DeKalb County Georgia Judge Cynthia J. Becker, May Get Her Just Due!

New Trials for DeKalb Corruption Convicts Were Wrong, Judges Say

Kathleen Baydala Joyner, Daily Report

http://www.dailyreportonline.com/id=1202720970954?keywords=Pat+Reid+Tony+Pope&publication=Daily+Report&slreturn=20150223141513

March 18, 2015

The Georgia Court of Appeals has agreed with prosecutors that DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Cynthia Becker was wrong to reverse the felony corruption convictions of a former county school district administrator and her ex-husband.

The decision by the three-judge appeals panel on Wednesday extends a roller-coaster ride for the defendants, who were released from prison after Becker’s surprise order last fall. The appeals court vacated Becker’s order granting a new trial to former schools chief operating officer Pat Reid.

Judge William Ray II wrote for the panel that even though Becker didn’t believe the testimony of Reid’s co-defendant and former boss, Crawford Lewis, Becker did not fully weigh Lewis’ testimony against the remaining evidence before granting a new trial to Reid. The court remanded Reid’s case to the trial court for further consideration of Reid’s motion for new trial.

The panel also reversed Becker’s order granting a new trial to Reid’s ex-husband, architect Tony Pope, stating she lacked authority over that matter.

A county grand jury indicted Reid, Pope and Lewis, the former schools superintendent, for conspiracy and theft in July 2013. The charges stemmed from allegations they manipulated school construction contracts for personal gain.

In October 2013, Lewis pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor obstruction charge in exchange for his testimony at trial against Reid and Pope. A trial jury convicted Reid and Pope in November 2013 of racketeering. Reid also was convicted of theft.

Reid received a 15-year prison sentence, and Pope received an eight-year prison sentence.

Lewis’ plea agreement with the DeKalb district attorney’s office called for a sentence of 12 months of probation. But Becker rejected that part of the deal and instead sentenced Lewis to a year in prison.

“Without challenging the truthfulness of Lewis’ testimony, the trial judge—admittedly incensed by what she considered to be the ‘abhorrent’ criminal conduct of all involved—emphasized that Lewis was ‘a public official, this was on his watch, he stood by. And then he hindered and interfered with and tried to stop the completion of a rightful, lawful investigation,'” Ray wrote in the opinion, quoting Becker’s words at Lewis’ sentencing.

Lewis then filed a motion for reconsideration, which Becker denied. The appeals court found Becker “changed her rationale for refusing to consummate the previously agreed upon plea deal, and stated for the first time that her rejection of Lewis’ plea and the resultant sentence were based upon ‘the credibility, the believability, the probability or the improbability of (Lewis’) testimony.'”

Lewis appealed, and the DA’s office—concerned about its credibility in making plea deals—took Lewis’ side. The Court of Appeals last October remanded Lewis’ case to Becker so she could identify specific testimony by Lewis that she considered to be questionable. In a footnote of that opinion, the court implied that if the credibility of Lewis’ testimony was in question, then the validity of Reid’s and Pope’s convictions should also be questioned.

Becker responded before the appeals court could send its remittitur, pointing out pieces of Lewis’ testimony she found untruthful and ordering new trials for Reid and Pope.

The Court of Appeals responded, halting her orders and the release of Reid and Pope from prison.

Reid and Pope had indeed filed motions for new trials, but Pope’s attorney withdrew his motion just before Becker entered her order and filed a notice of appeal. The DA’s office has alleged that this action was the result of ex parte communications between Becker and Pope’s lawyer.

Because Pope no longer had a pending motion for new trial, the Court of Appeals on Wednesday found that Becker’s order related to Pope was improper as a matter of law.

Becker later acknowledged that she was the subject of an investigation by the Judicial Qualifications Commission but said she would step down March 1 to get married. Gov. Nathan Deal received a short list of candidates from his Judicial Nominating Commission nearly two months ago but has not yet made an appointment.

DeKalb Superior Court Judge Gregory Adams granted Reid and Pope bond in December.

A spokesman for DeKalb District Attorney Robert James had no comment.

