Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Chicago Politicians Are In A Gunfight With The Federal Judiciary.

Chicago, IL—The Windy City is awash in murder.  The bloodshed is predictable precisely with the weather.  Rain, sleet and snow hampers Chicago’s thugs and soft summer nights are filled with relentless victimization, savagery and carnage.
Chicago’s politicians are all hard corps Liberals and have promulgated every kind of gun ban they could dream up.  Gun laws never impact criminals and always impact the law-abiding.  The results are far more predictable than Chicago’s weather.   The thugs, thieves and rapists are actually emboldened and facilitated by the gun bans. The politicians either don’t get it or they want law-abiding innocents defenseless and in harm’s way.   
The 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has mandated Chicago follow the law of the land.  Unfortunately the politicians are just as lawless as the thugs.  These Fascist bastards refuse to release their iron-fisted control over the law-abiding folks as ordered by the court.
The court ordered The State of Illinois and that includes their political sub-divisions like Chicago to end the ban against the law-abiding people from carrying concealed weapons. 
The court took the unusual step of giving the politicians a half-year to create a new law that will respect freedom and liberty. These politicians will steadfastly defy authority.   The deadline will pass and they won’t lift the ban.  The court will lift it for them.
The game will continue with attempts by Chicago and Cook County to create ordinance violations to replace the voided state law.  Taxpayers will be paying the bills for those arrested, prosecuted for the bogus and unconstitutional ordinances. 
The good news is that ordinance violations come with minimum bail requirements, no fingerprints or photographs and no real expectation of jail time. They are less than misdemeanor violations.
The citizens of Illinois will be able to carry concealed weapons as long as they have a standard state Firearms Owner’s Identification Cards.  
Rank and file cops will have little taste or desire to arrest gun- carrying Chicagoans and then face lawsuits under USC1983 for Violation of Civil Rights.  Cops will not be falling on their swords for the glory of Chicago’s lawless politicians.  The vast majority of street cops steadfastly hate the unlawful gun bans themselves.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Jodi Arias and her punishment

Phoenix, AZ—The Circus has folded up its tents and vacated the surroundings of the Maricopa County Superior Court Building complex that hosted, “The Greatest Show on Earth.” If that sounds inappropriate that’s because it was just that.   That Jodi Arias trial was something of a perverted Roman Holliday.
Jodi Arias was involved in a somewhat routine domestic disaster that left her young boyfriend Travis Alexander dead.  We now know that Arias killed him but the exact circumstances are shrouded in lies and mystery.  Lies from the mouths of frightened suspects usually flow like water at Niagara Falls.  Was the killing justified?  We can only guess.  Domestic homicide often unleashes massive rage because of so many factors unique to our most intimate relationships.
Women defending themselves from attack by men have little choice but to use deadly weapons because there is usually a serious disparity of force between men and women.  Alexander’s injuries don’t shock me, I’ve seen worse in proven justifiable cases.
It really makes no difference in our criminal justice system whether the accused is actually guilty or innocent.  The jury simply weighs the material it was given to arrive at a verdict.  If the jury get’s it wrong that’s just too bad. Their verdict and they way they arrive at it cannot be second-guessed by an appeals court.  Only judicial errors get review by the higher courts.  
If jury misconduct is discovered that’s a different matter.   That generally will lead to new trials.  Jury misconduct is very difficult to investigate or prove.  Judges always go out of their way preventing defense attorneys from making effective inquiries of jury members.  
The jury in the Arias case voted unanimously for a 1st Degree Murder conviction making Arias a serious contender for Death Row.  When it came to sentencing at least four of them did not have the stomach to kill Arias.  She faces a new panel and sentencing hearing.  Questions remain about double jeopardy and finding an unbiased new jury panel.  The only thing that’s certain is the massive cost to arrive an acceptable punishment.
This should never been prosecuted as a death penalty case.  Alexander’s family members are Mormon and that religion believes that blood must always be shed to avenge a killing.  Mormons have a lot of influence especially in Republican Primary Elections in the greater Phoenix area.   The County Attorney, Bill Montgomery is under a great deal of political pressure to make sure Arias is put to death. It appears that may not be possible now.
The best thing for justice and taxpayers may be an agreement for something like 25 years to life behind bars.  Realistically that’s a much higher price than would be exacted in most other states.  Arias will be retirement age upon the earliest possible release date.  The woman could do a lot of good or not during that massive amount of time. She’d at least have a chance to redeem herself.
Have we become so blood thirsty that we want to see this woman strapped down and killed?  Frankly that is beneath the dignity of any civilized nation. 
Let’s save a bundle of tax dollars and settle for an agreement that would end appeals by Arias. Let’s hope that she can someday redeem herself.  Nothing will bring back Travis Alexander or fill the hole left in his family.  Frankly the Alexander family won’t find peace until they can forgive.  Arias must earn that forgiveness by becoming a good example to the other inmates of Arizona’s prison system.   The taxpayers need a break too.  Lets hire more cops or schoolteachers with the money we will certainly waste on killing Arias.  

