Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Is This A Silent Sign that Congress is Actually Listening to the First Major Police Protest Movement In American History?

http://wzakcleveland.hellobeautiful.com/3635222/congress-passes-new-bill-requiring-doj-to-track-cop-killings/

Amazingly, Congress passes a bill requiring all citizen officer involved shootings data be collected and data banked.  I'm totally amazed Congress, with a conservative House, passed this bill, even now
this early into the movement.

This bills passage is a great first initial step, that is necessary to even begin to talk about the issue of police shootings and use of deadly force.  It had been passed before but quietly allowed to die off and never renewed.  The FOP powers influence kept it down after W...let it die.

But, now, suddenly Congress gets it and this is passed without ANY fanfare or even major media attention.  Its almost eerie, but if its true, it signals this movement has already turned serious heads in the power structure of this nation, including among those who without any such public anger and protests would have never considered such a move or even thought it possible.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Misconduct isn't confined to Major Metro Cities: A Look Back at CNN's '99 Report on Steubenville, Ohio

http://www.cnn.com/US/9911/10/police.misconduct/index.html?_s=PM:US

   Police Misconduct isn't anything new.  Its not simply confined to the coastal big cities, LA, New York, Miami, New Orleans, Cleveland, Portland and then those internal major metros like Philly and Chicago and Cincinnati...

    It is found inside many smaller venues and has flourished for decade inside of many small towns of America.

   In fact, the nation's first pattern and practice civil rights investigation ever undertaken by the Department of Justice wasn't in New York or LA or Chicago or even a Pittsburgh or Cleveland.

    It happened right here in the upper Ohio Valley tri state former blue collar steel mill center called, Steubenville.

    It went deep here and it lasted for decades if not dating back to the prohibition era.

    The City's police were notoriously corrupt and notoriously brutal, and it involved both black and white officers on this hometown of both Dean Martin, the Wu Tang Klan and very close to the origins of "Play that Funky Music White Boy", Wild Cherry's Mingo Jct Ohio
 
     and its named Jefferson County Ohio for a reason....Tommy boy and George had both been here before and George helped defeat the French and Indians about a half hour away from here, before he revolted from his British masters and became the father of the American Revolution.

   Yes, Revolutions begin to happen in small towns oftentimes, first.  Ferguson is just a recent event on the road to many prior smaller town "events" that have occurred, involving America's finest

   We began this journey here in Steubenville just about 20 years ago now. 

   I lived to tell the story but ...barely and with not a little baggage and sacrifice.

   I also took this journey to another smaller, not very small, but definitely not a Chicago or New York or Boston...to another place in northeastern Ohio, ...another mill town, in 2003-7, when I became the lawyer for a young African American male, who was seen being brutally beat on a videotaped incident, on a sunny June say in front of his neighbors, about ten days after W declared victory for democracy in Iraq.

    Lyndal Kimble was the young man's name.  His family and young daughters and neighbors, and about thirty others from a decidedly mixed black and white neighborhood stood by and watched in horror, until a young white female, a single mom and a nurse, who lived with her white mother and family directly across the street...cried out for the police to stop and urged others to call 911 and an ambulance appeared thereafter on the scene.   ( This was the ONLY reason these three white police stopped beating Lyndal.)

   GMA and Diane Sawyer played the video taped brutal beating and nothing was ever the same again inside of Warren-Youngstown Ohio

    Nothing was ever the same again for Lyndal Kimble

    And nothing would ever be the same again...for me, a forty something white lawyer who again..brought the US Justice Dept Civil Rights Department into the hard and rough and tumble eastern Ohio cities and former mill towns, the rust belt of America

    but we did this, even under W...and with John Ashcroft at the helm

    And with this, we began a revolution of sorts.   Its still going on and its still being fought; hard

    And it can be fairly said, we're not exactly wining this intense civil war....being fought just under the radar of most Americans and their Big Bang Theory TV lives

   Much has been lost,  ...in terms of lives lost and legal challenges to the structural issues contained within modern day American policing.   But progress is being made and our struggles began inside of the out of the way, Midwestern smaller cities and towns of America
 
  are where much of this present day fight was begun.  

    The present day DOJ and Holder's civil rights division did not invent pattern and practice police misconduct investigations.

    In fact, they took a great deal of time, even getting into the fight, AFTER Holder was sworn into office at the nation's first black AG.

   {Holder in fact, was openly and strongly backed in fact by no less than, 17 top law enforcement agencies and organizations for this top AG position, as entered into the Congressional record by Senator Leahy of Vermont, his strongest and most ardent sponsor during his the Senate confirmation hearings.  I and my elder father, a veteran highly respected judicial officer in Ohio, both knew then, our nation was in deep trouble, despite this promising start of the nation's first democratic president in 8 yrs.}

    But, Holder's Civil Rights Division has leaped up into the forefront today, of doing these pattern and practice investigations across America and they are enforcing such investigations inside many of our nation's largest cities and towns.   But, first, they learned how to create such an enforcement schema and model, ...

    Right here, right along these ancient Indian lands, where the nation's earliest pioneers and pioneering abolitionists rose up to challenge slavery and its minions and society evils.

    It was here from Steubenville and the surrounding Midwest, the original DOJ civil rights pattern and practice investigation began.

   This is the truth.  it did not begin in New York even though that City had Serpico, the 70's huge corruption heroin scandal and Philly has its brutal cops and Chicago has its brutal Police Commander and LA had its Daryl Gates and Ramparts Division.

   It happened here in southeastern Ohio first.
  
   And it wasn't convenient nor simple to do, then.  It was an isolated region.  There were no major tv stations, newspapers,

    No video taped beatings, nor any marches, no anchors doing cutaways from Steubenville.  

   There were no marchers or public signs advocating against the police
    .... There were no legal experts debating the finer aspects of what is going on in Steubenville back twenty years ago as bad as it were.

   And there were no civil rights leaders who cared much for an Appalachian regional ethnic union and democratic voting oriented region.

   As for the local NAACP, it actually came out and publically denounced the one (white) lawyer who was actually trying to get the issue up and into the public light.    (In fact, they openly backed the local brutal police chief and the Police Dept against the early allegations of police misconduct and calls for assistance for the officers who engaged in this conduct.)

   It wasn't an easy time.  No one who lived through it was not deeply affected by this effort.
Lives were changed and impacted and some were forever made to pay.

  For some their careers, reputations and even their lives, their relationships were never the same.

  Post Trauma came to those who fought these battles inside of this out of way small cities and towns along side the DOJ.  Our only security except for our faith, was the invisible FBI cover we were told to us we were being granted but never once met in person nor ever spoke with except for the first calls they made to me.

  Many were scarred for life as a result.

   and yet...slowly, excruciatingly so...the investigation came to be and it resulted in the nation's first
   such fully DOJ investigated special litigation unit's 'findings' of a city that had "violated its citizens civil rights in a pattern manner for at least five years...or more"

   It was a huge vindication and victory for those of us, very very few in number who had labored in this effort in almost total isolation and enforced peer pressure and public disdain and anonymity
for years.   It also was something that caused waves across the entire spectrum of international human rights organizations and publications.   The US itself, gave witness to what had happened inside of Steubenville Ohio in 1999-2000 before the UN Committee on Torture and Human Rights as well.

    What had been going on inside of our city and region's police department for decades and had become "tacitly approved" and part of the local "policy" of how police engaged our citizens...black white and red and yellow alike, had been decidedly suppressed and denied by nearly all local pd and city officials in public for years.

    This denial made it extremely difficult and even dangerous for and among those of us who took the brunt and bore this cross,

   So, this DOJ Civil Rights landmark event, represented to us, us few, a significant, huge and powerful vindication for all those years of advocacy and litigation efforts...in the hope of making "the invisible visible."   It happened in part, by courage, by dedication and not a little by some type of miracle.

    In the end, it was Robert Kennedy and Ghandi and MLK's idealism as well as

   It was a personal faith, that....in the end...one could say, that made this occur given the geography and size and the critical severity of the issue that did arise on the banks of the ancient river that cuts eastern America's Midwest in half.

   It was God forsaken region for many decades.... at least up until the US Dept of Justice took a hard look at this seriously ethnically mixed, rough former labor union stronghold region and town.

  the River that Washington has crossed over and knew was formed in Pittsburgh at the Point, where the French Indian War was fought...
  
  That great river the Indian's named and once roamed and fished freely upon.

   It was on this river and in this 200 yr old mill town, that the Civil Rights Division came into and performed this powerful landmark civil rights effort.

  After these DOJ original efforts and findings, were announced in September of 1997,

 Many things were never again quite the same
 this was true for both those who fought the good fight....and for the city itself;

 This effort produced a milestone in both our personal lives and in many ways, inside of Steubenville, certainly its police department, in some ways.

