Actions Have Consequences

That actions have consequences is something that every person should learn.  Unfortunately, this process is retarded sometimes in our modern society.  A child fails at something and his or her parents provide cover by hurling accusations at a coach or teacher.  Perhaps the parents do it more passively where they simply assure their child that it wasn’t their fault.  This at least has its roots in altruism.  Most parents want to spare their children from the truths of the world for as long as possible.  By shielding them, they are trying to protect them.  Sometimes it even works…but not every time.

It happens still with adults, but usually for different reasons.  In my life in the media, I took Truman’s famous quote and amended it for that business, “The buck stops over there somewhere.”  The higher up you were, the less likely you were to face any repercussions from your actions.  Decades old equipment falling apart?  It’s the engineer’s fault for not using more duct tape and baling wire.  Or it’s the photographer/truck operator’s fault that the generator didn’t start.  It absolutely isn’t the fault of the person who took the full year’s equipment budget for the news department and instead of upgrading the old, broken down stuff, replaced Super Mega Advanced Doplar with Super Mega Advanced Doplar Plus.

This situation is being played out in the media right now with George Zimmerman.  Zimmerman, as you may already know, shot and killed a boy after some manner of altercation in Sanford, Florida in late February.  Many people are working hard to make sure Zimmerman never experiences any repercussions for this action.  Without digging into the right or wrongs of it, Zimmerman should feel bad.  Taking the life of another human being is something that causes soldiers to have flashbacks.  It takes law enforcement officers who were once great in the field and sends them to desk jobs while they have time to work through the psychological implications of killing a person.

More importantly, you should feel bad if you kill someone.  Of course not everyone is religious, but not killing people is a central tenant of the most popular religions.  It’s why judges and juries are used to mete out death sentences…because people generally feel bad about sending people to their deaths.  People have to be specially trained and put in specific circumstances to make that sort of decision.

George Zimmerman went into hiding shortly after this event, refusing to address the incident at all.  His father has gone on the record multiple times in attempts to protect his son from any negative consequences from killing Trayvon Martin.  Now Zimmerman the Younger has launched a website where he seeks public support because of the damage going into hiding has caused him.  He had to quit school and work to hide.  He has been cut off from the world because he is hiding.  He’s asking for support because hiding from consequences can get expensive.

What George Zimmerman needs to learn is that killing someone is not something that should be done lightly.  Killing someone is something that has consequences that ripple out like a pebble in still water.  His life is changed.  His parent’s lives are changed.  Trayvon Martin’s life is not just changed, but over.  His parent’s lives are changed.  When you decide it’s better to kill a kid instead of being beaten up by him, it has consequences.  Llikewise when you decide to damage so many lives, there are consequences.  I suggest it is time for George Zimmerman to learn to live with all of those consequences.

Congratulations to Al Jazeera

Because of their role in the 2011 Arab Spring, Al Jazeera has won a Peabody.

Al Jazeera has quickly risen to prominence as a quality news outlet.  If you wonder at all about things going on in the Middle East, outside of more local and immediate sources like, Al Jazeera is where you turn.  During the Arab Spring, they were everywhere.  I suspect they helped push the ideas behind the Arab Spring to the point of critical mass in the region through their satellite distribution network.  They also refused to be distracted and kept a sharp focus on protests giving them a platform to promote their peaceful calls for regime change.

Thank you, Al Jazeera, for providing a vital service for both citizens of Middle Eastern and North Africans and to international people who are interested in their struggles.