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Second trial of Jodi Arias and Her Next Defense

Jodi Arias and Travis Alexander in better times.

Phoenix, AZ—The trial of Jodi Arias was an entertainment driven spectacle.  It was a lot of things, but a fair trial it was not.  The defense lawyers were not up to the task and failed miserably.  I suspect that a lot of the sidebar rulings of Judge Stephens contributed to this enormous judicial fiasco.
Arias lost confidence in her lawyers but had no way to fire them and bring in new ones. She felt no options but to attempt to take charge.  Had she better lawyers I doubt she would have lost confidence.  Arias was smart enough to see they could not cut the mustard.
As a criminal investigator I specialize in self-defense cases.  The use of deadly force is based on the reasonable man standard.  Here Arias says she was abused and afraid but seems to have too little evidence to back up that claim.
Arias lied to police about the circumstances of Travis Alexander’s death.  Most Americans can’t even tell the truth about why they were late for work let alone admit killing someone.  There was nothing extraordinary about the lies of a frightened and confused Arias told. 
Most Americans don’t have a clue about their absolute right to use deadly force in self-defense.  Those that must resort to this kind of act, nearly always go into a panic.  They unnecessarily lie, cheat and steal to cover up a justifiable event.  These untrained and ignorant people later try to convince cops, prosecutors and juries of the necessity for the killing and it almost always falls on deaf ears.  
Obviously had Arias simply refused to talk to the cops and asked for a lawyer she’d never have been charged! Arias was nothing more than a dumb, panic driven kid that may well have been covering up a justifiable event.   
Remember there was no witness to the killing.  We must assume that the disparity of force between Arias and Alexander was more than sufficient to justify the use of deadly weapons.
With Arias there was yet another significant issue, her mental health.  Was she paranoid?  Was her paranoia a temporary thing brought on by PTSD?  When you take a combination of abuse, fear, a violent altercation and PTSD the reasonable man standard may change.  What really counts is what was in Arias’ mind at the time of the killing.  Frankly we are not clairvoyant!
The claim of Arias of justifiable self-defense has not been fully explored by this trial. The mental state of Arias may have placed her situation where she was convinced that she had no other options.  PTSD pushing Arias over the edge may have influenced her mental state.  Arias’ memory gaps seem contrived but traumatic events do cause those things to happen.  The jury could only guess the truth here and Arias was an exposed liar and juries hate liars.
In any event the burden of proof was somehow shifted in this flawed trial.  Arias was actually and unlawfully required to prove that her actions were justified!  In the end Arias could not meet that burden.  The state was not forced to prove that Alexander did not attack Arias. Proving a negative is always impossible.  Nobody could succeed in proving what happened sans independent witnesses.
The Arias jury should have been sequestered away from the media circus and the Internet.  The trial was nothing short of a legal lynching.  Arias far too easily took control of her defense away from her overwhelmed lawyers.  Judge Stephens should have intervened if for no other reasons over the questionable mental health issues plaguing Arias.  
A new trial is in order sans the TV cameras, circus and a want to be celebrity prosecutor.  This time the jury must be protected from the influences of the true crime TV celebrities and the courthouse lynch mob.
I think I could help Arias if there was funding.  I’d want full control to pick her new defense lawyer and for that lawyer to engage new experts.   I have two venerable and gifted lawyers in mind for the task and would love to work with them on a retrial.  They both are no strangers to death penalty cases.
Jodi Arias deserves a new trial at the minimum.  Calling her trial a circus was actually polite. That trial was un-American, unfair and disgraceful.  
We have felt bad for the members of the Alexander family for their sad loss.  We have treated them with full dignity and respect. On the other hand we have left the family and friends of Arias in the dirt and mud. That too was very wrong.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

