A conservative news and views blog.

Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Strauss-Kahn and the Brotherhood of the Bell; Where did YOU go to Practice Law?

Timothy Birdnow

Now that serial groper Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been gotten out of the way with what may well be a false accusation of rape, the International Monetary Fund is set to pass to the tender care of French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde. Now, the IMF has to pass to someone, and it's hardly surprising that it pass from one French socialist to another, but what do we know about Madame Lagarde?

Well, for starters, she is said to be an open advocate for the free market. By advocating for open markets she travels to French schools and tells children not to fear globalization. Hmm. Odd proof of her intrepid capitalist tendencies; globalization is not proof of free market impulses, but rather of crony capitalist impulses. She does advocate lower taxes in France to spur harder work, but that's like advocating less pornography at Larry Flynt's Hustler Club to reduce sexual arousal; it's spitting in the ocean. Still, let's cut her some slack; she may mean well here. And she's not an economist but a lawyer; we can never have too many of those.

A lawyer. Here is where the situation becomes interesting.

She is not just a lawyer but a labor relations attorney. Who also has ties to Chicago? Who also spends a good deal of time in relations with big labor? Who could have ordered this arrest, or set up a legal trap?

According to the Wikipedia entry for Baker and McKenzie, Madame Lagarde's former Chicago law firm,

Baker and Simpson, the precursor to Baker and McKenzie, flourished as a provider of legal services to Mexican immigrants. It expanded into advising American companies investing in Latin America, then went international.

Baker and McKenzie has received awards for the following:

* Ranked in the top tier for its global climate change, data protection, employment, immigration, private client, outsourcing and technology & communications practices in the Chambers Global 2009 guide.[28]

* The Foreign Policy Association[29] gave its 2008 Corporate Social Responsibility Award to Baker & McKenzie, the first law firm to receive such an award.[30]

* Recipient of the first Corporate Pro Bono Partnering Award from the Pro Bono Institute.[31]

* Recipient of the Starbucks Excellence in Diversity Award for 2009[32]

* Recipient of the International Tax Review ITR award for European Indirect Tax firm of the year 2009


Since 2005, Baker & McKenzie has been one of seven law firms[36] who are members of Diversity Champions,[37] a 'good practices' program for blue-chip and major public sector employers. Diversity Champions is an effort of Stonewall,[38] a UK-based lobbying group dedicated to the rights of lesbians, gay men and bisexuals.

In 2009, the firm joined the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, [39] a group focused on developing strategies to increase diversity in the legal profession


In fairness, BM was the loser in a settlement by a gay attorney with AIDS who was fired - the true life event that inspired the Tom Hanks movie Philadelphia.

Still, there appears to be a large amount of political correctness here. And it is a profitable political correctness; according to AM Law Daily Baker and McKenzie became the most profitable law firm in the country in 2010 despite being involved in a number of fraudulent and criminal deals.

As it turns out, Christina Lagarde is a huge advocate for carbon trading.

Her only challenger was from Mexico, which leads me to believe that, given her law firm's ties to Mexico, this was a setup to sweep away any challengers. Oh, and who in their right mind would put a Mexican official in charge of monetary policy?

She also has ties to George Soros; she is on an environmental advisory board with him and appeared with him in the Charles Ferguson documentary "Inside Job".

Now, I realize all this is circumstantial, but nothing that happens involving the current regime is circumstantial, and there is the beginnings of a pattern.

This whole episode reminds me of a movie from the 1970's starring Glenn Ford called The Brotherhood of the Bell.

The storyline follows a college professor (Ford) who had been a member of a secret society at the College of St. George. He is called to stand as "senior" to a young collegiate, and then is visited by his own "senior" who makes orders him to make his friend and mentor an offer he can't refuse. His elderly friend, horrified by the betrayal, kills himself and Ford's character seeks to expose the Brotherhood. Of course, as soon as Ford starts talking he loses his job, is investigated by the IRS, etc. He is portrayed as a nut in the media. His life falls completely apart.

What did the Brotherhood want him to do? A brother wanted the position held by his friend and mentor, and they wanted him to blackmail his friend into stepping down.

This Strauss-Kahn/Legarde business is starting to look like a "College of St. George" moment.

The big line in the movie was "where did you go to college" which was constantly uttered by Ford's character to every person he meets; he believed (rightly) they were everywhere.

I wonder if Strauss-Kahn asked the agents who arrested him where they went to college?

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