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Thursday, February 29, 2024
Courthouse News Service
Thursday, February 29, 2024 | Back issues
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Know Nothing and |Say Nothing

Sometimes you just don't want to know.

Reality, after all, is anathema to the imagination so when I hear about something odd, I don't ask questions. I just let the mind wander.

Yeah, that doesn't make me much of a journalist but I'm having fun.

So let's deal with the news report the other day in which we learned that a 44-year-old lawyer was arrested on suspicion of attempting to smuggle 26 balloons of heroin and methamphetamine to a prisoner in the courthouse. There were also some hypodermic needles and marijuana.


There are two avenues of speculation here (as opposed to investigation) - why would he do this and how is he going to explain it?

After all, the criminal courthouse doesn't seem the most likely spot to commit a crime unless you think of it in hospital terms.

What I mean by that is if you're going to get sick or injure yourself, a hospital is a convenient place to do it. Ditto for crimes and criminal courthouses.

If the lawyer here figured he was going to get caught eventually, why put off the inevitable?

But why commit the crime in the first place?

He could have been trying to cheer up his client. The guy had been arrested - he must have been depressed.

The client could have needed the drugs to trade for cigarettes in prison.

My guess, though, is that the balloons were meant for the judges. Those guys really need cheering up.

Speculation path number two consists of divining excuses. What do you say when you're caught with drug-filled balloons in the courthouse? Some possibilities:

"I found these outside and I was about to turn them in."

"The client's wife said it was for his birthday."

"Heroin and methamphetamine? I asked for sugar and baking powder."

"They were running a special at the medical marijuana dispensary."

And my favorite: "How did that get there?"

There is one more thing I wonder about because wondering is part of my job description. What does this say about the effectiveness of ethics exams and classes for lawyers?

Maybe this guy missed class on the day they covered bringing drugs to prisoners. You can't be expected to know everything.

STAND DOWN FOR YOUR RIGHTS. I've spotted yet another new political trend - standing for nothing.

No, I'm not talking about Mitt Romney. He stands for everything.

What I am talking about are new groups springing up for the right not to argue.

Their motto: "Yeah, Whatever."

All right, it's not their motto, but it should be.

I've already mentioned Americans Elect in this column. They're the people who want to turn the presidential election into a giant MMO. As far as I can tell, they don't have positions on any issues - they just want to vote on the Internet (as many times as possible).

Now there's another one of these groups: No Labels.

Check out the web page with the No Labels "Statement of purpose."

I now have a challenge for you: what does No Labels want the government to do?

Read the whole thing. There's quite a lot there.

If you're a legislator and you want to please No Labels, what do you do? Promise not to argue with anyone?

The "What We Do" page doesn't help. Here's the entire entry under 2011-2012 Goals: "Our goal is to build, organize and activate the No Labels Movement so that it becomes a powerful voice and counterweight to the ideological extremes."

How is this different from what we have now?

Now things don't get done because people are arguing. If No Labels get its way, nothing will get done because no one is arguing.

Either people stand for something and shout or everyone stands quietly. Seems like the same result either way.

We're all tired of politicians insisting they're right when clearly they're wrong and I'm right.

But at least the shouting is entertaining.

My guess is that the Americans Elect and No Label people really do have positions - and will get shouted at as soon as they express them.

Stay tuned.

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