Tell Obama: LGBTI Ambassador for the Vatican


 

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Ambassador James Hormel

Ambassador James Hormel

On NBC’s Meet the Press this morning, David Gregory discussed the Chuck Hagel nomination for Defense Secretary with President Barack Obama.  As I wrote recently [http://janbtucker.com/blog/2012/12/26/chuck-hagel-is-a-breath-of-fresh-air/] vis a vis Middle Eastern politics, Chuck Hagel is a breath of fresh air, however, he has never personally apologized to James Hormel for his statements concerning Hormel’s recess appointment by President Bill Clinton as Ambassador to Luxembourg in 1999 and he really needs to do that, even though he has publicly apologized now that he’s facing confirmation hearings if nominated:

The Omaha World-Herald reported in 1998: “Ambassadorial posts are sensitive, Hagel explained. ‘They are representing America,’ he said [in an interview]. ‘They are representing our lifestyle, our values, our standards. And I think it is an inhibiting factor to be gay — openly aggressively gay like Mr. Hormel — to do an effective job.’”

Another vacancy in office that the United States needs to fill is Ambassador to the Vatican.  That office is vacant and President Obama needs to make a nomination for confirmation by the Senate for the post.

One way that the United States can send a serious message to the world, maybe even the strongest ambassadorial message it can as to just how serious it is about supporting LGBTI rights internationally, is in who we send as ambassador to the Vatican, with whom we have “enjoyed” formal diplomatic relations since 1984.  So while watching President Obama and David Gregory discuss the Hagel-Hormel issues this morning, the idea popped into my head which I immediately posted on Facebook:

President Obama: send an LGBTI Ambassador to the Vatican!

Just popped into my mind. The United States can stand up for LGBTI rights by sending an Ambassador to the Vatican as a MESSAGE. Now, if the President wants to send a particular message and start a very specific conversation, he should send a Transvestite Ambassador. Unless the Pope wants to look like a real hypocrite and an idiot, he can’t even object, because after all, the Pope wears a dress. Kudos to folk singer Judy Fjell who once wrote a song about the Pope coming out of the closet when he visited San Francisco, the queen capital of America, wearing a dress and bringing his wardrobe of dresses that would be the envy of any drag queen!

Judy Fjell, Lesbian, Left Folk Singer

Judy Fjell, Lesbian, Left Folk Singer

First, let me explain the literary allusion.  Judy Fjell, one of my absolutist favorite folk singers (who in a curious way is responsible for my incredible and legendary luck with raffle tickets, a story for another day), does this song, Take a Leap John Paul:

TAKE A LEAP, JOHN PAUL   ©1987 Judy Fjell (BMI)

Please Mr. Pope, John Paul,
Now that you’re here tell us all

In the safety of this drag queen town
You can whisper to us why you are wearing that gown
We won’t breathe a word to the press
If you will just confess
Why in the name of God you wear dresses to cover your bod?
Are you afraid of your body?
Then you’ve learned your lesson well
The church proclaims the flesh is naughty
And leads us all down the path to hell
But now I guess we’ll be the ones to break it to ya
Wearing dresses ain’t the way to hallelujah
So, Johnny, jump down off of old St. Peter’s rock
And you can swish all you want when you walk
‘Cause we’re not ashamed of anybody in this city by the bay
We try to love everybody, man or woman, beast or priest
Lesbian, bisexual, straight or gay
So get down off your Vatican high horse
And stop all this papal discourse
All your hoo-hah on homosexuality and such
Well, we think thou dost protest too much
Don’t be ashamed of your closet
It’s the envy of so many men in this town
Don’t leave your hat in San Francisco
Unless you leave your matching gown
What we’re tryin’ to say, JP
Is to be all you can be
And if the pressure to wear pants is ever too much in Rome
Just put your skirts on and fly back home
Because here in this city
It’s more than okay to dress and be gay
No need for fear or pious pity
In a place where anyone, even you, can be queen for a day
So take a leap, John Paul, take a chance
Take off your loafers and join in the dance
If I’m a human you can be one, too
There could be room in this city for you, JP II
There could be room in this city for me and you

For more on Judy Fjell:  Honey Pie Music  PO Box 1515  Big Timber, MT 59011 (406)932-6468   http://www.judyfjell.com

People who don’t know me well might think that is all some typically weird Jan B. Tucker practical joke.  It’s not.  I’m starting a campaign here and now to demand that President Obama send an L or G or B or T or I (and/or any combination of those categories) as Ambassador to the Vatican.  There are three brilliant sayings that guide my thinking, my actions, and my impulse control (which I’m sure will come into question over this blog) in this matter.  The first is, Elizabeth Cady Stanton who said that “The older I get the more radical I become.”  The other is by feminist, suffragist and abolitionist Frederick Douglass:

Power concedes nothing

Finally, Barry Goldwater (whose 1964 Republican convention speech containing this gem was written by Karl Hess, whose parents were socialists and who later termed himself a Libertarian Socialist and joined the People’s Party, the Peace & Freedom Party’s national affiliate):

Extremism in the Defense of Liberty

So, what ought President Obama do with his Ambassadorial appointment to the Vatican:

  • Appoint a male, Gay, Transvestite:  this would be the most friendly message to the Vatican since as I’ve pointed out, the Pope is a transvestite who wears a dress in public, as do many of his entourage
  • Appoint a Lesbian card carrying member of the National Organization for Women who has defended women’s clinics from anti-abortion blockades and who has had a Vatican defying in vitro fertilization to get pregnant
  • Appoint a pre-op Transsexual so that the Pope can learn from the entire process just how reasonable and natural of a process somebody goes through when they have gender dysphoria

If you or your organization wants to endorse this campaign, spread this message and email me at pr@janbtucker.com.


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Demand CA Senators support Filibuster Reform


 

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Filibusters48 Democratic Party caucus (which includes Independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont) Senators have committed to voting to force Senators who want to filibuster a bill or a motion to actually have to keep speaking on the Senate floor. Their proposal would also abolish filibusters on motions to proceed and limit the ability of Senators to block the President’s nominees from getting a confirmation vote.

California Senator Dianne Feinstein

California Senator Dianne Feinstein

California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer have NOT committed to vote for this critical Senate rules change.

This change is not fully small “d” democratic but it is a step in the right direction. If the Senate was truly “democratic” they would simply adopt the Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure of the American Institute of Parliamentarians (“Sturgis” as opposed to “Roberts”). If Sturgis was in effect, you could have “friendly amendments” (which don’t exist in Robert’s

California Senator Barbara Boxer

California Senator Barbara Boxer

Rules), reconsideration could be granted whether or not the maker of the motion voted with a previous majority, and the presiding officer (in the case of the Senate, the Vice President) could cut off a speaker if what they were saying was completely non-germane to the question on the floor, thereby preventing a “speaking filibuster” from simply wasting the Senate’s time.

 Contact California Senators NOW and demand that they vote for the proposed rule change:

 http://www.boxer.senate.gov/en/contact/offices/index.cfm

  http://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/state-offices

On December 8, 2012, The Hill reported socialist Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’ views on the filibuster reform efforts:

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders

“I certainly hope we will succeed with very serious filibuster reform, because if we don’t, we’re going to continue to be tied up in knots,” Sanders said. “Look, the Senate is not the House, and we want to create a situation where the minority, whether it`s Republican, Democrat, whatever, has the right to explain to the American people why they feel the way they feel. That is … important.

“On the other hand, the majority in this country has the right to rule, has the right to make decisions. Obama won a huge victory. We won 25 out of 33 elections in the Senate. We won seats in the House.”

