Monday, December 31, 2007


(The following unpublished op-ed piece was initially written on Feb. 5, 2005, just after the 2nd inauguration of President George W. Bush.)

In 1863 more than half of all age appropriate Americans were ineligible to vote. In the two years leading up to that, more than 200,000 Americans had been killed, there was no end to the Civil War in sight, yet Abraham Lincoln knowingly inflamed the southern resistance and signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Two years and a quarter of a million more deaths later, more than half of all age appropriate Americans were still not eligible to vote.

In this land of the great democratic experiment, women were not allowed to vote until tens of thousands more died in World War I, 144 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. And still, after tens of thousands more American deaths from World War II, many blacks in many states were still not eligible to vote more than 100 years after the Emancipation Proclamation - though many died trying. They died at the end of police batons, police dogs, and fire hoses and at the hands of hooded insurgent night riders and church bombers.

And as late as the mid 1970s, 20 years after Brown v. Board of Education, black children and their parents were stoned and beaten in Boston, Massachusetts for seeking an education in the same schools as white children. Our very own history, checkered with violence, sexism, racism, wisdom and vision is testimony to the inherent desire to be free. History is littered with people from Mosul to Mississippi and from Kabul to Kentucky, having never known freedom, willing to risk their lives to mark a piece of paper as a sign of their thirst for liberty. Iraq is merely the latest in a centurys long history of opposition to slavery, tyranny and oppression.

The present challenges to President Bush's military intervention in Iraq and his overall War on Terror belie the obligation of our elected representatives to live up to their oath to defend us from all enemies, foreign and domestic. Yet between the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993 and a series of attacks aimed at Americans leading up to that 21st Century Day of Infamy, the enemy was known but no defense was sought. As soldiers, sailors and civilians were repeatedly targeted for destruction, those congressional members of the Foreign Relations, Armed Forces, and Intelligence Committees mourned and wept but they did not protect and defend. Along with our protectors of freedom and liberty in the Fourth Estate, they were content to tell the American people how lucky we were to have President Clinton - how President Clinton was at his very best when he was calming our fears and soothing our pain - and how President Clinton gave us hope and confidence when he vowed that "We will hunt them down and make them pay!" However, after each successive terrorist attack no one in the Congress and no one in the Fourth Estate demanded a progress report on our mission to hunt them down and make them pay.

Suddenly, they have all become smart about fighting terror. Suddenly they know how we could have captured bin Laden. And suddenly they know how we could have disarmed Saddam Hussein without a shot being fired or an American life being lost. The hue and cry that the sacrifices in lives and resources have been too great flies in the face of history. Through the sorrow and tears of their sacrifice we saw it when Solidarity rose up in Poland. Through their sorrow, tears and inestimable poverty we saw it when the Haitians drove out the Duvaliers. We saw it at American lunch counters, at the doors of our schools, in the open casket of Emmett Till, and the mass grave of Schwerner, Chaney and Goodman. And we saw it again on the ink-stained fingers of the Iraqi people.

Freedom is not an Anglo-American, Anglo European or burgeoning Third World concept. It is a genetic characteristic intrinsic to the human DNA. However, freedom is rarely born without great vision. Just and noble causes require great visionaries. September 11th was the clarion call to search farther and deeper. In the tradition of Lincoln and FDR, President George W. Bush has the courage to look farther forward. And it is an abomination when the representatives and beneficiaries of the world's greatest democracy insult the bravery and sacrifice of those who march toward freedom and those who lead the way.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

BREATHING LIFE INTO TERROR: The Death of Benazir Bhutto

We have seen this all before. Throngs of grieving and angry mourners amidst the bodies of their heroines, presidents, religious leaders and innocent children. The Palestinians, Israelis - in Lebanon, Iran, Iraq and now Pakistan - where the brutal and senseless attacks breed fear, doubt and the troubling concern that an unstable lack of mutual respect and understanding in a small corner of the world threatens the world itself. It has all come before.

We clutch our loved ones and are falsely thankful that our little corner of the world does not breed such an alarming magnitude of disrespect for human life. We have already forgotten that when the pictures and video of those mourning throngs came from Kenya and Tanzania, dead American ambassadors were being shipped home from that carnage. We forget that when those pictures came from Saudi Arabia, dead American soldiers were being shipped back home. And we forget the murdered American sailors and civilians who felt safe and secure in their workplace, their normal daily routines forever interrupted and their families forever haunted.

The assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto points out the glaring omissions in the more than year long presidential campaign and so-called debates as the candidates argued life experience versus pseudo experience, whose beliefs in God were more valid, and who changes their mind more often. As the name Osama bin Laden might occasionally cross a candidate's lips, their stand on the threat of worldwide terrorism and how best to combat it did not. Even more unfortunate, the press has not bothered to ask. The multitude of criticism of present American policy failed to yield any coherent plan to go after Al Qaeda. Cries that "We should have finished the job in Afghanistan," failed to recognize that Al Qaeda has continued to wreak havoc on continents around the globe even since we invaded Afghanistan. The aggressive American response since Sept. 11th belies Osama bin Laden's past wartime proclamation that America is "a paper tiger." Our collective suffering during the 1990s, and beyond, at the hands of his maniacal disciples was the result of being saddled with a "paper president." And praising that president's flowery eulogies at the arrival of flag-draped coffins is not a sufficient response to terrorism. Nor is "threatening" to respond an adequate response to terrorism.

As the Iraqi citizenry began to turn against the barbaric insanity of Al Qaeda, its terrorist founder publicly declared that his minions should be actively engaged in planning attacks inside the United States. And as the alleged "experienced" presidential candidates, their supporters and the news media treated that announcement like a short story, the assassination of Ms. Bhutto has revealed that the real presidential campaign may have finally begun. Now if we could only get a few real journalists to ask a few really important questions.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Democratic Media Bias - Take #7

Try as she may to appear to remain an unbiased and objective member of the Fourth Estate, a pajama clad Mika Brzezinski allowed her Hillary Clinton bumper sticker to show on the Dec. 26th episode of MORNING JOE on MSNBC. In reference to a New York Times article questioning Mrs. Clinton's claim to being experienced as a result of being in the White House (as first lady) for 8 years, Ms. Brzezinski repeatedly used the term "You know she was involved...," etc. No proof was offered to substantiate these continuing claims, yet the "You know" assertions kept coming. This is akin to Mrs. Clinton's promotional declarations of her "35 years of experience" working on the issues she cares about. Like what? What exactly does that mean - getting sweetheart cattle futures deals - getting in on Jim McDougal's Madison Guaranty S & L legal team - watching the aforesaid Madison S & L go under - greeting the grieving families of Americans killed overseas courtesy of Osama bin Laden - burning down the compound at Waco - or calling the White House more than a dozen times to see if Vince Foster was really dead? Was her husband illegally giving her access to classified information to seek her council in between his conjugal visits from the former intern?

Give us something, anything to even remotely believe Hillary Clinton possesses, as she insists, the best qualifications and the most experience of all her rivals to be President. At least something more substantial than the fact that she sat there watching.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Democratic Media Bias - Take #6

Bill Clinton's recent attack on Senator Barack Obama on the Charlie Rose program continues to point out the weakness and desperation of Hillary Clinton in her quest to be the Democratic nominee and eventual President of the United States.

His attack, and her past attacks, on Sen. Obama's alleged lack of experience would be totally laughable if the major national news media would bother to point out that Bill Clinton's experience led the state of Arkansas to become one of the worst four of the fifty states in virtually every category that is used to determine quality of life when he was Arkansas governor. The media also neglects to point out that most of the positive results that occurred during the Clinton Administration came after the Republican takeover of the Congress in 1994 and not as a result of his wife's joint collaboration.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Letter to the New York Post - 12/21/2007

Dear Editor:

The NY Post editorial (Bill and Hill's Latest Intrigue - Dec. 21) should not surprise anyone except their interviewers and debate moderators. From the extremely smelly cattle futures bonanza to the present - with Charlie Trie, Buddhist monks, Mark Rich, and the rental of Lincoln Bedroom in between, the Clinton's lack of ethics and violations of the law have been duly noted but poorly scrutinized. "There's too much money in politics," was Bill Clinton's response when Vice President Al Gore was caught having an illegal fund raiser at a Buddhist Temple. The Clintons seem to always have an unjustifiable justification for violating both ethics and law.

And the Post's expectation that the Clintons "provide some genuine transparency" about anything must supply both Bill and Hillary with waves of uncontrollable laughter.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Democratic Media Bias - Take #5

For what reasons are the major news media reluctant, or refusing, to recall that after leaving office, Bill Clinton met with Special Prosecutor Robert Ray and copped to commiting crimes while President - behavior which his wife considered to be "private, personal matters" when she was out promoting her book?

