Friday, October 13, 2017

Good Cop, Bad Cops Pt 4


     (By American Zen’s Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari)
(Disclaimer: The proprietor of this blog and Mr. Wilson have an ongoing years-long friendship, in which the former has benefited on several occasions by the generosity of the latter. However, that in no way, shape or form has influenced the blog owner’s decision to post a series of articles about his case nor the content of what is written below.)
By now, even if you've had the intestinal fortitude to read this series of articles consecutively, I think it's well worth everyone's time to sum up our police soap opera: MA State Trooper Antone Wilson is assaulted, detained and ultimately was under false imprisonment at the hands of the Franklin, MA Police Department, who then had the nerve to file charges of assault against him. His attorneys were corrupt, incompetent and/or duplicitous enough to earn long suspensions from the state Board of Bar Overseers and he did not get the support he expected from his colleagues in the department. His family was stalked and burgled for years by elements believed to be state police-affiliated, his troop commander tried to illegally prevent him from serving with his Army Reserve unit and, oh yeah, a shrink from that same Massachusetts State Police deemed him unfit for duty for simply recognizing and pushing back against his own persecution. Are we all on the same page now, boys and girls? Excellent. Let's continue.
     By May of 2009, nearly eight and a half years after his ordeal began in Franklin, Massachusetts, Tpr Wilson was sent to another psychiatrist by the MA State Police for another in-depth assessment. As he had with the first shrink, Wilson provided documentation to this one who was ostensibly brought in for a third and definitive opinion (the second counselor had been paid out of Wilson's own pocket) and laid out all the facts regarding his persecution at the hands of the state police, the Franklin Police and the corruption and duplicity of his own attorneys. Wilson informed him he was being counseled by another behaviorist and had even begun serving with a local Army Homeland Security unit that was attached to FEMA. After this May meeting, Wilson was placed on active duty orders by the Army between July to October. Perhaps not surprisingly to Wilson, the third shrink backed up the first one's diagnosis and declared he was suffering from PTSD (although he'd attributed it to the improper actions of the state police and his attorneys).     
     By July 2009, Wilson was informed by the state police that he was still unfit to return to law enforcement duties because of the PTSD diagnoses and that they would discharge him from duty a month later, though they informed him that he should contact the agency if he requested an accommodation-read appeal. Wilson, requested another review because he believed the state police and the behaviorists misunderstood his motives. Wilson got this idea because the psychiatrist's diagnosis suggested Wilson was aiming for a 72% tax-free disability pension (he was not.). It's known as "a 72 and screw."
     Hence Wilson's request for an almost unprecedented third opinion. For once, things seemed to be going his way. The psychiatrist's documented assessment confirmed Wilson's contention that the mistreatment at the hands of the state police and his own attorneys was directly attributable to his condition. In fact, the third behaviorist's report stated that Tpr Wilson had improved enough to return to duties and he even suggested that Wilson be allowed to serve as police academy drill instructor. He'd further noted he could be placed on light or limited police duties as he continued his counseling.
     The counselor confirmed a PTSD diagnosis but concluded that the so-called PTSD would resolve itself over time, his psychological bearing being harmed, primarily, by the state police dishonoring him. Unfortunately, the psychiatrist's report never mentioned that his family had been stalked and burgled. However, he placed the blame for what had happened to Wilson squarely on the shoulders of the state police. Not surprisingly, this was the moment the Massachusetts State Police chose to stop listening to Wilson's shrinks.

General is Honorable Only in Rank
At this point, it's worth noting that Mr. Wilson had been on limited duty with the department for about eight months when he got wind he was denied reinstatement to full duty. Furthermore, he'd received word of his termination from the State Police while on active military duty attached to the Department of Homeland Security. In other words, Uncle Sam thought Wilson was good enough to defend the nation but the MA State Police couldn't trust him to patrol a patch of highway in the Bay State.
     Because of the time he'd accrued, he could retire with a pension even though his discharge was termed "general" rather than "honorable." To anyone afflicted with such a seemingly small distinction, this is detrimental to future job prospects and Wilson was not immune. Now, he understood by this this time he could file a wrongful termination lawsuit. Not only would that have been his legal and moral right, Wilson was also savvy enough to know such a lawsuit would bring out the dirty particulars and potentially to be amplified in the media.
     It's also worth reiterating this was exactly what the Massachusetts State Police did not want to happen, as they'd gone to extraordinary lengths to cover up that dirty laundry, even going as far as to cover for a municipal police agency after it had physically and verbally abused one of their own troopers. The department was also smart enough to know the legal malpractice would be at least as explosive, if not more, than the rest of the dirt.
     The Massachusetts State Police was also aware that Wilson had the documentation to prove his case (remember, his house had been burgled and legal documents rifled through). Put together in a comprehensive form, even a casual outsider such as myself could immediately see how radioactive this case was and still is to all parties who had something to protect.
     Among those interested parties was the Franklin, MA Police Department who, on the initiatives of the State Police, would probably not perjure themselves in court if compelled to and that it would further implicate that same MA State Police. In other words, in this increasingly complicated web of deceit, the State Police were primarily looking out for their own interests in their cynical assistance of the Franklin Police. But, as anyone can tell you, the coverup is always worse than the original crime. That applies to politics and everywhere else in life and this case is no exception.

Manoff, Hands of Fate
This brings us, and poor Tpr Wilson, into the deteriorating orbit of one Paul Manoff, Esq.
     Manoff is like a living object lesson in a John Grisham novel as to what a lawyer should not be. It's worth noting for those who lost track while keeping score that Trooper Wilson had by time this been afflicted with no less than four incompetent, corrupt and/or duplicitous attorneys and all Manoff did was continue that unbroken skein of bad luck.
     Whatever malevolent hands of cruel fate that brought poor Wilson to Manoff's office door for its cosmic amusement, Wilson eventually secured Manoff as his new counsel for another $10,000 retainer. The lawyer informed him his case was to be tried in federal court. Wilson immediately saw the impact could be exponentially greater on a federal level than it likely would've ever had on a state level. Furthermore, the players involved wouldn't be able to fiddle fuck with the outcome as they had in state-run courts. In order to ensure that the case would go forward, Wilson never told Manoff about his bad luck with attorneys.
     However, as with his prior legal counsel, Wilson immediately became suspicious when Manoff announced the case would be tried in state court, after all, since he decided (or had decided for him) that this was a state matter. So Manoff filed the complaint in Suffolk County Superior Court. Furthermore, when Wilson asked Manoff for State Police documentation, which was his right to see, Manoff was sluggish in responding. Of particular interest to Wilson were documents dealing with his disciplinary history because he'd suspected the State Police would've "disappeared" certain documents (called "spoliation" in legal jargon).
     Then, Wilson found out that his new attorney had been temporarily suspended by the State Board of Bar Overseers for a minor violation. Despite this, Manoff had the audacity to beg Wilson to retain his services as the suspension, Wilson was informed, wouldn't last long. Despite the horrible optics, Antone Wilson's a pretty trusting guy by nature so not only had he agreed to do so he even patted Manoff's chubby hand and supported him during his suspension.

     (Note: Manoff has since been reprimanded, placed on probation and suspended again as recently as a year and a half ago for, surprise surprise, neglect of his clients, among other charges. You can read about it here. It's also worth noting the same Paul Allan Manoff had also made quite a reputation for himself in the state of California and their own Board of Bar Overseers, which had described Manoff as potentially representing "a substantial threat of harm to the interests of (his) clients or to the public.")
     Despite his trust in his now officially useless attorney, Wilson was now admonishing Manoff for being "a sloppy administrator" especially in the area of securing and sharing with his client defense requests, but continued his support.. In fact, Manoff finally got around to asking Wilson for some document requests from the State Police. As a courtesy to Manoff, Wilson agreed to communicate with him through email. However sometimes electronic communication makes the world a much larger place rather than a smaller one and this case was no exception.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

What Passes For Good News at the White House

       
     Then again, it's not Friday, which is tribal council day on Capitol Hill.
     For a guy who's spent almost a quarter of his Russia-gotten "presidency" on vacation, today's been a busy day for Trump. In short order, he's

  • Signed an Executive Order geared partially toward dismantling ObamaCare, which he almost forgot to sign... again.




