Crime and Punishment
A college student has been sentenced to eight years in prison and a $3.5 million fine. His crime? An arson and vandalism spree against several Hummers and other SUVs. His two accomplices, who actually committed the arson, have fled the country and left him to be the fall guy. In other words, his 8-year sentence and $3.5 million fine is because he spray-painted people’s vehicles with slogans like: “Fat Lazy Americans,” “SUV = Terrorism” and “No Respect For Earth.”
Of course he broke the law and should be punished, but eight years? $3.5 million? If he wanted a lighter sentence, he should’ve been a CEO who bilked his employees and customers out of millions of dollars. That way he’d be still playing golf while his suspended 6-month sentence was under appeal.
In another example of the law’s heavy hand, the federal government has forbidden members of an obscure New Mexico church from drinking a tea that contains an illegal substance (Huasca, used by South American Indians for religious ceremonies). The Bush administration insists that the tea is illegal and needs to be banned.
Well thank you, Boy George, for setting me straight. Here I was, dithering over terrorism and economic collapse, and the real problem is a group of church members drinking psychedelic tea during their ceremonies. Emergency! Bring in the Cavalry!
In 1990, when Native American churches were prohibited from using Peyote in their religious ceremonies, William “The Gambler” Bennett gave a speech cheering about this crackdown on big bad Peyote. In the same speech, he also complained about people turning away from religion . Duuhhh!!! Time for The Gambler to step away from the Blackjack table for a minute, focus, and start observing his own contradictions.
Corporate criminals (Enron, etc.) get slapped on the wrist for ruining thousands of employees’ lives and wrecking the economy. Government thugs manipulate us into a quagmire in Iraq, causing tens of thousands of deaths, and get rewarded with promotions. Meanwhile the government brings down its iron fist on someone who vandalizes SUVs and a church group that wants to continue a centuries-old tradition. Priorities, I guess.
And speaking of irony: Karl Rove is now complaining about the “adversarial” way that the media reports the news. Yes, that same Karl Rove, the Master of the Smear Campaign, King of the Big Lie, Joseph Goebbels reincarnated. He said “We are substituting the shrill and rapid call of the track announcer for calm judgment, fact and substance.”
“Fact and substance.” Ooookay! Karl Rove calling for “calm judgment, fact and substance” — sort of like the Mafia complaining about the high crime rate, or the Ku Klux Klan calling for racial harmony.