Tag Archives: hitler

She Hates Numbers

Leave a comment

Filed under women

Great book: The Tyranny of Good Intentions

tyranny_good_intentions original hardcover image

“That which thy fathers bequeathed thee, earn it anew if thou woulds’t possess it.”  (old Anglo-Saxon maxim).  The English legal system we who now live in the United States of America inherited, historically reflected “a [very strong] tradition of the defense of individual rights against the state,” (at least since “The Glorious Revolution” in 1688).  You’ll have noticed by now, I am sure, that the far, radical Right has long referred to President Barack Obama as either “the Antichrist,” or “Hitleresque.”  They are in fact on to something, but not the right something.  A quick comparison of the status quo in effect currently, versus the situation in Germany when Hitler was “elected,” is highly illustrative.  In post-WWI Germany, “German law reflected the tradition of a strong state as the embodiment of the community by which individuals would be granted such rights as were considered compatible with its interests.”  (Jeremy Noakes & Geoffrey Pridham, eds., Documents on Nazism, 1919-1945 (New York:  Viking Press, 1975), at p. 226-27.)  Thus, Obama, even if he desired it, could not possibly have the kinds of powers Hitler wielded in the short-lived “Thousand Year Reich.”  Or whatever the hell that freaky, Hitler-moustachioed murderous asshole who ruled Germany for a while called his horrible regime — which regime is an undeserved stain on the beleaguered German people, who have since recovered that fumble neatly, and in fact probably have less economic inequality than those of us in these United States of America.

“The character of this [English-inspired, individual-oriented, American] legal system ensured that it would be revered.  In recent times, however, reverence for our legal system is being replaced by fear, distrust, and dissatisfaction.  For example, inner-city juries routinely refuse to convict criminal defendants on the basis of prosecutorial and police evidence alone.”  Witness O.J. Simpson!

“The twentieth century’s belief in government power as a force for good has encouraged the practice of chasing after devils.  Like a national emergency, a righteous cause can cut a wide swath through the law to more easily apprehend wrongdoers.  In recent decades, both conservatives and liberals cut swaths through the law as they pursued drug dealers, S&L crooks, environmental polluters, Wall Street insider traders, child abusers, and other undesirables.  Impatience, frustration, hysteria, political scapegoating, and greed have caused police, prosecutors, victims, and the plaintiffs’ bar to grow weary of laws that protect those accused of crimes and negligence.  The question is raised, “Why should the guilty have the benefit of law?”  Sir Thomas More’s answer (as presented in A Man for All Seasons) is that when the law is disregarded to better pursue the guilty, it is also taken away from the innocent.  What are we to do, he asks, if those chasing after devils decide to chase after us?  If the law is cast down, what protection do the innocent have?  A little liberty taken here, a precedent there, and the Rights of Englishmen become history, a clear-cut area where once mighty oaks stood.”

The Tyranny of Good Intentions, How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice, Paul Craig Roberts & Lawrence M. Stratton, authors, ISBN 0-7615-2553-X, FORUM press, an imprint of Prima Publishing, 3000 Lava Ridge Court, Roseville, CA  95661 (copyright, 2000).

the spookiest thing, for me, as a person??  this was all written & predicted well before 9/11 or the Patriot Act, or two bizarre wars which we are still sort of in but sort of not, before Obama, before the “Tea Party,” the current crop of mad hatters & dormice… before any of it.  why aren’t we calling these guys to hear what they have to say next??????

Leave a comment

Filed under legal writing, notes

New Poem, a poem (for everyone i love — you know who you are)

leslie gaines CrazyViewIMG_0542

New Poem

Dearest, dearest God, my old teacher, my new teacher,
my classmate, my expedition, my mountain, my valley,

my sea, my river, my lake, my cloud, my tree, my rock,
my butterfly, my sweet love: Your new minister is a dear,

from New Orleans, young and trembling and with a pretty,
shy wife and two darling baby girls. Picture of earnestness

and kindness. Admirable. I felt my soul blossoming today,
I was moved, shaken, made warm and soft and open

by the children’s beauty. And part of all that was You
inside me. So much love for You, it hurts my damn chest.

I confessed my sins today and was absolved. Do I believe?
Well, partly. Enough that I don’t feel like a hypocrite.

Perhaps I should. I don’t know. I have no answers and
hardly any coherent questions. Mostly I am struck dumb

by all of this, all of this happening in my body and my mind
and my heart and my soul. It is profound. It is an opportunity.

I will not squander this precious gift, rest assured.
Simple things have become all the more profound and

complex things all the more understandable. Just heard
a strange noise coming from my daughter’s bathroom.

Both cats were on the counter with the goldfish bowl
up to their little catty elbows in same. Dripping wet,

they looked at me guiltily. I hissed, “Get your paws
out of there, ladies!” They fled, in haste and apprehension.

I did not follow to administer further lectures.
They’re cats, after all. Cats will fish, given the chance.

And absent lovers will pine. And awakened souls
will soar heavenward. Doesn’t life contain much

logically predictable inevitability which is nonetheless,
each time it presents itself, a mystery and a revelation?

I have gone mad with gratitude. Every thing
existing seems a gift. An opportunity. Priceless.

Even if I never get to live in Your arms again, know this:
I am Yours, forever. It is the first time I have felt this way

toward someone not my own child. I cannot imagine
the set of facts that would alter my feelings for You.

While watching Your last meteor shower, I thought of all our
souls — how we are all like meteors, our pinpoint of brilliance,

the variability of our paths — some meteors appear bright
but have no echoing trail — others are dimmer but leave

a long streak of fire in their wake — some travel in twos
or threes, others singly. I am dancing on the razor’s edge

between gratitude for this passion existing at all, and greed
for more of it, more of it, always more of it. No patience.

No patience with Your plan — wanting more knowledge,
even knowing how Cassandra received foreknowledge and

killed herself in the end, because it was too much for her.
So glad I don’t know but panicked that I don’t know

all at the same time. What Baby said: the sky
was gray and overcast, yet there was no rain,

borderline gloomy but also very pleasing in a way —
she said, “It’s a beautiful day today.” I agreed.

The sun was behind a layer of gray, you could still tell
it was there, you could see the disc behind the gray,

it had a translucent light, and though you couldn’t see,
exactly, the brightness, you knew it was there. Like You.

Today was a miracle, You were there with me
everywhere I went, except I couldn’t see You.

And neither could anyone else. I stood on the beach
between the surf and the dunes and listened to the waves

roar their white noise of love. There I met a cockatoo
named Pumpkin, she was gorgeous snowy white

with orange eyes, and I lulled her to sleep. “Pretty girl,”
I said to her, stroking her sweet feathers. “Pretty girl.”

She cocked her head and trilled at me. I think
her owner was surprised when she didn’t want to go

back to his arm from mine. Later, I bought a nightgown
printed with leaves, that makes me feel like a tree nymph.

I wish I could wear it for You. What I’ve learned:
the correct question is not, after all, could I/would I

kill Hitler. The question is, could I/would I love Hitler?
Thank You, God, my tutor, my scholar, my journey,

my height, my hollow, my ocean, my stream, my shore, my billow,
my standing timber, my paving stone, my mortar, my luscious beloved.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized