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Divernan

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 11,218

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Anyone proclaiming there are no paid shills posting on DU . . . . .

is de facto promulgating the conclusion that Democratic Underground is not seen by the big players/opinion manipulators as worth bothering with. That's rather insulting to DU, isn't it? So to lock threads discussing the problems with paid disruptors on DU is to say that DU is not of enough consequence in the political arena to justify paying anyone to disrupt its threads.

I personally think that DU has always been carefully monitored by all parties recently revealed to have been paying trolls to disrupt online forums. And it further seems quite clear that when we're considering what side of the political debate has supporters with cash to pay for disruption, we are NOT talking about DU-ers posting in support of the unemployed, civil rights, habeas corpus, the poor, the disenfranchised, the imprisoned, the drone victims, the spied upon, people without health care, etc. Clearly the cash sources to pay disruptors/trolls/etc., comes from Big Interests with profits at stake.

There is a lot of sophisticated technology available allowing a single individual to set up automatic 24/7 multiple responses, by multiple "persona", triggered by key words or phrases. What can/is DU doing to identify and block these cyber attacks?

Shoals of trolls and clots of bots

I've decided to follow the advice/example of several posters whom I most admire, like Catherina, and put these bots on my ignore list. Really, I've been on DU since 2002 without putting anyone on ignore. And you know what? It feels pretty darn good to put these poseurs on full ignore.

To me "bots" is short for a group of robots.

And clots of bots would refer to a group in lockstep, or, as is defined in web usage, a program that operates as an agent for a user or another program or simulates a human activity.

I would never call an Obama supporter the terms YOU posted. I have read quotes where Nazis used those terms. So basically, you're likening me to a Nazi. I believe that is against the DU rules.

Shame on you! Trying to turn policy-based political comments into "racism" by introducing those objectionable terms and trying to tie them to someone who never used them. And you DARE to prattle on about hate speech?
Pretty desperate, aren't you? Why don't you dare to get back to the subject matter of this thread and attempt a thoughtful comment?
Nobody ever tells me what to post, and I assume no one ever tells you what to post either. In which case you are not a bot, are you? So why so defensive?

Everything is not always about YOU.

"Talk is cheap, Jack. Make your play!"

I first heard Marlon Brando deliver those lines in a 1961 film, One-Eyed Jacks and have found occasion to quote them repeatedly to and about people who talk a good game, but fail to deliver.

Brando not only starred in this film, but stepped in to direct it when Stanley Kubrick backed out. It is considered Brando's masterpiece. An incredibly gripping western. Stands alone among the great westerns in its intensity and superb acting. Not received well in 1961 as it was too far ahead of its time. Dark and brilliant. It has been hailed by Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino, it is the only film directed by one of the most famous actors in film history and it signaled the rise of a more violent and cynical cinema, but for some reason Marlon Brando's One Eyed Jacks has never really gotten its due. If you read a review of it, you will learn how it utilizes the symbolism of the playing card/one-eyed jack, that is people who present different sides of their "face" (self) to different audiences.

Background on Judge McGinley (voter ID law case)

His mother was Marie Rooney McGinley, which makes him part of the Rooney aristocracy (Art Rooney/Steelers) in Pittsburgh. He and his wife have four children and live in Pittsburgh. He attended Central Catholic High School and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree from John Carroll University in Ohio in 1967, having attended Loyola University of Rome for the school year 1965-66. In 1970 he received his Juris Doctor Degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Unlike our pathetic governor Corbett, McGinley did not have to go to an out-of-state, 4th class law school on the Tex-Mex border to get a law degree!

He completed Basic Officer's Training at Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio, Texas, in 1971, and was honorably discharged with the rank of Captain from the U.S. Army Reserve, Medical Service Corps in 1976. I sincerely hope that his years working with the Army Medical Service Corps gave him experience in how difficult it would be for people with physical handicaps (and that includes many of Pennsylvania's high percentage of elderly voters) to get to some state drivers' license bureaus to get voter IDs. As one person just testified in this trial, when she called the bureau to ask about accommodations for handicapped, she was told to expect a FOUR HOUR WAIT!

McGinley then clerked for a well-respected judge, followed by a three year stint as an assistant district attorney, 2 years teaching law, and several years in private practice & as chairman of the County Board of Viewers before becoming a judge at the county level. After 6 years as a county judge, he was elected to the Commonwealth Court (an intermediate appellate level court) where he has since been re-elected twice - serving from 1988 to the present.

In addition to the full time elected position as an appellate judge,
on September 22, 2009 Judge McGinley was appointed to the Court of Judicial Discipline by the Supreme Court. He was elected President Judge in July 2012.

This tells me that he is extremely well-respected as an ethical person by his fellow judges.
Finally, found this interesting commentary on Judge McGinley from 2007.
http://lehighvalleyramblings.blogspot.com/2007/10/joe-paterno-may-not-vote-to-retain.html

Headline: Joe Paterno May Not Vote to Retain Judge Bernard McGinley, But I Will
I don't think PSU's Joe Paterno is too crazy about Bernard McGinley as a Commonwealth Court judge. Baseball fans might not like him much, either. But I'll be voting to retain this Democrat on election day.

Who is Barney McGinley?

The League of Women Voters gives us some biographical information. A Pittsburgh native, Judge McGinley got a law degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1970. After that, he served in the reserves and was an assistant DA for four years. He also spent six years as a judge before being elected to the Commonwealth Court in 1988. He has been married to the same woman since 1973, and has never personally been involved in litigation. If retained, he will reach mandatory retirement age in 2016.


His 210 reported online rulings are quite sound. In a well-reasoned decision, he struck down a "zero tolerance policy" that would have resulted in the expulsion of a straight "A" student caught with a small pen knife. He sustained an attorney's fee award against high power legal eagle John Karoly , in a dispute John had with South Whitehall Township. He wisely dissented from a ruling awarding $20,000 to a police officer who found that money in a bag during a routine traffic stop. I can't help feeling that a dirty cop will have all kinds of excuses to "find" money. McGinley also supported a strict reading of zoning law for residents who objected to a cell tower.


He's a very clear and fair-minded judge. Lawyers who practice before him seem to like him. The Pa. bar makes this observation, "He treats lawyers fairly and courteously and is held in the highest regard for his legal knowledge and analytical abilities."

Way to give Jeb Bush, via his father, a boost in his planned run for the presidency!

Ya know, burnishing up the public image of the Bush Family legacy!

I'm the retired law professor & you're not

I cannot provide a legal education to you. To put it in simplest terms you simply cannot justify your personal interpretation. Good grief! Laws are constantly being changed, amended, expanded, or nullified by both legislative action and court opinion. Court opinions, including what is or is not "constitutional" can change from session to session, and particularly when one throws a new Justice into the mix. The section you quote does not refer to any particular Supreme Court case. And you never addressed the language which I highlighted which clearly shows habeas corpus, right to counsel and right to present evidence is out the window.

As to the division of powers within our government, Congress doesn't "overrule" SCOTUS decisions. The fact that you would even use the phrase "overrule" as you did, tells me you really don't understand the legal system. If Congress disagrees with a SCOTUS interpretation of a law, Congress may (as I said already) chose to change the law.

I've visited a Stasi (not staTsi) prison camp

Berlin is my favorite EU city, so I've spent quality time there. I also took a day trip to a nearby former Stasi prison and received an in-depth tour of that facility. It started out as Sachsenhausen concentration camp - Hitler's first, prototype camp. Since it was in East Germany, after WW Two, the soviets kept the camp operating as a prison for former Nazis, political dissidents and any Germans who attempted to escape to the West, or were even suspected of wanting to escape to the West. It operated as a prison (Soviet Special Camp Number Seven) until 1950.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NKVD_special_camp_Nr._7

Since you can't even spell "stasi", I challenge your qualifications to pontificate on what was suffered under the stasi. I'll tell you this, though. German citizens who were "disappeared" to Sachsenhausen, and later to Soviet Special Camp Number Seven, were snatched off the streets, from their homes, or from their places of employment, never to be heard from again. Because they didn't have habeas corpus, or the right to be publicly accused, or have lawyers defend them, or to have public trials. When my American tour leader (married to a Berliner, and living in Berlin) described this to us, I commented, sounds just like the Patriot Act, to which she sadly agreed.

A stasi comparison is quite valid, according to a loyalist's own post

Poster Californee above provides an undocumented, unlinked, unsourced quote describing the Stasi, ending with the challenging question, "does that sound like anything going on in this country?" As long as she is happy to skip any citations, let's just give her the benefit of the doubt and hoist her on her own undocumented petard.
My reply, "it absolutely does!" and I highlight portions of her own "defense" to prove my point.

"The Stasi perfected the technique of psychological harassment of perceived enemies known as Zersetzung – a term borrowed from chemistry which literally means "corrosion" or "undermining".

"By the 1970s, the Stasi had decided that methods of overt persecution which had been employed up to that time, such as arrest and torture, were too crude and obvious. It was realised that psychological harassment was far less likely to be recognised for what it was, so its victims, and their supporters, were less likely to be provoked into active resistance, given that they would often not be aware of the source of their problems, or even its exact nature. Zersetzung was designed to side-track and "switch off" perceived enemies so that they would lose the will to continue any "inappropriate" activities.

"Tactics employed under Zersetzung generally involved the disruption of the victim’s private or family life. This often included breaking into homes and messing with the contents – moving furniture, altering the timing of an alarm, removing pictures from walls or replacing one variety of tea with another. Other practices included smear campaigns, denunciation, provocation, psychological warfare, psychological subversion, wiretapping, bugging, mysterious phone calls or unnecessary deliveries, even including sending a vibrator to a target's wife. Usually victims had no idea the Stasi were responsible. Many thought they were losing their minds, and mental breakdowns and suicide could result.

(D)oes that sound like anything going on in this country?


Absolutely! Specifically, what we see ad nauseum by the administration & its enablers are: side-tracking, smear campaigns, denunciation, provocation, and by NSA, wiretapping and bugging.

And a perfect example of stasi like behavior is seen right in this thread where the OP is attacked for posting a story which originated with a Russian news source, but also broadcast on NPR. The attackers cannot deny that this incident actually occurred, so they try their classic defense strategy of side-tracking & denunciation of the messenger. I have several friends (2 of whom just won SDX awards for investigative journalism from the Society of Professional Journalists at the National Press Club last month) who report for NPR, and believe me, they meticulously verify via multiple sources before broadcasting news stories. How conservative must you be to attack NPR as too liberal to be trustworthy?

Executive orders "have the force of law":I referred to it 2x as an Order!

ex·ec·u·tive or·der
Noun
A rule or order issued by the president to an executive branch of the government and having the force of law.

And the principles of judicial interpretation of the language of said order, should any victims of this Executive Order end up defending themselves in court, would be EXACTLY as I described in my post. Of course that makes the optimistic assumption that any federal employees "detained" under authority of this Order would ever see the light of day in a public court.

And your bald claim "existing statues aren't modified"?!?!?! There is a vast universe of existing "statutes", local, state and federal out there. How amazing that you are so omniscient that you can make such a proclamation. Here's a clue for your consideration: There's a whole field of study and practice called "Conflict of Laws." And while you're looking that up, take a gander at the concept of habeas corpus - just for old times sake.

Even your weak attempt to distract from the discussion at hand fails. The case you cited is not remotely applicable or binding as it refers to police surveillance of a cocaine trafficker. Furthermore "suggestions" in concurring opinions are not "the current state of the law." Such "suggestions" are only dicta, and in this case, not even relevant to the OP and discussion in this thread. The case you mentioned in no manner addresses issues of oh, scary, "national security!" or secret warrants approved by faceless unelected judges in a rubber stamp court. And may I point out, that while appointments to federal court judgeships must receive legislative approval, there are no such approvals required for the secret court relied upon by the feds to churn out warrants on demand.
If you are incapable of responding to a question, or a challenge, why don't you admit it, instead of making up what you would like the law to be.

And I suggest you go to law school before you attempt to interpret Supreme Court opinions!
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