Red Herring Alert

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Carver County Takes Lead Position of Counties in US Showing Signs of Corruption

Informational Hearing for Judicial Reform MN

An informational hearing for judicial reform was held at the Minnesota State Capitol November 17th, 2011 at 9 am.

The issues on topic were: 

The hearing began by reading the US Constitution. This hearing was video and audio recorded.


The audience was large, it included numerous family members, parents and other public devastated by the corruption in our judicial system of Minnesota. The behavior of the judges present who attended from the Minnesota District Judges Association (MDJA) was not received well by those in the room. These judges sat out of the way of the video camera, yet the public sitting close to them witnessed haughty and arrogant behavior about numerous issues brought up during the hearing. When the mention of the `bribes` allowed for judges in Minnesota came up these two judges laughed, smirked and shook their heads. Their arrogance was insulting to the family members and those in the room that have had their children, families and entire lives ruined as a result of this very law. This law has devastated the state of MN more than the public is aware. For grown men who represent the judicial system of Minnesota at the State Capitol and behave this way during a hearing regarding such important issues in our courts today lacks professionalism, class and sensitivity.

During the hearing one of these judges from the MDJA sat front and center answering questions and defending the judicial system and the laws in place causing such horror in our courts. This particular judge was defending the `incumbent` mention on voter ballots. He defended this issue by stating the public needs to know who is currently holding seat as judge – and that is known to the public by the incumbent mention on the ballots. He also stated that the public can be made aware of a judge with a bad reputation – and by the incumbent being on the ballots – the public can know to not vote for that particular judge.

A Minnesota senator replied the obvious, `I will bring up a case in Carver County… a recent case…` The senator spoke of the case where a citizen in Carver County is being charged for a blog outing a particular judge`s behavior.  The senator mentioned that it seems a judge will simply order his behavior to be removed from public view and charge money for it if it is not, so this argument presented today is not really the case, is it?

In response to the mention of the outrageous order from Carver County this judge replied, `I find that hard to believe`

About 5 minutes after this `unbelieving` judge got off the hot seat a gentleman nicely handed him the order signed by judge Richard Perkins from Carver County charging money for a blog. This unbelieving judge`s face flushed beet red. This same court order from Carver County removes legal and sole custody of small children from a loving mother – no law or reason supporting any ruling on the order.

Another one of Minnesota`s terrific senators stated during this hearing, `I respect the people more than I do our judicial system` This was a reality check as to why we were gathering: for the people. Not protection of a judicial system which is currently embarrassing the state of Minnesota.


Sen. Michael Jungbauer, Sen. Scott Newman and Sen. Dave Thompson really stepped up for the people of Minnesota.



Land of the Unfree – Police and Prosecutors Fight Aggressively to Retain Barbaric Right of “Civil Asset Forfeiture”

Efforts to limit seizures of money, homes and other property from people who may never be convicted of a crime are stalling out amid a wave of pressure from prosecutors and police.

Their effort, at least at the state level, appears to be working. At least a dozen states considered bills restricting or even abolishing forfeiture that isn’t accompanied by a conviction or gives law enforcement less control over forfeited proceeds. But most measures failed to pass.

– From the Wall Street Journal article: Efforts to Curb Asset Seizures by Law Enforcement Hit Headwinds

The fact that civil asset forfeiture continues to exist across the American landscape despite outrage and considerable media attention, is as good an example as any as to how far fallen and uncivilized our so-called “society” has become. It also proves the point demonstrated in a Princeton University study that the U.S. is not a democracy, and the desires of the people have no impact on how the country is governed.

Civil asset forfeiture was first highlighted on these pages in the 2013 post, Why You Should Never, Ever Drive Through Tenaha, Texas, in which I explained:

In a nutshell, civil forfeiture is the practice of confiscating items from people, ranging from cash, cars, even homes based on no criminal conviction or charges, merely suspicion. This practice first became widespread for use against pirates, as a way to take possession of contraband goods despite the fact that the ships’ owners in many cases were located thousands of miles away and couldn’t easily be prosecuted. As is often the case, what starts out reasonable becomes a gigantic organized crime ring of criminality, particularly in a society where the rule of law no longer exists for the “elite,” yet anything goes when it comes to pillaging the average citizen.

One of the major reasons these programs have become so abused is that the police departments themselves are able to keep much of the confiscated money. So they actually have a perverse incentive to steal. As might be expected, a program that is often touted as being effective against going after major drug kingpins, actually targets the poor and disenfranchised more than anything else.

Civil asset forfeiture is state-sanctioned theft. There is no other way around it. The entire concept violates the spirit of the 4th, 5th and 6th amendments to the Constitution. In case you have any doubt:

The 4th Amendment: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The 5th Amendment: No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

The 6th Amendment: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.

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Reblogged from AlterNet.Org

10 Steps to Defeat the Corporatocracy

The only way to overcome the power of money is to regain our courage and solidarity. Here’s how to do that.

By Bruce E. Levine / AlterNet

Many Americans know that the United States is not a democracy but a “corporatocracy,” in which we are ruled by a partnership of giant corporations, the extremely wealthy elite and corporate-collaborator government officials. However, the truth of such tyranny is not enough to set most of us free to take action. Too many of us have become pacified by corporatocracy-created institutions and culture.

Some activists insist that this political passivity problem is caused by Americans’ ignorance due to corporate media propaganda, and others claim that political passivity is caused by the inability to organize due to a lack of money. However, polls show that on the important issues of our day – from senseless wars, to Wall Street bailouts, to corporate tax-dodging, to health insurance rip-offs – the majority of Americans are not ignorant to the reality that they are being screwed. And American history is replete with organizational examples – from the Underground Railroad, to the Great Populist Revolt, to the Flint sit-down strike, to large wildcat strikes a generation ago – of successful rebels who had little money but lots of guts and solidarity.

The elite spend their lives stockpiling money and have the financial clout to bribe, divide and conquer the rest of us. The only way to overcome the power of money is with the power of courage and solidarity. When we regain our guts and solidarity, we can then more wisely select from – and implement – time-honored strategies and tactics that oppressed peoples have long used to defeat the elite. So, how do we regain our guts and solidarity?

1. Create the Cultural and Psychological “Building Blocks” for Democratic Movements

Historian Lawrence Goodwyn has studied democratic movements such as Solidarity in Poland, and he has written extensively about the populist movement in the United States that occurred during the end of the 19th century (what he calls “the largest democratic mass movement in American history”). Goodwyn concludes that democratic movements are initiated by people who are neither resigned to the status quo nor intimidated by established powers. For Goodwyn, the cultural and psychological building blocks of democratic movements are individual self-respect and collective self-confidence. Without individual self-respect, we do not believe that we are worthy of power or capable of utilizing power wisely, and we accept as our role being a subject of power. Without collective self-confidence, we do not believe that we can succeed in wresting away power from our rulers.

Thus, it is the job of all of us – from parents, to students, to teachers, to journalists, to clergy, to psychologists, to artists and EVERYBODY who gives a damn about genuine democracy – to create individual self-respect and collective self-confidence.

2. Confront and Transform ALL Institutions that Have Destroyed Individual Self-Respect and Collective Self-Confidence

In “Get Up, Stand Up, ” I detail 12 major institutional and cultural areas that have broken people’s sprit of resistance, and all are “battlefields for democracy” in which we can fight to regain our individual self-respect and collective self confidence:
•    Television
•    Isolation and bureaucratization
•    “Fundamentalist consumerism” and advertising/propaganda
•    Student loan debt and indentured servitude
•    Surveillance
•    The decline of unions/solidarity among working people
•    Greed and a “money-centric” culture
•    Fear-based schools that teach obedience
•    Psychopathologizing noncompliance
•    Elitism via professional training
•    The corporate media
•    The US electoral system

As Ralph Waldo Emerson observed, “All our things are right and wrong together. The wave of evil washes all our institutions alike.”

