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Arpaio v. Obama, and other legal stuff

Sheriff Joe Arpaio has not been lucky with attorneys lately.

The Maricopa County Sheriff’s office has been operating under a court-appointed monitor after it was determined that they were guilty of racial profiling. Judge Snow appointed Robert Warshaw as the monitor. According to the Greenfield Reporter,

Snow says he will have Robert Warshaw, who is monitoring the agency on the judge’s behalf, investigate any allegations that he feels the sheriff’s office isn’t examining in good faith.

Warshaw has said his team has never seen more unprofessional interviews than those conducted by Arpaio’s employees who are running the investigation.

Ouch! Judge Snow said in court yesterday (November 21) that Sheriff Joe could be held in contempt of court! Arpaio is appealing the decision by Snow, but he’s run into another snag: the attorney representing him wants out, citing ethics concerns, says the Associated Press:

A lawyer representing Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio in a racial profiling case says legal ethics compel his firm to step aside.

As one might expect, no details of what the ethics concern is about were made public, although it was detailed in court filing earlier in the week.

The embattled sheriff is trying to take the offensive, by suing the President over his announced new immigration policy, reports Reuters:

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, whose force used racial profiling during a crackdown on illegal migrants last year according to a judge, said Obama has overstepped his powers by bypassing Congress and bringing in the changes himself.

I wonder who’s paying the legal bill, and who Arpaio could get to represent him in the case? The second question is easily answered from court filings: Larry E. Klayman. What is a little difficult for me as a layman to determine is whether Arpaio is suing as a private citizen, or as Sheriff of Maricopa County. Arpaio is described in the complaint caption as  “Elected SHERIFF of Maricopa County,” but the complaint does not use the phrase “in his official capacity,” nor does it suggest that the County is a party to the suit. It looks like Arpaio is suing as a private citizen, and that immediately raises the question of standing. In addressing the issue of standing, the complaint states:

27. Plaintiff Joe Arpaio is adversely affected and harmed in his office’s finances, workload, and interference with the conduct of his duties, but the failure of the executive branch to enforce existing immigration laws, but has been severely affected by increases in the influx of illegal aliens motivated by Defendant Obama’s policies of offering amnesty….

The other defendants are Jeh Johnson, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Leon Rodriquez, Director of Citizenship and Immigration Services and Eric Holder, Jr. Attorney General.

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The treason of images

The Treason of Images” is one of the translations of the title of a painting by the Belgian surrealist painter René Magritte. For some reason that image came to me during lunch today and I thought of its application to the blog. [If the reader is not familiar with the work, now might be a good time to follow the preceding link to the Wikipedia article to see it.] I might adapt Magritte:

The famous birth certificate. How people reproached me for it! And you, could have you gotten a passport with my birth certificate? No, it’s just a representation, is it not? So if I had written on my picture “This is a birth certificate,” I’d have been lying!

Not a birth certificate

Birthers seem confused about the difference between an object and a representation of it, a photo of it in the case of Obama’s birth certificate. No one in real life confuses the two. You cannot get wet looking at a photo of Niagara falls, but no one complains about this. They don’t curse the image for its dryness. Still birthers get all upset that Obama put a photo of his birth certificate on the White House web site, as is one could put a piece real of paper on the web somehow. (Obama’s attorney did show the actual certified copy—what one calls a birth certificate—to the press who handled it and photographed it. One could get a passport with something like that.)

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Surprise Arizona Tea Party Patriots to hear Common Law Grand Jury crank

Birthers were at one time enamored by the “citizens grand jury.” They didn’t like the fact that no prosecutor or grand jury would indict Obama for crimes they believed he committed, so they set up their own shadow government with grand juries, prosecutors and judicial proceedings, culminating with the famous The Blood of Jesus v. Obama trial by Pastor James D. Manning in Harlem.

They’re back in a presentation by Terry Rapp, scheduled for December 2 at the Surprise Arizona Tea Party Patriots (not to be confused with the Surprise Arizona Tea Party or the Judean People’s Front) meeting. [View a slide presentation by Rapp on the Arizona Common Law Grand Jury.] Rapp has been making the rounds in Arizona at least since last February with seminars on common law grand juries.

Rapp is the Arizona representative of the National Liberty Alliance, an organization promoting common law grand juries across the country. NLA head John Darash (not his real name) is himself quite a character, and you can read about him and his organization at The Fogbow.

Some believe that the grand jury is properly a guard against prosecutorial abuse and some argue that the grand jury as originally intended was an independent investigative body. Whatever the original intention or current implementation of the grand jury in Arizona or in the United States, the grand jury is a representative of the people and this point is where extra-governmental grand juries stumble. Citizen grand juries are collections of like minded people, excluding those who don’t share their ideology. They don’t represent the people as a whole and as such they have no legitimacy under any interpretation of the meaning of  grand jury. Real grand juries consist of randomly selected individuals, not volunteers with an axe to grind.

Thanks to those who provided information used in this article.

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Word salad

So this person under the name “Calista Dvorak” showed up on YouTube under a 2012 Mark Gillar video, the one with the false statements about race codes on Obama’s birth certificate.

She said she was an expert in digital imaging and that Obama’s birth certificate was a digital forgery. When I asked the standard questions about her qualifications:

I would just ask you simply have you ever even taken a course in electronic forensic document examination? Have you ever taught such a course? Have you ever been employed as a forensic document examiner? Have you been certified in this field by any accredited forensic accreditation organization? Have you ever been qualified by any court as an expert witness in forensic electronic document examination? Have you applied any scientifically recognized methodology in determining that Obama’s birth certificate is a forgery? If you answered yes to ANY of those questions, you would be ahead of every so-called birther expert to appear.

Her response to me (which totally dodged the questions) is one of the most painfully turgid things I have ever read (ellipses in the original):

The essential demand precludes your ancillary details.  A digitally fabricated cartoon, regardless of technical method of production, of an alleged vital record…presented through an undisclosed, undocumented chain of custody…presented through a restricted non-interactive media source controlled only by the perpetrators…lauded by ideologically corrupt accomplices in media, is not an acceptable method for providing verification of, not only the identity of the person, but the actual existence of the original paper document it purports to represent.

In this case, the vital information of an ideologically radical public figure seeking the power of public office has been proffered to that public in the form of cartoon.  Denial of these factual premises is symptomatic of a serious psychopathology.

While your need to cull a pedantic argument without addressing this crux is fascinating, I’m certain you don’t require affirmation to push extraneous explanations in defense of Obama’s lies.   Most Obots don’t.  In fact, as this lie continues to erode, along with the credibility and moral character of this illegitimate administration and the obotic horde, I truly hope that yours is one of the remaining voices among the desolate petitioners arguing in favor of immaterial trinkets like “Xerox Workcentres” and “MRC compression”.

I’ll enjoy witnessing the futility of your sophisticated gewgaw against the righteousness of subsequent wrath.  For example, your promotion of document examination, electronic or otherwise, is futile because there is no document to examine in concert with a documented chain of custody in this case.

Dr. Queiroz?  While I honor the expertise of colleagues, Dr. Queiroz is an equally respected academic who, as a fan of the Tales of Count Lucanor, admits that he has little experience or understanding of vital records management, counterintelligence or, most importantly in this matter, criminology.  Coincidentally, I am personally familiar with Dr. Q’s work through mutual membership with various committees and am pleased to say that we not only share academic and professional qualifications but also the privilege as contributors to a handful of industry standards overlapping our respective fields.  However, we are merely two of many qualified thousands.

However, unfortunately, as proficient as he may be with a scanner, confirmation of arcane theories, provided by foreign galleries, outside appropriate adjudication in this matter (YouTube comments do not qualify) remain subordinate to the need to confront its domestic criminal genesis.   For, I am confident, if prosecution were undertaken and the case brought to the appropriate venue, there are far more qualified experts able to provide essential rationale to the acts, motives and methods for this forgery and deception, than you or Dr. Q.

Unlike most you inaccurately identify and mischaracterize, I am one of few who genuinely desires that Obama not be removed from his current place despite his counterfeit identity.  On the contrary, I would that he to remains perched upon his precarious illegitimacy…as high and as publicly viewable as possible.  The blood-ransomed sovereignty of the office of the U.S. President has been proven strong enough to withstand the assault of such an amateur, as we continue to witness.  Moreover, I am of the rare opinion there is no better place for reconciliation than the seat designated for the most powerful leadership position in the world.  Only upon that prolific mantel can equal action against of the most prolific lie in human history be brought.

For the time being, I will enjoy weighing “feet of clay” arguments promoting office implements and discredited paper Dicks against the emerging truth revealing Obama’s fraudulent identity, and his sociopathic agenda, to the electorate.  Perhaps then, after the eradication of ill-elected overbenders and fake internet doctors from our ranks, we can impress upon a righteous majority, the descendants of those worthier, to address this hideous aberration with the vigor and intellect it demands.

There really is a Calista Dvorak, a neurologist in North Carolina. The same? Not a clue.

