Saturday, August 08, 2009


The three top stories of the week; the shootings in an LA Fitness club in Pittsburg, by George Sodini, the deaths of eight people (four of them children) on the Taconic,
and the confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor, as the first Hispanic Female Supreme Court Justice, all had something to do with a sense of responsibility.

It may be true that George Sodini was just nuts, but I think it dismisses what he did much too easily. George was lonely. Nobody liked him, everyone hated him, he should have gone out and eaten worms—and choked on one. But he didn’t. Instead of taking responsibility for himself, and getting some help for his depression, he picked up a few guns, went to a place where he knew there would be lots of women (he either loved or hated them, it’s unclear) and started to fire. No way to get a date I say. He killed at least three potential dates and wounded many more. Then, because he didn’t want to take responsibility for his actions, he killed himself –murder suicide they call it. If they know that they’re going to die anyway, why can’t these monsters just skip directly to the suicide.

We ask ourselves how a mother could get behind the wheel of her car, and take responsibility for the lives of the five children who she was driving home. Surely, if she was stoned and drunk she might have called someone else to pick them all up –even a cab. But she didn’t feel responsible or, apparently, anything else because she was plastered. The public, and the families of the people she murdered (and that’s what she did), are looking for someone to blame. Her husband had to know that she had a drinking problem. Let’s sue the sucker for what his wife did. Shouldn’t he be held responsible for her actions? I don’t think so. We are so fast at laying responsibility somewhere else that we won’t even give the guy (who also lost a child) a chance to grieve. While it is true that she’s no longer around to suffer the consequences of her actions, she is clearly solely responsible for the loss of so many lives.

Justice Sotomayor, who grew up in the Bronx and understands what it means to take responsibility for your life, is a perfect counterpoint to these other people. After a 10 week battle to prove that she was both qualified and capable, she was confirmed by a 68-31 vote. You won’t be surprised to learn that it was mostly along party lines and one party made a great deal of noise without much substance. Now that she’s confirmed, the hard work will begin because as a junior Justice (newest, and a woman and Hispanic) the spotlight or maybe magnifying glass will certainly be on her. And the cases facing the court are about election law, (certainly political), First Amendment Rights issues, (always controversial), criminal case and even patent law. But Justice Sotomayer is no stranger to hard work and being responsible for whatever happens in your own life. As described in the press so many times, she is a woman with “humble beginnings,” who through hard work, went to two Ivy league schools, was a prosecutor, a corporate lawyer and spent almost twenty years as a district and appeals court judge. No unimportant accomplishments.

I know I have said it before, sometime, someplace, but I get so tired of people whining about their lives, and “oh poor me-ing”, non-stop. They refuse to take responsibility for themselves or, for that matter, for their children. You know the people who are always ready to lay blame elsewhere for whatever happens to them. Whether it is a lunatic who shoots 20 people, or a parent who lets their child act out in a restaurant and annoys everyone else. There seems to be a sense of entitlement that was never as overt as it appears to be now. It is certainly refreshing to see someone like the new Justice, take responsibility for herself and celebrate the outcome. We’re just sayin’…. Iris


kara said...

90% of the time I agree with you, but on this one point I can't:

"Instead of taking responsibility for himself, and getting some help for his depression"

You've obviously never suffered from real depression or you'd understand how insensitive, and dare I use the word "assholish" that comment is.

Unknown said...

Iris, I agree that George Sodini was a monster who ended up doing what I guess he was always fated to do. Having a brain tumor disrupt every bit of my life for a few years gave me a different perspective, though. Now I wonder if he was even capable of taking care of himself. Mostly I wonder how people who are as dangerous as he is manage to get by without being noticed as a threat. I ask the same question about others, including the Virginia Tech shooter. Would MRIs of their brains have revealed tumors or other disturbances that rendered them violent and unable to use self-control?
We'll never know but I'm a big proponent of more people seeing neurologists when they experience behavior changes they can't control.

Unknown said...

p.s. Visit my blog when you get a chance. I've recently posted on sex, religion and politics. Love those forbidden subjects.

JKai said...

well Kara people have called me worse names but I truly appreciate the 90%. And Be, I absolutely agree and while there is never an answer for such specific problems, I do think people need to take responsibility for their actions -- In the end, I guess Sodini did.

Anonymous said...

I can honestly say that I only have two things against the new Justice. Her "wise Latino" comment and her ruling reference the fire fighter promotion case. Other than that I would say...who hasn't said something that has offended someone or made a bad decision in their life?

Anonymous said...

I have suffered from major depression, and Iris from a far was one of many that I turned to for comfort. I do not think in the context it was insensitive. Depression is no execuse to kill others.