The Rodney King Verdict
In dealing with this subject the first thing we need to do is try to establish a base of reality to work from. To try to find some means of objectively separating what is truth from what is illusion. This event is a prime example of the power of illusion and diversion; and a challenge to thinking people to sort out what happened.
Lets start out on common ground. I would like the reader to think back to the moment you heard the verdict, that the police officers were found innocent on all charges. Remember that moment? Do you remember what your first reaction was? My first reaction was, "They did What! I don't believe this!"
The first question comes to mind is, "OK, why is it that I didn't see what I saw? How is it possible that these police could be found Not Guilty?" Logically we get down to two possibilities:
So much for my opinion. Who else thought it was a beating. Well, the news media did. For the last year we've been hearing about "The Rodney King Beating". Of course, skeptic that I am, I realize that the media may be more interested in news than that are in truth. But I didn't see a whole lot of debate on the issue. Looked to me like it was a matter of when and how many charges they were going to get him on. There was an assumption that the police were going to get convicted because the video tape evidence was so compelling.
But what does the media know? What did the "Experts" think? I guess other police officers can be considered experts. If anything they would lean towards the officers side. What were they saying about it? Well, several police departments around the country were so sure that this was wrong that they included the King beating tape as part of their officer training as "what not to do" as a police officer.
In addition to all of this you add the racial slurs and the testimony from the people at the hospital about comments the officers made about "hitting a few home runs". Then you take into account that other officers at the scene testified that excessive force was used and there seems to be a convincing amount of evidence that an improper beating did in fact take place.
So the question now turns to, "How is it possible that a jury would look at all of this and find these cops innocent?" We all know that juries are not always right, but you would think that "anybody" who looked at that tape would see the same thing. It makes you feel a great sense of confusion because we want to believe this is America and that in America the good guy always wins. America is the nation that created justice and that we are so just that if God came to Earth, he would want to be an American.
Well, without going into more detail than I understand, there are a lot of way to get a jury to return a predictable verdict. The first move is to get the court system to move the trial to an area that is favorable to the cops. And this was done. Simi Valley is the kind of place you move to when you want to get away from people like Rodney King. Then you scientifically pick a jury by running juror profiles against statistical data in order to find people that would lean in your favor. Lawyers are skilled in obscuring reality. That is what they do for a living.
Besides that, you also have to remember that the prosecutor and the judge are government employees just like the police on trial. The scene in the court can be compared to a court of wolves putting other wolves on trail for violating sheep's rights. Another factor that appeared in the news is that in other similar situations where the police beat citizens the courts let them off.
I found it intriguing that the prosecutor didn't call Rodney King to the stand so that he could explain his view of what happened. Apparently, the prosecutor didn't feel that the jury would identify with his perspective. That the jury wouldn't understand that whatever Rodney King did, it wasn't the place of the police to do the beating. I think that the fact that King wasn't called indicates that the prosecutor believed that the jury was of a nature to not be interested in defending the rights of a black suspect.
So taking in all this information and analyzing it, one comes to the conclusion that King was in fact beaten and that the trail was rigged to get the police off.
The Job of the Police
There is a lot of controversy about what caused the beating and if King somehow deserved it. This is actually a diversion issue in that it doesn't matter what King did or whether or not he deserved it. The job of the police is to arrest the suspect and bring him in. That includes stopping him, subduing him and transporting him to the police station. It is up to a judge and jury to determine guilt and punishment, not the police. So it doesn't matter if King deserved it. It wasn't their place to dish it out.
From what I saw of the video, these cops could have put the cuffs on him and hauled him down town at any point. But they didn't. They just kept on clubbing him as he rolled around on the ground.
What the King Verdict Means
So what does it mean to us middle class white folk if the cops beat up some nigger in LA? What this verdict does is that it sends a message to Americans that it is OK for the police to beat any one, anywhere, for any reason. It says that if you are a cop that you are above the law and it creates an atmosphere of temptation and abuse within the police force.
Civilization in America is breaking down fast. The Reagan/Bush presidencies have created an atmosphere of lawlessness and corruption. The Supreme Court has been stacked with Republican ideologues. Court cases are fixed to get the desired results which have nothing to do with fairness or justice.
The King verdict is a significant event where we have a case that is as clear an injustice as you can get. We all saw the video and we know what we saw. What's significant here is that if the police are allowed to beat Rodney King then the police can beat any one for any reason. They can beat you for going to the wrong church or taking the wrong political stand, and the courts have made it clear that they are not going to defend you.
"But Marc, what are you saying? This is America, the land of the free! These things don't happen in America do they?" Well, whether you like it or not America, as we know it, is changing for the worse. Let me tell you what's really happening and you may find this a little shocking, but I call them like I see them and here's what I see. If I'm wrong then someone correct me.
America is up for Sale
You've always heard that America has the best politicians that money can buy, and that is more true now than ever. Over the last 11 years the majority of wealth has been given to the very rich and the debt has been transferred to the rest of us. How much money has moved? About 3 trillion dollars, that's $3,000,000,000,000 or 3 million million dollars. That comes to $16,000 per person or $64,000 per family of four. The ones who receive this money funnel it back into the system to get the same people elected that got them the money in the first place.
For instance there's the Bush Republican fund-raiser that was held a few weeks ago where for $15,000 you can have a Congressman sit at the table with you. For $30,000 you get a Senator. You don't have to be real smart to figure out that those who are paying these fees are getting something for their money. And what they are getting is being paid for with public debt. The money we are paying into Social Security that is supposed to be there when we retire isn't going to be there. It's being ripped off.
In order to enforce this insanity, our constitutional rights are being sold off so that we can no longer stand up for our rights. Take the Supreme Court for example. The latest nomination, Clarence Thomas has two qualifications, he's a nigger, and he agrees with George Bush. And this move is the height of racism because it says that since Justice Marshall is Black and Thomas is Black then it's the same thing. You know, all Blacks are alike, right?
Here in Missouri the Attorney General is buying his way into the Governors chair. What he's doing is using our tax dollars to do all Missouri's legal work by a group of private lawyers instead of using state hired lawyers to do the job at 1/10th the cost. In return these lawyers are contributing heavily to his campaign warchest. It will be a happy day for lawyers in Missouri if Bill Webster gets elected Governor.
Excuse Me, I'm Pissed Off
I'm sorry if this issue isn't as positive as the last one which will end up being a lot better issue than this one is turning out. I'm rather hot about all this and my writing skill is suffering from it. I just get so frustrated with the stupidity of what's happening and I'm venting it here.
Last week our paragon of virtue, Vice President Dan Quayle, lectures America that we need to raise ourselves to his high standard of morality and personal integrity. Who does this idiot think he is anyhow? The only reason he's Vice President is that he's the only one Bush could find that's duller than he is.
The county is trying to raise our taxes by trying to get us to vote for a 1/4 cent sales tax to build a new court house. They seem to think that taking $24 million bucks out of the local economy so they can pay for it in 4 years is the best way to finance it instead of a 20 year bond like every other government does for long term capital improvements. And they say it's going to go away in 4 years. Do I believe that? Hell no! Actually, when I say they are trying to get us to vote for it I'm not being totally accurate. They are having a single issue election on June 2nd and the strategy is that no one will show up but the 900 lawyers here in Greene county and sneak this sucker in on us while we're asleep at the wheel.
What Can We Do About It?
Well, I'm mounting one of my one man anti-tax campaigns. My first move was to send them, the paper, and the local TV stations the following letter:
I wanted to write you this letter to inform you that I oppose your county courthouse proposal, and why I am purchasing advertising to oppose it. I feel that in all fairness I want you to understand my reasoning so that you can address the issues as they come up and that the voters can make a better decision on Tuesday, June 2.
I'll start out by dividing the issue into two parts:
We are living in a time where the justice is being removed from the judicial system. The judical system is being used as the tool to remove the rights of citizens rather than protect these rights. The supreme court are political appointees that are there to back up the political agenda of the Bush administration as he sells off our liberties to the highest campaign contributors.
The recent acquittal of Rodney King is an example of this erosion of the justice system. In this decision the justice system sent a message to police everywhere that you can beat any one, any time, and any where, and we will let you get away with it. If the police can beat a black man in LA and get away with it, then the police can beat a white woman for going to the wrong church and get away with it. I find it offensive that this is allowed in a country that is supposed to be a world leader in civil rights.
Thus, the courts are the enemy of the public and not the public's protector, as they should be. And I don't think that it is in the best interest of the public to support the institutions of oppression and injustice that the courts have come to represent. Asking the public to vote for a new court house is like asking a chicken to vote for Colonel Sanders.
You may say to me, "But Marc, these are national issues. We are talking about local issues." I too am talking about local injustice by the court system. Let me cite some examples.
Just last year Judge Clark wasted 1/4 of a million dollars convicting a retired police officer on a drug charge for growing a few pot plants in his garden on a farm in West Plains. This officer is a friend of mine. On the other hand another friend of mine, Rebecca Carolan, died mysteriously three years ago after her lawyer forged a will leaving her estate to her lawyer's secretary.
In Rebecca's case, I have been waiting 2 years for the prosecutor to start an investigation into this and all I hear are excuses and delays. When I went to Judge Burrell with clear evidence of forgery, he refused to look at it. Judges make it clear that they only talk to lawyers and since we weren't represented, Burrell would not talk to us. So as far as I'm concerned, judge Burrell can practice law in the parking lot!
The differences and similarities in these two cases are quite clear. In the case of Skip, the property seizure laws allowed law enforcement officers to keep Skip's property as a result of the bust. So they spent $250,000 of the taxpayers money putting Skip away so that the sheriff's deputies could keep $10,000 of Skips personal property. So it was to their financial advantage to convict him.
In the case of Rebecca, you have a lawyer who forged a will in order to get Rebecca's estate for her secretary. In this case there wasn't any money to be made by the courts or the police. But in this society, lawyers are above the law and a lawyer can get away with anything because a lawyer isn't going to sue another lawyer. These lawyers were old buddies of judge Burrell so he wasn't interested in hearing any evidence about any forgeries.
In case you haven't noticed, this country is in the middle of a depression. The 4 trillion dollar debt when broken down by a population of 250 million people comes to $16,000 per person, or $64,000 per family of four. When you consider that this courthouse will be here for the next 100 years, do you really think it's smart to take 24 million dollars out of the local economy over the next 4 years? I sure don't!
You raise the safety issue, that a madman will come into the court and blow away a judge and that we need to spend this 24 million to protect him. My response to that is, for 24 million dollars I can save a hell of a lot more lives in Greene county that could ever be killed in your court under the worst of conditions. I'm making an assumption here that lives are equal and that the life of a judge or a lawyer are not more valuable that the lives of taxpayers.
So lets talk about being fair. Suppose the community decides they need a courthouse, what is the best way to pay for it? A sales tax? Well, voters already said No to that last year. Were you not listening? I would think that the cost of a building that is going to be around for 100 years could be paid off in 30 years, not 4. And even though you say that the tax will end in four years, I don't believe you. The city said their capital improvement tax would only last three years and look what happened. Here they are with their hand out again looking for more money.
But to tell you the truth, I'm not even happy with a bond issue. The reason being that we are subsidizing lawyers with this court house at the taxpayers expense. In civil cases we don't charge lawyers and their clients any where near what it cost the taxpayers to make the courts available to them. If we were to cut out these tax subsidies, we would not only distribute the costs fairly, but we would also cut down of frivolous lawsuits that drive up the cost of goods and services in all sectors of society.
Of course, asking lawyers to pay their fair share is blasphemy. They are, after all, heavy campaign contributors. They have purchased society and have bought out our basic rights as citizens. An example of this is William Websters campaign for governor. Webster has taken our tax dollars and used them to pay his high priced lawyer buddies to do the state's legal work instead of doing it in house at 1/10th the cost. In return, these lawyers are contributing heavily to his war chest. It will indeed be a happy day for lawyers if Webster becomes governor.
What we really need to do is to reduce crime. Will this courthouse do that. Not at all. This courthouse will increase crime because it will increase the financial burden on society and will escalate the justice departments expansion of power. A courthouse can be compared to sex organs. "It's not the size of the court that counts, it's the justice in it."
What you have in America are angry and highly armed people who are a security risk to everybody, not just judges and lawyers. We are at risk outside that courtroom as well as inside. It seems more reasonable to me to invest in ways to reduce this anger. Right now the judicial system is a major cause of this anger. So I have a hard time understanding how expanding the cause of the problem is going to be the solution.
In the past I have come to you with many proposals on how to drastically reduce crime in this county, all of which you claim are impossible. It is now time for the impossible to be considered because I think that you are going to find that raising taxes during a depression is more impossible. What we really need are less court cases, not more courts.
I know you all want to do what's best for the county. I also know that the court has ordered you to do this and that you, as elected officials, are prisoners of the court. But as far as I'm concerned this is a bad deal and I'm going to resist it. Sanity must rule! If the judges are going to order that the court be built anyway, then let them order it done. I will not support it with my vote.
Now for those of you who are politically alert, there is one sentence in this letter that is the sentence that will lead to this tax being defeated. I'm not going to tell you which one it is in this issue, but I will in the next issue after the election. As a puzzle, try to find the key sentence in this letter and stay tuned to find out if you were right.
Besides writing this letter I bought a few radio ads on 2 key radio stations that will run the day before the election. This tax doesn't have a chance if voters show up at the polls and my ad is targeted at getting the vote out.
In spite of what Reagan and Bush have said, government continues to grow. And you aren't going to get government to spend less money if you give them more money to spend. Until sanity is restored, I'm opposing any and all tax increases. Change begins with the word NO and voting NO is the first step in getting these bastards attention.
The Presidential Race
The first move towards serious change in America is going to have to be replacing the President. My Presidential preferences are in the following order:
One thing that attracts me about a Perot Presidency is that if it looks like he can win the idea of overthrowing both the Democrats and the Republicans at the same time is rather attractive. Just because I'm rather anti-Republican doesn't mean I'm pro-Democrat. I like Clinton, but I have to hold my nose when dealing with the party itself.
But realistically, can Perot beat the combination of the Republicans and the Democrats? It's a hell of a long shot at best. Remember, Perot must get 50% of the vote to win or it goes to the House of Representatives where there is a majority of Democrats that in theory will elect Clinton.
Perot hasn't formally announced he's running, but you have to assume that he is. He's a self made billionaire and you don't become a billionaire by being stupid. So since he's spent a million dollars getting his name on the ballot, I have to assume he's gonna go for it.
But, does he want to win? He has said several times that he doesn't want to be President. So why is Perot running? Let's look at the facts and see if we can figure it out.
Perot sees himself as a hero type who is concerned genuinely about America. He is likely to have come to the same conclusions that I have about the need to get rid of Bush. Even though Bush has helped make the rich richer, which includes Perot, I think Perot wants to live in a Democracy instead of a police state. And, as an entrepreneur, he is not as attached to hoarding money the way that those who inherit wealth do.
By running for President, Perot virtually ensures that either he or Clinton will win, which means that Bush won't win. Remember that Bush needs 50% of the electoral vote to win and keep the election from going to the House of Representatives. Thus, if Perot were to spend 3% of his money to get rid of Bush it would be a bargain. It is my theory that Perot preferences for President are as follows:
I'll leave you with that question. It's been fun doing this magazine. I'll try to get back to a more positive frame of mind next issue.