  • Decided, like Israel, to withdraw from UNESCO because of "anti-Israel bias." Shit, even the Nazi government of Germany had a better appreciation for culture than this shit show of an administration. Then again, it could also be welcher Trump wants to run away from our $500,000,000 debt to UNESCO. Mind you, this is a clown who once handed Angela Merkel an invoice for £300 billion and has been screaming since Day One about other nations and what they supposedly owe for collective NATO defense.
  • Finally got around to nominating a replacement for John Kelly by tapping Kirstjen Nielsen, who worked alongside Kelly at both DHS and as Deputy Chief of Staff. However, it's likelier that Trump's promoting her because she rubs people the wrong way with her authoritarian and brusque management style.
  •        Jesus fucking Christ, when will it be Mueller time?

    Friday, October 6, 2017

    Good Times at Gotham City,10/6/17

    Wednesday, October 4, 2017

    Not All That Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas

     (By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari)
    "Steve took care of the people he loved. He helped make me and my family wealthy. He's the reason I was able to retire." -Las Vegas shooter's brother Eric Paddock
    I think I speak for tens of millions of my fellow Americans when I simply I say I am tired of this. The latest mass shooting that put a spin on Las Vegas' nickname of Sin City, is the largest mass shooting in American history. Which is saying a lot for a gun-obsessed nation in which we've already seen 273 mass shootings involving four or more people in the first 274 days of this year. That's virtually one mass shooting a day in the glorious age of Trump.
         After Columbine, after Virginia Tech, after Newtown, when will it be time to start seriously talking about gun control? Never, according to the paranoid, lunatic fringe who still insist on either ignoring massive carnage such as we saw in Vegas or accusing the left of "politicizing" every such mass shooting. Or, very much in keeping with our capitalist society, gun manufacturers' stock prices skyrocketed just hours after the shooting.
         The problem is, or rather, it starts where feelings such as paranoia and terror of who knows what achieves more than an equal footing with easily ascertainable facts. And until we start dismissing the rampant paranoia and deliberate misreading of the 2nd Amendment of the gun-clutching faction, we'll never finally have that efficacious national debate about gun control measures that actually work. And, as John Adams said while defending British soldiers accused of shooting to death five American colonists at the Boston Massacre, "Facts are stubborn things."
         And these are some of the facts:
         Stephen Paddock, the multimillionaire shooter, was firing down at a group of people at a country music festival from 32 floors up for nine to eleven consecutive minutes. Watching the videos taken of the massacre, one suspects Paddock was using extended capacity clips to judge by the length of the bursts. And indeed, Las Vegas law enforcement found those empty extended capacity clips in his hotel room.
         Prior to what his asshole brother said in Orlando (During which, in true Trumpian fashion, he bragged that his brother who'd just murdered 58 humans, made him rich, allowing him to retire early) Stephen Paddock didn't "just snap." The mass shooting in Las Vegas last Sunday night was planned well in advance, with minute details meticulously plotted and executed. Among them:
         Previously renting a unit overlooking an even larger concert perhaps as a dry run.
         Bringing up to his room at the Mandalay Bay Resort ten rifles, some with extended capacity magazines and sniper's tripods.
         He set up not one but two sniper's nests.
         He set up cameras in the hallway and monitors in his room so he could film himself shooting innocents as well as see when police arrived.
         Obviously, he knew when the concert would take place and rented perhaps the highest hotel room available so he could set up the perfect kill box for maximum carnage.
         And he never intended to survive. When police finally broke into the room, Paddock did perhaps the only decent thing he ever did in his life and turned himself into a rotting corpse by blowing his brains out.

