Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Doors: Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour

Text with video:
Wild child and touch me on the smothers brothers comedy hour 1968.

Somebody To Love/White Rabbit Jefferson Airplane

John Denver - The Strangest Dream - 1971

Monday, December 29, 2008

Government above the law

Spiro T. Agnew

Sure, it's bad to be remembered as an evil and corrupt politician. But what's really bad is to be remembered as a mediocre evil and corrupt politician. [source]

* * * *
* * * *

The below [found here]

Spiro T. Agnew, 39th Vice President (1969-1973)

Spiro T. Agnew

A little over a week ago, I took a rather unusual step for a Vice President . . . I said something. —Spiro Agnew

On November 13, 1969, Vice President Spiro Agnew became a household word when he vehemently denounced television news broadcasters as a biased "unelected elite" who subjected President Richard M. Nixon's speeches to instant analysis. The president had a right to communicate directly with the people, Agnew asserted, without having his words "characterized through the prejudices of hostile critics." Agnew raised the possibility of greater government regulation of this "virtual monopoly," a suggestion that the veteran television newscaster Walter Cronkite took as "an implied threat to freedom of speech in this country." But Agnew's words rang true to those whom Nixon called the Silent Majority. From then until he resigned in 1973, Agnew remained an outspoken and controversial figure, who played traveling salesman for the administration. In this role, Spiro Agnew was both the creation of Richard Nixon and a reflection of his administration's siege mentality.

Early Years

The son of a Greek immigrant whose name originally was Anagnostopoulos, Spiro Theodore Agnew was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on November 9, 1918. He attended public schools and went to Johns Hopkins University in 1937 to study chemistry, before transferring to the University of Baltimore Law School, where he studied law at night while working at a grocery and an insurance company during the day. In 1942 he married a fellow insurance company employee, Elinor Isabel Judefind, known to all as Judy. Drafted into the army during World War II, he won a Bronze Star for his service in France and Germany. He returned to school on the GI Bill of Rights, received his law degree in 1947, practiced law in a Baltimore firm, and eventually set up his own law practice in the Baltimore suburb of Towson.

Remaking His Image

Moving from city to suburb, Agnew remade his own image. When he recalled the ethnic slurs he suffered about "Spiro" while a school boy, he now called himself "Ted" and vowed that none of his children would have Greek names. Agnew similarly changed party affiliations. Although his father was a Baltimore Democratic ward leader and Agnew had first registered as a Democrat, his law partners were Republicans and he joined their party. In 1957 the Democratic county executive of Baltimore County appointed him to the board of zoning appeals. In 1960 Agnew made his first race for elective office, running for associate circuit judge, and coming in fifth in a five-person contest. In 1961, when a new county executive dropped him from the zoning board, Agnew protested vigorously and in so doing built his name recognition in the county. The following year he ran for county executive. A bitter split in the Democratic party helped make him the first Republican elected Baltimore County executive in the twentieth century. In office he established a relatively progressive record, and in 1966, when nominated as the Republican candidate for governor of Maryland, Agnew positioned himself to the left of his Democratic challenger, George Mahoney. An arch segregationist, Mahoney adopted the campaign slogan, "Your Home Is Your Castle—Protect It," which only drove liberal Democrats into Agnew's camp. Charging Mahoney with racial bigotry, Agnew captured the liberal suburbs around Washington and was elected governor.

It came as a shock to Agnew's liberal supporters when as governor he took a more hard-line conservative stance on racial matters than he had during the campaign. Early in 1968, students at the predominantly African American Bowie State College occupied the administration building to protest the run-down condition of their campus—at a time when Maryland essentially ran separate college systems for black and white students. Instead of negotiating, Agnew sent the state police to take back the administration building. When the students went to Annapolis to protest, Agnew ordered their arrest and had the college temporarily closed down. Then in April, when riots broke out in Baltimore following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Governor Agnew summoned black leaders to his office. Rather than appeal for their help, he castigated them for capitulating to radical agitators. "You were intimidated by veiled threats," Agnew charged, "you were stung by . . . epithets like `Uncle Tom.'" Half of the black leaders walked out before he finished speaking. "He talked to us like we were children," one state senator complained. The incident dramatically reversed Agnew's public image, alienating his liberal supporters and raising his standing among conservatives.

Spiro Who?

On the national scene, Agnew formed a committee to draft New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller for president in 1968. In March, during his weekly press conference, Agnew watched on television what he expected would be Rockefeller's declaration of candidacy. Without warning, Rockefeller withdrew from the contest, humiliating Agnew in front of the press corps. Rockefeller later jumped back into the race, but by then Agnew had moved toward the frontrunner, Richard Nixon. When polls showed none of the better-known Republicans adding much as Nixon's running mate, Nixon surprised everyone—as he liked to do—by selecting the relatively unknown Agnew. "Spiro who?" asked the pundits, who considered Agnew unqualified for national office. Despite such doubts, Nixon saw much promise in his choice. "There can be a mystique about the man," Nixon assured reporters. "You can look him in the eyes and know he's got it."

Nixon expected Agnew to appeal to white southerners and others troubled by the civil rights movement and recent rioting in the cities. Attention shifted from this issue during the campaign, however, when Agnew made a number of gaffes, including some ethnic slurs and an accusation that Vice President Hubert Humphrey, the Democratic candidate, was soft on communism. Agnew also encountered allegations of having profited financially from his public office, charges that he flatly denied. Agnew's biggest problem was that he seemed so ordinary and unremarkable. A tall, stiff, bullet-headed man and the sort of fastidious dresser who never removed his tie in public, he tended to speak in a deadening monotone. Whether he helped or hurt the campaign is not clear, but in November the Nixon-Agnew ticket won a razor-thin victory over the Democratic candidate Hubert Humphrey and the independent candidacy of Alabama Governor George Wallace.

Learning the Constraints of the Office

Although Nixon had chosen a running mate who would not outshine him, he had pledged to give his vice president a significant policy-making role and—for the first time—an office in the West Wing of the White House. Nixon also encouraged Agnew to use his position as presiding officer of the Senate to get to know the members of Congress in order to serve as their liaison with the White House, and Agnew enthusiastically charged up Capitol Hill. Having had no previous legislative experience, he wanted to master the techniques of presiding over the Senate. For the first months of his vice-presidency, he met each morning with the Senate parliamentarian, Floyd Riddick, to discuss parliamentary procedures and precedents. "He took pride in administering the oath to the new senators by never having to refer to a note," Riddick observed. "He would study and memorize these things so that he could perform without reading." According to Riddick, at first Agnew presided more frequently than had any vice president since Alben Barkley.

"I was prepared to go in there and do a job as the President's representative in the Senate," said Agnew, who busily learned to identify the senators by name and face. Yet he quickly discovered the severe constraints on his role as presiding officer. Agnew had prepared a four-minute speech to give in response to a formal welcome from Majority Leader Mike Mansfield. When Mansfield moved that the vice president be given only two minutes to reply, Agnew felt "it was like a slap in the face." The vice president also unwittingly broke precedent by trying to lobby on the Senate floor. During the debate over the ABM (Anti-Ballistic-Missile) Treaty, Agnew approached Idaho Republican Senator Len Jordan and asked how he was going to vote. "You can't tell me how to vote!" said the shocked senator. "You can't twist my arm!" At the next luncheon of Republican senators, Jordan accused Agnew of breaking the separation of powers by lobbying on the Senate floor, and announced the "Jordan Rule," whereby if the vice president tried to lobby him on anything, he would automatically vote the other way. "And so," Agnew concluded from the experience, "after trying for a while to get along with the Senate, I decided I would go down to the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue and try playing the Executive game."

