Tag Archives: court

The One Hundred Day Disaster

1x.jpgFirst, let’s be clear the whole election was motivated and won because of race and the black man once elected to lead America. I have always said to white folk that if you hate the black part of him, try loving the white part; after all – his mother was white.

Therefore, it is also clear that the person chiefly responsible for the racist and bogus birther claim was elected president for that very reason. Everybody knows that race has always been the driving America’s force in policy making to protect and benefit white folk! This guy railed about and against everything thing Obama did and he has done all those things himself.

So white folk got together and claimed to want a razzle-dazzle President says outrageous, untrue and inconsistent things in the hope of generating headlines or as they said to take back their country. They failed to scrutinize any of his deplorable actions and now we face the very real possibility of  war and the collapse of America. So it’s no surprise that #45 is disparaging the inevitable results-oriented First 100 Days reviews.

He has signed a huge number of executive orders and nothing else; meaning he has failed to do anything for the people only for his family and rich friends. This man is unqualified, unfocused, unprincipled, divisive, shallow and nasty solipsist has been outmatched by a once-fooled national media, plus an unexpected Democratic pushback on the streets, in town halls, in Congress and in court. So far current polling shows Trump holding on to the lowest approval rating of any newly elected president in modern times.

Instead, let’s apply this axiom to his time in office; “facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” By the standards of legislation, strategy, popularity and national purpose, 45 has been a failure; an epic failure so far, with the prospect of more failures to come. Unless or until he is impeached! Why this happened is hidden in plain sight. It goes back to racism! There used to be a saying “white is right” and no matter what their offenses are overlooked.

One other element turns this into a political bonfire: Next to none of his bellowing, reactionary assumptions are true. His claim of building a wall again goes back to racism. Refugees don’t commit more crime, net immigration from Mexico is near zero, climate change is real, people want health insurance and meals on wheels, and giving more money to the top 0.1% makes them, not us, richer.

No, unlike Caligula, he has not named his horse first consul. But day after day, everything seems to be driven not by strategy and facts but only by vanity, money and family (his). “Yelling fake news,” wrote columnist Eugene Robinson “cannot mask a fake presidency.”

Let’s recap his first 100 days:

The only thing 45 can lay claim too is that he did give the country a conservative justice to the Supreme Court. Of course, he like any good performance artist, 45 has been frequently photographed with applauding appointees signing numerous minor executive orders and, pending judicial review, repealing recent Obama administration rules to protect workers, investors and our waterways. On the merits, these appear to be anti-accomplishments.

Trump has been a Lord of the Lies. For example, the FBI, Jeff Sessions, Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan have said that President Barack Obama did not criminally wiretap Trump. Mean while, 45 dismiss all evidence of collusion between his campaign and the Russians as “fake news” despite just about everybody working on his campaign seemed to have Russian interactions that the FBI is investigation as a criminal probe.

More troubling, he calls the media “the enemy of the people,” disparaging the independent judiciary and “so-called” judges, and trying to suppress voting rights, he appears to have more in common with Putin and other dictators around the world.

In short, all his failures and failings over 100 Days appear ominous. He doesn’t seem to have the capacity, discipline or motivation to grow into the job. It is very hard to change your habits and personality when you are over 70 years old; his lying, bullying, adolescent tweedicts, contempt for law and norms appear unalterable. This time in office has been a disaster! And that is my thought provoking perspective…


Single Kentucky Woman Attacked By Off-Duty

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In a life, a person will experience “mountains, milestones, and valleys” to which there are periods when things go well. Then there are times when in the blink of an eye, something occurs that will turn a life upside down – irrevocably changing it forever. This was exactly what happened to a Kentucky woman trying to make it home late one evening, returning from a sad occasion, when a police officer brutally attacked her.

Antwynette Houston, a mother of two and a nursing student, horrific nightmare made local news and since her attack, she has bravely held rallies against police brutality in Louisville, Kentucky. She wants the community to be aware that such incidents don’t just happen in Ferguson or New York, but all over America. It happened to her, and it can happen to you regardless of you social status. You only need to be black and interact with the wrong policeman.

