To Ukraine, Sevastopol is Fort Sumter


 

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A family in Gorodishche, Ukraine, circa 1900

A family in Gorodishche, Ukraine, circa 1900

I have been studiously watching the goings on between Russia and Ukraine with interest.  My maternal grandmother was from Gorodishche, Ukraine (the same region as was the grandmother of my great friend and colleague, Igor Timofayev of Kiev, former KGB and first private investigator in the former Soviet Union).  My maternal grandfather was from Nizhni Novgorod in Russia proper (near Moscow).  On my father’s side, my grandmother was from St. Petersburg (later Leningrad and now back to being St. Petersburg) and my grandfather was from Tereshki, Belarus.

Although on its face what’s going on between Ukraine and Russia looks like “foreign” interference in Ukraine’s internal affairs, it’s not that simple.  On an emotional level, Sevastopol to the Ukraine is like America’s Fort Sumter, but there is a long history of Soviet era machinations that have left emotions in the old Soviet Union like the views of some descendants of former Confederates about the American Civil War.

Baron Pyotr Nikolayevich Wrangel in Sevastopol, 1920

Baron Pyotr Nikolayevich Wrangel in Sevastopol, 1920

During the Russian Civil War, the Crimea was the last holdout of the Czarist forces (who had been hell bent on killing every Jew they got their hands on and which had routinely executed Bolshevik prisoners of war–until Leon Trotsky put out the word that until the forces of General Wrangel stopped executing Bolshevik prisoners, all Czarist officers captured would have their epaulets nailed into their shoulders).  Pay back for General Wrangel’s troops was the massacre of 50,000 of those who finally surrendered by the Bolsheviks in the Crimea.

Crimean Tatars

Crimean Tatars

During World War II Sevastopol heroically held out from the Nazis from October 1941 until July 1942, critically delaying the Nazis behind their front lines.  To Russia to this day, historic battles like that are a source of enormous national pride.  Ethnic Tatars, some of whom had formed pro-Nazi “Tatar Legions,” were deported in 1944 after the Soviets reconquered the Crimea to Central Asia, along with sizable Greek, Armenian and Bulgarian populations.  Following this ethnic cleansing (which caused the death of nearly one in two of the deportees), Crimea was colonized primarily by Russian speakers, many of whom had in turn been displaced by World War II.

In spite of having a Russian speaking majority, in 1954 when Ukrainian Nikita Krushchev was Soviet leader the Soviet parliament voted to transfer Crimea to the Ukraine.

We will bury youIt’s important to note at this point that as languages, Ukrainian and Russian are both Slavic tongues.  During the period of Czarist and later Soviet rule over the Ukraine the official line from Moscow was that Ukrainian was a “dialect” of Russian, but the fact is, Ukrainian is to Russian as Polish is to Russian.  It’s such a separate language that it resulted in a critical mistranslation of a Krushchev speech in the United Nations which in turn accidentally exacerbated the Cold War:  http://janbtucker.com/blog/2008/10/30/november-25-2005-great-mis-translations/

With this background, consider the following decision of the Ukraine’s supreme court on the constitutionality of proposed Crimean secession–and whether to Russians or Russian Crimeans it will matter based upon that history:

 

Judgement of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine on all-Crimean referendum

Yesterday, 22:15

On March 14, 2014 the Constitutional Court of Ukraine declared unconstitutional The Resolution of the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea No. 1702-6/14 “On holding of the all-Crimean referendum” dated March 6, 2014.

Unofficial translation

IN THE NAME OF UKRAINE

J U D G M E N T OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF UKRAINE

In the case on the constitutional petition of the Acting President of Ukraine, the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights concerning the compliance with the Constitution of Ukraine (constitutionality) of the Resolution of the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic Crimea “On holding of the all-Crimean referendum”

(the case on the all-Crimean referendum in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea)

Kyiv Case No. 1-13/2014  March 14, 2014  No. 2-rp/2014

The Constitutional Court of Ukraine consisting of Judges:

Baulin Yurii Vasyliovych – the Chairman,

Bryntsev Vasyl Dmytrovych,

Vdovichenko Sergey Leonidovych,

Hultai Mykhailo Myroslavovych,

Zaporozhets Mykhailo Petrovych,

Lytvynov Oleksandr Mykolaiovych,

Melnyk mykola Ivanovych,

Sas Sergii Volodymyrovych,

Serheichuk Oleh Anatoliovych,

Slidenko Igor Dmytrovych,

Stetsiuk Petro Bogdanovych – Rapporteur,

Tupytskii Oleksandr Mykolaiovych – Rapporteur,

Shaptala Natalia Koctiantynivna,

Shevchuk Stanislav Volodymyrovych,

Shyshkin Victor Ivanovych,

considered in the plenary session the case on the constitutional petition of the Acting President of Ukraine, the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights concerning the compliance with the Constitution of Ukraine (constitutionality) of the Resolution of the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic Crimea No. 1702-6/14 “On holding of the all-Crimean referendum” dated March 6, 2014 (the newspaper “Krymskiye izvestiya”, March 7, 2014).

The consideration of the case in accordance with Articles 39, 40 and 41 of the Law of Ukraine “On the Constitutional Court of Ukraine” was caused by the constitutional petition of the Acting President of Ukraine, the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights.

The ground for considering the case in accordance with Article 71 of the Law of Ukraine “On the Constitutional Court of Ukraine” is the assertion of the subjects of the right in the constitutional petition of unconstitutionality of the Resolution of the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic Crimea No. 1702-6/14 “On holding of the all-Crimean referendum” dated March 6, 2014.

Having heard the Judge-Rapporteurs Stetsiuk P.B., Tupytskii O.M. and having investigated the materials of the case the Constitutional Court of Ukraine

e s t a b l i s h e d:

1. Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea by the Resolution No. 1702-6/14 “On holding of the all-Crimean referendum” dated March 6, 2014 (hereinafter referred to as “the Resolution”) decided:

- To accede to the Russian Federation as a subject of Russian Federation;

- To hold on March 16, 2014, of the all-Crimean Referendum (including the City of Sevastopol), to which to submit the following alternative questions:

“1) Do you support the reunification of the Crimea with Russia as a subject of the Russian Federation?

2) Do you support the restoration of the Constitution of the Republic of Crimea of 1992 and the status of the Crimea as a part of Ukraine?”

- To approve the text of the ballot for the all-Crimean referendum on March 16, 2014, and to establish that the ballots to vote in the referendum printed in Russian, Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar;

- To adopt the Temporary regulation on a republican (local) referendum in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea;

- To establish the Commission of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea on holding of an all-Crimean referendum;

- To address the President and the Federal Council of the State Duma of the Russian Federation to initiate the procedure of accession to the Russian Federation as a subject of Russian Federation.

In the Regulation it is also provided that the option supported by the majority of votes shall be deemed a direct expression of will by the Crimean population, and instructed the Commission of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea on holding of an all-Crimean referendum to organize conducting of the referendum in accordance with the Temporary regulation on a republican (local) referendum in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, and the Council of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea to organize financial, technical and other support of holding of the all-Crimean referendum.

