Even though DJIA is in the middle of a range , is it possible that tomorrow and possibly Tuesday it can go up 300 point to make a major top?
Even though DJIA is in the middle of a range , is it possible that tomorrow and possibly Tuesday it can go up 300 point to make a major top?
Wisconsin’s Shame: ‘I Thought It Was a Home Invasion’
by David French April 20, 2015 4:00 AM
Name: police-state-raids.jpgViews: 326Size: 39.5 KB
They came with a battering ram.” Cindy Archer, one of the lead architects of Wisconsin’s Act 10 — also called the “Wisconsin Budget Repair Bill,” it limited public-employee benefits and altered collective-bargaining rules for public-employee unions — was jolted awake by yelling, loud pounding at the door, and her dogs’ frantic barking. The entire house — the windows and walls — was shaking.
She looked outside to see up to a dozen police officers, yelling to open the door. They were carrying a battering ram. She wasn’t dressed, but she started to run toward the door, her body in full view of the police. Some yelled at her to grab some clothes, others yelled for her to open the door. “I was so afraid,” she says. “I did not know what to do.” She grabbed some clothes, opened the door, and dressed right in front of the police.
The dogs were still frantic.
“I begged and begged, ‘Please don’t shoot my dogs, please don’t shoot my dogs, just don’t shoot my dogs.’ I couldn’t get them to stop barking, and I couldn’t get them outside quick enough. I saw a gun and barking dogs. I was scared and knew this was a bad mix.” She got the dogs safely out of the house, just as multiple armed agents rushed inside. Some even barged into the bathroom, where her partner was in the shower. The officer or agent in charge demanded that Cindy sit on the couch, but she wanted to get up and get a cup of coffee. “I told him this was my house and I could do what I wanted.” Wrong thing to say. “This made the agent in charge furious. He towered over me with his finger in my face and yelled like a drill sergeant that I either do it his way or he would handcuff me.”
They wouldn’t let her speak to a lawyer. She looked outside and saw a person who appeared to be a reporter. Someone had tipped him off. The neighbors started to come outside, curious at the commotion, and all the while the police searched her house, making a mess, and — according to Cindy — leaving her “dead mother’s belongings strewn across the basement floor in a most disrespectful way.”
Then they left, carrying with them only a cellphone and a laptop. “It’s a matter of life or death.” That was the first thought of “Anne” (not her real name). Someone was pounding at her front door. It was early in the morning — very early — and it was the kind of heavy pounding that meant someone was either fleeing from — or bringing — trouble. “It was so hard. I’d never heard anything like it.
I thought someone was dying outside.” She ran to the door, opened it, and then chaos. “People came pouring in. For a second I thought it was a home invasion. It was terrifying. They were yelling and running, into every room in the house. One of the men was in my face, yelling at me over and over and over.” It was indeed a home invasion, but the people who were pouring in were Wisconsin law-enforcement officers. Armed, uniformed police swarmed into the house. Plainclothes investigators cornered her and her newly awakened family. Soon, state officials were seizing the family’s personal property, including each person’s computer and smartphone, filled with the most intimate family information.
Why were the police at Anne’s home? She had no answers. The police were treating them the way they’d seen police treat drug dealers on television. In fact, TV or movies were their only points of reference, because they weren’t criminals. They were law-abiding. They didn’t buy or sell drugs. They weren’t violent. They weren’t a danger to anyone. Yet there were cops — surrounding their house on the outside, swarming the house on the inside. They even taunted the family as if they were mere “perps.” As if the home invasion, the appropriation of private property, and the verbal abuse weren’t enough, next came ominous warnings. Don’t call your lawyer. Don’t tell anyone about this raid. Not even your mother, your father, or your closest friends.
The entire neighborhood could see the police around their house, but they had to remain silent. This was not the “right to remain silent” as uttered by every cop on every legal drama on television — the right against self-incrimination. They couldn’t mount a public defense if they wanted — or even offer an explanation to family and friends. Yet no one in this family was a “perp.” Instead, like Cindy, they were American citizens guilty of nothing more than exercising their First Amendment rights to support Act 10 and other conservative causes in Wisconsin. Sitting there shocked and terrified, this citizen — who is still too intimidated to speak on the record — kept thinking, “Is this America?” “They followed me to my kids’ rooms.” For the family of “Rachel” (not her real name), the ordeal began before dawn — with the same loud, insistent knocking. Still in her pajamas, Rachel answered the door and saw uniformed police, poised to enter her home. When Rachel asked to wake her children herself, the officer insisted on walking into their rooms. The kids woke to an armed officer, standing near their beds.
The entire family was herded into one room, and there they watched as the police carried off their personal possessions, including items that had nothing to do with the subject of the search warrant — even her daughter’s computer. And, yes, there were the warnings. Don’t call your lawyer. Don’t talk to anyone about this. Don’t tell your friends. The kids watched — alarmed — as the school bus drove by, with the students inside watching the spectacle of uniformed police surrounding the house, carrying out the family’s belongings. Yet they were told they couldn’t tell anyone at school. They, too, had to remain silent. The mom watched as her entire life was laid open before the police. Her professional files, her personal files, everything. She knew this was all politics. She knew a rogue prosecutor was targeting her for her political beliefs. And she realized, “Every aspect of my life is in their hands. And they hate me.”
Fortunately for her family, the police didn’t taunt her or her children. Some of them seemed embarrassed by what they were doing. At the end of the ordeal, one officer looked at the family, still confined to one room, and said, “Some days, I hate my job.” For dozens of conservatives, the years since Scott Walker’s first election as governor of Wisconsin transformed the state — known for pro-football championships, good cheese, and a population with a reputation for being unfailingly polite —
into a place where conservatives have faced early-morning raids, multi-year secretive criminal investigations, slanderous and selective leaks to sympathetic media, and intrusive electronic snooping. Yes, Wisconsin, the cradle of the progressive movement and home of the “Wisconsin idea” — the marriage of state governments and state universities to govern through technocratic reform — was giving birth to a new progressive idea, the use of law enforcement as a political instrument, as a weapon to attempt to undo election results, shame opponents, and ruin lives. Most Americans have never heard of these raids, or of the lengthy criminal investigations of Wisconsin conservatives.
For good reason. Bound by comprehensive secrecy orders, conservatives were left to suffer in silence as leaks ruined their reputations, as neighbors, looking through windows and dismayed at the massive police presence, the lights shining down on targets’ homes, wondered, no doubt, What on earth did that family do?
This was the on-the-ground reality of the so-called John Doe investigations, expansive and secret criminal proceedings that directly targeted Wisconsin residents because of their relationship to Scott Walker, their support for Act 10, and their advocacy of conservative reform. Largely hidden from the public eye, this traumatic process, however, is now heading toward a legal climax, with two key rulings expected in the late spring or early summer. The first ruling, from the Wisconsin supreme court, could halt the investigations for good, in part by declaring that the “misconduct” being investigated isn’t misconduct at all but the simple exercise of First Amendment rights.
The second ruling, from the United States Supreme Court, could grant review on a federal lawsuit brought by Wisconsin political activist Eric O’Keefe and the Wisconsin Club for Growth, the first conservatives to challenge the investigations head-on. If the Court grants review, it could not only halt the investigations but also begin the process of holding accountable those public officials who have so abused their powers. But no matter the outcome of these court hearings, the damage has been done. In the words of Mr. O’Keefe, “The process is the punishment.”
It all began innocently enough. In 2009, officials from the office of the Milwaukee County executive contacted the office of the Milwaukee district attorney, headed by John Chisholm, to investigate the disappearance of $11,242.24 from the Milwaukee chapter of the Order of the Purple Heart. The matter was routine, with witnesses willing and able to testify against the principal suspect, a man named Kevin Kavanaugh.
What followed, however, was anything but routine. Chisholm failed to act promptly on the report, and when he did act, he refused to conduct a conventional criminal investigation but instead petitioned, in May 2010, to open a “John Doe” investigation, a proceeding under Wisconsin law that permits Wisconsin officials to conduct extensive investigations while keeping the target’s identity secret (hence the designation “John Doe”). John Doe investigations alter typical criminal procedure in two important ways: First, they remove grand juries from the investigative process, replacing the ordinary citizens of a grand jury with a supervising judge. Second, they can include strict secrecy requirements not just on the prosecution but also on the targets of the investigation.
In practice, this means that, while the prosecution cannot make public comments about the investigation, it can take public actions indicating criminal suspicion (such as raiding businesses and homes in full view of the community) while preventing the targets of the raids from defending against or even discussing the prosecution’s claims. Why would Chisholm seek such broad powers to investigate a year-old embezzlement claim with a known suspect? Because the Milwaukee County executive, Scott Walker, had by that time become the leading Republican candidate for governor. District Attorney Chisholm was a Democrat, a very partisan Democrat.
Almost immediately after opening the John Doe investigation, Chisholm used his expansive powers to embarrass Walker, raiding his county-executive offices within a week.
As Mr. O’Keefe and the Wisconsin Club for Growth explained in court filings, the investigation then dramatically expanded: Over the next few months, [Chisholm’s] investigation of all-things-Walker expanded to include everything from alleged campaign-finance violations to sexual misconduct to alleged public contracting bid-rigging to alleged misuse of county time and property. Between May 5, 2010, and May 3, 2012, the Milwaukee Defendants filed at least eighteen petitions to formally “[e]nlarge” the scope of the John Doe investigation, and each was granted. . . . That amounts to a new formal inquiry every five and a half weeks, on average, for two years.
This expansion coincided with one of the more remarkable state-level political controversies in modern American history – the protest (and passage) of Act 10, followed by the attempted recall of a number of Wisconsin legislators and, ultimately, Governor Walker. Political observers will no doubt remember the events in Madison — the state capitol overrun by chanting protesters, Democratic lawmakers fleeing the state to prevent votes on the legislation, and tens of millions of dollars of outside money flowing into the state as Wisconsin became, fundamentally, a proxy fight pitting the union-led Left against the Tea Party–led economic Right.
At the same time that the public protests were raging, so were private — but important — protests in the Chisholm home and workplace. As a former prosecutor told journalist Stuart Taylor, Chisholm’s wife was a teachers’-union shop steward who was distraught over Act 10’s union reforms. He said Chisholm “felt it was his personal duty” to stop them. Meanwhile, according to this whistleblower, the district attorney’s offices were festooned with the “blue fist” poster of the labor-union movement, indicating that Chisholm’s employees were very much invested in the political fight. In the end, the John Doe proceeding failed in its ultimate aims.
It secured convictions for embezzlement (related to the original 2009 complaint), a conviction for sexual misconduct, and a few convictions for minor campaign violations, but Governor Walker was untouched, his reforms were implemented, and he survived his recall election.
But with another election looming — this time Walker’s campaign for reelection — Chisholm wasn’t finished. He launched yet another John Doe investigation, “supervised” by Judge Barbara Kluka. Kluka proved to be capable of superhuman efficiency — approving “every petition, subpoena, and search warrant in the case” in a total of one day’s work. If the first series of John Doe investigations was “everything Walker,” the second series was “everything conservative,” as Chisholm had launched an investigation of not only Walker (again) but the Wisconsin Club for Growth and dozens of other conservative organizations, this time fishing for evidence of allegedly illegal “coordination” between conservative groups and the Walker campaign. In the second John Doe, Chisholm had no real evidence of wrongdoing.
Yes, conservative groups were active in issue advocacy, but issue advocacy was protected by the First Amendment and did not violate relevant campaign laws. Nonetheless, Chisholm persuaded prosecutors in four other counties to launch their own John Does, with Judge Kluka overseeing all of them.
Empowered by a rubber-stamp judge, partisan investigators ran amok. They subpoenaed and obtained (without the conservative targets’ knowledge) massive amounts of electronic data, including virtually all the targets’ personal e-mails and other electronic messages from outside e-mail vendors and communications companies.
The investigations exploded into the open with a coordinated series of raids on October 3, 2013. These were home invasions, including those described above. Chisholm’s office refused to comment on the raid tactics (or any other aspect of the John Doe investigations), but witness accounts regarding the two John Doe investigations are remarkably similar: early-morning intrusions, police rushing through the house, and stern commands to remain silent and tell no one about what had occurred.
At the same time, the Wisconsin Club for Growth and other conservative organizations received broad subpoenas requiring them to turn over virtually all business records, including “donor information, correspondence with their associates, and all financial information.” The subpoenas also contained dire warnings about disclosure of their existence, threatening contempt of court if the targets spoke publicly. For select conservative families across five counties, this was the terrifying moment — the moment they felt at the mercy of a truly malevolent state.
Speaking both on and off the record, targets reflected on how many layers of Wisconsin government failed their fundamental constitutional duties — the prosecutors who launched the rogue investigations, the judge who gave the abuse judicial sanction, investigators who chose to taunt and intimidate during the raids, and those police who ultimately approved and executed aggressive search tactics on law-abiding, peaceful citizens.
For some of the families, the trauma of the raids, combined with the stress and anxiety of lengthy criminal investigations, has led to serious emotional repercussions.
“Devastating” is how Anne describes the impact on her family. “Life-changing,” she says. “All in terrible ways.” O’Keefe, who has been in contact with multiple targeted families, says, “Every family I know of that endured a home raid has been shaken to its core, and the fate of marriages and families still hangs in the balance in some cases.” Anne also describes a new fear of the police: “I used to support the police, to believe they were here to protect us. Now, when I see an officer, I’ll cross the street. I’m afraid of them. I know what they’re capable of.” Cindy says, “I lock my doors and I close my shades. I don’t answer the door unless I am expecting someone. My heart races when I see a police car sitting in front of my house or following me in the car. The raid was so public. I’ve been harassed. My house has been vandalized. [She did not identify suspects.]
I no longer feel safe, and I don’t think I ever will.” Rachel talks about the effect on her children. “I tried to create a home where the kids always feel safe. Now they know they’re not. They know men with guns can come in their house, and there’s nothing we can do.” Every knock on the door brings anxiety.
Every call to the house is screened. In the back of her mind is a single, unsettling thought: These people will never stop. Victims of trauma — and every person I spoke with described the armed raids as traumatic — often need to talk, to share their experiences and seek solace in the company of a loving family and supportive friends. The investigators denied them that privilege, and it compounded their pain and fear. The investigation not only damaged families, it also shut down their free speech. In many cases, the investigations halted conservative groups in their tracks.
O’Keefe and the Wisconsin Club for Growth described the effect in court filings: O’Keefe’s associates began cancelling meetings with him and declining to take his calls, reasonably fearful that merely associating with him could make them targets of the investigation. O’Keefe was forced to abandon fundraising for the Club because he could no longer guarantee to donors that their identities would remain confidential, could not (due to the Secrecy Order) explain to potential donors the nature of the investigation, could not assuage donors’ fears that they might become targets themselves, and could not assure donors that their money would go to fund advocacy rather than legal expenses.
The Club was also paralyzed. Its officials could not associate with its key supporters, and its funds were depleted. It could not engage in issue advocacy for fear of criminal sanction. These raids and subpoenas were often based not on traditional notions of probable cause but on mere suspicion, untethered to the law or evidence, and potentially violating the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against “unreasonable searches and seizures.”
The very existence of First Amendment–protected expression was deemed to be evidence of illegality. The prosecution simply assumed that the conservatives were incapable of operating within the bounds of the law. Even worse, many of the investigators’ legal theories, even if proven by the evidence, would not have supported criminal prosecutions. In other words, they were investigating “crimes” that weren’t crimes at all. If the prosecutors had applied the same legal standards to the Democrats in their own offices, they would have been forced to turn the raids on themselves.
If the prosecutors and investigators had been raided, how many of their computers and smartphones would have contained incriminating information indicating use of government resources for partisan purposes? With the investigations now bursting out into the open, some conservatives began to fight back. O’Keefe and the Wisconsin Club for Growth moved to quash the John Doe subpoenas aimed at them.
In a surprise move, Judge Kluka, who had presided over the Doe investigations for more than a year, recused herself from the case. (A political journal, the Wisconsin Reporter, attempted to speak to Judge Kluka about her recusal, but she refused to offer comment.)
The new judge in the case, Gregory Peterson, promptly sided with O’Keefe and blocked multiple subpoenas, holding (in a sealed opinion obtained by the Wall Street Journal, which has done invaluable work covering the John Doe investigations) that they “do not show probable cause that the moving parties committed any violations of the campaign finance laws.” The judge noted that “the State is not claiming that any of the independent organizations expressly advocated” Walker’s election.
O’Keefe and the Wisconsin Club for Growth followed up Judge Peterson’s ruling by filing a federal lawsuit against Chisholm and a number of additional defendants, alleging multiple constitutional violations, including a claim that the investigation constituted unlawful retaliation against the plaintiffs for the exercise of their First Amendment rights.
United States District Court judge Rudolph Randa promptly granted the plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction, declaring that “the Defendants must cease all activities related to the investigation, return all property seized in the investigation from any individual or organization, and permanently destroy all copies of information and other materials obtained through the investigation.”
From that point forward, the case proceeded on parallel state and federal tracks. At the federal level, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed Judge Randa’s order. Declining to consider the case on the merits, the appeals court found the lawsuit barred by the federal Anti-Injunction Act, which prohibits federal courts from issuing injunctions against some state-court proceedings.
O’Keefe and the Wisconsin Club for Growth have petitioned the Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari and expect a ruling in a matter of weeks. At the same time, the John Doe prosecutors took their case to the Wisconsin Court of Appeals to attempt to restart the Doe proceedings. The case was ultimately consolidated before the state supreme court, with a ruling also expected in a matter of weeks.
And so, almost five years after their secret beginning, the John Doe proceedings are nearly dead — on “life support,” according to one Wisconsin pundit — but incalculable damage has been done, to families, to activist organizations, to the First Amendment, and to the rule of law itself. In international law, the Western world has become familiar with a concept called “lawfare,” a process whereby rogue regimes or organizations abuse legal doctrines and processes to accomplish through sheer harassment and attrition what can’t be accomplished through legitimate diplomatic means. The Palestinian Authority and its defenders have become adept at lawfare, putting Israel under increasing pressure before the U.N. and other international bodies.
The John Doe investigations are a form of domestic lawfare, and our constitutional system is ill equipped to handle it. Federal courts rarely intervene in state judicial proceedings, state officials rarely lose their array of official immunities for the consequences of their misconduct, and violations of First Amendment freedoms rarely result in meaningful monetary damages for the victims. As Scott Walker runs for president, the national media will finally join the Wall Street Journal in covering John Doe.
Given the mainstream media’s typical bias and bad faith, they are likely to bring a fresh round of pain to the targets of the investigation; the cloud of suspicion will descend once again; even potential favorable court rulings by either the state supreme court or the U.S. Supreme Court will be blamed on “conservative justices” taking care of their own.
Conservatives have looked at Wisconsin as a success story, where Walker took everything the Left threw at him and emerged victorious in three general elections. He broke the power of the teachers’ unions and absorbed millions upon millions of dollars of negative ads. The Left kept chanting, “This is what democracy looks like,” and in Wisconsin, democracy looked like Scott Walker winning again and again. Yet in a deeper way, Wisconsin is anything but a success.
There were casualties left on the battlefield — innocent citizens victimized by a lawless government mob, public officials who brought the full power of their office down onto the innocent. Governors come and go. Statutes are passed and repealed. Laws and elections are important, to be sure, but the rule of law is more important still. And in Wisconsin, the rule of law hangs in the balance — along with the liberty of citizens.
As I finished an interview with one victim still living in fear, still shattered by the experience of nearly losing everything simply because she supported the wrong candidate at the wrong time, I asked whether she had any final thoughts. “Just one,” she replied. “I’m hoping for accountability, that someone will be held responsible so that they’ll never do this again.” She paused for a moment and then, with voice trembling, said: “No one should ever endure what my family endured.
Have you ever tried to trade a certain financial instrument and been beaten by it repeatedly? W. D. Gann also had that experience and preferred to deal in stocks that were “his friends,” as you will see from the following items.
