There is an unfortunate tendency of people in any industry to close ranks and deny there is anything wrong. No matter how awful it might look from the outside, the people making their living off of some endeavour are always going to defend it. I guess the fear is that admitting there are problems calls the entire enterprise into question. That does not help anything. So, it's important to admit when things go wrong. In the world of Social Security disability, it looks like that is just what happened in Kentucky. Perhaps is was simple fate that a lawyer with the last name of Conn stands accused of fraud. Nothing has been settled yet, but the allegations against Eric C. Conn of Stanville, KY look pretty bad. The Feds think that Conn wrote medical opinions and got doctors to sign them. Worse still, there is a suggestion that one of the Administrative Law Judges, a fellow named David B. Daugherty, could also be dirty. Judge Daugherty approved many of Conn's cases. Judge Daugherty deposited cash on several occasions and cannot explain the source of the money. In one rotten scandal we have a lawyer, doctors, and a judge. But, none of these seems likely to suffer any real consequences. The big losers here are those received disability benefits. SSA has decided to cut off their payments. If any of these disability beneficiaries still wants to collect, he or she has to prove he or she is disabled. Conn had more than $20,000,000 in fees. Daugherty is collecting his pension. But the people getting $800 a month are the ones who have to go to court. A story like this has no good news. That makes it pretty damn hard to pretend that all is well and good in the valley. Imagine my chances of dissuading somebody who thinks the whole disability program is a crooked racket.