The vice president fit in no better at the White House than at the Capitol. Nixon's highly protective staff concluded that Agnew had no concept of his role, especially in relation to the president. Nixon found their few private meetings dismaying because of Agnew's "constant self-aggrandizement." Nixon told his staff that as vice president he rarely had made any requests of President Dwight Eisenhower. "But Agnew's visits always included demands for more staff, better facilities, more prerogatives and perquisites." The anticipated use of Agnew as a conduit to the nation's mayors and governors floundered when it became apparent that Agnew did nothing more than pass their gripes along to the president. When Agnew protested that Nixon did not see enough of his cabinet, Nixon grumbled that his vice president had become an advocate for all the "crybabies" in the cabinet who wanted to plead their special causes. Nixon's chief of staff H.R. Haldeman took Agnew aside and advised him that "the President does not like you to take an opposite view at a cabinet meeting, or say anything that can be construed to be mildly not in accord with his thinking."

Nixon appointed Agnew head of the National Aeronautics and Space Council but again found the vice president more irritant than asset. In April 1969, while at Camp David, Nixon summoned Haldeman to complain that the vice president had telephoned him simply to lobby for a candidate for director of the Space Council. "He just has no sensitivity, or judgment about his relationship" with the president, Haldeman noted. After Agnew publicly advocated a space shot to Mars, Nixon's chief domestic advisor, John Ehrlichman, tried to explain to him the facts of fiscal life:

Look, Mr. Vice President, we have to be practical. There is no money for a Mars trip. The President has already decided that. So the President does not want such a trip in the [Space Council's] recommendations. It's your job . . . to make absolutely certain that the Mars trip is not in there.

From such experiences, the White House staff concluded that Agnew was not a "Nixon team player."

Unleashing Agnew

Throughout his first term, President Nixon was preoccupied with the war in Vietnam. By the fall of 1969, Nixon came to the unhappy conclusion that there would be no quick solution in Vietnam and that it would steadily become his war rather than Lyndon Johnson's. On November 3, Nixon delivered a television address to the nation in which he called for public support for the war until the Communists negotiated an honorable peace. Public reaction to the speech was generally positive, but the Nixon family was "livid with anger" over the critical commentary by various network broadcasters. Nixon feared that the "constant pounding from the media and our critics in Congress" would eventually undermine his public support. As president he wanted to follow the Eisenhower model of remaining above the fray and to use Agnew for the kind of hatchet work that he himself had done for Ike. When his speech writer Pat Buchanan proposed that the vice president give a speech attacking network commentators, Nixon liked the idea. H.R. Haldeman went to discuss the proposed speech with the vice president, who was interested "but felt it was a bit abrasive." Nevertheless, the White House staff believed the message needed to be delivered, "and he's the one to do it."

Agnew already had some hard-hitting speeches under his belt. On October 20, 1969, at a dinner in Jackson, Mississippi, he had attacked "liberal intellectuals" for their "masochistic compulsion to destroy their country's strength." On October 30 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, he called student radicals and other critics of the war "impudent snobs." On November 11 in Philadelphia he decried the "intolerant clamor and cacophony" that raged in society. Then, on November 13 in Des Moines, Iowa, he gave Buchanan's blast at the network news media. Haldeman recorded in his diary that, as the debate on Agnew mounted, the president was "fully convinced he's right and that the majority will agree." The White House sent word for the vice president "to keep up the offensive, and to keep speaking," noting that he was now a "major figure in his own right." The vice president had become "Nixon's Nixon."

Agnew relished the attention showered upon him. He had been frustrated with his assignment as liaison with the governors and mayors, and dealing with taxation, health, and other substantive issues had required tedious study. By contrast, he found speechmaking much more gratifying. As John Ehrlichman sourly noted, Agnew "could take the texts prepared in the President's speechwriting shop, change a phrase here and there, and hit the road to attack the effete corps of impudent snobs." His colorful phrases, like "nattering nabobs of negativism," and "radiclibs" (for radical liberals) were compiled and published as "commonsense quotations." "I have refused to `cool it'—to use the vernacular," Agnew declared, "until the self-righteous lower their voice a few decibels. . . . I intend to be heard over the din even if it means raising my voice."

The Agnew Upsurge

The "Agnew upsurge" fascinated President Nixon, who took it as evidence that a new conservative coalition could be built between blue-collar ethnic voters and white-collar suburbanites. Nixon believed that Agnew was receiving increasing press coverage because his attacks on the media "forced them to pay attention." When some of his advisers wanted to put Agnew out in front in opposition to expanded school desegregation, Nixon hesitated because he did not want to "dilute or waste the great asset he has become." By March 1970, the relationship between the president and vice president reached its apex when the two appeared for an amusing piano duet at the Gridiron Club. No matter what tunes Nixon tried to play, Agnew would drown him out with "Dixie," until they both joined in "God Bless America" as a finale.

As the strains of their duet faded, Nixon began having second thoughts and concluded that he needed to "change the Agnew approach." He informed Haldeman that the vice president had become a better salesman for himself than for the administration, emerging as "too much of an issue and a personality himself." That month, when the Apollo XIII astronauts had to abort their mission and return to earth, Haldeman worked frantically to keep Agnew from flying to Houston and upstaging the president. Agnew sat in his plane on the runway for over an hour until Nixon finally canceled the trip. "VP mad as hell," Haldeman noted, "but agreed to follow orders." In May 1970, after National Guardsmen shot and killed four students at Kent State University, Nixon cautioned Agnew not to say anything provocative about students. Word leaked out that the president was trying to muzzle his vice president. The next time Buchanan prepared "a hot new Agnew speech," Nixon felt more leery than before.

By the summer of 1970, Nixon pondered how best to use Agnew in that fall's congressional elections. The president himself wanted to remain remote from partisanship and limit his speaking to foreign policy issues while Agnew stumped for candidates. Nixon worried that, if Agnew continued to appear an unreasonable figure, using highly charged rhetoric, he might hurt rather than help the candidates for whom he campaigned. "Do you think Agnew's too rough?" Nixon asked John Ehrlichman one day. "His style isn't the problem, it's the content of what he says. He's got to be more positive. He must avoid all personal attacks on people; he can take on Congress as a unit, not as individuals." Some Republican candidates even asked Agnew to stay out of their states. As the campaign progressed, Agnew's droning on about law and order diminished his impact. Nixon felt compelled to abandon his presidential aloofness and enter the campaign himself, barnstorming around the country, as Attorney General John Mitchell complained, like a man "running for sheriff." The disappointing results of the midterm elections—Republicans gained two seats in the Senate but lost a dozen in the House—further shook Nixon's confidence in Agnew.

The Number One Hawk

In 1971 the president devoted most of his attention to foreign policy, planning his historic visit to China, a summit in Moscow, and continued peace talks with the North Vietnamese in Paris. The vice president went abroad for a series of good-will tours and ached for more involvement in foreign policy—an area that Nixon reserved exclusively for himself and National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger. Nixon preferred that Agnew limit himself to attacking the media to "soften the press" for his foreign policy initiatives. He decided to keep the vice president out of all substantive policy decisions, since Agnew seemed incapable of grasping the big picture. For his part, Agnew complained that he was "never allowed to come close enough" to Nixon to participate in any policy discussions. "Every time I went to see him and raised a subject for discussion," the vice president later wrote, "he would begin a rambling, time-consuming monologue."

