The Veteran’s Administration – Long Mired in Delays
So, the U.S. government has finally decided to help some 2,000 Air Force personnel exposed to Agent Orange residue left over in airplanes used during the Vietnam War. They are now eligible for disability, medical and survivor benefits.
“Opening up eligibility for this deserving group of Air Force veterans and reservists is the right thing to do,” VA Secretary Bob McDonald announced.
Really? Then why didn’t the VA take this step long ago? These new recipients flew in Fairchild C-123 aircraft from 1969 to 1986. That’s between 46 and 29 years ago! [click to continue…]
The Many Faces of Rachel Dolezal
~ Is it criminal to change one’s race?
There was hesitation in writing this column. I mean, by now, you’ve likely read enough about the bizarre saga of Rachel Dolezal, the white woman who passed herself off as African-American for many years. Her deceit exploded on the world stage.
But in all the discussion many have missed the point.
It’s not about the perplexing Dolezal family schism that went so public – families often fracture. It’s not about her darkening complexion or her exotic hair – women often change their looks. And it’s not about Dolezal’s claim on the Today Show that she is “trans-racial” because her biological son and her adopted son (who was originally adopted years ago by her parents) are African-American and therefore she needs to be too… [click to continue…]
Tom Sullivan (Center) Lost Son, Alex, to Theater Killer
For those of us who have never lost a child to a violent crime we cannot possibly know a grieving parent’s pain. But we know that out of pain can come a convoluted way of thinking.
It isn’t easy to question the motives of a heart-broken parent who decides they hold the key to stop future tragedies. It isn’t popular to ask them whether they are acting out of grief or common sense when they point the finger of blame and demand change. But that’s exactly what I’m doing.
There is a campaign called NoNoteriety – advanced most energetically by the devastated parents of Alex Teves, 24, one of a dozen people who lost their lives during the 2012 mass shooting inside an Aurora, Colorado movie theater. Another 70 were wounded. [click to continue…]
Ubiquitous Threats, Some Are Criminal
What if you got a message on your Facebook account from someone you knew was angry with you that read, “There’s one way to love ya but a thousand ways to kill ya.” You might be a bit worried, right?
What if that person continued to write things like, “I’m not going to rest until your body is a mess, soaked in blood and dying from all the little cuts.” And they followed up with musings about putting your “head on a stick,” and making a name for themselves with “the most heinous school shooting ever imagined.”
Would the phrase, “Hell hath no fury like a crazy man in a kindergarten class,” prompt you to pick up the phone and alert the police? I sure hope so. [click to continue…]
We Are a Bundle of Contradictions
We live in a world of confounding contradictions.
We call ourselves a peace loving people yet we continue to engage in far flung wars. Domestically, gangs, guns and drug dealing proliferate. This is not a recipe for peace by any measure.
Nearly half of us say they are morally against the death penalty. Yet, a jury in Boston – a decidedly anti-capital punishment region of the country – sentenced to death the surviving Boston Marathon Bomber, 21-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnav. [click to continue…]