“WHAT GOES AROUND COMES BACK AROUND”

July 6, 2010

© 2010 jbjd

Dear Attorney General Abbott:

I recently learned you had written a letter to the President of the United States, complaining that unlawful conduct is taking place in the sovereign state of Texas, and urging federal intervention by the Obama Administration to bail you out of a law enforcement problem you concede is beyond your control.  In hyperbolic language which might nonetheless sometime ring true, you plead “…our state is under constant assault from illegal activity…  The time for talk has passed.  The time for action is now.  The need is urgent.  The threat demands immediate and effective action by your Administration…”

http://www.oag.state.tx.us/oagNews/release.php?id=3372

On behalf of the citizens of the Lone Star State, I want to point out the perverse irony in this situation.

Remember these? 

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Or these? 
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If the plea for government intervention were addressed not to Mr. Obama, head of the Executive branch of the federal government, which is responsible for enforcing immigration laws, but instead, to you, the chief law enforcement official in the state; and the unlawful conduct which is at the heart of your entreaty – undocumented immigration – were substituted for the unlawful conduct at the heart of those entreaties for your assistance, which is that Boyd Richie, Chair of the Texas Democratic Party committed election fraud to get Barack Obama’s name printed on the Texas ballot in 2008; your letter to him would look very much like their letters to you!

They write songs about just such situations.

Sincerely,

jbjd


ALL the PRESIDENT’S (HENCH)MEN

May 10, 2010

Cambridge Dictionaries On-line defines “henchman” as “someone who does unpleasant or illegal things for a powerful person.”  “Like other dictators, he tried to distance himself from the dirty deeds carried out by his henchmen.”

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/topics/supporters-members-and-defenders/definition-of-henchman

This article is about the dirty deeds carried out by Barack Obama’s henchmen and women leading up to the 2008 election in order to place him in the Oval Office and keep him there, until now.

The title “All the President’s (Hench)men” is a takeoff on “All the President’s Men,” the movie based on the book by Washington Post reporters Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward describing the rise and fall from grace of President Nixon.  Here’s how IMDb (Internet Movie Database) summarizes the plot:

Factual account of investigative journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of the Washington Post whose reporting of the Watergate break-in eventually led to the resignation of Richard Nixon, 37th President of the United States. The film focuses on the period from the break-in on June 17, 1972 to Nixon’s re-election in November later than (sic) year. Their perseverance – and the support of their editors – revealed that the break-in at the Watergate office complex was only one small part of a much larger network of intelligence gathering activities, many of which were illegal. The story also focuses on the role of Woodward’s now legendary secret source dubbed Deep Throat (since identified as FBI Deputy Director Mark Felt) and the encouragement he provided when the journalists hit roadblocks in their investigation.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0074119/plotsummary

Given the passions aroused when this subject comes up, I ‘get’ that people who believe Barack Obama is Constitutionally ineligible for POTUS might find using the term “dirty deeds” to describe the conduct of his henchmen throughout the ongoing illegal enterprise that not only made him President but also sustains his Presidency; does injustice to their multiple acts of treachery.  But describing their illicit conduct in any other way wrongly gives these scoundrels more credit than is due for pulling off an election fraud of historical magnitude which in large part has only succeeded through sheer dumb luck.

In nine minutes, here is a pretty good edit of snippets from the movie.

You can see how the events of then and now naturally lend themselves to the verbal juxtaposition in these respective titles.

In the present case, the underlying crime is election fraud.  That is, in order to facilitate the election of Barack Obama as President in 2008, people affiliated with the DNC Services Corporation conspired to bamboozle election officials in states throughout the country into believing they had already ascertained the candidate was Constitutionally qualified for the job, in order to get these officials to print his name next to the “D” on state ballots.  Because laws passed in some states only allow the names of qualified candidates to be printed on the ballot.  And while we only elect Electors in the general election, for the time being, I cannot imagine Electors would elect anyone whose name had not first appeared on the general election ballot.

Just like during Watergate, dozens of the President’s henchmen have been implicated in this unlawful conspiracy. So many, in fact, people have proposed it would take a book here, too, in order to keep straight the names of all of these characters and the individual part they played in this more recent crime.

It’s on my “To Do” list.

In the meantime, I have put together this mini cheat sheet examining the roles of just 6 (six) co-conspirators to the fraud in the 2008 election, including selective links to the extensive documentation assembled on this blog spelling out in much greater detail the back story to the dastardly deeds accredited to them.

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CLOWNS to the LEFT of ME; JOKERS to the RIGHT (1 of 2)

March 29, 2010

And I am still here, stuck in the middle with you.

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a heated comment on S o S.  I was completely responsible for the tirade; but it wasn’t all my fault.  I had just learned that a 2006 legal case out of Texas set the precedent for a successful court challenge which could have  blocked that state from printing the name of Barack Obama on their 2008 primary or general election ballot.  And, adding insult to injury, I discovered that Attorneys Orly Taitz and Gary Kreep knew about this case at the time of Mr. Obama’s inauguration.

Still, re-visiting my convoluted explanation proved, I should not post when I am angry.

Today’s post  provides a calmer and more comprehensive lay explanation of the seminal role that case, Texas Democratic Party (“TDP”) v. Republican Party of Texas (“RPT”) 459 F.3d 582 (2006) could have played before now to correct some of the infirmities we have identified with the process that got the name Barack Obama printed next to the D on the ballot in the 2008 Presidential (Electors) election in Texas; and the role it can still play to forestall these same problems in 2012.  First, a brief history of the case.

