Thousands More Scientists Slam Bush Science Policies

by Megan Tady

Dec. 14, 2006 – Over 10,000 scientists are calling on the US government to stop manipulating science for political reasons, a government watchdog has announced.

This week, the Union for Concerned Scientists released the names of thousands of signatories to a statement reprimanding the Bush administration for what the scientists say is a "distortion of scientific knowledge for partisan political ends."

The signers joined 62 leading scientists who first released the statement in February 2004.

The statement said the quality and independence of science has suffered from political interference, and that the practice "must cease."

The scientists allege that the Bush administration has installed political appointees who have conflicts of interest or who are unqualified to fill scientific posts. Additionally, the administration has suppressed scientific government reports when "scientific findings are in conflict with the administration?s policies or with the views of its political supporters," the statement reads.

As previously reported by The NewStandard, for example, the Bush administration came under fire in January 2005 for attempting to undermine the results of a science advisory panel?s investigation into the dangers of a rocket-fuel chemical found in water and produce.

In June, 2005, TNS reported that a White House official edited the language of scientific reports warning about the effects of greenhouse gases; the report was changed to lessen the impact of the scientists? findings.

The signers are asking Congress to establish laws forbidding the "censorship" of scientific studies, require scientists on advisory panels to have professional qualifications, and guarantee public access to government and advisory-panel studies and findings.


Americans To Be Tortured For Refusing To Show ID?

[ Original article contains video ]

Student shocked, tortured for defending constitutional rights

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet
Thursday, November 16, 2006

A horror video that wouldn't look out of place in Maoist China or Nazi Germany shows a student being repeatedly shot with a stun gun by UCLA police for the crime of not showing his ID. As similar cases begin to pile up how long will it be before Americans are routinely tortured for noncompliance and refusing to have their 4th amendment violated?

"A cell phone captured video of a 23-year-old student being administered multiple Taser shocks by UCLA police on Tuesday. The UCLA student was hit with the Taser shocks multiple times while he was in the Powell Library Computer Lab. According to the paper, (Mostafa) Tabatabainejad did not show ID to community service officers who were conducting a random check," reports NBC.

Watch the video above and witness as the cops bark at Tabatabainejad to get to his feet as simultaneously shock him over and over until he begins crying and screaming for them to stop.

Police are given extensive training on the use of stun guns and in most cases that training involves taking a taser shot and feeling the effects. Depending on each individual's physiology, it takes at least a minute to be able to even stand after a single Taser shot. Over a hundred deaths have occurred in America as a result of taser shocks and Taser's own manual discourages repeated shocks, yet the history of their use tells us that police simply administer repeated shocks until "compliance is gained." This is a euphemism for torture.

The video and the eyewitness reports describe multiple taser shots as Tabatabainejad begs and pleads while at one point screaming, "Here's your Patriot Act, here's your f---ing abuse of power."

The officers repeatedly order Tabatabainejad to stand even as they administer further shocks - sending 50,000 volts of current that override the nervous system and temporarily paralyze muscles shooting through his system again and again. He can't stand and the cops know it, they just get off on the maniacal ego power trip of torture and this is why Tabatabainejad is hit again and again despite his screaming and the protests of the onlookers.

Similar cases abound in the so-called land of the free, including the video above in which a housewife, Abbey Newman, is assaulted and arrested for simply refusing to tell the gestapo her name at an unconstitutional checkpoint. Another case in which an Alex Jones listener, Ferrell Montgomery, was tasered and had a dog set on him again underscores the brutal and sadistic nature of the police. Like Tabatabainejad, Montgomery was repeatedly told to put his hands behind his head and stand up while he was electric shocked and a dog savaged him for not complying.

In November 2005, Deborah Davis was reading a book on a Denver bus when a guard of a nearby federal building got on board and demanded everyone show their ID. Davis refused, leading the guard to "call on federal cops, who then dragged Davis off a public bus, handcuffed her, shoved her into the back seat of a police car and drove off to a police station within the Federal Center."

How long before Americans are tortured with taser weapons on the streets for refusing to show identification on a routine basis?

How long before we are forced to wear shock collars like some bizarre science fiction movie, where our masters can discipline us on a whim for not obeying orders?

It may be a lot sooner than we think.

Every indication suggests that there are moves afoot to implement these measures on every major street corner and transport system. A year ago we were told that Federal air marshals were to expand their work beyond airplanes, launching counter-terror surveillance at train stations and other mass transit facilities. So called "Visible Intermodal Protection and Response" teams — or VIPER teams, may soon be permanently deployed to check ID's under the banner of counter-terrorism.

We need to set a precedent now whereby police who use taser stun guns and any other kind of unreasonable force as implements of torture, simply if an individual refuses to have their 4th amendment right illegally violated, are instantly fired, sued and can never work in any sector of government, policing or security again.

Watch this space for further updates on the Tabatabainejad case.

ACTION: Call UCLA and demand an investigation into this incident. BE POLITE. 310-825-4321


Group Sues FBI to Disclose Personal-Data 'Warehouse'

Oct. 23, 2006 – The FBI is gathering hundreds of millions of pieces of personal information in the name of fighting terrorism and storing them in a vast, secretive data "warehouse." Last week, public-interest groups went to court to find a way in.

The privacy-rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice on Tuesday, demanding the government disclose information on the handling of personal data in the FBI?s "Investigative Data Warehouse." The lawsuit seeks details on the nature of the information collected and what privacy protections the agency has applied.

The EFF filed the suit in federal district court after the Justice Department failed to respond to Freedom of Information Act requests sent on August 25 and September 1. The complaint alleges that the FBI has not only "wrongfully withheld" records, but also neglected mandatory disclosure procedures. For instance, the EFF argued, the FBI had not issued an official public notice outlining the database and its contents, as required under the federal Privacy Act.

The FBI has not yet formally responded to the EFF?s complaint.

