Collusion With Russia and Xenophobia

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Certain rabidly pro-Trump commentators recently began shifting the Trump/Russia narrative from flat-out denial and rejection to, paraphrasing, “so what if he did, it’s not illegal“.

Cue the Ron Howard voice-over: “it is.”

Yesterday, the reliably conservative Wall Street Journal reported on the first concrete proof that elements in the Trump campaign solicited assistance from Russian hackers – notably in this case to try and hack and reveal the “missing” messages from Hillary Clinton’s private email server. 

Before the 2016 presidential election, a longtime Republican opposition researcher mounted an independent campaign to obtain emails he believed were stolen from Hillary Clinton’s private server, likely by Russian hackers.

In conversations with members of his circle and with others he tried to recruit to help him, the GOP operative, Peter W. Smith, implied he was working with retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, at the time a senior adviser to then-candidate Donald Trump.

“He said, ‘I’m talking to Michael Flynn about this—if you find anything, can you let me know?’” said Eric York, a computer-security expert from Atlanta who searched hacker forums on Mr. Smith’s behalf for people who might have access to the emails.

Whatever you think about the Russian hacking of the DNC and John Podesta, it remains a fact that Vladimir Putin ordered his intelligence services to interfere in our electoral process in order to sow discord and distrust in our system. Circumstantial evidence – Roger Stone’s “perfectly legal back channel” to Wikileaks, Trump begging Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails, “Trust me, it will soon the Podesta’s time in the barrel” [sic] – all point to Trump campaign operatives having intimate prior knowledge of the Russian hacking effort in order to gain electoral advantage against Hillary Clinton. They were seemingly happy for the Russian help.

Even Donald Trump finally acknowledged the Russian meddling, because it offered him an opportunity to blame President Obama for 

These tweets were in direct response to this blockbuster article from the Washington Post, which outlined the Obama Administration’s reaction to Russian hacking. Trump is wrong, of course. President Obama took the hacking very seriously, and was balancing his reaction against a desire to not be perceived as interfering in the election himself. He warned Putin in person about what he was doing, kicked out 35 Russian diplomats, closed two of their “diplomatic” spy compounds, imposed sanctions targeted against Russian foreign intelligence, and tried to warn and help state election boards, but the reaction from Republican state and DC officials ranged from shrugging to hostility. 

One thing is for sure – there is going to be a lot more evidence not only of Russian meddling, but I have no doubt that bad actors involved in the Trump campaign knew and conspired with the Russians and Wikileaks to help Trump. 

And if that didn’t upset you quite enough, then consider this interesting opinion from Fox’s Bill O’Reilly replacement, Republican WASP elitist caricature Tucker Carlson, 

The responses, which detail the sacrifices and hard work of America’s immigrants, are fantastic. 

Uber, Lyft and the NFTA: A Play in Three Acts

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ACT I

Interior, office boardroom

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority will charge $3.50 for each pickup or drop-off, a cost that will be passed on to riders…Other airports across the country have enacted similar fees for ride-hailing services.

“The fee is imposed to develop revenue for support of the airport system, preserve revenue and to compensate the NFTA for its operational costs (repair and wear and tear on the roads, maintenance, plowing, etc.) resulting from the usage of [Transportation Network Companies] driver vehicles on airport property.”

The NFTA will also charge ride-hailing companies a $5,000 “permit fee.”

Act II

County offices

ACT III

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority has reached separate deals with Uber and Lyft, which will allow both ride-hailing services to pick up and drop off passengers traveling to and from the Buffalo Niagara International Airport and the Niagara Falls International Airport.

“Thank you to the NFTA for coming to the table and reaching an agreement that best serves the people of Buffalo,” Sarfraz Maredia, general manager for Uber NY, said in a statement Friday…

“Thanks to this agreement, Buffalo’s visitors will be able to arrive at their destinations more easily than ever, while helping to support the Buffalo economy and improve safety on the road,” said [Kirk Stafford, senior manager of airports and venues at Lyft].

EPILOGUE

The offices of Everyone Relax, Ltd.

