ASSASSINATION BY SUICIDE
Wednesday, 6 February 2002; 12:00 PM EST (Revised Thursday 21 March 2002; 3:20 PM EST)
ASSASSINATION BY SUICIDE:
Betrayal of capitalism
By Vigdor Schreibman
The scientific and historical precedents for suicide in analogous
situations are stated first. Then I lay out the capitalist pattern that was, in
my case, designed to promote or compel this assassination.
I am committed, irreversibly, to resist laissez fair capitalism and support
cyberspace capital as the preferred democratic strategy for
building up civil resources of resistance. The small fund that I have for
continuation of my efforts to support CC, is now exhausted leaving me
without the necessary popular or private support to sustain this work and meet
my very modest financial responsibilities. Under these conditions, I am guided
by the wisdom of the early 20th-century American philosopher and polymath, C.S.
Peirce, who in 1902, after being rejected for a grant to prepare his treatise on
logic found himself at the end of the line. He then observed in a letter to
William James, 12 June 1902, "(W)hen the moment arrives at which there seems to
be no rational hope of making my life useful, my duty, as I see it, will be to
treat my life just as I would an aching tooth that there was no hope of making
useful, I will have it out." [Introduction, Pragmatism as a Principle and
Method of Right Thinking, The 1903 Harvard Lectures on Pragmatism,
5-6 P.A. Turrisi, editor].
In my own situation not only is reason for continuing dwindling, but there is
now looming the capitalist strategy to render me a slave of
Kleptocracy. I will not accept this. Like the
Jews of Masada,
I take death by suicide as the ultimate weapon of resistance. "Liberty or
death" remains a vital principle of democratic life.
I do not for a moment consider the lack of financial support for CC as any
serious measure of the failure of my project. When I was given the opportunity
to present the case for CC at a meeting of the Local Area Board of Pacifica Radio,
February 13, 2002, the small group of 50 or so mostly minority residents of the
Adams Morgan neighborhood, in Washington, DC, expressed great enthusiasm for the
idea. A slide show display on Internet Managed Dialogue produced more than
1000 visitors to the CC web site, during the week of March 11! Moreover, the
existing situation is marked by "short-term paralysis of wide spread criticism
induced by the 'patriotic' response created to act against 'terrorism'" according to one experienced observer, Brian Jenkins, an
Internet-based journalist from Western Australia, in an email message Jan 12.
Jenkins also suggests, "A lot of normally sceptical colleagues and organisations
seem to have ducked below the trench from fear of being labelled terrorists or
unpatriots and/or having their incomes threatened (NGOs especially)".
These observations of Brian Jenkins are consistent with a summary of the
problems of market based "democracy" and their causes, recently published in,
The Market System 234 (Yale University Press 2001), written by Charles E.
Lindblom, Sterling Professor Emeritus of Economics and Political Science at Yale
University. Any challenge to elite power, Lindblom observed, "is curbed by an
assault on the minds of the masses that persuades them to live within the rules
of the market system rather than become 'masters of the situation.'" Indeed,
fear itself is a corrupting force, explained by the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate,
Aung San Suu Kyi.
GETTING STARTED: 1954-1979
A critical aspect of my own story starts at the beginning of my career, when I
was a fully indoctrinated capitalist living in Washington, DC. This was in 1954,
when I was 24 years of age, I had completed high school with a poor showing, a
college drop out, but busy with industrial research and looking for adventure.
In the spring of 1954, I decided to move to Puerto Rico. At the time "Operation
Bootstrap" was just getting under way in that Caribbean paradise and I was
persuaded to find my place in that program after a number of inquiries and
explorations with a few Puerto Rican business men and bankers, and officials of
the Government of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico that I had made some months
previously. These contacts crystallized my Puerto Rican plan when they all came
to Washington, DC, to attend the annual Bankers Convention held at the Shoreham
Hotel (now the Omni Shoreham Hotel).
I went out to Bolling Air Force Base, and within a day or so I was able to
hitch a ride South, on my way to Puerto Rico. I arrived on the Island with
but a few pennies pocket money and quickly obtained an income by giving swimming
and water skiing lessons at a lovely new Hotel, La Rada, which offered me a
concession at their lagoon-side pool. From this Hotel concession, I made new
contacts with bankers and business people. I also met my beautiful, future
Puerto Rican wife there too, who came one day to apply for a job to help out
with swimming and water skiing lessons.
