“We may be trying to return a guilty man to the community. No one can really know. But we have reasonable doubt, and this is a safeguard that has enormous value in our system.”
The phrase, ‘it’s better to let ten guilty men go free, than put one innocent man behind bars’, is not some empty platitude. It’s a fundamental principal, one we’ve built into our legal system. First, by requiring unanimous verdicts in criminal cases and, most importantly, by requiring that guilt be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. At times, with specific cases, we may find this frustrating. But overall, this cautious approach protects the liberties of every individual, while strengthening our society as a whole. Indeed, the principle resonates so strongly as to be frequently featured in our literature and cinema, most notably in To Kill A Mockingbird and Twelve Angry Men.
“The one place where a man ought to get a square deal is in a courtroom, be he any color of the rainbow, but people have a way of carrying their resentments right into a jury box.”
Closing arguments are being presented today in the trial of Derek Chauvin, accused of criminal responsibility for the death of George Floyd. A verdict may already have been returned by the time you read this. Under our system, the jury, as ‘finders of fact’, are charged with setting aside all preformed opinions, all prejudices and biases, to decide on the merits of the case based only on evidence presented in court. Regarding this, the most publicized and cataclysmic incident in memory, that may prove hard for some of the jurors. No one who viewed that initial video clip of Floyd on the pavement (and all of those empaneled had seen it) was not emotionally troubled. Nor could anyone have missed the Summer of protests and rioting it sparked. The acrimonious debate over alleged police brutality and ‘systemic racism’ dividing our nation surely draws its fault line through this jury box, too.
Still, over the past two weeks, the jury has been presented with a large amount of evidence — eyewitnesses, expert opinion, training manuals, toxicology reports, extended body camera footage of the incident from start to finish and from various angles — that most of the public is unaware of. Some objective legal observers (if anyone can be fully objective in this case) found the state presented a rather weak, scattershot case, while Chauvin’s defense attorney, Eric Nelson, performed exceptionally well, most notably in eliciting statements favorable to the defense from some of the state’s own witnesses.
The prosecution’s case relied primarily on reviving in the jury the emotional response to that viral video of Chauvin leaning atop Floyd, finding excuses to play segments over and over and over, while calling witnesses to share how they felt about it. Expert witnesses were called who attested variously that Chauvin’s knee on Floyd’s neck been a “blood choke” to a single carotid artery, then, that Chauvin’s knee — actually on Floyd’s back — had caused “positional asphyxia”, then shifting yet again to restraining Floyd face down had caused “compression asphyxia.” The state also called several witnesses to testify that Chauvin acted criminally outside of police regulations, for if his actions were lawful, all the rest is moot.
The state also encountered procedural embarrassments. One of its first witnesses’ belligerence toward Nelson earned her a warning from the judge, during which she became sassy toward the judge, earning her a very stern warning. (The jury was sent off before this scolding, but it could surmise something was up when court was adjourned early, with that witness returning the next morning to answer a single question.) Nearly all of the state’s frequent objections were overruled. One prosecutor earned a sidebar for badgering a defense witness on cross, returning noticeably chastised. Then, just as the main cases were wrapping up, the state, by attempting to introduce evidence Judge Cahill had expressly forbidden, came within seconds of triggering a mistrial. Throughout the trial, the state, boasting three main prosecutors, a bevy of assistants, plus the entire resources of Minnesota, swamped Nelson and his lone aid with tens of thousands of pieces of evidence, dropped just days or sometimes hours before introducing them in court. While the jury was not privy to all of these elements, and may not appreciate their significance, it surely didn’t help.
“Atticus told me to delete the adjectives and I’d have the facts.”
In contrast, Defense counsel Nelson’s performance, barring a couple of stumbles, was outstanding.
As an antipode, and likely intentional antidote, to the emotionally charged prosecution, Nelson remained calm throughout, and courteous to state witnesses, even the sassy one. Only on cross with one expert could noticeable signs of disdain been seen in Nelson’s face and heard in his voice. But to be fair, this witness was pretty much an arrogant prick.
From his opening statement onward, Nelson laid out the foundation of reasonable doubt, building upon it brick by brick. Establishing the lawfulness of Chauvin’s actions in the minds of the jurors may have been the hardest; numerous witnesses testified both that it was and that it wasn’t, allowing any given juror to hear what they want. Nelson also argued that the crowd, growing larger and more openly hostile and threatening over time, both distracted the officers’ attention away from Floyd’s deteriorating physical condition, and necessitated restraining him for longer than anticipated. This was supported in part by the fact that the EMTs, after belatedly arriving, considered the scene too dangerous to render aid on the spot, instead executing a “load and scoot” then driving several blocks away before attending to Floyd.
Far more compelling was the argument that what killed George Floyd was not a knee to the neck, but Floyd’s own choices that day, coupled with his extremely poor health. As attested by tangible evidence and testimony, Floyd:
- Had ingested fentanyl prior to his arrest;
- To prevent them being found by the police, swallowed pills containing more fentanyl and meth;
- Physically and forcefully resisted arrest for about ten minutes;
- Complained of being unable to breath long before being restrained on the ground;
- Asked to be laid on the ground instead of loaded into the police cruiser;
- Exhibited signs of “excited delirium” — violent, random physical movements, mental incoherence and delusions — which, per police training, requires restraining the subject to prevent harm to himself or others.
The autopsy revealed that Floyd suffered, inter alia, from:
- Severe hypertension;
- A grossly enlarged and weakened heart;
- Of his four main arteries to the brain, 75% blockage in three of them, 90% in the fourth;
- A rare tumor that can suddenly release large quantities of adrenaline;
and found that on the day he died, Floyd had;
- An almost four times fatal overdose of Fentanyl in his blood;
- Experienced pulmonary edema — also evidenced by the foaming around his mouth seen well before he was on the ground — which is a typical side effect of fentanyl;
- No tissue injuries consistent with physical force required to cause asphyxia.
The alternate scenario, which Defense argues cannot be ruled out beyond a reasonable doubt, is that the adrenaline rush from violently resisting arrest demanded more oxygen for Floyd’s muscles. But because the fentanyl had filled his lungs with fluid, they could not provide it. His weak heart, trying to pump its remaining reserves of oxygen through nearly completely blocked arteries, simply gave out.
