America’s Paralyzing Political Divide
The political divide in this country has completely paralyzed us. Generally speaking, half of us think one way, the other half believes just the opposite. The never-ending conflicts — on a whole array of legal issues – continues with no end in sight.
Not even the U.S. Supreme Court could decide what this nation should do to get a grip on our immigration problems. The high court recently deadlocked 4-to-4 on the issue of whether President Obama’s executive order on immigration, which protected millions of undocumented people from being deported, is constitutional. Minus the late conservative Justice, Antonin Scalia, the best the high court could do was a tie, split just like the rest of us. [click to continue…]
Robert Stackowitz Mug Shots — in 1966 and 2016
The state of Georgia wants Robert Stackowitz back. Now, it is up to the governor of Connecticut whether to extradite the 71-year-old convicted felon so he can serve the remainder of a 17-year prison sentence.
Fifty years ago Stackowitz was a brash 21-year-old who, along with two buddies, committed a robbery by force. The trio burst into the home of Jimmy Moseley, held him at gunpoint, tied him up with the cord from a vacuum cleaner and robbed him of $9 and the keys to his truck.
“After they tied me up,” Moseley told a reporter, “they intended to kill me because they said they never leave witnesses.” The now 91-year-old says he still has nightmares and is still waiting for justice. [click to continue…]
The Great Bathroom Debate – How Does it End?
This too shall pass from the headlines in time, but while the issue of who-can-legally-use-what-public-bathroom is still red hot here are some thoughts.
We are a nation of almost 320 million people. Statistics are not plentiful. There are no national figures kept but it’s estimated the number of transgendered Americans is about 700,000 or 0.3% of the population.
Since the biggest controversy these days seems focused on transgender students and what might happen in their school bathrooms or locker rooms perhaps the best statistic to focus upon comes from a 2014 survey of millennials by the Public Religion Research Institute. That survey found 1% of young people identify as transgender. [click to continue…]
He Should Have Been Deported – Then He Murdered a Woman
Decisions always have a consequence. That’s what I told my daughter as she was growing up. Make a decision to do something but, realize, you must then live with the consequences. I’m left wondering if Washington politicians had mothers who taught them the same lesson.
The consequence of Washington’s long-term failure to fix our fractured immigration policy just keeps getting more dangerous. The upshot for the rest of us? Ticking human time bombs walking among us.
For more than three years the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement division (ICE) has been forced to release thousands of deportation-ready criminal immigrants out on to American streets. More than 86,000 of them are, presumably, still out there. [click to continue…]
Hastert was Speaker of the House until 2007
Later this month one of the most powerful men ever to have served in the U.S. House of Representatives will face a federal judge to learn his fate. Dennis Hastert has pleaded guilty to evading U.S. banking laws, illegally structuring payouts to conceal other crimes and lying to the FBI. But that’s only a small part of his sordid story.
It’s a textbook case of why critics are able to say there is one system of justice for the rich and connected and quite another for the rest of us. It’s also another condemnation of our statute of limitations laws that say suspects can’t be tried for certain crimes if too much time has passed. [click to continue…]
Concussions and Kids – A Dangerous Mix
It was the admission that made every parent of every kid who wants to play football gasp.
The question from Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky was simple. “Do you think there is a link between football and degenerative brain disorders like CTE?”
The answer, from no less than the National Football League’s senior vice president for health and safety, Jeff Miller: “The answer to that question is certainly yes.”
Wow. Now, it doesn’t take an Einstein to know that repeated, solid blows to a person’s head will cause problems. [click to continue…]
Robert & Betty Were Married For 72 Years
I recently wrote about the plight of 94-year-old Betty Winstanley, who resides at the Masonic Village retirement home in Elizabethtown, PA. She doesn’t want to live there anymore. Now that her husband of 72 years is gone she longs to move to a care home closer to her two children in Maryland. The state of Pennsylvania won’t let her leave.
To the state Betty is case #1201 of 2014, just another old person the court has declared, “totally incapacitated.” Once someone is so labeled they get a court appointed guardian who, literally, takes over their life. Guardians decide all the ward’s finances, who can visit and for how long, when or if they can leave the home – everything. [click to continue…]
Elizabeth “Betty” Winstanley
She is a well-spoken, elegant and wealthy 94-year-old widow. And as Betty Winstanley told me from her room at the Masonic Village Retirement facility in Elizabethtown, PA, “I feel like I am in prison. My life is a living hell.”
Welcome to America’s twisted world of court appointed guardianships for the elderly.
Quick backstory: Betty and her husband, Robert, were married for 72 years. They had three children, Richard, David and Betsy. For nearly 7 years the couple occupied a “lovely” independent living apartment at Masonic Village retirement home in Elizabethtown, PA.
In early 2014, Betty, who uses a rolling walker to get around, says she felt faint and seeing no staff nearby lowered herself to the ground. [click to continue…]
Not Always Reliable
How many times have you heard someone say, “Believe me, I know it’s true. I saw it with my own eyes!” When someone passionately tells us they were an eyewitness to an event we are programmed to believe their story.
It happens in courtrooms all across the country every day. An eyewitness takes the stand, puts a hand on the bible and swears to tell the truth about what they saw. In sometimes vivid detail they tell their story, point the finger of blame at a defendant and proclaim they are 100% sure about the identification. This compelling, first-hand testimony sways juries and has resulted in countless convictions. Some include sentences of death.
So how trustworthy is an eye-witness, anyway? [click to continue…]