In a short time I graduated to the real estate business. I became a consultant and
broker, teaching myself the arts of finance and development from examples found
in the local "Bootstrap" development library and by inquiry with accomplished
professionals. I learned quickly. Contact with one aspiring mortgage lender,
Teodoro Fajardo, led to a shopping center project in the city of Ponce, Puerto Rico,
another contact with a successful home builder, Juan Jose Otero, led to a fine new
hotel project at the heart of Santurce, Puerto Rico which I arranged under a long
term lease with
Roger Sonnabend, CEO of the Hotel Corporation of America. HCA was just
getting started as a major hotel developer in 1956. That hotel was so successful
when it opened in 1959, that my former client decided to buy out the lease with
HCA for 0,000.00. (Mr. Otero was no hotel manager, unfortunately, and his
thriving hotel business soon ran into hard times.)
I continued on my successful adventure in Puerto Rico. In 1960 I assembled and
purchased for less than half a million dollars, a large ocean front estate, with
an investor group from New York, Connecticut, and Chicago that I organized: 750
acres with 2.5 kilometers of ocean frontage with a fair market value that had
grown to some ,000,000.00 as my development continued. This property was to
become my own project as builder-developer; Las Colinas (The Hills), it
was called, and what a wonderful project it was!
My bankers agreed. Banco Popular published an ad in The San
Juan Star, Saturday May 4, 1963, declaring:
Banco Popular is proud to have taken part in bringing to the Island of Puerto
Rico this exciting new development. Conceived and executed by some of the finest
men in their fields (e.g., Master Plan by Hideo Sasaki, Dean of
Landscape Architecture at Harvard University, Robert Trent Jones Golf Course,
award winning architects, etc.), it will stand as a
monument to imagination, planning and effort, and will make possible a new kind
of living for thousands of people.
It was about this time that I found out what capitalism was all about. One of
the bank officers and owners, Jose Luis Carrion (the younger brother in the
family that owned control of the bank), evidently became so excited about Las
Colinas project that he decided to deprive me of my property by repudiating the
Bank's revolving line of credit, which had been orally agreed to, and by
prematurely demanding repayment of their loan. This effectively prevented me
from completing the project and making repayment as intended. Jose Luis then
invited me to sell out for a paltry sum, which I rejected with a pledge to
fight back. I taught myself the law and fought the bank in the US Courts.
The Puerto Rican bankers and their lawyers and their friends in the Puerto Rican
building industry and in US Court in Puerto Rico all laughed my struggle away,
"that crazy Schreibman," they called me!
Nevertheless, the bank's intended thievery was so evident that despite their
financial power and arrogance, after an eight year litigation, I won the law suit
in a series of judgments that established a precedent for a layman appearing in
court to defend his corporation in person (see e.g., Las Colinas, Inc. v. Mason, 377 F.2d 99 (1st Cit. 1967),
after first remand, sub nom, In Re Las Colinas, Inc., 426 F.2d 1005 (1st Cir. 1970),
after second remand, 453 F.2d. 911 (1971); see also In Re Victor
Publishers, Inc., 545 F.2d 285, 286, n.* (1st Cir. 1976) (explaining why
Vigdor Schreibman was allowed to personally represent his corporations in Federal
Court, namely, due to the "extraordinary legal ability" of the corporation's
non-lawyer officer). But the critical fact that led to this successful judgment
was my extraordinary luck in having
Judge Bailey Aldrich, then Chief Judge of the US Court of Appeals for the
First Circuit, preside over all of Las Colinas appeals in fair and
impartial proceedings. The First Circuit is where appeals from cases originating
in Puerto Rico are heard. Judge Aldrich, I was to learn during my
experiences with the Federal Judiciary, is a very rare member of the 3d-branch
of American Government.