In a speech at a public-safety conference in March 2005, John Lewis, deputy assistant director of the FBI?s Counterterrorism Division, said the database included "photographs, biographical information, physical location information, and financial data for thousands of known and suspected terrorists."

FBI Director Robert Mueller testified at a May congressional hearing that the Data Warehouse was accessible to about 12,000 users from various local, state and federal agencies working on national-security issues.

In August, Gurvais Grigg, acting director of the FBI?s Foreign Terrorist Tracking Task Force, told the Washington Post that his agency maintains the database by consistently vetting its sources and conducting internal records audits. He claimed the database was in "full compliance" with federal privacy laws.

But privacy-rights activists want to see proof. EFF staff attorney Marcia Hofmann said in a press statement, "The public needs as much information as possible to evaluate tools that put our privacy at risk. The Department of Justice must abide by the law and publicly release information about these surveillance programs."


Pentagon Using Anti-Terror Resources to Spy on Peace Activists

by Megan Tady

Nov. 28, 2006 – More evidence emerged last week showing that the Pentagon has used counterterrorism resources to spy on peace activists.

As previously reported by The NewStandard, the military has been cataloging nonviolent anti-war protests through its terrorism-watch database, Threat and Local Observation Notice (TALON). The Pentagon says the database is meant to track potential terrorism threats.

The American Civil Liberties Union obtained the documents through a lawsuit filed in June, after the Pentagon ignored a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request initiated in February. The ACLU made the FOIA request to follow up on repeated reports that the Department of Defense was monitoring protest activities and anti-war organizations.

The newly released TALON reports reveal the Pentagon has been monitoring groups that planned demonstrations against military recruitment.

In a November 2004 TALON document, "a federal law enforcement agency" reported that Veterans for Peace was planning to protest at the Sacramento Military Entrance Processing Station. The report said Homeland Security agents had been notified, and it warned that while the protest was likely to be peaceful, "some type of vandalism is always a possibility."

According to a news report about the event, also included in the TALON database, the veterans group read the names of 18 soldiers who had been recruited through the Sacramento station and later died in Iraq.

In February 2005, a "special agent" with the Department of Homeland Security reported that the War Resisters League, along with Code Pink, United for Peace and Justice, and other groups, were planning civil disobedience and other protests at recruiting stations in various cities to coincide with the two-year anniversary of the war in Iraq.

The report warned that several marches would culminate with civil disobedience and that other protesters would "leaflet, hold banners and coffins, and talk to people."

Additionally, the report included a "church service for peace" as a planned action.

The two other new TALON reports, both from April 2005, notified the Pentagon that Veterans for Peace was planning anti-war actions on college campuses.

The ACLU is calling on Congress to investigate the surveillance of political and religious groups.


San Bernardino County Records Are Subpoenaed

A federal grand jury conducting a criminal investigation has subpoenaed San Bernardino County records related to a Washington lobbying firm with close ties to Rep. Jerry Lewis, chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, according to federal documents.

Federal investigators are looking into the relationship between Lewis (R-Redlands) and a Washington lobbyist linked to disgraced former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham (R-Rancho Santa Fe), three people familiar with the investigation told The Times last month. The city of Redlands also received a grand jury subpoena.

Investigators are said to be particularly interested in whether intermingling between Lewis’ aides and lobbyist Bill Lowery’s staff led to favorable treatment for Lowery’s clients, sources told The Times. Lewis and Lowery have denied any wrongdoing.

The subpoena delivered to the county was issued “in connection with an official criminal investigation,” according to a cover letter from the U.S. attorney’s Public Corruption and Civil Rights Section in Los Angeles.

The investigation is part of a federal probe stemming from Cunningham’s conviction for accepting $2.4 million in bribes and favors from defense contractors.

In the May 17 subpoena, obtained by The Times, the Los Angeles Grand Jury asks for e-mails, memoranda, contracts and other records regarding the county’s decision to hire Lowery’s firm – Copeland Lowery Jacquez Denton & White – as well as billing records and all other communications between the county and Lowery or members of his firm.

The grand jury also demanded “all documents relating to communications by and between you [San Bernardino County] and United States Rep. Jerry Lewis

The investigation is being conducted by the FBI, the IRS and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, a federal prosecutor stated in a letter that accompanied the subpoena.

San Bernardino County spokesman David Wert said the county would comply with the subpoena, which asks that the documents be turned over by June 13. Wert said he could not discuss the matter further at the request of the U.S. attorney’s office.

Thom Mrozek, the attorney’s office spokesman, said it was Justice Department policy not to comment on pending investigations.

In a statement Friday, Lewis said the department had not contacted him regarding an investigation. “Throughout my career, I have also made every effort to meet the highest ethical standards, and I am absolutely certain that any review of my work will confirm this,” the congressman said.

This is just routine, ordinary, simple appropriations,” said Patrick Dorton, a spokesman for Lowery’s firm. “It is the same as work done every single day in Washington for counties and towns in every state in the country. It was done consistent with all the laws, rules, and regulations that govern Capitol Hill lobbying.”

From 2002-06, San Bernardino County approved more than half a million dollars in lobbying contracts with Lowery’s firm to represent the county in Washington. Several other Inland Empire cities also employ the firm.

Redlands City Atty. Dan McHugh could not be reached for comment, but told the San Bernardino Sun this week that the city also had received a subpoena seeking information regarding Lowery’s firm.

San Bernardino’s city attorney, James F. Penman, had no comment as to whether federal investigators contacted the city.

Lowery, a former congressman from San Diego, has worked with such clients as Brent R. Wilkes, a defense contractor who was identified by his lawyer as the unindicted “co-conspirator No. 1” in the Cunningham corruption case.

Cunningham was sentenced to eight years and four months in prison for accepting $2.4 million in bribes and favors from “co-conspirator No. 1” and his business associate, Mitchell Wade, who pleaded guilty to bribing Cunningham.

