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

August 7th, 2017
Edited January 2, 2021

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 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 respiratory disorders plague those 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 legal frames constructed by the founders of those groups. Socialism was supposed to be the great leveller after a well-founded fear of communism developed during the reign of terror by Lenin’s version of Russia. However, when we review the National Socialist German Workers (Nazi) Party, its policies were founded in fears generated by defeat. The defeat had been accepted by the Germans until economic burdens, inherent in ongoing blockades and the Treaty of Versaille, exploded into economic terrorism through the collapse of Wall Street in 1929. Unfortunately, people will share their last meal of potatoes and whiskey, yet kill over money. Rather than restructuring it’s debt or placing repayments on hold, Germany resurrected the Nazi platform it had laughed at in 1920.

This platform spoke of communal welfare in Marxist terms while being openly fascist in the granting of an 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 nationals of WWI Germany . The platform may be read here-

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 during the depression years was addressed via distribution centers for donated foodstuffs and coupons, (food stamps), for use in stores. The back doors of depression-era households served as another voluntary distribution ‘center’ for many needy individuals of the 30’s without any hint of regulation being required. Transients were often fed while on the road by the local populace in private.The remaining needs were performed by job creations under federal auspices. The U.S.A. felt the investments would show returns many times in excess of the expenditures.

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 merely 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.

The Nazi Party (circa 1920) documented 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’ — membership became viewed in the preferred form of a blond, blue-eyed population. The description precluded the physiognomy of more deprived groups like Gypsies, Russians and Japanese communists. These white communists would have ‘more’ than their small, darker neighbors. An intent to expand German land ownership to the east and west would ensure control of excellent, arable lands and forests for lumber to satisfy a growing population. Water was plentiful. Prosperity would thrive without seeming to disagree with the Marxism of Lenin’s day, redefined by Stalin.

End of political argument and threats of insurgency by foreigners!

Apart from this view of the third Riech’s right to unlimited lands, communism peers out of every other portion of the platform as well. Mandatory work with a guaranteed job for each person was a goal. Should insufficient jobs exist, ‘aliens’ like the Poles would be evicted. Minorities would be unrepresented in government and be ineligible to hold office. Jewish persons were explicitly forbidden to ever compete for food or work with a German. This established a permanent migrant status to all Jewish persons as per our earlier status in Europe during the Middle Ages. This, too, satisfied the Communists who had long noted the different status of the Jews on their travel papers and passports. Refuseniks in modern Russia described their papers as limiting potential, requiring excellence in achievement to earn tolerance from the government.

Communist assurances of sufficient food/sustenance was promised with the plan that all immigrants entering Germany after 1914 would 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 borders of a soon-to-expand Germany.

Socialism does not eliminate private property or inheritance. The Nazi platform demanded that only income generated from work might be accumulated by a citizen. That left 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. This was also demanded by the Nazis and likely meant to offset the starvation caused by military blockades of ports during and after WWI. 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 (for communism) 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 guaranteed the death penalty for any real or imagined infraction of harm to the population – including violations of 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 that place limits upon governmental power through the vote, the power of selective investment and the rights to hold property or 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, ‘resident worker status’ limits the demands of the non-citizen upon the group while full citizens remain motivated to protect and enlarge the ‘house’ along original lines of intent. Resident rights have been proposed as a potential solution to the problems posed by ‘refugee states’.

We need to realize that morality isn’t the province of any government but a matter of nation builders realizing the full potential of human possibilities. Those must be extended as far as the impact might 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.

Barbara Roslyn Rubin

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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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The EPA and Citizen Job

April 21st, 2017

Re: E.P.A. Chief, Rejecting Agency’s Science, Chooses Not to Ban Insecticide (NYT, 3/29/17)

Reporter Eric Lipton wrote this interesting article regarding pesticides and the EPA, regarded as moribund among a myriad of federal agencies to wither on the vine of the national debt. Few would protest a desire to lower federal spending but the image painted by articles like this one, is of a thief taking out your Dad in a home-invasion incident.