 

Buffalo Airport Taxi, the company with the exclusive rights to pick up passengers at the airport in Cheektowaga, pays a few cents for every passenger who disembarks a plane under the terms of a five-year contract. The agreement, which runs through the end of 2018, charged Buffalo Airport Taxi 3 cents per deplanement in 2014, a rate that will keep increasing until the charge reaches 4 cents per deplanement in 2018, according to a contract summary provided by the authority.

Those fees, in addition to a yearly base fee, led the taxi company – also known as the Independent Taxi Association – to pay the NFTA $630,829 last year alone.

The base rate for the Buffalo Airport Taxi contract in 2014 was $500,000 and will be $600,000 in 2018, according to the NFTA.

FIN

Buffalo Alt-Right Convict Mocks Gabby Giffords

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Look, in this place ran Cassius’ dagger through. 

Gabrielle Giffords was a congresswoman from Arizona from 2007 to 2012. On January 8, 2011, Giffords held a “Congress on your Corner” at a supermarket in Tucson, where she was meeting with constituents. Suddenly, an well-armed lunatic shot 19 people, killing six, including a federal judge and a nine-year-old girl.

See what a rent the envious Casca made.

Giffords was severely injured as one of the bullets entered the front of her head and exited the rear. She has undergone rehabilitation since then to regain her ability to move, speak, and write, and has become a proponent of common-sense gun control legislation so that others don’t have to endure what she did—others like Congressman Steve Scalise, who now recuperates in hospital after being gravely injured by another well-armed lunatic just last week. 

Through this the well-belovèd Brutus stabbed. 

Locally, right-wing commentators and politicians have attempted to blame Democrats for the Alexandria shooting that injured Scalise and others. The gunman was revealed to be a progressive supporter of Bernie Sanders and a vehement opponent of President Trump. The problem with the “violent Democrat” meme is that no Democrats, mainstream or fringe, have called for any sort of violence against anyone. Clumsy attempts to equate the “Antifa” black bloc movement with, say, Hillary Clinton are downright laughable. No violent anarchists were big supporters of the woman that even Bernie supporters derided as a “neoliberal shill.” If it were up to Democrats, Scalise’s shooter never should have been able to obtain a concealed carry permit, and even his ability to buy any firearm would have been restricted. After all, Scalise’s assailant has a well-documented history of domestic violence, one of the markers for mass shootings. 

And as he plucked his cursèd steel away, 

It is utterly contemptible and disgusting for anyone to shoot and kill any innocent victim without provocation. There ought to be no safe space in our society for mass shootings in general or attempted political assassinations in particular. No political party is immune from homicidal lunatics, and people who wish or effect physical harm on political opponents should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Yet just last week, Representative Chris Collins blamed Democrats for the Alexandria attack, before anyone knew anything about the shooter’s affinity for Bernie Sanders. He later recanted that accusation and apologized, and now pairs his calls for civility with a concealed handgun. Yet just a week earlier, he referred to Governor Andrew Cuomo thusly, “He’s a thug. He’s a bully. He’s an extortionist. He’s a blackmailer. He wants all the authority.” I’m sure it’s not the first time our Italian-American governor was condemned with language reserved for the mob or Mussolini, but it’s notable that a Congressman thought it ok. 

Mark how the blood of Caesar followed it, 

And when performing Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, throwing in a contemporary spin and showing the betrayal and assassination of a Donald Trump character today—or, in 2012, a Barack Obama lookalike—isn’t the outrage you’re being told it is. Julius Caesar is not a play that extols the virtues of political assassination. That fact becomes evident literally minutes after the conspirators murder Caesar. 

As rushing out of doors, to be resolved 

For the sake of civility, I will take the American right’s concern about tone at face value, and not more cynically as a way to exploit a tragedy for political gain. But in order to take this seriously, the right wing have to take a good, long look in the mirror and actually confront what they’ve done and condoned over the last nine years. President Obama was not, as the current President claimed, a secret Kenyan Muslim who literally founded ISIS. Tea partiers routinely referred to President Obama as an African witch-doctor, or an ape, or a traitor to be hanged, or a dictator not dissimilar from Stalin or Hitler. Google it. While this newfound concern about tone and how propaganda can lead to violence is welcome, it’s come dramatically too late. It’s as if John Salvi never shot up a Brookline Planned Parenthood clinic, or James Kopp never shot Dr. Barnett Slepian in Amherst, or Eric Rudolph never set off a bomb at the 1996 Olympics. Tell it to the family of Richard Collins, III, or the brave passengers on a train who were stabbed to death after confronting a white supremacist harassing a Muslim girl. The ascent of Donald Trump has emboldened the violent right fringe

It’s almost as if a member of the Buffalo school board never wrote in a New Year’s Eve article that President Obama and Valerie Jarrett should be murdered, and that Michelle Obama was a male Zimbabwean ape. 

