OVERVIEW to letter &report given (7/24/08) to Mayor Bloomberg
by Susan Titus Glascoff (see credentials with letters)
Webster’s dictionary- crime- an act or omission, esp. one of grave nature, punishable by law as forbidden by statute or injurious to public welfare; hence serious violation of human law; any offense, esp. of grave character’ hence serious wrongdoing; sin.
Our legal system is on criminal trial, requiring proof beyond reasonable doubt vs civil preponderance of evidence. The breadth of evidence within this report represents tip of iceberg proving many legal actors too often commit grave crimes against humanity, esp its most vulnerable- the poor, other unfortunate men and women, but primarily mothers and children in all walks of life if they enter court.
Who will be judge & jury? The public.
Who will hold court? All media.
Who can best facilitate the process? The 200+ existing mayor coalition co-chaired
by Mayors Bloomberg and________________.
Who might best assist? All governors, other mayors.
Who should NOT assist? Atty Generals, district attys, any judges and other lawyers
unless each 1st PROVES they are not among foxes watching the henhouse. (It is
hoped more dedicated judges & lawyers will speak out more loudly vs abuse.)
Why? Because legal manipulation has insidiously, increasingly affected every
aspect of our lives. What was intended as justice has too often become who can
win via power & control. It is compounding to destroy our economy & our very
soul by twisting the minds of our children. Children are programmed to learn
what they live. Most of us have heard, “If you live with criticism, shame, hostility,
etc., you learn to condemn, feel guilty, fight: if you live with praise, fairness,
approval, you learn to appreciate, show justice, & like yourself so you can find &
give love in the world.
What? Dialogue about meaningful checks & balances for OUR legal system! Must
include transparency & means of enforcement including easier recusals, more
sanctions, tighter parameters for litigation, far more reasonable cost, etc.
How? What we the public decide must be captured in realistic rules & laws via all
appropriate government agents.
When? TRULY ASAP before we do too little too late. OUR KIDS “KANT” WAIT
SO NEITHER CAN WE ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
PS- The initiative needs to be 2-pronged- constructive, compassionate solutions must be devised for legal accountability but also for preventive societal measures regarding conflict management & challenges of good partnering & parenting. Lynn Gold-Bikin’s (atty who was chair of ABA’s family law division) high school Partners’ Program is mentioned here. Other programs exist; more needed, etc.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg (Attn. Press Sec., 10 Manitou Road
City Hall (212-639-9675) Stu Loeser 788-2958) Westport, CT 06880
New York, NY 10007 July 23, 2008
Dear Mayor Bloomberg:
This follows up email sent July 14 noting I would send backup data re my request to have you address legal accountability locally and nationally (via use of “your” bi-partisan 200+ mayor coalition – investigating city gun control, but which I’m hoping can jumpstart serious national conversation re how to establish more checks &balances for fairer courts- which even interrelates to gun issues since kids learn what they live). Locally, sentencing of Judge Garson in June ‘07 -mere tip of the iceberg. New issues may erupt soon. It’s great your initiatives re abuse, poverty, etc. are getting nat’l attention. These could help you act as catalyst to send increasingly urgent messages that we must clean up our legal act to improve & retain credibility anywhere. The seemingly limitless volume of data documenting need for reforms no matter the topic, spanning decades ( articles, books, conferences, award-winning documentaries, presidential & judicial task forces, 5 nat’l crisis confs. in Albany re emotional, physical, &/or financial abuse of mothers & children, & 11 ++million websites, etc.), speaks for itself. In lengthy well-documented reports I’ve widely sent including to presidential campaign commission, 21 senators, major media, speeches, etc., I’ve requested state contests &/or coordinated media discussion to no avail.
Since your coalition already exists, and you’ve done what few accomplish- rise from middle class to multi- billionaire without scandal and indeed with respect, YOU CAN DO THIS, MAYOR BLOOMBERG! The future of all our kids requires it!
How can I be so sure? Aside from my being in 3 Who’s Whos (I refused earlier, preferring privacy; found acting as catalyst best) since I’ve done advocacy projects entire adult life –I’m 63- (even at age 10 my steadfastness got a teacher fired), plus being known to do more broad-based research & be more persistent than most (some proof enclosed), having been married for 22 years to 1st husband whom I put through law school & became managing partner of big Wall St firm, commenting I was so thorough I didn’t need a lawyer, &having 1986 letter from president of Nat’l. Ed. Assn. saying “If only your insight and enthusiasm could be bottled and shipped around U.S.,” I often quote renowned clichés since they’ve withstood time. 1821/3 Thomas Jefferson- “The germ of the destruction of our nation is in the power of the judiciary.” Reason given- lack of checks & balances. “……….We must inform public discretion.” Helen Keller – “None are so blind as those who WILL NOT see.”
