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Senior Citizen Activist Jailed For Internet Rant
Newsbytes via Rense ^
| Michael Bartlett
Posted on 03/30/2002 11:15:01 AM PST by Sir Gawain
Senior Citizen Activist
Jailed For Internet Rant
By Michael Bartlett
- SEATTLE, Wa. - A man who posted on the Web details of what he asserts is an investigative report into alleged improprieties at a Seattle residence for senior citizens has been in jail for a month - with no end to his incarceration in sight, his attorney said today.
- Paul Trummel, 69, was for approximately two years a resident of Council House, a residence in the Capitol Hill section of Seattle whose construction was funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
- Trummel, a former professor of journalism at the University of Washington, had frequent run-ins with the administrators who managed the facility.
- He detailed his complaints in a newsletter, which he published and distributed to residents of Council House.
- According to Robert Siegel, Trummel's attorney, Trummel first appeared in court in April 2001, when he asked Superior Court Judge James Doerty to issue an injunction against the administrators of Council House, who were trying to halt the distribution of his newsletter.
- "Judge Doerty took an immediate dislike to Paul," said Siegel. "Not only did he turn down his request for an injunction, he told the other side that if they asked him, he would issue an injunction against Paul."
- Two weeks later, on April 19, 2001, Council House obtained a restraining order against Trummel. Siegel said the order not only told Trummel not to "harass" the administrators, it said he could not even go into the building - making it a de facto eviction.
- "The judge said he can't have any contact with anyone at Council House. That means not just the people he had a problem with, but also the residents, many of whom were his friends and acquaintances."
- Since April 2001, there have been four or five contempt orders based on the original anti-harassment order, said Siegel.
- Some time last year, Trummel created a Web site he called ContraCabal.net. On this site, Trummel continued to bash the administrators of Council House, as well as Doerty. Council House's attorneys brought the site to Doerty's attention, asserting that it violated the judge's order that Trummel cease his "harassment."
- "Most of what Paul was putting on the site was public information that is available at the Secretary of State's office," said Siegel.
- Eventually, Trummel complied with the judge's order and edited many items from his site. However, Siegel said Trummel put up what he called a "shadow" Web site at ContraCabal.org that contained all of the non-complying information. Trummel asserted that since the second site was based in Holland, Doerty had no jurisdiction over it, said Siegel.
- "On Feb. 27, Doerty ordered Paul placed in jail for contempt," Siegel said. "He ordered him held until he is in compliance with an Oct. 26, 2001, order to remove content from the Web site."
- The problem is, Trummel has no Internet access in jail, and the judge's indefinite sentence rankles Siegel.
- "I don't know how he is to comply from jail. That is the dilemma," he said. "The judge has not set a date for an arraignment, a hearing or anything. It is civil contempt, so he is not guaranteed the right to a speedy trial. Had he been arrested for murder, he would have had to be arraigned."
- James Chadwick, an attorney not involved in this case who is an expert on free speech law, believes Trummel has a solid First Amendment defense.
- "The judge's order to take down statements is classic prior restraint," Chadwick told Newsbytes.
- Chadwick said he looked at Trummel's Web site and it seemed to him that some of Trummel's statements had been removed.
- "Trummel makes several accusations on his site against the administrators of the building, but if those accusations are false, they are defamatory," he said. "You cannot enjoin speech because it is defamatory, at least until you have a conclusive judicial determination that it is defamatory - such as a trial or a summary judgment."
- Chadwick said the judge in this case has enjoined speech "that appears to enjoy First Amendment protection."
- "Speech can be enjoined, but only in very limited circumstances," he explained. "Examples would include a pattern of threats of physical violence, incitements to violence or child pornography."
- "But even in categories of speech not protected, such as speech that is defamatory or obscene, you cannot enjoin the speech," he added.
- Siegel said Trummel's legal troubles are exacerbated by his health issues. He said Trummel suffers from four types of arthritis and prostate problems, and is forbidden under jail rules to take the supplements he normally takes to treat those conditions.
- This week, Trummel tested positive for tuberculosis, Siegel added.
- Trummel's plight is attracting international attention. Because he is a British subject and permanent resident alien, the British government has written to the judge. In addition, organizations such as the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) are trying to rally support.
