(1) In an earlier career, I spent many years at sea. During those years, I came across a place in Long Island Sound called "Execution Rocks."
The name, according to legend, was due to the British practice of executing Revolutionary War prisoners by chaining them to the rocks at low tide and, then, sort of standing back and allowing nature to take its course.
Lately, I’ve reached the end of my tether as regards deranged individuals killing kids. Most recently, these oxygen pilferers have been performing their mayhem in a number of schools nationwide.
Truth be told, I don’t want to "understand" such individuals nor do I care to learn "why they are the way they are." What I want, should they be captured alive, is to subject them to the hell they’ve so richly earned. Therefore, I think we might consider adding a chapter to the legend of "Execution Rocks."
When tried and found guilty, things might play out as follows: The judge would pass sentence, the guards would bring out chains and a rowboat, and our miscreant would be introduced to the theory of tides.
I wouldn’t bat an eye.
(2) The next time someone "insults" Islam and the fundamentalist wackos begin maiming and killing in the name of their version of a religion, instead of an apology, I think we should make a very simple statement. That statement would be something along the lines of:
"In any society that’s progressed beyond the Dark Ages, people are allowed to say things that others may not like. It’s called freedom of speech. Those who don’t like what’s being said can simply ignore the speakers. Such behavior is referred to as ‘being civilized.’ If this truly upsets you and your fellow wackos, here’s a quarter, call someone who cares."
(3) I don’t think the founders of this nation ever intended that being a member of Congress should be a profession. I think their idea was that public-spirited citizens would identify problems needing to be fixed and, then, very reluctantly volunteer to do something about them. They’d set aside careers, run for office, get elected, attempt to fix what was wrong, and then (with infinite relief) return to their normal lives.
Be nice to see more of that.
(4) There are many people who need to learn to engage their brains before beginning to speak. I, gentle reader, am a charter member of that group.
Some years ago, I was called for jury duty in a case dealing with the possession, use, and sale of drugs.
During jury selection, it came my turn to be questioned. The defense attorney eventually asked me whether or not I’d consider a treatment program as one of the sentencing options should his client be found guilty. Before I’d formed even the bare outlines of a rational thought, I’d already said something to the effect of: "Not until he’s spent a coupe of years breaking big rocks into little ones."
This, rather quickly, led to my removal from the jury pool.
(5) The reason I no longer watch professional football is fairly simple. I’ve had it with "celebrations."
I’m not sure when rubbing your opponent’s nose in your supposed "greatness" became commonplace, but it was about the same time that I quit watching.
If we ever return to the time when someone who scores a touchdown offers a hand to the tackler he’s just beaten and then simply hands the ball to an official – no dances, no taunts, no juvenile preening – I’ll watch again.
I don’t think I’ll hold my breath while waiting, though.
(6) It’d be nice if we’d start teaching courses in "fessing up" at every level of society. The basic premise of such courses would be: "When you screw up, admit it right away."
We’d point out that a funny thing happens whenever you do something incredibly stupid and immediately own up to it. Once the problem is known, people tend to fix what needs fixing, punish those who need punishing, and move on. Funnier still is the fact that many will forgive those who admit screwing up and think the better of them for it.
The worst thing is to try to cover things up. One constant throughout history has been that truth has a remarkable ability of finding its way out. If you doubt this, ask the Catholic church, politicians of every stripe, and the senior executives of companies like Enron, Global Crossing, and Adelphia Communications – to name but a few.