– See more at:



STEALTH AGENDA: New UN Tribunal to Judge US for “Climate Debt”

Tucked away on page 19 of the 34-page document is the call for establishing an International Tribunal of Climate Justice

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Ortman requests review of county’s family court    

Posted: Wednesday, April 18, 2012                                                                                                     

By Richard Crawford

Julianne Ortman
State Sen. Julianne Ortman is asking top court officials to undertake a comprehensive review of family court cases in the First Judicial District, especially those originating in Carver County.

In a letter dated April 17 to Lorie Skjerven Gildea, chief justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, and Sue Dosal, Minnesota State Court administrator, Ortman calls for the review to commence prior to the adjournment of the Legislature.

In her letter, Ortman, a Chanhassen Republican who serves as Senate deputy majority leader, said concerns about recent court cases have made their way to St. Paul.

“The examples and controversies now being brought to the attention of members of the Legislature have cast a shadow of injustice over our courts,” according to Ortman’s letter, “and questions as to whether there is some systemic problem. Your thorough review, investigation and report is needed before residents of my community all will again have confidence that disputes in family court are being managed in an impartial manner.”

The letter specifically asks for investigation of processes and procedures for recommending and determining child protection issues, child custody and visitation issues and child support payments.

Lea Banken, who has been involved with a recent high-visibility custody case in the county, said she was delighted when Ortman handed her a copy of the letter on April 17 at the state Capitol. Banken has been attending legislative hearings this session pushing for judicial reform.

Banken’s former husband was awarded custody of their three young children and she said it’s been “nearly impossible” to see them. Banken said she has little money in the wake of the custody battle and the court requires her to take another psychological evaluation and pay $100 per hour to visit her children. She said she’s taken two psychological evaluations in the past two years that revealed no problems.

Banken also was a founder of a website blog – called Carver County Corruption – that has included information on her case as well as others in Carver County. The blog has become a sidebar issue to her custody case as Carver County Judge Richard Perkins has attempted to have Banken take portions of the blog down.

Banken’s custody case is expected to be heard in appeals court this summer.

At a Banken court hearing on Feb. 9, state Rep. Ernie Leidiger, of Mayer, was in attendance and he has expressed concerns about freedom-of-speech issues as well as mothers’ ability to see their children. Leidiger has signed on to Ortman’s letter requesting a review of the family court system. Rep. Joe Hoppe, of Chaska, has also signed the letter as well as other legislators, according to Ortman.

Besides the Banken case, there have been several other recent custody battles in Carver County. However, Ortman’s letter doesn’t mention any specific cases.

On April 18, Ortman emphasized that her concerns don’t apply to any one person or any one case.

“As you may be aware,” Ortman’s letter said, “concerns about these issues, and perceived administrative and judicial bias, have been raised by numerous participants recently, but you may not be aware that these issues and concerns have long persisted – actually, similar concerns have been raised in my community for over a dozen years.”

Prior to being elected to the Legislature, where she has served on the Senate Judiciary Committee since 2003, Ortman served on the Carver County Board. She has been an attorney for more than 20 years.

During her time in the Legislature, Ortman said she wasn’t aware of a similar request to have a review of specific court proceedings.

Carver County is one of seven counties in the First Judicial District. Carver County Court is a court of general jurisdiction with four resident judges who hear all types of cases including criminal, family, civil, juvenile, probate and conciliation court.

In 2011, there were more than 642 family court cases in Carver County, according to court records.

Read Julianne Ortman’s Letter Below

(Click to enlarge)

OrtmanOrtman 2

Family Court Matter                                                        

Posted: Tuesday, May 1, 2012 8:43 pm | Updated: 10:20 am, Thu May 3, 2012.

By Richard Crawford Chanhassen Villager

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