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…]
Charged With a Felony
It never should have taken this long. It never should have taken more than 50 women alleging sexual assault at the hands of a celebrity before that celebrity was ordered to court to answer the allegations.
But it has finally happened. Comedian Bill Cosby now finds himself in a very un-funny position. He was arraigned this week in a Pennsylvania court on a felony charge of aggravated indecent assault, forced to give up his passport and post a $1 million bond to keep himself out of jail. The charges were filed right before the state’s statute of limitations on such a crime would have run out.
The event that compelled Cosby to appear occurred nearly 12 years earlier. [click to continue…]
2015: Horrible Year in Many Respects
There’s no getting around it. Americans have just gone through an Annus Horribilis, to borrow a phrase from Queen Elizabeth. 2015 has been filled with disturbing news about acts of terrorism and the threat of more, mass shootings, racial unrest and major questions about how our criminal justice system works – or doesn’t.
Add in what many see as unsettling and contradictory political pronouncements about our future and is it any wonder that we feel frightened, frustrated and without hope? Fear – of homegrown or lone-wolf terrorists, gun violence, policy brutality, racial strife, our children’s future – has become the new American normal. [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…]
Countless Overdoses Nationwide Every Day
Can I just vent this week? Please? Thank you.
I am a sympathetic person, really I am. But the excessive and fawning news coverage of former NBA player Lamar Odom’s illegal drug use and self-imposed near death experience has been disgusting. To say the coverage has been excessive and out of proportion to its value as a news story is an understatement.
If this guy hadn’t played professional basketball or married into the camera-craving Kardashian clan we never would have heard about his recent medical emergency … and heard every minute detail about it. [click to continue…]
My Stalker Says He’s Capable of Murder
“I am a potential mass shooter….”
That chilling line was written to me by my on-again, off-again cyber-stalker.
He took exception to my opinion in June 2014, that the killer who murdered six and wounded 13 near the campus of University of California, Santa Barbara was, “A young man of privileged means… possessed by a demented, murderous and conniving mind.” My stalker declared I was guilty of violating the Americans With Disabilities Act — by maligning anyone with a mental disorder — and began a letter writing campaign to smear my name and terminate this column. [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…]