Thursday, April 05, 2012

What Left-Wing Law Professors Really Think About You, and the Role of Lawyers

Hans Bader

You’re just a lab rat to be socially re-engineered by activist judges and lawyers — who think they know how to run your life better than you do — or a chump to be fleeced for lawyers’ enrichment. That’s the message some law professors apparently instill in students at Howard University: “At Howard, they tell us as soon as we get there, ‘If you’re going to be a lawyer, you’re either a social engineer or a parasite on society,’” a student at Howard declared. “That’s how I think about life, is to be a social engineer.” (Although Howard University is nominally “private” and thus not accountable to taxpayers, it is directly “funded by the U.S. Government, which gives approximately $235 million annually” to it in special appropriations.)

Promoting social engineering by lawyers (through “institutional-reform” lawsuits brought by left-wing lawyers and law-school clinics) is a bad idea. Left-wing law professors are a bossy lot: some want to ban conservative or politically-incorrect speech as “hostile-environment harassment,” control what you eat and drink, control your sex life (they view heterosexual sex as patriarchal and thus “consensual rape”), raise your taxes through state-court decrees ordering increased funding of government programs, and take away your property (and your children, if you home-school them). They also often lack common sense, or a grasp of certain basic realities of life. One of my professors at Harvard Law School was notorious among his colleagues for behaving as if on drugs. Another of my professors, the radical Duncan Kennedy, who was so prominent and respected among law professors that he was called the “Pope” of the “Critical Legal Studies” movement, advocated rotating the law professors and the janitors into each others’ jobs. (The janitors liked the idea of being paid like law professors, but had no interest in teaching law, and thought Kennedy’s idea was flaky. Kennedy himself was married to a wealthy heiress, and did not need a law professor’s handsome salary to live on. America would be better off being run by Harvard Law School’s modest, hard-working janitors than by its mostly left-wing law professors.)

As I noted earlier, much of what law schools teach their students is useless drivel, and law schools routinely exaggerate their students’ job prospects. Thus, there is no reason to require people to attend law school before sitting for the bar exam. As law professor Paul Campos notes, legal education is often a rip-off, since the typical law professor has virtually no real-world experience practicing law, and “knows nothing about being a lawyer.” But since most states require people to attend law school before sitting for the bar exam, law schools have been able to increase tuition by nearly 1,000 percent in real terms.

A New York Times article last year described how law-school educations for newly-hired corporate lawyers were so worthless that they didn’t know the basics, such as what a merger is, and how to draft the simplest legal forms needed for a merger, even though they’d spent up to $150,000 for a legal “education” at law school.

As I noted earlier in the Times,
I learned about trendy ideological fads and feminist and Marxist legal theory while at Harvard Law School. But I did not learn many basic legal principles, such as in contract law and real estate law, until I took a commercial bar-exam preparation course after law school. Getting rid of the requirement that students attend law school before taking the bar exam would save many students a fortune in student loan debt. It would also force law schools to improve their courses to attract students who now have no choice but to attend.

Law schools routinely sacrifice common sense to left-wing ideology: a classic example is Tulane’s decision to give a convicted murderer a scholarship to attend its law school, even though he most likely could never be admitted to the Bar given his criminal record.

Many state-funded law-school clinics effectively sue state taxpayers, both by suing businesses in their home state (thus killing jobs), and by suing their state governments to demand increases in government spending on various programs — something discussed at length in Walter Olson’s recent book Schools for Misrule.

Earlier generations of lawyers were more leery about the cost to society of lawsuits. They also had a more favorable view of lawyers’ role in defending property rights, and in helping people reach mutually-agreeable settlements. They rejected the idea that lawyers should be parasites who profit from legal strife. Abraham Lincoln was a prominent lawyer for the Illinois Central Railroad. He did not view lawsuits as the way to fix the world, much less as a form of social engineering. As he once advised,
Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser — in fees, expenses, and waste of time. As a peacemaker the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough.

Never stir up litigation. A worse man can scarcely be found than one who does this. . .A moral tone ought to be infused into the profession which should drive such men out of it.



Did Barack Obama Campaign Threaten Life of Chelsea Clinton to Keep Parents Silent on Obama’s Ineligibility?

