Oneil Marion Cannon Friend & Comrade R.I.P.

Oneil Marion Cannon

My friend and comrade Oneil Cannon, former Los Angeles County Chairperson of the Communist Party USA, has passed on.  One of the grand old men of the L.A. left, the best reminiscence I have of him is totally apolitical:  back in the early 80s he gave me one of his collard green plants which I transplanted to where I then lived in Silverlake and taught me his collard recipe.  Something I’ve never told anybody on the political front though, as a loyal union printer, he counterfeited 1,500 corporate proxies to prevent the police from ejecting union picketers at the scene of a corporate shareholders’ meeting during a strike and corporate campaign on behalf of the Graphic Communications International Union, District Council 2 (now part of the Teamsters).  It was a tremendous act of civil disobedience!

From the family’s Facebook event page:



January 28, 1917 – January 20, 2017

Oneil Cannon died in his sleep at 12:20 a.m., the last morning of President Barak Obama’s Administration. He was wearing one of his Obama T-Shirts at the time.

* Oneil Cannon was known to activists as the union printer to the left. His print shop, Fidelity Educational Press printed leaflets, journals and brochures for community organizations, political campaigns and churches especially those looking for a “Union Printer”

In 1985 he co founded the Paul Robeson Community Center, a multi-racial Community Center in South Los Angeles, whose mission is inter-racial and inter-cultural understanding through education.

Fought along with his wife, Adele, to bring equal education to South Los Angeles, including the multi year struggle to bring a Junior College to South Los Angeles, which culminated in the establishment of Southwest Community College, which held its first classes 50 years ago, in 1967.

Born in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, on January 28, 1917, son of a minister and Great Grandson to Salina Eggerson, a slave and her Irish slave-owner, Charlie Cannon. Having lived 100 years, he was a living link to the past. He remembered being visited by this iconoclastic former slave-owner/great grandfather, who regularly brought Oneil and his siblings candy and little gifts 44 years after the end of slavery.

As a young insurance agent in New Orleans, joined a left union, the UOPWA – the United Office of Professional Workers of America, when it began organizing insurance agents in New Orleans. There he began meeting Longshoremen and other left Union members, who all went to the same meetings and supported each other. Ultimately, his boss fired everyone associated with the union, who said that “Universal Life is not going to be coerced by a bunch of communists.” which was the first, but far from the last time that he would hear the term “communist” being used to justify the firing or isolation of people active in the movement for social change.

He also got to know students at Tulane and Dillard University (sometimes called the “Red Schoolhouse” because some of the leading people there were “left” and also because Black and White students used to associate there together – which in the late 30’s and early 40’s was unheard of – and against the law. At one point they were all arrested, not because of communist activity, but because they were violating the miscegenation laws which outlawed Blacks and whites from being together anywhere.

After World War II, he moved to Los Angeles, and brought his wife Elizabeth and children, in order to, as he put it “leave the stranglehold of discrimination and racism in the south”, to join most of his sisters and brothers who also migrated to L.A. after the war.

In 1955 he married a Jewish fellow activist, Adele Rosenfield Goodman Cannon. As an interracial couple they continued to support each other in their fight for justice for the next 54 years.

He “broke the color line” in the Printing Industry by fighting along with Progressive white trade unionists to become the first African American member of the Printer’s Union in Los Angeles.

Although he became a member of the printers’ union in the early 1950’s, never-the-less, he was unable to find work because the printing industry remained segregated—thus he founded his own company: Distinctive Press, later to become Fidelity Educational Press.

Charlotta Bass

He learned printing at Frank Wiggins Trade School, the predecessor to Los Angeles Trade Technical College and sometimes worked for Charlotta Bass, the publisher of THE CALIFORNIA EAGLE, the progressive Black newspaper. He also started his first print shop in the basement of the EAGLE, but moved elsewhere as his business grew.  [Charlotta Bass ran for Vice President on the Progressive Party ticket with Vincent Hallinan in 1952; my parents voted for them–Jan Tucker]

He taught printing to generations of printers, including at “S.T.E.P.” one of the “(Anti) Poverty Programs in South Los Angeles.

As part of the South East Inter Racial Council, he fought to

o Bring “Negro History Week” into the L.A. City Schools;

o End segregated housing and restrictive covenants, including guarding the homes of pioneering Black families when they moved into formerly all white enclaves, and picketing stores and banks demanding that they hire African and Mexican Americans.

Became a member of the Communist Party U.S.A. and became the Educational Director of Southern California, and a member of the Southern California and National Central Committees of same.

Fought as part of the Independent Progressive Party (IPP) to

o Force employers to hire African and Mexican Americans where the slogan was “Don’t bank or buy where you can’t work!”

o Put Henry Wallace and the Independent Progressive Party (IPP) on the Ballot in the late 1940’s

o Elect Blacks and Latino representatives at all levels of government.

Paul Robeson

Counted among his friends many leaders and later elected officials of the African-American community. Paul Robeson was one of these valued friends, Oneil would see Paul whenever he came to Los Angeles.

Was friends with and helped elect numerous representatives of Color to political office in Los Angeles, including Augustus “Gus” Hawkins, Tom Bradley, Ed Roybal, Diane Watson, Maxine Waters and Karen Bass.

Angela Davis

Fought to free the Rosenbergs and later Angela Davis.

Demonstrated against the wars in Vietnam and continued to fight for Middle East peace.

Campaigned to elect President Obama in 2008, and wept with joy along with thousands of others when Obama was elected. He died peacefully in his sleep, wearing one of his Obama tee shirts.

He is survived by his 107 year old sister, Vera Bullen, his four Children: Lloyd Cannon (Jeannette), Lorraine Lockett (William), Brenda Marshall, Denese Lewis (Ray) and two step-children Dale Goodman and Jan Goodman (Jerry Manpearl) and his many grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews as well as his many, many friends and admirers.

