Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Tyranny of the Courts Regarding McNeely and Warrantless Chemical Collections

Although I have written elsewhere about the drunk driving exceptions to the Constitution and to various evidentiary and statutory and customary norms, there is a growing evil in our courts on a critical drunk driving issue, and liberty lies in the balance.

In 1966, the U.S. Supreme Court [SCOTUS] ruled, in Schmerber v. California, that a warrant is presumptively required for blood draws from people arrested for drunk driving because the integrity of the human body is at least as inviolate as a residence from a standpoint of governmental invasion, and warrants are presumptively required for searches of residences.  Of course, proven exigencies could excuse the warrant requirement for chemical testing of the human body just as in residential searches, but the urged evanescence of alcohol in the human blood stream did not suffice as that warrant-detouring exigency.

Because of the drunk driving exception to the Constitution, however, many states, including California, pretended that Schmerber didn’t say what it said, and they started flouting  SCOTUS’s constitutional rules on the point, not unlike the “Jim Crow” judges of the old South who flouted equal protection rulings.

Fast forward to 2013, and SCOTUS reiterated the Schmerber rule in a new case, Missouri v. McNeely, reminding all that a warrant is presumptively required for those invasive searches [which in the interim SCOTUS held includes breath and urine testing].

California [and a couple of other jurisdictions] feigned surprise: “Whaaat? – we thought that evanescence alone justified the invasion, which is why we have warrantlessly done so for 40 years!”  The law was clear then, and clear now, as is the hypocrisy of the California Courts on the subject matter.  They take their hypocrisy a step further: “And because we thought it was ok, don’t punish our poor policemen by suppressing the fruits of their 47 year old illegalities, because they didn’t know.  Honest!”  Wonderful, ignorance of the law is a defense for law enforcers and for law adjudicators, but not for the folks on the street.

One of the biggest devices the courts are employing to detour the clear warrant rule is the state statutory, administrative oxymoron “implied consent.”  You see, the fiction is manufactured, from whole cloth, that motorists are deemed to have given their “consent” to chemical testing by the virtue of obtaining a driver’s license or of driving on the public roads.  Huh?  “Deemed”?  Yep.

The problem for an honest government would be that state statutory rules do not define federal constitutional rights.  Moreover, something that is “deemed” is not the product of arms length’s agreements, required in true consent matters.  And McNeely said there will be no per se detours around the warrant clause, and applying “implied consent” across the board as that detour is a per se rule, which SCOTUS forbids.

It is notable that Missouri has the same implied consent statute we do, but the SCOTUS plurality merely nodded in its direction, not giving it any weight, while writing on for many pages about the warrant requirement. Many want to urge that it was because the defendant refused in McNeely that the opinion needed to be written, but (a) if you are deemed, in the past tense, to have done something, you cannot undo it in the present tense, and (b) SCOTUS did not hold that the refusal was a revocation of Fourth Amendment consent in that case.  Why?  Because everyone knows that “implied consent” is not Fourth Amendment consent.

McNeely does not hold that a warrant is required only if one refuses; it holds that a warrant is required, absent established justification otherwise, established by evidence.

It should also be noted, as does one of the many helpful Texas cases, that the “implied consent” language nowhere provides that a warrantless extraction is permitted.  Nor could it, since SCOTUS decides federal constitutional law, not state legislatures [as the “Jim Crow” judicial tyrants finally found out].  Then too, the limited “implied consent” nod in McNeely was not joined in by the majority of the court anyway.

One of the great ironies in this discussion is that the courts of the Death Penalty Capital of the World, Texas, fully understand that “implied consent” is not Fourth Amendment consent.  Texas, Colorado, South Dakota, and other places have sided with liberty in this liberty vs power debate, understanding that SCOTUS has held that warrants are required, and that state statutory doctrines cannot eviscerate that.  Texas in particular did not like the McNeely rule, but when their implied consent appeals case was remanded by SCOTUS to reconsider in the wake of McNeely, the state courts saluted and have deferred, requiring warrants for drunk driving blood extractions, and suppressing evidence where none have been produced.

