Being summoned for jury duty is the closest I will ever get to being drafted into the army, and the two experiences are much alike. One is reduced to a number and ordered to report to an inconvenient location at an inconveniently early hour. One is searched, processed, relieved of sharp objects, confined to a holding room, indoctrinated and sworn. Continue reading
The world watches as Hosni Mubarak is wheeled in on a gurney to face trial, and Anders Behring Breivik pleads not guilty to acts he acknowledges he committed.
Is there now a fad to present reviled figures as infirm, insane, or otherwise unable to stand trial? Are the insane responsible for their actions? This is a huge question, and the answer takes wide pendulum swings as societies trade in their paradigms for new ones. This happens once or twice a century, sometimes more.