These are just a few of the items that convince me that our society is going insane at an increasingly rapid pace.
1. The Paula Jones/Monica Lewinsky/Whoever-else-you-want-to-add scandal in the U.S. The self-proclaimed most powerful nation in the world allows its leader to be handcuffed by the most idiotic court case in the history of the U.S. Right now, they are arguing over whether or not Clinton looked “sternly” at Paula Jones, and may have held the door shut for a “split second” after making sexual advances to her. These people– Kenneth Starr, the Senate Judiciary Committee, Orrin Hatch, the media, are INSANE. Hatch in particular should get an Oscar. There he sits, with a straight face, shamelessly wringing his hands about how tragic and awful that the president had sexual urges— while knowing full well that the entire scandal has become nothing more than a conservative putsch. The media collaborates in a black comedy of farcical proportions, pretending that this is all serious, important stuff. What do these men say privately after the camera is turned off? They must cover their faces and laugh like banshees… “I can’t believe they’re still swallowing this stuff.”
2. Kevin Weber, who stole–let me get this right– FOUR chocolate chip cookies from a restaurant in California, will serve 26 Years to Life in prison for the offense. I am not kidding. 26 years to Life!! At a cost of at least $35K a year, California taxpayers are going to put out about $1 million dollars to convince themselves that they’re really a lot safer now that Kevin Weber is off the streets. This is INSANE.
The first time I read Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, I thought he was exaggerating. He wasn’t. He lived in California at the time he wrote it. Weber is 34. The judge in the case had a chance to review the sentence after the Supreme Court ruled that judges still had some discretion in sentencing under a 3 strikes law. The judge insisted that society is served by this monumentally stupid decision. Yes, MONUMENTALLY STUPID. It makes you want to throw yourself off a cliff. Especially since the media is far more interested in whether or not Bill Clinton looked “sternly” or merely “firmly” at Paula Jones, before opening the door for her to leave his hotel room, than whether some people’s lives are pointlessly destroyed by idiotic laws..
3. A lot of research has been done on Repressed Memory Syndrome lately. It is now very apparent to any reasonable person that no such thing exists. We don’t know for sure if some of the alleged sexual abuse that people claim to have “recovered” memories of really occurred. But where we do know that such abuse (or other trauma) took place, researchers can’t seem to find anybody who can’t remember it. In other words, there are no scientific, rational grounds for believing that such a thing as repressed memory exists, and there never have been such grounds. Nevertheless, dozens of innocent people continue to rot in jail because some prosecutors and police forces refuse to admit they were wrong. [added July 2004] In other words, where there is relatively indisputable evidence that sexual abuse did take place, you would think that a percentage of these victims would have no memory of the events. That is not the case. In every case that we know about, the victims do have a continuously existing memory of it. I’m very interested in reading about it if someone has evidence otherwise.
4. After Mary Kay Letourneau got sentenced to seven years in jail for having sex with a minor (her student, in grade school), and bearing his child, she went and did it again. And now, once again, she is pregnant with his child.
5. Latrell Sprewell, a basketball player, physically attacks his coach, twice. An arbitrator has just ruled that he shouldn’t lose his job, or his $17 million salary, because of his modest indiscretion. Meanwhile, Mo Vaughn, a ball player for the Boston Red Sox, gets off after refusing a breathalyzer test. And don’t you think for one minute that you will get treated differently just because you’re not a rich famous ballplayer!
6. The last time trouble started with the Serbs, the Europeans kind of stood around and talked and talked while tens of thousands of Bosnians were “cleansed”, tortured, raped, and murdered. So trouble starts with these same Serbs in Kosovo, which is 90% populated by Albanians. What does the EU do? Wring it’s hands some more, talk, and talk, and talk, and hope that nothing awful happens. After Bosnia, it is hard to believe that anyone is going to do anything to stop the slaughter.
7. A woman in Hamilton Ontario is suing the hospital that safely delivered her twin babies because it failed to provide a “pain-free” birth. At one point, in between deliveries, she demanded that the doctor stop the process unless she could eliminate the pain she was feeling. Why are taxpayers subsidizing this insanity? Why didn’t the judge toss this one out on it’s ear within the first five minutes? [July 2004: The judge did eventually toss it out.]