LIONEL PODCAST: The United States of Stupid

This week I aired a commentary that dripped of satire. I mean dripping globs of mucilaginous stalagmite satire. Only the most cretinous of Boeotians could have possibly missed the point that I, a lawyer and indefatigable defender of the Constitution and its Bill of Rights, could not possibly have literally meant what I said. Especially the way it was presented.

I’ve included three actual emails, unedited and uncorrected for grammar and punctuation and anything resembling grammar.

This first sample is from a lawyer. A lawyer!

Lionel you can’t be serious about rolling back the country’s Bill Of Rights. Adherence thereto is precisely what separates us from banana republics and Islamofascists, not necessarily in that order. Embrace the rights so billed. They protect you, too – for better or worse, some of your viewers might opine.

And this beaut.

Hi Lionel:
I usually always agree with you, but being socially liberal does not mean you kiss everyone’s behind and give them a pass to engage in any types of activities that they want without repercussions. There are already laws protecting law-abiding citizens from shady individuals who are U.S. citizens once they break the law. Most would agree that following a group of African-american males from high school because you “think they may be up to something” sounds racist, absurd, and very outdated as a law enforcement practice. But you seemed to justify internment camps of WWII because we were under attack and certain sacrifices have to be made. The issue with the new legislation as well as the Japanese internments camps (besides the obvious) is that laws in this country are meant to both protect the law-abiding citizens of the nation from non law-abiding citizens…as well as the men who run this country! FDR (as were many politicians of his day) was a known racist against the Japanese, and racism, rather than reason, drove the detention of Japanese individuals living in Hawaii and then Japanese-Americans living on the West Coast. We were supposed to learn from our mistakes and grow…. why have we only regressed in a post-9/11 world? It’s not about protecting EVERYONE’s rights…. just the ones who abide by the law and want to speak out against the morons that run this country (like myself) on a regular basis without worrying about being federally prosecuted. The freedom of being able to run our mouths freely makes up the concrete that holds up the foundation of America.

But wait, there’s more.

Dear Lionel,

I enjoyed your speech about dismantling the Bill of Rights on TV last night. The thrust of your argument is that civil rights impede the administration of government and justice. I couldn’t agree more. They also promote creativity, innovation, and national pride but those are really just side-effects if you think about it.

So you want to have a prosecutor (why don’t we just call him a king) govern society and sit in judgement of you? Let me ask, what if he doesn’t like you? Then what? What if you are sentenced to death for offending him? The king is just a person like everyone else. He will have likes and dislikes (in legal jargon we call that “bias”). The king could take one look at you and think “I don’t like him” and say “off with his head.” Is that the type of society you want? The dark ages? Or maybe you prefer the modern version of the dark ages: Saudi Arabia?

You pose the philosophical quandary of whether we should prefer to let 100 criminals go free in order to avoid wrongfully imprisoning the innocent or imprison 100 suspects because we’re pretty sure that the guilty person is among them. In the latter case we might also say that the rest of the suspects probably had it coming anyway (no one is innocent really). Of course we can’t afford to imprison all those people (it’s too expensive) so I suppose we will have to execute some of them. Perhaps we can find a middle ground like cutting off their hands and letting them go. That way they will never steal again but we don’t have to house and feed them either. It’s a win-win! I think you’d love it in Saudi Arabia. Why don’t you live there I wonder?

Every now and then we hear about how someone got away with murder (like OJ) and everyone gets all upset. Some people try to throw the baby out with the bathwater. They say that those stupid civil rights got in the way of the administration of justice. In reality the OJ’s are extremely rare occurrences. If a suspect is in court, chances are they are going to suffer a penalty. You might not know this but the most difficult part of prosecuting a criminal is actually finding the right person. Once you have the suspect in custody, once those pesky civil rights kick in, you are probably going to get a plea and that person is probably going to jail if it’s a serious crime. Finding the right person is difficult because there are a lot of people in society. With or without civil rights, that is never going to change. In your society, however, whenever someone who vaguely resembles you, or has a similar name to yours, does something wrong then you will be thrown in jail (possibly beheaded) and I guess you just like it that way? I really encourage you to check out Saudi Arabia because they are way ahead of the US in terms of not having civil rights. It may take some time to dismantle the Bill of Rights here but if you really want to live in a place where you have no civil rights you can go there now and be happy. What are you waiting for?

People who make your argument always imply that they could do it better. They are immeasurably arrogant. They think “if only I were king of the universe, I would do everything so much better.” Ha! You think you have all the answers to all of our problems? You think that you would govern better than our clunky, inefficient, civil-rights-burdened, demochaotic, checks and balances? You think you are smarter than Lincoln, Jefferson, Franklin, Madison, Washington, and a whole bunch of genius philosophers who preceded them combined! What a guy! You must be 105% smarter than Einstein!

These people drive. They vote. They use sharp objects and utensils. They may even have children to whom their genes for idiocy must have been passed.

Below, the commentary that so many found offensive as they thought I was serious. Or, worse, agreed with it as they thought I was serious.

And today I appeared on the PIX 11 Morning News with my colleague Frances Rivera. I try to be limpid and pellucid in my anger.

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