Results tagged “montana” from Six Hours A Week: Adventures in American Exile

200px-The_Searchers.jpgWe all go through various phases with our relatives -- of understanding, compassion and perspective. There was a time in my late teens and early 20s when I couldn't abide my grandfather. Then, to me, he was a racist, sexist relic. My mom had taught me that respect for elders was not a given (she thought that unquestioned acquiescence led to authoritarianism), that respect was meant to be mutually earned regardless of age. This is why I didn't understand her continued reverence for him as he criticized her for hiring a neighbor boy to shovel the walk for her after she broke one of her ribs (it wasn't her leg, by God!) or her expectation when he breezed into town unannounced during finals week (I was an undergrad in summer school) that I would join the two of them for dinner rather than study. Couldn't he call ahead? Wait until after my exam? It would never occur to him to enter my schedule into his decision-making factors.

When we did meet for dinner it was at an Asian Fusion sort of restaurant called the Mustard Seed. At one point during the meal he gazed around the room and loudly declared with awe and disgust, "Boy there sure are a lot of fat people in here." Sure that one of the targets of his comment at a nearby table had heard, I was mortified. This was one of the many prejudices that he was open about. In general he freely used racial epithets, still carrying the WWII-era perception of "Japs." He was surprised that there were none there since we were at an Asian restaurant.

During all phases of my relationship to him, my Grandfather reminded me of the caricature of John Wayne -- tough, looming large, self-reliant. He was among the last of the "real cowboys" who earned their living out on the range and then went on to become a Montana rancher.  He was over 6 feet tall, charismatic, and when in his element possessed a sureness and decisiveness that I've come across in few other people. The general reverence for him and lore around his life made his presence larger than life in our family always -- he never hired anyone to do anything he could do himself, worked every day of his life that he could, created a cattle empire with his wits and a fourth grade education, in his 70s crawled a mile through the snow with collapsed lungs and a broken back after a tree fell on him and then drove home opening 4 barbed wire gates along the way, etc.  I considered him our own personal John Wayne since he shaped my family's views about self-reliance, individualism and discipline so completely that no one could even identify them as values -- they just were part of our unspoken expectations (ones whose questioning led to inevitable conflict and change over the years).

Despite this overpowering association (and maybe because of it) I had never actually seen a John Wayne movie until watching The Searchers the other night. I don't call many movies weird, but it is: disjointed, blatantly but self-consciously racist, contradictory, inconsistent in tone, filled with unrealistic battle scenes, magnificently beautiful, and peppered with great and terrible acting (the Yankee soldier! Why?). Apparently it's widely considered the best American western. There's so much subtext, it's hard to know what to think of it. But John Wayne's character, Ethan, is unquestionably intolerable. He's vilely racist, sadistic, vindictive and generally awful. Though equipped with many of the skills necessary to rescue a niece captured by the Comanches from his post-Civil War settler relatives (he fought for the Confederacy), he's really the last person you'd want to go on a five-year search with.

Really, I didn't know what to think of the film or how it related to my Grandfather. As much as he reminded me of John Wayne, he was also like Tigger from Winnie the Pooh, with boundless energy, a sense of fun, and a tendency to break into song at unexpected moments. He was also very charming. Though openly racist, I couldn't imagine him harboring any racism so hateful as Wayne's Ethan character (who would rather kill his niece than allow her to continue living with the Comanche like she wants). So I did what I always do after seeing a movie, and started poking around Wikipedia for background and review links.

Roger Ebert's struck a chord:

In ''The Searchers'' I think Ford was trying, imperfectly, even nervously, to depict racism that justified genocide; the comic relief may be an unconscious attempt to soften the message. Many members of the original audience probably missed his purpose; Ethan's racism was invisible to them, because they bought into his view of Indians. Eight years later, in ''Cheyenne Autumn,'' his last film, Ford was more clear. But in the flawed vision of ''The Searchers'' we can see Ford, Wayne and the Western itself, awkwardly learning that a man who hates Indians can no longer be an uncomplicated hero.

Wow. Soon after reading those words I had an epiphany about my relationship to my grandfather and to the United States' complicated history, relationships which were in many ways a reverse of the Western genre's trajectory. I began only being able to see flaws, exclusions and imperfections -- the multiple ways in which the protector-of-the-world America that I had been taught to admire as a child had never lived up to its own ideals, and was acting in direct contradiction to them. It was hard to be enthusiastically patriotic when patriotism seemed in so many ways tangled with nostalgia for America as the Western hero that we could not question. National discourse during my formative years (80s and early 90s) made patriotism and genuine moral engagement with our bloody and ugly past seem mutually exclusive.  Similarly, how was I to resolve the fact that my grandfather was (as far as I knew) a man of integrity within his sphere (i.e., didn't cheat people in business, treated his neighbors well), and accomplished in so many ways, but who really did believe that I was less of a person because I was female, and wouldn't have been able to tolerate most of the people I knew?

I don't want to give the impression that over time I learned to become tolerant of prejudice in general or any prejudices specifically. It's not as though I would have once condemned the Western hero and now embrace him. Rather, I became able to see my grandfather as an individual in a particular historical time and place.

Also, over time, I began to see ways that I could remain vigilant against my own prejudices and critical of our current and historical exclusions and injustices, and still patriotically celebrate American ideals. 

The shift with my grandfather partly took place through my reading Mildred Walker's Winter Wheat, which takes place during WWII in an area not far from where my grandparents ranched from the late 1960s onward.  It's now been at least 14 years since I read it, so I don't remember it well -- though I know it had anti-fascist themes. Most of all, it made me fall in love with the Eastern Montana landscape, which gave me a way to connect with my grandfather.

He had read the book and loved it too -- it was something he and my aunt shared. Now I was curious and interested in him and his life in a way that translated as respect -- I never knew that he sought my curiosity and interest and that without them I had always been disrespectful without meaning to be. On visits he was now eager to take me out to see his land. Rolling along hills in his SUV, we would drive over 10-foot-tall pine trees and they would spring back up like dandelions underfoot. He would describe destroying knapweed using spent engine oil. Clearly my feeling of connection to the land was different from his (I didn't eat much red meat or use any type of herbicide). To him the land was the cattle, and if a tree stood in the way of his showing them to Mom and me, or if the invasive knapweed threatened to overtake their nutrition, he would do what it took. He was proud of his herd, and the tens of thousands of acres they ran on, because they were his achievement.

His father lost everything when the hotel he built burned down. His mother abandoned the family when he was young, leaving the care of numerous children to his father (my mom says that when Kenny Rogers' "Lucile" came on the radio, he would switch it off). He survived the Depression and worked as a miner in Butte during WWII. He built a hotel in Billings which my mother ran while attending high school and taking care of her 6-year-old younger sister; the rest of the family lived hours away on the ranch. His goal in life was to succeed where his father wasn't able to and leave his children financially comfortable -- girls too, which apparently is still a rare practice among ranching families.

So, no, I now understood, a man who expected his 15-year-old daughter to run a motel on her own while caring for her younger sister would not be someone to make sure that my finals schedule coincided with his travel plans.  By the end of his life, a couple of years later, we had a relationship that was closer than I could have imagined. It was harder than anything for him to be laid up with the cancer that claimed him -- it embarrassed him to be seen incapacitated and weak. (Incidentally, his insensitive and inappropriate interjections may have been related to Aspergers Syndrome, a possibility a 20th century cowboy would not likely have explored.) My last memory of him is of carrying his great-granddaughter in to see him (she was around 3) and his just being in awe of her and smiling and wistfully saying to us, "You're so young, so full of life." I love his region and that land because of its beauty, my childhood summers there, because it shaped my mother, and because he's a part of it now.

The act of loving land is not some sort of timeless, ahistorical virtue. My love of the landscape, and appreciation of what my grandfather's life's work provided, is tempered by the history of the West in general, and the knowledge that other people crossed his acres freely before there was barbed wire.  He was able to acquire them because of his personal talents and initiative, but also because of characteristics he didn't choose. It would have been difficult or impossible for non-whites to have been able to get the credit and engage in the deal-making necessary, and certainly for a woman of any race. He at one time built wealth by leasing land from the Northern Cheyenne to run his cattle.  

Since our lives have been under siege (and our opportunities methodically, systematically limited), it's been difficult to clearly think about what my individual responsibility is as someone who has had opportunities because of this sort of personal/material history. The key seems to be being able to ask the question "What can I do?" Further formulation of the question and the route to the answers are a work in progress.

In many ways, my grandfather probably was a protector of Mom and me. If he were still alive, we would have had someone to help shield us from all of the Montana lawlessness and charlatanism. But we don't have our own personal John Wayne. We just have to have faith in the possibility of fairness, justice and tolerance of critical patriotism in the 21-st Century West. 

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lady-justice.jpgIf my Senator is co-sponsoring the Justice Bill, he should be into protecting citizens of his own state from ongoing and pervasive civil liberties violations.

I don't have any sort of rescue fantasies, but wonder, who will have the courage and fortitude to help us out of this mess and ensure that no one has to endure anything like it again? If not my Senators (will Baucus demonstrate that he's not completely owned?), then who? Is there a Serpico in our midst? The UN? I mean, it's ridiculous. I've written so many letters on behalf of prisoners of conscience, and now I'm going on 2.5 years of virtual imprisonment in the U.S. I have to believe that someone out there cares more about justice and integrity than membership in an unprincipled patronage system. The reason the U.S. is assumed to be so great is because we supposedly don't need international observers or rescuers to swoop in and save its citizens from one another. Right?

Dear Senators Tester and Baucus,

I write because I need your assistance to combat pervasive and intractable corruption in our state. My mother and I have encountered judicial malfeasance, unfathomable corruption of the legal profession, and discriminatory, untruthful local law enforcement. We believe these overall gross violations of our rights have been made possible by lax regulation of intelligence contractors and agencies working in tandem with local agencies. In response to FOIA requests, I got the runaround from the FBI and a “Glomar” response from the NSA. The civil rights attorney I hired to help me ended up lying about which agencies he contacted and withholding documents. My mother and I cannot fight such insidious and pervasive interference in our lives alone.

We need the help of senators who are not afraid to upset the current balance of cronyism in Montana.  We are targets of entrenched Republican and Democrat interests seemingly because of our sex, religious affiliation (or lack thereof) and political affiliations and activities. It is very possible that local polluting industries have funded interference in my life at one time or another for at least ten years simply because I was part of a campaign to work with the union and management at Stone Container to stop poisonous dioxin emissions in our valley.

If you are courageous men who are not hemmed by the coal or any other lobby, if you are men who believe that human and civil rights extend to all people in your state and not just the back scratching elite, then please step up and help us. The current strategy seems to be to make the administrative and legal processes of seeking assistance so drawn out and impossible as to drain all of our energy and financial resources. We need men of conscience who truly believe in the best of democratic and republican ideals to keep their compact with the electorate and not the entrenched interests of a corrupt few.

About a year ago, I contacted Senator Tester and described some of the gross violations of my and my mother’s civil rights and liberties. He suggested that I contact local law enforcement. After many more months of harassment, and actual and attempted harm to our persons and property, we did finally contact the Missoula Police Department. We have come up against lies, evasion, and overall discriminatory treatment. Again, we need the help of individuals in a position of power who will use the position that the people of Montana have entrusted them with to take a stand against corruption and cronyism. Every effort is being made to ensure that we cannot do it on our own.

I request that representatives from each of your offices contact me so that we can find a way to work together to ensure that my mother and I emerge from this morass in one piece, and that no citizen of this state will ever have to endure such politically- and socially-motivated hijacking of supposedly neutral local and federal agencies again.

Senator Tester, as a co-sponsor of the Justice Act, I believe it would be unconscionable to leave two citizens of your state who have seemingly been victims of Patriot Act Excesses out in the cold.  We could easily serve as “poster children” for the necessity of reform. Please show us that your commitment to constitutional safeguards is more than mere talk.

Respectfully,


Kyeann Sayer

Wanted: A Lawyer Who Cares About the Law

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So, we have just fired the third attorney who has engaged in criminal conspiracy to sabotage the case being defended against Steve Loken. This attorney's malpractice was so blatant and his manner so caustic and abusive, he seems to be among those who believes there will never be consequences to his actions. Really, Loken could no have ordered a more ideal attorney to serve his needs.

Add to this another very questionable ruling from Judge Deschamps (with procedural/clerical errors as well) that gives us one more appealable issue. It's hard to gauge his strategy. He's still making very prejudicial rulings that will make him look so bad in the eyes of an appellate court. One surmises that he bets it won't get that far... So does he assume we'll be "incompetent" or dead? Or that Mr. Loken will finally throw in the towel? Or we'll be forced to settle for some unforeseen reason?

So, we are in the position once again to find an attorney. One that is not a sadist who seemingly derives joy from putting his client in powerless and dangerous positions. A lawyer who automatically acts in his client's best interests rather than fighting tooth and nail to do all he can to ruin the case. I can't imagine the day when a lawyer will actually act on my or my mother's behalf.

So -- anyone out there? Know any lawyers who care about their clients and the law? Who are immune to whatever amalgam of energy industry and right wing funding still intent on ruining our lives? Not every lawyer in this state can be corrupt to the core.

(A month and a half and no word from Chief Muir... or anyone at the Mayor's Office, the City Attorney's Office, The County Attorney's Office...)

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The Legal Malpractice Playbook: Organized Crime Tool

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There's an organized crime strategy that I haven't heard discussed, but has become very evident in my encounters with attorneys over the past three years: lawyers/firms who take on clients only so that they can ruin or interfere with their cases and/or affairs. There must be an instruction pamphlet for this somewhere.

The dominant image of this type of behavior is some sort of Italian Mob interference rather than the specific targeting of environmentalists, feminists or non-Christians. Since those seem to be the characteristics about Mom and me that have sustained a well-funded overall life interference campaign, I imagine that others are targeted for similar political/social characteristics.

The forms of malpractice we have encountered are just too consistent for these tactics to be isolated to us. Attorney/client interference seems to be a favored means of depriving "undesirables" of their Constitutional rights. Here are some examples -- I'll do some more editing and adding later.

(I am not qualified to give legal advice -- the anecdotes here are my experience and I take no responsibility for what anyone does with the information. But I hope it's helpful!)

1. Bait and Switch (Fraud)

The unsuspecting client can be lured into hiring an attorney who promises to provide specific services or take the case in a certain direction. The problem is, most retainer or other attorney-client agreements don't allow for spelling out in detail why someone has agreed to hire a specific attorney or firm. To ensure that our interests are protected, we have started to add Addendums to contracts that stipulate what has been promised, and our understanding of what the firm has agreed to do.
Sunday, July 19 at 10:22 PM

Chief Muir,

(Blog post below for your perusal.)

Your July 10 letter was the first one in which you gave any instructions on how you would like to receive evidence, so I find it odd that you spent so much of the letter describing how I was not providing you with evidence, and questioning my sincerity.

I will file police reports to avoid the one-year statue of limitations issue. Until I retain a civil rights attorney, I will continue to seek out others in County and State government who might take a more sympathetic/responsive tack toward addressing someone who has endured nearly two years of relentless harassment in your jurisdiction. I don't consider you a neutral party, and will therefore seek out additional people to send information to in addition to you. You professed a preference for me to send evidence and documentation to you directly without officially filing the reports. However, I will file official reports and include evidence -- it is my understanding that in order for a complaint to be actionable it must be reported. Is that not true?

I must say that your ongoing attitude toward me suggests that you don't believe that your policies/responses will ever be reviewed by an independent body/that you will ever be accountable for them. This is disturbing since we have dealt with numerous attempts to harm us, and/or completely diminish our credibility through entrapment and other means. I would certainly hope that you are not relying on such an eventuality. Your taking this "insincerity" approach is in itself quite insincere, and seems like a further attempt to diminish my credibility.

