Sunday, July 31, 2011

Even Perjury Sounds Better!!

Promising Medical Student Turns His Back on a Professional Career

Hector Berlioz (December 11, 1803 – March 8, 1869) was a French Romantic composer, best known for his compositions Symphonie fantastique and Grande messe des morts (Requiem). Berlioz made significant contributions to the modern orchestra with his Treatise on Instrumentation. He specified huge orchestral forces for some of his works; as a conductor, he performed several concerts with more than 1,000 musicians.  He also composed around 50 songs. His influence was critical for the further development of Romanticism, especially in composers like Richard Wagner, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Franz Liszt, Richard Strauss, Gustav Mahler and many others.

Hector Berlioz was born in France at La Côte-Saint-André in the département of Isère, near Grenoble. His father, a respected provincial physician and scholar, was responsible for much of the young Berlioz's education.

Berlioz was not a child prodigy, unlike some other famous composers of the time; he began studying music at age 12, when he began writing small compositions and arrangements. As a result of his father's discouragement, he never learned to play the piano, a peculiarity he later described as both beneficial and detrimental.  He became proficient at guitar, flageolet and flute.  He learned harmony by textbooks alone—he was not formally trained. 

In March 1821, he graduated from high school in Grenoble, and in October, at age 18, Berlioz was sent to Paris to study medicine, a field for which he had no interest and, later, outright disgust after viewing a human corpse being dissected. (He gives a colorful account in his Mémoires.) He began to take advantage of the institutions he now had access to in the city, including his first visit to the Paris Opéra.

He also began to visit the Paris Conservatoire library, seeking out scores of Gluck's operas and making personal copies of parts of them. He recalled in his Mémoires his first encounter with Luigi Cherubini, the Conservatoire's then music director. Cherubini attempted to throw the impetuous Berlioz out of the library since he was not a formal music student at that time.

Despite his parents' disapproval, in 1824 he formally abandoned his medical studies to pursue a career in music.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Letter from Sister: June 1980

The following are pages 2 and 3 of a handwritten letter my sister sent me in June 1980.  I lived in Spokane, Washington at that time; I had just completed my first year of law school.  I returned to Philadelphia in late August 1980, having transferred to Temple University Law School.  Regge was the widow of my uncle Lewis Freedman, my father's older brother.  She died in 1990.

and I love it.  I have been seriously dieting since May 11 with one splurge on May 24 at Villa di Roma after “Annie.”  Regge couldn’t get over how thin I had gotten.  I have about 10 or 15 lbs to go then my arms & legs will be just right.

Our weather has been awful.  Monday was mostly cloudy with rain and winds.  I don’t think it reached 70 F. 

Today (it’s about 8:15 AM) it’s raining with that heavy heavy overcast.  Today and tomorrow it's supposed to be no higher than 70 F.

Monday June 16 is Merry’s first day of two weeks of swimming classes.  They are 10 AM - 11 AM.  Pretty early.  She’s in the intermediate class.  I was supposed to go back to the eye doctor at 10:30 on Mon. June 16th so I changed it to 12 noon.  Then I realized that I couldn’t make that.  Since the doctor won’t be back until the following week, I made it for 8:00 AM on the 16th.  Merry’ll have to go with me.  I figure it should be easy to pack at that hour.  It’ll just be hard to get up at 6:30 AM.  I told Merry we should go to the library today.  It is really boring around here.  I need some intellectual stimulation.

Art’s wife, Joy, got a job as a secretary near here.  She did work at the real estate office but I guess she wanted more money and more to do.

Love always,


Apartment Repairs

The floor refinishers are coming today to do the floors in my clothes closet and my walk-in closet.  That may limit my blogging activity.

Heads up:  I just located the brief I filed in D.C. Superior Court in Freedman v. D.C. Department of Human Rights.  I'll be posting it.  It's super-long!  (Some pages are missing.)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Significant Moments: Abilities as a Writer

Years after his break with Wagner, he observed, "I pass over my other relationships lightly; but at no price would I have my life bereft of those days at Triebschen, days of confidence, of serenity, of sublime flashes, of profound moments."
     Robert W. Gutman, Richard Wagner: The Man, His Mind, and His Music. 
(I had no idea at the time how large this house would loom in my subsequent life)
      J. Moussaieff Masson, Final Analysis: The Making and Unmaking of a Psychoanalyst. 
Wagner liked him enormously. But completely disinterested friendship was a luxury he permitted himself infrequently. He sensed Nietzsche's abilities as a writer and wished to yoke them to his cause. 
     Robert W. Gutman, Richard Wagner: The Man, His Mind, and His Music. 
Certainly he was impressed by the professor's eminently articulate style. 
     Elmer Bendiner, A Time For Angels: The Tragicomic History of the League of Nations. 
The relationship between the two men grew increasingly close, and during the war year of 1870 — the high tide of their intimacy — each labored at a work reflecting this happiest time of their friendship, a brief period Richard Strauss considered one of the century's most significant moments.
     Robert W. Gutman, Richard Wagner: The Man, His Mind, and His Music.

The law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld places special emphasis on a prospective associate's writing ability.  The firm stands out among other firms in this regard.

The Los Angeles office of Akin Gump offers the following description of its summer associate program:

Q: What can I expect as far as training in your summer program?

A: Summer associates participate in a variety of training programs, including legal research and writing as well as the firm-wide training event held via video-conference. Summer associates will receive challenging and realistic work assignments, with constructive feedback from the assigning attorneys.  The summer associates also have the opportunity to observe and participate in real-life training scenarios by attending client meetings, negotiations, depositions and hearings and to attend all attorney and MCLE lunches. One important element of our summer program involves summer associates’ participation in a mock trial, through which summer associates will learn important trial and other litigation skills. In addition, one of our senior litigation partners reviews each written work product in order to provide substantive and meaningful feedback to the summer associates.

On three different occasions while I worked at the firm as a paralegal, from 1988 to 1991, there seemed to arise a hubbub at the firm in the time period after I prepared a piece of creative writing:

a.  in late October 1988

b. in April 1990


c. in September 1991

Perhaps, it is mere coincidence, or a figment of my paranoid imagination that I have formed this belief.  Why would Akin Gump take an interest in me, of all people?

Akin Gump: Two Creative Pieces from 1991

During my employment at the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld I formed the belief that the manager of my apartment building entered my apartment surreptitiously every morning, looked around, and reported back to Akin Gump managers what she saw. I used to leave messages for Elaine Wranik to read, many of which were humorous.  The messages were psychologically revealing, I suppose.  I found Akin Gump's surveillance to be ridiculous and humorous.  My paranoia was not associated with anger and a potential for violence; any assessing psychiatrist would have seen that.

The following are two creative pieces I wrote in the summer and early fall of 1991, months before my employment was terminated on October 29, 1991, at a time when, according to Akin Gump's senior managers, I showed signs of severe mental disturbance.  The first writing has a note at the top of the page addressed to Elaine Wranik.  Akin Gump's managers were my "good audience."


(This is all crap, but I figure "Why waste a good audience?")

A man had the unusual ability--some would call it an annoying predilection--to transform his everyday experiences into a dramatic interplay of elemental forces.  By means of this ability the trivial and bland became the grand and heroic; the benign and innocuous rose to the level of the sufferings of Lear.  The man's creative imagination gave form to a gallery of characters.

Of this a second man observed: The man's transformations represent an escapist's retreat from boredom, a paranoiac's refuge from the cares of the real world.  His fantasies reflect a Walter Mitty-like accommodation with ineffectually.

Concerning the first man and his detractor a third man observed: In assigning the first man the role of Walter Mitty, is not the second man, by implication, assuming the role of Thurber, whose creative imagination gave form to Mitty?  And through his momentary implicit dual transformation, does not the second man himself become a Mitty-like character?

Thus, in the end, in this one instance, it became difficult to distinguish between the man of talent, the critic, and the escapist.


I recall that I thought of the following piece while I was visiting my sister during the Jewish High Holidays in 1991.  In that year Rosh Hashanah fell on September 9, 1991.  On about September 11, 1991, while working at Akin Gump, my supervisor, Chris Robertson, held a luncheon meeting (designated a “Hoechst Strategy Meeting”)  in the 12th floor conference room.  The undercurrent of jealousy at the meeting may have been a reaction, in part, to the following writing, which I had left on a table in my apartment for Elaine Wranik to read and report back to Akin Gump management.  According to Kernberg a cohesive group may vent hostility on an outsider based on envy: envy of his individuality, his thinking, and his rationality.  (The following introduction is part of the writing I left on the table for Elaine Wranik to read.)

In the attached creative piece the manifest content relates to the scapegoat identification, whereas the latent content relates to the hero identification.  This duality may reflect a split in the ego between the scapegoat/hero identifications, or a split relating to guilt and narcissism.  The author's role as scapegoat/hero, which he seems to have assumed in his environment, may relate back to the earliest stage of development**, the oral stage, where the central issues are the infant's fear of harm to the mother (guilt) and the infant's reparative fantasies, the purpose of which is to expiate the memory of harm to the mother and which are possible precursors of grandiose, narcissistic fantasies in adulthood.  The piece may reflect, fundamentally an oral disturbance and its vicissitudes.  The piece, if fully analyzed in connection with Freud's interpretation of the hero myth in Group Psychology, sheds light on its author's earliest relationship with the mother and its author's later relationship with the father vis-a-vis mother and sibling, and its author's relationship with co-workers vis-a-vis employer--and ultimately how each of these paired relationships relate to each other.

**Assumes a form of alloplastic adaptation in which the external world is pressed into the service of the ego in order to combat instinctual threats.

[The following is the text of the parable.]

There lived a man whose idiosyncrasies and peculiar manner aroused the suspicion and curiosity of his fellows. In response to everything the man did people cynically asked: "Why does he do that? What is his motive?" The man's behavior, born of inner confusion, raised suspicions in others, which, in turn, compounded his confusion.

The man resolved to put his fellows' minds at ease, and his own mind, by writing the story of his life, thereby explaining himself to himself and explaining himself to those with whom he interacted. The man disseminated his story to his fellows.

Instead of allaying doubt, however, the story raised even more questions. Some suspected the man had committed a crime and sought through this means to conceal his great misdeed. Moreover, these people said the writing of the story was itself evidence of the man's mendacity and was therefore a criminal act irrespective of the severity of any past wrongful actions. Others said the man wanted to compensate, or overcompensate, for a poor self-image by creating a grandiloquent delineation of himself. Still others said he sought to satisfy the exigency of his longing for greatness by emulating the forms of the masters.

Troubled by his fellows' endless suspicions, the man decided to write a second story to explain why he had written the first story. But it occurred to him that a second story would raise more questions. People would likely ask: "Why a second story? Did he not tell us everything he needed to say in the first story?" Might not a second story simply serve to call attention to possible omissions in the first story, leading people to conclude that the man had intentionally omitted material facts in an attempt to deceive? Yet worse, if the second story should contradict some small detail in the first story people might interpret these inconsistent statements as deliberate lies.

Thus, the man would be compelled to write a third story to explain why he had written the second story. The third story would, in turn, call for a fourth story, he thought, and the fourth story, a fifth. The man could foresee no end to his need to explain himself. He then decided to transform his dilemma into a parable--a parable that would set forth the absurdity of his existence and thereby settle for all time the confusion in his mind and in the minds of his fellows. The man's parable read as follows:

"There lived a man whose idiosyncrasies and peculiar manner aroused the suspicion and curiosity of his fellows. . . . "

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

On the Balcony: Me at My Sister's Condo in Atlantic City

It's legal in New Jersey. The New Jersey Assembly just approved a bill permitting partial nudity on apartment balconies. Governor Chris Christie is expected to sign the bill.

Unfortunately, Governor Christie exceeds the weight limit for most balconies. Generally, balconies have a weight limit of 700 pounds. Governor Christie weights 750 pounds. So we won't be seeing a partially nude Governor Christie on any New Jersey balconies any time soon.

Tentative Plans to Become an Army Lawyer

School of Law
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19122

December 9, 1981

Judge Advocate General
United States Army
Washington, DC

RE:  Gary Freedman

Dear General:

I wish to endorse Gary Freedman, wholeheartedly, for the Judge Advocate General's Corp.  Mr. Freedman was a student in two of my classes and did superior work in both.  He not only received consistently high grades but was also an objective and well informed participant in class discussions.  I know Mr. Freedman to be well-regarded by his classmates and to be of the highest character.

I believe Mr. Freedman  has shown a degree of initiative and maturity in his work which bodes well for his future as an attorney.  I am confident that he will be a valuable addition to and successful in any legal career he pursues.

If you have any questions, feel free to call on me at your convenience.

David Weinstein
Professor of Law

DW: bw

Professor Weinstein was a labor lawyer and had professional ties to Thomas W. Jennings, Jr., Esq. at whose law firm in Philadelphia (Sagot & Jennings) I was employed as a law clerk from June 1981 to August 1982.  On one occasion Mr. Jennings was a guest speaker in Professor Weinstein's class.

D.C. Corporation Counsel -- Questionable Ethical Conduct

December 19, 1997
3801 Connectcicut Avenue, NW #136
Washington, DC 20008-4530

Robert S. Bennett, Esq.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
1440 New York Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20005-2107

RE: Freedman v. DHR, D.C. Court of Appeals 96-CV-961

Dear Mr. Bennett:

Enclosed, in connection with the above appeal, are three letters that concern the professional conduct of Charles F.C. Ruff, Esq., current White House counsel to President Clinton. The above appeal was defended in the Superior Court proceedings below by Mr. Ruff ex officio in his capacity as Corporation Counsel for the District of Columbia.

I have no evidence that any of the actions described in the enclosed letters were prompted by an improper motive by Mr. Ruff or persons employed in the Office of Corporation Counsel headed by Mr. Ruff or that the apparent pattern of conduct described in the letters is more than coincidental.

1. Letter dated July 31, 1997 addressed to Robert S. Bennett, Esq. that details the improper reliance in pleadings filed in Mr. Ruff’s name ex officio on so-called “after-acquired” evidence: evidence of a nature that was deemed legally-irrelevant in Title VII employment actions by the U.S. Supreme Court in McKennon v. Nashville Banner Publishing Co., 115 S.Ct. 879 (1995).

2. Letter dated December 16, 1997 addressed to Charles L. Reischel, Esq. that details attributions contained in pleadings filed in Mr. Ruff’s name ex officio relating to my mental health and stability (including the potential for violence) that my impose a constitutionally-impermissible burden on my ability to obtain employment in violation of my civil rights under federal law.

3. Letter dated December 18, 1997 addressed to Charles L. Reischel, Esq. concerning the affirmative condonation in pleadings filed in Mr. Ruff’s name ex officio of prior professional conduct concerning a physician of a nature that was deemed unlawful by the Government of the District of Columbia as of the time of Mr. Ruff’s defense of the Superior Court proceedings below.

I have no evidence that Mr. Ruff was prompted by an improper motive to defend a civil rights action that he knew or should have known rested on evidence relating to professional conduct of a nature that was deemed unlawful as of the time of Mr. Ruff’s defense; or that Mr. Ruff was prompted by an improper motive in failing to advise the Superior Court [name of judge redacted] that his defense made use of evidence of professional conduct concerning a physician of a nature that was deemed unlawful as of the time of the proceedings.

You may find it appropriate to forward this communication to the Board on Professional Responsibility.


Gary Freedman

cc: Mitchell F. Dolin, Esq. (partner, Covington & Burling)

D.C. Board of Medicine: Complaint Against Albert H. Taub, M.D.

614 H STREET, N.W., ROOM 108

January 6, 1999

Albert H. Taub, M.D.
8218 Wisconsin Avenue
Suite 410
Bethesda, Maryland 20814

Re: Mr. Gary Freedman

Dear Dr. Taub:

The D.C. Board of Medicine (the "Board") has received the enclosed complaint about the quality of care that you provided to the above referenced patient.  The Board requests a written reply from you regarding this matter.

In accordance with administrative rules, you are hereby informed that:

1.  You are not required to respond to the complaint;
2.  The Board may send a copy of your response to the complainant; and
3.  Failure to respond shall not be held against you in any subsequent action based on the complaint.

The Board meets the last Wednesday of each month.  Should you choose to response, your response would be appreciated at least five (5) days before the next meeting.  In the event that you choose not to respond, the Board may initiate an investigation to determine if there have been any violations of the Health Occupations Revision Act.  Please call me at (202) 727-9794, should you have any questions about this matter.



James R. Granger, Jr.
Executive Director


c: Mr. Gary Freedman
3801 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C.  20008-4530

Mailed via certified mail: Receipt Z-460-711-448

Job Inquiry: Hogan & Hartson

Law Offices of
Hogan & Hartson
815 Connecticut Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20006-4072

March 12, 1986
Gary Freedman, Esq.
3801 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.
Apartment 136
Washington, D.C.  20008

Dear Mr. Freedman:

Thank you for your recent inquiry concerning the possibility of employment with the firm.

We are receiving inquiries from a large number of applicants for associate positions this year.  There are many applicants with fine records, and unfortunately, we cannot interview or extend offers to all  of them.  Based on our current hiring plans, it appears that we will be unable to pursue your inquiry further at this time.

Thank you for your expression of interest in Hogan & Hartson.  We wish you the best in making your plans.

Sincerely yours,


Robert J. Waldman


U.S. Marshal Service: Selective Interrogation

Mr. xxxxxxxxxx,

You will recall that you interviewed me at my residence on 1/15/10 in part because of concerns about my having quoted Judge xxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxx in the title of one of my blog posts.

I have recently come across a post published by another blogger who quoted Judge xxxxxxx in the title:

Gary Freedman
202 362 7064

FBI -- Lack of Jurisdiction

U.S. Department of Justice
Federal Bureau of Investigation

601 4th Street NW
Washington D.C.  20535
August 21, 1998

Mr. Gary Freedman
3801 Connecticut Avenue #136
Washington, D.C. 20008

Mr. Gary Freedman,

The Washington Field Office (WFO) of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) acknowledges receipt of your letter of August 10, 1998.

A thorough review of your letter reveals no allegation rising to the level of a violation of federal law over which the FBI has jurisdiction.  Therefore, no civil rights investigation will be undertaken.


J.C. Carter
Assistant Director in Charge


by: Jerome O. Campane
Supervisory Special Agent

Social Security Administration: Notice of Continuing Disability Review 1997

Social Security Administration
Notice if Continuing Disability Review

2100 M Street, N.W.
Washington, DC  20203
Phone: 202-653-5056
FAX: 202-653-7721
Office Hours: 9:00am to 4:00pm

April 26, 1997
Claim Number: xxx-xx-xxxx

APT. 136
WASHINGTON, DC  20008-4530


We must regularly review the cases of people getting disability benefits to make sure they are still disabled under our rules.  We are writing to let you know that we are starting to review YOUR Social Security disability case.  We have enclosed a pamphlet that will tell you more about the review.

How We Start The Review

We would like you to come to our office on MAY 15, 1997 @ 9:00 AM.  When you come in on the date shown, or if you would prefer to talk with us by telephone, please call us as soon as possible.

[text of 3-page letter omitted.]

Paula Foster-Pierce
District Manager

SSA Pub. No. 05-10053

cc: FILE


[Handwritten note:] Walk-in 9:20

EEOC -- Review of Department of Human Rights Decision

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Washington Field Office
1400 L Street, N.W., Suite 200
Washington, D.C.  20005

January 17, 1997 [should read 1998]

Mr. Gary Freedman
3801 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.
Apt. 136
Washington, D.C.  20008-4530

RE: DCOHR Docket No. 92-087-P(CN)
      Gary Freedman v. DC Office of Corporation Counsel

Dear Mr. Freedman:

This is to inform you that we received the December 20, 1997 correspondence you sent to Chairman Gilbert F. Casellas.  Chairman Casellas forwarded your correspondence to this office for response.

We contacted the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights (DCOHR) to determine the status of your charge.  We were informed that your charge is pending appeal.

Once DCOHR's administrative process is complete, and if you disagree with their findings, you may request that his office conduct a Substantial Weight Review of DCOHR's findings.  To do so, you must make this request within 15 days, in writing, to Susan Buckingham Reilly, the director of this office.  You may write to Ms. Reilly at the address at the top of this page.

We hope this is responsive to your request.



Lizette T. Molina, Supervisor
Charge Receipt/Technical Information Unit

Social Security Notice: Disability Continues 1997


From: Department of Health and Human Services
          Social Security Administration

DATE: JUL 07 1997

Claim Number: xxx-xx-xxxx

Gary Freedman
3801 Conn Ave NW
Apt 136
Washington, DC  20008

We recently reviewed the evidence in your social security disability claim and find that your disability is continuing.

Your claim will be reviewed from time to time to see if you are still eligible for benefits based on disability or blindness.  When your claim is reviewed, you will be contacted if there is any question as to whether your eligibility continues.

[text of form letter omitted.]

Larry G. Massanari
Regional Commissioner


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

D.C. Corporation Counsel -- Disregard of Medical Ethics and Civil Rights Implications

December 16, 1997
3801 Connecticut Avenue, NW #136
Washington, DC  20008-4530

Charles L. Reischel, Esq.
Deputy Corporation Counsel
Government of the District of Columbia
Washington, DC  20001

RE: Freedman v. D.C. Dept. of Human Rights, D.C. Court of Appeals no. 96-CV-961

Dear Mr. Reischel:

This letter is an elaboration of concerns stated in a previous letter to the Office of Corporation Counsel dated March 19, 1996 and addressed to William J. Earl, Esq., a copy of which is enclosed.

That previous letter transmitted and discussed documentation that raised questions about the genuineness of claims made to the D.C. Department of Human Rights (“DHR”) by my former employer, the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld (“Akin Gump”), that were adopted as Finding of Fact no. 6 in DHR’s letter of determination dated June 30, 1993 in the agency proceedings below, Freedman v. Akin, Gump, Hauer & Feld, agency no. 92-087-P(CN).  See record on appeal at page 17.  DHR Finding of Fact no. 6 states, in part: “Respondent [Akin Gump] also sought outside professional guidance because of the emotional and psychological nature of Complainant’s allegations and his coworkers' responses. . . .   Dr. Gertrude R. Ticho [a psychiatrist] identified Complainant’s behavior, putting a negative meaning to virtually every event as ‘ideas of reference’ 1/ and cautioned that individuals in similar circumstances may become violent.”

Even assuming that the claims of Akin Gump managers are genuine and DHR Finding of Fact no. 6 is accurate, there is a concern that representations by Dr. Ticho that my complaint of harassment to the employer was attributable to a psychiatric symptom that might be associated with risk of violent behavior may constitute a violation of the ethical principles of psychiatry promulgated by the American Psychiatric Association (APA).  See Section 7, annotation 3 of The Principles of Medical Ethics (With Annotations Especially Applicable to Psychiatry) (“Principles”) (1995 edition) at 9, which reads, in part: “it is unethical for a psychiatrist to offer a professional opinion about [a] specific individual unless he/she has conducted an examination and has been granted proper authorization for such a statement.”  The APA’s Ethics Committee “cautions against drawing clinical conclusions based upon information gleaned outside the clinical setting.”  Opinions of the Ethics Committee on the Principles of Medical Ethics with Annotations Especially Applicable to Psychiatry (1995 edition) (“Opinions”) at 568.   I was not personally examined by Dr. Ticho, and the record so indicates.  See record at 62 and 122-123.  Akin Gump does not allege, and DHR did not find, that Dr. Ticho based her professional opinion upon a review of my medical records, which would be ethically acceptable per Section 7, Annotation 3 of the Principles. Opinions at 57.

