Monday, October 19, 2009

Comment on The Belmont Club
"Somewhere in time"


Eyewitnesses are notoriously unreliable and juries have no idea about what they saw in the court room. Ed Levi was part of the Chicago Jury Project, that secretly taped the jurors, and some held it against him. The problem with witnesses and juries is the same as the problem with Democracy. Bad as they are it is hard to come up with anything better.

Hillary Clinton is running hard for the title of most feckless and gaffetastic Secretary of State ever. Maybe she can switch jobs with Joe Biden.

While everyone misremembers not everyone demands that the audience submit to their perception of reality. One mark of a traditional gentleman was a certain modesty in expression. A natural inclination to hedge and qualify statements is not designed to evade responsibility but rather to acknowledge limits and validate that others may have valid information also. A person displaying a sense of ethics learned from the ghetto like a child when challenged will attempt to tear down any threat "You didn't say that" or establish a story that allows no other interpretation "He came screaming out of that street like a bat out of Hell and aimed right for her" while a well raised person will have the inner security to accept their own limits "I did not hear you" or "I saw the vehicle enter the intersection after a truck cleared and the other car was already crossing."

In training for TSA and at FLETC we would do the surprise encounter, now write down a description, role play scenario. It is a humbling and important lesson. Children should all be taught the Telephone Game where a story is told at one end and works its way around the room until something very different arrives at the other end.

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