Tops on the List : Tolerance
Tops on my Crime and Justice Wish List this year is the sincere hope that America finds a way to become a better functioning and more tolerant country.
I wish for the lethargy of the electorate and the deterioration of trust and respect – in our government and in each other – to magically evaporate.
It is a tall order, I know. We live in an ugly era of perpetual backbiting that serves no real purpose but to distract us from finding solutions to very real problems.
Democrats routinely ridicule Republicans and vice versa. Various ethnic groups point to those who are different and declare their problems are the other groups fault; both heterosexuals and homosexuals complain their lifestyle is under attack; the unemployed and under-employed label business people and corporations as greedy devils without acknowledging they are the very entities providing the most jobs. Our children grow up hearing our viciousness toward one another and are likely to continue the corrosive tradition of intolerance. [click to continue…]
Traitor or Patriot?
As any member of organized crime will tell you it is best to, “Keep your enemies close to you.”
Why no one in the Obama Administration has latched on to that concept while contemplating the Edward Snowden NSA scandal is beyond me.
Snowden is, of course, the former National Security Agency computer analyst who fled the country with about 1.7 million classified documents proving that America has been involved in a worldwide and massive telephone and internet surveillance campaign.
Snowden has released some 200,000 documents so far and the world has learned that the U.S routinely scoops up the phone data and internet traffic of countless millions of Americans who are not suspected of any crime. There are separate U.S. spying programs operating abroad with such tremendous reach that they have even targeted the personal cell phones and e-mails of heads of state. Two of the victims, Brazilian President Dilma Roussef and Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel have asked the United Nations Human Rights Counsel to investigate America’s actions. [click to continue…]
Newspaperman Charley Reese
Professionals of all types admire others in their field. Architects respect certain other architects, singers style themselves after singers who came before them, artists can find inspiration from someone else’s work.
As a columnist I have a favorite too. The best columns I ever read – and ones I remember for their common sense ideas, written in common-man language – were penned by veteran newspaperman Charley Reese.
I didn’t agree with everything he wrote but I cherished his style. Although I write about crime and justice and Reese wrote about politics and international issues for the most part, I admit I have tried to achieve his simple way of communicating ideas. [click to continue…]
Mr. and Mrs. Gavin Arvizo
I went to a wedding this past week-end and while you may not immediately recognize the name of the groom I’ll bet you know of him.
Despite a lifetime of obstacles, Gavin Arvizo — once at the center of a sensational child sex abuse scandal — has worked his way through to a triumphant life. At 13, Gavin accused Michael Jackson of molesting him and the superstar was arrested.
It seemed life was stacked against this kid from the very beginning.
As a youngster he lived in a one room apartment in East Los Angeles with two siblings and his parents. Poverty and domestic abuse was a way of life. [click to continue…]
Give Thanks for Our National Security
Readers of this column know I spend considerable time dissecting what’s wrong with our crime and justice system. But during this season of giving thanks for the positive things in life, let’s pause to express thanksgiving for the fact that our #1 national worry – falling victim to another devastating terror attack – did not come to pass.
Improving national security has been “the” top priority since September 11, 2001 and the fact that we haven’t had another major terror attack on U.S. soil should be a comfort to us all.
It has been due, in large part, to our awakened awareness (and acceptance) that there are factions in the world that would like to kill us all and destroy America. We’ve thrown everything we can at trying to insulate ourselves from the madness.
I was in New York for the 9-11 attacks. I smelled the acrid air in downtown Manhattan still lingering days [click to continue…]