This blog has numerous posts about the EPA’s many strengths over decades of dedicated investigations of how we harm ourselves daily. However, the agency isn’t your mother. Citizens either parent government agencies in their creation or nurture those efforts like a farmer does a field. I’ve had extensive contact with the EPA so regard the fury of news writers and their readers with astonishment. Here’s the letter I wrote to the Times about their article questioning a ‘failure’ to ban a pesticide that was banned residentially during Carole Browner’s term as EPA administrator. By the way, Carole Browner had the assistance of 17,000 citizen complaints about the substance. When did you last give input on a subject open to action?


To the Editor,

In the Book of Job, a sick and angry man rages against the fate that withered his shade tree and blistered his skin as he sat in the desert. Divine wisdom became his as the reasons for his rage were reduced to zero. Job was advised to understand that those things he neither created nor nurtured were not his to command.

Significant attention is given in the media regarding HR Bill 1861, proposing the shut-down of the Environmental Protection Agency by 12/31/18. An environmental activist myself, I must ask the reason for the public panic over an agency you ignored while your local air grew full of insecticides and your wells tested positive for poisons. My own medical records have several tests documenting poisoning and my long-term attempts to assist the EPA.

Why have so few Americans bothered to test the air and water at home and at work? Why protest the end of an agency you did not create nor tend? In the United States, government is staffed, directed and funded by the populace. Should the EPA suddenly become of interest to you, I suggest you schedule a, “Take an EPA employee to lunch day” in order to learn your future role in this area of your lives. You may then order the agency watered, pruned, uprooted entirely or arrange for cuttings of that tree to be planted in agencies like OSHA.

We may not have planted government here, but tend it we must or wave goodbye.

Barbara Rubin, M.A.

Categories: Newspaper Commentary, NY Times

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The Decline and Fall of the Judiciary in the Face of ‘Petty Terrorism’

April 11th, 2017

Here in Israel, chemical warfare is ‘up close and personal’, with victims from
Syria being treated at the scene and/or transported to larger facilities with
life-threatening injuries. Newspapers world-wide are covering the story and military interventions by multi-national forces have begun.

Reports of individual attacks remain in the news yet go unprosecuted, despite the fact that symptoms are often unmistakeable and may be corroborated through medical or environmental
testing. A New York Times article reported a June 2, 2014 Supreme Court ruling that separated prosecutorial responsibilities for crimes of poisoning. The case in point, Bond v United States, overturned a federal conviction for a woman who bacterially contaminated property belonging to another woman. The reasoning was that the federal statute was was restricted to incidents involving international relations falling within treaties approved by legislators. The purpose was to reinforce limited federal government and avoid those courts becoming bogged down with thousands of cases of malicious poisonings in the States.

Really? Apparently, there are so many incidents ignored by the States that the
Court felt it best to inform the public that when they are poisoned, it’s a ‘petty crime’, unworthy of federal attention. However, when politicians are poisoned, it’s worthy of intervention on the basis of intent to thwart treaties. The American Medical Association does not distinguish between the effects of poisons upon federal employees and other citizens, according to the present diagnostic codes used in medical records. Still, an increased desire to diagnose cases does not necessarily lead to relief should jurisdiction be denied by authorities within the justice system.

That begs the question newly raised by Roger Stone, a Republican ‘operative’ who was
extremely ill some weeks ago and informed by his doctors that he’d been exposed
to a radioactive substance. The sub-lethal dose nonetheless requires us to ask whether federal or local investigations were warranted. Stone did not address the possibilities of prosecution,
should the source of the exposure be cited in future.

With chemical injuries in the news so often and the AMA so determined to combat these horrific forms of damage through identification and referral (to law enforcement, family
courts etc.), I can report the latter will be significantly handicapped by two factors.
First is denial of environmental chemical exposures by property owners and security personnel. I described one such case at Gatwick airport a few months ago here. Without environmental
corroboration, a visit to the physician becomes a mine-field for both parties. Toxicology tests are both expensive and generally not covered by insurance. In order to justify those that are covered, or put that burden on a patients’ wallet, a doctor must see the patient within 24 hours of exposure and identify the possibilities to choose among so many test protocols.

Second, knowing what labs remain in operation to conduct those tests is also time-consuming for fee-driven physicians. Medical detective work requires a partnership between patient and Doctor that few will form. The patient risks an inexperienced or irresponsible doctor labeling them with a false diagnosis of anything from a digestive disturbance to incipient paranoia. The art of billing with an honest, ‘I don’t know what’s wrong yet.’, isn’t the simplest way to run an office. I’ve been most fortunate in the integrity of the doctors I’ve seen in most situations, but then I understand the need for evidence prior to making tough calls in cases with unusual clinical presentations.

Stone’s experience, and the unlikelihood of obtaining sufficient proof to interest a prosecutor, leaves us with the issue of appropriate medical intervention and those civil actions that have largely replaced criminal proceedings – even in cases of murder. Medical intervention itself is a nightmare. Chemicals are really bombs that leave shrapnel in the body that can’t be removed with a scalpel – until a tumor forms. My own MRI and other imaging shows the scars left by chemical knives in the case I described relative to pesticide exposures in 1999 (link below).

Following my own environmental investigation into what appeared to be negligence, the Environmental Protection Agency knocked on my office door. I’d phoned in a routine report of the findings of toxicological tests I’d taken of my office to the NYC division. After reviewing the evidence, the agent requested my help in limiting these events. “We’d like you to file a law suit.”

I said that I would, pending further exams to learn whether my damage was permanent. The damage was indeed deemed permanent and disability insurance checks replaced my previous pay checks. Grieving heavily over the shock of a lost career, I filed the lawsuit as advised. My case was put on the record in a few medical articles in health periodicals but few know that the suit never made it to court. Despite completing discovery, no settlement offer of note was made by the defense and no trial date was scheduled by my own attorney.

During the long wait with repeated assurances that an end was in sight, I was subjected to the kinds of harassment no litigant wants to report for fear of harming your legal position. Stalking, criminal threatening and exposures to an array of toxic chemicals followed my moves into rural New England and sunny California, as I sought fresh air and quiet surroundings for my health and rehabilitation efforts. One suspect mentioned my litigation in a shouted attempt to terrorize. A visit to a New Hampshire police department in the town of Derry was ultimately required. I’d been invited by an environmental group to testify before the state legislature regarding the effects of exposures to chemicals typically used in schools (testimony here).

I managed to testify but wound up in an emergency room, having had chemicals tossed into my car by a passing stranger. The ER paperwork reported chemical irritation to my face, a chemical bronchitis and the swelling of a leg, with negative ultrasound results for blood clots. The police mentioned having had a case like my own the year before with a hospital whistleblower. A private detective had staked out the woman’s home and the vandals bothering her were caught.

I was unable to afford the help but was taught to take photos of suspicious persons who appeared in my vicinity too often for coincidence and, of course, any who harmed. In the end, I filed charges with photographs in several states, ending with my move to California. By then, my physician had seen enough reports of clinical poisonings to warrant writing a letter stating his belief that I was being maliciously exposed to toxins. In an effort to remain within the bounds of discovery rules, I insisted my lawyer write the defense about my harassment. The police had said they might inquire about whether the clients of opposing counsel were involved.

My lawyer was given the medical and police reports but balked about writing the letter, stating a jury wouldn’t like it. Now that eight years had passed following the filing of the suit, I doubted a late report would even be admissible. My lawyer did write the letter but made an interesting error with the date, marking it as being written in 2006 instead of 2010. The date of the fax however, showed the true date. That letter reads as follows:

Richard J. Lipped & Associates


Cullen & Dykman, Bleakly Platt LLP
Gottlieb, Siegel & Schwartz, LLP
Kent and McBride, P.C.
Tromello, McDonell & Kehoe

Re: Barbara Rubin v. Marathon Community Center, et al.

Dear Counselors,

Please be advised that my client, Barbara Rubin, has been the subject of stalking,
harassment and chemical battery. On two occasions, she was verbally threatened by two
different individuals with bodily harm, and one of them specified that it was due to her
Involvement this case.

Due to the various stalking, harassment and chemical battery incidents, she has
been forced to file evidence which includes photographs and license plate numbers of the
individuals and vehicles with various law enforcement agencies. I am
informing you of these incidences because your clients may be receiving inquiries from
law enforcement agencies due to the possible relationship to the pending litigation.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate contacting me. Thank you for
your kind attention.

Very truly yours,

Richard J. Lippes


That letter required by law, ended my lawyers interest in scheduling a court date. Citing his desire that I find another attorney, the belated nature of his dropping interest in the case precluded the willingness of any other attorney to attempt trying such an old case, however worthy. By now, it would be hard to even locate retired witnesses. My shock at this loss after so much trauma was immeasurable. Nonetheless, the case remains ‘live’ in the basement of the New York State Civil Supreme Court because I have too great a respect for the justice system to drop the case. It was not filed ‘frivolously’, had survived two motions to dismiss and I didn’t want to be accused of inflicting needless costs on the defendants.

This scenario is not unusual in the area of toxic torts and many other forms of litigation.
Less than one percent of civil cases proceed to trial according to a recent article here. Given the prevalence of large scale chemical warfare, it’s not surprising that small scale accidents or even attacks by individuals would prosper, absent consequences. I hope the experiences of Roger Stone, Glenn Beck (Christian broadcaster, poisoned) and others yet to be publicized, will alter a faltering legal system.

The ability of individuals to thrive in a just society is all that stands between us and both real and threatened wars.

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The Problem of Denial

March 16th, 2017

Aeschylus said it best. “In war, truth is the first casualty.”

I’m not feeling too well today because of an incident that never happened.

A 1993 lawsuit over holocaust denial – a popular form of amnesia among fascists and disappointed humanists – was filed in London. Truth won in that suit but remains a flexible rod there in 2017. That trial was memorialized in a book of the same name, a valuable read that. demonstrates just how prevalent denial has become in our everyday life.

Delusions of American indemnity from homefront battles were dented in the plane attacks of September 11, 2001. The fires following the fall of New York City’s twin towers resulted in toxic dusts settling in the homes and offices of New Yorkers. Misinformed about the wisdom of normal cleaning methods, many ailments resulted from amateur efforts to clean the mess requiring hazmat procedures. Like most individuals with multi-system illnesses resulting from unknown causation, the sick were often misdiagnosed and denied recognition until science had literally weighed the components of those particles carrying asbestos, petro-chemicals and numerous other dangers. My own history of toxicant induced injuries from 1999 and 2000 exposures required a great deal of detective work to uncover.

Living part of every year in Israel, I see the strongest delineation made between the norms of peaceful, enlightened life and the predations of terrorism. The latter can only be fought when every resident is aware of the realities of attempted murder with knives, guns or gas canisters. Fearless reporting of suspicious behavior and widespread understanding that pride may be taken in treating reality as desirable divides life and death into their appropriate compartments.

Denial, frequently used as a palliative measure to frightened consumers of preferred half-truths, is extremely dangerous. September eleventh, and more recent events in San Bernadino, California, informed Americans that not only does terror exist but that it may visit or lodge with you in your neighborhoods. Those of us who’ve collided with reality in its many guises have to maintain an unshakeable belief in the strength of truth.

I was in a UK airport this month, having a bite to eat before getting a boarding pass printed out in search of spring warmth. Suddenly, a man approached a nearby trash can with what looked like a canned drink. Pressing the top of that can, he then dropped it into the trash where hissing sounds of escaping fumes were heard and inhaled. My Israeli side immediately challenged him about what he’d thrown out. “A milk-shake.”, he retorted in annoyed tones. My western training of immediately relegating responsibility to authority led to my calling aloud for security. Twenty minutes later with lungs burning, I informed a guard who chanced by in a rather emptied-out section of the terminal and departed for safer environs.

Resting in another area hours later, a familiar airport employee approached. “Thought you’d like to know that nothing was found in the trash at terminal ___ this afternoon.” Growing up in New York and living in the Middle East allows for a wealth of reality-testing skills. I knew a lie when I heard one. Still feeling ill, I now lacked a leg to stand upon should I need a doctor in the absence of facts about what I’d inhaled that day. So would the staff and visitors of that terminal. A baseless need to deny reality would cascade into an ineffectual series of accidents for all present that day.

Perhaps a cleaner will develop migraines. “You really ought to stop working double shifts.”
Perhaps a ticket salesperson will develop joint pains. “Take a month off from the gym.”
Perhaps a security guard will develop a persistent cough. “Careful with this codeine, now.”
Perhaps a doctor will quit. “Too many limits on medical testing. How can I figure out what’s wrong?”

Perhaps the most inaccessible test is that of an accurate patient history.

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The Attorney General – Your Public Servant

February 11th, 2017

I have enough regard for Elizabeth Warren to have sent her a plan for helping the homeless at minimal public expense. Her observations are generally ‘on point’ so I have to admit to some degree of puzzlement about her congressional grand-standing over the appointment of Jeff Sessions to the office of attorney general.

The sacrifices of minorities and the visionaries who spurred us onward are always to be remembered. However, the congress needed to hear data on Mr. Session’s litigation record along with ratios of ‘charges brought to cases fought’. Attorneys litigate the cases easily won and avoid those they stand to lose. Racism is relevant but his record, rather than commentary about his record, is required for official review. Had those statistics been presented, Ms. Warren would have retained the floor and possibly been more influential.

However, this position is not one that will pose a threat to the public because of the duties involved. The attorney general protects the government from charges of malfeasance. He or she advises the federal government whenever legal actions/orders open up the government to possible litigation on the basis of constitutionality or other issue. Should the public interest be at all threatened when Sessions leaves a new order in place, a suit may be filed to challenge the law in question.

The role is not one of absolute rule with the citizenry always retaining the option of challenging laws and executive orders. Attorney Alan Dershowitz states (below) that the President is required to have counsel regarding his orders and bill approvals. Given the fact that the Federal Government will have minimal funds to distribute to the states makes the actions of State officials primary in carrying out policies. States will definitely make appropriate appeals wherever federal rulings are onerous to the state budget and/or the will of their voters.

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Vaping – Just Point and Shoot!

February 11th, 2017

Special Delivery! Old Problems in New Packaging.

Consumers were shocked when the San Francisco Gate broke a story about workers dying of an incurable lung disease called bronchiolitis obliterans. Treatable only by a lung transplant, the chemical diacetyl was found to be the source of cellular degradation. Used to flavor microwave popcorn and responsible for that signature odor (fragrances and flavors share an identical chemical base), the disease was found in a few consumers who used the product on a daily basis.

E-cigs use the same chemicals and the story below demonstrates the full nature of self-abuse engaged in by people with their careless fingers on the buttons of their vape machines. Not content with self-harm, those not using vapes for delivery of medicinally needed products appear to be using them like cameras.

Just point and shoot!


Do e-cigarettes cause popcorn lung?

It is not only microwave popcorn that contains dangerous chemical flavorings such as diacetyl. A study published in 2015 in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives showed that harmful chemicals associated with “popcorn lung” are present in many types of flavored e-cigarettes, particularly those with flavors like fruit and candy that may appeal to young smokers. Of the 51 flavored e-cigarettes tested, flavoring chemicals were found in 47 and diacetyl specifically in 39 samples.

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Israel In Flames

November 24th, 2016

Terrorism has taken another route in Israel – fires have been burning out of control while multiple countries sent additional planes to drop water on our desert nation.  The city of Haifa, home to many University students and hi-tech industries is the latest blaze requiring tens of thousands to be evacuated.  The latest bulletin stated that the fire has been contained and some of the suspected terrorists have been arrested.

Fire is an old weapon and I was in Southern California in 2014 when fires were spreading upwind, a strong signal that arson was responsible for the destruction. There are numerous sources of terrorism throughout the world and we should not be afraid to use the word when other nations use the word to describe similar events.

I was present at a bi-partisan congressional hearing held on March 31, 2000 that determined municipalities (case in point, New York City), ought not spray residents with pesticides from helicopters like they are cropdusting. Terrorism requires analysis of intra-state activities in addition to those by outliers. The attitude of ‘Can’t happen here.”, must be lost. I would have a far larger family were our predecessors in fascist countries more disposed to the analysis of realities.

Perhaps facts are too easily dismissed when emotions ride “low”. A little known equation is Facts + emotion = Truth – denial. Admittedly when you believe a truth to be self-evident, you may have to backtrack from the endpoint to get all the facts required to show others.

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