Charlotte also would have allowed transgender people to use restrooms aligned with their gender identity.

The law blocked Charlotte’s rules and prevented other local governments from approving similar ordinances.

The online payments company is joining a growing list of companies that oppose the law, with Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOGL), American Airlines (AAL) and Bank of America (BAC), as well as the state’s professional basketball team, among those calling for a repeal.

Atlanta’s mayor has reportedly banned taxpayer-funded travel to North Carolina over the law, following similar actions by officials in states including New York, Connecticut, Minnesota and Washington.

 

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Businesses Fighting North Carolina Republican Anti-LGBT Law

Earlier this week, NC Governor signed into Law a bill which prohibits local cities and municipalities from either enacting or enforcing existing laws protecting LGBT people from discrimination. The law is un-constitutional, however it will likely be 4-5 years before that decision is made by the Supreme Court. So, unless a State Judge stays the Law – it will be in effect.

In the mean time, NC Tea Baggers are going to find out just how expensive their cretinism and bigotry is.

After passing the same type of legislation in Georgia, a number of companies have threatened to pull out of the state.

In North Carolina so far, the NBA has threatened to cancel it’s All Star Game in the State, and the NCAA has threatened to pull all 20 games of March Madness out of the state in 2017. A number of corporations have expressed disapproval, but whether such will translate into any action is yet to be seen.

The North Carolina Law is different from the Georgia Law in that it specifically targets LGBT people, and forces cities to remove ordinances passed at the local level to protect their rights. The Georgia law legalizes discrimination against anyone, whether LBGT or a minority based on “religious” grounds.

charlotte bank of america LGBT

Businesses Are Joining The Fight Against North Carolina’s Anti-LGBT Law

Dow Chemical, PayPal and the NCAA have all spoken out against the new law.

Companies are taking a stand against North Carolina’s new anti-LGBT law, which Gov. Pat McCrory (R) signed on Wednesday.

House Bill 2, approved by the state’s General Assembly in a special session, prevents cities from passing anti-discrimination ordinances protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people. The law came in response to an anti-discrimination ordinance recently passed in Charlotte, which allowed transgender people to use the bathroom designated for the gender with which they identify. Conservatives, including McCrory, vowed to take down the so-called bathroom bill, arguing the law would give predators license to enter women’s bathrooms. (As HuffPost’s Amanda Terkel reports, this rhetoric has doomed many equal rights initiatives.)

The resulting legislation is a wide-ranging measure that blocks local governments from passing laws protecting LGBT people, requires schools to designate single-sex bathrooms based on “biological sex” and preempts city policies involving wages, benefits and other workplace regulations.

Corporate leaders in the state have been swift to condemn the law, echoing the backlash that helped take down Indiana’s “religious freedom“ law last year.

The law also drew opposition from the NCAA, which had planned to host at least 20high-profile games in the state in 2017 and 2018, including the immensely popular Division I men’s tournament. The association hinted that HB 2 could change its mind.

“We’ll continue to monitor current events, which include issues surrounding diversity, in all cities bidding on NCAA championships and events, as well as cities that have already been named as future host sites,” the organization said in a statement. “Our commitment to the fair treatment of all individuals, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, has not changed and is at the core of our NCAA values. It is our expectation that all people will be welcomed and treated with respect in cities that host our NCAA championships and events.”

American Airlines, which has a major hub in Charlotte, also condemned HB 2.

“We believe no individual should be discriminated against because of gender identity or sexual orientation,” American Airlines spokeswoman Katie Cody said. “Laws that allow such discrimination go against our fundamental belief of equality and are bad for the economies of the state in which they are enacted.”

The NBA, which has scheduled the league’s 2017 All-Star Game in Charlotte, said its leaders “do not know” how the law will affect plans for the game:

 

 

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DOJ Newest Civil Rights Strategy – Locking Up Bad Judges

By now it should be obvious to everyone that the problems in Law Enforcement extend to the Judiciary. Further – conservative “No-Tax” freaks on the right have created a system wherein any semblance to a fair an equitable tax system is replaced by a predatory Judicial and draconian laws shifting the tax burden onto the poor. The Ferguson Report was a watershed in exposing such criminal schemes, often which target minorities under The New Jim Crow.

It has been a long time coming, but the DOJ is finally preparing to hold corrupt and predatory Judges at the local level…Accountable.

TITLE 18, U.S.C., SECTION 242

Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully subjects any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States, … shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if bodily injury results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnaping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.

What is interesting about this law, is it goes far beyond just the issue of Debtors, and suggests that even local legislators may be held accountable for willfully creating local laws which violate Civil Rights as defined under the Constitution. Which doesn’t mean that a local law challenged before a higher court and ruled unconstitutional makes local legislators liable – but does mean those legislatures which (as in North Carolina) have ruled the Federal Constitution null and void can be tried and jailed for passing laws violating Civil Rights guaranteed under the Constitution.

I gotta believe that Tea Baggers in jail are going to have a harder time than Jared the child molester.

 

How Locking Up Judges Could End Debtors’ Prisons

Civil rights lawyers want the DOJ to give judges who break the law a taste of their own medicine.

Justice Department officials warned U.S. judges and court administrators this week that practices like incarcerating poor people without determining whether they could afford outstanding fines are illegal and unconstitutional.

But civil rights advocates with clients who’ve had their lives torn apart after being accused of petty crimes, receiving traffic tickets or charged with municipal code violations say the feds have a much more effective method of fixing the widespread problem: locking up judges.

