URBAN RENEWAL — NEW JERSEY STYLE
A Surprising Tale of Success
Moving to New Jersey in the 1980’s from the West Coast, I was nervous about what I would find, never having been there before. Sure, while in the Army at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, I traveled the New Jersey Turnpike for New York City weekends, but that tollway gives no flavor of the real New Jersey.
On my first day, I landed at Red Bank in Central Jersey. The Shore is nearby and soon I found paradise. There is no place like the Jersey Shore. It is beautiful, it is varied, it is exciting, it is fun. The Italian sausage sandwiches delicious. The people real.
I took the job offer at Holmdel, New Jersey. The Shore boardwalks were my constant visits. I explored from Rumson, where rich people live, to Bay Head, where rich people live. Many locals are commuters to New York City, about an hour north.
My pocketbook could barely afford the cheapest place on the water at the Shore and my hopes were dashed when a classic historic bay front home was sold from underneath me by someone who offered MORE than the purchase price. The ill-fated transaction was for a home located in Long Branch, New Jersey.
While the shoreline between Rumson and Bay Head is mostly upscale, Long Branch was a town in decline and almost ruins. Unfortunately, Bruce Springsteen’s Asbury Park nearby was also in sharp decline.
Over the next months, my visits to Long Branch were both for pleasure and for continued house hunting. Later, although I bought elsewhere (on the water), I still continued to visit because I was noticing changes to Long Branch.
First, hippy types were opening candle shops behind the boardwalk because the rent was cheap. They would spruce up the window displays in cheap rental surroundings and do the best they could. Before long I noticed other shops with artwork, jewelry and whole foods. Soon, an upscale shop or two.
Second, the boardwalk amusement rides started to be refurbished and new ones added. Casual conversations with bartenders at the ubiquitous bars nearby, disclosed something beyond my ken. Improvements were supported by local mafia money. I saw evidence of this sort of thing closer to where I lived in Mantoloking at the local strip bar that kept growing. The strip club was owned by someone who lived in a house surrounded by higher than eight-foot fences. And no windows facing the street, which was pointed out to me by a local.
Then real change of another sort was evident. Housing immediately behind the board walk and including the area of the candle shops was being gentrified. My sources advised the money was coming from “Syrian Jews”. Whether any of this is true is beyond my ken. But, I was a frequent flyer at the local bars, because the area fascinated me, because I almost wound up living in Long Branch and also because the area was fun.
After five years Long Branch sparkled. My guess is the permit process was greased, the rebuilding money sharked and the codes not closely followed. But, I could be wrong, because that is beyond my ken. Urban Renewal Jersey Style. With little bureaucracy. No taxpayer money. No planning studies. It all worked.
THE FOLLY OF SEEKING IMMORTALITY INSTEAD OF HELPING THE POOR
There are Those who are Searching for Immortality instead of Truth and Justice
Upon returning to Portland, Oregon after ten years working in New York City and the East Coast, Mark O. Hatfield’s name was everywhere. His wife had accepted funds from a Greek arms dealer who wanted Hatfield to approve funding for a $6 billion trans-African pipeline.
Portland lawyer Ed Harnden seeks immortality of another sort. He wants the record for being photographed the most in bar publications, notably in the annual report of the Campaign for Equal Justice. CEJ is a front for funding the Oregon Law Foundation. A lawyer slush fund.
Salem lawyer Mark Comstock holds the sycophant record for his willingness to do former Oregon Supreme Court Chief Justice, Paul De Muniz’ dirty work.
And then there are the lawyer awards. There are many; for doing little. Be particularly suspicious of pro bono awards.
In 1997, Oregon’s federal courthouse was dedicated to Mark O. Hatfield and I had the pleasure of meeting him on the elevator in that building while going on a tour to visit the low-tech million dollar courtrooms.
The futility of all this may be seen in Ephesus, Turkey.
Though a secular country, Turkey has Muslim roots. Wandering through these Greek/Roman ruins, one finds finely carved marble detritus littered everywhere, caused by the ruinous Goth’s raids on the city. Among the ruins is the Artemis temple. Turkey could care less about the intrinsic value of this rich cultural location probably because of the religious alienation from anything remotely Christian. Thus, these spectacular ruins are just that. There was probably a Mark O. Hatfield or Ed Harnden equivalent street signs underneath some of these carved marble ruins; hoping for immortality. But, their names are just mingling with the weeds. Having done little for mankind.
In 1991, it was revealed that Hatfield had failed to report receipt of expensive gifts and was rebuked by the Senate Ethics Committee. Like Artemis, Hatfield has a temple named after him, the downtown Portland federal courthouse. It was completed in 1997 at a cost of $129 million, making it the fifth most-expensive courthouse of its size constructed in the 1990s. Where little is being done for mankind; especially if you are poor.
