As one of the cogs in the wheel of democracy, the legal system is portrayed as providing justice, ethics and fairness. The public is acutely aware that it does not. Justice, ethics and fairness are being sacrificed to rapacious business instincts favoring those with the ability to pay.
The pursuit of money before justice, fairness and ethics turns the legal system on its head.
Moreover, corporations with accomplices from the lairs of legal chicanery scheme to line their own pockets, fleece the public and undermine democracy making highly visible mockery of the idea that the system is about justice, ethics and fairness at all. Contrived laws are nothing more than competitive barriers to entry or in perverse way, a license to make lying, cheating, stealing and even manslaughter legal.
is a lesson to be learned here from the biblical story of Jesus
Cleansing the Temple of its authorities
who were taking advantage of the poor who came to worship. The story
has nothing to do with religion regardless of who it is attributed to,
and everything to do with screwing a compliant public who were just
looking for a little help from someone or something they thought
offered a ray of hope. This story in Huffpost
has an interesting take on the Cleansing the Temple story,
and these quotes
“Equal justice under law is not merely a caption on the facade of the Supreme Court building, it is perhaps the most inspiring ideal of our society. It is one of the ends for which our entire legal system exists...it is fundamental that justice should be the same, in substance and availability, without regard to economic status.” - Lewis Powell, Jr. Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
“It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for law, so much as a respect for right.” - Henry David Thoreau
“Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.” - Benjamin Franklin
“If one really wishes to know how justice is administered in a country, one does not question the policemen, the lawyers, the judges, or the protected members of the middle class. One goes to the unprotected--those, precisely, who need the law's protection most--and listens to their testimony.” - James Baldwin
“Law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress.” - Martin Luther King, Jr.
“The law isn't justice. It's a very imperfect mechanism. If you press exactly the right buttons and are also lucky, justice may show up in the answer. A mechanism is all the law was ever intended to be.” - Raymond Chandler
“You know, the courts may not be working any more, but as long as everyone is videotaping everyone else, justice will be done.” - Marge Simpson
Corrupt, unethical, unjust, unfair, and exploitive practices work wonderfully in dictatorships if one is at the top of the food chain, or if the food chain is so large they can carve out a piece for themselves at various levels.
A democracy however is more complex. Talking about the "rule of law" as if it is the end game wholly divorced from just outcomes is simply propaganda trying to mask what is wrong with the system. And while the rule of law may be trumpeted by learned persons in visible positions in society, the underlying rot of enforcement absent justice cannot be hidden from anyone. Kind of like fleecing worshipers in the temple.
In order for continued injustice to prevail, a sense of helplessness, poverty, education denied, coercion and the constant threat of force must be used to keep the public in line. Without these steps, nothing in a democracy can be isolated from disruption if its citizens wake up and will no longer put up with it. In such cases citizens must be overwhelmingly bamboozled.
“Propaganda is to a democracy what a bludgeon is to a totalitarian state.” - Noam Chomsky. Media Control - The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda
Secondly they must be kept desperately chained to jobs, debt and family which severely limits their flexibility and choices. Hence the need for millions of illegal immigrants to undermine wages even further and provide an insurance policy against an outbreak of democracy.
is power, just not for the poor.” – p2p.media
they must be hoodwinked into addressing issues that are lower in the
of their daily lives, the kind of sleight of hand magicians use to mask
one hand is doing while the other hand is being watched. For example,
discourse about white supremacy, racial divides, and so on when the
problem to solve first is high paying jobs, steady employment, a strong
with a thriving domestic manufacturing base, and a social safety net.
If those tactics fail, the government must either declare martial law, start a war, or create a legal environment that makes everything subject to crippling and costly attacks. The obvious solution to everyone but those in a position of authority is to try to fix things from the bottom up.
And in this process the greatest mistake those doing the bamboozling can make is believing their own BS.
