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Dead men tell no tales, generally. Even if they do, the authorities don’t care to hear them. A dead man in Romania pleads his case:

Constantin Reliu learned in January that he was dead.

After more than 20 years of working as a cook in Turkey, the 63-year-old returned home to Romania to discover that his wife had had him officially registered as dead.

He has since been living a legalistic nightmare of trying to prove to authorities that he is, in fact, alive. He faced a major setback Thursday when a court in the northeastern city of Vaslui refused to overturn his death certificate because his request was filed “too late.”

The decision, the court said, is final.

“I am a living ghost,” Reliu told The Associated Press in a phone interview Friday from his home in Barlad, northeastern Romania.

“I am officially dead, although I’m alive,” he said. “I have no income and because I am listed as dead, I can’t do anything.”

It’s a strange case to be sure, though not one completely unheard of. Strange cases, like hard cases, may make bad law. Yet, it is telling about the nature of that system everyone, in Romania and elsewhere, keeps supporting, touting.


Very natural looking. Lifelike. AFP/Getty.

The law cares about the law in, of, and for itself. The existence of mere mortals, caught in the various trappings, is immaterial. Political lies aside, the government has no interest in helping or serving people. The serfs are there to pay taxes, herd around, obey rules, and approve the criminal class via elections. Anyone with a problem is out of luck.

This is not unlike the plight of victimized children in America and other countries. They may have suffered horribly at the hands of evil doers. Sometimes a real prosecution results. Just as frequently the criminals are convicted – not for the real crimes against the kids – but for lying to the state, hiding money from the state, or something else bearing on the all-important health and well-being of the state. Won’t anyone please think of the poor little state?

It’s not about the children.

Or the lively dead man.

One could, with sufficient imagination, think of a few benefits of being “dead” though. Like when it comes to abusive ex-wives, deaf, stupid judges, idiot pols, and hard hearted autocrats. Dead men can’t commit crimes, can they?

**Yesterday’s remotely scheduled post happened to be number 100 of the year. It was also a numerical palindrome, number 1,661 overall.