CALLAC_001As state director of the California League of Latin American Citizens (CALLAC) I will be talking to members of our organization, our national affiliate (National League of Latin American Citizens) and other organizations we are  allied with asking them to sign onto a letter to Senators Boxer and Feinstein to support the current effort at Senate Rules Reform AND to seek to further democratize the Senate by basing its rules on “Sturgis.”  Let me know if you will join this effort:

callac@janbtucker.com


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Chuck Hagel is a breath of fresh air


 

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Barack Obama & Chuck Hagel

Barack Obama & Chuck Hagel

Former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel is a breath of fresh air, especially when it comes to United States policy towards the Middle East.  In his New York Times column today, Thomas L. Friedman made some seminal points concerning Israel and how Chuck Hagel relates to American-Israeli relations.  Two comments that bear further analysis are:

If ever Israel needed a U.S. defense secretary who was committed to Israel’s survival, as Hagel has repeatedly stated — but who was convinced that ensuring that survival didn’t mean having America go along with Israel’s lunatic, self-destructive drift into settling the West Bank and obviating a two-state solution — it is now.

 and:

I think Hamas is dedicated to Israel’s destruction and has been a disaster for the Palestinians. But it is a deeply rooted organization. It controls Gaza. It is not going away. I don’t think America or Israel have anything to lose by engaging Hamas to see if a different future is possible.

Jewish QuestionIn Jewish theological studies, it is traditional for Rabbis to engage their students with endless questioning and answering and more questioning.  It is a very subjective learning process.  It is so intrinsic to Jewish culture that an old joke exemplifies the process:

Q:  Why do you people always answer a question with another question?

Q:  Why shouldn’t we?

So, what questions need to be asked about what goes on with Israel, Palestine and the prospects for peace?

HamasFriedman makes the point that Hamas may be committed to Israel’s destruction.  Unlike the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) which runs the West Bank, Hamas has never recognized the right of Israel to exist.  Israel insists it won’t deal with Hamas unless as a precondition Hamas changes its tune on that issue.

Is there some reason why Hamas shouldn’t make such a declaration in exchange for peace talks?  Is there some rational reason for them not accepting the legitimacy of Israel?  Yes, there is.

Actually, there are a number of reasons that explains Hamas’s supposed intransigence but let’s just deal with one that most Americans are completely unaware of.  Aside from a fact that Friedman identifies, i.e. that many of Israel’s current governing leaders believe in annexation of the West Bank, there is also a fanatical element still very active in Israeli politics that has never surrendered the concept of “Israel on both sides of the Jordan river.”

This is the concept of Israel on both sides of the Jordan river, East bank as well as West bank.  This insane claim is based upon what the map looked like thousands of years ago

This is the concept of Israel on both sides of the Jordan river, East bank as well as West bank. This insane claim is based upon what the map looked like thousands of years ago

The major party which formed the Likud bloc, the party of Prime Minister Netanyahu, was the Herut (Freedom) Party which was founded by the Irgun Zvai Leumi.  The Herut Party’s platform never repudiated the concept of “Israel on both sides of the Jordan,” i.e., a call for the annexation of not just the West Bank but of the conquest and subjugation of the Kingdom of Jordan itself.  See my whole commentary on this issue at:

http://janbtucker.com/blog/2011/05/18/words-actions-in-international-relations/

Why should Hamas accept Israel’s legitimacy when important and powerful Israeli politicians continue to this day to actively attempt to settle and effectively annex portions of the West Bank and to publicly advocate subjugation of Jordan?  Those Israeli politicians believe that god gave them the right to take this land, so why should Hamas believe that they will ever give up this goal?

What can be done to get around this division by responsible political forces on both sides?  Instead of either side demanding pre-conditions for peace negotiations, Israel and Hamas should first talk behind the scenes and then simultaneously announce mutual recognition of each other as “belligerents.”  For an explanation of this kind of diplomatic recognition in context, read my article:  http://janbtucker.com/blog/2012/11/16/mythology-of-secession/

Best of all possible worldsIf I had my druthers, there would be one democratic, secular state in the region with equality for all, but that isn’t likely to happen.  The “best of all possible worlds” as Voltaire’s Dr. Pangloss might have opined, is going to be a two-state solution of Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace with each other.   However, Israel can still likely not live in peace if it doesn’t itself become a democratic and secular state which it isn’t and never has been.

Israel Family LawTake just one example:  family law.  In family law, there is absolutely not one iota of separation of church and state in Israel.  There are five (5) official religions:  Judaism, Islam, Druze, Bahai and Christianity.  Within Christianity there are ten (10) officially recognized sects.  Each religion is in charge of family law for its own adherents and effectively, since there is no civil marriage in Israel, you have to go outside the country if you want to intermarry, which as an American I find almost as effectively egregious as the Nazi laws that prohibited intermarriage between Jews and so-called Aryans.  For more details on these issues, see:  http://janbtucker.com/blog/2011/07/17/jews-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly/

Hadash protest

Celebrated Israeli peace activist and author Uri Avnery at a Hadash peace demonstration

If Israel wants to be a democratic, secular and egalitarian society, it needs to adopt ideals like those of one of its most minor political parties, Hadash, whose 2009 election platform called for:

  1. Achieving a just, comprehensive, and stable peace: Israeli/Palestinian and Israeli/Arab
  2. Protecting workers’ rights and issues
  3. Developing social services: health, education, housing, welfare, culture, and sports
  4. Equality for the Arab population in Israel
  5. Eradicating ethnic discrimination in all fields; defending the concerns of residents of disadvantaged neighborhoods and development towns
  6. Protecting democratic freedoms
  7. Equality between the sexes in all fields
  8. Protecting the environment; environmental justice
  9. Eradicating weapons of mass destruction
Dr. Meir Margalit in front of demolished Arab housing.  For opposing these demolitions and supporting the rights of Arabs to build homes on the same basis as Jews, he was recently interrogated by Israeli authorities on orders of the Housing Minister and may be criinally charged

Dr. Meir Margalit in front of demolished Arab housing. For opposing these demolitions and supporting the rights of Arabs to build homes on the same basis as Jews, he was recently interrogated by Israeli authorities on orders of the Housing Minister and may be criinally charged

What are the issues confronting Israel in terms of discrimination against Arab citizens?  Why do many people in the world compare Israeli policies to South African racist Apartheid?  This is an excerpt from a recent American Free Press interview with Meretz Party City Council Member Meir Margalit of Jerusalem, an Argentine Jewish immigrant:

“We are talking about houses that the Israeli government demolished on both sides of the Green Line, what we call the “’48 Palestinians,” Israeli Palestinians they suffer from demolitions because these people build without licenses because the government refuses to give them licenses for building.”

  “In Jerusalem, the municipality refuses to give Palestinians licenses because they’re afraid that one day the Palestinians will become a majority in the city. And the way to stop this process is to refuse to give them licenses under the assumption that then Palestinians will leave the city to live in other places where it’s easier to get licenses. But the Palestinians will never leave the city.”

  “What they do is they build without licenses. And then, the municipality comes and put the demolition order on the wall of the house, and 24-hours later, the bulldozers can come to demolish the house without any previous announcement. This is what we at ICAHD are fighting. We are fighting against these kinds of demolitions.”

AFP asked if the Palestinian birth rate compared to the Israeli birth rate is the main factor driving this demolition policy.

“The demographic element, especially in this city, is very dominant. The Palestinians today, they are 38 percent of the population in Jerusalem, and according to different demographers, in 2020 or maybe 2025, the Palestinians will become a majority. 2025 is not the future, it’s tomorrow, and as you can guess, the idea that in 2025 the Palestinians will become a majority and vote for a Palestinian mayor to the city, this idea makes [the government] crazy. So they are doing everything they can in order to postpone this process, and one of the tools is to refuse to give them licenses.”

Chuck Hagel has shown that he’s not a slave to the right-wing and the religious fanatics who control the current Israeli government or their supporters in the United States.  President Obama should not back down from making him Secretary of Defense.


