Tuesday, January 04, 2011

You, The Law, and Public Speaking

Yes we are.
     So Dr J, apparently unaware of my functional illiteracy (reading takes a lot of work, and I don't like to do it, which means the for all intensive properties I am illiterate, right?), laid one of the friendly local shitrag newspapers that serves the area around the Worldwide Headquarters on my desk with a note to read a certain article.  So I read it, but what I didn't realize was that it was the longest article in the history of man, and unlike most front-page newspaper articles, which end on the front page or maybe make it to a second page before they peter out, this one went on and on across page after page of this stupid fucking newspaper - it had me skipping around like it was a Choose Your Own Adventure or something.       Anyway, the point here is that because the article was so long I was exposed to a larger section of this truly awful "newspaper" than I would normally bother to read, and I found a letter to the editor that featured someone doing the same thing as the guy in the article was doing: Trying to use the law to back up what they are saying.  And I just fucking hate that.
     There are so many laws in this country, just in the United States of America, that it would blow your mind.  And laws and ordinances are generally written with so many contradictions and loopholes that it is almost impossible to cite them all.  That is why there are certain people who specialize in certain things, and that is why even lawyers these days have specialization.  That is also why attorneys have assistants and paralegals and hosts of support staff, coupled with extensive law libraries to help them complete their work.  If you are just a Joe Schmoe pissbag acting as your own attorney, you are not just fighting the prosecutor.  You are fighting the whole prosecutorial team, who, by the way, does this for a living.  They are going to know about laws that you don't know about.  They are going to know about precedents that you don't know about.  They are going to know about judicial rulings that you don't know about.  Essentially, they are going to know the whole picture of what you are talking about.  You are most likely only going to know about part of it.  Good luck knowing the right part.
      Same thing goes for if you are going to cite specific laws in some way in public.  Make sure that you do all your research into what you are talking about, or you are going to look like a fool.  And we all know that it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.  I don't remember where that quote came from but I have always liked it.  Anyway, let me give you a real life example of what I am talking about without giving away too much info or boring you to death.  Dillweed writes in to the paper and talks about local government not giving open records, then proceeds to cite state statutes that require them to have open records.  So far so good.  He then goes on to complain about local government meetings going into closed session with lawyers.  Ummm..., I work for the government asshole, and there is a statute that specifically allows them to go into closed session to talk with their attorney.  I deal with it all the time.  In fact, I type that exact statute on public notices and agendas ALL THE TIME.  Way to do you research Dickhole.
       But that is what I am saying.  No matter what fight you are deciding to take up, especially when dealing with a government or special interest, odds are that there is someone on the other side who specifically deals with that law all goddamn day long.  They are going to be familiar with all the statutes and ordinances, etc. because that is their job.  That is what they are trained to you.  You are not trained to do anything other than remove the fries from the fryer down at the Carl's Jr.
      So if you want to save face, get used to making points without citing particular laws and statutes like the great orators of days gone by did.  Have you ever heard FDR citing specific sections of the charter for the League of Nations?  Did Stephen Douglass even get into a debate with Abraham Lincoln and start sprouting off about the sections of the US code dealing with slavery?  Nope.  They always spoke in ideas, in generalizations, and they are remembered as being great for it.  Mr. Man in the paper, Mr. Guy the Article was about, you will always be remembered as buffoons because you never were able to just trust other people to do what they do, or to just be able to speak in generalities.  You got too specific and you got burned, in some cases in ways you never envisioned that you would be.  Congratulations.  Now sit down and shut up.

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