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Archive for March 2009

Moving Back To Uncle Sam’s Plantation!!

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Via(WND)

Moving back to Uncle Sam’s plantation

By Star Parker

Six years ago, I wrote a book called “Uncle Sam’s Plantation.” I wrote the book to tell my own story of what I saw living inside the welfare state and my own transformation out of it.

I said in that book that indeed there are two Americas. A poor America on socialism and a wealthy America on capitalism.

I talked about government programs like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training (JOBS), Emergency Assistance to Needy Families with Children (EANF), Section 8 Housing and Food Stamps.

A vast sea of perhaps well-intentioned government programs, all initially set into motion in the 1960s, that were going to lift the nation’s poor out of poverty.

A benevolent Uncle Sam welcomed mostly poor black Americans onto the government plantation. Those who accepted the invitation switched mindsets from “How do I take care of myself?” to “What do I have to do to stay on the plantation?”

Instead of solving economic problems, government welfare socialism created monstrous moral and spiritual problems – the kind of problems that are inevitable when individuals turn responsibility for their lives over to others.

The legacy of American socialism is our blighted inner cities, dysfunctional inner city schools and broken black families.

Through God’s grace, I found my way out. It was then that I understood what freedom meant and how great this country is.

I had the privilege of working on welfare reform in 1996, passed by a Republican Congress and signed into law by a Democrat president. A few years after enactment, welfare roles were down 50 percent.

I thought we were on the road to moving socialism out of our poor black communities and replacing it with wealth-producing American capitalism.

But, incredibly, we are going in the opposite direction.

Instead of poor America on socialism becoming more like rich American on capitalism, rich America on capitalism is becoming like poor America on socialism.

Uncle Sam has welcomed our banks onto the plantation and they have said, “Thank you, Suh.”

Now, instead of thinking about what creative things need to be done to serve customers, they are thinking about what they have to tell Massah in order to get their cash.

There is some kind of irony that this is all happening under our first black president on the 200th anniversary of the birthday of Abraham Lincoln.

Worse, socialism seems to be the element of our new young president. And maybe even more troubling, our corporate executives seem happy to move onto the plantation.

In an op-ed on the opinion page of the Washington Post, Mr. Obama is clear that the goal of his trillion dollar spending plan is much more than short-term economic stimulus.

“This plan is more than a prescription for short-term spending – it’s a strategy for America’s long-term growth and opportunity in areas such as renewable energy, health care and education.”

Perhaps more incredibly, Mr. Obama seems to think that government taking over an economy is a new idea. Or that massive growth in government can take place “with unprecedented transparency and accountability.”

Yes, sir, we heard it from Jimmy Carter when he created the Department of Energy, the Synfuels Corporation and the Department of Education.

Or how about the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 – The War on Poverty – which, President Johnson said, “… does not merely expand old programs or improve what is already being done. It charts a new course. It strikes at the causes, not just the consequences of poverty.”

Trillions of dollars later, black poverty is the same. But black families are not, with triple the incidence of single-parent homes and out of wedlock births.

It’s not complicated. Americans can accept Barack Obama’s invitation to move onto the plantation. Or they can choose personal responsibility and freedom.

Does anyone really need to think about what the choice should be?

God Bless,
The Truth Tracker
Jason R. Bootie

Dear AIG: I QUIT!!!

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(Op-Ed NYT)

Dear AIG: I QUIT

The following is a letter sent on Tuesday by Jake DeSantis, an executive vice president of the American International Group’s financial products unit, to Edward M. Liddy, the chief executive of A.I.G.

DEAR Mr. Liddy,

It is with deep regret that I submit my notice of resignation from A.I.G. Financial Products. I hope you take the time to read this entire letter. Before describing the details of my decision, I want to offer some context:

I am proud of everything I have done for the commodity and equity divisions of A.I.G.-F.P. I was in no way involved in — or responsible for — the credit default swap transactions that have hamstrung A.I.G. Nor were more than a handful of the 400 current employees of A.I.G.-F.P. Most of those responsible have left the company and have conspicuously escaped the public outrage.

After 12 months of hard work dismantling the company — during which A.I.G. reassured us many times we would be rewarded in March 2009 — we in the financial products unit have been betrayed by A.I.G. and are being unfairly persecuted by elected officials. In response to this, I will now leave the company and donate my entire post-tax retention payment to those suffering from the global economic downturn. My intent is to keep none of the money myself.