In regard to specifics:

It seems that the one year statute of limitations on individual misdemeanor offenses would not apply to incidents that are an aspect of an ongoing criminal conspiracy. Please clarify how I can submit information from over one year old that is/has been part of ongoing efforts. Please clarify how I can best coordinate with you and the county and/or state attorney on providing the criminal conspiracy information. Feel free to elaborate and provide any and all helpful information I could use for reporting criminal conspiracy -- this should save us all a lot of time.

You indicated you are not in receipt of the letter your were copied on that I sent to Alain and Darla Goodman's landlord dated June 4th. Sergeant Richardson responded to that letter by looking up my blog and responding to the email address there, rather than responding by post. I find it odd that he had not forwarded the letter to you since you were the one copied on it.

We believe that many suspicious vehicles are associated with the ongoing harassment campaign. We wouldn't provide a "general list of vehicles parked in the neighborhood which you feel might have been suspicious in some unknown way" as you suggest in your response to this description of the issue of license plates:

We have dealt with an overall stalking and harassment situation. We have dozens of incidents to report, and many associated suspicious license plates. Investigators who are truly interested in the why and how have a lot to go on. Again, we could report these all as individual instances or provide them succinctly to a genuinely curious party who would like to follow up thoroughly. The latter seems more efficient.

What about that description suggests that I intend to provide the "general list" that you describe? As must be abundantly clear by now, what I am reporting is stalking, harassment and hate crime. I believe suspicious vehicles and individuals associated with them (some of which have been photographed in the process of bizarre/harassing behavior), are part of this larger effort. Hence, my desire to report these incidents as part of stalking, harassment, and hate crime. Please let me know how to report them as an aspect of that, or if that would involve coordination with County and/or State agencies.

You say that you can't answer the following without receiving my evidence. I beg to differ. It might be uncomfortable for you to explain your department's handling of this, but certainly many of these questions are imminently answerable. If you had enough information to claim that Sergeant Richardson's procedure was not "bizarre," you must have enough information to explain to me why, from an objective procedural and legal standpoint, it was not.

You claim that a general prohibition on contacting the neighbors in any way is not "bizarre." What legal or department procedural policy allows a police officer to instruct a citizen not to communicate in any way with her neighbors -- without indicating which neighbors or citing specific complaints from any of them?  I provided ample documentation of harassment from neighbors to Sergeant Richardson -- has he instructed them not to contact us? Have they provided any evidence or documentation of our supposed harassment of them? My understanding is that I need to file a restraining order against anyone whom I don't wish to contact me, and that I need to have documentation to do so. It seems discriminatory to take their concerns seriously, but not ours -- especially when we are the ones who initiated contact with your department. Please clarify.

Only the last statement seems to rely upon my evidence. The rest of the information should be professional knowledge or gleaned from Sergeant Richardson.

We have large amounts of food and liquid evidence. When workers were in the house last summer, in addition to seemingly purposeful attempts to expose us to toxic chemicals (not warning us about toxicity, removing the barriers we set up to protect ourselves) a number of pantry items were tampered with. We have become ill a number of times due to what seems like tampering with food and bottled water. We have saved these items for testing. Please let me know how best they can be submitted to the state lab. (We have been concerned that one of the goals of the drug entrapment attempts was to remove these items before they could be tested.) Specifically, around the time a doctor misdiagnosed me with hepatitis (seemingly to make me appear as an IV drug user -- another doctor was shocked at her misreading of the blood work and treating me for an affliction I clearly did not have), I suffered major pain for months that turned out to be my gallbladder. It became evident that bottled water that I drank consistently caused and exacerbated the problem. I believe it may have been tainted with oxalic acid, which promotes gall stones. Clearly, I believe that the doctor who misdiagnosed me should be questioned, as well as individuals who seem to have been involved with the food and beverage tampering.

And to preempt any more of your language about all of this being some sort of impression we have -- that is why we saved items for testing. I'm sure the individuals involved thought that we would be dead or discredited before anyone would be accountable for it. The fact of people deciding to do these heinous things to us does not reflect on our stability or capacity. Again -- we have evidence.

Finally, your questioning my sincerity at this time is disappointing to say the least. Though the overall atmosphere of intimidation and harassment has for the most part abated in the neighborhood, we are still dealing with a major campaign to disrupt our lives. Right now it is necessary to provide documentation to a number of entities. Just this last week, we dealt with what seems like an additional entrapment attempt when someone somehow piped what smelled like pot smoke into our first floor bathroom. I recently suffered food poisoning, and the recent chemical exposure in the back yard of which you are aware. As is clear by the way you relate to me, documenting and reporting such incidents in a manner that law enforcement can act on them is difficult; they are that way by design. We go through each day knowing that a number of people in the local community wish for our demise so that the prospect of facing consequences for criminal wrongdoing will go away. Again, you did not instruct me about how you would like to receive evidence until your July 10 letter. Doing so will be very time consuming, and your incomplete information, lack of straightforward answers and seeming inability to understand basic descriptions of criminal activity (see below) don't help. I have wanted a procedure in place to make it easier for all of us. Though the process may take time, and immediate issues of survival pop up in our lives with alarming regularity and demand our full attention, please never doubt for a moment that I want more than anything to see appropriate legal remedy for the overwhelming amount of illegal activity that we have endured. It would be nice to know that the person receiving the information had a genuine desire to see justice served.

I will do my best to make it easy for local law enforcement to pursue crimes that my mother and I have endured in Missoula. I will make every effort to supply evidence and documentation at a timely pace. I hope that you will become sincere and forthcoming. The things that have happened to us are bizarre, but that is not our fault. Believe that there are thousands of things I'd rather do than try to find out a way to provide evidence and documentation to you that best serves justice. Had we not documented most aspects of our lives as well as we have, I sincerely believe we would not be alive right now. Please do not add insult to injury by continuing with insincere deflective strategies and what seems like a continuation of "blaming the victim."

Kyeann Sayer

12.28.12: The unconstitutional censorship of an entire post regarding what I saw as unethical tactics in lawyer Timothy Geiszler's attempt to have my mother declared incompetent in July 2009 was affirmed by the Montana Supreme Court and, as of December 26th, 2012, a stay of the injunction is under review by the U.S. Supreme Court.  Per its user agreement, my web host had a right to discontinue my account if the offending content was not removed.  I had a deadline of December 31st, 2012 to remove it, and Justice Kennedy is not going to be able to issue a decision until Wednesday, January 2, 2013 at the earliest.  Although I would have appreciated their waiting until Justice Kennedy had the opportunity to consider a stay of the injunction, as for the moment the post was "libelous" (though without due process or any application of the legal standards for libel law), the host was within its rights to cancel my account if I did not remove the content.  Web hosts and bloggers are put into a difficult position when State Supreme Courts don't stay injunctions against speech that (as far as this author is concerned) are contrary to controlling federal decisions about censorship.


Because the Montana Supreme Court did not issue a stay pending my petition to the U.S Supreme Court,  I have been censored.  My constitutional rights have been violated and continue to be as long as I am prohibited from publishing speech that has been enjoined.  The content was going to be removed no matter what.  By capitulating to the demand of the web host I could mitigate the damage of the censorship because the company would have canceled my account, erasing all of my entries.  If I had waited for that to happen, I would have had to manually copy the entries onto another site in addition to being censored.  Further, to the degree that the site promotes accountability and transparency, I would have lost all the work I did promoting specific entries and the site in general.


I don't like that I was put into a position to have had to have create this site (certainly, it wasn't the "brand" I was after), and have learned much since and cringe when looking over some of the posts.  I wrote to survive and protect myself and as embarrassing as it was and is, terrible things were allowed to happen to my family.  I'm not going to let shame about who I was or what I thought five or even 2.5 years ago cover up what we went through.  So, if the stay is approved, I will repost the original.


If you are interested in the issue of lawyers using incompetency as a tactic, more information can be found at http://lawyersattemptingincompetency.blogspot.com/.


