May 26, 2011

Why is abortion illegal for men but not women?

Now before we get off on the wrong foot here, I want to say that clearly the man who is the subject of the news article below was wrong in his actions. The title of this article is a bit satirical. You can't go violently attacking people in a civilized society. But having said that, I can empathize with the man, and would like to examine the deeper socio-economic issues behind this news brief...

Man charged with trying to abort his pregnant girlfriend

LIBERTY – A 20-year-old Liberty man has been charged with felony abortion in the second degree and other charges for allegedly punching his 17-year-old pregnant girlfriend in the stomach in an effort to abort the pregnancy.

Travis Mervine was also charged with third-degree assault, fourth-degree criminal mischief, second-degree unlawful imprisonment, criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation, and harassment in the second degree.

The girlfriend called police on May 22 from her mother’s house to report she had been held prisoner by Mervine at his home from May 21 through May 22 and while there, he punched her in the stomach.

Mervine was located and arrested on Lake Street in the Village of Liberty and while police were taking him to court for arraignment, he fled from an officer on foot, while handcuffed.

After a four hour manhunt, Liberty Police, assisted by a Fallsburg Police K-9 unit, State Police and the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office, he was located at his father’s home in Liberty. He was also charged with felony escape in the second degree.

Mervine was arraigned and remanded to the Sullivan County Jail without bail.

Right off the bat I have a problem with this article. I don't know if it is just an error in reporting or not, but why is he being charged with felony abortion if it was only an attempt? We'll leave that technical question alone from here on out though, and focus instead on the deeper issues here.

Clearly we see a young man, trapped by circumstance, desperately thrashing about in vain to keep his freedom. Not only freedom from incarceration after his violent outburst, but to maintain his freedom of choice and his own economic freedom. To that extent, I certainly can empathize with him even if I don't condone his actions. This system of hypocrisy breeds this sort of violence and rebellion.

If a woman wants to terminate a pregnancy, there is nothing the father can do about it. He can not insist that the child be born, cannot sue the woman if she chooses to kill the unborn against his wishes. She does not even have to tell him that she is pregnant or going for an abortion in the first place.

Yet when it serves the purposes of women, children suddenly becomes a "mutual" choice and responsibility. If the man decides he does not want to be father, or simply can't be a father under his current circumstances for any reason, he's shit out of luck. Not only does he have no say in whether or not that child is brought into the world, but then he is also forced to pay for it against his will, quite often literally beyond his financial means to do so even if he wanted to. Other men simply may not want to fill the role of a father, which every child certainly should have. Single parent homes are far from ideal despite what we as a society have been brainwashed to believe. If a man does not want to be a father, then he should not be forced to be. When you do force him, you wind up with situations like this one reported above, maybe worse. Or, more commonly, men who begrudgingly and halfheartedly try to meet "their responsibility" as women and the government become loathed, and even his own children become objects of pain and hatred rather than love and pride.

Of course, there is the tired old excuse that the man should wear a condom if he does not want to be a father. Sorry folks, that shit don't fly with me. Women have far more choices when it comes to birth control, up to and including termination of a pregnancy (or simply insisting that the man wear a condom in the first place.) With rights comes responsibility. Why should the man be responsible for the WOMAN'S CHOICE? It is not a shared responsibility, it is not a mutual decision, it is the woman's choice, plain and simple, as this news article makes abundantly clear. The woman is responsible for her own body, and the man has NO RIGHTS over whether or not "his" child is brought into the world.

Can I sue a woman who transmits some disease to me, knowing that she had a disease, because I chose to not wear a condom? Certainly not. And the same should go the opposite way. A woman should not be able to sue a man financially, for the consequences of the transmission of biological material, which she knew full well the potential consequences of. She could have gone on the pill, patch, shot, used the ring, foam, sponge, spermicide, diaphragm, implant, or female condom, insisted that the man wear a condom or simply elected to not have sex with a man who had no intention of being a father to a child. (Here's a hint ladies, if he didn't put a ring on it, he doesn't wanna be your baby-daddy.) A woman can also choose to abstain when she is most fertile and ovulating, and obviously much more likely to become pregnant. Short of that, the woman can still resort to the morning-after pill, and ultimately it is her choice, the woman's choice alone, whether or not to carry a pregnancy to term.

So long as it is "her body, her choice" then it is also her responsibility. She should have no right whatsoever to insist that a man participate in any way, financially or otherwise, with the rearing of that offspring that was the product of her choice, and her choice alone. Unless of course, we want to make it a truly mutual responsibility, and outlaw abortion without the consent of the father as well. With freedom comes responsibility.


Technically, in some instances a woman can also be guilty of illegal abortion under NY Penal Code. But basically, those amount to abortions that are done outside of a clinical setting under the care of a sanctioned physician. You will also notice too though, the gender bias applied to such cases. Keep in mind here too, that these laws make no distinction as to the willingness of the female to participate in an abortional act perpetrated by a man. In other words, even if the woman does not want the baby, but the man commits the abortional act on her behalf, he is STILL guilty of a felony.

S 125.40 Abortion in the second degree.
A person is guilty of abortion in the second degree when he commits an
abortional act upon a female, unless such abortional act is justifiable
pursuant to subdivision three of section 125.05.
Abortion in the second degree is a class E felony.

