Monday, August 31, 2015

Smashing Windows - A Walk In The Weather To Ponder Brady's Fate

Lewiston, Maine, 3:04am

That weird misty drizzle that washes the grime off of the downtown buildings in this filthy little boom town has also effectively soaked down my shirt and matted my hair to it's restraining bandanna, saturating it to the point that there is a constant stream dripping into my eyes.

But it had to be done. This walk was essential to clear my brain so it could digest the madness going on in the so-called "Deflategate" saga, to put the thoughts on paper when I get home in some coherent order - trying to understand the arrogance displayed by Roger Goodell and his lead council Daniel Nash in addressing Federal Court Judge Richard Berman...

...chiding him in his own court room, reminding him that he hasn't the authority to overturn Goodell's ruling in the case against New England Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady, waving both the Wells Report and a copy of the Collective Bargaining Agreement in his face like a social worker does with their executive immunity, knowing that no matter what they say, no matter how many lies they tell, that they can't be touched through either civil or criminal litigation.

Despite the weather and the late hour - or maybe because of it - thoughts are flowing freely. The streets are empty, save the occasional whore or wino making their way home after calling it a night, so I parked my car in the vacant lot across from the shuttered cathedral on Pine Street and suddenly found myself on the main drag, right across the street from the DHHS building.

We have a history, them and I.

Years ago, upon first moving to Maine, my wife's sister took an instant dislike to me, decided I wasn't the best person to be with her kin and filed a fake report to the child protection services against me, who threatened to put our children in foster care unless my wife agreed to leave me, all due to an evil thing that CPS workers hide behind called a "Preponderance of the Evidence"...

...claiming that it was "more probable than not" that I was "grooming" them for some type of abuse. In the court room, that's all these case workers needed to effectively impose their will on folks. They need no evidence, just the testimony of "expert" phsycologists that my constant doting over my children constituted the prescribed grooming.

"We know you didn't do anything," the lead counsel for CPS told me outside of the courtroom one afternoon, "But all we have to do is to say you did something, and you're cooked."

My family torn apart due to the arrogance of CPS and compounded by the ambivalence of my court appointed lawyer, I took to the only recourse I had - smashing windows.

So now, standing across the street from the hulking brick structure, I thought back to those nights of hurling bricks through the big plate glass windows on the front of their offices. Six separate times I set off their alarm system by smashing their windows, each time a police officer showed up at the door to my apartment within minutes to take me downtown to book me - in fact, the last time I did it, I didn't even bother going back to my place and just waited for the officers to arrive to save all of us the hassle.

Long story short, eventually, I did make it to criminal court where the Judge became more interested in my motivation to hurl bricks through the DHHS offices than he was in rubber stamping my ticket to jail - and within a couple of weeks all charges for destruction of government property had been dropped on the condition that I never did it again.

Not only that, but the Judge also ordered an audit of my case as part of the discovery process, and they "discovered" that the DHHS records contained reports that would have cleared me of any of the stuff that I was accused of, but that were conveniently missing from the court files - and within days, the case was closed.

Too late to save a marriage, but justice finally prevailed.

The anger that caused never really went away. The arrogance displayed by the CPS workers in methodically destroying my family remains fresh in my brain almost 20 years later, and every time I see or hear the terms "Preponderance of the Evidence" and "More probable than not", I want to pick up a brick and launch it through a plate glass window.

Those who faithfully follow my blog have undoubtedly noticed that most of my "Deflategate" pieces have a ragged edge to them, my hatred of set ups and frame jobs and unremittent arrogance boiling just under the surface, not just because I see those terms written all over the place, but because they have become a trendy catch phrase, and one that has threatened a career like it threatens the wholeness and integrity of thousands of families under the watchful guise of DHHS,

Those terms mean something to me - not something that I cherish, but something that I loathe with every fiber of my being. I am incapable of being objective, for I am emotionally compromised - but walks in the rain seem to have the same effect on my soul as it does of the buildings in Lewiston, that of washing the grime off of its tattered remnants, and making it pure, until the words are encountered again.

So being directly across from the building on a misty night in the center of this god forsaken piss hole with a brain filled of narcissistic blather from the NFL's general council Daniel Nash is not a good thing. I feel the hate rise up in me, then sensory overload as a car splashes by, stereo blaring a good Slipknot tune...

This is not the way I pictured me.
I can't control my shakes,
How the hell did I get here?
Something about this, so very wrong
I have to laugh out loud, I wish I didn't like this,
Is it a dream or a memory?

Unfortunately, it's both a dream and a memory and something about this is so very wrong. I'd like to approach this assignment objectively, but there is no right-minded way to accomplish that given Nash essentially channeling his inner social worker in his testimony - having the balls to stand up in front of a federal court Judge and remind him that he doesn't have the power to usurp Goodell's punishment of Tom Brady.

I want this entire debacle to be over. But more than that, I want to hear the Judge tell Roger Goodell that his arrogance is unbecoming a commissioner of a professional sports league, that he runs the NFL like he is the commissioner of DHHS, having the system rigged to deny the rights of the players under his discretion, hiding behind Article 46 of the collective bargaining agreement like it was some sort of executive immunity...

...something that protects social workers from being sued or brought up on criminal charges for their oftentimes overreaching authority, something intended to allow them to do their jobs free from the albatross that the rest of us always have hanging over our heads, free to do their dirty work with the gleeful knowledge that they will never be held accountable for their mistakes.

Nash said as much in his responses to Berman's questions last week, that the Judge can not overturn the Commissioner's ruling in arbitration, regardless of any mistakes or false information used to convict Brady - and he's right, the Judge would have to have a very compelling case to vacate Goodell's ruling. But if Berman is anything like the Judge in my case, he will be looking for every loophole he can find to throw it right back in the NFL's collective face.

Because it's personal now. Nash made it personal by challenging the authority of a federal judge who clearly was annoyed with the case to begin with. It was already personal with Brady as the NFL had set about destroying his reputation and dragged him through the mud for seven months to get to this point. But Brady hired lawyers, and those lawyers smashed windows for him.

I dropped my gaze from the evil building on Main Street, the little house of horrors, Helga's House of Pain - walking briskly back toward the residential district where I had stashed my car, pleased that I had refrained from smashing the windows one last time, for old time's sake, disappearing into the darkness where I knew there would be no social workers to hassle me...

...hoping against hope that I never have to hear "More probable than not" ever again, because those are fighting words to me - or should I saw window smashing words?

No comments:

Post a Comment