Agnew, who described himself as the "number-one hawk," went so far as to criticize Nixon's "Ping-Pong Diplomacy" with the People's Republic of China. The dismayed president considered Agnew "a bull in the . . . diplomatic China shop." Nixon had H.R. Haldeman lecture the vice president on the importance of using the China thaw to "get the Russians shook." "It is beyond my understanding," Nixon told Ehrlichman. "Twice Agnew has proposed that he go to China! Now he tells the world it's a bad idea for me to go! What am I going to do about him?"

The Connally Alternative

By mid-1971, Nixon concluded that Spiro Agnew was not "broad-gauged" enough for the vice-presidency. He constructed a scenario by which Agnew would resign, enabling Nixon to appoint Treasury Secretary John Connally as vice president under the provisions of the Twenty-fifth Amendment. By appealing to southern Democrats, Connally would help Nixon create a political realignment, perhaps even replacing the Republican party with a new party that could unite all conservatives. Nixon rejoiced at news that the vice president, feeling sorry for himself, had talked about resigning to accept a lucrative offer in the private sector. Yet while Nixon excelled in daring, unexpected moves, he encountered some major obstacles to implementing this scheme. John Connally was a Democrat, and his selection might offend both parties in Congress, which under the Twenty-fifth Amendment had to ratify the appointment of a new vice president. Even more problematic, John Connally did not want to be vice president. He considered it a "useless" job and felt he could be more effective as a cabinet member. Nixon responded that the relationship between the president and vice president depended entirely on the personalities of whoever held those positions, and he promised Connally they would make it a more meaningful job than ever in its history, even to the point of being "an alternate President." But Connally declined, never dreaming that the post would have made him president when Nixon was later forced to resign during the Watergate scandal.

Nixon concluded that he would not only have to keep Agnew on the ticket but must publicly demonstrate his confidence in the vice president. He recalled that Eisenhower had tried to drop him in 1956 and believed the move had only made Ike look bad. Nixon viewed Agnew as a general liability, but backing him could mute criticism from "the extreme right." Attorney General John Mitchell, who was to head the reelection campaign, argued that Agnew had become "almost a folk hero" in the South and warned that party workers might see his removal as a breach of loyalty. As it turned out, Nixon won reelection in 1972 by a margin wide enough to make his vice-presidential candidate irrelevant.

Immediately after his reelection, however, Nixon made it clear that Agnew should not become his eventual successor. The president had no desire to slip into lame-duck status by allowing Agnew to seize attention as the frontrunner in the next election. "By any criteria he falls short," the president told Ehrlichman:

"Energy? He doesn't work hard; he likes to play golf. Leadership?" Nixon laughed. "Consistency? He's all over the place. He's not really a conservative, you know."

Nixon considered placing the vice president in charge of the American Revolution Bicentennial as a way of sidetracking him. But Agnew declined the post, arguing that the Bicentennial was "a loser." Because everyone would have a different idea about how to celebrate the Bicentennial, its director would have to disappoint too many people. "A potential presidential candidate," Agnew insisted, "doesn't want to make any enemies."

Impeachment Insurance

Unbeknownst to both Nixon and Agnew, time was running out for both men's political careers. Since the previous June, the White House had been preoccupied with containing the political repercussions of the Watergate burglary, in which individuals connected with the president's reelection committee had been arrested while breaking into the Democratic National Committee headquarters. Although Watergate did not influence the election, persistent stories in the media and the launching of a Senate investigation spelled trouble for the president. Innocent of any connection to Watergate, Agnew spoke out in Nixon's defense.

Then, on April 10, 1973, the vice president called Haldeman to his office to report a problem of his own. The U.S. attorney in Maryland, investigating illegal campaign contributions and kickbacks, had questioned Jerome Wolff, Agnew's former aide. Wolff had kept verbatim accounts of meetings during which Agnew discussed raising funds from those who had received state contracts. Agnew swore that "it wasn't shakedown stuff, it was merely going back to get support from those who had benefitted from the Administration." Since prosecutor George Beall was the brother of Maryland Republican Senator J. Glenn Beall, Agnew wanted Haldeman to have Senator Beall intercede with his brother—a request that Haldeman wisely declined.

President Nixon was not at all shocked to learn that his vice president had become enmeshed in a bribery scandal in Maryland. At first, Nixon took the matter lightly, remarking that taking campaign contributions from contractors was "a common practice" in Maryland and other states. "Thank God I was never elected governor of California," Nixon joked with Haldeman. But events began to move quickly, and on April 30, 1973, Nixon asked Haldeman and Ehrlichman to resign because of their role in the Watergate coverup. Then, that summer, the Justice Department reported that the allegations against Agnew had grown more serious. Even as vice president, Agnew had continued to take money for past favors, and he had received some of the payments in his White House office.

Nixon had quipped that Agnew was his insurance against impeachment, arguing that no one wanted to remove him if it meant elevating Agnew to the presidency. The joke took on reality when Agnew asked House Speaker Carl Albert to request that the House conduct a full inquiry into the charges against him. Agnew reasoned that a vice president could be impeached but not indicted. That line of reasoning, however, also jeopardized the president. For over a century since the failed impeachment of President Andrew Johnson, it had been commonly accepted reasoning that impeachment was an impractical and inappropriate congressional tool against the presidency. Agnew's impeachment would set a precedent that could be turned against Nixon. A brief from the solicitor general argued that, while the president was immune from indictment, the vice president was not, since his conviction would not disrupt the workings of the executive branch. Agnew, a proud man filled with moral indignation, reacted to these arguments by digging in his heels and taking a stance that journalists described as "aggressively defensive." He refused the initial suggestions from the White House that he resign voluntarily, after which Agnew believed that high-level officials "launched a campaign to drive me out by leaking anti-Agnew stories to the media."

"I Will Not Resign If Indicted!"

By September, it was a more desperate, less confident-looking man who informed Nixon that he would consider resignation if granted immunity from prosecution. Nixon noted that "in a sad and gentle voice he asked for my assurance that I would not turn my back on him if he were out of office." Believing that for Agnew to resign would be the most honorable course of action, Nixon felt confident that, when the vice president left for California shortly after their meeting, he was going away to think matters over and to prepare his family for his resignation. But in Los Angeles, fired up by an enthusiastic gathering of the National Federation of Republican Women, Agnew defiantly shouted, "I will not resign if indicted!" As Agnew later explained, he had spent the previous evening at the home of the singer Frank Sinatra, who had urged him to fight back.

Nixon's new chief of staff and "crisis manager," General Alexander M. Haig, Jr., was haunted by the specter of a double impeachment of the president and vice president, which could turn the presidency over to congressional Democrats. General Haig therefore took the initiative in forcing Agnew out of office. He instructed Agnew's staff that the president wanted no more speeches like the one in Los Angeles. He further advised that the Justice Department would prosecute Agnew on the charge of failing to record on his income tax returns the cash contributions he had received. Haig assured Agnew's staff that, if the vice president resigned and pleaded guilty on the tax charge, the government would settle the other charges against him and he would serve no jail sentence. But if Agnew continued to fight, "it can and will get nasty and dirty." From this report, Agnew concluded that the president had abandoned him. The vice president even feared for his life, reading into Haig's message: "go quietly—or else." General Haig similarly found Agnew menacing enough to alert Mrs. Haig that should he disappear she "might want to look inside any recently poured concrete bridge pilings in Maryland."

A Plea of Nolo Contendere

Meanwhile, Agnew's attorneys had entered into plea bargaining with the federal prosecutors. In return for pleading nolo contendere, or no contest, to the tax charge and paying $160,000 in back taxes (with the help of a loan from Frank Sinatra), he would receive a suspended sentence and a $10,000 fine. On October 10, 1973, while Spiro T. Agnew appeared in federal court in Baltimore, his letter of resignation was delivered to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Agnew was only the second vice president to resign the office (John C. Calhoun had been the first). Prior to resigning, Agnew paid a last visit to President Nixon, who assured him that what he was doing was best for his family and his country. When he later recalled the president's gaunt appearance, Agnew wrote: "It was hard to believe he was not genuinely sorry about the course of events. Within two days, this consummate actor would be celebrating his appointment of a new Vice-President with never a thought of me."

