Will Americans Ever Put the Blame Where It Belongs?


An Essay by John Whitaker



Will Americans ever put the blame where it belongs?  Is doing something about it expecting too much?  Somewhere in the Bible is mention of a right-hand that offends, and a procedure for dealing with it.




There is no end of jokes bringing wrath upon lawyers, each ending with a laugh and a wisp of disappointment.  Even the lawyers laugh, all the way to the bank.  It seems the whole world knows, but rolls over in surrender.


Amazingly, they're not formidable as an opponent.  While their numbers are staggering, with many in positions of control, their greatest strength is public apathy.


When voters decide they have had enough chicanery, and rally to recover quality to their lives, lawyers will be whisked back to practicing law, not politics.  Until then, lawyers will continue a covetous evolution, hiring-out to the highest bidder for the purpose of making black appear white.  To that end, scrubbed and suited, they will be held in awe by a majority intimidated by somber theatre, costume, wizardry and articulation.  Words like 'justice' and 'rights' will herald their activity but 'winning' will own the greatest value.


Today, nearly every facet of our lives is influenced by members of the legal profession whose powers and numbers expand incessantly.  Every Yellow Pages directory proves we are overrun by lawyers.  More important, our seats of government are overrun.  Those seats have been captured, and all current indicators declare our acceptance of this fact;  albeit, in abject and mocking fashion.  It may seem we are in a cage that shrinks inexorably;  inch by fraction-of-an-inch, year after year.  Our quality of life has surrendered half its value since World War II and in its place we have technology;  and the illusion of living in a better world.  It's quite distracting, and acceptable to all who have no memory of leaving a bicycle unchained, a home unlocked, or a casual stroll through the park at night;  memories, from a time before terms like "an accident" and "assumable risk" were stricken from our lexicon.


For decades we've known where the blame belongs, and we joke about it the way one does when feeling helpless to do anything else.  In the 40s, it was the Germans and Japanese bent on bringing the United States down;  later, it was the Russians.  Years of searching for the enemy outside allowed us only brief, backward glances to what was happening at home.  Warning signs were evident, even in fast glances, but we couldn't bring ourselves to believe educated and seemingly responsible Americans would willingly cause so much havoc among their own people.  A lot of money and power was involved so, naturally, the worst could be expected.  We were wrong, believing they wouldn't do it.


Contributing heavily to the loss of quality in our lives is the power lawyers wield in legislatures heavily weighted with fraternity brothers.  Their influence comes to bear wherever proposals can affect the amount and frequency of billable fees.  The search for more is ceaseless;  never satisfied for emerging generations who grow enjoying the fruits of parental quests.  To expand their orchards, lawyers refined the art of flim-flam to a degree offering lawmakers only marginal justification.  Often they reached for the bizarre.


In fairness, it can't be claimed lawyers intend bringing America to ruin.  Having achieved a significant level of success, like most of us they only want more of everything.  Their pursuit of more simply finds them better equipped to grab than the rest of us.  They finished college and beyond that, studied several years the magic and mystery of their predecessors;  the art of denial, the science of obfuscation, and exactly where the line between black and white can be muddied gray, that they might tread with well-calculated risk.  You'd think all that would be enough advantage over the rest of us, but add the many lawyers proven to be crooks, and the number who are, but are still well hidden, and you may see how a century-and-a-half ago, Alexis de Toqueville predicted that lawyers, with their cousins in insurance, would eventually control all the money.  Our predicted ruin is only the result of the lawyers’ activity;  of their incessant and heavily-advantaged pursuit of more.


Can all lawyers be tarred with this wide-swiping brush, or is it only the trial wing of the fraternity so deserving?  The trial wing is the primary offender, but too few of the fraternity are outraged;  and too few of these with the character to remonstrate.  Why can't we hear their voices?





Lawyers are not entirely to blame.  An equal partnership exists that poses a rhetorical question, "Which came first, the egg or the chicken?"  Insurance companies, often on opposing sides in a fray, are first-cousin partners to the legal fraternity.


