A blog by spcaLA president, Madeline Bernstein

Jul 18, 2010

Yes you can but you may not - about abuse of power

I came across this quote which stopped me in my tracks:
    "When I was in the military, I was given a medal for killing two people, and a discharge   for loving one." (Epitaph of Leonard P. Maltovic)

Against the landscape of the future of "don't ask don't tell" and the issue of same sex marriage surely headed to the United States Supreme Court- I have to sadly say - no matter the outcome - we cannot cure or legislate against bullies. There will always be abuse of power and tyranny over a weaker entity. That is the elixir of the strong - license to trample.

spcaLA is on a mission to protect voiceless and defenseless animals from the infliction of cruelty. A variety of laws exist to protect the disabled, children, elderly, consumers and a host of vulnerable classes weaker than the reigning clique. Our constitution defends minority rights, religions, and the right of a single voice to speak against the government. And still - the large pummel the small, the majority taunts the minority, the big kid throws sand on the little kid and the little kid kicks the puppy.  As if that wasn't bad enough - our system allows the use of these minorities to further the agenda of those in power at the conclusion of which they are discarded.  Leonard P. Maltovic, a decorated Technical Sergeant in the U.S. Air-force during the Vietnam era, was allowed to risk his life for his country until they discharged him as "unfit for military service" when they learned he was a homosexual.  Seriously, does that make sense? He was fit as long as other people didn't know he was gay?

As long as we ravage the environment because we can, exploit and torture animals because we can, subjugate women and children because we can, decimate minority constituencies because we can, and laud power over the weak because we can - we are doomed to forever travel in a circle powered by whichever big wind blows.

We are clearly unable to legislate against every bully or abuser who torments those who are weaker. Could we legislate for truth, justice, respect and equality? Maybe we write a law that strives for the positive and states - "yes you can, but you may not".  Jean de La Fontaine, the French fabulist and poet said:
   "Anyone entrusted with power will abuse it if not also animated with love of truth and virtue, no matter whether he be a prince, or one of the people."

Who do we see about that?

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