the 5th

Check out my main Latte Man Dominik on my man page. He keeps both Patrick and I buzzed almost everyday! Thanks dude!

I think I am getting back to normal. Of course that doesn’t include the gym unfortunately. Maybe next week. Anyhow, the reason I think I am getting back to normal is two fold. One my ad campaign soon to begin at work for a useful meeting management methodology and two my conversation recently with Patrick on the 5th amendment. First the campaign.

I want a class that helps me to get to the answers. I hate political meetings. I hate finger pointing. So many times projects take much longer than they need to because we waste an enormous amount of time bitching and making statements about the issue that are dripping in social commentary. I can’t tell you how many trainings I have had with people where 90% of our time together is spent with me politely listening to their social comments about the office and HP. I want a method to cut through this. A manager once said in a Process Control meeting, ‘Finance won’t let us do the right thing’. What the hell is that! You can’t say that and hope to get anywhere. What I want is a tool to help me scrub that statement of the pathetic amount of bias and negativity to get to the useful part, because everyone’s opinions are useful when provided properly. Anyhow, not this Monday but next, I am going to do a picket in the office. Not like a protest but an advertisement looking for a method. Patrick and I are going to build me a sandwich board and I am going to march through the office for an hour making my request. I’m going to hand out fliers too. Then I want a class and they better give it to me. I think they will.

So this whole Enron thing really bugs me. Perhaps this is my Iran-Contra. Anyhow, with all these people at Enron taking the 5th, I only see this amendment helping people escape telling the truth. It’s a ‘Well I could answer that question but then I would be admitting I am guilty’. Well isn’t that what we are suppose to do? Accept our punishment? Admit when we are guilty? Are we suppose to use the law to help us get out of being responsible for something we are responsible for? I read a great ed. op article about how the CEO and various high level managers at Enron were going to have to do one of two things in dealing with the after math (in fact it was Scott Adams in the Dilbert Newsletter now that I think of it). Either admit they knew what was going on and accept the consequences or convince people they were incredibly stupid and didn’t have a clue, whereby, in my opinion, they are still guilty of not doing their jobs and should be held responsible. I mean it is the CEO’s job to know. Anyhow, back to the 5th. The only uses I can see of the 5th are for guilty people to not have to answer the question. Why can’t I be brought to the stand and be asked if I murdered that person (hypothetically of course)? Isn’t that what the trial is about? Now Patrick argues that yes guilty people can ‘abuse’ the right but the right is really to help innocent people from being made to make themselves look guilty. He sited the McCarthy hearings. I don’t see it. How did that help? The hearings were corrupt anyway and most people that got off, got off not by invoking the 5th but from some other technicality their lawyers were waiting and watching for. McCarthy and his people manipulated things so much that it didn’t matter whether you said anything or not, you were guilty if they thought so. So what good did the 5th do? Let’s take a hypothetical case. Let’s say you are a gay couple in Alabama and the local law enforcement doesn’t like ‘your types’. They get a probable cause warrant to catch you in the privacy of your own home doing whatever it is you want to do, which happens to be against the law. Is it really the 5th amendment that you need to protect you in this situation? Not in my opinion. It is more like a last resort that I don’t think is really going to help all that much at that point. This is my argument. The first law that failed you was ‘probable cause’. Does law enforcement really get to use ‘They seem gay’ as a probable cause? And does your neighbor have standing to make that assertion if it came from them? Next you would have various privacy laws that were violated. Not to even mention sodomy laws being silly to begin with (though admittedly the law in some states, more than I care to think about). If the local law enforcement and corresponding courts that issued the warrant are so corrupt as to have gotten that far, what good is the 5th? Like not having to answer the question ‘Are you gay?’ is going to help you at that point. But the 5th does seem pretty handy for people like the upper management at Enron. There isn’t necessarily a smoking gun as there ‘was’ in my hypothetical case and since they don’t have to answer the question, ‘Did you know/help move the debt to off-balance sheet companies’, they may get off. I mean Anderson seems to be the people getting in trouble NOT the company that did it! Anderson audited their books, and seemed to fail, but they didn’t keep them. Why aren’t the Enron people in the same bit of hot water as the Anderson people? The 5th, it seems. Couldn’t we rework that ‘right’, or some other laws, to shield the innocent, perhaps better even than currently, and not allow the bad guys a way out? I’m not sure what to change but I only starting thinking about it. And I wouldn’t suggest I, nor anyone really, could make that decision alone. But I do think we should think about it. Or?

I put this week’s outfit together was a bunch of stuff I’ve had for a while. Got the suede skirt at Ricky Martin and Christine Aguilera’s favorite store, H&M. They have this one line of clothing, Land of Graded Goods, which is sort of rugged but classic and of good quality. The skirt was dirt cheap too. In trying to find this outfits theme song, Patrick and I struggled quite a bit. I think it is baby girl Goth but Patrick said preppy because I was wearing a white shirt. Also, you are aware that you can click on the little pictures on the fashion page and get a bigger version, right? I hate those blue outlines for links so I always suppress them. Realized that those of you that have joined us recently might not know the secret and think these little pictures are useless, which they are mostly. Whatever. Cheers.

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