Sunday, April 30, 2006

Exposing Collusion and Illegal Acts of the Official Connecticut Mafia

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Steven G. Erickson in Exile in New Orleans, Louisiana. I speak in a quick video download here
I also blog on FreeSpeech.com

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR (The Hartford Courant)
Zarella Nomination Proves Contentious
April 29, 2006

In response to the April 25 Associated Press article "Zarella Wants Rell To Withdraw His Nomination For Chief Justice" [courant.com]:

There is black and white in this story; no gray.

The article reported that former Connecticut Supreme Court Chief Justice William Sullivan "held up the release of a court ruling that said the judicial branch has the right to deny public access to certain documents that track the status and history of legal cases.

"Is the judicial branch saying it can hide its own book of rules and its own critique of its private performances?

Foul, foul, foul. And, considering the state Supreme Court's recent decision on eminent domain, these star chamber, out-of-touch-with- the-Constitution miscreants should not be allowed to (do) any more damage to America.

The judicial branch needs a strong, clean flushing.

Steven G. Erickson, Enfield (Connecticut)

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AP STATE WIRE (Connecticut)
Zarella wants Rell to withdraw his nomination for chief justice
April 25, 2006 Associated Press (Hartford Courant)

HARTFORD, Conn. -- State Supreme Court Justice Peter T. Zarella asked Gov. M. Jodi Rell on Monday to pull his nomination for the chief justice position, hours after the former chief justice acknowledged he purposely delayed the release of a court ruling in an attempt to help secure Zarella's confirmation.

Zarella said it was apparent that lawmakers would not hold a public hearing on his nomination this legislative session, which ends May 3. That would mean his nomination would not receive final action during the session.

But Zarella, a West Hartford Republican, did not rule out being a possible nominee after the session ends.

"I am confident that, given a public hearing and public airing, I will be able to justify your confidence in me," Zarella wrote in a letter to Rell, a Republican.

Rell, who said she believes Zarella is "a man of integrity and outstanding judicial ability," said she is troubled that revelations about former Chief Justice William Sullivan delaying the release of a court ruling has overshadowed the nomination.

"The next step must be to get answers to everyone's questions. Once I am satisfied that all relevant questions are answered and concerns addressed, I will proceed with the nominating process," Rell said in a written statement.

Rell could nominate Zarella or someone else for an interim appointment for chief justice after the legislature adjourns. The General Assembly's Judiciary Committee could then hold a public hearing and vote to confirm the nominee until January, when the full legislature returns for the 2007 session and could vote on a permanent appointment.

Earlier Monday, Judiciary Committee members were surprised to learn in an unusual letter from Justice David M. Borden that Sullivan held up the release of a court ruling that said the Judicial Branch has the right to deny public access to certain documents that track the status and history of legal cases.

Sullivan placed a hold on the court decision on March 14, three days before Rell announced that Sullivan was retiring and she was nominating Zarella. The legal decision was ultimately made available on April 21.

Sullivan later admitted to Sen. Andrew McDonald, D-Stamford, co-chairman of committee, that he did so to help Zarella's chances to be confirmed by the legislature, McDonald said. Both Sullivan and Zarella voted with the majority in the ruling."The intent and effect of Chief Justice Sullivan's conduct was to deprive the legislature of the timely knowledge of Justice Zarella's vote in that case," Borden wrote, adding that he believed it was his duty to inform the legislature.

Borden's letter provided a rare glimpse into the cloistered world of the state Supreme Court, which normally tries to stay out of the political fray.Sullivan wrote a letter to lawyers involved in the case, acknowledging that he held up ruling's release but denying that he violated the Code of Judicial Conduct. Sullivan also wrote that others on the court believe he should recuse himself, be replaced by another judge and that the oral arguments be reheard.

Republican legislators credited Zarella for stepping aside during such a politically contentious situation.

"The fact of the matter is, Justice Zarella is a class act," said Rep. Robert Farr, R-West Hartford, ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee.

"All he ever sought was a fair hearing on this matter."

Farr said Zarella is very attuned to the historical precedence of the legislature not holding a public hearing on a governor's nominee for chief justice. Democrats, who control the Judiciary Committee, said there wasn't enough time in the session to hold a hearing on Zarella - especially given the news about Sullivan's actions.

Rep. Michael Lawlor, D-East Haven, the other committee co-chairman, said that if Rell plans to nominate Zarella again, she should wait until after an investigation of Sullivan's actions. Lawlor said he expects his committee will look into the matter.

"I certainly think it's appropriate that he withdraws at this point," Lawlor said.

"I hope that the governor, before she submits another nomination, whether it's Justice Zarella or someone else, considers ahead of time all the pros and cons. It's clear to us that she hadn't given any thought to the concerns about Justice Zarella."

McDonald said he expects either his committee or the Judicial Review Council will hold hearings on Sullivan's delaying the release of the court ruling.

"The withdrawal of Justice Zarella's nomination isn't going to forestall the responsibility we have now to further investigate the circumstances of the nomination's submission and the fact is that it appears that Chief Justice Sullivan manipulated the court's procedures and did so with the intention of misleading the legislature about the judicial record of Justice Zarella," McDonald said.

"Those are extraordinarily serious allegations."

Much of Monday was filled with news of dueling letters between Borden and Zarella.

At one point, Borden challenged statements Zarella had made in his letter as "inaccurate."

Borden wrote that Zarella did not initially agree to inform the Judiciary Committee of Sullivan's actions. Borden also said Zarella did not think Sullivan violated the Code of Judicial Conduct or that the matter warranted a review by the Judicial Review Committee.

House Minority Leader Robert M. Ward, R-North Branford, called Borden's letter "fairly petty" and said it was unseemly for court justices to make such exchanges public.

Sullivan retired on April 15 and is currently a senior justice, someone who can be called upon to assist the high court. Senate President Pro Tem Donald E. Williams Jr., D-Brooklyn, said Sullivan should step down from the Judicial Branch entirely.

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Associated Press Writer Cara Rubinsky contributed to this report.

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Smoking Gun Text: My Testimony March 21, 2006, in front of the Judiciary Committee, Hartford Connecticut

The US Constitution in Exile, Connecticut

Hopefully Connecticut Chief State’s Attorney Christopher Morano isn’t reappointed, I hope he is indicted

Chris Kennedy and I attempt to have Judge Howard Scheinblum removed

My Open Letter to Chief Justice William J. Sullivan of Connecticut

My open letter to Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, Nov. 12, 2003

A link with some of the Judicial Hearing Transcripts, March 6, 2006, at the Hartford Capitol Building in the Legislative Section, Room 2C.

www.freespeech.com

The Psychological Torture of Jeffrey Yeaw and his kids crying tears for him

The Rich living off the blood of the poor, A Supreme Court Precedent of Evil out of Connecticut

The Ski-Doo snowmobile theft ring that Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell knew nothing about?

Whistleblower and Public Protector or “No Bid Contract Boy” at obstruction of Justice Central, Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal?

A State Begging for Federal Intervention

A letter placed on former Connecticut Governor John G. Rowland’s bunk for his first day of Federal Prison for taking bribes and for corruption, telling him to eat [S- snipped] and go [F- snipped] himself- PRICELESS

Pat Snyder complained when connected Connecticut Mafiosi wannabes wanted to take her properties with the official version of the five finger discount. Pat complained, was arrested, and faced prison. Ms. Snyder wrangled, got a version of scrapes and bruises, and left for Arizona, and Connecticut authorities tried to invent crimes to have her arrested in Arizona. Arizona US Senator McCain stepped in and saved the day. More

Liberty Taken, Free Speech Tested

The reasons for my angst, a webpage for a quick video download

Woman’s Baby ripped from her arms at Hospital

Smoking Gun Text
My Testimony March 21, 2006, in front of the Judiciary Committee, Hartford Connecticut

If the Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court is notified of Judges and others breaking the law, is he obstructing justice, conspiracy, and guilty of other crimes for not acting on the tips and not passing it on to the proper authorities for investigation?