The Cunningham case has put the spotlight on “earmarking,” a practice in which lawmakers slip parochial and special- interest projects into spending bills, often at lobbyists’ behest late in the legislative process and without advance public notice.

Wilkes and his companies are among Lewis’ largest contributors, giving the lawmaker at least $60,000 in campaign contributions over the years. At the same time, Wilkes has paid Lowery’s firm more than $160,000 in lobbying fees.


Times staff writers Peter Pae and Cynthia H. Cho contributed to this report.


Lewis Surfaces in Probe of Cunningham

Federal prosecutors have begun an investigation into Rep. Jerry Lewis, the Californian who chairs the powerful House Appropriations Committee, government officials and others said, signaling the spread of a San Diego corruption probe.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles has issued subpoenas in an investigation into the relationship between Lewis (R-Redlands) and a Washington lobbyist linked to disgraced former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham (R-Rancho Santa Fe), three people familiar with the investigation said.

The investigation is part of an expanding federal probe stemming from Cunningham’s conviction for accepting $2.4 million in bribes and favors from defense contractors, according to the three sources.

It is not clear where the investigation is headed or what evidence the government has. But the probe suggests that investigators are looking past Cunningham to other legislators and, perhaps, the earmarking” system that members of Congress use to allocate funds.

Lewis said Wednesday that he was not aware of any investigation, had not been contacted by any investigator and did not know why he would be investigated.

For goodness sake, why would they be doing that?” Lewis asked.

The government is looking into the connection between Lewis and his longtime friend Bill Lowery, the sources said. Lowery, a lobbyist, is a former congressman from San Diego.

As chairman of the Appropriations panel, Lewis has earmarked hundreds of millions of dollars in federal contracts for many of Lowery’s clients, one of the sources said.

Lewis said he knew Lowery well, having spent 12 years in Congress with him, but denied favoring earmarks for Lowery’s clients.

Absolutely not,” Lewis said. He said all the earmarks he authorized benefited “my constituents and my people.” He said he was particularly proud of helping fund programs such as the cancer treatment center at Loma Linda University, a client of Lowery’s. That would never have been accomplished without an earmark,” he said.

The Lewis investigation is in the early stages and has not been presented to a grand jury, the sources said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were either involved in the probe or were not authorized to speak about ongoing investigations.

Thom Mrozek, spokesman for the office of U.S. Atty. Debra Wong Yang, said that as a matter of policy he could not confirm or deny any investigation it might be conducting.

The probe focuses on what one source said was an unusually close relationship between Lewis and Lowery, who served on the House Appropriations Committee together from 1985 to 1993.

Shortly after leaving Congress, Lowery founded Copeland Lowery Jacquez Denton & White, a Washington lobbying firm whose clients include Brent R. Wilkes, a defense contractor who is the focus of a separate probe in San Diego.

Wilkes has been identified by his lawyer as the unindicted co-conspirator No. 1” in the Cunningham corruption case.

In that case, Cunningham was sentenced to eight years and four months in prison for accepting $2.4 million in bribes and favors from co-conspirator No. 1” and his business associate, Mitchell Wade, who pleaded guilty to bribing Cunningham. Cunningham and Wade are cooperating with federal investigators.

Wilkes and his companies have given Lewis at least $60,000 in campaign contributions over the years, making them among the lawmaker’s largest contributors.

At the same time, Wilkes has paid Lowery’s firm more than $160,000 in lobbying fees.

According to Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonpartisan research organization, Lewis has earmarked at least $70 million in federal funds for a mapping software company in Redlands. The company, Environmental Systems Research Institute Inc., is one of Lowery’s largest clients and has paid more than $320,000 in lobbying fees, according to the nonpartisan Center for Public Integrity.

Investigators are said to be particularly interested in the intermingling of Lewis’ and Lowery’s staffs and whether it led to favorable treatment for Lowery’s clients in securing government contracts.

Jeff Shockey, a key Lewis staffer, went to work for Lowery as a lobbyist in 1999 and then returned to Lewis’ staff last year. According to a source familiar with the investigation, Shockey received $600,000 in severance payments from Lowery’s firm before returning to Lewis to become the deputy staff director for the House Appropriations Committee – with an annual salary of $170,000.

He is now the gatekeeper for more than $850 billion,” said Keith Ashdown of Taxpayers for Common Sense, referring to the Appropriations Committee’s role in disbursing government funds.

Shockey could not be reached for comment.

John Scofield, communications director for the House Appropriations Committee, said Shockey and the committee had had “no contact with any entity of any kind,” referring to investigators.

This is all based on anonymous sources and hearsay. It’s borderline slanderous,” Scofield said.

In 2003, another key Lewis aide, Letitia White, became a lobbyist for Lowery.

It’s the wicked revolving door,” said Naomi Seligman Steiner, investigator for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a government watchdog backed by liberal groups that has questioned the relationship between Lewis and Lowery.

Lewis was among several members of Congress who came under scrutiny after the Cunningham corruption case erupted last summer. Cunningham, also a longtime Lewis friend, admitted to earmarking funds to Wilkes in return for cash and favors.

Cunningham challenged Lowery, the incumbent, in the 1992 Republican primary. But Lowery dropped out of the race after he was identified as one of the worst offenders of “Rubbergate,” in which several members of Congress were discovered to have written numerous bad checks on the House bank. Lowery acknowledged writing 300 bad checks.

Cunningham’s campaign slogan was: “A congressman we can be proud of.”

Lewis is one of the senior members of Congress, with 27 years on Capitol Hill. At one time, he was head of California’s GOP delegation, and became a “cardinal” – as the chairs of Appropriations subcommittees are known – serving most recently as chairman of the Appropriations defense subcommittee and managing the biggest spending bill in the federal budget.

Last year, Lewis became chairman of the full committee, historically one of the most powerful jobs in Washington.


