John Leo

Almost everyone is a victim now, but some are more newsworthy than others. Here are the best of last year?s victims:

· Courtney Love is a victim of George W. Bush. ?The last thing I want to say is ?I?m a victim,? ? the singer told London?s Sunday Telegraph after an emotionally troubled period. ?I believe it?s a trickle-down from Bush . . . . Did I bring it on myself? I don?t think so.?

· Florida Democrats, 15 of them, came down with ?post-election selection trauma? and required treatment by licensed therapists after Bush?s re-election. Signs of the syndrome, according to psychologist Douglas Schooler of Boca Raton, are being ?depressed and angry? and ?threatening to leave the country.? The executive director of the American Health Association said pest is something ?we?re working to develop a counseling program for.?

· Students in West Covina, Calif., were all potential victims of an ?unsafe situation? created by their classmate, 11-year-old Deirdre Faegre. So her school suspended her for a day. Deirdre?s offense? Doing cartwheels and handstands during lunchtime. Her father pulled her out of the school, complaining about ?cartwheel cops.?

· Single professors on college faculties are an unnoticed but deeply aggrieved victim group, according to a report in the Chronicle of Higher Education. The report said that unmarried profs are under pressure to do more than their fair share of work because they have no family obligations and are expected to show up at wedding showers they do not wish to attend. ?Single people are the last underrepresented minority,? said one professor.

· Tammy Imre, 29, a receptionist in Stratford, Conn., was charged with repeatedly having sex with an 8-year-old boy. Imre?s mother blamed the boy. ?It?s not her . . . she was just too friendly; that?s all,? said the mother. ?He?s the one who needs to be looked at.?

· Atheists are still seen as negative elements of society, according to the Freethought Society of Greater Philadelphia, a support group for nonbelievers. Complaining that ?religious people are permitted everything,? the group said, ?religious organizations have also been glorified by the government . . . [as] ?social service providers.? ? Discriminatory acts and slurs against beleaguered atheists can now be reported to the National Atheist Ombuds.

John Leo

John Leo is editor of and a former contributing editor at U.S. News and World Report.

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