The Recorder – The World Keeps Turning: Lawyers, Guns, and Money


“I’m a desperate man. Send me a lawyer, a gun, some money, s— hit the fan.” When Warren Zevon sang these words in 1978, he was a great artist He had become an increasingly destructive alcoholic, and in 2002, when he gave David Letterman his last words as a terminally ill cancer patient (“Enjoy Every Sandwich”), he was 16 years old. It was clean.

Although the song alluded to America’s covert foreign policy in Cuba and Honduras, I always thought it also represented the Holy Trinity within the country, the way to gain and maintain power. Sending ‘guns, money’ was a simple and crude description of how to manipulate the levers of political and social power in America. I think it’s just as accurate today.

The stuff definitely hit the fan. Zevon mentions the CIA and the military coup, but today we’re all caught up in culture wars without gunshots with negligible gains in our daily lives. .

Shakespeare was one of the first to draw attention to the power of lawyers in the late 1500s when a character suggested killing “all lawyers.” Today, conservative lawyers and lawyer-turned-judges are spearheading the culture wars.

State and federal court systems are drowning in litigation designed to disrupt and delay the implementation of legislative and administrative actions. Challenges in the 2020 election have gone nowhere, but courts are being flooded with allegations related to gun rights, environmental policy, school curricula, voting rules, gerrymandering, and other flashpoints. increase.

The Conservative-majority Supreme Court has evolved into a right-wing dream that can entertain any “Christian” evangelical vision. Contrary to precedent, the company is now reviewing a “what if” case involving a web design firm that may be asked to create her web page for a gay couple’s wedding. The company has never been commissioned to design a wedding site, but the lawsuit was designed by conservative lawyers (they’re back!) and the law against discrimination against LGBTQ people in all businesses. provide a solid foundation.

The same group promotes suits for easier access to guns. Guns are a central part of our national culture. 330 million Americans own about 390 million guns, of which about 20 million are assault weapons with rates of fire between 1 and 15 rounds per second. If the owner of the offensive weapon opened fire in unison, the rest of him could kill 310 million people in seconds. Considering the Gun Control Lobby controls Congress, I think Americans already have all the guns they need.

And how important is money? In our society, money screams, not words. Spiritual adolescents like wealthy kid Elon Musk can unleash a storm of hate on Twitter under the guise of free speech. But $400 million was spent, including the equivalent of $50 million in Democratic TV ads last month, double what Herschel Walker spent, and more than half of that came from outside Georgia. Corporate earnings continue to set records, but inflation continues to dig into our pockets for the last few coins.

The two nouns turned into verbs are currently very fashionable and reflect current culture. Weaponization and monetization. Donald Trump and Senate Republicans have accused Democrats of weaponizing the Justice Department in a “witch hunt,” while Rudy Giuliani has “weaponized” his legal license in a frivolous lawsuit about the 2020 election. was indicted by his Bar Association for Stuffing courts and overwhelming them with lawsuits certainly fits the first definition of “weaponization.” Adapted for use as a weapon. Countries flooding civilian hands with military weapons encounter her second problem of supplying or equipping them with weapons.

Today, some people and businesses are having great success by “monetizing” previously free products and services. These include “influencers” on the web, banks charging fees to profit from our money, NFTs (mysterious ownership of “unique” digital products), Meta, Insta, Twitta, and Includes the sale of personal data by TikTok. I admit I dream of all the things I want to make money on: the crumbs in my pocket, the sawdust in my workshop, the column I write.

A recent New Yorker article explains that a local school board faces lawsuits from conservatives who don’t have children in school. It concluded by asking a board member whether the challenger believed a particular book or curriculum would actually harm children. I don’t know if there is, we seem to be losing integrity, maybe it’s a matter of power and money.” I think Warren Zevon would agree.

Allen Woods is a freelance writer and author of the revolutionary historical novel The Sword and Scabbard, who lives in Greenfield. His column appears regularly on Saturdays. Comments are welcome here or at his


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