813 E. 4th Place
Los Angeles, CA 90013-1882
Mr. George W. Bush, President Mr. Lee Bollinger, Columbia University
Mr. Bill Frist, Mr. Tom Daschle, Senate Mr. John J. DeGioia, Georgetown ‘’
Mr. Dennis Hastert, Mrs. Nancy Pelosi, House Mr. Lawrence H. Summers, Harvard ‘’
Mr. William H. Rehnquist, Supreme Court Mr. Henry S. Bienen, Northwestern ‘’
Mr. Alan Greenspan, Federal Reserve Bank Mr. John L. Hennessy, Stanford ‘’
Mr. Kenneth Roth, HRW Mr. Scott C. Cowen, Tulane ‘’
Mr. Richard Schmalensee, MIT Mr. Steven B. Sample, USC
Mr. Richard C. Levin, Yale ‘’
Copy: Nobel Foundation, Institute and Committees
Mr. David Baltimore, Mr. Robert Berdhal, Mr. Albert Carnesale
Los Angeles, November 10, 2003
Object: Letters sent on May 29th 2002 and on January 14th 2003, letter sent to the UN (Security Council and General Assembly) on April 7 2003, difficulties encountered in California, a ‘system’ discriminatory toward the poor, intellectual dishonesty, an unfair remuneration system, an indirectly corrupt ‘system’, ‘political will’, refugee status, job applications.
Dear Madam, Dear Sir,
Referring to my letters of May 29th 2002 and January 14th 2003, I take the liberty of writing you to forward you the letter I sent to the UN on April 7 2003, to mention again the constant and unfair difficulties I encounter here, and to make few more comments on the subjects I discussed in my previous letters.
My letters and objectives, the social services and the ‘charities’’ dishonest behavior.
In my letter of May 29th 2002, I presented my two proposals and my legal case to some of you (university presidents) and asked ‘you’ for your intellectual support to defend both my case and the proposals (that are linked) in front of the ‘concerned bodies’. To understand why I was victim of so severe persecutions in France, why the legal system failed to protect me, and why the press, media and politicians did not discuss publicly my case and proposals (although they had extensively ‘talked’ about the frauds in the administration that fired me and threaten me for the rest of my life) is not so obvious.
My project proposal to improve the transfer and integration of statistical data and the proposal to limit at 65 the age for country leaders and I.O. Chiefs, for example, have many implications that are not so easy to ‘picture’. I had also hoped that my letter would prevent me from experiencing the difficulties I had in other countries, but obviously it did not work. I was given the refugee status in September 2002, but then different ‘administrations’ made many errors to ‘keep me in the street’ and keep me from getting an appropriate job, and the charity helping the refugees refused to give me the housing assistance associated with the refugee status!
In my letter of January 14th 2003, I described some of the errors made by the different ‘administrations’ (and attached my different complaints to the ‘INS’ and administrative court) to the rest of you (political leaders and other personalities). I also presented you my two proposals and the difficulties I had in Europe while working on them, and asked for ‘your’ help to obtain justice. Finally, I encouraged ‘you’ to ‘show some reason’ to prevent the Iraqi conflict by asking older leaders (Mr. Renhquist, Greenspan,) to keep a lower profile, but obviously, you did not ‘listen’ since the war took place and I did not obtain justice.
I obtained a decision in my favor from an administrative law judge in California, but then the LA County, with the help of the presiding judges and the California Department of Social Services (DSS) management, refused to comply fully with the decision and to follow the appropriate procedure to criticize it! I wrote to Governor Davis several times, in ‘his’ only response, ‘he’ directed me toward the Commission on Judicial Performance that oversees the work of Californian judges, but, this Commission refused to study my complaint! I received a new unfair answer from the DSS in early October.
The social services, the housing authority, and the charities are very proud to have sent me in the street (or forced me to change shelters) more than 15 times since I was given the refugee status and asked for the help of the social services on September 2002. And for the DSS it is ‘ok’ to keep a refugee in the street! As some of you may know, through the refugee resettlement program, refugees are directed toward voluntary organizations (volags) that provides them with the immediate basic needs like housing, employment training, clothing, etc. and the social services provide the refugee cash assistance (about 330$/ month), medical protection and several other benefits.
After the social services had accepted my application for refugee cash assistance, food stamps and medical protection, they directed me toward a volag (the catholic charity organization) that refused to help me with housing! This ‘volag’ agreed to give me the job training, but not the housing assistance, because of the INS document I was presenting them (verification of status listing as a refugee)! This was, of course, ‘ridiculous’, because it was the social services that had sent me to them, and because the social services had agreed to pay me the refugee cash assistance, the food stamps and the medical protection based on the INS verification of status they had asked me to obtain at the INS! For the catholic charity it was not ‘charitable’ to give housing to a French refugee, a refugee from China, Vietnam, yes, but not a French refugee (for them a catholic country like France cannot have refugees probably)!
The California law plans for such problem, I believe, since an article of the regulation stipulates that, if the volag or sponsor is unable or unwilling to provide the help, the social services should respond to the total needs of the refugee and provide the assistance according to the Calworks (program for family) standard. You surely understand that the cash assistance of about 330$ and the 135$ food stamps are significant only if you get the housing assistance at the same time! The cheapest hotel you can find in LA is 135 $ a week, so almost all your cash assistance is gone after two weeks and you are back in the street. The value of the food stamps is also greatly reduced, when you have no place to cook and store your food!
The social services, the housing authority, and the charities know this, of course, and they do everything they can to make sure that you lose all your cash assistance (limited to 8 months for the RCA and 9 months for the GR) by refusing to give you the housing assistance at the same time! Particularly when you complain about their dishonest behavior like the opening (and stealing) of all the homeless mail, which is a violation of human rights. Then you are forced to accept the assistance of the faith based organizations that have no legal responsibility toward the people they help, and can force them to accept any term (like ‘forcing’ the people to go to church) to provide the assistance! Their shelters and rules are indecent and awful, and they treat the poor worse than animals, and no one controls them!
The LA County also argued that the ‘INS’ status verifier told them on December 1 2002 that my refugee status was ‘inputted incorrectly’, and that I was no longer a refugee! I had tried to obtain more information about my refugee status at the ‘INS’ and at the immigration court, and several ‘INS’ employees had mentioned directly or indirectly that the status verifier had done a mistake in reading my case! So on November 13 2002 (before sending my complaint to the administrative court), I went back to the status verifier office to ask them if they had done a mistake in reading my case.
Several other status verifiers confirmed me that the verification of status listing me as a refugee was valid, and that they had not made a mistake in reading my case! They even told me that they had the date at which I was given the refugee status, but that they could not give it to me, and that the social services should ask for it in writing with the appropriate form G845 (which it had not done and did not do).
The ‘pretended’ change of my immigration status, the lies about my status, and the motivation behind it.
It is then obvious that the ‘INS’ employees (2 ‘INS’ attorneys, the director of the LA asylum office, deportation officer,) who told me that the status verifier had made a mistake in reading my case necessarily lied and cheated, and that if my status (the INS record listing me as a refugee) was changed, it is only after November 13 2002 (and before December 1 2002). I say ‘if’, because at this day, the BCIS management still did not send a clear explanation of what happened with my status, when I was given the refugee status, who has made the error, if an error was made, etc.
The administrative law judge who judged my case on February 5th 2003 was convinced that I was still a refugee and that both the ‘INS’ and the social services had not followed the appropriate procedures, since he wrote in his decision that he did not trust the information on the change of my refugee status given on the phone by the ‘INS’ status verifier. And he asked the LA County to help me get the date my asylum was granted. The LA County later (in April 2003) presented an altered document issued by the ‘INS’ (although the ‘INS’ usually does not accept altered documents as valid documents), same verification of status where the word ‘refugee’ had been ‘blanked’, and the date of my employment authorization had been added, to continue to argue that I was not a refugee!
This and the fact that the immigration court, the INS district counsel office, and the LA asylum office were informed that I had been given the refugee status about two months before November 13 2002, prove that a serious fraud took place, because if the error had been a legitimate mistake, they could have easily explained what error was made on my status and by whom, and make the change on the record much earlier, (instead of putting the responsibility of the error on the status verifier). To be more credible I must also describe some of the motivations of the people who participated in the fraud or covered it.
Since the status verifier changed their position on my status between November 13 2003 and December 1 2003, it is clear that the ‘pretended’ change of my status or the lie from the status verifier about my status can only be due to the letters and complaint I sent during this period (11/13/02 to 12/01/02). First, to the complaint I sent on November 14th to the State Hearing Division to denounce the errors made by the social services and to denounce the fact that the social services open (and steal sometimes) the letters of all the homeless, which is a violation of human rights as you know.
Second to the ‘motion to close’ my case I sent on November 25 2002 to the immigration court and the ‘INS’ district counsel office (as I was told to do by one of the ‘INS’ duty attorneys). And third to the letter I sent to the press (NY Times, LA Times, Business week,) on November 14 2002 to ask them to report to their readers the grant of my refugee status and the reasons why I had asked for asylum in the US, and to describe my two proposals (I had also mentioned my difficulties with the social services and with the INS to obtain the date my asylum was granted). These letters and complaint explain well why many had an interest in the change of my status or at least in having the status verifier lie about my status, and why some had an interest in remaining silent.
The change of my refugee status lowered the responsibility of the social services that had made intentionally several serious and obvious errors to rob me my benefits. They incorrectly stopped my RCA cash assistance after two months although I was entitled to 8 months of RCA after the date I was given the refugee status. They (deliberately) ‘forgot’ to ask the INS the date I was given the refugee status with the I 845 form, although I had told them several times that I did not have the refugee status when I entered the US. They also refused to give me any housing assistance although they knew that the Volag they had sent me to had refused to help me with the housing, and they knew that I was homeless. And of course they stopped my medi-cal protection!
The ‘INS’ employees (‘INS’ attorneys, asylum office director, deportation officer) who had lied on my status, had put the responsibility of the error on the status verifier (although several status verifiers confirmed that no error was made), so they also had an interest in seeing my refugee status changed or in having the status verifier lie on my status. Moreover, whoever has given me the refugee had pointed out the asylum office, the immigration judge and ‘INS’ attorneys wrong appreciation of my case. It is also clear that the immigration judge had already decided to do everything he could to make me loose my case when he refused to hear it on August 27/02, delayed the new hearing to January 23/03 although I had explained him my very difficult living condition, and did not respond to my motion to close the case.
The ‘INS’ management that was necessarily informed (only 3 French national obtained the refugee status in 2002 according to their statistics) and the personalities (political leaders, Chief justice,) I contacted in January 2003 had an interest in the fact that the press and media do not talk about my story and proposals. In my letter to the press, I had mentioned the ‘very advertised’ case of the French man who had obtained the asylum in Los Angeles on June 2001. The press and media in LA (Los Angeles Times,) and in France (Le Monde, televisions,) had reported the story of this man and pointed out the mistakes of the French justice on his case.
Changing my refugee status (or letting the status verifier lie about my status) was the best way to prevent (or ‘discourage’) the press and media from talking about my case. It was therefore a way to limit the chance that the press and media talk about my proposal to limit at 65 the age of country leaders and I.O. Chiefs, proposal that could have prevented the war with Iraq and would have encouraged Mr. Greenspan and Mr. Rehnquist to think about the new generations. It is clear that Mr. Greenspan and Mr. Rehnquist (and their ‘supporters’) did not want to impose on themselves any rule or age limit (not even to improve the situation in the world and in the US) and that many people in the US wanted the war at all cost (press, media, politicians, business leaders, intellectuals).
Even after the ‘INS’ office of Internal Audit registered my complaint in March/03, the INS management continued to remain silent, and refused to respond to a simple question what happened with my status, although they knew that a procedure was going on at the administrative Court and that I was homeless! The pretended change of my status or the lies of the status verifier, then, benefited everyone: The LA county social workers and managers, the INS employees, the immigration judge, Mr. Rehnquist and Greenspan, the press and media, and the US administration (government, senate, house,) that was trying to ‘sell’ a war against Iraq to the American people and to the international community.
The administrative decision, the refusal to comply fully with the decision, the consequences of these errors, and an unfair and discriminatory system toward the poor.
On February 5th 2003 the administrative law judge rendered a decision mostly in my favor, he did not give credit to the phone call from the ‘INS’ about the error made on my status, he did not question the validity of the original verification of status listing me as a refugee, and he asked the LA county to help me get the date my asylum was granted. The judge had no doubt that I was given the refugee status and that the social services and INS employees had not followed the appropriate procedures. He also denounced the termination of my RCA after 2 months, asked the LA County to reevaluate my eligibility for permanent housing assistance, and wrote that the evidences show that I was eligible for this benefit.
The LA County did not agree with the order of the judge, but it did not appeal it at the rehearing unit or at the superior court as it should have, instead it ignored the order, did not help me get the date my asylum was granted and asked me to present a new verification of status. It did not pay me all the RCA cash benefit granted by the decision, and denied me any housing assistance. I complained and asked the presiding judge to order the LA county to comply fully with the decision, but he took the position of the LA county and ask me to contact the LA county although the regulation says that the department must tell the county what to do to comply and although he knew that I had contacted them already several times!
I complained to the DSS management (DSS director, Chief judge,), the chief administrative law judge decided to respond to my complaint. He reminded me of the procedure to criticize an administrative law judge decision, but totally ignore that it is the LA County, and not me, that had not followed the appropriate procedure to criticize the decision. He also ignored the fact that the LA County had presented an altered document to justify his statement about the change of my refugee status. And he did not even read the decision properly. I complained about his dishonest analysis to the Director of the Department of Social Services and to the governor, but received no honest response. They simply put the burden of a new complaint to the justice on me, although they know that I have no money and that I am homeless and therefore cannot present my case.
The consequences of all these errors are very serious for me, of course. The ‘physical’ consequences first are very grave. Since August 2001, and because of my very hard living condition (bad food, sleeping in the same room with many other people, changing shelters constantly), I became very sick - chronicle bronchitis, grave stomach problems, bad cough … - almost every month. Finally living in the homeless shelters environment put anyone at great risk of catching the tuberculosis and other very serious diseases, without mentioning the possibility to get robbed and hurt! And of course I had been living in very difficult condition before I left France also.
Then these errors have very serious legal consequences also. I have explained the Court and the LA County that obtaining the refugee status is a matter of life and death for the one who obtains it, and therefore that we don’t just say that a mistake was done on a official verification of status stamped and signed by the ‘INS’ agent specialist in this task. Moreover, I lost everything I had, and this refugee status should not just give me a protection, it should also help me to obtain justice against France and a compensation (I estimate the prejudice at more than 1 million dollars). Because of all these problems I did not get any document, legal decision, certifying that I was victim of serious persecutions and threats in France. Judge Tolentino’s decision is the only certification that I was given the refugee status, therefore the LA County has to go through the appropriate procedure to contest it.
And finally, the financial consequences (independently from the prejudice I suffered in France) are very important too. All these errors associated to the extremely difficult living conditions makes it absolutely impossible to find a job, to resettle here and to do anything else than fighting in court to defend myself. Writing the different statements for the justice is a very hard work, because one must be very precise with the different facts and every time a new error is made it makes it even longer to explain the difficulties one encounters. It is also very costly to prepare and send these complaints (photocopies, mail, ...), the mail must be registered or with confirmation delivery (and even then administrations pretend that they don’t receive the letters like the BCIS audit office)!
It is always possible to make an error, no one is perfect, but if an error is made, someone has made it, and it is easy to explain what error was made and who has made it, instead of lying and putting the error on the status verifier who has done is work correctly (at first at least). Moreover, I did not make this error, so I should not ‘pay’ for it, and be forced to complaint over and over again to the justice or to the different INS offices. Both the ‘INS’ and the DSS have created units (audit office and state hearing division) to handle complaints of client, but these units simply cover the dishonesty of their colleagues and put the burden of a complaint to the justice on the victim who cannot afford this complaint if he/she is poor. This is totally unfair and outrageous, at least the BCIS must give an honest explanation of what happened.
I contacted several legal aid foundations or associations, and individual lawyers, but no one wants to help me to defend my case. They always give the same response, we receive so many demands every year and we don’t have the money to take your case, and they refer you to organizations or people that do the same. The legal help system here is also very discriminatory toward the poor, it is totally unfair and not at all compatible with the human rights conventions (this is probably why the Universities and HRW refused to comment my remarks on the French legal help system). Many of these foundations are publicly founded, but they still can refuse to help whoever they don’t want to help!
Similarly many of the ‘charities’ (and now faith based charities) receive public funds to help the very poor (with housing for example,), but they can discriminate who ever they want. The government does want to help the poor, so it finances charities to do the work, but at the same time it does not control their work and let them impose on the poor all the rules they want. The result is that many people are deliberately and unfairly sent in the street and kept in the street, while the government can say that it is doing everything it can to help the poor! It is not even a problem of money, there are plenty of money to solve the problem of homelessness or to feed the poor for example.
Everybody get 140 $ in food stamp, this is enough money to pay for a seven day meal plan in many student cafeterias, so it would not be so difficult to finance a cafeteria for the homeless. But instead you see these ‘charities’ that have the homeless wait for 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes (in front of the garbage can) to give them a meal! That is about 3 to 4 hour and 30 minutes a day lost to eat your meals. How can you expect the homeless and very poor to find jobs when they must carry their bags everywhere and wait several hours a day to eat or to do many other things (the social services often make you wait for hours too just to see someone –and they do it on purpose to humiliate you and to waist your time!).
The Universities’ response or silence, intellectual dishonesty, and the responsibilities in the war with Iraq.
In my letter of April 7 2003 to the UN (att. 2), I explained among other things that ‘the only power ‘we’ have is the power to be stupid and dishonest’. What happened to me here in the US is a new obvious example of this fact. At every level of the hierarchy, everyone uses his/her ‘power’ to be stupid and dishonest to hurt the people, instead of assuming his/her responsibility to solve the problems of the people. The administrations and charities cheated and lied to steal me the most basic benefits, housing assistance, cash assistance, etc. (even the food stamps) although we are in the richest state of the richest country in the world and their responsibility is to help the people!
