Law Enforcement

Police, courts, and the justice system

Problem: Our justice system doesn’t provide justice for the middle class; police hand out tickets rather than protect our children; courts don’t care about the little guy. 

Hello. Hi. How do ya like my smile? Oh, sorry…that’s just me waving and smiling at the camera on my computer. Hell, you never know who from the government could be watching you at any point in time. That’s right, there’s technology that lets people look at you even when it seems that your camera is turned off. But the government would never do that. Just like they would never collect and/or read/listen to your email and/or phone conversations. Not if you’re an American citizen at least. Well they do. “Come on man, they just collect “meta data”. They don’t read emails and listen to phone calls.” OK, even if I believed that, they have no business collecting meta data on an American citizen who isn’t suspected of a crime, and who they don’t have a search warrant for. “That data doesn’t belong to you. It belongs to a company like Google so the government has every right to it.” Man, one of the stupidest things I’ve heard in a while. Google’s records are private. The government has no more of a right to obtain those records without a search warrant as they do to go through your house without a search warrant. Yeah, I understand that dusty ol’ Constitution thingy is out of date and didn’t account for terrorism and such (it did). Screw the freedoms that we were born with. There are absolutely no other ways to fight terrorists that wouldn’t trample our right to be free from unreasonable search and the government constantly watching what we do. You super smart guys in the government absolutely suck (sorry Chael, didn’t mean to steal your line. It seemed so appropriate). Figure something out. If you need help, come talk to us Crazies. We have the answers for you. Oh, and let’s not forget the IRS. They can pretty much do anything they want to you without a warrant.

Are all the criminals rotting in jail? The rapists, child molesters, sex traffickers, car thieves? The internet scammers and the ID thieves? I’m pretty sure the answer is, “no”. Why not? Is it the cops fault? Or the judges and courts? Maybe the prosecutors? It’s the fault of all of them because they really don’t give a crap about justice for the middle class. The legal system is all about $$, favors, elections, and power for the ruling class. Don’t believe it?

Let’s talk about cops. Once upon a time, the police were there to protect and serve the public. Now it seems their mission is to collect and harass(O). Protect and serve(N) is an old idea, but a good one…the right one. Being available to help a person in need should be every cops first priority. A cop writing a ticket for a “criminal” u-turner (aka a law abiding citizen) at 3am, when no cars are on the road, is not available to help a person getting mugged. If that cop were cruising around, the mugging may not have happened. Patrolling neighborhood streets is a much better crime deterrent than sitting on a dark street corner waiting for a hardened “criminal” (normal, law abiding citizen) to not completely stop at a stop sign.

Instead of patrolling the highways looking for someone to harass, our police officers could be investigating real crime and going after real criminals…preventing car or property theft, and catching the thief. Or maybe looking for a kidnapper in Oregon City before two little girls are taken and killed. Remember that one? Miranda and Ashley. I wonder how many cops were handing out tickets or looking for speeders when those poor little girls were abducted. What if that was your child? Would you think to yourself, “well…that cop really does need to be looking for a speeder rather than watching for a bad guy who wants to abduct and kill my child. After all, what would our streets be like if cops weren’t handing out tickets?” It’s not one or the other. There’s a way to have both, but the ruling class don’t take much of a liking to change that affects their power and $$ in a bad way.

I just went to a traffic safety class in Portland. I really wasn’t looking forward to it, but I ended up being happy to attend and learning a few things. 1) There are a TON of people who get busted in “stings”. Crosswalk stings seemed to be the big one. Red light stings are another. Funny thing is…virtually no one in the class knew the actual laws they were busted for breaking. 2) There are a TON of complex laws. It’s virtually impossible for a person to drive from here to there and not break the law…or even walk down the street without doing something wrong. Is that right? Is it needed? 3) Police actually do harass people, the cop who spoke admitted it. And he laughed about it. I can’t remember his exact words, but he said something along the lines of, “and if a guy isn’t nice, he’s going to be ticked for “POP” or “Pissing Off the Police”. Basically the cop will get you for every little thing he can if you piss him off. Are we really expected to kiss a cop’s ass? Yep. According to this official spokesman for the Portland Police Department. So if you don’t want to be harassed, start puckering! Hahahaha! Everyone in the class laughed at the cop when he told us this. NOT FUNNY PEOPLE!! 4) I didn’t see even one person who looked like they were from the ruling class. Not one. 150 middle class people were sitting in the room.

Stings are great! They don’t seem to do any good, but they’re great! OK, they’re a bullshit waste of time and $$. There is no epidemic of people getting run over at crosswalks, or accidents at stop lights (there is a crime epidemic involving violence, theft, etc.). I know, “That’s not true! You’re an idiot!” What do you suppose the percentage of cars crossing an intersection and getting into an accident is? Minuscule. There might be that very rare occasion where an intersection is actually dangerous. Stings aren’t going to make it better, stings will make more $$. There are other things a city can do, like extend the yellow light, or make all lights red for a longer period of time. Wanna be safe crossing a cross walk? Do it the old fashion way(N)! Look both ways and only cross when there are no cars, or go to a controlled intersection. That’s what I’ve taught my kids. I also tell them, “It doesn’t matter if the driver was wrong. You’re dead. NEVER walk in front of a car unless it’s sitting at a red light and you have a walk signal. It’s simply not safe. Even if it’s stopped it’s not safe. A car will win every time.”

Solution: Have the police “protect and serve”, rather than “collect and harass”; stop electing judges and cycle them out every couple years; stop electing District Attorneys; and other Crazy things. 

But…stings really are great. More of them would be awesome. More car theft stings. More child molester and sex crime stings. More internet scam and identity theft stings. You get the picture. Getting the REAL bad guys in stings would be much better for us, the middle class. If we did this, the bad guys would know that if you commit a crime in Oregon, you’re taking a huge risk of getting caught because that’s the number one job of our police. Criminals might as well move on to Washington or California where the police are still stuck doing things the old(O) way. Stop intentionally targeting the law abiding middle class, and start doing what you should be doing…catching the bad guys.

“This just in…lots of people were just killed by some insane criminal with an assault rifle.” Sound familiar? It seems like an every day occurrence anymore. Actually, it’s not. They just want you to think it is. Luckily, you still have a better chance of being stricken down by a bolt of lightening than getting caught up in a mass murder or terrorist attack. But that doesn’t really matter. It’s still scary. What can be done to keep us safe? We can pat down granny and take away everyone’s guns. I can see how that would make people feel better, but would it really work? How about the police? Can they protect us against insane gunmen? “How are they going to protect us and write traffic tickets at the same time?” That’s a really good question. There are better alternatives that will actually protect us from terrorists and mass murderers, but we need to get a little Crazy to come up with solutions. Or we can go on our merry way, like we’re doing now and just live in fear. That’s screwed.

Even if were only concerned with our protection, it still wouldn’t be enough. It’s simply impossible for the police to be everywhere, all the time. By the time a cop arrives at a crime scene, it’s likely too late and someone’s dead. A better solution does exist. Let’s get a little Crazy. What if we had a huge ass volunteer police unit made up of responsible people in the community? These people would be trained by the police and have some of the authority of the police. What if these people were all around us, all the time? Maybe your neighbor, or sitting next to you on the Max, or shopping in the mall. And what if they were all connected to the 911 system through their smart phones so those in the area of a crime would automatically be notified and they could respond in an instant? Let’s make it even better…what if these people were also trained in basic life saving skills and all of them carried a portable defibrillator in their cars? After all, by the time emergency services arrive at a scene, you’re dead. Are you more interested in saving lives, or collecting $$? Just a Crazy ass thought.

Moving on…the court system. I’ve been through a divorce, which made me believe the court has no concern for the well-being of children. I’m not sure what the deal is. Maybe they’re just so sick of hearing the same thing day after day that they no longer care, so they don’t even listen, and they render the standard decision. Maybe they’ve heard from enough low life, deadbeat dads that they won’t give the responsible one a chance. Whatever the reason, it needs to be fixed, because the kids are getting screwed.

