insurance design

Smoking Charges Ignite

Last night, Amy took Anna, our seven-year-old, to the dress rehearsal for her 2015 dance recital. I was left in charge of Will, our nine-year-old, and Ella, our three-year-old. What follows is a litany of the kids showing me that I exist in their world as a piece of tightly-spun twine, permanently...

[ Swap Article ]

Sad Child


Our actions become our kids' reactions. Not exactly new. Not exactly Newtonian (pause while joke sinks in). But it's a truism all the same. ...

[ Swap Article ]

Car radio

Piece of Sh*t Car Reprise

When I was in high-school, a popular song named "Ode to My Car," by Adam Sandler, spun regularly on the radio. No, it didn't. All foul-mouthed teenage boys wished such happy, unfiltered radio days would appear, but that didn't stop the explicit lyrics from making an impact, even if the song's plot...

[ Swap Article ]


Advertise Here

I delivered the speech below as project #6 in my Toastmasters journey to earning my Competent Communicator award. Wish you had been there, dear reader. Someday. For now, here’s the text: * * * Words echoed in the courtroom, reverberating …...

[ Swap Article ]


Certain messes in life are unavoidable. If you get a DUI and your hair is sufficiently mussed or you manage to jam your finger into the nearest outlet just prior to the mug-shot, chances are you'll be a big-time celebrity some day. ...

[ Swap Article ]

A Reasonable Explanation

Therapist: Take me back to the beginning. Tell me how it all got started, how you eventually wound up holding the bloody knife in the aftermath of your killing spree. I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation....

[ Swap Article ]

That's a Mouthful

Waking up to the sounds of birds and (outside) insects is alluring, and when you have your second 10th cup of coffee and realize you are on vacation, and this auditory lovemaking is real, not the result of an ambitious-carpet-cleaning hallucination, you can finally relax, letting your bulk stress...

[ Swap Article ]

Stupid Piece of ... Oh, That's Right

I'm a realist. I call things like they are, and if I look stupid in the process, well, so be it. ...

[ Swap Article ]

Deadly Donuts

The morning started off good. Four eggs fluffed with a splash of milk, mixed with Parmesan and salt and black pepper and red pepper flakes and slathered with Cholula hot sauce; four ounces of Bob Evan's spicy Italian sausage (sorry for the smell, honey, luv ya) fried into the wonderful concoction;...

[ Swap Article ]

When Did I Become a Pushover?

I've never thought of myself as the Ultimate Fighter type. As a kid, whenever the possibility of bodily harm came up, I tried to avoid confrontation. But if the issue was pressed, I could stand up and issue fake threats along with the best of them and hope that my manufactured bravado was enough to...

[ Swap Article ]

As I Approach 30

I live in a small town. Colona, IL has a population of just over 5,000. As a jogger, this means I am usually only assaulted with exhaust fumes a few times whenever I decide to go outside to burn some calories. But as far as the type of people passing me on the roadside? Over this, I have no control....

[ Swap Article ]

Im your king

Filed Under , on October 7th, 2017

The Privilege of Decision

By Seth Kabala

I delivered the speech below as project #6 in my Toastmasters journey to earning my Competent Communicator award. Wish you had been there, dear reader. Someday. For now, here’s the text:

* * *

Words echoed in the courtroom, reverberating off the walls like mad spirits. Running, bouncing, stopping, reversing, accelerating—each word was a terrible messenger joining with its fellow bearers of bad tidings to deliver the final judgement: guilty.

Guilty of what? Of speaking my mind? Of listening to those who speak theirs? Of daring to pursue actions for the common good?

The answer: yes—to all of the above.

The sentence: death.

By whose authority do you condemn an innocent man to die?

By my right, for I am the king, and you … ? You are the dirt on the soles of my shoes, the moldy crusts I throw to the dogs, the excrement in my chamber pot.

You are nothing, and to nothing you shall return.

* * *

Ask yourself this question: if my life and liberty were on the line, would I rather they be in the hands of an unstable monarch or subject to the measured judgement of a jury of my peers?

Prior to the United States of America declaring its independence, I imagine scenes such as the one I just portrayed were common place. If not word-for-word, surely some derivation of those words and ideas existed, for why else would bands of explorers set sail across the ocean to find a new world, establish a new world order, and fight to the death to defend that order?

Leading up to the signing of the Declaration of Independence, King George III was committing egregious acts against his subjects, the American colonists, such as:

1. Restricting trade, forcing the colonists to rely on Britain for basic supplies, bankrupting towns to the point of destitution.

2. The imposition of martial law, whereby you could either agree to join the British cause or else suffer the plundering of your land, killing of your livestock, and perhaps the tar-and-feathering of yourself.

3. Suspension of habeas corpus, effectively legalizing illegal imprisonment, and along with this, removal of any private American citizen from the colonies to England for prosecution. The goal was to deprive the accused of “all that is substantial and beneficial in a trial by jury,” per Edmund Burke, a 1770s Member of Parliament and supporter of the colonial cause.

You can’t buy anything but British goods? Fine, you become a farmer. Make everything yourself. Time to become resourceful. You join their side or they burn your farm? You were looking to travel anyway. No one has discovered your hidden donkey tied up on the back 40. Plus, you’ve heard minimalism is all the rage!

But illegal imprisonment for real or imagined treasonous acts and hauling you across the ocean for summary judgment not from your peers but from the diseased mind of the crown and his cronies? How do you spin that?

You don’t. I argue that if there’s anything worth fighting for, it is the right to liberty and justice and a trial by a jury of your peers.

A couple months ago, I served on a 12-member jury for a civil medical malpractice trial. The defendant, a neuro surgeon, was accused of botching a lower lumbar disc removal, causing the plaintiff/patient permanent nerve damage. The plaintiff, who was 26-years-old at the time of surgery, suffered, among other things, permanent erectile dysfunction and sensory deficits, which meant he couldn’t get it up and couldn’t feel it if he did.

The junior-higher in me wanted to snicker at the two weeks of descriptions we heard of flaccid this and no harder than a raw hot dog that, but I pushed those feelings down and reminded myself of the privilege of sitting in that jury box.

Folks, people died, scores of them, over hundreds of years, thousands of miles; families were ripped apart; legacies were tarnished; lives were ruined to build the foundations of America so I could have the privilege, not the duty, of serving on a jury of peers to help bring justice to someone who had been wronged.

Proverbs 12:15 says, “The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.”

Unstable monarch or jury of your peers.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is our privilege to decide.


Leave a Reply

Seth Kabala

About: Seth Kabala
Seth is an entrepreneur, writer, musician, family man, and juggler of balls--big ones. He lives with his wife and three children in Portland, OR.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

0 Comments Load Comments

Skull smoking. Vector.

Psychoanalytic Geniuses

On a walk with my wife, Amy, I noticed a convenience store near our home has mounted logos all over the exterior of the building. The store’s sign advertises its status as a purveyor of all things tobacco, alcohol, and junk food. Yet, the proprietor evidently believes this is not enough and...

[ Swap Article ]

North Silver Falls Oregon. the trail takes you behind this beautiful waterfall with a huge cave like overhang.  Silver falls state park, Oregon

The Nature of Faith

We and California family members spent the last Saturday of 2017 exploring the trails and waterfalls of Silver Falls State Park. We've spent ample time hiking trails in the Columbia River Gorge and other areas surrounding the Portland metro, but these Silver Falls waterfalls were something...

[ Swap Article ]

2018 year goals list on napkin

Editor's Note--TFF Issue #16

2017 is coming to a close. ...

[ Swap Article ]


Constant Friend

Numbers. ...

[ Swap Article ]

One unique pawn on top of common pawns

Pawned Irish

I looked up to the right ...

[ Swap Article ]

Seditious Youth

Seditious Youth

Few things bring as much joy on a Sunday ...

[ Swap Article ]

mind control

Dream Control

My newfound dwelling is dense and thick ...

[ Swap Article ]

Black hole in space

Celestial Deadline

As agreed, your first day of work will be on Monday, January 1, 2018, 6th floor of the Burnside Building on N Sycamore Ave, which is two blocks from the State Capitol building. ...

[ Swap Article ]

Mr. Know-It-All Name Badge Customer Support Help Service Assista

That Guy

"A lot of 'ums' today. Lots of opportunity to use the squeaker. Just saying." ...

[ Swap Article ]

Driftwood Beach, Jekyll Island, GA

Driftwood Dreams

The Toastmasters gift keeps on giving. Here's Project #5, delivered this past Thursday. ...

[ Swap Article ]

Group of black wooden frames on old painted  wood panels wall. Gallery, retro style

Walled Open

Is it a puzzle? he wondered, staring at the empty space on his office wall. If so, how do I solve it? He stroked his chin with the thumb and index fingers of his left hand, repeatedly pinching from a width in line with the corners of his mouth to the center. Then tapped with the pinched digits at...

[ Swap Article ]

Mountain Everest outdoor adventure insignia. Climbing, trekking, hiking, mountaineering and other extreme activities logo template.

Everest Rising

I arrived early to scope out the place. Posters on the walls outside, weird designs, bucket of paint here, tip-of-the-brush-stroke there, indicative of too many illegal drugs, digital drafting programs, and rancid dreams of escaping this old town!; vagrants camped on the sidewalk; vicious shouts...

[ Swap Article ]