Friday, July 15, 2005


Sometimes you just have to take matters into your own hands. Especially when you are trying vainly to survive in a George Bush world where the government is no longer "for" the people, and the wall that separates the "haves" from the "have-nots" looms as tall and forbidding as anything Israel's Ariel Sharon could dream up.

Two weeks ago, upon realizing there was no longer any social safety net in George Bush's world to break his fall, burdened by $90,000 medical debts he could not pay while continuing to need medical care he could not receive, about to lose his home and face life on cruel, unfriendly streets -- Snellville, Georgia's William Crutchfield hit that separation wall.

Crutchfield, a 60-year-old electrical contractor, greeted 59-year-old postman Earl Lazenby and collected his mail before raising his pistol and shooting Lazenby seven times. Crutchfield then calmly got into his car, drove to the police station and confessed.

Fortunately, Lazenby survived the attack, although Crutchfield asked the judge during his first court appearance if he could plead guilty twice in the hopes of receiving two life sentences. "I'd like to get to where I'm going and start doing my time," he told the judge.

Is Crutchfield crazy? Perhaps, although he appears to be more desperate than mad. He is also possibly the first of many to follow who, when their backs are against the wall, will strike out in what they see as the only way left to avoid the hopelessness of life on the streets in a society that has abandoned them. Like Crutchfield, many will see living in prison as the only alternative to dying on the streets.

In a government that no longer belongs to the people, there will be many more Crutchfields, which begs the question -- is it possible to survive in a George Bush world?

I guess it depends on which side of the separation wall you find yourself, doesn't it?


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