I am not sure what to make of the story below. I think it needs corroboration. On the other hand, I wouldn't put anything past Obama and his minions. Leftists constantly tell us that "There's no such thing as right and wrong" so it should not surprise us if they act in accordance with that belief -- JR

Most people in the US, especially Democrats, believe that the Obama Birther Movement was started by Republicans and or the Tea Party. They believe it is a smear campaign aimed to tarnish the image of their hero of change. But they may be shocked to learn that the Birther Movement was actually started by former President Bill Clinton and Hillary back in 2008.

Bettina Viviano was a vice president with Amblin Enterntainment, Steven Spielberg’s company, before launching her own film production company in 1990. In 2008, Viviano was asked to produce a documentary about voter fraud within the Democratic Party. At the time, she says she was not a Democrat or a Republican and in fact had never voted in an election. She went into the project with the sole purpose of producing the best and most accurate documentary possible.

During the documentary process, Viviano says that she quickly became aware of just how dangerous and insidious the Obama campaign was. A number of the Democrats she interviewed refused to appear on camera and told her that their lives and property had been threatened by people working with the Obama campaign.

She also heard former President Bill Clinton say that Obama was not eligible to be president because of his lack of birth records. In fact, she said it was common knowledge around many top Democrats. Bill Clinton has often said that he would go public with the information when the time was right.

Before that could happen, his close friend and head of the Arkansas Democratic Party, Bill Gwatney was murdered in his office and then someone told Bill that he was next if he said anything about Obama’s eligibility. In the video below, she said that Clinton was not intimidated until someone associated with the Obama campaign told him that his daughter Chelsea would be next if he opened his mouth. From that point on, the Clinton’s remained silent about Obama’s birth certificate or lack thereof.

This is a powerful video from a lady that has nothing to gain and probably everything to lose by coming forward with her information. It could well ruin her career in Hollywood as so many of the film industry are flaming liberals. It could also cost her her life.

I took note of how she described the Obama campaign’s reign of terror and intimidation and how well coordinated it was. I thought to myself that if they were bold enough to threaten the life of the Clinton’s daughter then have they made similar threats to all of the leading Republicans in both the House and Senate? Is this why Congress has remained so silent ever since Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s March 1st news conference where he provided the American people with the evidence that Obama’s birth certificate and Selective Service Cards are forgeries?

When you see how blatantly Obama has defied the US Constitution and federal law without any apology or excuses, it’s not hard to believe that he, like every other dictator in history, obtained his position by intimidation, threats and outright violence. Knowing he is capable of this has to make every single American extremely fearful if Obama gets re-elected.

And if the voter fraud will be as prevalent in November as it was in 2008, it seems a sure thing that he will be re-elected. Obama has had the DOJ strike down every voter ID law and any other measure taken, to reduce the chance of voter fraud. They have set the stage for an old fashioned Chicago style election with padded and illegal votes. Wait a minute, he is a Chicago politician, so guess he’s just following local history at a national level.



Americans Want More Control Over Their Own Health Care

ObamaCare's popular provisions lose their appeal once Americans are confronted with the consequences

With the three-day ObamaCare circus at the Supreme Court behind us, let’s fast-forward to June. Suppose that five justices find their constitutional bearings and do what a majority of Americans want them to do: Scrap the individual mandate, the key provision without which the law will collapse. What then?

Will that mean that our current system can just lumber along as is? No. America’s health care system is wasteful, inefficient and way too expensive: The U.S. retail price for an MRI, excluding professional fees, exceeds $4,000—about 20 times more than in Japan and France. This makes it extremely hard for Americans without coverage to spring for their own care, creating a system of medical haves and have-nots. It is not surprising, therefore, that a Kaiser Family Foundation tracking poll earlier this month found that six out of 10 Americans want lawmakers to keep searching for workable reforms even if the Supreme Court eventually kills the president’s reform law.

But any reform has to be based on the correct diagnosis of the problem. The administration's main argument for ObamaCare's mandate—that unless every freeloader is forced to buy coverage, we won’t be able to control spiraling health care costs—is a total red herring. The cost of uncompensated emergency care in America adds up to only about $40.7 billion annually, less than 3 percent of the country’s total health care spending. Arguably, even if hospitals were not legally required to treat uninsured patients, they would provide that amount of care pro bono—just as they do in India, a far poorer country. Many private, for-profit hospitals I queried during a previous visit reported treating up to 10 percent of their patients for free. American law firms, by comparison, aim to offer 3 to 5 percent of their billable hours in pro bono services.

But the question remains: What kind of reforms do Americans want? The Obama administration completely misread the public mood when it based its decision to craft a 2,700-page, Rube Goldberg-style makeover of literally one-sixth of our economy on polls suggesting that Americans would be willing to pay higher taxes for universal coverage. Worse, a joint Reason-Rupe poll released last week found that the misnamed Affordable Care Act—a.k.a. ObamaCare—imposed trade-offs that Americans were simply unwilling to accept. The act’s supporters insist that even though a majority of Americans view the overall law unfavorably, many of its specific provisions are quite popular. But the problem is that most polls pose questions in a vacuum, without actually confronting Americans with the consequences of their choices. The Reason-Rupe poll was among the few to do so systematically, and it found that although Americans do want equity and coverage for all, they want control, choice and quality for themselves even more.

Like other polls, it found that Americans don’t want the government forcing them to buy coverage, although they were more amenable to employers being forced to provide coverage to employees, even if that means job losses and pay cuts. Indeed, 56 percent of respondents said they were fine with an employer mandate, compared to the 39 percent who said they were not.

Americans like the idea of giving everyone the same access to health care, regardless of medical status—except if it means sacrificing affordability or quality. Fifty-two percent approved of the community rating provision in the law, which would ban insurance companies from charging higher premiums based on medical history, compared to 39 percent who opposed it. But this support drops precipitously if the provision’s side effects include longer wait times for doctors (41 percent) or higher premiums (38 percent) or higher taxes (37 percent) or lower-quality care (15 percent).

But what was truly revealing was how eager Americans are to control their own health care dollars. Forty-eight percent said they’d prefer it if their employers gave them the money to purchase their own coverage, compared to 41 percent who would not. Even more remarkably, 65 percent of Americans want Medicare payouts in the form of a credit for use toward a private health plan, compared to 24 percent who don’t. This is good news for Rep. Paul Ryan’s “premium support” proposal for Medicare reform.

All of this makes perfect sense in light of another finding. When asked to rate how much they trust various entities in “addressing their health care needs,” 61 percent said they have a “great deal of trust” in themselves—but only 15 percent said that of their employers, and 5 percent of the government.

What’s more, Americans want to make their own coverage decisions. Almost 70 percent said they want the same ability to shop around for “a less expensive or better [health] insurance policy” as they have for their auto insurance.

So what are the implications of all this for health care reform? Americans are not dogmatically opposed to government intervention in health care markets. But their intuitions are more in line with advocates of consumer-based medicine who believe that the best way to control spiraling costs—the key to improving access—is to give patients more control over their medical dollars and inject a modicum of price sensitivity into our health care system.

If the Supreme Court relegates ObamaCare to the dustbin of history, Congress ought to bear that in mind when it crafts a revised bill. The last thing the country needs is another failed reform effort.




"Married" homosexuals sue for immigration rights: "Immigration advocates have filed a lawsuit on behalf of several married gay couples, alleging a federal law violates their constitutional rights by preventing them from sponsoring their spouses for green cards. The complaint, which challenges the federal Defense of Marriage Act, was filed in federal court in Brooklyn by Immigration Equality, an advocacy group."

WA: Court says employer can’t fire mentally ill worker: "In his time at Cottonwood Financial, Sean Reilly had overcome much. He had risen the company ranks from assistant to head store manager, and even won performance awards in spite of his bipolar disorder. Yet he claims that when he requested leave in 2007 to give him time to adjust to a new medication, he was fired. Reilly filed suit, alleging employment discrimination under federal disability law, and on Thursday, the District Court for Eastern Washington ordered the financial services company to pay Reilly a total of $56,500 in damages."

Why Does Department Of Homeland Security Need 450 MILLION Hollow Point Bullets?: "Somebody out there has decided that the Department of Homeland Security needs a whole lot of ammunition. Recently it was announced that ATK was awarded a contract to provide up to 450 MILLION hollow point bullets to the Department of Homeland Security over the next five years. Is it just me, or does that sound incredibly excessive? What in the world is the DHS going to do with 450 million rounds? What possible event would ever require that much ammunition? If the United States were ever invaded, it would be the job of the U.S. military to defend the country, so that can't be it. So what are all of those bullets for? Who does the Department of Homeland Security plan to be shooting at?"



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