S 125.45 Abortion in the first degree.
A person is guilty of abortion in the first degree when he commits
upon a female pregnant for more than twenty-four weeks an abortional act
which causes the miscarriage of such female, unless such abortional act
is justifiable pursuant to subdivision three of section 125.05.
Abortion in the first degree is a class D felony.

S 125.50 Self-abortion in the second degree.
A female is guilty of self-abortion in the second degree when, being
pregnant, she commits or submits to an abortional act upon herself,
unless such abortional act is justifiable pursuant to subdivision three
of section 125.05.
Self-abortion in the second degree is a class B misdemeanor.

S 125.55 Self-abortion in the first degree.
A female is guilty of self-abortion in the first degree when, being
pregnant for more than twenty-four weeks, she commits or submits to an
abortional act upon herself which causes her miscarriage, unless such
abortional act is justifiable pursuant to subdivision three of section
Self-abortion in the first degree is a class A misdemeanor.

May 18, 2011

Freedom a threat to police

A recent brief on, a website for law-enforcement personnel to share information, declares "sovereign citizens threat to cops." What a shame that the police are so far around the bend, that they don't even realize the oath they took to uphold the Constitution was an oath to defend these principals, not to declare the adherents a threat. This is the true face of the police-state today, and a clear example of the perverted justice they uphold.

Government corruption, economic ruin and wanton violence against the people by a paramilitary police-state apparatus, has never been more prevalent or obvious. Yet in propaganda pieces like the segment from 60 Minutes that I will share here, the powers-that-be resort to flawed logic and rhetoric in order to make their case that freedom is bad, and that people who adhere to the founding principals of this nation are a threat to the nation. Yet they will show no proof that the claims of a sovereign are either incorrect or illegal. I'll let you go ahead and watch the clip first, then we'll talk more about it...

Normally I think 60 minutes is a fantastic program. But this time it seems clear that they are being used as a propaganda tool, just like every other mainstream media source. Right off the bat, they try to portray sovereign citizens as some sort of new-fangled organized "movement" when really that is not the truth at all. They are not a society, they are not an organization, they are not a political movement. Tthey are citizens, just like you and I, who adhere to strict interpretations of our Constitution and who seek to legally unbind themselves from a complex web of statutory contract law.

This is a concept that is really not understood by the layman, and I am not about to explain it all here. I do suggest you look more into it yourself though by surfing the web a little and learning about it. But as an example to the reader, let us take a look at your driver's license and all the statutory regulations that go with the "privilege" of driving. The fact is, you have a Constitutionally protected God-given right to freedom of movement by whatever means you so happen to choose. So where do the police get the power to issue you a ticket for driving with s suspended driver's license, or for not paying the state tax to have your car registered? You gave them the power. When you signed on the dotted line to get your state-issued driver's license, you made a contract agreement to abide by the state laws or "codes" of the road. The sovereign refuses to be subject to or bullied into contract agreements that are contradictory to the liberties spelled out in the Constitution. That's it. It has nothing to do with shooting people, has nothing to do with taking control of the government (we are the government, in theory anyway), has nothing to do with recruiting new adherents to a Conservative wet-dream. The sovereign has many different social ideals, economic beliefs, and religious values even if it is no religion at all. That really is the entire point. Freedom.

So now the government has declared folks who take the Constitution literally to be "among the nation's top domestic terror threats" because some have become violent. If we are going to use that criteria, I suggest that perhaps it is the police who are among the nation's top domestic terror threats. When was the last time a sovereign citizen molested your child at the airport? When was the last time a sovereign citizen tore off your wife's clothes because she called for help, and then laughed about it (last second of vid)? When was the last time a sovereign citizen smashed a man's face in for using a video camera in his own front yard? When was the last time a group of sovereign citizens beat up on unarmed women in a restaurant? When was the last time a sovereign citizen got away with murder because of corruption and lies? When was the last time a gang of sovereign citizens broke into a war veteran's home and executed him in front of his wife and child?

And the favorite excuse of the apologists? "Cops are just people too." You're goddamn right they are just people too, which means they have no fucking right to do the shit that they do no matter what some court rules. The courts, no matter what they decide on paper or in collusion, have no fucking right to decide that you no longer have your Constitutionally protected God-given rights of free men. They have no right to tell you that you cannot protect yourself against a home-invasion.

Of course, court mandated and approved supra-Constitutional police powers aside,  there are also plenty of cases of police officers committing actual crimes as well, not just abusing the rights of citizens. Blatant criminal acts that sometimes we actually hear about, on that occasion when such acts make it to the light of day through the blue wall of silence and multilayer system of corruption, cronyism, and propagandist white-washing. So if we are going to use the "few bad apples" excuse for police, who we should actually expect to be held to a higher standard with all of their power and authority, not a lower one, couldn't that same "few bad apples" excuse be used for any other group, including citizens?