 Problems remains and the public officials kept on denying the DOJ's efforts and findings yet they over time, came to a place of at least accommodation and realized they needed to come into the 20th century in some terms and applications inside of its police department.  Many today would say...not much has actually changed given the same city fathers who brought in the consent decree are still voted every election into office today.

 But one thing did happen for sure.  After eight years of federal oversight, and not quite completed consent decree compliance still to this day, young minorities and many whites, female and male, who were either subjects of and/or witnesses to police misconduct, who before dared to speak out against police brutality occurring in this rough and tumble racially divided mill town, not unlike todays' Ferguson in its police and political structure inside the city limits,

    were eventually protected, from the at least, the most serious use of force, false arrests, and patterned retaliatory and brutal and false police actions that were being done "routinely" for "years" as per the official DOJ findings

   ...inside of Steubenville, Ohio

This did change and it happened here first, as a result of the enforcement of Public Law 94 or what is commonly referred to today as an 14141 action.

   Its the story of a city's population that lived in fear of its police.   Its the story of a citizenry that were coerced into silence, even its white citizens who wanted to try to speak out against the same.

   and its a story about how the US justice Department came to this forgotten, out of the way, small city known as "little Chicago" in its heyday for its strong ties to madams and mob bosses in Atlantic City to Chicago and Las Vegas...

   but up thru the mid 90's...it was very hard on its citizens who dared to act up and those who spoke up on behalf its brutalized victims.   
  
   This did change in significant ways, ...given what a small number of people and two brave lawyers did inside this city, one the son of a prominent veteran local senior trial judge

   and this is the story...of how America and Eric Holder came to the place, where...

   we can today at least, in our most earnest but narrow of ways, ...begin the task of policing
   the
   American landscape ...called modern day law enforcement at all...
  

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Revolution Has Begun: Civil Rights Police Misconduct Comes Out of the Closet

Years ago, as a solo white lawyer who as a son of a prominent judge, in a small eastern Ohio city, I began to take aim at this social evil of American out of control policing, I was both warned, and admonished...by many inside the profession and some ministers, good friends and FBI agents, musicians, and neighbors and others, to be very careful, that this is an explosive issue and that it often meant for a promising young lawyer, a road to nowhere and worse, a trip to the State Bar Disciplinary counsel.

All of the negative things they said...came true; they were right.  And I had a lot of time to ponder this issue for years away from the front lines and the battles I personally engaged in with this issue for better part of almost two decades in my law practice and in my private life.

I was among the poorest of the poor many times, walking in their shoes so very often and even living within their homes and /or staying so close in contact with them, their lives and their struggles became interwoven with my own.

"Richard, you are so involved and so close to these people," a judge once remarked to me, before a high profile criminal trial, "that we can't get the police into that street and neighborhood to investigate or search their homes".

I smiled. He smiled too.  It was well into my civil rights lawyering that this had occurred and much had already happened in my life and to me both professionally and personally as a result of this chosen path

However, I remained resolute and the judge knew of what he spoke.

      A Civil Rights lawyer usually, fighting police misconduct, in the past, labored, in the dark and often in extreme isolation from both his peers and the 'nice' areas of the practice of law.

      Many times, you were shunned or simply looked upon as an 'outsider" as "rogue" or, worse...a lover of men...colored men or even worse...the poor.

    Judges oftentimes, not all of them by any stretch, but several key ones oftentimes, looked down upon me and were quick to point out my particular failings, because I was dedicated to this area of the law;  my tie wasn't "appropriate" for one federal judge, thought it cost well more than his own that day I'm positive.  On another day, I was deemed "a dishonor and disrespectful of Cleveland's finest"....

   On another day, I was jailed by this same judge...after winning a criminal defense verdict for a black male of trying to assault an officer w/ a deadly weapon...I won the case with the help of the fellow partner CPD officer...My reward by my judicial heavyweight peer that moment after a hard fought tense jury trial that week in Cleveland?

     I was sent to jail...that moment by this judge ..."for contempt, you defamed and disrespected Cleveland's finest"

    I spent that night in a maximum security lock up...behind an ALL steel Cuyahoga county jail, w/ the most violent of the violent.  The guards on that floor carried fully loaded, safety off M 16s...and they cursed when they saw me and asked the intake officer "WTF is he doing here"...as they saw that I wasn't any thing resembling a true serious street threat...

     But many many other comments, experiences and narratives accompanied my legal career in doing civil rights work.  I would not trade the experiences for the world.  But it has never been easy, never been simple, never been even rewarding in many respects and certainly has cost me everything more than once or twice...and created immeasurable tension and problems in my private life, that go beyond anything that any one human can describe or narrate

    But, today...now...I see the youth and the middle and the blacks and the whites and all persons of many colors flooding into the streets of our major cities and towns and college campuses across America today, this November and this Christmas season...

 and I have to say....it makes me very proud; very pleased....

     I don't have to feel so alone as millions are being schooled and taught about the issue I devoted my life's work to 24 yrs ago.

    Its hard to put into words, what I am feeling and sensing.    the long hours spent in trying to litigate even one civil rights case before a federal court is enough to make most lawyers never want to even approach or if they had, to remain at a very safe and non toxic distance to ever attempt again.

  I handled dozens of such cases and many of them very high profile.  Thru the long hours, the hours spent alone, in some coffee shop trying to write yet another responsive brief or at my apartment leaving my family or my then wife or later, my young son,  alone and by themselves for hours on end...while I plied away at trying to get my civil rights case to survive the incredible burdensome proofs and standards that the federal courts have erected over the citizens attempts at redress of their fundamental civil rights...is something I can never get back

 I can never quite gain back the time I lost in the aftermath of these cases, good or bad.  It took me several years to even begin to learn how to truly litigation one these cases.

   I spent years in reading and absorbing and by trial and error, experimenting inside of federal courts, depositions and cases, probing, poking and re readling, like a scientists who is onto something major but can't quite find the precise point of entry to unravel the mystery that he /she knows is locked inside of this American legal jurisprudence called civil rights..

    Its a huge historical lesson and it is built on the backs of lawyers and judges and many others who came long before us today.  this law is a constantly changing and constantly complex thing to enter into; police civil rights is a matrix and it involves the most fundamental question about our society, our history and our relationships to the modern society in which we both find ourselves and our national purpose.

    It rocks the individuals who are involved to their core.  it rocks cities and towns to their very vitals,  I have witnessed this numerous times.  I have had clients who have after years of litigation have told me..."Richard, I wish you had never came into our lives...we love you man, we need you...but you have changed our world...our minds will never be the same and we cannot evermore look upon this society the same"

   this is the common experience of any one who has ever engaged in this burning issue of civil rights police misconduct in the modern era..  It will challenge every presumption one ever was taught or led to believe...black or white, rich or poor, national or green card holder.

     its a study in America herself and its relationship to the world.  Our foreign policy wont look the same after you represent the poor before our federal courts.   One's view of the justice system wont be ever capable of being the tower of justice and virtue and truth it represents to the outside world, after you take upon the burden of a widow who lost her husband to a unarmed highly questionable police officer shooting...

   You wont be unable to relate to those in jail quite the same anymore and you will look upon those who question nothing about society with a certain pity and sadness after you do this kind of work for several years, let alone for twenty.

    "its a long lonely road, Richard", said one very experienced veteran civil rights lawyer told me over the phone, as he noticed from a distance, I began to take the path of my promising young law career towards civil rights.   "you will never feel like other lawyers again" 
  
     He was right.   it was true.  Nothing ever was the same again, in my life...as I devoted myself to my early efforts at making the invisible visible

    but today, the revolution has begun, finally and I like an aboltionist of old who had labored in the field in season and out of season for years, in isolation, in disdain and in complete rejection by many....

   they saw that their life work ...wasn't after all those years..in vain... .despite the hardship their chosen adult path had resulted in for them.
    
    Dr. King said.."i may not get there with you...but my eyes have seen the promise land"

    And....its true...  one has seen this vision ...long, long ago....once upon a time in America

   Every civil rights plaintiffs lawyer who has ever taken one of these cases seriously and litigated them for the purpose of vindicating his clients bill of rights, ...knows and understands, that he/she is basically fulfilling what this nation's purpose was created for;  protecting and vindicating human rights for all

   And with this, comes the knowledge one is a idealists, in a very pragmatic, money driven profession and society;  its a celebrity culture, materialistic to the core today.

    its not the era of Civil right movement; these are times when people flaunt their fourth and fifth mansions and their 20,000 rings and 1600000 dollar cars and their lear jets and 100,000 weekend at the super bowls;  athlete make more money than any CEO today and

    the wealthy today, are far richer than nearly 9/10 of the rest of us

    Its not the civil rights era

    and some lawyers who actually today, still try to sacrifice themselves and their promising young legal careers to help others feel like this nation's promises mattered and their lives mattered and their rights were worth fighting either overseas or at home inside a federal court for... oftentimes, don't get compensated very well....