My Dental Care Experience at the UCLA School of Dentistry

Dr. Erica Gomez and her smiling patient

UCLA School of Dentistry 
Los Angeles, CA—I just completed my treatment at the prestigious UCLA School of Dentistry.   I chose this facility for really good reasons.  I had no dental insurance dropping it because it seemed worthless with regular dentists.  More importantly this school has it’s own dental lab, great professors and their gifted students.
There are no shortcuts or substandard materials used here.  The students are doing their absolute best under the watchful eyes of the professors.  Often the student will have a peer watching the procedure and that must bring out the competitive spirit of anyone.  When you think about it who watching the street dentists?  Where do they get their materials and dental lab work?  
Going to the dentist is never pleasant unless it’s an examination with no work required.  Even that brings apprehension.  When you think about filling cavities, getting deep cleanings or root canals or extractions, one word comes to mind, pain.  Nobody likes pain and when it’s over you’ve got to pay the bill.  That brings even more pain.
My dental student, Erica Gomez is an adorable young woman working to make her parents proud by her herculean accomplishment.   She was as gentle and careful as she could possibly be.  Erica was as good as it gets.  For me its was a positive experience despite my fear and loathing along with the seeming endless sound of the dental drill.
In less that a month Erica Gomez will become Dr. Gomez.  She can count on being unleashed during a miserable economy being saddled with huge student loans.  In addition to being a dentist she will be dealing with a paperwork blizzard of insurance forms.   No matter what her life will be a lot of things but easy really won’t be a part of that. 
Dr. Gomez will be helping people in many ways.  Dental health is also directly tied to physical health.  Your employment and station in life is also directly tied to your smile.  The cosmetic factor of dentistry is directly connected to your emotional health.
Dr. Gomez may be young but she’s got the latest and greatest dental education behind her now.   This young woman made a difference in my life that I won’t forget.
As for becoming a patient at this or other dental schools requires a screening and approval by the faculty.   The process is sometimes painfully slow because of too many patients and too few faculty members.  The end result here at UCLA was worth the wait and the fees charged.  The cost was at least 50% to 70% less than I would have paid anywhere else.
Even if you have to commute a serious distance to get your care at UCLA School of Dentistry it is worth it.

Jodi Arias is a Taxpayer’s Worst Nightmare

Phoenix, AZ—The modern day lynch mob is in place with their smartphones at the ready to capture their idea of judicial history.  The nearby streets are filled with satellite trucks and the TV studio tents for the celebrity media pundits.  The out-of-control media at its worst has already relentlessly tortured the hapless defendant. The Jodi Arias case has shown that human civilization has not improved since the beginning of mankind.
I really can’t understand the fascination of so many people for this run of the mill domestic killing.  Arias is no movie star, sports figure but just another under achiever caught up in a common crime.  The killing of her boyfriend is just not the same as the kind of crime we reserve for the death penalty or for that matter even life imprisonment.
The only thing we really know for sure is that Arias killed her sometime boyfriend with a great deal of anger and passion.  We also know that she lied and covered up her role in the killing.  Is that really so unusual?  People easily lie about the reasons they are late for work; is deception to avoid the greatest punishment provided by law somehow beyond our understanding?
Arias made some terrible decisions for sure.  In most jurisdictions her case would have ended in a plea agreement that would have netted her less than seven years in prison.  Arizona’s punishment for crime is as harsh as it gets in America.   Under normal conditions in Arizona, Arias probably deserves at least 20 years behind bars for her crime.  That’s certainly enough time to ruin her life, make her really miserable and satisfy most cries for retribution.
For a lot of people death would be easier to face than 20 years in an American prison.  The confinement, bad food, substandard medical care, inherent dangers and loneliness can easily become worse than a quick and painless death. 
The death penalty brings with it a huge price tag.  The public forgets that we have a Constitution and Bill of Rights that guarantees an appeal process that takes sometimes 30 years or more!  The legal fees for both the defense and prosecution are always well into millions of dollars and the defendants are always indigent.  It’s far cheaper to keep prisoners locked up than killing them.
A death penalty case has its advantages for prisoners; especially those that did not get fair trials or those who are actually innocent.   Death cases are overturned at a much higher rate than the non-death ones.  The courts are far less careful in prison only cases.
The shameful spectacle that has been the Jodi Arias trial is fraught with appeal land-mines.  The higher courts will be looking at every judicial ruling, juror misconduct incident, prosecutorial misstep and the tainted climate brought on by the circus atmosphere. 
This could all be avoided with a reasonable plea agreement right now.  Okay plea agreements only come before trials however no law exists to prevent them post trial.  Arias would also have to waive all appeal rights.
Would society really suffer if Arias were to simply to be sent to prison for 20 years with no rights to appeal?  What could be done with the millions of dollars saved?  How many young scholars could we send to medical school?  For you law and order types how may cops and prison guards could be hired with the money saved?
Ending the Arias case with a 20-year, non-appealable prison term would be too simple and cost effective to satisfy Arizona’s bloodthirsty politicians and lynch mob members.  These are in fact the same people that supported Gestapo tactics and the People’s Court of Germany 1933-1945.  
If we must have a death penalty it should be reserved for only the most heinous of murders with a much higher threshold of guilt than some jury’s reasonable doubt guess.  Would it be too much to ask for absolute proof before we take someone’s life? 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Screen Legend, Greta Garbo to be Portrayed By Carice van Houten!