Reid’s attorney, Tony Axam, said his client will remain free on bond while the trial court considers her motion for new trial. Axam also said he is confident that Lewis’ testimony was crucial for prosecutors and so the remaining evidence would not be enough to convict his client.

However, Axam seemed perplexed that another judge, one who did not witness Lewis’ testimony first hand, will be the one to decide whether Reid should get a new trial.

“I contend only Judge Becker can talk about whether Crawford Lewis passed the smell test,” he said.

Axam said he may consider subpoenaing Becker as a witness.

Pope’s attorney, John Petrey, could not be reached for comment

JQC Files Complaint Against Ex-DeKalb Judge

Kathleen Baydala Joyner, Daily Report

http://www.dailyreportonline.com/id=1202721365396/JQC-Files-Complaint-Against-ExDeKalb-Judge?et=editorial&bu=Daily%20Report&cn=20150323&src=EMC-Email&pt=Breaking%20News&slreturn=20150223141240

March 23, 2015    | 0 Comments

(Image of Cynthia Becker Courtesy of KENT D. JOHNSON/AJC)

Former DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Cynthia Becker is the subject of an official ethics complaint filed Monday with the Supreme Court of Georgia.

The state Judicial Qualifications Commission, the agency tasked with investigating and prosecuting wayward judges, has charged Becker with six counts of violating the Code of Judicial Conduct, mostly related to her handling of a 2013 DeKalb County schools corruption case.

That case resulted in the convictions of former school system COO Pat Reid and her ex-husband, architect Tony Pope. The jury found that Reid and Pope conspired to fix school construction contracts for personal gain. Former schools superintendent Crawford Lewis was to be a co-defendant in the case but took a pretrial deal in which he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor obstruction charge in exchange for his testimony against Reid and Pope. All three were eventually sentenced to prison time.

Lewis successfully appealed his sentence to the state Court of Appeals, with the judges holding that Becker should have honored the district attorney’s deal allowing Lewis to be free on probation. Becker had said she didn’t believe Lewis’ testimony.

The state Court of Appeals last week overturned Becker’s order granting new trials for Reid and Pope.

In its filing with the high court, the JQC charged Becker with failing to honor the plea agreement between Lewis and the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office; making false or misleading statements to the commission about whether she knew if Lewis or his attorneys had sought bond; engaging in improper ex parte communications with attorneys for Reid and Pope; and making public comments in a political forum about the Lewis case.

Two other charges stemmed from her actions while serving as the court’s November/December grand jury term judge. The JQC has charged Becker with refusing to perform her duty to charge the jurors and accept the return of new indictments in open court.

Although Becker stepped down from the bench on March 1, as she promised to do last fall, the JQC claims she is still subject to the judicial code because a complaint was filed within a year of her time as a judge.

Becker said Monday that she had not seen the JQC’s filing and had no comment on its contents.

The Daily Report will have more details later Monday and in Tuesday’s print edition.

ALL IN THE FAMILY! The husband of former DeKalb County Commissioner Elaine Boyer has pleaded guilty to illegally obtaining county funds to help fund his and his wife’s personal lives

Husband of Former DeKalb Commissioner Pleads Guilty Theft of Funds

The husband and wife concocted a scheme to use county funds to pay for personal expenses.
By Justin Ove (Patch Staff)
February 26, 2015 at 11:47am

Husband of Former DeKalb Commissioner Pleads Guilty Theft of Funds
The husband of former DeKalb County Commissioner Elaine Boyer has pleaded guilty to illegally obtaining county funds to help fund his and his wife’s personal lives, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced this week.

John Boyer brewed up a kickback scheme which saw Boyer hire a family friend as an advisor, who then submitted invoices to the county to the tune of $80,000, prosecutors said. As it turns out, the advisor did nothing to benefit DeKalb County, and $60,000 of the invoice money was funneled into the Boyers’ bank account to alleviate their personal financial problems.

Elaine Boyer resigned from the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners on Aug. 25, 2014 and subsequently pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiring to commit mail fraud and wire fraud. Her sentencing hearing will be held on March 20.

