The Rainbow Flag or a Gimmicky Toy? Given Marketing Tactics, Some Won’t Know the Difference

(Disclosure:  This post appears in shorter, different form in a private social media post.) In June, I temporarily removed the rainbow icon from my Twitter profile.  It was Pride Month, and in theory that was one of the best times to keep it visible. I removed it after a day of window shopping in Downtown San Francisco.  Clothing stores in particular were displaying the rainbow as the proverbial toy hammer that a toddler plays with: everything in the house required hammering. After seeing the glut of color that was meant to make people like me feel welcome — and spend … Continue reading The Rainbow Flag or a Gimmicky Toy? Given Marketing Tactics, Some Won’t Know the Difference

The College Admissions Scandal Might not be the Result of Concerned Parenting

Once, I heard an advert on the radio that was a little too obvious.  The person speaking was advising parents to bring their children to an audition for some TV or movie thing, to help your children fulfill their dreams (wording not exact). It sounded to me as if stage parents were being encouraged to put their kids on public display, as well as to lie about their own intentions.  Dreams of an Oscar or Emmy were going through the heads of many parents, while some of those kids must have been thinking, This is so embarrassing.  If they pick me, my … Continue reading The College Admissions Scandal Might not be the Result of Concerned Parenting

The Remaining Questions About Michael Jackson’s Behavior With Children

(Disclosure:  This piece appears in slightly different form as a private social media post.) Aisha Harris’s article on The New York Times site (link below) is one of the more perceptive things I’ve read regarding the debate on Michael Jackson’s conduct with children. It should also be noted that some needy adults have ways of taking advantage of kids that have nothing to do with sexual assault. Some of those acts are technically legal, albeit morally wrong. When Mr. Jackson was still living, it looked as if he might have been demanding emotional comfort from kids the way someone might seek comfort … Continue reading The Remaining Questions About Michael Jackson’s Behavior With Children

The N.Y. Times Editorial Board Doesn’t Like Trump’s Shutdown. Neither do Most People.

Please take a look at the opinion piece posted online today by the New York Times Editorial Board.  I don’t know whether it’s in the print edition.  A link appears below. The current federal shutdown is affecting individuals who must rely on the system being open for business.  Some people are working while their paychecks are delayed, and others are furloughed. Not every person who is affected is a government employee.  Some are contractors, and others are members of the general public who need services on the federal level.  Many are merchants and restaurant operators who rely on transactions with government workers. … Continue reading The N.Y. Times Editorial Board Doesn’t Like Trump’s Shutdown. Neither do Most People.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, not “Mormon”

Many years ago, my maternal grandmother told me she “used to be a Mormon.”  She rejected all invitations (most of which were high-pressure) to rejoin the church, and her siblings did the same. I have issues with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, due to the shabby treatment my grandmother received after she left, and the rigid beliefs regarding members’ and outsiders’ personal lives.  The religion obviously isn’t for everyone, and any member whose personal traits are outside the loop — such as an individual in the LGBT population — can be made miserable.  Gentiles, as that church … Continue reading The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, not “Mormon”

I Boycotted the Speech, but Can’t Stop Reading the Aftermath Stuff

I skipped last night’s State of the Union Address.  Our current President (sic) is a source of embarrassment and shame, and he shouldn’t be leading a country which is capable of much better things. However, one way or another we have a responsibility to stay informed.  Uh, okay. Here’s a link to a fact check list, compiled by multiple staff members at The New York Times:   Continue reading I Boycotted the Speech, but Can’t Stop Reading the Aftermath Stuff

When Prosecutors Don’t Protect the Public

Prosecuting attorneys like to think of themselves as victim advocates.  They see the worst society has to offer, and they’re proud of being in the role of protectors who keep monsters away from vulnerable people. Unfortunately, closing the file on a case is such a high priority that some prosecutors — like some ambitious police detectives — will look the other way when something doesn’t fit. In 1989, a brutal attack on a New York woman in Central Park enraged the public.  The media referred to the near-fatal assault as The Central Park Jogger Case, and the N.Y.P.D. and Manhattan … Continue reading When Prosecutors Don’t Protect the Public

Controversial New York Prison Security Policy on Hold

Governor Mario Cuomo has ordered the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision in New York State to halt — at least temporarily — a policy which went into effect ten days earlier.  The policy restricted the sources for items delivered to inmates. I’ve never been in a prison, either as an inmate or as a visitor.  I have no personal experience with the frustrating and humiliating roadblocks people must navigate in those places.  However, adults should have enough experience in life (and some basic book smarts) to see when concrete policy isn’t the answer to a complicated human problem. A New … Continue reading Controversial New York Prison Security Policy on Hold

Jonathan Martin on Michael Wolff’s Book

Jonathan Martin, Political Correspondent for The New York Times, has offered fact-checking and observations for anyone reading Michael Wolff’s Trump book, Fire and Fury (see link below). On Friday, I tried to buy a hardcover copy from an indie bookseller in my neighborhood and learned every copy in the store was either sold or on reserve.  I fell back on Kindle’s electronic edition, and hoped to find time to read it during the weekend. No such luck.  I’ll still read the book, but will do so carefully.  Jonathan Martin’s review provides guidance on why critical thinking is more important than absorbing claims … Continue reading Jonathan Martin on Michael Wolff’s Book

When “Help” Turns Into a Cult

At the end of this post, please click the link to a New York Times article about a reported FBI investigation of a self-help group called Nxivm.  The name is pronounced “Nexium,” and apparently has no relation to the acid reflux drug. We should be aware that no charges have been brought against Nxivm or its leader.  However, the allegations are alarming, and for the time being any person seeking help with emotional or spiritual issues should probably look elsewhere for treatment. Some treatment programs maintain ethical standards and provide the right support so clients can resume their lives.  Others are looking … Continue reading When “Help” Turns Into a Cult