Bill would ban suspicionless laptop searches

Nick Juliano
Raw Story
September 30, 2008

Bill would require ‘reasonable suspicion’ before DHS electronics search

Any customs agent who wants to go poking around your laptop’s hard drive is going to need a legitimate reason to do so, if legislation proposed Monday is adopted.

As it stands, the Department of Homeland Security has virtually unfettered authority to search, copy and archive the contents of laptops, cell phones and digital cameras travelers carry into the US. Sen. Russ Feingold wants to change that.

Feingold (D-WI), who has criticized DHS’s policy, introduced the Travelers Privacy Protection Act along with Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA).

“Most Americans would be shocked to learn that upon their return to the U.S. from traveling abroad, the government could demand the password to their laptop, hold it for as long as it wants, pore over their documents, emails, and photographs, and examine which websites they visited – all without any suggestion of wrong-doing,” Feingold said. “Focusing our limited law enforcement resources on law-abiding Americans who present no basis for suspicion does not make us any safer and is a gross violation of privacy. This bill will bring the government’s practices at the border back in line with the reasonable expectations of law-abiding Americans.”

Last year, DHS reversed a two-decade old policy that required reasonable suspicion before Customs and Border Patrol agents could search a travelers’ documents, including the contents of laptops, cell phones, digital cameras and other devices. The new policy also made it easier for DHS to share information it collected with other law enforcement agencies, a provision civil liberties advocates could let those agencies use DHS to conduct warrantless searches on their behalf and subvert the Fourth Amendment.

Feingold’s legislation would require “reasonable suspicion of illegal activity” before DHS agents could search travelers’ electronics, and it would prohibit the agency from holding onto the electronics or copies of files for more than 24 hours without a warrant. It also limits what DHS could share with other agencies.

Civil liberties advocates hailed the legislation’s introduction.

“Congress cannot allow DHS and CBP to turn our borders into Constitution-free zones,” added Timothy Sparapani, ACLU Senior Legislative Counsel. “Americans have the constitutional right to privacy, and that includes the sensitive and personal information we keep on electronic devices. DHS has been rolling back these privacy safeguards, and doing so without proper oversight and public review. Senator Feingold’s much-needed bill seeks to restore our fundamental protections. Furthermore, it allows for overdue congressional oversight and a public discussion concerning our border security.”

The bill also would prohibit profiling visitors based on their race, ethnicity, religion or country of origin.

Amir Khan, an American citizen of Pakistani descent, previously told Raw Story that he has been singled out for additional screening every single time he has returned to the US from trips to Europe or Pakistan. The California resident estimates he has been detained for at least 20 hours, during which his laptop and books were examined by border agents.

“I asked many times, ‘What can I do to resolve this?’” he said. “They told me there’s nothing I can do.”

DHS revealed the expanded authority granted to Customs and Border Patrol Agents earlier this summer in documents released in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by two civil liberties groups.

The agency also previously released its border search policy following to a subcommittee hearing on the laptop searches this summer. No one from the agency would show up to explain the policy during the hearing before the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, which Feingold chairs.

Ex-CIA official pleads guilty in contracts case

Mon Sep 29, 3:31 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A former third-ranking official at the CIA pleaded guilty on Monday to fraud charges related to accusations he improperly steered agency contracts to his best friend, the Justice Department said.

The CIA's former executive director, Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, admitted steering contracts to friend Brent Wilkes, who already is serving a 12-year sentence for bribing former Republican Congressman Randall "Duke" Cunningham, the department said.

It said Wilkes, a one-time Republican fundraiser, had made Foggo a standing offer of a high-paying job, and the two hid their relationship from the CIA and used shell companies to conceal Wilkes's interest in the CIA contracts.

The indictment against Foggo said that while they were working on a water-supply contract Wilkes treated Foggo and his family to a Scotland vacation that included $12,000 in private jet flights, $4,000 for a helicopter ride to a round of golf, and $44,000 for an estate stay that included trout and salmon fishing, archery and clay pigeon shooting.

Foggo and Wilkes later took a $32,000 vacation to Haleiwa, Hawaii, it said.

Foggo faces a 20-year sentence after his guilty plea to one count of defrauding the United States of his honest services, the department said.

(Reporting by Randall Mikkelsen; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

Congresswoman: Criminal Insiders Behind Bailout Bill

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet
Monday, September 29, 2008

Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur boldly slammed the bailout bill this past weekend as the work of criminal insiders who have shut down the normal legislative process to commit “high financial crimes” and defraud the American people, while Rep. Michael Burgess warns that “martial law” has been declared.

The two Congress members are part of a growing minority of representatives sounding the alarm about the dictatorial nature of the bailout bill, which is expected to be up for a vote in the House today, with most in Congress having not had the opportunity to even read the legislation.

The bill is expected to reach the Senate on Wednesday as a raft of outraged politicians cry foul about being strong-armed and accused of being unpatriotic for opposing the carte-blanche passage of a piece of legislation that fundamentally centralizes control of the financial infrastructure of the country into the hands of the government and the Federal Reserve.

“We are Constitutionally sworn to protect and defend this Republic against all enemies foreign and domestic. And my friends there are enemies,” Kaptur told the House floor.

“The people pushing this deal are the very ones who are responsible for the implosion on Wall Street. They were fraudulent then and they are fraudulent now.”

“My message to the American people don’t let Congress seal this deal. High financial crimes have been committed,” added the Democrat from Ohio.

“The normal legislative process has been shelved. Only a few insiders are doing the dealing, sounds like insider trading to me. These criminals have so much political power than can shut down the normal legislative process of the highest law making body of this land,” Kaptur concluded.

Elsewhere, Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) said that the only information he had received about the bailout was what talking points to use on the American people and that he had been thrown out of meetings for not blindly supporting the bill.

Ominously, Burgess also comments, “Mr. Speaker I understand we are under Martial Law as declared by the speaker last night.”

Absent any proper hearings concerning the legislation, Burgess called for the legislation to at least be posted on the Internet for 24 hours so that the American people could “see what we have done in the dark of night.”

Pre-election Militarization of the North American Homeland. US Combat Troops in Iraq repatriated to "help with civil unrest"

by Michel Chossudovsky

The Army Times reports that the 3rd Infantry’s 1st Brigade Combat Team is returning from Iraq to defend the Homeland, as "an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks." The BCT unit has been attached to US Army North, the Army's component of US Northern Command (USNORTHCOM). (See Gina Cavallaro, Brigade homeland tours start Oct. 1, Army Times, September 8, 2008).
"Beginning Oct. 1 for 12 months, the 1st BCT will be under the day-to-day control of U.S. Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command, as an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks.

It is not the first time an active-duty unit has been tapped to help at home. ...

But this new mission marks the first time an active unit has been given a dedicated assignment to NorthCom, a joint command established in 2002 to provide command and control for federal homeland defense efforts and coordinate defense support of civil authorities.

After 1st BCT finishes its dwell-time mission, expectations are that another, as yet unnamed, active-duty brigade will take over and that the mission will be a permanent one.

The command is at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colo., but the soldiers with 1st BCT, who returned in April after 15 months in Iraq, will operate out of their home post at Fort Stewart, Ga.,


The 1st of the 3rd is still scheduled to deploy to either Iraq or Afghanistan in early 2010, which means the soldiers will have been home a minimum of 20 months by the time they ship out.

In the meantime, they’ll learn new skills, use some of the ones they acquired in the war zone and more than likely will not be shot at while doing any of it. (ibid)
The BCT is an army combat unit designed to confront an enemy within a war theater.

With US forces overstretched in Iraq, why would the Pentagon decide to undertake this redeployment within the USA, barely one month before the presidential elections?

The new mission of the 1st Brigade on US soil is to participate in "defense" efforts as well as provide "support to civilian authorities".

What is significant in this redeployment of a US infantry unit is the presumption that North America could, in the case of a natgional emergency, constitute a "war theater" thereby justifying the deployment of combat units..

The new skills to be imparted consists in training 1st BCT in repressing civil unrest, a task normally assumed by civilian law enforcement.

What we are dealing with is a militarization of civilian police activities in derogation of the Posse Comitatus Act.

The prevailing FISA emergency procedures envisage the enactment of martial law in the case of a terrorist attack. The 1st BCT and other combat units would be called upon to perform specific military functions:
They may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control or to deal with potentially horrific scenarios such as massive poisoning and chaos in response to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive, or CBRNE, attack.

Training for homeland scenarios has already begun at Fort Stewart and includes specialty tasks such as knowing how to use the “jaws of life” to extract a person from a mangled vehicle; extra medical training for a CBRNE incident; and working with U.S. Forestry Service experts on how to go in with chainsaws and cut and clear trees to clear a road or area.

The 1st BCT’s soldiers also will learn how to use “the first ever nonlethal package that the Army has fielded,” 1st BCT commander Col. Roger Cloutier said, referring to crowd and traffic control equipment and nonlethal weapons designed to subdue unruly or dangerous individuals without killing them.

“It’s a new modular package of nonlethal capabilities that they’re fielding. They’ve been using pieces of it in Iraq, but this is the first time that these modules were consolidated and this package fielded, and because of this mission we’re undertaking we were the first to get it.”

The package includes equipment to stand up a hasty road block; spike strips for slowing, stopping or controlling traffic; shields and batons; and, beanbag bullets.
Civil unrest resulting from from the financial meltdown is a distinct possibility, given the broad impacts of financial collapse on lifelong savings, pension funds, homeownership, etc.