"the first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool." To avoid self-deception scientists must bend over backward to report data that cast doubt on their theories. Feynman applied this principle specifically to scientists who talk to the public: I would like to add something that's not essential to the science, but something I kind of believe, which is that you should not fool the laymen when you're talking as a scientist. . . . I'm talking about a specific, extra type of integrity that is not lying, but bending over backwards to show how you're maybe wrong, [an integrity] that you ought to have when acting as a scientist. And this is our responsibility as scientists, certainly to other scientists, and I think to laymen." - Richard Feynman. Caltech 1974 commencement address.
The lawyerly squeals, oinks and snorts going on at the trough of lucre while assisting in rigging the system for their clients makes them highly visible targets. As can be seen in targets link, someone is investing time, energy and money keeping these lists, which along with the thousands of links to articles discussing what is going on, prove a significant number of people are wise to the scheme and upset with the behavior. Information is a weapon as the recent events disclosing Facebook's data gathering operations shows.
When you look at the craft and deviousness in the establishment and operation of tax havens, (and here, page 48, line 2) or in the examples of protecting scofflaws like Bill Cosby who admitted to drugging women to abuse them sexually (58 women have come forward and Jeffrey Epstein to minimize prosecution for the abuse of unsuspecting female children, claiming it is the law and so on, it is clear that the legal profession can be a partner in unjust behavior.
Jeffrey Epstein groomed and exploited underage girls who he sexually assaulted among a litany of other indignities he inflicted on them. He left the sex toys he used on these young girls for his butler to clean up and their testimony indicates he passed these children around to his friends. Lawyers defending Epstein planned on attacking his underage victims, in some cases suggesting they had mental health or character issues, in order to obtain settlements favorable to their despicable client Epstein.
Rather than buying the story that it is the rule of law, how about going in and having a good look at your 12 year old impressionable daughter and think of a pig like Cosby or Epstein lying on top of her naked body and sexually abusing her. With that image in your mind now think of the lawyer blaming your daughter for what Bill Cosby or Jeffrey Epstein are doing to her. I don’t know about you, but I see them both lying on top of your naked 12 year old daughter, one with his penis out and the other with his/her wallet out. Legal fees as a pedophile sex toy - nice.
I suppose another test of the righteousness of the legal practice in these cases would be to ask them to send their daughters to someone like Harvey Weinstein to lie to her and abuse her so she can get a job in the movie business, or maybe they could look up Jeffrey Epstein and send their 12 year old daughters to him to see if he can school them in becoming women, or why not send their sons to Kevin Spacey to see what he can do for them?
It also should be noted that the tax havens around the world were not created by plumbers, cooks, or day care workers. They were created by lawyers and so when one is looking for someone to throw rocks at all that is needed is to get over the fairytale that these things magically created themselves somehow. If the legal profession is willing to craft laws that make it possible for individuals and corporations to lie, cheat, steal, and abuse innocent people and collect fees defending those laws, they are as guilty as their clients that paid them to do so.PREFABRICATING LAWS WITH FLAWS THAT
While not all laws fit into this category, in many cases laws are tactically designed to facilitate manipulation by those with deep pockets and the resources to exploit their deliberate weaknesses. The result of this activity is a barrier to entry for those lacking the resources to challenge such laws, tilting the outcome in favor of those with the resources to pay for legal practitioners to put their fingers on the scales. Bad laws and subsequent rulings relying on their precedents build up like atherosclerosis in the body of the nation, eventually resulting in a national malaise difficult to recover from.
"works to advance the fundamental principles of free-market enterprise, limited government, and federalism at the state level through a nonpartisan public-private partnership of America's state legislators, members of the private sector and the general public. ALEC provides a forum for state legislators and private sector members to collaborate on model bills—draft legislation that members may customize and introduce for debate in their own state legislatures.”
The only thing missing from ALEC’s description is the vision of the legal sharks circling the body of these laws both in the stage of their creation and their passage, all of which will produce victims or “prey” for years to come. The production of laws for mass manipulation and control of the public are like tsunamis designed to drown the masses, with only their sponsors having lifeboats and the lawyers and corporate beneficiaries all sharks swimming in the debris feeding on the victims of those swept away in the deluge.
