Sunday, January 14, 2007

Let's see if the Democrats stand up!

They won the election to end the war, Bush wants to escalate it, and they need to answer now.

Cheney/Bush/Rice found just their strategy to back them off - call them chicken, or terrorists, or defeatists, non-american, and all that nonsense.

I have been saying from the beginning they really won't do anything, because in reality they are not really that different from Bush/Rebublicans. Each thinks vastly different things perhaps, but at the end of the day merely postures themselves differently to the public, and ends up doing mostly the same thing - supporting business, and themselves.

They could do many things to force the president's hand to end the war. And a lot of Republicans, and the population in general, would support them.

They can, for example, deny all money going to Iraq. Which would be a real showdown of opposing intentions. But none of them are in for any of that.

There is the large problem that all of them want to save face, and climb the social ladder some more. Get to say "I got us the victory" in the Iraq war. More self-interest - the people who are dying on all sides simply don't matter as much as their careers.

But the Iraq Study Group solved that problem for everyone I think, by taking the blame for making the decision - they looked at it in depth, a bunch of retired, experienced people, who have gone to war a number of times. They decided it can't be done. Kissinger also stated his opinion to that effect. And some US generals.

What's to be done? What are they doing?

In the virtual world of US politics - ignore reality, say you are going to win, and keep on postponing losing and killing more people.

Bush, the republicans, and the democrats, after arguing and fighting a bit more, will keep right on at it - pushing the hot potato to each other and hoping someone else gets stuffed with the "chicken" label, rather than everyone just leave Bush isolated with the "arrogant dreamer" label for having invaded in the first place, against his own father's and the world's advice.
Old lady is not a drug dealer, does not get evicted.

This was an especially funny case. Someone saw the landlord's lawyer screaming at this lady in the hallway of the court building, and decided to talk to her.

They were evicting her implying there's support for it in a law that facilitates evicting drug dealers. So they accused grandma of being a drug dealer. They get six witnesses, somehow, and video evidence.

But the actual legal argument was that she was a nuisance - there was no police involved, no police report, no drug complaints from the neighbors - only the landlord and his lawyers accusing this old lady and her grandchildren of being drug dealers.

So they call their witnesses. One of them doesn't show up. The other is there, but doesn't want to testify. Finally one takes the stand. He apparently operated the video surveillance equipment of the building. They have there a bag full of tapes, one DVD, and a video recording unit of some kind.

While answering some very simple questions, he is fidgeting in his seat, looking at the prosecution lawyer, making hand signals to communicate with his lawyer, mumbling and saying incoherent things, and the judge warns him to stop looking and making hand signals to his lawyer, and just answer the questions. He lies to the judge, challenging the judge's observation, saying he is not looking at his lawyer.

Finally, the guy says he doesn't feel well, and needs to leave. He goes home, in the middle of testimony. The next day, the case continues, and the judge just decides he's seen enough of this circus - the lady is staying in the apt, and the landlord has no case against her.

This landlord and his lawyers put on a good standup comedy though!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Eviction Notice? Me too!

Here's what you do when you get an eviction notice:

1 - DO NOT MOVE OUT! That's the most stupid thing you could do. Don't move or plan to move out - if you leave, you lose your rights. Although you are afraid, nervous, anxious, etc, nothing is going to happen.

2 - EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE FINE! You got an eviction notice. That does not mean you are getting evicted! Statistically you have about a 98% chance that you will not get to an actual eviction, not need to move, and will be there many more years. You need to stay calm and find out what will happen - exactly, in detail, carefully.

3 - TALK TO EVERYONE - And don't listen to anyone that says you need to move. You need to talk to many people - the neighbors and some lawyers. A tenants union or other organizations, a city council office in your neighborhood, and your friends and family. Everyone will teach you things and give you confidence. Look for poeple who already did this, and won the case.

4 - ORGANIZE! - Read the "eviction" papers you have received. You are not getting evicted, did you hear me? Read about what the law a little. Organize your documents - leases, reciepts, bank statements, tax returns, everything in nice folders. Collect you utility/electric/gas/phone records, personal mail, etc. Organize your money, you will eventually have to pay all the rent. And you will do well to pay a lawyer up front, but you may be able to get the that back from the landlord, when you win the case.

Here's some stuff to get you started. These are in New York, where I am.

Search for things on your eviction letter. Lots and lots of info. Read the forums, post messages. -

Legal firm where I work now. Lots of information on their site too. They only work with tenants law for years, so they know what they're doing.

New York Attorney General information on tenant rights.