Big Bear Lake Resort Association history isn't all rosy


Wednesday, May 10, 2006 11:57 AM PDT

Ssssh. The Big Bear Lake Resort Association's success story isn't completely free of freckles, but not too many people want to shout about it. Most RA members and ex-members are so afraid of speaking out against the RA they practically hang up the phone at the mere mention of voicing an opinion. When you pry a little deeper, they'll talk, but only if you don't know their names.

That sort of fear and secrecy is what has caused much of the controversy surrounding the RA. At board meetings, members are sometimes chastised for trying to speak up. Others spend years trying to get on the board because they are suspect of how the money is handled. Others just flat out filed a lawsuit.

In the late 1990s, a lawsuit charged that RA board president and president of Snow Summit Resort Dick Kun was hard-balling people into joining the RA to keep receiving discounted ski lift tickets from the resorts. There were charges the RA favored certain member businesses and prohibited members from subscribing to other referral services.

There were personal attacks, allegations of price fixing, and in the end the lawsuit was defeated, spare some free ski lift tickets and lawyer fees exchanged. Kun and the RA came out on top.

Day-to-day transactions remain a hot issue with some business owners still seven years after the lawsuit was settled. The reservation system seems to be the burning button for most.

“Entopia, I don't care for it,” says Jim Fulton, manager of North Shore Cabins, one of the few willing to give his name. Fulton says the referrals from the RA only seem to come during busy times when the cabins are already plenty booked. “We don't get anything during the off season. We don't get nothing from them.”

Part of the problem seems to be a lack of communication from the upper level management of the RA that focuses solely on marketing Big Bear. RA members who just deal with the bottom line are not seeing the benefits or even aware of an ad in the Los Angeles Times or Family Circle and how that helps their businesses in the big picture.

The RA's clients are not always privy to the science behind the marketing plan or have a gist of what tourism in Big Bear would be like without the public relations and marketing. They just have the headaches of a flawed reservation system that sometimes sends guests to their front desk before the lodge knows the room is booked.

Another accommodations manager who declined to be identified said her lodge is no longer a member of the RA because of billing problems. “Behind the business door, dealing with some of them is not easy,” she says, explaining stumbling blocks with credit card billings in the past.

“I felt what they claim as far as no favoritism is not true either,” she says. For a lodge not yet able to hook into the reservation system online, they are literally left out of the loop more than others.

Another business owner who also spoke on the basis of anonymity said the RA, while a good business model, is not a great one. “When you make it for profit, you end up competing with your own customers,” he says, adding that after paying the dues, he's also approached to pay to advertise in the RA visitors guide and help promote events that do not directly help his business profit.

“The RA should stick to promoting Big Bear as a destination,” he says. “Because they have their own reservation system it makes people suspect. They end up in competition with other places that have their own Web sites.”

As far as events, he is offended when asked to help other businesses profit without his monthly numbers taken into account, he says. “They are taking money for what should be a good thing and at the same time are stabbing their customers in the back.”

Contact reporter Arrissia Owen Turner at (909) 866-3456, ext. 142 or by e-mail at aoturner@bigbeargrizzly.net.


Sheriff Penrod committed perjury

April 19, 2006
Fair Political Practices Commission
428 J Street, Suite 620
Sacramento, CA 95814

Office: (866) 275-3772

Re: Economic Interest Statements

To Whom It May Concern:

This letter is to inform you that San Bernardino County Sheriff Gary Penrod failed to report on his economic interest statements his and his wife’s ownership interest in numerous properties, two businesses as well as the beneficial interest in a note and deed of trust. (see Exhibit “A”, copy of Form 700 Economic Interest Statements filed by Sheriff Gary Penrod) The list of properties, businesses and note that were not reported by Sheriff Gary Penrod are as follows by year that they should have been reported on the economic interest statement:

BUSINESS: Penrod Construction – general Contractor License # 359427 issued on 07/03/78 with an expiration date on 06/30/06 as verified on the California Contractors State License Board website. No record of fictitious business name statement filed. No record at the Secretary of State’s office of a corporation, limited partnership or LLC.

Owner Parcel # Property Address Purch Date Sold Date
Gary & Nancy Penrod 0321-271-20 36551 Avenue E, Yucaipa, CA

Gary Penrod 0321-271-30 no address


On or about April 1, 2000, Gary Penrod married Nancy Bohl. Nancy Bohl is the owner of The Counseling Team International which is a business that provides counseling services to over 200 city, county, state agencies and private businesses. The Counseling Team International has a contract to provide services to numerous agencies of the County of San Bernardino such as: Department of Public Social Services, San Bernardino County Superior Court, District Attorney’s Office, Fire Department, Probation Department and Sheriff’s Department. (see attached Exhibit “B”, printout of The Counseling Team International’s clients)

The Counseling Team International has filed a fictitious business statement with the San Bernardino County Recorder’s Office indicating ownership by Nancy K. Bohl, Inc. Secretary of State shows Nancy K. Bohl, Inc. as an active corporation.

BUSINESS: Penrod Construction and The Counseling Team International

Owner Parcel # Property Address
Gary & Nancy Penrod 0321-271-20 36551 Avenue E, Yucaipa, CA

Gary Penrod 0321-271-30 no address

Nancy Penrod 0315-253-19 State Lane, Lake Erwin, CA

Nancy Bohl 0349-152-19 18431 Arrowhead Blvd San Bernardino, CA

Nancy Bohl 0396-391-07 15415 Anacapa Road Victorville, CA

Nancy Bohl 0141-461-65 1881 Business Center Drive 12A San Bernardino, CA 92408

Nancy Bohl 0141-461-66 1881 Business Center Drive 12B San Bernardino, CA 92408

Gary & Janet Penrod 0315-201-15 750 Lakewood Drive


BUSINESS: Penrod Construction and The Counseling Team International

Owner Parcel # Property Address
Gary & Nancy Penrod 0321-271-20 36551 Avenue E, Yucaipa, CA

