Monday, August 29, 2011
On Bingo, Siegelman, Rick Perry, and the Deaths of Scoundrels
Peter B. Collins long has been one of the sharpest progressive voices in radio, going back to his days on Chicago's WLS-FM in the 1970s. Peter B. sank his teeth into the Watergate story, and he continues to shake up the establishment from his current base near San Francisco.
Collins touts his show as "News and Politics from the Left Coast," but he deals with national and international issues. I am proud to say that I have become, in a sense, Peter B.'s Southern correspondent, making regular visits on his show and focusing on justice-related corruption in the Heart of Dixie.
My latest visit came last week, and Peter B. and I had lots to talk about. Our discussion touched on the Alabama electronic-bingo trial; Rick Perry, Don Siegelman, and political donors; and the deaths of various SOBs, including a Bush-era prosecutor.
We even touched on the recent murder of Alabama lawyer Robert Blake Lazenby, which appears to be a case of someone snapping in the course of a contentious--and perhaps unlawfully conducted--divorce case.
"Too many people go into court and do not get justice, the deck is stacked against them from the beginning," I said. "The Siegelman case, on the criminal side, is one example. Probably the worst area where I've seen it happen is in domestic-relations cases--divorce cases and child-custody cases. Judges have so much discretion in those areas of the law. . . It gets down to the Fourteenth Amendment and equal protection. Are we getting what we are supposed to get under the Constitution . . . ?
"Whether you live in Alabama or California, a lot of people go into court and get the raw end of the stick. . . . Does our system push people too far some times? Their financial well being is at stake, their home can be at stake, their children can be at stake, your ability to earn a living can be at stake. People can be under enormous amounts of stress in these legal cases.
"To those on the outside, these may look like a theoretical exercise. But when you are in the middle of one--and I can tell you from firsthand experience--your life, in a lot of ways, is on the line. It's a dangerous thing to mess around with people in that kind of high-impact environment."
I've told Peter B. on several occasions that I wish he could set up a base in Alabama and give our radio waves a much needed progressive voice. That isn't likely to happen, but thanks to the miracle of the InterWebs, you can catch up with Peter B., no matter where you. We hope you will pay him a visit.
You can check out my most recent discussion with Peter B. at the following link. My segment begins at the 36:07 mark on the podcast, introduced with a rockin' version of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama."
Peter B. Collins Show, August 24, 2011
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He would end up like the Russ and Dee Fine saga.. OFF THE AIR BECAUSE OF TELLING THE TRUTH.
As a regular PBC listener I listened to your interview with head nodding approval. Finally, a broadcast discussion of the blatent and belligerant criminality committed against ordinary law abiding citizens who, often through no fault of their own, find themselves playing against the stacked deck of systemic legal abuse. Clearly,the social and economic injuries compound and fester...serving no just purpose.
While I support and am very sympathetic to him, for every Don Siegelman there are hundreds, if not tens of thousands, of ordinary citizens attempting to sort their way through what can only be described as "Kafkaesque" legal nightmares. Regardless of the circumstances, they will not recieve media attention, finacial assistance, or a public outcry while they attempt to achieve justice against abominations such as "qualified immunity" and "absolute immunity" and prosecutorial and judicial "discretion."
When it comes to government accountability, the only "Law and Order" that exists in the United States is on TV.
So all that the "little guy" can do is try and even the score.
Notice the Director of the BOP(Harley Lappin) says he's retiring May7,2011:
BOP spokeswoman Traci Billingsley said Lappin had decided "some months ago" to retire in the spring of 2011 and that his scheduled retirement date of May 7 has not changed.
And notice this federal prosecutor becomes a judge May11,2011:
hmmmm......think she dumped on Harley the "Direcor of the BOP?"
Dumping on the Director of the BOP 'cause she knows how many were sent to him-just from Norfolk,Va.-that were unconstitutionally railroaded without due process.
Harley Lappin had been living in the world of make believe and he found it difficult to face reality. So he RETIRES!!!
So all that the "little guy" can do is try and even the score?
No! While there are statutes establishing the need for and right of individual citizen lawsuits against governmental abuses, as well as the right to claim constitutional protections e.g civil rights,try bringing a "Bivens" action against prosecutorial and judicial corruption. It is very dangerous, to the point that it can get you locked away or killed. I write from experience...as a plaintiff...never having been charged with a violation of any law yet having to defend against violent malicious obstruction in multiyear attempts to access the federal courts. "Kafkaesque nightmare" really is an appropriate term.
But my point is that "evening the score" is a pointless and futile exercise. Mr. Schuler eloquently spoke of equal protection of law. Only the citizenry as a whole can demand and achieve this. Regardless of how right you are, how many precedents and clearly established "constitutional "guaratees" there are, an individual can not accomplish anything without the support and involvement of his fellow citizens.
I "made the record" if anyone would care to examine it.
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