Category Archives: Uncategorized

I Am a Bad Man

As most of you know, we are, from time to time bad persons.  I am one.  I have forsaken my readers for months.  I have failed to respond to your comments.  I have been shamefully negligent where I should be attentive and alert, yes, and caring.  So what is my excuse?

I am trying to complete a couple of books, both of which have a time requirement.  I am too ambitious.  I take on too much.  I am having too good a time fulfilling what one erroneously calls ones “destiny.”

Be all that as it may, I have missed you.  I will not be able to reply to the backlog now.  But know I did not ignore your sharing out of an evil heart.  Not really evil.  Just bad.

Thanks for understanding.  I will try to do better.

Gerry

The Big Basket Up in the Sky

         At Christmas I tend to get attacked by my philosophical ghouls who want to play around with me.  I begin thinking of our religious beliefs since religion plays such an overwhelming part in the lives of a majority of Americans.  And it did with our forefathers as well, who, having suffered persecution at the hands of a power structure that sponsored a set of differing religious beliefs, braved the stormy Atlantic to settle in the wilderness of America where they could worship as they pleased, and kill the Indians.  Then they went to war with England, and sculptured a constitution, and there you have it, presto! the First Amendment that guarantees freedom of religion.

         Perhaps you believe that the First Amendment to the Constitution will protect you to embrace whatever religion sings to your soul. Well, it will, of course, if you are a Presbyterian or Lutheran or even one of those who have been mocked and belittled from the time I was a child — a “Holly Roller” they were called.  But they were rolling for Jesus. 

         In my day the Catholics prayed to God in Latin because, obviously, He only understood Latin, and the priests were all dressed up in glittering nighties and wore strange crowns and rang bells.  And even they were talking to Christ through his mamma.  I thought that was smart, knowing as I did, the power that mammas have.

         And the Baptist dumped you in a tub and near drowned you to wash away your sins, which meant to me that Baptists had more sins than Methodists, the church I grew up in, because in the Methodist Church the preacher just dipped his soft, white, uncalloused fingers into a silver bowl, got a drop or two on his fingers, and then sort of pressed the drops on your head, which told me right off that Methodists didn’t have as many sins to be washed away as Baptists.

         Then there were those who had the days of the week all mixed up and went to church on Saturday instead of Sunday, and, if you could scrape up a dime, how could you see Hopalong Cassidy at the Saturday afternoon show if you had to go to church instead? 

         And then there were those who were trying to put doctors out of business because they left all healing to Jesus – some sect called Christian Scientists, which didn’t seem very scientific at all.  I thought Jesus probably liked doctors.  If Jesus was too busy to hear your prayers, there was always a doctor to back Him up.  But none of these belief systems caused any serious problems because the First Amendment said that in America you could worship as you pleased.

         I don’t know what they would do to us if we were teaching our children from the time of first thought that Santa Claus was a lying fiction that represented the degenerate corporate money structure and was created only so Americans would buy a lot of junk at Christmas for their kids in order to insure the profits of the corporate king. 

         And what would happen if you taught your kids that Jesus and Santa were in competition with each other—as a matter of fact, as it turns out, Christmas is not the celebration of the birth of Christ, but it’s the time when Santa comes and, if you are a kid from a poor family trying to scrape enough together to eat, it is obvious that Santa does not love you as much as he does the rich kid, because the rich kid got a new bike and you got nothing, which teaches that money and virtue are somehow related, and that being poor is the first sin.

         I have no problem with the various religions or with Santa.  The human species is born with that overriding instinct of all instincts – survival —  the other side of which is the fear of death.  So we invent whatever belief systems are necessary to cope with that omnipotent fear, and we are born Baptists or Catholics or Muslims depending on the parents we drew out of the big basket in the sky.  Doesn’t seem like much of a basis to kill each other because of the parents, along with their beliefs, that we, and they, drew out of said big basket in the sky.

        

         Yours for a fine holiday,

        

         Gerry

 

Pain, Protests and the People

The protests on Wall Street have been overdue but will end too soon. Slaves cannot long maintain a war against the master. A money-made
U. S. Supreme Court has insured that the Moneyed Master can buy elections, and only the Master has such money. The democratic idea of government by the governed is a myth. One notes that the Republican party is so sensitive to its master’s power that it dare not suggest raising taxes on the Master –- not even an impoverished penny, much less plug the illegal loopholes through which the Master sucks the last of the life blood from the nation. All such slaves know that all power is vested in the Moneyed Master.

The current protests are curious news. But the media, both the printed and electronic, belong to the Moneyed Master. The people have no voice and their protesting voices on Wall Street and elsewhere are lost in the din of the growling, empty stomachs of children and the sounds of terror from a people who are crippled, not because their arms or legs have been severed, but because they can find no jobs. The Moneyed Master has closed its doors against the people and sits on its money like an old hen on rotten eggs.

The people will not prevail. No, not now. The gluttony of the Master must first run uncontained like maddened rats in a cheese factory until the sky grows dark and the light of hope fades, and there remains only the sound of the Master’s gnashing teeth greedily devouring all but the faintest dreams of the people.

With its endless propaganda the Moneyed Master has caused its slaves to believe they are free. But when that cruel hoax is ripped bare of its deceitful cloth and stands naked before the people, and when enough of the people sleep under the bridges and their children’s bellies swell from hunger then one day it will be too late for the Master. Suddenly, without warning, the people will rise up in explosive unison like a long sleeping volcano. Raging and turmoil will ring across the canyons of the streets and blood will flood the streets, and the people will at last prevail.

These are the times when the people cry out their pain to the deaf ears of the Moneyed Master. But such are only the beginning steps of the infant. The people will grow strong from their pain. Pain is the nourishment of growth. And in the end the people will prevail as they have though the eons against the tyrants of power. But not now.

Speaking to Each Other as Slaves

Yes, all of us, the living, are indentured in some form of slavery.  A few slaves are better off than most.  In the slavery of the old South the house slaves lived closest to the master and shared some of his comforts not known to the wretched slaves who labored in the fields.  The field foreman, who were also slaves, wielded whips they laid on the backs of fellow slaves.  But slavery, not poverty, is the universal life-taking force that is suffered by the rich and the poor, by the boss and the CEO  who, as slaves, lay their economic and emotional whips on the backs of the worker slaves.

The master, the corporate power structure, has an insidious, built-in guarantee against reform, one that preserves the master’s perpetual power.  The rich slave exploits the poor slave.  The rich slave often accumulates hundreds, even thousands of times more wealth than the poor slave — usually from the sweat and toil of the poor slave.  To justify his excesses, the rich slave proclaims he has worked harder and is self-made, while the poor slave is said to be irresponsible, lazy or stupid and entitled to what he earns which is often a mere pittance.  By reason of his self interest, the rich slave refuses to recognize and renounce his own slavery and to join the poor slave in a mutual quest for freedom.  Instead, the rich slave will fight for the master, the said corporate power structure, against his poorer brothers and sisters.  But a few rich slaves are beginning to realize that riches do not provide freedom.  Riches create only a different genre of slavery.

I say the master is dead because the corporation does not breathe, nor love, nor feel.  Our life’s breaths can be counted, and to contribute our limited breaths for the greed of a dead master is monstrous at best.  And slavery itself is a form of death.  Yet slaves can be taught to embrace nearly any degradation, any dehumanizing condition – to love it,  fight for it and to die for it, even with gratitude.  The means by which the dead master achieves its infinite power over us is called propaganda.  Our masters own the airways we listen to, the television channels we watch and the newspapers we read.  Our masters are masters at propaganda and mercilessly bombard us with false messages of our freedom during all of our lives.

As a consequence we good and obedient slaves, rich or poor, believe down to our toenails that we are free.  We have embraced this fable since we were first able to understand the simplest ideas.  We, as children, have been taught that we are a nation of free people that provides liberty and justice and equal opportunity for all.  By the time we have become adults we innocently laud this false freedom, and in its name we become free only to impose all nature of pain and misery on the poorer slaves who themselves have come to believe they are inferior by reason of their inability to acquire their fair share of the promised life.  And we support evil wars against other slaves in other lands in the name of their freedom but which wars, in the end, are fought by our children who bleed and die to enrich our master.

Our dead master continues to exist long after we and our children are gone. The insanity of it is that the corporate master, although dead, enjoys an eternal life and continues to educate generation after generation of slaves who believe they are free.   And the master continues to profit as long as we believe we are free – so long as we fail to realize that rich or poor we are slaves together .

So how then do we speak to each other as slaves?  Ought we not speak to each other out of deep respect, out of a love for our brothers and sisters?  Are we not best able to understand the pain of slavery of the poorest of our brethren having experienced degrees of its overarching pain ourselves?  Ought not our servitude cause us to care for one another in ways we have not considered before?

Now, dear friends, I am seeking a dialogue.  I am interested in hearing your thoughts on how to lawfully confront and overcome the slave master and to provide liberty and justice for all, as is the promise of our constitution. Give this careful consideration in your concise responses here.  Let us speak to each other out of our caring, with at least as much caring as we would offer a captured bird in a cage with a broken wing who is yet able to sing.

Speaking to Each Other as Slaves

 

 

Yes, all of us, the living, are indentured in some form of slavery.  A few slaves are better off than most.  In the slavery of the old South the house slaves lived closest to the master and shared some of his comforts not known to the wretched slaves who labored in the fields.  The field foreman, who were also slaves, wielded whips they laid on the backs of fellow slaves.  But slavery, not poverty, is the universal life-taking force that is suffered by the rich and the poor, by the boss and the CEO  who, as slaves, lay their economic and emotional whips on the backs of the worker slaves.

The master, the corporate power structure, has an insidious, built-in guarantee against reform, one that preserves the master’s perpetual power.  The rich slave exploits the poor slave.  The rich slave often accumulates hundreds, even thousands of times more wealth than the poor slave — usually from the sweat and toil of the poor slave.  To justify his excesses, the rich slave proclaims he has worked harder and is self-made, while the poor slave is said to be irresponsible, lazy or stupid and entitled to what he earns which is often a mere pittance.  By reason of his self interest, the rich slave refuses to recognize and renounce his own slavery and to join the poor slave in a mutual quest for freedom.  Instead, the rich slave will fight for the master, the said corporate power structure, against his poorer brothers and sisters.  But a few rich slaves are beginning to realize that riches do not provide freedom.  Riches create only a different genre of slavery.

I say the master is dead because the corporation does not breathe, nor love, nor feel.  Our lives’ breaths can be counted, and to contribute our limited breaths for the greed of a dead master is monstrous at best.  And slavery itself is a form of death.  Yet slaves can be taught to embrace nearly any degradation, any dehumanizing condition – to love it,  fight for it and to die for it, even with gratitude.  The means by which the dead master achieves its infinite power over us is called propaganda.  Our masters own the airways we listen to, the television channels we watch and the newspapers we read.  Our masters are masters at propaganda and mercilessly bombard us with false messages of our freedom during all of our lives.

As a consequence we good and obedient slaves, rich or poor, believe down to our toenails that we are free.  We have embraced this fable since we were first able to understand the simplest ideas.  We, as children, have been taught that we are a nation of free people that provides liberty and justice and equal opportunity for all.  By the time we have become adults we innocently laud this false freedom, and in its name we become free only to impose all nature of pain and misery on the poorer slaves who themselves have come to believe they are inferior by reason of their inability to acquire their fair share of the promised life.  And we support evil wars against other slaves in other lands in the name of their freedom but which wars, in the end, are fought by our children who bleed and die to enrich our master.

Our dead master continues to exist long after we and our children are gone. The insanity of it is that the corporate master, although dead, enjoys an eternal life and continues to educate generation after generation of slaves who believe they are free.   And the master continues to profit as long as we believe we are free – so long as we fail to realize that rich or poor we are slaves together .

So how then do we speak to each other as slaves?  Ought we not speak to each other out of deep respect, out of a love for our brothers and sisters?  Are we not best able to understand the pain of slavery of the poorest of our brethren having experienced degrees of its overarching pain ourselves?  Ought not our servitude cause us to care for one another in ways we have not considered before?

Now, dear friends, I am seeking a dialogue.  I am interested in hearing your thoughts on how to lawfully confront and overcome the slave master and to provide liberty and justice for all, as is the promise of our constitution. Give this careful consideration in your concise responses here.  Let us speak to each other out of our caring, with at least as much caring as we would offer a captured bird in a cage with a broken wing who is yet able to sing.

 

Can We Hide From the Insane Master?

It’s time we lay naked the myth, expose it like ripping the shirt off a fat man’s belly. We are not a democracy. Americans are not free. Our politicians do not represent us. We have not been taught or told the truth. None. We are the new slaves.
Slaves must have a master. Yes. The master is the corporate glob that controls us, speaks for us, that provides us with our only voice, the corporate media, that uses us up for its profit, that engorges itself while masses of our people remain jobless and hungry and that uses our resources and children to extend its aggression across the world for more profit.
The master is dead, of course. It does not breath or feel, and it is immortal. Such a frightening spectacle, for the master is not only dead, but insane! It is addicted to profit. Does it not terrorize us to see these organisms, these profit seeking corporations, still fighting for more, squeezing the life blood out of its workers for more, cheating its shareholders for more, twisting its barrowers for more, killing for more, blithely destroying the earth for more, bringing on wars where untold thousands of the innocent are wounded and killed – all for more? More!
In short, if I were to describe a monster so large it could not be seen, so ubiquitous that it covered every part of our being, so powerful that it controls our government and the governments of many nations, yet a monster without a heart or morals – and that has such power over the minds of the people that the people, the slaves, believe they are free and are willing to lay down their lives for the monster – if realizing this truth, might we all not run, hide, yes, scurry into small holes like frightened rabbits to seek refuge somewhere where the monster could not reach us? But what if I tell you that there is no place to hide? The master, the monster, the corporate glob occupies every nook and cranny where we once might have hidden. And it knows where we are. Even a cow can occasionally break through the fence and find momentary freedom in the neighbor’s pasture, but not the people. We cannot escape.
Is there hope? Stay tuned.

Big Mamma’s Joke

Big Mamma’s Joke

 

A Nuclear Holocaust and Burning to Death in Climate Warming are tricky little twins who have one ultimate goal — the extermination of the human race.  Holocaust is impatient and wants to get it done and over with.  Climate Warming, let us call him, Charboy, takes its time and gloats at the decades of human misery it will impose before it manages the final extinction of the species by roasting.  Holocaust is only accidentally kinder, and embraces torture, but not for eons.  Charboy is sadistic and loves to impose long-term inescapable suffering as it slowly burns the earth to a crisp.  These tricky twins are the progeny of the dead, the nonliving, the non-breathing — the corporations of the world that are nourished solely by profit, and, as the nonliving, they hold no respect for life in any form.

The most interesting phenomenon is that man has not only created his god in heaven but these equally invisible entities on earth, these corporations, that, in turn, have given birth to the tricky twins.  How remarkably deranged that man should have created these monsters with no soul, and no conscience, these lifeless leviathans that will sell life for dollars, health for dollars, morality for dollars, love for dollars, and, indeed, they will sell the planet itself along with every twig and tree every blooming rose and chirping bird along with all its human creators if there is offered or even imagined the most distant hope for dollars.  And in the end, we, the creators of these killer corporations to whom we have enslaved ourselves, are as helpless against our own creations as a child tied on the tracks before an oncoming, runaway train.

I say Big Mamma Up in the Sky looks down on this with disgust.  If we sit quietly and listen to the murmuring of a mountain stream we can hear what she is saying:  “Just look at these creatures called humans whom I have created in my latest experiment.  It has been a dreadful mistake.  I gave them the will to survive.  This brought on their eagerness to kill each other.  I gave them a mind to create, but they created not only beauty but invented every horror and instrument of destruction knowable in the universe.  I gave them the desire for pleasure.  But that turned into greed and prolificacy.   I gave them love, but the underside too often prevailed which is their apathy to suffering and their hatred of their fellow man.  Yes, man was a mistake.  A very bad one.   Perhaps my worst.

“But, as always, I shall have the last laugh.  With man I have no need to intercede.  These madmen will either blow themselves off the planet with nuclear bombs or burn themselves off the planet with global warming.  And their masters, those mindless corporations, unwittingly work night and day to terminate the species since corporations see a vast profusion of dollars in bombs and global pollution, all of which proves that madness and evil ultimately prevail.

“But no.  Lest I forget:  the concepts of good and evil are human creations.  Without humans there is neither good nor evil.  Without humans there is only beauty.  My intention was to design these humans to see and marvel at my works.  But with their insane destruction of their own habitat, that which is beautiful shall revert into the eternal unseen until, of course, I nominate some other creature that deserves to replace mankind, one that can fully appreciate my work.

“Ah, yes, how could I have forgotten?  I shall next try frogs.  Even now in these late times I hear them still singing.  They are bursting with such joy.  They sing all night.  They do not kill each other.  Yes, pollywogs and frogs will be my next great masterpiece.  My frogs will thrive in hot, polluted waters and radioactive slime.  Oh, how I love them!  I will give them a third eye so they can see my beauty in 3D.  Yes, of course, I have loved them all along, but their simple beauty has been overshadowed by the larger, noisy creatures.  And, yes, it is true.  I have created frogs in my own image.

“You didn’t know that?  Well, that is the best joke of all.”

 

 

REJECTION Part III

So, poor me, I was rejected as a kid when I wanted so desperately to belong to a fraternity.  I was rejected from the legal fraternity when I failed the bar.  How about when I ran for Congress, and after that, when I tried to get a job as a law professor, and later, when I wanted to become a judge and was rejected for both of these positions by the structure in power?

I have never thought about this in this way before – but all of these were, in fact, clubs:  the fraternity, a club to be sure, the congressional and academic brotherhoods, and the political club that governs the judiciary.  You did not belong to the club, Mr. Spence.  You were an outsider.  You were not to be trusted, because you did not belong and we will not have you.

The result of not belonging has given me the greatest gift – the gift of rejection which demanded that I discover ways to be useful without belonging to the club.  I began the long inquiry into the self.  Who is this person, Gerry Spence?  What, if anything does he have to offer?  If I belonged to the club, any club, that club would set its rules and standards and make its judgments – for me.

By being rejected I became acquainted with the pain of the common man who also is not a member.  I learned to care.  I learned something about enduring loneliness. I learned to speak the language of the people and to feel the pain of powerlessness.  I sought associations with those who were creative – artists of various sorts, individuals who had something to offer because they were, themselves, pariahs and had experiences in living that the club members could never have.  That included mountain climbers, tramps, social outcasts, and beautiful people who lived quiet, gentle lives and were successful mothers and fathers and knew a great deal about love.

I attribute any important successes I may have enjoyed in my life to rejection.  If I had become a frat kid I would likely have developed skills that would have led me in a different direction.  I would have enjoyed golf and golfers and would have associated with a lot of bankers and business sorts.

Had I been elected to Congress I would have been ruined as a human being.  Had I gone to the University as a professor I would have stagnated in academia, or gotten into a lot of trouble.  The Dean was wise in not hiring me.  I wouldn’t have lasted as a judge.  I would have little patience for the phony, the incompetent, the cruel.  I would not have had enough respect for precedent or for the rule of law when these came slamming up against justice as they often do.