Gary Penrod 0321-271-30 no address

Nancy Penrod 0315-253-19 State Lane, Lake Erwin, CA

Nancy Bohl 0349-152-19 18431 Arrowhead Blvd San Bernardino, CA

Nancy Bohl 0396-391-07 15415 Anacapa Road Victorville, CA

Nancy Bohl 0141-461-65 1881 Business Center Drive 12A San Bernardino, CA 92408

Nancy Bohl 0141-461-66 1881 Business Center Drive 12B San Bernardino, CA 92408


BUSINESS: Penrod Construction and The Counseling Team International

Owner Parcel # Property Address

Gary & Nancy Penrod 0321-271-20 36551 Avenue E, Yucaipa, CA

Gary & Nancy Penrod 1242-511-13 no address
Gary Penrod 0321-271-30 no address

Nancy Penrod 0315-253-19 State Lane, Lake Erwin, CA

Nancy Bohl 0349-152-19 18431 Arrowhead Blvd San Bernardino, CA

Nancy Bohl 0396-391-07 15415 Anacapa Road Victorville, CA

Nancy Bohl 0141-461-65 1881 Business Center Drive 12A San Bernardino, CA 92408

Nancy Bohl 0141-461-66 1881 Business Center Drive 12B San Bernardino, CA 92408


BUSINESS: Penrod Construction and The Counseling Team International

NOTE AND DEED OF TRUST: Dated May 8, 2003, Grandview Ranch Properties, Trustors, Nancy Bohl, Beneficiary, Loan Amount $34,000.00

Owner Parcel # Property Address Purch Date Sold Date

Gary & Nancy Penrod 0321-271-20 36551 Avenue E, Yucaipa, CA

Gary & Nancy Penrod 1242-511-13 no address
Gary Penrod 0321-271-30 no address

Nancy Bohl 0396-391-07 15415 Anacapa Road Victorville, CA

Nancy Bohl 0141-461-65 1881 Business Center Drive 12A San Bernardino, CA 92408

Nancy Bohl 0141-461-66 1881 Business Center Drive 12B San Bernardino, CA 92408


BUSINESS: Penrod Construction and The Counseling Team International

NOTE AND DEED OF TRUST: Dated May 8, 2003, Grandview Ranch Properties, Trustors, Nancy Bohl, Beneficiary, Loan Amount $34,000.00

Owner Parcel # Property Address

Gary & Nancy Penrod 0321-271-20 36551 Avenue E, Yucaipa, CA

Gary Penrod 1242-511-13 no address

Gary Penrod 0321-271-30 no address

Nancy Bohl 0396-391-07 15415 Anacapa Road Victorville, CA
Nancy Bohl 0141-461-65 1881 Business Center Drive 12A San Bernardino, CA 92408

Nancy Bohl 0141-461-66 1881 Business Center Drive 12B San Bernardino, CA 92408


BUSINESS: Penrod Construction and The Counseling Team International

NOTE AND DEED OF TRUST: Dated May 8, 2003, Grandview Ranch Properties, trustors, Nancy Bohl, beneficiary, loan amount $34,000.00

Owner Parcel # Property Address

Gary & Nancy Penrod 0321-271-20 36551 Avenue E, Yucaipa, CA

Gary & Nancy Penrod 1242-511-13 no address
Gary Penrod 0321-271-30 no address

Nancy Bohl 0396-391-07 15415 Anacapa Road Victorville, CA

Nancy Bohl 0141-461-65 1881 Business Center Drive 12A San Bernardino, CA 92408

Nancy Bohl 0141-461-66 1881 Business Center Drive 12B San Bernardino, CA 92408

Sheriff Gary Penrod signed the Form 700’s Economic Interest Statement under the penalty of perjury as required under Government Code § 81004.

81004. (a) All reports and statements filed under this title shall be signed under penalty of perjury and verified by the filer. The verification shall state that the filer has used all reasonable diligence in its preparation, and that to the best of his knowledge it is true and complete.

(b) A report or statement filed by a committee which qualifies under subdivision (a) of Section 82013 shall be signed and verified by the treasurer, and a report or statement filed by any other person shall be signed and verified by the filer. If the filer is an entity other than an individual, the report or statement shall be signed and verified by a responsible officer of the entity or by an attorney or a certified public accountant acting as agent for the entity. Every person who signs and verifies any report or statement required to be filed under this title which contains material matter which he knows to be false is guilty of perjury.

The lack of truthful disclosure on his Form 700’s Economic Interest Statement by Sheriff Gary Penrod defeats the purposes of Government Code § 81002.

The assets and income belonging to The Counseling Team International may be materially affected by the position that Sheriff Gary Penrod holds in the County of San Bernardino. The Counseling Team International has been awarded several contracts from the County of San Bernardino. The fact that Sheriff Gary Penrod failed to disclose his wife’s ownership of The Counseling Team International is a glaring potential conflict of interest.

81002. The people enact this title to accomplish the following purposes:

(a) Receipts and expenditures in election campaigns should be fully and truthfully disclosed in order that the voters may be fully informed and improper practices may be inhibited.

(b) The activities of lobbyists should be regulated and their finances disclosed in order that improper influences will not be directed at public officials.

(c) Assets and income of public officials which may be materially affected by their official actions should be disclosed and in appropriate circumstances the officials should be disqualified from acting in order that conflicts of interest may be avoided.

(d) The state ballot pamphlet should be converted into a useful document so that voters will not be entirely dependent on paid advertising for information regarding state measures.

(e) Laws and practices unfairly favoring incumbents should be abolished in order that elections may be conducted more fairly.

(f) Adequate enforcement mechanisms should be provided to public officials and private citizens in order that this title will be vigorously enforced.

Please accept this letter as our formal complaint and request for an investigation into these very serious breaches of the law.


