Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Attorney and witness, questions and answers

Michael (4,440 comments) says: 

How Do Court Reporters Keep Straight Faces?
These are from a book called Disorder in the Courts and are things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and published by court reporters that had the torment of staying calm while the exchanges were taking place.
ATTORNEY: What was the first thing your husband said to you that morning?
WITNESS: He said, ‘Where am I, Cathy?’
ATTORNEY: And why did that upset you?
WITNESS: My name is Susan!
ATTORNEY: What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?
WITNESS: Gucci sweats and Reeboks.
ATTORNEY: Are you sexually active?
WITNESS: No, I just lie there.
ATTORNEY: What is your date of birth?
WITNESS: July 18th.
ATTORNEY: What year?
WITNESS: Every year.
ATTORNEY: How old is your son, the one living with you?
WITNESS: Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can’t remember which.
ATTORNEY: How long has he lived with you?
WITNESS: Forty-five years.
ATTORNEY: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?
ATTORNEY: And in what ways does it affect your memory?
WITNESS: I forget..
ATTORNEY: You forget? Can you give us an example of something you forgot?
ATTORNEY: Now doctor, isn’t it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn’t know about it until the next morning?
WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?
ATTORNEY: The youngest son, the 20-year-old, how old is he?
WITNESS: He’s 20, much like your IQ.
ATTORNEY: Were you present when your picture was taken?
WITNESS: Are you shitting me?
ATTORNEY: So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?
ATTORNEY: And what were you doing at that time?
WITNESS: Getting laid
ATTORNEY: She had three children , right?
ATTORNEY: How many were boys?
ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?
WITNESS: Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney?
ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated?
WITNESS: By death..
ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated?
WITNESS: Take a guess.
ATTORNEY: Can you describe the individual?
WITNESS: He was about medium height and had a beard
ATTORNEY: Was this a male or a female?
WITNESS: Unless the Circus was in town I’m going with male.
ATTORNEY: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?
WITNESS: No, this is how I dress when I go to work.
ATTORNEY: Doctor , how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead people?
WITNESS: All of them. The live ones put up too much of a fight.
ATTORNEY: ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK? What school did you go to?
ATTORNEY: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
WITNESS: The autopsy started around 8:30 PM
ATTORNEY: And Mr. Denton was dead at the time?
WITNESS: If not, he was by the time I finished.
ATTORNEY: Are you qualified to give a urine sample?
WITNESS: Are you qualified to ask that question?
And last:
ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?
ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?
WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

An old vision with warnings

 It seems like Enoch Powell’s “rivers of blood” speech although given (written?) in 1944 by an American Samuel Barret Pettengill U. S. Congressman 1886-1974 and appropriate here:
In 1944, Democratic U.S. Congressman Samuel Pettengill warned America that socialists would endeavor to have the U.S. spend itself into bankruptcy, with a view to making citizens totally dependent on a centralized government.

Pettengill detailed TEN POINTS of the socialist manifesto that would destroy free government. Almost 50 years later it is disturbing to reflect on Pettengill’s 10 points.

1) People must be made to feel their utter helplessness and their inability to solve their own problems. While in this state of mind, there is held up before them a benign and all-wise leader to whom they MUST look to the cure for all their ills.

2) The principle of local self-government must be WIPED OUT, so that this leader or group in control can have all the political power readily at hand.

3) Constitutional guarantees must be swept aside. This accomplished in part by RIDICULING them as outmoded and an obstruction to progress.
4) Public faith in the legal profession and respect for the courts must be undermined. The law making body must be intimidated and from time to time rebuked, so as to prevent the development of public confidence in it.

5) Economically, the people must be ground down by high taxes, which under one pretext or another they are called upon to pay. Thus they are brought to a common level and all income above a meager living is taken from them. In this manner, economic independence is kept to a minimum.

6) A great public debt must be built so the citizens can never escape its burden, making government the virtual receiver for the entire nation.
7) A general distrust of private business and industry must be kept alive so the public may not begin to rely on its own resources.
8) Government bureaus are set up to control practically every phase of the citizen’s lives.

9) The education of the youth of the nation is taken under CONTROL so that all may be indoctrinated at an early age with a spirit of submission to the system.
10) To supplement and fortify all the foregoing, there is kept up a steady stream of GOVERNMENT PROPAGANDA designed to extol all who bow the knee and to vilify those who dare raise a voice of dissent.

Samuel Barret Pettengill U. S. Congressman 1886-1974 Reprinted from an article in Ken Hamblin ‘Talks with America’ News letter Feb. 19. 1996
P.O.. Box 562 Castle Rock, CO 80104

Is this happening today?  Has it always been the same through history?

