Good. And While She’s In Jail, Have Her Take Parenting 101 Classes
A Los Angeles jury convicted 49 year-old Lori Drew of three counts of misdemeanor computer crimes for her role in the suicide of a 13 year-old schoolmate of her daughter. The case may be thrown out on various technicalities, but if it isn’t Ms. Drew could spend up to three years in the slammer.
Her crime, according to the Times was “to intentionally perpetrate a cruel Internet hoax on a vulnerable teenage girl . . .” by pretending to be an on-line boy who first “courted” the 13 year-old, then shared her emails with the world in an effort to embarrass her, then had the pretend boy dump her with a message saying, “The world would be a better place without you.” The distraught 13 year-old committed suicide.
Ms. Drew was 49. Her daughter was 13. Her daughter’s classmate, the now dead girl, was 13. Ms. Drew apparently forgot she was suppose to be the adult in this case and if her daughter was complaining about mean kids at school saying mean things about her on FaceBook and etc, she should have behaved as an adult. Instead, she conspired with her 13 year-old daughter and an 18 year-old friend to set up this hoax. I have no doubt they laughed their heads off while they were doing this.
You see the problem here. Yep. In order to parent kids, parents have to behave as adults. When they don’t, kids suffer and in this case, die.
The case is being watched carefully because the internet is still, in many ways, a lawless place and the law is trying to find its way towards holding users responsible for their actions without trampling free speech issues and such like. And determining just who is responsible in a medium that is often “anonymous” and faceless, is tricky.
As commentors on this site have proven time and again, “anonymous” encourages a multitude of nasty sins that the perp would never, in a millions years, be caught dead doing, if the lights had been turned on and everyone knew who “anonymous” was in “real” life. In dealing with adults, “anonymooses” who lie and/or hurl nasty comments at others most often find their comments turning into boomerangs that actually end up defining their own character, (or lack of same) with no harm, no foul except to themselves.
However, in the case of vulnerable 13 year-olds, sticks and stones can indeed break bones, which is why God invented adult parents who can act like adults. Unfortunately, too many parents have never bothered to grow up. Maybe Ms. Drew can use her jail time to take parenting classes.
Yes, Once Again, It’s the Department of Duh
The L.A. Times reports that the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank, has issued a report that concludes that, “The United States’ war on drugs has failed and will continue to do so as long as it emphasizes law enforcement and neglects the problem of consumption . . .” . . . “Contrary to government claims, the use of heroin and cocaine in the U.S. has not declined significantly, the report says, and the use of methamphetamine is spreading. Falling street prices suggests that the supply of narcotics has not declined noticeable, and U.S. prevention and treatment programs are woefully underfunded, the study says.”
“Current U.S. counter-narcotics policies are failing by most objective standards,” the report says. “The only long-run solution to the problem of illegal narcotics is to reduce the demand for drugs in the major consuming countries, including the United States.”
“Zedillo [former president of Mexico] cited skyrocketing violence in his own country as an example of the damage done by these policies. More thatn 4,000 people have been killed in mexico this year in drug-related warfare between government troops and traffickers, and among rival drug gangs. Many of the weapons confiscated in raids and shoot-outs came from the U.S.”
Hahahahahah. Weapons coming from the U.S. Yep, business as usual. More irony: drug use overall has remained stable as a percentage of population, except for small up and down ticks of drugs du jour. In short, drug use, like everything else falls on a bell curve. X% of any population will be addicted to something, Y% will use then get clean and Z% never use. That’s why the “war” will never be “won,” and a smart policy would try to mitigate the overall harm X can do while focusing on Y getting clean, so their combined impact on Z – the vast majority – is limited.
But that approach makes too much sense (not as much money as all that gun running and prison building and staffing) so what will happen to this latest Drug Policy Failing Report? Yep. Right into the trash can. Let the shooting commence. It’s the Department of DUH, again.
Speaking of Which
Kathleen Parker ‘s recent Commentary cited a “new report from the intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) on the nation’s civic literacy [and] finds that most Americans are too ignorant to vote. Out of 2,500 American quiz-takers, including college students, elected officials and other randomly selected citizens, nearly 1,800 flunked a 33-question test on basic civics.” . . . . “America’s report card may come as little surprise to fans of Jay Leno’s man—on-the-street interviews, which reveal that most people don’t’ know diddly about doohickey. Still, it’s disheartening in the wake of a populist driven election celebrating joes-of-all-trades to be reminded that the voting public is dumber than ever.”
The usual suspects in this Dumbed Down America are, of course, too much TV and other trivial pursuits , but, interestingly, a failure of schools to teach civics courses. Those used to be standard: How does your government runs. What’s the Constitution mean? Why do we have three branches of government? And so forth.
Concludes Parker, “Who will govern a free nation if no one understands the mechanics and instruments of that freedom? Answer: Maybe one day, a demagogue. “
In George Bush/Cheny and their “unitary presidency,” and their War on Terror, backed by a spineless, lock-step Congress that failed to do their job, we came awfully close to Ms. Parker’s answer. That is always the peril of democracy. Not only is vigilance required, but INFORMED vigilance. Which, clearly, is in short supply.
Have a nice Friday After Thanksgiving. Go shopping. It’s an American tradition and now more than ever, we need to spend our way out of the recession and back into the poorhouse, which is The American Way.