Editorials: The wannabe prophet’s acolytes; and Gun worship

Don Ricky's goons
Graphic adapted from the RM Twitter feed.

Prophecy unfulfilled, the call centers get louder

Courts here can reach the most bizarre findings, but after more than a week of trial, it LOOKS LIKE Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal and several alleged accomplices are about to be convicted on at least some charges. The accusation is that he used money skimmed from overpriced public works projects to buy control of the EPASA newspapers. By the end of the trial the party line was to blame it on a Jewish cabal, the “Grupo Hebreo.”

Martinelli himself predicted that on Friday, June 23, the verdict would come down finding him guilty, sentencing him to prison and disqualifying him from the 2024 presidential race. That day came and went, and the court issued no ruling.

Rather than slink off in embarrassment at The Prophet’s error, the acolytes have turned up the volume, and their theories have gotten even weirder. Now, in a terrible embarrassment to the Panamanian legal profession, he actually has lawyers saying in social media that while he was a non-serving member of the Central American Parliament the press investigated the facts of the New Business transactions and that amounts to a prosecutor’s investigation without the courts having lifted his legislator’s immunity so all is null and void and the case must be dismissed. Uh huh.

The courts will rule soon enough. Most likely, to the effect that the former president committed crimes and is off of next year’s ballot. No matter if Ricky’s legion of Twitter trolls drive him to the top of the trends list. But let’s wait and see. And next May, regardless of what the courts say, deliver a harsh verdict on all that “He stole but he got things done” troll trash talk.

Summer fascism accessory
Summer fascism accessory: an AR-15 lapel pin of the sort that’s all the rage among congressional Republicans.

And the count is…

This morning the news round-ups from the USA reported 10 mass shootings over the weekend, with 46 injured and seven killed. THEN when the courthouses opened out west, a gunman pleaded guilty to five counts of murder in last year’s massacre at a Colorado gay night club.

Some say “senseless” but each event had its internal logic. Loud music taken to be an annoyance. An argument over parking spaces. Claims of exclusive dibs to someone else’s affections. Membership in a rival group. Fraud in a business deal not legal enough to resolve in any court. Traumatic memories to be avenged.

Let’s not forget the suicides, whose death toll is much higher than that of the mass shootings and are often accompanied by violence against somebody else.

There is a unifying thread. Somebody has made money selling the guns and ammunition that were used. It’s kind of a scruffy god to which to make human sacrifices, but there you have it.


Ursula K. Le Guin, cropped from a Wikimedia photo by Marian Wood Kolisch.

      The creative adult is the child who has survived.

Ursula K. LeGuin      

Bear in mind…


We allow our ignorance to prevail upon us and make us think we can survive alone, alone in patches, alone in groups, alone in races, even alone in genders.

Maya Angelou

The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity.

Harlan Ellison

Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.

Oliver Wendell Holmes



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