Friday, March 23, 2007

Reichstag's 1933 "Enabling Act" and Congress's 2001 "Patriot Act"

German Reichstag 1933 and Hitler

Today is the 74th anniversary of the Enabling Act by the German Reichstag which essentially grated Adolf Hitler dictatorial legislative powers.

More than 5 years ago, the United States Congress enacted the Patriot Act.

Since the enactment of the Patriot Act, America has changed so much that the office of the President is more similar to a dictatorship then a co-equal branch of government.

The Reichstag in the early 1930's became subservient to a lone "leader", a "decider." Similarly, the United States Congress in the years since the "War on Terror" began, has become subservient to our decider.

There is no need to say much more. We are slowly giving up our sacred branches of government and instilling the Executive Branch with overwhelming and unaccountable power. The same mistake that many fearful Germans fell for in 1933 can happen in this country in 2007.

No President Bush is no Hitler. But his blatant disregard for the other branches of government is without doubt.

Let's not make the Patriot Act become an Enabling Act.

Monday, March 19, 2007

"Independent-Democrat" Lieberman Gets Big Bucks From "Dependent-Republicans"

Whoever says that Joe Lieberman is a turncoat and liar, ought to look at how much good it did him to be the first ever "Independent-Democrat." Information recently released shows that "Just Say Joe" brought in more than $1.5 million from GOP donors in the last weeks of his 2006 campaign, with a little help from his friends in the White House.

However, many of the GOP (Republican for: Grand Odd Party) doners are now claiming that they are not in fact Republicans but rather part of a new party called "Dependent-Republicans." Pete Coors, (yes just out of rehab for his DUI) the loaded owner of the beer company said, "Republican! Republican! we don't need no Republicans!!" Coors went on to state, after tough questioning by reporters, "NO, I was NOT drunk when I contributed to Joe Lieberman's Independent-Democrat party. I thought it was a Republican political action committee."

Numerous other heretofore Republican donors are now claiming similar confusing stories; or more disturbing for the GOP, they have claimed to have switched affiliation to the "Dependent-Republican" party. It has not been substantiated, but many insiders point out that most of these donors are dependent on something.

Lieberman has announced that he is courting with the "Dependent-Republicans" in an effort to swindle his way into another six years as a Senator when his term is up.

"Never too old for a party," said Lieberman.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

"Beware the Ides of March"

The Assasination of Ceasar on March 15, 44 B.C.

Generally speaking, a term from the ancient Roman calendar. The Ides fell on the 15th day of March, May, July, or October or the 13th day of any other month. Thus the Ides of March was the 15th day of March.
Specifically, the term is best known because Julius Caesar was assassinated on the Ides of March in 44 BC.

According to the Greek biographer Plutarch, a few days before, the soothsayer Titus Vestricius Spurinna apparently warned Caesar, "Beware the Ides of March." Caesar disregarded the warning:

"The following story, too, is told by many. A certain seer warned Caesar to be on his guard against a great peril on the day of the month of March which the Romans call the Ides; and when the day had come and Caesar was on his way to the senate-house, he greeted the seer with a jest and said: "Well, the Ides of March are come," and the seer said to him softly: "Ay, they are come, but they are not gone."

As the Senate convened, Caesar was attacked and stabbed to death by a group of senators who called themselves the Liberatores ("Liberators"); they justified their action on the grounds that they committed tyrannicide, not murder, and were preserving the Republic from Caesar's alleged monarchical ambitions. Among the assassins who locked themselves in the Temple of Jupiter were Gaius Trebonius, Decimus Junius Brutus Albinus, Marcus Junius Brutus, and Gaius Cassius Longinus; Caesar had personally pardoned most of his murderers or personally advanced their careers. Marcus Brutus was a distant cousin of Caesar and named as one of his testamentary heirs. There is also speculation that Marcus Brutus was an illegitimate child of Caesar's, since he had an affair with Servilia Caepionis, Brutus' mother; however, Caesar was 15 years old at the time Brutus was born. Caesar sustained 23 (as many as 35 by some accounts) stab wounds, which ranged from superficial to mortal, and ironically fell at the feet of a statue of his friend turned rival, Pompey the Great. His last words have been variously reported as:
• Και σύ, τέκνον Βρούτε; (Kai su, teknon Vrute?) (Gr., "Even you, my child, Brutus?" – from Suetonius)
• Tu quoque, Brute, fili mi! (Lat., "You too, Brutus, my son!" – a modern Latin translation of the Greek quotation from Suetonius)
• Et tu, Brute? (Lat., "And (even) you, Brutus?" – from Shakespeare's play, Julius Caesar)

Contemporary Account

Nicolaus of Damascus wrote a detailed account of the murder of Caesar a few years after the event while on a visit to Rome. During his visit he had the opportunity to interview those who witnessed the murder. Nicolaus' account of the plot to kill Caesar and the actual assassination are thought to be accurate. The following are excerpts from Nicolaus of Damascus' "Life of Augustus" detailing the plot against Caesar and his death.