Before you accuse me of whataboutism or tu quoque, understand that I don’t think dehumanizing your political opponents is ever appropriate. By portraying the other side as something not human, or as an illegal usurper – whether it’s George W. Bush or Barack Obama – you give well-armed homicidal cretins an excuse to commit mass murder. If you believe that Obama isn’t a human or founded a nihilist terrorist group, then that’s one less thing stopping some ignorant loner with a rifle from shooting not just the politician, but any of his supporters whom he might encounter. Democrats made this point continually during the tea party protests, and Republicans guffawed at the suggestion that hateful speech could lead to violent action. Now, suddenly, they’ve dramatically changed their tune about tone – even Michigan’s favorite no-hit wonder, Ted Nugent now says he regrets calling President Obama a “subhuman mongrel” who should “suck on [his] machine gun” before being “tried for treason and hung.” Newly minted Montana Congressman Greg Gianforte has also found the word “civility” in his dictionary, just a few short weeks after he beat the shit out of a reporter fro the Guardian who had the nerve to ask him a question about health care. 

So, as we consider tone and civility, consider this, from a man recently convicted of election fraud and his pals, discussing a woman who lost part of her brain in public service. 

If Brutus so unkindly knocked, or no. 

Rus Thompson, incidentally, appeared this past weekend on a radio show on WBEN alongside David DiPietro, a sitting Assemblyman

Take a look, if you can get past the misspellings – or mistaking Gabby Giffords for NY Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. In describing the naming of a Navy ship for the wife of a Navy pilot and instructor who took a bullet through the brain while meeting with the people she served, at least two people thought it clever to refer to Ms. Giffords as, “brain dead” and that the ship would have “no guns” and “only turn left”, and that it would likely be nicknamed the, “grey matter splatter”. Only one person had the morality to challenge this barrage of unmitigated hatred directed at the victim of a horrific crime who served her country with honor and courage. 

If you want to lecture people about tone, first make sure your own hands are clean. 

This was the most unkindest cut of all. 

 

The Secret Trumpcare Farce

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Not only is the Republican-controlled Senate going to ram Trumpcare through while you’re distracted by Comey and Russia, they’re not even going to bother to hold a single hearing on it. 

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill (D) asks a simple question in the Senate Finance Committee – will there be a hearing?

Chairman Orrin Hatch (R) can’t answer and needs to be fed a talking point from a staffer – a talking point that is so glaringly false that McKaskill immediately swats it away for the lie it is. 

That’s the sound of Congress effectively revoking the health coverage of 23 million Americans, and doing so in a fundamentally undemocratic fashion. 

Under Cover of Comey

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While former FBI Director James Comey was testifying about what a repugnant liar Donald Trump is, the remainder of the Senate was working feverishly to ram through a repeal of Obamacare and replace it with Trumpcare. Congress will effectively take away health insurance coverage from about 23 million people. 

The Republican Congress will ensure that health care is taken away from its constituents in silence and under cover of night or diversion. The replacement will be garbage. 

As Mr. Comey explained that he leaked information about his conversation with the President, the right wing howled. But Trump had already “leaked” details of those conversations in the letter firing Comey. In any event, at the time, Comey was a private citizen describing non-classified, non-privileged information. After all, the other person in that conversation had already revealed details from them in an open setting. Lordy, I hope there are tapes

As Mr. Comey detailed how President Trump pressed him to drop the investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael “Lock her Up” Flynn, Republicans whined that Mr. Trump was too ignorant to realize that he was obstructing justice or violating the FBI’s independence. 

While Republicans claimed in sound bites and memes that Comey finally put the Russia collusion allegation to bed, they must have not been paying attention. 

COTTON: Let’s turn our attention to the underlying activity at issue here. Russia’s hacking of those e-mails and the allegation of collusion. Do you think Donald Trump colluded with Russia?