PS-cites articles, cases, incl. Brooklyn. Respectfully, Susan Titus Glascoff, Masters-Hlth Advocacy,
Math, 3 sons, 2 stepsons, 3 Who’s Whos, Exec. Dir Adv Bd to Nat’l Coalition for Family Justice
P.S. I don’t know where to start because the amount of evidence is overwhelming, so I’ll ask some leading questions, then cite a few thought-provoking articles and cases. Lots more of course will just be in the packet. It will of course be very incomplete (& greater emphasis will be on family issues, but they ARE the foundation of society, so too many cracks there, and ………) but I’ll try to cover as many “Yeah buts…” as possible before I run out of time. There may even be a couple of repeats as I got so many interruptions doing this. I’m doing my “best.” This will NOT have summary page or overall outline with corresponding numbered pages, or highlights, as my 2005 report, & others, DO (though summary and outlines from ‘05 will be included) as “no time!” I would be willing to discuss this directly (without informing public), & I’m sure president of my organization, Monica Getz, would, too (She’s in Sweden-where’s she’s from- till Sept., but I would be willing to speak earlier.)
Is there any way to get even vague estimates of the per cent of our GDP spent for legal costs, as I’m positive the numbers would be staggering? Years ago it was estimated we litigated 10X more per person than England. Since a multitude of sources, many well-informed and highly educated, have been clamoring for meaningful, enforceable legal reforms for decades, why hasn’t Congress tendered reform guidelines with a requirement that states submit their proposals, just as some is being done with energy & environmental issues? Is it because too many in our government are lawyers and self-policing thwarts human nature? Does it make sense that recusal of judges is primarily voluntary? Can you imagine a CEO saying, “Gee, I’m not doing a good job and I’m biased, etc., so I’ll resign?” How about more curbs on judicial immunity? How about curbs on parameters prosecutors set that deliberately lean toward conviction or exoneration either at first court or appellate level? How about “look sees” a few years post divorce to determine if assets, including employment, were manipulated (needs to include requirement to pay for offsprings’ college if can afford it etc. as now kids are barred from enough aid if either parent could pay more)? How about FAR more scrutiny re custody issues in genuine terms of what’s best for the kids, hence society? A presidential task force study found abusers are 2X as likely to seek custody. Another study -when they do, about 70% of them get it. I believe those are the worst statistics on this planet!
Lengthy checks and balance lists have been prepared by credible sources. Again, Thomas Jefferson noted in 1823 the answer is not to withhold information from the public, but to inform their discretion. When I describe some of court horrors of the Taub case and other cases, divorce and not, people are incredulous! Chief Justice Jacqueline Silbermann was merely given a mild verbal reprimand when the appellate overturned her 2005 decision to grant a divorce to a husband, giving him both custody of children (? #) and occupancy of marital home by merely informing the wife of the decision (though husband said she had been served papers)! What?? I had been going to contact her about the abuse in the Brooklyn Taub divorce case, but that obviously would be unwise! Democracy cannot function without viable common sense assessment options of all judicial decisions, serious consistent consequences for any abuse of the legal system, & when the public can’t help their elected representatives make informed decisions! The U.S. can’t lead with such a tarnished legal system!
Haven’t people been complaining it is way too easy to sue? Don’t many businesses have in-house lawyers primarily for that reason & also since legal costs otherwise would soon overpower everything ? Don’t some settle because it is cheaper than going to court where they know bogus delays abound (because there are few incentives for restraint, corruption too common, etc), especially when there is hourly billing which is impossible to totally monitor? Don’t these costs just have to be passed on to consumers? Don’t all acknowledge that defensive medicine and malpractice premiums contribute to costs and inferior care? Haven’t divorce and family courts become big business, often impoverishing entire families, but more often mothers and children?
