Coffee and Criminal Markings

So, I’m at my Brentwood, California coffee joint, chatting with one of my few friends who qualify as ‘hard-core lefties.’ Make no mistake, in West L.A. such characters exist in abundance. I simply spend less time with them than I used to, fascinating though they are as specimens for study.

One example, we’ll call her Gloria, is not receptive when I suggest that Hillary Clinton is most certainly a criminal. Gloria doesn’t waste time denying the obvious, well reported facts of Hillary’s email shenanigans, and the oft-repeated defense that her emails, many of which contained classified information, were not ‘marked’ classified when she received them. Gloria gets to the rub and states with a confident smirk, “In this country people are innocent until proven guilty.” And that makes me laugh.

“By your logic,” I reply, “There’s no such thing as organized crime in America. After all, there are thousands of people who have, over the years, engaged in what we call ‘organized crime.’ The vast majority of these people have never been formally charged with crimes, never brought to trial and certainly never convicted of anything. Does that mean they’re not criminals?”

At this point, Gloria can’t seem to sit still in her chair, as I continue, “Someone who commits a crime is, by definition, a criminal. A conviction merely serves to formalize their status. Kind of like giving an advanced degree to someone who’s already done all the paperwork.” Gloria, who coincidentally has a Ph.D., is now sorely tempted to look past me to see if she knows anyone standing in the ordering queue, as I garner one last sliver of her dwindling attention span. “Let me put it this way. Imagine some guy runs a crime syndicate distributing heroin, for sale in predominantly minority neighborhoods. Now, what if this crime boss gets caught by the police with a bunch of his own product in his possession? And what if he claims, ‘None of the white powder I received was ‘marked’ heroin when I received it.’ Do you think that guy would be taken seriously by anyone outside the Democrat party?”

I leave Gloria, her eyes glazed over, to order another latte.

 

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