Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Uneasy Relationship Between Science and Philosophy.

January 9, 2018 I renewed my library card at the Morningside Heights branch of the NYPL. I am told that this makes the card good until February of 2021. The person who assisted me in this delicate operation is the branch manager. 

I found it difficult to post this essay because (I assume) hackers into my blogs made it problematic for me to make corrections or to space normally between paragraphs.

I have done my best to cope with these difficulties. 

Rebecca Newberger-Goldstein, "The Problems of Philosophy," Free Inquiry, December/January (2017-2018), pp. 41-47.

Rebecca Newberger-Goldstein is a wonderful philosopher and also a superb novelist. 

The philosopher in Ms. Goldstein sometimes disagrees with the novelist and the opposite is also true. 

It seems that the novelist does not entirely approve of the analytical philosopher. I often wonder whether the two sides of Ms. Goldstein's personality are on speaking terms. 

A similar division may be found in Western thought these days among science-dominated (analytical) and humanities-based (Continental) "schools" of philosophy.

The division within Ms. Goldstein's psyche is a productive one, however, that leads to the paradoxes and insights in her best scholarly writings and literary-artistic works. Perhaps the same is true of the notorious "split" in Western thought.

A similar description may also be applied to the Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek, whose scholarly interest in Lacan and Hegel coincides with a passionate engagement in the politics of his native land as well as intense involvement in the struggles of a bitterly divided contemporary Europe, where "ideology" is far from a trivial matter, nor is "ideology" ever entirely absent from the science, philosophy, and general culture of our civilization as a whole at the moment. 

It is a bit unfair for Professor Goldstein to equate Mr. Zizek with "homeopathy" and herself (or analytical philosophers) with Western scientific medicine. To do so may be to fall under the definition Ms. Goldstein provides of "ideology" as "a rigid system of ideas that so vehemently rejects any possibility of challenge as to transform conformity to itself into a veritable moral standard." (Goldstein, p. 42.)

It may be that the pernicious effects of ideology (understood in classical Marxist terms) are most harmful where they are least detected as, for example, in the alleged "neutrality and detachment" of analytical philosophers struggling to comment on philosophical issues "scientifically." As Colin McGinn explains:

" ... any professional philosopher should have a good mastery of these logical and linguistic ideas, [analytical philosophy] but I no longer believe that these ideas alone will lead to the resolution of serious philosophical problems. To that extent, then, I do not believe that philosophy can be a science."

"Logic and Language," in The Making of a Philosopher: My Journey Through Twentieth Century Philosophy (New York: Harcout-Brace, 2002), p. 77 (emphasis added). ("Is clarity enough?")

Professor Goldstein makes it clear that the only philosophy she will defend from the "jeers" of some prominent scientists is analytical philosophy.

I mostly agree with Professor Goldstein's defense of philosophy as she understands the subject from within her tradition and intellectual affiliations (which many Continental thinkers in turn dismiss as "ideological" and often irrelevant to substantive philosophical controversies). 

I am an adherent of the rival Continental tradition of contemporary Western philosophy which is, by far, the most popular style of philosophy today on a global level. 

This is to say nothing of the Chinese and other Asian, specifically Indian, Islamic, and other religiously-based, African and Latin-American schools of philosophy that also address these questions concerning the relationship between (or among) science, philosophy, and religion as areas of human cognitive effort and discipline.   

Among the most celebrated and important Continental thinkers are many American philosophers. ("Judith Butler and Gender Theory.") 

I begin by exploring some initial difficulties and ambiguities in Professor Goldstein's argument. I then examine the narrow defense of philosophy offered by Ms. Goldstein from within analytical philosophy while drawing out the implications of her statements that lead, I suggest, to a more open-ended or Continental-style rationale for philosophy against the recent critiques of some scientists. In the words of Christopher Norris:

"[Scientists] would do well to consider the historically attested and nowadays more vital than ever role of philosophy as a critical discipline. It continues to offer the sorts of argument that science requires in order to dispel the illusions of a naive sense-certainty or intuitive self-evidence but also the confusions that speculative thought runs into when decoupled from any restricting appeal to regulative principles such as that of inference to the best explanation. To adopt a quotation from Kant in a different though related context: philosophy of science without scientific input is empty, while science without philosophical guidance is blind. ..." 

"Hawking Contra Philosophy," in Philosophy Now, February/March, Issue 118 (2017) posted to the online edition: http://www.philosophynow.org/issues/82/hawking_contra_philosophy.

Critiques of Philosophy From Prominent Scientists. 

Ms. Goldstein begins by noting the recent outbreak of attacks by scientists against philosophy and philosophers:

"Whether in books, interviews or tweets, some of our most high-profile scientists have gone out of their way to opine on the mortal state of philosophy, either declaring its death a thing most devoutly to be wished for or already dancing on its grave." (Goldstein, p. 41.) 

There are no specific examples given of these critiques or so-called "jeers" by Professor Goldstein. 

I am aware of criticisms that confirm Professor Goldstein's remarks by Steven Weinsberg and Richard Dawkins. Christopher Norris in his essay defending philosophy from scientists focuses on the comments of Stephen Hawking:

"[Hawking] wrote that philosophy is 'dead' since it hasn't kept up with the latest developments in science, especially theoretical physics. In earlier times -- Hawking conceded -- philosophers not only tried to keep up, but sometimes made significant contributions of their own. However, they were now, in so far as they had any influence at all, just an obstacle to progress through their endless goings on about the same issues of truth, knowledge, and the problem of induction, and so forth." (Norris, p. 1.) 

The persistence of these philosophical worries about the epistemic claims of scientists or any others (including lawyers and social scientists) I consider a sign of the healthy state of a discipline performing its historic function of counseling humility in knowledge claims or in any efforts to fully account for the furniture of the universe in an ontological sense.

It is ironic that scientists -- including Professor Hawking -- cannot avoid philosophizing themselves about the meaning of scientific developments and often do so very badly indeed. This is a point on which Professors Goldstein and Norris agree. (Please see my essays "Stephen Hawking's Free Will is Determined" and "Stephen Hawking is Right On Time.")

Ms. Goldstein characterizes the attacks on philosophy as "ill-informed," "incoherent," and "irresponsible." 

Scientists' accusations are ill-informed because they misunderstand what philosophy is about. The subject matter of the discipline is non-competitive with science focusing, for example, on conceptual meaning, logic of argumentation, ethics and metaphysical implications of scientific claims. ("Robert Brandom's 'Reason in Philosophy.'") 

Philosophy should not try to substitute for science in describing the workings of empirical reality.  

The scientists' accusations are also incoherent, however, because any claim about philosophy or its relevance today is necessarily also a philosophical assertion that must be supported by philosophical argument. 

Scientists indict philosophy by doing philosophy. At the very least this is inconsistent and a self-undermining effort. 

Scientists' attacks on philosophy are irresponsible because philosophy and science have a powerful common enemy in irrationalism of various kinds, notably religious fundamentalism as distinct from religion, as well as many forms intolerance that are tearing communities apart. 

Science and philosophy must share a commitment to reason and objective analyses as well as factual and theoretical interpretations as a bulwark against irrationality. 

Scientists and philosophers are, accordingly, natural allies or "friends" in a world in which they are greatly outnumbered by adherents of various mysticisms and belief systems that are not grounded in objective thought or empirical evidence with little respect for argument as opposed to authority.  

Professor Goldstein suggests that science is able to enlist "reality" as a collaborator in a way that philosophy cannot. 

This is a controversial claim for many Continental philosophers of science, including some who are also distinguished scientists, but who emphasize the extent of theoretical preconceptions or "paradigms" that define the boundaries of the alleged "reality" to be measured by experimentation. 

I am referring not only to Paul Feyerabend, Thomas Khun, and Michael Polanyi as well as others, but even to pragmatists -- like Richard Rorty -- who wonder about the inability of scientists to escape their forms of representation or "texts." ("Jacques Derrida's Philosophy as Jazz" and "Richard Rorty's Ethical Skepticism.") 

Setting aside distractions (or stunts) such as the so-called "Sokal Hoax" Professor Stanley Aronowitz states: 

"It would be excessive to claim that the development of quantum mechanics, especially the discovery that knowledge of the physical object entails bringing the observer into the observational field, represented a direct acknowledgement of the power of Hegel's attack [on all forms of realism.] Yet, although physics has largely recuperated this admission within [mediated or critical] realist epistemology, some of the more philosophically minded theoretical physicists still have nagging doubts that the 'corruption' of the principle of indeterminacy is insufficient, that physics and truth are non-identical." 

Science as Power: Discourse and Ideology in Modern Society (Minn.: U. Minnesota Press, 1988), p. ix. ("John Searle and David Chalmers On Consciousness.") 

Whether reality says "yes" or "no" to scientists' questions may depend on what scientists choose to regard as "real," or what questions (often the wrong ones) are put to "reality" by scientists, or how questions are formulated "for" reality and/or science, to say nothing of how scientists interpret the "language of nature" (mathematics) in which so much of the scientific conversation about the building blocks of "reality" must be conducted today.

This does not deprive us of objectivity or truth within our various modes of discourse but offers us an invitation to select the "conversations" in which we, as inquirers, will participate. 

Among these "conversations" detailed work in science and philosophy may certainly be included, but also the dialogue between science and philosophy matters, including (perhaps especially) philosophers' skeptical reservations about the confident knowledge claims of their colleagues in laboratories along with their questionable and frequently unconscious metaphysical assumptions. ("The Return of Metaphysics.") 

Objections From an "Evolved Ape."   

Professor Goldstein sees a continuity between the scientific and philosophical "projects" along with important differences that make it impossible for philosophy to be a science. 

The crucial issue in Ms. Goldstein's discussion has to do with the engagements of these disciplines with "reality." Scientific methodology, Ms. Goldstein contends, has been "designed" to provoke "reality to answer us back." (Goldstein, p. 43.)

The trouble is that philosophy is concerned with questions that are meaningful even where objective empirical reality simply can not answer us back. 

For philosophers there is always a process of "beginning again" that Continentalists describe as the "hermeneutic circle" of refocusing upon one's original inquiry. 

There are two responses to this way of defining the issue between philosophy and science in an effort to defend the vital importance philosophy for science: First, one needs to focus on this ambiguous word "reality" in order to appreciate that it may refer to the workings of the empirical world as well as how we know such workings or laws of the universe; but also the word "reality" may refer to the objective features of the social world that are as much created as discovered by scientists and humanistic scholars or even by all of us living in society. 

For Continental philosophers of science (and many scientists also) philosophy and science share a commitment to reason or (more modestly) rationality of interpretation that simultaneously discovers while constructing what we take to be "real." 

It may be best at this point to allow Professor Goldstein to state the issue and offer her argument before raising some skeptical reservations about her way of understanding the current division between philosophy and science:

"This grab-bag [scientific method] has proved powerful, allowing us progressively more insight into the laws of nature, though, of course, every progressive step is provisional; no result stands immune from a revision forced on us by further rebukes from reality that are elicited by those prods we deliberately inflict by way of controlled experiments." (Goldstein, p. 43.)

This suggests that the scientific castle is always built on quicksand, but it is also a reminder that in philosophy there are no "defeated" fundamental positions. 

Idealism and/or various forms of anti-realism have been made more plausible by developments in the sciences as well as in the history of thought. Plato is still an important philosopher for students of politics and morals. 

This eternal recurrence of fundamental positions (updated to account for scientific changes) in epistemology and metaphysics is a strength of philosophy and not a weakness because it suggests the linkage between philosophy and human nature which is essentially the same in every historical epoch. Professor Goldstein is led to a remarkable conclusion:

"Science expresses a humility that is highly appropriate for a pack of evolved apes to cultivate in the face of a reality that wasn't designed with our cognitive faculty and capacities in mind." (Goldstein, p. 43, emphasis added.)

The word "designed" in this statement will certainly please theologians since it implies a designer and suggests a teleological scheme in which the design is realized. ("Is it rational to believe in God?")

More importantly it is doubtful whether any "laws" of nature could be formulated by intelligent and conscious "evolved apes" if such "creatures" ("sacks of protein and water" perhaps?) were not admirably suited to the task of understanding a universe that can only come to know itself through persons as conscious agents. ("Ape and Essence" and "Primates and Personhood" then "The Naked Ape.")

The second response to Ms. Goldstein's statement of the division between philosophy and science has to do with the role of "reality" in scientific epistemology. 

In recent years eminent scientists have taken a far more modest view of what science is or concerning what can be achieved through scientific efforts:

"We normally think of science as the discovery of the facts about the natural world and the laws that govern its behavior, that is, we view science as the uncovering of an already made world. In this book, we will follow another course. We will trace the history of physics as the evolution of a language -- as the invention of new vocabularies [scientific hermeneutics] and new ways of talking about the world. Concentrating on the language physicists use to talk about the world will establish a perspective vitally important to understanding the development of physics in the twentieth century. But even more important, tracing the development of physics will provide a powerful way of looking at the much broader question of how language hooks up with the world."   

Bruce Gregory, Inventing Reality: Physics as Language (New York: John Weitz & Sons Inc., 1988, 1990), p. viii (emphasis added). (Professor Gregory served as Associate Director of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center For Astrophysics.) 

These thoughts and new understandings of science are shared by prominent biologists. Please compare Rupert Sheldrake, The Science Delusion: Freeing the Spirit of Inquiry (London: Coronet, 2012), pp. 291-318 ("Illusions of Objectivity") with Amit Goswami, Ph.D., The Self-Aware Universe: How Consciousness Creates the Material World (New York: Putnam, 1995), pp. 63-147 ("Idealism and the Resolution of the Quantum Paradoxes").  

Professor Goldstein's definition of philosophy's role may well coincide with science's greatest need today: 

" ... the real point of philosophy is: to maximize our coherence by discovering and resolving the inconsistencies we accrue as we go about trying to get our bearings in the world, which is our distinctively human project." (Goldstein, p. 43.) 

Philosophical intelligence is essential to unifying and establishing meanings for our total knowledge claims. Imagination is the fundamental tool in the effort to create as much as to find this unity that we seek between human knowledge and the world. ("Stuart Hampshire and Iris Murdoch On Freedom of Mind.")

The Search For a Theory of Everything. 

The effort to unify and reconcile different theories and facts about the universe as well as ourselves has been called "the search for a theory of everything."

I happened to be reading Paul Davies' book on string theory when I came across Professor Goldstein's essay in Free Inquiry. In that book Professor Davies -- who is philosophically adept as a scientist -- includes in his glossary of terms the word "phenomeology" as one of the crucial concepts for the discussion of recent developments in physics and the related analysis of consciousnesss. P.C.W. Davies & J. Brown, eds., Superstrings: A Theory of Everything (Cambridge: Cambridge U. Press, 1988), pp. 226. 

Roger Penrose makes use of developments in quantum mechanics and the epistemological revolution resulting from these developments in physics to examine the issue of consciousness concluding (I believe correctly) that only with the development of quantum computing will we see real progress in A.I. technology aimed at developing conscious machines. 

