User-agent: * Allow: / Legal news, political opinion, Satire, and lawyer thinking by Tim Paynter, Attorney at Law: 2009

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Thursday, December 31, 2009

US-Mexico Border Militarized Drug Cartels Destroy Peace

nullmexican drug cartels frighten tourists

Too much pressure on border,

Drug war stresses US Border

Patrol, Mexican and US citizens

I crossed the border into Mexico today and was sad to see the changes that occurred since my last crossing a few years ago. My friends and I were in Mexico less than three minutes when we passed by the first of many bands of Mexican soldiers. They are guarding border towns these days because of the ugly things Mexican drug lords are doing to the Mexican people.

I noticed, these guys are dressed and ready for battle. In addition to their AK-47 rifles, they carry side arms and knives to be ready for short arms fire and hand to hand combat. These are not troops on site for show. They mean business! Many were bulked up with bullet proof vests. A few wore black masks to keep their identity secret. Drug lords will wipe out an entire family of a tough fighting soldier. It is part of the new reign of terror and intimidation used to control people and governments.

"Gone is any sense of civility on the part of the
Border Patrol. This is war!"
This was not a one sided affair. Gone is any semblance of civility on the US side of the border, starting with the US Border Patrol. This is war. When it was time to return to the U.S., I was greeted first with tired eyes. You can tell the guy at the check point had been working hard, likely suffering from the shortage of man-power to protect our border.

They have a two part system now. There is the guy at the check point desk as usual. However, now they have a second line of checkers. Behind the desk there is a wall of men watching as we pass the checkpoint. They are suited up just like the Mexican soldiers are, body armor, side arms neatly pinned; boots instead of shoes. They are a second line of defense, of sorts. I presume they are watching for any suspicious activity the check point guy did not catch.

Since we crossed early New Years Eve, there was almost no one at the check point. Here is a team of five guys watching the occasional border crosser. Sure enough I got extra attention. After all, a guy in shorts and a T-shirt crossing the border must look pretty suspicious.

"What are you bringing back" the buy with the body armor asked me.

"Dude, why are you checking me again?"

I knew what the wrong answer was,

'Dude, why are you checking me again, the first guy already looked at my plastic bag from the pharmacy with a single bottle of antibiotics in it."

Once in a rare while I followed my intuition. Thank god I did this time!
Instead of lamenting another search, I just muttered,


"Are you sure?" he queried. "No cigarettes?"

"No, I don't smoke." I told him.

"O.k." he said gruffly and nodded for me to move out.

Just to be friendly I added, "Smoking is not good for you."

His response was not a friendly agreement as I had expected. Instead he barked,

"I said o.k.!" and this time there was a very firm nod. I was dismissed, the remark was more of an order, and underneath hiw cool exterior was the subtle threat, head out unless you want trouble! What happened to friendliness or at least civility?

You can't fault our border patrol for one guy with a bad attitude. Attitudes like that come when a person is under a lot of stress. These guys are staring down the barrel of an army of firepower. Some of it they can see as they watch soldiers trying to protect the country they love. However, it is the fire power they can't see that must cause concern. These drug guys are armed to the teeth under their panchos.

Border patrol guys are dads, too. You can bet many of them have contemplated what they will do if a fire fight breaks out and there is a family with a little girl stuck in the middle of it.

"Those who don't drink too much will watch
many get falling down drunk"

Tonight is New Years Eve. The year 2010 rolls around in a few hours. Those who don't drink too much will watch loved ones get falling down drunk, and suffer peril on the road from unknown people who think their sleep is more important than our lives, as they drive their way to comfortable beds and put us all at risk. Drugs and alcohol are mixed with frequent disastrous consequences. There will be fights, unpleasant times, drug deals made, and we know someone somewhere is going to die in a traffic accident.
"This is the drinking and drugging man's night"

This is the drinking and drugging man's night. It is not that the heavy drinker or drugger is going to do much of anything different than he does most nights. Still, it is his night because tonight he will drag his wife and children and father and mother, and anyone else he can cajole, out into the cold night for the party. He must
show them why getting blitzed is the way to bliss, and why everyone should put up with his drinking and drugging the way he puts up with their sobriety.


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The drug problem on the US-Mexican border is as much our doing as it is Mexico's. The cartels are waging war on the Mexican side over the billions of drug dollars at steak. This is a two armed bandit. The money goes to points south, the product goes to points north. Our police and border protection people are at war with it, our schools have been attacked by it, the future of our youth has been assaulted with it.

There may be shoot outs in Mexico, but the battle is just as deadly North of the border. Carlos Lehderer was a drug king pen and the primary transportation arm of the Medellin cartel when the white lady was breaking onto the scene. He had a dream of creating a drug base where airliners crammed full of the powder could be transported to the US.

Carlos was motivated by a lot more than money. He had been a guest of brutal Dan bury Prison after conviction on auto theft charges. During his stay he built up healthy resentment against the U.S. He figured cocaine was his nuclear bomb. He planned to put as much of his product into the hands of US consumers, many of which would convert the white powder to crack. After the nearly instant addiction, these people became destructive. The bomb was effective, corroding the lives of poor people who beg, borrowed, stole and killed for one more puff on the pipe.

Carlos got his dream of having a central distribution point. After meeting George Jung in Danbury, he and Jung constructed the largest cocaine transportation company in the history of cocaine smuggling. Carlos eventually betrayed Jung and bought an island named Norman's Cay. He intimidated the residents into selling cheap. The last resident didn't even sell. He ran and Lehderer took the property as his own. That gave him the perfect home based business. Flights from South America constantly landed on the runway behind Lehderer's house as they stopped for fuel on their way to US destinations.

The romantic version of the story is retold in the movie Blow starring Johnny Depp who played George Jung. To finish the story, Jung ended up in prison and remains there today, lamenting, "life was passing him by". While Jung has a release date coming up, Lehderer ended up with what is effectively a life term. The victims of this nuclear bomb are suffering today. They take their whole families with them, as children grow up in dysfunctional homes, mothers have little choice but to look at the welfare system for basic necessities.

Out of control drug use is not well reported in the US, and the shoot outs on the border are lucky to get a three paragraph mention in the local paper. We can't react to an active threat if we don't know about it. Why not tell CNN and Fox to get their tails down to Mexico and do some honest reporting? Until we get our drug problem under control it is inane to blame the Mexican government for not getting their drug dealers under control. There is no chicken and egg in this equation. No demand, no money for greedy men corrupting border towns in Mexico.

"Blaming our addicts and alcoholics is not a solution"
Blaming our addicts and alcoholics is not a solution to the problem. These are sick people. Do you think they want to continue living the party that has turned into a nightmare? Do you think they want to tear their families apart? Do you think they want to become criminals, outlaws, thieves, and murderers? If an addict could control his addiction he wouldn't be an addict. A person with the flue vomits. It is not his or her fault. That is what happens when we get sick. Addicts and alcoholics use. That is what happens to sick individuals when we make drugs easy to get.

Ending the party for everyone else is not a solution. The majority of Americans handle New Years Eve fine. Those who do not have the sickness of addiction have no reason to turn out the lights at 10:00 on New just so a small percentage of Americans don't get drunk or get high. The alcoholic and addict are going to get high whether it is new years eve or not. Turning off the alcohol tap solves nothing.

We can, however, turn off the tap on our most dangerous choices for abuse. Let's turn off the big H, heroin, the big C, cocaine, and its filthy derivative crack, let's cut the reins on meth, and a few other choice substances which are rotting the core of America to the bone. To do that we need to recognize the nature of addiction, the illness and treat it as we would other illness with like characteristics.

When we encounter a sick person in the family, in the courts or in jail, let's get him help. If he won't accept our help let's isolate him from those he would harm. Let's quit passing the idea sold by advertisers that getting blasted is how we have fun. Let's get tough on first time offenders. A short jail sentence early on has an impact. Longer sentences later on seem to do little. You can put people in jail for having the flue but it won't change anything. We can wait until a good time turns into an addiction and then it is too late.

Perhaps you will see the addict or alcoholic in your family or in close friends for the first time tonight. Perhaps it is old hat by now. No matter your experience, New Year's Day is one of those rare days when many addicts and alcoholics regret their one great night. Now is the time to get them help if they will accept it at all. If they won't then close the door on them, send 'em packing, close the cell doors till these very sick people finally say, 'I have had enough!".

"Until we solve the US drug problems we have little reason to criticize Mexico."
Until we get a back bone we have little reason to criticize Mexico. The drug cartels are fighting for turf that would not exist but for the addiction of our fellow Americans.
Stay safe, have a great time, watch for the person who suffers and needs your help. Take action. Until then, let's raise taxes, increase the size of our border patrol force, and pay them for the risks they are taking.

God bless, Dios Te bendiga,

Uncle Tim

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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Fly naked Should airport x-ray see your thing?

Underwear bomb fails
to take down jet bound for Detroit

A terrorist has placed your privacy at risk when a bomb hidden in his underwear failed to explode.

Abdul Mudallad hid a two part incendiary device, part liquid part powder, in his underwear and on his leg. Once the two substances were mixed together and an electric charge from a cell phone battery put to it, the contraption was supposed to blow up. It didn’t, but his failed effort may have a drastic effect on your privacy rights from now on.

The technology is ancient. Miners used to mix water with powdered carbide, put a flame to it, and abra cadabra, they had a light to guide their way through dark mine shafts.

There is an x-ray machine that would have allowed screeners to spot the device. Instead of simply detecting metal, it allows the screener to take a peek at things hidden under your pants or dress. Unfortunately, it also allows screeners to take a peek at everything else that clothes usually hide. That includes your penis, your vagina and your breasts.

If screeners have enough probable cause they can take a peek at all of your body parts anyway. They take you to a private room and force you to take off all of your clothes. Under certain circumstances they can put on the latex gloves. Since most people object to strip and body cavity searches, and since a strip search takes a lot of man power, and woman power, not many airline passengers suffer the indignity of invasive searches.

The Backscatter body scanner will do a nearly instant strip search on every person who walks through it. If security personal have their way, flying naked, so to speak, will be the only way they will let you on the jet. The machine can be toned down so the screener sees “fewer details” and outlines. They will still know on which side you place your thing. In some places which already use the machine, the face of the person is blotted out, so the intrusion is reduced from nudity with identity to just a peep show at your private parts.

What are the alternatives? How about learning how to fly starting from 37,000 feet? For most of us, if the blast from the exploding airliner does not kill you the 37,000 foot fall will. Most of us are not birds.

There is competing technology called millimeter wave scanning. It bounces waves off of those walking near it. Unlike the x-ray backscatter, screeners can take a look at larger groups. So now, lots of people effectively get naked all at once. At least the wave scanner shows fewer details of your body parts.

Another alternative is to be more selective about who we let on an aircraft. Perhaps we should cancel commercial flights altogether and leave flying to the rich who can afford to buy their own jets. The philosophy is, if they want to blow themselves up go to it, but don’t take innocent holiday travelers with them. The problem is, most of us can't afford a private jet.

Perhaps we are making too much of a simple thing. If you happen to know an airport screener personally, just don't get into a poker game with him. He will know when to call your bluf!

The solution to the problem is not easy. Even with trade offs between detection and privacy compromised, the fruit cases who want to change the world through violence will be looking for ways to do it. Sure we got lucky this time. Still, Abdul has had a dramatic effect on all of us. The options are limited, invasion of privacy by your government may be the only way to stay safe when traveling by jet.

Marcos Arturo Beltrán Leyva, one of Mexico's top drug lords, was killed December 16 when Mexican soldiers attacked the exclusive apartment complex where he was staying in Cuernavaca.

Beltran, the boss of bosses, headed up the Beltrán-Leyva Cartel with his brothers, Marcos Arturo, Mario Alberto, Carlos, Alfredo and Hector. The cartel is a busy beaver with it's smuggling, cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine production. It is a violent organization having been involved in contract killing, gun running and the assassination of certain members of law enforcement.

The Cartel has been effective in controlling Mexican political climate. They have a knack for obtaining classified information from the police and political struggle. At one point they infiltrated the Interpol office in Mexico.

The attempt at arrest of the boss of bosses was bloody and raged for more than an hour. About 100 soldiers from the Mexican army attacked the security gated complex. One soldier was wounded, but several of the residents of the apartment were killed, including some of Beltran's children.

Cuernevaca is located South of Mexico City. However, the Cartel is responsible for violence along the US Mexico border. Many US residents think twice about their day visits to Mexican border towns for fear of being caught in the crossfire between warring drug gangs. Until Mexico takes a firmer hand in stopping the corruption and fighting drug lords, a fortune in tourist dollars will remain in the US instead of being spent in Mexcio.

Cuatro pies por libertad el camino de los suneos la acta de suenos para todos!

La marcha para el sueno de el futuro de nuesto mundo

La esperanza de cada genracion en un mundo de libertad es los que siguen tendran una vida mejor de el generacion anterior. Es el obligacion de cada persona con un corazon del amor a ayudar los que estan listos a poner todo en riesgo para el futuro de los demas! Abjo es infomacion de acciones de algunas jovenes en el camino de destino feliz!

Aunque se introdujo una nueva legislación para reformar el sistema de inmigración (CIR ASAP) por el representante Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL), las comunidades inmigrantes de la Florida y sus aliados sienten que ni el congreso ni la administración de Obama han hecho suficiente para aliviar su sufrimiento. Al contrario, incrementaron las redadas, deportaciones, y separaciones de familias.

Queremos que el Presidente Obama actúe inmediatamente para mantener nuestras familias y comunidades unidas. El Camino de los Sueños y el Ayuno Para Nuestras Familias demuestra nuestro compromiso a tomar grandes sacrificios, arriesgando nuestros futuros, porque nuestro presente es insoportable, viviendo entre las sombras de un estado de opresión y explotación.

Sobre el Camino de los Sueños El primero de enero del 2010, cuatro estudiantes valientes y decididos de Miami emprenderán un viaje de 2000 millas a través del sureste, hacia la capital de nuestra nación. Aparte de los caminantes, se unirán aliados de toda la Florida y otros estados en el camino, esperando llegar a la capital de nuestra Nación el primero de Mayo. Los caminantes serán alentados por los aliados en todo el país, para empezar a ayunar hasta que nuestras demandas sean cumplidas.

Sobre el Ayuno Para Nuestras También, en el primero de enero del 2010, otro grupo de individuos afectados directamente proponen demostrar a través de sacrificio personal, la urgencia y la desesperación por mantener sus familias unidas. Refugiándose en una iglesia local, empezaran un ayuno indefinido para las familias, arriesgando sus vidas por el bienestar de sus familiares y comunidades. Como una tradición en muchas religiones, el propósito de este ayuno es tocar el corazón de todos aquellos que valoran la unión familiar y la fuerza de nuestras comunidades. Contamos con que otros se unirán en este sacrificio, ayunando en solidaridad, en la Florida y más allá.

El Ayuno Para Nuestras Familias celebrara su última comida con esas personas que emprenderán el Camino de los Sueños en la víspera del año nuevo, manteniéndose firme ayunando hasta que la administración de Obama escuche y responda a las voces unidas de familias y comunidades separadas por las redadas, detenciones y deportaciones.

