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  • Rat Tales 2013

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The Tales of Fair Rat as he sinks down the rabbit hole at the 2013 New York State Fair.
    ... continued



  • The Famous Mark David Blum Homevideo,
    'Barefootin at the New York State Fair'


  • Forget Me – Nots

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    If you could, would you?
    ... continued



  • A Murder in Oz

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    I am really serial about this.

    It seems that this year, like every one preceding, all of Upstate New York becomes enamored with the memory of the author of the Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum. The situation has morph'd so much that the City of Syracuse has undertaken to adopt the nickname of 'The Emerald City'. Celebrations and parades abound as the whole community comes together to remember; all for the glory of a murderess and a little green huckster.

    It has never made any sense to me why folks would want to celebrate and make heroic the conniving murdering cruel stars of the tale.
    ... continued



  • For the Love of Dissent

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Having listened to all the caterwauling and ballyhoo fluffed up after the Supreme Court’s decision in Windsor, the DOMA case, I finally had to join the mass orgy and get me some of that warm fuzzy spreading throughout the land. Work had prevented me from jumping into the arms of every major Decision issued in the past 2 weeks and I am now slowly catching up.

    Of course, having been a small but loud foot soldier in the Battle for Marriage Equality (I got my cred) forever, the Windsor case was first up on my list. Many have been the years I did battle with “the Movement” about whether the solution to equality was via the Supremes or on a State by State basis. I said Feds and “they” said the States. California’s Prop 8 pretty much resolved going down that road; after all, if the most liberal State in the nation cannot get it’s house in order, how will the rest of us?

    Yet this day I write not of DOMA or Gay rights but rather the beautiful eloquence and fist in the face dissent of Justice Antonin Scalia. There is much legalese with which I could clutter this essay. None of it, however, would explain what we already know. Part of Justice Scalia’s Dissent is to this sad writer’s eyes, a masterpiece of eloquence and control of language and idea.
    ... continued



  • On the Life of a Child

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Whom among us is at 30 as we were at 10? Dare I say that I was not the man at 45 that I was at 15. Childhood is a phase in life that we all transgress as we mature into the persons that we ultimately become. Lessons learned, mistakes made, and the gathering of life experience are part of what accumulates during our formative years. At present, our nation is struggling with how to deal with heinous crimes committed by children. How we resolve this issue will speak volumes about our own humanity and ability to recognize that decisions made as children should have a limited effect on the remainder of our lives. There has to be a period where we can safely make mistakes and learn from them as we mature into productive citizens.

    Fourteen-year-olds convicted of homicide can be sent to prison for life without parole, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled. “We ... confirm what objective evidence already informs us: Contemporary society views the punishment as proportionate to the offense,” Justice Annette Kingsland Ziegler wrote for the majority.

    What should we do with those who sin against society at such tender ages? Do we accept the argument that some folks at whatever age are so beyond redemption that their lives are no longer worthy of our time and energy? Must they be simply written off, tossed into the prison system and forgotten until dead?
    ... continued



  • Never Forget the Tyranny of Tianamen Square

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    I am stunned today to be reminded that twenty four years have passed since the Tianamen Square massacre. It has been twenty four years since students and a nation's youth were crushed by tanks. Today, we all talk about an Arab Spring and send in the clowns to do combat with those who will not yield power. Yet, I know now as I learned once before, that the world will mourn slightly and then go about doing business.

    Bearing witness to the brave souls who stood at the forefront of liberty and democracy and who were crushed by the weight of Chinese tanks those days in June still haunt me. It has been twenty four years since I saw a single man stare down a convoy of military hardware. That single event became a part of my history; an event I swore I would never forget. Now more than two decades later, my heart still re-experiences the anticipated birth of a new nation.
    ... continued



  • Miranda? Never Heard of Her

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    So why keep interrogating this person in violation of his Miranda warnings? Why “mirandize” him at all? Well since the only risk to law enforcement is the inadmissibility of the statements and they already have a strong case, they probably don’t need any information the accused will tell them. But the information revealed can have vast intelligence and other more clandestine applications outside securing a conviction. They don’t want the information for the court room battlefield; they want it for the global one.

    For that reason – intelligence gathering – investigators will blow off a person’s rights because their goals are not pleasuring the criminal justice system or paying any homage to the constitution and the law. We are dealing with zealots, warriors, and they are going to get their information by any means possible. It matters not whose rights are scrambled and whose life will be destroyed.
    ... continued



  • Dean

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    I have to tell you the story of ‘Dean’. You would love Dean and if you ever get the chance to meet Dean, do not pass it up. No waiter I have ever met rocks it like Dean.
    ... continued



  • Regrets. I've Had a Few

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    This morning, I was reading an essay about regrets that parents had in childrearing and things parents regretted and wished they could take back.

    While I have many regrets, some far too intimate to ever share, what follows is an essay I wrote to both clear my conscience and to perhaps raise a chuckle or two from my own idiocy.
    ... continued



  • March Madness: Stop the Insanity.

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    (An open letter to Sheldon 'Shelly' Saltman, retired President of Fox Sports in response to his column about the ending the One and Done and other NCAA college basketball issues. The link to his essay is within).
    ... continued



  • Catholic Soulja Boy

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    With the passing of Pope John Paul, in April 2005 and the then the elevation of Conservative papal enforcer John Ratzinger to Pope Benedict, I sadly watched as great possibilities never materialized. Where John Paul was a man who was leading people out of hopelessness, the tenure of Benedict has been ugly. Right now, as the next Conclave is organizing, the tales pouring out of the Vatican makes the Godfather III a documentary. It is a terrible thing we are witnessing as a church of this magnitude feeds upon itself. So much good can come of the papacy. There is so much money and power that the whole of humanity could uplifted with the right words and the right attitude. The opportunity is there now, in the hands of Cardinals like Law, to set the course for humanity. Either the church can choose to keep going down its path of darkness or it can be the light to which all reach out. All we can do now is pray and enjoy the smoke.
    ... continued



  • Producing Fences, Building Walls

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    There is a fire that has erupted at a local high school over the production of the stage play, The Wiz. Cicero-North Syracuse High School scheduled the play, cast the play, and then ran head first into the NAACP. What sin did the high school commit? Apparently no students of color were picked as cast members. Yes, The Wiz is a ‘black play’ (whatever that means). For some reason and for some members of the community, the production of The Wiz without having Black cast members is a social faux pas requiring a mass community dialogue.
    ... continued



  • Crash and Burn, Again and Again

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    I wonder what death is like. No, my curiousity does arise from any desire to find out. There is a lot of unfinished business on my plate for me to have any interest in hastening my interest in death. It is early and well, thanks to an unrelated email I got and a question posed, I turn and wonder aloud what it must be like to die.
    ... continued



  • On God and Christ, Jews and Mitzvahs, and Life and Death

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Back to the Jews: We are all products of the collective experiences of the life we have lived and the things learned along the way. Trekkies know it as the “V ger” status. Like large mouth baleen whales, we skim through life filtering in those things that come together and make us what we are today. In the immortal words of Popeye, “I am what I am and that’s all that I am.”

    Jews have this social and religious concept that does not translate well into English. The word is phonetically, “mitzvah”. Translated, it means “good deed”. But that translation is wholly inadequate and incomplete. A mitzvah is going out of your way and doing something special for someone. It is not a commandment or holding open a door (though that too can be a mitzvah). Mitzvahs are more of a commitment one makes of a part of themselves which they gift over to the benefit of another. To a Jew, doing mitzvahs are part of who we are as human beings. Arguably, I am almost compelled by lifelong now probably hardwired behavior traits. As a young and impressionable child, I was told that mitzvahs are done to please God. I abandoned the god concept a long time ago. The mitzvah training has never left me.
    ... continued



  • And the Chalice Snorted

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    It was the darkest most bitter cold of a deep winter night. The setting was perfect. A vast supply of music, couches, tables, chairs, blankets galore, and a warm barn. There was even an audience to share the experience. A Fabio emblazoned dime store soft chick porn novel could not have better set the archetype moment for a snort. Penthouse forums couldn’t paint a more perfect picture.

    I will never forget the day the chalice snorted. Most definitely I will never ever lose the magic that overwhelmed me when that first snort touched me. It was more than just an aural pleasure. It was more than words can encapsulate. It smote me.
    ... continued



  • Cats and Dogs; a Tribute at the Request of Lauren Comerford

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    It all started, as they all do, innocently enough, when world class photographer and all around amazing business woman Lauren Comerford posted the above picture. Well the jokes came from far afield and from dark corners of the perverted minds that lurk about the internet. It got so bad, that I began to openly ...speculate not only what the dog was thinking (oh, so THAT is where they hide the treats) to a more philosophical assuage where I pondered the view of life from the perspective of a dog. Surprisingly, there were no cat jokes; probably a better idea.

    At some point, the conversation morph'd. I was dared to write an essay about the photograph ... from the dog's point of view. Sounded like great fun and in an hour, what follows is the result. Essay writing is my art and I love to be challenged. This challenge was way outside the norm and I was looking forward to it. With that all being said .... and be forewarned, the short tail is a tad ribald. But then again, look at the dog's view.
    ... continued



  • How to Fix a Doctor

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Somewhere out there is a doctor and I am going to find him. This doctor is not just any doctor. Rather, this particular person and his actions behaved in a manner so unprofessional and dangerous that he should never be allowed near a patient again. (Though I am not sure whether this doctor is a male or female, I will continue to use the pronoun “he...” as I doubt any woman could be so cruel, selfish, and ignorant). To his defense, this same doctor’s behavior was both legal and widely practiced in modern medicine. If I catch this doctor though, I am going to change the landscape for all of us. Yes, in doing so, I am turning the doctor into a patsy. But I feel if I can string one doctor up by his nuts in the public square, then perhaps the medical industry will see the error of its’ ways and clean up its’ act before more doctors are pilloried in the public square.
    ... continued



  • Gold, Mine

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Those who follow my daily blatherings must recall that recently I underwent some serious dental surgery. My dear doctor, Mangele (sic), one day announced that I needed some major work done and that my face needed to be rearranged. O goodie; how fun! I immediately surrendered my retirement to him.

    It started simple enough; pull seven teeth, dig some growth out of my gums, cut me open here, stitch me up there, pull here and grind there. The good doctor had suggested that we do these procedures over a period of time. Knowing full well that after the first one, I would never go back to that office, I convinced the dentist to do it all at once.
    ... continued



  • Look at all My Trials and Tribulations

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    It was night court and the whole town had come out to play. The DA was there, about a half dozen lawyers were plopped in the front row, half asleep, playing with their electronic doodads. I would have joined them but I had already burned out my phone battery. A few of the lawyers were Assigned Counsel costing taxpayers at least $60.00 an hour to sit. Me, I along with a couple others were being paid retail by clients. There were also two taxpayer funded prosecutors languishing; one of them over 12 feet tall.
    ... continued



  • PAIN

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    "I am a human being in pain. It is the kind of pain that comes from deep within the confines of my mind and wraps itself around me like a boa constrictor preparing to feast. There is no defense and with each breath I can feel myself losing more and more of my strength to fight for my life. A part of me doesn’t even want to fight and instead surrender to the ultimate snap that will bring about a quick and easy end."
    ... continued



  • Dear President Obama

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    First let me say congratulations on your re-election. You worked hard for it and you earned it. If you ask anybody around me, they will confirm that I had no doubt in my mind that you would prevail in your efforts. Your opponent was just not up to par and of the caliber necessary to sit in the Oval office and other than party loyalists and those who just hate you for you are, he had very little support in the public arena. What the right wing media calls a media conspiracy to cover up and protect you, I see as a media reporting what is the truth on the ground. Republicans lost their way with the Bush administration and have not yet found a path back into mainstream American thinking.
    ... continued



  • Good Bye and Good Luck:
    Thoughts on the New Secessionist Movement

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Let Texas be Texas. If they want out, fine. We will remove all property belonging to the United States from the State of Texas. We will demand payment for all national land being returned to Texas after Texas passed laws transferring ownership. The United States should just pick up its toys and go home. We wish our friends in Texas well. Our NBA, our NFL, our MLB, and Nascar will miss you. If you need our military, have your credit card handy. Remember, a border is a border and passports will be required. If you leave, you leave.

    Oh, and uh one more thing; Texas, don’t forget to pay your check. You do owe a proportionate share of the federal debt. U.S. dollars only, please. We don’t take Texas money here.
    ... continued



  • Legalizing Marijuana is the Wrong Solution to the Problem

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Kudos and applause for the States of Washington and Colorado for their bravery in ending the government’s war against recreational use of marijuana. Rhode Island and Maine today introduced legislation to do the same thing. It would appear the dominoes are falling and the law is finally catching up with reality. A lot of people smoke pot and do just fine. Ruining lives with arrest, forced treatment, and opportunities lost just to give you something to brag about as you swig your beer is nothing to raise a toast to. It is about time, the criminal justice system got out of people’s lives and let them do what they responsibly elect as consenting adults.

    But legalizing marijuana is the wrong solution. It is the wrong solution because Marijuana is not the problem. It is just a big face to the plague that is the Drug War. What is wrong is needing to be ended, State by State if necessary, is the drug war itself. We have to stop spending hundreds of billions of dollars to ruin millions of lives, keep entire nations at war with drug cartels, inflict immeasurable losses to fundamental constitutional rights, just to keep tens of thousands employed in law enforcement and criminal enterprises. For what? You talk about a fiscal cliff. The Drug War is such a huge piece of every state and the entire federal budget; a cancer infecting nearly every department and agency and it never ends. Our nation’s longest war is a colossal failure. Besides, you don’t go to war against inanimate objects. War is action against people; our People. The American People. We are broke and can no longer afford to keep torturing our own because we don’t like their choice of drug.
    ... continued



  • Charge of the White Brigade:
    Closing Markets and Collective Punishment

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    S’pose for a moment I am a successful business owner. It is a small market in a relatively poor and low income neighborhood. But I keep my shelves stocked and am the only source of staples in a vast food desert. There isn’t a lot of money to be made but a man can earn a living. In Syracuse, you would think the City would stand behind such an operation. We would hope the City would embrace a small business that serves a community with food and jobs.

    But, it is on a “bad” non-Manliusesque street. Outside in the community, there is danger. Police are nowhere to be found. A 19 year old man was shot outside the market. A month before that a woman was killed when a gun accidentally went off in a vehicle driving through the market’s parking lot. A year later, someone who stabbed someone else ran into the market for cover and the clerk called 911. Oh, and in Midland Avenue for some surprising reason, police “linked” 12 marijuana arrests and three “other” drug arrests in two years to the area of the market. (One drug arrest every two months -- bet they cant show such low numbers on the Hill).

    Note, NONE of the activities happened in the market, because of the market, or having anything to do with the business at the market. How can I as a business owner be responsible if some idiot kills themselves with their own gun in their car driving through my parking lot? Is that my faut? What am I supposed to do if a criminal runs into my store – other than call 911? People are selling drugs in every quadrant, nook, and cranny of this nation and its’ my fault that some of those sales are going on outside in the nearby neighborhood? Seriously, where is the outrage?
    ... continued



  • My Christmas Angels

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    What could possibly shine brighter than a young child’s eyes when seeing the Christmas tree littered with gifts on Christmas morning. It is one of those rare moments that wash away a year’s worth of pain and misery that comes along with parenting.

    As young person, I don’t recall having any Christmases. Being a Jew, Christmas was not our holiday. Of course to the rest of the white Christian community, we were weird. That comes with the territory. My youth was back before the times of Hannukah bushes, blue and white Christmas lights, and the ultimate American marriage between all the winter holidays around the base of a single tree.

    My life’s path led me into the arms of a Catholic girl who birthed me a shiksa child. Wanting my child to not suffer the ostracism and looks and in honor and respect for my lifemate, we have always done the Christmas thing from one end of our home to the other. Armies of snowmen advancing on battalions of santas. The candles and angels and chatchkas come out of hiding adorn every surface. Of course, there is the tree. Standing mighty and strong in the midst of our livingroom, adorned and festooned like a cheap times square hooker; soon to be buried by boxes and bags and goodies galore.
    ... continued



  • Oh, Christmas Tree ... How I Hate Thee

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    As I came in the door I was grabbed by my ear
    She said, get your shit together, grab up your gear
    "We are off today to get us our tree."
    "Bring it home to satisfy me"
    ... continued



  • Screaming

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    (DISCLAIMER: What follows is fiction, folks. I had a vision, had to write it down. My muse made me do it. Remember, it is NOT real).
    ... continued



  • The Annual War on Christmas

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Now, if we assume that no government of the United States would ever sanction a religious holiday, we have to assume that the “Christmas” that legislators had in mind was the Christmas of Santa Claus and Rudolph, of gift giving and office parties, of Mistletoe and Chestnuts. It is very unlikely that this national holiday is intended by design or operation to be a State sponsored celebration of the birth of the Christian messiah.
    ... continued



  • Taking the Jew Out of Christmas

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    For almost two decades, this used to be the time of year when this evil hearted, child hating, Christian baiting, Jew volunteered his services on behalf of that jolly fat man and his worldwide mission of bringing pleasure to Christian spawn. Specifically, children all over send in their wishes and prayers to the Great and Powerful Claus via U.S. mail. My local post office would pawn the letters off on me.

    The United States Postal Service used to have a program called “Operation Santa’ whereby children’s letters to Santa were made available to the public who would want to respond to the letters as if Santa himself were the author. In New York City, people would take letters by the handful. Here, in Manlius, *I* alone was the guy.

    But our society has gone off the deep end with its paranoia about children. A couple of years ago, “Operation Santa” was officially cancelled by the Post Office downstate because a registered sex offender signed up to do Santa. Last year, the cancer spread to Upstate New York where by fiat and decree, all Santa letters are being sent to Albany for review and processing. It is as if the post office considers me a threat to children and I resent that implication. No more Santa letters for Mark. Society and the USPS went ummm, "postal" and cut off us good hearted Santas from those who need us most. The public can no longer participate in ‘Operation Santa’. We simply cannot be trusted. So our tax dollars will fund postal workers to spend precious resources during their busiest season to do what people like me used to do for free and out of love.
    ... continued



  • Endless War Against Our Own

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    First let me say that congratulations I believe are in order to the Syracuse Police Department for a, “major drug and weapons bust on Monday.” Six people were arrested, including one who managed to dive head first out the second story apartment window. Seized were approximate 3.5 ounces of cocaine, about ten ounces of marijuana, some so-called ‘designer’ drugs, cash, and a few weapons. The cost of incarceration, prosecution, defense, and maintenance of these 6 ‘evil drug dealers’ are now upon the backs of all us taxpayers. Another group of real bad guys is now safely behind bars and a neighborhood can start to rest easy. A near dozen fellow American citizens people are now destined to spend a near eternity in some taxpayer funded hellhole. This dance is now more than forty years old and the river of blood and bodies grows along with the problem.

    So, the question becomes: Is it over now? Are all the dirty drug dealers gone from the streets? Is the supply of these poisons gone from public access? While I know there is nothing illegal about owning guns or having $24,000.00 in cash, did police really make a difference in the quality of our lives? Can we now stop spending the tens of billions of dollars expended on this war against Americans?
    ... continued



  • Just Say "No" to Syria

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Following on the heels of Libya, now comes Syria embroiled in its own internal imbroglio and the whole world is ready to jump in. The dreaded red line has been drawn by both the United States and the Russians. The number, by the way, is at least 75,000; the number of American troops required to secure Syria’s chemical and biological weapons.

    I fear that we are having another one of our Concentration Camp Syndrome® attacks. We are being driven into military involvement in Syria. After World War 2, the world in general, the United States in particular were eyewitness to history’s horrors. Whereas every Jew on earth has sworn a blood oath of ‘Never Again’ when it comes to that policy, Americans too took an apparent oath that we too would never stand by and let a slaughter like that ever happen again. A very liberal progressive idea.
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  • The Styrofoam Revolution

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    If there was ever proof of a broken political system requiring voting outside the box this coming election day, let it be called the Styrofoam Revolution. We need a new political party; the Styrofoam Party with a styrofoam platform, and a styrofoam candidate, perhaps we can end this party gridlock and congressional lunchroom foodfight, and cut the deficit.

    It has been five years already. How many more years and millions of dollars must be wasted on this garbage. This will never end until we exorcise both demons from government.
    ... continued



  • An American Shame -- Four Years Later

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Growing up “American” has always had in it a certain element of ethnocentric superiority. From day one, we are taught that we are the Richest, Most Powerful Nation on this Earth. As we mature we come to accept that capitalism and our natural resources and our military might have established us as safe from all threats; foreign and domestic. We count as among our blessings that we are of a very few peoples on this earth who can go to bed at night with confidence that our government and military will keep us safe and be in place in the morning.

    But, I carry with me a certain shame about my nation. The New York Daily News reports today that New York City shelters have nearly 20,000 children living in them. It is described as, "living in hell". “It’s a nightmare every day.” Not since the Great Depression have this many children lived in homeless shelters.

    MSNBC, on child hunger in America discloses that, “the number of youngsters living in homes without enough food soared in 2008 from 13 million to nearly 17 million.” This trend is growing. Back in November 2008, the United States Department of Agriculture released its report for Hunger in the United States for the year 2007. In their own numbers, One in Eight Americans or 12.2% of the population – more than 36.2 million people -- could not put food on the table at least part of last year. Nearly seven hundred thousand of them were children.

    The Richest, Most Powerful Nation on the Earth and in all of History, with the Greatest Liberty and Recognition of the Human Being and an Indelible Right to Life, stands quiet while more than 1 in 8 people go hungry. I am ashamed of my country. You should be too.
    ... continued



  • In Remembrance of a Free America

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Wednesday, September 11, 2012 was the eleventh anniversary of Osama Bin Ladin’s attack on New York and the Pentagon. Here we are all these years later and that pork rind, camel fucking, godless sheep pie Bin Ladin is finally dead. Instead of killing Bin Ladin, my then President opted to kill Iraqis. Rather than take the battle to the enemy, our nation’s elected representatives opted to target our nation and our people and our rights. We suffer more and more while the guilty went free and enjoyed their lives in a cave.
    ... continued



  • The American Heart

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    No number of homicide bombers or falling airplanes can change us as a people or end our government. Ours is a nation that to the last person, will carry the spirit of the constitution and battles for liberty fought over the centuries. Killing three thousand of us in one day proved that we are just too big in spirit, size, and power to be destroyed militarily. Even Abraham Lincoln early on recognized that no foreign power will ever have boots on the banks of the Ohio River; that which will destroy us will come from within.

    But the terrorists use weapons far more effective than any dirty bomb. They use fear. Where they fail through violence, they win through legislation. Freedom has been lost not because the Pentagon was attacked but because freedom was attacked through such entities as the Patriot Act, the Department of Homeland Security, closing the borders, the Gitmo and Abu Ghraib sagas, airport searches, and invasions of privacy at every level of government. This is all done in the name of security. These are the weapons of terrorism; attacking one’s own people.

    It is not the terrorists, but we who have changed our society. We are allowing the poison of the extremist ideology to infect our hearts and souls. What we call “terrorists”, are nothing more than extremists of one political ideology or another. Be they Islamic Terrorists, IRA, or Rudolph and McVeigh; it is the extremist who is the enemy of freedom loving people. Extremists in government do not get a free pass. Having learned from the Senator Durbin fiasco; not being as bad as Adolf Hitler or Pol Pot or Josef Stalin has become the new standard for who we are as a People. Now we are apologizing for our First Amendment freedoms to appease the feelings of those who desire our demise.

    What extremists can not do with their bombs, we have done to ourselves. We are surrendering our rights. We are starting to factionalize and mistrust our own. Half our nation hates the other half. Few trust the government or the media or academia to tell the truth. We are closing our borders to our oldest friends and building giant fences guarded by the militia. We are isolating ourselves from the world community. What was once the bright shining star of nations is dulling from the tarnish of blood and despair.
    ... continued



  • Auschlanders, Stay Out of My Race

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Of course, certain “folks” out there in the rest of the world see this election as an opportunity to advance their own agendas. Be they Muslim. Persian, Christian, or Jew; every other nation on this planet is now voicing an opinion on how “they” want this upcoming election to turn out. Frankly, I don’t care what they think. What is in the best interests of the nation is the subject of the election. Benjamin Netenyahu does not dictate our 'red lines'. We do.

    Regardless of the outcome, many will consider it a “win” for their side or their God. A few may see it as an opportunity to change us as a People. Consider this a warning: Dissent here at home is irrelevant to our enemies abroad. United we will always be against common enemies and though we may show them mercy, we will just as quickly end their miserable lives should we be challenged.
    ... continued



  • Vote As If Your Life Depended On It

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    When you walk into the voting booth and before you pull that lever, I ask you to do one simple thing. Ask yourself why are you voting for that candidate? Is it because they are the incumbent? An incumbent is the last person you want in the job. Public service is not a career and our nation’s Founders had no desire for or wish that we created ‘career politicians’. Congress and the Presidency were based upon the desire of an individual to take the responsibility for a term and then pass it on. An incumbent should only be re-elected when nobody else will take the job. You can never have fresh ideas or a new approach when the same people are put back in office. Albert Einstein defined “insanity” as doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.

    To quote one of our Nation’s Founders and earliest Presidents, “Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.” (John Quincy Adams).

    Do not vote for a candidate because you ‘think’ they will win. This is not a football game and you are not betting on the winner. No candidate is ahead, has a lock, is winning, or is going to win until the very moment the polls close. Before you flip that switch, regardless of the promises you made to your friends and family … before you flip that switch … did you do it because of party or because you think the candidate is going to win … or did you flip that switch because in your heart, you voted for the person you believe best capable of bringing Onondaga County into the 21st Century and to build a world class legacy for the children of your great grandchildren.
    ... continued



  • Catholics Versus Americans

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Upon the ascendancy of Barak Obama to the Presidency, Catholic Bishops in the United States have proclaimed a Holy War and are on the attack at getting Catholic values into the White House. Specifically, with the Rise of the Democratic Party, Catholic Bishops fear their crusade against abortion rights will be lost. Amen to that.

    The issue of abortion is long settled in the United States. We have come to the point where our national attitude about the subject is, “if you don’t like abortions, don’t have one.” Our focus on education and providing alternatives to pregnancy has been the greatest weapon in the war defending free choice and individual privacy. Abortion is a sorry afterthought and in nearly all cases, the choice of last resort.

    But the Catholic Bishops cannot let it go. Ignoring the centuries long criminal cover-up in their own house, these Bishops have gone on the offensive. Ranging from demanding penance from those who voted for Obama or threatening reporters and expelling Obama voting parishoners or even refusing communion to Obama voters, American Bishops vow to hound the Obama Administration on the subject of abortion. Simply put, the Bishops are now going to Holy War against their own followers and the American government unless we relent to their ideology.
    ... continued



  • Carpe Momento

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Stick your hand in a bucket of water. Swish and stir your hand all around until the water is splashing in chaos. Remove your hand and watch. In but a moment, the waters return to their calm state.

    This is the story of life. It keeps things in perspective. No matter how much noise or attention you garner while you swish and splash your way through life, upon your death, the waters will again return to the state in which they existed prior to your arrival.

    I read this morning of a challenge to write your own obituary. Being as depressed as I have been of late as I race past my 50 something birthday, writing an obituary seemed an appropriate thing to do. Having completed about 2/3 of my life with no real ‘mark’ made upon the world, I fear that when my time is up, there will indeed be a quick return to calm waters. This is the ghost that haunts my nightmares and follows them into the daylight.

    A writer has but a single obligation and that is to be honest in his words. Poe argued that readers can leave it to themselves to determine what if any moral exists in any tale. To outright state a moral is meaningless because the writer is writing what the muse commands. Let the reader hunt and peck. A tale found to be found lacking a moral is the fault of the reader.
    ... continued



  • So, You Want to Vote Republican, Eh?

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    To paraphrase President Bush in a speech given in prime time on September 11, 2006, “we are in the midst of the great ideological battle of the Second Millennium.” He called it the “battle for civilization.” I couldn’t agree more. The message to come from the upcoming elections will establish America’s ideological future.

    I would carry President’s Bush's 9/11 message one step further. I argue that we now stand at the precipice of change. However which way we leap forward, our next move will be drastic and our society will be changed forever. Are we living through what will be known to future generations as the early days of the American holocaust? As we choose our next path, the question becomes one of whether we will continue forward with the attitude and behavior last seen in the 1930’s with the rise of the German National Socialists.

    We have become the Generation that abandoned the American constitution and her principles of liberty, honor, and integrity because we so fear a terrorist bomb. The American heart now beats with the pulse of a coward’s blood. Our past President and his party gave us this social transfusion of ideology. How quickly they convinced you to surrender your soul for some small amount of safety. Americans actually debated on what is and is not torture. The so-called ‘Greatest Generation’ and every generation before them would never have that discussion. Like fresh bread, every true and honorable American knows torture and needs no further elaboration thereof. Americans treat human beings like human beings. The alleged Christian nation is obligated by its Lord to love every man.
    ... continued



  • War Games

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    China is playing very dangerous games with the United States. “Law enforcement and national security agencies are investigating the hacking of a White House computer last month that penetrated a network inside the White House Military Office that handles top-secret data, U.S. officials said.” First Google, now the White House. War has been declared and we had better be alert.
    ... continued



  • Mandatory Life

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    A lot of non Christians and just people find suicide offensive and work hard to prevent it. Kudos to them. Perhaps there is value in saving a life. But in the end, walking against suicide, raising money to prevent suicide, and teaching on suicide prevention have to be limited to advocacy positions. As individual persons, whether we live our die should always be our prerogative and not that of anybody else.

    What makes this whole matter all the more worse is how this woman has to die. It is not illegal in New York to commit suicide. Whom would you arrest? What is illegal in New York and under federal law would be for anybody to assist this poor woman in the process of ending her life. There are slippery slope arguments to be made in every direction for this issue. But in all the jibberjabber, a patient suffering gets lost and the pain continues.
    ... continued



  • The Darkness Within

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    How dark is your heart? How evil are your fantasies? Of what do you think about when you are alone and pondering your life situation? Where is that magic line where the slow poisoning of your employer remains in your head and does not materialize at lunch tomorrow?

    First of all, I need to say some things about children. I love children. Anybody who has known me at any point in my life knows how much I just love children. ‘Roasted’ is my favorite way. Children also make for great fishing bobbers and bait for shark fishing.

    Nobody has to be told about how evil children are; the way they terrorize you throughout their lives. Impressive is their ability to suck the life force out of you (and every last penny in your wallet).

    The very young ones freak me out the most. With their bald heads, shirtless bodies, endless wailing, and white bags of stinky crap strapped around their waist, the amount of damage they do is directly proportional the cost of the clothes you are wearing or the furniture you just purchased. As parents, you hold your breath for years waiting for your kid’s first words, and then you spend the next 16 years wishing they would just shut the hell up.
    ... continued



  • Syria – Just Say “No”

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Every time the United States has entered a civil war, the results have been a disaster. We lost political clout, spent gobs of money needed at home, and in the end did not resolve the underlying dispute which still simmers. Only when we gave up and left, such as in VietNam and Lebanon did things quiet down and those nations fixed their own problems.
    ... continued



  • Term Limits Day: Deep Thoughts about the Local Elections

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    As a libertarian in the same vein as Thomas Jefferson, Milton Friedman, and Albert Einstein, I conclude that the fundamental change we as a nation need to make to our election system is its’ name. Simply put, the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November is known presently as “Election Day”. In a better world, the day would be instead named, ‘Term Limits Day’. That simple change in terminology would better focus the mind of the voter on the issue before them.

    Presently there is an argument constantly made by candidates that they are the most qualified because they have been in office and done a good job. That argument is dangerous and is the weakest and most pathetic claim made by any candidate. Nobody is qualified for an elected office until they serve in it. Whether they have the skills, expertise, and character to pick up the mantel and lead is a different question. I remain appalled, however, when a candidate argues that we should re-elect them for their ‘experience you can trust’.

    Unfortunately, the claim of “experience” is the easiest claim for voters to swallow. Those who do not do their homework and check out who is running and their qualities seem appeased by a pronouncement of ‘experience’ on the job. These voters tend to look no further and for this reason, we suffer the constant re-election of incumbents. Such a practice is the penultimate insult to our Founders. It offends common sense to surrender to this fallacious argument.
    ... continued



  • Taking Affirmative Action

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    It is indeed a rare event that I would find myself on the same side of an argument with one of the nation’s current sitting right wing activist Supreme Court Justices. Hon. Clarence Thomas has brought to the table a well deserved national discussion on the subject of Affirmative Action as State Action. The Justice flatly stated, “African-Americans are better served by colorblind programs than affirmative action.”

    Even a broken clock is correct twice a day. From that I can take some comfort that this singular confluence of opinions is not the beginning of a transformation on my part.

    No longer can we Americans ignore the concept that Affirmative Action as a State mandate has perhaps run its’ course. We as Americans are poised at the precipice of another milestone in the advancement of our society. It is normal and accepted now that a Vagino-American or an African-American are major party candidates for President of the United States.
    ... continued



  • The Internet Artist

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    There is a new kind of art rising up in society. I have dubbed it “internet art”. It is not those stupid kittens or funny captioned pictures or the zillions of photographs posted every day. Internet art is the creative collection of a person’s works that draws and maintains a collective following over a sustained period of time.

    I am an internet artist. Whether I am any good at it is for others to decide. On my facebook friends list, there are some who know me more than 10 and 15 years. These are people I have never met in person but who have followed me and my writings since I first landed in the Matrix back in 1992. They have been loyal supporters and critics and have played catch with a spear regardless of how bad it gets. Even the great musicians have their side B.

    My art is akin to a DJ. By mixing up news, views, attitudes, muses, and cognitive dissonance, people follow my stories. It is the collective mix of writings, news, pictures, songs, and debate that keeps my audience’s eye. I know at times I come off arrogant, snobbish, snotty, aggressive, and very offensive. This I cannot deny. Some think I am an asshole. That I too cannot deny. I come from a long line of assholes and I can be very good at it. People who know me or do business with me know otherwise. But on the internet, even my closest friends will get an occasional pie in the face.
    ... continued



  • Time to Unleash the Dogs of War

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    What if in your world there is a guy who every time he gets a chance, he walks up and slaps you across the face. At first, you turn the other cheek, but he still walks up and slaps you. You try to stay out of his way, but he hunts you down, sneaks up, and smacks you good. Then you try slapping him down to the ground but he just gets back up and slaps you again across the face. Your friends come around and smack him down but he still comes back and smacks you again. You call the police and he is put in prison, but the moment he gets out, he again comes right up to you and slaps you in the face. During his incarceration, his friends come around and smack you in the face.

    Does anybody in the end fault you when one day you pick up a shotgun and blow the guy’s face off? When is enough, enough?
    ... continued



  • Been There. Done That. And It Was Cool

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Twenty five years ago today, my girlfriend (now my wife of a quarter century), my eldest daughter and I all decided we were going into San Francisco to spend the day at the Bridge birthday party. I was an undergrad at CAL (Go Bears!), my darling bride was teaching, and my youngest was about 4 or 5.

    At 5:00 a.m., the City was going to close the bridge to traffic, and open it up to pedestrians to walk all over and look at the bridge from your feet. There were group marches from the City to Sausilito and back.

    Well we decided we were going to be first on that bridge. It was probably my stupid idea. To accomplish this task, we would have to drive to a Bart station to designated bus gathering areas all organized to transport the throngs of people expected to the Golden Gate toll booths. Huge transportation plans were in place and well advertised.
    ... continued



  • Rural Metro to Abuse Children

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Oh, the things we do to children. Officials at Rural/Metro ambulance corps in Syracuse will be recognizing the underworld holiday of April 20th (4/20). Rural Metro intends to distribute free drug testing kits to parents in celebration of the special day. Spending your tax dollars on this precious nurturing event to help parents and child bond is the wrong remedy for the problem of drug use. Rural/Metro ambulance corps in Syracuse is in reality, encouraging destruction of the parent child relationship and we get to pay for it. Even worse is how government is encouraging the violation of the individual rights of child.
    ... continued



  • CHEAT SHEETS

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Lyrics by Mark David Blum, Esq. Music still to be provided.
    ... continued



  • CHEAP LIQUOR

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Lyrics by Mark David Blum, Esq. Music still to be provided.
    ... continued



  • Cop Won Fight to Clear His Name


    April 15, 1998, Syracuse Post-Standard

    jurors awarded Balduzzi $816,526 because Syracuse police administrators violated his constitutional right to free speech by harassing him with unwarranted allegations of misconduct, then firing him from his job as police sergeant for testifying before the Citizen Review Board in 1995.
    ... continued



  • Family, diocese settle lawsuit over abuse,
    but another suit going to court


    Associated Press, 08/12/98 00:55

    SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) - A woman who claims her son was abused as a child by a priest wants her day in court, and she's going to get it. While another family with similar claims has agreed to an out-of-court settlement, a $16 million civil lawsuit will begin Monday in state Supreme Court.
    ... continued



  • Mark David Blum, Esq.
    Random Blatherings -- Sept through Dec 2012

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    (taken from Facebook postings)
    ... continued



  • Eastern Equine Incestuitis

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Last night, I was thoroughly engaged in a verbal fist fight amongst horse show people at the State Fairgrounds. These are good folks who have been together for decades; working together, competing against each other, and who have formed near familial relationships. So, it was a sad moment in time when one of them, for no other apparent reason that pure spite and being a sore loser (time and time again) decides to turn on another. Families don’t fuck each other; at least not here in the northeast. We leave that activity for southern republicans.
    ... continued



  • Rat Tales 2012:
    One Lawyer's Journey Down
    the Rabbit Hole at the
    2012 New York State Fair ... continued


  • *

  • Mark David Blum, Esq.
    Caught on Camera

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Res Isa Loquitor.
    ... continued



  • People Getting All Up in Your Business

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Apparently, local State Senator John DeFrancisco along with Senator Patty Ritchie are sponsoring a Bill before the State Government mandating that any applicant for welfare submit to a drug test and, if positive, a drug treatment program. The good Senator defends his legislation arguing its value comes a lower budget, "by the savings from having to pay drug addicts habits and from those that won't apply for fear of getting caught. And from the savings from reduction in crime resulting from identifying and getting drug users into treatment." DeFrancisco is telling us this law will save taxpayer dollars by (1) not funding drug habits, (2) chasing away people who might test positive, (3) an alleged reduction in crime, and (4) getting people into treatment.

    Oswego County Legislators fell all over each other rushing to the State House with their hands out seeking to be a ‘test county’ for this new welfare policy. In Oswego, it is clear they want to wash their hands of welfare applicants.

    Do not even try and argue these policies are about getting drugs out of society. Our nation spends hundreds of millions of dollars housing hundreds of thousands of people in some of the world’s more secure prisons. Not one such facility, where every aspect of a person’s life is controlled, supervised, and locked down, no … not one such facility can call itself “drug free”. If we cannot keep drugs out of our nation’s prisons, how will we ever keep them out of a free society? The hard cold reality is that this new mandatory policy to drug test welfare recipients is not going to impact our State’s drug problem. For that, Senators DeFrancisco and Ritchie seem to have no objection to throwing tens of millions of dollars down that hole. Oswego County loves to spend its grants and gifts enforcing the drug war. None can claim any success. Instead, they want to refocus their energies and punish and abuse the poor.
    ... continued



  • Unoccupied

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The Occupy movement is failing in this mission. Despite almost three months and growing exponentially, boredom has set in. People are walking away and caring less. The few remaining are giving up the core values that brought them to the street in the first place. So focused are they on maintaining their presence that they do not take advantage of their most powerful weapon and put a pen to paper and state their case.

    The abuse of the peaceful protestors at UC Davis and before that, the injured soldier in Oakland were referred to by Occupiers as being their ‘Kent State’ moment. The horror and arrogance of that statement aside, neither brutality was a Kent State moment. Kent State protestors had a goal. They knew what they wanted and marched to get it. The fire lit by the national guardsmen focused the national spotlight on the core issue as well as the dead and wounded.

    Here, now, today, if there were to really be a ‘Kent State Moment’, it would be a disaster and waste of human life. The difference is Kent State sought to bring about civil rights, ending a war and the draft, and a complete overhaul of the American paradigm.

    To the Occupy movement, the goal has become the occupation. Me, I can work toward the goal of change without having to occupy. Frankly, I have better things to do.
    ... continued



  • Toward a Better America

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Since its first moments of birth through today, I have had the opportunity to study the Occupy movement. I have spoken with hundreds of people from all political and personal belief systems as well as reviewed arguments and proposals that have come from the four corners of the nation at all the occupy sites. In response to the call of the gathered for ‘change’, I took the time to gently interrogate and analyze the specific complaints and issues raised by all with whom I spoke, from neo conservative to anarchist and everything in between. Adding my own thoughts to the mix, I have synthesized what I believe are 15 principles that if implemented would respond to the concerns of the majority of the Occupy movement and provide a salve to the wounds of this great nation.

    I did openly disregard the opinions of the extremes, the confused, those with ulterior or nefarious motives, and those ideas which run contrary to our nation’s founding and the rights and privileges that are guaranteed to all. The principles stated below are an effort to work new ideas into the existing framework while at the same time holding true to our national heritage and basic human rights and shortcomings. In sum; it is an effort to fine tune an otherwise well functioning machine.
    ... continued



  • The Occupation and the Congressman

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    I cornered a Congressman. It took me almost fifty years to get face time with my Congressperson. But I got that face time this past Sunday. I had him backed literally in the corner at a social event at which we were both present. I had to either side of me women watching and listening to me. It was great. The Congressman I had cornered is no longer my congressman. He wants to be again, but is ummm between gigs as Congressman.

    I would not have had the opportunity to trap the Congressman had I not stood up for the Occupation Movement. It was my participation in and representation of the Occupation here in Syracuse that for the first time, I trapped my former and wants to be again Congressman. I was kind. I was respectful. I was a perfect gentelman.

    This is the power of the Occupation.
    ... continued



  • We, the People

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    I am bearing witness to what I believe is the beginning of the next American revolution. Based on my years of study and work, I opine that the United States is on the verge of a dramatic change in its economic, social, and political model. What will be this outcome, I cannot foretell. What I do know is that the People are angry and are getting united.

    If they have accomplished nothing else these past weeks and months, the Occupation movement has forced the subject of who we are and how we are going to do business to where it dominates the national discourse. Every news media, right or left, is discussing the Occupation. Some criticize; others support. Still others are very confused. But the world, from facebook to Fox news has made the Occupation and all the issues it has raised the number one topic of their focus. For that, let the Occupation take a bow.

    We need to be having this discussion. Some of us really believe that Wall Street, the moneyed elite, and large corporations have too much sway over national policy. The health care debate alone had five lobbyists for every legislator. Others are very satisfied by the status quo and want to see more. Whatever may be the outcome, it is about time these issues were put on the table and the majority of Americans can decide for themselves through the power of the ballot.
    ... continued



  • Why I Occupy

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    I am a 99%er.

    I am one of the faces in the growing crowds taking to the streets. I have been there almost every day and given the group legal support and a phone number to call in case of emergency.

    I am not a communist, a socialist, an anarchist, an unwashed hippy, nor a spoiled college kid. I am not a superannuated lefty liberal missing the civil rights protests. I am not a dopy homeless person and I am not an agenda driven fatuous journalist. I am not a friend of the GOP or the Democrats.
    ... continued



  • A PR Nightmare for Local Hospitals

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Apparently local hospitals have marketed what they tout as a big deal for the Syracuse Community. They are setting up what the news is reporting as being a free medical screening event whereby the ‘unserved’ general public can come and see doctors to get a medical evaluation and determination if a person is healthy or has a condition or situation requiring treatment.

    I call ‘bullshit’.
    ... continued



  • 2011 STATE FAIR STORIES

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    I got a chance this year to scratch off an item from my bucket list. A Fair and a half ago, I stopped going and ended my life as a Fair Rat. Simply, I had run out of things to do and the walking around all day in hopes of finding something to write about became more of a chore than a love. Working the midway was one item left on my bucket list but I had been unable to make that happen. Then the Saturday morning before this year’s Fair, Lady Galaxy, an old and dear friend from the Fair, contacted me and asked me to help her run her show at the Fair for 12 days. She was retiring, this was a last minute booking, and she had no help but her husband. “Please please, pretty please”, said she.

    Of course, I agreed. I am a big fan of her performance and had always wanted to work the midway. Galaxy had been given space by Strates; not the Fair. Dan O’Hara refused her a spot. I quickly wrapped up some personal and professional issues, and by Wednesday afternoon, I was settled into my new digs on the midway.

    What follows is a diary of my experiences, observations, and unraveling as I descend into the lost world of chaos and confusion; a universe completely foreign to the one in which I normally reside. As I come through the other side, I can now say I have completed something I always wanted to do … and fully intend to never do it again.
    ... continued



  • Sympathy Pains

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    There are no words sufficient to describe the unimaginable pain carried by a lawyer helpless to end the suffering of a husband and a community. Knowing the whereabouts of murdered victims and not being able to tell even their family has to hurt. Confessions can cause incredible personal suffering to the lawyer.

    Though we search for Diogenes’ blessings, in the end a defense attorney is but a Sisyphean stand-in fighting a career long Pyrrhic battle. Our only ally is the Law.
    ... continued



  • Sharia and the Law of the Land

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Continuing my self imposed quest to shine light where I find honest or intellectual darkness, the time has come to discuss the burning question of Sharia law.

    Let me perfectly honest and frank; I know nothing of Sharia law. By birth I am a Jew. By lifestyle I am a non-evangelical agnostic. By trade, I am a lawyer. Only one of these worldviews provides me any standing to speak out on Sharia law. That place is how we, in the United States, already provide for Sharia law. It is an important element of our national health and founding. Segments of our society couldn’t flourish without our respecting Sharia law. In the end, our courts may have to accept Sharia law whether we like it or not. My opinion is that we should embrace Sharia law as failing to do so could bring about an abandonment of our nation’s most cherished principles.

    The place to start, as always is the United States Constitution.
    ... continued



  • I’ve Looked at Cloud From Both Sides Now

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Cloud computing appears to be the direction in which the internet, communications, data storage, and information transfer is headed. As I understand and define it, ‘cloud computing’ is where information is held at a central location and can be accessed from any location by a designated user. Google and Boxnet are but two of the giants emerging in this new transition. Imagine no longer having to store documents on a computer hard drive in your home or office but instead have them sitting on a Google server available to you anytime and in a variety of media whether you are home, at work, or at sea. You don’t need a computer; even a smart phone or Ipad could gain access to cloud stored documents.
    ... continued



  • False Ceilings and Falling Skies

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    As I have been listening to the "debate" in the House of Representatives about the Debt Ceiling Bill du jour, and I have surfed through all news sites and talking heads on cable radio, my bullshit meter finally burst. I am choking down my own bile and resisting the urge to grab them all by the collar and tell them to stop the lies and rhetoric. They should at least tell the truth; regardless of their political posture on the issue. I cannot stand the gamesmanship being played. When I expect debate and discussion, I get hot air and falsehoods being passed off as substantive solutions.

    As an aside: Why do they call what goes on on the floor of the House of Representatives a "debate". Speakers gets a minute to make their case; which 9 out10 times is a regurgitation of what was said by the last member of that party to take the floor. I want to meet the congressperson who heard a one minute speech, smacked themselves in the forehead having had a sudden epiphany, and changed their vote as a result? A debate is supposed to be a debate; an exchange of ideas; intellectual intercourse.

    It is time to set the record straight on this whole drama unfolding in Washington. Everybody is lying to me and I have reached my limit. Everybody involved; including those nattering nabobs of negativity at the networks have a responsibility to be honest. Blame for it all falls squarely in the lap of Congress and especially upon the Republicans.
    ... continued



  • Strike One and You’re Out

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Our society has become one of such zero tolerance that no sin is ever forgiven. One sin and your record is forever blemished to the point that you are disabled from being a productive citizen. New York government has shown itself to be without a soul and prefers people to be on public assistance than to be productive members of society. I say, for shame.

    A man applied for a job as a custodian for the City of Syracuse School District. During the application phase, he disclosed to the District that he had a 20 year old drug conviction from out of State. He was told by the District that they do not focus on crimes more than seven years old. The man was hired as a temporary part time custodian and began work. Over the course of the next eight months, his status was changed to full time permanent employee of the District. He worked after hours cleaning classrooms at Clary Middle School and was a dependable and honorable employee.

    As part of the hiring process, the man was required to undergo an FBI background check conducted in Albany through the New York State Department of Education. It took them quite a while to conduct this background check as the man was hired and was doing the job. One day after more than eight months on the job, the State Department of Education sent the man a letter telling him that his employment was to be terminated. A similar letter was sent to the Superintendant of the Syracuse School District telling them to fire the man as he had no clearance.
    ... continued



  • Arizona Does Not Set U.S. Immigration Policy

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    First of all, Arizona is but one of fifty States in the Union. Immigration policy, or the lack thereof, is a question of national interest, not State interest. Who has the right to be within our nation’s borders and who is here improperly are not a concern of the States. That question is one of federal jurisdiction and only federal law can decide who has a legal right to be within our borders.

    As such, Arizona’s enactment of a law enabling a police officer “upon reasonable suspicion” to approach and demand proof of citizenship is a move way beyond their constitutional borders. Frankly, it is not a question for Arizona law enforcement should even ask. It is not their business.

    Right now, being in the United States illegally is not a crime. It is a civil offense akin to a traffic ticket. Of course, the person should also be shown the door. But the State of Arizona has taken it upon itself to rid the State of persons illegally in the United States. A real question arises when someone sneaks across the border as to whether they have crossed into the State of Arizona or into the United States. I think the default position is that the illegal crosser has wrongfully entered the United States and not the State of Arizona.
    ... continued



  • A Demand for a Right to Life

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    In 1776, Thomas Jefferson put his quill to hemp and wrote one of the most famous lines in all of American history. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Eleven years later, in 1787, our nation’s Founders forever changed Jefferson’s words. The “unalienable right to life” was no longer. “Life” became a conditional right, one that can be taken away from you with “due process”; whatever that means.

    According to any dictionary, the word “unalienable” means being something incapable of being repudiated or transferred to another. It cannot be taken from you and you cannot give it away. A right declared to be unalienable (inalienable) is a right inherent to you as a human being, a gift from God, that goes with you forever.

    In my presentations to schools and discussions with people about the Constitution, I always raise the issue of a ‘right to life’. Frankly, there is no such thing. The Declaration of Independence is not the law of the land. Those who strictly read the Constitution and argue that unless it is spelled out in the original text, it doesn’t exist as a right, would choke on having to conclude that the Constitution does not grant an unalienable right to life. Much the same argument as is made today about privacy not being a right in the Constitution and therefore it doesn’t exist, so too must these so-called strict constructionists swallow their own words and conclude that Americans do not have a right to life. Remember this next time you are confronted by anti choice people who call themselves ‘right to life’ supporters. Remind them there is no such thing.
    ... continued



  • So, Now What?

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The time is approaching for me to start the next great adventure of my life. Over the course of the last fifty years, I have travelled many paths, engaged in some fascinating once-in-a-lifetime experiences, been to the top of the world and the bottom of the abyss. Now that I am finishing my duties as a parent with my youngest soon to be moving out and starting her own life, the question is begged … “what’s next?”

    Obviously I can keep doing what I have been doing for the past 20 years. I can stay a local lawyer and continue to do a bang up job for those who hire me. I can live in the same place and just do more of the same. It is a good life; peaceful and complete. I get to do the work I love and fight the good fight.

    At the same time, I have ants in my pants and a craving to put my skills and expertise to another use.
    ... continued



  • The One Free Walk Rule

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    In 1971, the New York Legislature put into place §170.56 of the Criminal Procedure Law. Specifically, that law says that when the only charge pending against a defendant is a below-felony-level marijuana charge, the Court must either dismiss the charge outright or grant the defendant an unconditional discharge. Subsequent legal decisions have declared the dismissal to be ministerial, mandatory, and non discretionary. (People v. Mann, 83 Misc.2d 442, 445 ... "it is crystal clear that the act of the Judge ... is ministerial in nature").

    Amazingly, today, 30 years later, this section of the law is a total mystery to most courts, lawyers and prosecutors that I have encountered. More amazing is that despite the total lack of discretion involved; prosecutors and judges willfully sometimes refuse to honor its mandate. I have seen it happen many times before where the Court, defense lawyers, and prosecutors are completely surprised at existence of this particular section of law. This makes me wonder how many hundreds if not thousands of people have plead guilty or been convicted of non-felony level marijuana offenses and have paid fines, done community service, been on probation, or jailed when the law required that the charge be dismissed. I wonder further how many lives have been ruined by having a drug conviction in their criminal history record.
    ... continued



  • Go Ahead and Mutilate Your Child

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    I wanted to raise one of my more favorite subjects: Mutilating children. For the record, some mutilation of children is a good thing. At least some folks would argue it is. As a general rule I don’t like children so I am biased. On occasion I will tolerate a child; but only as a snack food. Few things in life irk me more than the presence of a child in my world.

    Back to mutilating children: There is nothing wrong with mutilating children. As parents, we should be able to puncture or snip off parts of our children at will. Nobody should ever have the right to tell us otherwise.

    The State of Massachusetts is the lone State to be taking a stand against mutilating children. I question from where do they get the gall to pass laws barring parents from mutilating their children. Snipping off random parts is a tradition that dates back thousands of years and crosses all cultures and continents. But there is a law being proposed in Massachusetts that will bar a parent from having a child’s foreskin removed.
    ... continued



  • A Gift, on Loan

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The President of the United States has proposed increasing lending to small business as the solution to our nation’s employment problem. He argues that banks need to lend small business more money so that larger payroll can be met. The plan is for the federal government to give large sums of money to local banks conditioned upon the local banks making loans to local small business. The business then gives the money to an employee.

    To me, this approach to the employment problem would be a boondoggle. First of all, why not just give the money straight to the small business person without the middle man. Cut the self employment and corporate tax rates and you have the same effect as increasing the supply of capital in the company. Why should the banks make money on the deal?

    A second and far more important reason is that it is too dangerous for small business to take loans. In fact, we need to reduce debt and overhead. Luring us with easy loans is exactly the behavior that brought down the entire financial house of cards. Now, instead of homeowners, it will be the risky small business that will be in hock and under partial ownership of a bank, Why should a business take a loan? We need customers. People need jobs so they can buy my goods and services. Borrowing to cover payroll seems to me as the inappropriate response We need to be treated like our larger brethren. Let us be given grants from the TARP fund and let us invest in our business and open others. Don’t make me borrow money when others are getting grants.
    ... continued



  • Animal Instincts

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Yet currently, we are setting incredible precedents in our way of thinking. While a human can lawfully pierce the ears of an infant child, it is a crime to pierce the ears of a kitten.

    What if you don’t want your property anymore? Are you required to give it away or can you burn it up? Ask the firefighter headed to a cruise vacation who rather than pay to shelter his two dogs, opted to shoot them both. Locally, Judge Cecil disagrees with the right to abuse your own car. Maybe there are now limits on how you must treat your property; including cars and pets.

    How far are we extended coverage in our granting of rights to animals? Do we limit it to domestic animals or can wild animals be likewise shielded by law? How about only the cute furry ones or are alligators also protected? What about deer? A woman is charged with using a shovel to club a fawn seated in her flower beds.
    ... continued



  • Glued to Fair Treatment

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    A woman lures a philandering husband to a motel hideaway. She blindfolded him and tied him up good. Her prey secure, the woman secretly texts three of her friends and the man’s wife to join her. Then, the woman cut off his underwear and slapped him across the face while she and her friends, including the man’s wife, belittled him and berated him. Finally using some fingernail glue, they glued his penis to his stomach.

    At sentencing, the women were given probation and a slap on the wrist. The judge made a point that the man suffered no serious or permanent injury. He then openly acknowledged that had the situation been reversed, there would be prison time. Finally, the judge blamed the victim in part for his role as a cheating husband saying he brought it on himself.

    For those of you who find this event laughable or say “good, the guy deserved it” for cheating on his wife, I submit the following for your consideration. Imagine instead it was a woman, lured to a motel room, handcuffed and blindfolded, and that the woman had her labia superglued together or each glued to a thigh. Nobody would be snickering then but society would be in an uproars.
    ... continued



  • The Migration of Lou Dobbs

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Lou Dobbs has been tapped by Senate Democrats to help reform our nation’s policies on immigration. Senator Schumer met with Dobbs and proclaims Dobbs is “changing his views” on immigration. In case you forgot, Dobbs had a show on CNN where his cause célèbre was immigration. Dobbs made his bones bashing the immigrants and blaming them as being the root cause of all the evil in this nation. Everything from the economy to Swine Flu was alleged to have come about thanks to so-called illegal immigration. Dobbs and his dwindling audience were inflamed, incensed, and incredulous. Now, Dobbs is a darling of the Senate and seen as being part of the solution to the problem. That just creeps me out.
    ... continued



  • Sextual Healing

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Sexual maturation is a normal part of the transition to adulthood. We have to recognize that our “children” are sexual beings by nature and as they grow, they are going to learn all there is know about the wonderful world of sexual pleasure. Clearly the thought of it makes us uncomfortable and we don’t like it. Nothing we as parents or society can do can stop this learning process. It will happen in the open or in secret. But as we all know from our own histories, it will happen. Eventually.

    In Indiana, a 13 year old girl and a 12 year old boy face felony charges for “sexting” with each other. They each sent naked pictures of their private parts to one another via their cell phones. A teacher accidentally discovered it when the phone rang during class and was confiscated. We are talking about two young teenagers who took pictures of themselves for their own use. Each is now charged with possession and transmission of child pornography.

    This is just not right. Our system has gone haywire and we are over reacting to a very natural process of maturation coming into contact with 21st century technology. The children certainly need to be spoken to about making such photographs public as they can come back to haunt you later (a lesson they already learned). Obviously their parents need to have a talk about sex with them to make sure they are aware of what they are doing. But it is a sin to involve the criminal justice system or otherwise civilly or criminally punish these children for engaging in normal healthy exploration. They were not harmed; they were teasing and tempting each other. Prosecutors have filed 3 felony counts against each.
    ... continued



  • Congress Shall Make No Law

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The sky is not falling and we are not about to become the United Corporation States of America. Listening to the rhetoric spewed forth in response to the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC, the televangelists from MSNBC, Democrats nationwide, and even Syracuse’s own radio host Jim Reith, have all proclaimed the end of the Republic. So much of the Supreme Court’s decision has been twisted and misrepresented, that Americans are being told to take shelter, stock up on food, and prepare for the penultimate disaster that lurks behind the next election.

