Thinking Magazine #28 01-26-96

Suing the Government

One of the biggest problems in America is our (lack of) justice system. On November 3, 1995, I filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the Missouri Supreme Court. I did this because less than a month eralier, on October 11th, I had filed a complaint with the Missouri Bar against a Springfield law firm. In response to my complaint, and the Office of the Chief Disciplinary Counsel sent me a letter saying, "Our office procedure is to not open a professional misconduct complaint while the directly related case is pending."

What this means to me is that there is no accountability in the Justice System, that lawyers and judges can do whatever they want to and there is nothing in place to stop them while they are committing the offense.

One of the major problems this country has is that we have a legal system that is out of control. The term "Justice" is no more than a slogan for a system that is designed to make lawyers rich rather than to serve the public. That's why 2/3 of all the lawyers in the world are here in America.

If the same standards of accountability were applied to the general public, the police wouldn't be allowed to arrest a rapist in the act. They would have to wait till he had satisfied himself before his misconduct could be addressed.

I filed this lawsuit because we must have accountability in the legal system. The legal system itself agrees with me in theory as it states in the preamble to Supreme Court Rule 4:

Our Justice system must put the interests of the public ahead of the interests of lawyers. Justice is supposed to serve the public, but in reality, the public lives in fear of the justice system. It makes an honest, hard-working person wish he wasn't successful because money attracts lawsuits. In reality, we are all but slaves to the judicial system. Court houses are castles and judges are royalty and those who don't pay homage are robbed and imprisoned. Ultimately, this system isn't good for anyone. It isn't even good for judges and lawyers. The courts are supposed to serve the people, not rule and oppress them.

Do I think there is a chance I will win this suit? In theory, I should win. However, the chances of a judge ruling in a manner that is against his self-interests are admittedly slim.

Here is a copy of the actual complaint I filed:

                           SOUTHERN DISTRICT

                            CIVIL COMPLAINT

Marc Perkel - pro se              )
vs.                               )  No. 95-3398-CV-S-3
Supreme Court of Missouri         )
Disciplinary Counsel              )


   Marc Perkel
   411 North Sherman, Suite 300
   Springfield Mo. 65802


   Supreme Court of Missouri
   Office of the Chief Disciplinary Counsel
   John E. Howe
   3335 American Ave.
   Jefferson City Mo. 65109

Statement of Claim:

   On 10-11-95 I filed a complaint with the Disciplinary Counsel against
   two attorneys, over a conflict of interest issue. Upon receiving the
   complaint I was informed that the Counsel would not review my
   complaint because it is their office procedure that they will not
   hear complaints against attorneys while a case is still pending.

   The legal system is self regulating and there is nothing to prevent
   attorneys from breaking the rules except for the Disciplinary
   Counsel. This office procedure allows attorneys to break the rules
   without any procedure for recourse by a citizen while a case is
   pending. It is saying that an attorney can not be disciplined while
   he is in the act of breaking the rules, but only after he has
   finished breaking the rules and the damage is done.

   This office procedure violates the equal protection clause of the
   14th amendment of the Constitution. It is also in direct violation of
   the preamble of Supreme Court Rule 4 which states as follows:

      "The legal profession's relative autonomy carries with it
      special responsibilities of self government. The profession
      has a responsibility to assure that its regulations are
      conceived in the public interest and not in furtherance of
      parochial or self-interested concerns of the bar."

   Clearly, this rule states that the interests of the public takes
   precedence over the self-interested concerns of attorneys. It is my
   position that this office procedure puts the self-interest of the bar
   ahead of the interests of the citizens whom the court system is
   supposed to serve, and therefore violates my civil rights.

   Note: I'm not coming before the Court to argue the merits of my
   complaint against the lawfirm. My position is that I don't have the
   opportunity to argue any complaint regardless of the merits.


   1) I want the Court to order the Supreme Court of Missouri,
      Disciplinary Counsel, to overturn this office procedure.

