THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT
We have also had the gut-wrenching shootings of the Amish girls, a pervert gone amok, and just thinking of the terror those little girls had to endure is enough to make the strongest person weep in helpless anguish. In watching the aftermath of those murders, one can only admire the strength and faith of the Amish people, who have mastered the art of forgiveness far better than most of us ever achieve.
On top of that, we have had the revelation of another pervert stalking in Congress, trolling the Pages to find cooperative teenagers. Mark Foley claims...or at least, his attorney has claimed...that Foley is not a pedophile. But, he was not making passes at people like Dennis Hastert, was he? He had his eye on the nubile youngsters in the Page Program, and as the days pass, we hear more and more of this unsavory tale.
Evidently the Republican Speaker of the House is afflicted with memory losses. He claims he just can't recall when he was warned that Foley was accosting the Pages. Besides that, it is clear to him that the whole thing was invented by the Democrats, paid for by the one millionaire who is liberal, Soros. The Republicans have an entire bevy of millionaires to choose from. Millionaire Republicans are a dime a dozen, so it doesn't seem quite fair that Soros should be blamed for the Page scandal when Democrats usually consist of auto workers and ditchdiggers and motel maids, with hardly a millionaire in sight.
One or two Republicans have even suggested that the Pages themselves caused the scandal. Knowing the minds of sixteen-year-olds pretty well, I am sure that Foley's flirtacious approaches to the young boys were the subject of much amused chatter in the dormitories. Foley told one of them...a 16 year old...that 18 is the "Magic Number," when he was asking if the boy planned a trip to Florida. Eighteen, I guess, is the age of consent. But don't bother checking that number on a lottery ticket. It isn't magic at all!
Ah, this all brings back memories of my own high school years. I was a member of what can be called "the obedient generation." We obeyed the rules. We had a high school superintendant then, Mr. Ambrose, whom we called "Little Napoleon." When he walked the halls, we marched along like a parade of saints. If one was called into his office, for any reason, it was a moment of gibbering fear. We were caught in the iron fist of a huge chasm between the adult world and the world of mere teenagers.
It's different today. Somehow, teenagers have learned that they have rights. I don't know where they got rights, or who gave them rights, but they know all about them. In contrast, we had no rights. We had never heard of rights and noone ever suggested giving them to us.
Thinking it over, I guess we did have one right....the right to remain silent. It was the right to sit still, shut up and do as you're told.
There were no Mark Foleys in this world. Most of us didn't even know that sexual perversion existed. If there lurked a homosexual or a pedophile in our school, we remained in idyllic ignorance about it. Our biggest scandal was a girl who was rumored to agree to "go down." I didn't even know what that meant, unless she took guys to her basement. Sexual ignorance was prevalent, but it didn't stop us from learning. We made up for our ignorance very quickly. We were apt pupils.
Would I send a 16 year old child to Washington, D.C. to become a Page? I think I would rather send him into a den of a pack of Mama Grizzlies, sans weapon. Any way you look at it, that bunch of reprobates and liars with their Power Lunches and Lobbyist Handouts would be no place for my child. Why on earth is a country that is cutting funds for Welfare, the Welfare that feeds so many hungry children, footing the bill for a bunch of teenagers to wait on Senators as they make those long, infinite, boring, self-aggrandizing speeches and, in their off hours, these teens have to dodge the advances of whichever Congressman may be a few crumbs short of a cookie?
What is the purpose of the Page Program? It is said that it is a program begun in order to teach A-Students the art of government. Since our Congress convened less than a hundred days last year, I guess you could call the Page Program a part-time job. How much a 16-year-old could learn about the art of government in this short time is beyond me. I can't get through one of those speeches on C-Span without falling asleep. However, thinking about it, one would think that D students are the ones who need instruction in the art of government!
If I could give one right to Congress, it would be the one my high school class enjoyed, the right to remain silent. Frankly, I am tired of Dennis Hastert making excuses as to why he did nothing about Mark Foley's presence among the Pages. I am also tired of Pages. I am tired of Congressional Sex Scandals, which seem to be of more interest to the public than those bodies in the Iraq ditches.
Of course, as any author knows, Sex sells! Only master storytellers like John Grisham can get away with writing a book without at least one lurid sex scene. But, if it takes a Sex Scandal to rid ourselves of this passel of liars, that's fine! The question remains, will their constant parade of excuses, the Blame Game, and finger-pointing and name-calling cause this lapse of good judgment to fade away, as all other indiscretions have done?
We won't know until the votes have been counted, and that is another worry. Lately, the election in Iraq has gone more smoothly than a U.S. election. The right to remain silent has definitely been extended to the manufacturers of those voting machines. But we could ask them the same questions we are asking Dennis Hastert....what did they know? And when did they know it?