Author’s Note: Values and Principles is yet another chapter missing from my presentation of Namaste: If Not Now, When? I decided to include it last night after watching the disturbing, if not surprising, audience reaction at the Tea Party/GOP debate to a series of questions CNN correspondent Wolf Blitzer asked candidate Ron Paul regarding whether an uninsured 30-year-old man, who could afford but did not buy medical insurance, hospitalized in a coma from traumatic injuries suffered during an accident should be allowed to die without medical intervention to save his life. Several people in the audience shouted out “Yes,” and the audience erupted into loud cheering interrupting Mr. Paul’s response. This incident followed an incident a week earlier in the first debate at the Reagan Library when the audience erupted into wild cheering during the lead-in to a question by Brian Williams of NBC directed to Texas Governor Rick Perry when Williams mentioned that the State of Texas had executed 234 people during his terms in office. After the cheering subsided, he completed the question asking Perry if he had trouble sleeping at night worrying about whether one of them might have been innocent. “No, sir. Not at all,” Perry said.

Cameron Todd Willingham was convicted and sentenced to death for setting the fire that burned down his house killing his three children to collect the insurance on the basis of an unqualified expert who testified that the fire was an arson caused by an accelerant. An independent and highly qualified expert reviewed the forensic evidence years later and concluded that the state’s expert was mistaken, there was no accelerant, and the fire was an accident. The report was presented to Governor Perry before the execution in an effort to spare Mr. Willingham’s life. Nevertheless, Governor Perry did not stay the execution and the State of Texas executed Mr. Willingham.

The Texas Forensic Science Commission conducted an independent review of Mr. Willingham’s case and retained another nationally recognized arson expert, Craig Beyler, who agreed with the independent expert. He specifically concluded that there was no credible scientific basis for the conclusion that arson had been committed.

Governor Perry intervened and ended the commission’s investigation before Beyler testified.

The following definition from Wikipedia is relevant to a comprehensive understanding of the information in the chapter:

Kleptocracy: alternatively cleptocracy or kleptarchy, from Greek: ??????? (thieve) and ?????? (rule), is a term applied to a government that takes advantage of governmental corruption to extend the personal wealth and political power of government officials and the ruling class (collectively, kleptocrats), via the embezzlement of state funds at the expense of the wider population, sometimes without even the pretense of honest service. The term means “rule by thieves”. Not an “official” form of government (such as democracy, republic, monarchy, theocracy) the term is a pejorative for governments perceived to have a particularly severe and systemic problem with the selfish misappropriation of public funds by those in power. (

As always, previous chapters of Namaste: If Not Now, When? can be found in my Diaries or at my blog.

Values and Principles

Without values and principles we are nothing. Beneath the personalities that we develop and wear like a suit of clothes when we go out in public and the manner in which we perceive the environment around us and express ourselves, our values and principles are the invisible structure that defines who and what we are and informs our lives with meaning and purpose. We begin to develop them early in childhood and, as adults, we are known and will be remembered for our acts and omissions, which were an expression of our values and principles. They will be our legacy and those who are into accumulating money, toys, and power are destined to create a legacy of dust in an barren room.

Values and principles are important to me and I would never sacrifice them for any reason. I believe in speaking the truth, treating everyone with dignity and respect, following the Golden Rule, and being of service to others.

I have saved many lives without seeking anything in return.

My immortal soul is important to me and I would never sell out.

Although inconvenient to be without, money never has mattered to me and I do not like to accumulate stuff.

I have given away everything of value that I owned.

All of my current possessions came out of dumpsters, except my rusty and faded 15-year-old rebuilt pickup truck that I got out of a junkyard.

Most of my food comes out of dumpsters.

Nevertheless, I am happy and consider myself rich beyond measure.

I pity a man like Barack Obama, who has no values or principles, except accumulating wealth and power. He so transparently is for sale to the highest bidder. In his case that is the Kleptocracy that stands behind the curtain and tells him what to do.

Who are the Kleptocrats?

They are the too big to fail (TBTF) high flying Wall Street bankers who call themselves the Masters of the Universe (MOTU) and the über rich who own corporate America and the military industrial complex (MIC). Seeking world hegemony and control of all the world’s natural resources and influenced by neoliberals Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman and the neoconservative Leo Straus, all of whom who taught at the University of Chicago, the Kleptocrats have an insatiable craving for wealth and power and they are willing to tell any lie and do anything to get what they want.

They may call themselves neoliberals or neoconservatives, Republicans or Democrats, but they really only care about playing their dark games exploiting people and natural resources to accumulate wealth and power.

They see themselves as beyond the reach of the law and they instigate never-ending war to steal what they want while manipulating people with myths and archetypes using propaganda to justify what they do.

They steal taxpayer money by giving it away to pay-to-play private contractors with no-bid, no-cap, cost-plus contracts with no expectation that the contract will be completed or the money accounted for.

They are deliberately destroying the middle class in the United States, the labor unions, public education, and the safety net to plunge everyone except themselves into debt slavery in order to exploit them as a source of cheap labor at home and warm bodies to discard in war.

They own the mainstream media and they manipulate it to hide what they are doing by demonizing progressives, teachers, labor unions, Muslims, illegal immigrants, and anyone with dark skin.

I regard Barack Obama and the Kleptocrats who own him as lost souls.

They have doomed themselves to spiritually empty and lonely lives perpetually servicing a runaway addiction to money and power that can never be satisfied.

Although they may own many palatial mansions in exotic locations filled with expensive ornaments, they are little more than plush prisons surrounded by high walls and protected by security guards.

They may own expensive vehicles, yachts, and jet planes, but they dare not go anywhere without a security detail.

They may be surrounded by people, but they are alone because people like them for their money, not for whom they are. Even their families may seem like ghosts with open empty mouths and pale outstretched hands waiting for them to die.

Do the Kleptocrats know or care how many lives have they stained, ruined, and extinguished?

How can they stand the emptiness of their lives?

Better to love and be loved. Be grateful that you are not like them because their days are numbered and no one will mourn their passing.

Cross Posted at my blog and the Smirking Chimp.

Namaste: If Not Now, When? Is my intellectual property. I retain full rights to my own work. You may copy it and share it with others, but only if you credit me as the author. You may not sell or offer to sell it for any form of consideration. I retain full rights to publication.

My real name is Frederick Leatherman. I was a criminal-defense lawyer for 30 years specializing in death-penalty defense and forensics. I also was a law professor for three years.

Now I am a writer and I haul scrap for a living in this insane land.




Frederick Leatherman

Frederick Leatherman

I am a former law professor and felony criminal defense lawyer who practiced in state and federal courts for 30 years specializing in death penalty cases, forensics, and drug cases.

I taught criminal law, criminal procedure, law and forensics, and trial advocacy for three years after retiring from my law practice.

I also co-founded Innocence Project Northwest (IPNW) at the University of Washington School of Law in Seattle and recruited 40 lawyers who agreed to work pro bono, assisted by law students, representing 17 innocent men and women wrongfully convicted of sexually abusing their children in the notorious Wenatchee Sex Ring witch-hunt prosecutions during the mid 90s. All 17 were freed from imprisonment.