” Kevin captured a pic of the completed centerpiece for the Revere Beach National Sand Sculpting Festival. What do you think?
This year’s event benefits the Wounded Warrior Project and the theme is “Stars and Stripes.” “
” As part of the American Civil Liberties Union’s recent report on police militarization, the Massachusetts chapter of the organization sent open records requests to SWAT teams across that state. It received an interesting response.
As it turns out, a number of SWAT teams in the Bay State are operated by what are called law enforcement councils, or LECs. These LECs are funded by several police agencies in a given geographic area and overseen by an executive board, which is usually made up of police chiefs from member police departments. In 2012, for example, the Tewksbury Police Department paid about $4,600 in annual membership dues to the North Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council, or NEMLEC. (See page 36 of linked PDF.) That LEC has about 50 member agencies. In addition to operating a regional SWAT team, the LECs also facilitate technology and information sharing and oversee other specialized units, such as crime scene investigators and computer crime specialists.
Some of these LECs have also apparently incorporated as 501(c)(3) organizations. And it’s here that we run into problems. According to the ACLU, the LECs are claiming that the 501(c)(3) status means that they’re private corporations, not government agencies. And therefore, they say they’re immune from open records requests. Let’s be clear. These agencies oversee police activities. They employ cops who carry guns, wear badges, collect paychecks provided by taxpayers and have the power to detain, arrest, injure and kill. They operate SWAT teams, which conduct raids on private residences. And yet they say that because they’ve incorporated, they’re immune to Massachusetts open records laws. The state’s residents aren’t permitted to know how often the SWAT teams are used, what they’re used for, what sort of training they get or who they’re primarily used against.”
This is arrogance of the highest order . For any organizations funded by the taxpayers to claim to be private corporations is beyond the pale .
” From the ACLU of Massachusetts’s report on police militarization in that state:
Approximately 240 of the 351 police departments in Massachusetts belong to an LEC. While set up as “corporations,” LECs are funded by local and federal taxpayer money, are composed exclusively of public police officers and sheriffs, and carry out traditional law enforcement functions through specialized units such as SWAT teams . . .
Due to the weakness of Massachusetts public records law and the culture of secrecy that has infected local police departments and Law Enforcement Councils, procuring empirical records from police departments and regional SWAT teams in Massachusetts about police militarization was universally difficult and, in most instances, impossible . . .
Police departments and regional SWAT teams are public institutions, working with public money, meant to protect and serve the public’s interest. If these institutions do not maintain and make public comprehensive and comprehensible documents pertaining to their operations and tactics, the people cannot judge whether officials are acting appropriately or make needed policy changes when problems arise . . . “
This situation cannot be allowed to stand . ALL public servants MUST be held accountable for their actions or are we to believe that these “mercenary” SWAT units are merely rogue privateers issued Letters of Marque ? If such is the case then they are no more than pirates and as such must be fought with all possible means .
Food for thought: If the SWAT teams are private corporations/private contractors , ala Blackwater , then they do not enjoy the legal immunities offered to employees of the State and thus should be subject to civil lawsuits and thus the discovery process … Let the flood gates open .
” Justina Pelletier, the Connecticut teen taken from her family more than a year ago by Massachusetts officials after her parents took her to a hospital for help, made a tearful plea to the Bay State family court judge who holds her fate in his hands.
In the 45-second, videotaped plea, first posted on a Facebook page set up by supporters of the 15-year-old, Justina is seen sitting in a chair and pleading plaintively with Massachusetts juvenile court Judge Joseph Johnston.
” All I really want is to be with my family and friends,” the girl says, her voice faltering at times. “You can do it. You’re the one that’s judging this. Please let me go home.”
Justina also directs her plea to Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, whose state Department of Children and Families made the initial decision to commit the girl to state care on Valentine’s Day 2013 after doctors at Tufts Medical Center, which had been treating her for a rare condition, and doctors as Boston Children’s Hospital clashed over the cause of her medical problems, which included difficulty eating and walking.”
Fox News has more on one of the most egregious examples of the State and the medical field running roughshod over individual rights . We should all be ashamed that we have allowed America come to this .
” When Danny Keefe was born, his parents were told he would be severely handicapped both physically and mentally due to a serious brain hemorrhage.
But the dapper little boy with the infectious smile and indomitable spirit defied those predictions, the Enterprise reported.
The Mitchell Elementary School kindergartner is just like any other 6-year-old in every way but two, his grandfather Richard Osterman said.
Danny speaks with difficulty due to childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) and he wears a suit and tie every day by his own choosing.
“ CAS has not kept Danny down. He keeps up with his siblings as well as a host of friends both children and adults,” Osterman said.
Danny, the official waterboy for the Bridgewater Badgers Div. 5 Peewees, cuts quite a figure on the sidelines with his suit and fedora, like a miniature Tom Landry, Osterman said. And he’s forged an unbreakable bond with the boys on the team, his parents said.
So, when the quarterback, Tommy Cooney, heard Danny was getting picked on because of the way he speaks, he took it upon himself to do something about it.
The 11-year-old Williams Intermediate School fifth-grader decided to wear a suit to school just like Danny in a show of support for his young friend.
“ He’s such a good person. He doesn’t let it bother him. He goes on with his day. He’s a 6-year-old kid. We should all respect that,” said Tommy, whose father, Tom, is the team’s head coach.
Tommy told his fellow Badgers about “Danny Appreciation Day” and they all thought it was a great idea, including Danny’s older brother Tim, 10, who plays on the team.
On Wednesday, Nov. 20, more than 40 students from Mitchell and Williams crowded around the little boy with the winning personality in the Williams library cheering “Danny, Danny.” “
The whole story can be found here
” In a ruling that deals a striking blow to the parents of Justina Pelletier, a judge has ruled that the state of Massachusetts will received “permanent” custody of Pelletier.
After the Liberty Counsel litigation team filed a contempt of court motion against the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) in the Justina Pelletier case a judge ruled against her parents.
The decision came after Lou Pelletier, Justina’s father, disclosed to the attorneys representing her and her family that Justina’s health is rapidly deteriorating. After a Friday visit, Justina’s older sister, Jennifer, told Fox News Connecticut (Fox CT) that her sister’s health is “scary” and she has never seen her in worse condition.
In what appears to be a major setback to the parents of a Connecticut teenager in the middle of a long-running custody dispute, a Massachusetts juvenile court judge Tuesday issued a ruling giving “permanent” custody of Justina Pelletier to the state Department of Children and Families, which then leaves it up to the agency to decide if or when she should be returned back home.”
Unfucking believable … Now do you believe the STATE is out of control ?
” The case is drawing national attention, as Boston Children’s Hospital filed a “medical child abuse” complaint against Justina’s parents last year, leading the state to take custody of her and hospitalize her for almost a year.
A judge had previously sentenced the Connecticut teenager, who has been caught in a yearlong custody fight between her parents and Massachusetts child protection officials, to a new foster care program in Massachusetts. The ruling triggered an anguished response from her parents when it was announced by a juvenile court judge and pro-life advocates were also up in arms.
Pelletier has only been allowed one, one hour supervised visit per week with her mom and dad and they have not been permitted to take photographs of their daughter. But, following new legal pressure asserted by Liberty Counsel and intense media scrutiny, DCF permitted the most recent visitation to be unsupervised. Rev. Pat Mahoney, a nationally known pro-life activist, accompanied Lou and Linda Pelletier to visit Justina.”
This shameful travesty of justice proves a point that we’ve long been making that the citizens can no longer expect the courts to defend them against the depravations of the State . Heads need to roll and unfortunately we are/have reached the point where that expression needs to be taken literally .
All involved , from the doctors at Boston Children’s hospital to those responsible at Massachusetts DCF to Judge Johnston himself need to be run out of practice and jailed or worse . There is no excuse for ripping a child from a loving family and banishing that child to the purgatory of State run care . Given the record of child protection services nationwide the average kid would be better off with a crackhead mom or on the streets alone than in foster care … Disgusting …
For the uninitiated you can catch up on this disgraceful example of out of control government by reading our previous posts on Justina and her family’s plight here , here , here , here , here , here , and here .
Read the rest … if it doesn’t make you want to beat someone , or worse , we’d be very surprised
” A Fall River man says he was recording a police officer who was out of control, but instead, he was arrested and his cell phone was seized.
Now the video he recorded is gone. Police say he erased it, even though they were the ones holding the phone.
George Thompson says last January he was just sitting on his front porch, watching a Fall River police officer working a paid detail. Thompson says the officer was on his phone and was swearing very loud.
That’s when Thompson pulled out his phone. Thompson says Officer Tom Barboza then rushed him and arrested him, charging him with unlawful wiretapping.
But in Massachusetts it’s perfectly legal to record video and audio of a public official, including police, as long as they are performing their duties and the recording isn’t hidden. Barboza’s own police report shows that Thompson acknowledged he was recording the officer.”
” Members of the Massachusetts chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America deliver a petition with more than 12,000 signatures to Staples this morning asking for guns to be prohibited in their stores.
Members of the Massachusetts chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America tried deliver a petition with more than 12,000 signatures at Staples headquarters in Framingham on Tuesday morning to Staples’ CEO but were asked to leave the property.”
Here’s the money quote …
“ The presence of firearms creates an inherent and unnecessary risk for Staples shoppers,” said Ann Krantz of Wenham and the communications lead for Moms Demand Action Massachusetts.
So they can’t see them but they need to ban them . Smart . A google search reveals no history of shootings at Staples stores other than the above mentioned accidental one in NC last summer and an undercover cop shooting a criminal in a Staples Parking lot .
While we couldn’t locate the annual number of customers Staples that walk through their doors with yearly sales in excess of $24 billion it is safe to say that at least one half million buyers enter the store on average in any given year . Since they’ve been in business since 1986 we have a low ball total of 13,500,000 customers with one accidental firearms mishap . That simple number reveals a minuscule chance of being harmed by a gun in Staples . Don’t these people have better things to do with their time ?
The Patch has more .
” Outside a youth home in Framingham, Mass., between 50 and 80 people gathered peacefully in below freezing temperatures and prayed for a Connecticut teen at the center of a high-profile custody battle.
The vigil held Saturday at Wayside Youth and Family Support Network was for Justina Pelletier, who has been in state care against her parents wishes for more than a year after a disagreement over a medical diagnosis.”
” We prayed for Justina, prayed for the family, prayed for the lawmakers to step up and to do this. We prayed for DCF workers, that God would touch their hearts,” Keith Mason, president of the pro-life human rights’ group Personhood USA, which co-organized the event along with Rev. Patrick Mahoney, told TheBlaze. “It was a time for prayer and was somber. We saw a lot of committed people.”
Among them were state lawmakers who plan to introduce a resolution to “free Justina” in next legislative session scheduled for March 5 and other parents who Mason said have been in similar situations with DCF. Linda and Lou Pelletier, Justina’s parents, were not present at the vigil.”
The Blaze has more
” Today the state spoke out on Justina’s situation. Massachusetts DCF spokesman, Alec Loftus said, “Our primary goal has always been the health and well-being of Justina. We want the parents to be able to work with the providers and courts to ultimately move Justina back to her home state of Connecticut. That is the objective, and is consistent with our previous efforts to find an appropriate placement near her home. A medical team has been identified at Tufts, the family’s provider of choice, with the clinical expertise to care for Justina.
While this sounds like positive news for Lou and Linda, the parents are not very hopeful.
Lou told The Blaze, “They have thrown more carrots out there over the last 13 months, dangling, teasing us, and that’s the cruelest thing you can do.” He claimed the state has made several broken promises regarding the Justina’s custody in the past. “Actions speak louder than words,” he said.”
Today 12:00 until 13:30
Wayside Youth and Family Support. 1 Frederick Abbott Way, Framingham, MA 01701
On Saturday, March 1 at 12:00 P.M., we are inviting people of faith and good will to stand in solidarity with the Pelletier family and join us at a prayer vigil and public witness at the facility where there daughter Justina is being held.
It is critical that we be a loud and passionate voice for this 15 year old girl who was ripped from her home by the government against the wishes of her family. We cannot be silent when we see the rights of families and parents trampled by public officials and courts.
We want to stress this is NOT a protest or demonstration and we are there to peacefully prayer and call for Justina to be returned to the loving arms of her family. Also, where the vigil is being held, the residents of the facility will not be able to see us.
“ Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer
We’ve found that Justina will remain at the Wayside Youth and Family Center for now. We will keep you updated with her location, but for now, plan to meet at the Wayside center.
The location is: Wayside Youth and Family Support.
1 Frederick Abbott Way, Framingham, MA 01701
Parking is sparse so we recommend people carpool. Park in the Whole Foods lot on Worcester Road. You will see us gathered near the entrance on Lockland Avenue which is public property.
If you are anywhere near Framingham this afternoon please stop by and lend your support . It will be greatly appreciated and after all , the next child stolen may be yours .
” In 35 states, welfare, housing assistance and other benefits pays more than a minimum wage job, according to a new study by the Cato Institute. The study also found that in 13 states, the payout is more than $15 per hour.
