Maine: Somali Muslim “Refugees” Roam Streets Randomly Attacking Americans…
Going out on a limb here, but perhaps importing hordes of third-world people with an average IQ of 68 who adhere to a violent, murderous “religion” into a civilized, Christian nation was, shall we say…stupid.
Governments are supposed to PROTECT their citizens, not INFECT them.
LEWISTON -In the early evening on the first day of summer, a large group of Somali boys approached a woman on the corner of Ash and Pierce streets.
According to police reports, they intimidated the woman and slapped her in the back of the head before scattering into the downtown.
Five days later, shortly after midnight, a man was accosted by a group of Somali boys outside the Big Apple on Main Street. Police reports say several members of the group punched the man and took money from him. They then fled in a car.
Later that night, a woman in her late 60s was beaten by a group of Somali boys and relieved of cash while walking in Kennedy Park.
Five nights later, another man was jumped by a group of similar description. He resisted the gang and was beaten badly. He required surgery.
Throughout the summer, similar reports have come into the Police Department. Witnesses and investigators say swarms of Somali boys, some as young as 8, others in their late teens, overwhelm solitary victims through sheer numbers.
“It’s not gang activity in the traditional sense,” Deputy Chief James Minkowsky said. “We’re not seeing the colors or the monikers, but it’s still a gang mentality.”
Often, these gang members carry sticks and rocks with which to intimidate their victims. There are often four or five of them, sometimes as many as a dozen. Typically, they threaten or beat their victims until they give up the goods: money, bicycles, cell phones, prescription drugs, or other items of value.
Then they scatter.
“By the time the call gets to us, the group has dispersed,” Minkowsky said.
The attacks continued all summer; more than a dozen were reported to police. There were more in the fall and a series of them in recent weeks. In each attack, the victim is one who may have appeared weak to the group that descended on them.
“They single out a person who is walking alone. The victim is often intoxicated,” Minkowsky said. “Or he might be small. They look for someone who is not likely to fight back or present much of a challenge.”
On the first day of December, a man walking through Kennedy Park after leaving a Park Street club said he was attacked by four Somali males. The group came at him from behind, knocked him down and stole prescription drugs and $150 in cash. That man told police it was the second time he was attacked in such a fashion. The first time, he was able to escape.
On the last day of November, there were three such attacks reported in Lewiston: one in the area of Central Maine Medical Center, another on Bartlett Street, the third in Kennedy Park.
In another attack, a woman walking a dog in the park was set upon. The assailants, a group of Somali males, beat her dog with a stick. Police later tracked down one of the attackers. He was a 10-year-old boy.
In late summer, an off-duty civilian police employee was eating at a local restaurant. A local boy ran to the window, screaming for help. The police employee ran outside and found a group — roughly a half-dozen — of Somali boys. When confronted, they ran off.
Police say they are investigating the attacks on several fronts. They are using new technology and new techniques. A bigger break came in recent weeks when they were approached by a group that wants to help.
“Members of the Somali community came to us,” Minkowsky says. “They set up a meeting with us and came in to talk about it. They want to help us combat it.”
Police Chief Michael Bussiere pointed out that the attackers do not appear to involve large segments of the Somali population. It seems to be a select group that has organized to carry out the attacks.
Police say group robberies are almost unheard of in Lewiston. In the past, when multiple people have attacked a lone victim, two or three assailants were reported and the assault was typically prompted by intoxication or old rivalries.
Not so with the Somali attacks.
“We haven’t seen that it’s been fueled by alcohol or drugs,” Minkowsky said. He added that robbery appears to be a primary motivation among the Somali gangs. “But in some cases, they seem to do it for the thrill of it.”
Stephen Wessler, director of the Center for the Prevention of Hate Violence, said he was not aware of the Somali assaults in Lewiston. After hearing the nature of them, he said the attacks likely were not the type that involve his group. The motive appears to be robbery, rather than race.
While investigating the ambush-style attacks, police have little to compare them with, at least locally. A search of assaults dating back to spring revealed no incidents of a similar nature involving non-Somalis.
“This is unique,” Minkowsky said.
There have been a few arrests since the attacks began. Minkowsky said many of the suspects had dropped out of school. Their parents seemed to have no idea that their children had become part of a roving gang.
Seeing children as young as 8 running the streets with teens closing in on 20 is something police are not used to seeing. There is a lot about the attacks investigators have not seen before.
Just a day at the park…with the happy Somalian “refugees”…
Editor’s note: YouTube took the original down for “dangerous content”…Because the TRUTH is dangerous, I suppose. If they remove it again, let me know and I’ll re-post it if possible.
Trigger Reset.net is COMMITTED to getting the truth out to Americans.
Thank you, Frank N. Blunt.
04 Jan Going after our food supply
Posted at 12:24h in Environment, Farming, Privacy Rights, Sustainable Development by Kathleen Marquardt
A couple weeks ago, Tom DeWeese sent out a letter about the World Wildlife Fund and beef. It reads in part:
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is one of the top three most powerful, radical, anti-free enterprise, UN environmental groups in the world.
And WWF has succeeded in taking over the American Cattle industry!
The WWF has forced cattlemen to follow radical Sustainable rules through the establishment of the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef.
They are getting away with this industry grab because the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association is now under the control of the World Wildlife Fund.
And the WWF’s Sustainable Roundtable now controls the beef packing industry which in turn controls the entire beef retail market. Cattlemen either toe the WWF dictates or are cut out of the industry.
