Showing posts with label Cultural Rivalry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cultural Rivalry. Show all posts

Friday, June 27, 2014


1. Cultural Loyalty is noble and not just a civil obligation. 2. People can identify their patriotism reaching their very souls. 3. Which is why international dispute is not about - who's wrong? 4. But whether ruthlessness is rendered impossible?  

Centuries of diplomatic contest ironed out nations' differences so that theoretically now there are only remnants of rivalries festering in romantic violence in the 21ST Century. Civilized peace and tranquility shattered by hard heartedness? Diplomacy reigns opposing cold calculated zealotryJingoism or Responsible Pride? Leadership perhaps incapable of laughing at themselves? 

O.K. Corral sycophants? Torn nations' wrath? 
Humanity's up to our necks as reasons nation-states enforce character they can't afford? Support the Law!
Cue the band, "Do do what you tell me.""Come on?" 
However, Rebellious Individualism? 

A Person's Sanctity? Do not preclude the honor of citizenship. This past Spring I was privileged to serve a day of United States Federal District Court jury duty. A corralled experience that contradicted my feeling of complete independence. But it's marvelous watching the justice system's impressive apparatus of checks and balances impanel juries. An assembly line of respectful procedure requiring potential jurors have their moment on stage. Seated in the jury box where what you say can and is used to somewhat figure you out. I remembered being nervous questioned by two prior judges in other jurisdictions. Because this last time was a large jury pool and jurors were selected long before my scheduled interrogation. Which was an absolute relief for my preference not to judge. But our supervisor even said where'd they be if they "only considered volunteers?" 

As cordial a process as could be hoped, sitting in the gallery under the gaze of judges' portraits one hopes could close their doors to corruption. Not sacrifice honor. So? Serious scary business, profit and crime. No doubt people need more innocent incentive not to come into contact with direct supervision from the law. There has to be no sense of holiday in criminality? People can't be in their right minds to break the law? The law could be broken less without authoritarianism which is not civilized. Now is it? Soapbox View 

So? Pressed at this time of year for an expression of pride in my country the United States, what happened? What happened that such dignified judicial propriety has such a high price defendants' sentences are exaggerated when they don't agree to a plea? An eye for an eye court costs? Reality? Not that people aren't guilty, it's just people aren't more powerful than states or sufficiently motivated associations of individuals.
Protecting People is a State's Sovereignty
Justice Is A Heavy Responsibility

So. It is nice governments can patiently and magnanimously judge citizens' interests in courts of law. Because Power is an unwieldy, flexing, reality, and more often than not defense is just pushing back. The best advise of course is to negotiate from a position of power. Gosh wouldn't we all like that oomph at our back? 

Speaking of power, President Putin has shown patient reserve, after sanctions, letting momentum appear to swing, because momentum's always an issue. Especially in this contest over Ukraine and Russia's quest to memorialize their national vigor. A popularly honored world-wide theme, patriotism. Well? Winning is everything? And shame on churches precluding God's/Allah's judgement of mortal sin. Condemn not to not be condemned, I'd speculate. Because tolerance is the one value that shouldn't be overshadowed.

So it's hopeful Ukrainian President Poroshenko’s initially rejected amnesty had legs after all, huh? With more chess chest thrusts to go? Ukraine Signs Trade Agreement With European Union, The New York Times, June 27, 2014. Officials enjoy chess. For governments recent events have gone down downright swift. But whether fogs of conflict ever lift, the general mood of engagement and perpetual victimhood leaves a pallor of haze over everything all over the world. Rationality is symbolic compromise offsetting financial sanctions against Russia. Negotiate. Why Crimea was taken swiftly as an important piece on the board. Sure. It's all about national pride until the money's sliced. Shrewd operation. Good business. But what would be nice, President Putin? Is an independent objective judicial system. True, nothing comes between the business of nation-states. Putin Presses Extension of Cease-Fire in UkraineThe New York Times, June 24, 2014, by Neil MacFarquhar and Andrew Roth.
Litigation For Everybody!

If only a coin toss? Putin is Not a Nationalist, The Moscow Times,  June 24, 2014, by Andrei Tsygankov, highlights the president's blowing in the wind like any other politician. Exactly?