John Boyer pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit mail fraud, and will be sentenced on March 6.

Amazing What You Can Dig Up On the Web. The web.archive.org website has some really cool stuff to read!

Pages tagged “georgia”

https://web.archive.org/web/20150220025509/http://www.stateintegrity.org/tags/georgia?page=2

Opinion: Ethics enforcement is not a partisan issue
POSTED ON STATE INTEGRITY IN THE NEWS · MAY 02, 2012 10:06 AM

State integrity news for Georgia, from the Atlanta Journal Constitution:

On Wednesday, the Senate Rules Committee will meet to consider evidence that state Sen. Don Balfour, Republican chairman of the Senate Rules Committee and one of the most powerful people in the Legislature, has also filed repeated false claims for travel reimbursements and committee-related pay.

Ethics reform and ethics enforcement is not and should not be a partisan issue. And while neither party is immune, it is the party that holds power that is more likely to be seduced and tempted, and also more likely to feel more or less immune by virtue of the authority that they wield.

Read the rest of the story at the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
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Georgia Gov. Deal signs new open records law
POSTED ON STATE INTEGRITY IN THE NEWS · APRIL 18, 2012 9:32 AM
State integrity news for Georgia, from the Athens Banner-Herald:

Gov. Nathan Deal on Tuesday signed into law a sweeping overhaul of the state’s open-records rules, touting the measure as among several legislative successes from this year’s General Assembly session.

The measure, which takes effect July 1, reduces the cost of obtaining public documents and stiffens penalties for illegally withholding public information. But it narrows the period of time when the public can scrutinize university president candidates.

Read the rest of the story at the Athens-Banner Herald.
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Georgia legislators got $867,000 worth of gifts from lobbyists
POSTED ON STATE INTEGRITY IN THE NEWS · APRIL 09, 2012 10:54 AM

State integrity news for Georgia, from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s analysis of lobbyist disclosures for the legislative session just ended finds that lobbyists spent $866,747 — the equivalent of $9,525 per day — on gifts for lawmakers from Jan. 1 through March 31.

This rain of meals, tickets, trips and golf outings fell even as a statewide coalition called the Georgia Alliance for Ethics Reform pressed lawmakers to limit lobbyists’ gifts to $100 per event.

Read the rest of the story at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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Georgia ethics bill “gutted” by legislature
POSTED ON STATE INTEGRITY IN THE NEWS · MARCH 29, 2012 10:18 AM


State integrity news for Georgia, from the Atlanta Journal Constitution:

When this newspaper noted last week that a new report judged Georgia to have the weakest anti-corruption laws in the nation, state Sen. Josh McKoon, R-Columbus, pushed out a photo of the front page headline via Twitter. On Tuesday, the Senate Rules Committee gutted a measure sponsored by McKoon that merely paired a few lawmakers with citizens interested in tougher ethics laws to form a study committee.

The civilians were stripped from the committee, and membership reshuffled to eliminate McKoon – a member of Common Cause at home.

Read the rest of the story at the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
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Georgia Ranks Dead Last in State-by-State Ethics Study: The View from Both Sides
POSTED ON STATE INTEGRITY IN THE NEWS · MARCH 20, 2012 3:59 PM · 1 REACTION


State Integrity news from Georgia from WABE:

On March 19th, the Center for Public Integrity released a state-by-state ranking of ethics laws and enforcement. The report was a joint project of CPI, Public Radio International, and Global Integrity. WABE’s Denis O’Hayer got in-depth reviews of the report from both sides: Jim Walls, the Atlanta-based journalist who compiled the Georgia report, and Rick Thompson, a former executive secretary of the State Ethics Commission.

Hear the discussion from WABE – Atlanta.
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Georgia ranks last in corruption prevention
POSTED ON STATE INTEGRITY IN THE NEWS · MARCH 19, 2012 9:41 PM


State integrity news for Georgia, from the Atlanta Journal Constitution:

A new report measuring states on the strength of their laws on public corruption and government openness ranks Georgia last in the nation, a grade state officials dismissed as a biased hit job.

Georgia scored at or near the bottom in a number of categories in the study, including conflict-of-interest laws for civil servants, enforcement of ethics rules and government procurement laws.

Read the rest of the story at the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
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Survey: Georgia last in U.S. ethics laws enforcement
POSTED ON STATE INTEGRITY IN THE NEWS · MARCH 19, 2012 2:10 PM · 1 REACTION
State Integrity news for Georgia from WABE:

Georgia ranks dead last in a major new state-by-state survey of ethics laws and enforcement. The State Integrity Investigation is a joint project of the Center for Public Integrity, Public Radio International, and Global Integrity.

The Georgia report was compiled by Jim Walls, a former editor of the Atlanta-Journal Constitution’s investigative team, who now writes his own blog, Atlanta Unfiltered. Walls sharply criticized the enforcement of the State’s ethics laws, including the 2010 measure written by Republican House Speaker David Ralston.

Hear more from WABE – Atlanta.
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Paying for accountability: Founding and funding a new ethics commission in Georgia
POSTED ON STATE INTEGRITY BLOG · FEBRUARY 08, 2012 3:02 PM
In 2011, the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission assessed $7 million worth of fines for campaign finance violations. But because the commission, formerly known as the Georgia State Ethics Commission, couldn’t afford to send out notices by certified mail, fines against politicians, officials, and parties were cut to a total of around $1 million.

The inability of the commission to pay for a service essential to its duties is, to Georgia Senator Doug Stoner (D-Smyrna), indicative of a larger issue. The disgust was obvious in Stoner’s voice as he explained how the state of Georgia gave up $6 million in revenue. “The fact that the ethics commission could not send out certified mail should tell you that we have a problem,” Stoner said.

In response, Stoner is proposing an overhaul package that would mean a dramatic upgrade in how the state polices its political spending.
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Read more
Georgia bill would reward government whistleblowers
POSTED ON STATE INTEGRITY IN THE NEWS · FEBRUARY 01, 2012 11:22 AM
Corruption news for Georgia, from the Atlanta Journal Constitution:

The Most Intriguing Bill of the Day award goes to HB 822, a hand-crafted, bipartisan bill that would give informers a financial incentive to rat out government fraud, whether in the state Medicaid program or in your local city hall.

Penalties would be “a civil penalty of not less than $5,500 and not more than $11,000 for each false statement or fraudulent claim, plus three times the amount of damages which the state or local government sustains.” Plus attorney fees. A private citizen – presumably not part of the fraud — can file an action, and if successful would “receive at least 15 percent but not more than 25 percent of the proceeds of the civil action or settlement of the claim.”

Read the rest of the story at the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
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Georgia judge Amanda Williams resigns to avoid ethics charges

POSTED ON STATE INTEGRITY IN THE NEWS · DECEMBER 20, 2011 2:09 PM
Corruption news for Georgia, from This American Life:

Judge Amanda Williams, who was the subject of our episode “Very Tough Love” has announced that she’ll resign from the bench as of January 2nd. Because she’s stepping down, ethics charges brought against her by the state’s Judicial Qualifications Commission will be dropped.

Earlier this month, the Commission added two charges to the original 12 counts it filed in November. One of those counts accused Judge Williams (pictured, right) of allowing her lawyer in the case, John Ossick, to represent litigants in cases she was still presiding over from the bench. The other accused her of putting a man into drug court even though there were no drug charges against him, because he was the nephew of attorney Jim Bishop.

Read the rest of the story at This American Life.
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RUMORS OF OCWEN BANKRUPTCY SURFACE AMID CALIFORNIA’S MOVE TO SUSPEND ITS LICENSE!

Originally posted on Clouded Titles Blog:

The opinions expressed by the author of this blog post are the author’s opinion and do not constitute legal or financial advice.  This op-ed piece may be soon become reality!

OCWEN STOCK TANKING MAY BE A BAD SIGN OF THINGS TO COME!

