Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, July 13, 2013

MVNews this week:  Page 15




Mountain Views News Saturday, July 13, 2013 

HOWARD Hays As I See It

 All eyes are on the Zimmerman trial, and 
there’s lots of speculation about whether Mr. 
Zimmerman will be found guilty or innocent. 
What’s not understood is that the most important 
verdict has already been rendered. The entire 
handling of this case has proven beyond a shadow 
of a doubt that the American criminal justice 
system is becoming highly politicized by the 
Obama administration. The blatant corruption 
of our justice system to achieve a politically 
correct verdict should be frightening to Liberals 
and Conservatives alike. 

 Neighborhood-watch captain George 
Zimmerman fatally shot 17-year old Trayvon 
Martin. That much is undisputed by either side. 
But when the police investigated, they found 
insufficient evidence to accuse Mr. Zimmerman 
of an actual crime. This was the conclusion 
drawn by the lead investigator and by the Chief 
of Police. It was further supported by an FBI 
investigation which concluded that racial animus 
was not a part of the shooting. Nonetheless, Mr. 
Zimmerman was eventually charged with second 
degree murder. The chain of events leading up 
to that indictment and arrest clearly shows that 
the process became politically manipulated from 

The lead detective, Chris Serino, felt so strongly 
about the corruption of the process that he came 
forward to give an interview and detailed the 
pressure he faced. The Chief of Police received 
multiple inquiries and specific requests from the 
City Manager about when an arrest would be 
made. His resistance to that pressure ultimately 
cost him his job. He, too, came forward to detail 
the pressure he faced.

 Perhaps we can extend some empathy to the City 
Manager for feeling he had to apply that pressure. 
Press reports have now detailed that Attorney 
General Eric Holder threatened to investigate 
city officials for civil rights crimes if they did 
not bring charges against Zimmerman. Mr. 
Holder eventually did launch that investigation, 
and of course charges were brought against 
Mr. Zimmerman, but not without even further 
corruption of the process.

A special federal task force set up to investigate the 
handling of the shooting claimed that Trayvon’s 
mother identified the voice crying for help on a 
911 call as being Trayvon’s. But the task force 
neglected to inform anyone that Trayvon’s father 
was equally sure that the voice was not Trayvon’s. 
The report omitted medical evidence showing 
that Zimmerman was injured. The report further 
accused Zimmerman of “profiling” Trayvon while 
ignoring the fact that the watch program trains 
its volunteers how to spot people who are acting 
suspiciously. It’s later learned that Trayvon had 
drugs in his system at the time, giving credibility 
to Mr. Zimmerman’s claim that Trayvon looked 

like he was on drugs.

 From this point, the 
pressure becomes more 

blatant while at the same 
time appearing more 
innocent. The Obama 
administration sends 
“community organizers” 
down to Sanford, Florida 
to help orchestrate rallies against Mr. Zimmerman 
and build pressure for an indictment. Eric Holder 
meets with the Congressional Black Caucus and 
Reverend Al Sharpton, who then heads down to 
Florida to hold a rally in which he yells, “we came 
for permanent justice. Arrest Zimmerman now”. 
The New Black Panthers offer a bounty on Mr. 
Zimmerman and threaten his family. They are 
not investigated or arrested for inciting violence. 
Think what the administration would have done 
had the KKK done a similar thing targeting a 
black suspect in an on-going investigation.

 The last, and perhaps most damning, piece 
of evidence showing the political roots of this 
trial is the fact that the judge has just made a 
highly controversial ruling at the last minute 
to allow Mr. Zimmerman to be charged with 
manslaughter in addition to murder. The defense 
rightly objected to the lack of time permitted to 
counter the second charge but were dismissed out 
of hand. While it is not unusual for defendants 
to be accused of lesser crimes along with a major 
crime, it is highly unusual to allow the charge 
to be made late in the trial when the defense is 
obviously unprepared to affectively deal with the 
new allegation.

