Illegal: Immigrants Gather In Woodbury New York To Protest Use Of The Word “Illegal” To Describe The Illegal And Criminal Method Of Illegal Entry Into The United States

August 21, 2012

WOODBURY, NEW YORK – A small group of immigrants gathered in Woodbury Monday to protest the use of the word “illegal” to describe those who have entered the United States without documentation.

“By saying illegal, they’re assuming that we broke a criminal law,” said Jackeline Saavedra, 27, of Bay Shore, a Touro Law Center student who identified herself as undocumented. “Not everybody enters illegally.”

Coordinators said they prefer the phrase “undocumented immigrant.”

Osman Canales, 23, an immigrant rights advocate in Huntington who organized the protest, said using the word “illegal” criminalizes a whole community. “It’s a racist word against our community, so we’re just here to raise awareness,” he said.

The protest mirrored a larger effort nationwide to push media outlets and people in general to stop using the word “illegal” when referring to immigrants.

The “Drop The I-Word” campaign was organized by The Applied Research Center, a New York City-based racial justice think tank. Its goal, according to its news website, Colorlines.com, is to “eradicate the slur ‘illegals’ from everyday use and public discourse.”

Campaign coordinator Monica Novoa said that in two years, 14,000 people have signed the group’s pledge.

“Using a phrase like ‘illegal aliens’ or ‘illegals’ . . . reinforces the notion that you could treat another individual as less than a human being,” said Alina Das, assistant professor of clinical law at New York University. “One action — whether it’s a crime — shouldn’t be used to define a whole group of people or one individual.”

But Gallya Lahav, associate professor of political science at Stony Brook University, said the term “undocumented” has flaws.

“It’s a politically correct way of saying illegal,” she said. “What you’re also talking about in proper form are the real undocumented — asylum seekers — people who are fleeing for threats of their life or freedom.”

Still, the word “illegal” makes Elias Llivicura, 18, who described himself as undocumented, feel “uncomfortable.”

“We also have feelings too,” said Llivicura, of Bellport, who came to Long Island from Ecuador at age 8. “It makes me feel like I’m different from everybody else,” he said. “It makes me feel like really bad inside.”

Appeared Here

Advertisements

Nutcase Prague Oklahoma High School Principal David Smith Withholds Valedictorian Student’s Diploma For Saying “Hell” In Speech

August 20, 2012

PRAGUE, OKLAHOMA – There’s a bit of diploma drama going on between a local high school and that school’s valedictorian.

David Nootbaar is furious his daughter’s school is keeping her diploma.

He said, “She has worked so hard to stay at the top of her class and this is not right.”

Kaitlin Nootbaar graduated from Prague High School, the Red Devils, in May and was named valedictorian.

When tasked with writing the graduation speech, her dad said she got her inspiration from the movie “Eclipse: The Twilight Saga.”

Nootbaar said, “Her quote was, ‘When she first started school she wanted to be a nurse, then a veterinarian and now that she was getting closer to graduation, people would ask her, what do you want to do and she said how the hell do I know? I’ve changed my mind so many times.’”

He said in the written script she gave to the school she wrote “heck,” but in the moment she said “hell” instead.

Nootbaar said the audience laughed, she finished her speech to warm applause and didn’t know there was a problem.

That was until she went to pick up the real certificate this week.

“We went to the office and asked for the diploma and the principal said, ‘Your diploma is right here but you’re not getting it. Close the door; we have a problem,’” Nootbaar said.

He said the principal told Kaitlin she would have to write an apology letter before he would release the diploma.

A move her dad believes is illegal.

“She earned that diploma. She completed all the state curriculum. In four years she has never made a B. She got straight A’s and had a 4.0 the whole way through.”

Kaitlin starts college in a few days on a full scholarship, making the administrators’ decision even more appalling to her family.

We tried to get the school’s side of the story.

Superintendent Dr. Rick Martin said in a statement, “This matter is confidential and we cannot publicly say anything about it.”

Kaitlin doesn’t plan on writing an apology letter because she doesn’t feel she did anything wrong.

Her family supports that choice.

Appeared Here


Queer Awarded $4.3 Million After Being Stalked, Harassed, And Defamed By Now-Fired And Unemployed Michigan Assistant Attorney General Andrew Shirvell – Lawyer’s Obsession, Bogus First Amendment Claims, And Use Of State Computers Didn’t Do Much For His Career…

August 19, 2012

MICHIGAN – A federal court jury Thursday awarded $4.5million to an openly gay former University of Michigan student body president who accused a former state attorney of stalking and defaming him.

The civil case involved Andrew Shirvell, the former assistant attorney general fired in 2010 after he stirred a national controversy with his campaign against Christopher Armstrong, at the time U-M’s student body president.

Shirvell, a U-M alumnus, created the Chris Armstrong Watch blog, calling him “a radical homosexual activist, racist, elitist and liar.” He had cast the blog as speech protected by the First Amendment.

Standing outside federal courtin downtown Detroit shortly after the verdict, Armstrong said he was “elated.”

“This is not just a victory for myself — it’s a victory for a lot of other people,” Armstrong said. “It sends a message to bullies.”

Armstrong, who graduated in 2011, had said Shirvell contacted his friends, showed up at his public appearances and insulted his family and friends on the blog.

Shirvell, who represented himself, said the jury award was “grossly excessive” and vowed to appeal with help from the Thomas More Society, a Chicago-based nonprofit national public interest law firm.

“It’s just shocking that a jury would trample on my First Amendment rights the way they did,” he told The News. “That’s why the case should’ve been thrown out months ago by the judge. … Juries give First Amendment rights short shrift.”

Shirvell also said he’s unemployed and “there’s no possible way” he could pay the verdict, but he is prepared to fight the case even to the Supreme Court.

Armstrong, who filed the lawsuit in April 2011, had offered to drop the suit if Shirvell apologized and retract his statements.

Attorney Deborah Gordon said the jury’s decision came down to holding someone accountable for unacceptable behavior. “It means the community is not going to stand by and watch this happen to another person,” she said.

The impact also appeared to have swayed jurors, said Larry Dubin, a law professor at the University of Detroit Mercy.

“The First Amendment does not protect language that defames someone’s reputation or conduct that constitutes stalking or intentionally causes significant emotional damage to an intended victim,” he said. “It seems that the jury in this case was highly offended by the conduct … and expressed that outrage by awarding a very large verdict.”

The award caps a scandal that gained national attention.

The suit claimed Shirvell “developed a bizarre personal obsession” with Armstrong in early 2010 after claiming he was a radical homosexual activist.

Shirvell had created a Facebook group under the name of “U of M Alumni and Others Against Chris Armstrong and his Radical MSA (Michigan Student Assembly) Agenda.” Facebook shut down the page, but a blog was created spreading false and defamatory information, the suit said.

Earlier this year, a federal judge declined to dismiss the lawsuit against him. And in March, a Michigan hearing officer upheld Shirvell’s 2010 firing by then-Attorney General Mike Cox for using state computers to wage a campaign against Armstrong.

Shirvell had appealed, saying his conduct was protected by the First Amendment. But William Hutchens of the Michigan Civil Service Commission said the dismissal was just and the attorney engaged in “hate speech” on a blog and “physical and mental harassment.”

Last year, Armstrong announced he and his family were establishing a scholarship for bullied students. Gordon said money from the verdict would go to the fund.

Appeared Here


Victims With Obama-Mentality Think President Is Going To Pay Their Utilities, Phone Service, And Loans – Just Another Identity Theft Scam/Hoax Targeting Those With Tiny IQ’s

July 11, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – A myth that President Obama is giving people money to pay their bills has prompted thousands of people across the country to try to pay for utilities, phone service and loans using bogus bank routing numbers.

United Way of Cleveland’s 2-1-1 changed its answering machine Monday to say rumors of the Obama program were false after fielding dozens of calls.

Later that day, a United Way employee was on an RTA bus when a rider stood up and announced to fellow passengers that Obama was paying people’s bills. The rider told people they could use the red numbers on the backs of their Social Security cards to tap into the government money. Steve Wertheim of United Way said the woman claimed she had successfully paid her electric bill using the technique.

Such unprompted testimonials are spreading the hoax through entire communities, putting consumers, at minimum, at risk of late payment penalties and service disruptions.

In some iterations, the bogus “Obama program” appears to be an identity theft scam. According to news reports, uniformed con men with clipboards went door to door in a handful of states, signing people up by collecting Social Security numbers and then giving them phony bank routing numbers to use to pay their bills.

But here, it seems less scam than hoax.

People aren’t asking for anyone’s Social Security numbers. They’re passing along bogus routing numbers, apparently in the belief they’re real.
What victims should do

The bill-paying myth poses several distinct dangers for consumers:

• If they’re using bogus routing numbers, their payments will eventually bounce, leaving them with late payment or other penalty fees.

• People who were already behind on payments could face serious consequences, including insurance lapses, repossessions or service terminations.

• If they gave their Social Security number to someone purporting to sign them up either in person or by phone, they run the risk of identity theft.

Consumers who fell for the hoax should contact the companies they paid with bogus numbers to arrange for genuine payments as soon as possible.

Those who need utilities or other assistance should contact United Way at 2-1-1 or 216-436-2100 to be connected to legitimate nonprofits who can help.

Anyone who gave a scammer a Social Security number should contact the Federal Trade Commission for ID theft information at 1-877-438-4338.

Jeanette Lee, who works in billing for a Cleveland hospital, said she heard about the program over the weekend from friends and relatives who swore it worked. “They were calling me to tell me to do it,” she said.

An aunt, Lee said, insisted that she paid her insurance and cell phone bills with one of the routing numbers she received through the grapevine.

A nephew used the system to make a car payment.

“The president didn’t announce that when he was in town,” Lee told them, but family members would not be dissuaded that citizens could tap into government funds to pay up to $1,000 in household bills.

“I guess because everybody needs some type of help,” Lee said. “It’s really bad out there.”

One version of the hoax involves using the series of red numbers on the back of a Social Security cards as a bank routing number.

The red numbers actually are a security feature added to cards in 1996 to prevent counterfeiting, a Social Security spokesman said.

FirstEnergy spokesman Todd Meyers said the utility, which operates across 12 states, spotted the trend in May when its payment systems began jettisoning large numbers of phony routing numbers. The company issued a warning that the government program wasn’t real, and the Better Business Bureau followed suit.

But tall tales have spread.

A Florida electric company posted an alert to its customers last week after as many as 2,000 customers tried to use bogus routing numbers to pay bills in a 24-hour-period.

Feeding the hoax — and the testimonials — is that some bill payment systems may give consumers may confirmation numbers when they pay by phone. The confirmation doesn’t always mean the payment was successful – it may only confirm the bank information was logged into the call center, said Lou Tekavcic, a trade specialist for the Better Business Bureau.

“Anybody can call and give you a bogus routing number,” Tekavcic said. “It doesn’t mean it will go through.”

When the bogus numbers weren’t immediately rejected, some victims apparently believed the program was real and spread the word.

One caller told the BBB her friends were trying to make mortgage payments through the bogus program, Tekavcic said.

As Meyers of FirstEnergy points out, consumers struggling to pay bills are particularly at risk. They may believe the government covered their payment; but when that payment is ultimately rejected, their utilities could be shut off or they could be dropped from heating assistance programs that require them to keep up with payments.

Appeared Here


Another Not-So-Smart Move By Obama Administration – Closing Border Patrol Stations In 4 States – Triggered Backlash From Law Enforcement, Members Of Congress, And Border Patrol Agents

July 10, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – The Obama administration is moving to shut down nine Border Patrol stations across four states, triggering a backlash from local law enforcement, members of Congress and Border Patrol agents themselves.

Critics of the move warn the closures will undercut efforts to intercept drug and human traffickers in well-traveled corridors north of the U.S.-Mexico border. Though the affected stations are scattered throughout northern and central Texas, and three other states, the coverage areas still see plenty of illegal immigrant activity — one soon-to-be-shuttered station in Amarillo, Texas, is right in the middle of the I-40 corridor; another in Riverside, Calif., is outside Los Angeles.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection says it’s closing the stations in order to reassign agents to high-priority areas closer to the border.

“These deactivations are consistent with the strategic goal of securing America’s borders, and our objective of increasing and sustaining the certainty of arrest of those trying to enter our country illegally,” CBP spokesman Bill Brooks said in a statement. “By redeploying and reallocating resources at or near the border, CBP will maximize the effectiveness of its enforcement mandate and align our investments with our mission.”