That means cattlemen must follow massive regulations in order to produce American beef.
These rules ignore that fact that American cattlemen have always produced the highest grade of beef in the world – simply by using a process that has been used by their forefathers for generations.
The real result of these rules isn’t to produce a better beef product – but to destroy small producers and drive the industry to the massive corporate farms that can afford to play ball with the World Wildlife Fund.
Eventually, the WWF goal is to destroy the entire beef industry.
The World Wildlife Fund has openly stated its opposition to beef production. They insist that to “Save the Earth it is demanded that we change human consumption habits away from beef.”
Here is what they said in a recent WWF report:
“Meat consumption is devastating some of the world’s most valuable and vulnerable regions, due to the vast amount of land needed to produce animal feed.”
This is the growing threat of Agenda 21 and Sustainable Development and its stated purpose to “reorganize human society.”
And this is how they do it – one industry at a time.
In 1992, I wrote the following article for Putting People First, an organization I founded to combat the lies and aims of the animal rights movement. Animal rights is a false front; it is an attack on humans while pretending to care about animals. The leaders have no use for animals other than to change our culture and control our food supply. Many environmentalists and animal rightists go back and forth across the line that might separate them. For example, Paul Watson looked into the eye of a dying whale and saw that the whale “had pity for us.” Many ALF (Animal Liberation Front) ELF (Earth Liberation Front) members are the same people; terrorism on behalf of animals is as comfortable for them as on behalf of Gaia/mother earth.
“ANIMAL RIGHTS” HIDES UNDER ENVIRONMENTALISM
During the past two years, Putting People First has reported on arsons, bombings and attempted murder by “animal rights” activists. Our exposure of their terrorism has helped awaken the public to the true agenda of what we call the animal cult.
But as the morally bankrupt ideology of animalism has been exposed, its apologists have gone to ground, seeking cover under the more publicly-acceptable guise of “environmentalism.”
Most members of Putting People First consider themselves environmentalists, because we support wise use and conservation, and oppose environmental destruction (just as we support animal welfare and oppose animal abuse).
However, we also oppose attempts to remove people from the natural equation. We believe that only man can use science, reason and common sense to husband animals and other resources to the benefit of people, animals, and our common environment.
And the difference between conservation and “environmentalism” is no less than the difference between animal welfare and “animal rights.”
Jeremy Rifkin’s new vegetarian manifesto Beyond Beef hides its message behind a pseudoenvironmentalist facade. The supposedly “mainstream” Chesapeake Bay Foundation shared the podium with PeTA at “Vegetarian Expo ’92.” The radical Humane Society of the United States now calls its school-infiltration arm the National Association for Humane and Environmental Education. And the terrorist manual A Declaration of War by “Screaming Wolf’ is subtitled “Killing People to Save Animals and the Environment.”
I think the clearest example of the unity of environmentalism and animalism is the close relationship between the terrorist Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and the “ecotage” group Earth First! These groups have been working together at least since 1987, when arsons at a California meat processing plant and livestock facility were claimed as joint ALF/Earth First! actions.
Since then. Earth First! Journal has published several laudatory articles about ALF, including one featuring Rod Coronado, the FBI’s leading suspect in several recent arsons. The March 1992 issue carried a terrorist “how-to” article with the ALF byline. The Journal is best known for trying to recruit “terminally ill AIDS patients” for “eco-kamikazee missions.”
Earth First! founder David Foreman is the former chief lobbyist for the Wilderness Society. He says, “Mankind could go extinct and I for one would not shed any tears.” Regarding the Ethiopian famine, Foreman gave this advice: “The worst thing we could do in Ethiopia is give aid. . .. The best thing would be to just let nature seek its own balance, to let people there starve.”
“As radical environmentalists, we can see AIDS not as a problem, but as a necessary solution,” says Foreman. “AIDS is a good thing, because it will thin out the population,” he adds. “If the AIDS epidemic didn’t exist, radical environmentalists would have to invent one.” And indeed, Earth First! Journal has solicited donations toward the development of what it calls “a species-specific virus to wipe out the human race.”
Foreman’s magazine Wild Earth recently opined that “phasing out the human race will solve every problem on Earth, social and environmental.” Foreman is not alone in this opinion. “Somewhere along the line—at about a million years ago, maybe half that—we quit the contract and became a cancer. We have become a plague upon ourselves and upon the earth,” writes David Graber, a biologist with the National Park Service. “Until such time as Homo Sapiens should decide to rejoin nature, some of us can only hope for the right virus to come along.”
Earth First! is best known for tree-spiking, although four of its leaders were recently convicted of conspiracy to sabotage a nuclear power plant in Arizona. Two Earth First! members, Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney, were seriously injured when a bomb they were transporting exploded prematurely in Bari’s car in Oakland, California. Bari and Cherney’s legal fees were paid by Greenpeace, on whose board sits Earth First! co-founder Michael Roselle.
Sierra Club lobbyist David Brower openly defends Earth First!, saying, “They’re not terrorists. The real terrorists are the polluters, the despoilers.” Brower argues that childbearing should be “a punishable crime against society unless the parents hold a government license.” All potential parents, he says, should be “required to use contraceptive chemicals, the government issuing antidotes to citizens chosen for childbearing.”
According to Brower, “I founded Friends of the Earth to make the Sierra Club look reasonable. Then I founded the Earth Island Institute to make Friends of the Earth look reasonable. Earth First! now makes us look reasonable. We’re still waiting for someone to come along and make Earth First! look reasonable.”
