We lost three people last week whose deaths have made the world ever so slightly better on balance. Religious swindler Pat Robertson went first on Wednesday. Then Saturday, Ted Kaczynski, also known as the "Unabomber" for his terror campaign against university professors in the 1990s, killed himself in his jail cell:
Kaczynski was found unresponsive in his cell around 12:30 a.m. ET and transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
Kaczynski was previously in a maximum security facility in Colorado but was moved to a federal medical center in Butner, North Carolina, in December 2021 due to poor health.
Kaczynski, who went nearly 20 years without being captured until his arrest in 1996, was considered America's most prolific bomber.
Between 1978 and 1995, Kaczynski placed or mailed 16 bombs that killed three people and injured two dozen others, according to authorities.
Finally, yesterday the world lost Silvio Berlusconi, the corrupt former prime minister of Italy whose entry into politics to stymie the many legal cases against him may have inspired the XPOTUS to do the same:
Liberal politicians, and the prosecutors he demonized as their judicial wing, watched in dismay as he used appeals and statutes of limitations to avoid punishment despite being convicted of false accounting, bribing judges and illegal political party financing.
His governments spent an inordinate amount of time on laws that seemed tailor-made to protect him from decades of corruption trials, a goal that some of his closest advisers acknowledged was why he had entered politics in the first place.
One law overturned a court ruling that would have required Mr. Berlusconi to give up one of his TV networks; others downgraded the crime of false accounting and reduced the statute of limitations by half, effectively cutting short several trials involving his businesses. He enjoyed parliamentary immunity, but in 2003 his government went further, passing a law granting him immunity from prosecution while he remained in office — in effect suspending his corruption trials.
By the time he finally resigned in 2011, amid a fractured conservative coalition and general national malaise, a good deal of damage seemed to have been done. Many analysts held him responsible for harming Italy’s reputation and financial health and considered his time in power a lost decade that the country had struggled to recover from.
On a totally different topic, while I traveled last week I read Death of the Great Man by psychiatrist Peter Kramer, a book journalist James Fallows recommended back in April.
OK, maybe not a totally different topic. You should read the book, though.