Please, no flowers. Donations to two of his favorite organizations, would have pleased him greatly and would be greatly appreciated: KPFK Radio ( or 3729 Cahuenga Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 91604 or to Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace (ICUJP) in his honor.

A Celebration of his life is being planned for his 100th Birthday on January 28, 2017 at 2:30 pm in Santa Monica, CA. Please accept the Facebook invitation if you are planning on coming, or RSVP to so that we can plan accordingly

A Comment from Clyde Kuhn:

I’m sure other Peace and Freedom candidates will remember Oneil (and Adele and their close friends Admiral and Dawn Dawson) for their strong and unwavering support of their campaigns, in addition to simply being the good and decent people that they were.  There could be found no finer examples of the old Left in our time.

In fond memory, and with best wishes for his (their) survivors,

Clyde Kuhn, P&F Lieutenant Governor candidate, 1982, 1986 and 1990.

A comment from Jim Smith
Name: Jim Smith



Comment: I am proud to count Oneil and his late wife and comrade, Adele, as friends. Oneil was a stalwart member of the Communist Party and the Peace and Freedom Party, but he was never dogmatic. He was often critical, mostly in private, of some policies of both groups. But that did not keep him from being a constant fighter for socialism and for an end to racial and national oppression.

Oneil’s print shop, Fidelity Educational Press, had a “political rate” that enabled many poor peoples organizations to get their message printed. When I was arrested and convicted of civil disobedience on behalf of a supermarket strike, Oneil let me serve my community service sentence in his print shop.

A short remembrance of Oneil’s life cannot do justice to his years of activity. Oneil packed 200 years of activism into his 100 years of life.



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Tucker Teaches


Excerpted from California Association of Licensed Investigators  CALI eNewsletter 1-17-17

South Bay-Long Beach District Report

On Saturday, September 9, 2016, the South Bay/Long Beach District presented a Training Meeting with Private Investigator and CALI Member Jan Tucker, with the subject of “Public Records and How to get Them”.  The Saturday morning training was held at the Torrance Moose Lodge.

Mr. Tucker gave in-depth information, detailed citations of authority, provided  forms and “go-by” examples for various inquiries and requests for public records.  Because of his extensive experience, Mr. Tucker provided informative illustrations
on how investigators could use the following tools:

¿    The federal  Freedom of Information Act (FOIA),
¿    The California Public Records Act,
¿    The California Legislature Open Records Act
¿    Touhy Requests
¿    California Information Practices Act.

After the presentation, Mr. Tucker had a question and answer session.  A number of attendees remarked that they were anxious to apply the newly acquired tools to their investigations.

During lunch, attendees had an informal information sharing session.  The South Bay/Long Beach District owes Mr. Tucker thanks for a great and very informative presentation.

Also, CALI Vice President Maki Kudaka and Orange County District Co-Governor Cynthia Cavalie got up early and provide extensive support for the logistics of the meeting!  Thank you!

South Bay / Long Beach 2nd Quarter Meeting
The South Bay / Long Beach District will be presenting the next Meeting/Training session on Saturday, January 28, 2017, at the Peris Restaurant, 12155 E Carson St, Hawaiian Gardens, CA 90716.

The meeting portion will be held at 8:30 AM-9:00 AM.  Expenditures by the District for Legislator’s Day and other fiscal matters will be proposed and put to a vote by district members.  District members are encouraged to attend to make your voice heard.

The training will be from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM.  Private Investigator and CALI member Chris Woodward will be holding a Seminar on “Marketing your PI Business.”  Chris will show us how to expand our customer base and income flow.  More details will be forthcoming on the CALI Listserv and CALI Event Calendar.

Maki Kudaka and Isadore Hall III

After the training session I invited CALI Vice President Maki Kudaka to come over to an event with State Senator Isadore Hall, who has been a great advocate for private investigators.  Hall was recently appointed  to the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board by Governor Brown.

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Games Lawyers Play & Especially Heinous: E-Books from Jan B. Tucker


Diane Chambers, Jan Tucker & Donna Dymally


Games Lawyers Play” and “Especially Heinous”


From the pages of Jan B. Tucker’s
“Games Lawyers Play”

When a friend a mine was busted on a trumped up felony charge he wound up in the court of one of those judges. I rushed the first edition of this chapter into publication and gave out copies to the lawyers who were regulars in his department. I knew full well that they’d go right to the first judge they could find and ask for their opinion about which judges I might be alluding to. A week later all charges were miraculously dismissed without explanation.”

The next governor’s bag-man successor in the scheme of things was known as ‘the judge-maker.’ He had a personal obsession of wanting a male grandchild to be produced by his only daughter, and among other things, promised a free judgeship to anybody who could get her pregnant with a boy. He got one guy appointed who was so incompetent that he once denied a criminal defendant the right to testify on his own behalf on the grounds that his testimony would be ‘self-serving.’”

Definition: Malpizzance: that combined form of Malpractice and Malfeasance in which an attorney solicits his innocent client to commit crimes in order to pay his or her legal bills.”

From the pages of:

Especially Heinous:

Twisted Sex Crimes from the Pages of the Detective’s Diary

By Jan B. Tucker

1980 these guys asked me to ask our supervisor if he liked to fuck donkeys

After they sounded me out as the new guy, one of them says to me, ‘hey Tucker. If you want a good laugh, go up to Andres, the supervisor, and ask him if he likes to fuck donkeys.’”

If there was ever a concentration of sexually dysfunctional and perverse people in the world that came together in one organization, it was amongst the board members of the Jewish Defense League (JDL).”

According to Mr. K, two weeks later she came over for another session with Uzi. This time, they put thick socks over his paws to keep him from tearing up her back.”

Irv’s sex life with his wife, Shelley, came to a halt when they had a falling out over whether or not to have a second child. Shelley wanted one and Irv didn’t. Shelley refused to have sex unless it was for procreation. This went on for several years.”

Well, I was about to ask for $50, but it’s lucky I kept my mouth shut,” he said. “He peels off five $100 bills and thanks me for my services.”

please Mistress! Don’t tell anybody. I’ll lose my job. Don’t worry. I’ll make sure the file gets lost.”

Important note: he did this procedure to himself without anesthesia.”

…it really does not help your defense to show that within an approximate half-hour period you were across the street from the scene of a rape peeing in a bottle for your parole agent.”

Judge Morrow was way too sane to permit that to occur, but unfortunately not all jurists in California are sane.”

I get a call from a lawyer friend of mine. He wants me to serve a lawsuit for wrongful death on a defendant. I assume it’s a typical traffic accident case but he explains, ‘he fucked her to death!’”

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Chris Reynolds is a disgrace to private investigators everywhere




Martin Niemoller

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn’t a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

Friedrich Gustav Emil Martin Niemöller (14 January18926 March1984)

Chris Reynolds

The case of Chris Reynolds and myself is the opposite:  Reynolds came for me first because I was the greatest obstacle to his implementation of Synanon-like cult control tactics in CALI.  I understood them, I had professionally investigated Synanon organizational infiltration before, and he needed me out of the way.

I condemn myself because I had the chance to nip it in the bud.  I mistakenly believed that it was in the interests of the California Association of Licensed Investigators (CALI) for me not to go public or fight the issues out in the Board as the affair would be exploited by true enemies of CALI.  It turned out that the long term interests of CALI would have been better served, because Reynolds as a consummate cult control freak proceeded to interfere with and undermine both of his successors when they could not be controlled to his liking.

2012–My Resignation from the CALI Board

NOTE:  I urge the Board of CALI to demand to see all correspondence between Brad Bleichner, myself, and Chris Reynolds regarding this issue.  I was told point blank by board members after the fact that Reynolds NEVER made the board privy to these exchanges in spite of having admitted to me that CALI lawyer Brad Bleichner had read him the riot act for acting without any authority whatsoever and against all semblance of propriety….

The following is from January 2012 email to a then-CALI board member by me explaining the issues and incorporates my correspondence to Brad Bleichner–which Reynolds hid from the CALI Board:

Sent: Thursday, January 26, 2012 11:25 AM

First of all, I don’t need the sandbox drama that Chris has initiated.  In thinking this matter over and over, in a very strange twist, RVG’s attacks on Chris for his former association with Synanon actually seem to make sense, because a lot of Chris’s behavior is straight out of standard cult playbooks.

Second, under normal circumstances I wouldn’t mind dealing with the stress.  A couple of months ago I was at my Venice office upstairs.  My client went downstairs.  He was attacked from behind.  Long story short I found him lying on the floor, unable to stand and with his right hand and leg in tremors.  Had I gone downstairs with him, I’d probably be injured or dead with him.

Two weeks ago, the guy that we know to have orchestrated the attack, who is out on parole from a racketeering conviction REDACTED…..

Psychopaths on the other hand like this guy, REDACTED, get off on threatening you and then carrying out the threat.  So I take this very seriously and I’m worried.

That said, here is my last communication to Brad and I have attached my resignation letter:


For reasons that are apparent to me but which I cannot completely divulge in relation to my duties to my clients and the other organizations that are involved in the initial reason for my resignation, my position is juxtaposed to Chris’s position in an equivalent degree as phenomenologists and logical positivists.  In essence, we don’t even see the world in the same terms or with the same outlook.  Additionally, I am always concerned with the interaction in any form of social organization of the structure of power and the structure of authority.  My view is that these interactions are either irrelevant to Chris or else are of little concern.

1.  Regarding the substantive issue that started this whole mess, i.e., my blogging about Ed Saucerman, I have the following observations:

Without bothering to call me up and asking a simple question like “why are you continuing to blog about Ed Saucerman” Chris made a directive to me, which as far as I know was not cleared with the board or with consultation to anybody else.  Had he bothered to make that simple and reasonable inquiry, he would have learned that my perspective is based upon an integrated series of events.

First, Saucerman and his allies like RVG openly and publicly attacked me, causing me to receive something like 450-500 hits on my website in a couple of days (meaning that more people who did not inquire to learn the truth about the accusations took them at face value).

Second, I responded to those attacks.  These facts are well known to Chris.

Third, and probably not known to Chris, Saucerman took counter-measures to combat my search engine optimization techniques (my SEO is so successful over-all that one of my four blogs alone received approximately 4,000 hits in a recent two week period, and that is not including the other bloggers who reprint and redistribute that blog).

Fourth, in order to maintain my superior SEO results so that the attacks on me remain “buried” on the internet and do not move up to the first page of google or yahoo, I have to engage in a permanent “arms race” akin to the Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) or Nuclear Usage Theory (NUT) doctrines of the cold war.

If and when Chris demonstrates that he can generate 4,000 hits to a blog in a two week period, I will respect his opinion on these matters.

2.  The process by which Chris dealt with matters subsequent to my resignation is equally troubling to me.  At the risk of ignoring the mathematical impossibility theorem as to factors which I am not aware of, I can conceive of only three factual scenarios concerning his decision not to allow me to “tender” my resignation.

First, he didn’t bother to read the bylaws and Sturgis before determining that a “tender” was illegitimate, in which case he made no reasonable inquiry into the application of rules to facts.

Second, he did read the bylaws and Sturgis and (a) intentionally misinterpreted or ignored the obvious implications of Sturgis resignation issues on Page 226 or (b) negligently misinterpreted Sturgis because he was drunk or under the influence of drugs, because I know that he’s not stupid.

Third, Chris is aware of some other body of rules or policies of CALI that supersede the bylaws (which are silent on the specific issue) and Sturgis, that I have not been made privy to.  I suspect that if any such rule or policy existed he would have cited it.

Fourth, from the board email traffic over my resignation, I gather that he in essence directed the Board Chair, Frank, to adopt the position that there was no such thing as a resignation “tender” and thus subverted Frank’s independent authority as chair to make his own inquiry.

One must take into consideration that “parliamentary” procedure is just that:  it was based by Henry Martyn Robert on the procedures of legislative bodies.  Of course, the earliest body upon which American legislative bodies were based was the mimicking of the British Parliament in which there are occasions when the Prime Minister, as leader of the House of Commons, tenders his/her resignation to the sovereign (king or queen) for the formality of acceptance or rejection.

3.  Once my tender was not honored for a motion that was made and seconded on the board list serve I was fully aware that I could attempt to “appeal” the decision by making an issue of the illegitimacy of the denial of my right to tender rather than to unilaterally resign.  I could have informed the Chair of my interpretation of page 226 of Sturgis and Frank  might have disagreed, I could have gotten a call initiated for an emergency board meeting and moved to over-rule the chair.

Knowing full well that those were options, I chose to make a unilateral resignation.  There was no inadvertence, mistake, or neglect.  I made an intelligent, informed choice to unilaterally resign.  As far as I am concerned, I have resigned, am no longer a member of the board of directors, and I am not seeking the job back.  There is nothing that CALI can do about that short of creating some kind of legal fiction or requiring either Chris, myself, or both of us to do something that is fundamentally dishonest….and that would be assuming arguendo that I want the job back which I don’t.

4.  Finally, it would not be in CALI’s interests for me to return to board service even if I wanted to.  Are you familiar with The Clash song Should I stay or should I go?  Part of the refrain is “If I go there will be trouble And if I stay it will be double…”  That is exactly what is likely to happen.

The only trouble for CALI is for those who mistakenly think that I am somehow indispensable to certain operations.  They are very mistaken.  Nobody is indispensable and I certainly am not.  They need to get over that belief.

Creating a hostile environment

Following this episode any reasonable individual would have realized that I wanted nothing to do with Reynolds but at the next opportunity at the State Conference he kept coming up to me and trying to engage me in conversation.  One thing he wanted to know was whether I wanted an apology.  I told him in no uncertain terms that I did not want, desire, or expect an apology.

So what does this idiot do?  After I’d tried my best to keep the whole affair under wraps and sweep it under the rug…..Reynolds immediately puts it out in public at the President’s dinner that night by publicly apologizing to me without explaining why he was apologizing, the worst of all possible worlds! 

Although I’d paid good money for a ticket to the President’s dinner, I left the convention because Reynolds had already demonstrated his lack of impulse control by continually trying to engage with me.  For him to put the issue of the existence of a dispute or problem out in public when I wasn’t even present was the ultimate act without impulse control.  Within moments I was deluged with text messages from attendees wanting to know what was going on.  The first was from my now recently deceased friend and colleague Dr. Robert Shomer.

Now you know why I haven’t been back to a CALI State Conference since.

Spoliating my client’s evidence

Reynold’s behavior not only caused complications with my client who’d supplied the evidence he needed, one of my other clients is Luster’s cousin

Out of the kindness of my heart and with no compensation, I convinced one of my clients to provide evidence for Chris to use for his client Andrew Luster.  Ever hear the Ferengi 285th Law of Acquisition?  “No good deed ever goes unpunished.”

I had to leap though hoops to get this done.  It involved my having to navigate obscure Orthodox Jewish Talmudic laws that required Luster’s mother to formally request it as one Jew to another to my client’s mother.  It required us to meet at an Orthodox Synagogue and for me to don Tefillin and recite Orthodox prayers.  Here is how Reynolds repaid me:

February 21, 2013

Chris Reynolds
2360 Mendocino Avenue STE A2-133
Santa Rosa CA 95403-3914

Dear Mr. Reynolds:
Twice, when I turned over the Luster documents to you from REDACTED and again when you initiated an encounter with me at the CALI Conference in Orange County, you
promised to make copies of the documents I had provided to you.

You reneged both times.

Mr. REDACTED has requested that you return the originals to me immediately. If you do not he will sue you. To reiterate it was an express condition of your receiving those documents that you make copies for me. You promised to do so and you never did.

Send the originals back to me IMMEDIATELY.

When I finally got the stuff back, the most important evidence, such as copies of checks made out from Andrew Luster to Richard Sherman [] were missing!  I never got them back.

Cult-like Behavior

As I noted in the above email to a CALI Board member:

In thinking this matter over and over, in a very strange twist, RVG’s attacks on Chris for his former association with Synanon actually seem to make sense, because a lot of Chris’s behavior is straight out of standard cult playbooks.

Shaved heads were a requirement for Synanon acolytes

In the case of UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. David R. BENJAMIN; Philip C. Bourdette; Miriam R. Bourdette; Cecilia Jason Dederich; Dan L. Garrett, Jr.; Elizabeth Missakian; Sybil Schiff; Steven Simon; Dan Sorkin, DefendantsAppellants, 852 F.2d 413 (1988) it is noted that “Defendants’ contentions regarding witnesses Ronald Cook and Chris Reynolds boil down to the
same general claim that it is improper knowingly to make grand jury witnesses assert the privilege.”  The privilege referred to is Reynolds invoking his 5th Amendment privilege before the federal grand jury investigating Synanon.  Various narratives on the internet indicate, taken together, are that Reynolds gave Attorney Paul Morantz’s home address to Synanon’s lawyers; a rattlesnake was put in Morantz’ mail box and Morantz wound up in the hospital.

Connect the dots.  If a lawyer from a cult came to me and asked me to get the home address of an opposing lawyer on a civil lawsuit, I would have to hear an awfully great reason and even then I’d demand the assignment in writing.

Why did I glom onto Reynolds’ behavior as cult-like in 2012?  Because I’ve investigated Synanon infiltration before.

The Union of Their Dreams:  Power, Hope, and Struggle in Cesar Chavez’s Farm Worker Movement by Miriam Pawel (2009)  tells the story of how in Cesar Chavez later years, Synanon infiltrated the United Farm Workers of America.  I know personally because in those days I investigated UFW on behalf of the Graphic Communications International Union (GCIU) District Council 2;  the UFW violated a written agreement with GCIU and the Allied Printing Trades Council, regarding their use of the union printing label. Among other things I interviewed the former head of security for the UFW who’d made the mistake of inviting Synanon in and then became one of Synanon’s victims.

With that background under my belt I began pegging Reynolds’ behavior as straight out of Synanon’s playbook.

What’s to come….

On January 9, 2017 I got this notice from CALI in my email:

FROM CALI ~ An Association of Excellence

Dear Jan,

This notice is to inform you that, effective immediately, Mr. Joseph Travers is no longer the President of CALI.  The Board of Directors will be meeting on January 22, 2017 in San Jose, CA, for the purpose of appointing an interim President to serve the remainder of Mr. Travers’ term.  The Board of Directors will not be releasing any additional information on this matter.  We ask that you be respectful of all parties involved in this matter.

As soon as I got that, the first thought that crossed my mind was that Chris Reynolds had something to do with it.  I made some inquiries and found out that I was right.  It has been no great secret that both of his successors as President have had to put up with unprecedented undermining and interference from Reynolds because he is a control freak par excellence.

Now I hear through the proverbial grape vine that Chris Reynolds is seeking a seat on the board of NCISS.  For NCISS to grant him that accolade would be a grave mistake.

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Dr Robert Shomer’s death is a clarion call for law enforcement reform


Dr. Robert Shomer was struck and killed by a motorist while crossing a street January 3, 2017

First and foremost, a Kaddish for my friend, colleague, and fellow Jew, Dr. Robert Shomer.  As a Jew Bob always understood and carried out our peoples’ obligation to heal the world, to do Tikkun Olam:

Exalted and hallowed be God’s great name
in the world which God created, according to plan.
May God’s majesty be revealed in the days of our lifetime
and the life of all Israel — speedily, imminently, to which we say Amen.

Blessed be God’s great name to all eternity.

Blessed, praised, honored, exalted, extolled, glorified, adored, and lauded be the name of the Holy Blessed One, beyond all earthly words and songs of blessing, praise, and comfort. To which we say Amen.

May there be abundant peace from heaven, and life, for us and all Israel, to which we say Amen.

May the One who creates harmony on high, bring peace to us and to all Israel.

To which we say Amen.

Bob and I had many conversations over the years about our moral obligations to do what we do for a living when it came to keeping innocent people from going to prison and insuring that everybody received a fair trial.  I came across an old email exchange about Passover and our commitment to bringing back the Anusim, descendants of forcibly converted Jews, victims of the Spanish Inquisition, into “The Tribe:”

My message:

Depending on the response to this email, I will be conducting (and cooking for) my second annual Passover Seder and Festival of the Anusim on either 4/23 or 4/24. If you are interested in attending, let me know which day is better for you.

For those of you who didn’t attend my first one last year, this is what it’s all about:

My Hebrew name is Boruch Yaadov Moshe Ber Ben Osher Shmuel, which means “The Blessed hand of Moses, Son of Happy Samuel.” The reference to the Bless hand of Moses is out of the book of Exodus, wherein Moses came upon an Egyptian overseer beating a Hebrew slave and with his blessed hand, he smites him in one blow. In other words, I am named for the act of killing an oppressor and liberating a slave.

Also, being the second gringo (and both I and #1were Jewish) to get a degree in Chicano Studies in this state, with a name (and mission like that), I am therefore uniquely qualified to act as “Tlamatini of the Jews.”

As such, I have created a special Festival of the Anusim (the forcibly converted Jews of Spain and Portugal) by which their ancestors can ritually return to our tribe. The theme of the special seder is that the Exodus from Egypt was only one of many and recounts the story of the expulsion of my people from Iberia beginning in 1492.

I am inviting both my Jewish friends and, because the tradition of Passover is to have an open door to all, I am inviting my friends that I think may be interested in the whole event or who simply may want to try my legendary cooking.

There are various signs by which you can get an inkling of whether your Iberian ancestors may have been Jewish. Some of them are:

1. Hispanic names ending with “Z”

2. Your family covered mirrors when somebody died or turned the mirrors towards the wall.

3. Somebody in your family swept the floor with the sweepings to the center of the room instead of to the door; or, they insisted on keeping a broom near the front door.

4. Maintaining a tradition of getting the dead buried very quickly.

5. A family tradition of making or using flour tortillas rather than or along with corn tortillas (flour tortillas were the Sephardic [Iberian Jewish] equivalent of Matzoh, unleavened bread used for Passover).

6. Family members who abhorred pork or other non-kosher foods.

7. Family members who felt an affinity for Jewish food, Jewish people, and other Jewish cultural traditions.

8. Family members who lit candles in Church on Friday or Saturday instead of Sunday.

9. Referring to God as “Dio” instead of “Dios.”

10. Family members who expressed skepticism of Catholic hierarchy and theology while maintaining ostensible Catholic identity.

11. Criticising people for standing while eating or eating in a hurry (relative to the Passover tradition of eating while reclining to avoid the practice of slaves of having to eat hurriedly).

12. Family members who were overly cryptic about family history and genaeology for no apparent reason.

13. Family members with certain Jewish dominated occupations from Iberia, such as people in the jewelry trades.

Anyway, please let me know your desire to attend and what date is best for you.

Shalom, Jan B. Tucker-PI 10143

Bob’s response:

Dear Jan
Thank you very much for the fascinating invite.
As the elders in our family, except for my 96 year old mother-in-law who helped cook up until last year, the happy responsibility of making a Seder on both nights falls to us, so we are not able to join you.
But thank you for your kind offer.
The Festival of Anusim is a great idea and DNA testing is being used, as I am sure you know, to trace Jewish lineage of Hispanics with often surprising results.

Bob was an internationally recognized expert on eyewitness identification.  For just a few examples of his work:

For a televised video interview:

In People v McDonald, based on Bob’s testimony, the California Supreme Court made eyewitness expert witness testimony admissible in California:

Bob’s resume’ was very impressive:

 I am a psychologist licensed in the State of California and the President of Hawthorne Community Medical Group. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with Honors from the University of California at Los Angeles and went on to receive my Doctorate in Psychology from UCLA in 1966.

Prior to receiving my Doctorate, I had been awarded a U.S. Public Health Fellowship, and upon receiving my Doctorate, I was offered several faculty appointments, including positions at Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, Johns Hopkins, and the University of Texas. I accepted a position at Harvard University and was appointed to the faculty with concurrent appointments in the Departments of Psychology, Social Relations, and General Education. Prior to receiving my Doctorate, and since, I have had several original experimental studies accepted for publication in the psychological journals.

I served on the faculty at Harvard University for five years, during which time I received additional grants and awards from, among others, the National Science Foundation, The National Institutes of Mental Health, The Department of Defense, the Advanced Research Projects Administration, and Harvard University.

In 1971, I was appointed to the faculty of the Claremont Colleges. While at the Colleges, I received additional grants and awards for research projects from various governmental funding sources as well as from the Claremont Colleges.

At Harvard, the Claremont Colleges, and UCLA, I originated and taught courses in many areas of psychology including those dealing with observation, perception, memory, recall, the effects of stress, and other factors such as cross-racial issues which are relevant to the accuracy of eyewitness identification.

For five years, I served as a screening psychologist for a police department, and since 1974 I have consulted with attorneys, and testified as an expert witness in eyewitness identification in over 250 Superior and Federal court criminal trials in numerous states. I have addressed Bar Associations throughout the West Coast including the California State Bar Association, and the California Trial Lawyers Association; and have worked with attorneys on several post conviction appeals.

In the case of People v. MacDonald (1984) 37 Cal.3d 351, 208 Cal.Rptr. 236, 690 P.2d 709, 46 A.L.R.4th 1011, the California Supreme Court unanimously held that it was error for the trial court to have excluded Dr. Shomer’s testimony because “when eyewitness identification of the defendant is a key element of the prosecution’s case but is not substantially corroborated by evidence giving it independent reliability, and the defendant offers qualified expert testimony on specific psychological factors shown by the record that could have affected the accuracy of the identification but are not likely to be fully known to or understood by the jury, it will ordinarily be error to exclude that testimony.”

In 2013, then Los Angeles Mayoral candidates Eric Garcetti, Kevin James, Wendy Greuel, and Jan Perry–the top four–were hosted in Dr. Shomer’s home for interview by the Same Page/Misma Pagina Coalition endorsement committee.  Bob gave each of them a demonstration of why the existing LAPD policies for conducting eyewitness identification procedures were unscientific, incompetent, and racist in their effects regardless of intent.  Eric Garcetti, who won the election, promised to look into the issue and to get back to Dr, Shomer about it.  Since neither of us heard anything in the last four years from him and with Garcetti now up for re-election, just days ago I sent Garcetti and City Attorney Mike Feuer the following California Public Records Act request seeking copies of:

Any communications between the Office of the Mayor and/or the Office of the City Attorney and the Los Angeles Police Dept. concerning eyewitness identification procedures including but not limited any writings concerning Eyewitness Evidence: A Guide for Law Enforcement authored by the Technical Working Group for Eyewitness Evidence and Published by the National Institute of Justice, October 1999 and/or the Majority Report on Eyewitness Identification Procedures of the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice.

Unfortunately Bob did not live to see whether or not the Mayor will follow through on his commitment.  Black, Brown and Asian lives matter and people should not go to prison when up to date scientific procedures that Bob advocated could prevent false prosecutions and convictions.

A particularly poignant comment on this blog from a fellow Expert Witness/Private Investigator:

So sorry and pissed that we, the defense, lost his brilliance in our battle against the filthy lying ‘redcoat’ govt. scum.
Worked with Dr. Shomer on many cases, sat in and learned from him watching his brilliant testimony. He helped me and I’m forever grateful to him.

One important aspect of our work together was to attack the racial disparities in false convictions resulting from cross-racial eyewitness identifications.  To this end we taught a Seminar on Eyewitness Identification Procedures and Police Misconduct at the 2005 California State Conference, NAACP.  We also taught joint seminars on the subject for the California Association of Licensed Investigators, and co-authored an article for CALI’s journal:








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Private Eye Ride-a-long


Private Investigator Derrick Marshall

Missouri and Florida licensed private investigator Derrick Marshall recently turned me onto his splendid video of his mobile surveillance of a cheating spouse investigation:

One important caveat:  make sure before hiring a PI to follow somebody that it makes economic sense; in California, a “no fault” divorce state, catching your spouse cheating doesn’t get you back dime one in family law court.

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Vista Sonoma: Beware of Management



Posted on Flickr by Redbeard Math Pirate to express his viewpoint about FPI Management

This morning, 04 January 2017 at about (9:20 AM, I was going down the first floor hallway of Building 1401 when I noticed a sheriff’s eviction notice on the door of apartment 1401-106. I started copying down the information on the notice, when Greg _______ one of the FPI_MGT maintenance workers came out of apartment 1401-104 and asked me in a very hostile and threatening manner what I was doing. I continued to make notes. Greg said of the tenant “she didn’t get evicted, she didn’t pay her rent.” By this time Greg had been joined by another maintenance worker who had been in apartment 104.

This is the second consecutive tenant to be forced out of 1401-106, both women who must use wheelchairs. The first was “Jane” Deroos, and the current resident is Neahle Madden. The case against Madden is Sonoma County Superior Court # MCV 240021, File 16002553 with surrender of the premises scheduled for January 2017 at 6:01 AM

Any getting this email who can get by 1401-106 today or ASAP ought to take a picture of the notice on the door.

Management seems intent on purging disabled and frail elderly from premises of the newly renamed Vintage at Bennett Valley apartments (formerly known as Vista Sonoma Senior Apartments and also as Vista Sonoma Senior Living).