The Plan

"The conspirators never met to make their plans in the open, but in secret, a few at a time in each other's houses. As was natural, many plans were proposed and set in motion by them as they considered how and when they should commit the awful deed. Some proposed to attach (sic?) him while on his way through the 'Via Sacra', for he often walked there; others, at the time of the comitia, when he had to cross a certain bridge to hold the election of magistrates in the field before the city. They would so divide their duties by lot that some should jostle him off the bridge and the others should rush upon him and slay him. Others proposed that he be attacked when the gladiatorial shows were held (they were near at hand), for then, because of these contests no suspicion would be aroused by the sight of men armed for the deed. The majority urged that he be killed during the session of the Senate, for then he was likely to be alone. There was no admittance to non-members, and many of the senators were conspirators, and carried swords under their togas. This plan was adopted."

Bad Omens

"And Fate [Moira] becomes a still stronger force if indeed one acknowledges her part in these things: on that day his friends, drawing conclusions from certain auguries, tried to prevent him from going to the Senate Room [bouleuterion], as did also his physicians on account of vertigoes to which he was sometimes subject, and from which he was at that time suffering; and especially his wife Calpurnia, who was terrified by a dream that night. She clung to him and said that she would not let him go out on that day. But Brutus, one of the conspirators, though he was at that time thought to be one of his most intimate friends, came up to him and said, 'What do you say, Caesar? Are you going to pay any attention to a woman's dreams and foolish men's omens, a man such as you? Are you going to insult the Senate which has honored you and which you yourself convened, by not going out? No; if you take my advice you will dismiss from your mind the dreams of these people and go, for the Senate has been in session since morning, and is awaiting you.' He was persuaded and went out."
"Meanwhile the assassins were making ready, some of them stationing themselves beside his chair, others in front of it, others behind it. The augurs brought forward the victims for him to make his final sacrifice before his entry into the Senate Room. It was manifest that the omens were unfavorable. The augurs substituted one animal after another in the attempt to secure a more auspicious forecast. Finally they said that the indications from the gods where (sic?) unfavorable and that there was plainly some sort of curse hiding in the victims. In disgust, Caesar turned away toward the setting sun, and the augurs interpreted this action still more unfavorably. The assassins were on hand and were pleased at all this. Caesar's friends begged that he postpone the present session on account of what the soothsayers had said; and for his part, he was just giving the order to do this, but suddenly the attendants came to summon him, saying that the Senate had a quorum. Then Caesar cast a look toward his friends. And Brutus approached him again and said, 'Come Sir, turn your back on these people's nonsense and do not postpone the business that deserves the attention of Caesar and of the great empire, but consider your own worth a favorable omen.'"

The Final Attack

"Thus persuading him, he [Brutus] at the same time took him by the hand and led him in, for the Senate-chamber was nearby. Caesar followed in silence. When he came in and the Senate saw him, the members rose out of respect to him. Those who intended to lay hands on him were all about him. The first to come to him was Tullius Cimber, whose brother Caesar had exiled, and stepping forward as though to make an urgent appeal on behalf of his brother, he seized Caesar's toga, seeming to act rather boldly for a suppliant, and thus prevented him from standing up and using his hands if he so wished. Caesar was very angry, but the men held to their purpose and all suddenly bared their daggers and rushed upon him. First Servilius Casca stabbed him on the left shoulder a little above the collar bone, at which he had aimed but missed through nervousness. Caesar sprang up to defend himself against him, and Casca called to his brother, speaking in Greek in his excitement. The latter obeyed him and drove his sword into Caesar's side. A moment before Cassius had struck him obliquely across the face. Decimus Brutus struck him through the thigh. Cassius Longinus was eager to give another stroke, but he missed and struck Marcus Brutus on the hand. Minucius, too, made a lunge at Caesar but he struck Rubrius on the thigh. It looked as if they were fighting over Caesar. He fell,under many wounds, before the statue of Pompey, and there was not one of them but struck him as he lay lifeless, to show that each of them had had a share in the deed, until he had received thirty-five wounds, and breathed his last."


It has been speculated, by Colonel Luciano Garofano, commander of the carabinieri's forensic investigation centre in Parma in a Channel 5 documentary, that Caesar knew of the plot against his life, and allowed it to proceed, going so far as to dismiss his guard contingent in order to allow the conspirators to kill him. This theory hinges on Caesar's epilepsy, a condition attributed to him by several sources including Plutarch. Proponents of the theory suggest that Caesar deliberately arranged to be murdered by the Senate, to spare himself the indignity of increasing seizures as he aged, and to ensure his own legacy. While the public outrage over Caesar's murder did provide a favorable climate for Caesar's heir Octavian to take power, this theory is not currently backed by any evidence to give it credence and fails to account for his Parthian Campaign planning.


* Ides had real meaning only in the Roman Calendar, which had just been displaced by the Julian Calendar. However, the term "Ides" was still used in a vernacular sense for centuries afterwards to denote the middle of the month.
• Because of William Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar and its line "Beware the Ides of March", the term "Ides of March" has come to mean a foreboding of doom.

• The Ides of March are celebrated every year by the Rome Hash House Harriers with a toga run in the streets of Rome, in the same place where Julius Caesar was killed.

The Toga Run in Hartford this year has been cancelled because of previous "parade route violators."