Our state, however, is quite, quite different on the liberty debate.  I just got a ruling against me on a clear McNeely matter based on a Maryland federal district court ruling that they dredged up.  They had to leap over clear appellate rulings in Texas, Colorado, and elsewhere favoring individuals to scratch around and find that non-precedental trial court ruling [not even an appeals case!] to steal my client’s liberty!  That is obscene!  And worse. 

Courts are not supposed to decide in advance what they want their destination to be and then search around until they can find authority that appears to support that that pre-ordained destination!  Result-orientedness has no place in the hall of justice.

Because of this state thumbing its nose at SCOTUS for 47 years, in many of the opinions and motions they are allowing the cops to invoke the “good faith” exception [always in quotes because they know it is not!], which the Nixon justices-led SCOTUS from the ‘70’s claims has the “sole ground” of deterrence and of educating the cops.  Excludability of fetid evidence was not part of the Fourth Amendment but merely an appendage manufactured by the Court, goes the story.  That is utterly fallacious.

The early Courts understood that the Fourth Amendment was so inviolate and protective of people’s liberties and security that cases could be dismissed, habeas could issue, evidence could be excluded, government agents could be arrested and sued, and judges could be sued for allowing its violation.  There was no manufactured “rule,” nor one with a “sole ground” of taking care of cops.  Violating the Fourth Amendment was the same as violating the 5th, 6th, or due process clauses: the fruits could not come into the courts, due to the imperative of judicial integrity.  SCOTUS has deftly eliminated habeas, case dismissal, suing the judges, arresting the cops, and have granted limited immunity from suit to their cops for Fourth Amendment violations.  While we pretend to be advancing liberty for peoples elsewhere in the world, we have slowly ratcheted down liberty for our own people.

Justice Alito’s latest proclamation that the “rule” was “created” by the court with that “sole ground” should invite protestations beginning with “Liar, liar, pants on fire!,” but it has not.

The general ignorance of the public, and of legal practitioners, of the constitutional history and theorems of this Republic is allowing courts to make outlandish constitutional claims with impunity, and those claims are always in the direction favoring power and against liberty.

The tyrannies and terrorisms we see thousands of miles across the seas, in foreign lands, are nowhere nearly the threat to us as are the tyrannies and terrorisms practiced on us by our own government, especially the courts, and our silence allows it to grow and metastasize until the organism is consumed.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Politics of Drunk Driving; Some Thoughts and Concerns

