Justice Was Not Served

We all like to see the bad guys get punished up and the good guys go free, but I can attest to the fact that there is no guarantee that this will be the "case". I just invested my house-cleaning day in bringing my son down to the Van Nuys Courthouse to fight a ticket he received for not being able to produce his purchased Metro ticket to the Metro Police when he traveled home last September in order to be present for his little sister's birthday.

This experiment in SoCal's "rapid" transit system entailed about 6 hours of his time and multiple bus and train transfers in order to commute from Irvine to Northridge in time for dinner out. He made it to Downtown Union Station where he had to purchase a ticket to board a train headed to NoHo. It was hot and he was wearing shorts. He was also carrying his laptop and about 30 pounds of dirty laundry. When the train stopped he noticed that the Metro police were ready and waiting to confirm that all passengers could produce their tickets - ass, grass, or gas- no one rides for free, well not quite, but he was asked to show his ticket. When he reached in his pocket to produce it- lo and behold- it was not there! The officer began to write the ticket. My son insisted he had purchased a ticket and offered to pull up his online bank statement on his iPhone as on the spot proof. The officer sternly told him not to make a move for anything in his pocket! How then was he able to search for the ticket I wonder? In any event, he was given a $180.00 ticket and told to take it up in court.

The court date had to be juggled between school and work schedules and it finally arrived some eight months later. Fortunately, a friend went to visit him in Irvine the night before his court date and was kind enough to drive him to our house. What a luxury. So I volunteered to bring him to the courthouse and then make the round trip drive to Irvine and back so that he could get there in time for his Japanese final. It started out very nicely with California sunshine and chirping birds and no traffic. We found the courthouse and parking. The parking attendant took one look at us and asked, "Jury Duty?" We ate the delicious pastries my son had brought all the way from Irvine and then found our way to room 109 in the West Wing. We were the third ones to arrive. We waited approximately 45 minutes and then a deputy sheriff opened the door and sternly told us where to sit and what the rules were.

I'd say there were about 40 people to see the judge for various violations- unpaid parking tickets, driving without insurance, texting while driving, lost bus tickets, etc. The sheriff asked each person whether they needed an interpreter and then informed us that today's cases would be presided by a "temporary judge" and would anyone prefer to have their case hear by an "actual" judge. Only one gentleman chose this option. This was the only variable over which we had any choice, which may have changed the outcome of our day. It would have entailed my son missing his Final, so we decided to go with the temporary judge.

It seemed that nearly everyone was called before my son, and for the vast majority of them, the officer was not present, and their cases were immediately dismissed. When they called my son, his officer happened to be present. My son did not recognize him as the officer had put on a substantial amount of weight. My son did not seem nervous at all. He was dressed nicely in a blue button down dress shirt and black slacks with a trim haircut and stylish eyeglasses. He spoke clearly and confidently. He came prepared with his photocopied bank statements from Wells Fargo indicating his purchases of the day including the train and bus tickets.

Unfortunately, the Wells Fargo statements did not include time stamps for the transactions, nor were all of the ticket machine ID numbers available. The temporary judge asked for the officer's statement first and the officer gave it. Then he spoke to my son who gave his statement . My son had to ask the temporary judge (I don't want to give him the distinction of referring to him as a judge!) three times to at least take a look at his bank statement so that he could show that he had indeed purchased his train and bus tickets. The temporary judge finally agreed to look over the statement and then remarked that they were insufficient proof as they did not include time stamp information, and for all he knew, my son had retraced his steps all the way to Irvine and purchased tickets after the fact in order to "cover his tracks". What planet are we on? That temporary judge then made some comments about the fact that he himself had used the transit ticket machines and that they gave receipts upon request and why had my son not gotten a paper receipt? Uh hello??? The receipt was wrapped around the ticket that fell out of his pocket! He then made reference that the bank statement did not include the machine ID number. He made a snide remark that my son had had ample time to obtain adequate documentation regarding the purchase of his ticket. My son did state that he had obtained all of the information that Wells Fargo was able to provide without a subpoena.

What my son should have countered was that the citation issued to him by the officer listed his birth year as 2013 and had misspelled his middle name. We could have had a scratch game. Instead, the temporary judge scowled, " Well I still think you are guilty but I will reduce the fine!" This is when I got the adrenaline rush. I could actually feel my canines growing at that moment! The gruff sheriff told us to expect a check of an unknown amount to arrive in the mail in six to eight weeks, and we were told to go on our way. I felt sucker punched. Where was the justice here? How could this have happened and why?

If we can use our cell phones to show airline boarding passes and Border's coupons why then could this technology not be utilized to show proof of purchase of a train ticket to a Metro cop? Why did that temporary judge have to assume my son was guilty? It seemed so biased. Like he had already made up his mind. I understand that California is broke. And I understand that no one rides for free and that this has to be enforced with citation sanctions. I don't have a problem with the officer or even the gruff deputy sheriff, but that temporary excuse for a judge- that's where I am holding a grudge that won't budge. Part of me wants to fight the good fight under the principle that truth generally prevails, but the other part does not want to invest further time and money into a failed system.

