Sunday, March 31, 2019


Kim Foxx: I welcome an outside review of how we handled the Jussie Smollett case

By Kim Foxx

Chicago Tribune
March 29, 2019

Let’s talk about the Jussie Smollett case. Let’s talk about his alleged actions, the decision about how best to prosecute and resolve the case, and the implications for our Chicagoland community.

There was considerable evidence, uncovered in large part due to the investigative work of the Chicago Police Department, suggesting that portions of Smollett’s claims may have been untrue and that he had direct contact with his so-called attackers. Claims by Smollett or others that the outcome of this case has “exonerated” him or that he has been found innocent are simply wrong. He has not been exonerated; he has not been found innocent.

Falsely reporting any crime is itself a crime; falsely reporting a hate crime is so much worse, and I condemn in the strongest possible way anyone who does that. Falsely reporting a hate crime causes immeasurable harm to the victims of actual crimes, whether because they are less likely to be believed or, worse, because they are afraid to report their crimes in the first place for fear of not being believed.

So, why isn’t Smollett in prison or at least on trial? There are two different answers to this, both equally important.

First, the law. There were specific aspects of the evidence and testimony presented to the office that would have made securing a conviction against Smollett uncertain. In determining whether or not to pursue charges, prosecutors are required to balance the severity of the crime against the likelihood of securing a conviction. For a variety of reasons, including public statements made about the evidence in this case, my office believed the likelihood of securing a conviction was not certain.

In the interest of full transparency, I would prefer these records be made public. However, in this case, Illinois law allows defendants in certain circumstances to request that public records remain sealed. Smollett chose to pursue that avenue, and so my office is barred from releasing those records without his approval.

Another key factor is that the crime here was a Class 4 felony, the least serious category, which also covers things like falsely pulling a fire alarm in school and “draft card mutilation.” These felonies are routinely resolved, particularly in cases involving suspects with no prior criminal record, long before a case ever nears a courtroom and often without either jail time or monetary penalties. Any prosecutor, law-enforcement leader or elected official not grandstanding or clouded by political expediency understands the purpose of sentencing guidelines.

But more important than the dispassionate legal justification, there was another reason that I believe our decision not to prosecute the case was the right one.

Yes, falsely reporting a hate crime makes me angry, and anyone who does that deserves the community’s outrage. But, as I’ve said since before I was elected, we must separate the people at whom we are angry from the people of whom we are afraid. I am angry at anyone who falsely reports a crime. I am afraid when I see a little girl shot dead while sitting on her mother’s lap. I am afraid when I see a CPD commander slain by a four-time felon who was walking the streets. I am also afraid when I see CPD resources used to initially cover up the shooting death of Laquan McDonald.

I was elected on a promise to rethink the justice system, to keep people out of prison who do not pose a danger to the community. I promised to spend my office’s finite resources on the most serious crimes in order to create communities that are both safer and fairer.

Our community is safer in every sense of the word when murderers and rapists are locked away. But we can’t allow fearmongers to devalue the tremendous progress we’ve made in the last year. Since taking office, I’ve sought to employ alternative prosecutions, diversions, alternate outcomes and other forms of smart justice, and it has been working — violent crime in Chicago is down overall. In addition to the benefits of smart justice on recidivism and keeping families together, it also creates bandwidth for my office to dedicate more resources to combating not only truly violent crimes but also the opioid crisis, holding big banks accountable for their actions, protecting consumers from data breaches and other critical work.

Since it seems politically expedient right now to question my motives and actions, and those of my office, let me state publicly and clearly that I welcome an outside, nonpolitical review of how we handled this matter. I am not perfect, nor is any other prosecutor out there, but ensuring that I and my office have our community’s trust is paramount.

As a public figure, Smollett’s alleged unstable actions have probably caused him more harm than any court-ordered penance could. None of that, though, should detract from two facts that must be able to coexist: First, falsely reporting a hate crime is a dangerous and unlawful act, and Smollett was not exonerated of that in this case. Second, our criminal justice system is at its best when jails are used to protect us from the people we rightly fear, while alternative outcomes are reserved for the people who make us angry but need to learn the error of their ways without seeing their lives irrevocably destroyed.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Foxx’s op ed is a Texas blivot – 15 pounds of horseshit in a five-pound sack.


by Bob Walsh

The formerly great state of California may, if all goes well, pass a new law which makes porch piracy the same thing as burglary.

The trouble with that is that burglary of an uninhabited dwelling is barely even as crime any more in CA, and automobile burglary is a cite and release in most places.

So, kicking it up from an inconsequential misdemeanor to a meaningless misdemeanor may not help a whole lot.


by Bob Walsh

Michael Mathisen, 30, and Lauren Wilde, 31, were both drunk when they decided to play hide the salami in one of the gondola cars on the 150 foot tall ferris wheel in downtown Cincinnati. The gondola cars hold up to six people. It seems that there were other passengers, including children, and those other passengers were not amused.

At the end of the 12 minute ride they both got another ride, to the police station. Wilder was RORd. Mathisen was held overnight.

EDITOR'S NOTE: For Christ's sake that was a teachable moment. It taught those kids what the birds and bees are really all about.


Exclusive: With a piece of paper, Trump called on Kim to hand over nuclear weapons

By Lesley Wroughton and David Brunnstrom

March 29, 2019

WASHINGTON -- On the day that their talks in Hanoi collapsed last month, U.S. President Donald Trump handed North Korean leader Kim Jong Un a piece of paper that included a blunt call for the transfer of Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons and bomb fuel to the United States, according to the document seen by Reuters.

Trump gave Kim both Korean and English-language versions of the U.S. position at Hanoi’s Metropole hotel on Feb. 28, according to a source familiar with the discussions, speaking on condition of anonymity. It was the first time that Trump himself had explicitly defined what he meant by denuclearization directly to Kim, the source said.

A lunch between the two leaders was canceled the same day. While neither side has presented a complete account of why the summit collapsed, the document may help explain it.

The document’s existence was first mentioned by White House national security adviser John Bolton in television interviews he gave after the two-day summit. Bolton did not disclose in those interviews the pivotal U.S. expectation contained in the document that North Korea should transfer its nuclear weapons and fissile material to the United States.

The document appeared to represent Bolton’s long-held and hardline “Libya model” of denuclearization that North Korea has rejected repeatedly. It probably would have been seen by Kim as insulting and provocative, analysts said.

Trump had previously distanced himself in public comments from Bolton’s approach and said a “Libya model” would be employed only if a deal could not be reached.

The idea of North Korea handing over its weapons was first proposed by Bolton in 2004. He revived the proposal last year when Trump named him as national security adviser.

The document was meant to provide the North Koreans with a clear and concise definition of what the United States meant by “final, fully verifiable, denuclearization,” the source familiar with discussions said.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The State Department declined to comment on what would be a classified document.

After the summit, a North Korean official accused Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of “gangster-like” demands, saying Pyongyang was considering suspending talks with the United States and may rethink its self-imposed ban on missile and nuclear tests.

The English version of the document, seen by Reuters, called for “fully dismantling North Korea’s nuclear infrastructure, chemical and biological warfare program and related dual-use capabilities; and ballistic missiles, launchers, and associated facilities.”

Aside from the call for the transfer of Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons and bomb fuel, the document had four other key points.

It called on North Korea to provide a comprehensive declaration of its nuclear program and full access to U.S. and international inspectors; to halt all related activities and construction of any new facilities; to eliminate all nuclear infrastructure; and to transition all nuclear program scientists and technicians to commercial activities.

The summit in Vietnam’s capital was cut short after Trump and Kim failed to reach a deal on the extent of economic sanctions relief for North Korea in exchange for its steps to give up its nuclear program.

The first summit between Trump and Kim, which took place in Singapore in June 2018, was almost called off after the North Koreans rejected Bolton’s repeated demands for it to follow a denuclearization model under which components of Libya’s nuclear program were shipped to the United States in 2004.

Seven years after a denuclearization agreement was reached between the United States and Libya’s leader, Muammar Gaddafi, the United States took part in a NATO-led military operation against his government and he was overthrown by rebels and killed.


Last year, North Korea officials called Bolton’s plan “absurd” and noted the “miserable fate” that befell Gaddafi.

After North Korea threatened to cancel the Singapore summit, Trump said in May 2018 he was not pursuing a “Libya model” and that he was looking for an agreement that would protect Kim.

“He would be there, he would be running his country, his country would be very rich,” Trump said at the time.

“The Libya model was a much different model. We decimated that country,” Trump added.

The Hanoi document was presented in what U.S. officials have said was an attempt by Trump to secure a “big deal” under which all sanctions would be lifted if North Korea gave up all of its weapons.

U.S.-North Korean engagement has appeared to be in limbo since the Hanoi meeting. Pompeo said on March 4 he was hopeful he could send a team to North Korea “in the next couple of weeks,” but there has been no sign of that.

Jenny Town, a North Korea expert at the Washington-based Stimson Center think tank, said the content of the U.S. document was not surprising.

“This is what Bolton wanted from the beginning and it clearly wasn’t going to work,” Town said. “If the U.S. was really serious about negotiations they would have learned already that this wasn’t an approach they could take.”

Town added, “It’s already been rejected more than once, and to keep bringing it up ... would be rather insulting. It’s a non-starter and reflects absolutely no learning curve in the process.”

North Korea has repeatedly rejected unilateral disarmament and argues that its weapons program is needed for defense, a belief reinforced by the fate Gaddafi and others.

In an interview with ABC’s “This Week” program after the Hanoi summit, Bolton said the North Koreans had committed to denuclearization in a variety of forms several times “that they have happily violated.”

“We define denuclearization as meaning the elimination of their nuclear weapons program, their uranium enrichment capability, their plutonium reprocessing capability,” Bolton said.

