Appearances

Wow.

Jamison Koehler was responsible for BlawgReview #296 this week and chose to focus on “Images from the Criminal Law Blawgosphere.”

As I read it, I repeatedly marveled to myself. First, I thought it was a pretty cool concept. Most BlawgReviews, since I started reading them, have a theme relating to some aspect of law, or issue of interest, surrounding the time period in which the BlawgReview was written. The BlawgReview #294: MLK, Jr. Day edition, from January 16, 2011, by Gideon, is a good example. Jamison’s theme didn’t exactly follow this mold and was, for that reason, more “review-like.”

Jamison essentially ran through a list of blawgers and the images, both figuratively and literally, that he was able to obtain of them. The image he used of me was almost perfect in this regard; if only my hair would have been blowing in the wind, it would have been perfect.

Jamison called me “long-winded.” Jamison wasn’t wrong, except that he attributed it to the fact that I often don’t know where I’m going with a blog entry until I sit down to write it. That’s not the cause of the long-windedness; more likely, it’s a side effect of the same thing that causes the long-windedness. For while on the one hand, I have a hard time deciding what to write about, I think it’s because I have fairly strong opinions on so many things that it’s sometimes difficult to pick one for any given day of blogging.

More problematic, I am very much a holistic thinker, finding everything, in a sense, connected to everything; everything is important; teasing things apart for the purpose of writing a blog post that someone might want to read is difficult.

And, let’s face it, while I write partly for myself, because I periodically just have to write, I do want people to read what I write.

Otherwise, I’d just keep a journal.

This thing about the interconnectedness of everything fits well with how Jamison’s BlawgReview ends up being the starting point for my post. I’ve had a hard time writing lately — and I’ve talked about some of that in other posts — because of what is best described as the ascendancy of asininity in our government-driven systems.

By which I mean particularly, but not exclusively, our courts. Frankly, if half our judges got what they deserved, we’d need a new half-slate of judges.

We have become a nation where appearance, and not substance, is what matters most. Our politicians pretend to be concerned about crime: they don’t actually give a shit about crime; they care only for votes. The proof of this is that they pay no attention to understanding what causes crime, funding things like treatment centers for addicts, or people with mental issues, which would help to reduce crime, or even just making sure that what we’re currently doing doesn’t increase criminal activity.

Thinking people can see this easily when looking at situations involving airport security, where war kitsch containing 3 cm plastic representations — three centimeters!plastic!representations! — of guns are not allowed on airplanes “for security reasons.” The same thing happens in our courthouses, where the deputies at the door — almost every day for the last four years – have refused to allow me into the courthouse until they have personally looked at my driver’s license and bar card, as if, somehow, I became a different person today from the one I was yesterday.

Or, as happened today, in the hour or few that pass between my first entrance and my second, or third, or more, entrances of the day. Each time, however, the exact same deputy is going to insist I pull out my wallet and show my I.D. and will not pass me until I do.

What you learn from this is that even for the most short-changed of deputies, the heads of their penises are larger than their brains.

And just as those in charge of the security in our airports do not actually care about whether or not the 3 cm plastic representation of a gun held in the hands of a tiny plastic piece of war-kitsch is a threat to our security, our tranquility, neither do the deputies care. Common sense says I’m the same person today as every day for the past four years the same deputies have been looking at my identification, but keeping up appearances requires that they check me out anyway.

This pre-occupation with appearances extends to every aspect of our society. Our judges pretend that the various laws they purport to support are, in fact, actually supported by their rulings.

They are not.

The most obviously bullshit rulings concern constitutional violations. The police ignored the Constitution in stopping everyone in a particular neighborhood to search them and in the course of this illegal procedure found the right culprit? Well, they found the right culprit, didn’t they? Must’ve been constitutional.

The truth is that no one, except the few criminal defense attorneys with more than two brain cells devoted to memory tasks, notice that the reason the officers caught the one “right” guy is because they illegally searched all the guys. The others aren’t before the court, so they don’t actually exist.

But, hey. As long as we can make everything appear to be okay, it must actually be okay.

Right, “your Honor”?


About Rick

Rick Horowitz is a criminal defense attorney with an extreme dislike of the criminal "justice" system which routinely ignores the Constitution, the Law, and the lives it ruins.

In addition to this blog, Rick also writes at Fresno Criminal Defense.

Comments

  1. Good post.

    I remember back in the early 1970s Judge Geraldine Macelwane in her courtroom commenting about a defendant: “Take the afro back.” Meaning the young angry black male sporting an afro hairstyle should be returned to the hoosegow. I was dressed in a suit with a nice short haircut, and I believe it helped.