This post accepts anonymous comments. To share this post click on White Envelope

Reasons to haul Chief Justice Sullivan off in handcuffs?

Court packing, obstruction of justice, cover-ups, retaliation and raping the Constitution, business as usual in Connecticut?

CONNECTICUT NEWS
Rowland Sowed Judicial Scandal Waterbury Stamp Taints High Court, Judges Say
April 30, 2006 By LYNNE TUOHY, Hartford Courant Staff Writer

The scandal over the actions taken by former Chief Justice William J. Sullivan to help his ally on the court succeed him as head of the judicial branch has roots in the cronyism cultivated on the state's highest court by former Gov. John G. Rowland.Judges and others said Rowland's appointment of fellow Waterbury natives and close friends to be chief justice - Sullivan and his predecessor, Francis M. McDonald Jr. - politicized the judicial branch in an unprecedented way.

It was revealed last week that Sullivan secretly held up publication of a controversial ruling that computerized court dockets are exempt from the Freedom of Information Act to help Justice Peter T. Zarella's confirmation prospects. Sullivan and Zarella voted with the majority in the 4-3 ruling.

When confronted with his conduct, Sullivan acknowledged he had done it to help Zarella, but said he had done nothing wrong.

"I trace it all to the Rowland regime and the mentality that it's OK to manipulate the system," one judge said.

"It's the Waterbury connection, the last gasp of the Rowland mentality. It started with McDonald. You got a creeping sense things were not always above board. It accelerated with Sullivan."

Sullivan put a hold on publication of the ruling on March 14, the day before he sent a letter to Gov. M. Jodi Rell saying he was going to resign as chief justice and assume senior justice status, meaning he could still hear cases. Three days later, Rell announced Sullivan's resignation and her intention to nominate Zarella to succeed him.Ironically, Sullivan's actions and the controversy that has resulted may have been the death knell for Zarella's prospects of being nominated by Rell after the session ends.

Her formal nomination on March 24 was destined to die on the Senate calendar because there was no time to hold a public hearing. In an apparent tactical move, Zarella asked Rell to withdraw his name from consideration on April 24 - the day the scandal broke - and Rell did.

A provision in the Code of Judicial Conduct prohibits judges from allowing "the judge's family, social or other relationships to influence his or her judicial conduct or judgment."

Legislative sources said the judicial review council, the body that disciplines judges, is investigating Sullivan's actions. This could not be confirmed, however, because complaints to the council are confidential unless and until council members decide there is sufficient evidence of misconduct to warrant a public hearing.Sullivan's assertion that he did not violate the Code of Judicial Conduct prompted one judge to ask:

"What else is he doing if he's this ethically challenged?"

The judges who spoke for this story did so on the condition that their names not be used for fear of retribution, such as being assigned to a courthouse a long drive from home.

"It's the Politburo," another judge said.

"You don't dissent or you get sent to Siberia. That's clearly the way the branch has been managed. Our job as judges is to hear both sides of the case, but the judicial branch doesn't want to hear both sides. It's very ironic."

Several judges cited the case of Superior Court Judge Carl Schuman, who was presiding over the complex-litigation docket in Waterbury last year when he fined Sullivan's son, attorney Timothy Sullivan, in connection with a perceived transgression in a case. Schuman, the judges said, was nearing the end of his three-year term in complex litigation and had requested to be assigned to criminal cases. He got his wish - but was assigned to criminal court in Danbury. He lives in West Hartford, at least an hour's drive away.

"Can I tell you that's why he's in Danbury?" one judge said.

"Schuman would probably tell you that's not why. But Carl's not as cynical as the rest of us. We know why he's in Danbury. It's a terrible commute, and it did happen after the fine occurred."

The biggest problem during Sullivan's administration was that people lived in fear that if they made a misstep, they were going to be punished. To me, that speaks volumes," he said.

Schuman has an unlisted phone number and could not be reached for comment Saturday.

"There is an inner sanctum, or management team," a judge said.

"If you're not part of that you're really on the outs."

Sullivan's confidants include Zarella, Judge William Lavery, who was elevated to chief judge of the Appellate Court by McDonald and appointed chief court administrator by Sullivan in February; Appellate Judge Joseph Flynn, another Naugatuck Valley native, promoted by Sullivan in February to succeed Lavery as chief appellate judge; and judge referees G. Sarsfield Ford and Howard Moraghan. Sullivan, 67, has been a judge since 1978.

Rowland appointed McDonald, a former veteran Waterbury state's attorney and judge for 15 years, to the state Supreme Court in 1996 and made him chief justice in 1999. McDonald served only 16 months before reaching the mandatory retirement age of 70, but "he ushered in the Waterbury era," one judge noted.

When Rowland elevated McDonald to replace retiring Chief Justice Robert J. Callahan, he plucked Sullivan from the Appellate Court, where he had placed Sullivan in 1997, to fill the vacancy on the high court. When McDonald retired at age 70 less than two years later, Rowland tapped Sullivan to replace him.

The week before Rowland nominated Sullivan to be chief justice, the Connecticut Law Tribune took the rare step of running a front-page "Open Letter to the Governor" endorsing the court's senior member, Justice David M. Borden, for the top spot. Rowland eschewed seniority and named Sullivan.

Political insiders said Sullivan would consult routinely with or inform Rowland of appointments or promotions he was making inside the branch, even those that required no gubernatorial action or legislative approval.

"It was unseemly," said one judge with inside knowledge.

"The same people who are now jumping up and down about separation of powers are the same folks who have undermined it for years through backdoor deals and conversations back and forth with the governor's office."

Slain Rapper, Christopher "Notorious B.I.G." Wallace



Are LA Cops responsible for Notorious B.I.G.’s death and then covering it up?

I don’t like almost all rap and am not normally one to watch the BET network. But flipping by, and then stopping, there was a piece on the LA PD somehow being complicit in the arranging and covering up the hit on Notorious B.I.G.

If a court and law enforcement can be that big and that corrupt, the nation’s courts are suspect. How much respect and credibility can a court and law enforcement that is run with the same gritty edge that would be present if Al Capone was alive and running the legal system in Los Angeles, have?

From BlackAmericanweb.com (the below was found here):

Judge: Cops Withheld Evidence, L.A. Must Pay Notorious B.I.G.’s Family
By: Monica Lewis, BlackAmericaWeb.com


For nine years, there’s been a cloud of mystery surrounding the fatal shooting of rap star Christopher "Notorious B.I.G." Wallace. And now a federal judge has ruled that the very people responsible for bringing Biggie’s murderer to justice may have played a role in keeping the case from ever being solved.


U.S. District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper ruled Friday that the city of Los Angeles must pay $1.1 million in legal costs to Wallace’s family for intentionally withholding evidence during a civil trial. It’s a major victory for the rapper’s family, but it is still likely to bring little peace to those Biggie left behind, including his mother, Voletta Wallace, and two children, entertainment reporter Jawn Murray told BlackAmericaWeb.com.


“A judgment of this nature was certainly long overdue. Clearly his family has suffered and dealt with the ongoing ordeal of trying to figure out who murdered (him) for years,” said Murray, who has written several stories about the March 1997 shooting. “If this brings them just some element of closure, then the justice system has done what it is supposed to do.”

In her ruling, Cooper didn’t award the rapper’s family the $2 million they initially sought, but she did leave open the possibility of the city having to fork over an additional $300,000. She declared a mistrial last year after learning that a police detective withheld statements connecting Wallace's shooting to former Los Angeles police officers David Mack and Rafael Perez.

Rumors have swirled that the two were involved in the shooting of the rapper following a party at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles on March 9, 1997.


Perry Sanders, the attorney representing Biggie’s family, told the Associated Press that the judge’s ruling played a significant role in proving that the case would have been difficult to solve, given the circumstances. Attorneys for the family have said they received an anonymous tip from a former LAPD officer who claimed the department had information connecting Mack and Perez to the murder. Steven Katz, a detective with the force, testified that he overlooked a transcript of the remarks. Cooper ruled that Katz and others intentionally concealed such information that cold have proven the family’s argument that Mack was involved in the shooting.

A retrial is scheduled for later this year.
Murray said industry insiders have long believed that Mack may have played a role in the shooting.

“You hear a lot of theories, including those of a cop being involved with gangs,” Murray said, adding that a former Bad Boy Records employee once told him that the VH1 “Behind the Music” documentary appropriately depicted Mack’s involvement with Los Angeles gang members as a key component to Wallace’s shooting death. Many insiders also believe that the shooting of Wallace, also known as Biggie Smalls, was in retaliation for the September 1996 shooting death of Tupac Shakur, a consequence of the over-hyped East Coast vs. West Coast rivalry that unfortunately spilled over from music lyrics to the real world.

At times, Murray said, it seems as if only Voletta Wallace and singer Faith Evans, Biggie’s ex-wife and mother of his youngest child, have been the only people truly passionate about finding out who murdered him. The rapper’s famous friends may profess their commitment to seeking answers, but as time goes by, it seems less and less genuine, Murray said.

“A lot of people who give the impression that they genuinely care and are concerned are more in it for the hype, prestige and record-selling aspect than they genuinely want to know who murdered this man,” Murray told BlackAmericaWeb.com. “

Murray added that he is disheartened by the fact that both murders, which ended the lives of two of rap music’s most promising talents, still have more questions than answers, a situation that may not have had to happen in Wallace’s case had police been more forthcoming with key evidence.

“It’s appalling that it has taken this long to get some type of action and even more appalling that some wrongdoing was done, and we’ll never know who did this,” Murray said.

June Yoshikawa is a deejay with Beat Street Records, a popular music shop in Brooklyn, the borough Wallace proudly called home. Yoshikawa said that the ruling won’t ease the pain of those he left behind, including his family as well as his fans.

“Biggie is the biggest artist we’ve ever had, and it doesn’t matter if he’s dead or alive. We still love Biggie,” Yoshikawa told BlackAmericaWeb.com, adding that the latest collection of Wallace’s music, “Duets: The Final Chapter,” has been flying off of the shelves since it was released by Bad Boy Records last month.


Eugene O'Neill Playwright

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1888 - 1953, An innovator that changed an industry, worldwide. (Website)

"I am far from being a pessimist ... On the contrary, in spite of my scars, I am tickled to death at life!"
—Eugene O'Neill

A Connecticut Politics Blog:

Connecticut Commentary: Red Notes from a Blue State

Zarella in the Dock
The nomination of Judge Peter Zarella as Chief Justice of Connecticut’s Supreme Court was seriously compromised when retiring Chief Justice William Sullivan held up the publication of a decision the release of which, Sullivan apparently thought, might harm Zarella’s prospects. The case itself meandered through the usual judicial maze before the Supreme Court rendered an en-banc decision that some case information should not be made available to the media through Freedom of Information petitions.

It should be noted that the media does have a dog in this fight. The champions of open government cannot be expected to approve final court decisions that authorize the withholding of information. In calling upon Governor Jodi Rell to nominate someone else – anyone else but Judge Zarella -- for the post of Chief Justice, a Hartford newspaper advised that the governor should promote someone who “has an unwavering commitment to open government.”

This is an argument for degrading all the justices who supported the court’s majority decision – not just Zarella. And it is a somewhat contradictory position for an institution to take that would rather have its employees serve time in jail than surrender information concerning reporter’s sources and raw notes to courts that need the information to render just decisions during trials.

Big media recently lauded Senator Chris Dodd for writing a bill exempting reporters from the obligations of ordinary citizens to give relevant and necessary testimony at trial, an extraordinary privilege that should be opposed by the entire judiciary, even though their opposition would not be effective. Judges are not in the position of providing good press for senators, and professional politicians like Dodd certainly know what side their bread is buttered on. Having delivered such a boon to the media, how can anyone trust the grateful recipients of such a favor to report unfavorably on their beneficiary? More

Why Toccogate Matters by Colin McEnroe

Chief Justice Sullivan needs to be arrested and handcuffed and hauled away in a squad car with the lights flashing in front of his neighbors and family.

Then these justices might pay attention to laws and the Constitution themselves.

The Constitution in Exile, Connecticut, is how it now is.

Officials have no fear of breaking laws and retaliating against whistleblowers, they fear retaliation if they break ranks and actually acting in the publics best interest.

A lawyer that defends his/her client against the wish of the judge can face arrest, disbarment, and prison.

A former State Police Officer had all sorts of unexplained cash, possibly 100’s of thousands of dollars. When faced with being exposed and having to inform on his buddies involved in the same crimes. The officer shot his wife and then himself.

All 3 branches of government in Connecticut are so corrupt they need to be flushed out clean. All departments are equally is bad.

-Steven G. Erickson aka blogger Vikingas


Mass Corruption of the US’s Destruction

An open email to Representative Kenneth P. Green on the Connecticut Judiciary Committee

My Open Letter to Chief Justice William J. Sullivan of Connecticut
If the Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court is notified of Judges and others breaking the law, is he obstructing justice and guilty of other crimes for not acting on the tips and not passing it on to the proper authorities for investigation?

This post accepts anonymous comments. To share this post lclick on White Envelope

Saturday, April 29, 2006

What a photo!

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Thousands in New York march against war

A day after the military announced that April was the deadliest month for U.S. forces in Iraq this year, thousands of anti-war demonstrators marched Saturday through lower Manhattan to demand an immediate withdrawal of troops. "End this war, bring the troops home," read one of the many signs lifted by marchers.

FULL STORY

Political Dirty-Tricksters Exploit Wikipedia

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Capitol Hill Staffers Doctoring Entries
April 29, 2006 By SHANNON McCAFFREY, Associated Press

ATLANTA -- Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia that can be altered by anyone with a computer, has proved remarkably useful for pulling political dirty tricks.

Political operatives are covertly rewriting - or defacing - candidates' biographical entries to make the boss look good or the opponent look ridiculous.

As a result, political campaigns are monitoring the website more closely than ever this election year.Revisions made by Capitol Hill staffers became so frequent and disruptive earlier this year that Wikipedia temporarily blocked access to the site from some congressional Internet addresses. The pranks included bumping up the age of the Senate's oldest member, West Virginia's Robert Byrd, from 88 to 180, and giving crude names to other lawmakers.

The entry for Democratic Rep. Jim Marshall of Georgia labeled him "too liberal" for his state, in part because of a contribution he received from a political action committee run by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. The man who doctored Marshall's biography now works for his Republican challenger.

In Georgia this week, the campaign manager for a candidate for governor resigned amid allegations he doctored the Wikipedia biography of an opponent in the Democratic primary.

Morton Brilliant was accused of revising the entry for Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor to add his son's arrest last August in a drunken driving accident that left his best friend dead.

The information was accurate and had been in the news. But Brilliant's boss, Georgia Secretary of State Cathy Cox, declared the son's legal troubles out of bounds.

The link to Brilliant was discovered by Taylor's campaign, which immediately accused the Cox camp of engaging in "gutter politics" and demanded Brilliant's resignation.

Some 1,000 volunteer monitors scan changes to Wikipedia's entries to keep them free of obvious partisan editing, factual errors and profanity, said Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.

"The beauty of a forum like this is free speech," Wales said.

"But we also promote a neutral point of view."

Wales said entries have to meet a standard of newsworthiness and, as a general rule, should not be written by an interested party - either a supporter or an opponent.

But finding out who is writing what on the site is not always easy. Internet addresses can be traced to a computer, but not necessarily to the person at the keyboard. And experts say someone with computer savvy could easily cover his or her tracks.