I should have learned this when I tried to help my mom get some compensation for an auto accident she was involved in where she was at zero fault yet her car was totaled by a cop on a high speed chase who ran a red light and T boned her! By the grace of God she was unhurt, but she was unable to find a suitable replacement vehicle in the short amount of time she had the rental car, and she ended up purchasing a new vehicle, which significantly set her back financially. The insurance company representing the cop tried to lowball her and I felt that her situation warranted further attention. The courthouse scenario in SLO County was different in the sense that we did not have to wait 45 minutes to get the ball rolling and that the judge (a real judge!) was respectful even though we did not win our case.

I am left wondering if it is ever worth contesting injustice in this state. Heck- my mom could have feigned neck injury and sought medical treatment and taken many days off of work, and I don't think it would have been questioned. She could have "made" enough money to pay for that new car had she played the game. When I was involved in my accident- I too was t boned by a driver running a red light, which resulted in my van being totaled and a few nasty scars and my becoming an even more skittish driver. I declined the ambulance trip to the ER. The Paramedic offered it to me multiple times. It almost seemed like he was trying to help me out but couldn't come out and say it. We got screwed on that one too. My poor husband had just put on new motor mounts, struts, tires, and a really nice sound system that was my birthday present. All in all several thousand dollars of improvements that were all deemed normal maintenance and were thus not reimbursable. Same with my mom. The day before she was hit, she had just paid a $400 bill for auto service. Not reimbursable. Doesn't seem right to me. If the lesson is to milk the system and feign injury in order to pad the medical bills, that is a lesson I prefer not to learn. So far as my son's fiasco- I can't figure out any lesson except that justice is not always served and it is important to hang onto your tickets. Ironically, my son had never encountered Metro Police in has many travels both before and since the day he was cited. Hey- I realize we could have been at that court house for any multitude of other awful reasons, so we had to pay a penalty for a lost bus ticket. It is minor in the grand scheme. But it's a shame he should be falsely accused by a person appointed to promote justice. Ahhhhhh. I feel better now. My canines have retracted.

Top Ten Things You'll Never Hear a Dad Say

10. Well, how 'bout that?... I'm lost! Looks like we'll have to stop and ask for directions.

9. You know Pumpkin, now that you're thirteen, you'll be ready for unchaperoned car dates. Won't that be fun?

8. I noticed that all your friends have a certain "up yours" attitude ... I like that.

7. Here's a credit card and the keys to my new car -- GO CRAZY.

6. What do you mean you wanna play football? Figure skating not good enough for you, son?

5. Your Mother and I are going away for the weekend ... you might want to consider throwing a party.

4. Well, I don't know what's wrong with your car. Probably one of those doo-hickey thingies -- you know -- that makes it run or something. Just have it towed to a mechanic and pay whatever he asks.

3. No son of mine is going to live under this roof without an earring -- now quit your belly-aching, and let's go to the mall.

2. Whaddya wanna go and get a job for? I make plenty of money for you to spend.

1. Father's Day? aahh -- don't worry about that -- it's no big deal.

***

What Makes a Dad

God took the strength of a mountain,
The majesty of a tree,
The warmth of a summer sun,
The calm of a quiet sea,
The generous soul of nature,
The comforting arm of night,
The wisdom of the ages,
The power of the eagle's flight,
The joy of a morning in spring,
The faith of a mustard seed,
The patience of eternity,
The depth of a family need,
Then God combined these qualities
, When there was nothing more to add,
He knew His masterpiece was complete,
And so,
He called it ... Dad

***

A Father Means...

A Father means so many things...
A understanding heart,
A source of strength and of support
Right from the very start.
A constant readiness to help
In a kind and thoughtful way.
With encouragement and forgiveness
No matter what comes your way.
A special generosity and always affection, too
A Father means so many things
When he's a man like you...

***

Father and Son

Perhaps we'll never understand each other.
Loving doesn't mean that we agree.
If that were so, then I would say, why bother?
But there are things I know I'll never see.
I'm sure your heart knows what I don't yet know:
The pain of loving a reluctant son;
The anger, coming fast and building slow,
Of being helpless to control someone.
You want only that I grow up right,
But you know what right is, and I still don't.
I have to learn to wield my inner light,
And if I follow yours, well, then I won't.
I'm sorry for the anger in the air;
Though we fight, my love is always there.