   2) I want the Court to order an investigation into all procedures of
      the Disciplinary Counsel to determine if they are in compliance
      with the spirit of the preamble of Supreme Court Rule 4 and the
      equal protection clause of Amendment 14 of the United States

Suing Pro Se

The term "pro se" is lawyer-speak for representing yourself in court. There is a saying that "he who represents himself has a fool for a client and a fool for a lawyer." This saying was obviously originated by a lawyer to discourage the public from standing up for their rights against a self-serving legal system. There are times when you need a lawyer and times you don't. But more interestingly, there are things you can do pro se that you couldn't do if you had an attorney. And this federal lawsuit is one of them.

There is no way that a lawyer is going to take a lawsuit like this one. Lawyers don't sue the state courts if they hope to make a living practicing law. And they certainly wouldn't sue to increase the rights of the public to discipline lawyers. However, as a citizen, I can do what lawyers won't do. And it really isn't that hard.

In order to sue in federal court, you have to have a case where federal court has original jurisdiction. A civil rights violation is such a case. If your civil rights are being violated, you can bring a lawsuit against those who are oppressing you. I don't want to encourage anyone to bring lawsuits to court that don't have merit, however, I want to encourage you to bring lawsuits in cases that do have merit.

Filing a suit in federal court is fairly easy. You can go to the federal court and tell the clerk you want to file a pro se civil lawsuit. They will give you a packet with the correct forms and instructions. Even though the packet is thick, it's rather easy to deal with. Most of it doesn't apply to you unless you are suing from jail.

First your create a header like the one in my suit. Leave the case number blank. The court will fill that in. Then you make your claim. In the claim you outline the nature of the offense and make several brief statements as to your accusations against the defendant. What you are saying is, "My civil rights were violated because the defendant is doing --- to me." You don't want to argue the whole case in your statement of claim. But you do want to touch on all the significant points that you intend to make an issue on in the trial.

Then you need to tell the court what you want it to do for you. This is called "relief". You say, "Therefore, I want the court to do --- for me." It could be that you want money, or you might want the court to find a law to be unconstitutional. Whatever it is, state clearly and specifically what you want them to do.

After this, you just sign the complaint and get it notarized. The court will need 2 copies, you will need a copy for yourself, and you will need a copy for each defendant. You will also have to fill out a civil cover sheet. Then you go to the clerk with a check for the $120 filing fee and they stamp the time and give you a case number. You then need to serve it on the defendants, and you have a lawsuit.

There are a number of interesting things the public should sue for. This suit of mine is just one of a series of suits I intend to file to try to bring accountability to the justice system. I fantasize that some day I will bring a case to the United States Supreme Court and argue it pro se. Or at least go skinny dipping in the fountains in front of the Supreme Court.

Taking on the Nicotine Industry

America owes President Clinton a debt of gratitude for his role in taking on the tobacco giants. Nicotine is an addictive drug and needs to be regulated as such. In support of the effort, I faxed the following letter to my list of 1200 newspapers and all members of congress.

==[ Smoking and Sex ]==

A lot of newspapers printed it. So a week later I sent a second letter.

==[ Open Letter to Congress ]==

Unfortunately, the congressmen who get elected are usually the ones who take the most bribes. And the tobacco industry is a heavy contributor. That's why you see both Democrats and Republicans standing with tobacco farmers and doing interviews from the tobacco fields. Clinton and Newt shook hands this last summer on a deal to reform political campaigns, but Clinton made the mistake of taking Newt seriously.

Dirt on Dole

What do Clinton supporters and Buchannan supporters have in common? They are both looking for dirt on Bob Dole. Here's something I picked up on Compuserve some time ago.

In August, 1993, the FEC levied what FEC spokesman Scott Moxley said was "the largest civil penalty we've ever had against a presidential campaign" against Senator Dole's 1988 presidential campaign. The Dole campaign paid a fine of $100,000, publicly admitted to such violations as taking contributions from corporations, illegally using corporate jets, and violating state-by-state spending limits.

