Monthly Archives: May 2016

accountability

Accountability. A concept of the past?

Big Daddy G had some strange rules when it came to my curfew during my teenage years.  If I was driving my car, or his car, I had to be home no later than midnight.  But if I was a passenger in someone else’s car, I could stay out to 1:00AM.  I never figured that out, and I never asked why.

One night, I was with another group.  The fun went past curfew and I knew it.  I asked the driver to turn off his headlights as he was entering the driveway.  We lived on a farm, so as you passed the house and headed toward the barn, we had a loop in the driveway.  Kind of an agricultural cul de sac that was used for fueling the tractors, loading the milk, and all things agricultural.  The driver let me off before making the loop.  I was attempting to be stealthy and sneak into the house, but, after the driver made the loop, he turned on his headlights and blasted his very loud horn.  Of course, everyone in the car was laughing their butts off as they sped out the driveway.  I made the quickest move possible, through the kitchen, through the living room, all in an attempt to get to the stairway of escape.  The stairway of escape was blocked by Big Daddy G.  Dammit!  Caught.  “We’ll talk about this in the morning.”  Do I need to point out that those words, those 7 little words, were an euphemism?  What it really meant was that he was going to do all the talking, and I wasn’t going to be a part of this conversation.  I was held accountable for my actions.  One week…no car…no dates. Phew!  It could have been much worse. Much worse.

Are you familiar with poaching?  Quite simply, it was the taking of game either out of season or with illegal means, or both.  Being from the Midwest, hunting was popular.  For many, it was hunting deer. The hunting season for deer in our state started the first week of November and ended just prior to Thanksgiving.  It used to run over Thanksgiving until the wives complained about the lack of husbands over that holiday and the Department of Natural Resources complied by closing the season in time for Thanksgiving.  That left us about three weeks to get our deer.   Quite honestly, if you didn’t get your deer in the first 3 or 4 days, your chance of success diminished greatly as the surviving deer became ‘gun shy’ and a lot more weary of strange figures in the woods.  I digress.  Some people just couldn’t work hard enough to get a deer legally, so they resorted to ‘shining.’  Shining was using car headlights or a strong flashlight to light up the deer eyes and temporarily freeze the deer. Then they would shoot them.  The penalty if caught?  Firstly, you lost the deer. Secondly, you lost your gun!  Yup.  It was confiscated and sold at auction. Thirdly, you lost your hunting privileges for life!  And, if they caught you with the game in your vehicle, your vehicle was confiscated and sold at auction!

The laws were explicit.  A hunter was suppose to be a responsible hunter. But, if you chose to be a poacher, you would be held accountable.  (There is that word again…accountable.)

Now that I have related my loss of privileges because of curfew and how a poacher could potentially lose their vehicle, I have a question.  Do you think that a convicted felon should lose their ‘right to vote?’

As can be imagined, each state addresses this issue differently.  Ten states have laws that may take voting privileges from a convicted felon for life:  Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nevada, Tennessee, and Wyoming.  Twenty states will allow voting privileges restored, but only after serving the term of incarceration, parole, and completing probation.  I can go with that.  Four states restore voting privileges after terms of incarceration and parole.  Fourteen states plus the District of Columbia restore voting after incarceration only.  And, two states have unrestricted voting privileges and convicted felons can vote by absentee ballot!  Do you want to guess which states?  Maine and Vermont!  I cannot believe a convicted felon in those states can vote before serving at least the term of their incarceration.  Where is the accountability in that?

For those bright readers that are up on current events, you already know that I am guilty of a federal government faux pas.  (Will I lose my voting privileges?)  The Department of Justice has recently determined that they will no longer refer to the ‘guests’ of their prison facilities as felons or convicts. The reason? It is because after being released from prison, it is too difficult on the ‘previous guests’ emotionally!  I wish I were making this up.  With all of the events happening in this country and the world, this is what the government has focused on as witnessed by a very proud POTUS giving a speech justifying this miraculous decision.  I saw that speech and thought it was an April Fools prank.  It was not.

Assistant Attorney General, Karol Mason, wrote an article for the Washington Post saying, “many of the formally incarcerated men, women, and young people I talk with say there is no harsher punishment than being branded a ‘felon’ or an ‘offender.'”  Really?  Maybe they should have thought of that before performing a felonious act!  That would be a novel concept!

Being that our ‘politically correct’ government has decided such a bold move is historic, what are the new acceptable names for convicted felons? Apparently, drug dealers, muggers, killers, rapists, swindlers, robbers, and thieves will no longer be acceptable, so just what will be acceptable? Knowing this administration, I am almost ready to bet they will publish a list.  I would like to be witty and offer some possible names, but I am too flabbergasted by this whole situation.

So here again, all for the sake of political correctness, our government has, somewhat intentionally, removed accountability from convicted felons.

Grandma P was perusing part of my article and brought forth a valid concern. With such concern as to what we call convicted felons, what do we call the victims?  Ah, yes.  It seems our judicial system sometimes forget about the victims of the felons.  Do you think their feelings have been hurt being the victim of a crime?  I find it interesting, and indicative of our government, that they are concerned more about the feelings of a convicted felon than of the victim.  In my universe, that seems backwards.

How could I possibly write about the disappearance of accountability when such things as Benghazi, the Clinton Foundation and classified emails are still haunting presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton. The difference between a Political Action Committee (PAC) and a foundation is that a PAC cannot accept money from foreign donors.  There are no such restrictions on a foundation.  Do you find it disturbing that all donations to the Clinton Foundation are funneled through Canada?  Canada, a country with laws that conveniently protect the identity of contributors.  The money is then sent into the US into a foundation that spends less than 10% of its receipts on charitable events.  Thus, it has been declassified as a charity.  Initially, I thought the classified missing emails were about Benghazi. That may be incorrect.  Current conjecture is that it is about foreign donors contributing to Hillary’s election campaign surreptitiously through the Clinton Foundation, with a small amount of Benghazi thrown in.  This would be against the laws of this country.  Madam Clinton has done an excellent job of fending off congressional inquiries and FBI investigations.  She is the antithesis of accountability.

I am going to make a rather bold and brash prediction about the upcoming election.  If, in the next 6-8 weeks, polling shows that Clinton will not win a general election, she will be charged for one of her many crimes and be forced to drop from the race.  Accountability at last!  Then I think a dark horse would be thrown into the mix at the Democratic convention.  The name of that dark horse?  Joe Biden.  Untouched.  Unscathed.  Very much a democrat.  Time will tell.