Nixon still wanted to name John Connally as vice president, but Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield intimated that Congress would never confirm him. On October 12—even as pictures of Agnew were being removed from federal offices around the country—Nixon appointed House Republican Leader Gerald R. Ford as the first vice president to be selected under the Twenty-fifth Amendment. Agnew was stunned by the laughter and gaiety of the televised event that seemed "like the celebration of a great election victory—not the aftermath of a stunning tragedy."

The coda to the Agnew saga occurred the following year, as Nixon's presidency came to an end. In June 1974, the besieged president dictated an entry in his diary in which he confronted the real possibility of impeachment. Nixon reviewed a series of decisions that now seemed to him mistakes, such as asking Haldeman and Ehrlichman to resign, appointing Elliot Richardson attorney general, and not destroying the secret tape recordings of his White House conversations. "The Agnew resignation was necessary although a very serious blow," Nixon added,

because while some thought that his stepping aside would take some of the pressure off the effort to get the President, all it did was to open the way to put pressure on the President to resign as well. This is something we have to realize: that any accommodation with opponents in this kind of a fight does not satisfy—it only brings on demands for more.

On August 9, 1974, Richard Nixon joined Spiro Agnew in making theirs the first presidential and vice-presidential team in history to resign from office.

Following his resignation, the vice president who had made himself a household word faded quickly into obscurity. Agnew moved to Rancho Mirage, California, where he became an international business consultant, tapping many of the contacts he had made with foreign governments on travels abroad as vice president. He published his memoir, ominously entitled Go Quietly . . . or else, and a novel, The Canfield Decision, whose protagonist was a wheeling and dealing American vice president "destroyed by his own ambition." For the rest of his life, Agnew remained largely aloof from the news media and cut off from Washington political circles. Feeling "totally abandoned," he refused to accept any telephone calls from former President Nixon. When Nixon died in 1994, however, Agnew chose to attend his funeral. "I decided after twenty years of resentment to put it aside," he explained. The next year, Spiro Agnew's bust was at last installed with those of other vice presidents in the halls of the U.S. Capitol. "I'm not blind or deaf to the fact that there are those who feel this is a ceremony that should not take place," he acknowledged. He died of leukemia on September 17, 1996, in his home state of Maryland.

The "White People" Agenda?

The below was found on the Kenny's Side Show blog. Note: just because I post it, doesn't mean that I agree, or disagree, just that I found it interesting.
[click here] for my other blog, "The Stark Raving Viking"

Are White People Stupid or What?


Since the holidays are all but over and the relatives have departed the premises, including your conservative, FOX news-loving Uncle Josh, with whom you had that “healthy” debate before turkey dinner and your sister-in-law from Vermont, the one who gave you that fierce look when you said Obama was not even Constitutionally qualified to be prez. Now may be a good time to ask this hard to ask question.

It’s tough, because of what it means to racially awakened Whites who thinks of these things, often he or she gets frustrated, listening to the usual holiday blather, when they know all the serious stuff “going down.” So this question must be asked. We hope that Whites, over-all, are not this stupid — not this oblivious to the reality of where this country is headed. Or are they?

Just think about all the interracial sex pushed in the media over the last few years – what could be the end result of that? What about allowing non-White immigration into the formerly White countries of the West? Don’t White people ever put two and two together about all this kind of thing? Yeah, one may very well think that Whites are stupid to ignore what is being done and allowing ourselves to be turned into minorities.

If you’re a White person who has read so far and are concerned with current events, you need to ask yourself some serious questions and find some way to divorce your personal, local ”world view,” so as to see the “big picture” going on today for our race. It behooves you to read on and think hard about these matters before you.


Whites are now the monsters and evil characters in a Jew-controlled Hollywood, while the heroes are anyone but.

Unfortunately, we know that everyday Whites have some serious problems in critical thinking which has brought us to this point. For example: When you talk to a White person about any of these subjects often the first thing out of their mouths is “I know such and such person and he’s a pretty nice guy!” So by inference, if the one person they know is nice than all of them must be. Oh sure, they’ll admit some can be bad — just like anybody else!

That’s the problem. American Whites through-out history have always been for the “little guy.” We don’t like to see evil oppressive powers enslaving innocent people. This has all been part and parcel to the American psyche since before the Revolutionary war — hell, it’s the whole reason we had the damn Revolution in the first place!

But this has been used by some very smart and racially devious people. And yes, I’m talking about the Jews here, of course. But the truth of the matter is that Jews are not a monolithic block, i.e. all of them are not on the same page and same wavelength. That would pretty much stand out like a sore thumb (besides being pretty freaky), something Whites would surely notice. Some are indeed nice people and believe the exact same things we do (well, not everything you see here!).

But on two different, but mutually compatible fronts this mostly cohesive, alien race has totally distracted and divided up the White race and all quite purposefully. We’ve been snowed people!

Now, one of the questions that frequently comes up is the news media and who owns it. Whites can easily see and understand that if an alien force controlled the media than they would likely control us. This is why we get in all these complicated debates about who owns and controls what, etc. But the basic building block to thought control is already within us. They’ve created the social/political boundaries which has placed blinders on all our heads — including the people working in the news media. That’s right. They’ve created the ultimate in censoring mechanisms through race politics. Simply put: They’ve used the American sense of “fair play for the little guy” to reject any possible thought that we, ourselves, are the real target. It’s quite diabolical when you think about it all.


Jews brag about running Hollywood.

And no, there is no playbook being passed around by Jewry to accomplish all this. General Jewry is left in the dark just as much as we are. Sure, many Jews do take part in all this, but this is just a reflection of the Jew’s inner fear and loathing of the White race. You can easily see this in movies from Hollywood today.

A typical screenplay nowadays might go like this: Cute, young White girl in college makes friends with the nerds, gays and blacks. She’s treated like hell by the stuck-up beautiful blond White girls, but eventually overcomes their treachery. All the outcasts become the winners due to everyone saying they’ve had enough of the evil White girls. The various minorities (including specifically Jewish-looking students) and the hero White girl (who ends up with the handsome but far-sighted White guy) live happily ever after. The Aryan-looking Whites, once again, got their comeuppance! But the trick here is to make sure enough Whites are in the mix on the “good side” so as to identify with. These are the ones who have seen the light and, most importantly, do not group themselves in homogeneous all-white group.

Now, we all know that there probably isn’t any top-secret instructions going out to the screenwriters to do the above. That would be too prone to discovery. No, this is an expression of the over-all social “screenplay” written for us in the Politically Correct world.

Of course, there are many other type of movies saying the same thing: Beet-faced White cavalry soldiers massacring helpless Indians in the West (many, in fact, were Black troops but that’s never shown), Evil White Southern Rednecks, going KKK on helpless Blacks. And then the usual Nazis goosestepping in Europe and heartlessly killing the Jews. Even the Sci-Fi monsters in Hollywood movies now have White skins and the heroes and computer hackers are all Black. White people do see all this but just ascribe it all to being “Politically Correct.” And they take the small examples they see on a daily basis and say to themselves it’s only this little thing – it doesn’t mean much — we can live with it and are big enough to not sweat the small stuff!