     The Other Stories
    As is often the case, when there is one villain wreaking unimaginable havoc whether it be a hurricane or a gunman, unlikely heroes are spontaneously produced. Among them:
         John Phippen, a 56 year-old widower and father of six, who'd sacrificed his life to shield a woman he didn't know from the gunfire that would claim his life. His son also risked his life and was among the 515 wounded for helping another.
         Brennan Lee Stewart died while protecting his girlfriend.
         Jack Beaton died stepping in the path of bullets that would've killed his wife.
         Denise Burditus died in her husband's arms.
         Sonny Melton died protecting his wife, suffering a fatal gunshot in the back that otherwise would've struck his spouse.
         And these don't include the acts of heroism of those who'd survived Paddock's attack. And all these victims had one thing in common: They just wanted to hear some good country and western music and have a good time.
         And matching the facts are the remaining questions: In a city in which the casinos have better security than our airports, how could Paddock sneak ten rifles and thousands of rounds of ammunition in 13 suitcases into a hotel? Why wasn't there a metal detector at the entrance of the hotel? We have metal detectors in sporting venues, airports, courthouses, even high schools. Why not Mandalay Bay? And what answers does Congress have?
         Congress is bound and determined to pass a bill relaxing restrictions on buying and using silencers. Amazingly, brazenly and audaciously, it's called "The Hearing Protection Act of 2017." Because, let's think of the tender eardrums of gunmen like Stephen Paddock when they begin shooting scores of innocents to death. Who cares if the victims can't hear where the shots are coming from? Because, after all, if Stephen Paddock didn't have those pesky, liberal silencer laws to obey, he could've upped his body count exponentially.
         And Donald Trump said the Vegas shooting that killed nearly five dozen and wounded 515 or more was "a very very sad day for me personally."
         Maybe he's got another golf trophy to spare for one of the grieving relatives.

    Monday, October 2, 2017

    Small Right Hand (With apologies to Nick Cave)



    Take a little stroll to the 19th Hole
    Go and ask the flacks
    Where the spokesmen spin
    Like a bowling pin
    As they shift, backtrack.
    Where Russian bots buzz like a turd with flies,
    And Fox repeats the lies
    CNN, you know
    You’ll never get the facts
    At the bar, at the carts,
    At the rough, at the traps.
    From the shit storm comes
    A tall orange man
    And grabbing all the pussies with
    A small right hand.

    Putin pulls him with his arm,
    And tells him he’s a good boy.
    He'll rekindle all your dreams
    It takes him a second to destroy.
    He'll promise you a wall
    Where beaners foot the bill
    But the border’s still porous in the southern land.

    He's a pig, he's a lech,
    He's a cad, he's a douchebag.
    He hears whispered lies
    In his disappearing mind
    And he flips the middle finger
    Of his small right hand.

    You have lots of money?
    Cab-i-net.
    Just don’t you ask him
    For a private jet.
    You feel your judgment’s bad,
    You feel like you’ve been had
    Well don’t you worry, here
    Robert Mueller comes
    Deposing traitors and the spies
    And seeing through the lies.
    A slimy spatter’s cast wherever he lands,
    Secret ten forties in his
    Small right hand.


    He cares for but ratings
    In his two minutes hatings
    He'll appear everywhere and
    He is what he seems.
    You'll hear him in your head,
    As the tv screams
    And hey buddy, he’s warning
    You don’t turn him off
    He's a pig, he's a lech,
    He's a cad, he's a douchebag.
    If you’re a Hispanic
    In this catastrophic land
    You’ll get a bitch-slapping with
    His small right hand.

