Wednesday Poetry: For Whom The Hound Chases

I guess the best introduction to this poem is to suggest that my Jesuit schooling is showing. This poem, The Hound of Heaven, by Francis Thompson was required reading in high school. Fortunately, we were not required to memorize it or tested on it so when I first came upon it I realized it would take too much time to read so I read a couple of lines here and there.

As a lawyer I recognized the phrase “deliberate speed” in Brown v. Board of Education seemed to have come from this poem. It entered that decision at the suggestion of Justice Felix Frankfurter who borrowed it from Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes who used it five times. Holmes said it was an old term used in the English equity courts.  The term the courts used was “all convenient speed.” The precise language though appears to be that of  Thompson.  Its use in the equity practice followed the idea expressed by the Latin term festina lente (make haste slowly). President Abraham Lincoln’s referred to it when he was asked when he was going to emancipate the slaves.

Religious Sunday: Catholics and Abortions

The nomination of Amy Barrett to the a position on the Supreme Court is Trump keeping to his word he would appoint judges who would overrule the case of Roe v Wade which allows abortion in the United States under certain circumstances. Her past writings and her association with pro-life groups shows her total willingness to do just that. Her disclaimers otherwise are deceptions for she would not be sitting there except for that fact.

She will join other justices as Alito, Thomas, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh who will be anxious to do the same. So we can expect Roe to be overturned within a year, two at the most. What then? What will overturning it accomplish?

One thing for sure it will not end the controversy over abortion nor will it end abortions in America. We will then have a hodgepodge of states where abortions are allowed, others with varying restrictions on it, and some where it is forbidden. How does that accomplish anything other than inconvenience women seeking to have an abortion. The numbers may be decrease somewhat but experience teaches us there are bad effects from banning things.

The Blind Leading the Blind: Trump Leading His Followers To Death

I used to keep a running chart of the coronavirus. It took me a substantial bit of time to keep up with the changes and other things pushed that idea onto the back burner. I thought I would go back to it to see what was going on around May 14 and 15 about five months ago and compare it today.

On May 15 the USA had 1,442.924 cases and 87,500 deaths. – Italy had 223.855 cases and 31,610 deaths – Spain had 230,139 cases and 27,459 deaths – the United Kingdom had 238.004 cases and 34,078 deaths.

The ten day average for USA deaths was 1,650, for Italy 230, for Spain 185, and for the UK 458.

Today the USA has 8,032,805 cases and 218,410 deaths – Italy has 391,611 cases and 36,427 deaths – Spain has 936.550 cases and 33,775 deaths – the United Kingdom has 692,103 cases and 43,519 deaths.

The ten day average for deaths now is USA 908, for Italy 30, for Spain 133, and for the UK 80.

So where does that leave us. We have the most cases and deaths in the world. Hardly can we spin that into something good.  What about the rates of increases over the last five months.

A Great Boston Tragedy – Will It Be Repeated At A Higher Level

When you look back on it the same actors are involved. How is it possible that they will try to pull off the same evil trick again? Don’t people ever learn that they have nothing but malice in their hearts for anything that is good? They are destroyers and backward tugging demonically possessed  people yet there are some who do not seem to comprehend this and think well this time it is different. “They say this time they are doing it to a person we do not like so it is all right. Before though it was wrong to do. Now it is good to do.”

Sorry folks. You cannot have it both ways. The evil they did to one person in the past is the same as they are doing now.. If you believed back then they duped many people into believing their falsehoods then unless you believe they have changed, which I assure you they have not, they are back again using the same tricks to fool the people.

The Devilish People: Republicans Bringing Back Jim Crow

Georgia began early elections on Columbus Day, or as some call it Indigenous American Day. The news about the folk having to vote in this Republican run state brought shivers to me when I think of what they had to go through. They were in lines from five to seven hours and up to eleven hours before they could cast their ballots. Even in the worst countries in the world those waits are unheard of yet we tolerate them here because we allow the Republicans who see themselves slowly becoming irrelevant to make a last gasp effort at retaining power by depriving others of the right to vote.

If people have the Constitutional right to vote for their representatives then the government has an obligation to make that right as easy to exercise as it can. The only way the people can have any power is through the ballot box and if those who once elected prevent people from voting them out by restricting the ability of people to vote then that is not what a democracy is about. It is a false election when people who want to vote cannot do that with relative ease.

Wednesday Poetry, etc. – Some Thoughts

I am moving on from my book about the Boston Gang Wars back in 1956 to 1976 which yet still need much editing and polishing but the pieces have all been put together which is the first step.

My next project is a book about James Whitey Bulger himself which I have tentatively titled: “The Boston Fairy Tale.”  To ensure the correctness of the title I went to my bulky Webster’s Dictionary rather than the web which has for most people has sadly replaced the paper edition to look up the definition of “fairy tale.” I found on the cover an article I had affixed there some years back under scotch tape. It read:

Anti-Cuban exile leaders retort that all of the Communists’ schools and hospitals do not justify their monolithic political system. At least one gray-haired man on Old Havana’s San Ignacio street would agree. Asked about the revolution, the Cuban looked around warily and the spat out: ‘It may be all right for the young people. They don’t know anything else. In the old days I was only a poor shoemaker but I could do what I pleased . . . Freedom has no price.'”

How John Martorano Took The Federal Prosecutors To The Cleaners

When I think of John Martorano the man who murdered more Black Americans in Boston in the history of that city than anyone else I cannot help think of the deal that he was given by the federal prosecutors for the  twenty murders he admitted doing. The excuse they offered was they would not have known about the murders if John did not tell them about them.

We know that was not correct. There were others who were quite willing to tell the federal prosecutors about some of John’s murders. But the deal with John was much more sinister than what people were led to believe. Talk about a prosecutor being pulled around by the tail. Well this is a prime example of that happening.

John’s deal was that he would not be prosecuted for any of his murders. He had committed most in Massachusetts but also had murdered people in Florida and in Oklahoma. Three states signed off under pressure from the federal prosecutors to let John with his multiple murders avoid prosecution for them.

Sunday Thoughts: People of Praise: Do We Know Enough about Amy Coney Barrett?

In a country of over 325 million people we are faced with the nomination of a person to be one of nine people who will interpret the laws of the United States who belongs to a group of about two thousand  people called the “People of Praise.”

It is not so much that she belongs to that group that had me wondering about her it is that as far as I can tell she hid her membership in it when she was before the United States Senate in 2018 when she was being questioned about a position on the Court of Appeals, the second highest federal court in the land. That article quoted M. Cathleen Kaveny, a professor at Boston College Law School who studies the relationship between law, religion and morality who said:  “I’m concerned that this was not sufficiently transparent. We have to disclose everything from the Elks Club to the alumni associations we belong to — why didn’t she disclose this?”