But that’s exactly how brainwashing works — you’re fed small stuff on a constant basis, so that you’re not supposed to notice very much. But it all adds up over time. What do you think the word “tolerance” means? If your body ingests small enough doses of poison, you will tolerate it and survive – in a seriously weakened state — ready for the final finishing spoonful. Think about it.

They do this kind of brainwashing all the time in product advertising. Let’s say you see your hero is having himself a cold beer in this action movie. Companies will pay serious bucks to make sure that hero is drinking himself a Budweiser. Or the housewife using Tide detergent in a scene. It’s little things out there that subtly prod you to buy certain products. They also seed target markets by hiring out of work actors to tout their product on the street, pretending they are just like regular people.

Now, getting back on topic, these same people have been using mass marketing techniques to shift the American consciousness in a “leftward” direction. This “Multicultural” direction shields them and their efforts from exposure and scrutiny. It is thought control, via social change, brought on by advanced propaganda techniques.

The first level is in our heads with all the Politically Correct business. But they also have a secondary protection that works in conjunction with the psychological efforts over the years. This is where media infiltration comes into play, making sure that the one danger of an altruistic belief system does not find a home in some inconvenient way — like with the Palestinian issue. They have to make sure that they are ignored, blacked out or replaced by the Israeli side’s excuse of fighting “terrorism.” Understandable, right?

There is an old Polish saying that goes like this: “A Jew cries out as he strikes you.”

You might see something on the Palestinian problem in the US media, but it always carefully worded and balanced out so that the Israelis are seen as victims and all of it is just them defending themselves. Americans are always “down” with the idea of defending oneself.

Inconvenient facts are invariably left out. The Palestinians might shoot a few primitive, unguided rockets into Israel, usually exploding harmlessly on some plot of land. Sure, they might kill an Israelis or two. If that happens, the Jews go completely off the Richter scale, being God’s Chosen Ones and all. The resulting, unreported, amount of retaliation is insane — the Israelis may massively bombard the Palestinians with 105 mm artillery and F-16 cluster bombs – killing dozens, maybe hundreds of Palestinians, even children.

Palestinian "collateral damage" from a US Hellfire missile.

Palestinian "collateral damage" from a US Hellfire missile.

Nor are we told that the first puny rockets fired from the Palestinians are retaliation to begin with, such as when one of their political leaders, conveniently deemed a “terrorist,” is blown to bits by a Hellfire missile fired out of the blue from a Predator drone sold or given to the Israelis by America. We are never told this side of the story.

Jews are indeed the modern-day “Nazi” of the world. They’ve so managed to flip-flop things around that, instead of them, Peaceful, pro-White people are slandered as “Nazi.” We’re not only being taken for a major-league ride by these people, we are also paying for their actions (above right) with our tax dollars, inflation and even outright theft! No friggen lie.

The Palestinian problem is but one area that’s considered too hot for the media to fully cover and investigate in detail. But sometimes stories do get covered, usually only when things are just too big to ignore — like the Bernie Madoff 50 billion dollar Ponzi heist – yet the “Jew” part is verbotten to mention. After-all that would be politically incorrect, right?

All these people on the news shows from hosts to pundits, producers and writers, know full well not to talk critically about any “people of color,” Gays and, of course, the ”eternally victimized” Jew. Which is the real idea.

White people who pat themselves on the back and say they are “conservative” because they watch FOX news are just as much at the mercy of these same kind of things. If you tell them that FOX news is really not much different from the other cable news, they may look at you like you’ve uttered some kind of crazy talk and may be turning into a MSNBC Obama freak.

Each cable news venue has their own “flavor” but all of them have the exact same “No-Go” zones on what they can talk about on-air. It does not take much beyond the over-all Politically Correct framework to enforce all of this. Plus, the talking heads on the air are usually following a teleprompter or hearing something in their ear pieces, from copy written by a producer who knows the score and is more likely to be fired than the talking head. Then you have video editing on canned reporting where tricky issues are removed from the broadcast version.

Basically, if people don’t see it, then it will never exist in the minds of the viewing public.

Whites are also infected with the same Politics early on in Education. This has been going on since the fifties, or even earlier. The real people behind the curtain, like the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR) and the Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIF), have been behind the funding of education through groups like the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations, Carnegie Mellon endowment and the British-based group, specializing in population manipulation, called the Tavistock Institute.

They have expended billions in our universities, colleges and even in the high schools pushing liberal agendas on formative minds. These efforts have been clearly recognized in the past, ascribed to an unseen “Communist Conspiracy,” yet laughed-off by the general public as “right winger” talk. But the fact of the matter is that these efforts have been and are quite real, to this day.

Even our religions have been targeted by these people. Which on the face of things is incredibly stupid for Whites to ignore. Jews hate Christianity and are always subtly and even openly attacking it, yet the corrupted TV Evangelicals preach that we need to support the State of Israel. Our schools even have “Christian Zionist” groups openly funded by a foreign government (Israel) and the Jew Anti-Defamation League (ADL) provides strategy handbooks to combat on-campus anti-war protests that have the temerity to bring up Israel or Zionism.

This ”invisible Jew” business is why you see so much blind hatred of Bush and Cheney. White activist liberals know the war in Iraq, etc. is a total lie, but stupidly ignore the Jew and intensify the blame on a politically OK target — evil White men. That’s not to say that some on the left don’t recognize Zionism, but they get little public traction since the “progressive” leadership is often Jewish. “Conservative” Whites are equally retarded, swallowing the whole Neocon, Israel-First, “War on Terror” viewpoints hook, line and sinker.

Now, let’s say you are a “liberal” or a “conservative” who has read this far. Unfortunately, most people take a quick look at something and dismiss it out of hand, without even reading and thinking about it. People are too busy, so they rely on initial impressions to save them effort and time. Plus, it scares them to consider that such things could be possibly true. They don’t want to hear it! Unfortunately, it is. It is the only “World View” that fits all the inconvenient facts now facing White America today.

White people are not stupid — they just don’t get the information from the public domain to consider and make conclusions, except on their own. Also, a White person may be a brilliant engineer or something, but when it comes to subjects like this, he or she may lack the personal bravery it takes to come to this understanding. Way too often, he’ll simply dismiss whatever comes his way as “conspiracy” nonsense. Which is just another form of thought control.

Whites are secretly afraid of being called Nazi by friends and family.

Whites are secretly afraid of being called Nazi by friends and family.

Talking about any race issue is socially dangerous to White people and when they do, it’s usually in a whispered form, in case Blacks are nearby. Or it might get a liberal White family member upset, causing them to loudly curse you as a Nazi or Klansman, running off crying about what an evil bastard you’ve become and you’re the reason the whole holiday dinner is now ruined!

Anything that cannot be combated with real facts, is then relegated to “conspiracy theory” or “black helicopter” and “tin-foil hat” talk. This is another embedded social constraint and has worked to keep Americans silent about race or anything to do with 9/11 Truth or the increasingly obvious phoney “War on Terror” pysops programs, because of where it might lead. No one wants to be considered a nut case by friends and family!

Another form of thought control is describing people who do talk about such things as ignorant and inbred. This is popular with those who have a vested interest in the situation, the other races of course, but also including Whites who have a self-image as being intelligent, fair and good. And they are not always whom you would call “liberal,” either. If you bring up a subject that may cast their “World View” in error — what they have bought into – they will attack you by calling you stupid, thus preserving the fact that they are and always have been right about the matter, hence smarter than you.

This is usually accompanied with a narrowing of eyelids, tightened lips and dismissive waving of hands. They are fearful that you might make a point that will put a crack in the social edifice they’ve built-up around them and instinctively take the fastest and safest way out — by turning to a stereotype created for them by the very people supposedly so against stereotypes!


