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 Aftermath of the Brussels Attack
Another week, another deadly terrorist attack, this time in Brussels. The aftershocks heightened security across Europe and here in the US.
Understanding why Muslim extremists continue to kill innocents and what they are likely planning for the future can best predicted by someone who used to live, eat and pray among them.
Meet Emad Salem, a devout Muslim who, after serving as a Major in the Egyptian military, became a US citizen 31 years ago. But he became more than that. He became one of the FBI’s most valuable undercover assets in the War on Terror, beginning in the early 90’s. [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…]
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…]
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…]
Terminally Ill and Planning His Own Death
While many are debating whether more states should pass “Right to Die” laws Robert Mitton is methodically planning his own death. Death on his terms, as he slips through the cracks of the current conversation about who qualifies for help in ending a life of unbearable pain.
Mitton, 59, has suffered from acute heart disease most of his life, the result of a near fatal childhood bout with rheumatic fever. Fifteen years ago, on November 17, 1999, Robert finally agreed to allow surgeons to swap out his damaged aortic heart valve with a bovine replacement. He was told the cow valve had a shelf life of ten to 15 years. Next week marks the expiration date for the lifesaving foreign body that lives in his chest. [click to continue…]
Lee Boyd Malvo Self-Portrait
Lee Boyd Malvo, inmate No. 330873, incarcerated at the super-maximum Red Onion State Prison in Pound, Va., has a business plan to make himself some money. He either doesn’t know it is against the law or he doesn’t care.
You won’t learn about this story anywhere else. I was only able to piece it together after speaking to sources, correction officials in Virginia, exchanging emails with a woman in a foreign country and putting two and two together.
You may remember Malvo was half of a two-man killing squad that terrorized, robbed and killed people in about a dozen states back in 2002. When the pair were at the peak of their killing spree, the media incorrectly dubbed the then 17-year old Malvo and his 41-year-old accomplice, John Muhammad, “The Beltway Snipers” and the “D.C. Snipers.” [click to continue…]
The Commander-in-Chief Losing Respect
The President of the United States is the Commander-in-Chief over all branches of the Military. It is a given that no military member goes public to speak negatively about their ultimate Commander.
However, these days, with the Veteran’s Hospital scandal in full bloom, after the administration’s smokescreen about what triggered the deadly attack on the U.S. Embassy at Benghazi and after the president’s tepidly received speech at West Point announcing diplomacy will replace military responses henceforth, the time for silence is over.
Now, career military personnel are speaking out through gritted teeth, insisting they speak for active duty personnel who cannot talk without being punished. They are speaking about injustice, ineptitude and impeachment. [click to continue…]