There are more Generation X, 60 million born between 1965 and 1980 than anybody else.
#Biden – no policy just words, ridiculous
#Women think he is creepy
#Women want to vote for a Women link Elizabeth Warren
#Biden praising oil and gas companies for wanting to fight global warming. What a joke.
#Biden is the FATHER of modern day mass incarceration.
#Biden is hitting up millionaires for campaign cash at private club events stocked with Cristal Champagne, langoustine, caviar, and live jazz. “Let Them Eat Cake”
‘Double standard’: Activists say #Biden‘s hard line drugs policies didn’t apply to his children’s cocaine and marijuana use
Joe Biden Has Called for Social Security Cuts 3 Times
Unlike other presidential candidates, Biden won’t be supporting legalization.
What big, Progressive policy of Joe’s has you the most excited? I can name ten policies of Bernie’s. Can you name just one of Joe’s?
millenials 83 million – Mark Zuckerberg, Sean Parker (Napster) For Generation X, anarchy was a business model.
The “New Economy” was about – no ethics needed – just steal it or break it. Elon Musk born 1971 Sergey Brin and Larry Page of Google (b. 1973), Jack Dorsey of Twitter (b. 1976) and even Tom Anderson of Myspace (b. 1970) capitalist in hip-hop Jay-Z (b. 1969
In the past year, the Trump campaign has spent more than $12 million on Facebook ads alone—more than the 16 top-spending Democratic candidates have spent combined. Democrats should be worried. Nancy Pelosi frustrates Democratic activists on impeachment but party strategists like what she’s doing. Democrats of Pelosi’s generation, recalling how Republican zeal in pursuing President Bill Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky scandal in 1998 cost the GOP House seats and Newt Gingrich his speakership, fear their own 2020 backfire.
Pew 71% believe that social media make people think they are making a difference when they really aren’t. OH REALLY?
Millennials are on the cusp of surpassing Baby Boomers as the nation’s largest living adult generation, according to population projections from the U.S. Census Bureau. As of July 1, 2016 (the latest date for which population estimates are available), Millennials, whom we define as ages 20 to 35 in 2016, numbered 71 million, and Boomers (ages 52 to 70) numbered 74 million. Millennials are expected to overtake Boomers in population in 2019 as their numbers swell to 73 million and Boomers decline to 72 million. Generation X (ages 36 to 51 in 2016) is projected to pass the Boomers in population by 2028.
@JoeBiden’s campaign has asked the @FEC for an extension in filing Biden’s personal financial disclosure, and the FEC has granted a 45-day extension.
The military-industrial complex Eisenhower warned us about in 1961, and, related to that,
The Big Bank crime wave and associated kleptocracy… plus all the politicians, institutions, think tanks, economists, media fanboys etc. who support #1 & #2.
Roy Cohn White House: The Mueller Report Special, Part I
“Barr has deep financial ties to Russia, including to some of the entities Mueller was investigating. Barr is also a close friend of Mueller’s. How could Mueller not have been aware both of Barr’s ties and what he would do to the probe?” “William Barr has troubling financial ties to Russia which should have obligated him to recuse himself. This didn’t get much attention in his confirmation hearings, even though the information is in the public domain.”
We also discuss impeachment and the emergence of Elizabeth Warren as a candidate willing to take on the crises of corruption and complacency head-on – a vital move not only for 2020, but for now.
U.S. Economy, 2008 housing crash “Generation Xers were hit particularly hard. “I think we have got a very significant psychological scar from this great recession,” Morgan Stanley analyst Kimberly Greenberger
Since 1990, the median price of a house has increased by around 67%. Yet, median income has increased by only 11% over that same period. Factor in student loans — of which the average student has $37,172 — and you can see why Millennials aren’t running out to buy diamonds and homes.
Percent saying they are NOT doing “at least OK.” This is from a Fed study. Greatest economy ever. The median American wage (according to the SSA) is $31.5k. Economists say these people need lower rates & higher prices. @realdonaldtrump @federalreserve
‘Psychologically scarred’ millennials are people between the ages of 18 and 34 and the largest group of home buyers in the US. (The median age of a home buyer is 36.) Spencer Rascoff, Zillow’s CEO, has some insight into why millennials are delaying their first home purchases. People are basically skipping starter homes; they’re renting until their 30s, and that first house they buy is a million dollars, and they just are not even buying the $200,000, $300,000, $400,000 home.
Billionaire Robert Smith’s surprise gift to Morehouse College’s class of 2019 shows how Student debt has become one of the most important political, economic and social justice issues of our day. An estimated 44 million Americans owe $1.5 trillion in student debt. the Washington Post has subsequently reported, a representative for Smith said he’s only covering loans the students took out themselves (as opposed to loans taken out by family members) totaling about $10 million. The federal government reports that the average debt reported among Morehouse’s seniors is $26,000. more than 40 million people in the United States have student loans. And no graduation gift can help the millions of young people who never complete their degree.”
Towards Effective Adjudicative Ethics by Jonathan A. Weiss Esq.
The Federal Rules of Judicial Conduct is a through detailed careful achievement. (The Breyer Report upon it is scholarly and thoughtful.) Perhaps and maybe probably most Federal Judges know it well and attempt to follow it. Practitioners in the courts are often not familiar and transgressions appear to take place which do not precipitate effective enforcement. The further away from Presidential appointed Judges, the less these rules seem to guide. Federal agencies may be without such clear controls. State Courts have their own Rules of Judicial Conduct. There are many instances reported (and unreported) of violations. The administration of “justice” in non Judicial settings is often lacking in the appearance of civility and actuality of due process, yet affects many.
Litigators will say in private that “Judicial Ethics is an Oxymoron.” Some lawyers will say most Judges decisions can be explained by either laziness, stupidity, or some form of corruption, moral or monetary. For fear of retaliation, they will never say such things in public but often swap horror stories as illustrations in private.
Those who follow reports of Judicial conduct including Administrative Law Judges (formerly “hearing officers”) discover many cases of startling misconduct, adjudicators sleeping with prosecutors, witnesses, presiding over their own divorce cases, being paid to send Juveniles to for-Profit Juvenile jails, abuse of witnesses, defendants, parties, advocates, etc, outright bribery, collusion with one side, immigration hearings with 3 years olds forced to defend themselves alone against deportation, clear patterns of racial prejudice in disability hearings, outright sexual conduct in tribunals.
Most of us either as lawyers or citizens have waited excessively long times to be heard, been treated badly, feel not given a chance to present our case, received injustice (for ourselves or clients) in some tribunal or other from traffic court through the highest Federal Courts. This seems to have been around for a long time.
Some Judges are excellent and conscientious. Of that, there is not doubt. But what about the others? For some there are Rules. But what about the enforcement? For some, including the highest, the Supreme Court (note when Judge Scalia died he was staying for free at a lodge attending a Secret Hunting Society event) to some of the lowest (Immigrations Courts) there are no rules.
It is the thesis of this article that there has to accountability and visibility (“transparency”, the cliched word, is not enough as it does not guarantee visibility) of the decision makers and effective measures to enforce sanctions against those who abuse power – commensurate with due process.
