Archive for October, 2006

  1. Coffee may not make the world a better place, but it sure can smooth off some of the rough edges.
  2. Sometimes it’s better to be quiet than to be right.
  3. There’s a certain delicious elegance to an afternoon spent in a hammock.
  4. Never use Vic’s Vapor Rub as a personal lubricant.
  5. Nothing in the world is more important than keeping a promise to a child.
  6. Sometimes, just being nice takes all the energy I have left in the day.
  7. There are few people crueler than kids on a playground.
  8. In many ways, life gets easier after highschool.
  9. In some ways, it also gets a whole lot harder.
  10. Life’s too short to drink cheap beer.
  11. God loves us, even when we don’t want Him to.
  12. You never know who you’re going to meet again someday.
  13. You never know who you’re never going to meet again.
  14. Don’t burn your bridges until after you’re on the other side.
  15. Burning your bridges makes it a lot harder to link up with your reinforcements.
  16. People don’t generally go out of their way to offer you a deal that isn’t an even better deal for them.
  17. You get what you pay for.
  18. The government is run by people who want to be in charge of other people’s lives.
  19. I am, in many respects, my own worst enemy.
  20. Possibly the single most endearing character trait in a human being is the willingness to be wrong about something.

Events such as the several recent shootings of young children at schools seem to bring out the usual suspects of the gun control crowd who want to use such tragedies to renew their condemnation of guns as evil tools of violence and murder.

However, there doesn’t seem to be a commensurate level of outrage over the increasing prevalence of the type of moral ambiguity which has infected our justice system with the idea that child molesters and serial killers are somehow “victims” of their environment, or that the existence of childhood sexual abuse or abandonment somehow mitigates horrific crimes of passion. 

Time and again vile, putrid, deviant individuals who barely qualify as “human,” are the recipients of the depths of Progressive compassion.  Liberal judges and morally bankrupt defense attorneys get reduced sentences, outpatient “counseling” and other soft-coated penalties for society’s worst offenders. 

This in turn breeds a sense of entitlement and empowerment among the psychologically fragile.  The prevailing social meme that “it’s society’s fault” engenders a false sense of justification for any number of retributional acts.  The idea that “somebody’s got to pay” for what was “done to me.”  Or maybe, that I couldn’t help myself because my father wasn’t emotionally available to me when I was growing up.  I’ve got abandonment issues, and so raping those three girls was really just a cry for help.

One political demographic or another often likes to brand the opposing team as “soft on crime.”  Perhaps holding up a rise in violent crime or sexually related offenses as an indictment of this or that administration’s inability to “get things under control.”

I would, however, like to suggest that the fault lies with no one person, group, or governor, but rather with the idea or concept that individuals somehow shouldn’t be held accountable for their actions because of some childhood trauma, repressed memories, or because they haven’t received the benefits of enough culturally-relevant social outreach programs.

The Progressives seem to my mind to most closely embody this philosophy.  They seem to be the most apologetic for abuses within the homosexual subculture, because to vilify a homosexual for abusing teenage boys is somehow “intolerant” or a witch hunt.  Or perhaps terrorists were driven to their drastic, murderous actions by their despair with Republican’s foreign policy.  Militant feminists hateful dialogue results from the failure of men to get on board, or “appreciate” them.

There always seems to be a reason why it’s someone else’s fault.  I can’t be held responsible for my obesity because my mother didn’t feed me balanced meals growing up.  I can’t be held responsible for my alcoholism because I have a “genetic predisposition.”  My chronic unemployment is the result of society’s failure to train me properly with life skills.  My grades in school suck because the teacher hates me.  Blah.  blah.  blah.

However, the more traditional or libertarian mind set holds to just the opposite view.  “You made your bed, now lie in it.”  “You reap what you sow.”  “Shit happens; get over it.”  This attitude is usually branded as uncompassionate by the Progressives.  Harsh, and arbitrary.  Insensitive and intolerant.  A failure to properly understand a persons unique worldview, to get in touch with their trauma issues.  Truth be told, there IS a fine line between compassion and enabling.  Between empathy and getting taken for a ride by a bunch of strap-hangers looking for handouts.  I would suggest that we’ve left that line far behind, crossing into a wilderness of social instability and crumbling moral strictures, filled with the shrill cries of, “Embrace MY diversity, OR ELSE!”

Perhaps this upward trend in shootings and murders IS society’s fault…just not in the way the Progressives usually paint it.

In the words of John Adam, a Founding Father:

We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net.  Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. –October 11, 1798

A foundational principle of our Republic is that society, as a whole, has its own best interests at heart.  The “felt needs” or emotional fragility of the individual do NOT trump the greater common good.  One atheistic parent shouldn’t be able complain about an “Easter” program and shut the thing down for the entire school.  “Entitlements” and “reparations” are almost uniformly at odds with the kind of “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” mindset which founded, established and brought prosperity to our country.

This is why I believe in the death penalty and capital punishment.  As a communal society, we are bound by an implicit and explicit moral contract to safeguard the well-being of the whole against deviant individuals.  The death penalty isn’t a penalty; it is a consequence.  By committing premeditated murder, you demonstrate that you are a threat to the order and safety of the whole.  And so you invoke a consequence, a grim but sometimes necessary retribution for your actions.  However, the death penalty only has a deterrent effect if it is viewed as a very real possibility, as imminent and unavoidable rather than as some ephemeral concept rarely put into practice.

Our society is being torn apart from within by our own failure to deal unapologetically with the deviant and criminal elements among us.  By soft-peddaling criminal penalties, by allowing progressive, activist judges to coddle unrepentant, hardened repeat offenders and reinterpret the laws and legal precedents to give the maximum possible benefit to the criminals — and the worst penalties to the cops who arrest them  — we are sealing our own fate.

Time and again we are “shocked, saddened, and appalled” by freeway sniper shootings, school rampages, abductions, rapes and home invasion robberies.  Disturbed, yes.  But surprised?  No.  And the more we look to “societal causalities” and the less we deal swiftly, decisively, and yes, perhaps brutally with such offenders, the more we ensure that it will continue to happen again and again.

by Steve Berven