Just as “animal rights” terrorists and their apologists infiltrated and took over many traditional animal welfare groups and local humane societies, so have anti-human “Greens” infiltrated and taken over many traditional conservation groups.
It is time to flush these varmints out. We have had great success educating the public about the difference between animal welfare and “animal rights.” Now it is time to educate them about the difference between conservation and “environmentalism.”
In 1992, the National Cattlemen’s Association (NCA) was run by true pioneers and American patriots. Like many organizations that represent meat, milk, circuses, rodeos, zoos, medical research, wool, leather, fur, silk, and pet ownership, the NCA has been co-opted one way or the other to turn it’s back on those who they represent; those who built and feed America.
As you can see, both animal rights and the so-called environmental movement are not friends of humans, animals, or the earth. But they are double-teaming us to take away our rights and freedoms.
Kathleen Marquardt has been in the freedom movement since before it was called that. She was founder and chairman of Putting People First, a non-profit organization combatting the animal rights movement. Her book, AnimalScam: the Beastly Abuse of Human Rights, was published by Regnery in 1993. Kathleen has been Vice President of American Policy Center since 2000 and is the Agenda 21/Sustainable Development expert for Rocky Top Freedom Campaign. She was a contributing writer and researcher for Freedom Advocates.
One of the biggest bluffs used by claimants in foreclosure and eviction proceedings is the request for judicial notice. If unopposed, this results in myths being propagated as facts. Just because a document exists or has been uploaded to SEC.GOV or any other site doesn’t mean the source or the content is credible or reliable.
If I manage to record a deed purporting to transfer title that doesn’t mean that title is transferred nor that my ownership is to be presumed. The same is true if I upload the same fabricated deed to SEC.gov or any other site on the internet.
Judicial notice is erroneously applied as a vehicle for shifting the burden of proof. The basic rule of evidence is simple: the proponent of evidence must prove the truth, credibility and reliability of that evidence, even if it is admitted into evidence. Otherwise the evidence is admitted with zero weight.
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THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
Most states essentially have the same statute in their laws of evidence, like this one from Florida:
90.202 Matters which may be judicially noticed.—A court may take judicial notice of the following matters, to the extent that they are not embraced within s. 90.201:
(1) Special, local, and private acts and resolutions of the Congress of the United States and of the Florida Legislature.
(2) Decisional, constitutional, and public statutory law of every other state, territory, and jurisdiction of the United States.
(3) Contents of the Federal Register.
(4) Laws of foreign nations and of an organization of nations.
(5) Official actions of the legislative, executive, and judicial departments of the United States and of any state, territory, or jurisdiction of the United States.
(6) Records of any court of this state or of any court of record of the United States or of any state, territory, or jurisdiction of the United States.
(7) Rules of court of any court of this state or of any court of record of the United States or of any other state, territory, or jurisdiction of the United States.
(8) Provisions of all municipal and county charters and charter amendments of this state, provided they are available in printed copies or as certified copies.
(9) Rules promulgated by governmental agencies of this state which are published in the Florida Administrative Code or in bound written copies.
(10) Duly enacted ordinances and resolutions of municipalities and counties located in Florida, provided such ordinances and resolutions are available in printed copies or as certified copies.
(11) Facts that are not subject to dispute because they are generally known within the territorial jurisdiction of the court. (e.s.)
(12) Facts that are not subject to dispute because they are capable of accurate and ready determination by resort to sources whose accuracy cannot be questioned. (e.s.)
(13) Official seals of governmental agencies and departments of the United States and of any state, territory, or jurisdiction of the United States.
A quick review of this statute, essentially the same as all others, reveals that it is not intended to be used as proof of contested facts. The fact that a document obviously exists may not be subject to contest unless the objection is that the document was prepared expressly for trial and not as part of whatever transaction is being contested.
Courts often overstep by becoming the lawyer for the claimant in foreclosure or eviction. As an example of the court stepping into the shoes of the claimant, there is the issue of judicial notice. You should research this. Because judicial notice is intended to be used as follows:
For judicial economy — i.e., acceptance of facts that are virtually incontrovertible and not requiring proof. VERSUS your objections to the content of those documents. The requirement of absolute credibility is essential for judicial notice. There is no prejudice to any party by requiring actual proof of the documents and its contents. Judicial economy does not trump the rules of evidence which are designed to ferret out the truth not to assume facts that are untrue or that could easily be untrue because they came from an interested party.
For documents, the only application of the judicial notice doctrine is that the documents exist and are maintained on a completely trusted site and not that what is written on them is true.
In the case of government documents prepared by government with no interest in making any claims or defending any claims but simply in the ordinary course of record keeping, the record is subject to judicial notice and the content is generally presumed to be true unless disproven by the the opposing party.
Judicial notice is completely inappropriate where the documents were prepared by parties with an interest in the outcome of litigation and claims and are not inspected, reviewed or scrutinized as to accuracy.
Verifying facial validity of a document is NOT the same as verifying the statements contained on the document.
For documents the source must be an independent third party source with no interest in the outcome. So if a fabricated assignment of mortgage is recorded in the county records, then the the existence of the document may be judicially noticed without any presumptions of the veracity or sufficiency of the statements contained in the assignment.
Failure to object to the introduction of the document MIGHT be grounds for admission of both the document and its contents. The ability of the opposing party to present evidence that the document had been fabricated and that the statements contained within it are untrue or misleading is not barred by failure to object.