In light of his admission, are Senators Biden and Dodd regretful or remorseful at having voted to keep Mr. Clinton in office during his impeachment? Which of the Democratic candidates would pardon Bill Clinton if they become President? Why should American voters feel comfortable at having Hillary Clinton as president if she believes that commiting crimes while president is a"private, personal matter?"

After all of the inane, irrelevant questions posed to the Republican candidates during their debates, one would think that at some point the above topics might be broached if a responsible journalist or two just decided to ask the Democratic candidates about ethics in their debates or interviews.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Democratic Media Bias - Take #4

Considering the Clinton's history of offense in "the politics of personal destruction," it defies belief that Mr. Shaheen's statements regarding Sen. Obama's past drug use was not orchestrated at the highest level (Mrs. Clinton). In the past James Carville has publicly referred to Bill's alleged affairs as "trailer trash" - Monica Lewinsky was labeled a stalker at the height of Perjurygate - and Kathleen Willey was likewise disparaged, just to name a few. No opponent, political or personal, challenges them and goes unscathed. These little tidbits should, but are not being served as reminders to the voting public.

The possibility that Mrs. Clinton may have suborned perjury during the so-called bimbo eruptions episodes also seems to be part of the media's deaf, dumb and blind act. Past reports have alleged that Mrs. Clinton actually sat in the room while the so-called bimbo(s), with another attorney, knowingly falsified an affidavit that she did not have a sexual relationship with Bill Clinton.

A lot more serious breach of journalistic ethics regarding the Clintons that neither the public is being reminded of nor has Mrs. Clinton's campaign been asked about, are ugly and possibly illegal statements made on Election Day 2000. With reporters in attendance at Hillary's campaign night headquarters during her first Senatorial campaign, while watching the election returns Bill Clinton was calling out all the states where Ralph Nader was hurting Al Gore. One of Mrs. Clinton's people said, aloud, "Somebody ought to kill Ralph Nader." To which Hillary Clinton responded, "That's not a bad idea." Her crew quickly rushed to holler, "That's off the record, that's off the record!" - a little too late. Unfortunately most of the major media does not consider this newsworthy enough to point out about a presidential candidate.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Democratic Media Bias - Take #3

Upon his return to the radio on December 3rd, Don Imus said, "I musta missed that," in reference to the 'national dialog on race' that was being clamored for after his forced April departure from the airwaves.

Also missed were any disclosures by CNN hosts, anchors and correspondents during that April that CNN is a division of Time-Warner - and that Time-Warner has been a major distributor of black artists who promote and use offensive and degrading language to describe black people in general and black women in particular.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


(Initially written April 15, 2006)

It may be an honor just to be nominated but it is virtually criminal that the television academy has failed to nominate the other Liza with a Z. Anyone who has watched GILMORE GIRLS through the years knows that, next to Doris Roberts' Marie Barone of EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND, none of the Emmy nominated comedic supporting actresses comes close to Liza Weil's portrayal of the irrepressible Paris Geller. Not only is Paris Geller one of the great television characters of the decade, but Miss Weil plays her to a fare-thee-well.

In addition to finally giving the lovingly, leggy Lauren Graham a smart and capable role other than her perennial sitcom performances as the ditzy friend, the ditzy co-worker or the ditzy neighbor, Amy Sherman-Palladino has fashioned an intriguingly comic plethora of quirky characters in small town America reminiscent of David E. Kelley's PICKET FENCES. From the recurring role of Liz Torres as the zaftig, man-eating Miss Patty to the adorable Sally Struthers' Babette running through the streets of fictional Stars Hollow, Connecticut while holding onto her ample flopping bosom, GILMORE GIRLS is the 21st Century version of early cable television when the television academy ignored cable's contributions and their talent.

From her portrayal as a youthful, Harvard obsessed, privileged high school student to her college life and relationship angst, every appearance of Liza, as Paris, is a raucous, scene stealing tour-de-force. And though the character Paris Geller is an over-the-top, overachieving dynamo, Weil never plays her as such. Each syllabic utterance, gesture, and put down is exactly what you would expect of the character.

Unfortunately, the television academy turned the Emmy Awards from the artistry of recognition based performances into a People Magazine, Entertainment Tonight type popularity contest wherein the so-called "hot" shows and "hot" actors get most of the nominations; often with multiple nominees from the same show nominated for the same award. They repeatedly ignore Emmy caliber work by the likes of Kurtwood Smith and Mila Kunis as the irascible Red Forman and the vain Jackie Burkhart, respectively, of THAT 70'S SHOW; Ron Rifkin as evil genius Arvin Sloane of ALIAS; former Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader Jill Marie Jones as the diva-licious Toni Childs on GIRLFRIENDS; young Jeremy Suarez who plays Jordan on the always hilarious BERNIE MAC SHOW; and the incredible Kelly Bishop on the aforementioned GILMORE GIRLS, just to name a few.