COMEY: That’s a question I don’t think I should answer in an opening setting. As I said, when I left, we did not have an investigation focused on President Trump. But that’s a question that will be answered by the investigation, I think.

I wouldn’t put down those Matryoshkas just yet, comrades. Trump fired Comey on May 9th, soon after Comey refused to pledge his personal loyalty oath to the President and to drop the Flynn investigation. 

In the wake of the 2008 global financial meltdown, Congress decided to pass legislation that would help prevent a recurrence. The Republican House voted to repeal that bipartisan law – Dodd Frank – while you were watching James Comey give his powerful testimony. Part of Dodd Frank involved protecting consumers. For some reason, that is anathema to Congress nowadays. 

While your Republican friends are wrongly claiming that Trump has been vindicated, Republicans are chugging right along towards rolling back the Medicaid expansion. This expansion ensured that millions of working poor families could obtain health coverage. 

While Washington plunges into a dark age of punitive dysfunction, everyone should be paying very close attention indeed to what just happened in the UK. After almost a decade of austerity and cuts, the Tories lost their majority to a Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn, whose politics are closer to Bernie Sanders than Tony Blair. It was a dramatic and wholly unexpected defeat – Theresa May had called this snap election in order to grow her majority and earn a mandate going into Brexit negotiations. To say that didn’t work out as she intended is a dramatic understatement.

Amy Maxwell 1975 – 2017

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About 13 years ago, I met Amy Maxwell when she headed up “Revitalize Buffalo”, a civic group that sprung out of a series of articles in the Buffalo News that amounted to a Generation X “what’s next” for the region.

She was a tireless worker, organized, strong, smart, but above all, she was relentlessly positive, a great friend, and filled with love. Anyone who knew her, loved her. She was one-of-a-kind; an original. She also wasn’t a self-promoter creating a brand. She was a citizen helping to make her city better, without seeking out accolades or fanfare. 

All of the good thoughts and feelings people now have about Buffalo got a big boost from Amy Maxwell a decade ago.

I had the privilege of working with her through Revitalize Buffalo, and she and I helped keep the SantaLand at Chestnut Ridge Park up and running for two years after county budget cuts eliminated it. She later helped to spearhead a centennial revival of Buffalo’s “Old Home Week“, which has since morphed into Citybration. 

Amy’s death was sudden and unexpected. Buffalo could use a lot more Amy Maxwells, and we should honor her memory.

Visiting hours for Amy will be on today, June 6th from 5-7 pm at Emmanuel United Methodist Church in Lockport, NY. Funeral services will follow at 7pm.

Please keep Amy and her family in your thoughts. 

Bauerle Puts Everyone On Notice

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In 2014, WBEN’s Tom Bauerle made it into the Buffalo News because of a neighborhood disturbance that led to police intervention. At the time, I wrote two pieces (here and here) explaining that I didn’t find the matter especially newsworthy. While Bauerle is a public figure, that doesn’t automatically make everything about him public. There was no arrest, no one swore out a complaint, and the neighbors didn’t seek any sort of protective order or nuisance injunction. I argued at the time that there was little public interest outside, perhaps, a mention in the Amherst Bee‘s police blotter. 

Practically every journalist and blogger disagreed with me—often strenuously. But if any other commentator or journalist had an episode that resulted in a psych evaluation, how is that information regionally newsworthy, if not primarily a massive violation of HIPAA or FOIL privacy rules? When the News followed up on the story, it had moved from Sunday’s A1 to “Life & Arts.” I wrote: 

It didn’t take long for this Page Six gossip column to be relegated to the section where you’ll find the Golden Globes, a psychic, the Buzz, and a plan for an art barge on the Erie Canal. It would seem that the information the News obtained from two unnamed police sources was likely an improper release of private personal information, and cannot be corroborated. 

Just because you don’t like Tom Bauerle isn’t justification for his intimate medical details to be printed in the Buffalo News. 

After that 2014 episode, I have no idea what happened. I don’t know if Bauerle undertook any sort of legal action against the News or the Amherst cops or anyone else. The details from the News‘ article led to howls of derisive laughter at Bauerle for believing he was being spied on by invisible men in trees who have magical shoes that don’t leave footprints in the snow. It’s funny stuff, but I’m not always so sure it’s that funny.  

