Archive for the Pigs Category

Al Qaeda Goes to College: First Book Review

Posted in 1966, 2008 Election, aecond amendment, AIDS/HIV, alcohol, alcoholism, animal house, animals, arrest, art, asia, athletics, Barack Obama, baseball, bichons, Biden, Big Business, binge drinking, blogging, Blogroll, books, breaking news, cars, cats, ceo compensation, Christmas, chrysler, Crime, criminal justice, culture, cyberspace, Democrats, diets, Disabilities, Disability Discrimination, discrimination, divorce, dogs, election, Employment Discrimination, entertainment, environment, films, food, fraternities, Gay Literature, gun control, high education, Higher Education, history, HIV/AIDS, hollywood, immigration, intelligent design, international, internet, Israel, journalism, Law, Law and Justice, leadership, literature, marriage, mccain, media, medicine, middle east, movies, murder, murder in the 20th century, news, North Pole, novels, obama, Oil Companies, Palin, pennsylvania, pets, Pigs, Pit Bulls, Polar Express, Politics, pornography, president, Presidential Election, prisons, professors, random, relationships, religion, Republicans, Santa Claus, Sarah Palin, science, science fiction, sciencec, second amendment, shooting, sports, study abroad, technology, Terrorism, time travel, Uncategorized, United Nations, universities, vegans, Vice President, Violence, VTU, war, war on terror, world affairs, writing on February 21, 2009 by castagnera

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/adjunctprofs/2009/02/book-review-h-1.html

February 21, 2009

Book Review Highlight Al-Qaeda Goes to College

AlqaedaOn Jan. 23, 2009, Adjunct Prof Blog announced  that James Ottavio Castagnera, a well known lawyer and professor at Rider University, just wrote an exciting new book entitled “Al-Qaeda Goes To College.” Professor Castagnera was kind enough to provide me with an advance copy and I could not put it down. 
The book starts off by detailing how Professor Castagnera world began to change on 9-11. It then goes on to discuss the Anthrax scare that occurred at the Hamlton New Jersey Post Office, just a few miles a way from Rider University.    
The book’s research is excellent and it is full of detailed footnotes that others will undoubtedly find helpful.  Professor Castagnera central thesis, however, is on the impact  9-11 had on higher education. He views 9-11 as a double edge sword. On the one hand universities lost their innocence at great cost (increased governmental regulations, security costs etc.), but on the other hand universities also got a windfall because now they offer more programs and research on national security. Professor Castagnera believes that American universities have met the challenge of 9-11 and we are better off because of it. He compares 9-11 to WWII and states that America became a super power because of WWII.

The book goes on and covers such topics as universities’ roles in training counter-terrorism experts, particularly anthropologists working in Iraq and Afghanistan; bio-terrorism research on campuses; inflammatory critiques by the likes of Ward Churchill; the conspiracy theories advocated by some academics regarding 9/11; lawsuits against universities by terror victims trying to get settlements from countries like Iran by seizing archaeological artifacts in American universities; accused Islamists teaching at American colleges, like Sami al-Arian at USF.

This book not only presents well researched factual information, but it also contains legal analysis. For example with respect to the discharge of Professor Ward Churchill, Professor Castagnera outlines the First Amendment rights of public employees and in particular academic freedom. 

To my knowledge, this is the first book on how 9-11 has changed the world of higher education.  This book will be available around April 30th and you can pre-order it now from the above link. You will be glad that you did.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

Advertisements

Read a sample chapter from my newest book, “Al Qaeda Goes to College”

Posted in 1966, 2008 Election, aecond amendment, AIDS/HIV, alcohol, alcoholism, animal house, animals, arrest, art, asia, athletics, Barack Obama, baseball, bichons, Biden, Big Business, binge drinking, blogging, Blogroll, books, breaking news, cars, cats, ceo compensation, Christmas, chrysler, Crime, criminal justice, culture, cyberspace, Democrats, diets, Disabilities, Disability Discrimination, discrimination, divorce, dogs, election, Employment Discrimination, entertainment, environment, films, food, fraternities, Gay Literature, gun control, high education, Higher Education, history, HIV/AIDS, hollywood, immigration, intelligent design, international, internet, Israel, journalism, Law, Law and Justice, leadership, literature, marriage, mccain, media, medicine, middle east, movies, murder, murder in the 20th century, news, North Pole, novels, obama, Oil Companies, Palin, pennsylvania, pets, Pigs, Pit Bulls, Polar Express, Politics, pornography, president, Presidential Election, prisons, professors, random, relationships, religion, Republicans, Santa Claus, Sarah Palin, science, science fiction, sciencec, second amendment, shooting, sports, study abroad, technology, Terrorism, time travel, Uncategorized, United Nations, universities, vegans, Vice President, Violence, VTU, war, war on terror, world affairs, writing on February 10, 2009 by castagnera

http://www.historyplace.com/specials/writers/domestic-terrorists.htm

Why Reforming Education Is a Critical National Priority

Posted in 1966, 2008 Election, aecond amendment, alcohol, alcoholism, animal house, animals, arrest, art, asia, athletics, Barack Obama, baseball, bichons, Biden, Big Business, binge drinking, blogging, Blogroll, books, breaking news, cars, cats, ceo compensation, Christmas, chrysler, Crime, criminal justice, culture, cyberspace, Democrats, diets, divorce, dogs, election, entertainment, environment, films, food, fraternities, gun control, high education, Higher Education, history, hollywood, immigration, intelligent design, international, internet, Israel, journalism, Law, Law and Justice, leadership, literature, marriage, mccain, media, medicine, middle east, movies, murder, murder in the 20th century, news, North Pole, pennsylvania, pets, Pigs, Pit Bulls, Polar Express, Politics, pornography, president, Presidential Election, prisons, professors, random, relationships, religion, Republicans, Santa Claus, Sarah Palin, science, science fiction, sciencec, second amendment, shooting, sports, study abroad, technology, Terrorism, time travel, Uncategorized, United Nations, universities, vegans, Vice President, Violence, VTU, war, war on terror, world affairs, writing on December 8, 2008 by castagnera

Why Reforming American Education Is Crucial
By James Castagnera
Attorney at Large
Last week in this space, talking about how to win the war on terror, I asserted, “The American workforce must be better prepared to compete in the global marketplace. When we are through congratulating ourselves on electing our first black president, let’s recall that inner-city high school graduation rates still hover at or below 50 percent in most major metropolises. Colleges are over-priced and inefficiently labor-intensive. We are cranking out too many lawyers and too few engineers and scientists.”
Just as I am convinced that our national security against terrorists rests primarily on good police work, secure borders, and a sensible immigration policy, the proliferation of drug wars, inner-city gangs, and campus crazies persuades me that education — like energy — is a national security issue.  I offer two reasons why.
First, no democracy can feel itself either fair or safe, when it allows an inner-city proletariat to persist and fester from generation to generation.  According to the cover story in the December 8th TIME Magazine, “Young Americans are less likely than their parents were to finish high school.”  Adds the article’s authors, “This is an issue that is warping the nation’s economy and security.”  They are right.
A report issued in April by America’s Promise Alliance and reported on Fox News found high school graduation rates below 50% in America’s 50 largest cities.  According to Fox, “The report found troubling data on the prospects of urban public high school students getting to college. In Detroit’s public schools, 24.9 percent of the students graduated from high school, while 30.5 percent graduated in Indianapolis Public Schools and 34.1 percent received diplomas in the Cleveland Municipal City School District.”
Consider this:  the odds that you or I will be the victim of one of these thousands of high school dropouts is astronomically higher than the chance that one of us will be killed by an international terrorist.  Philadelphia annually averages about 400 homicides, for example.  While many of these killings are drug dealers or gang members taking out their rivals in jungle-land turf battles, the collateral damage in innocent citizens, including kids, is heartbreaking.
We need only glance across our southern border to Juarez, Mexico, to see how much worse it could become.  As early this year as February 28th, the Dallas News reported 72 drug-related murders in Juarez and worried that the violence could begin spilling over the porous border.  In Mexico, the killings include public officials who try to oppose the warring factions.  “Among the dead there: journalists, a city council member and a police chief on the job just seven hours before he was gunned down. Additionally, the cartels tried to assassinate a federal legislator. And efforts to clean up the force have stalled, as nobody wants the job of police chief. Local media self-censors to survive.”  A popular way for cartel killers to communicate their message is to hang a beheaded corpse from a highway overpass.
How great is the distance between Philadelphia and Juarez?  Thousands of miles as the crow flies, but perhaps only a few years away in terms of escalating violence, as our uneducated proletariats turn in increasing numbers to the only livelihood likely to pay them well.
For those who do graduate from high school and hope to come to college, the current financial crisis may pose an insurmountable barrier.  College students already are regularly graduating with five-figure “mortgages” on their diplomas.  Often, if mom and pop are footing the tuition bills, an actual second-mortgage on the family homestead is how the money is raised.  Now, even that undesirable method may be slipping away, as home equity shrinks and major lenders like City Bank flounder.  We’ll have to wait and see whether the college class of 2013, which will come to campus in September ’09, will be substantially smaller than this year’s crop of collegians.  I predict it will be.
Those who can’t afford college probably won’t be working either.  This morning’s Philadelphia Inquirer’s front page reports the highest unemployment rate in 34 years: 6.7% nationally.  More than 500,000 jobs, adds the Inky, evaporated just last month.
More than 100 years ago, the famous defense attorney Clarence Darrow claimed, “There are more people go to jail in hard times than in good times — few people comparatively go to jail except when they are hard up. They go to jail because they have no other place to go. They may not know why, but it is true all the same. People are not more wicked in hard times. That is not the reason. The fact is true all over the world that in hard times more people go to jail than in good times, and in winter more people go to jail than in summer….  The people who go to jail are almost always poor people — people who have no other place to live first and last.”
The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world, more than 700 people per 100,000.  Only Russia, some of the other states of the former USSR, and a couple of Caribbean countries come close.  Are we stronger on law and order than our sister democracies?  Or are we failing to provide alternatives to crime?
And where lies the greater threat to our security, Afghanistan or the city nearest your home?
[Jim Castagnera, formerly of Jim Thorpe, is a Philadelphia lawyer and writer.  His 17th book, Al Qaeda Goes to College, will be published in the spring by Praeger.]