And though Maura Tierney's dramatic stint on ER has been duly recognized with Emmy nominations, the Academy repeatedly failed to acknowledge the understated comedic brilliance she exhibited on NEWSRADIO, reminiscent of Helen Hunt's award winning portrayal of Jamie Buchman on MAD ABOUT YOU.

It is also time for the television academy to start bestowing a BEST RECURRING CHARACTER award for those individuals that make four or five appearances a season but are not part of the regular cast. Scott Cohen's turn on NYPD BLUE immediately comes to mind along with the wonderful Sylvia Harris as Mrs. Buchman on MAD ABOUT YOU. Think about it. If they can bestow an award for a one time, guest starring performance, surely repeat performances by a non-cast actor over a quarter of a season should be seriously considered.

However, this is my ode to Paris. There has been no character so completely, lovably and fascinatingly unique since Lucy Liu's Ling Wu walked into the law offices of Cage and Fish on ALLY McBEAL. And it is past time for the television academy to wake up and show Liza (Weil)the Emmy.

BELATED FOOTNOTE: To get the full effect of how great Ms. Weil's portrayal is, rent or buy GILMORE GIRLS from Season One through the present and watch the natural progression.

Democratic Media Bias - Take #2

Back in April, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton was quick to jump on the anti-Imus bandwagon with a much publicized visit to the Rutgers Womens Basketball Team in what was an apparent politicized show of "sisterhood" solidarity. The fickle news media neglected to show any of the photos of Mr. and Mrs. Clinton with Russell Simmons or P. Diddy Combs at Democratic fund raisers where they took their campaign donations. It's not as though all of the leading Democrats who are quick to embrace Messers Simmons and Combs don't know that they are two of the major producers of the offensive, degrading language that Miss Hillary went to Rutgers to disdain. And when the Congress held hearings regarding this lyrical abomination where C. Dolores Tucker, (who received death threats), Joe Lieberman and Tipper Gore testified, Mrs. Clinton was nowhere in sight.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Democratic Media Bias - Take #1

Tim Russert of NBC News and host of MEET THE PRESS (MTP) is repeatedly lauded by his colleagues in the world of journalism for being a tough questioner. His MTP interview with GOP candidate Rudy Giuliani was no less heralded. However, his interview with Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton bared no such toughness when it came to ethics. He never bothered to ask her if she still thinks that her husband, who actually admitted to commiting crimes while in office, was still impeached over "a personal matter?" Or, how is it "a private, personal matter" that Monica Lewinsky was being paid by the Pentagon to have sexual relations with Bill Clinton during business hours? (Can you say Wayne Hays and Elizabeth Ray?)

Saturday, December 8, 2007

LETTER to the EDITOR (NY Times)

(I have a saying; "If you're gonna read Pravda, you should first learn Russian." Consequently, I rarely read the New York Times. In one of those rare moments I was sufficiently pissed about a Maureen Dowd column that I felt compelled to write a letter to the editor. Unfortunately, the New York times found all my news unfit to print. The following is the aforementioned, unpublished, Letter to the Editor.)

Dear Editor:

It appears that John Kerry has found a staunch and highly literate ally in Maureen Dowd to do his whining for him. Her Thursday (Sept.9, 2004) treatise, (Cheney Spits Toads) is a well written conglomeration of misinformation and misleading political rhetoric. If John Kerry and his Democratic supporters can't stand a little heat from Dick Cheney and Zell Miller, they should find a candidate with a little more guts.

Over the years the Republican presidential candidates have had to endure false charges that they were going to take away Social Security, take away Medicare and force senior citizens and poverty level children to eat dog food and go without medicine. And when the underage drinking of the Bush twins became front page fodder for comics and news shows there were no editorial opinions for being over the line or hitting below the belt.

Ms. Dowd's assertion of the Bush administration's "pumped up" WMD claims totally belies the fact that in 1998 Sen. Kerry voted to oust Saddam Hussein, unilaterally if necessary, over those very WMDs. She also conveniently forgets that Bush's National Security team was formulating a comprehensive plan to go after Al Qaeda and bin Laden when Sept. 11th became our 21st century Day of Infamy. If the best that Bill Clinton and Sandy Berger could do was to tell W. that bin Laden was a priority, even after subsequent Al Qaeda attacks got more sophisticated and more deadly over the 7 years after WTC bombing #1, then Ms. Dowd's presidential terrorist angst is clearly misplaced. And so is her insinuation that Saddam Hussein was not an imposing threat worthy of immediate extinction. What does Ms. Dowd think that all of those meetings between Al Qaeda operatives and the Iraqi heirarchy were; Koran bible study sessions!

