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VIOLENT CRIME IN CITIES: AN AMAZING DISCOVERY

An interesting crime statistic:

The top ten cities in America for rates of murder per 100,000 are as follows:  (Per FBI stats)

  1. St. Louis, Mo.      –   59.8
  2. Baltimore, Md       –  57.8
  3. New Orleans, La.  –   41.7
  4. Newark, NJ  –   33.3
  5. Milwaukee, Wi.  –   24.2
  6. Wash. DC    –    24.1
  7. Chicago, Il.  –  23.8
  8. Kansas City, Mo.  –  23.0
  9. Cincinnati, Oh     –   22.1
  10. Memphis, Tn –   20.5

If you wanted to see the next 10 cities on the list, it would be:

  1. Oakland
  2. Atlanta
  3. Pittsburg
  4. Philadelphia
  5. Indianapolis
  6. Miami
  7. Cleveland
  8. Stockton
  9. Buffalo
  10. Houston

New York City with the highest population by far (8,537,673) is far down the list with only 3.4 killings per 100,000

While I was going through this research, I stumbled on another interesting crime stat pertaining to rape.  Top five cities are as follows (per 100,000):

  1. Anchorage  –  171.6
  2. Cleveland, Oh  –  124.0
  3. New Orleans, La  –  104.0
  4. Aurora, Co.  –  97.7
  5. Columbus, Oh   –  95.1

     New York City?  Way down the list at 14.0

My next focus, following these crime trends, was to research the local government make-up of cities with high rates of violent crime, particularly city councils and mayors, who have the most influence on policy and

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THE DOWNSIDE OF HARSH SENTENCING

 

I applaud reality star, Kim Kardashian for embarking on a mission convincing President Trump to commute a woman’s prison sentence who had been serving mandatory life plus 25 years, for her role in a Tennessee drug ring. Alice Johnson, age 63, is a mother of five who admitted her crimes for which she was sentenced by a federal judge in 1996.

     Mrs. Johnson had petitioned President Obama for clemency in 2014, but was denied. Hers was a significant drug crime, but also a first offence. During her prison time, she was considered a model inmate.

     While president, Barack Obama issued nearly two thousand clemency orders for inmates serving non-violent offenses. I was no fan of President Obama, but I do think he was right to address the issue of harsh and mandatory sentences for non-violent crimes.

     Mrs. Johnson certainly deserved prison time. But relegating a human being to life without a chance of parole, except in the most egregious of crimes, is barbaric. If Mrs. Johnson, and others like her, remained in prison until age 90 or 100, costs to the taxpayer would be enormous.

     Elderly people in prison is becoming the norm, not the exception. According to Wikipedia

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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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