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Posts Tagged ‘jury nullification’

Sidney Powell, JD, Former Federal Prosecutor on “Licensed to Lie”

February 4th, 2019 Comments off

 

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Stating the obvious can bring clarity to any subject. Objectivity is necessary in the affordable housing sector, as well as the manufactured home segment of housing. Businesses and investors act upon reality, or what they think is reality.

 

More broadly, objectivity – the search for truth vs. a convenient or comfortable story – is useful if not necessary in all things. For example, a person of sound mind doesn’t pay a physician to give a knowingly false diagnosis.

With that understanding, there are powerful currents at play in the U.S. in our era. Indeed, they are global currents, at work here and abroad. The Open Markets Institute (OMI) described it in these terms.

Big business and wealthy donors fund lobbyists and think tanks, corrupt academic science with “sponsored” research, and underwrite popular media publications and news networks. Through all these mechanisms, moneyed interests can control the flow of information in public debates and determine which issues become part of the nation’s political agenda, and which remain on the fringe,” said OMI.

That in a nutshell describes much of what MHProNews and our sister site, MHLivingNews, has been working to unmask via research, following the money, and documenting the evidence for years.

 

The Two Major Parties and Political Clout

One ought to mention in passing the “unholy alliance” that Senator Rand Paul (KY-R) has cited between Democrats and Republicans. That unholy alliance extends to ballot access at the state or local level. It’s a way of protecting the two major parties against potential alternatives. Libertarian, Green, Constitutional, and other parties are often kept off the ballot through standards that routinely are difficult for any but the two major parties to achieve.

Rephrased, it’s political collusion between Democrats and Republicans that results in a political monopoly.  More precisely, it’s a duopoly.

 

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That’s not news for some, but it would be for tens of millions of others. Nor does that does mean that the two parties are the same. They clearly are not. But they do at times work to preserve each other’s monopolies – duopoly – in the political sphere.

Once that “unholy alliance” is better understood, several items come into focus. These issues absolutely impact manufactured housing, and other professions as well.

But what makes HUD Code manufactured homes more vulnerable than other professions to political and regulatory winds is the relative weakness of the sector, due to its current size. In that limited sense, a point previously made by Nathan Smith of SSK Communities is correct, today, manufactured homes are a “boutique industry.”

That relatively small size of our industry today allows connected power players, including Smith and his “F” rated by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) SSK Communities, to influence the system more than others. Smith, a prominent Democrat, is the former chairman of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and their current MHI PAC chair. Quoting Smith should NOT be construed in any sense as an endorsement, we merely note that he is correct on the narrow point about the industry being “boutique” in size, more on Smith is found at the link here.

The industry’s small size clearly means that manufactured housing is more subject to other political or economic forces. When billionaires or wealthy firms want to buy influence, they can do so readily. If necessary, those with deep pockets can back candidates on both sides of the two-party political aisle, knowing they will then have an open door to whomever gets in office. Smith and others have made that same point.

Which goes back to the concept cited from Open Markets. Those who think that term limits or rolling back the Citizens United decision will change American politics may be sincere, but that vantagepoint is nevertheless mistaken.

Here’s how Open Markets explained it in an article entitled, Democracy and Monopoly.

More fundamentally, the focus on campaign finance reform fails to address the many other ways in which concentrated moneyed interests corrupt the political process.”

With that sobering yet arguably accurate backdrop consider this.

 

Each Major Party Has at Times Weaponized Federal Power 

What the former President Richard Nixon (R-GOP) era Watergate scandal brought to light was the high-level weaponization of the intelligence and federal law enforcement services. Before Democratic supporters gloat over that reality, it’s arguably happened as recently as the Obama Administration (D) era too. Some presidents – across the left-right divide – have done so with more or less vigor than others.

 

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For the next few minutes, this Daily Business News on MHProNews brief will underscore the following points.