There is no area of the law in the modern era that is more driven by political pressures and agendas than the area of drunk driving. [I had one judge who was apoplectic about mentioning the term "drunk driving," because the statutory offense is "driving under the influence of alcohol," not "drunk driving"! Give me a break: the Vehicle Code lists it as drunk driving, the Mothers Against ... list it at drunk driving, the appeals and supreme courts refer to the topic as drunk driving, the billboards and other government propaganda label it "drunk driving," etc.  Indeed, so unhinged was he that we had to label, over my strident objection, MADD as "Mothers Against Drinking Drivers."  The hysteria in his mind about calling it "drunk driving" is part of the politics of the enterprise.]
When I say "modern era," I am calling to mind the obvious comparison from days of old to the Salem Witch Trials, wherein 17 women, two men, and a dog were executed for witchcraft on that same sort of hysteria-driven ignorance and suspicions and fears and self-serving pressures by evil people that visit the subject of drunk driving now.
The most disappointing and ominous aspect of this area of endeavor is that jurors, citizens from the community who are supposed to protect us all from overweening government, fall prey to the suasions of government, and their laughably programmed and scientifically incompetent "criminalists" who will testify to whatever their governmental masters need while dressing their perfidies up in seductive scientific jargon. I got one who testified that "everyone is impaired at .08%" to confess that there was a time she would have testified that "everyone is impaired at .10%," because that was the law then, and at ".15%," because that was the law then.  She agreed that there has not been an evolution in the human organism over that short a period that changed what is its "impairment," but only a change in the law, and she works for the law.  Wow - unusual honesty by a government criminalist, and it was probably accidental. 
In no other area of law would we allow the self-serving governmental hackism that visits a drunk driving trial to infect the evidentiary stage.  But jurors become seduced by the testimonial self-righteousness of the shiny badged cop and by the pseudo-science of the earnest hack, and they cannot perceive that they are being led down a primrose path whose careless thorniness will eventually come back to haunt them, and us all.
No other crime is the subject of such government propaganda as is drunk driving.  No other crime has as powerful and pushy lobbyists as we see with the neo-prohibitionist MADD and related organizations as drunk driving.  No other crime has so rigidly tied the hands of sentencing judges as does drunk driving.  No other crime has as harsh an escalating recidivism scale as drunk driving, where misdemeanors can readily morph to felonies on the 4th go-around. No other crime causes those alleged to have committed it to give up and plead guilty to the alarming extent that we see with drunk driving.  No other crime has the extensive governmental propaganda of bill boards and street signs decrying its commission as we see with drunk driving.  No other crime has generated the dramatic exceptions to constitutional and statutory protective rights that we see with drunk driving.
Jurors have to start to resist this reactionary outrage by understanding that it is all smoke and mirrors.  The stats are manufactured; the science is akin to voodoo, and the harm to the victims of prosecution is incalculable.  Yes, yes, there are people injured by drunk drivers - just as there are, in far greater scale, people injured by out of control, brutish, sometimes homicidal cops, but the excesses of neither group justifies punishing all in either group. We make prejudicial generalizations about those accused of drunk driving, and that is dangerous, unjust, and unfair. And it has to stop.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Indio Traffic Court Scam, Part 2

I have written and spoken about this scam for a long time and on many occasions, and the public needs to know the latest chapter.

Two things are fundamental in our system.  One is that all people have a constitutional right to a trial if they are accused of committing a crime [and traffic infractions are crimes].  The other is that “bail” may not be imposed on people accused of crimes, conformably with the 8th Amendment, unless they are found to be flight risks.  The latter is rather regularly violated in this jurisdiction for all levels of crime, because it is understood that people who are held in custody for extended periods of time are thereby softened up into pleading guilty to something, thus releasing pressure on the bloated criminal trial calendar.  It takes literally months to obtain habeas corpus relief for illegal pretrial detention, by which time defendants have generally taken some sort of plea bargain.

In the traffic trial setting, there are troublesome tweakings of those two fundamental doctrines which have resulted in an overt scam on the public of a sort and depth that if it were practiced by an individual, he would be in state prison for extortion.
In traffic, the unwitting public are told that if they plead not guilty to traffic charges at arraignment, they will not receive their trial [a constitutional right] unless they post “bail’ [which constitutionally requires they be found to be flight risks before it can even be imposed].  That “bail” is suspiciously about the same amount, or slightly more, than the fine would be if they were to plead guilty.  They are told that they will not receive a trial unless and until they post that “bail.”  If they politely refuse, they are dealt with quite rudely and menacingly by the Court, which has even been known to threaten an additional sum, over and above that “bail” amount, if they have not paid that illicit tribute by the time of the future-set trial.

Here are the facts from a declaration executed by one motorist who was exposed to that horrid, virtually terroristic, attitude by the local traffic court:

1.      I appeared at the appointed time for arraignment on this traffic infraction.  No one said or suggested I was a flight risk.

2.      As part of the general advisals to the whole room full of people apparently there on traffic citations, the judge said that there are only three ways to respond to his reading of the charges to each defendant: Guilty, Traffic School, or Not Guilty.  He got seemingly great enjoyment out of mocking people who responded otherwise or who wanted to explain something about the charges.

3.      When my name was called, I came forward and pled “not guilty,” which was one of the alternatives that he had said was available.  Only after I pled “not guilty” and asked for a trial did the Court announce that I had to post $500.00 “bail” to obtain a trial.  When it was clear that I was not, at that point, going to pay the $500.00, he told me to go back and sit down.  As I was headed back to my seat, he said to the bailiff “Bailiff, get your handcuffs lubricated.” I thought I had a constitutional right to a trial.  I thought bail could only be imposed on someone who is a flight risk.  I know many people who have had misdemeanor charges against them, including drunk driving charges, and they never had to post bail.  This infraction is, I believe, of less serious nature than a misdemeanor.  The discussion of “bail” came up only when I insisted on having a trial.  The judge became visibly agitated at me and asked why I thought I didn’t have to do the same thing everyone else was doing.  I don’t and didn’t know what everyone else was doing; I only know that I was there on my promise to appear for an arraignment on a traffic infraction, I appeared when I was supposed to appear, when the Court asked me how I pled, I respectfully said “not guilty,” to which the Court responded that I had to post bail.  If that was happening to everyone else, then it was as wrong for them to be required to pay “bail” to enjoy their constitutional right to trial as it is for me.

4.      The Court suggested that I would not get a trial until and unless I posted $500.00 “bail.”  I started thinking then that what the Court was labeling “bail” was really an admission fee to the trial Court, sort of like the old tickets one had to buy and hand over to enter certain rides at Disneyland.  It was not clear whether this was an “A Ticket” ride or an “E Ticket,” but I again said I was pleading “not guilty” and I wanted a trial.  By then the judge seemed quite furious.  He snapped that the matter was being continued to June 6.  I said I was not waiving time and I wanted a trial.  As his closing comments to me, he said that if I had not paid the $500.00 by the time of the continued date, he would add $300.00 to the amount he was saying was due.  He did not supply the authority for that warning.  Nor was it clear whether he was thereby prejudging guilt on the citation charges, or whether he was going to impose that amount, regardless of what he determined, in his “neutrality,” was the truth of the charge, or what.  I do not scare out of enjoying my constitutional rights that easily, and I had said, for a total of three times, that I was pleading not guilty and I wanted a trial.  I have consulted with counsel who knows the law of these matters and he does not know what authority would support the imposition of that additional $300.00 figure, but since I do not intend to pay this admission fee to enter the trial Court, I guess we will find out the authority, because I have been led to understand that many criminal defense attorneys are interested in learning what it is.

5.      Before I left, I politely inquired how I would go about getting a transcript of what had transpired in Court that day. The judge responded “I don’t care what you do after you leave this Court.  You can go spend $3,000.00 to hire a lawyer and figure that out; I don’t care.”

6.     I don’t think I have ever seen such rude treatment of a citizen who was simply and politely trying to enjoy his constitutional rights.

This all occurred in America, Folks – right here in Riverside County and Indio.

Needless to say, the dismissal motion that this declaration was appended to was granted today and the case was dismissed.  But that was no great loss to the voracious traffic court fiscal coffers, because the dismissal motion was called first, granted, and there was a courtroom of more potential lambs to the slaughter of “justice,” ready to be arraigned, and ready to be assailed and exploited out of their hard-earned funds.

When I first became aware of this sort of exploitation years ago, I brought the matter to the attention of the then-presiding judge of the Court system, Judge Thomas Cahraman, and he wrote me back that (a) it is not happening, and (b) if it is, it is okay.  Huh?  It was and is happening, and it is not okay, if we are a nation of laws and not of governmental hooligans.

That patent and purposeful rip-off of the public, denied to exist by a previous presiding judge, is what impelled me to run for judge against one of the greatest victimizers of the public in this scam the last time around, but his supporters also denied that what happens every day happens at all, and the easily fooled public fell for it.  You got the judiciary you deserve.  I and other liberty-oriented people did not.

