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When I was a kid, I tried to weasel out of everything I was caught doing, and I bet you did too. That’s what kids do – the weasel dance. But my father always told me real men and women are supposed to stand up and take responsibility for their failures and indiscretions. My dad is gone now. He’d be outraged if he were still here.

Over in Holland the incredibly heinous Slobodan Milosevic faces multiple crimes against humanity before an international tribunal. But Milosevic firmly believes he has done nothing wrong. His defense is that he is a victim of twisted facts and terrible fabrications. But even if he did commit some unspeakable acts, they were all done as “a struggle against terrorism.”

Under Milosevic’s charge, Serb forces forced more than a million people from their homes, raped and murdered tens of thousands, and burned hundreds of thousands of dwellings to the ground. Milosevic cannot deny that happened, so he says his leadership “was an expression of the will of the people.” So it’s the people’s fault, not his.

They will have to redo Hell if this guy is to be punished fairly.

Back home we have those two sweeties Gary Condit and Kenneth Lay. Let’s go with Gary Boy first. Despite the fact that the parents of Chandra Levy say he misled them, and the Washington, D.C., police say he was less than honest with them, Gary says he’s a victim of the media. That’s right, the media has given people the wrong impression of the congressman and he has every intention of keeping his seat on Capitol Hill.

Never mind the serial affairs, the dodging of questions about a missing and presumed-dead young woman, and strange conduct like traveling to another state to throw a gift package in a dumpster – the media is the culprit. Gary is totally without blame here, people! Can’t anyone understand that?

Kenneth Lay can. Because he’s a victim too. As we know, his wife told “The Today Show” crew that Kenny Boy knew nothing about any foolish side-deals Enron might be involved with. Even though he was the CEO and was warned by various employees of accounting irregularities, Kenny just simply did not know. He was a victim of devious underlings and Linda Lay asserted, the family is broke because of it. Despite the fact that Kenny sold $100 million in Enron stock in the months immediately before the bankruptcy – the family is tapped out. The Lay family has been victimized . It is so obvious.

My third-grade teacher, Sister Mary Lurana, would have slapped these revolting individuals silly. If Kenneth Lay took the Fifth in St. Brigid’s School, he would have been pummeled by a group of women in black and not a lawyer on earth could have saved him. Condit simply would have been expelled, and Milosevic, well, he would have disappeared in my neighborhood, if you know what I mean.

But, in these more sophisticated times, we have to put up with a massive amount of nonsense from these three stooges. We live in an age where excuse-making has been elevated to a fine art. Milosevic, Condit and Lay are examples of what the world has come to at the highest levels.

So what can be done? The answer is zero tolerance for this victim business. In truth there are very few victims in this world. The dead on 9-11 were victims. People with awful diseases are usually victims and so are crime recipients. But few others fall into this category and the people who hide behind victimization are cowards. Milosevic, Condit and Lay are extreme examples of the victim principle, but many of us try to hide behind it.

Don’t. It diminishes you as a person and insults the rest of us. If you do bad things, own up and take the hit. Sister Lurana wielded a mean right, but I’m still around.

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