    Nothing is more important to this nation than its underlying fundamental principles. First among them is the right to free speech. Even moreso is the fundamental right to unfettered political speech. If you think about it, the loss of the right to express yourself on matters of public concern would render all your other rights moot. We have long recognized that whether it is a soapbox in the public square, the internet, or television commercials, the right to speak and express oneself on political issues has to be protected at all costs. If you cannot tell the world your President is an abject failure, your Senator is a PAC bought whore, or your Congressperson is disloyal to their constituency, then your connection to your roots as an American are gone.

    For the record, such politically opposite entities as the ACLU and the National Rifle Association stood together in favor of finding a violation of the First Amendment. The facts behind Citizens United are simple enough. Senators Russ Feingold and John McCain spearheaded legislation that gagged corporations from contributing to political campaigns. Instead, if a corporation wanted to get a message out there, they had to form a Political Action Committee (PAC) and have that Committee fund its message to the public. There were criminal sanctions put in place for violations of this law. Said another way, it was a crime for a corporation to express a political posture.
    ... continued



  • Google’s Battle is America’s Battle

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Google has done more than look into it. They fought back. Google announced it would no longer filter information and material according to the demands of the Chinese government. Google decided for itself to take on the entire Chinese market and threaten to pull out its operations. China has responded editorializing Google as behaving “like a spoiled child.”

    We need to stand with Google. I realize the world’s attention is focused elsewhere right now. But if what Google is reporting is true, then some of our nation’s major corporations have been attacked by a foreign and hostile government. Data has been mined. Names have been stolen. The walls behind which companies surround themselves have been penetrated. Our government should not ignore the problem. A response is required to put on notice those who would attack us that we are not to be targeted. Obviously, any action taken has to be measured, but there must be action. Foreign governments are not to be allowed to get away with attacks upon our nation. For what reason do we pay taxes for a military industrial complex if not to assure the security of Americans and American interests worldwide? Bombing Beijing is an overreaction. Scrambling the data in computers containing all Chinese banking records would not be unreasonable. Maybe the answer is to tell the Chinese we are cancelling all our debt.

    This attack is not the first upon American companies. It is also not the first from China. Experts are engaged in thousands of daily attacks by sophisticated cyberattacks that appear to come from China. The United States is already spending billions of dollars per year to fend off these attacks. When are we going to realize that we in the middle of a true conflict and put an end to it once and for all?
    ... continued



  • Kiss My Asterisk

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    So Mark McGwire has confessed to steroid use during his record breaking 1998 season. It was a great season; with McGwire and Sammy Sosa battling out for a new single season home run record. Roger Maris’ family is upset and demanding an asterisk. No, there should not be any asterisk next to McGwire’s record. He earned his record. Same as Alex Rodriguez, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and David Ortiz who were all juiced but deserve recognition of their achievements. Also included are Marion Jones, running back Travis Henry, and Lance Armstrong.

    If memory serves, we live in the United States of America. We are a free nation that prides itself on individual achievement and success. Ours is not a social construct predicated upon disabling those out front so as to enable to do so those who cannot or will not keep up. Equality in this nation means equality of opportunity; not of outcome. You don’t break the legs of the fastest runners to enable the slower ones to win.

    In sports, as in life, the loudest opponents to the concepts of “higher”, “faster”, and “stronger” are those same purists who seek a return to their little house on the prairie, want their two chickens in every pot, dream they are the Marlboro man, and plan a Donna Reed lifestyle. They will not look forward and insist on anchoring human enlightenment and progress in a bygone era. They are the modern day blacksmiths facing down the new fangled invention called the automobile.
    ... continued



  • Forced to Live in a Dead Marriage

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The time has come for New York’s Legislature to change the laws on divorce. Under our current scheme, married couples can only divorce under few and limited circumstances. Adultery, abandonment, conviction of a felony, and cruel and inhuman treatment are the only recognized grounds. Also available is a legal separation whereby a court grants a legal separation for a year or the spouses enter into a contract and live under the terms of that agreement for a year. Finally, the Courts recognize a form of abandonment called “constructive abandonment” which applies when one spouse refuses to engage in sexual relations despite demands therefor. New York does not have a no-fault divorce action.

    In a case recently decided, Davis v. Davis, (2nd Dept. 2009 NY Slip Op 08579), one of New York’s intermediate appellate courts took the position that constructive abandonment only includes withholding of sexual relations. In Davis, insufficient grounds for a divorce were found even though the divorce complaint alleged, “that the husband refused to engage in social interaction with the wife by refusing to celebrate with her or acknowledge Valentine's Day, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and the wife's birthday, by refusing to eat meals together, by refusing to attend family functions or accompany the wife to movies, shopping, restaurants, and church services, by leaving her once at a hospital emergency room, by removing the wife's belongings from the marital bedroom, and by otherwise ignoring her.”

    To be granted a divorce, ‘abandonment’ as a general principal requires one party to absent themselves from the marriage for a period of at least one year. This can happen by one of the spouses moving out of the marital home or by one spouse throwing the other out of the marital home. Obviously, living together is considered a fundamental element of the marriage contract. At the same time, the Davis Court likewise recognized the special role that sexual relations play in a marriage. A sexual relationship is seen as a fundamental element of a marriage contract. Beyond that the Court refused to go.
    ... continued



  • My Achilles Butt

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    My butt is my Achilles' Heel. Ain't that a kick in the ass.

    Though I am always the warrior, I remain mortally wounded. I shall continue to do battle and advance the Lord’s work. In time, perhaps I will be forgiven my sins and be allowed to be free of all my demons.

    Until then, can I bum a smoke?
    ... continued



  • Goodbye O

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Yesterday was the last day on earth for a man’s best friend. Oblio, a German Shepard mix breed dog owned by one of my best friends was put down due to old age. He was a smart dog, a well trained dog, and a good friend for the better part of the past 15 years.

    I remember him as a pup; full of puppy energy and spunk. We would play and chase each other for hours. He would bark incessantly and constantly challenge me to take away his toys. I complied with every request. We would hang out together lazily lounging on the couch. As the years went on, we grew old together until of late his pain and inability to move about brought about his demise.
    ... continued



  • Be It Resolved in 2010

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    I stand at the precipice of a brand new year
    Pondering the future. One of tears? Or of cheers?

    Is there a course? What is the way?
    How can I deal with the dawn of this day?

    Those New Year’s promises? Those Resolutions to keep?
    It is not very long before I toss them in the heap.

    With the dawn of a New Year all ready to pounce
    I have decided to resolve; affirm and announce
    ... continued



  • An American Shame

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Growing up “American” has always had in it a certain element of ethnocentric superiority. From day one, we are taught that we are the Richest, Most Powerful Nation on this Earth. As we mature we come to accept that capitalism and our natural resources and our military might have established us as safe from all threats; foreign and domestic. We count as among our blessings that we are of a very few peoples on this earth who can go to bed at night with confidence that our government and military will keep us safe and be in place in the morning.

    But, I carry with me a certain shame about my nation. The New York Times reports that “New York City shelters are so full that homeless men and women have been left to sleep on benches, floors and dining room tables.” MSNBC, on child hunger in America discloses that, “the number of youngsters living in homes without enough food soared in 2008 from 13 million to nearly 17 million.” This trend is growing. Back in November 2008, the United States Department of Agriculture released its report for Hunger in the United States for the year 2007. In their own numbers, One in Eight Americans or 12.2% of the population – more than 36.2 million people -- could not put food on the table at least part of last year. Nearly seven hundred thousand of them were children.
    ... continued



  • Ice, Ice, Baby

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    In honor of the first real snowfall of the winter, the MarkBlum Report© has regurgitated from its January and February 2005 archives, the gripping tale of one lawyer’s slow slippery slide into an icicle induced insanity.
    ... continued



  • Tis the Season to Drink and Drive

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    It is NOT illegal to drink and drive. New York and the rest of the United States has never taken a position that we do not want people drinking and driving. In fact, we encourage drinking and driving. Bars do not come to your house and they do not offer rides to all their patrons. Same with restaurants and office parties; there is plenty of booze and no rides for the partygoers. We know and accept that people get behind the wheel of a car. It does not bother us.
    ... continued



  • Kill the Bill

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    I wish to add my voice to the growing chorus demanding that the United States Senate kill the present pending health care Bill under discussion. Ranging from the entire Republican Party and their Tea Bagger consorts on the right to Howard Dean and Keith Olberman on the left, there seems to be a near unanimous call to end the Senate Bill. What was at its birth an overhaul of the weaknesses and infidelities of the nation’s health care system has deteriorated into nothing more than welfare for insurance companies. The White House seems more focused on getting any Bill signed than it is on assuring its contents are in the best interests of the American people. In the end, if the Bill is approved in its current form, then none of the intended good will filter down to the benefit of any of us.
    ... continued



  • Taking the Jew Out of Christmas

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    For almost two decades, this used to be the time of year when this evil hearted, child hating, Christian baiting, Jew volunteered his services on behalf of that jolly fat man and his worldwide mission of bringing pleasure to Christian spawn. Specifically, children all over send in their wishes and prayers to the Great and Powerful Claus via U.S. mail. My local post office would pawn the letters off on me.

    But our society has gone off the deep end with its paranoia about children. Last year, “Operation Santa” was officially cancelled by the Post Office downstate because a registered sex offender signed up to do Santa. This year, the cancer has spread to Upstate New York where by fiat and decree, all Santa letters are being sent to Albany for review and processing. It is as if the post office considers me a threat to children and I resent that implication. No more Santa letters for Mark. Society and the USPS went ummm, "postal" and cut off us good hearted Santa's from those who need us most.

    It was fun and not a little ironic that responding to such children’s wish lists is an offspring of the killer of Christ. Being as busy as he is at this time of year, Santa would call upon some of us to step up and help him get his job done in time. Failure to make timely delivery results in Santa paying substantial late fees. Consequently, people like me were anointed with the privilege and honor of responding to these letters from children to Santa Claus. I really did look forward to it. Now, I am alone for the holiday.
    ... continued



  • The Red Zone

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    At this party I came across a new feature being offered by some cable service providers and produced by the NFL. It is called NFL Red Zone. The underlying concept is that the station switches from any one of the ten games being played and shows only those plays and events that occur in what is called the “red zone”; that area between the 30 yard line and the end zone. As soon as the play in that area is over, the station switches to another game where there, the play is in the red zone. With ten games being played at once on a Sunday afternoon, there was an immense amount of moving from one game to another to just see the highlights of scoring drives or interceptions and then quickly move off to another game. There are no commercials on this channel. The channel also does not show any one game so you really cannot follow what is happening anywhere in the NFL other than in the box scores being shown in a strip at the bottom. On that strip, you have to focus hard to see scores from around the league.

    Let me be the first to say that this ‘Red Zone’ concept is about the most annoying idea ever conceived for watching a game. Any football game is like a good novel; it is a slowly unfolding story that builds as you move through it and ultimately reaches a climax. It doesn’t matter if it is a blowout or a game that comes down to the last play. There are passes and runs, trick plays and fumbles, and a whole lot of interesting and skilled play that goes on elsewhere on the field beyond the red zones. The ability to follow a game is like seeing a story unfold and not knowing the end until you get there. I would define the Red Zone as being the Cliff Notes version of football and you miss all the in between play.
    ... continued



  • The Annual War on Christmas

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    What would the Christmas season be without someone somewhere giving fodder to the extremist Christians to argue that Americans have gone to War against Christmas. Somehow we managed to survive a Black Death Friday and retailers are piping in the Christianity and Christmas as fast as their CD changers can play them.
    ... continued



  • The Dangerous Path Through New York

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    We need to find our humanity again. Our State needs to stop finding ways to fatten its prison population. Citizens from other States need to be safe traveling through New York. All of us should be allowed to bring our medically prescribed prescriptions with us without first getting law enforcement’s approval. This case reeks of too much government interference in the liberty and privacy of all Americans. Shame on the New York State Police offices who made this arrest. Shame on prosecutors whose bloodlust ignores the privileges and immunities of fellow Americans.
    ... continued



  • Inherit the Windfall

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Among those itemized expenses apparently necessary to the business of judging are meditation retreats, framed photographs of themselves, and a $233 Apple iPod Touch. There was $1,665 for the cost of an entire table at a May dinner of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association, $2,878.40 to travel to Cuba in late September with the National Association of Women Judges for what one attendee reportedly called a fact-finding vacation, a $260 claim for a Poland Springs water cooler for chambers, a one-year, $127 New York Times subscription delivered to a judge’s home, and a $290 room air purifier bought on Home Shopping Network. Judges can continue to submit these expenses and seek reimbursement or they can just take the entire $10,000.00 as a lump sum and submit no itemized list of expenditures. Overall, this pay bonus will cost the state $12.6 million dollars a year.
    ... continued



  • Tied Up

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    I bring all this up because I think it is time that folks my profession rethink its position on Men having to wear Ties and Jackets to Court. The idea comes from sanctions suffered by this lawyer for choosing to opt for an ascot instead of a tie. I am sure he looked quite smashing with a bundle of silk wrapped around his throat underneath an open-at-the-neck dress shirt. The Judge there was not so impressed and reacted angrily.
    ... continued



  • Give Thanks

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Giving Thanks should be extra special this year. I think it is very important people put in that extra effort to make this year’s Thanksgiving memorable. With a national debt of twelve trillion dollars and tens of billions about to spent in Afghanistan, with the falling dollar and artificially lowered interest rates, and with the massive expansion of the federal government soon to be upon us as part of the health care bills pending, it is my humble opinion that inflation is about to take off. This year may be our last year, potentially for millions of us, to be able to invest the time and money in a Thanksgiving feast with those we love. With a war tax looming and somebody has to pay the debt, I say enjoy today. Carpe Diem. Tomorrow aint looking so good.
    ... continued



  • Dangerous Liaisons

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    In a declaration by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and later echoed by President Barack Obama, Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four other accused terrorists have a date with a civilian court and then the executioner. Held without trial for eight years at Guantanamo Bay, Mohammed has already offered to plead guilty in front of a military tribunal to being the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks and has asked to be executed. The Attorney General proclaimed that he and not the terrorists will decide how and what kind of justice will be administered and toward that end, has ordered the case removed to a civilian federal court in New York.

    So confident is our Attorney General that he has nearly guaranteed a conviction and an execution of Mohammed. He claims to have overwhelming evidence secured through lawful means and that a conviction is a foregone conclusion. Apparently and despite 158 waterboardings and other forms of treatment that constitute torture, the Attorney General was able to arrange a clean team to gather untainted evidence sufficient to execute Mohammed.

    There is however a grave danger lurking in these proceedings. Asked specifically whether the accused would be let go should the charges be dismissed or the defendants acquitted, the Attorney General said “no, we wont just let him go.” That posture to me seems like a grave and gathering threat to all of us. When a court dismisses charges or a jury acquits a defendant, there cannot be a lawful basis to continue to detain someone. We have to let them go. That is how our system works. To allow for continued detention or punishment after a dismissal or acquittal would set a terrible precedent for all Americans and put the very legitimacy of our criminal justice system in question.
    ... continued



  • On the Life of a Child

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Whom among us is at 30 as we were at 10? Dare I say that I was not the man at 45 that I was at 15. Childhood is a phase in life that we all transgress as we mature into the persons that we ultimately become. Lessons learned, mistakes made, and the gathering of life experience are part of what accumulates during our formative years. At present, our nation is struggling with how to deal with heinous crimes committed by children. How we resolve this issue will speak volumes about our own humanity and ability to recognize that decisions made as children should have a limited effect on the remainder of our lives. There has to be a period where we can safely make mistakes and learn from them as we mature into productive citizens.

    At least three examples of this are presently at the fore of our national discussion. In the State of Florida, two juveniles are facing life sentences without the possibility for parole for crimes committed when they were children. The United States Supreme Court is presently looking at both. One child was 13 years old when he was convicted of rape. The other child was 16 years old when convicted of armed robbery. Neither was charged with a capital offense though both crimes are gruesome and offensive to all our sensibilities. In Apache County, Arizona, a then 8 year old boy shot and killed his father and then wounded a housemate. Apache County has no idea what to do with the child.

    What should we do with those who sin against society at such tender ages? Do we accept the argument that some folks at whatever age are so beyond redemption that their lives are no longer worthy of our time and energy? Must they be simply written off, tossed into the prison system and forgotten until dead?
    ... continued



  • Prison Care

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    I am going to prison. If Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats have their way with their proposed Health Care Bill, I and many like me will find ourselves being shuffled off to the Big House to do hard time.

    The proposed legislation says in sum and substance that if I do not provide medical insurance to my family, I have to pay a tax penalty of 2.5% of my income. In doing so, I don’t get insurance, I just pay a tax penalty. Failing to pay that additional tax could result in a $250,000.00 fine and five years in federal prison.
    ... continued



  • Lord, Protect Them From My Own Weakness

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Sin.

    Glorious beautiful passionate sin.

    How can we resist? Being but mere mortals, sin lurks everywhere and if we dare not be alert, we risk succumbing to temptation and falling into the abyss. Eternal damnation is our opponent. Lest we save ourselves now, flaming brimstone from the netherworld will forever lap at our buttocks.
    ... continued



  • Breaking and Entering

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The weakest of our society, the poor who live in certain neighborhoods, are the real victims here. Yes the homeowner himself suffered the damage to his home and the death of his dog. But the problem is larger than just the one homeowner. He is not the first person subjected to a forced entry without any lawful basis by Syracuse police and I doubt he will be the last. Until someone draws a line in the sand and makes clear that unconstitutional and illegal searches by police are not going to be tolerated, then this is going to happen again and again. Nobody is safe under such circumstances. This is how the poor are treated by police because police know the poor cannot afford lawyers to fight back. But the poor have rights that are just as precious as those belonging to the rest of us and until there is a real stop put in place to illegal police activities, there are going to be more dead dogs, more broken doors, and more constitutional violations.
    ... continued



  • A Gift, on Loan

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The President of the United States has proposed increasing lending to small business as the solution to our nation’s employment problem. He argues that banks need to lend small business more money so that larger payroll can be met. The plan is for the federal government to give large sums of money to local banks conditioned upon the local banks making loans to local small business. The business then gives the money to an employee.

    To me, this approach to the employment problem would be a boondoggle. First of all, why not just give the money straight to the small business person without the middle man. Cut the self employment and corporate tax rates and you have the same effect as increasing the supply of capital in the company. Why should the banks make money on the deal?

    A second and far more important reason is that it is too dangerous for small business to take loans. In fact, we need to reduce debt and overhead. Luring us with easy loans is exactly the behavior that brought down the entire financial house of cards. Now, instead of homeowners, it will be the risky small business that will be in hock and under partial ownership of a bank, Why should a business take a loan? We need customers. People need jobs so they can buy my goods and services. Borrowing to cover payroll seems to me as the inappropriate response We need to be treated like our larger brethren. Let us be given grants from the TARP fund and let us invest in our business and open others. Don’t make me borrow money when others are getting grants.
    ... continued



  • Medicare, Part E

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Congress has finally come up with a solution to the public option portion of the current health care debate. They are calling it Medicare Part E – meaning Medicare for Everybody. That solution, opening up Medicare for those under age 65, was proposed here back in August when all of America was aflame at Town Hall meetings. Perhaps in the next few weeks or months, Congress will recognize the other minor statutory change that could be made so as to make health care available for all Americans.
    ... continued



  • Baby Jail

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Amongst the great unwashed who sat around gathering dust as the Judge plodded along through his calendar sat a young pretty mother and her most adorable young baby. The baby was a pretty little blonde thing with the cutesiest wavy hair and the most enlightening smile that completely swallowed her chubby little cheeks.

    This pretty baby girl was cooing and gurgling and making all kinds of heart melting baby noises as she sat calmly in the stroller. Her mom would put a finger to her mouth and say “shhhh” and the baby in the stroller would smile and mimic Mommy with a baby-esque “shssshhshhhsssss” followed by a gum glaring spittle driven smile.

    All this activity was going on for about thirty minutes when I decided to get into the game. As the baby was scanning the faces and exchanging smiles with enamored and smitten adults; her eyes and mine met. It was ‘game on’.
    ... continued



  • The Great Lie of Tort Reform

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Once again, the forces of evil are on the march. Republicans are focusing America’s ire on “the lawyers” as being at fault for the high cost of medicine. Bazillion dollar verdicts are trotted out as being the reason your prescription costs are so high. Me thinks however, that those who target lawyers and jury verdicts are playing to Americans’ jealousy and lower pettiness than being truly interested in healing a dying system. Before civil rights and social responsibility is cast aside, medicine should first heal its own self.

    It is important we as a nation talk to each other. Fingerbanging or fingerpointing solves nothing. We end up factionalized and confused and nothing is accomplished. We will never be able to talk so long as professional labels intefere with cooler heads and rational thinking. Yet modern medicine has no qualms with 'blaming the lawyers'. So let the blame game begin.
    ... continued



  • At War With Our Own

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Congratulations to New York State’s Attorney General and governor wannabe Andrew Cuomo for leading “Operation Trump” and arresting more than two dozen of our fellow citizens and neighbors on drug charges. This neverending ‘Clean Up the Streets and Grab Headlines for Election Time’ campaign resulted in four and a half kilos of cocaine being taken off the streets. The cost of incarceration, prosecution, defense, and maintenance of those ‘evil drug dealers’ is an unknown but guaranteed to be a significant weight upon the backs of all us taxpayers.

    Over the years, I have written extensively on the subject of the mismatch of using the criminal justice system as a solution to the nation’s drug problem. It a dance now thirty five years old and the river of blood and pyre of bodies grows along with the problem.

    Here it is: Arresting a Drug Dealer does NOT stop demand or supply of drugs. All it does is create a job opening. This is your nation’s policy on drugs.
    ... continued



  • A Beautiful Mind

    By Neil M. Gingold, Esq.
    President, Onondaga County Bar Association

    (In a poignant and salient essay in this month's Bar Reporter, attorney Gingold brings together and well summarizes the shortcomings and pitfalls of ignoring the wealth of experience that comes from a lifetime body of work. He sheds light upon and questions the mindset of ignoring the older worker in favor of the young and inexperienced). His essay is republished here with permission.
    Consider this excerpt: "Age, experience and wisdom are attributes to be cherished. In European, Asian and other cultures, age, experience, and wisdom have always been values to be cherished. Where did we as an American society turn off of that golden path?"

    We couldn't agree more.
    What a Drag it is Getting Old -- in Upstate New York

    But in Upstate New York, they don’t want me anymore. Like some pathetic 70’s science fiction movie, persons over 40 are no longer welcome here. We are thrown from jobs in favor of lower cost younger employees, our government and civic organizations pour barrels of beer down the throats of the young to hold them here. Career fairs, job fests, networking events, and parties galore are extended to the babies. Meanwhile, the BabyBoomers are tossed to the curb for some Community Court slave to sweep up.
    ... continued

    ... and then there is this guy



  • State’s Rights to Keep and Bear Arms

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Central to our constitutional history is the premise that the Constitution guarantees to all citizens, born and naturalized, certain fundamental rights and freedoms. It is the responsibility of the Federal Executive and Judiciary to see that these basic laws and protections are available to every American citizen. That is the sole mission of the Federal Government. It is the arbiter for keeping the peace and an open pathway for commerce and communication. Elected officials and their appointees are not our parents nor guardians nor “leaders”.

    Likewise a vital plank of our constitutional republic is the understanding that while we are all American citizens, we are likewise citizens of our respective States and Commonwealths. Nowhere is a State prohibited from recognizing greater rights and benefits than the minimum assured by the Federal Constitution. The Federal Constitution establishes the floor standard. States are free to go above and beyond that and are encouraged to do so.

    It is the original compact between all the States and affirmed nearly every time the question came before the Supreme Court, that the Federal Constitution creates a set of minimum rights and protections available to every American. This was later codified in the 14th Amendment. There are absolutely NO prohibitions found anywhere in the federal constitution that say a State cannot recognize MORE rights and freedoms than those guaranteed by the Federal constitution. Meaning, that the federal constitution sets the floor below which no State can go but above which every State is welcome to rise. ... continued



  • Federalist Chutzpah

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    So there is no ambiguity, I am not among the fans of the current governor of the State of New York. I eagerly await the next statewide election so as to vote against the incumbent David Patterson. From my perspective, Governor Patterson has been a dismal failure and an incompetent chief executive. It just does not appear that Patterson has the mindset or perspective to guide the State of New York into the future.

    But now comes the President of the United States, Barack Obama who is interfering in New York State politics and advising the Governor not to run for re-election. Whether Governor Patterson runs for re-election is a personal decision that he and his constituents get to make. It is patently wrong for Federal officials to stick their noses into State politics. We the People of the State of New York get to select our next governor. That decision will not and should not be made by the President of the United States.
    ... continued



  • What Happens in Vegas Doesn’t Necessarily Stay in Vegas

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    I was at a wedding recently in Las Vegas. During the post nuptial celebratory feast, my new “big sister” told people at the table to keep quiet because she said I would write about it on my website. (I should note there was a lengthy debate whether she was my new big sister or my new older sister; neither of which she liked). I, of course denied that I would share my wedding experience with my readers. Alas, but I cannot resist.
    ... continued



  • Get Onondaga County Off Drugs

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Onondaga County is about to run almost $38 million in the red for the upcoming year. This amount is more than 3 ½ times greater than last year’s deficit. The County Executive is proposing 51 layoffs and pay reductions for 2,149 workers.

    This is a huge deficit which gap will be filled by property taxpayers. Legislators offer laughable excuses that income did not meet projections. The bottom line is the County is poised to cut services and jobs, raise property taxes, and seek increased tax dollars from State and Federal governments. It appears County Government lost its’ sense of direction. This Republican dominated County leadership must be on some very good drugs to propose a budget deficit of such proportions.

    One of this biggest tax hogs at the trough is the County justice system and the War on Drugs. The Sheriffs Department, Jamesville Pen, the Justice Center, the District Attorney’s Office, the Probation Department, the Assigned Counsel Program, the Court system, Drug Courts, and the myriad of related agencies and services are among the primary consumers of County tax dollars. In their main editorial of January 14, 2009, the Syracuse Newspapers called our drug laws, “the most unsuccessful criminal justice strategy in the state.” Clearly, the time has come for a serious and open investigation into this subject.
    ... continued



  • Colors

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Last night while I was seated on a wall and honestly and truly just minding my own business, slowly nursing a 10 ounce cup of New York’s finer wines and watching the foot traffic headed into the Kid Rock concert, I became an eye and ear witness to what I consider a repeat of the Kinane experience and violation of a citizen’s right to be heard. This time, it was all about colors.

    Two men and three women were seated quietly nearby talking amongst themselves. Out of nowhere, a gaggle of State Troopers arrived; nearing eight in number and surrounded the group. They made the men get up and Troopers walked the men over to the wall about five feet away from where I was seated. It was quickly clear why police had made their approach and stop. One of the men was wearing a leather vest with the words, “Hells Angels” on it. There was also a “New York” patch, and an “mc” patch. But as was repeatedly made clear, it was the words “Hells Angels” that drew the troopers attention and for which this otherwise non intrusive fairgoer was stopped, searched, and force marched out of the fairgrounds. The only thing the other guy was wearing of any note was a pink bandana on his head.

    As close as they were, I still had to struggle over the din and chaos of the Fair to hear the conversation. While some of the troopers talked to the women and kept them away from the two men and about five troopers surrounded the two men, one trooper did all the talking at first. I did not hear everything said but I did hear a few choice comments. The trooper’s obvious main objection was, “we don’t allow people to wear colors at the Fair.” “Colors” refers to identifiers that tell publicly what ‘gang’ a person belongs to. Apparently wearing a “Hells Angels” leather vest is considered “colors” by the troopers. Clearly they haven’t spent much time down on the midway where there are plenty of red, blue, and black bandanas being worn as people flag up and dress down for the evening’s enjoyment. I speak the truth when I tell you the trooper’s stated objection was, “this is the Great New York State Fair and not a grocery store and we do not allow people to wear colors here”. Grey and purple are colors too, are they not?
    ... continued



  • IRS Preparing Hunt for Insured

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The I.R.S. is on the hunt. Tasked to do so by the pending Democratic Health Care Reform Act(s), the nation’s internal revenue agency will be collecting data on every person covered by health insurance.

    If your employer provides you with health coverage, then your employer is going to have to report that fact to the I.R.S. and include with that information the names of any beneficiaries such as family members to that health care. (Section 161(b) starting at page 107). The bill does not limit what information the Secretary of the Treasury may request, so it is conceivable and likely that information as to the nature of the coverage, the family members included, and other details will be reported to the IRS. The House bill contains similar provisions in section 401(b) (at pp. 175-176).

    Then the I.R.S. is to inquire and determine whether someone’s social security number does not line up with a health plan and if the citizen does not provide proof of insurance, then there is a special tax that will be added onto the person’s tax liability. The House bill provides for a tax on people who do not have acceptable coverage at "any time" during the tax year. House bill section 401 provides for a new section 59B (at pp. 167-168) of the Internal Revenue Code:
    ... continued



  • Remember the Tea Party!

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Back on April 15, 2009, Americans across the land gathered for Tea Parties to protest loudly against the huge deficits being run up and massive spending programs being enacted.

    The Establishment was aghast at the People’s then audacity to speak out on matters of great public concern. Americans saw the twelve trillion dollar debt as being a sin. Labeled nuts and fringe groups, Tea Party participants were summarily dismissed by the media (sans Fox), by Congress, and by the Administration. It was as if We the People, didn’t matter anymore.

    Now anew comes a great national debate regarding the Democrats’ health care proposal – H.R. 3200. (Read it, if you can). Americans with strongly held opinions are speaking out coast to coast. Again comes the Administration and Congress with their respective media outlets blasting the sheer chutzpah of anybody who dares to oppose the legislation presently pending before Congress. According to Sen. Charles Schumer, the Republicans and the citizenry have until September 15, 2009 to fall in line or the Bill will be voted upon solely by Democrats following a party mandate.
    ... continued



  • War Footing

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The gang of Three, the Three Amigos they were called, met in Guadalajara Mexico to discuss, among others, how they would respond to the ever growing monster known as the Drug War. Presidents of the United States, Canada, and the host Mexico gathered amidst a rising tide of blood and chatted each other up for solutions.

    Already, the rhetoric is ramping up. Billions of dollars are being earmarked. Troops by the hundreds are being deployed. I speak not of the Middle East nor the surge planned for Afghanistan. Instead the focus is on the Mexico / U.S. border.
    ... continued



  • Health Careless

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    We are now in the midst of a great civil debate. What was once thought of being a politically dead third rail (aka Hillarycare), is now hotly under scrutiny and discussion in all quarters of society. Nowhere more important is the discussion of universal healthcare than presently in the United States Congress. Currently enjoying their August recess, our federal legislature has taken the case for universal healthcare from Washington D.C. and is trotting it out for public discussion at every hamlet Middlesex and farm; with the one notable exception being Sen. Diane Feinstein’s Los Angeles offices where staffers had police remove a gaggle of senior citizens wishing to discuss the issue with the Senator.

    I wanted to take a moment of your otherwise busy schedule to respond to some of the non issues clouding the discussion so that when your turn comes, you will not be blinded to some of the realities of the situation we are all facing.
    ... continued



  • It Aint No Black Thang

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    There was a kegger at the White House. Guzzling their favorite brews, the President and Vice President sat and listened to two very pissed off people vent their respective perspectives. Injecting himself into a national discussion and perhaps even a learning moment, the President involved himself and opined on a matter of local police practice.

    So let us be clear. The arrestee, a Harvard professor and noted Black citizen, tired and drained from a trip home from China and struggling getting into his home came face to face with a police officer investigating a reported possible burglary. Indeed the arrestee gained entry into his home with a key and proved his identification as being the homeowner. But the arrestee couldn’t let things go. Showing racial bias against the police officer, the homeowner got mouthy and accused the police officer of acting out of racial bias against Blacks. The evidence bears out that this police officer is not of the ilk to target Blacks for police action. As the officer was leaving, the homeowner followed and words were continually exchanged between the citizen and the officer. There came a point when the officer had enough and decided to arrest the citizen for “disorderly conduct”. Those charges have since been dismissed.

    Frankly I have to agree with the President that the arrest was a stupid thing to do. Police have a right to be treated with respect and most Americans feel that their response to a cop is “yes Sir” and “no Sir”. Others feel that when they have done no wrong and are still confronted by police, that the citizen has the right to speak his mind. The arrest of the citizen was stupid because the officer was the trained professional.
    ... continued



  • The Pain of Birthing a Shark

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Here I am eighteen years later, and my stomach still churns at the thought of taking that test. For me, the only thing worse than sitting for the New York State Bar Exam … is not.
    ... continued



  • Squashing Ants

    By Anne C. Woodlen

    Arleen and I are activists on behalf of people who are poor, sick or elderly, of whom we are two. We tackle big problems, take on entire social systems and file federal complaints, but we rarely accomplish anything big. We set out to take down elephants and succeed in squashing ants. Arleen continually throws kudos my way for squashing ants, so here’s a story for you, Arleen.

    I was wheeling downtown in my power wheelchair to attend an arts and crafts festival in order to publicize one of Arleen’s pet projects—public art, a place where poor folk can study, do, display and market art work.
    ... continued



  • Stop Making Pinatas Out Of Illegal Immigrants

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Immigration does not present a threat to our nation. In fact, shutting down our borders, “shooting to kill” attempts at illegal entry, and turning millions of otherwise peaceful human beings into felons is not the answer. It is a very expensive path that goes nowhere.

    In our quest for honesty, let us be truthful about this so-called problem. Arguments about a drain on our taxes, medical resources, education, and public welfare systems are the constant banter from those with problems with immigrants.

    Yet, it is “we” and our harshening policies that have created this strain. If people coming here could work, pay taxes, get a drivers license, and be in the mainstream, then we would not be experiencing the problems we do. Let them do it for a month or a year or 20 years or a lifetime and even return home if they so desire. But, rather than enabling people to be normal and function in society according to its norms, we drive these people underground. We force them to work for cash, to not pay taxes, to fake IDs, to live 30 people to an apartment, and to keep having anchor babies. How does the old saying go? “Prohibition Doesn’t Work”, it only creates an underground black market economy and infects overall society with worsening crime rates and rising social welfare costs.
    ... continued



  • Vox Bestia Est Non Vox Deus

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Imagine for a moment that I passed a law protecting your car. Specifically, my law says that if any harm should befall your car, that you are subject to criminal sanction. If the car breaks down or has any engine failure, then you are financially responsible to restore the car to perfect working order and failure to do so would result in criminal charges. Finally, once you buy the car you are stuck with it forever and it must be protected from the elements, harm, and damage.

    The obvious response is “who the hell do I think I am” to pass such a law. A car is property and subject to the whim and will of its owner. Vehicles can be operated with body damage and nobody has the right to demand that the vehicle always appear in perfect condition. Brakes can be run down, oil can be low, transmissions can slip and still the car can be both owned and driven. Government has no role to play in demanding that property like a car be maintained and protected against all harm.

    Animals are property too. They are not human and have no human rights. Our laws and Constitution make no reference to animal rights, to citizenship, or to the equal standing of animals with humans.
    ... continued




  • A Magna Carta Moment

    By Anne C. Woodlen

    In June of 1215 the English barons forced King John to sign the Magna Carta, which limited his powers, reaffirmed human rights, and became the basis of English justice. Then John had to go hire mercenaries to fight for him against the barons because they outnumbered him.

    It would be prudent for the American upper class to keep this in mind: the problem with lower class people is that there are so many of them. In July of 1776, Americans declared that all men have an equal right to pursue happiness. My question is: In August of what year is the large lower class of America going to require the small upper class to surrender its unjust claim to superior medical care, i.e., an unequal right to pursue happiness?
    ... continued





  • Fuzzy Math at Onondaga County DSS

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    OK boys and girls: We are well aware that many of you are graduates of the Syracuse City School system, so we will try and make this easy.

    Here is a simple math problem. I give you $100.00. You put that money in a shoebox. One day, you take $50.00 out of that shoebox and put it in your sock drawer. The day after, you take another $25.00 and put give it to your mom because she is so wonderful.

    Question: How much money did I give you?
    ... continued




  • America the Beautiful
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Guess where I live?
    ... continued




  • The Constitutional Right to Lie to the People

    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Fox news successfully argued to a Florida Appellate Court that under the First Amendment, Fox news had the legal right to lie, distort, and mislead the public. The case arose when a reporter was directed by Fox news to write up for public dissemination a wholly false and distorted story. When the reporter refused, Fox fired the reporter. In response, the reporter sued Fox news and after a trial, a six person jury found in favor of the reporter. A Florida appellate court overturned that verdict holding, “that the Federal Communications Commission position against news distortion is only a "policy," not a promulgated law, rule, or regulation.”

    The public airwaves belong to all of us and are regulated by the FCC. In place is a policy that seeks to dissuade those who lease the public airwaves from lying or distorting the truth. The story arises from a reporter who was told to distort a story about growth hormones in milk so that Fox would not have to worry about its advertisers. Because the FCC only has a policy in place against misleading the public, the Courts held that the reporter (and the public) had no recourse for the lies being spread by Fox News.
    ... continued




  • The Man in the Mirror
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Now that I survived to the milestone age of 50, the question is begged as what will I do for the next fifty years. The last fifty haven’t been that stupendous albeit they were a life lived. Every decision I made, right or wrong and regardless of the blowback, seemed to be the right one at the time. I am now at a stage in life where I feel I am in control of my world and have the opportunity to do whatever and be whatever I choose.

    The late Michael Jackson in one of his songs says, “if you want to change the world, start with the man in the mirror.” So I ask, who is the man in the mirror? The man I know and see is one who has travelled a hard road, stumbled often, and tread upon too many toes. Looking back at me, the man in the mirror shows the scars of a thousand battles. I ask him frequently ‘what can I do to change him’?
    ... continued



  • June 28, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Going Loco Parentis
    By an 8-1 vote in the recent decision of SAFFORD UNIFIED SCHOOL DIST. #1 v. REDDING, the United States Supreme Court said the strip search by school officials of a child violated that child’s Fourth Amendment rights to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures. Voting 6-3, that same Court opined that school officials are immune from suit and are not answerable for their sins. How is it that we can get a decision that finds a constitutional violation but insulates the wrongdoers? It is wrapped up in the concept of “qualified immunity”.
    ... continued


  • June 27, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The Many Faces of Death
    My friend Christ, in an oft repeated parable, says that, “the older you get, the more dead people you know.” This past week, those words of wisdom have been slammed home to me. First, I turned fifty years old just a handful of days ago. At the same time, a close family friend died. Then came the shocking death of Michael Jackson.

    Turning fifty itself was a rude awakening to my own impending death. Some argue that “50 is the new 30”; whatever that means. I am well aware that fifty years old is not “old” by some scales. To me, reaching the age of fifty signifies an age at which I swore in my youth I would never live to see. Achieving this milestone while still breathing and in relatively good health is a miracle by my standards. It was a long process and I went through all the stages of dying. Only this past week have I come to the ‘acceptance’ phase where I am starting to feel comfortable in my now half century year old sagging skin. The only real change I noticed is my new right to act like a crotchety old man and tell kids to get off my lawn.
    ... continued



  • June 19, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Endless War:
    America's Shameful Addiction
    First let me say that congratulations I believe are in order to local police agencies for taking down another organized criminal enterprise. Seventeen more bad guys were arrested this week in the annual ‘Clean Up the Streets and Grab Headlines for Election Time’ campaign. The cost of incarceration, prosecution, defense, and maintenance of these 17 ‘evil drug dealers’ are now upon the backs of all us taxpayers. Another group of real bad guys is now safely behind bars and a neighborhood can start to rest easy. More than a dozen people are now destined to spend a near eternity in some taxpayer funded hellhole. This dance is now thirty five years old and the river of blood and bodies grows along with the problem.

    Count me as among those people who want safer streets, where adults and kids are free to hang out and live their lives as they so choose. ‘Organized criminal enterprises’ are a threat to us all. Nobody should have to live in fear of random violence. No group has the right to dominate and control a neighborhood. It is be unreasonable to tolerate sociopathic behavior. Kudos to the police and prosecutors for working to keep the streets safe.

    Now is the time to strap up, don the Kevlar vest, and grab a full metal jacket. Here it is: Arresting a Drug Dealer does NOT stop demand or supply of drugs. Doing so will not make your streets safer. All it does is create a job opening. That is at the core of our nation’s policy on drugs.
    ... continued



  • June 13, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    A Pregnant Pause for a Slutty Flight Attendant
    It has been a lot of years since I have watched a David Letterman monologue. If he is today as he has always been, Letterman is edgy, confrontational, and unafraid to mock all that is holy. From the news of late, Letterman took a hard shot at Alaska Governor Sarah Palin by likening her to a slutty flight attendant. He bemused the thought that being at a Yankee baseball game put Bristol Palin at risk of getting pregnant by Alex Rodriguez. Apparently these two thoughts have become a rallying point around which loudmouthed right wing militants have sought to bring about the end of Letterman’s show.

    The entire pregnant slut issue is a straw man argument that in reality lacks any substance. Today’s Republicans are scattered and disjointed and without any cohesive message. Instead of finding their voice, the political right led by Palin scream out in alleged pain from Letterman’s words. They are now in brutal attack mode and just won’t let the issue rest. A quip from a monologue (that in reality was more insulting to Alex Rodriguez and flight attendants) has become a fake argument about morality. They seek to take the entire nation down with them.
    ... continued



  • June 11, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Bullseye
    I have a bullseye on my back. As a Jew, I have walked through my life knowing (and at times meeting) people are out there wanting me dead for no other reason than my religious beliefs and cultural upbringing. As the events at the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. prove, some people are willing to die in their cause to bring death and horror to Jews everywhere. It was totally unnecessary for the Department of Homeland Security to issue an Alert that Right Wing Extremist Groups want to kill Jews. We already know that.
    ... continued


  • June 09, 2009:
    By Edward M. Shepard, PhD.
    Chairman of the Economics Department
    Professor of Economics
    Le Moyne College

    Drug Law Abuse in Onondaga County, New York
    In recent years statistical studies have documented significant differences in number and rates of arrests for African Americans, as compared with those for Caucasians in Syracuse, NY. Differences have been especially pronounced for drug possession and public order offences.

    The Syracuse Common Council sponsored studies in 2004 and 2006 to obtain information in order to address concerns about possible racial bias or racial profiling by Syracuse Police. The Syracuse Police Department has a formal policy prohibiting racial profiling and participated in data collection activities to provide needed data on stops and arrests for researchers. The studies were performed by faculty at Le Moyne College in 2004 and later at Syracuse University in 2006. Prior research relevant to this question was also undertaken by the Syracuse Newspapers in 2000 and 2002 and by Syracuse City Auditor Minch Lewis in 2003. These studies also provided evidence relevant to this question and raised concerns about possible racial profiling by Syracuse police.
    ... continued



  • June 06, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    A Murder in Oz
    It has never made any sense to me why folks would want to celebrate and make heroic the conniving murdering cruel stars of the tale of the Wizard of Oz.

    Remember the so-called Good Witch, Glinda? The facts are that she is a lying killer who, with that con man from the Emerald City, conspired to use and manipulate Dorothy to commit the most gruesome of murders. Glinda deserves the death penalty. She should not be elevated to the status of heroine.
    ... continued



  • June 04, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Inherit the Wind, not the Windfall
    A New York State Appeals Court ordered the New York legislature to give raises to the state’s judges. Arguing that the legislature has abused its’ discretion in not awarding pay raises to judges, the Court gave the State ninety days to raise judicial salaries by nearly $40,000.00. Of course, an appeal is planned but it will be New York judges who decide that appeal.

    As a lawyer and member of the Bar, I appreciate efforts to of the judiciary. As a taxpayer and attorney who has to function in that same system, I am offended at the effort to raise judicial salaries without first attacking waste and demanding greater productivity. If the Courts want to better pay their employees, then we as consumers deserve better. Allow me to use the “F” bombs – Fundamental and Fairness – that is the issue.
    ... continued



  • June 01, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The Tyranny of Tianamen Square
    I am stunned today to be reminded that twenty years have passed since the Tianamen Square massacre. Bearing witness to the brave souls who stood at the forefront of liberty and democracy and who were crushed by the weight of Chinese tanks those days in June still haunt me. It has been twenty years since I saw a single man stare down a convoy of military hardware. That single event became a part of my history; an event I swore I would never forget. Now two decades later, my heart still re-experiences that birth of a new nation.
    ... continued


  • May 30, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Child Abuse on Phoenix, New York
    Oh, the things we do to children.

    Police in Phoenix, New York (Oswego County) “have joined forces with the mayor's office and a local pharmacy to combat prescription drug abuse by teens.” Apparently the Village purchased drug test kits to be handed out free of charge to parents in the Phoenix school district. Besides issuing the wrong remedy for the problem of prescription drug abuse, police and the Mayor are encouraging destruction of the parent child relationship. Even worse is how government is encouraging the violation of the individual rights of child.

    First of all, drug test kits available in pharmacies do not test for prescription drugs. They test for marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, and a host of other illegal intoxicants. No test kit from any pharmacy tests for the ocean of pharmaceutical drugs available on today’s market. The rationale for encouraging parents to test their children fails on its very face. Either that, or police and the Mayor’s office are lying and trying to trap children who imbibe in prohibited drugs. Maybe police and the Mayor’s office are hoping children will snitch on each other when they test positive. No matter how you slice it, the drug test kits are not a rational response to the problem of prescription drug abuse.

    Then comes the issue of the wedge to be driven in the parent child relationship. Imagine the logistics of it; a parent confronting a child and demanding a drug test. No child I know would skip along and quietly obey. At first blush, even asking the question raises issues with the child. It is the same as asking any random adult. The demand to take a drug test is an invasion of personal privacy and for most, the issue becomes who has the right to know what is in my body.
    ... continued



  • May 26, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Stimulate Me
    Small businesses need to be stimulated as much as the big boys. Unless government changes its approach, the real failure will be found in the faces of hundreds and thousands of people who risked everything and lost. While Wall Street and Detroit may thrive from a bazillion tax dollar life support system, we small business owners have to just suffer in silence. Apparently we are just not that important.

    If you think for a moment the nation can do with or without the small business owner, take a look around you. Check out your community and see who is doing the employing. Ask yourself how many of your civic and community cultural projects rest on our backs. Charities that so much depend on us will be feeding us. Without the small business owner being healthy, the community itself can fall ill. Washington is so far away from Main Street and is making decisions for the benefit of Wall Street.
    ... continued



  • May 24, 2009:
    By Matthew A. Comini

    (It is Memorial Day. Think of all We lost and all We gained. We wish Matt Godspeed in his return from Iraq).

    What The Hell Does God Got to Do With It?
    I drew my rifle to my shoulder, my thumb flipped the selector lever from safe to semi, and my finger dropped a wild eyed insurgent. It was hot, real hot; like it ever wasn’t, right? I was riding shotgun hauling twenty-four hundred gallons of jet fuel, towing a trailer load of hellfire missiles up to Balad, a miserable shell riddled FOB at the time. My asshole was puckered tight to say the least, and my stomach left at least two MRE’s on the side of my truck. Ever value your own life more than some else’s to the point where your ten ton axles grind their guts into the pavement? Ever point a .50 caliber machine gun at a kid because you were scared out of your wits that he held an IED? Ever held your breath, laid your finger on the trigger and exploded a human being who screamed, “Allah Akhbar”? I didn’t sleep very well again last night. I didn’t get very much done today either. My dreams were soaked in blood.
    ... continued


  • May 22, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    What a Drag it is Getting Old -- in Upstate New York
    According to today's local newspaper, "the 40 Below organization and Come Home to Syracuse program will hold a career and networking event from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday at Syracuse Stage, 820 E. Genesee St., for young professionals and recent college graduates. People who attend the event, "It's All Here: Careers," will have a chance to mingle with human resources professionals from local employers, explore job opportunities and learn how to break into their chosen careers."

    I want to join my voice with the growing chorus of those who survived God and Darwin’s best efforts to enjoy life after 40. Despite the fact that most of my 40’s sucked, those of us who made it through the chaos our 30’s and resultant midlife crises have within us a wealth of experience, expertise, and knowledge that cannot be gleaned from a textbook or laboratory.

    But in Upstate New York, they don’t want me anymore. Like some pathetic 70’s science fiction movie, persons over 40 are no longer welcome here. We are thrown from jobs in favor of lower cost younger employees, our government and civic organizations pour barrels of beer down the throats of the young to hold them here. Career fairs, job fests, networking events, and parties galore are extended to the babies. Meanwhile, the BabyBoomers are tossed to the curb for some Community Court slave to sweep up.
    ... continued



  • May 21, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Wrong Arm of the Law
    The stench on the streets of Syracuse is not coming from those poor unwashed souls who lack any means of self-support other than to beg for pennies from passers-by. Instead, the true affront comes from a new policy by Syracuse Police who are going to start issuing citations to the homeless and dragging them before the courts. Plainly put, the new policy stinks. It is not the domain of police to resolve a health and welfare issue. The wrong arm of the law is being used against the homeless.
    ... continued


  • May 20, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Battle of the Bulge
    American Fat is prized throughout our society and overflows into our popular culture. Even television glamorizes ‘Fat’ in such shows as "Bulging Brides" and "The Biggest Loser". In Texas, there is a 242-pound yoga teacher who demonstrates "HeavyWeight Yoga”. At the same time we have a War on Smoking and an old War on Drugs and Gambling and Prostitution, we pander to the largess of our most unhealthy lifestyles and behaviors. All hypocrisy aside: Either we are a people who pride ourselves on personal responsibility or we are not. It cannot be both.

    When he was still a viable Democratic presidential candidate, Governor Bill Richardson called for fat people to be protected by the Americans for Disabilities Act. “This is an issue of basic civil rights. There are no federal laws that protect obese Americans from discrimination in the workplace, school, or anywhere else. This must change.” We are protected by federal anti discrimination laws but only if it is shown that Fat is an actual disability and not a lifestyle choice.

    Fat people do not deserve special shielding by our nation’s civil rights laws. These laws are in place to assure that every American is treated equally and not disparately for a reason over which they have no control. Race, gender, religion, and even sexual orientation are human conditions that individuals cannot control. Smoking, drug use, and being fat are choices we all make and, at the same time, choices we can opt out of if we wish. But unless cigarette smokers are going to get special treatment, then no way should fat people demand ‘reasonable accommodation’ (unless you define that as being a stairmaster).
    ... continued



  • May 17, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Just Say "No" to the Democratic Health Care Plan
    Right now, the Great Democratic Plan to provide health care to Americans is to mandate health insurance as a benefit of a job. Government is requiring all employers of any size to provide health insurance to employees. Employers who don’t or can’t will be required to pay a 2% surcharge to the U.S. Treasury. Such a payment is a tax. Finally, the Federal Government has decided to tax as income any health care benefits received by an employee. None of the Great Health Care Plan deals with the unemployed, underemployed, and the self employed unable to make the payments. Leading the charge is Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont, a big time recipient of health insurance industry and pharmaceutical industry campaign contributions. It seems to me this proposal is the wrong way to go about solving our nation’s health care crisis.

    Employers and businesses have no place or role to play in the nation’s health care debate. It is appalling that government has turned its attention to business owners and is helping itself to profits to offset what is arguably otherwise a government duty. Like police, fire, infrastructure, education, and courts, health care is not an employer driven need. Instead it is a social need shared by every single citizen. We do not require employers to provide for the costs of education or managing a fire district. It is just as insane to demand employers solve the nation’s health care issues.
    ... continued



  • May 14, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Shrinkage of Erectile Dysfunction
    And so it is written, in the First Sentence of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, that “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech.” One Democratic Congressman has gone forth to attempt to enact just such a law. Specifically, he seeks to prevent erectile dysfunction and male enhancement ads from appearing on radio and television between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. The Congressman argues the advertisements have gotten more bold and intrusive in our daily lives such that they need to be squelched.

    Randomly resurrect any of our nation’s Founders and hear them speak loudly in opposition to Congress passing such a statute. So long as our nation’s airwaves are being paid for the commercial time and what is being said is true and not a fraud, then so what if the listener is offended. Change the station, mute the volume, fast forward it, ignore it, or walk away. While one’s right not to be assaulted begins at the point of their nose, one’s right to not be offended does not begin at one’s eyes or ears.

    But the Congressman may indeed have a good idea. I too am annoyed by Smiling Bob and hearing of his Chubby Bag of Goodies thanks to Enzyte. Thanks to Cialis, I now have to bathe in separate tubs. “Viva Viagara” runs an endless loop in my brain. Male erectile dysfunction drugs are definitely buying up large quantities of advertising space and time. Enough already. I know there are drugs out there that will give me an erection that I hope remains for 3 hours and 59 minutes. All I need do is ask my doctor for written permission to have one – or several. Face it, these are recreational drugs of the first order.
    ... continued



  • May 12, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Migaines in My Colon*
    The Great Lie of Tort Reform
    Consequently, the system is already set up to take insurance companies out of the equation. Medicine, like education, is one of those necessary products that society must suck up and provide collectively – even if doing so is not profitable. It should be considered a part of our social contract and everything should be done to open up and make full medical care available to everyone.

    So please, quit blaming the lawyers. We are no more responsible for the cost of medical insurance and malpractice premiums than is a bullet responsible for a death. No lawyer would represent a healthy patient, who was not injured, and whose doctor treated them with respect. Those clients never turn up in our offices.
    ... continued



  • May 10, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    With Friends Like These, ….
    How does a man with my petty-gree stand up to someone whose credentials include being a former professor at Harvard and at UCLA, a current lecturer at Pepperdine University and who in 2003 was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award? James Q. Wilson, in a recent essay, posed a significant question. He asked and then answered, “Why Don’t Jews Like the Christians Who Like Them?”

    The basis for Wilson’s thesis is that Zionism and Evangelical Christianity have a common bond. He also posits Jews and Blacks should hate each other; same as Christians. Wilson argues that Jews and Christians share a dream of a strong and independent State of Israel. Evangelical Christians are supposedly the greatest friend of the Jew when it comes to defending Israel.

    To a Jew, people like Wilson scare the crap out of us. There is nothing which we have in common with Evangelical Christians. Arguably we may in part share a common idea. Still, the Christian ideal is to own Israel and bring together the forces of good and evil in the Valley of Armageddon for the final meltdown. Christians want Israel strong so as to hasten and bring about the Rapture.
    ... continued



  • May 08, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Dodger Blues
    Manny Ramirez, part of the magic crew that has led the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 13-0 home start has been suspended for 50 games for testing positive on a steroid drug test. I feel that it is a shame we are targeting athletes for punishment for doing what it is that we expect of them. We want our sports stars to be at their peak performance. Drugs don’t take them there; they only help the athlete himself develop his natural talents.

    This is the United States of America. We are a free nation that prides itself on individual achievement and success. Ours is not a social construct predicated upon disabling those out front so as to enable those who cannot or will not keep up, to do so. In sports, as in life, the loudest opponents to the concepts of “higher”, “faster”, and “stronger” are those same purists who seek a return to their little house on the prairie, want their two chickens in every pot, dream they are the Marlboro man, and plan a Donna Reed lifestyle. They will not look forward and insist on anchoring human enlightenment and progress in a bygone era.
    ... continued



  • May 06, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    A New Suitor for the Supreme Court
    With the announced retirement of Justice David Souter, America is about to get a new face on the Supreme Court and a new voice to be heard on how we, as a nation, will progress. Even before there has been a nominee, Republicans are spreading fear and hatred as they resurrect their favorite judicial buzzwords. Again we hear them clamoring over “activist” judges, strict constructionists, and how judges should have no empathy for the persons standing in front of them. America’s Supreme Court is being driven by Republicans to have a justice who has no personality, no opinion on controversial subjects, and is not allowed to fit any identifiable class of persons.

    A justice should not be selected because of race or gender or even sexual orientation. We deserve the best and the brightest who is beholden to nothing but the law and the Constitution.
    ... continued



  • May 02, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Jury Duty
    Why do people cringe when they are notified of jury duty? I have yet to understand what people fear or despise about jury duty. In all my years facing juries, two things are true. First, the process of jury selection is a boring time sponge that drags on and on and nobody likes. Second, those having served on a jury always comment on how fascinating of an experience they had. Jury duty is a civic duty owed by everybody. Jury duty is also a pain in the butt; unless you are selected as juror.

    My missus was recently summoned for jury duty. She hemmed and hawed and yapped on endlessly about what an inconvenience it would be. I told her it was her duty and she owed it because without her and the millions who went before her and after, our system would not work. Without juries, we wouldn’t have the benefit of a trial by peers. If not for the misery suffered by the milieu tapped for duty, the right to a jury trial would disappear.
    ... continued



  • April 29, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Whose Child is This?
    Over the years, whenever I would give tours of the Courthouse here in Onondaga County, as I would pass through the sea of humanity that swamps the Family Court and Child Support hearing rooms, my comment was always, “this is where you will see the worst of man’s inhumanity to man”. Every time I set foot in any of those Court rooms, I bear witness to a downward spiral into the hell of human narcissism.

    Watching Mothers and Fathers tear their children apart for power and control makes you sick. Seeing Mothers or Fathers using the Support and Custody system to continue relationship battles years after the relationship itself is over is a common occurrence. Bearing witness to the violence of parents upon children, of parents on each other, of children upon parents, and crimes committed by children can make you want to rip off your testicles to avoid the chance of ever having to deal with such a horror.
    ... continued



  • April 27, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Judging God
    I have been a duly ordained Minister in the Universal Life Church since 1999. Two criteria were demanded of me to achieve that status. First, I had to promise to be good and I have done all I can toward that aim. Second, I had to send them my email address. Upon receiving my ordination papers, I named my as-of-yet-unbuilt Cathedral the Church of the Holy Clasper. Though I have not yet registered my Ordination with any local government, I am nonetheless very protective of my Ministerial rights and duties.

    No man such as myself could ever be satisfied following just one church. To be absolutely sure that I can prove that I am a true man of God, I sought acceptance and ordination in a second Church. A handful of years ago, I was duly ordained into the Church of the Latter-Day Dude. Every morning, I don the holy robe of terri and drink of the sacred beverage. The only rule of that church I dare to daily break is my refusal to use fresh creamer when preparing the sacrificial beverage. In my congregation, we see it that if the Big Dude wanted our holiest beverages to be white, He would have so created. Nothing should ever come between a human being and the holy and sacrificial beverage. It is like taking a shower with your clothes on. Still, I maintain my status as Minister of the Church and similarly very protective of my Ministerial rights and duties.
    ... continued



  • April 24, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Reasonable Searches
    There are many legal scholars to point to two areas of constitutional law. First, there is the constitution itself and the mandates and limitations expressly set forth therein. Then, there is the judicial constitution which is a body of law written by jurists under the guise of interpreting the constitution. By way of example, consider the First Amendment that says “Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech.” By express language, Congress shall make no law should mean that government is without power to make any law limiting the free expression of speech. But, judges and jurists have carved out a body of law that creates exceptions to that specific limitation on government.

    The same rules apply to the Fourth Amendment where there is no such absolute ‘shall make no law” limitation. Instead, the drafters of the Constitution used an ambiguous word “reasonable” that comes back to bite us in the butt in every judicial decision. Consider the exact language of the Fourth Amendment: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated.” What is “reasonable” changes with each succeeding generation. Arguably under today’s standards, just about anything police do is reasonable and passes constitutional muster.

    By definition, a search is reasonable if it is executed by warrant. In fact, the general rule is supposed to be that any search not conducted under the penumbra of a warrant is per se unreasonable. According to Katz v. United States, 389 U. S. 347, 357 (1967), "searches conducted outside the judicial process, without prior approval by judge or magistrate, are per se unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment--subject only to a few specifically established and well-delineated exceptions."

    Over the years, however, the Courts have carved out a handful of exceptions to the warrant requirement and consider such searches to be “reasonable”. Among those exceptions to the warrant requirement and which are recognized by the Courts are “plain view”, “emergency”, “regulatory”, “search incident to arrest”, “hot pursuit”, "border searches" and what is the topic here, “automobile searches”.
    ... continued



  • April 23, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Tortured Logic
    Tell your concerns to the survivors of the Malmedy Massacre at the Battle of the Bulge. Share your fears with those who walked the Bataan Death March. It matters a lot how we treat people; whether they are civilian criminals or military targets. Every one is a human being. Americans do not build camps, interrogate by torture, and openly violate the law for the purposes of War. Our history is to the contrary. It would be considered “Un-American”. "Men who take up arms against another in public war do not cease on this account to be moral beings responsible to one another." (General Order 100 of the United States Army Field Manual of 1863).
    ... continued


  • April 22, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    In Death, Be Not Proud
    Of late, there has been a rash of family annihilations. Parents, especially fathers, are killing their families and then themselves. I recall one tale where a father threw his two children out of a window before jumping himself. All three died. The horror of that incident gripped me instantly and has not left me since. I cannot even imagine what could have been going through this man’s mind to prompt him to throw his two pajama-clad sons 15 stories to their deaths.

    I am no fan of children. Often are the times I fantasize about a Homer Simpson death grip around my own kid’s throat. I often dream of how much money I could get from the White Slave market if I sold my kid. Many are the debates I have with myself about how old I would be when I got out of prison if I were to kill her today. But these are just fantasies; sorta.
    ... continued



  • April 19, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Free Cuba
    Today we live in a different world. Starbucks in Beijing. McDonalds in Moscow. Poland joined NATO. The Soviet Union is no more. Former President Ronald Reagan once shouted out to the East … “Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down This Wall.” Down forever came the Iron Curtain and with it the end of the Cold War. America is doing business with every former enemy country. President Bush dined in Viet Nam. John McCain toured the Hanoi Hilton. Even North Korea is not rejected as we feed them and send our emissaries to negotiate.

    But our stance against Cuba remained firm. The former Batiste` exiles have used their political might and money to force the United States to remain in a state of cold war with Cuba. Despite being a small minority, Cubans in south Florida have managed to garner political muscle well beyond their means and have a voice louder than they deserve. The People of the United States have been manipulated by this minority for far too long.
    ... continued



  • April 18, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Ye Old Cicero
    A dear friend and law school classmate of mine, Thomas Mafrici, Esq. has penned a book scheduled soon for release titled ‘Images of America: Cicero’. Being among the lucky few to get an advance copy of the book, I can bring you this review before it hits the store shelves.

    Tom has been an attorney as long as have I but what sets him apart is that in 2003, he became the Town Historian for the Town of Cicero. His law offices and home are remodeled historic buildings in Cicero. As Town Historian, Tom has taken it upon himself to gather together a collection of rare and never before seen historic photographs that go back to the Town’s original founding at the crossroads of upstate New York.
    ... continued



  • April 17, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Tea Bag Politics
    Everybody who knows me and who follows my writings is well aware that I am not a Republican nor one of their country cousins, a conservative. I voted for President Obama in the last election and advocated heatedly against Republican policies and actions. My last President and his Administration, in my opinion, are criminals and deserving of prison sentences. At the same time, I am among the millieu of Americans who supported the Tax day Tea Parties.

    From the shrill catcalls of CNN to the hallowed halls of Congress, the tax day tea protests have been summarily dismissed. Called crackpots and extremists, government and left wing media consider the nationwide protests to be a joke. Apparently, those in government missed the point completely.
    ... continued



  • April 15, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    My Proclamation of Emancipation
    There comes a time in every person’s life when they have to sit their parents down and make it clear that they are themselves a rational, capable, adult and their parents have to let go, stand aside, and let a person make the decisions that affect their own existence. It happens in many ways, at many ages, and via many emotions. Eventually, Mothers and Fathers are told to let go and move on with their own lives.

    It seems to me that current titles and labels no longer apply to our political spectrum. The words “liberal” and “conservative”, “democrat” and “republican”, “left” and “right” no longer can be applied to define our current political construct. Tomes could be written how it is that Orwelian doublespeak was a vast understatement of how people currently define themselves and their politics.

    I think I have found a better way to view how we behave politically. If we understand and judge the behavior of politicians and leaders by these standards, then perhaps in pressuring for productive and healthy social policies we can approach the situation from this new paradigm. Let us call our new groupings ‘Mommies’, ‘Daddies’, and ‘Adults’.
    ... continued



  • April 13, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Heart A Tax
    Well, it's that most wonderful time of the year --- again. It is our National Rendezvous with Debt.

    For a nation that was founded by a bunch of rich white guys who did not want to pay their taxes, we should be proud. America has become the land of equal opportunity where anybody ... white or black, male female or otherwise, Jew, Muslim, Christian or Klan ... has the opportunity to become a great American taxpayer. Hard work and success will be rewarded; with increased taxes. The road to riches is lined with the receipts of a thousand write-offs. Children, no matter how incorrigible, are among our most treasured deductions.

    Yes, April 15th has become a day of wonder and excitement here in the United States. As one, we join and spend our day pondering into the hands of which foreign leader our tax dollars are going to land.
    ... continued



  • April 12, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Chuck Korea
    Almost forty thousand armed-to-the-teeth American soldiers stand watch on the 38th Parallel and patrol the world’s most dangerous and heavily mined parcel of real estate. I pay that bill. So do you. We have all been paying in blood and dollars for that 38th Parallel to be our line in the sand for almost sixty years. The line has not moved an inch. Neither has the diplomacy.

    North Korea is a problem for its neighbors. China, Australia, Japan, South Korea … these are the nations who have to find and implement a solution. As always we should stand ready to assist but North Korea is not our problem. At a minimum North Korea is a nuisance to us personally but presents a serious threat to her neighbors.
    ... continued



  • April 08, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Legalize Gay Marriage in New York
    Let us be the great People that we are. Let us learn to accept and tolerate those who do not think or live as we do. We are a pluralistic nation and as such, there has to be room for more than one idea. My idea is that we allow anybody to get married to anyone they choose. From those unions, our nation will thrive and grow and find enlightenment.

    Oh, and of course, with Gay Marriage ... comes Gay Divorce ... and that is always good for business.
    ... continued



  • April 06, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Smoke ‘em While You Got ‘em
    Congress recently voted to put cigarettes under the control of the Food and Drug Administration. Supported by such diverse and antagonistic forces as Senator Ted Kennedy and Altria (formerly known as Phillip Morris), this new law if enacted would create chaos and danger in the market.

    Let’s face the obvious. Cigarettes, if used as intended, will kill you. Loaded with carcinogens and other dangerous chemicals, there is nothing good to be said about cigarettes. It doesn’t matter if you smoke or chew, tobacco kills and does so painfully and miserably.

    Putting cigarettes in the hands of the FDA is not going to change the dangerous characteristics of smoking. First, the FDA will declare that there is no benefit from cigarettes. Then, the FDA will declare cigarettes to be too dangerous for use. Next will come the economic attack where cigarettes will be taxed at rates intended to drive people away. Finally, cigarettes will be put on a schedule by the FDA which will make them illegal to possess or use. Government has no value if it is not regulating and controlling the market for our health.
    ... continued



  • April 03, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Snapped!
    This is a play I wrote; a psycho drama in two acts. It has been years in the dreaming and weeks in the writing. If not for a swift kick in the ass by a mentor and friend, it would remain undone. Be advised, the story is not for the faint of heart. Your feedback is much appreciated. mdb@markblum.com or you can discuss your thoughts publicly on my Facebook page
    ... continued


  • April 01, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Bat Her Up
    Actually, my daughter got a letter the other day but because it was addressed from the New York Yankees, I figured it had to be some kind of misaddress or mislabel. Given that last summer, we took a trip to the City and saw a Yankee game, I just figured it was junk mail. All day I stared at the envelope with morbid curiosity until the kid came home and opened the letter. Boy was I wrong.
    ... continued


  • March 29, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The Dangerous Policy of Officer Safety
    A professional football player was stopped by a Dallas, Texas police officer in front of an Emergency room where the player had been rushing to see his dying mother in law. Apparently just prior to entering the parking lot, the driver ran a red light and was spotted by police. What has drawn national attention and the ire of the public is how the officer insisted on pursuing a detailed investigation and arrest instead of letting the player go and spend the last few moments of life with his kin. The driver was not rude, did not use profanity, and was unusually calm in face of the dire circumstances before him. Now suspended, the Dallas officer drew his weapon on the football player driver. I am not shocked.
    ... continued


  • March 28, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    My President, on Drugs
    Giggling like a schoolgirl, my President responded to a huge public demand for comment on ending prohibition with a summary dismissal of the issue. He did not present an argument for or against the subject; he just flatly refused to even discuss the idea. For a President who ran on a platform of “change” and “hope”, he is being quickly moved to the middle ground and manifesting the bad habits of all his predecessors.

    First we need to separate the two issues that are being jammed into one. Our nation has a problem with drugs. There are highly potent dangerous chemicals that are being consumed by the population. We need education, regulation, and to get control over our nation’s drug problem. At the same time, we need to recognize the second problem and that the explosion of violence and corruption that comes about as a result of our current drug policy. The stalwarts and adherents to the current policy insist on mixing up these two problems, calling them one, and then insisting on throwing more money and resources despite overwhelming proof positive that the policy is a fiscal and functional failure.

    Second, the nation’s drug policy is taking our President away from his promise of transparency and honesty in budgeting. Former President George Bush funded the Iraq war outside his normal budget by the use of supplemental spending bills. When President Obama put his budget together, he included the costs of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and showed a massive back breaking total budget necessary just to get through September. He proudly proclaimed by including these war costs in the overall budget that he was showing the true cost to the nation of these wars and not hiding behind separate spending bills.

    In the past two days, President Obama has shown that he is not so much about supporting transparency. All he is doing is hiding a different ‘war’. While he may include Iraq and Afghanistan in his budget, he has stepped outside that budget and made secondary promises for the war on drugs. First, he pledged additional billions of dollars and manpower to engage and intervene in the drug war along the Mexico border. Then, he pledged billions of dollars to Afghan farmers to grow crops other than poppies. These extraordinary expenditures are being hidden from the suffering American taxpayer.

    America is broke. We are in a massive tailspin and our ship of State is about to crash on the rocks. My President came to me and to the American people and asked for solutions and ideas about how to right the Ship of State. When overwhelming numbers of educated people bring up the issue of our current drug policy, they are treated like fools and dismissed.
    ... continued



  • March 26, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    War Footing
    The rhetoric is ramping up. Billions of dollars are being earmarked. Troops by the hundreds are being deployed. I speak not of the middle east nor the surge planned for Afghanistan. Instead the focus is on the Mexico / U.S. border.

    It starts with words. Drug cartels are now being referred to as insurgents. Weapons and money are being amassed by the enemy. The Mexican government is being projected as unstable and about to fall. Border State governors are calling for mobilization of the National Guard. Hundreds are dying in the cartel vs cartel and cartel vs government battles that run amuk throughout a growing lawless society south of our border. President Obama has pledged over a billion dollars in new spending and the Department of Homeland Security is deploying assets throughout the region. Our Secretary of State already has her boots on the ground.

    Over what will Americans be dying and dollars be spent? Drugs. Not just any drugs but it the mobilization and combat will be over marijuana. It is marijuana and the lucrative U.S. market that creates the demand and it is marijuana that is at the heart of the unrest in Mexico.
    ... continued



  • March 24, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Free Drugs
    As I sit here in my comfortable chair I cannot help but think of ‘there but for the grace of God go I’. Listening to my friend’s efforts and ultimate result convinces me that perhaps the drug companies are not as greedy and selfish as perceived. If you are among those whose medication costs are hurting your ability to live or eat, then do the work. Apparently there is great reward for the effort made. For that reason I give up the bandwidth to publicly thank America’s pharmaceutical manufacturers and our local pharmacies for their efforts to bring the cost of drugs under control.
    ... continued


  • March 22, 2009:
    By Eric Van Slyke
    Head Football Coach
    Canastota High School, New York

    HARD BALL
    Tens of millions of youngsters aged 5-12 will be taking to the athletic fields in an entity that we call youth sport. Sounds like fun doesn't it? Unfortunately, there is a collective group of people who are ruining the fun, PARENTS.
    ... continued


  • March 20, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The Business of Divorce
    The answers? Stay married, if you already are. Don't, if you are not. If you unfortunately find yourself in a divorce, settle. Forget about the cheating, the sexual dysfunction, the loneliness. It does nothing but make matters worse. Treat the process as a business settlement. It only requires that you two get along for just a few more hours and knock out an agreement. There is no better way to scam the lawyers than to peaceably resolve the issues, cut your losses, lick your wounds, and get out there and do it all over again. You could give the money to me or keep it for yourselves.
    ... continued


  • March 18, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Sympathy Pains
    As a general rule, for a lawyer the question posed is a no-brainer. “Silence at any cost” comes with the territory. There are times attorneys are required by cannons of ethics and legal obligations to do or not and say or not say things that no hot shower can wash off. Next time you complain about legal fees, ask yourself how much you would charge to swallow your bile and stand up for the law and the client.
    ... continued


  • March 17, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Socialized Capitalism
    If you are standing on a corner and are robbed, you have a socialized police force ready to come to your help. You have a socialized criminal justice system and prison system to deal with threats and wrongdoers. We do this because we realize that at any given time, any one of us could be a victim of a crime and need help.

    If your house is burning down, again we have a socialized fire rescue agency to come and help. Again, we do this because we all realize that any one of us could be at risk of fire and we provide this service to all for our own protection.

    If your child cannot read, then we have a socialized educational system because we all realize the value of an education and how it betters the nation.

    If we need plumbing, roads, plowing of snow, we have socialized infrastructure to help everyone because we realize that as a community we need to be able to move about.

    But, if you are standing on a corner and you see a fellow American drop to the ground suffering from a heart attack, all we do is stand there saying, “boy, I sure hope he has good insurance.”
    ... continued



  • March 15, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The Case Against John Yoo
    America is all up in arms about the so-called seven memos written by Berkeley Law Professor John Yoo during his tenure at the Bush Administration’s Justice Department. Since 2006, I have been calling out Professor Yoo and his efforts to eviscerate the Constitution and the protections it accords to all citizens. I opine that Yoo is America’s premier candidate for trial as a war criminal. He would argue his opinions were that of attorney to client. I challenge and have argued repeatedly that he was instructing President Bush and his Administration on how to violate the law and retain some form of plausible deniability.

  • March 14, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Deep in the Heartless Texas
    The eight hundred billion dollar Obama stimulus package has its detractors. It is ironic that Republicans oppose it do so on grounds that it is not fiscally responsible. Americans in general are not yet sure how to react or agree on whether the stimulus package was a good idea or not. We still have a bad taste in our mouths coming off of eight years of President Bush and his legacy of a ten trillion dollar national debt. It is a delicate balancing act to respond to the woes and demands of the shambles of our economy. Many, including the Republican opposition claim that over-spending will only enhance and escalate the economic decline we are experiencing.

    One governor has what he thinks is a solution to the problem. Rick Perry, governor of Texas has gone on the record to declare he will not accept stimulus funds. Well not exactly; as he is only declining a portion of the funds. In rejecting seventeen billion stimulus dollars, Governor Perry has declared he will not accept stimulus funds that are earmarked to go to unemployment benefits.
    ... continued



  • March 13, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Social Security: The Necessary Slaughter of the Sacred Cow
    Historically and through today, Social Security has always been viewed as an annuity. You pay into it today and when pooled with everybody else’s contributions, the proceeds and profits generated over your working life are paid out to you in amounts based on your life expectancy and the benevolence of Congress. It has always been seen as being “my money”; not the property of the government, but your money that is returned to you when you reach retirement age.
    ... continued


  • March 12, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The Great Lie of Tort Reform
    Oh, how easy it is to blame the lawyers for the high cost of medicine. Bazillion dollar verdicts are trotted out as being the reason your prescription costs are so high. Me thinks however, that those who target lawyers and jury verdicts are playing to Americans’ jealousy and lower pettiness than being truly interested in healing a dying system. Before civil rights and social responsibility is cast aside, medicine should first heal its own self.
    ... continued


  • March 11, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The Mean Streets of Syracuse
    (From the archives. Still relevant after all these years).
    ... continued


  • March 09, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Are You High?
    A national survey found that, “Niagara County residents paid the nation's highest percentage of property taxes followed by Monroe, Onondaga, Wayne and Chautauqua counties. Fort Bend, Indiana is ranked sixth, and New York's Erie, Schenectady, Cayuga and Chemung counties round out the Top 10.” Here in Onondaga County, we are living in one of the least populated, least productive Counties in the United States and still pay the third highest property taxes in the Nation.

    The county budget is a disaster. One of the biggest hogs at the tax trough is the criminal justice system. The Sheriffs Department, Jamesville, the Justice Center, the District Attorney’s Office, the Probation Department, the Assigned Counsel Program, the Court system, Drug Courts, and the myriad of related agencies and services are among the primary consumers of County tax dollars.

    Lawmakers should do the same type of analysis as did former Syracuse City Auditor, Minch Lewis. In doing so, the County would realize that the overwhelming and chief cost to all the County criminal and civil justice agencies is the enforcement of Prohibition. If the County managers were to sit down and isolate the dollars being spent on a failed policy, I am confident millions of dollars could be salvaged and redirected toward more needy and productive programs.
    ... continued



  • March 07, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Mandatory Victims
    Local prosecutors have taken it upon themselves to declare that once you are a victim of a crime, you are always a victim. According to policy and behavior, once someone seeks out police intervention, there is no choice but to require the solicitor to be forever under the control and domination of prosecutors. This holds true even when the victims themselves no longer want help nor seek prosecution. The question arises then as to who is in charge of the situation; prosecutors or the citizen.

    The facts are simple; the problem complex. Hypothetically, assume that one night a young couple gets into a nasty fight. Heated words are exchanged and a few household objects are thrown. Assume further that in the heat of the argument, one of the involved calls police for help. Doing their job, police respond to the call and break up the fight. The non calling party is arrested and charged with a crime. There were no injuries nor did anybody use physical force against the other. Six months go by. The fight is long since forgotten and the couple has worked through the problems and is living happily ever after.

    One day prosecutors decide to advance the case against the arrested partner. They send notice of their intent to proceed to trial. The partner who called police is summoned to testify before the Grand Jury. But she refuses. The problems that gave rise to the initial police intervention have long since been solved. People change, grow, and learn from their mistakes. One bad night does not a relationship make. Refusing to testify against a loved one, prosecutors tell the victim that she herself will end up in jail if she does not cooperate. She makes it clear she doesn’t want to proceed with the prosecution and wants the charges dropped. Our District Attorney does not want that to happen and insists the woman testify under pain of imprisonment. ... continued



  • March 06, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Veto the Proposed Federal Budget
    I call upon President Obama to veto his own proposed budget bill. The reasons therefor are simple: The time has come to send a message to Congress to stop the pork barrel spending projects that are routinely made part of spending bills.

    America is facing serious financial distress and every dollar counts. It is bad enough that our federal government has grown into such a behemoth that it takes trillions of dollars just to operate on a day to day basis. My hair grayed up like the President’s when he recently muscled through Congress a so-called stimulus package worth nearly a trillion dollars. Our national debt is already more than 11 trillion dollars.

    Someone has to take responsibility to send a message to Congress that Americans can no longer afford to keep printing money so individual legislators can get re-elected. House Majority Leader, Steny Hoyer is quoted as saying that, “members of Congress have a responsibility to provide funding for their districts.” With due respect to the Congressman, members of Congress do not have a responsibility to bring funding to their districts. The opposite is true; that members of Congress have a responsibility to all Americans to manage the government effectively. Primary among their responsibilities is to recognize that the United States is not in a position to fund 8,500 pork projects for member districts.
    ... continued



  • March 04, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Endangering the Welfare of Adults
    When did children become more precious than diamonds? At what point did our spawn become so weak and vulnerable that we put them in bubbles? Whatever happened to skinned knees, eating mud, getting pats on the butt, and riding something without a helmet?

    We are living at a time when the presence of children, even your own kids in your own home, has become so dangerous that there is great incentive to have none. Children are now a clear and present danger to everybody with whom they come into contact. Our society has lost its collective mind by elevating children to some surreal supernatural status to the exclusion of all other things.
    ... continued



  • March 03, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Ethnic Cleansing in Upstate New York
    For the past fifteen years, I have been a sidelined observer in a process that is eradicating an entire generation of citizens from the streets of cities and towns all over New York. Had this been Kosovo or Darfur or if bullets and machetes were being used, the outcry would be loud. Because however the actions are being taken under the guise of “law”, we sit passively by as thousands are disenfranchised, incarcerated, killed, maimed, and forever removed from civil society.

    I speak of course of the young Black male and America’s War on Drugs.
    ... continued



  • February 28, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Get Sciurus
    I am a warrior. Strong, fast, and smart. I fight my battles with honor and give no ground to my opponents. I fight fair and do not bring a gun to a knife fight. Always my opponents are given a fighting chance. Four years into battle and the war remains a draw.

    My opponents are three. Each more cunning and alert than the other. Sometimes they come at me as a team and other times, they try their luck one at a time. They know well my limitations and manage to stay just outside my range. My enemies are as quick as they are bold; at times leaving me breathless and frustrated as I seek retribution. I don’t just hate my opponents, I want to slay them horribly. But alas, they manage to elude me.
    ... continued



  • February 25, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Migraines in My Colon*
    Save Me from Insurance
    Living without medical insurance is playing a great game of chance. In doing so, you are betting against the odds and assuming you can afford medical care when the need arises. It goes without saying that the need will arise. The only questions are “when” and “how bad”. If you manage to accumulate enough savings and assets, you can liquidate them to cover your medical costs. If you cannot afford care, either you go without or end up having your bills subsidized by taxpayers.

    The alternatives are just as mind blowing. Unless you are among the few lucky ones to have medical coverage given to you through family or job connections, you are going to find that avoiding the risk means buying insurance. Rates for insurance are around $800 to $1,100 per month for a family. That means you spend approximately ten thousand dollars a year for piece of mind. You obviously do not get the benefit of the money as it is the property of insurance companies. If you do not use medical services, there is no refund or payout to you. Ten thousand dollars for piece of mind and covering your bets. Yet as with most gambling, the odds are in favor of the house and you will lose. Only one of many actually comes out ahead in this game.

    One alternative we should consider is the right to have a health savings account. Rather than give seven hundred to eleven hundred dollars a month to a health insurance company, why not let us put our money in a separate savings account and allow to draw down from that as we go. This fund could be used to cover everything from over the counter medications to major catastrophic events. Even if I put only three hundred dollars into the account on a monthly basis, within five years, I should be strong enough to withstand even the greediest of medical providers. Obviously, I lose if I draw from it sooner rather than later. I win big time if the fund is not depleted over the course of my life. Best of all, the money remains the property of the person who holds the account and not some behemoth insurance company and its six figure management team.
    ... continued



  • February 23, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Cut and Paste Your Way to Prison
    (Attention: No actual, imagined, or anything resembling children were harmed in the writing of this essay)
    ... continued


  • February 22, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Uh Oh Five Oh
    FIVE-OH. That number means many things to many people. To some, saying “five-oh” refers to police. Others might think of a baseball score. For me, “five-oh” has been taking on a whole new meaning. It means fifty; an age I am soon to hopefully attain. Just saying “fifty” or “five-oh” leaves a tinny dry aftertaste in my mouth. I loath to say it while I appreciate being able to do so. The alternative would, ummm, leave me breathless.
    ... continued


  • February 21, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    No Welfare for Gamblers
    Imagine you walk into a casino. Finding a blackjack table, you plop down $100.00 for chips and sit and play for a couple hours. Your winnings go way up and you walk away from the table with $500.00. Feeling hot and lucky, you go on to another game and sit and play but this time your luck turns sour. Knowing how much money you can make by taking this risk and despite losing not only your winnings and your $100.00 original stake, you pull out your credit card and take a cash advance to keep playing. Alas, but the House odds take over and you leave the casino floor flat broke. As you are walking out the door, you approach the management and complain about being out of money and want some help to get back on your feet.
    ... continued


  • February 19, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Red Flags
    In our society, being accused of engaging in unlawful sexual behavior with a child is among the lowest of the low on the scale of behavior. Few are the things more repugnant than perpetrating a sex crime upon a child. So reviled is this behavior that we respond emotionally when someone is even accused of doing so. Convicted at the accusation, everybody, even the media is prone to hang an accused without even a trial. Add into that calculus the accused being the member of a class of persons of notoriety in such cases, and an individual suffers a fate worse than death merely upon an accusation.

    I cannot imagine what pain and misery must be felt by those wrongly accused. I have seen the desperation and fear. At times I have also seen great courage far above even what I wonder if I would have had. The men I have represented over the years facing sex charges have been without exception, strong of will and character and stood up to false allegations … and prevailed.
    ... continued



  • February 15, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Unlawfully Dealing with a Child
    In many ways ours is a society that has completely lost its mind when it comes to dealing with children. We have tried to childproof the world and taken away from children many of the joys and fun that we old folks once enjoyed. Most male adults I know wont have anything to do with children, refuse to be alone with them, or refuse to even have children. Myself, I would not even drive my daughter’s babysitters home unless I had 2 witnesses in the car with me. It is just too dangerous to be around other people’s children any more.
    ... continued


  • February 14, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    My Bloody Valentine
    Let’s just get to it. I Hate Valentine’s Day.
    ... continued


  • February 13, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Bloody Friday the 13th
    For most, Friday the 13th is about as dirty a day as you can get. It is seen as dark and ugly, foreboding and dangerous. For me, I have always considered it a lucky day. Perhaps “lucky” is not the true word. “Theater of the Weird” would probably be more befitting. Contrary to popular thinking, however, I relish an approaching Friday the 13th. Something is going to happen.
    ... continued


  • February 11, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The Guns of Everyone
    Thanks to the Supreme Court and zealous federal prosecutors, the rules of the game have changed. No longer is a State free to regulate the health, education, welfare, and policing of its citizens. Now all States must surrender any rights and benefits conferred which are above and beyond protections recognized by Congress. Since Congress cannot even shield Humvees in Iraq, how much can we trust them to protect our rights as New Yorkers? The Supreme Court has given free reign to the Federal Government to dismantle every right in every State that is more protective than how the Federal agents interpret them. It is baffling that any American would ever want to surrender their rights under the Second Amendment.
    ... continued


  • February 09, 2009:
    By Anne Woodlen

    CPEP: Syracuse’s Gitmo
    (On February 5, 2009, the Syracuse Newspapers published a letter that read in part “[CPEP] was filled way beyond capacity, with patients lying on chairs, floors, anywhere they could find space. It was quickly clear to us that it was understaffed, dealing with an extremely difficult, diverse population.” The following piece was written Sept. 19, 2007. Despite repeated notifications, the NYS Office of Mental Health fails to properly oversee St. Joseph Hospital’s management of CPEP).

    There was an old lady who was taken to CPEP after being raped. CPEP is the Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program that is maintained by St. Joseph’s Hospital under the jurisdiction of the New York State Office of Mental Health. I don’t know why they took the old lady to CPEP. If I were an old lady—oh, gosh, according to the Onondaga County Department of Youth and Aging, I am an old lady—so, speaking as an old lady, if I get raped then I want to be taken to a hospital emergency department for a rape kit and I want the Rape Center to be called. I don’t want to be taken to CPEP, nor, I imagine, would the other old lady if she’d had the slightest clue what she was getting into.
    ... continued



  • February 08, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Migraines in My Colon
    The Prime Directive
    It would seem on the surface that being a primary care practitioner is at the heart and soul of medicine. Only they become close with the patient and become the patient’s partner is assuring and protecting the patient’s health. This long term special and at times intimate relationship should be at the core of what it means to be a primary care physician.

    Clearly the primary care doctor job is nowhere near as sexy or macho as being an hospitalist in an Emergency Department or a specialized surgeon. No blood, no guts, is seen as being no glory. But real medicine, treatment and diagnosis, is found in a day to day basis in the offices of the family primary care practitioner. This is the meat and potatoes of the practice of medicine.
    ... continued



  • February 06, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The Audacity of Hope
    I cant stand it anymore. My pockets are already picked bare by taxes, fees, and skyrocketing costs for basic goods and services. Thanks to the existing system, I have little if any disposable income left.

    When I voted in the last election I thought I was voting for real change. The candidate gave me hope that something, anything would be done different. I prayed for fiscal responsibility. I begged for major tax relief. What I got was just more of the same.
    ... continued



  • February 05, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Barry Bonds Strikes Out
    Barry Bonds has hit enough home runs to make him the nation’s all time home run king. It is coming out now that he did so while using steroids. Because of the arcane rules of the game and public shame, Bonds felt he had to lie to Congress when the McCain juggernaut took it upon itself to clean up baseball. Now, after testing and final reports, Bonds stands accused of perjury before Congress. If convicted, the massive slugger will be toughing it out in one of our nation’s finer prisons.

    Let us be clear: It matters not that Bonds may have used chemicals to enhance his physique. Steroids did not make him stronger; they contributed to his mass. Still, it was his effort, strength, and natural talent that brought him to where he is today. He deserves nothing less than full recognition for his efforts. His urine may have once tested “dirty”, but his achievement is clean. Naysayers should be ashamed of themselves. The only thing Bonds did that brings shame is lying to Congress. He should not have been afraid to testify truthfully and there should have been no ramifications for doing so.

    This is the United States of America. We are a free nation that prides itself on individual achievement and success. Ours is not a social construct predicated upon disabling those out front so as to enable those who cannot or will not keep up, to do so. Equality in this nation means equality of opportunity; not of outcome.
    ... continued



  • February 04, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Forget Me -- Not
    Recalling an episode from the original Star Trek television series (yes, I was a ‘trekkie’ complete with Tribble), the Enterprise happened upon a planet where when the crew would go on leave, they met a man who could erase bad memories. Of course, the crew was all taking advantage of it but there were ramifications. Captain Kirk refused; making the comment, “I --- Need --- My --- Pain!”
    ... continued


  • February 02, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Giving Credit Where Credit is Due
    As an American, I am confused. My government has enabled itself to monitor my credit card transactions to hunt for tax dollars. When private companies monitor credit for capitalist and industry-wide standards, they are prosecuted by the government. I am lacking a certain understanding of how these two policies are being rationalized by the same body of politicians: How does the government justify tracking my credit card transactions while at the same time punishing private companies for doing the very same thing.

    Credit cards are becoming the bane of society. Once upon a time, credit cards were reflective of a person’s credit rating and ability to access money when they were temporarily short of cash. Over the years, credit cards have shifted from a cash-alternative to a mandatory requirement for transactions. Hotels, car rentals, reservations, online purchases, utilities, and any hope of getting any type of loan or be taken seriously in the business world all require the presentation of a credit card.
    ... continued



  • January 31, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Trials and Tribulations
    Sometimes I just hate my job. In the span of a week, I had to tell one client that either he went to trial or volunteered to go to state prison for five years. I had to tell another client that the District Attorney wants to break up their family with three children for five years; actually force a living happily ever after couple that they can have no contact for five years. I also had to tell yet another client that he is looking at the very real prospect of going to prison for 21 years.

    Nobody likes to be the bearer of bad news. Sometimes the news I must share can be downright ugly. Yet it is my duty and obligation to convey the information and be honest about prospects and the situational downside. A client must have all the information to make an informed consent on substantive issues.

    Then I read in the news about a case (Herring v. United States) decided 5-4 by the United States Supreme Court which purportedly stripped away the exclusionary rule as a remedy for bad police searches. If true, I shared the fears best expressed in the New York Times about the risk to the rights of citizens to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.
    ... continued



  • January 30, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Stimulate Me
    What is really wrong is that the huge spending programs and subsequent recoupment of tax revenues is going to come from folks like me; the small business owner. Being the only ones without shelter from the economic storm, we are the ones up front weathering the harshest brunt of the cold callous approach taken by Washington.
    ... continued


  • January 29, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Onondaga County Needs a Public Defender
    I propose now, as I have long advocated, that Onondaga County create an office of a Public Defender. Our community needs a public official on par with the District Attorney, with a budget and resources suitable to meet the indigent defense needs of our County. I will even step up for the job.
    ... continued


  • January 28, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Peace of the Dawn
    In the quiet still and peace of the dawn, I stand askew. Leaning against the side of sliding door out to the patio and beyond, I quickly suckle my butt and curse the cold. My glassine eyes scan the surroundings and canvass the neighborhood. Everything is in place and seems right. All along the hilltops, a far beyond blaze oranges up the tree line. Sunlight is creeping its way toward me. The false prophet of warmth is moments away.
    ... continued


  • January 27, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Time for a Full Metal Jacket
    I guess congratulations to our local police agencies are in order. Twelve more bad guys were arrested this week. Four ounces of marijuana has been taken off the street. The cost of incarceration, prosecution, defense, and maintenance of these 12 ‘evil drug dealers’ are now upon the backs of all us taxpayers. Qui bono? Newspapers show that credit is given to the Community Narcotics Enforcement Team, involving undercover officers from state and Syracuse police. That’s their job; at least its their job security. ... The problems is that now, someone new will step in and fill the void. But, should two people want the same job; instead of interviews, we get gunfire. It is that simple. Do you get it now? Once shots are fired, they fire in two directions and then on more occasions and then it becomes intergenerational. The cycle only worsens until election time when our elected ones want their jobs back. Then Operation Impact comes in and arrests an entire neighborhood and the cycle starts all over again.
    ... continued


  • January 26, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Northwest Passage
    Travelling east from Lost Angeles is well done if you fly Northwest Airlines. With a hub in Detroit, it is a straight shot from LA to Detroit and then again a straight shot from the Motor City to Syracuse. Whereas our flying time from East to West lasted more than 7 and a half hours of actual airtime, the return trip lasted about 45 minutes. OK, so it was more than that but with a 200 mph tailwind, both flights came in way early and actual flying time was less than five hours.

    I still am not a fan of Northwest Airlines for all the reasons in my earlier essay. But you can add to that a certain level of greed and lazy service. Whereas we booked with Northwest but ended up flying Delta and getting anally scrutinized for doing so, Delta did not charge us for a baggage fee. Arriving at LAX this morning to check in for the return flight, first we did not even get the privilege of speaking to a human being; it is all electronic. Touch this, push that, and cross your fingers a TSA employee doesn’t stick his wand up your ass. Most offensive however was that for the return flight Northwest insisted on a $15 charge per bag to fly. This sudden new fee was the ultimate in petty cheapness which is reflective of their overall service. Their snack flight is a snack if you are willing to take out a mortgage on your house to afford the two and a half peanuts. Ask for coffee or soda and you get at most a 1/4 cup. Employees are more concerned that your seats are in an upright and straight position for takeoffs and landing than they are with the peace of mind and comfort of the passengers.
    ... continued



  • January 25, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Paging Dr. Phil
    Several celebrities and big shots were mingled into the jammed bar. My sister noticed Dr. Phil seated with a woman and eating his meal. On a dare I turned down, my sister went over to Dr, Phil and told him of my mother and the nature of the soiree` in the private room. Phil was asked if he would come in and say hi. Being an obviously generous man, the good doctor finished his meal (I wonder what THAT cost) and he and his date came into the party and introduced themselves.
    ... continued


  • January 24, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    West by Northwest
    Invited to a swanky Hollywood party in Beverly Hills this weekend, the family and I bundled up for another of our hellish adventures in travel. We do not seek out trouble nor are we loudmouthed, obnoxious, or difficult to deal with. All we ask is for a flight that leaves on time, gets to where we want on time, and brings our baggage with us. On its’ face, this seems to be an easy enough chore given the bazillion air miles worth of experience shared by the airlines. When it comes to Blum flying, nothing ever goes as planned.
    ... continued


  • January 23, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Stop Making Pinatas Out Of Illegal Immigrants
    Yet, it is “we” and our harshening policies that have created this strain. If people coming here could work, pay taxes, get a drivers license, and be in the mainstream, then we would not be experiencing the problems we do. Let them do it for a month or a year or 20 years or a lifetime and even return home if they so desire. But, rather than enabling people to be normal and function in society according to its norms, we drive these people underground. We force them to work for cash, to not pay taxes, to fake IDs, to live 30 people to an apartment, and to keep having anchor babies. How does the old saying go? “Prohibition Doesn’t Work”, it only creates an underground black market economy and infects overall society with worsening crime rates and rising social welfare costs.

    As a Fourth Generation American, I have to swallow my bile when I hear people proclaiming “we do not have enough as it is and we cannot afford to let many more people in”. “Good old American jobs belong only to Americans.” If my grandparents had voted that way, how many of you would be reading this today? Yes, streams of immigration do create stress on society but that has always been the case. It is from those stresses, however, that new markets are formed, new technologies developed, new economies are grown, and new paradigms arise. Staking out a position against immigration or of restricting immigration is contrary to this nation’s roots, its history, and its very essence.
    ... continued



  • January 21, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    UnFair Censorship
    “Speech” is the most cherished of our rights. It is foremost in our Constitution. Without that right protected vigorously, all other rights have no meaning. If you cannot speak, ideas cannot move. Political Correctness has turned into the great ballgag of the Second Millennium. Because the sensibilities of a few were incensed, everybody has to be punished. This argument is old and tired and says nothing more than because a baby cannot chew steak, all adults must drink milk.

    One point with which I strongly disagreed with the law professors was their conclusion that, “free speech is a means to an end, not an end in itself.” To the contrary, the “END” itself is the Right to Speech. Nowhere in the Constitution is there a hint that “what” you say is the condition to having the right to say it. The freedom to speech itself and the protection thereof IS the end.

    The Spitzer appointee declared the Fair to be Family Friendly and made that his motto; to the detriment of adults. The irony of discovering on the first day an award winning photograph of a blow up sex doll with a cigarette in its mouth gave the art piece a greater place in history. Surely an orange jumpsuit clad Kinane went against the Family Friendly torture in Guantanamo. It is said there is a direct line from burning books to burning human beings. Well let it also be said that there is a direct line from censoring an art exhibit to seeking a prison sentence for Kinane.
    ... continued



  • January 20, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The Time for Affirmative Action
    The candidacies of Senator Clinton and Governor Palin, and the election of President Obama (along with that white guy from Delaware) seem to prove another rethink of a national policy should start inching its’ way into our discourse. There is a valid argument to be made that once and for all, we should be moving to end our addiction to programs of Affirmative Action and quotas. The elevation of Senator Obama to ‘Presidential Rock Star’, brings to light proof that Affirmative Action had its place in our history. Query whether that place is indeed in history and should be no more.

    Affirmative Action laid the groundwork for the achievements seen in this year's Presidential candidates. Whether they individually benefitted is unknown and I do not seek to diminish by an iota their achievements. Instead, I point out that nationally and over time, our Affirmative Action programs were a monumental success. They opened doors and ended segregation such that ‘Black’ and ‘White’ are labels remaining only in the minds of a few ignorant Neo Cons and racists. For the overwhelming majority of Americans of all political stripes, Affirmative Action in its day brought us into contact with each other. We learned that we all bleed red.

    But today, the glass ceiling is shattered. The drinking fountains are replaced with bottled water dispensers. Nobody bats an eyelash at the race or gender of a Presidential candidate. To me, this proves that Affirmative Action has done its job. It also signals that it is time to reach back to more equality of opportunity and end Affirmative Action programs.
    ... continued



  • January 19, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Dear President Obama
    This weeklong party being held in Washington DC to honor your election and inauguration shows how America is evolving. We are coming out a long dark tunnel and have been given the chance to see the light. When you affirm your oath of office, there is going to be a great sigh of relief as the Bush era will finally be over. Immediately following that mass exhale with be a quick gasp as we hold our collective breath you will live up to your promise.

    President Obama, our prayers and well wishes line your streets. We want you to succeed; in fact, we need you to succeed. In you for the next four years lie our best chances of escaping the economic cesspool in which we are all floundering. It is on you President Obama to achieve things greater than yourself. Be what your predecessor was not. Be the President for all the United States and make us proud.
    ... continued



  • January 18, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Tales From the Hood:
    The Lawn Mower Man
    And so, like so many others, lawnmower man continues about his Sisyphusian task: Pushing that gas powered lawnmower up and down the streets he can walk. I am proud of him for not surrendering. At the same time, I feel ashamed of my government for putting one of its own in such a situation with no way out. Whatever may be self inflicted, everybody in our culture gets a do-over and a chance at redemption. But not lawnmower man: For him there is no redemption. Just work and rest await him until one day he just dies. That will be the moment when the county can come along and squeeze the last droplets of blood from his rotting broken corpse.
    ... continued


  • January 16, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The Second Commandment
    There is no such thing as ‘The Ten Commandments’. In fact, outside the Bible, there is no historical record whatsoever to substantiate the existence of Moses or the Exodus. But-for a single reference in the second book of the Old Testament, the Ten Commandments do not exist.

    But, for the sake of argument, let us suppose they do …

    Suppose all those years ago, some white dude who looked a lot like Charlton Heston climbed up Mt. Sinai (which does exist, I have seen it with my own eyes) and receive an engraved rock with just ten rules by which all mankind was to live. (This would be a surprise since mankind could not even follow God’s one law all those years earlier; something about not eating an apple – and now He wanted us to follow ten). For purposes of this discussion, let’s just assume that these ‘tablets’ are the root and basis for all law as we know it.

    There still is no such thing as the Ten Commandments. The original tablets were last seen in the custody of Solomon and supposedly stolen by one of his sons and stashed in a small church in what is now Ethiopia. Though they contained the word of God, these tablets are now long gone from the face of the earth.
    ... continued



  • January 14, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Get Onondaga County Off Drugs
    Onondaga County is about to run almost $11 million in the red for the upcoming year. Government experts blame the fall in oil prices and subsequent reduced tax income as the primary reason. This is a huge deficit which gap will be filled by property taxpayers. Legislators offer laughable excuses that income did not meet projections. The bottom line is the County is poised to cut services and jobs, raise property taxes, and seek increased tax dollars from State and Federal governments. It appears County Government lost its’ sense of direction. This Republican dominated County leadership must be on some very good drugs to propose a budget deficit of $11 million. ... In their main editorial of January 14, 2009, the Syracuse Newspapers called our drug laws, “the most unsuccessful criminal justice strategy in the state.” Clearly, the time has come for a serious and open investigation into this subject.
    ... continued


  • January 13, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The Failed Policy of Employer Driven Health Care.
    Employers and businesses have no place or role to play in the nation’s health care crisis. It is appalling that government has turned its attention to business owners and is helping itself to profits to offset what is arguably otherwise a government duty. Like police, fire, infrastructure, education, and courts, health care is not an employer driven need. Instead it is a social need shared by every single citizen. We do not require employers to provide for the costs of education or managing a fire district. It is just as insane to demand employers solve the nation’s health care issues. ... Our nation’s employers are not medical providers (unless that is their service). They sell widgets and the skills to build, install, and operate those widgets. The last thing our employers need is to involve themselves in the business of insurance; either in carrying it and billing for it, or in paying monstrous premiums to commercial carriers. It simply is not their business and frankly, employers lack any real skill at providing quality benefits for the prices charged.
    ... continued


  • January 11, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    To Live and Die in Syracuse, New York
    Respectfully, before more thousands of taxpayer dollars are piled onto the already millions being spent to further the Drug War in Syracuse, we need as a community to sit down and talk honestly about alternatives to Prohibition. It does not work, it never has. Al Capone was the most unhappy person in America when we ended alcohol prohibition. I dare say that to truly break the back of organized crime, we need to take away their incentive. End drug prohibition and let government regulate and control the market. This way we can all be safe.

    Otherwise, we can continue to pile up the dead and imprisoned and continue a near 40 year policy that has proven itself a failure. How many more shootings and other violence does society have to endure before we sit down and truly work on real solutions. A real operation impact will be one that brings about a positive change in the neighborhoods at risk. But until we recognize the problem and deal with its causes, we will never be able to live in peace.
    ... continued



  • January 10, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Dare to Say No to D.A.R.E.
    Police should not be teaching our children about drugs or self esteem. The role of police is to protect the public safety, and to respond to emergencies. It is neither fair nor reasonable to expect them to take on the job of teaching mental health and attitudes. Nor it is helpful for civics education for children to be taught fictitious "rights." When a child grows up and learns that she was lied to about her "right to be happy," how will she feel about the officer who taught her otherwise, or the school in which she was so taught? If Johnny can't read, teachers bear accountability. If Johnny doesn't stay off drugs, will the police take responsibility for the failure of drug education in schools, and protect parents from any attribution of blame? ... To those who argue that if the program succeeds with just one student, then it was all worth it. Respectfully, if we held our math, science, and literature departments to the same standard, we would be failures in educating and preparing our children for the future.
    ... continued


  • January 09, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    With Friends Like These, ….
    To a Jew, people like Wilson scare the crap out of us. There is nothing which we have in common with Evangelical Christians. Arguably we may in part share a common idea. Still, the Christian ideal is to own Israel and bring together the forces of good and evil in the Valley of Armageddon for the final meltdown. Christians want Israel strong so as to hasten and bring about the Rapture. To the contrary, Jews choose Life. At present, the road from Hadera to Afula is green and productive. The Valley of Meggido is lush and beautiful thanks to Jews. Christians will not be at peace until it is scorched black.
    ... continued


  • January 07, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Gunfight at the Crouse E.D.
    I can understand the frustration that comes with watching a loved one suffer. This man with the gun reflects the feelings I believe are shared by thousands who pass through hospital emergency departments. While most of us realize the futility and foolishness of making an overt threat, I bet my savings that many have had murder in their heart. A person in pain and needing medical attention needs help and there must be a response. When the hospital won’t respond because of triage protocols, when employees hide their faces and information, and when people are left ignored and untreated, loved ones can snap. I don’t justify what the man did. At the same time, I can certainly understand where he was coming from.
    ... continued


  • January 06, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The Lawyer’s Lament
    Over the course of years, I have met some of the most interesting people imaginable. I have represented the best and worst that this nation can conjure. But I do not sit in judgment of the client. From my unique vantage point, I actually get to know the person behind the indictment or divorce or civil case. I see them where most do not; generally weakened and intimidated if not in a complete panic.
    ... continued


  • January 04, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Licensed to Discriminate
    In his waning days as President, George Bush has put his signature on an Executive Order that allows licensees to discriminate against citizens based on the belief system of the license holder. In doing so, the President has chosen to allow the few who have the privilege to discriminate against citizens based on the religious beliefs of the practitioner. Pharmacists do not have to dispense the morning after pill, a Catholic lawyer does not have to defend a Jew. Real estate agents do not have to sell to Black folks. According to this new executive Order, federal funding would be cut off for any state or local government, hospital, health plan, clinic or other entity that does not accommodate doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other employees who refuse to participate in care they find ethically, morally or religiously objectionable.

    Maybe we should cut off federal funding for George Bush. In his Order, he is using the federal financial musculature to bully State and local medical agencies to permit outright discrimination based on religious grounds. People who have licenses issued by the State are now not liable for turning their backs on people in medical need just because the license holder disagrees with the patient’s religious perspective.
    ... continued



  • January 02, 2009:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Dear Governor Paterson:
    Please Nominate Me to the United States Senate
    Governor, I am not so foolish as to truly believe you would ever give my request serious consideration. At the same time, I know you are not so foolish as to believe that there are many hundreds of thousands of citizens of this State who feel left out in political debate. Millions lack the proper bloodlines but still have ideas that should not be disregarded. Caroline Kennedy’s visit to Syracuse was not a shining moment and I very much doubt her understanding of what it means to live paycheck to paycheck. Of all the people in high office right now, you Governor should know that best.

    I have great confidence that no matter what decision is made, that New York’s Governor will make his selection on what he feels in the State’s best interests. Hopefully he wont pull a “Blagojevich”. What I am proposing is that the Governor name a Senator who would otherwise never be heard in an election because of lack of political connections, money, and inheritance. Let a commoner take the floor. Meanwhile, folks like Caroline Kennedy and Andrew Cuomo can get their machines operating for 2010.
    ... continued



  • December 31, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Be It Resolved in 2009
    I stand at the precipice of a brand new year
    Pondering the future. One of tears? Or of cheers?

    Is there a course? What is the way?
    How can I deal with the dawn of this day?

    Those New Year’s promises? Those Resolutions to keep?
    It is not very long before tossing them in the heap.

    With the dawn of a New Year all ready to pounce
    I have decided to resolve; affirm and announce

    ... continued


  • December 30, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Unconditional Surrender -- Or Die
    Let us talk about a hypothetical world for a moment. In that world there is a guy who every time he gets a chance, he walks up and slaps you across the face. At first, you turn the other cheek, but he still walks up and slaps you. You try to stay out of his way, but he hunts you down, sneaks up, and smacks you good. Then you try slapping him down to the ground but he just gets back up and slaps you again across the face. Your friends come around and smack him down but he still comes back and smacks you again. You call the police and he is put in prison, but the moment he gets out, he again comes right up to you and slaps you in the face. During his incarceration, his friends come around and smack you in the face.

    Does anybody in the end fault you when one day you pick up a shotgun and blow the guy’s face off? When is enough, enough?
    ... continued



  • December 29, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The Holiday Dead Zone
    I am surrounded with all this “Christmas spirit and joy”. As such, there just is not much of anything to do. How can a lawyer make a buck when everybody is being nice to each other? Yes, there is the occasional domestic or DWI. In the end, however, this is the season to forget your lawyer. You love your family and disputes are relegated to the back burner. So too with invoices; nobody is going to pay their legal bills when they have Christmas. Since we lawyers have a secret orchard from which we go harvest money when we need it, it is not difficult for us to stand aside acquiescing while client after client begs for time to pay because of the holiday season. “Thanks, Mark. You’re such a nice guy. I knew you would understand.”
    ... continued


  • December 28, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    These Hallowed Words Must Have Meaning
    The true enemy of the America People, from 1787 on was identified as being “the government”. Over the years we have faced military threats, but our nation was built on a paradigm that the true enemy of liberty was government. Such is the uniqueness of the American experiment; never before attempted or since copied. Conceived by Thomas Jefferson, ours is a nation where political power flows uphill and unless a right is specifically surrendered, it remains safely in your pocket and in your home. We do not get rights from the government like socialists line up for food handouts. Government must come begging.
    ... continued


  • December 26, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Syracuse Without a Soul
    Shame on the Mayor of Syracuse and his blood thirsty lawyers for using a repugnant law to throw a 101 year old woman and her family out into the cold winter street on Christmas Eve. Though they proclaim the timing was unintentional, evicting this woman on any date would be just as repulsive. Lawyers say Christmas Eve was an accident and a judge put off until January 5, 2009 the ultimate eviction.

    The argument by the City is that the woman did not respond to their request to “talk” about three arrests of the woman’s nephew at her home. Now comfortably imprisoned, Syracuse lawyers still are pursuing the elderly woman even though the problem self abated by the nephew’s incarceration. They want to throw her out of her home, call in social services (read: taxpayers) to watch over the woman for six months while police shutter the woman’s home, and then in six months, she can return to the home she has lived in since 1920. All of this is being done because police consider her to be a nuisance.

    Syracuse has a local law that is used as a sledgehammer by police and City Hall that holds when there are three arrests at a single location, police can summarily shut down the property and board it up to its owners. To date, the only places shuttered were local markets serving local communities. Now homeowners and tenants are the target of this horrifyingly abusive race based policy.
    ... continued



  • December 24, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Lord, Protect Them From My Own Weakness
    The great moral dilemma of all time is how should be our response to our fellow earthly traveler as he may teeter at the edge of the abyss. Plenty are the suggestions passed on down through the ages. Testaments, both Old and New, the Koran are but some of the tomes upon which we reckless weak humans rely for guidance on how to protect ourselves and others. Saving the life and soul of another is among the great moral imperatives demanded by God.
    ... continued


  • December 23, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    A Birthday Prayer
    My youngest turned 16 years old today.
    ... continued


  • December 22, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Santa's Little Joys
    Ultimately, I never get to say what I sometimes so ache to do. “Dear Billy, Santa is Dead. Jesus Killed him and the Jews Killed Jesus.” Likewise, I am tempted to tell kids they will get everything they ever wanted or dreamed of … all they have to do is go into Mommy’s purse, take the credit cards out her wallet, and call Santa with the numbers. You have no idea how many times Santa could have reached out and touched all these children in some very inappropriate ways. In one fell swoop, the damage this Jew could cause a generation of Christian offspring would last until April … when we need their blood to make our matzahs for Passover.
    ... continued


  • December 21, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Terminal Illness
    For a City that cries poverty when it comes to infrastructure repair or providing services to the poor, to find $63 million to throw at an airport defies logic and common sense. The best argument made by proponents of this construction is that doing so will make the airport more user friendly.

    Frankly, if legislators and the Mayor want the airport to be more ‘user friendly’, there is a simple solution. Make the planes land and take off on time. Nothing moves an airport and assures customer satisfaction more than airlines honoring their promises. People plan around those schedules and when they are ignored, lives are disrupted. No number of vending machines or new gift shops will solve that problem.

    Travelers do not visit an airport. They pass through it; at least that is the goal. Either they are passing through to another plane or are off the plane and out the door. Building more restaurants and bars in the airport when people are hungry and sleeping on the City’s streets is not the solution. A more user friendly and honest airport would have beds and roll-a-ways for the passengers stranded due to delays and cancellations.
    ... continued



  • December 20, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Hey Mr. Family Court Judge, Tear Down That Tree
    As a general rule, I stay out of the annual Christmas Wars – and for good reason. Being of a cultural and religious minority, speaking up and telling the truth, as I have learned this morning, could have career implicating consequences. By even mentioning the inappropriateness of a Christmas symbol, my career and family have been put under the gun. It is indeed dangerous for a Jew to speak up. There are times though when it has to be done and this is one of them.

    This past week while in context of my employment, I found myself in a Court of Law before a Judge I admire deeply, arguing a very passionate case on behalf of a wounded client. Inside that Court room and serving as a constant distraction, was a well decorated ‘Christmas tree’. Two years ago when the tree first appeared, I made an issue of it. Then, the Judge called it a ‘Holiday Tree’ which serves mostly to hold candy canes for kids who come into his court room. I stared intently at the bowl of candy sitting to the side of the Bench. Clearly he did not need a tree to distribute his candy. I left him to maintain “face” and we went on with the Court’s business. Now, still two years later, the tree is still in place only this time, I was specifically threatened for raising the issue. That tree does not belong in a court room.
    ... continued



  • December 19, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Migraines in My Colon*
    Governor Paterson’s Surgical Strike
    Yet the Governor is proposing gutting some of the most basic and fundamental services relied upon by the most vulnerable in society. Notably among them are health care spending cuts and taxes of $3.5 billion, including $799 million in hospital cuts and taxes, $424 million in nursing home cuts, and $190 million in home care cuts and taxes. Some preliminary estimates are that the budget knife will cut $1.4 billion in to hospitals, $845 million to nursing homes, and $360 million to home care providers.

    A fuller read of the proposed budget gives the aura that a large paper chase is in effect. All the governor has done is move money from one program to another, shift burdens from one government shoulder to another, and at the same time, making no real reforms to the system. What the Governor does not see is how the system itself is broken and throwing aspirin and taping bandages is not healing the problem.
    ... continued



  • December 18, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The Business of Divorce
    The answers? Stay married, if you already are. Don't, if you are not. If you unfortunately find yourself in a divorce, settle. Forget about the cheating, the sexual dysfunction, the loneliness. It does nothing but make matters worse. Treat the process as a business settlement. It only requires that you two get along for just a few more hours and knock out an agreement. There is no better way to scam the lawyers than to peaceably resolve the issues, cut your losses, lick your wounds, and get out there and do it all over again. You could give the money to me or keep it for yourselves.

    But hey, I have to eat too.
    ... continued



  • December 16, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The Fat Tax Has Arrived
    In response to the never ending war against Americans who smoke, I have written innumerable essays arguing that we should institute a Fat Tax. In making the case for a Fat Tax, I was using a parable to enlighten folks as to the foolishness of a cigarette tax. I had no idea that my idea would be taken seriously. But just recently, New York’s governor Paterson has proposed a 15% tax on non-diet soda as a Fat Tax. He argues it will help childhood obesity and help make New York healthier. Use of the tax code will not effect social change and does nothing but become a more oppressive agent of change.

    Here is how a Fat Tax should work: Every April 15th, we should all line up at a government office, step on a scale, get issued a tax bill based on our weight ... and oh yeah, step straight into a voting booth. Targeting the food and not the irresponsible citizen is the flaw in the governor’s logic.
    ... continued



  • December 15, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The Whizzinator
    I feel sad for the maker of the Whizzonator. Talk about someone being pissed on.
    ... continued


  • December 13, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    A Great American Shame
    Growing up “American” has always had in it a certain element of ethnocentric superiority. From day one, we are taught that we are the Richest, Most Powerful Nation on this Earth. As we mature we come to accept that capitalism and our natural resources and our military might have established us as safe from all threats; foreign and domestic. We count as among our blessings that we are of a very few peoples on this earth who can go to bed at night with confidence that our government and military will keep us safe and in be in place in the morning.

    But, today I am ashamed of my Nation. In November 2008, the United States Department of Agriculture released its report for Hunger in the United States for the year 2007. In their own numbers, One in Eight Americans or 12.2% of the population – more than 36.2 million people -- could not put food on the table at least part of last year. Nearly seven hundred thousand of them are children.

