Archive for harassment

WI GOP may allow cameras next: Poll watchers already allowed 3 feet from voters

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

cameras in faceImage via

voter intimidation voter suppression

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed a bill this year that let poll observers intimidate get within thirty-six inches of the voters they are hovering over monitoring. Nothing like having the rabidly right wing poll police breathing down your neck while you try to make private choices in what used to be a country that believed in democracy. Now Wisconsin may allow cameras. Now they want their "observers" to be able to record your personal information, too.

Steve Benen at The Maddow Blog on the original law:

The law would allow observers to stand 3 to 8 feet from the table where voters announce their names and addresses and are issued voter numbers, or from the table where people register to vote.

Gee, who could possibly mind if a total stranger, a fanatic extremist partisan with fervently opposing views, overheard your name and address? Or scrutinized and challenged your vote? What could possibly go wrong?

breathing down neck, intimidateImage via

Here's a video of Rachel Maddow explaining the original law in full back in April:

Clearly, that's not enough Dem harassment for Wisconsin Republicans. Now the election bullies observers would be able to unnerve their fellow citizens not just with their presence, but also with cameras and video recorders. If Americans exercising their voting rights happen to rub the monitors the wrong way, then hey, chill them to the bone. Document them. Record them. Use your cameras as weapons. Make them as uncomfortable as possible. Terrify them. Try to suppress their votes by causing them to avoid the polls in order to avoid the poll watchers.

Via the Green Bay Press Gazette:

Wisconsin officials may lift the ban on camera usage by election observers.

The state elections board will meet Monday to vote on proposed changes to election observer rules, the Wisconsin State Journal reported. The Republican-controlled Legislature proposed the ban reversal.

Election observers have been prohibited from shooting photos and video at the polls for the past eight years.

If the ban is lifted, cameras can start being used during the August primary. So much for your privacy, Wisconsinites.

Via nutsandolts.com

This is going from "creepy" to downright scary.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

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

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

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.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

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

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

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.

HuffPo:

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.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Move Over, Stand Your Ground, Here Comes The Bush Doctrine

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

William-Woodward-jpg (1)

Okay, deep breath. Here goes. Florida – where else.

A man, Iraq war veteran William Woodward, goes over to his neighbor’s house and shoots three victims. All three victims were unarmed men. The results of the shooting is one dead, one on life support and not expected to survive, and a third, with 11 bullet holes in him – prognosis, questionable.

Woodward was taken into custody and questioned by police. His defense? Two pronged. One was the, oh-so-familiar “Stand Your Ground defense. We’ve seen that used successfully in Florida before.

George Zimmerman

Courtesy of WESH – TV, Channel 2:

In footage of Woodward's police interview obtained by Florida Today, the 43-year-old told authorities, "we've been tormented by these people for months."

"They've made my life a living hell and my wife, we can't go anywhere without an escort," Woodward said. "We can't let our kids go outside."

Mind you this time, the accused shooter and the victims were not even in the same location at the time leading up to the shooting. Woodward was at his house, next door, and just felt he and his parents had been harassed long enough by their neighbors. He loaded his gun, walked next door unannounced, and point-blank started firing away.

Upon his apprehension, Woodward lawyered up, as you would expect, and what came out next was even more amazing than Stand Your Ground. The lawyer, speaking for his client cited The Bush Doctrine.

Raw Story notes that "the defense also cited 'The Bush Doctrine,' a foreign policy principle used by President George W. Bush to justify the invasion of Iraq," based on the premise that doing so was an effort to prevent a future attack.

That GW Bush is the gift that keeps on giving. A screwed-up economy. A huge loss of jobs. An unpaid for war. An unjustified war. Continuing questions to this country’s credibility about Syria because of his lies, and now this. A defense for unprovoked killing.

What has this country come to when they use a lying, war criminal’s record as justification for murder? The Bush Doctrine. Imagine that!

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare