Sunday, December 30, 2007

Highlights From the Columbus Day Trials


Some of the major points in hearings before Judges Jordan and Bohning in Denver City and County Court:

The Columbus Day cases will be consolidated and four or six (the number has not been determined) defenders will appear before Judge Jordan on January 16. Judge Jordan seemed pretty adamant about it being four. Our attorneys will still have to negotiate with the city attorneys about which four, so the consolidated trial may not quite be a done deal. Assuming it is, other trial dates will be vacated.
The defense’s request for Internal Affairs documents was limited, and a request to subpoena communications between the Mayor’s office, Denver Police, and the Sheriff’s Office was denied by Judge Bohning, who said they were “not relevant.”

Motions citing violations of international law were denied and the violations were disallowed as a defense by Judge Bohning, although he termed them “interesting reading.” Judge Jordan said she would allow discussion of international law at trial.

The defense’s motion to use a Choice of Evils defense was declined for failure to meet the threshold test. (The motion argues that protesting the parade was a lesser evil than allowing a hate crime to be committed).

Defenders should be aware that while these motions were denied, there is nothing to prevent a defender from testifying at trial that she or he was motivated to oppose the parade by their understanding that the parade was a violation of international law, or that they felt they had to act as they did to prevent a greater evil. In any case, David Lane pointed the judges to a recent Supreme Court case, Holmes v. South Carolina, which he believes is precedent for allowing those defenses in any of the trials.

Speedy trial will not be waived for those in Courtroom 151P, but will be waived for those in 117M. Cases without waiver will have a status review January 25. Suppression hearings will be January 4.

A reminder: the next TCD meeting will be WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 2, 6:30 PM, FOUR WINDS. The consolidated trial and these other issues will be discussed at that meeting.

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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Colorado Media Matters Exposes Charlie Brennan's Bias. Again.

Ah, bias. Remember way back when in November of 2005 when Charlie Brennan was FIRED for bias from the Ward Churchill smear campaign by his right-wing bosses at the Rocky Mountain News? The sordid tale is here at

Do you know how biased you have to be to get fired for bias by the Rocky Mountain News? Brennan, of course, eventually left the Rocky in disgrace for an even more degrading job as a Fox News reporter for Channel 31 KDVR in Denver. 31? Isn't that like UHF, or something?

For the second time in three months, Colorado Media Matters takes Brennan to the mat for the thinly-veiled propaganda he calls "reporting." The first time was in September. Why (other than Charlie's oh-so-willing bigotry) Fox News continues to employ the self-professed Quaker pacifist and "screaming left-wing liberal" is a mystery to me. He cannot get through a single broadcast without stumbling his lines or flailing like a puppet tangled in his strings. Plus, he looks bloated, like he can't control how much he eats. Or drinks. Maybe it's just all the forbidden words and emotions he keeps swallowing.

As the DNC nears, Colorado Media Matters will no doubt have plenty more of Charlie Brennan's lies to chew on and spit out. He certainly is the gift that just keeps on giving, as Fire Witch Rising's ample coverage has long since showed.

Fox 31 report on voting machines omitted former GOP secretary of state's role in certification problems

Summary: In reporting on Colorado Secretary of State Mike Coffman's (R) impending decision about the possible recertification of Colorado's electronic voting systems, Charlie Brennan of KDVR Fox 31 stated that "[a] lawsuit against the former Colorado secretary of state resulted in a judge's finding last year that Colorado had done an abysmal job of certifying its electronic voting systems." Brennan, however, did not identify the former secretary of state as Republican Gigi Dennis.

During a December 16 News at Nine O'Clock segment about an impending decision whether to recertify the security of Colorado voting machine systems, KDVR Fox 31 reported that "[a] lawsuit against the former Colorado secretary of state resulted in a judge's finding last year that Colorado had done an abysmal job of certifying its electronic voting systems." However, reporter Charlie Brennan failed to identify the "former Colorado secretary of state" as Republican Gigi Dennis.

Fox 31 anchor Leland Vittert introduced the segment by stating, "2008 will be an important year for Colorado voters. But one potential hurdle in the road is a looming decision about how we, right here in Colorado, will go about casting our votes." Brennan then reported on Colorado Secretary of State Mike Coffman's expected announcement about the electronic voting systems and "how many, if any, of the current systems he has recertified."

As Colorado Media Matters has noted (here, here, and here), the Rocky Mountain News reported that in 2006, "Dennis was sued by a group of 13 residents who alleged that the testing process was flawed and failed to prove that the electronic voting equipment was secure and accurate." The Denver Post reported that in his ruling, Judge Lawrence Manzanares found that "Dennis' office never created minimum security standards for the machines -- as required by state law." The Post further reported Manzanares' finding that under former Gov. Bill Owens' (R) administration, "the state did an 'abysmal' job of documenting testing during the certification process."

Read the rest...

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Whitey Will Pay IX: SF Zoo She-Tiger Executes Looky-Lou

It's not nice to stare at another being's subjugation. Tigers belong in the wild, not in cages.

Turns out, our man-eating tigress, Tatiana, was born in the Denver Zoo. Let that be an inspiration to you for the DNC, sports fans.

Tiger Kills Man, Mauls Two Others After Escaping Cage at San Francisco Zoo

Dec 26 11:46 AM US/Eastern
Associated Press Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The San Francisco Zoo was closed to visitors Wednesday as investigators tried to determine how a tiger escaped from its enclosure and attacked three visitors, killing one of the men and mauling two others.
Officials planned to conduct a thorough sweep of the zoo grounds during daylight. They said additional victims were not likely but they were uncertain how long the tiger, a female named Tatiana, had been loose near closing time on Christmas Day before she was killed by police.

Tatiana, a Siberian tiger weighing about 300 pounds, was the same animal that ripped the flesh off a zookeeper's arm just before Christmas 2006.

The three men—one of them 19 years old and the others in their early 20s—were attacked just after 5 p.m. Tuesday on the east end of the 125-acre zoo grounds near Ocean Beach, police spokesman Steve Mannina said.

They suffered "pretty aggressive bite marks," Mannina said.

The two injured men were in critical but stable condition Wednesday at San Francisco General Hospital after undergoing surgery to have their wounds cleaned and closed, authorities said. They suffered deep bites and claw cuts on their heads, necks, arms and hands.

The San Francisco medical examiner had not been able to identify the dead man, investigator Tim Hellman said Wednesday. The man did not have any identification and no one had called asking about him, according to Hellman.

The zoo's director of animal care and conservation, Robert Jenkins, could not explain how Tatiana escaped. The tiger's enclosure is surrounded by a 15-foot-wide moat and 20-foot-high walls, and the big cat did not leave through an open door, he said.

"There was no way out through the door," Jenkins said. "The animal appears to have climbed or otherwise leaped out of the enclosure."
Read the rest...

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Denver's Fox 31 SOLD!

Cross your fingers that Fox 31 reporter Charlie Brennan will soon be getting a pink slip like the University of Colorado professor he once helped railroad into the unemployment line. Brennan is definately a "low-growth, non-core asset" with his inveterate, on-camera fuck-ups. What goes around surely comes around.

Speaking of Brennans, Charlie's twenty-four year old daughter will continue her Sophomore year at the University of Colorado as a Womens Studies major, a decision Fire Witch Rising applauds wholeheartedly. Considering what an arch-conservative, sexist pig father she had growing up, I wish her the very best in her quest to decolonize all of that familial toxicity.

Huzzah! Miss Brennan.

But ya better go ask yer mom for the college funds! As we can see from the "failure to file an annual report" records at the CO Secretary of State website, your father wasn't much of a business partner at CB and Casey Q, Inc. [If you get a timed out notice, do a business search on the name Casey Q .]

Q and A, LLC got dissolved, too, apparently due to neglect. Big surprise. [Hat Tip to the Mystery Lady for both of these links.]

Casey Q? Is that somehow related to Oh, yeah. The whole Q thing. Jeesh, how juvenile.

Ch. 31 among stations sold by News Corp.

Private-equity firm Oak Hill Capital Partners buys eight Fox-affiliated TV stations.

By Nancy Kercheval and Danielle Rossingh
Bloomberg News Service
Article Last Updated: 12/25/2007 12:07:32 AM MST

News Corp., the media company controlled by Rupert Murdoch, agreed to sell eight of its Fox-network-affiliated television stations in the U.S. — including Denver's KDVR, Channel 31 — to Oak Hill Capital Partners LP for about $1.1 billion in cash.

The sale leaves Fox with 27 owned-and-operated stations and will probably be completed in the third quarter, New York-based News Corp. said in a statement. Oak Hill will add the stations to nine existing ones, according to its website.

News Corp. is selling the assets to focus on its largest and most lucrative markets following the $5.2 billion takeover of Dow Jones & Co. this year. The purchase will help Oak Hill, a buyout firm founded by Texas oil billionaire Robert Bass, create a broader U.S. network after it paid $575 million to acquire stations from New York Times Co. in May.

"It is part of News Corp.'s strategic decision to shed low-growth, noncore assets," said Richard Dorfman, managing director of the investment firm Richard Alan Inc., who doesn't own any shares.

Network-television spending fell 3.8 percent and cable-television revenue fell 0.3 percent in the first half from the year-earlier period, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

For Oak Hill, the purchase is "a classic private-equity play," said Dorfman. "Ad dollars are migrating to the Web, but it's a government-licensed franchise that can throw off good cash flow and reliably service debt."

Oak Hill will get KDVR in Denver and stations in Cleveland; St. Louis; Kansas City, Mo.; Milwaukee; Salt Lake City; Birmingham, Ala.; and Greensboro, N.C., according to the News Corp. statement confirmed by spokeswoman Teri Everett. Everett also confirmed that KDVR would remain a Fox affiliate.

KDVR did not have an official available for comment Monday.

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Pork and Pigs: Denver Trying to Get $50 Million For DNC Security

Story at Colorado Indymedia:

Denver trying to get $50 million for security
Dec 18th Denver Post ....

"The House was to consider late Monday an appropriations bill that includes $100 million to be divided between Denver and St. Paul, Minn., which is hosting the Republican National Convention.

Although appropriations requests already exist in both House and Senate bills, the budget process has been stymied in part by the Iraq war funding debate."

The key fact is that, like happens everytime, lots and lots of our taxpayer dollars will be shelled out to pay for 'security' at these two big infomercials for the two corporate parties.