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Gonzalez Shaves Mustache: Bush Unimpressed

While under fire for firing a number of United States Attorneys while he jokingly yelled, "viva la revolution" Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, was seen to be acting more like one of those bandits in a Clint Eastwood movie then the highest ranking law enforcement officer in the United States. President Bush, who had told aids, "I never liked that mustache, it makes him look evil" had finally called his "amigo" into the office for a meeting.

After several tense hours with a frustrated President Bush, Gonzalez relented and agreed to shave the mustache. A defeated Gonzalez, complained to confidants, "what more can I do to get these reporters off my back. I mean they were only U.S. Attorneys!"

Monday, March 12, 2007

Huge Victory For First Amendment: CT Court Unseals "Doe" Cases.

Late last week a Connecticut Superior Court Judge ordered the Connecticut Judicial Department and the Executive Officer of the branch, the Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court, to unseal all "Level 1" sealed cases. Acting Chief Justice Borden stated he will appeal the trial judge's ruling "all the way up to the Connecticut Supreme Court if I have to!"

"Level 1" cases did not exist until this order. Now that "Level 1' cases are unsealed we all get to know the names of the parties to each case.

In one of the more shocking revelations, numerous cases brought by the "Doe" family, usually John or Jane are now public. For instance, what was referred to in the court battle as "RN 101" and now known as "MMX FA 00 0723788" is no longer a secret. That case was really "In re John A. Doe v. No Defendant." Similarly, Case "102", was brought by "John B. Doe v. Jane B. Doe," possibly a relative of "John A. Doe." Then there is Case "105" which was brought by yet another of the litigious Doe's, this time "John C. Doe v. Jane C. Doe." There are too many Doe cases to list here, but all were finally disclosed.

Plaintiffs' attorneys were surprised by the coincidence of so many people with the same last name showing up on the "Super-Sealed" list. David Goliath of the prestigious firm of Crane, Poole and Bath stated, "I just can't get over it, we busted our chops for almost seven years for this?" A distraught Goliath stated that he would have recused himself had he known how many Doe's where involved. Crane, Poole's named partner Denny Crane would only respond: "Denny Crane!"

Numerous attempts to reach any Doe were unsuccessful.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

"Scooter" Libby Hit on Valerie Plame: Husband "Doesn't Care"

I.Lewis "Scooter" Libby
Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson

In his first press release since the Libby conviction Ambassador Joseph Wilson has come forward with startling new charges against the Vice-President's former Chief of Staff. Wilson now claims, "the whole thing was about a love triangle, and I don't care."

During the hastily called press conference, Wilson revealed Libby and his wife, CIA clerk, Valerie Plame had a fling. Wilson said, "I never really understood why a cool guy like Scooter would 'out' my wife, until she told me that Scooter constantly hit on her at Beltway parties for years." Libby was continually rebuffed by the flirtatious Plame, but was reported to have "made time" with her at a Ugandan Embassy party weeks before the leaks to the media that she was a CIA agent. Sources close to the case, but unwilling to give their names because of the sensitive nature of the events, disclosed that Plame laughed at Libby after he "failed to launch." Plame apparently gossiped about Libby at other parties and in phone calls intercepted by the NSA. An infuriated Libby vowed to get even with Plame and her globe-trotting husband.

For years rumors persisted about a Libby-Plame-Wilson love triangle; but Plame consistently denied the advances to her husband and instead blamed the disclosure on "politics." Plame tried to convince the world that Vice-President Dick Cheney, White House staffer Karl Rove, and even the President wanted to retaliate against her husband for talking about "yellow cake."

"I have spent years blasting the administration for retaliating against me by going after my wife. I had no idea that they were really, 'going after' Val," Wilson said.

Wilson has since left his wife and has joined a chorus of politicians, even some of Scooter's jurors, calling for the President to Pardon Libby. "I look at it this way, in the nitty gritty world of international politics, many ambassadors would boast about having their wife hit up on. What Scooter did should not be a crime."

Valerie Plame was unavailable for comment, but is reportedly suffering from exhaustion after a lengthy book tour.

As for Joe Wilson and Scooter Libby, they were seen at a trendy D.C. nightspot "dirty dancing"with some babes.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Teen Rifle Club Looks For New Members

Unidentified Children: One holding an AR-15 or M-16 (Google Images)

Connecticut has just opened a new Teen Rifle Club. It is looking for new members. The club will offer marksmanship lessons, ammunition loading, and videography lessons. No previous experience or safety lessons are required.

Pipe bomb making is an additional class for those that excel in the marksmanship course.

Teens are encouraged to join. They can bring their father or mother with them and as many rifles as they want from the closets in their bedrooms.

Hartford Courant Reporter Vanessa De La Torre, who covered the recent near "Columbine" of Newington High School has been asked to investigate potential members.

Her knowledge of historic "father-son" range shooting is spelled out in her note to us. The Courant response to the post about the Mosin-Nagant Rifle and teenage possession of rifles symbolizes the ignorance of our culture of violence. The Soviet type Mosin-Nagant combat rifle used by a 16 year old "student" who was videotaped firing at an undisclosed range is still in use by insurgents fighting American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

According to the Courant reporter, father-son rifle shooting is a common practice in Connecticut. Not so sure about that. The problem is not what happens at the range but what happens later on. For instance, the Newington teenager, according to the Courant, "legally" shot the rifle at the range with his father. What is lost is that dads need to take the rifles away from the teenagers after a visit to the range.

