Tuesday, August 02, 2005

30. What is the best thing happening to fight judicial and legal corruption in America?

It is difficult, but there is a small ray of hope, once you sort through all the ideas floating around on the internet.

Although on the one hand it can be comforting to connect with other people in the same situation, one of the painful aspects of connecting with other victims of American injustice on the internet, is seeing just how anguished and self-centered other people have become because of their traumas.

Their web sites and material are sometimes very hard, downright confusing to read. You may not realize that you will sound like that, too, at first, if you start to write about your own story.

You will come across various websites by other victims of injustice, some of them suggesting that they are starting new organizations to fight injustice and so on. But you will find that some of these sites are just extended material on one particular situation, by one particular victim or group of victims. You can see that the "organization" is just a little one, with no power, or money, or influence.

And it is puzzling that these sites often do not connect with each other, with what is obviously a whole community of victims. Here is one site and one new "organization", there is another site and another new "organization", and so on. It's very discouraging. Some of the sites even try to ask you for money for the service of helping you tell your story, or in exchange for telling your story on their website. It can be sad to look through these sites.

But as you keep plowing through the internet sites, you will find some material that is easier to read, and which has at least helpful little bits or ideas, or just good factual accounts that help put perspective on your own situation. You will connect to some of the people who are trying to wrestle in some way with the American problem of judicial and legal corruption in America.

Occasionally you will see items or proposals that seem to suggest hope, or a glimmer of hope for a mass movement in America. Certainly there are a number of little nearly-broke organizations that would like to suggest they are the beginnings of a "mass movement". Very frustratingly, these multiple little "organizations", sometimes with just one or two people, are often not connected even to each other.

Some people still have hopes in some miracle coming from the Republican or Democrat political parties, because of occasional remarks by a few people in Congress, who say they would like to do something about crooked and biased judges. We can all keep hoping and dreaming a little, but politicians usually back off, before starting anything like that.

Every now and then you will see a request come out, that either some Congress-person, or some reporter or producer in the media, would like to know about specific cases of legal corruption. That person then gets flooded with material, supplied by people around the country, and even from ex-Americans in other countries. And then, the big fizzle, as the politicians or media reporter realizes that for their own good, they better stay away from this hot potato.

The idea of a "mass movement" is very difficult, despite the many victims, because you need the media participation to have a mass movement, and the media is very hostile to exposing legal and judicial corruption, for the reasons described above in this FAQ.

People talk about the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s as an example. But that civil rights movement had lots of media coverage, supported by the big corporations. The big corporations themselves wanted to end official racism and segregation, for more efficient personnel policies. The big corporations wanted women's rights and abortion, so women could become more eager employees on the job, and less tied to unplanned children.

Nowadays, the American media ignores many things that have grass-roots support. They have ignored huge demonstrations in the streets, where the government has arrested thousands of people. Currently, the media have no interest in publicizing any movement of judicial or legal reform in America. The big corporations like the system like it is now, and they own the mass media.

Because even many victims of legal corruption are afraid to speak up, and because no one with power or clout or influence or money will speak for these victims, and because the American mass media is firmly hostile to exposing legal corruption, the many victims will continue to have no large public voice of America, even though the number of victims is in the millions.

That could change overnight if the corporations wanted to change it. By publicizing a few of the major clear-cut cases of legal and judicial corruption, the media could create an unstoppable revolution of public opinion in favor of reform of the judicial and legal system. People would start to call for the hanging of many judges from the lamp-posts of America.

But such a revolution would involve actually expanding American democracy, giving power back to the people, and ultimately risking that American workers would want more social benefits, like in Canada or Europe. This would come at a price of profits and power that are currently maintained by America's largest corporations and wealthy investors.

So most of these "legal and judicial reform organizations" on the internet, will remain unable to do anything. Some of them, as described above, the ones with funding and money, are actually not fighting corruption, they are just serving the two big political parties with various big-party political agendas, like trying to shift judicial nominations a little to one side or another. These fat and happy "organizations" are avoiding the real issues of America's crooked lawyers and judges.

The other internet organizations - the little ones that have no money, that are sometimes one or two people, or a small group of people - keep dreaming that one day they will have more money and will get more media coverage and then become the start of a "mass movement". But these are most likely just dreams. They will likely not find much money, and not get any media coverage; if they did start to achieve something, the lawyers and judges would file lawsuits and sue them and shut them down and take away whatever money they had, and maybe even send their leaders to prison.

For a mass movement to get started, such organizations will normally need to publicize particular cases, which is a chance for the lawyers and judges to destroy them with lawsuits and false criminal charges. Unless the government, the media and the big corporations are part of the process from the beginning, protecting the little organization, it will be destroyed before it gets very far. But those people are exactly whom the little organization needs to fight, because those are the forces supporting America's judicial and legal corruption in the first place.

There is one grass-roots organization on the internet, which is very cleverly designed, and which may offer the very best hope for the reform of judicial and legal corruption in America. On the internet you can find information about Jail 4 Judges (www.jail4judges.org), a grass roots movement to change the fundamental laws throughout America, and give people the right to supervise and punish wayward judges.

This is real and true potential for democratic revolution. The idea for Jail 4 Judges is immensely brilliant and appealing, in several ways that may make it successful.

First, the basic idea is simple and appealing, something to grab the imagination, and to which no citizen really objects - that judges can be held accountable by the people, instead of non-accountable like they are now, where the judges cover up for each other. The judges, lawyers and politicians hate this idea, precisely because it is so beautiful and instantly appealing to the public.

Secondly, Jail 4 Judges is bypassing the traditional problems that beset the usual attempts for legal and judicial reform "mass movements". Jail 4 Judges is trying to make use of America's small remaining apparatus of direct democracy - where people can circulate petitions, to get enough signatures for a referendum for new laws that can be voted upon at the ballot-box. So Jail 4 Judges is not trapped by the usual dead-end efforts of trying to influence the main political parties, trying to raise huge amounts of money, trying to get the mass media to cover the story, or trying to get lawyers to litigate or prosecute some important cases. It only depends on a few people getting enough signatures on the ballot, and then the voters making a common-sense decision.

Starting in a referendum attempt in South Dakota for the 2006 election, Jail 4 Judges is the spark that could truly ignite a real pro-democracy revolution in America, by destroying the arbitrary power of America's judges. Jail 4 Judges, if passed nationally, would go a long way toward remedying the most serious missing element in the framework of America's 1789 Constitution.

The odds are still against it, though Jail 4 Judges is the best hope for American reform in this area, and maybe even for saving American democracy itself. The current corporate powers of America are against it, of course. If the Jail 4 Judges proposal gets on the ballot, one can expect lots of money to be spent to defeat it. But the concept is so beautifully drawn, that attempts to attack the Jail 4 Judges idea could backfire, and wind up generating more support for it. There are so many victims of the legal system out there in America; they have just needed something around which to rally their support. Jail 4 Judges could be that magic item.

If there is a multi-millionaire who really wants to change the United States of America for the better, who really wants to give America a pro-democracy revolution that it badly needs, broad funding for Jail 4 Judges would be the way to do it. Something like Jail 4 Judges must succeed, if America is to turn back from the disastrous road onto which it is now tumbling. The horrors of America's judicial and legal corruption, need dramatic relief, if any shred of the old freedoms are to remain alive in America at all.

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