The Problem With Truth, Is That It Is Unwanted

Everyone has his version of the truth but seldom share it. Whether it’s the taste, the smell or whatever, the ugly thing can help you lose friends and create bitter enemies. I wonder if it’s because once acknowledged, the truth will not leave until you do or stop doing, a particular wrong. Our criminal justice system is an apt example.

Let’s take the current situation in Missouri. Not that it’s unique. Far cry. But because it is active, makes that a good example, willing to say a textbook case of what leadership is not. Step back with me a bit.

Jay Nixon was a two-term Democratic governor when Ferguson managed to make world news. That was due to the police killing of Michael Brown and the conduct of the entire criminal justice system in Missouri. As Gov Nixon and Ferguson Mayor Knowles went into hiding for four days, the police were left to “pacify” peaceful protesters. No one could have imagined police management to be that inept, or any criminal justice system is so inbred and corrupted.

The current governor Eric Greitens is a Republican. He never went into hiding, but nothing says “I don’t know what to do”, like readying the National Guard to control a relatively small number of cooperating protesters. So far, more than 150 persons have been arrested for petty misdemeanors, especially not moving when told by the police.

Both dealt with protesters as the problem. Neither appeared capable of confronting and addressing the root of the problem. But quite willing to talk tough and use force.

No civic-minded person supports lawlessness. So let’s agree conditionally: lock them up if their behaviors are imminent threats to public safety. Not because the police told them to move. Do we have a Constitution or not? If the answer is doubtful (as it’s becoming) repeat next year and the years afterward. Finally, both the state and protesters would be locked in an increasingly dysfunctional, dangerous way of life. The state CANNOT win. That would be despite being a police state, as America already is.

Right now, both Blacks and Whites, males and females are being threatened and arrested. How long do the state and local governments think that they can keep this up? I’ll hazard a guess. When you stop seeing truth as the enemy.

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Our Votes Are For Sale, And They’re Very Expensive 

August 1, 2017

By Leyland A.King

BlueGadfly.com/

LeylandKing@gmail.com

 

Thirty-seven strong, our extended family is no electoral powerhouse. Thirty-seven passionate activists squared (1369) are a booming voice defiant. A town hall presence that will not be ignored nor dissuaded.

Progressive Democrats for decades, we are outraged by the spectacle of musical chairs of government administration at federal, state and municipal levels. It’s  time to re-evaluate our commitment to an administrative system that has moved politically from neglectfulness to tolerable malfeasance. Erroneously thinking it couldn’t get worse   -it did.

Who would have thought that the rot we have in every institutional stratum of public administration, was possible? Therefore we are open to a third party. Even fourth or fifth. We cannot continue voting for the lesser evil.  Small, efficient government and lower taxes through progressive gradients, reforming the Department of Justice, law enforcement, and criminal codes, neighborhood schools public and private, religious and un-denominational are good. We vehemently disagree with public funds given to private or charter schools. Separation of Church and State is extremely important to us. Unfortunately, regardless of which party is the majority, even if they control all branches of government, somehow, we can’t rid ourselves misguided, unconscionable, or even immoral laws such as legislated in the war on drugs.  So, we compiled a list of our priorities.

Small, efficient government and lower taxes through progressive gradients, reforming the Department of Justice, law enforcement, and criminal codes, neighborhood schools public and private, religious and un-denominational are good. We vehemently disagree with public funds handed to private or charter schools. Separation of Church and State is extremely important to us. Unfortunately, regardless of which party is the majority, even if they control all branches of government, somehow, we can’t rid ourselves misguided, unconscionable, or even immoral laws. So, we compiled a list of our priorities.

Small, efficient government and lower taxes through progressive gradients, reforming the Department of Justice, law enforcement, and criminal codes, neighborhood schools public and private, religious and un-denominational are good. We vehemently disagree with public funds given to private or charter schools. Separation of Church and State is extremely important to us. Unfortunately, regardless of which party is the majority, even if they control all branches of government, somehow, we can’t rid ourselves misguided, unconscionable, or even immoral laws. So, we compiled a list of our priorities and welcome your input.

1. End capital punishment immediately. It is immoral. The very nature of it is cruel and unusual.

2. The right to vote is inalienable. It is incumbent on the state to encourage participation of every citizen over age 18.

3. Abolish private prisons and juvenile detention facilities in every form.

4. Decriminalize drug use and possession. That is a vice, not a crime.

5. Citizens must not be arrested for nonviolent offenses if they have valid identification. Citations are available.

6. No person elected to public office shall serve beyond eight years.

8. Elections publicly financed. Legislation necessary to end lobbying and donations to elected officials.

9. Make gerrymandering a felony. It corrupts the electoral system and undermines public trust.

10. End corporate welfare including tax breaks offered to companies to “bring jobs”.

To Gulliver’s Surprise 

This week, more than ever, I saw America’s government.  I really hope that I’ve seen the worst of its functioning, but a whisper in my ear cautioned me not to bet on that.

The truth, as I saw it, was so much like Gulliver’s tours, except for the shocking deviation, that after leaving Lilliput and all the little people, above whom he towered, he arrived at a place called Future Washington. There, to his dismay, he discovered that the inhabitants were much smaller than the Lilliputians. Gulliver then knew that people could be so much smaller than one could ever imagine, and much more trivial too.

Donald need not worry about draining his swamp. Instead of thoughts of wrestling out huge reptiles, almost larger than himself, a kitchen sieve would do just as well. But really, the greatest danger that infests the swamp are mosquitoes larvae that mimic minuscule politicians, lobbyists, and lawyers, while spreading corrupting disease.

My Dear U. S Government, Please Stop Trying to Save Me From Myself

By Leyland A. King

September 30, 2017

After centuries of arduous work to give me freedom by saving me, I beg of you, please stop. Stop! The fact is, that when there is any rescuing done at all, the beneficiary is only you. For centuries! Heavenly inspired you were, to rescue my body from the heathens in Africa, but then changed the rules for my getting to heaven because you said, God wasn’t yet convinced and comfortable, with the question of whether (1) I had a soul, and (2) whether it was worth saving.

Of course, external threats and domestic terror are exempt. That is your cardinal role, and even that needs rethinking, but it’s not my focus here. What are my focus and consternation are the sweat and treasure needlessly expended; all devoted to saving me from myself. I never made an appeal and I am so aware that even if I did, the remedy you concoct is too often detrimental to me and those similarly entangled in the widening, strengthening, all-consuming tentacled web flung upon me. Me! A person whose greatest vice is a weekend gelato and a pecan sticky bun.

You, having made vices crimes, then turn around and tax the very crimes.  I am flabbergasted that you could not have distinguished (1) the difference and (2) the consequence of the crimes you created. Oh, you’re regulating the vices to prevent their proliferation. Sorry. My friend, the neighborhood half-wit, alleged that you, the government, is a pimp. He said that a pimp is defined by what he does to enable and protect, paid sexual intercourse between consenting adults. You tax the product and intellectual property rights of sex workers and producers. Therefore, argues the half-wit, you are the worst kind of pimp and the best at managing it. When business is slow, you send goons to employ various means of entrapping and prosecuting the poor ones. The arrested pay for the meals the judge eats. That’s called fines. The legal name you created for it is “living off the earnings of prostitution.” That the government the kingpin pimp.

My friend, the neighborhood half-wit, alleged that you, the government, are a pimp. He said that a pimp is defined by what he does to enable and protect, paid sexual intercourse between consenting adults. You tax the product and intellectual property rights of sex workers and producers. Therefore, argues the half-wit, you are the worst kind of pimp and the best at managing it. When business is slow, you send goons to employ various means of entrapping and prosecuting the poor ones. The arrested pay for the meals the judge eats. That’s called fines. The legal name you created for it is “living off the earnings of prostitution.” That means the government the kingpin pimp.

Since our institutions follow your lead and adopt your worldview, one cannot be surprised that the sale of two cigarettes might be more important than human life; in your zeal to save me from myself, I pay the price through my insecurity and unceasing surveillance. Thus, I don’t have to actually engage marijuana crime, it is sufficient to lose my personal freedom or life because a cop claimed to have smelled marijuana as he passed my car. Demanding that my constitutional rights and God-given right to own and control my body are respected could bring upon me a swarm of law enforcers to kill me. I’m not exaggerating, this is what you have done to save me from potential vice. Me!

Look, gambling is a vice. You made it a crime. A few retirees and six slot machines in a storefront, bring hell’s coals delivered upon their grey heads, by men in blue carrying sticks, chemicals, and guns.

Secretive sex; having a beer all by myself on my own driveway, could get me manhandled and arrested if a paper bag didn’t cover the bottle. WTF! Masked, armed men could, without warning or warrant, break down my door and enter my home night or day and take me out or take me away, and take my money, because, I suppose, they think I am some sort of a combatant in the war on drugs. Their supposition based on your decision that I am a danger to myself and a corrupter of society. Me? All by myself.

The interesting thing is, despite my plea not to be saved from myself, you’re determined to do it anyway because you are obsessed with what you call law and order -what I hear as control and contain. We ask for jobs, you offer us 10,000 more cops. Four-fifths of them White males. Not to be outdone your Attorney General, who has panic attacks at the mere mention of the word marijuana, called for increased prison time; more private prison space; he decided, based only on his addled notion, that the police need to be unfettered from such inconsequential matters as arbitrary arrests, excessive detention, brutality, and murder. After all, they are there protecting me from social degeneration, that started the day the government decided that something ought to be done about enhancing the flow drugs into my body.

So, as state governments grapple with pressing matters like drug testing the poor, to catch one in a thousand; increasing the rate of executions lest the chemicals expire; to shoot death row criminals because it’s cheaper, unhindered by pesky constitutionality, trips back and forth to the Supreme Court or the innocence of the citizen who invariably, just happens to be poor.

So, my dear rulers, I’m not asking for much, just to be left alone to self-regulate me. Something that only you believe corporations are capable of. Why not me?

 

When Public Officials Misplace Loyalty, Institutions Collapse

Today, like many Americans, I took the time to witness the Senate Intelligence Committee at work. They did their inquiry as best they could, under the circumstances.

By under the circumstances, I mean their determined efforts to get to the truth of various, potentially criminal matters affecting the Trump Administration, only to be stymied by the four public officers who answer to the American people. It was shameful and appalling. I hope that this nation is still able to function as under previous Administrations. They, the four witnesses appeared to me that they would be prepared to suffer anything to protect what they believe to be their personal property. The Senators be damned…and the citizens too. But of the four lame witnesses, I have to give special attention to Adm. Mike Rodgers, a rude and surly person by demeanor and arrogant with regard to personality. For a member of our armed services, he was the bad kid next door, that our parents warned us never to adapt his behavior. For junior members of the services, Admiral Rodgers is surely no officer and a gentleman.

We can look at what’s happening and fight over which party to blame and make comparisons to excuse wrongdoing for only so long. I believe that if our leaders don’t come to their senses, the fight may not be between Republicans and Democrats, there just might be the third faction.

 

 Imagine a society where this report was not necessary. 

Just imagine the kind of society where this report was not necessary. But what is done is done.

Let’s now imagine a society where, having acknowledged its wrongs and flaws, actually took the report seriously, and went directly to work with the best of human resources and capital focused on fairness and justice, something like the Marshall Plan. Wow, what would America be like today?

Lastly, imagine such a dark report delivered to small, timid men, whose vision for humanity doesn’t rise beyond the walls and ceilings of their commodious offices; their loftiest dream is date-stamped on a pension, and a job held in trust for them by mysterious lobbyists.

Well, hey, time to get out of bed. Look around, nothing is there to imagine. The smell is that of wounds neglected and the body politic fast headed to mass graves. America chose that option as its destiny.