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Gun Enthusiasts Employed by LA Schools


 

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NRA Executive Director Wayne LaPierre

NRA Executive Director Wayne LaPierre

Now I remember why I let my National Rifle Association (NRA) membership lapse a few years ago.  I’m a gun owner.  I’m a private investigator who has to deal with gun violence on a regular basis.  As a long time participant in Los Angeles based United For Education Coalition and in many other civic groups that deal with education and schools, the concept of putting more guns into schools, entrusted to trained security personnel and/or teachers and school administrators, as proposed by NRA Executive Director Wayne LaPierre, is majorly scary to me.  Let’s get down to cases.

LAUSDIt’s not like the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is a small district that lacks resources.  Not counting adult education, LAUSD has K-12 enrollment in excess of 660,000 children.  Counting adults, LAUSD is educating over 900,000 people in 1,235 facilities over a wide geographical area.

In my experience though, with all of its resources, the personnel department’s staff that conduct so-called personnel investigations, the so-called Human Resources professionals, are a bunch of stark, raving, idiots.  I’ve had to deal with LAUSD issues in a number of capacities.  In one case initiated by a school principal against a custodian, my investigation resulted in the district Personnel Commission unanimously overturning a hearing officer’s decision to terminate the custodian.  In that case I also got the district’s lawyer from the General Counsel’s office removed from the case for racism, after she and another employee were caught red-handed making fun of the thick accent of a Latino student who’d appeared to speak before the personnel commission.

Newspaper GuildWhen I was Human Rights Officer and First Vice President for Local 69 of The Newspaper Guild, my local represented the staff of Local 99 of the Service Employees International Union against that local’s own management and I was involved in those representation issues which gave me unique exposure to the rank and file members as well.  Local 99 represents the classified employees in LAUSD, so I got to hear where a lot of the bodies are buried (that local’s president who had been persecuting her own employees that we represented was eventually jailed on federal corruption charges).

Anyway, with all those resources here are examples of three (3) employees that were formerly employed in responsible positions by LAUSD who were all gun owners and gun enthusiasts:  one teacher, one assistant principal, and one school police officer.

Barry “Apeshit” Krugel

Barry Krugel, aka "Apeshit Krugel"

Barry Krugel, aka “Apeshit Krugel”

Barry Krugel was kicked out of the Jewish Defense League (JDL) repeatedly and always managed to blackmail his way back in, usually by threatening to expose his twin brother Earl Krugel and JDL head Irv Krugel’s periodic forays to Mexican whore houses.  He was also the Los Angeles head of the Jewish Defense Organization (JDO), a split off from the JDL whose founder was kicked out of the JDL for refusing to bathe (according to Irv and Earl, who described his JDL moniker as “stinky”).  Barry’s JDL nickname on the other hand was “Apeshit,” to distinguish him from twin brother Earl, who was known as the “Munchkin.”

“Apeshit” was descriptive of Barry’s demeanor.  He had no impulse control.  He taught English and Math for LAUSD.  That he was allowed to teach children was beyond comprehension to anybody who knew him.  Behavioral examples:

  • After one of my letters to the editor was published in the Bnai Brith Messenger accusing Barry of racism and sexism he came over to my pad and began screaming at the top of his lungs in front of my home.  He had no problem with my accusing him of sexism whatsoever, he was just upset that my accusation of racism might adversely affect his employment by LAUSD.  I had to get a restraining order against him.
  • According to Irv Rubin and his own brother Earl, they once came over to Barry’s Encino home and while he conversed with them he was marching back and forth in front of a mirror in his underwear with a rifle as though he was in a parade, watching himself, while listening to John Phillips Souza marching tunes.
  • He once demonstrated in front of a Mosque waving around a children’s plastic toy sword as though he was a stereotypical whirling Dervish.
  • During one lawsuit he made homophobic statements in writing about me, in a court where the judge was Stephen Lachs (the first openly Gay judge in the state) and then couldn’t understand why the judge sanctioned him $500.00.
  • He was constantly provoking violence and getting involved in violence everywhere he went, but what totally sums up just how crazy he was considered, even by certifiable crazies like Irv Rubin and Earl Krugel, Irv and Earl composed a ditty to the tune of “Pretty Baby” which they distributed in an effort to discredit him:

I’d like to tell a story ’bout a most peculiar guy

Barry Krugel, Barry Krugel

The way he pinches pennies would make old Abe Lincoln cry

Barry Krugel, Barry Krugel

If you want an egg, a look is for free, but if you want to eat it, 8 cents it must be

Hoarding tons of guns and money, is his only game

Barry Krugel’s his name

Steven Thomas Rooney

On the surface, Rooney, Assistant Principal at two different LAUSD schools, sounds like just the kind of guy that the NRA would rely on to protect the students at the schools he worked at:

BACHELOR OF ARTS, LlBERAL STUDIES. HUMBOLDT STATE UNIVERSITY MAY 25,1991; MASTER OF SCIENCE IN ADMINSTRATION, PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY, JULY 25, 2003 690 HOURS POST (PEACE OFFICER STANDARDS & TRAINING) CERTIFIED BASIC LAW ENFORCEMENT ACADEMY, COLLEGE OF THE REDWOODS, 4/30/93

HONORABLE DISCHARGE FROM NATIONAL GUARD, RANK OF 1ST LT ON 8/28/05; AWARDED THE ARMY COMMENDATION MEDAL FOR MERITORIOUS SERVICE AT WEED ARMY COMMUNITY 27 HOSPITAL FROM JANUARY 5, 2005 TO JULY 31.2005; RECEIVED CERTIFICATE OF CONGRESSIONAL RECOGNITION FROM U S REPRESENTATIVE GRACE F NAPOLITANO ON 9/10/06 (Excerpts from his probation report)

Steven Thomas Rooney

Steven Thomas Rooney

Aside from that, he threatened the step-father of a school girl that he was shacking up with with his gun on January 1, 2007.  Nobody filed criminal charges against him and all the LAUSD did was to eventually transfer him to another school (still as Assistant Principal) without bothering to warn parents, teachers, or students about him.  At his new school, he wound up kidnapping, raping, and forcibly sodomizing a girl there before he was finally arrested.  He also covered up a physical attack on a substitute teacher by two male students who knocked her senseless (a case in and of itself that the school district covered up).

When the LAPD raided Rooney’s home with a search warrant they found adult sex devices, six (6) photos of underage high school girls including one of the aforementioned step-daughter of the man he’d threatened with his gun, adult movie video tapes, and two handguns (one .38 caliber and one .40 caliber) along with ammunition.

Jeffrey Stenroos, LAUSD Cop

A March 26, 2012 story by Andrew Blankstein in the Los Angeles Times sums up the story of Jeffrey Stenroos well.  Here’re some excerpts:

Jeffrey Stenroos, LAUSD Police Officer

Jeffrey Stenroos, LAUSD Police Officer

Stenroos, 31, was convicted in September of planting false evidence, insurance fraud and other crimes. The sentence came after Stenroos underwent a 90-day psychological evaluation to assess whether he should go to prison or receive probation….

 The Jan. 19, 2011, hoax triggered a massive and costly hunt for a fictitious assailant, and it brought a swath of the Valley to a standstill for hours.

 Stenroos, a seven-year veteran of the school police, was found by a passerby in apparent pain on the sidewalk near El Camino Real High School in Woodland Hills. Stenroos told authorities that he had been following up on a report of a car burglar in the area when a man with a ponytail and bomber-style jacket shot him in the chest and fled. Stenroos’ bulletproof vest had apparently saved him from serious injury or death.

 Believing that there was a gunman in the area, more than 550 police officers combed the quiet neighborhoods near the school, conducting door-to-door searches and keeping an eight-square-mile area locked down for 10 hours.

Who Else do we Trust with Guns and Badges?

