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Pottawattamie County and Racial Justice

We've discussed the legal issues raised in Pottawattamie County extensively.  In a recent amicus brief, Mark Herrmann, on behalf of Black Cops Against Police Brutality, looks at the case from a different angle.  

In a blog posting about Pottawattamie County, Herrmann highlights the racial issues that we've ignored:

Two white prosecutors participated in fabricating, and then presenting at trial, perjurious testimony that resulted in the conviction of two black youths for the murder of a white former police chief. The black youths each served 25 years in prison. The key witness at trial then recanted his perjured testimony, and the men were released from prison. They sued the prosecutors for having violated their civil rights. The prosecutors contend that they have absolute immunity from liability.

It's a fantastic point, especially when one considers that 42 U.S.C Section 1983 is the codification of the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871.  Section 1983 was enacted because white officials, acting under color of law, terrorized innocent black Americans.  Isn't that exactly what happened in Pottawattamie County?  

The Black Cops amicus brief

recounts some sad examples from American legal history of where white cops have manufactured false evidence against black defendants. For example, in Brown v. Mississippi, 297 U.S. 278 (1936), white officers were investigating the murder of a white man. Acting without probable cause, the officers seized a black man named Arthur Ellington from his home, strung him up to a tree, and whipped him. He refused to confess.

Herrmann's post on Pottawattamie County is available here.

EMT Firefighter Punks Neo-Nazi

Too good to not be true: 

I was called to respond to a medical emergency involving a man who was covered in Nazi tattoos.

He had high blood sugar, and was drunk and pretty out of it.  We had to take him to the hospital.  On the way there, I kept telling him he needed a blood transfusion; and this hospital (which was located in a minority neighborhood) only had black blood.

We got him safely to the hospital.  After we laid him onto one of the beds, he started getting froggy.  Security had to be called.  From behind the security guards, I said: "Get ready to get some black blood."

He moans/growls "Nooooooo!" and sh-ts in the bed.  We laughed.  

The medic regretted not assessing his state of consciousness by asking him: "Do you know whom the president is?"

Yeah, yeah, yeah.  Probably unprofessional and all that.  Still hilarious.

Class Action Lawsuit Against Whole Foods for Not Honoring Volume and Case Discounts

One of the most frustrating facts of modern life: You can't trust corporations.  I monitor my credit card statement monthly.  I cancelled a gym membership with Gold's Gym months ago.  Each month, they bill me.  Each month, I dispute the charges. 

In America, a person must have two jobs.  In our first job, we earn money.  Our second job is preventing corporations from stealing our money.  It's enough to make one forsake libertarianism.  

One thing I don't do: Check my receipts when shopping at Whole Foods.  It seems that is a mistake.

Whole Foods, as well as other business, often offer a volume discount: Buy a case, save 10%.  Most of us assume that the cash register will honor Whole Foods' promise.  We don't review our receipts before leaving the store.  Perhaps we were duped.

A recently filed Complaint alleges that Whole Foods has not been honoring its volume discounts.  People who purchase a case are not receiving the promised discount.  

In a perfect world, the Department of Justice would prosecute corporations that steal money from customers.  If I failed to pay for 10-20% of my groceries before leaving the store, I'd be in jail.  Unfortunately, big corporations own the Department of Justice.  Thus, the only relief available is through a class action lawsuit.

A close friend of mine, Edwin Aiwazian of The Aiwazian Law Firm, is the lead lawyer in a case against Whole Foods.  The plaintiffs are seeking class action status.  This will be an interesting case to follow.  (The Complaint is available here.)

Catholic Church Defends Roman Polanski

The Catholic Church wants us to move past its child molestation scandal, because, quite frankly, priests were not molesting children.  Instead, ala Roman Polanski, they were simply having relations with adolescents (via):  

The statement said that rather than paedophilia, it would "be more correct" to speak of ephebophilia, a homosexual attraction to adolescent males.

"Of all priests involved in the abuses, 80 to 90% belong to this sexual orientation minority which is sexually engaged with adolescent boys between the ages of 11 and 17."

It's time to indict the Catholic Church under RICO.  Seriously.  For decades, they obstructed official investigations, and committed mail and wire fraud.  Perhaps there once was good reason to forgive the Church.  This latest statement has removed all doubt about the Catholic Church.  The Church has refused to accept responsibility.  

Moreover, any organization that believes having sex with an 11-year-old boy is garden-variety homosexuality, does not deserve to exist.  

Oklahoma City Bombing Tapes Edited

What is going on here?

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Long-secret security tapes showing the chaos immediately after the 1995 bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building are blank in the minutes before the blast and appear to have been edited, an attorney who obtained the recordings said Sunday.

"The real story is what's missing," said Jesse Trentadue, a Salt Lake City attorney who obtained the recordings through the federal Freedom of Information Act as part of an unofficial inquiry he is conducting into the April 19, 1995, bombing that killed 168 people and injured hundreds more.

Trentadue gave copies of the tapes to The Oklahoman newspaper, which posted them online and provided copies to The Associated Press.

The tapes turned over by the FBI came from security cameras various companies had mounted outside office buildings near the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. They are blank at points before 9:02 a.m., when a truck bomb carrying a 4,000 pound fertilizer-and-fuel-oil bomb detonated in front of the building, Trentadue said.

What was edited out?  Why were the tapes edited?  It does seem unusual that the taped edited out the actual bombing.  Could it be that Tim McVeigh did not act alone?  Perhaps others - unapprehended terrorists - were involved?  Something more sinister?  