In a nine-page letter sent to all state chief justices and state court administrators on Monday, the DOJ’s Vanita Gupta, who heads the Civil Rights Division, and Lisa Foster, the director of the Office of Access to Justice, urged local officials to “review court rules and procedures within your jurisdiction to ensure that they comply with due process, equal protection, and sound public policy.”

Judges who incarcerate poor people because they missed a payment are breaking the law, the letter said. What many courts consider a “routine administrative matter” of forcing defendants to pre-pay a “bond” or “bail” before they’re allowed to schedule a court date is actually unconstitutional, Gupta and Foster wrote. Locking people in cages for long periods of time solely because they can’t afford to buy their freedom is a violation of the country’s supreme law, the U.S. Constitution.

Civil rights advocates praised the Justice Department for sending the letter. However, they say there’s a much more powerful tool available if the feds really want to deter judicial crime: Federal prosecutors can hold judges accountable for their unlawful conduct by charging them with a federal crime.

Section 242 of Title 18 of the U.S. code — the so-called “color of law” statute — is the same federal civil rights legislation that Justice Department prosecutors use against police officers and prison guards who use excessive force and make false arrests. The law applies to prosecutors and judges, too. But the feds don’t use it against them often.

Hub Harrington, a former circuit judge in Shelby County, Alabama, who in 2012called Harpersville Municipal Court a “debtors prison” and a “judicially sanctioned extortion racket,” suggested prosecuting judges who break the law at a December meeting at the White House. He said he approached the Justice Department and the Alabama Attorney General about the issues in Harpersville and was frustrated that former Municipal Court Judge Larry Ward wasn’t charged over his conduct.

“We’ve been talking about the victims,” Harrington said at the time. “What about the perpetrators? We got the laws in place. We already have the law you can’t put indigent people in jail without a hearing. We don’t need more laws. We need to enforce the ones we’ve got.”

Alec Karakatsanis from Equal Justice Under Law, an organization that has been suing cities engaged in widespread unconstitutional practices, said the DOJ letter was a good start and could help “eradicate any notion that any judge can be ignorant of basic principles of constitutional law.” But he hoped bad judges would be indicted.

“For a long time, our courts have become places where impoverished people and people of colors’ rights are violated with virtual impunity every day as a matter of daily practice,” Karakatsanis said. “You’d like to think that the people who are tasked with applying the law are held to the same standards as everyone else, and when people are blatantly violating the law, there should be consequences for them.”

It would be “a hard argument for any judge to make that they thought it was OK for them to be throwing people in jail for not being able to make payments without making any type of inquiry into their ability to pay,” he added. But the problem is so widespread and commonplace that prosecution could be less likely.

“It’s not just a ‘few bad apples,’ we have a legal system that has lost it’s way, become desensitized towards caging people,” Karakatsanis said. “One of the really difficult and sad things about our legal system is that the more common something is, the more difficult it is to prosecute because there’s this sense that ‘Well, everyone is doing it, so it would break the system.’” …Read The Rest Here

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2016 in The New Jim Crow

 

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Just In Time for the Miniseries – Cops Claim Knife Found Buried at OJ House

One of the never ending racial dramas in America seems to be whether “OJ is Guilty”, disavowing the long American legal tradition of being “Guilty” in a court of law, and having actually committed a crime are two entirely different things. This one is a bit fishy because of the evidence trail, supposedly being hidden by a Police Officer for at least 10 years. The knife has now been contaminated by who knows how many people handling it. In any event…It is good for the ratings.

Cast from the Miniseries with Cuba Gooding as OJ, and John Travolta as Attorney Robert Shapiro

O.J. SIMPSON BURIED KNIFE FOUND AT O.J.’S ESTATE

A construction worker found a knife buried on the perimeter of the former O.J. Simpson estate … and it’s currently being tested by the LAPD in a top secret investigation … law enforcement sources tell TMZ.

The story is incredible. We’re told a construction worker found the knife years ago — we have heard several different stories, ranging from “several years ago” to 1998, when the house was demolished.

The weapon is a folding buck knife.

Our law enforcement sources say the construction worker took the knife to the street, where he saw an LAPD cop. He told the officer where he found the knife and the cop took it.

Turns out the cop — who worked in the traffic division — was off duty at the time, working security for a movie shoot at a house across the street on Rockingham. Our sources say the officer took the knife home and kept it … kept it for years.

In late January of this year, after the cop retired from the LAPD, he contacted a friend who worked in LAPD’s Robbery Homicide Division (RHD). The cop told the friend about the knife and said he was getting it framed to put on his wall. He wanted his friend to get the DR (Departmental Record) number for the Nicole Brown Simpson/Ronald Goldman murder case, which he planned on engraving in the frame.

We’re told the friend was indignant, and told his superiors. The brass was outraged and demanded that the retired cop turn the knife over, which he did.

Our sources say the knife is currently being tested for hair and fingerprints. It will be moved to the Serology Unit next week, where it will be tested for DNA and other biological evidence.

One source familiar with the investigation tells us, cops who eyeballed the knife think it could have blood residue on it, but it’s hard to know without testing because it’s extremely rusted and stained.

The investigation is top secret. It’s been logged into the LAPD’s computer system outside the official case file to maintain security. Our sources say, since O.J. was found not guilty, it’s still an open case. That means cops can continue investigating, but O.J. cannot be prosecuted again — double jeopardy.

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2016 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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