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Senators put secret hold on anti-corruption bill - Call for action

by : goverup
Friday October 3, 2008 - 00:56
1 comment

(cross-posted with permission from Daily Kos diarist Deep Harm_

Several senators reportedly are using "secret holds" to block passage of anti-corruption legislation that activists, concerned citizens and more enlightened members of Congress have been working for eight years to pass into law. The identities of the stonewallers are uncertain, but suspects include eight Republicans and the Senate Minority Leader (names provided below the fold.

A bipartisan group of Senate offices has agreed on a reconciliation bill that they are hoping to pass and send to the House of Representatives for final passage. The bill is critical to restoring integrity and fiscal responsibility in our federal government and previous votes indicate that the bill would pass with flying colors - but only if it could be presented for a vote before Congress leaves at the end of the week.

The Suspects

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senate Minority Leader
Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY)

Sen. Christopher Bond (R-MO)

Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC)
Sen. Jon Kyl (R-NC)

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC)
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS)
Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS)

Your help is needed to positively identify the culprits blocking legislation that is key to purging the federal government of waste, fraud and abuses such as the Wall Street disaster that threatens the future of the country. (More information on the legislation is available at (www.WhistleblowerAction.org)

What you can do to help

1) Everyone who has a connection or constituent relationship with the above offices is being asked to make calls immediately to confirm whether they support the bill. For those who do not, please contact those in your networks to ask for their help.

2) Even if your Senator is not on the list, please call, as a concerned constituent, to confirm his or her support for the bill.

How to help

Call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 or the Senate offices directly and use the following talking points:

Hello,

* I am calling Senator X today as a concerned constituent and taxpayer to ask if the Senator is objecting to a critical government accountability bill to strengthen protections for federal employees when they witness waste, fraud and abuse.

* Is the Senator holding, blocking or otherwise objecting to passage of Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act?

* Please tell the Senator and relevant staff that I called today to urge immediate passage of the amendments to the Whistleblower Protection Act being offered now.

* Thank you.


It would be additionally helpful if you called the Government Accountability Project afterward (202-210-8539) to let them know if your Senator indicated that he or she opposed the legislation.

231 public interest groups urge passage of bill

In a September 25 letter, 231 public interest organizations expressed support for the legislation. Below is a portion of the letter addressed to Sen. Joseph Lieberman; Sen. Susan Collins; Sen. Daniel Akaka; Sen. George Voinovich; Rep. Henry Waxman; Rep. Tom Davis; Rep. Todd Platts; and Rep. Chris Van Hollen,

The undersigned organizations, representing millions of Americans, write to support the completion of the landmark, eight-year legislative effort to restore a credible Whistleblower Protection Act. We offer our support to expeditiously conclude the process of reconciling House and Senate passed versions of this vital good government legislation, H.R. 985 and S. 274.

Unfortunately, every month that passes has very tangible consequences for scores of whistleblowers who still lack viable legal rights. In just the first three months of this year, since both chambers passed their versions of the legislation, whistleblowers have a 2-49 win-loss record in initial decisions from administrative hearings at the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB). For final rulings by the MSPB, the record is 2-53 under the current Chair. Since January, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, which has a monopoly on appellate review, has ruled against whistleblowers in another thirteen consecutive decisions on the merits, leaving a track record of 2-203 since October 1994 when Congress last strengthened the law! We stand ready to provide any information that would help expedite the process, and to help you come to agreement on any unresolved issues.

[snip]

We know that your offices share the commitment of every group signing the letter below and we deeply appreciate the years of effort to create more accountability in government. Please let us know how we can participate to expeditiously complete this badly needed good government reform. Once the reconciled version becomes law, the real winners will be the public!

