If you were old enough – and I was – the name of Kitty Genovese was a name you knew. Not just that she was a murder victim in Queens, NYC, stabbed to death on March 13, 1964, “one of six hundred and thirty-six murders in New York City that year,” but that the apparent indifference to her plight by over three dozen “witnesses” spoke volumes about the apathetic nature of a segment of American life:
…the gist of the [New York Times] piece lent itself perfectly to Sunday sermons about a malaise encompassing all of us. Continue reading The Kitty Genovese narrative largely debunked
After George Zimmerman’s acquittal in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin death in Florida, the New York Daily News did a piece When will it end? Deadly racial targeting of black men and teens is hardly ancient history.
So I find it difficult to look at the case as a singular event but in the context of a social pattern. Black-on-black murder doesn’t make headlines, unless it hits an epic proportion, as it has in Chicago recently. Black-on-white murders statistically draw tougher sentences. So there is always uneasiness when a white-on-black killing takes place. Continue reading Florida: race, murder, self-defense
I’ve noticed, particularly on Facebook, that after some particularly grievous, horrific crime – the Boston Marathon bombing, the Sandy Hook, CT elementary school shootings, the Aurora, CO movie theater shootings – there is this contingent of folks who argue that we ought not mention the names of the accused, but should instead focus solely on the victims. It’s as though by not saying the names of the perpetrators, or alleged ones, it would deny them the fame they presumably wanted; this phenomenon exists even when the presumed criminal is already dead Continue reading Not wanting to know the criminals' names?
Like too many of us, I get a lot of junk e-mail. Fortunately, most of it goes into my spam folder. A recent one came from the “Anti-Terrorist And Monetary Crimes Division” of the FBI, but signed by Mr. Robert Mueller, the director, informing me that they have “have completed an investigation on an International Payment in which was issued to you by an International Lottery Company. With the help of our newly developed technology (International Monitoring Network System)” – WOW! – “we discovered that your e-mail address was automatically selected by an Online Balloting System, this has legally won you the sum of $2.4million USD from a Lottery Company outside the United States of America.”
Yay, I’m practically rich!
Continue reading The FBI is sending me money!
Five burglars involved with break-in of the Democratic Party headquarters at the Watergate Hotel on June 17, 1972, were arrested; a couple more, involved in the operation, were also detained. The term used by President Richard Nixon’s Press Secretary, Ron Ziegler, to describe the event was “a third rate burglary attempt.” The seven were tried and convicted, President Richard Nixon was reelected in a landslide, and that was that. Except for the fact that two years later, the President was forced to resign in order to avoid almost certain impeachment. Continue reading W is for Watergate
After I got back to my dorm room after my arrest at IBM Poughkeepsie on Wednesday, May 10, I figured I ought to call my parents to tell them what had happened. I remember almost nothing of the actual conversation. I DO remember that the conversation took 2.5 hours and cost $39! In-state calls with New York Telephone, at the time, were more expensive than out-of-state calls. Monopolies and all that.
That Saturday, I go visit my friend Alice in jail. I hug her; the matron didn’t like that. Continue reading 40 Years Ago- May 18, 1972: Arrest and Trial
There was some discussions among Republicans recently about whether ex-felons should be able to vote. Rick Santorum favored allowing felons to vote after they’ve served their prison sentences. Mitt Romney said he didn’t think people who have committed violent crimes should be allowed to vote again. You won’t hear me saying this much, but I agree with Santorum.
I used to believe ex-felons should have the right to vote restored because they had served their time. NOW, I believe Continue reading Allowing Ex-Felons to Vote QUESTION