The timing of this planned militarization is crucial: how will it affect the presidential elections scheduled for Tuesday November 4.

The brigade in its domestic homeland activities will be designated as the Consequence Management Response Force ( CCMRF) (pronounced “sea-smurf”).

What " Consequences" are being envisaged?

In a conference held under NorthCom last February, the mission of CCMRFF was defined as follows;
"How to protect communities from terrorist and biological attacks topped the agenda last week for more than 100 service members and civilians gathered at Joint Task Force Civil Support headquarters at Fort Monroe, Va.

The U.S. Northern Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and High-Yield Explosive Commanders’ Conference, held Feb. 21-23, brought JTF-CS subordinate task force and unit commanders here to discuss common concerns regarding operational requirements of the CBRNE Consequence Management mission and to begin preparations for Exercise Ardent Sentry 2007.

“We’re giving operationally focused briefs to our CCMRF ( CBRNE Consequence Management Response Force) units to help them prepare and successfully deploy for a CBRNE mission in the continental United States, its territories and possessions,” said JTF-CS Current Operations Specialist Hawley Waterman, who helped organized the conference. “This is also an opportunity to get acquainted and establish better relationships with (subordinate commanders).”(NorthCom, March 2007)
What is envisaged is the possibility of a (false flag) terrorist attack on America, which could be used as a justification for retaliatory or preemptive military action overseas (e.g. Iran) as well actions on the domestic front. The ultimate objective of this deployment of 1st BCT is to apply combat experience in the Homeland:
“I can’t think of a more noble mission than this,” said Cloutier, who took command in July. “We’ve been all over the world during this time of conflict, but now our mission is to take care of citizens at home ... and depending on where an event occurred, you’re going home to take care of your home town, your loved ones.”

While soldiers’ combat training is applicable, he said, some nuances don’t apply.
The operation officially has an emergency mandate to "help American citizens on American soil, to save lives, provide critical life support, help clear debris", but it also implies the running of military style operations. :in fact it would appear that the emergency tasks helping civilians is a cover-up. This is a combat unit, which is trained and equipped to kill people:
Some brigade elements will be on call around the clock, during which time they’ll do their regular marksmanship, gunnery and other deployment training. That’s because the unit will continue to train and reset for the next deployment, even as it serves in its CCMRF mission.

Should personnel be needed at an earthquake in California, for example, all or part of the brigade could be scrambled there, depending on the extent of the need and the specialties involved.

Other branches included The active Army’s new dwell-time mission is part of a NorthCom and DOD response package.

Active-duty soldiers will be part of a force that includes elements from other military branches and dedicated National Guard Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Teams.

A final mission rehearsal exercise is scheduled for mid-September at Fort Stewart and will be run by Joint Task Force Civil Support, a unit based out of Fort Monroe, Va., that will coordinate and evaluate the interservice event.

In addition to 1st BCT, other Army units will take part in the two-week training exercise, including elements of the 1st Medical Brigade out of Fort Hood, Texas, and the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade from Fort Bragg, N.C.

There also will be Air Force engineer and medical units, the Marine Corps Chemical, Biological Initial Reaction Force, a Navy weather team and members of the Defense Logistics Agency and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.

One of the things Vogler said they’ll be looking at is communications capabilities between the services.

“It is a concern, and we’re trying to check that and one of the ways we do that is by having these sorts of exercises. Leading up to this, we are going to rehearse and set up some of the communications systems to make sure we have interoperability,” he said.
A national emergency could be triggered. "[H]orrific scenarios such as massive poisoning and chaos in response to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive [attack]" or a so-called CBRNE type scenario. One assumes that this is some form of domestic attack, allegedly by terrorists.

But at the same time, the Bush administration may be seeking a justification to establish martial law and intervene militarily within the USA.
“I don’t know what America’s overall plan is — I just know that 24 hours a day, seven days a week, there are soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines that are standing by to come and help if they’re called,” Cloutier said. “It makes me feel good as an American to know that my country has dedicated a force to come in and help the people at home.” (Army Times, op cit , emphasis added)

"This type of planning and coordination and training is a priority both in our headquarters and at NORTHCOM, as we understand our responsibilities to be ready should the requirement arise, God forbid," (Army News Service Sept 15m 2008)

How Marketing Kills Your Soul

Chris | InformationLiberation

As our culture has become progressively more and more saturated by marketing, the marketing culture has been taken to a whole new level with people themselves becoming nothing more than a slew of marketing slogans and hype.

A hundred years ago you would never hear people talking the way they do today. A common adage nowadays is "sell yourself", and like good little prostitutes, people whore themselves out like dirty street hookers.

The most popular sites on the web are the ultimate shrine to whoring ones self, I'm talking of course of Facebook and MySpace. These sites revolve around creating an "image" for yourself which you can then use to "meet" people.

The way people talk, act, and live is almost entirely based on creating some fake persona which is cool etc. which they can then coast on (if they're cool enough, at least).

What I'm talking about is the lack of genuine emotional expression of simple human feelings. If you have some feeling you should be allowed to express it, you should not feel pressure to suppress it because "what will other people think of me?" Yet in our society the prevailing action behind most human behavior is "how will this make me look" or something in that same general stifled expression.

See, even though we are told this generation is all about being yourself, we had some sexual revolution, and blah blah blah we are actually just as, if not more, suppressed than ever.

I don't think a hundred years ago a person would be ashamed of themselves if they were walking around in non-designer clothes, or if they had holes in their shoes, or a dirty house, or anything which nowadays can lead some people to experience paralysis.

Yet here we are, we are supposed to be the most advanced generation of all time, yet we are the most screwed up!

How did we get here?

Well there is no doubt a million reasons, but I think the main one is the rise of the marketing culture.

Hundreds of years ago people mainly just aimed to have what they needed in life -- shelter, food, water, sexual partner -- yet now as a result of serious suppression people think they need all sorts of crap to get those things.

You can't simply build a house, zoning codes, property taxes, etc. won't let you. Few people grow their own food, laziness, stunted beliefs, etc. prevent them from doing so. You can't get your own water, the city provides it for you with more ease and convenience so why bother getting a well? As for a sexual partner, without the latest Gucci suits and a new Ferrari how the hell are you supposed to get that!

This is how people are controlled.

In the past if you wanted something you would just go and get it, there was no one else to go and get things from. No one had already conveniently set everything up for you and can give you every amenity you wanted with the installation of a few pipes or wire and the flip of a switch.

But now, that we are "civilized", you can have all these things with seemingly no work. I say seemingly because like all good cons it feels like you don't have to do anything to get them, after all you didn't have to lay the pipe and wires for you water and electricity, some one else did so who cares!

But the truth is you payed for it all through your labor, and with your labor you had at least half of the product of your labor taken from you through fees, taxation, interest, stock market "corrections" (it's a correction if you are broke and some rich dude has your money), and a million other scams which are part of our wonderful "civilization".

I guess it would have been better just to lay the wiring yourself!

This is why I am actively taking steps to get out of this system, I want to have my soul back and I'm tired of doing things the society way. I'm tired of marketing myself, I'm tired of the acts, the facades, the work for money, I'm tired of all of it and I want out!

I'm working on going back to the way things used to be done, if you want something you go and get it yourself, because after all, no one else can do it for you! And that's the truth I'm just now really starting to realize, even living a somewhat affluent life (I stress somewhat) I realize the only things I truly own or have are the things I worked for and got myself.

So with that society, I bid you adieu!

Prisons, profiling and propaganda: Salon's coverage of the U.S. government crackdown on illegal-substance abuse and the drug trade.

Much has changed since President Richard Nixon launched a "war on drugs" in the 1970s. The U.S. government's aggressive efforts to crack down on illegal drug use have evolved in recent years to encompass everything from television programming to foreign policy.

Salon's exclusive investigative report by Daniel Forbes details the arrangement that White House officials made with Hollywood script writers and high-profile magazines to encourage anti-drug messages in their content, in exchange for financial incentives from the Clinton administration.

Many blame the war on drugs for a host of societal ills, including racial profiling, violation of privacy and civil liberties and a burgeoning prison population. Critics say the only cure for the blight of drug addiction is treatment, not incarceration. But the drug war's defenders say their efforts have brought down drug abuse and the violent crime it engenders.

Meanwhile, America's drug war extends to other drug-producing countries, heavily influencing our policy toward Colombia, Peru and Mexico. How far will the administration go to combat illegal-drug use, and is the war on drugs worth the cost? Read Salon's coverage.

- -- - -- - -- - -- - -- -


Prime-time propaganda
How the U.S. secretly paid Hollywood to put anti-drug propaganda into some of America's most popular TV shows.
By Daniel Forbes

Propaganda for dollars
When the White House and the TV networks got together to put anti-drug messages in prime-time television, were they breaking the law?
By Daniel Forbes

Washington script doctors
How the government rewrote an episode of the WB's "Smart Guy."
By Daniel Forbes

The drug-war gravy train
How the White House rewarded U.S. News, Seventeen and other magazines for publishing anti-drug articles.
By Daniel Forbes

White House blasts Salon
Drug policy spokesman responds to Daniel Forbes' report on the government's anti-drug messages in American media, and Forbes replies.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


When cops become combat troops
The controversial use of force to seize Eli�n Gonz�lez is just business as usual in the war on drugs.
By Bonnie Bucqueroux

U.S. drug policy: Are we doing the right thing?
The White House responds to Michael Massing's critique of the war on drugs, and Massing replies.

