"If the judges interpret the laws themselves, and suffer none else to interpret, they may easily make, of the laws, [a shredded] shipman's hose!" - King James I of England, around 1616.

“No class of the community ought to be allowed freer scope in the expression or publication of opinions as to the capacity, impartiality or integrity of judges than members of the bar. They have the best opportunities of observing and forming a correct judgment. They are in constant attendance on the courts. Hundreds of those who are called on to vote never enter a court-house, or if they do, it is only at intervals as jurors, witnesses or parties. To say that an attorney can only act or speak on this subject under liability to be called to account and to be deprived of his profession and livelihood by the very judge or judges whom he may consider it his duty to attack and expose, is a position too monstrous to be entertained for a moment under our present system,” Justice Sharwood in Ex Parte Steinman and Hensel, 95 Pa 220, 238-39 (1880).

“This case illustrates to me the serious consequences to the Bar itself of not affording the full protections of the First Amendment to its applicants for admission. For this record shows that [the rejected attorney candidate] has many of the qualities that are needed in the American Bar. It shows not only that [the rejected attorney candidate] has followed a high moral, ethical and patriotic course in all of the activities of his life, but also that he combines these more common virtues with the uncommon virtue of courage to stand by his principles at any cost.

It is such men as these who have most greatly honored the profession of the law. The legal profession will lose much of its nobility and its glory if it is not constantly replenished with lawyers like these. To force the Bar to become a group of thoroughly orthodox, time-serving, government-fearing individuals is to humiliate and degrade it.” In Re Anastaplo, 18 Ill. 2d 182, 163 N.E.2d 429 (1959), cert. granted, 362 U.S. 968 (1960), affirmed over strong dissent, 366 U.S. 82 (1961), Justice Black, Chief Justice Douglas and Justice Brennan, dissenting.

" I do not believe that the practice of law is a "privilege" which empowers Government to deny lawyers their constitutional rights. The mere fact that a lawyer has important responsibilities in society does not require or even permit the State to deprive him of those protections of freedom set out in the Bill of Rights for the precise purpose of insuring the independence of the individual against the Government and those acting for the Government”. Lathrop v Donohue, 367 US 820 (1961), Justice Black, dissenting.

"The legal profession must take great care not to emulate the many occupational groups that have managed to convert licensure from a sharp weapon of public defense into blunt instrument of self-enrichment". Walter Gellhorn, "The Abuse of Occupational Licensing", University of Chicago Law Review, Volume 44 Issue 1, September of 1976.

“Because the law requires that judges no matter how corrupt, who do not act in the clear absence of jurisdiction while performing a judicial act, are immune from suit, former Judge Ciavarella will escape liability for the vast majority of his conduct in this action. This is, to be sure, against the popular will, but it is the very oath which he is alleged to have so indecently, cavalierly, baselessly and willfully violated for personal gain that requires this Court to find him immune from suit”, District Judge A. Richard Caputo in H.T., et al, v. Ciavarella, Jr, et al, Case No. 3:09-cv-00286-ARC in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Document 336, page 18, November 20, 2009. This is about judges who were sentencing kids to juvenile detention for kickbacks.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

#BarbaraOSullivanHouseFire and another recent fire on Main Street, Delhi, NY - why such a difference in treatment?

I've reported on a fire in Delhi, New York in April of this year.

A house burnt down in the middle of the night.

Here is how it looked.

A couple of days ago, another house got on fire - in the middle of Delhi, NY, also at night or early in the morning.

And here is how that fire looks - the house is still very much there.

In the Fire # 1, according to a witness, the Delhi firefighters refused to vent the roof in order to save the house, even though it was easier to do it there - the house had only one story above ground, while Fire # 2 was in a 3-story house with high ceilings requiring to use a tall ladder off the firefighters' truck.

Here is what "venting" as a firefighting technique is.

In the Fire # 2 they did vent the roof - watch a video posted by the Daily Star where a firefighter is using the venting technique in Fire # 2 in Delhi, NY, and the house was saved through that technique.

See a hole made by firefighters to allow venting of the fire.

See another hole (under letter "A" in the word "Mason").

In the Fire # 1, according to a witness, the firefighters arrived with no water to extinguish the fire and made no attempts to bring any water to the site.

In the Fire # 2 the firefighters used water to extinguish the fire.

In Fire # 1 the firefighters refused to secure the area around the burnt house, and the house was subjected to vandalism and crime scene contamination (see pictures from the site of the fire above).