The fact that it is admitted in evidence does not mean that should be given great weight by the trial court. Any evidence submitted by a party who has a direct interest in the outcome of litigation is to be viewed skeptically and requiring corroborative proof.
Judicial notice is NOT appropriate for the PSA or anything else if the request for notice directs the court’s attention to SEC.GOV. This is an effort at misdirection.
SEC.GOV is merely a repository for uploading documents with no more official capacity than box.com or dropbox.com. The fact that a document is there is NOT an indication that the document is an official document. The SEC has not reviewed it or approved it in any way, manner shape or form.
BEST Evidence: Only the original document produced in court would be sufficient evidence of the document’s existence and then only if it was complete and signed — which means that the mortgage loan schedule is attached as the original mortgage loan schedule attached the trust instrument, the prospectus and the servicing agreements when they were originally executed.
It is a common ploy to upload documents to SEC.Gov and then request judicial notice. This is wrong.
Wells Fargo draws bipartisan anger from Congress
Regulators fined Wells Fargo in September 2016 for repeatedly creating fake customer accounts to juice the bank’s books. The fine was big — $185 million — but the allegations were shocking.
On Friday night, Wells Fargo was hit with one of the harshest punishments ever handed down by the Federal Reserve. Wells Fargo, one of the nation’s largest banks, won’t be allowed to expand its business until it convinces the Fed it has cleaned up its act. The bank agreed to replace four members of its board of directors.
The Fed cited Wells Fargo’s “pervasive and persistent misconduct.” The past 17 months have brought one bad headline after another. The bank’s culture of misconduct extended well beyond the original revelations.
Wells Fargo was dragged before Congress, put under the microscope by government officials, and embarrassed before its customers. A new CEO and management team were brought in, and the old regime lost millions of dollars in docked pay.
September 8: Fake account scandal breaks wide open. Federal regulators reveal Wells Fargo employees secretly created millions of unauthorized bank and credit card accounts without their customers knowing it. The bank is hit with a $185 million fine. Wells Fargo says 5,300 employees were fired for related reasons.
September 14: A government official tells CNN the Department of Justice has issued subpoenas in a probe related to the fake account scandal.
September 27: Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf forfeits pay. Stumpf says he will give up much of his 2016 salary, including a bonus and $41 million in stock awards. The first major executive leaves the company over the scandal. Carrie Tolstedt, who headed the division that created the fake accounts, steps down and forfeits some pay.
September 28: Wells Fargo is accused of illegally repossessing service members’ cars. The company agrees to pay $24 million to settle charges. The DOJ claims the bank took 413 cars without a court order, which violates federal law. The company apologizes and commits to refunds.
September 29: Wells Fargo promises to abandon unrealistic sales goals. Wells Fargo employees blamed their bosses for effectively encouraging fake accounts. Before lawmakers on Capitol Hill, CEO John Stumpf is accused of running “a criminal enterprise.”
October 5: California’s attorney general opens an investigation into possible identity fraud related to the fake accounts scandal.
October 12: CEO John Stumpf steps down. The company announces he will retire effective immediately.
November 3: SEC probe revealed. A new public filing from the bank discloses that the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating the bank for issues related to the creation of as many as 2 million fake accounts.
December 13: Wells Fargo is punished by federal regulators for actions unrelated to the fake accounts. The bank is dinged for failing to comply with certain provisions of Dodd-Frank, the post-2008 law meant to better regulate big banks and protect consumers.
January 23: Wells Fargo acknowledges potential worker retaliation. The bank says there are signs it retaliated against workers who tried to blow the whistle on the fake accounts.
February 20: Four senior bank employees are fired. The employees either worked or used to work in Wells Fargo’s community banking division, which is at the center of the fake account scandal.
March 27: Federal agency accuses Wells Fargo of “egregious,” “discriminatory and illegal” practices. In an unusual move, a top federal banking regulator severely downgrades Wells Fargo’s community lending rating. The decision stems from factors beyond the fake account scandal.
March 27: Wells Fargo settles class action suit. The preliminary deal promises $110 million for wronged consumers.
April 10: Former executives are asked for money back. The bank claws back $75 million from two former executives for their roles in the fake accounts scandal, including another $28 million from former CEO John Stumpf. A new report from independent directors on the Wells Fargo board reveals the bank prepared an internal report in 2004 about practices that may encourage employees to create fake accounts.
April 21: The bank’s cost of a settlement goes up. The settlement in the class action suit is increased to $142 million.
June 14: New allegations about mortgages are leveled. In a new lawsuit, Wells Fargo is accused of modifying mortgages without authorization from the customers. That means some customers could have ended up paying the bank more than they owed. It’s unclear how many customers were affected. Wells Fargo says it “strongly denies” the claims.
July 27: New allegations about auto insurance are revealed. The bank admits it charged at least 570,000 customers for auto insurance they did not need. Wells Fargo says an internal review found about 20,000 customers may have defaulted on their car loans for related reasons.
August 4: Wells Fargo is sued for allegedly ripping off small businesses. A lawsuit accuses Wells Fargo of overcharging small businesses for credit card transactions by using a “deceptive” 63-page contract to confuse them.
August 31: More fake accounts are discovered. Wells Fargo says it has found 1.4 million additional phony accounts. This brings the total number of fake accounts to 3.5 million.
October 3: Wells Fargo says it wrongly fined mortgage clients. Wells Fargo admits that 110,000 mortgage holders were fined for missing a deadline — even though the delays were the company’s fault. The company pledges to refund the customers.