2. The subject of the right to constitutional petition – the Acting President of Ukraine, the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine – under Article 112, paragraph 2 of Article 137 of the Constitution of Ukraine by the Decree of the President of Ukraine No. 261 “On suspending the Resolution of the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea No. 1702-6/14 ‘On holding of the all-Crimean referendum’ dated March 6, 2014,” dated March 7, 2014, has suspended the Resolution and at the same time submitted to the Constitutional Court of Ukraine the request to consider its conformity with the Constitution of Ukraine (its constitutionality). According to the author of the petition, the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea by adopting the Resolution violated the constitutional principles of state sovereignty of Ukraine, basics of the constitutional order, territorial organization and exercise of state power in Ukraine. As the subject of the right to constitutional petition alleges the Resolution does not match Articles 2, 5, 8, 13, 73, 75, paragraphs 2, 3 of Article 85, Article 91, Articles 13, part 20 of Article 92, Articles 132 – 138 of the Constitution Ukraine, parts 1, 3 of Article 1, paragraph 7 of Article 18, Article 26 of the Constitution of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Articles 1, 9, 10 of the Law of Ukraine “On the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.”

The subject of the right to constitutional petition – the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights – requested the Constitutional Court of Ukraine to recognize the Resolution as non-conforming with Article 73, paragraph 2 Article 85, Article 137, 138 of the Constitution of Ukraine and noted that the issue of altering the territory of Ukraine must be resolved exclusively by an all-Ukrainian referendum.

3. Under the Decision of the Second panel of Judges of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine of March 11, 2014, constitutional proceedings in the cases on the constitutional petitions of the Acting President of Ukraine, the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights concerning the compliance with the Constitution of Ukraine (constitutionality) of the Resolution were consolidated in one constitutional proceeding.

4. Resolving of the issues initiated in the constitutional petition the Constitutional Court of Ukraine proceeds from the following:

4.1. The Constitution of Ukraine proclaimed that sovereignty of Ukraine extends throughout its entire territory; integral part of sovereignty is integrity and inviolability of the territory of Ukraine within its present borders; protecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine is the most important function of the state and a matter of concern for all the Ukrainian people (Article 2, part 1 of Article 17 of the Constitution of Ukraine).

The Constitution of Ukraine shall be regarded as superior law; laws and other regulatory legal acts shall be adopted on the basis of the Constitution of Ukraine and shall conform to it; norms of the Constitution of Ukraine shall be the norms of direct effect; public authorities and bodies of local self-government and their officials shall be obliged to act only on the grounds, within the powers, and in the way determined by the Constitution and laws of Ukraine (Article 8, Part 2 of Article 19 of the Constitution of Ukraine).

The territorial structure of Ukraine, the legal regime of the state border shall be determined exclusively by law of Ukraine (paragraphs 13, 18 of part 1 of Article 92 of the Constitution of Ukraine).

4.2. The people shall be the bearer of sovereignty and the sole source of power in Ukraine; the people shall exercise power directly or through the state authorities and local self-government bodies; the right to determine and change the constitutional order in Ukraine shall belong exclusively to the people and shall not be usurped by the state, its bodies, or officials; no one shall usurp the state power (Article 5 of the Fundamental Law of Ukraine).

The expression of the will by the people shall be exercised through elections, referendum and other forms of direct democracy; citizens shall have the right to participate in the administration of state affairs, in all-Ukrainian and local referendums, to freely elect and to be elected to the bodies of state power and local self-government (part 1 of Article 38, Article 69 of the Constitution of Ukraine).

The right of citizens to participate in a referendum is their inalienable constitutional right. Questions submitted on the all-Ukrainian referendum must be national-level issues, i.e. the resolution of which affects the fate of all Ukrainian people – citizens of Ukraine of all nationalities. Questions submitted on the local referendum may be only issues within the jurisdiction of the local authorities of relevant administrative and territorial unit.

4.3. Under Article 132 of the Constitution of Ukraine the territorial structure of Ukraine shall be based on the principles of unity and integrity of the state territory, the combination of centralization and decentralization in the exercise of the state power, and the balanced socio-economic development of regions taking into consideration their historical, economic, ecological, geographic, and demographic characteristics as well as ethnic and cultural traditions. Such constitutional principles of territorial structure are determined by the form of state structure of Ukraine as a unitary state.

The Constitutional Court of Ukraine in its Judgment No. 11-rp/2001 of July 13, 2001, (the case of administrative and territorial structure) established that administrative and territorial unit is a compact part of the united territory of Ukraine, which is the spatial basis for organization and activity of public authorities and local governments.

The system of the administrative and territorial structure of Ukraine shall include: the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, oblasts, rayons, cities, city districts, settlements and villages (Article 133 of the Constitution of Ukraine). According to Article 133 of the Fundamental Law of Ukraine the Autonomous Republic of Ukraine Crimea and the City of Sevastopol are parts of Ukraine as separate subjects of administrative and territorial structure of Ukraine. The City of Sevastopol is not a part of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, has a special status determined by the law of Ukraine.

The Constitutional Court of Ukraine stressed that the principles of integrity and territorial inviolability of Ukraine within its present borders, extending of sovereignty of Ukraine throughout its entire territory are established by the Constitution of Ukraine. Reduction of the existing borders of Ukraine, withdrawal of any subject of the administrative and territorial structure of Ukraine from its body, changing of the constitutional status of administrative units, in particular of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol as an integral part of Ukraine, within holding of a local referendum contradicts the above-mentioned constitutional principles.

4.4. Any changes to the territory of Ukraine shall be resolved exclusively by the all-Ukrainian referendum (Article 73 of the Constitution of Ukraine). Authority to call the all-Ukrainian referendum on issues indicated in said Article of the Constitution of Ukraine belongs to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (paragraph 2 of part 1 of Article 85 of the Fundamental Law of Ukraine). Organization and procedure for conducting elections and referendums shall be determined exclusively by the laws of Ukraine (paragraph 20 of part 1 of Article 92 of the Constitution of Ukraine).

The Autonomous Republic of Crimea shall be an integral constituent part of Ukraine and shall resolve issues relegated to its authority within the frame determined by the Constitution of Ukraine (Article 134 of the Constitution of Ukraine). The list of matters that are under the authority of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and areas in which it effects normative regulation is determined in Articles 137, 138 of the Constitution of Ukraine.

The constitutional status of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea complies with European Charter of Local Self-Government ratified by the law of Ukraine No. 452/97-VR dated July 15, 1997, according to which the basic powers and responsibilities of local authorities shall be prescribed by the constitution or by statute; local authorities shall, within the limits of the law, have full discretion to exercise their initiative with regard to any matter which is not excluded from their competence nor assigned to any other authority (paragraphs 1, 2 of Article 4).

4.5. According to the Constitution of Ukraine it is under the authority of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea to organize and hold of local referendums (paragraph 2 of Article 138) in the manner determined by the law of Ukraine (paragraph 20 of par one of Article 92). Regulatory legal acts of the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and decisions of the Council of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea shall not contradict the Constitution and laws of Ukraine and shall be adopted in accordance with and in pursuance of the Constitution of Ukraine, laws of Ukraine, acts of the President of Ukraine and the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine (part 2 of Article 135 of the Fundamental Law of Ukraine).

The Constitutional Court of Ukraine considers that the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea by adopting the Resolution, which provides pore accession to the Russian Federation as its subject, addressing to the President and Federal Council of the State Duma of the Russian Federation to initiate the procedure of accession to the Russian Federation as a subject of Russian Federation, putting to the referendum mentioned questions, violated constitutional principle of territorial integrity of Ukraine and exceeded its authorities, and thus the Resolution does not comply with Articles 1, 2, 5, 8, paragraph 2 of Article 19, Article 73, paragraph 3 of Article 85, paragraphs 13, 18, paragraph 20 of Article 92, Articles 132, 133, 134, 135, 137, 138 of the Constitution of Ukraine.

The Resolution contradicts also the fundamental principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity of a state, constituted in international law instruments, in particular the principle of mutual respect for the sovereign equality of each state including political independence, the ability to change the borders under international law by peaceful means and by agreement. As a result of these principles States Parties shall refrain from violation of territorial integrity or political independence of any state by use of force or threat of force or other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations, as well as actions directed against the territorial integrity or unity of any State Party (The United Nations Charter, the Final Act of Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe of 1975, the Framework Convention the Protection of National Minorities of 1995).

5. By the Resolution, the Commission of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea on holding of an all-Crimean referendum is established. Under the Temporary regulation on a republican (local) referendum in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea it is provided for establishing of territorial and district commission on preparing and holding of the referendum.

According to the Resolution, the Council of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea shall organize financial, technical and other support of holding of the all-Crimean referendum. Due to the fact that the Resolution contradicts the Constitution of Ukraine and according to Article 81 of the Law of Ukraine “On the Constitutional Court of Ukraine” activity of all organs created to hold of this referendum as well as financing activities to hold of the referendum should be terminated, and ballots and campaign materials should be destroyed.

Thus, based on the materials of the case the Constitutional Court Ukraine came to the conclusion that the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea by adopting the Resolution No. 1702-6/14 “On holding of the all-Crimean referendum” dated March 6, 2014, violated the Constitution of Ukraine.

Given the above and pursuant to Articles 147, 150, 153 of the Constitution of Ukraine, Articles 51, 61, 63, 65, 67, 69, 70, 73, 78, 79, 81 of the Law of Ukraine “On the Constitutional Court of Ukraine” the Constitutional Court of Ukraine

d e c i d e d:

1. To recognize as non-conforming with the Constitution (unconstitutional) the Resolution of the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea No. 1702-6/14 “On holding of the all-Crimean referendum” dated March 6, 2014.

2. The Resolution of the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea No. 1702-6/14 “On holding of the all-Crimean referendum” dated March 6, 2014, declared unconstitutional shall be voided on the day of rendering by the Constitutional Court of Ukraine of this Decision.

3. To terminate the work of the Commission of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea on holding of an all-Crimean referendum, and territorial and district commissions established to hold the referendum.

4. The Council of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea must terminate funding of activities connected with holding the referendum; ensure the destruction of ballots and campaign materials.

5. The Decision of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine shall be compulsory in the territory of Ukraine, final and may not be appealed.

The Decision of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine shall be subject to promulgation in “Visnyk of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine” and other official publications of Ukraine.

THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF UKRAINE

Based solely on the technical constitutional and legal argument, the Ukrainian Constitutional Court’s decision is wise; but perhaps the greatest wisdom to come out of that part of the world is the Pete Seeger song “Where have all the flowers gone,” which was inspired by the Cossack folk song, “Tovchu, tovchu mak” and adapted to the Russian folk tune “Koloda Duda.”  As sung by Peter, Paul & Mary:

Where have all the flowers gone, long time passing?
Where have all the flowers gone, long time ago?
Where have all the flowers gone?
Young girls have picked them everyone.
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?

Where have all the young girls gone, long time passing?
Where have all the young girls gone, long time ago?
Where have all the young girls gone?
Gone for husbands everyone.
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?

Where have all the husbands gone, long time passing?
Where have all the husbands gone, long time ago?
Where have all the husbands gone?
Gone for soldiers everyone
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?

Where have all the soldiers gone, long time passing?
Where have all the soldiers gone, long time ago?
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Gone to graveyards, everyone.
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?

Where have all the graveyards gone, long time passing?
Where have all the graveyards gone, long time ago?
Where have all the graveyards gone?
Gone to flowers, everyone.
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?

Where have all the flowers gone, long time passing?
Where have all the flowers gone, long time ago?
Where have all the flowers gone?
Young girls have picked them everyone.
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?

Now, for some more very important wisdom on the subject from my friend Lionel Menuhin Rolfe:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lionel-rolfe/raining-on-the-ukrainian-_b_4942242.html?utm_hp_ref=christianity


Posted in Anecdotes & Adventures, Ideas & Opinions, Private Investigation Industry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Joe Paolella’s Incredible Life


 

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My buddy Joe Paolella recently committed to writing a lot of his personal history in response to a questionnaire from a historical project.  This is a passage from the book The Kennedy Detail followed by Joe’s narrative:

 

Joe Paolella and I had a lot in common, in that we both graduated from the University of Colorado, prior to the Secret Service. Joe was a traveling poster boy for Chicago and had the Chicago personality, along with agents Ron Pontius, Joe Noonan and Ed Tucker.

The Kennedy Detail 3-14-07_007Joe, as did all of the Kennedy detail agents, had his share of standing watch at Glen Ora, located in the Virginia horse country. Mrs. Kennedy did quite a bit of riding and used the English style saddle. One day Mrs. Kennedy motioned Joe over to where she was standing next to her horse. Joe played football at Colorado and he also worked out and was very muscular build. Being from Chicago, he had not had a lot of experience with horses. Joe walked over to Mrs. Kennedy and she said, “Agent Paolella, could you give me a hand?” She turned towards the horse and put her foot in the air for Joe to cup his hands and give her a lift to the saddle. Instead, Joe grabbed Mrs. Kennedy by the waist and lifted her up. She giggled and said, “ No, my foot.” Agent Landis and Agent Hill were standing on the other side of the horse thinking in their minds of the old “Laurel and Hardy films where the guy lifts the lady up and over the horse and falls down.” Agent Hill and Agent Landis were on the other side of the horse and being good agents, were prepared to catch her if she fell. Thank God she didn’t fall and everything turned out okay.

 

Secret Service Special Agent Joseph "Joe" Paolella

Secret Service Special Agent Joseph “Joe” Paolella

I was born in Chicago in 1928, a year before the “Great Depression of 1929” and shortly after my birth we moved to Los Angeles, California. My brother Don was born in 1930. My earliest childhood memories of Los Angeles were the wide-open spaces, not too many people or cars, clean air, the smell of orange blossoms and no smog. You could see Catalina Island from the west Los Angeles area. Sadly, when the depression hit, there was no work available in California and my dad could not find any gainful work. We moved back to Chicago in 1934, where my dad was able to find work as a clothing salesman in Chicago. The main downtown area was called “The Loop,” because the elevated train circled downtown Chicago, therefore, the nick name “The Loop.” After all of these years, the name still stands as a public icon.

As rough as it was, my mother didn’t work and spent her time as a mother with her boys. We lived in an apartment building on the west side of Chicago. Although, by today’s standards, we would be considered poor. We didn’t think so, nor did our friends. We never went hungry, but I don’t remember ever going to a restaurant. My dad at that time, made $50 per week and our two-bedroom apartment was $35 per month. I remember that milk was 10-cents a quart as was a loaf of bread. You could buy a hamburger for a nickel, going to the movies cost a dime and there were no fast food restaurants. Of course, we did not own a car and we had no T.V. We’d help our mother cut the string beans, take the peas out of the pea pods and peel the potatoes for dinner. We’d then wait patiently for dinner, which was always wonderful and delicious.

 

In those days, it seemed like everyone was middle-class. We lived in the same neighborhood as our doctor, baseball and football players, small business owners, policemen, carpenters, butchers, salesmen, factory workers and a host of other occupations. There wasn’t that great disparity between the blue-collar worker and professionals, we all lived in the same neighborhood. Doctors would come to your house and charge $2 for an examination. Gabby Hartnett, the manager of the Cub’s baseball team at the time, also lived in our neighborhood. Chicago at the time was also multi-ethic. It was like a smaller version of Europe. There were Italian, German, Irish, Jewish, Greek, Swedish, Lithuania, Polish and Bohemian neighborhoods. If you liked German food, you would go to a German neighborhood restaurant, Swedish food to a Swedish neighborhood. If you wanted Jewish or deli food, you would go to a Jewish neighborhood and so on and so forth. Every neighborhood had its own cultures, but we all really considered ourselves AMERICAN. In fact, my dad would not let his mother and father teach us Italian, because he wanted us to speak English. He said we were, “Modigan,” which is Italian slang for American.

