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If ya ain't havin' fun, ya ain't doin' it rite

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  • victoryusa@jail4judges.org
    J.A.I.L. News Journal ______________________________________________________ Los Angeles, California September 23, 2004
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 23, 2004
      J.A.I.L. News Journal
      Los Angeles, California                                       September 23, 2004

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      If ya ain't havin' fun,
      ya ain't doin' it rite.
      (By Ron Loeber - Valortoo@...)
      We only need one good watch dog, and I have mine.
        His name is J.A.I.L.  He is still a puppy, but he is growing
      and learning and developing.  And like all puppies,
      he loves to learn.  I'm feeding him and training him and loving him.
      He is already waiting to sink his teeth into someone.  And when he becomes mature, he is going to be the nastiest Junk Yard Dog
      you ever saw.  Everyone will think more than twice before
      they trespass upon my junk yard 'cause they know
      I will turn J.A.I.L. loose upon them in a heartbeat. 
      Shucks Bob, my "friendly legislators" already know about
       my puppy and he scares the hell out of them. 
      They are afraid J.A.I.L. will bite them.
      -- Ron Loeber

      Two Saturdays ago I was given a FREE Ticket to the local annual Democratic chicken barbecue.  What the hell... a free meal is a free meal, so I went.  After all... its just a bunch of my neighbors... just the average Americans.  I was enjoying visiting with them when the politicians started arriving.  You know how they are.  "Heh... I'm so-and-so and running in the Democratic Primary for such-and-such", and pressing flesh.
      But there was one who stood out from the rest.  He was dressed a little better then everyone else... casual, but nice.  He wasn't wearing a K-Mart shirt... that's for sure.  He wasn't running for office either, but he sure was pressing flesh.  Eventually he got to me.  The conversation went pretty much like this.
      "Hello, I'm Judge Cardona.  I live over in Westerlo" he said as he extended his hand.
      [Westerlo is a neighboring town in very rural Albany County.  The area is generally referred to a "the Hilltowns''.  Its actually the boondocks.  Cardona is the Presiding Justice of NYS Supreme Court Appellate Division Third Department in Albany.  That's the Court that released me from jail.  It is also the court that had to approve the censure of Teresi.  It was reported that Teresi was the first Supreme Court Judge in 20 years to be censured.  Don't know how true that is, but it was a big deal in Albany Politics.]
      "Judge, its nice to meet you.  I'm Ron Loeber" I replied as I shook his hand. 
      "Ron Loeber... Ron Loeber.  Lets see... I know you.  Did we meet at..." and he took a couple of guesses.
      "Judge, What's your first name"?
      "Tony", he replied.
      "Well Tony, its really nice to meet you.  If I'm ever in your court it will be Judge Cardona.  But up here its just Tony and Ron."  And he took a couple more guesses....
      "No Tony.  You know me because I'm the guy responsible for the censure of Joe Teresi.  I'm the guy Teresi threw in Jail."  Well... you would have thought I hit him in the face with a pail of ice water.  He wanted to terminate the conversation.  But I wouldn't let him go.  I continued with, "ya know Tony, when I walk into Traffic Court I expect to be screwed.  But when I walked into NYS Supreme Court I actually thought I was walking into a legitimate operation.  I would have never guessed it was Organized Crime of the first degree."  He just wanted to get out of there.  And then, over his objections, I gave him the nutshell of what Teresi did to me.  Please understand that I still tend to get a bit emotional when I talk about what happened.  Told him again how nice it was to make his acquaintance and wished him a great day at the picnic and let him go.
      But that wasn't the end.  A little while later the speech-making started.  After Tony's speech, he was talking with a group of 4 big-wig politicians.  Well... they thought they were important.  Don't they all?  That was an opportunity I couldn't pass up.  And by now I had cooled off a bit and got hold of my composure.  I walked right up to the group, interrupted them, and said, "heh Tony.  Can I bend your ear for a few minutes before you go"?
      "Uh... uum... yes.  But not right now", he said.
      "I understand.  Just come and get me when you are ready.  I'll be hanging out here for the afternoon enjoying the picnic".
      I'll be damned.  He did.  About a half hour later he came to me and suggested a distant picnic table where we could talk privately.
      "What did you want to ask me Ron"?
      "Tony, its not so much that I want to ask you anything as it is I want to tell you some things.  I'd like to tell all of your judges some things.  First... please understand, from my perspective, that under the form of government in which we live the Office of Judge SHOULD BE the most respected position in our society... above that of Kings, Presidents, and Emperors.
      You know the law.  I don't have to tell you the due process involved in Civil Contempt and the opportunity to appeal a judge's decision.  That potlicker Teresi didn't follow due process.  He had 2 men with guns, clubs and badges waiting in the courtroom for me and told them to take me away.  They put me in a cell in the basement of the courthouse, then strip searched me, then shackled me in leg irons and chains.  Then... two hours later, they came back and asked me if I was ready to sign the deed now.  The Gulag Archipelago is alive and well right here.
