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An Educated Alienated Loner

Is anyone surprised that Robert Lewis Dear, Jr is described by those who came into occasional contact with him as a reclusive loner ? He lived in a dilapidated trailer off the beaten path. His only political activity reported so far consists of once handing an anti-Obama pamphlet to a neighbor who had stopped by his trailer.

His ex-wife says he has a college degree and used to be an art dealer of some sort. He did not seem particularly religious or political. When they split up, she said she had no problem with Dear having custody of their 12 year old son and raising him. (She remarried and said she only saw Dear a handful of times since they split in 2000.)

Dear moved to Colorado from North Carolina in the last year or two and bought a piece of land in Hartsel, CO, which is in Park County, about 45 minutes from Colorado Springs. He lived in a trailer with a woman and two dogs.

He has no significant criminal history and none in the past decade. In North Carolina he lived in a cabin in the woods on Black Mountain near Asheville, NC that had no electricity or running water. Until his divorce in 2000, he lived in South Carolina. He grew up in Lexington, KY.

His neighbors, who barely had any contact with him, describe him as an unkempt reclusive malcontent who never appeared threatening (despite being 6'4" tall) and didn't express political opinions.

Most abortion clinic violence has occurred through bombings, not shootings. One exception was John Salvi in Mass. He killed himself in prison in 1996. [More...]

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Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Open Thread

One of my favorite of Dr. King's quotes:

That old law about "an eye for an eye" leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing. (He was quoting Mahatma Gandhi who said, "An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind."

and

Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.

Among my favorite long pieces: Declaration of Independence from the War in Vietnam and Letters From Birmingham City Jail.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly."

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Mistrial #4 Declared for John Gotti, Jr

A mistrial has been declared for the fourth time against John Gotti, Jr. The jury did not find the testimony of mob informants credible.

Several were unconvinced by the prosecution case that relied on the increasingly controversial use of mob informants....[S]ome jurors said after the trial ended that they did not find a self-confessed multiple murderer a convincing witness.

AUSA Elie Honig took the loss graciously: [More....]

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John Gotti Jr. Jury Says Deadlocked Again

The Government ought to give John Gotti, Jr. a rest. After 9 days of deliberations in a 4th retrial, the jury announced it was deadlocked. But the Judge gave them the dynamite charge, rather than let them go.

The end seemed near for the fourth racketeering trial of Gotti when the jury said it could not reach a unanimous verdict in a note late in its ninth day of deliberations, a record for the Gotti trials. Gotti, 45, blew a kiss to his family before taking his seat.

After rejecting a defense request to declare a mistrial, U.S. District Judge Kevin P. Castel summoned the jury and delivered a so-called Allen charge, instructing jurors to try hard once more to come to a consensus.

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Court Rejects Bail for Bernie Madoff's CFO Despite Gov't. Backing

Sometimes cooperating with the Government doesn't pan out the way you thought it would. Bernie Madoff's CFO Frank DiPascali, Jr. learned that the hard way Tuesday.

After pleading guilty to an Information containing ten counts (pdf), carrying a possible sentence of 125 years in prison for which his sentencing guideline range would be life in prison, and agreeing to forfeit $170 billion (with a "b" as the judge pointed out) plus another $250 million, the issue of bail pending sentencing came up. The transcript of Tuesday's hearing is here (pdf).

DiPascali, 52, is cooperating, in hopes of avoiding a life sentence. He worked for Madoff for 30 years and admitted participating in the fraudulent scheme and cooking the books for 20 of them and lying to the SEC in 2006. He saw the light in December, 2008 -- 8 months ago. Since then, he's been a model citizen, reporting almost daily to meet with FBI agents and help them unravel what he and Bernie did. The Government agreed to recommend bail (pdf).

The Judge was having none of it. Not because he wanted to punish DiPascali, but because he doesn't trust the fraudster or his recent conversion to Truth, Justice and the American Way. [More...]

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MLK Day Open Thread

Thousands are marching in Denver and across the nation in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. today. Whether marching for peace, for justice or for human rights, there's a unifying feeling and spirit of hope that change has come and will continue.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.

Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly."

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter From a Birmingham Jail

Let's make this an open thread for your hopes of change in the coming Administration.

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Jesse Jackson, Jr., Informant or Tattler?

Jesse Jackson, Jr. has been providing the U.S. Attorney's office in Chicago with information about alleged bribes by Rod Blagojevich and details of meetings for months. Some call him an informant. Jackson rejects the label.

I would ask this: If Jackson, Jr. went to the feds to report what he perceived to be a personal bribe by Blagojevich -- a scheme in which Jackson believed himself to be a victim -- is that informing or reporting a crime?

Ratting and snitching are done for personal benefit -- either money or rewards of leniency for one's own misdeeds or for promises to lay off family members. Reporting a crime you witness, without needing, asking for or receiving any personal gain in exchange for the information doesn't seem to fit the label.

Snitching and ratting are bad. I don't think any site attacks the practice of Government purchased testimony from informants, snitches and rats more than TalkLeft. But... [More...]

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Bill Clinton and Mike Huckabee Share Pew at Ebenezer Baptist Church

Here's a short video of Bill Clinton and Mike Huckabee sharing a pew and singing today at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.

Here's a live-stream of the service which is still going on. Clinton acknowledged Huckabee in his remarks:

He acknowledged a litany of people, before beginning his remarks on MLK, including his “fellow Arkansan, and a competitor for the presidential nomination. Governor Huckabee welcome.”

” We worked together for several years on something that concerns everybody in this church: trying to turn the tide on childhood obesity, and childhood diabetes,”Clinton said.”A good man.”But he also said that they didn’t agree much on anything.

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In Memory and Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I hope we all take a few minutes today to reacquaint ourselves with the extraordinary wisdom, vision and passion of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Some of my favorites:

  • I've Been to the Mountaintop: April 3, 1968. Dr. King's last speech, the day before his assassination, in support of the striking Memphis sanitation workers.

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