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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This Blog Rocks


 

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My http://www.janbtucker.com/blog stat counter just made it past 400,000 page hits since the blog was launched!!!!

Site Statistics

Unique Pages Served: 19068 Total Sessions: 181452 Total Page Hits: 400005


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Larry Hagman’s Radicalism


 

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To understand the mostly private political viewpoint of Larry Hagman, a longtime member of the California Peace & Freedom Party, you first have to look at the context of his mother’s career.  Mary Martin won Tony Awards for her Broadway appearances in South Pacific and Sound of Music.  Look at the times and the themes:  an attack on racism where she risked getting blacklisted and an explicitly anti-fascist movie.

The play was based upon James Michener’s Tales of the South Pacific.  Michener was a principled liberal and later served as Bucks County Pennsylvania Chairman of John Kennedy’s presidential campaign in 1960.  When Kennedy won the state, Michener was Secretary to the Pennsylvania College of Electors convention.  When Mary Martin starred in the role of Nellie Forbush in 1949, it was not exactly without controversy, as explained in the Wikipedia Article:

The musical explores the theme of racial prejudice in several ways. Nellie struggles to accept Emile’s mixed-race children. Another American serviceman, Lieutenant Cable, struggles with the prejudice that he would face if he were to marry an Asian woman. His song about this, “You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught”, was criticized as too controversial for the musical stage and called indecent and pro-communist.[7] While the show was on a tour of the Southern United States, lawmakers in Georgia introduced a bill outlawing any entertainment containing “an underlying philosophy inspired by Moscow.”[8] One legislator said that “a song justifying interracial marriage was implicitly a threat to the American way of life.”[8] Rodgers and Hammerstein defended their work strongly. James Michener recalled, “The authors replied stubbornly that this number represented why they had wanted to do this play, and that even if it meant the failure of the production, it was going to stay in.”[8]

Now, here’s the song Wikipedia references, “You’ve got to be carefully taught“–

You’ve got to be taught
To hate and fear,
You’ve got to be taught
From year to year,
It’s got to be drummed
In your dear little ear
You’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a diff’rent shade,
You’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate,
You’ve got to be carefully taught!

While Larry Hagman appeared in a military uniform in I Dream of Jeannie, he was a member of the Anti-Vietnam War Peace & Freedom Party

Larry Hagman joined many literary and entertainment industry members in joining the Peace & Freedom Party when it qualified for the ballot in 1967 in California.  Amongst others, California PFP members included:

  • Ray Bradbury
  • Jan Michael Vincent
  • John Saxon
  • Wally Cox
  • James Coburn
  • Berton Schneider (Producer of Hearts & Minds)
  • George Clayton Johnson (Screenwriter of the second most “Twilight Zone” series after Rod Serling)
  • Barbara Eden (used to throw Black Panther fundraisers with Larry at her pad)
  • Biff Rose (Comedian)
  • Al Lewis (Grandpa Munster, later Green Party gubernatorial candidate in New York)
  • Jorma Ludwik Kaukonen Jr. (Guitarist of Jefferson Airplane fame)
  • Calypso Joe (former Vaudevillian turned Anti-Vietnam War activist “General Hershey Bar”)

Peace & Freedom Party member Larry Hagman’s J.R. Ewing role ironically spawned “J.R. for President” buttons, bumper stickers, and T-Shirts as though his conservative business tycoon persona was real

Apparently afraid that he could risk blacklisting like his mother while portraying J.R. Ewing in the original Dallas series and basking in the popularity of the role that spawned “J.R. For President” bumper stickers throughout America, Hagman re-registered for a time as a Republican.  Later he re-joined the Peace & Freedom Party with his fame and fortune established to a point where he didn’t have to worry.

Anyway, with his death yesterday, the real Larry Hagman, the lifelong radical, will be missed by me, while others will be missing the J.R. Ewing that he really wasn’t.


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Breaking the Blacklist


 

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Demonstration to free the “Hollywood 10″

Two things happened this week which by coincidence or fate brought back a flood of memories and emotions about my father, Saul Selwyn Tucker.  First, the son of the Hollywood Reporter‘s founder apologized for that paper’s role in blacklisting.  Three days later I received two emails that left me simultaneously proud and humbled.  Jeffrey St. Clair of Counter Punch [http://www.counterpunch.org/] invited me to become that magazine’s Criminal Justice Columnist and Scotty Reid of Black Talk Radio [http://blacktalkradionetwork.com/] asked me to become a regular commentator on his program.  As to the Hollywood Reporter’s belated discussion of their issue, Associated Press reported:

SANDY COHEN | November 19, 2012 07:51 PM EST | AP

LOS ANGELES — The son of The Hollywood Reporter founder Billy Wilkerson is apologizing for his father’s and the trade paper’s role in the 1947 Hollywood Blacklist that destroyed the careers of writers, actors and directors accused of having communist ties.

In an article published Monday by The Hollywood Reporter, Willie Wilkerson, 61, calls the Blacklist era “Hollywood’s Holocaust” and says, “On the eve of this dark 65th anniversary, I feel an apology is necessary.”

He says his father supported the Blacklist to exact revenge against the Hollywood titans he felt denied him entry to their club when he wanted to establish a movie studio in the late 1920s. Billy Wilkerson founded The Hollywood Reporter in 1930, and after World War II, used the paper as a vehicle for a series of editorials attacking communist sympathizers and their influence in Hollywood.

“In his maniacal quest to annihilate the studio owners, he realized that the most effective retaliation was to destroy their talent,” Willie Wilkerson writes. “In the wake of this emerging hysteria surrounding communism, the easiest way to crush the studio owners was to simply call their actors, writers and directors communists. Unfortunately, they would become the collateral damage of history. Apart from being charged with contempt, for refusing to name names, none of these individuals committed any crimes.”

One serious mis-perception created in large part by Hollywood itself about blacklisting is that it only happened to entertainment industry people and/or journalists (as in 1991’s Guilty by Suspicion or The Front in 1976).  I have one friend who’s father was a janitor and it happened to him.  My father was a millwright-machinist and likewise he was fired from government service, harassed by the FBI when he got private sector employment, and his nascent writing career came to an abrupt halt.

Civic Unity groups around the United States in the late 40s sprouted up to demand that America live up to the ideals Americans had fought for in World War II, right here at home.