“The kind of stocks to trade in are those that are active and those that follow the rules and a definite trend. There are always queer acting stocks and some stocks that don’t follow the rules. These stocks should be left alone.” W. D. Gann, New Stock Trend Detector, p. 34
“STOCKS THAT ARE YOUR ENEMIES
“Any trader who has followed the market for ten years or more and has been an active trader, if he will carefully analyze his trading, will find that there were certain stocks which he was never able to make any profits in. He always seemed to get in too soon or too late. No matter if he sold them short or bought them he always ended up with a loss, while other stocks always seemed to favor him, so much so that he would call them his pets. Now there must be some cause for this, as nothing just happens. Everything is the result of a cause. When you find that a stock does not seem to work well for you, leave it alone. Quit trading in it, and stick to the ones that favor you. I could explain to you the cause for this, but it is not necessary, and many of you would not believe it.
“My own experience in trading and my analysis of the cause of effects enabled me to discover the reason for these things. For many years Mex Pete was one of my particular pets. I could always make money in it. My forecasts on it were so accurate that people all over the country who subscribed to my market letter called me the ‘Mex Pete Specialist.’ I was able to catch its moves up and down over 90 per cent of the time just the same as if I had been making the fluctuations myself. Many other stocks work just as well as this for me, while others do not favor me and I have never made any money out of them. It makes no difference whether you know or do not know the reason why a thing works or does not work; just as soon as experience teaches you that there is something that works against you, the only thing to do is to quit.” W. D. Gann, Truth of the Stock Tape, p. 75
Concerning Mexican Petroleum, we also have the following items from Mr. Gann’s writings:
“… in order to understand the meaning of volume, you must know the total capital stock outstanding and the floating supply of the stock you are trading in. Mex Pete [Mexican Petroleum] for several years has made moves of from 50 to 100 points while U. S. Steel has not moved 10. The reason was that the floating supply of Mex Pete was very small while the floating supply of U. S. Steel was very large.” ibid., pp. 6-7
“Mexican Pete [1919 High] 264 [1920 & 1921 Low Points] 84 1/2 [Decline] 179 1/2″ ibid., p. 41
“Mexican Pete. — In 1918 advanced to 98 in February; reacted to 90. Traded between 98 and 90 until May, 1918; then advanced to 102. Reacted to 91; advanced to 102 again in June; then reacted to 96; advanced to 103 in July; then in the month of August traded in a range from 100 to 102, only two points, which was the shortest month of fluctuations in its history. This short month of extreme dullness at the top of an advance showed that accumulation was taking place and that the insiders were simply waiting, giving everybody an opportunity to sell all the stock they would and to encourage a big short interest before starting the big advance.
“Therefore, this showed that it was getting ready for a big move one way or the other. In September it reacted to 98, then advanced to 104, which was above all previous tops since January, 1917. The advance continued, with only small reactions, until the stock reached 194 in October, 1918. It reacted to 146 and continued to make higher bottoms until it finally reached 264 in October, 1919.” ibid., p. 67
“Mexican Pete. — Another example of progressive bottoms or higher support. In 1913 low 42; 1914 low 51; 1917 low 67; 1918 low 79. In October, 1918 made its first big advance to a new high and reached 264 in October, 1919; declined to 84 1/2 in August, 1921, making a still higher bottom than the last bottom in 1918. So you see all of these years Mexican Pete was receiving support at higher levels, which showed that it was preparing to reach extreme high levels before distribution would take place.” ibid., p. 109
“Mexican Petroleum. — The great bull leader in the 1922 to 1923 Bull Campaign, started up from 85 in August, 1921, and advanced to 322 in December, 1922. The stock was exchanged for stock in Pan-American Petroleum Co. [See note below. Mr. Gann published this in 1930; by 1933 Mex Pete no longer existed as a brand name.] Mexican Pete was one of the best oil stocks to buy in 1921 for a big advance as it showed big accumulation and rallied quickly, making higher bottoms and higher tops after low was reached. The fact that there was a very small floating supply made it easy for pools to advance the stock, especially as it possessed real value and merit.” W. D. Gann, Wall Street Stock Selector, p. 156
HISTORICAL NOTES NOT FROM W. D. GANN
“The Mexican Petroleum Corporation was originally a production firm based in New Orleans and the corporate title and Pan-Am brand name are references to the firm’s Mexican and central American production facilities. Partial control was acquired by Standard of Indiana during the Twenties and the corporate title changed in the early Thirties. Interestingly, the territory covered by this 1929 map is far away from Pan-Am’s marketing territory in the south central states.”
“In 1933, American Oil was purchased by Indiana Standard controlled Pan-Am. Mexican Petroleum and Pan-Am stations along the Atlantic seaboard were rebranded Amoco.”
“In 1998, Amoco and BP announced that they had merged, combining their worldwide operations into a single organization. Overnight, the new company, BP Amoco, became the largest producer of both oil and natural gas in the US.
“At the start of the new millennium, Amoco service stations in the United States were rebranded BP, although Amoco gasoline continued to flow from the pumps.”
The following official publication is dated 1922:
Mexican Petroleum by W. J. Archer http://books.google.com/books?id=ZlkRAAAAIAAJ .
MR. GANN SPEAKS OF MEX PETE IN ADVERTISEMENTS
From the following excerpts from three advertisements placed in newspapers by W. D. Gann in the years 1921 and 1922, we get an idea of his experience in working with this stock:
[The Cincinnati Enquirer of Cincinnati, Ohio, March 20, 1921]
“CHANDLER MOTORS AND U. S. STEEL
“Chandler Motors pays 10% dividend and is selling around 73; U. S. Steel pays 6% and sells around 79. Will Chandler advance while Steel declines? Will Pennsylvania cut its dividend and go down while American International pays nothing and goes up? These questions will be answered in THE SUPPLY AND DEMAND LETTER.
“In my advertisement of March 6, I said a break in stocks would come a ‘little later,’ and my letter would protect you against it. I also said a boom would follow Harding’s inauguration. For the past two weeks I have advised short sales of General Asphalt, Crucible, Pan and Mex Pete. I said in my letter, ‘When Mexican Pete. sells at 154 all support will be withdrawn and a rapid decline take place.’ It declined to 143. The same day it sold at 154. Mex. Pete. is going lower. I will tell you when to sell again for big profits.”
[The Philadelphia Inquirer, July 10, 1921]
“Called Bottom on Stocks
“THE SUPPLY AND DEMAND LETTER has been right again as usual. After being bearish for weeks and advising short sales, I turned bullish at the right time and advised purchases.
“Last Tuesday’s letter said ‘Buy Mexican Pete at the opening Wednesday morning and risk 3 points on it.’ The stop was not caught and Mexican Pete rallied 13 points Wednesday. Such accurate advice is not guesswork, but is based on a scientific calculation that enables me to determine when large financial interests are accumulating stocks. Last Tuesday’s letter also advised buying Am. Wool, Am. Intern’l, A. G. W., Baldwin, Chandler, Crucible, General Asphalt, Pan Peter and U. S. Rubber. You know what has happened. They have all had big advances.”
Baldwin (low 60 3/4 on the 5th, high 76 3/8 on the 9th), Chandler (low 51 1/4 on the 5th, high 63 on the 9th), and Crucible (low 54 1/2 on the 5th, high 68 1/2 on the 9th) in particular indeed made very substantial gains in those few days between the July 5th newsletter and the publication of the advertisment in the Sunday paper.