Current technology and efforts to create conscious computers are doomed to fail because of serious confusions concerning the nature of consciousness. The multidimensionality and social essence of consciousness call for a quantum-like approach in theory and in all derivative technologies. ("Mind and Machine" and "Consciousness and Computers" then "Ex Machina: A Movie Review.")   

Professor Penrose, as a mathematician and cosmologist, anticipates many of the observations made by Professor Goldstein concerning the role and importance of philosophy to all of our cognitive activities:

" ... aesthetic criteria are enormously valuable in forming our judgments. In the arts, one might say that it is aesthetic criteria that are paramount. Aesthetics in the arts is a sophisticated subject, and philosophers have devoted lifetimes to its study. It could be argued that in mathematics and the sciences, such criteria are merely incidental, the criteria of truth being paramount. However, it seems impossible to separate one from the other when one considers the issues of inspiration and insight."

"Where Lies the Physics of Mind?," in The Emeperor's New Mind: With a New Prologue by the Author (Oxford: Oxford U. Press, 1989, 1999), p. 544 (emphasis added). 

For a sampling of classic scientific discussions in which philosophical intelligence and learning are central to the arguments and suggestions set forth by the authors, please see Erwin Schrodinger, What is Life?: With Mind and Matter and Autobiographical Sketches (Cambridge: Cambridge U. Press, 1944, 2000), pp. 46-56; Niels Bohr, Atomic Physics and Human Knowledge (New York: Dover, 2010) (1st ed. 1961), pp. 23-32 ("Natural Philosophy and Human Culture") and 67-83 ("Unity of Knowledge"); Werner Heisenberg, Encounters With Einstein and Other Essays On People, Places, and Particles (New Jersey: Princeton U. Press, 1983), pp. 130-136 ("Thoughts On the Artist's Journey Into the Interior"); G.H. Hardy, A Mathematician's Apology (Cambridge: Cambridge U. Press, 1940, 1993), pp. 121-133. (F.H. Bradley's logic and metaphysics as influences on Hardy's mathematical work and his version of "numerical realism.")

John D. Barrow summarizes my point by neatly suggesting overlapping intelligence and imagination in our scientific as well as philosophical unification efforts where "reality" is both created and discovered by inquirers:

"Are the sciences and humanities alternative responses to the [one] world in which we live? Are they irreconcilable? Must we embrace either the subjective and objective: the abacus or the rose? Or have we created a false dichotomy and are the two views of the world more intimately entwined than appears at first sight?"

The Artful Universe Expanded (Oxford: Oxford U. Press, 1995, 2000), p. 3. (The author is Professor of Mathematical Sciences at Cambridge University where his predecessors include Issac Newton and Stephen Hawking.)

Compare Richard Rorty, Philosophy as Poetry (Charlottsville & London: U. Virginia, 2016), pp. 23-43 ("Universalist Grandeur and Analytic Philosophy") with Roger Trigg, Beyond Matter: Why Science Needs Metaphysics (Penn.: Templeton Press, 2015), pp. 3-25 ("Is Science the Sole Authority?").

I agree with Professor Goldstein's eloquent defense of philosophy from the "jeers" of some scientists. 

I continue to have reservations, however, about the suggested bifurcation of the knowledge field into areas where "reality" says "yes" or "no" to scholars' questions and other areas where "reality" is silent. 

It may be that in philosophy and the sciences the "reality" we perceive as entirely external to humanity that provides answers to our nagging questions aimed at knowing the cosmos and ourselves is as much a mirror as a window in the universe. 


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

"The Mountain Between Us": A Movie Review.

It may be best to see The Mountain Between Us before reading my review. 

"The Mountain Between Us" (2017): Director: Hany Abu-Assad; Based On: The Mountain Between Us by Charles Martin; Script: J. Mills Goodloe and Chris Weitz; Cinematographer: Mandy Walker; Editor: Lee Percy; Cast: "Dr. Ben Bass" (Idris Elba); "Alex Martin" (Kate Winslet); "Sara" (Tintswalo Kumbuza); "Joel" (Adam Lochlacher -- excellent performance in a supporting role!); "Walter" (Beau Bridges).

Charles Martin, The Mountain Between Us (New York: Broadway Books, 2010). 

Alternative Reviews:

Susan Wloszcyna, "The Mountain Between Us," Roger Ebert Reviews (2017): https://www.rogerebert.com/review/the-mountain-between-us-2017. 

Benjamin Lee, "The Mountain Between Us: Kate Winslet and Idris Elba Heat Up a Snowy Romance," (Film Review) The Guardian, September 14, 2017 posted to the online edition: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/sep/14/mountain-between-us-review-toronto-film-festival-tiff 

Simian Hans, ["Manohla Dargis"] "The Mountain Between Us: Inadvertedly Hilarious," (Film Review) The Guardian, October 8, 2017, posted to the online edition: https://www.theguardian.com ("The Naked Ape.")

Jeanette Catsoulis, ["Jennifer Shuessler" & "Manohla Dargis"] "Someone Ought to Have Placed a Mountain Between Them," The New York Times, October 6, 2017, p. C10. ("'The Reader': A Movie Review.") 

Secondary Sources: 

Don Bachardy & James P. White, Where Joy Resides: A Christopher Isherwood Reader (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1989), p. 362. (Introduction by Gore Vidal, pp. ix-xix.)

William Barrett, Irrational Man: A Study in Existential Philosophy (New York: Anchor, 1966).

William Barrett, Death of the Soul: From Descartes to the Computer (New York: Anchor, 1981).  

Francis Crick & Christoph Koch, "Towards a New Biological Theory of Consciousness," Seminars in Neuroscience 2 (1990), 263.

Francis Crick, The Astonishing Hypothesis (Oxford: Oxford U. Press, 1995).

Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene (Oxford: Oxford U. Press, 1989), pp. 166-189. ("You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours.")

Simone de Beauvoir, The Ethics of Ambiguity (New York: Kensignton, 1976, 1948), pp. 35-74 ("Personal Freedom and Others").

Simone de Beauvoir, Adieux: A Farewell to Sartre (New York: Pantheon, 1984), pp. 129-445 ("A Conversation With Jean-Paul Sartre by Simone de Beauvoir"). (Translation by Patrick O'Brian). 

Henry James, The Princess Cassamina (London: Penguin, 1987), (1st Pub. 1886).

R.D. Laing, Self and Other (London: Tavistock, 1961), pp. 88-98 ("Complementary Identity"). 

Patrick O'Brian, Testimonies: A Novel (New York: W.W. Norton, 1995), (1st Pub. 1952). 

Stephen Priest, Theories of the Mind: A Compelling Investigation Into the Ideas of Leading Philosophers on the Nature of the Mind and Its Relation to the Body (New York & Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 1991). 

Paul Roubiczek, Existentialism: For and Against (Cambridge: Cambridge U. Press, 1966). 

Jean-Paul Sartre, The Transcendence of the Ego: An Existentialist Theory of Consciousness (New York: Hill & Wang, 1960), pp. 60-119 ("The Constitution of the Ego"), (Forest Williams & Robert Kirkpatrick, translators).

John R. Searle, Mind, Language and Society: Philosophy in the Free World (New York: Basic Books, 1998), pp. 85-111 ("How the Mind Works -- Intentionality"). ("John Searle and David Chalmers On Consciousness.")

J.J. Smart, "Sensations as Brain Processes," in Borst (1970).
J.J. Smart, Philosophy and Scientific Realism (London: Methuen, 1969).

Richard Swinburne, The Evolution of the Soul (Oxford: Oxford U. Press, 1986). ("Stuart Hampshire and Iris Murdoch On Freedom of Mind.")

Mary Warnock, Imagination (Berkekely & Los Angeles: UCLA U. Press, 1978), pp. 35-72.  

Jonathan Westfall, The Mind/Body Problem (Cambridge: Cambridge U. Press, 2016). ("The Galatea Scenario and the Mind/Body Problem" and "'Ex Machina': A Movie Review.")

"BEN: It's all about the amygdala."

The Mountain Between Us is a subtle and smart romantic story with the usual outstanding performances from the two leads Idris Elba and Kate Winslet. 

The billing in this essay is strictly alphabetical. I do not want anyone to sue me.

I was more intrigued by the examination of some questions  concerning consciousness and human identity -- including a comment on current debates in evolutionary theory -- by way of this entertaining narrative than by the romance between the central characters that (for some mysterious reason) has "disturbed" many viewers and seems to be the subject of most critiques of the film.

I am delighted, however, that an actor of African ancestry who has become a global movie star, mostly, by playing the expected gun-wielding cops or criminals, finally, has the opportunity to be such a good and heroic person in this role. (''Luther': A Review of the BBC America Series.") 

In light of Mr. Elba's star-turn in the HBO series "The Wire" -- where he plays a ruthless drug dealer -- "Dr. Ben Bass" adds a further dimension to the actor's screen persona. 

I like Dr. Ben. I suspect that Mr. Elba does too.

The movie poses important questions concerning what we are as conscious moral subjects and why (or how) we survive the crises in our lives, if we do, as individuals (or as a species) despite lacking some of the desirable physical characteristics of, say, mountain lions. 

Are we determined by our selfish genes to be aggressive and self-seeking animals? Must we always look out for number one? Is "selfishness" always wise from the point of view of the individual let alone the group? Must it be "kill or be killed" for humans? Or is it only Republicans who behave this way? Must we: "Eat or be eaten"? Or is it true that what makes us special is our capacity for other-regarding love and self-sacrifice? Perhaps "game theory" best explains human nature, but I doubt it. ("The Wanderer and His Shadow.")

It seems that the representative of scientific rationality in this movie, Dr. Ben Bass, is on a voyage of discovery, perhaps both lead characters learn important lessons about what matters or is "real" during the course of their frightful experiences. 

Alex defends rational intuition and the wisdom of the emotions. 

It is Dr. Ben, however, who suggests towards the end of the film in a non-"sappy" way: "I think we survived because we fell in love."

Is human identity "relational," or dialectical, or exactly the opposite? Do I maximize only my own good to enhance my survival? Or should I share and help my neighbor even if costs me a great deal to do so? Why does each character refuse to abandon the other in this story? Is it significant that, at the beginning of the movie, Alex is returning from photographing White Nationalists or Nazis? ("Drawing Room Comedy: A Philosophical Essay in the Form of a Film Script.")   

The suggestion of this cinematic text seems to be that what allows "persons" to survive life-threatening crises is not selfishness, but altruism and love for one another. 

Perhaps it is all about brain chemistry or the "amygdala," as Dr. Ben suggests at the outset of the adventure, although he will come to feel very differently at the conclusion of the story: "What idiot said that?" 

There is always a "mountain" between ourselves and others, whether a literal or metaphorical mountain, since we usually live in narrow and well-planned "tracks" throughout our lives. 

We "meet" mostly people like ourselves, with similar expectations and from a similar social and economic class, or race. Cultural narrowness can be the death of any artist, especially an actor, and it tends to generate an ideological and small-minded view of reality. ("Is clarity enough?")

We may find it easier to behave at all times in predictable and expected ways even if such conduct is false to who we really are. ("'The Stepford Wives': A Movie Review.")

A catastrophe can shake up our expectations and possibilities by destroying the safety of our carefully constructed little worlds of ease and comfort to say nothing of self-regard or narcissism. 

This sort of existential crisis in the midst of our lives -- the central characters are in early middle age -- may lead us to contemplate the precariousness of (and good fortune in) our privileged existences in the First World. 

Kierkegaard reminds us that every day is a precious gift which may be halted at any time. "Tomorrow" is always a vague promise or hope that may not in fact materialize.  

Dr. Ben must come to terms with the death of a young spouse after medical science fails him. 

Alex is about to embark on a "rationally calculated" new life for which her wedding plans may prove useless. 

The illusion of security or "future planning" is necessary if we are to go on with our lives as we experience abrupt or painful transitions on our individual journeys. That illusion, however, can be taken from us in seconds. 

There is an absurdity about the phrase "future planning" that only becomes evident as we grow older. I no longer "plan" but only "hope" for a future. 

I live in a city in which thousands of persons experienced the equivalent of this movie's "plane crash" on September 11, 2001. Many persons found themselves in a disintegrating world having lost the most important person(s) in their lives. 

I begin with a summary of the plot. I then suggest interpretations of the narrative that seem illuminating to me. I am sure that the early Oscar buzz surrounding the film is warranted. The chemistry between the two leads is excellent. Good touchstones for this movie are not only "Titanic," but even more the Hollywood classics "Love Story" and "The Best Years of Our Lives." 

The metaphor of "obstacles" (the genuine mountain) in our encounters with others that is central to the branch of hermeneutics called "alterity studies" applies not only to geographical distance between persons but also to such cultural  gaps as race and ethnicity, or gender-roles, and/or the many other fictions governing our lives which tend to vanish when situations become life-or-death matters. ("David Stove and the Intellectual Capacity of Women.")

"ALEX: What about the heart?"  

Free-spirited photo-journalist Alex Martin has been photographing Neo-Nazis for the Guardian newspaper before her encounter with neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Bass in an airport waiting area. 

An airport or train station is usually a point of transition or departure in more ways than one. 

Ben and Alex have arrived at a moment of transition in their lives. 

Alex is anxious to get to New York to be married to her kind and very understanding boyfriend, "Joel," beautifully played by Adam Lochlacher, who illustrates what psychologists mean by not making it necessary for a woman to spell things out for you through understanding her feelings to the best of a man's ability. 

Mr. Lochlacher illustrates a skilled actor's knack for making a small part bigger through intelligence and empathy.  

Ben is expected to operate on a 10-year-old child the next day. 

One wonders how serious these characters were about their commitments to begin with, but then people today lead much more energetic and dynamic lives than they have before. 

We may have lunch in L.A. and attend a meeting in New York in the evening only to fly back to London at night. 

The two leads are stuck in a crowded Salt Lake City airport. All commercial flights are cancelled because of bad weather.   

Alex suggests that she and Ben hire a small private plane to carry them over the mountains, despite the impending storm, to a neighboring airport from which a connecting flight may be found for each of them. 

The pilot of this private plane (played with scene-stealing charm by Beau Bridges and his very talented golden retriever) experiences a fatal cerebral stroke in mid-air. 

The plane crashes with Alex suffering a leg fracture but only minor injuries for Ben and none, evidently, for the lucky dog who bonds, instantly, with Ben and Alex, joining in the mutual rescuing festival while raising the issue of whether "love" or altruism (as a partnership for survival) may include our canine friends. I am sure that it does.

One can only envy any dog who rescues Ms. Winslet's character from a hungry mountain lion only to be wounded and further endangered as the plot unfolds. 

Strangely, it is Ben and not Alex who eventually adopts the heroic dog who is now represented by an agent in Hollywood. 

Rumors that the dog was actually played by Leonardo Di Caprio cannot be confirmed. ("Bernard Williams and Identity.") 

With the abandonment of the two protagonists in the frozen wilderness we find ourselves in the philosophers' "State of Nature" facing the evolutionary challenge of survival and questions of cooperation or "social contracts." ("John Rawls and Justice.")  

Women were alleged to have exchanged sex for protection in a pre-historic bargain with men. (Sheri Hite calls it: "The Marriage Contract.") 

This scenario is not dealt with, explicitly, in the film. Perhaps this is because of a fear of wild-eyed and/or lesbian wielders of "political correctness" manuals. ("Manohla Dargis Strikes Again!")

Evolutionary and political questions are addressed, explicitly, with an argument favoring sacrifice and cooperation, including a willingness to risk personal safety (or life) for the good of another, or others.  

Regrettably, this suggestion may also infuriate militant feminists who, seemingly, have already protested against the movie, allegedly, because it is "demeaning to women." 

I cannot agree with this criticism since Alex does, in fact, rescue Ben, even as he also rescues her, to say nothing of the dog's heterosexual- and/or gender-neutral heroics. 

I doubt that either Ms. Winslet or Mr. Elba would be drawn to a script that is intentionally demeaning to women (or anyone) or merely about a "schmaltzy" romance. 

I am sure that such claims about this movie are merely "red herrings." ("The Naked Ape.") 

Ben contends that "brain chemistry" entirely explains what we are so that all that we do to survive is merely genetic drive. 

We must see others as rivals (or enemies) struggling for a limited food supply. In fact, what we "are," Ben insists, may be traced to the part of the brain called the "amygdala." ("The Galatea Scenario and the Mind/Body Problem.") 

Alex wonders in response about the "heart" (emotions) and rational intuitions. 

We "feel" and not only "think" what we must do in a crisis. Significantly, had they followed Ben's entirely rational conclusion to remain at the location of the crash in order to wait for a rescue party Ben and Alex would have died. ("'Westworld': A Review of the T.V. Series.") 

It may be argued that the contributions of science and art were equally necessary to the survival of both characters and even their shared affection for a loyal animal may have helped them to endure the hardships forced upon them. 

Most important for audience members is the realization that we must cross or climb down the "mountains" that separate persons from all others by refusing to see those who are different from us as necessarily "enemies" or "rivals and competitors" and nothing more. ("Richard A. Posner On Voluntary Actions and Criminal Responsibility.")  

Different perspectives concerning how we relate to others or see the world of strangers are tearing Western societies apart at the moment, especially concerning our obligations to desperate strangers who are increasingly found among us and who will continue to make their way to the West for the foreseeable future. ("Roberto Unger's Revolutionary Legal Theory.") 

The distance to be crossed, individually and collectively, is from "rational self-interest" to "altruism," from guarded indifference (or neutrality) in relating to others of different races and genders to trust and cooperation (these are difficult value choices today) by any one human being for another, or by one nation for the benefit of others. ("'Irrational Man': A Movie Review.") 

In a recent interview Richard Swinburne explains the tension between mind and body in fashionable theories of human nature and the paradoxes of identity to which they lead:  

"The data of psychology include people [beings] being characterized by images, pains, other sensations, thoughts, and beliefs; and to talk of these things is not to talk of goings on in the brain. That forces on us what is called 'property dualism' -- the view that people have two sorts of properties -- mental properties (pains, thoughts, etc.) and physical properties (electro-chemical patterns in the brain etc.). Of course one could define having a thought that 'today is Friday' as the same event as the brain event associated with it. But if one did, one would then have to say that the event has two aspects -- the aspect of mechanical discharge and the [subjective, qualia] aspect of a thought. ..." 

Interview of Richard Swinburne with Science and Religion News (2016) "On Mind/Body Dualism" (available on R. Swinburne's online archive at Oxford Philosophy Faculty archive.)

"BEN: The heart is just a muscle."  

The two aspects of human nature -- the rational, scientific, logical set beside the intuitive, pragmatic, imaginative faculties -- are embodied in the lead characters, Ben and Alex, but the solution to the challenge of survival for humanity requires cooperation and not competition between man and woman, science and art, reason and imagination. 

Passion becomes important because it is what drives human energy and creativity in the struggle against death.

The old understanding of human life as the opposition between love and death that was appropriated by Freud gets a new boost from this story.  

A few members of the movie audience left during the final five to ten minutes of the film, after it became clear how the survival issue would be resolved in the plot, but before crucial transformations of personality were put on display by the two actors playing the leads.

Early departure is a great mistake in seeing this film. 

The best interpretations of the story are found in the final moments of what unfolds onscreen. 

Neither Ben nor Alex could simply "return" to their previous lives. We can never "go home again," to paraphrase Thomas Wolfe, because life-altering crises not only change our circumstances, or the "existential situations" in which we find ourselves, but they also and more importantly change us. 

We are made different by life-or-death dilemmas that force us to confront our deepest selves and to make choices in "fear-and-trembling" before the infinite "abyss of possibilities" that is the future. 

To speak of such an "abyss of possibilities" (Kierkegaard) is to offer a theory of freedom as the finding (or creating) of the best "interpretations" of our life-narratives that allow us to move forward towards the "realization" of ourselves. (See my essay Paul Ricoeur and the Hermeneutics of Freedom.

Alex's relationship with her understanding boyfriend is suddenly perceived by her as a withdrawal from her new world of danger as well as authenticity because it is motivated by a desire for absolute safety that (she now knows) is never really an option in human life.

Ben appreciates Alex's commitments only when he meets her boyfriend and accepts that the young man is a very good person. The damage Ben has suffered will make it impossible for him to continue as a surgeon even if he remains a physician. 

Each of the two lead characters is frightened of the emotions that they have experienced together and (even more) of the brief glimpse which their shared adventure has given them of the "nothingness" that is our human condition in a world of great uncertainties, where nature itself may have become an enemy, and where science along with everything else seems to fail us except for love:

"Kierkegaard uses reason and the intellect to the utmost, so as to make sure that the irrational does not intrude too early; he only admits it where it cannot be avoided, and reason can no longer help. The experience of dread [angst] has to be a shattering experience of complete uncertainty" -- a "coming face-to-face" with yourself -- "or nothingness, but this is not depressing, for it is in this [nothingness] that the positive in man is disclosed. Kierkegaard's philosophy is understandably austere, perhaps too austere; yet this austerity must not be confused with pessimism, for he believes that, if a man is destroyed by despair, he has not experienced it deeply enough; if he had, he would have discovered, in the inmost depth of his being, a reality which could have saved him. ..."

Paul Roubiczek, "Kierkegaard," in Existentialism: For and Against, pp. 61-62. 

"BEN: What idiot said that?" 

Discovering the "reality that can save us" is a good way of summarizing the wisdom delivered by this movie.

Alex and Ben have been stuck in "unreality" -- that is, a kind of confusion or "muddle" -- by dwelling in comfortable ruts before their encounter and shared adventure. 

Many of us may do the same or find ourselves in the identical predicament. ("Is truth dead?")

Ben's grief over the death of his wife has become quicksand; Alex's work far away from the man she tells herself that she loves and wishes to marry is, equally, a flight from truth and identity. 

Authenticity requires a spiritual re-centering of Ben's and Alex's life-journeys. ("'Inception': A Movie Review" and "'Revolutionary Road': A Movie Review.") 

Alex ponders the question of whether the "moment" for her relationship with Ben has passed. However, she comes to realize that, with regard to some persons, the "moment" never passes because the connection such individuals provide to the self are fundamental and must be life-long since that connection often defines us. ("'Interstellar': A Movie Review.") 

Denial of such a vital connection or, in the deepest meaning of the word, relationship, is death in the sense that it constitutes a turning away from one's best possibilities of development or selfhood in order to accept (or wallow in) comfortable falsehoods if not blatant lies about who and what we are. ("David Hume's Philosophical Romance" and "Master and Commander.") 

Ben returns to London. Alex attempts to return to her work and plans for the future only to learn that the "appearance" of love is inadequate after experiencing genuine passion and self-giving love. ("'The English Patient': A Movie Review.")

When Alex sees Ben again after months have passed she reminds him of his initial observation: "The heart is only a muscle." 

Ben's response signals for the audience the distance he has traveled: "What idiot said that?"

It seems that even medical scientists may need emotional understanding as well as scientific knowledge. 

Ben has come to appreciate what the audience is also asked to accept. There are two kinds of reality in our lives (objective and subjective) and, therefore, a need for appropriate balance between these aspects of human being-in-the-world. ("Can you lie to yourself?" and "Why philosophy is for everybody.") 

The Mountain Between Us is a perfect novel and movie for the holiday season because these works offer a message of love and truth in a society that has grown wary of -- or even hostile to -- both concepts. 

The story is refreshingly optimistic about the human capacity to overcome the challenges that we face as a species in light of our ability to discover (or create) whatever allows us to survive, or endure many hardships while achieving lasting happiness, despite the wounds that we all must suffer given the unavoidable "bear traps" and "plane crashes" that await us in the "abyss of possibilities" that is the future. ("'Interstellar': A Movie Review.")

Love is possible because it is necessary to the life of every person.

Optimism is also frowned upon in contemporary America where cynicism and political correctness have become our true religion as admirers of MSNBC or Fox News may attest. ("Richard Rorty's Ethical Skepticism.") 

If we think of America as a gigantic toy store, shopping mall, or Supermarket, perhaps, with many tempting delights on display, the daunting challenge of seeing through the illusions or smoke and mirrors to what is healthy and real becomes crystal clear: 

"The Supermarket is still open; it won't close till after midnight. It is brilliantly bright. Its brightness offers sanctuary from loneliness and the dark. You could spend hours of your life here, in a state of suspended insecurity, meditating on the multiplicity of things to eat. Oh dear, all of them promising you good appetite. Every article on the shelves cries out to you, Take me, take me; and the mere competition of their appeals can make you imagine yourself wanted, even loved. But beware -- when you get back to your empty room, you'll find that the false flattering elf of the advertisement ["Lucky Charms"?] has eluded you; what remains is only cardboard, cellophane and food. And you have lost the heart to be hungry." (Where Joy Resides, p. 362.)    




Monday, November 13, 2017

Menendez Jury Undecided; Retrial Expected.

January 19, 2018 at 2:02 P.M. A package of materials was sent by priority mail to the following recipients:

Justice Steven G. Breyer
United States Supreme Court
1 First Street, NE
Washington, D.C. 20543
USPS Tracking No.: #9505 5142 0127 8019 1178 62.

Jefferson B. Sessions, Esq.
U.S. Attorney General
United States Attorney's Office
Southern District of Manhattan
One St. Andrew's Place
New York, N.Y. 10007
USPS Tracking No.: #9505 5142 0127 8019 1178 55.

The Embassy of Cuba to the United States of America
2650 16th Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20009 
USPS Tracking No.: 9505 5142 0127 8019 1178 79.

A package of materials will also be forwarded by regular mail to William B. Ziff, Esq. in Trenton, New Jersey. 

No further information concerning materials mailed to New Jersey's OAE will be posted here.  

January 8, 2018 at 2:55 P.M. A package of materials has been sent to The Indypendent and Guardian newspapers.

I am told that my New York Public Library card will expire in February, 2018. 

I renewed my library card last year, I believe, but I will do so once again. 

Renewal should be for three years. Evidently, the "wrong" date was entered in library records since I am required to do this again so quickly. 

I will post the date of renewal, the librarian who renews the card, the branch where renewal takes place, as well as the date when the next renewal should be necessary, presumably three years from now. 

Alterations in the size of letters and other deformations or violations of this work are always expected, perhaps from the persons changing the date of renewal in my library records.  

No response to my communications to police, prosecutors, judges and justices has yet been received by me. 

I occasionally experience difficulties with my password which is "unrecognized" (mysteriously) then accepted (inexplicably) as part of the continuing adventure of writing at these blogs.

Follow-up efforts by numerous persons, U.S. and non-U.S. attorneys and officials, mysteriously, have also been ignored. ("New Jersey's Office of Attorney Ethics" and "New Jersey's Politically-Connected Lawyers On the Tit.") 

New Jersey's Office of Attorney Ethics (OAE) does not and can not dispute the points that I have made concerning criminal fraud upon their own New Jersey Supreme Court that was a part of the proceedings against me at the hands of their attorney John McGill, Esq., who may now be disbarred or in the midst of ethics proceedings against him, or so I am led to believe. This non-response by the OAE and N.J. Supreme Court may be thought of as what is called a "tacit admission."("John McGill, Esq., the OAE, and New Jersey Corruption" and "Have you no shame Mr. Rabner?") 

The international audience for these matters has grown exponentially. ("An Open Letter to Cyrus Vance, Jr., Esq.")

Public humiliation seems to have little effect on New Jersey lawyers and judges. ("Menendez Consorts With Underage Prostitutes" and "New Jersey's Filth, Failures, and Flaws.") 

When basic standards of due process and equal protection of the laws are flagrantly ignored by the very tribunals and officials entrusted with enforcing such standards the legitimacy and integrity of the system as a whole is called into question. 

I was once told by a judge I respect greatly that the American legal system -- "like Caesar's wife" -- must always be (and appear to be) virtuous and transparent. The question now arises whether -- in New Jersey -- "Caesar's wife" is a whore. ("Manifesto For the Unfinished American Revolution" and "Chris Christie and Joey Torres in New Trouble.") 

I do not believe that my experiences in this very public spectacle of corruption and official denial (or lying?) by lawyers and judges abides by the high standard mentioned by my judicial friend for the U.S. and N.J. legal system. If there is a reason to have an office of attorney ethics it should be to avoid public catastrophes such as this "situation" for a legal system. ("New Jersey is America's Legal Toilet" and "New Jersey's 'Ethical' Legal System.") 

The only response to my communications is a deafening silence from Trenton as well as from "others" outside New Jersey whose inaction seems to be a "favor" for (or requested by) prominent officials and judges in the Garden State. ("Law and Ethics in the Soprano State" and "Stuart Rabner's Selective Sense of Justice.") 

Efforts are still underway to avoid "embarrassing" Ms. Guadagno before the November election, evidently, or Ms. Poritz before her not unexpected demise due to old age. Attempts to protect these "insiders" and alleged lesbians may now have failed. ("U.S. Psychologists' and Psychology's Acceptance of Torture.")  

Not all defendants or litigants receive such generous "protection" from N.J. judges unless they provide substantial payments, allegedly, preferably in cash. ("New Jersey's Judges Disgrace America" and "Trenton's Nasty Lesbian Love-Fest.")  

I suspect that, if the culprits in my situation were African-Americans, the authorities not only would have acted (publicly) in the matter, but they may well have shot the "suspects" on sight for such infractions as broken lights on their cars. ("Justice For Mumia Abu-Jamal" and "Freedom For Mumia Abu-Jamal" then "So Black and So Blue in Prison.") 