October 16: Regulators say Wells Fargo sold dangerous investments it didn’t understand. Regulators order the bank to pay back $3.4 million to brokerage customers because advisers recommended products that were “highly likely to lose value over time.” Wells Fargo does not admit to nor deny the charges.
November 13: Wells Fargo admits it illegally repossessed more service members’ cars. The company says it found that it had taken vehicles from another 450 service members. Wells Fargo agrees to pay an additional $5.4 million, according to the Justice Department. The company promises refunds.
February 2: The Federal Reserve punishes Wells Fargo. In an unprecedented move, the Fed says the bank won’t be allowed to grow its assets until the bank cleans up its act. The bank also agrees to overhaul its board of directors.
–CNNMoney’s Donna Borak, Danielle Wiener-Bronner and Jill Disis contributed to this report.
Every day it seems, I read something about Judges in this Country, or someone contacts me about them, or I experience them first hand, or perhaps, one of the attorneys that I have worked with feels their wrath.
The judges hate pro se litigants. The judges hate foreclosure defense lawsuits. The judges hate almost everything and/or everyone, except their fellow judges, or people they knew while they were attorneys, or maybe their own families. It has come to the point, that I told someone the other day, we need to get rid of all govt., and all judges, and start anew.
I’m serious. Most people don’t encounter the crimes that the judges are committing. Or so I thought. I have read some things lately, where more and more people are noticing that unless you are a bank, an attorney on the judge’s good side, or a multi-billion dollar corporation, there is no justice for you in the US.
Read on, and see some of what I am talking about. I have added in parts of articles supporting what I am claiming. There will be links to the articles, so that you can see for yourself, where the information came from:
Judge William Kent’s preliminary ruling seemed like a first step toward compromise. Margaret and Stuart Besen, who agreed their marriage was beyond repair, would remain in their suburban Suffolk County house, living in separate rooms – and keeping away from each other – while sharing custody until a resolution could be reached.
But within weeks, the situation deteriorated. Stuart Besen, a politically connected attorney for the town of Huntington, had an anger problem, Margaret told authorities. The couple’s screaming matches left Margaret feeling intimidated and their children – a daughter, 11, and son, 7 – terrified, she said. So in August of that year she obtained an order of protection prohibiting Stuart from harassing her. Three weeks later, Stuart entered Margaret’s bedroom and hovered over her as she slept, she told police. They arrested him for violating the order, reporting that Stuart had stared down at Margaret with his arms folded on three consecutive nights. She got temporary possession of the family home.
In the years that followed, Besen’s hopes for an equitable settlement dwindled as she battled a series of harsh and hard-to-explain decisions against her. Though she could never prove anything, she suspected that the scales had tipped for reasons unrelated to the evidence in her case. If true, Besen faced what experts say is one of the most troubling threats to our nation’s system of justice: judges, who, through incompetence, bias or outright corruption, prevent the wronged from getting a fair hearing in our courts.
“The decorum and bias and the perfectly unethical behavior of the judges is really rampant,” said Amanda Lundergan, a defense attorney in Royal Palm Beach, Florida, who confronted a nest of judicial conflicts in her state’s rapid-fire foreclosure rulings – dubbed the “rocket-docket” – following the housing market collapse. “It’s judicial bullying.”
Judges in local, state and federal courts across the country routinely hide their connections to litigants and their lawyers. These links can be social – they may have been law school classmates or share common friends – political, financial or ideological. In some instances the two may have mutual investment interests. They might be in-laws. Occasionally they are literally in bed together. While it’s unavoidable that such relationships will occur, when they do create a perception of bias, a judge is duty-bound to at the very least disclose that information, and if it is creates an actual bias, allow a different judge to take over.
All too often, however, the conflicted jurist says nothing and proceeds to rule in favor of the connected party, while the loser goes off without realizing an undisclosed bias doomed her case.
Hundreds of judicial transgressions have been uncovered during the last decade, with results that cost the defeated litigants their home, business, custody, health or freedom.
But court critics say that one reason judicial violations are common is because they frequently go unpunished. When litigants ask a judge to back away because of a conflict, they risk being told no, then face possible retaliation, so many don’t bother. If a litigant or an attorney files a complaint with an oversight body, there’s only about a 10% chance that state court authorities will properly investigate the allegation, according to a Contently.org analysis of data from 12 states.
The analysis shows that a dozen of these commissions collectively dismissed out of hand 90% of the complaints filed during the last five years, tossing 33,613 of 37,216 grievances without conducting any substantive inquiry. When they did take a look – 3,693 times between 2010 and 2014 – investigators found wrongdoing almost half the time, issuing disciplinary actions in 1,751 cases, about 47%.
The actions taken ranged from a letter of warning to censure, a formal sanction that indicates a judge is guilty of misconduct but does not merit suspension or removal.
Actually removing a judge was a rarity. Just 19 jurists in 12 states were ordered off the bench for malfeasance, which is about three per decade for each state. And even that result is becoming less common, with only one removal in 2014 and three in 2013 among all 12 states.
The states examined – California, Texas, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Wisconsin, Indiana, Minnesota, Colorado, Washington, Georgia and South Carolina – were chosen because they comprise a representative sample from different populations and areas of the country and because they had matching data for the years 2010 through 2014.
Judicial discipline at the federal level is almost non-existent. A Contently.org examination of the most recent five years of complaint data shows that 5,228 grievances were lodged against federal jurists between 2010 and 2014, including 2,561 that specifically alleged bias or conflict of interest. But only three judges were disciplined during those years and each got the mildest rebuke on the books: censure or reprimand. None was suspended or removed.
Margaret won a court order of protection barring Stuart from contact with her children for a year. But when Kent issued his final decree less than six weeks later, he awarded Stuart full custody, while Margaret was allowed only supervised visits. And he ordered Margaret to pay back half the cost of her nursing degree and to sell her diamond engagement ring and split the proceeds with Stuart. The judge also reversed the support arrangements. While Stuart would pay $1,500 a month in maintenance to Margaret, she now owed Stuart $153.90 a week for the children, even though she was earning about $13,000 a year as a part-time aide in an assisted-living facility.
Margaret began to look into her husband’s dealings and discovered, through searching public records, that he and judge Kent had possible connections. In 2010, Stuart was appointed as the Suffolk County representative on a statewide commission for vetting local judicial candidates. That same year, an organization based at Stuart Besen’s Garden City law office, the Long Island Coalition for Responsible Government, donated $7,500 to candidate Richard Ambro, who got elected and became one of Kent’s fellow Supreme Court judges in Suffolk’s 10th district. In his role as Huntington’s town lawyer, Besen argued cases before these very judges. He’d entered a circle of judicial insiders.
“I’m in the middle of a large group of people who’ve got money and influence and who are all connected,” said Margaret Besen. “I’m not being afforded an opportunity to get a fair shake.”
Above: Margaret Besen stands in front of the former Besen family home, now unoccupied in Commack, Long Island. Photograph: Alan Chin
Margaret had no way of knowing whether the connections she uncovered played any role in how Kent ruled in her case. But her concern deepened when she made an additional discovery about her house. Kent had ordered the Besen home, the most valuable marital asset, to be sold and the proceeds divided, putting Margaret in line to receive possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars. Then she found an online listing offering the property for sale – with the judge’s wife, Patricia Kent, as broker. The home, which was listed for $749,999 with Patricia Kent’s photo and contact information on Realty Connect USA, is currently more than $15,000 in arrears on its property taxes and no longer appears to be actively offered. Margaret was evicted from the house in 2013 and lives in a modest apartment a few miles away. She has yet to receive a penny for her interest in the property.
Scott L Cummings, a professor of legal ethics at UCLA law school, said the case raised “significant ethical red flags”, because of the judge’s wife’s alleged involvement in offering the Besen family home for sale. “Not knowing the details of how his spouse might have been assigned as broker, the idea that a judge might benefit financially from the sale of a property in dispute in a pending matter seems to raise a serious question of impartiality.”
Ronald Rotunda, a professor at Chapman University law school in Orange, California, said: “What judge Kent did here seems odd. The husband makes over a half million a year, she makes $13,000 a year, and the judge orders her to pay child support (which is tax free to him and not deductible for her).”
But a culture of judicial impunity extends far beyond Long Island’s county courts. Indeed, even the US supreme court has been tarnished on this issue.
Justice Steven Breyer owned $215,000 in health-care stocks when deciding on the legality of the Affordable Care Act in 2012. Justice Samuel Alito’s portfolio included $2,000 in stock in The Walt Disney Co. in 2008, the year the court heard Disney, FCC v. Fox Television Stations. And perhaps most famously, justice Antonin Scalia has participated in the Bush v. Gore case, even though his son Eugene’s law firm represented one of the parties. In another case, Scalia remained in the panel despite having gone on a duck hunting trip with former Vice-President Dick Cheney while he was being sued to reveal the details of secret meetings he held with oil company executives in the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
The online vitriol directed at unscrupulous judges, which began in the mid- 2000s, has built to a howling digital crescendo. Websites including The Robe Probe, The Judiciary Report and The Robing Room, which rate judges the way Yelp rates restaurants, are rife with railing as embittered, mostly anonymous plaintiffs rip into judicial decisions they feel were biased or corrupt.
In an appeal of a case in West Virginia court, A.T. Massey Coal Co. CEO Don Blankenship spent $3m to elect Brent Benjamin, who ultimately provided the swing vote that overturned a $50m judgment against his company. Benjamin rebuffed repeated demands that the newly elected justice recuse himself because of his obvious conflict.
The US Supreme Court ruled that Benjamin’s bias was so extreme that his failure to step aside violated Caperton’s right to due process under the Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment. The case, which spawned Grisham’s 2008 best-seller, “The Appeal,” underscored the kind of underhanded dealing that has stained the judiciary.
A further nudge for reform came last year when the Center for Public Integrity published a report on financial conflicts of interest. Among its findings: on 26 occasions in the preceding three years, federal appellate judges ruled on cases involving companies in which they owned stock or where they had a financial tie to an attorney appearing before them.
A further nudge for reform came last year when the Center for Public Integrity published a report on financial conflicts of interest. Among its findings: on 26 occasions in the preceding three years, federal appellate judges ruled on cases involving companies in which they owned stock or where they had a financial tie to an attorney appearing before them.
It also created a grading system to gauge how diligent each state was in collecting personal financial information from its judges, including stock ownership and outside sources of income, and how accessible that data was to the public. The center said that 42 states, plus the District of Columbia, failed its test. Six others earned a D grade, while two – California and Maryland – got Cs. California’s score, 77, the highest of any state, was seven points below the federal government’s grade of 84.
