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Tender Mercies Robert Sheridan Fawcawnahs bobsheridan@earthlink.net May 27, 2000

I came across the quote below while browsing Samuel Taylor Coleridge online, texts of his works; unsure whether he said it or whether he was quoting from some version of the New Testament. A search of an online bible concordance failed to produce a match or cite using key words. Might be in another version.

"The tender mercies of the wicked are cruel."

The reason the statement is of interest to me is that on the SI-Web I noticed that some of the judgments on political, moral, legal, etc., issues seem harsh, cruel, extreme, or otherwise unreasonable. It's as if the good guys, some writers, are calling down the bad guys, who've earned their condemnation, usually for being a member of the other political party, or for being attractive to members of the opposite sex and doing something about it.

That got me to thinking that harsh judgments are easy to come by, and cheap. It takes calm deliberation to adopt a more modified position and tone. An old boss of mine at the SFDAs office years ago used to file charges based on the police arrest report and write "SP Only" nearly every time. SP stands for "State Prison." Far too often to be useful. He was an ex-FBI guy with an exalted view of his own righteousness. He had an exaggerated streak of righteous indignation. More emotion than judgment, despite his brains.

I noted with interest the public discussions about whether Pres. Clinton should be disbarred for lying his ass off in connection with a lawsuit in federal court in Arkansas. The federal judge fined him and told him what-for. A committee of the Arkansas Supreme Court recommended disbarment, after all his friends disqualified themselves, leaving his non-friends running the show.

The comments I heard on the tv shows had it that a political vendetta was in the works.

Maybe yes, maybe no. I dunno. I suspect yes. A lot of people hate Clinton. Subtract the sex and see what you have left. Not a bad president. Presided over the biggest run-up of the economy in decades without screwing it up. Maybe longer. More Republican than a lot of Repubs. NAFTA and the China World Trade Organization passage come to mind.

It seemed to me it would be okay to let him know officially that he done wrong, lying about it in court, that is. None of the committee's business what else he did.

It seems that other lawyers did worse and fared better in Arkansas. Now they want to break the guy's rice bowl and humiliate him publicly even more.

Seemed a little harsh to me. Not the way they would want to be treated themselves when they got caught needing to invoke the right of every red-blooded ‘Murican to lie your ass off when caught red-handed, or whatever.

Seems to me there's plenty of room to tailor a disposition that takes care of the matter without going overboard. Hell, we do that with people who do a lot worse every day.

The tender mercies of some can indeed be cruel.

A little equanimity, a moderate tone, would probably go a long way.

Don't ask me if I expect to see a lot of this any time soon.

Any rate, dat's da view from FawCawnahs.

-rs



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