Friday, June 22, 2012
I went in today on what was supposed to be a day off in order to have a hearing for client who wanted out of the hospital. It was a tough fight. Prehearing motions, objections, chastisements from the judge. I went after the psychiatrist pretty hard on cross. He admitted he hadn't examined her for two weeks and that he didn't know if she was presently suicidal. I put my client on the stand and she did fairly well. Admitted to a drug problem. Admitted mental illness (PTSD, not the way off base diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder given by the psychiatrist). Judge reserved decision. I told my client to hold on, that I didn't know how long a decision would take, that the long-term goal was keeping her out of the state hospital. I came home and, around 4PM, got a call from work. We won. The judge ruled that the hospital did not prove that she presented a threat of serious harm to herself or others as a result of a mental illness. Huzzah? I hope she doesn't OD.
The presidential election has been dominating the news for months now. I am so sick of the coverage that I often ignore the news. Most of what is reported is gossip and boosterism. Obama going to Afghanistan on the anniversary of bin Laden's death does not induce questions about the decade-old war in Afghanistan, extra judicial killings, or whether the chase was worth the cost. Reporters simply play a clip from whatever vapid speech he gave and then quote republican politicians and political hacks complaining not about the manner of the killing, consequences of it, events leading to it, or even the waste of resources involved in flying to Afghanistan for a photo op, but about him unfairly trying to gain political advantage from the death. In other words, his critics were offended by his style. He was being uncouth. The unrelenting falseness of it repels me. Even further alienating me from politics is that, as Ralph Nader has long argued, both parties are corporate apparatuses. The federal government continues to strengthen itself and the executive continues to assert greater and greater power to ignore the laws passed by congress. Meanwhile, the supreme court issues impenetrable 100-page opinions to justify decisions that can usually be predicted by the party preferences of the judges. But then I see meaningful issues at stake, such as gay marriage and civil rights for gay people, financial and environmental regulation, and social services, and I re-engage. If a republican is elected, I think the country will be worse off than if a democrat is elected. But Obama has been consistently bad on civil liberties, his white house has operated with corporate-like security, and has loaded with gold the corporate criminals responsible for the market collapse. I live in New York, so it really doesn't matter who I vote for for President. I will probably lodge a protest vote of some sort. But I've been pulling for Obama, rooting against Romney. The lesser of two evils. Someone who often seems like he's trying to the right thing. And there's the fear of what would happen if the Republicans got back into power and no one bothered to throw sops to the peasants. If Paul Ryan got to run the show. Then again, maybe I just get sucked into the simple theater/sport of it. Hooray, the Yankees win! Hooray, the Democrats win! Let's go out for Mickey Dee's! So a big part of me wants to say, fuck mainstream politics, I need to focus on something meaningful. Either guy will continue to support the catastrophic Drug War, either will fail to prosecute elites for crimes that would put a poor person in prison, and either will spend much of his time making sure that the money that got him elected stays satiated. But then, Paul Ryan.