I made the biggest mistake of my life when that law suit was finally decided
in my favor. Several people warned me not to try to continue with my project,
my investors, and even Judge Hiram Cancio, himself, former Chief Judge of the
US District Court who had made the deciding ruling in the case after many years
of ruling against me. I was told by Cancio (at a private dinner party
that we both attended with friends during the Christmas season of 1972) that
Banco Popular would not allow me to continue, but I went ahead anyway, reasoning
that an honest Judiciary was always available to support lawful developments.
This reasoning was badly mistaken. The Judiciary, I have learned, is designed
to support elite power not reason and justice.
I brought in a new lender, Walter Heller & Company of Miami, Florida,
to finance reconstruction of Las Colinas. However, in a secret deal
(related to me by a bank director after the death, in 1974, of Abner Kalish, a
very worthy individual and my primary banker at Banco Popular), the Heller loan was
soon under the control of Banco Popular, repayment of my loan was demanded
prematurely, overriding the 30-day grace period for interest payments and years
before the agreed due date, and we were back in Federal Bankruptcy Court, invoked
to protect Las Colinas property while the new finance controversy was
litigated. This time, the bank was prepared with super fire power in opposition
to my corporate representation. They brought in an outside law firm, Carlton,
Fields, Ward, Emanuel, Smith, & Cutler, from Tampa, Florida. William Reece Smith
was President of the American Bar Association. Edward I. Cutler was a member
(1976-80), later Chairman (1980-83) of the ABA Special Committee on the
Coordination of Federal Judicial Improvements. A special appointment was made
for the trial judge in my case by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, in
direct consultation with Attorney Cutler (a court employee with personal
knowledge of the facts revealed to me); it was none other than "Mr. Bankruptcy"
himself, the late Aza Herzog, also from Tampa, Florida. New panels of judges in
Puerto Rico and Boston were also assigned to hear appeals in the case. [One
should not be surprised to learn that the current profile published online, of
Edward I Cutler,
makes an attempt to cover up his atrocious conduct, by omission of all reference
to his association with Las Colinas case, his legal practices in San Juan
and Boston, and his leadership position on the ABA Special Committee on the
Coordination of Federal Judicial Improvements.]
YEARS OF CONTEMPLATION & WRITING: 1980-1990
Quite a party was assembled to deprive me of my property in a series of decisions,
the critical element of which was the Courts' persistent arbitrary refusal to
fairly consider any of my arguments at trial or on appeal, In re Las Colinas
Development Corporation, 12 COLLIER BANKR. CAS. 652 (Banr. D.P.R. 1977),
appeal dismissed, 446 F.Supp. 141 (D.P,R. 1978), aff'd, 585 F.2d 7
(1st Cir. 1978). I later reported the whole story in a book that I published,
Judicial Power and Equal Justice (Amicas 1987) ISBN 0-942539-01-X, the second
essay in a 5-volume series of Essays on the Impact of the Constitution and Legal
System on American Life and Government (Amicas 1987-1990) ISBN 0-942539-2.
Critical Legal Studies program placed my books on their recommended list, and
University law libraries around the country as well as two state Supreme Courts
(California and Ohio) purchased copies of the book, which was based on the official
record of the case filed with my Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the
Supreme Court of the United States, Vigdor Schreibman and Las Colinas
Development Corporation v. Walter E. Heller & Company, No. 78-5914 (1978).
When I tried to file my petition on behalf of Las Colinas, the clerk refused
to receive it claiming I had no legal authority to act for the corporation in court.
When I filed a motion asking the Court to decide that matter, the clerk again
refused to receive my motion. When I then moved to file the motion with the
appropriate Justice, personally, the clerk relented and submitted the motion to
the Court, which promptly denied the same, 439 US 1063 (1979) (exception noted,
"Mr. Justice Stewart would grant the motion"). The exception is interesting.
Justice Stewart was the Court's expert on matters of self-representation. He
wrote the opinion in the landmark case, Faretta v. California, 422 US 806
Las Colinas controversy received special attention of the US Courts
because members of the legal profession and the Judiciary insist on monopoly
control over corporate representation in the courts, without any public benefit.