“The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.”
In any other trial, that evidence would seem to make a conviction impossible. This case, of course, is like no other. Already, many forms of jury intimidation have occurred. Still, juries can often stun us, and predicting verdicts is a mug’s game. In the crucible of deliberations, all the dynamics of human social interaction come into play. Jurors cajole each other. They reason, plead, pout, intimidate, haggle. Although the presence of at least one obvious BLM-type on the panel may preclude full acquittals, haggling might produce a token conviction on one of the lesser charges only. Also plausible is a hung jury. And as noted, the state’s shenanigans during trial provide strong grounds for an appeal.
Anything but convictions on the more serious charges would shock the public, kept ignorant by the biased media and its own preconceptions. It would also enrage the mob. Maxine Waters stood on the very steps of the courthouse inciting violence if the verdict is ‘not guilty’. Death threats have been made against the jurors. Antifa vandalized the former home of one of the defense witnesses. BLM agitators have vowed to spill the blood of police across the country if Chauvin is not convicted. A mob came for Atticus Finch’ client, too.
“It takes a great deal of courage to stand alone even if you believe in something very strongly.”
If mob rule can determine the outcome of trials, then our legal system is lost and our individual liberties with it. Protesters hold aloft placards bearing the words “Justice For George Floyd.” In that, they get it all wrong. We need this trial to be conducted fairly and objectively according to our laws, free from outside influence. If that occurs, whatever the verdict, then justice will be served. Not for George Floyd, not for Derek Chauvin, but for our system which protects all of us.
If rule of law is to be preserved, and chaos and anarchy averted, we all now need to act like good jurors when reacting to this case, and all similarly volatile ones. So, if you haven’t yet, review the evidence presented in this trial (to get the quickest overview without suffering tedium, consider just watching the cross-exams) as well as analyses that might come from somewhere other than your usual sources. The mob will be aiming to raze our institutions. Whatever ‘verdict’ you’ve arrived at, don’t let them, and certainly don’t join them.
© 2021 by True Liberal Nexus. All rights reserved.
Sheila Jackson Lee (D, TX-18) has a reputation for saying really stupid things in public, and introducing really stupid legislation in Congress. Her latest anti-gun bill is par for the course.
Sheila Jackson Lee, 14-term congresswoman from Houston, is known for many things: her anti-social behavior on commercial air flights, her mistreatment of staffers leading to the highest turnover rate on Capitol Hill, and her propensity for embarrassing gaffes. For, despite somehow acquiring a BA from Yale and a JD from UVA, Sheila Jackson Lee is a complete moron.
She asked if the Mars Rover could take photos of where the Astronauts landed.
She thinks North and South Vietnam are still two separate countries.
She believes the US Constitution is 400 years old.
She blamed Wikipedia for WikiLeaks.
Stupid is as stupid does.
Jackson Lee’s stupidity extends to guns, which she hates and has for years tried to ban. She once hefted an AR-15, declaring it “as heavy as ten [moving] boxes” and firing .50 caliber rounds. AR-15s weigh about seven pounds and are chambered in .223 / 5.56 mm, Sheila. Regarding gun control, Jackson Lee stated:
“Don’t condemn the gangbangers, they’ve got guns that are trafficked, that are not enforced, that are straw purchased and they come into places even that have strong guns laws. Why? Because we don’t have sensible gun legislation.”
If that made your head hurt, check out Jackson Lee’s latest ‘sensible gun legislation’, H.R. 127, the Sabika Sheikh Firearm Licensing and Registration Act.
Without explaining the intended purpose, it calls for a Federal database containing the “the make, model, and serial number” of all four hundred million guns in the country, along with “the identity of the owner of the firearm, the date the firearm was acquired by the owner, and where the firearm is or will be stored.” Jackson Lee is apparently unaware that guns are portable.
This is not an AR.
Also to be recorded is “the identity of any person to whom, and any period of time during which, the firearm will be loaned to the person.” So, if you’d like to lend your rifle to your buddy while out hunting, let your friend try out your pistol at the range, or even tell your spouse or house guest to grab your shotgun during a home invasion, you’ll need to let the Feds know well in advance.
But wait — H.R.127 contains even more ‘sensible’ stuff.
A Federal license would be required to possess both firearms and ammunition, issued only after the applicant (that is, all one hundred million gun owners) passes a background check — something they already had to do when purchasing their firearm.
Completing 24 hours of approved training “in the use, safety, and storage of firearms” would also be mandatory, presumably to drastically reduce the c. 400 accidental discharge deaths each year.
Further, every gun owner would need to carry liability insurance for “losses and damages”, oddly issued by the US Attorney General, for an annual fee of $800.
Finally, anyone who wishes to buy a new gun, or just keep the ones they already own, would need undergo a “psychological evaluation conducted by a licensed psychologist approved by the Attorney General”. If that shrink deemed it necessary, interviews would be conducted with spouses, former spouses (you may as well give up now), all other household members, and “at least 2 other persons who are a member of the family of, or an associate of, the individual to further determine the state of the mental, emotional, and relational stability of the individual in relation to firearms.” Fortunately, if you’ve ever been in rehab or previously received a mental health diagnosis for pretty much anything, you get to skip the above process, cuz you’ll never be allowed to own a gun again in your life.
This license, along with all requirements, would need to be renewed every year for the first five years, then every three years thereafter. Violators would face minimum punishment of a $150,000 fine and 15 years in prison.
Additionally, the bill makes illegal the usual scary black guns, labeled “military-style weapons”, with evil stuff like adjustable stocks and pistol grips — that is, features making them easier to aim, thus safer. Also banned would be autoloading shotguns holding more than five shells, and “large capacity” (i.e., standard capacity) magazines holding more than 10 rounds — essentially every magazine in existence outside of CA, MA and NY. And don’t you dare condemn the gangbangers when they forget to turn them in.
NB: The bill is named after Sabika Sheikh, a Pakistani exchange student, one of ten people murdered in the 2018 Santa Fe High School shooting. The killer that day was an underaged fellow student, prohibited from possessing any firearm, who filched his daddy’s 4+1 pump-action shotgun and a snub-nosed, five round revolver. He also brought along a Molotov cocktail. That’s right — our legal eagle named her legislation after the victim of a shooting that involved none of the weaponry her bill seeks to ban.
