Wednesday, July 1, 2009

In Search of...justice

So Bernie Madoff was sentenced to one hundred fifty years in prison, the media is now saying that Michael Jackson's kids were neither his biological nor legal children, and Al Franken is finally Senator Al Franken. But wait, there's more. A teenage girl held on to a piece of plane wreckage for thirteen hours in the Indian Ocean to be the only survivor of a plane crash, Obama reversed a Bush era decision which now makes California the first state to implement a federal policy to curb global warming by imposing stringent regulations on greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles, and lastly the FDA may pull drugs like Vicodin and Percocet off the market, but not because of the addictive narcotic element, but because of the acetaminophen in it.

Where oh where to start. Bernie. I've pondered this since I heard the news. While a hundred fifty years is symbolic, it doesn't seem just to me. The problem is nothing does as long as so many lives are destroyed, so though I agree that Bernie shouldn't see the light of day as a free man, (and I think his family and associates are culpable too, by the way), I don't think prison alone is justice for Bernie. I personally think that he should be forced to look at the faces of the people he destroyed on a daily basis and then be made to do work for the poor. He could serve soup at a shelter, mop floors and clean bed pans at a government owned senior facility - things like that where he'd actually be doing some good while coming face to face with the kind of poverty and neglect that he's relegated some people to. That's as close to justice as I can come up with absent the ability to gather all his victims and leave them in a room alone with him for a while.

Michael Jackson. Oh, the stories and rumors that have only begun to emerge. If last night's reports are true, then I don't know what is going to happen to those poor children. First of all, I think the court should have its head examined for allowing the children to stay at the home of a known abuser like Joe Jackson. I know that all anyone is mentioning is the mother, but at the very least Katherine Jackson is an enabler if nothing else. All we can hope is that at 79 the kids can outrun Joe. As for the will, if Michael does have a legal will, then I would like to think it's possible that he legally adopted his kids, but you never know. All I can say is that I'm praying for those children. The rest of the craziness will work itself out with the standard Hollywood infighting and endless lawsuits.

Senator Al Franken. I know you can't see me at home right now, but I'm doing my happy dance. I am thrilled and excited that the man who actually won the election will get to serve, and I'm also hoping to high heaven the Democrats don't blow the opportunity they now have to accomplish important things like healthcare reform that can benefit everyone. So congratulations, Al! Now get to work!

About the sole survivor of the plane crash, I don't know how you wrap your brain around that, especially when you've lost your mother in the crash, but I really hope she knows that she must have survived for a reason, and I hope she goes on to make good use of the new life she's been given.

As for the plane itself, when are they going to take Airbuses off the market? It seems to me there have been more crashes and equipment failure with them than with any other type of plane. And even if there haven't, the fact that I can name at least three incidents is reason enough to do something about it. They're not safe, and while it's nice that they're equipped with fancy entertainment features like individual TV's and such, it would be nicer if they stayed in the air actually and landed safely.

Go California and your two-steps-ahead-of-the-rest-of-us environmental consciousness! I think it's about time that we got serious about environmental legislation and enforcement. I think it's about time that we reverse all the environmental regulations that Bush and his corporate buddies did away with for monetary gain. I think it's about time that we at least try to stop the continuation of our destructiveness toward our planet and the future of humanity. It's a start.

Lastly, let's talk about drugs. I'm finding it more than a little amusing that Tylenol is the big problem, especially considering that acetaminophen by itself doesn't do a damn thing for me personally. However, the problem runs much deeper than the label directed dosage of a fairly harmless drug. Clearly acetaminophen is in a lot of different things that we don't think twice about taking, and combining it with other things that we don't think twice about taking is what can kill you. But before the FDA decides to take away our NyQuil, I'd like to point out that they really do list the ingredients on our over the counter medications, and at some point each of us gets to decide for ourselves if the benefits outweigh the risks. Surely I'm not the only one who actually reads the labels of what I ingest. The logic that cigarettes are readily available to the public and yet they're thinking of banishing my Excedrin because an excess of it could damage my liver just plain pisses me off. But cynic that I am (today), there must be some new big drug that some drug company is wanting to launch - one touted as a better, safer drug - one that will work just like acetaminophen, but have none of the least that's what they'll tell us. So let's wait and see if I'm not right about that. I wish I could believe it was about saving lives, but I don't.

So in summation, and because I think I've actually given myself a headache talking about all this, these past few days we've seen the courts and legislators provide the justice of a criminal sentence, an election determination and an environmental reversal, as well as the bigger mystery of why one person survived while 152 others died. We wait while the futures of three children remain undetermined, and we have to trust that the FDA might actually be looking out for our best interests this time around. All in all it's been quite a few days.

Thanks for stopping by and revisiting it with me.

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