Tag Archives: rule of law

The Wind That Blows

offtheedgeWhat’s lost in the current impeachment debate is the fundamental disregard for the law – like it can be ignored with impunity.

When in NY with friends, I offered up a passage from Robert Bolt’s “A Man for All Seasons” about why the law matters, why its disregard is not harmless but is devastating.

Sir Thomas More’s son in law, Roper, instructs More to just say he’s devoted to a faith More did not embrace, and thus to save himself.

This is the exchange -

Roper: So now you’d give the Devil benefit of law!

More: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

Roper: I’d cut down every law in England to do that!

More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you — where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country’s planted thick with laws from coast to coast — man’s laws, not God’s — and if you cut them down — and you’re just the man to do it — d’you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake. Continue reading

RESIST!

20727825_10211469112177129_2338922944344859283_nHistory teaches us what happens when you don’t resist hate groups including Nazis.

Especially those who conduct torch marches and carry clubs in the streets of a university town – screaming insults against blacks and Jews – striking out and clubbing those who object to their intolerance – one supremacist even running over and through a crowd, killing one young lady simply crossing the street.

We saw the courage of the counter demonstrators who objected to these Nazis and these people, both young and old, these protesters, they are American heroes – for standing up to hate, and doing so in the best tradition of what is America.

It is heartwarming that in Virginia, our Governor and Democrats across the Commonwealth recoiled at the acts of the white supremacists.

It’s chilling and gravely disappointing, however, that Mr. Donald Trump and local Republicans failed to criticize the supremacists, thus giving aid and comfort to this pathogen in the body politic – brought to life by the intolerance of the man who would be our Chief Executive – who followed in lock step by Republican office holders.

Now our nation on the “morning after,” on Sunday, scans the reaction of other nation states, and is seen before the world, and rightly perceived, as a nation with its ugly underbelly exposed.

Each of us who knows what we were and can be again as a nation and a people.

We have a sad and depressed dread after Charlottesville at how, in such a short time, chaos and violence have supplanted the rule of law in this nation, and how this Administration and its lack of values and thuggish manner has brought us to this low point.

Independence at risk

indepencencehallThe Fourth of July is a pageant celebrating our independence from an Imperial nation that denied us self-rule, dignity and freedom.

It’s a time of marching bands, waving flags, capped with cloud-brushing, soaring multicolored flashes of fireworks, lighting the night sky, to the sound of oohs and aahs from crowds across the nation.

It evokes the language of the declaration hammered out in a hot Philadelphia Hall, striking and revising the words of Thomas Jefferson, setting forth who we believed we were as a nation aborning.

We must reflect upon the sentiments of that grand occasion, and how we may fulfill those worthy sentiments today when our independence is at risk from within and from without, by a foreign nation state, Russia, that usurped this nation’s independence when it interfered in our elections to install the current Chief Executive.

When we declared our independence, we said we believed that we are all “created equal.” We have struggled since to perfect that sentiment, but of late, persons of color, muslims and women are hardly treated as “equal.” Continue reading

To heal

New York City Police Commissioner, William J. Bratton

New York City Police Commissioner, William J. Bratton

New York City Police Commissioner, William J. Bratton, spoke at an officers’ funeral, over the coffin of Officer Rafael Ramos.  Ramos was killed, shot from behind, by a criminal drifter, while Ramos was in his squad car on duty in Bedford Stuyvesant.  Of all the speakers remembering Officer Ramos, it was “the Commish” who struck the precise correct tone to remember the officer and his slain partner, Officer Wenjian Liu, and to rally those assembled to go forward – and not just to go forward in New York – but across the nation.

Commissioner Bratton said: “We don’t see each other, the police officers and the people mad at the police. If we can learn to see each other, then we will heal, as a department, as a city, as a country. And wouldn’t that be an honor to these officers’ lives?”

At the funeral, Governor Cuomo invoked “the rule of law,” posturing in my opinion, pandering, as he’s more nuanced and able in politics than just to inflame the crowd, especially since the protest following the killing of an unarmed Staten Island resident, Eric Garner, 43, was not about disregarding the law but about the law applying to a police officer who killed an unarmed man, and how he was found blameless, despite the eye witness video and audio recordings of the officer choking the victim to death, and the autopsy confirming the cause of death.

No question that the “rule of law” would have applied to the heinous, cowardly, depraved and addled gunman who ambushed Officer Ramos and his partner in a squad car, had the gunman not taken his own worthless life – and become another catalyst for demagogic trash talk.

Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani led the “trash parade” when he said, “We’ve had four months of propaganda, starting with the president, that everybody should hate the police.” Continue reading