The necessity for rules is based on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Some of the phrases such as “due process” are conceptually given some content by the common and decisional law (and may, as some argued be informed by comparative law invocations.) We note that “due process” in Judicial Ethical rules should not only lead to fair adjudication for people in the process but for procedures involving scrutiny of and imposition of sanctions on the empowered decision makers.
The First Amendment and the “Equal Protection of the Law” also undergird the discussion speaking to the right to petition the government for the redress of grievance, to have access to the government agencies in such a way as to receive protections and benefits for which they were designed, to have recourse to the various adjudicative tribunals to achieve just outcomes in private disputes, to make sure that freedoms are not restricted without sound reason (and “due process” of course). In the Federal system, it is clearly established, that the Judiciary is the third of three branches. It is therefore crucial that in a democracy, it presents both the appearance and actuality of being responsive to the people, accountable to principles, and represented by people whose conduct is appropriate for their power and duties.
I. The Supreme Court
The Federal Rules of Judicial Conduct apply to the Supreme Court as written. They are not applied. This is an error.
We look, for better or worse, to the Supreme Court to be the final arbiter of the Constitutional validity of our Federal principles and laws, and the interpretation of their application.
There are sociological and even jurisprudential disputes about whether there can ever be “objective” interpretations of the “law” but the Supreme Court is supposed to apply reason to the matters before it, the factors and issues involved, refer to the relevant principles in the Constitution, usually given some concrete meaning in previous decisions, and apply those principles to the facts to reach a decision then explained and justified with a decision. This ideal is what underpins its acceptance as the third branch and final arbiter of legal matters.
In recent years, we have seen the Court become increasingly “politicised”.
Judge Thomas will not hire those who do not share his political views saying they would become like “irritated pigs.” Appointments are scrutinized on how they will probably vote on controversial political issues which invoke the Constitution. Elective candidates speak about the type of politics they expect from the appointments they will accept (or in the President’s case) make. Eisenhower was disappointed in his appointment of Chief Justice Earl Warren whose Court ordered nationwide school integration. All this is in opposition to the ideal of the best legal reasoning being applied to the controversy, facts, and issues presented. Ironically, Justice Scalia, an obviously result oriented Judge, stated a law may be stupid but still Constitutional.
Recently, we have seen the aforementioned Justices Scalia and Thomas address the Federalist Society (and hire clerks from its ranks), law students who approach the law with a particular political perspective. Judge Scalia also attended secret meetings with the Koch brothers and their billionaire buddies. Both Judges made many speeches, accepted free travel and lodging from many groups. Other activities giving a political tonality can also be listed, Certainly if there were established an enforcement mechanism for the Federal Rules of Judicial Conduct, such activities could be called in question.
There are many ways in which a mechanism could be established. A panel of rotating Chief Judges could be appointed to hear complaints and issue decisions. That panel could also include members of the Bar with or without official Bar Association titles appointed by the President. Complaints could be screened by an independent group funded by the government and comprised of members of the Bar. Other ideas are also possible.
II. Other Article III Judges
The Supreme Court, the Courts of Appeals, and the District Court are all Article III (Constitutional) Judges.
As stated, there is a Federal Judicial Code of Conduct which is supposed to govern them. There was controversy about them a few years a ago resulting in a report by a Commission chaired by Justice Breyer, with recommendations, and considerable detailed scholarly work on the details.
Let us suggest what must be included at the minimum. Although the Constitution speaks of disqualification for “high crimes and misdemeanors” it must not be limited to that.
Complete disclosure of financial, familial, friendship, and legal connections must be disclosed, updated, and available to the public. No Judge should sit when there is a conflict of interest. Divestment into new blind trusts should be a precondition of Judicial Service. Clearly activities such as campaigning for a candidate or pushing for a political position in public should be prohibited. Any common law felony or any defined activity which affects adjudication should lead to expulsion from the bench. (Bribes, obviously“gifts”; communications with parties, counsel, or ex parte with others which would affect the case). Shocking instances such as Irving Kaufman taking a vacation with the prosecutor Roy Cohn during the process where Kaufman had the State murder the Rosenbergs should have lead not only to his being put off the case. . . and the bench – but instead he was elevated to the Circuit Court of Appeals. Publications should restricted to matters that have not or will not come before the Judge. These examples form a partial list of what should be included in a Rules and are, in principle.
It must be clear that each Judge is unbiased.
When not, a Judge should recuse =disqualify= him/herself from that case in which bias is involved. (Under the current Rules of Federal Procedure a denial of a Motion to Recuse is not immediately appealable. That is wrong since cases often settle before final adjudication; money runs out; recusal speaks to the essence of a fair trial.) There also must be protection against those who file Motions for Recusal (and complaints against Judges). Many practicing lawyers believe they hurt their clients, even on Appeal, if they have filed complaints (even with limited impact) or motions to recuse against a District Judge.
Federal Judges court room conduct is visible. It is not always appropriate. There are Judges who make lawyers and pro se clients wait, tell jokes at their expense (earning laughter from waiting lawyers not at their wit but to placate the Judge), excessively limit time of presentation, threaten lawyers with contempt, appear hung over, or under the influence of some substance. (This conduct may be worse in chambers.) They also appear not to have read the papers submitted or even unfamiliar with the area of law, even sarcastically dismissive of certain claims such as those made under Civil Rights, Disability, and Consumer Protection Acts. (When the contempt power should be used, when referral be made to the Ethics Committee to the Bar, when attorney fees should be assessed on what conduct is not clear.) At the moment, the Federal Rules appear to operate with a written complaint to the Chief Judge who can talk to the District Judge and arrange for surveillance. This is not enough. Although there are some surveys of lawyers about District Judges they seem to have little effect. Treatment of pro se parties is also important not only for justice but also for how its administration appears to the public. Rather there should be both encouragement, perhaps in signs or pamphlets, to report misconduct and a permanent committee to review complaints comprised of rotating Senior, Circuit, and District Court Judges. That committee should issue written reports available to the public = after all these are life time appointments. One abuse, not dealt with appropriately by the Circuit Courts, is delay by District Courts in rendering decisions or finding new issues on remand. The history of the Ward Cove decision is a stark illustration. As part of Judicial solidarity Circuit Court Judges are loathe to remove District Court Judges from cases. (After the 2nd Circuit reversed Judge Travia who wrongly ruled while admitting he had not read the controlling case and “suggested” he transfer it, they implemented a rule that Judge’s names were not to be in the captions of cases), The Federal Rules should address this matter mandating the Court of Appeals to remove cases from obstructing Judges.
Circuit Court Judges should be subject to the same review process although the treatment of lawyers and litigants tends to be much less and less frequently offensive and prejudicial. (But see the article in the April 2015 Verdict by Derfner and Weiss on Judge Friendly.) A similar complaint process, nevertheless, should be installed so that the public can hold those Courts accountable. There is no clear process for handling requests for recusal indicating that a mechanism should be put in place.
The Supreme Court’s visibility is such and it is so open to public scrutiny that open Court room conduct need not be subject to review. It is also unlikely that lower Court Judges whose decisions are reviewed by that Court would write anything even constructively critical. even in this age where questions often appear to be antagonistic or statements of positions, rather than probing or arguments or seeking clarification or thoughts or facts, distinctions, or concepts that would help the Court reach a decision.
The question of what a Judge does outside the Court seems to invoke the First Amendment. We have already invoked “high crimes and misdemeanors.” The current Federal Rules deal with these. As suggested, the assumption of duty does limit the First Amendment (as does Legal Ethics “confidentiality” imposed on lawyers). All political activity ought to be banned. (We will deal with State elective office later). Receipt of gifts (including services and lodging for free) and money for activities should be banned as leading to undue influence. The Rules can codify a system for a due process hearing leading to dismissal from the Bench.
But what about public drunkeness, nudity, obscene, or even racist, etc. language? What about family or friends engaging in such activities? What about extra-marital affairs? Attending prostitutes or one of the many pornographic (including perverted) internet sites?
Two issues arise:
(1) Is such behavior so egregious that it damages the “image” of the judiciary irreparably?
(2) Does such behavior demonstrate that the Judge has “lost his mind” so that he can not be able to reason and decide judicially? It is our opinion that Judges who make unpopular decisions would be too vulnerable to charges under these two issues and they take place outside the Judicial process. (Of course, neither they nor prosecutors – who commonly do – or other lawyers should comment in public about cases they have in litigation.) The Constitution only speaks of “high crimes and misdemeanors” and dismissal (or sanctions) from the Bench ought to be limited to that and directly derivative Rules of Conduct. Clearly the cognitive content includes common law felonies, activities in the political arena, any retaliation against attorneys or parties , and any involvements which might produce bias (and the associated necessity for recusal in appropriate cases). The extension to the appearance of probity should be scrutinized intensely. A Judge surrenders some of his First Amendment rights and should refrain from speaking or writing about matters which may come before him.
An interesting question arises in this connection. It seems widely assumed Judges should be impeached (and several have been.) But note that Article III does not talk of Impeachment. It would be better if the Federal Rules established its own procedure obviating the importation of the procedure in Article II.
A word about the Law Clerks.
Their use, naturally, varies enormously Judge to Judge, from detailed work through research to even holding conferences, deciding, writing decisions. The obvious and simple concept since they do hold conferences, talk to lawyers, write decisions, and influence Judges, etc. is to impose the Federal Rules directly and explicitly upon them. Since many now serve for a number of years, all should be forbidden to belong to any group with a particular “legal philosophy.” The question arises whether they have any rights in their discharge. Due process would seem to indicate that they should have the type of administrative hearing the EEOC provides for those alleging discrimination held in front of a Judge from a different jurisdiction and, if successful, be reassigned to a different Judge. If no one is willing to take on a vindicated Clerk, salary and fringes should be paid for a reasonable time and a letter drawn acceptable as a recommendation to future employers.
Administrative clerks can also be obstructions, refusing to take papers or rejecting them for fabricated or over technical details as well as making people wait and just being rude. (The author once had papers rejected by the Chief Clerk of the 2nd Circuit because he thought the issue was not important. It was only accepted because of a Motion made before the Court started hearing cases, then argued, and after a long wait, mooted with the appellants successful.) Poor pro se appellants are often treated quite badly as opposed to “regular players” and big law firms. Clearly a well managed Court of Appeals can design supervision and enforcement mechanisms for such important ancillary matters.
Article II Judges are appointed without the necessity for Senate confirmation but not for life. The phrase “high crimes and misdemeanors” need not apply to them but the Federal Rules of Judicial Conduct obviously should. Recently there has been an expansion of Magistrates with much delegations to them by District Courts including the option of trying cases. (They are referenced as “Judges” and have law clerks). In general, the atmosphere is more informal. In general, matters referred to magistrates when decided are rubber stamped by District Judges. Such a situation allows for considerable distortion of the discovery process, often experienced in the area of Civil Rights particularly against Government entities and some large Corporations.
One often hears complaints from those who embrace the title of Judges of how little they are paid. These same often exhibit the unscruitnized bias towards the poor and oppressed. The obvious remedy would be to start appointing people from the ranks of Legal Aid and Legal Services with extensive litigation experience who would experience a raise in salary and bring diversity of experience, background, and other characteristics in this category. Aside from the D.C. Presidents column in the DC journal in December 2012, no one has come close to mentioning this possibility. We can also suggest that these practitioners would also be sensitive to the treatment of those representing others than big and powerful interests.
It should be easier to set up an enforcement mechanism for Magistrates. Panels can be comprised both of Article III Judges, Article II Judges, practicing lawyers, even academics. Complaints could be made anonymously of general abusive conduct, bias, or unusual delays or discovery and motion practice (particularly Summary Judgement) with review of pattern and practice as well as particular misconduct. Unlike Article III Judges, we can be more stringent about outside conduct since they are not part of a Constitutional branch. Those who have been lobbyists or have published or lectured on a particular legal topic should be subject to automatic recusal by application to the Judge in charge of the case. Obviously they should be free to write and speak about other matters. Issues of recusal should be immediately appealable to the Judge to whom they are assigned.
There are a plethora of Article II courts for Claims, Taxes. etc. One particular branch is Bankruptcy which employs members of the Department of Justice as “trustees”. Sometimes these trustees have been found to be abusive and even to refuse to allow interpreters and engage in other such improper conduct. The disqualification and discipline of these trustees should be appealable from the Department of Justice (by whom they are employed) to a panel such as we have suggested. The question of recusal with distant relatives as creditors gets difficult in this area. It should be very easy for Congress to pass legislation making payment of a fee for speaking (or provision of substantial benefit) a crime. One often hears about the “appearance” of impartiality as well as its existence. Given the attitude of many towards their experience with Article II Judges these guarantees would help with that “appearance.” (One would think that Tax Court Judges should have to pay their taxes scrupulously and regularly or no longer sit). This brief invocation of this area indicates that there should be a detailed study of the particular ethical problems of each area of the Article II Judges.
Sometimes Masters are appointed from the private bar. (E.g. Simon Rifkind, who also served as a District Court Judge who served as a Supreme Court referee in a water dispute). The Federal Rules of Judicial Conduct should seem to apply but the simplest mechanism would seem to be a Motion to the appointing Court (and appeals unless the appointment was by the Supreme Court.)
Some Jurisdictions has pro se Judges, who are hopefully sensitive and experienced, with unrepresented individuals with grievance. Obviously, they are subject to the same disciplinary considerations as other Judges. The ability to complain about them (and mistreatment by administrative clerks) should be made very easy by signs, pamphlets, forms, and places to file them. In general, pro se clients should be made aware of the disciplinary system. One group in particular should be noted: prisoners file many writs, some prisoners alone serve many law suits.