DEMANDAMOS que nuestro Presidente, Barak Obama, acabe con la separación de familias y deportaciones de nuestros Soñadores (jóvenes inmigrantes llegados como menores).

APOYAMOS una reforma inmigratoria justa y humana que incluye acceso educativo para todos, un final a la separación de familias, derechos para los trabajadores, y un camino a la ciudadanía.

¿Por qué una Caminata? Cada caminante está profundamente comprometido en hacer el sacrificio personal requerido para demostrar el deseo – y la necesidad – por una ciudadania completa. Están sobrepasando todas las metas, armados con el espíritu de la rectitud y la pasión por la justicia y libertad que fue demostrado en el movimiento de los Derechos Civiles.

Por su compromiso en denunciar las fallas del sistema de inmigración y la falta de acceso a la educación superior, los caminantes continuaran defendiendo el SUEÑO de un país donde todos tiene la oportunidad de realizar sus aspiraciones, para vivir sus vidas libres de temor, explotación y opresión en el país que han adoptado como su hogar. A causa de la necesidad urgente para una reforma justa y humana, ellos están dispuestos a arriesgarlo todo mientras cruzan el país a través de los estados del sur.

¿Por que un Ayuno? Nuestra lucha por la justicia es parte del mismo camino espiritual de comunidades religiosas a través del mundo, liderada por individuos como Cesar Chávez, Martin Luther King y Mahatma Gandhi. Ayunamos para fortalecer nuestro espíritu pero también porque estamos hambrientos por la justicia. Ayunamos porque creemos en una resistencia pacífica a nuestra opresión pero también entendemos que la resistencia es inevitable.

En las palabras de Martin Luther King Jr., “Nuestra decisión ahora no es entre la violencia y resistencia sin violencia, sino de resistir o no existir.”
Estudiantes por derechos equales por todos

4 steps to freedom students march to DC for dream!


All free men have the right to dream.

When we steal the dreams of others,
we imprison ourselves.

The future we have given children of undocumented workers is far short of the future most Americans want for their own children.

We as a free nation cannot steal from the next generation that which we want for ourselves. We must support peaceful means to bring the message of hope and dreams to all reason minded people.

"That was the message I was trying to convey to the Piolin Por La Manana people"

That was the message I was trying to convey to the Piolin Por La Manana people and the Caravana a Washington D.C.

How sad it is they could not accept that a guerro attorney wanted wonderful things for them and the youth who follow.

There is a group of young people who are planning a march on Washington D.C. to say to the world, 'Hey, we count, give us the chance, let us be part of the American dream, let us give back, let us in!"

Check out the trail of Dreams!

The following article appeared in the Treasure Coast Palm.

TREASURE COAST — Manuel Guerra Casas may soon be deported.

The 26-year-old from Indiantown has been forced to withdraw from Kaplan University and was denied scholarships at a seminary. And if pending court proceedings don’t go his way — he’ll also be heading back to Mexico.

So Guerra Casas plans to start walking to Washington D.C.

"Four young people will lace up their sneakers
and head north from Miami"

On Jan. 1, four young people will lace up their sneakers and head north from Miami toward the nation’s capital along U.S. 1. The group hopes that each step will bring more attention to the fact that thousands of undocumented individuals, many who have lived in the U.S. since they were small children, are barred each year from continuing their education in the U.S.

Guerra Casas, also one of the organizers, plans to walk with them from Hobe Sound to Fort Pierce.

“The purpose of all this is to let the American people, Congress and the president know that we are no longer afraid of being undocumented — that we are going to show who we are,” he said. “We are coming out of the shadows.”

They’re calling it the Trail of Dreams, and the youth — associated with Students Working for Equal Rights and supported by the Florida Immigrant Coalition and Reform Immigration for America — plan to complete their trek to the National Mall by May 1.

At a rate of about 17 miles per day, they will pass through Hobe Sound Jan. 8, Stuart Jan. 9 and Fort Pierce Jan. 10. On Jan. 9, the walkers will gather at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Stuart to tell their stories to area residents. Guerra Casas said 200 people are expected.
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The travelers would like to be joined in Washington by 100,000 supporters who will rally for the passage of the Development, Relief and Education Act for Alien Minors, or the DREAM Act.

The bill was introduced in both chambers of Congress in March with the intention of providing undocumented immigrant students who fit certain criteria a chance to earn conditional permanent residency.

Each year, tens of thousands of high school graduates can’t pursue higher education because of their immigration status. The proposed legislation would put them on a conditional path to citizenship in exchange for the completion of a college degree or two years of military service.

But in an interview with USA Today, Ira Mehlman, spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which advocates less immigration, said the DREAM Act rewards “people who have broken the law with immigration benefits.”

Additionally, the walkers would like to see the passage of legislation that would prevent undocumented individuals from being separated from their families.

Only four individuals have signed up for the entire 1,052-mile trip, but hundreds — like Guerra Casas — will join them for small stretches.

Guerra Casas came to the U.S. at age 17. He said he swam across the river from Mexico into the U.S. at Laredo, Texas. He said he was escaping gangs in Mexico and wanted to attend school in the U.S.

The deportation process began in 2003 when he tried to get a driver’s license and work permit. He had his first deportation hearing in 2006, he said.

But not all of the activists are undocumented immigrants.

Flavia Franco came to the U.S. as a child with a visa and now attends Palm Beach Community College in Lake Worth. Some of her friends have been denied access to higher education or separated from their families, and Franco said that needs to stop.

“I think it’s the only thing that is left to do. We have tried rallies, we have tried protests, we have tried calling the congressmen, and we are not heard,” she said. “We’re having a lunch for the walkers when they pass through, and when they leave, they’ll be taking our dreams with them.”


The march to Washington D.C. will pass through Hobe Sound Jan. 8, Stuart Jan. 9, and Fort Pierce Jan. 10.

On 9 a.m. Jan. 9, the marchers will meet at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 1200 East 10th Street, Stuart, to share their stories.

"The organizers are looking for monetary donations"

The organizers are looking for monetary donations, individuals or groups willing to host local receptions for the walkers, and volunteers willing to provide shelter or a meal.

For more information, visit the Students Working for Equal Rights’ Web site — — or send the organizers an e-mail at

Friday, December 25, 2009

No more naked pics on yahoo problem with pornography

Yahoo defends against suit for posting pics of a naked lady!

Yahoo defends against pics of naked lady

Should Yahoo be liable if someone posts nasty pictures of an x-girlfriend?

Normally the answer is no. The Telecommunications Act of 1996, popularly known as the Communications Decency Act, says the web service is not liable for objectionable material posted to it's service if they 1. allow outside postings also known as interactive postings; 2. the service is named in the law suit as the publisher of the material; and 3.the server did not post the specific objectionable material, an interactive user posted it.

In short, the communications decency act says a web host is not liable for pornography if it was posted by one of the users and not the web service itself. There are exceptions to the law including illegal material like child pornography.

What happens if the interactive service provider, in this case Yahoo, promises to take the pics off the net but does not do it. Should it be liable then?

U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken's applied the standards to a case filed by Cecilia Barnes when her ex-boyfriend posted pictures of her in various states of undress. Ms. Barnes complained to Yahoo and the service provider agreed to remove the offensive photos.

At the same time, Yahoo contacted a television reporter who was doing a piece on non-responsive service providers who left objectionable material on the server. Yahoo told the reporter it had taken the pictures down. Yahoo wanted to diffuse the effect of the reporters claims.

Unfortunately for Yahoo, the popular Internet service provider didn't take the pictures down. Ms. Barnes sued. Finally, the pics came off of Yahoo's server, but it took the lawsuit for Yahoo to take action.