Where winter brings freezing temperatures, there was a time that ten country miles could not be driven without seeing ice-skaters enjoying leisure time.  A farmer or other person with a few flat acres not needed until spring would flood them for the local kids to enjoy.  No admission was charged.  Many rinks were lighted at night, with music playing and a wooden booth serving hot dogs and cocoa.  Everybody knew injuries were built-in to the activity but to enjoy the pleasure they willingly took their chances.  Most injuries were minor.  The skaters assumed the risk.  The rink was a great place to begin, or carry on, a romance.  In that enjoyable time, nobody thought of suing the landowner over a broken arm or sprained ankle.  Nobody was forced to carry liability insurance.


Where have all the skaters gone?  In today's world, little space is needed to explain why kids of all ages can no longer enjoy this simple and inexpensive winter pastime.


Rarely can an industry enjoy profits generated by the passing of laws requiring citizens to purchase their product, or else.  The insurance industry enjoys this situation willingly created by legislators;  many of whom hold law degrees.  In most states one can not operate a motor vehicle prior to purchasing a prescribed amount of insurance.  A new business can not open its door before purchasing a prescribed amount of insurance.  A physician or dentist can be denied a license until purchasing the prescribed amount of insurance;  the 'or else' can result in fines, prison, or both.


The medical profession in particular suffers a blizzard of lawsuits because they deal with the greatest number of life's uncertainties where any mistake, any questionable judgment immediately energizes the lawyers' search for a responsible party to sue.  (A fraternity brother will be paid to defend against the suit.)  There need not be an 'error' in judgment, only something questionable;  an excuse to get the matter into court so the settlement money can begin to churn.


Before computers, before mandatory insurance coverage became law, an injured factory worker might sue the company.  If the claim was serious and justified, the worker could end up owning the factory.  Assets would have to be sold off to pay the attorney.  Forced sales seldom realize more than fifty-cents on the dollar and often inhibit or prevent continuing the factory operation.  For many attorneys, this was a lot of trouble for uncertain or insufficient rewards.  Lawsuits were usually initiated by firms and individuals able to provide attorneys with a large, up-front retainer.


After mandatory insurance coverage became law, placing insurance companies (instead of firms or individuals) in position to pay huge claims, not with a factory but with a certified check, incidents of litigation rose in direct proportion to increasing jury awards, up to the present day.  Increasing awards required greater premiums now calculated to the thousandth-of-a-cent by computer-generated actuarial tables.


Since the advent of computers, insurance companies can maximize profit using the same method and safety-net gambling casinos use world-wide.  The casino knows that the longer one plays, the closer one is to losing.  In the long run, the house will gather in all the money.  When the occasional high-roller beats the house odds, the casino will adjust their odds by whatever is necessary to prevent or minimize a recurrence, and still keep the possibilities attractive to the player.


Insurance companies, like casinos, are not in the risk-taking business.  Insurers can be surprised by a hurricane.  Their adjustment of the odds may exclude water damage from subsequent policies.  One can still buy coverage for water damage, but the special premium will be recalculated to show a profit and withstand any future surprise.


When the computer determines X-dollars must be the premium, it does not factor the number of applicants that can not afford to pay X-dollars.  The corporate aim is profit in perpetuity;  increasing profit.


Like the vanishing ice-skaters, businesses close (or never open);  a vehicle is not driven (or purchased);  a physician abandons his/her specialty;  even turns away from a random chance to help.


Conflict is the trial lawyers' feast.  Where would they be if everything ran smoothly?  Civil laws, expanding grounds to sue, also rounded a corner to the bizarre.



ORLANDO SENTINEL, March 24, 2001.  "KIDS ABUSED BY DAD, BILLED BY STATE".  In New Jersey (at this writing) there is a law that will make you responsible (when you're older) for reimbursing the State for what they spend trying to rehabilitate your parent(s) for abusing you as a child.  The article goes on to say, "SPARTA, N.J.  -- Chrissy McMickle was 5 when her father began molesting her ... Michael McMickle was 5 when the sexual abuse began, 7 when the beatings started.  Michael eventually told a neighbor, and their father, Nelden McMickle went to jail for more than 8 years.  This year, the state moved Nelden McMickle to a psychiatric facility -- said the children he abused had to pay part of the $90,000.00 annual bill."