Unlike a tsunami however with ALEC’s model bills the waters never recede and the cost of repealing them is so daunting, their abuse may continue forever with severe ramifications on society. Once a law is on the books, it accumulates legal decisions that set precedents that are like arteriosclerosis, controlling the flow of blood to the body politic, supposedly to create consistency, but in fact resulting in the slow death of the host.
Deliberately crafting and interpreting laws in a way that permits corrupt and unethical practices to occur, allowing wrongdoers to claim their actions are “legal” under these laws is a deliberate and willful fraud. Doing so undermines public trust in its institutions and their belief in the society they live in.
“The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.” - Tacitus - The Annals of Imperial Rome
CORRUPTION’S TOLLBOOTHAs touched on, laws can be deliberately crafted so as to avoid being just, fair or to allow a practice that is morally impermissible to become legal, allowing a particular group to exploit a nation and its people for their own gain. The idea that something is “legal” is sold as having some moral authority the public is supposed to accept. However what if the law is a deliberate and calculated fraud? What is its authority, moral or otherwise? The Vietnam war was simply an illegal and criminal act and everyone who went participated in an act of mass murder. The majority were duped and now to preserve their mental health they have to engage in massive self deception. Maybe its time to call a spade a spade.
"The legal profession is increasingly a cartel in which lawyers as legislators and regulators spew out endless reams of new statutes and rules requiring an ever larger number of lawyers to argue, judge and arbitrate them. Legal costs to society are more egregious and less excusable than medical costs, and produce far less desirable results. The criminal justice system is an unspeakable cesspool. Here government can do something." – Conrad Black, National Post, November 11, 2016
an example, under the law it is entirely possible to move a
assets and profits from trade in one country to an offshore tax haven
little or no tax. Laws
can be purposely
crafted to make this activity legal, or even more perversely, be
so designed as to permit back doors that make off shoring a gray but
still legal activity
and allow its participants to
claim it is within the law.
and accountants have a particular language that they use in describing
questionable schemes which they impart to their clients to legally
discussions of tax avoidance so that they never have to admit
strategies that are criminal in nature. Tax
avoidance is framed as tax planning, operating efficiency, best
use of funds, and development of global market planning and so on.
particularly neat trick is to place money in a tax haven in a
whose shares are owned
by a professional nominee. In
this circumstance the
in law is the owner of the shares and the scofflaws hiding money in the
nominee’s corporation can legally testify under oath in court in their
countries that they do not own any assets in the tax haven. The tax haven itself assures
people who take
advantage of these schemes that in their history it has never happened
nominee absconds with their clients’ funds. Of
course if you are a member of a cartel you simply have to know enough
about the nominee and every member of his family and have associates
enough to eliminate any trace of the nominee and his or her DNA off the
the earth to have some additional insurance.
very idea that a domestically incorporated corporation has
rights, as if the rest of the world is simply the jurisdiction of the
of incorporation, begins to cloud the entire issue of using tax havens
avoidance strategies seem legitimate, when they are not.
fact making a law “gray” means it is slightly more costly to defend,
like treating wounds that joyously never heal and give the gift of the
need for perpetual
treatment generating fees, drugs and the interaction of a specialist. In these circumstances you
will always need
the lawyers and their services. What
they have friends in enforcement who at calculated intervals leak, and
clients up like frightened monkeys? Oh
geez, more fees. No matter how these tax avoidance schemes are drafted
severely damage the country that loses the profits and use of assets to
is pure fantasy to suggest the clients are completely to blame for this
poor lawyers are innocent victims when in fact the lawyers who
arranging these type of deals are the real culprits since they offer
to create them. The
public must hold
those responsible for their crafting, passage into law and their
avoidance for the damage done to the nation affected.