When American lawyers speak in international settings of the importance of the rule of law, legality, or legal ethics as the UN condemns torture and racism in the U.S. legal system as well as egregious violations of fundamental human rights -- such as the right to a truthful response to one's inquiries and police protection against criminal abuse of political and legal power by corrupt officials -- they are often not believed by colleagues from other countries for some strange reason. ("New Jersey is the Home of the Living Dead!" and "American Lawyers and Torture" then "American Doctors and Torture" also "Time to End the Embargo Against Cuba.")

Hypocrisy on a colossal scale, incompetence that pervades a racist system, may suggest that we should "lower our expectations" for the American legal profession, judiciary, police and, sadly, perhaps even when it comes to the U.S. Supreme Court. ("Law and Morals" and "Law and Literature.") 

The verdict (or outcome) in the Menendez trial will receive a full-length analysis and detailed examination in the essay that appears below substantiated by many sources detailing, again, heinous corruption, frauds, ineptitude, mendacity and other systematic as well as pervasive failures of New Jersey's legal and political system. ("New Jersey's Political and Supreme Court Whores" then "New Jersey Supreme Court's Implosion" and "New Jersey's Failed Judiciary" then "New Jersey Lawyers' Ethics Farce.") 

Copies of the final posted text will be sent by priority mail with tracking number listed to Justice Steven G. Breyer of the U.S. Supreme Court; Jefferson B. Sessions, Esq., U.S. Attorney General; The Cuban Embassy to the United States of America; various media outlets that will not be identified, along with William B. Ziff, Esq. of the OAE in Trenton, New Jersey who will probably claim some day not to be aware of these public postings.  ("Christie and Mastro Accuse Each Other of Lying" and "Criminal Complaint Against Christie Allowed to Proceed" and "Is truth dead?" then "On Bullshit.")

A juror excused from the Menendez trial -- a Latina lesbian, allegedly, with suspected "connections" to persons close to the senator -- saw fit to hold a press conference in violation of what must have been the trial judge's instructions. (Again: "New Jersey is America's Legal Toilet.") 

Mr. Menendez seemed suspiciously well-prepared for (and previously informed about) this press conference so that he could also comment publicly. 

One result of this planned public statement is that the jurors were exposed to a single side's interpretation of the dissenting juror's views. 

Four of the remaining jurors admitted to learning of the excused juror's remarks on the evening news with no response from prosecutors who were without time to prepare for the "comments." 

The entire matter will probably be subject to federal investigation after the verdict is reached and made public. ("Does Senator Menendez have mafia friends?")

It is likely that a verdict will be reached in this trial that began on September 6, 2017 no later than "Thanksgiving Day," November 23, 2017. 

Efforts to prevent me from posting this essay examining the verdict -- if and when such a final verdict is reached -- may be expected on a daily basis. I can never be certain of returning to this site to complete my writing projects.  

The only explanation that I can imagine (given the information in my possession) of continuing computer crimes against these blogs and/or of numerous efforts to prevent me from writing online is government corruption in New Jersey together with the complicity of federal officials and others who should know better.   

Charles Stile, "The Christie Legacy: Bully Image Lingers," The Record, November 16, 2017, p. A-1. (Mr. Christie's "legacy" has confirmed the stereotype of his state's politics and legal profession as the province of thugs, corruption, theft, and lies. As members of the bar, Mr. Christie and "Boss Bob" Menendez, embody the tarnished ethics of New Jersey's legal profession and feces-smeared courts. "Sexual Favors For New Jersey Judges" and "New Jersey's Feces-Covered Supreme Court" then "New Jersey Superior Court Judge is a Child Molester.") 

Nicolas Pugliese, "Jury Deliberations Keep Senator Waiting: Deadlocked on Monday, Jurors Appear Weary," The Record, November 16, 2017, p. A-3. (Mr. Menendez continues to deny affiliations to organized crime in New Jersey. However, F.B.I. investigations of the senator and his friends have not ended. "Does Senator Menendez have mafia friends?" and "Senator Bob, the Babe, and the Big Bucks.") 

Joe Malinconico, "Torres Sentenced to Five Years in Prison: Ex-Mayor Gets Most Under the Deal," The Record, November 15, 2017, p. A-1. (Joey Torres -- who is a despicable person and a corrupt politician, but a boy scout compared to Menendez -- is going to prison for 5 years whereas Mr. Menendez gets "another bite of the apple." Are there double standards in the American legal system on the basis of wealth and connections? "David Samson Resigns!" and "Deborah T. Poritz and Conduct Unbecoming to the Judiciary in New Jersey.")  

James C. McKinley, Jr., "Lawyers' Cash Fuels Contest for Prosecutor," The New York Times, November 16, 2017, p. 1A. (Mr. Vance's name was the only one on the ballot for Manhattan District Attorney when I voted recently. Being unopposed made it highly likely that Mr. Vance would win the election: " ... voters are angry about large donations to his campaign from defense lawyers with cases before his office." No conflict of interest? Appearance of impropriety? "An Open Letter to Cyrus Vance, Jr., Esq.")

Nicolas Pugliese, "Mistrial Looms After Deadlock: No Verdict Again in Menendez Trial," The Record, November 15, 2017, p. A-1. (The Menendez team tried, desperately, to get their mistrial. Eventually, they succeeded. This is usually a guilty man's tactic that provides no vindication. Will it work next time?)

Charles Stile, "The Christie Legacy: Opportunity Squandered for a Gifted Politician," The Record, November 15, 2017, p. A-1. (Mr. Christie's administration, like Kim Guadagno's candidacy, ends in failure and lies as well as a lingering criminal complaint and more alleged thefts from the people.) 

"Save the Tears, Torres; Paterson Deserves Better," (Editorial) The Record, November 15, 2017, p. A-12. (Like Senator Menendez fighting back his tears during a speech on the courthouse steps, Joey Torres cried like a little girl before his departure for state prison.)

Nick Corasanti, "Menendez Jurors Can't Agree, So the Judge Says to Try Again," The New York Times, November 14, 2017, p. A21. (It is not yet time for celebrations, despite Mr. Menendez's tearful words on the courthouse steps, as this trial may be no more than a rehearsal for next year's repeat performance.)     

Alan Maimon & Devlin Barrett, "Judge Declares Mistrial in Menendez Prosecution," The Washington Post, November 16, 2017, posted to the online edition November 16, 2017 at http//www.washingtonpost.org 

The Menendez trial "ended" in a mistrial Thursday as the exhausted jury wrote to the judge: "We cannot reach a unanimous decision." The hopelessly divided jurors were "unwilling to move away from [their] strong convictions." 

Accusations of jury tampering have been made against Mr. Menendez, but were not exactly a surprise (to me), nor can it be confirmed at this time whether such claims -- including, allegedly, from the jury room itself! -- are under investigation by the F.B.I. or Department of Justice. 

I believe that there is such an investigation and others that are relevant to Mr. Menendez who is now subject to renewed ethics charges before the U.S. Senate. ("More Problems For Menendez -- Tapes!")

The OAE and New Jersey Attorney General have taken no action and are not expected to do anything about Mr. Menendez's "proclivities." ("Menendez Consorts With Underage Prostitutes" and "Illegal Payments to Bob Menendez" then, again, "Senator Bob, the Babe, and the Big Bucks" and "Is Union City New Jersey Meyer Lansky's Whore House?") 

Mr. Menendez (or persons close to him) may also be required to testify before a federal grand jury looking into allegations made in these blogs as well as other matters. ("Does Senator Menendez have mafia friends?" and "Crooked Broker Paid Off Menendez.") 

A second indictment is now possible. 

There was no final verdict reached in this trial on Mr. Menendez's first indictment. Accordingly, the Menendez case may be retried by the U.S. justice Department which has indicated that Senator Menendez will be placed on trial again, probably about one year from now:

"Barbara Van Gelder, a lawyer who specializes in white collar crime, predicted the department would put Menendez back on trial." 

A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that was the subject of intense litigation and appeals has clouded the issue of exactly when bribery statutes apply or to whom they apply. 

The District Court Judge in the Menendez litigation has interpreted the decision, correctly, to allow for the continued Menendez prosecution and, if that effort is successful, eventually, also for the senator's conviction. 

The appellate courts, so far, have agreed with this assessment. 

Joe Ferreiro was tried twice and only convicted with permanent effects the second time around. ("Joe Ferreiro Goes to Prison.")

A hung jury is merely a "do over" and far from definitive on the underlying issues of guilt or innocence. ("Wedding Bells Ring For Menendez!" and "Illegal Payments to Bob Menendez.")

The U.S. Supreme Court decision must not be interpreted as a "green light" for corrupt politicians to continue accepting bribes. The social policy concern -- to discourage bribery and corruption -- creates an incentive for further efforts against Mr. Menendez. ("Was Menendez Bribed to Get a Visa For a Croney?") 

Rather than a "resurrection" the outcome of his federal CRIMINAL trial is merely a "reprieve" that does nothing to avoid Mr. Menendez's still lingering "Appointment in Samara."  

A key issue for the prosecution in examining this trial and preparing for a second one is to focus on the role of Dr. Melgen. 

Dr. Melgen must return to Florida for sentencing on his previous convictions for Medicaid fraud. He faces 20-years to life behind bars for numerous frauds and thefts by deception. 

Despite the heart warming friendship between Senator Menendez and Dr. Melgen a prison cell provides excellent opportunities for federal prosecutors to "persuade" a person to testify in order to improve the inmate's life-conditions. 

Dr. Melgen's testimony would probably make the difference (I would have voted to convict along with other jurors on this occasion!) for jurors to find that Mr. Menendez is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of bribery, corruption, fraud and lying about these "sins" despite his touching display of religiosity in the courtroom. ("Crooked Broker Paid Off Menendez.")

Among the bizarre aspects of this trial is the, allegedly, orchestrated press conference by the excused juror suggesting that Mr. Menendez was aware of having "friends" on the jury. Friends who were "paid for" perhaps? ("Law and Ethics in the Soprano State.")

It is equally strange that defense lawyers seemingly got away with accusing federal prosecutors of LYING and seeking to "railroad" Mr. Menendez without offering a basis in fact for such allegations. ("Is America's Legal Ethics a Lie?")

To my knowledge there are no ethics charges for these shocking statements. Where is the OAE in this situation? ("New Jersey's 'Ethical' Legal System" and "John McGill, Esq., the OAE, and New Jersey Corruption.")

There is also no explanation offered for the jury's mysterious inability to convict Senator Menendez of failing to report "gifts" in his financial disclosure forms. 

The senator and his staff admitted that they "forgot" to report these gifts as they were required to do by ethics rules and criminal laws. The offense is almost a strict liability matter to which no defense appears on the record. 

Mr. Menendez also "forgot" to repay Dr. Melgen for the plane trips and services of prostitutes in the Dominican Republic until he was caught and required to do so. 

One of the prostitutes is admitted by Mr. Menendez to have been underage when he "enjoyed" her company. Allegedly, the senator "discovered" that the young woman was 17-years-old, but the girl was reported in the media to have been 14-years-old. (Again: "Menendez Consorts With Underage Prostitutes.") 

No outrage by persons seemingly concerned about Senator Franken or Judge Moore has emerged from Menendez's supporters or has been quoted in the media.  ("14-Year-Old Girls Goes For $500 in Union City New Jersey" and "New Jersey is Lucky Luciano's Havana.")

Mr. Menendez issued a thinly-veiled threat to his New Jersey opposition, especially those in his own party: 

" ... 'Today is Resurrection day,' he said, 'Anyone who knows me knows that I never seek a fight, but I never shy away from one either. This was not a fair fight.' ..."

This last sentence may have been an admission (or Freudian slip) by Mr. Menendez. 

The issue arises as to who is responsible for the "unfairness" and also which side was victimized by it. 

Much will depend on the outcome of any inquiry into jury tampering. 

If this statement was directed at me (I doubt it), I can only assure the senator that I, too, do not "shy away from a fight" on a matter of principle. I will certainly change nothing in my writings. 

I also have reason to anticipate that we will have an opportunity to exchange views in a "frank and forthright" discussion very soon Senator Menendez. 

I have said, believed, and continue to believe that Mr. Menendez is a corrupt politician who has accepted bribes, violated many young women, lied about these matters and many others, publicly, so that he could not even take the stand to deny the allegations against him for fear of cross-examination and that, in the fullness of time, he will be proven (yet again) to have committed these crimes beyond a reasonable doubt.


James C. McKinley, Jr., "Prosecutor Declined to Pursue Allegations," The New York Times, October 12, 2017, p. A18. (Cyrus Vance, Jr., the Manhattan District Attorney, defended his decision not to pursue sexual abuse allegations against Harvey Weinstein in 2015. Mr. Vance is rumored on the street to be "owned" by wealthy and powerful Jewish "forces" in the city. I do not believe that this is the case. I felt in 2015 that Mr. Vance's decision in the Weinstein matter -- based on the information available then -- was understandable. Mr. Vance's silence in connection with my situation, while it may violate ethics standards for prosecutors, is probably not within his control or decision. This leads to the question of exactly who does control such determinations in New York? Would we recognize the names of the persons governing the city from behind the scenes through their bribed or intimidated politicians and prosecutors? Is this a democratically governed city? I can only hope so.)

Nick Corasanti, "Citing Supreme Court, Judge Questions Key Aspects of the Menendez Case," The New York Times, October 12, 2017, p. A19. (The arguments still linger in the air at the federal courthouse over the status of bribery as a criminal offense after the Supreme Court's decision in the Bob McDonnell case: "In response to a motion by Mr. Menendez's lawyers to dismiss the case, Judge William H. Walls spent more than three hours deliberating with both sides before referring to specific instructions from Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. in the McDonnell ruling, which narrowed the definition of political corruption." At the level of "the average reasonable person" this controversial Supreme Court decision is perceived as a brazen effort by a Republican controlled tribunal to ensure that G.O.P.-friendly wealthy persons can continue to "bribe" -- i.e., "contribute to" -- politicians for the foreseeable future: Are Americans governed by the best politicians money can buy? Do U.S. politicians have the people's interests in mind? Or do politicians serve the privileged few who pay for their campaigns?)

Nick Corasanti, "Christie's No. 2, Long in His Shadow, Struggles to Find Her Own Identity," The New York Times, November 2, 2017, p. A19. (Kim Guadagno never had a chance in New Jersey's gubernatorial election because she could not, as it were, "get out from under" Mr. Christie. Ms. Guadagno was "crushed" under the weight of Christie's scandals and filth. It is also true that a person who is dishonest about her sexual orientation will lie about many other things. "New Jersey Lesbian Sends Nude Photos to Minor.")    

Rick Gladstone, "U.S. Envoy Defends Cuba Embargo at U.N., Reversing Obama," The New York Times, November 2, 2017, p. A5. (The U.N. voted 191 to 2 to condemn the U.S. embargo against the Cuban people as illegal and called for termination of all efforts to "starve" the population of the island. Mr. Trump's position on this issue was no doubt a concession to Miami politicians since he knows little about Cuba and cares even less.) 