I take this action after 11 years of dedicated, honorable service to A.I.G. I can no longer effectively perform my duties in this dysfunctional environment, nor am I being paid to do so. Like you, I was asked to work for an annual salary of $1, and I agreed out of a sense of duty to the company and to the public officials who have come to its aid. Having now been let down by both, I can no longer justify spending 10, 12, 14 hours a day away from my family for the benefit of those who have let me down.

You and I have never met or spoken to each other, so I’d like to tell you about myself. I was raised by schoolteachers working multiple jobs in a world of closing steel mills. My hard work earned me acceptance to M.I.T., and the institute’s generous financial aid enabled me to attend. I had fulfilled my American dream.

I started at this company in 1998 as an equity trader, became the head of equity and commodity trading and, a couple of years before A.I.G.’s meltdown last September, was named the head of business development for commodities. Over this period the equity and commodity units were consistently profitable — in most years generating net profits of well over $100 million. Most recently, during the dismantling of A.I.G.-F.P., I was an integral player in the pending sale of its well-regarded commodity index business to UBS. As you know, business unit sales like this are crucial to A.I.G.’s effort to repay the American taxpayer.

The profitability of the businesses with which I was associated clearly supported my compensation. I never received any pay resulting from the credit default swaps that are now losing so much money. I did, however, like many others here, lose a significant portion of my life savings in the form of deferred compensation invested in the capital of A.I.G.-F.P. because of those losses. In this way I have personally suffered from this controversial activity — directly as well as indirectly with the rest of the taxpayers.

I have the utmost respect for the civic duty that you are now performing at A.I.G. You are as blameless for these credit default swap losses as I am. You answered your country’s call and you are taking a tremendous beating for it.

But you also are aware that most of the employees of your financial products unit had nothing to do with the large losses. And I am disappointed and frustrated over your lack of support for us. I and many others in the unit feel betrayed that you failed to stand up for us in the face of untrue and unfair accusations from certain members of Congress last Wednesday and from the press over our retention payments, and that you didn’t defend us against the baseless and reckless comments made by the attorneys general of New York and Connecticut.

My guess is that in October, when you learned of these retention contracts, you realized that the employees of the financial products unit needed some incentive to stay and that the contracts, being both ethical and useful, should be left to stand. That’s probably why A.I.G. management assured us on three occasions during that month that the company would “live up to its commitment” to honor the contract guarantees.

That may be why you decided to accelerate by three months more than a quarter of the amounts due under the contracts. That action signified to us your support, and was hardly something that one would do if he truly found the contracts “distasteful.”

That may also be why you authorized the balance of the payments on March 13.

At no time during the past six months that you have been leading A.I.G. did you ask us to revise, renegotiate or break these contracts — until several hours before your appearance last week before Congress.

I think your initial decision to honor the contracts was both ethical and financially astute, but it seems to have been politically unwise. It’s now apparent that you either misunderstood the agreements that you had made — tacit or otherwise — with the Federal Reserve, the Treasury, various members of Congress and Attorney General Andrew Cuomo of New York, or were not strong enough to withstand the shifting political winds.

You’ve now asked the current employees of A.I.G.-F.P. to repay these earnings. As you can imagine, there has been a tremendous amount of serious thought and heated discussion about how we should respond to this breach of trust.

As most of us have done nothing wrong, guilt is not a motivation to surrender our earnings. We have worked 12 long months under these contracts and now deserve to be paid as promised. None of us should be cheated of our payments any more than a plumber should be cheated after he has fixed the pipes but a careless electrician causes a fire that burns down the house.

Many of the employees have, in the past six months, turned down job offers from more stable employers, based on A.I.G.’s assurances that the contracts would be honored. They are now angry about having been misled by A.I.G.’s promises and are not inclined to return the money as a favor to you.

The only real motivation that anyone at A.I.G.-F.P. now has is fear. Mr. Cuomo has threatened to “name and shame,” and his counterpart in Connecticut, Richard Blumenthal, has made similar threats — even though attorneys general are supposed to stand for due process, to conduct trials in courts and not the press.

So what am I to do? There’s no easy answer. I know that because of hard work I have benefited more than most during the economic boom and have saved enough that my family is unlikely to suffer devastating losses during the current bust. Some might argue that members of my profession have been overpaid, and I wouldn’t disagree.

That is why I have decided to donate 100 percent of the effective after-tax proceeds of my retention payment directly to organizations that are helping people who are suffering from the global downturn. This is not a tax-deduction gimmick; I simply believe that I at least deserve to dictate how my earnings are spent, and do not want to see them disappear back into the obscurity of A.I.G.’s or the federal government’s budget. Our earnings have caused such a distraction for so many from the more pressing issues our country faces, and I would like to see my share of it benefit those truly in need.

