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…]
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…]
Lawmakers Ponder Sex Abuse Bills, When’s the Vote?
Well, well, well. Washington seems to have finally taken notice about a problem we parents have been actively worried about — sex crimes against children, college students and those caught up in the despicable practice of human trafficking.
Lest you might think this is a subject that only affects females, please, consider this: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that nearly 1 in 5 women and one in every 71 males in the United States have been raped at some time in their lives. It may have happened on a dark street, in their own home or at a university that purports to be safe. These crimes are perpetrated against our daughters and our sons. [click to continue…]
Michael Winston – Still Paying the Price
Justice is supposed to be blind. But what happens when it turns out to be blind, deaf and dumb?
Sadly, there is not enough space here to tell you the entire 7-year saga of whistleblower Michael Winston but the bottom line is this: He got royally screwed by the California judicial system.
Winston, 62, is a mild-mannered Ph D. and a veteran leadership executive who has held top jobs at elite corporations like McDonnell Douglas, Motorola and Merrill Lynch. After taking time off to nurse his ailing parents Winston was recruited by Countrywide Financial to help polish their corporate image. He was quickly promoted – twice – and had a team of 200 employees.
It’s almost unheard of for a top-tier executive turning whistleblower but that’s what Winston became after he [click to continue…]
PTSD – Homegrown Cases on the Rise
Think about the least desirable neighborhoods around you. You know the places I’m talking about – the areas you think twice about going to in the daytime and deliberately avoid at night. Those zones where police officers are most often called to respond to reports of shootings, stabbings and murders.
Now, think about the people who live in those crime infested neighborhoods. Think of the young people who grow up watching the violence all around them and fearing it will come for them.
A recent article by journalists at ProPublica.org quoted a growing list of studies that have compared what happens to people who live in dangerous neighborhoods here at home with what happens to soldiers serving in war zones. The unanimous conclusion is that residents of violent neighborhoods can suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder just as so many of our soldiers do. Just like veterans, civilians can experience flashbacks, nightmares, paranoia, and social withdrawal. [click to continue…]
Why Aren’t Bad Bankers Held Liable Too?
If you robbed a bank and got caught you would go to jail, right?
If you waited in the getaway car while your cohort robbed the bank you would go to jail as an accomplice, right? Of course you would. That’s what the law mandates.
So how come, after a bank stands mute as customers are robbed, do they get “deferred prosecution?”
I ask these questions after this week’s decision by the feds to merely fine JPMorgan Chase for failing to report their very real suspicions about mega-fraudster Bernard Madoff. No criminal charges, no one is held responsible and faces jail time – just $2.5 billion in fines and penalties for an organization, that experts say, will likely make as much as $23 billion in profit this year.
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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…]
Traitor or Patriot?
As any member of organized crime will tell you it is best to, “Keep your enemies close to you.”
Why no one in the Obama Administration has latched on to that concept while contemplating the Edward Snowden NSA scandal is beyond me.
Snowden is, of course, the former National Security Agency computer analyst who fled the country with about 1.7 million classified documents proving that America has been involved in a worldwide and massive telephone and internet surveillance campaign.
Snowden has released some 200,000 documents so far and the world has learned that the U.S routinely scoops up the phone data and internet traffic of countless millions of Americans who are not suspected of any crime. There are separate U.S. spying programs operating abroad with such tremendous reach that they have even targeted the personal cell phones and e-mails of heads of state. Two of the victims, Brazilian President Dilma Roussef and Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel have asked the United Nations Human Rights Counsel to investigate America’s actions. [click to continue…]