A caveat not to be ignored
America, “Wake the expletive up”, we’re currently living in a 21st century feudalistic society where America’s self-appointed “Lords and Barons” [the 1%] are nestled snuggly in their mansions, villas and million dollar high-rise condominiums.
In-between hedging their stock bets in New York, London and Singapore the super-wealthy periodically glance down from their “ivory towers” to observe the rest of us hustling and bustling 99% as we go about our business trying to get paid and keep one step ahead of bill collectors.
What the super-wealthy sees when they actually take the time to look down from their protected perch is a hardworking and semi-schizophrenic population that often scurries about like lost mice in a maze. Satisfied that their abundant affluence buys them happiness it’s not hard for them to feel awfully happy that they are not one of us.
Protected by lawmakers and judges that they [invisibly] “sponsor” / “support”, the super-wealthy can do pretty much whatever it is that they want to do without much fear of arrest and prosecution. Affluence buys protection and protection creates a sense of invincibility.
Besides racism and bigotry, the greatest internal threat to the security of the United States is “Classism.”
Fueled by unrepentant Capitalistic greed and Self-Assumed privilege, Classism threatens to transform 99% of American workers into powerless societal-peasants who are dominated by a super-wealthy 1% who earnestly believe that (1) corporations are people and (2) the super-wealthy can literally get away with breaking any law, including murder.
Unless ordinary Americans vigorously challenge the legal decisions of an often corrupted state and federal legal system, our jails and our prisons will continue to overflow with friends and family whose only real crime is being too poor to afford “A Top Gun Lawyer”. It’s immoral to create a legal system that cuddles and exonerates the rich and famous for crimes they commit, while simultaneously creating a school-yard to prison-yard pipeline for the poor and the near-poor.
We know that the late-great Sam Cooke once sang a song in 1963 that kept hope alive that change was gonna come. The question is when?
In the News…
On December 10, 2013 inside a Juvenile Courtroom in Fort Worth, Texas, an obscene and pathetic sentence was issued by a District Judge in a manslaughter case that made a complete mockery of the Texas judicial system.
Without giving any definitive reasons for issuing the ultra-lenient judgment, Texas District Judge Jean Boyd sentenced Ethan Couch, the 16 year-old son of a wealthy local sheet metal fabricator to just therapy and 10 years of probation. The sentence was made in correlation with Couch’s voluntary plea of guilty to four counts of Intoxication (vehicular) Manslaughter.
Couch’s blood alcohol content of .24 was three times over the legal limit for men.
By now most Americans who follow the News have heard “something” either from a friend or a reliable News source about the “poor-16-year-old-rich-kid” named Ethan Couch who “accidently” killed 4 pedestrians and severely injured 2 more while driving drunk at a speed of over 70 miles per hour in a 40 miles per hour zone on June 15, 2013, in Burleson, Texas.
Killed at the scene were Hollie Boyles, her daughter Shelby, their friend Breanna Mitchell and Brian Jennings, a youth pastor who while driving down the same stretch of road, stopped alongside Mrs. Mitchell’s broken down SUV to render assistance to the three women.
All four were instantly killed when the teen’s pickup plowed into the pedestrians on a road in Burleson, south of Fort Worth. Couch's vehicle also struck a parked car, which then slid into another vehicle headed in the opposite direction.
The two people riding in the bed of Couch’s pickup were tossed in the crash and severely injured.
One is no longer able to move or talk because of a brain injury, while the other suffered internal injuries and broken bones.
To the disbelief of the grieving families, Ethan Couch’s entire defense was based solely on the argument that from birth until present, “this 16 year-old young man is too rich and too spoiled to fully understand the consequences of the crimes that he committed”.
Couch’s defense also argued that his lack of empathy for the victims is directly the “fault of bad parenting” and that intense psychiatric therapy would better serve the 16 year-old than years served behind prison bars.
Incredibly the judge bought the affluenza defense presented by Couch’s well paid lawyer and staff; hook, line and sinker.
So hypothetically, what if a defendant is from birth too poor and too desperate to fully understand the consequences of committing crimes that kills or seriously injures an innocent victim(s), is there a medical or psychiatric affliction that’s comparable to affluenza that will judiciously exonerate the poor and desperate defendant of their crimes? The answer is no. Jails and prisons are full of poor and disadvantaged people.
And where will Ethan Couch be receiving his therapy? His parents have agreed to send him to reside as a live-in-patient at “Hope by the Sea”, an exclusive Southern California drug and alcohol rehab center that costs nearly a half a million dollars a year for “treatment”.
Treatment includes spa, swimming, a Zen-like atmosphere, martial arts training and of course, drug and alcohol counseling.
If the truth weren’t so sad, this entire story would be comical. The reality is that Classism and privilege in America has reached a new low and the average American is taking notice.
The only sure cure for “affluenza” is sentencing the guilty “poor little rich kid” to prison just like everyone else who isn’t born with a platinum spoon in their mouth.
As for Judge Jean Boyd, a team from the Internal Revenue Service should look into her financial campaign records and routinely inspect her personal banking accounts for any abnormalities that can be traced back to sheet metal fabrication companies.
In closing, this wasn’t Ethan Couch’s first major brush with the police. A year ago at the age of 15 he was found with a naked 14 year-old girl in a parked car. Look, it’s apparent that his young man has always gotten away with his out-of-control behavior. It’s no secret, having a rich mother and father buys silence in small towns. Some say that Karma is real and that it never sleeps. Let’s hope for the sake of the families of the four dead and two severely injured that Karma doesn’t need a road map to find young Mr. Couch. Perhaps alligators live in that swimming pool at the resort “Hope by the sea”he’ll be resting at over the winter. Now wouldn’t that be nice?
As always the New Orleans Examiner is interested in what you think. Are Americans already living in a 21st century feudalistic society and just don’t know it yet? And will Karma eventually find its way to the doorstep of Ethan Couch? Inquiring minds wanna know. Will Couch ever be punished?
Until next time, Good day, God bless and Good fishing.