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Ok, I admit it. When I wrote this post I hadn't read Chief Muir's letter (sometimes we need a break from all of this) but relied on Mom's report of it. The July 4th vibe got the best of me and I wanted to interpret it through rose-colored glasses. I already knew that I was going to have to keep on my toes and document my socks off. But it's becoming more and more clear that in a situation like this, it's important that our evidence is actually documented and doesn't just end up in the back of someone's file cabinet. I have to say that so far that seems to be the official desire.

I'll be interested to learn what departments are legally required to act on. For instance, if I don't file official reports, is there a lower standard of accountability? It seems like all possible has been done to point me in other directions than filing actual reports, so it seems that I should definitely file them.

Since we reported our neighbor Alain assaulting my mom things have settled down remarkably. That momentary loss of control on his part ended up sort of being a blessing to us.

So: here we go!

from   Kyeann Sayer
date    Wed, Jul 8, 2009 at 5:09 AM
subject    Addressing MPD Issues/Criminal Claims

Dear Chief Muir,

This is in response to your June 29 letter (I typed in the text below). I will also send you a hard copy since you don't respond to email communications from me.

I'm glad that you have shifted from advising me that you will not tolerate my opinions about my treatment by the department to expressing an interest in receiving my claims. Since June 26 the change in the neighborhood has been remarkable -- someone seems to be sending a new message about what sort of behavior is acceptable. It seems that the overall tone of accountability has shifted and individuals no longer feel that they can harass and intimidate us with impunity, which of course is a welcome change.

My concern is not only that my desire to relay information about criminal activity and provide evidence was ignored, but also that a concerted effort seems to have been made to delegitimize my concerns and prevent me from submitting evidence of them to your department.

Sergeant Richardson seemed to have had the singular goal of heading me off before I could provide documentation of criminal activity. He sought to frame my issue as isolated to my unfounded concerns about harassment from my neighbors, while I repeatedly emphasized that I needed the department to send a clear message in the community in general that hate and organized crime directed at my mother and me was unacceptable. He continually instructed me to just relax and enjoy my neighborhood as I implored him to look at the overall law enforcement atmosphere that seemed to condone harassment of us. Ironically, my mother was then assaulted by the neighbor that I initially complained to you about, illustrating that Sergeant Richardson's intervention/conversations with his household did nothing to diminish their impression that it was acceptable to harass us. If he had intervened appropriately to begin with, it is doubtful that my mother would have been assaulted.

Additionally, I find it alarming that your initial response to my understandable concerns about the Department's handling of this issue was to threaten that you would not tolerate my exercise of free speech.

I have some points of clarification. Please explain:
  • Why neither you nor Sergeant Richardson never explained the procedures for filing police or hate crimes despite my repeated requests for guidance.
  • Why you did not explain the procedure for filing an Employee Complaint Form. I clearly believed I was receiving one-sided treatment from Sergeant Richardson, and his mishandling and adamant refusal to take my claims seriously allowed for a continuation of the atmosphere of permissiveness that enabled mother's assault by Alain Goodman.
  • You claim that a general prohibition on contacting the neighbors in any way is not "bizarre." What legal or department procedural policy allows a police officer to instruct a citizen not to communicate in any way with her neighbors -- without indicating which neighbors or citing specific complaints from any of them?  I provided ample documentation of harassment from neighbors to Sergeant Richardson -- has he instructed them not to contact us? Have they provided any evidence or documentation of our supposed harassment of them? My understanding is that I need to file a restraining order against anyone whom I don't wish to contact me, and that I need to have documentation to do so. It seems discriminatory to take their concerns seriously, but not ours -- especially when we are the ones who initiated contact with your department. Please clarify.
  • What was the outcome of *****'s June 26 report of Alain Goodman's assault? Is he prohibited from approaching her? Does she need to apply for a restraining order?
Again, I appreciate your willingness to receive our information. In the absence of clear direction on how to proceed, ****** and I will file individual police reports for scores of incidents over the past few years. We will also provide you and a designated investigator with categorized narrative descriptions of what has occurred so that you are not simply inundated with random reports. Please let me know if you have any other ideas for making sure our reports remain part of our overall hate/organized crime claims and don't slip through the cracks.

It is important to me that you designate another person in the department who will be responsible for reviewing the information in addition to yourself. Again, your initial response and lack of basic instructions about procedures for citizens to file reports indicates to me that it is necessary to widen the net of responsibility for reviewing and acting upon my claims.

I will send you copies of the sixhoursaweek.com blog posts related to the Missoula PD to ensure that the department has a record of them (of course I keep copies of them in case the blog is for some reason hacked into). However, my blog was not created for the purpose of communicating with you or your department. It is in many cases very general and only very partially conveys the criminal activity we have endured in Missoula County. Reading my blog should not serve as a substitute for direct communication with me regarding these matters, and should in no way serve to constitute your full understanding of what we have endured. I will continue to chronicle my relations with the department over these issues, however.

Again, to clarify, I contacted you in a letter about harassment from the Goodmans. Sergeant Richardson responded and I provided documentation of my responses to verbal assaults, harassment and entrapment attempts in the neighborhood. Sergeant Richardon's provided a "blame the victim" response,  stigmatizing my efforts to document the neighborhood harassment. That led to these blog posts below.

I look forward to receiving your responses and moving forward together to combat corruption and hate crime in Missoula.

Kyeann Sayer


June 29, 2009

Dear Ms. Sayer,

I received your e-mail in response to my concerns about your allegations of misconduct by members of this department. I understand your concern that we don't appreciate what the real problem is and that you are simply looking to know who you can give your extensive evidence to.

Please feel free to provide me with copies of any written statements and documented evidence of criminal activity which you have in your possession. Another investigator or I will review all that information and provide you with notice of  our findings and recommendations, if any. I might add that I took the time to review the archives of your blog to familiarize myself better with the situation you believe you find yourself in, so you do not need to provide me with copies of those posts unless you are planning to take down your blog site.

For your information, there is nothing "bizarre" about a police officer giving notice to cease contacts with neigbors and is in fact quite common. The notice is based on a request by any party who feels they are being harassed by another.

At your convenience, you may deliver copies of the above documentation/evidence to me or phone me with a time to have someone from the MPD pick it up. Again my office is open to you at any time with reasonable notice for discussion of your concerns.

Respectfully yours,

Mark Muir
Timothy Geiszler will have to answer to Jeff Doud for this. In a July 2 filing, Geiszler went on an all out assault on my mother's mental health in what seems like a last ditch attempt to bully her into settlement with Steve Loken. He used a claim that my mother made about Mr. Doud's conspiring with Loken's camp to ruin her case to back up his assertions. So, here I explain why the use of the word conspiracy could indeed apply to Mr. Doud's actions, and why any reasonable person would come to such a conclusion. (Again, the Geiszler has pulled a quote from Mom's effort to amend her counterclaim against Loken to include civil conspiracy. The quote centers around the discovery request issue elaborated on below.)

After what I've seen, I feel comfortable stating that Mr. Doud should not be allowed to practice law. He is a young attorney whose ethical/professional sensibility was clearly quickly shaped by the Montana culture of cronyism. It's hard to imagine his moral compass being righted enough to entrust him with any unassuming client. (Having Tim McKeon as a father-in-law can't help.)

Doud took over the Loken case in fall of 2007 because Mom's other attorney was doing little on the case. Initially that attorney was very enthusiastic, but was never the same after a meeting with Mr. Geisler, at which he told her Mom was paranoid. (We have called Geiszler on this bit of slander -- clearly the incompetency angle has been part of his and Loken's plans for quite a while.)

In January of 2008, without informing his client, Mr. Doud propounded a second set of discovery requests on Mr. Loken. A year earlier, Mom's first attorney had received answers to discovery requests. The original attorney had asked around 14 questions. Mr. Doud asked around 80. This was in no way helpful to Mom's case -- the questions gave Mr. Loken the opportunity to elaborate upon and revise his narrative of what happened. It also allowed him to produce a schematic that my mother had never seen before, and that Loken claimed she provided.

Though Doud found the time to do this, he ignored Mom's pleas to follow up on details essential to her case like a previously-ignored Request for Production to get copies of canceled checks showing Loken's supposed $14000 worth of payments to an employee for work that was never finished. (Mom later followed up when she was defending herself pro se and newly printed versions of these supposedly already produced checks were submitted to court. This was that point at which an unrecognized attorney from Geiszler's firm started filing. This was completely against procedure, but Judge Deschamps never required this other attorney to become an attorney of record. It seemed like Geiszler was trying to put distance between himself and fabricated financial records.)

Mom didn't find out about the second set of discovery requests until around the end of October 2008 when Mr. Doud was no longer her attorney and she received her file from him. Attorneys are required to operate with their clients' informed consent. First, the requests obviously should not have been propounded without her knowledge. Second, if a defendant has no knowledge of the plaintiff's revised narrative of what occurred based on answers to 80 discovery questions, how can she make informed decisions about what direction to take the case?

If an attorney takes action in secret that is so clearly favorable to the opposing side isn't it reasonable to assume that he is conspiring? Of course, that's not all. The depth and breadth of Jeffrey Doud's malpractice is astounding. Please see a partial list of his greatest hits after the jump.

What's frightening is that the malpractice is so objectively identifiable and true, and Mr. Geiszler is working so hard to brand Mom's identification of it as symptomatic of paranoia. Do attorneys ruin their client's cases without speaking to another about it? (It would take a great leap of faith to believe that Doud is innocently and overwhelmingly incompetent.) Speaking to one other person about it makes it conspiracy. Doud did a lot of speaking to Mr. Geiszler without Mom's consent. Maybe that's why he needs Mom to be "crazy." 
This is more in-the-muck Missoula-specific info that is informative if you are interested in how people try to steal from and take advantage of retired ladies.

So, Timothy Geiszler went on an all out assault against my mother's mental health yesterday. He used a bunch of quotes from a motion to amend her counterclaim as evidence that she is paranoid. (Legalese translation: she was sued by Steve Loken, but also had claims against him. She was trying to add more claims.) The hilarious part is that she was trying to add civil conspiracy as a counterclaim, and has the evidence to prove it. Let's review what conspiracy is, courtesy of findlaw:

A criminal conspiracy exists when two or more people agree to commit almost any unlawful act, then take some action toward its completion. The action taken need not itself be a crime, but it must indicate that those involved in the conspiracy knew of the plan and intended to break the law. One person may be charged with and convicted of both conspiracy and the underlying crime based on the same circumstances.

For example, Andy, Dan, and Alice plan a bank robbery. They 1) visit the bank first to assess security, 2) pool their money and buy a gun together, and 3) write a demand letter. All three can be charged with conspiracy to commit robbery, regardless of whether the robbery itself is actually attempted or completed.


Clearly this has nothing to do with black helicopters. Mom's language about conspiring made perfect sense in this legal context. Apparently, Mr. Geiszler hoped that quotes ripped out of context would simply read as paranoia. Big, big stretch.

But since our run-ins with the justice system seem to conform to others' big stretches, it seems prudent to flesh out some of the conspiracy of which my mother wrote (and has evidence and would like/would have liked to argue). Here goes.

While I was in Russia in winter of '06 I received a frantic Skype from Mom. Her property was no longer in her control and Steve Loken had filed a lien against it. Before leaving for Russia, all of my boxed belongings had been soaked due to a flood caused by Mr. Loken's negligence. I had been in the dining room listening while Mom met with him and he tried to make excuses for why she had been charged for incomplete work, and why the contractor in charge of her project was such a disaster. I overheard him swear at her and watched him storm out of the kitchen. By this point I knew the man was bad news, but neither of us had any idea of what he was mixed up in or what was in store for us.

So I was feeling pretty helpless a world away as my Mom found her property slipping away. Especially since her lawyer at the time, David Ryan, seemed to have orchestrated it. Here are the boring details:
Lest my airing of legitimate issues concerning the Missoula PD be interpreted as some sort of anti-law enforcement bent, I thought I'd share this letter I sent to the Missoulian regarding a job well done (it wasn't published).

I recognize that there are many officers doing excellent work keeping the city safe. We hope that the resistance to receiving our evidence and addressing our concerns will turn out to have been isolated and short-lived.

date    Mon, Nov 5, 2007 at 12:29 AM
subject    Good Work, MPD
   
We recently called 911 while witnessing a break-in across the alley from our house. Missoula Police Department officers arrived within minutes and soon made an arrest. While on the scene they exhibited skill, courtesy and professionalism. We thank these men and women, and their capable canine, for a successful, well-executed effort.


~~

jefferson.jpgSee the email exchange with the Chief of Police below. (The image to the left represents his efforts to squelch the exercise of First Amendment rights -- it was the best one I could find. I am not comparing myself with Thomas Jefferson, for those who still like to spin the need to write about all of this as megalomania. I'll take suggestions if there's a better one out there.)

Sorry to be repetitive in this post. When obvious facts/concerns are being completely ignored, it's hard to know what to do other than find a variety of ways to state them.

This is such a surreal Catch 22. The message we're getting is: "We have found no evidence of wrongdoing against you. At the same time, we have ignored your multiple requests to provide the appropriate information, so we don't have any evidence. Therefore, we conclude that no wrongdoing has occurred."

Seriously? I made clear all along with Sergeant Richardson that contacting the Department was a first step, and that I wanted to work with them in an ongoing way and provide information. I requested repeatedly how to do that. Hello? No one there even knows exactly what we believe should be investigated. How can they make conclusions that nothing illegal has occurred when they haven't heard from us exactly what has occurred?

Mom was harassed again this morning due to the Department's failure to properly address one aspect of our situation... And I get accusations about treading on libel and making false accusations. Free speech exists so that citizens like me can speak out about ridiculous situations like this. I am dumbfounded by the "libel" approach.

I'm sorry -- I can't get over the continued lack of acknowledgment that we have begged to find out how to provide them with the evidence they need to properly investigate. Or any expression of desire to receive relevant information from us. Wow.

Was I not clear in message after message that the PD has only a tiny fraction of the relevant information and we just want to know how to provide it to someone who is not intent on blaming us? I don't know how many more ways to say it. Why does the department need to frame it in terms of deciding whether or not there is criminal activity at the outset, rather than making an informed determination based on the evidence we provide?

Doesn't anyone at the City realize how weird it looks that they so don't want any information? 

I guess we just provide all of the evidence and documentation without guidance on how they would like to receive it? We wanted to make their jobs easier. Ignoring non-evidence is apparently very easy -- ignoring actual evidence will be more difficult, I think.

(Also -- interesting that Chief Muir gave his "professional opinion" about libel and not one of the City Attorneys copied on the message... I guess I was meant to be scared into quieting down by someone who is not professionally obligated to provide legitimate "professional opinion" on legal matters?)


Thu, Jun 25, 2009 at 4:57 PM
Re: Threatening Behavior from Alain Goodman This Morning

Chief Muir,

The issue is not that I have provided the evidence and no credible public employee has "found" anything within it -- the issue is that no one seems to want to receive evidence and documentation from us. Are you not understanding that I have extensive evidence of criminal activity that I would like to provide? I have asked perhaps six times now how I may succinctly and helpfully provide information so that proper investigations may take place. I have to wonder why the department does not what the information. Can you please clarify that issue?

The claim about libel is frankly absurd. The email exchange with Sergeant Richardson quite adequately backs up my interpretation of his response -- I am absolutely allowed to express my opinion about his completely one-sided response to our concerns. We are protecting ourselves through blogging because we have not received protection from your department. Threats about libel will not prevent me from continuing to pursue my rights -- including my right to free speech.

I have made multiple 911 calls about stalking and harassing behavior since September and told at least four officers on the scene that we have been dealing with stalking and harassment. No follow up was made. On February 5, Officer Chris Kanaff was very responsive and helpful in heading off suspicious characters who were parked in front of our home in the middle of the night. I told him that it was a chronic problem. There has been an endless stream of suspicious characters since then. If I call 911 every time it happens, I lose all credibility. We do have extensive documentation of the license plates of those who have exhibited suspicious behavior. We would love to provide it.