Of course, this tax payer money will mainly be spent to make sure that most taxpayers can't get within shouting distance of those who run this country.

The weird part is that this is pretty much a done deal. There's no debate over this. No argument. It goes equally to the DNC and RNC cities, and the Republicans and the Democrats are in complete agreement that they need lots of fences and police in riot gear to keep any citizens far, far away from them. So its really just a matter of process before this just slides its way though the Congress the way most pork slides its way through our Congress.

So, why is the City of Denver whining so much about this? There's this bizarre little bit right at the end of the article.

"Meanwhile, Denver officials are concerned that if security funding isn’t locked in by year’s end, they will have to begin spending the millions necessary to prepare for the security effort."

Huh? If the security funding is locked in by year's end, then does this mean Denver won't spend the money they would be given?

I think that if you translate this sentence to English, what the author was really trying to say was that Denver is about to start spending millions of dollars at the start of the year to begin the work of making sure that citizens who want to petition their government for the redress of grievences at next year's DNC don't get anywhere near their government. And that they'd like to have the Feds give them the money now so the City of Denver doesn't have use its own lunch money to pay for getting ready to oppress some concerned American citizens.

Anyways, when you see the DPD and all their friends at the DNC next year, expect them all to have lots and lots of new toys. There's some great lines that could be used about Congressional pork and the police, but I'll leave them to the readers imagination.

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Saturday, December 22, 2007

2007 Solstice Sunrise Live From Ireland's Bru Na Boinne

At Heritage Ireland, click on the "View the Archive" link for a replay.

By Louise Hogan
Saturday December 22 2007

IT WAS new age technology combined with 5,000-year-old Stone-Age engineering.

Yesterday, for the first time, the winter sun lighting the passage tomb at Newgrange, Co Meath, was beamed live around the world on television and the internet.

Hundreds of people travelled long distances to face the sun as it rose over the Boyne Valley, as locals had done thousands of years earlier.

The morning frost may have chilled fingers, but it provided perfect crisp weather for viewing the winter solstice.

Witnessed by just a select few inside the snug burial chamber, the annual event was transmitted live by the Office of Public Works to hundreds of thousands of people via internet and television stations, including TV3.

It was 40 years ago that Helen Watanabe-O'Kelly first witnessed the event alongside her father, Professor Michael J O'Kelly, who rediscovered the winter solstice phenomenon when he unearthed the roof box.


Yesterday saw his daughers -- Helen, Eve and Ann -- return to the chamber as part of the select group of dignitaries and lottery winners to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Professor O'Kelly's remarkable discovery.

"It was extraordinary, I remember seeing it in around 1969 -- all alone, just me and him. No cameras, no lights, nothing. The whole place was just illuminated. I'll never forget it," Ms Watanabe-O'Kelly said.

"He was the first person in about 5,000 years to see it."

Outside, incense burned as some watchers saluted the rising sun, others simply watched while the sun set the roof box aglow.

On a massive screen outside the passage tomb, from just before 9am the beam of amber light could be seen creeping along the floor.
Read the rest...

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Santa Nailed To Cross

Great photo that unifies Amerikans' two best crapitalist posterboys:

Santa nailed to cross to protest against Xmas commercialism

December 23, 2007 - 10:59AM

Art Conrad hung a Santa from a cross in front of his Washington home, making a statement about the commercialisation of Christmas.
Photo: AP

Art Conrad has an issue with the commercialism of Christmas, and his protest has gone way beyond just shunning the malls or turning off his television.

The US resident nailed Santa Claus to a 4.5 crucifix in front of his house in Bremerton, in Washington state on the US Pacific coast.

"Santa has been perverted from who he started out to be," Conrad said. "Now he's the person being used by corporations to get us to buy more stuff."

A photo of the crucified Santa adorns Conrad's Christmas cards, with the message "Santa died for your MasterCard".

The display is also Conrad's way of poking fun at political correctness. He believes people do not express their feelings because they are afraid of what others might think.
Read the rest...


Friday, December 21, 2007

Friday Song: Primal Scream

Cuz it's the holidays, and you know what that means.




Thursday, December 20, 2007

Lakota Delegation Withdraws From US Treaties

Hat Tip: Inteligenta Indigena

Please see also the excellent commentary from Rhonda at Death and Conscience. An excerpt follows the news item below:

Descendants of Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse break away from US
WASHINGTON (AFP) — The Lakota Indians, who gave the world legendary warriors Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, have withdrawn from treaties with the United States, leaders said Wednesday.

"We are no longer citizens of the United States of America and all those who live in the five-state area that encompasses our country are free to join us," long-time Indian rights activist Russell Means told a handful of reporters and a delegation from the Bolivian embassy, gathered in a church in a run-down neighborhood of Washington for a news conference.

A delegation of Lakota leaders delivered a message to the State Department on Monday, announcing they were unilaterally withdrawing from treaties they signed with the federal government of the United States, some of them more than 150 years old.

They also visited the Bolivian, Chilean, South African and Venezuelan embassies, and will continue on their diplomatic mission and take it overseas in the coming weeks and months, they told the news conference.

Lakota country includes parts of the states of Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming.

The new country would issue its own passports and driving licences, and living there would be tax-free -- provided residents renounce their US citizenship, Means said.

The treaties signed with the United States are merely "worthless words on worthless paper," the Lakota freedom activists say on their website.