Whites showing racial solidarity in any form is considered evil and blindly attacked by the media as “White supremacy.” Many Whites, liberal or otherwise, will call these Whites “ignorant” when the direct opposite is true — racially aware Whites often have a firm grasp of history and are much more insightful of geopolitical realities and political influence, than those who merely parrot liberal slogans. They are the real modern-day patriots and enemies to the war-mongering, Zionistic power structure now afflicting Western countries.

One thing that often surprises Whites coming to their senses racially, is that Whites whom they once considered as ”racist” and dismissed as “ignorant” are far from stupid. They are actually very intelligent and knowledgeable about many subjects like history.

This has been aided by the Internet, since they can’t make judgements based solely on what a person looks like. You could have some guy who looks like a NeoNazi skinhead with biker tattoos and the whole nine yards, discourse quite expertly on the details of the Dual Monarchy in Austria-Hungary before World War I and how this led to conflict. Hell, this guy could do rings around your typical White FOX or MSNBC news viewer.

Racially aware Whites have seen right through today’s bull and have the critical thinking skills necessary to form their own judgements, not what the mainstream news has trotted out for them.

Whites indeed have some serious Achilles heels, racially-speaking, and the Jews have used these things against us. One race weakness is the sheer inability to conceive of another race, who happens to look like them, working in concert with one another to further their own race. Whites just don’t have a clue!

Most Whites think Jews are White. Too bad they don't.

Most Whites think Jews are White. They sure as hell don't think so.

They also don’t see the fact that Jews consider themselves a separate and superior race to begin with — only thinking Jews have a different religion, related to Christianity. Even the fact that most of them are atheistic, doesn’t seem to register.

Another real weakness of Whites is the inability to see bigger trends outside of their own little local sphere of the world and extrapolate out on what it means for them and their children down the road. They may base their political views on a media that has no problem keeping them in the dark about becoming a minority, right along with inferring Whites as evil — causing them to internalize the message to the point where they actually welcome these very attacks on their own race!

Whites even go so far as to think the White race doesn’t exist, when the other races think otherwise. Whites will tell themselves that they are “cool” and “with-it” and then trip all over themselves to keep from saying the wrong thing which could be misconstrued as “racist.” This is often a source of humor for other races and leads to disrespect and, like children, further spoiled militancy.

To conclude: Whites are not dumb per se, but have been confused and manipulated on two different fronts without consciously understanding the real deal. One front is from self-hating Whites and Jews in our media. The second front has been a silent long-term assault in the education arena and in political processes financed by the unimaginably rich Globalist Jew Criminal Network, the International Banking cartel which controls the lifeblood of this country via the private, monopolistic Federal Reserve.

All these things can readily be researched over the Internet, for now. It is entirely up to you to look into it and decide for yourself. If you are waiting for someone like the friendly Charlie Gibson on ABC’s World News Tonight or the feisty Bill O’Reilly on FOX news to tell you of these things then you can just forget it and roll over like a dog and take it. It just will not happen.

White people are indeed smart. Our average IQ level is the highest on the planet, but we’ve been relentlessly brainwashed for the last few generations to confuse and divide our race in so many devious ways that it’s difficult for the regular White to grasp the totality of it all. They may suspect they don’t get the full story, but that’s about it.

In the end, when Whites figure out the real deal, we’ll come out swinging. When Whites get mad and organized, then our real brain power and talents come to the fore and woe unto those on the other side of the equation. It’s this very prospect that most scares the people behind all of this and is the real reason they’ve done this as stealthily as possible. They don’t want the White race coming to our senses, putting a screeching stop to their devious agenda and then making America number 80 on the hit parade of countries which gave them the big boot!

– Phillip Marlowe


The "101" on how government really works

FBI official in 'Omaha Two' case was master media manipulator and self-described liar

by Michael Richardson

William Cornelius Sullivan was the chief architect of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's clandestine and illegal Operation COINTELPRO during the tenure of director J. Edgar Hoover. Sullivan was also a master at media manipulation shaping the news to the benefit of the Bureau.

Operation COINTELPRO was a massive, secret, nation-wide operation aimed at hundreds of domestic political targets. Ordered by Hoover to "disrupt" the Black Panther Party and other groups by any means necessary, FBI agents used a wide variety of illegal and improper tactics. One of the time-tested methods of eliminating the leadership of local Panther chapters was obtaining false convictions by use of withheld evidence, planted evidence, and false testimony.

Sullivan, an assistant director, was the highest-ranking FBI official to admit public knowledge of the 'Omaha Two' case. Black Panthers Ed Poindexter and Mondo we Langa (formerly David Rice) headed the Omaha, Nebraska chapter and were COINTELPRO targets. The August 17, 1970 bombing murder of policeman Larry Minard was followed by the prosecution of the two Omaha activists for his death and led to their conviction following a controversial 1971 trial that was marred by withheld evidence and conflicting police testimony.

In October 1970 at a conference of United Press International, Sullivan falsely denied the existence of a "conspiracy" against the Black Panthers and tried to squelch sympathy for the Panthers. Sullivan told the assembled reporters, "Panther cries of repression at the hands of a government 'conspiracy' receive the sympathy not only of adherents to totalitarian ideologies, but also of those willing to close their eyes to even to the violent nature of hoodlum 'revolutionary' acts."

Sullivan also spoke of his knowledge of Minard's death. "On August 12, 1970 [sic] an Omaha, Nebraska police officer was literally blasted to death by an explosive device placed in a suitcase in an abandoned residence. The officer had been summoned by an anonymous telephone complaint that a woman was being beated [sic] there. An individual with Panther associations has been charged with this crime."

What Sullivan didn't tell assembled reporters was that Hoover had already ordered critical evidence withheld from the 'Omaha Two' with a directive to FBI Crime Laboratory director Ivan Willard Conrad. The 911 tape recording of the killer's voice had been sent to FBI headquarters for vocal analysis but Hoover ordered no lab report be issued after the testing.

Sullivan was on a special distribution list at the COINTELPRO directorate in FBI headquarters where he received various secret memos from the Omaha FBI office updating him on the status of the investigation and the ongoing deception about the recording of the killer's voice.

The jury that convicted Ed Poindexter and Mondo we Langa never got to hear the tape recording or know that Hoover had personally ordered evidence about the killer's identity withheld.

The Omaha World-Herald's coverage of the case was apparently manipulated to aid the FBI plot to keep quiet about the 911 tape. The newspaper initially reported on the tape's journey to Washington quoting acting-Chief of Police Walter J. Devere that the tape would be a good investigative tool. However, the Omaha newspaper never followed up their lead story on the testing of the fatal recording and subsequent articles about the case dropped the subject.

Sullivan was fired by Hoover several months after the Omaha trial ended for leaking to the Justice Department information about unauthorized FBI wiretaps on Henry Kissinger. Sullivan retaliated by writing a book, The Bureau: My Thirty Years in Hoover's FBI. The autobiographical account is far from a tell-all and Sullivan's self-aggrandizement agenda is apparent. However, Sullivan does make some remarkable admissions.

Although Sullivan is virtually silent about COINTELPRO and does not mention the 'Omaha Two' case at all, he boasts about his prowess working the news media to manipulate stories. "Because if this network of field offices, and thanks to scores of contacts made and maintained by the special agents in charge, Hoover was able to place 'news' stories--invented and written in the bureau, really nothing more than press releases, puff pieces for the FBI--in newspapers all over the country. Our strength was in the small dailies and weeklies, with hundreds of these papers behind him."

"Of course, scores of Washington-based reporters printed stories we gave them too, and they usually printed them under their own bylines. Some of them lived off us. It was an easy way to make a living. They were our press prostitutes."

