Whitman's “City Invincible” is Camden, not Camelot

Daydreaming
(The Shoe Shine Boy)

John George Brown (1831-1913)
[Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons
“In a dream I saw a city invincible.”

The proud motto of America's poorest city, Camden, New Jersey, appears above its City Hall entrance.

Derived from Walt Whitman's I Dream'd In A Dream, the motto is somewhat ironic.

Because of rampant poverty and crime, it is only in a dream where one may hope to see Camden as an invincible city.

And because of the city's decay, one expects most people would hope to see Camden never at all.

Despite the irony, however, the choice of these words from Whitman's poem is also fitting.

Its ambiguous opening may mean this describes a dream within a dream.

Indeed, assuming this was Whitman's intent, the poet's dream represents unattainable human aspiration.

I Dream'd In A Dream

I dream'd in a dream, I saw a city invincible to the attacks
    of the whole of the rest of the earth,
I dream’d that was the new City of Friends,
Nothing was greater there than the quality of robust love—it led the rest,
It was seen every hour in the actions of the men of that city,
And in all their looks and words.

Camden, America's poorest city, fights crime, poverty
March 8, 2013


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Although Camelot may never come to Camden, her residents today hope and dream of a better future there.

South Jersey Criminal Defense Trial Attorney Michael Smolensky, Esq., knows how to protect his clients. Mr. Smolensky can provide consultations on all criminal cases pending in a New Jersey court.

Call Now—(856) 812-0321.

Camden, New Jersey

Camden, New Jersey

America’s poorest city struggles with crime, violence
March 7, 2013



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Le Marauder
Fran├žois Barraud (1899–1934)
[Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons
Is Camden really like this?

I attended Rutgers School of Law—Camden, and I clerked for a criminal court judge in Camden.

To truly begin addressing Camden's many problems, one must understand it is a city of many contradictions.

People in Camden need help. But the people I have met distrusted any hint of benevolence.

Many people in Camden did not complete high school. Despite opportunities for further education, only a few people have embraced them.

In a city where the poor steal from the destitute, where people shun gainful employment because it means loss of Medicaid, and where rodents feast while people live in poverty, is it any surprise that local leaders are running in a hamster wheel? Under these circumstances, one can easily become jaded by Camden's daily vagaries.

Yes, Camden is really like this.

Criminal Defense Attorney Michael Smolensky, Esq., knows how to protect his clients. Mr. Smolensky can provide consultations on all criminal cases pending in a New Jersey court.

Call Now—(856) 812-0321.

Where Are Dishonest Attorneys Minted?

South New Jersey Trial Lawyer Lawyer Michael A. Smolensky Esquire brings honesty and integrity to the courtroom. Call Now--(856) 812-0321
The Art Expert
By Adolf von Becker (1831 - 1909)
[Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons
Does a character trait for honesty matter in the legal profession? Based on my professional experience, a mere character trait for honesty is not enough. A lawyer should make it a professional habit.

Without resorting to ethical rules, the reason is simple. Among other considerations, one accustomed to conducting business out of court amid exaggeration, fabrication, deception, and subterfuge can be expected to do the same in court. And you had better believe that it absolutely matters in court. In addition, clients not only expect but more importantly deserve honesty and candor.

During the summer after my first year of law school (1L year), many fellow students competed for a position with Rutgers Law Journal.

True to the time honored tradition of law school indoctrination, we were told during the 1L academic year about the importance of Law Journal as to one's career.

Some of my classmates, like me, were indoctrinated before we set foot on campus. Naturally, those of us who were accepted on Law Journal thought we had clenched the brass ring.

But it turns out the opportunities we had imagined and hoped for did not materialize. Rest assured, however, I am unable to name anyone who committed any of the egregious violations of trust mentioned above.

Despite my personal experience, I continue to believe the story was true, once upon a time. Furthermore, it is only fair to admit that as I write this I can think of classmates who benefited from volunteering for Law Journal—two exceedingly talented students.

Cynicism is an occupational hazard of practicing law. While I cannot exempt myself from the affected, in all sincerity I am honored to post a piece of my legal research that was selected for publication in Rutgers Law Journal.

The 6 Steps to “Better Thinking”

“Better Thinking” on Quora*

Forbidden Fruit
George Agnew Reid (1860-1947)
[Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons
While researching social media websites, I recently discovered Quora.

After poking around enough to satisfy my curiosity, I created a user account, and I found this question: “How do I become a better thinker?”

I reviewed some of the submissions, and I posted an answer. Based on positive feedback, I am sharing it here.

The 6 Steps To “Better Thinking”

Read Quote of Michael Smolensky's answer to Thinking: How do I become a better thinker? on Quora
* For the uninitiated, Quora organizes knowledge by allowing users to work together asking and answering questions. Quora users earn credibility based on peer reviews--upvotes and downvotes.

South Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer Michael Smolensky, Esquire, knows how to protect his clients. Mr. Smolensky can provide consultations--answering and asking questions--on all criminal, juvenile, and municipal court cases in New Jersey.

Call Now—(856) 812-0321.