How about some statistics re how much is spent yearly per divorcee on divorce lawyers, etc? I read somewhere that total bill for divorce comprises 60% of all civil litigation (many of fees and delays are unconscionable). U.S. census statistics notes divorced women’s lifestyle declines 45%, with no # given for men, but most know that on average it increases, sometimes lots. The legal parameters of fraud, no matter the topic, are-
[ 1)making false or misleading statement, assertion or suggestion or committing some other act fitted to deceive, 2) knowledge of falsity or misleading nature of statement, assertion or suggestion or action in reckless disregard for the truth, 3) intent that such representations, assertions or suggestions be acted upon, 4) knowing plaintiff reasonably relied on representation, assertion or suggestion, and 5) plaintiff suffered damage as result]. It happens all the time in court. (My ex tried to offer me as retirement compensation shares in a company for which he was being sued for fraud because it was going bankrupt partly because of his misrepresentations.)
Offshore tax evasion plays a part, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens with recent scrutiny efforts- since it reportedly deprives government of $100Billion/yr. Isn’t taking custody from mothers more often about who has the more expensive lawyer and not wanting to pay child support? (But kids learn what they live, and it is well-documented that in lots of ways many courts make life for dysfunctional families worse. Abuse of any sort is known to often cycle, hence multiply, and negative fallout for society interrelates to everything!) Perhaps we should explore Sen. Rick Santorum’s suggestion that marriage counseling be required for all couples with minor children seeking divorce. Maybe there should be incentives for people to seek a few sessions when applying for a marriage license. How about programs (can be part of health or social studies, etc) such as Lynn Gold-Bikin’s “Partners” (grades 9-12 have class acting out charades of family conflict scenes and audience comments) be REQUIRED in all high schools & more appropriate programs be developed for K-8? This would help them become not only better marriage partners, but better parents and better business people.
Aren’t all court cases primarily about who can win rather than justice? (That is not denying that the legal system acts as a deterrent for bad behavior and that there are many good rulings, but lack of checks & balances is increasingly poisoning the system, including impeding the efforts of the many good lawyers and judges who pour their hearts into trying to help.) A retired judge said a colleague used to ask as he opened the courtroom- “do you know how much it costs just to open this door (And I’m positive that relatively speaking it was far cheaper then!)? He recently determined a “guestimate” for me that found it costs over $4500, including benefits, to operate ONE NYC area courtroom for one day- taxpayer expense! Imagine multiplying -Per Diem Costs X Bogus Days = Huge National Taxpayer Cost? !
1) NYTimes, 1/27/08, “Can Their Wish Be the Market’s Command?” by Ben Stein who said, “Long ago I was a student of law & economics at Yale…..But the law was a total puzzle. Here would be one case that went for the appellant, but just a circuit away, or maybe even in the same circuit, there would be another case – with identical or almost identical facts – that went for the appellee…..Legal realism said that the whole common-law system of abiding by past decisions was a fig leaf. What really happened, at the appellate level and probably at the trial level, too, was that judges made up their minds based on their predilections, their biases, which lawyer was their friend, what they had for breakfast that day. (I myself love peach Activia yogurt.) Then, because a case that reached appeal always had some legal merit on each side, the judges, or their very young clerks, picked whatever precedent they wished to support their bias & pretended that they were bound by that precedent & could not have decided any other way.”
STG- since judicial rulings can impact the rest of one’s life, isn’t it imperative we have serious national conversations to create more checks & balances? Since everything is interrelated via the ripple effect and the power of compounding insidiously builds its base for a long long time before quite abruptly rising and then soon skyrocketing, isn’t it quite possible that Thomas Jefferson’s “GERM “ -of the destruction of our nation is in the power of the judiciary”- is about to metastasize? Wouldn’t that help explain why (recent study reported in NYT) 51% of women are not married (conscious or subconscious determination to be financially independent, and then some even decide prefer their freedom) and young people take 10-20 years longer to marry, etc.? Won’t this skew (?already happening) society if middle class and above are primarily the ones having fewer kids and later or not at all?
2) Reuters-“Rules set for judicial misconduct complaints” 3/11/08 -James Vicini-
Washington- “The policy-making group for the U.S. federal judiciary said on Tuesday it had approved the first set of binding, nationwide rules on how misconduct or disability complaints against federal judges should be handled. The rules set standards to cover allegations of misconduct, such as abuse of power, bias, corruption, incompetence and conflict of interest, and complaints that a judge cannot perform his or her duties because of mental or physical disability.”