The report highlighted the type of conflict that can be most readily identified and that doing so requires full disclosure from the judges. Stock ownership, even if minimal, should automatically disqualify a judge from hearing a case, many experts believe. “If a judge owns a single share in a company involved in a case, he should recuse himself instantly,” says Rotunda, a leading law scholar.
It’s been more than two years since Margaret Besen has seen her children, who are now 12 and 16. There’s no money to pay the court supervisor, so they can’t visit. Nor does Besen have the funds to continue fighting. Kent retired shortly after making his decision.
“The hardest thing in my life is that I can’t be with my children and I can’t have an impact on my children’s upbringing,” Besen said over coffee at a Long Island diner. “A lot of people do not have any idea how the judicial system works or doesn’t work until you’re in it. We think we’re in a democratic society. We think we’re run by rules. But they are not being upheld by the court at all.”
In recent years, America’s corporations have created a private system for handling disputes that benefits them greatly while denying consumers their day in court.
Worse, according to a recent series in The Times, that system has become vast and more entrenched as companies increasingly require customers, employees, investors, patients and other consumers to agree in advance to arbitrate any disputes that arise in their dealings with a company, rather than sue in a court of law.
Such forced-arbitration clauses, found in the fine print of contracts, also typically bar aggrieved parties from pressing their claims as a group in a class action, often the only practical way for individuals to challenge corporations. In addition, corporations effectively control the arbitration process, including the selection of the arbitrator and the rules of evidence, a stacked deck if ever there was one.
As if that is not troubling enough, it is extremely difficult to avoid or get out of forced-arbitration clauses and class-action bans, particularly since they were upheld by two misguided Supreme Court decisions in 2011 and in 2013.
From 2010 to 2014, corporations prevailed in four out of five cases where they asked federal judges to dismiss class-action lawsuits and compel arbitration, according to The Times’s articles. People who were blocked from going to court as a group usually dropped their claims entirely, in part because class actions are often the only affordable way to file lawsuits. If successful, they can deter future corporate wrongdoing because even small payouts, multiplied over all similarly mistreated customers, can be very large.
Indeed, faced with arbitration, it appears that most people do not pursue remedies to their grievances at all. Verizon, with more than 125 million subscribers, faced 65 consumer arbitrations between 2010 and 2014, The Times’s report found. Sprint, with more than 57 million subscribers, faced six. Time Warner Cable, with 15 million subscribers, faced seven.
Even more disturbing, the shift away from the civil justice system has gone beyond disputes about money. Nursing homes, obstetrics practices and private schools increasingly use forced-arbitration clauses to shield themselves from being taken to court over alleged discrimination, elder abuse, fraud, hate crimes, medical malpractice and wrongful death.
For the most part, Congress has looked the other way. Federal regulators, however, are starting to fight back. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is expected to propose a rule soon to forbid arbitration clauses that ban class actions in cases involving financial services and products. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which is expected to issue updated nursing home regulations next year, is considering a ban on forced arbitration clauses in nursing home contracts.
Reversing the broader trend of forced arbitration, however, will require public outcry loud and long enough to stir the White House and Congress to action. Many people interviewed in The Times’s series did not realize that their right to sue had been lost until they needed it. A common refrain was the disbelief that this could happen in America. But it is happening, and it needs to stop.
James and I were talking the other night, about foreclosure hell. And as we talked, we were listening to Alex Jones’ InfoWars. It suddenly all made sense. All of the foreclosures. That is not what the show was talking about, at all. It came to me suddenly, out of the blue.
Think about it. While thinking about the foreclosures, think about all the illegal immigrants. Where the hell are they all supposed to go, where are they going to live?
Anyone that lives in a house, anywhere, every day, passes by foreclosed upon homes. How long some of those houses been vacant. Really now, how long? We have houses around here that were foreclosed upon pretty early on, most of them are still vacant, and new ones being foreclosed upon every day still.
Do you get it now? George Soros, with his shit stirring stick, funds Black Lives Matters, and who knows what else. The banks are still gathering houses, and letting them sit. Of course, they have lost no money, because they never funded the loans.
This has been a long time coming. One only needs to sit back and think about it. They now say that Detroit has been bought by Soros, for the immigrants to live there. It all makes sense to me now. We are being replaced by illegal immigrants. All the people who lost their homes, and wondered why, can now know that it was a long term plan to get rid of Americans.
Just like has happened in Germany, the Germans are moving out, leaving everything for the immigrants. The immigrants have never lived in a society like that which the Americans are used to. They don’t want to get along with you. They treat women like shit. Throwing them on the ground, kicking them, kicking them in the face and stomping on their heads. How long do you think it will be before the same thing is happening here?
I always said the Bank with the most homes in the end wins. Now I know what it is they have been attempting to win. The downfall of the American people. What better way to do it? Reign in 100’s of thousands of illegal immigrants that hate Americans and the western way of life, brought here to destroy each and every one of us….
A new study on immigration underscores that immigration – legal and illegal – is adding 8.3 million people to the U.S. population every four years and that some of the fastest rates of migration are coming from countries hostile to American values of freedom and democracy.
For instance, the sending country with the largest percentage increase in immigrants living in the U.S. during the four years from 2010 to 2014 was Saudi Arabia, with a 93 percent increase, followed by Bangladesh at 37 percent and Iraq at 36 percent.