TDP v. RPT

When Tom DeLay (R-TX) won the primary in March 2006 to get his name written next to the R on the Texas ballot, again, the chances that in the November election he would lose the seat he had held representing the 22nd District since 1984 seemed little to none.  “But that was before Tony C. Rudy, his former deputy chief of staff, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and corruption charges, telling federal prosecutors of a criminal enterprise being run out of DeLay’s leadership offices.”  In March 2006, Mr. DeLay announced, he would soon resign from Congress. DeLay to Resign from Congress Now, according to that Washington Post article, “under Texas law he must either die, be convicted of a felony, or move out of his district to be removed from the November ballot.”

Close, but no cigar.

In May, Mr. DeLay sent a letter to Ms. Tina J. Benkiser, Chair of the RPT, advising he had established legal residency in Virginia.  As proof, he provided copies of his VA driver’s license; VA voter registration; and employment withholding form reflecting VA as his residence.  Texas Election Code §145.003(f) allows a party Chair to declare a candidate ineligible.  So, based on Mr. DeLay’s public announcement he would not seek re-election; and the receipt of these VA documents, Ms. Bensiker declared candidate DeLay ineligible to run for Congress.  Under TX law, only the names of eligible candidates may be printed on the ballot. However, before the SoS could remove Mr. DeLay’s name from the TX ballot, Attorney Boyd Richie, elected one month earlier as Chair of the TDP filed suit in state court to halt such action, arguing the RPT had no authority under either Texas state election law or the Qualifications Clause of the U.S. Constitution to determine the winner of the R primary was now ineligible to participate in the November election.  Defendant RPT removed the case to federal district court in Texas, taking advantage of procedural rules that allow cases relying on both state and federal law, to be heard in federal court.

(When a federal court hears a case that is based on both a federal and a state cause of action, the court deliberates on the state issues according to the law in that state.  Thus, in effect, for the purpose of ruling on whether the RPT had violated the TX statute allowing political party Chairs to determine candidate eligibility, the court looked at both the state (TX) law and any state (TX) cases decided under that law, honoring the jurisprudential principle of stare decisis, that is, ruling on subsequent cases consistent with rulings in former cases.  This meant, the ruling issued by the federal district court in Texas based on state (TX) law, could only be used as precedent in subsequent cases heard in Texas, in either state or federal court, involving state (TX) law.  On the other hand, the ruling in federal district court on the issue of the federal Qualifications Clause; could be ported into both federal and state courts in other jurisdictions.)

The federal district court found that the RPT had violated both state (TX) and federal law; ruled it could not determine Mr. DeLay was ineligible; and permanently enjoined the SoS from removing Mr. DeLay’s name from the November ballot.  The RPT appealed; the federal appeals court upheld the lower court’s ruling.  Here is a summary of that decision.

Standing

First, the court found the TDP had standing to bring the case.  It reasoned, if the RPT was allowed to replace Mr. DeLay’s name with the name of another candidate on the ballot; then mounting a new campaign against this new opponent would impose an economic “injury in fact” on the TDP.  This injury was “redressible” and, indeed was redressed by the court through an injunction prohibiting the SoS from removing Mr. DeLay’s name from the ballot.  Also, if the RPT replaced Mr. DeLay with a stronger candidate against the D candidate, the D’s could suffer a real loss of power, another particularized factor in standing.  Plus, the court found the TDP had “associational” standing, meaning, pursuing the case did not require the participation of affected individuals, that is, a specific D candidate disadvantaged by the RPT’s conduct.  The court explained, after the primary, the candidate and the party have identical interests, that is, getting the candidate elected. (The court pointed out, of course, if Nick Lampson, the D candidate for Mr. DeLay’s seat, wanted to bring this case, he had standing to do so, too, based on these same reasons.)

Qualifications Clause

The Constitution requires the candidate for Representative must live in the state at the time of the election.  The court agreed the RPT could not know prospectively whether Mr. DeLay would satisfy this residency requirement.   By determining in May he was not eligible, the court said Ms. Benkiser had unlawfully created a “pre-election inhabitancy requirement” not found in the U.S. Constitution.

Texas Election Law

This is the money holding.  The language here will inform how to bring the case that will prevent the state of Texas from printing the name of Barack Obama on the 2012 Presidential (Electors) ballot.  (Remember, we only elect Electors in the general election; but even the D’s would not steal the election for Barack Obama at the level of the vote of the Electors, in December, when people believe they elected the President in November’s general election.  See NEVER LESS THAN a TREASON (2 of 2).)

Here is the complete section of the court’s decision dealing with the TDP’s charges, the RPT violated TX election law.  (I have omitted all annotations, which can be accessed in the link provided to the appellate case, above.)

Apart from the federal constitutional questions, this case presents a state-law statutory question. For the purposes of this section, we assume arguendo that it would be constitutional for a state actor to make pre-election, prospective judgments about residency and that Benkiser in fact made such a judgment. Even granting those assumptions, the RPT’s declaration of ineligibility would violate Texas law because DeLay’s future residency was not conclusively established by public record.

DeLay’s Future Inhabitancy Was Not “Conclusively Established”

Although the public records relied on by Benkiser may have conclusively established DeLay’s present residency in Virginia, they did not conclusively establish whether he will inhabit Texas on election day. Proof of DeLay’s present residency may suggest where he will be in the future; however, it does not put the matter beyond dispute or question.

Benkiser relied on three public records to declare DeLay ineligible:

1) DeLay’s Virginia driver’s license;

2) DeLay’s Virginia voter registration; and

3) An employment withholding form reflecting DeLay’s Virginia residence.

