HAWAII'S ONLY WEEKLY FILIPINO-AMERICAN NEWSPAPER
SERVING THE FILIPINO COMMUNITY SINCE 1993
NOV. 17, 2018

WHAT'S UP, ATTORNEY?

Insanity Is Curable But Stupidity Is Not

by Atty. Emmanuel S. TIPON

"Insane” means exhibiting a severely disordered state of mind; affected with mental illness, or unable to think in a clear or sensible way. It is synonymous with “crazy” which refers to a person who is not mentally sound, that is, marked by thought or action that lacks reason. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/crazy. “Stupid” means lacking in power to absorb ideas or impressions; it implies a slow-witted or dazed state of mind that may be either congenital or temporary. It is synonymous with “dumb” which refers to an exasperating obtuseness or lack of comprehension, like too dumb to figure out what’s going on. It is also synonymous with “dense” which implies a thickheaded imperviousness to ideas. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stupid

Insanity is a disease of the mind. It can be treated. Many people who have a mental illness, and are treated, recover well. https://www.sane.org/mental-health-and-illness/facts.../treatments-for-mental-illness

Stupidity is not actually a disease, hence there is no cure. But there is an antidote. The antidote is: stop and think before talking or acting. You will make better decisions if you stop and think. http://www.teamleadershipculture.com/blog/can-stupidity-cured/

Albert Einstein has been credited with saying: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”

If so, you can find an example of insanity in Hawaii where people keep electing inutile yet oppressive Demoncrats for more than 50 years expecting different things to happen, such as, that they will stop raising taxes and fees, that they will stop constructing a driverless rail system that people will not want to ride because they love their cars, that they will fix the roads and fill the potholes, that they will raise the pay of teachers and provide free lunches for school children, and that they will stop coddling (cuddling) the homeless. Many people are leaving Hawaii, saying “They will never change.”

Stupidity in the immigration context includes: (1) telling a U.S. consular officer that you are single even though you are married without realizing that he has a copy of your marriage certificate; (2) marrying a woman abroad who refuses to have sex with you saying it will be more romantic in Hawaii, yet you still petition for her to immigrate to the United States; (3) hiring a lawyer simply because her name is among the first in the yellow pages even though you do not feel confident she can defend you and it turns out your fears are true because she can only do an immigration cha cha cha; and (4) hiring an immigration lawyer just because he is white and who will charge you an arm and a leg for a routine immigration procedure.

In the criminal law context, “stupid” conduct includes (1) being a caregiver and pleading guilty to a charge of manslaughter because your patient died of bedsores, since you could have avoided conviction because manslaughter requires active participation in the killing but you were totally inactive since you did not even touch the patient that is why she had bedsores; (2) pleading guilty to theft for having been given money to render a service which you did although not efficiently, since you could have avoided conviction because theft requires “taking” of money or property.

A lawyer displays stupidity when he tells a client in a drug dealing case to plead guilty, otherwise if he goes to trial and loses he may spend 20 years in jail and “may” be deported, and the client follows the lawyer’s advice, pleads guilty and is ordered deported, since the correct advice should have been that he “will” be deported because drug dealing is an aggravated felony for which there is no relief. In this case, we charged a lawyer with ineffective assistance of counsel and we won in the U.S. Court of Appeals.

And during this Thanksgiving holiday, a man was shown on television today (Tuesday) setting up camp in front of a department store to wait for the Black Friday sale so he can save $50 on a television set, instead of working at a fast food restaurant for 4 hours at $15 an hour and earn $60.

“Stupid is Forever” and “Stupid is Forever More” are two books by the late Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago that are must reads for those wishing to know more about stupidity. Her punch line is: There’s not just one stupid thing. There are millions of stupid things I’ve heard in the Senate.”

Be very careful before calling a person “stupid”. The late Manila Mayor Arsenio Lacson was once charged with libel for allegedly calling Judge Agustin P. Montesa “stupid” (others claim Lacson simply called the Judge “incompetent”). Lacson laughed and said: I did not call Judge Montesa stupid. I simply called his decision “stupid”. Intelligent people sometimes do “stupid” things. President Elpidio Quirino suspended him from office. He challenged his suspension and won in the Supreme Court which held his suspension illegal. But he spent time and money defending himself. The moral of this story: Do not call a person “stupid”. Whether you want to do a Lacson and call the other person’s decision or conduct “stupid” is up to you.

Please send us examples of insanity and stupidity and we will publish the best and give you credit.

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ATTY. TIPON has a Master of Laws degree from Yale Law School and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of the Philippines. He specializes in immigration law and criminal defense. Office: 900 Fort Street, Suite 1110, Honolulu, HI 96813. Tel. (808) 225-2645. E-Mail: filamlaw@yahoo.com. Websites: www.MilitaryandCriminalLaw.com. He is from Laoag City and Magsingal, Ilocos Sur. He served as an Immigration Officer. He is co-author of “Immigration Law Service, 1st ed.,” an 8-volume practice guide for immigration officers and lawyers. This article is a general overview of the subject matter discussed and is not intended as legal advice.

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