So what to do? Judge Aiken dismissed the case based upon the Communications Decency Act. Ms. Barnes appealed and the appellate court agreed in part and disagreed in part. The appeals court agreed Ms. Barnes did not have a case for negligence. However, the appeals court said Ms. Barnes did have a case for breach of contract when the agreed to take the pics off of the net and did not do it.

What is the moral of the story?

If you have an interactive computer service like yahoo and someone posts pictures of a third party unclothed or in compromising positions, remove the pictures quickly if some one complains. In the alternative, make no promises and take no action. Just leave the pics as they be. Until Yahoo made the promise to take down the pics, Yahoo was protected under the communications decency act. Their mistake was in making the promise to take the pics down and then not taking the pics off of the net!

The law could have a chilling effect on service providers that allow their users to post what some users call erotic art and others call pornography. The right of free press is a precious one, and censureship of one man's art leads us down the slippery slope to censureship of every man's art.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Manhattan District Court says no more cohibas

Most people think Cohiba cigars are made by Cuba or at least from original Cuban tobacco plants. Some say the tobacco for these premium cigars is smuggled into the country or that Cohiba cigars are brought into the U.S. through diplomatic back doors.

The truth is Cohíba was originally a private brand supplied exclusively to Fidel Castro and high-level officials in the Communist Party of Cuba. It was often given as a diplomatic gift, so says Wikpedia. Since Cohibas were not legally for sale in the U.S. it became a prized possession for those who could get their hands on one. In 1982 it was released for sale to the public, mostly in South America by Cubatobacco, a Cuban state owned company.

Meanwhile, some cats with lots on the ball realized Cubatobacco could not register the Cohiba name in the U.S. and appropriated the Cohiba name for their own company called General Cigar. Cubatobacco was left out in the cold since the embargo with Cuba prevented Cubatobacco from protecting it's brand name. Hence, there grew to be two Cohibas, one made in Cuba by Cubbatobacco and which undergoes an extra fermentation process. A second type of Cohiba is produced for General Cigar and is sold in the U.S.

If a decision by Manhattan Federal District Judge Robert Sweet is upheld, the Judge says there will be no more Cohibas made by General Cigar because it cannot continue using the Cohiba name. Instead, Cubatobacco has rights to the name under law known as the "famous marks doctrine", wherein a foreign company may retain the rights to it's trade mark even if it fails to register the name.

The "famous marks" doctrine was no doubt established through case law in order to protect trade marks of U.S. made products, since it is unfair to expect other nations to respect trademarks for U.S. products if the U.S. does not reciprocate. foreign trade marks which have not been registered since the same is expected of other countries regarding U.S. products.

Cigar aficionados who plan to buy the real Cohiba cigar made in Cuba should not hold their breath. While the court decision protects Cubatobacco's rights to the Cohiba name, it does nothing to assist the company import Cuban made Cohibas into the U.S. It is still illegal for US citizens to buy Cuban products no matter where they are found, including the infamous Cohiba cigar. However, the decision is a tiny step in Cuba's favor as the United States and Cuba rethink the wisdom of keeping Cuban products out of the hands of Americans, and American products outside the hands of Cubans.

The battle for the Cohiba name is not over yet. Judge Sweet stayed his order so that General Tobacco could appeal the decision, a likely event since the battle for the Cohiba name has been raging for 10 years.

Shakespeare said, a rose by any other name will smell as sweet, Cubatobacco says a cigar named Cohiba will never be as sweet as a Cohiba made in Cuba.

PI spys on doc, lucky no prision says kevins security scrapbook

FL - A private investigator linked to illegal electronic surveillance of some doctors at the Florida Eye Institute in early 2008 has entered a plea that could spare her jail time.

Brenda Doan Johnson, of the 3400 block of Atlantic Boulevard, pleaded no contest on Tuesday as part of a deal reached with the State Attorney’s Office, her attorney, Andrew Metcalf said... Outside Hawley’s courtroom, Johnson tearfully said she apologizes to doctors Karen Todd, Val Zudans and Mark Gambee.

“I didn’t know this was illegal,” she said. A private investigator linked to illegal electronic surveillance of some doctors at the Florida Eye Institute in early 2008 has entered a plea that could spare her jail time.

Brenda Doan Johnson, of the 3400 block of Atlantic Boulevard, pleaded no contest on Tuesday as part of a deal reached with the State Attorney’s Office, her attorney, Andrew Metcalf said.

Circuit Judge Robert Hawley is scheduled to sentence her 1:30 p.m. Feb. 11.

None of the doctors were present as she entered the plea.

Outside Hawley’s courtroom, Johnson tearfully said she apologizes to doctors Karen Todd, Val Zudans and Mark Gambee.

“I didn’t know this was illegal,” she said.

The criminal case is the only one to come out of a deep disagreement between former Florida Eye Institute partners that led to a civil lawsuit and a breakup of the partners.

Doctors Zudans, Todd and Thomas Baudo successfully filed a multi-million-dollar civil lawsuit against then institute founder and director Dr. Paul Minotty, claiming he committed business fraud and unlawfully intercepted communications and invaded privacy at work.

A civil jury found Minotty liable for both, according to court records in the 2008 case.

Only Johnson was arrested on criminal charges.

In court on Tuesday, Assistant State Attorney Richard Seymour said Minotty brought in Johnson in 2007 after he became concerned that some of the doctors in the practice were out to get him.

“He felt like his physical life was in jeopardy,” Seymour told Hawley.

And, said Metcalf, “Minotty sought out Johnson and hired her.”

She said she hired a Melbourne security consultant who installed surveillance cameras in doctors’ offices at the institute on Indian River Boulevard.

When she found out that was illegal, she asked the Melbourne consultant to pull the equipment out, Metalf said.

But by then Gambee was tipped the survellance equipment was in place and police were called in to investigate, Metcalf said.

Initially Johnson defended Minotty, Metcalf said.

And what happened in the civil case is not a defense in the criminal case, Metcalf said.

Seymour could not be reached for comment after the hearing.

Johnson pleaded no contest to eight counts of unlawful interception of communications. Each is punishable by up to five years in jail and a $5,000 fine, Hawley said.

Under the plea arrangement, she will not face any jail time if she abides by the agreement that includes not working as a private investigator
(Kevin's Security Scrapbook: PI claims "I didn't know" & cops a plea ...zzzzz

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

DA hides death case evidence, supreme ct. refuses to stay sentence

The Supreme Court of the United States of America refused to stay the execution of inmate Cecil Johnson who had filed a motion for review of the case, similar to an appeal, thereby denying him his final right to a hearing. He was executed December 02, 2009 at 1:33 a.m.

Johnson was convicted in 1981 of the murder of three people during a convenience store robbery. In 1992, 11 years later, it was discovered the State of Tennessee had withheld critical evidence that Johnson could have used in his defense, and which might have prevented the original conviction.

Johnson's attorneys requested the Supreme Court stay the inmate's execution until the court could decide whether executing Johnson after keeping him on death row for 29 years was cruel and unusual punishment. This was especially true in light of the fact he may have been found not guilty 29 years earlier had the State of Tennessee disclosed evidence, Johnson's attorneys argued.

In a split vote, the Supreme Court decided not to hear the case, thereby sealing Johnson's fate. As is procedure, one Justice from the winning vote to hear or not hear the case, and one Justice from the losing vote wrote opinons called the Majority opinon and the Dissent.

Justice John Paul Stevens writing for the Dissent, or losing vote, said this was "as compelling" a case as he had seen. He said executing Johnson after keeping him on death row in "dehumanizing conditions of confinement" was indeed, cruel and unusual punishment. This was espcecially the case since the evidence the State of Tennessee withheld could have been used to challenge a key witness in the case.

"We cannot know as a definitive matter whether, if the state had not withheld exculpatory evidence, Johnson would have been convicted of these crimes," wrote Stevens. "We do know that Johnson would not have waited 11 years on death row before the State met its disclosure obligations."

Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the majority opinion which expressed his belief the death sentence should be stayed by one day, and then carried out quickly thereafter.

He said those who side with Justice Stevens must find their support "in precedent from the 'European Court of Human Rights, the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe, the Supreme Court of India, or the Privy Council'" The Thomas opinion suggests the argument for cruel and unusual punishment as made by the condemned man's attorney has no support in the consitution.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Eyes in the skies of the ladies stalls, U R a Movie Star!

Smile, there is a camera above your toilet stall!

A lot of young lovelies want to break into movies. This is especially true with the movers ans shakers. Breaking into mFont sizeovies was exactly what many of these unwitting young lovlies were doing when they went to 'powder their noses'.

As it turned out, when the gal entered her booth and disrobed, her performance was being video taped. We are not sure whre those video tapes wer intent for, but one thing is sure: The ladies were subject to sexual exploitation and and forms of sexual violations depending uponthe evidence.

Tiny cameras are the rage now. They make a unit that is so small it is dificult to spot. Some come with a pin hole and a screw so they look very nature where they all. All you see is the screw. How do you kknow you are being watched in the first place? My suggestion is, if you have a sixth sense it will help you the most.

How can you do to stop it? One, be careful how much skin your show public rest rooms? Be careful, keep as veiled as you can. Always peruse the ceiling and walls to see if there is something that looks like it is out of order. Any thing with a pin hole light should be suspicous! You can also take sweepers in to see if they pick anythign up.

Buy a pin hole camera to see how it works. There are lots of applications that work fine, likely putting it inyour

Look at the floor and stall walls. Does it look like someone spilled someting that ran doen the partition walls, or onto the floor" If it is a male emission then you are hanging aound play pin of a voyuer. Maybe it is time to find a different bathroom.

Understanding the law when it comes to recodeing of these kinds of thinks keeps you on your toes. In short, any place you would have the expectation of privacy. For example, in a men's room looking down the corrodor, men cannot expect a zone of privacy in the corridor. If they walk into this general tolet hall, no one is supposed to be there naked and so, it likely would not be considered a violation of privacy. Now move this same cat to the urinal or the toilet stall and take the same pic. Are you violating privacy rights? You bet you are.

An interesting case came out serveral years about about a large department store with a big restroom and a lot of guys hanging around for a long time. Finally, the store came up with the brilliant idea. Why don't they drop a cam at foot level? Then, if a guy did the regular thing all they would see are pants and underware and nothing elde. If the client did this, and then went to his knees so the other guy could masturbate him.

The issue was, when the large store showed guys with their underware down to their ankles was that an invation? The problem was, the store also showed some men on their hands and knees having sex beneath the stall wall. The judge ruled that it was not! So be careful what you show beneath the stall wall!

These new spy cameras are really cute. The temptation is to commit a felony with them by doing your first feature film. The actual filming of it is not likely illegal. However, to keep that mandtle of protection, keep the cam out of the Spain - The owner of a wedding venue and disco in Cazorla (Jaén) has been arrested after police discovered spy cams he had installed in the women's toilets.

C.D.M.V. (30), a local resident of Cazorla and owner of El Clan, a popular local disco and restaurant, installed secret cameras in the stalls of the toilets in the Ladies of his establishment "with the intention of procuring indecent images", according to the police report.

The police say that images from as long ago as the 8th of December 2008 were found on the hard drive. The police operation was launched after a woman discovered one of the cameras and notified authorities.

Police are now attempting to discover if the man was working with any organised group or if any of the images have been uploaded to the internet. (more)
Posted by Kevin D. Murray, CPP at 10:15 AM
Labels: amateur, business, employee, lawsuit, spycam
Links to this post
Create a Link . It never gets boring around here. Each case is unique, and new eavesdropping devices challenge us daily.

Murray Associates has been successfully solving these issues for over 30-years. Visit and see how we do it. Be sure to view the HBO movie of us conducting a sweep in Washington, DC. The History Section of the site is just as fascinating. There, you will find The Great Seal Bug story, The Martini Olive Bug story, and stories about famous buggers.

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var gaJsHost = (("https:" == document.location.protocol) ? "https://ssl." : "http://www.");
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Pornographer and sex tourists get tour of pokey

The owner of a wedding venue and disco in Cazorla (Jaén) has been arrested after police discovered spy cams he had installed in the women's toilets.

C.D.M.V. (30), a local resident of Cazorla and owner of El Clan, a popular local disco and restaurant, installed secret cameras in the stalls of the toilets in the Ladies of his establishment "with the intention of procuring indecent images", according to the police report.

Officers from the Guardia Civil's Unidad de Delincuencia Especializada y Violenta (UDEV) unit searched the mans' premises and his home, where a computer containing images of 150 different women were found.

The police say that images from as long ago as the 8th of December 2008 were found on the hard drive. The police operation was launched after a woman discovered one of the cameras and notified authorities.

Police are now attempting to discover if the man was working with any organised group or if any of the images have been uploaded to the internet.

The man has been charged with violation of personal integrity and dignity, and illegal photography. He has been bailed pending trial.

how to protect your assets trusts medacare

No Medical Insurance, no money, what do I do?

How are you going to pay for medical care if you don’t have insurance. Sad to say, what little advice I have to give you about being non-insured, if that is your problem, is at the end of this piece. It is very short.

An equally relevant topic is how to protect your estate from attack by hungry hospitals, medical testing outfits and other vultures when the chips are down. Just as bad, if you try to pay the medical people then all the rest of your debts go to hell. Same problem! Presumably, you may have a home, one or two vehicles, collection of things, money in the bank, savings in retirement accounts, stocks and other assets. To protect these items we need to have a good understanding about how things work.

Insurance pays for your expenses, why worry?

First line of defense fails, insurance does not cover it all. But then you have some expenses not covered with insurance and they ask you for the payment. Perhaps you are faced with some difficult decisions. Maybe you skip a meal sometimes or find one at the church. If things keep getting worse than you might be without water and heat in your house.

Second line of defense: Income. Any income will help you offset the cost of the extra bills. Remember, what we are trying to protect is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, your house or an important investments. If you have recently been diagnosed with a severe illness, your best working years are now. If you can work, you should

Third line of defense, savings. The medical expenses keep going up and you can’t afford to miss them. Where are you going to get the money? At this point the hand writing should be on the wall. If you have not taken asset protection steps it may be too late. Let’s not give up yet. Perhaps you have significant personal income and can fund your health care expenses.
Fourth line of defense, preservation. At this point we know you are not going to be out of trouble any time soon. In fact, the way things are going you are going to incur more medical expenses which you desperately need but which you can’t afford. Do you take money out of your 401 K program to pay?

No. You leave it right where it is. Otherwise you will burn that money through and be right back where we agreed. You are in trouble. It is time to turn to asset preservation.

Asset preservation. This process should have started long ago. Maybe you were worried that “one day” x could happen. Maybe it has been more recent, just notified of a cancer in a breast cell or in your prostrate gland. Now what?

Until you get to the fourth level of defense, you likely quality for insurance or Medicare. By the time you get to the fourth level of defense you have few options left.

Cough up all the rest of your assets until they are spent; Once they are spent you go onto Medicaid. Unfortunately Medicaid does not pay for everything that Medicare paid for. You do not have as wide a range of doctors, for example. Access to ‘designer’ drugs my be limited; and since you will be homeless, you are likely more susceptible to illness.

By now, there is not much an attorney can do for you rather than give you these words of advice: If you can still work, find a job that gives you medical benefits. Don’t let those benefits go for any reason!

So what is the point of the article if you can’t do anything and the slippery slope faces us as we get older? The answer is, there is a lot that can be done for you to protect your estate if it is done soon enough. In this case, soon enough is before you ever think you will need it.

What can be done? Asset protection tactics are tricky and should be discussed between you and your attorney. Each situation is unique and it is their job to help you fined solutions.

1. You can give your assets away. It sounds drastic, but the gift would be to your daughter or trusted friend. These kinds of gifts need to be made 2 years or more before you find yourself in trouble.

2. You can set up spend thrift trusts. In these kinds of trusts no one can touch the assets of the trust unless your trustee says they can touch the trust. Unfortunately one of the no-one’s who can’t access the account without permission is you. Fortunately, another who cannot access your account is your creditor. Hence you have this pot of gold sitting there but because you were forward thinking, you get to keep what you have.

3. You can put your house into the same trust we are speaking above. Once again you lose all control over the house. Who ever you put into the driver’s seat needs to be very trustworthy!

4. You can put a lien on your house so that it is so unattractive it is not worth selling. The party who wants to foreclose will have to pay the prior lean off. The question is, what did you do with all of the money. If you really have it under blanket be careful. You may be required to account for the money, especially if it is near the date creditors are climbing your back.

My suggesting is, if you are concerned about staying off of Medicaid, find an attorney and do some planning now. Just because you were diagnosed with a difficult illness does not make it too late. If you can get down the line a few years, you can establish a legitimate path to asset protection which is legal, and avoid fraud, which is not legal.

Tim Paynter is an attorney at law in the state of Colorado and invites questions or problems. The initial discussion is free. Tim is also an advocate for civil rights and the rights of the homeless and poor.

Monday, December 21, 2009

I missed court what do I do?

I missed my court date, what can I do?

Was it criminal or civil? The answer makes a big difference.

If you missed your criminal court date a warrant generally has been issued for your arrest. If you get stopped by the police they will likely run you on the NCIC, the national Crime Information Center and find the warrant. You get a free ride to the pokey in silver bracelets.

You remain a guest of the window bar motel until you can be transported and appear in front of a Judge in the jurisdiction where you were to appear. In some cases where the crime is minor, you may be allowed to return upon your word or upon placing a personal recognizance bond, basically your assurance you will return. If the case is more serious, you may or may not be provided the chance to post a bond. In some cases the court will hold you in jail until your case is heard. In the alternative, if a bond is allowed, then you will be able to leave the jail when the bond is posted.

What to do? Sooner or later your number will come up. You will be discovered by the authorities and this process will occur. It is always better to face your consequence of your own volition than be dragged in hand cuffs in front of a judge. You look a lot more credible when you do it than when the county marches you in with your jail jump suit on and manacled.

Will you be arrested when you go into court? The answer to that depends. If you failed to appear on a minor traffic charge and you approach the court with the right circumstances you probably won’t be arrested. Instead, the court will quash the warrant you give you a new court date. In the alternative the court will issue a bond and allow you to pay the bond. However, in cases where the charges are serious, or when the judge got up on the wrong side of the bed, you are going to jail.

What to do? It is my recommendation you never go to court on a warrant for failure to appear alone. You need an attorney by your side who can argue your specific circumstances. Why did you miss the court date? Are you a run risk? What will compel you to remember to come to court next time? What are your community ties? Did you miss your date because you were running? All these arguments and more may become issues during your court appearance. A good attorney will argue your side of the case and the rest is up to the court.

I always advise my clients to be ready in the case the judge is not in a good mood. That means you should be ready with bond money so you can get out of jail as quickly as possible. This especially applies if you are in the country and undocumented. If you wait in jail too long you may end up with an immigration hold. My objective is to assist you in coming into compliance with U.S. laws and that process can be impeded if you are incarcerated in an INS holding facility.

The best policy is not miss your court date in the first place. If you do, contact an attorney and let him help you. There likely is a solution to your problem and legal counsel can make the entire process go more smoothly.

The advice I have given here is general in nature. Each case is unique. As a general rule, at least in Colorado, an attorney is of little help until you are in the system. Hence, I encourage you to get off of the run and into the system as quickly as you possibly can. However, you should

Tim Paynter is an attorney in Denver Colorado. He is an advocate of civil rights and fair treatment for all people. Please contact Mr. Paynter if you have a matter that you wish to discuss. The initial consultation is free of charge.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Brownsville Texas couple were arrested and convicted for bringing undocumented workers into the United States for the purposes of prostitution. At least one of these victims was only 14 years of age.

Juan Luis Coronado, aka Juan Luis Hernandez, 37, and Lee Ann Zieger, 40, worked together to recruit Mexican citizens for their prostitution business. According to reports, Coronado convinced Ziegler to recruit several people to cross the border and work for them.for their prostitution business.

Once in the U.S. the new recruits were housed in a Brownsville motel which Zieger managed. When clients visited, a key was provided to a room where the Mexican nationals exchanged sexual favors for money. The key was labeled "property management".

When the recruited prostitutes were not working hard in Brownsville, they got to spend time in posh South Padre Island. Their time was not spent as tourists, however. Coronado put them to work at "Bike Fest" on South Padre and another location in down town Brownsville.

The pair will have some time to think about what they have done, perhaps as sort of sex slaves themselves. Coronado received 87 months in prison and Zieger 24 months. When Coronado is released he will also have to register as a sex offender.

Ice and US Cutoms and Border Inspection investigated the case over a 14 month period. The arrest and conviction of Coronado and Zigeir takes two more monstors off of the street who prey on desperately poor people.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Leonardo, Southern District of Texas, prosecuted this case

Fast thinking ICE nabs international sex tourist


In May 2008 Norway police spotted a white male having sex with minors, young minors, while the authorities were watching for child pornography on the internet. The image of the male, later identified as Wayne Nelson Corliss, 60, of New Jersey, was sent to interpol. Interpol cropped one of the images that were on the net and sent a copy out. They made a world wide appeal in seach of the unknown man who likes to steal the innocence away from helpless children.

Within 48 hours of INTERPOL's global appeal, ICE found a possible match for the sexual predator. ICE special agents from field offices in Newark and Washington, D.C., coordinating with INTERPOL, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation & Obscenity Section (CEOS), identified, located and arrested Corliss. He has been in custody since his arrest.

Corliss admitted traveling to Thailand with the inent to have sex with little children, some of them as young as six. When in Thailand, Corliss met with a man known as John Wrenshall, who owns a home in Thailand. Wrenshall was alledgedly the middle man, so to speak, as he alledgedly arranged for adult males to meet and have sex with little children. Wrenshall alledgedly set up sex meetings with two other U.S. citizens, Burgess Lee Burgess and Mitchell Kent Jackson, each time alledgedly for a fee.

Burgess, 45, and Jackson, 32, were both arrested and pleaded guilty to charges relating to sexual exploitation of a minor, November 6th, 2009, in the Southern District of Alabama and were each sentenced to 78 months in prison. Apparently, New Jersey is not the place for sex tourists because Corliss was given a sentence of 235 month by a Newark, New Jersey court.

Corliss was also sentenced Nov. 16 by U.S. District Judge Joseph A. Greenaway to lifetime supervised release to follow his prison term, and was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine.
Corliss will be required to register as a sex offender when he gets out of prison. If he lives long enough to serve his full term he be be 80 when he gets out. Until then, he will get lots of supervision behind bars.

Friday, December 18, 2009

US Marshals Sexual and Viloent Crime Near End

Sex offender and violent crime task force of the United Marshal's service may be comming to an end, if funding is not quickly found.

According to Deputy DUSM Dewaine Allen, Western District of Arkansas, Fayetteville Division , the task force has tracked 1000 fugitives since the unit was created in November of 2007. Most of the fugitives are running from the law for violent crimes and sex offenses.

The special task force started in November of 20007 with a grant of $500,000. The money was written and adminstered by the Benton County Sheriff's off.

According to Deputy Allen, “The grant monies have been used to purchase Task Force Officer vehicles, emergency lighting, radios and other equipment for officers.”

The grant was also used to lease a private office space in Springdale until operations could be relocated to the U. S. Marshals Service office in Fayetteville.

“Relocating saved us considerable funding, but resources are at an end, and we need additional funding to operate,” said Deputy Allen.

Computers, phones, and overtime were also paid from the grant. “Unless additional resources are obtained, the task force will lose its most valuable resource…our administrative assistant, who is paid by the Benton County Sheriff’s Office via the grant,” said Deputy Allen.

Every year, the U.S. Marshals and its associated task forces throughout the country arrest more fugitives than all federal law enforcement agencies combined. Last year, this number was more than 73,000 state and local fugitives and more than 36,000 federal fugitives. Additional information about the U.S. Marshals can be found at

The Northwest Arkansas Sex Offender and Violent Crime Task Force is comprised of the U. S. Marshals Service, Benton, Washington, Madison, and Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, as well as Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, Siloam Springs, and the Bentonville Police Departments. The Arkansas Department of Community Corrections is also a valued member. The Benton County Sheriff’s Office currently manages the grant that funds the task force.
High ranking leaders of the FARC, or Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, agreed to guilty pleas to conspiring to import cocaine into the United States, and conspiring to distribute cocaine with the knowledge and intent that it would be imported into the United States.

The FARC, a Marxist Leninist revolutionary organization, has been the nemises of an otherwise stable government in Colombia, South America for over 40 years. While the organization was formed to be political in nature, thugs gained control of the party and used it for criminal activities. Kidnapping for ransom and cocaine trafficking are two major profit centers for the FARC.

Two FARC leaders, Rodriguez Mendieta, 46, and Aguilar Ramirez, 49, are scheduled to be sentenced by Judge HOGAN on March 5, 2010. Ramirez was captured on July 2, 2008, in joint military attack on a FARC camp. During the operation, three American hostages and several Colombian hostages were freed who had been held captive for over 5 years. Mendieta was arrested by Colombian authorities in late 2004.

Mendieta acknowledged that he was the Commander of the FARC's 24th Front and a member of the FARC's Estado Major. Ramirez acknowledged he was the Commander of the 1st Front of the FARC. Both men admitted to "leading and directing" other FARC members in the manufacture and distribution of cocaine. Ramirez also admitted he possessed firearms in connection with his narcotics trafficking activities.

FARC-EP (then known simply as FARC) was established in the 1960s as the military wing of the Colombian Communist Party because of repeated and systematic human right abuses by the US-backed elitist Colombian government and thus originated as a guerrilla movement.

FARC-EP remains the largest insurgent group in the Americas. According to the Colombian government FARC-EP has an estimated 11,000 members in 2009, down from 16,000 in 2001, having lost about one third of their fighting force since President Álvaro Uribe took office in 2002.

Rather than considering the FARC a political party, certain countrys including the U.S., Canada and Colombia classify the FARC as a violent non-state actor (VNSA). Classification as a Violat Non State Actor removes the veil of legitimacy as a political party and classifies it as a terrorists organization.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez rejected their classification as "terrorists". He considers them to be "real armies", and called on the Colombian and other governments to recognize the guerrillas as a “belligerent force”, rather than a terrorist force. Chavez was optimistic such classification would encourage FAAR leadership to renounce kidnappings and terrorist acts.

However classified, the FARC used violent tactics to control a large portion of Colombia. Kidnapping, murder and drug trafficking became accepted practices for this "political party". Money made from controlling the world's largest supply of cocaine funded purchase of weapons and party activities.

Although the guilty please by Mendieta and Ramirez could carry a life sentence, the US Government made assurances life sentences would not be sought. The minimum sentence under the law is 10 years. The two will likely recieve a lengthy term but will be defined in years instead of life.

While today's plea signals a strong blow to FARC leadership, the organization still remains as a threat to the stable government of Colombia and possible governments of adjacent countries. Only with continued pressure and reform can the organization be forced from control of vast portions of Colombia. Until then, Colombia remains a divided country.

PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and JOHN P. GILBRIDE, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration's New York Field Division,("DEA"), played a major role in the Mendieta and Ramirez capture and plea.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Gay marriage in DC not guaranteed - division likely

There are two sides to every coin. Tuesday's vote to approve gay marriages in Washington D.C. marks a long awaited change in attitudes towards the equal rights and protection of gay, lesbian and transgender people. US thinking opposing civil rights and marriage between same sex couples has been viewed as archaic by modern thinkers throughout the world. Certainly, discrimination is not a position to be expected from the leader of the free world.

Good news is not always great news. First, even though the Washington D.C. city council has passed the gay marriage proposal, celebration is far too early. There is a huge hurdle to be jumped before the measure can become law. More on that below.

Here is the second part of the not so great news. The controversial decision could cause a division in the Democratic legislature that President Obama is depending upon for reform. Some Democrats in the know were privately unhappy with wildly unrealistic expectations the Obama administration could quickly dispatch years of bungling by George Bush and his cronies. Lasting solutions to serious problems requires well reasoned and time consuming thought.

Republican and Democrats are mindful the honeymoon is over for Obama. As Americans face the worst economic conditions in generations, the U.S. populous is quick to blame the Democratic congress that can't bring about a quick fix. This is an opportune time for Republican strategists to divide the house they oppose.

What the press reports have hidden in the mumble jumble between the lines is, the Gay Marriage law does not go into effect until the US Congress says it goes into effect. That is an imense hurdle if Republicans want it to be. In the past, when forward thinking city councils in various states passed similar laws the US Congress mostly stayed out of the fray. Those who despised the scattered laws allowing marriage between men were left with three options: Attack through the state court legislature, throw themselves upon the mercy of a conservative court, or pout. Sadly, Conservatives love to pout.

Unfortunately, Washington D.C. is not a state. The governing body with final authority over laws in our nation's capitol is the U.S. Congress. Even though the measure passed with only one dissenting vote, the US legislature must tip its hat or gay people stay single.

Enter the dividing issue. Republicans have been looking for cracks in Democratic unity for some time. Not all Democrats have the blessing of their constituency on the topic of freedom for homosexuals. This is a Republican strategists dream. Today's united Democratic party may watch their ranks scatter as if struck by a lightening bolt. Perhaps some run to the fight, others run from it and the rest just plain duck.

The battle to let consenting people choose the form of family unity that works best for themselves has always been bloody. For some reason it is hard to gather a majority that remains a majority when it comes to sexual orientation.

Good things come from bad. With support for the Obama administration slacking, Millions of oppressed people, including undocumented workers as well as gays and lesbians, have been watching their chances for fair legislation slip away. You can't win the battle until the nation's law makers put it to a vote, and the line at the back of the bus is long.

The unintended consequence of a brave D.C. city counsel is to bring the waiting for the gay, lesbian and transgender community to a halt. No one likes a fight, but so long as the Republican party allows itself to be hijacked by a conservative minority, a fight is what must pass. That being the case, it is better to pick the battle when one's odds of losing are the least. I say, bring it on!

Tim Paynter is a Denver attorney and advocate of civil rights for all who suffer oppression in the US, including undocumented workers, the gay, lesbian and transgender community, and the poor.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Colorado drivers license ponint system 1 pt is too many

"It is the first point that costs you your license, not the last"

How many times have I had a client in traffic court who was losing his license because he accumulated too many points against his license? In Colorado we use a point system and when you get to many, then you don't get to drive! My client usually says something like this:

"If only I didn't get that last ticket."

My response?

"You are not losing your license because of your last ticket. You are losing it because of the first one.."?

"Huh?" is usually the response.?

It isn't that you are getting tickets I explain. They will shoot me for saying it, but in Denver Colorado, really in many places in Colorado, traffic tickets are big business. If you put on 30,000 miles a year, sooner or later you are likely to end up with red lights behind your people mover.?

If that is the case, why is the first ticket the problem, not the last? One does not run out of points until the last ticket!?

That is when we turn to my client's history. I have never been wrong on this one. Within the driving history of every driver facing suspension for minor traffic violations is that one or two times my client went to court without an attorney. In the alternative, the ticket gave him the option to just pay it and take the points. It is that one or two points that is costing him the license. But for that, he would not be out of points!?

Can an attorney get you a better deal with the D.A. than you can on your own? The answer to that question depends. If you think your attorney is going to walk into court and get a favor from the judge or D.A. you are mistaken. But an attorney can have special pull. How??

When your attorney listens to your case, examines the law, he may be able to find a defense you over looked. For example, I had a client who got a ticket for speeding through a school zone. The client could afford the points and it would have been convenient to take a fast plea. However, my client insisted he could not see the sign. This was a matter of principal.?

I went out to the scene. Sure enough, there was a nasty tree branch which covered the school zone sign. My client knew he could not see the sign but he did not think about the tree defense. ?

Who would believe a sign was built behind a tree? It wasn't, but when the tree was in full bloom the sign was difficult to see. A simple set of photos taken from the angle of the driver solved the problem. The case was dismissed.?

You may want to think twice about keeping the few hundred bucks in your pocket instead of hiring an attorney if you get a traffic ticket. It will keep your insurance rates down. ?

However, there is another important reason to do so. Driver's who lose their license often drive anyway. They can't get insurance. It is in everyone's best interest to have insured drivers on the road. Defending my clients has benefits to everyone!?

Tim Paynter is an attorney practicing in Denver Colorado. He is a staunch supporter of civil rights, immigration reform, and advocating for the poor and oppressed. You can contact Tim Paynter at 720 951 1700.

It is only 2 poionts, why should I hire an attorney? The first ticket is the one that breaks the camels back

How many times have I had a client in traffic court who was losing his license because he accumulated too many points against his license?  In Colorado we use a point system and when you get to many, then you don't get to drive!  My client usually says something like this:

"If only I didn't get that last ticket."

My response?

"You are not losing your license because of your last ticket.  You are losing it because of the first one.."

"Huh?" is usually the response. 

It isn't that you are getting tickets I explain.  They will shoot me for saying it, but in Denver Colorado, really in many places in Colorado, traffic tickets are big business.  If you put on 30,000 miles a year, sooner or later you are likely to end up with red lights behind your people mover.  If that is the case, wh is the first ticket the problem, not the last?  One does not run out of points until the last ticket!

That is when we turn to my client's history.  I have never been wrong on this one.  Within the driving history of every driver facing suspension for minor traffic violations is that one or two times my client went to court without an attorney.  In the alternative, the ticket gave him the option to just pay it and take the points.  It is that one or two points that is costing him the license.  But for that, he would not be out of points!

Can an attorney get you a better deal with the D.A. than you can on your own?  The answer to that question depends. If you think your attorney is going to walk into court and get a favor from the judge or D.A. you are mistaken.  But an attorney can have special pull. How?

When your attorney listens to your case, examines the law, he may be able to find a defense you over looked.  For example, I had a client who got a ticket for speeding through a school zone.  The client could afford the points and it would have been convenient to take a fast plea.  However, my client insisted he could not see the sign.  This was a matter of principal. 

I went out to the scene.  Sure enough, there was a nasty tree branch which covered the school zone sign.  My client knew he could not see the sign but he did not think about the tree defense.  Who would believe a sign was built behind a tree?  It wasn't, but when the tree was in full bloom the sign was difficult to see.  A simple set of photos taken from the angle of the driver solved the problem.  The case was dismissed.

You may want to think twice about keeping the few hundred bucks in your pocket instead of hiring an attorney if you get a traffic ticket.  It will keep your insurance rates down.  However, there is another important reason to do so.  Driver's who lose their license often drive anyway.  They can't get insurance.  It is in everyone's best insterest to have insured drivers on the road.  Defending my clients has benefits to everyone!

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Do you have to do the walk? DUI?

I recently had the pleasure of being pulled over by the Colorado State Patrol. I was distraught over news about Eduardo Salazar Rivera, the 11 year old in Mexico who is fighting for his life. He has a rare childhood disease called HLH Syndrome and I was distraught over the struggle he was fighting together with his mother and father who are dear friends of mine.

When the officer saw my puffy red eyes he was shootin sure I was driving with more than my emotions. He could not detect an ‘odor of alcohol’ about my presence. I never drink and drive so I had that going on my side. I take medication and I could see the trooper working that angle. After I wrote the names of the medications for him I could see him on the radio in my rear view mirror checking to see if they were the kind that would cause puffy red eyes when abused.

He came up empty on that one. The meds I am on don’t cause that kind of reaction. The next line of questioning was what else had I put in my peace pipe that would make me like I was. I did’t have an answer for him yet he kept pushing me for an answer. There was no answer. It was one of those tough nights some of us have when tragic situations befall us.

After thinking about for a fair amount of time he finally popped the question.

“So do you think you can pass the roadside test for me?”

I am not sure what came over me but I knew I was in a heap of trouble by then and would soon be wearing silver bracelets.

“No one passes the roadside test!” I responded.

He did’t like my answer one bit, but he knew the tables had finally been turned.

“That is not true! He responded. I do a lot of roadside tests.

I could clearly see we both knew I was not going to pass the roadside test.

“I know”, I said. “I am an attorney.” The trooper gave up.

“Fine. I hope I don’t have to pack you up in a body bag down the highway.”

I don’t fault the officer for anything he did. He takes a lot of dangerous drivers off of the road and that is why some of us are alive today. What the officer did not know is I had already made up my mind what I was going to say if he asked me to take the test.

“I would rather not.” would have been my answer. Whereupon I would have been arrested and taken to the station for further examination. Why had I made the decision?

In Colorado, you grant the State express consent to examine your person upon loss of your license. The burden then transfers. You must prove you were not under the influence of an intoxicating substance rather than the State proving you were.

You can’t lose for winning sometimes.

Defense attorneys believe every person has the right to the presumption of innocence. You don’t have to self incriminate if you don’t want to. In Colorado you give up some of those rights as a condition of being granted a driver’s license. One right you still have, however, is to refrain from doing the walk, at least in Colorado.

So here it is. If you are asked to take a roadside test that is another way of saying you are getting a free ride in a State Patrol car. Let’s hope it is one of those souped up jobs many of us have been dying to get a ride in. You might as well have a few minutes of fun before they lock you up. In almost every case, you are going for the ride whether or not you do the roadside test. Since they can’t penalize you for not taking the roadside test you might as well pass.

If you make any protests abut the next tests, either a drug or urine tests, then you have violated your obligations under your license and you will be paying an attorney a lot of money. So if you elect not to take the road block do nothing to delay the transport process or that may be construed as a refusal to take the blood or urine test!

If you are drinking and driving get help before the red lights come on behind you. Alcoholism is an illness and alcohol is just a symptom of far more drastic problems. Try AA out, as many people have had wonderful success with the fellowship of people who have learned to live!