In Fire # 2 the firefighters immediately secured the area with the yellow tape.

In Fire #1 there was no investigation of the fire as required by law - even though it was an obvious arson started with an incendiary explosive projectile thrown into the house, into the bedroom window, onto the bed of a close-to-delivery pregnant woman, there was instead a lot of bad-mouthing of me as the only reporter on the fire by the fire-fighters' relatives with threats that, if a fire happens to my house (also located in Delhi, NY), they will instruct their firefighter husbands not to pee on the fire to extinguish it, and told me to mind my own business over there in South Carolina (see comments here, here and here).

There was no incident report filed about the fire, as required by law.

The house fire that destroyed the entire residence was not mentioned in blotters, while even brush fires were otherwise reported by the Delhi Fire Department.

The Troop C in Margaretville, NY blocked the victim's efforts to obtain open-access reports, and, according to Ms. O'Sullivan, the Acting Delaware County District Attorney (running for the position of District Attorney this year) John Hubbard refused to investigate the arson and attempted murder of Barbara O'Sullivan, her daughter and her then-unborn grandchild.

The Sheriff's department confirmed there was no incident report and no investigation of the fire.

State investigators did not bother to arrive the day of the fire, and for many days thereafter, leaving the site open to anybody who wanted to vandalize and contaminate it - and people did vandalize it, breaking or stealing what remained whole in the basement, stealing copper pipes.  The thefts and vandalism was similarly not investigated by the Delhi or Delaware County authorities.

Delaware County offered Barbara O'Sullivan and her daughter no assistance in housing or relocation, knowing that Barbara's daughter was close to delivery.

Instead, Delaware County attempted to take the child away from Barbara's daughter on the claim that they have nowhere to live after the house fire.

Some clandestine investigation appeared to have started only weeks after the fire, after the site was irreversibly contaminated - and was aiming at framing Barbara rather than investigating the obvious suspects.

In order to frame Barbara, an undercover investigator even contacted me for my "opinion" on Barbara - instead of doing his job and investigating the fire TIMELY, following procedures and preserving the site.

In Fire #2 the State investigators were on the scenes immediately, according to witnesses who reported it to me.

The investigation proceeded with a lightning speed, and we already have a ruling that the fire was "accidental".

Reportedly, the fire destroyed the entire archives of the local Masonic Lodge - which should at least have the investigators looking at whether the fire was in reality an arson to destroy those records.

The Fire # 1 was not covered in the local press at all, not by the usually nosy Walton Reporter who is on the scene to report, for example, women dragged into the street by police officers barefoot.  Apparently, a night-time housefire that destroyed the entire residence of a local critic of the judiciary, police and prosecutorial misconduct, a couple of months after she was acquitted of fabricated criminal charges and following "incidents" when her dog was mysteriously killed on her property was not a good story for "Walton Reporter", nor for the Oneonta Daily Star, another local newspaper. 

The Fire # 2 was covered extensively by the Oneonta's Daily Star: see here and by regional TV.

The Fire # 1 was not reported to the electrical company by firefighters, as it was supposed to be done, and the electrical company was flabbergasted to find live electric on the site of fire and the house gone when they eventually came there.

For Fire # 2, local firefighters followed the rules to the T and reported the fire to the electrical company.

Why such a difference in firefighting procedures, investigation of the fire and securing the site of the fire?

In Fire # 1 the house belonged to a critic of misconduct of the local government, including the police, the District Attorney's office and several judges, a person who was actively filing Freedom of Information requests for access to public records exposing governmental misconduct.

And you know what happens in this country to such people - see here and here.

As I stated on this blog back in June of 2016, it was not important to investigate the fire of Barbara's house - because of whose house was burnt.

After all, as a firefighter's girl-friend told me, Delhi Fire Department chooses whether to pee or not to pee on people's fires based on whether those people do or do not criticize the government - or whether the owners have friends in the government.

So, residents of Delaware County, feel especially safe - your local police force is armed to the teeth, but is hired through family connections, without verification of credentials, and is not certified for the use of guns and Tasers, local police officers get involved in acts of violence, including assault and attempted murder, which is not investigated, attempted (as in my home's case) and completed (as in Barbara's home's case) arsons of homes of critics of the government are not investigated.

Just be good and do not criticize anyone - and then you can feel safe in Delhi, NY, and in Delaware County.

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