“A prosecutor who does not understand proportionality and who regularly uses the threat of unjust and overreaching charges to extort plea bargains from defendants regardless of their guilt is a danger to the life and liberty of anyone who might cross her path.”
I found that sentence on a “We the People” petition calling for the removal of Carmen Ortiz from office following the untimely death of Aaron Swartz. If I had been an activist back then, I would have signed it.
How do people corrupt their way? They do it one blurred line at a time. Opportunities to blur the line here and there reveal what is, or isn’t, in our character. I had one of those opportunities last week.
A letter arrived from the city advising me I had neglected to purchase a certain type business license. (There really ought to be laws against letters like that arriving on Friday at 5pm after offices are closed!)
Having the whole weekend to fret, fume and fear over it put me in quite a state by Monday morning when I called, bright and early, to argue my case, which was simple:
1) I did not have the money
2) My business had no physical presence; I would only be selling online and
3) None of my friends with successful online businesses had had to do this
It didn’t matter.
Luke 12:48 says “From everyone who has been given much, much will be required.”
When I hung up the phone, I realized the following statement is also true, though you won’t find it in the Bible:
“From him who has absolutely nothing, more will be expected and taken – with a penalty, if necessary.”
Sometimes, without meaning to, people will tell you how to get around a requirement. You just have to know what you’re hearing when you hear it. At the risk of sounding like a whiny brat, I inquired how come my friends were able to avoid paying these fees and still sell online. When she explained how the city found out about the existence of my business I had my answer.
I registered my fictitious business name with the state in order to create a sole proprietorship – they didn’t. Who knew? That step alone had already cost me plenty. Now, I realized, all I had to do was close my business under the current name, reopen it under a new name and I would be home free. I could start selling online and no one would be the wiser.
Seemed simple enough… until God weighed in on my plan.
At the end of the day, all we have is our integrity. If we begin to blur the line here and there, our Christianity is worth nothing – we are no better, no different, than an unbeliever. That’s what He said.
God can be a real party-pooper sometimes, but I knew deep down He was right.
When a kindly benefactor provided the money to pay for the license, I was glad I had decided to do the right thing and trusted God to provide. Living with integrity just plain feels good – whether you’re broke or not!
There is an old saying “You can’t get blood from a turnip.” According to the Urban Dictionary this means “You can’t get something from a person that they don’t have.”
When I read that Dzhokhar’s defense team was actually given a deadline to submit their answer as to why he couldn’t pay restitution to his victims I had to laugh to keep from crying. A deadline – I couldn’t believe it! I could have grabbed a napkin, a piece of scrap paper, a gum wrapper and written why in ten seconds or less:
“He’s broke – there’s your why, if it pleases the Court.”
Did they think they were going to uncover Swiss bank accounts and trust funds or something?
So what to do when you can’t get blood from a turnip? It’s simple: get blood from the turnip’s supporters. After all, they wish we, like Dzhokhar, would cease to exist.
They call it restitution when destitute prisoners from impoverished families are required to pay money to their victims while serving a life sentence with zero opportunity to ever earn income.
I call it insanity.
The outpouring of donations for the victims through One Fund left the 16 amputees with a payout of $1.2 million or $2.2 million, depending on whether they lost one leg or both. Donations to the victims have also flooded in through GoFundMe and GiveForward. In addition, all victims have health insurance to cover their claims, as required by the state of Massachusetts.
I believe enough has been done to provide financially for the victims.
Going after anything additional from Dzhokhar, knowing that whatever money is collected will come from donations intended to provide him with not luxuries, but necessities in prison, is outrageous and immoral in my opinion. It is yet another indication that paying with one’s life is no longer enough in this country.
The death of Tamerlan did not satisfy this destructive lust for revenge. Securing a guilty verdict without evidence and a death penalty sentence for Dzhokhar has not satisfied it either. So where will it end?
A demonic desire to destroy Dzhokhar is behind the demand for restitution from his commissary account. The refusal to extend him any compassion whatsoever cripples those who embrace such poisonous philosophy just as surely as if they, too, had lost a limb in the blasts. Proclaiming themselves as anti-death penalty does not imply the existence of noble qualities in these people – the desire to prolong and intensify Dzhokhar’s suffering fuels their stance and many proudly admit this without batting an eye.
Carmen Ortiz was appointed by Barack Obama and she can only be removed by a President. How I would love to find a way to determine each current candidates’ position on whether or not they would allow her to remain as U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts after the election is over. That man or woman who would be able to offer concrete assurance of her removal once they became President would get my vote – no matter what they think the Egyptian pyramids were used for.