On March 16 I received a payment from A.I.G. amounting to $742,006.40, after taxes. In light of the uncertainty over the ultimate taxation and legal status of this payment, the actual amount I donate may be less — in fact, it may end up being far less if the recent House bill raising the tax on the retention payments to 90 percent stands. Once all the money is donated, you will immediately receive a list of all recipients.

This choice is right for me. I wish others at A.I.G.-F.P. luck finding peace with their difficult decision, and only hope their judgment is not clouded by fear.

Mr. Liddy, I wish you success in your commitment to return the money extended by the American government, and luck with the continued unwinding of the company’s diverse businesses — especially those remaining credit default swaps. I’ll continue over the short term to help make sure no balls are dropped, but after what’s happened this past week I can’t remain much longer — there is too much bad blood. I’m not sure how you will greet my resignation, but at least Attorney General Blumenthal should be relieved that I’ll leave under my own power and will not need to be “shoved out the door.”

Sincerely,

Jake DeSantis

God Bless,
The Truth Tracker
Jason R. Bootie

Who is President of France??

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Via(RedState)

Obama Hacks Off France In Latest Foreign Policy Blunder

Someone forgot to tell Barack Obama that Jacque Chirac is no longer the President of France.


We would like to think that this is a joke. Sadly, the French media is reporting as true that Barack Obama sent a letter to the President of France pledging support and friendship. His actual words were

God Bless,
The Truth Tracker
Jason R. Bootie

What’s This? Obama Worse Than Bush on Wars!

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Yes you read that right.  According to some Anti-War Activists.

Via(CNSNEWS)

Obama’s War Policies Worse than Bush’s, Anti-War Activist Says

Adam Kokesh, Iraq Veterans Against the War

Adam Kokesh, Iraq Veterans Against the War

(CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama’s war policies in Iraq and Afghanistan are criminal and worse than those of former President Bush, according to Adam Kokesh, who serves on the board of directors of the anti-war group Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW).

Kokesh and other members of the IVAW gathered on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on Thursday to call on Obama to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They also launched a 24-hour vigil/demonstration called “Operation No Change” to mark the sixth anniversary of the start of the Iraq War (March 20, 2003).

“In some ways, Obama is worse than Bush,” Kokesh told CNSNews.com. “Bush wasn’t proposing a surge in Afghanistan – and Bush was talking about a quicker timeline for withdrawal than Obama.”

“That’s why we called this ‘Operation No Change,’” said Kokesh. “What Obama is doing with our foreign policy on a fundamental level is not change. Though we are going to re-label the troops ‘non-combat troops,’ they are still out there, and clearly they are still fighting for American interests.”

Kokesh also said that he “absolutely” thinks Obama’s war policies are criminal and that he has not been surprised by Obama’s actions since he became president in January.

“I’m not disappointed because I never had any hope in him,” said Kokesh. “All of the predications of those of us who read the fine print about Obama have come true. During the primaries he sold himself very vaguely as a peace candidate and said he wanted to end the occupations.

“But when that congealed into something specific, I could see right away he really had no interest in reforming foreign policy or ending these occupations,” Kokesh said.

Tracy Harmon, however, who is an IVAW member, told CNSNews.com that while she has been disappointed in Obama’s actions since his inauguration, she thinks he is sincere about his intention to withdraw from Iraq.

“I do believe him,” said Harmon. “I think he wants to get us out but it has taken longer – he extended the pullout date by three months.”

Harmon said that Obama’s decision to send a surge into Afghanistan demonstrates that he is not a “peace president” as many voters may have thought.

“For the most part, it is a disillusionment,” she said. “He is seen as an anti-war president, but he is starting a whole new war in Afghanistan.”

When it comes to war policy, there were a number of presidential candidates who would have been better than Obama, including 2008 candidates Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.), and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), said Kokesh.

God Bless,
The Truth Tracker
Jason R. Bootie

House Rep. calls Supreme Court Justice Homophobe!

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Via(CNSNEWS)

Barney Frank: Antonin Scalia is a ‘Homophobe’

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.)

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.)

(CNSNews.com) – Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said in an interview Friday on 365gay.com that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is a “homophobe.”

“At some point, [the Defense of Marriage Act] is going to have to go to the United States Supreme Court,” Frank said. “I wouldn’t want it to go to the United States Supreme Court now because that homophobe Antonin Scalia has too many votes on this current court.”

Frank also said in the interview that he thinks President Barack Obama will reverse the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy to allow homosexuals to serve openly in the U.S. military.

“Absolutely,” Frank said, concerning the policy.

Frank also predicted that Obama and a Democratic majority in Congress will pass three pro-homosexual laws in the coming months and years, including the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) that bans workplace discrimination because of sexual orientation; a hate crimes law for individuals who have had sex-change surgery; and a law to allow homosexuals to serve “openly” in the military.

“I think we will have the votes to pass ENDA, to pass hate crimes (law), and to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” Frank said in the video-interview.

God Bless,
The Truth Tracker
Jason R. Bootie

Tea Parties Begin to Grow!!

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First it was a few thousand Americans who gathered in Cinncinati last weekend.

Dawna Frost had a simple message for anyone who glanced her way: “I live off what I make. Government needs to live on what they already take.”

Sean Lynch of Colerain Township brought his children . His 8-year-old, Isabel, held a “Stop spending my allowance” sign, and 5-year-old Kate raised one that read “Stay out of my piggy bank.”

“I’m frustrated with the way things are going in Congress. They need to remember that they work for us, and right now, we don’t approve,” Lynch said as he propped up a sign for his son Charlie, 2.

“This is not a Democrat thing or a Republican thing,” he said. “It’s a government thing.”

Protesters gather Sunday at Fountain Square.

Protesters gather Sunday at Fountain Square.

And folks I must say they are getting bigger.  There are also hundreds of other Tea Parties being set up around our great nation. Including this past weekend in Orlando, FL.

Orlando ‘Tea Party’ rally draws more than 4,000

Attending the Rally was Singer Lloyd Marcus.  Who has created the: American Tea Party Anthem by Lloyd Marcus

“This is maybe the greatest single gathering of God-fearing patriots in the history of Orlando, Florida,” local conservative radio host Bud Hedinger, who emceed the event, told the crowd.

The attendees, many of whom said they’d heard about the rally on Hedinger’s radio show, brandished flags and homemade signs bearing slogans such as “Repeal the pork or our bacon is cooked” and “Obama lied, liberty died.”

“We’re really scared about what’s happening in our country,” said Debby Whisenand, 71, of Largo in Pinellas County. She waved a sign that read “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money” on one side, and “You can’t blame Bush anymore” on the other.

Valerie Rike, 52, (left) with sister Christy Bishop, 59, attend the 'Orlando Tea Party,' a conservative rally Saturday at Lake Eola, downtown Orlando. (Helen Eckinger, Orlando Sentinel / March 21, 2009)

Valerie Rike, 52, (left) with sister Christy Bishop, 59, attend the 'Orlando Tea Party,' a conservative rally Saturday at Lake Eola, downtown Orlando. (Helen Eckinger, Orlando Sentinel / March 21, 2009)

So as you see folks, Americans are getting fed up and are ready to voice their frustrations.   If you want to see a list of Tea Parties near you check out the list here:

Fed up enough? Join a Tea Party!!

God Bless,
The Truth Tracker
Jason R. Bootie

Are you a Domestic Terrorist?

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The Modern Militia Movement-Missouri MIAC Strategic Report

The Feb. 20 report called “The Modern Militia Movement” mentions such red flags as political bumper stickers for third-party candidates, such as U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, who ran for president last year; talk of conspiracy theories, such as the plan for a superhighway linking Canada to Mexico; and possession of subversive literature.

Report here as a document (pdf).

God Bless,
The Truth Tracker
Jason R. Bootie

Pilots Will No Longer be Armed!

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Via(NewsMax)

Obama Wants to Disarm U.S. Pilots

By: David A. Patten

The Obama administration is taking steps quietly to shut down the program that qualifies commercial airline pilots to carry firearms in jetliner cockpits in order to ward off another 9/11-type attack.

The administration recently diverted $2 million from a program to train and certify pilots to carry firearms safely while on duty. Instead, it is using the money to hire additional field inspectors to help discipline pilots who step out of line, according to a report in Tuesday’s Washington Times.

A Times editorial condemned the Obama administration’s action, calling it “completely unnecessary harassment of the pilots.”

Since Obama took office, the approval process for certifying pilots to carry firearms has ground to a halt, the newspaper reports. Pilots are afraid to speak out about the behind-the-scenes maneuverings, for fear of retaliation, according to the newspaper.  No cases have been reported in which pilots have brandished a weapon inappropriately or otherwise abused their eligibility to carry firearms.