Ban this military-style weapon!
If you wish to comfort yourself in the thought that H.R. 127 is just a bit of demagoguery that’ll never even get a floor vote, remember that Congress is thick with folks just as moronic as Sheila Jackson Lee when it comes to ’sensible’ (sic) gun control. I’ll tell you who the real fools are, though: anyone who owns a gun and still votes for Democrats.
(c) 2021 by True Liberal Nexus. All rights reserved.
Day 1: Signs executive order requiring all Americans to wear face masks at all times; all Trump voters required to wear orange stars at all times.
Day 2: Grants every illegal alien citizenship, free health care, and registration as a Democrat.
Day 3: Orders anyone who questions the fairness of the 2020 election arrested as a domestic terrorist.
Day 4: Bans all firearms without a device that automatically aims for the leg.
Day 5: To combat global warming, orders all remaining US industry relocated to China.
Day 6: Instructs Congress to admit DC & Puerto Rico as states, force Texas to secede.
Day 7: Kamala Harris walks into the Oval office and says, “Hey Joe, what an amazing four years! Are you ready to retire now?” Biden replies, “Wow, Beau — that went by fast.”
(c) 2021 by True Liberal Nexus. All rights reserved.
Kamala Harris was forced to drop out of the Democratic primary race months before a single vote was cast. Yet a handful of party insiders anointed her as vice presidential nominee. Now paired with an elderly running mate, Harris could well soon ascend to the Oval Office. Her personal past and professional record reveals how she managed this feat, and portends how she would comport herself as President.
A Pig in a Poke
Tonight, on this 281th day of the surreal anno 2020, Kamala Harris, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, will debate sitting VP Mike Pence. Way back on Day 43, it would’ve been inconceivable to imagine that match-up on stage in Utah eight months hence. The New Hampshire primary had just been held, with win, place, and show going to Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, and a surging Amy Klobuchar. Joe Biden had finished a distant fifth with only 8%, with pundits issuing Last Rites to his flagging campaign. Harris wasn’t even part of the conversation. She’d ended her run just after Thanksgiving; her grossly mismanaged campaign bankrupt and torn apart by acrimony, her polling sunken below 1%, the result of her caustic demeanor in debates, her serial flip-flopping on issues. And, perhaps, her inability to come across as empathetic, highlighted by her bizarre tic of protracted, cackling laughter at the most inappropriate moments.
There’s no need to detail what followed. The Dems’ backdoor scheming to block Bernie by settling for Biden. The George Floyd incident that indirectly knocked odds-on favorite, Klobuchar, out of the VP slot. The heated struggle among Biden’s handlers to select an African-American woman, one who neither espoused a too-far left agenda nor had a history as a tough police chief or prosecutor. All somehow resulting in the selection of a dark-skinned — though not African-American — former DA and AG with a record of draconian, often sadistic, law enforcement, who’d recently and eagerly embraced everything from open borders, to slave reparations, to gun confiscation, to socialized healthcare.
To give you an idea of the dread Kamala Harris instills in those who know her well, consider this: a large group of California Democratic pols desperately offered Rep. Karen Bass as an alternative. Not only is Bass an unknown with a thin legislative record, she’s an actual communist fellow-traveler. After pulling every string to thwart the socialist Sanders, these Dems were willing to place a Fidel Castro groupie on the ticket, just to keep Kamala off. Biden advisor and party veteran, Chris Dodd, vehemently opposed Harris’ selection on the principle of ‘first, do no harm.’
The American electorate, including the Democrat voters who endured a seemingly interminable primary season, are now asked to endorse a slate comprised of nobody’s first choice and everyone’s last choice. Simply because they aren’t Trump. Further, given Biden’s age and obvious mental decline, the tacit understanding is that Biden is merely a placeholder, with Harris the actual POTUS nominee “ready to step in on Day One”. Tellingly, Biden recently referred to a “Harris/Biden administration,” while Kamala haughtily spoke of a “Harris administration, with Joe Biden.”
If elected, Harris could well serve up to eleven years in the White House. She’s threatened to rule by fiat, ignoring Congress if it fails to pass legislation pleasing to her. Her record is rife with abuses of the powers of her offices, moral flexibility on issues and policy, and a machiavellian approach to anything or anyone standing in her way. Especially as her campaign is actively shielding her from public scrutiny, It would behoove us all to take a long, hard look at Kamala Harris.
Cette Petite Fille? C’était Moi.
Kamala Harris was born in 1964 to Donald Harris and Gopalan Shyamala, immigrants who’d met as grad students at UC Berkeley. As everyone now knows, when the young family lived in Berkeley, CA, little Kamala was bused across town. But the Harris’ were by no means poor or disadvantaged. Both parents were academics — Donald an economist, Gopalan, an endocrinologist. On her father’s side, Kamala is descended from wealthy Jamaican slave owners, while her mother comes from an elite Brahmin clan. With her parents, young Kamala visited relatives across the globe.
When Kamala was seven, her parents divorced. Kamala continued to reside with her mother in Berkeley while spending weekends at her father’s home in the upscale university community of Palo Alto. Five years later, Gopalan accepted a research and teaching position at McGill University in Montréal, where Kamala, now twelve, was enrolled in a private, French-speaking school.
So, whenever Kamala ‘code-switches’ into urban black dialect for the benefit of an african-american audience, recognize that she’s not just pandering, she’s faking.
Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z.
In 1981, Harris returned to the US to attend college at Howard, a private HBUC where, she claims, she smoked a lot of weed while jamming to Tupac Shakur. Kamala must’ve been a huge Tupac fan, to be listening to the rapper a decade before he’d released any recordings.
Years later, as San Francisco’s District Attorney, the former stoner was unable to muster any empathy as she zealously prosecuted marijuana possession. As Kamala put it at the time, “It is not progressive to be soft on crime.”
Interestingly, Kamala’s life-long passion for hip hop came up again recently, during the candidate’s video appearance at the NCAAP’s streaming convention. When asked her opinion on the best living hip hop artist, Kamala blurted out “Tupac” — who, unfortunately, does not qualify for the honor, having died 24 years ago. When pressed to name a performer among the quick, Kamala demurred, saying “oh, there’s so many to choose from.” A much better response than admitting she was once again faking it.
