Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Assclowns of the Week #106: The Turkey Has Landed edition

     Gobble, gobble, lads and lasses! Now that we've eaten all the Thanksgiving leftovers, the nation looks forward to the Christmas holidays and the madness that goes with it. And by madness, I don't mean just Black Friday Thursday Wednesday but the assclowns on Capitol Hill running wild on the Potomac like the expensively-upholstered jackals that they are. To wit:
     Jailbird Jimmy O'Keefe (2) for trying to punk the WaPo and failing spectacularly; Donald Trump (10, 8, 6. 5 and 1) for desecrating yet another occasion and Franklin Graham (9) for essentially saying, "Let's give child molesters a chance." So jump aboard the hay ride and let's review this week's assclowns and much, much more!

10) Donald Trump

     It's hard to imagine a "president" who's been more disrespectful to party leaders, especially Democrats than Donald fucking Trump. Honestly, even Bush at the nadir of his so-called presidency never dared to informally call Minority Leaders Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer by their Christian names let alone "Chuck and Nancy." But this was the tweet that Trump sent out that put the kibosh on the proposed meeting between him and the Democratic party leaders.

     In other words, according to the guy who had ghost-written for him a mega hit entitled The Art of the Deal thinks the best way to deal is to automatically invalidate and reject out of hand the perceived proposals of those with whom you're about to negotiate. In other words, "My way or the highway," which will get you nowhere at warp speed in politics. But this is what you get when you elect a clown with no political experience whose "art of the deal" had earned him four bankruptcies. Thanks again, hillbillies.

9) Franklin fucking Graham

     If I had a time machine, perhaps the first thing I'd do is go back to 1951 North Carolina and give Billy Graham a condom.
     Because what else can you say about a religious huckster who demonizes Muslims and the LGBTQ community then defends an accused child molester like Roy Moore? Because, you know, the enemy of my enemy is my friend and Senator of a state I don't live in. Last Tuesday, Graham ripped a page out of Donald Trump's playbook and used the annual Samaritan’s Purse Shoebox Celebration in Charlotte, NC to defend accused pedophile Roy Moore and even had the nerve to bring up Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinski. In fact, Graham amplified his statements by writing on Facebook, "I met Roy Moore when I was in Alabama last year, and I talked to him a few days ago from Norway and asked him if these allegations were true. He said absolutely not." Like when Trump supposedly asked Putin during the Asia trip if he had anything to do with subverting the American electoral process and Vlad said, "Nyet" and Trump said, "See? Nuttin' t' see 'ere." In other words, he said it, I believe it, that settles it.
     Problems with that, O Billy Graham's wasted sperm: #1, you weren't in Roy Moore's house in 1979 when he came on to that 14 year-old child and, #2, at least Monica was of consenting age.

8) Donald Trump

     Yes, in the space of two generations, we've gone from "Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country" to this dog shit. In the wee hours of Wednesday morning, our Chief Executive thought retweeting this video of a boy getting tossed off a roof and beaten to death would be a good idea. The problem is, it was posted on the account of Jayda Fransen, who's essentially the UK's answer to Pam Geller, retired mob wife and self-appointed Islamophobe Laureate of the US.
     And that was just the third in a series of retweets Trump made early Wednesday morning from this psychopath, all with the intention of showing Muslims in the worst possible light. The problem with Trump is that he either doesn't realize, or (even worse) realizes all too well, of the awesome magnification and amplification the highest office in the land gives him. He's like one of those naked toddlers who took the stage at Woodstock between acts, only with none of the cuteness, and is obviously trying to incite violence against innocent Muslims who are already on the shit list of his red meat supporters.

7) Wes Goodman

     A little over a week ago, another fundamentalist Christian and married family man, a former Ohio State Rep, was caught literally with his pants down. This time it was the ironically-named Wes Goodman who was bagged having sex with another man in his official state office. Goodman did Ohio a favor by doing this before his first term was even up. And what was Goodman's defense? He said that his packing fudge with the other guy was "consensual." Which, of course, isn't the issue. The issue is that Goodman ran on a family values platform and voted against any measure that would give any sort of rights and relief to the LGBTQ community. And, typically, GOP leaders in Ohio knew about the allegations and tolerated his hypocritical behavior, anyway.

6) Donald Trump

     Apparently, the Trump Foundation thinks among the worthiest recipients of its largesse is Project Veritas, the nation's foremost and premiere video editing service for the right wing. In newly released documents, it came out that in 2015, Trump's foundation donated $20,000 to Jailbird Jimmy O'Keefe's Project Veritas. The original filings for the Foundation had shown just half of that donated to Veritas.
     This essentially means that the crazy old man who lives on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue who constantly screams about fake news is subsidizing fake news. This comes as a very interesting development considering the stunt that O'Keefe had recently tried with the Washington Post in an effort to destroy the credibility of the paper, hence Roy Moore's accusers.