Houston claims to have been assaulted by an off-duty officer while at a gas station because the officer did not like how she parked her car. On the night in question, she pulled up at a local convenience store near her home. She was approached by off-duty officer Scott Sturgeon, who confronted her about how she parked her car. According to the police report, Houston first parked in a handicap space without realizing it, and then moved her car to another space when Sturgeon told her to move it. When Houston moved her car, Sturgeon was not satisfied because the car was allegedly crooked, and touching the painted line on one side of the parking space.

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Next, Sturgeon became more aggressive with her; accusing her of being drunk and demanding her ID. Houston being suspicious, not knowing if he was a cop because he was not in a police vehicle. She was extremely fearful of this man because of his aggressiveness and size, 300 plus pounds, the lateness of the hour and his failure to show her identification or his badge. The single mother was alone that night with only her nine-year-old son sleep in the car. The officer continued to be aggressive and wouldn’t allow her to enter the store.

After the officer started accusing her of being drunk to which Houston had not had anything to drink that evening. She volunteered to take a breathalyzer test, in fact, three-times explaining that she doesn’t drink. Adding, that her son was in the backseat. Still, the officer refused to give her a test and seemed to not care about the child. Feeling more threatened, she asked for other uniformed officers to assist.

She explained to the officer before walking to her car that she wanted to wait for other officers to arrive. When he refused to call, she got into her car and called 911 herself to request other police officers to ensure her safety. She informed the off-duty officer she was going to wait for other officers to arrive after the 911 call because she was afraid of him.

While on the phone with the police, the off-duty officer opened her car door and snatched her out by her arm and proceeded to handcuff her. Her son was in the car screaming, and so was she but the officer did not stop. He purposely pulled her arm as hard as he could as she told him she had surgery on that same arm a year ago. The officer proceeded to threaten her while dragging her to his personal vehicle. He placed her under arrest and threatened her with a litany of charges. Twelve other officers soon arrived. In the end, she was given a parking citation, which was later dismissed. Now injured, she was released and told she was free to go.

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Her shoulder was completely separated as a result of his actions and aggravating her past injury. To date, she has had one surgery and extensive therapy for almost a year. She recently found out that she needs another surgery, which is a stability surgery because her shoulder now won’t stay in place. In addition, she requires other procedures resulting from nerve damage and leaving her with “severe and permanent” injuries to the victim’s neck, back, and left shoulder. She has been handicapped and virtually disabled since the attack. Walking has become difficult due to pain in her shoulder, neck and back.

The attack occurred late in the summer of 2013, and she is not close to being fully recovered from the injuries caused by the assault. She says that she suffers constant nightmares, as a result of the attack. In addition, the physical injuries sustained has kept her out of work for over a year. Recently, after security camera footage of the incident surfaced; the police department investigated officer Scott Sturgeon and while he was formally reprimanded. He was exonerated of excessive force charges. Houston has since filed a civil suit against the officer and the city.

At present, she can no longer use her left arm, lost nearly everything she owns since she cannot work or finish school because of constant pain and the inability to use her arm. She has not been able to earn an income since Aug 2013; forced to leave her home and sell most of its contents due to lack of income. This next surgery and all other medical bills, travel expenses, and legal fees will have to pay out of pocket.

A support page and a corresponding account is linked directly to her and in her name. Everything said can be verified. If you Google her name you can obtain more information, see the video news coverage or you can visit her Facebook page to see everything. This horrific event was every woman’s nightmare. At present, she needs help as she fights for justice.

She welcomes your SUPPORT and if you can help; any donations would be greatly appreciated.


It Could Be A Long Hot Summer

zemmermanI wrote a post last week reminding my readers that the murder trial of George Zimmerman is finally upon us and to support the Martin family in their quest for justice. I was surprised by some of the comments and emails I received and yes, the pros and cons were split right along color lines. One guy commented that “we should pray for Zimmerman” the accused murder of this child. Another sent a message saying I was playing the race card.

