Cuckolded by Our Legal System

In reflecting on the reluctance of my generation (of baby boomers) to confront corruption in the U.S., or respond to violations of our civil, legal, and human rights, I must say I was puzzled for a while. Were we all just blind? Or stupid? Or really didn’t care about anything except our own measly lives? Why couldn’t we see what was happening?? I didn’t want war, or for everything to collapse, but I did want enough change to get rid of the rampant corruption, to change the direction we were heading. Why weren’t we dealing with what was in our face? Then it dawned on me. We baby boomers were the flower children of the 1960s. We were the ones who thought everything could be handled with love and peace. We were the ones who demanded the end of the Viet Nam war. We were also the first ones born from the survivors of World War II and maybe we were reacting to the never-ending nightmares, tensions, and anguish witnessed in the grandparents who lost children to the war, or parents who came home but never got over the guilt and pain of having killed other young men and women, or bombed their towns and children to smithereens. Suffice it to say, I don’t think the generation of boomers alive today is ever going to deal with the destruction of the earth, poisoning of water, loss of free speech, new laws that give government the right to imprison people without charging them, the pretense that a corporation is a person, the refusal to label GMO foods, the obstruction of new forms of energy, the murder of more than a dozen natural medicine doctors, the constant propaganda that passes for mainstream news, the de-education of American children, the total absence of common sense in everything the government does, the constant string of wars, and dozens of others issues. Our children are doing a few things to fight back, but it will be our grandchildren, or great-grandchildren, who will be forced to set things right again. Yes, I know that there have been dozens of campaigns, marches, protests, legal fights, and fund-raising for what-not over the past decade as people have slowly awakened. But much of this has been completely ineffective and laws continue to be put in place that ignore what we want. Why do we keep on marching and protesting? Because people seem to think we still have a democracy...and we don’t. They think if they get out and march or protest, those in power will see what we want and will care enough to respond – but they don’t. When they don’t, we do it again…harder. I love the rule of law, but isn’t it obvious that we are being cuckolded with our own legal system? We have an intimate relationship with our laws, but those in power are making fools of us with a constant stream of new laws designed to benefit only themselves. As with the typical cuckold, we are complicit in the agreement because we can’t deal with the disruption, embarrassment, or potential violence associated with having to challenge the ones screwing our legal system. We are left looking like old fools hiding behind a façade of peace and respectability. If you go back to the end of the first paragraph in the blog entry before this one, you’ll see the façade right there: we have a little more time to figure out how to make a positive change in a kinder, gentler way…time to build new systems that work better…and the chance to let natural changes press forward…because nothing is as sure as change. Yes, I admit, I wrote those words. I am part of that generation. I don’t like violence. But there might be a heavy price to pay for this position. Certainly, there are questions that arise… Are we maintaining peace – or avoiding the truth? Do we have a working plan for our future – or are we drifting toward disaster? Do we think we can turn things around without conflict somewhere down the road – or will there be a time when it is too late and we are imprisoned in a system we can’t stand? While we are running around hoping everything will be okay, do we have our heads in the sand, unable to see and admit that nothing is working well – if at all? If we tell ourselves we don’t mind supporting our adult children who can't find jobs, don’t have houses, can’t afford the children they’ve birthed, and never have enough money for decent transportation or a minute to relax and think clearly, what will we tell ourselves when we find we are also forced to support our grandchildren...and then our great-grandchildren? How much will we be able to do for them when we are eighty-five and need help ourselves, and they have nothing to offer? If our grandchildren and great grandchildren revolt and everything falls apart, will we look back and wish we had dealt with our issues when we were younger, healthier, and had more energy for dealing with disruption?  After all, how far can you run with a cane and where can you hide with a walker?


  • Hi Penny-
    I just read this and want to respond while it’s fresh and on my mind. My mom was in the ‘greatest generation’ who felt they had to take a stand and fight whenever there was a worldwide threat or even a personal one. Pretty brave and fierce lady. My dad was a fierce one too. They met in WWII in the south pacific. They were both born right before WWI. And my mom was a college exchange student in 1937, sitting on the american legation (embassy) rooftop watching the Japanese invade Peking. She had to leave in a hurry with a lot of other refugees. Her first husband was a pilot who was lost over the Aleutians. Her son was almost drafted for Viet Nam. One life…one bloody war after another and still one war after another. Yet another young generation with PTSD that we are losing. If you want to visit conspiracy (theory or otherwise) consider that both WW’s were manipulated by those who make the weapons. Viet Nam was based on a bombing that didn’t happen and Iraq on weapons that didn’t exist. Supposedly FDR was alerted to Pearl Harbor before it happened and didn’t stop it. It’s all dollar driven. Still is. Yes we are highly manipulated.
    Having lived out of the country in a much simpler and poorer one, and having returned less than a year ago, I the contrasts are still striking.
    And the people I know who are making the most difference are doing it community wide on a grassroots level. They are simply opting out of many of the much bigger systems. My daughter is one of them. She studied political science and Spanish and has spent a lot of time traveling including a year in Argentina. She gave up her idea of wanting to work in an NGO because it’s unwieldy and ineffective.
    I’m feeling the real undermining of our culture is the unawareness and lack of responsibility we have for our health, physical, mental, spiritual. We have given it all up to an outside authority. That’s my deepest disappointment with our generation. We started out so feisty and challenging. It seemed to me we thought for ourselves. Now we just seem to go along with what our doctors tell us, corporations tells us, government tells us. Hmmm. Maybe disco had something to do with that!
    I love the old expression ‘what if they gave a war and nobody came?’ What if they gave a sale and nobody came? What if they sold non food, non-entertainment, coke etc and nobody bought it? I don’t see that happening because the distractions fill up the emptiness we seem to feel. I think it’s worse than drivel. I think it’s poison. Must have the cars, new clothes etc. I’m guilty as well but I’m working on keeping that ‘no’ muscle exercised.
    As to the US running out of money…and I was watching closely to see what might come up as well as throwing as much positive juju around as possible….we’ve been out of money for years if not decades. It’s just a matter of when a little kid says ‘hey the emperor isn’t wearing clothes!’ That kid will probably be home schooled!
    PS Bonnie and i are hoping to come up this summer:) All the best. Lezley

    Lezley Suleiman
  • Hello my friend You have taught us that being aware, having an intuitive consciousness brings light. Thank you for your gifts and thank you for bringing awareness . Thinking of you today Rebecca

    Sent from my iPhone


    Rebecca Johnston
  • Thank you for such an eloquent comment, Catherine! I hope I did not give too much of an impression of despair and helplessness! I had wondered exactly the same things you mention – why do people keep on ‘taking it’ and why don’t they ‘up and do something?’ When I finally put these questions front and center in my mind, I realized that the Boomers were the Love Children of the 60s and that it was very likely NOTHING revolutionary was going to happen if it was up to them. Like Larry Plamondon (formerly on the FBIs 10 Most Wanted list) once shared with me, ‘We thought we could change the world with great music, free sex, and getting beyond the system.’

    We may not be able to see it very well at this point in time, but I think the Boomers will gradually see that we have held the space for the change, the Shift, or what Gar Alperovitz calls ‘The Next System.’ I have read a couple of things he’s written, and I like his metaphor of The Checkerboard…a slow-but-steady process of building the bits and pieces of the next system and keeping the evolution going until they all come together to supersede the old system. It looks like a checkerboard at first, with disconnected efforts located all over the place, but after a while, we ‘jump’ the old pieces and remove them from the board. I also like Meg Wheatley’s reminder that the old system still serves many, many people. That system and its people must be ‘hospiced’ during the long death of the old, and yet we must push to ‘birth the new’ that is being born. The task at hand is to keep moving, keep building the new world so that enough of it exists to support us as the old comes down. That way, there’s never too much hardship, only the usual chaos associated with massive creativity!!
    Penny Kelly
  • Greetings:

    It surprises me to hear you give voice to the despair and feeling of helplessness that I have felt in the face of such overwhelming negativity and destruction which is par for the course in our society. Actually, it is refreshing to bring this topic out in the open.