The treaties have been "repeatedly violated in order to steal our culture, our land and our ability to maintain our way of life," the reborn freedom movement says.

Withdrawing from the treaties was entirely legal, Means said.

"This is according to the laws of the United States, specifically article six of the constitution," which states that treaties are the supreme law of the land, he said.

"It is also within the laws on treaties passed at the Vienna Convention and put into effect by the US and the rest of the international community in 1980. We are legally within our rights to be free and independent," said Means.

The Lakota relaunched their journey to freedom in 1974, when they drafted a declaration of continuing independence -- an overt play on the title of the United States' Declaration of Independence from England.

Thirty-three years have elapsed since then because "it takes critical mass to combat colonialism and we wanted to make sure that all our ducks were in a row," Means said.

One duck moved into place in September, when the United Nations adopted a non-binding declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples -- despite opposition from the United States, which said it clashed with its own laws.

"We have 33 treaties with the United States that they have not lived by. They continue to take our land, our water, our children," Phyllis Young, who helped organize the first international conference on indigenous rights in Geneva in 1977, told the news conference.

The US "annexation" of native American land has resulted in once proud tribes such as the Lakota becoming mere "facsimiles of white people," said Means.

Oppression at the hands of the US government has taken its toll on the Lakota, whose men have one of the shortest life expectancies -- less than 44 years -- in the world.

Lakota teen suicides are 150 percent above the norm for the United States; infant mortality is five times higher than the US average; and unemployment is rife, according to the Lakota freedom movement's website.

"Our people want to live, not just survive or crawl and be mascots," said Young.

"We are not trying to embarrass the United States. We are here to continue the struggle for our children and grandchildren," she said, predicting that the battle would not be won in her lifetime.
Lakota Delegation to Withdraw From Treaties

The first thing I felt was joy that this withdrawal is being done. It feels like a real beginning to reestablishing tribes as actual sovereign nations and independent entities. But then I began to wonder how this delegation was formed, and who gave them the right to represent the Lakota people. I don't know many Lakotas by name, but one name I know and trust - the White Plumes - were not listed in those representing. In my opinion, for what it's worth, it is crucial that this delegation is the product of a traditional decision-making process. Why?

Because of the long-reaching implications. This withdrawal from treaties, if acknowledged by the occupying forces calling themselves the U.S. government, would surely result in all monies and services to the Lakota reservations being abruptly terminated. As bad as things are now, this would, at least temporarily, make things worse.

Also, the U.S. would no doubt intensify its efforts to crush the People, maybe even by overt military force. But, hell, these folks have already survived the likes of Wounded Knee - twice - and I have every confidence they will survive anything.

Then I imagined Eugene and I going to the aid of these People in the face of such intensified efforts to bring them to their knees. I imagined all the folks who claim obscure Cherokee and other Native American heritage joining in the struggle. This would boost the numbers of resisters by a million or more! Some would die, but the effort would ignite an Indigenous reclamation of land and "natural" rights. It could be the undoing of the current dominant culture of the land. It could mean a return to living with the land in a non-destructive way.

Read the rest...

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Swatting S.W.A.T. Teams with Fake Calls

Got a neighbor you hate? An old enemy you want to have the SWAT team visit? Anticipating drunken, DNC revelers in the hotel room down the hall?


Trigger happy, testosterone poisoned fuckers standing by.

SWAT surrounds Salinas home in 911 'swatting' hoax
The Associated Press
Article Launched: 12/14/2007 05:25:53 AM PST

SALINAS, Calif.—The SWAT team responding to a 911 call of three men armed with assault rifles surrounded a Salinas apartment before learning a high-tech hoaxer made the bogus call long-distance on his computer.
Fifteen heavily armed special weapons officers descended on the apartment Wednesday night after a caller to a Monterey County 911 operator claimed he was a 15-year-old boy and three men with AK-47s were trying to break in.

It turned out a boy in the apartment had been chatting on his computer with someone believed to be in Chicago and that person apparently used an Internet calling system to generate a phony call to 911 dispatchers, a practice known as swatting.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Frank Lobato's Family to Receive $900,000 for Murdered Father

Police brutality gets more and more expensive in Denver.

Council OKs settlement in Lobato death
$900,000 goes to the family lawyer and the man's four children. The unarmed victim was shot by police.

By Christopher N. Osher
The Denver Post
Article Last Updated: 12/18/2007 01:24:57 AM MST

Frank Lobato was in bed when he was shot on July 11, 2004. The Denver City Council on Monday approved a $900,000 settlement in the death of Frank Lobato, an unarmed 64-year-old man fatally shot in bed by a police officer on July 11, 2004.

The Denver City Council acted without comment and in a bloc, essentially a 13-0 vote.

Councilwoman Judy Montero called on Luis Corchado, an assistant director of litigation in the city attorney's office, to discuss the settlement. The shooting was in Montero's council district in west Denver.

"This is a resolution to put a final ending to this long litigation," Corchado said. "I feel that all the parties feel they have reached a middle ground."

The settlement will go to the family's attorney, Kenneth Padilla, and Lobato's children: Francisco, Anthony, Barbara and Ramona.

Officer Ranjan Ford Jr. shot Lobato after police went to the apartment of Lobato's nephew on a domestic-violence call. Officers climbed a ladder and entered the second floor of the apartment, where Lobato was in bed.