Rider University Newswire article about my new book

Posted in 1966, 2008 Election, alcohol, alcoholism, animal house, animals, arrest, asia, athletics, Barack Obama, Biden, binge drinking, blogging, Blogroll, breaking news, ceo compensation, Crime, criminal justice, cyberspace, Democrats, election, environment, films, fraternities, gun control, Higher Education, history, hollywood, immigration, intelligent design, international, internet, Israel, journalism, Law, Law and Justice, leadership, literature, mccain, media, middle east, movies, murder, murder in the 20th century, news, novels, obama, Oil Companies, Palin, pennsylvania, Pigs, Pit Bulls, Politics, pornography, president, Presidential Election, prisons, professors, relationships, religion, Republicans, Sarah Palin, second amendment, shooting, study abroad, technology, Terrorism, Uncategorized, United Nations, universities, Vice President, Violence, VTU, war, war on terror, world affairs, writing on November 6, 2008 by castagnera

http://www.rider.edu/2559_15919.htm

Two new books

Posted in 1966, 2008 Election, alcohol, alcoholism, animal house, animals, arrest, asia, athletics, Barack Obama, baseball, bichons, Biden, Big Business, binge drinking, blogging, Blogroll, breaking news, cars, cats, ceo compensation, Christmas, chrysler, Crime, criminal justice, cyberspace, Democrats, diets, divorce, dogs, election, environment, films, food, fraternities, gun control, high education, Higher Education, history, hollywood, immigration, intelligent design, international, internet, Israel, journalism, Law, Law and Justice, leadership, literature, marriage, mccain, media, medicine, middle east, movies, murder, murder in the 20th century, news, North Pole, novels, obama, Oil Companies, Palin, pennsylvania, pets, Pigs, Pit Bulls, Polar Express, Politics, pornography, president, Presidential Election, prisons, professors, relationships, religion, Republicans, Santa Claus, Sarah Palin, science, science fiction, second amendment, shooting, sports, study abroad, technology, Terrorism, time travel, Uncategorized, United Nations, universities, vegans, Vice President, Violence, VTU, war, war on terror, world affairs, writing on October 31, 2008 by castagnera
Published on Times News Online (http://www.tnonline.com)

TIMES NEWS “Attorney at Large” publishes his 16th Book

Enlarge Image

Al Qaeda Goes to College has just gone into production at Greenwood Press.

Jim Castagnera, the Times-News “Attorney at Large,” has published his 16th book, The Employment Law Answer Book: Forms and Worksheets. The 800-page tome, complete with a CD-Rom of adaptable human-resource templates, is a new companion to Castagnera’s popular Employment Law Answer Book, which was first released in 1988 and is now in its sixth edition. Both are published by Aspen Publishers, an American subsidiary of the Wolters Kluwer, a large European publishing/communications firm.

Meanwhile, his 17th book, Al Qaeda Goes to College, has just gone into production at Greenwood Press.

Holder of a J.D., Ph.D., Castagnera has spent more than 25 years practicing, writing about, and teaching law. He has been a labor lawyer and litigator with a major Philadelphia firm and the general counsel/corporate secretary for the then-largest convenience store chain in New Jersey and for the nation’s number one econometric forecasting organization. He has published 15 other books, as well as more than 50 professional/scholarly articles and book chapters. He is a frequent commentator in newsletters, newspapers, magazines, and broadcast media and has been writing his regular weekly column “Attorney at Large” for the Times-News since December 2003.

His teaching has taken him to the University of Texas-Austin, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and the Widener University School of Law. He has completed 12 years as Associate Provost and Associate Counsel for Academic Affairs at Rider University in Princeton/Lawrenceville (NJ), where he also holds the rank of Associate Professor of Business Policy.


Source URL:

Do the Piggies ALways Escape Scott Free?

Posted in 1966, 2008 Election, animal house, animals, arrest, Barack Obama, Biden, Big Business, blogging, breaking news, ceo compensation, Crime, criminal justice, cyberspace, Democrats, dogs, election, history, international, internet, journalism, Law, Law and Justice, leadership, mccain, media, news, obama, Oil Companies, Palin, pennsylvania, Pigs, Pit Bulls, Politics, president, Presidential Election, prisons, Republicans, Sarah Palin, technology, Terrorism, Uncategorized, Vice President, Violence, world affairs on October 13, 2008 by castagnera

As Uncle Sam printed billions of new dollars to bail out AIG, the failing financial giant’s top hogs gobbled up more than $400,000 on a junket, according to news reports.  While that much money might be enough for many of us to retire somewhere shy of our 80th birthdays, it’s only a drop in the trough for these folks.  Golden parachutes in the nine-figure range enable these piggy-pirates to enjoy soft landings, leaving shareholders — including our pension funds — and we taxpayers and our children (and, no doubt, grandchildren) to cover the losses caused by their greed and incompetence.
And Obama wonders why some of us here in depressed Pennsylvania may fondle our guns with a certain wistful affection.
Do these porcine gluttons ever have to pay for their sins?  The answer is “yes, sometimes they do.”  For example, several former AIG and affiliated execs were convicted in a federal court in Connecticut of securities fraud and mail fraud in May.  In this case, according to the federal district judge, “The defendants were convicted of crimes associated with a loss portfolio transfer reinsurance transaction between Gen Re and AIG. Four of the defendants-Ferguson, Garand, Graham, and Monrad-are former Gen Re executives; the remaining defendant, Milton, is a former AIG executive. Count One charged all five of the defendants with participating in a conspiracy to commit securities fraud, to make and cause to be made false and misleading statements in reports filed with the SEC, to falsify and cause to be falsified the books and records of a public company, and to commit mail fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371.”  In other words, they lied to the SEC and the public to make their firms’ assets look more valuable than they actually were.
According to Reuters, last month “In a sentencing memorandum…, prosecutors argued that sentences for the five defendants should be stiffer than the range of 168 months to 210 months calculated in a pre-sentence report. The government also said losses to AIG investors could be estimated at more than $400 million — with the government’s expert calculating fraud-related losses as much as $1.4 billion — a factor that should enhance the defendants’ sentences.”  The memorandum is still under consideration, so far as I can tell.  Here’s hoping  the judge sees things the government’s way.
In addition to such criminal cases, we can anticipate plenty of litigation on the civil side, too, in the wake of the financial pigpen’s collapse.  Here’s one example, from the June 13, 2007, edition of Market Watch [http://www.marketwatch.com]:
“American International Group Inc. (AIG) Wednesday sued its ousted Chairman Maurice R. ‘Hank’ Greenberg and ex-Chief Financial Officer Howard I. Smith for more than $1 billion in damages stemming from accounting troubles on their watch.”
Another class action suit, called In re American International Group Securities Litigation was described a federal judge in Manhattan this way last July:
“This litigation was commenced more than three-and-a-half years ago when putative class actions were filed in this Court on October 15, 2004. The putative class actions alleged that AIG and certain of its officers and directors violated the securities laws by failing to disclose AIG’s participation in bid-rigging and contingent commission schemes (alleged in a complaint by the New York Attorney General against Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc.).  The proposed class period in these actions was October 28, 1999 through October 13, 2004.  On February 8, 2005, this Court consolidated the cases and appointed Ohio Funds as lead plaintiff. On April 19, 2005, lead plaintiff filed a Consolidated Amended Class Action Complaint, which included allegations pertaining to the same bid-rigging and contingent commission schemes, as well as newly-disclosed allegations of accounting improprieties involving defendant General Reinsurance Corp.”
Plaintiffs include public employee and teachers’ retirement funds and the like.  Defendants again include good ‘ol Hank Greenberg.
If all this seems too much to take in, you’re not alone.  I plan to follow these lawsuits for you into the future.  For now, suffice to say that, when I was still practicing law in Philly, I knew lawyers who made their livings chasing down such pilfering piggies on behalf of we hapless shareholders and would-be retirees.  The Enron crimes of the last decade resulted in similar suits, which recovered quite a bit of what had been stolen by Enron’s criminal execs.  CEO Kenneth Lay escaped prison by dying.
Someone less charitable than me might wish the same for some of the hogs who have benefited personally from the shenanigans that led up to our present predicament.
[Jim Castagnera is the Associate Provost and Associate Counsel at Rider University.  His novels and a collection of his columns are available at http://www.lulu.com.]

