Having spent 1987 to 2001 in constant motion to avoid the irritating and malicious tendrils of a political machine run amok, only to end up in the belly of the beast, I am now going to complain of the public's total ignorance of exactly what goes on behind the doors of your capital buildings, bar associations, judicial circuits, and even school boards. And it's not a pretty sight - reminiscent of the worse that third-world banana republics have to offer. Politicians pander and prose, vacillating in rhythm with the election cycle while the pay-to-play legal system affords real Americans little in the way of relief or protection against victimization. Their agenda is not to perform public service, but to profit. And profit they do. In secret. Behind the doors of old warhorse lawyer clubs, golf resorts, and representative's offices around the country. And most definitely, cooperatively, across party lines.
Whatever forces come to bear on this country's seemingly wholesale acceptance of crooks and liars in public service are an anathema to this country. Corruption and shady dealings are commonplace. Associates of those who are eventually found guilty of violating some legal or ethics loophole they have managed to miss legislating out of existence are readily absolved, leaving these sideline players in place and ready to continue business as usual - and it's definitely not the business of public service.
For example, I am going to pick a not so random individual and follow the trail of buddy-buddy goings on within the state of Georgia. It is 1987, and we are selecting the local school board attorney of a redneck county in Georgia. He has three children, most of which are apparently asocial deviants. Multiple counts of arson, assault and spitting on police officers, DUIs, Felony assaults, and perjury are included in the long list of behaviours demonstrated by his offspring. But no worries, he has friends in high places including his ex-employer, the Chief Superior Court Judge of the county, state senators, and his buds from Emory. Not one of his children are ever called for their well documented misdeeds, although you or I would have been labeled a threat to society and buried - after they had bled the family pocketbook dry through legal chicanery.
Such an arrogant prick is this that due to his connections within the local judicial circuit, he feels he does not even have to bother showing up in court in response to civil suits filed against him. Tandy Corporation is little more than an annoyance to him, and the attorney who pursues claims against this individual for a computer that this pillar of the community "doesn't know anything about, or how to operate" complains of his rude and condescending attitude. As well, in protecting his serial arsonist son from prosecution, he finds a convenient scapegoat and turns up the heat against an ordinary citizen. Fabricated claims of arson, terrorism, bomb threats, and stalking are put forth in his zealous attempts to smash the bug who has been unwittingly dragged into this mess by his meddling wife and her dreams of... whatever.
This man's ties run the gamut, from crooked judges, wanna be neo-con presidential nominees, crony EMS providers, black-balled doctors, and GA state senators who are now serving decade long sentences for defrauding nearly .5 million dollars in charity contributions meant to assist the underprivileged attend college - and more. The hell, you say? Let's follow the paper trail...
It's 1972, and we'll begin with an EMS provider and his connections with a local attorney who had previously made an unsuccessful run for the D.A.'s office, settling in as the school board attorney - whose own tortured, narcissistic daughter failed to graduate high school. Persecuting the sons of a wealthy supporter of the Democratic opponent, fights over election signs and libel/slander suits become an issue in the local newspaper for these miscreants.
Skip to 1987, when the attorney's serial arsonist son strikes, this time charged with the burning of a Kroger grocery store and 8-10 other fires. Felony fugitive status, never arrested, charges dismissed, and sent to join the Navy instead. Great, I'm sure that makes thousands of shipbound Navy personnel feel quite comfortable. Who signed the fugitive bond? The buddy State Senator who subsequently died from heart failure and now has a school and park named after him. The Parks and Recreation crony and his low-life scum - I mean son - who participated in a blatant conspiracy to divert, conceal facts, and implicate an innocent party. Then there are the law firms who violated client/attorney privilege by leaking vital information about witnesses to the guilty parties who then pay said witnesses to leave the state - additionally facilitating the theft of tools the victim needs for his survival. Other government agents and law firms who threaten to "burn you a new asshole", and, lest we forget, the rifle brandishing county fire investigator and the attorney buddy who hires spies to pry into the personal affairs of a private citizen. The names involved read like a who's who (or should that be a who was) of the county. Then there is the Big Fire Sale - the black-balled doctor in bankruptcy and the redneck city eminent domain takeover of property owned by the ex-partner of a prominent law firm resulting in yet another arson, coinciding with the dismissal of a civil suit against the attorney and his arsonist son, presumably intended to make the innocent party look guilty through a pattern of behaviour/acts of rage ploy.
Shooting the messenger seems to be a popular sport in certain circles these days.
When public outrage eventually forces an ousting of most of the players involved, the attorney, his wife, his bevy of asocial offspring, an insurance agent who subsequently loses his license, and around 10 other attorneys flee to neighboring states and counties, resulting in the crony EMS provider following suit in order to keep his power base intact. This results in the political manipulation of the EMS services of another georgia city (the land of "whom do you know"), and the subsequent downfall of another state senator who is caught with his hand in the till to the tune of $500,000 in charity moneys meant to assist the underprivileged attend college. That must have been one kick-ass trip to Atlantic City, Dude. And who says these guys aren't bipartisan?
Even fleeing the state doesn't stop the intimidation and manipulation which afflicts the true victim of this ordeal, as multi-state conspiracies intended to silence the sole dissenting voice to these phenomenally outrageous acts then unfolds.
As mothers try in vain to protect their children from abusive, pedophile fathers, the crony DA and the courts shut them down and defy experts in psychology as well as testimony of the children themselves in order to protect the well-connected from prosecution. Only those who defy the powers that be, and ordinary citizens, are persecuted in an ethics nightmare of epic proportions.
As for me, another year tolls in seclusion, a government created misanthrope. And as usual, no one notices the foul stench of malfeasance - or even cares. Multiply this one story by the thousands of counties in this country and you begin to see what kind of government you reap when the unbridled acquisition of money and power are the primary impetus for public service. Hubris is the trademark of modern political service.
As well, leaders in and around the Defense Department don't understand the science or technology involved in modern sophisticated weaponry, or possess the wisdom to use it effectively - they are just passing favors and throwing your money at the promises of world governance depicted in shiny MIC brochures and sales pitches on the golf course - the 19th hole being that of Haitian child prostitutes.
There are those who might be foolish enough to believe that removal of the Neo-Con morass will result in a new direction for this country, but they will likely be disheartened to learn that these problems are ubiquitous to the system that we have created, and little will change but the lip service which is bestowed upon the masses. And as Democrats subsequently lose sight of reality, it will be interesting to see which shrill voices wane into purely partisan rags - caught up in the fool's game of polls, analysis, and statistics which results from a lack of real candidates, real solutions, and real campaign/election reform.