The letter was signed by the following organizations and individuals:

Adele Kushner, Executive Director
Action for a Clean Environment
Pamela Miller, Director
*Alaska Community Action on Toxics
Dan Lawn, President
*Alaska Forum on Environmental Responsibility
Cindy Shogun, Executive Director
*Alaska Wilderness League
Susan Gordon, Director
*Alliance for Nuclear Accountability
Rochelle Becker, Executive Director
Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility
Gil Mileikowsky, M.D.
Alliance for Patient Safety
Linda Lipsen, Senior Vice President for Public Affairs
American Association for Justice (AAJ)
Mary Alice Baish, Acting Washington Affairs Representative
American Association of Law Libraries
F. Patricia Callahan, President and General Counsel
American Association of Small Property Owners
John W. Curtis, Ph.D., Director of Research and Public Policy
*American Association of University Professors
Christopher Finan, president
American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression
Caroline Fredrickson, Director, Washington Legislative Office
American Civil Liberties Union
Michael D. Ostrolenk
*American Conservative Defense Alliance
Dr. Paul Connett, Executive Director
*American Environmental Health Studies Project, Inc.
John Gage, National President
Page 3
American Federation of Government Employees
Charles M. Loveless, Director of Legislation
*American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
Mary Ellen McNish, General Secretary
*American Friends Service Committee
Caitlin Love Hills, National Forest Program Director
*American Lands Alliance
Jessica McGilvray, Assistant Director
*American Library Association
Alexandra Owens, Executive Director
American Society of Journalists and Authors
Charlotte Hall, President
*American Society of Newspaper Editors
Patricia Schroeder, President and CEO
*Association of American Publishers
Ms. Bobbie Paul, Executive Director
Atlanta WAND (Women’s Action for New Directions)
Samuel H. Sage, President
*Atlantic States Legal Foundation, Inc.
Jay Stewart, Executive Director
*Better Government Association
Matthew Fogg, First Vice-President
*Blacks in Government
Nancy Talanian, Director
Bill of Rights Defense Committee
Diane Wilson, President
*Calhoun County Resource Watch
Peter Scheer, Executive Director
*California First Amendment Association
Terry Franke, Executive Director
*Californians Aware
Page 4
Reece Rushing, Director of Regulatory and Information Policy
*Center for American Progress
William Snape, Senior Counsel
Center for Biological Diversity
Charlie Cray, Director
Center for Corporate Policy
Gregory T. Nojeim, Senior Counsel and
Director, Project on Freedom, Security & Technology
Center for Democracy and Technology
Joseph Mendelson III, Legal Director
*Center for Food Safety
J . Bradley Jansen, Director
Center for Financial Privacy and Human Rights
Paul Kurtz, Chairman
*Center for Inquiry
Robert E. White, President
*Center for International Policy
Merrill Goozner, Director
Integrity in Science
Center for Science in the Public Interest
Linda Lazarus, Director
Center to Advance Human Potential
Craig Williams, Director
*Chemical Weapons Working Group & Common Ground
Leonard Akers
*Citizens Against Incineration at Newport
Evelyn M. Hurwich, President and Chair
Circumpolar Conservation Union
David B. McCoy, Executive Director
Citizen Action New Mexico
Doug Bandow, Vice President for Policy
*Citizen Outreach
Page 5
Deb Katz, Executive Director
Citizens Awareness Network
Barbara Warren, Executive Director
*Citizens’ Environmental Coalition
Elaine Cimino
*Citizens for Environmental Safeguards
James Turner, Chairman of the Board
*Citizens for Health
Michael McCormack, Executive Director
*Citizens for Health Educational Foundation
Gerard Beloin
*Citizens for Judicial Reform
Laura Olah, Executive Director
*Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger
Anne Hemenway, Treasurer
*Citizen’s Vote, Inc.
Rick Piltz
*Climate Science Watch
John Judge
Coalition on Political Assassinations
9/11 Research Project
Zena Crenshaw, 2
nd
Vice-Chair
3.5.7 Commission on Judicial Reform
Sarah Dufendach, Vice President for Legislative Affairs
Common Cause
Clarissa Duran, Director
Community Service Organization del Norte
Joni Arends, Executive Director
Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety
Lokesh Vuyyuru, MD, Founder
*Concerned Citizens of Petersburg
Page 6
Daniel Hirsch, Member, Executive Committee
Concerned Foreign Service Officers
Matthew Fogg, President
Congress Against Racism & Corruption in Law Enforcement (CARCLE)
Ellen Bloom, Director of Federal Policy
Ami Gadhia, Policy Counsel
Consumers Union
Bob Shavelson, Director
*Cook Inlet Keeper
Tonya Hennessey, Project Director
*CorpWatch
John Issacs, Executive Director
*Council for a Livable World
Anne Weismann, Chief Counsel
*CREW, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington
Cathy Harris, Founder, Executive Director
*Customs Employees Against Discrimination Association
Mary Elizabeth Beetham, Director of Legislative Affairs
Defenders of Wildlife
Sue Udry, Director
Defending Dissent Foundation
Paul E. Almeida, President
*Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO
Ben Smilowitz, Director
Disaster Accountability Project
Dr. Patrick Campbell
*Doctors against Fraud
Dr. Disamodha Amarasinghe
*Doctors for National Healthcare
James J. Murtagh, Jr., President
*Doctors for Open Government
Page 7
Dr. John Raviotta
*Doctors for Reform of JCAHO
Stephen D’Esposito, President
*Earthworks
Thea Harvey, Executive Director
*Economists for Peace and Security
Lisa Walker, executive director
Education Writers Association
Gregory Hile
EnviroJustice
Chuck Broscious, President
Environmental Defense Institute
Judith Robinson, Director of Programs
*Environmental Health Fund
Peter Montague, Ph.D, Director
*Environmental Research Foundation
John Richard
Essential Information
George Anderson
Ethics in Government Group (EGG)
Gabe Bruno
*FAA Whistleblowers Alliance
Janet Kopenhaver, Washington Representative
*Federally Employed Women (FEW)
Steven Aftergood, Project Director
Federation of American Scientists
Marilyn Fitterman, Vice President
Feminists for Free Expression
Ellen Donnett, Administrative Director
*Fluoride Action Network
Andrew D. Jackson, Asst. Campaign Coordinator
Focus-On-Indiana for Judicial Reform
Page 8
Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director
Food and Water Watch
Bob Darby, Coordinator
Food Not Bombs/Atlanta
Andy Stahl
*Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics (FSEEE)
Tom Ferguson, Coordinator
Foundation for Global Community/Atlanta
Ruth Flower, Legislative Director
Friends Committee on National Legislation (Quakers)
Conrad Martin, Executive Director
Fund for Constitutional Government
Karyn Jones, Director
*G.A.S.P
Group to Alleviate Smoking Pollution
Gwen Marshall, Co-Chairman
Georgians for Open Government
Denny Larson, Executive Director
*Global Community Monitor
Paul F. Walker, Ph.D., Legacy Program Director
Global Green USA
(The US Affiliate of Green Cross International, Mikhail Gorbachev, Chairman)
Bill Owens, President
*The Glynn Environmental Coalition
Tom Devine, legal director
Government Accountability Project
Bill Hedden, Executive Director
*Grand Canyon Trust
Molly Johnson, Area Coordinator
Grandmothers for Peace, San Luis Obispo County Chapter
Alan Muller
*Green Delaware
Page 9
Jenefer Ellingston
Green Party of the United States
James C. Turner, Executive Director
HALT, Inc. — An Organization of Americans for Legal Reform
Tom Carpenter, Executive Director
Hanford Challenge
Arthur S. Shoor, President
*Healthcare Consultants
Helen Salisbury, M.D.
Health Integrity Project
Vanessa Pierce, Executive Director
*Healthy Environment Alliance of Utah (HEAL Utah)
Gerry Pollet
*Heart of America Northwest
Liz Havstad, Chief of Staff
*Hip Hop Caucus
Doug Tjapkes, President
*Humanity for Prisoners
Keith Robinson, Interim President
*Indiana Coalition for Open Government
Scott Armstrong, Executive Director
*Information Trust
Arjun Makhijani, Ph.D., President
Institute for Energy and Environmental Research
Donald Soeken, President
Integrity International
Michael McCray, Esq., Co-Chair
International Association of Whistleblowers
Mory Atashkar, Vice President
Iranian American Democratic Association
Page 10
Mark S. Zaid
James Madison Project
John Metz, Executive Director
*JustHealth
Brett Kimberlin, Director
Justice Through Music
Elizabeth Crowe, Director
*Kentucky Environmental Foundation
Tom FitzGerald, Director
*Kentucky Resources Council, Inc.
James Love
*Knowledge Ecology International
Josephine Carol Cicchini
*LeapforPatientSafety
Jonathon Moseley, Executive Director
*Legal Affairs Council
James Plummer
Liberty Coalition
Greg Mello, Executive Director
*Los Alamos Study Group
Dr. Janette Parker
*Medical Whistleblower
Jill McElheney, Founder
Micah’s Mission
Ministry to Improve Childhood & Adolescent Health
Mary Treacy, Executive Director
*The Minnesota Coalition on Government Information
Helen Haskell
*Mothers Against Medical Error
Mark Cohn, President
*MPD Productions, Inc.
Page 11
James Landrith, Founder
The Multiracial Activist
Larry Fisher, Founder
National Accountant Whistleblower Coalition
Tinsley H. Davis, Executive Director
National Association of Science Writers
Jim L. Jorgenson, Deputy Executive Director
*National Association of Treasury Agents
Dominick DellaSala, Ph.D., Executive Director of Programs and Chief Scientist
*National Center for Conservation Science & Policy
Joan E. Bertin, Esq., Executive Director
National Coalition Against Censorship
Russell Hemenway, President
*National Committee for an Effective Congress
Sally Greenberg, Executive Director
National Consumers League
Terisa E. Chaw, Executive Director
National Employment Lawyers Association
Andrew Jackson
National Judicial Conduct and Disability Law Project, Inc.
Kim Gandy, President
*National Organization for Women
Paul Brown, Government Relations Manager
National Research Center for Women & Families
Sibel Edmonds, President and Founder
*National Security Whistleblowers Coalition
Pete Sepp, Vice President for Policy & Communications
National Taxpayers Union
Colleen M. Kelley, National President
National Treasury Employees Union
Steve Kohn, President
Page 12
National Whistleblower Center
Amy Allina
National Women’s Health Network
Terrie Smith, Director
*National Nuclear Workers For Justice
Sr. Simone Campbell, SSS, Executive Director
NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby
Ron Marshall, Chairman
New Grady Coalition
Rick Engler, Director
New Jersey Work Environment Council
Caroline Heldman Ph.D., Director
*New Orleans Women’s Shelter
Marsha Coleman-Abedayo, Chair
*No FEAR Coalition
Nina Bell, J.D., Executive Director
*Northwest Environmental Advocates
Alice Slater, Director
Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, New York
David A. Kraft, Director
Nuclear Energy Information Service (NEIS)
Michael Mariotte, Executive Director
Nuclear Information and Resource Service
Jay Coghlan, Executive Director
*Nuclear Watch New Mexico
Gwen Lachelt, Executive Director
*Oil & Gas Accountability Project
Sean Moulton, Director, Federal Information Policy
OMB Watch
Rob Kall
*Op Ed News
Page 13
Patrice McDermott, Executive Director
OpenTheGovernment.org
Paul Loney, President
*Oregon Wildlife Federation
Ellen Paul, Executive Director
*The Ornithological Council
Joe Carson, Chair
P. Jeffrey Black, Co-Chair
OSC Watch Steering Committee
Judy Norsigian, Executive Director
Our Bodies Ourselves
Betsy Combier, President and Editor
Parentadvocates.org
Ashley Katz, MSW, Executive Director
*Patient Privacy Rights
Blake Moore
*Patient Quality Care Project
Dianne Parker
*Patient Safety Advocates
Former Special Agent Darlene Fitzgerald
Patrick Henry Center
Paul Kawika Martin, Organizing, Political and PAC Director
Peace Action & Peace Action Education Fund
Bennett Haselton, Founder
*Peacefire.org
Rev. Paul Alexander, Ph.D., Director
Pentecostals & Charismatics for Peace & Justice
Michael McCally, MD, PhD, Executive Director
*Physicians for Social Responsibility
Vina Colley, President
*Portsmouth/Piketon Residents for Environmental Safety and Security (PRESS)
Page 14
David Banisar, Director, FOI Project
Privacy International
Robert Bulmash, President
*Private Citizen, Inc.
Ronald J Riley, President
Professional Inventor’s Alliance
Dr. Paul Lapides
*Professors for Integrity
Danielle Brian, Executive Director
Project On Government Oversight
Ellen Thomas, Executive Director
Proposition One Committee
David Arkush, Director, Congress Watch
Public Citizen
Jeff Ruch, Executive Director
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility
Robert L. FitzPatrick, President
*PYRAMID SCHEME ALERT
Lucy A. Dalglish, Executive Director
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
Kirsten Moore, President and CEO
Reproductive Health Technologies Project
Tim Little, Executive Director
*Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment
John W. Whitehead, president
The Rutherford Institute
Adrienne Anderson, Coordinator
Safe Water Colorado and Nuclear Nexus Projects
Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center
(Whistleblower Anderson v Metro Wastewater)
Angela Smith, Coordinator
*Seattle Healthy Environment Alliance (Seattle HEAL)
Page 15
Dr. Roland Chalifoux
The Semmelweis Society International (SSI)
Rufus Kinney
*Serving Alabama’s Future Environment (SAFE)
Shane Jimerfield, Executive Director
*Siskiyou Project
Andrea Shipley, Executive Director
*Snake River Alliance
Matthew Petty, Executive Director
*The Social Sustenance Organization
Dave Aekens, National President
Society of Professional Journalists
Amy B. Osborne, President
*Southeastern Chapter of the American Association of Law Libraries
Don Hancock, Director of Nuclear Waste Safety Program
*Southwest Research and Information Center
Donna Rosenbaum, Executive Director
*S.T.O.P. - Safe Tables Our Priority
Kevin Kuritzky
The Student Health Integrity Project (SHIP)
Daphne Wysham, Co-Director
Sustainable Energy and Economy Network (SEEN)
Jeb White, Executive Director
Taxpayers Against Fraud
Alec McNaughton
*Team Integrity
Ken Paff, National Organizer
*Teamsters for a Democratic Union
Marylia Kelley, Executive Director
*Tri-Valley CAREs
Communities Against a Radioactive Environment
Page 16
Paul Taylor
Truckers Justice Center
Francesca Grifo, Ph.D., Director
Scientific Integrity Program
Union of Concerned Scientists
Dane von Breichenruchardt, President
U.S. Bill of Rights Foundation
Dr. Joseph Parish
*U.S. Environmental Watch
Gary Kalman, Director, Federal Legislative Office
U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S.PIRG)
Nick Mangieri, President
*Valor Press, Ltd.
Dr. Jeffrey Fudin, Founder
Veterans Affairs Whistleblowers Coalition
Tom Z. Collina, Executive Director
*20/20 Vision
Nada Khader, Foundation Director
*WESPAC Foundation
Gloria G. Karp, Co-Chair
*Westchester Progressive Forum
Mabel Dobbs, Chair
Livestock Committee
Western Organization of Resource Councils
Ann Harris, Executive Director
We the People, Inc
Janet Chandler, Co-Founder
Whistleblower Mentoring Project
Linda Lewis, Director
Whistleblowers USA
John C. Horning, Executive Director
*WildEarth Guardians
Page 17
Tracy Davids, Executive Director
*Wild South
Kim Witczak
WoodyMatters
Paula Brantner, Executive Director
*Workplace Fairness

