In 2004, a 17-year-old California driver chose to intentionally speed on a San Bernardino mountain road to see if her car would go airborne. She lost control of the car. It crashed, killed two teenaged passengers and injured a third.
This week, a jury found the California Department of Transportation liable for over $6 million in damages because they “knew” the road was hazardous. The money will be paid to the parents of those killed and injured. Meanwhile, the 17-year-old who caused this tragedy pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter in juvenile court and served no jail time. California, though broke, won’t appeal the verdict. Leaving taxpayers on the hook.
Does the word “responsible” mean anything, anymore?
Second item. Officials at the University of California in Santa Barbara gave a sociology professor a pass for an e-mail he sent to students. The e-mail juxtaposed graphic images from the Nazi Holocaust with recent images from Israel defending itself from Gaza. The professor, William I. Robinson, teaches a course called the “Sociology of Globalization.” Despite university policies barring professors from using campus resources for their own political agendas, school administrators found nothing wrong with the professor’s actions.
And, sadly, they have an excuse. If the President of the United States can draw the same repugnant moral equivalences in a speech from Cairo, who’s to stop a lowly, little, meager repugnant professor in Santa Barbara?
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