 At one level, it is simply disappointing to learn 
that the presidential candidate who promised 
to bind racial tensions has turned out to be one 
of the most race-obsessed presidents in recent 
history. But at a deeper and more significant 
level, the racial politicization of the judicial 
process jeopardizes all our freedoms and strikes 
at the core of the principles we all hold dear. 
If the system can be used today by a liberal 
administration to manipulate the arrest of a 
member of an unpopular group, the system can be 
used tomorrow by a conservative administration 
to arrest a member of some other unpopular 
group. If justice isn’t blind and fair for everyone, 
then everyone is in danger.

About the author: Gregory J. Welborn is a 
freelance writer and has spoken to several civic 
and religious organizations on cultural and 
moral issues. He lives in the Los Angeles area 
with his wife and 3 children and is active in the 
community. He can be reached gregwelborn2@ 

GREG Welborn


“We should be taxing polluters 
and not taxing students. The 
GOP has it backwards because its 
patrons want it that way.”

- Robert Reich


 I had a great time on the 
Fourth – saying hi to friends 
and neighbors along the parade route, taking the 
opportunity to shamelessly plug my column, and 
enjoying that annual summer highlight for Mitsuko 
and me – the BBQ at Susan’s.

 As a parade participant myself, I didn’t have much 
chance to greet other participants, as I would’ve 
liked to have welcomed our new representatives – 
Assemblyman Chris Holden and Congresswoman 
Judy Chu.

 With Asm. Holden, he’s fortunate to be serving 
when Republicans are no longer able to block 
progress and stifle good ideas in Sacramento - like 
Holden’s own bill that recently sailed through the 
Senate to help fund shelters for victims of domestic 
violence by upping the fines on abusers. My 
greeting for him would be one of congratulatory 

 With Rep. Chu it would be more like, “How the 
heck do you manage to deal with it?” Earlier this 
year, the approval rating for our state Legislature 
was pegged at 41%. Nothing to brag about, unless 
compared to the 9% it stood at three years ago before 
Democrats won super-majorities and Jerry Brown 
returned as governor. For Congress, in August 
2011, after eight months of Republican control over 
the House, approval dropped to 12% - the lowest 
ever. Last month, only 10% of Americans had 
“confidence” in Congress. According to Gallup, 
“This is the lowest level of confidence Gallup has 
found, not only for Congress, but for any institution 
on record.”

 Congress has hit new lows in productivity. 
Two years ago by this time they’d sent 23 bills to 
President Obama – the lowest number since the 
1940s. This year it’s down to 15. During the Reagan 
years, it was about 60 bills produced during the first 
six months of a new Congress – then as today, with 
Congresses partially controlled by the other party. 
No-brainers like renewal of the Violence Against 
Women Act and help for victims of Hurricane 
Sandy passed only after heated partisan debate 
(with a majority of Republicans opposing renewal 
of the VAWA).

 House Republicans are doing so little because 
they’re told to by those calling the shots – and I 
don’t mean voters back home. A letter last May to 
House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader 
Eric Cantor from Koch brothers’ front group 
Heritage Action for America, sent at a time when 
a third of all House committees were investigating 
President Obama, expressed appreciation that 
“the activities of the Obama administration are 
receiving a sustained public vetting”, then adds, 
“but it would be imprudent to do anything that 
shifts the focus from the Obama administration 
to the ideological differences within the House 
Republican Conference”.

 The letter mentions internet taxation and the farm 
bill, but is meant to warn against tackling anything, 
from immigration reform to background checks 
on gun buyers, that might expose “differences” 
between Republicans who take governing seriously 
and the tea-baggers.

 Legislating might divert attention from the 
scandal committees. Time is found for certain 
pressing issues, though. When the Heritage letter 
was sent, of the 281 days the current congress had 
held votes, 43 days were spent voting on repeal 
of the Affordable Care Act – 37 failed attempts at 
repeal so far, and counting.