Greta Garbo, left and Carice van Houten, right

Amsterdam, NL—Let me begin by confessing my fascination for beautiful elegant European women.  They know how just to dress, walk, talk, flirt and dazzle my imagination.   I was first exposed to them when I was drafted into the Army and sent to Germany long ago.  They still ring my bell today more than ever.
Legendary Swedish film siren Greta Garbo was the epitome of glamour, grace and sexy hot.  She was a natural for films that are still shown today.  A few years ago I discovered a woman with all of Garbo’s attributes when I saw Paul Verhoeven’s terrific film Black Book.  The female lead was Dutch actress, Carice van Houten.  In Black Book she sang, danced, swam, and acted in four languages in the World War Two thriller. 
I instantly fell in love with van Houten’s talent.  I also know that van Houten is destined to begin gathering Academy Awards as she has scooped up five of Holland’s coveted Golden Calf statutes.  She needs to be cast in more American films.
Van Houten has Garbo’s magnetism, charm and an amazing resemblance too.  That mixed with incredible acting chops and a gift for emulating several dialects makes van Houten perfect for being cast as the film icon. 
Screen International broke the story that van Houten is set to play Garbo in a biopic that she will also co-produce.   I don’t know enough about the film and the others being cast yet but know the bar will be set high.  I only wish I could land even a small a role in the film myself.  I know this will be a box office smash and bring van Houten to Hollywood’s most special red carpet.
I will borrow a published quote from van Houten; “I was raised with silent films. I have always maintained an endless fascination for that era,’ Van Houten told the magazine. ‘I am strongly drawn to her story, her art, her loneliness and her beautiful complex structure.’
Van Houten is best known in the USA for her roles in Valkyrie, Repo Men and Black Book and can currently be seen as Melisandre in HBO television series Game of Thrones.   

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Why We Must Purge Our Whitehouse of Those Chicago Thugs, Thieves and Whores Now.

Washington, DC—As a nation we were in a crisis because of eight years of a disappointing presidency under George W. Bush.  He engaged in two wars we should have avoided.  We allowed our government to reward Wall Street criminals at every opportunity and the taxpayers took a huge beating.  The real estate bubble broke and bled over millions of Americans.
Americans wanted change and looked to an unknown man with a broad smile who made vague promises for hope and change.  Nobody could really guess just what his agenda was but anything seemed better than Bush.  Barack Obama was a Chicago Machine Democrat.  This is not your father’s Chicago Machine but the new breed of hard corps Leftists using long established and proven techniques of voter fraud, bribery and extortion to win elections and hold office.
Obama somehow escaped any real vetting and his birth origin questions seemed to help rather than sideline the candidate.  Absolutely every expert that has examined it has declared his birth certificate a forgery.  That eligibility issue became nothing more than a distraction met by the smirks of those supporting Obama. 
We all have learned to judge a man by the company he keeps.  Obama’s mentors were to a one, Communists, criminals or terrorists and his closest religious advisor was and is a hateful bigot.  Obama bought his lavish, Chicago Hyde Park home from a well-connected political fundraiser and now imprisoned criminal Anton “Tony” Rezko for a “fire sale” price. 
Obama was very close to now imprisoned Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and the fellow that was nearly sold his vacant Senate seat, Jessie Jackson, Jr.  who is now also a convicted criminal. 
Helping and advising Obama and his political campaign were Chicago’s Terrorist Twosome, William “Bill” Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn of the 1960’s SDS Weather Underground bombing fame. 
Who could ever forget Obama’s closest religious advisor, the infamous Rev. Theodore “God Damn America” Wright.  Wright was and is a nasty and racist man that simply preached hate.
We can’t forget how Obama sidestepped a normal Senate vetted cabinet in favor of a group of “Czars” he hired in secret that he brought in to run our nation.
Obama wasted no time is doling out hundreds of billions of our tax dollars to now failed companies as rewards for their political loyalty to him.  The job creation benefits of these corrupt handouts were non-existent. 
The Liberal Media turned their eyes far away from all of the disturbing signs.  As for the historic agenda of America’s Democratic Party there are no victories at all. 
Instead of getting out wars Obama found new ones to engage.  Instead of repealing the dreaded Patriot Act, Obama made it even more tyrannical if that were possible.  Obama then ended the Posse Comitatus Act allowing for our military to police or make war on Americans here at home. 
The final insult was the NDAA that authorized the indefinite detention without trial or the right to a lawyer of Americans here at home.  We somehow managed to give this strange man with the broad smile ABSOLUTE POWER over our children and us.
Our Death Penalty is awash in a crisis of wrongful convictions and that has not gotten a single notice from the Whitehouse.
Our failed Drug War continues to provide Drug Lords and Drug Czars financial Nirvana while people innocent people are killed at an alarming rate.  Obama’s Whitehouse has avoided this issue at all cost. 
GITMO is still open despite Obama’s promises to close it.  Holding prisoners without charges or trials is simply wrong and un-American but no movement can be seen from Obama.  Are Americans at risk for more random Muslim bombings over this?
The Whitehouse and the appointed Homeland Security Director, Janet Napolitano, have criminally obstructed our immigration laws.  They are pushing hard for amnesty that would decimate the financial stake of all of America’s legal immigrants and African-American poor.   They would be forced to compete for jobs and entitlements with hordes of uninvited trespassers breaking our laws.
Now I must really make the comparison of the worst despotic leaders of the world that all came in with a false appearance of being peace loving, benevolent and kind. They gave us the worst government sponsored holocausts.  What’s past is prologue and we humans never seem to understand that.  We never learn from our mistakes.
Obama’s own media lapdogs have discovered that the Obama Administration’s been spying on them and unleashing the IRS on those considered disloyal.   The media has been told what to report by the Whitehouse and they’ve followed orders.  Having their phones tapped has rewarded them all. Historically government agents tap the phones of news editors and reporters to learn secrets of extra-marital affairs, homosexuality and tax dodging along with any other issues that enable extortion efforts. 
Will the media continue to turn a blind eye to Obama’s tyranny?  Perhaps Obama’s media lapdogs are already victims of Chicago style extortion?   That well may explain their reluctance to report on Obama’s bogus birth certificate, the horrors of the Fast and Furious Scandal or the Benghazi Slaughter and subsequent cover ups.

