Last week: The anniversary of 9/11 has just passed. Is the world a safer place? Most people will say no, yet the U.S. has escaped much in the last 12 years. As a former New Yorker, I still feel the pain whenever I view a documentary or hear commentary. Today we have intelligence leaks, gas murders and spying programs. Most Americans cannot determine what is for our national security or is overreach. Perhaps tomorrow will bring us the answers. Perhaps?
Last week: The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has just released a report concerning allegations of voter fraud. As you recall, those "charges" were the justification for many of the regressive and inappropriate voting law changes in Florida. Well, the result after a nine month investigation was...no arrests. Democracy flourishes when citizens have a legal, fair and accessible opportunity to participate. Not when certain politicians provide false solutions in search of a problem.
Last week: It was announced that the Virginia parking garage that hosted the secret meetings between a Washington Post reporter and "Deep Throat" is to be torn down. This Watergate legacy provided the unraveling of a corrupt Nixon presidency. It also kick-started a healthier press, which is essential to a democracy. Currently we are in the midst of financially contracted newspapers and television operations. Blogs have emerged, which is both good and bad. Asking tough questions is a necessary American trait. Sensationalizing everything as if it is suitable for "Entertainment Tonight" should not be.
Last week: My wife and I viewed "The Butler." It is a story about hard truths. The movie provided an inside look at being not white and the two America's. That is changing, but many minorities must still wear "two faces."It is also a beautiful view of a family and its struggles. Part of President Obama’s popularity can be measured by the high esteem his family holds in public opinion. Certainly the 50th Anniversary of Dr. King’s greatest speech and the movie release was not accidental timing. It is good for us as a nation to view historic lessons together.
Last week: Middle Eastern peace has been elusive, yet remains a top priority of every American President and the State of Israel. Prior to the second session of peace discussions, Israel released 26 of the soon to be 104 Palestinian prisoners. This was a bold step designed to kick start peace talks stalled since 2008. As an American Jew, I feel a strong kinship to Israel's preservation. This action was done as a good faith effort without the normal prisoner exchange. Israel has always been a great ally. As citizens of the world, we must always pray for the peace process.
Looking ahead: On the anniversary of the 1963 march on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, it seems Civil Rights advanced and then fell backwards. Recalling Dr. King's "fierce urgency of now," Gov. Scott has misinterpreted the call. A new voter purge hunt is about to begin. Previously the statewide suspect list began with 182,000 and ended with 198. The list according to County Election Supervisors was "unreliable." I believe we must act in a legal manner while not setting up false barriers towards the right to vote. I understand that is a difficult concept with the 2014 governor's race on the horizon.
This week: The FBI recently performed a successful operation targeting child prostitution. They rescued 105 teenagers who ranged in age between 13 to 17. The children were marketed through social media and conventional methods. These kids have been in the shadows. The days of milk carton photos are no longer an effective tool. Almost all the rescued are female. most with little family contact or support. Although there were many arrests in South Florida, no children were recovered here. The brightest of spotlights must be directed at this national problem. Children are our greatest resource. Kudos to the "Justice" department.
Last week: Detroit is suffering a financial death, Prince William and Kate celebrated a wonderful birth, and Fox guy Geraldo Rivera provided entirely too much "information." Welcome, Summer 2013. Yes we can continue to speak of Congressional inactivity on immigration. Thank you, Speaker Boehner. We could also address President Obama's teachable moment about life as an Afro-American child. But in South Florida, the topic on many people's mind is whether it will rain again tomorrow. Or perhaps, did the Marlins somehow manage to win a ballgame. So take a deep breath, the major issues will still be around tomorrow.
Last week: The Travvon Martin case has concluded. We will debate the merits of the trial, and the lessons of Florida's past. Many people publicly speculated about the violence that would ensue if the verdict was not guilty. That has NOT occurred. It has been an incorrect belief that people of color or lower economic status will automatically resort to violence with little provocation. It is that historical baggage that has prevented us from achieving a community nature. One lesson might be the positive legacy of peaceful demonstrations. Don"t automatically profile people with less wealth. The only asset needed is a good heart.
Looking ahead: Now that Congress has returned from vacation a "paralysis" check up must be performed.As previously noted, college loan interest rares doubled and the Senate passed a comprehensive immigration bill,which Republican House Speaker Boehner refuses to be heard.Modest gun control proposals again died.Look at the fight to raise the nations' spending limit.It seems to me that this is less about common sense and more about rejecting anything that is "touched" by Preisdent Obama. Pettiness is not a patriotic or pretty word.
Last week: History has told us that the key to success in life is education.Yet Congress failed to act on the interest rate for student loans, which then doubled to 6.8 percent.The new Stafford loan rate will cost students thousands extra.The culprit is Washington gridlock.Personally,I was the recipient of two student loans.My loans made the impossible,possible financially.Certainly the economic challenges facing young people today are more stark.Education is an investment that must be made available to every generation of Americans.A better educated population is the best economic generator for this nation.
On or by June 30
Last week: The U.S.Supreme Court has invalidated a segment of the Voting Rights Act. In Florida specifically, some counties require pre-approval of election changes. This Act was originally passed in a bipartisan majority in Congress. This ruling will adversely affect all voters,not just minorities. It could allow the resumption of the controversial voter roll "check" that proved wildly inaccurate. Voter suppression and discrimination still exist. A lesser Voting Rights Act will make it more difficult to fight historical problems and challenges in the future. Now it is in the hands of Congress. Good luck to us!Copyright © 2015, CT Now