"We also planted stories critical of some of Hoover's favorites targets, the CIA for instance. And of course we placed stories about Hoover's congressional critics. A negative story which appears in a newspaper published in a congressman's home district hurts him more than any article in the Washington Post."

"Letters went by the thousands to the Jaycees, the newspaper editors, the movers and shakers so carefully cultivated as FBI contacts by our agents out in the field. These field agents were also responsible for reading any article or letter to the editor that mentioned the FBI or Hoover. Any favorable mention of either in any newspaper in America meant a personal letter of thanks from Hoover."

"This public relations operation of Hoover's, this massive attempt to control public opinion continues to this day, and is at the very heart of what is wrong with the bureau. Unless it is exposed, until every editor of every little weekly newspaper who ever printed an FBI press handout realizes how he has been used, the FBI will continue to do business in the same old way."

In a rare moment of candor, Sullivan confessed to his deceptions. "The bureau system made liars of us all. If you didn't lie, you couldn't survive."

Ed Poindexter and Mondo we Langa, despite their protestations of innocence, were convicted of Minard's killing and sentenced to life sentences. Incarcerated at the maximum-security Nebraska State Penitentiary both men continue to deny any role in the 1970 murder. Poindexter has a new trial request pending before the Nebraska Supreme Court over withheld evidence and conflicting police testimony. No date for a decision has been announced.

Permission granted to reprint

Michael Richardson is a freelance writer based in Boston. Richardson writes about politics, law, nutrition, ethics, and music. Richardson is also a political consultant.

* * * *
* * * *
* * * *

[click here] for:

'Deep Throat' betrayed murdered policeman in 'Omaha Two' case

by Michael Richardson

Larry Minard

William Mark Felt, the infamous ‘Deep Throat’ of Watergate fame, was no hero. Sometimes portrayed as heroically risking his job at the Federal Bureau of Investigation to expose President Richard Nixon’s illegal ‘Plumbers’ unit that burglarized Democratic National Committee headquarters, Felt coveted the job as director. Felt, who had engaged in and covered up dirty tricks and illegal conduct of FBI agents for years, was making a move to become the new boss.

William Mark Felt 1958

The largest FBI crime spree that Felt kept under wraps was Operation COINTELPRO and his name appears on a secret FBI memo in the ‘Omaha Two’ case authorizing the withholding of a crime lab report. Ed Poindexter and Mondo we Langa (formerly David Rice) were leaders of a Black Panther Party chapter in Omaha, Nebraska and targets of FBI director J. Edgar Hoover’s clandestine war on the party. Hoover was determined to crush the party and jail or eliminate its leadership. [more]

Sunday, December 28, 2008

What would motivate someone to be an American Ex-Patriot?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Certainty, Faith, and the Herd Instinct

by Bob Gormley

Back when I was in 7th or 8th grade we had a spelling bee. The teacher,who was a nun, was very clear about the rules of the contest. You would have to say the word, spell it, and then say the word again. There was a little twist to the rules,however. If a word was spelled incorrectly the nun would remain silent and go to the next person in line with a new word to spell(we were all lined up against the outside windows).

It would be up to the next person in line to catch the error and give the correct spelling. If the next person got it wrong, the same process would continue. So I was like 20th in line and this one person spelled a word incorrectly, I knew it.

The next person missed the error, the next person also, and it finally was my turn to spell. Boy was everyone shocked when I spelled a word that was given 10 minutes ago. I knocked down 20 people. I must admit that to this day I still get a perverse pleasure when thinking about this. I ended up winning the spelling bee, and the nun promised me a nice prize the next morning. I wondered: "What could it be?". I was hoping for a Red Rider bee bee gun or something like that, maybe even a baseball glove.

Much to my disappointment I had won a statue of the virgin Mary. What 13 year old kid wants that? Later in life I realized that Catholicism is in blatant violation of the Bible's warning against graven images , idols, and the worship of entities other than God.

Thinking back I realize that experience taught me a few lessons. Some things we can be certain about. I was certain that word was spelled wrong. Other things are believed because of faith. Faith is kinda like an educated guess. You can't be absolutely sure or prove it, but your life experiences make the chances of it being so to be great.

Another thing I learned was the power of the herd instinct. The kids in my classroom were no dummies. It was hard for me to believe that not one kid knew how to spell that word. Were they afraid to trust their own feelings because everyone else kept going on their merry way? Did they just want to fit in and not rock the boat? Were they in their comfort zone and did not want to risk being laughed at if they were wrong?

With kids you can understand their reticence about sticking out, but with adults that should be different. This whole 9/11 thing reminds me of that day in the classroom. The truth was out there in plain sight, but for whatever reason they chose not to believe.

I think the same reasons apply: fear, laziness, and uncertainty.

Bob Gormley is an electronic technician, truth seeker, according to what was written below the above, originally [posted here].

* * * *

This blogger's OpEd articles and blog posts [found here]

State grievance panel for lying lawyers in Connecticut?

Maureen Duggan file photo

State Agency Lawyer Reprimanded For Her Letter

By JON LENDER | The Hartford Courant
December 25, 2008

A state agency lawyer has been reprimanded and told to attend nine hours of ethics classes for "fraud and conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice" in 2004, when she posed as a parking lot attendant in a letter that led to the firing of the state ethics chief.

A three-member reviewing panel of the Statewide Grievance Committee for lawyers announced the disciplinary decision Wednesday that it had reached last Friday concerning the lawyer, Maureen Duggan.

At the time the panel conducted a hearing on Duggan's case Nov. 6, she already had admitted wrongdoing and agreed to the settlement calling for the reprimand and the nine hours of classes to be taken over three years. The decision announced Friday merely ratifies all of that.

The settlement enables Duggan to preserve her law license and avert disbarment or suspension — and thus to keep her job as a $105,000-a-year attorney at the state Department of Children and Families.

The reprimand and ethics classes had been proposed to the panel by chief disciplinary counsel Mark A. Dubois. At the Nov. 6 hearing, Duggan's lawyer, Hope Seeley, told the panel that she's never had a client "more remorseful ... or more publicly humiliated." For her own part, Duggan called the experience "extremely humiliating, embarrassing and humbling."

The decision technically does not take effect for 30 days after the decision, but that delay allows for a lawyer to appeal her discipline — and Duggan already has agreed to it. On May 18, The Courant disclosed that Duggan had written the letter in August 2004, when she was a staff lawyer for the State Ethics Commission working for Alan S. Plofsky.

In the intentionally misspelled letter, Duggan said that she was a parking lot attendant. She alleged irregularities at the ethics agency's office but wrote, "I want to be anonimus." After ethics commission members received the letter in 2004, Duggan and two co-workers filed sworn "whistle-blower" complaints against Plofsky, alleging misconduct.

The commission fired him the following month based on those complaints, including claims he improperly ran up compensatory time and ordered a tape destroyed. In her sworn 2004 complaint, Duggan referred to her own letter as "an anonymous letter," as if it had been written by someone else. Plofsky denied all charges and appealed to a state panel that reinstated him, but not to his old job. He retired in May.

Critics, including the Connecticut chapter of the good-government advocacy group Common Cause, had called for Duggan to lose her state job, if not her law license, saying that she couldn't be trusted in a sensitive and responsible job as a Department of Children and Families attorney with management responsibilities.

But state personnel officials later investigated Duggan over the letter and did not recommend discipline because they found her conduct violated no state regulations. Gov. M. Jodi Rell had criticized Duggan's behavior sharply, but a spokesman for her office said that after the state personnel officials' decision, there was little chance of pursuing the matter successfully.