NAFTA (North America Free Trade Act) was signed into law during President Clinton's presidency. The rub for the indiginous people of south eastern Mexico was that it put all the controls in the hands of the imperialists. United States could supply subsidized food cheaply, but not buy indiginous goods. This lead to a separatist movement by the indiginous people of Mexico which continues to this day. As part of that movement came equality of rights for indiginous women:
Women's Revolutionary Law
From the First Declaration from the Lacandon Jungle, the Zapatistas presented to the people of Mexico, the government, and the world their Revolutionary Laws on January 1, 1994. One of the laws was the Women's Revolutionary Law, which states:
- Women, regardless of their race, creed, color or political affiliation, have the right to participate in the revolutionary struggle in any way that their desire and capacity determine.
- Women have the right to work and receive a fair salary.
- Women have the right to decide the number of children they have and care for.
- Women have the right to participate in the matters of the community and hold office if they are free and democratically elected.
- Women and their children have the right to Primary Attention in their health and nutrition.
- Women have the right to an education.
- Women have the right to choose their partner and are not obliged to enter into marriage.
- Women have the right to be free of violence from both relatives and strangers. (Wiki)
Glenn Greenwald Explains The Danger of unconstrained NSA Meta-data Collection to the European Community or…
HABEAS CORPUS, PRIVACY AND FREE SPEECH LOST
In law school it all made sense. The Miranda decision was relatively new. Constitutional law is mostly common sense. All was right with the world.
Then a naive lawyer, (me) volunteered to do Juvenile law; defending minors against state and police excess. Now, I know that local judges have few scruples and few safeguards against their wrong-headed decisions.
Mean-old, outa’ control Judge Michael McElligott (deceased) had just jailed (in ADULT-jail) my 14 year-old male client. Judge McElligott’s reasons for doing things were seldom clear and often against the law.
Processing options, I immediately filed a Motion for Habeas Corpus. The 14 year-old was immediately released. The system worked notwithstanding the caprice of Judge McElligott.
Guantanamo’s victims are not getting their right to habeas corpus even though the law is clear. Our leaders have simply done the wrong thing in establishing a prison outside the reach of our Constitution.
Now they are doing the same wrong thing to Private Manning and Mr. Snowden. Mr. Manning was put in solitary confinement BEFORE being convicted of anything. Snowden has been self-exiled because he knows he likely will be subject to the same cruel and unusual punishment without being found as having done anything wrong.
Habeas Corpus, Privacy and Free Speech now hang in the balance.
Manning, Snowden and now Glenn Greenwald have sounded the alarm. Glenn Greenwald explains why and how collection of meta-data is even a greater violation of our rights of privacy and freedom of speech. His presentation dated December 18, 2013 to the European Parliament is a seminar on the harm of the NSA’s collection of meta-data without constraint.
It is now forty years since I finished with law school. I would have bet all the money I have made since against the possibility we would ever have gotten to this sorry state. It is not enough to do facebook postings about holiday cookies. It is time to pay attention to the loss of privacy and our right to free speech and Habeas Corpus. claurenpaulson2013 email@example.com bulletinsfromaloha.org.
WHY ARE WE PAYING JUDGES?
Lift Up and Open Your Eyes
It is a generational change. Judges now could give a rip if their decisions get reversed on appeal. A generation ago they were mortified if one of their decisions got reversed on appeal.
Here is the sequelae. If a judge doesn’t get it right at the trial court level, then more lawyers will recommend an appeal. If more cases are appealed, then we need more appellate judges. Oregon has been making overtures to the Oregon legislature for higher pay and more appellate judges for years. But there is a sobering fact. Oregon has the worst appellate courts in the nation.
In federal court it is the same. I have a current foreclosure case that has engaged 28 Ninth Circuit federal court judge's eyes. I have looked at many others. The federal judiciary is equally cheerful about their cases being appealed. Why? Because the Ninth Circuit gets reversed 80% of the time. This could mean that Oregon’s District Court is right and it takes the U.S. Supreme Court to give Western State's litigants a just verdict.
The problem: The U.S. Supreme Court takes less than 100 cases out of the 8,000 that are appealed to them each year.
This means, as a practical matter the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is a Court of Last Resort. And they only get it right 20% of the time.
If your eyes are lifted, here is what you get in the West. Very poor judging. Yet leadership is doing nothing about it except asking legislatures for more. More courthouses, more judges and more money. For less. For sloth and ineptitude. claurenpaulson2013 firstname.lastname@example.org bulletinsfromaloha.org