A professional opinion made by a psychiatrist about a specific individual without benefit of a personal examination, or not based upon a review of medical records or other unbiased or complete 2/ information, is deemed inherently unreliable by the APA, as evidenced by the above-referenced annotations and opinions of the APA’s Ethics Committee.  Further, under case law in some jurisdictions the publication of such a professional opinion may, in certain circumstances, be deemed defamatory, regardless of the opinion’s seeming reliability or authenticity.  See e.g. Goldwater v. Ginzburg, 261 F.Supp. 784 (S.D.N.Y. 1966), affirmed 397 U.S. 1049 (1970).

The Office of Corporation Counsel is respectfully advised that the repetition by an agency of the District Government of a psychiatric opinion that would be considered inherently unreliable per the APA’s principles of ethics, that attributes my perceptions of my work environment to a psychiatric symptom associated with a risk of violent conduct, such as contained in DHR Finding of Fact no. 6, in Freedman v. Akin, Gump, Hauer & Feld, agency no. 92-087-P(CN), may constitute an actionable libel committed by a state agency, and additionally, therefore may constitute a violation of my civil rights under the laws and constitution of the United States.  Cf.  Paul v. Davis, 424 U.S. 693 (1976); Bishop v. Wood, 426 U.S. 341 (1976); and Board of Regents v. Roth, 408 U.S. 564 (1972).


Gary Freedman

cc: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Office of General Counsel
     Michael C. Rogers, Office of City Administrator

1/ The term “ideas of reference” employed in Finding of fact no. 6 is a psychiatric term of art, which is defined as “the assumption by a patient that the words and actions of others refer to himself or the projection of the causes of his own imaginary difficulties upon someone else; called also delusion of reference." Dorland’s Medical Dictionary at 814 (27th ed. 1988).  “Ideas of reference are prominent in the severe (psychotic) mental disorders."   Noll, R. The Encyclopedia of Schizophrenia & The Psychotic Disorders at 169 (New York Facts on File, 1992).  Ironically, Akin Gump’s own expert, Gertrude R. Ticho, M.D., has peer-reviewed the published work of a nationally-recognized expert in studies in creativity, Albert Rothenberg, M.D., who has found that creative persons may be “unusually sensitive to implicit messages” and may be more perceptive than their non-creative peers.  See Rothenberg, A. Creativity and Madness at 12 (Baltimore The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1990); Rothenberg, A. “Janusian Thinking and Creativity.” In The Psychoanalytic Study of Society, vol. 7: 1-30 at 3.  Gertrude R. Ticho, M.D., contributing editor. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1976).  See also record on appeal at 500: Letter dated November 28, 1989 from Albert Rothenberg, M.D. to Gary Freedman.  Whether my perceptions of my work environment at Akin Gump might be accurately termed “ideas of reference” (a paranoid psychiatric symptom that may be associated with a risk of violent conduct) or, alternatively, the result of unusual sensitivity to implicit messages, or “perceptiveness,” consistent with the published work peer-reviewed by Akin Gump’s own expert, is a question of psychiatric differential diagnosis that properly requires personal examination by a qualified psychiatrist in accordance with the APA’s so-called Goldwater Rule.

2/ According to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia any allegations regarding the adequacy of Akin Gump’s investigation cannot negate the credibility of Akin Gump’s asserted reasons for the termination, which were deemed by the court to be nondiscriminatory.  Freedman v. D.C. Dept. of Human Rights at 4-5 (D.C. Superior Court no. MPA-95-14) (final order filed June 10, 1996 (name of judge redacted).  While even an inadequate investigation might pass muster for Title VII purposes, there remains a question as to whether Akin Gump’s investigation--even if conducted in good faith--was sufficiently thorough so as to permit a psychiatrist to make a reasoned judgment, consistent with the APA’s principles of ethics, about my mental state and potential for violence, thereby rendering a professional psychiatric opinion based solely on information gleaned from that investigation non-defamatory.  See Opinions at 57 (a psychiatrist, acting in the capacity of consultant, may base a professional opinion upon a review of reports and information gathered about an individual [provided proper authorization has been granted for such a psychiatric review]).

Law School: First Writing Assignment -- Birth of a Strict Constructionist

I entered law school in late August 1979.  Like first-year students in most law schools I was required to take a course in legal research and writing that culminated in a moot court brief and argument in the spring: Introduction to Law: Legal Research & Writing Section A (Makibe).  The following is a copy of my first significant legal writing assignment that I completed in October 1979.  It is a mock opinion issued by the Supreme Court of Iowa upholding interspousal tort immunity and was termed a "synthesis assignment."  The instructor, Michael Makibe, assigned the grade of 3.70 and stated: "I would have preferred that you write an opinion abrogating the doctrine rather than affirming it."  Well, yes, but I'm sure Chief Justice Roberts would agree with my legal reasoning; he's a strict constructionist, after all.  Mr. Makibe now practices law in Hawaii.  

Oddly enough, the following case -- involving as it does a husband and wife who both perished when an aircraft, piloted by the husband, crashed -- parallels the fate of a friend of Vernon Jordan.  The son of President John F. Kennedy, John F. Kennedy, Jr., died in a plane crash along with his wife, Carolyn, on July 16, 1999, in a plane Mr. Kennedy piloted.

Be that as it may.

The following is the text of my first law school writing assignment:
The evidence of this case shows that a husband and wife both perished when an aircraft, owned and piloted by the husband, crashed.  This is an action by the plaintiff, as executor of the wife’s estate, for damages for the death of the wife against the estate of the husband.  Plaintiff alleged that the wife’s death was the result of the negligent operation of the aircraft by the husband.  The trial court granted the husband’s estate’s motion for summary judgment on the ground that the action was barred by the doctrine of interspousal immunity.

The principal question posed on this appeal is whether a wife may maintain an action against her husband for wrongful death resulting from the negligence of her husband.  Even though there were no survivors of the plane crash, the survival aspect of our wrongful death statute brings squarely before this court the issue of the continued vitality of the interspousal immunity doctrine.  Although this doctrine has never been abrogated by judicial decision or by statutory enactment this court would be remiss if it did not reexamine interspousal immunity, especially in view of the fact that a majority of jurisdictions have modified or abolished this common law restriction.

The defendant, executor of the husband’s estate, argues that the abolition of interspousal immunity involves a determination of public policy more properly subject to legislative enactment rather than judicial action.   In the absence of a statute whose language explicitly abrogates the doctrine, the defendant argues that the plaintiff’s action cannot lie.  This is a position consistently adhered to in the four precedent cases decided by this court.  In each of the precedent cases this court construed various statutes dealing with the rights of married women.  The plaintiffs in these cases argued that the common law restriction of interspousal immunity had been abrogated by such statutes.  The court steadfastly denied this argument and held that the statutes, although conferring certain rights upon married women, did not explicitly confer the right of one spouse to maintain an action for injuries negligently or willfully inflicted on the other.

We concur with these past decisions and with the trial court ruling in the instant case.  Our affirmation is not based solely on adherence to past rulings, but on the fact that the legislature in codifying and recodifying statutes relating to the rights of married women has consistently omitted reference to any right of one spouse to sue another for tortious acts, either negligent or intentional.

In in Re Estate of Dolmage, 203 Iowa 231, 212 N.W. 553, at 554 and 555, decided in 1927, the court held that “It would have been an easy matter for the legislature, if it had intended to restore the status of married women, as to the rights to maintain actions against their husbands for damages, to that of unmarried women, to have so stated in clear language, and not have left the matter to doubt or judicial construction.”  Again, in Aldrich v. Tracy, 222 Iowa 84, 269 N.W. 30, at 33 (1936) we find the court stating “In view of the previous history of legislation of this kind, and in view of the decision of this court construing prior statutes in connection with the very question here involved, with all of which the Legislature must be presumed to have been familiar we think it but natural and reasonable to expect that, if the legislature thereafter attempted to change the legal status of women, and it intended to obviate the effect of the decisions of this court in previous cases and give a married woman the right to maintain an action for tort against her husband, it would have been able to find language which would express its meaning, and it would have expressed its meaning as to leave no doubt in the mind of anyone.”  It is our present view that if the legislature, in all these years, has consistently failed to confer on married women the right in question, that it is its intention not to do so.

