When Credibility Is More Important Than Justice

upholding the law

In a story headlined “Pot’s popularity, state law create trying times for U.S. prosecutor,” a Los Angeles Times reporter named Joe Mozingo attempted a sympathetic profile of a United States attorney who works closely with DEA agents to imprison Americans for possessing or selling cannabis, even when those Americans are obeying state law. How tricky, how challenging! Especially when the prosecutor, Julie Shemitz, 57, admits that she personally has no grievance with the plant or people who enjoy it.

Indeed, she claims she wouldn’t care if Congress made it legal.

Then why does she ruin the lives of people who she understands are no threat to society? According to the newspaper, so the Justice Department can “remain credible.”

A Justice Department that prosecutes immoral laws has no credibility. Yet, so long as there are credulous writers like Mozingo and rationalizing dupes like Julie Shemitz willing to do . . . → Read More: When Credibility Is More Important Than Justice

Poem: The Silliest Most Comforting Thought

raison detre

How terribly awfully

blatantly and, one might emphasize,

preposterously

naïve

to envision even for a frivolous moment

a world, or a set of circumstances,

alternating laws and chances,

in which wherein and also everything else you can dream,

human beings,

people

decide to make love

the reason for living.

 

Slilly thought yes.

Even sillier, giggly wiggly like

the tail of a pig **+*+**:

imagine, as the man said, imagine

this most preposterous fantasy:

the human race

entirely too busy making love

their reason for living

to waste lifetimes making hate.

Poem: The Abiding Benefit of Employing Servants

Jet setters

Employing a staff, you see,

Betters all mankind, not just me.

Look, the man who drives my car

Was born unlucky, not a star

Like me and Angie, Anne and Mike,

All us worthy of your thumbs-up “like.”

 

Meet the girl who cleans my home:

Born unlovely, brownish gnome

With moles unsightly, hair unkempt,

She’s never loved nor even slept

With a charismatic VIP

(Speaking only theoretically).

 

The lesser lights now have work

And I can bear the taunts of “jerk,”

Because, you see, I know the truth.

Three things we covet quite more than youth:

Power, wealth, and celebrity.

Now, don’t you wish that you were me?

Poem: Absolution

asking for absolution

Forgive me

Wash it all away

The sins and unpleasantries that have soiled my otherwise pristine existence.

Rid them. Scour and scald if you must. Scrub.

Make magnificently clean the miasma of my missteps.

Heal. Mend.

But mostly clean.

Absolve.

Purify – and not in the mendacious greed-modeled sense of “purified,” as in

Water from a dirty distant place, now a drink suitable for your refined palate.

Purify with light and air. Let the freshness flow like tears

No longer dammed.

 

The ask is the task we have now unmasked.

Caskets and coffins and cantilevered cornucopias conspire to conceal,

But better billows of spirit steam, soapy and serene

Vindicate vivacity lurking in vitrines

And antler horns and manors born and all the Andean

Quinoa in China.

 

And now we wait. Refreshed

For now.

. . . → Read More: Poem: Absolution

Poem: An Especially Eventful Tuesday

my housecleaner

Tuesdays around here are Terrific Tuesdays! And not

because of Tacos or Two-fers

or the hair harvested like sod from Hasidic volunteers (Jew fur).

No, Tuesdays are terrific around here, at my place and

at the neighbors’. Tuesdays are

when our domestic servants, our help, our remunerated slaves, our euphemism of choice –

we get our houses cleaned by people who don’t live

in houses as nice as these houses.

“Housecleaners.” That’s another one for the list.

Tuesdays are always when the wealthy white people who live

on my street come home from law offices and violin lessons and a panoply of splendid pursuits

to a domicile that looks as though no one lives

there, like it has been unoccupied all day, which

maybe that’s true, depending on how you define “a person that counts as much as everyone else.”

Marvelous Tuesdays! Cleanest moments . . . → Read More: Poem: An Especially Eventful Tuesday

There Oughta Be a Law!

bizarre-law

Do you know what legislators do? Besides collect bribes disguised as “donations”? They make laws! We need each and every one of these laws, because they help all of us behave better. Without these laws, we’d all revert to our natural instincts and behave very badly toward everyone but ourselves. Thankfully, when we feel like behaving badly toward ourselves, there are other laws in place to discourage us. Laws, you see, are what civilize us. They distinguish us from the other great apes, who aren’t familiar with concepts like “justice,” “regulation,” and “economic warfare.”

Since we can’t all make the laws – that would be confusing! — each of us is lucky to be represented by professional lawmakers, probably more of them than most of us realize. These learned and exceptionally intelligent individuals, whose main job is to express the will of the folks . . . → Read More: There Oughta Be a Law!

Poem: Buried on the Bottom of Page Three

reaction to injustice

Today, like yesterday and tomorrow, brought news from

Egypt, one of our staunchest allies in the region, a country we

Love in the form of billions of dollars gifted to

Their military in a sanitary package

That we call

Aid.

 

A judge there, a learned man of honor and integrity,

Decreed that in his refined legal opinion

683 of his fellow Egyptians

Associated with the wrong political party should

Be put to

Death.

 

The condemned, all of them members of the

Muslim Brotherhood, once democratically elected,

Now officially a terrorist organization, were tried

Simultaneously as a single defendant

In the interest of saving

Time.

 

When the American people learned that their precious

Tax dollars were being used to support

Murderous regimes in Egypt – and everywhere else –

Cries of outrage did not rise

Above the usual

Silence.

. . . → Read More: Poem: Buried on the Bottom of Page Three

Poem: How the Revolution Started (Second in a Series)

stroller patrol

How obvious and ingenuous and untenuous

Is the adoration she has for the child, the one she pushes in a fourteen hundred dollar

Stroller? Her smile radiates a protective shroud of love over the low chariot

And protects the sleeping boy inside, oblivious to what we sometimes call reality –

Oblivious as his parents, who pay her to push. The parents who crow to their friends,

“We pay her next to nothing and she’s grateful for it!”

She loves him as if he were her own.

On her worst days, when the bus is late or crowded

With handsy men and garlic smells, or when the dream she crafted and believed and returned

To faithfully, like a psalm, becomes hard to see, fading,

the screen

Cracking, distorting, the story ending faster

Than she wanted – on those dark angry no hope days

When she feels like a . . . → Read More: Poem: How the Revolution Started (Second in a Series)

Ignorance is Bliss When Justice Must Be Done

Capital Punishment question

NEWS: THE SUPREME COURT RULED THIS WEEK ON THE CASE DISCUSSED BELOW, VOTING 5-4 AGAINST ALLOWING THE MURDER OF THE MENTALLY DISABLED

Proponents of state-sponsored murder, the eye-for-an-eye mob who subscribe to the “killing people who kill people to show that killing is wrong” school of thought, had a rough week. PR-wise. Oh, they still won. They got their version of justice. They saw a vicious and dangerous criminal in Oklahoma get what he deserved. He was put to death. By (eventually) lethal injection.

But it didn’t look good. Took the criminal a long time to die. Witnesses saw him writhing and struggling. Suffering.

See, that’s the bad part. Not that he suffered – he sure deserved to suffer, right? After what he did to his victim? The bad part is that it was so obvious. Now the infuriating discussion about “cruel and unusual punishment” and that . . . → Read More: Ignorance is Bliss When Justice Must Be Done

Poem: How the Revolution Started (First in a Series)

pee-in-cup-400

He’s outfitted for combat:

Ankle boots; black dungarees; Sam Jones belt with cuffs and mace and other tools of the craft; bulletproof vest; sunglasses; implacable stare.

And a gun, holstered at the moment.

The nametag says “Ortiz” or it could be “Gomez” or “Gonzalez”

Or whatever you want it to be.

He’s standing in the parking lot

Guarding the bank where inside there must be more money than Mr. Ramirez will earn

In his lifetime.

 

Sometimes he imagines with a sense of wonderment

The origin of all that he protects: Where did it come from? And then this is the part Mr. Garcia always returns to, like a reliable reading spot: What did all those people streaming through the doors

That he oversees and protects, how did they get it?

What did they do? What was their trick?

Besides being born here?

He . . . → Read More: Poem: How the Revolution Started (First in a Series)