Feb 14 2013
The term “police state” is a misnomer, a euphemism for what is really a “military state.” Police objectives and military objectives are entirely different. A true police objective is to apprehend a criminal suspect and then put the suspect through a civilian justice system — even if its just a civilian kangaroo justice system. On the other hand, a military objective is to eradicate the threat without any serious concern for the rights of individuals who are enemies of the state.
Looking at what is going on in the US today, the tactics of our police are much more in line with a military operation than a police operation. Indeed, often the operation is nothing but an set up to generate a plausible excuse to eliminate a threat to the state without any apparent desire or willingness to put the suspect into a justice system.
The Dorner case is a classic military operation. Given what we have been told so far, does anyone legitimately think that police wanted to apprehend Dorner? It is clear that the police wanted to eliminate him and that all they were looking for is some kind of plausible excuse for elimination. That becomes very easy to do simply by putting a police officer or other person in harm’s way. Then elimination is justified.
It is no wonder that civil libertarians on both right and left are horrified by what is happening. Every day, everywhere, our police looks more and more like a military and every day and everywhere it seems like more and more of US inhabitants and visitors are being treated as enemies of the state by our ‘police” rather than as an alleged criminal wrongdoer.
It is no wonder civil libertarians of both left and right are wanting to keep their guns. Lawyers, judges and courts are starting to look as if they are no more necessary to our “criminal justice system” than an appendix is to the digestive tract.
So we ought to start calling police states by what they really are: military states.
Jan 18 2013
I am as progressive as they come. I have been a lawyer for 35 years. I have never owned a gun; nor did my parents. But I think banning assault weapons is not only unconstitutional, but no matter how well intentioned, may generally a bad idea as well.
I think there is a better solution that not only is constitutional but would go a long way toward reducing gun violence: private civilian armories.
For me, and most lawyers like me, the 2nd amendment is the anti-tyranny amendment. The 2nd amendment does not guarantee the right to hunt or to have a hunting weapon, nor is it about ensuring self-defense and having a gun that is ideal for protecting one’s self. The 2nd amendment guarantees a private right for a common purpose – because guaranteeing that private right is necessary to achieve the 2nd amendment’s common purpose of opposing a tyrannical government.
There are those that argue that in today’s world, that to be an effective guarantee against tyranny, the 2nd amendment would need to guarantee the citizenry not only the right to have assault weapons but the right to have stinger missiles and other weapons that stop tanks and drones, and since these weapons are not available, the amendment should be formally repealed. Some even argue that if the 2nd amendment is truly an anti-tyranny amendment, it would, or should, entitle the citizenry to have much more potent weapons – even atomic ones – and think it should be repealed for that reason. Some argue that the risk of one person even having the power of an assault rifle is not justified by the benefits these weapons could be to a revolutionary force against a modern military. If the belief and the will of the people is that modern military arms in the hands of the people would not be effective against a tyrannical government, or the risks of violence outweigh the benefits of having the means to overthrow an intolerable government, then the people should formally repeal the amendment. The amendment should not be watered down legislatively or judicially to the point where it has lost the reason for its existence. That is not the way one of the bill of rights should die.
But I don’t think repeal, whether actual, or as a practical matter — by statute or judicial interpretation — acknowledges the lessons of modern history, nor is it the best solution to gun violence.
The history of the last century has shown that having weaponry against tanks and planes is not an absolute requirement for a successful overthrow of domestically imposed tyranny. An armed revolutionary force would certainly be able to more effectively overthrow a tyrannical government with stinger missiles and the like, but in the last century, many successful revolutions have occurred with not much more than military rifles. Modern history has shown that the framer’s justification for the 2nd amendment’s existence is still viable.
However, I am not one who thinks that in order to have an effective anti-tyranny amendment, we need to have, or should have, assault rifles in our homes. They have proven to be unacceptably dangerous in the wrong hands. But just because we should not be able to keep them in our homes does not mean they should be banned. Why? Because we could have private civilian armories and be required to store them there so as to be available in the event an overthrow of the government is the only means the citizenry has left to remove a government it can no longer tolerate. And private civilian armories would do much to keep these weapons out of the hands of those dangerous people who pose a significant risk to a civil society. Indeed, civilian armories would probably work better than anything else to keep these weapons from individuals who are a danger to themselves or to others.
The founding fathers had the equivalent of private civilian armories; so the idea is not new. Just as we don’t keep our money under our mattresses anymore, we don’t need assault weapons in our homes to have an effective deterrent to domestic tyranny. Civilian armories could be the arms equivalent of private banks and safety deposit boxes.
The government would have to be required by statute and by judicial interpretation to refrain from interference with civilian armories. And if there were civilian armories everywhere, then the threat of the government shutting enough of them down to stop a revolution in progress would not be very real. The civilian armories could even be allowed to store more effective military weaponry against tanks and drones – weapons such as stinger missiles. And civilian armories could provide a place for training, so that we could better achieve the 2nd amendment’s requirement of a well-regulated (trained is the best synonym for regulated in this context) militia.
And when would the citizenry know it is time that their services are required to overthrow a tyrannical government? The some way our founding fathers knew. When the equivalent of a contemporary Declaration of Independence is written and signed and enough people support it.
Civilian armories are a common sense solution to both a tyrannical threat and to the threat dangerous individuals pose to society when they get their hands on military hardware.
Oct 04 2011
Sep 08 2011
Two recent US Sup Ct cases (McIntyre and Goodyear) released in late June of this year have stuck it to individuals and small business again. Both are significant procedure cases involving a state’s right to acquire jurisdiction over large corporations that hurt its citizens.
Both of these cases were personal injury cases. Both involved non-US corporations that were selling their products in the US. In McIntyre, a New Jersey worker lost much of his hand in a job accident which he alleged was caused by McIntyre machinery. In Goodyear, two 13 year old North Carolina boys lost their lives in a bus accident in Paris France. The Supreme Court told both Plaintiffs that they could not sue in their home states and for both it means going to court in Europe.
Once again there is no justice for American workers and individuals who are the victims of international corporations and the Court’s opinions will do nothing but encourage overseas production in order to avoid liability in the US. Think of it as offshoreing your right to sue.
But the Goodyear case has substantial implications for large domestic corporations as well. It has always been very difficult to sue a corporation anywhere but its “home” state, i.e. the state of incorporation or state where the corporation’s principal place of business is located. The trend over the past 50 years has been to relax the requirement that a corporation be sued in its home state. In Goodyear, in a 9-0 decision, the court reverted to the old doctrine of requiring corporations to be sued in their home states for many/most things.
This will be a real blow to injured people who have to go to the Defendant’s home state to sue it. It will be a real blow to small businesses to have to go to the Defendant’s home to sue it. It will be a real blow to my clients and to me. I presently have pending in TN about 100 lawsuits that according to Goodyear can not be brought in TN. Probably all will be dismissed. My client’s business, which is a commercial collection business, will probably be wrecked. We depended on bringing suit against non-paying mega-corporations in a single convenient location. No longer. We will now be forced to sue these mega corporations in nearly every state.
Aug 25 2011
When I came to this board a year or so ago, I predicted that a CERN experiment in progress would show that most of the recent global warming was due to the sun and not man made CO2.
Ever since I heard of Henrik Svensmark’s theory four or five years ago, over and over for the last several years, I have cringed when people on progressive and liberal blogs made comments about how stupid Republicans and conservatives are because of their refusal to accept the claim that the recent global warming was man made. I was afraid we would have lots of crow to eat. Seems like that may be the case.
Svensmark’s theory is that cosmic radiation affects cloud formation. His theory states that when the sun’s magnetic field is strong, it better shields the earth from cosmic radiation, so fewer clouds are formed by cosmic radiation, and thus the earth heats up. Conversely, when the cosmic radiation is high due to a weak solar magnetic field, cosmic radiation bombards the earth in higher numbers and causes the formation of more clouds, cooling the earth.
The CERN experiment called CLOUD, has confirmed that cosmic radiation seeds clouds.
During the 20th century, the sun was the most magnetic it had been in centuries, perhaps as great as it has been in the last eight millennia. Curiously though, after 2000, the sun’s magnetic field has been in serious decline and since about 1998 world temps have either stayed the same or gone down.
To see a review of the paper by a CERN insider go here:
All proponents of the “CO2 causes global warming” camp have always assumed the sun, because its solar output of light and heat is so constant, could not have caused the recent global warming. What they failed to consider is that the sun’s magnetic output is quite variable and it turns out that the sun’s magnetism directly influences the cloudiness of earth.
Jun 27 2011
One of my best friends is a commercial pilot for United Airlines and regularly flies 747s from Chicago to Asia and Europe. He lives in Memphis and commutes to Chicago via a connecting flight, usually arriving in Chicago several hours before his scheduled flight. Today he missed his connecting flight from Memphis to Chicago after being detained and groped by the TSA. Of course, he was not able to make his Chicago to London flight and lost his pay.
My friend and client is a no-nonsense guy who doesn’t put up with much. He was politely waiting in line to go through the Memphis checkpoint when he noticed that only one line was available. After hearing customers complaining, he decided to ask a TSA supervisor if another check line could be opened.
After getting a hostile negative response, he decided to drop the matter as he was in a hurry to catch his flight. Since he was going to be piloting a plane in several hours, he was wearing his United Airlines uniform. Since he is a pilot he was not required to stand in line and had been immediately ushered through the normal x-ray checkpoint without problems or alarms going off.
After passing through the checkpoint, he noticed a female TSA employee not going through the checkpoint and made a comment about the person not being checked. That is when the shit hit the fan. She immediately required him to go through a punitive recheck.
Jun 01 2011
A year ago her birth appeared normal. Then about two months later the doctor recognized her head was not growing normally and her left ear was protruding and appeared to lack normal cartilage. A couple months later after genetics testing, we got the bad news — she has a chromosome defect. A defect called a 6q 25-terminal deletion. In layman’s terms that means that the longer chromosome of her 6th chromosome pair is missing a section at the end.
Her primary problem is a malformed brain. She has a condition called holoprosencephaly which means that her forebrain did not properly divide into hemispheres.
At age about six months we were told by the neurologist that she might never talk, never walk and never be potty trained.
Today at her yearly exam my daughter was told the same thing by her pediatric neurosurgeon who is scheduled to do cosmetic surgery on her head. Quite a disappointing first birthday.
Neither my daughter or her husband have any chromosome abnormalities — my granddaughter’s condition is a very rare defect. We only know of about forty reported cases. It is so rare that the National Organization of Rare Diseases (NORD) does not mention it.
There is a facebook group started for children with this defect and the good news is that nearly all walk and some can sign. All are very developmentally delayed.
She is cute as a bug even though her head is a bit lopsided and her left ear protrudes. Blond hair and blue eyes — no one in my family has those traits.
Anyway we shall carry on.
Apr 09 2011
At thirty kilometers from the plant, entering the exclusion zone, the dosimeters are already clicking. At 17 kilometers (about ten miles) the dosimeters begin sounding an alarm indicating dangerous levels of radiation.
If this radiation has a long half-life, this is going to mean large chunks of uninhabitable land. No telling what it means for human health and the health of other life forms.
Question for Doc. Can you give us input on this?
Mar 29 2011
“Workers at Japan’s earthquake hit nuclear plant lost ground in the battle to save the plant from meltdown after the radioactive core of one reactor appeared to have melted through the bottom of its containment vessel.”
This can’t be good. Maybe not Chernoble, but very bad indeed.
Mar 06 2011
“The 1st of September marks the anniversary of the opening of the major stage of Libya’s Great Man-Made River Project. This incredibly huge and successful water scheme is virtually unknown in the West, yet it rivals and even surpasses all our greatest development projects. The leader of the so-called advanced countries, the United States of America cannot bring itself to acknowledge Libya’s Great Man-Made River. The West refuses to recognize that a small country, with a population no more than four million, can construct anything so large without borrowing a single cent from the international banks.”
Great Aquifers under the Sahara that Gaddafi has developed and brought to the people on the coast from the south. Who knew?
So when we get tired of going after their oil, are we going to go after their water?
Jan 23 2011
Stein must have read my suggestion a few weeks back.
On Sunday Morning this AM.
Even the hardcore Republicans are now beginning to see who Obama is.
Maybe some of you techno wizards can get a link to a video up.
Jan 19 2011
I have just asked for permission to appeal to the TN. Supreme Court, in my case, Mills v. First Horizon and MERS.