For those of you who have plans to get your pound of flesh out of Ocwen at any point in time in the near future may wish to heed the warning signs.   Ocwen’s stock has plummeted over 36% in recent days … not a good sign considering the amount of business that Ocwen will have to sell off if California regulators go ahead with plans to suspend Ocwen’s operating license in that State.

ocwen-stock

The once-booming subprime loan servicer who is tied to Goldman-Sachs like an umbilical cord to a dead baby is rumored to be 6 to 12 months out from filing bankruptcy in order to avoid…

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“Substantial Evidence” of “Forged” Endorsements: Wells Fargo Loses One

nootkabear:

“Substantial Evidence” of “Forged” Endorsements: Wells Fargo Loses One

Originally posted on LIBERTY ROAD MEDIA:

wells-fargo-hells-cargo

The money quote (pun very much intended) from Judge Robert Drain’s Memorandum of Decision, filed yesterday in a New York bankruptcy case regarding a Texas property in which attorney Linda Tirelli is representing the homeowner:

I conclude that the foregoing evidence cumulatively shifts the burden to Wells Fargo under Tex. Bus. & Com. Code §§ 3.308(a) and 1‐206(a) to show the authenticity of the blank ABN Amro indorsement to establish its status as a holder of the Note under Tex. Bus. & Com. Code §§ 3.301(i) and 3.201(a). It constitutes substantial evidence that Wells Fargo’s administrative group responsible for the documentary aspects of enforcing defaulted loan documents created new mortgage assignments and forged indorsements when it was determined by outside counsel that they were required to enforce loans. Given that evidence, Wells Fargo should have the burden to establish the bona fides of the blank ABN Amro indorsement…

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AJC: Police ID man shot by officer at DeKalb apartment complex 6:11 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014

Mike Morris
Police ID man shot by officer at DeKalb apartment complex
6:11 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014 | Filed in: Local News


http://www.ajc.com/news/news/police-armed-man-shot-by-officer-at-dekalb-apartme/njcn9/

The shooting happened at the Marquis Forest apartments on Pine Tree Circle.
Justin Crate/ WSB-TV

The shooting happened at the Marquis Forest apartments on Pine Tree Circle.
An armed man was shot by a DeKalb County officer who went to an apartment complex off Covington Highway on Monday night to investigate a stabbing, police said.

The incident happened around 8:50 p.m. at the Marquis Forest Apartments on Pine Tree Circle after someone called 911 to report the stabbing. The responding officer heard loud arguing as he approached the apartment, and it continued even after he knocked on the apartment door, which went unanswered. As the officer opened the door, he was charged by a large dog, which he was forced to fatally shoot, DeKalb police spokesman Capt. Stephen Fore said.

The dog’s owner then came to the door holding a gun. The officer ordered the man to drop the weapon several times, but he refused, police said. That led the officer to shoot the man, identified as 44-year-old Kevin Davis.

DeKalb officer shoots suspect after responding to stabbing call
Davis was struck in the abdomen, and he was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital in critical condition. He faces a charge of aggravated assault on a police officer, Fore said.

Inside the apartment, authorities found a 37-year-old woman suffering from a non-life-threatening stab wound. She also was taken to Grady.

The suspect in the woman’s stabbing, who was not named by police Tuesday evening, returned to the apartment and was taken into police custody.

Davis is not a suspect in the stabbing, Fore said.

No officers were hurt during the incident, which remains under investigation.

RELATED

WTF??? The Obama bureaucrats at the EPA fear that our little wood stoves may be contributing to “global warming”, so they have outlawed the production and sale of 80 percent of the wood stoves that are currently in use.

GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS CRACKING DOWN ON PREPPERS
Government targeting survivalists who just want to be left alone

Government Officials Cracking Down on Preppers
Image Credits: Mike Petrucci / Flickr

by MICHAEL SNYDER | SHTFPLAN.COM | JANUARY 11, 2015

http://www.infowars.com/government-officials-cracking-down-on-preppers/

121214survivalkit

Why would the government want to punish people that are just trying to work hard, become more self-sufficient and take care of their families?