  But we do get the labeled and we are oftentimes not only sent to the back of the bus, we were completely disbarred, disrobed of even our dignity

   Such are not going to be held up before the world by anyone as a shining example to follow; few will ever want to follow in this type of "careerism"

    few will chose poverty and shame and disregard over the life of the kings of Egypt after law school

     But we too, as advocates are simply human, simply wanting to share in this life's better aspects and when after we have fought the good fight and done so for so long

   it becomes like a music of angels in the night...like poetry in motion...and a great, great comfort


   to see the youth of the Gen X and the Millenial generation come of age...and choose...out of all the issues that they could have chosen today...war, poverty, inequality of wealth, unemployment and underemployment

   the one issue this generation chose...to carry forth into the next generation...for years to come, is

   the one I chose on day in my first year of law practice, when a young black man I visited in his jail cell at the request of his mother, had had his face have torn, scraped and scarred because two white racist cops in my hometown, where my father was the senior trial judge and who had taught my siblings and I about the notion of fairness and the law

   brutally took him...and pushing him down onto the uneven broken glass pavement of my hometown's dirty, unmaintained sidewalk....kept his face to the ground and then literally used his face and head as if it were a broom...scraping his side of his head and face, all the way down about a city block on this uneven pavement with broken glass strewn all about
  
  In that moment, I saw the face of the Crucified, staring back at me.   it wasn't any longer about a young black youth; or the polie

   it was about saving jesus...from any more suffering upon His Cross...

 and this is what propelled me and my young promising family name and career,,,nto the work for the poor

   I never forgot this young man and his experience.  he was only 19.  He wasn't violent.  After his jail time after he was sent to prison, he became a problem...traumatized of course....post trauma is only reserved for those returning from the war..in this nation today

   but we dont' do analysis of those who are severely wounded and bruised and battered and assaulted without any cause...by our own police

    ....these are the issues that inspired me...and propelled me forward into the life and work of a civil rights advocate for life

    and today...I see my sons and brothers and daughters...carrying on...this same effort and this same movement....

   that once inspired our former greatest leaders of this nation, from the Founders, to those leading up to the civil war, to Lincoln ...and onward...to the progressives and then into the modern civil rights era and the Kennedys and Kings

  today,,,we have a chance now to see how this nation reacts to yet another 'unfinished business' of the promise of democracy....

   we have another opportunity on the backs and feet of those who were killed or maimed and or abused by police everywhere...in this nation and the millions who are tuned in and turned on suddenly to this issue

   thank God for Ferguson's blackest most ardent serious even anger protesters...

  thank God for all those who have gone into the streets of our cities and towns; we just may save this nation from herself,  just yet

   and all of it....makes me not only hear and see the coming of the Lord

   but, also...it makes me...feel...
  ....less....as I once was told by a fellow civil rights lawyer many trials and many tribulations ago
  in my first years of this kind of work

   isolated, less overlooked, disdained, rejected and dishonored in my hometown, in my chosen profession and

  in my life

 I believe..today...we are witnessing the impulses of a democratic sentiment and spirit that will challenge the greatest power on earth...to make good on its promise...

   to bring justice to its people...again once and for all

   we will make it possible to make even the most cynical and hard hearted of judges and prosecutors...

    come to heed what true liberty what true law is for and what the meaning of law in America was decided purposed for and upon

  the individual and the inexorable march of one's civil liberties ...to be protected by and for the people....in the courtrooms of this nation...not because we are black or white or red or yellow

   but because we are human

    because we are Americans

    Because...we are a nation...dedicated to the highest of mankinds aspirations...not the medicore and common darkest aspects of human history with its travails and cries in the night

   this is not about any one case, any one legal argument

   its about the soul and character of a nation and its about

   the redemption of even one solo lawyer and his vindication.....as we witness the start of something new....

  something never quite seen before..in our generation and times

  and what we are seeing....is long, long overdue...but was certain to come...as some of us, who have labored long in the field of civil rights law

  have sense for sometime now....that this nation has a date with destiny....and if this nation's courts and its officials and its leadership...doesn't wish to manage and deal w/ this problem of entrenched police brutality

   inside its courts in a fair and appropriate and just manner

   than this issue...will cause the people of this nation to rise up...to want to see change
   and to bring about a fundamental re ordering of our national priorities

    we are witnessing the beginning I believe...the evolution and change and the revolution of
   a new generation breathing life again..into the old forms...of that status quo powers who want to keep a lid on things, who way...we will guide you, let us carry on for you because we know best how to do this

    and with this moment...I for one...can rest in peace...much much easier knowing my son...and his generation...will carry on in a nation where hundreds of thousands if not millions
   are not willingly to live in blindness and naivte about our nation's legal system...living in a hollow democracy where the people are reduced to subjects..not citizenship

  and where...our notions of fairness are not decided by law, but by men...

  and where no one no matter how many police there are..on our streets

   can feel safe...nor secure..in our homes and papers and belongings..
   because...we know something is wrong..something is seriously wrong when the police
   can commit murder and assaults and home invasions outside of the law, outside of the
   standards of community peace and reason

   and get full away with it, with impunity, over and over again for year after year
    this will eat us alive in this nation

   and other nations..will begin to see this and note, that what ever we profess around the world

   as our reason to be...we are failing that promise and proclamation horrifically here at home
   where it matters
   
    our greatest threat will never be from the outside or external

    but rather...from within, the apathy in the face of such huge human rights issues
    and our courts and prosecutors and legal systems deliberate indifference to the same
  
    I can however, take great comfort and hope...and see in this present moment...a hope for change
    a moment we can now get thru and make our nation a better place to live

    and one...which is more true and genuine for all people of color and class
    and one more just...in our times

     cynical men and some wise men will cast a long shadow on today's youth as they have
     lawyers like myself....

      they will deride you, they will tell you you're being naïve, you don't understand, you don't get    what this world is about and they will tell you
     ...stop being dreamers and stop trying to change the world

    there is crime out there...there is the good life waiting for you
    just go into your career and stop causing trouble

    ....this is all the same things I and many others have heard for a generation or more now...they said the same thing during MLK days...and Robert Kennedy used to talk about the same kinds of things

    but today...we have a moment, an opportunity to change this nation...from within, from the ground up and from within ourselves

     and we can ....not not be down or cynical nor without our better selves...right now

      too much has been fought for...too much sacrifice has occurred...long, long into the night it is...for some of us

     but the cry of these oppressed and these idealistic youth..who seek and want to see change
     these are the future of this nation...this is what...always...and forever will propel America forward...

     it was in their youth, The Founders for large part...fought the revolution

     it was a young abolitionist name Lundy and then Garrison and then Douglass and many women...in their youth...
   
    like Harriet Beecher Stowe, the Grimcke sisters and many others....who helped a younger now older Lincoln into office

    and it was a younger Roosevelt who pumped energy into a dying nation and economy by granting the idea that people mattered, that a collective society was the better society

   and that is wasn't wrong to seek justice and equality and economic justice for young and old and those poor among us...as a government as a government for the people, by the people and of the people

    ....Today...this moment...is almost revolutionary....we need to see it continue and I urge these present day young....to not only keep it moving...

   but..to reach for the stars...don't stop at one issue or some small compromise 'set of demands'...of any kind

   seek to change your government your nation...remake it...its your duty to do so

    Jefferson said so...in the Declaration ...he was in his thirties when he wrote that document which changed the world

   Don't stop at piece meal changes to the system.   Tear it down and rebuild it....and do it better and make it better..  Don't allow the lawyer and talking heads tell you what is best or better

    remake it along the best the world and reason and humanity and Christianity and every major religion that is sincere and true has to say about treating one's neighbor as oneself would want to be treated    this is the basis of all law

   "this is the law; love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself"

    this is it folks...its humanity.....Its nothing that can be changed that hasn't been focused upon before

   tear things down if you have to; Jefferson Franklin and Washington did  but put something better in its place

    Lincoln did

    Many others have also inside of this nation, as it made its youthful way forward; unions were someone's dream in the early part of the 20th century; they became in a generation the means of growing the greatest middle class on earth

    child labor laws and women rights to vote to divorce were not always present or a reality in this nation

   but someone dreamed them and fought and sacrificed for them and they came....

    Slavery was terminated....it took 65 years...after the nation turned but 16 yrs old...to begin that effort...and it took hundred of thousands of lives....to do so

    Jim Crow took a century to end after the 14th amendment was passed.   but a lawyer named John Doar ..w white man...from Maine....a republican....helped to lead the legal desegregation of the south...along with many many prior brilliant black lawyers...who opened the path for a Marshall and others to bring segregation to an end.

   its time...
   and I have waited for this moment...all my life....

   its only befitting to...see it come about...
   and with this...His servant can depart...in peace

   but not...before ...I see it come to full

Thursday, November 27, 2014

After Ferguson's GJ Verdict: What's Next? MLK gives us his lasting perspective on social unrest

"It is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard."