I knew that such problems could happen here in the US too, and as mentioned earlier this is one of the reasons why I wrote to several university Presidents when I arrived and asked them for their intellectual support! I had also pointed out in my letter the possibility of a conflict in Iraq (‘long’ before anyone had started talking about a possible war), and explained that the proposal to limit the age of leaders at 65 could perhaps prevent such conflict or at least facilitate the dialogue with the Iraqis. The letter and the different attached documents explained also clearly that the two proposals would have a significant impact on the fight against poverty and the fight to maintain peace in the world, which should have more than ‘interested’ many of ‘you’.
Columbia University and its Earth Institute should have been more than pleased to receive a description of the proposals. Mr. Jeffrey Sachs, for example, who has already mentioned the specific case of Zimbabwe to support the importance of good governance to defeat poverty, should have been particularly ‘receptive’ to a proposal that encourage Mr. Muggabbe to retire or to keep a lower profile. He does not hesitate to criticize Mr. Bush loudly in his article in the Economist (October 2002), in which he talks about his WMS, weapons of mass salvation, so he should not have been afraid of criticizing older leaders like MM. Saddam Hussein, Sharon, Arafat, Mugabbe, Castro for holding on to the ‘power’ after 65.
The number one ‘weapon of mass salvation’ is intellectual honesty, but it seems that he and some of his colleagues are missing this very import trait of character! He pointed out in his article the very high cost of a war with Iraq, so how can ‘he’ refuse to discuss a particular proposal that could prevent such an important spending that everybody knew it would handicap the world for many years in his fight against poverty. The proposal was recently discussed in Kenya according to a Kenyan newspaper (att. 2). Some people proposed to include an age limit for the president in their new constitution, but it was turn down because politicians thought that someone popular should be able to run for President at 70!
When you know that the US has limited the presidential mandate to two term 50 years ago, and that popularity can be easily artificially created or come from talents not related to the job of ‘president’ (leader) (like in the case of Mr. Schwarzenegger), this argument is very weak. I had made the effort to present many logical, scientific, ethical and good sense arguments to justify the proposal, that should have struck also someone like Mr. Bollinger who recently wrote ‘on importance of Universities & how Columbia helped shape the world, in Wall Street Journal Op-ed’ on October 15 2003.
He writes ‘With all the pressures toward the closing of our minds that come with conflict in the public arena, it’s not a bad idea to have special communities like universities distinctly dedicated to the open intellect’. He is right, it is not a bad idea, but what means ‘dedicated to the open intellect’ for him, is it to deliberately refuse to talk about a proposal and idea (presented by an ‘outsider’) that would help millions, billions of people, to cover the dishonest behavior of few others (including few friends and ‘business partners’)! Mr. Bollinger also writes ‘Universities remain meaningful because they respond to the deepest of human needs, to the desire to understand and to explain that understanding to others.
A spirited curiosity coupled with a caring about others (the essence of what we call humanism) is a simple and unquenchable human drive, certainly as profound an element of human nature as the more often cited interests in property and power, around which we organize the economic and political systems.’ Someone who care about others would not have remained silent on a proposal that could have prevented a war, and would not be so proud to have ‘shape(d) the world’, when he knows that there are about 3 billions people living with less than 2 dollars a day, about 1,2 billions living with less than 1 dollar a day, ‘90 % of working age people is not covered by pension schemes capable of providing adequate retirement income’, and millions of people dying of hunger and deadly diseases every year. Someone who is so proud of this world he has ‘shaped’, has, to me, as much humanism as Adolph Hitler himself.
Mr. Calestous Juma, coordinator of the science, technology and innovation task force of the Millenium project from the Harvard School of Government should have been also interested by the project proposal to improve the transfer and integration of statistical data and by the hope it gives to solve rapidly the problem of poverty. And finally Mr. Schmalensee, who also serves on the National Research Council’s Committee on National statistics, should have been doubly encouraged to comment the arguments I presented so support my two proposals and the remarks made by experts and politicians around the word.
But obviously no one has shown this ‘desire to understand’ what I was ‘saying’ and to ‘explain to others’ their understanding of the solutions to some of our important problems I presented. I only received a very short email of encouragement from M. Cowen. It is a little bit ‘short’ (even if it possible that ‘you’ may have plaid a role in the fact that I was initially given the refugee status). By refusing to respond to my letter and to discuss the issues I had raised or that were raised by my case, you did not just hurt me, but you also deliberately hurt every one on the planet, particularly the people of Iraq, the very poor, and the US soldiers who lost their lives in the conflict, and continue to lose their lives now.
I explained in my letter to the UN that, for me, Mr. Annan, Mr. Chirac and the Pope who talked about peace and were against the war with Iraq, had a greater responsibility in the war than Mr. Bush himself, who ordered the attack. But to be honest I must also say that ‘you’ the US university Presidents and the US intellectuals have also a great responsibility in the war (again, to me, a greater responsibility than Mr. Bush himself that you certainly don’t hesitate to criticize as we have seen in Mr. Sachs’ article). ‘You’ (the people who ‘help shape the world’) cannot pretend that you did not understand the proposals I made and could not visualize the benefits associated with them.
When it comes to developing a new very complicated and advanced medical system to save the lives of people affected by certain diseases (and who can afford health care!), you demonstrate an incredible intelligence. But when it comes to respond to a very simple proposal to limit at 65 the age for country leaders and I.O. Chiefs, and to discuss the logical, ethical, scientific and good sense arguments presented to justify it, you act completely stupid and remain silent, although many leaders have already directly or indirectly supported such proposal by imposing on themselves such a limit! This demonstrates a great intellectual dishonesty, that has a negative impact in several areas of the US society and that hurt the entire planet. It should be denounced.
I have noticed on your university internet site how pride you are of the number of Nobel prices you have accumulated (Columbia 64, Stanford 17, ) and use this as a promotion tool to attract students and funds, although you should feel that these rewards give you a responsibility toward the ‘international community’ that awarded them to you through the Nobel Foundation and Institute. There is no point in giving the Nobel price to scientists for developing a system or a theory that will help some and save certain lives, if at the same time these same scientists act completely stupid and ignore a simple proposal that would save the lives of millions of people and help billions of others.
I believe that ‘you’, the US Universities, should apologize to the international community for not having commented the two proposals I presented you, particularly the proposal to limit at 65 the age of Leaders, because by doing so you encouraged ‘an unauthorized and not fully justified’ war and hurt billions of people. I also believe that no Nobel (or other international) prices should be awarded to any scientist or researcher working in the US universities before you have presented publicly your excuses, and a detail and motivated evaluation of my proposals, and commented my remarks on the French legal help system. I will certainly suggest this to the different Nobel foundation, Institute and Committees! Finally, I believe that Mr. Sachs should resign from his position of director of the millennium project.
An unfair remuneration system and the consequences: Enron like scandal, homelessness...
I would like now to use a phrase that Mr. Schwarzenegger used in his recall campaign to make few more remarks. Since he was successful, we can assume that the people responded positively to his TV add campaign. In one of his adds he said ‘politicians have let us down’. When you know that the Governor of California makes 175 000 $ a year and that the recently appointed President of the University of California will receive a salary of 395 000 $ a year, it is, to me, not so obvious to say who has let down who, and for what reasons. The ‘driver’ (private jet pilot) of Mr. Schwarzenegger probably makes more money than the Governor of California!
Moreover I am not sure that we can really say that the politicians have let down the movie stars who make 10 millions dollars or more per movie! If there is no doubt that the people of California (and elsewhere perhaps also) feel that the politicians have let them down, the ‘us’ is not exactly the correct word. ‘You’ would have been more appropriate -the politicians have let ‘you’ down. And the ‘you’ should not include Mr. Grasso, the former NY stock exchange president, the former President of Tenet Health Care and other executives who make outrageous and unfair ‘salaries’ (and compensations) not related with their competences, education, responsibilities, and contribution to society’s progress!
In fact in 1986 during my master at Clemson University, I made a statistical analysis on 6 years of data published by Business Week on the main 500 US companies and even found that there were no significant correlation between the main executives salaries and the companies ‘results’ (sales, profit, earning per share, assets,) and the sector of activity. This result is old and must be taken cautiously, but then at the end of the 80 or at the beginning of 90, Business Week added an ‘Executive Pay’ section to its scoreboard issue, in which it gave several very pertinent statistics on salaries like a comparison between the executive’s salary increase and the lower level employee’s salary increase.
It was obvious during the 90’s that the executive ‘salaries’ increased in outrageous proportion, while the salaries of the lower level employees increased very little in comparison and many became homeless! Now (only) we see some people questioning this evolution with the recent NY Stock Exchange Scandal, but anyone could have noticed this dangerous evolution a long time ago. It was written black on white in Business Week and other magazines probably. The outrageous salaries of movie stars, pop stars or sport stars is also not in relation with their relative ‘talent’, and not representative of their responsibility in society that is very limited in comparison to the President of the US, for example.
If we compare the salary of Mr. Bush (400 000$ about) with the salary of Mr. Ballmer, President of Microsoft who like Mr. Bush has a MBA from a leading business school, I believe, and can be qualified as a successful manager in his field, the difference is also outrageous. Mr. Ballmer has an accumulated ‘salary’ over the years of 11 billions dollars, although I am sure that Mr. Bush does not feel that he is 10000 times or even 1000 times less intelligent than Mr. Ballmer or that he has 1000 times less responsibilities than Mr. Ballmer. In fact, I believe that the responsibilities of Mr. Bush are far more important than the responsibilities of Mr. Ballmer. And the job of Mr. Bush is not less ‘risky’ than Mr. Ballmer’s job (I would certainly not advise Mr. Bush to walk alone in the street of Bagdad or of many other cities in the world).
University Presidents have also a higher salary than the US President. The average salary of large university Presidents is about 465 000 $ according to the UCLA web site. This again is not intellectually correct, because, their responsibilities, even if they have high responsibilities, are not as important as the ones of the US president or even the Governor of the State! And university Presidents have a much higher salary than the Chief justice who makes about 195 000 $ a year, I believe, although the responsibilities of the Chief Justice and other justices are very high, as we have seen in the last election they ‘designated’ the US President. (May be the congress should pass a law that limits the university President salaries to what the US president or the governor of the state where they are located, makes!).
The case of the Governor of California who manages a budget of about 90 or 100 billions dollars a year, I believe, and takes decisions that affect 38 millions people, but makes only 175 000 $, confirms that civil servants and politicians salaries are not at all in relation with the responsibilities they have to assume, and that business executives make outrageously high salaries (and compensations). We see then that the salaries in the US are not at all ‘consistently proportional’ to the responsibilities, the education, the experience, the relative competences and/or the relative talent, the ‘performances’, or even to the contribution to society’s progress.
This is a grave problem, because work is a very important part of ‘our’ lives, and how the people are remunerated is not just a factor of ‘materiel comfort’, but also a factor of ‘satisfaction’ and ‘happiness’ for everyone. The results of this unfair remuneration system are obvious. We see executives do everything they can (lying, cheating,) to make millions of dollars like in Enron, Worldcom and other cases, or movie, pop, and sport stars give ‘juicy’ details about their sex life or more generally private life to promote their movies or names and increase their revenue in outrageous proportion. We also see some people that would not hesitate to start a war to make millions of dollars.
We see frustrated, ‘hateful’ and corrupt civil servants and politicians that lie and cheat to make the difficult life of the very poor (inferior people, ‘lower than nothing’) even worse, although they should be helping them and criticizing the outrageous and undeserved ‘salaries’ mentioned above. Talented people are not ‘encouraged’ to follow a carrier in the public service and politics, so we see some serious management problems in the administrations like the one California is experiencing now, and we see some business leaders or other celebrities like Mr. Bloomberg or Mr. Schwarzenegger take the high public positions although there are not trained for that and are the worst persons to change the unfair system that has made them so rich. And it is certainly not a long term solution, the society needs talented civil servants and politicians, so it must ‘prepare’ people to assume these high public responsibilities.
And finally we see more and more homeless in America (2 million of people are homeless every year according to a recent Foxnews article), we see the gap between the rich and the poor increase, we see many poor that have no access to justice, to health care services, and even to the social services that are specially made for them. It is not surprising to see the health care costs increase so much when we see the President of Tenet Health Care (a hospital chain) making 100 millions dollars in a year while his company is involved in wrong doing. This situation is, of course, very good for the very rich and business leaders that can get even richer by taking advantage of the extremely difficult situation in which the poor live to force them to accept any term, many work like slaves almost with no health care, no retirement pension, no justice…
Political parties’ failure, universities’ failure, an indirectly corrupt system, and the ‘homeless’ responsibilities.
The election of Mr. Schwarzenegger is the symbol of political parties’ failure to attract, train, and ‘promote’ young politicians and civil servants to assume high level government positions. It also confirms the increasing and dangerous importance of popularity in politics, dangerous because popularity can be easily artificially created or not be related to the position it helps obtain like in Mr. Schwarzenegger’s case. Political parties prefer to use the popularity of certain individuals to win special elections than to assume their responsibility of preparing young and qualified civil servants and politicians. This also indirectly allows the older politicians to hold on to high-level positions after 65, and, at the same time, it indirectly slows down reforms and progress, which is in favor of the very rich!
The election of Mr. Schwarzenegger is also the symbol of the failure of your education system and universities that have created special programs to train politicians and civil servants. What is the point of having a Harvard School of Government, a Sloan School of Management, Columbia Phd in Political Sciences, if you put at the highest position of the state a ‘movie star weight lifter’?!. It is very ‘strange’ (more than suspicious) that in a country that is so advanced, very few people question the unfair remuneration system and the election of celebrities like Mr. Schwarzenegger, but it can be easily explained. Your system is designed, so that the ones who can understand the problems and explain it to the people are compensated in some way for remaining silent.
As we have seen the University Presidents, intellectuals, receive very high salaries in comparison to high-level civil servants and politicians. And well known universities are very dependent on their private fund raising system, so they are ‘not encouraged’ to criticize the rich industrials who support financially their programs or the system that allows them to make outrageous and unfair salaries and compensations. The Chief justice, justices and some judge receive mandates for life, which is an outrageous advantage (and not ethical) when you know that many people (in the business world) are encouraged (or forced) to retire at 55 or 60 to leave their place to younger people better trained with new technologies and cheaper, and that millions of people don’t have a life expectancy at birth of 50 or even 40.
And the (‘real’) politicians are very dependent of the very rich people who finance their political campaigns that are more and more costly due to, among other things, the very high TV time cost. Some of them are also tempted to remain silent to ‘eventually’ benefit from this unfair system like Mr. Clinton for example. During the 90 he said nothing about this dangerous evolution of executive salaries, and as soon he ended his terms he started to make millions of dollars in making speech. I am sure that you would agree that giving 10 millions dollars to the President of the US to push for laws that are in the advantage of particular groups of people would be called corruption. Giving Mr. Clinton millions of dollars for giving speeches just after he finishes his mandate as president, is intellectually speaking like corruption.
Giving the money just after the president ends his term for a speech or during his term to conduct a certain policy is very much the same to me! Your system is then indirectly corrupt because the people who have the qualification to understand how unfair the system is and who have the responsibility to explain the problems obtain special advantages or benefits that encourage them to remain silent. And now, ‘you’ start doing the same thing at the international level by helping older than 65 leaders to stay at the head of international organizations like Mr. Annan, Mr. Wolfensohn, Mr. Johnston, Mr. Lubbers, because they can also understand your dishonest system and could (and have the responsibility to) explain it to the people. This also slows down the reforms and the progress in the fight against poverty at the international level, which is again in favor of the very rich.
It is good that Mr. Schwarzenegger and others like him feels that they have to give something ‘back’, because the very rich people did not make their fortunes only because of their talent, intelligence and personalities. In fact most of their fortune (more than 80% probably) is due to the very unfair, very imperfect and indirectly very corrupt system. It is easy to see that the poor do not have access to the justice, to basic health care services and even to some social services specially made for them (housing assistance,), and that the systems like the legal help system are totally discriminatory toward the poor and not compatible with the human rights conventions ‘we’ agreed on. But rich people should also admit the unfairness of the system, and support efficient and appropriate reforms to improve it, instead of saying in the press and media that they are ‘extraordinary’ men or women.
To develop a fair (or optimum) system and a fair society and to make the people ‘happier’, we must pay salaries that are more proportional to the people’s responsibilities, relative competences, relative talent, education, experiences, performances and contribution to society’s progress. Moreover, knowing that the fight against poverty is now one of our most important objectives, everyone must understand that the homeless and the poor have an important responsibility and one of the hardest jobs there is, since their job is to come out poverty (!), so they must be given the ‘tools’ and basic assistances needed to assume their responsibility properly.
‘Large scale lying’, the attack against the UN, the EU Sakarov Price awarded to Mr. Annan and the UN, and ‘political will’.
In my letter of January 14 2003, I had mentioned that not talking about the proposal to limit at 65 the age of country leaders and I.O. Chiefs was ‘large scale lying’ to the people of the world. Of course, I cannot say anymore that no one has talked publicly about the proposal, since it was discussed in Kenya (att. 2), but anyone who has just two cents of honesty or intellectual honesty can not be satisfied with the ‘popularity argument’ used by the Kenyan politicians to turn down the proposal and be satisfied with the fact that it was only discussed in Africa when we know that the EU is also working on a new constitution and that the proposal could have prevented the war with Iraq, and could save the lives of many people around the world!
Politicians, the press and media, and intellectuals, here and in Europe, still continue to refuse or to avoid talking about this issue, although they extensively discuss the fact that no weapons of mass destruction has been found in Iraq, and that the risk associated with these possible weapons has been exaggerated by the US, England, and Australia. ‘They’ also constantly analyze the aftermaths of the war, the high death toll, the constant terror attacks in Iraq, and the very high cost to rebuild the country and to establish more security. But, neither of them has yet discussed the fact that the war could have perhaps been avoided, if the UN Secretariat, , the press, had discussed the proposal to establish an 65 age limit for ‘leaders’.
