Jun 22, 2017

Eliminationist Rhetoric of the Most Deadly

Four-year-old girl tried to calm her distraught mother,
Diamond Reynolds, after cop, Jeronimo Yanez, gunned
down Philando Castile in July 2016 in Minnesota, (CNN).
Yanez was acquitted in June 2017.

Stop police death squads. How many must die?

No doubt the Minnesota cop unions got a nice laugh out of the acquittal of killer cop, Jeronimo Yanez.

Sick, heartless killer cops like Yanez walk away from the shattered lives of their brutality and a well-vetted collection of jurors watch a black man, Philando Castile, murdered on video and inform black Americans: Tough, your lives don't matter.

This is the verdict from Minnesota. Few minority Americans were surprised.

If you were a cop in Minnesota, what would you do? Would you speak up, write a letter to the editor of the local newspaper and say: 'Philando Castile was not killed in my name, I do not support the killer, Jeronimo Yanez. My heart and my support go to the family of Philando Castile?'

Such decency is unthinkable from a cop, but how about us? Who will condemn killing of our fellows?

If you are a cop anywhere, what would you do? Speak out? Any cop reading this piece today. Put your name to text, identify yourself as a cop, and compose a comment. I'll run it.

Today is June 22, 2017, roughly half-way through the calendar year. As of this date, 569 people have been killed by cops. By Dec. 31, 2017 people killed by cops will exceed 1,000. You can count on it.

Philando Castile was shot through the chest and killed by cop
to the approval of fellow cops and Minnesota jury. Cops
got another one.
Remember Philando Castile, human being.
From the Minnesota chapter of the National Lawyers Guild suggesting protection from killer cops in 2016. No such protection has been adopted to this date:

By National Lawyers Guild - Minnesota Chapter:

The National Lawyers Guild - Minnesota Chapter unconditionally condemns in the strongest possible terms the murder of Philando Castile by St. Anthony Village police officer Jeronimo Yanez. The NLG expresses its deepest sympathy and condolences to Mr. Castile’s family and loved ones.

It is a tremendous outrage that the repeated unjustifiable police killings, especially of African American males, have become such common knowledge yet continue unabated. While no one deserves to die at the hands of law enforcement, there is no pretext for police to attempt to rationalize the murder of Mr. Castile because he had so clearly done nothing wrong, was an exemplary citizen, and the horrendous death and police indifference to the effects of their actions was so painfully captured on cell phone video.

The NLG demands that government leaders end their pattern of enforcing the continued deadly status quo by failing to take any concrete action to hold police accountable or enact any meaningful reforms. The salience of this latest atrocity must spur immediate action to hold the responsible police officer accountable and initiate systemic change to end the serial police killings as well as the larger dynamic of police abuse and oppression in communities of color. The NLG recognizes that the most affected communities must have a voice in the specific changes to made, but calls for the following actions to be taken immediately:

1. A special independent prosecutor must be appointed to investigate and bring criminal charges against the murderer in this case. The special prosecutor must be independent of police influence, and have access to funding needed to hire investigators, experts, associates and cover other expenses needed to conduct a full investigation and prosecution. Responses to previous police shootings have repeatedly and invariably demonstrated that elected and career prosecutors are too beholden to police interests to be capable to delivering justice. The Ramsey County Attorney, the governor, and other appropriate officials must collaborate to make the special independent prosecutor a reality.

2. The office of an independent prosecutor must be permanently established to investigate and prosecute cases of deadly force and other abusive police conduct.

3. Minnesota law must be amended so that police officers have no more authority to use deadly force than other citizens. Specifically, Minnesota Statute § 609.066 which authorizes use of deadly force by peace officers must be repealed.

4. A special civilian commission must be established to propose specific, comprehensive and systemic reforms to police powers, policies, and governance. A majority of the commission must include representatives of communities disproportionately harmed by police abuse.

Jun 20, 2017

Wisconsin Voter Obstruction Is as Republican as Racism and Corruption

Fitchburg Wisconsin — Wisconsin is regarded by civil rights workers as the worst state to be black and brown in America.

But not only because most white Republicans work to ship minorities into prisons and segregated sectors in Wisconsin's few urban regions of significant populations.

Blacks are targeted at the polls.

Republicans and only Republicans engineered the transformation of Wisconsin election law in an ambitious project to "disenfranchise voters likely to vote for the political party that does not control the state government," in the words of Judge Richard Posner of the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, in a major voting rights case still being litigated, (Mal Contends, Mal Contends, The Progressive).