MLK jr

    In the wake of the Prosecutor of St. Louis and the GJ decision to issue a no bill against officer D Wilson, the nation has witnessed a coast to coast, north to south witness to the people's view of the injustice of police misconduct created by officers of the law, receiving a continual repeated pattern of "safe passage"...and "immunity" from state or federal criminal prosecution for their actions.

    The problem persists and this time, it seems, the youth and the social media inspired movements that are growing and showing their anger across American in the wake of this decision, is both real, genuine and inspired.  

    Now, the question lingers...where does this movement go from here?   Any movement needs leadership and wisdom and insight.   What the possible demands for justice that such a nascent but obviously deeply felt and seriously inspired movement possess.   What does this movement want to seek and ask if not create themselves.   Now is the time for such a movement to grow and quickly
develop into something more than just demonstrations and angry diatribes and outbursts across the land.

   I'm all for protests.  I' m not for violence but I don't equate burning of cars and breaking glass on the same level of taking life and ending a 12 or 13 or 16 or 18 9r 19 year olds life as has happened just in the past days, weeks, months and year all either unarmed, truly not threatening nor in any kind of state of mind or position to want to truly cause harm to anyone, must less a police officer.
    
    When the system the courts, the legislature, the executive don't seriously address this problem, there will continue to be a sense left within the body politic of this nation that life is cheap and our constitutional rights are not very highly valued by those who are the very representatives of the state and system of law itself. this is the rub.  this is far different an issue than that of rogue criminals taking over our streets and ending life.

   These are supposedly the "good guys"...who are acting more and more every year, every decade...like serious bullies, like serial abusers, ...who are terrorizing entire populations centers.

   And when the courts, federal and state or local, including their agents, like prosecutors often do, not always, but often do;....the red hot magma of social content begins to heat and in time, it will break through and begin to flow...into the streets and the living rooms and hopefully, if its guided well ...into the state and national offices and political leaders consciences, which are harder than the rock formations that create such underlying social and structural pressures to begin with.

     Police brutality is an enduring problem in the modern society everywhere, but especially here in America.  Its roots are very deep.  It begins with the rise of the modern day policing first created as an institution in Cincinnati and then New York.   The FOP rise and its power influence inside of both political parties is hardly matched in significance and scope and yet is so often simply left out of the equation when it comes to discussing both the problems and the solution to this problem
   
     What King knew...was in any given situation involving social justice and injustice, if the people begin to truly feel that their voices can not be heard and are not going to be listened to, then rioting and seeking to demonstrate in less than a perfectly peaceful manner will occur and it isn't right to judge such actions harshly or even at all, unless one is willing to bring that same kind of serious judgment and critique to the very underlying social causes that bring about such rioting and serious unrest.  King knew...by 1967, as he stated in a rarely shown but documented black and white interview done just before he was assassinated, that his earlier pure non violent methodology and serious pacifists approach...wasn't working in the face of the hard, extremely bitter northern metro city racism and classism and institutional opposition to true social change.    he said so openly. 

     And King himself began to realize by 1967, it was going to take much longer and a lot more of serious work, demonstrations and actions....to get things inside of much of the rest of the nation to change the way he had led the non-violent message and its work to change in the earlier aspect of the Civil Rights anti segregation movement that he oversaw before 1965.

       Today...we need the example of earlier Abolitionists, early political activists of the progressive era and all writers, journalists and others who were seriously critical of our not so open society from a day when America was first struggling with the major social evils of various eras and seasons of our young nation's history and discontent; the slave issue and the original abolitionists, the rise of "money interests" and the robber barrons, and their critics, the lack of worker protection laws, the strong opposition to unions and the women's suffrage movement; and all of these, including to the very still relevant debate of whether or not in America, the government ought to support a strong safety net for the poor and the elderly and the weaker members of society.   These issues still create lots of tension across our nation.  We need today,  badly...those kinds of intellects, passionate advocates and leaders of a by gone era, to help guide this democratic constitutional crises out of and away from the shoals of those things that can sink any democracy in any era, at any time.

    But serial, patterned, historical police misconduct is almost in a category all by itself.  I know.
I've studied it since the early 1990's if not longer.   Its been something that has been the calling of my life and most of my adult career's waking hours were devoted to date, to this issue. Its a unique problem of the past century inside of America

    And its no longer, with these riots and demonstrations happening this Thanksgiving week, 2014, that ought to be ignored or simply dismissed or allowed to discharge into another dark night;   Something needs attention, like a sick patient in our nation and it needs serious immediate and actual hands on attention.    

     If we don't seek to define the solutions quickly, this serious social injustice issue will begin as others, to rot our democratic society as it already has in truth.   We need a doctor and we need one, not unlike Dr. King fast... to articulate the very language of the voiceless to the watching world in order for our society to not be nor remain a hollow shadow of its high precepts and pointed example for human rights around the world, that it so often acclaims and projects for the entire world.

    If we are to remain truly a nation of laws and not of mere men in blue, with their 40 calib glocks...we need to get this issue ....delt with without any further undue delay

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Jonathan Doar Original Civil Rights Division Lead Attorney under Robert Kennedy and Johnson Dies

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/john-doar-leading-u-s-civil-rights-lawyer-1960s-dies-n246606


     In awarding him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012, Obama credited Doar with laying the groundwork for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
He recalled how Doar, with his hands raised, successfully pleaded with protesters following the 1963 funeral of civil rights leader Medgar Evers to go home peacefully rather than clash with heavily armed police officers.

"He was the face of the Justice Department in the South. He was proof that the federal government was listening," Obama said.

In the C-SPAN interview, Doar described the election of Obama as "rewarding" and marveled at the progress made toward racial equality since 1960.

"Countless black citizens in the South couldn't vote. They were second-class citizens from cradle to grave. The discrimination was terrible, brutal. And to think, you know, that's over. It's done," he said.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Perhaps a Clue As Why Ferguson and Mo Police have Issues: An Unconstitutional State Law re Use of Deadly Force?

Last night, on CBS evening news a CBS reporter interviewed a state lawyer and police advocate and he tried to argue the case for the Officer involved in the shooting.  In doing so, this local police advocate attempted to demonstrate that according to Mo state law, there is a justification or legal standard written into Mo law that says in effect, " an officer can use deadly force where in situations it is reasonable and where deadly force is required to ....make an arrest..."    and it goes on.

       If this is the current status of Mo law, its plainly unconstitutional and directly in contravention of the US Supreme Court settled precedent on when and how deadly force may be used against a arrestee or fleeing felon.

      The Mo state law seems to justify the use of deadly force well beyond its legal limitations that are found in the US Supreme Court case of Gardner v. Tennesse which limited its use to instances of when an officers or others life is in "imminent danger of serious bodily harm or death".    This is the brightline standard.   There are no exceptions but it appears, Mo has tried and actually has placed an unconstitutional "line" or "clarification" into its state law on when an officer can use deadly force.

    Some may say its just  nuance.  In fact, it opens the flood gates to precisely the kind of wild shooting spree that happened involving unarmed youth Mike Brown and six year untrained Officer Wilson.

   Its apparent that if this interview is accurate and CBS did its homework, that this local state standad significantly and dangerously broadens the very legal limitation that the US Supreme Court in Gardner was itself facing and dealing with inside of a fleeing felony state or local law involving a black youth.

    The Supreme Court's standards are serious and yet flexible enough to allow for a lot of what is happening today by police involved shootings.   Yet, to broaden this already quite flexible standard into an arena where "its justified for making an arrest...."  as Mo state law seems to suggest and states, this then implicates the very definition of why the US Supreme Court had to make such a ruling and place limits on officer shooting citizens in our streets in the first instance.

    First, no state or local ordinance can trump the constitution.  This ought to be understood.  WE don't live inside a nation where there are fifty standards of when and how a car is allowed to crash into a crowd of people and one gets to walk away.  There are not fifty standards of when a person points gun at an innocent unarmed non violent person and gets to walk away.

    Likewise, when a government agent is acting on behalf of the state, this by presumption and its very implications, triggers a national ...i.e. constitutional citizenship review of such any state actor conduct, that would by law supersedes any local custom or state law.  Its basic fundamental human rights and constitutional law understanding.   

    Today, nowhere in America, in a public setting, can you bar African Americans or Chinese or Native American Indians from public accommodations, such as lunch counters.   This isn't capable of being done by local legal justification any more in this nation.  Its a recognized constitutional right today. [and frankly has been for over 150 years, we just didn't enforce it since the passage of the 14th Amendment so the 64 civil rights act was passed.]

     And so it is, when a state government actor uses his weapon or gun of any kind to aim and then shoot a citizen, especially an unarmed one, as this act implicates by it very nature, when a citizen is living inside a purported democracy, a constitutional question of the first order.