In January I had made the effort to send a copy of the letter I had sent you on the 01/14/03 to Mr. Hume from Fox News and to some of the ‘newspapers’ I had contacted in November/02. Then at the end of February, I forwarded my letter of January and the very questionable UN Secretariat response to CNN (Mr. Blitzer and Mrs. Zahn who were covering extensively the preparation of the war). I also mentioned that it will be difficult to avoid the war, if Mr. Saddam Hussein were not encouraged to quit, and that the proposal to limit at 65 the age for leaders could help him reach this decision, but ‘they’ remained silent! (‘They’ certainly have a great responsibility in the war also, but I don’t need to explain you the interest they had in the war or the interest they have in the ‘star system’ and in the unfair remuneration system!).
The fact that the press and media remained silent does not mean that no one has heard about the proposal, about the reaction of the UN Secretariat and about my letters of January 14 and April 7 2003. In fact the very severe attack against the UN (that killed Mr. Vieira De Mello) demonstrates that the Iraqis, and probably others, have understood that the UN Secretariat and its management have done very little to prevent the war although they had publicly said that everything should be done to try to prevent the war. Many Iraqis would have been most certainly very happy, if the war had been avoided and if, at the same time, Mr. Saddam Hussein had been ‘forced’ to retire. The attack is a way for the ‘Iraqi people’ to make the UN Secretariat ‘pay’ for its dishonesty.
Unfortunately the UN management does not understand at all (or pretends that it does not understand) why some Iraqis attack them. Mrs. Frechette said during the funeral of Mr. Vieira De Mello ‘All were in the prime of their lives. All were committed to work for the cause of peace/ All were killed in a nihilistic act of violence which we struggle to comprehend!’. It is not because the UN goes to Iraq with its humanitarian ‘helmet’ (responsibility), that it does not have a peace keeping ‘helmet’ (responsibility) as well. At the level of Mr. Annan and Mrs. Frechette, or even the level of Mr. Vieira De Mello, managers cannot ignore this dual responsibility, otherwise they endanger the livea of their colleagues who are doing humanitarian work!
The recent UN report on the attack that denounces the UN Secretariat lack professionalism on security issues, (for example Mr. Vieira De Mello himself had refused to follow an advice to change his office location to be less exposed to attacks, it seems,) tend to prove that he UN Secretariat is not aware of the suffering it is causing, which is very grave (for them and others). Or perhaps they think that because no one talked about their responsibility in the war on ‘TV’, no one noticed their incompetence and their dishonesty, which is even worse. ‘History’ will repeat itself, if we don’t explain properly the reasons why these tragedies took place, and ‘act upon’ these reasons.
The international community contributes in some way in this lack of understanding from the UN Secretariat when it rewards all ‘its’ obvious failures. Mr. Annan, Head of the Peace Keeping Operation’s Department, ‘closes his eyes’ on the Rwanda massacre, and he becomes UN Secretary General. The UN Secretariat admits publicly its responsibility in the Rwanda massacre, and Mr. Annan and the UN receive the Nobel Peace Price. Finally, the Iraq war takes place, while Mr. Annan and the UN Secretariat refuse to talk about a proposal that would encourage Mr. Saddam Hussein to step down (although the proposal is, at the same time, discussed publicly in Kenya), and Mr. Annan and the UN receive the Sakarov price! (I deliberately omit all the other undeserved prices and honor received in between!)
The more he and the UN secretariat act stupid, and the more he and the UN are rewarded and honored! This of course does not encourage the UN Secretariat to act intelligently, to assume its responsibilities and to be honest. It becomes ridiculous and outrageous to see Mr. Annan accumulating all these rewards and homnors while at the same time the world is hit by terrible tragedies, and little progress is made on the important world’s problems like poverty, environment. Mr Stern, the Vice President of the World Bank, to whom I had written in January, also obtained a promotion (for remaining silent probably)! (Of course, some people may think that it could be worse, the US, for example, could have dropped a nuclear Bomb on Bagdad to make sure that all the weapons of mass destruction of the region be destroyed and that Mr. Saddam Hussein be killed!).
We understand that giving the Sakarov price to Mr. Annan and the UN Secretariat for their ‘attempt to prevent the war’ is like giving the price to Mr. Chirac, Schroeder, and ‘Belgium’ who opposed the war ‘loudly’, and that the price is an indirect way to criticize again the Bush Administration for going to war without the UN Security Council support. But the EU parliament seems to have forgotten that in giving the price to Mr. Annan, it also indirectly gave the price to the people who advise him (the US universities, Columbia,), scientists like Mr. Sachs, Mr. Doyle (who recently, soon after my letter of April, decided to go back to teach at Columbia!) and to ‘those’ who finance them!
Giving the price to Mr. Annan was also a way to make everybody appears as a winner in front of the public opinion, although in reality everybody has lost with the war. Iraq has been destroyed, many people have died, 100s of billions of dollars have been spent and won’t be available to fight poverty and other serious world’s problems, and the international community was totally divided. To avoid another problem like this one, it is important to discuss all the issues behind the war, instead of rewarding the ones who did not do their job properly. Of course, Mr. Annan and the UN did not advertise the fact that I sent them a description of the proposal to limit the age for leaders just before the war, and the press and media did not talk about it either, so it is possible that the EU parliament was not informed (I will correct this by sending them a copy of this letter and an explanation).
In finance, using certain unpublished information to make some profit on the stock market is called ‘insider trading’, and it is a crime. Here the same thing happens, a limited group of people are informed of the proposals I made and the arguments I gave to justify them, but they still continue to make sure that the public is not informed to take advantage of the situation. I cannot describe here all the advantages that some have in delaying the discussion on this 65 age limit proposal, but I must say again that we, unfortunately, see everyday in Israel or other places that this ‘dishonest behavior’ cost the lives of many people and hurt the poor everywhere around the world. It also hurts me gravely, keeps me from obtaining justice and an appropriate job, and helps some to rob me my intellectual work!
The UN report on the Rwanda tragedy mentioned, I believe, that the UN was not able to prevent the massacre because of the lack of ‘political will’, we now understand better why there were no ‘political will’ to prevent the massacre. If the UN Secretariat fails to talk publicly about the underlying problems and the solutions that could prevent a tragedy, there cannot be any ‘political will’ to support the solutions of the problems. The UN Secretariat, and particularly Mr. Annan had the responsibility to create the ‘political will’ for a solution that could have, at the same time, get rid of Mr. Saddam and prevent the war, but ‘he’ remained silent to stay Secretary General few more years after 65 and to have others like Mr. Wolfensohn hold on to their positions as well!
You can only create the ‘political will’ for a proposal or for a solution to a problem, if you talk about it publicly! Mr. Bush, his ministers or colleagues, and Mr. Blair have talked constantly about the risk associated with the possible Iraqi weapons of mass destruction (even exaggerated the threats according to many experts), because they were trying to create the ‘political will’ to go to war and to get rid of Mr. Saddam Hussein. They have succeeded in the US and in some other countries because Mr. Annan, the UN Secretariat, the intellectuals who advise them at Columbia,, and others (like Mr. Chirac, the Pope, ) have deliberately refused to promote or even to just talk about a proposed solution to the problem!
The problems I mention here would not be as critical, if the US did not have a strong influence around the world. The total lack of respect for the poor and the discrimination toward the poor that we see in US are projected all around the world. And we see the terrible impact it has on the resolution of our global problems. ‘We’ now have to live with the aftermaths of the war with Iraq, like the very high cost to rebuild the country and the lost opportunity ‘we’ had to progress significantly toward our global objectives. But ‘we’ must also do everything to make sure that such a tragedy does not repeat itself. And for that ‘we’ must analyze why the conflict took place, although we had several ‘tools’ and solutions to solve the existing problems. We have to analyze everyone’s responsibilities, and not just limit ourselves to what Mr. Bush said or did (he only makes 400 000!).
We must look at the responsibilities of international organizations like the World Bank that ‘dreams of a world free of poverty’, but remained totally silent before the war although it could have easily denounced the very disastrous impact of the war on our effort to defeat poverty and discussed the proposal I submitted to them. We must analyze the responsibilities of the UN Secretariat that has an important ‘peace keeping role’, but still deliberately ignored the letter I sent them on January 14 2003 although the war was imminent and the proposal I presented was discussed in Kenya at the same time. And finally we must analyze the responsibilities of the US universities, US intellectuals, because they were also informed of a possible solution to avoid the conflict long before it took place, because they could understand my arguments on this matter, and because they are (or at least should be) ‘distinctly dedicated to the open intellect’.
I have explained why your ‘system’ is indirectly corrupt, and in some way built to make sure that those who understand the problems of your society receive advantages that discourage them from denouncing the problems although they have the responsibility to do so. But the origin of this indirectly corrupt system is not just a problem of dishonesty or intellectual dishonesty. It is also a problem of dignity and courage. It is hard for me to believe that you, the politicians, senators, representatives, president, and the civil servants, justices, , value your work so low in comparison to the business executives, particularly those like Mr. Grasso or the former President of Tenet Health Care (hospital chain) who make hundred of millions of dollars on the health of people or on the ‘saving’ of people!
It seems that you have lost your dignity and courage to accept such big differences in remuneration (and have become the intellectual slaves of the very rich). And this is even more true for the older of you like Mr. Rehnquist, Kennedy,, who are showing publicly their fear of growing old by holding on to the highest positions after 65, are trying to accumulate as much money as they can during their old age, and are showing no respect for the new generations and the poor. The people who died in the coast of Normandie in June 44 did not die so that Mr. Greenspan and others hold on to the highest position until 70 or 80 or accumulate wealth during their old age, while many around the world don’t even have a life expectancy of 50 or even 40, and billions of people live in so difficult conditions (even here in the US). They died to make the world a better place to live for the new generations.
I had come here to ask for your protection, your help to obtain justice and your intellectual support to defend my proposals, and instead I was victim of more deliberate errors from your administrations and put in an even worse situation! Some of the difficulties I had were due to your unfair system that hurt every poor in the US and to the dishonest people I met, and others were due to your silence on my work. I think that US Universities (who ‘help shape the world’) should now express their ‘desire to understand’ what I am writing and to ‘explain to other’ why the proposals I presented you have so many benefits, why they would help to build a better and safer world, more respectful of the poor and the environment, and why the US needs to review many of its ‘systems’ (legal help, social benefits, housing assistance,) that are discriminatory toward the poor.
In my letter to the UN (General Assembly and the Security Council) I presented my proposals, offered my service, and discussed some of our international problems, but I received only a very stupid answer from the office of the President of the General Assembly, I asked for precision, but ‘they’ remained silent (att. 3). Recently I offered my service to the IMF, but was not short listed I heard. I perfectly know that the project proposal to improve the transfer and integration of statistics is not very easy to understand for some of you, particularly for the oldest of you, that it is difficult to imagine or visualize why it is so important and why it would help the world, and that it is also difficult to understand in what it differs from what is being done today, but by remaining silent you simply refuse to have a chance to understand (, which is, given your responsibility, criminal).
And for the 65 age limit proposal, you cannot remain silent like little kids who behave badly and refuse to admit their guilt, hoping that the problem will go away. Or remain silent like cowards who are so afraid of growing old that they cannot even talk about the side effects of aging and about the idea of keeping a lower profile after they reach 65! I look forward to hearing from you and remain
Att. 1: Letter sent to the UN on April 7 2003. Att. 2: Article from the Kenyan newspaper. Att. 3: response from the UN General Assembly President staff. Att. 4: Letter sent to Mr. Aguirre.
PS: I don’t have enough money to send you all the documents about my case, but I dropped most of them at UCLA and at Caltech. I would be grateful to the Senators and Representatives, if they accepted to forward a copy of my letter to their colleagues.