      Since the censure Teresi, and because of my affiliation with an organization advocating for judicial accountability, I know what's going on publicly in the judiciary from one end of the state to the other.  I know about the scandals, the bribery, the corruption.  I know what judges are in prison.  I get the newspaper reports E-mailed to me from all over the state.  I know what's happening in NYC, Middletown, all the way to Buffalo.
      Not only that, but people from one end of the state to the other contact me and tell me their stories of woe and ask for my help and advice.  I'm not licensed to give advice.  But with what happened to me, and with everything I have learned, I advise them to invest in toilet paper and ammunition.
      You got some serious problems, Tony.  I don't have the answers, but even if I did... I don't have the power to impose the solution.  But guys like you do have that power. [I just didn't think this was the time or place to explain J.A.I.L.  My purpose here was to plant the seed for future dialogue.]  But not you, nor Chief Judge Judith Kaye, nor anyone else is going to be able to solve the problems in the judiciary until you understand that courts are not just a way for lawyers to make money.  The courts are for the people too.
      Until guys like me can walk into your courts with full confidence that our rights will be recognized, declared, and protected, and that our papers will be read for their substance instead of form, there is no reason for us to even go into your courts.  We would all be better off settling our disputes in the manner of the Old West.  At least we would feel we got some measure of justice."
      "Ron, I cannot comment on that", he said.
      "Tony, I know you can't.  But if Chief Judge Kaye is serious about cleaning up the mess, she has to know how the ordinary guy thinks and feels about you guys if she is gonna accomplish anything worthwhile.  The lawyers sure aren't gonna give it to you straight."
      "I hear you, Ron.  I understand what you are saying", he said.
      "Good.  Tony, I walked into Teresi's courtroom alone because I had three lawyers tell me they wouldn't touch my case with a ten foot pole because of the players involved.  Last year a lawyer was doing some work for my wife.  But he was talking to me because I had the technical knowledge of the problem he was trying to solve for her. 
      After a half an hour he looked up at me and said, 'I know who you are.  You are the guy Teresi threw in jail.  That's what this mess is all about that I'm working on.  If you had come to me for help back then I would have turned you down.  If I had taken on Teresi I would have received nothing but adverse decisions from him and all his buddies.  I'd be spending all my time in the Appellate Division.  My clients can't afford it and I'd be run out of the law business'.  Tony, that is one hell of an indictment of your courts".
      "I'm listening to you, Ron.  I hear what you are saying."  And he repeated it looking me right in the eye.
      "Tony, I can't ask for more.  On second thought I can.  The day Judge Spain ordered my release from jail pending the hearing of the Article 78 Proceeding I wanted to write him a thank you letter.  But I was told it would be most inappropriate."
      "Yes, it would have been... and still is", he said.
      "Tony, because of the manner in which I was brought up, I owe Judge Spain a 'thanks'.  I know he was just doing his job.  But I still owe him a thanks.  But not a month goes by that I don't think of him.  You probably have coffee with him once in a while.  If there is any way you could express my sentiments to him for what he did for me, I would consider it a personal favor."
      "I can do that for you, Ron", he said with a smile.  We shook hands and parted.
      I don't know what will come of if... if anything at all.  But he is the Presiding Justice of the appellate court that covers my area.  There is no question he is a man of influence.  He may even be the biggest crook of the bunch for all I know.  But that Saturday he got a candid look at me... his neighbor... the real me... not just some dry legal papers he may have read three years ago.  I'm hopeful I will be able to "bump into him" again.  I'm hopeful that Saturday was the start of something.  I'm hopeful that one day I may be able to present J.A.I.L. to him under favorable conditions.
      As a side note to this, two candidates for Family Court Judge introduced themselves to me.  One had the endorsement of the political machine for the primary.  The other didn't.  When I told them my name, bells rang.  Yeah... while they were searching their memory I told them who I was.  They remembered!  I told them both I hope they would get elected, and if they did we would be keeping them in our sights.  Told them that if they got elected I expected the first thing they would do is sign an Oath of Office and file it with the County Clerk.  If they didn't, June Maxam was coming after them and I would give her any help I could.  They didn't quite know how to take that, but they seemed to know what I was talking about.
      If ya ain't havin' fun, ya ain't doin' it rite.
      Ron Loeber

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