If Sergeant Richardson had responded appropriately about the concerns about the Goodmans outlined in the June 4 letter that you were copied on, and not attempted to blame us, perhaps Mr. Goodman would not have frightened my mother this morning. Clearly Sergeant Richardson sent a message to the Goodman household that we are in the wrong, and Mr. Goodman felt complete license to scream at her. Is this how you protect concerned citizens in your city? The problem isn't my exposing how your department is handling these issues. The problem is how they are being handled.

I still would like to know exactly how the Department is going to address the issues of organized crime, hate crime and harassment that we have endured in the city, and now this new threatening behavior from the neighbors. If you are not going to inform us by email, please send me a letter. Also, again, we have extensive documentation of organized crime, hate crime, and harassment, and deserve contacts at the city and county who are willing and able to genuinely investigate. As you continue to ignore it, we will have no choice but to pursue our safety and rights with state and federal agencies that are willing to take a genuine interest.

Also -- is Sergeant Richardson's bizarre instruction not to contact our neighbors (we still don't know which) still in effect even though it's clear that the problem is that individuals like Alain are harassing us? Do you want us to tie up the emergency line every time something like that happens? Would it not be appropriate to take a more proactive approach that prevents the situation from escalating to a hostile or emergency situation? Is the city not liable for not taking appropriate action?

We deserve protection from your department as much as any other resident. Please let us know how you are going to provide it.

Additionally, to clarify, Sergeant Richardson responded to the June 4 letter and that is why I did not return your return of my June 8 phone call. Though I called his direct line rather than 911 this morning when the incident with Alain occurred, we have made it clear that we have no desire to work with Sergeant Richardson -- if he had not been so one-sided in his handling of this my mother would have had a much less frightening morning.  As indicated in an email from earlier today, she would like to file the appropriate report about Mr. Goodman's morning tirade. Please provide a contact other than Sergeant Richardson so that she may do so. Someone other than Sergeant Richardson may phone her at ***-****.

Thank you,

Kyeann Sayer
- Hide quoted text -




On Thu, Jun 25, 2009 at 1:24 PM, Mark Muir <mmuir@ci.missoula.mt.us> wrote:

Dear Ms. Sayer,

 

This email will be the last electronic communication you will receive from the Missoula Police Department.  Upon my order any police employee who is requested to communicate directly with you by email will be advised to contact me.  I will telephone you (as I have tried numerous times with no call backs) whenever you may need assistance outside the scope of the current matters.  Any emergency matter requiring assistance from police can be communicated through 9-1-1.

 

You are not under any form of investigation by the Missoula Police Department and Sgt. Richardson has been ordered to cease any further activity with regards to your assertions that I find on your blog.  I have reviewed that information and spoken with my highly credible staff to determine that they have done everything they can possibly do to convince you that no criminal activity is afoot and that you have not provided any credible evidence of hate crimes being committed against members of your household.  Feel free to continue those assertions to federal authorities if you object to my finding.

 

Furthermore, it is my professional opinion that you are potentially treading on libelous accusations about members of the Missoula Police Department and I encourage you to address any further opinions about police services to me.  I will not tolerate you making patently false accusations in a public forum about the character and actions of officers within this department.  My office is available to you upon reasonable request to personally discuss your feelings about the departments failure to understand your concerns.

 

Respectfully yours,

 

Chief Mark Muir

Missoula Police Department

435 Ryman Street

Missoula, MT 59802

The police department is so far taking the official position that private communication with our neighbors about their harassment of us somehow amounts to harassment of them. At this point it makes sense to publicly document the harassment and identify the individuals clearly to protect ourselves -- since the police department isn't in the mood.

My mother just walked in the door looking terrified. I asked her what happened.

She was returning from getting morning pastry on foot. As she crossed the alley, she noticed that a vehicle was pulling out from in front of the Goodmans and looked intently at the license plate to see if it was local. She kept walking toward our gate and looked at the teal green truck as it drove by. She noticed that the sign on the side read "Loken Builders." Before she could even register that a Loken Builders truck had once again been parked at the neighbors', as she did a double take, the driver slammed on the breaks and backed the truck up about 20 feet so that it was beside her. She then saw that he was our neighbor, Alain Goodman.

He yelled a series of things, but all that she could make out among them was "You got a problem with me?"

She didn't. She was minding her own business, carrying croissants. She said nothing.

His demeanor and expression were quite menacing and it seemed as though he was going to jump out after her and so she hurried inside the gate. He sped off. She walked inside, looking terrified.

We left a message for Sergeant Richardson. It will be interesting to see if/how he tries to make this Mom's fault somehow. I also sent an email to Department and County employees, asking how we officially report these incidents, and emphasizing how important it is for them to send a message that it is unacceptable to engage in harassment or intimidation.

So, does Mr. Goodman work for Loken -- the man who bilked materials, committed what most would interpret as fraud, and seemingly engaged in a variety of strategies to devalue or foreclose on my mother's home? That would explain a lot. Including the drug entrapment attempts that the Goodmans seemed so intimately involved in.

Ironically, if he hadn't flown into a rage and backed up, Mom would not have known he was driving the company truck.

~~
Montana Vigilantes.jpgThe more I think about Sergeant Richardson’s odd third person dictum that I only contact “the neighbors” (not specifying who) through my attorney, the more off the wall it seems. His approach doesn't seem legally or procedurally viable and provides a classic “Blame the Victim” case study.

When you are being systematically harassed, documentation becomes important. It's the culmination of incidences that create the overall picture. Not only is he not interested in receiving documentation or evidence so that he understands the overall situation. He is also intent on stigmatizing the peaceful, nonviolent response we have adopted to protect ourselves.

All of the communications with our neighbors have been very rational and measured attempts to deal with only a tiny fraction of the harassment or bizarre behavior we have encountered. Over the last six months, for example:

•    When we started using binoculars to identify license plates on the block in January, we wrote to all of the surrounding neighbors to let them know that we were doing so as a means of coping with an organized harassment campaign and had no desire to violate their privacy or make them uncomfortable in the neighborhood.

•    When there was flash photography in our back yard on a recent evening, I didn’t storm over and knock on doors. I sent emails requesting no further violations of our privacy.

•    When someone on the Ferguson property seemed to be calling my mother a “Motherf*cking p*ssy,” (seemingly John -- if it wasn't directed at her, then someone who did not respond to him and did not make a sound) I wrote requesting that we endure no further verbal assaults in our back yard. I also requested that they please notify us when our driveway was going to be blocked by renovation work at their property.

•    When my polite verbal requests to stop making unreasonable noise were ignored by the Goodmans one Sunday evening, I had not choice but to call the police -- they intervened and the loud banging stopped.

•    After a neighbor across the alley stared at/studied our property for about five minutes, I wrote an email inquiring about it.

•    When a young man on our block illegally parked a bus and commenced a loud and illegal construction/retrofitting project on it, I let him know what laws he was breaking. When he didn’t follow the law, I eventually contacted the police and they intervened. He moved the bus.

•    After another series of provocations from the Goodman household, we finally wrote to their landlords, copying them and a variety of government agencies.

In all of these cases, I have responded to illegal or inappropriate activity in a very calm, rational and legal manner. No one is forced to respond to an email or a letter. We write them to protect ourselves or ask about or document odd behavior.

These communications reflect only a teeny tiny fraction of what we've dealt with and don't begin to reflect the overall atmosphere of terror we've endured.

Why is the focus on my communication rather than the harassing behavior? Can a policeman tell a citizen that she is not allowed to send email or letters? Can a policeman dictate that a citizen only communicate through a lawyer? Not everyone can afford one. If individuals don’t wish to receive communication, shouldn’t they provide the contact information for their attorneys?

It seems that Sergeant Richardson is making up his own protocol as he goes along.  If we weren't dealing with nighttime photography, rude disregard for our lack of desire to endure Sunday evening construction, or disturbing tirades, we wouldn't have a need to contact our neighbors. We have to wonder why this public employee is so invested in blaming the victim here.

