Life as a Military Vet in America?
Now that the parades are over, now that we’ve thanked military service members for their sacrifices let’s drill down to take a look at what its really like to be a military veteran in the United States.
According to experts there are more than 23 million veterans in America. Thanks to a recent two-pronged push by corporations and the government the unemployment rate for vets is down to 3.9%. That’s a 7-year low and that is a rare bit of good news for this group.
Among the bad news: [click to continue…]
~ It is the movie Hollywood doesn’t want you to see ~
Hollywood Ring Preys on Young Actors
This is not your typical Hollywood film. It’s a documentary called “An Open Secret” and it pulls the ugly scab off Hollywood to reveal what has happened to some vulnerable young boys who have tried to break in to the entertainment industry.
I got a special screening and I hope throngs of people go to see it.
The “secret” referenced in the title is how so many of these youngsters have so easily fallen prey to pedophilic agents, acting coaches, photographers and public relations people. [click to continue…]
The Artist and her “Portrait Seen ‘Round the World” Courtesy Jane Rosenberg (not for duplication)
A word about courtroom artists, please.
In the wake of “Deflategate” or “Sketchgate” or whatever they’re calling the controversy surrounding New England quarterback Tom Brady these days, I think it’s time to speak up for court artists everywhere.
Disclosure: Jane Rosenberg, the artist at the center of the recent storm over her less-than-perfect depiction of the handsome quarterback, is a pal of mine. I have worked alongside her as the reporter covering a court proceeding, she the assigned artist. Rosenberg is a 35-year veteran and widely considered to be one of the best in her field. [click to continue…]
Suddenly, Agreement – But Have They Thought Things Through?
Seems like Washington is enjoying a rare political Kumbayah moment these days. Both Democrats and Republicans now agree that our justice system ran off the rails with overly burdensome, mandatory sentencing for non-violent drug offenders.
Convicts like Antwon Rogers of Cleveland Ohio who was sentenced to life in prison for conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine — less than 5 ounces of the drug. But because Rogers had two previous drug convictions the mandatory federal three-strikes law kicked in and, at the age of 22, he was sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison. He’s been there more than 20 years.
Francis Hayden of Loretto, Kentucky also got life after his conviction for possessing more than 1,000 marijuana plants, growing on a farm he managed. Hayden also had two previous drug convictions and that third one sealed his fate.
If space permitted I could cite thousands of these over-sentenced, non-violent drug cases. [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…]
James Holmes Shortly After His Arrest
So here comes another headline grabbing criminal trial. James Holmes, now 27, stands accused of murdering 12 and wounding 70 others in a mass shooting at an Aurora, Colorado movie theater in July 2012. Opening statements in the capital murder case are set for Monday.
Ho hum, you say? I beg to differ.
This trial is massively important for anyone who wants to understand what [click to continue…]
California Superior Court Judge David Gill
Can I get a high-five and a hallelujah for the California judge who recently sentenced cyber-criminal Kevin Bollaert to 18 years behind bars? Finally, at least some of the smarmy creatures who psychopathically roam the dark corners of the internet are being brought to justice.
Every indication is that laws and punishments are slowly but surely catching up with these creeps.
Bollaert, 27, is one of those repulsive human beings who made money off the pain of others by posting so-called “revenge porn,” sexually suggestive photographs exchanged between lovers and then used to humiliate when the relationship soured. [click to continue…]