Thursday, June 08, 2017

Chris Christie and Joey Torres in New Trouble.

Neil Genzlinger, "A Miscarriage of Justice at Rikers: A Docu-Series Recalls a New Yorker's Appalling Jail Time," The New York Times, "Arts Section," March 30, 2017, p. C2. 

No response has been received to my communications to U.S. officials, including police and prosecutors, judges and politicians as well as media sources. 

Concrete empirical evidence of the commission of serious crimes against U.S. citizens (so far) appears to be a matter of total indifference to the New York Police Department and American federal law enforcement agencies. 

Many persons providing information to the authorities would be dead before receiving the courtesy of a response from law enforcement in today's America. 

I am very grateful for the interest of international sources. 

I welcome inquiries on my behalf by any and all officials. 

I cannot explain the continuing insulting and (possibly) illegal silence in response to such inquiries. 

My experiences and the public nature of these events may help to illustrate the points that I have been making in these writings concerning double standards and racism afflicting the American legal system and now reaching the dimensions of a "crisis of legitimacy" -- especially in the worst places such as New Jersey. ("Law and Ethics in the Soprano State" and "Criminal Complaint Against Christie Allowed to Proceed.") 

It is impossible to doubt that some of us simply do not matter to the officials ostensibly entrusted with the legal responsibility to protect our rights and safety. ("An Open Letter to Cyrus Vance, Jr., Esq.") 

We do not seem to count as "victims" of crimes because members of despised minority groups in the U.S. are deemed to be less than human. 

On the other hand we are often at the top of the list when "culprits" are needed, typically serving as "the usual suspects" for lazy law enforcement officials when white persons are injured in a so-called "terrorist" incident. ("So Black and So Blue in Prison.")   

Many persons in contemporary America seem to play the role of "robots" in HBO's "Westworld" series. 

Prominent individuals and their relatives are permitted to commit crimes against us with impunity since they are protected even when they are caught in the act -- especially if they happen to run for governor in Soprano States -- like Ms. Guadagno in New Jersey. ("'Westworld': A review of the T.V. series" and "Trenton's Nasty Lesbian Love-Fest!')

Recognizing that one's humanity is in doubt or minimized in one's own country is the experience of millions of dark-skinned citizens in America, some of whom may not realize this fact until it is too late. ("Albert Florence and New Jersey's Racism" and "Driving While Black [DWB] in New Jersey.") 

Earning advanced degrees, becoming attorneys and academics (or otherwise "successful" socially) may be irrelevant to this experience of second-class citizenship or a kind of enslavement. 

Migrants and so-called "illegal aliens" and many powerless women are also being forced to absorb this painful lesson.

Achievements mean nothing in terms of the deeply-ingrained pathology of race in U.S. national culture. ("Protecting Sex Workers.") 

There will always be powerful persons who think in terms of "superiors" and "inferiors" by birth or on the basis of race and/or gender or ethnicity. 

Legal protections will always mean nothing if they are not enforced. 

I will continue to expose this reality in my writings and to disseminate these texts as widely as possible. 

Kalief Browder's story, for example, dramatizes precisely the extent to which some of us are dehumanized in the eyes of the American legal system so as not to merit even the decency of attention and respect (or ANY response) that others may take for granted in the face of great dangers and public threats together with flagrant violations of our most fundamental rights of expression and privacy. Mr. Browder's story is -- 

" -- a dismaying case study of the overwhelming shortcomings of the law enforcement, criminal justice[,] and penal systems."

The details of Mr. Browder's tragic life are important and should be set forth at length:

"Mr. Browder was 16 in 2010 when the police picked him up in the Bronx on SUSPICION [emphasis added] of stealing a backpack, an accusation he consistently denied." 

The young man was not only never convicted of this offense, but he was not even placed on trial for this crime. 

It is doubtful whether there was probable cause for an arrest of Mr. Browder.

The nightmare that followed this initial and probably unconstitutional arrest reveals the importance of money in the system, also the lethal consequences that result from the absence of money by persons -- usually the poor and mentally-ill -- who are accused of committing crimes because they are convenient defendants. 

Poverty is criminalized in our society. To be poor in the legal system is to be presumed guilty.

More than 80% of criminal defendants in New York and New Jersey do not have $2,000 to satisfy bail requirements and/or for legal fees to defend themselves at a time when public defender funding is drastically cut under the new federal and state budgets. 

Bail of $3,000 was set for Mr. Browder, but this was far too much money for the young man or his family to raise. This promising young man with his life before him was consigned to Riker's island: "... Mr. Browder was imprisoned for years without being convicted."

Much of this time Mr. Browder was in solitary confinement in violation of international human rights agreements accepted by the United States of America that limit solitary confinement to a maximum of two weeks for any individual offender due to the irreversible psychological consequences -- especially for young persons -- that result from extended solitary confinement as a means of control in prisons and jails.

A sixteen-year-old African-American person without a prior record was placed among violent criminals in conditions that offend civilized standards for the incarceration of human beings. 

Is this not "cruel and unusual punishment" for a person without charges who was never convicted of any crime?

Animals in America are often housed in better conditions than inmates in prisons. ("Ape and Essence" and "Primates and Personhood" then "The Naked Ape" and "Foucault, Rose, Davis and the Meaning(s) of Prison.")  

Due process requirements under the federal and state constitutions that mandate a "speedy trial" were ignored, even as the dangers to Mr. Browder were communicated to officials throughout the system (who chose to ignore the matter), just as Stuart Rabner has now ignored the details of my situation that has been brought to his attention:

"The chain of events Mr. Browder experienced, of course, is not relevant just to his story. It's also emblematic of a broken system [emphasis added] that, at every step, is slanted against black men like Mr. Browder and other minority group members. The series doesn't break a lot of new ground -- an article in The New Yorker in 2014 really put this case on the map, and the series also draws on journalism from 'Nightline,' The New York Times and elsewhere."

After Mr. Browder's eventual release, following dismissals of all bogus charges based on frauds, the damage was done, a life had been destroyed with the breaking of a person's mind, which also resulted in severe life-harm to the persons close this young man who were deeply injured by a long cover-up of the truth and the telling of many lies. ("New Jersey's 'Ethical' Legal System" and "New Jersey's Office of Attorney Ethics.")

The official lies offered to these poor people are so similar to the lies of New Jersey's OAE that I struggle against every day. ("Is Truth Dead?" and "On Bullshit" then "John McGill, Esq., the OAE, and New Jersey Corruption.") 

Mr. Browder committed suicide shortly after his release because he could not live with the consequences and effects of torture. Legal officials breathed a sigh of relief. ("American Lawyers and Torture" and "American Doctors and Torture" then "Is America's Legal Ethics a Lie?") 

A wrongful death suit is less costly for defendants than a legal claim for permanent damages in a shattered life.

Another dead African-American young person that no one other than his family members cares about will result in no reforms of the system and will cause prosecutors and judges to lose very little sleep.

Mr. Rabner, it is high time to tell the truth in my matters and many others if you are to regain some vestiges of legitimacy or respect for your soiled tribunal and dismally failed legal system. ("New Jersey's Feces-Covered Supreme Court.") 

More important than protecting Ms. Poritz's reputation (such as it is), her "legacy," or the campaign efforts of your fellow Republican, Ms. Guadagno, is simply telling the truth, finally, concerning the tortures to which I and so many others have been subjected and disclosing the evidence kept from so many persons in New Jersey's tainted legal proceedings. ("Have you no shame Mr. Rabner?" and "Stuart Rabner's Selective Sense of Justice" then "No More Cover-Ups and Lies Chief Justice Rabner!") 

Evidently, computer crimes seem to come from Trenton government and New Jersey Supreme Court computers. Attacks on this text, including alterations in the size of letters and other deformations of the text in violation of Constitutional protections and copyright laws have been constant during successive drafts of the essay. I expect these crimes to continue to be committed by New Jersey lawyers with impunity. 

Mark Neary at (609) 815-2955 may be able to shed some light on this mystery. 

Among the persons alleged to have read my essays at the request of New Jersey officials and, perhaps, to have assisted in censorship and cybercrime aimed against me or my family members are Dorothy Samuels of The New York Times Editorial Board and Brennan Center at NYU as well as Katha Pollitt of The Nation. Items seem to be removed from my home mailbox with alarming regularity these days. I am sure that this is only a coincidence. ("Trenton's Nasty Lesbian Love-Fest" and "How censorship works in America.")

A list of one hundred sources will accompany the essay that appears below. The final posted text will be sent by priority mail to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Joon H. Kim, Esq., The Cuban Embassy to the United States of America, also to various media outlets throughout the country.  

Patrick Villanova, "Dozens Nabbed in Narcotics Sweep in Hudson, Essex Counties," The Jersey Journal, May 24, 2017, posted online at 1:35 P.M. (A massive organization dealing in drugs and, allegedly, child porn and other erotica was protected for years by local police in New Jersey.)

"Meatloaf Again: Christie Meekly Accepts Trump's Medicaid Cuts," (Editorial) The Star-Ledger, May 23, 2017, posted online at 7:00 A.M. (The desperate desire to be rid of Mr. Christie in New Jersey may preclude another Republican from reaching the governor's mansion. The alternatives this election season in New Jersey are less than inspiring.)   

Richard Cowen & Kaitlyn Kantzler, "Ex-Mayor Gets 27 Month Term: Alex Blanco, of Passaic, Pleaded Guilty in Federal Court to Soliciting $110,000 in Bribes From Developers," The Record, April 19, 2017, p. A-1. (As noted by the sentencing judge, Mr. Blanco went out of his way to solicit a bribe from developers and undercover federal officials and nearly every other person he dealt with, but was never the object of attention by the OAE or New Jersey authorities. Without the feds Mr. Blanco would still be the mayor of Passaic and a member of the state's legal ethics committee. "Law and Ethics in the Soprano State.")

Charles Stile, "Guadagno Campaign Mum On Christie," The Record, April 24, 2017, p. A-1. (Ms. Guadagno refuses to discuss her alleged Lesbian affiliations -- even auctioning a "date" with a male high school student and then attending his "prom"! -- but she also refuses to mention her loyal service to Mr. Christie or what role, if any, Ms. Guadagno may have played in the Bridgegate matter, as an "adviser," and other ethically questionable catastrophes. Is there now, or was there ever, a "relationship" between Ms. Guadagno and Estela De La Cruz? Was there "contact" between Ms. Guadagno and Marilyn Straus? What exactly was your role in this criminal conspiracy, Ms. Guadagno? "Marilyn Straus Was Right!" and "Trenton's Nasty Lesbian Love-Fest!")

Nick Corasanti, "New Jersey Voters Stick With Front-Runners in Governor's Race," The New York Times, June 7, 2017, p. A20. (Kim Guadagno wins the Republican nomination. "Nick Corasanti" seems to be very close to "Wally Timponi.") 

Nicholas Pugliese, "How Will New Jersey Use Millions From Volkswagen Settlement," The Record, May 10, 2017, p. 1L. (Fears of possible thefts of settlement funds may lead to federal supervision of distributions from this account -- supervision which New Jersey politicians are trying to avoid at all costs. I wonder why New Jersey politicians do not like being distrusted and monitored?)

Bob Jordan, "Christie Hid Bonds for Capital, Critics Say: Borrowing to Finance State House Upgrades," The Record, May 18, 2017, p. A-1. (Mr. Christie may have "borrowed," secretly or a bit too quickly, or found the funds "otherwise" to finance "creature comforts" for himself at the Governor's Mansion in Trenton, long before the current Sate House financing "situation" and has now lied, or concealed the facts, even as funds may still be "unaccounted for" in connection with some or all of these expenditures based, partly, on bond sales that have already taken place. Jersey shuffle?) 

Bob Jordan, "Christie Defends State House Financing, Bond Issue, Governor Says He Ordered Authority to Get it Done," The Record, May 23, 2017, p. A-1. (New allegations that Mr. Christie is lying and may have violated ethics rules in connection with making himself "comfy" at the Governor's pad in New Jersey. Money from the sale of bonds for the State House, allegedly, is still "unaccounted for" according to newspapers. If there is an investigation of this matter Mr. Christie will claim that it was Bridget Anne Kelly and Bill Baroni who were responsible for the bond sale. How much was paid out in legal and other fees for this bond sale? How much will be paid to lawyers and finance experts? Are all professionals receiving these fees Republicans? How much will come back to Mr. Christie from these grateful Republican friends? "New Jersey Lawyers' Ethics Farce.") 

Mollie Slough, "Montclair State to Discuss Sex Assaults: Event to Explore Issue Facing College Campus," The Record, May 28, 2017, p. L-1. (The epidemic of sexual assaults in New Jersey schools and colleges is examined throughout the state. Evidently, young people are learning from their elders the joys of raping children and peers by means of the New Jersey-created "date rape drug." "New Jersey is the Home of Child Molesters" and "New Jersey Welcomes Child Abusers.") 