I had many goals when I was growing up. For a while, I wanted to be a great explorer or an archaeologist who would find a lost civilization in the Amazon. I wanted to travel and see the world. I wanted an exciting and interesting life where I could also do some good. I grew up reading “King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.” I often wished that I had lived in those times where I could have helped those in need and protect them from the bad guys. Becoming a Secret Service Agent seemed to fulfill those goals. I felt we were all, “Knights of the Realm” protecting the President of the United States.

After leaving the U.S. Marine Corps, I went to DePaul University in Chicago for one year and then transferred to the University of Colorado graduating with a B.A. degree in Economics and Psychology. During my time in the Marine Corp, I was on the wrestling team. At the University of Colorado, I played football and was on the boxing team while at DePaul University. I stopped boxing after I became a little “dingy” from being hit so much. Upon graduating from college, I worked as an insurance underwriter and then as a loan officer at a bank in Chicago before becoming a U.S. Secret Service Agent in 1959.

Reaching my adulthood during World War II, I believed I wanted to do something for my country and thought there wasn’t a better occupation a person could choose, than protecting the “President of the United States”, the leader of the free-world. The U.S. Secret Service hired me in 1959, and stationed me at the Chicago field office. While I was in the Marines I had gotten a tattoo and didn’t realize when I joined the Secret Service that having a tattoo was “taboo”, as far as being a federal agent was concerned. During a hot Chicago day, about six months after joining the Secret Service, I was working out of the Chicago field office at that time, we didn’t have any air conditioning, so I had worn a short-sleeved shirt. Paterni, the SAIC, had noticed my tattoo. He was astonished that I had been hired, because at that time, it was unheard of for an agent to have a tattoo. However, he needed an undercover agent and decided that having a tattoo would be great cover for me, because the bad guys would not believe a guy with a tattoo could or would be an agent. I had gotten lucky and made several good cases resulting in the arrest of many counterfeiters. Since most of the big-time counterfeiters were Italian from the Chicago area, I fitted right in. I was also fortunate to be “backed-up” by great and brave Secret Service agents from the Chicago field office, which was directed by SAIC Paterni. They were SA’s, Mike Weinstein, Dick Jordan, Bob Burke, Joe Noonan, Tom Strong, Tony Sherman, Sam Sulliman, Dale Keaner, Bob Motto and many others.

While undercover at the “Texas Ranch Club” in Chicago, a wild place even by Chicago standards, I never worried because I was “backed-up” by Bob Burke, Dick Jordan and Tom Strong who were interspersed with the other customers. We were at the club to buy counterfeit (queer money) with “marked money.” The counterfeit money was selling for $20 of good money, for $100 worth of “funny money.” Selling the counterfeit money for only $20 meant that we were getting close to the printer. After buying about $10,000 worth of “queer money,” I signaled Bob Burke, who then signaled the rest of the team on the outside of the club, which was led by Mike Weinstein. The seller of the counterfeit money and I were arrested. Naturally, the counterfeiters tried to blame Joe Parisi (my undercover name). Imagine how surprised they were when they found out that Parisi also was a U.S. Secret Service Agent. A note to that case, we never did find the printing press. Obviously, the person I bought the counterfeit money from was probably a minor Mafia figure and wouldn’t talk. In those days, these guys would rather go to jail and prison than break the “Mafia Code of Silence,” because that meant a death sentence.

Another interesting case occurred in a small town, called Peoria, Illinois. We had arrested a person passing “phony-money” and offered him a deal. He was to arrange a meeting with the person he had bought the counterfeit money from. If he did that, he might not have to go to prison. In those days, a person passing counterfeit money could get up to 15-years in prison. He eventually decided to introduce me to his seller. He was the person who sold the counterfeit money to the person we had caught and was the owner of a nightclub. From the front, the club looked like a quaint Italian restaurant. After introducing me to “Tony” (not the buyer’s real name), we went through the process of getting acquainted. “Tony” began sizing me up by asking a lot questions about who I was. Even though it was a cold February evening, I wore my T-shirt (called a “wife beater”) that had no sleeves, in order for my tattoo to be seen more easily. Since I used to live in an Italian neighborhood on the south side of Chicago, I knew the names and reputations of the “bad guys” and could talk like I was part of their group. I guess he believed me, because he asked me to follow him. At that time, there were two other agents in the restaurant and the others were outside ready to make the “bust.” The plan looked perfect, except that “Tony” took me into a walk-in freezer where I saw rows and rows of sides-of-beef hanging on hooks. I thought, “Oh, oh, I’m in deep trouble now,” imaging that I might be hooked-up along side those other carcasses if my cover got blown.”C

 

 

The other agents couldn’t follow me into the freezer and when he closed the freezer door, it was just him and me. We walked past a row of hanging beef carcasses until we reached the end of the row. At the end, was a small door, which “Tony” opened, revealing a large ballroom with a well lit bar and people dancing. I gave a sigh of relief knowing that I had, at least for the time being, escaped out of that freezer. I’m not much of a dancer, but after being in that freezer with “Tony,” I felt like dancing across that ballroom floor and having myself a stiff drink. When I glanced around the room, everybody seemed to be having fun. After a few drinks with “Tony,” I was getting to know the suspect better. We discussed the business of me buying the “phony-money” with some good money. We dickered about the price for a bit and I offered him $15 of good money for every $100 of the “phony-money notes.” After more dickering, we agreed upon $20 per each $100 note, with me buying $10,000 worth of the counterfeit money. The price came out to, $2000 of good U.S. money, for $10,000 of the counterfeit notes.

 

 

I told him that I would be interested in twice that amount if I could get it for $15 per $100 note at a later date and “Tony” agreed. Previously, I had asked “Tony” about the abundance of what appeared to be “single women.” He said, “Aside from owning the restaurant, I also run a brothel.” We cemented the deal when I gave him the $2000 in “marked money” for his $10,000 of counterfeit $100 bills. The “phony-money” was packed and strapped with a band, which looked like it just came off the press. I was able to put that $10,000 in my jacket pocket.

 

 

Just before I was ready to leave the club and before I could signal the other agents (in those days, there were no cell phones or wireless communications to signal your backup) to arrest the counterfeiter, my new found friend offered me his “head-madam,” who also happened to be his girlfriend. I was now in a real dilemma. If I went with her, I’d be committing a crime, “being intimate with a known prostitute,” which would make it impossible to testify in court after his arrest. On the other hand, if I refused, he’d get suspicious knowing that undercover agents can’t mess around with known prostitutes and I would effectively “blow” my cover.

The only thing I could think of was letting him know how much I appreciated his offer, but I had to refuse, because I was just getting over a case of the “clap” (gonorrhea). He looked at me for a moment and then grabbed me around the shoulders, saying, “Thanks Paisan, for telling me. I’ve got a wife and three kids. I don’t want my wife or me to get it from Linda (the prostitute’s name). Thanks again for telling me”. I tried to pretend to persuade him into letting me be with her, saying that, “I’m practically over it, so don’t worry, I really want to be with her.” “Tony” said, “That’s okay, you can be with her the next time we make a deal” I left after another drink and signaled the outside agents by taking my hat off. That was the prearranged signal to let them know that I had made the buy. “Tony” was arrested shortly after I’d left. We never did find the printing press. Obviously, “Tony” got the counterfeit from someone very close to the source, or, was the source of the counterfeit himself. Since “Tony” was a minor Mafia hood and about 40-years old, a possible 15-years in prison, was better than having no future if he had “copped-out” and gave up his source.

