Saturday, February 24, 2007

Connecticut Courts "All Mobbed Up"

I have looked at documents and interviewed witnesses regarding a number of stories of abuse in the courts down in Fairfield County in Connecticut.

It is one of the most well to do areas in the US and is Old Money and is a Power Base.

A mother of children may have spent over a million dollars on lawyers that did nothing to help her in her custody case. In other words they ripped her off.

The husband has more money and mob connections. He is allegedly a bi-sexual that likes bondage sex with other men and taking a beating. I have heard from more than one source.

The children each have large trust funds. If the children are locked away in boarding schools and kept psychologically tortured, they are under control of a father that wants to live off the blood of others while enjoying his bondage and torture sex sessions. This man allegedly had mob thugs drug his wife at a restaurant, take her across state lines, to torture and rape her for a videotape her for some sicko's viewing pleasure.

There is a nurse in the Ellington area of Connecticut that stabbed her husband and got custody of the kids. There is influence peddling, retaliation, and Mafia and Organized Crime influence on the court.

Lawyers are legislators and judges, prosecutors, police, and attorneys all police each other.

Connecticut isn't even safe to drive through unless you are in with Organized Crime, a Corrupt Politician, or are just a suburbanite working a corporate job living a vanilla ice cream life.

Judges, Police, Prosecutors, and Attorneys should not be above the law.

Maybe there will be names and videos to go with this post at a later date.

[click here] for all of my current YouTube videos

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Friday, February 23, 2007

"Phishing" and Internet Scamming

My junk email filters get quite a bit of crap on their own. I have had email addresses with few letters from the early mid 1990's so I am on so many junkmail spam lists. I still have to delete a hundred or more emails from jackasses that probably sent out their evil in the millions hoping for victims that might represent one one hundredth of a percent of the spam they send out.

I get ten to twenty emails a day allegedly from somewhere in Africa wanting me to help them cash their check for a percentage of the millions that it is made out for.

I think the authorities do to little to combat this. Authorities all over the world are dropping the ball on identity theft and "phishing" scams.

I got this in my email today:

Microsoft MSN
Microsoft Award Team
20 Craven Park, Harlesden London NW10 United Kingdom
Ref: BTD/968/05
Batch: 409978E

Dear Winner,


The prestigious Micrsoft and aol has set out and sucessfully organised a Sweepstakes marking the year 2007 anniversary we rolled out over US$ 4,419,864 for our end of year Anniversary Draws. Participants for the draws were randomly selected and drawn from a wide range of web hosts which we enjoy their patronage.

The selection was made through a computer draw system attaching personalised email addresses to ticket numbers. If you ignore this, you will regret it later. Microsoft and AOL are now the largest Internet companies and in an effort to make sure that Internet Explorer remains the most widely used program, Microsoft and AOL are running an e-mail beta test.

Your email address as indicated was drawn and attached to ticket number 008795727498 with serial numbers BTD/9080648302/06 and drew the lucky numbers 14-21-25-39-40-47(20) which subsequently won you £1,350,000.00 (One MillionThree Hundred and Fifty Thousand Great Britain Pounds) as one of the 5 jackpot winners in this draw. You have therefore won the entire winning sum of £1,350,000.00 (One MillionThree Hundred and Fifty Thousand Great Britain Pounds) The draws registered as Draw number one was conducted in Brockley, London United Kingdom on the 20th of January,2007. These Draws are commemorative and as such special.

Please be informed by this winning notification,to file your claims,you are to make contact with your designated agent who shall by duty guide you through the process to facilitate the release of your prize.To file for your claim Please Contact your delivery agency in the contact information below:


OFFICE ADDRESS: 60 Great Ormond Street London,WC1N 3HR United- Kingdom.
Contact Person: Call Mr John Gee.

You are advised to contact your fiduciary agent with the following details to avoid unnecessary delays and complications:

FULL NAMES................................
CONTACT ADDRESS.....................
TEL/FAX NUMBERS.....................
POST CODE..................................
COUNTRY /CITY /STATE.................
AMOUNT WON...............
WINNING EMAIL..............
BATCH NUMBER.............
LUCKY NUMBERS..................

Our special thanks and gratitude to Bill Gates and his associates.We wish you the best of luck as you spend your good fortune in this season.

Note: You have One weeks from the date of this publication to claim your prize or you may forefeit your winnings.In compliance with the sponsoring bodies',you are to make a remittance of a part of your won fund,not lower than 10-percent, after receiving your allocation to a charity organisation.

Thank you for being part of our commemorative end of year Anniversary Draws.


Mrs. Rosse N
Microsoft Promotion Team
Vice President

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Ellsberg Iran Attack

Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked secret Pentagon documents during the Vietnam war called on current Washington insiders to release any classified documents that could sway public opinion against an attack against Iran.

In a press conference on wednesday 6 of December in Stockholm, as reported by Associated Press, Ellsberg, who is one of four recipients of this year's Right Livelihood Award - often dubbed the "Alternative Nobels" - also urged U.S. allies to threaten to withdraw from the NATO alliance if nuclear weapons are used against Iran.

He warned that he believed the U.S. would attack Iran before 2008 and urged Washington insiders to make new disclosures to prevent a new war.

Daniel Ellsberg (born April 7, 1931) is a former American military analyst employed by the RAND Corporation who precipitated a national uproar in 1971 when he released the Pentagon Papers, the US military's account of activities during the Vietnam War, to The New York Times. The release awakened the American people to how much they had been deceived by their own government about the war.

"It is more likely than not, in the next two years, that President Bush and Vice President Cheney will direct an attack on Iran," Ellsberg said at the news conference for the Right Livelihood laureates. "Such an attack ... might escalate too, to the use of nuclear weapons against underground installations in Iran, with incalculable consequences."

But, the former U.S. State Department official added: "Of the various disastrous policies of their administration, this one is the most susceptible to being changed and averted by public pressure."

"Don't do what I did, don't wait until the war has started before you tell the truth with documents," said Ellsberg.
source: ReportIran [click here]

Part 2

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Eisenhower warns us of the military industrial complex

RIP Bill of Rights and Habeas Corpus

Eminem - Public Enemy #1

The Secret Government

It aired on PBS in 1987 and is as good as anything on the tape (must see). Moyers is a very respected TV journalist who also worked for Lyndon B. Johnson and has a very professional approach. He interviews many different people involved with the CIA and other government agencies. His documentary gives quite an overview of what has actually happened in the last 50 years regarding the CIA and the cold war (including Iran, Guatamala, Cuba, Viet Nam and Chile). He features such people as Ralph McGeehee and Phil Retinger (both former CIA agents), Rear Admiral Gene La Rocque (Ret. U.S.N.), Theodore Bissell (active in the CIA at the time), Sen. Frank Church and many others. Moyers is so very credible. The full video "The Secret Government" is 90 minutes - this segment is edited by Frank Dorrel to 20 minutes.

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Also on Bush's "To Do" list?

Egypt blogger jailed for 'insult'
Abdel Kareem Soliman
Soliman was arrested for his "insulting" blog posts in November
An Egyptian court has sentenced a blogger to four years' prison for insulting Islam and the president.