Gail C. Fry
2010 W. Avenue K #616, Lancaster, CA 93536


Whistle-Blower Outs NSA Spy Room

AT&T provided National Security Agency eavesdroppers with full access to its customers' phone calls, and shunted its customers' internet traffic to data-mining equipment installed in a secret room in its San Francisco switching center, according to a former AT&T worker cooperating in the Electronic Frontier Foundation's lawsuit against the company.

Mark Klein, a retired AT&T communications technician, submitted an affidavit in support of the EFF's lawsuit this week. That class action lawsuit, filed in federal court in San Francisco last January, alleges that AT&T violated federal and state laws by surreptitiously allowing the government to monitor phone and internet communications of AT&T customers without warrants.

On Wednesday, the EFF asked the court to issue an injunction prohibiting AT&T from continuing the alleged wiretapping, and filed a number of documents under seal, including three AT&T documents that purportedly explain how the wiretapping system works.

According to a statement released by Klein's attorney, an NSA agent showed up at the San Francisco switching center in 2002 to interview a management-level technician for a special job. In January 2003, Klein observed a new room being built adjacent to the room housing AT&T's #4ESS switching equipment, which is responsible for routing long distance and international calls.

"I learned that the person whom the NSA interviewed for the secret job was the person working to install equipment in this room," Klein wrote. "The regular technician work force was not allowed in the room."

Klein's job eventually included connecting internet circuits to a splitting cabinet that led to the secret room. During the course of that work, he learned from a co-worker that similar cabinets were being installed in other cities, including Seattle, San Jose, Los Angeles and San Diego.

"While doing my job, I learned that fiber optic cables from the secret room were tapping into the Worldnet (AT&T's internet service) circuits by splitting off a portion of the light signal," Klein wrote.

The split circuits included traffic from peering links connecting to other internet backbone providers, meaning that AT&T was also diverting traffic routed from its network to or from other domestic and international providers, according to Klein's statement.

The secret room also included data-mining equipment called a Narus STA 6400, "known to be used particularly by government intelligence agencies because of its ability to sift through large amounts of data looking for preprogrammed targets," according to Klein's statement.

Narus, whose website touts AT&T as a client, sells software to help internet service providers and telecoms monitor and manage their networks, look for intrusions, and wiretap phone calls as mandated by federal law.

Klein said he came forward because he does not believe that the Bush administration is being truthful about the extent of its extrajudicial monitoring of Americans' communications.

"Despite what we are hearing, and considering the public track record of this administration, I simply do not believe their claims that the NSA's spying program is really limited to foreign communications or is otherwise consistent with the NSA's charter or with FISA," Klein's wrote. "And unlike the controversy over targeted wiretaps of individuals' phone calls, this potential spying appears to be applied wholesale to all sorts of internet communications of countless citizens."

After asking for a preview copy of the documents last week, the government did not object to the EFF filing the paper under seal, although the EFF asked the court Wednesday to make the documents public.

One of the documents is titled "Study Group 3, LGX/Splitter Wiring, San Francisco," and is dated 2002. The others are allegedly a design document instructing technicians how to wire up the taps, and a document that describes the equipment installed in the secret room.

In a letter to the EFF, AT&T objected to the filing of the documents in any manner, saying that they contain sensitive trade secrets and could be "could be used to 'hack' into the AT&T network, compromising its integrity."

According to court rules, AT&T has until Thursday to file a motion to keep the documents sealed. The government could also step in to the case and request that the documents not be made public, or even that the entire lawsuit be barred under the seldom-used State Secrets Privilege.

AT&T spokesman Walt Sharp declined to comment on the allegations, citing a company policy of not commenting on litigation or matters of national security, but did say that "AT&T follows all laws following requests for assistance from government authorities."


Campaign funds taint DA's shooting probe, activists say

BOW OUT: A Latino leader believes the state should investigate a deputy's shooting of an airman.

07:34 AM PST on Wednesday, February 15, 2006

San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos should turn over the investigation of a high-profile deputy-involved shooting to the state attorney general, a small group of community activists urged Tuesday.

Because Ramos has accepted more than $37,000 in campaign donations from the sheriff's union, he cannot fairly oversee the inquiry into whether Deputy Ivory J. Webb was justified in shooting and wounding Elio Carrion after a short high-speed chase in Chino last month, the activists said.

"It has to be given to the attorney general," said Steven Figueroa, of the Mexican American Political Association. "Anything short of that is a conflict of interest."

Figueroa and about a half dozen others walked Tuesday from the County Government Center to Ramos' office in downtown San Bernardino to give him a letter urging him to withdraw from the case.

Figueroa was unable to meet with Ramos but spoke with Susan Mickey, the district attorney's office spokeswoman.

Mickey said she would give the letter to Ramos and thanked Figueroa for stopping by. She said she doubted the case would be turned over to California Attorney General Bill Lockyer.

She said the county district attorney's office is doing a fair and thorough inquiry into whether to file criminal charges against Webb, who remains on administrative leave.

A Lockyer spokesman could not be reached for comment.

On Jan. 29, Webb wounded Carrion, a U.S. Air Force senior airman working in security. Chino resident Jose Luis Valdes videotaped the event and it has since been broadcast nationally.

The video shows Webb shooting Carrion three times after Carrion appeared to follow the deputy's orders to get up off the ground.

Sheriff Gary Penrod on Friday turned the department's investigation over to the district attorney's office. He said the video "looks terrible" but stopped short of passing judgment on Webb.

The FBI is conducting a separate civil-rights investigation.

In his letter to Ramos, Figueroa said county leaders should "not attempt to sweep the issues under the dirty carpet."

Robert Gaines Sr., chairman of the California Black Chamber of Commerce, joined in urging Ramos to send the case to Sacramento. County leaders should be responsive to people when "we see injustice," he said.

Ramos has accepted more than $50,000 from peace officer unions since his first campaign in 2002, the majority from the San Bernardino County Safety Employees Benefit Association. That union, representing sheriff's deputies, donated more than $37,000 to Ramos, campaign finance records show.