"Corporate ethics and compliance may be similar, but their cores are different. From the perspective of corporate social responsibility, we cannot say that there is no need to question a company's actions just because they are not a crime under the law." - Yanosuke Hirai
business is not dangerous
because it is big, but because its bigness is an unwholesome inflation
by privileges and exemptions which it ought not to enjoy.” -
Wilson, 1912 et. al.
A source I trust unreservedly provided his/her first-hand knowledge of dealings in our legal system that confirm Singapore’s belief it must be monitored and under completely independent scrutiny, like any other public institution subject to corruption. These behaviors include:
Or on the other hand perhaps not, he may not have been
expected to be around long enough to complicate things.
OVERSIGHT, AND TOO SELF-RIGHTEOUS TO INVESTIGATE?
Some years ago, John Hanam, founding Director of Singapore’s Central Narcotics Bureau and his wife Lillian were guests in our home for dinner. John Haman was one of the architects of Singapore’s drug laws, which are regarded as being singularly tough globally. John Hanam’s sister and members of their intelligent and interesting family have been friends for many years.
The stories about Singapore's tough laws are well known, and I was curious in knowing how Singapore’s tough laws were developed. In the course of the evening I asked John Hanam about the creation of these laws. John Hanam explained that he was a numbers guy by profession and said Lee Kuan Yew (“LKY”) the founding Prime Minister of Singapore dispatched him around the world to survey the legal systems of numerous countries and come up with a report on which laws would impact corruption and the trade in illicit drugs in Singapore.
John Hanam said his report included a number of extremely onerous laws in the report he delivered to LKY in spite of which he was told to implement the laws as he described them in his report. He confessed that he was shocked at that directive given the harshness of some of the positions he outlined, expecting at least some debate and discussion, but said there was none. LKY pushed through a comprehensive anti-drug and anti-corruption framework covering the country’s laws, their enforcement, the public service and public outreach.
John Haman said one step in dealing with corruption and the illicit drug trade is to confront the problem of the business being conducted in cash and other forms of payment obscured as to their origin. In order to follow the trail of illicit funds Singapore’s Prevention of Corruption Act places:
step John Hanam said Singapore took to stamp out corruption was to
oversight of the systems that administer Singapore’s laws
and defend law breakers, which includes
lawyers, judges, prosecutors and the
enforcement divisions. John Haman said this group professes honesty,
the refuge of that inference they presume to be exempt from the
oversight necessary to prevent their inflicting considerable ill on a
which includes facilitating corruption at the highest
levels of the
system, government and corporations. "
"the burden of proof on an accused to show that they acquired their wealth legally and any unexplained wealth disproportionate to known sources of income is presumed to be from graft and can be confiscated. The Prevention of Corruption Act provides for extra-territorial jurisdiction, so that the actions of Singaporean citizens and corporations overseas are treated the same as actions committed in Singapore, regardless of whether such corrupt acts have consequences for Singapore.”
To facilitate transparency and public trust, no agency responsible for the disposition of justice should be allowed to self-regulate without oversight. And that oversight to be legitimate must have representation of a mix of citizens rich or poor and selected randomly. There are those that would argue that only those trained in the profession should be allowed to provide oversight, since they are trained in the nuances of the profession they are regulating. Singapore begs to differ and so should you. All oversight should be external to the body being regulated.
"People do what you inspect, not what you expect" - Louis V. Gerstner Jr. Chairman of the Board. IBM
Public trust in public institutions is lowest in democracies. And although capitalism and democracies coexist, the public perception of their institutions is highest in Scandinavian countries which many regard as being more socialistic. Denmark, ranked as one of the least corrupt countries in the world, has similar anti-corruption laws to those in Singapore and which are also strictly enforced. Denmark is also regarded as having one of the most honest legal systems, and yet a lack of observable corruption is not an indication that there is no corruption.
constant stream of disclosures about the secret use of tax havens makes
abundantly clear. Secrecy hides corrupt
and unethical practices and enables them to flourish.And
in every case there will be lawyers and law firms engineering their
operation and feigning innocence, shifting blame to their clients for
to disclose to them the true nature of their business.