Thank you to all of the above groups for their support of this very important legislation.



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Senators put secret hold on anti-corruption bill - Call for action
Tuesday December 16 - 05:44 - Posted by Mory Atashkar - 94e8f9515755eb85...

Honorable Patrick Fitzgerald;

You are a glimpse of hope in our country’s system of justice and law enforcement. Your diligence and bravery is a forceful reminder to the crooks that “We the People” are in control and we will not allow our nation’s democracy to be weakened.

As it appears, the nucleus of corruption and scandalous activities are imbedded in our nation’s higher offices by the wealthy elite. These elite are our nation’s enemy-within, they do not allow our democracy to prevail. The majority of our nation’s higher offices are being hijacked by wealthy socialites and their famous influences.

The fact is that Governor Blagojevich as one of the stupidest aforementioned office holders, neglected himself by not taking the “How To Do It Safe 101” training courses offered in the State of “Kalifornia”. For example:

•In State of “Kalifornia” if a public employee reports waste, fraud, or abuse within State agencies, he/she will immediately get “terminated”.

•In State of “Kalifornia”, public employees are afraid to report fraud in public agencies out of fear of retaliation.

•Public employees in “Kalifornia” receive no protection from existing State Whistleblower Laws.

•The Governor of the State of “Kalifornia” vetoes Whistleblower protection rights.

The California Court system will not hear a public employee’s cases unless complaints are heard and remedied by the State Personnel Board’s Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) first.

The Whistleblower complaints take five or more years to get reviewed by the ALJ and by then most of the witnesses are either gone or dead or the Whistleblower runs out of resources to pay for his/her legal costs.

A couple of years ago, the Chief Investigator of our agency and I reported many possible unlawful activities to the Internal Affairs of the California Highway Patrol (CHP, State Police). The Governor’s office did not allow the CHP to initiate an investigation of possible criminal activities that were committed by the Executive officers and Board members (the Governor’s appointed officials) of our agency.

The State Attorney General’s Office refused; due to a conflict of interest or lack of interest, to pursue the investigation. Instead of investigating the criminals, the Governor’s officials ordered two armed investigators to intrude into the sanctuary of my home to conduct an illegal Search and Seizure of my residence. The search and seizure was done without any prior notice or a search warrant.

Up to this writing no explanation was given to me other than I was a “security breech”. Up to this writing, I have no clue whose security I was threatening and why I was removed from my workplace without any due process.

In November 2007, per Senator Yee’s recommendation, an investigation from the Office of the California State Audit was initiated. Again, up to this writing I have no clue what the result of their audit was. Please see the Senator Yee’s and Michado’s Website regarding my compliant at the link below: or Google my name “Mory Atashkar”.

http://dist08.casen.govoffice.com/i...

In conclusion, if our Federal Government is really serious about having people play a vital part in the continuation of exposure and correction of government abuse, it must provide the citizen with credible protection that will allow Whistleblowers to come forward with some confidence help safeguard our democracy.

I have no regret experiencing disaster in speaking out or have no resources to seek justice. Like you, confronting enemy-within is so minuscule in comparison to our soldiers sacrificing their life facing the enemy-abroad.

Thank you for protecting our freedoms.

