Editor’s Note: Do you ever turn on the radio in your car, and find yourself with nothing you can bear to listen to? This is a sure sign you’re getting old. It’s like hearing yourself use the phrase, “These kids today.” You’re supposed to get wiser as you get older, but I have my doubts.
Random Stuff That Confuses Me
a World War II vet, he’d think he was through the looking glass when a soldier
convicted of selling secrets demands that his government pay to turn him into a
woman. I won’t debate whether Private Bradley Manning is a traitor or a
whistle-blowing hero (he’s a traitor), and I have no problem with someone who
feels compelled to change his sex. However, I’m confused when it became the
taxpayers’ responsibility to foot the bill for his transgendering.
two other soldiers were convicted on the same day as mass murderers.
Psychiatrist Nidal Hasan killed 13 fellow soldiers at Fort Hood. Robert Bales
killed 16 unarmed Afghan civilians, including women and children. Major Hasan
received the death sentence, while Sergeant Bales got life without parole. I’m
a bit confused by the difference in military justice.
hate to think simple prejudice got Hasan, a Muslim, the stiffer sentence. I’d
like to think the fog of war in a place like Afghanistan was a mitigating factor
for Bales, whereas killing one’s comrades adds treason to Hasan’s crime, and
a psychiatrist based stateside has far less excuse for murder than a soldier in
combat. But who knows?
confuse me. They tout themselves as the Christian party, but they’re most
rabid about the social issues that Christ never mentioned — abortion, gay sex,
gun rights — while uninterested in the poor, whom Jesus was passionate about
(see Matthew 25:40, et al.).
sweat blood to protect tax breaks for millionaires, while striving mightily to
deny food stamps to destitute families. Paradoxically, the favorite philosopher
of conservative thinkers such as Paul Ryan is Ayn Rand, a militant atheist who
wrote, “If any civilization is to survive, it is the morality of altruism that
men have to reject.”
also confused by the GOP’s contradictory assessments of who shut down the
government. Ted Cruz gained widespread right-wing street cred by wasting $24
billion of the taxpayers’ money on this futile gesture, yet other
conservatives, especially in the right-wing media, continue to lambaste “the
Obama shutdown,” blaming it on his intransigence on the Affordable Care Act.
a single Democrat voted against the resolution that reopened the government and
averted default, while 162 Republicans voted against it. Nonetheless,
conservatives can’t seem to agree on whether they’re proud of the shutdown
or had nothing to do with it.
passed both houses of Congress, and was signed by the president, who ran on it
in 2012 and won again. House conservatives wasted more than 40 votes trying to
repeal it, then they took it to the judiciary, where the Supreme Court,
including John Roberts, the Republicans’ hand-picked Chief Justice, ruled it
constitutional. But that wasn’t good enough for Senator Cruz, who seems to
believe that a bill doesn’t become law until he’s approved it.
is oddly similar to the latest chapter in the Moxley murder case. Michael Skakel
was tried, found guilty and lost every appeal for a decade, but no prison can
hold you if you can hire enough lawyers and spend the GDP of a small nation on
endless litigation until you find the right judge and a defense that judge will
accept. I wonder if people with smaller checkbooks get similar “justice”?
mean-spirited joke asks: Why don’t rats gnaw on the corpses of lawyers? The
answer: Professional courtesy. Clearly, in the Belle Haven murder case, this
wasn’t true. Skakel’s current lawyers have had no problem feeding on the
carcass of their colleague, Skakel’s former attorney, Mickey
Sherman, whose reputation they’ve trashed.
Skakel must have had incompetent counsel, because he spent a fortune, but was found guilty anyway. That his conviction has now been set aside neither surprises, nor confuses me. Like my father, I spent years working in the Belle Haven section of Greenwich, so I learned early that money talks, and the legal system works differently for the wealthy. And that’s something that never changes, no matter what year you wake up in.
Click here to return to the Mark Drought home page.