About one-fourth of the 42.4 million foreign-born people living in the United States are illegal immigrants – this amounts to roughly 10.5 million, according to the study by Center for Immigration Studies.While many immigration hawks might dispute that number and say it’s actually much higher, the facts don’t bear it out, says Steven Camarota, director of research for CIS and co-author of the report with demographer Karen Zeigler.
“You can easily have a situation where 400,000 new people settle in the U.S. every year by overstaying their visas or sneaking across the border and that doesn’t mean you’re adding to the overall illegal immigrant population,” Camarota told WND.
Obama in November 2014 issued a series of executive orders that granted amnesty to about 5 million illegals, or nearly half of the estimated 10.5 million to 11 million now in the country. The federal courts have thus far blocked his actions as unconstitutional, and the Supreme Court, which deadlocked on the issue previously, ruled Monday that it will not re-hear the case.
Meanwhile, illegal-alien crime sprees continue to rock the country, including a series of M-13 gang-related killings on Long Island. The most recent case involved the murder of two teenage girls.
On Sept. 13, Nisa Mickens, 15, and her best friend, Kayla Cuevas, 16, were murdered, their battered bodies found near an elementary school in Brentwood on the island, the New York Times reports.
A week later and just two miles away, the remains of two more teenagers – Oscar Acosta, 19, and Miguel Garcia-Moran, 15 – were discovered in the woods near a hospital.
For nearly two decades, MS-13, an El Salvadoran gang, has been “terrorizing” the town, especially its young people, according to the Times report. Since 2009, its members have been accused of at least 14 murders.
So the problems of illegal immigration are not to be downplayed. But the problems of legal immigration are many times greater, according to the CIS study, which analyzed Census data.
“You could have half-a-million every year come illegally, and in that same year some go home, every year some will die, and some who were illegal become legal,” Camarota said.
He said there are more than 100,000 illegals given legal status every year.
“They marry an American, they find employment with a company that gives them a visa, they win the visa lottery, or they get a ‘cancellation of removal’ order from a judge that essentially gives them asylum status,” he said.
“Some get deported, and some go home voluntarily every year on their own. We can calculate death rates by age, and that’s why the overall illegal population can be stable even if 400,000 come in every year,” he added.
“You also have to remember that there are no illegal-immigrant births in the United States, because everybody born here is automatically a U.S. citizen,” Camarota added. “Now you can bemoan that and say it’s wrong, but for these purposes we can’t add them into the illegal population. We can only add those coming from abroad.”
Legal immigration has roughly four times the impact of illegal immigration, Camarota says.
“So the bottom line is, illegal immigration is dwarfed by legal immigration. The impact on our schools and on our welfare system is much bigger, and also the political impact.”
When states do apportionment and redistricting, they draw the lines for seats in Congress and state legislatures based on total population, regardless of immigration status.
“There are at least three legal immigrants for every illegal immigrant,” Camarota said. “And while the illegals do vote fraudulently, sometimes it’s the legal immigrants who vote in much larger numbers and have the big political impact on our system.”
Legal immigrants are also more dangerous in terms of their propensity to commit acts of Islamic terrorism, a lesson that should have been learned from the 9/11 attacks in which the hijackers were here largely on student and tourist visas.
Refugees connected to acts of terror
More recently, the stabbing attacks on a St. Could, Minnesota, mall that injured 10 and the pipe bombings in New York city that injured 29 were carried out by refugees, meaning they were legal immigrants. The Chattanooga shooting of five U.S. servicemen and the mass shooting in San Bernardino in 2015, as well as the attack on an Orlando gay nightclub in June 2016, were all carried out by second-generation Americans born to Muslims who legally migrated to the U.S.
The study also found some surprising facts on jobs.
“There really are no jobs Americans won’t do,” Camarota said. “Pretty much every job category is at least half American, even farms, because there are still a lot of family farms.”
In the area of entrepreneurship, Camarota found that immigrants do start businesses, but overall their rates of employment versus self-employment are about the same as native-born Americans. “So entrepreneurship is not lacking among immigrants but nor is it a distinguishing characteristic.”
Promoters of refugee resettlement use ‘stupid’ arguments not supported by data
This refutes one of the main arguments used by mayors trying to promote refugee resettlement and mass immigration in their cities.
“The way in which refugee resettlement gets sold sometimes is so stupid,” Camarota said. “We could all say that the idea that they are fleeing for their life is probably not true in most cases, but the idea is that they are in desperate circumstances and we’re taking them as a humanitarian gesture. But we know from lots of data that refugees use welfare in large amounts and for very long periods of time. We know that about this population, so it’s reasonable for them to struggle financially.
“Resettlement, if we’re going to do it, should be done as part of an honest discussion. We have the data on this, but we don’t [have an honest discussion].”
Welfare usage rates extremely high
Rates of welfare usage are not only high among refugees but also among immigrants from Latin America.
“Sixty percent of families from Mexico use at least one welfare program,” Camarota said. “Roughly half the Mexicans in the U.S. are illegal. But more importantly, what you see here if you pull out the illegals from Mexico and Latin America and you see that they sign their kids up for lots of programs. And those kids were born here, many of them. Even if they were not born here and are illegal, they can get free school, WIC and Medicaid. A pregnant woman can get Medicaid too if she is illegal.”
This is something that was not a problem during earlier waves of immigration in the 1880s, 1920s and 1950s. Immigrants were required to be self-supporting.
“Lots of immigrants come to America now and can’t support their own kids,” Camarota said. “They have to turn to the taxpayer. That’s the question to ask. Depends how you feel about that.”