UFO Theyyyyyyeeeeerrrrrrr Heeeeeerrrrrrrreeeee

2004 THIS IS A REAL UFO SIGHTING

“60 Minutes” in May, Mr. Bigelow said he was “absolutely convinced” that aliens exist and that U.F.O.s have visited Earth.

STUPID AMERICANS HELD BACK BY THEIR UFO JUVENILE TABOO TALK.

SCIENCE FICTION IS NOW FACT
SO GET OVER YOUR IGNORANT SELVES

The program collected video and audio recordings of reported U.F.O. incidents, including footage from a Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet showing an aircraft surrounded by some kind of glowing aura traveling at high speed and rotating as it moves. The Navy pilots can be heard trying to understand what they are seeing. “There’s a whole fleet of them,” one exclaims. Defense officials declined to release the location and date of the incident.

Luis Elizondo, who led the Pentagon effort to investigate U.F.O.s until October. He resigned to protest what he characterized as excessive secrecy and internal opposition to the program.
Mr. Bigelow, Bigelow Aerospace, Mr. Reid, Mr. John Glenn, Mr. Elizondo,  Mr. Stevens and Mr. Inouye, used to work with the Navy, C.I.A.  Pentagon, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Harold E. Puthoff, William Lynn III
Robert Bigelow, a billionaire entrepreneur and longtime friend of Mr. Reid, received most of the money allocated for the Pentagon program. On CBS’s “60 Minutes” in May, Mr. Bigelow said he was “absolutely convinced” that aliens exist and that U.F.O.s have visited Earth.

The sightings were reported to the Pentagon’s shadowy, little-known Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program
$600 billion annual Defense Department budgets, the $22 million spent on the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program was almost impossible to find. Which was how the Pentagon wanted it.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/16/us/politics/pentagon-program-ufo-harry-reid.html

How to report what the military calls unexplained aerial phenomena, or unidentified flying objects.

Videos filmed by Navy pilots show two encounters with flying objects.

One was captured by a plane’s camera off the coast of Jacksonville, Fla., on Jan. 20, 2015. That footage, published previously but with little context, shows an object tilting like a spinning top moving against the wind. A pilot refers to a fleet of objects, but no imagery of a fleet was released. The second video was taken a few weeks later.

#UFO Videos filmed by Navy pilots #UFOVideosfilmedbyNavyPilots

Resizeable pull the bottom right corner to the right

PAY SCALE Vice President-Members of Congress – Judicial Salaries

2019 PAY SCALE
Vice President,
Members of Congress,
Judicial Salaries

EXECUTIVE ORDER 13866
ADJUSTMENTS OF CERTAIN RATES OF PAY

SCHEDULE 5 — EXECUTIVE SCHEDULE

Bush nominated Chief Justice John Roberts observant Catholic to take Sandra Day O’Connor’s place. Roberts is now both chief justice and the court’s swing justice — which means that, increasingly, the law is likely to be what he says it is. Roberts joined Ronald Reagan’s Justice Department when it was on a campaign to drive American law to the right. It is the arm of the Rethuglican Party. Roberts and his wife hate feminists, the equal pay for equal work, a women’s right to have an abortion, and gays. He opposes the rights of blacks, gay people, the poor and other relatively powerless groups. Roberts helped take away health care from millions of the nation’s poorest people.

Roberts swept away campaign finance regulations, most notoriously in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which invalidated a well-established ban on corporations spending money to elect candidates.

Brett Kavanaugh ANOTHER conservative

https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/salaries-wages/retroactive-pay-executive-order-2019-adjustments-of-certain-rates-of-pay.pdf

Judicial Salaries #JudicialSalaries

The Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program

https://www.opm.gov/healthcare-insurance/healthcare/reference-materials/hitreport.pdf

http://www.healthit.gov/providers-professionals/ehr-incentives-certification

long term care https://www.ltcfeds.com/ 

1-800-582-3337  TTY 1-800-843-3557

The Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP) provides long term care insurance for its enrollees, who are Federal and U.S. Postal Service employees and annuitants, active and retired members of the uniformed services, and their qualified relatives.

HOW MUCH LONG TERM HEALTH CARE DO YOUR NEED

The three most common care options are home health care, assisted living, and nursing home care. To find the average costs in your area for each of these care options, select your state and nearest city below. Then, click the “Find the Cost of Care” button. All costs are based on the John Hancock 2016 Cost of Care Survey.

https://www.ltcfeds.com/ltcWeb/do/assessing_your_needs/costofcare

https://www.opm.gov/healthcare-insurance/flyers/long-term-care-overview.pdf

forms https://www.ltcfeds.com/documents/index.html#forms

Individuals’ Access and Use of their Online Medical Record Nationwide
https://www.healthit.gov/sites/default/files/consumeraccessdatabrief_9_10_14.pdf

Your City, Your State, Your K12 Public School all attacked using NSA weapon.

Your City, Your State, Your K12 Public School all attacked using NSA weapon.

In Baltimore and Beyond, a Stolen N.S.A. Tool Wreaks Havoc
By Nicole Perlroth and Scott Shane
May 25, 2019

In Pennsylvania School Districts Stockpiling Huge budget surplus accounts, while still raising property taxes every year

WannaCry? Hundreds of US schools still haven’t patched servers
A dive into vulnerability data shows even big districts’ servers still offering up SMB v. 1.

I think patching your software and making backups will protect you better than blaming the Gov’t
or
… than blaming the government who weaponized an unknown flaw in software and made sure not to tell the software vendor, in order to prevent a patch which customers could install, you mean?
or
Microsoft was warned, and the patch came out a month before Shadow Brokers dumped it.

If you’re wondering why ransomware continues to be such a problem for state and local governments and other public institutions, all you have to do to get an answer is poke around the Internet a little. Publicly accessible security-scan data shows that many public organizations have failed to do more than put a bandage over long-standing system vulnerabilities that, if successfully exploited, could bring their operations to a standstill.

While the method by which RobbinHood ransomware infected the network of Baltimore City two weeks ago is still unknown, insiders within city government have pointed to the incomplete efforts by the Office of Information Technology to get a handle on the city’s tangle of software, aging servers, and wide-flung network infrastructure. Baltimore isn’t even the only city to have been hit by ransomware in the last month—Lynn, Massachusetts, and Cartersville, Georgia, both had electronic payment systems taken offline by ransomware this month. Greenville, North Carolina, was struck by the same RobbinHood ransomware affecting Baltimore in April.

But cities aren’t the only highly vulnerable targets to be found by would-be attackers. There are hundreds of thousands of Internet-connected Windows systems in the United States that still appear to be vulnerable to an exploit of Microsoft Windows’ Server Message Block version 1 (SMB v. 1) file sharing protocol, despite repeated public warnings to patch systems following the worldwide outbreak of the WannaCry cryptographic malware two years ago. And based on data from the Shodan search engine and other public sources, hundreds of them—if not thousands—are servers in use at US public school systems. Even in cases where Microsoft’s patch of SMB v. 1 has been applied, the protocol remains a potential security problem—one that some organizations can’t completely close because some vendors still require the protocol for applications such as networked copiers and scanners.

While conducting research as a follow-up to our coverage of Baltimore City’s ongoing ransomware attack, Ars discovered that neighboring Baltimore County’s public school system had eight publicly accessible servers that still were running in configurations that indicated they were vulnerable to EternalBlue, the Equation Group exploit exposed by Shadow Brokers in April 2017 and then used as part of the WannaCry malware a month later. The exploit is now packaged as part of multiple malware kits, according to security researchers.

https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2019/05/two-years-after-wannacry-us-schools-still-vulnerable-to-eternalblue/

SEE

Where are the State AG’s in protecting the citizens from malware that “gets away” from the NSA? The weaponized software created by the NSA…. when employees who have been taught everything by the NSA leave their jobs and take what they know with them then form companies and sell their “knowledge /skills / know how” learned on the job by working for America to enemies.

https://krebsonsecurity.com/2017/12/former-nsa-employee-pleads-guilty-to-taking-classified-data/


02
Dec 17

Former NSA Employee Pleads Guilty to Taking Classified Data

A former employee for the National Security Agency pleaded guilty on Friday to taking classified data to his home computer in Maryland. According to published reports, U.S. intelligence officials believe the data was then stolen from his computer by hackers working for the Russian government.

Nghia Hoang Pho, 67, of Ellicott City, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to “willful retention of national defense information.” The U.S. Justice Department says that beginning in April 2006 Pho was employed as a developer for the NSA’s Tailored Access Operations (TAO) unit, which develops specialized hacking tools to gather intelligence data from foreign targets and information systems.

According to Pho’s plea agreement, between 2010 and March 2015 he removed and retained highly sensitive classified “documents and writings that contained national defense information, including information classified as Top Secret.”

Pho is the third NSA worker to be charged in the past two years with mishandling classified data. His plea is the latest — and perhaps final — chapter in the NSA’s hunt for those responsible for leaking NSA hacking tools that have been published online over the past year by a shadowy group calling itself The Shadow Brokers.

https://thehill.com/policy/national-security/436950-former-cia-nsa-employees-sue-agencies-over-alleged-censorship

Ex-NSA employees criticize Mike Rogers’ role with Israeli venture firm

In Baltimore and Beyond, a Stolen N.S.A. Tool Wreaks Havoc By Nicole Perlroth and Scott Shane May 25, 2019

For nearly three weeks, Baltimore has struggled with a cyberattack by digital extortionists that has frozen thousands of computers, shut down email and disrupted real estate sales, water bills, health alerts and many other services.

But here is what frustrated city employees and residents do not know: A key component of the malware that cybercriminals used in the attack was developed at taxpayer expense a short drive down the Baltimore-Washington Parkway at the National Security Agency, according to security experts briefed on the case.

Since 2017, when the N.S.A. lost control of the tool, EternalBlue, it has been picked up by state hackers in North Korea, Russia and, more recently, China, to cut a path of destruction around the world, leaving billions of dollars in damage. But over the past year, the cyberweapon has boomeranged back and is now showing up in the N.S.A.’s own backyard.

It is not just in Baltimore. Security experts say EternalBlue attacks have reached a high, and cybercriminals are zeroing in on vulnerable American towns and cities, from Pennsylvania to Texas, paralyzing local governments and driving up costs.

The N.S.A. connection to the attacks on American cities has not been previously reported, in part because the agency has refused to discuss or even acknowledge the loss of its cyberweapon, dumped online in April 2017 by a still-unidentified group calling itself the Shadow Brokers. Years later, the agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation still do not know whether the Shadow Brokers are foreign spies or disgruntled insiders.

< – >

WHERE ARE THE CLASS ACTION SUITS?

WHY DOESN’T THE STATE HOLD THE DEFENSE DEPARTMENT ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE DAMAGE DONE TO THEIR CITIZENS?

Breaking news. Patch yourself for the CVEs exploited by NSA tools on the loose. This includes major cities!

ETERNALBLUE was initially nicknamed EternalBluescreen —NSA never seriously considered alerting Microsoft about discovering the vulnerability (before Shadow Brokers happened), and —“held on it” (“used it,” presumably) for more than five years
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/25/us/nsa-hacking-tool-baltimore.html


NEW: Baltimore was hit with an NSA hacking tool that is being used to hijack U.S. cities. ⁦⁩ and I spent months looking into the origins of EternalBlue, a stolen NSA weapon that is popping up in more and more attacks across the country.

The NSA spent more than a year searching for the flaw in Microsoft’s software and writing the code to exploit it.

NSA TAO operators jokingly referred to it as “EternalBluescreen” because it often crashed computer systems, a risk they might tip off targets. It took months to hone. Once it became a reliable espionage tool, it netted some of the NSA’s best counter-terrorism intelligence, and there was never any serious consideration that NSA would turn over the underlying flaw to Microsoft for patching.

The NSA kept it for 5+ years until unidentified hackers threatened to publish it.

In April 2017, the group, which calls itself the ShadowBrokers, dumped it online, where it has been picked up by North Korea, Russia, Iran and, just this week, China in attacks that have cut a path of destruction around the globe. But in the last year, it has boomeranged back to the NSA’s own backyard, hitting Baltimore, Allentown, San Antonio and countless other cities in attacks that have paralyzed municipal operations and alarmed government officials, who privately say the NSA needs to account. The NSA refuses to discuss the incidents or even acknowledge that the dumped tools were part of its cyber arsenal, but in an unusually candid interview, NSA former director Mike Rogers, who oversaw the agency during the leak, deflected blame. “If Toyota makes pickup trucks and someone takes a pickup truck, welds an explosive device onto the front, crashes it through a perimeter and into a crowd of people, is that Toyota’s responsibility?

“The N.S.A. wrote an exploit that was never designed to do what was done.”

Microsoft rejects that analogy: “These exploits are developed and kept secret by governments for the express purpose of using them as weapons or espionage tools. They’re inherently dangerous. When someone takes that, they’re not strapping a bomb to it. It’s already a bomb.”

EternalBlue is being packaged as part of many malware attacks as one possible lateral movement tool. Making a bomb is very much responsibility of the creator.

NSA toyota analogy was not correct. Exploit is like a bomb its a different matter who detonate it and where. NSA is very much responsible for their malicious espionage tools.

https://twitter.com/waveslide/status/1132442317372219392

EternalBlue was leaked 2 years ago. MS patched BEFORE it hit the wild. Some industry gossip the NSA knew they’d lost control and gave MS a heads-up. THIS PATCH HAS BEEN OUT FOR TWO YEARS! If it hits your network now, you deserve it. Usually, it’s a component of a malware package.

China has also been able to intercept an NSA tool as it attacked their networks. They stopped it, copied it, modified it, and sent it back to us and all of our allies.


‏ @bitsdigits
No, it wasn’t the NSA hacking tool that did this. It was basic exemptions to the #Baltimore #CIO policies that didn’t address patch management deficiencies that did this. Has anyone looked at what .gov requirements are
https://home.dotgov.gov/registration/requirements/

In Baltimore and Beyond, a Stolen N.S.A. Tool Wreaks Havoc

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/25/us/nsa-hacking-tool-baltimore.html

For nearly three weeks, Baltimore has struggled with a cyberattack by digital extortionists that has frozen thousands of computers, shut down email and disrupted real estate sales, water bills, health alerts and many other services.

But here is what frustrated city employees and residents do not know: A key component of the malware that cybercriminals used in the attack was developed at taxpayer expense a short drive down the Baltimore-Washington Parkway at the National Security Agency, according to security experts briefed on the case.

Since 2017, when the N.S.A. lost control of the tool, EternalBlue, it has been picked up by state hackers in North Korea, Russia and, more recently, China, to cut a path of destruction around the world, leaving billions of dollars in damage. But over the past year, the cyberweapon has boomeranged back and is now showing up in the N.S.A.’s own backyard.

It is not just in Baltimore. Security experts say EternalBlue attacks have reached a high, and cybercriminals are zeroing in on vulnerable American towns and cities, from Pennsylvania to Texas, paralyzing local governments and driving up costs.

The N.S.A. connection to the attacks on American cities has not been previously reported, in part because the agency has refused to discuss or even acknowledge the loss of its cyberweapon, dumped online in April 2017 by a still-unidentified group calling itself the Shadow Brokers. Years later, the agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation still do not know whether the Shadow Brokers are foreign spies or disgruntled insiders.

< – >

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/25/us/nsa-hacking-tool-baltimore.html

In Pennsylvania School Districts Stockpiling Huge budget surplus accounts, while still raising property taxes every year

The Top Reasons Why Biden will NOT be a President

Why  #GenX #millennials won’t vote for #Biden

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?

boomers 75 million – Steve Jobs

Millennials projected to overtake Baby Boomers as America’s largest generation

Millenials aren’t going to vote for BIDEN

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.

  1. The military-industrial complex Eisenhower warned us about in 1961, and, related to that,
  2. The Big Bank crime wave and associated kleptocracy… plus all the politicians, institutions, think tanks, economists, media fanboys etc. who support #1 & #2.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. How mass shootings have changed the millennial generation https://www.statepress.com/article/2017/11/sppolitics-millennials-mass-shootings
  6. “Despite a booming economy, many U.S. households are still just holding on” Maybe it’s not really a booming economy? Maybe the models are misleading?
    Fed survey finds many consumers still in fragile economic condition While conditions are improving, many consumers couldn’t weather a large, unexpected expense.
    https://www.consumeraffairs.com/news/fed-survey-finds-many-consumers-still-in-fragile-economic-condition-052419.html
  7. 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
  8. In 2017 (latest available report), the Fed had 19,161 employees, including 1,630 “other officers” (not the President), making, on average, salaries (ex-benefits) of $233,099. The rest averaged over $100k.
    https://www.federalreserve.gov/publications/2017-ar-statistical-tables.htm
  9. ‘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.
  10. 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.

Towards Effective Adjudicative Ethics by Jonathan A. Weiss Esq.

Introduction

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.

EU Tells Internet Archive That Much Of Its Site Is ‘Terrorist Content’

We’ve been trying to explain for the past few months just how absolutely insane the new EU Terrorist Content Regulation will be for the internet.

Among many other bad provisions, the big one is that it would require content removal within one hour as long as any “competent authority” within the EU sends a notice of content being designated as “terrorist” content. The law is set for a vote in the EU Parliament just next week.

And as if they were attempting to show just how absolutely insane the law would be for the internet, multiple European agencies (we can debate if they’re “competent”) decided to send over 500 totally bogus takedown demands to the Internet Archive last week, claiming it was hosting terrorist propaganda content.

< – >

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20190410/14580641973/eu-tells-internet-archive-that-much-site-is-terrorist-content.shtml

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange arrested by British police after being evicted from Ecuador’s embassy in London

Ecuador handed Julian Assange over to British authorities Thursday, ending a standoff that left the controversial WikiLeaks founder holed up in the Ecuadoran embassy in London for nearly seven years.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/wikileaks-founder-julian-assange-arrested-by-british-police-after-being-evicted-from-ecuadors-embassy-in-london/ar-BBVPL3U

About the WikiLeaks Defence Fund

The WikiLeaks Defence Fund promotes media and public activities to defend Julian Assange and other WikiLeaks journalists.

The Fund supports a dedicated campaign team which works across global media to build support for WikiLeaks and the public’s right to know.

The Courage Foundation and the Defence Fund

The Defence Fund is run by the Courage Foundation – a trust audited by accountants Sterling Partners in the UK for the purpose of providing legal defence and campaign aid to whistleblowers and journalistic sources.

The Courage Foundation is an international organisation that supports those who risk life or liberty to make significant contributions to the historical record.

It also campaigns for the protection of truthtellers and the public’s right to know.

https://defend.wikileaks.org/donate/

A CURRENT ACCEPTABLE PREJUDICE by Jonathan Weiss Esq.

“Old white men.” The words separate are sometimes used pejoratively. All together they are considered by many “liberals” and many in the media as a crucial criticism. “Old” creates the most disdain. Rather than being considered an achievement implying future contribution, the years accumulated is considered negative.

Reactionaries often attack “political correctness” as a cover for the attitude and practice of racism, xenophobia, nativism, misogyny, wealth against poor, and disparagement of different gender and sexual practices – in their array of intolerant and discriminatory practices. But beyond all the despicable perspectives, with associated practices, glimmers a point.

Well out of population proportion, Blacks are now omnipresent in most ads, plays, and movies. Obligatory Blacks, generally cast as superior or educated, are featured in almost every dramatic or commercial presentation.. While it is true, there are many aspiring and unemployed actors available, to give preference on the basis on melanin amount should not be a functioning criterion. All actors should be allowed to play different parts. Forrest Whitaker portrays an excellent “Hughie”; Glenda Jackson a riveting “King Lear”, But the converse? – a white performer in “A Raison in the Sun”, Sam Rea as Lady Macbeth? (Shakespeare’s plays, historians say, were only performed by men). A few years back the bourgeoise identity advocate Spike Lee caused a furor to make sure that he, not a white man, direct “Malcolm X” failing to do justice to the charismatic, inspiring, and politically profound leader – who should have continued through old age. (Can you imagine Gershwin writing an opera, called ”Porgy and Bess” about a poor Black community (“Catfish Row”? Who would present it, if written now?)

This color preference, with a sprinkling of Asiatics, neglects Latinos and American Indians. (Indeed, the opposite is true when one watches an Atlanta Braves home game crowd do a publicly guided “tomahawk” while “nock- a-homer” displays an Indian character dancing around a wigwam.) This constant presence has created a backlash, to excite those with conscious or unconscious race resentment, while it satisfies only a select elite with a hope it improves markets or escapes criticism. It is hard to see it justified as “reparations” or “affirmative action” – concepts themselves subject to serious challenge.

The commendable Seth Meyers features a Black, a Puerto Rican Lesbian, and an Asian as writers on his late night show. The Black and Lesbian tell jokes labeled as “Jokes Seth Can Not Tell” with apparent lesbian and Black punchlines. On the other hand, he constantly jokes about “old men.” Most of the media stars including the talented Trevor Noah (bi-racial identifying as Black) do constantly: how they have lost their wits, are politically reactionary, look disgusting in a gym, particularly naked, lost their sexuality and attractiveness, can not do many tasks. Trevor Noah started his interview with Bernie Sanders “Are you too old?” to receive the appropriate reply: “Are you a bigot?” Let us note that his message seems to resonate with the younger voters in current polls putting him first in the current carnival of Democratic candidates.

The “old white men” accusation is frequently leveled at Congress with age complaints about Judges. (Where would the Supreme Court be without Ruth Bader Ginsberg in her mid 80s?). Seniority, in the Republican Party, is a problem endemic to the Rules. But, if we remove “white” from the triad, we all should celebrate the principled leadership from Elijah Cummings and John Lewis in the Congress. We should be delighted with Alexandra Ocasia Cortez for all she says and does, as well as thrilled that she replaced a 9 term Congressman, not because of his age, but because he was a retrograde party hack. An “old white man” has a long history to evaluate while he should have learned and grown politically, practically, and philosophically. Wisdom acquired constitutes a virtue.

Making “old white men” an acceptable criticism anywhere is wrong. Individuals are to be judged on their merits and potentialities. To accept “old white me” automatically as a negative cliche is discrimination wherever it occurs. Accepting the deplorable degradation and/or inequality practiced against “people of color”, women, and the poor, emphasizing the continued damage done to Native Americans, Latinos (now particularly Puerto Rican and Mexicans) and those with “different” sexual preferences requires real action rather than an elitist attack on another group.

The general social conditions are deplorable with poverty, racism, and exclusion of the oppressed from satisfying their needs and fulfilling their potentialities. Such a horror is not reduced by selected public featuring of anointed “people of color”, gender and age, but rather creates an anger for those so stigmatized and an excuse for those who are prejudiced. Occasional fawning obeisance to a “legend” exaggerates rather than minimizes a general “ageist” culture, particularly prominent in the media. Mandatory retirement, particularly in an era with pensions (promises for future payment to forgo present payments) and public benefits destroyed, creates poverty and wastes resources for the work place. The spectacle of the “elderly” serving at fast food places is not ennobling vision.

Nothing is inherently wrong for a human being to be “white”, “old”, or “man” The first, of course, has varied in definition (once including some Italians and Jews), the second an ascription dependent on societal longevity generalities, the third a biological classification. Together the words offer only an irrelevant characterization. Not redeemed by reverse preference, it perpetuates bigotry, pure and simple. Instead of a condemned, as an irrelevant, perspective, this pernicious prejudice is prevalent and reinforced by mass media for a “balance” based a fraudulent fad of “diversity”.

Old white men.” Honor the best of them. Respect all of them.

Barr usurps the Power of Congress

Congress is in charge not Barr, but Trump already got away with it.

It’s Mueller time but don’t forget: Trump has undermined the very idea of America
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/mar/24/robert-mueller-report-donald-trump

Barr authored memo last year ruling out obstruction of justice
https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/24/politics/barr-memo-mueller/index.html

@sarahkendzior “We are under kleptocratic rule and people need to understand what’s happening through that framework, in which old calculations do not apply. We do not have law. When you lose law, you are left with two things: raw power, and conscience.” — @gaslitnation

Will Wilkinson The media’s atrocious gullibility, which is letting this happen without serious resistance, is even more scandalous than the credulity that herded public opinion behind the invasion of Iraq. Because we already *know* this administration does nothing but lie.

Seth Abramson (THREAD) The already-infamous “Barr Letter” is a deeply dishonest and misleading document that richly deserves methodical public evisceration by committed journalists. So I hope you’ll read on and retweet this “live” dismantling of the Trump-Russia probe’s worst political hitjob.

twitter.com/SethAbramson/status/1110266463506567168

Thread #1 Barr begins by conceding that, in accordance with DOJ regulations, the report he has received from Mueller only summarizes “prosecution or declination” decisions—meaning that it may well not include much of the raw evidence Mueller compiled, and be sparsely conclusory in form.

#6 Barr had a choice here: he could summarize the evidence or summarize the *summary* of the evidence. The decision he made was to summarize the summary, knowing that him doing so would feed into Team Trump’s false narrative that criminal evidence exists in an all-or-none binary.

End # 38

A proposed “sovereign internet” law currently working its way through Russia’s government.

Russia wants to cut itself off from the global internet. Here’s what that really means.

The plan is going to be tricky to pull off, both technically and politically, but the Kremlin has set its sights on self-sufficiency.
By Charlotte Jee
Mar 21 2019
<https://www.technologyreview.com/s/613138/russia-wants-to-cut-itself-off-from-the-global-internet-heres-what-that-really-means/>

In the next two weeks, Russia is planning to attempt something no other country has tried before. It’s going to test whether it can disconnect from the rest of the world electronically while keeping the internet running for its citizens. This means it will have to reroute all its data internally, rather than relying on servers abroad.

The test is key to a proposed “sovereign internet” law currently working its way through Russia’s government. It looks likely to be eventually voted through and signed into law by President Vladimir Putin, though it has stalled in parliament for now.

Pulling an iron curtain down over the internet is a simple idea, but don’t be fooled: it’s a fiendishly difficult technical challenge to get right. It is also going to be very expensive. The project’s initial cost has been set at $38 million by Russia’s financial watchdog, but it’s likely to require far more funding than that. One of the authors of the plan has said it’ll be more like $304 million, Bloomberg reports, but even that figure, industry experts say, won’t be enough to get the system up and running, let alone maintain it.

Not only that, but it has already proved deeply unpopular with the general public. An estimated 15,000 people took to the streets in Moscow earlier this month to protest the law, one of the biggest demonstrations in years.

Operation disconnect

So how will Russia actually disconnect itself from the global internet? “It is unclear what the ‘disconnect test’ might entail,” says Andrew Sullivan, president and CEO of the Internet Society. All we know is that if it passes, the new law will require the nation’s internet service providers (ISPs) to use only exchange points inside the country that are approved by Russia’s telecoms regulator, Roskomnadzor.

Operating hours Mon-Thu 8:30-17:30 Fri 8:30-16:15

+7 (495) 987-68-00

These exchange points are where internet service providers connect with each other. It’s where their cabling meets at physical locations to exchange traffic. These locations are overseen by organizations known as internet exchange providers (IXPs). Russia’s largest IXP is in Moscow, connecting cities in Russia’s east but also Riga in neighboring Latvia.

MSK-IX, as this exchange point is known, is one of the world’s largest. It connects over 500 different ISPs and handles over 140 gigabits of throughput during peak hours on weekdays. There are six other internet exchange points in Russia, spanning most of its 11 time zones. Many ISPs also use exchanges that are physically located in neighboring countries or that are owned by foreign companies. These would now be off limits. Once this stage is completed, it would provide Russia with a literal, physical “on/off switch” to decide whether its internet is shielded from the outside world or kept open.

What’s in a name?

As well as rerouting its ISPs, Russia will also have to unplug from the global domain name system (DNS) so traffic cannot be rerouted through any exchange points that are not inside Russia.

The DNS is basically a phone book for the internet: when you type, for example, “google.com” into your browser, your computer uses the DNS to translate this domain name into an IP address, which identifies the correct server on the internet to send the request. If one server won’t respond to a request, another will step in. Traffic behaves rather like water—it will seek any gap it can to flow through.

“The creators of the DNS wanted to create a system able to work even when bits of it stopped working, regardless of whether the decision to break parts of it was deliberate or accidental,” says Brad Karp, a computer scientist at University College London. This in-built resilience in the underlying structure of the internet will make Russia’s plan even harder to carry out.

The actual mechanics of the DNS are operated by a wide variety of organizations, but a majority of the “root servers,” which are its foundational layer, are run by groups in the US. Russia sees this as a strategic weakness and wants to create its own alternative, setting up an entire new network of its own root servers.

“An alternate DNS can be used to create an alternate reality for the majority of Russian internet users,” says Ameet Naik, an expert on internet monitoring for the software company ThousandEyes. “Whoever controls this directory controls the internet.” Thus, if Russia can create its own DNS, it will have at least a semblance of control over the internet within its borders.

This won’t be easy, says Sullivan. It will involve configuring tens of thousands of systems, and it will be difficult, if not impossible, to identify all the different access points citizens use to get online (their laptops, smartphones, iPads, and so on). Some of them will be using servers abroad, such as Google’s Public DNS, which Russia simply won’t be able to replicate—so the connection will fail when a Russian user tries to access them.

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