    I have often wondered why I don’t “up and revolt.” Why, when I see around me so much corruption and experience economic injustice, I just keep on taking it and adapting, trying to do my best to be in integrity and be kind to others. Saying “God grant me the serenity to accept those things I cannot change, the courage to change those that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” When I have felt strong outrage at what is happening I have not known where to go with my feelings and thoughts. I was on the verge of tree sitting once, but have pretty much stepped away from political activism.

    But perhaps it is not so simple as saying that the revolution didn’t happen because we boomers have been too “spiritual” or too afraid to take it on. Maybe there is another way to look at things. As baby boomers, we have felt almost an omnipotent over responsibility for the world. Those of my comfortable economic class were well educated, extremely idealistic. We grew up during a time when optimism reigned. Relative affluence for many meant that things were going to get better and better- the problems of hunger, poverty and racial injustice were on the verge of being solved, or so we thought. Of course that has not been the case. Humanity’s greed and ignorance and stupidity seem to have only reached newer heights.

    I am a political illiterate. I don’t understand much about how societies change. I try to read about it when I can. Recently I started reading an interesting book: “What Then Must We Do? Straight talk about the next American Revolution” by Guy Alperovitz.

    According to him there is no hope for radical change through political means at this point in history. The last time sweeping changes came about through political means was during FDR’s reign when the welfare state began. Two things were different than they are now: 1.Unions were strong at that time. 2. People were really suffering and there was no economic safety net. So major political change was enacted – the establishment of Social Security.

    Now we are in a time of weak unions and as bad as things are, there is some sort of safety net still doling out money. So we drift towards more and more control of the masses with this system and no hope of change politically.

    But all is not despair and gloom. The hope he does offer is along the lines of what people like you, Penny, are doing. The actions we need to take are not in the political realm, nor violent revolution, but the disengaging from the corrupt toxic systems and putting in place, bit by bit, a new, more sane and conscious and ecological system, created by those who are altruistic, awake, creative entrepreneurs! You are one of the main examples of and leaders of this new trend in my estimation.

    Here’s a blurb from Amazon (an evil corporation, I know, I know…) about the book:

    Never before have so many Americans been more frustrated with our economic system, more fearful that it is failing, or more open to fresh ideas about a new one. The seeds of a new movement demanding change are forming.

    But just what is this thing called a new economy, and how might it take shape in America? In What Then Must We Do? Gar Alperovitz speaks directly to the reader about where we find ourselves in history, why the time is right for a new-economy movement to coalesce, what it means to build a new system to replace the crumbling one, and how we might begin. He also suggests what the next system might look like―and where we can see its outlines, like an image slowly emerging in the developing trays of a photographer’s darkroom, already taking shape.

    He proposes a possible next system that is not corporate capitalism, not state socialism, but something else entirely―and something entirely American.

    Alperovitz calls for an evolution, not a revolution, out of the old system and into the new. That new system would democratize the ownership of wealth, strengthen communities in diverse ways, and be governed by policies and institutions sophisticated enough to manage a large-scale, powerful economy.

    For the growing group of Americans pacing at the edge of confidence in the old system, or already among its detractors, What Then Must We Do? offers an elegant solution for moving from anger to strategy.

    Catherine Preus
  • Yes, my father-in-law used to brag all the time that they won World War II using “Yankee ingenuity!” My own father refused to talk about the war, but if you made the mistake of waking him from sleep by touching him, he flew up wildly, ready to fight, a look of shock and horror and ferociousness on his face. As for the Boomers, they used to think for themselves, but that has been lost along the way. I am reminded of a wonderful old woman I once knew who would be in her mid-90s now. After listening to a group of us talk and complain about the disaster happening in the environment, the use of Round-up, the loss of amazing diversity on family farms as they turned to mono-crops, the absence of nutrition in the food, and the loss of the ability to cook, she spoke up saying, “I feel so bad about what has been lost…but we didn’t know any better…we just wanted some relief from all the work…we wanted an easier life.” Now I wonder what the Boomers will say. Perhaps, We just wanted the good life…??

    Penny Kelly

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