Abdel Kareem Soliman's trial was the first time that a blogger had been prosecuted in Egypt.

He had used his web log to criticise the country's top Islamic institution, al-Azhar university and President Hosni Mubarak, whom he called a dictator.

A human rights group called the verdict "very tough" and a "strong message" to Egypt's thousands of bloggers.

Soliman, 22, was tried in his native city of Alexandria. He blogs under the name Kareem Amer.

A former student at al-Azhar, he called the institution "the university of terrorism" and accused it of suppressing free thought.

The university expelled him in 2006 and pressed prosecutors to put him on trial.

'Slap in the face'

During the five-minute court session the judge said Soliman was guilty and would serve three years for insulting Islam and inciting sedition, and one year for insulting Mr Mubarak.

On blogs everyone is allowed to write what they want. This proves how unintelligent the president and Al-Azahr are

Egypt arrested a number of bloggers who had been critical of the government during 2006, but they were all subsequently freed.

Hafiz Abou Saada of the Egyptian Human Rights Organisation called the sentence "a strong message to all bloggers who are put under strong surveillance".

The UK-based organisation Amnesty International said the ruling was "yet another slap in the face of freedom for expression in Egypt".

Fellow blogger Amr Gharbeia told the BBC it would not stop Egyptian bloggers from expressing opinions as "it is very difficult to control the blogosphere".

There have been no reported comments on the sentence from the Egyptian authorities.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Ian Hunter - Once Bitten Twice Shy, Oslo (2002)

Monday, February 19, 2007

The Anthrax scare of 2001

Have you ever heard of anyone possessing it being named in 2001?

I haven't.

[click here] for link to USDOJ pdf document dated Nov. 19, 2002. It names US Attorney John A. Danaher III and Tomas Foral, age 26 at the time of 15 Baldwin St., W. Hartford, Connecticut as the one allegedly in possession of Anthrax in October of 2001.

Fairfield county is known as an organized crime hub of the US out to the world. Lawyers seem to have their own Mafia, especially in Connecticut. They do as they please and when an attorney breaks ranks, he or she is toasted.

Danaher seems to have connections out the yingyang.

The Connecticut State Police got straight F's in a New York State Police Internal Affairs 168 page report on the Connecticut State Police. The report was so scathing Connecticut State Police should have the word "police" and "law enforcement" stripped off of badges and uniforms.

A person that has loyalty to the Lawyer Syndicate, the Connecticut Blue Blood Elite Fed Club, powerful political dynasties, the Black Robed Mafia [Connecticut Judges], another possibly corrupt and retaliation minded Connecticut Governor that might be out more to help make the rich richer at the expense of everyone else, should not be head of the "Armed Revenue Collectors", "Bandits in Blue", the Connecticut State Police.

Connecticut might be the most racist and blatantly corrupt State Government in the Union.

[click here] for:

Shoddy Police, Shoddy Courts

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Rell Nominates Public Safety Chief
4:25 PM EST, February 19, 2007
The Associated Press

Gov. M. Jodi Rell on Monday nominated Assistant U.S. Attorney John A. Danaher III to serve as the new commissioner of the Department of Public Safety.

Danaher, 56, supervised federal prosecutions of former Waterbury Mayor Philip Giordano and former Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim.

If confirmed by the state legislature, he will replace Leonard Boyle, a former federal prosecutor. Boyle has said publicly he is looking for a new job. Danaher's appointment takes effect March 5.

"I am extremely pleased to have an experienced and able federal prosecutor like John move into this critical and challenging position," Rell said in a statement. "As we continue to implement cultural changes at the Department of Public Safety, we need a leader who commands respect and knows how to work with all of the interested parties to get things done."

Danaher is currently senior litigation counsel in the U.S. Attorney's Office in Connecticudt. He served as interim U.S. Attorney from May 2001 to November 2002.

The state public safety commissioner oversees the state police, the division of fire, emergency and building services, and the state forensic lab. The Connecticut State Police department was founded in 1903 and is the oldest law enforcement agency of its type in the nation.

A 1972 graduate of Fairfield University, Danaher received a master's degree in English from the University of Hartford in 1977 and his law degree from the University of Connecticut School of Law in 1980. He worked at the Hartford firm of Day, Berry & Howard from 1981 to 1986 before joining the U.S. Attorney's Office in July 1986.

Danaher's nomination continues generations of of public service. His father, John A. Danaher, Jr., is a retired Special Agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. His grandfather, John A. Danaher, was a U.S. Senator from Connecticut from 1939 to 1945 and also served as Secretary of the State. His great-grandfather, Cornelius J. Danaher, was the state labor commissioner in the 1930s and 1940s.

In a statement, Danaher said he was "deeply honored" by the nomination.

"I have worked with many members of the Department during my time as a prosecutor and have always considered it a privilege to do so," he said. "I look forward to being associated with the men and women who have dedicated their lives to protecting and serving the people of Connecticut."

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The Power of Words and Censorship

Leo Tolstoy, late in life.
Born: August 28 1828
Yasnaya Polyana, Russia
Died: 20 November 1910
Astapovo, Russia
Occupation: Novelist
Influenced: Mahatma Gandhi
Martin Luther King, Jr.

February 18, 1884 - Moscow police seize all copies of anarcho-pacifist Leo Tolstoy's "What I Believe In" at the printers.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy (Russian: Лев Никола́евич Толсто́й, IPA: [lʲɛv nʲɪkʌˈlajɪvʲɪtɕ tʌlˈstoj] listen ), commonly referred to in English as Leo Tolstoy (September 9 [O.S. August 28] 1828November 20 [O.S. November 7] 1910) was a Russian novelist, writer, essayist, philosopher, Christian anarchist, pacifist, educational reformer, vegetarian, moral thinker, and an influential member of the Tolstoy family.

Tolstoy is widely regarded as one of the greatest of all novelists, particularly noted for his masterpieces War and Peace and Anna Karenina; in their scope, breadth and realistic depiction of Russian life, the two books stand at the peak of realistic fiction. As a moral philosopher he was notable for his ideas on nonviolent resistance through his work The Kingdom of God is Within You, which in turn influenced such twentieth-century figures as Mohandas K. Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.[1]

[click here] for more information

* * * *

5th Dimension-Age of Aquarius

Added August 21, 2006
From StonewallStudios
Provided By:
"Age of Aquarius": in 1968 with the great musical "Hair" The 5th Dimension might have forseen the magnificent images the Hubble Telescope is now sending back to us. Link to image album:

To view this video with "(near) Studio Resolution" click the small screen button immediately to the right of the sound icon, bottom right of the video.

Age Of Aquarius
When the moon is in the Seventh House
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius
The Age of Aquarius
Aquarius! Aquarius!

Harmony and understanding
Sympathy and trust abounding
No more falsehoods or derisions
Golden living dreams of visions
Mystic crystal revelation
And the mind's true liberation
Aquarius! Aquarius!

When the moon is in the Seventh House
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius
The Age of Aquarius
Aquarius! Aquarius!

Harmony and understanding
Sympathy and trust abounding
No more falsehoods or derisions
Golden living dreams of visions
Mystic crystal revelation
And the mind's true liberation
Aquarius! Aquarius!

