« | Home | Categories | »

The Ruling That Could Change Everything For Disabled People With Million-Dollar Trusts

Posted on July 15th, 2013 at 19:16 by John Sinteur in category: Robber Barons


When Judge Kristen Booth Glen walked into her Manhattan Surrogate’s courtroom one day in 2007, she had no idea she was about to challenge the nation’s top banks on behalf of tens of thousands of disabled people.

Before her stood lawyer Harvey J. Platt, who was petitioning to become the legal guardian of Mark Christopher Holman, a severely autistic teen who lived in an institution upstate.

Holman had been left an orphan nearly three years earlier after the eccentric millionaire who adopted him passed away. According to doctors, he had the communication skills of a toddler, unable to bathe, dress, or eat by himself.

But before Judge Glen would grant this seemingly perfunctory petition, she had a few questions for Platt.

“How often have you visited Mark Holman?” she asked the lawyer.

“Since his mother died, I have not visited him,” said Platt.

“And when you say you haven’t visited him since then, how often had you visited him prior to that?”

“I haven’t seen him since he was eight or nine,” responded the lawyer. “His mother used to bring him to our office with his brother, just to show him my face and so forth and so on, so I haven’t seen him probably since 1995 or 1996.”

It was around that time that Platt helped Mark’s mother, Marie Holman, draft her will and create trusts for him and his older brother. A decade later, when she was dying, Platt promised Marie he’d apply to become Mark’s guardian.

“And have you visited the institution which he currently resides in?” Glen asked.

“No, I intend to, but I have not as yet,” Platt said, sounding weary. “I don’t think even a visit has much significance anyway. He’s totally nonverbal—he’s never spoken a word. He’s potentially aggressive.”

This didn’t sit well with Judge Glen. When it came to signing away the rights of disabled people to guardians, she was perhaps the most cautious judge in New York. But what came next would floor her.

Platt informed her that Mark’s trust had reached nearly $3 million. But while his trustees—Platt and JP Morgan Chase—had collected thousands of dollars in commissions, they hadn’t spent a penny on Mark. Medicaid covered his basic care at the institution upstate, but neither the lawyer nor the bank had considered how his mammoth trust might further aid his quality of life.

Write a comment


  1. This posting seems to be missing an end tag or something. It’s breaking the page!

  2. fixed, thx!

Bush-Cheney began illegal NSA spying before 9/11, says telcom CEO

Posted on July 15th, 2013 at 17:02 by John Sinteur in category: Privacy, Security


Contradicting a statement by ex-vice president Dick Cheney on Sunday that warrantless domestic surveillance might have prevented 9/11, 2007 court records indicate that the Bush-Cheney administration began such surveillance at least 7 months prior to 9/11.

Write a comment

Someone Gave A Guy A Megaphone At A Protest, And You’ll Be Awed By What He Did With It

Posted on July 15th, 2013 at 15:49 by Paul Jay in category: News


On May 25, 2013, thousands of people all over the world joined the international March Against Monsanto. (You remember Monsanto, right? The huge, scary GMO corporation?) At one event in Miami, someone gave this guy a megaphone. Watch to find out what lesson he gave the crowd.

Write a comment

Hunger Games, U.S.A.

Posted on July 15th, 2013 at 15:07 by John Sinteur in category: News


To fully appreciate what just went down, listen to the rhetoric conservatives often use to justify eliminating safety-net programs. It goes something like this: “You’re personally free to help the poor. But the government has no right to take people’s money” — frequently, at this point, they add the words “at the point of a gun” — “and force them to give it to the poor.”

It is, however, apparently perfectly O.K. to take people’s money at the point of a gun and force them to give it to agribusinesses and the wealthy.

Now, some enemies of food stamps don’t quote libertarian philosophy; they quote the Bible instead. Representative Stephen Fincher of Tennessee, for example, cited the New Testament: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” Sure enough, it turns out that Mr. Fincher has personally received millions in farm subsidies.

Write a comment


  1. Mr Fincher is right, of course, he got a job as a representative and can now give himself free money!

    It’s the biggest pig that gets the most slop.

Texas Senate reportedly confiscating tampons during abortion hearing

Posted on July 15th, 2013 at 14:50 by Paul Jay in category: News


Guns are allowed in the gallery, but objects that can be thrown at senators are not

“We have beefed up security today,” said Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, speaking from the floor of the Texas Senate this afternoon. “We will not tolerate any outbursts.”

The state is currently debating SB 1, one of the nation’s toughest proposed bans on abortion. The hearing has created a “circus-like atmosphere” at the state capitol, notes NBC News, weeks after Sen. Wendy Davis filibustered against the draconian measure that could shut down virtually all abortion clinics in the state. After holding a second special session, the Texas House, however, approved new abortion limits on Wednesday and the bill is back on the table for debate.

Part of the preparations Dewhurst alludes to, however, reportedly include confiscating tampons and sanitary napkins — but not guns:

I could not make this up. State troopers in Texas Senate are searching bags, confiscating tampons and pads. They fear projectiles.

— Gene Weingarten (@geneweingarten) July 12, 2013

Confirmed: state troopers are searching all bags and confiscating tampons and pads. #hb2#sb1

— Andrea Grimes (@andreagrimes) July 12, 2013

Tampons and sanitary napkins not allowed in #Texas senate chamber… Because you know they don’t have anything against women. #SB1

— Annette Priest (@AnnettePriest) July 12, 2013

What about gun shaped tampons? @AIsForOrg Welcome to Texas, where guns in our Capitol building are cool, but tampons are a big no-no. #SB1

— Kevin Baker (@deutschmarine) July 12, 2013

I just asked DPS myself: NO TAMPONS OR MAXI PADS IN GALLERY. “Nothing that can be thrown at Senators” #HB2

— Jessica W. Luther (@scATX) July 12, 2013


— Jessica W. Luther (@scATX) July 12, 2013

Proaborts are now littering the Capitol, throwing orange paper from upper floors of the rotunda #txlege#Stand4Lifepic.twitter.com/P0CDDAJU61

— Veronica Arnold (@veronica_arnold) July 12, 2013

WARNING: Not The Onion.

Write a comment

Discovering Names Of Secret NSA Surveillance Programs Via LinkedIn

Posted on July 15th, 2013 at 0:05 by John Sinteur in category: News


So, over the weekend, the Washington Post revealed some of the code names for various NSA surveillance programs, including NUCLEON, MARINA and MAINWAY. Chris Soghoian has pointed out that a quick LinkedIn search for profiles of people in Maryland with codenames like MARINA and NUCLEON happen to turn up profiles like this one which appear to reveal more codenames:


TRAFFICTHIEF, eh? WEBCANDID? Hmm… Apparently, NSA employees don’t realize that information they post online can be revealed.

Write a comment