Rejection has been the greatest of all gifts I have received.  The power structure has it own wisdom.  I would not have been a good club member.

On the other hand, the power structure freed me to take them on.  Had I been a member of the club I would never have been free to fight for certain of the causes that have defined me.  As a result of these gifts over fifteen years ago I started Trial Lawyers’ College to teach lawyers how to beat the power structure, to win against large corporations and against the enslavement and injustices of government.  I tip my hat to the power structure.  You have given me much.  I have tried to give much in return, even when it includes the chance to beat you.

 

 

Please skip the following Part II rejection which was posted by mistake.  The same post, properly edited, follows this one.

I should know better than to mess around with soft ware that is smarter than I.  A lot smarter.  There is even built-in laughter, and the damn thing is laughing at me.

Gerry

Part II Rejection.

Ah, yes, the gift of rejection.  By the time I was nineteen I finally met a pretty girl who thought I was wonderful.  What she saw in me I have yet to discover. Perhaps it was that I thought she was quite wonderful too.  But there was something else there. There always is – the need to be respected, to be accepted — even loved.  Underneath all the noise and panting and craziness of first loves  there is often something that is trying to be born, that is struggling in the pain of birth.  I suspect that was true with me.  She must have understood that.  I have written about that phenomenon in a book called, “The Making of a Country Lawyer. I entered law school and graduated magnum cum laude which was only the result of being afraid I would fail and be kicked out.  I didn’t have enough money to rent a cap and gown so I never attended the graduation ceremonies.  I was married to that wonderful girl with our first child. Then I became the first honor graduate in the history of the law school to fail the bar.  A lawyer up north in Worland, Wyoming had offered me free office space and he would send me the leavings of his practice.  You know – the divorces in cases without much of a fee, and he would send me the fender-bender automobile accident cases.  I was excited, delighted, ecstatic.  But the offer was withdrawn when I failed the bar. When I passed the bar the second try I finally got a job for $200 a month in the small town of Riverton, Wyoming.  I have written about that on this blog recently.  I lost that job when my employer became the local judge.   I had to get another job.  I’ll admit: after a grueling door to door campaign for prosecutor that took me to the Indian reservation “teepee-tapping,” and after having knocked on every door in a county nearly as big as some of our smaller states, I was, at twenty-four, elected the youngest county attorney in the history of the state.  But my successes as a politician ended there. After two terms as prosecutors I wanted to go to Washington.   I ran as a Republican.  We have all sinned.  Democrats were suspected Commies in those days.  I ran against William Henry Harrison (the President’s grandson) in the Republican primary for Wyoming’s only seat in Congress, My campaign slogan was, “Let’s be heard in Washington.”  My opponent had been in Congress for years and wasn’t a ranking member of even the least important of the many committees of Congress.  I discovered that the people of Wyoming simply didn’t want to be heard.  They wanted to be left alone.  Even though I knocked on most of the doors in this sprawling state my defeat was massive and absolute.  I did carry one precinct, namely, Bill, Wyoming.  Three votes.  Somehow I managed to get two of them. I, an utterly provincial country boy, was desperately trying to escape the provincial town of Riverton.  I had four kids by this time, and by this time I had represented insurance companies, and also held the record for the largest personal injury verdicts for ordinary people in the state.  Moreover, I’d been a prosecutor. So I argued to the Wyoming law school dean that I could teach law students all about trial work.  I was rejected out of hand.  No way.  The dean wanted some young pointy head out of a big law school who had been in a big firm for a year or two.  That would add to the standing of U.W. Law School.  We do not want you. Then maybe I could become a judge.  I asked my Republican pal, Stan Hathaway, then the governor, to appoint me to a vacancy that had just arisen in my county.  He called me to his office in Cheyenne, there to show me a pile of letters he’d received from his Riverton constituents who were more than mildly opposing any such appointment.  He turned me down.  So, soundly rejected, I quit the law. Why is rejection such a glorious gift?  Hang on for Part III.