    The Richest, Most Powerful Nation on the Earth and in all of History, with the Greatest Liberty and Recognition of the Human Being and an Indelible Right to Life, stands quiet while more than 1 in 8 people go hungry. I am ashamed of my country. You should be too.
    ... continued



  • December 12, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Time Again for a Full Metal Jacket
    I guess congratulations to our local police agencies are in order. Twenty nine more bad guys were arrested this week. A whole bunch of marijuana has been taken off the street. The cost of incarceration, prosecution, defense, and maintenance of these 29 ‘evil drug dealers’ are now upon the backs of all us taxpayers. Qui bono? Newspapers show that credit is given to the Onondaga County Sheriff for the hours and hours spent on snooping on conversations. That’s their job; at least its their job security.
    ... continued


  • December 11, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Gitmo, the State Fair, and Me
    How we treat each other as fellow travelers in this life will serve as the monument to our existence. The rules and regulations we leave behind shall be our legacy and message to later generations. I respectfully submit that the State Fair should encourage protest. We need to see all that we are as a People. To celebrate “New York” is to celebrate all her glories, including the power wielded by peaceful protest and strongly held opinions.

    It has been said that once you start burning books, burning people is not far behind. When O’Hara took down that picture, the arrest of Kinane was not far behind. Unlimited and unbridled discretion in the application of a set of subjective unwritten rules is a clear and present danger to all of us. The Fair has to learn that when the chances of someone being “one in a million”, there is going to be at least one of them on the property at some point. New York should be celebrating and showcasing all that she is; including her blemishes. The drug war, our senators and congressfolks complicity in Gitmo, or what is family friendly are all part of the great State, It is our Fair and we the People should enjoy all the Fair has to offer; including that which it attracts. The combined effect of all of it makes the Fair an experience never to be forgotten.

    Or, the Fair can just enact a rule that says “only sheep allowed”.
    ... continued



  • December 10, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Carter’s Pills
    Carter does not stand alone. Our first President, George Washington said, “The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is in extending our commercial relations to have as little political connection as possible... Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalships, interest, humor, or caprice?... It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world.”

    I am in full agreement with both former Presidents.
    ... continued



  • December 09, 2008:
    By Anne C. Woodlen

    Living Without a Net
    A week goes by and I get another one on a tightrope. Her name is Catherine. Drugs, alcohol, guilt, blame, sleeplessness, loneliness, fear. She’s already cut herself, and she’s holding a bottle of a hundred pills. By the time she’s ready to hang up, we have a plan for her to get some sleep. The plan includes ten pills, not a hundred. She may mess herself up but she won’t die—and it’s her choice. One step at a time, she is figuring out how not to die.

    I call the next volunteer and tell her we’ve got a Wallenda on the wire. Some of the Wallenda’s caught the wire, some fell, some broke, some died. I can’t decide life or death for them but if one catches my hand, by God, I will hang on.
    ... continued



  • December 08, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    A Call to Cancel Health Insurance
    It is time to correct a sixty year old bad habit that started as a fad and marketing trend and has since blossomed into what most folks consider a near constitutional right. I speak of the new age belief that an employer must provide health care benefits to its employees … or that employees have a right to insist, request, or even consider a health care plan as part of a compensation package.

    Prior to the Second World War, there was no concept of an employer driven health care system. Because millions of healthy workers were in uniform, current demands of industry were high. Since the labor force controlled the market, employers began using Health Insurance as an added incentive to lure skilled workers to their industry. When the next generations came into the work force, they too wanted the same benefits as their forefathers and what we ended up with today is a benefit that is perceived as being on par with actual salary as the primary job consideration.
    ... continued



  • December 06, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Angry Face Bait
    A man was lured to prison by the use of emoticons. A police officer posing as a young female on the internet kept a man from ignoring her by sending sad emoticons. The internet symbol was used to express sadness and anger at the man because he would not talk to her because of her age. Eventually he succumbed to the bait and found himself in police custody and headed to prison.
    ... continued


  • December 04, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Liberdad
    Fidel Castro has stepped down as leader and President of Cuba. President elect Barak Obama promised during his campaign that the time has come to make peace with Cuba. Suddenly, the potential of a future relationship between the United States and the Island nation seems near. After all, for the past 50 years the United States has led a western nation embargo against Cuba solely because of its leader. With Castro gone, the time has come to reconsider our foreign policy.
    ... continued


  • December 02, 2008, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Tis the Season to Drink and Drive
    It is NOT illegal to drink and drive. New York and the rest of the United States has never taken a position that we do not want people drinking and driving. In fact, we encourage drinking and driving. Bars do not come to your house and they do not offer rides to all their patrons. Same with restaurants and office parties; there is plenty of booze and no rides for the partygoers. We know and accept that people get behind the wheel of a car. It does not bother us.

    In New York for example, you are not “drunk” for legal purposes unless there is a certain percent of alcohol in your blood. Zero point zero five (0.05% BAC) is enough to arrest and charge you with Driving with Ability Impaired. At zero point zero eight (0.08% BAC) you can be charged with DWI. What those numbers reveal is that we in New York tolerate drinking and driving. If we were being honest with ourselves and were serious about eradicating drinking and driving, we would set the bar at zero point zero zero (0.00% BAC). Doing so would make sure that everybody knew the rules and everybody would be able to comply. Don’t drink and drive. ... continued



  • November 30, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    A Bundle of Joy
    Even in the civil arena, this unbundling can prove too dangerous. Most of what lawyers “do” is find a solution to a problem and then use the rules and law as the means by which they get to the solution. A lawyer who steps into a game midway through is limited by what has been done before him. Of course there is an upside; as a lawyer can be hired to just advance a discovery motion or conduct a deposition or file a summary judgment application. A lawyer can certainly be a scrivener for two people wanting a divorce or to sign a contract. Me, I could do what I love and limit my activities to being a Barrister and never push another document again.

    But alas, the business and practice of law does not work that way. In nearly any case I can think of, the lawyer has to be there from start to finish. You cannot start to solve a math problem and then say “nevermind” any more than you can start a civil case and then tell the client on the day of trial “good luck” in finding a trial lawyer that day to take his case as it has been prepared by someone else.
    ... continued



  • November 29, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Our Annual War on "Christmas"
    The problem with ‘Christmas’ is the timely clash with several other major religious holidays. At the same time as Christians celebrate the birth, Jews celebrate the flame, and Pagans celebrate the harvest. Cultures around the world have year end celebrations. Here in the United States, many of those cultures are well represented. Each group is entitled to our nation’s respect and we must accept and tolerate those beliefs. Whether your holiday be Festivus or Kwanzaa, we should all take joy in your celebration and happiness. Is that not what Christians expect from the rest of us at Christmastime?

    Where the problem comes in is in how you deal with people. Can you look at someone and determine whether to wish them a Happy Hannukah or a Frolicking Festivus. Should our language morph the word ‘Christmas’ into a generic holiday greeting or is 'Happy Holidays' enough?
    ... continued



  • November 28, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The Truth, The Whole Truth and Nothing But
    Journalism and news is dependant in part on the courage of citizens to come forward with information and ‘leaks’ so that society can keep government and wrongdoers in check. We the People depend on journalism to nurture and encourage such avenues of information. A newspaper that ignores or mistreats ‘sources’ cannot be trusted. As a news vehicle, true unfiltered information is the lifeblood upon which credibility is assessed.

    In the modern era, newspapers have also become quite savvy at playing within the legal boundaries the First Amendment provides. We want a vigorous and open media. Our nation depends on the media getting the story and getting it right. We depend on the integrity of purveyors of news and information. Nobody can tolerate a lie, misrepresentation, or half truth. Skilled reporters and publications with an agenda know how to use the shield of the First Amendment as a sword by which they slay the good name and character of private citizens. When they do, I get involved. ... continued

    * * *

    By Michael Kunzwiler
    Minority Leader
    Oswego County Legislature

    The Slurs that Blur
    A short time ago, Mr. Leemann and I had a discussion about this issue. I’m pleased that we have had many constructive discussions this past year. Indeed there was one legislator in the Democratic caucus who has expressed an interest getting this benefit. But I don’t know why Mr. Leemann mentions absolutely nothing about the three or more new Republican legislators who were also pushing very hard to get taxpayer-funded health-insurance coverage. To leave that out of this article is “dead wrong.” ... continued
    * * *

    By Russ W. Johnson

    Clearing the Air with Ms. LeClair
    In closing, I want to respond directly to Ms. LeClair when she said, “I have to ask myself why Russ Johnson is so angry and willing to disparage his former colleagues.” Well, Ms. LeClair, I’m not angry. I’m a private citizen now. A private citizen who happens to know a little bit about local government and what makes certain politicians tick when it comes to taking care of themselves. After all, I fought against that for 14 years. I’m actually quite happy that I can offer my viewpoint to those who choose to read it no matter how offended you may be. As for ‘disparaging’ some of my former colleagues, I realize that the truth may hurt them, but please don’t expect the taxpayers to pay for their healing. That’s the old way of thinking and the people cannot afford it. ... continued


  • November 26, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Giving Thanks
    It was not very long ago that my family and I served meals at the Salvation Army on Thanksgiving with the ulterior motive being that we too would enjoy a Thanksgiving meal. Those were dark days indeed. I did not eat that day because no matter how bad was my own situation, at least I had a place to call “home” and some food in the cupboards. The food belonged to those who needed it far more than did I. Also, I was too busy chatting up some of the wanderers and learning tales of great whoa and woe.

    Before that year and ever since, Thanksgiving is the one day I have never let myself or my family forget. There is more to it than just the 15 lbs of fat I put on after the holiday. The holiday is more than a golden brown turkey, peas with onions, pumpkin bread, or even a heartwarming fire ‘neath the chimney. If ever there was a holiday greater than the sum of its’ parts, it is Thanksgiving.
    ... continued



  • November 25, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Forget Me – Nots
    Think about your absolute worst memory; the most horrific event of your life. If you are one of the lucky ones, imagine someone having been raped, or surviving a near death experience.

    What if there was a drug you could take that would interrupt and eventually erase that memory completely from your mind? Would you take it? According to a recent study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, psychiatrists at McGill University, in Montreal, and Harvard University, in Boston have indeed developed such a drug. Administered at the proper moment, they contend a memory can be blocked and even deleted from your mind.

    Recalling an episode from the original Star Trek television series (yes, I was a ‘trekkie’ complete with Tribble), the Enterprise happened upon a planet where when the crew would go on leave, they met a man who could erase bad memories. Of course, the crew was all taking advantage of it but there were ramifications. Captain Kirk refused; making the comment, “I --- Need --- My --- Pain!”
    ... continued



  • November 24, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    My Achilles Butt
    Achilles had his heel. I have my butt. ... continued


  • November 23, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Ice, Ice, Baby
    In honor of the first significant snowfall of the winter of 2008/2009, our Editors regurgitated from its 2005 archives, the gripping tale of a lawyer’s slow slippery slide into an icicle induced insanity. ... continued


  • November 21, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Migraines in My Colon*
    The Prime Directive
    So the question arises as to why is there a rising shortage of primary care practitioners. To me, based on dozens of conversations with doctors and hospital personnel as well as my own life and practical experience, tell me the problem is married to one of my own primary pet peeves about the business of medicine. In its’ neverending pursuit of excellence and the seemingly unending mysteries about human anatomy and physiology coupled with technology and pharmacology changing daily, medicine has so fractured into too many subspecialties. In a discussion about a hospital wing dedicated solely to injuries to the hand, a Master Sergeant friend once said, “doctors learn more and more about less and less until one day they will know everything there is to know about nothing.” ... continued


  • November 20, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    What a Drag it is Getting Old -- in Upstate New York
    I want to join my voice with the growing chorus of those who survived God and Darwin’s best efforts to enjoy life after 40. Despite the fact that most of my 40’s sucked, those of us who made it through the chaos our 30’s and resultant midlife crises have within us a wealth of experience, expertise, and knowledge that cannot be gleaned from a textbook or laboratory.

    But in Upstate New York, they don’t want me anymore. Like some pathetic 70’s science fiction movie, persons over 40 are no longer welcome here. We are thrown from jobs in favor of lower cost younger employees, our government and civic organizations pour barrels of beer down the throats of the young to hold them here. Career fairs, job fests, networking events, and parties galore are extended to the babies. Meanwhile, the BabyBoomers are tossed to the curb for some Community Court slave to sweep up. ... continued



  • November 19, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Shalom Achkshav: Peace Now
    Palestinians split their electorate into two camps: Fatah and Hamas. Fatah won elections in the West Bank and is in the process of becoming a peaceful region. At the same time, Hamas, acknowledged to be the more virulent of the two bodies politic, has decided to keep up its terrorist and military attacks against Israel. Daily firing dozens of rockets into Israeli cities and settlements, it is clear that Hamas wants a war to the death. I say let us just step aside let the Israelis turn the Strip into a tourist mecca paved with the blood of Hamas fighters.

    Let us talk about a hypothetical world for a moment. In that world there is a guy who every time he gets a chance, he walks up and slaps you across the face. At first, you turn the other cheek, but he still walks up and slaps you. You try to stay out of his way, but he hunts you down, sneaks up, and smacks you good. Then you try slapping him down to the ground but he just gets back up and slaps you again across the face. Your friends come around and smack him down but he still comes back and smacks you again. You call the police and he is put in prison, but the moment he gets out, he again comes right up to you and slaps you in the face. During his incarceration, his friends come around and smack you in the face.

    Does anybody in the end fault you when one day you pick up a shotgun and blow the guy’s face off? When is enough, enough? ... continued



  • November 18, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Onondaga County Needs a Public Defender
    It is time to build an office, on par with that of the District Attorney and of the County Attorney, whose sole mission is to have a team of highly motivated lawyers who can focus on the unique needs and issues of criminal defense and civil litigation for the poor and underemployed. There has to be a better way than just playing ‘spin-the-wheel’ justice, where attorneys have no idea about issues each other is confronting, where clients have to run from agency to agency, and where the reporting and payment system creates hostility and conflict amongst the bar. ... continued


  • November 15, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Let Gay Folks Suffer Like the Rest of Us
    Society has no interest in assuring that marriage remains a heterosexual relationship. We cannot succumb to claims that marriage is about procreation when we tolerate couples to be legally married who do not intend to have children, who cannot have children, or who are post-childbearing. There is also no basis that marriage has to be between man and woman “because that is the way it has always been done” when we live in a world where slavery, pedophilia, and imperialism were likewise once the norms.

    This nation is best served when its People are happy and at peace. A couple, of any construct, who have pledged their love and mutual support for each other “til death do them part” will be more productive and less of a burden on all of us. We owe it to ourselves and the legacy we leave for future generations to work toward this goal. Anything less constitutes repression and oppression based on religious theory.

    Let us be the great People that we are. Let us learn to accept and tolerate those who do not think or live as we do. We are a pluralistic nation and as such, there has to be room for more than one idea. My idea is that we allow anybody to get married to anyone they choose. From those unions, our nation will thrive and grow and find enlightenment. ... continued



  • November 14, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Resurrection of the Knights Templar
    Upon the ascendancy of Barak Obama to the Presidency, Catholic Bishops in the United States have proclaimed a Holy War and are on the attack at getting Catholic values into the White House. Specifically, with the Rise of the Democratic Party, Catholic Bishops fear their crusade against abortion rights will be lost. Amen to that.

    The issue of abortion is long settled in the United States. We have come to the point where our national attitude about the subject is, “if you don’t like abortions, don’t have one.” Our focus on education and providing alternatives to pregnancy has been the greatest weapon in the war protecting free choice and individual privacy. Abortion is a sorry afterthought and in nearly all cases, the choice of last resort.

    But the Catholic Bishops cannot let it go. Ignoring the centuries long criminal cover-up in their own house, these Bishops have gone on the offensive. Ranging from demanding penance from those who voted for Obama or threatening reporters and expelling Obama voting parishoners or even refusing communion to Obama voters, American Bishops vow to hound the Obama Administration on the subject of abortion. Simply put, the Bishops are now going to Holy War against their own followers and the American government unless we relent to their ideology. ... continued



  • November 13, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Tobacco 19 Chokes
    It was announced today that Lovie Winslow, the only non working member of the County Legislature (she never attends any meetings) is making her fourth attempt, only three months since it was vetoed (for the second time), for a new law to raise the age at which you can buy cigarettes in this County to age 19. Serving no real benefit, the great and invisible Winslow pushes this bill as part of her annual bowel movement for attention for re-election. In no uncertain terms, not only is the idea a bad one, but Winslow is wasting thousands of taxpayer dollars every time she raises this issue. We all know the concept is stupid, it has been turned down thrice thus far, yet we tolerate her move and turn one against the other while real issues go ignored. The motto and call to alarm is “if we can save just one life”, the inconvenience is worth it.

    It is without a doubt the stupidest argument ever made by a Legislator when they say, “if it saves just one life it was worth it.” President Lyndon Johnson said that, “You [should] not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harm it would cause if improperly administered." If you ask me, President Johnson had the better idea. ... continued



  • November 12, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Plain and Simple Talk on Education and Drugs
    At a TownHall Meeting yesterday in Syracuse, our governor sat and told us of the fiscal woes that strangle the State from doing business. He told of a Billion dollar shortfall and how deep and severe cuts are going to happen. Nothing is safe. Amongst the Governor’s first targets was education. State and local government are going to gut and slash the education budget. Expect the typical: First thing they do, is fire all the teachers. Second thing they do, is raise your property taxes. Finally, year after year, they abandon projects and programs designed to help kids while School District leaders feel their pensions fatten. We must be “high” to continually tolerate such bizarre and wasteful spending.

    I have a solution to at least half the State’s fiscal problem as it impacts our local market. Here in Syracuse and right in the Mayor’s lap is $10 million immediately available to infuse into area schools and education. This is within grasp and will not require an increase in taxes nor cut in services. All that is needed is a simple reorganization. Since the Governor cannot see the simple solution to the State’s budget woes, allow me.

    Here in Syracuse alone, the former City Auditor, Minch Lewis did a detailed and in depth analysis of the City Budget outlays. In doing so, he realized and made clear that more than ONE THIRD of all police resources were being expended in the enforcement of Prohibition. If the City managers were to sit down and isolate the dollars being spent on a failed policy, I am confident millions of dollars could be salvaged and redirected toward more needy and productive programs.
    ... continued



  • November 11, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    In Oswego, Death Sentence for Political Speech
    Here are the facts: A man was beaten into critical condition by a soldier home on leave after serving a tour in Afghanistan. The beating came at the end of a political argument over Barak O’Bama’s recent election victory. Despite the severity of the victim’s injuries, the soldier was charged with a misdemeanor assault by Oswego police and prosecutors.

    First among the firsts of the every American’s Rights is the right to political speech. In a public setting or square, nothing is more cherished than every person’s right to express a political opinion on a matter of public importance. This ideal is chiseled in the bedrock of our Federal and State constitutions. Tens of thousands have died to protect that right. Without the right to speak freely on matters of political importance, all other rights have no meaning. If you cannot express yourself without being beaten to death by soldiers, then what value does any other right present? You cannot vote if you are dead or disabled.

    As a soldier in the employ of the United States, the attack and violent beating of a civilian represents the worst possible image for the military. Soldiers have no role to play in the internal operations of the United States and have no rights or authority greater than that of citizen. For one who actively wears the uniform to beat a man to near death for his political opinions, brings shame to that uniform. ... continued



  • November 10, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Mutts Like Me
    When I heard those off-the-cuff throw away words, it was the moment I connected with the President-elect. Mr. O’Bama stood there giving an acceptance speech; having just been recognized as winner of the Presidential election. He had a few throw away lines – the one about Nancy Reagan and séances went nowhere. But when he said, “mutts like me”, I saw in his eyes and heard in his words a feeling I experience on many occasions. My first response was to tear up. How does a person like me, who comes from where I did and lived the life I lived, end up in such a situation? People like me are not supposed to end up in lofty positions. Personally, I never have. But when President-elect O’Bama said it, I knew exactly what he meant. It was a clear indicator of how in his heart, he too was stunned and surprised at his sudden ascendency to the Presidency.

    Now that I too have been touched by the Great One, I want to use the chance to send him a message back. ... continued



  • November 08, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Pick Me. Pick Me.
    A couple of days after election day, I met up with leaders of the Republican Party in a nearby county for “wings and beer”. Since I don’t do beer, I stuck with my Black Label. Also I got a photograph of one of them wearing an O’Bama for President baseball cap I had stuffed in my briefcase. I am going to save it for an October surprise. During our conversation, the subject of upcoming elections was on the table and while ideas were knocked around the table, I told them what would be my platform should I be elected to Office in the Executive Branch.

    Speaking hypothetically about being D.A., I said my office would organize priorities. Folks who did harm to persons or property would get my undivided attention. People who did no harm to anyone but themselves would be far down the scale of priorities. Specifically, I said I would prosecute jaywalkers before I would prosecute drug possession cases.

    As fast as the words came out of my mouth, I was quickly forewarned by all at the table that I should keep that idea to myself until after I am elected. I was dead serious in retort when I suggested that each of them do the same thing; include ‘getting out of the drug war’ as part of their platform. The issue needs to be approached from a cost benefit analysis. Let the churches save people’s souls. We the taxpayer need our funds diverted elsewhere.
    ... continued



  • November 07, 2008:
    By Anne C. Woodlen

    Migraines in My Colon*
    Wheels Up
    If you invite someone to your home for supper, then you should be there to greet them. You don’t go upstairs and leave your guest sitting alone in the living room for half an hour. I figure that it should be the same in the doctor’s office. It’s called “courtesy”—hospitality, niceness, a polite way of treating people. My momma and grandma taught me that. Apparently the doctor didn’t have a momma or grandma to teach him how to be nice.

    Can anybody give me any reason why this experience can’t be nicer? After you’ve waited fifteen minutes, somebody should come tell you something. “The doctor is running behind but he’ll be here in about five minutes.” “The doctor had an emergency and may be a while longer. Can you wait or do you want to reschedule?” This is called “being nice”—being polite, being considerate, being respectful. I know the doctor’s time is precious. So is mine. Maybe not to him, but certainly to me.

    I have scheduled transportation to pick me up at 11:15. I have a life; I have other business to attend to. I do not believe that doctors are gods and my life depends on them. There is only one true God and he doesn’t wear a white coat, and my life depends largely on me taking responsibility for getting a good night’s sleep, eating a healthy diet, exercising as much as I can, and talking to God about everything else.
    ... continued



  • November 06, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Time Stops All Things
    (A short story)

    Can you stop time? ... continued



  • November 05, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Where is the Mystery Voter?
    Well, I really do want to meet that guy.

    The guy … the undecided voter whose vote is swayed by a lawn sign. “Umm honey, you know this Maffei guy … I was driving home today and I saw about 2,000 of his signs and yaknow, I been thinking … anybody who can get that many lawn signs out must be a heck of a legislator. I think I will vote for him.”
    ... continued



  • November 04, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Vote As Though Your Life Depends On It
    Do not vote for a candidate because you ‘think’ they will win. This is not a football game and you are not betting on the winner. No candidate is ahead, has a lock, is winning, or is going to win until the very moment the polls close. Before you flip that switch, regardless of the promises you made to your friends and family … before you flip that switch … did you do it because of party or because you think the candidate is going to win … or did you flip that switch because in your heart, you voted for the person you believe best capable of bringing Onondaga County into the 21st Century and to build a world class legacy for the children of your great grandchildren.

    I have watched the debates, listened to the arguments, and skimmed the junk mail. I have tolerated the fundraising phone calls and the attack police out there anonymously posting on the internet. I have suffered the wardrobe costs, the plumberitis, the terrorist fist bump, and guilt by association. This election has not shown itself to be something about which Americans can be proud. Both major party candidates are guilty of the slime. Neither major party candidate really offers us a choice. While the McCain candidacy brings stability and consistency with the past, the Obama candidacy brings us the great unknown and a bevy of new bodies and ideas.

    “Malaise” is the disease that has infected the heart and soul of the region and nation. We are tired and war weary. Whether it is economic, social, educational, or political; momentum and energy have come to a complete standstill. It matters not whether Democrats or Republicans are in charge as both parties have shown themselves to be the Pied Pipers of Yawn. Each candidate in turn is an excellent manager, has perfect character, and is a wonderful human being. Yet none is inspiring the nation to Her better angels.
    ... continued



  • November 03, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    THE DAY BANK OF AMERICA GOT THE BOMB
    You are about to embark on a magical journey into how the world may look and what the future may hold for us in the event Bank of America gets the ‘Bomb’. Could this be a real situation? Only the Fed knows for sure. Maybe Walmart or Exxon will get the Bomb first. ‘Who’ is not the question. ‘What if’ should be more pressing. Remember, nobody makes more money than Exxon.

    Not many are likely to forget that fateful September morn. It was the 28th and it was the morning that world governments woke up to learn that Bank of America got the Bomb. A spokesman for the monolithic multinational announced to all that Bank of America was seceding from the Union. Not only from the United States but Bank of America was declaring its Independence from any Govenrmental control whatsoever and from any Nation that would attempt to lay political claim over it. The world was threatened with a release of the weapon should any attempt be made to stop it.
    ... continued



  • November 02, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Carpe Momento
    What do I do in the early morning hours of a dark and cold Sunday morning? Think.
    ... continued


  • November 01, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Land That I Love

    Guess where I live. ... continued



  • October 31, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Candy is dandy, but ....
    “Hey, aren’t you the same guy who was here 3 years ago?” When I answered in the affirmative, he said … “thanks a lot, you scared my kid so bad that she refuses to go out trick or treating for 3 yrs now.” Well, I felt bad for about 2 seconds and then really had to smile. GOOD. Happy Halloween.
    ... continued


  • October 29, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    McCain’s Lost Judgment
    The one great harm that any sitting President can do to the nation is to appoint judges to the federal bench. In doing so, these lifelong appointments can impact persons and national policy for decades; or forever, depending on the intensity of the precedent. For that one reason alone, the angry old white man running at the top of the Republican ticket should be adjudged unable to fulfill his duty as President. I have full confidence a President McCain will select judges who fit his constituency’s agenda. Their battle cry is and remains: Activist judges should not overturn popular legislative activity. Though by design, the Executive Branch is politically the weakest under our constitution, great efforts have made by the Right to weaken the Judicial Branch through appointments and false arguments about scope of authority.
    ... continued


  • October 28, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Tied Up, Tied Down,
    Being Tied and Dragged Around
    I bring all this up because I think it is time that my profession rethink its position on Men having to wear Ties and Jackets to Court. The genesis of this came from sanctions suffered by this lawyer for choosing to opt for an ascot instead of a tie. I am sure he looked quite smashing with a bundle of silk wrapped around his throat underneath an open-at-the-neck dress shirt. The Judge there was not so impressed and reacted angrily.
    ... continued


  • October 27, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Rap on the Rosary
    (Recently, a high school suspended a student for wearing Rosary Beads on campus. The school’s police “resource” officer told school administrators that the Rosary Beads are a gang symbol. In response, the following was penned in Rap*. Both as a challenge to me as a writer and because what I hear in my head is a modern day child’s response to a police officer having her suspended for wearing a Rosary).
    ... continued


  • October 25, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    End Mr. Bush’s War
    At its core, this war is over. The battle was lost the day we defeated the enemy and encamped. We had won the War and should have packed up our toys and left. Instead, we pitched tents. From that day forth, we have become the enemy; our own worst enemy. So long as the President thinks of the war in terms of dueling bumper sticker slogans … win or surrender, stay the course or cut and run … we will never taste success. Lyndon Johnson and then Richard Nixon also felt if we just increased troop levels, we could shore up a government and build a military. Twenty some odd thousand American dead later, and we were running for our lives.

    No, Mister President and no Senator McCain; the answer to Iraq is not more American dead and wounded. The solution is not a New Deal or a Big Deal, but a No Deal. Yes, the surge worked. Surging forces to save other forces exemplifies the stupidity of the entire fiasco. Not one more boot on the ground, not one more dime spent, not one more drop of sweat or blood spilt to further this mistake of political judgment. Please Mr. President, before something happens to someone I know.
    ... continued



  • October 24, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Migraines in My Colon*
    Hospital Kits and Insurance Fits
    Ours can be a world class system if we remember our nation’s basic fundamentals. Should an American standing on a corner be robbed, a socialized police force come to help. We have a socialized criminal justice system and prison system to deal with threats and wrongdoers because at any given time, any one of us could be a victim of a crime or civil wrong and need help.

    If your house is burning down, again we have a socialized fire rescue agency to come and help. Again, we do this because we all realize that any one of us could be at risk of fire and we provide this service to all for our own protection. If your child cannot read, then we have a socialized educational system because we all realize the value of an education and how it betters the nation. If we need plumbing, roads, plowing of snow, we have socialized infrastructure to help everyone because we realize that as a community we need to be able to move about.

    But, if you are standing on a corner and you see a fellow American drop to the ground suffering from a heart attack, there has to be more than just standing there saying, “boy, I sure hope he has good insurance.” This is not my vision of the country or the concept of being “American”.
    ... continued



  • October 23, 2008:
    By Anne C. Woodlen

    Just A Little Bit Easier
    In the first episode of the fourth season of West Wing, the President is campaigning in the Midwest. Toby, Josh and Donna miss the motorcade and spend twenty hours working their way back to Washington. They end up in a hotel bar with a man who has just taken his daughter to visit Notre Dame. The man talks about how exciting it is to take his daughter to visit colleges, how he and his wife both work, how proud he is of his pianist son, and how he worries about the stock market’s impact on the fund for his kids’ education. “I don’t mind that it’s hard,” he says. “It should be hard . . . but it should be just a little bit easier.”

    I find myself remembering that line a lot these days: It should be just a little bit easier.
    ... continued



  • October 22, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The Pain of the McCain Campaign
    Stop it.

    Discussions of Bill Ayers, ACORN, Jeremiah Wright, and Joe the Plumber have got to stop and stop now. There are less than three weeks until the election and we need to be discussing healthcare, Iraq, the national debt, and infrastructure repairs. We must spend our national debate equity on issues of national importance. Every word uttered on the character assassination attempts by the McCain campaign shames the candidate and demeans us as Americans.

    Nobody’s character is to be tested by the company they kept, places they worked, or beliefs once held. It is beyond cruel to judge a man’s entire life’s work by a single event or snapshot in time. Whether you support the Obama campaign or not, it would be un-American and beyond reason to make your judgment based on an historical tryst.
    ... continued



  • October 21, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Fire In the Hole
    So there I am engrossed in the most miserable of appellate records of a zoning case when I start to smell burning rubber and plastic. Looking outside my window, I can see smoke billowing out of the roof of the lobby below. No fire alarm sounded but there was a rapid exit of all personnel I had seen milling about downstairs earlier while I was basking in the spa. Now everybody is standing outside and safe from the flames … everybody except me.

    At least six fire trucks are camped outside while they hunt the source and kill the flame. I left the room and found all the firedoors closed, the elevators not operational, and unless I want to walk down 14 flights of stairs for no damn good reason, I am pretty much a prisoner in my own room. It is cool though because I have a bird’s eye view of the massive fire operation below. The firefighters seem to be winning as the stench and smoke have dwindled to nothingness.
    ... continued



  • October 20, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Why “W”: A Movie Review
    Why I saw “W” instead of Pineapple Express was a last minute stupid change in plans. “W” was neither interesting nor funny. Dialogue was food laden yet vacuous of substance. In the end, I regret the $19.00 spent for the privilege of suffering a 2 hour PTSD flashback. Make no mistake; “W” is a horrifying movie. What is obviously a caricature of the incumbent President’s administration contrasted with his early life is by no means funny. Those of us who lived through the period and predicted our current situation cannot possibly sit by and laugh at the idiocy behind the process of thinking that went on in the White House.
    ... continued


  • October 19, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Juiced
    The once famed mighty Syracuse University Orange was squeezed dry by a gaggle of backwoods hillbillies who think Mohawk haircuts (aka Mullets) are cool. Though nationally ranked, the University of South Florida football program was born just yesterday; actually 12 years ago, which is yesterday by today’s standards for elite football programs

    Yet the crushed Orange have achieved a new level of notoriety; the laughing stock of Division One A football. Every game starts with the highest of expectations and by the end of the first quarter, you can almost feel “it” coming. The steamroller effect starts and by the end of the third quarter, you start to play over/under 50 – same being the points the opponent is going to score. It has gotten so bad that the stadium where home games are played is on the Hill; now nicknamed Heartbreak Ridge. Nobody brings home a loss better than a Greg Robinson team. ... continued



  • October 18, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The One Free Walk Rule
    In 1971, the New York Legislature put into place §170.56 of the Criminal Procedure Law. Specifically, that law says that when the only charge pending against a defendant is a below-felony-level marijuana charge, the Court must either dismiss the charge outright or grant the defendant an unconditional discharge. Subsequent legal decisions have declared the dismissal to be ministerial, mandatory, and non discretionary.
    ... continued


  • October 17, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Ten Reasons to Defeat Dan Maffei
    Yesterday, Mr. Maffei came to Fayetteville Manlius High School to speak. Students were given extra credit on tests and grades if they showed up to hear Maffei speak. My brat was there and I am sure the house was packed. Free grades are free grades. You do not have to be Jewish to appreciate the value of a freebie. When I asked my daughter what she thought of Maffei, she said he was “ok”. Trying to get an explanation and opinion from her was nearly impossible. When asked if she would vote for him, she said she would. I disagreed but she refused to debate. Perhaps she will read this and see my ten reasons why I am not voting for Dan Maffei:
    ... continued


  • October 16, 2008:
    By Anne C. Woodlen

    Annie to the American Medical Industry:
    Up Yours
    She wants to stick one probe up my butt and another one down my throat until they meet in the middle, and she’s offering me the option of doing it without sedation. If you did it at Guantanamo Bay to a presumed terrorist, it would be called torture. Do it in an American hospital and it’s called competent medical treatment. What Americans put up with in the face of their fear of dying amazes me. Then Marie really lets loose. She goes on a harangue about good medical treatment and how she’s required to tell me that this can be done, or that, and if I come back in a year with cancer—and at this point she stops just short of saying, “I’ll be legally liable.” She doesn’t care about helping me get healthy. She cares about sticking a scope up my ass to cover her butt.
    ... continued


  • October 15, 2008:
    By Matthew Comini

    Acid Rain
    Well, I can count my days stateside on two hands plus one toe tonight. I’m not scared about the war. I’ve been there, got the baggage to prove it. This go ‘round I ain’t nobody’s hero because I can count my years left on a peace sign. What concerns me at the moment is that I’m leaving my home and my new love.
    ... continued


  • October 14, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Entrapped to Death
    Fortunately, I am not alone in finding problems with television shows baiting people into committing crimes. Without police oversight and prosecutorial guidance, viewers see just a part of the story. Additionally, enlightened prosecutors recognize that witnesses against the defense are tainted and entrapment is written all over the place. In fact, the local District Attorney in Murphy said that, “16 of the cases, he had no jurisdiction, since neither the suspects nor the decoys were in the county during the online chats. As for the rest of the cases, he said neither police nor NBC could guarantee the chat logs were authentic and complete.”
    ... continued


  • October 13, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Tales From the Hood:
    Mop and Blow
    I say the time has come to enact Statutes of Limitations and Statutes of Repose for bad acts committed many years ago. After the passage of so much time, a person should be able to rest easy and no longer have to defend against sins of the past. If we never let a person forget or move on, we become a society who for any sin, inflicts punishment for the rest of your life.
    ... continued


  • October 12, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Migaines in My Colon*
    The Great Lie of Tort Reform
    Once again, the forces of evil are on the march. Republicans are focusing America’s ire on “the lawyers” as being at fault for the high cost of medicine. Bazillion dollar verdicts are trotted out as being the reason your prescription costs are so high. Me thinks however, that those who target lawyers and jury verdicts are playing to Americans’ jealousy and lower pettiness than being truly interested in healing a dying system. Before civil rights and social responsibility is cast aside, medicine should first heal its own self.

    It is important we as a nation talk to each other. Fingerbanging or fingerpointing solves nothing. We end up factionalized and confused and nothing is accomplished. We will never be able to talk so long as professional labels intefere with cooler heads and rational thinking. Yet modern medicine has no qualms with 'blaming the lawyers'. So let the blame game begin. ... continued



  • October 11, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Mending of a Broken Heart
    I was told, “they say you are not a man until your father dies.” It sounded so out of place and never meant anything until this week. The death of Hon. Howard G. Munson has brought that statement home to me. He was my idol, my mentor, my teacher, and the gold standard by which all Judges are judged. Indeed on that Bench, Judge Munson was Moses on the mountain. Better yet, from his seat, Judge Munson could move a mountain and make it kneel. Few people in my life have touched me and impacted my behavior like Howard did. If Travis Lewin of Syracuse University Law School taught me how to punch, it was Howard Munson that taught me it was OK to fight and to punch hard and not stop punching until the opponent was down dead in the dirt. Howard loved trial by fire, trial by ambush, and in doing so, showed me the real world of bare knuckled litigation. Even when fighting the loftiest of ideals like constitutional rights, Howard made lawyers better lawyers. He brought out the best in me.
    ... continued


  • October 10, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Constitutional Ignorance, or
    How Wrong Can One Man Be?
    Our current Supreme Court has been anything but strictly adherent to the Founders’ intentions or to the strict letter of the Constitution. The loudest voices for judicial temperament and strict interpretation have the dirtiest hands on the subject of strictly reading and applying only the text of the actual document. Scalia is the most serious offender and does the most violence in his own preachings.
    ... continued


  • October 09, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Baby Jail
    Amongst the great unwashed who sat around gathering dust as the Judge plodded along through his calendar sat a young pretty mother and her most adorable young baby. The baby was a pretty little blonde thing with the cutesiest wavy hair and the most enlightening smile that completely swallowed her chubby little cheeks.
    ... continued


  • October 08, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    A Murder in Oz
    Remember the so-called Good Witch, Glinda? The facts are that she is a lying killer who, with that con man from the Emerald City, conspired to use and manipulate Dorothy to commit the most gruesome of murders. Glinda deserves the death penalty. She should not be elevated to the status of heroine.

    These are the undisputed facts: ... continued



  • October 06, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Auschlanders, Stay Out of My Race
    We may be a nation seriously divided here at home. Many are our internal disputes and there may even be criminal prosecutions and significant civil unrest as a result of our change in direction. We may resort to name calling, threats, government gridlock, and outright hostilities between various branches of our government and sectors of our society. Our nation may fall apart and end up broke. To pay our debt, we may have to sell Hawaii or Alaska or some of our other holdings. Thought our financial house may be in disarray, our national pride is always foursquare within the boundaries of the Constitution.

    Our bickering in our own home is not a sign of weakness. It is the one strength that we have as a nation that sets us aside and above the cheap whorehouse political structures sought by Muslim extremists. We choose our politics and government by ballots, not bullets and despite the outcome, we agree to live with the results and to defend those results with our lives. It is the power of the ballot and the People having a voice that makes our fist the one you don’t want crashing into your face. Whether it is a left hook or a right jab, it will be a solid American punch our enemies feel should they err in judgment.
    ... continued



  • October 04, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Chutzpah!
    The Vatican, home to Pope Ratzinger and Cardinal Law, has issued an edict calling America’s Democratic Party the “party of death”. The nerve and audacity of the Vatican referring to any other political entity as the “blank of death” when they themselves are the seat of mankind’s most horrific atrocities is beyond shameful. That posture by the Vatican is beyond hypocritical. It is chutzpah, defined. This is what happens when you mix conservative politics with Christianity. I sit here continually disappointed and saddened at the path the Catholic Church has chosen to follow into the future.
    ... continued


  • October 03, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Pain Free and Life is Worth Living
    It started on a Tuesday afternoon after I woke up from a nap.
    ... continued


  • October 02, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Life is Universal, Dude. So too is my Church
    I named my as-of-yet-unbuilt Cathedral the Church of the Holy Clasper. (Think about it; you will get it). Though I have not yet registered my Ordination with any local government, I am nonetheless very protective of my Ministerial rights and duties. No man such as myself could ever be satisfied following just one church. To be absolutely sure that I can prove that I am a true man of God, I sought acceptance and ordination in a second Church. Just this past year, I was duly ordained into the Church of the Latter-Day Dude. Every morning, I don the holy robe of terri and drink of the sacred beverage.
    ... continued


  • October 01, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Whose Child Is This?
    So tell me … who owns my child? ... The story of Solomon and the baby is a terrible standard. If you recall, the real mother of the child offered to surrender the child rather than have it split with a sword. The Wise King is alleged to have taken this benevolence as a sign of a parent really loving their child enough to let go. Perhaps in the world Bible believers this may be a good lesson, but it is horrible in application to the modern world. A Law Guardian yesterday is on the record saying that a father whose car was broken down on the thruway two hours away would walk or crawl to be in court to fight for custody of his child. If true, then Solomon gave the child to the wrong mother. The real mother would have killed Solomon or died trying for threatening to even harm the child.
    ... continued


  • September 29, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    My Proclamation of Emancipation
    The ways of our fathers are romantic. The memories of our mothers are precious. But the time has come to stand up and be adults and demand adult behavior from our leaders. Stop looking for someone to do your work for you. Stop hiding behind your Mommy’s skirts. Be strong, be self reliant, be independent. Demand that from others in your community before we all find ourselves in double secret detention.
    ... continued


  • September 28, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    How Is Your Math?
    Would you like to see more fun with numbers? The Iraq War has cost the nation $600 Billion. That number is 6x the number of stars in the galaxy. Every American owes $1,818.90 for their share of the War. This past week, my government promised to bailout Wall Street with $700 Billion dollars. Though the experts are claiming the number can climb as high as $5 TRILLION, both the Fed. Chairperson and Treasury Secretary said the number of $700 Billion is a randomly selected number. The cost to you and me for this one project is $2,121.21. Americans also bailed out a major insurance company. We borrowed and owe nearly $300.00 each for a collective 80% interest in the company. Throw in another thirty billion dollars for the auto industry and that is another $91.00 each of us owes, and this week turns very expensive.
    ... continued


  • September 27, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Social Security: The Necessary Slaughter of the Sacred Cow
    Right now, the money I pay into Social Security is supposed to be set aside for my use when I reach retirement age. Instead, the money I pay into the system is actually being used to pay my mother’s Social Security. There is nothing that Social Security gives me right now other than a promise. So, I hope a solution is soon found. Otherwise, you might find me living in your doorway in about 20 years.
    ... continued


  • September 26, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The Three Questions
    As the end result of another of my presentations to an area audience, I received by email a litany of questions that time did not permit answering. Also, with time to digest the discussion, some audience members still had issues about which they wanted to debate. Thirty three questions came in. Upon review, they can easily be categorized as follows: First, how can you do what you do? Second, do I agree or disagree with certain laws like drinking age or voting age? Finally, am I a winner or a loser?
    ... continued


  • September 25, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Migraines in My Colon:*
    The Hospitalist and the Drug Pusher
    (*A continuing series of positions we submit should be part of the discussion on reform of the nation's health care systems).
    I would like to introduce everybody to my drug pusher. His name is Eugene Bailey. His offices are in Syracuse and the sole role he played in my life until today was as my drug pusher. Bailey has an “MD” after his name and though he never sets foot inside a hospital or deals with any medical issues above diaper rash, he has that MD and that makes him my drug pusher. He and the rest of us can thank the legislators who long ago passed the Harrison Act which empowered MDs with the foresight and sole authority to dole out drugs. What was once a consultation between peers, now turns Americans into begging sheep, at the mercy of butchers and selfish petty people. Please Dr. can I have my medications. Please Mommy, can I have some dessert.
    ... continued


  • September 24, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    No Welfare for Gamblers
    Imagine you walk into a casino. Finding a blackjack table, you plop down $100.00 for chips and sit and play for a couple hours. Your winnings go way up and you walk away from the table with $500.00. Feeling hot and lucky, you go on to another game and sit and play but this time your luck turns sour. Knowing how much money you can make by taking this risk and despite losing not only your winnings and your $100.00 original stake, you pull out your credit card and take a cash advance to keep playing. Alas, but the House odds take over and you leave the casino floor flat broke. As you are walking out the door, you approach the management and complain about being out of money and want some help to get back on your feet.
    ... continued


  • September 23, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.
    and SFC Matthew Comini

    Tears of the Warriors
    (Our resident authors do battle in rhyme. Two warriors uwinding, slowly, in time).
    ... continued


  • September 22, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Aint No Jew in G.O.P.
    Over the past years, I have seen well who in fact are the friends and supporters of the President and who voted for his re-election. I see the hardcore Christian Right being the Republican core base. Crosses were embedded in the podium at the 2004 Republican convention. These are the people who seek to instill Christian values in schools and in society. Republicans are the ones who want to limit voter access to the polls, do not recognize a basic fundamental inalienable right to privacy of the self. Republicans are the party of big spenders (retail, I might add), and the massive growth of government and taxes. They are a warrior people; an evangelical people.
    ... continued


  • September 21, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Blinding Them With Science
    In my arrogant closed minded antidisestablishmentarianist libertarian worldview and over the course of five years of focused discussions and study, I came up with a solution. Drawing on my education, work and life experience and what I knew of both sides in the equation, I set about implementing a plan of action. It was quiet, not even the participants were told, but through loud and vigorous debate, lawsuits – won or lost, backdoor negotiations for pieces here and there, and some occasional loving assistance from unwitting volunteers. Yes, it also took some slight of hand, a little bit of social psychology, and a relentless pounding of the drum. Yesterday, I finally saw that it worked. Yes, my thinking and analysis as applied to this one problem finally yielded a result that I consider so positive, that I took the hours spent in presenting this for your consideration.
    ... continued


  • September 19, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Money for Nothing
    and Insurance for Free
    Two hundred fifty eight dollars is all it cost. That is how much every man, woman, and child in this nation paid to buy a mere 80% interest in the Insurance Industry giant, AIG. Since I know I did not pay my share and am fairly sure nobody I know paid theirs, this is yet another debt incurred in my name and dumped into the laps of my children. (Do the math: $85 Billion divided by 330 million is 257.57575). That sum of $258.00 is but one bill incurred during the past eight years. As John Stewart quipped, “anything to stop that socialized medicine.”
    ... continued


  • September 18, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Who’s S.O.R.A. Now? Morphing Daily, Abused Whenever
    Whether you are caught up in the frenzy of the sexual offender or are a rational adult who sees that offender in context of other crimes, you have to see that SORA is not the solution. SORA does nothing to prevent a predator from reoffending. The Act does nothing to bring speedier justice to wrongdoers. Our Legislature has made the normal process of enabling a wrongdoer to come forward and take responsibility for his actions nearly impossible. The impact upon the criminal justice system is only now being felt. In the end, we all suffer.
    ... continued


  • September 17, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Bang Bang Maxwell’s Silver Spoon
    Whatever may be your personal feelings toward Mr. Hawkins, he has earned a right to be heard as we debate who should replace Congressman James Walsh. There is much that Hawkins brings to the table; ideas and ideals that this region would be proud to endorse. Ignoring Hawkins or his message because he refuses the label of ‘Democrat’ or ‘Republican’ would be the epitome of arrogance and a knife in the heart of true political debate. “Malaise” is the disease that has infected the heart and soul of upstate New York. Whether it is economic, social, educational, or political; the community’s energy has come to a complete standstill. It matters not whether Democrats or Republicans are in charge. Each is little but the Pied Pipers of Yawn. For 22 years that I have lived here, our representatives at all levels of local, state, and national government have strived for mediocrity. So far, so good.
    ... continued


  • September 16, 2008:
    By Matthew Comini

    The Holy Trinity

    Take me, my world, for every damned thing I’m worth,
    Stitch together the nation which you are.
    Sew your seams tight against tyranny,
    But know the tyrant you create and her expense.
    Freedom can only be had by those willed to open minds,
    Parties were not held dear on Independence Day.
    ... continued

  • September 14, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The Red Red Rams of Jamesville
    This past week, I did my song-and-dance routine* for a two-class double class at JD High school. All went well and I am confident another generation of thinkers has been set loose upon society. Sheep; we have plenty of … as we do wolves. I choose to arm students with the two most dangerous weapons to a wolf or a sheep: Enlightenment. After the lecture, I shared with the hangers-on responses to questions and told a few war stories. Among the stories was how I was banned as a speaker at Nottingham High School because I gave students what I thought were peaceful and law abiding solutions to cruelty perpetrated against students by administration and teachers. Well, seems that even in White affluent JD high school, their management too suffers from the same disease we see in the City.
    ... continued


  • September 13, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Tales From The Hood:
    Sunoco has been Violated
    A stop in the journey was now mandatory. We smokers gotta have our butts. It was too bad the entire combined two classes I had just spoken to did not join me. They could have witnessed first hand the racist and classism and all around offensive behavior of white people in Syracuse and how it can destroy a mood and an entire mindset of a human being. ... Right now, Sunoco’s racist policy cost them me as a customer. Hopefully this will snowball and eventually a more enlightened contributor to society will emerge. Until then, “may their gas tanks be empty and their cash registers fail”. Mostly, either they will change or their doors will close and I pray Syracuse residents do all they can to close down that Sunoco by refusing to do business. Companies like the Sunoco are a blight and a cancer upon our community. It is up to us to fight that good fight and either enlighten them or close them down.
    ... continued


  • September 12, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    In Remembrance of a Free America
    Yesterday, September 11, 2008 was the seventh anniversary of Osama Bin Ladin’s attack on New York and the Pentagon. Here we are seven years later and that pork rind, camel fucking, godless sheep pie Bin Ladin is still running around and sucking air. My President opted to kill Iraqis instead. Rather than take the battle to the enemy, our nation’s elected representatives have opted to target our nation and our people and our rights. We suffer more and more while the guilty go free and enjoy their lives in a cave.
    ... continued


  • September 11, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The Time for Affirmative Action
    No longer can we Americans ignore the concept that Affirmative Action as a State mandate has perhaps run its’ course. We as Americans are poised at the precipice of another milestone in the advancement of our society. It is normal and accepted now that a Vagino-American or an African-American are major party candidates for President of the United States. Our nation seems to have reached its tolerance crescendo. We no longer judge the candidate by their genitals or melanin. It would appear there is a seismic shift in our perception of political discourse. Demand is made that we look at the candidate as a person and what is it they bring to the table.
    ... continued


  • September 10, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The Great Shame of Syracuse
    Having homeless and hungry children in Syracuse is a black eye and a spreading cancer. If a solution is not made priority one, we may as well shuffle these children off to prison now. At a minimum, soon it will be time to whip out that taxpayer--welfare checkbook. Without a home, food, stability, and an education, can we honestly expect productive honorable trustworthy citizens? I have a great deal of faith in my fellow man. Unfortunately, I lack the same confidence in my own community. Perhaps I will be proven wrong; a welcome wrong it would be. I remain firmly convinced however, that not a iota of effort beyond the superficial will be made and done so at the same time SCSD leaders sleep in warm comfortable beds following warm healthy meals.
    ... continued


  • September 09, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Old Man; Unwanted
    But in Upstate New York, they don’t want me anymore. Like some pathetic 70’s science fiction movie, persons over 40 are no longer welcome here. We are thrown from jobs in favor of lower cost younger employees, our government and civic organizations pour barrels of beer down the throats of the young to hold them here. Career fairs, job fests, networking events, and parties galore are extended to the babies. Meanwhile, the BabyBoomers are tossed to the curb for some Community Court slave to sweep up.
    ... continued


  • September 08, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Hush Little Baby Don’t Say a Word
    Right now there is a fact dispute between the law’s authors and in place District Attorneys. For instance, here in Onondaga County, our police and prosecutors are spending tens of thousands of dollars and hundreds of man hours to locate the mother of the newborn. It was my understanding that the mother was going to be left alone and the law was enacted to assure a safe placement for babies. By relentless pursuit of the mother’s identification, our prosecutors and police are creating a situation where the next mother wont be so gracious in how she dumps her baby. Soon we will hear of babies in garbage cans again. All this because prosecutors and police cannot be satisfied that the newborn they have is happy and healthy. For what reason do they still pursue the mother with such a vengeance?
    ... continued


  • September 07, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Cuda Cooks as Books Burn
    Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah ‘cuda’ Palin is one of the rising stars of a new generation of candidates who are Washington outsiders and are fiercely independent. I am in the camp of those who love ‘Cuda but think she still needs to grow a brain. We are about to vote for President, not the running mate. When the dust settles, I expect another ‘Good Job, Cuda’ for the blood and a violence Ms. Palin is going to interject into the campaign. Even before taking office as Mayor, Palin had gone out of her way to ban and remove books from public libraries and schools. She fired those who opposed her. Heckuva good attack on the First Amendment, I say.
    ... continued


  • September 06 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    God is in da White House
    I am not going to get into a discussion about religion or whose religion is better than whose. After all we all know my God can beat up your God. It does not matter if you are a Jew or believe in doctrines in the spin off religions of the Islamo-Christian heritage. While the Islamists went East to conquer and evangelize at the point of the sword, Christians went West slaughtering White Europe. Puritans who first landed at Plymouth Rock were fleeing societies deemed too free and open. Today, we refer to those type folks as "cultists".
    ... continued


  • September 05 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The Guns of Everyone
    Asking 21st century Americans to live under rules crafted by the hands and hearts of 18th century philosophers is akin to asking a grown man to wear the clothes he wore as a child. So said Thomas Jefferson. Society changes. Thinking changes. So too do politics, economies, and science. We cannot today be held to centuries old thinking and dogma. Our constitution was written to be a living document subject to changing theories and attitudes. We have to accept that. Failure to do so would bind us in slavery to our faults and mistakes and block our growth and maturation as a People and as human beings.
    ... continued


  • September 04, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Palin Face
    Personally, I have a great deal of respect for Sarah Palin. She is in my mind, part of a new breed of politician stalking this nation. I have no fear of her as an outsider or her so-called lack of experience. It is only her politics that keep me from ever supporting Palin for any office. In context of this report, Palin brings with her to the national ticket the same selfish arrogant “to hell with you” attitude that has become the hallmark of Republicans and their national policies. I guarantee that Sarah Palin is another selfish narcissistic arrogant right wingnut whose only interest is lining hers and the pockets of her party faithful. Republicans bring nothing new to the table with Ms. Palin but a Dick Cheney without a dick.
    ... continued


  • September 03, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Congressional Battle Lines
    To paraphrase my President in a speech given in prime time on September 11, 2006, “we are in the midst of the great ideological battle of the Second Millennium.” He called it the “battle for civilization.” I couldn’t agree more. ... We have become the Generation that abandoned the American constitution and her principles of liberty, honor, and integrity because we so fear a terrorist bomb. The American heart now beats with the pulse of a coward’s blood. Our President and his party gave us this social transfusion of ideology. How quickly they convinced you to surrender your soul for some small amount of safety.
    ... continued


  • September 01, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Gustav's Grace
    Yet, we cannot overlook how grateful we should be this morning that the current government is so incompetent that more than 3 years later, they are still in place cleaning up after the last storm. ... So let the Republicans celebrate in the Twin Cities while Americans drown in the Gulf. What better way to bring together and show the world how the Republicans put Party and party ahead of country.
    ... continued


  • August 31, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Migraines in My Colon*
    The Introduction
    In no way should that prevent the discussion of the business of medicine from going forward. After all, I am my brother’s keeper but I don’t care about his colon. All that is of interest is whether he is going to be OK. If there is no system in place to assure his health and care, then what is there in place for me.
    ... continued


  • August 30, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Tobacco 19 Chokes
    In no uncertain terms, not only is the idea a bad one, but Winslow is wasting thousands of taxpayer dollars every time she raises this issue. We all know the concept is stupid yet we tolerate her move and turn one against the other while real issues go ignored. The motto and call to alarm is “if we can save just one life”, the inconvenience is worth it. It is without a doubt the stupidest argument ever made by a Legislator when they say, “if it saves just one life it was worth it.”
    ... continued


  • August 27, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    PIG, OUT
    Lights; bright and blinking, shatter before your eyes. Colors, of every shade and hue compete for attention. Muzak and jazz and rock and the blues all come at you at once. Once inside, you are trapped. Every person and thing shows the same mercy as a roulette wheel and as much love as a downtown hooker. You feel just as good and satisfied. ... continued


  • August 26, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Half Time
    After six straight ten plus hour days with only one time out taken, it is the unfettered opinion of this writer that the 2008 version of the New York State Fair is an amazing success. In so many ways, it changed from Dan’s oppressive police state and became a more user friendly relevant event. Kudos to Dan O’Hara and his staff for the fantastic job this year. ... continued


  • August 25, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Odor Eaters
    Why are the men ignored? Gift baskets of flowers or candy after peeing all over the walls would be the perfect treat. Why do the men have to suffer the acrid stench of dying bacteria whilst the womenfolk are adorned with the nurturing effect of chai? I know it takes you girls longer to use the potty based on the lines outside. Perhaps if you spent a few moments attending to what you came in for and not gathering for tea and crumpets, lines would move faster. ... continued


  • August 24, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Drug Versus Drug
    This year my experiment took on a more somber tone. Note I used “somber” and not “sober”. The Fair Intelligencia placed the Wine tent right next to a large beer tent and turned on the taps. Unable to resist, it became a goal to compare and contrast lift under the Big Top. I became curious about the differences, if any, between beer drinkers and wine drinkers. Besides, a little compare and contrast is good for the soul. Easily finding a table in the wine tent which gave me a good view of both scenes, I sat and drank and delicious bottle of Swedish Hill Cabernet. ... continued


  • August 23, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Lost In Space
    The pat of butter passed off as this year’s Sculpture (a threepeet, btw) fails the most basic intention of any piece of art. You should be “moved”. Art creates some kind of emotion. If the response is “falling asleep” then perhaps it is not art. The only possible movement I saw in the Butter Sculpture was it eventually sliding down a giant piece of toast. First of all, learn your lines. A moon, a cow, a spoon, a dish, and a little dog (which I learned was “boy” but there is my age showing again). Whatever was the artist’s intentions, he forgot the damn cat and the fiddle. I guess while the rest of us did homework, the artist was fiddling and diddling about. ... continued


  • August 22, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Gender Bender
    He made the mistake of asking me if anything was going on in my life. I told him that if he read my website he would know. Without hesitation, he said “I don’t read it”. Without hesitation, I responded that I don’t watch his show either. I did threaten to stand behind George and jump up and down and cheer him as he tries to do interviews. ... continued


  • August 21, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    In the Beginning, God created the
    New York State Fair and All Was Good
    After the first bus left shoppingtown and about 50 of us still standing around, a young boy of 5 or 6 kept talking to his own dad. The boy said 2,000 times that a bus was coming and I responded to each with the negative. “No, no more busses.” That was the last one. You could see the sadness and fear in his head. When the bus did finally arrive, he kept announcing its arrival, and I kept telling him, “see, I told you so.” I am sure it will be a few years before his mind unscrambles that mess. ... continued


