FORTUNA FORTES ADIUVAT

“It is only one who has done nothing in his life who has no story to tell,” so would say my grandmother. Me, I have a story, one to tell.
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The inscription under my high school yearbook photograph reads that I aspired to a recording contract, to record music. I was immersed in music, from Beatles to Bach, Brubeck to Bartok, twelve hours per day in pursuit of excellence gaining me admission into the esteemed Manhattan School of Music, New York, studying piano and composing music while in high school.

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I would break only to sail on Cape Cod, exhilarating in the motility by the forces of nature, its challenge of mind reminiscent of my childhood mathematics brain teasers, the sound of the wind and the waves the music of nature, itself. That power of music, terrestrial resonance of celestial purity, was my profound influence; open to creation by all with imagination to capture its harmony and its dissonance to move, to inspire, the liberation born of its purity the egalitarian strength moving social justice.

 One must sail to the music he hears.
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Economics and law I study in college, graduate school and law school, at Fordham University, New York. First out of college I accepted an offer by the Executive Director of the Hackensack Meadowlands Development Commission, finding the enviable opportunity of working among some of the most enlightened thinking in the complement of economic development in concert with environmental protection in New Jersey at the time, alongside innate politics. I quickly found myself accepting political appointments in zoning regulation and a candidate for elected office, as I continued graduate studies in economics.

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The spirit of entrepreneurship beckoned me, always, to revel in the creation. I launched my first business, a travel company at age 23, while then a graduate student, by this time the holder of two public offices, having won my first election to the Board of Education, then my wife and I wed in New York City.

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Abruptly I learn, politics is not of purity. Within my first year I move the electorate to replace members of the Board necessary to attain its integrity in service of the public good. Elected President of the Board at age 24 I introduced new rigors fostering excellence in teaching and education, adherence to public bidding laws, with the fiscal discipline stabilizing the public tax burden.

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As my first year travel business pinnacles to one of the largest producers in the New York region, I launched my second business, a real estate company that would quickly eclipse all others in area hospitality properties. I embark on four arduous years of evening law school at age 25 while driving my thriving businesses by day, with our newborn child and family growing. Somehow I found, or made, the time to pack banquet halls for charity fund raisers for child oncology, Cooley’s Anemia, the hospital, the college, and many more.

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I am admitted to the Bar December 21, 1989. January 1, 1990 I co-found my law firm, immediately leaping into pursuit of that purpose I articulated years earlier in my law school application statement: the service of the “much to be accomplished in bridging the gap between legal doctrine and economic reality.” I entered law for neither prestige nor money, my businesses had already flourished my financial and personal success, but to steward matters of public import consonant with that of egalitarian movements for socio-economic justice.

Within those first months I prosecuted the first case in New Jersey seeking third party lender liability to hold banks accountable for the egregious lending practices of their concentrated economic power, bucking against the headwinds of the powerful bank lobby long before the public awareness ensuing the Lehman Brothers collapse spurring the financial markets’ meltdown of 2008.

My clientele was comprised of mostly private sector, small businesses in the practice areas of corporate and commercial law, real estate transactions, contract and lease negotiation; real estate development and redevelopment, zoning law and environmental regulation; commercial litigation; transnational business transactions being also among the first American lawyers venturing his clients into burgeoning new markets in Eastern Europe.

January 5, 1990 I accepted the first of a series of public appointments representing local governments. I would also be appointed special counsel to the City of Hackensack, with my surprise and objection, and counsel to the Zoning Board of nearby Little Ferry. The work flowed, and overflowed, with spikes of 120 work hours per week. I am busy, very busy, alongside innate politics.

The stray bone fragments permeated throughout the corridors of the city hall to which I had been appointed municipal attorney, South Hackensack. So comfortable were these public officials to their ways that they did not bother to even bury the skeletons; there they lay under open air.

It had been years since one of the largest of municipal taxpayers, a pharmaceutical company with a storied past, had paid its taxes, imperiling municipal solvency. It had filed for bankruptcy protection, and there the matter rested, for years. The municipal officials refused to provide me this file, needed to discharge my responsibilities. I would resign. They would moan. They would make promises, only to repudiate them. I would resign. The dance.

That dance broke upon begrudged capitulation providing me the file on this delinquent taxpayer. It was empty, or nearly, the purity of its emptiness peppered only by the occasional obligatory letter asking to kindly consider payment of taxes, sometime. Courtesy counts, as in kindliness taxpayer would respond to take the matter under consideration, sometime. That was it, the file.

My office goes to work. Eureka! Our research found a not so concealed part of the bankruptcy code by which to seek payment through the bankruptcy court. We prepare our court action then securing the court order compelling payment of the taxes. I was a neophyte lawyer. I never learned of the reason my senior had not acted, nor the reason for impeding me.

Similarly, a solid waste contractor had been inexplicably avoiding paying the statutorily obligated fees to the municipality. I am refused the file. I resign, they moan, the dance. I compel the solid waste contractor payments.

The public bidding, it was a family matter, compelling my objection. Contract awarding ignored my protests.

Reminded I am, politics is not of purity. It was saddening to see that as I worked to serve the public interest, striving to hold corporations accountable to pay their proper obligations to the people, to adhere to public bidding laws, and to all laws, I found political hackery, patronage of putrid politicians, whose highest intellectual pursuit was casino table card counting at Atlantic City conventions, at taxpayers’ expense. No justice for humanity here.

I was shutting down the graft registers, and County and State bosses, the padrone, were not happy. The area of my jurisdiction comprised a large industrial properties base, where together with the adjoining Little Ferry, where I also served as counsel to the Zoning Board, and straddling Metropolitan New York’s general aviation airport, Teterboro, my work affected powerful interests along what is also a corridor of crime. The public clamored for cleanup.

It is here, my work most unnerving padrone, my plan to eradicate the plague of vice and violence afflicting the people and values of the community, to eradicate the blight still plaguing it today. I proposed the redevelopment of that county crime corridor by utilizing state laws that would permit razing it along with all its crime and erecting anew a revitalized community. Redevelopment law is designed for precisely this purpose. I submit a report. The padrone liked the talk, not so much the walk. They had their own ideas, to do the talk without the walk.

It is here, he, that oligarch my mentor, was dispatched seeking my demurrer, to the serpent. I understood the half speak, he knew I had as no other could. So my speak, too, he understood as no other could. My resignations were now routine, the dance. The padrone gave the nod. Retribution was venomous.

Belying their public applause, the padrone undertook a shadow campaign designed to discredit me. Among many of lowly tactics, I was deliberately withheld all new tax litigation filings, for which I was legally responsible, calculated to sabotage my work to sully my reputation. Their effort failed. I learned of it and proceeded to prosecute and prevail as litigation arose.

The campaign then exploited public disdain for legal fees with disingenuous complaints despite the truth of my honest legal work filling the coffers of the public treasury, while my bills lay mislaid. The padrone had always managed the public opinion of my predecessor’s public invoices, part of the scheme. In that incongruity where the potent economic interests of its large industrial lands disconnectedly depend for their management on the ballot box, the padrone had mastered the dance of persuading the tail it was wagging the dog, nowhere more easily than in mastering appearances in legal fees. Compelled now to neutralize this falsity I unilaterally set a new fee: free.

The wrangling persisted. My free services were costing some very dearly.

Unable to argue against free, the heels dug in for sheer smear:

Padrone had spoken, all the public remained silent.

Within days my successor was in Bankruptcy Court reversing the court order I had achieved to compel the steady stream of corporate tax payments to the people. The talk of redevelopment, continues, the talk, while the vice and violence devour the fodder, haven for horror under pall of the pious:

“Give unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s,” it is written. Some of Ceasar’s
plied their way to all-star cast Federal Court theatre. While others pray, to prey.

I continued on in fulfillment of my purpose. Since 1990 I had already begun moving extensively throughout Eastern Europe to explore for American opportunities within the emerging economies of the former Soviet Bloc. I established a satellite office nearby in the alpine outskirts of Geneva, Switzerland in 1993, beginning to lay the foundations for the venture I now launch as new technologies enhance those early plans. Building upon that cornerstone of cryptography laid by mathematicians Stuart Haber and W. Scott Stornetta, it is the year of the publication of ‘A Cyberpunk’s Manifesto,’ precursor to blockchain technology, Bitcoin, the peoples’ answer to the markets collapse of 2008.

As I traversed the hemispheres for my clients the padrone remained relentless in the campaign to hurt my family and me. As I achieved justice for my clients, taking action also against foreign governments as in the case of Marco Cangialosi v. The Republic of Italy, successfully ending officially sponsored defamation that had vexed my client, I would get corridor whispers “ I’ve been told about you.” “You do things differently.” Strange things inexplicably occurred.

Our thriving businesses now under fiery warfare, my wife and our five children were being stalked, targeted as we lived in Washington Township, its mayor working for the machine in a County job. A hostile police sought inciting me to violence, as I would again see. The padrone owned Office of the Bergen County Prosecutor under John Fahy assails, false, failed, foretelling.

Despite the turmoil, protecting privately the safety of my family, I continue my stride for advancing economic freedoms of my private sector clients, establishing new internet domain law in the seminal case against the goliath in AOL Inc. v. AOL Travel before the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Geneva, Switzerland, among the milestones.

It is in Ramsey the iron machinery of the padrone, under auspices of its County Prosecutor, once again, assaults us violently while quietly in our family home on July 1, 2008, among a vile set of the most perversely corrupt abuses of the state levers of power one could ever see. Our liberty affronted, I have faced its despoilers: in steadfast stand for freedom, choosing badge of liberty over convenience of servitude, taking pride in its truth.

While in the throes of the tumult that had become a glass prison I resolve to continue making a difference. I help someone, responding to a plea from whom I could expect nothing in return. Soon thereafter the grateful recipient urgently insists to see me, to my astonishment handing me the new spark of vitality to propel this journey that is freedom. For I had helped asking nothing in return, I would later be told.

All this story, recorded and loaded to blockchain, in omerta shall be told. I would have that recording contract after all, its publication via smart technology programmed for autonomous electronic release, from which this excerpts:

The Serpent Oligarchs, My Time Inside Things Jersey`©

Technology empowered justice, the evolvement of those early mind sharpening, mathematics brain teasers, becomes the technology enabled premise and promise of one bold, new venture to empower personal freedom.

Hope must remain, for that world of purity, to sail to the music.

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© Copyright Alfio S. Lanuto a/k/a Alfred S. Lanuto 2019-2020