Surveillance on the Job? It’s Likely
Is your boss spying on you? There’s a good chance. These days employers are monitoring their workers in all sorts of ways you might never have thought about.
Your employer can look back at anything you’ve done on your office computer, checking what websites were visited, what was written in inter-office emails and they can even capture keystrokes to see what was typed on outside sites like your personal e-mail, Facebook or Twitter.
If they are the snoopy-snoop type they’re probably already watching your social media output anyway. [click to continue…]
A Shoot-From-the-Lip Bully
It has been intriguing to note that in this era of citizen division and Us-versus-Them mentality – during this time in our history when every perceived foe must be labeled – no one has called out presidential wanna-be Donald Trump for what he is.
He is a bully. He is a self-aggrandizing, opportunistic bully and blowhard who heaves out vile stream-of-consciousness pronouncements, feigns wonderment at the horrified reaction and threatens to unleash his pack of lawyers on anyone who gets in his way.
But Trump has pointed his privileged finger at an important social issue…. [click to continue…]
Suddenly, Agreement – But Have They Thought Things Through?
Seems like Washington is enjoying a rare political Kumbayah moment these days. Both Democrats and Republicans now agree that our justice system ran off the rails with overly burdensome, mandatory sentencing for non-violent drug offenders.
Convicts like Antwon Rogers of Cleveland Ohio who was sentenced to life in prison for conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine — less than 5 ounces of the drug. But because Rogers had two previous drug convictions the mandatory federal three-strikes law kicked in and, at the age of 22, he was sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison. He’s been there more than 20 years.
Francis Hayden of Loretto, Kentucky also got life after his conviction for possessing more than 1,000 marijuana plants, growing on a farm he managed. Hayden also had two previous drug convictions and that third one sealed his fate.
If space permitted I could cite thousands of these over-sentenced, non-violent drug cases. [click to continue…]
Vietnam Vets Returned to Scorn and Ridicule
Isn’t it ironic?
In the 70’s Vietnam veterans returned from an unpopular war to society’s scorn and cries of, “Baby killer!” Over the decades, we began to understand they had been brave and selfless and we learned to treat returning vets with understanding and support – wounded or not – as they transition back into society.
Ironically, we never went back to fully support the Vietnam-era vets who taught us the valuable lesson of honoring our warriors. [click to continue…]
The Veteran’s Administration – Long Mired in Delays
So, the U.S. government has finally decided to help some 2,000 Air Force personnel exposed to Agent Orange residue left over in airplanes used during the Vietnam War. They are now eligible for disability, medical and survivor benefits.
“Opening up eligibility for this deserving group of Air Force veterans and reservists is the right thing to do,” VA Secretary Bob McDonald announced.
Really? Then why didn’t the VA take this step long ago? These new recipients flew in Fairchild C-123 aircraft from 1969 to 1986. That’s between 46 and 29 years ago! [click to continue…]
The Many Faces of Rachel Dolezal
~ Is it criminal to change one’s race?
There was hesitation in writing this column. I mean, by now, you’ve likely read enough about the bizarre saga of Rachel Dolezal, the white woman who passed herself off as African-American for many years. Her deceit exploded on the world stage.
But in all the discussion many have missed the point.
It’s not about the perplexing Dolezal family schism that went so public – families often fracture. It’s not about her darkening complexion or her exotic hair – women often change their looks. And it’s not about Dolezal’s claim on the Today Show that she is “trans-racial” because her biological son and her adopted son (who was originally adopted years ago by her parents) are African-American and therefore she needs to be too… [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…]
Ubiquitous Threats, Some Are Criminal
What if you got a message on your Facebook account from someone you knew was angry with you that read, “There’s one way to love ya but a thousand ways to kill ya.” You might be a bit worried, right?
What if that person continued to write things like, “I’m not going to rest until your body is a mess, soaked in blood and dying from all the little cuts.” And they followed up with musings about putting your “head on a stick,” and making a name for themselves with “the most heinous school shooting ever imagined.”
Would the phrase, “Hell hath no fury like a crazy man in a kindergarten class,” prompt you to pick up the phone and alert the police? I sure hope so. [click to continue…]
We Are a Bundle of Contradictions
We live in a world of confounding contradictions.
We call ourselves a peace loving people yet we continue to engage in far flung wars. Domestically, gangs, guns and drug dealing proliferate. This is not a recipe for peace by any measure.
Nearly half of us say they are morally against the death penalty. Yet, a jury in Boston – a decidedly anti-capital punishment region of the country – sentenced to death the surviving Boston Marathon Bomber, 21-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnav. [click to continue…]
Say What You Want … But Reactions Will Vary
The right to freedom of speech in America gives every citizen almost absolute permission to say whatever they think about a given topic. Even if the comments are offensive to the majority citizens have a right to express their opinion.
So, go ahead – say what you want. But realize, the law does not necessarily protect you from others’ reactions to your comments. And sometimes what people say is so damnably stupid they deserve some blow back. [click to continue…]