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Phil Spector School of Rock, at The Rock.

Corcoran State Prison, CA—In this tough prison there are few bright spots.  Charles Manson, Sirhan Sirhan and many other convicted criminals who have committed despicable crimes wait here to simply die.   
Most other inmates will quickly get out and the rate of return is astronomical. Of course they destroy lives along the way.  Our correctional institutions do anything but correct.  They are almost all, in reality advanced schools of crime and violence.
We have locked up millions of young people in what we call correctional institutions.  We demand they turn their lives around but have made that daunting task impossible.  Perhaps it’s because we place them with one another where they can form peer groups of despair, destruction and depravity.  This concept can only fail.
Most of these convicted losers come from ignorance, poverty and are raised by the worst mentors society has to offer.  We only make things worse for them.
I have no magic cure for the drug addicted but for others we can reclaim lost and stolen lives.  We can do this with the resources we already have.
To succeed in society we all need skills.  What prisons offer can barely help people obtain and keep the lowest paying jobs.  Criminal records will keep them from conventional employment because nobody wants to take unnecessary risks by hiring felons.
Entertainment provides thousands of jobs and felons can get work there if they obtain skills and can behave themselves.  We don’t perform background checks on the people making CD’s, DVD’s and working the nightclub entertainment circuit.  The only thing that counts is if they can take the rest of us on that special ride.
Prisons have the talent to do this but it’s the ineffective losers who run them that are barely superior to the inmates.   The talent for this already lies within their walls.
Musical genius Phil Spector is rotting in the California prison system.  He has no choice, but the people housing him do.  They can give Spector a few perks, equipment and let him bring musical skills to fellow prisoners.   This man made many millionaires out of everyday people wandering through New York’s Brill Building. 
I’d start, The Phil Spector School of Rock.  I’d first make a call for musical instruments to be donated.  I’d create a magnet prison for inmates statewide that want to learn music and let them earn admission through good behavior and motivation and inclination.  
Phil Spector could be convinced to become the dean of this venture because he is qualified and all too available.  We need not guess that Spector has his own needs for creativity too. 
Imagine for a moment the implications of such a venture.  Students learning, great music and a soon there’d be weekly TV broadcast like Austin City Limits from a prison!  Along the way how many lives could we save?  How many fewer murders, robberies and violent crimes would be stopped because inmates develop a new passion other than crime?
What we are doing now is pure failure.  What do we have to lose by trying this?  After that, Drama, Dance and Comedy schools could emerge from inside every prison in America.  We can make great things happen if we at least try.