    Saturday, September 30, 2017

    Hurry Up, Mueller

         "Genocide."
         Yes, the Mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico went there and said the "G" word, something never uttered except by yours truly his first year of blogging after Katrina hit New Orleans.
         And in the nearly 13 years I've been a political blogger, the first, last and only other time I have ever felt such a volcanic rage at an administration, out of all the countless evils they have visited on us and the world since late August 2005, was Bush's sluggish and apathetic response to the flooding in New Orleans during one of his many vacations.
         This matches that, easily.
         Here's a billionaire sitting on his fat ass at a country club he owns in New Jersey congratulating himself through the efforts of his proxies on the ground in Puerto Rico and petulantly pouting in the third person that the mayor of San Juan was "nasty" to "Trump".
         Really, does this surprise anyone, that this pouting Mussolini in a bad ball cap would be so completely indifferent to the plight of 3,411,000 American citizens who happen to be Puerto Rican? Are you really shocked at this after his response was hardly any better after Houston and its 36% Hispanic population flooded a month ago? Or Miami's 70% Cuban and Hispanic population?
         Are we seeing a trend here, folks?
         Bottom line, if you live in a Hispanic-majority or dense population that suffers a catastrophic tragedy as long as Trump's "president", don't expect help. You'll be labeled on Twitter a welfare queen, that you expect to have everything done for you, obscure shipping laws will take forever to be suspended, immigration slots will not be temporarily raised, even though you're already an American citizen.
         Instead, you'll get insults from the "Commander in Chief" and to rely on yourself so he doesn't have to get heavily involved even through proxies. Telling Puerto Rico to help itself is like telling a man without legs to pull himself up by the bootstraps.
         Let this be a teaching lesson to every child who's learning or will learn Civics that this is not the way a president acts during a national emergency, that it's not OK to treat a national disaster as if it's a tempest in a teapot in some little faraway Third World country, that it's not OK to put your feelings before the lives of people (the official death toll in Puerto Rico at this time stands at 16 although that will surely rise).
         So, Mr. Mueller, please wrap up this investigation because this orange turd in the crystal punch bowl has embarrassed us long enough. Please. Hurry. Up and flush this backed-up lump of shit once and for all before he kills more people.

    Tuesday, September 26, 2017

    The Family That Preys Together

    (By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari)
    Wennerström was devoting himself to fraud that was so extensive it was no longer merely criminal–it was business.
    "You will be investigating thieves, bullies... the most detestable collection of people that you will ever meet- My family."
    Stieg Larsson, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
    Ages and ages hence, there will come that revelatory eye-rubbing period when everyone except for your dyed-in-the-wool Neo Nazi white supremacist (aka your die-hard Trump voters) will wonder, "What the fuck happened on Election Night 2016?" From the epicenter that was post-war Nuremberg, I'm sure many Germans who'd survived that war asked themselves the same question about Election Night 1933.
         "But... but, he swore he had the nation's best interests at heart, that he would make our nation great again!"
         Yet, it could at least be said that Hitler (even if only perhaps he had no family to speak of) never resorted to nepotism to position his family at the top echelons in the new government. But if Adolph Hitler had children, one gets the uneasy feeling they'd be alarmingly like Trump's two eldest sons Erik and Don Jr.
         As just one simple reminder of what we're talking about, let's look at a recently-unearthed fact within the Trump family dynamic: That Donald Jr. and Ivanka wanted to screw Tiffany Trump out of her inheritance. Trump admitted as much on the Howard Stern Show during the campaign and he may have said it for all 1% families when he told Stern, 
         “I have a friend who is also like a very rich guy. And he said how his children hate the new children coming along and everything else; I said, 'Yeah, because every time you have a child, it's 20 percent less to the people.”
         In normal families, it's expected for the older siblings to get jealous over the seemingly lessened attention to them whenever a new baby comes into the family. Eventually, however, in normal families the older siblings get over it and lovingly accept the new one into the family dynamic. In families such as the Trumps, it's not the lessening of attention they worry about but the lessening of their inheritance no matter how massive that legacy will be. And, in true psychopathic fashion, Trump seems OK and accepting of that.
         And maybe, some day, Tiffany will simply drop out of sight, ashamed to be associated with her family, and will wish to strike out on her own. Perhaps she'll fake her own death as had the 16 year-old Harriet Vanger in Stieg Larsson's The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. But, knowing her three older siblings... who knows how it'll happen if it does?