Nick Corasanti, "Menendez Trial Might Hinge On New Definition of Bribery," The New York Times, October 16, 2017, p. A15. (Bribery in our new technological age -- like many other offenses -- may require redefinition or a new interpretation. The absurd suggestion that Dr. Melgen's friendship explains his "gifts" to Senator Menendez is belied by the actions Mr. Menendez took immediately after receiving the gifts. Mr. Menendez certainly dumped his "good friend," quickly, after the trial was over and is unlikely to share Dr. Melgen's prison cell.) 

Peter Baker, "In Frustration President Flays Justice System," The New York Times, November 4, 2017, p. A1. (President Trump's scathing comments concerning the American legal system exceeds much of what I have written if for different reasons. Global condemnations of the failures and inhumanity of the American legal system are an abrupt and worrisome change from the views of many nations in past decades as to the merits of American law. Has the U.S. Constitution become a lie? "Manifesto For the Unfinished American Revolution.") 

Adam Liptak, "Justices Allow Execution of Killer Who Forgot Crime," The New York Times, November 9, 2017, p. A11. ("The Supreme Court on Monday allowed the execution of an Alabama inmate who, after several strokes, cannot remember the 1985 murder that sent him to death row." International legal organizations and lawyers' groups have expressed distress not only at the continued use of the "barbaric death penalty in America," but also at the killing of a man totally unaware -- lacking any culpable state of mind at the time of punishment -- of why he was to be killed. These professional organizations have not received the courtesy of a reply from American officials and/or judges who deem themselves "superior" to lawyers in other countries and, thus, not bound by international laws, ethics standards, or even common decency to reply to colleagues' inquiries. That any tribunal could fail to recognize the profound and complex moral and jurisprudential as well as Constitutional questions raised by this "execution" -- or murder -- is baffling at best and shocking at worst. The U.S. Supreme Court apparently sanctioned this state killing with minimal discussion and analysis. I am unable to access a law library because I very much wish that I could read this recent opinion by a unanimous, as to the result, Supreme Court.)

Rick Gladstone & Marliene [sic.] Simmons, "Hague Court May Charge U.S. Forces With Torture," The New York Times, November 4, 2017, p. A6. (The International Court of Justice at the Hague has reported the unique experience of being "ignored" by U.S. officials accused of torture and other crimes against humanity. I thank international tribunals and attorneys for efforts to obtain the truth in my matters. Sadly, I am not surprised that they are ignored and insulted by New Jersey's Supreme Court. No return calls? Attorneys should have the decency and professionalism to return calls and respond to messages truthfully rather than lying and covering-up atrocities as the New Jersey Supreme Court still does shamelessly: "New Jersey's Political and Supreme Court Whores" and "New Jersey Supreme Court's Implosion.")

Richard Fausset, Jonathan Martin, & Campbell Robertson, "G.O.P. Rues as Sex Allegations Arise Against Senate Candidate," The New York Times, November 10, 2017, p. 1A. (Roy S. Moore of Alabama has behaved towards women with all of the courtesy of Al Franken and Harvey Weinstein, Charlie Rose and Bob Menendez -- the latter two men are attorneys! -- along with many others. Not much will happen to these very ethical gentlemen. "New Jersey's Office of Attorney Ethics" and "New Jersey's Politically-Connected Lawyers On the Tit.") 

Nick Corasanti, "Menendez Juror Excused; Panel Will Begin Anew," The New York Times, November 10, 2017, p. A25. (EVELYN ARROYO-MAULTSBY, 61, alleged lesbian, delivered what appeared to be a "scripted" statement: Were this person's comments paid for? If so, by whom was this individual compensated for her statements? Perhaps any money paid to this charming woman was due to the great friendship that Mr. Menendez felt for her? "New Jersey Lesbian Sends Nude Photos to Minor.") 

Shira A. Sheindlin, "Trump's Most Troubling Legacy? -- His Judges," (Op-Ed) The New York Times, November 10, 2017, p. A22. (Are these comments aimed against good old "harmless" Neil M. Gorsuch?)     

Priscilla DeGregory, "Menendez Prays With Clergy Before Closing Arguments," New York Post, November 2, 2017, posted to the online edition: http://www.nypost.com/2017/11/02/menendez-prays-with-clergy-before-closing-arguments. (Has Mr. Menendez not described himself as a "non-believer" and the opposite of "religious" in the past? How does this sudden piety in the presence of the jury -- or with the hopes that jurors would learn of his "devotion" -- comport with the senator's fondness for young prostitutes to say nothing of cocaine? Did you purchase an indulgence "Boss Bob"?)

Laura Jarrett, "Menendez Rests Defense Case After Judge Denies Mistrial Request," October 30, 2017 posted to the online edition: http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/30/politics/mistrial/-denied-robert-menendez-trial/index.html. ("You're not getting [a mistrial,]" the District Court Judge said and scolded defense lawyers for what he called "silly" and possibly "unethical arguments" that were unsupported by the factual record. The discrepancy between how the judge saw the proceedings and jurors' decision, or inability to decide, has led to public speculations of jury tampering. "New Jersey's 'Ethical' Legal System.") 

"Should Senator Menendez Have Testified at His Corruption Trial?," (Op-Ed) October 31, 2017, posted to: http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2017/should-sen-robert-menendez-have-testified-at-his-trial.html. (Why fear cross examination if you have nothing to hide and have always spoken the truth Senator Menendez?)  

AP, "Menendez Jurors See Staffers' Emails About Donor's Disputes," The Record, October 11, 2017, p. 3A. ("In one email to his chief of staff, Mr. Menendez recommended finding out 'who has the best juice' at CMS or the Department of Health and Human Services, a phrase prosecutors say was a reference to Menendez's efforts to find out who had the most decision-making power." This was aimed at getting money to his "friend" by learning who could be "reached" within the government agencies with a threat, or promise of "reward," in order for taxpayers to pay the suspicious claims that have since led to fraud convictions for Dr. Melgen. Business as usual? No rebuttal or dispute concerning this evidence was offered by Mr. Lowell or his minions.)  

Nate Schweiber, [Gerald Shanker,] "A Menendez Aide Explains Why Gifts Were Not Listed," The New York Times, October 26, 2017, p. A24. (Bob Menendez "staffer" Robert Kelly "forgot" to comply with legally-mandated reporting requirements in disclosure forms by failing to list the so-called "gifts" received by the senator. When confronted with the ethics requirements concerning disclosure, Mr. Kelly said: " ... 'I haven't read them word for word,' [neither the applicable laws nor the forms filed were read by the person preparing them "word-for-word"!] Judge William H. Walls cut in: 'You were preparing these forms without scanning them, is that what you're telling the jury?' ..." There was no response from Mr. Menendez from the Defense table except for a chuckle that was reported in the media. Mr. Kelly is a lawyer but will not be investigated or charged by the OAE for what is at best "gross negligence, incompetence, lying, fraud" or all of the foregoing infractions. Is this New Jersey's legal ethics Mr. Rabner? How do you live with your hypocrisy Chief Justice Rabner? Ethics indeed.  Chief Justice Roberts? "New Jersey's Office of Attorney Ethics" and "New Jersey's 'Ethical' Legal System.") 

Joe Malinconico, "Police Raid Leads to Seizure of $100K," The Record, October 12, 2017, p. 2L. (Persons affiliated with former Mayor Joey Torres and, allegedly, Bob Menendez also, were swept up in a raid in which authorities say they "seized' more than $100,000 in cash, 3.5 pounds of heroin and cocaine, and two loaded guns in "busting" only one part of a drug manufacturing operation that allegedly worked out of three homes in Paterson and Lodi. Among the suspects with these alleged political ties are Gabriel Mercado, 37, of Lodi and "Sammi Cuevas" -- false name? -- of Paterson. None of the persons arrested are African-Americans.)     

Catherine Carrera, "Clients Accuse Real Estate Agent of Theft," The Record, October 10, 2017, p. 3L. (Peter Live, a real estate agent and admitted political contributor -- Mr. Menendez is among the alleged recipients of this ethical "gentleman's" contributions -- was arrested by Bergen prosecutors for stealing his client's deposits. About $345,000 may have disappeared, but Mr. Live claims this money was a gift, perhaps, from his "good friends" and clients. It is likely that this individual was also an attorney who did not come to the attention of the OAE. Thieving lawyers claimed to be very "ethical." Gilberto Garcia? Jose Ginarte? Edgar Navarete? Bass & Bass? Herb Klitzner? And so many others seem to owe me money. "John McGill, Esq., the OAE, and New Jersey Corruption.")

Mike Stobbe, "Obesity Problem is Not Budging, New Data Show," The Record, October 14, 2017, p. 10A. ("About 40 percent of adults and 18.5 percent of children are obese." The numbers are getting worse by the day. Mr. Christie and Mr. Menendez may serve on a bipartisan committee to advise persons on how to avoid weight problems by keeping fit and leading healthy lives. More "Fritos" Mr. Christie?)

Hannah Adeley, "Report: Bergen Super Involved in Nepotism: Schools Leader Gave Special Treatment to Daughter," The Record, October 14, 2017, p. 1L. ("DAWN FIDANZA -- one of the highest paid [School] Superintendents in the state with a base salary of $236,735 -- was attempting to get special treatment for her daughter." This person may have much to do with the employment of Maria Martinez a.k.a. Barcelo in the trophy Verona School District despite Ms. Martinez's allegedly false Master's degree -- no approved final dissertation? -- and scam of disability funds from New York. "Everybody does it!" Right, Maria? Was Ms. Fidanza the person who asked for your cooperation against me? Or was it other lesbian persons affiliated with Ms. Fidanza, and/or still others close to her and Mr. Menendez who reached out to you? Lilian [sic.] Munoz? Estela De La Cruz? What was Maria Martinez promised for getting information from me, or lying about me, and by whom was she promised a reward for such "cooperation"? Was Ms. Martinez threatened to enlist her cooperation? If so, by whom was she threatened? Gilberto Garcia? "David"? John McGill? I am sure that Ms. Martinez is the sort of person that parents in Verona wish to have educating their middle schoolers concerning "ethics." Ms. Martinez believes that she is "untouchable" in her position. Good luck Ms. Martinez.  I have reason to believe that Dawn Fidanza may have been one of the women using the name "Diana Lisa Riccioli" to contact my clients, or for other purposes, in violation of ethics standards and criminal laws. Lourdes Santiago? Alexandra Ramirez? Luisa Guttierez? Did you visit my office, fraudulently or for any reason, Ms. Fidanza, at any time? Is LINDA CETTA from Demarest, New Jersey among my readers? Fictitious name again? I wonder why Ms. Fidanza would do such a thing as lie about her true identity, if she did, and at whose request she would do so? Is this course of conduct by such persons an example of "ethics" in New Jersey? Is this the "method" -- threatening and bribing persons to lie -- followed by the OAE in targeting attorneys they do not "like" Chief Justice Rabner? What did the New Jersey Supreme Court know about my matters and allegations I have made PUBLICLY for years and when did they know it? Will you answer these questions, Chief Justice Roberts, since New Jersey's legal profession is too dishonest or cowardly to attempt to do so? "Jennifer Velez is a Dyke Magnet!") 

Jamnes Nash, "Teachers Union Loses in Gamble: Clout in Politics After Bid to Oust Sweeney Fails," The Record, November 13, 2017, p. 1A. ("The New Jersey Education Association spent about $5 MILLION on a failed bid to unseat [N.J.] Senate President Stephen Sweeney. ..." It looks like the once powerful lesbian faction in New Jersey politics has sacrificed much of its influence with the loss of "Little Debbie" Poritz as Chief Justice, electoral losses by Barbara Buono (D) and Kim Guadagno (R) as well as the decline in significance of the teachers' union. "New Jersey Lesbian Professor Rapes a Disabled Man.") 

Richard Cowen, "Ex-Passaic Housing Chief's Trial Begins On Cocaine, Gun Charges," The Record, November 13, 2017, p. 2L. (Darvin Allen, possibly a distinguished member of the New Jersey Bar Association at one time and former head of Passaic's Housing Authority goes on trial for dealing drugs and gun possession. This is the "ethics" of public officials in America's "Soprano State." Do you speak to me of "ethics" Mr. Rabner? "Mafia Influence in New Jersey Courts and Politics.") 

Matt Stevens, "Teacher Apologizes for Classroom Comments," The New York Times, October 26, 2017, p. A25. (LAURA AMICA, a 15-year veteran school teacher with alleged mafia affiliations told immigrant school children to "speak American" and she is said to have expressed hostility to African-American students. This is the "ethics" of New Jersey's school professionals today. Michael Romagnini, Superintendent of the Cliffside Park School District, refused to answer questions explaining that he "wasn't there and didn't know nothing about nothing." I can only hope that Mr. Romagnini is not an English teacher. This area is close to Ridgewood and may be the next school district for Ms. Martinez. "Jay Romano and Conduct Unbecoming to the Judiciary in New Jersey" and "More Mafia Influence in New Jersey Courts and Politics.")  

Steve Janoski, Megan Burrow, and Sarah Nolan, "North Jersey in $273M Crunch: Without statewide reform, towns must find own solutions to pension payouts," The Record, November 6, 2017, p. 1A. ($441,000 for Michael McMarrow, deputy police chief, plus several pensions from public jobs; Robert Carey, Teaneck's former police chief, "scored" $250,000 plus pension(s) and other perks and benefits at his "retirement"; and many hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars are paid to "others" who "retire" while continuing to work as former and current public employees in New Jersey contributing to the pension crisis resulting from MULTI-BILLION dollar "gaps" in the fund. How much longer can this system of public sanctioned thefts for insiders continue? Not much longer? Many of these scams are run by and for New Jersey lawyers "employed" by state government. Many New Jersey judges do very well at retirement. "New Jersey Judges Disgrace America" and "New Jersey's Corrupt Judges" then "Chris Christie Attacks New Jersey's Corrupt Judiciary.") 

James Nash, "Are New Jersey Voting Machines Secure?," The Record, November 6, 2017, p. 1A. (Voting machines in Hudson County fail to register non-Democrat votes. Elderly voters who are non-English speaking are "assisted" by police officers who press the levers for these voters out of kindness and concern for "Big Nicky" Sacco and "Boss Bob" Menendez. "Is Union City New Jersey Meyer Lansky's Whore House?" and "Voting in North Bergen New Jersey.")

"Getting Bad Chemicals Out of New Jersey's Waters," (Editorial) The Record, November 6, 2017, p. 9A. (The association of New Jersey with cancer and pollution is emphasized by revelations about the state's befouled drinking water. Fecal matter continues to float in New Jersey's water supply along with much worse "material" providing a fitting symbol for the Garden State. Perhaps Mr. Rabner and his judicial brethren may be required to drink the state's water that they deem "adequate" for the state's poorest residents who cannot afford bottled designer water that is often provided to judges at the taxpayer's expense. "New Jersey is America's Legal Toilet.")  

Nicolas Pugliese and Catherine Carrera, "Dismissed Juror Says Menendez 'Not Guilty,'" The Record, November 10, 2017, p. 1A. (EVELYN ARROYO-MAULTSBY, 61, says that Boss Bob "didn't do nothing." According to this gracious lady, the feds "are trying to railroad him." Ms. Arroyo-Maultsby is said to have been interviewed, or scheduled for interviewing, by the F.B.I. in connection with jury tampering allegations. It is also now reported that Ms. Arroyo-Maultsby will appear before the trial judge in the matter to explain her conduct. "Does Senator Menendez have mafia friends?")  

Martin Garrahan, "Weinstein Board Members Claim Lawyers Hindered Sex Inquiry," FT Weekend Edition, October 21-22, 2017, p. 1. (Mr. Weinstein's lawyers -- including prominent firms in New Jersey -- may have lied and obstructed investigations to conceal the extent of the harm done to women. Evidently, this may include Mr. Rabner's old firm. Ethics? Is this "kosher" law practice Mr. Rabner? There are no ethics investigations of these "nice Jewish boys." I wonder why there are legal and ethical double standards in New Jersey to protect such persons? Still lying Stuart? "Deborah T. Poritz and Conduct Unbecoming to the Judiciary in New Jersey" and, again, "Stuart Rabner's Selective Sense of Justice" then "David Samson Resigns!" and "Have you no shame Mr. Rabner?") 

Vivian Wang, "Testimony Adds Scorn and Levity to Menendez Trial," The New York Times, October 18, 2017, p. A25. (More allegations of unethical tactics by Menendez lawyers -- including attempts to intimidate trial judge William H. Walls -- that are winked-at or ignored by New Jersey's tainted OAE. "New Jersey's Office of Attorney Ethics" and "New Jersey's 'Ethical" legal System" then, again, "New Jersey's Politically-Connected Lawyers On the Tit" and "Crooked Law Firms, Senator Bob, and New Jersey Ethics.") 

Nick Corasanti, "Judge in Menendez Trial Rejects Motion to Dismiss," The New York Times, October 17, 2017, p. A21. ("This court concludes that a rational jury could" -- and probably SHOULD! -- "determine that the defendants entered into a quid pro cuo arrangement." It ain't over till it's over. Let's see how things turn out in 2018.) 

James C. McKinley, Jr., "Running Unopposed, Yet Firmly on Defensive: Vance's Judgment as Prosecutor Under Fire," The New York Times, October 17, 2017, p. A21. ("Mr. Vance is accused of declining to file charges then cashing donation checks." Was Mr. Vance trading "non-prosecutions" for donations or other payments, in cash perhaps, so as to ensure his reelection or a happy retirement? I have yet to receive a response to my communications to Mr. Vance from Manhattan's District Attorney or anyone in his office. "An Open Letter to Cyrus Vance, Jr., Esq.") 

Nick Corasanti, "Menendez Trial Debate: What Bribery Looks Like," The New York Times, November 3, 2017, p. A24. (Bribery, if it is to remain a meaningful concept, or a crime, must include the provision of "consideration" -- in any form -- in exchange for influence or efforts made by a public official for the person providing the consideration. Whether this "exchange" takes place between "friends," enemies, or strangers is irrelevant to the essential offense. Equally irrelevant is the nature of the consideration which may include the services of prostitutes, cocaine, cash, or other items of value. "Menendez Consorts With Underage Prostitutes" and "Senator Bob, the Babe, and the Big Bucks" then "Wedding Bells Ring For Menendez!") 

Nick Corasanti, "Menendez Jury Resumes Deliberations," The New York Times, November 15, 2017, p. A20. (The difficulties with the jury's deliberations -- as well as alleged complaints from the jury room -- indicate an attempt to exert "undue influence" on the jurors. This has led to calls for an investigation of possible jury tampering in the Menendez trial.) 

Nick Corasanti, "Menendez, Power Intact, Savors Democrats' Backing," The New York Times, November 18, 2017, p. A16. (Menendez dodged a bullet. More bullets will be fired in his direction by his many political "friends." I know the feeling Bob. Intimidation efforts by Mr. Menendez are under way. He will be re-tried and, probably, knows that already. Mr. Menendez wishes to "eliminate" the opposition now before his campaign begins in earnest and prior to the next war with the Justice Department. Most New Jersey politicians re-endorsed "Boss Bob" -- probably out of fear -- but secretly wish to be rid of a politician who is associated with sleaze and corruption. The F.B.I. continues to investigate Mr. Menendez who is now seen as "what he always was." I am sure that Mr. Menendez is less powerful than he once was in New Jersey and may have the political equivalent of "leprosy" in Washington, D.C. Ms. Pelosi: Is Mr. Menendez a person you want to defend? Demeaning women is O.K. Elizabeth Warren?)

Dustin Racioppi, "N.J. Sues Another Drug Company in Opioid Crisis," The Record, November 1, 2017, p. A1. (Many drugs seem to find their way into New Jersey's water supply as medical waste makes its way to the state's beaches. Pay offs usually solve all problems for these drug companies which have endorsed Mr. Menendez in his future senate campaign.) 

Steve Janovski, "Paramus Murder Suspect Cannot Understand Charges, Lawyer Says," The Record, November 1, 2017, p. 1L. (JESUS LOPEZ, 30, a delusional Paramus man and alleged Bob Menendez supporter who slit his mother's throat because, he explained, he was instructed to do so by aliens on a spaceship, and who cannot be certain of living on planet earth, may be incompetent to stand trial. Nevertheless, the U.S. Supreme Court may favor this person's eventual execution anyway -- if he should be found guilty of the murder of course -- whether he remembers the offense or, like Jeff Sessions, "cannot recall" what happened. The compassionate humanism displayed by America's Supreme Court has drawn some mild criticism from jurists at the international level. "Off with their heads!," Ms. Gingsburg? In New Jersey Mr. Lopez seems like a good candidate for the Superior Court bench.) 

Steve Janovski, "Judge: Wayne Officer Should Not be Rearmed," The Record, November 28, 2017, p. 1A. (Greg Schiano, police officer from Hackensack is denied his weapon by a state judge based on a history of domestic violence. New Jersey police officers have some of the highest rates of alcoholism, domestic abuse, depression, drug use and suicide compared to their counterparts in the rest of the nation. It must be depressing being a cop in New Jersey.)  

Herb Jackson, "Menendez Won't Name Those Who Crossed Him at Trial," The Record, November 28, 2017, p. 3A. (Mr. Menendez has compiled an "enemies list" -- I am sure to be on it! -- like Richard Nixon. This will have no effect on me. I doubt that his "enemies" in New Jersey politics will be intimidated. When asked to be specific about his "targets" Mr. Menendez responded: "It is what it is." And the senator further explained: "They know who they are." Mr. Torricelli reports receiving a fish wrapped in newspapers sent by Senator Bob to his suburban home which the former N.J. senator may interpret as an "offer he can't refuse.") 

Jessica Greko, "High Court Wrestles With Whistleblowers: Does Dodd-Frank extend beyond reports to SEC?," The Record, November 29, 2017, p. 6A. (Safety for persons reporting, publicly, concerning corruption in state government and the courts should extend to discussions online in my blog and others like it enhancing existing First Amendment and copyright protections for authors. All of these protections are needed if we are to get to the truth in order to convict corrupt politicians.)

Richard F. Keevey, "New Jersey Facing Immediate Budget Problems," (Op-Ed) The Record, November 29, 2017, p. 13A. (New Jersey's financial walk on the high wire is very dangerous. It may be worse than can be seen at this time. Mr. Christie will leave the state with nothing less than an economic crisis and/or a fiscal catastrophe. I do not envy Phil Murphy.)

Nicolas Katzban, "Former Ridgewood Officials to be Fined: Ethics Counts Linked to Video for Parking Clerk," The Record, November 29, 2017, p. 1L. (I wonder whether residents of Ridgewood realize that their lovely community has become a "den of iniquity." Paul Aronsohn and other town officials face ethics fines as money from municipal parking meters AND other fees continues to "disappear." Mr. Aronsohn offered to pay his fine in quarters. Perhaps the funds will reappear in one of Mr. Menendez's out-of-the-country safety deposit boxes?)    

Nicolas Pugliese, "Judge Calls Female Attorneys' Dispute 'Hen Party,'" The Record, October 20, 2017, p. 3A. ("The 84-year-old judge overseeing U.S. Senator Robert Menendez's corruption trial cut short the female attorneys talking over each other Thursday and after warning that what he was about to say might come across as 'chauvenistic,' likened the dispute to a 'hen party.' ..." He also referred to the male attorneys "squabble" as a "cock fight." The "lady lawyers" were a "lesbian love-fest" perhaps?) 

Philip De Vincentis, "OT Case Has New Hearing Officer," The Record, October 20, 2017, p. 3L. (Michael Breslin, Esq. is still up to his old tricks? Mr. Breslin was described as Joe Ferreiro's "bag man." I wonder who Mr. Breslin works for now? "Joe Ferreiro Goes to Prison.") 

Nicolas Pugliese, "Judge Rejects 'Junk Evidence' From Prosecutors," The Record, October 25, 2017, p. 3A. ("More than a decade has passed since the disclosure of a secretly taped phone conversation in which a close ally of U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez [Mr. Scarinski] could be heard pressuring a Hudson County psychiatrist to hire someone as a favor to Menendez." "Does Senator Menendez have mafia friends?")

Michael W. Curley, Jr., "'Speak American' Teacher Returns: Back in Classroom After Apologizing to Students," The Record, October 25, 2017, p. 1L. (Laura Amico "dislikes" some of her minority students. It is unclear whether Ms. Amico falsified her credentials as Maria Martinez a.k.a. Barcelo did. Birds of a feather?)

Joe Malinconico, "Ex-Mayor Leader in Fundraising," The Record, October 25, 2017, p. 3L. (Joey Torres pleads guilty to corruption and has now been sentenced to five years in state prison. Nevertheless, Mr. Torres still had more money and support for reelection as Paterson mayor than all of his opponents. As long as N.J. voters continue to reelect such unethical slimeballs as Joey Torres and Bob Menendez no one should be surprised at the state of New Jersey's finances, drinking water, and dismally failed court system. A crooked politician will appoint one of his or her equally crooked friends to the judiciary in order to collect favors when necessary. "Law and Ethics in the Soprano State.") 

Robert E. Kessler, "Feds Charge Suffolk DA: Spota, Top Aide Indicted Over Role in Cover-Up of Former Police Chief Burke's Assault Case," Newsday: The Long Island Newspaper, October 26, 2017, p. A2. (Suffolk County DA Thomas Spota and one of his top aides have been indicted -- John McGill? -- on charges that they were involved in a cover-up of former Police Chief James Burke's assault and battery upon an African-American falsely charged with an offense to provide "ass cover" for the two distinguished members of the bar. Cyrus Vance, Jr., Esq. -- Manhattan's DA -- has yet to respond to communications concerning my matter. Did you cover-up for the OAE, Mr. Rabner? Or was New Jersey's Chief Justice seeking to protect his predecessor in office "Little Debbie" Poritz? "An Open Letter to Cyrus Vance, Jr., Esq." then "Have you no shame Mr. Rabner?" and "Stuart Rabner's Selective Sense of Justice.")

Nick Corasanti, "Candidate For Governor Shifts to the Right in Waning Days of Campaign," The New York Times, October 25, 2017, p. A19. (Kim Guadagno could no longer conceal her "dislike" for "immigrants" and "dark people" as well as all men. No doubt Ms. Amico voted for Kim Guadagno.)

Herb Jackson, "Menendez Trial: Jury Rules Could Shape Verdict," The Record, October 31, 2017, p. A1. (Proposed jury instructions -- including 144 pages from the defense which is absurd -- are a crucial and often overlooked part of trial proceedings. However, even jury instructions become meaningless if one side has the foresight to bribe the jurors. Was this trial "expensive" for you Mr. Menendez?) 

Nicolas Pugliese, "Closing Arguments Get Heated at Trial: Attorneys Let it Fly During Sen. Menendez Case," The Record, November 3, 2017, p. 4A. ("Sen. Menendez wanted you to believe then and the defendant wants you to believe now that $58,000 fell through the cracks," Prosecutor J.P. Cooney explained to jurors: "$58,000 does not fall through the cracks." Did you "forget" to disclose this sum in your filings Mr. Menendez? Have you "forgotten" to disclose other sums that you have received in CASH? Does the cash "go south"? I wonder what happened to that Estevez check that they "lost" in Union City? "Illegal Payments to Bob Menendez" and "Was Menendez Bribed to Get a Visa For a Croney?")    

Adam Devlinsky, "Executive Charged With Lewd Behavior: Health System Officer Was Arrested in Delaware," The Record, November 3, 2017, p. 6A. (Gerald Percino -- health industry executive and, possibly, a member of the N.J. Bar Association -- exposed himself to pubescent girls in Newark. "It's the Jersey way!" Mr. Percino is alleged to have said when he was arrested. Ethics? "New Jersey is the Home of Child Molesters!" and "New Jersey Welcomes Child Molesters.")  

Mark Landler & David Halbfingha, "Trump's Pledge Over Jerusalem Rattles Mideast," The New York Times, December 6, 2017, p. 1A. (Mr. Trump's "gift" for diplomacy may ensure terrorist reprisals that are already threatened against New York and Wshington, D.C. The president's way of disclosing this momentous decision was perceived as insulting not only to enemies, but even to the Saudis and Jordanians and other "friends" in the Middle East.) 

Curtis Tate, "N.J. Transit Shows Little Progress On Crucial Safety System," The Record, December 6, 2017, p. 1A. (The DANGEROUS rail conditions continue to worsen as the crowded holiday season approaches. There is no money for New Jersey Transit's dire maintenance crisis because of massive waste of, and theft from, public funds in Trenton. Corruption and incompetence in government and the courts may have created a public safety emergency in New Jersey. New Jersey Transit needs and deserves a lot of money and other kinds of public support.)

Joe Malinconico, "Paterson School Administrator Accused of Assault," The Record, December 6, 2017, p. 3L. (Yet another sexual assault in New Jersey's schools and, ostensibly, among professionals this time. Jeron Cambell "forcibly grabbed" a woman to prevent her from leaving a school district office on Friday. Incidents of alleged child abuse continue to be registered in multiple New Jersey schools.) 

Joe Malinconico, "Paterson Gateway Plan Has Links to Torres," The Record, November 5, 2017, p. 1L. (Imprisoned former Mayor Joey Torres may still be "on the tit" -- receiving public funds by way of a front! -- by profiting from the so-called "Gateway Project" in Paterson. $1 MILLION in "Green Acres" funds are being made available to Joey Torres. Much more is yet to be revealed. This is a new investigation of Mr. Torres.) 