(The picture represents vigilante justice in Montana in the 1870s. It's thought that perhaps the vigilantes were actually committing many of the crimes they were punishing... It has often felt, over the past two years (and especially in the last month), that a very thin veil of civility has prevented us from falling victim to such a fate. The "New West" isn't so new.)

~~
lrg_cold_feet.jpgUpdate: I realized that Sergeant Richardson may have changed his tone so precipitously because of this post about Hadley Ferguson having lied to him (for some reason the link doesn't work here -- I pasted it at the end of the post too). That would escalate the need to discredit me re: the neighbors... It's amazing that those who are willing to lie to police are supposedly the "wronged" ones...

Just after writing the post below I got a new message from Sergeant Richardson. So, here we are in the nitty grtty of fighting to have one's voice heard in a corruption-saturated community. I guess throughout American history people who've had their rights systematically violated have had to tirelessly and relentlessly pursue legal means for circumventing this type of obstruction. The email exchange below is instructive in the technique of deflection. I'm sure we will deal with a lot of this -- it's important not to take it personally and come to terms with the sad truth that in general people will protect their own and their buddies' interests to an absurd degree.

You can see that the overall strategy below is to make me look completely unacceptable and repugnant to our neighbors, and focus on that rather than the city's overall responsibility. Initially, I complained to the department about a neighbor's conduct, and this where it has led us. One of our strengths is that we have documented the neighbors' odd behavior and entrapment attempts in the form of emails and letters to them. I guess they don't want us to be able to do that any more. Also, by making it seem as though the problem is isolated to us harassing our neighbors (right!), attention is deflected away from their behavior and the city's responsibility for all that has occurred -- in and outside our neighborhood.
 
The way this Sergeant has fought so hard to completely ignore our very legitimate concerns is so telling. You can see in message after message below, how strenuously he avoids our issues. His complete one-sidedness is remarkable. Throughout this ordeal, however, we have been amazed at the way people seem to think they can create truth simply by ignoring what they'd like and stating what they want to be true.

As long as it's about me, and not about the city and its sanctioning of hate crime and harassment, apparently they think they're golden. But how long can such a transparent strategy work? Or is it just to tide them over until they think of further ways to diminish our credibility? How do we go in one email exchange from "go on and enjoy your life with neighbors who have no issue with you" to "don't contact your neighbors" unless it's a strategic/deflective reaction to complaints about his not doing his job? That seemed like a defensive and ill considered move.

None of this changes the fact that we have copious amounts of evidence and information that we are eager to turn over to local law enforcement. When that evidence and documentation are reviewed by individuals who are truly concerned about our welfare, the Missoula Police Department's obstruction will seem even more problematic. Are they somehow banking on the idea that for some reason no one will ever have the opportunity to evaluate it?

For the sake of the people of Missoula and the police department's reputation, we can hope that Sergeant Casey Richardson is just a bad apple. Fun email exchange after the jump.
plasticville-pd3-police.JPGWell. Either no one knows what to do, or there is a general hope that bureaucratic gatekeepers will discourage us from seeking protection or justice from the local law enforcement and legal systems.

As of last week the city and county of Missoula have been notified of our enduring two years' worth of organized crime, hate crime, stalking and harassment (domestic terrorism). So, if they refuse to follow up or take our concerns seriously and we continue to endure any of the above, the city and county will bear responsibility. (The Salt Lake City, Helena and Missoula FBI have been notified too but are so far mum.)

The Missoula police department seems to want the least amount of information possible about what has occurred.  We've seen this before. Dave Maison, the Farmers insurance adjuster dealing with Abbey Carpets' damage to my mother's home wrote his initial assessment of what had occurred without even talking to my mother or me -- his was completely inaccurate (seemingly to cover up for intentional destruction of property and to make it seem as though water damage had occurred when it hadn't in the ongoing attempt to devalue the property) and we had to threaten going to the state auditor to get him to include the correct information. He initially said "I've heard what you're going to say," and so didn't want us to say it -- at that point we weren't being vocal about the intentional nature of the property destruction, but just had the facts. Dave didn't want to do a standard taped interview. Nothing. I guess if he didn't have it in his records, it didn't happen.

This is very similar to what's going on so far with the Missoula PD.

Oddly, Sergeant Casey Richardson wants to define the issue quite narrowly, as isolated to our "innocent" neighbors. He has willfully ignored information about the escalated harassment following last year's local Republican convention (where there seemed to have been a lot of confabbing and fund raising related to us). This year's occurred recently and we are concerned that it could be much worse this year with the surge in right-wing violence, and have pointed out a few individuals who seemed very troubled by our religious/political outlooks who also sabotaged work at the house or threatened to use employees of the sheriff's department as hired goons.

I have tried to explain to Sergeant Richardson that it is his and the department's job to make clear to local political and religious leaders that their constituencies cannot harm and harass us with impunity. Failing to do so sends the message that it's acceptable to create an overall tone of fear and intimidation within the city and county. Clearly, someone who is going to use a sheriff's department employee as his enforcer believes he has the backing of law enforcement against whatever horrible excuses of humanity we were supposed to be. It's an overall tone of acceptability that local government needs to shift and so far Sergeant Richardson has remained tone deaf on that issue.  After his seemingly intentional nonresponsiveness I followed up with Lieutenant Brester, who was silent and who now is out of town.

The problem is that it's likely that false information was given to the city or the county in order to sanction bogus investigation of us (again -- based on all of the entrapment attempts, it seems that the false info was drug-related). Because little of what has happened to us could have happened without locals feeling as though they were legally protected. It seems that agencies that have been "investigating" us are legally required to let us know why. We do have a right to face our accusers, after all.

I have asked County Attorney Fred Valkenberg directly in an email whether we have been under investigation by his office. He hasn't answered.  I asked him and the other attorneys in his office how we can best provide them with the information they need to pursue the crimes against our person and property. We have so much information and documentation, we want to provide it in the most succinct possible manner so that we can help them do their jobs effectively. Silence.

We're not going away. We're just not. We're dedicated to the idea that our nation's/state's/city's legal/justice systems should work on behalf of individual citizens and not cronies. We will pursue all possible local, state and federal channels. So now seems like the time for local public servants to decide how they will be known when all of the facts come to light. So far, Sergeant Richardson is the cop who is doing all that he can to avoid receiving any documentation of wrongdoing. Luitenant Brester seems like the cop who is ignoring our communications in the hope that Sargent Richardson will discourage us and we will quiet down. Mr. Van Valkenberg's office seems quite ostrich-like. But ignoring us won't make us go away. Public servants need to do their jobs properly.

~~ 
mafioso-150l.jpgFinally, it all makes sense. This ethically-challenged, predatory business man must have political aspirations.

A couple of years ago I saw Steve Loken give a speech for a fake environmental organization at the University of Montana in Missoula. Loken is a supposedly "green" building contractor who has been on the Democratic Governor's global warming task force and speaks nationally on energy and building issues. On this particular occasion, he spoke about needing to add a sales tax to tourism-related purchases, stating that like Robin Hood he believes it's necessary to "Rob from the rich to give to the poor."

Since people in his employ had already bilked building materials from my mother, I had to wonder: did he mean over order tile on one client's job so that she would pay for much more than necessary and he could redistribute it to his subcontractor's sprawling Lolo spec home?

To me that seemed more like, "Rob from the unassuming and vulnerable retired lady to give to your real estate developer buddy." Poor people generally don't seem to fare to well in an economy based to a large degree on high-end real estate development -- it hasn't served average Montanans. Even if Loken does subscribe to a political philosophy of wealth redistribution, as reflected in his business practice it seems to be more about redistributing to his pals than to the dispossessed.

Eventually, we had to wonder whether the used building materials nonprofit he started, Home Resource, was in part a front. How many of his clients paid for materials that were then "donated" to Home Resource and bought cheaply for his friends' jobs?

It finally became clear that Loken wasn't concerned about making my mother's project at all green, even though that's why he was hired. The supervisor Loken hired knew nothing about green building materials. For some reason, Loken didn't want to replace an old and wasteful heating system even though the plumbing expert recommended he do so.
400px-SalemWitchcraftTrial.jpgI guess few people have the opportunity to witness judicial corruption up close, so I'll look at what my mother and I endured at the hands of Judge Robert Deschamps yesterday as a unique opportunity to understand the abuse of power.

We knew that questioning witnesses under oath would open the door to testimony surrounding participation in the harassment/criminal conspiracy we have endured. We didn't realize just how important it was that the facts not come out in open court. Apparently, the testimony and facts would have been much more damning than anyone could have imagined, because the judge assured that we would not be able to present a case.

Something is obviously fishy when any of the following happen -- not to mention all. A judge has allowed Jeffrey Doud, the counsel who was caught lying, withholding documents, and taking action without his client's informed consent, to withdraw without notice or providing the opportunity to find alternate counsel. Subsequently the judge does not allow the defendant to in any way remedy the lawyer's misconduct. The judge does not allow a defendant to name an expert witness. He allows opposing counsel Tim Geiszler to have another unrecognized attorney file motions (because doing so himself would have disallowed the attorney of record any claims of deniability about Steve Loken's fabricated bills and documents) even though doing so is clearly a violation of procedure. In general, he flat out, just fragrantly ignores procedure because doing so is favorable to the plaintiff. He allows the trial to move forward when there has been no pretrial order filed. Really, he observes procedure completely arbitrarily. Procedure that is Montana Code -- the Code that we are all meant to observe because it is the law that governs us all.

rankin.jpgNow I have an inkling of how it feels to be Britney Spears. The girl is a walking economic stimulus agent. Her very existence supports thousands of individuals -- from paparazzi to copy editors to advertising executives. My case has been that of an unwitting commodity for intelligence contractors who have given nearly everyone in my life the opportunity to make some cash off of information, solicitation or entrapment.

These are people with bumper stickers like "Live Simply So Others May Simply Live." People who take their dogs on generous afternoon hikes on the sides of mountains before studying the I Ching. Individuals who ride their bikes, buy organic, and play benefit concerts in their quasi-hipster alt-country bands. Who among them would like to think of themselves as akin to Nazi collaborators? I can't even simply equate them with "Good Germans" who stood by and did nothing as the Jews were dehumanized and eventually carted off. They were/are modern day willing executioners.

Apparently a vast cross-section of Americans have become too enamored of the "good life" to bother with cultivating silly qualities like moral fortitude. Seeing me humiliated or jailed was worth money for a new guitar or in vitro fertilization. My ruin was only a pit stop on individual aspirational highways. Even in so-called "progressive" circles, claiming one's own piece of the American dream is more important than rights, the law, or decency. Maybe if I were an abstract, distant, deserving indigenous Ecuadoran Amazonian? Perhaps then I would have merited solidarity?

The people in Missoula who have collaborated with tax payer- and corporate-funded contractors didn't expect that I would return for good. I left suddenly after one of the only people I trusted got sloppy and outed himself as a mole last fall. In the mean time, it seems I was supposed to be entrapped in some sort of drug-related incident. Our tenant/property manager (who has turned out to be a fake, industry-funded "global warming activist") has certainly behaved as though my mother's house was meant to be confiscated. My former friends and new acquaintances must have been assured I would never discover their complicity, and if I did I would be completely discredited anyhow: as a nut case or a criminal.

I can count 15 over 100 people in Missoula who either work for government agencies, for corporations, or were just hired as agents for either, who entered my life under false pretenses or were paid to use their proximity to me over the last year and a half. (That number leaves out many people like hair dressers and estheticians.) Now I will see these people at the farmers' market with their children, friends, husbands and wives. There is no Truth and Reconciliation Commission for victims of illegal corporate and government spying.

I know I am not like those Chileans who have to sit at the opera near their former torturers. I was not in a concentration camp. I am not a former Guantanamo detainee. 

Rather, I have faced the banal evil of America's 21st century. Those who live in opposition to the Bush administration and its policies, who would decry Chevron's genocidal ruin of the rain forest, would also take money from either to help destroy an innocent person -- so that they can have the shiny things they've always wanted or grasp the "American dream" they believe they deserve.

~~
constitution-m.jpgMy six hours over the last two weeks were concentrated on civil rights movement immersion (through lectures and documentaries) and meeting my Montana Senator, Jon Tester.

Those two tracks merged last Friday at a Montana Human Rights Network MLK Day benefit. I got to shake my Senator's hand, chat, and give him a fact sheet on the full-on terrifying Homegrown Terrorism Bill. Meeting him was actually thrilling -- rarely have I so respected someone representing me.

Senator Tester assured me he's going to fight against Telecom immunity. He also opposes Real ID, along with Governor Schweitzer (who's turned out to be quite a bad-ass on this issue). He hasn't had the opportunity to dig into the ramifications of the Homegrown Terrorism bill yet, but I trust that he will find it as problematic as most of us do. (After all, the bill's vague language would have labeled Dr. King a terrorist.)

I also believe that Americans will come together to fight for our privacy and basic civil liberties/rights. Dr. King and so many nameless, faceless people gave their time and lives so that minorities would have access to the opportunities our Constitution affords. Now all of us stand to lose them. Those liberties are worth fighting and dying for. So even if in the short time we see our White House criminals get away with monitoring and spying on us, and using double-talk to scare us into giving up our rights, I know that we can make the integrity of our Constitution a campaign issue. I know that we will stand up and write letters and march and fight until we see an America worthy of Dr. King's dream.

~~ Senator Tester
     Montana Human Rights Network

Allentown.gifEarly this morning I received what seems like a thoughtful form letter response from Senator Tester to my email about the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act.

To say I don't see the necessity of this bill at all is an understatement. But he clearly isn't dismissing it entirely. His reply primarily focused on my surveillance concerns. Since it sounds like he will fight for a less frightening version I will write again with an emphasis on the vague definition of "force," and the dangers of defining ideologically based violence, integrating comments from Bill and the anonymous commenter here.

What do you think? What are your Senators saying? What next?

Dear Kyeann:

Thank you for taking the time to contact me about S. 1959, the Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007. I have serious privacy concerns about this bill and appreciate your input, as it is a critical part of making sure the laws we pass in the Senate reflect the priorities we share as Montanans.

The stated goal of the Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act is to prevent terrorism by individuals born, raised, or based and operating primarily in the United States. Ideally, this bill would protect our civil rights and liberties while helping the Department of Homeland Security work to protect us against ideologically-based violence by these homegrown terrorists.


Six Hours A Week Is:

A coping strategy, advocacy outlet, and form of protection. My life has been nearly destroyed by the unconstitutional practices of politically/socially-motivated private intelligence contractors and the corruption and cronyism that allow them. Apparently because I speak out in ways that prioritize the little guy and human and environmental health above gargantuan profit margins, and believe that facts are as important as PR spin, I was someone who had to be completely discredited. In 2007, after a few months of a surreal and relentless invasion of privacy and dignity, I started to spend six hours each week researching, communicating about, and advocating legal and ethical responses to assaults on our shared democratic and republican ideals. For most of that time I was writing from the perspective of someone whose life was manipulated into a constant state of terror and emergency. In 2010, many of the array of entrapment attempts seem to have failed and it seems no longer possible to get away with such excessive, obvious harassment and overt interference. As we take more practical steps to address what has been allowed to happen to my family, we do expect to see some more harassment and intimidation. But I should be able to chronicle it from a more measured perspective, rather than that of someone in constant fear. Part of me would like to go back and delete earlier posts, because even I find them hard to relate to in some ways. But this blog has been one of our only forms of protection as everyone in any official capacity ignored the truth and tried to spin and frame us into the troublemakers and perpetrators of one form or another. So I leave it up as a form of protection, a record of what has occurred, and (with luck) the account of our way back to credibility and some form of legitimate justice. All content on this site is property of Kyeann Sayer. All rights reserved.

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