The Trump Administration has purportedly been somewhat hobbled by forces launched within the federal government while President Barack Obama (D) was still in office.

 

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Former federal prosecutor Sidney Powell, JD, in the interview below explains some aspects of that problem.

 

 

Former CBS News investigative journalist and now independent “Full Measure” journalist Sharyl Attkisson has similarly documented how the Obama Administration targeted her work in journalism. Fox News’ reporter James Rosen was likewise targeted by members of the Obama Administration.

There are solutions to these and other vexing issues. It begins, as does all problem solving, with understanding. 

 

Its Elementary. Its About the Constitution

Once the issues are understood, the solutions can emerge.  Put simply, the road to solutions begins by enforcing the U.S. Constitution as written and following the original resolution.  Other solutions – however well intentioned – are arguably ineffective at best, or a smokescreen at worst. The false notion, for example, of an evolution of the meaning of a law or the constitution disrupts the stability of the law, which makes ownership or property, investing, and other peaceful pursuits possible.

 

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From a letter to the editor of MHProNews by Kurt Kelley about the importance of replacing the late Justice Antonin Scalia with a textual originalist, which President Donald J. Trump’s nomination of now Justice Neil Gorsuch was intended to accomplish.

 

After decades of national drift, intolerance for red herrings and more posturing without solutions should be stronger.

 

Where does the Final Word Rest? 

Many today feel frustrated by politics, but they may not be aware of the power they have.

The ultimate power of the legal system – the final word – lies in the hands of potential jurors. The power to enforce a law – whenever a defendant insists upon it – is decided by citizen-jurors.

 

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So never forget, you have more power over the law than you may realize. One juror can hold out, and effectively nullify a prosecution. It’s a principle long established in U.S. law. The juror can even ignore the judge’s instructions, and vote “not guilty,” as the legal citations below demonstrate.  That’s why the jury system was put in place in the constitution. Constitutional rights protect individual liberty, including against the power of rouges in runaway government, or the uber-rich who may misuse wealth to dominate the political system.

 

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You don’t have to be a fan of President Donald J. Trump to want equal justice under the law to be the the goal. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe has arguably been illicit from the beginning. Democrat-backer Alan Dershowitz, Harvard Law professor emeritus, has argued against it. Mark Levin, JD, was anti-Trump before he became pro-Trump.  Levin has been shining a light on this topic for over a year. So too has MHProNews.

 

 

The president is a man, so by definition, he’s imperfect. That said, there is no known evidence of Russian collusion. Yet over 40 percent of the nation, according to public opinion polls, believe that to be the case. That’s possible because of the repeated reference to “allegations” of “Russian Collusion.” A lie, falsehood, spin or error repeated often enough becomes more widely believed.  Manufactured housing professionals – as part of a widely misunderstood industry – should be very sensitive to that sad reality.

As Attkisson suggests, question authority, follow the money, follow the evidence, and think objectively for yourself.

If POTUS Trump was a Russian pawn, as some oddly claim, then why is his foreign policy taking so many hard stands against Russian interests?

Russia has interfered in American and other elections for decades.  But so too as the U.S. interfered in the internal affairs of Russia and other nations. The claim of Russian collusions with the candidate Trump are absurd on its face. Whatever the political motivations of those who continue that false narrative, the reality is there is no evidence for it, after years and millions of dollars spent.

So the points – several – could be summed up like this. As the special counsel’s probe winds down, a report will be issued. As Mark Levin – himself a former Reagan era federal attorney – argues, this probe was tainted from the start. Mueller’s appointment was a political tool. It has had some success, as the 2018 midterms demonstrated.

As political independents, the publishers of MHProNews believe there are places that the two parties can and should work together in a bipartisan way. We’ve preached separating ‘wheat from chaff‘ for years.  A new example is the report linked here and below.