[The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 7, 1922]
“Recently I advised the purchase of Mex. Pete around 115 to hold for 135. It made good, as well as many other active leaders of which I have advised purchases. Have had all the big moves in Cotton and Wheat.”
Listen closely he says a lot here. His track record speaks for him. He tells what is and probably what will be. He has a clear mind and works at not trying to show favoritism to one side or the other. Listen to this 2 times if you have too, there is much to glean from this.
Gold is doing a sideways ABCDE and should finish around 1340 area than we go down to the 900 level finishing out 5 waves down. Until we get a very strong capitulation I do not see gold as even remotely bullish. The 1340 level also retraces to the long term trend-line becoming resistance. So we see?
The Treasury Department is looking to wind down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but without these organizations, there would be few buyers for 30-year fixed rate mortgages in the secondary markets. The 30-year mortgage was created during the Great Depression as part of the New Deal to help revitalize the real estate market. Prices have risen in real estate over the decades because this length of time. It has allowed people to leverage their future earnings today bringing forward 30 years of income.
What will happen if Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are shut down? It is unlikely that the bankers will step in. They are transactional based, not relationship. If they cannot package and resell mortgages, then they will not write 30-year mortgages. Bankers will be glad to offer short-term mortgages with floating rates shifting the risk of interest rates to the American public who is the least capable to handle such a profound change or understand the risks. The net result of this type of change will more likely than not set in motion the second decline of the cycle.
Read the rest here…. http://armstrongeconomics.com/2015/03/01/the-end-of-30-year-fixed-rate-mortgages/
It is now 100 years since drugs were first banned, and all through this long century of waging war on drugs, we have been told a story about addiction, by our teachers and by our governments. This story is so deeply ingrained in our minds that we take it for granted. It seems obvious. It seems manifestly true. Until I set off three and a half years ago on a 30,000-mile journey for my book Chasing The Scream: The First And Last Days of the War on Drugs to figure out what is really driving the drug war, I believed it too. But what I learned on the road is that almost everything we have been told about addiction is wrong. There is a very different story waiting for us, if only we are ready to hear it.
If we truly absorb this new story, we will have to change a lot more than the drug war. We will have to change ourselves.
I learned it from an extraordinary mixture of people I met on my travels: From the surviving friends of Billie Holiday, who helped me to learn how the founder of the war on drugs stalked and helped to kill her; from a Jewish doctor who was smuggled out of the Budapest ghetto as a baby, only to unlock the secrets of addiction as a grown man; from a transsexual crack dealer in Brooklyn who was conceived when his mother, a crack-addict, was raped by his father, an NYPD officer; from a man who was kept at the bottom of a well for two years by a torturing dictatorship, only to emerge to be elected president of Uruguay and begin the last days of the war on drugs.
I had a personal reason to search for these answers. One of my earliest memories as a kid is trying to wake up one of my relatives, and not being able to. Ever since then, I have been turning over the essential mystery of addiction in my mind. What causes some people to become fixated on a drug or a behavior until they can’t stop? How do we help those people to come back to us? As I got older, another of my close relatives developed a cocaine addiction, and I fell into a relationship with a heroin addict. I guess addiction felt like home to me.
If you had asked me what causes drug addiction at the start, I would have said, “Drugs. Duh.” It’s not difficult to grasp. I thought I had seen it in my own life. We can all explain it. Imagine if you and I and the next 20 people to pass us on the street take a really potent drug for 20 days. There are strong chemical hooks in these drugs, so if we stopped on day 21, our bodies would need the chemical. We would have a ferocious craving. We would be addicted. That’s what addiction means.
One of the ways this theory was first established is through rat experiments which were injected into the American psyche in the 1980s, in a famous advert by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. You may remember it. The experiment is simple. Put a rat in a cage, alone, with two water bottles. One is water. The other is water laced with heroin or cocaine. Almost every time you run this experiment, the rat will become obsessed with the drugged water, and keep coming back for more, until it kills itself.
The advert explains: “Only one drug is so addictive, nine out of 10 laboratory rats will use it. And use it. And use it. Until dead. It’s called cocaine. And it can do the same thing to you.”
But in the 1970s, Vancouver psychology professor Bruce Alexander noticed something odd about this experiment. The rat is put in the cage all alone. It has nothing to do but take the drugs. What would happen, he wondered, if we tried this differently? So Alexander built Rat Park, a lush cage where the rats had colored balls and the best rat food and tunnels to scamper down and plenty of friends: everything a rat could want. What, Alexander wanted to know, would happen then?
In Rat Park, all the rats obviously tried both water bottles, because they didn’t know what was in them. But what happened next was startling.
The rats with good lives didn’t like the drugged water. They mostly shunned it, consuming less than a quarter of the drugs the isolated rats had used. None of them died. While all the rats who were alone and unhappy became heavy users, none of the rats who had a happy environment did.
At first, I thought this was merely a quirk of rats, until I discovered that at the same time as the Rat Park experiment there was a helpful human equivalent taking place. It was called the Vietnam War. Time magazine reported heroin was “as common as chewing gum” among U.S. soldiers, and there is solid evidence to back this up: some 20 percent of U.S. soldiers became addicted to heroin there, according to a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry. Many people were understandably terrified: they believed a huge number of addicts were about to head home when the war ended.
But in fact, some 95 percent of the addicted soldiers, according to the same study, simply stopped using. Very few had rehab. They shifted from a terrifying cage back to a pleasant one, so they didn’t want the drug anymore.
Bruce Alexander argues this discovery is a profound challenge both to the right-wing view that addiction is a moral failing caused by too much hedonistic partying, and the liberal view that addiction is a disease taking place in a chemically hijacked brain. In fact, he argues, addiction is an adaptation. It’s not you: It’s your cage.
After the first phase of Rat Park, Alexander took the test further. He repeated the early experiments, where the rats were left alone and became compulsive users of the drug. He let them use for 57 days; if anything can hook you, it’s that. Then he took them out of isolation, and placed them in Rat Park. He wanted to know, if you fall into that state of addiction, is your brain hijacked so you can’t recover? Do the drugs take over? What happened is striking. The rats seemed to have a few twitches of withdrawal, but they soon stopped their heavy use, and went back to having a normal life. The good cage saved them. (The full references to all the studies I am discussing are in the book.)
This new theory is such a radical assault on what we have been told it felt like it could not be true. But the more scientists I interviewed, and the more I looked at their studies, the more I discovered things that don’t seem to make sense—unless you take into account this new approach.
Here’s one example of an experiment that is happening all around you, and may well happen to you one day. If you get run over today and you break your hip, you will probably be given diamorphine, the medical name for heroin. In the hospital around you, there will be plenty of people also given heroin for long periods, for pain relief. The heroin you get from your doctor will have a much higher purity and potency than the heroin being used by street addicts, who have to buy from criminals who adulterate it. So if the old theory of addiction is right—it’s the drugs that cause it; they make your body need them—it’s obvious what should happen. Loads of people should leave the hospital and try to score smack on the streets, to meet their habits.
But here’s the strange thing. It virtually never happens. As the Canadian doctor Gabor Mate was the first to explain to me, medical users just stop, despite months of use. The same drug, used for the same length of time, turns street users into desperate addicts—and leaves medical patients unaffected.
If you still believe, as I used to, that addiction is caused by chemical hooks, this makes no sense. But if you believe Bruce Alexander‘s theory, the picture falls into place. The street addict is like a rat in the first cage: isolated and alone, with only one source of solace to turn to. The medical patient is like a rat in the second cage: going home to a life where she is surrounded by the people she loves. The drug is the same, but the environment is different.
This gives us an insight that goes much deeper than the need to understand addicts. Professor Peter Cohen argues that human beings have a deep need to bond and form connections. If we can’t connect with each other, we will connect with anything we can find—the whirr of a roulette wheel or the prick of a syringe. He says we should stop talking about “addiction” altogether and instead call it “bonding.” A heroin addict has bonded with heroin because she couldn’t bond as fully with anything else.
So the opposite of addiction is not sobriety. It is human connection.
I still couldn’t shake off a nagging doubt. Are these scientists saying chemical hooks make no difference? It was explained to me: you can become addicted to gambling, and nobody thinks you inject a pack of cards into your veins. You can have all the addiction and none of the chemical hooks. I went to a Gamblers Anonymous meeting in Las Vegas and they were as plainly addicted as the cocaine and heroin addicts I have known. Yet there are no chemical hooks on a craps table.
But surely, I asked, there is some role for the chemicals? It turns out there is an experiment which gives us the answer to this in precise terms, which I learned about in Richard DeGrandpre’s book The Cult of Pharmacology.
Everyone agrees cigarette smoking is one of the most addictive processes around. The chemical hooks in tobacco come from a drug called nicotine. So when nicotine patches were developed in the early 1990s, there was a huge surge of optimism—cigarette smokers could get all of their chemical hooks, without the other filthy, and deadly, effects of cigarette smoking. They would be freed.
But the Office of the Surgeon General has found that just 17.7 percent of cigarette smokers are able to stop using nicotine patches. That’s not nothing. If the chemicals drive 17.7 percent of addiction, as this shows, that’s still millions of lives ruined globally. But what it reveals again is that the story we have been taught about the cause of addiction being chemical hooks is real, but it’s only a minor part of a much bigger picture.
This has huge implications for the 100-year-old war on drugs. This massive war, which kills people from the plazas of Mexico to the streets of Liverpool, is based on the claim that we need to physically eradicate a whole array of chemicals because they hijack people’s brains and cause addiction. But if drugs aren’t the driver of addiction— if, in fact, it is disconnection that drives addiction—then this makes no sense.
Ironically, the war on drugs actually increases all those larger drivers of addiction. I visited a prison in Arizona, Tent City, where inmates are detained in tiny stone isolation cages (the Hole) for weeks on end, to punish them for drug use. It is as close to a human re-creation of the cages that guaranteed deadly addiction in rats as I can imagine. When those prisoners get out of prison, they will be unemployable because of their criminal record, guaranteeing they will be cut off even more.
There is an alternative. We can build a system that is designed to help drug addicts reconnect with the world and leave behind their addictions.
This isn’t theoretical. It is happening. Nearly 15 years ago, Portugal had one of the worst drug problems in Europe. They had tried a drug war, and the problem just kept getting worse. So they decided to do something radically different. They resolved to decriminalize all drugs, and take all the money they once spent on arresting and jailing drug addicts, and spend it instead on reconnecting them—to their own feelings, and to the wider society. The most crucial step was to get them secure housing and subsidized jobs, so they had a purpose in life, and something to get out of bed for. In warm and welcoming clinics, addicts are taught how to reconnect with their feelings, after years of trauma. One group of addicts was given a loan to set up a removals firm. Suddenly, they were a group, all bonded to each other and to society, and responsible for each others care.
An independent study by the British Journal of Criminology found that since total decriminalization, addiction has fallen, and intravenous drug use is down by 50 percent. Decriminalization has been such a success that very few people in Portugal want to go back to the old system. The main campaigner against the decriminalization back in 2000 was Joao Figueira, the country’s top drug cop. He offered all the dire warnings we would expect from the Daily Mail or Fox News. But when we sat together in Lisbon, he told me that everything he predicted had not come to pass—and he now hopes the whole world will follow Portugal’s example.
This isn’t only relevant to the addicts I love. It is relevant to all of us, because it forces us to think differently about ourselves. Human beings are bonding animals. We need to connect and love. The wisest sentence of the 20th century was E.M. Forster’s, “Only connect.” But we have created an environment and a culture that cut us off from connection. The rise of addiction is a symptom of a deeper sickness in the way we live, constantly directing our gaze toward the next shiny object we should buy, rather than the human beings all around us.
The writer George Monbiot has called this the “age of loneliness.” We have created human societies where it is easier for people to become cut off from all human connection. The Internet offers only a parody of connection. Bruce Alexander, the creator of Rat Park, told me that for too long, we have talked exclusively about individual recovery from addiction. We need now to talk about social recovery; how we all recover, together, from the sickness of isolation.
But this new evidence isn’t just a challenge to us politically. It doesn’t just force us to change our minds; it forces us to change our hearts.
Loving an addict is really hard. When I looked at the addicts I love, it was always tempting to follow the tough love advice doled out by reality shows like “Intervention”: Tell the addict to shape up, or cut them off. Their message is that an addict who won’t stop should be shunned. It’s the logic of the drug war, imported into our private lives. But that will only deepen their addiction, and you may lose them all together. I came home determined to bind the addicts in my life closer to me than ever, to let them know I love them unconditionally, whether they stop, or whether they can’t.
When I returned from my long journey, I looked at my ex-boyfriend, in withdrawal, trembling on my spare bed, and I thought about him differently. For a century now, we have been singing war songs about addicts. It occurred to me that we should have been singing love songs to them all along.
Johann Hari will be discussing his book at Politics and Prose in Washington DC, 7pm, January 29; at 92nd Street Y in New York City, noon, January 30; and at Red Emma’s in Baltimore, on February 4.
Johann Hari is the author of Chasing The Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs (Bloomsbury).
please leave a like if you thought this was worth watching!!
I have a minor CIT on Monday so be careful. Look at the 11/3 trend change line and see how it actually catapulted the market up from this. This can happen quite often in strong moving markets thus when it doesn’t work it actually works as a catapult. I do not argue with the trend changes , they just happen and when they happen and I go by the math that predicts them.
I think it is possible we are doing a sideways ABCDE into the 8th but this is only a guess on my part. But if this takes place it could be the start of another big rally , time will tell. Also the 8th could be a high with a nice retracement after it but I am leaning toward the former.
This video is worth watching and if one listens closely , one will understand how propaganda creates the myth and it can help one see the reality behind the myth.
Come on people educate yourself, find more than one way to look at a problem and learn how to follow the money.
When future generations look back on the global-warming scare of the past 30 years, nothing will shock them more than the extent to which the official temperature records – on which the entire panic ultimately rested – were systematically “adjusted” to show the Earth as having warmed much more than the actual data justified.
Two weeks ago, under the headline “How we are being tricked by flawed data on global warming”, I wrote about Paul Homewood, who, on his Notalotofpeopleknowthat blog, had checked the published temperature graphs for three weather stations in Paraguay against the temperatures that had originally been recorded. In each instance, the actual trend of 60 years of data had been dramatically reversed, so that a cooling trend was changed to one that showed a marked warming.
This was only the latest of many examples of a practice long recognized by expert observers around the world – one that raises an ever larger question mark over the entire official surface-temperature record.
You have really added dimensions to my thinking. Thank you very much.
One thing that continues to puzzle me is how empire’s die and inflation/deflation.
I get the part about the deflationary aspects of killing the economy via regulation and taxation. It is right in front of us every day. I get the part about that will not allow hyperinflation ala Germany and Zimbabwe.
What I do not get is how you can debase the currency such as you show in various Roman currency charts and not have significant levels of inflation [to me that is 10%+ per year]. If you debase the currency does not the person using that currency suffer a wealth reduction in their capital and therefore require more of the same currency to buy the same amount of goods [inflation?]? Seems like ‘stagflation’ at best.
Thanks for your continued help.
ANSWER: We are all victims of how we were taught to think in a linear fashion. It is a difficult thing to let go of this archaic thinking process and many people simply cannot make that step forward to see the dynamic world that exists around them. They will forever remain captive of their linear world trapped in a paradox they cannot escape. Those linear people tend to be people who gravitate toward government. If you grasp what I am talking about no doubt you are nearly there or you would not read this blog since it is not for the fainthearted nor the linear thinker.
read the rest here!!!!
See has dropped from 97% to 95%
Putting security ahead of freedom provides neither.
And 50 years later we are almost there.
I am answering this post by Dr. Rowen in bold print. First I am not happy with much of the GMO because we have no idea what the environmental impact will be in 50 years, but lets stick to the facts and not someone’s assumption that has yet to be proven true. There are way too many scare tactics in the news already without adding more bs to it. People in the know, after reading much of the following, will wonder what kind of scientific education this doctor has. It is obvious that he has not done his research but it is just taking for gospel what he has read on undocumented sites. Just the facts please, just the facts for the truth shall set you free.
GMO FRANKENFOODS LABELED IN RUSSIA – WHAT ABOUT US?
I am not a fan of Russian President Vladimir Putin. But this page is medical, not political (unless related to medicine). So, I want to hand it to Mr. Putin on a major subject you should know about. He’s got some real smarts that our alleged government leaders do not when it comes to health. While Candidate Obama, before he was elected President promised transparency in GMO labeling, he not only has not delivered, but the situation has gotten far more worse during his tenure.
Candidate Obama – 2007: “Here’s what I’ll do if elected. I’ll immediately implement country or origin labeling because Americans should know where their food comes from. We’ll let folks know whether their food has been genetically modified, because Americans should know what they’re buying. “ Yes, I’ve seen that many if not most foods list country of origin. But GMO labeling? The first thing regarding Obama’s “immediate” promise was to pick Tom Vilsack for Secretary of Agriculture. Vilsack had a very intimate relationship with GMO promoting groups, appearing to me to be a virtual spokesman for Monsanto. (Obama’s speech is posted on you tube).
So, here’s what you got with Obama and Vilsack – an agriculture system where nearly all corn and soy grown in America is GMO. Vast swaths of our rich farm belt are so overgrown with GMO crops that Monarch butterflies are now endangered.
Corn is engineered to produce a pesticide, Bt, which literally punches microscopic holes in your intestinal lining. And if not Bt, then engineered to be resistant to Roundup herbicide, which is literally drenched on Roundup Ready soy. These crops are genetically engineered to be resistant to this dangerous chemical, which is systemically taken up by the plant, so there is NO WAY to wash it out. Eat Roundup Ready crops and you are getting a huge load of this poison.
Monarch butterflies do not live off or even touch corn or soybeans for their food. They strictly live off of milkweed, a broad-leaf plant that grows where nothing is mowed like on the sides of roads or in peoples back lots. There is no way Bt corn can be affecting their existence. If anything is affecting the decline in the monarch population it is that more land is kept mowed so milkweed doesn’t grow as abundantly as it once was.
Drenched? Is that like 5″ of rain? What does “drenched” mean? Roundup is used at around 2 pints per acre, that would be .0007 oz. per square foot. That is really a very small amount. 35 years ago I accidentally drank about 2 oz. of roundup with the only side affect I had to date was loose stools for 2 days afterwards. Maybe I am now genetically modified? I am very sure this is much more than 100 people would ingest in a lifetime from crops if the roundup is even still present when eating one of these crops
Now I don’t expect you to believe just me on the horrors of GMO Frankenfood. Nor Jeffrey Smith, author of the exceptional book “Seed of Deception”. How about believing a Russian Health official who likely is not bought off by the chemical giants, as are our politicians. Yes, this is one time I would believe the Russians, not our rulers.
“It is necessary to ban GMOs, to impose moratorium (on) it for 10 years. While GMOs will be prohibited, we can plan experiments, tests, or maybe even new methods of research could be developed. It has been proven that not only in Russia, but also in many other countries in the world, GMOs are dangerous. Methods of obtaining the GMOs are not perfect, therefore, at this stage, all GMOs are dangerous. Consumption and use of GMOs obtained in such way can lead to tumors, cancers and obesity among animals. Bio-technologies certainly should be developed, but GMOs should be stopped. We should stop it from spreading. ” – Irina Ermakova,VP of Russia’s National Association for Genetic Safety. (Rowen note – an excellent short summary. But it doesn’t include growing evidence for many other damages now linked to GMO foods seen in animals and even humans.)
I am under the opinion that one will find the biggest reason for obesity is HFCS. This is my opinion, not a fact, but we are not seeing an increase in cancers in cattle that are being fed GMO corn or soy. My brother, a dairy scientist , has been monitoring this for years and if their was a correlation he would know it. Some say birth rates for calves have gone down but his data has not seen it. If this was the case, dairy farmers would be much more careful about what they feed their animals.
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev recently announced that Russia will no longer import GMO products, stating that the nation has enough space, and enough resources to produce organic food.
“If the Americans like to eat GMO products, let them eat it then. We don’t need to do that; we have enough space and opportunities to produce organic food.”
Ok… let me talk about organic produce (whatever that means, man has been using pesticides for thousands of years) . How does organic produce protect itself? It is by building up pesticides in their system to fend off the attacks of insect, fungus or even extruding a herbicide to protect their growth space. Read the following…..https://ketchemandfleezem.wordpress.com/2014/07/03/unsprayed-produce-creates-natural-carcinogens-to-protect-itself-or-why-do-people-ignore-the-scienice-on-how-dangrous-organic-vegetables-can-be/
I frequent restaurants less because I don’t know what kind of poisonous foods they have. I refuse service of any corn products (inclusive of tortillas) that are not organic, and will rarely eat their soy either. It is quite possible that eating Monsanto Frankencorn could turn your intestinal bacteria into Bt pesticide producing factories by picking up the loose gene from the corn. And, of course, you’ll be getting reamed with Roundup plant poison, which toxic effects are not limited to plants, but to you as well. My friend Joe Mercola has referred to Monsanto as the “most evil” corporation on the planet. I agree. I called several California legislators to request GMO labeling. I was told that Monsanto owned the legislature and to forget the thought.
Using the word “frankencorn” in order to get an emotional response is not logical. Call it GMO please!
It saddens me to look to Russia for leadership on issues like this. But at least it is a sovereign government of a large country that is placing the food welfare of its people above the bottom line of a multinational evil corporation. President Putin has just signed a law requiring labeling of GMO foods imposing stiff fines for violations.
The horror in America is that in every state (mine included) that has attempted to mandate labeling of GMO food, Monsanto has stepped in with its blood money to sack the measure. Hence, stores are denied freedom of speech and you are denied a fundamental right to know if the “devil” has altered the genes in your food. How might you like to be an orthodox Jew, who eschews non-fish seafood, to discover that your salmon has been genetically modified to include the genes of eels? Could forcibly being denied the right to know be a violation of your right to the free exercise of your religion under the 1st amendment.
I believe Vermont has required labeling.
Why just Monsanto? There are other companies also doing and working on GMO. It is not just Monsanto! There are others as big as Monsanto and now even a famous beverage company is getting into the act looking to create that weight reducing tomato or cucumber.
Please do everything possible to avoid buying and eating GMO food. Vote with your wallet and protect your body at the same time.
FYI… Insulin was the first ever GMO .
to turn my cheek as christ would do
to walk that extra mile with you
to help whatever there need be
this is my goal my destiny
to keep my ego from the fore
to give and give and give some more
to calm the cries of misery
this is my goal, my destiny
to serve my lord and man alike
to stand for truth, though i must fight
to strive for world wide harmony
this is my goal, my destiny
The following came out of the WSJ and when the government needs money they will find anyway they can to get it. No one is safe.
Prosecutors Burn Down the Law
Jan. 2, 2015 6:45 p.m. ET
Prosecutorial misconduct has become an ugly commonplace of modern government, manipulating the legal system to attack easy political targets. So some good news: The courts may dismantle a California settlement that was a product of fraud by prosecutors.
The story began in 2007 with the Moonlight Fire in California that burned some 65,000 acres, about two-thirds on federal land. Within 48 hours and while the flames were still burning, the state’s department of forestry and fire protection, known as Cal Fire, and the U.S. Forest Service blamed the disaster on Sierra Pacific, a Redding-based company that owns some 1.2 million acres of timberland.
In 2009 a federal-state task force brought official complaints against the company and nearby landowners. California officials filed an action in state court while prosecutors sued for $1 billion in federal court. Sierra Pacific has insisted it didn’t start the fire but, faced with an open-ended legal fight, the company in 2012 settled the federal case for $55 million and a deed of some 22,500 acres to the U.S. government.
But the state case continued, and it has exposed a fiasco of fraud and corruption so significant that the company is seeking to have the federal settlement overturned. Among other problems, government investigators and prosecutors doctored reports, misrepresented facts and retaliated against employees whose questions threatened their strategy.
According to the theory implicating the company, the fire started when the blade of a Sierra Pacific bulldozer hit a rock and created a spark. Government investigators pinpointed a location and claimed they had confirmation from a bulldozer driver. Problem was, both the fire’s alleged point of origin and the scenario to buttress it were fraudulent. When the company questioned the bulldozer driver, he denied having made the statement and admitted he couldn’t have confirmed the statement prosecutors had him sign because he didn’t know how to read.
Prosecutors were also dishonest about where the fire started. Overhead videos have shown that the point of origin marked by the government was well outside the visual boundaries of the burning forest nearly an hour after the fire started.
Leading the federal fire investigation was then-head of the Eastern District of California’s Affirmative Fire Litigation Team, Robert Wright. A specialist in fire litigation, Mr, Wright says in a 15-page declaration in federal court that prosecutors withheld material information in the case, including a change in the fire’s stated point of origin.
Mr. Wright says he also discovered an error in calculating the damage of part of a separate wildfire, which reduced the potential liability to $15 million from $25 million. Mr. Wright felt he was under a professional obligation to disclose the document, and he confirmed this with the Justice Department’s Professional Responsibility Advisory Office. But he says his boss, Civil Chief David Shelledy, pushed back, saying, “That’s a beginning. Now what can you do to avoid creating an ethical obligation to volunteer a harmful document.”
When Mr. Wright disclosed it anyway, he says he was kicked off the Moonlight Fire case by Mr. Shelledy, days after he received a commendation for his performance on another case by U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner. Mr. Shelledy declined to comment, but Mr. Wagner told us that “we very strongly disagree with the assertions” made by Mr. Wright, “particularly insofar as they allege misconduct by individual AUSAs and retaliation by our office against a former employee.”
Mr. Wagner adds that Mr. Shelledy was “recently awarded the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service from Attorney General Holder. ”
A second federal prosecutor, Eric Overby, joined the case in 2011, only to withdraw promptly on discovering what he called prosecutorial abuse directed squarely at raising revenue. He told defense counsel that in “my entire career, I have never seen anything like this. Never.”
In February 2014, California state Judge Leslie Nichols assailed the federal and state government for abuses of discovery so “reprehensible” and “egregious” that they “threatened the integrity of the judicial process.” He threw out the case and awarded Sierra Pacific $30 million in sanctions against Cal Fire.
If that seems like a large number, the judge noted, the prosecutors were out to “win at any cost.” Defendants had to uncover layers of governmental corruption, Judge Nichols continued. “The cost of Plaintiff Cal Fire’s conduct is too much for the administration of justice to bear.”
The case is growing in infamy. In October, Sierra Pacific filed a motion before federal judge Kimberly Mueller under rule 60(d) to vacate the settlement on grounds that it had been reached as the result of fraud on the court. The case was then removed from Judge Mueller and reassigned to a new judge, William Shubb, who will hear the next phase of the case.
That move acknowledges a legal fraud that could burn down the courthouse, not to mention the reputation of the government’s fire investigators and the federal prosecutors pursuing a payday. Judge Shubb has an obligation to sanction these legal abuses with enough force that prosecutors across the country get the message.