Many, of course, are without merit. Nonetheless, their papers deserve an appropriate reading. This author handled a case on appeal by a prisoner who had lost countless suits and found merit to persuade the 2nd Circuit that his First Amendment rights were violated when a Prison Chaplain put him in solitary confinement when they had a theological dispute. We need not explore the horror of our nation’s prisons or the distorted nature of its population to exhort the Judiciary, as a government entity, to give caged denizens the rightful impression that they, at least, received proper attention for their complaints from the Federal branch.
Most people actually encounter Federal adjudication in Federal agencies operating under laws and regulations. The decision makers once called “Hearing Officers” are now called “Administrative Law Judges.” There is no uniform code for them. Some agencies have no rules of conduct, some have proposed rules of conduct, none appear to have effective rules of enforcement.
Let us consider two agencies that have crucial effect on people’s lives.
The first is the Immigration Department which holds deportation hearings where there is no right to counsel and counsel is rarely present. Infants have been forced to represent themselves, some even held in arms. There appears to be no comprehensive rules promulgated to protect even from prejudice let alone assure due process. Certainly such hearings should be open to the public, counsel appointed (where is the vaunted pro bono activity of the Bar?), comprehensive Rules of Conduct promulgated and enforced by an independent Board but this is Utopian fantasizing.
Many people’s ability to subsist depends upon Social Security. Even access to a hearing may be a problem. For years, for example, hearings on disability claims for people in the Bronx were held in White Plains taking over an hour and a half to secluded office. (Getting there was sometimes used as proof that the person was not disabled. This author took his clients there by car services to avoid that problem.) Disability hearings in Manhattan, like Immigration hearings required long waits involving physical hardship. Prejudice was difficult to overcome. One Hearing Officer, a Helen Anyel, was clearly biased. It took Legal Services advocates years of reversing her decisions in Federal Court to accumulate enough evidence to bring a successful law suit to impose limits on her powers. Evidently, there is a need for an extensive Code of Conduct for Social Security “ALJs” to ensure due process, visibility, accountability, ability to complain, and enforcement. These agencies affect people’s lives deeply. These people are poor. Perhaps that is why there is no attention to Codes of Conduct.
On the other hand, the Federal Rules of Judicial Conduct which are very detailed (We have essentially focused only on bias and conflicts) can be stretched past reasonableness. There are many interesting intellectual questions raised in the area (e.g. can Judges, identified as such or not participate in State caucuses; what knowledge outside what the litigants have supplied can be sought?) but some actions taken in these areas seem excessive. The distinguished scholar Guido Calabrese, talking to a small group made some comparisons about the political situation of his youth with the contemporary scene which was reported by the New York Times. The 2nd Circuit disciplinary machinery forced a public apology. Such energy would be much better spent on supervising the Courtroom behavior of District Court Judges and their membership in various clubs and trips to various venues such as the Federal Bar Association in Hawaii, if minor matters require major attention.
No one, it is said, should be above the law.
The Federal Rules of Judicial Conduct must serve to ensure that is true of Judges.The Supreme Court therefore should be covered. Other appropriate rules should be added.
Justice demands visibility, accountability, and enforcement with due process.
Article III life time tenure requires no less; Article II implies more. Administrative agencies must have rules which guarantee fairness and accessibility with visibility, accountability, and enforcement.
It is widely acknowledged that the criminal law enforcement system, prison industrial complex is a scandal with its rates and duration of brutal incarceration. Fueled by the War on Drugs, the 1994 Crime Bill, and Mandatory Minimum sentencing, Federal prisons (particularly when private and driven by profit motive) are exercises in brutality not rehabilitation. (See Joshua Price, Incarceration and Social Death). The role of the Judiciary is limited in many regard. But, beyond the Rhenquist wreckage (and Clinton’s Prison Litigation Reform Law), there could be much more careful scrutiny of habeas corpus petitions and motions for relief dealing with conditions (e.g. solitary confinement) and less bias exhibited in favor of police and prosecutors. (Monroe Freedman has written extensively as to the lack of application of Legal Ethics to prosecutors.) Such bias may be subtle as well as overt but it may also be revealed in pasterns of rulings and jury instructions as well as decisions on prisoners’ papers. The appointment of distinguished criminal law defense lawyers to engage in observing and working with academics to gather data might have a salutary effect. An argument can be made that parole boards function as administrative tribunals (the demand that applicants show remorse and admit guilt even when justly claiming innocence is outrageous) so it should be so supervised; that parole officers are like Hearing Officers and ALJs so that there ought to be mechanisms to overturn arbitrary, racist, and excessively punitive actions.
III State Courts
Federal Judges are rarely accused or even suspected of monetary corruption. In many jurisdictions that is not true of State Judges and those acting with State decision making power. There are, of course, exemplary State Judges, and in some geographical areas exemplary officials dealing with the imposition of sanctions. This author has never met another litigator who does not have an anecdotes casting aspersions on State Judges and State adjudicators. We note, in passing, that in New York, the State Judges sued in their own Courts for an increase in salaries (see the remarks above about recruiting from the ranks of those who represent the poor) which invokes a question of Conflict of Interest. There is a Code of Judicial Ethics (and many opinions under them – even one Casebook of them) for every State. We suggest that a flagrant or crucial violation of such a code should predicate a right to sue in the appropriate Federal District Court on the claim of Constitutional infringement of due process (and perhaps Equal Protection) for declaratory Judgement and an Injunction. There is an argument (particularly under Shelley v. Kramer) that an affirmative suit could be brought under the Civil Rights acts but it makes more juridical sense to have an Act of Congress establishing such a procedure.
There is a threshold question of whether Judges are appointed or elected. The backdrop of this distinction is constituted by the Jaybird cases from Texas which held that the (segregated) Democratic primaries were tantamount to the election and being segregated were unconstitutional and a later contrary Justice Scalia case, not mentioning these prior decisions, upholding a New York procedure where the nomination by the Democratic party was tantamount to winning the election to be a Judge. The comparative merits and demerits of these two systems are difficult to parse balancing back rooms versus campaign contributions which in this age of Citizens United seem to have an excessive influence = but is not for this article to resolve but to note the different consequences that ensue for Codes of Judicial Conduct under each system.
We must, unfortunately, eliminate as a practical matter the areas of widespread corruption, where articles like this fade into wisps of academic smoke. In Five Dollars and a Pork Chop Sandwich Mary Frances Berry details extensively how country wide whole communities, based on their experiences, have their votes for candidates, prosecutors, and Judges bought by a promise of transportation to and from the Voting Booth with the presentation of $5 and a pork chop sandwich as payment on the way back to their impoverished home. It is doubtful that Codes of Judicial Conduct can be enforced here.
Scandals need not be so obvious. For five years, there was a Family Court in Pennsylvania where the Judges were paid to sentence Juveniles for such misdeeds as truancy to a private jail making handsome profits. (see Kids for Cash) Eventually, such behavior even reached discussions in the American Bar Association Journal and the Judges went to jail but five years of ruined children’s lives is a long time. Where were the courageous lawyers? Where did they feel they could appeal without fear? Where was the local Bar association?
As others litigators have, this author has observed the indicia of partiality, if not worse (returning to a Court room to retrieve something after trial to glimpse opposing counsel and Judge going into Chambers together; knowing political and other connections of Judge and appointments of guardians ad item; being forced to file a Motion to Recuse a Family Court Judge for prejudice against Puerto Ricans with the Judge then ordering the clients to discharge me as counsel, etc. ) We all have heard of Judges asking personal injury lawyers when alone about with what other carriers they had cases, etc. Tales of direct payment are not unknown. Corruption can be implicit and subtle rather than overt and demonstrable. Complaints about it are dangerous to a practicing lawyer.
Indeed this article would not be written
if the author planned to litigate again.
In any event, corruption of this sort is a social and criminal matter, varying from locale to locale and unreachable in practice by the State’s Code of Judicial Conduct although undoubtedly forbidden by it. The general favoritism shown to prosecutors is an open secret daily evident to the Defense Bar and any impartial observer.
For elected Judges there is the problem of campaigning. Issues go from the obvious of campaigning in Robes and handing out brochures to making promises on how cases will be decided. State Codes should clearly prohibit some such. Clearly a candidate has a Free Speech right to speak about anything but if a matter comes before that candidate after election, recusal should be mandated and immediately appealable if denied.
There is also the issue of campaign donations. Mr. Blankenship, now under sentence of a year in jail for conduct leading to death of many miners, spent large sums of money to place a Judge on an appeals court dealing with the liability of his company for damages = the swing vote. This impropriety was overturned but suggests the danger. There should be a rule against any Judge sitting on any case involving someone who donated to his campaign.
For appointed Judges, we would suggest that former lobbyists should be automatically precluded from sitting and automatically recused if they testified to legislative bodies or advocacy groups on issues which arose in litigation = including appeals from administrative decisions. Both precautions are based on the necessity for impartiality.
Just as there are Federal Administrative agencies there are State tribunals for cab drivers, environmental matters, parking tickets, health concerns, and the like. These jobs are generally filled by part time lawyers. There appear to be no Codes of Conduct. There are also Human Rights and Disability agencies usually filled with Civil Servants but again with no codes on conduct. For reasons ranging from the need to have citizens believe in government impartiality and fairness to making sure that important rights are protected Codes of Conduct mirroring the ones imposed upon Judges particularly involving bias, conflicts, and abuse, etc. should be promulgated, publicized, and implemented.
In the lowest area of adjudications many many poor people are affected, seeking welfare, freedom from incarceration for lack of ability to pay minor fines, medicaid. Yet these areas are the most lawless and administered in the most disheartening and heartless ways. Clearly they should be the most visible and accountable instead of the opposite.
Many have detailed the defects of the “criminal justice” system in which the Judges play a significant part, processing rather than adjudicating (with enormous disparity in sentencing -also State by State). Military Courts have been criticized for their obvious defects (and so has the Veterans administration.) We need not include them to make this article a jeremiad against Judges, for the our main purpose is to review the considerations that should go into Judicial Codes, the application, protections of all parties, the gap between the ideals, the words associated with the ideals, and the realities in our adjudicative processes from the United States Supreme Court to the tribunals that normal citizens encounter as part of daily living under a country which promises a rule of law and Federally a branch devoted to Justice.
One last word.
At least we have been discussing Courts with rules.
Since the 1970s there has been a Secret “Court” with secret decisions about searches and seizures in clear violation of the 4th Amendment.
No rules are relevant here.
FISA should be abolished under the 4th and 5th Amendment.
“Controlled” inflation is generally considered superior to recession (a fortiori depression) with steady growth in the GNP. But inflation, particularly in certain areas, also can inflict harm on many citizens (our focus is on the United States of America). Allocation of resources, caused by public policy (including taxes on individuals and corporations coupled markets with corporation influence (particularly pernicious with monopolies) so that the poor and working classes, are often adversely affected. Trump’s tariffs will increase inflation for many items including household essentials.
Those on fixed income, even with minor raises, suffer from inflation in general.American teachers, for example, have less real income over the last ten years when salaries are adjusted for inflation. Social Security has been diminished in many ways and does not provide a sufficient living income for its recipients. It is now taxed as income although the employee’s contribution (one-half) has already been taxed.
The age of “normal retirement” has been raised to the particular detriment of manual workers whose bodies have paid a physical toll. The payment is now delayed to the middle or the end of the month. Ronald Reagan had payments rounded down to the lower dollar. The increases do not reflect actual inflation (yet there are moves now to use lower formulas than current) and, of course, are in lower cash amounts for the recipients of lower amounts. (Since the financial crash in 2008, not-risky investments pay those dependent on savings and very low interest – CDs, money markets, saving accounts, and annuities – municipal bonds have disappeared.) Pensions promised, in effect delayed salary, in the private sector are often subject to substitution of claimed equivalent lump sum; unexpected reductions and extensive denials only possibly rectified by protracted litigation, terminations of plans (sometimes invoking the federal Pension Guarantee Fund) and assorted other difficulties.
Public sector pensions and associated fringe benefits, e.g. health insurance have often been reduced for later hires (New York has multiple tiers). Unemployment insurance has limited duration and amount. Workman’s Compensation not only often requires litigation for receipt but is limited with recipients generally unable to work in other secondary jobs as they once did (and often prevent private personal injury suits which would have resulted in substantially greater awards). “Welfare as you know it” was demolished by Clinton without reason although it was always inadequate to support women rearing children and those children. (The Supreme Court had already upheld the “Family Cap” which some States are now removing.) Food stamps have been decreased as are other benefits in what is absurdly called “the safety net.” All these exacerbate the negative effects of inflation on fixed income individuals.
The cost of necessities often rises faster than general increase in cost. In the background of housing exist the homeless. One source of this suffering group was initiated by Ronald Reagan who, not motivated by mistakes and deprivations in mental institutions, emptied mental health facilities in California to create a national trend. Some of the individuals were not able to function, particularly with no preparation, in the outside world. The needed provision for mental health community centers was not only not forthcoming but the existence of the ones available reduced and eliminated. Half way houses suffered similar treatment. Effective outreach to those in the streets (which are often preferable to them then “shelters” is minimum. In this time of mass incarceration with a Rhenquist led Supreme Court 1986 until his death in 2005 – focused on punishment rather than rehabilitation, we have not only the spectacle of prison horrors (e.g. solitary confinement, sometimes for many years “maximum security” jails, shackles, demeaning underpaid work, capital punishment etc.) specially featured by private prisons in the industrial prison complex, resulting in those released being unprepared for freedom and untrained for employment.
[The Associated Press reports that Chief Justice William Rehnquist has given the Smithsonian Institution the robe–the one with the ridiculous yellow stripes on the sleeves–that he wore while presiding over President Clinton’s impeachment trial in the Senate. Rehnquist valued the donation at $30,000, according to his 1999 financial disclosure form. How does he know the value? He had it appraised by Sotheby’s!