  • August 20, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Birth of a Nation
    One by one, the bolts are tightened, the wires are connected, the pieces attached, and the labor is cussing and sweating as they attack a looming deadline. Game booths are being built and stocked and you can almost hear the money floating out of your wallet as your children beg for “just one more try, please dad.” ... continued


  • August 19, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Sheep Dip
    So, it finally started. I went to the fairgrounds and put my sweet feet down on the spittle slicked tarmac and meandered about. The 2008 Great New York State Fair has broken ground and is gluing, taping, and stapling itself together while we sleep. ... continued


  • August 15 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Law Perfesser
    Thanks to Yoo, we have Guantanamo Bay. We have renditions. America is engaged in a “War” when only Congress can so declare. Left and right, civil liberties are being snatched up by the Executive. The question of who is and is not a prisoner of war, interrogations, ‘first strike policy’, and the denial of basic constitutional protections were all resolved and defined for the Bush Administration by Yoo. Yoo’s saged opinions, backed up by then Attorney General John “I-cant-beat-a-dead-guy-in-an-election’ Ashcroft, the President and the uber President (Office of the Vice President) forged ahead with their current strategies in Guantanamo and domestic and foreign spying. At last count, the President had violated more than 750 domestic and international laws. Nobody in official Washington seems to give a damn. Now, Yoo is threatening to go nuclear.
    ... continued


  • August 12, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    In The Desert, My Horse has a Name
    The war has finally come home to me. This past year I have come to know the people behind the faces of a handful of bodies that are among those Mr. Bush wants to throw at Iraqi IEDs. Through work and play, my paths have crossed with some of those faceless greensuiters that clutter the news with action footage. I have met their spouses, girlfriends, and children. I have sat in their homes, drank their pisswater beer, and listened to them whine. They have become my friends and in a sense, have become my responsibility to protect and to serve.
    ... continued


  • August 11, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The Law is the Law, Like it or Not
    the Judge actually turned to my client and said he had better not be discussing his divorce on a Blog and that he, the Judge would hold it against the client if the client did in fact, so publish. In the mind of the Judge, doing so potentially exposes the children to the risk of finding the website and Blog and knowing that it pertains to them and thereby creating the risk of harm. Once again, there is that nannystate attitude that ‘I know how to live life better than you do’. Also, there is what is commonly referred to as the fascist attitude whereby ‘I have a great idea of how I think people should live and gosh darn it, I am going to make sure they do or pay the price for not doing so’.
    ... continued


  • August 10, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Blowing Away the Constitutional Promise
    Specifically, I refer to the New York State Fair Director, a political appointee and “government official” who summarily and without legal basis or due process, removed a Blue Ribbon Award Winning photograph from display at the New York State Fair. His stated basis therefor was that the photograph was inconsistent with the Family Friendly attitude he was bringing to the fairgrounds. Similarly, he was personally offended and received “a near dozen” complaints about the content of the photograph. Even the Fair rules say expressly that any photograph accepted for judging must be judged and cannot be removed. Herr Director feels that he has the exclusive right to trump the rules and take action based on the content of artwork without any oversight or judicial review.
    ... continued


  • August 09, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    It Just Doesn’t Add Up
    There is yet another major Drug sweep going on in Syracuse. First, the heroin on the east side; the crack on the southside, and marijuana in Oswego. According to the news, dozens of raids and arrests were made. Eighty five law enforcement members took part in the sweep. Among them were “officials from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, the state Division of Parole and the Onondaga County Probation Department, city police said. The U.S. Attorney's Office and the Onondaga County District Attorney's Office also participated.” Such a massive operation caused me to ponder the following questions.
    ... continued


  • August 07, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Upstate Hospital Buying Spree
    Believing as I did that the Commission’s primary function was to reduce the cost of delivery of medical services in the communities affected. So why do I read in the newspaper that University Hospital is out searching for a large building for more beds. From what I understand, University and Crouse are supposed to be merging resources. Crouse presently has 350 beds with a potential for 500 beds. Seems to me that if University is so desperate for beds, how about moving a few to Crouse? It would save oodles of tax dollars when compared to buying and designing a new hospital. Either the Berger Commission is a complete failure or our local hospitals are ignoring the “commission’s report that became law”. Not happy with just offering a solution, the Commission was set up to make findings which automatically become law unless vetoed.
    ... continued


  • August 06, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Pond Scum Politics
    Again, from the moment James Madison put his quill to hemp and penned the most famous words in our history, “We the People of the United States”, ours became a nation “conceived in liberty” and dedicated to equal opportunity. ‘Liberty’ is the fire that gives birth to equality, privacy, and the entire Bill of Rights. It is the very primordial soup from which evolved Messrs Jefferson and Madison and Adams and Paine’s ideals about liberty being the ultimate right to left alone by government. Thereafter and until the last signature was affixed to Mr. Madison’s Constitution, it was understood by all present that power in these United States flowed uphill. Herein was the unique beauty of the American experiment. Ours was a political construct never before conceived.
    ... continued


  • August 01, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Socialized Capitalism
    If you are standing on a corner and are robbed, you have a socialized police force ready to come to your help. You have a socialized criminal justice system and prison system to deal with threats and wrongdoers. We do this because we realize that at any given time, any one of us could be a victim of a crime and need help. If your house is burning down, again we have a socialized fire rescue agency to come and help. Again, we do this because we all realize that any one of us could be at risk of fire and we provide this service to all for our own protection. If your child cannot read, then we have a socialized educational system because we all realize the value of an education and how it betters the nation. If we need plumbing, roads, plowing of snow, we have socialized infrastructure to help everyone because we realize that as a community we need to be able to move about. But, if you are standing on a corner and you see a fellow American drop to the ground suffering from a heart attack, all we do is stand there saying, “boy, I sure hope he has good insurance.”
    ... continued


  • July 31, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Endless Slavery
    By voice vote, Congress recently passed a “non-binding” resolution, “apologizing to African-Americans for slavery and the era of Jim Crow.” Slavery reparations are on the table for one simple reason. This is an election year. Two questions arise from this vote. First, why a voice vote? Are individual legislators afraid to go on record voting ‘yeah’ or ‘nay’. Second, why would Congress pass a nonbinding resolution. Are our legislators serious about their position or are they posturing for various constituencies? Either they should bind themselves and the nation or stop with the bullshit.
    ... continued


  • July 30, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Social Security: The Necessary Slaughter of the Sacred Cow
    Historically and through today, Social Security has always been viewed as an annuity. You pay into it today and when pooled with everybody else’s contributions, the proceeds and profits generated over your working life are paid out to you in amounts based on your life expectancy and the benevolence of Congress. It has always been seen as being “my money”; not the property of the government, but money to be returned to you when you reach retirement age.
    ... continued


  • July 28, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Good Buzz, Bad Buzz. Old Buzz, Young
    The Problem of Geriatric Gridlock in Syracuse
    Again the armies of youth and vitality are on the attack. According to their new marketing strategy, “Good buzz can make markets soar and put millions in people's pockets. Bad buzz can make investments wither, people flee and cause an entire economy to tank. The folks on 40 Below's Marketing Communications Task Force know this, and have been trying to counter the negative buzz about Syracuse with a marketing campaign known as ‘It's All Here’.” From what I hear, “good buzz” can make a lot more than just markets soar. A bad buzz can wither many a human spirit. Of course, that is information already known to us old folks and something yet to be learned by those plagued by youth and inexperience.
    ... continued


  • July 27, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Wheels of Joy
    That damn canal, it’s always my luck
    To see critters wanting to suck and to fuck
    On one recent ride to and from my truck
    I happened upon a fucking duck

    But this time, fer sher, what I seen twerent no duck
    Twas people that was moaning and aching to fuck
    Twas but a young couple down on their luck
    Dry-humping and rumping … eww, was it yuck
    ... continued


  • July 26, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Ode to a Fucking Duck
    Yessirree, it was just my luck
    to come upon a fucking duck
    no it wasnt rude nor did it cluck
    it just humped its mate. fuck fuck fuck
    ... continued


  • July 25, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    When Doves Cry
    I came upon a morning dove
    One muggy summer’s day
    I came upon a morning dove
    in a most unusual way.
    ... continued


  • July 24, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Battle of the Bulge
    At the same time, America is SUPERSIZING up for the new millennium. Airline seats are growing larger. So too are movie theater seats, household and office furniture, and automobiles. More food, fry it well, slather it with something, and don’t forget dessert. You would love the story of the nurse at Crouse Hospital who in accorance with policy, lectured me on smoking and offered me a patch. I listened with great patience at the 300+ pound RN who himself suffered with every weight related disability imaginable devolve into a sweaty mass of hypocrisy.
    ... continued


  • July 23, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    La Leche League
    Crouse Hospital and to all those who were kind and giving and there for my help and benefit: I know your intentions were pure and SNAFUS happen everywhere. Come walk a mile in my shoes and you will learn about situations normal and all fucked up. I love and respect those folks and have no quarrel with putting my health and that of my loved ones in their care should the situation ever so require. That should say it all. I wish I could say more. Probably, I have said too much.
    ... continued


  • July 22, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Fire in the Hole
    Fires do not only exist at the end of a cigarette or in the stomach. My former hospital room mate came in with a simple case of divurticulosis; a hole in the lower intestine that can be treated with antibiotics and pain killers. A fascinating man he is, also from Manlius, and like me, was supposed to go home the next day. Well, the doctors tried a new and more powerful antibiotic which, in his own words, “set my balls on fire.” He now has blood in his urine and is suffering at a level unheard of when he arrived. Like me, he too has been denied access to doctors and has to live with bits and incomplete pieces of information and therefrom deduce an informed consent.
    ... continued


  • July 20, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Doctor, Heal Thyself
    Arriving in the Emergency Room, I am dumped from the gurney into a wheel chair and abandoned in the waiting room. It was now ten hours into this intense pain and my ability to “cope” was at its limit. At the speed of a herd of turtles stampeding through peanut butter, I was finally seen, stabbed, poked, prodded, drained, and after sixteen hours, I got pain relief. The doctor said that he had good news and bad news … in that the good news is that they cant find anything wrong, and the bad news being that they couldn’t find anything wrong. He gave me a prescription and sent me on my way. I wasn’t even home before the pain came back. The Mrs. called the ER for advice and they said to come right back. In less than 30 minutes, I was back in the ER waiting room being treated by the staff ...
    ... continued


  • July 18, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The Banks are Broke
    When my turn came, I began to inquire of the teller about what I just witnessed. I asked point blank whether my bank was broke. They assured me the bank was solvent but that they do not order large amounts of currency anymore. This is for two reasons: One is that given the current economy, people are not withdrawing money like before. Apparently Americans are broke. Secondly, the bank fears that given the current economy, there will be more robberies and the bank wants to protect its’ assets.
    ... continued


  • July 16, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Confession is Good for the Goal
    “America” is not a geographic location; but it is a state of mind. Our nation is a concept, a common acceptance of a set of basic principles. “America” exists wherever Americans are found; be it in New York, Guatanamo Bay, or Haditha. Our ideologies, our laws, our constitutional priorities must be engrained in our hearts and underlie every action we take as a nation. Should it ever come about that a time, such as now, where the actions being taken in the name of ‘America’ are so very clearly UNAMERICAN, then the problem is greater than Khalid Sheik Mohammed. We are in greater danger from our own than any foreign force.
    ... continued


  • July 14, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Dan O’Hara’s Continuing Assault Upon
    American Values and the Citizens of Upstate New York
    I can think of no more befitting day for Dan to show his true colors than on the Fourth of July. Acording to Maute, “Traditionally, groups of people would arrive early with their chairs, blankets, coolers and baskets and enjoy a piece of Americana - a July Fourth picnic. What a great venue for seniors, families and young people to gather once a year. So what changed this year? Anyone entering with a cooler or picnic basket was rudely told: no coolers, no food, no bottles of water. If you want anything, you have to buy it.” Everything Dan has touched at the Fair has been a direct assault on our liberties and freedom. Remember the horrors of the Fair? He doesn’t care if you have a good time; just as long as you march according to his drummer and stay within his lines. O’Hara is all about the Benjamins; but not the principle of Franklin and the rest of our Nation’s Founders.
    ... continued


  • July 13, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    All Failures Are Created Equal
    Some Failures Are More Important Than Others
    Imagine you walk into a casino. Finding a blackjack table, you plop down $100.00 for chips and sit and play for a couple hours. Your winnings go way up and you walk away from the table with $500.00. Feeling hot and lucky, you go on to another game and sit and play but this time your luck turns sour. Knowing how much money you can make by taking this risk and despite losing not only your winnings and your $100.00 original stake, you pull out your credit card and take a cash advance to keep playing. Alas, but the House odds take over and you leave the casino floor flat broke. As you are walking out the door, you approach the management and complain about being out of money and want some help to get back on your feet.
    ... continued


  • July 11, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    It’s Not Easy Being Green
    Since 1984 when he was one of the founders of what is known as the Green Party, Howie Hawkins has found in himself a calling as a representative; a barometer of our collective conscience. He has always spoken up for the poor, the impoverished, and the ignored. To our mainstream, Hawkins is seen as a nut … a lefty libby … a wacked out social activist. He is ‘Green” and thus gets no respect … none at all. That is a shame for Hawkins’ ideals are the same as preached by the God of Abraham, Jesus, and Muhammed.
    ... continued


  • July 10, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The Time Has Come to Unleash the Dogs of War
    Let us talk about a hypothetical world for a moment. In that world there is a guy who every time he gets a chance, he walks up and slaps you across the face. At first, you turn the other cheek, but he still walks up and slaps you. You try to stay out of his way, but he hunts you down, sneaks up, and smacks you good. Then you try slapping him down to the ground but he just gets back up and slaps you again across the face. Your friends come around and smack him down but he still comes back and smacks you again. You call the police and he is put in prison, but the moment he gets out, he again comes right up to you and slaps you in the face. During his incarceration, his friends come around and smack you in the face.
    ... continued


  • July 08, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The Education of Young Master Ross
    I promise you that indeed your time will come. It may be tomorrow or in 50 years. But I guarantee you that there will come a moment in your life when you are hit in the face with that which lights you up. Your passion and fire will be ignited. That will be the time when everything you have worked for, learned, and experienced in life will all come together. It will be at that moment when either you will step up and fight for your cause, or you will become a Republican like your father and seek comfort and safety over liberty.
    ... continued


  • July 07, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Tales From the Hood:
    Probation and the State Street Gitmo
    You report back to probation at the judge’s request. As soon as you walk in the door you are told to turn around and put your hands behind your back. You find yourself under arrest and back in jail facing a probation violation charge filed against you. The charge – felony assault on a police officer.
    ... continued


  • July 06, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The American Legion Declares War on Civil Rights
    It is the weakest and most poor among us who present the face of the true America. How we treat them reveals our heart. Slamming shut the court house door denies them equality. While Senator Brownback may have a lengthy history of being anti American, for the American Legion to take up arms in Brownback’s cause is an act of pure treason.
    ... continued


  • July 05, 2008:
    By Anne C. Woodlen

    Independence Day—Not
    I am a fourteenth generation American. My people are not Daughters of the American Revolution; we were its mothers—and we did not send our husbands and sons off to die for what this government has become. ... In the 1770’s, my great grandmother stood on the farm porch with her youngest children gathered around her as she watched her husband and two teenage sons walk down the lane toward the Revolutionary War. Her sons came home; her husband didn’t. We did not die for this government to be created. The government we died for does not exist.
    ... continued


  • July 04, 2008:
    By Matthew A. Comini

    What The Hell Does God Got to Do With It?
    I drew my rifle to my shoulder, my thumb flipped the selector lever from safe to semi, and my finger dropped a wild eyed insurgent. It was hot, real hot; like it ever wasn’t, right? I was riding shotgun hauling twenty-four hundred gallons of jet fuel, towing a trailer load of hellfire missiles up to Balad, a miserable shell riddled FOB at the time. My asshole was puckered tight to say the least, and my stomach left at least two MRE’s on the side of my truck. Ever value your own life more than some else’s to the point where your ten ton axles grind their guts into the pavement? Ever point a .50 caliber machine gun at a kid because you were scared out of your wits that he held an IED? Ever held your breath, laid your finger on the trigger and exploded a human being who screamed, “Allah Akhbar”? I didn’t sleep very well again last night. I didn’t get very much done today either. My dreams were soaked in blood.
    ... continued


  • July 03, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The Dangerous Policy of Officer Safety
    But, unfortunately for all us, police are afraid. Their comfort is found in being at a higher level of force than that which is front of them. To the innocent citizen, an escalation of force is unreasonable which itself prompts an even higher escalation … until finally the deaf mute is dropped face down on the asphalt and backup is called.
    ... continued


  • July 02, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The Lawyer’s Lament
    Sometimes I am not quite sure if it is worth it. In the course of representing any client for any reason; the nature of the relationship brings attorney and client very close. Intimate secrets are shared and everything about the client’s life becomes a part of the attorney’s life. Obviously every client’s case is important and is zealously pursued. Yet as the Pigs were heard to say, “all cases are the same but some cases are more important than others.”
    ... continued


  • July 01, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The Defective DNA of Syracuse Police
    But Syracuse Police do not have the foresight to honor the Constitution. To them, being acquitted or having charges dropped are not signals of innocence. Apparently, as so eloquently stated by Barletto, police operate perfectly and properly at every instance and their word is good enough to put someone in the DNA database just because a Syracuse Police Officer says so.
    ... continued


  • June 29, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Press and the Flesh
    All this bluster and continuing battle because of one reporter and her boyfriend. ... No longer members of any government agency, for what reason does the Fulton Valley News use its editorial pages to link a criminal chocolate manufacturer in Ivory Coast with former Oswego County leaders. I guess by the same analogy, that would make Ronald Caravan the Joseph Goebbels of his day. Both misled the people, manufactured great lies to sway public opinion, and manipulated both the editorial and factual information being withheld by evildoers. Since Mr. Caravan nor his reporters never disclosed their hidden agenda behind the so-called Highway Superintendant scandal, then who are they to demand respect from anyone?
    ... continued


  • June 28, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Judge, Jury, and Executioners in Syracuse, New York
    When I read the newspaper accounts of the trial and verdict, there was a shocking quote from Terry Bright, Esq., the then Corporation Counsel for the City of Syracuse. Those words should not have gone unchallenged. They pose a clear and present danger for all citizens and visitors to the City of Syracuse.
    ... continued


  • June 27, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    W. W. J. D. ?
    Name one of our Founders who would support the George Bush agenda with his attitudes on war, taxes, abortion, gays, or drugs. I know of not a single example where I could cite to an American patriot who would have picked up his musket and died for the same causes that George Bush has shoved down our throats.
    ... continued


  • June 26, 2008:
    By Anne C. Woodlen

    God, Drugs, and the Salvation of the Human Spirit
    I called two of my doctors to have breakfast with me in the hospital. I told them that I was taking doctors out of the middle of my treatment. There would be no more physicians prescribing pharmaceuticals. Henceforth, the decisions would be made directly between God and me. If God wanted me to live, he would find a way to make it happen. If he wanted me dead, I was prepared to meet him on his terms.
    ... continued


  • June 24, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Giving Credit Where Credit is Due
    Besides, I think people should be punished with lowered credit rating if they show transactions with drug dealers, terrorists, prostitutes, and Enterprise. But my government is prosecuting the wrong parties. The credit card companies should not be in the U.S. Attorney’s crosshairs. That place should be reserved for Senator Dodd for violating his oath of office.
    ... continued


  • June 23, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Feel the Beat with the Heat on SPD Street
    But, unfortunately for all us, police are afraid. Their comfort is found in being at a higher level of force than that which is front of them. To the innocent citizen, an escalation of force is unreasonable which itself prompts an even higher escalation … until finally the deaf mute is dropped face down on the asphalt and backup is called.
    ... continued


  • June 22, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The Mean Streets of Syracuse
    After finishing my chores and walking toward my truck, my mind kept on chewing on that street person’s vomit; searching files and databases for something that would bring some kind of relevance to the moment. How else can I entertain you people if I do not find joy and enlightenment in the pain and vomit of another wretched human being?
    ... continued


  • June 20, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    CYA in the USA
    Leaders from both Republican and Democrat parties were involved in the loop and knew about the illegal wiretapping by telecoms at the request of the Bush Administration. When it was later exposed for such totalist illegal behavior, the White House went and sought Congressional approval and a new Telecom Act that not only gives government the power to engage in illegal warrantless searches, but it gives immunity, including retroactive immunity, to the telephone companies who engaged with the government in illegal spying on American citizens at home.
    ... continued


  • June 19, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Yoo Hoo, Yoo
    Let me leave you with this thought. “Government lawyers told federal judges that the president can send the military into any U.S. neighborhood, capture a citizen and hold him in prison without charge, indefinitely.” If so, the decision in Boumedine et al. v. Bush, et al. is the most important decision of the Court this term. The Federal Courts are intended to be the last line of defense to protect and guarantee human and constitutional rights. No Associate Justice or Berkley law perfessor should say otherwise.
    ... continued


  • June 18, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The Great Lie of Tort Reform
    Medicine has to wake up to the fact that it is its own worst enemy. Doctors are regular citizens and deserve no special favors. They should be compelled to give up the stanglehold of the Harrison Act and return to their natural role in society. Medicine needs to stop covering up for the butchery of colleagues. Most importantly, get rid of the cancer called “Insurance”.
    ... continued


  • June 17, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Lord, Protect Them From My Own Weakness
    One of the great arguments against Gay Marriage by these same saviors of mankind is that the Testaments forbid it and if it is legal, then what next … polygamy, incestuous marriages, interspecies marriage? Again, if the study is correct, the reason we have such religious laws on the books is because the Christians themselves cannot control behavior. If gay marriage were legal tomorrow, I would not be rushing to altar with Steve. Query though how many straight laced good church going Christians would run to their nearest goat and consummate their marriage if such laws were lifted.
    ... continued


  • June 16, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Readin, Ritin, and Rithmatic
    Imagine … one day a year, you get a free pass to kill one person. How many of us would be alive next year? Perhaps we could have this day on the day after Xmas … so we can give out t-shirts with a bulls-eye printed on it to our favorite target. From Hallmark: “Roses are Red, and so is your blood. Violets are blue, and you are dead, motherfucker.”
    ... continued


  • June 15, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The Broken Record of Fathers Day
    It has been a year and a month since he died and was buried in an undisclosed grave. He died as he lived; with his finger in the air at his children. Once again, his offspring have forgotten him and the circumstances of his death; each of us having again gone about our separate ways. I maintain my oath that I will let him know exactly how we all feel when I see him in Hell.
    ... continued


  • June 14, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Rats!
    I returned to my forlorn worn computer and keyboard to write this tale when I began to think of my new pal Rocky. Should I let Rocky into my life and make myself vulnerable to him? Should I feed and care for him knowing that one day, he is just going to walk out of my life never to return? He knows I won’t commit because well, I can only have one fuzzy critter in my life at a time and right now, my heart is elsewhere. Notwithstanding the fact he is playing games with a trial lawyer in the middle of the night, Rocky seemed to have his senses about him. I noticed no signs of illness, injury, or lust. In fact, I think I saw in his eyes a “hi, can we be friends” type look. In time we may be.
    ... continued


  • June 13, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Bloody Friday the 13th
    Some things you should know. The Lady from Rochester was in her mid to late 50’s and had spent her entire time on this planet living a good and honorable Christian life. Her children were grown and … she had met a man from New Mexico on the Internet. Her desire was to run away and live happily ever after as his sex slut.
    ... continued


  • June 12, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Torn Between Two Lovers
    Before Judge Fahey stood a 17 year veteran former deputy convicted of smuggling drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes into the jail, and accepting bribes to do so. Whining about being under some undisclosed financial pressure (welcome to the world), the deputy’s worst pain was to be fired and placed on probation. With due respect to Judge Fahey, that sentence reeks of favoritism and has the appearance of impropriety. No, I do not accuse the Judge of doing wrong. But I can say that in my opinion, other persons similarly situated in front of any other judge or who did not wear the uniform, would not have walked away so easily. Even more importantly, they should not be so allowed.
    ... continued


  • June 11, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Tales From the Hood: Mop and Blow
    What kind of society have we become that even a custodian cannot be forgiven his sins nearly two decades previous. He is not a rocket scientist, a bus driver, or someone in a position where the “youthful indiscretions” would be relevant. Though it is not relevant to do the job of President of the United States, for some reason it is relevant to the Department of Education and the credentialing of a custodian.
    ... continued


  • June 09, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Urgent! Immediate Attention Required
    Please Help Save the New York State Fair
    Dan O’Hara and all his policies seek to completely sanitize the fairgrounds. The smoking ban, the tobacco sales ban, the outside alcohol ban, mandatory shoes and shirts (for men too), the bag and body searches at the entrance, the banning of wine slushies, the random searches of recreational vehicles parked inside the fairgrounds, and the demolition of the Fair sign at Gate 1. Let us also not forget last year’s First Amendment attack by Dan summarily removing from viewing a First Prize Blue Ribbon Award Winning photograph because Dan did not like its’ content. All these assaults upon our sensibilities are changing the Fair from a celebration to a museum-esque experience. We are to walk through quietly, touch nothing, make no sounds, no food or drink or smoking, and we will see only those things that represent what Dan thinks is appropriate for New York State.
    ... continued


  • June 08, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Posers
    Over the years, I have explored all four corners of the internet. I have peeked inside it’s every nook and cranny. Based on all that experience, I have come to a single conclusion. ‘The internet is a vast wasteland of nothingness, that exists nowhere but within the confines of your own fantasies.’ I have held to that statement for more than a decade, and everything I have seen or experienced confirms that analysis.
    ... continued


  • June 07, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Christian versus Christian, Republican versus Republican
    A “Christian” nation is a good thing; if you are a Christian. But the concept that we can spread Democracy like we spread Parkay is replacing Mr. Jefferson’s teachings with those of the Bible. “Freedom” and “Democracy” should never be forced upon someone. Such concepts or desires cannot come from outside. The zeal and desire for freedom has to come from within a society and rise up as the chains fall. To assume that we can be a people who will spread freedom throughout the world is dangerous. Worse still is how the teachings of Christ have replaced the teachings of liberty.
    ... continued


  • June 06, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Are You High?
    Lawmakers should do the same type of analysis as did former Syracuse City Auditor, Minch Lewis. In doing so, the County would realize that the overwhelming and chief cost to all the County criminal and civil justice agencies is the enforcement of Prohibition. If the County managers were to sit down and isolate the dollars being spent on a failed policy, I am confident millions of dollars could be salvaged and redirected toward more needy and productive programs. ... Auditor Lewis discovered at least 1/3 of the Syracuse Police Department budget (more than $10 million of $30 million total) was being spent on just drug law enforcement.
    ... continued


  • June 05, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Confession is Good for the Goal
    “America” is not a geographic location; but it is a state of mind. Our nation is a concept, a common acceptance of a set of basic principles. “America” exists wherever Americans are found; be it in New York, Guatanamo Bay, or Haditha. Our ideologies, our laws, our constitutional priorities must be engrained in our hearts and underlie every action we take as a nation. Should it ever come about that a time, such as now, where the actions being taken in the name of ‘America’ are so very clearly UNAMERICAN, then the problem is greater than Khalid Sheik Mohammed. We are in greater danger from our own than any foreign force.
    ... continued


  • June 04, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    No More Birthdays in America
    It has always been understood that to an American, the date you were expunged from your mother’s womb was the most important date in your life. According to the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, all your rights and privileges as an American immediately attached the moment of your birth. But the culture and law of the United States is changing such that the date of your birth is a meaningless event. The date of your birth no longer is as significant a date as is the date of your conception. It seems to me that Americans should no longer recognize birthdays. Instead,we should begin celebrating ‘Conception Day’.
    ... continued


  • June 03, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Big Trouble in East Syracuse
    Every child you see today is going to be an adult tomorrow. They are going to be voters and employers and parents. Most young adults starting today in apartments will be the ones deciding our social security and which nursing homes will house us. I believe the important lesson we all need to learn is compassion by and for the community, individuality and responsibility, and trust and respect for police and the system. Putting children in conflict with police will do nothing to advance these goals and could result in another generation of citizens who distrust the system and lack a connection to their community. Putting families into the streets for actions of others just because they are renters defies human morality.
    ... continued


  • June 02, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Whose Child Is This?
    Over the years, whenever I would give tours of the Courthouse here in Onondaga County, as I would pass through the sea of humanity that swamps the first floor around the Family Court and Child Support hearing rooms, my comment was always, “this is where you will see the worst of man’s inhumanity to man”. Every time I set foot in any of those Court rooms, I bear witness to a downward spiral into the hell of human narcissism.
    ... continued


  • June 01, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Clipped Wings
    If the airlines want to start a trend whereby they will sue passengers who cause delays, then let these same airlines pay for the hours passengers sit in waiting areas, security checkpoints, runways, and flight times. Once a court sanctions remuneration for inconvenience and lost time, I intend to abandon my boycott of flying and become a frequent flyer. Given airline on-time records, I could fund my retirement within the next six months.
    ... continued


  • May 31, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Surge vs. Surge: Republicans and the Ramadi Madness
    They say there are two things people do not want to see: How sausage is made and how laws are made. For me, watching the Senate debate this great issue is like granting a butcher a tour of a slaughterhouse. Having watched more than 80% of the entire debate, I was treated to the raw bloodshed that comes with the making of law. Actually, I only watched the Republicans as the Democrats had nothing to say that I did not know or with which I disagreed. The one notable exception was Senator Robert Byrd, who in my opinion, is one of the greatest orators of our time, could read a cook book and I would stand up and salute the flag.
    ... continued


  • May 30, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    On Being a Jackass
    Today’s Democratic Party is showing itself as being a toothless tiger. I still wait to be proven wrong in my belief that Karl Rove engineered the Democratic victory in 2006 so that by the upcoming Presidential election, America will be sick to death of the impotent irrelevant failure-to-act Democrats. So far, Democrats have failed to prove otherwise.
    ... continued


  • May 29, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Liberate America from the Republican Party
    The ideals embodied in the Constitution are greater than the life of a single citizen, or even three thousand of them, as these ideals have to last for 3,000 generations. Born in a time of great national strife, civil unrest, war, economic and political disarray, our constitution was written by men who despite all that hardship and risk, insisted that some rights remained inalienable and that no matter what, Congress shall make no laws.
    ... continued


  • May 28, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Achilles’ Butt
    Perhaps one day, like Achilles, I will meet an Amazon who will whisk me away to the an Island or the woods, hold me captive with strong ropes and a gag, and maintain me prisoner until this devil is exorcised from my soul. Yet as fate will have it, my death will not be from petite morte. Rather, I foresee a long slow painful experience as the damage I have wrought upon me consumes what remains.
    ... continued


  • May 27, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Endless War:
    America's Shameful Addiction
    Every time you arrest a ‘drug dealer’ and shut down a drug network, you simultaneously create job openings for a new one. Since the employment scene in the drug market is not one regulated by government but organized crime, whenever police sweep clean a street, there is always a subsequent and lasting rush of violence and death. What happens though when two competing organizations want to market their product in the same territory? Death, destruction, shootings, violence, and instability in the market. Look at the history since. More money, more police. More arrests and imprisonments. Drug business violence escalating. Instead of working for a way to enable business disputes to be settled with high powered lawyers in court rooms, prohibitionists insist on a policy that leaves no option but to resort to high powered weapons on street corners.
    ... continued


  • May 26, 2008:
    By Matthew A. Comini
    (Our resident soldier/writer reminds us why he fights. More of his writings can be found here).

    Knocking at the House of Saud
    We stand on what some believe to be the precipice of World War III. Are our selfish prides and desires worth a horrid repeat of wretched history? How many millions of lives must we extinguish with a bullet, blade, or blast, and how much more destruction must we sire in order to satiate our God?
    ... continued


  • May 25, 2008:
    By Matthew A. Comini
    (Our resident soldier/writer reminds us why he fights. His writings can be found here).

    Shock and Awe
    When the chips were down, he always had a way of putting things into a perspective that made them all seem worth while. He was a proud father and husband, a mentor to his soldiers, and a trusted friend and peer to me. The only fault I can find with him is that he should have retired. He had his twenty in. Instead, he opted to go to Iraq where a roadside bomb dismembered him and he bleed out on the street.
    ... continued


  • May 24, 2008:
    By Matthew A. Comini
    (Our resident soldier/writer reminds us why he fights. This and his other essays can be found here).

    Speak for Yourself
    I am an American soldier. I am a horse with a name. I have loved ones, a family, a life and a home that I am damned proud of. I have wants, desires, needs and dreams. I am living flesh and blood. I will fight, but I will not wage a war fueled by vanity and ignorance. I am not trash to be burned by the pyre of fame and fortune.
    ... continued


  • May 23, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Tales From the Hood:
    The Lawn Mower Man
    And so, like so many others, lawnmower man continues about his Sisyphusian task: Pushing that gas powered lawnmower up and down the streets he can walk. I am proud of him for not surrendering. At the same time, I feel ashamed of my government for putting one of its own in such a situation with no way out. Whatever may be self inflicted, everybody in our culture gets a do-over and a chance at redemption. But not lawnmower man: For him there is no redemption. Just work and rest await him until one day he just dies. That will be the moment when the county can come along and squeeze the last droplets of blood from his rotting broken corpse.
    ... continued


  • May 22, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Cuba Libre`
    Out of the jungles of Cuba came a revolutionary; Fidel Castro. Driven by the politics and policies of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (and not Karl Marx), Castro's goal was the overthrow of the corrupt Batiste regime. Leading an army of the People, Castro eventually rid the nation of Batiste, the Mafia, and the corruption that cemented their power. Those who profited and manipulated the corruption in Cuba fled the nation when Castro captured Havana. Thousands of rich militaristic corrupt Cubans sought shelter in the United States to avoid prosecution, incarceration, and perhaps execution. For the past near half century, these Cuban exiles have held the entire United States hostage to their virulent anti-Castro posture.
    ... continued


  • May 21, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The Doppler-ganger Effect
    As we meandered about the boxish building toward the sound stage, we passed a darkened office. Staring back at me through the glass was an orange tabby cat. I smiled and gave my best “awwww”. What I got back was a forlorn and lost smile and a face rubbed up against the glass. It was at this moment I was introduced to Doppler. Little did I know the impact my then expressed thoughts would have upon the market.
    ... continued


  • May 18, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Marching Into the Valley of Armageddon
    Israel gives us a prime example as to why we should NOT be following President Bush in his policies in the Middle East. For 60 years, Israelis have answered their neighbors with bombs, bullets, and civil oppression. Nobody says Israel is totally to blame. They chose the wrong path to resolution. If theirs was the proper path, then Israel would be the safest, most peaceful nation on earth. It is not and the situation has become more grave over the years.
    ... continued


  • May 17, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The Golden State
    Congratulations to the citizens of California. Your State’s Highest Court recognized how a ban on gay marriage is prima facie in violation of the 14th Amendment equal protection provisions as well as behaves as a state sponsored religious dogma. In the Free State of California, “love” and not “orifices” are the primary concerns of married couples. Also, the Christian right will fight the golden ring freedom with the power of referendum and now an issue in the upcoming presidential race.
    ... continued


  • May 16, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Chicago Resurrected
    Of all the cities in the land of the dollar bill, leave it to Chicago to reinvent and bring back the bad old days. The home of Al Capone seems to have once again made saving lives the role of its police powers. This time, instead of prohibiting alcohol, the Chicago City Counsel first banned Fois Gras from its’ restaurant menus. Then, they announced their intention to ban chickens from the City. Today, the Chicago City Counsel did a complete reversal and ended liver prohibition.
    ... continued


  • May 13, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Bird Brained
    All born within the past week, I am now the proud Daddy of five new baby Starlings. Though not much more than a large triangular beak attached to a small purplish prune-like body all covered with fuzz. Five bottomless pits of hunger and probably cold craving food and warmth. Swirled around each other in the nest, all my babies have found their voice. Not quite having reached the, “will you SHUT UP already” level, the hatchlings do respond to my own. They do their little shop of horrors “Feed Me” demand in bird talk. I still keep my distance until their still-closed black pea eyes open.
    ... continued


  • May 12, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Thanks for Nothing
    Today, I sit at this keyboard for a different reason. It is I and not the young man, who has given up. It is hard enough to deal with the streets and the rules of the ‘hood. Even with my educational and practical background and ability to hang and communicate “street”, I no longer have the strength to fight this battle alone.
    ... continued


  • May 11, 2008:
    By Matthew A. Comini

    Newbies, Short Timers, and Women
    In my very first year of service I learned that newbies and short timers die. In the last two weeks I’ve had this to mull over in my head. For the next six months I will have this to consider: I made it out as a newbie, now I’m a short timer. My boy ‘vedo-P was a short timer. The IED that turned him inside out didn’t give a fuck about his wife, his kids, or the fact that he was passed his eligibility date to retire.
    ... continued


  • May 07, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Lowering the Bar
    As a practitioner of one of our nation’s most hallowed professions, I am of late ashamed of the behaviors of my peers and colleagues. By fiat and oath, we are defenders of the Constitution. It is through our efforts and energies that our system of law has thrived. By our labors, the rights and protections naturally inherent to each of us are staunchly defended against encroachment. But when voices and public policy discussions are willfully shut down and silenced by lawyers and judges, our national integrity is at risk.
    ... continued


  • May 04, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Judging McCain
    Republican Presidential candidate John McCain is intending to give a quote, Major Speech, unquote, this week on the subject of judicial appointments. I verily believe we will all get an earful of all the favorite Republican and NeoCon buzzwords. “Activist” judges, “will of the People”, and “legislating from the Bench” will undoubtedly be part of the Senator’s argument to the his constituency and to the religionists to whom he panders.
    ... continued


  • May 03, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Battle of the Bulge
    Our national love of fat is taking on even larger proportions. The State of Massachusetts is moving toward fat-acceptance and enacting legislation that protects fat people under that State’s discrimination laws. Legislators there want fat seen as a disability and in the same category as ‘height’. “Right now, fat is just a marker of bad character, an undesirable personal trait that people bring on themselves.” Fat acceptance folks are feeding the myth that weight is not a choice.
    ... continued


  • May 02, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    My God for President
    First came Abraham Lincoln, the Melungeon. Next, Catholics owned our hearts and souls with John F. Kennedy. We lived through the horrors of Quakers with Richard Nixon. Joe Lieberman the Jew almost made it until stopped by the Supreme Court. Mormons almost stormed the White House behind Utah Governor Mitt Romney. Congressman Keith Ellison has opened the door for Islamic influence in our law making processes. Even our first President George Washington, though a Deist, is also reputed to have never set foot into a house of worship. Who next; Tom Cruise? The Moonies?
    ... continued


  • April 30, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The Circle of Life
    When I came home from the funeral and checked inside the nest, there they were: eggs. Two eggs had been laid that day and as I write this, three more eggs are in the nest for a total of five hatchlings due to break out of their shells sometime next week. I was immediately struck by the two events and realized that ‘life’ belongs to no one. Rather, it is itself a process on a grand scale. One dies, one is born, and so it goes.
    ... continued


  • April 25, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Urgent! Immediate Attention Required
    Please Help Save the New York State Fair
    But Dan O’Hara and all his policies seek to completely sanitize the fairgrounds. The smoking ban, the tobacco sales ban, the outside alcohol ban, mandatory shoes and shirts (for men too), the bag and body searches at the entrance, the banning of wine slushies, the random searches of recreational vehicles parked inside the fairgrounds, and the demolition of the Fair sign at Gate 1. Let us also not forget last year’s First Amendment attack by Dan summarily removing from viewing a First Prize Blue Ribbon Award Winning photograph because Dan did not like its’ content. All these assaults upon our sensibilities are changing the Fair from a celebration to a museum-esque experience.
    ... continued


  • April 24, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Eulogy for a Friend
    Last night at the showing at the funeral home, after I said my ‘goodbyes’ to Susie, I went over to her husband who suddenly broke down and cried in my arms for a long time. Being he is now totally alone with his nearest family 2,500 miles away, I guess my appearance at the showing was the straw and it all came rushing out. We ended up with me kneeling in front of him and he crying on my shoulder. He said “oh so you are going to get on your knees for me?” I responded that now people will know I was coming to the hospital, not because I was having an affair with his wife, but with him.” His sudden outburst of a loud belly laugh told me that my job there was done. I will never be able to fill the void he feels in his life today, but for a moment, I reminded him that one day he will again laugh and feel alive.
    ... continued


  • April 23, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    In The Desert, My Horse has a Name
    At its core, this war is over. The battle was lost the day we defeated the enemy and encamped. From that day forth, we have become the enemy; our own worst enemy. So long as the President thinks of the war in terms of dueling bumper sticker slogans … win or surrender, stay the course or cut and run … we will never taste success. Lyndon Johnson and then Richard Nixon also felt if we just increased troop levels, we could shore up a government and build a military. Twenty some odd thousand American dead later, and we were running for our lives. No, Mister President and no Senator McCain; the answer to Iraq is not more American dead and wounded. The solution is not a New Deal or a Big Deal, but a No Deal.
    ... continued


  • April 22, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    A Murder in Oz
    I am really serial about this. Every year about this time, Chittenengo New York, home of L. Frank Baum, author of The Wizard of Oz, pulls out all the stops and holds a week long celebration in honor of the author and his most famous novel. It never ceases to amaze me how folks celebrate and make heroic the conniving murdering cruel bitch Glinda and her crew. A novel that has garnered so much support for such heinous criminal activity is one from which we should all hide in shame. Instead, we elevate cruelty, murder, drug addiction, kidnapping, and larceny to a glorious plateau.
    ... continued


  • April 21, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Cut and Paste Your Way to Prison
    Nobody has to be told about how evil children are; the way they terrorize you throughout their lives. Impressive is their ability to suck the life force out of you. The very young ones freak me out the most. With their bald heads, shirtless bodies, endless wailing, and white bags of stinky crap strapped around their waist, the amount of damage they do is directly proportional the cost of the clothes you are wearing or the furniture you just purchased. As parents, you hold your breath for years waiting for your kid’s first words, and then you spend the next 16 years wishing they would just shut the hell up.
    ... continued


  • April 20, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Syrajews Get Spero’d
    Whether t’was the idiotic headline writer at the Syracuse Newspapers or just the plain ignorance of the protagonist of the article, it is of the utmost shame to label oneself a 'Syrajew'. No mench would stoop so low. Syrajews – are your offices located on the Fayettvilla D’LaRosa? In Texas, is there such a thing as a Corpuschristian? Crucifix Mall is hiring. Islamofabius east through Matzadison County has some great bike riding roads. Shall we do the obvious and rename University Hill “Masada” whenever the football team takes the field?
    ... continued


  • April 19, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Fight the Battles on the Homefront First
    Management has also played a role advising officers they will be protected if they cross the line. Having a confrontational relationship with the community is part of the department’s history. Examples such as the Chief refusing to Order his officers to not use the word “nigger” or when an officer does testify at the review board, he is fired. More than just being fired, as then deputy Chief Boyle testified in the trial of Balduzzi v. City of Syracuse, only “most of the officers” then in the department would follow an officer through a door. By implication, officers understand that if they testify against another, they are not safe out on the streets.
    ... continued


  • April 18, 2008:
    By Anne C. Woodlen

    The Wheelbarrow
    I am in turmoil. Such a little thing. Such a big thing. I am descended from fourteen generations of farmers. All I want is two square feet of soil in which to grow flowers that grace the apartment building. It is not to be. I live in St. David’s Court, the only property in Onondaga County that is exclusively independent living for people with disabilities. Neither able-bodied people who might wield a shovel—nor flowers—are allowed to live with us. The wheelbarrow and I, both broken, are to be thrown on the trash heap.
    ... continued


  • April 17, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    America’s Lost Conscience
    Lost in a post 9/11, post Bush apocalyptic era, our Nation is completely off course and lacking any awareness of Her true mission. Recently, the Bush administration announced their intentions to use the nation's most advanced spy technology for domestic purposes. The Federal government is also demanding a database of the DNA of every American.
    ... continued


  • April 16, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Catholic Soulja Boy
    I consider the institution of the Catholic Church to be the ball and chain around the neck of humanity. The dogmas and financial power of the Church infects every nation and policy on this planet. Their belief system acts as a stop brake in the advancement and enlightenment of mankind. Every society needs that tension slowing down progress and forcing people to examine their values over time. The Catholic Church is our drag.
    ... continued


  • April 15, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Heart A Tax
    For a nation that was founded by a bunch of rich white guys who did not want to pay their taxes, we should be proud. America has become the land of equal opportunity where anybody ... white or black, male female or otherwise, Jew, Muslim, Christian or Klan ... has the opportunity to become a great American taxpayer. Hard work and success will be rewarded; with increased taxes. The road to riches is lined with the receipts of a thousand write-offs. Children, no matter how incorrigible, are among our most treasured deductions.
    ... continued


  • April 14, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Suffering for a Reagan
    America’s greatest enemy turns out to be the son of the former President Ronald Reagan. The boy, Michael Reagan, continues to publish essays and arguments which state in sum and substance, “The goals of the Democrats and both al Qaeda and al Sadr insurgents are the same: the defeat of the United States in the war in Iraq.” Like most modern day Republicans, young Master Reagan cannot separate democratic debate from his zeal for absolute tyranny over a nation.
    ... continued


  • April 13, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Fuzzy Math at Onondaga County DSS
    Here is a simple math problem. I give you $100.00. You put that money in a shoebox. One day, you take $50.00 out of that shoebox and put it in your sock drawer. The day after, you take another $25.00 and put give it to your mom because she is so wonderful. Question: How much money did I give you? If you are employed by the Onondaga County Department of Social Services, the answer is that I gave you $175.00.
    ... continued


  • April 12, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Carter’s Pills
    Of late, our former President, Jimmy Carter has been pilloried for his public comments on Israel and the role that nation plays in our own foreign policy. Encapsulating Carter’s argument; he opines that too much focus and blind allegiance is given by the American government to Israel regardless of how Israel deploys her own foreign policy. We, as Americans are challenged by our former President to start by asking what is in our own best interest first. It is a very hard pill he asks us to swallow.
    ... continued


  • April 11, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Crimes of the Heart
    Lovie Winslow and others want to raise the age at which American citizens can purchase cigarettes in Onondaga County to age 19. They base their argument on, “if we can save just one life, it will be worth it.” Solutions for enforcement include arresting people who are in possession of cigarettes. Indeed, our Legislators, in their greed for re-election are going to turn yet another substantial portion of our young adults into criminals. As Jeff Brown would say, “Come Home to Syracuse and See Your Children Get Prison Records.”
    ... continued


  • April 10, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Attack a Zak
    In a community sorely lacking in jobs and growth, one from where people are fleeing as fast as the taxes are rising, we find City Government working overtime to shut down another business. This is the same community that is funding the nation’s largest white elephant, clamoring for jobs and taxpayer funds for welfare, and is constantly bemoaning the lack of community growth. Even our former governor referenced this region as ‘the Appalachia of New York’. (For the record, the economy of Appalachia is doing far better than are we here in Upstate).
    ... continued


  • April 09, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Remove Dan O’Hara as Director of
    the Great New York State Fair
    Dear Governor Paterson: Among the several mistakes ousted governor Spitzer made during his short tenure was the cronyist appointment of Dan O’Hara to direct the New York State Fair. Dan’s non-stop meddling in the private lives of others, and his nanny state attitude toward fairgoers, his prudish behavior toward dress, and his gigantic poke in the eye of the First Amendment last year makes him the perfect candidate for replacement. He has done not a single thing to enhance the Fair adventure and instead is slowly turning it into a policed experience.
    ... continued


  • April 08, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The Enemy of My Enemy is Not My Friend, But …
    “Comparing the benefits of health insurance policy to gambling, key Islamic organizations have termed the policies as illegal and directed Muslims to keep away from them.” Arguing that health insurance has fundamentally changed in its nature from a “noble service” to one of gambling, leaders from over 300 Madrassas joined in the collective decree.
    ... continued


  • April 07, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    More Rats in the Stacks
    So query how this dying dusty industry is going to keep itself relevant. We need to be able to trust libraries and librarians to stand behind their most fundamental duties and be guardians of our free right to access and uncensored information. Unfortunately in Solvay and elsewhere in New York, librarians are snitches and agents of the government. None of us is safe.
    ... continued


  • April 06, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The Buttheads of New York State Government
    What really brings me to a boil is the greater hypocrisy in society. Fat people and smokers make the perfect example of how we have gone berserk in our thinking. We banish smokers, we tax them as hard as we can, they are looked down upon, frowned, ignored, disregarded, and considered “dirty” amongst the general population. At the same time, America is SUPERSIZING up in the new millennium. Airline seats are larger. So too are movie theater seats, household and office furniture, and automobiles. More food, fry it well, slather it with something, and don’t forget dessert. We use smoker’s dollars to feed, house, and heal these behemoths of our species.
    ... continued


  • April 05, 2008:
    By Jimmy Golub
    Golub Family Farms

    Fan Mail:
    Aww Shucks
    I am the "Jew boy" referenced in Mark's article about farm subsidies.
    I am no expert on farm policy but I do want to make a few things clear.
    ... continued


  • April 04, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    “My Fight” With Ann Coulter
    This time, Coulter crossed a line in the sand by referring to an autobiography written by United States Senator and Presidential Candidate Barack Obama as a “ dime store Mein Kampf ”. The Whore Du Lean Cuisine advised the Senator, “here's a little inside scoop about white people: We're not thinking about you. Especially WASPs. We think everybody is inferior, and we are perfectly charming about it.”
    ... continued


  • April 03, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Chuck Korea
    Ironic is it not comparing the situation with Iraq. Our patience is depleted after five years of War; four of which have been a War of Attrition. Are we really prepared stand the wall between the militias in Iraq for the next half century just to keep these cousins from killing each other? Pshaw, say I. The American taxpayer has no such interest and gets no benefit. North Korea is a problem for its neighbors. China, Australia, Japan, South Korea … these are the nations who have to find and implement a solution.
    ... continued


  • April 02, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The Dangerous Game of Absolute Immunity
    Here in Syracuse, City Hall and its Corporation Counsel have paid the punitive damage award in the Wilson case. One officer was tagged with a $10,000.00 punitive damage award and the other three involved officers were sanctioned $5,000.00 each. Clearly, the jury was very offended by the evil mean willful acts of the defendants. The jury wanted these officers to feel the pain and answer for their sins. Unfortunately, City Hall paid the bill and the officers got nothing but promotions.
    ... continued


  • April 01, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Bat Her Up
    Apparently some idiot somewhere has come up with the idea that eventually women are going to be playing Major League Baseball. According to what I have learned, Major League Baseball is looking into the possibility of including women in the game. To further that aim, the teams have sent letters to various colleges and high schools explaining the program and asking coaches to submit names of their best female prospects so that scouts and coaches can have a look at them and see about moving them into some of the farm clubs. By putting females in with the guys in the minors, like the Syracuse Chiefs, Major League Baseball will be better able to evaluate and compare how and if females will compete with the men who play.
    ... continued


  • March 31, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Clinton Proposes Welfare for Gamblers
    The result of false and incompetent interest rates being held down, is that there is an explosion in the inflation market. Look no further than the cost of fuel, foods, staples, and transportation. Prices are off the charts and are eating away at what little discretionary income most Americans have. For this reason, the Fed has held down interest rates so that while they may starve, at least folks will be able to pay their mortgage. After all, the banks have to eat too.
    ... continued


  • March 29-30, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    I Call “Bullshit”
    All this noise about a noose is mere political puffery and legal insulation. I doubt Mr. Ryan or Ms. Mahoney know the affected janitor’s name. Will the District Attorney and Sheriffs Department conclude no “crime” was committed (as do I) or will the perpetrator be hung in the public square? In the end, it saddens me to think that, together with cooperation of the Black leadership, this community is just going to continue its whitewash of the real horror and racial divide in Onondaga County. The bullshit will just continue.
    ... continued


  • March 28, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Fly Right
    From my perspective, if the federal government is going to strip away rights of the People of the several states, then fair is fair. Get the federal government’s airplanes out of New York. Ban landing rights for any airline that will not volunteer to comply with New York law. Impose tariffs and taxes on passengers who patronize airlines that do not comply with New York law. Better yet, order the airlines and F.A.A. to be compliant with State Law that is not inconsistent with Federal law notwithstanding that New York citizens may have rights than do our federal overseers.
    ... continued


  • March 27, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    One Flew Over the …
    The kids were already nervous. It probably did not help that I told them the reason the hawk was perched so close was because in his eyes, the two girls looked like a giant fish. One kid was on the verge of tears. I suggested both girls dive down to the bottom of the pool and wait there until he left. Alas, but they did not listen.
    ... continued


  • March 26, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Hard Core
    (Every once in a while, a writer has to test his skills in a new format. Using hard language and stiff subjects can test a writer’s skills. On a dare, this is an attempt at producing a sexually explicit story that is both scintillating and titillating. Make no mistake, the contents are XXX but the intent was see if i could fuse pornography into an actual story. Warning: XXX content).
    ... continued


  • March 25, 2008:
    By Anne C. Woodlen

    Easter Sunday Altars
    My tulips were placed on the altar to God to celebrate Jesus being raised after being put to death by evil men. My roommate’s altars resulted from the actions of evil men, but who will raise her? A watchful mother and father? A skilled therapist and psychiatrist? You and I? An act of God? Or will she carry this cross for the rest of her life?
    ... continued


  • March 24, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Baby Jail
    Eventually our cooing and bubbling baby drew the attention of the deputy. To his credit, he and the Court staff had been very patient and tolerant of the babychatter in the back. I was biting my lip as I saw him slowly coming toward the child. (Unsnapping his holster and taking a 3 point stance was a bit much. But, regs are regs).
    ... continued


  • March 23, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The Surrender of America
    If you think this is a joke or a fallacy or some obnoxious attack upon Republican policy, you are dead wrong. It is clear that the United States Government, by and through the actions of her President and his supporters, has surrendered. In my opinion, the so-called War on Terrorism is over. America lost and from hereon in, every body buried and dollar spent is just contributing to the contrition we will have to make later.
    ... continued


  • March 22, 2008:
    By Barry J. Kahn

    Jim Reith, Torture, and the Disabled
    When I reached him by phone, Jim asked me permission to record the conversation. I so granted. I am not good at on-the-spot conversation. I believe I asked him if I could meet with him in person. Jim said something like, not without my chief officer and my lawyers. He asked to know what this was about, and I told him. He replied, seeming agitated and somewhat arrogantly, that he had no problem with torture. I don’t know exactly what I said, of course, but I may have replied, “You do now,” or that I was going to take action against him.
    ... continued


  • March 21, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Get Back to Work, Doctor “K”
    Still, not everybody believes in suffering or living until the last possible moment. For many, death itself is indeed a relief; including those whose sole basis therefor is depression. But instead of throwing themselves off buildings or in front of busses or trucks; instead of making a bloody mess using a gun or slitting wrists; instead of misfiring or taking an insufficient amount of drugs and surviving, society should make ending life as peaceful and respected as establishing life. We need Dr. K to get back to work. The discussion needs to be on the table. If it should be your true wish, should you not have the option to just go to sleep and call it a day?
    ... continued


  • March 20, 2008:
    By Anne C. Woodlen

    Response to
    “Federal Review Gives Call-a-Bus Good Marks”
    The Post-Standard, in its coverage of the FTA final report about Centro’s Call-a-Bus, has substantially misrepresented my position. ... Frank Kobliski, if you think you got a B+ on the federal report, it’s because I spent six years busting my butt to get you prepared for the review.
    ... continued


  • March 19, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Going Upside Uptown
    There is an epidemic of burgeoning violence which is the real cancer killing our society. Like hopeless addicts; folks keep engaging in the same behavior, despite knowing how bad and ineffective it is, and how doing so is going to kill … and despite that, nobody seems to care and we want it all the more. ... How it is that despite everything there is nobody who if they want any particular drug, not only can get it easily, but probably has some already. If we cannot keep drugs and CELLPHONES out of our supermax prisons, how are we ever going to keep them out of a free society? An aggressive policy of arresting entire generations from a particular neighborhood does not reduce in any way, anybody’s ability to get any drug they want.
    ... continued


  • March 18, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Republicans, God, and the
    Death of Terry Schiavo
    (Tomorrow, March 19 at SU College of Law, Hon. George W. Greer, who presided over the Terri Schiavo case, will speak on his role in one of the 'Trials of the Century'. So as to honor both, we republish the following). In her death, as in her last days of life, Terry Schiavo became a beacon. Her body is dead, her soul released, and her pain finally over. But because of her suffering and because of the torment she endured; we as a People can draw great strength from her memory. That strength can lead us back to the path upon which our Founding Fathers once embarked. Terry Schiavo may be dead, but her spirit will live on forever in the hearts and minds of human beings everywhere.
    ... continued


  • March 17, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Drunk in the Name of the Lord, Amen
    I just don’t understand the mix of booze beer and God
    Its not that I’m an idiot, stupid, or a clod
    The world you choose makes no sense, you see
    But what the heck, why not, pour a double for me.
    ... continued


  • March 16, 2008:
    By Anne C. Woodlen

    Frankie the Rug’s Problem
    He has lived with his mother all his life. After his parents sold the farm, they moved to a senior trailer park in Florida. His father died ten years ago. When Frankie went to Florida to visit his mother four years ago, she looked worse than she ever had in her life. The freezer and refrigerator were full, but she wasn’t eating. She was sitting by the pool with her friends, smoking two packs a day and drinking a lot. He brought her home, cooked for her and got her to stop drinking.
    ... continued


  • March 15, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Whose Child Is This?
    Watching Mothers and Fathers tear their children apart for power and control makes you sick. Seeing Mothers or Fathers using the Support and Custody system to continue relationship battles years after the relationship itself is over is a common occurrence. Bearing witness to the violence of parents upon children, of parents on each other, of children upon parents, and crimes committed by children, all makes you want to rip off your testicles to avoid the chance of ever having to deal with such a horror.
    ... continued


  • March 14, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Game Over
    It was a joint exercise in maturation, team work, true applications of honor and integrity, and learning that no matter how bad things get, no matter how much it hurts, you get back up on your feet and try again. Together, this was our game. I self taught her to pitch and worked on her dynamics. In my heart, I always knew that her temper tantrums, crying, bickering, arguing, and snits were all but gentle expressions of how much she loved me and how much she appreciated the work I did.
    ... continued


  • March 13, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Sympathy Pains
    There are no words sufficient to describe the unimaginable pain carried by a lawyer helpless to free an innocent man. Knowing the whereabouts of murdered children and not being able to tell even their parents has to hurt. Confessions can cause incredible personal suffering to the lawyer. Though we search for Diogenes’ blessings, in the end a defense attorney is but a Sisyphean stand-in fighting a career long Pyrrhic battle. We have no allies but the Law.
    ... continued