With more and more Americans getting news and information from the Internet, the stakes are high. Wikipedia had 25.6 million unique visitors in March, making it the 18th most popular site on the Internet.

Not surprisingly, the Wikipedia entry that has been altered the most is President Bush's.

"Take a deep breath," the site urges readers about to plunge into the passionate political debate.

Other changes are more subtle rewrites of history. Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's name has mysteriously started to disappear from the entries of some officials with ties to the embattled Texas politician who is facing a money-laundering trial. The staff of Rep. Martin Meehan, D-Mass., rewrote his biography to delete a reference to a promise, since broken, that he would serve only four terms.

Wikipedia leapt into the news last year after the journalist and former Kennedy administration aide John Seigenthaler Sr. complained that someone had edited his Wikipedia entry to say that he had been involved in the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy. The man who posted the false information said it had been a joke.

The flap prompted Wikipedia to adopt stricter controls, Wales said.

However, such oversight is probably minor, said Steven Jones, who teaches communications and technology at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

"Given the sheer size of Wikipedia and the sheer number of entries, it seems impossible that they could police it in an effective way," Jones said.

Stephen Colbert

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Stephen Colbert of Comedy Central’s Colbert Report

Conservatives love this show because they think this comedian is their spokesman. Non-conservatives love Colbert because they believe Colbert is lampooning conservatives. His comedy might be called, “Genius”

www.footnotetv.com posts on Colbert here (a cool website)














Still from SNL, NBC's Saturday Night Live

above pic was found here

FreeSpeech.com a cool website

This post accepts anonymous comments. To share this post, click on white envelope

The Story Behind the Story

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Norm Pattis of Crime & Federalism has done a little bit of digging to come up with this story behind the story of ineffective counsel.

Here's the scoop. On Tuesday, April 18, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Gonzales-Lopez (hat-tip to SCOTUS Blog for this summary).

The case involved a defendant, Gonzales-Lopez, accused of marijuana distribution. Gonzales-Lopez's family hired an attorney, John Fahle to represent him at arraignment, but Gonzales-Lopez learned of another California attorney, John Low, via the Internet and sought to retain Low instead.

The court denied Low's application for pro hac vice and as a result, a second local attorney, Karl Dickhaus was retained as local counsel. The case was Dickhaus' first criminal case in federal court and Low was not permitted to advise Dickhaus or sit with Gonzalez-Lopez; not surprisingly, Gonazales-Lopez was convicted.

More from the law.com blog

Friday, April 28, 2006

Another Victim of Connecticut

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Jeffrey Robert Yeaw (previous SRV post)

He's been arrested and is awaiting sentencing in Connecticut, inmate information

The family that Federal Taxpayers paid to break up and abuse.

Getting Involved in the Legislative Process and/or Complaining about Officials
can be detrimental to your quality of life, credit, retirement, your family, and in extreme cases may cost you your life, even in America. A post with my picture and more stories

“Putting polish on a hairy wart” DCF Misconduct and Citizen and Child Abuse

Did Connecticut Police put a hit out on a Father, Phil Inkel, because he saw police misconduct and reported it? Is DCF trying to take all of his 6 kids and baby on the way? Are Connecticut Courts a rubber stamp on the abuse? Meredith Inkel interview

A Village: What It Takes

Anatomy of the Good Ole Boy Network

Niggers and 2nd Class Citizens
A post on how your race and economic status determines how much respect and fairness you get at the hands of members of the Judiciary and other officials.

Jeff Yeaw complained to DCF about some of its own people. DCF lying, abuse, and shenanigans are all too common. Then the retaliation began. You, the Federal Taxpayer, paid to make his kids cry, and the cruel torture, harassment, and retaliation against Jeff. All for his lodging a complaints against out of hand, abusive, DCF Nazi Thugs.

Jeff's court dates were played with to scare him into running from the court, because he felt it was going to be a kangaroo trial and that they only wanted to put him away for as long as possible and ruin his life as much as possible.

If the courts were fair and there was DCF, Police, Prosecutor, Attorney, and Judicial Oversight, Civilian Oversight with breaches of the law actually investigated, and misdeeds of officials, punished, Jeff and so many others would not have had their lives turned upside down and their kids taken away.

You paid to abuse his kids, so you’re at least partly at fault.

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Cool Blog, Check it Out

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The above was found on the Classic Cartoons blog

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Fun with balloons ...

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Representative Kenneth P. Green

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House Democrat Kenneth P. Green webpage

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The below emailed to Kenneth.Green@cga.ct.gov

To Representative Kenneth P. Green, CT House Democrat, April 26, 2006
I testified at the Judiciary Committee meeting in Hartford, Connecticut, March 21, 2006.

You are the only one I noticed on the committee that wasn’t one of the rubber stamp people, we need more of you. There is blanket corruption in Connecticut in all 3 branches of government and within all departments. What can you do to help change this?

I complained about heroin and crack cocaine being sold off and near my Stafford Springs, Connecticut rental properties.

Police aligned with the criminals to take me down. There are designated areas for Connecticut’s unwanted, minorities and “White Trash.”

Children are getting addicted and becoming lifetime criminal parasites in these areas.

The State gets Federal Tax Dollars for breaking up families to the tune of about $90,000 to 150k for a special needs kids, to process, arrest, and incarcerate.

There wouldn’t be the corruption and abuse of citizens if there wasn’t a complicit and totally corrupt Judicial Branch. Legislators have to live in fear as do Connecticut citizens, as retaliation is the rule not the exception.

John Julian the former selectman told me that he kept riffraff and [racial slurs snipped], by going after landlords and businesses that cater to them. I proposed laws to legislators to make officials accountable to the people and to ensure they acted in the best interest of the public and obey laws. For this, I was falsely arrested, Connecticut State Police Officers Amaral and Langlois committed perjury, and Judge Jonathan Kaplan knowingly allowed and helped with the railroading and I lost everything to go to prison. My non-intact family and I have suffered severely ever since for no legitimate reason.

Drugs are allowed to be sold, and other crimes committed, and police protect criminals until they are no longer of use as informants, to commit crimes, or for illicit sex.

Police and the courts use criminals to help take down and set-up whistleblowers and ruin the non-connected to eliminate business competition and to covertly enforce “Jim Crow.”

The plea bargain arrangement is a way of disposing of cases and to label as many minorities and others as criminals to keep them down and out, and separate.

Connecticut might just be the most racist and Unconstitutionally operated State in the Nation. What do you intend on doing about it?

Thank you,
Steven G. Erickson, PO Box 730, Enfield, CT 06083
Email: stevengerickson@yahoo.com, I’m going to post this letter on starkravingviking.blogspot.com and www.freespeech.com

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The Zarella controversy

Liberty Taken, Free Speech Tested

Smoking Gun Text: My Testimony March 21, 2006, in front of the Judiciary Committee, Hartford Connecticut

ActionLyme.org Video downloads

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When the President of the US was the Criminal

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Those in the FBI that went secretly to The Press, did so at their own peril, and for all the right reasons. We don’t have to see a “Tricky Dick” or feel the “Nixonian” threat again, we just all must stand up, state our names, and state that we’re not going to take it. Our country should be American for our children.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Internet's Best Kid's Divorce Site, By A Kid

More Gulf Coast Mississippi Photos

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More photos from this area taken around April 15, 2006

New Orleans photos fromm around April 15, 2006

Mass Corruption of the US’s Destruction

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Peter T. Zarella

CONNECTICUT NEWS
High Court Nomination Troubled Controversy Roils Capitol After Ex-Chief Justice Says He Tried To Help Successor's Chances
April 25, 2006 By LYNNE TUOHY, Hartford Courant Staff Writer

Former Chief Justice William J. Sullivan secretly postponed release of a controversial ruling on access to court documents to enhance Justice Peter Zarella's prospects of being confirmed as chief justice, precipitating an unprecedented crisis of confidence in the state's highest court.

The "bombshell" revelation was made to the governor and legislative leaders Monday morning in a three-page letter written by Senior Associate Justice David M. Borden, who is acting chief justice.

"The intent and effect of Chief Justice Sullivan's conduct was to deprive the legislature of the timely knowledge of Justice Zarella's vote in that case," Borden wrote of the court's sharply divided ruling last week foreclosing access to court documents under the Freedom of Information Act.

On Monday night, Zarella sent Gov. M. Jodi Rell a letter asking her to withdraw his nomination from consideration during the current legislative session, which some legislative leaders viewed as simply a tactical move to take the heat off until after the session ends.

Zarella said in his letter to Rell, "I am confident that, given a public hearing and public airing, I will be able to justify your confidence in me."

Rell issued a brief statement saying she continues to believe that Zarella "is a man of integrity and outstanding judicial ability. I am troubled by the revelations that have been brought to light, and am equally troubled by the politics - in both the legislative and judicial branches of government - that have overshadowed this important nomination."

The ramifications of Borden's letter go far beyond the Zarella nomination, which was expected to die on the Senate calendar. Rell said Monday night that she would revisit her nomination of a chief justice candidate "once I am satisfied that all relevant questions are answered and concerns addressed."

She stopped short, however, of vowing to renominate Zarella.

The allegation, which Sullivan does not dispute, signals that the state's highest court has been deeply divided and tainted by political motives that compromise its integrity.

Sullivan apparently believed that release of the ruling, in which Zarella sides with the majority to deny public access to court records, would give lawmakers added ammunition to challenge Zarella's overall philosophy.

"If this is true, it means the system was manipulated, and there's no more damning indictment than that," one Superior Court judge said Monday.

One lawyer described the revelation as "explosive, phenomenal," and said that it clearly has created "open war" within the court.

Lawyers and judges who commented on the controversy did not want their names used for fear of retribution.

Although Sullivan resigned as chief justice on April 15, he remains on the court as a senior justice and is tightly allied with Zarella.Borden's letter details how a routine inquiry by one justice into the status of a Freedom of Information case involving access to the judicial system's computerized criminal and motor vehicle dockets turned into a confrontation with the former chief justice.

"On April 17, in response to an inquiry by Justice [Richard N.] Palmer as to whether he knew that the case was on hold and why, Justice Sullivan acknowledged that he had placed the case on hold and that he had done so to aid the appointment of Justice Zarella as Chief Justice by delaying the release of the decision in the case," Borden wrote.

"Justice Palmer stated to Justice Sullivan that he considered that action to be improper."

It was not clear Monday whether one or more of the justices had referred the matter to the Judicial Review Council for investigation and possible discipline of Sullivan. Complaints made to the council are confidential until, and unless, it votes that there is sufficient evidence to hold a hearing.

Sen. Andrew J. McDonald, D-Stamford, co-chairman of the judiciary committee, called Borden's letter "a shocking development, and nothing short of a bombshell in the middle of an already contentious situation.

"After first reading the details of the Borden letter into the record Monday morning but holding no discussion on them, the judiciary committee voted 17-1 in favor of Zarella's nomination, with 17 members - including McDonald and co-Chairman Michael P. Lawlor, D-East Haven - abstaining because no public hearing was held. It was a hollow victory for Zarella.

Senate President Pro Tem Donald E. Williams Jr., D-Brooklyn, said the "unprecedented judicial campaign to mislead the legislature" is just one of many reasons the nomination will not be taken up by the Senate."

Outgoing Chief Justice William Sullivan appears to have been playing the worst kind of judicial politics by deliberately withholding a key judicial decision, which raised questions about Justice Zarella's commitment to transparency in the Judicial Department," Williams said. He added that Sullivan should retire completely and not be allowed to hear cases as a senior judge, and called for a full investigation of Sullivan's actions.

The 4-3 ruling against the Freedom of Information Commission, stating that computerized dockets of criminal and motor vehicle cases are not subject to access under the FOI Act, was released last Friday - more than 14 months after it had been argued. Sullivan wrote the majority opinion.

Zarella issued a one-sentence statement thanking the judiciary committee for its vote, and saying that he looks forward to a public hearing.Sullivan, in a two-page letter addressed to the lawyers in the FOI case, said he does not believe that he violated any canons of the Code of Judicial Ethics.

In the letter, Sullivan cites allegations that he violated three specific canons, but he does not state the source of those allegations. The canons in question require that a judge uphold the integrity and independence of the judiciary; that a judge "should not allow the judge's family, social or other relationships to influence his or her conduct or judgment"; and that a judge should perform judicial duties impartially.

Sullivan begins his letter to the lawyers by saying that some of his colleagues believe he should remove himself from the case in light of his conduct in holding up the decision, and invites their response. The court could rehear the case, with another judge substituting for Sullivan, or it could review the records and transcripts of the case, and issue a new ruling.

Attorney Victor Perpetua, who argued the case before the high court on behalf of the FOI Commission, said he finds it "tragically ironic" that Sullivan tried to keep secret a court document on whether certain court records are open to the public.

"It's unprecedented," said Perpetua.

"And it's disturbing."

Perpetua said he will brief the FOI Commission at its meeting Wednesday, and take his direction from its members. It is expected that the commission will seek a new ruling in which Sullivan does not participate.

After a routine conference March 14 on the ruling in the FOI case by the justices and appellate court judge who participated in the case, Sullivan the same day directed the office of the Reporter of Judicial Decisions not to release the opinion until he cleared its release, Borden said.

One lawyer said the controversy highlights a division on the court "that's been known but never openly displayed."

"I don't know if it violates a rule of ethics, but it's certainly questionable conduct unbecoming the head of a branch of government, to delay the release of information for the purposes of nominating proceedings," she said.

"On its face, it certainly raises questions relative to the Code of Judicial Conduct."

Courant Capitol Bureau Chief Christopher Keating and Staff Writer Mark Pazniokas contributed to this story.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Fathers who stay in touch with their children

My daughter recently turned 19. I talked with her last night and she thanked me for being there for her and spending time with her through the years.

She told me that her mother credited me with being a factor of her doing so well in school, now being in college, and not having gotten started on drugs or even to try them. My daughter is a National Honor Society Student.

My daughter went on to talk about one of her friends that didn’t have her father in her life and the problems she had. That girl’s brother about 3 years older than my daughter died of a heroin overdose.

Bottom line, Dads, it is best to stay in touch with your children and see them, even if there is a bitter break-up or divorce.

www.freespeech.com

Sunday, April 23, 2006

The Cable and DSL Internet Addiction

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Something sinister may loom on the horizon, something seemingly innocent.

Microsoft is allegedly coming up with a new operating system called Longhorn.

It is Big Brother’s wet dream. You need to be online to use it and you need not even have a hard drive. Your files and all aspects of your life are stored out of your reach, out of your control.

Video viewing devices also have the ability to back feed images like a camera, and speakers also can be used as microphones even while they’re pumping out loud tracks.

Infinite storage capacity will lead to a time when every moment of your life is online and under observation. Controlling and tweaking your life will not even involve a single key stroke, just the will of the Commercial Elite. Eliminating the keyboard, view screen, and speakers are not too far off, babies many eventually have integrated processors and cell phone chips installed at birth.

Prisons walls are dictated by satellite. Freedom of movement and any possessions need only be willed away by ruling class.

Slavery will be more pervasive and more complete than any time in the past.

Look at the Roman Empire, human nature hasn’t changed at all in two millennia and the Pathetic Sheep that make up the masses haven’t changed either.

Fighting to keep every little aspect and tool a government has to control and own us has to be fought now, as there is a, too late, and the too late, may have already come.