Try to imagine the person(s) responsible for the above law;  and the people who accepted it.



ORLANDO SENTINEL, June 24, 2001 NEW YORK TIMES -- "Lawyers kept mum on SUV's tire defect ... out of concern private lawsuits would be compromised ... a lawyers' first duty is to win as much money as possible for the crash victims whom they represent."  (It should be noted, the lawyers kept mum four years, during which time approximately 200 people died in tire related crashes.)


Many educational systems have given up the practice of 'field trips' and chemistry labs for fear of lawsuits.  In Burlington County Pennsylvania, trees can not be planted along the roadways because if somebody hits one, the planter is liable.  Fear of being sued has inhibited scientists, doctors, teachers and police from performing as expected.


Consider the fairness of the 'deep pockets' pursuit.  An entity having nothing to do with the alleged harm can become a defendant because, they have the most money, and/or some tenuous thread can be stretched between that entity and the actual perpetrator.


Recall that McDonalds fell victim to a lady who didn't know her coffee was hot.  Count the citizens and lawyers lining up for their cut of the tobacco judgment.


Examine your health insurance and determine how much of the premium (or lack of available treatment of your choice) results from outrageous judgments against doctors and hospitals.


How many physicians will never (again) offer aid at the scene of a mishap, knowing they would soon be called to account for their actions.  No wrong needs to be proven.  A lawyer in pursuit of a 'settlement' need only stir the pot.


We have allowed lawyers to create a frenzy to sue at the drop of a hat;  to determine that someone is always to blame for every misfortune;  that there is no such thing as an accident.  Nobody may assume a risk.


The term, 'tort reform' is favored by aspiring politicians.  On rare occasions a bone will be tossed in that direction and ballyhooed to boredom.  Little reform of any significance will occur because the legislative deck is stacked with lawyers obliged to their fraternity first, and the rest of us last.  Where the above rulings and laws appear to defy all reason and intellect, remember they are initiated and supported by the people we elected to govern us.  We issued them a license to treat us like fools, and so they surely will for as long as they can get away with it.


Consider the wisdom of Immigration Law that says, in effect, student and terrorist alike, our laws will protect you.  All you have to do to become eligible is plant your feet on our soil.  That's it.  From then on, our lawyers will see you are granted every right and protection available to our most respected citizens.  It doesn't matter you never plowed and planted a foot of ground;  it doesn't matter you never paid a penny in taxes;  it doesn't matter you never sent a child or spouse to die in a foreign land defending those rights;  none of that matters.  You just have to get here.  Our laws make it nearly impossible to deport you, and we'll even provide the lawyer to fight your case.  If you can't pay his fee, our citizens will pay it for you.


Why does this situation continue today, with security pumped up, when so much concern is given to foreigners who come seeking to bring us down from within?  Can it be, because the immigrant population provides a huge potential for legal fees?  Who will have greater need for a lawyer than one who doesn't speak our language?  They come, many with no job prospects, and they have problems.  They can't find work, or enough food.  Don't worry! You're in America.  We take care of our people (and you are now one of us;  because you're here.)  Our lawyers will see that you enjoy the same rights as every tenth generation family of contributors.


In recent years disgruntled Russian gangsters found easier pickings in the U.S.  They came and, with the help of lawyers, set up their criminal enterprises with barely a shred of visible respectability.  We don' t have enough home-grown gangsters, we import them! The feds know who they are;  they're not citizens.  Feds know what they're up to;  millions in profits and not a dollar earned legitimately.  Using our laws, created and supported by the legal fraternity, these gangsters are shielded from true justice, all in return for very large legal fees.





More than sufficient documentation exists to allow most to concede scurrilous behavior by a defense attorney;  jury tampering, foreknowledge of guilt, presenting false witnesses.


A celebrity from their ranks, the late Gerry Spence, told the Montana Trial Lawyers Association that he had never been involved in a case with the federal government in which the government had not lied and manufactured evidence to gain a conviction.