So let us be clear here. I am not defending the actions of this man and his son who went over the edge and chose to murder two police officers for no obvious reason. That is not freedom, that is not liberty. I do not endorse violence for the sake of violence or to make some bullshit statement. But I will say this. With more and more proud, freedom-loving Americans being shoved around one too many times and left no place to turn, it hardly surprises me to see things like this happen, where folks decide they have had enough, and decide to shove back. Nevertheless, portraying some down on his luck supposed scam artist and his son as the spokespersons for citizens who value the Constitution is like saying that Biggie Smalls spoke for all New Yorkers.

In the first segment of the clip they focus on the actual shooting. I don't see anything in that video that would justify the actions of that man and his son. Of course, there might be something in the editing that I am missing. But really, I am a firm believer in "live to fight another day." I see no reason to kill a police officer unless a police officer is about to kill you, or to kill anyone else for that matter unless your own life (or another innocent) is in danger. As much as I "hate" cops from an ideological standpoint, I hate no cop personally just because of what he does for a living. (I've also met a criminal or two that were actually real good people, if misguided.) So seeing that bit of video, where the chief arrives at the scene, that got me choked up. I can hardly imagine what that must have been like.

Nonetheless, with the two shooters dead 90 minutes later, I wonder if the Chief is looking for someone else to blame. Indeed, even 60 Minutes calls sovereign citizens the Chief's obsession. A natural, psychological, human coping mechanism to try to find someone to blame for such a shocking and tragic loss, but it was not some movement that killed his son and son's partner any more than it was their job that killed them. It was a young gunman and his father, who are now dead. There is no one else that can be blamed.

Next up in the piece we hear from J.J. McNab, a self-employed, self-avowed "expert" on sovereign citizens who's last job was as a financial planner. I see nothing in her resume that says she is lawyer, much less a Constitutional scholar. Yet 60 Minutes interviews her as if she were indeed an authority, when clearly she is not. She begins with an erroneous and inflammatory statement claiming that the sovereign citizen claims they are "above the law" when in fact the exact opposite is true. The sovereign citizen sees that the government, the courts, and the police, are putting themselves above the law. And that of course is my very own interpretation, since the whole point of being a sovereign is that nobody tell you what to think or can tell other people what you think. Maybe she should look up the word sovereign.

She goes on to talk about the sovereigns' "twisted" view of history, yet she is no historian at all by any credential. She claims that people of the 18th century saw themselves as free of all legal constraints, and that sovereign citizens today also believe that and want to "return" to that time. The fact is, that people of the 18th century very much believed in the rule of law, a just law, prescribed by the document they put forth called the Constitution. The core values of what made this nation a nation in the first place, free of tyranny and oppression. The values which inspired a Revolution and set men free to prosper in a nation where one man would never have to bow before another. So then the question really becomes, at what time did the government see fit to deviate from that rule of law, from this promise of liberty?

The segment then goes on to equate sovereigns with anti-government forces. How can the people be anti-government in a true democratic republic when the people are the government? They equate the movement with terrorism, and even racism but then in the same breath say that black actor Wesley Snipes used "sovereign language" in trying to combat the IRS. 

Back again to the self avowed expert who now profiles what to look for in a sovereign citizen. A30-35 year old (white man) in economic dire straits who has probably lost their job and their wife. Many are "paranoid, conspiracy theorists" according to her. Nevermind the fact that she is not a psychologist or in any position at all to judge whether or not someone is paranoid, and nevermind the very relevant questions that so called conspiracy theorists put forth. There was once a time when people who said the world was round, or who believed in the Mafia were conspiracy theorists too. Simply more vilification of any who dares to question the status quo. And of course, nevermind too that profiling disillusioned white men is about as ignorant as saying a nigga from Brooklyn is probably a cop killer.

In the next segment they do a real hack job on the guy trying to explain what sovereignty is all about, so I don't have too much there to comment on, other than to say I don't trust the government any more than he does. Any true patriot will distrust their government.

"Government is not reason. Government is not eloquence. It is force. And, like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master." ~George Washington

But just after that, they go on to talk about different seminars and "scams" that are all over the internet. On that point, I do offer a word of caution. There are indeed many scams out there. Even someone as affluent as Wesley Snipes found out the hard way that trying to pry oneself out of the web of contract law is next to impossible. I do not declare myself a sovereign for that very reason if no other. Not because they are wrong mind you, but because I do not have the time, education, or skill to dedicate myself to the subtle nuances of sovereign law. One slip-up, and you wind up in the penitentiary with Wesley. But it can be done...

...and stuff like that folks, is why the system will degrade you, smear you with propaganda, imprison you, and ultimately murder you if they get half a chance. Because being a sovereign is a direct threat to your God-given rights. One mis-step, and they will come down on you with all the fury Hell hath to offer.

Nonetheless, as I said, it can be done, in more ways than one too. A smart sovereign would never go out and make a spectacle of themselves as a would-be martyr gunned down in some delusional blaze of glory. The true sovereign is the one who knows how to navigate this complex web of deceit, which is more than a century in the making. The true sovereign, and the real threat to the usurpers, are the sort of folks they point out in the next segment. The ones who use the system, against the system. What the 60 Minutes reporter calls "retribution" is completely legal, and some might say, completely justified. In that segment, they actually admit that sovereigns are not the "delusional" sort that JJ McNab tries to portray. While she claims these folks have turned off their "common sense switch," many have used the system's own rules and statutes against gate-keepers. The same sort of loopholes that might leave you stranded by the side of the road after police have impounded your car for a dirty license plate, or being charged with felony assault of a police officer for farting at a cop.