STG- shouldn’t this be for all judges, not just federal? It’s almost impossible to get judges dismissed for the above allegations. A recent NY article reported the number of complaints vs judges had increased over past few years but number of rulings vs them had declined, saying it proved judges were doing a better job! THAT is categorically NOT so as case after case after case prove. For instance there have been all sorts of contradictions issued by a few different judges in the current Taub Brooklyn divorce case. One simple ex- Judge Carolyn Demarest within the SAME hearing ordered the husband to get the marital home out of foreclosure (which she had ordered and rescinded a couple times earlier), acknowledged she knew he had the funds, but later said she was unsure he could pay! The case has been dragging on over 3 years, and at the outset the husband gave a paper to the court listing 7 marital properties, most of them rental properties with many apartments (and later admitted most were rented). But, to this day the court has not required discovery! Repeated requests for recusal yield no response or note insufficient evidence or say it needs to be resubmitted in different form (it has been to no avail). Judge Demarest, and earlier judges have also said what the wife has said is not credible and even threatened her with contempt and jail for not paying her share of the mortgage. Yet the judges have allowed the husband to collect rent from properties deeded to the wife and have awarded only $350/wk maintenance (often not paid) which doesn’t even cover her supposed share of the mortgage much less food! The husband also had 3 federal fraud convictions in 1998, etc., etc…… Hmmmm……. The wife just filed for bankruptcy in hopes of salvaging something. Outrageous!
3) The above brings me to another article from the daily Google Alerts on Judicial Abuse (always gives ex.s from around the world, incl. some from U.S.) to which I subscribe- 7/18/08- “Senior SACP leader attacks ‘judicial gangsterism’ in SA”(South Africa). It begins- “A lot of skeptics have recently been alarmed by the utterances of the leading figures in the liberation movement about the role of judges, the concept of independent judiciary and democratic institutions, and many have since written the last will and testament on the ANC (new leadership). We need to inquire why the media has gone on such a veiled attack on the ANC. Of same concern is why would the editorials concern themselves with the periphery of a matter, turn the victims in villains, and praise abusers of human rights and our constitution into acclaimed heroes. Is this a deliberate tendency to hide the core painful truth that would hurt the powers that be and also show weaknesses in the many institutions we have created?”
STG- At first scanning glance I thought this article was about the U.S.! ! ! ! “ Who thinks OJ innocent? Isn’t “Judicial gangsterism” also what is happening in Taub Brooklyn divorce case reported above, AS WELL AS in many divorce cases across country (tons evidence exists), plus indeed in many different types of cases? July 1, 2008 Judge Demarest nastily threatened Chana Taub with jail if she didn’t agree to use her husband’s appraiser for the home within 30 days (though finally she was allowed to pick another, but only from court list, and she rightly fears manipulation). BUT what the judge ordered was illegal as Chana’s atty said to no avail, yet Chana was being threatened with jail! Bankruptcies stop “everything!” NYT 3/25/08- “When the Bully Sits in the Next Cubicle,” notes NY leg.islature considering anti-bullying bill. Noted areas of problems occur in healthcare, academia, & legal professions, & that Zogby survey showed 40% of workplace bullies are women.
4) “The Rule of Law : How the New Litigation Elite Threatens America’s Rule of Law,” by Walter Olsen (Manhattan Institute senior fellow), St. Martin’s press 8/10/04- “The greatest threat to the American republic may not be overreaching governments that casually ignore the wishes of their citizens, but rather a newly powerful class of lawyers who are able through their work to craft new social and legal regulations and enrich themselves at the same time. They have become, in effect, a fourth branch of government that is mostly unregulated and unaccountable to the American public, a new class of rulers that bypasses the institutions of democracy in order to achieve their agenda…….Thanks to contingency fees, the trial lawyers become enormously wealthy (legal fees in the Taub case are about $3Million -husband’s $2M of it, and wife has liens and many loans- so far, and there are 7 ongoing side suits (become wife’s fulltime job- unfair, should be criminal), since husband has said he is determined to litigate the wife into the ground). Keep in mind court costs are borne by taxpayers.
(Another article- NYT 3/25/08 “Are We Ready to Track Carbon Footprints?” by John Tierny. He states -”Everyone talks about the future weather, but so far nobody has done much about it, not even the many people and politicians convinced that climate change will be a serious problem…..getting prices right (re carbon taxes, etc) will not create the right behavior if people do not associate their behavior with the relevant costs.” STG- DITTO getting legal reform, and even worse as public still too little informed re problems. But the public, most who’ve not had any serious court case, also needs to associate excess legal costs as well as other legal abuse with themselves, as well as to hear and be invited to participate in dialogue for viable checks and balances. (Another article- 4/28/08, NYT, “The Audacity of Lawyers,” by Daniel Popeo, Chairman of the Washington Legal Foundation- “The organized bar has a special responsibility to police its own by publicly and vigilantly investigating lawyer misconduct and imposing sanctions, including disbarment, rather than sweeping wrongdoing under the rug.”)