Earlier this week, I was alerted to this article that Bauerle wrote for the Canada Free Press, a site replete with conspiracy theories masquerading as “news,” not dissimilar from WND and Infowars. (Query whether Entercom is thrilled with its talent publishing content to other sites.) The article is one-third a regurgitation of a previous article published about Bauerle, regarding his explanation about the backyard neighborhood spying, one-third a weak legal threat that he’ll sue if you mock him, and one-third an effort to link what he believes happened to him in his backyard to the “deep state” intelligence community’s fisticuffs against Donald Trump. Its premise reads like a Sesame Street/Black Mirror crossover episode. 

To a large degree, the article isn’t so much about cloaking technologies, spying, or the president as much as it is about Tom Bauerle.

It begins with Bauerle establishing his pro-Trump bona fides; he had Trump on his show, Trump invited him to the Buffalo rally, Trump was looking for Bauerle to “hang out” with him. He mentions that his radio show is popular, and that he is putting his job at risk by publishing the article. Trump came on myriad right-wing talk shows in the run-up to the New York primary, and none of this is especially interesting, except insofar as it attempts to thrust Bauerle into Trump’s orbit. 

The article then pivots Donald Trump’s Tweets accusing the Obama administration of “wire tapping” him. Bauerle offers empathy, adding, “President Trump, have your aides briefed you on real-life invisibility technology?” and, “[h]ave your people briefed you on non-linear optics and adaptive camouflage?” This is the subject-matter of this article, whereby Bauerle expounded on what he believes was happening in his backyard that led to the incident about which the Buffalo News wrote in 2014. 

Bauerle goes on to cite unvetted, uncorroborated claims that national alt-right talk radio hosts Michael Savage, Alex Jones, and Sean Hannity have made about supposedly being surveilled. As if the government has the intent or resources to spend huge sums of money to randomly surveil right-wing talk radio dummies using invisibility cloaks. Somehow it’s good right-wing talk marketing to convince your audience of your victimhood. 

As the article proceeds into its sub-headings, it bears mentioning that we don’t yet know what facts or allegations underpin the central theme of the article. We’ve established that Bauerle believes that he was the subject of high-tech surveillance, that other talk radio hosts think they were also spied upon, and that Bauerle likes Trump, and vice-versa. That’s it. 

Under the first sub-heading, “Team Bauerle” broadly regurgitates the claims that Bauerle made about the goings-on around his house in 2014. The second, “Tom Bauerle: Radio’s True Patriot,” recounts Bauerle’s claims to have been the victim of a butt-dial from some DNC staffer, and later by someone from a military contractor. According to this series of February Tweets, however, a woman claiming to be Bauerle’s son’s ex-girlfriend avers it was all a prank (read bottom to top). 

According to Fries, Bauerle’s son found the phone number through Wikileaks and prank-called it. The person then called back, and voila— one of Bauerle’s loved ones has an unexplained incoming call from a 215 area code listed in the Wikileaks DNC email dump. I reached out to Fries via Twitter, but have not heard back. I cannot vet the truth or falsity of what she wrote, only report that she wrote it. 

UPDATE: Mr. Bauerle’s son contacted me via Facebook Messenger to tell me that, “I would just like you to know that your source is false, I just wanted to let you know because not only does it make you look bad when you use fake sources from an x-girlfriend, but it makes journalism look bad. Just wanted you to know so that it doesn’t blow up in your face down the road.” 

Bauerle then offers up a photograph of some backyard foliage and alleges that he invented a way to detect people hiding in it, adding, “and I’ve never even taken a physics class.” One could conclude this, from that “evidence.” It shows nothing. For $300, anyone can buy a FLIR thermal imaging add-on for their iPhone or Android device. Presumably, if there were people in the trees, cloaked or not, they would emit heat that one could pick up on the FLIR device. 

What is also unclear is – why? Why would the agents of an out-of-office president care to spend big bucks using sci-fi technology to spy on the guy who is number 63 on the Talkers Heavy Hundred list? The “Monsters” out of Orlando are number 62; wouldn’t they be a slightly more compelling target? 

We move on to subheader “Persistence,” wherein Bauerle finally connects the dots from what he thinks transpired in his foliage to the President. 

