Saturday, August 25, 2007

The United States of America is not a Democracy

I know, I know. It's a republic.

Except it's not either

Our country has morphed into what I call a "celebritocracy". This is a society, nominally governed by the rule of law - unless you're famous. If you happen to get paid for being really, really, really good looking and reciting some lines, or wearing some clothes, then the laws don't apply to you. (Ditto, if you happen to have worked really hard to become 6'8" tall and can lob a round ball through a circular hoop or hit a little ball really far.)

If you happen to have won the genetic lottery (or chose your parents very carefully) then our society's law don't apply to you.

I have several friends and acquaintances who have had DUIs. In a word a DUI sucks. It can really mess up your life. It can restrict your ability to operate a motor vehicle. It will almost certainly cause your insurance rates to go up. And it will cost you more than a pretty penny in lawyer's fees, court costs, drunk driver awareness education program costs and just plain fines.

The same goes for possessing drugs. Every year in this country hundreds of thousands of people are arrested, tried and imprisoned for possessing a plant, or some non-government approved pills or powders. In much the same way that a DUI will mess up your life and cost you thousands of dollars, so will drug possession charges.

But, not if you are a celebrity. Take Lindsay Lohan or Nicole Richie (PLEASE!). These two queens spent a total of 1 day, 82 minutes in jail for a cumulative total of two DUIs and one cocaine possession charge.

And this new form of government is not confined to the United States. It has also spread to England. Look at the antics of "supermodel" Kate Moss and her on-again, off-again boyfriend, unrepentant dope-fiend Pete Doherty (of the British rock band "Babyshambles" - they suck, by the way). Moss was caught on tape snorting a powdered substance (almost certainly cocaine, although let's not rule out heroin, crystal meth or ecstasy all of which can be ingested nasally). British authorities declined to prosecute Moss because they couldn't prove that she was ingesting an illegal substance. (Oh, sure. Back in college, my friends and I used to snort talcum powder all the time.)

Doherty was caught on tape shooting up an unconscious fan with heroin. He keeps getting ordered into rehab, only to be arrested - sometimes within minutes of getting out of rehab - with coke, crack, heroin, ketamine, you name it. What is the judge going to say to him next time? "Mr. Doherty, you are ordered to attend drug rehabilitation and stop using illegal drugs. And this time I really, really mean it."

As John Stossel says, "Give me a break!"

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