"Dead, I can't do anything"
Francisco Santos, a former kidnap victim of drug lord Pablo Escobar, became a symbol of hope for Colombians weary of violence and fear. But when leftist guerrillas ordered him killed, he had to flee to the U.S.
By Ana Arana

"Humanitarian cease-fire" in the war on drugs
A Maine sheriff wants the Legislature to let authorities dole out confiscated pot to people who need medicinal marijuana.
By Fiona Morgan

Drug money
With our foreign policy toward Colombia hog-tied by campaign finance and business interests, the war on drugs could be better waged against Washington.
By Arianna Huffington

Methadone Rx
Your local pharmacy may be the next place to treat heroin addicts.
By Harry Jaffe

Going Dutch Can America learn from the Netherlands' drug policy of tolerance and ambiguity?
By David Downie

The elephant in the room
Presidential candidates are silent on the failure of the U.S. war on drugs.
By Michael Massing

Smoke in his eyes
After Newsweek pulls a story about Gore's pot-smoking past, a former friend speaks out.
By Jake Tapper

Washington, 90210
Defenders of the White House-network drug-ad deal lost the battle of spin.
By Sean Elder

White House defends TV drug-ad deal
President Clinton and allies promote its benefits, while the drug czar gives it partial credit for reduction in teen drug use.
By Fiona Morgan

Is being hooked a choice?
A new book argues that all addictions are a matter of free will, even heroin and coffee.
By Andy Dehnart

Murder in Colombia
American Indians seek to avenge the murder of one of their leaders by leftist rebels.
By Ana Arana

Pot pol
Texas Gov. George W. Bush's Silicon Valley point man, Tim Draper, isn't quiet about legalizing marijuana.
By Mark Gimein

Colombia's powder keg
Washington's ill-conceived policy could hurt human rights and fuel the drug trade.
By Robert D. Lamb

Museum of substance
From opium-addicted housewives to cocaine cough syrup, the Drug Enforcement Administration Museum traces the history of illegal drugs in America.
By Ron Dicker

The real Bush drug scandal
Texas Gov. George W. Bush has presided over a crackdown on first-time drug offenders from poor neighborhoods like Houston's Third Ward Bottoms.
By Debra Dickerson

Class will tell
The Bush cocaine controversy should encourage an overdue debate on why drug abuse among the rich is a "disease" while among the poor it is a "crime."
By Joe Conason

Fixin' under Nixon
A new book examines President Nixon's progressive drug policies and the deevolution of the war on drugs.
By Lori Leibovich

Miami's vice
Crack cocaine is almost dead in many cities, but immigrants, suburbanites and teenagers have kept it alive in South Florida.
By Art Levine

Cracked up
How did a drug whose addictive properties were once compared to potato chips become the scourge of America?
By Maia Szalavitz

Don't go near the mountains
From narco-tours to daily chit-chat about kidnappings, a stay in Cali, Colombia, is a plunge into the surreality of a pleasant nation engaged in an endless war.
By Dawn MacKeen
(02/18/99 )

All in la familia
For people in the Latino community, illegal drugs and the drug trade are woven into the pattern of life -- affecting relatives, friends, loved ones at every level.
By Barbara Renoud-Gonzales

Salon Radio: ACLU's Mike German on new FBI spying powers

Last month, Attorney General Michael Mukasey announced that the FBI -- with four months left in the Bush administration -- was adopting new regulations for itself which would vastly increase its power to investigate and spy on American citizens, on U.S. soil, even in the absence of any suspicion that the targeted citizen is involved in any wrongdoing. My guest today on Salon Radio is former long-time FBI agent and current ACLU Policy Counsel Michael German to discuss those new regulations, why they are both so dangerous and counter-productive, the ways in which FBI Director Robert Mueller is spouting clearly misleading statements to justify them, and what the prospects are for stopping their implementation. Speaking about these new regulations, German said in the interview:
The agents have basically unfettered authority to go out and really conduct invasive investigations against innocent people who have done nothing to give the FBI any level of suspicion that they're doing something wrong, and that's extraordinary. That's a power the FBI hasn't had since J. Edgar Hoover was in charge. And that's something people have to recognize -- there's a reason that the FBI's power was circumscribed, and that's because, when it wasn't, they went far beyond what any reasonable person would have thought they should do. And what people have to realize about that time period is that those investigation were very ineffective.
The discussion is roughly 25 minutes and can be heard by clicking PLAY on the recorder below. A transcript will be posted shortly. For those who want to discuss the bailout, you can do so on the post below, which addresses that issue.

Tasering of mom with baby 'necessary,' police say

Teen mother refused to release her critically ill child for medical care, department says
Gerry Bellett, Vancouver Sun
Published: Saturday, September 27, 2008

VANCOUVER - Vancouver police are defending a decision by officers to Taser a 16-year-old mother who wouldn't hand her baby over to social workers last Monday, saying the officers were afraid to engage in a tug of war with the mother for what they said was a critically ill baby.

However, the great-grandmother of one-month-old Taige said Friday the baby boy was not critically ill.

Doreen Duncan said she saw the baby and his parents -- her grandson Scott Michell, 17, and Misha Peterson, 16, -- the night before the Taser incident.

"They came to my house and I fed the baby and Misha burped him and they were real happy," Duncan said.

"The baby was born with a minor brain condition and they'd checked him out the week before, and the baby was fine. They were told that a scan would be done when the baby gets older and other than that, everything was normal," she said.

Police spokeswoman Const. Jana McGuinness said social workers had come to apprehend the child so he could be taken to hospital and called for police assistance when the mother refused to give the baby up.

"Our members found it necessary to Taser a mentally distraught teenager to save the life of her baby," McGuinness said.

"They felt it was critical for them to intervene as they were afraid the child might be smothered, and they applied the Taser to her arm and upper back and she released the child," she said.

"We couldn't risk a tug of war or a physical struggle with the mother over the child," McGuinness said, adding that the officers were afraid such a struggle would injure the baby.

Duncan said Michell and Peterson had known each other for three years and that Peterson was living in a Vancouver group home. Michell had quit school after the baby was born and had found a job, she said.

It appears that when Peterson didn't report back to the group home with the baby Sunday evening, social workers and the police came looking for her, Duncan said.

"They phoned me and said it was a missing persons case and I told them that everything was fine and that they would likely be at Scott's place," she said.

"Then Scott called later and told me they'd Tasered Misha. They had told him to leave the room and Misha had asked him not to because she was afraid they were going to take the baby. She's never been separated from the baby since it was born," Duncan said.

Negotiations for release of the child had gone on for three hours when the officers intervened, McGuinness said.

"We're talking about a critically ill baby. The actions of the mother led us to believe the baby might be smothered," McGuinness said.

"This is a situation we never want to see -- a mother being separated from her child,"It's traumatic when we use force and we use care, especially when we are dealing with a distraught young mother. The last thing we want to do is use force on a child," she said.

"Some people might criticize our decision, but there was a child's life in the balance here."

But Duncan said the police were wrong to Taser the girl.

"She didn't want to let go of the baby. I don't know why they did that to her. She's a good mother and to get Tasered while she had the baby in her arms -- she's still got the marks on her neck," Duncan said.

Duncan said she saw the couple Thursday evening and both were withdrawn and upset.

"She's quiet and missing the baby. She wanted to know when she's getting the baby back and she's been told she'll only get it back when she earns it.

"How do you earn a baby? She's been told its coming up in court Monday, so now she's concerned they want to keep it," Duncan said.

The incident occurred at a time when police use of Tasers is being questioned across North America following a number of high-profile incidents in which the electrical device was used and victims died.

McGuinness said the incident will be the subject of an internal review.

"We do that on all incidents in which force has been used," she said.


Group accused of voter fraud in San Bernardino County also gets trouble in Ventura County

Charges that a Republican Party voter registration effort is illegally forcing voters to choose the GOP label were leveled by Democratic Party activists Friday, and police were called to shopping centers in Ventura and Oxnard to keep the peace, officials said.

A spokesman for the state Republican Party said the effort is above-board, and he accused Democrats of repeating a pattern from other states of making false accusations against the group, Young Political Majors, to get sympathetic headlines from allegations that never result in formal charges.

Accusations of people being approached by Young Political Majors employees taking a survey or gathering petitions on child sex abusers but then getting registered against their will as Republicans, were filed with the Ventura County District Attorney's Office late Friday afternoon.

"We'll review the matter in conjunction with the elections officials in Ventura County," said Assistant District Attorney Jeff Bennett.

'Really, really upset'

Paid employees of Young Political Majors were accosted outside the Oxnard Wal-Mart store over their party recruitment efforts Thursday and Friday, with a minor scuffle breaking out at one point, said an Oxnard police official.

A shouting match broke out Friday afternoon between the Republicans and activists with Vote Blue, a Democratic-backed group, at the Target store on Main Street in Ventura.

Among the charges leveled by Vote Blue are complaints by at least two people that they were asked to support the petition, only to eventually get postcards from the Ventura County Elections Division confirming they had become card-carrying members of the GOP.

"I was really, really upset," said Ventura resident Tanya Sliger, 37, a medical assistant who said she answered her door to find a Young Political Majors employee with a petition last summer.

"A girl came knocking and told me she was doing a poll for the Republican Party, and I told her over and over I was a Democrat," Sliger said. "I was told I was answering a poll, but she was very sneaky, and I could tell something was up."

Thousand Oaks college student Armon Anderson, 18, said he was approached by a person to sign a petition while studying at Moorpark College. "It was like brainwashing," he said, "and he wouldn't let us register as anything other than a Republican."

Similar allegations

State Democratic spokesman Bob Mulholland said people were told they can sign the anti-child-molester petition only if they switch allegiance to the Republican Party. Even if that is legal, he said, "they absolutely cannot get away with changing party registrations."

But his counterpart for the state GOP, Hector Barajas, said similar allegations have been slung at Young Political Majors in other states and California counties, "and there are never any charges, because there are never any violations. It's easy to make the charge when there is nothing there."

Democrats working for Vote Blue have been collecting evidence and affidavits, said organizer Helen Conly. She said they presented sworn statements from people who had their affiliations changed or who were told they could not sign their names on petitions to oppose child sexual abuse unless they changed their party affiliations.

Barajas said Young Political Majors workers clearly identify themselves as being with the GOP and take at least three steps to make sure that only Republicans are marked down as such.

Young Political Majors owner Mark Jacoby, who has conducted similar registration drives in Florida, Arizona and other states, said his firm will not accept a voter registration form from an employee unless it is accompanied by a signed affidavit on a form bordered with Republican elephants, indicating that the voter understands he or she has chosen the GOP without tricks or pressure.

Political activity allowed

Barajas said Democratic bloggers are following the organizers and urging Democrats to confront the registration drive workers and to demand that store managers oust the Young Political Majors workers from shopping centers.

The state constitution allows political activity at private shopping centers so long as commerce is not affected.

A spokeswoman for the California Secretary of State said her office has a toll-free phone number for people who suspect their party affiliations were changed. It is 800-345-VOTE.

Hearing times changed for 29 Palms base expansion

By Lauren McSherry on September 29, 2008 12:34 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Marine Corps will host public meetings in Twentynine Palms and Victorville next month to inform the public about the legislative withdrawal process for consideration of the proposal to expand the Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Base in San Bernardino County.

The first public meeting is scheduled for Oct. 23, 2008, at Hay's Gym, Twentynine Palms Junior High School, 5798 Utah Trail, Twentynine Palms, Calif. from 4 to 9 p.m. The second meeting is the following day, Oct. 24, at Hilton Garden Inn, 12603 Mariposa Road, Victorville, Calif. Two meeting times are scheduled at the Victorville location, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Both meetings are scheduled to provide the public the broadest opportunities to attend, according to Roxie Trost, BLM Barstow Field Manager.

A notice published Sept. 15, 2008, segregated the public lands involved for two years, making them unavailable for settlement, sale, and location of claims under the mining laws. However, the lands remain open to public access and recreation use. A 90-day comment period closes Dec. 15, 2008.

The notice, available online at www.blm.gov/ca, also explains the withdrawal process. After the comment period, the Marine Corps will prepare a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for further public review to identify a range of alternatives for meeting the Corps' training requirements and analyzing the environmental impacts.

"We realize members of the public have concerns and questions about the proposed withdrawal and what the segregation means," said Trost. "These meetings will provide a first-hand opportunity to have the proposal and subsequent opportunities for full public involvement explained," she said.

The Department of the Navy, as required by the 1958 Engle Act, filed an application requesting the Secretary of the Interior to process a proposed withdrawal of public lands for military training and exercises involving the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms. The proposal seeks to withdraw approximately 366,000 acres of federal public land and, if eventually acquired, approximately 72,000 acres of non-federally owned property within the proposed withdrawal area.

San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos News Stories

I have been trying to put together a page on DA Michael Ramos finances and other links to local politicians but it has proved to be a challenge. Here's what I have came up with so far off of google.

Ramos, began his second four-year term as San Bernardino County district attorney, was elected to the office in 2002; he was re-elected in 2006 after running unopposed.

A couple of older newspaper stories,

Attorney's job to be restored -Man fired by Ramos wins in court
12/23/2006 San Bernardino Sun
San Bernardino County has agreed to pay nearly $300,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by a prosecutor who claimed District Attorney Michael A. Ramos wrongly fired him. Grover D. Merritt will also get back his old job as head of the district attorney's appellate unit, per the settlement approved this week. "I'm happy it's over," Merritt said. "I'm happy it's settled. I hope we can get back to normal."
Ramos fired Merritt in October 2004, ostensibly over allegations Merritt leaked confidential details of two high-profile cases to a newspaper reporter. This came despite the reporter having filed a sworn declaration stating Merritt was not his source. Merritt also denied the allegations, claiming he was axed because he had been critical of Ramos' administration and because Ramos feared Merritt would run against him in the 2006 election for district attorney.
Merritt further claimed Ramos had previously tried to dissuade him from running for district attorney by offering to help him become a judge. An arbitrator ruled in July 2005 that Ramos did not have evidence to support firing Merritt.
Ramos rehired the veteran prosecutor shortly afterward, but did not return him to his old job as head of the appellate unit. In October 2005, Merritt sued the county, Ramos, and Assistant District Attorney Mike Risley in federal court alleging civil-rights violations, wrongful termination, defamation and infliction of emotional distress.
The case was headed toward trial before the settlement.
Per the settlement, details of which were made public on Thursday, Merritt will receive $297,500 from the county, in addition to the back pay he has already received for the time he was out of work. He will also return to his old job as lead appellate attorney for the District Attorney's Office. The county, Ramos and Risley admitted no wrongdoing.
Ramos' spokeswoman, Susan Mickey, said Ramos would not comment on the settlement, but she did offer a brief comment on behalf of the district attorney. "We're anxious to put this behind us and move forward," Mickey said.
Merritt has worked as a prosecutor for 18 years. He was named prosecutor of the year in 2002 and is widely admired by colleagues for his legal acumen and work ethic. He has previously served on the board of directors of the California District Attorneys Association. Merritt gained widespread publicity for his work on an appeals case that resulted in the the U.S. Supreme Court upholding the state's three-strikes law.

Reinstated prosecutor sues DA, alleges politics fueled firing

COUNTY: The suit accuses Michael Ramos of firing a likely rival he earlier suggested a judgeship to.

Friday, October 14, 2005

By JOHN F. BERRY / The Press-Enterprise
San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos dangled a judgeship to dissuade Grover Merritt from running for his job in 2006, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court this week.
"Ramos intimated that if (Merritt) applied for the judgeship, he would receive it," court papers show. "This unusual discussion appeared to be a thinly veiled offer ... if (Merritt) would not consider running against Ramos."
The district attorney's office, through spokeswoman Susan Mickey, declined to comment Thursday about the lawsuit, which alleges that Ramos conspired to fire Merritt. Merritt is suing Ramos as well as Assistant District Attorney Michael Risley and San Bernardino County for undetermined damages.
Grounds cited for the suit include defamation and emotional distress plus violations of labor and civil-rights laws. Geoffrey Hopper, the Redlands lawyer representing Ramos, Risley and the county, could not be reached for comment Thursday.
The lawsuit alleges that the conversation between Ramos and Merritt occurred in early July 2004, three months before Ramos, who has ties to Gov. Schwarzenegger, fired Merritt ostensibly for leaking sensitive information to the media in two high-profile cases. Merritt, although interested in the judiciary, rejected Ramos' offer, believing it was based on the assumption that Merritt planned to run for district attorney, court papers said.
"Ramos decided he would neutralize (Merritt) as a potential opponent," the suit said.
Merritt was placed on administrative leave in August 2004 and fired that October.
He filed a claim in excess of $1 million against the county in April, claiming injury to his reputation and emotional distress. The county rejected the claim, clearing the path for the lawsuit, filed last week in federal court in Riverside.
A county Civil Service Commission officer ruled in July that the district attorney's office had failed to substantiate its allegations and that Merritt must be given his old job back.
Merritt returned to work in August but not to the same job.

Memo probe a priority, DA says
COLONIES: An investigation into who leaked the information is expected to end soon.
June 19, 2005, The Press-Enterprise
By the Fourth of July, prosecutors expect to complete an inquiry into who illegally leaked information about multi-million-dollar settlement talks with real estate developers, District Attorney Mike Ramos said Saturday. "I've asked my staff to make this a priority so we can get to the bottom of this as soon as possible," Ramos said by phone.
Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Postmus requested the probe last week, Ramos said. Postmus' chief of staff, Brad Mitzelfelt, confirmed that Postmus asked for the investigation. But the request did not name anyone as the suspected culprit, Mitzelfelt said. The investigation is being conducted by a prosecutor who specializes in cases involving public office holders.
In this case, the issue involves the disclosure of San Bernardino County's effort to settle a long-running lawsuit over a flood-control basin for the Colonies, a 434-acre commercial and residential development in Upland. According to a confidential memo obtained by The Press-Enterprise, Supervisors Postmus and Paul Biane personally tried to negotiate a settlement with the principals of the project on March 25, after both sides sent their lawyers out of the room.About an hour later, they struck a tentative agreement that would have had the county pay the Colonies more than $77 million, the memo said. A formal settlement has not been reached.
Two issues are under investigation, said Ramos. The threshold question is whether any confidential information was wrongfully leaked. If so, the final question is whether the action amounted to a crime, or simply a personnel/policy issue for the Board of Supervisors and the county administrative office.
"It sounds to me like it would be in the area of our governments code section that talks about releasing private documents by a public official," Ramos said. "It could be anywhere from a misdemeanor to a felony."
Supervisor Dennis Hansberger said he's careful never to reveal information that, by law, is confidential.
"If there's any member of the board who doesn't leak stuff, it's me," he said. "And I don't carry on conversations outside closed sessions (except) ... with members of the board, staff or someone who's pertinent to the (closed-session) conversation."
He acknowledged that he and Postmus disagree about how the Colonies matter should be handled. So Hansberger said he was careful to meet with county counsel to learn exactly what he can and can't say publicly.
"I can give my ... opinion on the subject," he said. "What I can't talk about is things I have (learned) from confidential attorney-client information.
"And that would include such things as whether we'd made an offer to settle."
But Hansberger said he's within his rights to publicly object to what he said is Biane's practice of meeting with developers on issues that involve pending litigation.
That's the role of lawyers, said Hansberger. Biane could not be reached Saturday for his opinion.
As for the Colonies negotiations, Hansberger emphasized that the board had authorized Postmus and Biane -- along with the county's lawyers -- to meet with the developers. But after the meeting began, Hansberger said, attorneys for both sides were dismissed from the room, leaving the negotiations to be conducted by the two board members and two developers.
The only other person in the room, he said, was former state Sen. Jim Brulte.

San Bernardino Sun Voice of the People
February 9th 2005
Ineffective DA
Murders are soaring. The crime rate has significantly increased in San Bernardino. Yet District Attorney Michael A. Ramos is more worried about pleasing his political backers than protecting the public.
Ramos told the audience of a January 19th 2005, Sunrise Rotarians meeting in Redlands that he had been pressed to go easy on retired Sheriff Floyd Tidwell. Then Ramos said he didn't say it. We know he said it, because we heard him say it. The result of Tidwell's prosecution also corroborates that Ramos folded to political pressure. He has a history of preferential prosecution.
For example, the District Attorney's office spent an astonishing sum of almost $3 million to prosecute Jane Un, who got to plead guilty to "disturbing the peace," an insignificant misdemeanor, and she gets to keep her developers license. Take the case of Jaime Alvarez, accused of ripping of HUD for thousands of dollars of public monies, for which the District Attorney's Office spent tens of thousands in public money to prosecute, only to have the case swept under the rug. Take the cases of bail bondsmen (sons of Floyd Tidwell) who have been charged with several felonies for fraud and conspiracy, only to plead guilty to insignificant misdemeanors.
It is clear that if you made contributions to Ramos' campaign, you can get away with ripping off the public without fear of prosecution. I did not vote for Ramos, because I knew he lacked the experience, nor did I trust him. Now, I know I was right.
He took on more than what he could handle and is lacking integrity. As a consequence, justice has taken a beating. Ramos is the worst DA this county has ever seen.
Hector Sarabia
San Bernardino

Rotarians: DA says pressure exerted in case of ex-sheriff
January 25th 2005
By GEORGE WATSON, San Bernardino sun Staff Writer
Did politically powerful players pressure District Attorney Michael A. Ramos to back off on his prosecution of retired Sheriff Floyd Tidwell? During a 30-minute speech Jan. 19 in Redlands to the Sunrise Rotarians, Ramos told the approximately 40 attendees that he had been pressed to go easy in the case or his political future would be sunk, said several audience members, including a councilwoman and a business owner."Internally, he didn't disclose exactly what happened or who was involved,' said Redlands Councilwoman Pat Gilbreath, a Sunrise member. "From what I can understand, there was some pressure put on him. I think he created a lot of animosity.'
In an intriguing twist, Ramos denies making the comments.
Audience members misinterpreted his words, said the 47-year-old former Redlands school board member, because they overly support him as a former Sunrise member. If anyone had pressured him, Ramos said, he would have prosecuted the person. "Believe me, it would be easier to say I said it,' Ramos said. "It would make me look better. But I'm just telling you the truth. They just took it wrong.'
The ex-sheriff's sentencing in the case involving the theft of 523 guns valued at thousands of dollars from the sheriff's evidence room has drawn heavy criticism for its leniency. There was no jail time. Ramos has said it was a difficult case and that the plea agreement took into account Tidwell's 30 years of service to San Bernardino County. He served as sheriff from 1983 to 1991.
Tidwell, known as a tobacco-spittin' rattlesnake-tough leader fond of wearing cowboy hats, was placed on three years' probation and fined $10,000. Other county employees have gone to prison for stealing a single item.
At the same time, it appears authorities have no interest in starting an internal investigation into the Sheriff's Department to ferret out who leaked word of the original search warrant to Tidwell.
"We need to move on,' Ramos said. "We need to move forward.'
A retired detective who supervised the Tidwell case believes the leak, which is a felony and calls for up to one year in county jail or state prison, occurred at a senior administrative level.
Dark clouds of corruption have long hovered over San Bernardino County, a place known for backroom deals and other forms of malfeasance for profit in a land ripe for development and growth.
When Ramos ran for his post in 2002, one of his key campaign platforms centered on bringing integrity and credibility to the job. He defeated the incumbent, Dennis Stout, who came under criticism for his role in a corruption investigation in 2001 that brought down a supervisor and other county officials.
Some consider Ramos as a potential replacement for Rep. Jerry Lewis, R-Redlands, who like Ramos is a Redlands native.
Gilbreath said she wasn't surprised Ramos encountered some flak because elected leaders frequently run afoul of politically powerful people. Others said Ramos' comments made them proud. "I left feeling that he's got a lot of guts to go in there, no matter what it did to his career,' said Cheryl Evans, a Sunrise member and owner of a Redlands beauty salon. "I left feeling so good.'
Like many of the Sunrise Rotarians, Evans has had an affinity for Ramos and contributed to his campaign. Ramos' remarks made her reconsider the amounts she has given, she said. "I said to myself, 'I'm not giving this guy enough money,' ' Evans said.
Not everyone shared such positive feelings.
The District Attorney's Office, along with the Sheriff's Department and Superior Court Judge J. Michael Welch, who heard the case, have been looked at more skeptically since the Tidwell case.
Mike Cardwell, a former deputy chief in the Sheriff's Department who retired last year, has criticized Sheriff Gary Penrod and "administrators in the DA's office' for what he perceived as having little interest in prosecuting Tidwell.
Cardwell has been particularly galled by the lack of an investigation into who leaked the search warrant to Tidwell. He suggested convening a grand jury, granting Tidwell immunity and ordering him to tell who tipped him off or face another criminal charge.
Deputy District Attorney Cheryl Kersey, praised by Cardwell for her tenacity in the case, said it hasn't happened because "quite frankly, I don't think (Tidwell will) ever tell us.' Tidwell would only face a contempt charge, a misdemeanor, and would unlikely face prison time, she said.
It's necessary to investigate, Cardwell argued, because alerting Tidwell to the search warrant eliminated investigators' chances to surprise the ex-sheriff, giving Tidwell ample time to take pre-emptive action. "The case might have been able to take a whole different turn,' Cardwell said. "There's no telling what we could have found.' Cardwell believes the leak was made at a senior administrative level because few people knew detectives planned to serve Tidwell with the search warrant.
Detectives were still writing their affidavit, the precursor to the warrant, when they informed their supervisor of their intentions, he said. The supervisor then informed someone on a senior level, he said, because getting a search warrant on the former sheriff's residence could be touchy. "We don't think it took long for whoever tipped off Floyd,' Cardwell said.
While interviewing Penrod, Cardwell asked the sheriff if he knew who had leaked the search warrant. Penrod answered no, Cardwell said.
Penrod was not available for comment Tuesday, said Robin Haynal, a sheriff's spokeswoman who declined to discuss the search warrant leak issue. "I don't even know anything about that,' she said tersely.
Cardwell has two potential suspects in mind but says he cannot prove who leaked the information.
"Certainly, I would be willing to talk to the DA's office,' he said. "And so would the investigators.'
An expert on authorities policing themselves said she was not surprised by the results because they often fail to adequately conduct internal investigations. "It's absolutely important because when it's not, it's just a continuation of the code of silence,' said Carol Watson, a retired civil rights attorney and former president of the Los Angeles chapter of the National Lawyers Guild.

1st Amendment Black Hole Award goes to San Bernardino County

About this Entry


Claremont, Inglewood and officials in San Bernardino County were cited Saturday by the California First Amendment Coalition for their "blatant disregard" for open government and First Amendment laws.

Each year, the coalition confers its Black Hole Award to government agencies or individuals whose actions stifle public participation in government and violate public records and public access laws.

"This year's Black Hole winners are truly losers to the extreme. San Bernardino County has become a place where speaking your mind can land you in jail, and the cities of Inglewood and Claremont have aggressively attacked critics and steadfastly refused to release clearly public information to citizens and even to an elected Inglewood City Council member," said Kent Pollock, CFAC executive director.

The Black Hole Award gets its name from a heavenly body that not only emits no light but tends to swallow nearby sources of illumination. The awards were announced Saturday at the Fifth Annual First Amendment Assembly held at California State University, Fullerton.

