i was 18 and on long island the first time i was called for jury duty. back then, reporting was for two weeks so i drove out to riverhead each day for ten days. it was serious stuff and i, in my innocence, listened carefully to every detail during jury selection and, later, during the case to which i was assigned. i was intimidated by the presence of the judge, law enforcement, court bailiffs, attorneys, these people who had dedicated their lives to justice, to maintain rule of law and abide by due process of such, while providing for equal protection, seeking social order. “courts: they exist so the equality of individuals and the government is reality rather than empty rhetoric.” (NACM) i researched my responsibility. i was respectful of every instruction i was given, and believed that the process was based on constitutional rights and values and that truth would prevail. “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth…”
less than ten years later i was the victim-witness counselor at the state attorney’s office in one of the judicial circuits in florida. i worked with local law enforcement, the FBI, attorneys, social workers, court bailiffs, judges, all dedicated to the due process of those who had been accused of crimes and those who were victims of crimes. my position was working with victims of violent crimes or surviving family members of those victims. heinous acts committed upon others, i was intimidated by the presence of cold, calculating types sitting across the deposition table from me, wishing, at times, that i could put a paper bag over my head to avoid identification at a later date. it was bracing and disheartening, a dark look into what people are really capable of, twisted, distorted minds culminating, often, in the death of an innocent person. my first case was one of the saddest, though i shudder thinking of many of them, wondering if they are truly rank-able. the young woman worked at a quick stop gas station/convenience store, her shift the wee hours of the night. the two men who kidnapped her had planned for a long time to dig an underworld and keep her and other women there. their efforts were stymied as they began to dig and discovered that sand kept filling the hole, so they assaulted her and murdered her. one of my very first days: welcome to the state attorney’s office. each case that was presented was treated with respect and complete attention to detail; the truth was the ultimate goal, for justice, for the memory of the victim, for the victim’s family, for proper sentencing and/or rehabilitation. “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth…”
thirty years later i watch as the wisconsin court system, that which is supposed to be non-partisan, apolitical, a fair arbiter of the law, has deemed the governor’s safer-at-home order during a global pandemic unconstitutional and has thus thwarted the ability of the governor to protect the populace. “courts: they exist so the equality of individuals and the government is reality rather than empty rhetoric.” (NACM) hmmm. yet, instead, leaning heavily on the right side of the political seesaw of a supposed-apolitical supreme court, the justices declared the state ‘open’ and triumphantly, though virtually, just as during their vote, raised their glasses of celebration in every wisconsin bar about five minutes after their declaration. the truth? wisconsin’s coronavirus numbers had not ceased climbing; there was not enough testing nor contact tracing as per the federal government’s previously-stated guidelines, which, at the time, were stated as the truth. “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth…”
meanwhile, the administration’s truth-seesaw has become the stuff of amusement parks and circuses – long roller coasters of thwacking metal cars on tracks, criss-crossing and reversing direction, houses of mirrors, convoluted stories and warped sideshows. “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth…” would present some challenges in this case – were truth to be told.
the truth flies by the hand of the self-served. the truth is misrepresented in more artistic mediums than the best fine arts university could offer. falsehoods are reported on, written about, gushed over. and people i care about and love believe them. danger lurks in the darkness of this truth-void; the deposition table will later provide bags to cover all the heads. made-up stories as adults with impact on a country are not merely child’s play. this seesaw of truth is about life; it’s about living. it’s to uphold this: “to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” (the preamble of the u.s. constitution)
we passed a house flying an american flag. under the american flag was another flag. it said: “trump 2020. stop the bullsh*t.”
wow. now that’s calling the kettle black!
stop the bullsh*t??? i should SAY so.