Almost 40 years later it seems we are indeed in the Age of Aquarius.

I am re-building StonewallStudios Channel at DailyMotion . Come on over after November 05 for those who choose to travel some great musical backroads and highways with me. If there is a video you would like a copy me and we will discuss it.
This video meets VPG Standards.
1. Includes original video-imagery and/or audio track.
2. Is clear resolution and runs smoothly.
3. Audio is clear amd of high quality.
4. Video is suitable for viewing by any age group.
5. Video is entertaining and educating
6. Lyrics and liner notes provided.

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Public Corruption

[click here] for a pdf with the ranking of all 50 states

* * * *

Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell shaking hands with Steven G. Erickson 12:15 PM EST July 1, 2005 Posted by Picasa [post]

[click here] for:

Homeland Security and FBI for arresting those that "test" Free Speech?

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Are People like Ants?

Leo Strauss' Philosophy of Deception

By Jim Lobe, AlterNet. Posted May 19, 2003.

Many neoconservatives like Paul Wolfowitz are disciples of a philosopher who believed that the elite should use deception, religious fervor and perpetual war to control the ignorant masses.

What would you do if you wanted to topple Saddam Hussein, but your intelligence agencies couldn't find the evidence to justify a war?

A follower of Leo Strauss may just hire the "right" kind of men to get the job done – people with the intellect, acuity, and, if necessary, the political commitment, polemical skills, and, above all, the imagination to find the evidence that career intelligence officers could not detect.

The "right" man for Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, suggests Seymour Hersh in his recent New Yorker article entitled 'Selective Intelligence,' was Abram Shulsky, director of the Office of Special Plans (OSP) – an agency created specifically to find the evidence of WMDs and/or links with Al Qaeda, piece it together, and clinch the case for the invasion of Iraq.

Like Wolfowitz, Shulsky is a student of an obscure German Jewish political philosopher named Leo Strauss who arrived in the United States in 1938. Strauss taught at several major universities, including Wolfowitz and Shulsky's alma mater, the University of Chicago, before his death in 1973.

Strauss is a popular figure among the neoconservatives. Adherents of his ideas include prominent figures both within and outside the administration. They include 'Weekly Standard' editor William Kristol; his father and indeed the godfather of the neoconservative movement, Irving Kristol; the new Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, Stephen Cambone, a number of senior fellows at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) (home to former Defense Policy Board chairman Richard Perle and Lynne Cheney), and Gary Schmitt, the director of the influential Project for the New American Century (PNAC), which is chaired by Kristol the Younger.

Strauss' philosophy is hardly incidental to the strategy and mindset adopted by these men – as is obvious in Shulsky's 1999 essay titled "Leo Strauss and the World of Intelligence (By Which We Do Not Mean Nous)" (in Greek philosophy the term nous denotes the highest form of rationality). As Hersh notes in his article, Shulsky and his co-author Schmitt "criticize America's intelligence community for its failure to appreciate the duplicitous nature of the regimes it deals with, its susceptibility to social-science notions of proof, and its inability to cope with deliberate concealment." They argued that Strauss's idea of hidden meaning, "alerts one to the possibility that political life may be closely linked to deception. Indeed, it suggests that deception is the norm in political life, and the hope, to say nothing of the expectation, of establishing a politics that can dispense with it is the exception."

Rule One: Deception

It's hardly surprising then why Strauss is so popular in an administration obsessed with secrecy, especially when it comes to matters of foreign policy. Not only did Strauss have few qualms about using deception in politics, he saw it as a necessity. While professing deep respect for American democracy, Strauss believed that societies should be hierarchical – divided between an elite who should lead, and the masses who should follow. But unlike fellow elitists like Plato, he was less concerned with the moral character of these leaders. According to Shadia Drury, who teaches politics at the University of Calgary, Strauss believed that "those who are fit to rule are those who realize there is no morality and that there is only one natural right – the right of the superior to rule over the inferior."

This dichotomy requires "perpetual deception" between the rulers and the ruled, according to Drury. Robert Locke, another Strauss analyst says,"The people are told what they need to know and no more." While the elite few are capable of absorbing the absence of any moral truth, Strauss thought, the masses could not cope. If exposed to the absence of absolute truth, they would quickly fall into nihilism or anarchy, according to Drury, author of 'Leo Strauss and the American Right' (St. Martin's 1999).

Second Principle: Power of Religion

According to Drury, Strauss had a "huge contempt" for secular democracy. Nazism, he believed, was a nihilistic reaction to the irreligious and liberal nature of the Weimar Republic. Among other neoconservatives, Irving Kristol has long argued for a much greater role for religion in the public sphere, even suggesting that the Founding Fathers of the American Republic made a major mistake by insisting on the separation of church and state. And why? Because Strauss viewed religion as absolutely essential in order to impose moral law on the masses who otherwise would be out of control.

At the same time, he stressed that religion was for the masses alone; the rulers need not be bound by it. Indeed, it would be absurd if they were, since the truths proclaimed by religion were "a pious fraud." As Ronald Bailey, science correspondent for Reason magazine points out, "Neoconservatives are pro-religion even though they themselves may not be believers."

"Secular society in their view is the worst possible thing,'' Drury says, because it leads to individualism, liberalism, and relativism, precisely those traits that may promote dissent that in turn could dangerously weaken society's ability to cope with external threats. Bailey argues that it is this firm belief in the political utility of religion as an "opiate of the masses" that helps explain why secular Jews like Kristol in 'Commentary' magazine and other neoconservative journals have allied themselves with the Christian Right and even taken on Darwin's theory of evolution.

Third Principle: Aggressive Nationalism

Like Thomas Hobbes, Strauss believed that the inherently aggressive nature of human beings could only be restrained by a powerful nationalistic state. "Because mankind is intrinsically wicked, he has to be governed," he once wrote. "Such governance can only be established, however, when men are united – and they can only be united against other people."

Not surprisingly, Strauss' attitude toward foreign policy was distinctly Machiavellian. "Strauss thinks that a political order can be stable only if it is united by an external threat," Drury wrote in her book. "Following Machiavelli, he maintained that if no external threat exists then one has to be manufactured (emphases added)."

"Perpetual war, not perpetual peace, is what Straussians believe in," says Drury. The idea easily translates into, in her words, an "aggressive, belligerent foreign policy," of the kind that has been advocated by neocon groups like PNAC and AEI scholars – not to mention Wolfowitz and other administration hawks who have called for a world order dominated by U.S. military power. Strauss' neoconservative students see foreign policy as a means to fulfill a "national destiny" – as Irving Kristol defined it already in 1983 – that goes far beyond the narrow confines of a " myopic national security."

As to what a Straussian world order might look like, the analogy was best captured by the philosopher himself in one of his – and student Allen Bloom's – many allusions to Gulliver's Travels. In Drury's words, "When Lilliput was on fire, Gulliver urinated over the city, including the palace. In so doing, he saved all of Lilliput from catastrophe, but the Lilliputians were outraged and appalled by such a show of disrespect."