Of course, this study doesn’t take into account that not everyone on public assistance receives all of the programs. But if they did, their payout would be significantly higher than even a starting teacher’s salary in 11 states or a computer programmer in 3 states.
The states with the highest welfare payouts – more than $20 per hour – are Hawaii, with payments equaling $29.13 per hour, DC at $24.43 per hour, Massachusetts at $24.30 , Connecticut at $21.33, New York at $21.01 per hour, New Jersey at $20.89 per hour, Rhode Island at $20.83 per hour and Vermont at $20.36 per hour.“
” Following the release of more than 300 inmates, Annie Dookhan, a Massachusetts state chemist who used to “process” drug samples almost three times as quickly as her colleagues, pled guilty Friday to fabricating her results. Police estimate her fraud possibly tainted as many as 40,000 prosecutions that she was involved in.
The 35-year-old chemist not only lied about results, declaring untested samples positive, but also tampered with evidence, forged other people’s signatures, and lied about her own credentials. She was sentenced to three to five years in prison.
Dookhan’s superiors began to suspect something was wrong when they audited her work back in 2010 due to her unusually fast case turnover. Although the audit revealed no wrongdoing, she was caught forging a coworker’s initials just a year later. Dookhan was suspended, but still allowed to testify as an expert witness in criminal cases. ”
Tell me again why we should trust the State .
” Canadian photojournalist Francis Vachon was in Massachusetts earlier this month on assignment for a travel website when he came across a pair of ACLU workers asking people to sign some kind of petition in downtown Pittsfield.
Vachon lifted his camera and snapped a photo, only for the woman in the above picture to inform him that he was breaking the law.
I tell her that I am in a public place and I can do whatever I want, but then she tells me with a straight face that in Massachusetts, a law prohibit you to take a photo without first having a consent. I don’t know if she really believed that or if she was lying to me, but either way it was really weird coming from a member of the The American Civil Liberties Union
Perhaps she joined the ACLU after the civil liberties organization published its Know Your Rights: Photographers webpage along with the video below(above).”
If you like to photograph in public , and these days we all need to watching the watchers , but are not sure of your rights you can find out more about them in these articles. The Photographer’s Right is a downloadable pamphlet in PDF form provided free of charge by the law offices of Bert P Krages
” The right to take photographs in the United States is being challenged more than ever. People are being stopped, harassed, and even intimidated into handing over their personal property simply because they were taking photographs of subjects that made other people uncomfortable. Recent examples have included photographing industrial plants, bridges, buildings, trains, and bus stations. For the most part, attempts to restrict photography are based on misguided fears about the supposed dangers that unrestricted photography presents to society.
Ironically, unrestricted photography by private citizens has played an integral role in protecting the freedom, security, and well-being of all Americans. Photography in the United States has an established history of contributing to improvements in civil rights, curbing abusive child labor practices, and providing important information to crime investigators. Photography has not contributed to a decline in public safety or economic vitality in the United States. When people think back on the acts of domestic terrorism that have occurred over the last twenty years, none have depended on or even involved photography. Restrictions on photography would not have prevented any of these acts. Furthermore, the increase in people carrying small digital and cell phone cameras has resulted in the prevention of crimes and the apprehension of criminals.
As the flyer states, there are not very many legal restrictions on what can be photographed when in public view. Most attempts at restricting photography are done by lower-level security and law enforcement officials acting way beyond their authority. Note that neither the Patriot Act nor the Homeland Security Act have any provisions that restrict photography. Similarly, some businesses have a history of abusing the rights of photographers under the guise of protecting their trade secrets. These claims are almost always meritless because entities are required to keep trade secrets from public view if they want to protect them.”
The good people at Krages’ law office also provide various other resources on the subject ,including the laws for a few other places outside the US , some of which we have included below .
Some other handy resources on the subject from around the web include:
Don’t be intimidated when you wish to take a photo or video in a public place . Know your rights and film , film , film and in the process you will be protecting everyone else’s rights along with your own . Remember “Sunshine is the best disinfectant”
Published on Mar 1, 2013
” Tab Benoit and Ronnie Earl live at the Bull Run, Shirley, Ma. 07/14/12
1) One Foot in the Bayou
2) Going South – nice extended jam with Ronnie”
” A Massachusetts kindergartener has been given detention and could be suspended from the bus after bringing a Lego-sized gun to school last week.