STG- anyone can be served with a subpoena for almost anything it seems, and then you must either hire a lawyer or go pro se (which really limits your chances of winning). Even if you win, you are usually out your legal fees, which can easily become 6 digits. Even once agreement is reached, modifications and mere clarifications cost thousands. I’m quite adept at reading legal documents, but about 10 years ago I had to pay my lawyer $500 to merely clarify a couple paragraphs that simply were not clear & should have been since I had paid thousands for them! Hourly billing includes phone calls, no matter how brief, & I’m sure times for a few pleasantries often get added into the time. There’s no way to check on exact time lawyer spent on various calls to different sources or travel or research time, etc. But serving of subpoenas is ridiculous, too, as they must be personally handed to you & you are allowed to try to evade them and then even deny they were given to you. In the Taub case the husband has often denied service, even when a professional server was hired. Then wife had to pay him again to come to court to testify. Last time took two hearings –lawyers had to come both times- travel time, court time, some preparation all billed, and of course it cost taxpayers for court use! Judge Demarest has only been believing husband re service (& everything), but last time it went to family court & a new judge ruled in favor of the wife as it was clear her two servers &sister were telling the truth. But that judge no longer wants to have anything to do with this case (as happened with 1-2 other fair judges in this case). Hmm…………. Do you suppose we might have another “Judge Garson” scandal here???? There are of course LOTS more details to support that conclusion-many included in packet here. But again I must stress, though every case is unique, abuse of the system is common!
5) The Mortgage Fraud Blog - “Illinois AG announces more lawsuits in the fight against mortgage fraud,” by The Editor- Ian Shuter in Law Enforcement News, 11/28/07 – “It is very much in the interest of the business community that our courts function efficiently and that judges are fair and impartial and enforce the rule of law dispassionately and with a degree of predictability that ensures confidence in the system (earlier this year NYT reported on front pg that 2yr study of similar immigration cases found that favorable outcomes varied about 3-76% depending on which judge you got, location, gender, etc.)…. Business cannot function unless business disputes can be dealt with efficiently, objectively and in timely fashion. And if business cannot function, we do not have a viable economy….. If judicial salaries, administrative support and court funding remain static or even decreasing, the result is backlogged sessions, cases proceeding at ever-slower pace, and overworked judges unable to consider in depth the issues presented in the cases before them. All of this translates into grave risk to the rule of law.” Another article in this series said, “Everyone loses in foreclosures except lawyers. Mortgage fraud is estimated to cost over $1 Billion,” and it noted it was more often vs women and that legal fraud compounds mortgage fraud.
STG- all above is true, but if business cannot function without disputes being dealt with effectively, including timely, imagine what happens to families in divorce when cases drag on and on, &/or legal costs impoverish entire family or one spouse relative to other (usually mothers). This surely negatively impacts kids, (dysfunctional kids often have more school and health problems, including substance abuse, and are far less likely to reach their potential, and surely that can’t be good for business or indeed anything) but even worse is if courts ignore substance abuse by parent or any abuse by parent and still allow visitation or horror of horrors switch custody to person accused of abuse saying other (again usually mother) must be trying to alienate the other? There is scads of documentation about this from highly credible sources (one being nat’l battered mothers custody conferences last 5 Januaries in Albany- but no major media reported). Across the country many advocacy groups have been trying to get training of judges re substance abuse as well as DV, often intertwined. Such groups sometimes get voluntary agreement for such training, though often too brief. Another recent NYT article noted that the U.S. is the ONLY developed country where extensive training and testing of judges is not mandatory! ! Another recent article (different source) noted we are one of very few (again maybe only, but I can’t remember)who dismiss egregious cases due to any authority searching without warrant, even though they had reasonable proof of high suspicion, & incriminating evidence was found & there was public danger.