Letting "Junior" keep the rifles and ammunition in his bedroom is not only stupid, but ILLEGAL (Risk of Injury to a Minor). Rifles kill just as good as a pistol. And "registered" or not, they should be controlled by ADULTS, not teenagers.

De La Torre was kind enough to write Antisthenes Now defending her article's failure to report all the facts. Her attitude is more frightening than then her writing:

As for the two videos that show the teens setting off the homemade bombs in the woods, it was Frank Fechteler who took those videos. As for the three others taken at the shooting range, simply shooting video of that is not illegal, since it wasn't illegal for Fechteler to shoot registered weapons at a public range,even though he is 16 years old. I think there are quite a few teens in Connecticut who know how to shoot rifles and do so regularly with their parents or other adults (Fechteler told police he'd go shooting with his father,according to the arrest affidavit), though as you might add, not everyone is accused by police of devising a violence plot.

Whether a parent suspects his child is involved in a "violence plot" or not, combat weapons need to be secured at all times from teenagers. The fact that two, or more other instances of a "violence plot" have occurred at the same school demonstrates that parental control is necessary.

Just look at the photo above. Is the kid on the left, holding an AR-15, posing for a holiday card? How many parents would pose their children like this?

Even the media seems lulled into a sense of denial.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Newington H.S. and the Mosin-Nagant Rifle


The Hartford [Connecticut] Courant reported today that 16 year old Newington High School Student Frank Fechteler, with a 20 person "hit list" was video-taped firing weapons at a range and blowing up pipe bombs in the woods. In the video, the teen is able to fire five rounds from a Mosin-Nagant Rifle in less than 25 seconds.

Luckily, this troubled youth was brazen or stupid enough to put these videos on YOUTUBE for all to see. He even emailed the video as a threat to a student in Canton, Connecticut. Thankfully, police in both Canton and Newington swiftly investigated the case and stopped another Columbine.

Questions remain concerning where a 16 year old gets a Mosin-Nagant rifle, who lets him shoot it at a range, and who videotaped all this.

Contrary to the Courant article it is not totally accurate that, "The Russians used the Mosin Nagant (sic) in World War II and some gun enthusiasts consider it a real man's rifle." It may be a "gun enthusiasts real man's rifle" but to report it's use as only in World War II is incorrect.

The Mosin-Nagant (Russian: Винтовка Мосина, also known as the Moisin-Nagant) is a bolt-action, five-round, military rifle that was used by the armed forces of Imperial Russia and later the Soviet Union and various Eastern bloc nations. It was in service in various forms from 1891 until the 1960s, when it was finally replaced in its final function as a sniper rifle by the Dragunov SVD

During the Cold War period, Middle Eastern countries under the sphere of Soviet influence—Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and Palestinian guerrilla factions—received Mosins. The Mosin-Nagant has also seen action in the hands of the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan during the Soviet Union's occupation of the country during the 1970s and the 1980s. Its use in Afghanistan continued on well into the 1990s and the early 21st century by Northern Alliance forces. The Mosin-Nagant is currently being used by insurgent forces in the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars.

So much for the "Assault Rifle" ban in this Country. The difference between the Mosin-Nagant which can pop off five rounds in 25 seconds by a teenager, and the M-16 that (if on fully automatic mode) can send 30 rounds in a few seconds is somewhat meaningless. The definition of an "assault rifle" is lost on anyone at the receiving end of this combat weapon. It becomes a matter of how many cartridges the shooter has. If Fechteler had 10 cartridges he could shoot 50 rounds in around 4 minutes. Ask anyone who has been shot at, one round is too many.

Once again a deadly assault was not stopped by "gun-control" but rather by concerned citizens (this time another teenager) and good police work.

Fechteler got his hands on the guns and ammunition, was able to keep them in his bedroom and practice at a range, He was able to get someone to video-tape this;an eerie similarity to the Columbine shootings. This should be yet another wake-up call to parents to take a minute and inspect your kids room and computer. Yes, it can happen here.

This one almost got us.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Major Walter Reed Hospital MIA

Walter Reed Army Hospital

Major Walter Reed

Dr. Walter Reed's Legacy

Today a hospital and medical center stand in constant tribute to Walter Reed. Walter Reed General Hospital, as it was then known, opened its doors on May 1, 1909 to ten patients. Fourteen years later, General John J. Pershing signed the War Department Order creating the Army Medical Center. In September 1951 on the one hundredth anniversary of Walter Reed's birth, the entire complex became known as Walter Reed Army Medical Center, in further tribute to this hero of medical science.

Major Reed gained recognition for his tireless pursuit of cures and control of yellow fever, which decimated American Troops in the early 1900's. It is safe to say, he would have easily detected the incompetence of service, cracked plaster, mold, urine and blood that now plague the hospital named in his honor.

Reed died of peritonitis on November 23, 1902. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. On his monument is inscribed the following epitaph: "He gave to man control over that dreadful scourge, yellow fever." All it took was a Major to do that. We have Generals that can't keep Reed's hospital sanitary and competent.