Dustin Racioppi, "Christie: Pension Reform On the Table," April 11, 2017, p. A-1. (Has Mr. Christie lied AGAIN about the extent of the pension fiasco and/or the plausibility of his alleged "solution" to New Jersey's pension crisis? No wonder Christie and Trump are pals. "Is Truth Dead?" and "On Bullshit.")

Joe Malinconico, "Mayor's Daughter Kept Job On Panel: Clarissa Torres Resigned, Still Paid," The Record, April 12, 2017, p. L-1. (The mayor's daughter kept her "position" after daddy's arrest and indictment for misuse of public funds and was even paid a full salary after resigning from a public job, but "nobody knows why." Mayor Torres claims that, like city workers fixing his home pool, payments to his daughter were in "the public interest." Joey Torres seems to think he is Donald J. Trump.) 

Dustin Racioppi, "United's Tangled History Under Christie," The Record, April 13, 2017, p. A-1. (Was Mr. Christie bribed by United and Exxon to protect their interests at the expense of the people of New Jersey? Is this "ethical," OAE?)

Joe Malinconico, "Deals Offered for Testimony [Against Torres,] Three Paterson Employees Could Avoid Prison if They Talk About Mayor," The Record, April 18, 2017, p. A-1. (Joey Torres of the New Jersey Bar Association's Ethics Committee, who is beloved of the OAE, is facing a federal prosecution for corruption -- like Bob Menendez, his buddy! -- but neither of these gentlemen has been disbarred or faces ethics proceedings at this time. The OAE is trying to lie their way out of their troubles with me: "New Jersey's Office of Attorney Ethics" and "John McGill, Esq., the OAE, and New Jersey Corruption.")   

"Legislators from both parties say Republican Gov. Chris Christie's administration worked a backroom deal when $300 MILLION in bonds were quietly sold to fund the controversial project to renovate the State House -- a move designed to mute public protests." (TR, May 18, 2017, p. A-1.) 

The State House could be rebuilt entirely today for about $100 million or less. 

The allocation of $300 million to "renovate" the public building will allow plenty of opportunities for theft by Mr. Christie's Republican friends, especially lawyers and financial people in Wall Street, who are bound to figure out some way to show their appreciation to Mr. Christie when he leaves office. ("New Jersey's Politically-Connected Lawyers On the Tit" and "New Jersey Lawyers' Ethics Farce" then "Corrupt Law Firms, Senator Bob, and New Jersey Ethics.") 

It now appears that $300 million to "renovate" the property will actually cost the tax payers $750,000,000 or 2/3 of $1 BILLION. That is one hell of a paint job. ("Senator Bob Loves Xanadu!" and, again, "Law and Ethics in the Soprano State.")

"The total price of updating the 224 year-old State House is estimated at nearly $300 million but 'borrowing costs' could bring the total to possibly $750 million. [New Jersey] Treasurer Ford Scudder told lawmakers in a recent hearing that the cost to taxpayers would be $20 million to $30 million a year [simply for servicing these loans!]" (TR, May 18, 2017, p. 3A and TR, May 23, 2017, p. A-1.)

Most disturbing of all is the avoidance of mechanisms put in place to ensure the independence of bond issuance by New Jersey's Chief Executive so as to prohibit mutual back-scratching and croney capitalism in Trenton. 

PUBLIC debt incursion was intended to take place only through a process that protects the taxpayers' interests and not the wallets of fat cat politicians or the comforts of the governor in his taxpayer-provided mansion. ("Mafia Influence in New Jersey Law and Politics" and "New Jersey's Political and Supreme Court Whores.") 

"Good faith" purchasers of New Jersey's debt in New York and from many places in the world are essentially being exploited by connected law firms and Wall Street financial people "floating paper" as they say downtown. ("Joe Ferreiro Goes to Prison.") 

The governor cynically abused these mechanisms that were designed to protect the public in order to get his way and "arrange" to find purchasers of bonds that may be worthless if they are illegal.

Upsetting the $300 million deal now will result in devastating innocent investors by way of mutual funds or pension accounts that are "managed" by "friends" of these same Republicans. ("New Jersey is the Home of the Living Dead.") 

Perhaps it is not surprising that as all of this "creative bond financing" was taking place in New Jersey's left hand, as it were, the right hand was seeking $1.2 BILLION for a floundering shopping mall in the Meadowlands in the age of Internet shopping:

"The bond sale was discussed by Christie's lawyers during a teleconference with New Jersey Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson [Judge Jacobson can not fully understand what is going on here since the crucial facts are kept from the record] on Wednesday, according to four lawmakers who claim in lawsuits that the borrowing requires voter approval and oversight by the Legislature." (TR, May 18, 2017, p. 3A.)

New Jersey Legislators behind this lawsuit are essentially correct as a matter of law about this matter. ("New Jersey Lawyers' Ethics Farce.") 

It is also obvious that the OAE is clueless and far too corrupt to look into the role of the many lawyers in these shenanigans because they are busy LYING and COVERING-UP their participation in the crimes that I have brought to the attention of federal authorities. In fact, corrupt corporate lawyers are usually the professionals who control the Office of Attorney Ethics. ("New Jersey's 'Ethical' Legal System.")

This is the professionalism of New Jersey Office of Attorney Ethics (OAE) which leaves the ethics of the state's legal profession an obvious disgrace and humiliation for New Jersey's people and the world. ("New Jersey's Judges Disgrace America" and "New Jersey's Failed Judiciary" then "New Jersey Supreme Court's Implosion.") 

The only politician in New Jersey who has told the truth about this matter (Christie lied, as usual, claiming -- falsely -- that it was all a "done deal" months ago) is John Wisniewski, a Democrat from Middlesex County, who summarized the feelings of observers and critics with these words:

" ...'The fact that the state had the bond prepared and buyers lined up before the vote tells us that Christie and his cronies cut a backroom deal designed to end-run the [LEGAL] process and jam the renovation right down the voters' throats,' Wisniewski said, 'aside from the contempt toward voters, the process was so quick that it raises significant red flags and leaves multiple questions about how the process played out.' ... " (TR, May 18, 2017, p. 3A.) 

Mayor Joey Torres of Paterson is facing criminal prosecution after his arrest pursuant to an indictment for corruption. 

There may be another indictment coming for Mr. Torres based of thefts involving family members of the mayor. 

Deputy Attorney General Peter Baker offered the mayor a plea deal that would require a minimum of 5 years in prison allowing the Paterson workers Joseph Manias, Timothy Hanlon, Imad Mowaswes (who spruced-up the mayor's home on the public's dime) to avoid jail time if they testify against Joey Torres just like Dr. Melgen who is now, allegedly, going to testify against Senator Menendez in "Boss Bob's" September federal criminal trial in Newark. 

The plea deal has not been accepted (or rejected) by Mr. Torres and his counsel at this time as far as newspaper accounts indicate. 

It is probable that the plea will be rejected and a criminal trial will follow. 


Nick Corasanti, "Former Christie Allies Face Sentencing in Scandal," The New York Times, March 29, 2017, p. A25. (Christie's former loyalists were sentenced for the 2013 Bridgegate plot. Mr. Christie is an "unindicted co-conspirator" -- like his idol Richard M. Nixon -- who has managed to escape all responsibility for his part in this sordid episode in New Jersey's sleazy political history.) 

Nick Corasanti, "Target of Commuters [sic.] Fury Says Little About Its Cause," The New York Times, April 6, 2017, p. A20. ("As train delays, cancellations and gridlock set off by a small derailment at Pennsylvania Station stretched into a third day on Wednesday, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey remained largely silent while his constituents screamed and suffered." As commuters are experiencing far worse suffering in June, 2017 because of New Jersey's infrastructure collapse and rail problems, Mr. Christie has chosen to burden taxpayers with $750 million to "refurbish" the State House in Trenton in order for his Republican friends, like Randy Mastro, Esq., to make money. I wonder why the governor regards this expenditure as so important if he were NOT going to receive a piece of this pie?) 

Adam Liptak & Matt Fliegenheimer, "Court Nominee Is Confirmed After a Bruising Yearlong Fight," The New York Times, April 8, 2017, p. A1. (Justice Gorsuch explained in moving terms that he expected to be "fearless" in protecting the Constitutional rights of citizens. I will send Justice Gorsuch a copy of this essay with proofs of computer crimes and censorship by state agencies at this blog that are taking place in violation of fundamental protections under the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendments as well as other provisions of law.) 

Nick Corasanti, "Christie Reflects as His Rocky Tenure Dims: 'My Obit Will be Fine,'" The New York Times, April 18, 2017, p. A1. (In response to this comment Mr. Lesniak expressed the hope that he would soon have the chance to write that glowing obituary for Mr. Christie. The New Jersey governor sees himself as "highly moral" and "successful" as Chief Executive of the Garden State.) 

Nick Corasanti, "A Conundrum For Republicans in New Jersey: How Far to Run From Christie[?]," The New York Times, May 4, 2017, p. A20. (Although their own party is running away from Mr. Christie, publicly, many Jersey Republicans are, privately, making money from Christie's governorship and do not wish to bite the hand that feeds them or the rear end they are forced to kiss so as to continue making money.) 

Manny Fernandez [Manohla Dargis] & Martin Haag [Jennifer Shuessler], "Officer Who Fatally Shot 15-Year-Old Boy Is Charged With Murder," The New York Times, May 6, 2017, p. A16. ("A [white] police officer in a Dallas suburb was charged with murder on Friday, six days after he fired his rifle into a car full of teenagers leaving a party, killing a black [sic.] 15-year-old in the front passenger seat." Mr. Sessions has promised to indict the deceased fifteen-year-old African-American "trouble-maker.")

Emma G. Fitzimmons, "Another Problem for New Jersey Transit? Collecting Riders [sic.] Fares," The New York Times, May 8, 2017, p. A17. (Understaffed trains, life-threatening track conditions, poorly-maintained facilities -- all of these realities require infusions of capital into the public transport system and especially New Jersey Transit. Fortunately, millions will finally be spent on revamping the State House.) 

Nick Corasanti, "Tunnels Aren't the Only Vision for New Jersey Transit in the Race for Governor," The New York Times, May 9, 2017, p. A20. (New Jersey has a transportation CRISIS that affects the entire tri-state region and is a corruption catastrophe that is unique in the United States of America. Rather than imposing debt- and financial-controls as the pension crisis looms an effort is underway to cripple subsequent administrations by burdening two future generations with astronomical debts, allegedly, for a cosmetic change in the State House.) 

Patrick McGeehan, "Jersey City Mayor Balks at Break for Kushners," The New York Times, May 10, 2017, p. A24. (Will Jersey City Mayor Steven Fullop take on the "Big Bad Wolf," Nick Sacco, and "Boss Bob" Menendez as well as Chris Christie to regain control of Hudson County for the county's largest city? Much depends on whether Menendez is convicted in September. The Kushners' sweetheart deal for a luxury high rise in Journal Square will deprive Jersey City's residents of needed housing in order to cater to upper-middle-class professionals commuting to and from New York.)

Benjamin Wieser, "City Settles With Women in Prison Rape Lawsuit," The New York Times, May 10, 2017, p. A24. (A Riker's guard -- one of several facing such lawsuits -- engaged in a pattern of sexual abuse of incarcerated women. The individual in question has been urged to move to New Jersey. "Foucault, Rose, Davis and the Meaning(s) of Prison.") 

Charles Bagli, "Kushners Confront Turbulence in Jersey City," The New York Times, June 11, 2017, p. A23. (The Journal Square project may involve the Kushners in alleged bribery and far worse New Jersey shenanigans if they are to complete this development against massive local opposition. Given the family's proximity to Mr. Trump this may be a problem or business as usual.)

Nick Corasanti, "Democrat is Biggest Spender by Far in New Jersey Governor's Race," The New York Times, May 11, 2017, p. A22. ($18 million is spent by Phil Murphy in the primary. Mr. Murphy is the new John Corzine. Clueless but well-meaning Phil Murphy would be a terrible governor. At least some of this campaign money is said to be mafia funds. Someone forgot to explain to the boys from Hudson County that mob money is supposed to go to Ms. Guadagno this time. "Mafia Influence in New Jersey Courts and Politics.")

Jim Dwyer, "A New Jersey Township Wielded Its Zoning Rules as a Barrier to Islam," The New York Times, May 24, 2017, p. A19. (Bernard Township -- like Donald J. Trump -- wishes to ban all Muslims.) 

Alan Feuer, "Prosecutors Scrapped 7 Convictions But Say Ex-Detective Broke No Laws," The New York Times, May 26, 2017, p. A25. (A crooked and lying detective who produced fraudulent convictions, mostly of African-American defendants who have served time for crimes they did not commit, is protected by prosecutors. None of these persons face professional ethics or criminal charges of any kind at this time.) 

Nick Corasanti, "Candidate Delves Into Personal History in New Jersey," The New York Times, May 26, 2017, p. A25. (Was Jim Johnson  a new "Daniel" wandering into the "Lion's Den" of New Jersey politics?) 

Nancy Solomon, "Political Winds Toss New Jersey Lawmaker Between Party and Home," The New York Times, May 30, 2017, p. A18. (RODNEY FRELINGHUYSEN, Republican, is torn between lying to his party and/or lying to his constituents. Mr. Frelinghuysen, an attorney, has chosen to lie to everyone by voting with the Republicans against immigrants then misrepresenting his record and sympathies to his voters many of whom are immigrants.) 

Jean Rimbach, "'Direct Threat Alleged in Mob Case," The Record, June 2, 2017, p. A-1. (The lawyer delivering this alleged threat -- John Carbone, Esq. -- member of the ethics committee in New Jersey and alleged organized crime figure is facing no ethics charges. The victim was and is a police detective. Mr. Carbone is alleged to have said: "I don't care!")

Dustin Racioppi, "Voters Ready for Christie's Successor: Both Parties Eager for Different Style," The Record, June 5, 2017, p. A-1. (New Jersey is a little tired of Chris Christie's lying and incompetence. Ms. Guadagno offers only more of the same from essentially the identical cast of characters. Democrats, as usual in New Jersey, can only provide government by organized crime. Good luck New Jersey voters.) 

"It's Time New Jersey Transit Steps Up to Problems," (Editorial) The Record, June 5, 2017, p. 9A. (How can New Jersey Transit deal with its problems which are, potentially, life-threatening for millions of commuters without an infusion of money?) 

Nicolas Pugliese, "Lawyers Protest Arrests at Courts: 'Mass Panic' as Many Avoid Justice System," The Record, June 6, 2017, p. A-1. (Things will improve in the New Jersey legal system when judges and lawyers are arrested, for once, rather than immigrants who are witnesses and litigants and often not voluntarily or very happily forced into such roles.  When people can no longer make use of the legal system to deal with their disputes there will be much more "self-help" with unintended consequences. "The Wanderer and His Shadow.")    

Charles Stile, "New Nominee Spins Fantasy in Bid to Become Next Governor," The Record, June 12, 2017, p. A-1. ("The lieutenant governor [Kim Guadagno a.k.a. "Guardagno"] is promising to spend a generous property tax credit for homeowners, a plan that would cost up to $1.5 billion." Here we go again.)

Kaitlyn Kantzler, "4 Jersey City Officers on Leave After Video of Kicking is Released," The Record, June 13, 2017, p. A-4. ("Four Jersey City police officers have been suspended without pay after a witness video surfaced of officers allegedly kicking an innocent and injured bystander following a police pursuit." The Jersey City cops made the mistake of assaulting the victim and a bystander in an incident that resulted in a lengthy pursuit of a culprit who managed to get away. That's New Jersey for you.)

Kenneth F. McCallin, "FBI Nominee Has Russia Ties of His Own," (Op-Ed) The Record, June 13, 2017, p. A-9. ("On paper, Christopher Wray appears to be an excellent choice to serve as the next FBI director. He has impeccable academic credentials (Yale Law School) and had a decades-long distinguished career as a federal prosecutor and high level official in the Department of Justice. As a criminal defense lawyer for Christopher Christie during the 'Bridgegate' investigation, it raised some eyebrows when it was learned that one of Christie's cellphones ended up in Wray's possession, [emphasis added] but this is unlikely to derail Wray's confirmation." Mr. Christie's lawyers, evidently, lied about this fact to the federal judge in the matter. No wonder I am not receiving a response to my communications from the FBI. "Christie and Mastro Accuse Each Other of Lying.")   

Tony Gicos, "Doctor Charged With Accepting Bribes," The Record, June 13, 2017, p. 2L. (Dr. Ronald D'Amato, a chiropractor, accepted $90,000 in bribes for referrals to an imaging center. Lawyers were probably getting kickbacks for client referrals from both the chiropractor and the imaging center. Usually there are "connections" to adjusters at the relevant insurance companies to ease along all payments and settlements for sleazy plaintiffs' lawyers. Edgar Navarete? Jose Ginarte? Herb Klitzner? Bass & Bass? Many others also played these games "allegedly.")

Kurdy Ortiz, "Palisades Park Man Arrested in Child Porn Sting Sentenced," The Record, June 13, 2017, p. 3L. (One of the 25 persons arrested in a state-wide and international child porn ring that exported this material to many places in the world was sentenced to 3 years in prison and may be out in 18 months. Luis Cedeno, 50, will register as a sex offender and may be coming to your neighborhood in Union City: "Is Union City New Jersey Meyer Lansky's Whore House?" and "Menendez Consorts With Underage Prostitutes.") 

Katie Sabko, "Water Main Break Causes Travel Delays in Jersey City," The Record, June 9, 2017, p. A-3. (The desperate need for infrastructure and road repair in New Jersey becomes clearer every day. Is the same true when it comes to "refurbishing" the State House in Trenton?)  

Johnny Clark & Russ Bynism, "Judge Orders Woman Accused in Leak Case to Remain in Jail," The Record, June 9, 2017, p. A-3. ("Reality Winner," 25, was jailed allegedly for leaking classified information that revealed government criminality. The culpable officials of the government will not be prosecuted, only the "whistle blower" will face legal perils despite whistle-blower protection laws.)

Stephanie Noda, "Judge Mulls Defamation Suit: Attorney Requests That Lawsuit Over Facebook Posts be Dismissed," The Record, June 9, 2017, p. 1L. (First Amendment may preclude a state officials' law suit aimed at a couple who opposed his policies by way of Facebook posts. The Internet can be used as a bulletin board expressing citizens' concerns. Several District and Circuit Courts have ruled in favor of Internet writers in such matters.) 

Joe Malinconico, "Sheriff: Paterson Man Offered Kids Gifts for Sex," The Record, June 9, 2017, p. 3L. (Jose Bautista-Palacios of Paterson -- allegedly a supporter of both Joey Torres and Bob Menendez -- has been arrested for luring children on the Internet with gifts in exchange for sex. New Jersey's child sexual abuse problem is more out of control than ever. Is Jorge Prado of North Bergen at liberty? "New Jersey Welcomes Child Molesters" and "New Jersey's Latest Massive Child Porn Crisis.") 

Joe Malinconico, "Paterson Worker Accused of Child Sex is Fired," The Record, June 6, 2017, p. 3L. (Alfonso Del Carmen worked as a housing inspector in Paterson and voted for Joey Torres, allegedly, and probably Bob Menendez also, even as he was involved in child sexual abuse in America's child prostitution capitol. Why do so many child molesters in New Jersey have government or school-related jobs? "New Jersey is America's Child Porn Capitol.")

Jim Dwyer, "A Mistake Costing the Public $25 Million That the City Won't Admit," The New York Times, June 14, 2017, p. A19. (Two African-American men convicted, falsely, will receive $25 million in compensation for the loss of years of their lives. The compensation is an admission of error. New Jersey continues to lie and cover-up crimes committed in my matters so as to protect prominent persons in the state's legal profession. "New Jersey's Office of Attorney Ethics" and "New Jersey's 'Ethical' Legal System.")  

Dustin Racioppi, "Lottery Sales Lagging Once Again: Northstar Promised Big, but Fails to Deliver in New Jersey," The Record, April 18, 2017, p. 3A. (Continued theft and mismanagement at the N.J. lottery results in more "missing money." Northstar promised a return of $1.07 BILLION. The actual amount delivered by Northstar fell well short of this projected sum at $970 million. This was $400 million less than projected by Mr. Christie. There seems to be some "discrepancy" between estimated cash collected and amounts that are "officially" listed as collected in actuality. Funds seem to have disappeared. How strange?)   

"American Dream Too Big to Finish," (Editorial) The Record, May 22, 2017, p. 8A. (Another $1.6 BILLION in construction financing for the successor to the Xanadu project which is called "American Dream" -- known as "New Jersey's Nightmare" -- in addition to the estimated total already spent of $7-to-$9 BILLION for an unfinished mall.)

John Brennan, "Dream Progress Pleases Christie: Bond Sale is Next For Development," The Record, May 23, 2017, p. 3L. (Mr. Christie is "pleased" that "Triple Five" which stands behind the "American Dream" project will receive $1.6 BILLION in financing, allegedly, with the assistance of the same Republican law firms and financial people from Wall Street behind the State House refurbishing deal. The fees to be paid to such persons will be in the hundreds of millions of dollars. There will be many "contributions" to Republican politicians.)

Dustin Racioppi, "Once Eager to Prosecute Clinton, Christie Now Wants Pause For Trump," The Record, May 18, 2017, p. 8A. (Double Standards? Hypocrisy? Lying? People carrying "Hillary For Prison!" signs are now holding "Go Donald!" signs.)

Joe Malinconico, "District Budget Calls for $5 Million Cut," The Record, March 28, 2017, p. 1L. (Cuts are taking place throughout New Jersey's public schools while the world's most expensive shopping mall has another $1.6 BILLION to "play" with. Will we live to see the completion of this development?) 

Salvador Rizzo, "N.J. Credit Rating Cut for 11th Time Under Christie," The Record, March 28, 2017, p. 6A. ("Wall Street [bankers] downgraded New Jersey's credit rating, once again, renewing warnings about the state's poorly managed budget and ailing pension system for public workers." [emphasis added] At last count the N.J. pension system was $54 BILLION in the red. This downgrade makes it more expensive for New Jersey to borrow and burdens future generations for longer periods of time.)

Steve Janoski, "Cliffside Park Counselor Gets Charges of Child Sex Dropped: Judge Suppressed Video Interview of 5-Year-Old Alleged Victim," The Record, April 18, 2017, p. 1L. (Edward Meier, who is represented by my old friend Brian Neary, Esq., gets off on a technicality after an alleged "fix." Mr. Meier is a school guidance counselor. I wonder whether Mark Neary, Esq. is related to Brian Neary, Esq.?) 

Charles V. Bagli, "In an Amusement Mall's 13-Year Story, The Pursuit of Another $1.1 Billion," The New York Times, June 1, 2017, p. A19. (What is now a close to $3 BILLION project will bring the total spent in connection with this proposed mall since day one in 2003, under all assumed names, to approximately $11-to-$13 BILLION. It is not yet clear when, if ever, this project will be complete, nor when such a venture will be profitable for anyone, except the people making money with the financing and construction deals as well as the politicians "arranging" these deals. Is this New Jersey's legal ethics, Mr. Rabner? "New Jersey's Politically-Connected lawyers On the Tit.") 

Frederica Polark, "Endangered Children," (Op-Ed) The New York Times, June 1, 2017, p. A23. (Children in New Jersey, for example, lead the nation in exposure to toxic agents resulting in some of the highest cancer rates anywhere in the U.S. If the Garden State's children are lucky enough to avoid rape in their schools, they may succumb to other dangers from a toxic environment and contaminated water because they are relying on non-responsive government agencies for protection. I certainly understand how those children's parents must feel. "An Open Letter to Cyrus Vance, Jr., Esq." and "New Jersey is Lucky Luciano's Havana.") 

Dustin Racioppi, "Christie's Job Approval Drops to a New Low," The Record, June 15, 2017, p. A-1. (Gov. Chris Christie's job approval rating dropped to 15 percent in a recent poll released Wednesday. This is the worst rating for a governor in any state surveyed during the last 20 years. 81% of New Jersey voters "disapprove" of Mr. Christie's job performance. They should have a correspondingly low opinion of Ms. Guadagno. The numbers continue to decline by the day as New Jersey's troubles increase.) 

Terry Spencer, "Trial for Eye Doctor Tied to Menendez Case Nears its Conclusion," The Record, April 19, 2017, p. 6A. ("Dr. Salomon Melgen is charged" -- and now substantially convicted -- "with 76 counts for allegedly stealing from Medicare between 2008 and 2013 by performing useless tests and procedures on elderly and disabled patients." [emphasis added] Using human beings as experimental animals to scam money from the government is what Dr. Melgen did with the assistance -- for a small fee - of Senator Menendez. Many of these persons have suffered horrible pain so that Bob and Salomon could make money. Is this "ethical" OAE? Is Dr. Melgen still your "great friend" Boss Bob? It appears that Dr. Melgen's name will be on the witness list for Senator Menendez's trial beginning on September 6, 2017 in Newark federal court. I hope to be in the audience for this trial in order to write about the proceedings at these blogs.)

Monsy Alvarado, "Man Facing Deportation Gets Extension: Catalino Guerrero granted one-year stay by ICE," The Record, April 19, 2017, p. A-3. (Bob Menendez was photographed assisting this "grandpa" to obtain a brief or temporary stay of a scheduled deportation that will take place soon. Is it worse to use someone in order to gain positive publicity, knowing that the deportation will take place anyway, so as not to be around -- maybe because you are lost on the Turnpike! -- when ICE shows up again to take "grandpa" away. Worry about your trial, Mr. Menendez, and forget the b.s. The Justice Department is not changing the subject. "On Bullshit.") 

Gregory Koche & Kevin johnson, "Mueller Turning His Focus to Trump: Report -- Obstruction of Justice Probe Underway," The Record, June 15, 2017, p. A-1. (Will Mr. Trump be impeached? Has the OAE also obstructed justice, perjured itself, and been protected by New Jersey's Supreme Court? "New Jersey's 'Ethical' Legal System" and "John McGill, Esq., the OAE, and New Jersey Corruption" then "New Jersey's Office of Attorney Ethics.") 

Nicolas Pugliese, "Judge Clears Christie's Renovation: With Bonds Issued, $300 Million State House Project to Continue," The Record, June 15, 2017, p. A-3. (Allegations of "bribes" for Judge Jacobson cannot be confirmed -- a promotion is said to be in the works for the Republican judge -- but the legal policy of protecting "good faith purchasers" won out as predicted at this blog. Mr. Christie got away with a "fast one" and dodged yet another bullet by, essentially, shoving this entire operation down the voters' throats. It is increasingly clear that the scheme was hatched months ago and pulled off when "distractions" prevented much attention from being focused on this issue.) 

Ford Scudder, "New Jersey's State House Renovation is Long Overdue," (Op-Ed) The Record, April 19, 2017, p. 13A. (One real author of this Op-Ed piece is probably Chris Christie. The "deal" was already prepared long before the $300 million in bonds were issued and the numbers were represented as being substantially BELOW what they turned out to be in terms of "financing and managing costs." I suspect this entire operation was well-planned long before the events of recent days.)  

Mark Mazetti, Mathew Rosenberg & Charlie Savage, "Torture Report Could Remain Under Wraps," The New York Times, June 3, 2017, p. A1. (A return to classifying almost everything as "secret" -- in order to cover-up as much as possible CIA participation in torture -- has taken place under Mr. Trump. Preventing the American public from knowing the truth will have little effect on the dissemination of this material throughout the world.) 

"The Problem With Jared Kushner," (Editorial) The New York Times, June 3, 2017, p. A20. ("A pattern of concealment and secret meetings [is] raising concerns about Jared Kushner's fitness for the job he has been given." Persons who once carried "Hillary For Prison!" signs are silent about Mr. Kushner's troubles. How about "Jared For Prison!") 

Dustin Racioppi, "Christie's Pension Reforms On the Table," The Record, April 11, 2017, p. A-1. (Mr. Christie decided to "kick the can down the road" in order to focus on making money for his friends now so they can be grateful later. All Chris Christie does is to "adjourn" things.) 

Nicolas Pugliese, "Christie, Cuomo [Each] Demand Role in Penn Station Inspections," The Record, April 11, 2017, p. 3A. (N.Y. will require the state's own independent inspections of all expenditures at the proposed Penn Station renovations. In June, 2017 there are already "issues" concerning expenditures -- like disappearing funds? -- from the New Jersey side.) 

"Construction Code Changes Are Overdue," (Editorial) The Record, April 10, 2017, p. 7A. (A fire in Avalon has led to debate over the New Jersey construction code. The problem is corruption, not the code. Usually, the worst corruption is at the municipal level in terms of variances and permits.) 

Melanie Anzibile, "Paramus to Provide Public Records: Judge Rules in Favor of Man's Request for Purchase Orders and Vouchers," The Record, April 10, 2017, p. 1L. (Bonnie J. Mizdol, N.J. Superior Court Judge, amazingly, ruled in favor of a citizen seeking the truth from local government. Tell me the truth, Mr. Rabner. Please stop lying and covering-up the facts to protect the OAE.) 

Bill Theobald, "USA Today Seeks Records of Any Trump Surveillance: Lawsuit Focuses on FBI[,] Presidential Campaign," The Record, April 5, 2017, p. 7A. (Trump White House monitoring of "dissenters" may be more widespread than people realize. How much are "dissidents" spied-upon and why is Constitutionally-protected activity grounds for surveillance?) 

Bob Jordan, "Christie Pushes Legal Ads Bill," The Record, January 25, 2017, p. 4A. (Christie's war on newspapers continues with attempts to deprive The Star-Ledger of legal ads revenue as well as readers by keeping the paper from the Port Authority building because the Ledger has been critical of Christie's policies. This constitutes government reprisals against media based on content that clearly violates the First Amendment.) 

Kevin Johnson, "FBI Chief Says Trump Has Asked Him to Stay," The Record, January 25, 2017, p. 5A. (The same Donald J. trump who expressed confidence in Mr. Comey and who asked that the FBI pursue the investigation of the Russia matter "wherever it might lead" turned against Mr. Comey when the investigation "led to" Mike Flynn, Jared Kushner, Jeff Sessions, and others close to the president. Suddenly, Mr. Comey was no longer "admirable"?) 

Joe Malinconico, "Work by Paterson Vendors at Issue: State Subpoenas Financial Records," The Record, January 25, 2017, p. 1L. (Six private businesses received subpoenas and only now, in June 2017, are indictments to be handed down. Mayor Joey Torres may have received kickbacks from 6 private businesses that have done work for Paterson. Similar allegations are being made in North Bergen. Will "Big Nicky" Sacco be next to be indicted? "North Bergen New Jersey is the Home of La Cosa Nostra.")

John E. Seasly, "N.J. Transit Adds $32.5 Million to Expedite Safety System: Positive Train Control," The Record, January 12, 2017, p. 3A. ($32.5 million is about 1/3 of what New Jersey Transit needs right now for crucial repairs and maintenance. As of June, 2017 this money has not been received and necessary repairs are unmade. The danger to the public grows by the day.) 

Todd South, "Who Will be the Next Prosecutor in Jersey?: Insiders Wondering Who Will Replace Fishman," The Record, January 18, 2017, p. A-1. (As of this writing there is still no appointee to the New Jersey U.S. Attorney position which is paralyzing that office in dealing with massive corruption problems in the state. More than 50% of U.S. Attorney positions that have become vacant after Mr. Trump's requested resignations have not been filled.)    

"Guadagno Takes Center Stage," (Editorial) The Record, January 18, 2017, p. 8A. (Ms. Guadagno denies lesbian affiliations and/or "ties" to Loretta Weinberg, Diana Lisa Riccioli a.k.a. Deborah Gramiccioni, "Little Debbie" Poritz, and Estela De La Cruz. "Is Truth Dead?") 

Nicolas Pugliese, "Sentencing Delayed for Ex-Assemblyman: Schroeder's Attorney Presents New Information," The Record, January 17, 2017, p. 1L. (Robert Schroeder, Esq. -- former New Jersey Assemblyman and, allegedly, legal ethics committee member -- defrauded investors of $5.3 million. The OAE was too preoccupied covering-up their role in my life to do much about this matter until it was too late for many members of the public. Should you not protect the public from sleazy lawyers OAE? William B. Ziff, Esq.?)

Adam Liptak, "Supreme Court Says Bush Officials Cannot be Sued for Post-9/11 Politics: Ashcroft and Mueller Not Personally Liable For Claims of Abuse in Immigrant Roundups," The New York Times, June 20, 2017, p. A15. (The U.S. Supreme Court will allow suits against the federal government, but the justices have protected the architects of America's post-9/11 torture and surveillance policies in the "National Security State" in which we find ourselves these days. Is the Orwellian vision underlying our national security "apparatus" compatible with the Bill of Rights vision of autonomous subjects endowed with inalienable rights before the power of the state? "Manifesto For the Unfinished American Revolution.")   

John Eligion, "Family of Man Shot by Police Settles Suit," The New York Times, June 1, 2017, p. A17. (Michael Brown, 17 and unarmed, was shot by Officer Darren Wilson who claimed that Mr. Brown attacked him. However, eye-witnesses reported that the slain young man had his hands in the air.)

Alex Kane, "The Spoils of War: The Palestinian Territories Have Become a Testing Ground for New Weapons and Surveillance Tactics Which Are Then Exported to Other Countries," The Indypendent, June 2017, p. 12. (Allegedly, neighborhoods -- like mine in New York -- have become "laboratories" for Israeli-developed methods of psychological manipulation and "control" of subjugated populations that have been imported, secretly, by the Bloomberg administration into New York's reality. The results of use of such "tactics" are now ignored by other officials in New York since they come directly from Gaza and the West Bank where they have been so "successful." No wonder the NYPD has not responded to my communications. Is all of this "kosher" Mr. Bloomberg? Mr. Schumer? Mr. Shanker? "Criminal Complaint Against Christie Allowed to Proceed" and "Psychological Torture in the American Legal System.")

"The Briefing Room," The Indypendent, June, 2017, p. 6. ("President Trump's proposed federal budget would cut trillions of dollars from programs benefiting the poor. Over 10 years, a total of $1.49 trillion dollars would be stripped from Medicaid, $191 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, $40.4 billion from earned income and child tax credits and $21.6 billion from welfare. ... Current projections say the U.S. economy will grow at a rate of 1.9 percent over the next decade. Trump's budget assumes a magical 3 percent growth rate based on massive tax cuts [for the richest Americans!] over the next decade -- enough to pay for a $2 TRILLION spending increase by 2027 and cover revenue lost due to the tax cuts." All of the economists consulted describe these numbers as "absurd." If the "magical" Trump projections do not materialize America's poor people and many middle class as well as working people who are disabled or handicapped will be devastated. Americans will, literally, die if this budget goes into effect.) 

Kristie Cattafi, "Garfield Police Shooting Suit Settlement: Estate of Teen Who Was Killed, Malik Williams, to Get $180,000," The Record, April 20, 2017, p. A-1. (New Jersey is saturated with lawsuits over "questionable" police shootings of African-American young men. As with my situation the authorities in Trenton have chosen to lie and cover-up the facts, including the reality of a state-wide problem, so as to prevent victims' families from obtaining the truth or achieving any lasting peace and/or closure. The goal is to have people "give up" and "adjust" to the oppression and dehumanization to which they are subjected. Perhaps these methods are also derived from the Israeli occupation? They will not be successful in Gaza or the West Bank, nor will they work here in America.)  

Monsy Alvarado & Hannan Adeley, "New Jersey Chief Justice Asks Feds Not to Arrest Immigrants at Courthouses," The Record, April 20, 2017, p. 3A. (Mr. Rabner has zero credibility as long as he continues to lie and cover-up the facts in my situation. Tell the truth Mr. Rabner.  We all have to move on.)

Hannan Adeley, "Student From Wayne at Center of Fordham Free-Speech Battle: Senior Sues School for Not Allowing Pro-Palestinian Club on Campus," The Record, April 28, 2017, p. 8A. (Amad Awad of Wayne, New Jersey may be a candidate for Israeli-developed "control" techniques already being used in New York and New Jersey, allegedly, with the blessings of Ms. Poritz and Mr. Rabner. "Arthur Goldberg" of the "Jonah Group" may be able to fill in the details. Is "Arthur Goldberg" also "Terry Touchin" a.k.a. "David"? Does Ms. Loretta Weinberg know "Arthur Goldberg" and can she provide us with his real name? Howard Brownstein?) 

Greg Lavelle, "Rail Infrastructure Becoming a Looming Crisis," The Record, April 28, 2017, p. 13A. (The New Jersey Transit situation threatens the lives of millions of commuters from New York and elsewhere. There is no way to deal with the crisis without spending money the state does not have because of theft and mismanagement intended to make lawyers richer. OAE?) 

Andrew Wyrich, "Validity of DNA Argued in Wood-Ridge Man's Trial," The Record, April 28, 2017, p. 3L. (Daniel Rochat is accused of beating and setting fire to an elderly woman in East Rutherford. Once again New Jersey police experts are accused of "placing" DNA evidence -- too small a sample this time -- at the scene to frame, or falsely implicate, a designated defendant. Ethics? Who gets to choose the persons that are "framed" by the authorities in New Jersey? "Arthur Goldberg"? Why are prosecutors or former prosecutors -- like Ms Guadagno -- protected by the OAE and New Jersey Supreme Court when they are responsible for such atrocities. Anne Rodgers? "Larry Peterson Cleared by DNA.")

Jeffrey Collins & Meg Kinnaird, "White Officer Pleads Guilty in Gun Death of Fleeing Black Man: Murder Charge Dropped; Civil Rights Sentence Could Mean Decades in Prison," The Record, May 2, 2017, p. 5A. (Officer Michael Slager felt "threatened" by an African-American man running away from him and shot the "suspect," Walter Scott, in the back. Like the OAE many police officers in New Jersey prefer to shoot persons when their backs are turned so that they cannot defend themselves. "New Jersey's 'Ethical' Legal System" and "John McGill, Esq., the OAE, and New Jersey Corruption.")

Scott Fallon & Nicolas Pugliese, "Panel Moves to Block Christie's Highlands Development Plan," The Record, May 2, 2017, p. 1L. ("Lawmakers are a step away from blocking Gov. Chris Christie's plans to allow more residential development in the protected Highlands where [N.J.] residents get their drinking water." 1,145 more septic systems in a state that has been described, to put it tactfully, as a "gigantic septic tank," should not be a problem and may improve the quality of the often contaminated drinking water. "New Jersey is America's Legal Toilet" and "New Jersey's Political and Supreme Court Whores.")

Sheri Fink & James Risen, "Suit Gives New Details of Brutal Interrogations," The New York Times, June 22, 2017, p. A1. (The attitudes and assumptions of "psychologists" -- they are ostracized from the profession by international authorities -- serving as "architects of torture" for U.S. forces reveal the blindness of evil as well as the limitations of American so-called "scientific" or "behaviorist-pragmatic" psychology, which is really a kind of hateful ideology of anti-humanism together with the rationalization of racism and sadism. Perhaps these methods are also Israeli-created? "Psychological Torture in the American Legal System" and "Behaviorism is Evil" then "An Open Letter to My Torturers Terry Tuchin ["Arthur Goldberg" a.k.a. "R. Schnetzler"] and Diana Lisa Riccioli." [a.k.a. "Deborah Gramiccioni"])  

Sheri Fink, "Torture and Personal Responsibility," The New York Times, June 22, 2017, p. A2. (" ... I was used to doing what I was ordered to do." There can be no ethics without truth and acceptance of responsibility. This is especially necessary for those who presume to judge the ethics of others. "Stuart Rabner and Conduct Unbecoming to the Judiciary in New Jersey" and "No More Cover-Ups and Lies Chief Justice Rabner!" then "New Jersey's 'Ethical' Legal System" and "John McGill, Esq., the OAE, and New Jersey Corruption." Elissa Krauss"? Bob Menendez? Estela De La Cruz? Maria Martinez a.k.a. Barcelo? Do you speak to me of ethics "ladies" and "gentlemen" of New Jersey? Do you distinguished persons "claim" to be better morally -- or more ethical -- than I am? I disagree.)    






Friday, May 19, 2017

Is Truth Dead?

Primary Sources:

"Is Truth Dead?" Time, March 23, 2017 and (My references are to the online text as well as to the printed edition.)

"Why We Lie," National Geographic, June, 2017, p. 30.

Justin Gillis, "World's Unity On Warming Pivots on U.S.: Exit From Paris Deal Could Hurt the Poor," The New York Times, June 1, 2017, p. A1.

Michael S. Schmidt, "Trump Appealed to Comey to Halt Inquiry Into Aide: Ex-F.B.I. Chief Noted Request in Memo -- 'I hope you can let this go,'" The New York Times, May 17, 2017, p. 3.    

John Thornhill, "Lunch With the Financial Times: Daniel Dennett," Financial Times, "Weekend Edition," March 5, 2017, p. 3. 

"What is Knowledge?: Symposium," New Scientist, April 1, 2017, pp. 30-41.

"Reality Check: Humanism in the Post-Truth Era," The Humanist, March/April, 2017, pp. 12-16.

Joseph Epstein, "The Cultured Life," The Weekly Standard, March 20, 2017, pp. 26-32. (Mr. Epstein was a big fan of Gore Vidal's writings. "Book Chats and 'Chits.'")

Hadley Arkes, "The Moral Turn," First Things, May 1, 2017, pp. 29-36.

John Haldane, "MacIntyre Against Morality," First Things, May 1, 2017, pp. 49-53. (Review of Alasdair McIntyre's Ethics in the Conflicts of Modernity: An Essay On Desire, Practical Reasoning, and Narrative, Cambridge, 2017.)

Secondary Sources:

Hadley Arkes, First Things: An Inquiry Into First Principles of Morals and Justice (Princeton: Princeton U. Press, 1980).

Robert Audi, Ed., The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge U. Press, 1996).

Randall L. Auxier & Luis Edwin Hahn, Eds., The Philosophy of Michael Dummett (Illinois: Open Court, 2007), pp. 351-367.

A.J. Ayer, The Problem of Knowledge (London: Penguin, 1956, 1980), pp. 36-84.

Jonathan Bennett, Rationality: An Essay Towards Analysis (New York & London: Routledge & Keegan and Paul -- The Humanities Press, 1964, 1971), pp. 86-93.   

Richard Bernstein, Beyond Objectivism and Relativism (Philadelphia: U. Penn. 1983).

Richard Bernstein, "Nietzsche or Aristotle? Reflections on Alasdair McIntyre's After Virtue," Soundings, Vol. 67 (1984), pp. 6-29. 

Simon Blackburn, Mirror, Mirror: The Uses and Abuses of Self-Love (Princeton & Oxford: Princeton U. Press, 2014).

Simon Blackburn, Truth: A Guide (Oxford: Oxford U. Press, 2005), pp. 166-171.

Simon Blackburn, Practical Tortoise Raising and Other Philosophical Essays (Oxford: Oxford U. Press, 2010), pp. 26-47, pp. 90-109.

Simon Blackburn, "Relativization and Truth," in Lewis Edwin Hahn, Ed., The Philosophy of P.F. Strawson (Illinois: Open Court, 1998), pp. 151-168, "Reply to Simon Blackburn," by P.F. Strawson, pp. 168-173.

Robert Brandom, Making it Explicit (Cambridge, MA: Harvard U. Press, 1994). 

Robert Brandom, "Truth and Assertibility," Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 53, (1976), pp. 137-149.

Lorraine Code, "Epistemic Injustice: Power and the Ethics of Knowing," Notre Dame Philosophy Reviews, March 13, 2008. (Available online.) ("Is clarity enough?")

Janet Coleman, "McIntyre and Aquinas," in After McIntyre: Critical Perspectives on the Work of Alasdair McIntyre (Indiana: Notre Dame U. Press, 1994), pp. 65-91 (John Horton and Susan Mendus, Editors).  

Alan Cowell, "Ian Brady, Unrepentant Killer of British Children, Dies at 79," The New York Times, "Business Section," May 17, 2017, p. B14. (Is there an objective truth to such matters? If so, what is the truth about a great crime and should we care about knowing that truth?)  

Edward Craig, The Mind of God and the Works of Man (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1987).

Edward Craig, Knowledge and the State of Nature: An Essay in Conceptual Synthesis (Oxford: Oxford U. Press, 1999).

Jonathan Culler, On Deconstruction: Theory and Criticism After Structuralism (New York: Cornell U. Press, 1982), pp. 85-227.

Fred R. Dallmayr, "Hermeneutics and Deconstruction: Gadamer and Derrida in Dialogue," in Critical Encounters Between Philosophy and Politics (Indiana: Notre Dame U. Press, 1987), pp. 130-159.

Donald Davidson, "A Coherence Theory of Truth and Knowledge," in Reading Rorty, pp. 120-139. (See John W. Yolton's article below.) 

Peter Dews, Logics of Disintegration: Post-Structuralist Thought and the Claims of Critical Theory (London & New York: Verso, 1987), pp. 144-220.

Gerald Doppelt, "'Justice for Hedgehogs': Book Review," Notre Dame Philosophy Reviews, August 4, 2011. (Available online.)

Ronald Dworkin, "Objectivity and Truth: You'd Better Believe it," Philosophy and Public Affairs, Vol. 25, No. 2 (Spring, 1996), pp. 87-139.

Ronald Dworkin, Justice for Hedgehogs (Cambridge, MA: Harvard U. Press, 2011).

Michael Dummett, Truth and Other Enigmas (Cambridge, MA: Harvard U. Press, 1978).

Michael Dummett, The Logical Basis of Metaphysics (London: Duckworth, 1991). 

Anthony Flew, How to Think Straight: An Introduction to Critical Reasoning (New York: Prometheus Books, 1998), pp. 115-136.

John Foster, "The Construction of the Physical World," in Lewis Edwin Hahn, Ed., The Philosophy of A.J. Ayer (Illinois: Open Court, 1992), pp. 179-198, "Reply to John Foster," by A.J. Ayer, pp. 198-200.

John Foster, A World For Us: The Case For Pehnomenalistic Idealism (Oxford: Oxford U. Press, 2008).

Michael N. Foster, Kant and Skepticism (Oxford & Princeton: Princeton U. Press, 2008).

Michel Foucault, The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences (New York: Viking, 1973), pp. 303-343. 

Harry G. Frankfurt, On Bullshit (Princeton: Princeton U. Press, 2005), entirety. 

Miranda Fricker, Epistemic Injustice: Power and the Ethics of Knowing (Oxford: Oxford U. Press, 2007).

Hans-Georg Gadamer, Truth and Method (New York: Crossroads, 1982), pp. 153-345. 

Hans-Georg Gadamer, "Text Matters," in Richard Kearney, Ed., States of Mind: Dialogues With Contemporary Thinkers (New York: NYU Press, 1995), pp. 262-290.

Henry A. Giroux, The Violence of Organized Forgetting: Thinking Beyond America's Disimagination Machine (San Francisco: City Lights, 2014).

Robert Giroux, The Book Known as Q: A Consideration of Shakespeare's Sonnets (New York: Vintage, 1982), pp. 3-59. 

Neil M. Gorsuch, "Law's Irony," Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, Vol. 37 (2014), pp. 743-756. 

Neil M. Gorsuch, "2016 Summer Canary Memorial Lecture: Of Lions and Bears, Judges and Legislators, and the Legacy of Justice Scalia," Case Western Law Review, Vol. 66 (2016), pp. 905-920. 

A.C. Grayling, Skepticism and the Possibilities of Knowledge (London: Continuum, 2014), pp. 171-205.

A.C. Grayling, The Mystery of Things (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2004).

Susan Haack, "Dummett's Justification of Induction," Mind, 91, (1982), pp. 216-239.

Ian Hacking, "Is the End in Sight for Epistemology?," Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 77 (1980), pp. 579-588.

Ian Hacking, Why Does Language Matter to Philosophy? (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge U. Press, 1975), pp. 115-187.

David L. Hall, Richard Rorty: Prophet and Poet of the New Pragmatism (New York: SUNY Press, 1994), pp. 11-65.    

Errol E. Harris, Formal, Transcendental & Dialectical Reasoning: Logic and Reality (New York: SUNY Press, 1987).

Chris Hedges, Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle (New York: Nation Books, 2009).

Jennifer Hornsby, "Truth: The Identity Theory," Proceedings of the Aristotelean Society, New Series, (1997), pp. 1-24.

Don Ihde, Hermeneutic Phenomenology: The Philosophy of Paul Ricoeur (Evanston: Northwestern U. Press, 1971), pp. 59-80 ("Phenomenology Within Kantian Limits").

Duncan Kennedy, "The Hermeneutic of Suspicion in Contemporary American Legal Thought," Law and Critique, Vol. 25 (2014), pp. 91-139.

Peter J. Lewis, Quantum Ontology: A Guide to the Metaphysics of Quantum Mechanics (Oxford: Oxford U. Press, 2016).

Walter Lipman, A Preface to Morals (New Brunswisk: Transaction Books, 1989). (What happens to truth after the "death of God"? 1st Pub. 1929). 

William L. McBride & Clavin Shrag, Phenomenology in a Pluralistic Context (New York: SUNY, 1983), pp. 205-234 ("Phenomenology of Language").

Thomas McCarthy, Ideals and Illusions: On Reconstruction and Deconstruction in Contemporary Critical Theory (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1991), pp. 11-120.

John McDowell, Mind and World (Cambridge: Harvard U. Press, 1994, 1996).

John McDowell, "Anti-Realism and the Epistemology of Understanding," in Meaning and Understanding (Berlin: de Greuyter, 1981), pp. 225-248 (H. Parrelt & B. Bouveresse, Eds.).

John McDowell, "Gadamer and Davidson on Understanding and Relativism," in J. Malpas, U. Arsnwald, J. Kertscher, Eds., Gadamer's Century: Essays in Honor of Hans-Georg Gadamer (Cambridge, UK: MIT Press, 2002), pp. 173-195.

Colin McGinn, "Isn't it the Truth?," The New York Review of Books, April 10, 2003, (See Bernard Williams below.) 

Alasdair McIntyre, "Epistemological Crises, Dramatic Narrative, and the Philosophy of Science," The Monist, Vol. 60 (1977), pp. 433-472. 

Alasdair McIntyre, "Philosophy, 'Other' Disciplines and Their Histories: A Rejoinder to Richard Rorty," Soundings, Vol. 45 (1980), pp. 127-145. 

Alasdair McIntyre, After Virtue (Indiana: Notre Dame U. Press, 1981, 1984).

Steven Melville, Philosophy Beside Itself: On Deconstruction and Modernism (Minn.: U. Minn. Press, 1986), pp. 34-84.   

John William Miller, The Paradox of Cause and Other Essays (New York & London: W.W. Norton, 1978), pp. 64-74.

Christopher Norris, Against Relativism: Philosophy of Science, Deconstruction and Critical Theory (Oxford: Blackwell, 1997). 

Christopher Norris, Truth Matters: Realism, Anti-Realism and Response-Dependence (Edinburgh: Edinburgh U. Press, 2002, 2005).

Christopher Norris, "Hawking Contra Philosophy," Philosophy Now, Issue 118 (2017), pp. 2-4. (Can philosophy be defended or justified in the age of science? Perhaps this is merely a matter of "interpretation." This essay is available online.) 

Robert Nozick, Philosophical Explanations (Cambridge: Harvard U. Press, 1980), pp. 167-291.