Behaviorally at least, we may conclude there is little aside from rewards to separate prosecutors from defenders.


The broken criminal law provides work for two attorneys;  one to prosecute and one to defend.  Unfortunately, innocence is repugnant to both.  For the prosecutor, conviction is the only victory;  the only desired testament to skill.


At the opposite end for the defender, there is no money in innocence.  The innocent are indignant being dragged into legal proceedings, and invariably demonstrate their faith in the system.  They resist paying a big fee to prove their innocence, expecting the court to arrive at that conclusion by some pre-determined order.


Only the guilty willingly pay outrageous fees to get off the hook.


When justice is truly served, the guilty do not get off the hook.  There will be no outrageous fees unless justice can be skewed and loopholes inserted into the system.  In ABA and ACLU journals, loopholes are called 'rights'.


Most have heard of 'Miranda' requiring a person being arrested to be advised of certain rights.  When the Miranda advice is not given, a loophole exists that can put a guilty person back on the street.


Among all the rhetoric supporting Miranda, there is no mention that an arrest is often made under extreme conditions regarding life and death, when adrenaline is racing, and in the heat of that time a normal person might easily forget a detail not immediately bearing on personal and/or unit safety.


Who does Miranda serve if every citizen over the age of twelve knows well what rights exist at the time of arrest?  Who, other than the criminal and defense attorney is served by Miranda?


A speeder was stopped and a subsequent search of the car trunk uncovered twelve kilos of cocaine.  What caused the Trooper to require the trunk lid to be opened?  Was it a check of the driver's license?  Was the driver sweating and nervous?  Was it a racial profile, a hunch, a radio traffic warning?


Without knowing the cause, we can agree the result was positive;  a crime was being committed and thanks to whatever, the crime was terminated.  Can anybody believe the driver was ignorant of his cargo?  Sitting on the jury, can you be persuaded the driver didn't know?  Why not skip the trial phase and bring the driver before the judge for sentencing?  How often would an innocent suffer?


Swift justice offers nothing for a lawyer.  Billing by the hour, the order "Case closed" is bad news.  By hammering the demand for a day in court, a lawyer can profit.  How much he'll profit depends on his reputation and the strength of the prosecutor's case.    The lawyer may collect a fat fee in advance, but losing cases will cost his reputation, making high fees in advance equally unlikely.





To gain acquittal, the defense lawyer needs a loophole to pull his client through;  not an easy thing when all evidence is presented and weighed.  What if all the evidence is not allowed?  What if, by legal means, some evidence can be made to disappear;  cease to legally exist?


Following this path, defense lawyers paved the way for fraternity brothers on the Supreme Court to provide the most heavily-trafficked loophole of the twentieth century;  something called, 'The Exclusionary Rule'.  In essence, it states that infraction by law enforcement can negate the relevance of incriminating evidence.


Couching this escape route in terms acceptable to the public was a minor problem squeezed from the Bill of Rights;  a document containing the first ten amendments to the original Constitution that several colonies required before ratification.


The fourth of these amendments states: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."


Notice the absence of detail;  that no attempt is made to imagine all circumstances where question could arise;  where a loophole might be closed.  It was left pretty loose by the framers who simply passed all future bucks to the Judiciary;  where they would eventually stop.  Wisely, these men refused to protract and confuse their work by trying to close all the loopholes in technologies and circumstances sure to develop beyond their vision.  It was sufficient to know the nature of man, and what history warned could be expected of those less noble.  They kept it simple, providing for nine wise men in a Supreme Court to iron out the details.  That these nine might not always be wise was, apparently, only lightly considered.  These nine came up with the following slap in the face of justice:


In the early 1900s, the exclusionary rule about to be born was too egregious for a politician;  a tissue-thin magic act that would surely bite the author at election time.  The perpetrators of this loophole needed to be secure in their profession and more practically, enjoy the appearance of being above reproach.