Mory Atashkar
Vice President of Iranian American Democratic Association







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Your support here: http://www.peaceinsyria.org/support.php We, the undersigned, who are part of an international civil society increasingly worried about the awful bloodshed of the Syrian people, are supporting a political initiative based on the results of a fact-finding mission which some of our colleagues undertook to Beirut and Damascus in September 2012. This initiative consists in calling for a delegation of highranking personalities and public figures to go to Syria in order to (...)
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THE KU KLUX KLAN ONCE AGAIN CONTROLS INDIANA
Monday 12 November
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
7 comments
At first glance, the results of America’s 2012 election appear to be a triumph for social, racial, and economic justice and progress in the United States: California voters passed a proposition requiring the rich to shoulder their fair share of the tax burden; Two states, Colorado and Washington, legalized the recreational use of marijuana, while Massachusetts approved the use of marijuana for medical purposes; Washington and two other states, Maine and Maryland, legalized same-sex (...)
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I’VE DECIDED TO "WASTE" MY VOTE
Sunday 28 October
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
In a 2004 episode of Comedy Central’s animated series South Park, an election was held to determine whether the new mascot for the town’s elementary school would be a “giant douche” or a “turd sandwich.” Confronted with these two equally unpalatable choices, one child, Stan Marsh, refused to vote at all, which resulted in his ostracization and subsequent banishment from the town. Although this satirical vulgarity was intended as a commentary on the two (...)
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HIGHER EDUCATION IN AMERICA: DREAM OR NIGHTMARE? PART IV
Friday 28 September
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
1 comment
PART I PART II PART III If there is one major inconsistency in life, it is that young people who know little more than family, friends and school are suddenly, at the age of eighteen, supposed to decide what they want to do for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, because of their limited life experiences, the illusions they have about certain occupations do not always comport to the realities. I discovered this the first time I went to college. About a year into my studies, I (...)
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HIGHER EDUCATION IN AMERICA: DREAM OR NIGHTMARE? PART III
Friday 28 September
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
PART I PART II PART IV Disillusioned with the machinations of so-called “traditional” colleges, I became an adjunct instructor at several “for-profit” colleges. Thanks largely to the power and pervasiveness of the Internet, “for-profit” colleges (hereinafter for-profits) have become a growing phenomenon in America. They have also been the subject of much political debate and the focus of a Frontline special entitled College Inc. Unlike traditional (...)
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HIGHER EDUCATION IN AMERICA: DREAM OR NIGHTMARE? PART II
Friday 28 September
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
PART I PART III PART IV Several years ago, a young lady came into the college where I was teaching to inquire about a full-time instructor’s position in the sociology department. She was advised that only adjunct positions were available. Her response was, “No thanks. Once an adjunct, always an adjunct.” Her words still echo in my mind. Even as colleges and universities raise their tuition costs, they are relying more and more on adjunct instructors. Adjuncts are (...)
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HIGHER EDUCATION IN AMERICA: DREAM OR NIGHTMARE? PART I
Friday 28 September
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
PART II PART III PART IV When The Bill of Rights was added to the United States Constitution over two hundred years ago, Americans were blessed with many rights considered to be “fundamental.” One conspicuously missing, however, was the right to an education. This was not surprising given the tenor of the times. America was primarily an agrarian culture, and education, especially higher education, was viewed as a privilege reserved for the children of the rich and (...)
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ONE SOLITARY LIFE, PART TWO
Monday 30 July
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
3 comments
If there is one universal question that haunts all human beings at some point in their lives, it is, “Why do we die?” Death, after all, is the great illogic. It ultimately claims all, the rich and the poor, the mighty and the small, the good and the evil. Death also has the capability to make most human pursuits—such as the quest for wealth, fame and power—vacuous and fleeting. Given this reality, I have often wondered why so many people are still willing to (...)
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HOW MUCH CORRUPTION CAN DEMOCRACY ENDURE?
Thursday 28 June
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
6 comments
How much corruption can a “democracy” endure before it ceases to be a democracy? If five venal, mendacious, duplicitous, amoral, biased and (dare I say it) satanic Supreme Court “justices”—John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Anthony Kennedy—have their way, America will soon find out. In several previous articles for Pravda.Ru, I have consistently warned how the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision is one of the (...)
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DEMOCRACY IN THE HANDS OF IDIOTS, PART TWO
Tuesday 12 June
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
1 comment
Imagine, if you will, that the United States government passes a law banning advertisers from sponsoring commercials on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show or Rupert Murdoch’s Fox (Faux) “News” Network. On one hand, there would be two decided advantages to this ban: The National IQ would undoubtedly increase several percentage points, and manipulative pseudo-journalists would no longer be able to appeal to the basest instincts in human nature for ratings and profit while (...)
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DEMOCRACY IN THE HANDS OF IDIOTS
Thursday 7 June
by : David R. Hoffman, Pravda.Ru Legal Editor
4 comments
LIVE, from the State that brought you Senator Joseph McCarthy, Wisconsin voters now proudly present, fresh from his recall election victory, Governor Scott Walker! At first glance, it is almost unfathomable that anyone with a modicum of intelligence would have voted to retain Scott Walker as Wisconsin’s governor. This, after all, is a man who openly declared he is trying to destroy the rights of workers through a “divide and conquer” strategy; who received 61% of the (...)
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PEOPLE WITHOUT SOULS
Tuesday 13 March
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
2 comments
A question I’ve frequently been asked since I began writing for Pravda.Ru in 2003 is, “Why did you become disillusioned with the practice of law?” This question is understandable, particularly since, in most people’s minds, being an attorney is synonymous with wealth and political power. I’ve always been reluctant to answer this question for fear it will discourage conscientious and ethical people from pursuing careers in the legal profession—a (...)
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MAY GOD DAMN WALL STREET, THE REPUBLICAN PARTY AND THE SUPREME COURT
Monday 13 February
by : David R. Hoffman, Pravda.Ru Legal Editor
3 comments
Don’t say I didn’t warn you. In my article The Greatest Threat to America, I stated that the five so-called “conservative” members of the United States Supreme Court—Scalia, Thomas, Alito, Roberts and Kennedy—“have destroyed American democracy and its fundamental freedoms more ruthlessly and effectively than any terrorist group in the world” (Pravda.Ru 01/27/2010). They accomplished this in the 2010 case of Citizens United v. Federal (...)
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