Judge, not!

Recently here in Northeast Pennsylvania (Our Motto: “In the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king”) we have had a spate of judges being caught with their assets hanging out. It’s all part of an on-going probe by the federal authorities. I think the salient part of that is the word “probe” for when you have been probed by the feds you walk funny for a while. Think “electric cattle prod.”

Without becoming a news column, (there is little danger of that) to summarize, here is a typical article, this one from CNN:

“Luzerne County, in the heart of Pennsylvania’s struggling coal country, has fallen prey to corruption. The county has been rocked by a kickback scandal involving two elected judges who essentially jailed kids for cash. Many of the children had appeared before judges without a lawyer.”

By the way, this phrase: “Luzerne County, in the heart of Pennsylvania’s struggling coal country is what we in “struggling coal country” love to see in print. Hello, rest of the world. Coal has not been mined here in any quantity since the Knox mine disaster in 1959. We may be “struggling” but it has nothing to do with coal. So please strike “struggling coal country” from your cliché’s to fill up my word count hand book. Thank you.

Where was I?

Another Luzerne County Judge, Michael Toole, pleaded guilty to corruption charges. Toole admitted in open court that he was opening up and guzzling a thirty-pack, daily, of cold frosty ones. You have to admire a man who can do that. Gives the phrase “Sober as a judge” a new meaning. I have to picture Mr. Toole as spending a whole lot time in the little judge’s room. Either that he was also dependent on “Depends.”

So judges don’t have a great reputation in our area right now. There are, in fact, people I know who spit on the sidewalk when you mention the word judge.

There is some sort of primary upcoming. May 17th. If I have this right voters will get to choose some candidates, who if everything goes their way will become new judges.

I don’t follow politics. It bores me to tears and makes me unreasonably mad at the same time. I did register to vote and voted once in my life. It didn’t work out then and I have no evidence to support the idea that it might work out again.

I know we need judges. I have met some that I actually thought were fair and impartial. Oddly enough the ones I liked are no longer on the bench but they left on their own. An honest judge? I think that you might find one in Luzerne County someday. With a strong light and a full-out search. You may also find your ass with both hands and flashlight. But right now I can’t imagine anyone who has a lick of sense would want to be one. Possibly that is the job description: Don’t have a lick of sense? Drink a lot? You are the perfect candidate. Become a Luzerne County judge.

But that idea has not apparently lodged in the brains of the would be’s/ wanna be’s. I know this because I see the signs. The signs on the highways to be more specific. Those little “yard signs” that pop up like daffodils.

I am a law abiding citizen. I have great respect for marketing. But I would much rather see daffodils. Or even litter. I am not sure why, but the signs for judicial candidates make me furious.

The life expectancy of signs for judges (or any candidate for any office) on or even near the Rising ranch is similar to that of Drosophila melanogaster. That is a fruit fly and they don’t live long.

And just because…


The Rant D’Jour is about the sinking economy. Funny thing is it was first published in 2009.

I know that times
are tough. I see it in the news. Unemployment at its highest rate ever. Big companies…Rant D’Jour


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About James Rising

A recovering radio addict wrestles with the written word.
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