In writing his new book about O’Connor called First, which will be published in 2019, biographer Evan Thomas discovered that Rehnquist proposed to O’Connor in the early 1950s, after he graduated early from Stanford. As NPR reported, the two dated briefly, and O’Connor—at the time called Sandra Day—later referred to him as a “study buddy” (mid-20th-century vernacular for “friend zone”). That spring, Rehnquist wrote O’Connor a letter saying that he wanted to talk about “important things.” He went on: “To be specific, Sandy, will you marry me this summer?” O’Connor turned her “study buddy” down and married John O’Connor in 1952.]
The mass incarceration (considerably based on theWar on Drugs I condemned is grotesque to the extent it is now drawing some legislative and local attention. The ex-prisoners (often not able to vote, now under scrutiny and challenges) have tarnished records, along often with little training for jobs so their employment possibilities and any “benefits” are increasingly inadequate in inflationary times.
Public or “affordable” housing in often not available for the homeless but for many with low incomes (the current Trump-Carson HUD management is focused not on badly needed maintenance and (job creating) construction but rather eviction, particularly of immigrants in “mixed residences”, etc. The original provision of high rises (over five floors) and clusters have produced predictable social chaos with youth not prepared for gainful employment in a dangerous environment. The lack of maintenance has often created unlivable conditions. This country faces a great need for proper public housing properly maintained and “affordable housing”.Those in need often have to choose between payments for necessities or the equally important shelter. Building properly constructed and place public housing would also create jobs.
Of general concern is the rapidly rising rents and purchase prices in many urban centers, both residential and commercial (creating many empty stores formerly housing small businesses because of tax advantages) – and commercial rent control, which although desirable seems politically unlikely and even utopian, in spite of the obscene unjustified wealth of developers and many large Realtors and real estate owners (and resulting political power). Residential rent controls, when available, are under constant attack (only 20, 000 rent control tenants are left in New York City and only one million apartments are rent “stabilized”) with raises every year, a special inflation. Its absence has led to the gentrification of Washington, D.C. to compare with very high rents in San Francisco, New York. etc. which results also in gentrification with only some preservation of all types of diversity. Proposals for requiring some “affordable” housing in new residential buildings are resisted but enforced in some Cities but never near the real quantity needed. Rents and purchase prices for apartments, condominiums, coops and houses are accelerating upwards.
The resulting “gentrification” produces, in a partial reversal of suburban and ex-urban preference, with many rich people moving into formerly middle class, working, and poor neighborhoods in many cities. The former residents are driven out from proximity to commercial and industrial centers (to the degree they survive) thereby entailing costly (and time consuming) commutes – a hidden housing and transportation inflation along with the increases in rents and purchases.
Trump with his reflexive reactionary administration and Congressional supporters changed the tax code with an obvious retaliation against States whose citizens voted heavily against his election so that he lost by about 3 million votes (See my article on Trump and Hitler ) . The limitation of the deduction for State Real Estate taxes to $10,000 punishes the many who pay much more (often in order to provide for better schools) creating an inflation in the actual cost of house ownership. Construction and maintenance, particularly for quality, are increasingly expensive.
Encouraged by Eisenhower and his Secretary of Agriculture, agribusiness has transformed food production to become its very dominant force. (This situation has also led to the monopolistic intrusion in farming of poisonous pesticides, soil destroying fertilizers, monocropping, and even great reduction of seed variety. The movie, a few years back, Food Inc.
A great deal of food has degenerated in quality and nutritional value.Fowl, swine, and beef are raised in inhumane settings. Chickens furnish a prime example. They have been bred (while confined with no movement possible) to grow much larger, particularly in the breast but shrunken in the legs so they can not walk with drumsticks much smaller – tasteless flesh purveyed with coatings for fast food. Champion layers of eggs used to produce about 250 a year. Now flocks produce eggs every day. Triple A eggs (and pullets) once were available. Double A is now almost unknown.
For many years the “Rutgers” tomato was standard (with some combinations like the Prichard crossed with Cooper’s Special.) Now there is a new variety designed for profusion, speed, and ease in machine (and maltreated migrants) harvesting. The result is no taste and less nutrition in their often partially white interiors. Berries, imported and domestic, with limited companies distributing. have suffered the same fate, often packaged so mold and rot are hidden.
Some popular fish are now “farmed”, consider the Franken salmon developed. It is impossible to ignore the devastating damage ecologically and environmentally (including the danger of specially bred fishes mixing with the natural ones). Fresh fish have been particularly eliminated by pollution, oil spills, water diversion, and dams. Richard Nixon once mistakenly urged people to buy fish instead of meat as fish was already more expensive. Desirable as fresh fish is for health, it is now priced notably higher than other protein sources widely available.
The list goes on. What is the consequence?
If one wants food with flavor and nutrition, one has to go to special sources. (The purchaser should not be fooled by the slapping of “organic” on the labels since there is no legal standard. Extra virgin olive oil entails pressing without breaking the grapes’ skin – but similarly the label is slapped on without justification.) To buy from special sources means to pay more, often a multiple of what is available in standard stores. This requirement means a real inflation in the cost of desirable food.
According to exit polls, health was the number one concern for voters in the 2018 election. Insurance and care costs have greatly increased. Even though every income earner pays into Medicare (with a limit on increasing premiums for those receiving over $225,000), it costs close to $300 a month to use as insurance. The needed “supplemental health insurance” (without long term care usually) costs about the same.
The Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) based on the right wing Heritage Foundation’s plan does nothing to control the highly profitable and powerful insurance industry. Premiums are therefore high.
Nonetheless, it managed to cover many individuals for whom insurance was not possible (e.g. the broadly defined “prior condition” exclusion which includes pregnancy). John McCain, lauded a hero, for his necessary vote to save that Act, then voted to exclude the “mandate” to enroll.
It was that linchpin, considering it as a tax, which led Chief Justice Roberts to forge a 5 vote majority to save the increased coverage. Without that provision, the Court may not uphold the law thereby casting an estimated over 20 million off any insurance to pay for health care.
As it is, many famed specialists, and others, do not take Medicare (many more Medicaid) and insurance often only covers small amount. This inflation excludes many possible patients. Medical costs now include not only many care providers (often stopped early when still needed for recovering people’s assistance and rehabilitation) but expensive machinery and tests. Rehabilitation is expensive with a 30 visit limit for Medicare. Many hospitals have closed, particularly in rural areas, limiting access and increasing transportation costs (particularly ambulances.
Nursing home costs are so high, people divorce to be eligible for Medicaid, set up (paying lawyers) Special Needs trusts, or spend all their savings to become eligible, a suffering subset.
Drug prices are a well known scandal.
George W, Bush established Part D payments for drug companies to increase their market with no funding source.
Medicare does not negotiate prices of drugs so they pay twice what the Veteran’s Health Plan negotiates.
Some drug prices have escalated thousands of percent when a company so decides, including life saving drugs.
Many will have to sacrifice on essentials to pay for expensive drugs; some, who can’t afford them, will suffer and die. Deadly separate inflation.
Many drugs are developed by government research. Drug companies (uniquely in the world able to advertise on television) spend as much on advertisement as they do on research as part of the costs to consumers.
The research developing drugs is often paid, in full or part, by the Federal Government but then sold with great profit by drug, manufacturers.
