Archive for department of justice

The House Votes For Another Crazy Bill


Smoking A Joint Raw Story:

A Republican congressman has successfully pushed legislation to pressure the U.S. Department of Justice to crack down on marijuana in states that have legalized its use. “It is with growing alarm that we see this administration selectively executing and enforcing federal law,” Rep. John Fleming (R-LA) said Wednesday on the House floor.

Growing alarm, huh?

On Friday, a seemingly contradictory measure was passed. The House of Representatives approved an amendment to prohibit the federal agency from spending taxpayer money on activities designed to stop the use of medical marijuana in states in which such use is legal.

Then comes this dickwad from Louisiana. Somehow he got enough other bozos in the House to go along with him in trying to step their foot back down on the accelerator to force more arrests by the Justice Department. All this at a time when it's become more clear that marijuana busts are a racial issue. The numbers are staggering. But how about this wacky logic by Representative Fleming?  He's pushed through the following (by voice vote):

Fleming’s amendment reduces the Department of Justice’s Salaries and Expenses, Legal Activities account by $866,000 until the Attorney General enforces the Controlled Substances Act in every state.

So, by cutting the Justice Department's budget, how can they step up enforcement? What Fleming and his ilk have actually done is made it more unlikely the DOJ has the money to take on these marijuana cases. I guess this means stupid is as stupid does. Good work Republicans. Now I feel safer lighting up a reefer because there's less money to apprehend me.


Letting Ex-Felons Vote -- A Racial Thing


voting booth

What is the purpose of sending those convicted of crimes to jail? Is it punishment? Yes. Is it rehabilitation? Yes. So it's two mints in one as the Certs commercial goes.

And are most felons guilty of violent crimes? Actually, no. Most are incarcerated for non-violent (yet still serious) felonious crimes like embezzlement, tax fraud, mail fraud, auto theft, racketeering, drug possession charges, burglary, counterfeiting, possession of restricted pornographic material, spying, and various drug-related offenses.


7.9% of sentenced prisoners in federal prisons on September 30, 2009 were in for violent crimes.

Nearly three quarters of new admissions to state prison were convicted of nonviolent crimes. Perhaps the single greatest force behind the growth of the prison population has been the national "war on drugs." The number of incarcerated drug offenders has increased twelvefold since 1980. In 2000, 22 percent of those in federal and state prisons were convicted on drug charges.

Then why, if so many of these felonies are non-violent, is it that when you become an ex-felon, all of your rights aren't returned to you? According the the ALCU, ten states severely restrict voting from ex-felons (seven require long waiting periods, applying for reinstatement and review; three others - Iowa, Florida and Kentucky - ban it lifetime for these ex-felon offenders -- most of whom are non-violent). I can understand restrictions on getting a gun, but on your vote?

So far in the 40 states that allow for ex-felons to vote there haven't been any issues at the polls. So why not make voter reinstatement upon completion of incarceration national?

We non-felons take voting for granted. But it's majorly important. Look at the crazy people that are getting elected these days. Their choices and legislation affect all of us. Yet if you're an ex-felon, chances are you are obstructed from casting a vote.

With the racial make-up of our prisons today, that appears to be a punishment that affects minorities disproportionately. And the Justice Department, led by AG Eric Holder, wants to fix that. And surprisingly he's meeting resistance on both sides of the political spectrum. Many Republicans are against it because they see the reality that minorities are the overwhelming majority of  the prison population. Minorities, for good reason, tend to vote Democratic. If you unleash hundreds of thousands of potential voters after they do their time, GOP'ers will have a tougher go of it holding their political offices. So the Republican reasoning is understandable: keep minorities away from the vote. It's wrong, but you can see their reasoning: self-preservation.

But for those Democrats on the fence, this is purely a heinous act of villainy. Why should non-violent convicted felons be subjected to lifetime sentences after they're released? It flies in the face of just punishment -- that fitting the crime. C'mon Democrats, you know better. You stand for social justice. Now promote it. Make "inclusion" more than just a catch word.


Will FBI's Win Streak Stop At 150-0 Or Does Their Cheating Continue?


FBI Badge

"Nobody is supposed to be above the law in this country," says Rachel Maddow. "Even the FBI." That sounds pretty solid in my book. Yet a few months ago the New York Times reported about 150 FBI shooting incidents which the Bureau internally reviewed and found that all 150 incidents were wholly justified. None were found to be accidental, negligent or criminal. None. 150 cases heard and all 150 determined to be "good" shootings.

That's amazing. A perfect record. In professional football if you go 16-0 you go down in the record books. In the modern NFL football era, it's only happened twice, and they only have 16 regular season games. In baseball it's never happened. Not in the NBA either. Or Hockey. Add basketball to the list of an elusive perfect seasons. When you play more than a handful of games, perfection is just not something that happens. Not even once.

So how is it the FBI has a perfect 150-0 record? Watch Rachel Maddow discuss this below. And what's even more interesting than the perfect record itself is the secrecy and conspiracy necessary to make this happen. Arresting innocent people so their visas expire allowing the government to expel witnesses to FBI shootings from our shores to keep them quiet. Taking innocent people and unarmed people and blowing them away or deporting them to Russia where they disappear, just so they can't testify against the FBI. If you think this is another installment of Robert Ludlum's Jason Bourne adventures, it's not -- so far. But Hollywood can't be very far behind with a film treatment of this expose. They may start with the Boston Magazine story which comes out in a few days: The Murders Before The Marathon.

If you can't wait to read it or rather watch it revealed by none other than Massachusetts resident, Rachel Maddow, here you go.

WARNING: But be prepared for some graphic, disturbing images... and some moral outrage.


"Boys Will Be Boys" No Longer Justification For Rape in Montana


Rape in Montana

Sometimes it's great to set a precedent. It opens the doors to those who follow. You might be Gertrude Ederle becomes the first woman to swim across the English Channel. Or maybe Neil Armstrong, the first man to step onto the lunar surface. Admirable accomplishments that lead young, middle and old to dream of someday being the first to do something, big or small. I mean, wouldn't that be great?

Well, not always. Seems there's a prosecutor named  Fred Van Valkenburg up on Montana whose office may have just set a first. They has been accused by the Justice Department of bias against female sexual assault victims and of mishandling rape cases according to federal officials this week. But Missoula County prosecutors office thinks its just a smear campaign. They didn't do anything wrong.


It's unusual and may be unprecedented for DOJ to accuse a prosecutor's office of violating the Constitution's guarantee of equal protection under the law and the Safe Streets Act's prohibition against discriminating against female sexual assault victims. DOJ has issued findings involving sexual assault cases against three police departments, a sheriff's office and a campus police agency -- but not a prosecutor's office.

So we're looking at virgin territory here, with this DOJ accusation. If there's smoke where there's fire, lets see what's cookin'.

Jocelyn Samuels, acting assistant attorney general in DOJ's Civil Rights Division, told Van Valkenburg in a letteron Friday that his office was ill-prepared to prosecute sexual assault cases, treated victims with disrespect and "apparently leaves sexual assault and rape laws largely unenforced."

That's a pretty serious charge against the office. And it seems these claims of abuse and deaf ears by the prosecutors are numerous. One woman described dealing with her assault at the prosecutors office as "traumatic," as if the crime alone wasn't harrowing enough. Others said they were treated with no compassion whatsoever. These alleged victims felt "judged." That's hardly the way any victim wants to be made to feel when they're seeking out justice.

One woman was told that because "there was no video of the incident," prosecutors "wouldn't see this as anything more than a girl getting drunk at a party." What message is that sending? Yet Van Valkenburg who runs the office thinks he's being picked on. He claims these are just a few small examples and they shouldn't be taken with much more than a grain of salt.

Really? They shouldn't be taken seriously. Well how about this:

A clinical psychologist who counseled sexual assault victims said she had heard so many horror stories about the County Attorney's Office that she was reluctant to press charges with the office when she was sexually assaulted.

When even a psychologist with experience in this field is hesitant to move forward with her claim because of first hand knowledge of the abusive handling of such matters by the prosecutor's office, this is only the tip of the iceberg up in Missoula.

In one case, a woman whose 5-year-old daughter was assaulted by an adolescent boy asked why the boy's punishment was two years of community service. A prosecutor told her "boys will be boys," according to the DOJ letter.

Boys will be boys. Well hopefully the new boys and girls examining this office, will bring down the wrath of justice with the power of Thor and his hammer, Mjölnir.

Thor's hammer

Sad as all of this is, this Montana office isn't alone. And sexual crimes against women AND men are vastly under-reported because of louts like Attorney Van Valkenberg. Time to do a bit more investigating the investigators for their improper behavior. Women and men victims deserve better.

Just like the firsts of Ederle and Armstrong, they were followed by second and thirds accomplishing their amazing feats. Let's hope this trend continues with the DOJ.