- "Paul has been an investigative reporter all his life, and he is a member of several journalism groups. SPJ said they were going to file an Amicus Curiae brief on his behalf."
- Siegel said it is possible that Trummel could ask him to take down the Web site on Trummel's behalf, but "Paul wants to stand by his guns on principle."
- "He says every thing he wrote is satire or the facts," said Siegel. "If Council House thinks they have damages, they can sue for defamation and try to prove it. They don't need the extraordinary protection of an anti-harassment order."
- Trummel's Web site is at http://www.contracabal.net .
- The "international version" is at http://www.contracabal.org .
- Reported by Newsbytes.com, http://www.newsbytes.com .
- Press contact:
Robert Siegel, defendant's attorney 206-624-9392
TOPICS: Front Page News; Government
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To: victoria delsoul; nunya bidness; tpaine; owk; madameaxe; mercuria; aaabest; free vulcan; loopy...
To: Sir Gawain
I wonder who the judge is in bed with? Council House or somebody connected must be buying the judge a lot of steak dinners or supplying him with coke.
To: Sir Gawain
Is this another nail in the coffin of the 1st amendment?
posted on 03/30/2002 11:21:01 AM PST
Comment #5 Removed by Moderator
To: Sir Gawain
Where is the ACLU ???
1st-4th and other facets.
And Habeus Corpus can be a joke with a selfish enough judge. We are at the mercy of these self-righteous thugs anymore and the lackeys at the PDs. To think everything I so admired about my country as a school kid turns out to be spit upon by these bad apples and helps set morally wrong precedent is sad. This judge should be ashamed. 1984 is right around the corner-oops its here.
This is the World Wide Web ... we could all be A+Bert. No, we couldn't.
This week, Trummel tested positive for tuberculosis, Siegel added
SURPRISE! TB??? Isn't that a sticky wicket ... nice, nothing better than a foreign national with TB.
I was reading a law review last night on the 2nd Amendment at one of the law school sites. On line in particular really caught my attention.
"Rarely do we focus predominantly on the text, on original meaning, on tradition, on constitutional structure, on claims of changed circumstances, and on other forms of interpretive argument. 3 We know that in reality, to practicing lawyers, the Constitution is indeed what the Court says it is. And influenced by this reality, we mostly teach and critique the Court's pronouncements."
I found this particularly interesting in light of the fact of all the rants I see here on FR as to what the Constitution means.
posted on 03/30/2002 11:44:15 AM PST
A+Bert? I didn't think he was so young.....
No, this is CTD territory.
To: Sir Gawain
Always remember, you cannot bash HUD!
That judge seemed to be a little one-sided..oops, is he going to put out a restraining order against me?
posted on 03/30/2002 11:48:04 AM PST
Interesting quotation. Do you have title, publisher, etc.? Thanks!
posted on 03/30/2002 12:07:02 PM PST
"Interesting quotation. Do you have title, publisher, etc.? Thanks!"
Yes, it is just a professor's outline of a law school course in Constitutional law, But it can be found here.
And yes I am aware that it comes from the UCLA law school, which is not generally thought to be a bastion of conservative thought, but it still pretty much says the same thing that every attorney I have ever talked to says about Constitutional law.
posted on 03/30/2002 12:18:42 PM PST
Thank you! Very scary stuff, IMO!
posted on 03/30/2002 12:27:47 PM PST
"Very scary stuff, IMO!"
Not really. I suppose you have to ask the question that ok, if they courts should not interpret the Constitution and decides what it means, then who should.
Anyway, I found it to be an interesting read and presents some interesting points.
posted on 03/30/2002 12:36:48 PM PST
"To think everything I so admired about my country as a school kid turns out to be spit upon by these bad apples and helps set morally wrong precedent is sad. "
Yes, but keep in mind that it didn't happen overnight, so it can't be fixed overnight. But I am still an optimist. I still think it can be fixed.
posted on 03/30/2002 12:44:31 PM PST
Comment #17 Removed by Moderator
I swear when I first saw this headline I thought it was a joke about the new format.
posted on 03/30/2002 2:21:43 PM PST
"I swear when I first saw this headline I thought it was a joke about the new format."
