So, they have an election for School Board in Ward 1. I don’t live there and have neither a candidate in the race, nor an interest in the outcome. The write-in candidate received 253 votes. The incumbent received 257. The write-in guy is black. The incumbent is white. Under our system of government, a Civil Board of Authority made up of the Mayor and City Council recount the ballots and certify the election results. Some who would do the count openly urged the incumbent to withdraw, citing a need for more diversity on the Board, amongst other things, but he didn’t. In full view of all who wanted to watch, they counted the ballots the old fashioned way, one by one. No kidding or horsing around. Maybe not something worthy of a white wisp of smoke, but an exercise in democracy which enhances our belief in government. Each gained a vote in the final tally. Democracy gained more; its all about voting, casting a vote and counting it. The rest is politics.
Jack Lavery defines himself as the “laziest person in Burlington.” He didn’t vote today, because “those bastards promise to do things and then they never do anything.”
I voted, because if you don’t vote, the right to vote and the importance of voting will disappear. One incumbant ran. Vince. Don’t know him. Have watched him at City Council Meetings. He looks sincere, sounds sincere, and wants the job. I don’t know if his politics are mine, he is a neighborhood guy, so I voted for him. Don’t have kids. Don’t understand the school budget. Dont’ know what the others running for office do or why they want the job. And, while I don’t want the land ripped apart for energy, how a position letter advances my cause helps the issue escaped me. Did I say I voted?
Needs to know which devil to attack first. As one of the survivors told me, “he need to give up the dope and the alcohol….” But which one first? And the where does he go? Cannot possibly seamlessly merge back into the system, unless taken care of. Do we? A line gets drawn in the sand. Join up to receive. If not, what?
So, what’s the problem? Heroin. Does he do a substitute? Alcohol? Can we dope him up to get him off the sauce? He has court cases. Will he be sober enough and healthy enough to go to a treatment facility? I make him laugh. He makes me cry. I want him to be well. Nothing I can do for him at the moment. He sits and begs. People look at me from the nearby diner, not happy about him being there and wondering why I do what I do. I don’t shoot them. They are only secondarily my subjects. Can my images change opinions? Who knows?
People have a chance to speak. Those in power listen. Who has the power. Difficult to say. But this weekly discussion takes place in public.
And anyone who runs for office and tries to do Government right, deserves our credit and thanks.
My friend Paul Berch was elected to the New Hampshire House of Representatives. An image shot by me appeared on his campaign literature. He insists I own a small part of the victory, but I think that his smile, ability to listen and progressive/inclusive view of government earned him the seat far more than my image. Go democracy!
They care about where they live, so they participate in the process. All are very serious about representative government. We have to trust them, because there isn’t a way to keep informed. So we vote, hoping they will do the right thing.
My friend Paul Berch is running for office. A knowledgeable lawyer, committed humanist and family man, he brings needed tools to the legislative fray. He has fought battles for his clients and compromised when necessary. He will be as effective as a legislator.
Hard to tell if he the Mayor doesn’t like Judge Shira Shindlin looking at his stop and frisk policies or if he is outraged about the number of minorities who have been harassed and humiliated. Were there an impartial judiciary and prosecutors interested in doing justice, civil rights and liberties would be far more prevalent than they are now. He and PC Kelly have legislated a police state and their enormous power and wealth prevents anyone from speaking out against it. Who’s at fault? The Judges who he appoints (and who Rudy appointed for the last how many year?) and the DAs who seem to be elected for life (they know the secrets, eh?).
But, as a student of photography, no longer a lawyer, and a disgraced judge, I can only comment on the shot. Strong composition by Mr. Barritt. Good color. And a narrative with a question which we don’t want to answer!
As for Mr. Dimon (I have to admit being a shareholder), he and the EXXON chair really control America, if not the world. So, what is he thinking. I am saying I am sorry for not being in control or what can I say that will convince them I really give a shit? Another mystery shot.
In case you hadn’t noticed, Bloomberg News produced the second shot. Do we really have a chance? Bloomberg has 10 billion and Dimon earns $20 million a year. But the photos are exquisite. Just think of how they would have made Napoleon look!
Miro will bring Burlington good management and a future. He sees into the future and will not repeat the past. Feel good about him being in control and in charge.
Judge Robert Carter died. He sat on the bench with quiet dignity, after a distinguished career as an attorney working with Justice Marshall and the NAACP legal defense team on Brown v The School Board. One cannot live forever, but his sense of justice can.
I tried a case before him -United States v. Chang AN-LO, a/k/a “White Wolf”, et al, 851 F2d 547 (1988) My client was Peter Yang. The case involved a conspiracy which included the murder of a journalist from Nationalist China, a heroin conspiracy and I don’t remember what else. A multi-defendant case, I sat for six weeks without asking a question on my clients behalf, allowing my co-counsel to do the work for me. Yang was at best a marginal character, the driver, at times, for the purported head of the United States arm of the conspiratorial group, United Bamboo, a person whom I argued hung around because employment opportunities in Houston forced him to find work elsewhere, a mere presence which allowed him to hear and see things without actually being involved in any of the criminal activity. The jury disagreed, convicting him. Everyone went to prison except Peter Yang. Judge Carter set him free.
When the case got to the 2nd Circuit, Bill Kunstler had substituted as counsel for my friend, Jay Gregory Horlick, who died in 1996. Horlick was a lot like Kunstler, practical and honest; he didn’t believe in anything, though, except that you didn’t want to know how corrupt the entire system was from top to bottom, because it would make you sick. Rest in peace, my last good friend. Anyway, we all wrote some fanciful dribble to satisfy our obligations as counsel, an obligation that ran from arraignment through appeal, and we ventured to the 17th floor to argue before the court, as if that would make a difference anywhere but some law school class on due process. Bill, having the lead defendant, got to go first. He rose to the lecturn, it rose to meet his height and addressed the court. “Good morning, Judge somebody. I represent appellant Chang AN_LO. Mr. Duckman will do the facts.” We had never spoken about my doing anything other than what I had to do. No matter. The conviction was affirmed.
Lots of people serve the law. Some get to the bench and forget their beginnings. Few have the insight, courage or deliberative skills which Judge Carter possessed. He helped to make the United States of America a fairer place to live.