The United States Army is at war. troops die, many are severely injured. Many go to Walter Reed Army Hospital, cited as the United State's "premier" military hospital.
Now we get to see what the Army definition of premier is: Decrepit.

In a typical political dash for cover, the Bush administration has appointed a committee to look into and fix what his own three star generals can't seem to handle.

Congress is no better. According to a Los Angeles Times article, Rep. C.W. "Bill" Young, supposedly frequented Walter Reed Army Medical Center, "Bill" said he and his wife found wounded soldiers who didn't have adequate clothes, even one doing his rehabilitation in the bloody boots he had on when he was injured. One soldier, ashamed that his mattress was soaked with urine, tried to turn Young's wife away, the Florida Republican recalled Wednesday. Another with a serious brain injury fell out of bed and hit his head three times before someone was assigned to ensure it didn't happen again.

On the third day of hearings on Walter Reed, Young told Lt. Gen. Kevin C. Kiley, the Army's top medical officer, and other brass that he repeatedly took his concerns to officials. Young didn't raise them in public, he said, because he didn't want to undermine patients' confidence in the military. But now he and other lawmakers want answers. Inexplicably, Young must have thought the mistreated patients still had confidence in the military. What a jerk.

Unbelievable. "Bill" scolds a three star about conditions he observed frequently himself , yet refused to raise them in public. Hypocrisy and contempt are up and running in D.C. How about that action called a Congressional Inquiry Mr. Young? It is obvious Republican Representative Young didn't want to undermine the shameful treatment of wounded troops.

That Young could leave that hospital after seeing what he now reported to the world and not go into a frenzy to see it corrected, demonstrates a politician whose soul is lost.

Now Bush, the Commander in Chief is going to correct this scandal immediately. He is appointing a committee.

At the White House, former Sen. Bob Dole and former Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala, who were appointed Tuesday to head a commission to study military and veterans medical care, met with President Bush.

"He made it very clear that if one soldier doesn't get high-quality treatment and isn't transitioned back into civilian life or back into the military, that's unacceptable," Shalala said, adding that she could sense Bush's "anger and his anxiousness that we move as quickly as possible."

Most people that get caught neglecting their responsibility are angry and anxious. The same guy who enjoys using soldiers as props for his "mission accomplished" speeches would not look so good with a brigade of uncared for troops behind him.

Too bad the Army can't find a good Major to fix this awful mess.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

"So Easy a Lawyer Can Do It"


We have all seen the ads for Geico that inexplicably denigrate cavemen by exclaiming repeatedly, "So easy a caveman can do it," apparently referring to buying auto insurance. [Geico "Caveman" pictured above left].

This months edition of the popular magazine, Caveman Quarterly "CQ" revealed that Geico was sued in a secret proceeding at Guantanamo Bay by the American Bar Association for copyright infringement. The ABA claimed it had a copyright on the use of "cavemen" and "any other primitive being" to advertise the association.

The CQ article revealed for the first time (after a reversal of the governments' prohibition on discussing secret court proceedings)some of the action in the historic trial.

The ABA's Legal Director, Phil Hartman Cirroc [photographed above at right]during closing arguments in the trial stated:

"It's just 'Cirroc', your honor, and, yes, I'm ready.

"Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I'm just a caveman. I fell on some ice and later got thawed out by some of your scientists.

"Your world frightens and confuses me! Sometimes the honking horns of your traffic make me want to get out of my BMW and run off into the hills, or wherever. Sometimes when I get a message on my fax machine, I wonder: 'Did little demons get inside and type it?' I don't know! My primitive mind can't grasp these concepts.

"But there is one thing I do know - when a man like my client slips and falls on a sidewalk in front of a public library, then he is entitled to no less than two million in compensatory damages, and two million in punitive damages. Thank you."

After Judge Art Linkletter, [yes he is still alive] pointed out to Attorney Cirroc that he was arguing a copyright infringement case and not a slip and fall case, Cirroc reportedly picked the judge up over his head and threw him into the jury, yelling: "I'm just a caveman dammit, just a caveman." Four court officers using mace and batons were finally able to subdue the distraught Cirroc.

Despite the violence, after only ten minutes of deliberation (while Cirroc growled outside the jury room), a verdict was rendered for the ABA.

In a press release soon after the trial Geico released a new ad program featuring various prominent lawyers complaining about ads claiming: "So easy a lawyer can do it."

The ABA threatened another lawsuit.

Blind Justice?

New York Federal District Court Judge Richard Conway Casey is blind. Unable to see for years, Casey is the first blind person to be named a federal trial judge. He has held that position for years.

Nominated for a federal judgeship by President Clinton in July 1997 Casey was asked how he could measure credibility without looking a witness in the eye?
Casey responded by asking whether sighted judges might be distracted by a pretty face, hair or clothing.
``If so, should they close their eyes?'' Casey asked, saying the true measure of credibility is determining whether details string together in a coherent, logical way.

Not so fast Judge Casey. How about just answering the question? The "pretty girl" distraction affects everyone in the courtroom, but NOT permenantly. And if this baloney about credibility being determined only by stringing details together is true why do all jury instructions on credibility speak about the "way the witness answered, his demeanor, etc." In other words, what is commonly known as the "squirm test" is a great indicator of a witnesses credibility. So that response is stupid.