These documents do not conclusively establish whether DeLay will be an inhabitant of Texas on November 7, 2006. DeLay could be a current resident of Virginia, as the documents above provide, and nonetheless move back to Texas before November 7. Indeed, Benkiser admitted in her testimony that the public records could not prove DeLay’s residency on election day and that DeLay could move back to Texas before election day.

Information that was before Benkiser showing DeLay’s eligibility supports this conclusion. Benkiser had before her DeLay’s original candidacy application, in which he swore that he was eligible for office. In terms of the Qualifications Clause, such a declaration necessarily contained an implicit promise that DeLay would be an inhabitant of Texas on election day. It is also likely that Benkiser knew—because the RPT confirmed his eligibility in prior elections—that DeLay had been an inhabitant of Texas for decades. Under these circumstances, the public records provided by DeLay could not have conclusively established his future residency. Predicting DeLay’s future inhabitancy would have required a finding of fact, which the RPT had no authority to make. See, e.g., In re Jackson, 14 S.W.3d at 848-49.

The RPT argues against this analysis on several grounds, none of which is persuasive. First, relying on the language of the statute (“another public record”), the RPT contends that “one … public record is sufficient for a declaration of ineligibility.” If this is true, the RPT contends, surely three public records are sufficient. This argument ignores § 145.003’s second requirement: that ineligibility must be conclusively established. Put another way, any number of public records may be sufficient only if they meet the “conclusively established” burden. Such is not the case here.

Second, the RPT relies on Nixon v. Slagle, 885 S.W.2d 658, 659 (Tex App.-Tyler 1994, orig. pet.), for the proposition that a prospective candidate’s voter registration form showing residence outside the jurisdiction in question is sufficient to conclusively establish ineligibility. The RPT’s argument ignores a key difference between Nixon and the case at bar. Nixon involved Texas’s state residency qualification for a state senate seat, which required a candidate to be a resident of the relevant district for a year preceding the election. See Tex. Const. art. III, § 6. Therefore, the question in Nixon was the location of the candidate’s current residence for state constitutional purposes, 885 S.W.2d. at 662, not (as here) DeLay’s future inhabitancy for federal constitutional purposes. The latter issue is speculative and cannot be proven conclusively by a voter-registration form showing current residence.

Third, the RPT cites Jones v. Bush, 122 F.Supp.2d 713 (N.D.Tex.2000). Its reliance on that case ignores that Jones did not involve Texas’s state-law “conclusively established” standard. In addition, the RPT’s use of Jones obscures that Jones‘s discussion of inhabitancy was in reference to present, not future, inhabitancy. Jones‘s definition of the term “inhabitant” cannot make the RPT’s effort to predict DeLay’s future any more definitive. Contrary to the RPT’s suggestion, this Court cannot “presume that DeLay will remain an inhabitant of Virginia;” rather, the fact must be conclusively established by public record under Texas law. It is not.

In conclusion, DeLay’s future inhabitancy could not be determined conclusively without a finding of fact. His election-day inhabitancy outside Texas was not beyond dispute or question. Thus, Benkiser violated §145.003 by declaring DeLay ineligible.

In other words, under Texas elections law, if a party Chair can conclusively establish in advance of the day of the election that, based on the record, a Congressional candidate will not satisfy the residency requirement under Article I section 2 of the U.S. Constitution, s/he may determine the candidate is ineligible for office and cause the SoS to remove the name of that candidate from the ballot.  But this advance determination of ineligibility could not be “conclusively established” under the set of facts of this case.  However, establishing Presidential eligibility under the Qualifications Clause in Article II section 1 need not await the day of the election.  After all, a candidate for President cannot acquire the status of “natural born citizen” prospectively or retroactively.

And, while the Chair of the political party is not a fact finder under the law for the purpose of determining whether a candidate is eligible for the office sought; s/he may find ineligibility where this status is conclusively established in the record.

In CLOWNS to the LEFT of ME; JOKERS to the RIGHT (2 of 2), I construct the legal case that will enable those Plaintiffs with standing in Texas to establish, they have found the fact of the ineligibility of candidate Barack Obama conclusively established in the record.

(to be continued)

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Freedom costs.


OPEN LETTER to GREG ABBOTT, ATTORNEY GENERAL of TEXAS

March 24, 2010

Attorney General Abbott has indicated he will file a civil suit to challenge the Constitutionality of the just signed ‘Mandatory Purchase of Private Health Insurance’ bill, arguing it encroaches on states’ rights by violating  the Commerce Clause.  But for several months now, he has had at his disposal a tool that is both much quicker and cheaper to combat this law, as well as any other legislation originating up Mr. Obama’s sinister sleeve.  That is, he could investigate the dozens of charges of election fraud the citizens of the great state of Texas have already filed with his office.

And he can start just by submitting this request to Boyd Richie, Chair of the Texas Democratic Party:

“Please produce all documents which were the basis for the Official TDP Certification of Nomination you signed and then submitted to Texas election officials attesting that Presidential candidate Barack Obama was Constitutionally qualified for the job.”

Then, when Mr. Richie refuses to produce such documentation, AG Abbott can charge him with criminal election fraud.  Simple as that.

I have no doubt that, on learning the Attorney General in the great state of Texas has filed criminal charges of election fraud against Mr. Richie, Congress will do the rest.

The telephone number for the Office of the AG 512.463.2100.

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Freedom costs.


A ROADMAP to ELECTION FRAUD in TEXAS in the 2008 PRESIDENTIAL (ELECTORS) ELECTION

February 25, 2010

If you have been unable up until now, to wrap your brain around the election fraud that occurred in the 2008 Presidential (Electors) Election in applicable* states like Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia, among others; well, this picture showing how that fraud was carried out in Texas is worth a thousand words.

As you follow this roadmap to fraud, keep in mind:  if Barack Obama failed to satisfy the eligibility requirements to get officials to print his name on the ballot in the state of Texas then…

*Applicable states for the purpose of charging election fraud in the 2008 election are those states whose laws only allow the names of qualified candidates to appear on the ballot.

Concept:  http://jeffersonsrebels.blogspot.com

Layout & Design:  http://jbjd.wordpress.com and http://jeffersonsrebels.blogspot.com

Text:  http://jbjd.wordpress.com

(c)  All Rights Reserved

View this document on Scribd

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Freedom costs.

 

*Applicable states for the purpose of charging election fraud in the 2008 election are those states whose laws only allow the names of qualified candidates to appear on the ballot.


GUESS WHOM HOWARD ZINN CALLED HIS “STAR” PUPIL? jbjd.

February 22, 2010

Howard Zinn died suddenly of a heart attack while swimming in the pool in Santa Monica on January 27; he was 87.  I Googled “Zinn Tribute Death”; 1,790,000 results popped up.  Add my homage to the list; with a twist.

First, assuming some of you would be unfamiliar with Professor Zinn’s work outside of the fact he authored, A People’s History of the United States; I looked for an obituary that encompassed at least what I knew to be the highlights of his life-long activism.  The Washington Post printed an obituary on January 28; they were doing a pretty good job until this:  “Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Roslyn Zinn of Auburndale, Mass….”  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/28/AR2010012803804.html I knew that Roz, as he called his beloved wife and editor, had died in 2008.  (In the interest of full disclosure, I will tell you that WaPo finally got around to printing a brief correction, 3 (three) days after that glaring mistake. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/31/AR2010013102654.html)

Despite my recent travails with the Boston Globe – see, “jbjd” BANNED in BOSTON – I found their obituary much better; at least they mentioned Howard’s involvement with the labor strife at Boston University, which occupied so much of his time and energy in his last years there as a tenured Professor.  (For those of you who don’t know, Martin Luther King, Jr. received his Ph.D. in Philosophy at BU, and years later an honorary D.Div. http://www.bu.edu/phpbin/news/releases/display.php?id=343 Dr. King honed his preaching skills in Marsh Chapel, located adjacent to the School of Divinity, at the mid-point of the sprawling urban campus.)

Here is a portion of that Boston Globe obituary:

As he wrote in his autobiography, You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train (1994), “From the start, my teaching was infused with my own history. I would try to be fair to other points of view, but I wanted more than ‘objectivity'; I wanted students to leave my classes not just better informed, but more prepared to relinquish the safety of silence, more prepared to speak up, to act against injustice wherever they saw it. This, of course, was a recipe for trouble.”

Certainly, it was a recipe for rancor between Dr. Zinn and John Silber, former president of Boston University. Dr. Zinn, a leading critic of Silber, twice helped lead faculty votes to oust the BU president, who in turn once accused Dr. Zinn of arson (a charge he quickly retracted) and cited him as a prime example of teachers “who poison the well of academe.”

Dr. Zinn was a cochairman of the strike committee when BU professors walked out in 1979. After the strike was settled, he and four colleagues were charged with violating their contract when they refused to cross a picket line of striking secretaries. The charges against “the BU Five” were soon dropped.

http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2010/01/howard_zinn_his.html

(Note from jbjd:  The Globe misidentified the strikers on the picket line Howard would not cross, as “secretaries.”  They belonged to District 65, Clerical and Technical Workers Union, the first clerical workers to organize at a private university, a full decade before Harvard.  The 900-member bargaining unit included several positions in addition to Secretary, representative workers from all of which positions staffed the picket lines.)

The best recollection of those heady times comes from Professor Zinn.  In “Remembering Murray Levin,” a touching eulogy to his long-time friend and BU colleague, Professor Zinn provides a vivid account of campus strife.

Silber was ruthless in dealing with opposition. For student demonstrators, he was quick to call the police. Faculty faced the kind of punishment overbearing administrators can deal out: if untenured, they had little hope of getting tenure, whatever their record in scholarship and teaching; if tenured, raises in salary were withheld.

Murray, long tenured, with a distinguished record in teaching and publications, saw his salary held down again and again. But he never wavered in his outspoken opposition to what was becoming more and more of a police state at Boston University: censorship of student newspapers, intimidation of activist students, the taking of photos of faculty and students who walked on picket lines. The Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts issued a report on Boston University, saying it had never before received so many complaints of violations of free speech about any other institution in the state.

The campus conflict came to a head over the refusal of the Silber Administration to recognize the newly formed American Association of University Professors (AAUP) faculty union, the District 65 union representing secretaries and clerical workers, the union of library workers. While resisting decent salaries for secretaries, Silber was raising his own salary year after year by huge increments, until he was getting more than the presidents of Harvard, MIT, Yale, Princeton—indeed, he became the highest paid university president in the country. And his captive Board of Trustees, which faculty came to see as a politburo doing the dictator’s bidding, was giving Silber special bonuses and real estate deals.

In a National Labor Review Board (NLRB) election, the faculty voted to unionize. But after a contract was negotiated, Silber reneged and, in an unprecedented action, the faculty went out on strike. Picket lines went up immediately in front of all the major buildings on campus. Murray Levin was a stalwart of the union. Our radical corner of the political science department consisted of Murray, myself, and Frances Fox Piven—and we all became heavily involved in strike activities. The secretaries, their union still unrecognized, within days went out on strike, and the streets around Boston University now saw a rare sight in academe—faculty and secretaries walking the picket lines together in solidarity.

http://www.monthlyreview.org/200zinn.htm

I confess, I had a selfish reason for wanting to see the labor unrest at BU mentioned in Howard’s obituary:   I met him during that time, when he became my first college professor.  This was a ‘lecture’ class in Political Science, so designated because the primary manner of teaching had him standing at (or leaning on) a lectern at the front of the auditorium, speaking to students (and several non-students) crammed into stationary rows of seats arranged in increasingly higher levels moving further away from him, anxious to be ‘swept up’ in the ‘cause.’  Grades were based on written assignments and class participation.  We routinely numbered well over 100 students, more than were actually enrolled and could expect to receive a grade.  Not surprisingly, much of the class discussion related in some way to the labor turmoil on campus.

