Are We Really Independent Thinkers?
Another 4th of July holiday has come and gone and every year I try to think past the BBQ’s and beer and ponder the origin of Independence Day.
“We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
That is, of course, the most famous line from the Declaration of Independence approved by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776.
We learned that quote as school kids but these days it seems out of touch with where we are as a nation, doesn’t it? [click to continue…]
U.S. Satellites See What’s Happening on Earth
Global Positioning Satellite systems can pinpoint our location no matter where we are in the world and precisely tell us where to turn to get to our destination. U.S. satellites monitor just about anything on earth — from the path of a forest fire to the route of a convoy of trucks. We know for a fact that the National Security Agency has had eyes and ears on just about every phone call and e-mail sent or received, worldwide.
So can someone please explain to me how we apparently missed the substantial exodus of migrants from Central America headed for our southern border? By all reports this mass migration — which has now resulted in a major humanitarian crisis – began last October. Yet the public is only just hearing about it now, after it has reached catastrophic proportions. [click to continue…]
Tops on the List : Tolerance
Tops on my Crime and Justice Wish List this year is the sincere hope that America finds a way to become a better functioning and more tolerant country.
I wish for the lethargy of the electorate and the deterioration of trust and respect – in our government and in each other – to magically evaporate.
It is a tall order, I know. We live in an ugly era of perpetual backbiting that serves no real purpose but to distract us from finding solutions to very real problems.
Democrats routinely ridicule Republicans and vice versa. Various ethnic groups point to those who are different and declare their problems are the other groups fault; both heterosexuals and homosexuals complain their lifestyle is under attack; the unemployed and under-employed label business people and corporations as greedy devils without acknowledging they are the very entities providing the most jobs. Our children grow up hearing our viciousness toward one another and are likely to continue the corrosive tradition of intolerance. [click to continue…]
Suspicionless Searches & Seizures on the Rise
The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution provides, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.”
The amendment assures us that only when law enforcement has “probable cause” to suspect a person of a crime may that citizen’s space be violated.
Well, here’s a wake-up call, folks.
For years now, and especially since September 11, 2001, that most fundamental American right has been eroding. All across the nation, every single day armed officers with badges are stopping, interrogating, searching and detaining U.S. citizens with little or no explanation or probable cause.
This isn’t my America. [click to continue…]
Does Dept Make You Feel Secure?
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about our Department of Homeland Security lately. The DHS was formed after the September 11, 2001 attacks, of course, but since then it has grown to mammoth proportions. It now has more than 200,000 employees and it is the nation’s third largest Cabinet department after the Defense Department and Veterans Affairs.
The taxpayer’s bill for DHS is also enormous. If all goes as planned you and I will send $59 billion more of our hard earned dollars to the DHS this year to advance their mission to, “prevent attacks and protect Americans – on the land, in the sea and in the air.”
Here we are more than a dozen years after 9-11 – and hundreds of billions of dollars later – and we still have no foolproof way to sift through our own suspected terrorist watch list. [click to continue…]
Tsarnaev Brothers – Radical Muslims Who Spread Terror
Extreme factions of the Muslim religion want us dead – every American and everyone who embraces a religion different than theirs. We are infidels, heathens and heretics and they believe it is their mission to wipe us off the face of the earth.
I know it isn’t politically correct to publicly discuss how the most radicalized elements of the Muslim faith have targeted Americans for death. I know it is not acceptable to “profile” people based on their country of origin or religious traditions – not even when cold, hard, bloody, murderous facts directly stare us in the face. [click to continue…]
If Not Now – When?
~ In the midst of national debates on fiscal cliffs and gun control could this also be the time to tackle our immigration woes? ~
Let’s be honest and agree that U.S. immigration policy is a complete disaster. For too many decades this country has ignored violations of our immigration laws and now we have a real mess on our hands – an estimated 11 million people who have entered the country illegally and are living and working here under the radar.
Whose fault is it? There is plenty of blame to go around so I suggest we don’t even go there anymore.
Presidents from both parties have declared they would do something to curb the flood of foreigners illegally entering the country. No meaningful changes occurred. Over the years both political parties promised to punch into place an effective immigration policy. Yet Congress has still failed to pass laws that would truly get a grip on the problem.
Time to stop the blame game. Time to start figuring out what to do. Time for the one side to stop bellowing, “No amnesty!” and time for the other side to stop declaring, “No one is illegal.” [click to continue…]
Crime Rates Are Down But Hardly Low
Imagine a country where citizens collectively own more than 300 million guns. It is a place where more than 14,700 thousand people were murdered in 2010. And in this country, nearly 85-thousand people were forcibly raped during that same year.
More than 6 million people are in prison or on criminal supervision. In addition, people who live in this nation endure hundreds of thousands of burglaries, robberies, aggravated assaults and thefts of their vehicles every year.
Sounds like a pretty uncivilized country doesn’t it?
Well, this is America, folks. [click to continue…]
Fr. James Manship, courtesy New Haven Independent
In a day when the words “Catholic” and “priest” often conjure up negative thoughts I want to tell you a story about a man who saw injustice and took on an entire police department to try to set things right. He would be the first to tell you he didn’t do it alone.
Father James Manship leads the flock at the New Haven, Connecticut St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church. He had been ministering to this mostly Latino congregation for a short time when, in the summer of 2008, his congregants began telling him stories about rogue police officers who made their lives miserable.
Their tales of harassment, unwarranted traffic stops, needless arrests and beatings while in custody were mind boggling to this young priest, the nephew of a veteran State Police trooper. [click to continue…]