William Abernathie, the union's president, said Tuesday the association doesn't expect preferential treatment in return for donations.

He said there is no reason to turn over the probe to the state and asked how the attorney general would fairly investigate while accepting campaign donations from peace officer unions.

Bob Stern, president of the nonpartisan Center for Governmental Studies in Los Angeles, said taking campaign cash from the union represents a potential conflict of interest.

"But that means any case involving the sheriff is a conflict," Stern said. "I don't think you could make an argument he should do it unless he feels compromised."

Former San Bernardino County District Attorney Dennis Stout said the office is compromised by taking so much money from the sheriff's union.

Stout acknowledged that he, too, accepted campaign contributions from the sheriff's union as district attorney, but not to the extent Ramos does.

Allowing an outside office to conduct investigations would help avoid an appearance of impropriety, Stout said last week, before community activists urged Ramos to turn the case over to the state.

"Let's face it," Stout said. "San Bernardino County doesn't have a reputation of honesty and integrity."

Staff writer Ben Goad contributed to this report.

Reach Duane W. Gang at (909) 806-3062 or dgang@PE.com


Hello, My Name is Karma (blog posts re: Schlarmann)

Hello, My Name is Karma.

Do good things and good things happen to you. Do bad things and they’ll come back to haunt you.

Do you watch My Name is Earl? Yeah, about the redneck who learns about doing good things and karma and all that? Some of us knew about the lessons of karma before the show. Some of us were taught integrity and that if you wait patiently enough, people get what is coming to them.

My maternal grandparents planned for their retirement pretty much from the time they had kids in the 1940’s. My grandfather was a bus driver for the Los Angeles RTD and my grandmother was a special education teacher in the San Gabriel Valley. They owned their home, had two kids, worked hard for what they had, and made strong and solid investments.

My grandfather died in 1982, leaving my grandmother in charge of whatever funds they had. In the early ’90’s, however, it became clear that grandma was losing her grip. The dementia she exhibited became so great I found myself unable to visit her. She didn’t know who I was and, when she insisted she did know me, she called me by the name of a friend she knew in the 1960’s.

She was placed in the care of my aunt and uncle as my own mother, grandma’s daughter, was already very ill. When my mother passed in 1997, the battle for conservatorship (custody) of my grandmother was already in progress. The catch was her assets were now being fought over between the divorced aunt and uncle.

My uncle is my grandmother’s son. My aunt was married into the family and yet she was fighting to continue handling grandma’s living arrangements and her pocketbook. I thought this was a little weird, but honestly, I didn’t care who took care of grandma, as long as she was in good care. I didn’t know, and I don’t believe my three siblings did either, that there was a fair amount of money involved. We just knew she needed to be in a retirement home and that, as they say, was that.

Then came the shot heard ’round the world: Less than one month after my own mother died, paperwork was filed in the court case essentially calling my mother a liar. It was a grave miscalculation on my aunt’s part. The four of us grandkids would have patiently stayed out of it, but for the fact my mother had more integrity in her pinkie than most people have in their entire bodies.

I, for one, was not going to let it stand. Turns out, all of us were suddenly on board. I showed up in a California court for the next hearing, all the way from New Mexico. My aunt didn’t realize she had stirred us up and was surprised to see me, though she didn’t say a word.

Let me make this clear: My family is not a close-knit bunch. Growing up, we spent many holidays at the aunt and uncle’s house, with our two stuck-up cousins, and we were always looked down upon. We didn’t have as much money as they did, we were still renting, and there was the stench of “we’re better than you” always lingering in the air. My sister acted out with overt violence during these visits. Me, I was always a good talker … and words don’t leave bruises you can see.

Today, my dad, my sister, and my brothers all get together when we can, which is 2-3 times a year. We have our lives and we live them separately and that’s just fine with all of us. However, when there is trouble, there is nothing that can keep us apart. It is one of the traits that makes me proudest of us. And [your favorite deity’s name here] help the person who attempts to do us wrong.

My dad was there at court that day and, after our hearing, he had a major heart attack resulting in an emergency triple-bypass. We joked about suing my aunt for undue stress and damages, knowing we wouldn’t actually do it. That maternal line of integrity runs deeper in all of us than you can imagine.

At the next court hearing or the next, I’m not sure which, it became clear that our aunt had been bilking grandma’s accounts. She was divorced and living on alimony, yet found a way to remodel her kitchen and install a pool …? WTF? So the attorneys managed a plea bargain: My aunt wouldn’t be arrested for embezzlement and my uncle would take over all the accounting and grandmother’s care.

Grandma died just months afterward. My aunt didn’t say a word to any of us all through the funeral. I talked to one of my cousins briefly, but not since. I have a real case of Shadenfreude with them, because as much as we were the downtrodden, white trash relatives, their lives pretty much fell apart after the divorce. Funny that my parents, for all their flaws, really understood the words “Til death do us part.”

My uncle had remarried and his new spouse handled most of the investment paperwork. That was when it became clear just how much money was involved, because we - the grandkids - suddenly received a fat check. I mean fat. I paid off my car and my student loans and still had cash left over to pay for my then-husband’s last two semesters of school. It turned out to be a blessing, because with no real bills to speak of, I didn’t need much to live on when my husband left me just months later.

Then each of us grandkids started receiving sporadic interest checks on the accounts. They weren’t much - mine only paid for my monthly car insurance - but it was nice to have it. I’d occasionally ask my sister to check into why the property in which my grandmother had invested hadn’t been sold or her investment hadn’t been bought out, because it was a curious situation. When investors die, that’s usually what happens. My sister questioned my uncle who always said he’d get back to us on it. He never did.

Then the checks stopped. We knew there was more money due us because now we had a handle on just how much of it was there, but no one at the place who sent the checks was answering the phone anymore. Then the news hit the Southern California papers: The investment company and all its partners were bilking millions of dollars from senior citizens in the area. They had been arrested and their properties seized.