Among the violations were:

  1. Overspending by $304,065 in the Iowa primary and by $284,084 in the New Hampshire primary;
  2. Improperly accepting $64,043 from corporations;
  3. Improperly accepting $239,131 from 418 different individuals, each of whom had already contributed the maximum primary contribution ($1000).
  4. Spending $41,887 in exploratory funds in Iowa and $5,359 in New Hampshire, when the maximum allowed for testing the waters research and polling is $5,000 per state.
  5. Improperly allowing Campaign America, Dole's PAC, to spend $47,247 on campaign-related activities (PAC limit is $5000.)
  6. Failure to pay in advance for use of corporate aircraft.
  7. Failure to report receipts and disbursements of 18 "delegate committees" in Dole campaign reports.

As you can see, this is somethi that some people would consider bigger than Whitewater. Here Bob Dole is cheating the system by over $600,000 and only paying a $100,000 to do it. Seems like it's hardly a deterrant to do the same thing again this year.

Getting Letters Published in Newspapers

Tired of seeing the newspapers filled with right wing drivel? Want to fight back and help get rid of the Republicans? You can make a difference. You can be a hero and save the country from the evil right wingers! And here's how you do it.

Over the last 4 years I've sent over 100,000 faxes to Congress and my list of 1200 newspapers and magazines. I've been published in hundreds of newspapers reaching millions of people. So far as I know, I am the only one who's doing what I'm doing to this extent. And it's been somewhat expensive. But times are changing and you can do what I'm doing for little or no money.

First, you will need a computer, fax modem, and software capable of faxing to a list of people. You will also need to know how to write the kind of letter that gets published. And you will need to know how to beat the long distance rates. When you do this, you will be able to reach millions of people with your message and change the world.

I'll start with the phone rates. Sprint is offering a deal where if you sign up your business with them, (I don't know the rules on home rates, but call to find out) that you get all calls made of Fridays free. That right! I said FRIDAYS FREE. Up to $1,000 per month, for one year. If you had one computer dialing fax numbers 24 hours from midnight Thursday to midnight Friday at 15 cents a minute, that $216 a week. Just under $1000 a month. And at about 1 minute per fax, that's 1440 faxes a week. And this is all for free.

This Sprint offer ends on February 15th so you must sign up by then in order to get your $12,000 in free phone calls. Sprint's number is 1-800-859-3404. This offer is for BUSINESS ONLY. So you need to have a business or a friend who has a business to get this to work.

The way I see it, Sprint just made a $12,000 donation to the Clinton campaign. And it could be a lot more than that if a lot of other people besides my got involved. I'm no fan of Sprint, but free is a good price!

There are a lot of good fax software packages and all of them do bulk faxing. If you call me I'll give you my list of numbers in comma delimited ascii format. When you set up your fax software, set it up to not send a cover page. This saves time and fax paper on the other end. When you prepare your document, just include the cover page information in the top half of the page you are sending and put your letter in the bottom half. That way it all fits on one sheet. If your letter is too long to fit on the bottom half, it's too long to get published.

Now that faxing is affordable, the next thing to do is start writing letters. There are several tips you need to learn to get your letter published. The most important factor is to keep it short. The shorter it is, the more likely it will fit into the limited space the paper allocates for letters to the editor. You may want to write a book on the subject, but I promise you that if it's longer that half a page you will never see it in print. Three short paragraphs is a good size letter.

As an example, here's a letter I wrote that was published in the Dallas Morning News. Not a liberal paper.

==[ The Three Biggest Lies of 1993 ]==

And here's some more real short letters:

==[ All Things to all People ]==

The next thing you want to do is to be "to the point". You have a message that you want to get across and want to focus (like a laser beam) on that message. You want the reader to know exactly what you are saying in as few words as possible. Use simple language and word your thoughts so that any idiot can understand what you are saying. Do not try to impress the reader with your command of the English language. The important thing is to get the message out.

In the following example, the first paragraph introduces the question. What it is we are talking about here. The next two paragraphs speak to the heart of the matter, and then the last paragraph is the conclusion. It is good to end with something catchy like, "Everyone is equal, but some of us are more equal than others." (Animal Farm) If you hear a cute phrase, steal it.

==[ Why the Government is Really Shut Down ]==

Another important factor in getting your letter published is to write about issues that are currently in the news. If the government is shut down and that's the lead story, write about that. If someone blows up an abortion clinic or a federal building, write about that. It is always better to write letters about the lead stories because editors want to print letters dealing with current issues.

When faxing letters, it is important to add this statement.

This lets them know that you are a real person and that you can be contacted. It is very important to put your real name, address, phone number, and email address in the header of your letter. If you are anonymous, you're wasting your time.

Many papers publish letters without calling you. For example, the only way I knew that I made it into the San Francisco Cronicle was that I have friends in that area that told me they saw it. You will find that you will get a lot more letters published than you know about.

You also need to be aware that some papers only publish local letters. If a paper calls you and asks to be removed from your list, just do it. Don't let it discourage you. Some papers also have a limit of one letter per month. So even though they like what you wrote, if they already published a letter from you, it might not get in.

You may be asking yourself, "How am I going to get a letter published in a big paper who must recieve thousands of letters." You'd be surprised how few letters these papers get. I just got the above letter printed in the Kansas City Star. I talked to the person verifing my letter and asked her how many letters a day she gets. She said she gets about 30 a day, and they publish 8. She also said that half of them are unacceptable because they are too long or too strange. So if you write the KC Star, you have about a 50/50 chance of getting published!

I have also faxed Congress. I get a ton of form letters from them every week. I also have a number of personal letters. In 1993, the Clinton budget, moving the tax burden from the working class to the super-rich, passed the House and Senate by one vote each. During this time I faxed 5000 letters to Congress, (500 members times 10 letters), supporting the Clinton budget. Did one of my 5000 letters get that one vote? I will never know. But when Senator Kerrey crossed the line and put Clinton over the top, the reason he gave was one of the reasons I outlined in one of my letters. (If you don't know what to do, don't do what your enemies want you to do.)

Anyhow, now you know how it's done. Are you going to do it? Or are you going to be ruled by the Republicans? You can be a hero. You can make a difference. the future of the planet might depend on you. It's your choice. Go for it!

Reviewing Windows 95

I'm no Windoze fan, but I'm getting to like Windows 95. I find myself running it about one third of the time, which is a big step up from Windows 3.

Windows 95 is more stable than 3.11. So yes, it's time to upgrade to it. You don't need to wait for it to be fixed because it's never going to be right. However, it is very useable. I like the fact that I only lock it up about once a day on the average instead of continuously. It's a lot faster than 3.11 especially on the web, which is what I really use it for.

Windows 95 has a feature that if you are running DOS under Windows and from the command line you run a Windows application, it actually works! This allows to to hunt for things with your handy dandy DOS utilities and when you find it you can just run it. I like that. You can also start Windows programs from a batch file.

To run Windows 95 you need at least a 486 80 with 16 megs of ram. Microsoft says it will run in 8 megs. But they have a different meaning for the word "run" than I do. In fact, if you are a serious user, (or abuser) you're going to want to put 24 megs of ram in and get a Pentium 120. That's what I'm running.

Microsoft would have you believe that Windows is now an operating system that no longer runs under DOS. It's a LIE! There is almost no difference in the relationship between Windows 95 and it's hidden DOS 7.0 and Windows 3 and DOS 6. In fact, Windows 95 is much easier to deal with as DOS running Windows and it's not hard to separate the DOS 7 out so that you can run Windows 95 or Windows 3.11 under it when you're in the mood to play. And here's the secret trick Microsoft doesn't want you to know about.

There is a file in your root directory called MSDOS.SYS. This file used to be a binary file, but now it's a text file. First you have to get rid of the Hidden, System, and Read-Only file attributes. If you don't have a file manager that can do that, download Directory Master from my BBS.