  • March 12, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    On Being a Jackass
    Today’s Democratic Party is showing itself as being a toothless tiger. I still wait to be proven wrong in my belief that Karl Rove engineered the Democratic victory in 2006. By the time 2008 rolls around, America will be sick to death of the impotent irrelevant failure-to-act Democrats. So far, Democrats have failed to prove otherwise. It seems that the Republicans are the ones who are picking the nominee for the Democrats. The only folks I know who even mention Mrs. Clinton’s name are Republican pundits. Most of the rest of us are sick of machine politicians who offer nothing but a name.
    ... continued


  • March 11, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Lord, Protect Them
    From My Own Weakness
    Americans need sex. Our Privacy and Liberty are primary in our SECULAR society. We need drugs and alcohol because millions use them responsibly. Legalized and controlled gambling, prostitution, abortion, dietary habits, and porking the pig seem to be issues that the religious right cannot control in their own behavior. For the rest of America, however, the time has come to separate the religious commands from secular society. It is time to free our People from the chains of religious extremist oppression. I refuse to surrender my liberty because you cannot manage to resist your own temptations.
    ... continued


  • March 10, 2008:
    By Eric Van Slyke
    Head Football Coach
    Canastota High School
    HARD BALL
    (From 2004, the MarkBlum Report© republishes one of our most popular guest editorials on the subject of children and sports).
    Tens of millions of youngsters aged 5-12 will be taking to the athletic fields in an entity that we call youth sport. Sounds like fun doesn't it? Unfortunately, there is a collective group of people who are ruining the fun, PARENTS.
    ... continued


  • March 08, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    A Murder in Oz
    Remember from the tale, the so-called Good Witch, Glinda? The facts are that she is a lying killer who, together with that con man from the Emerald City, conspired to use and manipulate Dorothy to commit the most gruesome of murders. Glinda deserves the death penalty. She should not be elevated to the status of heroine.
    ... continued


  • March 08, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Christian versus Christian,
    Republican versus Republican
    Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adams, Thomas Paine, and Benjamin Franklin all spoke and fought for the same values I hold dear today. Not a one of them would ever have agreed that social morality, evangelical Christianity, or even the notion of spreading “freedom” was among the foundations of this nation. We are seeing today a spreading Christian revolution, run by very aggressive zealots that has rooted its evangelical dogma in the heartland of America.
    ... continued


  • March 07, 2008:
    By Anne C. Woodlen

    If Not Now, When?
    Five-point-two million dollars were spent on one 69-year-old retired prison guard who was in the Duke University Hospital Intensive Care Unit for 34 days. He was then discharged to death. His wife said, “I was just hoping it would save my husband’s life.” Who was thinking about the money? A bunch of doctors and administrators. They were keeping track of the money. They had a meeting about it—and didn’t put a cap on the spending.
    ... continued


  • March 06, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Death Takes No Holiday
    Standing in the hallway of a cancer ward at 3:00 in the morning, you can hear the quiet gentle moaning of the dying. Every room has its own pain that tends to seep out into the general area between struggling breaths. I can only bear witness to the horror of having to lay helpless and alone in pain beyond relief knowing my body is slowly being consumed from within.
    ... continued


  • March 05, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Happy Birthday to Us
    We turn 20 the day after today.
    Huzzah. Huzzah. Hip. Hip and Hooray.
    Light up the candles.
    Sound out the drums.
    For the past 20 years
    We’ve been ‘The Blums’

    ... continued


  • March 04, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Looking Out My Back Door
    If South America is on the brink of war, then so too is the United States. With almost 300,000 of our finest soldiers and our best equipment 10,000 miles away, this may be a war over before we get to fire a shot. Just the slightest move from Iran could keep our forces locked in place while South America explodes. Sincerely, I hope I am wrong. My instincts tell me we stand now at a precipice and unless swift political action is taken, all that we know is going to change forever. But as with the Kaiser or 9/11 … it wont take much to trigger our involvement in a Southern Hemisphere theater of operations.
    ... continued


  • March 03, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Congressional Battle Lines
    The ideals embodied in the Constitution are greater than the life of a single citizen, or even three thousand of them, as these ideals have to last for 3,000 generations. Born in a time of great national strife, civil unrest, war, economic and political disarray, our constitution was written by men who despite all that hardship and risk, insisted that some rights remained inalienable.
    ... continued


  • March 02, 2008:
    By Matthew A. Comini
    “Oops, I Did It Again"
    Rap music absolutely objectifies black women as sex objects. What else is there to say? Hell, all women for that matter, and nearly all music not just rap. Being bitches, ho’s, and baby momma’s are apparently all that modern women are capable of being in the world that popular music culture presents. But, I feel compelled to say, women today do a fair amount of damage to their own images without the help of pop music.
    ... continued


  • March 01, 2008:
    By Anne C. Woodlen
    A Magna Carta Moment
    We are talking here about human beings who are working full time—busting their butts just like everybody else—but are not paid enough for their labor to be able to live. Most of these people are in human services, in fact, in derivatives of the medical industry—which is topped by those million-dollar doctors. Not only are poor people working as aides and drivers, but also, in hospitals, they are the men who push the linen carts and clean the air conditioning ducts, and the women who change the sheets and push the mops.
    ... continued


  • February 29, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Put Probation on Probation
    One of those dreaded moments in an attorney’s career is when that yellowish envelope marked Attorney Grievance Committee arrives in the mail. It is never good news. ... Mr. Deno complained that the essay bordered on “libelous” and that the essay contained, “threats to my safety and to the safety of my family.” These charges are not de minimus and are very serious in nature.
    ... continued


  • February 28, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Cuba Libre`
    Today we live in a different world. Starbucks is in Beijing. McDonalds is in Moscow. Poland has joined NATO. The Soviet Union is no more. ... But our stance against Cuba remains. The former Batiste` exiles have used their political might and money to force the United States to remain in a state of cold war with Cuba. Despite being a small minority, Cubans in south Florida have managed to garner political muscle well beyond their means and have a voice louder than they deserve.
    ... continued


  • February 27, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Going Down, Down Under
    Said Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard, “a victory by Senator Obama would be a win for terrorists.” ... For a Nation such as Australia whose only contribution to the world is a smirk and the shrimp-on-the-barbie, perhaps they should reconsider their position. Prime Minister Howard should get his Diggers out of their hiding places in Iraq and make them walk a beat in Baghdad. Perhaps if a few thousand Ozzies absorbed some IED shrapnel intended for Americans, their attitude might change.
    ... continued


  • February 26, 2008:
    By Anne C. Woodlen
    A Fairly Fair Fair Hearing
    There are 70,000 Medicaid patients in Onondaga County. Medicaid transportation bills the state $8 million a year. Medicaid dispatch takes 350 ride orders a day. ... Yesterday I took the bus for a 15-minute appointment with the chiropractor and 30 minutes at St. Camillus Rehab, and that I had to leave home at 1:00 and didn’t get back till 6:00. With a catch in my voice, I report that I spent five hours in transit for 45 minutes of health care.
    ... continued


  • February 25, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Of Cow Bells and Corn Balls:
    The Aubertine / Barclay Senate Race
    In these last hours and minutes of the campaign, now Will Barclay has run for cover behind the skirts of women. Unable to sustain his own momentum, we are asked by Mrs. Barclay every 28 seconds on radio and television, that we should know her husband like she does. Frankly Mrs. Barclay, I would rather not. Seeing him naked, smelling his farts, and listening to him whine and cry doesn’t excite me. Folks do not want a spouse and friend in government. We need a doer who we can bitch-slap when they screw up. Does Mrs. Barclay bitchslap her husband when he screws up?
    ... continued


  • February 24, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Unleash the Dogs of War
    (and Get the Hell Out of the Way)
    If it was the United States enduring such harassment from any nation or group, we would not be having this discussion. Lebanon, Syria, and Gaza would already resemble the surface of the moon. It is time to show that bacon laden Nasrallah and the rest of his little piglets to put up or shut up. If they want their war, then let’s go. Otherwise, let them confess their true cowardice and go home quietly.
    ... continued


  • February 23, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.
    Qualms for the Poor
    Apparently our wise and powerful government in devising a scheme to hand out our own largesse to all, conditioned the payment upon the filing of a federal tax return. It doesn’t matter if you owe taxes, are entitled to a refund, or are not legally required to file; so long as you file a 1040, the government is going to give you a check. ... Mothers, fathers, children; all of whom who could use the fistfuls of pork dollars being thrown at the market. I wonder where is the alarm and rush to rescue the poor, the homeless, the unemployed?
    ... continued


  • February 22, 2008:
    By Anne C. Woodlen
    “Just for You” and
    Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
    Healthy people are not allowed to live with us. We are restricted to living with “our own kind.” It is a 24-unit apartment building and half the tenants are in wheelchairs. My neighbors variously cannot see, hear, walk, talk, think or remember. We have cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, muscular dystrophy, spinal bifida and other disabilities too mixed and/or bizarre to retail. ... I tell people that for scary Halloween costumes, we should just strip naked. You want to see horror? Look at our twisted limbs and the places where body parts are missing. Look at the scars that climb our legs, stretch across our chests and cut across our throats. We are not a real fun crowd. We are your worst nightmare: damaged but alive.
    ... continued


  • February 21, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    They Shoot Judges, Don’t They?
    When a people do lose faith in their government or see the government as having declared war on its’ own people, then indeed the government will have no legitimacy. The best example is by way of my own work. No lawyer can claim a 100% win rate because ‘winning’ is not always an option unless you consider mitigation to be a victory. Losing a heartbreaking criminal case or having an unexpected defeat in a civil case can be a serious kick in the groin. Yet, each time a party loses, so long as they felt that the playing field was level and the lawyers did their job and the judge listened and was fair, then a loss does not implicate our justice system and cause the litigant to turn on his own government.
    ... continued


  • February 20, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The Dangerous Policy of Officer Safety
    But, unfortunately for all us, police are afraid. Their comfort is found in being at a higher level of force than that which is front of them. To the innocent citizen, an escalation of force is unreasonable which itself prompts an even higher escalation … until finally the deaf mute is dropped face down on the asphalt and backup is called.
    ... continued


  • February 19, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    With Friends Like These, ….
    Finally, the reason Jews absolutely distrust and ignore any Evangelical Christian movement is for the very reasons isolated by Wilson in his essay. “[Evangelical Christians] overwhelmingly agree that Jews and Christians share the same values and can live together in harmony.” If history teaches us anything, that principle is that Jews and Christians can live together in harmony so long as the Jew is armed with the ballot, the bullet, or both.
    ... continued


  • February 18, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Save the Blacksmiths
    The People of the United States and their government did not respond to the end of the era of horse transportation by imposing tariffs and taxes on cars. Legislators did not send out millions of dollars each year to Blacksmiths as subsidies for horses they would have shoe’d but did not because of the infestation of automobiles.
    ... continued


  • February 17, 2008:
    By Anne C. Woodlen
    Do, Can’t Do, Won’t Do:
    People with Disabilities
    Too often, what parents and other adults are most apt to teach disabled children is that they are vulnerable and can’t quite cut it. Too many people who are born disabled are raised to see themselves as weak and in constant need of extra protection. These are people who become dependent on personal care.
    ... continued


  • February 16, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Stop Making Pinatas
    Out Of Illegal Immigrants
    By pitching the White House as being soft and conciliatory, Republicans are using the Immigration issue to warm up the engines of fear, hatred and bigotry so as to use that heat to fuel their election victory. Through this very typical Rove-esque strategy, Americans appear to see dissent in the Republican Party, candidates can say “hey, we don’t blindly follow our party and president”, and the issue can used by candidates who need to separate themselves from the anger and frustration that Americans feel toward the White House right now.
    ... continued


  • February 15, 2008:
    By Anne C. Woodlen

    Of Tiger Haunches and No-Sex Pills
    When a doctor claims a parking space in the parking garage attached to his building, it means a mother with two kids, one of whom is sick, has to walk up the hill to his office in the freezing rain. Why does the doctor—who arrives once in the morning and leaves once at night—get the choice parking place when it is a parking place that could be used ten times during the day by sick people struggling to see him for treatment?
    ... continued


  • February 14, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    My Bloody Valentine
    Of course, it is my luck to have met the one woman in the world who really thinks Valentines Day is very special. In honor of the woman now so long my wife, I have really tried to make the best out of the holiday. I do the candy, card, and flowers thing. Yes, I have done the romantic dinners, the special surprises and gifts, along with all those things that a man does for his woman so he can get laid once in a while. But I really hate Valentine's Day.
    ... continued


  • February 13, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Take Affirmative Action
    The candidacies of Senators Clinton and Obama also prove another change is due in society. Should either Democrat win the Presidency, there is a valid argument to once and for all, end our nation’s programs of Affirmative Action and quotas. The elevation of Senator Obama to ‘Presidential Rock Star’ and Senator Clinton to hard hitting hard core Washington warrior brings to light proof that Affirmative Action had its place in our history; and no more.
    ... continued


  • February 12, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    The Democrats' Health Care Swindle
    We live in a nation where if your house catches fire, you can call a socialized fire department who will come to your rescue for no fee. If you are robbed or attacked, we have a socialized police force and justice system to deal with legal issues. Our children are educated in socialized educational institutions. But if your friend drops to the sidewalk with a heart attack, the first thought in your head is, "I sure do hope he has good health insurance."
    ... continued


  • February 11, 2008:
    By Anne C. Woodlen
    The Boss
    Monday morning his boss called him in and read him the riot act, consisting in large part of telling him he was a terrible human being and he’d better never again in his life send a memo like that to the boss’s colleagues. My friend came to lunch, bleeding profusely from serious wounds in his psyche and, looking hurt and uncomprehending, asked, “Why is he kicking me? Why isn’t he trying to fix the problem?” ... continued


  • February 09, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.
    Jacked Up and
    Booted Out of Syracuse

    She said I had been there just a little bit more than two and a half hours and the fee for parking in a City lot for that period of time was SEVEN DOLLARS. Since I didn’t get a blowjob along with the parking, I felt that seven dollars was way out of line. There was only one thing left to do. ...
    ... continued


  • February 08, 2008:
    By Anne C. Woodlen
    About Michael
    Michael is ten years old and has freckles. He was a skinny kid wearing a tank top and too-big shorts on June 16, Father’s Day, when he came to me in CPEP and asked for a drink. ... The next time I saw Michael, a man had tied down his feet, and was tying his wrists together with something black, then pulling his wrists over his head and tying them down while Michael screamed in terror. This is called four-point restraint.
    ... continued


  • February 07, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Inherit the Windfall
    As a lawyer and member of the Bar, I appreciate efforts to pander to the judiciary. As a taxpayer and attorney who has to function in that same system, I am offended at the effort to raise judicial salaries without first attacking waste and demanding greater productivity. If the Courts want to better pay their employees, then we as consumers deserve better. Allow me to use the “F” bombs – Fundamental and Fairness – that is the issue.
    ... continued


  • February 06, 2008:
    By Edward M. Shepard, PhD.
    Chairman Department of Economics
    Professor of Economics
    Le Moyne College
    Drug Law Abuse in
    Onondaga County, New York

    African Americans in Onondaga County have the second highest rate of admission to prison for drug offences among the 198 counties in their sample. Specifically, incarceration rates for drug offences in Onondaga County were found to be 99 times greater for African Americans than for Caucasians, a rate that is 10 times greater than the national average.
    ... continued


  • February 05, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Vote. Your Life Depends On It
    “Malaise” is the disease that has infected the heart and soul of the region and nation. We are tired and war weary. Whether it is economic, social, educational, or political; momentum and energy have come to a complete standstill. It matters not whether Democrats or Republicans are in charge as both parties have shown themselves to be the Pied Pipers of Yawn. Each candidate in turn is an excellent manager, has perfect character, and is a wonderful human being. Yet none is inspiring the nation to Her better angels.
    ... continued


  • February 04, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Lord, Protect Them From My Own Weakness
    Americans need sex. Our Privacy and Liberty are primary in our secular society. We need drugs and alcohol because millions use them responsibly. Legalized and controlled gambling, prostitution, abortion, dietary habits, and porking the pig seem to be issues that the religious right cannot control in their own behavior. For the rest of America, however, the time has come to separate the religious commands from secular society. It is time to free our People from the chains of religious extremist oppression. I refuse to surrender my liberty because you cannot manage to resist your own temptations.
    ... continued


  • February 03, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    These Hallowed Words Must Have Meaning
    I could not agree more with the principle of a strict constructionist on the Bench. Who better to read the constitution and say to the government, “the constitution expressly prohibits your behavior”. Overwhelmingly however, the judiciary has moved to the right and become so activist, that government can no longer do wrong. “Judicial activism” is now defined as being any act by a judge to overrule an act of the legislature. To our Founders, that was the very role intended for the judiciary; to always keep government within the four corners of the Constitution.
    ... continued


  • February 01, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    In The Desert, My Horse has a Name
    The war has finally come home to me. This past year I have come to know the people behind the faces of a handful of bodies that are among those Mr. Bush wants to throw at Iraqi IEDs. Through work and play, my paths have crossed with some of those faceless greensuiters that clutter the news with action footage. I have met their spouses, girlfriends, and children. I have sat in their homes, drank their pisswater beer, and listened to them whine. They have become my friends and in a sense, have become my responsibility to protect and to serve. The day their boots leave American soil, my life will change.
    ... continued


  • January 31, 2008:
    By Matthew A. Comini

    Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?
    The author does not himself possess any ill will for tough guys, gay cowboys, teen age boys or even Merriam-Webster. In fact he may even like tough guys, just not teenage boys with X boxes and gay cowboys. In the same token he is neither implying nor denying that he enjoys cheeseburgers and fries. What he really should be doing is quitting while he is ahead rather than rambling, but he is not the brightest bulb in the shed. He is all too aware that he just bastardized two clever adages and did a poor job of it at that. The author is not a proponent of violence in games or in whoring, he just wishes that men could act a bit more like men rather than little whining boys like he himself reverts to quite often.
    ... continued


  • January 30, 2008:
    By Anne C. Woodlen
    Small Atrocities
    During the course of the visit, Stephen went to his ex-wife’s home to get something for the children. He walked in and found her and her boyfriend in the living room smoking crack. Stephen’s 11-year-old son told him that usually his mother and her boyfriend went into the bedroom and locked the door when they smoked crack. The next day, authorities came to Stephen’s apartment. He was arrested and jailed on a complaint from his ex-wife. She claimed that by coming to her home he had violated an order of protection. He claimed no knowledge of such an order. A record check showed that, in fact, he had been served with such an order years earlier when he was in prison and it was neither meaningful nor memorable.
    ... continued


  • January 29, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    An Open Letter to Onondaga County
    District Attorney William J. Fitzpatrick

    As a well known longtime outspoken critic who has never once contributed a dime nor sipped a drink with you, I have to come out and do the unthinkable. I must beg you to stay. Please do not run for Congress. On one level, I would relish your being elected to Congress. It would be a godsend to the market. ‘Change’ in the office of District Attorney would be a good thing. The thought of you winning your campaign for Congress and moving your business to Washington warms the cockles of my heart. Shocked that you were seriously considering a run to replace Congressman Walsh, my first thought was to immediately form a “Fitzpatrick for Congress Committee” and work like a dog to see you elected. But, ...
    ... continued


  • January 26, 2008:
    By Anne C. Woodlen

    Two Hundred Thousand
    New Power Wheelchairs and Me

    In the City of Syracuse, wheeling is bad. There are curb cuts that are blocked by puddles, sidewalks that are broken or end in construction, pedestrians who are rude and drivers who are aggressive. I have occasionally had drivers come up behind me and frighten me with loud honking, or speed by me cursing and yelling. Drivers who do this are always male and usually young. Testosterone and gasoline can be a bad combination.
    ... continued


  • January 24, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    America the Heavyweight
    If you are going to base children’s health care funding on a cigarette tax … at the same time you are both discouraging smoking and smokers are dying … the SCHIP medical bills will still be there a generation from now. Smokers will not. The question becomes then who will fund it. Tagging me now for sixty cents for a pack of cigarettes is a lie and a temporary feelgood message to cover for a boondoggle that is going to financially explode. Also, what kind of message are we sending when we our government says, “Smoke. Do it for the Kids.”
    ... continued


  • January 23, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.

    Pond Scum Politics
    From the moment James Madison put his quill to hemp and penned the most famous words in our history, “We the People of the United States”, ours became a nation “conceived in liberty” and dedicated to equal opportunity. ‘Liberty’ is the fire that gives birth to equality, privacy, and the entire Bill of Rights. It is the very primordial soup from which evolved Messrs Jefferson and Madison and Adams and Paine’s ideals about liberty being the ultimate right to left alone by government.
    ... continued


  • January 22, 2008:
    By Anne C. Woodlen
    You, Too, Can Have One
    So here’s the big point: you, too, can have a mental disorder. You probably do—it just hasn’t been isolated yet. If you isolate certain aspects of anybody, you can call the isolate a mental disorder. Alternatively, you can look at the whole person in the context of the whole world over the period of all time and say, “Damn! It works, doesn’t it?”
    ... continued


  • January 21, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.
    A Black Man Walks Free
    I call upon every judge to dismiss every drug charge against every Black defendant in Onondaga County on grounds that the law, as applied, is having a significant and substantial negative racial impact and the law is too broad for the goals stated. I call upon every defense attorney to raise a 14th Amendment Equal Protection argument in their Omnibus Motion. ... Since our elected ones are too cowardly to fix this problem, it once again falls upon the shoulders of courageous attorneys and persons of law to save our society. ... The bottom line is very simple: Ours is a community where the number of Blacks prosecuted for drug crimes are 20-40 times greater than for Whites.
    ... continued


  • January 20, 2008:
    By Mark David Blum, Esq.
    Crouching Tiger;
    Hidden Law Perfesser
    Yoo’s fundamental flaw in logic is his constantly referring to “Judicial intervention in the decisions of the president on how best to wage war.” There is no war; none has been declared. The Supreme Court has not and did not then comment on waging war; but rather on waging law and order. Now Yoo no longer wants to answer to law and order. He wants his absolute immunity. For him, the entire legal exercise is a waste of time and money and will have a chilling effect on government service. In my opinion, the exact opposite is true. Yoo should have the courage and conviction to defend his principles anywhere and in any court room. From what does he hide?
    ... continued


  • January 19, 2008:
    By Anne C. Woodlen
    Ma’s Way
    Then one day while Patti and I are at the store (I am disabled and Patti is my home health aide), she gets a phone call from Fred, who is not only an alcoholic but also an idiot. He says Ma didn’t come home last night, and follows it with the little tidbit that she’s in the Intensive Care Unit in a hospital in Syracuse. She got drunk, drove home, went off the road, hit a tree and broke her neck, not to mention several other important body parts. Fred was involved in ways that are not entirely clear, but have something to do with him leaving her at the bar to drive home alone, and knowing that she was in the ICU for seven hours before calling her family.
    ... continued


  • January 18, 2008:
    Crime and Punishment in Manlius:
    After each kid gets through the anger phase and the blame phase, they will finally start to look inward. At some point, there will be the realization and perhaps a neverending re-experiencing of the moment the decision was made ... and why. It may take years to wash that scarlet letter off their forehead and for some, it may never leave. But if each really deals with the demon, they will come through it with not only greater insight into themselves, but a far better understanding of their relationship to the world.
    ... continued


  • January 17, 2008:
    By Anne C. Woodlen
    Guest Columnist
    The Good Leader:
    The platoon sergeant, a non-commissioned officer, is a wiry man with clear eyes and a calm demeanor. It is his duty to train the lieutenant, a commissioned officer who is a recent college graduate. The sergeant’s son is almost as old as the lieutenant, but a good bit smarter. Everybody knows it is the sergeant’s job to train the lieutenant. Tradition and the commanding officer told the sergeant it was his job. Likewise, the C.O. told the lieutenant something like, “Go out there and let your platoon sergeant tell you how to do it.” Some children are smarter than others. The lieutenant didn’t get it.
    ... continued


  • January 15, 2008:
    Onondaga County Probation Department versus the Family:
    Let it be heard loud and clear: The Right to Family Privacy is nearly absolute and certainly above the strictest of scrutiny. No probation officer should have the random and subjective authority to summarily destroy and separate a family. Messrs. House and Deno are the faces of the forces against which our nation’s founders took up arms. Our new County Executive and County Legislature should cut Probation’s budget to the bone such that they are really only watching and helping folks who NEED watching and help.
    ... continued


  • January 14, 2008:
    By Anne C. Woodlen
    Anne is joining this Website as an occassional contributor.
    She would love to hear your thoughts.

    Manipulating Yours:
    This has given them extensive experience with physicians and the psychologist no longer chooses to identify with them. Instead, he has succinctly summed up the contemporary American perception of physicians: doctors are assholes. They are a breed, a species, a collective—not individuals. You have human relationships with your mother, stepson and housepainter but your relationship with your physician is that of human to asshole.
    ... continued


  • January 13, 2008:
    Christians Come Erect Seeing Jesus With Wood:
    Christians have a hardon for an artist who depicted Jesus with a woodie. Clearly not soaking in urine but rather expressing an otherwise normal state of male human existence still, according to Christians, “it's the Lord Jesus Christ being humiliated, ridiculed and vilified. It's just so disgusting, pornographic, and offensive, it's hard to find words to express the outrage.” Christian leaders want to nail the artist to a cross and have his art destroyed.
    ... continued


  • January 12, 2008:
    Tied Up, Tied Down, Being Tied and Dragged Around:
    So why tie me down? Is it not possible for Male lawyers to be and appear just as professional sans tie or jacket if they choose? Must Men be tied up while the Women run free? Under some circumstances, this can be an interesting concept. But not at work. The real question is one of liberty, self expression, and fundamental fairness. I do not want to be a woman nor do I want to dress like one. (The one exception being on really hot muggy days, I would LOVE to be able to wear a sundress and feel a breeze blowing up my crotch).
    ... continued


  • January 10, 2008:
    No Welfare for Gamblers:
    What is being demanded is that the federal government provide welfare for homeowners who gambled on interest rates … and lost. From the President on down, demands are being made that the government freeze tax rates, provide price supports, and create a bank of funds akin to the famous Savings and Loan bailout of the 1980’s. Boiled down to its gravy, Americans are being asked to provide welfare to gamblers. These same folks who borrowed over their heads and failed to take into account the very real possibility that their ARM could rise significantly ahead of their income, are now crying poverty. They want their money back from the casino. For years, they enjoyed the benefits of a low interest rate and lavished in the luxury that they could otherwise not afford.
    ... continued


  • January 09, 2008:
    America’s Supreme Pain:
    Central to our constitutional history is the premise that the Founding Document guarantees to all Americans, born and naturalized, certain basic rights and freedoms. It is the responsibility of the Federal Executive and Judiciary to see that these basic laws and protections are available to every American citizen. ... Likewise a vital plank of our constitutional republic is the understanding that while we are all American citizens, we are likewise citizens of our respective States and Commonwealths. Nowhere is a State prohibited from providing greater rights and benefits than assured by the Federal Constitution. The Federal Constitution establishes the bare minimum. States are free to go above and beyond that.
    ... continued


  • January 07, 2008:
    The Ugliest of Americans:
    The same disease that infected Gretna spread all the way to Fairbanks. Turning around and returning to the fire house is a horror and a shame upon an otherwise honorable profession. They are no worse than a police department closing off a road preventing people from reaching safety. Police in Gretna stood with weapons drawn ready to shoot any American seeking refuge. In Fairbanks, the attitude of rescuers is “burn baby, burn.”
    ... continued


  • January 05, 2008:
    Shop Wegmans and Pay the Exorbitant Price of Arrogance
    :
    It was announced with great splendor and overwhelming grandiosity yesterday that America’s #1 favorite employer and overall good guy, Wegmans Markets, is going to halt the sales of cigarettes and tobacco products. In their own words and notwithstanding the large profit margins garnered by cigarette sales, the justification therefor is to remove an unhealthy product from their store shelves. Wegmans has graduated from neighborhood market to neighborhood Nanny. I am not truly convinced of the benevolence of Wegman’s anti tobacco campaign. Whether they are really making more shelf room for beer or Doritos, or whether this move is just a publicity stunt to lure the Yuppies in to buy pate`, shrimp, or deep fried something or another, in reality the proclamation that the tobacco ban is for ‘health’ reasons rings wholly untrue and hypocritical.
    ... continued


  • January 04, 2008:
    The Failed Policy of Employer Driven Health Care:
    Our nation’s employers are not medical providers. We sell widgets and the skills to build, install, and operate those widgets. The last thing our employers need is to involve themselves in the business of insurance; either in carrying it and billing for it, or in paying monstrous premiums to commercial carriers. It simply is not their business and frankly, employers lack any real skill at providing quality benefits for the prices charged. With employees, the situation is no better. Mandatory insurance upon the employer gives the employer unbelievable access to the most private aspects of a person’s life. Employers will know your blood pressure, your drug preferences, and of your venereal diseases. You will have to share personal medical information just to get the job; not because it is a condition of employment but because it is necessary to assess your impact upon the employer’s risk pool.
    ... continued


  • January 03, 2008:
    Speak Up and Get a Life Sentence in Madison County:
    Our criminal justice system stepped off a cliff. Anti-terrorism laws were used against an American for his words alone. A man now sits in prison for life because of a spoken word. No Court, State or Federal, is going to undo the sentence or damage to the American ideal. It is my opinion, in fifty years when our children look back and wonder what ever happened to the principles of free speech and the First Amendment, they will be able to point to the actions taken by Mr. Cerio and Judge McDermott. Future generations will question why everybody stood silent. Where is the media? How can citizens of this nation and the principles of Richard Stands, remain mum and uninvolved? When you give up someone else’s rights, you are giving up your own.
    ... continued


  • January 02, 2008:
    The Unholy Alliance of Cops and Robbers:
    This war against Americans has got to stop. People tell me on one hand they are doing this violence to make all of us safer while at the same time, they stand helpless while more and more of our kids are dying. These cops tell the public to be very afraid of the junkie who is jonesing. They tell us the gangs will be worse. Yet, have they stopped the junkies and their jonesing from killing? How much worse can the gangs get when they are already spraying automatic weapons randomly at YOUR NEIGHBORS. Since business conflicts cannot be stopped with high powered lawyers in court rooms, they must resort to using high powered weapons on street corners.
    ... continued


  • December 31, 2007 / January 1, 2008:
    Be It Resolved in 2008:
    With the dawn of a New Year all ready to pounce
    I have decided to resolve; affirm and announce
    Instead of the usual fanfare and glee
    About the efforts to make a much better me

    Instead of the promises that I will make and be broken
    To avoid all that depression from failing and chokin`
    I got a much better idea. I do. Try it and see.
    For just once in your life, try and emulate me.

    ... continued


  • December 30, 2007:
    The Holiday Dead Zone:
    I am surrounded with all this “Christmas spirit and joy”. As such, there just is not much of anything to do. How can a lawyer make a buck when everybody is being nice to each other? Yes, there is the occasional domestic or DWI. In the end, however, this is the season to forget your lawyer. You love your family and disputes are relegated to the back burner. So too with invoices; nobody is going to pay their legal bills when they have Christmas. Since we lawyers have a secret orchard from which we go harvest money when we need it, it is not difficult for us to stand aside acquiescing while client after client begs for time to pay because of the holiday season. “Thanks, Mark. You’re such a nice guy. I knew you would understand.”
    ... continued


  • December 29, 2007:
    Pulling the Plug on Our Sanity:
    On January 7th in a Bronx County Supreme Court, two parents are about to do battle about whether a feeding tube should be removed from their comatose daughter. Like with Terry Schiavo, this case comes along at a perfect time for the 2008 election. ... If you recall, in her death, as in her last days of life, Terry Schiavo became a beacon. Her body dead, her soul released, and her pain was finally over. But because of her suffering and because of the torment she endured; we as a People must find strength from her experience. That strength can lead us back to the path upon which our Founding Fathers once embarked. Terry Schiavo may be dead, but her spirit has lived on forever in my heart and mind never to be forgotten.
    ... continued


  • December 28, 2007:
    Gored by the Rings:
    Ring #3 has made it this far and it has to be here. As for me, I don’t like to feel “owned” and a wedding ring has all the earmarks of ownership. I don’t need to advertise I am married. Take a look at me … fat, ugly, and no girlfriend. Either I am gay or I am married. No ring is going to change that. Wish me luck. Should I fail my quest, methinks the Queen of Mordor will personally ring my neck.
    ... continued


  • December 27, 2007:
    Aint No Jew in G.O.P.:
    Over the past years, I have seen well who in fact are the friends and supporters of the President and who voted for his re-election. I see the hardcore Christian Right being the Republican core base. Crosses were embedded in the podium at the 2004 Republican convention. These are the people who seek to instill Christian values in schools and in society. Republicans are the ones who want to limit voter access to the polls, do not recognize a basic fundamental inalienable right to privacy of the self. Republicans are the party of big spenders (retail, I might add), and the massive growth of government and taxes. They are a warrior people; an evangelical people.
    ... continued


  • December 23, 2007:
    My Proclamation of Emancipation:
    As an adult, I demand that the Moms and Dads return my America to me. Stop reading my mail. Stop searching my room. Stop taking my stuff. Let me think what I wish, write what I want, and speak as loud as I can. If you are afraid of an enemy, then go get him. But the enemy is not me and in your over zealous but kind hearted efforts to protect me, you Mommies and Daddies have caused me more harm than any enemy of this nation. I feel that my country has become a fortress; a bedroom in which I am locked. I am being punished because someone else wants to hurt me.
    ... continued


  • December 23, 2007:
    In Remembrance of George Ruggaber: One Year Later:
    George Ruggaber had a name, a family, a history, and gave his life for his country. We also learn that he died alone, homeless, and ignored by all of us. The choice was all his. The irony of his passing should not escape us. It was after all, Christmas Eve; the Christian season of giving and charity. Yet, in one quiet and frozen urine infested doorway in the middle of a cold winter’s night, died a man who felt not a bit of alleged Christian culture that supposedly dominates our nation.
    ... continued


  • December 22, 2007:
    Tis the Season to Drink and Drive:
    It is NOT illegal to drink and drive. New York and the rest of the United States has never taken a position that we do not want people drinking and driving. In fact, we encourage drinking and driving. Bars do not come to your house and they do not offer rides to all their patrons. Same with restaurants and office parties; there is plenty of booze and no rides for the partygoers. We know and accept that people get behind the wheel of a car. It does not bother us.
    ... continued


  • December 20, 2007:
    Whose Fat Is It?:
    So why at the same time, do taxpayers have to fund fat people? Why should those of us who can manage food consumption without having to buy two airline seats be punished and denied access to junk food or Burger King? Should all adults be required to drink milk because their babies cannot chew steak? Of course we should fund fat people. We should build restaurants. Let the fat people eat their cake and their bread. Let our hospitals and airlines burst at the seams from fat people. I have no objection to paying for their sins; so long as they do not object to paying for mine.
    ... continued


  • December 18, 2007:
    My Achilles Butt:
    Perhaps one day, like Achilles, I will meet an Amazon who will whisk me away to the an Island or the woods, hold me captive with strong ropes and a gag, and maintain me prisoner until this devil is exorcised from my soul. Yet as fate will have it, my death will not be from petite morte but I envision a long slow painful experience as the damage I have wrought upon me consumes what remains. My butt is my Achilles' Heel. Ain't that a kick in the ass.
    ... continued


  • December 17, 2007:
    Words of Wisdom:
    In response to one such recent presentation, the instructor gave his students a quiz about my presentation. Students were asked three questions: What did they learn from me? Questions they still had for me? Was there something I said that challenged their beliefs or understanding of the law? Some of the responses (with names omitted) were forwarded to me for my consideration. A few responses are provided here for your entertainment and consideration.
    ... continued


  • December 15, 2007:
    Ice, Ice, Baby:
    In honor of the first real snowfall of the winter of 2007/2008, the MarkBlum Report© has regurgitated from its January and February 2005 archives, the gripping tale of one lawyer’s slow slippery slide into an icicle induced insanity. Warning: Not for the faint of heart.
    ... continued


  • December 14, 2007:
    Senator George Mitchell’s Wild Pitch:
    In releasing his report yesterday, Senator Mitchell has taken it upon himself to expose the wide ranging use of steroids in professional sports. Another Senator, John McCain, once threatened Baseball’s Commissioner Bud Selig, get rid of them “or else” the Senate will. Someone should tell our government to stick a sock in it. They threaten to use power of their respective offices to bring about a change in a private industry that is beyond the reach of the Commerce Clause. More importantly, it is yet another finger in the eye of freedom and the values of liberty that we all cherish. The Federal Government has nothing to do with Baseball or sports at all; and should just shut the hell up.
    ... continued


  • December 13, 2007:
    The Night Chicago Died:
    I truly worry about my dear friends who live in the meatpacking capital of the world. They really need to remove their sausage and hamburger filled heads out of their pizza sized butts. Unfortunately, the lily-livered City Council chickened out to the goose stepping forces of political correctness. Instead of protecting cherished American freedom and soaring with the eagles, the City of Chicago has laid yet another turkey at the feet of the American public.
    ... continued


  • December 11, 2007:
    Lies My D.A. Told Me:
    Our District Attorney should be embarrassed to stand proud and proclaim there is no racial bias in Onondaga County arrest and prosecution rates. He can attack a single study or a single reporter. Over time and over multiple studies, the result is the same: Onondaga County is a very dangerous place for an African American and that police and prosecutors are a threat to freedom and liberty. Their statements go unchallenged and reporters ignore the problem.
    ... continued


  • December 10, 2007:
    Santa’s Going Upside Your Head:
    It is that time of year again when this evil hearted, child hating, Christian baiting, Jew volunteers his services on behalf of that fat man and his worldwide mission of bringing pleasure to Christian spawn. Specifically, children all over send in their wishes and prayers to the Great and Powerful Claus via U.S. mail and my local post office pawns it off on me. The irony cannot be lost that responding to such dreams is the offspring of the killer of Christ. Being as busy as he is at this time of year, Santa calls upon some of us to step up and help him get his job done in time. Failure to make timely delivery results in Santa paying substantial late fees.
    ... continued


  • December 09, 2007:
    Land That I Love:
    Guess where I live? ... The police have powers to stop, detain, and imprison me without trial, lawyer, witnesses, evidence, or even charge for an indefinite period of time. Trials can now be held in secret and I am subject to a death penalty without civilian review. I can be interrogated and tortured and if unsuccessful, be rendered to a nation that will be far more persuasive. Anything I say in such situations will be used against me and admitted at my trial. Police can break into my house without warning at any hour and I can be executed if I use deadly force to defend myself. Citizens can be prosecuted on a charge of “conspiracy” without being told of a “conspiracy to commit what” and evidence can be provided to a jury without the defendant even knowing about it.
    ... continued


  • December 07, 2007:
    The Surrender of America:
    No number of homicide bombers or falling airplanes can change us as a people or end our government. Ours is a nation that to the last person, will carry the spirit of the constitution and battles for liberty fought over the centuries. Killing three thousand of us in one day proved that we are just too big in spirit, size, and power to be destroyed militarily. Abraham Lincoln early on recognized that no foreign power will ever have boots on the banks of the Ohio River; that which will destroy us will come from within.
    ... continued


  • December 06, 2007:
    Blood on the Warpath:
    It would seem congratulations are again in order. Our Federal Law Enforcement managed to shut down a drug network on an Indian reservation on the Canadian border to smuggle at least six tons of high-grade marijuana into the United States in 2004 and 2005. Toasts all around and let the champagne pour. The war is over. Marijuana is gone and the demand and supply is forever and permanently disabled.
    ... continued


  • December 05, 2007:
    Paging Doctor Mengele:
    Mercy killing? When Terry Schaivo had to languish and suffer for so long by starvation because doctors and religionists denied her pain relief. But when faced with the slightest pressure, a quick shot of morphine, and a dark place to go ni-ni … that is how American doctors respond to suffering and helplessness of their patients. Kill the patient because it is easier than protecting and saving them? Or, nowadays, ignore the patient because of their nation of origin.
    ... continued


  • December 04, 2007:
    Protest American Style:
    I truly respect my Muslim brothers and their right to be offended as called for in their paradigm. It is not my place nor yours nor anybody’s to pass judgment on the religious and moral beliefs of anyone. Whether it is naming a pet Mooohammed or placing the Ten Commandments at the Court House Steps, or legislating issues such as sex, drugs, gambling, or lifestyle; enabling the forces of religion to take over civil society presents a dangerous threat. In the Sudan and elsewhere in the Middle East, we see this over and over. Ask Salmon Rushdie.
    ... continued


  • December 03, 2007:
    Fight the Battles on the Homefront First:
    More than twenty thousand Americans died in the period from when we realized our involvement in Viet Nam was a mistake until the last serviceperson was evacuated. In Iraq, we have now reached a national consensus that too was a mistake and now the question is how many more die before we finally call it quits. But, this is not about Viet Nam nor Iraq. This is about the City of Syracuse and the question of how many more must die before the City quits killing its own. I personally am sick and disgusted with how our system is destroying lives and ruining futures every day for no other reason that job security for a handful of fanatics.
    ... continued


  • December 01, 2007:
    A Murder in Oz:
    Yet another generation of American children are being taught that murder is good; taught how to lie and cheat. Once again, Americans are subliminally indoctrinated to stand up and support murderers, criminals, and drug use. Remember from the tale, the so-called Good Witch, Glinda? The facts are that she is a lying killer who, together with that con man from the Emerald City, conspired to use and manipulate Dorothy to commit the most gruesome of murders. Glinda deserves the death penalty. She should not be elevated to the status of heroine. These are the undisputed facts:
    ... continued


  • November 29, 2007:
    Graduating Ignorance at Fayetteville Manlius High School:
    I asked the class, 'who, according to our Founders, is the greatest enemy of the People of the United States?' After having some fun with answers ranging from Al Qaeda to George Bush, I pointed out how this nation was conceived on the principle that ‘government, though a necessary evil, will always be the most dangerous enemy to liberty and freedom.’ .... The comment to ‘learn to accept it’ was at the crux of this discussion. It presupposes that We, the People must stand quiet while government slowly and in small steps strips away our freedoms and our privacy. Those who opine that we should learn to accept it present an argument treasonous to our nation and its history.
    ... continued


  • November 28, 2007:
    No More Birthdays in America:
    It has always been understood that to an American, the date you were expunged from your mother’s womb was the most important date in your life. According to the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, all your rights and privileges as an American immediately attached the moment of your birth. But the culture and law of the United States is changing such that the date of your birth is a meaningless event. The date of your birth no longer is as significant a date as is the date of your conception. It seems to me that Americans should no longer recognize birthdays but instead should start celebrating ‘Conception Day’.
    ... continued


  • November 27, 2007:
    How High is Too High?:
    We spare nobody in our fear of bad guys. Crime rates today are comparable to 1973 rates and yet the numbers bear out the following: One-third of all black males, one-sixth of Latino males, and one in 17 white males will go to prison during their lives. Women represent the fastest-growing segment of the prison population. Add to that almost 3,000 American children who are imprisoned for “life”; non-white children, are 10 times more likely than white children to be given life without parole. ... We need to change our policies. We need to end the drug war. We need to stop imprisoning people who are not a threat to people or property and find other alternative sentences. Society has to learn tolerance and stay out of how others live their lives.
    ... continued


  • November 25, 2007:
    Fence Off Lou Dobbs and the Big Fat Immigration Lie:
    Yet, it is “we” and our harshening policies that have created this strain. If people coming here could work, pay taxes, get a drivers license, and be in the mainstream, then we would not be experiencing the problems we do. Let them do it for a month or a year or 20 years or a lifetime and even return home if they so desire. But, rather than enabling people to be normal and function in society according to its norms, we drive these people underground. We force them to work for cash, to not pay taxes, to fake IDs, to live 30 people to an apartment, and to keep having anchor babies. How does the old saying go? “Prohibition Doesn’t Work”, it only creates an underground black market economy and infects overall society with worsening crime rates and rising social welfare costs.
    ... continued


  • November 23, 2007:
    Socialized Capitalism:
    In these grand United States, there is presently a debate whether medical care should be universal and a right inherent to every citizen. Opposing the concept are the relics and old folks who equate socialism with Stalin and cannot separate the political paradigm from those who have abused it in the past. ... Is it me or can we all accept the reality that sooner or later we are all going to need medical care. Providing ‘universal’ or ‘socialized’ medicine and cutting out the insurance companies will shift medical care to the same status as fire, police, courts, infrastructure, and education. Medical care should be seen as fundamental and basic a human need as any other.
    ... continued


  • November 22, 2007:
    Post Traumatic Stress Disorder:
    Blessings from God or from Mother Earth or just the results of your own sweat and toil should always be treasured. Never forget that everything around you; your family, your job, your wealth, and your happiness … all of it, can be gone in an instant. Like many of you, I once felt invincible. I once felt as though nothing could harm me and I could weather any storm. Homelessness and standing in food lines changed that arrogance. If there is anything for which there is to give Thanks, give your thanks to the million and one people whose paths crossed your own and through one gesture or another, made your life just that much better and gave you that much more comfort and peace.
    ... continued


  • November 21, 2007:
    The Meaningless Burden of “Being”:
    (An act of pure fiction; maybe)
    I tried again to write but instead of my fingers dancing across a keyboard and singing along with my muse, I felt like I was rolling boulders around my keys and hoping for literature. “It” was gone. One defines “it” as being that ineffable quality that allows an artists' fingers to dance across a piano or computer keyboard. Instead, I slime the monitor and hide from the more eloquent prose coming from my young daughter. Sisyphus had more luck than did I.
    ... continued


  • November 19, 2007:
    White House Aims Blackwater Gunsights at American Civilians:
    With Blackwater engaged, the backsplash will be a coalescing of the “enemy” against the government and its mercenaries. Fifteen Billion dollars worth of American blood is about to flow for another generation. Simply put, how it is that despite everything, despite Blackwater or Black Tar, there is nobody out there today who if they want any particular drug, not only can get it easily, but probably has some already. If we cannot keep drugs and CELLPHONES out of our supermax prisons, how are we ever going to keep them out of a free society?
    ... continued


  • November 18, 2007:
    Our Annual War on Christmas:
    We have been badgered for a generation by Christian extremists on how Christ had been removed from America’s Christmas. They attacked retailers and singers, charged America had turned anti-Christian, and made more noise than an Iraqi funeral. Though the right wing crazies no longer control our federal legislature, they still control the media and compete with extremist Islamic Imams for the loudest mouths on the planet.
    ... continued


  • November 15, 2007:
    Governor Spitzer; a Tempest in a Teapot:
    There is only one honorable thing for Mr. Spitzer to do: Resign from office for being a coward and backing down from what he knows is right. Anything less is just his effort to suckle more taxpayer dollars for his ever fattening pension while he does absolutely nothing good for the people he was elected to serve.
    ... continued


  • November 13, 2007:
    The Sorry Case of S.O.R.A.:
    Each case has to be taken to trial because if the government is going to take your life away from you and brand you for life with the scarlet letter of sex offender, there is no downside to a trial. In fact, there is a tremendous upside because proving a sex case; especially a statutory rape case, is exceedingly difficult on a good day. Fighting the case and requiring the 15 year old girl to come in and give detailed embarrassing testimony is a shameful blight on our court system. Prosecutors and defense attorneys cannot negotiate a disposition that meets the ends of justice. Instead, no deals and no negotiations are going to become the norm and the victimization will continue.
    ... continued


  • November 11, 2007:
    DARKNESS:
    (My muse has abandoned me. I hate when she does that because it leaves me vaccuous and dry. So, instead I offer you a piece of fiction I wrote years ago. It is admittedly sloppy and at times hokey. But it has received some interesting reviews. People tend to see themselves in it. If you like it, let me know. I have more).
    ... continued


  • November 10, 2007:
    The Lawyer’s Lament:
    But with each experience, with each client – each human being and situation, I come away fuller. For as much as I give to the client and the case, I take back in the experience of being able to be so intimately involved in the human condition. It is also true that when they aren’t looking, I may take a piece or two of my client’s heart with me. Fair, after all, is fair.
    ... continued


  • November 09, 2007:
    Where is the Mystery Voter?:
    So, to whomever you are and wherever you are hiding; to that mystery voter whose decision was made by a lawn sign, telephone recording, or a 5x7 four color glossy postcard mailing “to our friends at” … I really want to meet you. Personally I doubt such a voter exists. But if they do, I bet they would prove Winston Churchill right. “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”
    ... continued


  • November 07, 2007:
    Posers:
    How dark is your heart? How evil are your fantasies? Of what do you think about when you are alone and pondering your life situation? Where is that magic line where the slow poisoning of your employer remains in your head and does not materialize at lunch tomorrow?
    ... continued


  • November 06, 2007:
    A Shame on the United States Military:
    Our Constitution has to be the loudest voice in any of our policy discussions. If our military does not respect the honor code to which they once swore, “to uphold, defend, and protect the constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic”, including the INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY part, then who can trust them to keep us safe from encroachments upon other facets of the parched hemp.
    ... continued


  • November 01, 2007:
    Problem Solved:
    For the many who will walk the same streets as did George, at least they will have shoes. Nobody will harass you at stop lights or in the Armory for a few pennies for footwear. At the same time, when and if you see a homeless person wearing a new pair of Nikes, don’t be jealous. In an instant, you could end up seated right next to him in your own brand new Reeboks. Ask me, I can tell you some stories.
    ... continued


  • October 31, 2007:
    Candy is Dandy, but .... :
    “Hey, aren’t you the same guy who was here 3 years ago?” When I answered in the affirmative, he said … “thanks a lot, you scared my kid so bad that she refuses to go out trick or treating for 3 yrs now.” Well, I felt bad for about 2 seconds and then really had to smile. GOOD. Happy Halloween.
    ... continued


  • October 29, 2007:
    Save the Blacksmiths:
    New York's State Senator, Charles Schumer is proposing once again, to pack up an appropriations bill fat with pork and welfare for farmers. I say, "no more welfare for farmers."
    ... continued


  • October 26, 2007:
    Social Security: The Necessary Slaughter of the Sacred Cow:
    We should always have in place a safety net that will catch anybody for whatever reasons whose retirement and savings falls below a certain level (to be determined by people smarter than am I). Nobody should ever have to go through life fearing starvation and homelessness as the reward for a lifetime of work and contribution. That should be set in stone as a civil and basic right for every single American. Heck, if the Iraqis can guarantee it to their citizens, why cannot we?
    ... continued


  • October 24, 2007:
    It Is Not Illegal to Drink and Drive in New York; Period.:
    We, and the rest of the United States have never taken a position that we do not want people drinking and driving. In fact, we encourage drinking and driving. Bars do not come to your house and they do not offer rides to all their patrons. Same with restaurants and office parties; there is plenty of booze and no rides for the partygoers. We know and accept that people get behind the wheel of a car after they have been drinking. It does not bother us.
    ... continued


  • October 23, 2007:
    There’s a Place in France Where the Jews Wear the Pants:
    Kudos to the Father and son demanding equal treatment and honesty in education. Not a chance they will do as well before the Human Rights Commission as they would before a Federal jury. That notwithstanding; Mexico schools are lucky they messed with a passive Jew. Had my daughter come home spouting such a tale, the teacher would have a giant Menorah sticking out of her ass.
    ... continued


  • October 21, 2007:
    Jefferson County (NY) Plans Grand Theft Auto:
    Two things every sane citizen needs to know. First, there is no requirement that the accused be convicted of any of these crimes for them to come and take it. Second, this is a civil situation so the accused gets no lawyer, no constitutional rights, and the DA-cum-civil attorney is now just another tax collector. Every police agency is included in the lottery, including EnCons. Every uniformed police officer in Jefferson County is working on commission.
    ... continued


  • October 19, 2007:
    Entrapped to Death:
    We have to allow the cyberspace freedom of expression to reach out for its’ zenith. There can be no limits on content of DISCUSSION. If two people are masturbating (“cybering” as it is known in the industry) and are sharing an active yet private role playing fantasy; what role should police and government play? Dreaming of government and police bent down on all fours and braying like a mule might be an interesting fantasy. Maybe one of them will email me and we can discuss it further. Don’t you fantasize about the District Attorney in a frilly pink tutu with nipple clamps and a ball gag? I can … and do … often. ... continued


  • October 18, 2007:
    American Soldiers Fight Losing Battle on the Home Front:
    For those who sweat blood and face bullets, I call upon my Congressmen and Senators to enact emergency legislation that prevents any State Court from taking any action against an active duty soldier solely because they wear the uniform. This includes custody. If you think the President’s policy of Stop / Loss is bad, you should see the face of a father soldier feeling the loss of his children because his President cannot stop surging into war. If you perceive the horrors of Walter Reed and pain of injured vets, imagine the pain in the heart of a parent losing contact with a child and suffering financial hardship for no other reason than choosing to serve their nation. ... continued


  • October 17, 2007:
    Fireside Chat:
    Dear Mr. Divorce Lawyer, not so many years ago I was a struggling Corporal, far away in the Middle East, and even with the second job I had over there shelving books at the FOB library, my family still needed food stamps and WIC in order to make ends meet. It was hurtful and embarrassing to me to be on the public dole. Since then, I have smashed my nose to the grindstone so hard that I have drawn blood, both figurative and literal. Wrapped in stars and stripes, I have been ugly, cursed, decried, and damaged, but I made something of myself. Even though I have lost pieces of me in places I still shudder to think of, I have pulled my remnants together and turned them into something solid. I have made bounds forward because of my drive. It matters not now. I see the writing on the wall; the shakedown I was speaking of. ... continued


  • November 3-5, 2007:
    Term Limits Day:  Deep Thoughts about the Local Elections:
    In the end, it matters not for whom you vote. More important than even for whom is that you indeed get off your fat lazy ass and vote. You are willing to send American soldiers thousands of miles to die in the sand for others to have the right to vote. It would be a sin and disgrace to their honor if you are too lazy to walk across the street and cast your own.
    ... continued


  • October 27, 2007:
    The Incumbent with no Hart:
    After sixteen years “as the County’s Chief Law Enforcement Officer” (with apologies to Sheriff Walsh), the incumbent’s best claim to fame on the issue of crime is that, “crime hasn’t risen” on his watch. Of course there was the exception year when it really jumped. But the incumbent opines that it is a good thing that crime hasn’t risen in 16 years. One would hope that a quality District Attorney could at least claim some credit for a drop in crime. A decade and a half is plenty of time to make some significant change. Failure to do so belongs nowhere else but in the incumbent’s lap.
    ... continued


  • October 16, 2007:
    The Law is the Law, Like it or Not:
    The gall of a judge to blankly declare that maintaining a Blog and expressing an opinion therein and sharing his suffering and betrayal is a spit in the eye of those who aimed their muskets at Bunker Hill. Are a man’s thoughts and feelings now an issue upon which a custody decision can be made or for which a court of law would issue a sanction? I say “for shame”. The attorney who raised these issues has at least a colorable claim to urinating on our most basic constitutional freedoms. But a judge who looks a man in the eye and says his children will be taken from him because he spoke publicly of his life brings shame upon the robe he wears. He disrespects the constitution. ... continued


  • October 15, 2007:
    The Stench of Ann Coulter’s Vagina:
    I hear that the old girl has been flapping her aging lips again. Jews are her new target though she "hopes" to see us "perfected" through conversion to Christianity. She also maintains America would be ideal if everybody were Christian. ... Ann Coulter and her vagina should just dry up and go away. If the last national election proved anything, it is that we are tired of the blood and tired of the stench and tired and getting fucked over by Theocrats and Republicans. ... continued


  • October 13, 2007:
    Poisoned Waters :
    I will let you decide whether the this is a true story. Only the parties involved and the Syracuse Police CID know the truth. My thoughts are that a crime victim had to suffer the embarrassment of police being jerks to the victim and his friends when the alleged mission was to get the victim’s signature on the statement. I cant think of anything less professional.
    ... continued


  • October 10, 2007:
    Candidates for County Executive and Comptroller Hooked on Drugs:
    Neither candidate for Comptroller, David Antonacci nor Richard Brickwedde bothered to respond to an inquiry. Are these two just party hacks filling a void on a ballot or are they sincere in their goals of managing and controlling the County’s budget? ... The proof is in the pudding that should the County conduct such an analysis, ... and isolate the dollars being spent on a failed policy,... millions of dollars could be salvaged and redirected toward more needy and productive programs.
    ... continued


  • October 09, 2007:
    My Proclamation of Emancipation:
    As an adult, I demand that the Moms and Dads return my America to me. Stop reading my mail. Stop searching my room. Stop taking my stuff. Let me think what I wish, write what I want, and speak as loud as I can. If you are afraid of an enemy, then go get him. But the enemy is not me and in your over zealous but kind hearted efforts to protect me, you Mommies and Daddies have caused me more harm than any enemy of this nation. I feel that my country has become a fortress; a bedroom in which I am locked. I am being punished because someone else wants to hurt me.
    ... continued


  • October 07, 2007:
    Blind Justice and Her State of Confusion:
    Just a couple of weeks ago when Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts spoke here at Syracuse University, he stressed how the First Amendment does not guarantee anyone the rights of free speech. “The protections provided are only as strong as the independence of the judges who are sworn to uphold the Constitution.” Almost one year earlier, Justice Scalia during a talk on the judiciary ... Scalia dismissed the idea of judicial independence as an absolute virtue. The good Justice went on to say that, "you talk about independence as though it is unquestionably and unqualifiably a good thing. It may not be. It depends on what your courts are doing."
    ... continued


  • October 06, 2007:
    Buryin’ Marion:
    Oh great, Marion Jones has confessed to steroid use during her rise to infamy. Just today it was announced Denver Bronco’s running back Travis Henry, the league’s leading rusher is facing a one year suspension for a positive drug test. Barry Bonds just whacked #758. Then, there is Lance Armstrong and his pals on Tour De Farce.
    ... continued


  • October 04, 2007:
    The Business of Divorce:
    The answers? Stay married, if you already are. Don't, if you are not. If you unfortunately find yourself in a divorce, settle. Forget about the cheating, the sexual dysfunction, the loneliness. It does nothing but make matters worse. Treat the process as a business settlement. It only requires that you two get along for just a few more hours and knock out an agreement. There is no better way to scam the lawyers than to peaceably resolve the issues, cut your losses, lick your wounds, and get out there and do it all over again. You could give the money to me or keep it for yourselves.
    ... continued


  • October 03, 2007:
    (Once again) Meet the Next Onondaga County District Attorney:
    In the end, I hope our next District Attorney attacks his job with the same ferocity as our incumbent. Most importantly, however, is the fact that the time has come to inaugurate a “next” District Attorney so that we can move forward. Sixteen years is just too much for any one person.
    ... continued


  • October 01, 2007:
    On Being a Jackass:
    Today’s Democratic Party is showing itself as being a toothless tiger. I still wait to be proven wrong in my belief that Karl Rove engineered the Democratic victory in 2006. By the time 2008 rolls around, America will be sick to death of the impotent irrelevant failure-to-act Democrats. So far, Democrats have failed to prove otherwise.
    ... continued


  • September 30, 2007:
    President Bush, Please Veto That Bill:
    Protection of our weakest is a responsibility of all of us. Before you increase taxes to anyone in this nation, Mr. President, first you should consider spending cuts. If you stop the war in Iraq for one hour, you could fund the entire $35 billion without increasing taxes one cent.
    ... continued


  • September 28, 2007:
    Governor Spitzer Meets Chickens Little:
    The bottom line is this: When you see a driver on the road, you do not know if they have a license or a clue about their immigration status. As you drive down that highway with your precious children in the back seat, which is more important to you … that the driver in the next car be legally in the United States or that they have established a minimum proficiency at driving. The answer to that question could mean the difference between life and death.
    ... continued


  • September 27, 2007:
    Sexual Perversity in Oneida, New York:
    The argument goes that a level 2 or level 3 sex offender constitutes a high risk of re-offending. So too might a murderer re-offend. A thief might steal again, an abuser might abuse again, and an alcoholic may drive drunk again. We cannot know what is in a person’s heart and mind. Based on Oneida’s logic, they seek to protect children from predators, but care not one whit about murderers, thieves, or drunk drivers prowling the City. Where is the legislation restricting where those people can live?
    ... continued


  • September 25, 2007:
    Silent Screams and Invisible Tears:
    As the last officer was driving off, I believe it was the sergeant, I told him that everybody was going to demand I explain what happened to the couple hundred people gathered outside. He told me I had better explain to them the law. I assured him I would ... and did … the law of the Fourth Amendment and the law of civil rights litigation. Syracuse police is not only its own worst enemy but is a threat to the entire county. As they go about their greet-and-beat policy, the distrust and anger is building. Every resident of the County and every visitor to Syracuse is at risk.
    ... continued


  • September 24, 2007:
    Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged:
    It seems to me that a military court is limited in scope and thought to the military. Though they may try a civilian issue, like routine criminal acts, the prosecutor and defense attorney and judge and jury are all military. They talk military and use military process and procedures. Without a doubt, the courts are likewise run with military efficiency; both efficiently and SNAFU. ... A rare opportunity befell a regular author on this site. I will let him tell you in his own words. "I was the bailiff in a court martial. I was like, 'cool, this’ll be a new experience, me in court, no lawyer to pay, and I get to walk away without a bleeding rectum.' Sweet, right?"
    ... continued


  • September 22, 2007:
    Sheriff Walsh, Do the Right Thing:
    Quoted in the newspaper, the Sheriff stated his office and budget was no longer capable to provide both county-wide patrol and donate manpower and resources to what is affectionately known as ‘Operation Impact’. ... Under any analysis, we County taxpayers should not shoulder the burden for Syracuse’s failed ability to educate and employ its’ youth or resolve its poverty. If the City wants to arrest an entire class of People, I do not want to be a part of that and neither should my tax dollars. ... Perhaps County Legislators will listen and red line taxpayer participation in a race based unfair and completely ineffective policy that serves only the City, the State court, and prison system.
    ... continued


  • September 20, 2007:
    Wrong Way Richardson:
    Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson called for fat people to be protected by the Americans for Disabilities Act. “This is an issue of basic civil rights. There are no federal laws that protect obese Americans from discrimination in the workplace, school, or anywhere else. This must change.” With due respect, this candidate is working the problem from the wrong direction. Fat people do not deserve special shielding by our nation’s civil rights laws. In fact, based on relative consumption, fat people should be paying higher taxes and greater proportionate costs of health care and other social expenses.
    ... continued


  • September 18, 2007:
    The Clinton / Obama / Edwards Health Care Swindle:
    Americans are being swindled by the leading contenders for the Democratic nomination for President. Each has proposed a health care plan that more or less mirrors the other. All three plans have common faults that will cause the entire system to fail.
       1. Employer driven health care is unmanageable and will fiscally disable free market development.
       2. Insurance companies have no role to play except as greedy intervenors and Democrats want to fund these companies.
       3. A classic example of health care in an insurance controlled industry.
       4. Here is what happens when the insurance industry takes over the State’s job of investigating health care options.
    ... continued


  • September 17, 2007:
    Vote; As If Your Life Depends On It:
    Do not vote for a candidate because you ‘think’ they will win. This is not a football game and you are not betting on the winner. No candidate is ahead, has a lock, is winning, or is going to win until the very moment the polls close. Before you flip that switch, regardless of the promises you made to your friends and family … before you flip that switch … did you do it because of party or because you think the candidate is going to win … or did you flip that switch because in your heart, you voted for the person you believe best capable of bringing Onondaga County into the 21st Century and to build a world class legacy for the children of your great grandchildren.
    ... continued

  • September 16, 2007:
    Nick Pirro Must Be On Drugs:
    One point five BILLION dollars to run Onondaga County for one year? Up Nearly half a million dollars from last year. More hundred thousand dollars for a computer program to catch a handful of cheats. More million dollars to refurbish the County Court House. No demands made for City of Syracuse government to clean up its mess. County Government has lost its mind. This Republican dominated County leadership must be on some very good drugs to propose a budget of $1.5 Billion. Is there a nominee out there in the upcoming race who has real solutions and not bumper sticker slogans?
    ... continued

  • September 13, 2007:
    Life is Universal, Dude. So too is my Church:
    Sitting on the bench in a Court of law and calling a duly ordained Minister and his Church a mockery, is itself a mockery of the law. It matters not whether the relationship was sanctioned by God, by a Judge, by a Mayor, by Elvis in Vegas, or by a Captain at sea, a marriage is not a mockery because of who presided over it. A marriage is a mockery because of the behavior of its participants.
    ... continued

  • September 11, 2007:
    It’s ‘Guliani Time’ in the Immigration Game:
    “Rudy Giuliani said that being an illegal immigrant isn't a crime, and it shouldn't be one in the future either .” Guliani went on further to say that, "It's not a crime. I know that's very hard for people to understand, but it's not a federal crime. No, it shouldn't be, because the government wouldn't be able to prosecute it. We couldn't prosecute 12 million people. We have only 2 million people in jail right now for all the crimes that are committed in the country."
    ... continued

  • September 10, 2007:
    All Rise:
    May it please the Court: United States Magistrate Hon. George H. Lowe, has been named the receipient of the Onondaga County Bar Association’s 2007 Distinguished Lawyer Award. No person living or dead, of whom I am aware would be more deserving of such an honor. He will receive his award on October 11, 2007 at the OCBA’s 132nd Annual Dinner. Truly such an honor is a vast and gross understatement of the dignity and credibility that George Lowe brings to the profession. It honestly brings tears to my eyes and makes my heart swell to think of him being so named. As one of those few bright beacons to whom I look toward and try to emulate, I cannot help but be all ferklept when a friend and mentor grabs the honors. It signals that I am headed in the right direction and respecting the right people.
    ... continued

  • September 09, 2007:
    Liberate America from the Republican Party:
    To paraphrase my President in a speech given in prime time on September 11, 2006, “we are in the midst of the great ideological battle of the Second Millennium.” He called it the “battle for civilization.” I couldn’t agree more. In fact, I would carry the President’s message one step further. I argue that we now stand at the precipice of change. However which way we leap forward, our next move will be drastic and our society will be changed forever. Are we living through what will be known to future generations as the early days of the American holocaust? As November approaches and we choose our next leaders, the question becomes one of whether we will continue forward with the attitude and behavior last seen in the 1930’s with the rise of the German National Socialists.
    ... continued

  • September 08, 2007:
    Election Season in Onondaga County; Who Gets Arrested Today?:
    Every time you arrest a ‘drug dealer’, though you shut down a drug network, you also create job openings for a new one. Since the employment scene in the drug market is not one regulated by government but instead run by organized crime, whenever police go out and sweep clean a street, there is always a subsequent and lasting rush of violence and death. Vendettas last forever. The innocent are dying in the crossfire. I ask you: When is the cycle of violence and addiction to the drug war going to stop? How many more dead and wounded children will it take before people sit down and finally put and end to this game. The only ones profiting are the criminals and the cops and the prison industry.
    ... continued

  • Special Report:
    (In light of the Syracuse Newspapers' story of September 6, 2007
    and Judge Fahey's criticism of the Assigned Counsel Program,
    we ask you to please consider this alternative solution).

    Onondaga County Needs a Public Defender:
    I propose now, as I have long advocated, that Onondaga County create an office of a Public Defender. Our community needs a public official on par with the District Attorney, with a budget and resources suitable to meet the indigent defense needs of our County. ... It is not just the indigent criminal defendants that are desperate for help. Everything from social security to security deposits, from civil cases to dealing with caseworkers, the market lacks a cohesive solid strategy for dealing with and providing full services to those most in need. There must be at least eight to ten different agencies, all residing in separate locations, each protecting a slice of the political pie, and none working together or sharing resources or information. In today’s legal world, too many of the indigent have problems and issues that span from one agency to another; leaving the client having to run duplicate missions and endure conflicting attorneys and approaches.
    ... continued

  • September 06, 2007:
    Who Is In Charge Here?:
    Since Congress cannot even shield Humvees in Iraq, how much can we trust them to protect our rights as New Yorkers? The Supreme Court has given free reign to the Federal Government to dismantle every right in every State that is more protective than how the Federal agents interpret them. It is baffling that any American would ever want to surrender their rights under the Second Amendment.
    ... continued

  • September 05, 2007:
    An Open Letter to Judith LaManna Rivette:
    Ms. Rivette, the problem is not with the public relations department. Employees of an organization always reflect the attitude of management. Dan O’Hara came into the Fair with the attitude that he was our Daddy and was going to make us behave according to his world view whether we liked it or not. As you so aptly note, few if any folks enjoyed the attitude.
    ... continued

  • September 04, 2007:
    Blowing Away the Constitutional Promise :
    Specifically, I refer to the New York State Fair Director, a political appointee and “government official” who summarily and without legal basis or due process, removed a Blue Ribbon Award Winning photograph from display at the New York State Fair. ... Allowing a government official to summarily act on his own sense of art is a direct frontal assault on that most basic fundamental right. Let him be offended; art is supposed to draw out emotions. No government or individual therein has any lawful right to censor content because they personally find it offensive.
    ... continued

  • September 02, 2007:
    No Welfare for Gamblers:
    A strange trio of bedfellows has come together arguing that the taxpayers of the United States should be providing welfare benefits and tax relief to gamblers. President Bush, Senator Hillary Clinton, and Bill Gross, manager of the world's biggest bond fund at Pacific Investment Management Co. have raised a hue and cry for public assistance to millions of American gamblers who took a risk and lost.
    ... continued

  • August 23 to September 3, 2007:
    Rat Tales `07:
    One Lawyer's Annual Descent Down the Rabbit Hole at the 2007 New York State Fair. (Updated September 4, 2007)
    ... continued

  • August 27, 2007:
    In Memoriam:
    Over the course of my life, I have met few people who have overcome so much and managed to succeed in life. Recently, one such remarkable woman died. In her collections was found a letter she wrote to her children about her life and how she endured Hitler’s concentration camps and came to the United States, built a wonderful life, and raised three beautiful children. News just arrived of her passing. I felt the letter she wrote is something we should all read as a testament to the human spirit.
    ... continued

  • August 23, 2007:
    The Law is the Law, Like it or Not:
    My learned opponent went so far as to bring a photocopy of a pornographic magazine titled “Dirty Sanchez” and I can only assume she was intending to bring that to the Court’s attention as well. It would all be laughable how far this attorney was seeking to dig had it not been such a serious affront and direct assault upon the rights to Free Expression guaranteed by the United States Constitution. While the right to swing your fist ends at the tip of my nose, my right to free speech does not end at the point of your ear or the corneas of your eyes. Being offensive is the birthright of free speech.
    ... continued

  • August 22, 2007:
    Shed a Tear for Sex Offender Rights:
    It is fashionable of late to target the sex offender as society’s whipping boy du jour. A decade ago, it was drug users and drug dealers. Five years ago, it was terrorists. Today, it is the sex offender. Tomorrow – hopefully, Republicans. “Sex offenders” conjure up the most evil and vile of images in our minds. Relying upon that human frailty, candidates and public servants have been focusing their re-election and straw man energies upon sex offenders to keep our attention off real issues. Who, after all, is going to defend a sex offender or advocate they should be allowed to live near schools, churches, and parks? I am.
    ... continued

  • August 20, 2007:
    The Ugliest Americans:
    I am just appalled at my fellow citizens. From doctors murdering patients in a hospital to police abandoning their posts to a total collapse of civil order, I have never in my 48 years in this Country or in anything I have learned in history, seen such callous indifference by one American to another. Soldiers have died in raids to rescue one American. Leaving no one behind was our battle cry. Black flags fly everywhere in this Country specifically because we do not turn our back on our citizens; ever.
    ... continued

  • August 19, 2007:
    The Second Commandment:
    Suppose all those years ago, some white dude who looked a lot like Charlton Heston climbed up Mt. Sinai and receive an engraved rock with just ten rules by which all mankind was to live. (This would be a surprise since mankind could not even follow God’s one law all those years earlier; something about not eating an apple – and now He wanted us to follow ten). For purposes of this discussion, let’s just assume that these ‘tablets’ are the root and basis for all law as we know it.
    ... continued

  • August 16, 2007:
    No Curfew Law in Syracuse:
    One does not have to look far into the past to see the results of the City’s last great experiment to “clean the streets” of children. The Common Council passed into law an ordinance banning “loitering”. What that did was give police the right to approach any gathering of young people and start questioning, searching, and arresting. The ordinance was used by police to harass, intimidate, and ruin the lives of a statistically disproportionate number of young black males in the community. Now, Common Councilors want to give police yet another reason to approach, question, and ‘be in the face of’ children.
    ... continued

  • August 14, 2007:
    Meet the Next Onondaga County District Attorney:
    Onondaga County’s next District Attorney should likewise appoint a special prosecutor whose sole purpose is to explore official corruption cases. ... Claims of violence and abuse pour in from all segments of society. While I fully expect Chiefs of Police to blindly stand behind their officers; prosecutors should not be so quick to just take the word of police.
    ... continued

  • August 11, 2007:
    By TINA BENNETT, Candidate for Onondaga County District Attorney
    PERCEIVED IMPROPRIETIES IN FEDELI PROSECUTION:
    “While it is commendable that the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Department referred the investigation to another agency, I am troubled deeply by the fact that the District Attorney did not recognize the identical and inherent conflict.” Bennet further states, “The simple fact that the District Attorney waited eight months to take any action indicates or presumes that he cannot act impartially. Such an abnormal delay erodes the public’s confidence in the District Attorney’s ability to perform his functions impartially. This type of special treatment will not be tolerated in my administration.”
    ... continued

  • August 09, 2007:
    The Mean Streets of Syracuse:
    After finishing my chores and walking toward my truck, my mind kept on chewing on that street person’s vomit; searching files and databases for something that would bring some kind of relevance to the moment. How else can I entertain you people if I do not find joy and enlightenment in the pain and vomit of another wretched human being?
    ... continued

  • August 07, 2007:
    Oneida Schools, on Drugs:
    Educators and managers of the school district are the ones I insist on being sober. Children are children and are going through the growing and exploring life stage as they mature into adulthood. We are not raising children, we are raising adults. I expect children to do stupid things; that is how we gather life experience. But the teachers, coaches, principles, counselors, bus drivers, and other adults who supervise my children … are they drug free?
    ... continued

  • August 05, 2007:
    Kiss My Asterisk. Barry Bonds Hits 755:
    I wish someone would explain to me how steroid use is cheating. Only the competitors bending over for the silver or bronze medals consider steroid use to be cheating. ... Nobody is forcing these drugs into people. Those who choose not to partake certainly have that right … but they cannot whine about losing … no more than I can whine for not winning the Indy 500 because I was driving a Pinto. Besides, with all the science being currently employed in professional athletics, trainers have found ways to achieve the same effect with diet, LEGAL drugs, and other supplements. Is this cheating?
    ... continued

  • August 03, 2007:
    Republican Platform Built on Rotten Foundation:
    Candidates in Onondaga County who are battling out which will receive the republican line on the November ballot for County Executive have each put forward their “plans” for our future. ... Until the community awakens to realize that Onondaga County includes Manlius, Camillus, Skaneateles, Dewitt, Cicero, and Clay -- with a combined population greater than that of the City of Syracuse and candidates for office stop pandering to Syracuse and look beyond its boundaries for hope and a future, it is just going to be another four more years of the same old crap.
    ... continued

  • August 02, 2007:
    Beer Makes Liars Out of Teachers:
    Asking where this information comes from, she fights and resists but ultimately confesses that it was her teachers and po – school resource officer who told her these things. I have heard this before and I know where it is coming from. It is the prohibitionist argument about all things not moral will kill you as though scaring children will prevent them from trying something. Ask Steven Corsello how well that theory works.
    ... continued

  • July 31, 2007:
    A Black Man Walks Free:
    Since the War is on and there is no end in sight; because we cannot keep drugs and cell phones out of our most secure prisons; because children are using too many drugs; because the market is controlled by organized crime; and because our weakest in society are being victimized not by the drug but by the policy, I say its time to let the Black Man finally walk free.
    ... continued

  • July 30, 2007:
    One Flew Over the … :
    The kids were already nervous. It probably did not help that I told them the reason the hawk was perched so close was because in his eyes, the two girls looked like a giant fish. One kid was on the verge of tears. I suggested both girls dive down to the bottom of the pool and wait there until he left. Alas, but they did not listen.
    ... continued

  • July 29, 2007:
    Syracuse Has Lost Its Soul:
    While I may be the last person to invoke Christian values, I do wonder to where those values evaporated in this predominately Christian community. In my very humble opinion, this attitude of City leaders is offensive and contrary to strongly held principles of this nation and of most of the religions worshipped by its citizens.
    ... continued

  • July 28, 2007:
    Child Abuse in the City of Syracuse:
    The proposed ordinance is a bad idea. It is born in arrogance and snobbery of the affluent that do not want to see the faces of tomorrow on the streets today. The proposal may be race neutral on its face, but the outcome will be a discriminatory impact against the weakest elements of society. The proof is in our history.
    ... continued

  • July 26, 2007:
    Tears of the Warriors: (Our resident authors do battle in rhyme).
    Honor is a word that I find deep within
    Do right by those I love. Even if a sin.
    Defeat is meaningless since nobody’s keeping score
    My energies are on happiness til my body hits the floor.
    ... continued

  • July 24, 2007:
    Slopping the Hogs in Syracuse:
    It is almost inconceivable that elected officials would complain that another elected official is not spending tax dollars like a drunken Ice Road Trucker alone in a Bordello. ... Remember too how that same $300,000.00 could be used to fund seventy two seconds of the Iraq War. ... I don’t expect Syracuse to spend millions of federal tax dollars to line its streets with gold. But the streets should at least be paved.
    ... continued

  • July 22, 2007:
    Forget Me – Nots:
    What if there was a drug you could take that would interrupt and eventually erase that memory completely from your mind? Would you take it? Recalling an episode from the original Star Trek television series, ... Captain Kirk refused; making the comment, “I --- Need --- My --- Pain!”
    ... continued

  • July 21, 2007:
    A Shark Gets Its Wings:
    It was 16 years ago this week that I sat for the New York State Bar Examination. ... I am not sure if you can imagine what it is like to be taking the most important test of your life in a room surrounded with 2 or 3 hundred totally stressed out strangers. The coughing, paper shuffling, sniffing, breathing, and yes … vomiting, magnifies exponentially when you obsess over such things. Making it worse is that on breaks, you sit with your friends, listen to their answers they gave, and realize instantly that either they are complete idiots … or you are.
    ... continued

  • July 19, 2007:
    Surge vs. Surge: Republicans and their Ramadi Madness:
    The second story told by Republicans during the Levin-Reed surge for votes is that the nation should wait the outcome of General Petreus’ report in September. We just started the surge, they argued and the new military action should be given time to take effect. One after another, Senators juiced how wonderful it was for Senator McCain and others to be able to walk about the market in Ramadi. Five years of war and more than half a trillion dollars, and we can walk escorted through a market in one town. Yippee?
    ... continued

  • July 18, 2007:
    Stop Using My Butt to Save Your Ass:
    Congress is presently taking up the discussion of raising tobacco taxes 61 cents per pack of cigarettes and up to $10.00 per cigar. The purported purpose of this massive tax increase is to fund children’s health care. ... Britain has recognized the true strain on its health care system and is implementing a "fat tax" on salty, sugary and fatty foods. ... Since fat people can afford all those Big Macs and Twinkies, they can kick out a few more pennies to collectively help society carry the burden of their weight around.
    ... continued

  • July 15, 2007:
    Civil Rights and Wrongs in Syracuse:
    A “team of lawyers” from the Attorney General’s Office is coming to Syracuse to spend a whole hour and a half discussing civil rights issues. Huzzah! Housing, employment discrimination, fair lending, and immigration are all sexy and interesting topics. But, we need real civil rights assistance from Mr. Cuomo’s Office; but I doubt we will get it.
    ... continued

  • July 14, 2007:
    How We Lost the War on Terrorism:
    No number of homicide bombers or falling airplanes can change us as a people or end our government. Ours is a nation that to the last person, will carry the spirit of the constitution and battles for liberty fought over the centuries. Killing three thousand of us in one day proved that we are just too big in spirit, size, and power to be destroyed militarily. Even Abraham Lincoln early on recognized that no foreign power will ever have boots on the banks of the Ohio River. He said that which will destroy us will come from within.
    ... continued

  • July 12, 2007:
    Knife Fights in Syracuse, New York:
    “The Scottish Executive's crackdown on knife crime could lead to a rise in the use of guns, a government adviser has warned. Justice department officials have been told of a possible influx of illegal firearms into the country a result of the high-profile campaign to get knives off the streets.” Sound familiar?
    ... continued

  • July 10, 2007:
    Sexual Perversity in the Court System:
    As Judge Tormey points out, the costs of this masturbatory legislation is going to break the back of the Court system. Calling it a “nightmare”, he said the cost is so high and projected to grow exponentially, that Judge Tormey could not even put a price tag on it. ... Again and again, with the passage of each of these laws, we see blowback that is more devastating than any prevention we may realize.
    ... continued

  • July 09, 2007:
    When Doves Cry:
    I came upon a morning dove
    One muggy summer’s day.
    I came upon a morning dove
    In a most unusual way.
    ... continued

  • July 08, 2007:
    Power and Control; Babies Behind Bars and Battling the Bench:
    What have we done to ourselves? We have become a society based on retaliation, punishment, domination, and win at all costs. Somewhere along the way, we have lost our heart, our soul, and our conscience. I understand the need of the Judiciary to be respected. But the judiciary needs to temper itself by not treating the case before it as a cutout of the one before it. ... continued

  • July 07, 2007:
    Chez Bentwood: A Dining Experience Par Excellence:
    In sum and substance: Had God made me a mutant and given me ten thumbs instead of fingers, I point have all ten thumbs pointed high up in the air. Ten thumbs up for Chez Bentwood. May the best of their yesterdays be the worst of their tomorrows. ... continued

  • July 06, 2007:
    My Proclamation of Emancipation:
    These are the qualities and standards by which I judge those who seek my vote. They are the same standards by which I evaluate policies of government. The Berger Commission, Destiny, the War in Iraq, The War on Drugs, the border situation, and a thousand other issues and candidates. The bottom line is whether what is being proposed is something where the government is trying to play the role of my Mom or my Dad … or is it something that will enhance my life as an independent and free adult. ... continued

  • July 05, 2007:
    On Solvay’s Proposed Curfew Law:
    As a citizen, a voter, a taxpayer, a parent, and a resident of the community, it is my choice and my discretion until what time my children may be outside and be in public. If, in my mind, my child has established responsibility and trustworthiness to my satisfaction, then I have no problem with granting her greater freedoms. I am not raising a child; I am training an adult. The last thing I want is for a police officer to interpose themselves in my relationship with my child as though the police officer is capable of judging the maturity of my child. ... continued

  • July 03, 2007:
    The New Mexico High:
    Is Governor Bill Richardson and the entire executive Branch of the State of New Mexico going to be subject to a midnight no-knock warrant by ninja clad federal agents? Will the State Legislature be summarily subjected to 20 years to life for engaging in a conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance? What about the executive agency created to actually grow, monitor, and distribute – are the folks who work there going to watch their grandchildren mature from behind bars? Will the Federal government nationalize the militia in New Mexico and attack the State run farms. Will New Mexico defend itself? ... continued

  • July 02, 2007:
    Movie Review: The Healing Power of ‘Sicko’:
    But where Moore really scores in the film is how he focuses not on the weakest or poorest, but draws the camera’s eye and the audience into the life of insured American heroes. Locating several firefighters and rescuers who worked the 9/11 ruins and who now suffer from rescue related ailments, Moore shows how really heartless and cruel we are as a nation to those who serve us the most. Al Qaeda prisoners at Guatanamo Bay get better treatment than our own citizens. ... continued

  • June 30, 2007:
    Entrapped to Death:
    In the course of taping the show, the ‘sting’ netted 25 men. That however was not enough. Even those who just chatted with the adult pretending to be a child were targeted for arrest. “Among them was Louis Conradt Jr., an assistant prosecutor from neighboring Kauffman County, who allegedly engaged in a sexually explicit online chat with an adult posing as a 13-year-old boy. As police knocked at his door and a "Dateline+continued

  • June 26, 2007:
    Bong Hits 4 Justice:
    When judges start making Nuremburg arguments (I hate to do this to you because it is immoral, but I have no choice), our very essence as a nation is sacrificed and faith in government is lost. When a people do lose faith in their government or see the government as having declared war on its’ own people, then indeed the government will have no legitimacy. ... continued

  • June 25, 2007:
    The Fat Tax: Its Time Has Come:
    I want to make it clear that some of my best friends are fat people. A lot of them are pretty cool. I have found they are just as kind and honorable and intelligent as are skinny people. Tolerating their Twinkie stained teeth or the stank of cooking grease on their clothes can at times churn my stomach but I do not object to working with them or dining with them or when I have had too much to drink, having sex with them. ... continued

  • June 23, 2007:
    The Education of George Kilpatrick:
    By race, ‘they’ are your People George. Yet you have little in common with them. By class, they are my Peeps and I understand the path they are on. Maybe instead of finding error in my every perception Mr. Kilpatrick or instead of keeping doors closed because of my own scarlet letter, you might invite me into the conversation. “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” ... continued

  • June 21, 2007:
    Fence Off Lou Dobbs and the Big Fat Immigration Lie:
    Ultimately what we see here is the white affluent reactionary trying to create another underclass upon whom they can hoist blame for their own shortcomings and weaknesses. As for me and the near future, I am going to ignore and hold in contempt any politician who tries to drive the upcoming election discussion toward the threat and danger of immigration and how it is a national emergency. With Iraq failing, the economy in tatters, the national debt spinning wildly out of control, and the Executive Branch’s willful violation of the law and usurpation of Congressional power, Republicans have some things for which they have to answer. ... continued

  • June 20, 2007:
    Hitting Heavy and Hammering Away at the First Amendment:
    There is a niche for this type of lawyer … not in the court rooms, but on the streets. People want to hire “those types” of lawyers because in their minds, sometimes Superman wears a suit and carries a briefcase. The general public may not be skilled on the law but they are also not idiots. They seem to be able to buy automobiles and houses and engage in commerce and make decisions on complex issues all by themselves. ... continued

  • June 19, 2007:
    Hauntingly Familiar:
    Instead, I would rather respond to the specific question why I believe Mr. Carncross got “railroaded” by a glory seeking District Attorney. “Crucified” would be a more appropriate word. Maybe in today’s lingo, we could argue Mr. Carncross got ‘Nifonged’. ... continued

  • June 17, 2007:
    The Broken Record of Fathers Day:
    As I sit here this morning, I do not know if I made a difference in the life of a child; even my own. I cannot tell you which of my two daughters is happier; the one with a father or the one without. My love for them has never faltered; despite the pain and hurt I have brought upon them. I have no idea if any client or case I have worked has resulted in happier and more stable children. It will always be a mystery to me. The goal is that the moment before I draw my last breath, I will be able to declare that I was the best father and role model I knew how to be. Whether it was enough or done right will be for those who write my obituary. ... continued

  • June 16, 2007:
    Bat Man:
    (For MC; who whines I am too serious all the time).
    ... Off we went. Two warriors intent on taking back captured American soil from the evil Empire. We came to the room door; him in front and me crouching behind. He opened the door and we snuck on in … slowly, desperately searching the room ... ... continued

  • June 14, 2007:
    A Call to Cancel Health Insurance:
    America has to wake up to the con game called “health insurance”. There is absolutely no reason for a financial institution to involve itself in the relationship between doctor and client. ... continued

  • June 13, 2007:
    Confrontation Claws:
    Today, we read in the newspaper that the District Attorney has asked the Court to limit to near nullity, the defense’s absolute right to confront his accusers. Apparently, the District Attorney argues that children will not understand questioning
    if not in Iambic Pentameter,
    from the Defendant’s Examiner,
    and with Only One Working Verb.
    Of all the Nerve.

    ... What is so troubling about our District Attorney’s action is how he attacks the, “greatest legal engine ever invented for discovery of truth”. ... continued

  • June 12, 2007:
    Feel the Beat with the Heat on SPD Street:
    Two weeks ago, “something” happened during a routine traffic stop. More importantly, what almost happened was a massacre. Laugh though they will, the abusive behavior of police toward this citizen prompted at least one neighbor to aim a high powered fully automatic rifle at the gaggle of Syracuse Police Officers and if not for the last moment intervention of a third person, this story could have had a completely different ending. (Watch the Music Video Here, “Gang Bangin’, SPD Style”.) ... continued

  • June 9, 2007:
    Fireside Chat:
    (I received an email from a client who wanted published an essay of his experiences going through a divorce. To a certain extent we agreed but not without editing and inserting our own commentaries and explanations. No doubt many of you wish you could say the same things to your own attorneys). ... continued

  • June 8, 2007:
    Dealing Junk:
    Last October, I “stepped out on a limb” predicting newspaper headlines within the next six months. I predicted a surge in violence and that police will blame the dispute on the drug trade. Thereafter, I ventured to hypothesize that like he did in 2005, Sgt. Tom Connellan would notify the media how “reports of shootings and shots fired have gone down in recent weeks. Those words spoken by Sgt. Connellan in November of 2005 have been heard again; like that old 45 with a scratch on it. Today they report violent crime is down in Syracuse. Does that imply a new network is in place? ... continued

  • June 7, 2007:
    Bullies For You – Not Me:
    No, I am not talking about Cops, or Crips, or Crooks, or ‘Cons. Instead, I am talking basketball. Professional basketball is attempting to come to Syracuse and the team is intending to name itself the Syracuse Bullies. ... I for one will not support this team for the singular reason of their team name. ... Calling themselves Bullies is just shameful; unless they are intending on a team of Dennis Rodmans and the Hanson brothers. ... continued

  • June 6, 2007:
    The Surrender of America:
    But the terrorists used weapons far more effective than any dirty bomb. They used fear. Where they failed through violence, they won through legislation. Freedom has been lost not because the Pentagon was attacked but because freedom was attacked through such entities as the Patriot Act, the Department of Homeland Security, closing the borders, the Gitmo and Abu Ghraib sagas, airport searches, and invasions of privacy at every level of government. This is all done in the name of security. These are the weapons of terrorism; attacking one’s own people. ... continued

  • June 4, 2007:
    Get Back to Work, Doctor “K”:
    The same people who claim to be about human life and dignity never allow death to come easy. Dr. Kevorkian is the prime example. Assisting someone to commit suicide is a crime. If part of “life” is “death”, then a right to life must include a right to choose the time and manner of one’s death. ... Our own capital punishment system insists that executions come about quickly and painlessly. Murderers go peacefully while Terry starved and Dr. K had his life taken away from him. ... continued

  • June 2, 2007:
    The Federal Government’s Unending War Against the States and People:
    The first casualties of war between the Federal government and the States were suffered at Fort Sumter. Today they are being taken in Federal Courtrooms. Instead of Blue Uniforms firing upon Grey, we have suited Federal Prosecutors throwing Federal Supremacy at orange jumpsuited defendants. Instead of Andersonville, we have a fast growing industry of public and private federal prisons. ... continued

  • May 31, 2007:
    A Murder in Oz:
    The most damning question is this … At the end, after the Wizard escaped, Dorothy asked Glinda again how to get home. Glinda says, “why Dorothy, the secret has been with you all along, just click your heals three times and say ‘there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home”. Well, if this is true, why didn’t Glinda just tell that to Dorothy in the first place? Remember back in Munchkinland where Glinda so convincingly says, “Kansas … What’s Kansas … I don’t know no stinkin` Kansas”? ... continued

  • May 30, 2007:
    Free Falling:
    My bet still is that the pain felt by the boys during their short flight and impact, far exceeded the 35 years of my personal misery. The act of betrayal by the one they trust the most, the fear, struggling for safety, watching everything happening, seeing your brother hit first moments before you do … I wonder if they cried, or yelled, or just froze in fear, or had a moment of clarity and realized their fate and enjoyed the few moments of free flight. ... continued

  • May 29, 2007:
    More Rats in the Stacks:
    Monroe County (Rochester) Libraries have instituted a ban on so-called “pornographic websites”. The only way a patron can view a site deemed by librarians as pornographic is upon written request by the citizen and there is an administrative override of the librarian’s decision. ... Query how this dying industy industry is going to keep itself relevant. We need to be able to trust libraries and librarians to stand behind their most fundamental duties and be guardians of our free right to access and uncensored information. Unfortunately in Solvay, librarians there are snitches and agents of the government. None of us is safe ... continued

  • May 25, 2007:
    Some Folks Just Need Killing, But …:
    So now I ask my friends in and out of uniform how should we handle those cops down in New York City who were convicted of multiple counts of murder on behalf of the mafia? If police are worthy of special protection, does that not likewise come with extra responsibility and should not a breach thereof be considered more heinous that if a civilian were so engaged? ... continued

  • May 24, 2007:
    Save the Blacksmiths:
    The People of the United States and their government did not respond to the end of the era of horse transportation by imposing tariffs and taxes on cars. Legislators did not send out millions of dollars each year to Blacksmiths as subsidies for horses they would have shoe’d but did not because of the infestation of automobiles. ... continued

  • May 22, 2007:
    Beer Bellies, Bare Feet, and Born to Be Wild:
    Is Mr. O’Hara so far gone from reality that he opines bare feet or bare chests are offensive or harmful to children? Is a bare beer belly any more disgusting than a spandex packed exploding derriere? Rules such as those being implemented by Mr. O’Hara are commonplace in Iran but should not be at the New York State Fair. If the State Fair represents all of New York, then it has to include us ugly low class white trash who enjoy the few simple joys in life like walking barefoot and shirtless on a hot summer day. ... continued

  • May 21, 2007:
    The Increasing Relevance of Jimmy Carter:
    Swift Boat him all you want, retired President James Earl Carter has proven himself so much more valuable to the world subsequent to his term in office that when he sat upon the throne. Clearly stepping into the post-Nixon, post Vietnam, rising anti Americanism / Zionism world put President Carter at the utmost of bad situations. Trusting his generals in the field caused a major military disaster at Desert One and the birth of Nightline. But in his retirement, the loud and clearheaded voice of Jimmy Carter must be heard. ... continued

  • May 19, 2007:
    Drunk as a Skunk:
    But the real fun started late this evening when we decided to go bar hopping up and down Yonge Street. After shots of tequila and Canadian beer, I could not walk straight or think straight and I was grateful. We hit every bar and restaurant bar up and down Yonge Street and as I write this, I am trapped in a Jose Cuervo mindset. In the past 3 hours, I have probably had about 8 shots and several Canadian beers with a real alcohol content. So yea, I am toasted. ... continued

  • May 18, 2007:
    Lord, Protect Them From My Own Weakness:
    Sin. Glorious beautiful passionate sin. How can we resist? Being but mere mortals, sin lurks everywhere and if we dare not be alert, we risk succumbing to temptation and falling into the abyss. Eternal damnation is our opponent. Lest we save ourselves now, flaming brimstone from he netherworld will forever lap at our buttocks. ... continued

  • May 16, 2007:
    My Life as an Anecdote:
    In the end my doctor tells me there is nothing more he can do because he is, in his own words, “just a lowly doctor”. I responded by saying, “imagine that --- and I am but an anecdote.” Indeed I am. My experience with the drug and its benefits at above the recommended dosage, however positive, is nothing but anecdotal data to the insurance company and the manufacturer. It matters not that I experienced substantial relief and an end to pain and suffering when taking the increased dosage. That data was just tossed into the anecdote file at Eli Lilly along with my peace of mind. ... continued

  • May 15, 2007:
    Barry Bonds is More than an Asterisk:
    Steroids did not make him stronger; they contributed to his mass but it was his effort, strength, and work ethic that brought him to where he is today. He deserves nothing less than full recognition for his efforts. His urine may have once tested “dirty”, but his achievement is clean. ... continued

  • May 13, 2007:
    All Hail Another Pyrrhic Victory for Syracuse City Hall:
    The Mayor’s own Heavy Hitters just scored another “W” for their office. Yet at the same time, nothing better exemplifies the problems in Syracuse and why it is a dying community than does the Aquino case and its’ outcome. ... continued

  • May 12, 2007:
    In The Desert, My Horse has a Name:
    If John McCain and George Bush want to increase American troop strength in Iraq, then let each of them be first to grab a weapon and stand that wall. Let their children and grandchildren, their neighbors and their children, their cousins, nieces and nephews, all pick up a weapon and get on that first plane out. I hear we could use their help on patrols. Now that we know the truth about Sadaam and WMD, the current social ethnocentric realignment that is underway, and the hard finality of the Baker / Hamilton report, it defies logic and common sense to spill another droplet of American sweat in a desert that has sucked the life out of invaders for millennia. ... continued

  • May 11, 2007:
    GINA Passes, But the Hemorrhaging Continues:
    It almost seems necessary to say ‘thanks’ to the United States House of Representatives for finally enacting legislation that makes it illegal for an employer or insurance company to take action against policy holders or employees because of an inherited illness or genetic predisposition. Titled the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, GINA is nothing but a Band-Aid cure for what really ails us. ... continued

  • May 10, 2007:
    What a Drag it is Getting Old -- in Upstate New York:
    I want to join my voice with the growing chorus of those who survived God and Darwin’s best efforts to enjoy life after 40. Despite the fact that most of my 40’s sucked, those of us who made it through the chaos our 30’s and resultant midlife crises have within us a wealth of experience, expertise, and knowledge that cannot be gleaned from a textbook or laboratory. But in Upstate New York, they don’t want me anymore. Like some pathetic 70’s science fiction movie, persons over 40 are no longer welcome here. ... continued

  • May 08, 2007:
    American Soldiers Fight Losing Battle on the Home Front:
    For those who sweat blood and face bullets, I call upon my Congressmen and Senators to enact emergency legislation that prevents any State Court from taking any action against an active duty soldier solely because they wear the uniform. This includes custody. If you think the President’s policy of Stop / Loss is bad, you should see the face of a father soldier feeling the loss of his children because his President cannot stop surging into war. If you perceive the horrors of Walter Reed and pain of injured vets, imagine the pain in the heart of a parent losing contact with a child and suffering financial hardship for no other reason than choosing to serve their nation. We owe our soldiers more. Someone must stop this continuing loss. ... continued

  • May 07, 2007:
    Onondaga County Needs a Public Defender:
    It is time to build an office, on par with that of the District Attorney and of the County Attorney, whose sole mission is to have a team of highly motivated lawyers who can focus on the unique needs and issues of criminal defense and civil litigation for the poor and underemployed. There has to be a better way than just playing ‘spin-the-wheel’ justice, where attorneys have no idea about issues each other is confronting, where clients have to run from agency to agency, and where the reporting and payment system creates hostility and conflict amongst the bar. ... continued

  • May 06, 2007:
    Republicans, God, and the Death of Terry Schiavo:
    In her death, as in her last days of life, Terry Schiavo became a beacon. Her body is dead, her soul released, and her pain finally over. But because of her suffering and because of the torment she endured; we as a People can draw great strength from her memory. That strength can lead us back to the path upon which our Founding Fathers once embarked. Terry Schiavo may be dead, but her spirit will live on forever in the hearts and minds of human beings everywhere. ... continued

  • May 05, 2007:
    RePrinted, Because it is Important
    Stop Making Pinatas Out Of Illegal Immigrants:
    Let’s be honest about a few things here. There is no such thing as the crime of being “illegal immigrant”. That phrase is being thrown around today as though the title itself exposed the bearer to the Scarlet Letter of AIDS, Avian Flu, Ebola Virus, or a dirty bomb strapped to their back. As the Republicans once did to the word “Liberal”, they have now made the word “illegal immigrant” to appear to be a stain and a threat to our nation and future security. ... continued

  • May 03, 2007:
    Enough Already with the “N” Word:
    The time has come to stop throwing around that other “N” word – “Nazi”. Nowadays everybody from both parties and their respective spit radio pundits refer to their opponents as “Nazis”. George Bush and his Administration are called Nazis. Sean Hannity proclaimed that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will go down in history as the modern day Neville Chamberlin. Even Lou Dobbs likened me to a Nazi because I do not agree with his position on human migration in North America. ... continued

  • May 02, 2007:
    Attention Congress: Override That Veto:
    It is time for the Republicans to find their souls and end this fiasco in Iraq. The nation wants it. There is no surrender since we won the war four years ago. All that is left is continuing to throw more money and good soldiers down the sewer. I call the Congressional Republicans to Override that Veto. Prove to the country your loyalties are to the Nation before Party. There is no more room for compromise on this issue. ... continued

  • May 01, 2007:
    Paranoid Allusions of an Education:
    At least one student from a local high school is fed up with this offensive policy. Published anonymously after editorial consideration, this student's Fan Mail makes the case better than can we. “You can’t have that” and “That’s not allowed” are quickly becoming the most frequently used phrases at Westhill High School. A new rule was put in place for the 2006-2007 school year that bans the use of all electronic devices during school hours. ... continued

  • April 29, 2007:
    Guliani, Exposed:
    At least Rudy Guliani is being honest when he calls his Republican theory “offensive”. I know few who are not offended. It is in our history and in our blood as a nation to NOT play offense in the international arena. From George Washington on, our Founders strongly insisted that America be a friend to everybody, stay out of European conflicts, and just do business. ... continued

  • April 27, 2007:
    Let Gays Suffer Like the Rest of Us:
    Society has no interest in assuring that marriage remains a heterosexual relationship. We cannot succumb to claims that marriage is about procreation when we tolerate couples to be legally married who do not intend to have children, who cannot have children, or who are post-childbearing. There is also no basis that marriage has to be between man and woman “because that is the way it has always been done” when we live in a world where slavery, pedophilia, and imperialism were likewise once the norms. ... continued

  • April 26, 2007:
    Snitching is Not an Option:
    When there is a criminal nearby, the risk of being victimized belongs to me. If I snitch, based on thirty generations of life experience with police, the harm will be greater. Not only will I be targeted by police and the bad guys, but the perception that police will attack innocents in my community is so great that I prefer to risk the threat to one rather than expose hundreds. ... continued

  • April 25, 2007:
    Onondaga County Legislature and the Law of Diminishing Returns:
    Assuming the same number of indigent cheats and frauds are caught next year and the year after, then it should only take the County less than two and a half years to realize its first million dollar loss on just this one project. After all, spending five hundred thousand dollars to recoup one hundred thousand is obnoxious and insane. ... continued

  • April 24, 2007:
    (From our archives):
    Revenge of the Build-a-Bear:
    I was able to forget the pain of handing over a wad of Benjamins to the sales girl when I turned to see the perky smile on my hormonal child. The Bear got a birth certificate and a name and we all lived happily ever after. Or so people would want you to think. ... continued

  • April 22, 2007:
    What a Bunch of Schmucks:
    Just from what I know in my life experience, the lawyers who are selected to give input and who have the ears of those in power in government, tend to come from large firms, “respectable” firms, politically involved firms. These are people who already have made their bones, established their place, and have their worlds all neatly organized. To them, the image of the obnoxious lawyer offends their sanitized sensibilities. Their blood is just too true blue to participate in common society. ... continued

  • April 21, 2007:
    The Great Lie of Tort Reform:
    Oh, how easy it is to blame the lawyers for the high cost of medicine. Bazillion dollar verdicts are trotted out as being the reason your prescription costs are so high. Me thinks however, that those who target lawyers and jury verdicts are playing to Americans’ jealousy and lower pettiness than being truly interested in healing a dying system. Before civil rights and social responsibility is cast aside, medicine should first heal its own self. ... continued

  • April 20, 2007:
    W. W. J. D. ?:
    What would Thomas Jefferson do today if approached to grab a musket and volunteer to defend the current government and status quo? Would he leave his farm and bother to risk his life, his name, his good fortune? My conclusion is that Mr. Jefferson would more likely rise in opposition to the current ‘George’ with the same zeal as he did King George. ... continued

  • April 19, 2007:
    (From our archives):
    America Surrendered:
    No number of homicide bombers or falling airplanes can change us as a people or end our government. Ours is a nation that to the last person, will carry the spirit of the constitution and battles for liberty fought over the centuries. Killing three thousand of us in one day proved that we are just too big in spirit, size, and power to be destroyed militarily. Abraham Lincoln early on recognized that no foreign power will ever have boots on the banks of the Ohio River; that which will destroy us will come from within. ... continued

  • April 18, 2007:
    Another Shameful Syracuse Milestone Achieved:
    Congratulations to the City of Syracuse. It has been nearly one full year and you managed to take absolutely no action. ... continued

  • April 15, 2007:
    Heart A Tax:
    For a nation that was founded by a bunch of rich white guys who did not want to pay their taxes, we should be proud. America has become the land of equal opportunity where anybody ... white or black, male female or otherwise, Jew, Muslim, Christian or Klan ... has the opportunity to become a great American taxpayer. Hard work and success will be rewarded; with increased taxes. The road to riches is lined with the receipts of a thousand write-offs. Children, no matter how incorrigible, are among our most treasured deductions. ... continued

  • April 14, 2007:
    Enough with the Apologizing, Already:
    Now that the nappy headed redneck shock jock Don Imus has been publicly castigated, castrated, and lynched, the time has come to call an end to this civil war of words. “White Guilt” is over. I am not responsible for the sins of my fathers, I will not answer for the cruelties of earlier generations, and for goodness sake, sometimes a spade is just a spade without comment by Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. ... continued

  • April 13, 2007:
    (From our archives):
    Bloody Friday the 13th:
    Perhaps “lucky” is not the true word. “Theater of the Weird” would probably be more befitting. Contrary to popular thinking, however, I relish an approaching Friday the 13th. Something is going to happen. Of the many events that have fallen upon me on such a dirty Friday, is the tale of the Lady from Rochester. Tis indeed a true story, lest the good Lord strike me dead. ... continued

  • April 12, 2007:
    Basic ‘Rithmatic:
    Syracuse City Schools are facing a $20 million shortfall. First thing they do, is fire all the teachers. Second thing they do, is raise your property taxes. Finally, year after year, they abandon projects and programs designed to help kids while City and School District leaders feel their pensions fatten. I have a solution to at least half that problem. Right in front of Legislators and the Mayor is $10 million immediately available for schools and education. This is within grasp and will not require an increase in taxes nor cut in services. ... continued

  • April 11, 2007:
    Inherit the Wind, not the Windfall:
    Frankly, judges who cannot thrive and survive on the pay and benefits package offered to each, should leave the Bench. Not only will this draw more idealistic persons over patronage, but it will clear the pipelines to enable fresher perspectives and attitudes on the law to filter upward. ... continued

  • April 10, 2007:
    (From our archives):
    Pain Free and Life is Worth Living:
    First, there is the wiggling back and forth; back and forth. “That aint bad”, you think. Then comes the tugging; a little at first and then with increasing pressure. You resist. The tugging continues. You know are you are about to lose the battle when the crunching sound starts. Like a handful of Doritos being smashed up inside your head, you hear the crunching and crackling as the roots let go of their base. ... continued

  • April 08, 2007:
    Bye, Dad:
    There are people in my life and who I have met over the years whose deaths will be far more devastating and for whom I will feel a far more fatherly loss than the death of my own blood. But with my father, goes my history. I will never learn of him, his life, or know anything about my roots beyond the rot that provided ample manure in my own life. It is a void that will never be filled. ... continued

  • ***
    "May He Live Another Hundred Years": I know exactly what I am going to say to him when I see him again. ... continued
    ***
    ... and in Conclusion: Let me start by saying ... ... continued

  • April 07, 2007:
    (From our archives):
    Do Not Mess With Me:
    Our bickering in our own home is not a sign of weakness. It is the one strength that we have as a nation that sets us aside and above the cheap whorehouse political structures sought by Muslim extremists. We choose our politics and government by ballots, not bullets and despite the outcome, we agree to live with the results and to defend those results with our lives. It is the power of the ballot and the People having a voice that makes our fist the one you don’t want crashing into your face. ... continued

  • April 05, 2007:
    Remove Dan O’Hara as Director of the New York State Fair:
    Let us also not forget the hypocrisy of it all. In a place famous for its lard of all shapes, sizes, tastes, colors, and formats; cigarettes are the least dangerous item on the fairgrounds. Since Mr. O’Hara is so damned concerned about our physical health and longevity, then he should set the cost of admission based on weight. So too should Strates Shows. Additionally, a tax should be levied on all products that can if used as intended, potentially cause health problems for the user. ... continued

  • April 04, 2007:
    Open Letter to Barbara Vaikness of Upper Court Street:
    Ultimately, the hypocrisy of your diatribe calls into question the integrity of the Mayor, the Corporation Counsel, and the Chief of Police. After all, either yours is a wonderful community and loving neighborhood, or it is infested with gangbangers and hangers-out and drug dealers. I sincerely doubt these folks are commuting to hang out in front of Diamonds Market. These same ‘strangers’ who stood around with their friends in front of that market are your neighbors and the folks you defend with such vigor. ... continued

  • April 03, 2007:
    Passover this Policy:
    Israel gives us a prime example as to why we should NOT be following President Bush in his policies in the Middle East. For 50 years, Israelis have answered their neighbors with bombs, bullets, and civil oppression. Nobody says Israel is totally to blame. They chose the wrong path to resolution. If theirs was the proper path, then Israel would be the safest, most peaceful nation on earth. It is not and the situation has become more grave over the years. ... continued

  • April 02, 2007:
    The Call to Convene a Grand Jury:
    There is a crime wave in the City of Syracuse. It is a clear organized effort that targets the weak, steals from them money, property, and freedom. Admissions by the wrongdoers establish both intent and malice. The City’s quality of life is deteriorating. People are suffering and nobody is doing anything about it. Of course I hold out no hope that our local District Attorney or U.S. Attorney would investigate these crimes. Neither the State Police nor the F.B.I. have shown any interest. In fact, by raising this issue, I make myself a potential target of these agents and agencies. ... continued

  • April 1st, 2007:
    Bat Her Up:
    Actually, my daughter got a letter the other day but because it was addressed from the New York Yankees, I figured it had to be some kind of misaddress or mislabel. Given that last summer, we took a trip to the City and saw a Yankee game, I just figured it was junk mail. All day I stared at the envelope with morbid curiosity until the kid came home and opened the letter. Boy was I wrong. ... continued

  • March 30, 2007:
    Blood Diamonds in Syracuse, New York:
    If Syracuse police and City Hall are truly concerned about the health, safety, and wellbeing of the folks who live in the Diamond Market neighborhood, perhaps the Department can put one of its fancy schmancy Neighborhood Policing trailers out front. But like with the homeless, city police and Syracuse city government prefer to use their fist to destroy, instead of making the effort to build neighborhoods and communities. ... continued

  • March 28, 2007:
    Why Isn’t Glen Suddaby on the List?:
    Beyond shameful, the removal of these prosecutors has called into question the integrity of the entire Federal prosecutorial system. My concerns are not focused on the lies and cover-ups as to why the eight were removed. Rather, my concerns surround those prosecutors who are still in office. ... continued

  • March 27, 2007:
    The Next Onondaga County Executive, on Drugs:
    The next County Executive should promise to do the same type of analysis as did former City Auditor, Minch Lewis. In doing so, the County would realize that the overwhelming and chief cost to all the County criminal and civil justice agencies is the enforcement of Prohibition. If the next gaggle of County managers were to sit down and isolate the dollars being spent on a failed policy, I am confident tens of millions of dollars could be salvaged and redirected toward more needy and productive programs. ... continued

  • March 26, 2007:
    Surge Protector:
    Our founders also understood the realities of life and knew a standing army would be a vital necessity. To further assure the dispersion of power and to protect the People from their government, control over the military was given to the President. The specific intent was to put a set of brakes on the military so as to make sure the army itself knew it shall always remain subservient to civilian authority. General McArthur understood and waddled off into oblivion. ... continued

  • March 25, 2007:
    An American Idle:
    There are millions of dollars at the City level that are being wasted on failed programs that can be diverted. At the County level, the number climbs into the tens of millions. Our schools should be world class. Our infrastructure should be the strongest. Our focus should divert from exporting our capital to importing and keeping new money here. Until we do, we are just going to keep sliding downward and die a very slow death. ... continued

  • March 24, 2007:
    Meet the Next Onondaga County District Attorney:
    Nobody is entitled to an office once elected. Onondaga County has a long history of retaining officeholders until retirement. Witness John Mulroy and Nick Pirro. The incumbent now seated in the big office atop the glass eyesore aka the Criminal Courts Building is seen as politically untouchable. For that reason, no serious challenge has been launched in the last three elections. Having read of the Democrat’s proffer for this year’s election, again it appears that the incumbent will remain for at least one more term. ... continued

  • March 23, 2007:
    The Whore of Texas is Back:
    The once imperial overlord of the Republican Party, Tom DeLay, is back in the news. Moving from one talk show to the next, one newspaper article to the next, the DeLay is pimping a new book to presumably raise funds for his defense. Using the same playbook as Oliver North; DeLay makes himself the lone hero standing tall against the “enemy”. Referring to political opponents as enemies is shameful considering the evil lurking in the mountains along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. ... continued

  • March 21, 2007:
    On Being a Jackass:
    Today’s Democratic Party is showing itself as being a toothless tiger. I still wait to be proven wrong in my belief that Karl Rove engineered the Democratic victory in 2006. By the time 2008 rolls around, America will be sick to death of the impotent irrelevant failure-to-act Democrats. ... continued

  • March 20, 2007:
    Social Security: The Necessary Slaughter of the Sacred Cow:
    It substantially reduces the burden of social security, it expands the benefits the system could pay out, and saves our children’s grandchildren untold tax burdens. If we change our perspective of Social Security from being an annuity to being an insurance policy, the problem is alleviated. ... continued

  • March 18, 2007:
    Perverts and the Legislators Who Love Them:
    Once again our newest war on sexual perversion in the United States has taken some very bad turns. Those politicians seeking re-election and who have no merit to their candidacy, continue to turn their attentions to America’s newest boogiemen … the convicted sexual predator. Laws are getting more abusive. Governments are taking great privilege with liberty and privacy. In the end, as with every other such policy, the innocent are getting swept up and the policy is an ultimate failure ... continued

  • St. Patrick's Day Special:
    The Blues of a Jew on St. Patrick's Day:
    What I just don’t get, my dear Irish friends
    About this day; upon Green it depends
    Is the connection that you make with St. Patrick of old
    And the quantities you drink, until you’re passed out cold

    ... continued

  • March 17, 2007:
    Confession is Good for the Goal:
    More importantly, the doubt raised by the questionable integrity of the trial and confession are the greatest shame of all. Once confidence in our justice system goes, once our government surrenders American principles, once the imprisonment or execution of human beings is based on untrustworthy evidence, our system of government is in jeopardy. ... continued

  • March 15, 2007:
    America’s Supreme Pain:
    A vital plank of our constitutional republic is the understanding that while we are all American citizens, we are likewise citizens of our respective States and Commonwealths. Nowhere is a State prohibited from providing greater rights and benefits than assured by the Federal Constitution. The Federal Constitution establishes the bare minimum. States are free to go above and beyond that. ... continued

  • March 14, 2007:
    The UnPatriotic Act
    Of late, the news has been screaming about irregularities and illegalities at the Justice Department and at the F.B.I. Most of it centers around use of resources for political gain. The scary but unspoken story is how the federales abused laws enacted for the protection of Americans. Terrorists were not targeted; citizens of this nation were the focus. Two years ago this week here in Madison County, New York, an American citizen and neighbor of yours fell to these laws. A month later, this website too came under attack. ... continued

  • March 13, 2007:
    Pulp Fiction
    There is nowhere to hide from the cries and jeers coming from all four corners of Orange Country. It is a major affront to all who live here and support the team that the Syracuse University Mens Basketball Team was not invited to the NCAA Basketball Tournament. Once again, the Orange got juiced and frozen out. We have to stop lying to ourselves. Believing the Orange are up to the standard of play of the Big Dance is as fictional as it gets. ... continued

  • March 12, 2007:
    Velcome to Stalag FM
    High school is not a prison. It is a training ground for young adults. There, social skills and educational training are fine tuned and honed toward adulthood. Our young adults-in-training are there to develop their minds and bodies and be ready for the responsibilities and liberties that come with self sufficiency and ‘life’. Holding them behind iron bars, stripping them of their freedoms and liberties, and isolating them from reality is not only counterproductive. It is criminal. ... continued

  • March 10, 2007:     
    Dear Dad
    For lack of a better depiction; too many times in this past year I have found myself “re-experiencing” and manifesting symptomology of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Fret not: I am not going to shoot imaginary V.C. But I have been a bit too quick to speak up; and loud. ... continued

  • March 09, 2007:
    (From our archives):
    Lord, Protect Them From My Own Weakness
    The bottom line goes back to the adage that because the baby cannot chew steak, all adults have to drink only milk. Here, the religious theory that obligates good Christians, Muslims and Jews to save humanity and bring us closer to their God is based on nothing more than their own lack of willpower. ... continued

  • March 07, 2007:     
    Berger Fries, and a Large Yoke
    These executives suddenly mold into elder statesmen and set out to set straight that which had been ignored during their tenure. Yesterday, it was retiring Onondaga County Executive Nicholas Pirro. He shouted out to the County Legislature to ignore and abandon the findings and conclusions of the Berger Commission. We couldn’t agree more. ... continued

  • March 05, 2007:     
    Rats in the Stacks
    Librarians who invite in police and encourage them to investigate a patron’s reading history, without warrant or due process or even probable cause, is a vile offense to their duty to society. Solvay librarians should be ashamed of themselves. Citizens of Solvay should be wary about using their library. ... continued

  • March 04, 2007:     
    The Stench of Ann Coulter’s Vagina
    All she has to do is thrust her vagina in their face and accuse liberals of being godless and the coins roll in. Ann needs to do little more than flash a camel toe at the same time she calls 9/11 widows ‘attention whores’ and she is loved. Calling John Edwards a “faggot” was just one more way for Coulter to waggle her vagina and stuff her bank account with cash. ... continued

  • March 03, 2007:     
    The Minority Report
    Greetings from the Badlands of the Onondaga County Bar Association. I do not speak for the majority of members of the Bar and indeed, only speak for myself. With high confidence, however, I believe my words here reflect the opinions of many others. ... continued

  • March 02, 2007:     
    Ethnic Cleansing in Upstate New York
    If you want to be a candidate for Onondaga County Executive, you had better take this into consideration. You will be called upon to answer for the sins of your fathers. ... continued

  • February 28, 2007:     
    Don't Take What's Not Yours
    Guest Editorial by Young Master Ross : "To whomever it may concern: Give me back the freedom that has been fought for since the beginning of time." ... continued

  • February 27, 2007:     
    Jury Nullification in Onondaga County
    What is really offensive is that the District Attorney can keep doing this freely with impunity. There is no sanction, no relief at law, no way to compel the District Attorney to present his case to a jury or dismiss it. Hiding behind the skirts of the new jury pool procedures, prosecutors are behaving in a cowardly and constitutionally offensive manner. All our freedoms are at stake. ... continued

  • February 25, 2007:     
    Problem Solved
    For the many who will walk the same streets as did George, at least they will have shoes. Nobody will harass you at stop lights or in the Armory for a few pennies for footwear. At the same time, when and if you see a homeless person wearing a new pair of Nikes, don’t be jealous. In an instant, you could end up seated right next to him in your own brand new Reeboks. ... continued

  • February 24, 2007:     
    All The Usual Suspects
    What has drawn my ire is how the media have already anointed the Seven Dwarves who are going to be the so-called candidate field from which we are going to be called upon to select. In doing so, the local media are not only trying to select for us our next County Executive, but they are also deliberately keeping certain issues off the table and out of the discussion. ... continued

  • February 22, 2007:     
    Bullies For You – Not Me
    A new group of Bullies is attempting to set up shop in Syracuse. No, I am not talking about Cops, or Crips, or Crooks, or ‘Cons. Instead, I am talking basketball. Professional basketball is attempting to come to Syracuse and the team is intending to name itself the Syracuse Bullies. ... continued

  • February 20, 2007:     
    My Proclamation of Emancipation
    The ways of our fathers are romantic. The memories of our mothers are precious. But the time has come to stand up and be adults and demand adult behavior from our leaders. Stop looking for someone to do your work for you. Stop hiding behind your Mommy’s skirts. Be strong, be self reliant, be independent. Demand that from others in your community before we all find ourselves in double secret detention. ... continued

  • February 18, 2007:     
    Jungle Fever at Fayetteville Manlius High School
    One can only conclude that Missionary is acceptable but Jungle is not. Which makes the entire point: Predominately White and Affluent, Manlius residents and the puritans who administer their schools will accept white people dancing. They riot, snub, and turn hostile toward urban, ethnic, nay I say “Black” styles of dance. ... continued

  • February 17, 2007:     
    Shed a Tear for Sex Offender Rights
    So today I too shed a tear as I share a father’s pain. Made to be a vagabond just to see his child; the innocent suffer for the sins of the politicians. I cry for the lost privacy and family rights. My heart is sad and heavy for how we accept this abuse we heap upon each other. Ultimately, if we keep going down this path, we will all be mourning the loss of our freedom and liberty because a boogeyman might be living down the street. ... continued

  • February 16, 2007:     
    Congressional Battle Lines
    To paraphrase my President in a speech given in prime time on September 11, 2006, “we are in the midst of the great ideological battle of the Second Millennium.” He called it the “battle for civilization.” I couldn’t agree more. Today, Congress votes on the Bush plan to expand the War in Iraq. The message Congress sends today will establish America’s ideological future. ... continued

  • February 15, 2007:     
    Snow Blowing
    For me, all I ever say about inclement weather is, “hey, it aint snowing.” If it is then I add, “Hey it could be worse, we could be in Baghdad.” So grab your boots, your shovels, and your ice scrapers and get to work. Quit whining and bellyaching. With November and December and half of January as warm and wonderful as they were, to complain now about the weather is shameful. Suck it up and move on. Remember, only eight more months until winter. ... continued

  • February 14, 2007:     
    Long Live the Liverpool High School Hotties
    Substitute for the girls in skimpy clothes and poses, the Boy’s Basketball Team or the Boy’s Swim Team. Photograph them in ‘come hither’ poses; shirtless, sweaty, and flexed. Would we be having this discussion today? Would that website be taken down? Entitle the webpage, “Boys and Their Balls” and pose a high school boy with a different ball from a different sport. ... continued

  • February 13, 2007:     
    My Bloody Valentine
    What really fries my toast, is the mandatory “Love Me On Demand” nature of the holiday. Anybody who has been engaged in a relationship knows that there are days when your partner is the last person with whom you want to express your love. Undoubtedly, you know those days; the days that it annoys you that your partner is breathing your air. For me, that day always seems to fall on February 14th. ... continued

  • February 12, 2007:     
    Going Down, Down Under
    The Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard, has taken direct aim at a political candidate in an American election and voiced a strong and loudmouthed opinion heard worldwide. “A victory by Senator Obama at next year's US election would be a win for terrorists.” ... Prime Minister Howard should get his Diggers out of their hiding places in Iraq and make them walk a beat in Baghdad. Perhaps if a few thousand Ozzies absorbed some IED shrapnel intended for Americans, their attitude might change. Let the Australian taxpayer find a TRILLION dollars to spend on furthering their foreign policy in Iraq. ... continued

  • February 10, 2007:     
    Stop Making Pinatas Out Of Illegal Immigrants
    We can thank Lou Dobbs and the Clan at CNN, the Ku Klux Klan, Sen. Tom Tancredo, and the Republican Theocrats who brought to the fore an issue that did not exist prior to the rise of the Bush Administration. There have always been folks sneaking across the border; the crime for which is a Violation – akin to a speeding ticket. With the fear and paranoia that took over the White House after ‘9-11’, the safety of the borders became a clarion call. ... continued

  • February 09, 2007:     
    Any Last Words?
    As a citizen of this community, I will join with many others in outrage if Mr. Carncross receives a state prison sentence. Recall that Mr. Carncross was convicted because a New York State Trooper involved in a chase died after he lost control of his vehicle while driving at high speed around a sharp turn and while talking on the radio and cell phone. The public’s heart mourned the loss of the Trooper. But to turn our pain into a bloodlust for a teenager is a larger shame. ... continued

  • February 07, 2007:     
    Loud Mouth at the Loud House
    Over the years, I have screamed and shouted and cried many tears. Of late, the ‘Hill’ is fast becoming known as ‘Heartbreak Ridge’. ... Coach Boeheim, if you want a loud house, then give us something to be loud about. Otherwise, don’t be such a loud mouth. ... continued

  • February 06, 2007:     
    Posers
    Over the years, I have explored all four corners of the internet. I have peeked inside it’s every nook and cranny. Based on all that experience, I have come to a single conclusion. ‘The internet is a vast wasteland of nothingness, that exists nowhere but within the confines of your own fantasies.’ I have held to that statement for more than a decade, and everything I have seen or experienced confirms that analysis. ... continued

  • February 05, 2007:     
    Why Does God Hate the Bears?
    One can hardly blame God for being angry. With so much blood and violence, lust and sex, and sadness and death … and those were just the commercials … what God would not be angry with his People. Rock beats paper, slap fights over beer, machines committing suicide, hearts being battered, and sloppy sex drippings “requiring a cleanup” in the potato chip aisle are not a God fearing people’s finest moments. The Prince of Peace would have thrown up his Last Supper had he endured the whines of the Prince of Half Time faking Jimi Hendrix and Tina Turner. ... continued

  • February 04, 2007:     
    The Legacy of George Ruggaber
    In one of the proudest moments in this County’s history, the legacy of George Ruggaber has awoken the conscience of a community and motivated people to action. In George’s honor, we republish for your consideration, the Eulogy for George written on Christmas day. ... continued

  • February 03, 2007:     
    Unplugging the Dyke – Mary Cheney Unleashed
    Mr. Cheney, in his position in government is in the remarkable situation to shape social policy. His own daughter is living proof that “gays are people too.” A father who will not stand up for his daughter and fight for her rights is a coward. A man who becomes Vice President of the United States and pretends his daughter and her pain do not exist because of party loyalty, demonstrates the lowest form of cowardice. ... continued

  • February 02, 2007:     
    Schools Choosing to Randomly Violate Civil Rights
    Every student should refuse to submit to random drug testing. If but a few willing to accept a suspension stand up for their beliefs to protect not only their friends and peers but also future generations, this stupid expensive policy will stop. Schools should educate, enlighten, and challenge. Theirs is not the task of policing, punishing, monitoring, or engaging in matters beyond their identified mission. My only question is how many of these policymakers could have, in their time, survived this same scrutiny. ... continued

  • January 31, 2007:     
    The Beginning of the End of the United States
    The beginning of the end of the United States started with Abraham Lincoln and ends now with George Bush. When back in the mid 1800s, some of the states, through lawful process, opted to leave the union, the Republican Abraham Lincoln stepped up and attacked. In one fell swoop, that first Republican changed our nation from a voluntary association of independent ‘States’ to a more mafia-esque organization where once you join you can never leave. More importantly, Lincoln made the first moves in what has now become a National Government with States being mere status symbols instead of independent entities. ... continued

  • January 30, 2007:     
    Roots
    Jane Fonda might get the camera’s attention, but my dear friend surely got mine. He gave up far more than did she. His risk was greater, his reward lesser, and his face invisible to the world. Yet, I know that he walked away from the experience having gained far more than even he imagined. For the first time in his life, my friend was out of the closet and in the game. ... continued

  • January 28, 2007:     
    Ted Nugent Really Needs to Shut the Hell Up
    Once again it appears that good old Uncle Ted shot off his mouth and took racist aim at non-White folks. If true, it would be consistent with my own experience with the Grand Master of the guitar here at the New York State Fair back in September of 2005. ... continued

  • January 27, 2007:     
    Fanning the Flaming of Dakota Fanning
    Oh how I wish I were a young movie starlet. Money would be pouring in and my retirement and future would be all set before I grew my first pubic hair. Young successful child stars like Dakota Fanning are the lucky few whose entire life is financially set before they get their first real kiss. Obviously, they could also go bouncing down Bonaduce Boulevard and squander all their fame and fortune. Or, they could maintain a sober perspective on reality and end up as an Ambassador to the United Nations. ... continued

  • January 26, 2007:     
    HARD BALL
    (Today, Syracuse City Parks Commissioner Pat Driscoll has written, “10 simple rules" for anyone involved in youth sports activities in city parks and buildings. In support, the MarkBlum Report© reprints from 2004, one of our most popular guest editorials on the subject of children and sports. Written by Eric Van Slyke, Head Football Coach, Canastota High School, New York, he offers his own 12 considerations for parents and children in sports). ... continued

  • January 24, 2007:     
    The State of Union is Meaningless
    What really scared me and caught my attention was the proclamation by the President that the war he started is going to outlast him, his administration, and will continue for generations to come. He took us from a peaceful world and is intent on leaving this nation embroiled in a war against an unseen enemy who is targeting us specifically because we are involved in this war. Mr. Bush has created the perfect war/storm in which the war continues to feed itself and goes on ad infinitum. ... continued

  • January 23, 2007:     
    The Business of Divorce
    New York's Domestic Relations Act has been affectionately called the "Lawyer's Full Employment Act". It is laced with archaic attitudes and ambiguous terms. Later modifications only made it worse. "Equitable distribution"? What's that? Prove grounds for divorce? Fiscal health is not a factor to be considered in custody awards? What all this does, is create havoc amongst lawyers and clients and make aggravating and expensive what should otherwise be a cool business settlement. ... continued

  • January 21, 2007:     
    Are You High?
    Here in Onondaga County, we are living in one of the least populated, least productive Counties in the United States and still pay the third highest property taxes in the Nation. ... Yet, doing what we have been unsuccessfully doing for the past 30 years ... for another 30 years and hoping for a different result is just insane. This forced morality is a luxury County taxpayers can no longer afford. ... continued

  • January 20, 2007:     
    The Education of Young Master Ross
    I promise you that indeed your time will come. It may be tomorrow or in 50 years. But I guarantee you that there will come a moment in your life when you are hit in the face with that which lights you up. Your passion and fire will be ignited. That will be the time when everything you have worked for, learned, and experienced in life will all come together. It will be at that moment when either you will step up and fight for your cause, or you will become a Republican like your father and seek comfort and safety over liberty. ... continued

  • January 19, 2007:     
    Pond Scum Politics
    Since the lie of “Strict Construction” has been exposed, the crazies on the extreme right are test marketing a new concept. It is called “Originalism”. Based on the same political misunderstanding ... this new horse in the theoretical race for the soul of America is the same lame policy; although given a new coat of paint. Just as humans arose from the primoridial soup, so too must this Nation arise up and evolve toward her higher angels. ... continued

  • January 18, 2007:     
    Amicus Curious
    The real issue though is that while judges have the legal power to take action against parties and lawyers who make the judge wait for even a moment, there is no quid pro quo. It is a fair assumption that millions of dollars are wasted each year in legal and other costs by citizens who have to sit around court rooms waiting for judges to arrive or for their case to be called and resolved. ... continued

  • January 16, 2007:     
    “Surge” Protector
    Two nights ago, on national television, my President threatened a Coup d’Etat. President Bush wrongly believes that under the caption of ‘commander in chief’ he has the constitutional authority to move ahead with his proposed deployment even if told not to by legislation. In his worldview the president perceives his power trumps the will of Congress. If anything should be going forward, it should be a war crimes trial. ... continued

  • January 14, 2007:     
    Out-House Politics at Syracuse City Hall
    Despite more than ten days of public discussion of the miseries and experiences of homelessness and hunger in Onondaga County and specifically in Syracuse, it appears the Common Council and police department just don’t get it. From a read of this morning’s newspaper, it appears there was an actual conspiracy to disenfranchise city residents from their residences and steal from them their worldly belongings. ... continued

  • January 13, 2007:     
    The Unconstitutional Benching of the Heavy Hitters
    People want to hire “those types” of lawyers because in their minds, sometimes Superman wears a suit and carries a briefcase. The general public may not be skilled on the law but they are also not idiots. They seem to be able to buy automobiles and houses and engage in commerce and make decisions on complex issues all by themselves. How far will we take this ‘political correctness’ movement and how much will government feel it has the right to control what the public sees and how it sees it? Paternalism manifesting as censorship runs afoul of freedom and the very rights our profession holds dear. ... continued

  • January 12, 2007:     
    Tattletales
    UCE seems to be an amalgamation of very angry people, disappointed in their personal lives, who only find validation in bringing down the joy and peace of others. Perhaps it is something far more sinister: Maybe, they just don't like people who gamble, or people who smoke, or who drink alcohol, or who have money enough to gamble. It could be something as simple as petty pathetic childish jealousy. ... continued

  • January 11, 2007:     
    Ice, Ice, Baby
    .
    In honor of the first real snowfall of the winter of 2006/2007 on January 10, 2007, the MarkBlum Report© has regurgitated from its January and February 2005 archives, the gripping tale of one lawyer’s slow slippery slide into an icicle induced insanity. ... continued

  • January 10, 2007:     
    Angels in Our Midst
    .
    At the invitation of the Rescue Mission, I was escorted today and shown their entire operation in Downtown Syracuse. To say that the employees and volunteers who give so much of themselves down at the mission are society’s ‘angels’ is wholly an understatement. I met former homeless, former deputy sheriffs, nurses, doctors, and counselors offering their time and resources to stand the wall and be the last line of defense for the weakest among us. It was indeed a humbling experience. ... continued

  • January 09, 2007:     
    Let Them Suffer Like the Rest of Us
    .
    Society has no interest in assuring that marriage remains a heterosexual relationship. We cannot succumb to claims that marriage is about procreation when we tolerate couples to be legally married who do not intend to have children, who cannot have children, or who are post-childbearing. There is also no basis that marriage has to be between man and woman “because that is the way it has always been done” when we live in a world where slavery, pedophilia, and imperialism were likewise once the norms. ... continued

  • January 06, 2007:    
    Mash Up of Catholics and Conservatives
    .
    Instead, the Cardinals gave us Ratzinger; now Pope Benedict. He is a hard-core fundamentalist who named himself after the Saint known for his adherence to strict interpretation and isolation from the general world. Instead of a leader capable of facing the issues of the 21st century, the Church has guaranteed that it will adhere and hold fast to practices and policies dating back to the days of witchcraft and when the sun revolved around the flat earth. ... continued

  • January 05, 2007:    
    The Pearl of Syracuse
    .
    The City of Syracuse is becoming famous for its inhumanity toward its weakest and most defenseless citizens. ... George Huggaber is barely ten days in his grave and in his honor, City police and work crews went out yesterday and drove more homeless and hungry people out from their Pearl Street shelter. ... In the opinion of City leaders, the one in a million chance of a car overturning on a guard railing off the highway at that specific spot ... is justification to summarily throw all these people's worldly goods in the garbage and send them out wandering the streets without even a doorway in which to rest. ... continued

  • January 02, 2007:    
    Supreme Crybaby
    .
    What a whining crybaby our nation's Chief Judge has become. Arguing that he just cannot make ends meet on $165,000 a year, Chief Justice John Roberts says the pay scale for federal judges is reaching a “constitutional crisis”. What is reaching a constitutional crisis is the arrogance of the federal judiciary. ... continued

  • January 01, 2007:    
    Defend the Salina 29
    .
    While good businesses are shut down this year and the Congel White Elephant leaves its ugly footprint on the face of Onondaga County, take heed and warning; the enemy of the People is not the people or factions thereof. The enemy is your government, its leaders, and their mindset of following the will of the largest campaign contributors.
    ... continued

  • December 31, 2006:    
    Teachers; Lie No More
    .
    I have set today’s agenda because in the midst of a heated discussion of her plans to attend a New Years Eve party, my youngest said she had the “right to speaking” and to her opinion. Shocked, I asked her what she meant by that; wanting to tease out what she really knew. She said she only knew that in America, in the Constitution, she had to right to speak freely. You can imagine her shock when I made it clear her constitutional rights to speak were limited by my ability to duct tape her mouth shut and lock her in her room for a year.
    ... continued

  • December 30, 2006:    
    Be It Resolved in 2007
    .
    With the dawn of a New Year all ready to pounce
    I have decided to resolve; affirm and announce
    ...
    Instead of promises that I will make to be broken
    To avoid all that depression from failing and chokin`
    ... continued

  • December 29, 2006:    
    Nick Pirro, Nevermind Smoking. Raise the Age for Fatness
    .
    Liberty and freedom are at the core of what we believe. If we love our fellow man, then we should step aside and let people enjoy that liberty; even if the decisions made are stupid. The stupidity we protect is our own. Lovie Winslow is living proof of that. ... continued

  • December 28, 2006:    
    The Surrender of America
    .(Reprinted from August 2006)
    America surrendered. If you think this is a joke or a fallacy or some obnoxious attack upon Republican policy, you are dead wrong. It is clear that the United States Government, by and through the actions of her President and his supporters, has surrendered. In my opinion, the so-called War on Terrorism is over. America lost and from hereon in, every body buried and dollar spent is just contributing to the contrition we will have to make later. ... continued

  • December 26, 2006:    
    In The Desert, My Horse has a Name
    .
    The battle for Iraq was lost the day we defeated the enemy and encamped. From that day forth, we have become the enemy; our own worst enemy. ... Lyndon Johnson and then Richard Nixon also felt if we just increased troop levels, we could shore up a government and build them a military. ... No, Mister President and no Senator McCain; the answer to Iraq is not more American dead and wounded. The solution is not a New Deal or a Big Deal, but a "No Deal". ... continued

  • Special Report    
    Eulogy for George Ruggaber
    .
    People die; that is life. The manner of their death, the dignity with which they lived their lives, and the mark they make upon society all intersect with each and every one of us. ... Not one of us should ever die alone, cold, in an abandoned doorway on a urine infested Syracuse street on the Eve of the celebration of Christmas. Let that be George’s legacy; that there be no more like him. ... continued

  • December 23, 2006:    
    The Spirit of Christmas
    .
    In my writings and observations here, I focus hard on the inconsistencies and ironies of life. Great effort is made to expose the hypocrisy of everyday conventions which, in their effect, I feel hold us back as a People and a nation. It matters not whether you agree; I consider my mission complete when I am read and when you take a moment to pause and reconsider your own value system. ... continued

  • December 22, 2006:    
    In Bad Taste: A Restaurant Revue
    .
    The Olive Garden was booked and Taco Bell is having lettuce problems. What used to be a fabulous Thai restaurant when in Mattydale, the now Lemon Grass is just a McDonalds with an Asian twist. Once the crème de la crème, Pasquales on Hawley, moved downtown and became little more than an arrogant and pompous wine bar. Nowhere anymore can locals really go to impress visiting City folk. So, I opted for the Arad Evans in Fayetteville. ... continued

  • December 20, 2006:    
    Onondaga County Needs a Public Defender
    .
    I propose now, as I have long advocated, that Onondaga County create an office of a Public Defender. Our community needs a public official on par with the District Attorney, with a budget and resources suitable to meet the indigent defense needs of our County. ... continued

  • December 19, 2006:     Hey Mr. Family Court Judge, Tear Down That Tree.
    As a general rule, I stay out of the annual Christmas Wars – and for good reason. Being of a cultural and religious minority, speaking up and telling the truth, as I have learned at Nottingham High School, could have career implicating consequences. Even the one lone Rabbi in Seattle just wanted to join in on the Christian partying by placing a Menorah in the airport became the target of national scorn. It is indeed dangerous for a Jew to speak up. There are times though when it has to be done and this is one of them. ... continued

  • December 18, 2006:     Movie Review: There is No “I” in “Happyness”.
    (Warning! Spoilers). The real star of the movie is young Mr. Smith. The natural son of the lead, it is more through the eyes of the child that we witness the pain of the father. Parents suffer tremendously as they at times endure severe hardship to protect their children from pain. Smith does a wonderful job of making the point as he and his son find a safe cave from encroaching dragons and boiling lava. ... continued

  • December 17, 2006:     Santa’s Going Upside Your Head.
    This thing I do every year is fun and I can imagine that one or two children out there really believes that Santa is the naked guy hiding in the bushes outside the kid’s room at night and is going to sneak in and kill everybody in the house. ... continued

  • December 16, 2006:     Le Grande Morte.
    In my world, I and those around me are dying. Actually, we are all dying and have been so since the day we were born. There comes a point however that those we know and love are one at a time falling into graves. In the past week, I have come face to face with the very real possibility that two people I know and love deeply may not see the Spring. ... continued

  • December 15, 2006:     Carter’s Pills.
    Of late, our former President, Jimmy Carter has been pilloried for his public comments on Israel and the role that nation plays in our own foreign policy. Encapsulating Carter’s argument; he opines that too much focus and blind allegiance is given by the American government to Israel regardless of how Israel deploys her own foreign policy. We, as Americans are challenged by our former President to start by asking what is in our own best interest first. It is a very hard pill he asks us to swallow. ... continued

  • December 13, 2006:     Living in the Danger Zone.
    Thanks to an invitation from the Oswego City Mayor, violence and death now stalks the People of Oswego County ... Instead of working for a way to enable business disputes to be settled with high powered lawyers in court rooms, the unholy alliance between cops and robbers insist on a policy that leaves all sides no option but to use high powered weapons on street corners. ... continued

  • December 12, 2006:     Fat Studies.
    We live in a world where getting Fat is now an Affirmative Action. Boiling up on college campuses under the guise of legitimate study, there is a half baked theory of human studies now gelling into a pseudo social science. They call it “Fat Studies” ... “Proponents of fat studies see it as the sister subject ... to women's studies, queer studies, disability studies and ethnic studies." ... continued

  • December 11, 2006: Teaching Ignorance.
    Since efforts are underway to silence my voice and limit the content of my presentations, I call upon the teachers and principals who are so offended to themselves take the responsibility to educate future generations of citizens. Justify for these kids the inequities in the system and how they the students, as future voters, have no choice but to let government completely run and dominate their lives; liberty be damned.. ... continued

  • December 9, 2006: Berger Commission Pulls the Plug on New York Health Care.
    “Coward” is the first word that comes to mind when legislators hide behind laws that are automatic so the politicians can claim political cover. More importantly however, is that accepting the Berger Commission’s findings and making them law is the same as relying upon former Enron executives to establish and supervise corporate accounting procedures. ... continued

  • December 7, 2006: Producing Fences, Building Walls.
    The Fowler Drama Department had produced and ran successfully ..., the play ‘Fences’. "What would have happened,” I asked loudly, “if instead of at Fowler, the play ‘Fences’ was produced and performed at Fayetteville Manlius High School?” ... continued

  • December 6, 2006: Fight the Battles on the Homefront First .
    "But, this is not about Viet Nam nor Iraq. This is about the City of Syracuse and the question of how many more must die before the City quits killing its own. I personally am sick and disgusted with how our system is destroying lives and ruining futures every day for no other reason that job security for a handful of fanatics.” ... continued

  • December 5, 2006: Commandments In The Name of the Lord.
    "The Supreme Court seems more focused on sensibilities than on law. Theirs are decisions that made people’s feelings and intentions the relevant factor. Thomas Jefferson and others made it clear in their writings and speeches: The wall between church and state is absolute. “How it makes you feel” was never part of the calculus. Neither was the reason why the State crossed that line.” ... continued

  • December 4, 2006: Open Letter to Nottingham High.
    "Just as I finished lecturing on how there is no constitutional right to privacy and how there is no constitutional right to life, somebody asked me about the constitutional right to pee. At Notthingham High School, all the bathrooms in the entire complex are closed and locked … except for one bathroom … and any student wishing to use MUST have an escort.” ... continued

  • December 1, 2006: Cannon Fodder.
    "But, the Republicans and our President were so afraid of the enemy that they forgot why they were elected in the first place. ‘Vengeance’ is not a national policy. Shutting down opposition voices is dangerous. Once a people have tasted freedom, taking it away again is not done easily. Ask Mr. Al Sadr." ... continued

  • November 30, 2006: Jumping on the Pedophile Bandwagon.
    "Based on [Cicero Town Councilor Jim] Corl’s logic, he seeks to protect children from predators, but cares not one whit about murderers, thieves, or drunk drivers prowling his Town. Where is the legislation restricting where those people can live?" ... continued

  • November 29, 2006: The Crucifixion of Carncross.
    "The Trooper did not die defending us from speeders on motorcycles. He lived and died defending the constitution. This prosecution is a 5,000 pound sledgehammer used to swat at a fly. A conviction will not ease our pain nor bring back Craig. Such heavy handed prosecution only spreads the pain and ruins more lives. In doing so, society is not bettered.." ... continued

  • November 28, 2006: Tis the Season to Drink and Drive.
    "It is NOT illegal to drink and drive. New York and the rest of the United States has never taken a position that we do not want people drinking and driving. In fact, we encourage drinking and driving. Bars do not come to your house and they do not offer rides to all their patrons. Same with restaurants and office parties; there is plenty of booze and no rides for the partygoers. We know and accept that people get behind the wheel of a car. It does not bother us." ... continued

  • November 26, 2006: The MarkBlumReport Sued for Divorce.
    "The Jefferson County (New York) Public Defender’s Office has decided to spend precious tax dollars to name this website in a divorce action. ... continued

  • November 25, 2006: Full Frontal Assault.
    "Now, if we assume that no government of the United States would ever sanction a religious holiday, we have to assume that the “Christmas” legislators had in mind was the Christmas of Santa Claus and Rudolph, of gift giving and office parties, of Mistletoe and Chestnuts. It is very unlikely that this national holiday is intended by design or operation to be a State sponsored celebration of the birth of the Christian messiah." ... continued

  • November 24, 2006: A Call to Cancel Health Insurance.
    "It is time to correct a sixty year old bad habit that started as a fad and marketing trend and has since blossomed into what most folks consider a near constitutional right. I speak of the new age belief that an employer must provide health care benefits to its employees." ... continued

  • November 23, 2006: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
    "Blessings from God or from Mother Earth or just the results of your own sweat and toil should always be treasured. Never forget that everything around you; your family, your job, your wealth, and your happiness … all of it, can be gone in an instant. Like many of you, I once felt invincible. I once felt as though nothing could harm me and I could weather any storm. Homelessness and standing in food lines changed that arrogance." ... continued

  • November 22, 2006: The Last Line of Defense.
    In my opinion, the President of the United States himself should pay a personal visit to each of these victims and apologize personally on behalf of the nation. We owe them no less." ... continued

  • November 21, 2006: Old Man River of Blood.
    "From day one in law school, the maxim that “hard cases make bad law” has proven itself over and over. With such a sympathetic defendant before the Court, the judge obviously had a hard time enforcing the law and made what I consider to be one of the worst decisions ever. Age apparently, has its privileges. I can’t wait to find out." ... continued

  • November 20, 2006: Game On.
    "Station officials went off to huddle and try and resolve the situation. Did they have two winners? It was a comedy to see small gaggles of people moving and talking. The station people were in one group. Us prize winners were in another. Everybody else was kind of following us around and waiting to see what the station was going to do. The drama on site was greater than anything that was going to happen later at the Dome." ... continued

  • MOVIE REVIEW: Casino Royale is Only for the Loyal.
    WARNING: SPOILERS! "From the mucky waters of the hell into which the newly cast Double-Oh emerges and though he may try and salvage the one last bit of his humanity and compassion, the entire message becomes suddenly clear. This film is about the birth of Bond, James Bond. As with any birth, it is ugly, full of naked raw pain, laced with sex, and horrifying except to those with an eye for the real beauty that lies within. " ... continued

  • November 19, 2006: The Great American Shame.
    "On November 16, 2006, the United States Department of Agriculture released its report for Hunger in the United States for the year 2005. In their own numbers, twelve percent of Americans -- 35 million people -- could not put food on the table at least part of last year. Eleven million of them reported going hungry at times. The Richest, Most Powerful Nation on the Earth and in all of History, with the Greatest Liberty and Recognition of the Human Being and an Indelible Right to Life, stands quiet while more than 1 in ten people go hungry. I am ashamed of my country. You should be too. " ... continued

  • November 17, 2006: Hey FM Teachers, Leave Those Kids Alone.
    "Dance historically has shown itself as a means by which a population frees itself and manifests joy. Slaves freed in the late 1800’s developed their own styles of dance and music that “mainstream America” found very offensive. The Georgia Grind, Ballin’ The Jack and Walkin’ The Dog, Lindy Hop, Juba and Charleston, Black Bottom and The Mess Around, Big Apple and Trucking, Shimmy, and Steppin’ on the Cootie are but some of shimmies and shakin` that was-a-goin` on back on through the 1940’s. By the 1970s, the slippery, sliding Slop was in style." ... continued

  • November 16, 2006: Striving for Failure.
    "Lovie Winslow and others want to raise the age at which American citizens can purchase cigarettes in Onondaga County to age 19. They base their argument on, “if we can save just one life, it will be worth it” ... Imagine if we held our police officers or teachers or even garbage collectors to that same standard. ... If just one student learned math or if we captured just one criminal or if we emptied just one garbage can, it was all worth it." ... continued

  • November 14, 2006: A Murder in Oz.
    "Remember from the tale, the so-called Good Witch, Glinda? The facts are that she is a lying killer who, together with that con man from the Emerald City, conspired to use and manipulate Dorothy to commit the most gruesome of murders. Glinda deserves the death penalty. She should not be elevated to the status of heroine." ... continued

  • November 11, 2006: Do Not Mess With Me.
    "We choose our politics and government by ballots, not bullets and despite the outcome, we agree to live with the results and to defend those results with our lives. It is the power of the ballot and the People having a voice that makes our fist the one you don’t want crashing into your face. Whether it is a left hook or a right jab, it will be a solid American punch our enemies feel should they err in judgment."... continued

  • November 9, 2006: A Good Hard Thumpin’.
    "My President wants conciliation. Fine, but I want a full acknowledgment that nothing my belief system supports poses a threat to the nation. San Francisco values are the same as Pensacola values and are the same as Syracuse values; they are all American values enumerated in our Founding documents."... continued

  • November 8, 2006: Where is the Mystery Voter?
    "Now that the dust has settled and the election is over, the time has come to lick our wounds and move on. As the pundits and political hacks dissect and analyze all the niggling trivialities of the campaign, I just want to meet the “guy”."... continued

  • November 7, 2006: Ain’t No Jew in G.O.P..
    "Christians and Republicans see Jews as a threat to their ultimate control of Israel and return of Christ. Like their Muslim brothers, Christians are an offshoot cult of Judaism and also like their Muslim brothers, Christians have always held Jews in great contempt. The earth is well stained with our blood as Christians and Muslims have tried to win the day by the point of a sword. "... continued

  • November 5, 2006: The Crimes; They Are-a-Changing.
    "If I were a prosecutor, that Party could easily be indicted for fraud, breach of contract, and misrepresentation. Eighteen promises were made and eighteen promises were broken. The only question is whether it was intentional .... Added to that would be the ultimate crime against the State for any politician or political party: Cowardice. Republicans are cowards and have used their own fears against Americans despite the enemy being Al Qaeda. They see threats from anybody who is not like them. ..."... continued

  • November 4, 2006: Republican Three Card Monty.
    "By way of example … imagine I hit you on the head every day with a hammer for five years. One day I stop and tell you that I want to be your friend and I promise not to hit you any more on the head with a hammer. Will you love me? Republicans want you to love them because the pain has started to subside and the “Hammer” is under indictment." continued....

  • November 3, 2006: Cowards of the County.
    "The last minute rush to slime the airwaves by political candidates has yielded a remarkable trend; mostly by Republicans. They do not have an effective economic policy, their foreign policy is a shambles, and they have brought great shame upon their party and this Nation. As we wind down to these last hours and minutes of the campaign, local Republicans have run for cover behind the skirts of women and little girls." continued....

  • November 1, 2006: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of an Abortion.
    "But I repeat now what I said then. Bravo South Dakota. The Inalienable Right to Life is something long since forgotten in our history. Its resurrection was to be one of the few bright stars undimmed in this dark age of neo con Christian madness. Maybe next time." continued....

  • October 30, 2006: Baby Jail.
    (Republished for your reading enjoyment). "At first, she looked hard at me recognizing the evil within. Yet, she could not look away. She tried to look away a couple of times, but she eventually her eyes came back. She was my prisoner. So, I started ...." continued....

  • October 28, 2006: Fright Night.
    "But, in Black I was and inside the Haunted House I lurked. Saying little if nothing, all I had to do was just move to elicit a scream or flood a girl’s panties with fresh urine. More than one macho guy passed by me leaving the scent of crap filled pants trailing behind them. It was just too much fun and far too easy." continued....

  • October 26, 2006: Ethnic Cleansing in Upstate New York.
    "For the past fifteen years, I have been a sidelined observer in a process that is eradicating an entire generation of citizens from the streets of cities and towns all over New York. Had this been Kosovo or Darfur or if bullets and machetes were being used, the outcry would be loud. Because however the actions are being taken under the guise of “law”, we sit passively by as thousands are disenfranchised, incarcerated, killed, maimed, and forever removed from civil society." continued...
    ... Here, read the report.

  • October 24, 2006: Whose Child Is This?
    "Over the years, whenever I would give tours of the Courthouse here in Onondaga County, as I would pass through the sea of humanity that swamps the first floor around the Family Court and Child Support hearing rooms, my comment was always, “this is where you will see the worst of man’s inhumanity to man”. Every time I set foot in any of those Court rooms, I bear witness to a downward spiral into the hell of human narcissism." continued....

  • October 22, 2006: Off the Bench and Out of the Closet.
    "Our current Supreme Court has been anything but strictly adherent to the Founders’ intentions or to the strict letter of the Constitution. The loudest voices for judicial temperament and strict interpretation have the dirtiest hands on the subject of strictly reading and applying only the text of the actual document. Scalia is the most serious offender and does the most violence in his own preachings." continued....

  • October 19, 2006: Jeff Brown Strikes Out.
    "In the end, Brown’s campaign is without substance and causing more harm than good. His personal greed and loyalty to party over constituency is appalling and shameful. I cannot encourage you with words strong enough to keep Mr. Valesky in the Senate and let Mr. Brown move on to what is obviously his next career; lobbying." continued....

  • October 18, 2006: Pain Free and Life is Worth Living.
    "First, there is the wiggling back and forth; back and forth. “That aint bad”, you think. Then comes the tugging; a little at first and then with increasing pressure. You resist. The tugging continues. You know are you are about to lose the battle when the crunching starts. Like a handful of Doritos being smashed up inside your head, you hear the crunching and crackling as the roots let go of their base. Within a minute, it is over and you have given birth to a brand new baby tooth." continued....

  • October 16, 2006: Shame on Syracuse Housing Authority.
    "None of us ever plans to end up old, poor, and dependent on the largesse of the City of Syracuse. We all have high hopes and dreams and plans for a safe and secure and comfortable future. Ask me someday how quickly that can all disappear and how far away you really are from homelessness and food lines." continued....

  • October 15, 2006: Time Again for a Full Metal Jacket.
    "The problems is that now, someone new will step in and fill the void. But, should two people want the same job; instead of interviews, we get gunfire. It is that simple. Once shots are fired, they fire in two directions ... and then on more occasions ... and then it becomes intergenerational. The cycle only worsens until election time when our elected ones want their jobs back and Operation Impact comes in and arrests the whole neighborhood and the cycle starts all over again." continued....

  • October 12, 2006: Chuck Korea.
    "Not so fast there, Dear Reader. While we and the rest of the world are appalled, incensed, shocked, dismayed, and totally perturbed about the nuclear test, … guess who of all nations is going to ignore the United Nations sanctions, go against the United States and her goals, and feed the North Korean government with hundreds of millions of dollars?" continued....

  • October 10, 2006: Bloody Friday the 13th.
    "For most, Friday the 13th is about as dirty a day as you can get. It is seen as dark and ugly, foreboding and dangerous. For me, I have always considered it a lucky day. Perhaps “lucky” is not the true word. “Theater of the Weird” would probably be more befitting. Contrary to popular thinking, however, I relish an approaching Friday the 13th. Something is going to happen. " continued....

  • A MarkBlum Report Special News Exclusive: Death in the Family.A Syracuse Police Officer committed suicide Thursday night / Friday morning (10/5-6) by a self inflicted gunshot. I have no personal interest in seeing harm brought onto the Officer’s family or friends nor am I going to repeat his name here. But a police officer committed suicide. We should know why." continued....

  • October 08, 2006: Day of Defeat.
    "It was supposed to be a day that turned everything around. The Syracuse Orange football team found itself with a record of 2-2; doubling last year’s win record. After a near win over Iowa, hopes were high that Pitt would go down hard. Yet, after two years now, it appears that the new Carrier Dome infield has turned the Hill into a Kennedy-esque ‘Grassy Knoll’ for Orange football." continued....

  • October 07, 2006: Jeff Brown Breaks Republican Bank to Steal Seat.
    "Already having spent more than ¾ of a million dollars, Josef Bruno and the Deep Pocket Republicans are working overtime to unseat a productive and valuable State Senator for only one reason; because they the Republicans want to expand and strengthen their choke hold around the neck of the Senate and New Yorkers. Compelling Jeff Brown to quit his Assembly Seat, Bruno has put a pretty face on the ugly attempt to maintain Party domination." continued....

  • October 04, 2006: Tubers and the Republican Backsplash.
    "In the now famous words of Senator Ted Stevens, “the internet is a series of tubes”. We can add to that quote that the Internet is a series of tubes through which Congress can engage in cyber sex with our children. Florida Republican Congressman Mark Foley was caught with one hand in the tube and the other you-know-where." continued....

  • October 03, 2006: Lord, Protect Them From My Own Weakness.
    "As for me … should all the Christian teachings be true and their really is a heaven and a hell, I am confident that no matter which course eternity takes me, I shall be in the company of some very dear friends." continued....

  • October 01, 2006: Bad, Bad Jeffrey Brown.
    "Instead of sticking around and doing his job, Brown and his colleagues took off for a twelve-day “Spring Break.” My eighth grade daughter does not get a twelve day ‘Spring Break”. I could never take a 12-day Spring Break. We, as constituents, voters and citizens of New York had to sit tight and hold our collective breaths until Brown and Co. got their fill of ‘Girls Gone Wild’." continued....

  • September 28, 2006: The Dangerous Policy of Officer Safety.
    "If I too were confronted with such a situation, then I too would believe that something is not only “up” but that the person before me is not afraid of me and is not responding to commands. “Officer Safety” is the Golden Rule. “Let’s be careful out there”, is what its all about. If what he says is true, then Officer Shick did everything his training and environment taught him. Whether his termination is justified is another question. On the facts presented however, one cannot fault this officer for doing everything required under the circumstances." continued....

  • September 26, 2006: Christian versus Christian, Republican versus Republican.
    "I see a religion premised upon concepts of fear, oppression, intimidation, and the use of violence to spread their dogma. Christianity, as an institution, seems to not be capable of thriving in quiet and peace with its neighbors. Somewhere in the dogma is a desire and zeal to save the souls of others and to bring others into the flock. Those who choose not to join are damned for all eternity and will rot in the darkest bowels of hell. Muslim Jihadists will just kill you. Christians condemn you for all eternity." continued....

  • September 22, 2006: Time Passages.
    "If the airlines want to start a trend whereby they will sue passengers who cause delays, then let these same airlines pay for the hours passengers sit in waiting areas, security checkpoints, runways, and flight times. Once a court sanctions remuneration for inconvenience and lost time, I intend to abandon my boycott of flying and become a frequent flyer. Given airline on-time records, I could fund my retirement within the next six months." continued....

  • September 20, 2006: Liberate America from the Republican Party.
    "To paraphrase my President in a speech given in prime time on September 11, 2006, “we are in the midst of the great ideological battle of the Second Millennium.” He called it the “battle for civilization.” I couldn’t agree more." continued....

  • September 17, 2006: Stop Making Pinatas Out Of Illegal Immigrants.
    "For the record, an “illegal immigrant” is a misnomer. An immigrant is someone who migrates to a place to stay. One who migrates to the United States without going through the “system” but instead just walks across the border is here in violation of U.S. civil law. They are not criminals and have committed no offense greater than a speeding ticket. Their mere presence alone constitutes no threat. We must not allow ourselves to be caught up again in the fear and hate mongering that goes along with a warming up Republican election machine." continued ...

  • September 16, 2006: The One Free Walk Rule.
    (Re-posted by request). "It never ceases to amaze me whenever I walk into Court representing a client charged with a less-than-felony-level marijuana crime, how the Judge will look at me cross-eyed when I insist that he dismiss the charges. Judges, prosecutors and most defense lawyers think I am crazy when not only do I request the dismissal but declare that the Court MUST dismiss the charge under New York’s ‘one free walk’ rule." continued ...

  • September 14, 2006: Is Nick Pirro on Drugs?.
    "One point one two BILLION dollars to run Onondaga County for one year? Two hundred thousand dollars for a computer program to catch a handful of cheats? Seven plus million dollars to refurbish the County Court House. Is it me or has County Government lost its mind? This Republican dominated County leadership must be on some very good drugs to propose a budget of $1.12 Billion." continued ...

  • By the numbers, that comes to approximately $2,500.00 in taxes for every man, woman, and child in the county.

  • September 13, 2006: I Was in Jail Yesterday.
    "Yes, it is true. Through no fault of my own (heard that one before?), I spent six hours against my will at the Onondaga County Justice Center in Downtown Syracuse." continued ...
  • September 12, 2006: The Unholy Alliance of Cops and Robbers.
    "This war against Americans has got to stop. People tell me on one hand they are doing this violence to make all of us safer while at the same time, they stand helpless while more and more of our kids are dying. These cops tell the public to be very afraid of the junkie who is jonesing. They tell us the gangs will be worse. ... Since business conflicts cannot be stopped with high powered lawyers in court rooms, they must resort to using high powered weapons on street corners." continued ...
  • September 11, 2006: How We Lost the War on Terrorism.

  • "As all of us suffer and mourn this day in remembrance of the life, property, and dreams that collapsed five years ago, we should never forget who are our enemies and why we fight. Going to War against Terrorism, like going to War against Drugs … is going to War against an inanimate object or a methodology of combat … it has been a fool’s errand. Kicking the crap out of those who intend us harm should have been goal #1. Instead, our President led us around the world seeking to change the sociology and politics of every society." continued ...

  • September 9, 2006: On Fulton’s Proposed Curfew Law.

  • "The City of Fulton’s current efforts to impose a curfew on young adults is a really bad idea. The Old Folks have taken over government and seek to impose themselves as super-parents. What’s next for Fulton … no dancing?" continued ...

  • September 8, 2006: Mom … Dad, it is Time to Talk.

  • "We are a nation of adults; born free and guaranteed the inalienable right to happiness and liberty. Accepting anything that reduces that liberty must be hard sold. Those who run or act upon the backs and arguments of “the children” must be ignored. “Childhood” is a temporary condition in the human lifespan … lasting between 14 and 40 years of each human life. Passing a law or making policy on behalf of children is harmful to the vast majority of us Adults." continued ...

  • September 6, 2006: Dare to Say No to D.A.R.E..

  • "Welcome back to school boys and girls. This year, like every one of its predecessors, should be eye opening, enlightening, and filled with wonderment. Don’t just swallow what is being taught. Fight, debate, make your teachers work to convince you and to educate you. Nothing in life is to be taken at face value. “Learning” is the process of critical thinking." continued ...

  • August 24 - September 3, 2006: Rat Tales.

  • One Lawyer's Journey Down the Rabbit Hole at the 2006 Great New York State Fair continued ...

  • August 22, 2006: Achilles’ Butt.

  • "The bottom line from this whole experience is that my butts are my Achilles’ Heel. They are the one character flaw and personal weakness I cannot overcome. Only death is going to heal me. It is going to be my destiny to be a living and dying example to my children and theirs that smoking is not a way to live your life. Whatever demon creeps behind the dam being plugged by those butts is too much for me to handle." continued ...

  • August 21, 2006: My Scarlet Letter.

  • Every once in a while, I am slapped in the face with the hard cold reminder of my own fallibility and mortality. Some people consider some sins to be absolutely unforgivable. My sin was lying to a Federal Judge. For that, I paid dearly. In response to recent letters, I resubmit for your consideration (written three years ago) the details of my sin and the price thereof. Originally titled, Riding the Wings of Icarus. continued ...

  • August 20, 2006: The Surrender of America.

  • "America surrendered. If you think this is a joke or a fallacy or some obnoxious attack upon Republican policy, you are dead wrong. It is clear that the United States Government, by and through the actions of her President and his supporters, has surrendered. In my opinion, the so-called War on Terrorism is over. America lost and from hereon in, every body buried and dollar spent is just contributing to the contrition we will have to make later." continued ...

  • August 19, 2006: The Second Commandment.

  • "Put in modern context; had Jesus been executed fifty years ago, Christians today would be walking around with little lightening bolts hanging around their necks and building giant marble electric chairs with a strapped in Jesus. But back in the days of Roman domination in Palestine, the common form of execution was crucifixion; and it was not always as pretty and neat as Mel Gibson tried to portray." continued ...

  • August 16, 2006: Goodbye, My Love.

  • "She was my heart and soul. Over the many years, we have traveled together, she has been my rock, my comfort, my home, my strength, my peace, and at times the only one who would carry me in her warmth. The memories we shared; good times and bad, through tears and indescribable joy, we were always together." Update: My baby was found and brought home safe later that night ... and the mystery deepens. continued ...

  • August 15, 2006: Shame on You, Dick Case.

  • "All in all, for someone of your stature in the community, I am very angry at you Mr. Case. Your quick jump to racial stereotypes to build an explanation for a social phenomena is weak and without cause. If you would get out of your suburban lifestyle and vehicle and spend a few days “out there”, you might learn facts upon which you can build an argument. Until then, however, you owe a great many people an apology." continued ...

  • August 14, 2006: An Open Letter to the President of Iran.

  • "I see this morning that you have joined the voices of the new millennium by starting your own blog. Welcome to my world. In your world as President of Iran, you are the last voice on all issues. As a member of the blogosphere, you are just another face and another voice. Still, I welcome you with open arms and hope you keep publishing." continued ...

  • August 13, 2006: China Induces Walmart Labor Pains.

  • Guest columnist Robert Judd, President, BCTGMIU Local 116 discusses the unionization of Walmart. continued ...

  • August 12, 2006: The Necessary Slaughter of the Sacred Cow.

  • "One simple and quick change fixes the entire system. It substantially reduces the burden of social security, it expands the benefits the system could pay out, and saves our children’s grandchildren untold tax burdens. If we change our perspective of Social Security from being an annuity to being an insurance policy, the problem is alleviated." continued ...

  • August 9, 2006: Jihad Joe.

  • "Senator Joe Lieberman was the best thing to happen to the Republican party since Karl Rove learned how to count votes. Today, finally, he is no longer a voice for the Democrats in Connecticut." continued ...

  • August 8, 2006: FIRE!

  • "Ever wonder what it is like to experience your home burning down? One year ago today, my family and I did just that. Here is the story as it was told then; reprinted for your reading pleasure." continued ...

  • August 7, 2006: The American Legion Declares War on Civil Rights.

  • "The blowback from Brownback’s legislation will forever cripple the citizen’s ability to stand up to illegal government actions. If we take away the route of the Courts, then the only option left is found in the Second Amendment. Ironic is it not, how the American Legion; established to honor those who fought for the causes of freedom and liberty and to keep our Constitution safe from all enemies foreign and domestic, is now running point on the assault on our rights." continued ...

  • August 6, 2006: Testing Testing, Is This Working?.

  • "So another athlete stands accused of using steroids. From that accusation, Mr. Landis will be stripped of his team membership and lose credit for his spectacular win in the Tour De France. I watched that race and saw nothing less than a Herculean effort of the spirit and soul drive Landis over the Alps. No drug did that; only the sheer power of human will could conquer a fete such as that.." continued ...

  • August 5, 2006: The Cold Dark Heart of Syracuse.

  • "The stench on the streets of Armory Square is not coming from those poor unwashed souls who lack any means of self-support other than to beg for pennies from passers-by. Instead, the true affront is emanating from those do-gooders desperately trying to clean up the streets of Syracuse by arresting and disappearing the poor and weakest amongst us." continued ...

  • August 3, 2006: Don’t Start Something You Can't Finish.

  • "If the world does not shut up and get out of the way, not only is Hezbollah going to “win” the current war, but as goes the Israelis, so go us Americans. Unless the world steps aside and lets Israel hunt down every single terrorist who wishes to do them harm, any stopping now will cause irreparable harm to be felt for two dozen generations." continued ...

  • July 30, 2006: Assemblyman Jeff Brown, I am Calling You Out!

  • "Lying and misrepresenting are almost standard fare these days for Republicans. But in a move so dangerous and disgusting, I read how Brown is actively working to prevent upstate voters from having a selection of candidates on the ballot. It is appalling that a man who allegedly touts his role as a soldier, lawmaker, father, and American would devote energy and resources to block the American people from being able to have the candidates of their choice on the ballot. Being unable to win an election at the ballot box, this Republican like so many others, use the Courts to cripple all American’s rights to vote for the candidates of their choice."continued ...

  • July 26, 2006: The Pain of Birthing a Shark.

  • "It was 15 years ago this week that I sat for the New York State Bar Examination. Fortunately, it was the one and ONLY time I ever had to sit for that exam. That seating came at the culmination of seven years of college and graduate school; fighting hard to rise to the top of the professional pool, followed by seven of the most intensive weeks of study imaginable. Everything I ever dreamed of and worked for rested on the outcome."continued ...

  • July 23, 2006: The Evil Heart of Medicine .

  • "We as a nation have faced some serious introspection and soul-searching as soldiers and rescue crews search out the dead in New Orleans. Exposed with receding flood waters has been the toxic ugly stink that has infected our collective conscience and soul. All wonderful theories, high fallutin` moralities, and dreams of perfection are about to come crashing down hard on us.” continued ...

  • July 20, 2006: The Time Has Come to Unleash the Dogs of War.

  • "We must give the same right to Israel that we claim for ourselves. If you substitute Hezbollah for Al Qaeda and Lebanon for Afghanistan, you will have to agree. It is time to green light the Israelis to end this war of attrition once and for all.” continued ...

  • July 19, 2006: Road Trip!

  • (It is now 3:30 a.m. Wednesday July 19, 2006. The family has just crawled into bed having just returned from 3 days in New York City. The following is a diary of experiences detailed mostly as they occurred. It is unedited and raw at times; just like me).” continued ...

  • July 14, 2006: I am Rubber, You are Glue.

  • What Bounces off Me, Indelibly Sticks to You. “As a general rule, I do not comment here on cases in which I am personally involved because in doing so, I must be careful to remember that what I say, I do not only as a citizen, but also as an attorney and advocate for a party. Yet, there are those rare occasions that require me to speak up because an issue involved in the case has great public importance.” continued ...

  • July 12, 2006: Gimme Gimme Gimme.

  • “Forget the free money. Stop being a victim. Take responsibility for yourself and future generations. But, never forget your history. True reparations will take the form of respect and assuming a place of dignity in society. None of that will ever come about as a result of a redistribution of tax dollars.” continued ...

  • July 11, 2006: No More Birthdays in America.

  • “By commandeering the contents of wombs and uteruses, the State can bypass the abortion rights protections and inflict upon the Mother the pain of surrogacy for the benefit of the State and the Gods of the Christians. Hence, I call upon all Americans to reconsider the tradition about Birthdays. Let Hallmark get busy generating a new holiday … Conception Day … and let us Rejoice; as we recall the freedoms of years long ago.” continued ...

  • July 10, 2006: Posers.

  • “How dark is your heart? How evil are your fantasies? Of what do you think about when you are alone and pondering your life situation? Where is that magic line where the slow poisoning of your spouse remains in your head and does not materialize at lunch tomorrow?” continued ...

  • July 7, 2006: Sheep Cloaked in Wolf’s Robes.

  • “The Majority of Judges who sit on New York’s Highest Court, the Court of Appeals, lost their spine and instead stood their Decision on Gay Marriage upon the backs on children. I verily believe that history will show how this Court’s opinion will rank right up there with Dredd Scott as a seminal exemplar of how ignorance and religious zealotry were wrapped in the cloak of legal justification.” continued ...

  • July 3, 2006: Land That I Love.


  • “Guess Where I Live?” ... continued ...


  • July 1, 2006: Some of My Best Friends are Republicans, But ...

  • "Right now, thanks to current administration policies, ours has become a nation divided. “They” have split us between blue states and red states, neighbor against neighbor, Christian against everybody, race against race, man against woman, rich against poor. We are none of that. We are one nation, INDIVISIBLE. We are one people with one strong and resilient voice." continued ...

  • June 30, 2006: Boo Hoo, Yoo and Those Crimes You Eschew.
  • June 24, 2006: Michael Reagan is Suffering from Early Onset Alzheimer’s. There can be no other explanation.
  • June 23, 2006: Suffering for Fat People.
  • June 22, 2006: They Shoot Judges, Don’t They.
  • June 19, 2006: Ed Harrington of Oswego is a Big Fat Liar.
  • June 18, 2006: The Broken Record of Fathers Day.
  • June 16, 2006: New Pitch to Strike Out Heavy Hitters.
  • June 12, 2006: Unhealthy New York.
  • June 10, 2006: No More DeLay. Start the Clean Up.
  • June 9, 2006: That Godless Bitch!

  • By Guest Columnist Timothy Evans, Raving and Drooling With Ann Coulter.
  • June 8, 2006: Messing With Hearts and Minds.

  • June 4, 2006: Drop Dead, Fred.

  • June 3, 2006: The Tattletales of Madison County.

  • June 1, 2006: Let Them Suffer Like the Rest of Us .

  • May 29, 2006: Mr. Olmert – Tear Down That Wall

  • May 28, 2006: Free Falling

  • May 26, 2006: Walk on By

  • May 24, 2006: Unplugging the Dyke – Mary Cheney Unleashed

  • May 22, 2006: With All Due Respect, Mrs. Todeschini

  • May 21, 2006: Kiss My Asterisk.

  • May 16, 2006: The Sting of Oz

  • May 15, 2006: The Night Chicago Died

  • May 14, 2006: Hey Dick, Bring a Mop

  • May 11, 2006: Black and White and Dread All Over

  • May 10, 2006: Why We Must Remain Neutral on Child Pornography

  • May 9, 2006: My $10 Million Gift to the City of Syracuse

  • May 7, 2006: Syracuse Police Department Does Not Engage in Racial Profiling

  • May 5, 2006: Assemblyman Jeff Brown: Pander-Bear Extraordinaire

  • May 4, 2006: Jews Are Not Apologists

  • May 3, 2006: Eliot Spitzer Speaks Out Against Strict Construction and Justice Scalia
  • May 2, 2006: The Business of Divorce

  • Proud to be a Lawyer in Onondaga County

  • Making Pinatas out of Illegal Immigrants

  • It Is Time For a Fat Tax

  • The Ugly Side of Freedom and Democracy

  • Bravo, South Dakota

  • Drunk on Drunk Driving

  • Remembering Terry Schiavo

  • The 'One Free Walk' Rule

  • Onondaga County Needs a Public Defender

  • Rush Limbaugh, on Drugs

  • Support the Salina 29

  • It Just Doesn't Add Up

  • Robert L. Judd, President, BCTGMIU, Local 116

  • Eric Van Slyke, Head Football Coach, Canastota High School

  • Sue E. Generis, on the Indian Land Claims and UCE

  • Timothy Evans, on National Politics

  • Deep Bris, Former Mossad Agent

  • Earlier Archived Reports



  • It is always a far better thing
    to have peace than to be right.
    But, when it is not,
    or when all else fails

    LAW OFFICES OF
    MARK DAVID BLUM

    P.O. Box 82
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    Telephone: 315.420.9989
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