Members of a Torrington baseball umpires’ group are defending a decision to present a lifetime achievement award to a convicted child sex offender. Tom Barbero, 58, received the award earlier this month from the Torrington Board of Approved Baseball Umpires. He umpired for the association at area baseball games from 1970 to 1998 . . .I'll be honest and say that I am extremely uneasy with the direction our society has gone with respect to people like Barbero. As a father of small children, I support relatively draconian investigation, apprehension, punishment, and incapacitation measures when it comes to sexual predators, but even my emotionally-driven lust for vengeance towards these types pales compared to that of many otherwise reasonable people.
. . . Board members said they knew about Barbero’s criminal record and chose to honor him because his service and work as an umpire deserved recognition.“Tommy was one of the greats. He really was,” Board President Lou Fracasso said Thursday when describing Barber’s umpiring experience.
Policies currently in place regarding sex offender registry and notification and restrictions with respect to where they can live upon their release have become so extreme that it's easier for a released sex offender to drop off the grid out of sight of any reasonable support or deterrence system than it is for them to abide by the rules and try to fly right in the clear light of society. There are even people who call themselves Americans who are seriously debating whether we should ever release sex offenders to the public -- even if their sentences have been served -- and even worse, who want to try and identify and incarcerate would-be sexual predators before they even commit an offense. It's madness, I tell you, driven by an unholy mix of hysteria, political calculation, and genuine ignorance, all of which threatens to stretch Constitutional liberties beyond recognition.
But Jesus, do you really think giving a pederast umpire a freakin' lifetime achievement award is a good idea?