Explanation of the Day

The district attorney of Harris County (Texas) – Chuck Rosenthal – just resigned his post. It’s good news for opponents of the death penalty as Rosenthal asked for the ax more than any other DA in the country. Why is he stepping down? Among other things, he had sent love notes to his secretary, sent emails with racist jokes, set off firecrackers in a stairwell, and endorsed one judge because "she looked great in jeans." What a man. His explanation for his most recent brouhaha:

“The particular combination of drugs prescribed for me in the past has caused some impairment in my judgment."

Riiiight. Sounds to me like he never matured past the horny 8th grade rebel stage.

In other news, a school district in Arizona, in an attempt to clarify its policy against public displays of affection, has banned hugs which last longer than two seconds. Students protested by organizing one big group hug across the street. Another one of those moments when you’re embarrassed for the human race.

7 comments on “Explanation of the Day
  • My senior year in high school, we had a non-disciplinarian principal, so on the way to class, I’d walk by kids who were practically having sex in the halls. I now work in a high school. I can’t even tell you what our non-hugging policies are because I haven’t bothered learning them, but I thing it’s more amorphous–something like rules against public displays of affection. Most kids complain before I even notice that someone is being too affectionate–they go, “ooh” and “yuck” and peer pressure gets the kids to stop.

    Kids at my school can’t wear hats or pull up the hoods on their sweatshirts. They can’t wear sunglasses. There are rules about cell phones and ipods. Today I watched a DVD of The Greatest American Hero, a tv show from 1981. The teacher wasn’t overly concerned when one of his “bad” kids pulled a knife on an adult (who then pulled a gun on the kid). He just confiscated the knife. What a world *that* was.

  • It’s disappointing to see so many people avoiding, oft times successful, responsibility for their actions. In contrast I’d like to see individuals not only taking responsibility for their own actions, but for their ability to influence others and make positive contributions…through parenthood and political involvement, for example.

    As to policies restricting public displays of affection…sounds great to me. When I worked as a lifeguard at a water-park, I often had to inform guests that it was a family park, not a family making park.

  • I remember when male high school students had to fight for their right to wear long hair in my school district.

    A few young activists (they had to wear their long hair under short-hair wigs at school) took the school system to court and beat it.

    Rather than the shadow of an immovable rock of statism that loomed like the Holy See over local education, now we have the hypersensitive legalism of entrenched bureaucracy all dressed up in the unsexy garments of political correctness.

    Margaret Mead had it right– the native fascism of the student social order will punish those who don’t pay attention to the ‘rules’– and its ruthless enforcer, peer pressure, is the true lord of the teenage jungle that is junior high school.

  • Ben:

    “Another one of those moments when you’re embarrassed for the human race.”

    Don’t be embarrassed for the whole race; only for those, who seem to ascribe malicious intent where none is intended, whose own tuning into the antennae of empathy and human connection is faulty and who are so busy with CYA that they do not realise that their slip is showing…

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