In the Taub case the husband simply took custody of the then 14 yr old youngest son and mother hasn’t seen him since. Judges ignore this, even though divorce was filed under grounds of cruel and inhuman treatment. Older siblings testified under oath to father’s abuse- not often physical, but loud, threatening, throwing things, humiliating, arrested for seeing prostitute (and there is libel suit re his alleged sexual abuse of wife’s daughter from first marriage). Keep in mind Judge Demarest has often stated she finds the wife not credible and has never chastised the husband re anything, plus some other judges have acted unfairly, and worse, too (transcripts from both Judges Carolyn Demarest and Sarah Krauss being altered- isn’t it hard to imagine the clerks did this on their own? Judge Krauss recused herself - probably to avoid the tampering issue going to court. Yet she is now in Family Court and hearing some of the wife’s abuse claims . Should ANY judge be allowed to sit again in judgment of case from which recused? Another judge, Cammer, recused. One issue was she had stricken from record that wife’s 20 yr old daughter testified her father twice said he could see that her mother got into fatal car accident. The daughter was confused about the timing (legitimately but too long to explain here; JHO Cammer did stop husband’s bogus health claims, though). Is this the U. S.??
Kent Keith, Esq., PhD, Harvard, Oxford- who wrote the Paradoxical Commandments when he was 18- they focus on loving others, doing good, and helping others and were used by Mother Teresa. In 2001 he incorporated them into a book, “Anyway,” which says- “Nothing is more important than what happens to the children. If there is hope for the children, there is every hope. If there is no hope for our children, there is no hope at all. The future of the world depends on the kinds of people today’s children turn out to be.” Kent Keith is one of the authors who wrote a letter about ideas for court reform for the 2005 report I’ve sent to over 100- media, 21 senators, etc.- parts of it are included with this package. Italics are HIS.
6) Fox News- “Unhappy Couples Can’t Afford Divorce,” 7/16/08- Notes- “When families are in crisis, we see it first in the court system. What we’re seeing is a very, very large increase in needs of people to come into the court system.”
STG- don’t suppose that has anything to do with increased numbers of dysfunctional kids due to unfair courts, inadequate child care and amount time of parents working not leaving enough time for the kids? Isn’t part of this tied also to increasing polarization of pay? When so many at the top make enormous amounts, (esp. unfair when get multimillions in severance pay when being asked to leave) doesn’t that leave less in the pie for everyone else? Doesn’t it also tend to foster an entitlement philosophy, which then is even harder to sustain on too meager an income? Isn’t part of the foreclosure mess that house prices got too high for way too many people? But wasn’t that caused some by too many enormous houses pushing up the prices of those near by which of course then ripples out a long long way? If enough of society can’t afford to oil the engines of our economy by purchases, to say nothing of doing so poorly their house gets foreclosed and/or they go into bankruptcy, the entire economy will implode!
7) Another article from my Google legal abuse article service- “Register Pajaronian- Agency releases report in effort to curb child abuse” Eric Anderson, 6/13/08. “In 2001, Prevent Child Abuse America estimated that the total cost for child abuse in the U.S. amounted to around $94 BILLION per year. Direct costs, which include costs for health care, the child welfare system, law enforcement and the judicial system, reached $66.8 million PER DAY, according to the Child Abuse Prevention Council. Indirect costs, which include costs for special education, criminality and lost productivity, were almost $191 million PER DAY. In Santa Cruz County, reports concerning more than 3,000 children are made to child welfare services each year, with about 800 substantiated. Evidence, however, shows that many cases of child abuse go unreported, according to the CBC report.”
STG- I suspect why many cases go unreported is partly because of what above numbers show - it is often too hard to prove so people don’t bother, etc. We must do something about this disparity because other studies show that fabrication of abuse is less than 10 % (I’ve seen some studies that say under 5% and others about 15%, but point is that VERY FEW fabricate and it is horrendous to then not be able to stop such abuse happening, and surely we should err on not changing custody to alleged abuser when there are seemingly credible allegations of abuse, including screaming children saying they don’t want to go- watch the video Breaking the Silence (on the web and shown also by many PBS stations, though not enough, often at weird hours). In a NC case Judge Jane Harper awarded custody to the father even after she ordered him to attend abuse counseling and he never went and the kids begged to stay with the mother (who had no complaints registered except that kids were now missing too much school, yet- all things common to kids of divorce). Then even though the father was making around $300,000 per year, the mother was forced into foreclosure and bankruptcy and briefly JAILED for non-payment of child support to the father, even though she had only been making about $30,000 and then lost her job and suffered (still) severe PTSD! Now her brief jailing is interfering with her ability to get a job as a para legal! Unreal! ! The oldest son took 6 years to complete HS, even though very bright, and has substance abuse problems. Custody was switched back to the mother when the father punched him (police pic as proof), but SAME judge still hasn’t awarded back custody of other son. Oldest is now trying community college on a Pell Grant (but shouldn’t it be the father who is paying, not taxpayers? ETC! !
