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Posts Tagged ‘Spitzer’

I had to turn off the TV yesterday morning after being confronted with the left-side, right-side mindset following the revelation that Elliott Spitzer used a prostitution ring. The male talking heads were all about explaining how the strains of public life and the seduction of power might cause someone to use such a service without thinking (poor Elliott) the women were all about how and why men cheat (naughty Elliott) and there was the noxious presence of “expert” Laura Schlessinger (“Dr. Laura”) on the Today Show suggesting that women are to blame when their men stray (oh those inattentive spouses). All I wanted to do was sink my fist into the flat screen TV, which is probably some weird combination of left and right brain activity. No wonder I often feel as if I’m from some other planet altogether.

Anyway, I turned to other news, wherein I contemplated some recent statistics: One out of every one hundred Americans is in jail and one out of four US teenage girls has at least one sexually transmitted disease. Oh, and before I turn the TV back on and hear various pundits rant about the decline in morals in our increasingly secular society, how about this one: America is still one of the most religious countries in the world. according to the Institute for Social Research. So I wouldn’t rush to blame this craziness on a vacationing Supreme Being.

Someone looking in from, say, Venus or Mars (or even Europe) might think that Americans  are prurient, judgmental, voyeuristic, moralistic, undisciplined, self-centered, overly analytical, unreasoning, intellectually lazy and thoroughly confused about priorities. God, we’re one mixed-up bunch of people. Beam me up, Scotty.

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I’m writing a book on moral authority. It’s a heavy subject and as much as I’m enjoying the research, I’m looking forward to finishing the manuscript, shipping it off to be ripped apart by some editor somewhere and turning my attention to other important subjects, like the relationship between crabbiness and aging and how chocolate can help.

In the meantime, while I’m thinking about good and bad and good and evil and good and unbelievably stupid, I thought I’d make note of two news items I tracked this morning. One of them – breaking news! – relates to New York Governor Elliot Spitzer‘s alleged involvement in a prostitution ring. Spitzer, who earned a reputation for tracking down corruption in the private sector and prosecuting (or persecuting, depending on your point of view) the perpetrators, has had a rough year. His take-no-prisoners style hasn’t exactly gone over well among the State Senate Republicans (or some Democrats) and his surrogates have been caught in schemes to discredit opponents which, if not illegal, qualified as excessive. Now this. We could ask what was he thinking but why bother?

Meanwhile, an article in the Times reported to the return to Iraq of a little girl who was sent to the States by a Marine company that raised money mostly from the company leader’s hometown for life-saving surgery to correct a congenital heart defect. The girl’s father had been earlier arrested as a possible insurrectionist but was later freed. This action not only saved the child’s life but created a bond between the girl’s father, once suspected as being involved in the insurgency and the American major, who said, “Perhaps he was involved in the insurgency, perhaps he wasn’t…but as far as I’m concerned, he’s my friend.”

Lives made worse and lives made better and in the end, perhaps, it depends on which little voice inside your head you listen to – if you’re listening at all.

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