Saturday, May 16, 2015


Why no visible remorse?  Among the concerns, Tsarnaev expressed
no guilt or regret for what he'd done or for the horror he'd brought
to the lives of so many in Boston and the country.

1. the fact of having committed an offense or crime.
"it is the duty of the prosecution to prove guilt"
synonyms: culpability, guiltiness, blameworthiness; wrongdoing, wrong, criminality, misconduct, sin"the proof of his guilt"
2.  the sense (or emotion) of having violated a personal moral or ethical standard.
      "the weight of his guilt brought sadness to his life"

Personal awareness of guilt
 occurs when a person realizes that they have compromised their own standards and bear responsibility for that violation.  It is closely related to the concept of remorse.

Then, why do law-breakers persist without recognition of their own guilt?

One of the rarely-mentioned roots of law-breaking is the sense of doing that which is right despite what the law demands. Justified breaking of law?  Good reason for bad action?  Consider the protesters who demonstrate despite ordinances that try to shut them up; from Vietnam era objectors to today's occupiers, the law is used against them.

Consider the store clerk who steals from the register, thinking they are robbed in the little they are paid, or the shoplifter who thinks they've been cheated out of fair opportunity by the business community.  How about the crooked traders who think the marketplace is their adversary, or the terrorists who thinks that attacking another country is a small but deserved recompense for what their people have endured.

Inner-city gangs?  They're often a survival mechanism.  They are families of a different cultural frame where the young can find a place of respect, of opportunity, an exit path from their imposed economic cell block.  It appears to be an "us" against "them" context where "us" is the right side and every other is less right.

Violent extremists may justify themselves similarly.  They have little in common with the religion whose words they use.  They do, however, provide a venue for those who feel they have been beaten down or oppressed by mainstream power players.  

The oppression is usually legal.

The thing they often have in common is a sense of having been treated unjustly, oppressed by monied power.  Accurate or not, criminal activity can be perceived as the right response by the perpetrators.

Wealth = assets minus liabilities,
 not to be confused with income.
Such angry violence as we see today commonly arises from below, perhaps like the revolutions among the abused colonies over the centuries, or like the German Reich which emerged from the ashes of defeat and shame following WWI.

As for guilt, there is little such awareness among those responsible for killing millions or in the one who killed another in the name of ... whatever.

All such thinking is destructive, of course.  Violence, malice, a willingness to oppress or exploit or harm the innocent, all are wrong regardless of the provocation, regardless of the arguments and justifications offered, regardless of the scale or timeline.  That standard is not subject to human redefinition.

Wealth is extracted from the economy by the rich.
It comes out of the pockets of everyone else.
Fair practice, or the absence thereof?
Our national and international processes of law, enforcement, prosecution and defense, all were put in place to ensure a reasoned response, not an emotional one.  Our collective intent is fair and impartial justice in every circumstance on every occasion for every person.

It serves the currently privileged folks rather well, perhaps.  The rest get whatever trickles down, urologically speaking.
Fair treatment for all would be a good goal, perhaps; improbable, but good nonetheless.  Its absence is the root of discord in venues from one family to the whole world.