Justice may be blind, but a blind trial judge raises a number of issues. And answering a question with a question is the type of "non-responsive" answer a good lawyer would object to.

Media professionals call this type of response: "Telling a Story." The best way to answer questions is to tell a story, according to professional media trainers. Telling a story eats up time, precludes a follow-up, and supports your message.

With all the other issues confronting Connecticut's latest Federal Judgeship nominee, Vanessa Bryant's struggle with potential blindness from macular degeneration is something Senators should examine, and the public should know.

The people of this jurisdiction should not be duped by the appointment of a person with a disability that many would consider to be incapable of accomodation. This is especially true given a life time appointment to the federal bench?

Blindness is a difficult disability and would raises issues concerning how a judge controls her courtroom. The credibility of witnesses is one thing, but there are also serious problems with jurors sleeping, witnesses being intimidated by persons in the courtroom, positioning of participants, lawyers flipping one another off, etc. etc. All of these types of conduct need to be policed by a judge.

It is too bad that this lady may have a debilitating disease. But blind persons can't be police or fire, or EMS. And one can just imagine the kind hearted Bryant skewering a lowly alcoholic lawyer for failing his clients.

Well, a blind judge fails the system.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Mikhail "Gorby" Gorbachev and William "Taco" Sullivan

Gorbachev and Sullivan

In what many historian have cited as an "uncanny" twist of fate. Two former almost identical looking dictators found to have come from similar backgrounds also ended their respective careers with unexpected public criticism.

Mikhail Gerveevich "Gorby" Gorbachev was the Soviet Union Dictator from 1985 into the early 1990's. He is best known as a reformer and for the terms "glastnos" (openness) and "perestroika" (reform).

William "Taco" Sullivan was the Connecticut Supreme Court Chief Justice and Dictator in the early 2000's and is best known for ruling the State's judicial department with an "iron fist." He also "reformed" the Judicial Branch into the ultimate branch of the Connecticut government.

Both men resisted constant rumors that they were related. Gorbachev was quite older and grew up in the small villiage of Stravropol as a peasant. Sullivan was born much later and grew up on the mean streets of Waterbury, Connecticut. Both moved their careers along at a quick pace after obtaining coveted law degrees.

Neither man was able to dispute their striking resemblance. Gorbachev went to the extreme measure of ordering the KGB to simulate a port-wine stain (nevus flammeus) on his head to differentiate himself from Sullivan.

In the "small world" category both Gorbachev and Sullivan met with less than honorable exits from power. Gorbachev was subjected to a failed coup in 1991, which ultimately lead to the loss of his political power and then his resignation.

Sullivan was the subject of a highly publicized scandal after he held up the release of a Supreme Court Decision to help his friend, fellow Republican Peter "Almost Chief Justice" Zarella. Sullivan quickly resigned and was later determined to be unethical by the heretofore lackluster Judicial Review Council. However, unlike Gorbachev, Sullivan is still on the government payroll and making judicial decisions.

In a twist of historical irony, Gorbachev's concept of "glastnost" or openness was lost on his American colleague Sullivan. Gorbachev's career ended shortly after he pushed for "glastnost" openness and "perestroika" reform. Sullivan's career was crippled when he fought against openness and reform of the judicial branch. For example, Sullivan determined there was no need for anyone to know of his friend's Supreme Court decision limiting the Freedom of Information Commission before Zarella's appointment hearings before the hapless Connecticut legislature.

Issues concerning openness and reform led to the demise of both "Gorby" and "Taco."

That is a resemblance that is unmistakable.

Special Prosecutor Justifies Existence, I. Libby Guilty

Libby Found Guilty For Refusing to Disclose His First Name

The Associated Press reported today that former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby was convicted Today of obstruction, perjury and lying to the FBI.

Libby, the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, was accused of lying and obstructing the investigation into the 2003 leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity to reporters. Libby was also charged with lying and obstructing the investigation of his first name.

Prosecutors said he discussed CIA Operative and Bush blasting former Ambassador Joseph Wilson's wife Valarie Plame's name with reporters and, fearing prosecution, made up a story to make those discussions seem innocuous. Worse, Libby lied to the F.B.I. and the grand jury about his real name. High level sources indicated that Libby's real first name is neither Lewis nor Scooter.

Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald said that was a lie. But Libby's defense team had argued that it would be unfair to convict Libby in a case where so many witnesses changed their stories or had memory problems.

Fitzgerald was said to be glad to, "finally bag the big one," referring to an executive aide. In what few people understand, Fitzgerald was not doggedly prosecuting Libby for lying to a grand jury or obstruction of justice, regarding the CIA leak, that stuff happens every day in Washington. What got Fitzgerald mad as an Irish Hatter was that Libby repeatedly lied about what his real name was.

I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby had at first evaded FBI agents about what the "I" in his name stood for. At first he said Ignatious, then it was Iggy, then Izzy etc., etc. The frustrated agents pushed Fitzgerald to put Libby before a grand jury to make him spill his guts about his real first name; and an initial was no longer going to be good enough. But an obstinate Libby continued to lie about his name.

