A Plea Regarding Plea Bargains

September 14th, 2018

Under fascist regimes, arrest rarely meant a trial was forthcoming. In Stalin’s ‘conveyor belt’ of judicial process, the arrestee was told the charge and asked whether he wanted to plead guilty before or after weeks of torture. Then the death sentence was carried out once the signature was applied to the confession.

Our system of plea bargaining is weakened by its informal nature and questionable constitutionality. Further, judges are not bound to agreements between suspects and lawyers, be those D.A.s or defense attorneys. In one famous illustration, Jonathan Pollard leaked information to a friendly government regarding terrorist bases threatening that ally. With that government entitled to the information by treaty, the leak could not be termed treason. Precedents existed with similar cases resulting in prison sentences of three to six years. Rather than face a trial on charges of treason, a plea bargain in line with the precedents was arranged for Mr. Pollard.

The judge threw out the planned deal but accepted the guilty plea. A life sentence was mandated and Mr. Pollard, in very poor health, was paroled after serving thirty years in solitary confinement. Given the nature of our judicial intent, perhaps a plea bargain that is thrown out by a judge should automatically invalidate the fear-induced confession leading to that deal. A trial should then proceed using the lesser charges, agreed to by the prosecutor, who believed those were sufficient at the time of the deal.

Our judges are often at odds with systems that propel suspects directly to confessions and require them to examine the issues piecemeal, outside of a courtroom. I would not want to see judges coerced into the conveyor belt model nor given the option of unilateral decision-making. The nature of a case that cannot be appealed by virtue of studying a trial transcript, severely hampers our democracy. Transcripts tell us truths and uncover perjury. The deals also lead to generations of lawyers who have never practiced real trial law. Without trial experience, we seriously reduce the pool of lawyers who will eventually become judicial candidates.

Its time to challenge the constitutionality of plea bargains from many perspectives.

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Aren’t There Female Engineers in the House?

September 5th, 2018

I head for the best climates of each season and spent this summer visiting several cities in the U.S.A. , not previously on my travel agenda. The males may not want to read further but should be informed that their input how women’s rest rooms are built is inadequate.

Alright, it’s an abject failure!

A glaring error in design, modern toilets empty on an automatic basis. Women are literally sitting over a geyser, and a less than sanitary fountain at that! Travel is inconvenient at best without dealing with rest rooms requiring you bring duct tape and plastic sheeting with you. My creative way to resolve the problem involves post-it notes to rest upon the flush censor or use stickers from children’s toys to paste over the button. There is also simple scotch tape and paper, when TSA hasn’t parted the sharp edge of the tape roll from the other belongings in my backpack.

The year is 2018 and we have space stations, but few women’s bathrooms to safeguard our physical health. Let’s leave the geysers in Yellowstone National Park and allow still bathroom waters to run at our will!

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Advance the Constitution – Our Civil Courts

August 9th, 2018

I live part of each year in the Middle East where the justice system of the nation of Israel has been in development for over 3000 years. Firmly established by the time democracy ultimately combined with a justice system in the Western world, there should be no surprises in the realisation that the United States court system remains an immature one. Still, the effort required to raise United States standards to provide for the equal treatment under the law for all who dwell here, is easily within reach. This post is an outline of how we may advance the constitutional practice of civil law without limiting court access to the poor.

Today, lawyers trust that their colleagues will not allow the justice system to challenge their oratory abilities. Trading the time-honored practice of presenting adversarial positions before the bench, the client is the new adversary in both criminal and civil cases. Accommodating generations of lawyers, who’ve successfully avoided taking cases to trial, speaks volumes regarding a growing contempt for clients.

Like planes over a crowded airport, cases are stacked on high and allowed to circle without landing upon the field of real justice – the courtroom. Judges sign off on deals in criminal cases in a manner not unlike the old Soviet ‘conveyor belt’, where the major decision made is when you pled guilty to any crime other than a capital offence.

Today, civil cases ignore the plaintiffs’ cause of action and defendants’ rights in favor of lawyerly bargaining skills in order to avoid trials. Civil courts have been fully privatized, leaving jurists captive to injustices performed beneath their own noses. Criminal cases are state matters, so defendants are guaranteed legal representation. Civil cases are arguments between individuals and therefore depend solely upon the efforts of private legal practitioners. In the criminal proceeding of “The state versus Horacio Alger”, a court appointed lawyer will bargain for Alger. However, in the civil action of “Horatio Alger versus Ghengis Khan”, Ghengis can win if his privately hired lawyer is capable of tying the case up for years until Horatio dies of his wounds.

Genuine competition in the legal marketplace is needed to return lawyers to the courtrooms in civil matters. Judges must be able to preside over cases that leave precedents instead of agreeing to the sealed settlements that presently comprise the lion’s share of financial ‘wins’ for lawyers. Significant cases can be left to die of old age merely by assuring clients the business is well in hand until the client is informed that the firm is no longer interested in the case. That’s shorthand for, ‘We couldn’t get a settlement offer and won’t go to court’. However, hiring new counsel for aged suits is near to impossible.

Competition for trial cases is easily created with the formation of a new division within the office of the D.A. of each municipality, agreed to by the state legislature. I believe we can restore quality to legal representation through creation of a civil prosecutorial office. Run like most non-profit law firms, suitable salaries and legal costs would be funded through winning case fees, thus ensuring the ongoing livelihood of the division. Clients will have more than one option in hiring and firing lawyers, should the usual run of ‘firm’ attorneys fail to perform in the legally required zealous fashion. Charges to the taxpayer are negligible.

Judges will get off the ‘sign this deal’ conveyor belt, when trial experience again becomes required among lawyers. Judges can help by insisting needless delays are avoided using the precedent known as ‘zealous prosecution’, adding the clause to legal contracts for many firms. It’s not too late for U.S. cities here restore full integrity to the courts.

This program is in review presently in California and Illinois. No law student should graduate expecting not to fulfill the responsibility of presenting cases as per original intent. No lawyer should expect election or appointment to the bench without extensive trial experience and we are running out of prospects for future jurist positions. The D.A. would further impede frivolous suits and pursue cases of perjury where witnesses lie for profit. Others who fear to speak freely may be assisted. Some cases may be deemed criminal, rather than civil, and remanded to the more appropriate division.

It’s past time we ended our teenage years in this country and fulfilled the promise the founders established with the signing of the Constitution in 1791 – not 1776! The country ran without that blueprint until we were satisfied with the framework. Let’s get the roof work finished instead of arguing over the size of the nails! Here’s hoping this nation of upstarts, who believed in freedom, will agree not to jeopardize the liberties granted by a just legal system.

Categories: commentary, Constitution, Life Observations, Practice of Law

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Dear Senator Rand Paul, regarding the CIA nominee,

March 20th, 2018

I wanted to contact you about your position on the replacement for head of the CIA. A dual national of the USA, along with Israel, the latter (‘start-up nation’) has a position against the use of torture that is generations long. I would hope that the USA, or ‘up-start nation’, would tell Congress that no new head of the CIA would be appointed until the Congress votes to defund Guantanamo Bay.

Have you visited Dachau Concentration Camp museum in Munich yet? The essential basis for this first (1933) camp was not just to kill. The purpose was to train the most educated and civilized group of Europeans to torture and murder. It takes a lot of conditioned fear to get a family man with a college degree to blow the head off of an infant in front of it’s mother. Based upon the 1920 platform of the escapees of the Weinmar Republic based in Brazil, the new SS party would guarantee jobs and food to the German people in a manner promised by traditional communist governments. Like Russia, the SS immediately referred to Jews and other ‘aliens’ (with generational citizenship) as targets for elimination to ensure the adequacy of supplies.

Guantanamo Bay is a modern day Dachau funded with US dollars. Regardless of the desire for revenge upon terrorists, torture so demeans those who do/enable the practice that we prove ourselves a fascist entity through this prison built to teach our educated hirees to torture others. The numbing of human feeling for the tortured has led to tolerance of torture in domestic prisons and even the turning of a blind eye to the huge incidence of preventable diseases in our midst.

Please delay the appointment until the practice so abhorrent to yourself is ended. I’m sure Elisha Weisel of the Simon Weisenthal Foundation would speak to the Senate on this matter. Thank you for your time and effort on behalf of United States’ citizens.

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The Education Burden

February 17th, 2018

Education is a bright spot along a frequently dark spectrum of governmental expenditures. Numerous methods have been utilized to make compulsory schooling – the great equalizer – a viable and vibrant advantage of life in the United States. An education is an advantage not to be lost when circumstances change for an individual. However, the various privileges with which the federal and state governments endow our schools presents new challenges in light of present day realities. Block grants to schools will likely cease or be drastically reduced while state funds will not increase to make up the differential. We must then remember the purposes for mandated school enrollment so changes remain in line with present and future needs, rather than habits of recent years.

Let’s think of users of regular school facilities as consumers of formal education (CFE). Those families who want to create the path by which their children will acquire learning will be termed users of Learning Options (LO).

Among the major worries of purveyors of today’s CFE options are:

1. High property taxes dedicated to the schools in a country concerned with a debt presumed to have driven up personal and business taxes. The sole purpose of federal taxes appears to return monies to the States for earmarked programs and pay interest on borrowed funds. Property taxes for failing schools impede the ability of the elderly on fixed incomes to keep property that took so many years of mortgage payments to own.

2. Submitting one’s children to State control during the school day where everything from medical protocols, (vaccine schedules), to course content is often outside expressed parental desires.

3. Parents who arrange their childrens’ outside contacts via play dates and supervised sports activities are often unable to end bullying by children lawfully ensconced in the same classrooms. Not all teachers are qualified to shape youngsters within groups fundamentally incompatible in learning abilities, personalities and parental visions of the future.

4. Parents must observe large class sizes that hold their children to a slowed learning pace in some areas while curriculum may outpace their children in other portions of learning. An increasing incidence in developmental learning disabilities also alters educational outcomes when teaching methods come in a ‘one size fits all’ package.

5. School boards may fail qualitatively when they believe increased budgets and more seats on school boards are an answer to all problems in education.

6. Curriculums are often dedicated to gaining entry to colleges instead of teaching skills for life and preparation for jobs/careers. Students believe failure to enter a costly two to four year track of university attendance is a personal, life-long censure.

We might add to this list all day long but those dubious of CFE choices need to view these problems in a new light. Rather than address shortcomings in governmental control of education, at least half of American families should prepare to end a means of dependency upon the state by creating their own educational programs, tailored to the personal needs of the family constellation. That would alter the entire nature of compulsory schooling into creative educational models that are approved by, but independent of the State, for children up to the age of sixteen. The teaching profession would cease to apply standard forms of professional models and reliance upon mass-produced text books. Rather, teachers would prepare for careers in state funded schools and/or private home school modules.

How might this revolution, (or devolution), in education work? I propose the period of 2/18 through 8/18 serve as a preparatory period for the new model. Parents interested in notifying their school boards that they plan to withdraw their children from school as of September, 2018 should do so by March 31 of this year. That allows schools to determine their 2018-2019 per capita income immediately for re-tooling of school seats needed in their districts. Should half of the parents with school aged children withdraw from a CFE, numerous schools will prepare for closure and districts will combine their remaining resources. Bussing schedules diminish in number but likely become longer in duration as inner city school children joined perimeter area schools and vice-versa.

Teacher unions would prepare for cuts in school staffing and introduce novel ways to have member teachers hired by home school modules as independent contractors. Tenured teachers would have first choice of public school positions. New insurance and supplemental retirement investments might be invented for both groups.

Parents would have the potential to hire teachers in areas they feel unqualified to supervise, from chemistry to economics. Clergy and graduate students in various universities might add to the pool of paid and voluntary teaching staff in specialized areas such as philosophy. Religion will also be an optional component in the case of LO parents. Special needs children might best be served in magnet public schools, given the prior successes of charter school models funded to educate the disabled. The charter schools might well be disbanded should their staff and areas of expertise be transferred to the public sector.

A four day school week might be adequate for new, smaller class sizes leaving buildings open a fifth day for science labs and school library usage by LO parents, whose taxes remain invested in the CFE model. Principals would have to prepare for a caseload of home schoolers to survey progress in meeting basic competencies. Again, their salaries would reflect that demand as the need for full time principles dwindle in public school facilities.

Text book companies would have new prospects in widening their publishing houses as their old products become less used. I have a vision for an entirely new method of preparing text books and source materials that should be discussed with appropriate investors at a later date.

Parents who have taken upon themselves that hardest job, creating new life and generations of builders, need to own the responsibility of self-determination in education. That does not erase the need to be concerned about the education of your neighbors or for the childless to cease to contribute to the advantages of living in an educated society. Still, this remodeling of education in a manner that can halve costs and reduce taxes, reveals what education means in the most fundamental sense of the word.

While some LO parents may desire their children to gain traditional high school diplomas, others may remove their children from the high school track entirely at sixteen. Eqivalency diplomas may even be earned at sixteen by home schoolers. When colleges and universities adopt an open approach to enrollment – requiring only proof of ability to perform in college classes – the period from 16 to 18 years of age might be taken up with advanced placement classes, internships and/or paid employment to save for college tuition. The teen years abbreviated, self-determination begins with parents and children working together to build a future within and between families with similiar aims.

In summary, adults living in democracies place a great deal of dependency upon the State for child-rearing. That dependency includes the use of school premises for child care and indoctrination in the prevailing culture. Now that literacy rates are near a hundred percent, that degree of dependence upon the State is overblown and detracts from the vision held by the founding fathers. Comining old and new ideologies in education, the next generations of American children will not need to be divided by prevailing educational gaps. Concerned parents invested in the public school classrooms ought to ensure that a parent volunteer is present in every room on a daily basis before taking issue with school board decisions. Common core lessons taught by computer technology ought to be heard by parents as well. Otherwise, those lessons might as well be performed at home and reduce school budgets.

Barbara Rubin, M.A.

Former teacher and author of the free booklet, ‘A Fearless Classroom’ at Lulu dot com.

Author of the Amazon Kindle thriller, ‘The Escargot Series’

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Palestinian Syndrome – Do You Suffer From It?

November 11th, 2017

Newspapers devote a great deal of column space to the Middle East for good reason. Political and judicial freedoms began there when the nation of Israel stood at the foot of Mt. Sinai – prior to gaining land borders – and created a revolutionary set of new laws. Those laws went far beyond the seven Noahide rules (1) and well beyond even the ten commandments. A democratically elected judiciary was formed and military service was mandated on the part of each tribe for the period required to gain the land later named for the nation of Israel.

Four or five occupations (2) later, depending upon your starting date for a timeline of activity in the land of Israel, the destruction of the second Temple was accompanied by a brand new phenomenon. The prevailing empire of Rome changed the name of the land to Philistinia (Palestine) so that the name and ways of Israel might be forever erased. With the memory of Jerusalem carried throughout the next two millennia by multiple groups, the 1948 resumption of self-governance by Israel within a portion of those ancient lands, was accompanied by the need to attend to those still carrying the label of ‘Palestinian’ (3). Largely a people who had functioned under the Ottoman Empire, this group of traders had relied upon profits earned through supplying settlers, soldiers and pilgrims with needed goods and services. Coinage was minted only after the British Mandatory was in control. No central Palestinian authority existed until they became a counter-influence alongside of the re-established Israeli government. The Palestinian Authority, an offshoot of the terrorist Al Fatah movement, exists today as head of a failed state, unwilling to attain financial independence from their United Nations designated status as generational refugees.

Rabbi Yishai Fleisher listed numerous options soon to be brought into play that will grant Palestinians paths to citizenship within a number of nations/countries in a N.Y. Times editorial (4). The futures of the Palestinian children will be different than that of their parents and grandparents. However, that does not address the problems of others suffering from ‘Palestinian Syndrome’. Other national groups have been re-named in the past two centuries so that their individuality would be subsumed under new labels or altered borders. This represents efforts to offset anticipated economic hardships or counter planned economic sabotage. Economics became the basket terminology used by persons silenced by fascists able to convince a large majority of passive individuals to relinquish all rights of ownership and land usage to a threatening patriarchal form of government. In order to promote a sense of ‘parity’ among uniformly threatened citizens, feudal structures were revised diminishing ownership rights entirely in favour of ‘communist’ communities forming to pacify fascists with promises of productivity and passivity. In direct opposition to the demand by free market proponents to define a standard for ‘living’ while creating the means for fiscal mobility within all strata of society, various new versions of ‘Palestinians’ were created on every continent.

The European Union replaced national identities among its former constituent nations in the name of socialism. Pooling resources to prevent loss of access to food and shelter as experienced during WWII permitted the ways of the former European nations to become diluted and forgotten with the influx of genuine migrants needing temporary support. An even larger group of permanent dependents was established, meant to drain both culture and money from the new entity. Communism expanded westward from Eastern Block countries created at the Potsdam conference (5), thereby proving that self-determination has been an extremely rare phenomenon in the Western World. The awarding of any lands to Stalin as a prize for not siding with Hitler is a warning to all nations. After the most highly educated of European societies had become debased, communist ideals of food and jobs replaced the goals of the vastly individualized European identities. Those wearied of the crimes committed by neighboring states dreaming only of conquest failed to realize they would soon conquer themselves via this view of freedom as a mere chess game for the few to play.

England will never forget their origins and painful evolution into a premier world power. With EU (6) membership pending for several Balkan nations, Greek Cyprus and even Turkey, the UK wisely brexited. However, England’s panicking dependents holding UK passports will hopefully soon remember why they didn’t profit from unification with the EU. Nonetheless, English identity suffered heavily on that island with large numbers suffering from ‘Palestinian Syndrome’. Who is a citizen of the UK and do they possess the rights and responsibilities formerly accorded the English?

Born in Washington Heights, New York, I’ve witnessed how the body of laws formulated by the Continental Congress (7) of the United States of America came to be replaced with the dubious name of our continent – America. Americans tolerate everything from torture (with deficit spending funding Guantanomo Bay prison, built along the lines of Dachau’s SS training camp) to the open support of criminal aliens serving either themselves or foreign governments. Given the fact that the United States legal code stood for freedom of speech and movement by populations desiring mobility of location and class, our administrations even created agencies to warn citizens of encroaching harm (e.g. EPA, NSA, NIH, HHS). I’m unsure why people prefer to be ‘good Americans’ rather than United States citizens looking after the welfare of our respective states and our neighbors. Told by many that the cause is ‘debt’, I remain at a loss to understand why we should become American Palestinians living as refugees under foreign lenders.

We now boast the capability of meeting subsistence standards for living without requiring rites of human sacrifice reminiscent of Gallipoli or Stalin’s killing spree of twenty million Russians during WWII. Few would have a hard time believing that war alone was responsible for the ethnic and political cleansing accomplished during that period of Russian history. Numerous genocides (8) have followed from the starvation of 45 million Chinese duringMao’s reign in the 1960s to those recorded in Cambodia, Rwanda, Darfur and Bosnia during successive decades. How to record excessive death rates from preventable disease and infant mortality remains a chronic problem to this day. For those deprived of fresh air, sustenance and shelter within our many poisoned cities, only beds in psychiatric wards are offered to individuals left with a fig leaf and a bloody scarf over an invisible head wound. Why are our records so amorphous, as though our neighbors were not ‘ours’ and our governments strangers to their constituents?

‘Palestinian Syndrome’ explains much of the above phenomenon. The belief your passport does not represent you or your government is not unusual today. The behaviour of individuals has altered greatly with declining intra-national viewpoints and visions of brighter futures across multiple nations. Representing only oneself through iiiiiidentification with a religion, profession, or business enterprise provides a degree of consolation among increased fears in a terror-ridden world. Desired anonymity in a large crowds kwas common in tyrannical societies but aggression in the form of terror led to the reality of being known by rulers and/or leaders tracking hazards. No longer lost in the big city or the vastness of rural countrysides, we will have to ally ourselves with strong pasts, diminished presents and visions of a level of self-determination dreamt of by only a limited number of surviving populations of strongly shared purpose.

The need for those with visions of a shared future may be likened to the basic need for literacy. Should children ha e to be home schooled due to severe budget cuts, what would you teach in your Social Studies units about the realities of living in your community? What laws apply or does the legal profession only represent interests foreign to your region? How do you cover truth in philosophy an hour after reading the newspaper? Some of the material will be true for some families and not true for others. Reality can’t be treated with all due respect unless the facts are plainly dealt like cards at a poker table.

I hope readers will ask themselves tonight whether you are Palestinians or nationals of your region. Establishing that relationship with your leadership will advance all regional populations in planning for present and future aggressions. Were we to divide up wars in terms of their purposes, we might begin with Wars of Independence, like the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 in the United States. That is in direct opposition to Wars of Dependence (9) like the American Civil War. In that latter example, southern ties to European cotton markets vied with northern insistence upon internal strength and economic unity to remain ‘in house’. Competing interests should be identified and regrouping of misplaced interests performed prior to the house to house fighting seen in Syria. Syria is well able to point at their own Palestinian problem while we remain in denial.

War, like coffee, appears to be brewing everywhere.

References:

(1)Noahide rules: https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the-seven-noachide-laws

(2)Early challenges/occupations of Jerusalem: https://www.science.co.il/israel-history/ https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/timeline-for-the-history-of-jerusalem-4500-bce-present

(3)Origins of the Palestinian Authority: https://www.britannica.com/topic/Palestinian-Authority

(4)Editorial on future solutions to Palestinian problems in Gaza:https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/14/opinion/a-settlers-view-of-israels-future.html

(5)Potsdam Conference: https://history.state.gov/milestones/1937-1945/potsdam-conf ; http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/decade17.asp

(6)EU membership: https://europa.eu/european-union/about-eu/countries_en

(7)Continental Congress of the USA: https://history.state.gov/milestones/1776-1783/continental-congress

(8)Modern genocides: http://endgenocide.org/learn/past-genocides/ ; http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/news/maos-great-leap-forward-killed-45-million-in-four-years-2081630.html

(9)Wars of Dependence: http://mshistorynow.mdah.state.ms.us/articles/161/cotton-in-a-global-economy-mississippi-1800-1860

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Touristas and Baristas

August 29th, 2017

There is a helpful website for tourists about the nature of crimes perpetrated against travellers, sponsored by the University of Albany. The conclusions were drawn by a 2017 conference obviously thrown together in an effort to keep the job-rich tourist industry thriving, rather than merely surviving. Global unrest has many persons taking ‘stay-cations’ where the plan is to remain within a day’s travel from home. The expenses involved in extended travel might just as well be avoided should you happen to live in a stimulating region of your country.

The website was obviously created by officials anxious to keep down crime and see that travellers are assisted in pressing charges against perpetrators. Most visitors have to return to work and can’t handle the expenses of a return trip to appear in court. Florida developed a program that funds return trips for that purpose while another travel mecca has arranged for video-teleconferencing to be done in lieu of a personal appearance before a judge.

Crime statistics may be used by travellers to select desirable destinations. However, what happens when a location only sounds ‘idyllic’ to visit? Perhaps the crime statistics are low because reports aren’t being made. This form of censorship is a second victimization of the tourist involved in a crime and misrepresents the resort area. Most people take extra precautions to visit a place with a recognized level of crime (think San Francisco and Chicago), knowing that local law enforcement is on the job. New York’s finest is quite responsive to local problems.

Cyprus, not so much.

This is your Alan King-type traveler, (see his books about what may befall a tourist), who has previously reported on some fairly strange happenings in my journeys. As a renter, costs of fuel and other utilities makes following the sun desirable in winter months. Therefore, I find myself in places like Cyprus when spring has not yet sprung in my regular haunts. Unfortunately, I found myself in the unenviable situation of being a crime victim without police assistance and took the simple, if not easy, way out. I did nothing, an action that cost around $500 and a bit of my self-respect. The money is a significant amount on a fixed income. While I can’t replace my broken Apple mini-tablet, I can restore my sense of justice with a few key strokes of this new Lenovo lap-top.

Let’s take this step by weird step.

(1) I hate to shop. I mean I really hate to drag myself from store to store because it means there’s something I need that’s not to be found on my shelves. My income require bargain hunting, meaning more shops have to be visited. Last May, I was in Cyprus for the pleasant climate, great beaches and low-cost hotel rooms. At some point, a shopping excursion was needed and I took a bus into down-town Lanarca.

(2) The town is old and the sidewalks have high, old-fashioned curbs. While approaching a crosswalk, another woman took that opportunity to spray herself with a perfume atomizer. Medically savvy persons classify those as atomic bombs to be dropped upon persons with asthma and I promptly started coughing as droplets blew my way in the spring breeze. My foot slipped and I fell into the road, my ribs taking a nasty hit. Winded, I lay there with my purse and shopping bag right underneath my body.

(3) A large, black Ford SUV rounded the curb at rather distressing speed. My reflexes kicked in and I rolled out of the way, narrowly avoiding being hit. The car rolled over my belongings and stopped just ahead of the flattened remnants of my electronics, with the car’s wheels coming to a stop in front of a barrier-gate to a parking lot. I grabbed my bruised ribs and finished clearing my lungs from their trip to ecstasy.

(4) The rear lights of the car suddenly shone brightly and ‘Christine’ began backing up. In my direction. My screams for the police were likely heard in the Turkish section of the island although no-one showed up with a hookah and Fez to rescue this traveller. My screams did bring the car to a stop and a youthful male head with dark hair and a moustache appeared out the window. “I didn’t see you!”, it cried. I truly hoped he hadn’t. The experience was too reminiscent of the spate of car-rammings going on world-wide and I preferred to avoid that in this spring paradise. I rolled back to my belongings and mentally prepared a funeral for the Apple mini-pad. My cans of salmon looked like they’d stock easily in a cabinet now that they were square. What would the new shape mean for vacuum packaging, anyway? Gathering my wits, the next sentence out of my mouth was a bit more appropriate to the situation. “Call a cop, please!” I’d only been there two days and hadn’t yet gotten a local SIM card for my unlocked phone. Dented, but not daunted, a small cell-phone was still useable but SIM-less at the moment.

(5) The driver got out of the car and looked down. A long way down. ‘Get up and we’ll go to the police. I’ll take you.’ My reply was simple. “I’m not getting into a car with you. Phone somebody to come here and take a report.” I used the phone to take photos of the car, license plate and driver for the record. The driver was evidently not happy with my reply and actions because he got back into his car and left the scene of the accident. Still dazed, I’m not sure I actually saw a flip of his finger but may have been mistaken. Nonetheless, he was gone as he raised the gate to the lot and moving forward.

(6) I slowly got to my feet, hurting significantly. My budget for the week was also gone now with the damaged supermarket goods. Not having a phone or funds for a taxi-cab, I grabbed a local bus to the airport where I knew there was a police station open all day, every day. There, I approached the office where a sole officer sat next to a facsimilie machine and showed him my battered tablet. After explaining the events, the officer began to talk about the necessity for a visit to the traffic department downtown. My ribs hurting and my purse empty, I asked whether the report forms might be faxed. “No, you have to go to the office and… .” He droned on, listing a few required actions that I was equally unable to perform so I raised my voice to be heard over his in order to explain that no other actions were possible. He interpreted that as hostile, despite my explaining I had a disability and was unable to manage the tasks mentioned. “How dare you raise your voice to an officer of the law!”, he shouted. He rose, looming over my five-foot frame and continued to berate my temerity. I answered in the only manner remaining on the ‘safe’ menus of replies. “Then you won’t hear my voice again.” That set off a flurry of questions to which I merely nodded or shook my head. His rage mounting, I packed my bags and waited by the door for dismissal.

(7) Returning to the airport floor, I bought a ticket out of Cyprus good for the next day. There is no point to remaining in a place alone when you have no recourse to legal means of redress. The mini-pad was heavily cracked with shards of glass sticking inside the workings but it powered up enough for my downloading of the photos taken of the perpetrator. I looked up the email addresses of three places and began writing the day’s events to the traffic police station downtown and the United States Embassy in Nicosia. Resting in the airport lounge, I was well enough the next day to implement my travel plans.

(8) Two days later, I replaced the tablet with a low-cost Lenovo lap-top. I still can’t get apps in there to contact my bank and other important places but at least I’m able to email and read the news. The U.S. Embassy had contacted traffic and those police officers dragged the perpetrator in for questioning, but took no action because I wasn’t there to prosecute. That meant no accident report with payment forthcoming for damages from the driver’s insurance. That also means one less report of a crime happening, to the detriment of Greek Cyprus which is soon to join the EU.

I hope this has been of help to readers on two levels. First, to raise awareness that ‘crime’ reporting starts with victims or the statistics will be entirely skewed. Next, to encourage the degree of self-governance required to maintain an area’s relationship with the law. Ancient Rome destroyed Israel’s center of justice, the second Temple and then renamed the nation ‘Palestine’ so that the name and ways of Israel would disappear from memory forever. When we fail to pursue justice, we treat the United States as if it were merely a renamed land mass called ‘America’. In a prior blog note about terrorism at Gatwick airport, I felt as though England had been renamed the ‘UK’ when my report was dismissed – though with thanks, rather than recriminations.

Has your nation been renamed lately?

Categories: commentary, Life Observations, Litigation

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Was the SS Communist? Look at the Nazi Platform

August 7th, 2017

The National Democratic Socialist Party –
Another Communist Manifesto

Here in America, the Republicans like to talk about ‘values’ and the Democrats, ‘compassion’. Our present-day confusions of politics with morality requires a return to an understanding that human values exist independently of most political platforms. Other than the Middle East, where theocracies either thrive or survive, morality in most countries is largely taught about as having either ‘humanist’ or ‘religious’ origins. Therefore, any claim of a particular economic or political system being ‘natural’ to a group, is highly unlikely. ‘Natural laws’ remain largely a by-product of the size of a population and the ease of food production in that climate. Natural law is far from today’s reality where three quarters of the world’s population may expect to develop cancer and where respiratory disorders plague most of the population relegated to the burning of wood and coal for fuel. Medical care is the lion’s share of the national debt plaguing America today.

When we examine morality in political terms, we need to review the original frames constructed by the founders of those groups. Socialism was supposed to be the great leveller after a well-founded fear of communism followed the reign of terror of Lenin’s Russia. However, when we review the National Socialist German Workers (Nazi) Party, its policies were founded in fears generated by defeat and the economic terrorism inherent in ongoing blockades and the Treaty of Versaille. It spoke of communal welfare in Marxist terms while being openly fascist in the granting of the infinite power of life and death to its’ government. This design for Germans was largely formulated by outsiders living in South America and other areas harbouring former German nationals. The platform may be read here-

http://avalon.law.yale.edu/imt/nsdappro.asp

This Yale publication describes the platform of the National Socialist German Workers Party, circa 1920. The terms are virtually indistinguishable from communism. Socialism is designed to utilize ‘overages’, distributing excess goods and/or income (via taxes) to provide a safety net to the population. Some of this ‘net’ is available to all in the construction of public schools, a military force and the hiring of public servants. A portion of the net is preserved for the needy indigent and elderly-infirm through pensions for civil service employees and health care for the poor and disabled. Starvation in America was addressed via distribution centers for donated foodstuffs and coupons, (food stamps), for use in stores. The back doors of depression era residents served as another voluntary distribution ‘center’ for many needy individuals of the 30’s without any hint of regulation being required. The remaining needs were performed by job creations under federal auspices.

The rights of individuals appear to be inherent within both socialism and capitalism, given the former’s aim of group support for the unfortunate and the latter’s ability to generate goods and capital – the insurance against misfortune. Any society with public schools and a water/sewer system, created without sacrificing the entirety of the group’s resources or forcing servitude, may rightly be called ‘socialist’. The degree of socialism varies from country to country. Through free-market capitalism, a safety net is available via more avenues than individual tax returns. High personal taxation largely destroys discretionary funds for the personal use of each citizen and is unnecessary when corporate taxes are also available to a treasury. However, businesses regulate their degree of contribution towards the ‘safety net’ through basing themselves in regions where taxation is regarded as reasonable. After all, why contribute twice through both your business and your earnings when you likely live outside of your zoned businesses or operate in more than a single region.

This Nazi Party (circa 1920) documents an entirely different form of government despite the misleading terms of Nationalism and Socialism. Tempting the defeated German nationals with a description of the basis for their present unity – that of hard-working Christians sharing a bond of ‘blood’ that one presumes was viewed in the preferred blond, blue-eyed population. Certainly, no others could claim national status that would guarantee the German land plus colonies where a growing population would be able to settle and obtain additional natural resources.

Apart from this right to unlimited lands, communism peers out of every other portion of the platform, like that of mandatory work with a guaranteed job for each person. Should insufficient jobs exist, ‘aliens’ like Jews and Poles would be evicted. Minorities would be unrepresented in government and be ineligible for office. The same is demanded for ensuring sufficient food/sustenance. All immigrants entering Germany after 1914 would therefore be subject to deportation. Hence, democracy ceases to exist in this vision of Democratic Socialism. With socialism rendered available to only a particular portion of the nation, we return to a vision of communism in a commune the size of the bordered country of Germany.

Socialism does not eliminate private property while the Nazi platform demands that only income generated from work may be accumulated by a citizen. That leaves a great deal of potential loss in terms of the sale of property or inflation-related changes in the value of certain goods and services. Expropriation of agricultural lands had already guaranteed the starvation of millions under Lenin yet was demanded by the Nazis; likely a by-product of starvation caused by military blockades of ports during and after the war. Conflicting demands for nationalization of businesses warred with an insistence that large businesses be ‘communalized’ for small traders, the first appearance of that ‘c’ word applied in this manifesto.

Obviously upper mobility was desired through the demand for a ‘middle class’, at the same time citizens were relegated to a lifetime of labor. That was perhaps aimed at guaranteeing easement from manual labor in the largely intellectual European group deemed worthy to fill leadership positions. Still, the government maintained an absolute right to take both property and businesses from citizens. The plan guarantees the death penalty for any real or imagined infraction of harm to the population – including violating censorship deemed needful by the government.

Those threatened by encroaching communism often retreat to the false promises of national socialism like the Golden Dawn party in the Greek parliament. However, there is no evidence that national socialism differs significantly from communism. Most modern nations have some degree of socialism recognizing mutual needs for protection (a military) and compulsory education requiring a group expenditure towards shared ends. This in no way interferes with capitalism, the safety valve of independent groups ensuring limits upon governmental power through the vote, the power of selective investment and the rights to emigrate.

Emigration options may have unforeseen powers to alter the political landscape forever. Should the framework of nations become important again, nationals may learn the wisdom of having the children of citizens study for entry into that status upon reaching adulthood. Otherwise, a resident worker status limits the demands of the non-citizen upon the group while full citizens remain motivated to protect and enlarge the house in question along original lines of intent. This has been proposed as a potential answer to the problem of Palestinian independence in the Middle East. The status of ‘refugee state’ will eventually have to be removed by an increasingly impoverished United Nations that will soon lack the funds to support the 4.5 million ‘refugees’ in the region.

Returning to the issue of ‘morality’, we need to realize that it isn’t the province of any government but a matter of the individual realizing the full potential of human possibilities. Those must be extending as far as that impact may reach. Towards that end, I am presently engaged in the writing of a three year class for high school students in the making of moral judgements. Support in this effort is being raised at the justgiving website under the category of educational programs:

https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/moral-dilemma
It’s past time to remove human judgement from politics, a power-driven and power-riven process in the wrong hands.

Barbara Rubin

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MY DEMANDS

July 24th, 2017

I’m holding the United States Constitution hostage inside American bookstores until you meet a few simple demands. When you look at the shelves where those are located, hear these words in your ears.

Born in Washington Heights, N.Y., my grandparents and parents showed the youngest daughter of the house the great potential to be nurtured within a land founded upon the premise of opportunity. The vast numbers and varieties of individuals arriving on these shores expanded that premise to embrace persons whom the founders had never met, nor dreamed would someday live within the United States. We helped evolve the laws and our customs based upon the education of children born and brought here to value freedom. However, among those numbers are those who help guard the physical and ideational premises of the framers and also those diluting the pool of builders and defenders.

I spend part of each year in Israel where my ‘other’ nation, (first nation by heritage), doesn’t even have a constitution. The nature of our laws are so well developed over thousands of years of study and development that we only ask those individuals who do not follow Jewish law to live in dignity with us. A million and a half Arab-Israelis appear to agree with that view and many volunteer for army service despite the fact that the draft of both men and women is limited to non-Arab citizens. The trust in our humanity is so great that the Israeli military is famous for each soldier having to take responsibility for all actions taken, no matter what orders are given. We learned from the Nuremberg trials never to use the phrase, ‘I was only following orders.’, as reason to do harm.

The basic laws of dignity, found within the U.S. constitution’s articles and Bill of Rights, infer that torture should not be utilized in our name in the vast majority of situations where torture is still performed. Our tax dollars still go towards the upkeep of Guantanamo Bay, unique in its’ nature that promises torture for all prisoners. Prisons within our own fifty states are also known for promulgating or permitting torture by guards and between prisoners. We’ve long known that the practice of torture in most cases is done purely to train torturers. The tortured are irrelevant and their temporal rulers are forever compromised by their heinous acts, to serve the state or group paying their salaries. This was detailed in my previous post regarding Dachau Concentration Camp.

Lastly, our mounting numbers of disabled and sick children (around fifty percent) and adults demonstrates that our environments do not support healthy life – hence the crisis in health care demands and costs. Preventable illness is a torture indeed.

I used to have a small copy of the US Constitution in my back pocket, representing a modern standard that not in conflict with the ancient standard represented by the silver Shield of David around my neck. Very few modern governments allowed our minority group to follow our own laws while engaging in local standards of life while those evolved. I misplaced my copy of the Constitution around three years ago and would like to make three demands before I liberate another copy from Barnes and Nobel, or other bookstore. Should these demands be met, my faith in the ability of Americans to return to the heritage of the founders will rise again – not unlike the South plans to do after industry returns to this continent and utilizes OSHA laws for healthy workplaces. Having pondered long and hard about the wonderful advantages an education offers, it’s easy to envision factories that even the holder of a PhD degree might want to work within. Business has yet to explore the full potential of our creative impulses and citizens need to think about more than mere health care benefits when choosing to devote time and energy to the building of a private enterprise.

Perhaps Americans might muster a few million people to demand that Congress defund Guantanamo Bay. Congress isn’t all that fond of it and supervised military prisons here can handle the load of foreign terrorists within legitimate parameters. Next, form civilian volunteer boards to enter the federal and state prisons your tax money funds. Ensure the health and well-being of those working towards rehabilitation because conditions in the communities outside of prisons rarely exceed those inside of prisons. Pretending ignorance doesn’t work well. Lastly, look into the indoor environments and air quality within prisons. Apply that learning to your own neighbourhood homes and schools. Your doctors will be grateful and perhaps place more faith in their patients when called upon to determine what forms of insurance will be honoured within their practices.

This three minute revolution has been brought to you by a teacher disabled by exposures to toxic chemicals and worked with the EPA to improve life on our continent.

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The Targets of the Holocaust, Living and Dead

April 30th, 2017

imageIt’s very hard to get people world-wide to comprehend what happens when individuals undergo the loss of intrinsic, ‘human’ values and demonstrate that loss through actions forever placing such persons beyond ‘the Pale’ of any societal group. The original term represented a division between areas of vastly different populations in 1300’s southern France. In the late seventeen hundreds, Russia’s Catherine the Great had such a district constructed along her border with Western Europe to contain and separate the Jewish population. Going ‘beyond the Pale’ would have indeed brought severe consequences to a Jewish resident at the hands of the peasantry beyond it. Their recourse to such ‘invasions’ was beyond a standard for decent behavior. This phrase was forcibly brought to mind when I traveled to the Dachau Memorial outside Munich last week. I felt rather raw, that being the day after Yom HaShoah, the Holocaust Memorial Day observed by Jews world-wide.

Historically, responsibility for life in most societies has been relinquished to some ‘other’ entity. First, a parent shoulders responsibility for a child but may not teach adult skills to beyond those required to earn ones’ food and shelter. Then the grown ‘child’ looks to friends, professionals and governmental agencies for the ability to form judgements about the ways of life above subsistence needs. In the last hundred years or so, given advances in literacy and technology, failed ideals of humanistic freedoms were installed within the human software. This was done largely via the politics of real and faux democratic/parliamentary bodies. The presumption of political systems that followed the Divinity of Kings and the monarchical ownership of all lands was that individuals could both embody and shoulder the burdens of life. In truth, that misunderstanding about the governments we form merely replaced feudal notions of the relationships between serfs and villeins. The ‘Pale’ might today represent community boundaries in any area but nowhere has the serrated edge of a border ‘knife’ been so violated as in the camps built to house, torture, and dispose of minority human protoplasm.

Dachau is one such town, possessing the remains of the first concentration camp built in 1933 under the embodiment of a defeated people known as Adolf Hitler. This camp served as the model camp and SS troop training center for the all of the camps operating until 1945. Happenstance placed myself in Munich last week so I made the journey to Dachau in order to view this example of how relinquishing personal responsibility for self-governance ends up. When new methods of taking independence of action and thought from adults are developed, they are usually tested out upon minorities. The Jew has typically been the first laboratory ‘animal’ selected for this task due mainly to the completeness of our own laws of life. We often joined with other groups but had no sense of reliance upon their laws and ways. The idea of an independent and self-sustainable group within a larger, yet more dependent group, invited thousands of years of challenges to Jewish community leaders. Many challenges resulted in violence, murder and either assimilation or relocation of the able-bodied survivors. In Dachau, there would be no ‘lesson’ in adapting to a group. Promised survival in exchange for work, obedience and ‘love of the Fatherland’, the final solution to two thousand years of Diaspora life was perfected by turning soldiers and policeman into flesh covered, iron bars and prison guards in both open and fenced-in areas.

Trying to place myself into a proper frame of mind for this journey of thirty miles and seventy years, I heard an Irish-accented tour guide talking to his group. “It’s been so many years since the Holocaust, it would be better if survivors told their stories with humor, as in a stand-up comedy routine.” Astounded, I had to reply to that outrage with, ‘Yeah, because there are so many ways to make starving to death, funny.’

Seething, my thoughts turned towards Israel. I had moved there under the 1950 ‘Law of Return’ from the States several years ago, dividing my time between these locales. Knowing my family had been exiled from Judea in Roman times, a return by a single member of my small family had seemed appropriate. There I’d acquired the infinite ideal of ‘Ki M’Zion’. Translated as ‘Because of Jerusalem’, I’d learned to time travel from past to future and view each section of history in a new light. However, there was no conceivably humorous approach to a trip of this nature and all too many approximations, preparations, for this event in my own history.

The mere approach to Dachau camp was quite draining emotionally. It was hard seeing so many young people on tours approaching the memorial museum as though its’ atrocities were all in the past. Genocide and torture are alive and well today, recorded for all to know in the daily newspapers. Prison systems in most countries may be likened to camps based upon slave labor and common abuses taking place between guards and prisoners. Violence between prisoners often happens with the permission of the guards, a substitute for violations of laws against these actions. Once a group or person is slated for termination, those ‘bodies’ cease to be of import. The mechanism by which prisoners are housed, set to work at meaningful versus labor-intensive wasted efforts, fed, tormented and ultimately removed from a state of living death tells the tale. It’s the gate keepers that matter. In this and too many other cases, the individuals are turned into mindless, numb levers that grind living potential into a thing so abhorrent that no other alteration into a better or more independent state is possible. Who would have such an entity among them?

A patina of humane treatment of prisoners does exist in some detainment facilities, largely due to an acknowledgement that those in charge of the prisoners must retain their dignity even while faced daily with others’ brutality. Israel has maintained that none of us would ever say we were ‘…only following orders.’, should we be called to account, a stance that has stood the test of time.

The Dachau museum was sponsored by the Bavarian State and meant its’ staff to possess a depth of gravity and sensitivity suitable to the nature of the site. Unfortunately, a few staff may have become inured to the pain of visitors and grown rather hard. The April date of my visit was cold with a combination of rain and snow falling along the extensive outdoor trails where roll calls and marches of living corpses between barracks had taken place. Dressed for spring and without the energy to walk 800 meters this week in the cold, I handed over my Israeli ID card in order to borrow a motorized chair. Awareness of what awaited brought advance tears to my eyes at the registration desk that were met with derision.

The car was driven through the door and handed over. ” Put your umbrella in the basket.”, was the instruction given. I set off, my backpack fast becoming soaked in the increasingly heavy rain. Opening the umbrella, I progressed in a chill wind alongside poplars surrounded by ghosts in thin, striped rags. Gritting my teeth, my emotions settled into a manageable state and my tour began.

Attempts to enter the old concrete buildings and barracks failed. The moisture in the unheated buildings had made the atmosphere unbreathable for my lungs, previously made hyper-reactive by toxic gassed back in the late nineties. Those disabling agents had been derivatives of the Zyklon B and other gasses used in this camp.

Still, it was enough to zip my jacket up to my throat and drive alongside the exhibits while listening to the audio tour. The story was not unfamiliar. Children of Jewish WWI survivors, my parents had shown the WWII documentaries to myself at the age of ten when the uncertainties of the communist encroachments of the sixties loomed large. Shivering uncontrollably after an hour on the trails, I returned to the entrance hall to eat a light meal and browse in the bookstore. I bought a book about the resistance while the store clerk muttered in German about customers buying ‘false information’. She may have been a new hire as she appeared barely out of her teens.

I’ve met numerous survivors in my lifetime growing up in New York City so reading about the road traveled by the partisans, rather than the prisoners, was my goal. Only those for whom self-governance is the only possible way of life are able to break down tyranny and, afterwards, create viable ways of life to be led in groups. Thus far, we’ve seen far too many attempts throughout history where men strove to re-create ways in which groups might prosper – those ways lacking in permanence from their very inception.

The dining area was filled with young people who pondered novel questions about recent evils, however careless their manner. Nonetheless, while I reviewed present day incarnations of Amalek, the Biblical tribe synonymous with a voracious appetite for evil, the odd visage appeared that obviously felt the truths encountered that day. See the documentaries because denial of reality is frequent when you start to believe an historical novel or film about real events will effectively convey human nature to you. Only when you have fully attained these notions will you ever pass them along to others, The transmission of life in all its facets from one generation, is unlike the transfer of data bytes from one computer to another. Instead, we present a reality or reliable representation, at the right moment and enlarge upon that at suitable intervals. That is the form of transmission that matters as we drive forward into history.

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