In support of this, we offer a review of the statutes relied on in the precedent cases in which plaintiffs argued that the common law restriction on interspousal tort remedy had been abrogated.  It will be shown that these statutes contain no provisions authorizing a wife to sue her husband for tort.  In in Re Estate of Dolmage, plaintiff relied on a section of Code 1924, which states: “When any woman receives an injury caused by the negligence or wrongful act of any person, firm, or corporation including a municipal corporation, she may recover for loss of time, medical attendance, and other expenses incurred as a result thereof in addition to any elements of damages recoverable by common law.”  In Aldrich v. Tracy, plaintiff relied on the following 1931 statute: “In any action for damages because of the wrongful or negligent injury or death of a woman, there shall be no disabilities or restrictions, and recovery may be had on account thereof in the same manner as in cases of damage because of the wrongful or negligent injury or death of a man.  It is the purpose of this section to remove any common law disabilities or restrictions upon women, or the rights of women, whether single or married, and to give women the same rights and same status as are possessed by men.  In Flogel v. Flogel, 257 Iowa 547, 133 N.W.2d 907, decided in 1965, plaintiff relied on Code section 613.11 I.C.A., which was a 1941 amendment of the previously quoted statute.  In Wright v. Daniels, 164 N.W. 2d 180 (1969), plaintiff relied on a section of Code 1966, which equalized the measures of damages for wrongful injury or death of a woman and those attendant upon the injury or death of a man. 

And thus we see that statutes relating to the rights of married women, spanning the 46 years from 1924 through 1969, give no indication of any legislative attempt to abrogate the interspousal tort immunity rule.

In summary, we hold that any doubts regarding the interpretation of married women’s acts must be laid to rest when one considers that in each subsequent codification of these statutes, the legislature has omitted any denial of interspousal tort immunity  We must infer, therefore, that in the absence of explicit denial it is the legislature’s intent to affirm the immunity. And as held in Flogel, at 910, “We are committed to the majority holding that unless the common law rule of spousal immunity is clearly abrogated by statute it applies in Iowa.”

This court has consistently refused claims for interspousal damages in both intentional and negligent tort cases.  Dolmage and Aldrich involved intentional torts, Flogel involved negligent torts, and Wright alleged both intentional and negligent torts.  In each of these cases remedy was denied.  In the case at bar, plaintiff seeks damages for negligence.  We believe our opinion in Wright, at 181, is relevant to the instant case. “Logically, there would be far more reason to recognize a claim based on willful and malicious conduct than one based on mere negligence.  If there was no cause of action under Division II [willful and malicious conduct] of plaintiff’s petition there could be no cause of action under Division I [negligence].”  In the dissenting opinion in Wright at 185, the author, though making a plea for modification of interspousal immunity, is only willing to go so far as altering the doctrine in cases “(1) where the injury complained of is willful; (2) where the marriage has been terminated; and (3) where both willful injury and termination of the marriage by death are alleged.” Certainly, not even this dissenter would find grounds for reversal in the instant case.

The plaintiff at bar would have us consider the possibility of limiting our holding to the situation where one or both of the spouses is dead, thus terminating the marriage.  It is on these grounds that the Supreme Court of Michigan modified the defense of interspousal immunity.  In Mosier v. Carney, 376 Mich. 532, 138 N.W.2d 343 (1965), the Michigan court held in part “that a suit may be maintained predicated upon injuries to one spouse during marriage arising out of an allegedly wrongful act of the marital partner, when the allegedly wrongful act resulted in termination of the marriage by death.”  It must be pointed out, however, that the Mosier decision comports with Michigan law in that that state’s wrongful death statute is not a survival statute.  Under Michigan law a new cause of action is created for the deceased estate.  Thus, there is nothing in that jurisdiction’s law that militates against permitting prosecution of interspousal suits such as Mosier.  This jurisdiction’s wrongful death statute is a survival statute.  As we pointed out in Wright, at 181, “Iowa was one of the early states to abolish the common law rule that civil liability of a tortfeasor died with the death of the injured party, but ours are survival statutes. . . .  These statutes do not create new causes of action.  They preserve rights.  In the case before us if no cause of action existed in favor of the deceased wife there was nothing preserved for her administratrix.”  The avenue that was open the Michigan court in Mosier is not open to us.  Given the survival aspect of our wrongful death statutes, to allow an action for the plaintiff in the situation he suggests would contravene our holding barring interspousal suits.

Plaintiff would also have us consider the ruling of Wisconsin’s Supreme Court in Goller v. White, 20 Wis.2d 402, 122 N.W.2d 193 (1963), which abrogated parental immunity in that state.  The author of the concurring opinion in Goller, at 198, states “there is no difference in principle between the right of action of a wife against her husband, a right presently recognized, and a similar right of action by a child against its parent, a right which the court now says ought to be and now will be recognized.  When the legislature considered that public policy made advisable rights of action by wives against their husbands the legislature stated that right by statute.  Till then this court refrained from announcing a public policy in this field previously coming within the legislative function.”  The author of that opinion was in fact criticizing the court’s action in abrogating parental immunity.  However, taken on its face, the argument presents a syllogism that actually bolsters our present position.  If there is no difference in principle between parental immunity and interspousal immunity, i.e., if parental immunity equals interspousal immunity, and if interspousal immunity is abrogated by statute, the court is justified in abrogating parental immunity.

The Goller holding indicates that the Wisconsin court was willing to overturn parental immunity, but only after the legislature had taken the initiative in abrogating the equal doctrine of interspousal immunity.  The Goller decision supports our view that the initiative for modifying interfamily tort immunity must emanate from the legislature.  If the Iowa legislature were to modify an area of interfamily tort immunity we would have to seriously consider modifying our decision regarding interspousal immunity.  But the first steps must be taken by the legislature.

Monday, July 25, 2011

D.C. Corporation Counsel -- Notice of Possible Civil Rights Violation

December 16, 1997
3801 Connecticut Avenue, NW #136
Washington, DC  20008-4530

Charles L. Reischel, Esq.
Deputy Corporation Counsel
Washington, DC  20001
(202) 727-6252

RE: Freedman v. DHR, D.C.C.A. no. 96-CV-961

Dear Mr. Reischel:

This will advise the Office of Corporation Counsel that I believe I have a duty, under common law tort principles, to provide the following notice to prospective employers.

I believe I have a duty, under common law tort principles, to advise you as a prospective employer, that the D.C. Department of Human Rights has determined that my former employer, the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, had valid, nondiscriminatory business reasons to terminate my employment in October 1991, based on the employer's proffered justification for the termination: namely, that the employer had formed genuine concerns about my mental health and stability, including the potential for violence.  The employer's concerns about my risk of violence were based on an ex parte consultation with Gertrude R. Ticho, MD, a psychiatrist licensed to practice in the District of Columbia, and subject to the Principles of Medical Ethics which prohibit the offering of a professional opinion about an individual without benefit of personal examination.

The District of Columbia Office of Corporation Counsel has expressly affirmed to the D.C. Court of Appeals that my coworkers at the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld formed genuine concerns that I might have been armed and homicidal: that these specific fears were relevant to the employer's termination decision and did not evidence discriminatory animus by coworkers.

You may review this matter with Dennis M. Race, Esq. at the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld; telephone no (202) 887-4028.  Mr. Race has a duty, under common law tort principles, to apprise you, as a prospective employer, of any facts pertinent to his determination relating to my mental health and stability that may be relevant to an assessment of my current risk of violence.

I believe that the above notice imposes a constitutionally-impermissible burden on my ability to obtain employment.


Gary Freedman

cc:  D.M. Race. Esq.; J.C. Keeney, Jr.; G.R. Ticho, MD

Job Application -- U.S. Trade Representative

Robert S. Strauss served as U.S. Trade Representative from 1977 to 1979 during the Carter Administration.  My August 21, 1997 letter to the USTR (Charlene Barshefsky) referred to Robert Strauss.  Do you think Charlene Barshefsky contacted Bob Strauss?

Executive Office of the President
Office of the United States Trade Representative
Washington, D.C.  20508

August 28, 1997

Mr. Gary Freedman
3801 Connecticut Avenue, N.W. - #136
Washington, D.C.  20008-4530

Dear Mr. Freedman:

Thank you for your August 21 letter regarding employment opportunities with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).

Unfortunately, there are no vacancies commensurate with your experience.  Due to budgetary constraints, we are not in a position to anticipate what vacancies may arise in the near future.

Again, thank you for your interest in USTR.  Best wishes in your future career endeavors.



John Hopkins
Assistant U.S. Trade Representative
for Administration

Pennsylvania Bar -- Law License -- Creating Evidence of Civil Rights Violation

I had sent several letters to the Pennsylvania Office of Disciplinary Counsel in 1997 advising of the adjudication of Freedman v. D.C. Department of Human Rights in the hopes my license to practice law in Pennsylvania would be suspended or revoked.  I could then allege that the actions of Akin Gump in filing false sworn statements regarding my mental health and stability with a District of Columbia agency, and the D.C. Superior Court disposition of my case constituted a violation of my civil rights.  Unfortunately, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel did not play into my game.
The Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania 
Office of Disciplinary Counsel

September 5, 1997

Gary Freedman
Apartment 136
3801 Connecticut Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20008-4530

Re: Your Report to the Administrative Office of the Pennsylvania Courts -- File No. C3-97-237

Dear Mr. Freedman:

I have been reviewing your various submissions to this office and pondering what the appropriate disposition of your status is.  In previous correspondence I had sent you a “Certificate of Admission of Disability” for possible transfer to inactive status under Rule 301 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Disciplinary Enforcement, which you signed and returned.  However, this approach is only appropriate where there has been either a disability defense asserted in a disciplinary proceeding, or a court determination that the lawyer is suffering from a disability sufficient to render him incompetent.  There is no disciplinary proceeding against you -- indeed, I have no record that anyone has ever filed a complaint against you.  Despite the antagonism in the past between you and the attorneys of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, as far as I can tell neither that firm nor any of its attorneys has ever corresponded with this office to suggest that action regarding your admission to the practice of law should be taken.

As to the second possibly the court decision by Judge [redacted] was an adjudication of civil rights issues relating to the termination of your employment with Akin Gump, not a general determination of incompetency.  Although I understand you have been determined to be qualified for disability benefits by the Social Security Administration, that is not a determination which adversely reflects on your licensure to practice law.  For these reasons I have concluded that the prerequisites for filing a “Certificate of Admission of Disability” under Pa. R.L. 301 are not met, and I have not done so.

Your current preferences, as I understand them, are that you do not plan to practice law at this time and would like to be on inactive status to be relieved of payment of the annual assessment fee and exempted from Continuing Legal Education requirements.  I think these goals could be accomplished by your simply assuming voluntary inactive status.  You could do this simply by checking the appropriate block to assume voluntary inactive status, and you would have the option of reassuming active status by paying the registration fee and satisfying the continuing education requirements at any time during the next three (3) years.  After three years you would have to file a petition for reinstatement and go through a hearing process to be reinstated.  On your Annual Registration form for 1997-98, you did not check either the “Active” or “Inactive” box, but wrote “Disabled” in the space next to the blocks.  Unfortunately, “Disabled’ is not a recognized status under the Pennsylvania Rules of Disciplinary Enforcement.  After I discussed this issue with the Attorney Registrar, she decided to treat your registration as a request for “Inactive -- Voluntary Retired” status.  The main difference between this status and simple inactive status, as I understand it, is that you will be removed from the Continuing Legal Education office’s list and will not receive mailings about CLE activities unless and until your status changes.

It is my feeling that if this administrative action satisfies your goals, this inquiry can be considered resolved.  Please inform me if the disposition above is not in accordance with your preferences, and feel free to call or write if you have any questions or concerns.  Unless I hear from you by the end of September, I will consider this solution appropriate to the needs of all and close my file on the matter.

Thank you for your consideration of these issues.



Edwin R. Frownfelter
Senior Disciplinary Counsel
cc: Suzanne E. Price, Attorney Registrar

[re: Pennsylvania Bar ID 41032]

Prof. Noam Chomsky -- Change of Address -- 1997

Prof. Noam Chomsky
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Rm. E39-219
Cambridge, MA  02139


Dear Friends,

MIT's Department of Linguistics and Philosophy will be moving at the end of July, 1997.  Please make note of Prof. Chomsky's new address:

MIT, 77 Mass. Ave., Rm. E39-219, Cambridge, MA  02139.

Any mail sent to our old address will be forwarded through the end of August, 1997.  Prof. Chomsky's phone number will remain the same (617-253-7819), as will his e-mail address (

Thank you,


Bev Stohl
Asst. to Noam Chomsky

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Claudio Grossman

I earned a master's degree in international trade law at the American University Law School in December 1984. Claudio Grossman was my faculty adviser. I also took two courses taught by Professor Grossman, who is now the Dean of American University Law School. He was an exceptionally intelligent and motivated professor of law. He could conduct a law school class without reference to notes or texts. Off the top of his head, in front of the class he would say, "Now the first case . . . In the second case. . . Now if you compare the fifth case with the second case . . ." It was all in his head. He was amazing!!

In the Hasidic community, when a boy shows special intellectual promise he is destined to become a rabbi. In the case of Professor Grossman I am reminded of what the Hasidim say when a boy destined for the rabbinate turns to other pursuits: "What a waste of a fine Talmudic mind!"

Friday, July 22, 2011

Who's The Boss?

From September 1985 to February 1988 I worked as a temporary paralegal at the law firm of Hogan & Hartson. My supervisor from September 1985 till the spring of 1987 was an individual named Sheryl Ferguson.   It was Sheryl Ferguson who created the Computer Applications Department at Hogan to which I was assigned.  She majored in psychology at Cornell University.  She was a hard-nosed manager of superior intelligence.

In late 1985 Hogan's then managing partner Bob Glen Odle sent a memo to all departmental managers at the firm advising that the firm's policy was that there were to be no departmental Christmas parties for employees.  The firm held a firm Christmas party at the Mayflower Hotel to which all employees were invited.  That was it: one firm party, no other parties.

In defiance of the managing partner's directive, Sheryl Ferguson arranged her own Christmas party for employees of the Computer Applications Department.  She even invited the managing partner -- and he came!  Sheryl Ferguson had a mind of her own.  Yes, Sheryl Ferguson was a woman after my own heart!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Opportunist: A Telling Identification

Knots Landing was an American primetime television soap opera that aired from December 27, 1979 to May 13, 1993 on CBS. Set in a fictitious coastal suburb of Los Angeles in California, the show centered on the lives of four married couples living in a cul-de-Sac, Seaview Circle. Initially intended to be a Scenes From a Marriage-type drama series, storylines also included rape, murder, kidnapping, assassinations, drug smuggling, corporate intrigue and criminal investigations.

I remember that I took an interest in the show in about the 1986-1987 season.  At that time I worked at the law firm of Hogan & Hartson.  I was hired as a temporary paralegal by the law firm of Akin Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld in early March 1988 (season 9 of Knots Landing).

I entered psychotherapy at the George Washington University Medical Center in September 1992 (season 14 of Knots Landing, the show's final season.)  I remember telling my treating psychiatrist Suzanne M. Pitts, M.D. that I identified strongly with one of the characters on the show named Greg Sumner.  Sumner had been introduced as a character in the show's fifth season (1983-1984).  He was an unscrupulous and thoroughly opportunistic state senator who was running for US Senator, in which capacity he led the California State Senate Crime Commission investigating a crooked business group.

I recall telling Dr. Pitts that I could remember a statement Sumner had made about one of his political enemies in an episode from several seasons earlier.  An associate of Sumner's seemed incredulous that Sumner was not troubled in the least that his political rival had aggressed on him.  Sumner said, as best as I can recall: "Angry?  Why would I be angry?  Tell me how it hurts me, and I'll be angry.  But it can only help me, not hurt me.  Why would I be angry?"

Such is the reaction of the opportunist who has supreme confidence in his ability to turn every injury or seeming injury to his advantage.

Malcolm Lassman and Zionism

I worked as a parlegal at the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld from 1988 to 1991.  During my employment a senior Akin Gump partner named Malcolm Lassman used to have frequent surreptitious communications with my sister, or so I believe.  On at least one occasion Malcolm Lassman said to my sister (in my reconstruction): "Your brother acts like this is the only place he could work!  There are plenty of places he could work.  This is Washington, DC!  There are a lot of employers who will hire somebody with a law degree.  He doesn't have to work at a law firm.  He could work for a trade association or other place.  He acts as if Akin Gump is the only place he can work!"

Recently I was thinking about Malcolm Lassman's comments -- or my imaginary reconstruction of his comments -- and I had a remote association: an association to Zionism and the Jews' program of creating a homeland in Palestine.  For more than a hundred years Arabs in Palestine have said: "The Jews act like Palestine is the only place they can live.  There are plenty of other places in the world where Jews can live.  They could live in Germany, in Poland, in Russia.  The Jews act like Palestine is the only place in the world they can live!"

In fact, at the Sixth Zionist Congress, held in August 1903, Theodor Herzl, the father of Zionism, proposed the British Uganda Program as a temporary refuge for Jews in Russia in immediate danger. By a vote of 295-178 it was decided to send an expedition ("investigatory commission") to examine the territory proposed.  The British had agreed, in principle, to Jewish settlement in East Africa "on conditions which will enable members to observe their national customs."   Eventually, the Uganda Program was scrapped in favor of the program to resettle European Jews in Palestine. 

So, at one point in the history of Zionism, Jews themselves accepted the idea that Palestine was not the only place in the world they could settle and create a homeland.

First Paris, Now Lyon!

A reader of this blog at a Paris IP address has been repeatedly logging onto the same post since late June 2011.

Lyon, Rhone-alpes, France Free Sas (

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Am I Obsessed with Reid Weingarten?

The following posts on this blog, My Daily Struggles, refer to Reid Weingarten, Esq., a partner at the law firm of Steptoe & Johnson, and a personal friend of the current Attorney General of the United States.

Coincidentally, Reid Weingarten has appeared on the Charle Rose Show on public television. Charlie Rose happens to be a personal friend of Akin Gump counsel, Vernon E. Jordan, Jr. But then, Vernon Jordan is friends with everybody!

Marsha Mailey, a legal secretary at Reid Weingarten's law firm (Steptoe & Johnson), is a long-term resident of my apartment building.

William D. Brown, Ph.D. -- How He Got on My S--- List

During the period late May 1991 to early October 1991 I consulted a psychologist in Washington, D.C. named William D. Brown, Ph.D.  I worked as a paralegal at the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld at the time. While I was in therapy with Dr. Brown I had the suspicion that Dr. Brown was having surreptitious communications with my employer about the content of my therapy sessions and my progress.  On one occasion I confronted Dr. Brown with the accusation that he was talking to my employer without my consent.  He vehemently denied the accusation.  Curiously, he took his glasses off during his lengthy denial -- he literally could not "look me in the eye" to tell me he was not talking to Akin Gump managers. 

I was fired by Akin Gump on Tuesday October 29, 1991.  A few days later a curious thing happened.  I received in the mail a letter from Dr. Brown's office.  The business envelope contained a xerox copy of a one-page promotional "brochure" for one of Dr. Brown's self-published books: a book published by what is known in the trade as a vanity publisher.  In all fairness to Dr. Brown, the letter could have been sent by Dr. Brown's wife who worked as Dr. Brown's receptionist.  But then, it could have been sent by Dr. Brown himself.  I attached a negative meaning to the incident.  I don't want to be mean-spirited, but at the time I thought of a characterization of the incident, a one-word encapsulation, a word that rhymes with "ditch."

Moral of the story: Never consult a professional who who can't even get a commercial publisher to publish his self-help books.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

I Can't Shake the Incredulity of It All! How Can this Make Sense to Anyone?

From the Seinfeld episode, "The Raincoats":

ELAINE:  But don't you think it's odd . . . ?

JERRY:  It is a tad askew.

On January 15, 2010 I was interviewed at my residence by two officers from the U.S. Department of Justice about a law enforcement matter.  I have talked about this issue countless times on this blog, always from a slightly different perspective (I say defensively).  One issue I have never addressed is the feeling that underlies my ruminations and intellectualizations: -- what feeling underlies the experience and my obsessive need to write about it?  One easily identifiable feeling is incredulity.  I just cannot escape the lingering feeling of disbelief that anyone reviewing the following facts would not be struck by the strangeness of it all.  Is it a symptom of my psychotic thought processes that to me the following collection of facts suggests something suspect about the Justice Department interview?

The DOJ interviewed me at my residence on 1/15/10 because I was calling attention on this blog to a court decision that was contrary to law

that affirmed a prior agency determination that was handed down by a District of Columbia official who had been found to have violated the Hatch Act (indicating that political loyalties for that official were more important than adhering to federal law) and who was later disbarred for misappropriating estate funds (indicating a propensity to engage in unlawful deception).

I was questioned by the DOJ about why I was writing a blog -- a blog that Akin Gump was obsessively interested in

a blog that called attention to matters that embarrassed the law partners of Vernon Jordan -- an individual who is a personal friend of the Attorney General and who reportedly tried to buy the silence of someone who had had illicit sex with the President.

The DOJ tried to assess my feelings about a law partner at Akin Gump (Dennis Race) who had expressly asked that I not publish any statements that embarrassed the firm.

That doesn't seem strange to anybody?? I guess that's why they say I'm nuts. Me and Martha Mitchell!

Apartment Repairs

I won't be blogging the next few days. They're repainting my apartment and refinishing the floors. I'll be staying in the building's guest suite.

See y'all!

Significant Moments: On Ridiculing a Master

     A kabbalistic and Hasidic intimation has it that evil seeped into our world through the hair-line crack of a single erroneous letter, that man's suffering, and that of the Jew especially, came of the false transcription of a single letter or word when God dictated the Torah to his elect scribe . . .
George Steiner, No Passion Spent.
         — creating an error in the world; unplanned free -flow.
Steven R. Latham, System and Responsibility: Three Readings of the Institute of Medicine Report on Medical Error.
     This grim fantastication is utterly expressive of a scholar's code. It points to the definition of a Jew as one who always has a pencil or pen in hand when he reads, of one who will in the death-camps (and this came to pass) correct a printing error, emend a doubtful text, on his way to extinction.
George Steiner, No Passion Spent.
     If, in the face of such reservations, I offer a plea for Beckmesser, I do so not to deny or to extenuate his flaws, but to place them in perspective. . . .
    Had he been merely ridiculous, Wagner would not have taken the trouble to ridicule him. 
Peter Gay, Freud, Jews and Other Germans.
     At these words Beckmesser's rage is beyond all bounds.
Albert Lavignac, The Music Dramas of Richard Wagner.
          No more! An end!
          Enough! An end!
Richard Wagner, Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg. 

On May 16, 2011 I wrote a satiric post about a partner at the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld.   Had he been merely ridiculous, I would not have taken the trouble to ridicule him.

The character Beckmesser, the pedantic town clerk in Wagner's opera Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg, is a harsh critic of the young upstart Walther von Stolzing who wants to become a Mastersinger without having any formal training or qualifications.  

Significant Moments Available for Purchase!

I have made my book Significant Moments available for purchase to the general public. To order a copy, click here to enter the web page.