Then you bring up an editor on this file and make two changes. Change the line BootGUI=1 to BootGUI=0. Then add a line LOGO=0. It's that easy! Here's my MSDOS.SYS file:

After this you reboot and it comes up as DOS. When you want to go into Windows, just type WIN.

The best part of Windows 95 is surfing the web. I'm running both Internet Explorer and Netscape 2.0 Beta 3. I haven't decided which one I like the best. For those of you who haven't discovered the web, it's time to jump in. Buy a new computer with Windows 95, or get the latest Macintosh. Get a 28.8 modem and subscribe to one of these $20/month unlimited access dial in providers. The Web is very kool!

OJ Goes Free

I really missed the chance to make a lot of money betting people on the outcome of the OJ trial. The reason it could have been so profitable is that people want to believe in the Justice system. And, in my opinion, the Justice system proved that it is not racist. It proved that even a black guy can buy his way out of a murder rap.

When you think about it, the LA courts can't convict people. Look at Rodney King. They had it on video tape. Did they convict? No! Then there were the Mennendez brothers. They CONFESSED! Conviction? NO! So could they get OJ? No way!

Although I would have convicted had I been on the jury, there was some holes in the case. I believe that the LAPD did try to enhance their case by planting evidence, and got caught at it. Mark Fuhrman sure didn't add any credibility. There are no white male cops on the LAPD that haven't used the word "nigger" in the last 10 years. No way!

The mostly black jury knows better than us white folk from first-hand experiance that the LA cops are not to be trusted. They were therefore in a position to accurately hear this case -- and they were asked to only convict if the evidence was "beyond a reasonable doubt." That means that if you are 80% sure, that's not good enough. To me, you have to be about 95% and with the kind of bucks being spent, you can buy the 5% doubt, and that's what OJ's lawyers did.

What shocked me was how openly everyone was making big bucks off this trial. Everyone was writing books -- including the jurors, witnesses, lawyers, judge, prosecutors, the defendant, and soon the families of the victims. They all cashed in big time. As sure as I am that OJ did it, I am also sure that when the jury deliberated, they were deliberating their book and interview offers. Now you have the jury over at OJ's house partying down with the Juice! What a joke the courts are!

1995 - Best Movies

I liked the Appollo 13 movie the best. It wasn't as kool as Star Wars, but it really happened that way. For those of you who want to see NASA's finest moment, see this movie.

If you like good wholesome family entertainment, Steve Marting is great in Father of the Bride II. It's a more serious role than he normally plays, and it's just a great family movie. See it!

More Republican Lies

For those of you who are confused about what the Republican are up to, let me clear it up. They are trying to destroy the government and replace it with a government of a few super-wealthy people ruling the rest of us like slaves. But they don't even have much of a clue of what they really want. They only monitor progress by how many of them get elected. They act as if they have some holy cause, but it's just all slogans.

The Religous Right has a more organized vision. It goes something like this: They get control of the Republicans who get control of government. Then they institute "God's Laws," to which they have exclusive access. God talks to them, you know, so how can anyone question that? Once they have control of the government, they will start controlling all aspects of our lives, taking away our freedom to sin. And since the US is the only super-power left, and with the computer technology we have, the prospect of a world run by God, (as represented by Jerry Falwell) is very scary indeed.

Can it happen? Yes, it can. And all you have to do is just roll over and let it happen. Not me, though. I'm going out kicking and screaming. And in 1996 you are going to see this dude raise some serious hell. I therefore declare 1996 to be the year of the asshole, and my New Year's resolution is to irritate the establishment thieves as much as possible. Clinton is the only thing that stands between the Republicans and their goals to turn us into slaves. And I stand with him to make sure it won't happen.

Going Online

I've just put up my new Web Server. I'm learing UNIX and I've got an ISDN line that will give me a 128k pipe into the net. Check out online now. In addition to selling my software, it will be the home of Thinking Magazine, the Nerd Liberation Movement, and the Ozark Hippie Network. It's going to be fun!


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