This and that
A few thoughts on recent stories in the news:
– Did you see the one about sisters Jamie and Gladys Scott, above, being released from prison early when Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour commuted their life sentences for an ambush robbery, provided that one sister gave a kidney to the other? According to an AP story, civil rights activists have been trying to get the sisters sprung for years, arguing that their sentences were excessive. Well, let's see. Back in 1994, the sisters were convicted of luring two men into an ambush in which they were whacked in the head with a shotgun and robbed of their wallets. Some of the Scotts’ supporters noted that the robbery only netted $11. So, because the amount of money wasn’t large, that makes it less of a crime? The people who were robbed could just have easily been killed. Sounds to me as if the original sentences were just fine.
– I had to laugh when I read today that Catholic Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York wants to step up efforts to make abortions in the city “rare.” What a hypocrite. The Catholic Church refuses to budge on giving its followers the OK to use any form of birth control – other than not “doing it” – then has the gall to say it wants to do more to pare the number of abortions. I'm pretty sure everyone would like the number of abortions performed in New York City and everywhere else to be reduced – to zero, if possible. But if Dolan really means what he says, perhaps he should break ranks with the Vatican and start a program to help people obtain effective birth-control devices and/or pharmaceuticals. But that's never going to happen. In fact, Dolan and other religious leaders with whom he was meeting also took the opportunity to blast public schools for including condom distributions in their sex-education programs. Yeah, we sure wouldn’t want kids who are going to have sex anyway to protect themselves from deadly diseases and also try to prevent pregnancies that might end in ... ABORTIONS.
– I certainly hope that somebody comes forward and offers to pay any fine levied on Russell Miller of Boise, Idaho, because the guy is definitely one of my heroes. The 68-year-old Miller was on board a flight from Las Vegas to Boise, seated next to a 15-year-old boy who was playing games and listening to tunes on his cell phone. As the plane approached Boise, flight attendants announced that people needed to turn off their electronic devices prior to landing. The kid did not follow the instructions, so Miller punched him in the arm. He was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor battery. It's just a shame he didn't whack the kid a few more times and stomp the heck out of the phone.
– Talk about an overreaction. Greensburg police have charged a 13-year-old middle school boy with a sex crime. His offense: a little necking and petting with a 12-year-old schoolmate after they stole away to a band equipment room during school one day. Police admit that the girl had no problem with the “activities,” but they say that under the law, she is too young to consent. C'mon. It's not as if the band director was in there with the girl. This is one of her classmates, and they were doing what usually comes naturally to young people when puberty strikes. I'm not saying I'm in favor of 12- and 13-year-olds getting "busy" in dark places during schooltime, but running a kid through the juvenile system and perhaps sending him to a detention facility over this is ridiculous. What's next? Are police going to start skulking around darkened movie theaters and high school dances to see if some kid is copping a feel? Wouldn't it be better to just give both of the kids a couple of days' detention and tell them not to do it again?