Who likes the sound of an independent Crimea as a solution? Crimea, the next Monaco?
Dr. Arnold S. Relman dies at 91. 
Health System Critic and twenty-three year editor of the New England Journal of MedicineFrom The New York Times ... On October 23, 1980, Dr. Relman, issued the clarion call that would resound through his career, assailing the American health care system as caring more about money than curing the sick. He called it a "new medical-industrial complex" - a deliberate analogy to president Dwight D. Eisenhower's warning about a "military industrial complex." ...  
According to The Times, Dr. Relman's prescription was a single taxpayer-supported insurance system, like Medicare, to replace hundreds of private, high-overhead insurance companies, which he called "parasites." To control costs, he advocated that doctors be paid a salary rather than a fee for each service performed.

Dr. Relman recognized that his recommendations for repairing the health care system might be politically impossible, but he insisted it was imperative to keep trying. ...
What might be true? Beyond speculation? Is we all lose when money doesn't circulate. It's a waste locking doctors' lives in financial treadmills. Of course they're smart and digest a lot to advise their patients. But that doesn't mean the system isn't backwards if doctors spend more time not quite being doctors than they're doctors. Sure. Doctors are shrewd and pursued magnificent things for financial incentive. But we're smarter than repetitive slogans and political branding? You'd think?
The Soapbox View Pursuing Twin Legacies 
Andy Rooney and I.F. Stone?_____________________


4. To Mideast Diplomacy Rendering Ruthlessness Impossible.

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Fine Society’s Debtors Prison

  Covering the class action lawsuit of lead plaintiff Richard Earl Garrett against the town of Harpersville, Ala, New York Times reporter, ETHAN BRONNER, essentially described how today debtors prisons evolved from our communities’ dependence on revenue. Titled Probation Fees Rise, Firms Profit and the Poor Go to Jail, besides Mr. Garrett’s decade of public debt turmoil, a woman is told about who was fined $179 for speeding and then failed to show up in court because the ticket bore the wrong date so her license was revoked. When pulled over the next time, of course, driving without a license, her fees had added up to more than $1,500. Unable to pay, she was handed over to a private probation company and jailed and charged an additional fee for each day behind bars.
  Lisa W. Borden, a partner in Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Camp; Berkowitz, a large law firm in Birmingham, Ala., has spent a great deal of time on the issue. Her assessment is, “With so many towns economically strapped, there is growing pressure on the courts to bring in money rather than mete out justice. Companies they hire are aggressive. Those arrested are not told about the right to counsel or asked whether they are indigent or offered an alternative to fines and jail. There are real constitutional issues at stake.”
  The Times reporter notes half a century ago in a landmark case, the Supreme Court ruled the accused had to be provided a lawyer if they could not afford one. But in misdemeanors, the right to counsel is rarely brought up, even though defendants run the risk of jail. While probation companies promise revenue to the towns, saying they also help offenders, defendants still often end up lost in a legal Twilight Zone.
  William M. Dawson, a Birmingham lawyer and Democratic Party activist, filed the lawsuit for Mr. Garrett and others against the local authorities and the probation company, Judicial Correction Services that’s based in Georgia. Interviewed, Mr. Dawson said, “The Supreme Court has made clear that it is unconstitutional to jail people just because they can’t pay a fine.” Something most all of us had seemed to already accept as part of a civilized society.
  In Georgia three dozen for-profit probation companies operate in hundreds of courts where there have been similar lawsuits. In one suit an Iraq war veteran, who lost his job, was jailed for failing to make $860 a month child support payments. Another victim of circumstances, with a monthly income of $243 in veterans’ benefits, was charged with public drunkenness, assessed $270 by a court and put on probation through a private company. The company added a $15 enrollment fee and $39 in monthly fees. That put his total for a year above $700, which the person struggled to meet before being jailed for failing to pay all his debt.
  John B. Long, a lawyer in Augusta, Georgia, who is taking the issue to a federal appeals court this fall said, “These companies are bill collectors, but they are given the authority to say to someone that if he doesn’t pay he is going to jail. There are things like garbage collection where private companies are O.K. No one’s liberty is affected. The closer you get to locking someone up, the closer you get to a constitutional issue.”
  The issue of using courts to produce income was investigated in a recent study by the nonpartisan Conference of State Court Administrators, “Courts Are Not Revenue Centers.” The report said in traffic violations, “court leaders face the greatest challenge in ensuring that fines, fees and surcharges are not simply an alternate form of taxation.”
  Plus Scott Vowell, the presiding judge of Alabama’s 10th Judicial Circuit, said his state’s legislature, like many, was pressuring courts to produce revenue, and that some legislators even believed courts should be financially self-sufficient.
  A Fine Society.
  The Times article also noted a 2010 study, by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, that examined the fee structures in 15 states, including California, Texas and Florida, with the largest prison populations. The sudy found, “Many states are imposing new and often onerous ‘user fees’ on individuals with criminal convictions. Yet far from easy money, the fees impose severe and often hidden costs on taxpayers and indigent people convicted of crimes. Creating new paths to prison for those unable to pay their debts by making it harder to find employment and housing as well as meeting child support obligations.”
  Over a decade ago many states abandoned pursuing misdemeanor fees because it was time-consuming and costly. Companies such as Judicial Correction Services saw an opportunity by charging public authorities nothing and making their money adding fees onto the defendants bills. 
  Yale Law School’s Stephen B. Bright, president of the Southern Center for Human Rights, said courts were increasingly using fees “for such things as retirement funds for various court officials, law enforcement functions such as police training and crime laboratories, victim assistance programs and even courts’ computer systems. In one county in Pennsylvania, 26 different fees totaling $2,500 are assessed in addition to the fine.”
  Mr. Dawson’s Alabama lawsuit also alleges that Judicial Correction Services does not discuss alternatives to fines or jail and that its training manual “is devoid of any discussion of indigency or waiver of fees.”
  In a joint telephone interview, two senior officials of Judicial Correction Services, Robert H. McMichael, its chief executive officer, and Kevin Egan, its chief marketing officer, rejected the allegations. 
  They said the company does try helping those in need, but that the authority to determine who is indigent is the court’s and not the company’s. “We hear a lot of ‘I can’t pay the fee,” Mr. Egan said adding, “It is not our job to figure that out. Only the judge can make that determination.” Mr. Egan said, “Our job is to keep people out of jail. We have a financial interest in getting them to comply. If they don’t pay, we don’t get paid.” Mr. Bright, of the Southern Center for Human Rights, complained that with the private companies seeking a profit, courts in need of income and the most vulnerable caught up in the system, “we end up balancing the budget on the backs of the poorest people in society.”
March 14 - 29, 2016
The Fine Society's Debtors Prison
7/13/2012 concluded: Mr. Bright, of the Southern Center for Human Rights, complained that with the private companies seeking a profit, courts in need of income and the most vulnerable caught up in the system, “we end up balancing the budget on the backs of the poorest people in society.”
Bob Herbert's excellent documentary.
Genius @ financing crime, not solutions.
  The Fine Society's not as fine as it should be. Though as polished as only success can be. The problem's not that we can't dig deeper for a handle on the bottom line. The divvy up's just stuck in divvy up.
  Sigh. We all like waking to feeling bad things aren't happening in our directions. In our way. But that it happens at all is a neglect that's gone unfazed because immorality's to blame. What a dodge. Another one Allah/God probably didn't think up for us. Another juicy conundrum thought up all on our own. Dismissing Matthew 7:1, judge not, that ye be not judged. 
  Enforcing crime's a protection from having not solved the dilemma's roots. But don't scapegoat cops, or anyone. No one particularly designed our cultural flaws that everyone needs benevolently gotten innocently through to an end to the dehumanized Criminal Enterprise System. Let's Get Civilized

Sold Judge Gorsuch and
What Eating Your Leveraged Sandwich Means

  Fed digestible sound bytes. Dialogue's become extremely crafted presentation. Response, an edged approach. Agitation a format. ...
  Straight-laced's a plus. But, to start, the candidate for the Supreme Court, Judge Gorsuch, does seem to restore the patriarchy with a subtle grace behooving such a powerful blow. Technically: Ethical, but another endorser of the Criminal Enterprise System. Except that the court's responsibility is to face the truth. Not stretch principle to endorse mere veneers of respectability and practicality that choke life of all its' beneficial diversity. Liberal and responsible and not just contrarian ruthless harda__.  
  And that's how it goes with this issue considered bigger than all of us. The methodology behind criminalizing behavior to enforce an ideal of moral rectitude, that's not only indifferently judgmental, but self-flagellating all across the board populated by finks and desperate, even conspiring legal, characters. 

some brooks babble more than others
Politics and Sports!
Poll Says 70% of Country Approves of our 
President's State of the Union Address 

  Tuesday, February 28, 2017, President Trump presented a more polished list of promises, that's said to have been worked over by his daughter Ivanka. Morning News Radio, I heard, suggested issues were talked about when what each point had in common was their just being mentioned, as usual. Aren't we redundant? Such as suggesting "clean water" when business before ecology interests are already shown to be of paramount concern to the administration. An antagonistic essayist might suggest the president is mocking ecological interests. As if swiping the nuisance off with the back of an empirical hand. 
  Not that business interests aren't important. It's just, as in the case of West Virginia, where enough profit wasn't reinvested to distance that state from dependence upon coal jobs when cleaner methods of fuel usage have been developed for a few decades at least. West Virginia University makes runs at national collegiate sports championships, (Final 16, 2017). But the state's lack of economic diversity, and grassroots strength, is the sore spot everywhere else as well. 
  But I digressed. The speech's only declaration that received full bipartisan applause, lauded a fallen soldier whose sacrifice will be honored "for eternity." Directly ignoring the basis behind which the jargon entrenched religious war festers. That people need brought out of the fog from. "Love thine enemies" disregarded, and chest beating religious war, the cause behind all our becoming kindling for the causes. End the Cycle of Revenge.
  Of course the big issue, as huge financial nut, is Health Care. Insurance technically succeeded as socialism for the rich without the bottom line drain caused by the poor. But over the decades insurance was the excuse for charging more, such that cost had no real relation to affordability, for anyone, at all. Leaving us with a system whereby doctors as an individual entity have no real power. A labyrinth of bureaucracy that's not faced as government's the convenient scapegoat for bureaucratic failure. Obamacare's compromise with an industrial skim is, most probably, being replaced by yet another skim.
  So just as bankers bail out businesses when too big to fail, the American public has to bail out the promises. While where credit's taken, is what the people get.

My Satisfaction With Tim Raines' Induction Into The Baseball Players Hall of Fame 

  Late September 1976, the season's first Sanford Seminole High School Seminoles football game, versus Oviedo, was my first and, possibly, last sidebar interview as a sportswriter. The Sanford Herald's Head Sportswriter complimented me for getting an interview with Tim Raines, who'd been reluctant to give interviews since, as Tim told me, no one ever quoted him accurately. Though still just a senior in high school. The plight of the local sports hero. Right. You can hear everyone not crying in unison over that one. But something he genuinely felt.
  Anyway. Since my high school swim coach, Coach Terwilliger, told Tim, the year before, that I'd concerned myself with our dual meet schedule so Tim would have at least one school team winning season to appreciate team success, Tim stunned me by preparing a place in front of his locker for, me to sit and, us to talk all alone after the locker room cleared. Fond memory of how neighbor, Kenny Lee, was go between, because I was too shy to ask or politically shrewd because everyone liked Kenny. While protocol tends toward song and dance.
  But what happened was, during the game, someone told me that, as a sportswriter, I had access to behind the end zone, when no one else did, and what I saw literally amazed me. Tim running very fast around right end, at mid-field, evaded a reach by instantly accelerating to extremely fast and that touchdown blew me away. But I went into a funk for weeks, knowing Tim had a bright future. The idea of his success ground down my pursuit of outside endeavors, understanding my allegiance was to studying history. 
  So as Tim's career was misshapenly portrayed as having fallen short of the hall, I bothered to know better. Owners scapegoating players for rising consumer prices is when Tim sacrificed his prime-of-life numbers to stand firm for the rights of players who'd invested their lives in the game. So when it's said Tim finally made the hall, my belief is he was always there. It's just the real numbers, recognizing that fact, finally grew up. Huh, sportswriters?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Boston Criminal Boss James (Whitey) Bulger’s Common-Law Spouse, Catherine E. Greig, Sentenced To Eight Years

  Often those needing sympathy don’t seem to deserve it. 
  Sixteen years on the lam with alleged ruthless killer Whitey Bulger and described by her lawyer, Kevin Reddington, as having a loving personality might be a tad incongruous for, now convicted, Catherine Greig. But not so much in our legal system that a judge can’t hear with a straight face a defense attorney’s straight face that friends stand by her who haven’t seen her in years. 
  As reported by The New York Times, Ms. Greig’s lawyer asked in a, filed Monday, memorandum that she be sentenced to 27 months, using literature to support his repeated line that Ms. Greig’s crime was falling in love. “Why people fall in love has been debated since before Shakespeare’s sonnets.” Jack Pirozzolo, a government lawyer, questioned that logic in court, saying, “This isn’t poetry. This is a woman who, by choice, decided to help a man who has been accused of vicious crimes.” 
  A summary of Mr. Bulger’s criminal career and fugitive life can (used to) be seen at the America’s Most Wanted website, as well as an ABC News recap of how the FBI advertised to women, on afternoon television programming, because they might have seen Catherine in beauty parlors. The effort to find Ms. Greig to flush out Whitey happened within an astonishing forty-eight hours since they’d been missing sixteen years until then.
  Still, no matter how pampered by money she’d been most of her life, used has to only be the half of Ms. Greig’s experience as Mr. Bulger’s criminal career seemed based on carrying out threats on virtually everyone whoever met him, including most likely, allegedly, the FBI. Another sad tragedy of our ruthless world that she wasn’t rescued before.
July 27, 29 - August 11, 2016
Boston Criminal Boss James (Whitey) Bulger's Common-Law Spouse, Catherine E Greig, Sentenced To Eight Years

6/13/2012 concluded: Still, no matter how pampered by money she’d been most of her life, used has to only be the half of Ms. Greig’s experience as Mr. Bulger’s criminal career seemed based on carrying out threats on virtually everyone whoever met him, including most likely, allegedly, the FBI. Another sad tragedy of our ruthless world that she wasn’t rescued before. 

  People need "miracles" so the future stops inheriting our crime riddled past? For Catherine Greig, once drawn in the orbitthere wasn't a break except years on the lam with Whitey. Make no mistake. Whitey Bulger was a ruthlessly opportunist criminal mastermind for which the makeup of "the streetsis blamed. The excuse is economically tortured levels of life, whose disputes with authority are labelled complete lawlessness are the whims of the State's own opportunists perpetuating socially flawed law. Criminal Intent? Once again, Whitey was no genius. But meant from a baby for a thoroughly mean streak? Possibly. But he probably, couldn't have ever invented the Criminal Enterprise System itself, himself, without vast amounts of fellow colluders living marginally criminal public lives. Because a game where we're our own nemesis-es, has-to-go. Law Enforcement is our police, the public's, not military states'. 
  Crime is so vast? But what morality should face and stop pretending otherwise, is judgement's a vaguely subjectively understood capacity of vast sources of view. The most preposterous moral failure humans have is reducing religion to competitive nonsense when there's only one God/Allah just as we're all one creation of The Creator. Because what's happened through our own vanity claiming Allah/God influences holy war (justifiable revenge) is complete balderdash. Hysterically kept in preponderant place by rationalities that deem our free judgement as reason enough to blame anyone else but ourselves for our mistakes. 
  Our own human miracles could form if people understood our depths were lowered criminalizing virtually everyone. Something else the country's waiting on Congress no to do? Well. Certainly the details entail nuance. But Civilization's still enduring the remnants of feudalism's nightmarish principalities' monopolistic resistance to legitimate competition within their empires. Justice? The word's so entwined with revenge, the pursuit's just excuses for politicians to toss out to sycophants to chew at the games. Prisons and jails have a purpose, yes. But there's something to the fantasist's persuasion fathoming confinement should actually be more like actual Country Clubs for every prisoner instead of a petri dish of stirred punishing resentment. Some get their minds straight there. But the operative words to remember about even a sparklingly pleasant environment is it's still jail or prison.  Locked up is not feeling free. And where they live's not accomplishing its goal by being just another in a long string of broken homes. 
  Instead? Really work for a living? The compromises felons made that dropped them into irresponsible lives should be regretted. But the justice system's a method for handling crime. Solving cases, not solving crime. Crime is a social phenomenon overwhelmed by the competitively played game, Criminal Enterprise System. Broken America's what we have by judging Americans who never should have been cornered into becoming criminals. Prohibition, the mistake that keeps giving. Watch the TV Police Drama, Blue Bloods idolization of alcohol right there on the screen. Morality? The American Culture may have a clue a huge boondoggle spread misery few could afford besides authoritarians as the DEA reaffirmed? As with Whitey Bulger and the vast network of bureaucracy handling America's Criminal Enterprise System. Some of this handling criminals is directly about the Criminal Enterprise System needing a fix. Why not solve crime civilized?
  Criminals to the left of us and crime to the right is an inundation of criminality. Moral rectitude's line walked over, stepped on, and smudged into incoherence as the Criminal Enterprise System rolls over the innocent population who're told we're victims of symptoms that're really structural defects. Change the law? When law's been sat on to such overweight effect. As if the whole modern-day planet's confusions are easily traced back through tyrants such as Henry the Eighth. While modernity's just made crime more conveniently gotten away with. So law's last option is force though ending crime is more important than punishing criminals. Why bleeding heart liberalism's more than just political toys
  Uh huh, WikileaksWiki. Where should Americans stand on individuals belligerence toward authority? Obviously, first and foremost, behind free speech. Because everyone knows crime's the cover-up and public's vast coax-ability by simple message is futile charades. Soapbox View
  Speaking of bargaining political power. This university class' half-hour documentary  
is about a town
that became a Central Florida neighborhood. One lesson of history is winners are ruthless, though that's proven never completely smart. 
  Also revealing is criticism of Sapolio Soap's jingoistic slant in the Filthy State Clean State Spotless Town campaign. The ad's cited in Scientific Authority & Twentieth-century America, edited by Ronald G. Walters. Advertising blemishTch, tch? Now we're talking the way politicians mention talking about issues by just referring to them. Or that's all the media's fault? Facing the truth's disturbing, but cool. JK Fraser was a relative kid when credited inventing Spotless TownArtemus Ward owned the shop. 
  Or rather, Enoch Morgan's Sons Co.

  Fairly bright?
The Extravaganza's Rhetoric
Of Course Criminal Intent's Bad 

  August 2nd, New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton announced his end of August resignation. Initially, Commissioner Bratton's lukewarm acceptance of modifying the militarizing of American Police through his community policing, meant his resignation could have been about getting out from under Mayor de Blasio's thumb. Where released from the post's obligations he'd be free as former Mayor Giuliani is to pronounce from a marketable pedestal that only they see how morality should be enforced and Criminal Enterprise System reformed. In a country dedicated to a people's freedom as individuals. Maybe the Commissioner'll get to play quarterback for Rudy's team until his own publicity threatens Giuliani's figurehead status in the pyramid scheme's hierarchy again as the media reported supposedly happened when they were both in office together. 
  If things happened as I preferred? William Bratton would have remained New York City Police Commissioner and grown with the hoped for civilized change. Heaven knows there's been enough chest-thumping from the public stage to have lasted lifetimes. There's always change. 
  And, for good measureanother Criminal Enterprise System mention as politicians do claiming to "talk about" issues from their pedestals. Try counting the times that happens in the next US Presidential debate? But don't hold your breaths for sycophantic coverage of that. Though news maven Charlie Rose, August 3rd, personally (scooped) uncovered Commissioner Bratton's resignation was for more money. All the best.