When I went to Yale to graduate in 1960, tuition, room and board were $2,000.
With scholarships and student work, work on vacations (much easier to obtain, in menial and manual) I lived comfortably with money for socialization and recreation. I left Chicago and Yale schools while enjoying a similar life style with only $5000 in loans which I was able to pay off in under two years.
The contrast with today is striking. The cost is 40 times more (with many administrators and buildings provided.) Startling increase.
Attendance at the best Public schools often require moving to special areas with higher costs including taxes. To get into specialized schools, parents pay fortunes for tutoring, etc. Private schools have costs similar to colleges. For the “best” schools donations and activities are often required (impossible for the poor.) (In New York, the welcome trend is to free State colleges, dependent on income. and NYU medical school for free.) Charter schools, a bad privatization, and “home” schooling are often inadequate, bad, and undermine the great American history of providing public education.
Computers (with all their negative effects on reading, writing, communicating, concentrating, and posture caused in part by being subject to randomness, no uniformity in systems and software as well as unnecessary changes) are required for students (note effect of class and cultural orientation.) Schools now have them with costly internet and their provision is one public project. A new cost. The necessity for education costs can create a real burden except for the “better off”..
I discussed transportation in my article on this website of the desirability of free transportation. With tolls, fuel, parking, “congestion prices” (currently debated in Washington, D.C. half implemented in New York. D.C and price of purchase, purchases owning a car has become more expensive for those dependent on them (a necessity in many rural areas.). In this connection, whereas bikes are an excellent means of transport in place like Amsterdam, in New York, the bike lanes (and parking for revenue) reduces the room for cars by a half, while bike riders, ride the wrong way, in the street, on the sidewalks, and weaving (some are people delivering goods spurred on by need for money) with no identification, warning systems and now often illegally very fast powered by electricity – all laws and safety concerns not being subject to police action while endangering money. The resulting traffic jams produce much noise and pollution while decreasing efficiency in moving around. Chicago, St. Louis and other American cities have subways and rails to the airports; New York only has a “skyline” from Brooklyn for one airport (with a local bus with limited pick up on West Side) to another, and nothing of this nature for the third, forcing flyers to use motor vehicles creating more congestion.
Of particular note for car owners, is unibody exteriors and computer controls so repairs can no longer be done by the owner but require special equipment – so that that cost has accelerated specialty. Of course, given complication and randomness (and unnecessary features now considered, in this country, requirements, such as buttons for windows, automatic shifting) and the mania for SUVs, costs for car ownership has increased considerably more than it should have. Commuter costs (invoked above and often required more for “lower classes.”) have escalated more then many other costs. Public transportation, used by workers and the non-wealthy) has often gone up considerably and declined disastrously as part of the great decay of the infra structure including roads, bridges, and tunnels now dangerous.
Entertainment and recreation are not considered necessities. Yet they are a component of a rich fulfilling life.
Once again, the escalation of prices is remarkable, particularly recently. Movies are much more expensive. The theater has gone up considerably (even discount services). Some “hits” like Hamilton sell seats at $350 (most Broadway productions have extra expensive select seats in the orchestra.) The Metropolitan Opera in New York starts the Orchestra at $350 and seats in the second balcony for $150. Museums and parks charge much more even some which used to be free. Consider also National Parks- also now being irreversibly destroyed by Trump – some for oil extraction with bad environmental consequences.
David Zinn has demonstrated the rip off of the public to build new Sports stadiums for teams with ultra-rich owners which just move the entertainment dollar around rather than create new revenue.
They now are like shopping malls (and some indoor arena like dance floors with excessive noise and flashing lights.) Cheap seat areas are now replaced by enclosed “sky boxes”, like fancy hotel suites, for multi-millionaires and billionaires. Once a simple cheap excursion for a family, not only are ticket prices way up, but children are assaulted with temptations of all sorts while food is now not just a cheap snack but expensive bites or more, some offering expensive liquor and beer at $15! For a family, even avoiding the mall, unable to bring their food and drink in as they used to be able, the experience is more akin to an amusement park than cheap family spectating. <more>
Many maintain that with television and these costs, the three most popular American sports have degenerated (as well as expanded so that teams and players are much harder to follow.
Fundamentals in baseball, such as sliding, bunting, base running have disappeared so that games feature home runs (with lower pitching mounds, juiced balls, closer fences and sometimes high altitudes) and strike outs (by those seeking home runs, particularly; basketball has three point shots and dunks (often preceded by non-called “traveling”) with a decrease in ball handling, passing, and running; football features 300 pounders (and up) straining against each other with a plethora of passing,- perhaps retired Suma wrestlers should be used for “goal line” stands. Football’s “prevent defense” predictably leads to touchdowns, extending the time of game greatly (“2 minutes” take up to an half hour allowing for many more commercials.)
Sadly American horse racing 23 DEAD HORSES Santa Anita Track had badly declined (longer seasons and gambling have contributed to this decline). The “sport of kings” attracted many far from rich, offering way better odds than lotteries, and somewhat better than casinos. Money now is made on stud fees. not racing, so stand out colts are retired sometimes after three years and certainly after four. Ironically, breeding does not work out with a few cheap horses winning and the most expensive colts and fillies failing. Bold Rules was a very good sire of sprinters. Yet his son Secretariat, maybe the greatest racer of all time, was better the longer the course, as demonstrated in the Belmont. He, in turn, was a complete failure at stud. Horses here are now bred and trained only for sprints (no more steeple chases) which becomes boring. Horses, possibly as a result, seem to be breaking down (while running with chemicals infused) considerably more often in American racetracks. Greyhound racing has been banned as inhumane…suggesting that possibility in this country.
There are now a plethora of television channels.
No one could watch them all. Most watch only a few. There are many devices on which to watch the presentations. On most, the commercials are mind numbing in quantity and quality (particularly at the end of football and basketball games). For home television, cable TV is required for many in the cities because of the big buildings and for most for the preferred channels. Originally offered for about $9 a month, basic cable costs often around $150 plus any specialized channels for entertainment or some foreign language. It often offers the main entertainment for poor and working people – and for the mobility limited.
Eating out is often almost required for entertainment.
Restaurants (in part because of rising rents) are now much more expensive than a decade ago. (The famous fancy ones range in the multiples of $100 for each person (up to $700) before costly special water, wine (way up), and/or drinks.) Pity the poor people who must drive in, park, eat, pay for a baby sitter, just to go to the theater or movie.
Special treats for home consumption are for the wealthy alone.
Real caviar (particularly if environmentally acceptable) costs more than a normal household spends on food for a week.
Jewish delicatessen (Sable once the “poor man’s sturgeon” – now costs as much as sturgeon due to Japanese demand – which is also a factor in the extraordinary cost of some fine fresh fish) there is no longer “appetizing” but “gourmet”.
Many other “luxury” items are exclusive territory for the wealthy. Wine has become notably expensive. (The Chinese are reputed to have bought up a large number of French wines). Even though many countries and American locales now produce wine, its inflationary costs rise (with extra increases in bars, restaurants, etc.) I do not invoke the fancy extravagant whiskeys, tequilas, and vodkas (most identical in flavor and just prestige priced) as they basically represent indulgence and “conspicuous consumption.” Much consumable now is the province only of the rich.
Maybe golf clubs’ costs have just matched regular inflation having traditionally been for rich white men to play, drink, and consummate business deals. Trump has said golf is for the rich to play with the rich. (His malignant megalomania reaches revelatory heights in cheating there see Reilly, The Commander in Cheat a golfer’s attack on Trump, or at least on the way Trump plays the game, a game Reilly reveres as revealing of character. Recently, however, the terrific charismatic Tiger Woods has led to greatly increased popularity for the public (with integration in clubs, possibly connected.).
Here lies a research project. Consider what is destroyed to create a golf course (years required for some tournaments’ preparation once built), what it costs for water, planting, fertilizing, pesticides – particularly how they destroy the environment (including flying creature migrations) and contribute to pollution and global warming. The result of such research for environmental harm may produce figures that are dismaying…at the least. Inflation may be an indirect result (even without costs for spectators to attend and watch on television.) Trump golf course partially destroys Site of Special Scientific Interest
Allocation of Resources
Offers the Major Key
These inequalities augmented
by selective inflation
can be remedied
The vast majorities of remedies are quite feasible politically. We have suggested, implicitly or explicitly, some obvious ones above. Some of the above accounts of inflationary problems, correlated with disparate treatment based on wealth, indicate the needed solutions while we now suggest other partial systematic solutions.
When, and if, there is a new Administration, all the regulations removed can be listed, examined, and restored. (Also too withdrawal from Treaties, foreign non-military engagement, subsidies (e.g. high speed rail – See California) and “sanctions” against selected countries which deprive the people of real needs but do not succeed in “regime change.” (Consider invasions which failed from MacArthur’s foray into North Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and disastrous effects in Libya.). Privatization and contracting out can be eliminated or greatly reduced for governmental justifiable actions. Obviously adding profits to cost does not increase efficiency but only expense. (Compare The Tennessee Valley project with military subcontracts, public housing maintenance by contract and subcontract, street repairs with safety installations, etc.).
The tax code cries for revision and return to its formerly progressive nature (with simplification and elimination of loopholes for corporations and the wealthy) – same for Medicare if continued.
Putting a cap on what heirs could inherit and a low limit on taxes starting over a million or so.
Decreasing the military industrial complex (e.g. no one can calculate great cost of Destroyers – we have six, no other country more than one; the budget is great than the next four-six countries combined, not to mention the nuclear armaments, etc.) the industrial prison complex, and, I have suggested, abolishing the “War and Drugs” and changing the CIA can add to disposable funds (At some later date, scrutiny of the FBI will be desirable).
In the Meantime . . .
We have the Political Precedents
A combination of FDR’s New Deal (although lacking the rights he later proposed) in all aspects (most now eroded badly), the Great Society, supported by the accompanying Civil Rights legislation inching toward Reconstruction (with community based practical education including help with housing, nutrition, real provision of free unfettered Legal Services, Vista, Peace Corps job training, particularly for new opportunities in a changing employment world, etc.,
Bracero programs properly administered for seasonal foreign migrant workers, etc.) now mainly abolished would answer close to all the support required for the oppressed, poor, working and middle class (with the additions of adequate food stamps -SNAP, etc. if still needed)
Anti-trust law enforced with full vigor will help destroy monopolies which adversely affect costs, environment, working people, and consumers.
Restoring the bankruptcy provisions for credit cards and student loanswould help countless individuals struggling under debt…and other improvements (cancelling all student debt is another possibility for student indebtedness.)
A universal free health care system, including but not limited to drugs, equipment, and living facilities for the sufficiently disabled have been achieved in Europe and Scandinavia with varying degrees of success. Some social agencies such as Family Court, institutional care, home health assistance, community mental health, universal injections to prevent diseases such as polio, chicken pox, typhoid, diphtheria, tetanus. measles etc., may still need special attention and adequate funding (particularly if “free”). Urged therefore is the justice in the universality of adequate, efficient, prompt, and advanced medical care – not dependent on expensive insurance.(life expectancy will still be greatly effected by water, air, nutrition and other necessities – some studies show the life expectancy of the “rich” is about 15 years more than the “poor.”)
Given the current context, repealing the Taft Hartley law and supporting unions would help.
Community banks (not monopolistic “too big to fail”), coops of all sorts, and even DeLeonist worker run production industries, support for family farms. may be flavored with utopianism but would augment the great improvements by achieved by restoring old politically approved programs and the proper allocation of resources. The aspirations announced in the Green New Deal include some of these proposals while emphasizing the frightening global challenge of destruction of resources, live and inanimate, extreme weather, (suggesting we consider over population.)
Maybe inflation may be expected, but specific greater inflation creates a greater distance in the deplorable, unnecessary, disgusting income and financial gap with the infamous 1% -often based on preferential treatment and financial structures (often themselves insecure.)The rapidly rising costs for necessities (and what may give some surcease in pleasure) for the poor and unprivileged produces a special, unique, and a disgrace in a world of great wealth disparity especially in our rich country).
The solutions are available.
Can they be implemented over corruption, propaganda (including mass media) and evil people in power?
AMERICA’S VOTING FRAUD
THE LONG HISTORY OF TAMPERING WITH THE VOTE
RIGGING THE ELECTION IN AMERICA
YOU ONLY NEED TO HACK ONE SWING STATE TO PULL IT OFF
Election Voter Education for Americans Election Education and Fraud
“Is it really beyond the wealth and wit of these technology companies to prevent and detect child sexual abuse on their platforms?” he said.
“Or is there something incompatible with their commercial objectives… their culture and ideology… that makes them bridle at the necessary steps to curb this modern scourge?”
Alexa has been eavesdropping on you this whole time
When Alexa runs your home, Amazon tracks you in more ways than you might want.
You can tell Amazon to delete everything it has learned about your home, but you can’t look at it or stop Amazon from continuing to collect it.
The spy in your thermostat
Alexa’s voice archive made headlines most recently when Bloomberg discovered Amazon employees listen to recordings to train its artificial intelligence. Amazon acknowledged that some of those employees also have access to location information for the devices that made the recordings.
The California State Assembly’s privacy committee advanced an Anti-Eavesdropping Act that would require makers of smart speakers to get consent from customers before storing recordings. The Illinois Senate recently passed a bill on the same issue. Neither is much of a stretch: Requiring permission to record someone in private is enshrined in many state laws.
Every kind of appliance now is becoming a data-collection device. My Chamberlain MyQ garage opener lets the company keep — again, indefinitely — a record of every time my door opens or closes. My Sonos speakers, by default, track what albums, playlists or stations I’ve listened to, and when I press play, pause, skip or pump up the volume. At least they hold on to my sonic history for only six months.
And now the craziest part: After quizzing these companies about data practices, I learned that most are sharing what’s happening in my home with Amazon, too. Our data is the price of entry for devices that want to integrate with Alexa. Amazon’s not only eavesdropping — it’s tracking everything happening in your home.