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Posts published in “Day: November 9, 2017”

No laughing matter


Last week, President Trump shamed himself by denigrating the U.S. justice system, calling it a "joke" and a "laughing stock." Playing the part of the tin horn dictator, Trump bellowed that our nation needs "quick justice and we need strong justice, much quicker and much stronger than we have right now."

This broadside on our nation’s criminal justice system reflects appalling ignorance.

Enamored as he is with so-called "strong men,” Trump seems willing -- if not eager -- to trample over the venerable concept of due process of law. You want "quick and strong" Mr. President? Look no further than the world's tyrants who send their henchmen -- often in the dead of night -- to capture, kidnap and kill "suspects.” They leave no trace of justice.

I've been part of the U.S. criminal justice system, and I've worked day in and day out with federal prosecutors and federal defenders, with federal agents and federal courts, and with the many other dedicated individuals who routinely put in extremely long hours, occasionally risking their lives, to ensure that our system of justice, though far from perfect, remains -- for the most part -- thorough, fair, and just.

I wish every citizen could see, as I have seen, the professionalism and dedication of those individuals. From victim witness coordinators to probation officers to federal mediators and Article III judges, it would be hard to find people more committed to the promise of our pledge of allegiance -- that ours is a nation "with liberty and justice for all." That phrase, well-known to every school child, may be aspirational, but it speaks to a noble aspiration, one deeply embedded in our national DNA.

When I served as U.S. Attorney for Idaho, a delegation of Russian justice officials visited Boise, ostensibly to learn about our criminal justice system. Over lunch, I asked the group leader what protections his country had in place to ensure that people accused of crimes were afforded due process. He gave me a dismissive look and precluded further questions with a summary statement: "You have your system; we have our system. Let's eat."

Yes, they have their system, and it is most assuredly “quick and strong.” But speed and strength do not guarantee justice. The Russian system, often violent and corrupt to the core, is one in which those close to power are free to do as they please and those out of favor are summarily condemned. This is not a system we should want to emulate.

During his tenure as president, Mr. Trump has repeatedly vilified our federal judiciary, undercut the rule of law, disregarded governing norms, undermined the independence of the Department of Justice, and attacked the institutions that give life to the guarantees enshrined in our Constitution. Sadly, we see that it is our president who is the laughing stock. And that is no laughing matter.

Point being


So Kevin Spacey's "gay"? I'm not. So what? I like his movies. I'll still watch them, plus whatever else he comes up with. Weinstein is far more creepy, but he made some damned good movies, too, and I will continue to watch them as well.

Most artists have some weird antennae. Trust me, I dated a red-headed Ayn Rand-freak oil-painter and am worse for the suffering but wiser for the experience. (A friend warned me at the time: "Red-heads are defective units. Run.")

What bothers moi is that the accusers are coming out (pardon the pun) 30 years after their alleged lurid encounters and ensuing successful careers.

At which point do you side-line your personal integrity to further your professional life, then whine about it three decades later when it becomes fashionable? Or is doing so just another step closer to greater stardom? Where were you, at the time it happened, ethically? Prolly just about as sleazy as the man or woman who groped you.

Did you say "No" then be a part of it anyway, because you abandoned your conscience to advance a career? I'm sorry, Victims, but you sold your soul right then and there.
None of us, man nor woman, gay nor straight, is blameless. We've all copped a feel or brushed a kiss at some point in life, especially during our horny teens and twenties.

If we were even gently rebuffed, however, that was the time to back away. Consent had its own consequences, hopefully pleasurable. I don't think it takes an IQ much above 75 to tell the difference between consent and rejection.

If you can reject your own conscience, the compromise is on your karma.

The only happy note I take from all this is that most of the perverts appear to be Democrats. Maybe the Victims should change panties. Oh, I mean, parties