Quick Hits – April 7, 2016
Acronyms are the enemy!
At the family dinner table, my father would frequently regale us with tales of graduating from the fictional Sam Houston Institute of Technology, always polishing off the joke with “Good old S-H-I-T.”
Though that entity was entirely artificial, a similarly acronymed enterprise almost came to fruition.
As the result of a rather large donation, Virginia’s George Mason University planned on changing their law school’s name to the “Antonin Scalia School of Law.” That is, until one intrepid soul was bright enough to put that acronym together.
Even though I firmly believe A-S-S-O-L perfectly describes the man, that kind of “joke” is best left to the dinner table. So that building will actually be renamed the Antonin Scalia Law School which doesn’t carry nearly the same connotation.
The ones that rub you the wrong way
Busting and/or discussing rogue massage businesses seems to be a semi-regular Tri-Cities endeavor. In fact, St. Charles just cited three of ‘em for offering “extra” services and, after a lengthy discussion, Batavia just approved Sunshine Massage at 11 East Wilson.
I’m sure these events will, once again, incite some aldermen into pushing for a ban of all such enterprises because they can’t tell the good from the bad guys. But you can! There’s a massive difference between a reputable establishment like Geneva’s Halsa, and those St. Charles storefronts.
- With all due respect to Daily Herald reporter Jim Fuller, if all the massage therapists are Asian, it’s a real red flag. And if they can’t speak English, that’s all you need to know.
- If the windows are heavily tinted, the blinds are always drawn, or they’re blocked off completely, it’s not a legitimate business.
- If they don’t sell associated products like essential oils, bath oils, or foot massagers, that’s another massive red flag.
- But the best means ferreting out the bad guys, or preventing them from coming in altogether, is to require all massage/spa business to prominently display the therapists’ licenses
My wife was a massage therapist for years and, not only does the State require 600 hours of school in very specific subjects, but licensed therapists have to take continuing education classes every year. And I can tell you firsthand that king it through massage school is no easy task.
Of course, any licensed massage therapist can go rogue, as did one in St. Charles, but she was a vast exception to the rule because very few people want to forfeit hundreds of hours of education by getting busted just once.
Those licenses come from the State, so they’re difficult to forge and very easy to check up on. So now it’s simply a matter of having the code enforcers walk into a business and review the licenses. Problem solved!
The sad saga of Denny Hastert
As we slouch toward former Speaker Denny Hastert’s April 27 sentencing hearing, sadly, the judge’s falling gavel will hardly be the exclamation point or even the period at the end of the last sentence of this story.
For example, I can’t imagine the Hastert family’s pain will ever truly relent. Through no fault of their own, they’ve had to deal with the kind of fall from grace that typically comes in the form of a Greek tragedy. They’ve lost a lot of friends and everything that went with the Hastert name. But all that pales in comparison to losing the husband, father, and grandfather they thought they once had.
And they’re not nearly the only victims. The lives of the four young men who trusted their coach were forever altered by a form of selfishness that’s very difficult to comprehend.
Though his attorneys claim otherwise, I don’t believe that Hastert is remorseful in the least. In their court filing seeking probation, they wrote “[Hastert] apologizes for his misconduct that occurred decades ago,” as if the passage of time could ever mitigate that kind of criminal act.
And the fact that only four people came forward by no means means they’re the only ones.
But in the end, the only question before Judge Durkin is, what is the appropriate penalty for lying to the FBI? He may have admitted to “misconduct,” but Hastert has never been charged with any form of sexual abuse.
Given his failing health and a plea deal that allows for a maximum six-month jail sentence, the former Speaker will likely get his probationary wish. I know that won’t sit well with a lot of people, but this may well be one of those rare instances in which the karmic punishment truly fits the crime.
It’s just too bad his family has to serve the same sentence.