Next segment we have a judge from Queens holding court in Rosendale NY, a small local community I know well, claiming he is scared to death when he learns that some moron in his court over a misdemeanor traffic ticket had "contacts" with the West Memphis shooters. Number one, I would like to know what contacts that actually was. Passed eachother in some chat forum, subscribed to the same newsletter? Second of all, does he really expect us to believe that a judge from Queens who worked 30 years in the penitentiary with the most depraved human beings alive has never felt unsafe in his life before coming up against the "sovereign citizens"? Even in the video segment it appears that the judge himself can't even hold back his laughter.

And did you get a look at those goofballs that are this supreme threat to national security? To this judge to the point that he is sleeping with a gun under his pillow? Newsflash judge, if you are that scared maybe you should start lobbying the state to stop shutting down mental health units. Is the crux of this whole report telling the American people that our entire nation is about to be brought down by the Three Stooges? Seriously? Now Wesley Snipes, I might have bought that one.

Back again now to the brief segment with the man 60 Minutes has labeled as the "sovereign guru." The man is completely reasonable talking about the Second Amendment, and the purpose of the right to bear arms. He is absolutely right, it was never meant to protect our right of suck hunting. It was put into the Constitution to provide a sovereign natural right to resist tyranny, by force if necessary.

"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined... The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun." ~Patrick Henry, Speech to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 5, 1778

Quick cut to the police Chief who's son was murdered, who states, "Obviously the guy is crazy, and I think he should be brought up on charges."

There you have it folks, in clear. no uncertain terms, according to the police chief of West Memphis, if you believe in the Constitution, "obviously" you are crazy and should be brought up on charges.

"If they want to come after me, I'm very easy to find. The polic Chief in West Memphis, Arkansas... If they come after me, I have absolutely no problem with it, and might even like it."

"...and might even like it."

"...and might even like it."

Spoken like a true pig there Chief.

Rodney King trial evidence, LAPD radio transmissions, 1:13 a.m. from Powell and Wind to the foot patrol: "I haven't beaten anyone this bad in a long time."

Now don't get me wrong, if someone killed my boy, I might feel the same way. But what the chief fails to recognize, is that no one went after his boy. His boy went after them.

"A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right." ~Thomas Paine


Operation Vampire killer 2000: American Police Action Plan for Stopping World Government Rule

May 14, 2011

Dutchess County NY to lead the nation in GPS tracking

If testing of the system is successful, Dutchess County soon will be the only place in the country where domestic-violence offenders are tracked by GPS devices and their victims are notified if they are nearby.

That was the message from county officials Thursday as they unveiled a plan that would require selected repeat offenders to wear devices that track their whereabouts by global positioning satellites.

Full article at link:

What concerns me right off the bat about this article, is that it appears to be an open endorsement of the pilot program. There is no question as to whether or not we should even be doing this in the first place, and no reporting on precisely what protocols will be implemented when testing is completed. In this day and age of excessive abuses against citizens and police-state mission-creep, I hardly feel compelled to let them put us on yet another slippery slope. Domestic violence propaganda invokes a classic knee-jerk response by the layman, which allows for the powers that be to convince the people that this is "for your own safety."

In Dutchess County, there has been a string of shocking murders that make the area ripe for the implementation of yet another Orwellian solution to our problems. The fact of the matter is though, that none of these deaths would have been prevented by a GPS tracking system. The article makes reference to "select repeat offenders" but makes no mention of the criteria that will be used in this selection.

Do they intend to track people who are merely accused of a domestic violence crime, or merely accused of violating an Order of Protection, before they have had their Constitutionally protected right to a trial? It hardly seems that in a land of liberty, we would tolerate the police electronically tracking a person who has never been convicted of any crime. In all of these recent murders, none of the offenders had yet had a trial, and in one case, was never even accused of domestic violence by his victim.

The vaguely outlined plan as reported in the linked article above calls for the person being tracked to pay $14 a day to cover the cost of the tamper-proof device which they must wear at all times to be tracked via a Global Positioning System satellite. I get the impression though, that there are more hidden costs to the taxpayer here which are not being discussed for one thing.

Like paying the police to monitor this system and act as personal body guards to victims and/or alleged victims of DV. If an alleged perpetrator is being tracked by this system before a trial, and the accused is then exonerated, will they be reimbursed for the $14 per day cost? And if the wrongfully accused is in fact reimbursed, would that not then pose a threat to their right to a fair trial to begin with, as the court itself would have a financial stake in seeing the accused be found guilty, rather than refund the money?

And lastly, what about folks who can't afford the $14 a day, $98 per week, $424.32 per month or the whopping $5,110 per year? The truth is, so many DV cases are brought about because of severe financial pressure on folks. Four hundred and some odd dollars is almost as much as some folks pay for rent each month, or what someone might pay for a car payment and insurance each month. For all too many people, it would simply be unaffordable. And it certainly should not be a cost mandated upon someone who has not been found guilty of any crime.

