Sábado, 23 de Septiembre del 2017




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richard heinRichard Hein

The people's Lawyer

From St Louis, Missouri - EE.UU

Argentina and Venezuela: Two Maturing Countries

On January 20, 1993, I was a 22 year-old second-year law student. In between classes, on a small tube television in the basement of the Law School, I remember watching President Bill Clinton standing in front of the United States Congress overlooking the Mall down to the Washington Monument as United States Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist administered him the oath of office of the President of The United States. I remember becoming emotional. I realized at that moment that this was first time I was old enough to remember and appreciate the significance of a peaceful transfer of executive power from one political party to the opposition party. The last time it had happened in the United States was January 20, 1981, when Ronald Reagan was sworn in after defeating Jimmy Carter in the 1980 election. My emotion was also born of the equally revealing realization of just how rare such a thing is in world history.

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Ferguson: One Year and One Day On

One year and one day ago, Michael Brown, Jr., was shot and killed by Police Officer Darren Wilson in the City of Ferguson, a suburb of Saint Louis, Missouri, a city and state located in the geographic, demographic and political middle of the United States. His shooting led to local protests, violence and looting in the days following the shooting. The police tactics utilized to counter the civil disruption as well as the subsequent refusal of the Grand Jury to indict Officer Wilson for the shooting, led to further violence, Missouri Governor Nixon deploying the National Guard, country-wide protests, and sparked a national awareness and movement related to race relations, policing, institutionalized racism, poverty, civil rights and the criminal justice system.

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Has the Court of Appeals Killed Obama’s Immigration Policies?

On Tuesday, May 26, 2015, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the Obama Administration’s request to lift the injunction issued by Texas Federal Judge Hanen on the Deferred Action DAPA and DACA+ immigration programs that were to have gone into effect in February.  DAPA would have permitted parents of American-born children to register to avoid deportation under certain circumstances, while expanding the popular original 2012 DACA program for foreign-born students brought to the United States in childhood to similarly avoid deportation, if qualified. The programs never went into effect due to Judge Hanen’s February Order, and now will remain on permanent hold pending Judge Hanen’s determination of the legality of Obama’s underlying Executive Order giving rise to the case. The Administration has indicated that it will not appeal the Fifth Circuit decision to the United States Supreme Court. What does all of this mean to those who would have benefitted from the DAPA and DACA+ programs?

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Donald Trump: Clown Wing of the Republican Party

On June 16, 2015, Donald Trump announced he is running to be the Republican Party’s candidate for President of the United States. In the course of a rambling 47 minute speech, he managed to set himself apart from the other 11 declared Republican candidates in his unrivaled capacity to smear and offend at least thirty percent of the world (counting only China and Latin America), and likely a large percentage of the 55 million Hispanics living in the United States, which constitutes approximately 17% of the US population.

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What is it Like to Be Shot At?

This 2015 Memorial Day weekend, the second since my Marine father died in October 2013, I will remember as the weekend my house was hit by gunfire.

While I was asleep in my bedroom at 12:55 am on Sunday, May 24, 2015, a very large sound inside my house startled and awoke me from my slumber. Two weeks earlier the tub in my kids’ bathroom on the second floor had leaked into the bathroom on the first floor, and because the sound was so great, I believed the ceiling had caved in and collapsed into the first floor bathroom, along with the tub from the second floor. The tinkle of what sounded to me like plaster falling onto the hardwood floors and tile came right after this initial boom. I immediately went downstairs to the first floor bathroom, and without turning on any lights, slowly opened the bathroom door, fully expecting a disturbing sight of total destruction. The bathroom, however, was in order. After immediately inspecting all of the rest of the ceilings on the first floor of the house, I found nothing. I then inspected the second floor of the house, and again, found nothing. I went back to bed, perplexed.

Just before setting out for Mass the next morning, I noticed a hole in the wall of my living room above the portrait of my daughter. Thinking that perhaps a wall anchor had pulled out of the wall, but simultaneously thinking that idea to be odd given that the portrait was still hanging level on the wall, I removed the portrait and confirmed it was hung by a single hook and wire. I then looked around the living room and noticed what I thought was perhaps a brass gas tube or key insert for controlling the fire in front of the fireplace. As I moved in for a closer inspection, I thought it odd that I had never noticed a gas control there, and indeed doubted the fireplace was gas to begin with. I bent down and reached for the item, picked it up, and recognized it as a bullet. The point was severely damaged, but the rear was fully intact. Looking around further on the first floor I discovered that the front window was broken in what appeared to be a circular pattern, six feet below the bed in which I had been sleeping on the second floor. I realized then that the house had been struck by gunfire.

By all accounts, this was an incident of a random stray bullet perhaps discharged from the highway 200 yards to the south having struck my house, and not a specific targeting of yours truly, although the police continue to investigate. In light of this experience, and knowing now, first-hand, the damage a single round can leave, I can only wonder in awe at the bravery and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform who face bullets and other ordnance actually intended for them as part of their normal work day. Keep them in mind this Memorial Day week and every day of the year as they carry out their not-thanked-enough duty of protecting our freedoms. May they remain safe, and may their families remain in our thoughts as they, too, sacrifice much for the rest of us.