 As to how it got this way, a decade ago the GOP’s 
corporate masters put up $40 million to establish 
the Republican State Leadership Committee, 
determined to seat state legislators who’d dutifully 
gerrymandered districts following the 2010 census 
in time for the 2012 elections. Karl Rove explained it 
in a 2010 Wall Street Journal editorial; “Republican 
strategists are focused on 107 seats in 16 states. 
Winning these seats would give them control of 
drawing district lines for nearly 190 congressional 
seats”. The result was Republicans achieving a 
234 to 201 House majority in an election where 
Democratic candidates got 1.4 million more votes.

 It’s also resulted in Republican primaries where 
moderation is an automatic disqualifier. As Thomas 
Mann and Norman Ornstein characterized the 
House majority in a Washington Post editorial, “It 
is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; 
unmoved by conventional understanding of 
facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the 
legitimacy of its political opposition.”

 It doesn’t look like the rest of us, either. 63% 
of us are white. Among House Republicans, it’s 
96%. Women comprise 51% of the nation, but 
8% of House Republicans. There are 41 black, 10 
Asian American, and 7 openly gay members of 
the House – all Democrats. There are 7 Latino 
members among House Republicans, and 27 with 
the Democrats.

 We’ve learned that the cure for budget deficits 
is not higher taxes and/or lower spending, but a 
rebounding economy – which we have, and the 
deficits have accordingly become a non-issue. 
Not for House Republicans, though. In 2011 they 
played with the “full faith and credit” of the United 
States, reportedly at the cost of a million jobs and, 
according to the Bipartisan Policy Center, nearly 
$19 billion over ten years in additional interest 
payments resulting from their treating our debt 
ceiling as a bluff in a game of chicken.

 Now, they’re announcing they’ll do it again – 
threatening to renege on our nation’s obligations 
unless Democrats agree to cut food stamps and 
Social Security eligibility, and privatize Medicare.

 Last week, Robert Reich illustrated the position 
of House Republicans by citing two separate issues: 
one would revise the formula for calculating 
interest on student loans, resulting in $3.7 billion 
in increased revenue. The other is the entire House 
Republican leadership’s signing onto a Koch-
backed pledge to “oppose any legislation relating 
to climate change that includes a net increase in 
government revenue.”

 Burdens are to fall on families struggling to 
send kids to college. Corporate polluters are to be 

 For Assemblyman Holden, I know he’ll do well. 
For Congresswoman Chu, I promise to spend 
the next fifteen months reminding my friends 
and neighbors that mid-term elections do indeed 


by J. Brown

ecosystem is 
under attack 
as the “Crazy 
Ant” invades 
the south and 
displaces other 
species: They’re 
called crazy 
because of their 
and swarming 
The insects 
nest anywhere 
and are easily 
transported. So far they’ve spread to 24 
counties in Texas, 20 in Florida and a few 
in Mississippi and Louisiana after being 
inadvertently transported from South 
America . They cause millions in electrical 
damage a year .They are hard to kill with no 
permanent solution yet.

Storing wind energy underground: Wind 
power is one of the great forms of energy, 
though not reliable. Scientists have 
developed a new energy storage method 
using compressed air underground that 
could revolutionize the industry.

Inventors design lamp powered entirely by 
gravity: Two U.K.-based designers created a 
lamp that uses gravity to generate power for 
the light. Fantastic for off grid third world 
areas or any place other power source is not 

Scientists create human liver from stem 
cells: Scientists have for the first time 
created a functional human liver from stem 
cells derived from skin and blood and say 
this points to a future where transplant 
organs could be made in a laboratory. It’s 
still years away from application but this is 
very promising.

Storm warning: Climate change to spawn 
more hurricanes: The world could see 
as many as 20 additional hurricanes and 
tropical storms each year by the end of 
the century because of climate change. 
The study was published by top climate 
researcher Kerry Emanuel of M.I.T.