Mr. President, I now believe there is a high probability that those engaged in the harassment of me and several loved ones and friends are operatives of the Shadow Government trying to bring you and your presidency down.
 
The reason I asked CFP to report on what I reasonably believed was a settlement that would be honored with those responsible for the illegal surveillance?

In 2014, when all of this came up in the first place, Bauerle believed that he was the target of surveillance by Governor Andrew Cuomo. Now it’s the “Shadow Government.” At what point did these people move on from state positions to ones with the federal government? To and from what agency? Who are the individuals leading this state and federal effort to “harass” one half of an afternoon drive talk radio show? How large must the budget be for the state and federal shadow authorities to maintain this surveillance and harassment of Bauerle? None of these logical questions are addressed.

The settlements to which he is referring are somewhat broadly mentioned as follows in the earlier article

In late Spring 2016, Bauerle reached settlements with the people behind the long-term research operation around his home, and we have the legal documents that prove Bauerle deserves an apology from the Buffalo News, and bloggers who accused him of having a ‘psychotic episode’.

I am that blogger. Laughably enough, I threw out the “psychotic episode” quip to defend him against improper publication of private medical information. I have no idea whether or not he had a psychotic episode, nor do I know whether he was taken in for psychiatric observation, as the Buffalo News reported. (He has since acknowledged that he was.) So, to that end, I apologize for suggesting that he had a “psychotic episode” as defined in medical literature; I should have prefaced it with “alleged” or “apparent.” But that’s not based on any settlement he may have executed with anyone; I haven’t been shown any legal document to establish anything at all. What I know is that Bauerle believes that first Andrew Cuomo and now, apparently, Barack Obama and the “Shadow Government” or “deep state” used secret, advanced technology to surveil him, undetected, on and around his property, and that this also might be happening to the current president. I do not believe any of that to be likely. 

The next section is titled “Butt-dial mystery call from ‘April Melody.'” This recounts the perhaps debunked allegation that one of Bauerle’s family members received a silent butt dial from a DNC staffer during the Philadelphia convention. Bauerle is suspicious of this call, which a woman saying she’s Bauerle’s son’s ex says was all a prank: 

I do not trust the Clintons or the Obama Mob, and I wanted that call and my story on the public record, lest I have a sudden heart-attack induced by hacking my ICD, or a lightning strike, or have my vehicle suddenly accelerate and crash.

If the “deep state” really wanted a Buffalo talk show host dead, couldn’t they easily have accomplished that by now, using wholly conventional means? Why would they go to the trouble of hacking his pacemaker or directing at him a “lightning strike”? Bauerle then takes that mysterious butt-dial, and his subsequent fears and concludes, 

President Trump, I have tried reaching out to you through mutual friends, but I have recently realized that even you may not know about the surveillance techniques under development right now, because no one from the White House ever got back to me.

One of your closest aides had no idea of my situation when it was brought to his attention.

I am concerned about you and believe it a strong possibility that you are being kept in the dark by Obama holdovers at the FBI, NSA and CIA because they WANT you to look like a paranoid lunatic.

Has anyone in our government advised you not to upset the intelligence apparatus, Mr. President?

I believe we are not just talking about the Obama “progressives” currently employed in intel, but those who may be doing private contract work after leaving the service.

I have decided to release these photos,with many more to come, complete with instructions on how to defeat these technologies, to help keep you safe.

If, as Commander in Chief, you request I not release additional photos and videos of this technology in action, I will obey, Sir.

Isn’t it odd how many of your PRIVATE conversations were leaked to certain people?

With all of the leaks from your “inner circle”, there is something rotten going on.

The President of the United States is protected by the Secret Service, an organization boasting intelligence and technological capabilities that average Americans likely can’t begin to comprehend. In his article Mr. Bauerle includes an image of a box of candy from Barack Obama’s Air Force One to establish the truth of conversations he held with a Secret Service agent who purportedly confirmed Mr. Bauerle’s fears about the extent of the surveillance against him. Yet, at the heart of Mr. Bauerle’s premise is that the people employed to protect and defend the President don’t know what they’re doing – they need a radio host in Buffalo to tell them how to do their jobs. I believe this to be, at best, wildly presumptuous. If the President had telephone conversations with people who were under surveillance – whether by FISA warrant or because they were members of foreign intelligence services – then those intercepts are perfectly legal. There are, indeed, lots of leaks coming out of the Trump White House. It’s no secret who the leakers are

The next subheading is “President Trump, The Swamp is a bitter enemy and they will do anything to drain you.”