The image encapsulates the neoconservative vision of the United States' relationship with the rest of the world – as well as the relationship between their relationship as a ruling elite with the masses. "They really have no use for liberalism and democracy, but they're conquering the world in the name of liberalism and democracy," Drury says.


Jim Lobe writes on foreign policy for Alternet. His work has also appeared on Foreign Policy In Focus and

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A Business "Unfriendly" State?:

At the Cambridge House Brew Pub in Granby, you can order up a sampler of their finest beers, including the award-winning Copper Hill Kolsch, shown here in the foreground.

Feb. 8, 2007

Copyright 2007, Hartford Courant


February 14, 2007
By JANICE PODSADA, Courant Staff Writer

GRANBY -- Born and bred in Connecticut, Steve Boucino is about ready to make a mad dash for the border. Massachusetts is just four miles away, and under their laws, they're willing to give a man like Boucino a fresh start.

Desperado? Bad hombre? Varmint?

No - just a Connecticut business owner who wants to open a microbrewery and add a dozen jobs to the state's economy.

Boucino and Scott Scanlon, co-owners of The Cambridge House Brew Pub in Granby, would like to open a $2 million microbrewery near their 2-year-old establishment, which includes a restaurant.

"We're Connecticut natives. We want to brand ourselves here," Boucino said. Under a brew pub permit, their beer can only be sold on the premises.

Trouble is, state law prohibits the owner of a brew pub from operating a microbrewery.

"You can't be the holder of two permits," Boucino said. "I'd have to give up my successful business, the brew pub - the one that generates the cash - to open the brewery here."

Boucino, 40, and Scanlon, 43, hope to make, bottle and sell their beer for retail distribution. When they consulted officials with the state's Liquor Control Division, they were told they couldn't obtain a microbrewery permit.

The standoff comes exactly at a time when the state is trying to nurture the sort of vibrancy that comes from homegrown - or home-brewed - enterprise, not to mention the economic benefits.

In Connecticut, alcohol distribution laws were put on the books in the 1930s alongside state laws that made it a crime for a man with epilepsy to marry a woman younger than 45, or for anyone, married or single, to use contraceptives.

"The rationale behind the `separation of permits' issue goes all the way back to Prohibition and the so-called `three-tier system' that was created when Prohibition came to an end," Jerry Farrell Jr., the state's consumer protection commissioner, wrote in an e-mail.

"The three-tier system largely prevents common ownership between the three tiers of alcohol: the manufacturer, the distributor, and the retailer," Farrell wrote.

Although small business is an important driver in the state's economy, the laws concerning alcohol distribution have been in place for "a long, long time," said Peter Gioia, an economist for the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, and as a result, "it's almost a Herculean struggle to take on those laws."

In Massachusetts, however, your micro-dreams can come true, Boucino said. There, brew pubs are allowed to bottle and distribute beer.

"Most successful brewers," he said, "have both brew pubs as well as distributing breweries, like Dogfish Head Beer," a Delaware brewer.

A brew pub is a great way to test the waters, so to speak. Cambridge House currently has six beers on tap, but the brew pub has experimented with more than 25 varieties since it opened in 2005. The ability to ask your customers to rate your latest batch of brew is almost as good as having a Betty Crocker test kitchen in your backyard.

From the bar, customers can glimpse the tiny brewery through a row of windows.

On a recent afternoon, brew master Dave Weikel, 31, was checking the mash, a mixture of barley and water, as it cooked inside an 8-foot tall, big-bellied copper kettle called a mash tun. As the mash heated, an aroma not unlike sour oatmeal filled the humid 30-foot-by-12-foot brewery. Steam frosted the windows. Weikel brews about 20 barrels of beer - 620 gallons - each week.

Two of the brew pub's beers have won gold and silver medals at the national Great American Beer Festival, an annual beer-making competition. It wasn't long before customers wanted to know when they could buy a six-pack at the store. The logical next step was to open a microbrewery, Boucino said.

"When brew pub owners realize that people love their beer, they will try to do some sales that can be consumed off premises," said Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association, an industry group based in Boulder, Colo.

Last year, on a national scale, brew pubs, microbreweries and regional breweries rang up $4 billion in retail sales, Gatza said.

Boucino isn't the only Connecticut brew pub owner who has wanted to open a microbrewery in recent years.

"We'd love to take our beer and manufacture and sell it ... but there's a law against it," said Jay DuMond, co-owner of City Steam Brewery Café, a Hartford brew pub.

The laws determining who may or may not hold a permit to brew vary from state to state, Gatza said. Therefore, it's up to the brewers of the state to organize and make their plight known to lawmakers, Gatza said. "If a brewer isn't making their opinion known to lawmakers, then someone else is making policy."

Boucino is one of those people that state development officials are always talking about keeping here. A Connecticut native, Boucino went off to college in New Hampshire and came back home to work for The Hartford Financial Services Group. Five years ago, when Boucino and Scanlongot the itch to start a brew pub, they mapped out their business plan on a cocktail napkin at the Cracker Barrel Pub in the Tariffville section of Simsbury. With a combination of personal savings and a Small Business Administration loan, they bought an eyesore of a building on Salmon Brook Street in Granby for $125,000 that had been vacant for years.

Working weeknights after work and weekends, it took two years of sweat equity to remodel the dilapidated building. When a contractor's estimate to construct the kitchen came in at $89,000, the two partners bought the necessary equipment on eBay for $8,900 and built it themselves.

"If I wasn't at Home Depot on a Monday night, they'd send us a get-well card," Boucino joked.

In 2006, Cambridge House had $1.5 million in net sales, Boucino said. After just 23 months in business, the brew pub maintains a positive cash flow, producing about 1,000 barrels of beer a year and serving a full lunch and dinner menu.

Weikel, the brew pub's full-time brew master, said he knows plenty of people who'd like one of the dozen jobs that Boucino says he and his partner would create if they were to open a microbrewery in Connecticut.

"I'd like to keep my business here, but the state won't let me," Boucino said. And Massachusetts is just up the road, five minutes away.

Contact Janice Podsada at

* * * *

World Organized Crime and Citizen Abuse Hub: CONNECTICUT?

[click here] for more

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Connecticut has long been an Organized Crime Hub

Former mayor among those supporting reputed mobster

STAMFORD, Conn. --Former Stamford Mayor Stanley Esposito is among 64 people who wrote letters to a U.S. District Court judge asking that she be lenient when sentencing reputed Connecticut mafia underboss Anthony Megale.

Megale, who prosecutors say is Gambino crime family's second-in-command, and the top mobster in Connecticut, pleaded guilty last October to racketeering conspiracy charges, and is to be sentenced Monday by U.S. District Court Judge Janet Bond Arterton. He faces up to 6 1/2 years in prison.

Esposito said in is letter he was "impressed" by Megale as an "upbeat family man with a sense of humor."

"I believe without a doubt, that Anthony has already come to grips with the impact of his actions." Esposito wrote. "I believe that going forward (for the sake of his family) he will not allow himself to slip again. I sincerely hope that in your wisdom you will be lenient in his sentencing."

Esposito, a two-term Republican who was defeated by current Mayor Dannel Malloy in 1995, wrote his letter on official city letterhead.

He said he first met Megale 15 years ago, which was about the time Esposito was elected mayor.

