Theoretically at least, the United States was, at some points in time and for some people, a nation of laws presided over by a fair and open judicial system and, in the larger context, governed by an elected group of local, state and federal officials who were responsive to those who elected them and who they, in theory at least were accountable to.
This of course is the Norman Rockwell picture of America and ignores the all too real version of America that was, for hundreds of years, experienced by minorities and people of color in this country. Yes, let’s all pause for a moment and acknowledge that, for the longest period in our nation’s history we were a savage and brutal nation who tortured and subjugated millions of our population. And yes, our allegedly fair and open judicial system not just actively participated in this brutal subjugation, in fact our nation’s court system enthusiastically supported such oppression and brutality. Now some of that changed a few years ago when our nation’s courts decided that our grandmothers were full human beings after all and could vote and then a few years before that our nation’s judges made a dramatic and abrupt about face and decided that people of color were”¦.bombshell here”¦.ACTUAL REAL LIFE 100% HUMAN BEINGS!
Well, with that brief retrospective let’s examine the political, social and legal environment of Amerika 2013. Amerika is not a democracy. Amerika is not a republic. Amerika is a fascist corporate oligarchy. Now before you make the mistake of reminding me that sheeple vote for the elected figure heads that ultimately pass the laws that institutionalize the subjugation and corporate terror policies that define the American experience in 2013, let me explain to you how these figures are elected and how the laws they present are passed. On second thought, if you need this explanation stop reading now and turn back to some good old fashioned main stream media, you’re too far gone.
What I want to focus on here is this madness that has swept across this country which features the entirety of the US government apparatus rewarding the criminal banking elite and punishing the voters and citizens that are and remain the targets and victims of this vast criminal enterprise. When Lanny Breuer from the United States Department of Justice announces that it will not prosecute HSBC for going into the drug running and money laundering business with the drug cartels, that’s fascism at work.
When Timothy Geithner announces that it’s official federal government policy to ” foam the runways” for the banks and just blow trillions of dollars at them, that’s fascism at work.
When every federal agency and every high ranking federal official articulates official policy that major institutions will not be subject to regulation, but lowly citizens will be punished, that’s fascism at work.
When Aaron Swartz is tortured to death by federal prosecutors, that’s fascism at work.
When Charlie Engle spends time in federal prison while Angelo Mozillo lives in mansions and estates, that’s fascism at work.
When attorneys and activists who dare to speak out are persecuted, punished or worse wind up dead, that’s fascism at work.
These are all manifestations of economic fascism because they demonstrate how the corporate and government interest have become so inextricably linked, so fused together that the host refuses to inflict pain on the parasite, the fusion so complete it becomes difficult to determine which is the host and which is the parasite. The final three examples show how the apparatus attacks when it is threatened or challenged in any way.
The State of Florida has become a fanatasmagophic pitry dish of fascism in recent years, a proposition most clearly on display through the government’s brutal prosecution of these foreclosure wars on this state’s vulnearable population. Most dramatically, we see the attorneys and activists who dared to stand up against these powerful interests being persecuted and ravaged by the very government that should be recognizing and rewarding those who dare to fight and who protect The People. But this of course is not the case at all. Rather than fighting the corporations and serving the people, the vast majority of state government ministries have abandoned all efforts to keep actual families in their homes and are working to ensure the corporations can execute their forced evictions and disposes private property rights with greater speed and even less consideration for any protections of law.
What we do see instead is that corrupting influence of corporate campaign cash and the revolving door from regulator to industry and back again. The investigators investigate, the dossiers are filled with evidence of the crimes committed by the banks and their co conspirators but then in the backrooms and shadowy places, the deals are cut and the masterminds of the cabals walk free. I point specifically here to Florida’s current attorney general who regularly announces partnerships with the very organizations her office should be investigating; those partnerships memorialized in non prosecution and settlement agreements, otherwise known as public bribes.
Remember when attorney general investigators June Clarkson and Theresa Edwards were fired for being a little tough on the targets of their investigations? Remember the promises that while they were fired, ” My office is assigning even more investigators to the cause of rooting out foreclosure fraud!” I seem to have missed those investigations. And remember the Office of Inspector General report into the impropriety of firing them? Not surprisingly the OIG found that Republican party darling Bondi did nothing wrong. Using government offices to target and punish both employees that step out of lockstep”¦that’s just solid black office government, but using those same offices to attack and punish citizens who challenge The Machine”¦.that’s fascism.
Every discussion on this subject bears reminding that the OIG report was released shortly before the federal government announced a multi-million dollar payout to one of the targets because the information the whistleblowers provided was essential in the billion dollar settlement reached by the federal government. In Florida, these same whistleblower were labeled heretics, troublemakers, crackpots. Try reconciling that conflict”¦.I dare ya.
