The Offense of Defense

  • Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Assumptions, Vagueness, Presumptions. Are we are drifting from the era of politically correct to the broader axiom of presumptuously correct? Take for example the picture of NYC storm Sandy over the Statue of Liberty. I can't count how many times I saw this ~shared~ on social media before the parody photo came out. The (believers) presumed it's authenticity because of the timing and presentation. Absolutely ridiculous views started pouring out about Hurricane/Storm Sandy. Ex., God is punishing the US, God is punishing Donald Trump ~Atlantic City gambling~, Global Warming. Everyone got blamed for the natural disaster but O.J. Simpson.
It feels like the atmosphere is literally ionized with a kinetic, frenzied charge of admonishment, bordering lunacy and possibly kindled by the election. I realized I was caught up in it myself. I watched two commentators go head to head for a half hour one morning on their views of the election. Neither, gave an ounce and when the show was over, I found myself to be exhausted and let down. There was no apparent victor. I could see the way the world was tilting this week. Defense is not my forte'. So I was considerably ticked when I chose not to participate in the negativity of offense this week, but was forced to do so anyway. A letter came in the mail from SCDMV. "Our records show that you no longer have sufficient insurance to operate your vehicle. Please surrender your tags."
Well, lookie here..I have proof of my ongoing insurance which is debited from my account. But, that's not enough! Unless I call my insurance company and have them file form XYZ with SCDMV, they will penalize me.
Presumptuously correct. The karma of the week continued with several experiences. For days it seemed like I answered "No I didn't, here look" or "Yes I did, here look!" I had literally spent hours plundering through papers, e-mails or in dreaded customer service calls. One that took 57 minutes. The burden of proof was on me.
The offense of defense. I was the victim of an armed robbery and kidnapping years ago. Court day approached. No prob, got this. I'll just go in there and tell the truth and clap clap, he gets handcuffed and carted off in a Pumpkin orange suit. Open and shut. To say I was naive about court procedures is putting it mildly.
These were the early days of video cameras. The footage of the antiquities made Sasquatch appear focused in comparison. The establishment I worked for that night didn't have the latest technology. Their defense was a sawed off shotgun under the counter and their evidence would be the body laying in the floor. Well, the day I was robbed, the shotgun had been taken out to get cleaned. So now, my description, his fingerprints, vehicle ID and name would have to suffice. Oh, and I drew a picture of him.
He had gloves, so no prints, no problem. They find the van, they find him, he is wearing the clothes I described, he looks like the pic I drew, they find a knife, they find a gun, the masking tape he made me retrieve with my fingerprints on the roll, and a cord of rope. Cut and dry, right? Nope, When all else fails, use reasonable doubt. His lawyer ask me in court "Mrs. xxxx isn't it true that you and Mr. xxxx are related?" Jurors focus in on me. My eyes widened, startled. My prosecution lawyers chide in "Objection, your honor, leading the witness." Judge replies to defense "Rephrase." Jurors still locked in. "Mrs. xxxx are you and the defendant related, yes or no please?" I was so repulsed. "No!"
I was so shocked, I could hardly wait to get in the chambers and talk with my prosecution lawyers. "What the hell was that?" I asked. The lead prosecutor told me "It is perfectly acceptable to throw out a question like that to instill doubt in the jurors minds by laying groundwork for presumption. Also, they want to see if they can rile you up, it portrays you in a different light to jurors. Don't let them put you on the defense of truth." I wanted to go in there and set the record straight. But, I complied. He got a hung jury. Re-trial scheduled and then a plea bargain for 15 years.
We are wired I believe with a need to be vindicated. And if not we circle back to the flame like a moth until we are either one of the lucky ones that is plastered to a tree and sleeping it off the next morning or one of the cooked moth carcasses on the ground beneath the light bulb the next morning. The drama is repeated again each night. Because there clearly has to be a winner right?
Once again natural law inspired me to conclude that all is indeed fair and balanced. On an evening stroll I saw one of my favorite majestic pine trees, opened up and charred with a zipper like lightning scar over 100 ft long. I loved to walk in it's path and look up on my evening walks with Snowy. The tree was so tall the squirrels didn't climb it and the buzzards got nose bleeds. It was amazing on a windy day to watch the elasticity of a several ton tree as it swayed in the wind. Now, it stands amidst a few other pines almost as tall. It's branches drooped, it's needles burnt and brown. Random acts of wrath. It didn't do anything to deserve the strike. It was just there. Sometimes, that's just the way it is.

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