User-agent: * Allow: / Legal news, political opinion, Satire, and lawyer thinking by Tim Paynter, Attorney at Law: 2010

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Raquel Teran Appeals For Promise Arizona


from twitter

Petra Falcon, third from left at table;  Raquel Teran, stands in support behind Petra.


When I was an intern for Promise Arizona some of the leaders spent extra time with me, helping me understand what needed to be done.  One tireless leader is Raquel Teran, who has worked for immigration reform for years, including with the Reform Immigration For America effort.

Raquel is writing to ask people to donate to a wonderful organization.  In the aftermath of the bomb blast of unjust laws, while people were wandering the streets, lost, while they held a vigil at the Capitol, Promise was born.  This is a membership organization which sparks the hopes of a generation of young people.

If you have a little extra this year I hope you will think of Promise Arizona as a great place to put the money to work.  They manage money very well, so it goes to the effort and not into administration.  They have clear goals for immigration reform and have helped a legion of people find power at the polls

Many people cannot spend the time away from work and family to take on the critical battle for justice in Arizona.  What I am asking, what Petra Falcon is asking and what a wonderful mentor named Raquel Teran is asking, if you can’t give your time, would you at least donate a little money?

If you make your donation before the end of the year there may be tax benefits on April 15th.  If it is after the first of the year, the funds will be appreciated just as much, with the tax benefits available the following year.  Any way you look at it, the funds are a great investment in the future of our great nation.

Thanks to Sue Chinn, Petra Falcon and Raquel Teran for their great work and sacrifices for an immigrant community still reeling from the fallout of SB 1070.


Tim Paynter


promise arizona 094

  Chris Torres, who was the field director, was a wonderful guide who challenged us to do our very best every day.  He has a knack for helping people find the best within themselves, and then using that to better the cause of human rights and reform.





Dear Tim,

2010 was a challenging year for us here in Arizona. We experienced the passage and signing of SB1070, the most anti-immigrant bill in the country, which suddenly made us the nation’s battlefront for immigrant rights. From that fire arose extraordinary and inspiring leaders. People who were never engaged in civic life suddenly became engaged in actively transforming injustice into power for the immigrant community. Since April 2010, Promise Arizona organizers and leaders achieved remarkable accomplishments as they:

Nerd smile  Mobilized over 10,000 people to the Arizona state capitol for a vigil that lasted 103 days to demand an end to SB1070.
Registered 13,040 new voters

Sarcastic smileRecruited and trained over 1,5000 volunteers
Ran a 3-week nonpartisan "Get Out the Vote" effort during which canvassers knocked on 37,120 doors & contacting 9,877 voters

AngelYour support this past year has enabled a new set of leaders from Arizona with the tools and resources possible to transform the politics of Arizona to one of justice for all people. Thank you.

But we have much more to do and we can’t do it without your continued support in 2011.

Can I please rely on you to make a year-end donation to Promise Arizona today? Its not too late to make a tax-deductible year-end donation. Click here to donate now.
Your online donation directly fuels the courageous efforts at the frontlines of the fight for immigrant rights. With your help, we can support more organizers and volunteers on the ground by providing them with resources and trainings. We can initiate more meetings with members of our state legislators and create the impact we’ll need to win the fight for just and fair immigration reform.
You can support us by giving what you can with a tax-deductible year-end donation to Promise Arizona today.

(Above Promise Arizona leaders receiving MVO award at RootsCamp) Receiving the Most Valuable Campaign at RootsCamp validated our approach and belief that, the people of Arizona have the ability to transform injustice to power through a grassroots approach to organizing.
With only three days left, we are counting on you to help us reach our year-end funding goal.  As a Promise Arizona supporter, you understand the significance of this moment for immigrant families across the country, and particularly Arizona.
It's impossible to overstate this truth: the power we build now — today — will have a big impact in this upcoming year.

Thank you for your help in our shared endeavor.


Petra Falcon
Promise Arizona


P.S. Please forward this email to a friend and ask them to get involved! Remember; give any amount before December 31st to secure your tax deduction  (If you would like to write a check for your donation, please mail it to: 2106 W. Van Buren St. Phoenix, Arizona 85009)


Petra Falcon and the leaders at Promise Arizona are my mentors.  They have shown us the way to empowerment in the community.  They give of themselves endlessly, and ask nothing in return.  Thanks to these hard workers for the cause of immigration reform!


promise arizona 059

  This painting hangs in the Promise facility, and was painted by one of the immigrants who volunteered.


Remember SB 1070 and a vicious congress which sacrificed the immigrant community so they could become famous.  They set Arizona up for the loss of millions of dollars, forced 200,000 refugees to flee the state, and have set the state up for years of expensive legal battles.  At the end of the day, their solutions did nothing for immigration reform, but they sent a clear anti-Hispanic message to all of us.

I often wonder what happened to my country.  As I write this two Viet Nam veterans are facing deportation after being in the country for 50 years!  I trust Petra Falcon, Sue Chinn,



Raquel Teran and others to restore the Grand Canyon State to a degree of sanity, but they can’t do it alone!  Please help out if you can.  It is not about tax breaks, though there may be some.  It is about justice!  Please make a donation with your heart for those who are working to help the people who have nothing.


promise arizona 042


  Veterans for Promise Arizona


Monday, December 27, 2010

Cuba Jeopardizes Normalization, Publishes Wiki Leaks

Cuban Government Chooses A Path Of Controversy Rather Than Peace

The original article appeared as Cuba Jeopardizes Normalization, Publishes Wiki Leaks by Tim Paynter on Technorati

Published: December 27, 2010 at 7:47 am



Anna Ardin made several trips to Cuba and has written articles opposing the Cuban regime.  She made claims of rape against the founder of Wiki Leaks, though she has not been willing to proceed with her prosecution as of last reports.  Some suggest the allegation are a hoax in an effort to hunt down the man who violated the secrets of US diplomats and damaged our relationships with other countries.

It is unfortunate the island nation of Cuba has decided to continue a path of sparring with the US rather than allow old resentments to die.  The Castro's continue to associate with rebel countries which are hostile to the United States, like Hugo Chavez and Venezuela.  Clearly, their neighbor only 100 miles to the West could provide significant benefits and assistance in the growth of Cuba.  However, so long as the regime sides with countries bent on destroying the Western world, Cuba will have a hard time fitting in with main stream life.  The following article was published in technorati and outlines a continued slap at the US.  The indication is, Cuba will take each chance it gets to cause harm to the US as the opportunities present themselves.  Hence, normalizing relations with this rebel country remains a high risk.

Despite recent reforms in Cuba which encourage normalization of trade relations between Cuba and the United States, the communist island nation continues to take hostile actions against US national security.

After Fidel Castro launched a small boat full of insurgents from Tuxpan, Mexico, in his final assault to take control of the island nation of Cuba, relations with the U.S. have been strained. The failed CIA invasion of the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban missile crisis which nearly brought an end to the world as we know it and a trade embargo that continues to this day, contribute to frigid relations.

However, Cuba, desperate for outside currency, has launched a series of reforms which suggest the country is moving in a more civil direction. Moves towards privatization were recently announced by Raul Castro, who has taken the reigns from his brother Fidel.

A new entrepreneurial, if not capitalistic, economy is being encouraged. The Cuban government seeks to create a new private sector to help replace jobs lost in a series of massive government layoffs.  Political prisoners who criticized the government are being released from Cuban prisons after being silenced for years, although 11 still marked their eighth Christmas in prison this year.

The Cuban administration seeks to establish Cuba as a first class tourist destination.  In a recent agreement, Cuba agreed to cut the taxes it charges on Western Union money transfers sent to the island nation, thus causing an immediate rise in transfers over the 2010 holiday season, says the Buenos Aires Herald.  The Cuban government continually seeks the dropping of the trade embargo, and the international community agrees. Clearly, these moves are a positive step forward in the argument for normalization of relations with Cuba.

Yet, Cuban leadership insists on shooting itself in the foot each time it has a chance to join the international community. Recently, the country took a nasty swipe at the U.S, reminding conservatives why relations should stay in the deepfreeze. The Cuban government is broadcasting loud and clear that it will cause whatever harm it can to US interests as the opportunities present themselves.

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The most recent Cuban action underscoring a hostile attitude towards the U.S. is the decision to translate and publish 2000 of the Wiki Leaks documents says the BBC.  The first 62 documents have already been translated.  In some diplomatic communications, U.S. diplomats describe Cuban opposition groups as disorganized and not likely to ever run the country.  More, they were described as "out of touch" with ordinary people, says the BBC.

Thousands of pages of diplomatic information which is mostly embarrassing to the U.S. were posted on Wiki Leaks. In some circumstances, the information may actually put US operatives lives at risk or jeopardize undercover operations.  One of those operatives may have been the victim of sex crimes by Wiki Leaks founder, Julian Assange. Anna Ardin of Sweeden made various trips to Cuba between 2002 and 2006, says the Miami Herald.  Ardin has written for a Cuba dissident publication and been associated with a political movement which encourages anti-Semitic remarks. 

Even if the actions of the Cuban government do not pose significant security threats to the U.S., since the information is available elsewhere, it is a reminder the Castro's wish to cause harm to the U.S. even as they seek normalization of relations.

Sooner or later the US is bound to drop the trade and tourist embargo which plagues Cuba. The Cuban government could help their own cause by refusing to fuel the fire against the CIA and US diplomatic corp they deeply resent.

Cuba’s anti-US attitude is regrettable.  There is a great deal each country could gain from the other.  There are developing opportunities for tourism in Cuba and the Island nation would benefit from the robust type of economy that China has.  None of these options remain open while the two countries remain at loggerheads.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Repubplicans Mock Dream Act, Lindsey Graham Bashes Students

This article was first published as Lindsey Graham Mocks Dream Activists on Technorati, by Tim Paynter

Senate Republicans made no friends today when they failed to advance the Dream Act. In fact their remarks were considered offensive.  At the same time, they ended the hopes of thousands of young college aged youths to become part of US society for the foreseeable future.

Americans love the underdog. Our culture is based upon coming from behind. We cheer the hero, who battles despite short odds, and defeats the bully. Republican Lindsey Graham was a bully in the Senate when he told students they were “wasting their time” because the most powerful country in the world had not sealed the border, so it was going to take it out on juvenile immigrants instead.  He said they were playing a "Silly stupid game" aimed at turning Hispanics against Republicans, reported the

Clearly, after Republicans blocked hopes for comprehensive immigration reform for 2010, they could have saved the day by passing a token immigration bill called the Dream Act. Republicans refused, and launched a smear campaign against the Act, calling it Amnesty, something it clearly was not.  Hispanic leaders, immigrant youth and a nation pulling for young people who merely want a taste of the American Dream were crushed when Republicans snuffed out the under dog like it was a cigarette under the heel of their boot.

The Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors Act was designed to protect those few minor children of undocumented workers who were brought here when most of them were too young to remeber.  While their parents may have broken the law, only a bully punishes a child for the mistakes of his parents. Yet Senator Graham tongue-lashed the eager youths with remarks blaming the young people for their valiant fight for basic civil rights.

“To those who have come to my are wasting your time” he said from the Senate floor.

Graham then blamed the youths for damaging the hopes for over-all comprehensive immigration reform for all immigrants in 2011.  The proposed law is called CIR, or CIRASAP indicating the urgency of the law, Comprehensive Immigration Reform As Soon As Possible.

“What they have done on the Dream Act is hurt overall comprehensive immigration reform,” Graham said after the Seante vote, according to The Hill.

Graham's remarks were cruel words for the young people leaving the nation's capitol with tears streaming down their cheeks.  Graham has done everything in his power to block both the Dream Act and CIR. In fact, the securing of the borders has been in Graham's hands for a long time but he has blocked it at every turn.  CIR is first a border security bill.  Now, Graham says he favors changing the 14th Amendment, which would deny citizenship to children of undocumented youths born on US soil.  That would make them children without a country since no country would accept them without proof of citizenship in their parent's native country.

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Graham is not the only Republican to beat up on immigrant youth.  Arizona State senator Russell Pearce (R-AZ) was rude to one of the Dream Activists when she approached him during a public appearance. That was no way to treat a lady.

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) broke his word to the Dream Activists, after first promising to support immigration reform along with Edward Kennedy, and then turning his back on the students completely. He steadfastly refused to meet with student leaders even though they were camped in the summer blaze in front of his Phoenix, Arizona, office for weeks this year.

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX) ridiculed the students as they held hunger strikes that lasted for over 28 days. Sen. Hutchinson had the students arrested when they refused to leave her office blaming it on the landlord. Clearly, a powerful Republican Party is beating up on the weakest in society, while mocking the students for their efforts.

Hispanics have been putting up with an aggressive anti-immigrant stance from Republicans for a long time. However, while adult immigrants have weathered the icy reception, the Republican whipping with rude and disrespectful remarks to immigrant children will likely be a regrettable mistake. As the GOP searches for an expanded base, they can write off Latinos after the way they have treated the children of the community.

A few Democrats are in hot water with Latino voters, as well.  Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, two Montana senators, Jon Tester and Max Baucus, and Kay Hagan of North Carolina all refused to support the Dream Act.  Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia didn't even bother to attend the vote for the Dream Act or for the vote for gays in the military known as Don't Ask, Don't Tell.  Manchin was too busy having fun at a family party, reports the web publication, Politico.

In the meantime, immigrant youth have placed their futures in the hands of people who are supposed to know what wisdom is. Some are subject to deportation shortly. Without the Dream Act, their chances of living the American Dream are quickly fading.  Others are already planning for 2011.  Underdog might get squashed under the heels of cruel aggressors.  He is never defeated.  A few Republican and Democrat senators may not be able to say the same after the 2012 elections.

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Friday, December 10, 2010

Republicans Propose New DADT Provisions–Liberals Held Hostage

This article originally published as Republicans Propose New DADT, Hold Country Hostage on Technorati by Tim Paynter

The Republican Senate’s “No Vote” pledge is holding DADT and the entire nation hostage pending the granting of unfunded tax and estate benefits to the wealthiest people in the nation.

Even though there were enough votes to pass Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell yesterday, December 9th, 2010, nothing is going to happen until wealthy people line their pockets at the tax payer’s expense.

That is the message the Republican Caucus delivered to Senator Harry Reid, Joe Solmonese of the HRC and those who have worked hard to bring justice to the military.  Lisa Murkowski, (R-Al) and Scott Brown (R-Ma), said they will vote for DADT. But not before congress passes an extension of tax cuts which only benefit the top 2 percent of the people in the United States, a fact well reported on NPR.  Republicans added a little kicker with the estate tax.  There is no benefit to anyone other than the highest fraction of one percent of the nation's wealthiest people.  This provision won't help the average businessman.

Meanwhile, the Republicans scream about a deficit which is so far out of control the nation’s currency, forever the strongest in the word, is no longer accepted by many countries.  The value of the greenback is in question for a country in the process of transferring it's wealth from the poor to the wealthy through the tax base.

Clearly, the Republicans came away from the last election with a mandate: The people want our law makers to help the wealthiest bulge their pockets.  In the process, maybe as a bribe, law makers will leave a little on the table for middle class businessmen, but not in the case of the estate tax which will only benefit the super-rich.

First the hippopotamus satiates his huge belly. The crumbs in the form of social programs, DADT, the Start treaty, the Dream Act, come second, if at all.  The crumbs in the form of the financial welfare of the middle class and poor count for nothing.  A leader sacrifices himself, if for no better reason than to be an example to those who must also suffer.  The sickness of selfishness has soaked the nation's rich to the point in which an over-weight hippo who lacks for nothing, grasps for even more, while trampling on everything that is just.

i support the dream actRead more:

Democrats came away from the last election with a mandate: Take care of the economy, and protect the middle and lower classes from those who wantonly loot the treasury while begrudging the poor anything.

Shortly, both Republicans and Democrats must wrest public benefits away from those who need help the most. They are speaking about raising the age to qualify for social security, severe cuts in health care, closing of schools, removal of the mortgage tax deductions for home owners and a host of other sacrifices under an austerity program which inevitably leads to a significant lower standard of living for most.

As champions of the austerity program, the Republican Caucus exhibits the worst kind of leadership possible. There is a new Don't Ask, Don't tell on the table.  "Don’t look at the millions of tax dollars we are stuffing into our underwear, and we won’t tell you how poor you are becoming."

If we don't give the greediest generation in the history of the nation what they want, there will be no social reform.  If we do cave to unbridled greed, after they belch, perhaps the Republican Caucus will think of businessmen, the unemployed, undocumented students seeking the American Dream, poor people and those who think there should be equality and justice in the military.  I would not hold my breath. 

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A Message From Joe Solmonese

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Pic from From Ve Ri Tas Harvard

My friends who are working hard on the DADT program were disappointed yesterday when they failed to rally enough votes to advance the legislation, despite having those votes.  Some Republicans with held their votes pending the passage of unfunded tax breaks for the wealthiest people in the nation.  The Republican caucus turned down prior offers to extend tax breaks to the first $250,000 in income.  They insist, in addition to the break millionaires get on the first quarter-mil in income, they had to have unfunded breaks from $250,000 to $1,000,000 in income. 


Meanwhile, the entire country waits for greedy people to line their pockets, and who are delaying legislation to the rest of the country including the Dream Act, the Start treaty, and of course, DADT.


Here is what Joe has to say:

Dear Tim,

I know you must have been disappointed when you saw my earlier email tonight saying that the U.S. Senate stopped action on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal, the discriminatory law that bans gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military. This news certainly draws attention to the actions the President can take to end the discharges, and it's important that we continue to urge him to do so. Aside from that, I also wanted to share some late breaking news that keeps congressional repeal as a possibility THIS YEAR.

After the failed vote to bring up the Defense Authorization bill today, two champions for repeal – Senators Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins – announced that they would introduce repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" as a stand-alone piece of legislation. While passing this new bill will be an uphill battle, it is another chance for a durable legislative solution.

Over the past few days we've seen a number of senators speak out for repeal and it's clear that under the right circumstances, we can get above the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster. What got in the way today was procedure.

Thankfully a bipartisan group of senators has committed to finding an alternative method of achieving repeal. We encourage all senators to take up this bill and pass it quickly so that the military has the power to implement a repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

I'll be in touch in the coming days to give you ways to get involved and help pass this stand-alone bill to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." The fight for open service has had many twists and turns but until "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is left in the dustbin of history we will never give up the fight.
Thank you,

Joe Solmonese


CALL YOUR REPUBLICAN SENATOR and tell them to quit playing around with the lives of others while lining their own pockets.  The practice is unconscionable, and represents a ruling class out of touch with reality.  You can make a difference, but you have to be willing to pick up the phone!


Friday, December 3, 2010

“Beaner Hopping” Common Sport In Suffolk County Say Accusers

Article first published as Suffolk County Sued For "Beaner Hopping" by Tim Paynter on Technorati

Marcelo Lucero was a 37 year old Ecuadorean national who was assaulted by seven teenagers while walking home in Patchogue, Long Island. One of the teens, Jeffrey Conroy, pulled a knife out of his boxer shorts and stabbed Marcelo in the chest, leaving him bleeding on the street to die.  The tragic death was the result of “Beaner Hopping”, a practice that had gone on for years in Suffolk County, New York, according to statements made by the youths.

When the police allow high school toughs to beat up on minorities for so long there is a local term for it, likely the government has failed in its duty. Government’s first responsibility is to protect those who live under its jurisdiction. Prior complaints to the police about ethnic intimidation went unanswered or the police took the story of the White perpetrator over the Latino victim, according to allegations. That is the theory behind a 40 million dollar law suit filed against Suffolk County.

Jordan Dasch, one of the seven teens, said he didn't participate in "Beaner Hopping" very often.  At most, the hobby was "not more than once a week".  He and his friends knocked Latinos off of bicycles, shot them with BB guns and participated in gang beatings. 



Seven youths arrested for "Beaner Hopping"

On the night of Lucero's death, Conroy's pals didn't know he had used a knife until they had left the scene, a fact that limited their prison terms to seven years.

The county insists it is innocent because many of the hate crimes against Latinos were not reported to the police. The excuse is, at best, lame. The emergency room reports alone would have told the story. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center the County has a long history of abuse.

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Co-Defendants Jordan Dasch Anthony Hartford Nicholas Hausch (left to right)

         Dasch said, "I don't go (Beaner Hopping) often, not more than once a week"

In fact, county executive, Steve Levy, allegedly used zoning violations to conduct raids on 11 homes in Farmingville in 2005. Over 200 people were evicted from their homes. Levy calls them criminals and “low level terrorists”. Levy has a term for those who criticize his thinking. He calls them “politically correct Communists” and “anarchists.” His rhetoric allows young people to think beating up on immigrants is okay.  It is similar thinking to using Steven Segal to form a pose chasing undocumented workers, as Sheriff Joe Arpaio has done in Arizona.

When a community allows the wholesale discrimination of others, when county officials encourage aggressive enforcement tactics against minorities, when tolerance for gays, women and the poor is forgotten, it is the community that loses. Likely, if prior assaults had not been tolerated the high school boys would not have thought it all right to go “Beaner Hopping”. The thinking cost a hard working immigrant his life. It also put 17 year old assailant Conroy behind bars for 25 years for manslaughter and a hate crime.

The disgrace facing the nation with the Republican Caucus agreeing to a “No Vote” status until tax cuts for guys who make a million dollars net income is passed is in a sense, a form of “Beaner Hopping”.  It is the extreme wealthy beating up on the extreme poor.  The Republican senators are holding up votes on “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”, the Start Treaty and the Dream Act because they won’t be happy until the wealthiest fools have lined their pockets once again.

At risk is the American Conscience.  Will we allow the greediest to make even more while the poorest suffer with little to nothing?  How long can America survive as a great country with this thinking?  Discrimination is ugly whenever it raises it’s stinky head, and the biggest discrimination of all is the wealthy beating up on the poor. 


Thursday, November 18, 2010

DEA Chief Promises Enforcement Of Marijuana Laws, Oppose MMJ

Article first published as DEA Promises Enforcement of Marijuana Laws, Will Fight Legalization on Technorati with author Tim Paynter.

Michele-Leonhart-daily calleriism

Acting Director of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Michele Leonhart promised to oppose legalization of Medical Marijuana (MMJ) and step up enforcement in states where MMJ has been made legal under state laws, if she were made Director of the DEA.

The Senate Judiciary Committee grilled Leonhart about MMJ laws.

“I’m a big fan of the DEA,” said Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama. Then he asked Leonhart if she would fight the legalization of MMJ.

“I have seen what marijuana use has done to young people, I have seen the abuse, I have seen what it’s done to families. It’s bad,” Leonhart said. “If confirmed as administrator, we would continue to enforce the federal drug laws.”

“These legalization efforts sound good to people,” Sessions quipped. “They say, ‘We could just end the problem of drugs if we could just make it legal.’ But any country that’s tried that, Alaska and other places have tried it, have failed. It does not work,” Sessions said.

Then Sessions asked point blank: “We need people who are willing to say that. Are you willing to say that?”

“Yes, I’ve said that, senator. You’re absolutely correct, the social costs from drug abuse, especially from marijuana,” Leonhart agreed “Legalizers say it will help the Mexican cartel situation; it won’t. It will allow states to balance budgets; it won’t. No one is looking (at) the social costs of legalizing drugs.”

Democratic Senator Herb Kohl of Wisconsin grilled Leonhart about her position on changes in regulations for the administration of prescription drugs in nursing homes which were handed down during the Bush Administration. The new regulations are complicated and time consuming to comply with.

"The time that it takes for a nursing home to comply with the DEA’s new enforcement policy can be an eternity to an elderly patient who is in agonizing pain.” Stated Kohl.

This is not the first time Acting Director Leonhart has heard complaints about the complicated regulatory scheme. Kohl met with Leonhart in early May of 2010 after she promised a swift resolution to the problem.

“You told me you also would address the problem swiftly,” Kohl said. “In August, I requested joint comments from DEA and DHHS on draft legislation that I prepared and submitted to you to facilitate more timely access to pain medication for ailing nursing home residents. I received no response. It appears the DEA is putting paperwork before pain relief,” Kohl said.

“We don’t take lightly our responsibility to not only prevent aversion and do our regulatory business” Leonhart replied. “But we’re very concerned about those patients in need. That’s why in the interim, while we’re finding long-term solutions, we’ve come up with a few short-term solutions and policy statements. We need to do more.”

The DEA has been criticized for paying lip service to Congressional requests to solve the problem. Leonhart’s assurances of “slow progress” were not encouraging. She rose in the ranks of the DEA through the Bush Administration which encouraged heightened scrutiny of drug administration in nursing homes.

“I would like to see much more progress made on this issue before you are confirmed,” Kohl’s said curtly.

Overall, Leonhart appeared to have made a favorable impression on the Committee. If she keeps her promise she could put significant pressure on states that have legalized MMJ clinics and perhaps challenge state laws allowing MMJ in contravention to federal drug possession laws. Meanwhile, until the DEA makes changes in the administration of medications in nursing homes, patients may suffer eternal pain.

call reid

Read about government abuses to undocumented immigrants here.

Please call senator Harry Reid and Ask him to support the Dream Act and CIR!

Read more:

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Samantha Kelly Missing Facebook Images

Originally published as It didn’t Get Better For Samantha Kelly by Tim Paynter on Technorati   Y9N6757GZXZB
Samantha Kelly was 14 years old when a popular high school student, Joe Tarnopolski, 18, allegedly forced her to have sex.

Technorati claim #  Y9N6757GZXZB

“I told him, ‘You are hurting me.  Stop.  You’re hurting me’ and ‘I want to leave,” Kelly said she told the 18 year old when she appeared on WJBK Fox News Channel 2.

“There was a point where I squirmed and he pulled me back down by my legs, and I cried and he wiped my tears and told me everything would be okay.”  Samantha continued.
Except things were not O.K., they did not get better.  While the “It gets better” campaign is directed to gay teens to prevent suicide, Samantha might have benefited from the moral support.  She did not get it.

After the alleged rape, two stories about her sexual encounter surfaced.  In the first, Samantha claimed Tarnopolski forced her to have sex. However, before Samantha went onto Fox News, the D.A. “coerced” a statement the affair was voluntary.  That changes the crime from violent rape to statutory rape.
After the Fox 2 News interview, Samantha’s crisis turned into a nightmare.  Tarnopolski claimed there was a “confidentiality agreement”.  He sent a series of twitter messages.
For example, on October 3rd, Tarnopolski sent out a tweet, “You say I fucked your life up, but your the one who lies to everyone because your scared to get in trouble! You threw this upon me! Your idea.”

Meanwhile, many who had been Samantha’s friend turned against her, choosing to support the popular Tarnopolski.  They threw food at her in the lunch room.  There were taunts and jokes.  There was a Joe Tarnopolski is innocent Face Book Page, a slap in the face for a little girl whose claim she had been violated was going un-believed.

fingers samantha kelley 
From Samantha Facebook

Even the Assistant Wayne County D.A., Keisha Glenn, whose obligation it is to protect the victim, came down on Samantha.  Glenn said she would tell the judge about the Samantha's first statement the sex was voluntary if she repeated the Fox 2 News version.  It was a veiled threat to charge Samantha for perjury.  This, according to a report on the Detroit News given by Matthew Evans, Tarnopolski's court appointed attorney.

kelly pic vsm
Samantha’s mother, June Justice, tried to find another school for Samantha to take her out of her toxic environment.  However, with no new school on the horizon, school administrators sent Justice a letter in which they said Samantha had to come back.  The nearly 4.0 student, who had spoken of college, would be a truant.

They say those who commit suicide do so because they can’t see a way out of their situation.  Samantha could not escape the jeers.  The prosecutor was far from supportive.  Samantha had to go back to school and face more ugly talk and see the man she claims raped her.  There was no solution for a 14 year old in desperate trouble. 

Samantha’s first effort at suicide, taking prescription drugs, was botched.  That won her four days in a mental institution.  She could not even escape her pain by killing herself.  Then, the night before she was to testify, Samantha came home from school, shut the door to her room, wrote the date of the rape on her wall, September 26th, and hanged herself.

Even in death, things got worse. The charges against Tarnopolski were dropped since the key witness, Samantha, was dead. Tarnopolski's admission he had sex with a juvenile can't come into court without something more.  Recently, pictures were posted to Samantha's face book page which contain additional taunts.  The worst of the pictures have been deleted. Some of the least offensive have been posted here.
Courageous Samantha Kelly would feel good if she knew her bravery in bringing forth allegations of rape have given a second girl Tarnopolski allegedly violated the courage to come forward.  Prosecutors say the criminal case will become public next week, presumably after Tarnopolski appears in court in flaming orange.  There is now a second Face Book page Joe Tarnolpolski should be incarcerated

samantha kelley
Author's note:  I included images I found on the Samantha Kelly R.I.P. Face Book Page with trepidation.  On the one hand, they are plenty ugly.  On the other, if we don't expose bullies then they continue their reign of terror against defenseless teens.  Is this the way the teens who posted the pictures want to be treated when their time comes?  Sad to say, there are images much more graphic and ugly than these.
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ICE Raids Amway Bus, Illegally Arrests Occupants

This article originally published by Tim Paynter as ICE Raids Amway Bus But Won't Eat Humble Pie  on Technorati.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) thinks Amway is smuggling illegal immigrants from Denver, Colorado, to Omaha, Nebraska, disguised as salesmen. At least, that must have been the theory of Super Secret ICE Agent (SSIA) Linda Minze.

On April 2nd, 2010, SSIA Minze was working under cover in Omaha, Nebraska, disguised as a McDonald’s customer. All of a sudden a Greyhound Bus pulled into McDonalds and the passengers got out, very suspicious.

Protesters ask, "what does an undocumented worker look like?"

SSIA Minze is fluent in Spanish so she used her best under-cover technique to sashay up to the passengers and eavesdrop on their conversations. All the while she pretended to be an unhappy McDonalds customer who got stuck waiting in line behind a bus load of Spanish speakers.

Using her 19 years of field experience, SSIA Minze deduced the people on the interstate Bus had been traveling for a long time. That was her first clue she had come across “a smuggling load” of illegal aliens. She also concluded “the dress of the individuals” was consistent with people who were riding on a Bus for a long time and that made them likely to be undocumented workers. Minze was probably excited about winning the title of SSIA of the month.

After ordering an egg McMuffin with extra hot sauce SSIA Minze called her pals. A battalion of officers showed up including two officers, one who parked immediately in front of the bus and one immediately behind. That gave the officers plenty of time to get their own breakfast burrito before the “smuggling load” could get away.

The officers patiently waited for all of the "undocumented workers" to board the bus.  It is a state secret how ICE knew no one would get suspicious about ICE vehicles blocking the bus, and make a run for it.  You would have to be a US citizen Amway salesman to get onto a bus being blocked by ICE. 

Then SSIA Minze sprung her trap. She approached the coyote masquerading as a Greyhound Bus driver.  He explained Amway chartered the bus to drive the people to the Amway convention in Omaha.  The passengers were dressed nicely because the convention was at the Hilton Hotel. SSIA Minze didn’t buy his story.  They looked like undocumented workers to her.

The Amway salespeople were told to turn off their cellphones so no one could call the radio or television stations to witness the government make a fool of itself.   After barking orders and checking several I.D.'s no undocumented workers were found.

Considering how little SSIA Minze learned in 19 years of service, she must have worn egg McMuffin on her face plenty of times. It is the peeling the egg off in public she wanted to avoid. With patrons watching, the super agent had to arrest someone!  What would all of those voters who back border security candidates think?

SSIA Minze arrested the entire bus, including those who had produced identification to show they were US citizens.  The “coyote” was commanded to take the bus to ICE headquarters. Once there, the Denver Amway people were subjected to intimate body pat downs, including everyone's crack and los juevos for the men.  I am not going to tell you what they did to the women.  After insuring no contraband or undocumented workers were hiding in body parts, the Amway conventioneers were placed into ICE holding cells to wait for fingerprinting and positive identification. 

ICE put the entire bus through hell, humiliating the passengers and arresting them without probable cause.  Now, it was time for SSIA Minze to peel the Egg McMuffin from her face.  At least no one from McDonald's was there to see when SSIA Minze released the entire bus, no doubt telling them if they had dressed like Gray Hound Bus people, instead of Amway people heading for the Hilton, this would never have happened. 

Denver ICE has been abusive in some of its practices, as well.  Read about a botched Denver raid HERE.

Passage of Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) will save millions of dollars on experienced ICE officers.  It would eliminate the need for under-cover officers at McDonalds.

The Denver ACLU, whose attorneys sometimes assist the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (CIRC) has filed suit.  At least one passenger plans to peel green backs out of the US government agency which humiliated the Amway conventioneers.  Most would prefer to be treated as equal citizens than sue, but Confucius say, why cry over spilled eggs, when you can laugh all the way to the bank!

Photos from Tim Paynter private collection.

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Belmont University Says No Fags, Bridge Builders NOT

This article originally published as "No Fags At Belmont University" by Tim Paynter on Technorati

As high schools across the nation pass the message, “It gets better” to gay teens, an institution of higher education is passing the message, “No fags here”. Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, does not think that sort of thing should be openly supported in a student group. But they will let students talk about homosexuality.

Robbie Maris, an undergrad with the University, says talk is cheap. He is unhappy his proposal for a new gay student group to be called “Belmont Bridge Builders” was not approved.

Robbie Maris

Robbie is not alone in wanting a support group. If the prophets at Christian values Belmont University think suicide is limited to high schoolers, they have some tough lessons coming. Well known is the tragic story of Tyler Clementi who jumped from a bridge when roommates allegedly video streamed Clementi having sex with another male student.  Clementi might have benefited from a college coming out group.

Belmont’s reaction to the Maris proposal was, no gay groups here, but “Beginning last spring, a university sponsored discussion group on these issues has convened twice monthly and expects to continue for the duration of this academic year.”


In other words, Belmont is willing to have those who are brave enough to come out of the closet meet with those who would like to keep them in the closet for a stacked deck “discussion” about being gay and being Christian. What is wholly lacking is an understanding by school administrators of the need gay college students have for peer support. You don’t get that through a discussion group comprised of straight boys who don’t have a clue what it means to be a gay man discussing gay issues with young people who do.  But then, open minds are not often sought on Christian campuses.

On Belmont's web page, one of the students is quoted as saying:

"At Belmont, the professors knew me by name, cared about me, and helped me pursue my passion."  Perhaps true for University administrators, unless you are gay.

bridge builders photo

Belmont’s lesson is, if you are gay and want to be accepted on your college campus, choose a college which supports your sexual orientation. Keep your faith separate. There is a translation for this lesson: Queers stay in the closet, as conservative Christian students might not have the fortitude in faith to handle such open displays of blasphemous sexuality.

The beating and rape of four Latinos in the Bronx is well published.  We must pass the message beating up on gays, mentally or physically, won’t fly?

The "It Gets Better Project" as GLBT members to take a pledge:

"THE PLEDGE: Everyone deserves to be respected for who they are. I pledge to spread this message to my friends, family and neighbors. I'll speak up against hate and intolerance whenever I see it, at school and at work. I'll provide hope for lesbian, gay, bi, trans and other bullied teens by letting them know that 'It Gets Better.'"

bridge builders

Our hearts go out to Robbie who has an uphill battle educating University administrators who one day may have the suicide of a gay teen on their hands for their stalwart refusal to provide assistance to gay Christians in pain. It gets better, Robby. It will get better in most Christian schools one day, but only after civil rights pioneers like yourself pave the way with a lot of heart ache at the hands of the completely ignorant.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Dissidents Remain Prisoners of Cuba

This article originally published as Cuba Welches On Freedom For Dissidents
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Cuba refuses to release 13 dissidents being held in order to silence their voices.  The terms of a July 7th agreement are in default.  An international human rights advocate says he is going back on a hunger strike that nearly took his life.  Through all of this, Cuban President, Raúl Castro remains mum.

Things came to a head for Cuban leadership on February 23rd, 2010, when Orlando Zapata Tamayo, a 42 year old plumber and ‘prisoner of conscience’, died after a 72 day hunger strike. Tamayo was imprisoned on multiple occasions including once for taking part in a human rights workshop in a Havana park. He was jailed in the 2003 crackdown called Black Spring,

Originally, Zapata-Tamayo was to be imprisoned for 36 months. However, once incarcerated, authorities added additional charges extending his sentence by 36 years.

Cuban President, Raúl Castro, issued a statement expressing regret for the death of Zapata-Tamayo. He then summarily detained over 50 activists, thus preventing them from attending his wake and staging a public protest over the death.

Guillermo Farinas during hunger strike

As this most recent crop of dissidents rots in jail, the international community has demanded their release, including dissident Guillermo Farinas who staged his own 134 day hunger strike. First, Farinas won Europe's Sakharov human rights prize in October, a public disgrace for Cuba.

Then, while Farinas lie near death, Castro flinched. The hunger-strike death of Zapata-Tamayo was bad enough. Two hunger-strike deaths was a lot to defend. Cardinal Jaime Ortega of the Roman Catholic Church brokered a deal.

Castro agreed to release all 52 prisoners over a four month period. Most of the dissidents earned freedom because they agreed to leave Cuba and go into exile. However, 13 prisoners have refused to agree to leave after their release. Castro refuses to honor his deal. The final date for their release has passed. Farinas threatens to return to his hunger strike.

In a sense, the US holds its own political prisoners as it busts down doors and uses subterfuge to enter dwellings.  See Ice Fakes Accident, Invades Home

"To not release them would be fatal to the promise given to the Church, and a fraud against the international community," Elizardo Sanchez, head of the Havana-based Cuban Commission on Human Rights and National Reconciliation, said hours ahead of the deadline.

"It is not what we thought would happen," Father Jose Felix Perez said after holding mass for the dissident group Damas de Blanco, or “Ladies in White” which is comprised of the family members of the 2003 prisoners, primarily their wives.

Meanwhile, at stake is Cuba's desperate need to normalize relations with democratic countries including the U.S. Castro must weigh which will be more dangerous. Is it 13 dissidents who insist a one party system will not provide reforms, or is it the growing discontent from the Cuban people at being isolated through the hands of the Castro's?

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Monday, November 8, 2010

Legal news, political opinion, Satire, and lawyer thinking by Tim Paynter, Attorney at Law: Latin King Gay Rape Victim Speaks Out

Legal news, political opinion, Satire, and lawyer thinking by Tim Paynter, Attorney at Law: Latin King Gay Rape Victim Speaks Out

Latin King Gay Rape Victim Speaks Out

Original story appeared as Bronx Gay Rape Victim Speaks Out

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It started when a 17 year old who is the grandson of Vic Power, one of the first black and Latino players to hit the major leagues, bumped into “Cheto”, a local thug and leader of the Latin King Goonies.  The youth was leaving the apartment of a well known Bronx resident, “La Reina”, “the Queen”.

What is a Latin King Goonie recruit doing in the apartment of a gay man? Cheto wanted to know.  

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Idelfonzo “Cheto” Mendez, Nelson Falu, David Rivera and Jose Dominguez dragged the teen to a Morris Heights apartment.  They forced the boy to strip naked, and tied him to a chair for interrogation.

“Are you a fag?” they asked.  When they didn’t get the answer they wanted, they beat the youth.  During the two hour session, they raped the youth, using the handle to a plunger.

“Do you like it?” Cheto asked the terrified boy as he slid the plunger in and out of the boy’s anus.  “Are you a fag?”

Finally, the youth confessed.  He had sex with La Reina.  More, a potential recruit, also 17, was La Reina’s lover.


Satisfied, Cheto told the boy he had to be punished for having gay sex.

“Do you want the pipe or the bat?”

If the boy hated himself enough, the pipe would do plenty of damage.  He chose the bat, which was plastic.  The gang gave him a ritualized whipping.   With the score settled, the gang offered to take him to the hospital.  He was, after all, one of their own.

Before leaving, Rivera hit the boy in the head with a paint can, snarling, "If you snitch, your family is gonna get it!"

cepeda falu riverasm"It gets me angry that they beat me because these were my friends. We were like family. We went to church together. They just turned on me." the 17 year old said in an interview with the Washington Post.

"They told me the beating was not personal," the youth said, as the gang offered to let him remain in the gang.  "It was just that I violated one of the rules.” 

Gay sex is against the rules in most gangs.  The gang later attacked La Reina, his 17 year old boyfriend and La Reina’s brother.  The attack on La Reina was especially vicious, lasting over 10 hours.  His lover was forced to burn his nipples and penis with a lighted cigarette.  La Reina was sodomized with a plastic baseball bat, likely the same one used to beat the first 17 year old.

The 17 year old says he is not gay.  

"Gangs are no good for anyone," the teen said. "Being in a gang will get you nowhere."

Confused youth often seek older gay men for homosexual experiences in an effort to sort out their own feelings.   If this 17 year old is gay, coming to terms with his feelings will be difficult, after suffering the vicious face of hate for the LGBT community.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Boy Dead, Two Youths Face Murder, It Was Just a TV

Article first published as Boy Dead, Two Face Murder In Botched Burglary on Technorati.


Johnathan Michael-Andrew Greth, dead age 17

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The lives of three Arizona youths will be changed forever as a home burglary went terribly wrong. One of the three is dead. The other two face murder charges.  A community is taking sides, some against the boys, most for.

Johnathan Michael-Andrew Greth, 17, of Buckeye, Arizona died after reportedly being shot in the back. He was in a vehicle with two pals, Matthew Christopher Peters, 20, and Joseph Lambert Domingo-Metcalf Jr., 18, when he was shot while the three were fleeing a house they had just broken into.


Joseph Lambert Domingo-Metcalf Jr.

According to a report released by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department, two neighbors saw the three boys loading up a large TV into a blue Blazer.  One of the neighbors tried to stop the thieves by shooting his .22 caliber pistol “in the vicinity” of the truck the boys drove as a get-away vehicle.  Greth was hit in the back, went into convulsions, and died shortly afterwards.


The body of Greth was found dumped at the T/A Truck Stop in Tonopah, Arizona. The Sheriff’s Department rounded up Peters and Domingo-Metcalf Jr. in an apartment in Goodyear, Arizona. They will be charged under Arizona’s felony murder rule.



Under felony murder, when a person is killed during the commission of a felony, those who participated in the felony, or co-conspirators, can be convicted as if they are guilty of first degree murder, even if they didn’t kill the person. In this case, no violence was apparently intended by any of the boys, especially not one against another. Yet, the law allows prosecution of both surviving men as if they had intentionally pulled the trigger.


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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Border Patrol Using “Peep Show” Mobile X-Ray

The US Border Patrol has deployed “see through” mobile X-Ray vans they can use to see into vehicles and houses.  This is the radar technology which allows operators a private “peep show” of body parts underneath clothing which has been the subject of controversy at airports.  You don’t have to worry about agents checking out your bod, though, at least not on purpose.

pickup with drugs
Conservative voices clamor for border security.  Ted Tancredo, running for the governor of the state of Colorado, and Jan Brewer, running for the governor of Arizona, have made national headlines in their anti-immigrant rhetoric.  The U.S. Border Patrol has met the demand for better security, in part, by acquiring mobile X-ray machines placed in vehicles the size of cargo vans and small motor homes. 

The benefits to the government of using a portable machine that allows them a clear picture of the contents in vehicles and buildings is obvious.  Time.  They don’t even have to stop the vehicle to see if the contents are of interest, much less ask for a driver’s license or insurance.  The technology has already resulted in drug busts and the apprehension of undocumented workers being smuggled.  So why object?

When an air traveler consents to a body scan that reveals as much as if he or she were standing in line buck naked, the traveler gets notice with the option of a private body check.  Not so with border control vans.  Have you heard a polite question from your border patrol agent lately?  passengeriii

“Excuse me, mam.  Would you mind if I shine this X-ray machine at your car.  I promise not to pay attention to your tommy knockers.”

The vans have been used as early as August, 2009, and most of us have not been the wiser.  Thus, matters of unreasonable search and seizure were not given a second thought.  Your consent has been presumed.

In the past, the government has been required to get a search warrant in order to gain the level of inspection into buildings and vehicles that this slick device provides.  Since law enforcement does not have to enter the vehicle or premises to inspect it, they may argue no intrusion has occurred.  In fact, inspection can be made without the owner having any idea he got zapped.  The potential for abuse is immense.


A second problem with the Backscatter X-Ray machines is exposure to harmful rays.  Supposedly, it takes 800 blasts from a law enforcement X-Ray gun to equal one hospital X-Ray, the manufacturer claims.  You know the X-Rays, where the radiologist dressed in green disappears behind a lead wall as he flips the “take picture” button.  With 800 of these units planned in the border patrol alone, and thousands possible as the rage catches on with law enforcement, those living in high usage areas could be exposed to 800 blasts fairly quickly. 

The units reportedly require a fair amount of maintenance to keep the level of X-Rays safe.  Devices subject to constant movement, like mobile vans, likely will need even more maintenance.  Don’t worry, though.  As the government contemplates budget cuts and layoffs, you can be sure they would never skimp on maintenance for the “peep show” device.

This technology is so efficient at inspecting private spaces it will be hard to keep it out of the hands of law-enforcement, absent legislation.  Since governors and senators will be able to side-step the inspection, they will have little incentive to pass such legislation.  At the same time, the price of security is a another slice of freedom from the intrusive eyes of Uncle Sam.