LOL. Yes there have been a few posts recently from the onion.com, which has tripped some people up.
However I am not really familiar with newsbytes, but with every other encroachment the government has been doing it does not surprise me.
posted on 03/30/2002 2:28:57 PM PST
I wonder who the judge is in bed with?
Probably owns stock in the company. What a sorry excuse for a judge.
To: Sir Gawain;Deb
Oh, I thought this thread was about A+Bert.
To: Sir Gawain
"Most of what Paul was putting on the site was public information that is available at the Secretary of State's office," said Siegel. James Chadwick, an attorney not involved in this case who is an expert on free speech law, believes Trummel has a solid First Amendment defense.
One of the best 2nd amendment articles I've ever read.
- Surprisingly, all five of the law school prof's, - [& they're not all from LA], -- seem to agree that the USSC would probably use the 14th to 'incorporate' the 2nd when & if it comes to that test. - Which is needed, badly, -- in Calif.
Thanks for the link.
posted on 03/30/2002 2:57:26 PM PST
"One of the best 2nd amendment articles I've ever read."
I particularly like the quote about "rights flow from the end of a barrel.
posted on 03/30/2002 3:00:49 PM PST
I'm interested in the 14th angle, because the Calif constitution has no equivilent of the 2nd, and the state is using that to ban weapons of all sorts.
Hopefully, the USSC will take a case on this basis soon.
posted on 03/30/2002 3:14:34 PM PST
I still think it can be fixed.
Not peaceably, it can't.
But the elderly gentleman in the story could certainly take care of one problem, if he was so inclined.....
Our 'masters' need to fear us.
"Not peaceably, it can't."
Well that is certainly one approach, however I don't believe that we have gotten to that point yet.
But then again I may be a hopeless optimist.
posted on 03/30/2002 3:24:36 PM PST
"...if the courts should not interpert the Consitution, and decide what it says, then who should?"
That was Chief Justice Marshall's argument, that "the judicial Power" included the power of judicial review, the power to interpret the Consitution.
But the Consitution itself makes no such specific assignment of authority, and the oaths of office of everybody form the President on down to every soldier sworn into the Army requires that they "support and defend the Consititution of the United States." Since it would be impossible to do this *without* interpreting it, I hold that every official, elected or appointed is required and empowered to interpret the Consitiution, comesurate with their authority. And the authority of the President and the Congress is equal to that of the Supreme Court and superior to that of any of "the inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish."
posted on 03/30/2002 3:37:48 PM PST
To: Sir Gawain
America is a police-state. It has been a police-state before Bush and since Bush came to office, America has become more of a police-state.
posted on 03/30/2002 3:45:36 PM PST
"Recently, about two hundred nonresidents held a bar mitzvah in the combined dining room and lounge. They held a religious ritual that some residents found distasteful and imposed their exclusive criteria upon all residents." --Paul Trummel, British citizen living in American subsidized housing
posted on 03/30/2002 3:51:03 PM PST
You know how to make a free, soverign nation into a police-state? Tax the citizens to death and poverty and despair. Create a government based upon a proud people that are now mere criminals for complaining about their rights that this nation has destroyed.
And you bought into the political idium.
posted on 03/30/2002 3:59:23 PM PST
He's not a citizen.
posted on 03/30/2002 4:01:10 PM PST
Tell that to your GET_OUT_OF_FREE_JAIL_CARD_AMNESTY_LOVING_ ILLEGALS_WAVING BUSH!
posted on 03/30/2002 4:04:57 PM PST
Tax the citizens to death and poverty and despair.
To provide subsidized housing to foreign national leaches like Mr. Trummel?
AMNESTY_LOVING_ ILLEGALS_WAVING BUSH
I don't think GWB has embraced the LP's goal of open border and the elimination of are immigration laws. Camels and gnats.
posted on 03/30/2002 4:09:50 PM PST
To: Sir Gawain
Seven million hits a month!
Dazzling Flying Triangle
Visits South Coast Of England
From David Kingston
- Dear Jeff,
- Sighting on the 28th February 2002 Time 22.50hrs
- The size of the "flying triangle" was approximately 100feet from the base of the triangle to the apex. The size as was the overall description was consistent with all witnesses that night. It had red lights running along the length of the right hand side of the craft and blue along the left side.