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Virtues; endeavor to follow

When a society abandons these virtues, the people become corrupt, and unwilling to abide by the rule of law. A viciousness blankets the people, which leads to violence and lawlessness

A Virtuous Society

By Douglas V. Gibbs -- Bio and Archives  May 30, 2015 
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Benjamin Franklin emphasized that without virtue, free societies could not properly function.  He said, “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.”
With freedom comes responsibility.  The responsible society is one that is virtuous.  A man with virtue is a man that possesses “sacred honor.”  It is for the sake of a free society that men must deny the evils of human nature, and implement the principles of being virtuous into their own lives.  It is best for society, and for one’s own existence, to strive for betterment, to strive to improve oneself each and every day.  To be civilized, and be restrained from the temptation of mob rule, is among the cornerstones of a free society.
Benjamin Franklin established that the journey to being a moral culture is anchored in thirteen virtues.  Franklin worked daily to achieve a moral life by pursuing these thirteen virtues.  He even kept a journal and charts to assist him in keeping track of his progress in living his life with each of the virtues as his guide.  Franklin admitted that perfection is unattainable, agreeing with biblical doctrine that “all have fallen short of the Glory of God,” but he believed that being in constant pursuit of a moral life would make him, and anyone else that pursued this kind of life, a better and happier individual.  If society was filled with such people who sought a moral life, society would remain prosperous and free, and liberty would be maintained.
The thirteen virtues were; Temperance, Silence, Order, Resolution, Frugality, Industry, Sincerity, Justice, Moderation, Cleanliness, Tranquility, Chastity and Humility.


Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
With temperance comes self-discipline, a trait necessary to obtain all of the virtues.  If one could achieve temperance, the other virtues, therefore, would be obtainable.  The virtue calls for one to restrain oneself from overindulgence in food or drink.  Food and drink are primal urges, and conquering overindulgence assists one in building the confidence to make improvements across the board.  Notice that the call was not for abstinence from alcohol, or to constantly diet.  Eat as necessary, and drink when one desires to, but have the self-discipline to resist being overindulgent.  Understanding where the line is before one becomes overindulgent is self-evident to a person that is virtuous.


Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; Avoid trifling Conversation.  
Thanks to technology, we live in an information age.  However, the information we seek can often be trivial chatter, and nonsensical noise.  As our culture changes, we have lost the polite manners or etiquette that defines a civilized society.  Now, we not only don’t think before we speak, but we put our entire lives on social media seeking our fifteen minutes of fame, or to put out a message of how well we are doing at something, or how cool we are in whatever setting we have snapped our “selfie” at.  We speak to prop ourselves up, or act in a manner that would be normally unbecoming to gain an opportunity to act like an animal in front of a television camera.  There are old sayings that remind us that sometimes things are better left unsaid.  My dad used to tell me, “God gave you two ears, and one mouth, for a reason.”  Sometimes, it is best to listen, and then respond in a manner that benefits the situation, rather than react in a manner designed only to narcissistically benefit oneself.


Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
John Locke wrote that we live under the laws of nature, and that those laws are self-evident.  Our rights are God-given, but even though they are naturally given, without us working to maintain those rights for ourselves, they will eventually whither away.  An ordered society left to itself without purposeful action to maintain order will eventually descend to the lowest common denominator.  To prevent a culture from descending into chaos and disorganization, we must ensure that we work to ensure order remains in place.  James Madison recognized that “men are not angels,” therefore we need government, but because men are not angels, that government must be constantly checked or else it will become a tyranny.  To be orderly, we must recognize a standard that demands order, and in successful societies the order maintained is rooted in a moral foundation.  Small adjustments as society wavers must be made by virtuous people.  If the people are not virtuous enough to recognize the deterioration of their culture, and if they let go of their moral code, the society will become corrupt and vicious, and an order of totalitarian control will fill the void in order to maintain order.  Without seeking order as a virtuous people, the populace will become no different than a pack of animals, destroying their own neighborhoods in an angry rage, which will eventually lead to bloodlust, and then the collapse of the free society as the leaders use tyranny in an attempt to stave off the collapse.


Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
To be tempered, or to maintain order, we must have the resolution to accomplish the task, and do so in a moral manner.  Even when the odds seem to be against us, we must have the resolve to carry through, to carry on, and to optimistically endeavor to maintain our virtuous society.  If we don’t have the firm determination to accomplish the task at hand, how can we maintain a virtuous society?  Resolution is a result of determination, and confidence.  Determination and confidence, when joined with the understanding that we must do what is right to resist evil, enables us to develop the resolution to accomplish the task at hand.  Improving our own resolve in life to do what we ought to do for ourselves leads to a community that works to use that resolve together to help maintain a virtuous society through our own participation in our community or political arena.  When enough people resolve to perform what they ought to do in their own lives, the overall community benefits, and the culture remains a virtuous one.


Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.
This is not a call to avoid the incentive to improve one’s lot in life, or to pursue a better lifestyle, but it is instead a recognition that waste or excessive living can lead to undesirable consequences.  In other words, be it in our own lives, or on a grander stage, we must ensure we spend less than what we earn, and save excess if you can for when conditions are not as favorable.  Have nice things, enjoy your life, but not so much that it causes you to dig yourself into debt, or for you to not be properly prepared when times of difficulty approach.  Frugality is easily obtained if one has self-discipline that accompanies temperance and silence, order in their lives, and the resolution to ensure that the morality that accompanies these virtues remains in place, even when one’s station in life increases and it becomes easy to forget where we came from.


Lose no time. Be always employed in something useful. Cut off all unnecessary actions.  
Self-reliance works best when one is efficient in one’s endeavors, eliminating wasteful actions, and employing industriousness in order to best achieve one’s goals.  Unfortunately, many seek quick fixes, easy schemes, or unrealistic wages for entry-level work.  A virtuous person works though the processes, and travels through the stages one must navigate to accomplish their objectives.  I told my daughter when she was a student that to succeed all one has to do is more than everyone else.  Go for that extra effort, and be honorable when going about your tasks.  Even if the job is one that is not something you really want to be doing, tackle it with your best effort.  The value of working hard is better than the habit of hardly working, for it will train us to accomplish in life what we seek when the opportunity arises.  We must also work smart, seeking endeavors that are purposeful, and useful.


Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.  
Gossip is the number one attention-getter in social media and in the media.  Everyone wants the dirt on what people are doing.  We have become a culture of people who want to pry into everyone else’s affairs.  We are sarcastic, and “truth” has become a radical concept.  The same kind of insincerity has begun to emerge in the world outside of the internet and media, and that kind of activity does not build up a society, but instead tears it down, harming people, creating animosity between people and groups, and breaking down the civility in a society.  If we can personally avoid such a vice in our lives, the virtue of sincerity will spread to those around us.  Being a virtuous society begins with how we act in our own lives, and how we interact with the world around us.  Sincerity also means that we ought to be “genuine,” rather than providing a false image for those to see.  We must be honest, and honorable.  If we are not, our words will betray us.


Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.  Justice is not something forced upon a society by a tyrannical government, or a condition achieved by the redistribution of wealth.  Justice begins with each individual.  As individuals we must voluntarily decide for ourselves to do what we can to stand up for those that we can stand up for.  This must be the voluntary choice of individuals, however, not something that is forced upon those through the dictates of government, or the redistribution of wealth through taxation.  When we act in a just manner, we must remember to be sincere, and moral.  When we strive to do right in our personal life, it sets a standard for society.  Justice is achieved in a moral society because a virtuous people do not seek to force injustice upon anybody.  Inaction, however, can be as unacceptable as unjust actions.  Apathy has grabbed our society by the throat, and we have become voyeurs that observe injustice, shake our heads at the horror of what we’ve seen, and then turn our backs upon it without seeking to set right the situation.  A virtuous society remains virtuous when the people are moral participants who strive to maintain the standards that made the society successful.


Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.  
We live in a society that chases lawsuits at every opportunity, or is quick to violence when we feel we’ve been wronged.  We must remember to not react on a hair-trigger, nor should we “Make mountains out of mole hills.”  Extreme reactions that are not proportionate to an offense are not the mark of a virtuous society.  Granted, extreme actions are sometimes necessary.  Benjamin Franklin welcomed the extreme condition of revolution against British Rule because it was necessary in the context of the time period, and regarding what the colonists were attempting to achieve.  But, extremes for the sake of being extreme are not necessarily a good course in a virtuous society.  We always want “more,” and sometimes “more” can be a good thing…but, more of what?  What is the motive behind our desire for more?  Is it possible to have too much of something?  And if it is, where is that line between not enough, and too much?  The answers are supposed to be self-evident when a people are virtuous.  If we are not maintaining the aforementioned virtues in our lives, how can we determine where the region of moderation truly exists?  How can we, if we are not virtuous, and if we are subject to chasing extremes, determine the difference between good and evil, or excess and folly?


Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.
Cleanliness is something that encompasses more than being one that is attentive to personal hygiene.  Yes, it is wise to be bathed, to keep our clothing laundered so that we are not wearing soiled garments, and to ensure that our homes are kept up in a manner that is not chaotic or filthy.  Cleanliness also covers being appropriate, and paying attention to detail, discipline, and order.  The presentation of ourselves to our surroundings are an important part to how society views us.  How can we maintain that our society must be a virtuous one if we cannot even maintain the simple virtue of cleanliness?  If one is tempered, self-disciplined, orderly, resolved, frugal, industrious, sincere, just, and not subject to extremes, the virtue of cleanliness will come naturally, for one will desire to offer a proper presentation of themselves to others, be it in hygiene, dress, one’s home, or the other belongings that reveals the character of our condition of virtue upon first examination by others.


Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.  
This is a second virtue that borrows from the old adage, “Don’t make mountains out of mole hills.”  In this case, however, the virtue is one that approaches one’s temperament.  Do we allow the irritations in life to anger us, and do we then lash out in response?  Do we dwell on the unavoidable, and allow our anxiety over those unavoidable situations to dictate our actions and decisions?  Do we react to situations, or respond to them?  Are our emotions in control of our actions, or are we?  Controlling, and tempering, one’s anger, is a sign of a virtuous individual that is composed and confident.  Avoiding stress, and maintaining one’s cool, also has a number of social and health benefits attached.  Relationships are more easily maintained when one remains “under control” in regards to his anger.  Stress has also been determined to lead to a number of medical conditions that are neither beneficial, nor preferential.  When individuals maintain tranquility, society benefits.  When individuals allow their anger to guide their lives, society ceases to be virtuous, and reduces itself to mob-rule, and ultimately violence and chaos.


Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dulness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.  
A good sexual relationship is a healthy part of a marriage, and is necessary to produce offspring.  Chastity is not used here to mean that we must abstain from sexual activity, but to use the gift that God gave us in the manner it was originally intended.  With sexual promiscuity and sexual deviance follows a long line of consequences that can range from irritating to life-threatening.  Today’s society has abandoned this virtue, engaging in a system that uses sex in every nook and cranny of our culture.  Sex is used to sell, to entertain, and as a political weapon to silence certain groups and label them as unwilling to get with the so-called evolution of humanity.  A once sacred act designed for the intimacy of a God-ordained marriage has become just another tool to gain consumers, be cheaply used in entertainment, or as just another function in our everyday culture.  The “hook-up” is seeking to be as common as one’s decision to have a meal.  Chastity requires the same self-discipline necessary to maintain the other virtues, and if one refuses to give in to the urges of sexual desire that reach beyond the context through which such an activity was originally designed to be, how can we maintain an ordered society with the other virtues?  A society unable to abide by the moral standards that accompany a chaste society will also be unable to also abide by the standards put forward by the rule of law, be they Nature’s Law by Nature’s God, or the principles and philosophies set forth by a written political standard such as we have in the United States Constitution.


Imitate Jesus and Socrates.  
In a Christian society, the goal of every member of the culture is to be more like Jesus.  The endeavor is impossible on the surface, because Christ was perfect, and our human nature demands that we will continually fall short of the Glory of God.  However, in our desire to seek the virtues necessary to imitate a figure like Jesus, or Socrates, we improve ourselves and the world around us.  Change must start from within, and when, as individuals, we seek to be the best we can be based on the moral standards set forth by a virtuous society, we improve the culture around us, as well.  When we seek to be virtuous, those around us have the choice to either grow with us, or be left in the dust.  When examples of virtue are on prominent display, and a person’s life is bettered because of it, those around the person seeking to imitate such a virtuous life are encouraged to do the same, and seek a virtuous life as well.  In a society where the standard is based on morality, and the members of that culture actively seek to improve their adherence to the virtues they would like to attain, we begin to use the positive side of our natural attributes.  Rather than be arrogant, we become confident.  Rather than be bossy, we become leaders.  Humility is a trait shared by the greatest of men, because humility accompanies an internal confidence that does not seek to allow our words to speak for us, for instead reminds us that it is best for our actions to speak for themselves.
When a society abandons these virtues, the people become corrupt, and unwilling to abide by the rule of law.  A viciousness blankets the people, which leads to violence and lawlessness.  In response, unable to restrain the mobs, the people in the position of power feel the need to crack down on the people that are partaking in violence and disorder in order to attempt to restore peace and safety.  Laws become more strict, and the servants in place to govern become masters that rule over the populace.  Then, the vicious debauchery that caused the society to become a violent mob infects the society throughout every portion of the culture, and throughout every hall of law enforcement and government, leading the society to no other way out than to commit suicide, and die a bloody death through societal collapse, a bloody revolution, and the chaos of transition into bondage.  We are now beginning to see the early stages of that death, and though the Constitution is the political solution, we are incapable of restoring the republic or abiding by the principles of the Constitution if we refuse to return to the moral standards that built his nation, and made it a virtuous society in the first place.  Without having a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, the moral standards necessary to maintain an orderly and virtuous society is impossible.  Without God, people are not capable of freedom, and therefore, if we do not restore our society as a virtuous one, liberty will be lost.