5) The Trump Administration

     In the latest of a seemingly never-ending string of laughably inappropriate appointments and nominations, Donald Trump thought it would be a corker of an idea to appoint Crack Whore Barbie, aka Kellyanne Conway, to the top post of fighting the opioid epidemic. It's hard to see just how Conway is qualified for a top post that until lately had been occupied by Chris Christie who, as New Jersey's Governor, had an honest, vested interest in fighting this health crisis. Conway's a shyster and ran a polling company.
     Really, Donnie Dumbo? This was the best you could do? What happened? Was Keith Richards not available?

4) The Koch Brothers

     "Hey, Dave."
     "Yeah, Chuck?"
     "Bezos bought the Washington Post for a quarter billion."
     "Yeah, I heard. So what?"
     "Let's buy a bunch of magazines for nearly three times that much under some company named Meredith."
     "What do you have in mind?"
     "Time, People, Sports Illustrated, Fortune... You know, Time, Inc."
     "Well, that's one way to get Trump's jiggling orange puss on Time's cover."
     "Bwah ha ha ha!"
     "Bwah ha ha ha! That'll show Bezos!"
     "Let's wear our thongs for the cover of the Swimsuit Issue!"
     "Bwa ha ha ha!"
     "Fuck it, let's do it."

3) Congressman Joe Barton

     In an eerie and, frankly, repulsive reprise of The Blob, Joe Barton channeled his inner Weiner and showed his outer weiner in a nudie text message to a woman who wasn't his estranged wife. But here's the kicker: Unlike in the Weiner case, which resulted in a prison sentence for the former Congressman, Sarah Dodd of Dodd Communications, spinmeisters hired by Barton to do damage control, said this is a case of "revenge porn" and "is a violation of his privacy."
     In other words, Barton's the victim here. For texting pictures of his little oil derrick. To a woman to whom he wasn't married. And reasonably expected, in a climate that's fatal and toxic to sexual abusers, to never leak out. But what can you expect from a guy who actually said this about wind power on the floor of the US House?

2) Jailbird Jimmy O'Keefe

     Let it not be said that Jailbird Jimmy O'Keefe, journalist provocateur/telephone repairman/wouldbe New Hampshire voter/Occupy Wall Street protester/Pimp Daddy/election influencer, isn't a job creator. In fact, just a few days ago, O'Keefe hired a woman to pose as a Roy Moore rape victim, telling a cock and bull story to the Washington Post about her getting pregnant by him in 1992 and having to get an abortion. This half-assed actress, Jaime T. Phillips, tipped her hand by asking the WaPo reporters if her story was going to derail Roy Moore's senate run.
     One of the problems that cropped up immediately, that our fourth rate Inspector Clouseau didn't bother checking up on was Phillips not taking down her GoFundMe drive (Funny how anti-socialist right wingers love the socialist structure of crowd sourcing when it suits them, isn't it?) dedicated to fighting the "liberal MSM". Then, without knowing she was tailed, drove to Veritas' HQ (located in a strip mall between an Albanian hair removal salon and Kevin's Authentic Indian Food) and walked in for an hour-long meeting with, presumably, O'Keefe. Then the WaPo ambushed O'Keefe that day, thereby making Jailbird Jimmy commit the biggest cardinal sin of journalism- Becoming the story.
     Really? Is this right wing stooge the guy who brought down ACORN with a badly-edited and misleading video?

1) Donald Trump
     If by some miracle Trump survives that long, I can see his next trick being having Holocaust survivors at the White House and under a portrait of Adolph Hitler making Anne Frank jokes.
     Early this week, Trump hosted a trio of the surviving Navajo Code Talkers, without whose help we could have lost the second world war, before a portrait of Andrew Jackson. That was bad enough, in having prominently displayed throughout the entire ceremony the portrait of a guy who brought about the Trail of Tears in which tens of thousands of Native Americans had died as they were forcibly removed from their lands when Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act.
     But then Trump, as usual, had to drag the event into his particular primordial ooze by taking a page from former Senator Scott Brown's campaign and calling Massachusetts senior Senator Elizabeth Warren "Pocahantas" during an event intended to honor the Navajos. This, predictably, resulted in a swift backlash within minutes from Warren on Trump's favorite network. Really, can anyone recall a single instance in which Trump didn't take a pot shot at some perceived enemy at an event intended to honor and not dishonor someone or a group?

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Moore or Less the GOP's Soul

(By American Zen’s Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari)
The right wing's ambivalent rallying around accused child molester Roy Moore involves more than just the soul for the state of Alabama- It involves what passes for or what's left of the soul of the Republican Party's. The nadir of this debate was delineated perfectly on Sean Hannity's show when during Hannity's broadcast, the Fox chyron openly asked, at the expense of some big sponsors, "What if the child consents though?" As if that's even up for debate, as if children that age are legally able to give their consent (In Alabama in 1979, as now, the age of consent was 16).
     Some Republicans have done the right thing even if only in the interests of political survival. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, an otherwise scurvy and reliable human sawhorse to anything remotely resembling human progress, has called for Roy Moore to drop out of the Senate race. But that's in 15 days and Alabama law dictates that a candidate dropping out of a race has to give 76 days notice for the simple reason that the ballots are printed up that far in advance of an election. So they're stuck with Roy Moore as their man whether they like it or not.
     While Trump has decided not to campaign for Moore (look what his support did for Luther Strange in the GOP runoff election). he's tacitly putting his support behind a man who's been accused by a woman for fondling her and soliciting her for sex in 1979 when she was still a 14 year-old child. Then there's the story, albeit unproven, that Moore during roughly this time having been banned from a mall in Gadsden, Alabama for ogling and approaching other underage girls. Then there's the growing list of other women who said they'd been approached if not sexually assaulted by Moore, many of them while they were in their teens.
     In a way, Moore is like Trump redux, who himself had pending litigation in Manhattan for raping a 13 year-old girl while she was held captive in the apartment of fellow billionaire Jeffrey Epstein (before the charges mysteriously and quietly were dropped, again, just before Election Day). Many mainstream Republicans, of which McConnell was not one (Trump's Transportation Secretary is his wife, after all), had opposed Trump. John McCain, after tacitly giving his endorsement to Trump even after his, "I like guys weren't captured" comment, quickly withdrew his endorsement exactly a month before the election, a political rarity on a par with a lawmaker kicking a lobbyist out of their office. McCain's outgoing colleague Jeff Flake has taken to social and print media as well as the airways to publicly humiliate Trump. Bob Corker, another retiring Republican, is doing much the same.

     And as anyone can tell you, the waning Republican support for Roy Moore, a guy who hasn't held a public event in 10 days, revolves around one single issue- The tax cut for the rich bill. Trump can't get ObamaCare repealed much less TrumpCare passed, almost entirely because of John McCain, so he's pinning what may prove to be his legacy on the tax cut bill that will devastate poor and middle income families while providing tax cuts on corporate jets and savings to the Walton and Koch families to the tune of tens of billions.
     Here's the problem- The Republicans hold a slender 52-48 majority in the upper chamber, meaning if the Democrats win back three of their seats (even though virtually all of them are in deeply crimson states), they get the majority and Trump's tax bill goes down in flames like the ObamaCare repeal had.
     And Republicans can't have that. That is why people like Hannity and the Trump-backed Jailbird Jimmy O'Keefe's Veritas Media are busy trying to do everything to discredit Moore's accusers regardless of how tender their age at the time of their encounters rather than giving Alabama voters an actual reason to vote for Moore aside from him having the "R" after his name. Jeff Flake calls the GOP support of Roy Moore, "political tribalism at its worst."
     The congressional majority leaders McConnell and Ryan practically have dry heaves when the subject of Trump comes up. They secretly acknowledge that getting into bed with Trump was the biggest mistake of their political careers but they acknowledge that he's a useful idiot and will sign any legislation that's a boon to their wealthy bosses on Wall Street and their overseers in the Bible Belt.
     Except Trump hasn't signed any major legislation. Aside from ramming or shoehorning in religious and Big Business zealots into the Cabinet, it can't be said Congress has done a hell of a lot, either. And now, Republicans are handed seemingly a golden opportunity to welcome into their ranks a fellow Republican who's a sure vote for tax "reform" who also just happens to be an accused child molester, one who had not actually denied the allegations as much as he's simply avoiding the media and the voters of Alabama.
     Is it worth their soul to help this man get elected, for one vote that will take all of five minutes? This is what Republicans, and Alabama voters, have to decide. And if they do help get this man elected, or to at least not stand in his path to Capitol Hill, it may not even be a question of whether or not they save their soul but the outcome determining whether they still have one.

Monday, November 27, 2017

The Banality of Evil

     Donald Trump is finally right about something. Although it recently won two Pulitzer Prizes, the New York Times failed.
     Two days ago, the NY Times took a lot of heat for this article and for damned good reason. They completely blew it by shifting Overton's Window ever more to the far right in normalizing this neo Nazi in Ohio. A reporter from MoJo, oddly, defended the piece, saying that white supremacists are normal citizens who've always been among us since the Revolutionary War. Their response (not an apology as much as a whiny defense by their national editor) was absolutely pathetic and they weakly made some amendments to the article, including removing the link to it that had already been disseminated all over social media.
      But the Times blew it in not adequately delineating the difference between the outward normality of their lives and abnormality of their thinking. Hardcore white supremacists who are committed to join (or, in this case, to actually found movements) are, thankfully, in the vast minority in this country. While a marginal segment of a national population shouldn't be marginalized just for lack of numbers, we can comfortably make an exception for neo Nazis and white supremacists who assault and murder people like Heather Hyer. These people are social dinosaurs who are terrified that the white man's control over the world is slipping away in the ever more insistent tide of multiculturalism. And having nice manners and going food shopping just like us normal folk does not make them any less morally repugnant.
     Bess Kalb, a writer for Jimmy Kimmel Live, wrote in response,
You know who had nice manners? The Nazi who shaved my uncle Willie’s head before escorting him into a cement chamber where he locked eyes with children as their lungs filled with poison and they suffocated to death in agony. Too much? Exactly. That’s how you write about Nazis.

     In other words, this was the failing of the NY Times, in seemingly giving credence to Donald Trump's despicable comments about some of the white nationalists and NeoNazis being "very fine people." This is how Overton's Window keeps shifting to the right- Not through government propaganda but with the apparent blessing of our mainstream media.
     In normalizing this guy, in initially linking to a neo Nazi merchandise site, showing a cute furry cat on a bookcase containing books glorifying white nationalism and Nazism, talking about his upcoming wedding and this guy's attempts to put out his message with "satire" and in not highlighting the cruel irony of a neo Nazi who likes Seinfeld and National Public Radio, they're just unpacking that famous quote by Hannah Arendt: "The banality of evil" while seeming to be disturbingly comfortable with how banal we've allowed it to get.

Friday, November 24, 2017

What I'm Thankful For

(By Cyril Blubberpuss)
     At least that's what the red squatters used to say when they lived here. Alright, maybe I'm a little late for the giving of thanks but it was only within the last hour or two that I was able to move again after yesterday's feast at Kevin's Authentic Indian Food on 1st Avenue (Funny, isn't it, why more Indian restaurants aren't open on Thanksgiving considering they stole the idea from us?).
     Anyway, I'm here to tell you all about what makes me thankful, because, after all, that's how Thanksgiving's been co-opted. And, as usual, it's up to me to revise history for you ignorant slobs so you'd better listen up.
     It all started sometime before 1900, maybe a good time before that, when people from England and Holland came over supposedly to escape "religious persecution." Well, maybe the English (and especially the popish micks later) had a beef but the Hollish actually had a lot of religious freedom back where they came from in the Netherregions.
     In our revision of history, we adopted the erroneous narrative that the Limeys and the Hollish came over to escape religious freedom and to pioneer a brave New World that would one day proudly proclaim. "Feed a man corn, you feed him for a day. Teach him how to plant corn, he will rape your wives, acculturize your children, turn you into rotting corpses and steal your land."
     But that's not what it was really about. The American colonies were started as profit centers, a place in which religious freedom was paid lip service and tolerated like the dried-out piece of bubble gum that used to come with the trading cards. The Dutch were especially keen to do more than just eke a living out of Manhattan, for instance. My native city was, in fact, once named New Amsterdam before the Limeys looked at the Hollish and said, "Oy, we want some o' that shite!" or whatever they said between drinking songs and lap dances at the inn.
     Wealthy and well-to-do merchants came to our shores fleeing the brutal English and Dutch winters looking for ways to grow tobacco and cotton and, with the help of some contract workers from Africa, succeeded beyond their wildest expectations. The industry flourished under this new temp program between here and Africa for close to 250 years before Abe Lincoln fucked it up.
     In a way, that's what Donald Trump, the first bald President since Eisenhower, has done on this same Manhattan Island. With the help of some penniless, rootless Polack workers, he built Trump Tower, the Kremlin of 5th Avenue, and turned this borough into something. The Russkies, yearning to teem the shores of the internet, wanted in and he graciously let them with the help of Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg.
     And, in a way that's the same exact entrepreneurial spirit that my baby brother Cecil brought from eastern Europe when he founded It had and always will have the distinction of being the world's first internet sex chat room and Cecil put the "ho" in SoHo. From an abandoned sex doll factory in what used to be Yugoslavia, these scantily-clad Aryan Adonises worked their magic catering to the fevered fantasies of horny Republican men from coast to coast.
     And up until the moment before ICE and the FBI raided his SoHo loft whilst he was in mid-orgasm, Cecil was giving these former college students bound for dreary careers in medicine, law and engineering a taste of the American dream. Because it is the right and Manifest Destiny for white American males to show the rest of the world and the other races what they can truly achieve if they but dispense with silly notions about cultural identity and "freedom."
     You want to know what real freedom is? Freedom is the ability to clutch a warm, smoking gun and knowing that you just made a horrible rash decision in the heat of the moment because George fucking Washington and his bewigged friends said you could.
     But that is how America was founded, ladies and gentlemen, by the Hollish and the English looking to make a fast buck then hiring temp workers from the Middle Passage when they realized how back-breaking the work was. And, thanks to the tobacco and textile industries giving those African temp workers a leg up in their own pursuit in the American dream, now they're able to make rap videos at poolside wearing hubcap-sized bling and backwards ball caps made of white ermine.
     So let it never be said the white man did not give them and so many other races more than a tantalizing taste of the American Dream. We started as a brutal profit center and may God grant us another 250 years of brutal profit. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go mail off some estrogen to my baby brother Cecil at Riker's Island.

I am From the Apples, Yes?

     Some assholes from this number, 240-237-1031, have been calling me on my cell about 2-3 times a day, including twice today. I never answer calls that aren't on my contact list but getting calls from this number 2-3 times a day is still irritating.
     So I decided to turn the tables on them and I called them back at the number they left on my caller ID.
      "Hello, Apple Support," answers the man with the Indian accent.
      "Hello," I said in my best Apu accent, "I am Christian calling from the Apple Support and we may have to terminate your iCloud account over suspicious activity. Are you near your computer, sir?"
      "Who is this...?"

      Then I told him to stop calling my fucking cell phone, over a constant stream of F bombs on his end, or I was going to report him and his scam outfit to the Federal Trade Commission. This number's been reported for all sorts of scams and is a classic Danny Chadwick (twin brother of you know who) scam.
      They really don't like it when you turn the tables on them. I strongly suggest more of us try this.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving

     ...from our home to yours. This is our usual spread: Pork loin, mashed spuds, cheesy potatoes, corn, squash, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce (not shown), olives with a good Riesling. Pumpkin pie later. That's the obligatory Arlo Guthrie CD on the table. Hope yours was as happy as ours.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

What Sergeant La David Johnson Did Not Sign Up For

     Is this going to require a second funeral, with an exhumation? The DoD is making her relive this Hell all over again because of their sloppiness. I didn't want to make this into a racial thing but... the war profiteers flying the chopper DID leave the only black guy behind WHILE HE WAS STILL ALIVE, they DID take two days to find his remains and they did NOT get them all. And what does the Slanderer in Chief say to the widow? "He knew what he signed up for." Without once mentioning his name.
     No, you double-woven fucking hairball, I'm sure Sgt. Johnson did NOT sign up to be abandoned by war profiteers to slug it out against 50 ISIS terrorists then to have his body shipped back to the States in separate trips and to have the fucking Pentagon lie to his wife and refuse to let her see his remains. There is no excuse for this sloppiness.
     What he DID sign up for was to have his six watched by his fellow Rangers, not to be left behind like a bag of groceries in a supermarket parking lot.

Friday, November 17, 2017

The Blue Memory Hole of the Massachusetts State Police

Massachusetts State Police Col. Richard McKeon, left, and Deputy Superintendent Francis Hughes WBZ-TV, Massachusetts State Police

     The infamous memory hole of American law enforcement is as much a marvel to behold as what they hallucinate. From a self-perceived war on the police to nonexistent firearms, the mnemonic abilities of law enforcement is so susceptible to error, it's a wonder more cops aren't fired for unfitness for duty.
     Then there's the other law enforcement memory hole, which are deliberate omissions and using coercement to achieve an artificial memory hole to shield some powerful people and their own. One story reluctantly making the rounds of the shitty Massachusetts media is a reaffirmation that the original crime is never nearly as bad as the subsequent coverup. Watergate taught us that, as will Robert Mueller's Trump-Russia investigation.
     Our story into the lesions of law enforcement memories starts on October 16th with a simple crack-up on I-190 (the Mass Pike) in Worcester. The responding officer, one Trooper Ryan Sceviour, found a barely coherent 30 year-old woman under the influence of something powerful. She'd reeked of alcohol, failed several field sobriety tests and was yelling that her father was "a fucking judge and he's gonna kill me!" Then, after confessing to the Trooper that she'd performed oral sex on several men to feed her heroin addiction, she then offered him sex for leniency. The first of two BAC tests revealed a blood alcohol content of .224, three times over the legal limit. Syringes were spilling out of her totaled car.
     After her booking, Trooper Sceviour filled out what was supposed to be a routine arrest report stating the facts. He didn't believe her at first when she said her father was a judge until it came to light that she was Alli Bibaud, who's the daughter of Dudley District Judge Timothy Bibaud, who. ironically, presides over the drug court in Worcester.
     He learned that two days later when a superior from the Massachusetts State Police showed up at Sceviour's home and ordered him to drive 90 miles to he could falsify the arrest report and expunge from it any mention of sex. drugs or her father being a judge. He was told, furthermore, that the order came straight from the top: State Police Colonel Richard McKeon, then the head of the Massachusetts State Police. That's odd enough as it is, that the head of a state police force would personally get involved in a routine arrest report. He later found two voicemails, from a Lt. James Fogarty, bringing the total of high-ranking State Troopers involved in this conspiracy to at least three. And who's #3?
     When Sceviour arrived in Holden, he voiced his complaints and reservations aloud to his commander, Major Susan Anderson, head of the Holden barracks. So, while Col. McKeon may have ordered the falsification, it was Major Anderson who'd orchestrated it at the barracks level. He told his superior, "If this was some random person and not a judge's kid, none of this would be happening," with which she'd readily agreed before saying. "We all have bosses." Reluctantly, Sceviour rewrote the report under the proviso that he write "revised" on it. And that's when things started to spin out of control. It ought to be mentioned here that the sergeant who'd approved the original report was reprimanded for doing his job.      

     The story managed to fly under the radar for a while until it was picked up by some second-rate bomb thrower blogger named Turtle Boy here in central Massachusetts. But that was enough to get the ball rolling and the story was soon carried by WBZ, WBUR, CBS national and local, the Globe (albeit belatedly), and local right wing icon Howie Carr in the tabloid Boston Herald. By last Tuesday, Col. McKeon abruptly announced his retirement, prompting his Deputy, Lt. Col. Francis Hughes, to also turn in his credentials. It was the first time this had happened since 2004 during the virtually underreported Antone Wilson fiasco.
     A week and a half ago, Troopers Sceviour and Rei (a drug detection expert) sued the Massachusetts State Police in federal court (which means all the details will be made public). By the 14th, McKeon was out and his deputy a half a step behind him.
     There's an old saying in law enforcement: "If it's not in the report, it didn't happen." Until it does. Before his abrupt retirement, McKeon actually defended his ordering the arrest report to be rewritten, "citing his compassion for addicts and a desire to treat everyone with 'courtesy and respect'.” I guess his heart is especially tender toward the white, coddled, spoiled, drug-addicted spawn of city judges.
     There's no hard evidence that Judge Bibaud ordered his daughter's arrest report to be rewritten or even mentioned it to state police or justice officials. But it's difficult if not outright impossible to see why McKeon, a 31 year veteran, would put his career on the line by taking the initiative to do this on behalf of a judge and get other high-ranking State Troopers involved with the coverup.
     But, as is usual with federal cases, I've got a feeling this is just the tip of the iceberg and you can bet your ass I'm going to stay on top of this story.

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Good Cop, Bad Cops, Part 6

(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.)
Part Five

(Editor's note: During the course of this series about Trooper Antone Wilson's ordeal, I've relied heavily on his summarization of events, supplementing my narrative with not just my own twist but also some independent research. However, in wrapping up this series, I've decided to let Mr. Wilson have the final say on his own case, with some light editing and the placing of linkage by me.)

How did it come to this? When this twisted narrative began nearly 17 years ago, I had no idea it would consume my middle-age. I innately understood there might be reverberations. Any conflict between police agencies has the potential to metastasize but I couldn't fathom this result. I knew that I couldn't forward an initial complaint because my statement would bring about a point-by-point rebuttal that would shift all responsibility to me. More importantly I knew my "brothers" on the Massachusetts State Police would then use the counter-complaint as a basis for a disciplinary action. No, I had to suck it up and drive on. It really wasn't that big a deal.
     When the complaint against me was forwarded, I was surprised but, I suspected, that the Franklin Police would feel a need to get a preemptive counter-narrative on the record in anticipation of my complaint. What I didn't expect was three reports so poorly-written, disjointed and contradictory. No report agreed with an other report on any point of contention. When the state police internal affairs officers tried to imply, insultingly, that these fabricated narratives would be used to support disciplinary charges my response was outrage and disbelief. The reports and the officers' subsequent statements, if anything, implied that I was the victim. What troubled me the most as that my initial instincts were correct. I could not trust "my guys" to support me; and I thought knew why.  
     What I subsequently endured is referred to officially as a "malicious prosecution" though "railroaded" is a term more commonly used and understood. As the legal process progressed over the next few years,-that's right, years- I felt as if I was a passenger on a runaway train and I had no ability to stop, slow or get off the damned thing. The process is very formal and seemingly official but also very contrived. The Massachusetts State Police disciplinary procedure has been called a kangaroo court but to me it was more like Kabuki Theater. Of course, it didn't help that my appointed attorneys were working against me because of an egregious conflict of interest. I later reported that the hearing felt like a Harlem Globetrotters game. The fix was in and I was the Washington Generals.
     Being called to active duty almost immediately thereafter slowed my ability to get recourse. I  understood the implications of the case, a sloppy, ill-conceived conspiracy and cover-up that threatened to take down scores of affiliated police officials, attorneys and investigators. When I returned from active duty, approximately six years later, I made it clear that I intended to follow-up where I left off. The state police response was a refusal to reinstate me. I had enough time on the books to "retire", involuntarily, assuring a pension and medical benefits. Not satisfied to ride off into the sunset, I got a lawyer and readied for phase three. See you in court.
    Knowing what I knew and fully understanding the brotherhood of legal professionals, I suspected my attorney would try to spike this case as the others did. I tried to stay on top of things, when he'd take my calls, and assumed that, as long as I got no notice of case dismissal from the court, I was in good standing. If you, patient reader, have been following this case, you know how that phase ultimately turned out.
     When I contacted our intrepid blogger a few years back, I asked for his assistance in publicizing this twisted story. I had contacted the local press, spoon-feeding them case particulars and providing elaborate supporting documentation, and was twice rebuffed. I was confused. Despite my own training as a journalist (I subsequently changed my major to Criminal Justice), did I have a disjointed understanding of newsworthiness because I was personally involved in the tale? Flannigan quickly grasped the particulars of the narrative and determined that the case wasn't just newsworthy, it was "radioactive", so hot that the mainstream media in the interconnected world of Bay State "elites" would not touch it.
     He did not immediately get involved because he was wary of crossing the line from social commentary to investigative reporting. When he did finally decide to publish he insisted that he preface all posts with the caveat that I had provided him with financial contributions in the past. Indeed I had. From the time I first read his blog posts I couldn't understand how such a talented writer could produce such quality in relative obscurity. I believed, and I've told him so, that his talent is, at a minimum, equal to Lee "Rude Pundit" Papa and Esquire's Charlie Pierce. What I found fascinating, however, was that citizen bloggers hold themselves to an implied standard with an ethical bearing greater than every police official and attorney I've encountered in conjunction with this case. 
     One other thing; we have not examined a critical part of the case, the why- Because of blogger's ethic. Significantly it is the most fascinating, twisted and titillating part of the case. At the outset, Flannigan told me that "...a good looking woman is behind or in front of every scandal". My case is no exception. The glaring question that any reader should ask is, "...why did they go so hard after this guy?".
     I believe it was my support for a colleague, a female Trooper, who brought a sexual harassment complaint to court against a respected state police supervisor. That case was filed before my run-in with the Franklin Police. The facts surrounding that side story won't be examined and they don't really affect the overall narrative. But tellingly, Flannigan would not go with any part of the story that he could not verify from the source. I tried to contact her (she has since retired), but I suspect she does not want to relive a such a painful period. We didn't press her for a response and the decision was made to work around it. It is also the juiciest part of a very juicy story. Hopefully it will eventually be disclosed.(Editor's note: Sexual harassment and discrimination within the clannish Massachusetts State Police is a more endemic and systemic problem than most realize.)
     Since my "retirement", I've worked as a private security contractor, an Emergency Medical Technician and served several tours on active military (Army) duty. In 2016 I did a year-long deployment to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba as a Military Policeman. I recently completed an extended tour as a Drill Sergeant, at Fort Benning, Georgia. Thank heavens for the Army. It has helped keep me grounded. I've argued that I have no debilitating psychological effect from this case but I there is residual. I find it intolerable that I have been dishonored by so many dishonorable men. Nevertheless, I understand that most of the affiliated elements are merely forced into cover-up mode after compromising themselves so thoroughly. Tell one lie and you are forced to pile deception upon deception to maintain it. Right? Mama wasn't wrong.
     As this goes to cyberspace the Massachusetts State Police are again involved in a major scandal that involves police officials, attorneys and judges. As in my case, the Colonel-Superintendent and his deputy were forced to resign. A sitting judge figures prominently in this case, as in mine, and I suspect  more "retirements" are on the way. As I no longer reside in Massachusetts, Flannigan is my eyes and ears back home. He reports that the case, despite its gravity, did  not initially get the spotlight that one might expect for a major scandal. As I suspected, the local media is wary of digging too deeply when the criminal justice system is being scrutinized. Still, they are reporting something and I think I know why.
     Most stories don't get any traction until a dedicated attorney introduces it into the legal system. At that point the complainant has a credible spokesperson and case particulars have an "air of legitimacy". Additionally, it is now a public record. The Troopers exposing the current scandal are strongly supported by the union. The union worked against me at every juncture. My case is predicated on gross legal misconduct so I've had difficulty getting a dedicated attorney who will take on and expose an inbred legal community. No lawyer, no press! Since the media wouldn't bite Flannigan took it upon himself to make the story go viral; "...if the fourth estate won't push it, we'll try the fifth estate". 
     As the news media becomes increasingly co-opted and irrelevant, the blogosphere is, thankfully, stepping up to fill the gap. The goal then is a reversal of the typical procedure. Get the story out and with publication and circulation we can get an attorney or legal assistance organization to represent us. What we need is an aggressive muckraker to get off their ass and knock on some doors and an attorney with the persistence of an ambulance chaser. What they'll find is a story that is very atypical. It is not merely about sexual harassment or even gender and racial discrimination. Members of the Minority Trooper's association were instrumental in maintaining this cover-up. No, this case is much more complex and nuanced. But, for all its phases and plot twists it is, at heart, a wrongful termination of an Army Reservist whose mobilization was used against him in furtherance of a conspiracy and cover-up. Thank you for your service, indeed. Our goal, then, is to get the story out and then let a case develop from there and, hopefully, legal resolution. 
     Sunshine is, indeed, the best disinfectant.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Good Cop, Bad Cops Pt 5

(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.)

When we left off at part four, our long-suffering hero, former Massachusetts State Trooper Antone Wilson, was saddled with his fourth consecutive incompetent and/or duplicitous attorney. To get you back up to speed without making you tread over old ground, Manoff had agreed to be Wilson's attorney for a $10,000 retainer, announced he was to try the case in federal court before subsequently announcing it would be tried in state court, after all. Then Manoff got suspended by the MA Board of Bar Overseers for, ostensibly, accounting irregularities but continued begging Wilson to retain him despite being unable to legally represent him as an attorney.
     Now that you've had your faith in those in the legal profession restored, let's continue.
     After Wilson had agreed to communicate with Manoff by email out of deference to his convenience, Manoff then became more slippery than a Trump son's hair. When he was able to reach him during the times Manoff wasn't screening his calls, he was told the case still hadn't moved and to call back in a month. Now, at this point in time, Wilson was submitting to a periodic background check from the DoD in order to maintain his Top Secret Security Clearance. Per Army regulations, he was compelled to report all pending legal action by or against him to the Department of Defense. Still trusting his attorney, Wilson gave the Army investigator Manoff's contact information in the belief he would make a good character witness who'd deny any wrongdoing on Wilson's part.
      He then left a voice mail with Manoff to give him a heads-up that he'd be contacted by the Army to vouch for his character. Then, in the reverse of the myth of the Christmas Miracle, Wilson contacted Manoff again on December 24th 2013 only to be informed the case had been dismissed. Why? Well, these legal thingies often come with deadlines, you see, and Manoff told him he'd failed to submit the interrogatories the MA State Police had requested... in 2011.
     As you can expect, Constant Reader, the conversation kind of went downhill from that point on. Manoff's answers were vague and deceptive, wouldn't give his client the dismissal date and then essentially hung up on him. It's also worth noting that, as Manoff had failed to do, the Suffolk Superior Court never notified Wilson that his case had been dismissed two years earlier. Merry Christmas, sucker. Nice doing business with you.

The Fat Cat with 90 Lives
In case you think that's hyperbole, let's recount what Manoff had gotten away with during this time in his life and career- Instead of erring on the side of caution for the sake of his misguided clients, Manoff had taken Antone Wilson's case while he was still being investigated by the MA Board of Bar Overseers. After having personally spoken with Mr. Wilson, I know for a fact that Manoff had never told him about his prior suspension from the California Board of Bar Overseers (It came as a surprise to him last month). In the subsequent investigation by the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers, Manoff should have been suspended, according to the Board's investigators, and, in Wilson’ words, over "the strenuous objection of the case prosecutors," was permitted to continue practicing law and get $8,000 from Wilson to essentially spike what should have been a federal case that never even got tried in state superior court.
     Keep in mind that in the course of this necessarily telescoped overview and summary of Wilson's trials-that-were-not-to-be and tribulations, going on 14 years had passed since the initial incident in Franklin, MA that had started the ball rolling. When one looks at Manoff's actions (or inactions) with the aid of some 20-10 hindsight, it becomes all but obvious that he'd spiked the case and had determined to do so almost from the gitgo despite accepting eight large from him, perceivably with the assistance of the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers.
     With Manoff now thankfully out of his beleaguered life, Wilson then attempted to have his case re-litigated in 2014.You would think that getting an ambulance chaser such as Manoff out of his life would earn him a reprieve from the legal Twilight Zone to which he'd been consigned all these years but there you'd be wrong.
     When Antone Wilson began reaching out to various attorneys and offered a retainer, every single one had refused to touch the case or even to give him advice as to how to proceed. Yes, lawyers said his money was no good and his case was even worse. Now, Massachusetts law states that a case that had been dismissed for lack of requested documentation may be reinstated for up to a year after dismissal, yet Manoff never made the slightest attempt to do so. As if Wilson needed further proof that this clown got his law degree out of a Walmart vending machine, this proof of his duplicity was it.
     By now, word had spread throughout the Bay State like a sewer gas leak that Wilson and his case were radioactive. Let's keep one fact in mind: War criminals get attorneys. Serial killers get attorneys. Terrorists get attorneys. Mob bosses get attorneys. Antone Wilson? Couldn't get a shyster to even give him free advice even when he waved money under their snouts. Let that sink for a moment.

The "C" Word
Get your minds out of the gutter. I meant the other "C" word- Conspiracy. I don't use it lightly, if at all. It smells of Alex Jones' permanently sweaty armpits and soggy mimeographed broadsides printed in a basement with purple ink. The very word "conspiracy", as with "liberal", "self-published books" and "pit bulls" has been given a bad rap, smeared with a wide brush by people who have a vested interest in appending negative connotations to certain things, which in itself is akin to a conspiracy.
     However, it had become obvious to Wilson that there was active collusion carried out between the MA State Police, certain law firms and individual attorneys and several other important factions stretching all the way to the highest levels of Beacon Hill to keep Antone Wilson's case from going to trial. By 2014, it'd had over 13 years to percolate into a toxic brew to which anyone with a pension and/or a career to protect had grown intensely averse. This collusion also included, if you'll remember, the law firm of Timothy Burke, Finneran, Byrne and Drechsler and even the MA Board of Bar Overseers that had given Burke one pass after another.
     It should be posited, while it cannot be absolutely proven beyond any legal standard of doubt, that the Board of Bar Overseers stands to lose the most on account of this complicity with the initial complaint against Burke and Drechsler,  Wilson's former attorneys. In case you've forgotten, Wilson's appointed-without his prior permission-law firm counted among its partners Thomas Finneran. Finneran, again, was Beacon Hill's Speaker of the House and, on the recommendation of that same BBO, was disbarred by the Massachusetts State Supreme Court for federal obstruction of justice charges.
     And as much as the Board provides a necessary check and balance to attorneys within the Commonwealth and compelling them to act in an ethical manner, they also have the potential to be a force for less than noble motivations. That includes exerting pressure on otherwise ethical attorneys to shy away from cases as radioactive as Wilson's. Again, in spite of being ethically challenged, Manoff had begun to aggressively pursue the case, even aiming for federal court until suddenly running out of gas and doing nothing. Having pressure put to bear on him by the same BBO who were even then investigating him at the time he accepted the case would certainly explain his abrupt about face on the matter. And Wilson, it ought to be remembered, never told Manoff about his past attorney troubles or the BBO.
     And when one applies a bird's eye mentality as I have done with this case, there appear so many dots that they no longer beg to be connected. There are so many, in fact, that, like the pixels on a TV screen or monitor, they begin to form a picture. And several powerful entities within the legal and law enforcement community, while not necessarily working in direct concert with one another, nonetheless were working toward a common goal- To keep Trooper Antone Wilson's case from being heard in state and federal court.
     In the next and final installment of this special series, I'll summarize this collusion and current activity of this case.
(Part 6.)

KindleindaWind, my writing blog.

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