- A large circular light in the middle of the craft that pulsated in colour from a pale neon blue through to purple. There were no reports of any noise only a sound which was described as an electric crackle, similar to being underneath a power pylon when it is wet.
- First Report
- The "craft was first seen at St. Austell in Cornwall by a hospital doctor out walking his dog. Within minutes it was seen by several other people as it hovered approximately 200 yards off the shore at 1,000 ft high. It's speed increased from stationary to 500 mph for 10 miles before doing a right hand turn (sharp 90 degree) without slowing down. (report by pilot)
- The next report I received was from Somerset from a couple who at first did not see anything but were drawn to look upwards by an electric crackling noise. They could not believe their eyes when they saw the craft hovering above their heads estimated at about 2 to 3,000 feet, the centre light rapidly pulsating. It hovered for about two minutes maximum before "shooting off" at a tremendous speed in a easterly direction.
- Second Report
- 22.55 hours from Lyme Regis, Dorset by a retired Coast Guardsman. His words: "The craft was hovering over the town, no more than 800 feet I would estimate. At first I thought it was a new prototype aircraft but was mystified by no sound and the unusual lighting display. I witnessed it for only a minute at the most before it gained tremendous speed, no noise, the light underneath pulsating a very pale blue with a corona around it. It climbed vertically in a matter of seconds, it reminded me of a Harrier jump jet, I would estimate to a height of 2,000 feet before it headed in a South Easterly direction."
- Third Report
- From Portland 23.00 hours, Dorset. Policeman and two other witnesses (statements all describe the craft identically). Once again hovering, over a set of transmitting aerials at approximately 1 to 2,000 feet. Totally noiseless, only hovered for a minute or two at the most. The "electric noise" was heard but two witnesses stated they were not sure if it could have been the military transmitting aerials. Moved off slowly, almost at a hover speed.
- Fourth Report
- From Hengistbury Head area, Dorset. 23.05 hours. Four separate witnesses walking and walking their dogs. Height estimated at about 500 to 600 feet over the sea, this description of height was confirmed by a fisherman out "dropping his crab pots". Once again, no noise reported, the navigation lights?? were pulsating like a "rope light." Only seen for a maximum of two minutes by witnesses. The craft departed this time by climbing vertically very quickly until it became about the size of a star and then "blinked out" the witnesses stated. The interesting thing at this location was that very soon after the craft started to ascend two jet fighters screamed overhead the witnesses said. There were a total of 18 witnesses that saw the craft during its flight path over the South Coast.
- Best regards,
- David Kingston
Everything you complain about, Roscoe, is because of your own weakness to identify the basic nature of our Constitutional rights, liberities and freedoms. You have succumbed to government's spew that they are here to help you ... whether you are a citizen or not.
You don't care about America. All you care about is a government that will contain proud Americans while making foreign nations equal to us.
posted on 03/30/2002 4:17:33 PM PST
An anti-semitic foreign national welfare parasite is a poor choice of hero, Buckeroo.
posted on 03/30/2002 4:20:56 PM PST
and the oaths of office of everybody form the President on down to every soldier sworn into the Army requires that they "support and defend the Constitution of the United States."
Yes, I remember taking that oath when I was inducted into the military. I also remember, when I arrived at basic, that they pointedly explained to me how my obligations to support that oath would be executed. Or as they so eloquently put it, Son, there are two ways to do things in the military. Theres the militarys way, and then theres the wrong way.
Since it would be impossible to do this *without* interpreting it, I hold that every official, elected or appointed is required and empowered to interpret the Constitution, commensurate with their authority.
I concur, however I might not necessarily want that interpretation to be binding.
And the authority of the President and the Congress is equal to that of the Supreme Court and superior to that of any of "the inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish."