Dustin Racioppi, "Big Challenges Await Murphy in Trenton," The Record, November 9, 2017, p. 1A. ("New Jersey remains a state with costly, long term, vexing problems." New Jersey also "enjoys" the worst history, culture, and current record of corruption and ineptitude in government and the judiciary in the nation. Good luck Mr. Murphy.)  

David Porter, "Menendez Trial: Jurors Finish Day Without Verdict: Give No Indications Where They Lean," The Record, November 9, 2017, p. 3A. (Did Mr. Menendez bribe jurors? Or did Senator Menendez, or persons on his behalf, threaten jurors and/or their family members to hold out against conviction? Were persons threatened or promised a reward to lie about me? Or to cooperate in efforts to target me that they did not know were illegal -- or even criminal! -- on the part of the OAE and others? If so, by whom were they threatened or promised a reward? Has the New Jersey Supreme Court and OAE lied and/or covered up knowledge of such threats or promises and far worse in order to protect favored "insiders" in Trenton or to avoid embarrassment for themselves? Is this New Jersey's legal ethics OAE?)

Keldy Ortiz, "Judge Releases 2 Paterson Men: Kelly, Lee Walk Free After 24-Years in Jail," The Record, November 9, 2017, p. 1L. (New Jersey's soiled legal system failed again as African-Americans Eric Kelly, 53, and Ralph W. Lee, 55, both walked out of prison after being exonerated by DNA evidence after false convictions. Prosecutors opposed their release, lied, tried to obstruct the truth -- this seems very familiar to me -- promising to re-try the men while claiming "they probably did something else." No ethics charges are pending or planned against these corrupt prosecutors. Anne Rodgers? John McGill?)

Joshua Johnson & Randall Coase, "Earthquake Shakes Part of New Jersey," The Record, December 1, 2017, p. 3A. (Trenton officials denied there was an earthquake explaining that the tremors were the result of an extended bowel movement by Mr. Christie.) 

Nicolas Pugliese, "Politics: Menendez Politically Unpopular But Not [Yet] Dead," The Record, December 1, 2017, p. 4A. (20% of New Jersey residents have a favorable view of Menendez; 31% -- including many Democrats -- have a strongly unfavorable view of the senator; 44% have no strong opinion of the senator, but are more likely to be unfavorable in their views of Mr. Menendez. Given calls for resignations and retirements of Senator Franken and Representative Conyers, perhaps it is time for Mr. Menendez to step down for the good of New Jersey? Not likely.)

Richard Cowen & Matt Fagan, "Lawsuit Revives Sex Case in Clifton: Two Ex-Students Sue Clifton District," The Record, December 1, 2017, p. 1L. (Two former Clifton High School students join their counterparts from schools in Hudson and Bergen as well as Union and Passaic Counties in filing law suits because of sexual molestation suffered while they were minors: "New Jersey is the Home of Child Molesters" and "Edward M. De Sear, Esq. and New Jersey's Filth" then "New Jersey Superior Court Judge is a Child Molester" and "Neil M. Cohen, Esq. and Conduct Unbecoming to the Legislature in New Jersey.")   

Nate Schweiber, "Menendez's Fellow Senators Vouch for Him at His Trial," The New York Times, October 27, 2017, p. A19. (Lindsey Graham may have had his reasons for making a difficult appearance, but can it be true that Senator Graham's fingers were crossed throughout his testimony? Perhaps. Corey Booker may also have had little choice about "supporting" Bob. If Al Franken is required to resign why is Bob Menendez the recipient of honors? "In a brief cross-examination, prosecutors asked both senators the same one question. Had they been inside the courtroom over the past eight weeks to hear the evidence against Mr. Menendez? Both gave the same answer -- no." This abstention may have been very wise. "Menendez Consorts With Underage Prostitutes" and "Was Menendez Bribed to Get a Visa For a Croney?") 

Kevin McCoy & Brad Heath, "Manafort Tried to Mislead the Court, Son-in-Law Says," The Record, October 5, 2017, p. 11A. (Did Alex Booth and John McGill "try to mislead" the court? "David" and/or "Arthur Goldberg" may also have tried to mislead the court. Gilberto Garcia? George Caceres? Maria Martinez? All of these persons may have lied about me for a promised "consideration.")

Nicolas Pugliese, "Menendez Trial: Senator Updates Media, Then Heads Back to D.C.," The Record, October 5, 2017, p. 3A. (Questions continue to swirl around Mr. Menendez and his "unsavory associations" generate more FBI attention. Will Mr. Menendez be tried again? If not, the U.S. Justice Department looks idiotic and we will see much more "bribery" -- however they define it -- in the future; if so, if Senator Menendez is re-tried, will we be forced to repeat this nightmare in the midst of next year's electoral season? Stay tuned to this station for further updates.) 

AP, "Prosecutor Returns Campaign Gift From Trump Lawyer," The Record, October 5, 2017, p. 4A. (Cyrus R. Vance has returned $32,000 in campaign contributions from a lawyer representing the Trump organization in a fraud investigation that was ultimately "dropped." Mr. Vance's main accomplishment is to "drop" investigations of wealthy or influential persons, mostly prominent Jews in the city, who then make large contributions to his campaign. No wonder I have yet to hear from Mr. Vance. Mr. Vance seems to assume that crimes are only committed by minority males residing in the Bronx or Queens while victims are nice Jewish people who live on the Upper West Side. The reality in Manhattan may be slightly more complex. "An Open Letter to Cyrus Vance, Jr., Esq.") 

Joe Malinconico, "Paterson Official Guilty in Scandal: Faces five years, fine in Jersey City bribery case," The Record, October 5, 2017, p. 3L. (Ehab Abdelaziz, 38, former Jersey City police officer and Paterson Zoning Board member -- allegedly, yet another distinguished member of the bar -- accepted $11,825 in BRIBES for payments on phony vouchers over his $86,476 base salary plus compensation in Paterson. No one had any difficulty defining the concept of bribery in this case. In the Menendez matter the allegations concerned nearly a million dollars spent on Mr. Menendez by his "good friend" Dr. Melgen who was seeking $9 MILLION in fraudulent medicaid payments. I have no problem calling shelling out a million bucks to get nine million back "bribery.") 

Philip De Vincentis, "Dumont Attorney Again Avoids Being Ousted," The Record, October 5, 2017, p. 2L. (Greg Paster escaped ouster as Dumont Attorney. Mr. Paster is said to be in the pocket of local developers. He is facing ethics investigations, but the matter may be "fixed" for him since OAE officials -- like William B. Ziff, Esq.? -- have allegedly been paid-off or told to look the other way by powerful political bosses. Do you speak to me of "ethics" at the OAE? "New Jersey's 'Ethical' Legal System.") 

AP, "Man Guilty in Bombings: Prosecutors -- Rahimi Believed He Was a 'Soldier in a Holy War,'" The Record, October 17, 2017, p. 1A. (A bomb explodes in Times Square on December 11, 2017. The trouble seems to come from New Jersey again and not just Brooklyn. Rumors of a planned series of subway attacks may be disconcerting New York's Police Department. Recognition of Jerusalem as what one New Yorker described as exclusively "Jewish territory" may not help with peace efforts in the Middle East or in Manhattan during the holiday season. I greatly fear that more trouble may be expected soon.)

Nicolas Pugliese, "Menendez Trial: Judge Orders Charges to Stand," The Record, October 17, 2017, p. 3A. (Judge rules that "friendship" is irrelevant on the bribery issue. I concur.) 

"Ruling on Menendez is For the Greater Good," (Editorial) The Record, October 17, 2017, p. 8A. (" ... U.S. District Court Judge William H. Walls' ruling Monday -- to let all 18 counts of the federal indictment against Menendez stand -- is too important to ignore. Walls got it right." I wonder what could have happened that allowed the jury to get it wrong? Or to become so confused? "Bribery"?) 

Peggy Wright, "Jury: Retired Officer Not Retaliation Victim -- But They Say Carifi Acted in Good Faith in His Reports," The Record, October 17, 2017, p. 3L. (Retired police captain James Carifi faced retaliation for reporting wrongdoing by police officers engaged in a cover-up that was probably assisted by the courts. Similar law suits by ATTORNEYS and cops from New Jersey alleging retaliation for reporting criminal wrongdoing are making their way through the labyrinth of New Jersey's courts. Have you all told the truth: George Caceres? Armando Hernandez? Jose Linares?)    

Nicolas Pugliese, "Dominican Resort Has a Role to Play: Images Mirror Differing Takes on Facts of Case," The Record, October 23, 2017, p. 1A. (Images of Dr. Melgen and Senator Menendez with alcohol and perhaps other substances affecting the two men's capacities while they were "partying" at "Casa de Campo," a sprawling resort in the Dominican Republic featuring "party girls" of all ages, and similar -- or worse -- "entertainments" fill the pages of this news account: "Several trips Menendez took there, often traveling for free on Melgen's private jet, are listed as bribes [emphasis added] in the government's 18-count indictment of the men. The defense says the trips weren't bribes at all, just friends spending time together." How likely is it that a sophisticated and now convicted fraudster, Dr. Melgen, would spend huge sums of money on anyone without expectation of return? How often does it occur that, among friends, one person pays all the bills for luxury goods and adventures without some expectation of return? I wonder what the jury found difficult to understand in this situation? "Was Menendez Bribed to Get a Visa For a Croney?" and "Crooked Broker Paid Off Menendez.") 

Stephanie Noda, "DPW Worker Charged With Possession of Pot," The Record, October 23, 2017, p. 2L. (Vincent Di Luzio, 41, along with numerous other public workers -- like many New Jersey judges -- is charged with possession of narcotics with possible intent to distribute these substances despite being in a position of public trust: "Mafia Influence in New Jersey Courts and Politics.")

Kaitlyn Kanzler, "Paramus Man Accused of Sexual Assault, Child Porn," The Record, December 1, 2017, p. 2L. (New Jersey's epidemic of child abuse continues to be out-of-control. John Huang, 47, was arrested on child porn charges and accusations of sexual abuse have followed the arrest. Persons sharing a private network with this defendant are said to be under investigation. It is likely that the defendant was distributing this material on an international basis.) 

James Nash, "U.S. Supreme Court -- Justices to Decide on Sports Betting: N.J. voters ruled in favor 6 years ago," The Record, December 4, 2017, p. 1A. (The justices will decide whether to legalize sports betting, already a multi-billion dollar industry that benefits organized crime, especially in New Jersey that controls much of this trade in America. "Law and Ethics in the Soprano State" and "More Mafia Arrests in New Jersey and Anne Milgram is Clueless.")

Colleen Long & Michael Balsamo, "L.A., N.Y.C., London Pursue Burgeoning Sex Cases: Decades-Old Allegations Create Challenges in Dealing With Celebrities," The Record, December 4, 2017, p. 7A. (James Levine and Harvey Weinstein, David Samson and David Wildstein, as well as new allegations against "Little Debbie" Poritz and Stuart Rabner are shocking New Jersey residents. Is such shameful conduct "kosher" Barry Albin? Is this New Jersey's legal ethics ladies and gentlemen of the OAE? "Neil M. Cohen, Esq. and Conduct Unbecoming to the Legislature in New Jersey" then "Sybil R. Moses and Conduct Unbecoming to the Judiciary in New Jersey" and "New Jersey Superior Court Judge is a Child Molester" and "Edward M. De Sear, Esq. and New Jersey's Filth.") 

Scott Fallon, "Meadowlands Missing $3 MILLION," The Record, December 8, 2017, p. 1A. (Mr. Christie is "robbing Peter to pay Paul." This shell game with New Jersey taxpayer money cannot continue. Perhaps the goal is for the explosion in New Jersey's finances to take place after Mr. Christie leaves office. Much the same may be true with regard to my situation. "Discretion is the better part of valor," Mr. Christie? Not many persons can claim to have "misplaced" $3 MILLION.

Nicolas Pugliese, "Essex County Executive to Pay Fine: Di Vincenzo Settles Finance Complaint," The Record, December 8, 2017, p. 4A. ("Joey D" says he "didn't do nothing wrong," but he agreed to pay a $20,000 fine for misappropriating campaign funds for personal use to "make the whole thing go away." This will not affect his law license of course. The OAE says: "What the hell. It's good old Joey." Mr. Di Vincenzo invited everybody to dinner on the taxpayers' dime. Double standards for insiders OAE? "New Jersey's Office of Attorney Ethics" and "'Joey D' Knows How to Eat!")   

Doug Stanlin, "Ex-Officer Given a 20-Year Sentence in S.C. Slaying," The Record, December 8, 2017, p. 4A. (Michael Slager "shot an unarmed black motorist" in the back. Mr. Slager can't figure out what he did wrong. "This is America!" Officer Slager said.)

AP, "Michigan Doctor Gets 60 Years in Jail in Child Porn Case," The Record, December 8, 2017, p. 5A. (Larry Nassar, M.D. vowed to move to New Jersey when he gets out of prison where he will be "appreciated.' Many persons seem to share Dr. Nassar's child sex interests in the Garden State. "New Jersey is the Home of Child Molesters!')

Joe Malinconico, "Paterson Trustee Named in Lawsuit: Charter School Teacher Claims Sex Harassment," The Record, December 8, 2017, p. 1L. ("Paterson -- A Community Charter School of Paterson substitute teacher has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Manny Martinez, [a Joey Torres loyalist and Bob Menendez supporter,] an administrator at the school who is also a city Board of Education TRUSTEE." [emphasis added] Yet another sexual abuser finds access to New Jersey schools along with many scam artists and liars who are also employed in positions of "trust" in New Jersey's schools. I wonder if this individual is any relation to Maria Martinez a.k.a. Barcelo?)

Dara E. Purvis, "When Judges Prey on Clerks," (Op-Ed) The New York Times, December 13, 2017, p. 27A. (Identical accusations of sexual misconduct are now being made against prominent lesbians as they were in the past, at least in New Jersey, against lesbian judges such as Ms. Poritz and others: "Deborah T. Poritz and Conduct Unbecoming to the Judiciary in New Jersey" and "Sybil R. Moses and Conduct Unbecoming to the Judiciary in New Jersey" then "N.J. Lesbian Professor Rapes a Disabled Man.")

Liam Stack, ["Brian Stack"?] "New Yorker Reporter Fired Over Accusation," The New York Times, December 12, 2017, p. 2A. (Ryan Lizza, allegedly, one of my loyal readers, is also allegedly among the persons who makes use of the name "Manohla Dargis" at the Times. Mr. Lizza is a member of the "holier-than-thou" Politically Correct brigade who has written of sexual abuse allegations against others only to find that he is now fired and ostracized because of similar sexual abuse allegations against him. It is dangerous to ask others to wear a scarlet letter or comment on the ethics of envied neighbors because one may be the target of similar accusations by way of a response. Mr. McGill? Mr. Caceres? Maria Martinez? Do you speak to me of "ethics" ladies and gentlemen?)

