30 January 2009

The end of the last week in January. Tough month. This week we have visited Newton, Knoxville, and Montezuma. Powshiek County Courthouse is a visit to the past. One would think that at some point, the county would spend the money to do something with the courthouse. I do find it refreshing that old courthouses exist and within those courthouses the people working there act accordingly. Nothing is quite as sterile and impersonal in an old courthouse, or for that matter, any old building. I think the new buildings are in tune with our new attitudes--less sense of humor, more self-importance. It is difficult feeling very important in a run-down old building where you might actually have to deal with the folks there on a personal basis as well as a professional basis. The judges should mingle with the litigants and defendants. The courthouse security we are currently blessed with is not a good thing. It gives the impression that it is us against them. If one has to mingle a little, one is forced to act as if we are of the same species.

The federal courthouses are the worst. It is as if paranoia has run amok. If the people working in the federal courthouses and other places where there is such security are that afraid of the people they serve, then they should not be working in such places. A little less security would serve us well--it would make us a little more human and less distant to our fellow creatures. The general population should not suffer for a few insecure souls who put us through these various discourteousies so they can feel safe. I feel insulted every time I must go through electronic surveillance checking to see if I beep, or to insure that I don't have a camera or a audio recorder. Unfortunately few think about it the way I do.