Saturday, March 25, 2023

In the Trump Era Judges Allow Jurors to be Anonymous

It used to only be special cases where jurors needed to be anonymous for their own safety. 

Secret jurors were necessary to protect them from criminal mob bosses like John Gotti who would go to any lengths to intimidate witnesses and jurors to avoid jail time.

Only the most dangerous defendants required the confidentiality that spurs a judge to make a ruling like that.

This winter there were two trials that required anonymous jurors. 

One of the two trials involved a convicted New Yorker in an Islamic State extremist group in Syria. The other was a former cabinet-level Mexican official convicted of shielding violent drug cartels from police for huge bribes.

That's why I'm so amused to see that jurors' names will be kept secret at the upcoming civil trial (not even a criminal trial) against Trump in a rape lawsuit.

U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan was concerned that Trump and his minions will subject them to harassment and worse from Trump supporters.

According to Kaplan, "On the basis of the unpresented circumstances in which this trial will take place, including the extensive pretrial publicity and a very strong risk that jurors will fear harassment, unwanted invasions of their privacy and retaliation there is string reason to believe the jury needs the protection."

I think that's pretty clear. Trump is getting the mob boss treatment, which he deserves. I'd also be willing to bet that all of his future trials in New York, Georgia and Washington DC will require anonymous jurors.

As it stands, Trump is the biggest criminal in America today and he's a clear and present danger to democracy and the rule of law.

Friday, March 24, 2023

Swimming in a Polluted Society

America is awash in an extremist tide of lies and misinformation. 

What started as a storm in 2017 is now a flood of hatred, racism, and a cult that threatens democracy.

Truth and reality have been thrown into a flotsam of fascism that's spreading in the Republican Party daily.

Today a former president whose been impeached twice and is facing civil and criminal investigations on the state and federal level is holding a rally in Waco, Texas.


Opinion: "Trump's Visit to Waco is a Provocation of Historic Significance" by Nicole Hemmer 


The venue holds 50,000 but there's a chance it won't be filled thanks to Trump's niece Mary Trump who has urged her podcast followers to call in a flood of requests for seats... and then not show up on Donnie's big day.

I'm not saying it will happen, but it's quite a statement coming from Trump's own family.

The choppy waters that Americans are swimming in is a sea full of perils like book bans, sentencing pregnant women who had abortions to death, and attacking the others such as the LGTBQ community daily.

We're all still facing the leftover putid waters of a coup attempt two years ago. Instead of uniting Americans after turning back the assault on the Capitol by domestic terrorists, the country split into extreme factions taking on mainstream America.


Rivers of lies will dry up under the harsh light of reality and the truth. Facts will always stay afloat while fiction eventually sinks under its own absurdity. 

As it stands, we all have a choice. We can swim upriver in defense of our hard-earned democracy, or we can swim downriver with the MAGA scum seeking to overthrow our republic.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Place Your Bet: What Are the Odds of a Trump Indictment?

               The question of the day.

Will Trump be charged in relation to hush-money payments made to the adult film actress Stormy Daniels?

He thinks so. He just doesn't know when.

So, what are the odds?

Unfortunately, you can't bet on politics in the United States. But don't despair. With the popularity of betting on politics skyrocketing across the globe, there is no shortage of odds on different political outcomes. 

Thanks to the bookies in the UK there's still a way to bet on Trump's fate with the court. Taking a look at the latest Trump odds the probability of an indictment is very high.

As of this writing indictment odds are 92.6% that he's charged. Here's a chart by ODDS CHECKER:

-Trump to be indicted in Manhattan in 2023

odds -1250 - implied chance 92.6%


-Trump to be extradited from FL to NY in 2023

odds +300 - implied chance 25%


-Trump to be a defendant in a criminal trial in 2023 - odds +275 - 26.7%


To clarify, these odds are only for the Manhattan criminal case, not the rest of the cases pending against Trump.

Despite denying American bookmakers a chance to bet on politics I strongly suspect there's plenty of betting places like office pools to wager on anything - including politics.

As it stands, I'm looking forward to more criminal indictments and seeing what the odds will be with them.

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Spring Songs: Political Loons Are Tweeting Fresh Lies

As spring unfolds across the country making flowers bloom and right-wingers tweet gloom, we take the good with the bad.

A recent book release, "Waco Rising: David Koresh, the FBI, and the Birth of America's Militias" written by Kevin Cook describes how a new generation of Branch Davidians called The Branch, The Lord of Our Righteousness has emerged from the ashes of the Mt. Carmel compound.

The new church, sells pro-Donald Trump merchandise, including flags and t-shirts. Without David Koresh to rally around the new generation of loons has adopted Trump as their new savior.

This updated center for wanabee insurrectionists is blooming right now and expecting a visit from their new messiah this Saturday.

Trump purposely picked the 30th anniversary of the siege of the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas to hold a rally there. What better place to gather with insurrections and trolls than Waco? 

The rally comes at a time Trump is reportedly facing criminal charges in New York, and multiple other criminal investigations this year.

The thing to take note of is that Trump has totally swung over to the most dangerous right-wing groups in America and is not even pretending to be moderate or mainstream.

In his desperation Trump has cast off his semi-civilized cloak of sanity and is going all out to get domestic terrorists votes. Whether it's Nazi's, Proud Boys, Three-Percenters, or the Klu Klux Klan, he's unrolled the welcoming mat.

By staging his hate rally at the site he's carrying on a tradition of anti-government activities there. Political pundits are saying this was on purpose. Of course, it was.

"Waco is hugely symbolic on the far right," said Heidi Beirich, co-founder of the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism, in a recent interview.

"That's not another place in the U.S. that you could pick that would tap into these deep veins of anti-government hatred - Christian nationalists' skepticism of the government - and I find it hard to believe that Trump doesn't know that" she concluded.

As it stands, the good news is Trump is totally outed as a supporter for domestic terrorists and that's not a good profile for someone seeking the presidency.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

No Indictment Today: Trump's Fake Forecast Was a Test Run

For days now Trump has been feeding his minions fake news about Tuesday being the day he would be indicted by a New York grand jury.

He never had the knowledge of when the indictment would be handed down but that didn't bother the biggest liar on the planet. His announcement to the base was a warmup for when the criminal indictment actually happened.

Trump was testing his students in crime in Congress and on the streets to see if their responses were properly loyal. So far, his minions have been protesting as programed.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy immediately announced an investigation into the Manhattan attorney general's office and prosecutor AG Alvin Bragg. He learned his lesson well from Trump on how to misuse government offices in order to protect his supreme leader.

Trump's congressional cronies on the so-called Weaponization of Government Committee, led by Gym Jordan, are weaponizing the powers of government for partisan political ends - the very thing the committee is supposedly trying to stop.

By turning the whole atmosphere into a circus with his fake prediction Trump is following his own rule book on preemptive strikes when cornered by the courts.

The fact of the matter is there's no real assurance of when the indictment will be handed down as authorities say it may be this week, but more than likely next week. 

Meanwhile Trump's power play in calling for protests will simmer but will come to a boil when the announcement does come.

As it stands, what gets me is the general public knows what Trump is doing and wondering if he'll ever be held accountable for his criminal activities.

Monday, March 20, 2023

Spring Has Sprung - Enjoy!

When it comes to the spring season, it seems to only last for a short time as nature paints the world in a frenzy of color. 

Birds sing beautiful songs to welcome the season and the air is warm, not too hot, and not too cold.

It makes one feel as if the whole environment is covered with green sheets to see the greenery around you. All plants and trees experience new life and form fresh flowers and leaves. 

Also, the plants are fully mature in the garden, looking very much like real gold everywhere.

After a long silence in winter, the birds roam and begin to sing near the houses or in the sky. 

When spring approach's it often makes people feel more comfortable because they can go outside without warm clothes.

In addition, parents enjoy having picnics during their children's vacations.

Flower buds bloom fully, embracing nature with their smiles, and bloom to give romantic feelings by spreading the scent everywhere.

So, this measure of weather and cold spring weather makes people do a lot of work without getting tired. 

The season brings new crops to farmers as a reward for long months of hard work. 

Benefits of the Spring 

1. Heaps of Sunshine

After a dark and cold winter, the sunlight in the spring comes bringing smiles. 

2. Better Temperature

Spring is in the middle of the two worst seasons: hot summer and heavy winter. 

This is the reason why this great time brings people an excellent opportunity to look for new outdoor businesses.

3. Projects and Hobbies

It's the time to enjoy long days and short nights. This is why spring is an excellent season to start a project or a hobby. You can also think about farming and take this time as the last season of opportunity.

4. The Cutest Baby Animals

Like ducks, chicks, piglets, and rabbits, baby animals are cute beyond comparison. You can search for photos or videos of these little ones.

5. Flowers, Flowers everywhere

After a harsh and long winter, the reward of spring awaits with glorious flowers. Their colors painting fantasy landscapes across the land.

Plants and trees get a new green look with their blossoms. Everything looks so good at this time of the year.

6. Fresh air

The spring season brings refreshing and strong winds, which illuminates the emotions for a few milliseconds.

You can leave your window open to allow warm air circulation into your home rejuvenating it.

As it stands, Spring has sprung. Enjoy it!

Sunday, March 19, 2023

My Great Uncle Was Rescued in The Famous Los Banos Raid

               A change of pace today. 

Here's a snippet from the history books. The Los Banos Prison Raid by Philippine guerrillas and American paratroopers.

My Great-Uncle Leo Stancliff from Bakersfield, California was a civilian POW during WW II. This account mentions someone from Hydesville in Humboldt County, California.

His name was Herman Beaber and he (with foot notes from his son John) wrote a book about his experiences titled: "Deliverance! It Has Come!" 

In late 1941 war broke out in the Philippines with the Japanese. Many endured imprisonment, including some ministers who were interned at the Los Baños Internment Camp located about 40 miles south of Manila in the Philippines.

They were Willie Jamieson from Chirnside, Scotland; Ernest Stanley from England (internment at Santo Tomás); Leo Stancliff of Bakersfield, California; Cecil Barrett of New Zealand; and Herman Beaber of Hydesville, California, who kept a diary during their time as prisoners of war (1942-1945).

On January 6, 1942, Herman and his fellow ministers were picked up by the Japanese and were taken first to the Rizal Memorial Stadium where they were registered. Then they were bundled back into the car and taken to Santo Tomás University grounds.

They later were released and allowed to continue their church work. (With the exception of Ernest Stanley who chose to remain in Santo Tomás as an official interpreter for the Internee Government). 

They were allowed to have religious services on Sundays only, from January 15, 1942, until they were taken to prison at Los Baños on July 8, 1944, along with all the other American missionaries in the area.

Los Baños was the former University of the Philippines. The Agricultural School at Los Baños was located in a town on the island of Luzon.

It had been converted into an internment camp. It was a plot of about 55 or 60 acres with a barbed wire fence around it, for more than 2,000 civilians who had the misfortune of falling into Japanese hands at the beginning of the war.

As time passed and as the Japanese began to lose the war, things became very desperate at the Los Baños prison camp. While Herman Beaber's diary does not record that they were tortured, they nearly starved, and many in the camp died from disease and slow starvation.

Herman wrote in his diary... "Naturally there is theft of food in camp. It is considered a major crime. We see people (respectable people) looking into garbage cans for banana skins, etc. (If you want a real delicacy... Fry some banana skins in rancid coconut oil.) People going to points in camp several blocks away will have to sit down to rest. Fights occur in the food lines. Some have eaten bugs and beetles - so they say."

Herman left from the United States for the Philippi in 1940 weighing 202 lbs. at 6'3" and he weighed 140 lbs. when he was finally rescued on February 23, 1945. 

On that day American soldiers freed over 2000 prisoners at Los Baños in a daring guerrilla and paratrooper rescue, just one day before they were all to be executed by the Japanese.

Former Army Chief of Staff General Collin Powell proclaimed, "I doubt that any airborne unit in the world will ever be able to rival the Los Baños prison raid. It is the textbook airborne operation for all ages and all armies." 

Former Army Chief of Staff General Colin Powell proclaimed- "I doubt that any airborne unit in the world will ever be able to rival the Los Baños prison raid. It is the textbook airborne operation for all ages and all armies."

Herman Beaber wrote..."Let me say that you who have never been deprived of seeing Old Glory and all she stands for, for three long years, cannot understand what that sight would mean. We feel heavily indebted to our rescuers. (No greater love has a man, than to lay down his life for another) We are mighty proud to be citizens of a great country like the United States. On the other hand, we are grateful to God for His care and protection, and now that He has spared our lives... we feel more inclined than ever to give Him our best."

As it stands, my Great Uncle Leo passed away on Oct.29th, 2005. Herman Beaber passed away on Feb. 5th, 2001. This article first ran on June 12, 2009, in this blog.

Blog Break Until Presidential Election is Over

I finally hit the wall today. I can't think of what to say about all of the madness going on in this country right now. I'm a writer...