This restriction was applied even when the corporation was in financial distress
unable to obtain the services of a competent attorney at law. This limitation
was confirmed by two well qualified expert witnesses at the trial, Jaime Fuster,
Dean of the University of Puerto Rico Law School, and Rafael Rivera Cruz, former
Bankruptcy Judge in the case, and a former Solicitor General in the Department of
Justice of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico . For their efforts to clarify these issues,
both witnesses were insulted by the trial judge, and their relevant, impartial,
corroborated, and uncontroverted testimony was completely disregarded by the Courts.
Las Colinas was able and willing to defend its own interests, personally,
by the corporation's non-lawyer officer who possessed "extraordinary legal ability."
The decision to prevent this representation is contrary to common law, antitrust
law, and constitutional law, as I argue in my book, but the Courts simply refused
to provide a fair trial of those issues, which were presented for review. The
Court's repudiation of the right of corporate legal speech and access to the Courts,
is also paradoxical.
The corporate right to political speech in the form of political campaign
donations, was protected by the Supreme Court, in First National Bank of
Boston v. Bellotti, 435 US 765, 777 (1978), with the result that big business
corporations can use resources amassed in the economic marketplace, under state
charter, to obtain an advantage in the political marketplace that is both unfair
and debilitating to the sovereign powers of the people in a democracy. Specific
instances of unfairness have been addressed by the Court but without considering
the broad impact of the rule amid the collective actions by tens of thousands of
wealthy corporations to defeat the American democratic system of Government, see
e.g., Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce, 494 US 652, 659 (1990).
At the same time, the corporate right of legal speech has been restricted when
the corporation cannot afford to pay a lawyer, as in Las Colinas (1979),
overriding the fundamental right of access to the courts protected under the
First Amendment, without any public benefit other than protecting the lawyers
monopoly, with the result that lawyers and their wealthy clients can simply rob
corporations (and their stockholders and creditors) of their property when they
are in distressed financial condition. These two schemes were hatched out of
Robber Baron minds, the first, in unabashed defiance of the exclusive power of
the people under the Republican form of Government to elect their legislative
representatives and a President by popular democratic vote rather than by undue
corporate political influence, and the second, out of the public policy of
Kleptocracy - The transferring of wealth from commoners to the upper classes.
Banco Polular and their alies in the legal profession and Judiciary did not
stop with depriving me of Las Colinas properties. In the years that
followed, I have been pursued with undercover surveilance, intrusions into my
home and on my phone, and continuing interruptions of my internet communications.
I have been placed under a policy of civil death by continuous denial of
my fundamental right to protections under the First Amendment: my right to
privacy has been continuously under siege; my right to due process has been
continuously violated whenever I must appear and defend myself in court; my
rights to protection under the free speech and free press clauses have been
crushed; leaving me altogether bereft of a basic foundation for civil existence
in an environment of oceanic capitalist aggression and corruption including a
deliberate policy to undermine my ability to maintain good physical health.
BOGUS SECURITY CLEARANCE CAPER: 1990-1994
On February 16, 1990, the US Department of Justice informed Gregory Miller,
Document Center Manager, Acumenics Research and Technology, Inc., (ART) of his
"deep appreciation and thanks to you and your staff," which explicitly named
Vigdor Schreibman, "for your diligent work and loyalty to the project of
analyzing data and documents and preparing the evidentiary memorandum to support
the Government's case in United States Chemical Corp., et al. Effective
the same day, Vigdor Schreibman was terminated from his job by ART for his
refusal to complete OPM Standard Form 86 (SF86), for purposes of DOJ security clearance.
SF86 was an attempt by the Reagan Administration to subject all Federal Employees
to National Security clearance, building a dossier on everyone in the Government,
without regard for whether or not any National Security information was at issue
in their jobs. The form was a blanket violation of the constitutional privacy
rights of hundreds of thousands of Federal Employees, demanding private medical
records, financial information, the names of associations that a person belonged
to, and other such information, while also demanding a blanket release for any
damages for violation of those rights.
My job involved no National Security issues. The demands of SF86 were
unconstitutional on its face, for an individual not charged with National
Security responsibilities, and in 1990, I properly sued ART in Federal District
Court, and also included personal actions against the heads of related agencies,
the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and the US Department of Justice (DOJ),
for compensatory and punitive damages, a Bivens suit, following the
doctrine of Bivens v Six Unknown Named Agents, 403 US 388 (1971);42 USC