This is What the Death Penalty Looks Like
If we, as a nation, are going to allow the execution of convicted murderers, rapists and traitors can’t we get our act together about how to take their lives?
Back in 2010, European countries began a movement to abolish the death penalty around the world.
European pharmaceutical companies began to refuse to sell any anesthetics to the U.S. that could be used to facilitate an execution. And that left our prisons, in the more than 30 states that carry out the death penalty, without easy access to the medications needed to kill the condemned. [click to continue…]
State of the Union Speech – January 2015
As a young radio reporter on Capitol Hill I used to be full of anticipation for the annual State of the Union address. Fresh notebook on hand I’d dutifully mark the highlights of the speech and plot out what portions to report to the public.
My desk under the Capitol dome was just steps away from the House chamber where the country’s political elite gathered each January to hear the president’s national report card. For a kid from Albuquerque it was always a heady experience.
Today, at home, I still take State of the Union notes and count the number of times the crowd breaks into applause. Old habits are hard to break. [click to continue…]
Outside the Offices of Charlie Hebdo – 1/7/2015
Who among us was not horrified at the spasm of deadly terrorism that has swept through Paris? Religious extremists — using Islam as justification – caused the deaths of 17 people in three separate instances and plunged the French nation into a state of fright.
There are so many layers to this tragedy. A stark reminder that anti-Semitic hatreds still exists following the coldblooded murders of four Jewish customers at a kosher grocery store. An entire religion tainted in the minds of some. And a brazen display of evil as terrorists methodically gunned down twelve staffers at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in broad daylight. [click to continue…]
Do Not Shut Up About Sexual Abuse
~ Special breed of predator uses influence and power to escape justice ~
One reader wrote to tell me to, “Shut up! (and) butt out” of the sex scandal involving comedian Bill Cosby.
Jason S. wrote to say I was “reprehensible” for trying, “someone in the court of public opinion,” even though nearly 30 women have come forward to accuse Cosby of various degrees of sexual assault. The last three surfaced earlier this week as I read my hate mail.
Madge DeFee and S. Freeman said I was just trying to embarrass Mrs. Cosby by writing an open letter to her last week. In it I suggested that when she declared her husband was the victim she was not facing the truth about Bill’s past bad extra-marital behavior. [click to continue…]
Take a Good Long Look Back, Camille Cosby
I have finally had enough of the smarmy sexual revelations swirling around Bill Cosby.
It’s more than the latest reports that Cosby’s pit bull private detectives are digging up dirt on women who have accused him of sexual assault. It’s what this whole sordid mess says about us. We, the fawning fans, who have ignored for years the growing number of females who claimed they were drugged and raped by the comedian.
It was easier to cling to the idea that Cosby was just like his charming Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable character than it was to accept that he might be a sexual predator. [click to continue…]
World Peace – Sadly, Not in Our Lifetimes
Don’t bother wishing for world peace in the year ahead. It is never going to happen.
There will always be pockets of turmoil and terrorism. Innocents will continue to lose their lives in places like Syria, Pakistan, South Sudan and, yes, here in the United States – in the violent, gang controlled neighborhoods we’ve ignored for too long.
For 2015, I’m going to wish for smaller miracles, things that could actually happen if we could only find the resolve to fix our problems.
I hope in the coming year law enforcement officers find themselves in fewer circumstances [click to continue…]
Experts Warned of Massive Infection
How is it that some of the pending catastrophes we read or hear about in the media simply fade away? What seems so cataclysmic today barely gets a mention next week.
If only irresponsible reporting was declared an actual crime, even just a misdemeanor, there might be less of it. And a lot more doubling back to correct the record when journalists come to realize they’ve been duped.
Case in point: The much ballyhooed prediction of a widespread — even worldwide — Ebola epidemic.
Consider this my mea culpa. It’s my attempt to double back to underscore what appears to be deliberate misinformation from the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control. [click to continue…]
Law Enforcement on Notice
Note to Sheriffs and Police Chiefs: If you aren’t actively seeking ideas to foster better relations between your community and your officers you probably should resign.
If you are still operating under the illusion that social unrest could never come to your town you better think again.
If you don’t realize that a new day has dawned in law enforcement – a day where a growing number of citizens automatically mistrust cops – you might want to get back out on the street and walk a beat for a day or two.
There is now a nationwide, colorblind call demanding a change in the way law enforcement interacts with the people they have sworn to protect. [click to continue…]
Founding Father, Franklin
Following my recent column about racial tensions in America I got an e-mail from Gary L. Hoe, of Albuquerque, which made me re-think what our founding fathers had in mind when they established this country.
Hoe reminded me of a quote from Benjamin Franklin, attributed to the statesman as he left the secret confab which hammered out the U.S. Constitution. Asked by a woman what kind of government had been decided upon – a republic or a monarchy – Franklin replied, “A republic, Madam, if you can keep it.”
Somewhere in the 227 years since then many Americans have adopted the idea that we are a democracy not a republic. Nothing could be further from the intent expressed at that Constitutional Convention in 1787. [click to continue…]
Why Are Black Arrest Rates in Some Places So High?
As the nation continued to watch for the grand jury announcement out of Ferguson, Missouri this week, USA Today released a disturbing analysis of arrest records from across the country.
After pouring over FBI records from more than 3,500 police departments the newspaper finds that blacks are far more likely to be arrested than people of other races – and for all sorts of crimes – from murder to marijuana possession.
USA Today called the racial divide in America’s 2011-2012 arrest rates a, “staggering disparity” with at least 70 police departments from Connecticut to California arresting blacks at a rate 10 times higher than people of other races.
But before you jump to any conclusions, the paper also quoted experts who said the lopsided nature of arrests didn’t necessary prove racism or racial profiling.
Read that sentence again, please. [click to continue…]