I had begun working at BU shortly after the NLRB Certified the election that brought District 65 onto the campus but before recognition and negotiations for a collective bargaining agreement.  Like most of my co-workers, I had no background with organized labor.  But in the spring of 1979, when union organizers – some from campus, some from the parent union who had come from out of town – advised, the only way to compel management to join us at the bargaining table was to walk off the job, I went.  I found temporary work by day and staffed the picket lines by night, holding my sign, “Clerical Workers are Tough.”  But after a couple of days of communal defiance, the euphoria of taking a stand subsided.  Now we grasped the imminent threats of losing our jobs.  We would have benefited from some hand holding from the more seasoned organizers.  Only they were nowhere to be found, busy giving interviews to the press, and meeting among themselves.  The next morning, I found them.  ‘The ‘union’ is issuing position statements in the Globe; yet no one has asked my opinion of anything. What’s the difference between management deciding what is best for me; or the union?  If you don’t schedule a general meeting this afternoon, I will cross the lines tomorrow.’  The next morning, I went back to work.  Within a few hours, I received a call from one of the organizers:  a general membership meeting would be held that afternoon.

I repeated this story in class, correctly anticipating I would incur the wrath of some of my classmates, just as my conduct had outraged (and surprised) some of my co-workers.  But I feared this disclosure could alienate my esteemed teacher.  On the contrary; Professor Zinn, who would refuse to cross our picket lines, defended my decision.

Walking alone across campus, I saw Professor Zinn engaged in animated conversation with a man I recognized as Professor Murray Levin.  Howard was already a legend by this time; I had no pedigree.  Speaking up in class was one thing; here, I had no classmates to act as buffer.  But my presence on the path clearly had been detected; going around the two men would have made me even more conspicuous.  Now, I would have to say something.  So, living in my head, I practiced a polite “hello,” determined I could at least get that out, and then keep on walking.  All would have gone according to plan except that as I was making my exit, Professor Zinn exclaimed, “Wait!,” reaching out his arm to draw me into their conversation.  He turned to Professor Levin.  “Murray, I want you to meet my star pupil.”  I could have predicted at that time, I would never forget those words, or how special I felt when he spoke them, for as long as I live.

(Talks with management stalled during our first contract negotiations in the fall of 1979.  I was a member of the Contract Committee; my first project had been to survey the rank and file so as to determine their positions on the issues BEFORE we drafted the proposal.  We were set to meet to take what could be our first strike vote, which would also be the first strike of clerical workers at any private university.  (Technically, that spring walkout was in response to an Unfair Labor Practice, that is, BU management refused to recognize the NLRB-Certified clerical workers union; this would be an economic strike, over our collective bargaining agreement.)  The meeting was to take place at Marsh Chapel, which had always served as a neutral site for labor gatherings.  But just as we began assembling in the plaza abutting the Chapel, word came down, in an apparent attempt to stave off a strike vote, Dr. Silber had not only denied permission to meet there but also threatened to have anyone inside arrested for trespassing.  We knew he meant what he said.  Hundreds of employees from both ends of campus could be seen, walking toward the plaza; several members of the press had shown up, prepared to capture this historic event.  I commandeered a scout.  ‘See if the auditorium in the basement of CLA is open.’   It was.  Now, I proposed we should surreptitiously file into the auditorium, grabbing members of the press along the way.  I figured, by the time Dr. Silber found out where we had gone, with reporters and cameras; he would not do anything about it.)

(We checked in at the door to pick up our ballots for the strike vote.  But when the motion was made to vote to strike, I stood to make an objection.  ‘How can we take a strike vote without voting on whether we accept the proposal on the table, first?’  Union officers and national organizers, sitting on the stage, agreed.  Chaos ensued; union members were trying to tear their official ballots in half, prepared to vote twice.  Now, I shouted, ‘Stop!  You cannot use a defaced ballot!’  The room became silent.  ‘The first vote, that is, the vote on whether to accept the proposal on the table, does not have to be secret.  This can be a hand or voice vote; if the proposal is not accepted, the vote on whether to strike can be done with the secret ballots.’  A representative from the National union shouted from the stage.  “We can always count on you, ‘jbjd.’”)  (We rejected management’s proposal and voted to strike.)

Now, after Howard’s death, reading these lines from his eulogy to his dear friend, Murray, I confirmed the reason my teacher had held me in such high esteem 30 (thirty) years ago.

It would be hard to characterize his politics in simple terms; “socialist,” “radical,” “progressive?” In the thirty-five years I knew him, including twenty-four years as his close friend and colleague at Boston University, there was never any occasion to describe him in any of those ways.

Murray Levin… refused to accept the orthodoxy of American liberalism—its pretensions to democracy, justice, equality. …Despite his huge teaching load (which included advanced courses on American political ideas and Marxist philosophy), as well as his political involvement, Murray never stopped writing. He wrote several iconoclastic books on Edward Kennedy—refusing to go along with the reverence of so many liberals in Massachusetts for the Kennedy clan. His book Political Hysteria in America: the Democratic Capacity for Repression was in many ways an ideological companion to Herbert Marcuse’s One-Dimensional Man in its puncturing of the myth of American tolerance.

See, Howard equally rejected political ideologues cloaked in banners that identified their wearers as grounded on the left; or on the right.  And despite all of his literary accomplishments, in his world of civil disobedience, words apparently held less import to him, than deeds.  And nothing, it seems, meant more, than combining words with corresponding consistent deeds to promote social change.

Here’s how he explained this ‘modus operandi’ for change, in the essay, “Changing Minds, One at a Time,” which appeared in the March 2005 issue of Progressive Magazine.

That question leads me to a larger one, which I suspect most of us have pondered: What does it take to bring a turnaround in social consciousness…

It seems to me that we need not engage in some fancy psychological experiment to learn the answer, but rather to look at ourselves and to talk to our friends. We then see, though it is unsettling, that we were not born critical of existing society. There was a moment in our lives (or a month, or a year) when certain facts appeared before us, startled us, and then caused us to question beliefs that were strongly fixed in our consciousness–embedded there by years of family prejudices, orthodox schooling, imbibing of newspapers, radio, and television.

This would seem to lead to a simple conclusion: that we all have an enormous responsibility to bring to the attention of others information they do not have, which has the potential of causing them to rethink long-held ideas. It is so simple a thought that it is easily overlooked as we search, desperate in the face of war and apparently immovable power in ruthless hands, for some magical formula, some secret strategy to bring peace and justice to the land and to the world.

“What can I do?” The question is thrust at me again and again as if I possessed some mysterious solution unknown to others. The odd thing is that the question may be posed by someone sitting in an audience of a thousand people, whose very presence there is an instance of information being imparted which, if passed on, could have dramatic consequences. The answer then is as obvious and profound as the Buddhist mantra that says: “Look for the truth exactly on the spot where you stand.”

But there is still a large pool of Americans, beyond the hard-core minority who will not be dissuaded by any facts (and it would be a waste of energy to make them the object of our attention), who are open to change. …It is a challenge not just for the teachers of the young to give them information they will not get in the standard textbooks, but for everyone else who has an opportunity to speak to friends and neighbors and work associates, to write letters to newspapers, to call in on talk shows.

The false promises of the rich and powerful about “spreading liberty” can be fulfilled, not by them, but by the concerted effort of us all, as the truth comes out, and our numbers grow.

http://www.progressive.org/march05/zinn0305.php

Notice that, nowhere in his essay, “Changing Minds…” did Professor Zinn use the word R-I-D-I-C-U-L-E.  Not once did he suggest, even if informed engagement fails, ridicule is an appropriate tack to impose on different thinkers.

You will understand then, given Professor Zinn’s overarching emphasis on working for social change through teaching and education, whether reading and writing books or, “speak[ing] to friends and neighbors and work associates…”; and his rejection of ridicule as a tool for such change; I was struck by the outpouring of post-mortem accolades from thousands of so-called Progressives on internet sites like Daily Kos; Democratic Underground; Politijab; and the Huffington Post.  Ha!  These are the same people who resort to ridicule (this includes name calling) and smears to chill the expression of opposition to Barack Obama, their favored candidate in the 2008 general election.  (To be consistent, given his anti-Obama sentiments, instead of praising Howard Zinn, these Progressives should rightly excoriate him, too.  See, for example, his “Obama at One” essay, published in The Nation two weeks before his death.  http://www.thenation.com/doc/20100201/forum/6 He opens with this line:  “I’ve been searching hard for a highlight. The only thing that comes close is some of Obama’s rhetoric; I don’t see any kind of a highlight in his actions and policies.”)

Let me be clear:  I presume posters on those Progressive blogs share a good faith belief in the sincerity of their tributes to Howard Zinn.  But I also believe they are thumbing their noses at the principle of ‘educating for change’ that guided his life work.

Which brings me to that ‘twist’ I mentioned earlier.

In living loving tribute to the memory of this gifted teacher, I issue this challenge to all of you so-called Progressives from sites like Daily Kos, Politijab, Democratic Underground, and Huffington Post who join me in mourning the passing of the late great Howard Zinn:

PUT YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS.

If you have been making fun of those people who question whether Barack Obama is eligible to be President under Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution, stop.  Professor Zinn said, take seriously your “enormous responsibility to bring to the attention of others information they do not have, which has the potential of causing them to rethink long-held ideas.”  Now, I know his admonitions cannot be carried out literally in this case, since no information available to you in the public record can establish, Barack Obama is eligible to be President under Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution.  (Of course, conversely, nothing exists from which his critics can confirm, he is not.)  But that’s no reason to call anyone names.

However, simply not engaging in conduct that is intended to chill speech is insufficient to pay tribute to the man. I challenge you to go further.

Some of us suspect that members of the DNC Services Corporation who Certified to state election officials Barack Obama was Constitutionally qualified to be President in order to get these officials to print his name next to the D on the general election ballot; failed to ascertain beforehand, he was eligible for the job.  And plenty of evidence that is available in the public record supports the conclusion, they did not.  (Please note, even assuming these D’s swore he was Constitutionally qualified without first determining this was true; this does not mean, he is ineligible for the job.)