No wonder my aunt had thought she could do it. Everyone was doing it.

In the past couple of years since the arrests, we’ve traded paperwork and information. We’ve talked to attorneys and had class-action paperwork sent and received. We’ve ensured the court-appointed receiver, with thousands of people involved in this case, knows who we are and what investments we mean. We’ve watched the online reports as property of the guilty has been sold or auctioned to pay off investors.

About 2 weeks ago, we each got a check for the first 15% of what is owed to us. I paid off my credit cards (again) and I have a very important gift to get with the rest of it (I’ll report on that after he gets it, since he reads this page pretty regularly). I had enough left over to get another corset for myself. But the best news was yet to come.

The best news in all this is one of the principals in the embezzlement case, Mr. Larre Schlarmann, the very man who signed our interest checks, got 15 years for his participation. This means the real guy, the big cheese, the one who really masterminded it, Mr. D.W. Heath, will get his soon, too.

I don’t know if my aunt ever learned the lesson of karma for herself or not. Part of me thinks she has just continued on with her life, wondering why everything in which she’s been involved has turned to shit. Meanwhile, I’ve got 85% more of my grandparent’s good planning coming to me in checks over the next several years, as the assets of the investment company jerks are sold and distributed.

My uncle is suffering his own personal hell right now, one which he truly deserves. His karmic lesson is in full swing and while part of me hopes he’ll learn from it, part of me doesn’t think he’ll get out alive. The choice, however, is - and always has been - all his.

Do good things and good things happen to you. Do bad things and they’ll come back to haunt you.

[response to post]

# James Schlarmann Says:
December 19th, 2006 at 10:31 am

The time for silence on this matter has passed. My father is Larre Schlarmann. He was imprisoned on largely false charges from a District Attorney that sought for more job security than any form of justice you or I would recognize. The man that you speak of as just “signing the checks” was an honest and forthright man, who was railroaded into accepting a plea after nearly a year and a half in jail, going large amounts of time without hot water, being abused before he had a chance to stand trial.

As someone who saw life “from the other side of the fence” I can assure you that my father neither flaunted his wealth, nor did he revel in it. He gave more to charities and helped all those he could. He worked hard in these business in order to at least make some honest attempt to return to investors what they had put in. I can also assure you that he had no clue as to the depth that Mr. Heath and his salespeople had gone to in order to secure these investments.

If my father was never guilty of making the sales and taking the money, an admission among others that the D.A.s made to him whilst signing the plea agreement, then why did he get such a raw deal. And why did so many of D.W. Heath and Associates sales people get off essentially scott-free?

I’m sure you wont read this, nor will you even consider the idea that my father has been made essentially a patsy in this Post-Enron world, but the truth is my father is no Lay or Skilling. My candor here is made “public” after two plus years of sitting on the sidelines watching Lady Justice be pummeled by the very people sworn to protect Her.

You don’t speak of Karma in this blog, maddam. You speak of an Abomination of Justice. My only hope is that Karma is real, because the truth will be heard. Silence is done.

{reply http://www.divatology.com/deeper/?p=560]

Hello, My Name is Karma - Part Deux.

For background on this new post, please go back and read this ancient post, including the comments on it.

Actually, James, I did read your comment and I will leave it, in its entirety, on my page. Not that anyone reads it, mind you - according to the people who follow such things, the average number of readers for any online blog is 1 - and the post to which you responded is quite old. In fact, had I not just linked to it again here, there would be even less interest than my one reader.

You probably only found my post via a Google search for the names involved in the case, am I right? No matter. It may surprise you that I’ve chosen to even respond, but I can’t help myself today. I am completely snowed in here in Denver (The Blizzard of ‘06 is what the news stations are calling it) and have nothing better to do.

Lucky you.

Your father, if he is indeed innocent, is paying a price because of the company he kept. Further, regardless of who is guilty, he was involved. He had a contract with the other companies in the case (written or verbal) and it was his name on the checks. Hence, he may be suffering now simply because he was in business with the guilty party/ies, but in the eyes of the law, ignorance of what your business partners are up to is not an excuse. When one person goes down in such situations, EVERYONE does.

I know you care for your father and I am sorry you are having to go through this experience. However, posting to benign and very much uknown web pages to defend your father only makes YOU feel better. It makes you feel less impotent, as if there were actually something you could do to change the situation.

You can’t. In truth, you look like a desperate fool to the people who were bilked out of savings, investments, and their entire retirement by the actions of every company involved, including your father’s.

You are breaking the silence, James, but look around:
You’re in a vacuum.

And if you’d read any part of this blahg - other than just the bit that pertains to you - you’d have known better than to write here in the first place. In fact, I suggest you try this post first. Also this one.

Then, by all means, ask me if I care.

If you have to ask the question …

[reply http://www.divatology.com/deeper/?p=564]

Hello, My Name is Karma - Act III.

You may follow the thread of the following post via this one and this one, if you so desire. As of this post, I am going back to happily following my own advice about comments.

I understand that you have issues and that you feel hurt, but your father - either through direct criminal activity or willful neglect - has been determined, BY LAW, to have taken part in ruining the lives of many people and in damaging my own.

Whether or not your father felt he was guilty, he pled as such. IT IS OVER. There is nothing you can say or do that will change that, here or anywhere.

I can warn others about what has happened to me personally and that is why I chose to write on the subject. The only purpose your comments here can provide is to make yourself feel better. For that, I recommend a therapist … that’s how most people deal with problems involving their parents.

I have been hurt enough from knowing you and your father that I don’t need to hear another word from either of you. Therefore, this is the end of your posts. Go find your resolution elsewhere, instead of with one of the victims, because that is nearly as inconsiderate as your father denying responsibility over our losses.

Good day to you sir.

I said GOOD DAY!