In November, We Will Make History… Let’s Do It Right!

Posted in 2008 Election, Barack Obama, Biden, Big Business, Democrats, election, mccain, obama, Oil Companies, Palin, Pigs, Pit Bulls, Politics, president, Republicans, Sarah Palin, Vice President on September 13, 2008 by castagnera

Barring the unforeseen, in January 2009 America will have either its first black president or its first female vice president. Either way we will have made history.
For this writer, the 2008 national election has the main qualities of a great rollercoaster ride. For me it feels both exciting and scary.
Making history is always exciting, unless one is an utter coward. Come on, admit it. As we mark the seventh anniversary of the Nine/Eleven terrorist attacks, can’t you recall at least a bit of excitement blended with the shock, fear and sadness the attacks engendered? That survivors of tragedies experience a mix of relief, elation and guilt is an historical cliché, so commonly has it been recorded.
But Obama and Palin scare me, too. I put the odds at 50-50 whether one or the other will be our chief executive. If Obama wins, well then he’s in the Oval Office. If McCain wins, then let’s hope that brave old heart keeps beating for at least four more years. If not, well then…
Palin contended in her unforgettable convention speech that being mayor was like being a community activist, only with real responsibilities. Awe, c’mon, Sarah. Neither you nor Barack bore much responsibility until you became a governor and he became a senator. You will both end 2008 with only about two years of meaningful experience. (I don’t count the past two years in Obama’s column, since he spent it all running for president.)
These two political neophytes have been firing off some real zingers, while the two grand old boys on the tickets, McCain and Biden, have conducted themselves in a more restrained, statesman-like manner. Palin’s comparison of a hockey mom to a pit bull with lipstick led Obama to repeat the old saw that a pig with lipstick is still a pig. Personally, I think Palin is kind of cute. But never mind that. What fascinates me most at this juncture is how close Barack and Sarah are on the issue of big oil.
Obama says he wants to impose a windfall profits tax on the oil barons. He says he would invest this revenue in researching alternative energy sources. McCain commented that this was Jimmy Carter’s idea during the first oil crisis, which occurred in the Seventies, implying the idea was bad then and is bad today.
Now get this. On September 12th, “USA Today” ran a front-page story on Palin’s gubernatorial record to date. If you missed it the first time around, read it now: “This year, she rebuffed religious conservatives who wanted her to add two abortion restriction measures to a special legislative session on oil and gas policy, even though she supported the bills. Former aide Larry Persily said she didn’t want to risk offending Democrats, whose votes she needed on energy legislation.”
The newspaper story continued, “In her 21 months as governor, Palin has taken few steps to advance culturally conservative causes. Instead,… Palin pursued a populist agenda that toughened ethics rules and raised taxes on oil and gas companies.” So who is Sarah Palin, really? We need to know.
In 1984 Geraldine Ferarro was Walter Mondale’s running mate. Before becoming a Congresswoman, Ferarro was a teacher, a lawyer and a district attorney. She was also the first Italian-American on a major party’s presidential ticket. Mondale’s choice gave the Democrats a short-lived bounce in the polls. The bounce lost its momentum well before November. Reagan and Bush buried the Dems, amidst some nasty sexist and ethnic slurs. Some sexists derided the Democratic ticket as “Fritz (Mondale’s nickname) and T___s” Others impugned Ferarro’s reputation, suggesting her husband had Mafia ties.
Whatever else happens during the next month and a half, here’s hoping that neither racism nor sexism is permitted to play a role in the remainder of this campaign cycle. Enough about lipstick on animals of any sort, thank you very much. We voters need to understand, as best we can, what are the leadership qualities and policy positions of these two mavericks. Since there’s a good chance one or the other will, sooner or later, occupy the Oval Office, we need to get as firm a fix on them as humanly possible.
And that’s never an easy trick from a seat on a roller coaster, in the midst of all the fright and excitement.
[Jim Castagnera is the Associate Provost and Associate Counsel at Rider University. A collection of his columns is available at http://www.lulu.com.]