World domination and abuse of all may come out of the most powerful nation there is, and that is US.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Selective Arrests and Prosecutions

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Some officials, police, prosecutors, judges, and others working on our taxpayer dime, can do as they please, others doing the same small or large indiscretions and/or crimes face no discipline while others get hung out to dry.

Why is that?

Well it is a way to retaliate against whistleblowers to enforce the official code of silence.
-Steven G. Erickson aka blogger Vikingas


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CONNECTICUT NEWS
Cat And Mouse On The Job
April 20, 2006 By OSHRAT CARMIEL, The Hartford Courant

Laura Rosario was driving her employer's car down Park Street one day when she noticed, unmistakably, a white van following her. She drove faster, then slower; swerved; merged onto the highway and drove to Windsor and back - fearful, she says, of what the man on her tail wanted.

"I thought I was going to be carjacked," she said.

Turns out her employer, Hartford's department of health and human services, had hired a private investigator to look into complaints of goldbricking by its nuisance-control inspectors, the four men and women who respond to complaints of rats, abandoned vehicles and other urban scourges.

For a fee of $9,000, the city bought itself a detailed report - with satellite maps and video -of their whereabouts, their activities and even what they were wearing. The investigation led to the firing of Rosario and the unpaid suspension of the three other inspectors, leaving no one to answer nuisance complaints for several days this month.

Santiago Malave, the city's human resources director, said the investigator was hired in response to telephone complaints from the public about the four inspectors. One wrote a letter to complain about Rosario specifically, he said.

"When the taxpayers in the city of Hartford express concern about the delivery of services," Malave said, "we have an obligation to address their concerns."

"The citizens pay for our salaries and they have a right to get what they pay for."

But critics wonder whether better supervision would have avoided the need for the gumshoe - and the associated costs.

"Where was management? That's my question," said Councilwoman Elizabeth Horton Sheff, who chairs the council's health and human services committee.

"If in fact these employees were, you know, not doing their job and doing such a terrible job for such a long time, where was management? I don't understand how it got this far."

Neither the city's health director, Ramon Rojano, nor the head of the department's environmental health unit, Michael Pascucilla, returned calls for comment.

In a no-bid contract, the health department hired Hunt Investigations of Winsted, which is run by Neil V. Hunt, a former Hartford police officer. At the rate of $125 an hour plus 45 cents per mile, Hunt and an associate followed each inspector over a few days, videotaping and chronicling their every move.

Hunt's findings are transcribed into a down-to-the-minute surveillance worthy of the most suspicious lover - but not quite as scintillating to read.

Rosario. Jan. 4, 2006

9.56 a.m.:
Subject is observed by her car. She is wearing a lime green pantsuit. She got into the car and drove to 77 Barbour Street, the Cozy Spot restaurant and went inside.
11:10 a.m.:

Subject is observed coming out of the restaurant. ... She does not stop for stop signs and goes through red lights while driving in a very reckless manner.

Investigators also followed inspector Naomi McKoy, an active member of Hartford's Democratic town committee.

McKoy. Jan. 9, 2006
2:35 p.m.:

Subject ...stopped on the side of the street talking to someone who she seems to know since they are laughing

.2:40 p.m.:

She stops for a while in front of 280 Martin Street. She then leaves and continues to drive around in that general area. It does not appear that she has done any work on this day.

Hunt's report describes the health department's inspectors - all of whom earn about $38,000 annually - entering restaurants, chatting with locals, sitting in their cars, driving in circles, driving to their homes, and socializing with police officers and similarly roaming members of the licenses and inspections department.

"It appears that many city of Hartford employees spend a good part of the day doing nothing but driving around killing time," Hunt wrote.

"I hope the city of Hartford taxpayers pay attention to it," Hunt said this week, suggesting that investigations like his should be more common.

"They're getting screwed."

McKoy said it is the inspectors who were spied on that are being mistreated.

"How can they tell whether we're doing any work or not, just because I pull in front of a building?" she said.

"I might be calling somebody who's inside, saying, `I'm outside. Go out there and clean that stuff up.'"

As for talking to neighborhood folks, well, that's part of the job, said McKoy, who is also on a North End community board.

"People stop me for anything," she said.

"Sneakers on the wires. I'm a community person in the neighborhood. Everyone has my number."

The other suspended inspectors, John Givens and Richard Nieves, could not be reached for comment. McKoy was suspended for four weeks, Givens for three weeks and Nieves for a week.

Rosario, who is appealing her dismissal, said the report is misleading. Though it appears as though inspectors are driving around aimlessly and not leaving their cars, the report does not take into account a recent edict by Pascucilla, of the environmental health division, that bars nuisance-control inspectors from stepping on private property or entering a property from behind.

As a result of the new prohibition, she and McKoy said, inspectors have been relying on drive-by observations. They also take notes in their car, she said.

The Cozy Spot restaurant, Rosario said, is a place where she meets with community leaders, who point out locations where rats or abandoned cars might be found.

Through her union, the City of Hartford Professional Employees Association, Rosario obtained copies of the GPS satellite report for her car. She points to instances where the GPS printout conflicts with the investigator's findings.

One of the instances in which the report described her reckless driving - speeding, crossing into the oncoming traffic lane - was precisely the day she feared she was being followed. At one point, she spotted a teenager whom she knows and begged him to drive along with her in her city car, fearing being alone.

The surveillance report records that she picked up a teenager, drove with him to Windsor, and had him get out of the car and start shoveling snow at a particular house, while an oil delivery truck was making a delivery there.

Then, the report said, she left the house in Windsor "driving at high rate of speed."

"I was so scared," Rosario said.

"Every single move I did, he was following me."

A discussion of this story with Courant Staff Writer Oshrat Carmiel is scheduled to be shown on New England Cable News each hour today between 9 a.m. and noon.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Liberty Taken, Free Speech Tested

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I had a contracting business, 3 work vans and a High Performance Collector’s Edition 1978, 4sp Chevrolet Corvette registered and insured, and was current on 3 mortgage payments for 3 houses containing 9 Apartments. click for post with pics and more info

I installed replacement window/doors, roofed residential commercial and church roofs, installed vinyl siding, painted interior and exterior of houses, installed aluminum coil on all sorts of properties, including an Airforce Base. I was productive and produced, paid taxes, and was an asset to society.

Connecticut State Police and the Connecticut Courts bypassed so many criminals to target me at your Federal Tax Dollar Expense. I was a consumer of goods and services.

I lost everything I had ever worked for, my home, my dog and other pets, family unity, most of my possessions retirement, credit, health insurance, investment properties, and my small business, because the Commercial Elite in Connecticut saw fit to ruin me and take all they could for my Free Speech complaining about them.

You paid to abuse and ruin me, you paid for my stay as a Political Prison in a Connecticut Prison.


Connecticut authorities saw fit to falsely arrest, imprison, and threaten me with more prison for trying to expose corrupt criminal officials, proposing laws police and the judiciary didn’t like to elected officials, and for being so vocal about police and court policies that would encourage good kids to go bad, get addicted, and die, protecting heroin and crack cocaine dealers and other criminals to take “non-connected” residents businesses and property.

The scumbags are the offspring of the original Criminal Commercial Elite.

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My letter to First Lady, Laura Bush

Would Jeffrey Yeaw been terrorized into running from a trial, or would he ever have been targeted by DCF, had he not lodged complaints against DCF with DCF in Connecticut?

America's Hidden Shame

Does CT Gov. M. Jodi Rell care about undoing the Gov. Rowland Corruption Damage?

West Hartford Connecticut Attorney Jim Brewer, was he retaliated for defending cops that turned in bad Connecticut cops for Police Misconduct?

Chris Kennedy of Ellington Connecticut has cost taxpayers millions in Connecticut's retaliation scheme to illegally take away his kids, trials, and malicious investigations

Don Christmas of the Thompsonville section of Enfield, CT, a Connecticut landlord got mouthy about police misconduct and ended up facing a year in prison for getting slapped from behind by an Enfield Connecticut Police Officer's 16 year old prostitute girlfriend.

John Dibiase, Jr. one of the hardest working advocates for Father's Rights and for Non-custodial parents

Assassination of the American Male, Assassination of the American Father

Build a million dollar concrete foundation business, be a productive citizen, and after a Connecticut Divorce face possible poverty and prison, the Bill Mulready story Bill asserts that Connecticut courts have not been following Federal ADA laws for a decade and a half or so. That means Connecticut courts have been, and are, acting illegally.

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added April 19, 2006, 9:15 PM EST:

Faxed to Rep. Christopher Smith (R-4) Fax: 202-225-7768

April 19, 2006

To:
Representative Christopher Smith, Republican New Jersey

From: Steven G. Erickson, blogger on http://www.freespeech.com/ (don’t forget www) and starkravingviking.blogspot.com, stevengerickson@yahoo.com

Text: I watched you on C-Span today talking about gendercide and Global Human Rights abuses as you are the Subcommittee chairman.

I see and hear where you talk about the abuses in China, forced organ donation, and the corruption of selling organs and other abuses of Human Rights. I hear about torture and the holding of Political Prisoners.

We should clean up our own act in America, before we condemn other nations that do as we do, and do as we have done in America.

If you speak out about the Commercial Elite, and abusive upper crust of America, before we are a country, property was taken, those speaking out were imprisoned or killed, families were broken up. The spoils of corruption and abuse of Human Rights in America have gone to the Commercial Elite.

There is no one in which to complain when Americans’ Civil Rights are abused if they aren’t of a vocal protected group. Please check my blogs as for examples, accounts, and names. It has gone on far too long and there is nobody for Americans to go to for help.

If an average American complains about a corrupt official and proposes legislation to hold officials, police, and members of the judiciary accountable for their actions the citizens can face police harassment, threats, physical abuse, police arranging a “hit”, malicious investigations/prosecutions, and citizens being held as political prisoners.

Please see that we practice what we preach in America, before we go condemning others for copying our disgraceful, immoral methods and secret policies.

Please look into the abuses of Americans in which I detail, the arrests, the corrupt practices of officials, the fixed trials, the lies, the perjury, manufacturing and withholding of evidence, the intimidation of witnesses, obstruction of justice, jury tampering, and the failing of officials to follow any rules.

The nomination and confirmation of judges involves who you know and who’ll you’ll owe favor to. The corrupt officials have immunity as do other officials breaking laws. Citizens and those within the system that blow the whistle are then railroaded to prison.

Other, average Americans, are harvested in various way to defraud Federal Taxpayers, and the American Family and America as a whole suffer.

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I also sent the above to 3 Fax numbers from this webpage from the Chinese Embassy

Note: www.freespeech.com is down at this time of this addition to this post. It seems that computer crashing and website crashing has to do this subjects of what I post, and then they come down when they are the most damning to the subjects profiled.

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added April 26, 2006, 12:07 AM EST:

My fax to the US Committee on Government Reform

Our Cartoon Government

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(click image to view larger size, then click on icon with arrows going 4 ways)


NE MAGAZINE, The Hartford Courant
Capitol Comix Presents ... A Tour De Farce
How The Statehouse Really Works
April 16, 2006 Text By KEVIN RENNIE / Illustrations By MARTIN KOZLOWSKI

Welcome to your state government! The people who work in this historic Capitol and the Legislative Office Building, below, are here to serve you. That's the theory, anyway. So using a kind of insight you will find nowhere else, we want to help you see and understand how it all really works.

Wednesday, as the legislature begins its final two weeks, most of the action moves to the Capitol. Although spectators are allowed - remember, this is your legislature - it's up to the pros now. Sessions will lumber through a few nights, allowing lawmakers to remind each other how hard they work.

Lobbyists and state agency officials will fill the halls, and matters great and insignificant will fight for attention. Reminders of favors and promises will hover. Likewise, people will remind lawmakers of their campaign contributions. Others will remember a problem solved in a home district. A few will even recall the discount they got on a vacation at someone's summer home.

Yes, these are some of their favorite things.

None of the above, of course, will appear in the official records. But you can learn about them here.

Where Social Animals Mark Turf, Preen And ClawAs fraught as these buildings are with conflict - there are ideological battles, party battles, turf battles - the underlying tension is even more basic (some may even say base), and nearly everyone in this cavernous place experiences it: It's the battle within - the genuine desire to serve one's community vs. one's personal ambition.

When you see politics close up, you must always remember that politicians and others in the business are social animals. They thrive on meeting strangers and winning them over. And they're always taking the temperature around them, measuring the warmth of admiration, or the chill of disdain. And they like being away from home, despite those tearful retirement announcements peppered with references to spending more time with their family. Notice they are almost always delivered after the children have left for college.

The Capitol complex, with its rich and fluid social history, appears to be a chaotic place, but everyone therein has a purpose. And there are always the rituals that continue to grab the attention of the hardened veteran, who is often both player and spectator:

There is combat between and within teams. There's advancement for some, oblivion for others.

There's abandonment to lust.

There's always the guy with an eye to turn influence into a few bucks for himself and his friends.

And, there is the constant imperative to make some new laws for 3 million people.

Let's examine one ritual (a veritable rite of passion).

Each session, rumors will sweep through the building that a randy legislator has fixed his leer upon an unsuspecting intern. It's not Wisteria Lane, but each generation brings its own collection of satyrs and courtesans. Years ago, one particularly lusty staff member added a touch of style to her adventures by carrying a nightgown in her briefcase. Now, that was a lady.

Then there are always the outbreaks of hypocrisy stuffed into the legislation. For the past two years, a notable example has been the lightening bolts hurled at carbonated beverages in our schools. For the sake of the children, who are our future, our most prized resource, meddling leaders want that demon, Coca-Cola, et al., out of public schools. Parents and local boards of education cannot be left with making the decision. But please, pay no attention to the tanks of alcohol that are delivered to the legislature each session and consumed while decisions of state are made.

No, lawmakers concentrate, instead, on banning that ruinous Dr. Pepper.

For centuries now, Connecticut has enjoyed the benefits of a constitutional government longer than nearly any other piece of real estate on earth. And throughout the ages, the public has endured and enjoyed a parade of characters, miscreants and statesmen and women. And through it all, it's the people who sustain the government, not the government that sustains the people. And that's why we can point to the players, and enjoy the show.

The LOB Is A Beehive Where Relationships Are The Purest Honey

The Legislative Office Building is the hive, the place where committees consider legislation.It's important to remember that the legislature is like any other large workplace, only more so. The various divisions - House and Senate; Republican and Democrat - establish permanent and often fierce rivalries.

The great sifting of ideas and schemes leads to thousands of bills being considered by the dozens of committees every legislative session. Only a few hundred, however, ever make it to the full legislature.

The LOB is where most of the legislative staff works throughout the year and where members of the public are heard on issues of interest to them. Most issues considered by lawmakers, however, prompt little public interest. They are usually parochial to industries and interest groups. That doesn't mean they are minor, just obscure.

In some ways, things have changed a lot here over the past few years. The digital age, for example, has changed the way business is done. Bills, amendments and votes are available online. Lobbyists' clients often ferret out information before their lobbyists do. This can lead to embarrassment.

Raw knowledge has always and will always matter. But there have been and will always be things that are more important. Relationships and memory are especially powerful in this complicated building.

Substance is important, but so is personality. The most successful know how to sting without getting stung.

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The above is the intellectual property of the Hartford Courant and may be copyrighted.

The Commercial Elite are the bastards that have been in power since we were even a country.

Connecticut needs to update its "Most Wanted to Shut up" Posters

Does CT Gov. M. Jodi Rell care about undoing the Gov. Rowland Corruption Damage? Check out the link below the title and the links at the bottom of post

Blogger's Fair Use of Copyrighted Materials, Notice

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Russian Gansters Taking Property from Others

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Lev Tabenkin says he and other Moscow artists were forced out of their studios after ownership of the building was fraudulently re-registered.

Photo Credit: By Peter Finn -- The Washington Post Photo

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Do the US Thugs that happen to be officials, Police, or politicians act in the same "thug" way separating non-connected citizens from their property? I would have never have gone to prison had I not owned rental property and had a small business in Connecticut. The authorities went after those that had businesses and property that "connected" friends wanted at bargain basement prices. - Steven G. Erickson aka Vikingas

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In Russia, Corporate Thugs Use Legal Guise

By Peter Finn
Washington Post Foreign ServiceThursday, April 20, 2006; Page A01

MOSCOW -- The general director of the Na Ilyinke catering company was very much alive when his coffin arrived. "In memory of dear Alexei Alexeyevich Likhachev," read the message on a ribbon attached to an accompanying wreath. "We will never forget you."

The empty pine coffin, draped in red cloth, was delivered to the company's central Moscow office by a courier service. Soon the phones began to ring as shareholders, who had received telegrams inviting them to a memorial service, called about poor Alexei's unexpected passing.

For the owners of Na Ilyinke, the ghoulish stunt carried an unspoken message: Sell or else, according to Oleg Gubinsky, a shareholder and head of the company's legal team. "It was an opening move," Gubinsky said.

Na Ilyinke is the target of a new breed of Russian financial predator, one that hunts in lesser-known parts of the country's booming economy: small and medium-size companies. Often the goal is not the company itself, but the real estate it occupies, acquired in the privatizations of the early 1990s.

In those days, people wanting to take over a company often simply sent armed thugs to occupy it. The new raiders employ some of that old-style intimidation, but dress it up in legality by teaming with corrupt lawyers, accountants, judges, bureaucrats and police to exploit weaknesses in Russia's fledgling corporate legal system, Russian lawmakers and entrepreneurs said.

Typically the raiders are politically connected developers and their allies in the bureaucracy.

Their actions are drawing attention at the highest levels of the government, where officials fear it undermines Russia's investment climate and adds to the sense that rule of law remains illusory in the country.

"Honest business people and property rights should be protected," President Vladimir Putin told an audience of prosecutors in February. He added that the criminal seizure of property was destabilizing the country.

In Soviet days, Na Ilyinke was the government-owned catering facility for the Moscow City Committee of the Communist Party. Located in downtown Moscow, it was also a center of social life and shopping for the party elite. Its basement held a supermarket carrying such hard-to-find products as Coca-Cola; senior party officials held wakes and receptions on its premises, which at one point had a tunnel to the nearby headquarters of the KGB.

During the waning days of the Soviet Union, Likhachev ran the place as a government employee. After the collapse of the communist state, he and a team of investors bought it and turned it into a private company, a hand-over similar to other privatization deals that took place all over Russia in the 1990s.

Today, its staff of 60 continues to run cafeterias in government buildings, including the former party building across the street that became the office of the presidential administration.

Na Ilyinke's prime fixed asset is its 130,000-square-foot headquarters. Given its choice location, real estate experts estimate it would fetch at least $35 million as is, and much more if refurbished and converted into luxury offices or apartments.

Gubinsky said he had suspicions as to who the raiders were, but no proof. He believes that the real estate value is what drew their interest; he and the other owners foresee rehabbing the building themselves but think the timing isn't quite right.

The delivery of the coffin spooked Likhachev, an elderly man. He sold his shares to two colleagues, Gubinsky and Ilya Dyskin, who had the spirit to fight the raiders' next moves. One occurred at a private depository company, where Na Ilyinke stores its official documents that list its shareholders.

Last September, a Ukrainian citizen named Sergei Shevchuk came to the firm and presented a power of attorney document that indicated that he had the legal right to manage the shares of Gubinsky and Dyskin.

Shevchuk then sold the shares, 58 percent of the company's total, to Tamara Tobiya, another Ukrainian. Three days later Tobiya sold them again, to a man named Evgen Halynski, who provided a Warwick, N.Y., address on official forms.

The Warwick address, it turns out, is a dry-cleaning shop. A person who answered the phone there said there was no one named Evgen Halynski living or working in the building. And no one responded to messages left at the Brooklyn, N.Y., address of a man by that name.
Both Shevchuk and Tobiya, who worked at a stall at an open-air market in Moscow, later vanished.

None of this was known at Na Ilyinke, Gubinsky said, until after a letter arrived from the depository last fall informing it of the company's new ownership structure. "It was like thunder from a blue sky," Gubinsky said.

The rightful shareholders quickly secured an investigation by the Federal Financial Markets Service. A report it issued last November documented the fraudulent sales and concluded that the power of attorney document that set them in motion had been forged. The agency suspended the transactions and, in January, revoked the license of the depository company, according to board documents, on grounds it should have tried to ascertain that the power of attorney was real.

"We know about maybe 1,000 cases a year, but the real scale of these attacks is probably closer to 10,000 or 15,000," said Gennady Gudkov, head of a parliamentary working group examining the issue. "This problem is almost impossible to solve in a corrupt state."

"Big business can usually protect itself," said Yuri Glotser, head of the Federation for the Protection of Entrepreneurs' Rights in Moscow. "Smaller businesses are much more vulnerable, and their property can be worth a lot of money."

In Na Ilyinke's case, the fraudulent share sale was just one element of the attack. Last year it also found itself fighting off three separate court orders. Each one followed a pattern: legal papers would arrive at the company informing it that a judgment had been returned against it, in a proceeding that the company was entirely unaware of. The company then had to respond with its own attorneys.

One order was issued by a court in St. Petersburg and one in Moscow, freezing the company's assets, Gubinsky said. The third originated in the city of Tuva, near the border with Mongolia. A court there ordered the company to vacate its Moscow building, saying it had been leased to a Tuva company. The person listed as its director turned out to be a student at the local agricultural college.

Gubinsky estimates the company has spent $300,000 defending itself.

The multiple attacks in the courts are a pretext to establish some legal basis to send security guards to seize the building, Gubinsky said. If they successfully occupy the targeted property, the police typically tell the ejected party to go to court and fight it there.

As a defense, Na Ilyinke's building now resembles an armed camp. An alarm system at the front entrance can trigger the closing of steel doors that seal off all sections of the building. The rear entrance has a large steel gate and is surrounded by barbed wire.

"If you lose physical possession of your property, you are in serious trouble," Gubinsky said. "So far, we've kept them out."

Other owners wish they'd taken such precautions.

Near Moscow's Kiev railroad station, a group of prominent artists is battling in the courts to get back light-filled studios that were seized last April by private security guards after the ownership of the studios was re-registered in what the artists call a fraudulent transaction. The studios would fetch millions if converted to penthouse apartments.

"It was monstrous," said Lev Tabenkin, a painter who was forced out after the raiders persuaded a court to issue an eviction order. "I don't understand our system."

In January, Rinat Kudashev, general director of a former state institute that designs pipelines and other facilities for transporting oil and gas, was escorted out of his offices by about 30 private guards. The previous November, he said in an interview, one of the institute's minority shareholders called a meeting without the knowledge of Kudashev or the company's two majority shareholders and merged the business with another company. The original two companies were then liquidated.

Vitaly Semyonov, general director of a Moscow transportation company, said his company has been raided 31 times by different government agencies, the orchestrated prelude to a $10 million offer for a business that he values at $25 million. He rejected the offer, he said, not only because it was low, but because what the raiders really wanted was the land his business sits on -- and they intended to lay off his 1,000 workers. He remains ensnared in several court actions.

"In the '90s, your enemy operated openly and you knew how to defend yourself," Semyonov said.

"I was shot by bandits who wanted our business, but we survived. Today I'm facing Oxford-educated lawyers."

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