But at least one Border Patrol supervisor in Texas has called on local officers to “voice your concerns” to elected officials, warning that the “deactivation” will remove agents from the Texas Panhandle, among other places. Several members of Congress have asked Border Patrol Chief Michael Fisher to reconsider the plan. And local officials are getting worried about what will happen once the Border Patrol leaves town, since they rely on those federal officials to assist in making immigration arrests.
Read the rest of this entry »


Miami Florida Police Didn’t Consider House Might Have A Back Door – Neighborhood Evacuated As SWAT Team Spends 5 Hours Forcing An Empty Home Into Submission

July 8, 2012

MIAMI, FLORIDA – A suspect remained on the loose Saturday when a SWAT team responding to a what they thought was a barricade situation found the man had left the home.

Miami-Dade officers went in the home on the 10000 block of Southwest 69th Terrace Friday afternoon after learning there might be an armed man inside refusing to leave his home.

Police said the incident began as a domestic dispute between the man, Carlos Guerrero, 36, and his brother. When the rescue squad arrived, they saw Guerrero run toward the house. When police couldn’t make contact with Guerrero, they were concerned he might be barricaded inside and a danger to himself or the community.

“We learned that he is a veteran and there were firearms inside the house,” said Miami-Dade Police Det. Alvaro Zabaleta. “So now, of course, when you add to the formula an individual who has firearms inside the house, refuses to come out, who’s already had a physical confrontation with somebody, then of course that escalates things a little bit.”

Police taped off several blocks surrounding the home and kept dozens of neighbors out of their homes for more than five hours. Other neighbors who were inside before the SWAT team arrived were told to remain inside.

Melissa Morejon was outside the police tape while her mother and son were inside.

“He tried going out earlier but they wouldn’t let her out of her house. They told her to go right back in,” she said.

Morejon spent much of the evening on the phone with her mom who kept her updated on the situation.

“She heard the police trying to negotiate,” Morejon said.

Police are searching for Guerrero to find out what happened. Although neighbors were displaced for hours, police said they had to take every precaution to keep people safe.

Appeared Here


Nutcase Former New Haven Connecticut Police Officer John Kelly, Facing Weapons Charge, Arrested Again And Charged With Burglary And Larceny After Stealing Generator From Man’s Garage

July 2, 2012

MIDDLETOWN, CONNECTICUT — A former New Haven police officer recently arrested on a weapons charge was arrested again over the weekend and charged with burglary and larceny for allegedly stealing a generator, state police report.

John Kelly, 45, 1 Brookside Ave., Old Lyme, was in Middletown Superior Court on Monday and Judge Susan Handy set bond for $25,000 cash or surety, which he posted through a bail bondsman. According to court personnel, Kelly will be held on a suicide watch and is due back in court July 20.

State police responded to call of an accident on June 23 around 10:45 a.m. and found a pickup truck in the middle of the travel lane on New City Street in Essex. The truck came back as registered to Kelly, and the trooper found him a short time later, walking back to the truck.

Kelly told police he had run out of gas and was pouring gas from a Dunkin’ Donuts cup into the truck, police said. He was disheveled and dirty, wearing one shoe and hobbling around, stating he had sprained his ankle, police said.

Kelly was able to start the truck and told police he was going home. Less than two hours later, troopers responded to a call from Kelly’s ex wife, saying Kelly was on Dennison Road limping and “acting strange.”

Troopers reported seeing the truck in the roadway again, and Kelly, “sweating profusely” said he was out of gas again, according to police. While waiting for a tow truck to arrive for Kelly, police were approached by a man who said he lived on the road and said he found a cup of water in his garage.

Police asked Kelly if he had been in the man’s house, and Kelly allegedly said he went into the garage for water and gas. Kelly had a newer Honda generator in the bed of his truck and the man identified it as his generator, police said. Kelly, however, told police he had found it in the bushes behind the man’s house and had tried to get gas from it, then placed it in the back of his truck. After investigating, police determined the generator had been in the back of the man’s garage.

When police arrested Kelly, he became irate and yelled “cops are supposed to take care of each other,” police said, and that “the state police were out to get him.” He tried to minimalize the incident by saying he had only gone into the garage a few feet, police said.

Kelly, who was a New Haven police officer for 21 years and has also served in the U.S. Navy, said he had a stellar career as a police officer in New Haven, according to state police. According to statements made in court, Kelly suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.

While in the cell at the state police barracks, Kelly was yelling, banging on the cell doors and walls, and covering himself in water from the sink, police said. He was unable to post the $5,000 bond and was taken to Hartford Correctional until his arraignment Monday.

Appeared Here