See, the laws in some states require candidates whose names appear on the ballot must be eligible for the job.  In those states, members of the DNC Services Corporation or of state Democratic clubs, Certified to state election officials, Barack Obama was Constitutionally eligible to be President, getting these officials to print his name next to the D on state general election ballots.  But no state requires any public official to check.  So, citizens who had enacted these laws in their states decided to check, on their own.  They asked those Democrats who had submitted these Certifications to their state election officials, on what documentary basis did you ascertain Mr. Obama was Constitutionally qualified for the job?  But the D’s wouldn’t answer.  Next, citizens turned for help to their Attorneys General who, under state constitutions, are the chief law enforcement officers in the states.   Specifically, they charged that members of the D party had certified Barack Obama was Constitutionally qualified to be President just to get his name printed on the state ballot, but hadn’t actually ascertained he was eligible for the job.  They submitted well pleaded complaints, detailing the overwhelming circumstantial evidence that supports their charges, including the fact D officials refuse to identify the documentary basis for Obama’s Constitutional Certification.

But in what can at best be characterized as a flagrant abuse of discretionary authority, these state government officials, Republican and Democrat alike, refuse even to acknowledge receipt of the complaints, let alone to investigate these reported crimes.  In this regard, the dismissive conduct of these elected officials toward citizens of the state mimics that of Certifying members of the D Corporation (and, in the case of TX, the state D club).  (See, CLUBS RULE)

Surely you agree, Howard Zinn would not suffer such a display of hubris from either public officials or party representatives without a fight!  And, admiring his sense of fair play – as you obviously do – neither should you.

Accept this challenge to do something about this.  Here’s how.

Contact these A’sG in applicable states – so far, GA, HI, MD, SC, TX, and VA – on behalf of those citizens who have petitioned their government to investigate charges of election fraud and let them know: ignoring the people in this way is unacceptable.  And, if you are from an applicable state, become one of these citizens.  (Complaints are posted in the sidebar of the blog; varying numbers have been downloaded and filed in each of the 6 identified states.)  (I assume other states have similar ballot eligibility requirements; look up the laws in your state and get back to me.  If yours is an applicable state, I will draft another complaint. If you’re not sure, come to the blog with your research, and ask.)

Keep in mind, working together is how the disparate unions at  BU – Faculty; Clerical and Technical Workers; Librarians; and Buildings and Grounds – managed to gain recognition and obtain collective bargaining agreements.

Finally, please, stop calling those of us who are addressing the issues related to Barack Obama’s Constitutional eligibility for President, racists.  That’s just plain stupid.  (To see what my son looked like at age 3, click on this link to my story on Curtis Cooper.  They look so much alike, my son thought I had posted a picture of him.  REST IN NOBLE PEACE, CURTIS COOPER )

P.S. Searching the internet, you can find plenty of material describing Professor Zinn’s general disdain for Barack Obama.  I liked this interview with Amy Goodman from Democracy Now!, in May 2009 entitled, “I Wish Obama Would Listen to MLK.”  (The tape is set to cue at the 35:00 mark.)

(I was unable to embed this video but it is well worth watching.  Also, the transcript can be found below the video, at that same link.)

Read the transcript here.  http://www.democracynow.org/2009/5/13/howard_zinn_i_wish_obama_would

Again, my reasons were partly selfish.  The 15-year-old girl he mentions at around the 40-minute mark, the girl who refused to give up her seat on the bus 9 (nine) months before Rosa Parks, is Claudette Colvin.  I mention her whenever I have the opportunity; I was pleased but not surprised, the ‘People’s Historian’ Howard Zinn would know about her, too.

P.P.S.  For further reading about Claudette Colvin, see this story that appeared in the New York Times in November 2009.  http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/26/books/26colvin.html)


CLUBS RULE

February 19, 2010

UPDATE 04.14.12: As of today, neither the Texas Democratic Party nor the Republican Party of Texas is registered with the Secretary of State as a corporation; limited partnership; or limited liability company. In other words, they remain private clubs.


NOTE: Reading this article in conjunction with TEXAS TWO-STEP enhances its significance.

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

In the summer of 2008, before I knew half as much about the political process as I have learned since that time, I submitted a comment to the PUMA PAC blog, containing this epiphany:  the Democratic Party is only a club.

See, I had just ‘learned’ there exists a category of states I dubbed ‘vote binding states,’ which are those states that have enacted laws essentially saying, ‘In our state, being a “pledged delegate” means, you must vote for the person voters elected you to represent, on the roll call vote on the floor of the party Convention.’  (Did you know, DNC rules only require pledged delegates to use their “good conscience”?)  (“All delegates to the National Convention pledged to a presidential candidate shall in all good conscience reflect the sentiments of those who elected them.”)  (http://s3.amazonaws.com/apache.3cdn.net/fb3fa279c88bf1094b_qom6bei0o.pdf, p. 23.)

I saw that BO’s people were harassing HRC pledged delegates to change their votes to him, in advance of the Convention.  In other words, in these vote binding states, BO’s people were enticing HRC’s people to break the law.  So, I drafted letters to state Attorneys General in the 13 (thirteen) vote binding states I identified, complaining about this illegal conduct from BO’s camp.  Next, I needed to recruit voters from those vote binding states to send these letters.  But first, I had to explain to these recruits, in lay terms, what I was talking about.  For this, I developed a primer.  And in the primer, here is how I summarized the hierarchy of commandments applying to pledged delegates: state laws trump the rules made up by the political party, every time.  http://jbjd.wordpress.com/to-stop-harassment-of-clinton-pledged-delegates-in-vote-binding-states/

That’s when it hit me: the Democrats (and Republicans) are nothing more than private clubs.

