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“What did you learn the most by being a cop?”

That is the question I was asked by a teenager not long ago as I spoke to an eleventh grade high school class about law enforcement. It gave me pause to think before offering a reply. I thought it was worth asking the same question of a number of my retired police comrades via e-mail to see what they would say. Some of the replies were very thoughtful and profound. Some short, some long. I am sharing these comments with my law enforcement friends and colleagues and family members for their perusal. Attribution is omitted, though responders are welcome to chime in on the blog. Here goes:

1. “I learned to check my cynicism at the door. Believing that 99% of the population that we served were good people who wanted the same things in life that I wanted in life.”

2. “Despite your best efforts and how hard you try, you can’t fix every problem, you don’t have every answer and keep the good and bad circumstances in perspective. Perform your job fairly and honestly.”

3. “One of the things I learned is exemplified by a video you can

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Jackie Evancho, age 10, did not win first place in this year’s America’s Got Talent Show. Michael Grimm, a nice looking fellow and a decent singer/guitarist won the million dollars. That’s because of the demographics en masse of viewers who vote. Young girls watch by the millions, and they vote with all the cell phones they can get their hands on.

That’s okay. The good news, is that the world now knows Jackie Evancho, much like it now knows Susan Boyle. These kinds of talents remain hidden in the pockets of the country, until they emerge in shows like this. Now, Miss Evancho’s future has brightened, for her and her family. And we are all the better for it.

If you google “America’s Got Talent,” the hits are all about this beautiful young phenom who sings like angel. Grimm is buried in the news.

From the first time I watched during her initial appearance singing an operatic aria, I was stunned with her poise, her clarity and her perfect pitch. Folks were questioning how such a mature voice could emanate from such a young and tiny body. But it does. And the only reason I am writing this blog is

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Thoughts that come to mind reflecting over the past month.   

1) JetBlue Flight Attendant, Steven Slater, is a jerk. (my opinion) What may seemed like an enviable act of courage, it was, in fact, an act of stupidity for which he should not serve as an example to others. Rude customers comes with the territory in service jobs, especially those dealing with a high volume of the public. That’s life.

2) Polls show that 20 percent of Americans now think that Obama is a Muslim, up from 11 percent. Count me among them. To me, it’s obvious. America was duped in 2008. A recent CNN poll also reveals that 60 percent of Americans doubt his birth records. Count me in as well.

3) Boo to the PGA. Golfer Dustin Johnson got the royal screw when officials docked him two strokes for grounding his club in a patch of dirt they called a sand trap. Otherwise, he was certain to be in the three-way playoff for the PGA Championship, with a possible prize of $1.3 million.

4) The due sensitivity of Americans and families of three thousand 9/11 victims should take precedence over the sensitivities of Muslims who want to

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Eleven years ago, yours truly was suffering badly from migraines, so the neurologists finally ordered an MRI of my head. (Folks had always said I needed my head examined)

Voila, they discovered I had a one-inch thick AVM (Arteriovenous Malformation) in the back of my brain, which had probably been growing there since birth. In a nutshell, an AVM is a grouping of tangled veins and arteries which, if bleeding occurred (like an aneurism) could cause death and/or permanent disability.

Doctors insisted I go for further tests and treatment. They said, the likelihood of bursting increases at a rate of three percent per year, and at this point I had just entered my 60s.

Very worrisome, indeed. Three options were: surgery, radiation or gamble doing nothing. I’ve always been a loser at gambling. I won’t even stop at a one-armed bandit in Vegas.

Suzanne and I traveled to Emory University in Atlanta, where the world’s top experts in AVM treatment and surgery were available. My surgeon said it was very serious, but to further pinpoint matters, he ordered a series of tests which involved scans, dyes, arteriograms, and much more.

While being prepped, with hospital gown and tubes hanging from

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1) I believe Barack Obama will not serve out his four-year term, and will likely be out of office by this time next year. (For one reason or another).

2) After January of 2011, hard evidence of Obama’s presidential illegitimacy will surface necessitating a congressional investigation that results in his impeachment and/or resignation from office…that being the likely basis for removal from office.

3) Joe Biden will assume the Oval Office and — based on powerful signals from the American electorate — will shift much of the Democratic focus from left, to center in the political spectrum, based on powerful signals from the American electorate.

4) A significant shift in congressional power will take place after November’s mid-term election resulting in Republican majority in the House and Senate. (Which is partly why # 2 will happen)

5) Hillary Clinton will resign as Secretary Of State after the mid-term elections. She will run for president in 2012, and win the Democratic nomination. This will occur regardless if Obama or Biden is in office.

6) We will see another major terrorist attack in the U.S. within the next twelve months.

7) The Afghan war will come to an abrupt halt before the

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A sleeper for the Oscars.

While this picture will be a box office flop, it’s probably the best drama of 2010, destined to be remembered as a gut-wrenching drama with true-to-life characters and internal conflicts that only the super destitute can relate to.

Briefly, this is about a 17 year-old girl burdened with the responsibility of caring for two small siblings, abandoned by one criminal parent and another disabled, struggling to survive in the backwoods setting of rural Missouri. She’s informed by authorities that their ramshackle house will be confiscated by authorities unless she locates her father…an impossible task. Superbly acted by Jennifer Lawrence, her character is met with one roadblock after.

Directed by Debra Granik, the actors in the film are so realistic, it makes them surreal. This is not for people who complain about “depressing” movies, nor does it display the usual herky-jerky hand-held cameras with dumb action, smashed cars, collapsing buildings, and bullets flying by the billions. It’s not a complicated story, but one you won’t easily forget.

Watch for Oscar nominations for best actress, best supporting actress (Dale Dickey) and best director.


Again, superb acting by John C. Reilly,

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It’s the in-vogue term for invectives who wish to instill hatred. Unfortunately, it’s been a big success.

Just call someone, or any organization — RACIST — and all ears listen. Attach labels, that’s an effective strategy. True or not, they stick like unwanted glue. The media jumps on such allegations as juicy headlines in the making.

We no longer have to interpret the meaning of RACIST. Society and media has done it for us. It unequivocally refers to white on black prejudice. And if someone like myself even suggests that blacks can be racist too, that make me: (Guess what?) A RACIST!

If an organization existed was named the “NAAWP” (National Organization for the Advancement of White People) the powerful black community, the media and the majority of America — left and right — would be swayed to believe they are all RACISTS. But any organization that is black-only, is an American entitlement, not RACIST.

The Congressional Black Caucus categorically excludes whites even though some white congressmen have applied for membership in the past. Does that mean white congresspersons should be extended the same right to form a White Caucus? Of course not, that would make them: RACISTS.

Recently, an

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