The LAPD through media propaganda has always claimed to have the most thorough and painstaking background investigations on the planet.  If that claim is true, then the public should be very scared about who gets to carry guns and wear a badge.

I had a criminal defense case for an LAPD officer.  He got caught with cocaine and while out on bail, got caught again snorting cocaine in public on the table at a Denny’s restaurant in North Hollywood in plain view.  Not the sharpest stick in the shed.  He eventually jumped bail and then his wealthy father, who was paying the bill for my investigation, stiffed me on the remainder of my bill.

A Patriarca Crime Family criminal record

A Patriarca Crime Family criminal record

I sued the father and needed to have him served with the lawsuit in Massachusetts in an exclusive suburb of Boston.  The constable I had serve him, as a precaution, ran the father’s rap sheet and it turned out he was a ranking figure in the Mafia Patriarca Crime Family of New England, based in Boston and Rhode Island.  Did the LAPD know?  If they didn’t, why not?  If they did, why did they let the son in?

If you can’t trust the LAPD to keep out the coke snorting son of a Mafioso, why would you trust the average school district?

ScamThe Los Angeles Police Department some years ago put out to bid its contract for polygraph (lie detector) services for pre-employment screening.  The bid requirements were so complicated that only one bid was received, from a Virginia based firm which promptly sub-contracted the services out to independent Los Angeles polygraphers.  The test protocols were, according to my sources, absolutely incompetent and in violation of American Polygraph Association standards and ethics.  In both government and private contracting and job recruitment, if you want to rig the process while making it look fair, just write up bid requirements for a specific vendor or applicant where you know that only they can comply with the specifications.  On the surface everything looks fair.

Animal ControlI worked criminal defense on a purported domestic violence case for a City of Los Angeles Animal Control Officer who was accused of violence by his girlfriend, a fellow Animal Control Officer.  During the course of my investigation of the accusers background, I learned that this was not her first brush with violence.  Employed previously as a security guard, she got into an altercation with the wife of a fellow guard that she was having an affair with, but the most startling fact was not what Los Angeles City personnel had not found out about.  What was most startling was what they knew and what they ignored.

In her personnel file were the results of an MMPI (Minnesota Multi Phasic Inventory) examination she had taken.  After all, you wouldn’t want to hand over a badge, a gun, and the authority to arrest people without some kind of psychological screening would you?

L ScaleWell, apparently the results of the test were irrelevant to Los Angeles human resources officials.  My best guess is that like the LAPD, somebody gave out a contract to their buddy to do testing but didn’t really care whether people passed, failed, or were obviously incompetent based upon the results.  They hired her even though her “L” score, euphemistically called the “lie” score, was 76.  For the record, this is not a 1-100 scoring system.  The highest level of “deception” starts at 70.  Here is a very basic description of the “L” scale from http://www.mmpi-info.com/mmpi-2/mmpidict1.html:

L  Lie Scale (Hathaway and McKinley, 1951) (15 items). High: (> Raw 5). Tendency to create a favorable impression as a response bias, conventional, rigid, moralistic, repression, denial, and insightless. A high L can mean anything from a very well mannered normal wanting to give a good impression, to a compensated paranoid. A high L will submerge scales of obvious psychopathology, and inflate scales of healthy functioning such as the Ego Strength scale.  Interview the person to see if they can truly walk on water.  Low: (< Raw 3). Admitting to minor faults and shortcomings, independent, self-reliant.

In spite of her 76 L scale reading, not only was she hired, but the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office considered her credible enough to prosecute my client.  Go figure.

I don’t trust existing authorities to make sound judgments about who they entrust weapons, power, and authority to in the first place.  Why does the NRA think that rapidly expanding gun possession in schools will create a better environment for children?

 

 


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PFP Proposes a Purge


 

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Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

There is a move under way in the California Peace & Freedom Party under the leadership of its chairperson, Kevin D. Akin, to discipline its former chair, Irv Sutley (who served from 1970-72) for the purported crime of allegedly forwarding an email to somebody (supposedly me) who then recirculated this party list-serve email outside the ultra-secretive cabal of the party’s leadership.  This move can be characterized with a lift from Vladimir Lenin’s Left Wing Communism:  An Infantile Disorder, in which he wrote “….very clearly reveals their entire thinking and their entire range of ideas, or, rather, the full extent of their stupidity, pedantry, baseness and betrayal of working-class interests.”

Joseph Stalin, related to Jan B. Tucker by genetics, but exalted by his sycophant Kevin D. Akin

Joseph Stalin, related to Jan B. Tucker by genetics, but exalted by his sycophant Kevin D. Akin

Under Akin’s tutelage, the State Executive Committee (SEC) has followed his innate Stalinist instincts in completely disregarding the PFP’s section of the Elections Code (which was drafted by party leaders in the early 70s with a specific view towards preserving party small “d” democracy), the party’s bylaws, and Robert’s Rules of Order which the bylaws specify as its parliamentary authority.  Akin, whose Stalinist (with apologies to my genetic cousin, Joseph Stalin, whose Y chromosome is G2a, whereas I’m G2b) predisposition goes back at least to his (never-repudiated) defense of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, must be trying to emulate the record of the Greek Communist Party (GCP).

Greek Communist Party:  KKE

Greek Communist Party: KKE

In his delusions of grandeur in orchestrating the parliamentary maneuvering in PFP’s SEC to take disciplinary action against one of his predecessors, Kevin D. Akin is carrying out a long-time Stalinist purge record, which in the case of the GCP resulted in the purge of the first 11 of its 17 party chairs (as per Wikipedia):

  1. Nikolaos Dimitratos (November 1918 – February 1922). Expelled from the party on charges of “suspect behavior.”
  2. Yannis Kordatos (February–November 1922). Expelled from the party on charges of “distorting Marxism.”
  3. Nikolaos Sargologos (November 1922 – September 1923). Expelled from the party on charges of “espionage.”
  4. Thomas Apostolidis (September 1923 – December 1924). Expelled from the party on charges of “opportunism.”
  5. Pandelis Pouliopoulos (December 1924 – September 1925). Expelled from the party on charges of being a “provocateur.”
  6. Eleftherios Stavridis (1925–1926). Expelled from the party on charges of pro-bourgeoisie political position.
  7. Pastias Giatsopoulos (September 1926-). Expelled from the party on charges of “liquidarism.”
  8. Andronikos Chaitas (March 1927-). Expelled from the party and executed in the USSR in 1935.
  9. Nikolaos Zachariadis (1931–1936). Expelled from the party; committed suicide after 17 years in exile in Siberia.
  10. Andreas Tsipas (July 1941-September 1941). Expelled from the party on charges of “adventurism.”
  11. Georgios Siantos (January 1942-1945). Expelled from the party on charges of being an “agent provocateur.”

PFP’s Purge Protocols

Under Akin’s leadership (he has repeatedly played musical chairs, repeatedly assuming the title of State Chair when it rotates to Southern California), the party simply does whatever it wants to regardless of whether it comports to its own stated rules.  The Elections Code Section (Section 7805) that governs the PFP’s disciplinary procedures states:

This committee may remove any elected or appointed member who, during the term of membership, affiliates with or registers as a member of another political party, publicly advocates that the voters should not vote for the nominee of the party for any office, publicly gives support to or avows a preference for a candidate of another party or candidate who is opposed to a candidate nominated by this party, or has violated the bylaws or constitution of the state central committee.

Dorothy Ray Healy, jailed for thought-crime in Los Angeles in 1949

Dorothy Ray Healy, jailed for thought-crime in Los Angeles in 1949

Those of us who wrote the party’s governing election code sections, including myself, Lew McCammon, Kay McGlachlin, C.T. Weber, and Israel Feuer, specifically limited the grounds for expulsion to preserve and protect the right to dissent and the right of free discussion in and outside the party.  We didn’t want to allow disciplinary action to be taken against people who went outside party circles to criticize party actions and party policy so that PFP would not wind up behaving like so-called Leninist political parties that purged people for publicly disagreeing with them.  A number of prominent PFP members, including Dorothy Healy, Ben Dobbs, and Sam Kushner had been thrown out of their party positions in the Communist Party USA for publicly disagreeing with that organization over the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia–very unlike Kevin Akin who supported the leadership of the CPUSA in which he had then found a home.

Anyway, nothing that Irv Sutley is accused of falls under the criteria of Section 7805 of the Elections Code.

Next, the body which has initiated a disciplinary investigation into the accusations leveled against Sutley has no authority under the bylaws to do so.  Nothing in the PFP bylaws gives the SEC the authority to undertake any disciplinary action of any sort, and Section 9(C) expressly rules out certain disciplinary actions by the SEC:  “The State Executive Committee may not admit, expel, or suspend members, appoint officers, or co-opt any persons to its own membership.”  On its face, Cat Woods accusation begins by dubbing Sutley’s purported violations to be a violation of “rules” rather than the bylaws:

complaint to the officers:

 I believe the email below is a violation of the SCC’s rules for this listserv. I request that the officers investigate this matter and enforce those rules.

 I believe that Mr. Sutley was also the one who previously broke the rules for this listserv by forwarding a communication from Cindy Sheehan intended (and clearly labeled) as internal for the party to “Barbara Simpson” who then sent it to Roseanne Barr. The intent was clearly to further foment the conflict between our Pres & VP candidates. This effort has been very successful. Paul Dahmen (the recipient of Kevin’s email who clearly did not honor his request, instead forwarding the email to Irv or someone who would forward it to Irv) has also repeatedly attempted to foment, magnify and exacerbate the conflict between Cindy & Roseanne. He successfully persuaded Cindy that she needed to go more public with it.

 The party repeatedly has refused to do anything about very clear destructive intent against the party demonstrated by Jan Tucker (aka “Barbara Simpson”) and Irv Sutley. That’s just in the short time that I’ve been in the party, without even considering the history to which Kevin testifies. The party’s refusal is in the name of openness and transparency. Yet *BECAUSE* of this failure to deal with the very few problem people in the party, the officers frequently forfeit openness and transparency. In other words, the intent to be open & transparent has had exactly the OPPOSITE result.

 Now here is a chance to cut out a destructive cancer fairly and accordingly to the party rules. Please do it.

 -Cat.

Bylaws

Article 14 of the PFP bylaws provides the sole authority for any disciplinary action for a State Central Committee member, which is expulsion by a 2/3 vote of the State Central Committee (SCC) itself.  Sutley has not been accused of any of the grounds for expulsion set forth in Article 14 in the proceedings before the SEC — and as pointed out, the SEC itself has no authority under the bylaws to initiate disciplinary action (in this case the SEC has proposed potential suspension of Sutley from the list-serve).

Standard Code of Parliamentary ProcedureFinally, the present course that has been undertaken by the PFP SEC violates its own purported adherence to Robert’s Rules of Order, although whoever wrote the bylaws was so incompetent that even the rules of order are not clear for anything other than the SCC meetings under Article 7.  It is also important to point out that by adopting Robert’s instead of the Movement Rules of Order written by PFP’s own Professor Michael P. Schoen, it effectively abolished its own invention of the “friendly amendment” which does not exist in Robert’s.  The friendly amendment procedure promulgated by Schoen, went on to be adopted in the Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure (otherwise known as “Sturgis” for its author, Alice Sturgis, which is the code recognized by the American Institute of Parliamentarians).   Organizations which operate in the stone age of parliamentary procedure still use Robert’s while modern, well managed organizations operate under Sturgis.

Robert’s–like Sturgis–imposes certain basic standards of due process which the PFP SEC has chosen to simply ignore in the purge of Sutley.  As Robert’s summarizes it:

A member has the right that allegations against his good name shall not be made except by charges brought on reasonable ground.  If a member is thus accused, he has the right to due process–that is, to be informed of the charge and given time to prepare his defense, to appear and defend himself and to be fairly treated.

Irv Sutley

Irv Sutley

When, as in Sutley’s case, an investigating committee (Debra Reiger, Katey Ramesden, and Miriam Clark) is assigned to look into the charges, Robert’s specifies that the committee should interview the accused (which in the two months since it was appointed it has never done) to determine in the first place whether further action is even warranted.  Since they have never bothered to communicate with Sutley, he has not been afforded an opportunity to demonstrate how he is not accused of any ground under which the SEC or SCC can even take action under their own rules, let alone to refute the truth or falsehood of the charges.  Nor has the committee bothered to find out from Sutley who his potential defense witnesses are let alone to bother to talk to any of them.

Assuming arguendo that Sutley was even guilty of an offense under the bylaws or factually guilty of the allegations made against him, PFP has ignored his demands for due process, which are compelled and implied by the party’s bylaws:

It has now been (almost) two months since Cat Woods, aka Kathryn Bindels filed her untrue charges against myself as a member of the (California) Peace and Freedom Party’s State Central Committee, against Jan Tucker a long time party registrant and civil rights activist, and against Paul Dahmen, co-chair of Florida Peace and Freedom Party. I deny that I have every done anything to foment discord between Roseanne Barr and Cindy Sheehan. Woods/Bindels is engaged in a smear campaign and has offered not one whit of evidence or documentation to substantiate her false allegations.

Earlier I wrote to Debra Reiger, Katey Ramsden, and a Miriam Clark who had been appointed by certain officers of the party to look into this matter. I have never heard back form any of the three regarding my demands for due process.

Because more than 45 days have passed since C. Woods/K. Bindels made her spurious claims, because I am entitled to a speedy resolution of this matter and have never waived time, and because Bindels/Woods failed to attend the SEC telephone meeting on November 25, 2012 where this matter was to be considered, The minutes of this meeting have never been provided to me even though I was an attendee. I have been damaged by both ” Cat Woods”falsehoods as well as by the party’s failure of having full and fair procedures to deal with complaints, I now believe the party has failed to maintain jurisdiction in part by lack of timeliness as well as improper procedural matters – including the party’s own violation of the California Elections Code sections dealing with the party structure.

The Peace & Freedom Party of California (herein after “PFP”) publicly extolls the virtues of small “d” democracy in government, society, and in the workplace. It therefore behooves the party minimally grant me a basic semblance of due process rights against potential disciplinary action. The spectre of disciplinary action has been raised by allegations made on the State Central Committee listserve pfp-scc@lists.riseup.net .

Since the party claims to be more “democratic” than the institutions of the capitalist economic system and government, I am requesting that at a minimum I be accorded:

1. The rights that I would be entitled to under the California Corporations Code Section 5341 if PFP was a Non-Profit Public Benefit Corporation; and

2. The rights that I would be entitled to under federal labor law (e.g., Weingarten rights including the right of representation and the ancillary rights that my representative could exercise, such as requests for documents and specification of charges);

3. The rights under Skelly vs State Personnel Board that I could exercise under the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California if I was a public employee.

In exercise of those rights I claim the right to designate a representative/advocate for these proceedings.

Assuming for the sake of argument that PFP officers are to be held to the minimum standards of conduct of union officials and non-profit corporate directors/officers, I am requesting that all those participating in the disciplinary process in any way, shape or form familiarize themselves with the fiduciary duty imposed by the Landrum Griffin Act on union officers and the duties imposed on non-profit conduct, including but not limited to:

–Fiduciary duty

–The duty of reasonable inquiry

–The duty of care

–The duty of loyalty.