The boy’s mother, Mieke Crane, said her son had to write a letter of apology to the driver, was given detention and could be temporarily suspended from the bus.”
” In some cases, recipients began receiving benefits for the first time after their deaths.
The audit, issued Tuesday, covered cash, food stamps, and other benefits intended for low-income families, and found millions of dollars in irregular benefits and an urgent need for improved anti-fraud security.
In 1,164 cases, deceased recipients continued to receive a total of $2.39 million in benefits up to 27 months after they had been reported dead. The state Department of Transitional Assistance also paid out at least $368,000 benefits to 178 guardians who claimed deceased persons as dependents, and $164,000 to 40 individuals being claimed by more than one guardian.”
” Previously, we brought you reports on the Boston Marathon bombings investigation and details into the lives of the suspects, first in The Lives of the Boston Bombers: What We Do and Don’t Know and then in a follow-up,New Developments in the Boston Marathon Bombings Case.
As the investigation continues two weeks after the bombings, several US officials have been questioning the parents of the suspects overseas. The FBI is also investigating, both in the US and overseas, to determine whether or not the suspects received any training that may have aided in the attack. Authorities have said that, so far, there has been no evidence to indicate that the bombings were linked to any major groups. But they continue to probe for any evidence that might indicate otherwise.”
” The mother of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects is a “person of interest” to federal authorities seeking to learn who radicalized one or both of her sons, according to lawmakers, and a separate report said she was on a federal terrorism database some 18 months before the attack.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, who had reportedly become more militant in her Muslim faith around the same time as her son, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was added to the classified intelligence database known by the acronym TIDE at the CIA’s request. Two key lawmakers said authorities now want to know if she helped put her son, who died a week ago following a shootout with police in Massachusetts, on the road to radicalism.
“She is a person of interest that we’re looking at to see if she helped radicalize her son, or had contacts with other people or other terrorist groups,” Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md., the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, told reporters.”
” Four months after the shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School, a USA TODAY Poll finds support for a new gun-control law ebbing as prospects for passage on Capitol Hill seem to fade.
Americans are more narrowly divided on the issue than in recent months, and backing for a bill has slipped below 50%, the poll finds. By 49%-45%, those surveyed favor Congress passing a new gun-control law. In an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll in early April, 55% had backed a stricter gun law, which was down from 61% in February.”
Tugging at the heartstrings and attempting to “never let a crisis go to waste” failed this time around .
“So much of the support for gun control is emotional, following the Newtown tragedy,” says Stuart Rothenberg, editor and publisher of the non-partisanRothenberg Political Report. The December shooting at the Connecticut school left 20 children and six adults dead. “The longer you get away from there, people start thinking of other issues. They start thinking about terrorism or jobs or immigration, and not surprisingly, then some of the momentum behind gun control starts to fade.”
The Boston Marathon bombings last Monday also may have had an effect, he speculates. “It wouldn’t be shocking if people sitting in their homes in Massachusetts cities and towns thought to themselves, ‘Boy, I wish I had something to protect myself with if a terrorist came through the door now.’”
Odd isn’t it , that nowhere in this article do we find mention of the astronomical ” 90% support” for new gun laws claim so recently trumpeted from on high by our lord and savior Barack and his minions in the MSM ? More pie in the sky BS , more lies …
” His best pal was butchered in a grisly triple execution two years ago that police have to this day been unable to solve.
But Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev displayed none of the emotions of a grieving friend in the wake of the murder of Brendan Mess, according to those who knew him.
In fact, the 26-year-old vanished – leading acquaintances to now believe he was the brutal killer after finding out he was behind last Monday’s marathon bloodbath.
As Tamerlan’s brother Dzhokhar, 19, was last night charged over the bombing that killed three people and left 200 injured, one friend, known only as Ray, said: “At the time, none of us would have thought it was Tam.
“It was just so emotional and we thought someone else had done it.
“Tam wasn’t there at the memorial service, he wasn’t at the funeral, he wasn’t around at all.
“And he was really close with Brendan. That’s why it’s so weird.” “
” A Massachusetts police official say the brothers suspected of bombing the Boston Marathon before having shootouts with authorities didn’t have gun permits.
Cambridge Police Commissioner Robert Haas tells The Associated Press in an interview Sunday that neither Tamerlan Tsarnaev (tsahr-NEYE’-ehv) nor his brother Dzhokhar had permission to carry firearms.”