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Trump’s Deplorable Cabinet


Bob Dylan sings in It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding):

Money doesn’t talk, it swears.

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Jews Need Peace NOW, Not When Israel’s Right Wing Government Decides to Get Out of the Way


…Don’t you remember your history? The last time the Chinese came, they stayed a thousand years….As for me, I prefer to sniff French shit for five years than to eat Chinese shit for the rest of my life.” ― Hồ Chí Minh

Flavius Josephus

My fellow Jews, don’t you remember your history? Of course not. You read the history that was written by those of our people who were self-serving and not those who were reasonably objective or those who had alternative opinions to the mainstream, like Josephus. You read what the rebels against Rome wrote and never consider the Roman point of view or what other historians wrote at the time.

You listen to Christian fanatics who “love Israel” because they’re motivated by the insanity of a literal reading of Revelations and ignore the history of the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire or the King of Morocco who welcomed and protected our Sephardic brethren when they were expelled from Spain.

This is not the first time that fanatics in Israel fucked up stuff for the rest of us living in the Diaspora. As for me I prefer and demand that you make peace with our Palestinian cousins and treat them as the Torah commands, NOW! The alternative is that Jews like me will live in fear for the next couple of centuries.

“I like to believe that people, in the long run, are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. Indeed, I think that people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of the way and let them have it.”  President Dwight Eisenhower

Radio and Television Broadcast With Prime Minister Macmillan in London, 8/31/59″

Jews, who numbered around 10,000,000 throughout the Roman Empire, had a better deal than any other minority group. If you don’t believe it, read The Jews in the Roman World by Michael Grant [Macmillan Pub Co, August 1973, ISBN-13: 978-0684133409]. When Julius Caeser landed in Egypt to confront Pompey during the Roman Civil War, he was outnumbered until Herod the Great sent a Jewish Army to back Caeser’s play. As a result:

  • Herod was confirmed as King of Judea

  • The Jewish authorities in Jerusalem got to use the Roman tax system to collect from the 10,000,000 Jews throughout the empire for the Temple in Jerusalem, an enormous economic benefit for the homeland

  • Herodian Coinage

    Judea got to mint its own coinage without the”graven image” of the Roman emperor (who was deemed a god) for use by Jews and to pay the Temple taxes (what Jesus was talking about when he says “render unto Caeser that which is Caeser and to God that which is God” he’s referring to Roman coinage and Judean coinage to pay Roman taxes versus Temple taxes)

  • Caligula

    Later, when Caligula was Emperor, he arbitrated in favor of the Jews of Alexandria in a dispute with the Greeks of Alexandria even though he opined that they were “insane” for not believing that he was god.

The Jews who revolted against the Romans, who were very likely a minority of 30% of the Judean population, screwed this all up for the other two-thirds living there and the rest of the 10,000,000 living outside of Judea.

Does any of this sound familiar? How about the nuts and fanatics who want to establish “Israel on both sides of the Jordan” who refuse to accept international law and insist on stealing Palestinian land in the name of God? See on that point.

I will pose to you a question that deals with the role of Jews in the world and an aspect of what it means to be Jewish.

It is said that Jews are the Chosen People. Does this mean that we are God’s favorite people? Does it mean that we are somehow entitled to special privileges? These ideas are common misconceptions of both Jews and non-Jews who have never had the concept explained to them.

The concept of the Jews being the “Chosen People” means that they were chosen by God to bring justice to the Earth and all its people. If we do not, then as the Book of Amos states: “Amos (3:2) “You alone have I singled out of all the families of the earth – that is why I will call you to account for your iniquities.”

Genesis 25:9

On September 2, 2010, Benjamin Netanyahu spoke of how two brothers, Isaac—the father of Israel—and Ishmael, the father of the Arabic people, came together to bury their father Abraham. So I pose the question, what are the obligations of the Jewish people, to our cousins, the Arab and Palestinian people?

Leviticus 19:33

When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong.”

Leviticus 19:34

You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”

Haplogroup G according to my genetic cousin and Geneticist Ted Kandell

Since the Bible teaches us that the Arab people are our cousins, the Children of Abraham as are we, we should treat them as family. For some of us who have had our DNA tested as I did, we know this to be literally true: my Y chromosome is Haplogroup G, subclade G2b, making me related to about 8% of Jewish males…and 76% of Palestinians. Given the scientifically suspected origins of Haplogroup G and the professed origins of Abraham, Ur Kaśdim (Hebrew: אוּר כַּשְׂדִים‎‎ ’Ūr Ḵaśdîm), commonly translated as Ur of the Chaldees [See Wikipedia], we of Haplogroup G may be the most authentic descendants of Abraham if he indeed existed!


Before the recent Security Council Resolution pointing out the simple truth of international law that settlement activity in land under military occupation is illegal, Israeli government propaganda relied on the fact that most Jews, like most other people in the world, are not political scientists and don’t understand the technicalities of diplomatic language, to condemn UNESCO for a resolution adopted on Israeli government policies on religious institutions. Benjamin Netanyahu claimed on Facebook that:

“To say that Israel has no connection to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall is like saying that China has no connection to the Great Wall of China or that Egypt has no connection to the pyramids. By this absurd decision, Unesco has lost what little legitimacy it had left.”

The UNESCO Resolution says no such thing and you should read it for yourself []. Here is an email that explains the problem that I posed to a friend who’d fallen for Netanyahu’s nonsense:

I’m attaching the UNESCO resolution you denounced on FB. I’m assuming that you took at face value the Israeli government’s characterization of the resolution and didn’t read it.

If you did read it, consider it from the following perspective:

1. Did you take an undergraduate course in international relations? If not, do you actually understand the diplomatic technical language used by the resolution, including the technical use of punctuation such as “quotation marks”?

2. Do you have a thorough understanding of the terminology used for the sites discussed in the resolution?

3. Are you familiar with the international law and treaties that govern what an occupying power is allowed and forbidden from doing?

4. With those considerations what do you see in the resolution that is objectionable? What do you see that isn’t clear and which raises questions for you?