Among those likely to vote against the Republican Party are the easily identifiable folks of black and brown skin color.

Though nationally the Republicans' obstructive photo voter ID law garnered wide attention, dozens of party-line statutes have been passed by Republicans since 2011, (Ferral, The Capital Times).

The Republican gerrymandering effort intended to stop non-Republicans from using the polling place to safeguard their interests is one major objective of the Republican anti-voting project, (ScotusBlogElection Law).

Obstruct Voters Locally

Other Republican initiatives include white poll workers interrogating voters at the polls, and in an escalation of conspicuous hostility the use of expensive civil citations against voting rights activists: Me.

This Summer Mal Contends will litigate two bogus disorderly conduct civil citations issued by the city of Fitchburg, Wisconsin against me.

One citation was written on August 9, 2016, Fall Primary Election Day. This citation will be argued in front of a jury this Summer in Dane County Circuit Court.

A second citation was written on May 10, 2017 alleging even more misconduct on Aug. 9, 2016 and served seconds after the litigation of the first citation in Municipal Court resulted in a judicial ruling of no fine. The presiding Municipal Judge, Hamdy Ezalarab, recused himself from hearing the second citation which will heard at trial on Aug. 3 at 6:00 p.m by a substitute judge

The Fitchburg City Attorney's office, Mark R Sewell and Valerie A. Zisman, is engaged in misconduct and malicious prosecutions, among other violations of ethics which I will pursue in the future.

Stay posted. This may appear light stuff from a small, corrupt Wisconsin city. It's not light stuff. From an email sent by me to the Wisconsin Elections Commission on Aug. 5, 2016, four days before I was obstructed from voting on Aug 9, received the first two of four visits to our home by armed Fitchburg Police, and received the first of now two civil disorderly conduct citations:

From: Mike Leon [ ...]
Sent: Friday, August 05, 2016 8:42 AM
To: Lowe, Diane - ELECTIONS
Subject: Polling Place
Importance: High


Could you email me a URL or GAB (WEC) memo that would indicate how many election inspectors are supposed to hand out ballots at a table in a polling place? I believe it to be two.

A ... chief election inspector in our polling place, where I worked on April 5, positioned one election inspector at the ballots table, and predictably quite a voter bottleneck ensued.

Other elections to my memory featured two inspectors on ballots.

I need a memo or other publicly available authority on this two-people-on-ballots question.

I emailed our election and city clerk, around late April on this but no one got back to me. They are not too crazy about questions RE what they regard as their apparent turf, though I believe myself as a resident and long-time election inspector to be a stakeholder.

Administering elections should be about rules and regulations, to my view.


Jun 19, 2017

Mueller Team Investigating Trump-Campaign-Russia Has Fixable Problem

Updated - A Reuters report by Karen Freifeld this morning notes the prosecutorial experience of two members of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller's team: Andrew Weissmann and Kathryn Ruemmler, (New York Times).

Weissman and Ruemmler have garnered plaudits, yet, Weissman and Ruemmler share a troubled history as prosecutors. One wonders why this history does not inform national reporting as indictment Summer begins.

Freifeld's Reuters report notes of Andrew Weissman that he "headed the U.S. Justice Department's criminal fraud section before joining Mueller's team last month, is best known for two assignments - the investigation of now-defunct energy company Enron and organized crime cases in Brooklyn, New York - that depended heavily on gaining witness cooperation."

Omitted is Weissman's conduct on the Enron Task Force that to any fair observer is appalling. Ever hear of the proven innocent James Arthur Brown of Merrill Lynch? Likely not. Bill Fuhs?

Bill Fuhs was pursued by Weissman and colleagues under the ludicorus "honest services" provision of a federal wire fraud statute, (Powell, Enron Barge). Brown was later proven innocent, and on two counts was effectively relieved of the charge stacking-induced perjury and obstruction of justice criminal counts in 2015. [If you live in Wisconsin, mention of honest services may bring to mind the corrupt prosecution of the proven innocent Georgia Thompson in 2007, (U.S. v. Georgia L. Thompson, argued and decided on April 5, 2007))]

Bill Fuhs should never have been indicted, and the prosecutions are a stain on the United States Department of Justice and the American federal judiciary.

Consider as well Kathryn Ruemmler of the Mueller team.