And the Florida Legislature? In the extreme wings of the Republican side, the only legislation proposed that speaks to foreclosure is House Bill 87 and now Senate Bill 1666, the Foreclosure Bill that carries with it, the Mark of The Beast. The articulated purpose of these bills is to, MAKE FORECLOSURES PROCEED MORE QUICKLY! Yes, let’s make the bank’s job easier to complete. Let’s ignore all the fraud and the crimes they have committed. Let’s use precious state resources to install even more unelected and unaccountable Senior Judges. The consideration of this new rapid foreclosure legislation will really heat up right about the time tens of thousands of new foreclosure judgments from around the state are entered in foreclosure star chambers. How can a court possibly consider all the fraud and forgery in these files with only one minute per case”¦.oh wait, that’s what the banks paid for didn’t they? Yes, these courtrooms set up directly with money provided by the banks that profit from them. The arms of government paid to do the dirtiest work of industry”¦.that’s pure fascism.
And while the manifestations of fascism abound all around us, prominently on display in these foreclosure wars I am profoundly confused by what I see happening in Florida’s court system. Let me start with several things that I am absolutely, firmly and undeniably convinced of. First, Florida courts are underfunded to a degree that makes them incapable of fulfilling their sacred obligations under the Florida Constitution. And while the Florida Supreme Court fell just short of making this formal finding in Crist v. Ervin, I am here to tell you that the announcement should have been made. Instead, we are left with what we have today, an entire state court system that functions like a parking meter, with the judicial branch left with going hat and hand to the legislature to beg for enough money to keep the light on each year. Meanwhile, our judges have next to zero staff and exponentially increasing case loads. All across this state there are documented needs for additional judges, but those needs go unfilled because the legislature refuses to fund the state court system properly. This lack of funding is not just improper from a practical sense, its dangerous, it shows a disrespect for this allegedly co-equal branch and the failure to properly fund places improper pressures on this branch that violate due process protections. Did you know that Florida’s judges operate under a quota system where part of their performance is based on how quickly they dispose of cases? It’s quite hard to measure what is ” good” judging, but it’s easy enough to report that the Honorable Judge Quickpen, cleared 40% of her foreclosure docket. Which leads us into another area of which I am absolutely, firmly and undeniably convinced of.
Florida’s Elected Judges and Courts Must Be More Responsive to the Voters That Elected Them
Florida’s circuit courts got into this foreclosure mess because foreclosure plaintiffs attorneys stopped exercising control and resposnbility over their bank clients. Instead of the attorneys telling their clients who they needed to follow the law both in their business practices and in the evidence they would present in court, the bank clients told the attorneys to ignore the law and do things their way. That’s how we got robo signing, and the need for verified complaint rule, and widespread document fraud. Well, in much the same way the local judges that I elected are bucking under pressure, handed down from above, marching to orders and imperial directives, rather than speaking boldly and freely for the citizens that vote for them and who they serve. Florida’s Constitution places our judges in our community and places their periodic retention in local voter’s hands. And yet, they are being silenced. Muffled. Suppressed. They are being given quotas and arbitrary performance measures. Not only do these measures lead to bad law, they are fundamentally inconsistent with the core principals of government articulated in Florida’s Constitution. Our local judges must reject quotas and improper pressures. They must fight to preserve their right to speak to those they serve.
Which leads to the next subject of which I am absolutely, firmly and undeniably convinced of. I will be very clear and direct: the widespread implementation of a senior judge system dedicated to disposing of foreclosure cases is a direct and flagrant violation of Florida’s Constitution. Quite simply and most directly, Florida’s Constitution requires that the judges who exercise the profound power of our state’s judicial branch be subjected to the electoral will of the population over which they exercise that power. This important Constitutional check was designed to prevent what we see happening across this state today”¦ judges not subjected to suffrage and who are not directly accountable to the people making dispositive judicial decisions. The reports coming in from the foreclosure star chambers fanned out across the state are terribly disturbing.
The now permanent senior judge regime that we see being implemented across this state illustrates an even larger and far more troubling phenomena”¦.the failure of our state’s judicial branch to maintain its independence, its strength and its integrity. Our state’s judicial branch has whithered under the constant assault of the executive and legislative branches who have choked it with continued reductions in funding, long past the point where the branch cannot function effectively. Our judges, their caseloads expanded long past the point of prudent manageability have seen their staff and court budget cuts. Meanwhile, they are under constant and unrelenting pressure to fulfill arbitrary quotas of ” clearing cases”, handed down to them from the Central Government in Tallahassee. And our local judges, even Chief judges are suffering under a gag order imposed on them, by the Central Court again in Tallahassee. Silencing the local leaders that are responsive and responsible to the local population and imposing central control”¦fascism.
It is in this environment of budget, staff and outside pressures that our local courts are left to deal with the crush of foreclosure cases that choke their dockets. And it is these oustside pressures and influences that produce in our courts the environment of cold indifference necessary execute the Clearing Campaigns with such ruthless indifference. Something has got to change here”¦perhaps the images of thousands of Floridians evicted from homes at gunpoint will shake people’s consciousness”¦.