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NIKE WILL PAY FOR SUPPORTING KAEPERNICK

(This Op-Ed appears in the 9/11/18 issue of Florida Today)

 

Nike, the sports equipment giant, dropped 3 points in the stock market following that company’s new alliance with former NFLer, Colin Kaepernick. Considering Nike is worth $36.4 billion in the global market, that translates to a huge loss. I suspect it’s only just begun.

I first learned of the rising movement to burn Nike shoes in protest of the protester from my 55-year-old firefighter son who says he will no longer buy Nike products. He claims most of his civil service compatriots are doing the same.

My issue with ex-player, multi-millionaire Kaepernick is not about his entitlements to protest. It’s about abusing his constitutional rights by wrongfully denigrating the very nation that has given him those freedoms by being American.

Much of this ballyhoo would not have happened without the knowledge and consent of NFL owners and coaches who haven’t the guts to do what’s right. When a coach or league commissioner tells players (employees) they are there to play football and entertain fans, they should not be making on-duty political or social protests. If they violate orders, they should lose their jobs. That’s Employment 101.

This has

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SOLUTION TO ABORTION DEBATE: COMPROMISE

(This Op-Ed by yours truly appears in Florida Today newspaper, 8/22/18)

There is an old saying about a half loaf being better than none. Perhaps we should educate our politicians. That’s the same as saying some progress is better than no progress.

It seems no one in the current political spectrum is amenable to such a practice. If politicians who claim to be bipartisan would apply “bipartisanship” to legislative bottlenecks, we might see more progress coming from lawmakers across many issues. The key is compromise, that strange, outdated phenomenon. It was practiced by Republicans and Democrats during the Clinton years, which led to enormous legislative progress, not to mention a balanced budget.

The problem is particularly clear in regards to legalization or criminalization of abortion. There is no middle ground; pro-lifers and pro-choicers are virtually polarized with no room for compromise in either direction.

The impending hearings for nominee Brett Kavanaugh for filling a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court rests not on his voluminous array of legal qualifications or any other matters pertaining to government. Rather, it’s all about Roe v. Wade and how he might lean one direction or another as though this country has no other problems.

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COMPARING IMMIGRATION: MARIEL AND MEXICO

If people really want to understand the risks of accepting unbridled swarms of refugees from another country, they should look no further than Cuba 90 miles from our shores.

     The original flow of Cuban refugees began in 1960 bringing hundreds of thousands of desperate new residents into our country, the majority of whom settled in South Florida. Until then, Miami was considered a moderate tourist town; Winter Wonderland. 

     I well remember that crisis. I was a rookie cop assigned to the airport when the first waves of Cuban people began arriving on boats and planes. Interesting enough, Castro allowed these folks access to the U.S., but required everyone to leave personal belongings behind, including homes and bank accounts. Most of the early 1960s refugees were well-educated, middle to upper class, skilled and an asset to the population. They were also proud people asking very few entitlements from our country other than asylum and emergency health benefits. Many Cubans thought Castro would not last and they could return to their homes. Never happened.

     Some moved into apartments, three families at a time. I remember Cuban men selling bananas at busy intersections. Some had been bankers, civil servants and business owners in

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DESPITE MISCONCEPTIONS, MARIJUANA STILL HARMFUL

(This article by yours truly, appears in Florida Today Op-Ed page this date.)

Remember when cigarettes were the “in” thing? Teenagers like myself joined millions of kids aiming to be “cool.” Boys carried packs of Lucky Strikes in their t-shirt sleeve. Girls smoked daintily. My mother smoked Kents with the micronite filter because they were “healthier.” She died of cancer at age 55.

Throughout the 1930s to the 1990s, in nearly every scene, movie characters were filmed and photographed with cigarettes dangling from their fingers and lips. Images and billboard ads depicted Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart and scores of other stars glorifying cigarettes as a tool for sexiness. Some medical doctors prostituted themselves by promoting the use of nicotine. Magazine ads were common, many portraying physicians holding a cigarettes saying, “More doctors smoke camels than any other cigarette.”

For nearly a century, no one listened to nay-sayers trying to convince us how nicotine was bad for our health, that it was addictive and potentially lethal. We didn’t listen. We didn’t believe nicotine was addictive. Meanwhile, cigarette companies exploded with profits as they enhanced the content of nicotine. Politicians were barraged with warnings and data, but that didn’t matter so long

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COPS ARE CONSTANT TARGETS OF VIOLENCE

(This Op-Ed by yours truly, appeared in the May 26 issue of Florida Today)

 

Date: April 1, 1976.  April Fool’s Day.

Three detectives, all friends, all under age 32, spotted a stolen car in a motel parking lot in Miami Beach. They asked the desk clerk about the car owner who was occupying a street-level room. Before the cops had a chance to knock on the suspect’s door, the clerk alerted the car thief by phone. One by one, these fine young men, with families, were ambushed as the shooter fired his 12 gauge through the window.

Funerals were drenched with tears. To this day, I know fellow cops who never got over it.

That year, over 200 police officers died in the line of duty in America. Sure, it’s a risk built into the job, but there’s something horribly sinister about cops dying in ambush, for no other reason than being a police officer.

Since records have been kept, starting in 1791, (according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial) 21,541 officers have been killed in the line of duty. That doesn’t include the multi thousands more seriously injured and/or crippled while serving as our protectorates. The majority

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SUICIDES KILL MORE THAN HOMICIDES

(This Op-Ed by yours truly was published in Florida Today, Monday, May 14, 2018.)

Most folks do not realize that homicide detectives spend more than half their time on the job investigating suicides, accidental deaths and even unexplained natural deaths, not just murder cases. That’s because any of those could be a homicide in disguise.

Sometimes, it hits home. As a Miami-Dade County homicide supervisor in the 1970s, I was routinely reviewing a stack of reports when I came across a suicide case where a 65-year-old man shot himself in the head and left a note: “I don’t want to suffer the cancer.” His name was Joe Strauss. My stepfather’s brother, he was “Uncle” Joe to me.

On another occasion, I visited the morgue to consult with the medical examiner, a frequent occurrence. As I passed by the array of bodies wearing nothing but toe-tags, I noticed a small person lying with a bullet hole in her temple. I gasped. I knew this girl, my wife’s niece, age 11. Alone in the house, she found her dad’s pistol, lay on the bed and elected to die.

Nationally, suicides comprise more than double the number of homicides, 44,965 compared to

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WHY ARMING TEACHERS IS A BAD IDEA

(This Op-Ed, by yours truly, appears in today’s issue of Florida Today newspaper, 4/30/2018)

 

I’m a supporter of Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey. We are lucky to have such a capable and dedicated law enforcement leader in our midst. That doesn’t mean I agree with everything he proposes.

I oppose the arming of staff within our public classrooms. It’s a bad idea. There are other solutions. If educators are armed statewide, it would increase the incidents of deadly encounters particularly with violence-prone students in volatile venues. Increasing the presence of firearms, en masse, inside school walls increases risks and could cause more problems than it solves.       

This is not only my opinion and that of many others. A recent Gallup Poll showed:

  • 73 percent of teachers oppose teachers and staff carrying guns in schools
  • 58 percent feel that carrying guns would make schools less safe
  • Only 18 percent claim they would be willing to carry guns in schools.

In Brevard, classroom teacher could not be armed because their union-negotiated contract doesn’t allow them to carry firearms. 

My opinion is based on experience as a 30-year law enforcement veteran in Miami-Dade, as well as an involved citizen, father, and grandfather

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