I know there is freedom of speech and everyone has a right to their opinion. But most reasonable people would take umbrage to such remarks particularly in light of the defenses unethical behavior, in my view, to fabricate information about the dead child. As widely reported the defense produced what they called evidence in a brash attempt to alter the image of Martin by linking him to guns, drug use, and a propensity for violence.

The defense team, in prior press conferences and interviews, revealed images on Trayvon’s phone of him smoking marijuana and allegedly holding a gun. Being that they lied about these things should make everyone question their ethics and trustworthiness on any issue or evidence in this case. Particularly, when the court agreed that none of this is admissible.

The there were also statements made recently by Zimmerman’s brother about “voodoo forensics” is more evidence of their desperation. They want to discredit as much evidence in the public eye prior to trial regardless of foundation or truthfulness. Should we discount his statement as the man’s feeble attempt to help save his brother from prosecution of killing an unarmed teenage boy? YES!

Despite the posturing from the Zimmerman defense team and a defiant and nationally supported stance from the Martin family, the trial could play out in a variety of ways once jurors are presented with the mounds of evidence in the weeks ahead.

We have not come as far as we think and if history is any indication we might be in for a long hot summer as the Trayvon Martin murder trial proceeds to conclusion. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…


Poll Tax Rejected in Florida

A federal judge has said he will permanently remove recently enacted voter registration restrictions in the state of Florida. According to Talking Points Memo, Judge Robert L. Hinkle has declared that he will grant a motion to permanently strike down the new rules once the state of Florida has dropped its case against the federal government in U.S. appeals court.

Voting rights activists have welcomed the decision, which makes permanent an temporary injunction that Hinkle granted in May, in which Hinkle called the restrictions forbidding third party groups from organizing to register voters “harsh and impractical” and said they would impose unnecessary burdens on organizations trying to ensure voter participation.

New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice has issued a press release calling the ruling “a decisive victory for Florida voters.”

“Florida’s anti-voter law created impassable roadblocks for our volunteers, who have been bringing fellow Floridians into our democratic process for over 72 years,” explained Deirdre MacNab, President of the League of Women Voters of Florida, one of the three groups who filed suit against the state in December of 2011. “Thanks to today’s ruling, we can finally put these roadblocks behind us and concentrate on getting Floridians registered to vote. We are grateful the court recognized that the Constitution does not tolerate these types of barriers to civic participation and voter registration.”

The League of Women Voters was joined by Rock the Vote and the Florida Public Interest Research Group Education Fund in the suit, which was filed separately from a Justice Department inquiry into the stringent new regulations, which have been revealed by a former Republican Party member to be an effort to “keep black people from voting” by conservative Republicans.

As reported by Talking Points Memo

You can read Judge Hinkle’s ruling here (.pdf).

Thankfully there is someone who agrees that what the Republicans are trying to do is no more that a “Poll Tax”. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

http://johntwills.com


Twenty First Century Slavery

I suppose everyone has an opinion on the prison system and incarceration. Some view it as the New Jim Crow and of course there are others who see nothing is wrong with the system at all. My view is that it makes you wonder about the fairness received by some, namely minorities, whether it works for those unable to afford justice and I think everyone will agree that it is a cash cow.

As it is report in news reports daily people are released after spending years incarcerated for crimes they did not commit. Then, there is the sad irony of people being put to death who may fall into this category and more shameful; executions of the mentally disabled and life sentences for minors. In addition, there is the fact that once released the convicts voting rights are taken away forever – in most cases.

There is a long history of lynching’s, chain gangs, and the free labor derived from this system in this country. It was not until recently that the disproportionate sentencing in crimes such as cocaine and crack clearly was unfair! Let me say again that it is not my position that laws and punishment is not necessary. What is disparaging is that it disproportionately affects the minority population of the citizenry.

I read an article recently where a Vermont man is suing the state under the 13th Amendment for the labor he was forced to perform while awaiting trial. A one-time grad student, Finbar McGarry, was arrested for allegedly firing a gun in his home and threatening to kill his family and an official at the university. In a lawsuit McGrarry alleges that the state violated his rights under the 13th Amendment — which abolished slavery and involuntary servitude after the Civil War — when he was forced to work in the laundry for minimal pay as an inmate.

In his $11-million lawsuit pro se, said he was forced to work three days a week for six weeks washing other inmates’ laundry. He was paid a wage of 25 cents per hour and developed a bacterial infection on his neck because he was not provided sanitation in the laundry room. He says, prison officials threatened to put him “in the hole,” where inmates are shackled and locked up for 23 hours per day in solitary confinement, if he refused to work.

Portions of the following was reported by Alon Harish and Alexis Shaw for ABC.

It is important to note that McGarry was released in June 2009, and all charges against him were dropped. McGarry’s anti-slavery case was thrown out in November 2009 by a federal court in Brattleboro, Vt. In his opinion, U.S. Magistrate Judge John Conroy wrote that McGarry’s 13th Amendment claim was without merit because his laundry work “was nothing like the slavery that gave rise to the enactment of that amendment.”

But on Friday, a panel of judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit overruled the lower court’s dismissal of the case, arguing that McGarry did not have to prove that his experience was akin those of African slaves before abolition.

“Contrary to the district court’s conclusion, it is well-settled that the term ‘involuntary servitude’ is not limited to chattel slavery-like conditions,” appellate judge Barrington Parker wrote in the court’s opinion. “The amendment was intended to prohibit all forms of involuntary labor, not solely to abolish chattel slavery.”

Supreme Court precedent has established that the constitutional rights of pretrial detainees are distinct from those of convicted inmates, because criminal convictions can justify certain punishments, Parker argued.

The appellate panel remanded McGarry’s case to the district court, where he will get a new trial. The state has 90 days to appeal the panel’s ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“If you haven’t been convicted at all, your pretrial detention is not a form of punishment,” said Columbia Law School professor Jamal Greene. “The degree to which his liberty can be restricted is directly tied to the needs that required him to be detained. So if he was detained only to secure himself for trial, he can’t be detained for punishment.”

McGarry pointed to a 1986 policy under which the department developed employment programs designed to help inmates gain employable skills and reduce the cost of incarceration. The policy did not distinguish between convicts and pretrial detainees.

“At that facility, that’s what was happening. It was a ‘rehabilitative’ labor policy, and all inmates were expected to participate in it,” he said. “It was a practice that affected a lot of pretrial detainees.”

In a separate lawsuit he filed while he was in jail, McGarry’s chief concern was not the Constitution; it was getting injunctive relief to prevent the state from forcing him to do more labor. During his 14-hour shifts, he said, he was unable to contact his public defender, causing him to fear that his case would not be handled properly.

While all inmates may be expected to clean up their cells or wipe down tables in the mess hall, Greene said, the poorly paid, unsafe work McGarry alleged he was forced to do may have crossed a legal boundary.

Did you know the clothing worn by our soldiers are made by the cheap labor of the incarcerated? In closing, let me suggest that you read Michelle Alexander’s book “The New Jim Crow”. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

http://johntwills.com

On Wednesday, September 5th at 8:00 PM (EST), The Book Tree Radio Show is pleased to announce its re-launch on BlogTalkRadio!


The Best Reason To Reelect Obama

Sanity prevailed today as the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) let stand what is known as Obama-care. This is a great day for us all. Now, the more important question in my mind is the age of SCOTUS. I guess I should qualify the phrase United States by saying the States are not all that united considering the state of our political divide.

I read an interesting article by Sheryl Gay Stolberg of the New York Times who quoted Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, known for delivering laugh lines, recalled how Justice Elena Kagan, 52, had suggested during an oral argument before the Supreme Court that people born before 1948 were old. Justice Ginsburg said, “Next year I will turn 80, God willing… I’m not all that old”.

This speaks to the current state of the Court. Justice Ginsburg is the eldest member of a court that includes four justices in their 70s, making it among the oldest courts since the New Deal era. Its decisions during this historic “flood season,” as Justice Ginsburg described the end-of-term rush, are likely to make the panel — and the tenure of some of the justices — a significant issue in the presidential campaign. This is the most significant reason to reelect President Obama because “If she dies or leaves soon and Romney wins, the Supreme Court will be the most conservative in history.”

Today, the court is announced its decision on President Obama’s health care law, one of the most consequential cases in decades, with an overwhelming affirmation – it stands. As good as this decision is for the president and the American people – it is not over yet. There is another major case looming this fall, the court will take on an affirmative action case that could end preferential treatment at public universities, and it might hear a case involving .

The winner of the race for president will inherit a group of justices who frequently split 5 to 4 along ideological lines. That suggests that the next president could have a powerful impact if he gets to replace a justice of the opposing side.

It is, of course, impossible to predict when a vacancy will occur. (Justice John Paul Stevens spent 35 years on the court and retired at 90, while Justice Robert H. Jackson, who served in the 1940s and 1950s, died of a heart attack at 62.) A 2006 study in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy found that the average retirement age for justices was 78.7.

Justice Ginsburg, a stalwart of the court’s liberal bloc, has been treated for pancreatic cancer. Justice Antonin Scalia, the court’s most visible conservative, is 76. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, frequently the swing vote, is 75. And Justice Stephen G. Breyer, like Justice Ginsburg a Democratic appointee, is about to turn 74.

The New York Times provocative article mentioned an interview with Professor Kennedy who said the suggestion that a justice should retire for purely political reasons was “viewed as somewhat unseemly” by many of his colleagues. Those close to Justice Ginsburg say that while she may appear frail, she is in fact in good health.

Of course, Justices leave for a variety of reasons. Sandra Day O’Connor, for instance, left the court at 75 to take care of her husband. Professor Kennedy insists it was “not accidental” that, having been appointed by Ronald Reagan, a Republican, she resigned while George W. Bush was president.

What I want to leave you with is that the next president will have the opportunity to appoint at least two, maybe three, Justices. Only Obama will appoint sanity or dare I say Justices who will have the American people at heart. So this is the best reason to vote, and for the president. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

http://johntwills.com


Two of a Kind

Let me start by give Webster’s definition of perjury. It is the voluntary violation of an oath or vow either by swearing to what is untrue or by omission to do what has been promised under oath. In other words LYING!!!

Today the Seminole County Sheriff’s Department arrested Shellie Zimmerman, wife of George Zimmerman, charged with murdering Trayvon Martin, on one count of perjury after they were advised by the office of State Attorney Angela Corey that a warrant had been issued.

The crux of the case against the assassin who murdered young Trayvon Martin rest upon creditability because Zimmerman is the only one and no one else can testify to the events of that evening. The murders supporters expect us to believe that what he says is true. Yet, from all that I have heard and read there is no truth to nothing he has said and by revoking his bond, and now this, how can anyone believe anything the murder says.

Today, Shellie was booked into John E. Polk Correctional Facility and released on $1,000 bond, officials said. I suppose this means the two of them were temporary together again. George Zimmerman, 28, was charged with second-degree murder in the Feb. 26 shooting of Martin. He pleaded not guilty. Police say that he claimed on the night of the shooting that he acted in self-defense.

The murder’s $150,000 bond was revoked after allegations that during an April 20 bail hearing that he and Shellie Zimmerman misled the court about their finances, neglecting to disclose they had raised at least $135,000 in a PayPal account. The order issued Tuesday by Assistant State Attorney John Guy charged Shellie Zimmerman with knowingly making false statements during the April hearing.

Also today, the court released Seminole County Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester’s order revoking George Zimmerman’s bond. “There are several factors that weigh against his release … Most importantly, though, is the fact that he has now demonstrated that he does not properly respect the law or the integrity of the judicial process.”

I can only suggest that justice be served and we as citizens lift our voices to repeal the “Stand Your Ground Laws” because, as this shows, next time it could be your child to which justice is deferred. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

VOTE!!!

http://johntwills.com


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