Christopher Peacocke, The Realm of Reason (Oxford: Oxford U. Press, 2004), pp. 6-51. 

Dominic Pettman, Infinite Distraction (London: Polity, 2016), pp. 1-30. ("I know why the caged bird tweets.")

Terry Pinkard, "McIntyre's Critique of Modernity," in Alasdair McIntyre (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge U. Press, 2003), pp. 176-201 (Mark C. Murphy, Editor).

Michael Polanyi, Knowing and Being (Chicago: U. Chicago Press, 1969), pp. 123-2017 (Marjorie Grene, Editor and Collaborator). 

Hilary Putnam, Reason, Truth and History (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge U. Press, 1982). 

W.V. Quine, "Two Dogmas of Empiricism," in From a Logical Point of View (Cambridge, MA: Harvard U. Press, 1953), pp. 20-46. 

W.V. Quine, "Let Me Accentuate the Positive," in Reading Rorty, pp. 120-139. (See Donald Davidson's article cited above.) 

Nicolas Rescher, Kant and the Reach of Reason: Studies in Kant's Theory of Rational Systematization (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge U. Press, 2000), pp. 64-99.

Paul Ricoeur, The Conflicts of Interpretation: Essays in Hermeneutics (Illinois: Open Court, 1974). (Don Ihde, Editor.) 

Paul Ricoeur, "The Function of Fiction in Shaping Reality," Man and World, Vol. 12 (1979), pp. 125-141. (See the articles by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil M. Gorsuch.) 

Richard Rorty, "Philosophy as Science, as Metaphor, and as Politics," in The Institute of Philosophy: A Discipline in Crisis? (Illinois: Open Court, 1989), pp. 13-35 (Avner Cohen and Marcelo Dascal, Editors).  

Richard Rorty, Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth: Philosophical Papers, Vol. I (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge U. Press, 1991).

S.D. Ross, Metaphysical Aporia and Philosophical Heresy (New York: SUNY, 1989), pp. 213-253. 

George Santayana, Skepticism and Animal Faith (New York: Dover Pub. 1955, 1st Ed., 1923), pp. 164-182. 

John R. Searle, "Truth: A Reconsideration of Strawson's Views," in The Philosophy of P.F. Strawson, pp. 385-401, "Reply to John R. Searle," by P.F. Strawson, pp. 402-404.

Gila Sher, "Introduction to and Commentary on Jennifer Hornsby's 'Truth: The Identity Theory,'" Proceedings of the Aristotelean Society, Virtual Issue, No. 1 (2013). (Available online free of charge.) 

Peter Sloterdick, Critique of Cynical Reason (Minn.: U. Minn. Press, 1987), pp. 217-326. (Michael Elred translation.)

Huston Smith, Beyond the Postmodern Mind (New York: Crossroads, 1982, 1989).

T.L.S. Sprigge, "Ayer on Other Minds," in The Philosophy of A.J. Ayer, pp. 577-598, "A Reply to T.L.S. Sprigge," by A.J. Ayer, pp. 598-607. 

T.L.S. Sprigge, The Vindication of Absolute Idealism (Edingburgh: Edingburgh U. Press, 1983).

George Steiner, Grammars of Creation (London & New Haven: Yale U. Press, 2001). 

Jeffrey Stout, Ethics After Babel: The Languages of Morals and Their Discontents (Boston: Beacon Press, 1988), pp. 60-109.

P.F. Strawson, "Knowledge and Truth," in Philosophical Writings (Oxford: Oxford U. Press, 2011), pp. 109-117. (Galen Strawson and Michelle Montague edited this posthumous collection.) 

The Invisible Committee, To Our Friends (New York & Paris: Semiotexte, 2015), pp. 131-167. (Distributed in the U.S. by MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.)

Peter Unger, Ignorance: A Case For Skepticism (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1975), pp. 272-321.

Gore Vidal, "Starr Conspiracy," in The Last Empire: Essays 1992-2000 (New York: Vintage, 2001), pp. 426-431. 

Georgia Warnke, "Hermeneutics and the Social Sciences: A Gadamerian Critique of Rorty," Inquiry, Vol. 28 (1985), pp. 339-357.

Georgia Warnke, Gadamer: Hermeneutics, Tradition and Reason (Stanford: Stanford U. Press, 1987).

Bernard Weiss, Michael Dummett (Princeton & Oxford: Princeton U. Press, 2007).

David Wiggins, "Meaning and Truth Conditions: From Frege's Grand Design to Davidson's," in A Companion to the Philosophy of Language (Oxford: Blackwell, 1997), pp. 3-28 (R. Hale & C. Wright, Eds.).

Bernard Williams, Truth and Truthfulness: An Essay in Genealogy (Princeton: Princeton U. Press, 2003). ("Bernard Williams and Identity.") 

Bernard Williams, Essays and Reviews: 1959-2002 (Princeton & Oxford: Princeton U. Press, 2014), pp. 184-187, pp. 283-288.

Michael Williams, Problems of Knowledge (Oxford: Oxford U. Press, 2011).

Crispin Wright, Realism, Meaning and Truth (Oxford: Blackwell, 1986). 

Crispin Wright, Truth and Objectivity (Cambridge: Harvard U. Press, 1992).

John W. Yolton, "Mirrors and Veils, Thoughts and Things: The Epistemological Problematic," in Reading Rorty (Oxford: Blackwell, 1990), pp. 58-74 (Alan R. Malachowski, Editor).  

"I'm a very instinctual person, but my instincts turn out to be right." -- Donald J. Trump.

A recent Time magazine cover story establishes a relationship with one of the most famous covers and articles in the history of that magazine from April 8, 1966 focusing on the question "Is God Dead?" 

Not one of the commentators in this most recent discussion noticed the interconnection between the two questions examined in the magazine -- questions that are separated by a few decades concerning the alleged deaths of "God" (ontology) and "Truth" (epistemology, metaphysics).

Capitalization of the word "Truth" is essential in this discussion since it is the possibility of Truth (as an abstract universal or value) rather than particular truths (is it now raining?) that is at issue in this new version of an ancient controversy. 

We wonder whether any statement (or other use of language) is "better" or more accurate than another apart from our sometimes sinister human purposes in the realm of values (or politics) as well as in our descriptions of all empirical phenomena. 

This raises the further question, in other words, of whether there is an "ultimate" reality without a guarantor of that reality or God. ("Is it rational to believe in God?")

If there is nothing "out there" but what we decide to describe (or select) from the furniture of the universe to call "real" and if America's most celebrated philosopher in recent memory, Richard Rorty, is correct when he says that truth is merely a property of statements about the world that "says nothing about the empirical world" or objective reality -- if there are such things -- then it may be absurd even to wonder whether truth is "dead." ("Richard Rorty's Ethical Skepticism" and "Why I am not an ethical relativist" then "John Finnis and Ethical Cognitivism.") 

After all, nothing that is non-living can die. The metaphorical nature of the question concerning whether truth is "dead" may be part of the problem. ("Metaphor is Mystery" and "What you will ...") 

Given that the question as formulated is metaphorical any response will only raise hermeneutic issues. 

Truth cannot die. However, truth may (or may not) exist. As a matter of fact even if truth about an issue must exist, theoretically, it remains an open question whether we can come to know with certainty what is the truth about any subject. 

Since no definition of truth is offered by the writers of the article(s) in Time and given that different aspects of the journalists' discussion of this question assume different (and conflicting) definitions of truth it may not be possible to discern a single conclusion on the issue from these article(s), or even concerning what question is being discussed, nor what logical criteria (if any) are to be deployed in order to resolve the issue.  ("Is clarity enough?")

It is likely that several different essays were drafted by distinct groups of journalists at Time. An editorial effort was then made to unify the resulting articles into a single leading piece or cover story in the magazine. The resulting essay was less than entirely successful in integrating the conflicting elements. 

It may not be possible to speak accurately based on the Time magazine discussion about whether "power determines truth" -- a view that is favored by Mr. Trump perhaps -- or whether truth is "all relative" or merely a "redundant" compliment that we offer to the sentences that "work best" in allowing us to navigate empirical reality. 

The controversy about whether truth is a "correspondence" between what we say about reality and reality as such; or merely a matter of the "coherence" of our statements concerning what is so because we can never escape our languages and forms of representation; or the claim that truth is merely "whatever" works in a "pragmatic" sense; or some other best option among the various theories of truth remains unresolved -- and it is not even examined in this symposium -- but the journalists commenting on Mr. Trump's statements are persuaded that whatever truth may be Mr. Trump is a stranger to it often enough to raise problems for the rest of us in a democracy.

I was told by adversaries in an Internet debate that "it's all relative!" These adversaries failed to appreciate the implications of their own statements. 

It seemed to me during that delightful online discussion -- more so now -- that such skeptical and even nihilistic conclusions are deeply embedded in American culture for important reasons.

After the disillusions of the sixties, loss of religious beliefs for many people, collapse of authority in many institutions, triumph of seventies' "situation ethics" and the sharp decline of intellectual standards since the eighties as well as the pervasiveness of "political correctness" the arrival of someone like Donald J. Trump at the center stage of American politics should have been expected.

It is not simply that politics has become a "reality show" but that our lives have become a televisual-cinematic spectacle where illusions and lies must be expected at all times and from every quarter. 

Mr. Trump's "Tweets" give a new poignancy and meaning to the mantra of the I-phone generation: "Whatever." Indeed, Mr. Trump may be our first "Whatever" president:

"Time Editor Nancy Gibbs writes that just like [sic.] many said they believed in God in 1966, many today would say they believe in truth, and yet we find ourselves having an intense debate over [truth's] role and power in the face of a president who treats [truth] like a toy." (Time, p. 2.) 

Mr. Trump is not alone in treating truth as a tool or weapon or something infinitely malleable according to his purposes. 

Politics is often a struggle to define the agenda or decide on what the truth will be for selective purposes. 

Without objective truth neither political wisdom nor legal justice is possible. Perhaps we have given up on the values of wisdom and justice with the recent abandonment of truth. 

Truth in politics -- perhaps in law also -- is said to be about "power" often enough, or maybe what we claim (or pretend) to believe, publicly, is about power and/or self-interest, but there was a time when such "useful lies" were recognized and admitted, privately, to be what they always are, at least when this honesty became unavoidable, fictions to serve social purposes. This very recognition implies that something beyond our social purposes is not fictional. 

Few people extended this "flexibility" in epistemological matters as concerns political and legal issues to the scientific and academic controversies where it was assumed, traditionally, that truth would always be determined exclusively on the basis of logic and evidence. 

This distinction between useful fictions and objective truth was not as pristine or perfect as we may have wished, but nonetheless it seemed to hold for decades in the twentieth century and may no longer be recognized. 

After the further disillusions of the past several decades ("I did not have sex with that woman, Ms. Lewisnsky!") and the much-discussed crisis of authority and ethics detected in our culture in the wake of the Watergate scandal, Iran-Contra, assorted Wall Street frauds and scams, together with the philosophical revolution following 1968's intellectual "happening," even elite philosophers have joined the attack on truth. ("Michel Foucault and the Authorship Question" and "Jacques Derrida's Philosophy as Jazz.")  

Michel Foucault pointed out that "truth is a thing of this world" fashioned and not discovered for "human purposes" so that it should come as no surprise that a man who is unlikely to curl up at night with his copy of Derrida's Grammatology or Deleuze's and Guattari's Anti-Oedipus would find himself explaining "reality" from the White House in ever-more shifting "terms of convenience." 

Richard Rorty has suggested that it may be time to "dispense" entirely with the concept of truth. Mr. Trump is happy to accept Rorty's advice on this issue. ("Whatever" and "'Westworld': A Review of the T.V. Series.") 

Can a society with such an attitude to truth survive? Are such trendy views livable for ordinary people in their everyday lives or, indeed, for public institutions in a democracy? ("40 Persons Arrested in New Jersey's Latest Child Porn Crisis.") 

I doubt that such opinions are sustainable either for individuals or nations. ("John Finnis and Ethical Cognitivism" and "Drawing Room Comedy: A Philosophical Essay in the Form of a Film Script.") 

If we discard the concept of God and if reality is deemed to depend on the observer's wishes should we be surprised at the alterations in the statements of political "leaders" from one day to the next based on what serves their interests as opposed to our interests as a people? We cannot help wondering what is truth today? What has truth become? What do politicians assume truth to be now? Is this current assumption concerning truth's plasticity different from philosophers' theories? Are scientists' and artists' views of truth also different? Is truth something "real" independently of the motives of speakers? Are journalists defending JFK's amorous adventures and Bill Clinton's statements concerning Ms. Lewinsky really "outraged and shocked" that Mr. Trump lies about personal matters? Was Richard Nixon a more dangerous liar than Mr. Trump? Does journalistic outrage depend on the politics or affability of the liar? Do journalists and judges, attorneys and bureaucrats also lie? ("On Bullshit.") 

Some clarity and honesty about this issue may be called for if we are to answer the question of whether truth is "dead." ("Robert Brandom's 'Reason in Philosophy.'") 