Right, right, right.  It's just a coincidence that the most-reliable evidence - evidence that would have conclusively established exactly how many bombs were blown up - has somehow vanished.  

Tape delay.  Stuff happens, and it's not like the government would lie.  Turn on the television, and crack open an ice-cold Budweiser.  Beeeelch.  

What were we talking about?  Whatever; the commercial break is over.  UPDATE: Oops, cable is out.  Dang.  Guess I'll read something.  Maybe a lunatic conspiracy theory?  Here's one from Wikipedia:

Several witnesses reported a second person seen around the time of the bombing; investigators would later call him "John Doe 2". There are several theories that the second person was also affiliated with the bombing and was even a possible foreign connection to McVeigh and Nichols.... One reporter for The Washington Post reflected on the fact that a John Doe 2 has never been found: "Maybe he'll [John Doe 2] be captured and convicted someday. If not, he'll remain eternally at large, the one who got away, the mystery man at the center of countless conspiracy theories. It's possible that he never lived. It's likely that he'll never die."

Might the edited out video have revealed a John Doe 2?  OK, OK, OK.  You're right.  John Doe 2's involvement is a conspiracy theory.  It is therefore untrue on its face.  And, yes, it was a coincidence that the tape (which would have shown this "John Doe 2") was edited.  Or on tape delay.  Or something. 

Time to pop in a DVD, as only an insane person would wonder why the tapes were edited.  A sane person drinks Budweiser and watches television.  

ANOTHER UPDATE: Must be getting drunk, as I found this weird video. Why does live coverage of the bombing reveal more than one bomb? The Official Story involves only one bomb.  One man, one truck, one bomb.  

Certainly live media coverage is less reliable than an official government report.  Ding!  Microwave went off.  Time for a nutrient-rich Hot Pocket. ("Hot Pockets are microwaveable turnovers usually containing a combination of cheese, meat, and vegetables.  Hot Pockets are currently produced by Nestlé internationally.")

There is nothing to see here.  My apologizes for causing alarm:

PATRIOT Act Used for Non-Terrorism Cases

The PATRIOT Act stands for: Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001.

As it turns out, the PATRIOT Act isn't about terrorism at all:

In the debate over the PATRIOT Act, the Bush White House insisted it needed the authority to search people's homes without their permission or knowledge so that terrorists wouldn't be tipped off that they're under investigation.

Now that the authority is law, how has the Department of Justice used the new power? To go after drug dealers.

Only three of the 763 "sneak-and-peek" requests in fiscal year 2008 involved terrorism cases, according to a July 2009 report from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. Sixty-five percent were drug cases.

More here. You mean the PATRIOT Act was really a bait-and-switch?  Since when is a government expansion of power not a bait-and-switch?  Can you think of any examples?  

1-877-362-2803 is a Scam. Is Acxiom Corporation-Delivery.Net a Criminal Enterprise?

On Sunday afternoon, I received the following text message: "[email protected]: Message from [Name of my Bank]. Not a sales message. Call us at 1-877-363-2803 immediately about your recent account activity. Thank you." 

I was startled, but knew not to call. I have never signed on for mobile banking. How would they have obtained my phone number?  Instead, I Googled the phone number. There were no hits for that number - and certainly no permutation of that phone number was associated with my bank. 

I then thought about the nature of the ISP. is a subdomain of I thus Googled "" It's a spam website, owned by the Acxiom Corporation. (Acxiom Corporation 601 E. 3rd St. Little Rock, AR 72201 US.)

UPDATE: I Googled the text of the message, omitting my bank. I found this: I just got [email protected] / Message from First Hawaiian Bank. Not a sales message. Call us at 1-877-362-2803 immediately about recent account activity. Thank you."

My bank is not First Hawaiian, and thus this text message is certainly a scam.  Still, questions remain.

Is T-Mobile committing fraud?  Is Acxiom Corporation a criminal enterprise?   All of these corporations will no doubt claim to have been hacked.  Victims.  I am suspicious. 

Perhaps T-Mobile or Acxiom Corporation sold my personal information?  Why can't they build infrastructure to prevent fraud?  Will the Department of Justice investigate?  When Goldman Sachs calls, DOJ answers the phone.  They arrest innocent people in under 48 hours.  Will DOJ protect the average American from fraud?  Or is fake-fraud against Goldman Sachs a higher priority than real fraud against average Americans?

Paul Clement to Argue Pottawattamie County v. McGhee?

In the Pottawattame County merits brief (here), Paul Clement is listed as counsel of record.  Is Clement doing the oral argument?  It will be much better for everyone if a former Solicitor General argues the case.

Incidentally, the merits brief disposes of the argument that adequate alternative remedies against prosecutorial misconduct exist:

Petitioners’ amici describe a host of other remedies to punish prosecutors for misconduct. See, e.g., Nat’l Ass’n of AUSAs Br. 7-16; see alsoImbler, 424 U.S. at 428-29. The most notable thing about amici’s lengthy catalog of supposed remedies, however, is that petitioners have not faced any of them. The highest court in the State of Iowa found that petitioners had violated the Constitution by suppressing exculpatory evidence. Harrington v.State, 659 N.W.2d 509, 521-25 (Iowa 2003). What consequences befell the prosecutors for that unconstitutional action? Petitioners did not face so much as a state-bar investigation, and they remain members in good standing of the Iowa bar in private practice in Council Bluffs. “Remedies” that go unused when serious, documented prosecutorial misconduct comes to light are little better, and perhaps worse, than no remedies at all. Unfortunately, the lack of meaningful response is typical.