Now my fellow Jews, remember that we are culturally supposed to be pre-disposed to take nothing at face value and to question everything: as the old joke goes, a Gentile asks a Jew “Why do you people always answer a question with another question?” The appropriate response “WHY SHOULDN’T WE?” (It also sounds better as a joke told in dialect with a Yiddish accent: “Vy shouldn’t ve?”). See if you think I’m making this up. The fact is in Yeshiva they actually teach you this practice down to the sing-song way to use your discourse with the Rabbi-teacher going back and forth with questions, answers, further questions ad nauseum.

So following your questioning of the Israeli government line on the UNESCO resolution, lets look at whether the Israeli right and religious fanatics give a shit about American Jews and their own well-being or values. First, review my blogging about Donald Trump’s relationship with the freak he has nominated to be Ambassador to Israel:

Friedman’s only apparent qualification to be an Ambassador is that he represented Trump in his Casino bankruptcies in Atlantic City that enriched Trump and ripped off workers, small businesses and institutional creditors. Note also that Israeli Ambassador to the United States, Danny Danon, is also tight with Friedman. Right after I posted the above blog, Danon appeared on MSNBC defending Trump’s choice of Friedman and unfortunately MSNBC hadn’t done its homework: they never confronted him with the fact that along with John Bolton he’d been Friedman’s other keynote speaker at his fundraising dinner for West Bank Settlement Bet El on December 4, 2016. Conflict of interest par excellence!

Before you even consider the most recent UN Security Council resolution, consider Resolution 446 passed and in effect since 1979:

The Security Council,

Having heard the statement of the Permanent Representative of Jordan and other statements made before the Council,

Stressing the urgent need to achieve a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East,

Affirming once more that the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949 1/ is applicable to the Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem,

1. Determines that the policy and practices of Israel in establishing settlements in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967 have no legal validity and constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East;

2. Strongly deplores the failure of Israel to abide by Security Council resolutions 237 (1967) of 14 June 1967, 252 (1968) of 21 May 1968 and 298 (1971) of 25 September 1971 and the consensus statement by the President of the Security Council on 11 November 1976 2/ and General Assembly resolutions 2253 (ES-V) and 2254 (ES-V) of 4 and 14 July 1967, 32/5 of 28 October 1977 and 33/113 of 18 December 1978;

3. Calls once more upon Israel, as the occupying Power, to abide scrupulously by the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention, to rescind its previous measures and to desist from taking any action which would result in changing the legal status and geographical nature and materially affecting the demographic composition of the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, and, in particular, not to transfer parts of its own civilian population into the occupied Arab territories;

4. Establishes a Commission consisting of three members of the Security Council, to be appointed by the President of the Council after consultations with the members of the Council, to examine the situation relating to settlements in the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem;

5. Requests the Commission to submit its report to the Security Council by 1 July 1979;

6. Requests the Secretary-General to provide the Commission with the necessary facilities to enable it to carry out its mission.

7. Decides to keep the situation in the occupied territories under constant and close scrutiny and to reconvene in July 1979 to review the situation in the light of the findings of the Commission.

Here is the recently passed Resolution 2334:

So if you believe in peace and fairness, what exactly is wrong with this resolution? Benjamin Netanyahu says is complicates the peace process: only I you think that Israel has the right to start negotiations by adopting a position in which might makes right that flouts longstanding and legitimate precepts of international law.

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New Scholarship for Dream Act Students


From Left to Right: Filiberto Gonzalez, CSUN Student, CSUN DREAM Center Coordinator Dario Fernandez, and CSUN Student

The day after the presidential election, my heart was heavy, as if a loved one had died. In the days and weeks that followed, I could not stop thinking about the people for whom its outcome was not simply a political debate, but rather, a serious threat.

While I do not know many undocumented people, I do know their struggle. I have seen people who were once undocumented and lived in constant fear go on to become naturalized U.S. citizens and live out their full potential as professionals in teaching, business, and the law. I also know that parents who are undocumented have the same hopes and dreams for their children as I do for mine.

Ultimately, like many of you, I decided to resist the forthcoming Trump administration and honor my ancestors by building a just future for all.

To this end, I have created the Elia Torres Scholarship Fund at my alma mater, California State University, Northridge (CSUN), now the largest public university in California, for undocumented students with special consideration for students who were raised by a single parent or were unaccompanied minors. We will award the first scholarship in Spring 2017. The scholarship will build on the legacy of AB 540, authored by the late-Assemblyman Marco A. Firebaugh in 2001, and is open to all undergraduate and graduate students who do not qualify for federal financial aid due to their undocumented status.

I named this scholarship in honor of the most fearless person I have ever known, my mother Elia Torres. Thanks to the need for agriculture workers in Salinas, California, my mother and her siblings were provided fast entry into the U.S. from Mexico in the late 1960s. While she did not have to worry about her legal status, she was a single mother at a time when it was still very uncommon. Often, she would face ridicule by those around her who would wonder aloud how could she handle, let alone raise, two boys are her own. The multiple challenges she faced notwithstanding, she raised my brother and me in Salinas – as well as cared for her mother until she passed away in 1988 and her disabled brother until his passing in 2013 – on a modest salary. As teenagers, my brother and I wanted to stay out late with older boys who were getting into trouble; true to form, my mother found us in the streets and shamed us before demanding we get in the car. It worked – we did not go back, and would go on to become the first in our extended family to graduate from college.

The Elia Torres Scholarship Fund is a tribute to my mother and her indomitable spirit, as well as a call to action to fellow CSUN alumni and all people of conscience to do something meaningful in defense of vulnerable populations. Let us echo the words heard around the world for generations during times like these: It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.

If you would like to join me, please make a donation to the fund in any amount. Go to, and add “Elia Torres Scholarship” under ‘Special Instructions.’

Lastly, my best wishes to you and yours for a happy holiday season.

Yours In Service, Filiberto Gonzalez

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