From Weeks v. United States in 1914, it was left to the nine members of the Supreme Court to fashion what we know as The Exclusionary Rule.  Simply put, this rule empowered a trial judge to suppress evidence gathered in a search conducted without a warrant or evidence of probable cause.  This type of search is termed 'an illegal search.'


Consider, if a search is illegal, than a crime has been committed by the searcher against the subject of the search.  (Hold this thought).


The 'spin' at the time was, the exclusionary rule would deter police misconduct by enforcing the Fourth Amendment.  Similar sense is made putting a blowout patch on a bullet hole.  In reality muddled by theatre and rhetoric, this rule opened a loophole through which huge legal fees might pour in one direction, while criminals slipped through in the other.  The rule was never a law, only a proclamation by the Supreme Court;  by nine lawyers who reached the pinnacle of their profession and were secure until death.  Only men so positioned could dare rebuke in such a fashion.


For the moment, set aside the theatre of the Supreme Court;  marble, rich oak and walnut furnishings, the mystical robes and somber settings.  Then see the nine members who gave us The Exclusionary Rule as they were, outside their theatre.  Educated in law, for certain, but otherwise burdened with all the problems of other men;  maintaining an image through mounting debt, rebellious children, uncertain marriage, prejudice and prepossession, maintaining religious conviction, dealing with fidelity and fear of ridicule;  i.e., all that deems man normal.  They were normal men, however, inside their domain, in robes of the Druids and the Inquisitors, held in awe by a majority intimidated by somber theatre, costume, wizardry and articulation, they achieve the concept(s) of fear and/or unassailable wisdom, as Gods having descended from Olympus to put right all the failings of the rest of us.


They were only men.  They were lawyers secure in their jobs and owing loyalty to their fraternity.


In the beginning, Freemont Weeks was a known gambler.  His home was searched by a federal agent having no warrant.  Sufficient evidence of gambling was found and Weeks was convicted by its use.  Weeks appealed, and the Supreme Court then performed a feat of magic surpassing all feats from Merlin to Phoebe Halliwell.  It [declared] the evidence against Weeks did not exist! As it was seized without a proper warrant, those material items convicting Weeks must disappear from reality.  Lacking in this magic act was a puff of smoke, but the effect was the same.


Recall, the (proclaimed) primary motive for the rule was to deter police misconduct.  Violating a citizen's Constitutional right is termed, misconduct.  Can that be because such violations are normally made by law enforcement personnel and others in the justice system;  brothers and cousins so-to-speak;  people we don't want to tread on, as we tread on everybody else;  people we wish to exempt from wrongdoing;  exempt from conducting an illegal search?


How often is the search of an honest person required?  Why would an honest person fear, and demand protection from, any search whatsoever?  How many times have you been shaken down?


Police are not stupid.  When they elect to search, there is usually a good reason.  Very few innocents will be inconvenienced by a police search.  All the guilty will be inconvenienced, for certain.  Should we be concerned?


The Supreme Court's worry over police misconduct took a strange turn in 1914;  a turn that makes no sense unless somebody wanted a legal loophole.  If police misconduct was the problem, why didn't the Court suggest that police be held responsible for it?  When a search is illegal, why not hold the searcher responsible for conducting it?  Why didn't they make that a crime?  This would have the most direct deterrent on police misconduct.


Ignoring this simple, most reasonable solution, the Supreme Court handed their fraternity brothers the key to open prison cells.  Guilty people escaped punishment.  Dangerous people were set free, and it isn't likely they embraced their good-fortune and mended their ways.  (In recent times, a burgeoning drug culture provided a long line of errant hopefuls in serious need of loopholes.  For them, money was no object.  Among us, how many will turn from that siren call?)


When a search is determined to be illegal, we are certain that at least one crime has been committed, by the searching party who will not be called to answer for that crime.  We can assume the evidence was gathered and presented to the court to support guilt of the accused;  otherwise, why bother with it?  When that evidence is denied its weight in a trial to determine guilt or innocence, where is justice?


The guilty searcher is already exempt from punishment.  The Supreme Court believes the accused, who would probably be convicted by that evidence, should also be exempted and without discussion.


