God had nothing to do with any of this

It’s no secret that Haiti’s record on child abuse is probably among the worst in the western hemisphere.  It’s also obvious that the recent catastrophic earthquake has placed a lot of kids in further danger.

What is a secret is what was going on in the brains — if they have any — of a U.S. church group that tried to kidnap a busload of Haitian kids.  Of course, the church group says God sent them.  You may have guessed that I look at it in quite a different way.  And so, apparently, does the Haitian government.

You know, this sort of thing makes Pat Robertson look like a Christian.  In doing what they did, the church group not only put the kids’ future in even more jeopardy than it already was (gee, they would get to be illegal aliens in the Dominican Republic or the U.S.!), but angered the Haitian government as well.  The act shows not only a disrespect for Haiti, but for the kids, their parents (and some of them do have parents), and an entire government.  That’s a pretty big pile of crap to lay on God.

And speaking of a big pile of crap…

Here in Illinois there is a town called Niles.  In Niles, for the most of the last 50 years, there was a mayor called Blase.  Blase initially banished the Mob from Niles, quite like St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland.   But that only took St. Blase about 2 years to accomplish.  We’re going to be talking about what happened in the next 48 years, in which Blase the Mob-crusher apparently behaved as if he were one of those creatures he himself had driven out of town.

Which is to say that the good works stopped.  The mayor called Blase looked at Niles businesses, and saw they were good — for shaking down.  For years — almost 50 years — the money got shaken out of Niles businesses like apples out of trees in Paradise, and all of it was, basically, “protection” money.  Niles businesses were forced to buy insurance from  a firm Blase was associated with, at high premiums — and he apparently pocketed some of the extra money.  Businesses that did not comply were harassed until they closed down or moved.

That was not all that was going on.  As an example, there was one guy who owned an automobile repair business.  The children of a Niles official decided that they wanted to operate a hot dog stand where his business stood.  So the guy was forced out of business.  The hot dog stand never materialized.  The building stood unused for years, and was only recently knocked down.

Another example: I knew someone who lived in an apartment building that was coveted by Niles’ pet condo developer.  The developer made an offer for the building, (which was not for sale), to the owner of the building.  The owner said no.  Every year after that, the building inspector blew through the building picking on every “violation” he could find, not bothering to be polite or even to consider that he was going through people’s homes.  (Prior to that, the inspector had only come in once every 3 years.)

My friend could finally take it no longer and moved to another suburb, but the landlord learned to laugh behind the building inspector’s back.  And he still owns the building.

Other business owners did not fare so well.  One complained in a local newspaper that if he were identified as complaining about the village government, he would be inspected to death and forced out of business.  Another business owner closed his shop and went online only after his local taxes tripled in one year.

Nice place to live and work, eh?

Anyway, at long last and almost too late, the FBI pointed its haughty finger at Blase and announced in its best Charlton Heston tones: You Are Crooked.  And so this mayor called Blase found himself blustering in court that he had done nothing wrong.

Alas, this past year the court found that Blase had, indeed, done something wrong.  So he was forced to retire from office, but kept meddling in town government anyway.  After being given a slap on the wrist, he apparently stopped — but not before he managed to get a longtime crony elected to take his place.  In post-Blase Niles, I understand, everything is still business as usual.

And so Blase delayed his sentencing.  And delayed his sentencing.  And delayed his sentencing.  I believe the delays went on for nearly a year.

Finally this week he was sentenced to a year and a day for his 50 years of abusing the town he was supposed to be governing.  In his presence as he was sentenced were two priests.  He read an apology and his hands shook.  The judge said he gave the light sentence because he did not want Blase to die in jail — you know, a death sentence.

So how does this tie in with the innocent Haitian kids who were being stolen?

Here’s the point: The fate of the church group is still unclear.  There will, perhaps, be no punishment.  (Can you imagine the cries of the wingnuts — even though the kids involved were black — if the church group were put on trial in the U.S.?)  Meantime this nasty, crooked old man will walk free forever after a year and a day.  50 years of abuse and bullying, and he walks.

I guess it all comes down to who you are and what you steal.

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One Response

  1. […] and in the building code enforcement department.  If this has gotten your interest, read my post of a few days ago and tell me if my previous information and guesses weren’t completely on […]

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