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Social Issues: Class, Race, Bureacracy and Blame: The Walrond, Television: Homicide, life on the streets, Mind and Spirit: Does morality exist without religion?

Published June 1, 1999 4:00PM (EDT)

Class, Race, Bureacracy and Blame: The Walrond Breastfeeding Case

Social Issues | Vikki Wing - 12:12pm May 26, 1999 PDT (# 31 of 83)

It wasn't solely a lack of insurance that caused the delay in the child
receiving professional help. It seemed to be a bureaucratic tangle of
needing this form first, to get that form, to finally get the form that
let's you get free treatment. There seemed to be a string of unrelated and
separate SNAFUs, each one perpetrated by a different individual sometimes
in different agencies that finally accumulated in to one big tragedy.

I saw an hour-long report on this case many months ago. After watching
Tabitha Walrond talk about what happened and how she felt, I remember
thinking that this was a truly horrible and tragic case of "shit happens".

I don't mean to sound unfeeling, because I'm not. But as a society we seem
to have forgotten that every situation in life does not come fully resolved
in a one hour long episode, with the bad guys in jail and the good guys
having a beer with Miss Kitty. There isn't always someone or something to
blame for every unpleasant event.

And I can't help but think that the jury in this case, disgusted by the
photos of the dead child, reacted by deciding that "Someone's gonna pay for
this!" Unfortunately, for her and IMO for "justice", poor not too bright
Tabitha Walrond was the one sitting in front of them at the time.

In a legal world where juries regularly reward the stupidity of "victims"
with million dollar settlements because they weren't bright enough to read
the instructions on their new chains saw, I find it patently offensive that
we are jailing this young woman who has already lost so much.

Homicide, life on the streets

Television | ted burke - 11:03pm May 27, 1999 PDT (# 1589 of 1594)

The sense of the show is that at anyone time a character thinks they've
come to an understanding of how some universal principles operate in the
world, some crisis, some kind of natural catastrophe or outbreak of meaness
upsets their paradigm, leaving them confused, angry, demanding answers
about the "why" of evil from a sheer surge of global energy that never
bothers to answer. Frank with his arguments with his Catholic God come to
mind, but also G with his Blue Brotherhood provincialism, and even Bayliss,
with his Zen enlightment being only another Totalizing paradigm that works
only to shield him from the nagging notion that perhaps there is no "why"
behind the random homicides he investigates, and that the only reason to
track down and bring killers to justice is all show and tell, a flurry of
activity that distracts the grieving and the frightened from what may be
this worlds' scariest truth: there really is nothing behind any of these
things, nothing to maintain, no "great' truths of moral virtue to be
upheld. These detectives have been pounded relentlessly from the first day
of the show, and since it , dispite the strong vein of humor, is mostly in
the Tragic form, we have displays of Hubris being smashed to bits, slowly,
rapidly as the situation fits the action: expectations are constantly
downsized, withered, dying from the sheer onslaught of raw phenomena that
has no humor , or inkling of irony.

Bayliss, at the end, displayed an air of listening to one view after
another, realizing that from Munch to G to Lewis , the world views
expressed are as valid as it makes the skin of the sayers fit better, yet
the only thing he learned was that he had loved Frank, and that thing, that
person, who had given his job meaning at all was gone, and with the
departure, his reason to stay.

We have Bayliss leaving through the door he came through seven years
earlier, knowing at last that only love gives meaning to the world, and
that the lack of love kills it.

Does morality exist without religion?

Mind and Spirit | Sinecure Bend - 10:59am May 22, 1999 PDT (# 3 of 201))

I do not think morality rises out of religion, nor do I believe religion to
be "the hammer that seeks to enforce the moral code."

While I do believe that there is a level of morality which is common to
the whole of mankind. In general, I see morality as a relative term, left
to social construct (religion, culture, law, peer group, etc.), personal
conscience, and ones own concept of right and wrong. For instance, one
person holds that sex outside of marriage to be immoral, while another
holds that group sex is an excellent way for some friends to spend a Friday
night, with no pangs of concience. Yet both may consider themselves to be
very moral people. In the same way, the gang member who feels that "his
people have been messed with" and puts a bullet in someones head, has acted
well within the moral ethics of his particular subculture. Even though he
has acted outside the morality of the larger society in which his
subculture exists.

I see religion as just one standard or formal set of guidelines for
morality upon which all within a particular community or group may agree.

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