While letting other, "more forthright" defendants such as Karl Rove [can't get anymore straightforward name than that] go, Fitzgerald gathered the full might and power of the United States Government to punish Libby for his big "lie." Fitzgerald was said to be livid that Libby thought he could get away with "this Scooter scam."

Members of the media where ahgast at the verdict. Even Tim Russert exclaimed, "I always called him Scooter, the name seemed natural to me." Presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, stated that in the history of the presidency no executive aide had ever attempted to lie about his name.

Scooter, we hardly new ya.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Another Retaliatory Prosecution: This Time it's Attorney Phillip Russell

What do these three elected officials have to do with the unseemly indictment of Phillip Russell by the United States Government for Obstruction of Justice?

Why they are "law makers" of course. The Three Amigos: Lieberman, Larson and Dodd.

Lest we forget, before every criminal trial the judge is supposed to explain to the jury that an indictment is merely a piece of paper; that is should have no influence on the jury's view of the case. In other words, a wiley prosecutor can bring charges through an indictment about as easily as ordering a Big Mac at McDonald's. And often what looked good when you ordered, gives you indigestion later on. So too with the career crushing attempt by Federal Prosecutors to bag yet another criminal defense attorney.

The United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, Kevin O'Connor, whose office never comments on an open case, broke his own rule by stating in the Greenwich Time:

"The exploitation of children is a serious offense that this office will fully prosecute...Those who possess child pornography or hinder the prosecution of those who do by destroying evidence and impeding investigations will be prosecuted, particularly when the obstructionists are attorneys and officers of the court."

Aside from the FACT that prosecutors in Connecticut and just about every other state are prohibited by the Rules of Ethics from commenting on pending cases, to imply that Attorney Russell in any way was involved in the "exploitation of children" is libelous and malicious. O'Connor and his minions know this, but character assasination is in full swing and no matter how this case turns out, that "child exploiter" moniker will be branded on Russell for life. That stinks.

That a federal prosecutor would make such a remark with the slimist of a nexus to the charges brought against Attorney Russell is dispicable. Who can stop the political assasination of top notch defense attorneys by brain dead ex rugby playing cowboy prosecutors? Well, the "Three Amigos" pictured above of course.

Lieberman, Larson and Dodd are all responsible for the federal law, aka Sarbanes, that gave thuggish federal prosecutors the ability to take out anyone, including "officers of the court" from destroying evidence EVEN IF NO CASE IS PENDING! So if you throw away monopoly money that falls out of the sack that some nitwit uses to stuff a bank deposit with and she gets busted for bank fraud, YOU DESTROYED EVIDENCE and could be prosecuted, and worse, portrayed as a con artist, a thief, a rouge!!

So lawmakers, it is is time to right this wrong. Tighten up a law abused, as usual, by prosecutors and stop the insanity.

Antisthenes has spoken.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

RIP "Rick the Ruler"

It has been almost ten years since the death of Enrique "Rick the Ruler" Ramirez, a Los Solidos Gang leader. But as the recent photo above demonstrates Rick may be gone, but not forgotten.

It was the annual Puerto Rican Day Festival in Pope Park, Hartford, Connecticut that started a series of events that are still unfolding ten years later. Gang members murdering other gang members, federal law enforcement feuding with state law enforcement and many, many people left asunder in the wake of the murder of "Rick the Ruler." Hartford Homicide Detectives disciplined, fired. Federal agents ordered not to investigate Hartford Police misconduct. Lawsuits all around.

June 5, 1997 was a sunny warm day. Hundreds of party goers flocked to Pope Park for the festival, including a good amount of gang members and police officers. Rick was an enforcer for the "Solids" as they affectionately called each other. He was a prick, drunk and bully. And at the end of this festive day, he was dead. Murdered by his own gang. As Robert De Niro who plays Michael Vronsky is famous for saying in the movie, The Deer Hunter "one shot." That's all it took to murder Rick. One shot in the back and this tough guy was dead.

The feds informant, Abdel "Conejo" Rodriguez tipped them off immediately that he knew who shot Rick. He wore a wire for his handlers, he got the killer to admit that he, "went all out for [his]colors." Julio Ramos, a Los Solidos, spilled his guts to Conejo and in turn the feds. He gave up the location of the murder weapon, and shot his mouth off in detail about the murder. He didn't ever explain why he did it. No one asked. Julio Ramos , is now serving a 25 year federal sentence for the murder.

He plead guilty to the murder at the same time Gilberto Rivera, a supposed "offtee" or wannabee of the gang was arrested by the Hartford Police and Hartford State's Attorney James Thomas. Rivera was a patsy for the state officials, ultimately released and awarded $600,000 for his false arrest and imprisonment.

End of story, all is safe in the Insurance City? Not quite.

While the Feds and state argued over who shot Rick, a very important piece of the puzzle was left unanswered. You see, no one gets assassinated in a gang without approval. Julio Ramos didn't wake up that day and decide he was going to murder a gang enforcer. Yet, absolutely no investigation into the genesis of this murder ever occurred.