R-Joe Paolella, L-JFK

R-Joe Paolella, L-JFK

After working undercover in other similar cases, I was happy to hear that I had been transferred to the “White House Detail.”  My military background included 2-years in the U.S. Marine Corps where I served in overseas tours in Argentina, Newfoundland, Halifax, Nova Scotia and the Virgin Islands.

The Kennedy Detail 3-14-07_004On November 22, 1963, I was assigned to guard the Kennedy residence at Rattlesnake Mountain in Virginia. The events of the day included driving from Washington D.C. to the Kennedy residence at Rattlesnake Mountain to secure the residence from people who may try to get in, even though the Kennedy’s were not there. Every week, three men from the White House Detail were assigned different shifts at Rattlesnake Mountain to ensure twenty-four hour security. After the assassination, I was re-assigned to guard the presidential vehicle after it had been flown back to the White House garage. Several hospital staff members from Bethesda Naval Hospital entered the vehicle to remove scalp, brain tissue and bone matter from the back seat. While waiting for the Bethesda Naval Hospital attendants to arrive, I did notice what appeared to be a bullet-hole in the front windshield of the driver’s side. I do not remember if the glass remnants were on the inside of the vehicle or the outside of the windshield. If the glass remnants were on the inside of the car, it would offer some acceptance to the theory that at least one of the shots came from the front of the President’s vehicle.

I don’t remember anything out of the ordinary regarding my duties prior to the assassination other than several trips to the Kennedy residence in Palm Beach, Florida. I also recall an incident in Chicago involving a suspect who was planning to assassinate the President. However, I was not involved in that investigation and the threat was taken care of by the Chicago office of the Secret Service.

I believe Oswald was the shooter and though I am not a conspiracy buff, I believe if others were involved, I think the Mafia would be the only ones who could have pulled it off without someone later confessing involvement in the President’s assassination. In those days, Mafia members had a strict code that did not allow them to confess. It had been said that a New Orleans Mafia Don, Carlos Marcello, was heard to say, “If you cut off the head of the snake (JFK), the tail (RFK), would die.” At that time, Robert Kennedy was the Attorney General and was working against the Mafia. Shortly after the assassination, Robert Kennedy was fired and it took another 20-years before the F.B.I. made any headway against the Mafia.

I was assigned to escort the entourage to the cemetery the day of the funeral walking by the “Rider less Horse.” The look-of-shock and sadness on the faces of the people along the route showed how devastated they were, especially the Afro-Americans who believed they had just lost the person who would lead them to equality.

 

 

The Kennedy Detail 3-14-07_006There was a popular song in the 70’s with a line that beautifully describes the way I felt then and perhaps, still do…”The Day the Music Died”. Whoever penned the Kennedy years as, “Camelot,” in my estimation, was completely right. The Eisenhower years were a time of stability, but somewhat stagnant. President Kennedy brought a feeling of youth, vitality and much needed change. He was at the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement, which included equality for women and helped move our country in the direction of fulfilling the “Great American Dream” of liberty and justice for all. His assassination made me realize my own mortality. I think we lived in a kind of age on innocence that was shattered when he was shot. No longer did I feel that the good guys would always win. After all, he was the ultimate “good guy;” yet, his life was cut short before he could fulfill his promises. I believe we are still feeling the after affects of his death to this day.

I always admired President Kennedy’s sense of humor, graciousness and his love for people. Wherever he went, if he saw a group of children or nuns, he would have the motorcade stop, which perplexed us, because when stopped, he would make an easier target. After he’d stop, he would shake hands and talk to them. I remember one morning at the Palm Beach residence; President Kennedy wanted to take a walk on the beach. However, there was couple on the beach wrapped up in a blanket, oblivious to everything and everybody around them. The President asked us to make some noise hoping that the couple would move. We tried, but whatever we did, it didn’t seem to faze them and they remained there. The President just shrugged and said, “Let them be” and went back into the house.

 

 

Joe Paolella guarding JFK during the Cuban Missile Crisis

Joe Paolella guarding JFK during the Cuban Missile Crisis

Shortly after his election, while walking into the Oval Office with an old-time family friend, Mugsey O’Leary, he mentioned to him that we should be called the “Silent Service”, instead of the Secret Service, because during the Eisenhower years, we stood-at-attention without saying anything and it remained that way with President Kennedy. After Mugsey informed us of the President’s comments, we started to acknowledge him and say, “Good morning Mr. President” or “Good afternoon” or “Good evening” when we saw him passing through.

When I compare the country of today versus the country of my youth, I’m struck by the variety of my old neighborhood in Chicago. I thought I was middle-class because my dad was a salesman, there was a doctor across the street, my best friend’s dad was a carpenter, my uncle was a bricklayer and the next-door neighbor owned a business. Yet, we all lived together on the same level. There was no feeling that the doctor or the business owner was any better than the “blue-collar” worker. I remember the manager of the Cubs, Gabby Hartnett, also lived in our neighborhood. We all worked hard. As a kid, I was a caddy and I set pins in a bowling alley. When I was 16-years old, I worked as a maintenance man at Bell & Howell making the outstanding amount (or so I thought) of 60-cents per hour. I remember thinking, “Just imagine, I am making a penny a minute!”  During the summer months while going to the University of Colorado, I worked as a rod carrier and cement mixer and thought that I was the luckiest guy in the world making a buck-an-hour.

After leaving the Secret Service in 1965, I returned to Chicago and worked as a loan officer for a federal savings & loan bank. However, in 1968, I became bored and wanted to return to work in investigations and personal protection. I started a company called American Security Agents. I also went to John Reid Polygraph School and became a polygraph examiner in 1969. In 1980, I sold the company American Security Agents and started a similar company called Joseph Paolella & Associates in California doing the same kind of work. In 2003, I started the American College of Forensic Studies, which is a school to train and instruct Private Investigators, Polygraph Examiners and Security Officers.

 

 

While in the Marine Corp, I became a sharpshooter and received a medal for the First Arctic Expedition in Agentia, Newfoundland. In 1987, I founded the California Organization for Private Police (COPP) and helped co-found the Illinois Polygraph Society.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Boy Scouts and California Judges


 

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CALLAC Judical Council Letter_001 CALLAC Judical Council Letter_002CALLAC Judical Council Letter_002


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Shame on Labor & Miguel J. Santiago


 

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I like Miguel Santiago personally.  I’ve spent much of my life as a union man all the way from lowly inside organizer all the way to First Vice President of a union local.  But I have to mete out criticism where it is due.

Miguel J. Santiago

Miguel J. Santiago

The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor Committee On Political Education (COPE) voted to endorse Miguel recently to succeed John A. Perez in the 53rd Assembly District where Miguel was recently hired to be District Director.  COPE did so apparently knowing full well that for years, Miguel has owned a significant amount of stock (somewhere between $10,000-$100,000 worth) in the most rabid anti-union company in America — no, not WalMart:  HOME DEPOT.

 

Words may show a man’s wit, actions his meaning.”

 

Benjamin Franklin

 

Would you invest your union’s pension fund in Apartheid South Africa? Or buy shares in Stolichnaya Vodka while our LGBT brothers and sisters are being persecuted in Russia? Closer to home would you sink money into WalMart stock? If these sound like rhetorical questions to you then you have to wonder why Assembly Candidate and L.A. Community College Board Trustee Miguel Santiago openly discloses on his Form 700 Statement of Economic Interests that he owns Home Depot stock!

 

 

 

If you’re even remotely left of center and claim to be pro-union, how can you ratify corporate bad behavior by being a long term stockholder in a firm like Home Depot and to profit from that bad behavior. Home Depot has 340,000 employees who could sure benefit from being unionized.

 

 

Bernie MarcusHome Depot is at the forefront of the anti-union movement in America. Just before founding Home Depot, Bernie Marcus and his partner Arthur Blank were both fired by their boss, Sanford Sigoloff, for setting up an improper fund to fight the unionization of Handy Dandy stores in San Jose, California.

 

On October 17, 2009, Marcus and Rick Berman (who runs the anti-labor “Center for Union Facts”) co-chaired a national conference call for corporate CEOs to oppose the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), during which Marcus made the following statements [Huffington Post, 2/27/09]:

 

 

“This is the demise of a civilization,” said Marcus. “This is how a civilization disappears. I am sitting here as an elder statesman and I’m watching this happen and I don’t believe it.”

Donations of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars were needed, it was argued, to prevent America from turning “into France.”

“If a retailer has not gotten involved in this, if he has not spent money on this election, if he has not sent money to [former Sen.] Norm Coleman and all these other guys, they should be shot. They should be thrown out their goddamn jobs,” Marcus declared.

Earlier he argued: “As a shareholder, if I knew the CEO of the company wasn’t doing anything on [EFCA]… I would sue the son of a bitch… I’m so angry at some of these CEOs, I can’t even believe the stupidity that is involved here.”Scan_20140204_161802_001 Scan_20140204_161802_002Scan_20140204_161802_003Scan_20140204_161802_004Scan_20140204_161802_005Scan_20140204_161802_007Scan_20140204_161802_008Scan_20140204_161802_009Scan_20140204_161802_010Scan_20140204_161802_011

 


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Margaret Wright-Womens HERstory


 

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On March 22, 2014 6 pm to 10 pm, I’ll be giving a speech about one of my late mentors, African American activist Margaret Wright, at 1422 Engracia Ave Torrance.  For details on the event and RSVP info, go to:

https://www.facebook.com/events/687494287980792/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming

Margaret Wright, 1976 Peace & Freedom Party Presidential candidate; Education Minister of the Black Panther Party

Margaret Wright, 1976 Peace & Freedom Party Presidential candidate; Education Minister of the Black Panther Party

“Grandma Margaret” as she was affectionately called was founder of Women Against Racism (WAR) and the United Parents Council of Watts (Los Angeles).  She was featured in The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter, [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Life_and_Times_of_Rosie_the_Riveter], a film I really relate to because my mother was at the same time a “Wanda the Welder” at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in World War II [http://janbtucker.com/blog/2012/05/27/wanda-the-welder/].  She also served for years as the Black Panther Party Minister of Education.  She was beaten by the LAPD for leading the picketing of 99% black Manual Arts High School to get rid of the Mormon principal (at a time when the Mormons preached that black people could not go to heaven…..).   In 1969, she was the leader of the “Valley State 19,” at then San Fernando Valley State College (Now CSU Northridge, my alma mater) who were arrested for supposedly kidnapping Delmar Oviatt, racist college president, who refused to take action against a track coach who’d kicked a black athlete in the ass and called him a “dumb nigger.”  The Valley State 19 was part of a larger case demanding the establishment of Pan African Studies and Chicano Studies at CSUN; as the Pan African Studies Department puts it on its website:

The Pan African Studies (PAS) Department was founded by the Black Student Union (BSU) due to racism and unequal educational opportunities at CSUN (formerly San Fernando Valley State College). Students fought, protested and demanded that the President establish the Department. On November 4, 1968, the BSU took over the Administration Building (currently Student Services Building) in the CSUN’s President’s office, in order to address these inequities and underrepresentation of Black students and faculty. On 1-8-69 and 1-9-69 the BSU, other CSUN student groups, and Black community members held massive demonstrations in the “free speech” area (formerly in front of the Matador Bookstore) demanding that the CSUN administration honor the November 4th agreement. The administration responded with a massive show of force by the Los Angeles Police Department, who were brought on campus to squelch and prevent these mass demonstrations. There were many occasions of excessive police violence and brutality, and 275 students were arrested. Several student activists were charged with felony crimes, and were tried, convicted, and served time in prison. This is the only university in the U.S. that charged Black student activists with felony crimes during the struggle to establish a Black Studies Department.

During her trial, 300 black children picketed the courthouse with “Free Grandma” buttons and picket signs.

Carl Braden, Kentucky civil rights activist and trade unionist

Carl Braden, Kentucky civil rights activist and trade unionist

In 1972, when I was not quite 17 years old, I was the youngest delegate to the People’s Party national convention (July 26-30 in St. Louis).  I wrote the party’s platform plank–the first in history for any political party in the world–on “Ageism,” and wrote the official minority economics plank–an explicitly socialist proposal (which was endorsed by such party luminaries as Carl Braden [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Braden] of the Southern Conference Educational Fund (SCEF) and Fred Stover of the U.S. Farmers Association [http://uipress.lib.uiowa.edu/bdi/DetailsPage.aspx?id=367]).   Virtually the entire California delegation supported my plank–with the exception of some of those who would later form the so-called “Unity Caucus” in 1974 which opposed declaring PFP to be a “feminist socialist” organization.

Julius HobsonJulius Hobson, leader of the District of Columbia Statehood Party and a member of the DC School Board was running for the Vice Presidential nomination (Dr. Benjamin Spock was nominated for President).  Julius was a great guy, but was disabled from cancer (I met with him and his wife to discuss the possibility of laetrile treatment, a whole other story) and realistically would be unable to campaign.  Hobson was well known due to his Hobson vs. Hansen U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down so-called “tracking system” educational programs as discriminatory against minority students [http://prezi.com/5clp1zz2lz7l/hobson-vs-hansen-1967/].

Marge Buckley

Marge Buckley

Concerned about the inability of Julius to make it out to the West Coast to campaign, Kay McGlachlin and Marge Buckley got the California delegation to fly Margaret Wright to fly to St. Louis and seek the Vice Presidential nomination.  Sherman Gehrke (heir to the American Can Company fortune), who’d popped for the California delegation’s three room suite at the St. Louis Gateway hotel, bought Margaret’s airline ticket.

Margaret unfortunately lost this last-minute impromptu bid for the nomination, but she left an indelible impression on the People’s Party nationally.  Margaret, Barbara Honig, Gary Silbiger, and I flew back from St. Louis so that we could give a report about the People’s Party convention, its platform, and the Spock-Hobson ticket on her KPFK-FM radio show–the first time I’d appeared on live radio but certainly as I would find, not the last.

In 1976, Margaret came back to win the People’s Party/Peace & Freedom Party nomination for President, again at a St. Louis convention, this time with Dr. Benjamin Spock as her Vice Presidential running mate.  Upon accepting the California PFP nomination, with fist raised in a “Black Power” salute, Margaret said:

I’ve been discriminated against because I’m a woman, because I’m Black, because I’m poor, because I’m fat, because I’m left handed.

John Kerry @ NAACP National Convention, 2004

John Kerry @ NAACP National Convention, 2004

When Margaret raised her fist in a “power salute,” it was considered radical.  When John Kerry did so during his 2004 Presidential campaign, such a statement had finally become more or less mainstream, underscoring Ambrose Bierce’s assertion in The Devil’s Dictionary that “Radicalism is the conservativism of tomorrow injected into the affairs of today.