About 12,000 pilots have been authorized to carry handguns while flying aircraft as part of the Federal Flight Deck Officers Program. Congress authorized the program in a 310-to-113 vote following the 9/11 attacks to help prevent terrorists from turning jetliners into flying bombs that could be used to attack key sites like the White House, the Pentagon, or Capitol Hill.

Paul Valone, a Second Amendment advocate who directs Grass Roots North Carolina (GRNC.org), is calling for citizens to contract their congressional representatives to protest the administration’s anti-gun priorities.

Pilots are already required to pay for their own room and board during training, and use paid leave for the time they’re off the job. Every six months, the program requires them to be requalified for firearm use.

Valone writes on Examiner.com: “While bureaucrats . . . may have attempted to hamstring the program with burdensome requirements, training instructors and the Federal Air Marshals who now oversee the program routinely thank the FFDOs for their professionalism and dedication in protecting the nation’s air commerce against terrorism.”

Valone says the Obama administration is “dismantling yet another layer of defense against terrorism and defying the will of the American people.”

Since coming to power, the Obama administration has undertaken a series of moves that signal a major de-emphasis of programs enacted to keep America’s homeland safe from terrorist attack:

Continue story here:

God Bless,
The Truth Tracker
Jason R. Bootie

Unruly Students, Sent to “The Cage”!

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Via(DallasNews)

Dallas ISD records show school held ‘cage fights

The principal and other staff members at South Oak Cliff High School were supposed to be breaking up fights. Instead, they sent troubled students into a steel utility cage in an athletic locker room to battle it out with bare fists and no head protection, records show.

Documents obtained by The Dallas Morning News say the “cage fights” took place between 2003 and 2005. The records don’t say how many fights may have taken place.

Donald Moten, who was principal at South Oak Cliff High at the time, denied any wrongdoing when contacted Wednesday.

District investigators learned of the fights as part of an investigation into grade-changing for student athletes that ultimately cost the school its 2006 boys state basketball championship.

Internal district reports obtained by The News describe a culture of sanctioned violence in which school employees and even the principal relied on “the cage” to settle disputes and bring unruly students under control.

Moten, along with security monitors and other employees, “knew of the practice, allowed it to go on for a time, and failed to report it,” investigators for the DISD’s Office of Professional Responsibility wrote in a confidential 2008 report.

Despite investigators’ assertions that the staff’s conduct “may constitute a criminal violation,” charges were never filed against Moten or the hall monitors accused of organizing the fights. Many of those employees were still working on campus at the beginning of this school year.

“It was gladiator-style entertainment for the staff,” said Frank Hammond, a middle school counselor in Cedar Hill who was fired from South Oak Cliff High School and has filed a whistleblower lawsuit. “They were taking these boys downstairs to fight. And it was sanctioned by the principal and security.”

Continue story here:

God Bless,
The Truth Tracker
Jason R. Bootie

Jurors Causing More Mistrials!!

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Via(International Herald Tribune)

Jurors’ smartphones upset the scales of justice

Last week, a juror in a big federal drug trial in Florida admitted to the judge that he had been doing research on the case on the Internet, directly violating the judge’s instructions and centuries of legal rules. But when the judge questioned the rest of the jury, he got an even bigger shock.

Eight other jurors had been doing the same thing. The federal judge, William J. Zloch, had no choice but to declare a mistrial, wasting eight weeks of work by federal prosecutors and defense lawyers.

“We were stunned,” said the defense lawyer, Peter Raben, who was told by the jury that he was on the verge of winning the case. “It’s the first time modern technology struck us in that fashion, and it hit us right over the head.”

It might be called a Google mistrial. The use of BlackBerrys and iPhones by jurors gathering and sending out information about cases is wreaking havoc on trials around the United States, upending deliberations and infuriating judges.

Last week, a building products company asked an Arkansas court to overturn a $12.6 million judgment against it after a juror in the civil trial used Twitter to send updates during the proceedings.

On Monday, defense lawyers in the federal corruption trial of a former Pennsylvania state senator, Vincent J. Fumo, demanded that the judge declare a mistrial after a juror posted updates on the case on Twitter and Facebook. The juror even told his readers that a “big announcement” was coming on Monday. But the judge decided to let the trial continue, and the jury found Mr. Fumo guilty. His lawyers plan to use the Internet postings as grounds for appeal.