Im, not sure what you are saying here. Do you mean that the President, or the Congress, can overrule the Supreme Court, or that the President can overrule a lower courts decision without the need for judicial review.
posted on 03/30/2002 4:25:35 PM PST
Ever notice your parasitic remarks, Roscoe. Notice how you have succumbed into being the leach as you beg for more government control upon our lives. Notice how you applaud American government's triumph over our liberties.
posted on 03/30/2002 4:38:07 PM PST
Everyone who can read with comprehension should interpet the Constitution. (Assuming anyone is too dense to understand it in the first place) We know what it says and any court or Judge that twist the easily understood meaning of it's words, should be impeached-not have his moronic ruling eternally over rule the Constitution itself.
More insight link
Is Paul Trummel a crusading journalist or the neighbor from hell?
BY RICK ANDERSON
AS A WEEK-TO-WEEK resident of Motel 6 in Renton, 65-year-old Paul Trummel is not so much homeless as exiled. The onetime London journalist was booted out of the 163-unit nonprofit Council House residence for seniors on Capitol Hill in a legal action that backfired: Trummel had charged management with harassment, but a county judge found Trummel to be the guilty party. He was barred from returning to his subsidized room at the 17th Avenue retirement facility, founded in the '70s by the League of Jewish Women and funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Management claims that Trummel was an agitator, stirring up elderly residents with false claims of corruption and discrimination that he published in a newsletter also available on the Internet. Trummel says he's been a card-carrying journalist for 40 years and based his complaints on diligent, accurate research. He is now out on his butt, he says, for exercising his freedom of speech as a resident and writer. Trummel is filing an appeal next week and hopes to win back the right to occupy the room where he is still paying rent.
"There's no doubt whatsoever they violated my constitutional rights," says Trummel, a U.S. resident since 1965 with what he describes as a background in muckraking, academia, and running a communications company prior to semiretiring and moving into Council House a few years ago. "The documents I obtained threatened various [management] people, and they had to strike back, even if unconstitutionally."
Some residents helped Trummel retrieve some of his goods (his dog died during the move) as he relocated to the Renton motel, where he pays $278 a week. He has signed statements from more than 40 residents supporting him and is getting donations from them. "It's money just out of the blue," the pensioner says.
Attorney Bob Siegel, now aiding Trummel, calls the court's ruling "a draconian order" that "completely disregards any and all of Paul's constitutional rights and visits an extreme hardship on an elderly gentleman for no legitimate reason."
Siegel filed a 12-page motion for reconsideration, but King County Superior Court Judge James Doerty turned it down last month. Among its points was First Amendment protection. Freelance journalist and Christian Science Monitor contributor Dean Patton, who supports Trummel, argues "that the rights to free expression and publication enjoyed by, and protected for, Mr. Trummel's newsletter are no less than those enjoyed by The New York Times. . . ."
COUNCIL HOUSE manager Stephen Mitchell says Trummel "has terrorized this community for almost two years" and has no right to distribute his literature in the "private" building. (Mitchell feels that Trummel also may have violated a court order by talking to me and told me he was informing his attorneys of such.) Earlier in court, Mitchell told a judge that Trummel's harassment included: "offensive and defamatory newsletters and statements about Council Hall staff and residents. . . . He had ignited numerous groundless investigations of Council House by government agencies, including HUD, with the intent to distract [Mitchell and residents]."
Mitchell says Trummel is rude and intimidating and makes baseless charges against residents, too. "Many residents are afraid of Mr. Trummel and fear becoming a target of his written and oral attacks," Mitchell says. "Simply put, Mr. Trummel believes that his former position as a journalist, of which he is justly proud, somehow gives him the right and the license to be abusive and hurtful [to others]."
In April, Council House--overseen by a 15-member board and represented by Short Cressman, one of the city's top law firms--squashed Trummel in court, where he was defending himself. Among other points, the lawyers argued that Trummel was not really a journalist because he had no editor or publisher (Trummel argued that he was his own editor and publisher for both his newsletter and Web site.)
Judge Doerty discounted the journalist's claim and felt no free-speech issue was involved. He ruled against Trummel and, attorneys say, invited opposing counsel to seek an anti-harassment order against Trummel. Doerty then signed it, permanently preventing Trummel from ever coming within 500 feet of Council House.