Perhaps it is merely the concept of truth that needs to be reformulated for an age of new media and technological modes of discourse. 

The old notion of a marketplace of ideas and opinions may be transformed these days into the metaphor of a gladiatorial arena of ideologies and values where all of us are struggling to be heard above the din and confusion and against powerful forces for censorship and oppression. Let us return to basics:

"Truth is the quality of those propositions that accord with reality, specifying what is in fact the case. Whereas the aim of science is to discover which of the propositions possess the property of truth -- the central philosophical concern with truth is to discover the nature of that property. Thus the philosophical question is not What is true? but rather 'What is truth?' -- What is one saying about a proposition in saying that it is true? The importance of this question stems from the variety and depth of the principles in which the concept of truth is deployed. We are tempted to think, e.g., that truth is the proper aim and natural result of scientific inquiry, that true beliefs are useful, that the meaning [emphasis added] of a sentence is given by the conditions that would render it true, and that valid reasoning perceives truth. Therefore insofar as we wish to understand, assess, and refine these epistemological, ethical, semantic, and logical views, some account of the nature of truth would seem to be required. Such a thing, however, has been notoriously elusive."

Robert Audi, Ed., The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy (Cambridge, UK; Cambridge U. Press, 1996), p. 812 (emphasis in original).

"Barack Obama illegally wiretapped Trump Tower during the 2016 election." -- Donald J. Trump. 

Part of what makes it difficult to take seriously the recent journalistic outrage over Mr. Trump's fabrications (lies) is that the same distraught journalists and so-called "pundits" are often the most adamant defenders of their political favorites' lies in the past and even today. 

I am referring not just to Bill Clinton, but to any number of occasions when darlings of the Left have been called to account for deceptions. 

Most recently, for example, on certain officials' casual attitude to email security, or the frequent "sexting" of teenage girls by the aptly named "Mr. Wiener," and in any number of other cases the "liberal" media (if such a thing still exists) has been strangely silent about the lying of all concerned, including their own lying. ("The Naked Ape.") 

The same people denying the reality of truth immediately go on to complain of Mr. Trump's lies. The level of hypocrisy in the p.c. or self-righteous media over the "Trump-is-lying" issue is nauseating. 

Mr. Trump is a politician. 

What do politicians and lawyers do in America? 

They lie in legal or subtle ways, usually, but lying is simply what such people do as a baker bakes bread. 

No one in America is really very shocked by the fact that public figures are often caught lying just like the rest of us. 

Much depends on the context and purpose of a falsehood in assessing the culpability (if any) in a person's choice to lie. It is never O.K. to lie under oath or from a position of public trust. 

Lying is what many American businesspersons also engage in on a daily basis as demonstrated by countless social scientists in numerous studies that are well-known to media pundits. 

The United States of America is the nation that invented the advertising industry and Hollywood movie making as entertainment and that has done very nicely indeed in both areas of endeavor where lying is not exactly unheard of or uncommon.

Not only do Americans lie more than most other residents of First World nations, but there is something called "confirmation bias" which indicates that, when Americans lie, they eventually interpret all facts to conform to their lies, or come to believe their own mythology, which goes a long way towards explaining Donald J. Trump's problems with old fashioned linear-type persons -- like me -- who expect cogency and accuracy to the facts from any president's statements.  ("'This is totally amazing!' -- Donald J. Trump.")

Far more troublesome and frightening than "normal" lying is Mr. Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey and other attempts to usurp nearly dictatorial powers for the Chief Executive as well as to use the highest office in the land to make vast sums of money for himself by way of tax cuts and lucrative "deals" capitalizing on the prestige and power of the U.S. presidency that belongs to the American people as opposed to the Trump corporation.

Some liars (and lies), as I have suggested, may be more defensible than others for sound moral reasons. 

Mr. Nixon's lies were about escaping possible criminal consequences of his actions, for example, and threatened the Constitutional balance of power. It may be argued that much the same is true of Mr. Trump's canards. 

I have no objection to Mr. Trump's having an affair with an intern, or advertising for "tic-tacs" when he leaves office, to say nothing of grabbing women by their private parts (which may indicate his own charming way with the ladies) then denying having done any or all of these things. 

I do object to having American institutions used for financial gain by any individual and to politicians (like Bob Menendez) who presume to exist above the law while judging the ethics of others. The most self-righteous and "holier-than-thou" types in American politics are usually the worst liars.  OAE? Debbie Poritz? John McGill? ("New Jersey's 'Ethical' Legal System.") 

Alan Dershowitz has pointed out that police officers often lie about how they obtain evidence that is allegedly "dropped" by a defendant and found "in plain sight." Translated into ordinary English this usually means that the defendant was beaten to within an inch of his life and only then disclosed the location of the evidence, or that the police conducted an illegal search after a burglary of the suspect's home. 

Judges then pretend to believe these lies by our boys and girls in blue in order help put the "bad guys" in prison. 

Police lie about feeling "threatened" by African-American young men running away from them (for which I do not blame those young men!) to excuse shooting "suspects" in the back. 

Judges pretend to believe those lies also. 

Are these police or judicial or official lies "O.K."? Is it worse if we pretend to believe Mr. Trump's lies as opposed to cops' daily lies? If we live in a culture of mendacity why should we expect that Mr. Trump will be different from the rest of the population? 

Gore Vidal pointed out on numerous occasions that we get the presidents we deserve in America. 

It may be that the most severe judgment on our times and the darkest mirror we are forced to look at in order to understand ourselves and our national decline (or loss of values) may be the Trump presidency. 

Are we lying about our "displeasure" or shock at Mr. Trump's lies? Do we secretly approve of Mr. Trump's brazen attitude to lying when he is "successful" as a result of his tactics? Do pro-Trump voters and "Clintonistas" see this matter differently? If so, why? 

The worst and also most compelling conclusion to draw about Mr. Trump and his disdain for "objective truth" (if there is still such a concept) may be that Trump is who we are today. 

I live in a nation devoted to commerce and military power in the same way that Renaissance Florence was devoted to the creation of artistic beauty. 

The national gift for artistic and intellectual achievement -- which is unsurpassed anywhere in the world and which I love about the U.S. -- is deemed secondary from the perspective of powerful politicians and "others" to the further accumulation of power and wealth by themselves

These things (art and scholarly or scientific achievement) are "valuable" in American society only to the extent that they lead some persons to be "successful" understood in terms of the accumulation of even more wealth and power and never as "goods" in themselves. 

Donald J. Trump has wealth and power. Therefore, Donald J. Trump is "good" in the popular culture and imagination. Worse, this means that Mr. Trump "must be smart" because "he made his money somehow." Inheritance? Luck? Theft? 

To possess great amounts of money, according to American folklore, is also to be smart and good. 

I am sure that the opposite proposition is more often true. Behind every great fortune (as one of the greatest Russian novelists insists) is a great crime. 

To follow this line of reasoning is to conclude that when Donald J. Trump says anything because he is "successful" -- however absurd the statement may be -- it must be true. If it is not true then it does not matter anyway because it "has little effect on the bottom line."

This an ideological view of reality (or what purports to be reality) and of descriptions of reality that I do not share and find puzzling, but which I have encountered and debated. 

There is no climate warming, for example, if we do not choose to accept that the climate is warming because of human (meaning anything that concerns American interests) activity or industry. 

The U.S. oil industry gets to define the climate issue because they are most affected by any possible action to reduce fossil fuel emissions. The views of other nations and the billions of persons on the planet not concerned with American economic interests who may be affected by what we do (or fail to do) are deemed "irrelevant."

"I am not the world's president," Mr. Trump announced proudly, "I am the American president." 

These attitudes among the people (with many exceptions) that are also loudly proclaimed by America's "fearless leader" are not and cannot be seen as selfish, unethical, nor even as evil, neither is the tacit epistemology and metaphysics assumed by such a visceral or subconscious world-view regarded as absurd or implausible let alone indefensible because it is dismissive of science and ethics to say nothing of international law.

Mr. Trump fails to realize that, like it or not, the President of the United States of America has global responsibilities and must be concerned with the welfare of billions of persons on the planet in addition to the American people because the interests of these billions of persons are entangled with our own welfare and flourishing as is the cause of freedom and democracy. 

Ms. Merkel may be able to instruct President Trump on this issue and many others.  

This Trump-inspired casual attitude to truth is interpreted as "rational self-interest" in the good-old pragmatist tradition. Mr. Trump is a "pragmatist" we are told. 

When other nations behave in the same manner (China, North Korea), on the other hand, we are stunned by their insensitivity to American security needs.  

"The Donald" simply provides a more undiluted version of the narcissistic, well-fed, self-absorbed American "male ego" prancing on the world stage, blustering, exaggerating, downing the occasional beer or two, enjoying professional wrestling, coming on to attractive women, associating with other adolescent males (who also happen to be middle-aged men) and refusing to play nicely with others, or to accept the reality of death and other natural limitations for persons and nations. 

"As a businessman, Trump wrote in praise of strategic falsehood, or 'truthful hyperbole,' as he preferred to call it. Sometimes his whoppers were clumsy, the apparent result of being ill informed [sic.] or promiscuous in his sources. Sometimes he exaggerated to get a rise out of his audience. But often Trump's untruths [lies?] give every sign of being deliberate and thought through. [Stuart Rabner? Chris Christie? Bob Menendez?] Trump recently bragged about a drop in the Labor Department jobless rate -- after calling the same statistic 'phony' when it signaled improvement under Obama. Trump explained the contradiction with a quip: 'They may have been phony in the past, but it's very real now.' ..." (Time, p. 5.) 

Norman Mailer commented on the "progress" of the advertising industry during his lifetime. As a young man Mailer perceived the beautiful model in a swimsuit standing before a new car as promising sex as the implicit reward for the man purchasing the car. 

Today the sexual object is the new car even as "purchasing" the vehicle has become the longed-for consummation. To purchase something expensive in America may be the equivalent of sexual intercourse.  

It was once standard practice in negotiations concerning political and legal matters to lie about the strength of one's position in order to gain advantage in "horse trading." 

Now the lying is the horse trading by which one pursues absolute advantage for one's position and ignores the needs of others as long as one has the power to do so. 

Merrick Garland is denied a vote and President Obama's confirmation power is nullified even as a vote is forced in the Judge Gorsuch nomination. Senate rules are changed to put a Republican president's Supreme Court nominee on the bench whatever the other side's concerns may be. 

All of this jockeying for power is justified with blatant public lies that their proponents admit, privately, are exactly that -- lies for public consumption. Lying by politicians is not a source of shame or a matter of ethical concern: 

"You gotta say something," Senator McConnell said and added somewhat incoherently in the Garland matter, "the people's wishes must be heard."

There seems to be a new impatience with the requirements of logic in American society or public discourse and/or debate. The point is to win. There are no awards for being accurate to the facts, telling the truth, sincerity, fairness to an opponent, concern for the less fortunate billions of persons in the world, or for those unrepresented in any discussion in Washington, D.C. and/or in the U.S. courts.

"Winning" or being a "winner" means that you are "right." 

Mr. Trump explains to interviewers: "I am the president and you are not." 

Mr. Trump then responds to those pesky journalists expressing reservations concerning some of his statements by explaining that:

"Donald Trump won the election." 

This means that Donald Trump must be telling the truth. He must be right: 

"Get over it, Democrats!" 

I am always troubled when a politician begins to refer to him- or herself in the third person. 

Americans persuaded by Hollywood and trendy academics that "it's all relative" find it easy to agree that gender, race, sexual-orientation and reality itself are subject to what is called "reassignment," so that all moral judgments can only be "subjective," while truth is (and can only be) "whatever" you decide is true for you, or something like that. Whatever. ("Why I am not an ethical relativist.")

The observation that such slogans are absurd (or self-contradictory) simply cannot be accepted and may be irrelevant anyway. As we said in the eighties: "Just go with the flow." ("Hilary Putnam is Keeping it Real.") 

With the abandonment of God, loss of commitment to traditional religious faiths or institutions and intellectual standards -- based largely on the values developed within Western spiritual traditions -- there is a corresponding decline in respect for all public institutions, secular and religious alike (including law), together with profound confusions concerning the alleged infinite plasticity of reality (metaphysics) and knowledge (epistemology). 

This is not merely a conservative criticism of our permissive culture since socialism also depends on a firm concept of reality revealing the undeniable facts of human suffering and oppression which may be, happily, denied nonetheless by "whatever-floats-your-boat" California-style thinkers as "outdated."

Philosophical sophistication, accordingly, is found only among increasingly fewer members of the public leading to the loss of recognition of the need for truth if democracy is to work effectively in the interests of all the people. ("Why Philosophy is for everybody.") 

The real conclusion to the recent magazine discussion is expressed in a single sentence:

"Reality, for the reality-show mogul is something to be invented episode by episode." (Time, p. 5.)

If reality is something to be invented rather than discovered then how can anything one says about reality be either true or false in any objective sense? How can President Trump not lie given his ideological premise? 