Asked who authored the document, Bolton said it had been “written at staff level and cleared around as usual.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: What the fuck was Trump’s team thinking. Any imbecile would have known that Bolton’s demand was a non-starter.


Bonnie and Clyde were murderous thugs who defecated on murdered cops and my uncle WAS a hero: Nephew of Texas Ranger who killed notorious outlaws praises Kevin Costner movie and blasts Hollywood

Daily Mail
March 30, 2019

Frank Hamer lead a group of law enforcers who tracked and killed the infamous bandits in Arcadia, Texas, in 1934, peppering the lovers and their Ford V8 with 187 bullets.

His great-nephew Harrison Hamer said his family have long been unhappy with their crime-fighting relative's portrayals, which have painted the Texas Ranger as a blundering fool. But Harrison said his family now have the 'justice they deserve' after watching Kevin Costner as Frank in Netflix's The Highwaymen.

In an interview, Harrison said: 'Bonnie and Clyde were no Robin Hoods, as they’ve been portrayed. They were pure and simple murderous thugs. The cruellest of killers. Once, after murdering two officers, Bonnie is said to have walked up to one of the dead men and took a crap on his chest.'


Guatemala Dismantles Ring of Police Moonlighting as Hitmen

By Cat Rainsford

InSight Crime
March 28, 2019

A series of arrests in Guatemala has brought down a criminal group made up of police officers working as drug dealers and hitmen, showing how the country has not been spared from the growing crisis of police criminality across the region.

The network, known as “Los Patrones,” operated across southern and western Guatemala, and was supported by local policemen. “Each [member] controlled their own drug distribution point, while the police agents facilitated the transportation of the illicit substances in exchange for economic benefit,” read a statement by the Attorney General’s Office.

Among the 15 group members captured in Saturday’s operation were the group’s leaders, Miguel Antonio Solán Solis and Sonia Haydee Lainez Aguilar de Salán, a married couple known as “El Patrón” and “La Patrona.”

Donil Vinicio Orozco López, alias “El Más Chingón” (“The Most Awesome”), who headed up the group’s network of police collaborators, was also arrested.

Some 300 members of the National Civilian Police (Policía Nacional Civil – PNC) participated in the operation, which included 30 raids in the departments of Guatemala, San Marcos, Huehuetenango and Escuintla.

InSight Crime Analysis

The dismantling of Los Patrones is the latest operation to reveal the extent of police collaboration with criminal networks in Guatemala. In August 2018, eight policemen were arrested for participation in the “Comando Silencioso” network, which carried out illegal raids in order to steal cash and valuables. The network was associated with the criminal group “Los Marrocos,” which had previously recruited police officers to seize and resell drug shipments.

The alarming incidence of police criminality in Guatemala reflects structural failures within the PNC that appear to have worsened over the last year. Low pay and a lack of opportunities for professional advancement make it ever more tempting for officers to supplement their earnings with criminal activities, a problem exacerbated by corruption and cronyism within the PNC.

In January, a report by the Coalition for Citizen Security and the Centre for National Economic Research revealed that, of 167 police promotions in the period between January and August 2018, 81 percent showed irregularities.

Trends in security policy are compounding the phenomenon. A 2018 report by the Guatemalan Studies Center warned that increasing militarization of public security, particularly since the arrival of Enrique Degenhart as Interior Minister in February 2018, risked further devaluing the PNC and harming the professionalization of the police force.

The problem of police collaboration with organized crime is far from unique to Guatemala. Parallel examples across the region include Brazil’s Escritorio do Crime (Office of Crime), a militia group comprised largely of current and former members of the security forces. In Mexico, the phenomenon has reached epidemic proportions, with 2018 witnessing the decommissioning of entire police forces in Tehuacán and Acapulco due to alleged links with drug trafficking.

The structural factors driving police criminality bear striking similarities across the region, which varying attempts at police reform have failed to resolve. The case of Los Patrones demonstrates that the struggle to build strong, trustworthy police forces remains one of Latin America’s most intractable security problems.


Two dead, 224 injured in clashes along Gaza Border - Palestinian report

By Hagay Hacohen

The Jerusalem Post
March 30, 2019

Two young Palestinians were shot dead by IDF forces during the clashes along the Gaza Border with Israel, the Palestinian Ministry of Health reported on Saturday.

The two men are Mohammed Jehad Sa'ad, 20, and Adham Nedal Amara, 17.

Two hundred and twenty four Palestinian were been injured, including 26 children and eight women. Among the injured were four reporters and three medical staff members, the statement said.

IDF Arabic spokesperson released a video on Saturday as mass protests erupt along the Gaza Strip border in which mothers in the Hamas-controlled territory are warned to "guard the lives of their children."

"A child who throws stones [on IDF troops] is not a hero," the video also said.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh joined the riots along with members of the Egyptian intelligence, Palestinian media reported.

Living conditions under the Radical Islamic terrorist group Hamas had deteriorated so badly young people are willing to join the massive protests in exchange for a sandwich and a promise to have access to free Wi-Fi, Haaretz reported on Friday.

Saturday, March 30, 2019


'I'm proud of you': That’s what Barack Obama told Muslim Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib who drew fire for anti-Semitism and vowed to 'impeach the motherfucker' Trump

By David Martosko

Daily Mail
March 29, 2019

A Democratic congresswoman who vowed in vulgar language to impeach President Donald Trump and later suggested pro-Israel Jewish members of Congress have dual loyalties got a thumbs-up this week from Barack Obama.

The former president 'met with us new members of Congress and we had a thoughtful discussion about serving our country,' Rep. Rashida Tlaib wrote Thursday on Instagram and Twitter.

'The best part was when he looked straight at me and said, "I'm proud of you".'

The posts included a photo of Tlaib and Obama grinning, with the former president's arm around her. Tlaib spokesman Denzel McCampbell told that it was taken Monday night.

Obama tweeted about the event on Tuesday, writing that the new Democratic House freshmen are 'a young, diverse class, stocked with a bunch of my campaign and administration alums who’ve taken the torch. This group is going to be driving progress for a long time to come.'

Tlaib is one of just three Muslim members of Congress.

She was photographed at an event in January posing with Abbas Hamideh, a Palestinian activist who has praised the Hamas and Hezbollah terror organizations, equated pro-Israel Jews to Nazis and claimed Israel has no right to exist.

'Yes, I am Muslim and Palestinian. Get over it,' Tlaib tweeted amid that controversy.

She also supports the 'Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions' (BDS) movement, which aims to economically isolate Israel.

According to The Times of Israel, however, her official website is built on Wix, an Israeli-owned platform.

American Jewish leaders condemned her in January after she suggested that lawmakers who supported an anti-BDS measure held dual loyalties.

'They forgot what country they represent,' Tlaib tweeted at the time. 'This is the U.S. where boycotting is a right & part of our historical fight for freedom & equality.'

Questioning the national loyalty of American Jews is an age-old anti-Semitic canard meant to attack their patriotism.

Tlaib has also been criticized for following an Instagram account called 'free.palestine.1948,' a name referring to the year of Israel's founding.

That account routinely posts anti-Semitic memes that compare Jews to rats, call them a 'plague' and suggest moneyed Jews control the U.S. news media.

One image on the account directly compared Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Adolf Hitler and suggested he was behind the 9/11 terror attacks.

When challenged about the account's content this year, its owner responded: 'Haha make me laugh fuck you and fuck israhell […] you wankers will never like the truth.'

Tlaib first burst onto Americans' radar just hours after she was sworn in as a Michigan congresswoman, when she was videotaped at a party saying that she had promised her young son that Democrats would remove President Donald Trump for power.

'We're going to impeach the motherfucker,' she said.


by Bob Walsh

Yesterday news stories popped up about a young lady accusing former V. P. Joe "Bite-Me" Biden of walking up behind her, grabbing her shoulders and kissing her on the neck without her consent. This allegedly took place about three years ago.

Joe denies any recollection of any such incident. Since he is about 130 years old he may be telling the truth. He also said he was sorry if he made anybody feel uncomfortable with anything he has ever done at any time during his whole life. He has been on an apology tour for the last couple of weeks apologizing for every piece of legislation he ever supported in his entire political career, which goes back to the Herbert Hoover administration I think.

I wonder if he is in any actual trouble over this. I sure hope so, just because.


by Bob Walsh

U. S. District Court Judge Roger Benitez struck down the standard factory capacity magazine ban (often referred to as high-capacity magazines because they hold more than ten rounds) as unconstitutional. Arguments against the ban cited numerous instances where citizens defending themselves from armed home invasions were at a severe disadvantage against the bad guys. Judge Benitez also had a serious problem with the law turning thousands of honest law-abiding citizens into criminals for possessing something they bought legally and that the state wanted to take without compensation.

The requirement came along in 2016 with the passage of Proposition 63, something that was pimped for heavily by our former and our current governor both. Newsom had a hissy-fit over the ruling.

The case, Duncan V. Becerra, may be appealed according to the A. G., Xavier Becerra, who is also a liberal asswipe who wouldn't know the U. S. Constitution and Bill of Rights if they walked up and bit him on the ass. Which they sort of just did.


by Bob Walsh

Nicholas Cage has been married for four days, to a makeup artist, Erika Koike. He asserts that he was so wasted that he did not realize what he was doing. He further asserts that he was not aware of her criminal background at the time.

Hell, this might even actually work.


I Think He Probably is

by Bob Walsh

Donald Trump announced yesterday that, if the Mexican government does not act to shut down illegal immigration from their end he will shut the border down (not saying exactly what he means by that).

I personally think he means it. It is hard to say if he intends to shut down all traffic at border crossings, only personal traffic, traffic going INTO Mexico as well, or what. That being said I strongly suspect that he will do SOMETHING fairly massive and demonstrative.

Mexico, predictably, announced that they do not react well to threats. No problem. I don't think Trump is threatening. I think he is warning. And I think he will carry it out.

Furthermore, I think he SHOULD do so. We are being SWAMPED with illegal border jumpers. Our system can not cope any more. Fuck them all, shut it down.


by Bob Walsh

Rahm Emanuel, a major Barack Obama road-dog and general purpose liberal asswipe, shifted gears on Thursday and blamed Donald Trump for Jussie Smollett's crimes, and declared Chicago to be a Trump-free zone.

He specifically blamed Trump for creating a "toxic environment" where someone like Smollett would feel compelled to fabricate the story he clearly fabricated in an effort to fight bigotry.

Emanual did not go so far as to say he believes Smollett's story. In fact he specifically still calls it a hoax. He does, however, clearly and firmly blame Trump for Smollett's actions.

How warped is that?


by Bob Walsh

Gavin Newsom, governor of the formerly great state of California, is indeed a fucking moron. He is about to launch on his first out-of-the-country travel as Governor, on a "fact-finding" trip, to El Salvador. He wants to find out why people in Latin America are migrating to the U. S. in general and California in particular.

It isn't a secret Gavin. In fact it's easy. Where they are now is a shit hole, and it is getting shittier. It is poor, dangerous and their society if strongly stratified making it hard to rise out of the shit.

In the U. S. you get free stuff, even if you are here illegally. CA will give you "free" health care (paid for by citizen-taxpayers) and a "free" immigration lawyer (also paid for by citizen-taxpayers) to fight deportation. You will get tons of public assistance. Your illegal alien kids get to go to a decent school where they probably won't be beat up or raped on the way to or from, and neither they nor you will ever have to learn to speak English. The government will bend over backwards to help you to live here without assimilation. Your "cultural norms" will be respected, even if they include domestic abuse, child sexual abuse or violence against police officers. Anything to make you feel welcome.

Like I said, Gavin Newsom is a fucking moron.


by Bob Walsh

The legislature of the formerly great state of California is working on a whole shitpile of legislation in reaction to the college admission cheating scandal.

If passed as currently presented the state would require a board of three members to approve "special admissions." It would prohibit legacy admissions to admissions based on donations to the college. It would regulate "admission consultants." It would chop off non-complying schools from CalGrant scholarship money. It would also deny tax deductions to the parents who have already shelled out money to bribe their kids way into school. Another proposal would limit "exceptional admissions" to CA state colleges and universities to CA residents. A further proposal would allow SAT and ACT tests to be done at school during a normal school day, which would, at least in theory, make it harder to put in ringers or otherwise cheat the system.

They are also looking at shitcanning the ACT and SAT for use by CA state universities and colleges. All of this is in the cause of "fairnesss" which is a huge liberal mantra. I guess if you are an incompetent, uneducated moron you should have as much right to a college education as anybody else.


by Bob Walsh

Yesterday was originally supposed to be the bye-bye date for Brexit. It didn't happen. The E. U. granted more time, the new deadline is April 12, ASSUMING Parliament can get it's shit together.

Yesterday they held yet ANOTHER vote, (#3), which took special action by the speaker as it is specifically prohibited to keep voting over and over and over again on the same proposal. That vote failed by 344 to 286. The P.M., Theresa May, offered to resign if Parliament would approve her proposal. They didn't.

There is supposed to be ANOTHER vote on Monday. Right now it is possible that, as of April 12, Britain will be out and there will be no plan. Nobody involved actually wants that to happen, but nobody in a position to do anything about it seems to be willing to actually do so.

And I thought out government was lame.


Except To Fuck With Honest, Law-Abiding Citizens

by Bob Walsh

AB 1602, by Assemblyman Evan Low (Democrap- San Jose) is making its way thru the legislature of the formerly great state of California as I write this. If passed into law this proposal would outlaw any insurance policy in the state of California that insures the holder against damages related to the discharge of a firearm.

Interestingly enough, at this time, it does not exclude government agencies.

I guess he wants to a make real sure that, if you are in a position where you are forced to actually shoot a criminal, he or his survivors can sue you into bankruptcy.


The family behind JAB Holding Co, which owns the Keurig Coffee makers and Dr. Pepper, used Jewish slave labor during the Holocaust

I’ve been using Keurig coffee makers ever since they arrived on the market. And I dearly love Dr. peppers which I have been drinking for around 80 years.

Keurig and Dr. Pepper are now owned by the JAB Holding Co. It has just been revealed that the family behind that holding company used Jewish slave labor during the Holocaust.

Holy shit! I guess I’m going to have to trash my Keurig coffee maker and stop drinking Dr. Peppers. It’s a good thing I don’t drink Green Mountain coffee because JAB owns that too.

But wait a minute, Bayer and Chase National Bank also have ties to the Holocaust. I have accounts with Chase and use Bayer products.

Bayer supplied the deadly Zyklon B gas that was used in Nazi death camps to kill Jews and used Jewish slave labor as well. Work them to death or gas them to death.

When other banks refused to do so, Chase aided Hitler’s Third Reich by converting German marks into U.S. dollars between 1936 and 1941.

Among other products, Bayer owns Aleve, Alka-Seltzer, Bayer Aspirin, Claritin, Coppertone, Dr. Scholl’s, MiraLAX and Roundup. I see where Bayer is still killing people who use a lot of Roundup.

Krispy Kreme, Coca-Cola, Volkswagen, Hugo Boss, IBM, Puma and Adidas, BMW and Mercedes-Benz are some other companies that used slave labor during the Nazi regime or were otherwise tied to the Holocaust.

I’ve been taking one Bayer full-dose aspirin a day for some 60 years and I’ve used Alka-Seltzer and MiraLAX too. What am I to do … stop using Bayer products, close my accounts with Chase, trash my coffee maker and stop drinking my beloved Dr. Peppers? Shit no! It’s a little late for me to stop my bad habits.


LAPD Asks To Cancel Citizens' Concealed Weapons Permits

LAPPL News Watch
March 29, 2019

The Los Angeles Police Department has moved to cancel most of the few remaining concealed weapons permits in civilian hands, according to new filings in a decades-old legal case.

Chief Michel Moore said in a sworn declaration he did not believe a group of people who obtained so-called CCWs as the result of a 1994 lawsuit were still entitled to the permits, because it was unlikely the individuals still faced extraordinary physical danger to their lives.

"I do not believe the continued wholesale allowance for each to possess a CCW license based on circumstances that may have existed 24 years ago is in the best interest of the public," Moore said.

Permits to carry a concealed firearm are allowed under California law but it’s up to local police chiefs and sheriffs to decide if an applicant has a valid reason to obtain one.


Davis Gunman’s Path To Handguns That Killed Officer Natalie Corona May Never Be Known

LAPPL News Watch
March 29, 2019

Authorities have traced the origin of the handguns used to kill rookie Davis police Officer Natalie Corona in January, but say they may never know exactly how – or when – gunman Kevin Douglas Limbaugh obtained them.

One of the handguns, a .45-caliber semiautomatic, originally was purchased by someone at a gun shop in New Mexico, Davis police Lt. Paul Doroshov said. The other, a 9 mm Glock, was reported lost or stolen from a gun shop in Phoenix in 1996.

But the findings shed little light on why Limbaugh shot the 22-year-old officer to death as she investigated a minor traffic accident near downtown, then killed himself as police surrounded the rental home where he was living.

Limbaugh used the two handguns in the Jan. 10 shooting spree that began just before 7 p.m. near Fifth and D streets and included him firing at passersby and at a fire engine driving through the area.

The weapons were never registered to Limbaugh, and police have no way of knowing whether he purchased or stole them or when he came into possession of either.


US energy chief Perry OKs deal to share nuke tech with Saudis

Israel Hayom
March 29, 2019

The Trump administration has approved seven applications for U.S. companies to sell nuclear power technology and assistance to Saudi Arabia, the Energy Department said Thursday.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the Energy Department has approved 37 nuclear applications since January 2017, including nine in the Middle East. Besides the seven to Saudi Arabia, two were approved for Jordan. Perry said in his testimony that six applications were approved to Saudi Arabia, but a spokeswoman later said he misspoke.

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Virginia, asked Perry whether the applications were approved after Oct. 2, when Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, lived in Virginia.

Perry said he did not know the specific date.

"We sign a lot of papers," he said. "I've got a pretty good memory, but to remember every date that I sign a piece of paper might be above my ability to recall."

Lawmakers from both parties have expressed concerns that Saudi Arabia could develop nuclear weapons if the U.S. technology is transferred without proper safeguards.

Congress is increasingly uneasy with the close relationship between the Trump administration and Saudi Arabia. U.S. President Donald Trump has made the kingdom a centerpiece of his foreign policy in the Middle East as he tries to further isolate Iran, a regional rival to the Saudi regime and Israel. In the process, Trump has brushed off criticism over the killing of Khashoggi and the Saudis' role in the war in Yemen.

The nuclear approvals, known as Part 810 authorizations, allow companies to do preliminary work on nuclear power ahead of any deal to build a nuclear plant. They do not allow transfer of nuclear material, equipment or components. The authorizations were first reported by The Daily Beast before Perry confirmed them in public testimony.

Perry disputed media accounts describing the authorizations as secret, saying, "These U.S. companies that are going to be doing this work want to keep that proprietary information from being out in the public domain."

But Democrats said nuclear authorizations are normally made public. They accused the Trump administration of trying to conceal its negotiations with Saudi Arabia.

"It appears to me that this is an end run around the law in an effort to achieve a policy," Rep. Brad Sherman, D-California, told Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at a House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday.

Pompeo said U.S. officials were "working to ensure that the nuclear power that [the Saudis] get is something we understand and doesn't present that risk" of allowing them to make nuclear weapons.

Sherman called the U.S. response to Khashoggi's murder inadequate and said officials must do everything in their power to prevent Saudi Arabia from getting a nuclear weapon.

"If you cannot trust a regime with a bone saw, you should not trust them with nuclear weapons," Sherman said, referring to reports from the Turkish government that Saudi agents used a bone saw to dismember Khashoggi after he was killed last year.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, a member of the Armed Services Committee, told Perry it was "a bad idea to even consider passing on nuclear technology to the Saudi government," given the possible role of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Khashoggi's murder.

"The last thing we should be doing is giving the Saudi government the tools to produce nuclear weapons," said Warren, a Democratic candidate for president.

The announcement of the nuclear approvals came as Republican and Democratic senators requested that the Government Accountability Office review the Trump administration's negotiations with Saudi Arabia.

Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, and Bob Menendez, D-New Jersey, asked the GAO to investigate reports that some negotiations have been conducted without oversight required under the federal Atomic Energy Act. The senators, who both serve on the Foreign Relations Committee, said it was unusual that the Energy Department apparently was leading the negotiations, rather than the State Department.

The senators said they were "troubled by the administration's lack of consultations with Congress" and concerned that specific proposals presented by Energy officials may not have been fully vetted with other agencies.

The Trump administration had previously opened talks with Riyadh on what's known as a "123 agreement." The name comes from the section of the law that establishes the parameters for major nuclear cooperation between the United States and other countries. Without one, U.S. nuclear energy companies such as Westinghouse would lose out on business opportunities with the Saudis.

The Democratic-led House Oversight Committee, meanwhile, has opened an investigation into claims by several whistleblowers who said they witnessed "abnormal acts" in the White House regarding a proposal to build nuclear reactors in Saudi Arabia.

Friday, March 29, 2019


by Bob Walsh

The Superintendent of Public Instruction in the formerly great state of California is Tom Torlakson. He announced a few days ago why the schools in California are shit. This problem is caused by selfish parents who do not want their kids to go to shitty schools.

Yes, according to Tom, parents who send their kids to Charter Schools (which are, generally speaking, non-union) are selfish bastards who are actually just siphoning money off from the real (government) school system where they can not pick and choose their students but instead have to take the violent gang members, rapists, huffers and non-English speaking illegal aliens.

Perfectly good liberal logic right there.


No Surprise There

by Bob Walsh

I worked for DMV from 1975 thru 1980. I also worked in retail for several years before that. The ideas of "customer service" are pretty similar, the only difference being that, with DMV, there is no alternative provider for many of the services offered, and many of those services most people can not simply do without.

And audit of DMV was just released. It said that DMV was essentially a reactive organization populated by management who did not know what they were doing and did not much care to learn. They also deliberately hid bad information from the legislature and the executive branch.

As many as 20% of the staff were not sent to training before they were put on the counter, allegedly due to cost and lost time. As much as 30% of the customer service windows were not open at any one time. Also, their technology was mediocre and simple things like signage inside the offices was inadequate.

Sounds to me like they need some upper management that believe in delivering customer service and know how to do it. Of course, the requirement that they also hand out voter registration material to EVERYBODY, including illegal aliens might shift their focus somewhat. Also the did an incompetent and late set-up of the REAL I.D. program, required next year for federal access, didn't help.

So far the DMVs main response to issues has been to try to make it illegal for private businesses or individuals to help customers work (or beat) the appointment system by waiting in line for you for a fee or even selling appointments. Right now it can take several WEEKS to get an appointment with DMV, or if you have no appointment it can take literally all day to get your business taken care of.


Michael Avenatti’s life of luxury hangs by a thread as IRS comes calling

By Michael Finnegan and Mark Z. Barabak

Los Angeles Times
March 27, 2019

Long before he was Stormy Daniels’ lawyer, well before he was accused of trying to shake down Nike for millions of dollars, Michael Avenatti was an Orange County plaintiff’s attorney living a luxe life adorned with fast cars, high-end properties and expensive jewelry.

He flew in a private jet, lived in a mansion overlooking the Pacific and rang up six-figure receipts at Neiman Marcus and other sumptuous retailers.

That his wealth might in fact be illusory, built on a flimsy and teetering financial foundation, slowly grew clear to some who knew Avenatti and hounded him for years in Bankruptcy Court and other venues in search of money he owed.

Suddenly, with his arrest Monday in Manhattan for allegedly scheming to extort $20 million from the sportswear giant, the rest of the world got a glimpse into the tangled life of the pugnacious litigator and, prosecutors assert, his reckless venality.

But as startling as the Nike allegations may be — attempting to strong-arm one of the most recognizable companies on the planet — the federal fraud charges simultaneously unsealed in California may be more revealing and could pose greater jeopardy to Avenatti and his freedom.

They exposed nearly a decade of alleged financial misdeeds on a vast scale, many of which have sporadically surfaced in courtrooms up and down the West Coast.

Avenatti continued on Tuesday to profess his innocence. “I feel terrible for my family,” he told CBS News. “I feel bad for my friends. Most people are sticking by me. They believe in me. They know what I’m all about.”

The 48-year-old counsel, who made his living by filing class-action lawsuits against big corporations, crashed into the nation’s consciousness a year ago as the representative of Daniels, an adult-film actress who sought to nullify a hush-money agreement stemming from an alleged 2006 sexual dalliance with Donald Trump.

But Avenatti’s notoriety — so far as federal investigators were concerned — long preceded his emergence as Daniels’ advocate and President Trump’s tormentor.

The nearly 200 pages of charging documents submitted by the Internal Revenue Service show that federal investigators started pursuing Avenatti for alleged tax violations a decade ago.

The first sign of trouble came in 2009 when, the IRS said, he reported $1.9 million in personal income but failed to pay $570,000 in taxes. The next year, the IRS said, Avenatti reported $1.2 million in income but skipped out on a $282,000 tax bill.

Since then, according to federal prosecutors, Avenatti has filed no personal income tax returns, even as he deposited $18 million into his bank accounts.

He also has filed no tax returns since then for Avenatti & Associates, a corporation that has recorded $38 million in deposits, the government says. Avenatti, who owns the firm, has often used it to pay personal expenses, including $176,500 to Exclusive Resorts, which bills itself as “the world’s elite private vacation club.”

“During these tax years, Avenatti generated substantial income and lived lavishly,” Remoun Karlous, an IRS criminal investigator, wrote in his sworn statement.

Among other big-ticket items: $217,000 at Neiman Marcus; $117,000 at Jewelers on Time, a luxury watch store; $277,236 to Porsche dealers; $100,000-a-month rent for a waterfront house on Lido Isle in Newport Beach; $39,762 in Ferrari lease payments; $123,825 in rent on his apartment in a luxury high-rise in Century City.

Even as he flaunted his seeming wealth, prosecutors allege, Avenatti was spiraling deeper down a financial hole.

His tax avoidance appeared to escalate, according to the IRS, when Avenatti pursued a side business, buying Tully’s, a Seattle-based coffee chain, in 2013 for $9 million. By late 2015, Avenatti’s company, Global Baristas U.S., was withholding taxes from employee paychecks but — at his instruction — failing to send the money to the government, the IRS alleged.

Managers of the company told the IRS they were mortified; one called the move “unethical” and another said Avenatti’s “moral compass didn’t point north.”

The government placed a $5-million lien on the company and started garnishing its bank accounts. Avenatti allegedly ordered subordinates to stop using those accounts and open new ones that would be out of the government’s reach.

At the same time Global Baristas was pocketing the taxes withheld from employees, his law firm, Eagan Avenatti, allegedly did the same.

In 2017, the firm filed for bankruptcy. After it emerged a year later, Avenatti vowed Eagan Avenatti would pay nearly $900,000 it owed in taxes. It did not.

Avenatti’s courtroom adversaries — and there are many — have long described him as an untrustworthy foe with a history of unpaid bills, delinquent taxes, scorched-earth feuds with fellow barristers and elaborate bank maneuvers to cover up assets from pleading creditors.

Now, the full weight of the U.S. government is backing up that portrayal in a criminal complaint lodged in federal court in Santa Ana. Perhaps the most stunning revelation: At the same time he became an internationally recognizable celebrity attorney, prosecutors allege, Avenatti was stealing $1.6 million that a client had won in a legal settlement.

If true, said Andrew Stolper, one of three lawyers who bolted Avenatti’s law practice in a 2015 dispute, his conduct “is as brazen as it is stupid.”

“You would think that someone with those skeletons in his closet would try to maintain a low profile,” Stolper said. “Stealing client money, not paying taxes. The question is why was he doing this? You don’t have to search very far to see that he was trying to support a lifestyle that was unsupportable.”

Avenatti did not respond to a request for comment.

If convicted in the tax and fraud cases, he faces up to 50 years in prison. Avenatti faces an additional 47 years in the Nike extortion case; he allegedly threatened to harm the company’s reputation by accusing Nike of improperly paying high school basketball prospects unless he, fellow Los Angeles attorney Mark Geragos and a client were paid millions of dollars.

To some who worked for Avenatti, the criminal charges were less startling than his emergence as a political hero — in certain circles, anyway — and leading avatar of the anti-Trump resistance. At one point, Avenatti pursued a short-lived run at the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

Robert Sifuentez, a 36-year-old Seattle resident who was a barista and store manager for Tully’s from 2009 until the company collapsed last year, said he was first ordered to deposit cash from a store into an unfamiliar account in September 2017. “We were never given a reason why,” he said, “other than ‘Michael told us to.’”

The price of the deception, Sifuentez said, was borne by the little guy that Avenatti has always professed to champion.

“Tully’s shut down and that just cost hundreds of people their jobs, and we knew why,” Sifuentez said. “It was because he was stealing money from the company and driving it into the ground.”


Sheriff: Defendants to be handcuffed after public defender punched in the head without warning

by Wayne K. Roustan

South Florida Sun Sentinel
March 28, 2019

After a public defender was punched in the head during a closed circuit hearing from a jailhouse courtroom, Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony said that that all inmates will be handcuffed during their first-appearance hearings.

Tony indicated that security at magistrate hearings was “lax” because the Broward Public Defender’s Office had a longstanding position that handcuffs or shackles could suggest that defendant was guilty.

The change in procedures, announced late Wednesday, came after Assistant Public Defender Julie Chase was punched in the head from behind by an inmate during a morning hearing for another person.

Chase was taken to Broward Health Medical Center by ambulance but was discharged before noon.

As she left the hospital she told WPLG-Ch. 10, “I’m OK.”

“She’s a very dedicated attorney,” said Public Defender’s Office Executive Chief Assistant, Gordon Weekes. “This is very unfortunate what happened this morning.”

Chase has been working with the Public Defender’s Office since 2005 and has handled a variety of cases, he said.

Weekes identified the man who punched Chase as William L. Green, 27, who was awaiting a hearing following an arrest on a battery charge at an area mental health facility. He is now facing additional battery charges. No one else was injured during the incident.

The courtroom assault happened as Broward Judge Jackie Powell was preparing to set bond in the unrelated case of Natasha Mattie Walker, 39, who was arrested on charges of aggravated stalking and aggravated assault.

In Broward’s first-appearance court, recently arrested defendants appear before a judge who is there to set their bonds and release conditions — not to hear evidence or try their cases. The judge is in a small courtroom, with other court personnel, and the defendants appear by way of remote video hookups from each of three Broward jails.

In the courtroom at Broward’s Main Jail, where this incident happened, inmates typically appear at a podium next to a public defender who is representing them.

As the judge and attorneys were discussing her case, Green was seated in the jail’s courtroom with numerous other detainees who were awaiting their bond court hearings.

Before suddenly getting up and smacking Chase in the back of the head, he is seen watching the hearing while holding his chin in his left hand.

After Chase falls to the ground, the other seated defendants react with shock as three courtroom bailiffs drag Green from the courtroom.

There is no indication that Green knows Walker, the woman whose case was being heard.

The judge, who had been looking at papers filed in Walker’s case, noticed something was wrong when she looked at the monitor showing the jail’s courtroom and saw the aftermath of the punch.

“What happened?” she asked.

A public defender seated in her courtroom is seen on the telephone and then asks, “Judge, can we go on recess, please?”

Weekes, from the public defender’s office, is outraged over the attack, which he called preventable.

“He [Green] seemed to be in a clear psychotic state and he was arrested for battering a [hospital] technician, attacking him from the back,” Weekes said.

He questioned why Green was taken away from a facility that was likely equipped to treat any mental health condition he might have.

“There was a big push to have officers trained to deal with crises, trained to identify folks with mental health illnesses, trained to make better decisions about who they were going to arrest and it seems like going into a hospital to arrest someone who is acting out in a psychotic state, consistent with their psychosis, only seems to transfer the issue to the jail.”

Weekes said his fellow public defenders have a tough enough job defending clients without having to worry about defending themselves.

“For our attorney to take the brunt of the failures of law enforcement …is unacceptable.”

In a statement Wednesday evening, Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony responded to the criticism, saying: “It’s troubling that an inmate would assault an officer of the court. I’ve reviewed the footage of the bond court incident and have gone over the facts with command staff in the Department of Detention. I learned that over the last several years, BSO has received numerous requests from the Public Defender’s Office asking for a more lax approach to our security procedures during magistrate hearings, which take place through a closed circuit television feed from inside the jail.

“Although I understand their concern that having deputies standing close to the inmates or having them wear handcuffs or shackles could imply guilt, they must in turn understand that their requests made it possible for this unusual situation to occur.”

Tony continued: “As the senior ranking law enforcement official for Broward County, I am obligated to ensure all policies related to the protection and safety of our court officials are enforced. Effective immediately all inmates will be handcuffed during these proceedings as to reduce the ability of an inmate to cause similar harm or greater. The safety of my fellow criminal justice practitioners is of the highest priority.”


Children removed by cops at gunpoint from Arizona home over extremely high fever

By Justin Pazera and Zach Crenshaw

ABC 15
March 27, 2019

CHANDLER, AZ — State Representative Kelly Townsend says she's troubled by video that shows Chandler police officers with guns drawn, forcing their way into a family's home.

The officers were there for a 2-year-old boy who was believed to have an extremely high fever.

Townsend, a Republican in District 16, played a big role in getting legislation passed requiring the Arizona Department of Child Safety to get a search warrant to remove children from their home in a non-emergency situation. Townsend says she never thought this would be the result.

"The doctor chose to use DCS to remove the child and DCS chose to use the police and the police chose to use the SWAT team," said Townsend. "That is not the country that I recognize."

Townsend says this all started back in February when the parents took the 2-year-old-boy, who isn't vaccinated, to a naturopathic doctor for a fever of about 105. The doctor instructed the parents to take the infant to the emergency room but after the doctor's visit the child's fever broke, so they never went.

After finding that out, the doctor called DCS which then called Chandler police to check on the child. After the father refused to let police into the home to check on the boy, police came back later with a search warrant and forced their way into the home after the family didn't respond.

"All because of a fever. A fever! It's absolutely ridiculous," said Nicholas Boca, the family's attorney. "That type of kicking your door in, with guns drawn... it should be reserved for violent criminals."

"At that point who now owns control over the child?" asked Townsend. "And it seems like we've given that now to the doctor and the parent no longer has the say or they risk the SWAT team taking all of your children and potentially the newborn."

Townsend says she can see both sides on this story: a concerned doctor and protective parents, but she's questioning how it was done and the amount of force used.

"We need to admit that this situation was a mistake," said Townsend. "There are other situations where there is neglect, there is abuse and that's what we need to focus on."

ABC15 asked DCS for a comment on why such force was used. DCS said it's not able to comment on the case specifically because of privacy laws.

Townsend told ABC15 the child actually had an upper respiratory infection, not meningitis like the doctor had feared.

The Chandler Police Department says DCS obtained a search warrant and asked for their assistance entering the home, but says they used regular officers and not SWAT officers.

The parents are fighting to get their kids back.

"They have a good family. And this is a waste of state resources," said Boca.


It's about damn time that Texas stopped creating life-long drug criminals of our teens

By Trey Rusk

Running Code 3
March 27, 2019

Texans caught with small amounts of marijuana could receive a fine rather than jail time under a bill that passed a state House committee.

I'm a retired cop and it's true that I hold conservative views but this is the right thing to do.

Currently any amount of marijuana possession in Texas is a criminal offense. For years the Texas courts have ruined futures for teens who have been caught experimenting with small amounts of marijuana.

The life long stain caused by one indiscretion have caused our children to be denied entrance into colleges, vocational studies, the military and not be able to obtain clearances for some government jobs.

I am not an advocate for possession of small amounts of marijuana. However, I believe the de-criminalization of small amounts of marijuana will free up our courts and police to do more important things.

State Representative Joe Moody of El Paso has filed HB-63 that would make less than an ounce of marijuana a civil penalty. The civil fine imposed could not be above $250 and no jail time. Members of the House Committee forwarded the bill with a vote of 5 to 4 in favor of the legislation.

I want to be clear about this topic. I believe marijuana can be a gateway drug for some people but I believe alcohol has ruined more lives than any other drug. At some point people are responsible for their own actions. The drug record associated with less than 1 ounce of marijuana needs to be eliminated.

The same stigma is not attached to the criminal charge of possession of alcohol by a minor. Why? Alcohol has been linked directly to the deaths of far more people than marijuana ever will be.

That's the way I see it.

EDITOR’S NOTE: While I am not overly opposed to this bill, I most certainly do not support it!

My heart really doesn’t bleed for 17, 18 and 19-year-old teens who knowingly break the law by using pot. There are consequences for breaking the law - although the Jussie Smollett case brings that into question – and those teens should be treated accordingly. Besides that, in Texas, those under 17 are handled as juveniles, so they will have no drug criminal record.

Moody’s bill also applies to adults and will only encourage the use of drugs, not discourage it. The path to hell is paved with the stones of good intentions. Moody is making it harder to fight the war on drugs.

Trey, it seems as though you have switched over to the wrong side in the war on drugs.

And that’s the way I see it.


Drugs, arms, cell phones, and a marijuana plant seized at Monterrey’s Topo Chico Prison

By Chivis Martinez

Borderland Beat
March 27, 2019

Drug, cell phones, metal shanks, bottles with distilled alcohol, are just some of the items confiscated during the inspection of inmates and cells at the Topochico prison.

Through a statement it was reported that, in the cells of the Center for Prevention and Social Reintegration, were located a total of 28 pieces of metal weapons of different sizes, eight mobile phones of different brands and seven bottles of alcohol distillate of 600 milliliters each a. That the prison and Civil Force personnel also seized three doses of cocaine in its rock form, marijuana, as well as a marijuana plant.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The only difference is that in our joints most inmates either have a cellphone that has been smuggled in or have access to one.

Thursday, March 28, 2019


I’m sorry - you’re even more despicable than I thought you were, and so are the shameful prosecutors who let you off this repulsive fake hate-crime

By Piers Morgan

Daily Mail
March 27, 2019

It was a stunning moment.

Standing outside court, emotional Empire star Jussie Smollett looked close to tears as he spoke, just minutes after all 16 grand jury charges against him had been sensationally dropped.

‘I have been truthful and consistent on every single level since day one,’ he said. ‘I would not be my mother’s son if I was capable of one drop of what I have been accused of. This has been an incredibly difficult time, honestly one of the worst of my entire life, but I am a man of faith, and I am a man that has knowledge of my history and I would not bring my family, our lives, or the movement through a fire like this, I just wouldn’t.’

His bottom lip trembled as he added: ‘I’d like nothing more than just to get back to work and move on with my life but make no mistakes I will always continue to fight for the justice, equality and betterment of marginalised people everywhere.’


As I watched him speak, so eloquently and so powerfully, I felt a surge of sympathy welling inside me for this poor misjudged young man who had just been cleared of staging a race-hate, homophobic attack on HIMSELF.

It’s hard to imagine a worse thing for a high profile black, gay man in America to be accused of doing.

And I actually felt a sense of relief that it had all turned out to be untrue and that he really was the good, innocent, ‘sweetest guy in the world’ his famous friends had insisted all along.

But as he posed for pictures with celebrating fans, there was something nagging me.

Shortly before Smollett appeared to speak to the media, it was revealed that he had forfeited $10,000 bond money and secretly performed 16 hours of community service at Rainbow Push, a civil rights organisation in Chicago.

These two things had apparently been ‘factored into’ the decision to drop charges.

Why, if he was an innocent man?

Like many journalists, I was bemused.

‘So weird,’ I tweeted, ‘why would you pay a forfeiture if you’d been cleared?’

First Assistant’s State’s Attorney Joe Magats, the man who made the decision, soon answered this puzzling conundrum during one of the most embarrassing, shifty, excuse-laden displays I have ever seen from a prosecutor trying to defend a decision.

‘Does dropping the charges vindicate him?’ he was asked by CBS.


Does it exonerate him?


‘Do you believe that he is innocent?’

‘I do not believe he’s innocent.’

‘So you believe he’s guilty?’


Sorry, WHAT?

You dropped all charges against him because he’s GUILTY?

At this point my bemusement turned to cold fury.

Smollett hadn’t been cleared at all.

He’d staged the ‘attack’, but was being let off with effectively just a small fine and a bit of community work. His record would be expunged and the files sealed forever from public gaze.

Magats inferred this was sufficient punishment because Smollett had no criminal record, and did not represent a threat to public safety.

But the decision smacked of a disgraceful stitch-up, driven by Smollett’s wealth and fame, his connections to powerful politicians, and the furore surrounding the case.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel was in no doubt.

‘This is a whitewash of justice,’ he raged. ‘This is a person who has been let off scot-free with no sense of the accountability of the moral and ethical wrong of his actions… how DARE he?’

He compared it to the elite college admissions scandal, saying: ‘This sends a clear message if you’re in a position of influence and power you’ll get treated one way and other people will get treated another way. This is wrong.’

And he warned: ‘Gay men and women who will come forward and one day say they were a victim of a hate crime now will be doubted.’


Emmanuel wasn’t the only high profile Democrat to express anger at the outcome.

David Axelrod, Barack Obama’s former Chief Strategist, blazed on Twitter: ‘Here’s the lesson of this weird turn in the Smollett case: you can contrive a hate crime, make it national news, get caught and - if you are well-connected celebrity – get off for $10k and have your record expunged and files sealed. Hate crimes are loathsome. Faking them is insidious and shouldn’t be excused. It really is outrageous.’

Yes, it is.

I watched Smollett’s court statement again, now I knew he was lying again.

It was a very convincing performance, almost as convincing as his performance on Good Morning America when he first recounted his story to Robin Roberts and garnered the nation’s horrified sympathy.

One thing’s for sure – Smollett is a GREAT actor.

Sadly, both his performances were just as fake as the original staged ‘attack’.

Last month, when the charges were first made, I accused Smollett of being ‘the most hideous, reprehensible, disgusting, snivelling little liar in America.’

I said he was a ‘sickening, shameful disgrace’ who had lynched the truth in the most despicable manner possible and deserved ‘no mercy and no sympathy.’

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, who trashed Smollett in similarly robust terms at the time, said yesterday that the city ‘is still owed an apology.’

Well it’s not going to get one from Jussie ‘I didn’t do it!’ Smollett.

But I would like to make an apology instead, to Smollett himself, and it’s this: I’m truly sorry that I was so complimentary about him.

In fact, I wish I’d gone in much harder.

For the truth is Smollett wasn’t content with just perpetrating an act of wicked deception that grabbed global headlines and made a mockery of real victims of racial or homophobic attacks.

No, he had to go a step further even than that and pretend he’s been completely exonerated of any wrongdoing and is once again the victim – not just of the original ‘attack’, but now of a terrible slur against his good name and reputation.

By doing this, he has confirmed himself to be a truly despicable human being.

It takes a rare kind of execrable douchebag to invoke his mother, God, black history, justice, equality and the ‘betterment of marginalised people’ as he brazenly lies about being cleared over an incident that did unbelievable damage to justice, equality and marginalised people.

But staggeringly, Smollett’s not even the worst villain in this disgusting saga.

That badge of dishonour goes to the State’s Attorney Kim Foxx and her team including her hapless First Assistant Magats.

Foxx officially recused herself from the case after she was found to have exchanged text messages with a member of Smollett’s family in the days after the incident.

Now it’s been alleged that she tried to wrestle the case out of the hands of the Chicago Police Department and have the FBI take it over, at the request of Smollett family friend Tina Tchen, who is Michelle Obama’s former chief of staff.

At the very least, it appears that her team acted on her apparent conflicted desire to protect Smollett from facing proper justice – a shameful, breathtakingly cynical example of the very worst kind of racial politics.

The result of this shocking carve-up is that Smollett walks away a free man with no criminal stain on his record.

Fortunately, there’s another court he now has to face and that’s the court of public opinion.

Nobody apart from Smollett’s family and a few of his deluded celebrity friends is buying this travesty.

Smollett lynched the truth, caused immeasurable harm to real victims, betrayed America’s black and gay communities, and thinks he’s got away with it.

His reward for all this shouldn’t be a return to his $100,000-an-episode life as a feted TV star.

Smollett should be fired from Empire, banished from Hollywood and treated like the pariah he deserves to be, by an industry that supposedly prides itself on tolerance.

This wouldn’t fully atone for such a grotesque insult to justice, but it would help.


by Bob Walsh

The Chicago police union has asked the feds to launch a formal investigation of Kim Fox, the State's Attorney (local prosecutor) for Cook County. I don't know that they will get any traction, but I don't know that they won't either.

Clearly somebody with major juice is running interference. The record has been sealed for Jussie Smollett and he was given a total walk for 16 felonies with 16 hours of community service, working for Jessie Jackson's Rainbow Push Coalition, and for forfeiture of his $10,000 bond.

Fox is a major leftie and buddy of the Obamas, as is Jussie Smollett. She hates cops.

I am seriously wondering if this whole episode was a "Fuck You" to Donald Trump as a payback for the Barr Letter on the Mueller Report.

Chicago is the most corrupt shithole in all of America and has been for 100 years. That's what one-party Democrap rule does for you. Turns your town into a dysfunctional cesspool.


'They are making fools of all of us': Shell-shocked Mayor Emanuel demands to know why State's Attorney's office decided to drop ALL of Jussie Smollett charges DESPITE admitting he is guilty

Daily Mail
March 27, 2019

An incredulous Rahm Emanuel said on Wednesday that prosecutors' decision to drop all the charges against Jussie Smollett made 'fools of all of us' as he demanded answers as to why the Empire star was able to escape 'scot-free' despite the State's Attorney still believing he is guilty of staging a hoax hate crime.

Smollett, 36, walked out of court on Tuesday a free man after secretly completing 16 hours of community service and forfeiting $10,000 in bond.

Assistant State's Attorney Joe Magats said that even though he does not believe the star is innocent, his office had suddenly decided not to pursue charges because Smollett has a 'lack of criminal background' and was not a threat to the community.

Emanuel, who decried the decision after hearing about it during a police academy graduation ceremony, went on Good Morning America on Wednesday to demand more answers. 'This does not add up. They better get their story straight, this is making fools of us all,' he said. 'He abused the city of Chicago, he committed a crime here. He lied about something,' he went on, adding that it was not just the state but also a grand jury who thought Smollett was guilty.

Kim Foxx, the State's Attorney for Cook County, Illinois, is under intense scrutiny after she recused herself from the case. She is facing more questions about how she tried to intervene in the Chicago police’s investigation and how much influence Michelle Obama’s former aide, Tina Tchen, had on her decision.

Tchen told Foxx she had concerns about the investigation. Foxx then shared texts with members of Smollett’s family.

EDITOR’S NOTE: It may be of interest to note that George Soro’s contribution of more than $400,000 to Foxx’s election campaign was instrumental in her becoming Cook County’s state attorney.

I still cannot fathom how 16 felony counts can be exchanged for 16 hours of community service. Shit, that’s one hour for each felony.


"Take it from this Benjamin, it's not about the Benjamins."

By David Lazarus

Israel Today
March 27, 2019

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke via satellite to the AIPAC conference after cutting his Washington visit short in order to get back to Israel to oversee the response to escalating Hamas rocket fire.

In the speech, the prime minister did not shy away from Rep. Ilhan Omar's antisemitic tweet trying to reignite the horrific libel that Jewish finances control the world. Netanyahu told the 14,000-strong crowd gathered for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee annual conference: “Take it from this Benjamin, it's not about the Benjamins. The people of America support Israel not because they want our money, it’s because they share our values.”

Netanyahu went on to say that “those who seek to undermine American support for Israel must be confronted. They don't stop at criticism of Israel's policies, but spew venom that has long been directed at the Jewish people. To all the anti-Semites out there – we stand up, we fight, and we win,” the prime minister said to roaring applause.

In the 10-minute speech hampered by some minor broadcast glitches, US President Donald Trump was praised for his recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights “on behalf of all the people of Israel,” Netanyahu said. “The Golan Heights is indispensable for our defense. It's part of our history … and we shall never, ever give it up. It is part of Israel,” the prime minister confirmed.

Netanyahu also gave a well-articulated explanation of why Israel needs to be a nation-state for the Jewish people. “Israel is a home for all Jews,” he explained. “All Israelis are first-class citizens and all citizens have exactly the same individual rights, and these rights remain sacred,” he emphasized.

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman also attended the conference, and in his speech hailed Trump as “the best friend Israel ever had in the White House.”


EU: We do not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights

By Tovah Lazaroff

The Jerusalem Post
March 27, 2019

All 28 European Union member states have rejected the United Sates recognition of Israel’s 1981 annexation of the Golan Heights from Syria.

US President Donald Trump signed that declaration in Washington this week, during Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to the White House.

But the move, has been widely rejected by the international community.

“The position of the European Union as regards the status of the Golan Heights has not changed. In line with the international law an UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 497, the EU does not recognize Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights,” the EU member states said in a short statement issued on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the five European Union member of the Security Council also issued a statement against the move, explaining that it did not recognize Israeli sovereignty over any territory Israel captured during the Six-Day War in 1967.

“Annexation of territory by force is prohibited under international law. Any declaration of a unilateral border change goes against the foundation of the rules-based international order and the UN Charter.

“We raise our strong concerns about the broader consequences of recognizing illegal annexation and also about the broader regional consequences,” the European members of the UNSC said. This included; France, Great Britain, Belgium, Germany and Poland.

Acting US Ambassador to the United Nations Jonathan Cohen defended the move, explaining that any peace agreement wold have to address Israel’s security needs in the Golan Heights.

“To allow the Golan Heights to be controlled by the likes of the Syrian and Iranian regimes would turn a blind eye to the atrocities of the Assad regime and malign and destabilizing presence of Iran in the region,” Cohen said.

In Washington State Department spokesman Robert Palladino told reporters that if Israel withdrew from the Golan, it would be used as a launching ground for attacks against Israel.

Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan enhances Israel’s security “which strengthens, frankly, our ability to partner with Israel to fight the common threats that we face,” Palladino said.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US decision was not an attempt to make a statement with regard to the acquisition of territory during times of war.

Rather, he explained it is an assessment of Israel’s unique security situation. Israel should not be asked to commit suicide to be compliance with a UN resolution, he said.

“This is an incredibly unique situation. Israel was fighting a defensive battle to save its nation, and it cannot be the case that a UN resolution is a suicide pact. It simply can’t be, and that’s the reality that President Trump recognized in his executive order yesterday,” Pompeo said.

Israeli politicians to EU: “Shame on you” for opposing Golan sovereignty

By Tovah Lazaroff

Israeli right-wing politicians lashed back at the European Union for its “shameful” rejection of Israeli sovereignty on the Golan Heights, calling its 28 nations “peace refuseniks.”

“Minutes ago the EU announced that it would not recognize the Golan Heights as part of the state of Israel,” Far Right Party head and Education Minister Naftali Bennett said in a video message he posted on Twitter.

“We could add to that the fact that the EU does not recognize Jerusalem as our capital,” he wrote, adding “Shame on you.”

“The Golan heights and Jerusalem and the Land of Israel has been the home of the Jewish people thousands of years before France was the home of the French and the United Kingdom the home of the British,” Bennett said.

“So we will continue building our amazing country. We will continue defending the free world from radical Islam, even though you do not deserve it,” Bennett said.

Kulanu Party head and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said, “We now allow those who keep the Iranian terror regime’s economy afloat to preach morality to us. Israel will not be held hostage by peace refuseniks and the policies of the Axis of Evil,” Kahlon said.

“The whole world knows that the Golan Heights is an inseparable part of the Land of Israel and the State of Israel,” Kahlon said.

Meretz Party head MK Tamar Zandberg said, “Trump's election gift to Bibi has started to cost us dearly. Now the EU is clarifying its position on the Golan Heights. Why did these demons have to be awaken on a subject that was not even on the table?”

“Instead of making needless statements on the Golan Trump should publish his peace plan so that each party can relate to,” she said.

But when it comes to “peace” and “Bibi,” she said, “there isn’t even anything to mention.”

Wednesday, March 27, 2019


The Trump haters won’t let it go, insist the president obstructed justice, and cling onto the belief that he colluded with the Russians

By Howie Katz

Big Jolly Times
March 26, 2019

The Democrats are furious because the 22-month long Mueller investigation that up to now has cost $25 million found no Russian collusion. They are also furious at Attorney General William Barr for not charging Trump with obstruction of justice. And so is the media and Hollywood.

California Congressman Adam Schiff has been out front for nearly two years saying there was evidence proving Trump colluded with the Russians and obstructed justice. On Sunday, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted “Has anyone heard from slimy Adam #fullofschiff Schiff today? I mean it must be embarrassing to have spent the last 2 years as the leader of the tinfoil hat brigade and have it all come crashing down so quick. I’m legitimately concerned for his mental state.”

In an interview on Fox & Friends, Kellyanne Conway came on stronger than Don Jr. She said, “Adam Schiff – talk about an oxymoron – this man heads the Intelligence Committee in the House! He ought to resign today. Schiff has been on every TV show 50 times a day for practically the last two years, promising Americans that this president would be impeached or indicted. Adam Schiff should resign. He has no right, as somebody who's been peddling a lie day after day after day, unchallenged – unchallenged and not under oath – somebody should have put him under oath and said, ‘Do you have evidence? Where is it?’”

Daily Mail columnist Piers Morgan says the Russia collusion hoax was a disgraceful fake news witch-hunt that shames all of Trump’s deranged enemies in the media, the FBI and Hollywood and has probably ensured their worst nightmare - his re-election.

But the witch hunt goes on as the House Democrats, who are trying to make pigs fly, have turned their hatred for Trump into a 3-ring circus.

House Judiciary Chairman Jerold Nadler, House Intelligence chair Adam Schiff, and House Oversight chair Elijah Cummings issued a letter blasting Attorney General William Barr for his letter to Congress which exonerated Trump of any collusion or conspiracy with the Russians and in which he said there would be no obstruction of justice charges. They want Barr to testify before the Judiciary Committee and they want every single page of the Mueller report plus any and all pages of investigation reports associates with the Mueller investigation released to Congress and the public. We’re talking about thousands of pages here.

Hollywood is besides itself that Trump has been exonerated. Stars like Bette Midler, Alyssa Milano, Chelsea Handler, John Cusack, Rosie O'Donnell and George Takei were quick to express their unhappiness with the result. We have yet to hear from Trump critic George Clooney. Only James Woods reacted with joy, tweeting “Democrats react to the Mueller Report the way they accepted the 2016 election,” and included a video clip of a man jumping off a bridge.

The congressional Democrats will not stop in their determination to destroy the Trump presidency. Nadler, Schiff and Cummings intend to investigate everything Trump has ever done, including how many times he shit-stained his underwear.

And the US Attorneys for Southern New York, Virginia and D.C. are investigating the Trump family business dealings, both before and since he became president. So are the NY state Attorney General and the Manhattan DA, both Democrats of course.

It ain’t over till the fat lady sings. We’ll have to wait while the Democrats are trying to make pigs fly for their circus act. It looks like it is going to take quite a while before the fat lady sings. One can only hope that this 3-ring circus will result in. as Piers Morgan put it, the worst nightmare for all of Trump’s deranged enemies – his re-election.


by Bob Walsh

Used to be all you had to do in CA was state that you had a religious or philosophical objection to vaccines and your rugrat could attend school without his or her shots. Not any more. You have to come up with at least a half-assed medical reason to avoid vaccinations, even in private schools.

In the past it has not been all that hard to find a doctor who will take your money and write you a bullshit note that will do the job. Maybe not so much any more.

Under SB 276, which is going thru the legislature now, parents looking for a medical exemption would have to submit their information to the Dept. of Public Health. The doctor must submit information to that department, including the doctors name and license number and a certification that they have actually examined the patient in question.

Both state and county health officials can revoke exemptions if found to be fraudulent.

There are some areas of California where the non-vaccinated children number close to 20% of the student body.


by Bob Walsh

Yes, it is true, Something truly miraculous happened in Sacramento recently. A state auditor's report recently released (this happens about twice a year) specified that an unnamed department director pulled strings to get her own daughter a job in her department back in 2011 even though the daughter did not meet the MQs for the job. She then directed her staff to interfere with disciplinary action against the daughter and attempted to diddle with the state auditor's office during the investigation. Allegedly during the audit a significant number of other "bad faith" appointments and bypassed civil service regs to give homies jobs.

The state auditor says her people went over 1,000,000 (one million) emails and interviewed dozens of witnesses, many of who reported fear of retaliation.

The investigation actually started in 2015, but people high up in the Jerry Brown administration gave the unnamed director a heads up on the investigation. The director apparently made strenuous efforts to identify whistleblowers and declined to keep interview information confidential in violation of state law.

One of the people interviewed was the director's brother, who also worked for the department.

As far as I can tell from a muddled news report the department referred to is the Department of Industrial Relations, which operated under the Secretary of Labor, headed by Julie Su. Ms. Su has released a statement, expressing her concern about a breakdown in a department under her oversight.

The department head is a woman named Baker. The audit was finished in May of last year, but since the Brown administration declined to take any action on it the report was released.

