Temas Especiales

16 de Apr de 2021


When the law is a “loud ass”

PANAMA. “The law is an ass” said the Dickens character , Mr Bumble in Oliver Twist. Many who have fought battles in court, or with tho...

PANAMA. “The law is an ass” said the Dickens character , Mr Bumble in Oliver Twist. Many who have fought battles in court, or with those who earn an income from our misdemeanors, would agree with him. Certainly Dickens was no respecter of that branch of society, as he wrote at length in his novel Bleak House based in part on his own experiences as a law clerk, and in part on his experiences as a Chancery litigant seeking to enforce his copyright on his earlier books.

He would have sympathized too with the lonely petitioner, sometimes seen standing outside The College of Lawyers armed with a hand written billboard voicing his unheeded complaints. But what when the upholders of the law flout local rules and behave like a crowd at a rodeo?

Early this week the college ran an election to elect a new president and board. The tasteful building, reflecting urbanity and scholarly discussion stands next to San Tomas Hospital, with the street clearly marked as a silence zone for the benefit of patients. Throughout the day, and early evening a raucous band blasted music that carried for blocks, disturbing neighbors (some of whom called to complain) as well as the sick.

Meanwhile the street in front of the college was roped off, forcing traffic to divert, and high end SUV’s and other vehicles jammed roadways and sidewalks, parked on corners and blocked sightlines.

All of this around a building where one anticipates quiet and thoughtful discussion. Except at election time? Would it have been tolerated if the hospital next door was affiliated to John Hopkins?

DISTASTEFUL PARTNERS. Moving fast to catch up with lawyers as the least popular “professionals”, are members of the banking industry. Not just the average surly, poorly paid counter attendant, at least they have an excuse; but the highly paid guys at the top, who award themselves gigantic bonuses for failed endeavors, get even more gigantic bail outs from the government (read taxpayer) to save their hides, and miraculously return to making billions, and re-introduce the bonuses. Failure rewarded.

When Clave introduced a fee for accessing funds outside the country, ii addition to what your bank already charges, not a peep from the banks. Clave is only a supplier, which limits the amount that can be accessed at one time,meaning you have to pay twice if you want more money that the machine will cough up.


When he wrote “1984” George Orwell never imagined that people would voluntarily throw themselves into the arms of Big Brother. But today we have Facebook and spin offs to make sure that we can be watched over by friend and foe 7/24 (maybe beyond). In Canada the government is investigating the infringement of privacy rights and Britain’s intelligence agency MI5 is red faced over the revelation that its top man, who likes to lurk in the shadows has been identified in family photos on Facebook.

But I guess there’s no holding back the tide of “progress”.

Panama, a country with nearly 50 percent of the population below the poverty level, now has more cell phones than people. As the construction industry crumbles, cell phone companies rush in to to take up the slack. More people selling cards at traffic intersections. No bread, “Let them eat Movil, Claro, Digicel” each with its own separate flavor.”