San Bernardino County Supervisors, District Attorney Dennis Stout and Mayor Judith Valles were cited "For the county's extraordinary series of arrests, prosecutions and jail sentences targeting several citizens for exceeding speaking time limits and talking out of turn or 'off-topic' at public meetings."

The Inglewood City Council was cited "For its extraordinary disregard for the informational needs of its residents, and for its aggressiveness in isolating one of its own members who tries to get financial and other accountability information to the public."

And Claremont received a Black Hole Award "For its campaign of intimidation, disinformation and unlawful secrecy, often in response to criticism of official policy, designed to reduce the public's knowledge of and involvement in their local government."

The actual awards will be presented to the agencies at upcoming council and supervisors' meetings by CFAC General Counsel Terry Francke. Here are the details of each award:


For the county's extraordinary series of arrests, prosecutions and jail sentences targeting several citizens for exceeding speaking time limits and talking out of turn or "off-topic" at public meetings.

The most extreme case involves Jeff Wright, currently facing recommitment to jail after serving two confinements totaling most of a year for a series of assertive but nonviolent exchanges with public bodies in the county. District Attorney Dennis Stout's office, arguing that Wright was released too early last month, began recommitment proceedings after the homeless man told the board of supervisors that one of its members, up for re-election next month, should be in jail himself. That supervisor has admitted accepting leisure trips paid for by a bond underwriting firm that landed lucrative work from the county in recent years, but has settled a civil action brought against him by paying $7,500 to the county.

The nearly two year jail sentence the district attorney says is Wright's debt to society also contrasts with the year and a day to which another county official-the former investment officer-was recently sentenced in federal court for conspiring to accept bribes in return for contracting favors.

Wright's most recent time in jail was ordered after he was found to have violated probation for earlier convictions concerning speech at public meetings. His "last straw" offense consisted in questioning San Bernardino Mayor Judith Valles about how limits on citizens' speaking time were being applied. At the meeting in question he had intended to speak for three minutes on each of three items on the city council's agenda, but was told after three minutes that his time was up because action on the three items had been combined under a single motion. He questioned the mayor for clarification of this ruling, she adjourned the meeting and explained it to him, and the matter ended there-except that weeks later he was taken back to court and found guilty of violating terms of his probation and ordered to jail. When he protested the sentence-"This is a ripoff of the taxpayers!"-SuperiorCourt Judge John Wade summarily added five days to his sentence.

Wright's stringof offenses leading to his officially estimated cumulative sentence of almost two years includes one at a supervisors' meeting at which the agenda included a proposal to charge a fee for commercial filming or videotaping in the county. Wright asked if the fee would apply to a rock music group's videotaping of its own concert, and his comment was ruled out of order. Another incident supporting his jail time was a case of mistaken identity in which he was seized by four deputies in the county administration building after another man was reported to have uttered a threat. Wright spent 17 days in confinement awaiting his trial and conviction, not on the threat allegation, but on a charge of interfering with a peace officer.

Earlier this year the city of San Bernardino attempted to get a permanent injunction keeping Wright away from Mayor Valles by distances that would have made it hazardous for him to navigate city hall. The permanent order was denied after the mayor admitted that its basis had been an isolated incident and did not cause her to fear him.

That incident-Wright's angry confrontation with the mayor-had occurred when he learned that after ordering him removed from a meeting she had told a newspaper that he liked to be thrown in jail and wanted to be a martyr.

Bob Nelson, another gadfly, is facing a reduced jail sentence for refusing to leave the speaker's podium at a supervisor's meeting, in protest over his perception that the citizen comment limitations were being unfairly and arbitrarily applied. An attempt to jail him for a full year was abandoned after the appellate panel of the superior court ruled that he had not, as charged by the district attorney, resisted arrest, but had exited the meeting quietly when taken into custody. His ongoing complaint is the supervisors' propensity to pack the consent agenda with scores of items-some of them quite controversial-and yet allow citizens only three minutes to comment on them all.

Also this summer, activist Shirley Goodwin was removed from a supervisors' meeting and arrested after making three one-sentence comments from the audience, each challenging how limits on speakers' time and topic restrictions had been imposed on two other citizens and herself.

Board of Supervisors Chairman Jon Mikels, as well as county prosecutors, say the punished speakers have only themselves to blame, and there is no doubt that these citizens are extraordinarily adamant and occasionally abrasive in pressing their issues before elected bodies. But we are aware of no other county where a citizen's insistence on getting official attention risks a greater loss of liberty than a public official's readiness to accept contractors' favors.

D. Pankey's web site about corruption in the SB courts


The California Justice Systems, both civil and criminal have corrupt officials in offices from San Bernardino County to the State Supreme Court. This web site will detail with known names of these criminal officials and cite the evidence that proves my accusations fully. Another site under construction will deal District Attorney Dennis Stout and with Superior Court judges that support his criminal acts. This site is:
http://hometown.aol.com/padinko/myhomepage/profile.html This web site will concentrate on judges named in Workers Compensation at lower level. Others, such as those in higher Courts are not known, like so many others in public office their stench is so high no names are listed, but their corruptness is clearly shown when they ignore the lies of David Bjelland, for example. This judge records two defense witnesses who disagree: Marinis says Tamimi helped me. Tamimi says Tamimi did not. One has lied. Bjelland calling both and all truthful has lied. Anyone who then accepts his word when it is shown he lied over and over is clearly not fit for public service. I have made these accusations in letters to all these crooks and the only reason I am not sued is because I can prove them. This web site will be under construction and will remain open so that public can read entries daily as I make them. Bear with me and eventally you will find data on corrupt judges and others in California. Meanwhile, continue and then go to: http://members.aol.com/dpankey/advice/index.htm . Thank you and please check back later.
I am not a lawyer but represented Susan Riegel in Workers Compensation cases SBR 0176674, SBR 0169010, SBR 0250789 against the San Bernardino City Unified School District (hereafter referred to as SD) before Judge David N. Bjelland using 22 days from 1995/97. First of all, only one incident cited in trial by defense had any thing to do with either the stress claim of February 1990 or the later back injury of August 22, 1990. That was the events on the day of the back injury. Records show we did not enter any of the evidence or exhibits to support any injury claim as the corrupt District Attorney has lied and charged. We entered evidence only to show others were lying. I challenge anyone I accuse of lying to prove they are not. Dennis Stout's conduct will be more fully covered in another web site. The attorney defending the SD was Philip A. Mark. Principal witnesses called by defense were Riegel's boss Frank Ayala, Jerilynn Westendorf, Esther Juarez, Cindy Tamimi, Patty Marinis, Shirley Nicholson, Deputy Sheriff Dale Gregory, Dave Vineyard, Joe Woodford, Starr Pease, and in 1997, a witness I had on my list he did not, in addition to all witnesses Mark had listed, Arlene Wilmes. We also called Mark and myself as witness. Mark was questioned also by another attorney from his law firm, who knew Mark was lying and thus will be counted among these crooks. We also listed all witnesses, all doctors and all the evidence Mark had listed even though we were not going to submit it unless he didn't as the SD had all evidence already. We did submit answering machine tape to prove Gregory had called and harassed Riegel. Mark was unaware Riegel had copied all her official personnel records up to 1992. He was caught again and again in lies. Evidence shows he repeatedly conspired with others to change, add to, or create false documents that lacked the Personnel Office date stamps showing they were once in official records. We did not submit our copies as the ones in the Court documents should have been the same. We were forewarned by a Dwayne Murphy, a State paid employee to insure fairness, who fully knew the corruptness of Mark and Bjelland, but who had never seen one item of the evidence, we could never win. This official has failed to do his job and I yet have dated proof of this, as I do of other incidents that have never been revealed. For example, I can prove Arlene Wilmes never said her wedding date, yet we find one in her testimony. Bjelland knew this, he added it to his summary of her testimony. I can prove it is her voice as we have the other tapes Mark made of her voice. We have tapes that show Dr. Carl Murask lied Riegel sat through his interview and never took a break. We have copies of that interview, continued to when Riegel joined me and others outside office and then on into bathroom where a toilet flush is heard. We have other evidence that I have stated in letters I take my Fifth Amendment rights on. When Mark could not find a local crook doctor to lie at his rate, he paid for a limousine at her dispoal to take Riegel to San Gabriel to see Murasak. I went to see him also but before Riegel and insured she did not go alone. All doctors reports are beyond belief. You will see all have lied, even when they had correct data. Beware the crooks Dr. Carl Murasak, Dr. Harvey Wieseltier, and Dr. Harvey Oshrin.
The felonies that Dennis Stout, San Bernardino County DA later in 1999 falsely charged Riegel with is fraud, five counts of Penal Code 1874. This code makes it a felony to illegal to make a false statement to support or deny a claim, both punishable by same penalty. Note 'to deny'. The records will show Bjelland allowed defense witnesses to lie openly, disputing their own or that of other defense witness earlier testimony, to change testimony at will, to lie in the face of evidence, and lied himself openly to deny claims. For example, Mark lied under oath he did not get Discovery (Riegel's personnel records) from SD until around December 23, 1995 as reason he gave it to us on first day of actual trial, January 1996. He denied ever making and giving doctors false data in what were titled medical summaries. He said he often made and then titled 'excerpts' but had not to anyone in these cases. Mark was unaware he had sent some evidence to one of the four previous incompetent attorneys Riegel had, who passed it on to her. After he had lied under oath he had not sent a Dr. Harvey Wieseltier personnel records and thus had to have had before 1995, I entered the Wieseltier December 10, 1990 letter in which Wieseltier acknowledges to Mark reicept of the two sets Mark had sent. Mark had lied. I showed the medical summaries with his mark he had to admit was his. He had lied. Bjelland says all defense witnesses were truthful, while it is he who signed that they had stated in summaries the very lies I am relating. He added statements never spoken. He omitted key evidence, such as Vineyard's answer, "to print one page required twenty seconds". The letter denying back injury claim was signed and sent Riegel on October 4, 1990 by Jerilynn Westendorf. This witness could not produce or cite the doctor's report she lied she had used to deny claim. She had none. She had lied to deny claim. The DA knows this, but becomes an accomplice to this. I have informed him personally. She had caused this lie to be entered in evidence. She then placed the decision to deny on Mark. This is irrefutable evidence of a proven fraud . This is a proven conspiracy. This is submitting false evidence by these three. DA and Bjelland all ignored, condoned, and abetted these crimes. Both also ignored that the valid doctors report Westendorf had kept in the records actually said injury was job caused. It was not copied by Riegel as they illegally kept two sets of records. Both crooked judges and DA have ignored that Mark paid an additional $1500.00 in 1995 to get it changed over my objection. Other officials have improperly allowed. I have letters sent by certified mail to prove they knew. Neither DA, Bjelland or Mark can cite with proof Riegel has ever lied, not once. Where they have attempted will be covered when DA Dennis Stout is positively shown to be a vile criminal. In fact, none of these crooks have ever stated where any reference to evidence, to where any statement or fact, is to be found, such as page, paragraph, or line number to support a statement made by any of these lying crooks. Bjelland is found a liar by his one attempt on the 72-hour hold he lied about. This is irrefutable evidence. One other such clearly false statement is that Vineyard said Riegel printed out an invitation, but you will never see where it states this will be found. It won't be found. Vineyard has never said it. He never said it in 1997. He never said it in 1999. He found times events happened and since four defense witnesses and Riegel give times she was nowhere near her computer and thus she could not have done this It shows five and more people, in trial alone including Bjelland lied. Four of these people lie again in 1999. I cited page, etc. where it is found that he denied that, but Mark could not find and did not cite one place where evidence can be found. I will cite references later and will send to anyone who requests by e-mail where any evidence proving false anything he cites can be found. I will send actual copies. What are odds three people who lied Vineyard confronted Riegel will say exactly same words, "and she turned really red?" What are chances all witnesses will describe Riegel with same word as "bizarre?" What are odds all will say "she looked stiff, swollen and bruised?" every word and word order being the same? Mark coached all to lie. Bjelland said Riegel has lied she was never held on a 72-hour hold in Ward B. He cited the November 24, 1988 hospital report as proof. What does it show? NOT ADMITTTED, showing this judge, and actually Mark who drafted Bjellland's Finding of July 29, 1997, have again lied. Credibility of both is totally shot. In this finding Bjelland orders SD to file fraud charges against Riegel. He ignores the numerous admitted in official reports to Westendorf and Mark crimes as criminal trespassing, stalking, peeking into bedrooms at night, etc. of Paul Chance, private investigator. He says Riegel should seek justice in a civil court on Chance.He ignores all the many crimes defense witnesses, of Mark. He actually does not intend charges be filed and has so informed DA and next level Appeals Board he is only intimidating Riegel. This board of unknown persons does not agree with Bjelland who had stated my representation of Riegel was faulty (grounds for another appeal, if so) and most importantly did not go along with filing charges against Riegel. Only when DA become convinced Riegel was not intimidated to drop her claims and I am going to expose this cancer in this county, did he act. When I informed him of my web site, he began wasting the taxpayers money in this criminal prosecution of Riegel. That is why I have written the Board of Supervisors who are aware of his vile acts and do nothing. The facts I relate will show this body, in failing to rein in the DA by refusing to fund these illegal acts, have put this county at risk. Their failure to act adds credence that this County has more corrupt officials than any other. I say Mark actually drafted Bjelland's Finding before end of trial as there are many such screw-ups as the Ward B lie. Mark continued to insist Riegel was a patient there even when the record showed she was not admitted. Another key item ignored was Mark's admission, he felt before any questions were asked would contribute that he had guessed distance he placed on Drawing J. He had read where Riegel had stated she had moved a box about three feet when she felt a sharp pain in he back. That was where he got the idea to falsify Drawing J. He also wanted to show her as being in front of Juarez in August 1990. This is just more evidence of his criminal intent. It backs up Juarez on saying he guessed, who lied about so much other things. I objected to its admission, but knew its measure can never be a legal one as it had no disclaimer. It does not say measure is estimated, it does not say fairly represents. It had no tolerance as no measure can be fully positive. It was a hard and fast measurement of three and one half feet. That's 42 inches, but without the plus/minus amount needed to be legally accurate. He did not expect me to tear it apart and his first question to Marinis and others was if it fairly represented the office. I asked if it was accurate. All lied it was, knowing measurement was only a guess. I knew Marinis did not know what three and one half feet was, even if shown. Her reply to what this was in inches? "I don't have my calculator". Records consistently show others lied and this is ignored by officials all the way to two State attorneys general, governors, past and present, who ignore. I have proof of this. I will notify them of the updated web site.
Riegel worked for the SD as secretary and senior secretary from March 1988 to February 1992. (Court testimony and records by others will falsely state 1987 to May 1991 in an attempt to suit their purposes, such as to cover carelessly fabricated false reports and memos, even after being corrected by us over and over). Riegel, after working for another SD office and competent supervisor since 1988, went to Cajon H.S. in February 1990, when this school was beset with extreme problems and had a principal that failed to restore order. Her performance reports are all outstanding throughout. Efforts were also unsuccessfully made during trial to infer that Riegel had a problem with alcohol. From emphasizing that restuarants she went to also served alcohol, to calling establishments, such as Castaways, Pinnacle Peak, Wackley's, who had food specialties, bars to having false testimony by Marinis that Riegel had invited her to go to bars. This same Marinis is one who said Riegel kept to herself, would not associate with her and others, who lied she feared Riegel, etc. Nowhere is it found or even stated in any official SD document is any problem with alcohol was noted. No record from trial anywhere has any legal medical finding Riegel was intoxicated. Even where any medical record or other report indicates an odor of alcohol present, no medical finding of intoxication is found. Riegel filed a stress claim at Cajon H.S., but later dropped it, with a possibility of refile, for a transfer to the SD offices. Joe Woodford, Personnel Director, admitted objective to fire her after she filed against SD. That February 22 date, Ayala, her boss started an illegal unfavorable file without her knowledge. He carelessly dated it falsely and later he and others swore under oath date as February 2. That Riegel had worked for this time, even not once was counseled for anything, shows the statement of Bjelland, (not entitled to be called anything but corrupt) that she was looking for a convenient hook for her problems, one of this criminal judge's many lies. From that day, when Riegel began immediately to note bad treatment, tolerated it, and still did an outstanding job that even Ayala recorded, false notes, etc. are seen increasing when Riegel did nothing wrong.
On August 22, Riegel injured her back lifting one of three boxes she was told by Ayala to get out of an aisle. Ayala and three others falsely testified boxes were never left in aisles. Wilmes, a defense witness was never coached by Mark on this and testified boxes were. Bjelland lied all were truthful. Juarez was only witness present. In testimony, she stated she, as Riegel, had given a Statement of that afternoon, on August 31, 1990 and had a copy. Bjelland in another of his conspiratory acts, would not order it provided. We later see in 2000 why. It does not follow her testimony. The date given was also a lie, based on evidence we have. She might have actually gave one in 1990, but the only one surfacing so far if rom 1995. Judge and Mark feared we might have a copy somehow and would spring it out to rebut her testimony so Bjelland kept it from us illegally. That this 1990 Statement agreed with her then testimony that even itself then was shown to be false, was further proved false by the illegally withheld 1995 Statement that surfaced in 1999. The felon Dennis Stout's goons provided it. It is certain Mark was not aware in 1999, it was to be given to us. Juarez lied in sworn testimony she was positive she did not see, did not hear, and Riegel did not drop a box or hurt her back that afternoon. She knew then as she testified this certainly was not what she had said in this 1995 Statement that DA also ignored in 1999. Mark and Westendorf also knew because they had approved what was said word for word in a letter even before it was signed. They also withheld it. I have both Statement and the letter. She had said in Statement box drop was so soft she could not hear it and that she could not say Riegel was not injured. Juarez lied Drawing J that Mark in 1996 submitted and Bjelland allowed, was fully in all ways accurate. She then admitted Mark had only guessed the measurement he placed on it and thus that it could never be accurate. Mark then in his Points and Authority admitted in a notarized affidavit, he guessed the distance. This was after he had suborned perjury and violated several other penal codes. This meant several other felonies on his part and anyone else who said Drawing was accurate was lying under oath. Bjelland knew this. Tamimi and Marinis lied it was accurate. Mark also in an affividt admitted getting an employee to eavesdrop, another felony Bjellnd ignored.Juarez lied she was positive Elmer Wilmes never came into the office that afternoon to deliver mail and weigh box as she never took a piss break even. She later changed this, saying he might have come in and she not see. Clearly perjury. She lied Riegel sat in front of her that 8/22 afternoon and that Riegel had moved there after 8/7, and had moved desk position only this once. Then she said that Riegel was there in May 1991, as Riegel was. Then later said she did not know where she sat in April 1991. In front of her in August,never moved again, was still there in May, but Juarez did not know where she sat in April? Bjelland said she was truthful? I see two liars here. She lied several times about seating not mentioned here. She lied Dave Vineyard confronted and accused Riegel of printing an invitation. Tamimi and Marinis also tell this lie and all say exact words "Riegel turned really red." Both Riegel and he deny he ever talked to her at all that day. Bjelland heard this, clearly someone has lied and all defense witnesses cannot have been truthful. Marinis: "Juarez and Tamimi helped me draft memos." Tamimi: "I never did". One has lied.The DA does not charge any of these persons. Bjelland has lied. Nothing he states is to be believed.
On August 23, 1990 Ayala wrote a memo and later falsely testified under oath in 1996 that in May 1990 Riegel had told him she had hurt her back lifting vacuums for Pace store. (Three other witnesses repeated these lies. An official from Eureka said she never worked for Pace, was never injured at work.) She had denied telling Ayala this and the Ayala memo dated May 23 we placed in evidence stated exactly what she said she had stated. She pulled a muscle in April lifting a flower pot at home was what he said she told him. No vacuums, no Pace as others also repeated when Riegel never worked for Pace. Riegel was fully recovered by April 25. Mark then attempted without success to get a Dr. Dark to change his record that said Riegel had cancelled an appointment as she was feeling great. Ayala continued to say she had stated what he falsely testified to, showing his testimony or memo false. He was further proven a liar when another of his memos, September 14, 1990, admits his August 23 story as more lies. He admits again how lifting a flower pot caused muscle pull. Looking at a dentist's note, the actual dental bill, telling of the June 18, 1990 Riegel appointment, he continued to lie she did not go to it. This man is a super liar, will be kicked out of hell just after Mark for lying. He testified she had an altercation with Marinis on October 3 and he had written this in a document. He insisted this was right. He also had written another for her not coming into office at all that same October 3, 1990 date. Pay records and even a calendar showed she was on vacation. He had a calendar he was referring to that I was able to get judge to order provided. It showed vacation and she was not there. He continued to lie and Bjelland allowed. None of the three calendars then in evidence agreed with any other. In 1999, we find that a withheld Westendorf 1995 letter to Mark DA unintentionally provides in 1999 admits SD could not provide accurate records. DA has given me more evidence in 2000 to cite that shows he has become a conspirator. One calendar showed unknown for five days, a falsification Mark initiated in a losing effort to cast Riegel in a bad light. We had notes made by defense witnesses that recorded Riegel's five notices in calls to them. Witness lied they did not know where she was on a certain day, but had to admit initials were their own on notes and they did know. Ayala also wrote Riegel letters of reprimand for failing to come to work, for failure to call in and for calling Tamimi a bitch April 26, 1991. He wrote in second one she had called in and then called again to call her a bitch. Proof she did call in. Mark saw in records a day Riegel was absent and had Ayala write a false memo April 9, 1991 Riegel had called him at 1:00 a.m. A note we had copied showed Tamimi had stated Ayala had called her and stated Riegel had called him in evening of April 8. Ayala had lied again. He lied under oath it was 1:00 a.m. even looking at this evidence. Tamimi in 1997 testimony lied Deputy Gregory had answered a complaint about 10:00 p.m.. In 1999, she confuses her coaching on false testimony. She now says it was at 1:00 a.m.. This was the time Mark had originally coached her to say in 1997. When it was admitted to counter what Ayala had said, she had to agree the note was one she wrote and Mark had removed. Again and again Ayala is shown lying, disputing his own memo writing. Bjelland, DA ignore. Ayala had written a letter saying Riegel had been absent over sixty percent of time and testified to this as he consulted his calendar. I was able to get a copy. That made three SD false calendars that did not agree with even one of the others. In 1999, DA provides us with the letter where Westendorf advises Mark, SD cannot provide true attendance records. Calendars had already proved this.Since this was prior to trial, Mark and she knew these records false yet put them forth as true evidence. More evidence of fraud is thus displayed.
Tamimi and Marinis wrote and orally lied Riegel had made harassing phone calls: while they were at work as they had often seen her dial a number, pause without speaking and hang up. Huh?Tamimi in 1997 testimony lied Gregory came to her house on a complaint about 10:00 on an official complaint. To DA, 1999, it was now at 1:00 a.m.. Gregory was assigned to Loma Linda and told same lie. I personally called Gregory's boss and found no complaint existed, and called for Gregory. He returned my call, I forcefully told him what I had found, that he was harassing Riegel on his own, no complaint existed. In trial, we established Tamimi lived on Redlands Boulevard, in Redlands and in a city Gregory would not be sent to. Tamimi could not state her numbered address in trial, but Bjelland later added one to her summary and also to a transcript. Do judges personally send out transcripts requested? Gregory said he had never talked to Riegel, but talked to an answering machine that night. Tamimi said he got answering machine and then she answered. She said Gregory then laid it on thick to her, explaining there would be a penalty, etc. Gregory could not explain how he would be sent to Redlands when it has it own police force. He lied he did not know what shift he was on. He was on Day Shift and would not be on at 10:00 p.m.. He lied he did not recall ever talking to me. Then changing this, stated later, my call had stuck in his mind as no one had ever talked to him that way. He could not explain why he would allow unlawful interference in what he was testifying was an official investigation. Tamimi also lied and falsified a note at Mark's request, she could hear Riegel in background as Wilmes called in for Riegel. Wilmes, blackmailed as will be discussed later, in 1997 lied under oath she and Riegel had discusssed this call before it was made. In 1999, she now again says they did not ever discuss, it was Wilmes' idea alone to say Riegel had an auto accident and would not be in and Riegel was not in room. This is what she said in a 1996 tape we were never meant to ever hear before Mark blackmailed her in 1997 to testify falsely. Bjelland, refused its admission during trial. Actually a series of tapes, some edited to erase they were secretly recorded that Mark used to blackmail Wilmes to falsely testify. He did order it provided, I believe only when the Presiding Judge, so ordered. It was provided when Mark was out of the US or Mark would have refused to hand it over. Trial had ended when tapes and their transcripts were provided. Wilmes 1999 interviewt shows Tamimi had lied in her note and testimony. The background addition was not on copy of note we had, Mark had them added. Tamimi added "sounds like long distance" on another note when Riegel called in to say she would not be in after the last day of some time off. This was also Mark's doing. He had unaltered copies of all actual notes that were forwarded to Personnel kept by Ayala for his later use. He had Tamimi add this addition in an effort to attempt to show Riegel was not in town when she called. Again Riegel never had any travel restrictions and could have been on the moon if she desired. Copy we had did not have this fabricated addition and Tamimi could not explain how a long distance call sounded in 1991. She could not explain why the Court copy did not have the date stamp our copy did. It was because it was never in Riegel's records. This was a recurring finding, numerous unsuccessful attempts to portray Riegel as falsely representing a situation. Marinis wrote many false memos, but could not explain why she did not ever state in any memo that she over heard Riegel say she was taking prozac. Mark attempted to infer with Marini's false testimony Riegel was taking drugs after seeing prozac prescribed in her records. Riegel denied ever taking prozac although prescribed. She still had every pill of the prescription and Mark checked the data on each pill with Beeman's Pharmacy and found as she stated, she had taken not one of the 25 prescibed. Riegel had medical restrictions against long walking, sitting or standing. Mark attempted to infer Riegel had flown and then rode in a car from Omaha, Nebraska to Iowa. First off, she never had any travel restrictions. She had requested and was seated where she could stand and walk whenever she wanted. Secondly, Iowa is less than five minutes from Nebraska across a bridge. Again and again Mark and Bjelland are shown as the snakes they are. Bjelland, two WC Presiding Judges, DA, Superior Court Presiding Judge, two Civic and Criminal Appelate Courts, two State Attorneys General, two governors and the State Supreme Court all ignore these criminal acts and allow DA to maliciously prosecute Riegel when not one item of evidence exists. Marinis wrote a memo in 1990 in which she states she had seen Riegel pass her house the day before, looking at her house the second time she passed. Just this and nothing else. A note also stated she was seen in the neighborhood of Marinis.In trial, after Mark's coaching she lied Riegel had stalked her, followed her from work, stopped, got out of car, and looked at her mail box, using two minutes to do so and then went on. She said she feared Riegel and other things she had not stated in the memo as one would expect, as Mark often said, "events were fresh in her mind." Riegel said she went there, not knowing Marinis lived there, to look at a house for rent to buy beyod her house. The photos we entered showed what Marinis had said was physically impossible. She could not explain why her May 10, 1991 memo did not state all the things on her street she now stated. Mail box was located over 50 feet from the street, 30 feet up a sidewalk toward her house, and a person would have to park car in a cutout, exit car, and walk up towrd house to look at mail box as she described. Houses were not $300,000 as she had lied, there was a house for sale beyond hers and neither she or antone else had ever passed her house without passing a second time as she lived on a deadend street. Marinis was allowed to run child-like amok in the office as she admitted she ran screaming into office when she lied she had found the altered invitation in her printing. This will be discussed later and will show it was imposssible for this invitation to be found among the 19 pages she printed that day. It will be shown only she, Juarez,or Tamimi could have done this. In process, Aug.29, 2001. In the meantime check out continuing web site: