First, my "no-news" update:
Nothing stopped me from posting during the last week, other than busyness and lack of subject matter. I did cut back substantially on consumption of news, but there was no way I could miss the death of Ted Kennedy (and of Dominick Dunne) or the resurfacing of Jaycee Dugard.
I did keep NPR turned off for most of my daily 90-minute commute and enjoyed some oldies from the 1970s. Any news-perusal skirted subjects that seem to induce the most stress, and gave me an opportunity to analyze exactly which subjects fall into that category. It appears that issues that stem from religion-based ideology are the ones that push my buttons. This includes large swaths of Asia, Africa and South America; the health-care debate; prison reform, and workers' rights, to name but a few.
It helped my frame of mind - a little, so I may continue this routine for awhile.
Now, onto Jaycee. The more reports I read about this case, the more stupefied I become.
Sex offenders: They have to register; they get their names published on lists; they get hounded from one neighborhood to another, even if their "offense" has nothing to do with endangering the welfare of anybody. But, with all that, with all the news the subject generates, here we have a monster who got away with imprisoning and impregnating a child for nearly 20 years, even though the authorities knew exactly where he lived. The neighbors even knew he was a registered sex offender, yet they said nothing when they saw three young girls out on the front lawn! Hello??? Isn't the whole point of the whole "registered sex offender in your neighborhood" campaign that they should not be anywhere near children? And yet, the neighbor said "We just thought the kids were his sister's." SO WHAT? If that were the case, the "sister" would have been in violation of the law for bringing children there, if only someone had reported it. And if someone had really checked.
Why is our justice system so dysfunctional? Why did it take two almost-rookie campus cops to run a background check, followed by the guy practically turning himself in? He walked into someone's office and basically said "Hi, I'd like you to meet my bitches." He never moved from his house; all the parole officer and sheriff's deputies had to do was walk through the yard. With everyone raving and ranting about Google Earth violating our privacy and government knowing too much about us, with all these vast resources available, Garrido was sitting there on a platter, running a business, writing a blog, practically screaming to the authorities, Hey, here I am -- I'm a criminal with a twisted past. Would someone please come over and check on me?
I hope this case wakes some people up and brings about changes.
Friday, August 28, 2009
First, my "no-news" update: