California Overcrowding Among the Worst
It’s easy to understand the intent behind the current move to reduce prison overcrowding but are we sure we’re doing it right?
In 2010, when President Obama signed The Fair Sentencing Act to reduce federal prison sentences for non-violent drug offenders he specifically targeted those who had been convicted of crack cocaine crimes. In the past, anyone in possession of crack — an inexpensive drug most often used in poor black communities — was routinely sentenced to harsher penalties than those who had dealt in the more expensive powder cocaine that was used almost exclusively by more affluent whites. [click to continue…]
A Criminal’s Best Friend If It Has iOS 8 Installed
In this corner – the FBI – which says that all high tech company Apple cares about is protecting its mega-profits brand and not the nation’s security.
And in that corner – Apple – which says the feds will put everyone’s privacy in jeopardy if a court forces them to disable password protection on the iPhone of dead terrorist Syed Rizwan Farook. Farook and his wife shot to death 14 of his San Bernardino County co-workers last December and seriously wounded 22.
There might be valuable information on Farook’s phone, information that could help thwart future terrorist attacks. But then again, maybe there’s nothing on that phone at all. Both sides say it’s the principal of the issue at stake. [click to continue…]
First Identify What You’re Fighting, Right?
~ Law enforcement needs to know what it doesn’t know. Tracking trends in crime is a way to keep communities safe.
Any decision made is only as good as the information used to make it, right? I submit the same holds true when figuring out how to fight crime.
Since the 1930’s the FBI has urged the nation’s law enforcement agencies to take part in its Uniform Crime Reporting Summary and record how many crimes occur in their jurisdiction in 10 top crime categories, including homicide, rape, robbery, arson and auto theft. [click to continue…]
President Obama Sheds Tears for Gun Victims
There has been much media coverage on the President plans to control gun violence but I fear we’re missing the bigger picture.
Surely, the emotional frustration the president displayed while unveiling his latest executive order is worth noting and so are his ideas. But, realize, these are the same suggestions he proposed in 2013, after the Sandy Hook elementary school tragedy. Congress ignored them.
By now you’ve heard about his proposals: More people who sell guns – at gun shows and on-line – should be licensed and get mandatory background checks on their buyers. The FBI should process the checks 24/7 with a group of new agents and notify states when someone has illegally tried to buy a gun. [click to continue…]
Especially Not Over the Holiday Season!
It’s that time of year again. People want your money.
Charities know folks are in a giving frame of mind as the holidays draw near. Rip-off artists also realize that during this season folks are often just too busy to notice a scam when it’s right under their nose.
Hey, thieves need holiday spending money too and aren’t fussy about how they get it.
One old scam that’s now returned is the fake phone call from the Internal Revenue Service. [click to continue…]
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…]
Why Are We So Entertained by Violence?
Violence permeates civilization worldwide. So many violent condition exist across the Middle East and Africa that millions of people have been forced to, literally, walk their way out of countries like Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and Eritrea to find a safer life. The result is one of the most profound and perilous migration of refugees in world history.
But here in America we embrace the genre of violence as one of our biggest sources of entertainment. The most successful prime time TV shows and movies are those with violent, bloody plot lines. This is no call for a return to all romantic comedies or coming-of-age films. I just wonder why we are so fascinated by violence. [click to continue…]
Tarantino Declares Cops Are “Murderers”
Note to Quentin Tarantino: Shut up.
I don’t ask my house painter to do my taxes. I don’t want my dentist involved in redesigning my bathroom and I certainly don’t ask my car mechanic to run my website. Everyone has their strengths in life, Mr. Tarantino, and while you may be a successful director of violent Hollywood films you are, by no means, an expert on our nation’s police force.
As I recall, your 1992 film, “Reservoir Dogs,” featured a terrifying scene in which a cop is tortured so we already know where you stand. A little research digs up information showing that you’ve been arrested for shoplifting, done jail time after ignoring $7,000 worth of parking tickets and, more recently, sued for assaulting a Hollywood producer. So, really, spare us your pontificating about the state of law and order in America. [click to continue…]
At Ashford Castle in County Mayo, Ireland
After a glorious vacation abroad I return this week to admit I came home embarrassed for my country.
My husband and I were in Ireland when word of America’s latest mass shooting hit the European media and the story was the lead item on every news program.
Sky News, the BBC, Good Morning Ireland each featured American reporters in Roseburg, Oregon for the latest on the shooting. Then they brought in panels of pundits to talk about it.
“When there are 24 campus shootings in one year in America we need to realize there is something profound happening in America,” said Zoe Williams, a columnist for the Guardian newspaper. “It doesn’t happen anywhere else in the world.” [click to continue…]