I am not in default on my mortgage. I just firmly believe that my mortgage lien is invalid and unlawful and because I am a lawyer, I decided to do something about it. My lien is similar to millions of others around the country, and if the Court ultimately rules in my favor, it could set a major precedent around the country. Because I am not in default, the bank can’t argue that I am a worthless scumbag who doesn’t pay his debts. That hasn’t stopped the bank from arguing that I am trying to get my house for free; no argument is too unconscionable for a bank, especially when the bank is running scared. Because I am not in default, my case has serious ramifications for all of those mortgages where people have not defaulted, and there are far many more of them than mortgages where the owners face foreclosures. The very last thing banks want is a court telling them that their mortgage notes are unsecured on their mortgages where people are still paying.
My primary claim is that the MERS lien on my property is invalid. MERS is the lienholder now of millions of mortgages, but MERS has never lent anybody a dime. MERS is a corporation with little or no assets and it acts as a strawman lienholder in the place of the real person who is the noteholder. Traditionally, the noteholder and lienholder have been the same entity. But securitzation changed all that. Now the lienholder, in most of the securitized loans from Wall Street, is MERS, an entity the property owner never owes. The note and the lien are now held by separate entities and have become physically separated from each other.
My primary argument is that this physical separation of the noteholder and lienholder creates a huge public deed recordation problem, which I argue makes the lien void as being against public policy. The separation of the note and deed of trust are deliberate and intentional. The public policy nightmare is that through the use of MERS as a strawman lienholder, the recordation process is transformed from a public, transparent and open system to a private, secretive, one.
With these securitized loans, one can no longer go to the deed records and learn the identity of who must be paid to get a release of the lien. All one can find out is that MERS has the lien, but one can’t find out who one owes; so the public deed recordation system now has become a sham. Everybody must now learn what they can from private sources — such as the MERS website and from the websites of entities like Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac who claim to hold many of the mortgages. But in reality, you can’t learn anything from these websites that is of much importance, and you certainly can’t clean up the title problem that is created when a lienholder is not the same person as the noteholder.
I also allege my lien is void or invalid for several other noteworthy reasons. Many of these liens, like mine, state that MERS is the beneficiary of the deed of trust. Several courts have already held that MERS is not a true beneficiary because MERS is never owed anything, and for a deed of trust to be valid it must have a true beneficiary. When a piece of property is sold at foreclosure the proceeds are supposed to go to the noteholder, who is normally the beneficiary. But when the beneficiary is MERS, the proceeds of a foreclosure sale go to an entity that is not owed anything — they do not go to the noteholder who is owed. So one never knows whether MERS actually sends the proceeds of any foreclosure sale to the noteholder. This creates another huge title problem for foreclosed property. But it also creates a problem for the foreclosed owner who has no way of knowing whether the proceeds of the sale of his property actually went to the person who was owed.
I also allege that my note is lost and the lien fails for lack of an enforceable note. A copy of a note is ordinarily not anymore enforceable than a copy of a check is capable of being cashed.
I also allege that the purported noteholder is unknown, and my servicer, as the agent of the noteholder, has no authority to demand payments of me without disclosing the identity of the noteholder, who is its principal. I have asked my servicer for proof of authority to act on behalf of the noteholder, its principal. Until the servicer provides this proof, I have asked for a cease and desist order against the servicer sending me any more payment demands.
And I have asked for many more things – including the return of my payments on my second lien note, which after I paid it off, never had the original note returned to me. Apparently, the bank lost or destroyed my second mortgage note, and thus could not deliver it to me when I paid it off. Without the original note, the bank has no proof that I owed it anything, so I am asking for my money back.
The TN Court of appeals held my case “was not ripe for adjudication” because I am not in default, and because no one is trying to collect against me on my paid off second mortgage lien note. By ruling that my case “was not ripe for adjudication” they avoided all of the critical issues of my case. By every existing legal standard, my case was ripe for adjudication.
My application to the Supreme Court of TN was filed on Friday September, 11, 2011. The Supreme Court of TN does not have to hear my case; it is a discretionary appeal.
I sincerely hope the Supreme Court of TN will take the case because the Court of Appeals reversed/ignored existing law in order to avoid having to address the real issues of my case, and because the opinion is just simply awful and is now the law in TN. Every lawyer I know who reads the Court of Appeals opinion just howls. It is so obvious that the Court of Appeals did everything possible to avoid having to address the real issues of my case; and in so doing, made some really bad law, reversing well established good law.
For those who might be interested, a copy of my application to the TN Sup Ct. can be found here:
See the positively awful TN Court of Appeals decision here: