Glad to be an American lawyer & journalist

As much as I love my Italian heritage and being in Italy, two things happened in the last 24 hours which make me happy to practice law and journalism in the good ole USA.

1.  Upon affiliating with an Italian law firm to add some international flair to my practice, I learned that Italian lawyers add a whopping 21% VAT to their hourly rate, which is pretty comparable to that of New York lawyers.  Can you just see a New York lawyer charging $400/hr and then charging the client an extra $84 for tax?  There would be anarchy in the streets.  How does anything get done in that country and it is shocking Italy has not gone bankrupt before now.

2.  The story of an Italian editor who felt compelled to air his views on teen abortion under a pseudonym is now going to jail for stating as much.Alessandro Sallusti will spend the

Alessandro Sallusti/AP-Luca Bruno

next 14 months in jail because he dared to criticize the judge who allowed a 13-year-old to have an abortion.  Views on abortion aside, this journalist feared the consequences of expression so greatly that he disguised himself with a pseudonym and has now been convicted of criminal defamation.  The outcome would be greatly different here where the judge would likely be deemed a public figure and therefore the standard would have to be actual malice.

I love Italy, truly, but when will they come out of the cave they have lived in since the empire fell?  Say what you will about the “liberal media” in the US but at least you have the absolute right to state your mind and not be sent off to jail with killers and other assorted felons.  God bless the good ole USA.

The Middle Class needs a doctor stat! Obamacare lives!

I am totally disgusted with today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court upholding Obamacare and its burdensome fines as an acceptable tax on the American people.  This is from our lawmakers and judicial branch of government who pay minimal amounts for health insurance.  We foot their bills too since our taxes allow them coverage at greatly reduced rates.  Do you smell something funny there?

Obamacare

Image courtesy: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What part of this health care plan is supposed to be affordable?  Is it the part that has seen my coverage as a sole proprietor leap from $350 a month for excellent coverage to $600 for mediocre coverage?  Or is it the part that now costs $300 for emergency hospitalization only?  Maybe it’s the part that has seen many good doctors give up practicing medicine rather than work for the little money they receive as co-pays from insurance companies.  Oh no, I know, it’s the part that is likely to force these rates even higher in the next 18 months as the insurance companies dance on the graves of American small business owners.

Geeze, when did I start sounding like a Republican?  The Middle Class was barely breathing before today’s decision……….now its life support is barely functioning.

Westchester attorney thinks NYC schools are failing students!

First, there was the big controversy from parents objecting to their children saying the “Pledge of Allegiance” because of the sentence “one nation under God.”  Now comes word that at least half of the schools in New York City are omitting the Pledge altogether.  Really, Really?  Some who object to the Pledge say it places immigrant students in an uncomfortable situation because they are listening to the oath to honor a nation which is not their homeland.

OK, I’m sorry but when does the crazy train stop in this country.  A public school education is free in this country, paid for on the backs of working people who work hard and pay taxes to THIS country.  Presumably, many of these immigrant students were brought here for a better education and now get a free education in THIS country while their parents don’t work and don’t pay taxes.

Image: Michael Elliott/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I applaud the Brooklyn father, a firefighter hero, who called his daughter’s school to task because she had never heard the morning Pledge and only first learned of it while watching TV.  Trust me, this story isn’t over yet since another father called the recitation of the Pledge “social coercion,” according to the NY Daily News.  Well, you know what, if he doesn’t like this tradition of respect then let him place his child in a “less traditional” environment, one where he might have to pay for education.

Free education……..free government assistance……….and they’re going to feel uncomfortable to pledge allegiance to the nation giving them a free ride to a better life.   It seems like the crazy train gave way to the insane rocket a long time ago!  Wake up America!