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The Column of Lasting Insignificance: July 28, 2007

 

To: Commissioner Mark S. Borrell
Superior Court of the State of California: Ventura
July 8, 2007

Dear Commissioner Borrell,

When you entered the traffic court you appeared to be a rational human being, so I was hoping that you would show some common sense when my case came up about allegedly not wearing a seat belt. Alas, it didn’t take long for you to show yourself as the same neutered parody of a ‘judge’ that one usually encounters in these rigged courts. I can honestly state that I have never ever attended a traffic court where even a single case was adjudged not guilty.

We are all aware that for a judge to disagree with a police officer is putting the judge’s career in jeopardy at the next election but, of course, it is also true that these traffic courts are invariably a farce, a charade held to give the (erroneous) impression of fairness, despite the case that the actual facts are never taken into consideration. In insignificant cases such as mine, they are just a moneymaking racket, in which you play your important part.

You may remember that the officer admitted that he could not see from across the street that my seat belt was around my waist. Nowhere in the California Traffic Code does it mandate that the belt be worn over the shoulder, although most of us usually wear it that way because we are told it is safer.

However, in this case, as I told you, I had had an accident, cracking some of my ribs. I proffered the hospital report which you declined to even look at, telling me it was necessary to have a note from my doctor. As if anybody is going to pay for a $100 doctor’s appointment three weeks ahead for such a triviality. Get real.

Frankly, I am sick to death of the petty persecution and harassment of drivers who might be flexible about seat belts or who ease around a corner at 2mph when there is no person or vehicle in sight, and end up having to pay $200 for the ‘offense.’ (There are nine stop signs between my home and Ojai, a mile or so away which means that on the 24-minute round trip to the post office I must stop 18 times. Ample opportunities for an oft-lurking cop. And the fine for a single slide is $196). It seems to me unreasonable that one can never take even the shortest drive without constantly having to look over one’s shoulder for some busy-body cop who has nothing more important to do than make his quota for the day.

I think you should be ashamed of yourself for participating in this hypocrisy and, before you are too old to care, maybe you will make the effort to gain at least a little awareness of what a travesty is the administration of these laws. When you were at law school did you have airy fairy dreams about the even-handed administration of justice? Bad jokes about lawyers should really be about bad judges. (Take the Supreme Court. Please!)

When I told my friends I was going to fight my citation in court, they all laughed at my naivete. And of course they were right. Do you ever wonder why so few people have any respect for the law? It’s because everyone knows from experience what a parody of ‘justice’ is served up by this supposedly impartial court, presided over by political hacks who sit on the bench parroting their master’s voice.

The self-importance of those who sit in judgment is almost beyond belief, the way, for example, they issue peremptory warnings about speaking without their permission. What makes you so much bigger than me or most of the other people who must be servile in your presence? Because politics handed to you the right to bully, a power — which you undoubtedly paid for in one way or another — and which you can use virtually unchallenged to lord it over your victims.

The price of justice is eternal publicity. — Arnold Bennett (1867-1931)

Sincerely,
John Wilcock

 

 

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