My dad had a heart murmur from childhood rheumatic fever and so was rejected when he tried to enlist in all the armed services, so to do his part he got a civilian job with the Army Air Corps at Hickam Field in Hawaii as a millwright-machinist.  Working class, progressive, and militantly against discrimination, as I would later find out from his FBI and U.S. Army intelligence files and from his own anecdotes, he spent his spare time helping to organize pineapple workers for the International Longshore  & Warehouse  Union (ILWU which launched a Hawaii sugar strike in 1946), participating in an integrated recreational organization (I know that from watching home movies) known as the Hawaii Trail & Mountain Club, attending a meeting of the United Public Workers of America (UPWA-CIO) to hear Abraham Flaxer speak, and becoming an activist with the Hawaii Association of Civic Unity (HACU).  The Civic Unity associations around the United States were dedicated to ending discrimination of all sorts and were well ahead of their time.  It was pointed out in the context of explaining why the organization was (to the writer, Army Col. Innes Randolph) obviously Communist because HACU’s constitution called for:

  • Ending discrimination based on race, creed, color, sex, national origin, and political belief
  • Equality of opportunity on the same criteria
  • Better standards of living and social progress for all
  • Promoting better understanding and unity amongst people of various racial and ethnic backgrounds.

Horrors!  My liberal and conservative friends see this and are aghast, usually opining something along the lines of “but I thought that was what America was all about.”  In my father’s case it got him fired from his job.

Consider the context:  this was 1946 -47 and it was still well before the Henry Wallace Progressive Party presidential campaign forced Harry Truman to order the desegregation of the armed forces on the basis of race.  Not to mention, calling for an end to sex discrimination wouldn’t even be considered a responsible, reasonable, or even sane demand by liberals (let alone everybody else) until the feminist revolution of the 60s.  It was only radicals like my dad who dared propose and fight for these ideals in the 40s and they paid a dear price for their activism.

President Truman signed Executive Order 9835, the so-called “Loyalty Order,” on March 21, 1947.  This was well before Joe McCarthy had started his rampage against civil liberties in America.  Under the Loyalty Order, around 3,000,000 federal employees were subjected to witch hunt type investigations.  Around 5,000 simply quit.  Only about 3-400 contested their firings.  My father was one of them.  Another was the EEO officer of the Roosevelt administration who’d pushed to create the unit that became known as the Tuskegee Airmen (his name escapes me).  I met his son at a Tuskegee Airmen L.A. Chapter event in January 2009.  Like my dad, his father was subjected to a worse than Kafkaesque proceeding (Kafka’s “The Trial” might have been bizarre, but at least the victim was allowed to attend his own trial; under 9835 proceedings you had no right to know who the witnesses were or what the evidence against you encompassed).

The reason I now know what the evidence that was used against my father is because I got it eight years after he died under the Privacy Act, 5 USC 552a, which didn’t exist when he was facing his persecution.  In addition to his having attended the UPWA meeting and his activism with HACU, his being Vice President of the Hawaii Trail & Mountain Club was also used against him.  Seriously, I couldn’t make this up if I tried.

My father was fired and blacklisted for being Vice President of the Hawaii Trail & Mountain Club, a racially integrated organization

According to a report by the 401st Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) of the Navy, which had an informant in the club, at the meetings, “Tucker never said anything good about the United States and never said anything bad about Russia.”  One might think that the “confrontation clause” of the United States Constitution would mean that my father had a right to confront (Sixth Amendment) his accuser about this statement but he never even knew it was evidence used against him in these secret proceedings.  One might also think that under normal rules of evidence in a nation that prides itself on “due process of law” (Fifth Amendment) evidence of what somebody did NOT say would be inadmissible.  In fact, it should have been considered to be ridiculous, but in 1947 it was a statement in the record used to fire my father.

There is also this little problem of the right to counsel in these proceedings, especially in Hawaii.  My father, and many like him in Hawaii, were defended by Harriet Bouslog.

Harriet Bouslog had a truly extraordinary life and career in an era when it was rare and almost impossible for a woman to become a lawyer.  For a biographical work, see http://www.hawaii.edu/biograph/biohi/bouslogguide.pdf.  As the Honolulu Advertiser wrote:

From the outset of her legal career Harriet Bouslog relished her role as the champion of the underrepresented in the community. Long before the advent of the Legal Aid Corporation and the Office of the Public Defender, she chose to offer her legal services to clients at the bottom of the socioeconomic scale.

And for the record, she never turned away a client or a cause because of a lack of funds.

She certainly didn’t turn away my father. A longstanding principle of the legal profession is [as enshrined for example in California Business & Professions Code Section 6068(h)] the concept for an attorney to “Never to reject, for any consideration personal to himself or herself, the cause of the defenseless or the oppressed.”  For her efforts of defending the poor and the unfortunate she too came under attack by the system, disbarred by the Hawaii Territorial Supreme Court.  She had to appeal all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to get her suspension overturned on a narrow 5-4 vote. Ostensibly, Bouslog’s right to practice law was suspended on a complaint from the Hawaii Bar Association because of a speech she gave to ILWU members regarding her defense of their members who were accused of illegally being members of the Communist Party.   In In re Sawyer – 360 U.S. 622 (1959) [Sawyer was Bouslog's married name], Justice William J. Brennan Jr. wrote for the majority that:

Petitioner’s clients included labor unions, among them the International Longshoremen’s and Warehousemen’s Union. Some of the defendants in the Smith Act trial were officers and members of that union and their defense was being supported by the union. The meeting at Honokaa was sponsored by the ILWU and was attended in large part by its members. The petitioner spoke extemporaneously and no transcript or recording was made of her speech. Precisely what she did say is a matter of dispute. Neither the Territorial Supreme Court nor the Court of Appeals saw the witnesses, but both courts, on reading the record, resolved matters of evidentiary conflict in the fashion least favorable to the petitioner. For the purposes of our review here, we may do the same. The version of the petitioner’s speech principally relied upon by the Court of Appeals, 260 F.2d, at 197-198, is derived from notes made by a newspaper reporter, Matsuoka, who attended the meeting and heard what the petitioner said. These were not Matsuoka’s original notes – the originals were lost – but an expanded version prepared by him at the direction of his newspaper superiors after interest in the speech was aroused by Matsuoka’s account of it in the newspaper……The summary will illumine the basis of our conclusion that the finding that the petitioner’s speech impugned the integrity of Judge Wiig or reflected upon his impartiality and fairness in presiding at the Smith Act trial is without support. The fact finding below does not remove this Court’s duty of examining the evidence to see whether it furnishes a rational basis for the characterization put on it by the lower courts. See Fiske v. Kansas, 274 U.S. 380 . Speculation cannot take over where the proofs fail. We conclude that there is no support for any further factual inference than that petitioner was voicing strong criticism of Smith Act cases and the Government’s manner of proving them, and that her references to the happenings at the Honolulu trial were illustrative of this, and not a reflection in any wise upon Judge Wiig personally or his conduct of the trial.

…….

Petitioner said that the Honolulu trial was really an effort to get at the ILWU. She wanted to tell about some “rather shocking and horrible things that go on at the trial.” The defendants, she said, were being tried for reading books written before they were born. Jack Hall, one of the defendants, she said, was on trial because he had read the Communist Manifesto. She spoke of the nature of criminal conspiracy prosecutions, as she saw [360 U.S. 622, 629]   them, and charged that when the Government did not have enough evidence “it lumps a number together and says they agreed to do something.” “Conspiracy means to charge a lot of people for agreeing to do something you have never done.” She generally attacked the FBI, saying they spent too much time investigating people’s minds, and next dwelt further on the remoteness of the evidence in the case and the extreme youth of some of the defendants at the time to which the evidence directly related. She said “no one has a memory that good, yet they use this kind of testimony. Why? Because they will do anything and everything necessary to convict.”

……..

We start with the proposition that lawyers are free to criticize the state of the law…..But all are free to express their views on these matters, and no one would say that this sort of criticism constituted an improper attack on the judges who enforced such rules and who presided at the trials. This is so, even though the existence of questionable rules of law might be said in a sense to produce unfair trials.  Such criticism simply cannot be equated with an attack on the motivation or the integrity or the competence of the judges. And surely permissible criticism may as well be made to a lay audience as to a professional; oftentimes the law is modified through popular criticism…..

So, by one single vote of the U.S. Supreme Court, Harriet Bouslog was able to continue her career as an attorney…..but many of her clients, without her even having the legal ability to learn what the evidence against them was, were not so lucky.  Fired from government service, my dad also lost his budding career as a freelance writer.

My father had only a high school education.  He’d learned his trade as a millwright – machinist with the Works Progress Administration (WPA) at one of their projects in Woodstock, New York (he was always ahead of his time….I guess he was with the original “Woodstock Generation”).  He was an avid reader and a brilliant writer.  By the age of 24 he’d been published in the Honolulu Star Bulletin and nationally in the Ladies Home Journal.  Following his firing and blacklisting the only publication in America that ever accepted his writing again was Compressed Air.  Nevertheless, he kept writing and submitting articles without success, only to receive rejection slips.  One could read between the lines to recognize when editors were simply afraid to print something with his name on it.

When I was a little boy, my father took me to meet a friend, another blacklisted writer, who’d changed his name to Will B. Heard, in opposition to his blacklisting.  So in honor of Will, my dad, and all those like them, call me Will B. Heard II as a pen name.

So that is why it is both humbling and a source of pride for me to be asked to use my media talents with Counter Punch and Black Talk Radio.  I carry with me the burden of keeping true to my father’s ideals and to vindicate his existentialist struggle for, as Hannah Arendt might have characterized it, “species immortality,” or as the Emperor Nezahualcoyotl of Texcoco (Pre-Columbian Nahuatl culture of the Central Valley of Mexico) might have expressed it, his predisposition for “in cuicatl, in xochitl.”

You can help me keep on this fight.  If you have on-record story ideas or information to impart that I can help publicize, email it to me at pr@janbtucker.com.  If on the other hand you need to remain as a confidential source under which I will invoke the immunity of California Evidence Code Section 1070 (the journalists’ “Shield Law”), then email it on the record but not for attribution to whistleblower@janbtucker.com.

Venceremos, Jan B. Tucker

 

 

 

 

 


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Selective Prosecution


 

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Trying to second guess prosecutorial decisions in the criminal procedure (as one of my grad school profs explained, he named his course “criminal procedure” as opposed to “criminal justice” because the use of the term “justice” to describe our system is a value judgment that political scientists should avoid) system is to enter into a maze.  It is also an example of how federal and state authorities have tunnel vision and fail to recognize the laws that can be enforced by their counterparts and colleagues in other branches of government.

Eazy-E was straight out of Compton. His assets were later seized by extortion by an Israeli mafioso who got away with it in court.

There are some public servants that have served the Compton-Carson-Long Beach area with great integrity.  Others have left much to be desired.  Either way, it seems that with some notable exceptions it seems that if y0u’re a Black or Brown politician your odds of being prosecuted go way up in the Los Angeles area.  If you do the same thing as a white public official it is frequently hands off, no matter how solid the case is.  Let’s get down to cases.

 

 

Walter R. Tucker III

Compton Mayor and later Rep. Walter R. Tucker III won Merv Dymally’s congressional seat [http://janbtucker.com/blog/2012/10/08/mervyn-dymally-the-good-the-bad-the-ugly/] when Merv retired in 1992.  He was accused to taking bribes by the federal government when he’d been Mayor of Compton, prosecuted, convicted, and sent to jail. Walter was a stand up guy, loyal to friends, and when we’d appear at public forums we’d kid each other and the audiences that we were cousins (as I always say, I’m the proverbial “honky in the wood pile”).   At the same time as that prosecution was going down, I had reported to the District Attorney, the State Attorney General, the Los Angeles County Counsel, the Sheriffs Department and the FBI the fact that (a) I was an eyewitness to the Bradbury City Clerk’s (at the time a virtually all-white, gated community) office falsifying a government document in my presence (a felony under the government code) and (b) the public recording of a bribe made to a Bradbury City Planning Commissioner (which I also complained about to the Fair Political Practices Commission).

Nobody would do squat about the falsification of the public record.  I literally had to force the Sheriff’s Department to even accept a criminal complaint right after I witnessed the crime.  First they claimed it wasn’t a crime.  Then they claimed they didn’t have a copy of the Government Code when I cited the sections violated.  When I demanded their written procedures under Section 832.5 of the Penal Code for filing a personnel complaint, they conveniently “found” a copy of the Government Code and made a report.

As to the latter problem, you’ve got to be wondering how and why on Earth anybody would publicly record a bribe????  Well, you would if you were white and rich and knew that nobody would do anything about it and that you got to keep the bribe even if anybody did.  On May 21 of the year this happened, a developer and his wife signed (and had notarized) for a $950,000.00 mortgage on a piece of property and made out a grant deed for the property for a one-half undivided interest to the planning commissioner and his wife.  The deal apparently was that the mortgage would be paid off by the developer so based upon the actual value of the property, the bribe amounted to more than half-a-million dollars.  The night of the meeting (I got the tape recording of the planning commission meeting) the commissioner moved for, argued for, and voted for approval of a development involving a real estate tract.  That tract was precisely the one in which I had witnessed and reported the falsification of documents on.  The planning commission met on May 25.  The next morning, May 26 promptly at 8:00 a.m. when the County Recorder opened for business, the deed of trust and the grant deed were promptly filed and recorded.

Nobody would do anything about this bribe except the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC).  They fined the planning commissioner for failing to disclose the bribe as income on his Form 700 Statement of Economic Interests.  The fine:  $1,500.00.  He got to keep the bribe itself.

Okay, so let me get this straight:  Walter Tucker goes to jail for what amounted to chump change and a rich white planning commissioner gets fined $1,500.00 for failing to report over $500,000.00 that he gets to keep?  H. Rap Brown said at the height of the civil rights movement that “Justice in America means ‘Just Us White Folk.'”  Can the contrast be any sharper?

Fast forward to Walter’s successor in Congress, Juanita Millender McDonald.  She promotes her son, Roderick Keith McDonald to run for State Assembly in the 55th District.  He registers to vote at her home address in Carson which is in the district.  I get assigned by one of his opponents to do opposition research on him and lo and behold, he lives a mile outside the district in Long Beach and under penalty of perjury he signs for a homeowner exemption for property tax purposes at his Long Beach house meaning that the house is supposed to be owner-occupied!

Rep. Juanita Millender McDonald had a piss-poor voting record on top of everything else. If I recall correctly one year the NAACP gave her a “D” rating, the worst of any then-member of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Although a Sacramento judge at least ruled that if elected, Roderick won’t be able to take office, he isn’t disqualified from the ballot (he does lose the primary).  The House Ethics Committee ignores and does not even respond to my complaint about his mom letting him register to vote at her house (which is also under penalty of perjury).  As usual with my complaints, everybody else ignores it.  Compare that to the current prosecution of my old college buddy Richard Alarcon for supposedly not living in his City Council District, a far, far weaker case than one where you’ve got two different documents signed under penalty of perjury (one with a tax consequence) with two different addresses sworn to be true and correct.  Go figure.  Richard’s busted but on that Roderick never was.

Roderick did get his just rewards later, because even though everybody ignored my complaints, he eventually was sentenced to prison by the feds for mail fraud, conspiracy to commit extortion under color of authority, and money laundering.

Rep. Laura Richardson

Fast forward again.  Laura Richardson succeeded Juanita as representative for the district.  When Laura was young and just starting out on her political career, I met and was impressed with her when she appeared before the “Wednesday Group,” a coalition of women’s political organizations that met on Wednesdays for joint interviews of candidates.  I represented San Fernando Valley/Northeast Los Angeles NOW.  At the time I was the only male allowed to participate (prior to me they’d begun a female only rule to get rid of a real sexist pig and jerk who’d been showing up but relaxed it when SFV/NELA NOW wanted me as their representative).

For some background on the issues that have recently plagued Richardson, see my last blog on the subject:  http://janbtucker.com/blog/2012/11/09/will-laura-richardsons-luck-follow-arturo-danaire-frazier/.  The case of what Laura Richardson did to her staff brings up some interesting questions for whether she could be prosecuted under California law, a matter which has drawn no attention by the mainstream press.  Just to review a few facts for background, in not one but two elections, 2010 and 2012, Richardson’s staff was unlawfully forced to work on her congressional campaigns.  For example, it was widely reported that her District Director, Samuel J. “Joey” Hill Jr. “…was often out of the office working on campaign issues, and when he was present, he did campaign work at the office” according to the House Ethics Investigative Subcommittee Report, p. 47 [House Committee on Ethics, 112th Congress, In the Matter of Allegations Relating to Representative Laura Richardson, Appendix A, Report of the Investigative Subcommittee in the Matter of Allegations Relating to Representative Laura Richardson, August 1, 2012 (Investigative Subcommittee Report)].  Hill, was a former staffer for former legislator Teresa Hughes (and husband of Hughes’ daughter, current Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Deirdre H. Hill) who was defeated by Herb Wesson for State Assembly in 1998 and has since continued work as a legislative and congressional aide.

According to the Ethics Committee report, Richardson also retaliated against staff for cooperating with the committee investigation, one of her aides falsified a staff member’s employment record (time report), threatened staffers, and suggested false testimony for them to give in the committee’s investigation.  This goes back to my initial point:  why hasn’t the State of California taken any action to protect the California Labor Code rights of the employees at her Long Beach office?  These are some of the laws that apply and violation of them are misdemeanors under Section 1103 of the California Labor Code:

1101.  No employer shall make, adopt, or enforce any rule,
regulation, or policy:
   (a) Forbidding or preventing employees from engaging or
participating in politics or from becoming candidates for public
office.
   (b) Controlling or directing, or tending to control or direct the
political activities or affiliations of employees.

1102.  No employer shall coerce or influence or attempt to coerce or
influence his employees through or by means of threat of discharge
or loss of employment to adopt or follow or refrain from adopting or
following any particular course or line of political action or
political activity.

1102.5.  (a) An employer may not make, adopt, or enforce any rule,
regulation, or policy preventing an employee from disclosing
information to a government or law enforcement agency, where the
employee has reasonable cause to believe that the information
discloses a violation of state or federal statute, or a violation or
noncompliance with a state or federal rule or regulation.
   (b) An employer may not retaliate against an employee for
disclosing information to a government or law enforcement agency,
where the employee has reasonable cause to believe that the
information discloses a violation of state or federal statute, or a
violation or noncompliance with a state or federal rule or
regulation.
   (c) An employer may not retaliate against an employee for refusing
to participate in an activity that would result in a violation of
state or federal statute, or a violation or noncompliance with a
state or federal rule or regulation.
   (d) An employer may not retaliate against an employee for having
exercised his or her rights under subdivision (a), (b), or (c) in any
former employment.
   (e) A report made by an employee of a government agency to his or
her employer is a disclosure of information to a government or law
enforcement agency pursuant to subdivisions (a) and (b).
   (f) In addition to other penalties, an employer that is a
corporation or limited liability company is liable for a civil
penalty not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for each
violation of this section.
   (g) This section does not apply to rules, regulations, or policies
which implement, or to actions by employers against employees who
violate, the confidentiality of the lawyer-client privilege of
Article 3 (commencing with Section 950), the physician-patient
privilege of Article 6 (commencing with Section 990) of Chapter 4 of
Division 8 of the Evidence Code, or trade secret information.

This is a very timely issue.  With the well-reported threats by employers to shut down their workplaces or lay off employees if President Obama won re-election, where there are laws in place that protect workers from political coercion, they should be applied and enforced vigorously.  If that means taking on a now defeated member of the House of Representatives, so be it.

But frankly, I’m not holding my breath.

 


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Tucker on Black Talk Radio 11-19-12


 

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Tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. PST I’m being interviewed by Scotty Reid on Black Talk Radio re the issue of “Secession” movements:

 http://blacktalkradionetwork.com/page/black-talk-radio-news


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Mythology of Secession


 

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If present day petitions circulating around the United States seeking the right to secede were simply manifestations of “Romantic Nationalism” ["RN" for brevity], they’d be bad enough.  In point of fact they go beyond traditional notions of RN and are based upon popular mythology with no basis in history, constitutional law, or international law.  For a traditional notion of RN, we can look to Johann Gottlieb Fichte’s (an acolyte of Immanuel Kant) “To the German Nation” in 1806, which exhorted German resistance to Napoleon Bonaparte:

Those who speak the same language are joined to each other by a multitude of invisible bonds by nature herself, long before any human art begins; they understand each other and have the power of continuing to make themselves understood more and more clearly; they belong together and are by nature one and an inseparable whole. …Only when each people, left to itself, develops and forms itself in accordance with its own peculiar quality, and only when in every people each individual develops himself in accordance with that common quality, as well as in accordance with his own peculiar quality—then, and then only, does the manifestation of divinity appear in its true mirror as it ought to be.

The Terminology of Diplomatic Recognition

Before discussing the legal and historical assertions being bandied about by advocates of secession, the best argument is seemingly ‘we used to be independent and joined the United States voluntarily so we can get out if we want to.’  I realize that I can be accused of making a “straw man” (or “straw person”) argument as defined in logic, but I think my characterization of this argument for secession is fair from what I’ve read going around the internet.  There are five (5) situations where that argument has a minimally plausible basis.  Keep in mind that to be a “valid” argument, the conclusion must logically follow from the premises, while to be “sound” the argument must be “valid” and the premises must also be true.  The five (5) historical situations where at least there is sort of a basis for claiming pre-existing independence include the “Green Mountain Republic” (Vermont), the Republic of West Florida (part of Louisiana), the so-called California Republic (or Bear Flag Republic), the Republic of Hawaii, and the Republic of Texas.

Before getting to the history though, it’s important to understand the various forms of diplomatic recognition that are accorded to nation states and to movements of people that control territory that do not necessarily constitute a nation state.  Some of the important terms are De Facto, De Jure, Belligerency, Occupation, Annexation, and Cession.

The United States boasts that it was the first nation to diplomatically recognize Israel on May 14, 1948. However, that initial recognition was de facto only and the Soviet Union recognized Israel de jure on May 17, 1948. The United States did not recognize Israel de jure until 1949 with this declaration by President Harry Truman

De Facto diplomatic recognition is accorded to a government which is in actual control of a geographical area.  A perfect modern day example is Taiwan, or the Republic of China as it calls itself.  In the theories of both the Chinese Peoples Republic (the mainland) and that of Taiwan, each government is the “legitimate” or De Jure government of both the mainland and Taiwan.  Most governments around the world recognize the mainland government as being the De Jure government but recognize the reality that the De Facto government in Taiwan is the government that calls itself the Republic of China.

Belligerency is a form of diplomatic recognition accorded when control of a geographical area — usually in a state of rebellion against a sovereign government — is accorded to a military force which may also be accompanied by a civilian form of government.  This is precisely the kind of diplomatic recognition that was accorded to the Confederate States of America (CSA) by Great Britain, France, Brazil (which was sympathetic as a fellow government that still allowed legal slavery) and some other European nations, but no nation appointed formal diplomatic representatives.

Occupation is the formal recognition of a status, usually presumed to be temporary, when military forces of a nation state takes control of the geographical area of another.  This is the status that most nations in the world accord to Palestine, as an area occupied by Israel.  Annexation occurs when a part of one nation state is determined to have been legally incorporated into a nation state which has Occupied that territory.  Israel contends that it has annexed East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.  The Golan Heights Law of 1981 passed by the Israeli Knesset replaced military administration in the area with civil administration, but no other nation recognizes the legitimacy of the annexation and the United Nations officially considers it a violation of the United Nations Charter and the Geneva Convention.  Another example of Annexation was the United States seizure and incorporation of the Northern half of Mexico by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.  Because Mexico never actually received everything it was supposed to get under the Treaty, such as respect for the rights of Mexicans on the United States side of the border that was established, Mexican textbooks described the USA “Southwest” as Mexican territory temporarily occupied by the USA (EEUU) until around 1946.  Cession of Mexico’s North to the United States of America is technically what happened as a result of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, albeit that there was a gun (an Army of Occupation in Mexico City) to Mexico’s head and it took the apparent bribery of at least two Mexican Senators by the United States to get the whole matter ratified after it had initially been voted down.

California–26 Days of Rebellion in a Single County

There is a distinct difference between a “revolution” and a “rebellion.”  When a “rebellion” succeeds, it becomes a “revolution.”  If it loses, it remains in history a rebellion.

The entire so-called California Republic consisted of the raising of the “Bear Flag” in the town square of the City of Sonoma, the arrest and incarceration of some Mexican officials, and the formal dissolution of the so-called Republic 26 days later when those who’d declared its existence found out that the United States was at war with Mexico and that the US was going to annex California anyway.  It was never recognized by the United States, Mexico or any other nation, never controlled any significant territory even within California, and never set up any formal government.

The main accomplishment of the California Republic was the commission of an atrocity and a war crime against General Mariano Guadalupe who peacefully surrendered to the Bear Flaggers by inviting them into his home and giving them food and drink, just to be rewarded by being incarcerated over a swamp at Sutter’s Fort.  He contracted malaria as a result.  Of his experiences he later wrote:

If the men who hoisted the ‘Bear Flag‘ had raised the flag that Washington sanctified by his abnegation and patriotism, there would have been no war on the Sonoma frontier, for all our minds were prepared to give a brotherly embrace to the sons of the Great Republic, whose enterprising spirit had filled us with admiration. Ill-advisedly, however, as some say, or dominated by a desire to rule without let or hindrance, as others say, they placed themselves under the shelter of a flag that pictured a bear, an animal that we took as the emblem of rapine and force. This mistake was the cause of all the trouble, for when the Californians saw parties of men running over their plains and forests under the ‘Bear Flag,’ they thought that they were dealing with robbers and took the steps they thought most effective for the protection of their lives and property.

Green Mountain Republic

Vermont existed in the context of a pre-revolutionary war dispute between New Hampshire and New York.  It had a functioning government and had declared independence from Great Britain in 1777.  However, before the Treaty of Paris was signed between the United States and Great Britain, military hero Ethan Allen — who had also represented Vermont in negotiations to join the Articles of Confederation — entered into negotiations with the British authorities of Quebec in hopes of bringing Vermont back into the British Empire as a separate state or province of Canada.  When the negotiations with the British were publicly exposed, they were dropped.

The existence of the Green Mountain Republic was predicated upon resolving the conflicting claims of New Hampshire and New York over its territory and its desire to become part of the United States was never really at issue.  Eventually Vermont was admitted as the 14th state in a compromise wherein Kentucky was admitted to the union to keep the balance between free and slave states.

Republic of Hawaii

The annexation of the Republic of Hawaii was as scurrilous as the annexation of Northern Mexico.  United States troops supported the overthrow of the monarchy–which had a functioning legislature–and when this element was uncovered by the Blount Report, commissioned by Democratic President Grover Cleveland (who’d replaced Republican Benjamin Harrison who’d been up to his eyeballs in supporting the coup d’etat which overthrew the monarchy led by the descendants of American missionaries) the United States backed off on the annexation requested by the government of Sanford Ballard Dole.

In 1898, Republican President William McKinley signed a treaty of annexation negotiated with Hawaiian President Dole, but it failed to receive Senate ratification after 38,000 Hawaiians signed a petition against annexation in support of restoration of the constitutional monarchy the Americans had overthrown.  Eventually the joint congressional “Newlands Resolution” unilaterally annexed Hawaii over the objections of the Hawaiian population.

With this history, Hawaii has the best claim of legitimacy to secede since there was never anything consensual about the annexation and its legitimacy was even rejected by a President and couldn’t pass muster in the Senate to annex by treaty.

Republic of West Florida

Wikipedia explains that:

The Republic of West Florida was a short-lived republic in the region of West Florida in 1810. The United States and Spain held long, inconclusive negotiations on the status of West Florida. In the meantime, American settlers established a foothold in the area and resisted Spanish control. British settlers, who had remained, also resented Spanish rule, leading to a rebellion in 1810 and the establishment for exactly ninety days of the independent Republic of West Florida.

On October 27, 1810 President James Madison simply issued a decree, without any congressional authority (other than to claim that the area was part of the Louisiana Purchase from France) purporting to annex the territory.  Its President and legislature wanted to resist and to negotiate terms of annexation into the United States but eventually backed down.

Republic of Texas

Republic of Texas Flag 1836-1839

The key economic reason for the revolt of Texas against Mexico was because Mexico had abolished slavery and was intent upon suppressing the United States Southern illegal immigrants to its territory that had brought their slaves with them and were intent on keeping them in bondage.  After revolting against Mexico, Texas established a government which was recognized by France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and the Republic of Yucatan, which like Texas had revolted against Mexico.  Markedly, neither Britain nor Mexico ever recognized the legitimacy of the Texas Republic.

Flag of the Republic of Texas, 1839-1846

The first treaty negotiated between Texas and the United States for annexation was defeated in the Senate by a vote of 16-35 (not even a majority let alone the required 2/3 vote for treaty ratification) on June 8, 1844.  Similar to what would later happen with Hawaii, Texas had to be annexed by a Congressional joint resolution, which provided that if it later saw fit, Texas could be divided up into as many as four (4) separate states:

The Annexation of Texas was extremely controversial as exemplified by this opposition by prominent New Yorkers who did not want to see another slave state in the union. When the annexation led eventually to the war against Mexico, Abraham Lincoln denounced it and tried to impeach President Polk.

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States in Congress assembled, That Congress doth consent the territory properly included within, and rightfully belonging to the Republic of Texas, may be erected into a new State, to be called the State of Texas, with a republican form of government, to be adopted by the people of said republic, by deputies in convention assembled, with the consent of the existing government, in order that the same may be admitted as one of the States of this Union.

2. And be it further resolved, That the foregoing consent of Congress is given upon the following conditions, and with the following guarantees, to wit:

First, Said State to be formed, subject to the adjustment by this government of all questions of boundary that may arise with other governments; and the constitution therof, with the proper evidence of its adoption by the people of said Republic of Texas, shall be transmitted to the President of the United States, to be laid before Congress for its final action, on or before the first day of January, one thousand eight hundred and forty-six.

Second, Said State, when admitted into the Union, after ceding to the United States, all public edifices, fortifications, barracks, ports and harbors, navy and navy-yards, docks, magazines, arms, armaments, and all other property and means pertaining to the public defence belonging to the said Republic of Texas, shall retain all the public funds, debts, taxes, and dues of every kind, which may belong to or be due and owning to said Republic of Texas; and shall also retain all the vacant and unappropriated lands lying within its limits, to be applied to the payment of the debts and liabilities of said Republic of Texas, and the residue of said lands, after discharging said debts and liabilities, to be disposed of as State may direct; but in no event are said debts and liabilities to become a charge upon the Government of the United States.

Third, New States, of convenient size, not exceeding four in number, in addition to said State of Texas, and having sufficient population, may hereafter, by the consent of the said State, be formed out of the territory thereof, which shall be entitled to admission under the provisions of the federal constitution. And as such States as may be formed out of that portion of said territory lying south of thirty-six degrees thirty minutes north latitude, commonly known as the Missouri compromise line, shall be admitted to the Union with or without slavery, as the people of each State asking permission may desire. And in such State or States as shall be formed north of said Missouri compromise line, slavery, or involuntary servitude, (except for crime) shall be prohibited.

3. And be it further resolved, That if the President of the United States shall in his judgement and discretion deem it most advisable, instead of proceeding to submit the foregoing resolution of the Republic of Texas, as an overture on the part of the United States for admission, to negotiate with the Republic; then,

Be it Resolved, That a State, to be formed out of the present Republic of Texas, with suitable extant and boundaries, and with two representatives in Congress, until the next appointment of representation, shall be admitted into the Union, by virtue of this act, on an equal footing with the existing States as soon as the terms and conditions of such admission, and the cession of the remaining Texian territory to the United States be agreed upon by the Governments of Texas and the United States: And that the sum of one hundred thousand dollars be, and the same is hereby, appropriated to defray the expenses of missions and negotiations, to agree upon the terms of said admission and cession, either by treaty to be submitted to the Senate, or by articles to be submitted to the two houses of Congress, as the President may direct.

Approved, March 1, 1845.

That Texas had the right to secede as a result of the joint resolution is simply nonsense and mythology.

Texas seceded from the United States on February 1, 1861 and joined the Confederacy on March 2, 1861.  When then-Governor (and former President of the Republic of Texas) Sam Houston was evicted from office on March 16, he wrote in refusing to take an oath of allegiance to the Confederacy and refusing to acknowledge the legitimacy of secession:

Fellow-Citizens, in the name of your rights and liberties, which I believe have been trampled upon, I refuse to take this oath. In the name of the nationality of Texas, which has been betrayed by the Convention, I refuse to take this oath. In the name of the Constitution of Texas, I refuse to take this oath. In the name of my own conscience and manhood, which this Convention would degrade by dragging me before it, to pander to the malice of my enemies, I refuse to take this oath. I deny the power of this Convention to speak for Texas….I protest….against all the acts and doings of this convention and I declare them null and void.

Null and void is precisely what the United States Supreme Court would later rule, 5-2, in an opinion written by Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase in Texas v White (April 12, 1869) 74 U.S. 700, 74 (1 Wall.) 700; 19 L. Ed. 227; 1868 U.S. LEXIS 1056:

The Union of the States never was a purely artificial and arbitrary relation. It began among the Colonies, and grew out of common origin, mutual sympathies, kindred principles, similar interests, and geographical relations. It was confirmed and strengthened by the necessities of war, and received definite form and character and sanction from the Articles of Confederation. By these, the Union was solemnly declared to ‘be perpetual.’ And when these Articles were found to be inadequate to the exigencies of the country, the Constitution was ordained ‘to form a more perfect Union.’ It is difficult to convey the idea of indissoluble unity more clearly than by these words. What can be indissoluble if a perpetual Union, made more perfect, is not?

Consequently, Chase wrote that “Considered therefore as transactions under the Constitution, the ordinance of secession, adopted by the convention and ratified by a majority of the citizens of Texas, and all the acts of her legislature intended to give effect to that ordinance, were absolutely null.

The bottom line is, while some of us would (tongue in cheek) be glad to see the so-called “red states” stop meddling in the politics of America, we would no more abandon women to the compulsory pregnancy laws that would likely result and the rain of terrible laws that would oppress, repress, and generally fuck over just about everybody who wasn’t an angry white male.  Secession in that event would likely lead to another civil war.


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Unintended Consequences in Law Enforcement


 

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MS-13 gathering

The October 11, 2012 announcement [http://www.ice.gov/news/releases/1210/121011washingtondc.htm] of Mara Salvatrucha’s (MS-13) designation as a “Transnational Criminal Organization” (TCO) by the U.S. Treasury Department is designed to assist the federal government in dismantling MS-13 according to the Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) service, whose press release stated:

“This designation allows us to strike at the financial heart of MS-13 and is a powerful weapon in our fight to dismantle one of the most violent, transnational criminal organizations operating today,” said ICE Director John Morton. “History has proven that we can successfully take down organized crime groups when we combine sophisticated investigative techniques with tough street level enforcement, cutting off cash flows, contraband and collaborators to ensure they no longer find safe haven in our communities.”

The timing of this announcement and the United States government’s enforcement efforts come at an incongruous point in the history of El Salvador.  A report issued by the Transnational Advisory Group In Support of the Peace Process in El Salvador (TAGSPPES) indicated that a peace agreement negotiated between MS-13 and Barrio 18 (or 18th Street) gangs in El Salvador which was announced on March 9, 2012 has resulted in a 70% reduction in homicides in that nation [http://sojo.net/magazine/2012/11/report-window-hope].  The gang truce was negotiated by  Monsignor Fabio Colindres and Raul
Mijango.  The Monsignor is Chaplin of the El Salvador army and police while Mijango is a former Guerilla commander and Congressman from the FMLN (Frente Farabundo Marti de Liberacion Nacional) who was expelled from that party in 2002.  In spite of Mijango’s break with the the party, FMLN El Salvador President Carlos Mauricio Funes Cartagena has expressed his support for the gang peace process and on April 14, 2012 announced at the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Columbia [http://democracyinamericas.org/pdfs/El_Salvador_Update_April_2012.pdf] that for the first time in three (3) years, the truce had resulted in “zero homicides.”

At the Summit of the Americas Funes reportedly received personal assurances from President Obama (who was seated next to Funes at official sessions) of continued economic and security support.  Yet, just months later in October when ICE and the Treasury Department announced the TCO designation for MS-13 the United States risked pulling the rug out from under the peace process and destabilizing El Salvador in the process.

Designating a Group as “Bad”

Designating a criminal organization or a terrorist group as being the baddest of the bad is great for politics but it frequently has the foreseeable but unintended consequence of building up the organization’s credibility with potential recruits and with victims.  This appears to be exactly what has happened with MS-13.  Sources tell me that the TCO designation has raised MS-13 credibility to the point where people deciding to affiliate with one gang or another naturally want to be members of the most powerful, the biggest, the baddest gang possible choose MS-13 over competitors.  Additionally, it makes it easier for MS-13 to engage in extortion:  if the government says a gang is not just incredibly brutal but organized, international, and powerful, why is some small business owner going to believe that the any government, whether in El Salvador or the United States, is able to protect them or their business?

The FBI had created a similar effect for the Jewish Defense League around July 1986 after it held a press conference announcing the designation of the JDL as being the number one terrorist group in America.  For two years prior, the Puerto Rico based FALN (Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional) had held the title of number one but when three bombings and deaths were attributed to the JDL in a single year (two Nazi war criminals and a leader of the Arab American Anti Discrimination League, AADL).  When this designation occurred, the Los Angeles Herald Examiner ran a page one banner headline indicating that the JDL was now considered the number one terrorist group in America.

Irv Rubin, the then-head of the JDL, went out and bought every copy of the Herald Examiner he could get his hands on.  As I was then the JDL’s media flack (for about ten years I took leave of my senses in an agreement to disagree with the JDL about the Middle East so that we could concentrate on messing with Nazis, the KKK and other assorted racists) I issued a press release in which we “neither confirmed nor denied” having anything to do with the bombings of Nazi war criminals Elmars Sprogis and Tscherim Soobzokov, the bombing of Nazi Los Angeles Unified School District teacher George Ashley’s home, and flat out denied having anything to do with the bombing death of AADL leader Alex Odeh.  As we told the press about the seemingly curious statement that we “neither confirmed nor denied” was that if the JDL did do these bombings, they were not dumb enough to confess publicly, but if we didn’t do it, we wanted the FBI to continue to concentrate investigative efforts on the JDL because whoever did do it, we approved of their behavior in bombing Nazis.  The accusations also wound up getting Rubin on the Charlie Rose and Merv Griffin national television shows, for which I had to drill sound bites into him like a dog (the average dog takes 25 repetitions I’m told, to learn a trick; Rubin was so dumb it usually took me about 250 repetitions to get him to learn his lines).

All the press attention improved the JDL’s street creds and garnered it lots of contributions from people who would with a wink and a nod believe that the JDL had in fact taken out Nazi war criminals.  It also made it much easier for the JDL to engage in extortion in concert with elements of Israeli organized crime.

For example, a British cohort (we’ll call him “Mr. Brit”) of the notorious “Mr. K” [for background on Mr. K, read http://janbtucker.com/blog/2011/06/22/richard-shermans-death-buries-more-than-one-body/] had stolen a sizable haul of gold bullion, reportedly from the Bank of England (this is what sources later told me anyway).  He was operating a luxury and exotic car dealership on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood in which Mr. K was reputedly a silent partner (when I was there Mr. K pointed out the very obvious government surveillance vehicles and agents across the street).

The late Gyula Tamas Zubovicz (aka “Dracula” of the Dracula Crime Family of the Hungarian Mafia) later filled in some blanks about what I was to witness at the auto dealership.  Dracula explained that Mr. K had arranged for a “super secret” safe deposit box at a bank whose branch manager was a Hungarian associate of the Dracula Crime Family.  After Mr. Brit deposited the stolen gold bullion in the Safe Deposit Box, Dracula simply arranged to go in and steal it.  He then entrusted it to Mr. K, who then proceeded to rip off Dracula of his share of the now thrice stolen gold.

Having been ripped off of what he’d ripped off, Mr. Brit was not exceedingly happy.  So to keep him in control, Mr. K had Irv Rubin and Earl Krugel meet him at the auto dealership.  I tagged along, not having a clue of what was really going on.  When Mr. K introduced Irv to Mr. Brit, he told him that he might have seen Irv in the news recently and Irv gave him a copy of the Herald Examiner edition with the banner headline describing the JDL as having been named as the number one terrorist group in America.  For some strange reason, Mr. Brit apparently ceased making mention of the gold that Mr. K had heisted from him.

As an aside, while I was at the dealership, some African Americans came in to the dealership with Mr. K and went behind closed doors for an extended period of time.  They’d been accompanied by a certain lawyer who I knew to be an attorney for  a certain African American prison gang.  Dracula later explained to me that Mr. K believed he was dealing with “Black Muslims” and that they were his cocaine connections.  Apparently Mr. K didn’t know the difference between typical Nation of Islam names and their monikers, which are not even close to being similar.

Former Special Agent William Queen, aka Billy St. John; liar and prevaricator

Another example of the government enhancing the credibility of an organization it was trying to decimate was the way it handled the publicity surrounding arrests of members of the Mongols Motorcycle Club following its infiltration by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms (BATF) agent William Queen.  Queen, who wrote an unauthorized autobiography of his experiences, Under and Alone, made television and radio appearances all over America in which he recounted experiences which were either outright lies, delusions, or potentially both.  In the first edition of his book he claimed that I had been hired by the Mongols to vet him for membership and that I supposedly cleared him.  In fact, two elements of the investigation were sub-contracted to me by another licensed investigator and I flagged him for follow up investigation for club liability reasons because his cover identity did not have a Class M-1 endorsement on his driver license.  The Mongols were too cheap to do the follow up which led to a catastrophe for the club.

Mongols Motorcycle Club members

While performing his undercover duties, Queen later told talk show audiences all over America, that the Mongols had engaged in heinous behavior, such as gang rapes.  But when you read the book you find out that he never actually witnessed any.  He based his claim on an incident when he was “prospecting” for membership (i.e., like on employment probation), a time when club prospects are told all kinds of bullshit, intentionally, to see if they have loose lips and repeat the fairy tales they are told.  If Queen didn’t know that a lot of the stories he repeated as facts were fairy tales to test him while prospecting, then he was just incompetent as opposed to a bald faced liar.

Queen also left a few things out of his book, such as how he solicited me to commit a felony in spite of my telling him I wanted nothing to do with what he was asking me to do.

How did all the publicity surrounding the mass arrests of Mongols that later took place affect things?  It convinced lots of people who were striving for acceptance as “one percenters” in the biker world to join the Mongols because Queen and the government’s press releases made them look far worse than they actually were.  For example, one person was very prominently announced to have been arrested for murder, only to be released and never charged because there was no evidence to support the claims, and of course the government didn’t publicly admit the gross error.  The government painted the Mongols as the worst of the worst in the outlaw biker world and the net result was that it got them lots of recruits.

Extortion is obviously a very compelling issue for any government.  Just look at how the potential for CIA Director David Petraeus to be blackmailed over his now exposed affair has caused a ruckus in Washington.  So, is it worth the price that the United States Government won’t pay, but which targets of MS-13 extortion in the United States and El Salvador will, due to the very public designation of MS-13 as a TCO?  Only time will tell.

 


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