Making Sense Out of Everything
I haven't blogged in a while. It's been such a hectic summer, with my mind racing from one topic to the next, that I've done well to keep up with correspondence and stay on top of things in my personal life. There have also been so many headlines and news articles that have caught my attention that I couldn't focus on one long enough to write about it before another grabbed the spotlight to replace it. The world is a busy place these days and people are constantly amazing me with their bad judgment, incredible antics, and downright lack of moral fiber.
I got up this morning to see that Casey Anthony has been released from jail three years after her daughter's disappearance and two weeks after her acquittal on murder charges in the case. While I always steal myself against rushing to judgment on anything, I am still stunned by the jury's decision to find her not guilty. I just don't see how they arrived at that conclusion. When the attorneys in the case were making their closing arguments, I had to agree with the prosecutor. Why would anyone take an accident and make it look like murder? It just doesn't add up. Four different stories, incredibly tasteless pictures of Casey out partying in the thirty days that spanned the child's disaapearance and her reporting it to police, and the lack of emotion she showed during the trial spoke volumes to me. I don't know what this young lady has planned for the rest of her life, but I hope she makes no monetary gains from her case. I wasn't there, I don't know what happened, but the old addage about if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck...you can take it from here.
Gay marriage got a huge boost when New York legalized it. I was delighted to see yet another state embrace the civil rights of all its citizens. Then Rhode Island signed into law a bill providing for civil unions. I wasn't as happy about that. Why didn't they just follow New York's lead? There are now four states in the US that allow for marriage between consenting adults, no matter their sexual orientation, and I see it as a beginning that has been long overdue. The religious and the conservative may rail against it as much as they wish, but our constitution provides for equal rights and marriage is a right, not a privilege. It is an expression of the love and the commitment that two people have for each other, and Freedom of Expression is indeed protected by our constitution. It is very heartening to me that the GLBT community is at last realizing its rightful place within the framework of American society. Yet it is also disheartening to see forty-six other states still squelching them. The fact that this will ultimately have to be decided by the US Supreme Court is sad. People shouldn't have to sue for their rights as Americans.
This Mexican standoff in Washington over raising the debt ceiling is becoming something of a farce as well; one with potentially devastating consequences for our nation if things aren't resolved in the next two weeks. The Republicans seem to be holding out as if they think their refusal to deal unless they get their way will force the Democrats to bend under the pressure. The Democrats so far aren't blinking - and I'm proud of them for it too - and President Obama is taking the case to the American people, which I see as a smart move on his part. He's following Bill Clinton's lead and he's standing his ground. I applaud that. The Republican party is still in the minority in Washington and to me the mid term elections proved that the GOP is indeed a fading entity in this country. Tea Partiers aside, this group is facing its extinction event and I think they realize it. That's why they're acting like third graders instead of law makers and leaders. Time marches on. People change their thoughts and beliefs. Values that were valid in the 1950's are no longer as prevalent. It's time for everyone to realize this and get on with the business of governance.
Betty Ford's death saddened me. This was a woman who took her ideals with her into the White House and made herself a place in history almost unrelated to her role as First Lady. She faced breast cancer and triumphed. She faced alcoholism and triumphed. She took her position very seriously and she used it to work toward the realization of her dreams. Women's lib never had a stronger advocate than Betty Ford. Millions of people suffering from addiction benefitted from her uncompromising determination to make this disease known and recognized for what it is. Betty Ford's example and work inspired the whole world. Yes, I am sad about her death but I know her life and her work will live on in the efforts of all those who are following her lead.
Rupert Murdoch and the implosion of his media empire is another debacle I've been closely following. By taking the old idea of yellow journalism and running amok with it, Murdoch's employees have created perhaps the most far reaching scandal of the moment. Hacking into private telephone conversations and emails is tantamount to a nauseating breach of human etiquette the likes of which hasn't been seen since Watergate almost forty years ago. It causes me to question the integrity of news media as a whole. As a writer I am personally offended by the use of such tactics as News of the World employed. A 143 year old newspaper has closed its doors, a multi billion dollar conglomerate stands in the cross hairs, which makes the apologies of Rupert Murdoch seem almost pointless to me. The damage that is being done to news agencies as a whole will go a lot farther than the current scandal. And that is what I see as the biggest shame of it all.
Signing off on this note, I would like to say that I am hopeful things will improve for all of us in the coming weeks and months. People are resilient if nothing else, and our ability to move on after almost anything never ceases to give me faith that all that is happening right now will one day be history. Perhaps the future will lend itself to a brighter day.