There are approximately 3 million preppers in the United States today, and often they appear to be singled out for punishment by bureaucratic control freaks that are horrified at the thought that there are families out there that actually want to try to become less dependent on the system. So if you use alternative methods to heat your home, or if you are not connected to the utility grid, or if you collect rainwater on your property, or if you believe that parents should have the ultimate say when it comes to health decisions for their children, you could become a target for overzealous government enforcers. Once upon a time, America was the land of the free and the home of the brave, but now we are being transformed into a socialist police state where control freak bureaucrats use millions of laws, rules and regulations to crack down on anyone that dares to think for themselves.

For example, people have been burning wood to heat their homes since this country began. And this is still very common in rural areas. But the Obama administration does not like this at all. The Obama bureaucrats at the EPA fear that our little wood stoves may be contributing to “global warming”, so they have outlawed the production and sale of 80 percent of the wood stoves that are currently in use. The following comes from a recent Forbes article…

It seems that even wood isn’t green or renewable enough anymore. The EPA has recently banned the production and sale of 80 percent of America’s current wood-burning stoves, the oldest heating method known to mankind and mainstay of rural homes and many of our nation’s poorest residents. The agency’s stringent one-size-fits-all rules apply equally to heavily air-polluted cities and far cleaner plus typically colder off-grid wilderness areas such as large regions of Alaska and the American West.

While EPA’s most recent regulations aren’t altogether new, their impacts will nonetheless be severe. Whereas restrictions had previously banned wood-burning stoves that didn’t limit fine airborne particulate emissions to 15 micrograms per cubic meter of air, the change will impose a maximum 12 microgram limit. To put this amount in context, EPA estimates that secondhand tobacco smoke in a closed car can expose a person to 3,000-4,000 micrograms of particulates per cubic meter.

Most wood stoves that warm cabin and home residents from coast-to-coast can’t meet that standard. Older stoves that don’t cannot be traded in for updated types, but instead must be rendered inoperable, destroyed, or recycled as scrap metal.
Does that make you angry?

It should.

There are other preppers that try to use very “clean” methods to power their homes, but that is still not good enough for some government control freaks.

For example, one prepper down in south Florida that had gone “off the grid” was recently ordered by a court to connect back to the grid or face eviction from his home. The following is an excerpt from a recent article by Guiles Hendrik…

Think you are still free to make choices in your life? Do you think the government will allow you to live independent of their utility monopolies? If you think so, try opting for renewable non-grid tied power and utilize environmentally friendly composting toilets and your own self-sufficient water supply. Today, those life choices could land you in jail if you live in South Florida. Take the case of Robin Speronis.

Robin Speronis has lived off the grid, independent of the city’s water and electric system. A Florida court ruled this off-the-grid living illegal last week and has given Robin until March to connect her home to a municipal water line or face possible eviction. Further, officials in the city of Cape Coral have justified this by deeming Robin’s home “unsanitary,” citing the International Property Maintenance Code. First of all, since when did we begin to locally recognize “international codes?” Where in the US Constitution does it provide for international jurisdiction over local codes? Ironically, this “international” code mandates that homes be connected to an electricity grid and a running water source, even though most of the world lives without reliable electricity and municipal water and sewer. Further, the code is outdated and obsolete because it was written without consideration to both old and new technologies that relegate the need for grid tied power and municipal water as unnecessary and expensive; especially, in locations where it simply isn’t feasible to have grid tied utilities. Nonetheless, Speronis’ home does in fact have power and water through far cheaper and more environmentally friendly means — solar panels and rainwater, but that reality is ignored by the local government.
Incredibly, most Americans still seem to believe that we live in a “free country”. But we don’t. Our lives are very tightly constrained by literally millions of laws, rules and regulations, and more are being added every single day.

Even some of our most basic fundamental rights have been seriously eroded. One of these is the right to make basic health decisions for our own children. In New York state, children that have not received all of the designated vaccines can now be banned from attending public school, and this requirement was recently upheld by a federal appeals court…

New York state’s requirement that children be vaccinated before attending public school does not violate their constitutional rights, a federal appeals court in Manhattan said on Wednesday.