Giggidy. 

But seriously, Mr. Bauerle goes on to explain, 

I have concluded the people who have illegally surveilled me (and loved ones) since at least 2013 and who continue to do so, hacked my electronics as well as those of my loved ones and friends (like former White House Travel Chef Tracy Martin, whose phone was hacked and had his home broken into days after appearing on my show to confirm that the real Hillary Clinton has no use for our black brothers and sisters and frequently uses the “N”-Word.) are most likely Deep State people and those who simply cannot accept the fact that you beat The Swamp’s choice. (See: Tom Bauerle: Can Satellites Reprogram Voting Machines?, and DNC intimidation of Tom Bauerle loved ones exposed by Wikileaks)

He goes on to say that he expects to be remunerated for the harassment, including the multiple times his home has allegedly been broken into. Then, this open letter to the President goes here: 

And I will be litigating against ALL involved.

We should be talking about a MAJOR amount of compensatory and punitive damages here.

I believe the only reason I am alive is because of Team Bauerle and the info we gathered on them and their operation which dates at least back to 2013.

Well, the statute of limitations is probably three years, so tick-tock. 

In “Strange Coincidences”, Mr. Bauerle repeats his earlier allegations by asking questions about supposed coincidences. There are the butt-dials again, license plates he sees in the neighborhood, and a Rottweiler whom he didn’t recognize at his front door. It is at this point that we begin the third of the article that reads as a legal threat. 

You would do quite well to refer to the statement by Dr. Marshall (Canada Free Press) attesting to my sound mental health. Mr. Bauerle “does not need psychotropic medication.”

My attorneys and I will vigorously pursue any unfair injury to my brand which may arise from false accusations that I have “delusions” or any such mental health issues.

I do not, and never have.

You’re on notice: you’d best think twice before you call my “sanity” into question, and you may wish to reflect on the multiple corroborations of my claims by private citizens and the inventor of the technology, the above mentioned Richard Schowengerdt, who confirmed the photo below as “proof beyond any doubt” that I was correct about being under high tech surveillance.

I believe in the First Amendment, but I will not allow my reputation to be unfairly slandered or libelled and will be aggressive in pursuing any such damage to my brand.

You are put on notice: while I am a public person, and slander and libel claims have to meet a higher threshold to be actionable, my attorneys and I will have a keen eye on media outlets and their reporting on this, and will vigorously pursue any hint that I am “mentally ill” or delusional.

I mean, I guess consider yourselves on notice? For something billed as an open letter to Donald Trump, it sure seems odd to – in that letter – start threatening to sue anyone who calls you crazy. Like, why would Mr. Trump care? 

Dr. Marshall did, in fact, execute a letter to Mr. Bauerle’s attorneys as part of the effort to get his firearms returned, indicating that he didn’t pose a threat to himself or anyone else, and that he didn’t need “psychotropic medications”. These are the medications most typically prescribed to people suffering from disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, etc. Here’s the thing, though, about “mentally ill” and “insane”; while I personally don’t think it’s wise to throw those terms around, they can be expressions of people’s opinion and not actionable at all. This isn’t legal advice, but if a casual reader of Mr. Bauerle’s Canada Free Press article about cloaking and surveillance concluded that it’s “crazy” and that anyone believing such a thing is, “insane”, that could be a legally valid expression of opinion and not at all actionable. Because he is a public figure thrusting all of this into the marketplace of ideas, the First Amendment bumps violently into Mr. Bauerle’s oddly placed threats. On the other hand, if I were to make a statement of fact, and allege that Mr. Bauerle was under psychiatric care, or had been diagnosed with a particular ailment, etc., that would be different. No such evidence exists. Under New York law, if your opinion relies on accurate reported facts, it’s not actionable as long as it is clearly opinion and does not allege criminal or illegal activity. 

I don’t know whether Mr. Bauerle’s story about surveillance and cloaking is true or accurate, but I do think that what he is alleging happened in and around his property is extremely unlikely, and that any extrapolation of that experience to White House leaks or the intelligence community’s disdain for the President is not supported by facts or evidence.