Ford said he believed Lobato bolted upright with a gun in his hand. But Lobato was unarmed. A soda can was found on the floor of his bedroom, which police said Lobato may have dropped after he was shot.

Christopher N. Osher: 303-954-1747 or

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Columbus Day Protestors Put Parade on Trial

Proceedings to drag for months, causing the city of Denver to waste a great deal of money on useless prosecutions. Looks like it's now the defendants' turn to put the city of Denver in a pain compliance hold.

Columbus Day parade arrest upheld
By Berny Morson, Rocky Mountain News (Contact)
Originally published 02:19 p.m., December 18, 2007
Updated 02:19 p.m., December 18, 2007

A Denver judge today refused to toss out the arrest of one of the 83 protesters charged with blocking the Columbus Day parade in October.

The ruling by County Court Judge Larry Bohning comes as the protesters continue to invoke every procedural defense available to them to win acquittal on charges that mostly include blocking a lawful assembly, blocking the street and ignoring police orders to move.

In addition to challenging the legality of the arrests, lawyers for the protesters have demanded to see the personnel files of all the arresting officers to see if they have ever been charged with using excessive force.

Lawyers will also challenge the constitutionality of the law against blocking a lawful assembly. They will argue that the law is intended to single them out, said Glenn Morris, a leader of the Colorado Chapter of the American Indian Movement and one of those arrested.

Protests against the Columbus Day parade have become an annual ritual in Denver. Protesters claim Columbus should not be made a hero because his expeditions resulted in many cruelties toward the Indians.

Morris, a University of Colorado sociology professor, said the object of dragging out the legal proceedings on the misdemeanor charges is to focus attention on protesters' opposition to the Columbus Day holiday.

"Columbus is going to be put on trial," Morris said. "The parade is going to be put on trial."

Today's hearing was on a motion to suppress the arrest of Johnny Trujillo Wind Dancer of Denver, also identified in police and court documents as Johnny Wind Dancer Trujillo. Police say he and another protester crossed a police line near 15th and Stout streets and held up a banner in the parade route.

Officer Daniel White told Bohning that he pulled Wind Dancer out of the street after police issued orders via bullhorn to clear the way for the parade.

Thomas Cincotta, an attorney for the protesters, argued that Wind Dancer might not have heard the order.

Cincotta also argued that the yellow tape marking the police line may have been on the ground, rather than secured to posts, and that the officer could not say whether the parade was close enough at that point for the protesters to have disrupted it.

"The people have not met their burden of establishing articulable facts that he (Wind Dancer) committed a crime or was about to commit a crime," Cincotta said.

Bohning was having none of it. He ruled that White, the officer, had heard the order for the protesters to leave the street.

"After that time, he (White) observed Mr. Trujillo move into the street in violation of (the) order," Bohning said.

Today's hearing took about an hour. Protesters are seeking similar hearings in all of the cases.

That could drag proceedings out for months, Morris said.

"In '91 when they arrest us, we went on trial in June, 1992," he said.

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Monday, December 17, 2007

Facebook Suing Canadian Porn Site

Hat Tip to the Angry Indian for the link.

You wouldn't think that porn sites would have to work this hard to get customers, but apparently not everyone finds the sexual mascotization and degradation of women appealing.

Facebook suing Canadian porn site


December 16, 2007 at 12:36 PM EST

TORONTO — A Canadian company specializing in Internet porn is being sued by Facebook amid allegations it hacked the popular social networking website's computers and tried to access the personal information of users, court documents show.

A numbered Ontario company, which does business online under the name SlickCash, along with several people in the Toronto area, are named in an amended complaint filed by Facebook in San Jose, Calif.

The hugely popular information sharing website alleges that, for two weeks last June, the defendants attempted to access Facebook's servers at least 200,000 times.

“Each of these requests sought to direct Facebook's computers to send information on other Facebook users back to (the company's Internet Protocol) address,” the court documents say.

“These requests for information from Facebook generated error messages and were detected as unauthorized attempts to access and harvest proprietary information.”

It wasn't clear from the documents what information was accessed, but the complaint alleges “the defendants knowingly and without permission took, copied, or made use of, data from Facebook's proprietary computers and computer network.”

Facebook, with an estimated 34 million users worldwide, allows members to post photos alongside personal information like a birth date, hometown, e-mail address, phone number, and workplace.

The lawsuit names Istra Holdings Inc., the numbered company affiliated with SlickCash, and defendants Brian Fabian and Josh Raskin as either “residing or working” at the same Toronto address.

The complaint contains allegations that have not been proven in court.

Calls to Istra Holdings were not immediately returned, and it was not immediately clear whether any of the defendants had filed a statement of defence.

The SlickCash website boasts that its partners have been “involved in every facet of the online adult industry” since 1999.
Read the rest...

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Friday, December 14, 2007

Transform Columbus Day Trials Begin December 17, 2007

The first group of TCD defenders will begin trial next week. The schedule is as follows:

Monday, December 17, 8:30 am
Courtroom 151P, five defenders

Tuesday, December 18, 8:30 am
Courtroom 151P, three defenders, Courtroom 117 M, four defenders

Wednesday, December 19, 8:30 am
Courtroom 151P, three defenders

People who can attend these trials are urged to come to show support and solidarity.

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Monday, December 10, 2007

Lack of Hospitality Gets Christian Missionaries Killed

Cold, hard Colorado irony.

Danger and death in Arvada
Missionaries were training to serve in violent regions
By Jean Torkelson, Rocky Mountain News
Monday, December 10, 2007
"He looked like a regular kid," YWAM's Denver director, Peter Warren, said he was told by his students. Witnesses told police that the gunman was a 20-year-old white male, wearing a dark jacket and beanie. He may have glasses or a beard.

The young man spent 30 minutes in the building before the shooting, Arvada police Chief Don Wick said.

At one point he asked to use the restroom. Finally, he asked if he could stay the night.

When the answer was no, he pulled a handgun and killed two young staffers and wounded two others.

Suspect turned away

Tiffany Johnson, 26, of Minneapolis, was in the line of fire because she was hospitality director, chosen for the role because of her welcoming personality. She was summoned from another part of the dorm to gently turn down the stranger's request to stay overnight - unauthorized persons weren't allowed, she explained.

"Then this is what I've got for you," the gunman reportedly answered and opened fire, according to Warren, who heard the accounts from the students. He and his wife, Linda, who is co-director, were at their home at the time the shootings occurred.

Philip Crouse, 24, of Alaska also was killed. A week ago, the soft-spoken Alaskan had helped string Christmas lights at the home of Pastor George Morrison, whose Faith Bible Chapel, just 300 yards away, has had a friendly relationship with YWAM for 20 years. Many missionaries attend Morrison's church while they are in the training program and occasionally help out around the church and at members' homes.

Crouse used the light-stringing opportunity to get some career advice from the older pastor.

"He was full of life, talking about his future and going on a mission trip," Morrison said.

Dan Griebenow, 24, of South Dakota, was shot and was in critical condition at Denver Health Medical Center. He and Johnson were dating, Warren said.

A few hours before the shooting the couple had posed together in costume for a jaunty photo at the banquet, which had a "masquerade" theme.

Charlie Blanch, 22, was also shot and was in stable condition at St. Anthony Central Hospital.

Thousands trained

Warren described YWAM, which worldwide trains thousands of young people every year, as "like a Christian Peace Corps." About 300 students a year train at the Arvada chapter.

The interdenominational Christian missionary outreach is the largest in the world, Warren said. In Arvada, the local chapter is located on three acres the group bought 20 years ago from Faith Bible Chapel on Ward Road. The two religious centers aren't affiliated but maintain a warm relationship.

After their training, which lasts several months, "they go places around the world no normal person would go," said Cheryl Morrison, wife of the Faith Bible Chapel pastor. Some of the missionaries are due to leave soon for Afghanistan and other countries racked by war and instability. Their ministries include help for AIDS victims and orphaned children.

To think, Morrison said, they found danger and death in Arvada.
Imagaine that. The war we put "out there" comes home.

"... places no normal person would go"? She means no white person, of course.

Yeah, Amerikans are really the light of the world, aye? Gosh-golly-gee, there's just so much peace here we have to export it via good little white girls and boys. Really. Onward Christian (white power) soldiers... A cult must have its followers, even if you have to drag them along in chains.

Can anyone say Columbus? He, too, came in the name of Christ.

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Friday, December 07, 2007



December 6, 2007

Contacts: Glenn Morris 303-519-2423
Carol Berry 303-235-0282
American Indian Movement of Colorado


COLUMBUS DAY TRIALS BEGIN WITH MOTIONS HEARING. Motions to suppress evidence hearing set for FRIDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2007. 1:30 P.M., Courtroom 117M, City and County Building, Denver. Media are welcome to attend.

Attorneys for 83 Transform Columbus Day Alliance (TCDA) defendants will be challenging the probable cause to arrest Columbus Day protesters on October 6, 2007 at this year's Columbus Day parade. Police will be required to justify the reasons for arresting protesters and will be questioned about the use of excessive force that day. TCDA attorneys will assert that unnecessary and even illegal measures were employed by police in making arrests.

The TCDA legal team led by David Lane and Mark Brandes will vigorously examine police motives and testimony in the hearing. "We will not be surprised if several of the defendants in this case leave the courtroom with the charges against them dismissed. The city acted in a manner that disregarded the constitutional and human rights of lawful citizens."

This hearing begins a series of legal battles with the City of Denver, including challenging the constitutionality of the ordinances under which the defendants are charged. It is expected that Mayor John Hickenlooper and other high city officials will be subpoenaed in these cases.

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Thursday, December 06, 2007

Denver Police and City to Stand Trial In Lobato Murder

Killing unarmed, innocent people is going to cost the city of Denver millions. Police brutality is very, very expensive.

Jury may hear Lobato case
Family says poorly trained cops killed unarmed man, 63
By Sara Burnett

Originally published 12:30 a.m., December 5, 2007
Updated 08:06 a.m., December 5, 2007

A federal judge has ruled that a jury deserves to hear a family's claims that failure to train and discipline Denver police officers led to the shooting death of an unarmed 63-year-old.

The family is suing the city and the officers involved in the death of Frank Lobato, who was accidentally shot in his bed by an officer searching for a domestic violence suspect in the home. The 2004 killing ignited protests and contributed to changes in how Denver monitors police shootings.