    Breaking Fast With Tiffany
    Even though I don't personally know the girl, I and, I'm sure, several of you have always suspected that Tiffany Trump is the Marilyn Munster of the Trump family. It's her normality and likeableness that automatically makes her an outcast in this bizarre collection of freaks that in itself is reminiscent of the Vanger family in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Being a First Daughter, she'll dutifully do her part for the sake of the family, keeps her opinions to herself but not a bit more. Who can forget October last year when, after a debate with Hillary Clinton, Trump leaned in to kiss Tiffany and she gracefully leaned away like Esther Williams getting out of the path of a Great White?
         Trump himself admitted on Election Night, “I'm very proud, because Don and Eric and Ivanka and—you know, to a lesser extent 'cause she just got out of school, out of college, but, uh, Tiffany, who has also been so terrific...”
         So, it shouldn't come as any surprise to anyone who knows the first thing about this Vanger family come to life, this personification of the DSM-V that Trump's pride in his children is predicated on how much money they can grub. And, speaking of which, apparently being each an heir to about a billion apiece isn't enough for some of the spawn who still dream of that three-way cut. 
         It bears repeating, especially to anyone who has yet to read the internationally bestselling Millennium trilogy by left wing Swedish novelist and journalist Stieg Larsson. Larsson was the kind of liberal this country needs in the field of journalism and at this precise time. With all due respect to the Mueller investigation, we need a left wing antidote to the noxious right wing fascists currently running loose over hill and dale.
         Mikael Blomkvist was little more than a thinly-disguised version of Larsson himself. Expo, also, was the real-life Millennium. However, even Blomkvist never spent 1977 training far left Eritrean female guerilla fighters in the use of mortars. Until virtually the day of his death, Larsson tirelessly pushed back against right wing extremism that, as in the US, sometimes in Sweden rears its ugly head.
         As with his creation Blomkvist, Larsson was primarily a financial journalist who went after far right wing industrialists such as the ones who tried to engineer a fascist takeover of Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration in 1933. One would be hard-pressed if not outright confounded to think of a single American financial journalist today who would've considered it a calling, if not a quasi religious mission, to investigate fascist freaks such as the Trumps. These people have no loyalty to each other except when they share in the iniquity in which they're steeped, and have been steeped, practically from the cradle. And, as Tiffany shows, they will screw one of their own over a bigger percentage. Because that's what shockingly selfish people like the Trumps do.
         Barron, watch both sides of the street when you cross. Your father, after all, never even mentioned you on Election Night.

    KindleindaWind, my writing blog.

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  • Anosognosia.
  • Echidne of the Snakes.
  • They Gave Us a Republic.
  • The Gawker.
  • Outtake Online, Emmy-winner Charlotte Robinson's site.
  • Skippy, the Bush Kangaroo
  • No More Mr. Nice Blog.
  • Head On Radio Network, Bob Kincaid.
  • Spocko's Brain.
  • Pandagon.
  • Slackivist.
  • WTF Is It Now?
  • No Blood For Hubris.
  • Lydia Cornell, a very smart and accomplished lady.
  • Roger Ailes (the good one.)
  • BlondeSense.
  • The Smirking Chimp.
  • Hammer of the Blogs.
  • Vast Left Wing Conspiracy.
  • Argville.
  • Existentialist Cowboy.
  • The Progressive.
  • The Nation.
  • Mother Jones.
  • Vanity Fair.
  • Salon.com.
  • Citizens For Legitimate Government.
  • News Finder.
  • Indy Media Center.
  • Lexis News.
  • Military Religious Freedom.
  • McClatchy Newspapers.
  • The New Yorker.
  • Bloggingheads TV, political vlogging.
  • Find Articles.com, the next-best thing to Nexis.
  • Altweeklies, for the news you won't get just anywhere.
  • The Smirking Chimp
  • Don Emmerich's Peace Blog
  • Wikileaks.
  • The Peoples' Voice.
  • Dictionary.com.
  • CIA World Fact Book.
  • IP address locator.
  • Tom Tomorrow's hilarious strip.
  • Babelfish, an instant, online translator. I love to translate Ann Coulter's site into German.
  • Newsmeat: Find out who's donating to whom.
  • Wikipedia.
  • Uncyclopedia.
  • anysoldier.com
  • Icasualties
  • Free Press
  • YouTube
  • The Bone Bridge.
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