In affirming the requirement’s constitutionality, a three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also upheld a previous ruling by a federal judge that students exempted from the requirement for religious reasons can be barred from school when another child has a disease preventable by a vaccine.

The decision was the latest to go against three parents from New York City who say their religious rights were violated when their children were kept out of school as a result of the immunization policies. The parents’ lawyer, Patricia Finn, said her clients planned to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
So what are we free to do without government interference these days?

Not much.

In fact, in some states we can’t even sit on our own land and collect the rain as it falls from the sky for our own personal use.

If you do this in the state of Oregon, for example, you could go to prison…

Gary Harrington, the Oregon man convicted of collecting rainwater and snow runoff on his rural property surrendered Wednesday morning to begin serving his 30-day, jail sentence in Medford, Ore.

“I’m sacrificing my liberty so we can stand up as a country and stand for our liberty,” Harrington told a small crowd of people gathered outside of the Jackson County (Ore.) Jail.

Several people held signs that showed support for Harrington as he was taken inside the jail.
And of course these are just a few examples. Almost every single day there are more stories in the news about government bureaucrats cracking down on preppers. They almost seem to relish the opportunity to go after the “non-conformists”.

But the good news is that the number of Americans that are seeking to become less dependent on the system just continues to grow.

So what about you?

Are you a prepper?

My friend Daisy Luther recently wrote a piece entitled “45 MORE Signs That You Might Be One of Those Crazy Preppers“. The following are some of the most interesting “signs” from her list…

*You spend your days off digging an underground bunker in your backyard.

*Your family doesn’t dare take something from the food stockpile without marking it off the list.

*Your kids know how to don a gas mask in 30 seconds.

*Everyone in your survival group carries the same firearm so that ammo is standardized.

*Your family is no longer surprised when you announce, “Hey, we’re going to learn how to make (insert anything here)!”

*You have long since accepted the idea that if you’re not on someone’s list, you’re probably not doing it right.

*You don’t just rotate food, you rotate ammo.

*Moving to a new house is no longer “moving”, but “strategic relocation”.

*Your kids think it’s a fun game to see who can find the most potential weapons in a room.

*Your EDC includes a knife, firearm w/extra mag, flashlight, mylar blanket, Chapstick, and an ounce of silver — and that’s just for when you’re walking the dog.

*One criterion for your new winter coat is that it fits over your body armor.

You can read her entire article right here.

America was built by people that loved their families, worked hard and were self-sufficient.

Now our government is specifically targeting those kinds of people.

What in the world is happening to us?

AlertsUSA 14 Being Monitored for EBOLA In MICHIGAN!!!

A heads Up alert! After no talk at all about Ebola, suddenly there are 14 in Michigan? Amazing. Bet most of yall already forgot all about ebola, didn’t ya? Just what they had wanted you to do!

The Michigan Department of Community Health says 14 people in Michigan are being actively monitored for Ebola. Health agencies say people with a travel history that includes a return to the U.S. from Ebola-affected areas are being monitored. Authorities will check on people for 21 days after they leave affected areas, which includes checking their temperature and symptoms twice per day. Sixty-nine people have been cleared after going through this process.

The name of Hazard: Ebola hemorrhagic viral fever (EVD, sup.)
Species: Human
Status: Suspected

Posted:2015-01-10 05:39:45 [UTC]

Daily Police Misconduct 1.7.15

Originally posted on YouViewed/Editorial:

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 12-24-14 to 01-05-15

National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

” Here are the 15 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, December 24, 2014 through Monday, January 5, 2015:

  • Update: Rosepine, Louisiana (First reported 08-08-14): The police chief was indicted on felony stalking and malfeasance charges. He is alleged to have stalked his estranged wife and illegally used a police database to find personal information through a license plate search. http://ow.ly/GMbKt 
  • San Antonio, Texas: A police officer was fired for neglecting duty 23 times over four months. The investigation utilized dashcam footage and GPS to show, among other incidents, that the officer once drove away from a call to respond to a self-inflicted gunshot wound even though she was the closest officer in the area. The individual died later of his wound.http://ow.ly/GMcyg 
  • Update: Mohave County, Arizona (First reported 12-18-14): A deputy was fired after he was charged with assaulting his mother-in-law…

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From Guy Crittenden, Editor of Hazmatmag.com His Bon Voyage Article, A Must Read!

Three things to watch and ponder as 2014 ends


This will not only be my final online article (blog) for 2014 (I’m about to go on holiday) but my last article written as Editor of HazMat Management magazine (and sister publication Solid Waste & Recycling magazine). I notice that I’ve posted almost 400 online articles on this site over the years!

As was announced previously in a news story and a blog entry, I’m moving on to pursue fresh interests and will no longer preside over the day-to-day editing and management of these publications as Editor. (I do plan to write in this space from time to time in future, so I’m not gone completely!)

Naturally I feel a bit wistful as both a 25 year job and the current year comes to an end. Not a lot of people nowadays stay in the same job for a quarter-century. End-of-year articles are popular among journalists, who like to wax philosophical about the year that’s passed and the issues facing the looming New Year.

I’m no exception but will keep this entry brief. Instead of a long article about what transpired in 2014 and what may be ahead, I’m going to offer readers three items that I feel strongly they should watch (or read) that have made a deep impression on me recently; these are “must watch” items for anyone interested in helping our species avoid peril from environmental degradation.

The first is a 30-minute video clip on YouTube that I implore you to watch. Make the time when you have a quiet moment, and share the link with family and friends.

The video assembles different pieces of information about the deteriorating status of things at the destroyed nuclear plant at Fukushima, Japan. I know this sounds depressing but you have an obligation, really, to be aware of conditions there. Note that this is not sensationalized stuff about radiation spreading to the west coast of North America via the oceans. The short documentary focuses instead on the very real and present threat from the hundreds of highly radioactive rods in the destroyed cores of the reactors, as well as things like the storage of contaminated water in hastily-built, rusting containers.

This is serious stuff: the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that wrecked the plant led to an actual meltdown of the reactors — real China Syndrome stuff — as had been assumed would never likely happen in a modern reactor. The situation is exponentially more dire than Chernobyl, as it’s going to be almost impossible in the wrecked buildings to selectively remove the rods for safe containment without having them contact one another and trigger a fire, the consequences of which would be unimaginable. We’re talking mass extinction around the world, especially in the northern hemisphere. Yet most people have forgotten the situation and think of it only as a local Japanese problem. (It’s only a matter of time before another earthquake or tidal wave triggers such an event, and these rods will remain volatile for centuries.)

Here’s the link to that video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mn8XUxVq0g

The next item is a short but good article from The Daily Beast (the online version of Newsweek) about the risks we humans pose to the environment, causing species decline not seen since the last global disaster many millions of years ago. Here’s the link:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/11/30/heed-the-warnings-why-we-re-on-the-brink-of-mass-extinction.html

In case you think I only want to depress you, I offer below a link to a wonderful short talk by the famous lecturer on comparative religion and eastern philosophy and spirituality, Alan Watts. This lecture, deliver in the 1970s, is the best summary I’ve encountered of “the situation” humans find themselves in, in terms of finding meaning in their lives and the related “big questions.” There are many lectures on YouTube from Alan Watts that I encourage you to seek out, as well as my other favourite speaker on these matters, Terence McKenna (not the Canadian historian but rather the social and psychedelic commentator from the USA who, sadly, passed in 1999 at age 54 — the same age I turned in October). This video — only 12 minutes long — will put you “on track” for how to cope with the other chilling items I’ve linked to above.

Here’s the YouTube link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LXiSPpfM54&feature=youtu.be

So, there you go. Merry Christmas everyone! And Happy New Year!

Guy Crittenden

Guy Crittenden

Guy Crittenden was formerly Editor of this magazine and is currently a freelance writer specializing in environmental and producer responsibility themes. He lives in Collingwood, Ontario, Canada and can be contacted directly at gcrit @ rogers DOT com
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