Further, I or my representative would be initiating information requests, including but not limited to all writings as defined in California Evidence Code Section 250 concerning:

1. The precedent history of the expulsion proceedings undertaken against other members, including but not limited that of William Alan Callison aka Bill Callison;

2. All materials concerning the prior disciplinary proceeding initiated against me by Callison in 1994

3. All communications about me by all officers of PFP within the preceding one year period.

4. All materials relied upon by the committee (or subcommittee) which “investigated” allegations against Steven Bruce Orcutt aka Frank Runninghorse. Reference C.T. Weber’s letter to Relf Alison Star

A Word in my Own Defense

Cat Woods accuses me of being Barbara Simpson.  This accusation has also been made by other nitwits in PFP including Tom Lacey, child molester Frank Runninghorse (Steven Bruce Orcutt, aka Running Dog), and Kevin D. Akin.  Other plainly insane accusations that have been bandied about by these incompetents include that I am supposedly:

  • Robert O. Williams
  • Barbara Simpson
  • Red Rover
  • E.T.
  • Monty Kroopkin

The latter of these accusations was refuted by Monty Kroopkin himself, a person I’d never even heard of before, but who was also compelled to point out that he really exists and that I’m not him.  See my posting at:  http://janbtucker.com/blog/2011/12/26/debunking-mythology/

Robert’s provides that an investigating committee’s members should be selected based upon their “…known integrity and good judgment…” yet, to this day, they have never bothered to contact me or anybody else that I know of to engage in a fair inquiry into whether or not I am really Barbara Simpson, which is at the base of Cat Wood’s major charge against Sutley.  That failure on its own speaks for itself.


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Second Amendment & the Right to Safety


 

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2nd AmendmentBALANCING THE SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS WITH THE RIGHTS TO SAFETY AND SECURITY OF PERSON

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A Tale of Two Connecticut Cities: Newtown/Sandy Hook & Hartford


 

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I’ve spent some time traveling in Connecticut and have some friends there.  The massacre carried out in the Village of Sandy Hook, City of Newtown, County of Fairfield is certainly a national tragedy, but in comparison to what goes on every day in a city like the State Capital of Hartford, one has to ask why isn’t every day life in urban ghettoes and barrios a topic of constant national attention?

The City of Newtown, founded in 1705, and the Village of Sandy Hook within it, are by any standard, opulent geographical areas. According to Wikipedia, in Newtown, by 2010 Census figures:

 The racial makeup of the town was 95.14% White, 1.75% Black or African American, 0.14% Native American, 1.40% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.64% from other races, and 0.89% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.36% of the population…..

The median income for a household in the town was $90,193, and the median income for a family was $99,192 (these figures had risen to $101,937 and $119,175 respectively as of a 2007 estimate). Males had a median income of $68,965 versus $42,217 for females. The per capita income for the town was $37,786. About 2.2% of families and 3.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.0% of those under age 18 and 3.9% of those age 65 or over.

For comparison, of the highest per capita incomes by American counties, California’s Marin County is number one at $44,962.  According to the New York Daily News, the Sandy Hills shooter, Adam “Lanza was living with his devoted mother, Nancy, in the family’s four-bedroom, 3,100-square-foot estate….  Nancy Lanza divorced Adam’s father, Peter, in 2008. Peter Lanza, now a vice president of taxes for GE Energy Financial Services, agreed to annual alimony payments that started at $240,000 and would have reached $298,800 in 2015.”   Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/adam-lanza-20-deeply-disturbed-kid-article-1.1220752#ixzz2F8s0RPyi.

Now take Connecticut’s state capital, Hartford. By Wikipedia:

A Hartford Slum

A Hartford Slum

The racial makeup of the city was 29.8% white, 38.7% African American or black, 0.6% Native American, 2.8% Asian, 0% Pacific Islander, 23.9 from other races, and 4.2% from two or more races. 43.4% of the population were Hispanic or Latino, chiefly of Puerto Rican origin. Non-Hispanic Whites were 15.8% of the population in 2010, down from 63.9% in 1970….

With 30 percent of the population living below the poverty line, Hartford’s rate of poverty is second in the United States only to Brownsville, Texas….The per capita income for the city was $13,428.

Hartford is second in New England for its Puerto Rican origin population after Holyoke Massachusetts.

A Hartford blogger on crime writes poignantly about day to day conditions in that City:

http://hartfordcrimestoppers.wordpress.com/tag/slums-of-hartford/

 “I lived in Hartford for many years, once in an apartment near Hartford Hospital, also an apartment just off of Park Street. My advice to anyone wanting to travel here is to stay away. 37 years ago when I used to work in downtown Hartford I was robbed while waiting to take the bus home from just in front of the Old State House which is downtown Hartford. I was followed home by a robber when I went to the drug store on Farmington Ave. but I managed to get away, get into the condo building before he could rob me. I lived off of Farmington Avenue in a building called The Willoughby. Back then it was apartments, but now it is condominiums. The area was bad back then but is much worse now, drug dealers breaking into the condominium building, hookers doing tricks on the steps inside the building. It’s such a shame. I don’t understand why the police are not out in full force cleaning up these areas. I’m sure years ago Hartford was a very nice place to live. Years ago I would drive to the North end with my husband to go to a Jamaican bakery but no longer. That area was dangerous back then, but with all the crack heads now, much much worse. My advice to you, if you do decide to visit any part of Hartford, take pepper spray with you. The Mark Twain house is worth a visit, also the Wadsworth Atheneum art gallery. But if you are a woman, do not carry a pocketbook, keep your money hidden.”–Woman, Resident of Hartford for 37 years, Age 58, May 15, 2012

The 2012 projections for crime in Hartford are (Projected Data) Incidents

Aggravated Assault 987, Arson 48, Burglary 852, Forcible Rape 46, Larceny and Theft 3,389, Motor Vehicle Theft 720, Murder and Manslaughter 30, Robbery 461, Crime Rate (Total Incidents) 6,450; Property Crime 4,965; Violent Crime 1,523.

In 2010, Hartford ranked 19th in the United States’ annual national crime rankings, (below the 200.00 rating.) It had the second highest crime rate in Connecticut, behind New Haven.

So the question we need to be asking, again, is why does America routinely ignore the crime rates that oppress the poor most of all and get horrified when Middle America and crime that affects the upper crust of society intrigues the media and gets the attention of government?

Side Bar:  Behind the Scenes Implications of the Murders

Whenever one of these genuinely horrific incidents occurs, I get on the phone with a friend who’s a national crime reporter for a major media outlet because I know she’s about to catch the next plane to the site and will need logistical and behind the scenes investigative resources to help her find the right people to interview and background facts to flesh out the story.  Here’re some of the weird facts that I encountered in my work.

Adam Lanza

Adam Lanza

Early on Connecticut police authorities reported that it was Ryan Lanza who was the shooter and that he lived in Hoboken, New Jersey.  This was flat out wrong and two different explanations for why this was put out have emerged.  First it was reported that the shooter, 20 year old Adam Lanza, had 24 year old Ryan Lanza’s identification on him when he was found dead at the scene.  The second story was that somebody in the police administration had accidentally transposed the names Ryan and Adam in their information release.  Additionally there were claims that a now taken down Facebook page for Ryan Lanza was a hoax….but if it was a hoax, it was an incredibly elaborate hoax as I will explain, but first, let’s look at the implications of the first issue.

Ryan Lanza FB photo as it appeared on the now taken down and alleged hoax page

Ryan Lanza FB photo as it appeared on the now taken down and alleged hoax page

If Adam Lanza was carrying brother Ryan’s identification one can theorize that one of his motives was to really shaft his older brother as the icing on the cake following the murder of his mother and everybody else at his old elementary school.  Even after his own death he’d planned to drive his brother nuts by casting blame on Ryan.  If the now taken down Facebook page was a hoax [http://www.facebook.com/brad.jockjennings?ref=ts&fref=ts] whoever created it knew the key details very quickly that Ryan Lanza was living in Hoboken and that he was from Newtown.  Additionally, that FB page had been created as listed on the FB Timeline on October 18, 2012.  How long had this hoax been in the works and how could it have been anticipated since at least October.

This purported “hoax” page had some interesting comments on it and when I looked at it, it had already garnered 40 friends, one of whom (female) showed herself nude and masturbating in her profile photo and another of whom (male) used the United Farm Worker Eagle Flag as his profile photo.  The comments posted by the page owner included:

the government has been aware of my revolutionary speeches.. i DIDNT DO IT!!!!

what is going on!! !!! i was framed!! i didnt do it!!!

It also featured a really strange YouTube video link that showed the purported Ryan Lanza with what appears to be a submachine gun denouncing gun violence by two guys in Michigan who’d supposedly killed each other because they disagreed about the taste of Kool Aid:

http://www.youtube.com/user/FadedHolySoldier

Ryan Lanza as reported by the mainstream press and on a FB page dating from 2006

Ryan Lanza as reported by the mainstream press and on a FB page dating from 2006

Now a Ryan Lanza FB page with a substantially different picture which appeared to have been created on July 9, 2006,  also stated that he is from Newtown and now lives in Hoboken: http://www.facebook.com/rlanza

If indeed the Connecticut State Police accidentally transposed the names Adam and Ryan in their press release, which would naturally cause Ryan Lanza to freak out completely as if the death of his mother and brother was not enough, the average person would see it as egregious and horrendous.  In civil terms it could be categorized as “Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress.”  But does somebody get to sue a police department for negligence?  All states and the federal government use a myriad of immunity laws and legal minefields to prevent people from seeing their day in court.

Federal Tort Claim ActIn California for example, most people think that there’s a very simple one or two year “statute of limitations” in which you have to file suit against a government agency.  Most people and all too frequently not even some lawyers understand the laws that require the filing of a claim under the California Tort Claims Act (Section 910 Government Code et seq) within six months of the incident they’re suing over.  It’s gets even weirder if you’ve been falsely charged with a crime, because you still have to file within six months but you’re not allowed to sue until after the end of the criminal case, so you run the risk of pissing off the police and making them file a charge on a case that they would just as soon let you go on (because they know or suspect their officer was out of line in the first place).  If you or your criminal defense attorney (criminal defense attorneys frequently don’t know about the tort claim requirement because suing is not their job, getting you off the criminal complaint is) didn’t file the tort claim and then you get exonerated a year later, you’re screwed and can’t sue.

For an idea of the complexity of liability and immunity laws that people will face in Connecticut, see http://www.cga.ct.gov/2011/rpt/2011-R-0076.htm.

Does the situation get any more convoluted, complicated and mondo bizarro?  Well actually it does.

What causes incidents like this?  According to former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who spoke of the incident on Fox News, the First Amendment’s separation of church and state clause appears to be the problem as opposed to the conflict between the Second Amendment and the non-enforcement of the right to safety which is incorporated or at least implied in many state constitutions:

NEIL CAVUTO (HOST): You know, inevitably people ask after tragedies like this, how could God let this happen?

HUCKABEE: Well, you know, it’s an interesting thing. We ask why there is violence in our schools, but we’ve systematically removed God from our schools. Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage because we’ve made it a place where we don’t want to talk about eternity, life, what responsibility means, accountability? That we’re not just going to have to be accountable to the police, if they catch us. But one day, we will stand before a Holy God in judgment. If we don’t believe that, then we don’t fear that.

 Say what??????  If Huckabee was black, this would definitely be a Negro Please type moment.  If he was Chicano, he would immediately be labeled as a Pendejo of the worst sort.  If he was Afro-Latino, he’d have to be designated as a P.I.A.M.F., a Pendejo Ignorant Ass Mother Fucker because the level of stupidity is so low that it merits a cross-cultural definition of idiocy.

So there you have it.  Does America begin a debate on the poverty and social oppression that breeds day to day violence?  Does it legislate a “solution” based upon an aberrant occurrence in a place where violence isn’t supposed to take place where the per capita income is well above that of the average American — which implies that the rest of us are supposed to be subjected to it?  Or do we get down on our hands and knees and pray to god for forgiveness of the sins of secular education?

Hopefully, at the least, not the latter.

 

 

 


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Right to Work–Freeloading not Choice


 

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Franklin Delano Roosevelt signing the Wagner Act

Let’s get this straight:  Right to Work laws, permissible under Section 14(b) of the National Labor Relations Act (the “Wagner Act”) due to Taft-Hartley Act amendments, have little to do with workers’ right to choose and everything to do with workers’ right to freeload.  National media pundits who’ve never actually organized or represented workers themselves, even though they may be members of SAG – AFTRA or the CWA (Communications Workers of America) media sector (such as The Newspaper Guild) have tended to generalize in their discussions of the issue and thus have not really explained it well to the American people.  They have tended to put the emphasis on the unions’ abilities to represent their members in contract negotiations, or, as President Obama opined in a speech in Michigan, their ability to organize.

Those arguments are real, but they’re off the essential point of why somebody who refuses to pay union dues is freeloading.  Under various provisions of the Wagner Act, Taft-Hartley Act and the Landrum-Griffin Act which make the union the exclusive bargaining representative for all workers in a recognized unit (whether or not they’re dues paying members of the union), which give workers the right to sue unions that represent them for unfair representation, and make union officers trustees and fiduciaries for their unions (Title V of the Landrum-Griffin Act), unions are obligated to fairly represent all workers.  Today on MSNBC, interviewed by Andrea Mitchell, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder argued that unions benefit from right-to-work laws because they are forced to be more responsive to workers.  This is absurd because they’re already legally obligated as fiduciaries to be responsive.

In the case of Hines vs Anchor Motor Freight, (1976) 424 US 554, the United States Supreme Court held that a union doesn’t just have to process your grievance case all the way through arbitration if it’s a valid case, they also have to adequately investigate the case and not just go through the motions.  Now, imagine that you’re a freeloader who refuses to pay union dues as a result of your state’s right to work law and you force a union to spend it’s resources going all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to defend itself against your allegations that the union shop stewards and business agents didn’t do everything under the sun to keep you from losing your job.  Who’s dues money got spent in the process?  Not yours, but that of your co-workers who are union members.

____________________

Comments:

As an ex-Teamster, local 396, I agree with you. I remember when my first union dues came out of my paycheck. I resented it at first, until I worked long enough to see a few contract negotiations that always were in my favor, thanks to union protection from UPS’s corporate greed. One of these days I will start getting pension retirement benefits. I can tell you that my husband, who didn’t work there long enough to be vested, won’t get a pension from anyone. Not many people in these United States do any more, do they?

 Heidi
Facebook Exchange between me (Jan B. Tucker) and a person who supports RTW about the above blog posting:

Ron This is pure propaganda and does not address the actual point of what RTW even means. Good grief B you are smarter than this. You know darned well that labor unions, particularly public employee unions, are RICO partners spending MY tax dollars (Aka “union dues”) to influence political issues from elections of the POTUS (auto bailout) to prison building (CCPOA and other LEO unions). Total garbage here and not very good at that.

 Jan B. Tucker Ron, you may not be aware of the Beck Rule of the U.S. Supreme Court. Union members have the right to opt-out of paying that portion of their dues that goes to political work.

 Ron Jan: I read your entire article and still see through your obvious bias. Labor unions were a useful tool early in the industrial revolution but have expanded into something even more sinister and CRIMINAL in many/most cases of public employee unions.

 Ron Like any other “product,” if the union provides a service that members feel is worth the “dues” then they will have no problems keeping members. If they do: Adios!

 Ron, I know full well what the problems are with unions. I was first vice president of Newspaper Guild Local 69. When our local got absorbed into a CWA local I continued to represent that local in the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, I asked an impertinent question about local finances and wound up sacked.