Jurors are not supposed to seek information outside of the courtroom. They are required to make their decision based only on facts that the judge has decided are admissible, and do not see evidence that has been excluded as prejudicial. But now, using their own cellphones — to look up the name of a defendant on the Web or examine an intersection using Google Maps — they violate the legal system’s complex rules of evidence. They can also tell their friends what is happening in the jury room, though they are supposed to keep their opinions and deliberations secret.

Such cases are not confined to the United States. In Britain, a juror went online not long ago with a Blackberry during a trial for rape, causing the conviction to be quashed. The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge of Draycote, made a recent speech where he noted that some jurors have been found making “private enquiries” on the Internet despite orders not to.

A juror on a lunch or bathroom break can find out many details about a case. Wikipedia can help explain the technology underlying a patent claim or medical condition, Google Maps can show how long it might take to drive from point A to point B, and news sites can show what has been written about a criminal defendant, his lawyers or expert witnesses.

“It’s really impossible to control it,” said Douglas L. Keene, president of the American Society of Trial Consultants.

Judges have long amended their habitual warning about seeking outside information during trials to include Internet searches. But with the Internet now as close as the juror’s pocket, the risk has grown more immediate — and instinctual. Now attorneys have routinely begun to check the blogs and Web sites of prospective jurors.

Mr. Keene said jurors might think they are helping, not hurting, by digging deeper. “There are people who feel they can’t serve justice if they don’t find the answers to certain questions,” he said.

But the rules of evidence, developed over hundreds of years of jurisprudence, are there to ensure that the facts that go before a jury have been subjected to scrutiny and challenge from both sides, said Olin Guy Wellborn, a professor at the University of Texas law school.

“That’s the beauty of the adversary system,” said Mr. Wellborn, a co-author of a handbook on evidence law. “You lose all that when the jurors go out on their own.”

In the Florida case that resulted in a mistrial, Mr. Raben, a defense attorney from Miami, spent nearly eight weeks fighting charges that his client illegally sold prescription drugs through Internet pharmacies. The arguments were completed and the jury was deliberating over the verdict when one of them contacted the judge to say another juror had admitted to her that he had done some outside research on the case over the Internet.

As the judge questioned the juror about his research — which included evidence that the judge had specifically excluded — Mr. Raben recalled thinking that if the juror had not communicated his information to the rest of the jury, “we can just kick this juror off and go” on with the trial, instead of wasting eight weeks.

But the judge then found that eight other jurors had done the same thing, Googling the lawyers and the defendant, looking up news stories about the case, checking word definitions on Wikipedia and searching for evidence that had been specifically excluded by the judge. “It was a heartbreak,” Mr. Raben said.

In the Arkansas case, Stoam Holdings, the company trying to overturn the $12.6 million judgment against it, said a juror, Johnathan Powell, had sent his Twitter messages during the trial. Mr. Powell’s messages included, “oh and nobody buy Stoam. Its bad mojo and they’ll probably cease to Exist, now that their wallet is 12m lighter,” and “So Johnathan, what did you do today? Oh nothing really, I just gave away TWELVE MILLION DOLLARS of somebody else’s money.”

Mr. Powell, who is 29 and manages a one-hour photo booth at a Wal-Mart in Fayetteville, Arkansas, insisted in an interview he had not sent any substantive messages about the case until the verdict had been delivered and he was released from any obligation to keep mum. “I was done when I mentioned the trial at all,” he said. “They’re welcome to pull my phone records.”

But juror research is a more troublesome issue than Tweeting or blogging, said Mr. Keene of the American Society of Trial Consultants, and raises new issues for judges in giving instructions.

“It’s important that they don’t know what’s excluded, and it’s important that they don’t know why it’s excluded,” Mr. Keene said. The court cannot even give a full explanation to jurors about research — say, to tell them what not to look for — and so instructions are usually delivered as blanket admonitions, he said.

The technological landscape has changed so much that today’s judge, Mr. Keene said, “has to explain why this is crucial, and not just go through boilerplate instructions.” And, he said, enforcement goes beyond what the judge can do, noting that “it’s up to juror 11 to make sure juror 12 stays in line.”

It does not always work out that way. Seth A. McDowell, a data support specialist who lives in Albuquerque and works for a financial advising firm, said he was serving on a jury last year when a member of the jury admitted having Googled the defendant. He said the juror acknowledged that she was not supposed to do so and said she did not find anything on the Internet.

Mr. McDowell, who is 35, said he wondered whether he should tell the judge, but decided against it. None of the other members of the jury did, either. Now, he said, after a bit of soul searching, he feels he might have made the wrong choice.

God Bless,
The Truth Tracker
Jason R. Bootie