Sunday, June 6, 2010

Ignorance of the law IS an Excuse

They used to tell us that ignorance of the law is no excuse, but, like many other things, Benton County has stood that maxim on its head. County Judge David Bisbee, who ignored a low bid and did county work with his own construction company, said he had not read the ethics law he was charged with violating -- even though he voted for it as a State Senator. That at least seems like more scienter than most common criminals are assumed have.

This is the same David Bisbee who as a legislator blamed Governor Jim Guy Tucker for grade inflation and social promotion of unqualified students in the public schools. “The parents think their schools are doing a good job until their kid gets ready to go to college and then they say, ‘Well, I guess little Johnny or little Suzy doesn’t test very well,’” Bisbee said. “Every parent out there believes their kid doesn’t test very well. We know that’s not true.” Bisbee didn't do well on his credibility test, either.

Bisbee claimed under oath he can neither read nor write, which explains much about his tenure as Chairman of the Legislative Joint Budget Committee, but since when is that an excuse for breaking the law, especially in Benton County. This is the home of English Only Everything with no quarter for those who cannot read nor speak it. Okay, I admit it, they do cut some slack for the Teabaggers on spelling.

Bisbee's defense is even better than the Twinkie Defense, and former Congressman, Impeachment Manager, and Homeland Security Drug Czar Asa Hutchinson presented it to the Benton County jury with a straight face. I had a flashback to the defense crafted by Charles King, attorney for Pro-Bowl former UA football player Gary Anderson, who had no problem with reading a playbook but apparently had enough difficulty reading his $1.375 million contract with the Tampa Bay Bandits that he was able to get out of it and sign a better one with the San Diego Chargers. So much for that UA education.

Vicki Ronald, director of the Literary Council of Benton County, says there are an estimated 30,000 functionally illiterate adults in Benton County, based on state’s percentage of illiteracy. I'd say that sounds a little high, considering that the voter turnout for the Republican Primary was only about 23,000.


  1. When you come back to life, you make the most of it. Great post!

  2. I, for one, cut teabaggers no slack for poor spelling. Heck, their ignorance and lack of education is what makes them so gosh darned cute, don't you think?

  3. Monroe Jesuser, Jr.June 6, 2010 at 8:56 PM

    Geez, (is that spelled right?)
    I'm glad I don't live in Benton County.
    A County Judge who can't read or write and a Sheriff who thinks you can't get drunk on light beer.
    Of course, Bisbee doesn't seem to have a problem with counting. Dollars, that is.

    Just my opinion. To which their own everyone has the right.

  4. I might be willing to be illiterate for half the salary, but I'd have to forget how to read and write. Of course he seems to have disavowed the ability, so it can't be too difficult.

  5. How can a simi-literate person become a judge? This is incomprehensible to me. A judge has to know the law well in order to issue judgements settling disputes. Law is written and it has to be read in order to understand it. Unless a person has the wherewithall to hire someone to read volumes of written matter for them.

    I wouldn't want an iliterate, or semi-literate, person representing me or makeing judegments for me.

  6. Well that's the way we've always done it around here. It ain't what you know, its who you know.
    (and get a spell checker dude).

  7. He's a county (administrative) judge, not judicial.

  8. ASA!, in addition to being a good inside trader is capable of such outrageous defenses. He can feign a sympathy vote for the judge, who friends report, is anything but functionally illiterate.

    With a straight face ASA! could be the House prosecution manager for the Blow-Job Impeachment of Clinton while his bro, Senator Tim, was porking his secretary in the adjoining D.C. apartment bedroom.

    He could also assure that the U.S. Attorney's Barry Seal investigations at Mena Airport didn't step on some really big toes.

    When you attended Bob Jones College of Bigotry then god is always on YOUR side.

  9. It should be obvious that Mr. Bisbee is not functionally illiterate. In order for Mr. Bisbee to be functionally illiterate, he would have to be functional.

  10. Maybe he is disfunctionally illiterate? Ever considered that possibility?

  11. Now he's in a real fix -- illiterate and unemployed.

  12. You Democrats talk dirty ,and I thought only Republicans could be that way .

  13. Anonymous 10:35 AM--

    How would you know whether any of us is a Democrat? As statements of fact and fact-based opinion (ignoring any errors of fact), these posts are non-partisan.

  14. We've about 'gummed' Bisbee-ASA! to the bone so...
    some criminal election violations going on over in Stone County's sheriff's race.

    Ark Times has the scoop. It's a criminal violation to vote in one primary,D or R, then crossover and vote in a different runoff.
    click on eLwood, above.

  15. I am a life-long Republican, but am considering changing my political affiliation to Independent due to the abject idiocy that has infected the GOP, typified by Anonymous' knee-jerk, moronic assumption that anyone who is outraged over an illiterate judge being elected, and then trying to use his illiteracy as a defense against blatant corruption.

    When did being Republican mean supporting if not encouraging ignorance and stupidity? When did criticism transform the commenter into a socialist?

    Sara Palin just made up a word and justified it by comparing herself to Shakespeare. She wrote notes on her hand like a 3rd grader and referred to scripture in her defense. It is almost as if the GOP is trying to force educated moderates out of the party.