After reading article after article for the past 3.5 decades that demonstrate the nations slide away from tolerance and justice and toward a culture of bigotry and corporate dominance–mainly religious bigotry disguised as “religious freedom” and corporate dominance promoted as “free market capitalism” and “supply side economics”–I have decided create a hall of shame, concentrating on words and acts bigotry and deceit.

The National Hall of Injustice is an ongoing list of elected officials and political appointees such as judges and department heads, as well as outspoken citizens, clerics, and corporate personalities. Nominees who are approved for induction will receive the metaphorical Legion of Dishonor Award. Anyone may make a nomination and/or suggest changes or additions to the structure of the Hall, the definitions, or the Rules of Induction.

I invite anyone interested to be on the Board of Inductions. Necessarily, this board will consist of no more than 5 members, including myself.

Definitions: Injustice – Unfair treatment : a situation in which the rights of a person or a group of people are ignored or reduced. Justice – Fairness (I am taking a Rawlsian original position on the definition of fairness) Social justice is defined by the New Oxford American Dictionary as “justice in terms of the distribution of wealth*, opportunities, and privileges within a society.”

* To clarify, “distribution of wealth” does not mean equal distribution, but equitable distribution. I am currently writing an article on the meaning of social justice and how the U.S. might look were it a truly just nation.

Bigotry is a state of mind where a person by actions or words obstinately, irrationally, unfairly or intolerantly dislikes or treats other people, ideas, etc. Other examples include degrading a person’s natural, physical appearance, personal beliefs, race, religion, national gender, disability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, or other group characteristics. (I use the Wikipedia definition because I like it.) 😀

Tentative rules for induction: 1. Nominee’s word(s) and/or action(s) must meet the above definition of injustice and/or bigotry (above). 2. Nominations must be accompanied by a verifiable, objective source (video, original, news agency, professional paper, blog, etc.). Preferably an image of the person(s) would be included as well. Information may be added or deleted over time.

More examples of bigotry and/or injustice: A. Personal attacks – includes verbal degradation of a person or group rather than making an objective argument against their actions or ideas. Personal attacks are used in politics on a daily bases as a means of thought-engineering/mind-control (propaganda) for the purpose of molding the public’s opinion of people and their ideas. Those who use this tactic are particularly dishonorable. B. Advocating injustice – Advocating or acting against another person or group (e.g., advocating and/or legislating to deny a segment of society the right to pursue happiness through marriage; advocating or acting against another religion or people of no religion without a secular, just cause; advocating and/or making laws for government control over the reproductive decisions of women and their doctors; advocating the propagation of a religion via law; advocating government sponsorship of a religion; advocating supply-side economics (redistribution of the wealth of the middle class to the already wealthy and the demise of labor unions). Currently, since I am the only member of the board of inductions, I will personally install the following personalities. Removal of names from the Hall may be suggested by anyone, but determined by the argument and/or evidence and decided upon by the board of inductions.

The National Hall of Injustice

John RobertsU.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wins the Legion of Dishonor Award for his outstanding display of injustice in leading the Majority in  effectively striking down the heart of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Although Roberts may have been acting in accordance with his true belief that racial and voting discrimination had ended, he certainly should have known better. It has been invigorated in conservative held States. Secondly, Roberts led the majority decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission which effectively opened the door for massive corporate, political influence in voting and legislative bribery contrary to the ideals set up by the Founders and to the detriment of the Republic.


United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia earns the Legion of Dishonor Award for his part in effectively striking down the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and joining the majority in voting with the majority in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which resulted in greater corporate influence over federal legislation and elections, State and federal, resulting in a further the dismantling of the Republic.

Anthony KennedyUnited States Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy joins the Legion of Dishonor for his part in effectively striking down the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and joining the majority in voting with the majority in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which resulted in greater corporate influence over federal legislation and elections, State and federal, resulting in a further the dismantling of the Republic.

Clarence ThomasUnited States Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas receives the Legion of Dishonor for joining the majority in effectively striking down the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and joining the majority in voting with the majority in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which resulted in greater corporate influence over federal legislation and elections, State and federal, resulting in a further the dismantling of the Republic.

Samuel AlitoUnited States Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. receives the Legion of Dishonor for joining the majority in effectively striking down the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and joining the majority in voting with the majority in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which resulted in greater corporate influence over federal legislation and elections, State and federal, resulting in a further the dismantling of the Republic.

evil dick-cheneyRichard Bruce “Dick” Cheney, 46th Vice President of the United States is today’s recipient of the Legion of Dishonor Award and hereby inducted into the NATIONAL HALL OF INJUSTICE for treason against the United States by exposing a NOC (Non-Official-Cover/deep cover) CIA agent, Valerie Plame Wilson–specializing in anti-WMD operations–and her front organization, Brewster-Jennings. Her outing, in turn, exposed all agents under that front organization as well as their foreign contacts. Plame was operations chief at the Joint Task Force on Iraq of the Counterproliferation Division of the CIA’s clandestine operations directorate. The CIA’s damage assessment, to this day, remains Top Secret. While no direct evidence has surfaced in relation to this crime, it is clear to the Board of Inductions that he is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Plame’s CIA operation was compromised by a leak from Cheney’s office in revenge against Plame’s husband, Joe Wilson, for his op-ed in the New York Times that refuted the administration’s claim that Iraq was attempting to buy “yellowcake” (the base material for higher-grade nuclear enrichment) from Niger. A subsequent criminal investigation was obstructed by Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Cheney’s top advisor and firewall. Libby subsequently fell on his sword, was convicted of obstruction of justice, making false statements, and perjury. He was sentenced to 30 months in prison. G.W. Bush commuted the prison sentence.

Cheney deserves the Legion of Dishonor Award as well for his false statements and critical influence of President G.W. Bush to give unconfirmed, disputed, and false information to Congress in order to obtain the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002.  This resolution gave the administration congressional permission to preemptively invade the sovereign nation of Iraq.

Cheney also was instrumental in the creation of America’s Gulag Archipelago of Blacksite Torture camps that used methods of enhanced interrogation (torture) in violation of international law, to which the U.S. was/is bound.

Roy-Moore-photoAlabama Chief Justice Roy Moore is today’s winner of the Legion of Dishonor Award for his open defiance of Constitutional law; specifically for his history of disregard for, or his ignorance of the intent of the Establishment Clause of the 1st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, and of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. He is hereby inducted into the National Hall of Injustice.

Recently, Moore insisted that biblical law supersedes the Constitution, and to that end he issued an illegal order—demanding that local magistrates not issue marriage licenses to same-gender couples—in an effort to countermand the Supreme Court of the United States. For a judge to declare that his ancient, religious views override the Constitution and to act on that belief is, in the opinion of this Board of Inductions, judicial treason, punishable by firing and disbarment. He is a disgrace to the bench.

More Inductees coming as time allows

— Max T. Furr is author of The Empathy Imperative, a philosophical novel written in the spirit of the BBC/WGBH Boston production, God On Trial, a play written by Frank Cottrell Boyce, based on an event told by Elie Wiesel in his book, The Trial of God.
Is Yahweh’s justice and mercy something other than what humans believe justice to be? Have a seat in the Court of Answers.

Believe It or Not, the World is Becoming LESS Violent

Brazil’s “biggest shame in history?” Really?

Let me first be clear. I am not opposed to non-pugilistic sports of any kind. Indeed, nations should continue their internal and international games. It is a superb way for societies to interact.

As Important as I feel sports to be, however, they should not be our highest priority.

Sao Paulo's Itaquerão stadium Photo from

Sao Paulo’s Itaquerão stadium
Photo from

To put things into prospective, the Sao Paulo’s Itaquerão stadium, home to the 2014 World Cup games, was built at the cost to the citizens for $350-million.

Residents in the area say that their taxes rose between 20 and 35 percent. A short distance from this beautiful stadium live about 4,800 homeless people, (men, women, and children).

The Brazilian sports newspaper Lance called Brazil’s loss to their team’s bid to win the soccer World Cup, “the biggest shame in history.” Really? Brazil’s biggest shame in history? How about the rampant, abject poverty in Brazil? No shame there?

Brazilian homeless Photo: Elizabeth Gorman/Al Jazeera

Photo: Elizabeth Gorman/Al Jazeera

Indifference to poverty in any country is a disgrace, and most, if not all countries have an overabundance of it–including the USA.

All societies should be judged by how they treat the least of their citizens. In the USA, there is an ever widening gap between the wealthy and the poor, and conservatives, who claim to be “family values” Christians, are fighting fang and claw to keep it that way.

Photo: Elizabeth Gorman/Al Jazeera

Photo: Elizabeth Gorman/Al Jazeera

Arrogance (self aggrandizement) and indifference fuel poverty and war. It seem the world has at least another millennium to go before it gets its priorities in proper order.

Most of us judge ourselves in comparison to others in society. It’s natural do do so. We can see that we are financially better off than many, but not as financially secure as others. Yet our focus is mainly on ourselves–our position in society relative to those with greater wealth.

Should we not be more concerned with those who have little or nothing? No one wants to live in abject poverty. Would it not be a greater good if everyone worked for the benefit of others? This view, of course, is considered naive by many, and indeed it is, given our present day world with its attitudes of dominance, profit, and self righteousness. But we have slowly advanced from where we’ve been in history. There are, today, more of us who can see the benefits of universal empathy. There are more of us who do unto others as we would have them do unto us. In time, there will be many more. We can only hope humanity survives to see the world we envision.

— Max T. Furr is author of The Empathy Imperative, a philosophical novel based on the epic struggle between religion and science, and brings the true nature of justice, mercy, and love into sharp focus.  What would the world be like if empathy, not self interest, were our primary motivating force?


Acts of Empathy

Handling explosive emotions demands five acts of Empathy

Excerpted and edited for ISHN by Dave Johnson

Everybody agrees that empathy is crucial to risk communication. Vincent Covello, for example, argues that caring/empathy accounts for 50 percent of trust; the other 50 percent, he says, is shared about equally by dedication/commitment, honesty/openness, and competence/expertise. He often quotes an old saying to the effect that people (especially people who are upset) don’t care what you know until they know that you care.

So if you do care, showing you care is obviously crucial. What isn’t so obvious is how to show you care, how to express your empathy.



Empathy in Action – Erinn Phelan’s Selfless Act

By Arthur P. Ciaramicoli, Ed.D., Ph.D

We read about the poor character of celebrities every day but acts like Erinn Phelan’s attempt to save the life of her college roommate are buried in pages far from the headlines.

Erinn is a Brown graduate who had found her ideal job after graduation last summer working for Mayor Bloomberg in his new volunteerism initiative.

As Erinn and her college roommate Alma Guerrero crossed a street in Brooklyn this past Sunday they were hit by a car that didn’t stop. . .



Suffering Unleashes Goodness

By Arthur P. Ciaramicoli, Ed.D., Ph.D

A few weeks ago I was talking with one of my patients about his recent release from the hospital where he was treated for a major infection. He was telling me he had to get home to cook the turkey for Thanksgiving. He was bringing the meal to his elderly parents, his mother is recovering from her second bout of breast cancer and his dad is currently struggling with the effects of Leukemia. Joe also mentioned that he invited . . .

Read this and other articles by Dr. Ciaramicoli at

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