So maybe they are just going to use it on people who have been convicted of a crime. Hardly seems like a logical measure to implement this system as a preventive measure after the bomb has already gone off so to speak, but okay, perhaps in a few rare instances this technology might actually be helpful as part of the disposition of a case. Though I can't really imagine what such instances might actually be.

Someone who has been convicted of a domestic-violence crime, who seems likely to go after their victim again, really belongs in jail or prison if the threat is that serious. And if the person has already done their time, and has been released from jail, what right does the state have to track someone who has already paid their debt to society? Are the courts to mandate someone convicted of a DV crime must pay $400+ a month for the rest of their life to be monitored?

Lastly, we have to finally look at, specifically, how effective this technology can actually be. The article linked above tells us...

If the person wearing the device enters a "protected zone" where the offender's purported victim lives or works, the victim and police will be notified automatically, Senior Assistant District Attorney Marjorie Smith, chief of the special victims bureau, said during a news conference at the Dutchess County Office Building.

Well, in two of the recent DV homicides, the victim was living with their killer at the time of the murders. So clearly, GPS tracking would have done no good in either of those two cases.

In another case, the victim herself went to meet her alleged abuser. In that case we are told that she was murdered by her husband, who then shot and killed a police officer, before finally turning a gun on himself and committing suicide. The husband had already been accused of violating an order of protection (though not convicted) and the woman had moved out of their shared home to go live with family three counties away. Yet she still felt compelled to meet him at the train station, where triple-death occurred, simply so that she could take possession of the family car. She was neither at home or at work, and willingly violated her own order of protection to go meet this man, well outside of any "safety zone" that might have been being monitored, so clearly in that case too, this technology would have been useless.

Lastly, there is the case of the woman who was murdered at home by her husband, in front of their daughter, before he killed himself. A month earlier, the man had been accused of beating her and menacing the family with a firearm. He was released on bail, served with an order of protection directing him to stay away from his house and family, and the woman was notified that he was being released. When he came to the house several days later, in the very early hours of the morning, a GPS device may have been of some benefit. However, it is important to note, that it is unlikely the woman would have been able to defend herself had she gotten an alert, because the judge in the case had ordered that all firearms be taken from the home. Therefore, she had no defense against the man who came armed with a pistol that was not his. It is also important to note, that police were in fact notified of his presence at the home, and a large number of them had already assembled outside when the deaths actually occurred. So even in this one single case, where GPS tracking may have been useful to a limited extent, it is still unlikely that it would have prevented that tragedy.

So, considering all of these facts, I ask you, what is the real point of this program? Do the benefits really outweigh the costs in tax dollars? Do the benefits really outweigh the potential for abuse by police and courts? Is this really a program meant to help save lives, or to accelerate the erosion of liberty in this country? How long will it take them to come with a reason to track YOU?


May 9, 2011

NY overturns Family Court decision to bar level 3 sex offender from his kids

James Colliton was a half-million dollar a year tax attorney with a Manhattan apartment and a home he shared with his wife and children in upstate Poughkeepsie, New York. Today, he is a convicted level-3 sex offender after pleading guilty to rape, among other charges, for patronizing teenage prostitutes who were pimped out by their mother according to prosecutors. Initially he took his family and fled to Canada, was arrested but released in Ontario, before finally being arrested again in Manhattan to face a 43-count indictment. By the time of his 2007 conviction, he had been in jail for 19 months and was sentenced to one year, time-served, in a plea deal that let him off the hook for a potential 30 years in prison. The mother of the teen girls had previously pleaded guilty to charges against her for pimping the girls out to Colliton.

In Plea Deal, Lawyer Admits Having Sex With Teenagers

Seem like a pretty open and shut case of a real creep who probably got off a lot easier than he should have. I mean, just getting a look at this guy's mug is almost enough to convict him. Tell me that doesn't look like the textbook pic of a pedophile.

Since his conviction he has gone from tax attorney to pro se litigant, suing everyone from American Express for revealing account information leading to his arrest, to his former employer for not paying him his bonus, to the Town of Poughkeepsie and Dutchess County for violating his Constitutional rights and rights to privacy while monitoring him as a registered sex offender. Now it appears as though he might have grounds to go after the county's Department of Social Services with the NY State Court of Appeals ruling in his favor against the Family Court and recommendations of DSS which forced him out of his home for the next three years after his conviction. According to the Poughkeepsie Journal...

The Dutchess County Department of Social Services filed neglect petitions against both parents alleging the father was an untreated level-three sex offender, deemed likely to reoffend, whose crimes involved young teens, and that the mother failed to protect the children from the father.

Enough to make your blood boil right? One article I linked above there they called him "the most ridiculous pro se litigant of all time." And I am sure much worse has been said about him. Certainly enough to piss off the average Joe or Jane to see a creep like this using his legal expertise in to start snagging up loopholes in order to sue various parties for hundreds of millions of dollars. You would think he would have been happy with getting such a lucky break at sentencing for his admitted crimes.

Well, if you know me, or as you get to know me, you will see that I like to play the devil's advocate a lot. I am not easily swayed by rhetoric and shock-value reporting. I don't have the same knee-jerk reactions as most people do to words like communist, terrorist, sex offender or pedophile. So I tried to think about this objectively. Should this man have been forced from his house and barred from his children simply because he was guilty of sex with a teenage girl for money?

Of course I understand that these girls were underage and what he did is indeed a crime, but I am not quite seeing the correlation that shows he would actually attack his own children. It's kind of like the assumption that homophobes always make when they find out a guy is queer. All the sudden the straight guys all think the queer guy is going to try to have sex with them. You see that assumption too when it comes to homosexuals interacting with children. Legal or not, homosexuality is still often seen as sexual deviancy, that the homosexual might be more inclined to molest children and therefore should not be allowed to adopt or work with kids. Even if there were data to support such a notion, there is certainly nothing that says all homosexuals are likely to attack children.

So just because he pled guilty to having sex with a minor, does not mean that he is likely to attack any and all minors, especially his own children.  If he had sex with a prostitute that was of legal age, would that be a sign that he was likely to proposition his children for sex when they became legal age of consent? Certainly not, yet that is same sort of logic which was applied to bar this man from his house and his kids.

Applied logic doesn't always pan out though in the real world. My gut was still telling me that this guy is a creep and his kids would be better off without him. I would certainly sleep better at night knowing that this guy was nowhere near kids, his own or otherwise. But then again I am conflicted between what my gut is telling me, and what my morals tell me. And my morals tell me this has nothing to do with how I sleep at night. My morals tell me that this has nothing to do with what my gut tells me "might" happen. My morals tell me that just because a man is guilty of one crime, I have no right to assume he is destined to be guilty of any crime my imagination conjures up.

Therefore, I must conclude that the judges in this case did in fact make the right decision in their ruling. A difficult decision on their part no doubt, and an unpopular ruling it is likely to be in the face of hyperbole and the public's utter contempt for sex offenders. Nonetheless, we see that they had statutory basis for their ruling.

...under New York's Family Court Act, they cited two findings that required them to determine neglect. The first is "proof of actual (or imminent danger of) physical, emotional, or mental impairment to the child." Second is the danger "must be a consequence of the parent's failure to exercise a minimum degree of parental care."

The court noted the statutory test is not best or ideal care for children, but a minimum degree.

So it does appear that the Department of Social Services did wrongfully separate this man from his family, falsely accusing both himself and his wife of neglect. And as much as I hate to admit it, he should be compensated for that. As this story begins to unravel, now we must consider too that perhaps his other lawsuits were not so frivolous as we had assumed. What if this man were not guilty of statutory rape? I think that perhaps me might actually give him more serious consideration. Which we should anyway. Just because someone is the perpetrator of a crime, no matter how heinous, that is no justification for others to commit crimes against him or to deny him his rights, lest one day we too are abused simply because we are not popular.

Digging a little deeper now, I am confronted by articles that paint a very different picture than what has been portrayed by the prosecution and in most media sources reporting on the case. What if this man really is not in fact guilty of the crimes he was convicted of? It would seem incredulous, unthinkable to even suggest such a thing. How dare I even doubt for a second that such a creep is not as guilty as sin. After all, he pled guilty, and so did the mother who pimped out those poor girls.

So let's go ahead and take a second look at that woman, who also pled guilty in a plea arrangement. How could a mother do such a thing to her daughters? Well, the case comes undone a little more as we pull at the loose ends as they begin to fray.

"The one that was prostituting my [now] 15-year-old daughter was my [21-year-old] daughter," the mother said in her sparse apartment in lower Manhattan. "She's the devil's child, period."

The mother said her vengeful child had been out to get her since she called ACS to report her daughter's boyfriend was abusing her granddaughter.

But it also appears the girls weren't just out to get the mother. According to another article, these young girls have lied about an awful lot in this case, even lying under oath to the grand jury. So what can we really believe? The window of reasonable doubt is suddenly wide open it appears, and perhaps James Colliton should never have pled guilty to what may have been false allegations from the start.

The older sister had alleged that her own relationship with Colliton began when she was 15. This is disputed however by a cousin of the sisters, identified only as "Shorty," who states that it was she who introduced the older sister to Colliton and that it had been three years later than claimed, when she was 18, a year older than the legal age for consent in New York State. If that is true, then one of the rape charges against Colliton goes right out the window. Plainly not guilty of statutory rape, even if guilty of patronizing a prostitute.

The younger girl has now admitted that she lied about her mother pimping her out, but maintains that she did in fact have sex with Colliton for money and gifts at the behest of her older sister.But that too must be met with the utmost skepticism at this point, considering how this whole case came about in the first place. The elder sister became pregnant by another man, but then began extorting Colliton until finally he demanded a DNA test be done. This is where the younger sister comes into the picture.

By some accounts, still needing cash, the older sister began offering up her younger sibling to Colliton. At first to clean his apartment in exchange for money, but eventually he is alleged to have begun paying in cash and gifts for sex with the younger girl for the next several months. By her own admission, the younger girl began extorting Colliton, threatening to have him arrested.

"I started threatening him that if he didn't give me money that I'd call the cops on him. I told him to give me whatever he could give me. I didn't want to have sex with him anymore," she said.

Maybe she never had sex with him in the first place. The older sister convinced the younger to report Colliton to ACS Administration for Children's Services) while implicating their mother becasue she was too strict on them. As if the credibility of these two girls was not already in serious doubt, we also have the case of José Mangual, the ex boyfriend of the mother of these two girls, who has come forward stating that he was the subject of false allegations made by these two sisters.

Mangual said he ran afoul of the older sister when he moved into the family's Manhattan home and the mother began paying more attention to him than to her kids.

The older girl, then 17, filed physical-abuse charges against the mother with the Administration for Children Service and allegedly persuaded her younger sister to accuse Mangual of sexual abuse.

Mangual said he was never arrested but hired a lawyer to defend himself in family court. He said that the girls' claim fell apart under questioning and that the case against him was dismissed. He and their mother later broke up.

Considering that Mangual came forward and the testimony of the girls had been all but disproven by their own public statements to press, it is hard to imagine how the charges against either the mother or Colliton still stood at all, much less why they might have elected to plead guilty to those charges. Of course, there are those who will maintain the naive notion that "only a guilty person would plead guilty." But sadly, that just is not the truth in this day and age of the presumption of guilt over innocence. The police and courts are too well trusted, while someone as loathsome as a child molester or an unfit mother will hardly be afforded any reasonable doubt even when only the weakest of evidence is brought against them.

So considering that. Considering the very real possibility that they may spend decades in prison for something they did not do, it is really little surprise that such a fear would get the better of someone. And that they would rather just plead guilty, go home and try to move on, leaving the whole sordid tale behind them the best they can. And that my friends, is a big reason why our system is broken. Because the accused, even with the best lawyers often, know full well that there is no such thing as the presumption of innocence anymore. How did that happen? How do we change that?

May 5, 2011

No closure for 9/11 victims' families and survivors

This really pisses me off to no end. Since the very first hours after the attacks of September 11, 2001 we have been fed a string of lies, and stonewalled from getting any real answers to very serious questions. And now the whitewash is complete. No body, no photos, and weak promises of "Bin Laden is dead."

Well, he may indeed be dead. But this whole yarn spun straight from the pages of some Tom Clancy novel is a bunch of bullshit. So let's just recap the events of the past few days here to get the facts straight.

Late Sunday night, while most people in America were going to bed, we began to hear rumors that Osama Bin Laden had been killed. Initial reports from "inside White House sources" said that he had been killed in a missile strike about a week earlier, and that the news was delayed so that they could positively identify the remains through DNA analyses.

But when U.S. President Barack Obama came to the podium in the White House to make the official televised announcement, the story was quite a bit different. According to the President, OBL was killed that very day, in a daring raid by commandos. Okay, fine. Maybe some miscommunication in there, maybe a little deliberate obfuscation by the inside sources to cover their own butts for talking to the press. I roll my eyes, but okay, let's give a little benefit of doubt there. But let's have a look now at how the rest of the story has unfolded.

To begin with, the White House has already changed their story a number of times since the President's official announcement. Now we are not talking about leaked insider information being misinterpreted. We are talking about the White House making authoritative statements of fact, and then reversing themselves. The excuse they use is "the fog of war." Bullshit I say. If they didn't "know" they wouldn't have shared the information. They keep slipping up, getting called on it, and have to change their story each time to make it appear believable.

The Raid.

So as I said, it went from a missile strike a week earlier, to a daring commando raid on a compound less than a mile from a prestigious Pakistani military academy. Doesn't say much for Pakistan's ability to protect their borders for one thing. Okay though, let's assume that it was within the capabilities of US elite forces, without any Pakistani clearance, to storm a compound a mile away from their equivalent to our West Point.

As it is being reported now, a forty-man group of operators from CIA SOG, and so-called SEAL Team 6 (who don't even officially exist), flying in two Blackhawk helicopters descended upon the compound in the dark of night. There was a "fierce" firefight, even though, according to their own reports, OBL had no body guards. Several people are reportedly killed, including two couriers, the same couriers it is believed who led them to the compound to start with, and one of OBL's sons. One of OBL's wives is allegedly wounded in the raid as well, and another woman is killed.

The raid culminates with the execution of the alleged terror mastermind himself, Osama Bin Laden, with a precise shot to the forehead, and another in the chest. Initial reports claim that he was armed and that he used his wife as a shield. But as it turns out now, he did not use his wife as a shield, and in fact was not even armed. So what does that really say about our most elite military unit? That they cannot take in an unarmed man alive. A man who should have been taken alive at all costs even if he was armed. Forget about the moral questions of arbitrarily executing an unarmed man, even one so loathed as OBL. But consider the treasure trove of intelligence that was lost by killing him, if in fact he was the terror mastermind he has been made out to be all along.

The dead part of "wanted, dead or alive" is there because we were willing to pay for his remains if someone else killed him. US forces though? US forces should have taken him alive at all costs. It is clear though, that this operation never intended to take him alive at all. This was an assassination mission right from the start. Why? Because we already know everything he knows. We did not need to wrest any information from him. We needed to silence him. And why the "need" to silence him? Well ask yourself this. Why wasn't he wanted for the 9/11 attacks? On his official wanted posted at the FBI, not a single mention of 9/11.

And al-Qaeda? No such thing.

He needed to be brought to justice so that the world would know once and for all that OBL was indeed the terror-chief he has been portrayed as ever since 9/11. That indeed the threat has been real all along, and not staged to further American geo-political agendas, imperialism and war profiteering by the corporations who control the US government.