#309 jbjd on 08.18.08 at 3:59 am

THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT COMMENT I HAVE EVER WRITTEN OR WILL EVER WRITE ON THIS BLOG… PLEASE REFER OTHERS TO THIS COMMENT THROUGHOUT THE DAY, IN SUBSEQUENT COMMENTS… I AM BUSY WRITING YOUR STATE-SPECIFIC LETTERS TO THE ATTORNEYS GENERAL, TO BE COPIED TO OUR DEAR STATE DELEGATES PLEDGED TO HRC, TO LET THEM KNOW, WE HAVE THEIR BACKS…

***************************************************************************
DECONSTRUCTING DEMOCRACY AND THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY

My Dear Fellow PUMAs,

If you are going crazy trying to figure out what’s happening with the Democratic Party, join the club. I’m not kidding. Join the club. Because it just hit me, the way to understand this Democratic nominating process is to think of The Democratic Party as what it is – a club. And the only thing that makes this club so special is that it was able to get permission from each of the 50 states to collect campaign contributions and put the names of the candidates it wants to hold office onto the state’s election ballot. That’s it. That’s all there is. Let me explain.

According to Party – or rather, club rules, presidential candidates are chosen at the club’s nominating convention. Afterward, the club submits the name of its candidate for POTUS to the appropriate state official in each state – usually the Secretary of State – as part of an application to get onto the state’s general election ballot, in compliance with that state’s laws. In fact, states only allow the candidate for POTUS chosen by a “major political party” to submit ballot papers so late in the game because club rules and by-laws require their candidates to be chosen at a “nominating convention.”

The club determines who will be its candidate for POTUS on the general election ballot through a vote at the convention by people it calls “delegates,” which delegates obtained that status through an allocation process set by the club. That is, the club places the names of its proposed candidates on state ballots in the primary and caucus elections and then, in exchange for receiving a specific number of votes in that process, the candidates are assigned a delegate to vote for them at the convention. Most state delegates are given a special status, called “pledged.” According to club rules, when these pledged delegates cast their votes at the convention, they should use their best judgment to represent the wishes of the voters based on whose votes they were elected. Historically, by counting these delegates pledged to each candidate, the club has usually been able to predict which of its candidates will end up with the nomination at the end of the primary and caucus process, since one candidate usually garners enough pledged delegates to surpass the number the club set as the requirement at the convention. But not this year. Neither club candidate – BO or HRC – was assigned enough delegates through the primary and caucus process to secure the nomination at the convention. Luckily, the club had in place rules whereby this deficit in delegates could be made up by special delegates commonly referred to as super delegates who get to cast their votes for either candidate at the convention.

The Democratic Party set up volumes of rules and by-laws that govern all these operations, with auspicious sounding titles like “Charter,” “Constitution,” “Model Rules to Delegate Selection Process,” and “Call to the Convention.” But here’s the thing about all these club rules: they can be changed at any time. According to club rules. So, if like me, you have read club rules and believe, as I do, that members of the club have not played fair throughout this presidential nominating process, am I saying there is nothing you can do about it? Hardly.

Remember what I said in the beginning: the state only lets the club get onto official state ballots as long as they follow state rules. And unlike club rules, when states make rules, they’re called laws. (TO BE CONTINUED…)
©jbjd

(In the interest of full disclosure, let me say, I was banned from that blog just days after this comment was posted.)

In the 1 1/2 years since I experienced this 3:00 AM epiphany that ‘club’ is just another word for ‘political party,’ I have learned (and written) volumes about the DNC.  Now, I know it by its official name:  the Democratic National Committee Services Corporation.  That’s right; it’s a corporation.  That’s why I now regularly refer to this business entity as the D Corporation (in case you hadn’t noticed).

Before I initiated the present campaign to submit document requests to the Texas Democratic Party (“TDP”) under the Texas open records law, I had to determine whether the TDP was a covered entity under that law.  First, I tried to ascertain its legal construct. I hit a brick wall.  Luckily, through other means, I was able to conclude, the TDP is subject to provisions of the open records law, regardless of its organizational construct.  Then, after the campaign to obtain records was underway, a loyal Texan and I continued to research the nature of the TDP until we got answers.

So, what is the legal construct of the TDP?  Let me give you a hint what it’s not.

Here are the documents returned by the TX Secretary of State web site after a paid on-line search of documents held by that office, for an entity called Texas Democratic Party (“Find Entity Name Search”).  (Recall that the Certification of BO’s Nomination signed by TDP Chair, Attorney Boyd Richie, and submitted to state election officials to get them to print the name of Barack Obama next to the D on the general election ballot; was printed on letterhead showing the name, “Texas Democratic Party.”) (See this document and Mr. Richie’s accompanying letter, also on TDP letterhead, on p. 3 of the citizen complaint of election fraud to AG, in REMEMBER the ALAMO )

Did you notice what name is missing?  Yep; the Texas Democratic  Party.  In the words of Randall Dillard, Director of Communications, Office of the TX SoS:  “There is no requirement in state law that political parties organize as a business entity and since the parties are not found in a search of our records, they are not organized as corporations, limited partnerships or limited liability companies.”

Whoa!  If the TDP is none of these then, what is it?

Well, I tried a Google search for “clubs in Texas.”  And look at what showed up at the bottom of page 6  (not to be confused with Page Six, the NY Post scandal column, http://www.nypost.com/pagesix): Clubs and Organizations:  Texas Democratic Party

So, I clicked on that link, which led me to all of the Clubs and Organizations organized under the big top of the TDP.

I clicked on the link in the lower right-hand corner, txdemocrats.org.  Look who was staring me in the face.

Boyd Richie, Chair of the Texas Democratic Party.

In sum, here is the answer to the question, what is the TDP.  It is the club mystically possessed with the power to get TX election officials to print the name of Barack Obama next to the D on the state’s 2008 general election ballot based only on the word of its Chair that he is Constitutionally eligible for POTUS, notwithstanding no one in the club is willing to disclose, why.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Freedom costs.


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