Previous month:
March 2008
Next month:
May 2008

Pope to United States: Priests' Molesting Children is All Your Fault

"Holy Father," indeed:

In a speech delivered after evening prayer, the pontiff berated the bishops for their poor handling of a scandal surrounding sexual abuse of children in the church.

But he urged efforts "to address the sin of abuse within the wider context of sexual mores" as well as a reassessment of "the values underpinning society."

"What does it mean to speak of child protection when pornography and violence can be viewed in so many homes through media widely available today?" the pontiff said on the first full day of his US visit.


I like adult women - a lot.  My female friends and gay male friends like adult men - a lot.  What in the Hell does that have to do with molesting children?  I guess, to the Pope, all sex is vile?  Go to the strip club today, molest 5-year-olds tomorrow?

More importantly, priests were able to continually molest children because, instead of the Church holding the exposed pedophiles accountable, the Church transferred them to other parishes where no one knew of their misdeeds.

What does sex and violence on TV, or Internet porn, have to do with covering up child molestation?

Nothing, that's what.

Rather than accepting responsibility for causing molestation, the Pope blamed you and me.  That's strike two for the Catholic Church.

Libertarians Supporting More Governmental Regulation?

This post at Kipesquire provides a remarkable example of bribery that can never be proven in a court of law.  Here's the summary: The government entered into a contract with a contractor that would cause the government to lose money.  The contractor gave huge campaign contributions to the three government officials who gave them the contract.

Absent corruption, why in the world would a government official enter into a losing contract?  People are incompetent, but not that incompetent.  It's clear what went down.

Yet there is no way that a federal bribery case could be made.  When you give a federal official an envelope full of money, bribery is easy to establish.  When you give a federal official a campaign contribution, it's almost impossible to prove bribery.

It is precisely because of this that many of us support sweeping reforms of campaign contribution laws. 

Yet supporting restrictions on campaign contributions puts us into the libertarian paradox.  Because of some bad government laws, many of us are required to support more bad government laws.  How is that consistent with liberty?  Where is the stopping point? 

I don't have a great limiting principle.  In general, I think the best approach is to not support more laws unless a practice is so entrenched that there is no way to end the underlying practice.

So, for example, the reality is that the government will continue awarding no-bid contracts to members of the private sector.  This will never change.  Thus, preventing people who do business with the government from giving campaign contributions is a reasonable way to mitigate corruption and waste.

On the other hand, there currently is not a universal system of socialized medicine in this country.  We should fight like Hell to prevent it from existing. 

If there were universal socialized medicine, it might be reasonable to deny some care to smokers, obese people, and others who make lifestyle choices that affect health care costs.   Absent socialized medicine, I have no business caring about what you eat: It's your right to give yourself diabetes, heart disease, or lung cancer.  But when I am being forced to pay for your decisions, it becomes my business - even though I don't want it to be.

It ain't easy being a libertarian. 

The Interesting Criminal Law Divide

Here is something about criminal law that has always given me a chuckle.

Find a true believer criminal defense lawyer.  He'll excuse anyone's misdeeds and presume everyone innocent.  But when a cop is charged with a crime, excuses and presumptions of innocence goes out the window.  Burn the witch.

Then find a true believer prosecutor or just red-meat conservative.  Everyone is guilty - until a cop is charged with a crime.  Then we must "withhold judgment" and "wait for the facts to fully develop" before drawing any conclusions.  Even then, there is only one proper conclusion: Not guilty.

I had a professor who was the lead prosecutor for the anti-corruption division of his office.  When he took his job prosecuting crooked cops, all of his longtime friends in law enforcement disowned him.  Mind you, he only went after the really bad apples.  Yet good cops hated him for that.

I suppose the need to choose a side and the inability to find faults with people on "our side" just shows us how much like apes we remain.  The best proof that we evolved from apes is our current behavior!