In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Lewis T. Babcock dismissed some of the family's claims. But he said there is enough evidence for other allegations to go forward. Among them:

* The city did not properly train police officers on use of force and shooting decisions.

* The city did not adequately discipline officers accused of excessive or unnecessary use of force.

* The officer who shot Lobato and the officer's supervisors conducted an illegal search when the officer entered Lobato's bedroom.

* The officer and supervisors are guilty of excessive force.

The ruling is a setback for the city, but City Attorney David Fine said it doesn't necessarily indicate what a jury's verdict would be.

On Tuesday, Mayor John Hickenlooper and the Denver City Council met privately to discuss the case. Fine would not comment on the discussions, but he said the city has been talking to the Lobato family's attorney about a financial settlement.

"If we can reach a point where both sides are comfortable with a settlement, then it will happen," Fine said. "If not, the other alternative in the case . . . is to go to trial."

Kenneth Padilla, a Denver civil rights attorney who represents the Lobato family, said he could not comment on any settlement. But he said he feels vindicated by the ruling.

"It is my fervent hope that the ruling by Judge Babcock will not go unheeded, and will lead to changes in the way the city trains and disciplines its officers," Padilla said. "We are imprisoned by the past as long as we do not recognize its influence on the future."

Cans in Lobato's room

Police went to the home where Lobato was staying on July 11, 2004, after an injured woman told them she had been held there against her will and beaten by another man.

The woman told police they would find her attacker lying on a couch on the first floor, and an uncle - Lobato - might be in an upstairs bedroom.

Officers looked inside the first floor and saw no one. Three officers, including Ranjan Ford Jr., then used a ladder to climb into an open second-story window, approaching Lobato's closed bedroom.

There is a dispute over whether the officers knocked on the door or announced their presence, according to the court documents. One of the officers opened the door, and Ford fired one shot, killing Lobato.

Ford later said Lobato had been sitting upright in his bed, holding a shiny object the officer believed was a gun, though others dispute that account. Authorities say it is possible Lobato was holding a pop can that Ford mistook for a weapon because several cans were found around the room.

A grand jury heard the case but could not agree there was probable cause to charge Ford criminally. In an agreement with the city, Ford was suspended for 50 days.

In 2005, Lobato's family sued.

Judge Babcock's ruling

In his ruling a few weeks ago, Babcock threw out several claims, including all allegations against Police Chief Gerald Whitman and claims that the city did not hire competent officers. But the judge listed several reasons for allowing other claims to proceed.

He noted that the city admitted its officers did not receive annual training on use of force, in part because it was expensive. An expert on police policies also questioned the department's training on "decisional shooting," or when to fire a weapon because it was conducted at a target range instead of simulating real situations.

The same expert also said Denver sustained less than 1 percent of its excessive and unnecessary force complaints - a smaller percent than other comparable cities, Babcock wrote.

That argument "provides some evidence of a City custom or policy not to discipline its officers for the use of excessive force," Babcock said.

The city has taken some steps to change its policies. Manager of Safety Al LaCabe proposed a new discipline system he hopes to have in place by February. It would speed up the process and make consequences of violations more clear.

The department also has included use of force training in officers' mandatory, quarterly training, court records show.
Read the rest...

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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Denver Pigs Rough Up Activist Ahead of The DNC

And so it begins.

Activist complains of police actions
By Cassie Hewlings
The Denver Post
Article Last Updated: 12/03/2007 08:37:49 PM MST

An anti-war and police brutality activist is alleging the Denver Police Department unlawfully entered his home Friday night and used excessive force to arrest him for no reason.

Larry Hales , 30, said about five officers barged into his apartment at about 10:30 p.m. looking for a recent parolee who was staying with him and his girlfriend.

Hales had agreed to unannounced searches when he took the parolee in, Hales said, but only by the man's parole officer and only when the man was home, which he wasn't at the time.

The man, whom Hales did not identify, had allegedly been shot in the back by Denver police in 2004 while visiting a friend's home because he fit the description of a suspect, Hales said.

The man was on parole at the time of the shooting and was put back in jail because there were drugs at the friend's home.

The officers refused to give Hales their business cards, which he said Denver police must do by law when asked, barged into his house, and "ransacked the place," Hales said.

"I don't know what their motivation was," Hales said. "Maybe they weren't looking for me, but they ... sure were gunning for the parolee. Maybe they thought the could kill two birds with one stone."

When he tried to close his apartment door so his cats wouldn't get out, Hales said, several officers forced Hales to the ground, handcuffed him and pushed him into a squad car with his shirt torn open and no shoes.

"They threw me around like I was a ragdoll," Hales said. "When I asked one of the cops why they were doing this, he just smiled at me and said they could do alot more."

Hales was arrested on suspicion of interfering with police authority and was released on a $500 bond Saturday.

Hales has been arrested before on suspicion of misdemeanor assault and harassment by telephone, also a misdemeanor.

Police spokesman Sonny Jackson said he could not comment on the alleged incident because he didn't know about it but said if Hales felt he had been wrongfully treated, he could file a complaint with the police Internal Affairs Bureau or the Office of the Independent Monitor.

Hales said he would not seek legal action against the police department but wanted the charge dropped and the officers involved to be suspended.

Cassie Hewlings: 303-954-1638 or

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Monday, December 03, 2007

Denver Police Attack Black Activist


Larry Hales
720-979-9491, denverwwp@yahoo. com
Melissa Kleinman
303-594-8020, kmanbug@hotmail. com
Shareef Aleem

Black activist has rights violated and is attacked in home by Denver Police

Press conference set for Monday, Dec. 3rd 7pm @ Denver Police Headquarters 1331 Cherokee St. Denver, CO 80204 720-913-2000.

Melissa and I have taken on a parolee. His was one of the police brutality cases that we and others had worked on. The man had been shot in the back by Denver cops three years ago and he still has the bullet lodged in him. The police broke into a home he was visiting and shot him because he "fit the description" of someone they claimed to have been looking for.

The parolee was released and allowed to stay in our apartment. He was released a few weeks ago. We had spoken with the parole officer sparsely and a verbal agreement was made via the telephone, but nothing written was ever presented to us and we never signed any document. We were told that the parole officer would make unannounced visits and would search the home when the parolee was around, but would search only the parolee’s things.

At 10:30pm on Friday we were watching basketball. There was a very hard knock on the door. We asked who it was and was told that it was a parole visit. I told them the parolee was not home and they said open the door.

I opened the door and there were many cops standing in the hallway. I'd say at this time maybe about five or six. They said they wanted to come in and I repeated that the parolee was not home and that he was probably at work. The parolee did not have a curfew and was only told that he must spend his nights in our home. I asked Melissa to get a pen and a piece of paper. I told the cops I needed to see Identification and that I wanted their business cards.

Denver police have to carry them and surrender them upon request. I had badges stuck in my face but that they didn't have to give me their cards. I told them that this would go know further, that the parolee was not home and that I wanted their cards. One of them scoffed and pushed the door open and me out of the way.

The cops rushed into the apartment and started rifling through our things and went into our bedroom and asked where the parolee’s bedroom was. We told him he slept on the futon and that his things were in two boxes on the floor.

They then walked through our bedroom, looked through our clothes, walked into our bathroom, our kitchen where they looked in cupboards and the refrigerator and then started dumping the contents out of our suitcases.

We told them to shut the door because our cats might get out. More cops come in and they constantly come in and out. They dumped one of my suitcases out and find bullets that I have had for 8 to 10 years. They had been packed away in a box. We still have yet to move into our place and many things are still packed and the bullets had been put into a suitcase with clothes that were packed away and had yet to be unpacked.

I told them that they were mine and that it was not against the law to possess them and that there was no gun, because there isn't. I don't keep any weapons in the apartment.

The cops then continue searching, leaving in and out of the apartment and tell us we have to sit on the futon. The cats hover near the door and so Melissa and I agreed that they should be put in the bedroom. I stand up and then one of the cops shoves me and I tell her that I'm going to get the cats out of the way and that she doesn't have the right to touch me and that they have violated our rights up to this point.

She says sit down and shut up and I repeat that the cats have to be put away so they don't run out because the cops won't shut the door when they come in and out and that they can watch me. She shoves me again, then another cop grabs my arm and twists it and tells me to put it behind my back, which it is at this point. He then throws me down and jumps on top of me. I'm pinned between the futon and the wall and my other arm is pinned underneath me. More cops jump on top of me and they keep repeating stop resisting, stop resisting. These are big cops. I'm a small person. It would be difficult for me to resist when there are three to four cops pushing and pulling at me. One cop grabs the back of my neck and begins pushing my head down and someone is twisting my arm. Then someone starts ripping my hair out and the whole time they are yelling.

I hear Melissa in the background crying and telling them to stop and that I hadn't done anything. She says over and over please don't hurt him.

I'm pulled over and my shirt is ripped half off of me, I'm tossed around some more and on to the floor then handcuffed. At this time I'm wearing only socks, a ripped up t-shirt and a pair of sweat pants. I'm pulled on to my feet. My arms are forced up in the air behind my back and I'm pushed down the stairs, stumbling the whole time and shoved against the walls and railings when I stumble.

It is maybe thirty degrees outside and I see more cops as I'm forced to walk on the cold pavement with only socks. I get to the cop car, the door is opened and I'm standing facing the door. Another cop comes up behind me and starts squeezing my cuffs with both his hands. I tell him that it is not necessary, that I'm just standing there and not resisting. My hands go numb. He looks in my face and smirks and says that they can do a lot more to me and that I could end up face down on the cement. I told him he was a pig. He then turns me around, hits me in the stomach and pushes me by the top of my head into the car. I'm made to sit in the car with the windows down.

The cops tell me that they are going to book me as John Doe and that I'd spend at least 72 hours in jail before I'm processed, then told that I'd be put on a psych hold because it seemed like I wanted to hurt myself. I asked if this was a threat.

I was taken to one facility and handcuffed to a metal bench and told I could not make a phone call and that my rights did not entitle me to one. I was not even allowed to use the restroom. I may have been there about one hour to and hour and a half and had to hold my urine.

When I got out, she told me they cuffed her to a chair for over an hour in the apartment and that they ransacked our apartment and joked about letting our cats go. This is why when I asked if she could bring me some shoes and another shirt, before I was driven away from the apartment, that she couldn't because they had her cuffed to the chair. She says there were 8 to 10 cops altogether.

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