Groundbreaking surgery for girl born 
without windpipe dies. In April using 
plastic fibers and human cells, doctors built 
and implanted a windpipe in a 2 ½-year-old 
girl ,the youngest person ever to receive a 
bioengineered organ. It was only the sixth 
surgery of its kind. Because the windpipe 
uses only the child’s own cells, there was 
no need for drugs to suppress the immune 
system to avoid rejection. The new trachea 
was never a problem. It was her native tissue 
that was very fragile. 



Looking For 

 A network has been launched to promote 
academic research in the UK relating to 
the Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence 
(SETI). The UK SETI Research Network 
(UKSRN) brings together academics from 
11 institutions across the country. The 
network’s Patron is the Astronomer Royal, 
Professor Martin Rees. UKSRN presented 
its current activities and future strategy in a 
session and panel discussion July 5, during 
the UK National Astronomy Meeting 
(NAM) at 600-year-old St. Andrews 
University in Scotland. 

covers a broad spectrum of research 
topics, including potential methods for 
detecting signals, the linguistic challenge of 
deciphering messages, the probability of an 
extraterrestrial civilization interacting with 
Earth, and the longevity of civilizations.

 Dr. Alan Penny, the coordinator of 
UKSRN said, “We hope that the existence 
of the network will excite interest from 
people in the UK astronomical community 
that have been thinking about SETI, and 
encourage them to contribute their work.”

 Dr. Tim O’Brien from The University 
of Manchester’s Jodrell Bank Observatory 
described the capability of the UK’s recently 
commissioned e-MERLIN array of seven 
radio telescopes for SETI projects.

 “The first proposal to search for radio 
signals from extraterrestrial civilizations was 
actually inspired by the construction of the Lovell 
Telescope at Jodrell Bank,” said O’Brien. “We 
went on to take part in the SETI Institute’s Project 
Phoenix from 1998 to 2003, searching for signals 
from about a thousand nearby stars. At that time 
the equipment required to sift through the data 
was expensive and unusual, but our modern 
telescopes are potentially capable of conducting 
these types of observations as a matter of course.”

 The e-MERLIN array, which includes the 
Lovell Telescope, is connected by optical fibers 
and spread over 134 miles from Jodrell Bank to 
Cambridge. This multi-telescope approach offers 
potential for distinguishing true extraterrestrial 
signals from interference generated here on Earth, 
a key problem for all radio SETI projects.

 Dr. John Elliott of Leeds Metropolitan University 
is a researcher on the nature of communication: 
how language structure can be identified, and 
methods for subsequent decipherment and 
dissemination. He has analyzed over 60 human 
languages, which cover all the different types of 
systems, as well as non-human communication, 
such as robots and dolphins. Elliott believes 
that by understanding our analytical capabilities 
for communication, we can develop strategies 
for extra-terrestrial message discovery and 

 “Suppose SETI succeeds and we detect a 
technological beacon. Any message is unlikely 
to be written in Martian English, so standard 
decipherment/decryption techniques used by 
the military and security agencies are not going 
to help much. To put the challenge into context, 
we still have scripts from antiquity that have 
remained undeciphered over hundreds of years, 
despite many serious attempts,” said Elliott.

 Elliott’s research focuses on whether there 
is something unique to communication 
phenomena, irrespective of the source, that makes 
them distinguishable from other signals in the 
universe. “By looking beneath the surface veneer 
of the arbitrary sounds and symbols used, we can 
‘see’ the language machine itself: its mechanisms, 
constraints, and evolutionary forces of efficiency 
and compromise that shape it,” he said. “By 
understanding these structures, it should be 
possible to glean information on the intelligence 
of the message author.”


 You can contact Bob Eklund at: b.eklund@

The Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank inspired the first proposals to search for radio signals from 
extraterrestrial civilizations. Credit: Anthony Holloway, University of Manchester