     If it doesn't, then we don't live in a national constitutional structure anymore.   There is no need to debate the issue; if there are fifty standards to be utilized when a state actor can take a citizens life, on the street without a court of law in a summary execution by his or her own determination of 'reasonableness' as I have heard many police talking heads say on national tv lately in the light of events in Ferguson, then, we may be able to do so, but then we are NOT living inside the same national citizenship as conceived by those who wrote the Constitution originally and certainly by the viewpoint of the person, who wrote the most important amendment arguably of our modern era.

    If it does raise however a constitutional question, then there can not be fifty standards or a thousand local standards of when a police officer can use deadly force, but rather, a single constitutional standard.   There is one nation.  There is one constitution and there is one national citizenship.   And so, there is one standard to be applied across the nation, as to when the state actor, locally specified can take your life without a jury trial.

    This is basic to the fact of living inside a nation which promises by its constitutional framework, a national citizenship.

     John Bingham's notion of national citizenship contained in the 14th Amendment requires this kind of understanding of what it means to live under a constitutional framework as a whole nation under God and law.

     If we don't wish to recognize this standard any longer, for whatever reason, i.e. fighting crime, "giving police the tools they need" or "national security" etc.etc...  {however you justify the same}    then you are no longer operating or thinking from within inside the circle of creating and talking about a constitutional democracy, at least the same kind of one of how our framers and its most  important amendments authors, conceived of it. 

   CBS  needs to go back and ask a few constitutional scholars and major lawyers about what this police apologist in Mo said on their national broadcast the other night.  It went totally unanswered.  It was seriously misleading and one sided.  I'm appalled and amazed CBS would not bring in the "second expert" view and counter this very serious misguided and seriously misinformed and misled police official from Mo.    and then, perhaps, now, we have discovered why Officer Wilson thought he could in fact shoot Brown in this manner, 'effecting an arrest'.     Perhaps, Wilson was just trained to do this ...in contravention of national constitutional standards by those in superior positions to him.

    It would not be the first time, an officer on the beat was mis-informed and seriously misled by his training day officers and police defenders.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Gardner v Tennessee: The evolving standard of when Police Can Use Deadly Force

http://scholarlycommons.law.northwestern.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=6811&context=jclc

This case represents the landmark modern precedent on when a police officer or officers
can use deadly force. 

The background of the case and how it arose is important to understand the precedent that was created.  No "fleeing felon" can be shot dead just because he or she had committed a felony
and its important to note, this was a critical bright light standard applied for the past 30 years
although some courts and many police have tried to manipulate the standard into a lower
level of when they can use their discretion.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Thousands protest in Times Square over Michael Brown shooting - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Thousands protest in Times Square over Michael Brown shooting - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Its a non racial issue, as much as it can be...A problem that cuts across all classes and racia divides actually

http://www.inquisitr.com/1412236/dillon-taylor-police-shooting/

The Protest that the U.S.A has been long over due for

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/16/us/darren-wilson-identified-as-officer-in-fatal-shooting-in-ferguson-missouri.html?_r=0

The protests in Ferguson and then copies throughout the nation...heading into the last weeks of August are but the outward boiling over of something that has been seething just beneath the surface of this nation for a very long time.   Because of major political issues, Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, historical national elections and many other major 'crowded' messages that the American people have been subjected to for over two decades, this issue has been tramped down, stuffed and suppressed out of the way and off the radar

Ferguson and what the police are doing there and others....has ripped off the lid...of a ongoing national debate at the grass roots level that is finally receive the kind of national attention that it needs and deserves

and the growing popular unrest and protests over the same....are a good thing...not to be feared but embraced for change

and...lets see how our nation's first African American President and Attorney General react...to the
public outcry not only from little St. Louis 'burb America, but all across this national brutality landscape.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Major Media....discovers what the rest of us, already knew and had been experiencing: America's police are not Mayberry RFD

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2014/08/13/ferguson-police-michael-brown-militarization-column/14006383/

The World wakes up...inside America and sees...for the first time, the real american cop....


Oddly...many have been speaking and talking about this trend for years...including the Midwest Center and many others.   Major scholars and journalists and various watchdog groups have been
speaking out about the militarization of the American local pd..and anyone with a pair of eyes, have
been noticing this important not so subtle trend among American policing ...

However, it seems it took a little known incident in some small African American ghetto town of St. Louis...to get the pictures up and out...that would wake up...the leviathan.

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/08/insane-militarization-police-ferguson.html

Look Mom...its the Army in our backyard!

http://abcnews.go.com/US/ferguson-police-small-army-thousands-police-departments/story?id=24977299

Thursday, August 7, 2014

How Israel's lies are used to justify mass slaughter of civilians in Gaza - Stop the War Coalition

How Israel's lies are used to justify mass slaughter of civilians in Gaza - Stop the War Coalition



Chris Hedges NYT Bureau Chief in Middle East for five years and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist

tells why Israel is on the wrong side of history, in Gaza in 2014.

Monday, June 30, 2014

A Legal Fiction in Art: Parody As Used by Major Law Firm Lawyers When Stating "We Are Just Good, Clean Nice Professionals" and the World of Imaging in Today's "Super Lawyers" WebPages and the Interface of Serious Discrimination and Classism in the Culture of Modern Law Practice

Its always fascinating, to read the bios of some of the major law firm partners on their webpages
They seem like they would be model citizens and just like the nice guys "next door".

Who they are and what they can do for you is plainly enough spelled out and they are just
those who are gifted above the average lawyer and they can do for you, your company and/or
your government official beyond your best expectations...just "hire us and see"...

But what is it precisely that such law firms are truly selling?  Is it purely the fine legal minds
and their extra ordinary law school performances?

Is it their collective legal IQ on the highest end of the human mental capacity?  Even better, is it their atomic weight of moral mass that exceeds all others, as if they are letting the rest of the culture of law and the public know "we are, humbly stating, we're just and we're just more equal than anyone else, period."

Or in fact, does it have something to do with who they know, what they do and how far they are willing to go to "get the job done"???

    i.e. are they willing to do what many solo and small firm lawyers and law firms would not even consider doing and/or even if they would could not even begin to contemplate, because of the pure
political and personal ethical issues that would arise if they did?

   What is most interesting, is such "super lawyers" so called, often are bright and motivated and very
good at what they call "the law".   However, what they usually bring to the table is something well beyond the Harvard classics and the nice big resource of legal experience they may or may not have;

    What they bring as every one knows is that what makes them today so happy and interested in "government affairs" as they are more than happy to reference on their very "clean" law firm webpages;  not so much the brilliant legal minds; ']these are a dime a dozen across the nation today}

    Rather, most often, its something much more basic, and courser; its the good ol' business minded and well honed resource that is such in demand today around the globe; extremely serious influence upon government actors and their well understood and minted insider connections to the highest corridors of the powers that be, including those connections within and between and among high state and federal court courthouses and their most august judicial chambers. 

    And in turn, this access and influence and "credibility" as they like to refer to it, has much of its roots, and firmness, in the money game; following the money trail all the way up and back again between the major firms, their mainline partners, the shared political connections and relationships and all those serious judicial appointments, elections and friendly candidacies, campaigns  and most of all, high court judicial appointees.

    What major law firms can boast mostly of, among themselves and especially outwardly to any interested client, is not only that they have a lot of wanna-be very smart and bright young guys and girls just waiting to move up on the corporate law ladder; this is NOT what separates any one major law firm from another ---everyone is bright at such law firms, at this multimillion dollar baby lawyer level or even billion dollar law firm level... {well, at least, shrewd at a minimum, maybe not visionary or extraordinarily brilliant,  in the main, at least, well- honed and willing to play ball big time}

   What they have at such firms, is what the solos and the small firms, usually lack or can't boast of, to their clients;

   that is they are selling that which goes along way today in any state capital, or major urban center and especially in DC;  

   that is- 'access' or "leverage" to the corridors of powers and especially "good relations and terms" with high judges and especially being "on good terms" in such judges'  "back rooms"...or at least on their campaign donor days and moreover, at the time of the federal judicial appointments, being in the know at such and such law firm inner circles.

    Now, they would never admit to this and they would denounce anyone who says this is the way things are and how they get done in big town and big courts USA...

But the truth isn't to found in them, but only by observing what they do; they are like the Pharisees of old....telling everyone where to get off, how far to jump and exactly where and where the ethical lines are so finely drawn...cleanly around them.  Of course, their partners exist in a supra ethical world, well beyond the reach or reasonable doubt of having one of their own ever brought into questions for the kinds of things they ethically or otherwise engage in, and must do, in order to survive and 'better' their equals...to get their clients satisfied and to be able to boast of their huge resumes...
'
Most of all, these exist in some kind of superior urber-minch matrix where others simply cannot and would not be able to exist nor survive; i.e. its far easier to label and to condemn those "others" who can't live at the level they do or inhabit the kinds of corridors or professional careers that these do...it takes a "special kind" of lawyer to do this...

simple ordinary small solo or small town lawyers or those who don't generate from a huge practice in corporate law or major law firm's worlds, can not be viewed as made of the same genetic material as these who occupy the upper 1 % or so, of the highest and major positions in major metro city law firms across our states and nation.

TO admit that a small solo lawyer is made of the same material and can compete, even win against such major law firms and their key partners to tantamount to admitting to a script that is very threatening and challenges their very position and their very 'superior' ideology.

Thus, its supremely easy for such lawyer to sit on high boards, and councils and pronounce ethical judgments against "their inferiors"...and condemn them and label them ...with crippling legal legacies, when such lawyers have no idea and have never fought nor ever even considered for a day the pressures that exist inside or within a true solo or small town or small scale lawyers practice, especially one who want to do justice and follow the truth ...to make serious change happen

Such idealistic lawyers are perceived by the powers that be as "crazy" and "out of touch" and simply "dangerous to the public and common good" because they actually may step outside of the legal and ethical imaging that is created and maintained by those in powerful seats of legal power over their peers.

It is a cultural thing among lawyers.  There are lawyers and then there are lawyers and for those who occupy the highest seats of power inside the worldly powers of high courts, high commissions and high appointments and benches and appointments; for some of them, its not uncommon to begin to believe, that they are in fact, not mere humans with foibles and given to temptations of ordinary human beings, sinful and in need of grace to make them clean inside and out....  but rather, they in fact, live a career that self sustains the legal fiction that they are indeed, given to be the blessed legal gods allowed to walk among us lesser ones...and they can do little or no wrong...but rather, they can only befittingly...."do the professional best"... and this means a lot to them and to their million dollar clientele.

    Now, this is what it appears ... and this is what it feels like, to work near and with and among them; despite all their pretense and protests to the contra and their nice "clean" we "do a lot for our community" imaging and those beautiful if not, theatrical yet totally self serving webpages devoted to "such professionalism and courtesy and commitment" for our clients.   Never has the sound of major greed and defensive power plays, simply been so well managed, like the perfect script that it is...and more importantly, the legal culture that it testifies for,

but it sounds all SO righteous! just like some staged made for TV mega church leader's sermon does ...  holiness when dressed up in corporatism has its own weight and offense

lawyers parading in the Kabuki theatre of ...high sounding professionalism and "lawyer's ethics"...has the same kind of tone and ring if not feel

and believe me, ...from those who have had to sit across from such inside a federal courtroom, or inside a high judges chambers or worse, having been hailed before one or more of such "super lawyers', its not unlike something of a serf being made to appear before a LORD or King...

{or mayb being hailed before a inquisitor...labeled as a heretic...}

   Such are these mighty ethical ones; indeed, as their own vaulted "clean and safe" webpages state

These lawyers even list "civil rights" as among their "chosen areas of practice.
Now, this is good.  Gotta love this. 

Can you even imagine such highly connected powerful lawyers taking on the cause of the urban poor against some major urban government entity?   it sounds farcical on its face right?

no, no one believes it either.

But, make no mistake, they do this kind of advertising among themselves; and just note, IF any such major corporate law firm huge "superlawyer" lists "civil rights" and "personal injury" and "government relations" as their emphasis as a key area of their "clean" practice and "litigation matrix"; run and run far and fast from them

They do NOT mean, they are representing individual American citizens or ordinary average citizens against the powers that be, inside a fight of a lifetime.  Rather, what this 'clean image' doublespeak means is, these are the very ones who represent the most serious powerful status quo powers in any given arena, including the police, the government and corporate insurers, that you can ever bring a legal claim against and these are those who are willing to do ANYTHING NECESSARY to make your individual citizens civil rights claim "disappear" and dissolve into the universe's black holes...

These are the minions of powerful interests who employ such arbitrary minds who lack even the most common human thread of compassion and are willing to dig up your past to the finest grist mill and then use it against you and your wife or your family in such a manner to hurt you, not just inside such a litigation piece but in your very life.

And this is called "good" and "highly skilled litigators" and such and so forth.

These are the kinds of lawyers that give the profession, its truly known and bad reputation, not the occasionally mistaken and misdirected even at times, sadly if not hard pressed, de-focused solo lawyer.

But then, who creates these "clean" images and "nice neighbor" webpages, for these huge metro, large law firms and "super lawyers"? 

Oftentimes, its the same interests and folks who make the image for most of corporate America and the same folks you will be suing if you bring a major lawsuit against one of their huge clients or governmental entities that they receive million dollar retainers for and then claim in their public imaging that "we do civil rights" or "personal injury" or "family law"...

All of it is a charade at some level; and its contains about the same depth of integrity that is involved in any staged act that wants to convince us that what is portrayed as merely a verbal statement is truthful when in fact it is something far, different that what it appears or is made to sound like when dressed up in common language of the ordinary person or citizen.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Robert Moses, The 64 Summer of Love and My Personal Field of Dreams; On Location and Set with Phil Roberston, Robert Moses and Danny Glover in "Freedom Song"

The movie Freedom Song is the one that I had the unique and personal honor to be invited to the set in 1999 to watch being made, throughout the summer of 99 in North Carolina on location....it was during this movie's filming on set, I met and spent hours with its main historical figure, who was represented in the movie, Robert Moses. A true gentle giant in the field of American modern civil rights, ...it was an unforgettable moment, and for hours, just he and I sat out under a old oak tree in the Carolina sun and wind, in the hot afternoon, but under the shade of a cool oak tree....his personal narrative told me....not only touched my soul but brought to mind the deepest reasons why ...we today, are never to forget...these men and women's sacrifices, their courage and their vulnerability yet the moral power of their critical youthful advocacy at a time, when it meant facing death up front and personal, to just to try to become true "change agents"... and their own youthful witness, which is uncompromising in the face of our greatest societal and personal evils of American modern era. the time spent with Robert Moses and others on the set of this film, with Danny Glover and other young AA actors and the Director /Writer, Phil A Robertson... became my own "field of dreams"; it also was the one true spiritual 'reward'...as non- material as it were... for all the hardships I and those very close to me, endured in that decade, ...for being allowed to be both be found by invite in such company and to be viewed by these leading figures ...for making my own personal "contribution" as they called it, ...to this great American narrative ...and deeply profound living history of our modern era's march for civil rights....

Robert Moses and the Summer of Love: A personal remembrance

http://thetandd.com/news/opinion/fifty-years-after-freedom-summer/article_01a87e90-f841-11e3-bb89-0019bb2963f4.html

Ninth Circuit District Judge rules in favor of plaintiffs on "Sacred Right to Travel" and against Homeland Security's "No -Fly" list. Agency fails to specify ANY Evidence linking these black listed individuals to ANY terror activities

http://www.cbs8.com/story/25859191/judge-no-fly-list-violates-constitutional-rights

Supreme Court niggardly carves out some remaining space in the Cell Phone State for the Fourth

The US Supremes this week, made an extraordinary decision, given their recent ability to splinter the foundation of the nation's bill of rights ...and its 14th Amendment backbone in recent days.

They decided to require that local police obtain search warrants before they search one's cell phone even AFTER one's arrest.  Now, that's a real stunner on a number of levels...

Perhaps, it was the fact that the First African American president of the United States had argued in favor of the police point of view who traced their case precedent back to through many years of "search incident to arrest" cases that clearly had held such "searches" were in fact, extremely legal and well founded.  

All the more surprising, was the fact they held the Fourth Amendment, {remember that thing?}    isn't such a dead letter, ancient of days, out dated anachronism of the late 18th century after all.  Indeed, the Supremes dug deep into their large 50 gallon plastic bag of disposal of former constitutional rights and amendments, and decided to pull the Fourth's warrant requirement out from the bottom, bleach it and spray it with some Clorox and give it a nice new frame and call it, "there, we have preserved our democracy after all"...

by making sure, the police don't get to use their "obstruction of justice" false arrest habits to rifle thru your photos, and emails and assorted and odd facebook and twitter posts at least, not in front of you, while you are being booked down at the station.

{its still ok with the Supremes if the NSA gets to do this and the local police can do it, PRIOR to your arrest using a wide array of various surveillance technologies available to them, as mini me's of the NSA piggy backing approach to obtaining everything one ever wanted to know about you but otherwise were afraid to arrest you for just because...

However, this decision is clearly a slap in the first African American President's face;  just imagine...a group of largely conservative white folks having to teach the once part time constitutional scholar's lawyers that the Fourth Amendment isn't as dead as southern slavery ....but rather the local police ought to get a warrant before they search their local black teenagers cell phones...

now, that's what I call true ingratitude!   ...we have a modern liberal AA president and he wants all cell phones to be able to searched willy nilly by the local police...without a warrant...

and these white folks are NOT going along with him?   we live in some very interesting times my friends...