However, because there are some very decent laws and regulatory agencies that deal with stuff like this if you know how to navigate the system, there are remedies to pursue that are far more effective than remedies a worker can pursue with their employer absent a union. I am a switch hitter in my Industrial Relations consulting work. Sometimes I work for unions, sometimes I work for management. Sometimes I work for rank and file insurgent groups or individual dissidents against their own union management. When I was VP of the Newspaper Guild, my local represented employees of other unions against their own union management and I wound up in knock-down drag out fights against union managements on occasion.

As a licensed private investigator I have also wound up dealing at times with the Office of Labor Racketeering when it was an independent department of the U.S. Department of Labor and later when it was transferred into the Inspector General’s office of the US DOL under the Bush administration which really screwed it up. Bottom line is, my professional and expert opinion based upon my background, training, education, and experience is, RTW is fundamentally unfair and non-productive unless you want to repeal the entire regulatory structure: if you do so then unions get back tools banned by the Taft-Hartley Act like “hot-cargo,” secondary boycotts, political strikes, representation strikes without having to sign up 33% of the work force and all kinds of other tools they gave up to participate in the structure of a regulated Wagner Act/Landrum Griffin Act environment. That alternative would be fine with me and with a lot of labor leaders I know.

B Cayenne Bird mentioned you in a comment.
B Cayenne wrote: “The people who fought and died to build labor unions for workers were correct Ron Givens. You are a little younger than Jan B. Tucker and I, so I don’t know if you were educated on how things were in America before labor unions. Why would anyone who isn’t rich fight for Right to Work laws? This is a scam of the rich so that they can exploit middle and lower class American workers. I don’t get it Ron? How can you take their side?”


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Benefits of Vitamin D


 

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A recent Reuters story entitled “Vitamin D, calcium disappoint in dementia study” raised some serious questions about the efficacy of Vitamin D:  http://news.yahoo.com/vitamin-d-calcium-disappoint-dementia-study-043621176.html;_ylt=A2KJjb1.MMJQdWYA9ATQtDMD

David Blanco raises far more important issues on his Lifelink news blog about the efficacy and methodology of the studies reported by Reuters:

http://www.lifelinknet.com/siteResources/SuppsInNews/2011/07/VitD-Insane.asp

Vitamin D researchers challenge National Academy: “It’s just insane.”

As research sheds more and more light on the importance of maintaining high vitamin D levels in the body, researchers are challenging the overly timid recommendations made by a quasi-official body known as the Institute of Medicine (IOM). The IOM is the health arm of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences;1 it is the organization that sets widely followed recommendations for vitamin dosages, among other things.

The problem seems to be that the IOM makes its decisions with blinders on. Last November, the IOM announced new recommendations for Vitamin D. In response to increasingly vociferous complaints that the old recommendation of 200 international units per day was far too low, the IOM had assigned a panel to study the issue and come up with a new daily dosage.

Research Methodology: is Vitamin D research flawed?

The panel looked at thousands of studies of vitamin D. They discarded all of them that did not utilize the most perfect statistical standards possible — disregarding any useful information that these not-quite-perfect studies contained. The panel then based its conclusions on the tiny fraction of studies that remained. All of the high-dose studies showing benefits for serious illnesses were disregarded for technical reasons. The panel concluded that the case for dosages higher than 600 i.u. per day had not yet been proved — one might say, “proved beyond a shadow of a doubt”. For the IOM, it seems, a shadow of a doubt is enough to justify keeping people on dosages that leave them at much higher risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, Parkinson’s Disease, premature births, and many other serious conditions.2

Vitamin D researchers have denounced the Institute of Medicine for their foolishness. As one researcher put it, “These new IOM levels won’t accomplish anything. It’s just insane.”2

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: did he die at an early age due to Vitamin D deficiency?

In other vitamin D news, a new hypothesis suggests that the composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died from infections stemming from a vitamin D deficiency.3 Mozart was just 35 years old.


LifeLink carries two vitamin D products:

  • D3ZO is a high-potency vitamin D3 supplement with zinc orotate as a bioavailability enhancer.
  • Formula CS Plus is a medium-potency vitamin D supplement that also aims to protect against osteoporosis by supplying a variety of bone enhancers.
References

[1] About the IOM Institute of Medicine website

[2] The power of D ScienceNews.org website; July 16, 2011; Vol.180 #2

[3] LACK OF VITAMIN D MAY HAVE KILLED MOZART Discovery News website, July 11, 2011


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Alzheimer’s Research Jeopardized by Federal Budget


 

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Sunday December 2 was the annual appreciation event for participants in the USC-Keck School of Medicine Alzheimer’s Disease Research Project.  I attended as a member of the project’s Community Advisory Board.  There are many developments in the field of Alzheimer’s studies.

 Developments in Alzheimer’s Research

Phyto-SERMs (Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator) are being explored as potential palliatives for Alzheimers.  Because estrogen itself can raise the risk of breast cancer in women, research is being directed towards using SERMS from botanical sources that can help control the disease without causing the additional cancer risk.

Likewise, male androgen Phyto-SARMs (Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator) are being researched to avoid the potential of causing prostate cancer by increasing blood levels of Testosterone. Testosterone brain levels are half for Alzheimer’s patients compared to normal brains. Testosterone levels decline early in the disease. Animal neurons are shown in studies to have been saved by Testosterone.   Whether low Testosterone is a cause of the disease or a consequence of it is not clear, but as with the Phyto-SERM studies, it is important to find a way to replace Testosterone without increasing a risk of cancer at the same time.

More info on Lifelink products at www.lifelinknet.com

DHEA studies have been conducted on Alzheimer’s patients with very low levels of DHEA (one study I looked at was two 50mg doses daily).  DHEA–which raises Testosterone levels–is derived from plants and its study on Alzheimer’s patients seems to have been tried (as far as I can tell) exclusively on people who already have the disease.  One study showed some slightly less than significant improvement at a three month level and none after six months (the one with the 2 50mg dosages).  But if low Testosterone is the cause rather than a consequence of Alzheimer’s perhaps a better long term study would be whether DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone) can help prevent Alzheimer’s in the first place rather than to attempt to reverse the disease once it has started.

For additional information on DHEA, go to:  http://www.lifelinknet.com/siteResources/Products/DHEA.asp.

PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scans can see brain plaques but not the tangles that cause Alzheimer’s.  MRI’s (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) can see millimeters not to the necessary resolution of micrometers.  Consequently the Keck ADRC is  working on PET to enable observation of the brain tangles.

Pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly spent $1 billion on Solenuzemab and now is not seeing enough success to get FDA approval.  This underscores the expensive nature of funding in our society for Alzheimer’s research.   There are currently 29 NIA (National Institute for Aging) funded projects working on Alzheimer’s. With the current crisis over the federal budget, NIH (National Institute for Health of which NIA is a part) will lose $2.4 billion in funding come January if a budget deal does not get through Congress.

NACC (National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center) serves as the equivalent of the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) for Alzheimer’s research protocols.  Prior to the establishment of NACC by the NIA, different research projects couldn’t even merge their data because the questions being asked of patients and the statistics being kept were not even standardized.  NACC established uniform data definitions. Currently NACC maintains 26,452 clinical records, (USC contributed 998 of those). Neuropathological records are 2,085 total 70 of which are from USC.

Helping to coordinate government responses to the impending epidemic of Alzheimer’s disease, the United States has established the website http://www.alzheimers.gov/.  The Alzheimer’s patient population in the U.S. is predicted to rise from the current 5.4 million to 16 million by 2050. Care costs are mostly borne by taxpayers, and may rise from roughly $200 billion this year to $1.1 trillion in 2050.

If the budget fiasco sets back research, the disaster may be even worse.

 

 

 

 

 


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