Philip De Vencentis, "Teens Accuse Co-Worker of Groping Them," The Record, December 8, 2017, p. 2L. (Maurice Kearney, 27, groped and made lewd comments to 2 teenage girls; he was arrested and must appear for arraignment in Bergen County Superior Court in Hackensack. This alleged conduct is less offensive or illegal than what Mr. Trump has ADMITTED to doing in the past to say nothing of Mr. Menendez who has done worse.)   

Sarah Maslin-Nir ["Mishiko Kakutani" a.k.a. "Jennifee Shuessler"] & William K. Rashbaum, "Man Detonates Bomb He Carried Under Times Square," The New York Times, December 12, 2017, p. 1A. (A great deal of information is not being disclosed to the public in this matter: a failed suicide bomber's capture or death was probably intended as an ISIS "probe" to test NYPD response time for an allegedly well-planned multi-location strike on the MTA system. Support networks for such ISIS attacks are traced to North Jersey.)

Keldy Ortiz & Kritie Cattafi, "Could be the Last Call for Satin Dolls," The Record, December 8, 2017, p. 1L. ("LODI -- For years, Mobster Tony Soprano and his friends routinely held their business meetings inside the fictional Bada bing! go-go bar -- the real life Satin Dolls." Mr. Menendes was rumored to be a regular customer at this hallowed N.J. establishment. The club is to be closed because the owner -- get ready for a shock! -- has been affiliated with the Genovese crime family. The gentleman in question is going into New Jersey politics. A very similar club is scheduled to open nearby and it is owned by "somebody, but nobody knows who.") 

Tony Gicos, "Teacher Fired After Confining Special Needs Kids," The Record, December 8, 2017, p. 3L. (Donna de Marco, a tenured teacher at Packanack Elementary School, locked two special needs students in a bathroom as a means of disciplining them. Friend of yours, Maria Martinez?) 

Meghan Grant, "Third Whistleblower Lawsuit Filed Against Becton High School," The Record, December 8, 2017, p. 2L. (Ray Sawyer, a former math supervisor claimed he was terminated because of political opposition to Carlstadt School Board Members. Allegations of sexual abuse of STUDENTS at Becton High School have been covered-up, allegedly, and are only now surfacing.)

Clyde Haberman, "No, Mr. Trump, Torture Doesn't Work," (Editorial) The New York Times, December 14, 2017, p. A30. (Torture is a crime against humanity, offensive to the U.S. Constitution and international law, but it also does not work: "The president's support for torturing terrorism suspects goes against what many military officials have said." New Jersey, likewise, needs to understand that torture and censorship is not how best to deal with the situation that I have brought to the attention of U.S. and international authorities. Ignoring this crisis is a great mistake. "Terry Tuchin, Diana Lisa Riccioli, and New Jersey's Agency of Torture.") 

"When the People's Lawyer Breaks the Law," (Editorial) The New York Times, December 14, 2017, p. A30. (Did New Jersey's OAE violate legal ethics in my matters and commit crimes by engaging in obstruction of justice then lying about having done so? If so, how can those crimes continue to be covered-up by an agency with the responsibility to embody and enforce legality and professional ethics? Rensselaer County, New York District Attorney, Joel Abelove, covered-up and lied about the fatal shooting of an African-American "suspect" by a police officer in Troy. If this is what law enforcement can get away with today then we no longer have a legal system or due process of law and, perhaps, my experiences are not so unusual. "New Jersey's Office of Attorney Ethics" and "New Jersey's 'Ethical' Legal System.")   

Joe Malinconico, "Judge: All Charges by Publisher Go Through Me," The Record, September 11, 2017, p. 3L. (As usual in New Jersey accusations against members of the judiciary and political insiders are immediately isolated so that influential officials can be protected. As the Menendez trial began in Newark federal court, Passaic County Assignment Judge Ernest Caposela ordered that any complaint or grievance filed by publisher Sirran Keith Baldeo "go through him" -- possibly in violation of U.S. Constitutional due process guarantees on 9/11 of all dates! -- after Mr. Baldeo convinced a judge in Pompton Lakes to find probable cause for misconduct charges against seven Paterson city council members who refused to allow the publisher to speak at a public meeting. Threats against this citizen-complainant, allegedly, from Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia Valdes, one of my readers I am told, continue to be ignored by police who are well aware of them. Friend of Joey Torres, Ms. Valdes? "An Open Letter to Cyrus Vance, Jr., Esq.")  

Nick Corasanti, "Menendez Trial: Ex-Aide Says Menendez Lobbied For Visas for Women Linked to Donor," The New York Times, September 12, 2017, p. A25. (Mark E. Lopez, former policy adviser to Mr. Menendez, "assisted" in efforts to obtain visas for women with "large breasts" whose "skills" were deemed "essential" to the U.S. economy so as to merit their receipt of a visa. It is difficult to argue with this reasoning or interpretation of immigration laws. "Was Menendez Bribed to Get a Visa for a Croney?")   

Lindy Washburn, "Leader of Imaging Bribery Scheme Could be Deported," The Record, September 12, 2017, p. 1L. (Renan "Ray" Zubari, 48, owner of Diagnostic Imaging Facilities/Affiliates and conspirator with numerous doctors and lawyers to scam insurance companies received a 10-year prison sentence and is now trying to be deported to Pakistan so he will not have to do the time. No deal. I am sure that none of the lawyers -- allegedly, including Jose Ginarte -- will face charges for this little scandal in New Jersey's personal injury legal world. "New Jersey Lawyers' Ethics Farce" and "New Jersey's Politically Connected Lawyers On the Tit.")

Dustin Racioppi, "Prosecutors Aim at Visa Involvement," The Record, September 13, 2017, p. 3A. (Mr. Menendez has filed motions through his attorneys in December of 2017 to compel the Justice Department to indicate within 30 days whether the senator will be retried in 2018 on corruption charges. Rumors are that the senator has been advised already that he will in fact be retried in 2018, and that this motion is a publicity stunt. In any case the senator may not like the Justice Department's decision: "One woman Juliana Lopes-Leite was a Brazilian actress and law student [also identified as an "exotic dancer"] seeking admission to the University of Miami." Mark Lopez intervened on behalf of Senator Menendez to "expedite" the young lady's visa application, allegedly, at the request of Dr. Melgen to Senator Menendez. The question arises whether Ms. Lopes-Leite "opened her legs," as Manohla Dargis would say, to express her "gratitude" to New Jersey's senior senator and/or to Dr. Melgen. "'The Reader': A Movie Review.") 

Patrick McGeehan, "In New Jersey, Tax Bill Looms like a Dark Cloud: One-Two Punch Could Threaten the Suburban Dream," The New York Times, December 18, 2017, p. 1A. (Rising property taxes, state income and federal income taxes for declining services and the most corrupt courts and inept government in the nation, combined with a tax break from both the federal and state governments for the wealthiest 1% at the expense of the remaining 99%, is making New Jersey simply unlivable for most people.)

Michael S. Schmidt, "Friction Rises Between Mueller's Team and Some Trump Lawyers," The New York Times, December 18, 2017, p. 1A. (Will the G.O.P. succeed in getting rid of Robert Mueller? If so, they will have destroyed the rule of law in America. Memories of Archibald Cox and the "Saturday Night Massacre" come to mind.) 

Curtis Tate, "The Christie Allies of N.J. Transit: At Least 10 Got Promotions, Raises as Agency Struggles to Fund its Obligations," The Record, December 18, 2017, p. 1A. (This is New Jersey in a nutshell: N.J. Transit is in a state of fiscal crisis. There is a public danger created because of a lack of essential repairs and maintenance of trains and tracks, but money will be spent on paying off or rewarding political croneys and loyalists of the governor leaving office rather than the men and women actually on the job who need pay increases.) 

Curtis Tate, "Last Call for Lodi's Satin Dolls Club," The Record, December 18, 2017, p. 1L. (Mr. Christie offered to perform a pole dance for charity. So much for the "Bada Bing!" club. Anthony -- "Tony Lodi" a.k.a. "Fat Tony" -- Cardinalli of Saddle River, New Jersey is a convicted racketeer now barred from having a liquor license. Who knew? A very similar club is scheduled to open in nearby Kearney that is owned as usual by "somebody, nobody knows who.") 

Nick Corasanti, "In Bribery Trial, Women Describe New Jersey Senator's Role in Getting Visas," The New York Times, September 13, 2017, p. A25. ("SVITLANA BUCHYK" -- sporting a push-up bra -- met Senator Menendez, known to her as "Boobbie," and Dr. Melgen in a trendy hotel located in Miami only after the young ladie(s) obtained their visas. "First visa, then party!" Ms. Buchyk said while opening a champagne bottle between her breasts.)    

Nick Corasanti, "After a Month in Court, Menendez Relishes a Trip to Washington: Senator Capitalizes [As it Were] on Break in His Trial," The New York Times, October 7, 2017, p. A20. (Senator Bob wants to get back on the Senate's "Foreign Relations Committee" except that he has become the poster boy for sleaze and corruption with zero credibility on human rights or legality and ethics issues internationally. Foreign leaders laugh when they hear his name.)

"Exit Al Franken," (Editorial) The New York Times, December 8, 2017, p. A28. (Exit Bob Menendez?) 

Michael Cooper, "James Levine Denies 'Unfounded' Claims," The New York Times, December 8, 2017, p. A26. (Young MEN can also be victimized by sexual violation. "N.J. Lesbian Professor Rapes a Disabled Man" and "Edward M. De Sear, Esq. and New Jersey's Filth.") 

Alan Feuer, "A Judge Calls for More Alternatives For Violent Offensers Facing Prison," The New York Times, December 9, 2017, p. A20. (Judge Jack B. Weinstein, one of the best federal judges in the country, joins the chorus calling for alternatives to incarceration -- especially for young offenders -- by underlining the failures of the U.S. prison system. I recall a judge agreeing that the only persons who should be sent to prison are those who could not be sent anywhere else. The federal guidelines do not leave a great deal of room for discretion.) 

"Opening Up New York's Public Records," (Editorial) The New York Times, December 11, 2017, p. A26. (Time to stop lying, Mr. Rabner, covering-up, allowing for blatant computer crime, so that the truth in my matters can finally be revealed and in order for many victims to find peace, or closure, so that we all may "move on" from horrible affliction. Tell me the truth, Mr. Rabner and ladies and gentlemen of the OAE: "Have you no shame Mr. Rabner?")  

Alan Feuer, "An Odd Staten Island Lawyer, Now a Puzzle For Prosecutors," The New York Times, December 21, 2017, p. A27. (Richard Luthman, a bow-tie wearing and somewhat eccentric "nice Jewish boy," as well as an attorney who threatened adversaries with "trial by combat" aligned, allegedly, with David Wildstein, Gerald Shanker, Sheldon Silver to say nothing of Stuart Rabner, faces prosecution at last. Is this "kosher" law practice Barry Albin? "New Jersey's 'Ethical' Legal System.") 

Dustin Racioppi, "Menendez Trial: Melgen Attorney Was 'Threatening' Official Says," The Record, September 26, 2017, p. 5A. (An attorney for Dr. Melgen -- another "nice Jewish boy" -- "threatened" federal officials with reprisals from the good doctor's political friends and employees, i.e., Senator Menendez, even asking for "trial by combat" if his client's requests were refused. No problem with the OAE? Is this "civility" Mr. Rabner? "New Jersey's Office of Attorney Ethics.")   

Dustin Racioppi, "Murphy Says Little On Pension Bill," The Record, December 20, 2017, p. 5A. ("New Jersey has the worst-funded public pension system, according to Bloomberg, and [is] ranked LAST nationally in overall fiscal health by the Mercater Center at George Mason University." The highest levels of theft, waste, ineptitude and corruption in administering any public funds in America may well be found in New Jersey. This is mostly the result of malfeasance and unethical conduct by lawyers entrusted with official responsibility and authority who not only do not draw the attention of the OAE, but who often are the OAE: "New Jersey Lawyers' Ethics Farce" and "New Jersey's Politically Connected Lawyers On the Tit.") 

Richard Cowen, "Allen Acquitted of Distribution: Former Passaic Housing Official Found Guilty of Cocaine Possession Charge," The Record, December 20, 2017, p. 1L. (Darren Allen only sold drugs to his "good friends"? Mr. Allen is a saint compared to Bob Menendez.) 

Bill Pascrell, Jr., "GOP Gave to the Rich, Took From the Poor," (Op-Ed) The Record, December 20, 2017, p. 13A. (The obscenity in the blatant "theft" of revenues from the vast majority of Americans to enrich the wealthiest 1% of the population is obscured or denied in the corporate media. Is this "ethical"? "Innumerate Ethics" and "Law and Literature.") 

Keldy Ortiz, "Pal Park Officer Declines Plea Deal," The Record, December 20, 2017, p. 1L. (Richard Giacamone, former Hackensack police officer arrested on weapons and drug charges has political "connections," allegedly, that may result in protection or a sweetheart deal in the New Jersey legal system. "Law and Ethics in the Soprano State.")

Gene Meyers, "Mother Vocal in Anti-Bullying Cause: Six Months After Daughter's Death, Grossman Finds a Legislative Ally," The Record, December 20, 2017, p. 1L. (Mallory Grossman was "tortured" by bullying and abuse in New Jersey schools BOTH by students and teachers [Maria Martinez?] who did nothing. Now Mallory's mother is seeking reforms to protect other children unfortunate enough to find themselves in New Jersey schools or even in the Garden Sate at all. "New Jersey Welcomes Child Molesters.")

Herb Jackson, "Speech, Song Mark Menendez's D.C. Return: Colleagues Welcome Him During Break in Trial," The Record, October 9, 2017, p. 1A. (Perhaps there is "honor among thieves" in Washington, D.C.? Elizabeth Warren was not seen among the celebrants of Mr. Menendez's return.)

Nicolas Pugliese, "Timing of Gifts Probed in Menendez Trial," The Record, September 29, 2017, p. 5A. (Stephanie Talton testified: "It's somewhat unusual to have a senator or a member of Congress ask us, in a way, to stop doing our law enforcement mission." Threats or promises of rewards made to government officials by a U.S. senator to benefit a now proven criminal fraud artist is despicable, offensive, and calls the senator's "profession" into disrepute. This is surely corruption and bribery however one wishes to define these concepts.) 

Please compare these two items in the media: Andrew Dalton, "Hefner Led Sex Revolution," The Record, September 29, 2017, p. 1A with John Cole, "Weinstein Fired From His Company: Accused of Decades of Sexual Abuse," The Record, October 9, 2017, p. 10A. (America's schizophrenia on sexual matters is seen in these articles: "Good Will Humping" and "Genius and Lust" then "Menendez Consorts With Underage Prostitutes" and "Wedding Bells Ring For Menendez!")