Can there be any doubt that all evidence of a crime is relevant, no matter how it is obtained?  Suppressing evidence, legally stating it does not exist, does not serve justice.  It serves only the criminal and the defense attorney.


Consider who benefits by 'The Exclusionary Rule';  trial lawyers and criminals.  This 'rule' was created for one reason;  to aid lawyers in getting a criminal off the hook.  Why would a respectable lawyer want to help a criminal beat the system?  Because, as Willie Sutton eloquently stated, "That's where the money is!"


We employ intelligent law enforcement personnel and train their senses to respond with greater sensitivity than is common to the rest of us.  We give them power.  We also limit that power.  In between is a gray area wherein the heightened sensitivity we trained into them must make on-the-spot evaluations and decisions.  We WANT their heightened senses to be used in determining 'probabilities.'  We WANT them to use their heads, without fear of ridicule or reprimand.


In the event of a traffic stop, the officer might tell the driver, "I need you to open your trunk."  Something about the situation prompts the officer to make that request.  No tangible reason can be described.  Call it a 'hunch' perceived by the officer as a result of his/her training.  There is no warrant, and no evidentiary probable cause.


Existing interpretation of law determines this type of request/search to be illegal.  That part is okay.  Without a warrant, and no evidence of a crime visible, the officer willingly risks committing a crime.  When the search fails to uncover evidence of a second crime in progress, that officer must answer to the court.


Holding the officer responsible is the sure way to deter police misconduct.  All of the facts must be counted and weighed, and responsibility placed where it belongs, without sacrificing justice! When evidence of a crime is discovered during an illegal search, it must be presented at trial if justice is to have a chance.


"What is reasonable?" How much angst will an innocent person suffer when asked to open the car trunk?  It should only take two or three minutes;  why not?  How would you feel?  Can you believe a majority of innocents would be offended seriously enough to deny the officer his intuition;  his chance to uncover serious crime?  Will you report the illegal search and demand the officer be punished?


Through all the above activity, lawyers are the principal players and legal fees total the greatest amount.  It gets worse.


It gets worse because nothing on the table promises change.  The bean-counters of government and industry burrow continually for one more hundredth-of-a-cent;  then another.  It's what they're paid to do.  They never stop.  It's your money they're after.  It's your quality of life that is disappearing down the toilet.  Nothing on the table promises change.


Dramatic television often portrays trial circumstances described earlier where it's obvious to ninety-five-percent that justice is down the tubes.  Where evidence is suppressed, two crimes are committed and everybody goes free.  Offensive as it is at the time, the viewer accepts it with amazing resignation.  No matter how many times this farce is played out, no wave of indignation becomes evident.  Still, ninety-five-percent know it's wrong.


Hollywood does a thing quite often, portraying an elderly man as wise and humane;  which is okay, but in Hollywood style, the elderly man is made to appear wiser and more humane than the rest of us.


In one film they put one of these wise men aboard a plane that was soon hijacked in flight.  When the pilots refused the hijackers’ demands, a passenger was thrown out the door, and the demands repeated.


Soon, the hijackers were overpowered and several passengers moved to test the flight characteristics of the terrorist leader, and reopened the plane door.


"No! No!" cried the elderly man.  "Tossing him out makes us no different from him", and further platitudes to halt what, to ninety-five-percent, seemed perfect justice.


Unquestionable guilt held no meaning.  Ignored was the innocence of the murdered passenger.  It was only important to parade the accused before judicial procedures allowing a sharp lawyer with an eye for loopholes a shot at a very big fee.


Believing the elderly man's motive pure, willingly, it is insane to imagine no circumstances exist where prompt and efficient punishment is justified;  even encouraged, to better deter those who have come to rely on sharp lawyers and loopholes.  Where loopholes exist, justice is nowhere in the equation, especially if the judge is up for re-election.


When twelve kilos of cocaine are in the trunk of your car, will you know it?  When caught in the act, an accused can be given his day in court;  for immediate sentencing.  How many innocents will be wrongly punished when caught in the act?  Will there be any more innocents punished than those we discover every day;  victims of the adversary system?