Trummel concedes he's a quarrelsome critic. "I try to make my point pointedly," he says of his newsletter, Disconnections (the Council House newsletter is called Connections). Disconnections is featured on Trummel's Web site (www.contracabal.org), along with screeds on academic fraud including allegations that University of Washington hackers crashed his site in retaliation (the UW had no comment). His writing has sharp edges, as seen in these examples from the offending newsletter:
*"Residents must remove the pandering pygmies that have appointed themselves officers of the self-serving glee club that poses as a residents' council. They must replace this phony association with a registered residents' association using the HUD model. . . ."
*"Despite . . . repeated warnings about feeding pigeons, several gullible residents continue to feed the resident stool pigeons with information instead of keeping their own counsel. . . ."
*"Recently, about two hundred nonresidents held a bar mitzvah in the combined dining room and lounge. They held a religious ritual that some residents found distasteful and imposed their exclusive criteria upon all residents. By that they violated federal law. . . ."
*"Saturday, a great shadow descended over the laundry room as an obese woman clad only in a sheer nylon nightdress lumbered in. This grotesque apparition contrasted greatly with the woman present at the time. . . . If Mitchell doubts these statements then he should take this specter home for the weekend. His failure to enforce the house dress code deserves that type of punishment. . . . "
Trummel also penned complaints about ongoing noise, lack of maintenance, drunken residents, the house eatery (which he dubbed "Ptomaine Grotto"), and racial issues. One item in particular that may have grated on management was about the search for a new administrator: "They voiced concerns about advertising nationally because it would result in black people applying for the position and conspired to exclude them. . . . By planning to manipulate employment criteria they violated both the spirit and intent of federal equal opportunity laws."
Officials deny such a plan. One Council House official, who notes that Rep. Jim McDermott's mother is a House resident, says "We've been under a federal investigation and [been] looked at many times by state agencies and never had a problem." (HUD had no comment.) On April 19, Doerty issued his anti- harassment order banning Trummel from contacting anyone at Council House "in person, by mail, electronically, by telephone, by writing or through any third person. . . ."
Manager Mitchell says the Trummel saga has given Council House a bad rap. "We are so proud of what we do here," he says. "This is wonderful housing with tremendous views, where residents can pay as little as $150 a month." He plans to begin eviction proceedings against Trummel. "What I wish for Paul Trummel is that he would just move on."
Trummel is still banking on the forthcoming appeal. "I believe I will win," he says in his crowded temporary quarters at Motel 6. "More people than ever are now being harassed at Council House. I must get back there. I have a job to finish."
To: F.J. Mitchell
"Everyone who can read with comprehension should interpret the Constitution. "
Then if that is true, why do we need a court, The Supreme Court, which does nothing but interpret the Constitution?
It seems, as you say, that if anyone who can read with comprehension, should be able to understand it, then we would never have a dispute on what it means.
posted on 03/30/2002 7:26:12 PM PST
I don't think GWB has embraced ... open border and the elimination of are immigration laws.
You don't?! What do you call that amnesty thingey he's been waving around?
I don't think GWB has embraced ... open border and the elimination of are immigration laws.
I don't think GWB has embraced the LP's goal of open border and the elimination of are immigration laws.
posted on 03/30/2002 9:15:50 PM PST
I know GWB has embraced illegal aliens joining you with your family, upon your private moments, to take away more of your resources and simultaneously taxing you to death.
posted on 03/30/2002 9:23:06 PM PST
Even though Trummel seems to be a nasty ingrate intent on disrupting the operations of the HUD property and the lives of its residents, the court orders regarding his web site shouldn't stand.
Let's hope he doesn't manage to legally force his way back into the subsidized housing project.
posted on 03/30/2002 9:30:22 PM PST
As ill advised as the limited amnesty for visa overstays is, it falls well short of the LP's hatred for our borders and American way of life.
Trummel shouldn't even be here.
posted on 03/30/2002 9:35:36 PM PST
To: tpaine; Kerberos
posted on 03/30/2002 10:30:51 PM PST
He is bonkers, to boot. He did harass the building residents and management. Then he did violate the anti-harassment order because of the wide scope of such orders. He is jailed for that reason not because of the content of his postings. He should "just move along" as the building manager has requested and the anti-harassment orders could be rescinded. Then he could rant away on the internet, like the rest of us.
It only takes five strict constructionists to render a previous decision mute.
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