Citizens who cannot afford counsel, who are the majority of people appearing on traffic arraignments, don’t know their rights in this regard, and cannot afford to litigate their rights on the subject, and hence they default into quietly paying their fines and leaving the courthouse, without trial or dignity.

There are circulars in the county law library regarding traffic court procedures that announce that a person appearing on a traffic arraignment who pleads not guilty must pay “bail” to obtain a trial.  There is no authority for that, and the Constitution speaks loudly against it, and I suspect most of the judges know it to be a fraud.  Paperwork from the Court, and some judges, cite Vehicle Code section 40519 as the authority for this scam.  Apart from the clear point that state statutes cannot trump state or federal constitutional doctrines, this one does not pretend to do so, if it is read.  That provision announces that if you have an arraignment date and you want to come in early and plead not guilty to the clerk, not in court but to the window clerk, they can require you to pay this “bail” to obtain a trial.  Neither it nor any other provision authorizes the collection of “bail,” which is really just an admission ticket to the traffic funhouse, to obtain a trial, if you have pled not guilty in open Court.  The Court cannot even read or understand the very authority it invokes for ripping unsuspecting people off.

There is nothing more loathsome that for a person’s government, the government of, by, and for the People, to rip off those people in the guise of administering “justice.”  The traffic court system has really morphed into a glorified appendage of the state tax revenue system, stealthily detouring Prop. 13’s limitation on taxation by duplicitously labeling the moneys thus extorted “fines” and “fees” and “assessments.”

This scam has to stop, and it has to stop now, and all judges who have enabled it should hang their heads in shame and resign.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Marijuana Madness; the Jury Got it Right, Regardles of What "The Man" Wanted

This recent item from the San Francisco Public Defender's Office illustrates, in stark tones, why "jury nullification" should continue to be understood to be the Framers' intended and legitimate protection for us all against governmental over-reaching, whether by the executive, the legislative, or judicial branches. [Yes, the fundamental power of civilian juries protect us against bad judges as well as against other agencies of government, which is why juries, when told by judges that they don't have that power, should merely smile and say "Uh, ya wanna bet?/!"]

San Francisco, CA— A good Samaritan who offered a pinch of marijuana to soothe a stressed out stranger only to have his compassion repaid with felony charges was acquitted following a jury trial, San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi announced today.

After three hours of deliberation, a jury on Wednesday found Stetson Qualls Jones, 24, not guilty of possession of marijuana for sale and sale of marijuana. If convicted, Qualls Jones faced up to three years in state prison, said his attorney, Deputy Public Defender Ariel Boyce-Smith.

Qualls Jones’ ordeal began Feb. 5 while hanging out with friends in the “Hippy Hill” area of Golden Gate Park. The group was socializing and smoking marijuana when Qualls Jones thought he recognized a man approaching the group and waved him over. Upon closer inspection, Qualls Jones realized the man was a stranger, but welcomed him regardless. When Qualls Jones invited him to smoke with the group, the man declined, asking instead if he could buy marijuana.

Qualls Jones testified that he told the man that he did not sell marijuana. The man appeared agitated and stressed out, so Qualls Jones reached into his personal stash, pinched off a small amount of marijuana, and handed it to the man, who turned out to be a police decoy.

Qualls Jones, who lives a communal lifestyle and frowns upon capitalism, testified that he refused the $20 the man offered him in exchange for the marijuana.

After the interaction, Qualls Jones was swarmed by five to six police officers, who were conducting a sting operation. Police found a bag of less than 1 ounce of marijuana in his jacket pocket. Police testified they found the $20 under a blanket where Qualls Jones was sitting.

Qualls Jones spent four days in jail before being released by a judge.

During the trial, Qualls Jones testified that he considers marijuana to be medicine and feels it should be freely shared instead of bought and sold.

Under questioning from Boyce-Smith, two police officers admitted they were receiving overtime pay in exchange for the buy-bust operation. One of the officers also acknowledged on the stand that his department receives federal grants for the stings.

“Despite conducting a well-funded operation, police did not bother to gather any corroborating evidence. There wasn’t a single photograph taken or a single witness interviewed, despite the fact that Mr. Qualls Jones was sitting with six other people in a public park,” Boyce-Smith said.

Throughout the trial, Boyce-Smith repeated a rhyme that captured the frailty of the case: “He didn’t accept a dime/they made up this crime/while they were getting paid overtime.”

In 2006, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance making marijuana offenses the police department’s lowest priority. However, public marijuana sales are not included in the policy.

Qualls Jones was found guilty of possession of less than 1 ounce of marijuana, an infraction, and fined $25.

Adachi said Qualls Jones never posed a risk to public safety.

“A tremendous amount of city resources were wasted in a manufactured case against a man who was minding his own business,” Adachi said. “San Franciscans have been very clear about marijuana enforcement and I am not surprised a jury rejected this case.”

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Don Sterling, the Racist, is Not Alone - The Punishment is Too Much

The understandable folderol about Don Sterling and his foul mouth and his Clippers franchise [his personal property] raises many interesting, telling, and sometimes disturbing issues, over and above the rankness of his bigoted speech.  For instance, I was amused to note that a friend who pretends to value free speech and balance deleted my comment on his Facebook page, along the lines of this post, about the lifetime ban of Donald Sterling, which sadly might say more about him than Sterling's known foul mouth said about him.

I think the punishment of Sterling is quite over the top. Sterling is a jerk, a bigot, an asshole, and he deserves whatever loathing comes his way. However, official, regulatory ostracism is not a standard practiced in this country.  And there are many team-members who also fit that description [including one who labeled the teams "black teams"], some of whom liberally use the "n" word while decrying those of other races who use it, and their racism is similarly revolting, and yet we don't see them banned, punished, highlighted as the cretins they are, etc.

Just as it is Un-American to practice ostracism, it is also un-American to deprive a person of the use and enjoyment of his property, which he alone assumed the risk to build up, to the same extent that it is un-American to be a bigot [although I suspect a high percentage of Americans really are bigots of various sorts!], and I think we should tread carefully before we allow collective moral self-righteousness be the measure by which WE decide if YOU can keep and enjoy your property and pursuit of happiness.

Make no mistake about it - I think Sterling is a scumbag and he has earned a place on the lower rungs of Dante's Inferno. We need to be careful, though, that we don't slip down close to him by our actions and public and private thoughts, glass houses and stones and the like.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Coachella Fest and Stagecoach

CoachellaFest and Stagecoach: as I have warned over and over and over, 1. don't discuss the subject of drugs with anyone you don't know, and 2. don't admit to anything of criminal significance, nor consent to searches of your person or belongings or car, when contacted by the police. Indeed, since too many people readily fall prey to predatory cops, program yourself to not say anything to the cops, other than your name.  Responding to “what is this?” or “have you ever been arrested before?” or “how long have you been here?” or “do you mind waiting here while I get a police dog?” or “where did you get this money?” or anything other than a legitimate question about your name can and will be used against you in ways you won’t understand until the police report supporting your arrest and felony accusation comes out, so say nothing to the cops.  It never helps, except by helping them serve their agenda and by helping me obtain a juicy retainer fee! 

Get this in your minds - the cops are NOT your friends when it comes to investigating crimes - they are friends only of themselves and of their agenda, and their agenda has nothing to do with your well-being or liberty. Telling the cops they can search your pockets that you know are crammed with drugs, and then coming to me to get you out of it, is thoughtless - protect yourself because you pay me $thousands to undo the effects of you not doing so.

Following this past weekend’s “Fest,” there is the stench in the nostrils of freedom-loving people who were the victims of the predatory tactics of the police searching, seizing, arresting, harassing them to build up their grant-funded portfolios in the hypocritical name of "public safety." I am outraged by some of the overbearing antics by the cops, and their police dogs, to profit from conduct that might technically be illegal [although not all of it is], but which is really not hurting anyone. We have lost our way in this Republic, all the while scolding regimes in other parts of the world for their anti-liberty activities that sometimes pale in comparison to ours. Back off, cops, and leave people alone, unless there is evidence of true crime, not the drug and alcohol manufactured crime about which you are suspiciously aggressive.

The police are predators looking out for their own interests – do not become their sadly easy prey by thinking you will help yourself by “cooperating” with tidbits of statements or consents – you will not, ever.  You only hurt yourselves by “cooperating” into supplying the government with evidence to be used against you.  Protect yourself from the Hun, because it is sometimes very costly to undo the effects of your lack of wisdom in protecting yourself, and a complete undoing is not always possible anyway.

Talking to the cops, or giving consent to search, is a suicidal move – are you into suicide, or self-preservation?  Only you know the answer to that, but I will not sugarcoat the psychological nature of cooperating with government when it is investigating crime – it is suicide.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Thoughts About Bullying on the School Ground

There is a resurgence in the incidence of, or at least in discussions and public attention about, bullying in our society, and there are some things that can be done about the problem right off the bat [over and above dumping the bullies in a mine shaft!], but we need to see what might be causing it because we need to focus on a systemic cure.

It is important to realize that school-ground bullying is simply a microcosm of our national political policies, from the beginning right up until now, and so one cannot entirely fault street punks from picking up on and emulating that which our “leaders” teach and do on a regular basis.

Bullying, by definition, is the exercise of physical force and verbal intimidation by an obviously stronger person against an obviously weaker one.  Bullies do not take on people of their own size and power, because they know there is a high danger of them getting cold-cocked: they are, in a word, cowards.  But isn’t that characteristic of our national war philosophy?

We know the greatest evils against individuals and peoples, and the most wide-ranging genocides, in our lifetime have been, and are practiced, by the U.S.SR./Russia, and China.  But while we get belligerently self-righteous about the supposed menace of their puppets like North Korea, Cuba, North Vietnam, Cambodia, and we get belligerently self-righteous about the comparatively lesser outrages by the Taliban and Iraq and Iran and Grenada and Libya and Yugoslavia, and by people we dislike in Pakistan and Egypt and Somalia and Syria and elsewhere, we never invade, attack, or threaten Russia or China.  That is precisely the same as the schoolyard bully:  we pick on and prod and invade and attack and execute the little guys [killing innocent civilians as “collateral damage”!], but we dare not move against the big guys.

And there is something in the American psyche that perversely celebrates, or at least tolerates, the bully.  There was a recent criminal case locally in which a police detective absolutely, verbally brutalized the teenage suspect for hours, over and over accusing her of being a liar when she would not say what the cops wanted, screeching “Bullshit” at her, threatening her with lifetime incarceration if she did not say what they wanted, so she eventually was coerced thereby into saying what the brutish cops wanted.  And we were certain that the jury would recoil against the over-the-top bullying by the cops.  But they didn’t.  They genuflectingly gave the government what it wanted out of the trial, thereby exhibiting the same values for jury trial practices as Benedict Arnold did for military practices - the jurors were traitors.

And then it has been found that the majority of school bullies were/are abused at home.  They emulate their perverse parents, learning that threats and physical violence is a regular way of communication, since their parents communicate with them that way.  Just as spanking by parents teaches kids violence by example, so too bullying by parents.  We teach and learn by example.

So, if jurors allow and hence enable constabularial bullying, and if national foreign policy practices international military and diplomatic bullying, and if twisted parents practice bullying, and if some school teachers administrators practice bullying, then how are school punks supposed to understand that such is evil and uncivilized?

We need to examine ourselves and our views, and then we can begin to find a cure for bullying.