Originally published Wednesday, February 14, 2018 at 05:58a.m.

As old-fashioned and unnecessary as we geezers are seen to be, we still observe, we still reason, and we shed a tear for our country.

While suffering through what passes for television news lately, I see a non-stop theme of irresponsibility on the part of the various miscreants, bottom feeders and perpetrators. It seems that throughout our society, there is a constant thread of vigorous denial of personal responsibility. Whether it is a prominent figure denying responsibility for inappropriate touching and groping, or a high level politician blaming someone else for her having lied about improper information handling, or a city finance department official embezzling money, they all vehemently deny that it was their responsibility.

It seems that there is, nowadays, an automatic refusal to own up to one’s foul-ups. We hear excuses such as, “I am a victim of sexual addiction,” or “(W)hat does it matter now?” or “I am the victim of gambling addiction,” to “I was only doing what my friends said was OK.” Added to all that, there is an entire industry of agencies, think tanks, curative clinics, and study groups that all churn out reasons and excuses for the inexcusable actions and behaviors of those who are guilty of committing heinous acts.

There is, apparently, a monstrous amount of money to be made in the excuse-making business. Who thinks up the convoluted and ridiculous reasons offered for all the actions of the bad actors in our midst? Who stands to gain from our society’s allowing the no-goods to run rampant, unimpeded and unpunished?

It is infuriating to see some law breaker, after being found guilty by a qualified jury, sentenced to jail or prison, only to have the perpetrator’s family file a multi-million dollar lawsuit against everyone they can name for the trauma that THEY have suffered because their own precious reprobate was caught and put away. Then, amplifying the bizarre nature of this whole thing, there are countless numbers of ambulance-chasing attorneys “as seen on TV,” who make a very fine living representing the scofflaws.

Jumping a few orders of magnitude up the scale of ridiculous thinking is California’s ruling junta declaring their view that California no longer wishes, nor needs to be, one of the States of our political and economic union. Almost immediately afterward, another of the annual series of disasters befalls California.

Lo and behold comes the cry for help from those would-be secessionists. The braggadocio quickly becomes sycophantic groveling for federal money. What suddenly became of the sense of responsibility within the minds of those independence-minded wannabe nation-builders? What? Me, responsible? Me, held accountable?

To my geezer’s mind, this is institutionalized insanity. The legislators of a once beautiful and economically powerful state seem to be determined to destroy the state of California. It has become both a laughing stock and a tragedy.

At the national level, the philosophy of denial is so deeply ingrained in the minds of the bureaucrats that there seems to be no lie that won’t be blithely and endlessly peddled in hopes that the problem issue will simply fade away because it is no longer newsworthy.

Truth and acceptance of responsibility have become no longer fashionable.

Several words and concepts appear to have been lost or carelessly cast aside in the minds of those making their living in positions of great responsibility. The words honor, dignity, ethics, morals, trust, faith, righteousness, and character have been casually tossed into the trash bin as being nothing more than inconvenient impediments to the selfishness that is so much in fashion today.