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Federal Judge Rules NSA Spying IS Legal; Strange Ruling Cites Emotion, Sept 11. and Edward Snowden “Spawning Mischief”

Federal Judge Rules NSA Spying IS Legal; Strange Ruling Cites Emotion, Sept 11. and Edward Snowden “Spawning Mischief”





Judge Pauly was a Clinton appointee too....obviously a CIA type of background nonetheless;

But Clinton sure did appoint some winners to the bench, no doubt about it.



In Ohio, he helped the Greek "wonder" to get on the federal bench, Judge Peter Economus, a guy so stupid and mobbed up that even his own city's local bar association felt he was so stupid and mobbed up they simply wanted him  'elevated' to get him out of their own state and local courts...



amazing ...how mob and corporate and "special interests" large law firm, monies today still gets the worm...

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Justice finds another pattern this time in New Mexico

Sent from the CNN App for Android Justice slams Albuquerque police brutality http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/10/justice/albuquerque-police-brutality-report/index.html

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Huffington Post Story re Albuquerque but....wheres CNN?

Albuquerque Protesters Clash With Police Over Deadly Shootings - http://huff.to/1hqbAO8

New Mexico A New Ground Zero for Police Brutality In the United States?

http://news.msn.com/us/police-chief-vows-reforms-after-violent-protest#tscptmf
  
    Protesters took the streets to make it hard on local PD after years of absorbing many brutal police killings and shootings and assaults.   Chief vows "reforms" after the protesters get busy showing
citizen push back...

   This is the real American revolutionary spirit ....taking it to the streets...

Monday, January 20, 2014

Dr Martin Luther King and the Origins of His Non-Violence Doctrine: Seeing the Systemic Problem

Today we as a nation honor Dr. King

    He was the most recent modern era's American apostle of non violence

    But we hardly honor him, when we spend billions on a national massive digital age spy system that does away w/ the Fourth Amendment

    and we enter the 14th year in the war in Afghanistan, without any clear basis for having spent 7 trillion dollars at least in these forever wars of this generation.

   with many billions that will have to be spent to support veterans who have been disabled and injured and wounded in these conflicts for years to come, like forty years into the future.

   Dr. King often said, "we have reached the point where there is no rational basis for going to war in the modern era.  We either put an end to wars or war will put an end to us"

   Perhaps, he was thinking of the nuclear arms race then happening between the Soviets and us.  But he opposed bitterly the expensive senseless war in Vietnam by 68.    He had turned on "President Johnson's little War" as many called to it by 66.   This would be tantamount to Dr. King condemning President Obama for Afghanistan the third year into his presidency in effect.    Would he? 

   There is no doubt in my mind that Dr. King would have condemned the war policies of this nation in Afghanistan and Iraq.   There is little doubt he would have pointed to a nation that spends more on its military budget than the next 10 major nations combined, then it does creating jobs and making sure its cities and towns are repaired and livable for humans.  He would have wanted billions poured into human technology, like Health care for all and not at the expense of those who cannot afford it including mainly the strained middle class.

   Perhaps, all the fund poured into social welfare programs hasn't changed the poor in this nation
but it also means in some places federal spending has made a serious dent in the effect that poverty has had on many, including places like the Appalachian regions of our nation as well as some metro inner cities.  

   Dr. King would have seriously opposed as well, as part of a system of indifference the present criminal justice system and its addiction to criminalization of the nation's youth.  There is little doubt, he would have railed against as a minister a system that spends more on keeping young Americans in prison than it does on educating them.

   Finally, Dr. King was a genius, gifted by God one may say, in the manner he could make large macro systems of injustice seem and appear and feel personal.   This was his fight, his gift...

   as much as the individual poverty programs existed in this nation before him, after him, mass systemic systems of injustice were never viewed the quite the same again in this nation.

   He saw injustices on a large scale, not just for the African American race, but for all people in this nation and around the world and he spoke out about it.

   He wasn't silent, unlike so many of our elected and pulpits today.   The ministers of his era were engaged in social justice.  It wasn't just a call to Jesus, but to Jesus's earthly ministry of love and seeking the "beautiful community"

  King was about changing systemic entrenched systems of social injustice which was responsible for damaging human life for generations.

    {Just as I tried for years to take up just one aspect of his work in a small way, in southeastern Ohio, as a solo lawyer doing " ...the Lords' work"   ....righting the wrongs of systemic police abuse and injustice.   I was called names, I was threatened, I and my family suffered wrongs and eventually I was defrocked, and stripped and subjected to repeated arrests for no good reason by this present state of our nation.}

    They say King  was a "radical".   I say he was radically in love with the notion of freedom and justice for all, just like the Founders said we all ought to be and we ought to be willing to give ourselves for, so others may live

    Indeed, we honor the soldiers on a battlefield for fighting we say, "our freedoms".   Perhaps, its time to truly recognize the  true soldiers for peace and justice in this nation as much as we do those on the battlefield.   And at times, we have and do so

    But in the daily existence of this nation, we are still to addicted to the corporate ladder, the next wrung up and the nice gold ring and everyone, but especially the young are being taught, the reason we need a good job is to have material comforts only and to party with ones' friends.

  What we need is the spirit of Dr. King and his followers who decided to put their lives into the mix of promoting the rights and the search for true justice above everything else.

   We pay a price today, similar to the one he died for.   You may even be almost assassinated you may have the KKK show up at your front door.  You may even have your fellow high and powerful peers, label you and call you names and place on manufactured official records, very sad and false official lies about you

 But, this is the price we pay, like King did, in his ultimate way, for trying to bring God's Kingdom down just a little bit, into this ungodly world we live in.

   But ultimately, Kings' message wasn't negative, even when denouncing the dirty wars of his era and huge military budgets and even the very President whom gave him a pen when the 64 Voting Rights Act and Civil Rights Bills, all JFK's initiatives by the way, ...were signed into law by Johnson.

    Yet, even close and special relationships with those in high places, with those favorable or closer to his views and philosophy, did not prevent Dr. King from speaking out for social justice and peaceful means and non-violence as a priority as a nation, over against the policies of militarism, poverty, racism, death and war and violence,

   even when impacted adversely, his otherwise close political allies, like President Johnson. 

   King was a dreamer but he was also a visionary and more importantly, was an active man, a doer and a serious policy visionary who moved this nation forward when it needed such a moral voice and advocate to do so.

     Today, there are very few Christian ministers who are willing to speak out on what truly matters in this nation, as Dr. King did.  

    He gave his life, because he acted on those words and his sermons and speeches.  

    We take for granted that his speeches made a nation think about its moral crises over human equality and its racist legalisms of a passing era.     and we are fond and quick to say also,
"that era is over".  

    That precise era is and history will never be the same because of his efforts in the middle of the 20th century, post world war II

    He was a gift to all men and women and children, not unlike some few other chosen leaders of his day were ...

    But King stands out because he even in the face of mounting threats and internal dissention over his work, he never truly compromised his message of making the Gospel apply to social evils...

    King, in this example, in this manner, was more like a throw back to the old, former 19th Century abolitionists, moral visionaries, who also pushed this nation forward, from the bottom up, even when the masses in the north were at least at first, very reluctant to go where they were directing and leading the moral focus of their calling.   He also borrowed the concept of the Quaker concept of Non violence which was first espoused in America inside the works of pioneering early abolitionists  Lundy and then his protégé, William L. Garrison and others in the movement.

    What is unique in these human rights giants, who espoused human rights and opposing systemic huge evils of government oppression thru non violence, is that Garrison and King were very similar in that they both were gifted for making their unique calls upon the evils of major systems by appealing first to the Christian America, first and foremost.

     They wanted those people who were routinely found inside of churches and those of good will, to see what the precise demands of the Gospel were for such people who called themselves the followers of Christ.   

    Lundy and Garrison, both early doctrinaire non-violent proponents like King a century later, moved their 19th century generation forward and for this work, both were attacked, called radicals and often created a lot of controversy for their era and times.    Lundy the Quaker from southeastern Ohio and Garrison his convert and young ardent Baptist by faith, both espoused the ideals of non violence and maintained this theory in its most broad and radical applications throughout their lifetime advocacy against slavery.   They adhered to it, thoroughly practiced it and spoke and wrote about the overthrow and need for separation of slavery and its abolition but doing so, through non -violence methods.

    Garrison through his widespread "radicalism" also helped sow the seed for the north to grow that era's original Republican Lincoln era party and in doing so, indirectly made it a major political force, even though, he himself wasn't originally nor purely political by any means.

    Both the genius of Lundy, Garrison and King was as they could see in one moral glance, the major political and social compromises with serious human rights violations and polices that created and sustained the national compromise over official oppression and segregation, they never adopted hatred and mere anger as its main method of opposition or overthrow though all of them demonstrated a righteous anger oftentimes against the systems of society's injustice.

