Internet Blog Advocating Truth and Humanity

September 28, 2010

The Law Profession is Automanipulation

I've been fairly involved with legal issues lately - not by my own choice. Jury duty, divorce proceedings (not mine), bankruptcies (again, not mine), threatening and baseless letters from corporate attorneys, and a red-light camera violation (this one was mine). What I have found is the arrogance and waste that is prevalent in the law profession is astounding.

I'm a manufacturing man. Efficiency is king. Law, by contrast is the most wasteful activity I have ever experienced. It all starts with the arrogance of the law.

I was subpoenaed the other day. Let's take the subpoena itself. It clearly states that I am entitled to $35 per day in fees plus mileage. Well, OK, my time is worth more than that, but I'll consider it for the cause. However, if I do not go, I am subject to a $500 fine plus "all damages resulting from your failure to obey." Now, I was given five days notice to appear. Figuring out the logistics of showing up while keeping everything else running took about two days. And it's a dispute between two selfish individuals. The whole time I'm considering the alternative, but what does "all damages resulting from your failure to obey" mean? Shouldn't I - in quid pro quo fashion - be entitled to the same $500 plus all damages for my willingness to obey? And what am I "obeying" anyway? It's a pointless case between two selfish individuals!

In the end, all I wanted was for someone to pay for my parking. "Do you validate?" I asked the judge. "No." "Can I get my $35 to pay for parking?" I asked the subpoenaer. "Can I write you a check?" was the response. WTF! The parking attendant wont take that check...

Right from the start, there is this arrogance.

Let's take the friendly (not) letter from the corporate attorney. There were threats of all kinds of legal mumbo jumbo that can scare a person into submission. But when I read the letter carefully - and going back through the wonderful law classes I took in college - I realized these were empty scare tactics that had very little to stand on. Boy did I have fun with that one. I ran up the attorney's bills and they got nothing.

Then there're the bankruptcies. I'll save that one for the book.

The best one was the red light violation. It was about a $446 fine, but I was driving someone else's car. I knew I was caught, and just waited for the mail to arrive. Then it came. A photo of me, but the name was that of someone else. Hey, I'm getting close to getting off the hook, right? But then the owner of the car was on the hook, and the language in that was again scary, and I felt sorry for the owner. But take a closer look.

The law as written took me about three days to understand. And the part that really mattered is just one sentence:

V C Section 40520 Notice To Appear: Affidavit of Non-Liability

40520. (c) Nothing in this section precludes an issuing agency from establishing a procedure whereby registered owners, other than bona fide renting and leasing companies, may execute an affidavit of nonliability if the registered owner identifies the person who was the driver of the vehicle at the time of the alleged violation and whereby the issuing agency issues a notice to appear to that person.

"Nothing in this section precludes an issuing agency from establishing a procedure whereby registered owners ... may execute an affidavit of nonliability..." Translation: "You, the registered owner of the car, do not need to rat-out your friend."

Law is not the resolution of broken peace when all peace can be broken by the arrogance of the selfish and lazy. Billions upon billions are spent every year on this selfish endeavor. I can find nothing more pointless, non-constructive and self-gratifying than the legal profession; nothing other than automanipulation. But then again, people need something to do.

September 26, 2010


"You don't know what you're understanding."

"I forgot more about what you are not understanding, than you will ever know that you don't understand." - Wishing to Remain Anonymous, 1 and 2

August 25, 2010


The Man with(out) a plan

I came across this article about Representative John A. Böhner of Ohio's condemnation of Obama's economic advisory team. It all sound credible, until you reach this point:

"Mr. Boehner also called for an extension of the Bush-era tax cuts that are due to expire at the end of the year. He urged the president to present Congress with a plan to reduce federal spending to the 2008 levels in place before the approval of last year's stimulus plan. 'That would show Washington is ready to get serious about bringing down the deficits that threaten our economy,' he said."

Now, most people do not follow politics closely, and that's what many in politics count on. It doesn't matter what the facts are, it's the *perception* that matters. As long as people believe you, the facts be damned, you are in a position of power and authority.

The problem is that his own party put into effect the spending following the 2008 levels he's speaking about.

And there's nothing wrong with the spending. As we have seen, without the spending we would be in an absolute crisis right now, like many Americans are; but that's not the function of government.

Take the opposite view, forget the Republican-lead spending of 2008-2010. Yes, we would be in a different world right now. But would we maybe be better off with a few less banks and more money to spend on things that really helps the American structure and put us to work?

Wouldn't we be better off with $787 billion in new roads and bridges than $787 billion in bank subsidies? OK, so most of that has been paid back; but I digress.

Böhner simply does not have a credible starting point, he doesn't have a chance at a credible plan.

August 13, 2010

Words aren't bad. People make words bad.

"Damn it!" It's something many of us say without really thinking about it. But when my young daughter said it the other day, it gave my wife - and me - pause.

It's not clear exactly what the expression means other than "sucks", In the past, it was probably a big deal, but clearly the gravity of it has not kept up with the times. It's really just an interjection. It begs the question, are words really bad?

There's no such thing as a bad word. Just like the old expression, "guns don't kill people, people kill people". Something like 90% of communication is made up of things other than words. Inflection, context, tone and the words themselves: they all make up the intent of the comment. It's how these words are perceived to an individual that makes the word or words make us feel good or bad. Many people even feel camaraderie when words denoted as "bad" are used in conversation. However, these same words can be used in conflict, so the intent is harm, and that may be "bad" so-to-speak.

If a word is both good and bad, it cannot be classified unequivocally as a bad word.

So what did I tell my daughter? Go ahead and use the word, but be careful, some people may take offense. It's better to learn the truth.

July 26, 2010

"...when ... somebody does something honorable, in this case, like a Glenn Beck and says, 'hold on a second', progressives and conservatives should applaud that" - Van Jones

This story struck a chord. Someone is talking about getting at the truth:

Mr. JONES: Well, you know, I think this is a big debate right now among Democrats. You know, should we be fighting fire with fire or should we be fighting fire with water? I think for me, the most important thing is to be on a quest for the truth. For instance, you know, one of the things that, you know, happened, that was, I think, a good thing, that nobody talked about in this whole firestorm around Shirley Sherrod, Glenn Beck did not jump on the bandwagon.

He actually early on said, hey, I don't think this right. Well, I would think that progressives would then applaud him and say, well done. But you hear silence from progressives on that. So we're in a situation where there's a moral challenge in this age. You know, are you about the truth, no matter what the truth is? Or are you about this sort of, you know, the partisan food fight?

I don't want to try to win a food fight. I want to end the food fight and get us back to a place where being on opposite sides politically should not mean that all bets are off, anything I do to you is fair play. I think that in the long term that disserves both parties 'cause it turns off people from participating.

NORRIS: Van Jones, did I just hear you give Glenn Beck an 'atta-boy'?

Mr. JONES: And a well deserved one. And that's what we've got to be able to get back to in American politics. It's not - it shouldn't be about the personalities. It shouldn't be about the politics of personal destruction. It should be about a quest for truth to make sure that Americans can have a free choice based on real information, not based on distraction and division.

So, you know, when, you know, somebody does something honorable, in this case, like a Glenn Beck and says, hold on a second, progressives and conservatives should applaud that.

Hear it on NPR

July 14, 2010

It's not about facts, or who's right. It's about making people believe.

According to Jon Kyl and Mitch McConnell, the $600 billion+ government stimulus/service for a select income group does not need to be accounted for while stimulus/service for the other income groups do. Is it right?

It doesn't matter who's right or who's wrong; nor does it matter who has the facts and who is misrepresenting them. It's about what the People believe.

We were lead to believe the banks needed a bailout. That it would be good for everybody. Well, banks are banks, not the People. Now the banks have been bailed out and the People struggle. The belief now is "these are hard times and we'll get through it with better governance".

Dig deeper and you hear that banks not lending is a bad thing. It's not even a question. It's reported as a bad thing without a bit of contemplation about it. Is it so bad? Do we need more debt? After all, debt is the product on which banks make their profit. So it's really bad for the banks. Who cares about the banks? Their benefactors running for office.

It's belief that's important, not the facts. So the task is in making people believe. And THAT is the job of a lobbyist.

This notion gives credence to an effort to delegitimize lobbying. After all, it should be a government for the people and by the people, not just a select few.

In response to the New York Times

July 4, 2010

As Americans, we must all respect each other's right to freedom. We must also respect each other's right to express it.

The Tea Party movement seems like an odd duck to many of us. Some of their members say some pretty strange things and some are downright evil. But underneath a few vocal members, you find a group of people that are as frustrated as any one of us.

It's un-American to just write them off. We need to listen to understand. There must be a kernel of universal truth in there somewhere. Understanding and digging deeper to find that universal truth is what makes us a better people.


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