***

Quotes:

Always aim at complete harmony of thought and word and deed. Always aim at purifying your thoughts and everything will be well.
Mahatma Gandhi

***

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
Mahatma Gandhi

***

Hate the sin, love the sinner.
Mahatma Gandhi

***

It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.
Mahatma Gandhi

***

Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.
Mahatma Gandhi

***

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
Mahatma Gandhi

***

Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.
Mahatma Gandhi

***

When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it--always.
Mahatma Gandhi

***

You must be the change you want to see in the world.
Mahatma Gandhi

***

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.
Mahatma Gandhi,

***

Before God we are all equally wise - and equally foolish.
Albert Einstein

***

Do not worry about your difficulties in Mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater.
Albert Einstein

***

Ethical axioms are found and tested not very differently from the axioms of science. Truth is what stands the test of experience.
Albert Einstein

***

Every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.
Albert Einstein

***

I never teach my pupils. I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.
Albert Einstein

***

A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be.

Albert Einstein

***

Next Post date: July 4, 2011
www.newseum.org

check out today's front page all around the world!

June 6, 2011

Quotes:


He didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it. ~Clarence Budington Kelland

***

My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say, "You're tearing up the grass." "We're not raising grass," Dad would reply. "We're raising boys." ~Harmon Killebrew

***

One father is more than a hundred Schoolemasters. ~George Herbert, Outlandish Proverbs, 1640

***

Fatherhood is pretending the present you love most is soap-on-a-rope. ~Bill Cosby

***

Father! - to God himself we cannot give a holier name. ~William Wordsworth

***

Blessed indeed is the man who hears many gentle voices call him father! ~Lydia M. Child, Philothea: A Romance, 1836

***

It is not flesh and blood but the heart which makes us fathers and sons. ~Johann Schiller

***

A father carries pictures where his money used to be. ~Author Unknown

***

When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years. ~Author unknown, commonly attributed to Mark Twain but no evidence has yet been found for this (Thanks, Garson O'Toole!)

***

Dad, you're someone to look up to no matter how tall I've grown. ~Author Unknown

***

Old as she was, she still missed her daddy sometimes. ~Gloria Naylor

***

There's something like a line of gold thread running through a man's words when he talks to his daughter, and gradually over the years it gets to be long enough for you to pick up in your hands and weave into a cloth that feels like love itself. ~John Gregory Brown, Decorations in a Ruined Cemetery, 1994

***

It kills you to see them grow up. But I guess it would kill you quicker if they didn't. ~Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams

***

It would seem that something which means poverty, disorder and violence every single day should be avoided entirely, but the desire to beget children is a natural urge. ~Phyllis Diller

***

Are we not like two volumes of one book? ~Marceline Desbordes-Valmore

***

The greatest gift I ever had
Came from God; I call him Dad!
~Author Unknown

***

Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ~Elizabeth Stone

***

Never raise your hand to your kids. It leaves your groin unprotected. ~Red Buttons

***

I don't care how poor a man is; if he has family, he's rich. ~M*A*S*H, Colonel Potter

***

Dad, your guiding hand on my shoulder will remain with me forever. ~Author Unknown

***

There's one sad truth in life I've found
While journeying east and west -
The only folks we really wound
Are those we love the best.
We flatter those we scarcely know,
We please the fleeting guest,
And deal full many a thoughtless blow
To those who love us best.
~Ella Wheeler Wilcox

***

Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away. ~Dinah Craik

***

Sherman made the terrible discovery that men make about their fathers sooner or later... that the man before him was not an aging father but a boy, a boy much like himself, a boy who grew up and had a child of his own and, as best he could, out of a sense of duty and, perhaps love, adopted a role called Being a Father so that his child would have something mythical and infinitely important: a Protector, who would keep a lid on all the chaotic and catastrophic possibilities of life. ~Tom Wolfe, The Bonfire of the Vanities

***

Spread the diaper in the position of the diamond with you at bat. Then fold second base down to home and set the baby on the pitcher's mound. Put first base and third together, bring up home plate and pin the three together. Of course, in case of rain, you gotta call the game and start all over again. ~Jimmy Piersal, on how to diaper a baby, 1968

***

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
Jesus Christ

***

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Jesus Christ

***

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.' II Corinthians 5:7”
Jesus Christ

***

“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Jesus Christ

***

“Yes I am with you always, until the very end of time”
Jesus Christ

***

Click on the picture below to view this month's mystery feature.

Click here to download the QuickTime Player if you don't have it.

LINKS:

Email your comments, good, bad, or ugly

Just a little history.

Archive of past issues.

Please Please visit the site and podcast the show. I'd love to hear your comments!

An Incredibly COOL site. Be sure you have a moment when visiting and check the Inspiration section.

Interactive Inspiration

Read the monthly column. Always interesting.

Smile Breathe & Go Slowly- beautiful blog

Best Online Video Clips. A daily must see! So much fun!

A kindred spirit in the U.K.- fabulous website!

Free recipe of the month tested in my own kitchen.

Quotes, articles, jokes, funny pictures. Very clever.

Slash your grocery costs in half like I did!

Just a guy having fun on the web. Read his rambles!

Ideas Worth Spreading in short video format. Amazing!

K Gilbert Photography Quality Custom Photography

Real Moms on Stage! I got to participate in Aug 09

eXTReMe Tracker