 

 

But it is important to recognize that the news can and is manipulated. The Open Markets Institute (OMI) is arguably correct about that claim. It’s a point that MHProNews – as the largest and most-read trade publisher in manufactured housing – has hammered on for years.

 

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Full Measure’s Sharyl Attiksson’s media bias chart is useful in sorting out the agendas behind various headlines and news sources. 

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Deepa Kumar quote from the thought-provoking video documentary, Shadows of Liberty, posted on the linked page above.

 

We source across the left-right divide, ever seeking truth over spin. Spin is what the powers that be in the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis produce, via their echo-chamber house organs. But that’s a subset of a greater challenge.

 

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This Danny Glover quote is from the fascinating video documentary, Shadows of Liberty, posted on the linked page above.  It is similar to what the Open Market Institute (OMI) said, quoted further above. Note, as with any other quote, that doesn’t mean that we agree with other positions or claims made by the source of a given quote. 

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Dan Rather quote is also from the compelling video, Shadows of Liberty, posted on the linked page further below.

 

There are reasons that the axis and their surrogates fear MHProNews in industry trade publishing, because unmasking the truth is the start of becoming more free. Or as the Good Book says, “My People perish for a lack of knowledge,” (Hosea 4:6) and “…the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32b).

The rule of law is necessary and healthy for investment and the ownership of private property. So, violations or abuses of the rule of law will routinely harms numbers of individuals, investors, and businesses.

Understanding combined with correct action are the ways that manufactured housing will regain – and can surpass – its prior glory days.  The same is true for our American Republic.

That’s “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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FEDs, AGs, Law, Weaponized Gov’t – Business Risk, and Defense

May 29th, 2018 Comments off

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There is in all communications efforts the risk of saying too much, or too little, when seeking to make an important point.

 

In an era when thousands of messages are heard or seen daily by the average American, the risk of tuning out news or issues that seem disquieting is real.

This report may appear to some readers who skim as a partisan column, but the point is non-partisan and far more nuanced.

Specific examples will be used to make broader points that are important for investors, business owners, and all others too.

Before we dive into them, a quote from Sam Zell, Chairman, of Equity Lifestyle Properties (ELS), which helps make the point on one of a blizzard of reasons why this issue of the law and its application matters to every investor and business professional.

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See those quotes and more in two MHProNews exclusives on Zell, linked here, and here.

 

Equal Justice Under Law

Equal Justice Under Law” is a powerful slogan, and a noble ideal.

Justice, like affordable housing, ought to be non-partisan issues.

The words “Equal Justice” are etched in stone on some judicial edifices, plaques, and statues. To be meaningful, they must be etched into minds and hearts.

As an example, the Special Counsel Robert Mueller investigation of so-called Russian collusion with the Trump campaign is now seen by the majority of Americans much as President Donald J. Trump has defined it. Over half of those polled now see the Mueller probe as a partisan witch hunt. After a year and tens of millions spent by the special counsel, that reflects the reality with a majority, even though some 90 percent of big, mainstream media news reports have an anti-Trump bias or slant, per Vox and the Media Research Group. Yet, the president is still winning on that issue. Would that be true without his regular Twitter or video push-backs and counter-punches?

But the point here isn’t the president or Mueller, per se.  Rather, it’s as an example of how governmental power can be weaponized.

There are several people who are being investigated that are being driven to the brink of bankruptcy by federal officials associated with the Mueller investigation. That ought to be a concern to every American. “Michael Thomas Flynn is a retired United States Army Lieutenant General who served in the U.S. Army for 33 years, from 1981 until 2014. In January 2017 he briefly served as National Security Advisor to U.S. President Donald Trump,” says Wikipedia. Flynn is an example of one of those being targeted for something that Democratic Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz says is an investigation into an allegation that isn’t even a crime.

Flynn was charged, even though FBI interrogators said they saw no evidence of deception, and Dershowitz said there is no underlying crime involved.  Nevertheless, Flynn was charged with lying to the FBI.  His legal bills were overwhelming their family.

So, even though there are plenty of grounds for defense, Flynn has plead guilty to lying. Why? Some sources say it is because of the high cost of his legal defense. Others add that it was to protect a Flynn family member that the special counsel’s office was threatening to “squeeze” in a similar fashion.

Those are arguably un-American tactics.

But this could just as easily happen to you, your partner, or a colleague. It can happen unintentionally. It can occur even when there is arguably no citizen who has been harmed.

There was a claim by an author some years ago that there are an estimated one million laws and regulations on the books in the United States, at all levels of government.

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Sam Zell and ELS had the money to fight back. But what about you, and your business?

 

Another author used as a theme in his book the notion that the average American has broken three laws each day. That means, you, family, friends, others could get the retired Lt. General Flynn treatment. You could be charged with an offense and be forced to pay the cost of defending against a potentially unjust charge.

This isn’t just a matter of what a federal or state attorney general’s office can do. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allegedly misused their power to target conservative groups, starting around March 2010, per Wikipedia. Lois Lerner has suffered little obvious consequences from that tragic recent chapter in our nation’s history.

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Still from the second video, below.

If you or your business was unjustly targeted by prosecutors, the costs of a good legal defense could drive many into bankruptcy in a period of months.

People in government aren’t automatically angels. It’s a fallacy of those who believe in big government, with big bureaucracies.

The Fredric Bastiat video on this page teaches principles that are similar to those of America’s founders. Like American’s founders, Bastiat believed in limited government that gave maximum liberty to people, which in turn protected private property rights. Bastiat felt that law should routinely negate government power, as a check against an abuse of power.

 

We, the People

The founding founders created a system of checks and balances, precisely as a counter to government overreach.

But research indicates that in the U.S., most don’t know the Constitution, much less their constitutional rights. For example, the Annenberg Public Policy survey in Sept 2017 found that ”Nearly half of those surveyed (48 percent) say that freedom of speech is a right guaranteed by the First Amendment. But, unprompted, 37 percent could not name any First Amendment rights.”

Millions have little or no understanding of the historic reasons why the principle of constitutionally limited government matters.  That’s a recipe for an abuse of power by people in government.

The ultimate check on an abuse of government power is the citizen jury system.

A single informed juror can keep an unjust law, or a law that is being unjustly applied, from being enforced. They can do so by voting, “not guilty.”

Education, motivation, and a keen sense of curiosity for objective truth are useful in business. Those skills are also useful in society.

The power to tax, and the power to regulate, are the power to destroy.

Weaponized education, agenda journalism, and government overreach are among the reasons for voting for those who support limited government that operates within constitutional boundaries.

The entire notion of constitutional government is that it limits government power.  Legitimate government gets its power from the “consent of the governed.” But more than that, legitimate government protects life, liberty, and private property.

 

The 5Ws and the 1 H

Who. What. When. Where. Why. How.” They are the basic questions that must be answered by objective journalism. They are the basics of police investigations, and the core of all research. By all research, that means research by investors too.

That means they 5Ws and 1 H are – or should be – at the core of informed professional and investor question when probing any issue.

In an era where there seems to be clear examples of “Weaponized Justice,” everyone ought to be alarmed. Again, this isn’t a partisan issue.

There is a need to be informed, but a challenge of getting authentic information. That’s why analytical thinking is so important.

Take the time to understand. Encourage others to be informed.

Vote wisely for those who want to roll back bloated government, which can become weaponized.

Understand the Constitution and it’s principles.

 

Vote at the ballot box, and vote in the jury box. Every vote is important, but your vote as a juror may be one of the most powerful rights any citizen possess.

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The well-informed citizen juror is a great check on potential abuse of power by simply being able to vote, “not guilty.” Someday, you or someone you know could be targeted by government overreach. Applied knowledge is an important tool to stop such abuse. ## (News, analysis, and expert commentary.)

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