Hmmm? Could it be that the Federal Authorities lead by Deputy United States Attorney John Durham didn't want to know what their informant "Conejo" really knew?
Was the Hartford Police and Hartford State's Attorney Thomas so bent on showing who was boss that they simply forgot to investigate this crucial part of the murder?

How ironic if FBI informant busting federal prosecutor John Durham actually had a murdering paid informant working for him.

Durham was the federal prosecutor who took down FBI agents in Boston for, among other things, allowing federal informants James "Whitey" Bulger and his Winter Hill Gang to carry out numerous murders and crimes under their watch.

Could Los Solidos leader and federal informant Conejo have ordered the assasination of the troublesome Rameriz?

Who do we get to investigate this one? Rest in Peace Rick.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

We Have a Winner

Congratulations to Ron Samul for correctly identifying the man in the white suit as James "Whitey" Bulger, "retired" leader of South Boston's Winter Hill Gang. "Whitey" incorporated FBI agents and others in law enforcement to do his bidding while at the same time convincing them that he was their informant. This notorious case is still pending since all the resources of the federal government have been unable to capture this seriel killer. He is on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list along with "UBL" Osama Bin Laden. It seems the government probably doesn't want to capture either man, because the information they would reveal would certainly not be in the best interests of the nation.

Good work Ron!

Stay tuned for the next "person of interest."

Does She or Doesn't She: Unqualified Judge Now Qualified


According to the Hartford [Connecticut] Courant, Connecticut Superior Court Judge Vanessa L. Bryant who was determined by the American Bar Association to be "unqualified" to be a United States District Court Judge is now "qualified."

That is good news for all you Cynics out there. Once again the political machinations of our government are at play. Here's how this one played out:

January 2006, Bryant is nominated to be a federal judge by Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell.
That nomination is supported by both Connecticut Senators Dodd and Lieberman, and the Attorney General for the state.

The ABA and the Connecticut Bar Association investigate Bryant by confidentially interviewing lawyers, other judges and probably politicians.

Both organizations slam Bryant as unqualified and infer or state that she is rude, obnoxious and in the usual legalize, "lacks the judicial temperment" to be a federal judge? [Apparently now one considered that if that were true, perhapes she shouldn't be a State judge either].

With dismal prospects the confirming body, the United States Senate, let Bryant's nomination sit, the Congressional session ended and she was done.

But wait! In an act very few judges of Bryant's demeanor perform, she gets a second chance. Rell and company get the President to nominate her again in January 2007. The "unqualified" judge is given a "second bite at the apple."

Why? Because she is black and a female and someone wants to make sure Connecticut is the first state in New England to appoint someone with those "credentials."

The arm twisting begins and...whaala! Bryant, like the Lord herself, is resurrected by the ABA. A judge who was unqualified a year ago is now qualified.

Perhaps she spent that time in judicial "Rehab." Did Bryant's demeanor, expertise and judicial temperment transform over the year she was hung out to dry? Unlikely.

According to the ABA, "We don't simply readopt the prior rating. We re-examine the professional qualificaions of the nominee, which was done in this case." The ABA would not say why the rating changed.

However, Governor Rell somehow knew the inner workings of the ABA review process. In a startling revelation of the comprehensive review process she stated, according to the Courant, "The ABA's change of heart is encouraging." So armed with the same information that led to an unqualified rating the committee apparently got together the second time around joined in a group hug, sang songs and had a change of heart.

Well, isn't that special. Federal judges get ABA ratings based on the big hearts of people even most lawyers never heard of.

So the answer to the question: What qualifies anyone to be a United States District Judge? Simply wait it out and see if the ABA will have a change of heart. Which means the entire process is bull.

Antisthenes Now's advice to Bryant. If you don't get confirmed this year just wait it out until next year, resubmit, get another "change of heart" and you will then be "well qualified" the ABA's highest rating.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Today is the first day of this blog. If not now, when? So let's get going.
As you may have noticed from the title and description, this blog intends to enlighten, ridicule and make you laugh. None of this can happen without your input. When you see something wrong point it out, Antisthenes would. Not only that, he would make sure he followed the tenents of ethical intellectualism. Here is the short list:

1. Virtue can be taught.

2. Only the virtuous are noble.

3. Virtue is itself sufficient for happiness, since it requires "nothing else except the strength of a Socrates."

4. Virtue is tied to the deeds and actions, and does not require a great deal of words or learning.

5. The wise person is self-sufficient.

6. (My favorite) Having a poor reputation is something good, and is like physical hardship.

7. The law of virtue rather than the laws established by the polis will determine the public acts of one who is wise.

8. The wise person will marry in order to have children with the best women.

9. The wise person knows who are worthy of love, and so does not disdain to love.

From The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy 2/27/2007

Is this a wise man?
Don't recognize him? Would you like to meet him?

Maybe have a few drinks and talk about "Southy" with him. Maybe ask him if wants to talk to the FBI? Maybe ask him how many people he has murdered?
Still not sure who he is?

He was last seen leaving a movie theatre in San Diego, California after watching the Oscar Award winning movie, "The Departed."

He's Irish.

He's on the FBI's "Ten Most Wanted List."

His brother is a politician.

Send in your answer. If you're correct you will win a free lifetime subscription to this blog!!