Another point John Hanam emphasized was that a critical component of Singapore’s anti-corruption effort was enjoining its citizens in fighting corruption, reporting it when they suspect it and strongly condemning those involved. A quote by LKY reflects that reality:
opinion sets bounds to every government, and
is the real sovereign in every free one.”
Madison, Public Opinion, December 19, 1791
“We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself.” - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
A PRIVILEGED CONFESSIONAL
Lawyers can be like lamps to moths full of treachery and deceit, along with all those wronged by the moths. The files and communications of this group are a treasure trove of secret and damning information. In a world in which average citizens, innocent people with no criminal past whatsoever are routinely surveilled for pernicious purposes, expecting the communications of drug dealers, murderers, frauds, terrorists and tax scofflaws among a host of other people deserving of scrutiny, including those that counsel them, to avoid oversight is ludicrous. Singapore placed the oversight of this group in a completely independent agency precisely so that they could be observed in secrecy.
It is certain intelligence agencies have records of all of these communications, ostensibly justifying their snooping with the claim illicit funds finance terrorist activities, crimes against the state and so on. If the spy agencies and their contractors are willing to spy on friends and allies, it would take real hubris to believe they are not spying on law firms and their clients.
When you look at the leaks attributed to employees that ensnared firms providing services in offshore entities, and if you have any sense at all of how intelligence services operate, you cannot exclude their role in making these leaks happen. They are one heck of a way to shake down scofflaws to ensure compliance.
The Mueller investigation of Russian interference in the election of Trump is a good example of this. To date the investigation has not shown any proof that Trump was elected by Russian interference. What it is doing however is threatening every politician by showing unlimited resources can be thrown at them and their associates' activities, even using laws so obscure counsel had to wear dust masks to open the books to find anything completely unrelated to the original purpose. It also shows the spy agencies with their unlimited technology have access to all of their files, which is proven by the fact that virtually any decent hackers can get at their communications, and that with this information a compliant press can be manipulated into destroying the target. I would say J. Edgar Hoover's skulduggery is now a mainstream information weapon in the intelligence community's disruption arsenal.
What it also does is dump all of those investigated into a pit of fee vipers, the legal community, who are only too happy for the conflict. Given the legal system's hooks into the fabric of the nation and their influence over politics it is unlikely the nation will see them willing to change their behavior any time soon.
And finally what it does is create a massive trove of information that the whistle blowers of the world can see and eventually, one way or another potentially disclose. Moreover, one would have to be really delusional to believe that anyone learning what is going on will not do something about it in the future when they know how to.
SLOPPINESS IN THE CONFESSIONAL
One example I forgot to mention included a law firm a source was dealing with. The source was supposed to drop off some signed papers early in the morning. When the source arrived at the law firm its front doors were open. No one was in the offices. The source checked in a number of offices and the staff room looking for someone in the building and came across the file room. It had thousands of client files. The source decided to teach the firm a lesson for poor security and reorganized a fair number of files, changing folder locations and the files in the folders including numerous files slated for filing. There is no way the firm's staff could overlook the cockup and yet they never once mentioned they had been subject to a breach. So not only is deliberate and undetectable spying a threat, sloppiness is another.
DISGUST IN THE CONFESSIONAL
In addition, while lawyers' licentiousness may be aroused by the lure of fees, low wage employees that work at the firm may shockingly express dismay at some the activities engaged in, with predictable consequences in the future.
WHAT TO DOThe colonists freed themselves from the imperial rule of Britain, to have a new and better life based on grand ideas. Those ideas were not perfect, but of all the nations on earth at the time, the colonist struggle for independence and freedom from oppression inspired what developed into one of the most advanced and powerful nations in history.
opinion sets bounds to every government, and
is the real sovereign in every free one.”
Madison, Public Opinion, December 19, 1791