As noted by one of the nation's foremost federal appellate attorneys, Sidney Powell, Ruemmler ignored the mandates of the Brady Rule to disclose exculpatory evidence in the same criminal persecution that her colleague, Andrew Weissmann pursued, in the Enron mania:

They, [Weissmann and Kathryn Ruemmler], not only hid the exculpatory evidence they had yellow-highlighted, [revealing intent of prosecutors to ignore clear evidence], but in defiance of a court order, they gave the defendants misleading summaries instead.

Even the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, whose record on the Enron Task Force’s trials was embarrassing at best with several Supreme Court reversals, held that Ruemmler and her team 'plainly suppressed' evidence favorable to the defense. That finding establishes a clear violation of ethical rule 3.8–not to mention the Supreme Court’s admonition that the United States Attorney 'seek justice.' This is NOT what we would call 'impeccable legal credentials' or 'impeccable judgment'–unless that kind of calculated dishonesty and win-at-any-cost mentality is exactly what you want. Indeed, why is she still practicing law?, (Seeking Justice).

Staffing up one of the most monumental investigative units in American history is not off to an even start.

Donald Trump is a clear and present danger to this republic.

So, why is Robert S. Mueller even considering Andrew Weissmann and Kathryn Ruemmler when their records reveal they pursued innocents, acted without regard to ethics, effectively betraying our country no less?

Trump's PR messages now is that Robert Mueller's investigative dream team is engaging in a withhunt.

With Weissmann and Ruemmleron on the team, the accusation has at least prior plausibility.

My god, Robert Mueller, please don't screw this up. Staff should be beyond reproach.

Consider that prosecutors who pursue innocents without regard to ethics and human decency do not pay a price in their careers at the United States Department of Justice, American law, or society broadly.

Prosecutors should pay a price.

The valuation of this price ought not lead to blotching the pursuit of justice of the most dangerous man on the planet, President Donald Trump, who after-all retains the rights of the innocent as he is being investigated by the United States Department of Justice under the color of law.
-- Both Bill Fuhs and James Brown were among those prosecuted by the Enron Task Force.

Jun 18, 2017

Bernie Sanders Progeny, Our Revolution, Rises Against Fascism in Swing States

When we stand together there is nothing we cannot

"Our Revolution will reclaim democracy for the working
people of our country by harnessing the transformative
energy of the 'political revolution.' Through supporting
a new generation of progressive leaders, empowering
millions to fight for progressive change and
elevating the political consciousness, Our Revolution
will transform American politics to make our political
and economic systems once again responsive
to the needs of working families," reads Our Revolution,
the most powerful machine against fascism.
Updated - A glance at the map of local groups for the national progressive political machine, Our Revolution, tells much.

Clusterings of groups surge in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania, (at right).

For this progressive citizen action team, it's all about winning and making the "political and economic systems once again responsive to the needs of working families."

Even hapless, neolib Democratic Party strategists can tell you the significance of Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

No single person can ever be correctly characterized as the hope of America. Nevertheless, the political power of Bernie Sanders is undeniable and rising, precisely because Sanders rejects conventional notions of what a political party should do in our electoral democracy. People over everything.

If it appears the Republican Party and corporate wing of the Democratic Party are desperate, particularly corrupt and vicious of late, it's because their corrupt power over American lives is being challenged effectively. Resistance is strong.

Consider checking out Our Revolution. This machine kills fascists, as Woody Guthrie used to say, brandishing a guitar.

Remember to enjoy yourselves, some SRV for mid-June.

Jun 16, 2017

Fascism in America Rises in the North

The Raft of the Medusa, Théodore Géricault (1791–1824)
Madison, Wisconsin — A Georgia voice offered comment by phone asserting racism is more prevalent in the rural North than the rural South.

Fascism in America—Trump, Republican-ruled rural jurisdictions in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio, and likely your local police force—comes with a northern intonation of sorts as often as a southern drawl

Wisconsin Republicans and their religious right allies, for example, staff virtually every tentacle of government from the Census to polling sites to local planning commissions and school boards, and their mission is malice for Jesus.

If you meet a dominionist, religious fundie staffing a polling place, (a Ron Johnson or Dale Zahorik of Fitchburg, Wisconsin for example), it won't surprise to find a frightening ignorance of, and hostility to voting rights and the rights of blacks and Latinos, who are, goddamn that Fourteenth Amendment, full citizens under the law.

Advice this weekend before Mal signs off: Treat calls for "unity" with proper derision.