On The Way Up
Harris attended law school at UC Hastings in San Francisco, gaining admission through the school’s Legal Education Opportunity Program (LEOP). The program
“offers special consideration in admission to applicants who have been subject to significant adversity that may have prevented them from attaining numeric criteria that fully reflect their motivation, talent, and academic and professional ability.”
In plain English, LEOP is a quota system for poor students with poor grades.
While Kamala, with a renowned cancer researcher and a Stanford professor for parents, likely didn’t meet the program’s financial hardship criterion, she was the daughter of immigrants, and surely played up the “impact on [her] academic performance” from the “bias” she faced as a Jamaican/Indian surrounded first by white Berkeleyites, then Quebecois, then Southern Blacks. She might even have had the temerity to claim that l’anglais was not her first language after those formative years at Notre-Dame-des-Neiges.
After passing the California bar in 1990, Harris was hired by Alameda County as a deputy district attorney, where she made a name for herself as ”an able prosecutor on the way up” by prosecuting child sexual assault cases. It was around this time that Harris first made the acquaintance of fellow up-and-comer, Gavin Newsom, and through him, his aunt, Nancy Pelosi — connections that would later serve Kamala well.
At some point in 1993 or early 1994 (accounts vary), the 29-year-old Harris became romantically involved with Willie Brown, thirty-one years her senior. A notorious philanderer, Brown was then speaker of the State Assembly and head of a very powerful, very corrupt, Democratic machine.
Brown bought his new squeeze a BMW and began sporting her on his arm at the many lavish society functions he frequented. Kamala was thus introduced to California’s political bosses, as well as to the philanthropists — among them Susie Tompkins Buell and Gordon Getty — the business magnates, and Hollywood moguls whose campaign donations sustained them. “I would think it’s fair to say that most of the people in San Francisco met her through Willie,” opined one Democratic bigwig. “It’s a club, and it’s bigger than Brown,” a former Harris backer observed. “It comes instantly with basically the entire business community at your doorstep, so it means you have access to large amounts of campaign money and institutional political support. It’s that simple.”
Brown’s next gifts to his new girlfriend were even more extravagant than a sports car: a seat on the California Medical Assistance Commission, then one on the state Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board, with annual salaries of $72,000 and $97,000 respectively. These two prize patronage plums falling into the lap of a neophyte with no related expertise or experience irked politicos, but Kamala had clearly put in the work.
Shortly after Brown won the 1995 San Francisco mayoral election, he and Harris split up. Accounts conflict as to who dumped who, but Harris’ words a few years later are revealing. Describing Brown as “an albatross hanging around my neck,” Harris sneered, “[h]is career is over; I will be alive and kicking for the next 40 years. I do not owe him a thing … Willie Brown is not going to be around. He’s gone — hello people, move on.”
Brown readily admits he jump-started Kamala’s political career with his favoritism. “I’ve helped lots of people…. The difference is that Harris is the only one who, after I helped her, sent word that I would be indicted if I ‘so much as jaywalked’ while she was D.A.”
In 1998, San Francisco’s district attorney, Terence Hallinan, recruited fellow progressive, Harris, as his assistant DA. Little did he realize at the time he was nursing a viper in his bosom. As she had in Oakland across the Bay, Harris focused on sexual assault cases. But before long, Harris was generating friction within the office. Frequently and publicly clashing with colleagues over policy, Harris became persona non grata. She quit in 2000 to run the City Hall’s Family and Children’s Services Division.
Two years later, it was time for Kamala’s next big career step; only her former boss stood in her way. When Harris entered the 2003 San Francisco District Attorney race, she had nothing close to the name recognition enjoyed by her rivals, the progressive, two-term incumbent, Hallinan, or the moderate challenger, Bill Fazio. What Kamala did have were those establishment relationships she’d forged at Willie Brown’s many soirees, not to mention the sympathy of her pal, Gavin Newsom’s, coterie. Working these connections, she began lining up endorsements — at times resorting to veiled threats. The president of the city police union recalled Harris cornering him at a party: “I didn’t know who she was … and she came up to me and she put her finger in my chest and she said, ‘You better endorse me, you better endorse me. You get it?’”
The endorsement of other unions who recognized their true masters followed. Harris also received a boon from her friends in high places. In an unprecedented move, the state Democratic Committee, led by Diane Feinstein and Nancy Pelosi, declined to endorse any candidate in the race. The donations rolled in, too — hundreds of thousands of dollars, coming in so fast Harris was cited for campaign finance violations. Curiously, among Harris’ largest donors were numerous individuals, groups, and law firms associated with San Francisco’s Roman Catholic archdiocese.
But Kamala’s biggest advantage over her rivals was her own sheer ruthlessness. At the first debate, Harris sprung a carefully-planned ambush that entered Bay Area politics legend. After Hallinan and Fazio gave their opening statements, Harris rose from her seat to stand behind Hallinan. “You know Terence Hallinan has attacked Bill Fazio for being caught in a massage parlor,” she boomed. Then, walking over to stand behind Fazio, Harris noted how he’d ridiculed Hallinan “for people having sex in his office.” Returning to her spot in the middle of the stage, Harris announced: “I want to make a commitment to you that my campaign is not going to be about negative attacks.”
It was a performance worthy of Machiavelli’s prince. Harris had simultaneously slung mud at both opponents while chastising them for the exact same mud-slinging. The audience ate it up. Decades later, Harris reminisced that “San Francisco is hard-knocks politics. They punch the gut.” Hallinan always considered it more of a stab in the back.
In the election, Harris eked past Fazio to force a run-off with Hallinan. Her campaign literature attacked her former boss for his low conviction rates, while contrasting her sex and skin color with his and all the city DAs of the past century. References to her affiliation with Brown were declared sexist. Harris won the run-off handily. In her victory speech, she promised to balance compassion for minor offenders with a hard-nosed pursuit of the most depraved criminals.
Menace II Society
Harris’ eight years as DA were filled with controversy while her decisions disappointed and shocked many of her grassroots supporters.