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Life after birtherism: Sharon Meroni

Sharon Meroni (aka Chalice Jackson) was an early birther who through lawsuits in Illinois and her Patriots Heart Network, challenged Obama’s eligibility. Even back then, Meroni claimed massive vote fraud in Illinois in the 2008 election.

These days, she runs the web site “DEFENDtheVOTE.com” that focuses on election fraud issues, and again invokes the legal process, most recently a complaint under the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). Her latest article is “SUCCESS! New Early Voting Procedures in Chicago.”

The integrity of elections is an important issue, and proper audit trails (which Meroni says were not in place for early voted ballots) are essential to public confidence in the voting process.

I had a haircut today, and my barber thanked me for serving as a poll manager in his precinct during the November 4 election. He expressed concern about whether his votes were counted properly, and I was able to tell him how the audit trails worked in our state and I think he was assured after that—but the other barber then said, “so we really elected Obama twice?” That was a landmine I didn’t want to step on, so I just replied: “not in South Carolina.” This anecdote reinforces the idea that some segment of the population doesn’t trust vote tabulation.

I only scanned the Defend the Vote site quickly, and wouldn’t want to characterize it, but some of the things I did see were what I would describe as “unscientific.” While I share concerns over the integrity of voting systems, I think that those concerns will not be answered by the level of expertise we see in the birthers. I think the best minds can solve the problems, but the worst minds can foul it up if they get to make the laws.

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Turning dark

Mike Zullo spoke to the Surprise Arizona Tea Party Patriots November 18, and according to interviewer Sharon Rondeau of the Post & Email:

Zullo “said that the investigation that they started ‘turned very dark,’ whatever ‘dark’ means,” the individual added.

Indeed, what does that mean?

Here’s a quotation from the Associated Press just today:

A detective investigating the high school shooting in Washington state that left five teens dead says in court papers that the young shooter’s texts turned dark the week before he opened fire, with references to his funeral and the message: “Bang bang I’m dead.”

Writing in the American Journal of Forensic Psychiatry (2007) we see something similar in the Columbine school shooting:

Three days after his arrest, Klebold made one of his few entries into his diary. He wrote about his love for a female student and wondered if the feelings were mutual. But the note turned dark. He talked about suicide, blowing himself up with a bomb strapped to his neck.

I certainly hope that there is not some kind of murder-suicide pact about to be acted out by the Cold Case Posse!

Barry Cooper, a former drug enforcement officer said:

In fact, governments have always turned dark and corrupt which has always led to mass suffering.

Certainly there are suspicions of corruption in the Cold Case Posse, and they have clearly lied to the public about evidence. Still, I find it unlikely that Mike Zullo would be admitting this to his Tea Party audience.

Turning dark can be a sign of illness. In a chilling true story titled “Biohazard,” author Ken Alibek discusses a case of the Marburg virus:

By the fifteenth day, the tiny bruises on Ustinov’s body had turned dark blue, and his skin was as thin as parchment. The blood pooling underneath began oozing through. It streamed from his nose, mouth, and genitals.

Enough of that. Generally “turning dark” refers to reduction in light, nightfall, or a scene being obscured by smoke. It’s also associated with the end of an activity, such as a company going out of business (turning out the lights). A blog goes dark when it disappears from the web. “Going dark” in police jargon can refer to the failure of an investigation due to lack of evidence and leads. FBI Director James B. Comey spoke last month at the Brookings Institution of the conflicts between the need for privacy and criminal investigation:

Unfortunately, the law hasn’t kept pace with technology, and this disconnect has created a significant public safety problem. We call it “Going Dark,” and what it means is this: Those charged with protecting our people aren’t always able to access the evidence we need to prosecute crime and prevent terrorism even with lawful authority. We have the legal authority to intercept and access communications and information pursuant to court order, but we often lack the technical ability to do so.

It probably makes more sense to view the comment in some kind of context, and a commenter here reminded us of this quote from Carl Gallups 22 November 2013:

…the investigation has gone “deeper and darker” than they ever imagined…

I think that what Zullo intended was that his audience assume that the Cold Case Posse had uncovered some great evil in its investigation, but in fact to say nothing. Even back to the early Cold Case Posse press conferences, Zullo proved himself a master at leaving his audience thinking he said things he didn’t actually say. So as far as I am concerned, “turned dark” coming from Mike Zullo means exactly nothing.


I want to give credit to the Tea Party member who spoke to Rondeau. He didn’t jump to any conclusion about what Mike Zullo meant. I also want to credit Rondeau who, no matter what one thinks about her slant on things, does an outstanding job of getting birther stories.

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