We’re a Confused Nation, but with Good Reason

ONE MAN’S OPINION-We all have lives to live, jobs that demand attention, traffic congestion to fight, exorbitant housing prices to pay.

Who has time to study the political philosophy underlying the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution or to master competing economic theories? If we had the time, where would we get reliable data and information? The sources of our confusion are multifarious. 

Pravda West 

In the Monday, August 5, 2019 issue of CityWatch, Daniel Guss’ article, “LA Times is Shocked – SHOCKED – People Aren’t Subscribing,” touched on one cause of Angelenos’ confusion: the LA Times, a.k.a. Pravda West. As Mr. Guss correctly states, Pravda West has an abysmally low subscription rate because “people do not trust the LA Times to report honestly.” Ever since the paper was founded on December 4, 1881, it has been a propagandist for LA’s rich and powerful. Reading the LA Times for reliable information is like reading “Bedford Falls Times” published by Henry F. Potter in the movie classic, It’s a Good Life. Or in modern parlance, “Garbage in, Garbage out.” 

Let’s be clear about the crucial aspect of Mr. Guss’ article. The LA Times’ failure to grow its online subscriber base is not due to the advent of techno-media. The report, on which Mr. Guss relies, states: 

“. . . the Times added 52,000 digital subscriptions, but ‘significant cancellations during the same stretch’ left the Times with a net increase of only 13,000.” 

Thus, it appears that after being a subscriber for a while, people realize that Pravda West is not worth reading. It’s bad enough that it panders to the politicos in the nation’s most corrupt city, but to pay the Times to be lied to? Get real!  

The Irony in LA Times’ Misinformation 

If the LA Times billed itself as a right-wing propaganda rag, then its subscription rate would soar. But here’s the rub: At its core, Pravda West is neither right- nor left-wing. It’s “1% wing.” The mass destruction of rent-controlled apartments that has greatly exacerbated the Homeless Crisis is the result of a left-right coalition of the 1% imposing “New Urbanism” on LA. The objective of New Urbanism is simple – concentrate real estate wealth in the hands of a few billionaires. In order to do that, the LA Times supports absurd density in the Basin which then kicks in the second rip-off, hundreds of billions of dollars for fixed rail mass transit. Who benefits? Wall Street bankers. Who suffers? Everyone else. 

A Criminogenic Judicial System 

Like termites destroying the foundation of our homes, there are swarms of judges and justices eating away at the basis of our society. Once in a great while, we get a glimpse of the criminality of the system itself. We’ll hear about the huge incarceration rate of Americans compared to other nations, especially of minorities. We don’t stop to pounder: Who’s in charge of the system that is railroading all these people into prison? Duh! The people in charge? The judges. In January 2015, the federal appeals court highlighted the criminogenic nature of the state system by accusing it of having an “epidemic of misconduct.” (Don’t ya just love it when the pot calls the kettle black?) 

Most of the white population has no problem with a court system that abuses and locks up minorities, while remaining woefully unaware that whether you’re white, black, brown, purple or polka-dotted, the courts are designed to screw you. 

Let’s look at Probate Conservatorship. It can make your money and property disappear faster than David Copperfield can hide an elephant. Here’s the actual law of the State Supreme Court for court appointed counsel (CAC). (CAC’s are like public defenders, except you pay their bill.) 

“Like all lawyers, the court appointed attorney is obligated to keep her client fully informed about the proceedings at hand, to advise the client of his rights, and to vigorously advocate on his behalf. (Bus. & Prof.Code, § 6068, subd. (c) [confidentiality required]; Conservatorship of David L. (2008) 164 Cal.App.4th 701, 710 [a proposed LPS conservatee has a statutory right to effective assistance of counsel].” Conservatorship of John L. - (2010) 48 Cal. 4th 131. 

Lawyers know that the Supreme Court is saying that the court-appointed counsel is like any other attorney and owes fiduciary duties to the client. Attorneys must keep all confidential information confidential. Who would tell their attorney anything if the attorney could blab to the world? The court-appointed attorney may not substitute her own wishes for that of her client nor may she advance her own interests above those of her client . . . or so the law is written. 

The reality in Probate can be a farce. Not only may the court-appointed attorney divulge confidences to the judge, but she may tell the opposing attorney confidential information which harms her own client. The court-appointed counsel may substitute her own wishes for that of the client, and if the client does not do what she wants, the court-appointed counsel can get a court order requiring the client to do the very things the client says he does not want to do. How would you like to have your own attorney in court arguing strenuously against you? If the court-appointed attorney is interested in buying property like the client owns, she can coerce the client to sell that property. While the court appointed counsel is financially and emotionally ravaging her client, the court orders the betrayed client to pay the CAC tens of thousands of dollars in attorney fees.  

The Evils of Group Rights 

One purpose of Group Rights is like this scenario: while Joe and Bill are encouraged to fight on the school playground, Jack steals all their lunch money. It’s not a new concept. One need not translate the Latin “Divide et Impera” to understand that by dividing people into warring factions, the rich rule. You’ll never learn from the LA Times, Breitbart, or the Washington Post that for the Founding Fathers, Group Rights where an anathema to the survival of individual inalienable rights, including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And, if you’re one of the poor souls trapped in the LA Probate Court, you’re working too hard to pay off attorney fees for the privilege of being judicially screwed to leisurely contemplate the history of American political philosophy. 

So, as Trumpolosi gins up the mass murders, we’re all being confused, screwed and tattooed.


(Richard Lee Abrams is a Los Angeles attorney and a CityWatch contributor. He can be reached at: Rickleeabrams@Gmail.com. Abrams views are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of CityWatch.) Image: Harvard Gazette. Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.