We declare an accused to be innocent until proven guilty.  That makes sense, but what about an accused that was caught in the act?  Does a presumption of innocence make sense?  Even when caught in the act, proving guilt is an uphill task from start to finish.  Then, there are the endless appeals churning more fees.  Even when caught in the act, an accused has a better-than-even chance of acquittal.  Those odds are further improved when the accused can afford the best lawyer.


Exceptions to "Innocent until proven guilty" might be considered by an amendment to the Constitution to deal with caught in the act;  call it, the C.I.T.A. Amendment.  We should not shy away from amending our Constitution.  Think about its origin.


Living in their time, little notice might be taken of the men who gathered to form the document we revere today.  Storekeepers, farmers, teachers, lawyers, few would be so familiar as to enjoy celebrity status, and yet, they are remembered close to sainthood for their achievement;  these men who never flushed a toilet, cheered a home run, blew a fuse, or defrosted a refrigerator.


With few exceptions they were average men of their time, with character, intellect, ambition, flaws and ability to imagine the future in about the same degree as men today can imagine.  With discussion, quill and parchment, they performed a monumental task that has surely outlived their most expansive expectations.


As time overtook the extent of the Framers’ vision, and events demanded, other men were positioned to interpret that parchment as the framers might;  retaining its spirit while bringing clarity to the unforeseen.  They, too, did an admirable job.


Unfortunately, the complexity of the unforeseen challenged the most learned.  (It might be argued the complexity challenged the most charismatic.  In the end, politicians, not the most learned, were handed the reins of control.)


Among the unforeseen was a twenty-first-century Yellow Pages Directory with twenty-three pages devoted to lawyer listings, and one-and-one-third pages listing schools;  an ACLU (tantalizingly named) whose liberal membership magnified 'rights', ignoring the unwieldy obligation of 'responsibilities'.  There is money in defending rights;  there is none in pressing one to be responsible.


It's possible the 'after-framers' (along with the nineteenth-century Frenchman, Alexis de Toqueville) envisioned lawyers would eventually overwhelm the government.  By that time, they probably believed it a good thing.  What other profession was so educated, so uniquely qualified in complex matters?  Who was better trained to decide and to lead?


Growth of the American Bar Association went unrestrained until its power and influence was so great it became embarrassing.  Their power was played down;  even denied;  an elephant under the carpet.


Today, more than anything, the ABA needs things to remain as they are.  To achieve this, they must defend the original document with such passion as to go unquestioned regarding their patriotism and unwavering fight for citizen' s rights.  They have it so good it frightens them;  and well it should for no matter how large the carpet, the elephant must eventually outgrow the room.  Listening now, they will hear timbers cracking.


We should have no fear of upsetting the sanctity of our Constitution.  Are we not intellectually equipped to see what pulls us down, and do something about it?  We should not be afraid to amend our Constitution.  The need has occurred in the past.  It is surely on us again.


Without referencing character and morality, rather, any lack thereof, the major cause of the continuing decline of our quality of life is the result of too many lawyers in our legislatures.  To end this problem, we must stop electing them! To improve our fortunes and quality of life, the legal fraternity must be denied up-front political power and sent back to doing their job negotiating contracts, preparing wills, functioning in litigation, advising and defending clients, and the thousand other things for which they were trained.


The next election offers real opportunity to put change back on the table.  The least of us can be heard where it will count;  where we will see the changes we want.  Refuse to vote a lawyer into public office.


Lawyers, who are incumbent, vote them out of office.


Try, even though the odds are heavily against unseating an incumbent.  Why?  Because a host of his/her constituents are already dug-in and feathering their nests.  They will resist any change that might alter the future they just spent several years carving out.


Change will not be seen in any near victory, but it will happen in time.


It's probable that within a decade, certainly within two, flat fields will be frozen over once more;  lights will go on and music will play while happy skaters enjoy a wonderful winter time;  many for the first time.  It has to happen.  Change has to begin at the next election and only you can make it happen.


You must put the blame where it belongs, and do something about it.