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Hate Crimes in California


 

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Hate CrimesSenate Bill 1234 (Kuehl) of 2004 (http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=200320040SB1234&search_keywords=), sponsored by Equality California, enacted a comprehensive hate crime law for California, including a new, standardized, more inclusive definition of the term “hate crime.” The law as passed requires state and local agencies to do various things:

1. It requires the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) to develop a two-hour tele-course that law enforcement agencies can use to train their officers. Several of us served as subject-matter experts to POST in developing the course, which to my way of thinking turned out very well. No one has any figures on how many agencies have used it to train how many officers.

2. The law requires POST to develop a model general order on hate crimes and recommend that all law enforcement agencies adopt it. General orders are formal policies that law enforcement agencies adopt and hold their officers to: (https://post.ca.gov/hate-crimes.aspx) Few if any agencies adopted it verbatim, but a company called Lexipol, which most California law enforcement agencies pay to develop general orders for them, made some minor changes and sent it to its clients, and most agencies adopted it.

3. It requires all state and local agencies to use the new definition of “hate crimes” exclusively. This includes in the hate-crime brochures that state law for a long time has required all law enforcement agencies to develop and give to victims and the public. Few agencies actually have such a brochure, and few of any of them use the new definition. Some agencies that have old hate-crime general orders also use older definitions, often omitting such protected characteristics as gender, sexual orientation, and disability.

Shortly after Governor Schwarzenegger signed the Kuehl bill into law, a California-wide coalition of civil rights organizations started asking Attorney General Jerry Brown to survey law enforcement agencies on their compliance with the law. He rebuffed us (although, we found out two years later, actually did do the survey). On Attorney General Kamala Harris’s first day in office, the coalition delivered a letter to her making the same request, but she has been even less responsive than Brown had been.


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Mark Dymally is 5150 material


 

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For background, first read my obituary on the late Mervyn Dymally, father of Mark Dymally:  http://janbtucker.com/blog/2012/10/08/mervyn-dymally-the-good-the-bad-the-ugly/

For further interpretive background on what’s to follow, consider the following California laws–

Section 5150(a) of the Welfare & Institutions Code:

When a person, as a result of a mental health disorder, is a danger to others, or to himself or herself, or gravely disabled, a peace officer, professional person in charge of a facility designated by the county for evaluation and treatment, member of the attending staff, as defined by regulation, of a facility designated by the county for evaluation and treatment, designated members of a mobile crisis team, or professional person designated by the county may, upon probable cause, take, or cause to be taken, the person into custody for a period of up to 72 hours for assessment, evaluation, and crisis intervention, or placement for evaluation and treatment in a facility designated by the county for evaluation and treatment and approved by the State Department of Health Care Services. At a minimum, assessment, as defined in Section 5150.4, and evaluation, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 5008, shall be conducted and provided on an ongoing basis. Crisis intervention, as defined in subdivision (e) of Section 5008, may be provided concurrently with assessment, evaluation, or any other service.

Section 653m of the Penal Code:

 

(a) Every person who, with intent to annoy, telephones or makes contact by means of an electronic communication device with another and addresses to or about the other person any obscene language or addresses to the other person any threat to inflict injury to the person or property of the person addressed or any member of his or her family, is guilty of a misdemeanor. Nothing in this subdivision shall apply to telephone calls or electronic contacts made in good faith.

 

 

(b) Every person who, with intent to annoy or harass, makes repeated telephone calls or makes repeated contact by means of an electronic communication device, or makes any combination of calls or contact, to another person is, whether or not conversation ensues from making the telephone call or contact by means of an electronic communication device, guilty of a misdemeanor. Nothing in this subdivision shall apply to telephone calls or electronic contacts made in good faith or during the ordinary course and scope of business.

 

Now, aside from dozens of hang up calls placed to his ex-wife‘s cell phone [each of which is a misdemeanor under Section 653m(b)], here are the last five voice-message to text left on her cell phone by Mark Dymally:

 

 

 

“Don it’s mark look I received 3 different calls about what do went down that that that party at the ball is house when you guys got clark attempting to steal down that you’d be very very careful because that means has a contract on you right now.”

 

 

“Donna mark listen I heard what happened up with that house … that you went to the parking got discovered … of going through both ladies person in the bedroom donna the word on the street is that man has people out on the street looking for you and my … so you you guys gotta be careful because … I’ve got the state he said that he wants his people the beach you within into your life.”

 

 

“I know where you are … hi no with you … however.”

 

 

“Got you only your phone is on … you on the cellphone so now I’m home I can it is okay to call a. s. a. p. h..”

 

 

“Quick call me what’s up with that and we don’t know if you’re not you’re a great little role and okay I’ve got your number I’m turning in into to l. a. p. d. okay they’re gonna to find you through of global conditioning system okay all right and I’ll find you b. edge.”

UziIf Mark Dymally winds up getting “5150’d” over this pattern of behavior, it wouldn’t be the first time.  Nor would it be the only time he was taken into custody.  On December 20, 1985, he shot up his residence with an Israeli made Uzi sub-machine gun.  He was arrested and charged the next month.

So Mark, please cut it short but real short because serious legal reprisals will be made against you if you don’t.

 


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An outrage in Santa Rosa


 

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santa-rosa-plazaThe latest outrage taking place in Sonoma County in the wake of the shooting of Andy Lopez by Deputy Gelhaus involves threats and humiliating treatment by Santa Rosa Plaza security officers who forced patrons, including women, to remove their shirts in public.  According to a letter by Justice Coalition for Andy Lopez (JCAL) attorney Jonathan Melrod to mall management:

This is to inform you in your capacity as owners and operators of the Santa Rosa Plaza of an incident that occurred on February 17, 2014 (Presidents’ Day).  On this Monday, uniformed security guards at Simon’s Santa Rosa Plaza perpetrated multiple acts on the Mall property in the upstairs Food Court that directly contravened your patrons’ First Amendment Rights to free and unfettered speech, as well as racially targeted and harassed Latino patrons. Such flagrant disregard for lawful rights and the treatment of Latino patrons as second-class citizens will not be tolerated by the Santa Rosa community.
 
Earlier in the afternoon on Presidents’ Day, many Santa Rosa youth, known locally as Andys Youth, and others peacefully marched under the banner of Justice for Andy Lopez. For your edification, Andy Lopez was a 13-year-old Latino boy shot and killed by a Sonoma County Sheriffs Deputy on October 22, 2013. The march proceeded peacefully and without incident through downtown Santa Rosa and concluded with a rally in front of the Santa Rosa Police Department where many of the young people poignantly spoke about the heart-wrenching loss of their friend and peer Andy.
 
Following the march, a number of the participants, including Andy’s parents Sujey and Rodrigo, visited the food court at the Santa Rosa Plaza to eat. At approximately 5:30pm, a contingent of Mall security guards approached the table at which Sujey, Rodrigo, their children and accompanying friends were eating. The security guards, who refused to provide their names, but who are on video in our possession, rudely and aggressively “instructed” the Lopez family and their friends to remove their t-shirts, which bore slogans such as “RIP Andy” and “Justice for Andy Lopez”. If they refused to remove their shirts, they were told that they had to leave the Mall.
 