Meanwhile, the reviewing panel also has dismissed misconduct charges against Duggan's ex-husband, lawyer Steven Regula, Dubois said Wednesday. Duggan had testified that Regula mailed the bogus letter to ethics commission members in 2004. But Dubois recommended dismissal because of "marital privilege," barring Duggan from testifying against him. Regula's lawyer, Richard Brown, said Regula never read the letter.

* * * *
* * * *

[more information]

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Can you say, "Disgusting"?

DCF Lawyer Averts Disbarment In Ethics Case

By JON LENDER | The Hartford Courant
1:44 PM EST, December 24, 2008

A state agency lawyer has been reprimanded and told to attend nine hours of ethics classes for "fraud and conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice" in 2004, when she posed as a parking lot attendant in a letter that led to the firing of state ethics chief Alan S. Plofsky.

Early this afternoon, a three-member reviewing panel of the Statewide Grievance Committee for lawyers announced the disciplinary decision it reached last Friday concerning the lawyer, Maureen Duggan.

At the time the panel conducted a hearing on Duggan's case Nov. 6, Duggan already had admitted wrongdoing and agreed to the settlement calling for the reprimand and the nine hours of classes to be taken over three years. The decision announced Friday merely ratifies all of that.

The settlement enables Duggan to preserve her law license and avert disbarment or suspension -- and thus to keep her job as a $105,000-a-year attorney at the state Department of Children and Families.

The reprimand and ethics classes had been proposed to the panel by chief disciplinary counsel Mark A. Dubois. At the Nov. 6 hearing, Duggan's lawyer, Hope Seeley, told the panel that she's never had a client "more remorseful ... or more publicly humiliated." For her own part, Duggan called experience "extremely humiliating, embarrassing and humbling."

The decision technically does not take effect for 30 days after the decision, but that delay allows for a lawyer to appeal her discipline -- and Duggan already has agreed to it.

Last May 18, The Courant disclosed that Duggan had written the letter in August 2004, when she was a staff lawyer for the State Ethics Commission working for Plofsky. In the intentionally misspelled letter, Duggan said that she was a parking lot attendant. She alleged irregularities at the ethics agency's office but wrote, "I want to be anonimus."

After ethics commission members received the letter in 2004, Duggan and two co-workers filed sworn "whistle-blower" complaints against Plofsky, alleging misconduct. The commission fired him the following month based on those complaints, including claims he improperly ran up compensatory time and ordered a tape destroyed.

In her sworn 2004 complaint, Duggan referred to her own letter as "an anonymous letter," as if it had been written by someone else. Plofsky denied all charges and appealed to a state panel that reinstated him, but not to his old job. He retired in May.

Critics, including the Connecticut chapter of the good-government advocacy group Common Cause, had called for Duggan to lose her state job, if not her law license, claiming that she couldn't be trusted in a sensitive and responsble job as a Department of Children and Families attorney with management responsibilities.

But state personnel officials later investigated Duggan over the parking lot attendant letter and did not recommend discipline because they found her conduct violated no state regulations. Gov. M. Jodi Rell had criticized Duggan's behavior sharply, but a spokesman for her office said that after state personnel officials' decision, there was little chance of pursuing the matter successfully.

Meanwhile, the reviewing panel also has dismissed misconduct charges against Duggan's ex-husband, lawyer Steven Regula, Dubois said today. Duggan had testified that Regula mailed the bogus letter to ethics commission members in 2004. But Dubois recommended dismissal because of a "marital privilege" barring her from testifying against him. Regula's lawyer, Richard Brown, said Regula never read the letter.

* * * *
* * * *
* * * *

[click here] for:

What about arrests and prison for behavior like this?:

Attorney, prosecutorial, judicial, official, and police misconduct is an "art form" in the state of Connecticut and too many other states. There are two classes of people. Those that get taxed, arrested, and live in a "State of Fear" and there are those who run the "State of Fear" with immunity from arrest and prosecution, what US Constitution?

MAUREEN DUGGAN, right, addresses the committee reviewing misconduct charges against her related to a fraudulent letter she wrote in 2004 while a staff lawyer with the State Ethics Commission. The letter led to the firing of ethics chief Alan S. Plofsky. Her lawyer, Hope Seeley, is at left. (BOB MACDONNELL / HARTFORD COURANT / November 5, 2008)

Continued Connecticut State Police Follies

From WFSB, Channel 3

Complaint Sparks Investigation Of Trooper
School Fight Leads To Woman's Arrest

POSTED: 5:48 pm EST December 11, 2008
UPDATED: 8:24 pm EST December 11, 2008

WETHERSFIELD, Conn. -- State police are looking into a trooper who has been accused of launching his own investigation into an assault after getting a complaint from his neighbor.

The dispute started between two students at Webb Elementary School in Wethersfield, police said. By the time it was over, they said, the mother of one of the students had been arrested, and a state trooper was under investigation for possibly violating protocol.

The Channel 3 I-Team received a copy of the 911 call made by the woman, Sharon Gentino, on Dec. 4. She said in the call that Trooper Justin Lanati had shown up at her Wethersfield home to ask about a schoolyard fight her son was involved in.

Connecticut State Police confirmed to the I-Team that Lanati was on duty at the end of his scheduled shift. He's assigned to Troop H in Hartford.

It's unclear if anyone approved the trooper investigating the fight.

“You know, I would have heard from the principal if this was a real issue, or the nurse,” Gentino said during the call. “I was just standing there talking to the nurse, she would have told me.”

“You need to keep an eye on your child,” Lanati said on the tape.

The I-Team learned that the trooper heard about the fight from his neighbor, who is the parent of the other child involved.

About a minute into the 911 call, the Wethersfield police dispatcher asked to speak with Lanati.

When the dispatcher asked if there was a problem at the residence, Lanati said, “No, it started off as a breach/assault that happened at the Webb school, and this lady, she's the mom, so far she hasn't provided any ID whatsoever, so either I'll take it as an interfering and she can come to the troop with me or you guys can investigate the assault separately.”

The I-Team learned that Lanati lives about a quarter of a mile from the school. Sources said they believe the other child’s parent called Lanati personally rather than report the assault to Wethersfield police.

Wethersfield officers said they first heard about the incident from Lanati.

Representatives from several local police departments contacted by the I-Team all agreed that standard protocol would be for Wethersfield police to investigate the possible assault themselves.

After Gentino asked, “What are you doing wandering around my house?” on the tape, Lanati said, “She's probably going to come to the barracks with me.”

Moments later the line goes dead on the recording. Wethersfield officers said Gentino had already been handcuffed and was in the trooper's car by the time they arrived. They said she was charged with interfering with police and breach of peace.

Gentino is scheduled to appear in New Britain Superior Court on Monday.

The I-Team spoke with Gentino by phone, but she said her lawyer advised her not to comment.

State police spokesman Lt. Paul Vance declined to discuss specifics, but said an internal affairs investigation has been opened.

“As a result of his investigation, an arrest did take place,” Vance said. “The arrested person has made a complaint against the trooper's handling of that case. Whenever that occurs, a complaint is filed; it is immediately forwarded to the internal affairs unit, who independently handles that investigation.”

State police won't release further details about the complaint. They did note that it is legal for troopers to make arrests anywhere in the state if they believe a crime has been committed.

But Wethersfield Police Chief James Cetran said in all his years on the job, he's never seen a situation like this one. The department still has not officially been notified of the fight at the school, he said.

“We don't have any open criminal investigations right now,” Wethersfield Police Lt. Andrew Power said. “We're waiting to hear from state police on whether there were any protocol issues.”

* * * *
* * * *

[click here] for:

The Connecticut State Trooper Gene Pool?

Hit Counter