The mystery behind Kamala’s large haul of Catholic donations was solved soon after she took office. Harris, who’d first made a name for herself as a young prosecutor fighting “sex crimes and child exploitation” and “later touted her record on child sexual abuse cases and prosecuting pedophiles,” quashed Hallinan’s ongoing, exhaustive investigation into sexual abuse of minors by priests. Harris failed to pursue any open cases, while refusing to release any files to the public despite the urging of SNAP and other victims’ advocates. Years later, in response to FOIA requests, the SF DA’s office announced the documents were nowhere to be found.
While Harris significantly increased conviction rates over her predecessor’s, she did so by aggressively prosecuting minor pot busts and by accepting plea bargains on outstanding murder cases, something she’d criticized Hallinan for.
At other times, however, Harris could be draconian. In 2005, the DA’s office brought murder charges against Lashaun Ternice Harris, a paranoid schizophrenic who’d thrown her three small children into the San Francisco Bay by the command of voices in her head. Ternice Harris, who was living in a homeless shelter at the time, had recently gone off her meds in hopes of retaining custody of her children. The judge rejected the guilty verdict, instead committing her to a mental institution. Harris successfully fought to have the murder conviction reinstated.
In 2006, Harris launched a crusade against school truancy, on the questionable theory that, as most violent criminals had been truants, forcing kids to attend class today would reduce crime in future. To add teeth to her program, Harris threatened parents of habitual truants with a $2,500 fine and a year in jail. Although no parents served time, several were prosecuted. When Harris’ own staff brought to her attention the program’s deep unpopularity among the public, she laughed.
Harris ran unopposed for reelection in 2007, her powerful SF machine friends advising any aspirants to stay out of the race if they knew what was good for them.
In 2009, Deborah Madden, a police lab technician who’d frequently testified in court over the years, was arrested for stealing cocaine from the evidence room. It soon came out that Harris’ office had for years been aware of Madden tampering with evidence, among other criminal offenses. Madden’s personnel file even included a folder labeled “Brady Implications.” Under Brady v. Maryland (1963), the DA was required to hand over this potentially exculpatory evidence to any defendant convicted in trials in which Madden had appeared. Harris did not, even though an internal memo had circulated in her office listing over a hundred law enforcement officials with criminal or misconduct issues impacting over 1,000 convictions (600 of which were later vacated.) Harris claimed she never saw the memo.
In 2010, Jamal Trulove was convicted of murder based on a solitary eyewitness. The conviction was overturned when it was revealed that Harris’ office wrongfully withheld from the jury that the witness had been paid $60,000 and given new housing. Trulove was awarded a $13 million settlement.
In 2010, after a judge vacated Caramad Conley’s murder conviction, citing “voluminous” evidence of false testimony, Harris nevertheless attempted to retry Conley. Once Harris left office, the new DA declined to pursue the case.
Still I Rise
The next logical stepping stone in the Rise of Kamala was state attorney general, which she sought in 2010. With a 33.6% plurality against six primary opponents, Harris advanced to the general election, where she garnered 46% of the vote in another crowded field. She easily won reelection in 2014.
As in San Francisco, Harris’ tenure in Sacramento was marred with nearly identical controversies.
One of Harris’ first acts as AG was to block, for two years, the release of Daniel Larsen, whose conviction for illegal weapons possession had been overturned based on exculpatory testimony of nine eyewitnesses, including a policeman. When Larson was finally set free, Harris appealed, claiming he missed a deadline to file paperwork.
Beginning in 2011, and sporadically for the following three years, Harris would attempt to inflict her draconian anti-truancy crusade on the entire state.
2013: Harris recommended that the California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board not pay Rafael Madrigal the $282,000 he was owed for a wrongful conviction due to … you guessed it, suppressed exculpatory evidence.
2013: Harris, citing technicalities, declined to prosecute OneWest Bank for “widespread violation” of California foreclosure laws. Many legal observers considered her excuse bogus. Coincidentally, Harris later was the only US Senate candidate to receive a campaign donation from Steven Mnuchin, who’d profited greatly from OneWest’s subprime lending.
2013: Harris certified that “micro-stamping” of handgun shell casings in two locations “is a technology available to more than one [gun] manufacturer unencumbered by any patent restrictions”, despite its defiance of the laws of physics. When the related law was challenged, Harris’ office successfully argued before the Ninth Circuit that impossibility of compliance is no bar to a legal requirement. The net result has been an effective ban on the sale of new handguns in California, even though most new models feature improved safety mechanisms. Harris recently revealed that she herself owns a handgun for personal protection.
2013: Harris declined to prosecute a Pacific Gas and Electric executive for an illegal meeting with a member of the state utilities board.
2014: Harris declined to investigate a widely publicized ‘judge shopping’ scandal surrounding a lawsuit stemming from a PG&E gas explosion that wiped out an entire neighborhood. NB: PG&E is a major campaign donor to several powerful California Democrats, including Kamala’s longtime ally, Gavin Newsom.
2014: state attorneys attempted to block the early release of prisoners, citing the need for inmates’ assistance in fighting wildfires. When this provoked public outrage, Harris denied all knowledge of the effort by her staff.
2015: Harris declined to act on a memo from within her own DA’s office on the urgency of investigating the nutritional supplement manufacturer, Herbalife, for multiple fraudulent marketing practices. Herbalife was represented by the law firm of Kamala’s husband.
2015: Harris brokered a $33 million settlement with Comcast for its release of data of tens of thousands of customers who’d paid for unlisted phone service. Comcast realizes $109 billion in annual revenue. Apparently, the deal resulted in no hard feelings, as five senior Comcast execs donated generously to Kamala’s 2019 presidential campaign.
2015: Harris fought an appeal of a sexual assault conviction by George Gage. A judge ruled that Harris’ prosecutors had withheld exculpatory evidence, but Harris successfully blocked a retrial on a procedural technicality.
2016 : Harris ordered the state DOJ to raid the home of David Daleiden, a pro-life activist who’d recorded undercover video exposing Planned Parenthood’s sale of fetal tissue from abortions in violation of California and Federal law. Daleiden was then charged with violating California’s two-party consent law regarding recorded conversations. This was the first and, to date, only indictment made under this law, despite the regular use of undercover recordings by journalists in exposés.
It later came to light that prior to the raid, Harris had met to strategize and to coordinate her actions with Planned Parenthood executives, including one whose clinic was under investigation by a County DA for illegal sale of fetal tissue. That executive later pleaded guilty, his clinic accepting a $7.8 million plea bargain. Needless to say, Planned Parenthood has been a generous campaign donor over the years to Harris.
2016: Harris opposed the American Bar Association’s request for the retesting of forensic evidence in the case of Kevin Cooper, an inmate on California’s death row who claims his 1983 conviction for murder was the result of evidence-tampering by police. Shortly before launching her presidential run, Harris publicly reversed her stance, saying, “I feel awful about this.”
Just Passing Through
The upwards path opened again for Kamala with the retirement of US Senator, Barbara Boxer. After a brief scuffle with Gavin Newsom over the vacancy, the two pals agreed to divvy up the booty, with Newsom gunning for Governor. In an open Senate primary, Harris breezed past 37 others, then won handily in the general election vs. another democrat under CA’s newly-introduced ‘top-two’ format.
During her brief time in Washington, Harris has not made much of a legislative mark. Co-sponsor to nearly five hundred bills, she is the architect of none of consequence. Her notoriety has come primarily from her performances during televised confirmations and other hearings. Whether it was disparaging three federal district-court nominees for their membership in the Knights of Columbus, badgering the US Attorney General by asking him whether he was “aware of the perception” that his agents were just like the KKK, or her clumsy attempt to bluff Brett Kavanaugh with an allusion to non-existent incriminating evidence, in committee chambers Harris has employed the pit-bull tactics of a prosecutor.
But Harris never intended to forge a legacy for herself as a workhorse on Capitol Hill. It was merely a momentary stop on her lifelong climb to the very pinnacle of power.
The Last Laugh
What to make of someone who, during a tough-on-crime era, is willing to burnish her reputation by suppressing exculpatory evidence, but during a time when policing reform is trending, will preach about how going after crime is “wrongheaded” and we must instead “reimagine public safety?” Who threatened to throw parents of truants in jail, but gave corporate criminals slaps on the wrist? Who billed herself as a warrior against the sexual exploitation of youth, but was fine with letting child raping priests get off if it’d help her win an election? Who traded sexual favors for access to patronage? Who will morph her persona on the fly to pander to this or that group?
There can be but one conclusion: Kamala Harris is a sociopath.
Over the course of her bid to ascend to the Oval Office, Kamala Harris has employed all of the same ruthless machinations seen in her relentless, lifelong quest for power. As one of her former campaign managers warned, “the biggest mistake would be to underestimate her. She will leave no stone unturned in figuring out how to get it done.”
Witness how, when Harris’ most formidable obstacle was Joe Biden, she carefully laid a brutal ambush, tacitly calling him a racist by professing she did not believe he was a racist. Witness her readiness to “believe” Tara Reade’s accusations, only to later throw Reade under the bus. Witness her flip-flopping on policy positions from one week to the next, a brazen attempt to surf the undulating wave of popular sentiment. Or, on controversial issues where she cannot tell which way the wind will blow, her trademark prevarication, “we really need to have a discussion on that.”
When these tactics led to her rejection by Democratic voters, she bitterly accused them of being racist and sexist and “not ready” for her intersectional awesomeness. Whereas any other candidate, whose campaign had crashed and burned as spectacularly as Kamala’s did, would have entered into four years of introspection, Harris merely dusted herself off and unleashed her secret weapon, those insider connections she’d first first cultivated all those years ago as Willie Brown’s arm candy. It was these titans, the party’s shadowy power brokers, the Silicon Valley mega-donors, who strong-armed Team Joe to pick their asset, Kamala.
And when questioned about her sudden volte-face on her now-running mate, she barely hesitated before dismissing any concerns as to whether she possessed any scruples whatsoever, much less a soul. “It’s just politics!” she laughed.
(c) 2020 by True Liberal Nexus. All rights reserved.
The more folks get a good look at Beto O’Rourke, the more they realize there’s nothing to see.
To Kerouac and Back
Earlier this year, soon after his come-from-ahead loss to Ted Cruz in the Texas Senate election, Beto O’Rourke embarked on a solitary road trip across several states. Recording On The Road style deepities in an online journal, O’Rourke sought to find his true self. Actually, it’s a journey he’s been on his entire life. But Beto could’ve spared his car the mileage, because there is no real Beto to be found.
The Gush, The Rush, and The Bust
If you are situated anywhere left-of-center, at some point in 2018 you likely had some progressive approach you and in a gushing half-whisper ask ‘have you heard of Bayyhh-Toe?’ Or more tellingly, ‘have you heard Bayyhh-Toe?’, meaning one of his ‘inspiring’ speeches. For Beto O’Rourke’s particular style of demagoguery resonates with a certain cadre of Democratic activists, always on the lookout for the next Robert F. Kennedy/Jesus of Nazareth to ‘transform’ the Party and America.
So when the formerly obscure three-term congressman from El Paso (TX-16) snagged the Dem nomination to run against incumbent US Senator and nosferatu, Ted Cruz, the donations came pouring in from out of state — helping O’Rourke amass, at $80 million, the biggest war chest ever for a senate race. The left-leaning MSM played its part, showering O’Rourke with copious, fawning coverage. The spotlight and the cash had an immediate effect, as early polls placed O’Rourke 9 points in the lead. Dems squeed at the prospect of turning Texas blue and sending Cruz back to his crypt in Transylvania.
Then a funny thing happened. The more folks got a good look at Beto, the more they realized there was nothing to see. O’Rourke’s polling numbers began to steadily sink. The old political adage on the ability to consistently fool people was bearing true.
About that speaking style of his. It did charm the whisper-gushers, but whisper-gushers are suckers for cheap tricks of rhetoric. They fell for Tony Blair (okay we all did briefly), fell for ‘Ohh-Bahhh-Mahhh’, and are falling right now for Pete Buttigieg’s Sunday sermon and Lizzie Warren’s manic high. To this jaundiced ear, however, Beto’s public speaking is rife with ‘I’m a complete fake and I know it’ red flags. For starters, he never looks anyone in the eye. Up close, he stares past his interlocutors — he can’t even look a hand puppet in the rubber face.
From the podium, he gazes at a spot on the floor about four feet away. Throughout each performance, a hand with thumb pressed to forefinger jabs continually at the air. Presumably this is done on the theory that, if you point often enough, people will assume you have a point. Also trademark Beto is the metronome rhythm with pregnant pauses that last so long they could use cesareans. Are they designed to appear ex tempore? Because all these affectations do is make Beto appear like some 8th grader trying to recall his lines in the school play. Occasionally, Beto can get convincingly animated, even to the point of jumping up and down — but only when he’s talking about his totally awesome self.
As the 2018 senate campaign progressed, Beto’s once-lofty lead continued to fade, until he was behind just before election day, when Cruz defeated him by a narrow margin. Many theories were put forth by pundits, from voter suppression, to voter ennui, to the undead voting en bloc for one of their own. But the simplest explanation is that, when Texans were given an extended period to scrutinize Beto, they discovered there’s not a sincere molecule in his entire 6’5” beanpole of a body.
One part of O’Rourke’s failure on the big stage may be that, unlike your standard shape-shifter politician who consciously erects a false front, Beto is forever in search of his true identity. Pity he has none, for it leads him to don one false persona after another — often literally. Beto can most often be seen wearing dress slacks and an unbuttoned oxford. For Annie Leibovitz’ cover of Vanity Fair, though, Beto, now clad in jeans, posed between a pickup (or is that a Honda?) and a big black dog, Texas dirt road and Texas brush behind him. For GQ, a baggy baseball uniform draping his pencil-thin frame made him look about eight-years old. At one point in his early days, he wore a dress.
Because ‘Beto’ is the Spanish diminutive for names ending in ‘-berto’, Robert Francis O’Rourke has been accused of falsely suggesting mixed Irish and Mexican heritage, like Anthony Quinn, which would be cool, like Anthony Quinn. But Beto is all gringo, the nickname bestowed upon him at an early age by daddy. Nevertheless, O’Rourke oftentimes acts as if he were latinx. Facing his first debate question, Beto chose to answer in (halting) Spanish, immediately either alienating or simply bemusing most of the 22 million viewers. During the second debate, in a stilted, rising tone intended to emulate human emotion, he boldly promised to grant blanket amnesty for all illegals on his first day in office. On the campaign trail, Beto more times than not can be seen posing with latinx, despite running for president of the entire nation, not reelection from TX-16. Recently, he even campaigned in Mexico. One wonders whether Beto is the Mexican Rachel Dolezal.
Above all, Beto wants to be seen as cool. Playing sandlot baseball (and whiffing a lot.) Live-streaming his haircut. Live-streaming his dentist’s appointment. In one particularly sad display, skateboarding in a Whataburger parking lot. (h/t Kara).
Of late, Beto’s cool-signaling includes dropping F-bombs on CNN. Though he’s running for President of the United States, maybe all Beto really wants is to be liked by the other kids. Just how was a creature like this formed?
I Was Born a Rich White Child
Beto was born into a wealthy family, to an influential local judge father and a businesswoman mother. Though given a Spanish nickname to blend into heavily latinx El Paso, young Beto first attended Montessori, then was shipped off to prep school, where youth born with silver spoons in their mouths are taught How Succeed In Life Without Really Trying.
As a teen, Beto engaged your typical teenager stuff: international computer hacking, plotting an anarchist overthrow of the government, writing a gruesome story about a teenager intentionally running over a mother and her children, burglary, causing a car crash while DUI, the last two crimes swept under the rug allegedly thanks to daddy’s influence.
Beto studied English Literature at Columbia, where he was described as “curious, wry, bookish but adventurous”, and made a point of always being seen with a novel in his pocket, “whether Captain Corelli’s Mandolin or The Sun Also Rises”. Or perhaps also James Joyce’s Ulysses, a novel for which O’Rourke’s first son is named, and a favorite of poseurs seeking to appear intellectual.
It was at college where he discovered his true calling was music, playing in crappy punk bands — first guitar, then drums, then bass, until he realized he was a crappy musician no matter which band or what instrument. After graduating, Beto accepted a position in NYC as an Aimless Slacker. Realizing that nannying and dog walking were neither his true calling nor enough to pay the bills, Beto returned to El Paso and the comfort of his parents’ gentle wing. Drawing on his experience as a hacker, Beto briefly worked for mommy’s furniture company doing spreadsheets and shit. Realizing his true calling was entrepreneurship/community service, he used daddy’s money to found a software development firm, Stanton Street Technology Group, that hired lots of underprivileged local latinx. Stanton Street’s first client was mommy’s furniture company.
“I’m Just Born to Be In It”
When clients beyond mommy’s furniture store failed to appear, Beto had an epiphany — his software development company was actually an alternative weekly tabloid. So he published & edited Stanton Street: The Newspaper for a while, before realizing
nobody wanted to read his lame rag his true calling was politics. He started volunteering for local Dem candidates, until, after each of them lost, decided to run for office himself. He set his sights on a city council seat. Running on a platform of legalizing pot and lots of free stuff for illegal immigrants, he won.
Inspired by plenty of local media coverage and frequent observations of his physical resemblance to RFK, Beto, running on a platform of legalizing pot and lots of free stuff for illegal immigrants, successfully stood for US Congress. Once in Washington, he joined the term-limits caucus, as not sticking for very long in any one job is a concept dear to Beto’s heart.
Senate Or Bust
Inspired by plenty of regional media coverage and frequent observations of his physical resemblance to RFK, and having accomplished everything humanly possible in three terms in the House, in 2018, Beto set his sights on unseating Ted Cruz, the most despised man on Earth.
Running this time on a platform of peace, love & understanding and lots of free stuff for everyone, Beto’s campaign garnered national attention. As mentioned, convoys of trucks loaded with cash donations were driven to Texas from Marin, Hollywood, Hyde Park, and the Upper West Side. Scores of endorsements followed from celebrities eager to drive a stake into Cruz, including Willie Nelson, Beyonce, Eva Longoria, LeBron James, Jim Carrey, Ellen DeGeneres, and Abraham Van Helsing.
Drawing on his experience in crappy punk bands, O’Rourke eschewed the advice of seasoned professional pollsters or consultants, relying instead on raw volunteers with no prior campaign experience. Inexplicably, he lost.
Despite gamely putting a positive spin to his concession speech, O’Rourke was clearly shaken to the core to discover that not everyone loved Beto as much as Beto did. Wife Amy, billionaire heiress and ever-cheery savior of poor Guatemalan children, recognized that Beto, ‘more prone to higher highs and lower lows [than she], was in a “funk.”’ The only remedy was to embark on a months-long solo journey down Route 66.
“Maybe if I get moving, on the road, meet people, learn about what’s going on where they live, have some adventure, go where I don’t know and I’m not known, it’ll clear my head, reset, I’ll think new thoughts, break out of the loops I’ve been stuck in.”— from Beto’s journal
On his Hero’s Quest, Beto delved deep into his soul and the profundities of existence. He stayed in ordinary motels, ate ordinary blackberry cobbler, chatted with ordinary waitresses. He gazed at the leaden sky, gazed at the snow on the ground, read lots of Joseph Campbell. In New Mexico, Beto ate magic dirt reputed to have regenerative powers, bagging up some extra dirt to bring home for the wife and kids to eat. (I’m not making any of this up.)
The road trip, and no doubt the magic dirt, had the desired effect. Beto hadn’t uncovered his next true calling yet, but he was out of his funk — and most importantly, jogging again. One thing was clear, though: as previously pledged, Beto would not run for president in 2020.
POTUS Or Bust
But heck, once you’ve blown a senate race in spectacular fashion, what challenges remain? So, after talking it over with Amy and the kids, Beto realized his true calling was to serve as President of the United State of America. Barely able to contain his enthusiasm — or avoid Freudian slips — he described his candidacy as
“the greatest opportunity to unleash the genius of the United States of America.”
In his announcement (perhaps recalling the ordinary folks on Route 66,) O’Rourke placed special emphasis on the need to expand internet access to rural areas, because lonely farmers “can’t go on Tinder to find that special date tonight.”
And the MSM fawned, and the whisper-gushers whisper-gushed, and a convey of trucks loaded with $3.9 million in donations drove to Texas. And then the pattern repeated. Beto’s support in polls, initially in double digits, stagnated. Following his first debate performance, roundly deemed a fiasco, those numbers started to sink. Unable to distinguish himself from the other 19 progressives in the field, in the second debate Beto recast himself: he was now The One Who Can Deliver Texas’ 38 Electoral Votes™. Which makes total sense, considering how he trounced … wait, never mind.
And still his polling numbers sank. Desperately seeking some way to jump-start his campaign, regain the adoration of Ellen, LeBron, & CNN, and claw his way back ahead of Andrew Yang, Beto received a wonderful gift from Dame Fortune — or so he thought.
The Mask Slips
That ‘gift’ was a mass shooting of latinx by a white racist in his own home town of El Paso. Rushing back from the campaign trail, Beto went before the media to announce his reincarnation as The Ender of White Nationalism and Buy-Backer of All Assault Rifles™. And it just might have worked, had he been able to conceal his glee. But he could not. For Beto smiled and laughed on national television about the senseless murder of 20 people.
And it went viral.
It’s here that Beto’s White House aspirations end. Oh, he still has one last at-bat in the third debate, but will likely whiff on three pitches just like in sandlot. And, while his lust for attention might never dry up, the donations will and that’ll be that. The Houston Chronicle has already called for him to drop out.
It must be tough, being a narcissist yet unsure of yourself. Even O’Rourke’s old girlfriend found him difficult to know. “That’s kind of the mystique of Beto, is that he seems to be accessible, but there’s just this layer of protection. I don’t think it’s because he’s hiding anything. I think it’s because he’s keeping a part of it to himself,” she told Vanity Fair. I believe she’s wrong. Beto is hiding something; namely that, under that layer of protection, lies nothing.
What does the future hold for Beto O’Rourke? Now that the wax wings of his political career have melted, yet another personal reinvention is in order. I predict a brief ‘funk’, a morale-boosting appearance on The View, then wielding his touted “Beto Effect” by campaigning for down-ticket candidates, giving inspiring speeches before select audiences of whisper-gusher donors. Before long, there’ll be a deepity-laden memoir, accompanied by a PR tour and another appearance on The View. And finally, a high-priced, new-age Beto Effect™ Spa Retreat & Personal Reflection Center, overseen by Beto himself, barefoot and in loose-fitting white garments, quoting from The Hero With A Thousand Faces. Magic dirt available for an additional charge.
(c) 2019 by True Liberal Nexus. All rights reserved.
The Berkeley Civil War
(sung to the tune of ‘When Johnny Comes Marching Home’.
h/t The Clash)
When the Trumpers march in Berkeley
Antifa will make it nazi-free
We’ll hit them with fists, kicks, and rocks
Bottles, bricks, and bicycle locks
And we’ll all feel smug
In the Berkeley civil war
Violence is never the way
Unless we do it, then it’s ok
Abolish all laws and the police too
Perfect autonomy for me and you
And we’ll all feel smug
In the Berkeley civil war
It is not cool to slug a chick
Why don’t the cops arrest that prick?
It don’t matter that she hit first
Or had a firecracker in her purse
Hypocrisy rules the day
In the Berkeley civil war
The truth to us has been revealed
Your right to speak has been repealed
If you reject our moral code
You’re a bigot, racist or homophobe
And we’ll all feel smug
In the Berkeley civil war
The Trumpers are a bunch of thugs
So it’s just fine to punch their mugs
Fighting in the street always works
When you’re dealing with brownshirts
Just like it did in
Anarchy is the ideal we prize
No wonder we’re so disorganized
Yet we’ll still win and this is why
Look what we did with Occupy!
Chaos will prevail
In the Berkelely civil war
(c) 2017 by Matt Cavanaugh. All rights reserved.
I want to bring to the attention of my fellow true liberals a post I’ve written on another blog, where I critique a young feminist’s own critique of certain concepts central to social justice activism:
Specifically, I address the worth of Gender as Performance, Rape Culture, and Privilege as scientific models.
(Note: don’t anyone be put off by the blog’s name — this post has nothing to do with atheism!)
I invite you all to read my piece, and tell me what you think.