The security guards specifically targeted only Latino patrons wearing Andy t-shirts. In fact, just one half hour earlier a white activist had walked in the front door of the Mall directly in front of the very same security guards without so much as a second-glance. Under any interpretation, the demand that Latino patrons, as a target group, remove their shirts was discriminatory and effectively treated a particular ethnic group as second-class citizens with limited free speech rights. Further, the actions by the security guards were a direct affront to the publics’ constitutionally protected First Amendment Rights – particularly the sacrosanct right of free speech – ironic as this occurred on Presidents’ Day. 
Mark A. Payne, Senior Associate General Counsel for the Plaza responded saying in part that, “Like you, Santa Rosa Plaza was shocked to learn that individual officers employed by the Plaza’s third party Security subcontractor elected to approach members of the group and ask them to remove the ‘RIP Andy’ or Justice for ‘Andy Lopez’ t-shirts that they were wearing.”  This is my response to him:

February 20, 2014

    Mark A. Payne, Senior Associate                       General Counsel

By email: mpayne@simon.com

Dear Mr. Payne:

I have seen your response to Attorney Jonathan Melrod regarding the actions of security officers at the Santa Rosa Plaza. As a former seven-term chair of the board of the California Association of Licensed Investigators, I appreciate the difficulty of selecting competent security contractors and the further difficulty of keeping them in line with a client’s expectations.

Security officers guarding malls and other retail establishments should be trained to have at least a common sense understanding of their obligations under the Unruh Civil Rights Act as interpreted by the California Supreme Court in In Re Cox (1970) 3 C 3rd 205 and the implications of the subsequently passed Ralph and Bane civil rights acts in connection with that decision. As your letter to Mr. Melrod indicates that the actions in question were done by employees of a security contractor, I am requesting that you identify for me the name of the contracting firm and provide me with the company’s Private Patrol Operator (PPO) license.

It is my intention to report these serious violations by that company to the appropriate authorities at the California Bureau of Security and Investigative Services.

Thanking you for your prompt attention, I remain,

Respectfully yours,

Jan B. Tucker

State Director, California League of Latin American Citizens 

Andy LopezThe Bane, Ralph and Unruh Civil Rights Acts all provide for minimum civil penalties to the victims of such violations.  The Bane and Ralph civil penalties are potentially $25,000 each for each violation against each defendant, so the victims are looking at not less than $50,000 each not counting damages or punitive damages that the law provides should a jury find the security guards guilty.


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Bring Hollywood Home Legislation


 

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BHHFAB 1780 has been introduced into the California legislature as a “spot bill,” a bill that is essentially a place holder in the legislative process until the actual language of the bill is negotiated with the bill sponsor (which in this case is the Bring Hollywood Home Foundation) and other interested parties and formalized through the legislative counsel’s office.  AB 1780 at this point declares the intent of the legislature (the road map for what AB 1780 is intended to accomplish) to enact “…a transferable tax credit for specified motion pictures in an amount equal to 20% of production and post production expenditures…”

Tim_Donnelly

Tim Donnelly

A couple of interesting points.  Republican State Assembly Member and candidate for Governor in the June primary Tim Donnelly is the bill’s official author.  With Democrats usually falling all over themselves to suck up to the elites of the Hollywood corporate establishment (major donors to their campaigns) one might normally wonder why no Democrat would agree to carry this bill.   The problem is that Bring Hollywood Home Foundation (BHHF) is more interested in promoting jobs for the working class of the movie industry through independent production, an anathema to the corporate controlled film studios.

ab_1780_bill_20140218_introduced_001ab_1780_bill_20140218_introduced_002

 


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United Parking–Ripping Off Workers


 

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United Valet ParkingUnited Parking/United Valet Parking Inc. (UVP) holds Los Angeles City Business Licenses for over 100 lots and is licensed by the Los Angeles City Police Commission to operate them.  As is typical in “pay to play” politics in Los Angeles, the company and its owner over the years have contributed thousands of dollars to Los Angeles politicians they consider to be friendly or at least in their interests to get or keep in office.  Most recently, on December 30, 2013, the company gave $700 to City Council member Jose Huizar who’s facing a big re-election fight because of allegations that he sexually harassed female staff members.

UVP routinely violates Sections 6400 and 6401 of the Labor Code, and Section 42.00(c)(1) of the Los Angeles Municipal Code by having their employees stand out in the street in traffic to solicit motorists to park in their lots:

20140110_142937 (2)20140110_143009 (2)Left:  UVP employees violating LAMC 42.00(c)(1)

 

 

Sections 6400 and 6401 of the California Labor Code require companies to keep their employees safe and not permit inherently unsafe work (like standing in the middle of the street during traffic) while LAMC 42.00(c)(1) provides that:

No person shall on any street offer for sale, solicit the employment of, or announce by any means the availability of, any goods, wares, merchandise, services or facilities, or solicit patrons for or advertise any show, exhibition, entertainment, tour, excursion, sight-seeing trip, or real estate viewing or inspection trip.  (Amended by Ord. No. 182,708, Eff. 10/20/13.)

Stealing Tips

In all my years as as a private investigator and former union organizer and labor union official I have never actually heard of an employer stealing tips from its own employees.  I have heard of restaurants who required waitresses to share tips with other employees, like busboys or chefs, but at least there’s a rational basis for the practice (and it’s rare).  But UVP is currently being sued for a policy that’s just beyond the pale of civilized corporate behavior.

In Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. BC529988, UVP and its owner, Kenny Sabet, are being sued for, amongst other things, deeming the tips earned by their employees to be company property and requiring those tips to be turned over to their supervisors at the end of each shift.  This is really sick.  Click the link below to see a copy of the civil complaint filed in Case No. BC 529988:

http://www.janbtucker.com/jb_tucker_in_action

What should you do about this?

If a garment factory in Bangladesh is producing shirts for American markets and the workers are being exploited, then you stop buying from the companies that sell those products and let them know why.  If an American tech company is selling computers made in China under sub-standard labor conditions, same standard applies:  engage in a secondary boycott of those selling the computers, because you can’t do anything directly to otherwise influence the manufacturers.

So, please don’t do business with any of these establishments unless they pledge to fire United Valet Parking and get in a decent and humane operator to manage their parking and valet services:

AGO Restaurant

 

8478 Melrose Ave. West Hollywood, CA 90069

 

info@AgoRestaurant.com

 

Tel.: 323.655.6333

 

 

Chloe Boutique Melrose Place

 

8448 Melrose Place Los Angeles CA 90069

 

323.602.0000

 

 

Comme Ca Restaurant

 

8479 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, CA 90069 323-782-1104

 

 

Fig & Olive

 

8490 Melrose Place

 

West Hollywood, CA 90069

 

310 360 9100

 

melroseplace@figandolive.com

 

 

Fogo de Chao

 

133 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90211

 

(310) 289.7755

 

 

Katsuya

 

11777 San Vicente Blvd, Brentwood, CA 90049

 

(310) 207-8744

 

 

Le Petit Bistro

 

631 N La Cienega Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069

 

(310) 289-9797

 

 

Lucques

 

8474 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90048

 

(323) 655-6277

 

 

Marni

 

8460 Melrose Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90069

 

Phone:(323) 782-1101

 

 

Mastro’s

 

246 N Canon Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

 

(310) 888-8782

 

 

Monique Lhuillier

 

8485 Melrose Place. Los Angeles, CA 90069. 323.655.1088

 

Nobu

 

903 N La Cienega Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069

 

(310) 657-5711

 

 

Oscar de la Renta

 

8446 Melrose Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90069

 

(323) 653-0200

 

 

Picca

 

9575 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035

 

(310) 277-0133

 

 

Serge Normant @ John Frieda Salon

 

8440 Melrose Place, West Hollywood, California 90069

 

(323) 653-4040

 

 

Sotto

 

9575 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035

 

(310) 277-0210

 

 

STK

 

755 N La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90069

 

(310) 659-3535

 

 

Taste on Melrose

 

8454 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90069

 

(323) 852-6888

 

 

Stinking Rose

 

55 N La Cienega Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211

 

(310) 652-7673

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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