"Justice is conscience, not a personal conscience but the conscience of the whole of humanity. Those who clearly recognize the voice of their own conscience usually recognize also the voice of justice." --Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Friday wasn't a good day for gay-bashing, homeless people-hating telemarketers to pick up a newspaper.
This is because a few things didn't go their way on Thursday.
The Supreme Court struck down Texas' gay-sex ban. And their decision was more widespread than affecting homosexuals in the Lone Star state because it invalidated similar state laws across the nation, according to the Associated Press.
My favorite aspect of this story is how gay military veterans in the Castro District of San Francisco took down their gay flag and raised a U.S. flag in its place. It was a show of unity with their fellow Americans. And it's about time.
"Don't ask, don't tell?" Now, it's a moot point.
And yes, homosexuals have their own flag. Why, I'm not sure. Gay and lesbian Web sites say the flag, created by a San Franciscan in 1978, is a way to express "community" pride. I assume it's a gay and lesbian community.
Perhaps the need for a gay flag won't be necessary much longer. There is too much cultural balkanization in our country. We're more balkanized than the Balkans themselves. Anything to bring people together couldn't hurt. Unless it was a man wearing a cactus suit.
It really isn't anyone's business what goes on in someone else's bedroom. As long as no law requires me to know what's going on in other people's bedrooms -- yuck, toenail clipping! -- then I'll stay happy.
I suppose unity does have its reasonable limits.
Thank goodness people aren't forced by law to watch reality television! There's so much crass sex, tasteless talk of sex, obnoxious double entendres and pukey intimations about sex on these programs that it makes one want to move to a faraway cave and become celibate.
There's nothing wrong with sex, it just receives too much titillating, "tee-hee" attention in our society. This wasted time could be used for other things, such as eating, sleeping and intellectual pursuits, such as watching cartoons.
In another story, people who don't see homeless people as their equals were delivered a blow when a Texas woman was convicted of murdering a homeless man.
Chante Mallard was high on booze, marijuana and Ecstasy when she struck Gregory Biggs with her car in October 2001. She left him half-alive and half-hanging through her car's windshield during a drive home. Then she parked the car in her garage -- with Biggs still on top -- and left it there until he died what probably was an excruciating death.
She let him suffer for an estimated two hours. And if she had called authorities the man likely would have survived, medical professionals testified.
She told authorities she did it because she was "scared." Maybe shock partially influenced her lack of action. But she essentially let him die in that very painful way because she was intoxicated and didn't want to be punished.
People who do things like that are so selfish they don't see their victims as people, just as bloody inconveniences. The victim wasn't seen as a human, which is how many people see street people. Actually, way too many people see most other people as obstacles to be maneuvered. This was just an especially gruesome example of that philosophy.
The jury hearing the case came back with its verdict within an hour of being sent to deliberate. They later sentenced her to 50 years in prison.
Richard Alpert, the prosecuting attorney, also said the case "is all about selfishness."
"Some people lack the moral fiber to do the right thing," he told the AP. "A man is lying in her car moaning and bleeding and she needs someone to tell her what to do? Any decent person would call for help."
Now we come to something not life threatening, but very annoying. And for me, it's justice arriving with a capital "J."
Yes, telemarketers are finally being given boundaries. News of a national do-not-call registry almost made me want to get up and dance. It was the news story I related to most personally.
I received at least 50 phone calls from telemarketers during the preceding five days. To avoid wasting time on these pesky chuckleheads, I use an answering machine to screen all of my calls. Telemarketers hate this. I can tell by the tones of their recorded voices as they repeat "Hello? Hello? Hello?! Is anybody there?"
I'm signing up as soon as I can get on the Web site hosted by the Federal Trade Commission. It's been very busy. So is the hotline.
It appears many are more enthusiastic about this news than even I am.
Terri Harber works on the Nevada Appeal's news desk.