record.” Mike—or Tom—was not too bright, so I explainedrnthat he still had to do his own time. Eyeing me with contempt,rnhe said: “I don’t mind doing time: you meet a lot of great guysrnon the inside.”rnIn refiising to punish crime, we create, at the very least, incentivesrnfor criminal behavior. By not executing murderers,rnarmed robbers, kidnappers, arsonists, rapists, and child-molesters,rnwe are sending a clear message that society is only irritated,rnnot outraged, by these crimes. Perhaps the ultimate expressionrnof our indifference is the kindness we lavish on the evilrndegenerates who rape and murder children. These are not casesrnof rednecks who form liaisons with willing Lolitas, but of savagernand ruthless men who destroy the lives of innocent kids.rnWe say they are “sick,” but it is a disease for which there is norncure short of exorcism. Many child-molesters, as soon as theyrnare released from the comfort of the state hospital, begin lookingrnfor the next victim. In case after case, the paroled sex-offenderrngoes on to rape and murder a child within months of hisrnrelease. As a belated tribute to one such victim of liberal justicern(a seven-year-old New Jersey girl), Congress passed “Megan’srnLaw,” authorizing the release of information to the neighborsrnand potential victims of paroled rapists/killers.rnIn California, for decades the social avant-garde of America,rnlegislators failed to pass a law posting such information on thernInternet. Taking the law into his own (and his fellow-citizens’)rnhands. Ken LaCorte of Los Angeles County set up his own webrnpage, posting information on about 100 of L.A.’s 300 high-riskrnsex offenders. Predictably, the rapists have their defenders whorncomplain that Megan’s Law (and LaCorte’s publicit}) havernprovoked violence: a van was firebombed in Corvina, fires havernbroken out in houses and apartments. Even in California, apparently,rnthe old spirit of American know-how has not been entirelyrnextinguished.rnLast May in San Bernardino County, sheriffs deputies arrestedrnrepeat child-molester James Lee Crummel on evidencernhe had molested three teenagers nine years earlier. Accordingrnto the Los Angeles Times (which does a superb job ofrncovering cases of private justice), Crummel had been living inrnNewport Beach until neighborhood outcry resulted in a newrnround of charges. In his long career as a sexual predator, Crummelrnhad done time for sex crimes in four states. In Arizona, hernhad also been convicted of murdering a nine-year-old boy, butrna compassionate judge had ruled the trial invalid on therngrounds of ineffechve representation.rnIn 1995, Crummel moved into the Newport Crest condominiumsrnwith his 79-year-old psychiatrist. Under Megan’srnLaw, his criminal record was plastered throughout the neighborhood.rnWhen local residents realized whom they had as arnneighbor, they launched a picketing campaign to force himrnout. Crummel’s neighbors responded jubilantly to his arrest.rnAccording to the Times, one self-styled “vigilante mom” saidrnthat Crvmimel had invited her 12-year-old son to come over tornhis aparhnent to watch biking videos.rnCrummel’s neighbors, however unkind, were normal humanrnbeings, unlike the psychiatrist who not only adopted himrnas his right-hand man but also took him along on his regular visitsrnto Orange Count)’ youth homes that housed the victims ofrnabuse and molestation. The psychopath was given unrestrictedrnaccess to both the children and their files, and on at least hvornoccasions, according to the California State Medical Board, hern”entered the private rooms of boys and talked with them.”rnCrummel was also present at a Christmas party held for somernof the boys on the nice psychiatrist’s yacht.rnDespite a string of successes that includes the Crummelrncase, Megan’s Law has come under fire. Some of the criticismrnis legitimate: men convicted of lewd conduct in the 1940’s andrn50’s can now be branded as dangerous sex offenders, evenrnthough they have been respectably married for decades. Mostrnof the proposed remedies, however, are drawn up to protect thern”civil rights” of homosexuals at the expense of the future victimsrnof molestation.rnIn reacting to the collapse ofrncivilized life, many of us willrnsink to the level of the predatorsrnthemselves-like RaspaiFs civilizedrnmen who made the general anarchy anrnoccasion for settling scores.rnIn New York City, the Bar Association says that “any legislationrnmust balance the need for community’ protection againstrnoffenders… with a careful examination of possible harms,” andrnthey want to restrict access to complete information only to “officialsrnor individuals who are in a position to use the informationrnto protect themselves and others meaningfully.” Translation:rnjudges and public officials will decide if you have a rightrnto know the full story of the child-rapist who has just movedrnnext door to you. Itis the AIDS story all over again. To protectrnthe rights of homosexuals, the public does not have a right tornknow if their doctor or dentist is carrying a fatal disease or if thernconfirmed bachelor down the street has ruined the lives of arndozen children. Given the choice between trusting a responsiblernjudge or trusting the irresponsible people, most of us willrntrust the people, no matter how reckless and uninformed, to bernthe guardians of their own interest.rnDespite the FBI’s cheerful news about declining crime rates,rnmost of us know that crime has reached plague proportions inrnthe United States. Even the law-abiding middle classes talkrnopenly of cheating on their taxes and ridicule the suckers whornreturn wallets stuffed with cash. Many children reared in suchrnan atmosphere are almost inevitably contemptuous of law andrnorder—except where it can be invoked to protect them fromrndemanding parents or strict teachers. It is all that any normalrnperson can do, upon seeing one of these underwear-exposingrnpunks walking down the street or loitering in the mall, to keeprnfrom teaching him a few sharp lessons in deportment. This isrnthe real purpose for carrying cane.rnIf civilization rests upon the hangman, as Joseph de Maistrernsaid, then civilization is long gone. In his recent novel Sept cavaliers,rnJean Raspail describes an “alternate” world with a histor)’rnparallel (but often divergent) to our own. Young people belANUARYrn1998/11rnrnrn