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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 15,480

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"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.

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.


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
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!

Released prisoners would reveal horrendous US practices to the world.

The hell of Guantanamo is one of the darkest chapters of US history. One closely guarded aspect of Guantanamo is the participation of US Army physicians in designing and monitoring torture - a clear violation of their professional oath and the Geneva Convention.

Despite this, information that has become available indicates that the behavior of medical personnel at the US military prison facilities constitutes another war crime committed in the US “global war on terror.” Bloche and Marks write: “Not only did caregivers pass health information to military intelligence personnel; physicians assisted in the design of interrogation strategies, including sleep deprivation and other coercive methods tailored to detainees’ medical conditions. Medical personnel also coached interrogators on questioning technique.”

While the authors stop short of charging that doctors have directly participated in torture, they write that “there is probable cause for suspecting it.” They do argue, however, that any doctors or other medical personnel who helped devise and “execute aggressive counter-resistance plans...breached the laws of war.”

Such practices are in clear violation of the Third Geneva Convention, which states: “No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind whatever.”

Medical journal urges military physicians not to cooperate with Guantanamo force-feedings
Claire Schaeffer-Duffy | Jun. 26, 2013 NCR Today

A recent article in The New England Journal of Medicine urges military physicians at Guantanamo not to cooperate with the force-feeding of prisoners currently on a hunger strike. Calling the military prison a "medical ethics-free zone," the authors of the article say they believe military doctors should "refuse to participate in any act that unambiguously violates medical ethics."

"Physicians at Guantanamo cannot permit the military to use them and their medical skills for military purposes and still comply with their ethical obligations. Force-feeding a competent person is not the practice of medicine; it is aggravated assault. Using a physician to assault prisoners no more changes the nature of the act than using physicians to 'monitor' torture makes torture a medical procedure. Military physicians are no more entitled to betray medical ethics than military lawyers are to betray the Constitution or military chaplains are to betray their religion," they write.

The prisoners' hunger strike has been going on at the military detention facility in Cuba for almost five months. According to The Washington Post, more than 100 detainees are refusing food to protest their indefinite detention and the conditions of their confinement. Of these, the Post reports, 41 are subjected daily to force-feedings, a procedure that entails strapping a detainee to a chair, inserting a tube in his nose and flooding his stomach with liquid protein.

In April (2010) President Barack Obama said he did not want any hunger-striker to die. In May, he promised to begin releasing the 86 men his interagency task force cleared to leave the prison in 2010. Weeks have passed, and no detainee has exited Guantanamo.
In fact, the situation there deteriorates.

Shaker Aamer, a British resident twice cleared for release from Guantanamo, recently told the head of the British legal charity Reprieve that prison authorities are using increasingly brutal tactics in an attempt to break the strike, making the cells "freezing cold" and employing metal-tipped tubes that cause prisoners to vomit during the twice-daily force-feedings.

In the interview, excerpts of which were published in the The Guardian, Aamer also said nurses are discarding their name tags before entering the camp so prisoners cannot identify and file complaints against them.

The article in The New England Journal of Medicine denounced the co-opting of medical professionals for political purposes.

"It's hardly revolutionary to state that physicians should act only in the best interests of their patients," the authors wrote.

They pointed out that "hunger striking is a peaceful political activity to protest terms of detention or prison conditions" and is not a medical condition that warrants force-feeding to prevent self-harm or save lives, as Guantanamo officials claim.

"Unlike individual medical and psychiatric assessments made in the context of doctor patient-relationship, the decision to force-feed prisoners is made by the base commander," they wrote. "It is a penological decision about how best to run the prison. Physicians who participate in this nonmedical process become weapons for maintaining prison order."

July 5-18, 2013


US Doctors 'Hid Signs of Torture' at Guantanamo
by Steve Connor

US government doctors who cared for the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay deliberately concealed or ignored evidence that their patients were being tortured, the first official study of its kind has found.

A detailed review of the medical records and case files of nine Guantanamo inmates has concluded that medical personnel at the US detention centre were complicit in suppressing evidence that would demonstrate systematic torture of the inmates. (Image Credit: United States Department of Defense) A detailed review of the medical records and case files of nine Guantanamo inmates has concluded that medical personnel at the US detention centre were complicit in suppressing evidence that would demonstrate systematic torture of the inmates.

The review is published in an online scientific journal, PLoS Medicine, and is the first peer-reviewed study analysing the behaviour of the doctors in charge of Guantanamo inmates who were subjected to "enhanced interrogation" techniques that a decade ago had been classed by the US government as torture. All of the nine detainees investigated in the study claimed to their own legal teams that they were also subjected over many months – and in some cases years – to additional, unauthorised episodes of ill-treatment, such as severe beatings, threats of rape, or forced nudity.

"The abuses reported in this case series could not be practised without the interrogators and medical monitors being aware of the severe and prolonged physical and mental pain that they caused," the study found. Dr Iacopino said that if individual doctors are found to have breached professional ethics by ignoring the evidence of torture, they should have their medical licence removed at the very least. "In the case of individuals who aided or abetted torture, or knowingly neglected to document torture, then at the minimum they should have their licence removed, but they should also be subject to adjudication under the rule of law," Dr Iacopino said.


Love it! Pro Sense outed as opposed to Obama's spying on citizens!

So what does she really believe? As the trial lawyer says to any witness who reverses their testimony, were you lying then or are you lying now? I'm sure she and her fellow loyalists are alerting like mad on her being outed, but come on - she put it in writing. I believe this used to be referred to as situational ethics.

Snaps to you, Woo Me With Science, for unearthing this delightful bit of DU history! As Sheldon Cooper would say, Bazinga!

What happened to DU? Follow the money, honey!

And I'm NOT talking about the DU administration/owners. Kudos to them for this website. I'm talking about the money paid to trolls to register and post on DU. With billions of dollars being spent (by agencies under the control of the present administration) on sophisticated monitoring and gathering of information, there is no doubt there are trolls paid to monitor, distract and disrupt criticism 24/7 on DU of said present administration, any federal agencies under it's control, its appointees (particularly all of those from the corporate/banking world, DINOs and lifelong Republican political hacks), and its sponsors/donors (profiteers in the nuclear energy, fracking, "clean coal", Big Oil, Big Pharma, Monsanto, Wall Street bankers, Keystone pipeline, military industrial complex, etc.).

Let's be real. Anyone who actually benefits from corporatist policies is too damn rich, successful, highly paid and/or otherwise insulated from harsh economic realities to hire out as trolls. And they are too busy enjoying and managing their personal fortunes to spend unpaid time on line at DU. For one example, Rahm Emanuel doubtless backs Obama and Obama's polices 100%. Rahm is well on his way to joining the One Percent. Rahm is not monitoring/posting on DU. Paid trolls are people who can't find well-paid, productive means of employment, and so choose to work against their own long-term best interests by selling out to the profiteers. They are sell-outs with no concern for the long-term health and welfare of the 99%.

Paid trolls become obvious by their over-the-top, canned comments and 100% support of all things Obama. We know many of them on sight. What I also know is that posters in support of progressive groups, actions and points-of-view are posting because of their personal values - not because they are paid to do so. Progressive groups may urge members to actively and publicly support their respective agendas, but they do not have the budget to PAY people to do so. And they don't NEED to pay people, because we are motivated by our own values and concerns for the well-being of ourselves, our families/friend/communties/country/world to give what time we can spare to post at places like DU or Huffington Post.

What kind of progressive groups do not hire trolls? Union of Concerned Scientists, Sierra Club, Veterans for Peace, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Public Interest Research Group, Amnesty International, Habitat for Humanity, Doctors Without Borders, Friends of the Earth, Center for Media and Democracy, NOW, AAUW, ACLU, NARAL, Greenpeace, atheists, humanists, human rights activists, gays and lesbians, animal welfare groups, supporters of medical marijuana - oh, and let us not forget individuals: individuals like Glen Greenwald, Daniel Ellsberg, Edward Snowden, W. Mark Felt (FBI/Deep Throat), Karen Silkwood, never hired trolls to post on their behalf.
Full disclosure. I regularly receive phone calls, e-mail or snail-mail from progressive groups like those above, asking me to write letters to editors or contact my congresspersons regarding specific issues. I've never been asked to post anywhere on-line, and I've NEVER been offered one red cent by these groups to advocate in their behalf.

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