The US march into Baghdad and the subsequent capture of Saddam Hussein unearthed millions of dollars in hard US currency; not euros, yen or rubles. Add to that, bin Laden was said to be broke after his ouster from Sudan, and that much of the financing that sustained the Sept. 11th hijackers has yet to be traced, one could justly make a credible circumstancial case of collaboration. Apparently Ms. Dowd and the anti-Bush, anti-war contingent feel that we should have waited until we found a series of checks with Saddam Hussein's logo made out to Al Qaeda and WTC hijackers.

As for her snide little assault on the military service of the president 35 years ago, I would say that President Bush was better off missing a few Guard meetings and Dick Cheney was better off getting five deferments if all they had to look forward to was being spit on and having John Kerry and his ilk calling them rapists and baby killers.

C. Hill (Brooklyn)

BELATED FOOTNOTE: I neglected to add that Saddam Hussein spent all 8 years of the Clinton administration trying to shoot down US and allied aircraft patrolling the no-fly zone. Would you consider someone an imposing threat if they were in your neighborhood shooting at vehicles for eight years - even if they hit none?


(I wrote the following unpublished article five days after what became our 21st Century Day of Infamy (Sept. 16, 2001). At that time, the only major statement made by President George W. Bush had been at Ground Zero in New York City amidst the police, firefighters and rescue workers. The press was clamoring for the president to speak to the nation. Historians invoked the names of FDR and Pearl Harbor to remind the public of how it was necessary for a president to speak to the nation quickly and assuredly. We were also reminded of how quickly and confidently Bill Clinton was before the nation in the aftermath of a terrorist attack.)

Does anyone believe that the remaining members of New York's Ladder Company #5 could take any comfort in Bill Clinton's speech after the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center? Would the families of the employees of Cantor-Fitzgerald feel comforted if George W. Bush gave Bill Clinton's hangar speech among the American body bags that arrived after the African embassy bombings; or Clinton's post USS Cole bombing speech?

Talk is cheap! Symbolism is often cheaper. President George W. Bush has a major job to do. Talking to us to make us feel better isn't one of them. And why host after host, pundit after pundit, and historian after historian thinks that making the right kind of speech on the evening of September 11th would be the event to define a presidency is an absurdity in and of itself. Such folly is the result of having chosen window dressing over leadership.

It is time for deeds, not words! It is not time for glorious speeches about the American resolve and the American spirit. It is time for deeds. It is not time for masking the illusion of leadership in feel good speeches. It is time for deeds. The trouble with having chosen window dressing over leadership is that the mannequins in our TV window were not real. They were an erroneous perception of reality designed to sell an image. Image isn't everything. At what point did we go from the decisiveness of Harry Truman's, "The buck stops here!" to needing flowery speeches about how our neighbors, loved ones, and defenders of our nation died a noble and honorable death at the hands of a maniacal perversion of Islam? At 8:45am Eastern Time on the morning of September 11, 2001, that perversion wrought 280 million casualties. The whole of the United States of America suffered a collective death in the family. And in our attempt to seek solace from our collective grief we fearfully keep coming to the same conclusion - it's not over yet! Not for them, not for us.

It is time for Americans to dispense with the notion that the flowery rhetoric of the past eight years, delivered by a charming rhetorician, is the necessary antidote to allay our pain and grief. It was window dressing. It was not leadership. It was not leadership when Bill Clinton governed the state of Arkansas to the near bottom of every major quality-of-life category in America. And we should have seen it then, not now. When an American GI, on a mission of mercy, was murdered and dragged through the streets of Somalia we should have seen it then - not now. When the bungling incompetence, and his subsequent disavowal, killed over seven dozen people in Waco, Texas we should have seen it then - not now. And when the evidence that the multitude of mounting American deaths during the Clinton/Albright foreign policy administration came at the hands of the same satanic mercenary, the coordinated effort to isolate and destroy that mission should have occurred then, not now!

And lest we forget the American ideal of representative government, in this infamy that will be carved upon the hearts and souls of generations of Americans not yet born, Senators Jesse Helms, Joe Biden, Strom Thurmond, Carl Levin, John Warner and Ted Kennedy do not come away with their hands clean. As the respective leaders of their Senate committees these Senators had a moral and occupational duty to prioritize the destruction of the head and arms of this fanatical, multi-tentacled monster. To combat this fanaticism demands a coherent and decisive plan of action with no room for failure. Such planning, such coherence and such decisiveness requires real leadership. Those we looked to for that leadership failed their families, failed their office and failed their country. We have paid a terrible price for confusing window dressing with leadership. Now that price must be even higher.

And for those who say that this is not the time to be laying blame, but to come together and support our President in the ensuing war against terrorism, I respectfully disagree. I am an American. I can do both!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


(The following op-ed piece appeared in the July/Aug. 1999 issue of METRO EXCHANGE.)

When a berserk Colin Ferguson boarded an afternoon Long Island Railroad train murdering six people, the cold-blooded murders became embedded in our minds as the LIRR massacre. But when Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris embarked on a carefully calculated shooting rampage, unexploded pipe bombs notwithstanding, and assassinated more than twice the number of people as did Ferguson, it is repeatedly billed as the Columbine incident. Their victims are rarely referred to as murdered in a massacre.

As the antics and instability of Littleton's Trench Coat Mafia's predatory nature is revealed, the networks, broadcast and cable, are manic in their ratings grabbing efforts to seek out the exclusive answers and solutions to this increasing epidemic of White on White crime that has exploded throughout all corners of the country leaving a growing number of bullet riddled bodies strewn across the more peaceful looking segments of our purple mountains' majesty. And as the survivors of the victims, the neighbors and friends of Littleton, Colorado; Paducah, Kentucky; Johnson City, Tennessee; Springfield, Oregon; and Jonesboro, Arkansas were shown to be incredulous in their conclusions that "It can't happen here," it keeps happening there.

But when Blacks and Latinos victimize their peers and other innocents in initiation slashings, brutal beatings and drive by shootings, they are generally relegated to minor air time and Page 20 news columns, their cause and effects commonly dismissed as the pathological behavior of these groups, genetically pre-disposed to their violent behavior because of no fathers, poor public education, drug addicted mothers, no positive role models and a perilous lack of midnight basketball.

The gang culture in America is almost as old as the country itself. The search to find answers as to why White children become entrenched in these violent group associations totally ignores the existence of Bonnie and Clyde, Ma Barker and her boys, La Cosa Nostra, the Irish gangs of Hell's Kitchen, fraternity hazing and the multitudes of Aryan offshoots of the Ku Klux Klan.

Although the various segments of entertainment mediums may be justly taking their hits at producing anything to the cause of profits, and though the occasional youthful murderer claims to have incurred their trade from some particular movie or video game, not enough attention is being paid to the terribly lacking sense of right and wrong. Prior decades had their fair share of violent war movies, violent westerns, and good-guys-always-win gangster movies. However, the youths of those decades seemed to have an innate sense of right and wrong when their parents sent them off to see John Wayne, Errol Flynn or a wonderfully vicious performance by Humphrey Bogart, Richard Widmark or James Cagney.

And while Tipper Gore and Senator Joseph Lieberman toured the country railing about how gangsta rap depicts violence and the sexual degradation of women, Bill Clinton was in the White House Oval Office auditioning interns for 2 Live Crew videos. The leadership message is very muddled when the only difference between the President of the United States and the misogyny of gangsta rap is that Clinton sees women as bimbos and trailer trash and rappers call them bitches and hos - but it's the same flavor.

As our politicians battle the movie industry, the music industry, the NRA, the Internet, video game manufacturers, television and each other, and the Chicago City Council moronically attacks Jerry Springer about whether his guests should be arrested if the fights are real, without applying the same standard to fights on the field, ice and court of the Cubs, White Sox, Blackhawks and Bulls, the mass murders in Littleton, Colorado clearly displays the stark contrast of how Black lives are held in less esteem than White lives by the government and the major news media.

When Black folks are violently victimized by remorseless, predatory Black folks we are told that it is endemic, pathological behavior for which the government solutions are excessive force, poorly trained Street Crime Units, racial profiling and all other manner of individual assaults on Constitutional rights and liberties. But when White folks are violently victimized by remorseless and predatory White folks, they are totally prepared to assault the Constitution itself.

BELATED FOOTNOTE: When black New Yorker, John Taylor and an accomplice herded a group of employees into the basement of a Wendy's Restaurant in Queens, New York and proceeded to shoot them in the head, the word incident never crossed a reporter's lips.