At some point during the raid one of the helicopters went down due to some mechanical failure. Some reports say that it overheated from hovering for too long in ambient air temps that were too high. So somehow they managed to squeeze 40 men and a dead body into a single helicopter along with a "treasure trove" of computer hardware.

The compound had no internet connection and no telephones, yet contained this supposedly marvelous cache of intelligence data. And nevermind of course, that they had just executed the most important piece of intelligence they could have ever gotten their hands on.

The Body.

Along with the assassination team and the electronics hardware, the body of Osama Bin Laden was loaded onto the Blackhawk helicopter, and brought back to a base in Afghanistan. A base allegedly so modern and well equipped in the middle of the most ferocious war zone in a third world country, that they were able to make a thorough and conclusive DNA identification of the remains, in a matter of a few hours.

Meanwhile, here in New York State, an autopsy alone can take days. The full lab reports in a the recent high-profile murder of teenage girl who's body was dumped in a suburban ballpark took over a month to complete. Yet in the middle of some stone-aged desert town the U.S. managed to get a conclusive, highly technological, complete scientific analyses of the remains of the most wanted criminal in history done in a matter of a few hours. Of course, we had to do this, in order to make sure that we conformed with Islamic custom to bury the body as soon as possible. How convenient.

So we bury the body in the Arabian Sea. Wait what? We go to all this trouble and then just dump his body in the ocean. What ocean? The Arabian Sea. Now, I know most Americans are terrible at geography and if they actually looked at a map they couldn't tell you the difference between Australia and Afghanistan, but here's a big clue folks. They are opposites, Australia is an island, surrounded by ocean. Afghanistan on the other hand, is a land-locked country, surrounded by the land of other coutnries. There is no ocean on any of it's borders.

Abbottabad, the city where this raid is said to have taken place, is on the Northwestern frontier of Pakistan, along their disputed border with India. That city is a thousand miles from any ocean. So we rushed the body from Abbottabad, to some base in Afghanistan, did a rush autopsy, lab work and DNA test, then packed his corpse onto some other aircraft, another helicopter or light transport plane capable of landing on an aircraft carrier over a thousand miles away, to get his body dumped in the ocean in less then 24 hours. The flight times alone for such a journey really stretch the believability if you stop to actually think about this story we are being told.

Okay, so let's assume that the bullshit story of trying to conform to Islamic tradition is true. We really did want to bury him with the dignity of his faith which says it should be done quickly. Why dump him in the ocean? That is actually an affront to his religious dignity. A Muslim who dies on land is supposed to be buried in the land. Now their faith does allow for burial at sea if the person dies at sea and cannot be buried in the land, but that was not the case here. It is also offensive to transport the body. Muslims are supposed to be buried in the land where they died, and are not to be transported. The body is to be washed and shrouded, placed in a Mosque, funeral prayers offered, and then be buried within 24 hours.

Tombstones, elaborate grave markers, and gravesite offerings are discouraged. Which basically shoots down the American excuse that they didn't want his grave to turn into some terrorist shrine. Besides that, there were plenty of other things that could have been done to prevent that. Like bringing the damn body back to the States for one thing. For another, they didn't seem so concerned about what happened to the corpse when they offered to turn over the body to Saudi Arabia, who declined.

Okay, to recap, we went out out of our way and bent over backwards for one tenet of his Islamic faith while ignoring just about all the other funeral traditions, and while ignoring the need for scientific analyses of the remains, to pack his dead ass back onto another helicopter and fly him over a thousand miles, back out across Pakistan by the way, to drop him on a ship and dump his body in the ocean. And that makes sense to people? Why go to all that trouble to dump him in the ocean if they weren't hiding something?

The Photo.

On the night of the announcement, several main stream media outlets began circulating a picture of what was believed to be the body of Osama bin Laden. A fairly gruesome image, that fits the description that the White House is still using. A bullet entry wound just slightly off center in the forehead, with both eyes exploded in their sockets.

That photo was quickly proved to be a fake, and the propaganda machine was pushed back on its heels. Of course, most of us expected to see a photo, and when the first one proved to be a fake, we expected to see the "real" one. Today, President Obama has decided that he will not release an "authentic" photo of the body. And it appears that a bunch of morons out there are just fine with that.

Supposedly, the President does not want to incite unrest, does not want it plastered over front pages and television screens where the children might see it (oh no, not the children), and is basically saying "America doesn't do that, we are better than that." Yea right. Every other time we killed someone, like Saddam's sons, the pics were released. We have always released pictures of the bodies. And even this time we are doing it. We will get to see pics of OBL's son who died in the raid as well as a few other people in the compound. But no pic of the grand prize.

How the FUCK do Americans find this reasonable?

Especially considering all the questions and conspiracy theory swirling about 9/11 still a decade later, this event had to be executed perfectly. to give real closure to the victim's families and survivors of the 9/11 attacks. To leave Americans no doubt whatsoever that Osama bin Laden was dead, and that the whole thing went down the way they said it went down. But nooo, our government couldn't even get that right. You know why don't you?

I mean seriously, are they just trying to prove how fuckin stoopid Americans really are?!

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