I submitted the book to the U.S. Marshal Service (Washington, DC) on January 15, 2010 in connection with a criminal threat investigation.  The U.S. Marshal Service accepted the book for purposes of its official investigation, consistent with TITLE 18, PART I, CHAPTER 11, § 201 (Bribery of public officials and witnesses).  The book is presumably available to the general public from the U.S. Marshal Service via a Freedom of Information Act Request.

If you have any concerns regarding copyright infringement contact me by mail at the following address or by email:

Gary Freedman
3801 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Apt. 136
Washington, DC  20008

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Musical Recollection from 1974

I have an unusual recollection of anything connected to music.  During the summer of 1974, when I was 20 years old and about to enter my senior year of college, I worked at The Franklin Institute Research Laboratories in Philadelphia.  One of my coworkers at the Institute was a young man named Hilliard Cohen (Central High School, 224th class).  He mentioned that he had heard the slow movement of the Beethoven Hammerklavier Sonata, the opus 106, and that he liked it a lot. He said he wanted to get the piano score so he could play the piece.  It's actually a lot more difficult than it sounds.

Who is Jeffrey Rosen?

This post was first published on February 28, 2010:

"Cosi" is the one about the two lotharios who make a bet that their girlfriends will be faithful, disguise themselves as Albanian soldiers, try to seduce each other's girlfriend and find that the women aren't faithful after all.
Jeffrey Rosen, The New Look of Liberalism on the Court.
That . . . seems very familiar to me.
Lorenzo Da Ponte, Don Giovanni.
. . . talk of love affairs . . .
Peter Gay, Freud, Jews and Other Germans.
" . . . Yes, . . . very familiar . . . "
Peter Gay, Freud: A Life for Our Time.
I suggested . . .
Jeffrey Rosen, The New Look of Liberalism on the Court.
. . . to the others . . .
Henry James, The Turn of the Screw.
. . . that perhaps . . .
Jeffrey Rosen, The New Look of Liberalism on the Court.
. . . the conceit of . . .
William Shakespeare, Sonnet No. XV.
. . . Cosi fan tutte . . .
Maynard Solomon, Mozart: A Life.
. . . was hard to reconcile with the sexual double standards of the 18th century, which were central to the plot and reflected in the traditional translation of the title: "Never Trust a Woman."
Jeffrey Rosen, The New Look of Liberalism on the Court.
Frau Cosima . . .
Arthur Rubinstein, My Young Years.
. . . as I recall, was wearing a black velvet cape, and she looked at me indulgently with her unblinking eyes. The Italian title, she pointed out, was in the third person plural. "They are all like that" would be a more accurate translation, she suggested. And so, she said, . . .
Jeffrey Rosen, The New Look of Liberalism on the Court.
. . . like a judge who is compelled to judge . . .
John Fowles, The Aristos.
. . . there was no reason to assume from the title that Mozart and his librettist, Lorenzo da Ponte, approved of male infidelity any more than they approved of female infidelity, or that they thought women inherently more or less trustworthy than men.
Jeffrey Rosen, The New Look of Liberalism on the Court.
Well now, I hope you followed that.
Arrigo Boito, Falstaff.
The lady protests too much, methinks.
William Shakespeare, Hamlet.
Cosi fan tutte le belle!
Non c’e alcuna novita.
Lorenzo Da Ponte, Le Nozze di Figaro.
. . . or translated,
Stanley Maloy, The Central Dogma: DNA Makes RNA Makes Protein.
Every woman's alike!
There's nothing new about it.
Lorenzo Da Ponte, Le Nozze di Figaro.

In my book Significant Moments I quote liberally (if you'll pardon the pun) from Jeffrey Rosen's 1997 New York Times Magazine article titled "The New Look of Liberalism on the Court." The subject of the article is U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Jeffrey Rosen is a law professor and, like Justice Ginsburg, an opera lover. The opening paragraphs of Professor Rosen's article read:

"The most unguarded conversation I've had with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg occurred at the Washington Opera. It was two years ago [1995], during the first intermission of a production of 'Cosi Fan Tutte,' and I ran into Justice Ginsburg and her husband on the stairs. 'Cosi' is the one about the two lotharios who make a bet that their girlfriends will be faithful, disguise themselves as Albanian soldiers, try to seduce each other's girlfriend and find that the women aren't faithful after all. The director had tried to add a feminist twist by having the women overhear the bet in the first act, so that they were only 'pretending' to be unfaithful in the second. I suggested to Justice Ginsburg that perhaps this conceit was hard to reconcile with the sexual double standards of the 18th century, which were central to the plot and reflected in the traditional translation of the title: 'Never Trust a Woman.'

Justice Ginsburg, as I recall, was wearing a black velvet cape, and she looked at me indulgently with her unblinking eyes. The Italian title, she pointed out, was in the third person plural. 'They are all like that' would be a more accurate translation, she suggested. And so, she said, there was no reason to assume from the title that Mozart and his librettist, Lorenzo Da Ponte, approved of male infidelity any more than they approved of female infidelity, or that they thought women inherently more or less trustworthy than men."

So who is Jeffrey Rosen?

Jeffrey Rosen is a professor of law at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and the legal affairs editor of The New Republic. His most recent book is The Supreme Court: The Personalities and Rivalries that Defined America. He also is the author of The Most Democratic Branch, The Naked Crowd, and The Unwanted Gaze. Rosen is a graduate of Harvard College, summa cum laude; Oxford University, where he was a Marshall Scholar; and Yale Law School.

Professor Rosen's essays and commentaries have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, on National Public Radio, and in The New Yorker, where he has been a staff writer. The Chicago Tribune named him one of the 10 best magazine journalists in America and the L.A. Times called him, "the nation's most widely read and influential legal commentator." Professor Rosen lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife Christine Rosen and two sons.

Job Harassment and Sexual Double Entendres -- Evolving Law

From: Enjoy the Ride! Sexual Innuendos Aren't Double Funny.

Every school has a class clown. So, it seems, does every workplace. Sometimes, those jokesters cleverly craft their double entendres so they can be taken either way … sexual or not sexual. But a new court ruling says enough of those coy games. “If a reasonable juror could find that in context such comments took on a sexual meaning,” the joke will be on you in the form of a sexual harassment lawsuit.

Case in Point: Ray Stark and Brian Paonessa worked together at a Florida car dealership. Paonessa allegedly propositioned Stark constantly, using vulgar language to describe his sexual fantasies of them together. Stark complained to a supervisor of Paonessa’s ongoing comments and conduct, which included zipping and unzipping his pants in front of Stark. However, the supervisor felt the behavior was “innocuous” and took no action to stop it or report it up for an investigation.

Stark eventually filed a sexual harassment claim with the EEOC. The employer denied the charges, claiming Paonessa was only engaged in “horseplay and roughhousing” and Stark took his comments “the wrong way.” The employer argued, for example, that when Paonessa told Stark he’d “enjoy the ride,” Paonessa was really referring to “carpooling” to work together, not sexual activities. (EEOC v. Belle Glade Chevrolet, Inc. S.D. Fla. 1/3/08).

How did this case end … and what lessons can be learned?

The court rejected the employers assertion that the double entendre was really a clean comment, “The harassing aspects of many of Paonessa’s comments are mutually reinforcing so that each of Paonessa’s comments were more offensive when considered in the context of the overall pattern of conduct.”

In other words, it’s very difficult to joke around in a sexual manner sometimes and then claim you’re not other times.

Lessons Learned ... Without Going to Court

Innuendos are dangerous. Train your employees that double entendres and innuendos that can have a sexual meaning are prohibited in the workplace. Courts are not dumb. They won’t give employees who engage in disrespectful conduct the benefit of the doubt.

Train managers & supervisors about notice.  Every manager and supervisor today must be aware of their legal obligations to report all harassing conduct consistent with their company’s reporting procedures in order to initiate a prompt and effective investigation to stop the conduct. Had that occurred here, it could have been a very different outcome.

Have “no tolerance” policies. Make sure your anti-harassment & discrimination policy clearly states that your organization has a “no tolerance” standard for any harassment, discrimination or retaliation of any kind. Then back it up with consequences.