Tom Cassone, Stamford's director of legal affairs, said the city has no control over a former employee using stationery for personal use, though the practice is not endorsed.

Megale was indicted in 2004 along with more than a dozen other defendants in what prosecutors said was the most significant assault on the state's Italian Mafia in more than a decade.

The indictment described a traditional Mafia organization being run out of Fairfield County, with members shaking down business owners for monthly payoffs in exchange for protection.

In pleading guilty, Megale admitted that between November 2002 and September 2004, he conspired with others to collect monthly extortion payments and to operate several illegal gambling operations. He took about $2,000 in monthly payments from the owner of two Stamford strip clubs, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said Megale met regularly with the upper Mafia echelon, including a sit-down at a Manhattan restaurant with one-time family boss Peter Gotti.

The Gambino family, one of the five New York families, has traditionally made Fairfield County its Connecticut turf.

Most of the defendants indicted have entered guilty pleas.

Though Megale was captured on tape in 2002 referring to himself as the "underboss," his attorney says he does not admit to being a member of the Gambino crime family.

Megale has also pleaded guilty to extorting money from a Greenwich, Conn., restaurant between 1998 and March 2005, and acknowledged during that case that he extorted money from a New Jersey trucking company and from the owners of a Westchester County construction company.


Information from: The Advocate,


Friday, February 16, 2007

Would anyone be sick enough to forward this video to someone that owed them money?

Connecticut, the new butt of jokes, replacing West Virginia?

Tortured tale continues
By: Alex Wood, Journal Inquirer

State police are investigating the disappearance last fall of a man named Mark Johnson, who was living in a Tolland home at the time, Lt. Alaric J. Fox, the commander of the Troop C barracks in Tolland, says.

"We do have a missing-person case about Mark Johnson," Fox said Friday. "It's an active, ongoing investigation."

The lieutenant said Johnson was living with Donna Lee Maheu, who has been in the news several times in recent years.

In a long telephone interview Friday afternoon, Maheu, 49, who lives at 31 Cider Mill Road in Tolland, maintained vigorously that Johnson, 42, is alive. She said he has been in touch with her six to eight times since his disappearance, which she said was in early November.

Before Christmas, she said, Johnson called a radio station and had it play her favorite song, "You Can Leave Your Hat On" by Joe Cocker.

She suggested that Johnson is probably out of state, saying he may believe that he will face three years in prison if he returns.

Maheu explained that Johnson was arrested in July or August 2004 on a charge of possession of drug paraphernalia - and subsequently was charged with skipping three required court appearances in that case. She said he was put on some form of probation in February 2006 in New London Superior Court, although he didn't have to report to a probation officer, and that he may not have complied with the probation conditions.

Maheu said she and Johnson were married in August in Brattleboro, Vt.

No divorce

Vernon Superior Court records show that her previous husband, William R. Senk, sued her for divorce in November and that she filed an answer and cross complaint last month. The records don't show that a judge has granted the divorce.

Asked about the apparent overlap of the two marriages, Maheu said Senk's father had told her that Senk had divorced her in Reno, Nev. She said she never saw any paperwork on that divorce.

"I ran out and married Mark because we wanted to be a family," she said.

It wasn't the first time that Maheu had faced suggestions that she was married to two men at the same time.

She was charged with bigamy in 2003 based on the accusation that she had married Senk before completing her divorce from her previous husband, Timothy Maheu.

But that charge was ultimately dropped on grounds that the marriage between Donna Lee and Timothy Maheu had never been legal.

The reason, Timothy Maheu said at the time, was that he was the one who had committed bigamy, having married Donna Lee in 1992 while he was still married to a woman he had met in Panama.

Despite never having been legally married, Donna Lee Maheu said, she and Timothy Maheu completed the divorce procedure because they had three children together. She said she and Senk subsequently were married a second time, on Feb. 7, 2003, also in Brattleboro, Vt.

She had first married Senk in Virginia on July 1, 2002.
4 out-of-state marriages

Donna Lee Maheu has thus gone out of state to be married at least three times, twice to Senk and once to Johnson.
Asked why she does that, she replied, "Because you can walk in and walk out in 10 minutes and it costs $35." She added that the trips double as vacations.

For at least some time while the Maheu divorce and the bigamy case were in progress, Donna Lee, William Senk, and Timothy Maheu all shared the house at 31 Cider Mill Road in Tolland. She has explained that living arrangement on the basis of various health problems the three of them had, saying they all took care of each other.

Timothy Maheu died in November 2005. Donna Lee said he had serious heart problems.

Donna Lee Maheu was back in the news this week when Bethany lawyer Norman A. Pattis accused her of fabricating a story that he was having a sexual affair with New London Superior Court Judge Susan B. Handy, who was presiding over one of Pattis' cases.

Pattis and Handy publicly denied the existence of such a relationship.

But, in the interview Friday, Maheu denied that she had ever told anyone that such a relationship existed. "I didn't say it, imply it, or nothing," she said.

She said Handy strikes her as an honest woman and praised Pattis as "a class-act genius."

Pattis' client in the court case is Curt Rivard Jr., 17, the son of an ex-wife of Mark Johnson's. Rivard is charged with arson in connection with a fire at the old Jewett City Town Hall in Griswold.

Maternal role

In the interview Friday, Maheu repeatedly stressed her dedication to Rivard, for whom she indicates she has taken on a maternal role.

She said she and Johnson were instrumental in persuading a probate judge to allocate $60,000 to hire Pattis from about $160,000 that was being held in trust for Rivard. She suggested that certain members of Rivard's family may oppose that move because they have designs on the money.
Maheu has been in the news at least three times before, including the bigamy case.

In the summer of 2000, she said she had been denied cancer treatment and received widespread sympathy and support during a fundraising campaign.

Questions were subsequently raised about whether she had had cancer, but she continues to maintain that she had at least a pre-cancerous condition. During the controversy, she said her money-raising efforts weren't designed principally for her own treatment but to start a health advice service for women.

In January 2006, Maheu was charged with first-degree larceny and making a false statement based on the accusation that she had claimed more than $6,400 in federal Supplemental Security Income payments to which she wasn't entitled. That case is pending in Vernon Superior Court.

This story includes New London Day reporting.

©Journal Inquirer 2007


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Will the daughter of a Supreme Court Justice get a free pass?

Daughter of Supreme Court justice charged in DUI

By Angela Rozas

Chicago Tribune


CHICAGO - A daughter of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was arrested Monday night in Wheaton, Ill., and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and child endangerment, Wheaton Deputy Police Chief Thomas Meloni said.

Ann S. Banaszewski, 45, was stopped about 7:25 p.m. in a 1996 Ford Econoline van after a citizen reported a possible drunken driver was at the McDonald's restaurant near there, Meloni said.

Three of Banaszewski's "small children" were in the van with her at the time, leading to the child endangerment charge, Meloni said. He would not disclose their ages. Meloni would also not disclose details of her alleged intoxication, but said she submitted to a field sobriety test, though he could not disclose its outcome.

"Probable cause was established to arrest and charge the driver with DUI," Meloni said. Banaszewski was taken to the Wheaton Police Station, where she was released on her own recognizance, Meloni said. A police officer dropped her children at a family friend's home, a "common practice" when someone is arrested with children, he said.

A court date has not been scheduled, he said. Meloni said police knew Banaszewski was one of Scalia's daughters because of "previous contact with the justice" and "common knowledge" in the Wheaton Police Department.

Meloni said he has never spoken to Scalia directly, but the department's police officers routinely patrol Banaszewski's neighborhood to ensure her safety, a courtesy the department extends for others associated with law enforcement, the court system or anyone who requests extra patrols.

Banaszewski, reached by phone at home, declined to speak about the arrest, or whether she was Scalia's daughter.

"I have no information and I certainly would not speak with a reporter about my father," she said.


© 2007, Chicago Tribune.

Visit the Chicago Tribune on the Internet at

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii -- One of These Days

"One of These Days I'm Going to Chop You into Little Pieces." From Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii. Features Nick Mason drumming.

Echoes Part 1

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See Emily Play

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Careful with that Axe Eugene


The Connecticut "Sleaze Virus", is it spreading to Republicans and Democrats in your state?

Connecticut Democrats LOB-gate

Democrats break-in and rifle a fellow staffers desk.

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Click Here for

Fixing Ethics in Courts and Police through Legislative Action

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Authorities and Officials fail miserably investigating each other


A Mom's Sleuthing Leads To Guilty Plea

February 14, 2007
By ALAINE GRIFFIN, Courant Staff Writer
MIDDLETOWN -- For months, Jane Couto agonized about her mentally disabled daughter's health, wondering why medication that was once effective was no longer helping the young woman's fatigue and depression.

Then one day when Melissa Couto was home visiting, sunlight shining through a window revealed that a capsule of medicine for Melissa was nearly empty. It appeared that someone at the Westbrook residential treatment facility in which Melissa Couto was living was tampering with her medication.

But Jane Couto didn't wait for police to investigate.

With the help of her younger daughter, Ashley, Couto hid small cameras in air purifiers and a clock radio inside Melissa's room at Vista Vocational & Life Skills Center.

The mother-daughter detective team helped police nab one of the facility's workers, Cheri Oman, who pleaded guilty Tuesday in Superior Court to criminal charges related to the drug tampering.

"This woman took away my daughter's independence and the trust we had in people who were supposed to take care of her," Couto, 43, of North Stonington, said after Tuesday's court hearing.

Oman, 44, of Preston, had faced 16 years in prison if convicted of reckless endangerment and illegally manufacturing a controlled substance. When she is sentenced in April, Oman could get up to two years in prison, according to the court-indicated plea deal.

Prosecutor Maureen Platt said she intends to argue for the full two-year prison sentence for Oman. Platt said Tuesday the tampered medicine "could have been absolutely tragic" for Melissa Couto, now 23.

"Sadly enough, some of her responsibility was to ensure that the patients were safe and accounted for," Platt said about Oman. "It's sort of ironic."

During visits home last winter and spring, Melissa was tired and slept a lot. Melissa routinely took Focalin, a form of Ritalin, an antidepressant and another drug that helped prevent fatigue. When Couto opened the pill capsules, she noticed inconsistent amounts of medication inside.

Last July, Jane and Ashley Couto, 20, a college student, installed the cameras in Melissa's room at Vista, on Old Clinton Road. The lenses were aimed at the nightstand in which the medication was stored.

On at least three late nights and early mornings, the camera recorded Oman, sometimes carrying a flashlight, entering the room, court records say. She would shine the flashlight on the faces of Melissa and her roommate and then "bend down toward the nightstand ... extending her arm," court records state. Recordings of similar actions taped over a four-week period were turned over to police.

Oman was an overnight team leader at Vista and had worked there since September 2004. When confronted by police, Oman first denied tampering with the medication. When police told her about the hidden cameras, Oman "then admitted to stealing the victim's Focalin capsules and even replacing the Focalin capsules with Effexor and aspirin," court records say. Oman told police she used the Focalin because she "was having trouble staying awake at night" during her overnight shift at the facility.

Helen K. Bosch, executive director of Vista, said Oman has been fired. In a statement released Tuesday, Bosch called the medicine tampering "an extremely unusual case" and said all Vista employees undergo criminal background checks as well as checks with the state Department of Mental Retardation and state Department of Motor Vehicles.

"Since this incident, we have instituted a policy that requires a universal pre-hire drug screening. Additionally, there have always been systems in place to protect personal items such as medicines for each individual," the statement says.

Melissa Couto said she never wants to return to Vista. She now works at a local supermarket and is in the care of her mother, who said she will no longer trust a facility to care for her daughter.

"This shows that you should always be aware of what's going on at a place where you put a family member's life in the hands of another," Jane Couto said. If she didn't plant the cameras, Couto said she believes she still would be struggling to find out what was ailing her daughter.

Jane Couto has hired a lawyer since Oman's arrest and said she may donate the $6,000 worth of surveillance equipment she bought to police.

Contact Alaine Griffin at

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[click here] for my complaint regarding officials and authorities not investigating themselves. Priests did a poor job of policing themselves. Those of a flock, fly together, and cover for each other.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

No Oversight equals abuse

Russian soldiers 'used for sex'
Russian soldiers
Russia's military has been tarnished by a series of scandals
The Russian military is reported to be investigating claims that army conscripts were forced to work as male prostitutes in St Petersburg.

The command of the interior ministry unit denied the claims made by the Soldiers' Mothers human rights group.

The group says it was contacted by a parent of a conscript who had been forced to work as a male prostitute.

Last year, an 18-year-old soldier was so badly beaten that he had to have his legs and genitals amputated.

The BBC's James Rodgers in Moscow says the latest claims follow a series of scandals which have damaged the Russian army's reputation.

A spokeswoman for the Soldiers' Mothers, Ella Polyakova, told the BBC that in St Petersburg there was "a network of clients" who would pay for sex with soldiers.

Older servicemen are said to have forced younger conscripts into prostitution and then taken the money for themselves.


The Sychev bullying case drew worldwide attention to Russian army abuses.

Private Andrei Sychev was forced to squat for several hours by fellow soldiers and then tied to a chair and brutally beaten up last year.

As a result he developed gangrene in his legs and genitals, which had to be amputated.

Now permanently disabled, Pte Sychev has just announced that he is to write a book about his ordeal.

Such cases have highlighted the appalling conditions suffered by some Russian service personnel at a time when Russia is seeking a greater role on the world stage, our correspondent says.


Saturday, February 10, 2007

Fixing Ethics in Courts and Police through Legislative Action

To All CT Legislators: Lawyers in Elected Office is Completely Unethical (02-10-2007)

Foxes should not guard the henhouse. Lawyers who might be in front of a judge, working, the next day, might be legislating for the judiciary, and giving that judge a free pass, today. Practicing Lawyers have loyalty to the agenda of other lawyers, prosecutors, police, and judges, the people don’t rate. Practicing lawyers can’t and won’t discipline judges or question nominations from the governor for new judges. All ethics lapses in Connecticut could at least partially be cured by not having practicing lawyers, or those that are profiting from law firms, as elected officials. It is sleazy, it is unethical. Please Americanize the Connecticut Official Government, Please.

If a citizen contacts the Governor of Connecticut and lodges complaints against the Connecticut State Police and/or the Connecticut Judiciary, that citizen is put on a “Secret Enemies List” and then is arrested for something and faces prison. I, Steven G. Erickson, complained to the Governor about the Connecticut State Police and then was followed around by Connecticut State Police Troopers [storm trooper video], threatened, stalked and harassed. I had a conversation with the now head of the Connecticut State Police, Thomas Davoren. When I asked him why I was being threatened and harassed for testing Free Speech by being critical of police in the Journal Inquirer Newspaper and for having proposed Civilian Oversight of Police to elected officials back in 2001, he told me his primary job was to “Protect the Integrity of the System”. That doesn’t sound like anything like serving the public’s best interest, it seems that the system is set up to retaliate against mouthy citizens and internal whistle blowers. Ritt Goldstein informed the judiciary of the rampant problems back in 1996 and he so feared Connecticut Police and retaliation he fled the country.

Police Informants Barbara Sattal, Brian Caldwell, and criminals were summoned by police to take me out of my 3 investment properties and small businesses that I had built up over 2 decades, to ruin a productive taxpaying citizen, at taxpayer expense. Unofficial Policy is “Separate and Unequal”.

Brian Caldwell was looking for trouble and waited for me to return home all day, telling my tenants he was going to kill me when I got home. He was harassing me for weeks, even beating on my door after midnight telling me he was going to cut off my penis if he caught me out in my yard waking up my neighbors and tenants. I pepper sprayed him after he attacked me in my dark driveway. Judge Jonathan J. Kaplan, a judge, I was trying to remove, and police, knew this. Only I was arrested and faced prison. I lost everything and went to prison. This is how the system works for minorities, poorer whites, those with Big Mouths, and for whistle blowers. Should I never get a job or a place to live, ever again, in my life?

Christopher Kennedy is a solid citizen that has run for State Representative. He contacted the Governor’s Office regarding Judge Jonathan J. Kaplan and Connecticut State Police misconduct. He was almost immediately arrested, faced a $500,000 bond, and decades in prison in retaliation. I went to see Rell personally and asked her if going to her for help should mean prison. Retaliation involves making a citizen lose his or her job or small business, home, children, credibility, credit, ability to get a job, retirement, freedom, and the sum total of one’s life. Is this American and as our Forefathers intended?

It is time to end the abuse. Enact Francis Knize’s proposed legislation, have no elected lawyers especially involved in Judicial and Police oversight, and look into expunging the records of the victims of judicial abuse, compensating them. Please also look into prosecuting, impeaching, and/or removing from office, Judge Jonathan J. Kaplan and Connecticut State Police Col. Thomas Davoren. I am posting this letter with links here:

Thank you, Steven G. Erickson, c/o Francis C. P. Knize: 50 Sunset Pass, Wilton, Ct. 06897

[Click Here] for

[Click Here] for

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Friday, February 09, 2007

I love the smell of napalm in the morning

Connecticut’s Police State

Should a man that possibly doesn’t believe that citizens should not have First Amendment Rights and that Police Liaisons should tell elected officials what they can and cannot propose for legislation regarding the courts and police be head of the Connecticut State Police?

Well, the Connecticut State Police “Enemies List” where citizens are targets for false arrests and imprisonment is nothing new. If you are critical of police in newspapers, at Town Hall, or propose laws such as Civilian Oversight of Police, the Connecticut State Police will ignore regular criminals and crime to go after citizens for political reasons.

Should Col. Davoren order Troopers to follow even my dates around to harass them, inappropriately search them, and threaten them out of dating me? Should police be out trying to get citizens fired from their jobs as part of political retaliation and revenge? Should citizens lose their families, homes, and everything they had ever worked for, never to own a home again, hold a decent job, to be railroaded to prison?

How does this help the economy, social problems, and increase the tax base and State business? How do these court and police policies in Connecticut foster faith in government?

Is that ok with you?

Col. Davoren is the head of the Connecticut State Police. I believe he ordered that I be followed around and be kept under surveillance at taxpayer expense because of what I wrote critical of police in the Journal Inquirer and for proposing Civilian Oversight of Police to Tony Guglielmo and former Rep. Mordasky.

Who is in charge, the people or the police. Are representatives mere puppets of Judges and the Police? Should practicing lawyers be elected officials when they are loyal to each other, the police, prosecutors, and judges, and usually the people don’t even rate?

Ritt Goldstein had the same ideas I do. He and others testified Dec. 1996 in front of the Judiciary Committee Legislators at the Hartford Capitol. Clips from that testimony here:

Ritt Goldstein was so terrorized by police in Connecticut, he sought political asylum in Sweden. If that doesn't beg you legislators to actually do something for ALL the people, nothing does.

Should Col. Davoren, now head of the Connecticut State Police, be arrested and prosecuted for this:

I will be posting this open email to you here:

Thank you,

Steven G. Erickson

P.S. try doing a word search on me for my pictures and story. Are you willing to legislate to expunge records of those falsely prosecuted and compensate victims. The Police and Courts aren’t equipped or are the members interested in justice, fairness, morality. You need to pick up the ball for the people you represent.

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Emailed to:
Connecticut Public Safety Committee Legislators:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Connecticut Judiciary Committee Legislators:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

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[click here] for Francis Knize State and Federal Legislative solution

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[click here] for:

Putting Polish on a Secret Police State

Added Jan. 31, 2007, 6:30 AM, Connecticut Public Safety Committee Legislators, please [click here]

A Nation under surveillance, complain and you'll be put on a Secret Police "Enemies List" for a take down, arrests, and confinement. Your life will never be the same. Your kids may never see or have respect for you again. It is modern reality in America.

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[click here] for:

What are the Social Costs of Domestic Spying?

Former Connecticut State Police Commissioner, Dr. Henry C. Lee

Former Connecticut State Police Commissioner Arthur L. Spada

Connecticut State Police Commissioner Leonard C. Boyle

Former Connecticut Governor John G. Rowland

Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell

The below emailed to:,

Dear Governor M. Jodi Rell and Connecticut State Police Commissioner Leonard C. Boyle, [more]

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Slavery in Connecticut?

Workers Claim Forced Labor
Group Of Guatemalans Says Nursery Paid Low Wages And Mistreated Them

February 9, 2007
By KIM MARTINEAU And MARK SPENCER, Courant Staff Writers

Marvin Coto flew north on a work visa, to plant trees in North Carolina and send money home to Guatemala. Instead, he says, he wound up at a nursery in Granby where he worked long hours for low wages. His family had to wire him money so he could eat.

He is one of a dozen Guatemalan workers who claim their treatment by the nursery amounted to human trafficking. The Guatemalans filed a federal lawsuit Thursday against Imperial Nurseries and its corporate parent, Griffin Land & Nurseries, claiming they were lured to the U.S. on false pretenses, and mistreated once they got here. A group of Yale Law School students has taken up the immigrants' cause, seeking back wages and civil fines.

"There was no escape," said Coto, a stocky man with curly hair who spent most of the day sitting for interviews in a cluttered office at Yale. "We never let our guard down. We never relaxed. We just worked hard but no matter how hard we worked, we were never able to please them."

The U.S. Department of Labor looked into allegations of human trafficking last June but found the workers had not been held against their will, said Monte Lake, an attorney for Imperial Nurseries. He said Imperial paid the workers legal wages through its contractor, Pro Tree Forestry Services, but that Pro Tree had not passed on that money to its workers. Imperial fired Pro Tree after the Department of Labor's findings were issued, he added.

The lawsuit names Pro Tree and its owner, William Forero, who could not be reached for comment Thursday at his home in Tallahassee, Fla.

Last March, Coto, 33, left his wife and three children in Guatemala with the promise of a temporary job planting pine trees for $7.50 an hour, he said through a translator. He took out a loan to buy a plane ticket and work visa but when he landed in Greensboro, N.C., he and his coworkers were whisked away in a van. They rode for three days until Coto spotted a sign welcoming him to Hartford. There, they were shown to a filthy apartment, home to another group of young immigrants who were summarily evicted to make room for the new arrivals, said Coto. He knew something was wrong but, unable to speak English and with just a few dollars in his pocket, he didn't know where to turn.

For the next three months, Coto and his coworkers spent grueling days packing trees into pots in Granby, under constant surveillance of their bosses, threatened with arrest and deportation if they complained, he said. Their bosses confiscated their passports, paid them $3.75 an hour, then deducted rent and other expenses from their pay, he said, making it hard to scrape together enough money even for meals of rice and beans.

Coto eventually fell sick after days working in the rain, with chemicals and fertilizers, he said. When he asked for a doctor, he said, he was threatened with firing. With his debt mounting, he was terrified of losing his job.

One day, while visiting a laundromat, Coto heard about the Church of God Pentecost on Lawrence Street in Hartford's Frog Hollow section. Disillusioned, Coto told his story to the pastor, the Rev. Nelson Negron, and the church took up a collection for the Guatemalans.

"He said everything was different when they got here," Negron said Thursday, through a translator. "He would cry when he talked about it."

Through the church, Coto was referred to Yale and an immigrant-advocacy group, Junta for Progressive Action. Last June, Coto and his coworkers requested their passports, under the pretext of having money wired to them, as they had done previously. That night, Junta volunteers picked the men up and drove them to New Haven. Junta had collected nearly $7,000 in donations to rent the Guatemalans an apartment and buy them bedding and food.

Five of the workers still live in New Haven, while Coto has relocated to Hartford. With interest, his debt has ballooned to $6,000. The other six have either gone home to Guatemala or settled elsewhere in the U.S.

"These workers came here lawfully to earn a living and support their families," said Nicole Hallett, a Yale student working on the case. "Instead, they were defrauded and trapped into conditions of forced labor."

Few employees could be seen Thursday outside Imperial Nurseries in Granby, where a bitter wind whipped through dozens of plastic greenhouses that seemed to blend in with the snow on the frozen earth.

A sign at the entrance read, in English and Spanish: "We consistently provide superior in-demand plants in an environment that makes it easy to conduct business." An employee at the company's Salmon Brook Street office referred questions to Peter Hamilton, a public relations specialist in New York, who could not be reached late Thursday.

Human trafficking, for labor or sex, appears to be on the rise. Last year, the Connecticut legislature passed laws making trafficking punishable by criminal and civil penalties.

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said he has opened an investigation into the allegations, the first under the new laws, which he hopes to have finished in a few weeks.

"This case may very well become the poster child for vigorous enforcement of our new laws," he said.

U.S. Attorney Kevin O'Connor declined to say whether his office is also investigating.

Courant staff writer Matt Kauffman contributed to this story.

Contact Kim Martineau at

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[Click Here] for

American Elitists' Smoking Gun

What "Free Society"?

Will the Connecticut Legislators do anything to help victims of police misconduct, legal abuse, and official corruption?

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An Email sent to Governor Rell of Connecticut:

Governor Rell,
I’ve read the Hartford Courant story about you offering $500,000 to a Mr. Tillman for having been wrongly convicted. What about doing something about the cause of wrongful convictions and compensate all victims, not just one?

The Connecticut State Police have or had their “100 Club” where they would falsely arrest those that were not actually drunk for DUIs to make the “100 Club”. False arrests do lead to false imprisonment. If these officers are capable of that, they are capable of manufacturing evidence, suppressing evidence, committing perjury, and in further retaliating against their victims.

The New York State Police Internal Affairs gave the Connecticut State Police straight F’s for quality and honesty. Please click here for my post on Col. Davoren that is the new head of the Connecticut State Police. I asked Davoren why it was ok with him that citizens that want Civilian Oversight of Police should be arrested and targeted by police for false arrests and prison.

Davoren told me in a phone conversation that his number one job is to “Protect the Integrity of the System”, nothing about fairness and actually protecting and serving the public. So, should an old guard of retaliating against whistle blowers and accountability of officials be the head of an organization that should be law enforcement, not an armed street gang of thugs? For ethics and economic reasons should the old style shenanigans of the Connecticut State Police be ended?

Joe Courtney was recently sworn in as Congressman in Rockville Court in Connecticut. Attorney General Blumenthal had Judge Jonathan J. Kaplan and made the remark that he did not trust either that Judge or Judges behind his back. That is for good reason Judge Jonathan J. Kaplan has gotten way out of hand as he feels he is invisible to do as he please and might take sick pleasure in retaliating against those that go against him and his big, huge, purple, and swollen, ego.

Ritt Goldstein proposed Civilian Oversight of Police and Courts that act in the public’s best interest. He was so abused by Connecticut Police he fled to Sweden to seek political asylum.

I advocated the same thing and I was followed around by police, threatened, and ended up falsely arrested and put in prison based on Connecticut State Police perjury and abuse. Judge Jonathan J. Kaplan abused his discretion in even sitting on my case as I had been approaching legislators and others in removing Kaplan based on his bias in Small Claims and Civil Cases.

Should judges and police be able to fraudulently spend taxpayers money for retaliation and citizen abuse that hurts Connecticut’s reputation, economy, children, and families?

There is supposed to be separation of powers, but if practicing lawyers that are elected officials will kiss the butts of judges for later favors, where is justice, where is the public being represented, and where is separation of powers.

The Tillman is the right first step, what about looking into remedying my case and others by expunging bogus criminal records and compensating victims, why not legislate or enact laws where there is a separate forum to expunge records and compensate victims, the courts run by Justices like William J. Sullivan are a free for all of abuse, pissing on the US Constitution, and in legislating and abusing from the bench.

I was current on 3 mortgages and had a small business that I built over 2 decades. I can’t even get a job or an apartment in my name. Should I suffer the rest of my life because the Connecticut Courts aren’t fair and the police in Connecticut can ruin citizens on their “Enemies List” for fun?

Please consider having Judge Jonathan J. Kaplan impeached and prosecuted and in prosecuting Col. Davoren.

Thank you,

Steven G. Erickson
c/o Francis C. P. Knize: 50 Sunset Pass, Wilton, Ct. 06897 203 544 9603

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