Within Mr. Trump's world-view (or ideology) statements can only be true for each speaker from his or her "perspective." 

Accordingly, we are asked to accept that it is both "true" that Mr. Trump was guided by Justice Department advice when he chose to fire Mr. Comey and also "true" that whatever advice he received he was determined to fire the FBI Director anyway. 

President Trump has made both of these claims within 24 hours and may well make yet another totally different claim about this matter before the day is done. ("Christie and Mastro Accuse Each Other of Lying.") 

Current skepticism about truth and reality has been developing for some time and is becoming almost dogmatic in legal as well as political circles and goes way beyond President Trump: 

"Over 90% of Americans polled," Gore Vidal notes based on social science statistics that are worse today than when he wrote these words, "admit to being habitual liars." ("The Starr Conspiracy," p. 427.) 

"3 million undocumented immigrants voted illegally in the 2016 election." -- Donald J. Trump.  

As the Time magazine articles appeared expressing bafflement and frustration at a U.S. president who "lies the way most of us breathe" (to quote Mark Greene), simply as  a matter of daily existence or a way of "doing business," several other journalists in popular periodicals and elite academics in scholarly journals devoted enormous attention to the identical "post-truth phenomenon in American culture."

Whenever such a widespread reaction to a cultural development takes place serious attention is called for and it is certainly being supplied by the media "industry." 

The debate about the "relevance" of truth now includes among others The New Scientist and First Things as well as London's Financial Times with numerous online sources joining the discussion concerning truth's role (if any) in contemporary life.

Even the terms of this debate are astonishing for those of us who wonder how anything can be discussed in a meaningful way if we discard the concept of truth. 

Taken together these articles and discussions reveal a Western world that has been "Americanized" in distressing ways, according to some, where the "dumbing-down" phenomenon has reached epidemic proportions. 

What we are witnessing is less the victory of postmodernism than the dominance of American anti-intellectualism exported not only to Europe, but perhaps also to the entire planet like a new version of the Black Plague. ("Nihilists in Disneyworld" and "Whatever happened to the liberal arts?") 

The victory of the skeptical and irreverent or anti-authoritarian post-68 philosophy associated with thinkers such as Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Jean Francois Lyotard or Richard Rorty -- all of whom have become somewhat outdated for the "Whatever" generation -- as well as the misunderstood but influential literary essayists of an earlier generation from Norman Mailer and Gore Vidal, James Baldwin and Germaine Greer to Christopher Hitchens, David Foster Wallace and Jonathan Franzen today suggests that while "high culture" (and fashionable skepticism) is important for habitual readers it is easily ignored by the vast majority of people in U.S. media who do not read much anymore.   

We see this tension (for lack of a better word) in its most polite form even in such settings as the U.S. Supreme Court where majority opinions and dissents tend to align themselves neatly along the fault-line between adherents of Modernity's "Enlightenment" rationality (Chief Justice Roberts?) along with the values of analytical and science-respecting rigor as against more "laid-back" Rorty-style, postmodernist imagination, free-play, tolerance and hostility to gender-based and racist stereotyping (Justice Breyer?) and/or the oppression that in the eyes of some Republican justices are precisely what has made America great. ("Law and Morals.")

All of these traditional forms of discrimination and oppression as well as some new ones are favored, presumably, by "The Donald." 

" ... the U.S. has elected a president who is accelerating [the] erosion of trust in institutions, starting with the presidency itself. 'He's undermining the credibility of himself, the courts, Congress, the media. He's a one person cultural vandal,' [Professor Dennett] says." (Financial Times, "Weekend Arts," March 5, 2017, p. 3, emphasis added.)

The reporter interviewing Daniel Dennett -- whose words are quoted in the foregoing paragraph -- noted that the distinguished American philosopher is struggling to defend the IMPORTANCE of truth in U.S. society and restore the mechanisms by which truth is recognized, acquired or earned, and defended so that it can be transmitted to young people. ("America's Nursery School Campus" and "The First Kiss of Spring is Mine.") 

Any examination of the truth question will lead to a discussion of how we come to know what is true or are able to communicate truth. 

Joseph Epstein comments in The Weekly Standard upon the decline of liberal arts education in America that results from many factors, including academia's fondness for political correctness. 

It is instructive that the only publications in which this important issue is discussed in a serious way are politically conservative journals or magazines associated with the G.O.P. in America. 

I am not big fan of The Weekly Standard. I do not share the magazine's editorial opinion favoring the Republican agenda, but the concern about higher education is one that I certainly accept and share. The situation may be worse than Mr. Epstein suggests in this article. 

Scientific dismissals of philosophy lead to profound confusions by scientists seeking to participate meaningfully in open-ended discussions of "epistemology" and "metaphysics" (words that are confused in The New Scientist symposium) and which make the truth question far more intractable. ("Has science made philosophy obsolete?")

Not only did "scientists" in their recent discussion conflate key philosophical terms but they also began by assigning truth's definition and importance to the scientific enterprise (p. 5, p. 30) only to find quickly enough and in great frustration that the entire discussion is a "philosophical matter." 

No clear definition of truth is offered by scientists and the concepts that are discussed are dealt with erroneously. (pp. 32-33.)

"Much has been written about the post-truth world in which facts have ceased to exist, [Is that a fact?] or at least to matter. All kinds of forces have been blamed, but one that goes unremarked is that sorting truth from falsehood is actually very difficult. [There needs no scientist come from MIT to tell us this.] In an increasingly complex world, it is largely a matter of taking somebody else's word for it. [For what?] ..." (New Scientist, April, 2017, p. 5.)

This powerful insight is what science offers on such questions together with the weary observation that scientific method may be "helpless" in such matters. 

Truth for these outstanding scientists outside the scope of the scientific method -- for example, in public discourse -- is a "matter of interpretation." 

This is to speak of "hermeneutics" which will come as a great surprise to the authors of these articles who may never have heard of the term and is hardly a novel suggestion. Several of the scientists commenting on the nature of truth felt compelled to ask philosophers for help:

"Philosophers may be reluctant to enter the public square, afraid of being derided by these post-truthers as yet more 'fake news' or tarred with the pejorative term 'expert.' But epistemology [what is that?] has become one of the most relevant and urgent philosophical problems facing humanity. Philosophers really need to come out -- or be coaxed out -- of the shadows." (New Scientist, April, 2017, p. 5.)

From the political Left the call has been answered by liberal philosophers eager to enter the fray in the form of Professor Dennett and many others (like Marxist Terry Eagleton and Humean Simon Blackburn). 

From the Right of the political spectrum the call has been answered by Hadley Arkes, Roger Scruton, and many others offering the traditional insistence on the reality as well as need for truths along with Truth. 

A contrast between The Humanist and First Things illustrates the emerging consensus on the urgency of the problem of truth in our time and new-found importance of persons like the authors of these articles, that is, professional philosophers as opposed to scientists in "alternative-facts" America.

"I happen to be a person who knows how life works." -- Donald J. Trump.   

Aside from "instincts" rational persons rely on evidence and logic to determine what is truth as well as the careful use of language to explain why something is the case and how we know it to be so.

Part of what is disturbing about Mr. Trump is his willingness to rely on "gut feelings" rather than testing intuitions or impressions against known facts, historical and otherwise. 

Mr. Trump seems to regards his feelings as right because they are his feelings and not necessarily because they coincide with the evidence that emerges in, admittedly, very shadowy matters. 

Disdain for logic among politicians and judges is nothing new in my experience. 

I am often pessimistic about the capacity of the "typical male and female psyche" to look past prejudices and other biases (or cultural slants) to determine more objectively what is true. ("Good Will Humping" and "Genius and Lust.") 

We are all very fond of our hatreds along with our stereotypes of others and reluctant to surrender them unless the evidence against them is overwhelming (if then). ("Is Western Philosophy Racist?") 

Worse is the fashionable attitude I have been discussing and attributing to Mr. Trump and many others that truth is "whatever" the most powerful person in society decides to call truth (the climate warming issue is not far from my mind) because (allegedly) there is nothing that we may call "reality" in the realm of human values, law, politics, or even scientifically, perhaps, against which to measure our statements or representations of "things." 

Everything is a "language game" or "text" subject to "deconstruction" or "written under erasure" or whatever. ("Whatever.")

These opinions are absurd caricatures of sophisticated philosophical positions that are not and cannot be understood in pop-cultural terms. ("Jacques Derrida's Philosophy as Jazz.") 

"Reality" is not "what is" but only what we choose to recognize as "real" according to the chi-chi people. (Please refer to the definition of "truth" offered above.) 

I am confident that no one "really" believes this nonsense. More and more people, however, feel a need to repeat such opinions borrowed from so-called cultural elites while sipping sparkling mineral water from a tall glass crowned with a half-lemon at a party hosted by The New Yorker. ("Why I am not an ethical relativist.")  

The rationale for such opinions has something to do with the difficulties of justifying one's beliefs and/or opinions. 

How can we be sure that we know anything to be true? How indeed. But then how can we be sure that assertions of truth (or truth claims) are false? 

We have to know a great deal of truth before we can express doubts about anything -- including the concept of truth -- since we must be able to express those doubts in language with some degree of confidence that we will be understood. In a world of limited human minds and inevitable uncertainty there are collective time-tested methods for ascertaining truths, discussions of probabilities, and always the need to revise and correct all opinions and knowledge claims, unrelentingly, until confidence in epistemic matters is achieved if it ever is or can be achieved. Conservative philosopher Hadley Arkes points out against the p.c. brigade:  

"In his redoubtable comedy Jumpers, Tom Stoppard gave us a picture of the true skeptics of our age, the people who will not even concede the possibility of 'knowing' that the train for Bristol left yesterday from Paddington Station. After all, the report on the departure of the train could have been a 'malicious report or a collective trick of memory.' Nor could it be known that the same train will leave the station tomorrow, for 'nothing is certain.' The skeptics will agree that the train for Bristol leaves Paddington Station only when they themselves are there to see it leave -- and even then they will agree 'only on the understanding that all the observable phenomena associated with the train leaving Paddington could equally well be accounted for by Paddington leaving the train.' These earnest people, who tenaciously deny their capacity to know anything; let alone anything of moral consequence, may nevertheless show an inclination to vote, to raise children, and even to run for office. They get on, that is, with the business of life, in offering judgments for the raising of their children and the better ordering of their communities, even while they insist that there are no grounds on which any of these judgments for the raising of their children or the better ordering of their communities can be regarded as true and justified." (First Things, p. ix.)

There is such a thing as deliberate obfuscation and chosen ignorance. ("The Wanderer and His Shadow.") 

One can decide whether to be skeptical even about the most obvious claims, or to develop a "will to believe" in what serves "the interests of human life" to use a Jamesian language. 

There is usually much that fits the empirical evidence and comports with the principles of sound reasoning. The choice is rarely between believing nothing and accepting conventional opinions. It is more a matter of selecting among plausible options in our politics and ethics. 

We also speak truthfully when we express or admit our doubts and reservations, but nevertheless take necessary actions based on our limited knowledge because we must do something before it is too late. Daniel Dennett commented to an interviewer:

"The arms race between deliberate deception and our capacity to protect ourselves from it is hugely unbalanced and we're in danger of losing [the struggle for truth in public life.]"

Professor Dennett raises an important issue for persons trained in law and philosophy:

"I suggest that philosophers are straying into contentious territory whenever they start talking about truth, a concept that has been furiously debated for millennia. [Dennett] acknowledges that politics involves normative judgments but that decisions must be grounded in OBJECTIVE FACTS. [emphasis added] He rails against these philosophers who forget that they rely on objective truth a thousand times a day 'even postmodernists get furious if their health insurance is misrepresented to them.' They don't say: 'Oh, that's just one of those conversations, ha, ha.' They say: 'Damn it! You told me a lie, now you fix it!' ..." (Financial Times, March 5, 2017, p. 3.) 

Mr. Trump symbolizes the ideology of self-indulgence that was so prominent when he came of age in the eighties. The so-called American Psycho mentality was accompanied by a shallow moral relativism and epistemological skepticism that has been popular with privileged Americans since the Reagan era, I believe, because it licenses greed and disdain for the needs of others. The moral reality of Wall Street's one-time "Masters of the Universe" is divided into two categories "winners" and "losers" defined in financial terms. ("Innumerate Ethics" and "Law and Literature.") 

Very few serious or important philosophers as opposed to lawyers explicitly advocate a "let-them-eat-cake" attitude on the part of the rich or the "values" that brought about the 2008 Wall Street crisis. 

Lying about the seriousness of the problems that we face today will not make things easier for anyone, but the opposite is true. Lies make any agreements or cooperation between political factions more difficult and unlikely. 

Perhaps a presidential impeachment proceeding may be a dose of unpleasant reality for Mr. Trump. For the sake of America, regrettably, I can only hope that the president is not due for such a rude awakening. The frayed political fabric of our society may not survive such an impeachment "ordeal" at this time. There is still some hope that America's sense of national community will endure and outlast the Trump presidency even if Mr. Trump's legacy or "achievements" (if any) will not.