    These moral visionaries and non violent proponents could see at a very young age, that such evils were part of a much larger system of political injustice that was being maintained at the very cost of this nation's life and in compromise of its founding narrative and first principles.

     King in his day, like Garrison and oftentimes, Lundy, called first and foremost upon the Christian conscience and witness in America first, both black and white and all men and women, back to their fundamental religious beliefs and moral appeal.

      by relying upon this approach, ironically,  King, in doing so, like Garrison before him by 120 years, was then duly labeled a "very dangerous man", a "radical" and was perceived even by some among his own peers, as a "trouble making person". 

      These were the things said about both, even at times, by their own people or well meaning Christians, in their era, about those who today we realize and recognize as genuine American moral giants of our national heritage.

    Its interesting, when great men and women rise up in this nation, it is fascinating to see how they face criticism and growing discontent with their message especially from among the ranks of those in power and in places of high offices at times, in their locales.

The Regionalism and the Human Touch of these Great American Moral "Suaders"

    Garrison remained in Boston, and despite major opposition in the north and south at times, continued his fight well into the era of the Lincoln rise to prominence and into the Civil War.   

    He would survive those early opposing forces and even overcame both death threats and personal assaults, by those who were rallied against him early on in his advocacy and abolitionist work and call for non violent overthrow of slavery by his publishing his abolitionist newspaper, the Liberator.

    But Garrison remained a man in the publishing and activity of organizing his anti slavery societies, and newspaper business mainly.  [He however, did get out often in Boston and personally helped to desegregate Boston's ferry boats and steam lines early in the 19th Century.    He also often was found among the Black churches of Boston and New England region as well as helped to bring others into the movement including the gifted young freedman, Frederick Douglass.  He also led on the women's issues, by granting them a key role in his societies which again caused great consternation and moral outrage against him by those very status quo Christians of New England}

     Like Garrison, King loved the pulpit and black church and grew out of it, but he also was more not simply ready to confine his work to the church pews.  He was a man of the outside world, visceral and "hands on" and wanted to get out into the public forums, into the street and neighborhoods, literally.

    Like Robert Kennedy would later in his own career, these kinds of leading men seemed to need even seek, the "open air", not the pulpit or editor's position, or private study, only.  They sought human contact and the very public pulpit, and the people responded, by the millions.

    King, like Robert Kennedy was not only a man of ideas, writings and philosophical statements about mankind, but these were men among men who became active, got into the face of segregationist and unjust politicians and demonstrated a passion for life, for changing the status quo for confronting the system personally up close and personal in non- violent but confrontational ways.

    They were not content or happy with playing it safe, nor remaining silent in the face of significant threats to society by either local or state or other officials or retarded policies that catered to the powers of their life and times.

   {and again, they loved to touch and to be touched it seemed, people, in many ways, just to interact with people}

    These men were NOT academic only kinds of people, or merely like so many professors are today, mere 'policy wonks' or politicians, looking to stay safe, always playing the "inside game" and remain aloof and hidden behind masks, like many of today's bloggers.

    They got their hands "dirty" so to speak and waded deeply into life and were often involved directly leading their "campaigns" for social justice, creating a movement by their very walks across a bridge or into region that wasn't so easy to live in or by confronting major local and regional, if not national powers.

    Such men were found talking to the poor workers found inside a Latino neighborhood or visiting
the poorest of the poor areas of the nation frequently, bringing their moral claim to the attention of millions.

    It's critical to note, that helping the poor was ultimately their end, but they didn't just do it, for the sake of making a little difference or a nice statement about the poor only or simply improving their lot alone.   They were conducting a significant first person assault against the way this society was
organized and they wanted to see it change and made better for humans.   It wasn't just about more jobs, though it was important and It wasn't about just being able to sit at the same lunch counter, though this was critical to overcome and it wasn't just about talking to Latino workings in South LA during one's last brilliant presidential bid.   It was sending a message to the powers, that the people of America ought to have and deserved a better nation and a more fair society than what was being allowed then.  These men knew what they were about and knew what they wanted to accomplish
and yet, so many found them 'disturbing'.

    These men were NOT satisfied with the status quo, inside a nation of this magnitude with its great resources and balance sheets and a national budget of a trillion dollars or more, to be content with a nation that is more than 20% poor and hungry children equally the amount of some nations entire populations.

   They wanted to see this end in America.  they thought of a better country than this.

    Its odd, both the abolitionists and King's dreams came true in some ways.  Slavery was ended, and legal apartheid and segregated hotels and voting booths, in America were outlawed.

    But the efforts to change the hearts and minds of the American people continue on and its simply not the case that Kings nor Kennedys' hopes and best efforts have yet to be placed into the priority that they were even in the 60's by that era's liberal presidents and policy makers.

    We have NOT challenged yet, fully the systemic problems of injustice and criminal justice issues and civil rights violations in this era in this nation in a comprehensive manner, as King or Kennedy, or as Garrison conceived of doing in his era, against Slavery. 

    Our modern politicians are actually walking NOT in the same direction as King and Kennedy much less the abolitionists of old, but away from their ideals, and their mannerisms.   When is the last time you saw a political leader or major moral leader in this nation, take to the streets and demand justice like these men did, in their very prime of their careers and lives?   what congressmen would confront a corrupt human violator today, as they did in the era just when segregation was about to end?   it took literal personal courage to go into a poor neighborhood as a major figure in this nation in that era and shed light onto the plight of the poor and the oppressed.    Today, most nearly every small and great political figure in the U.S. is sold out completely or living in fear of the corporate takeover of American politicking in the manner that brings to mind, the early 1900's Robber Barron era, ....not King or Kennedy's 60's, era...

     Progressive politics today is a nice academic latte bar and grill thought.   Back then it was a fight for the nation's soul inside of the mean streets of poverty stricken rural regions, southern racists cities and major northern industrial metro cities ghettos of America.

    And there is no doubt, somewhere in heaven, among those who gave their lives for this nation's people to be free, more equal, and just, alarm bells are going off, now, when we see the rise of the massive corporate-government enterprise recently revealed as the universal digital surveillance state brought to us, not by the American ghetto poverty wars, or the war on drugs, or even those brutal prison guards found across the nation,

    but by the systemic growing police state that only the national government and their defense contractors and major donor sponsors are bringing us not so kicking and screaming into a brave new world.

    This is the commitment and the obligation and duty of those who lived under the dreamers spell, to continue this fight; King's mid 20th century American fight for basic fundamental human rights, equal justice and a better more peace oriented America.   While it has many adherents and moral believers, it has few genuine proponents in high places or policy makers today.   The militarism, the injustice in our society and the threat to civil liberties and the huge inequity in our system between the struggling poor and stressed lower middle and those at the top of society's ladder, is wider now than at any time in our last century.

    King's legacy ...like that of the 1967/68 Robert Kennedy's and even his older assassinated brother's vision....were for a different kind of America, a more peaceful, progressive and non-violent and purer America as it were.   Its still a dream and its still not realized in this nation by many.  It still has its status quo enemies as well and they are extremely well funded and entrenched.

    We have as a national government and policy, largely failed to follow them into this path as a nation despite the national holiday, the national monument and our many local recognitions and many things said and done in his name.

    Today, in America, its like Dr. King would say, "the night is falling and time is short, we need to act......with the fierce urgency of now!"   That is, if we truly want our children to be able to live in a nation and more peaceful world, that is not only dedicated to the proposition that "all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights" as Jefferson wrote in our founding document....but also, if we are to live in mere unfettered freedom, not being treated as subjects of a oppressive police state, but rather, citizens who wish to live in peace, as well as a genuine community of love, as a reality...

   Can it be said, today, that those in power truly accept this concept as a mean of organizing society?   the question begs the most serious response in all of us and its not a foregone conclusion
when we see the trillion dollar military budgets given to forever wars and 800 military bases
arranged by our nation alone around the world and when back home, we see the massive surveillance and the increasing local police militarization eroding the rights and privacy of our citizens' private lives.   Fight these powers today with weapons of intelligence, lessons of history, advocacy and law and well honed reasonable moral and legal arguments and still see whether or not, they will label those who do this kind of work today any less viciously or with any less demeaning intent, than those whom we celebrate as our national moral visionaries and human rights pioneers on this holiday.

   Indeed, the question exists and so does, the very hard work of advocacy for a more just society, and individual human rights and society's fairness continues and with the witness of all these, the pioneering Lundy, the 'radical' Garrison and the 'troublemaking' King and the "rude" Robert Kennedy, as so many other lessors in this amazing human rights struggle for a more peaceful just society, have been labeled, ....we today, need to discover the path to the means like they did, of a non-violent major re-ordering today, of our society, in no less "radical" and moral visionary manner, claiming our own era's own moral narrative, which as they did, so to find the voice and passion for a new era's vision for a better future for our children's children.