Saturday, April 07, 2012

Blood Boils Again, I'm Afraid

Every country has horror stories that affect the lives of its citizens. The United States, of course, is no exception, except in the minds of rabid Repuglycans (not Republicans, mind you, although the distinction is getting quite pointless) and Tea Partiers who take any criticism of the nation as the evil work of Commie infiltrates. On the contrary, recognizing one's shortcomings is the only way to eliminating them, which is why so much that is good in this country has been going so badly, so fast. Denial, Egypt, etc.

Tonight, I had the misfortune/good fortune of watching a special presentation of PBS's Frontline that featured two such horror stories.

The first one covered cases in which the forensic pathology and prosecutorial apparatuses of this nation combine in a frightening frenzy to create crimes when there is none. Prominently featured was the case of a quite likeable fellow, Ernie Lopez, who spent close to 10 years in prison for a crime he almost certainly did not commit: the rape and murder of a 6-month old infant he baby-sat. You can watch the original investigation, The Child Cases, on Frontline's web site.

The other story followed the intersection of for-profit online universities (with a lowercase U) with the lives of veterans who attend them in hope of rebuilding their lives after serving the nation. The waste of money is unthinkable, as is the damage done to the lives of men and women who have sacrificed their lives, and their families', in service to the nation. You can watch this episode too, Educating Sgt. Pantzke, on Frontline's web site.

If your blood is not boiling after you have viewed this stories, check your pulse. If it is, do something about it.

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