Ms. Baker is no longer at that job. She was moved by Jerry Brown to......wait for it comes the state Fraud Assessment Commission.

Strangely I just checked their web site. There is no one named Baker listed.


by Bob Walsh

Something really interesting happened in an Arby's in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday.

Desean Tallent, 25, had some sort of a beef with the Arby's manager in the store. He spit on the manager, Delonna Young, 25, and then left the store.

About an hour later Tallent returned to the store, then left. Young got in her car and followed him. At some point Young pulled her (unlicensed) .45 and capped Tallent's ass, as he was driving. He crashed near the local Walmart and died.

Young is being held without bond in the local slammer. Too bad she didn't shoot him at the time, she could have maybe gotten away with self-defense. As it stands now I suspect she is in deep legal trouble.


'I do not believe he is innocent': Prosecutor who dropped charges against Jussie Smollett ADMITS that he thinks he is guilty but says he got off because he has no criminal background as cops and Chicago mayor slam the decision as a 'whitewash of justice'

Daily Mail
March 26, 2019

The prosecutor who decided to drop the charges against Jussie Smollett admitted on Tuesday that he does not believe the Empire star is innocent but claimed he dropped the case because the actor has no criminal background.

First Assistant Joe Magats said he thought Smollett was guilty but that 'based on the facts and circumstances' of the case' and his 'lack of criminal background', the decision was made.

As Magats spoke out, more details of Smollett's 'deal' with prosecutors emerged. Between Saturday and Monday, he spent 16 hours performing community service at Rainbow Push, a civil rights organization in Chicago where he 'worked in bookstores, sold merchandise, stuffed envelopes, spoke to students and 'helped in the video department.'

Smollett's family has claimed that even though he forfeited $10,000 in bond money and completed community service, they did not make a deal with prosecutors. They claim he has been completely vindicated by the outcome and that it proves he was telling the truth all along.

Magats’ comments came after a furious press conference from Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson who say Smollett got off 'scot-free' because he is famous. Emanuel decried it as a 'whitewash of justice'.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Community service at Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Push … what a joke! Smollett’s treatment will go down as one of the greatest miscarriages of justice ever.


by Bob Walsh

The Cook County State's Attorney (County Prosecutor), who had previously recused herself from the matter, jumped back in and announced early yesterday that all charges against Smollett had been dropped. She did so without giving a heads up to the Police Superintendent, who is massively pissed.

The S. A. did NOT say the case was unwinnable or unprosecutable. She did say he already paid out some sort of $10,000 penalty and done lots of good service for the community. Smollett was completely unapologetic and in fact still maintains that his original complaint and all subsequent statements on the "attack" against him were completely truthful.

The real reason, of course, is that he is a good liberal minority and hates Donald Trump.

It is of course POSSIBLE that the feds will still go after him on the mail fraud charges. If this was working from the other direction you can damn well bet the Obama justice department would do everything they could to lynch a white man who falsified a hate crime against blacks.

I wonder if this means that Fox will be pressured to give him his job back on Empire? Maybe a raise and some reparations? Maybe a free MAGA hat.


Ex-British spy Christopher Steele RUNS AWAY from questions on his discredited 'dodgy dossier' which wrongly accused Trump of collusion with Russia in 2016 US election

By Paul Thompson

Daily Mail
March 26, 2019

The former British spy who wrote the 'dodgy dossier' which claimed Donald Trump colluded with Russia to fix the election went on the run today after being tracked down by Mail Online.

Christopher Steele bolted from his local railway station when asked to comment on the now discredited dossier that helped spark a two-year investigation into the US President.

This weekend Trump was exonerated of conspiring with the Russians to rig the election in the race for the White House following a probe by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

But when asked if he had any comment, Steele - who published the notorious dossier to discredit Trump by claiming among other outlandish things that Trump paid prostitutes to urinate on him in a Moscow hotel room - looked stunned today and said: 'I have nothing to say to you.'

The ex-MI6 agent was standing in a queue with other commuters at a Surrey railway station when he was approached by MailOnline.

Looking shocked that his cover was blown he suddenly clasped a small briefcase to his chest, pushed through a line of other commuters queuing to buy a ticket and dashed out of the entrance.

He ran towards a car driven by his wife that just two minutes earlier had dropped him off at the station for his commute to his London office.

Steele waved frantically to attract his wife's attention as he ran towards the car and jumped into the passenger seat.

He stared rigidly ahead as his wife Katherine drove him the short distance back to his home.

It is the first time Steele has been seen since Trump was cleared of any collusion with the Russians over his 2016 election victory.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller exonerated Trump of conspiring with the Russians to win the Presidency - a claim long held by many of his opponents.

Steele, who runs a private intelligence firm, had supplied a dossier to an outside company used by Hillary Clinton's election committee.

It contained unverified information that Trump was vulnerable to blackmail from Russia and had engaged with 'golden showers' with prostitutes during a 2013 trip to Moscow for the Miss Universe pageant.

Leaked details of the dossier were seized upon by Trump's detractors as evidence that Russia's President Vladamir Putin had interfered in the election.

As well as supplying the dossier to the Clinton campaign Steele also handed it over to American and British intelligence agencies as he was worried about the national security implications.

With Trump in the clear Republicans are now turning their attention on those who put Trump in the firing line and triggered the investigation.

Senator Lindsey Graham has vowed to get answers on the origins of the Steele dossier and hinted the ex-spy could be summoned to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

As Chairman of the Committee, Graham has outlined a list of investigations he plans to start in the wake of the findings from special counsel Robert Mueller's report.

He said he wanted to find out how Steele was hired to do the research job and how much money he received from Democrats to do it.

He said he would also like to bring Steele before his committee to testify.

'I'd like for him to come if he would,' Graham said.

Since being named as the author of the dossier Steele has kept a low profile and has shunned all media requests for interview.

After a career with MI6 that included working at the British Embassy in Moscow Steele left in 2009 to set up his own company Orbis Business Inteligence with another former spy.

It was this company that was hired to write the dossier into alleged Trump-Russia activities.


How Bad Are Porch Pirates In California? You Might Want To Rethink Those Online Purchases

LAPPL News Watch
March 26, 2019

In a digitally plugged-in world — where front-door delivery of everything from burritos to dog food to underwear has practically become an inalienable right for Americans — the leave-it-on-the-doorstep trend has been quickly followed by the steal-it-from-the-doorstep phenomenon.

For thousands of people across the U.S., the front porch has increasingly become a crime scene.

As far back as late 2017, it was clear trouble was brewing as more and more of us had stuff shipped to our homes by FedEx or UPS. A survey back then by home-security startup Ring found that nearly 20 percent of us had reported a front-porch theft.

Now comes U.S. Packaging & Wrapping, a nationwide packaging supply company based in Arkansas, with its own survey of “porch piracy,” a look at shipping shenanigans that have made some people think twice before ordering that printer ink and medical marijuana for 24-hour delivery. Here are the top 10 porch pirate states in the continental U.S.:

1. Wyoming
2. Vermont
3. California
4. Massachusetts
5. Alaska
6. New York
7. Oregon
8. Washington
9. Rhode Island
10. North Dakota

EDITOR’S NOTE: I demand a recount! Texas is not in the top 10. Quick, git a rope!


Suspected LA crime ring members indicted in sales of drugs using the ‘Darknet’

By City News service
March 25, 2019

LOS ANGELES — Members of two alleged Los Angeles County crime rings are facing charges of using the Darknet to sell methamphetamine and other drugs nationwide, including shipment of a heroin-filled stuffed animal that led to a fatal overdose in Tennessee, federal prosecutors announced Monday.

In a nine-count indictment returned last week in Los Angeles federal court, five members of the Los Angeles-based “Drugpharmacist” drug-trafficking organization — named for the moniker it used on the Darknet marketplaces Wall Street Market and Dream — have been charged with, among other things, conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The Lancaster-based defendants are: Jerrell Eugene Anderson, 28, Christopher Carion Van Holton, 31, Adan Sepulveda, 26, Kenneth Lashawn Hadley, 31, and Jackie Walter Burns, 20.

All five were arrested on a criminal complaint earlier this month and freed on bond. Their arraignments are expected in the coming weeks, federal prosecutors said.

According to an affidavit filed with a criminal complaint in the case, the defendants allegedly sold controlled substances to Drugpharmacist customers via the Darknet, and distributed them inside stuffed animals through the U.S. Postal Service.

Prosecutors said one shipment of heroin last Aug. 7 resulted in the fatal overdose of a victim in Knoxville, Tennessee. Investigators confirmed the ring was using stash houses in the San Fernando Valley to package drugs for delivery to customers throughout the United States. If convicted on all counts, each defendant could face life in federal prison, prosecutors said.

In a separate case, three alleged members of the Darknet vendor “Aeirla” — Anh Pham, 49, of Hawaiian Gardens, Joseph Michael Gifford, 43, of La Crescenta, and Carlos Miguel Gallardo, 59, of Hawaiian Gardens — have agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, prosecutors said.

The group allegedly conducted 2,289 sales of methamphetamine and cocaine as of Nov. 28, according to an affidavit filed in the case. Undercover federal agents conducted 26 purchases of methamphetamine from Aeirla between March 2017 and December 2018, according to the affidavit.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Pham allegedly sold pound quantities of methamphetamine on the Darknet while Gifford and Gallardo packaged them in toys, a beach ball and boxes of Christmas cards and chocolates, and shipped them to customers nationwide, including to a customer in Pittsburgh who in reality was an undercover agent, court papers state.

Pham and Gallardo are in custody while Gifford, who signed a plea agreement Monday, is free on bond. Gifford also faces a narcotics distribution charge in a separate criminal case brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania. Each defendant could face life in federal prison upon conviction.