This Blog Rocks n Rolls!


 

By signing up, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

It took this blog to get to 400,005 individual page hits from 2006 when it started to November 30, 2012 as I printed on that date.

http://janbtucker.com/blog/2012/11/30/this-blog-rocks/

Since then, my readership has grown by leaps and bounds, even though my technical “subscribers” have only modestly increased (please actually subscribe using the link above, it makes my job of promoting the ideas expressed here a lot easier, and it enables you to post comments on the blog, which I really appreciate as do other readers).  Anyway, here’re the stats as of now, nearly 56,000 hits since November 30 alone!

Site Statistics

Unique Pages Served: 20094 Total Sessions: 201040 Total Page Hits: 455726

I don’t know about you, but my mind is blown!

 


Posted in Anecdotes & Adventures, Ideas & Opinions | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Mississippi–Human Rights Struggle Continues


 

By signing up, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Myrlie Evers comforts her son at the funeral of her assassinated husband, Mississippi NAACP field organizer Medgar Evers

Myrlie Evers comforts her son at the funeral of her assassinated husband, Mississippi NAACP field organizer Medgar Evers

It is very appropriate that Myrlie Evers Williams, widow of slain civil rights worker Medgar Evers and in her own right, former NAACP Chair of the Board from 1995-98, will deliver the invocation at President Barack Obama’s inauguration on Martin Luther King, Jr. day, January 21, 2013.  In 1961, Martin said that “Any man who won’t die for something is not fit to live” and as it unfortunately turned out, he was not only speaking of the eventual fate of Medgar Evers, but also of himself.  Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered April 4, 1968; Medgar Evers was murdered in front of his wife and children on June 12, 1963 in Jackson, Mississippi.  His murder and the eventual conviction of White Citizens Council leader Byron De La Beckwith were dramatized in the 1996 movie, Ghosts of Mississippi starring James Woods, Alec Baldwin and Whoopi Goldberg.

1960, Martin Luther King Jr removing a KKK burned cross from his lawn with his son

1960, Martin Luther King Jr removing a KKK burned cross from his lawn with his son

That we have an African American president speaks to just how far that we have come since those dark days at the height of the civil rights movement, but nobody should be lulled by this inauguration into thinking that the human rights struggle in Mississippi and throughout America has been triumphant and can rest on its laurels.  In fact, the sloth of the government to force a cleanup of an environmental holocaust in Columbia, Mississippi points to the truth of H. Rap Brown’s statement in the 1960s that “When government becomes the lawbreaker then people must become the law enforcers.”

Charlotte KeysCharlotte Keys of Jesus People Against Pollution (JPAP) and my friend and colleague Benetta Johnson of the Alameda Corridor Jobs Coalition (I serve on the board of ACJC) who alerted me to her struggle, has led a knock down, drag out struggle for justice for all the people of Columbia, black and white, young and old, for years.  Charlotte and Benetta are among the many contemporary activists keeping the struggle for human rights alive.

This video contains the incredible but true story of the trials and tribulations Charlotte and JPAP have gone through trying to get justice in the wake of one of the worst cases of toxic chemical dumping in history in Columbia (my thanks to my friends and colleagues Michael Jones of Digital Evidence and Scotty Reid of Black Talk Radio Network for assisting with the conversion of the DVD and You Tube Posting):

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JmFiexWhRA&feature=youtu.be

Don’t just sit back after watching this video presentation and think “tsk, tsk, tsk, what a tragedy.”  Take action:

Contact EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) Inspector General Arthur A. Elkins, Jr. and demand an investigation of EPA sloth and inaction which has destroyed the health and property of residents of Columbia, Mississippi:

Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Inspector General
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. (2410T)
Washington, DC 20460

By Phone: (202) 566-2391  By Fax: (202) 566-2549 

By E-mail:   webcomments.oig@epa.gov

Sign a petition to the White House:  https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/redress-marion-county-columbia-ms-de-listed-superfund-site-environmental-justice-health-and-housing/4x9VwF4L?utm_source=wh.gov&utm_medium=shorturl&utm_campaign=shorturl

Contact JPAP for further information:

JPAP 003


Posted in Anecdotes & Adventures, Ideas & Opinions, Private Investigation Industry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Van Nuys to Venice in a Weekend


 

By signing up, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Van Nuys (Lake Balboa), Friday December 28 @ Randevuz 7133 Balboa Blvd.

I came to Randevuz to see one of my faves, Clarinetist Leo Chelyapov & fell in love with the whole Nashi Ludi crew

I came to Randevuz to see one of my faves, Clarinetist Leo Chelyapov & fell in love with the whole Nashi Ludi crew

Started out the weekend partying till 1 a.m. with the band Nashi Ludi organized by Sasha Green from Kharkov, Ukraine.  Before I get to the music, you’ve got to hear about the food at Randevuz.  It was the freaking best Russian buffet I’ve had anywhere and where do you find a restaurant buffet where the staff keeps encouraging you to stuff yourself over and over and over again.  They didn’t even want to let me leave towards the end of the evening.

“Ptsa” — I don’t know what they call it at Randevuz, but I hadn’t had Ptsa in 45 years and their chef, Serge from Belarus, made it just like my grandmother from Leningrad.  It was fabulous and I had three helpings.

12-28-12 003Nashi Ludi’s basic formation consists of Sasha Green – keyboard, vocal; Alex Mostepan – Guitar, vocal; Iliya Mosk – bass, keys,vocal; Adam Gust – drums; Dean Roubicek – sax, clarinet, flute.; Leo Chelyapov – sax, clarinet, flute.  Special guest performers for the evening included: Tatiana Archangel – vocal, Tanya Ivanova – vocal, Yony Babitsky – guitar, Yuri Fedorko – accordion, Gennady Emelyanov – vocal, Marina Pocelueva – vocal, Konstantin Shvuim – piano, Maksim Velichkin – cello, Chico Ray – bass, vocal, and Julia Kay – vocal.

Aside from Russian tunes, the band did certain American favorites in very original and intriguing formulations.  Tatiana and Julia’s rendition of “Hotel California” was mysterious, dark, and captivating.

NoHo, Sunday, December 30 @ Eric Baumann & Michael Andraychak’s pad

L to R:  Isadore Hall, Oliva Rubio, Jan B. Tucker

L to R: Isadore Hall, Oliva Rubio, Jan B. Tucker

The Los Angeles County Democratic Party annual holiday party, as usual, was a great get together to see old friends and make new ones.  Amongst the old friends, the man of the night, newly elected Assembly Member and my CSUN college buddy Steve Fox, who as Eric Baumann put it, “stole” the 36th District from the Republicans by less than 200 votes.  Also my great friends Assembly Member Isadore Hall III, School Board candidate Maria Cano, former Assembly Member and City Attorney candidate Mike Feuer, City Council Member Paul Koretz, former Assembly persons and City Council candidates Cindy Montanez and Felipe Fuentes, John Alford from Rep. Brad Sherman’s staff, and so many others.

Venice, Monday December 31 @ The Talking Stick, 1411 Lincoln Blvd

L to R:  Ana Guerrero, Jan B. Tucker & Olivia Rubio

L to R: Ana Guerrero, Jan B. Tucker & Olivia Rubio

So my sojourn in NoHo on Sunday led to my reconnecting with Ana Guerrero and her introducing me to Olivia Rubio….so we wind up along with Ana’s husband Neal at the Venice Talking Stick on Monday for New Years Eve.  My regular readers are already familiar with the goings on at “the stick” as we affectionately call it (if you’re not, go to this blog’s Search function and just use the search term “Talking Stick” for details about past goings-on there) but for those who haven’t read about it before, it elucidates, exemplifies and illuminates Bob Dylan’s phrase in “Tangled up in Blue” that “there was music in the cafes at night and revolution in the air.”

Nickie Black live at The Talking Stick

Nickie Black live at The Talking Stick

It was open mic night at the stick, in fact, the tenth anniversary of open mic there along with New Year’s eve and they must have gone through about 20 or more successive acts over the evening, including poetry & rap interspersed between the musical numbers.  The talent ranged from blues to rock to folk to C&W and was universally superb.

Well, so much for music in the cafes at night, I’m back to fomenting the revolution.


Posted in Anecdotes & Adventures, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tell Obama: LGBTI Ambassador for the Vatican


 

By signing up, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

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.


Posted in Ideas & Opinions | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Demand CA Senators support Filibuster Reform


 

By signing up, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

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


Posted in Ideas & Opinions | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Chuck Hagel is a breath of fresh air


 

By signing up, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

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.


Posted in Ideas & Opinions | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Gun Enthusiasts Employed by LA Schools


 

By signing up, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

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?

 

 


Posted in Anecdotes & Adventures, Ideas & Opinions, Private Investigation Industry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

PFP Proposes a Purge


 

By signing up, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

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.


Posted in Anecdotes & Adventures, Ideas & Opinions | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Second Amendment & the Right to Safety


 

By signing up, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

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

Second_Amendment_the_Right_to_Safety_001

 Second_Amendment_the_Right_to_Safety_002

Second_Amendment_the_Right_to_Safety_003Second_Amendment_the_Right_to_Safety_004Second_Amendment_the_Right_to_Safety_005Second_Amendment_the_Right_to_Safety_006Second_Amendment_the_Right_to_Safety_007Second_Amendment_the_Right_to_Safety_008Second_Amendment_the_Right_to_Safety_009Second_Amendment_the_Right_to_Safety_010Second_Amendment_the_Right_to_Safety_011Second_Amendment_the_Right_to_Safety_012Second_Amendment_the_Right_to_Safety_013


Posted in Ideas & Opinions | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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


 

By signing up, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

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.

 

 

 


Posted in Anecdotes & Adventures, Ideas & Opinions, Private Investigation Industry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 78 Comments