In other words, although I think it’s bullshit, I can’t conclude whether his sincere belief in that bullshit is, e.g., delusional. 

This thread continues into the next heading, “The personal safety of truth-tellers is left hanging perilously in the balance.” Here is the text of that section: 

I am not an attorney, but you would be well-advised to speak with your legal counsel about the “reckless disregard for the facts” standard and ask yourself “If a jury sees these pictures, the unambiguous corroboration from the man who invented cloaking technology they show , the statement from Dr. Marshall attesting to my sound mental health, what would the preponderance of evidence suggest? That I have mental issues, or that I am and have been telling the truth.” So as much as it may pain you, I am very aware of the law in this regard.

Again, isn’t this a letter to Donald Trump? Then why is he using the second person to address bloggers and the media? So, let’s back up a second. Bauerle is a public figure, and this is a Sullivan v. NY Times / Gertz v. Robert Welch issue. If someone publishes a false statement of fact about a public figure, he can be liable for defamation if the publication was made with “actual malice”. Within the context of defamation jurisprudence, that doesn’t mean “hatred”, but that the author either knew the statement was false, or acted with “reckless disregard to the truth or falsity” of the statement. In New York, if the paper accurately publishes an article about a private person who has been convicted of stealing from his employer, you are protected from liability if you say or write that this person is an embezzler – it is both privileged opinion, as well as fact. 

And I just need 51% proof, even though it is my opinion as a layman I can exceed “reasonable doubt” in any claim.

Choose your words very, very carefully when describing my claims.

I don’t know whom he’s threatening here. You don’t need “51% proof”, you need to convince a jury that you were defamed by a preponderance of the evidence, which is typically described as being anything in excess of 50%, although evidence can’t really be quantified in the way in which Mr. Bauerle suggests. Credibility counts for a lot with juries. 

I’ll be happy to undergo a polygraph.

To the extent a polygraph measures anything at all, it measures whether a person believes what he’s saying to be true. It’s not typically admissible in court, as it is not reliable evidence. 

And any ad hominem attack regarding my mental health will be dealt with appropriately.

That isn’t a threat.

It is a promise, and I’m doing you a favor in advance.

It all depends on the context within which someone, for instance, calls someone “crazy”. Again, a lot of verbiage being spent in a letter to Donald Trump to warn random third persons not to insult Mr. Bauerle’s sanity. It’s like Otto in “A Fish Called Wanda” admonishing everyone to not call him “stupid“. 

I did not and will not pursue any action against the Amherst Police Department, because I respect law enforcement, and as I have stated, at that time I was making claims without substantiation. In their shoes, I also would have wanted a psych-eval.

You members of the media and bloggers will receive no quarter at all from me should you recklessly disregard the facts of my case. Not just corporations, but individual reporters and bloggers’ work will be scrutinized carefully for any damage done unfairly to my “brand” and future income potential

Not for nothing, but what about this constant drumbeat of conspiratorial articles in Canada Free Press? How does one quantify the damage to your “brand” that is brought about by publishing this somewhat nonsensical, illogical “open letter”? It’s not like the Canada Free Press is a trustworthy, objective, or reasonable publication. The events of 2014 aren’t anything anyone wants to talk about, except you. How can we forget it if you keep bringing it up? 

Meanwhile, here’s the thing: The personal safety of truth-tellers is left hanging perilously in the balance.

If they can do this to the duly elected President of the United States, what’s to stop them from doing it to the rest of us.

The entire article can be summed up as follows: 

1. I believe that bad people surveilled me in and around my home with sci-fi capabilities; 

2. They could – and might – do this to the President; 

3. There is nothing, however, to conclude that sci-fi surveillance of the President is, actually, taking place; and 

4. Don’t call me crazy, or I’ll sue you to kingdom come. 

I don’t get the point of any of it. Most every American wants the President to be kept safe, regardless of who it is or what party he’s from. (Well, to be fair, Mr. Bauerle didn’t have a problem, however, posting things like this about the previous occupant of the White House): 

I don’t understand people sometimes. 


Editor’s note: Because of the discussion of mental illness in this article, we’d like to include the Crisis Services emergency hotline: 716-834-3131.