I sat on a jury once. What an experience that was. The accused man was on trial for allegedly molesting his 15 year old daughter. I was surprised at the amount of what seemed to be “bullshit” that was coming out of the mouth of the District Attorney and the lead investigator for the police. So much of it was just unbelievable. All they needed to do was record the interrogations and interviews the cops did, and if the recording verified what the officer testified to, the man would have been convicted. Instead, it was the DA’s word against the defendant. The man left the courtroom free because we on the jury weren’t convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that he committed the crime. The police and the DA were an embarrassment.

The court system is messed up for many reasons. Probably the main reason is how it screws the middle class and the ruling class somehow (it’s their $$ and fame) usually can buy their way out. You’re ruling class? You get a great lawyer. Middle class? You get a crap lawyer, if any. That’s hardly “equal justice for all”. Keep in mind, judges are the ruling class. They sit in an elite position of power. They dress in black robes like they’re the bringer of death. They sit perched up high on their fancy chair with their hammer and look down on you, the middle class. They treat you like you’re beneath them, and you are, because they’re the ruling class and you’re not. There’s really nothing fair about our court system. Sure, there’s probably someone reading this book who had a good experience in a court room. All experiences should be good. Even if you lose you should leave with the feeling that you were treated fairly by a person who truly cares about justice for all, and who’s excited to be at work helping his fellow middle class person.

As bad as our court system is, it can be fixed. Swapping out judges would be a great start. Being a judge could be like doing community service for all seasoned lawyers. They all know the law and the procedure. This would also get rid of voting in judges, which is a joke. It gives the middle class the appearance that we have a choice of who our judges are. But in reality we’re told who we can vote for, so our choices are extremely limited. Think about it, if you’re a lawyer and you want to run against a sitting judge, one who you would be arguing in front of when you lose the election, would you think twice about running? Yeah, I know, judges are suppose to be impartial. I’ve yet to see an impartial judge. I’d almost rather be judged by a computer that only abides by the law and doesn’t “have a bad day”, or “not like men”, or “likes the drink”, or “spouse was killed by a drunk driver”, etc.

Also, not enough judges are elected to take care of all the cases. Judge Pro Tem’s are appointed to pick up the slack. They’re not elected. In many instances, mediation is required by law so the case never even sees a judge. The mediator is a lawyer (most of the time). So why elect judges when we might not (probably won’t) be able to go before a judge we elected? The system sucks for the middle class, but it can be changed.

Along the same lines, electing District Attorneys isn’t the best way to go. They need to concentrate on convicting real bad guys (as opposed to just trying to get a conviction of anyone), rather than worrying about the next election. A reputation is not something to worry about when you’re a DA in charge of making sure the bad guys (not good guys that look like bad guys) are properly punished.

Having laws that keep bad guys locked up for a long time is important. Measure 11 (mandatory sentencing in certain cases) is a good idea, but it doesn’t work very well. People get caught up in it who shouldn’t be. Here’s an idea for a new, simple system that everyone can understand. If you commit an intentional crime against another person, a person’s property, a business, or a businesses property, you’re looking at a minimum of five years with no possibility of early release. It’s really that simple. “But what if this?!! And what if that?!!” I can come up with “what if’s” all day long. Don’t worry, impartial judges in the new system are overseeing everything. So what’s the message? Don’t commit a crime in Oregon, we’re serious.

All of this really means nothing if the quote at the beginning of this section is true. “It depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is.” This is so true in our legal system today. Those in a position of power…judges, lawyers, cops, politicians, bureaucrats, and other members of the ruling class make the laws and enforce the laws. When one of their own laws doesn’t work out so well for them, they simply redefine the meaning of “is”…or whatever word they need to redefine to suit their agenda. So the laws really mean nothing to the middle class because they can easily be manipulated by the ruling class, but not you and I in the middle class. Our lives would be much better if this changed and everyone lived according to the same laws.

How would you like to live in a state where crime is virtually nonexistent? It could happen in Oregon if we get Crazy and remove politics from our legal system. Our legal system should work for us, the middle class, at every level. Cops, lawyers, judges, prosecutors, and District Attorneys should all be concerned with justice and justice alone.

The safety of people in Oregon should be a top priority, not $$ or politics. The middle class can make Oregon much safer for everyone if we can come together and get a little Crazy.