8) NewsReleaseWire.com, 4/30/08, “Courts Need Reform,” Cincinatti, OH- starts- “The fifty bullets shot into Mr. Bell by the police calls for reforming the police. Complete dismissing of the charges against the police call for reform of the Courts…… problem is complaint is filed with the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals. Should he dismiss the charges, it can be appealed to the full judicial council, but the Chief Judge heads the Council. Who is going to go against the boss? (STG-Same issue in Taub case with Judge Jacqueline Silbermann being chief judge for matrimonial.) There are several other problems…….In the case of Judge Munson I believe he took a bribe……I propose when a complaint is filed against a judge the dept. of justice be required to do an investigation.”
STG- I agree- it is just way too hard to get any reprimands much less removal of judges. “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” But can judges perpetuate lots of legal abuse all by themselves? I suspect that’s rare, but rather suspect there is a network of people vying for influence, sometimes including bribery of different degrees. I continue to cite the Taub case because I’ve attended most of the hearings for over 1 ½ years, read most all transcripts, spoken to the lawyers, spoken to the building, fire, and police depts. & DA’s office, had interview s with a chief judge & the Unified Court System’s Inspector General’s Office (re Gestapo tactics used on Chana Taub by guards at the supreme court entrance, which they did rectify). But one must ask how that came to happen in the first place? Interestingly, on front pg of NYT Metro section 7/21/08 was article “Low Rent, east Side Location: See Landlord, If you’re Famous,” by Ralph Blumenthal. It noted many such tenants live in this building, many having rent-stabilization. Among those living there are Judge Silbermann, lots other judges, a retired police chief, a retired mayor, a retired fireman, etc.. This is raising my antenna- I’m hoping it might prompt you to come to similar conclusion about at least a few having cooperative “orchestration,” as too much being ignored. This is only my opinion, as is anything without specific data.
Judge Carolyn Demarest has repeatedly stated in various forms that Chana isn’t responsible enough to collect rent from and manage her own properties (which she had always managed fine before filing for divorce), hence she is allowing Simon to collect it. When I checked the nyc.gov website for building violations, I found that Simon had 103 violations including illegal apts., fire violations, mail violations ( no mailboxes at his largest apt building at 10 Grand Ave so he collects the mail, sorts through it, etc. despite some renters’ protests & fact it is illegal), etc. and outstanding fines over $50,000. When Chana managed her buildings, only 2 violations were listed and both were quickly fixed, incurring no fines. When I contacted building & other depts., but I got excuses why they couldn’t do much. HMMM………. Doesn’t such flaunting of law inside &outside courthouse taint the many good judges & other public servants, hence impair respect for law, as well as its ability to function, etc.? 1/29/08 (transcript) Judge Demarest said “press & usual court observer (STG) are having ‘chilling ‘ effect on this court.” (Press rarely attends plus remains too neutral.)
Carefully read enclosed papers ( esp. ** recusal/ transcripts) to understand it is far worse than what’s been described here. Sadly, it is by NO means restricted to this case, this area, or divorce issues (thousands of cases across the U.S. exhibit egregious violations of all sorts of civil rights, of course affecting the most vulnerable the worst, since power and control, termed an addiction to dominance by Gloria Steinem, reigns). Here’s 2 more articles that came today. “Palm Beach Post, Doctor sues to collect $235,000 from ex.” Wife is having $14,000 garnished from her $41,000 income as special ed tchr since husband claims she owes $235,000 due to ambiguity in divorce papers about whether he had to pay expenses of their 2 sons while in college. He is renowned cancer surgeon whose $444,000 salary once made news, and had told his wife he’d make sure she never kept a dime.” Maine’s “Morning Sentinel,”- Where is outcry about lack of access, accountability? Watchdog group said, “Maine’s judicial accountability system gets an ‘F’ since “reform is needed to hold judges’ feet to the fire., May 1.” Article notes media have been remiss reporting. STG- everything said is NOT unique to Maine!
9) From my online subscription to The American Lawyer, 7/20/08 “Global Economy Week Ahead- Restoring Confidence in America, Inc.”- Reuters- by Emily Kaiser-- “The U.S. government’s pledge to rescue mortgage finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac was about more than bolstering the floundering U.S. housing market. It was also aimed at shoring up the U.S. economy, and along with it, the global image of America, Inc.”
STG- we can’t shore up our image without shoring up legal accountability re all topics here NOW! As world observes we haven’t given due process at Guantanamo, to immigrants, to enough people seeking asylum (inconsistently to those trying to escape genital cutting, sex trafficking, etc), & even here to our natural-born citizens, how can we command respect to inspire others? NYT 4/22, Bob Herbert, “Clueless in Amer.”- No one seems to have will to engage most serious challenges facing U.S.
10) ENOUGH COMPLAINING. We need hope before we do too little too late. We need solutions, but how do we get them? 7/19/08, NYT – “Yes We Can,” by Op-Ed writer, Bob Herbert, notes that “Mr. Gore’s passionate engagement with some of the biggest issues of our time is that he is offering us the kind of vision that has been so lacking in the presidential campaigns. But the tendency in a society that is skeptical, if not phobic, about anything progressive has been to dismiss his large ideas and wise counsel…….But That’s the thing about visionaries. They don’t imagine what is easy. They imagine the benefits to be reaped once all the obstacles are overcome……The correct response to Mr. Gore’s proposal would be to rush to figure out ways to make it happen. Don’t hold your breath. When exactly was it that the U.S. became a can’t-do society? It wasn’t at the beginning when 13 ragamuffin colonies went to war against the world’s mightiest empire. It wasn’t during WWII, or post war” etc., etc. “Mr. Gore said: ‘We’re borrowing money from China to buy oil from the Persian Gulf to burn it in ways that destroy the planet……Americans are extremely anxious at the moment, and I think part of it is has to do with a deeply unsettled feeling that the nation may not be up to the tremendous challenges facing it…..” BUT, then Mr. Herbert says, “The moment is ripe for exactly the kind of challenge issued by Mr. Gore on Thursday. It doesn’t matter if his proposal is less than perfect or can’t be realized within 10 years, or even if it is found to be deeply flawed. The goal is the thing. The fetish for drilling for ever more oil is the perfect metaphor these days. The first thing you do when you find yourself in a hole is stop digging.”
MAYOR BLOOMBERG- the “YES WE CAN” article can also be applied as the perfect metaphor for tackling the extremely complex task of establishing more checks and balances on our legal system.
Assistance might be possible by utilizing the services of “InnoCentive, a company that links organizations (seekers) with problems (challenges) to people all over the world (solvers) who win cash prizes for resolving them. The company gets a posting fee and, if the problem is solved, a ‘finder’s fee’ equal to about 40% of the prize.” This is all reported in an excellent NYT article 7/22/08, “If You Have a Problem, Ask Everyone,” by Cornelia Dean. The article notes there is a huge shift in popular culture from consuming to participating, enabled by the interactivity so characteristic of the Internet…..In a report last year the Nat’l Research Council recommended that the Nat’l Science Foundation, the major physical science research, offer prizes of $200,000- $2M in ‘diverse areas’ as a first step in a major program ‘to encourage more complex innovations’ addressing economic, social, and other challenges. The report is available at http://wwwnap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11816. The article really needs to be read in its entirety. Ideas for checks and balances on our legal system may be too complex a task to lend itself to this approach, but it is worth researching.
For quite awhile I have been promoting that we have some state contests (via your mayors’ coalition sounds great). I have said the solution must be 2-pronged- the other prong being constructive, compassionate preventive measures, esp. to help families. Any proposals must totally incorporate transparency as otherwise they can’t command respect. As Martin Luther King said in his book, “Why We Can’t Wait,” pg 82-3 (and we basically ignored him and that is why the power of compounding has progressed almost to the point of no return re several interrelated items). He said, “How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others? The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that ‘an unjust law is not law at all.’…. A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquiness: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. All segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality…… An unjust law is a code that a numerical or power majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself. This is difference made legal. By the same token, a just law is a code that a majority compels a minority to follow and that it is willing to follow itself. This is sameness made legal.” STG- All the above applies equally to female inequality OR any espoused inequalities among people & surely to how our legal system must function, no matter the topic!
Here are some quotes from “Positive Quote of the Day” to which I subscribe.
“I am convinced that the world is not a mere bog in which men & women trample themselves & die. Something magnificent is taking place here amidst the cruelties & tragedies, & the supreme challenge is that of making the noblest & best in our curious heritage prevail.” C.A. Beard
“Man has no nobler function than to defend the truth.” Ruth McKenney
“Apathy can be overcome by enthusiasm, & enthusiasm can be aroused by two things: first, an idea which takes the imagination by storm; & second, a definite plan for carrying that idea into action.” Arnold Toynbee
WE CAN AND MUST DO SOMETHING ! !OUR KIDS KANT WAIT SO NEITHER CAN WE ! !