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In the end, it comes down to that.

Some folks think the worst things about growing older are losing good health or losing good looks. For me, it’s losing all those wonderful friends on the e-mail directory. The older we get, the more often we find ourselves removing folks from the list. These last two years have been particularly sad as I’ve eulogized three and lost a half dozen others, all far too premature.


This past week, we attended the grave side service of a close friend of more than twelve years. We had lunch with Marvin Schild and his devoted wife, Jean, just two months ago in New Smyrna Beach. A champion tennis player on the senior circuit, Marvin gleefully announced that doctors had pronounced his cancer in full remission. The remission didn’t last long. He was 79.

A past president of the Florida Bar Association, Marvin was also a former municipal judge and city attorney who practiced many years in the Miami area before moving to Maggie Valley, N.C. where we met. He was a delight to argue with, me on the right, he on the left. We dispelled the old adage that the twain shall

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Henry Louis Gates, Jr., is a prominent professor at Harvard University who teaches, of all things, race relations. On the 21st of July, he was arrested by a Cambridge officer at his home for Disorderly Conduct. Mr. Gates claims it was an act of racism.

The media has run with this ball like a Patriots tailback from his own one-yard line. A famous black person crying “racism” against a white cop is really big news, truth be damned. And considering the man’s vast array of credentials, he must be the good guy, while the cop is the bad guy.

Reporters are asking the cop if he’s going to apologize. Won’t happen, he says. Nothing to apologize for.

In a one-sided barrage of outrage, television commentators have sought out scores of prominent blacks for on-camera vilification of police behavior, even reaching the president of the United States, who, in responding to a reporters question, said, “I don’t know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played in that, but I think it’s fair to say…that the Cambridge Police acted stupidly.”

The president is right saying, “I don’t know, not having been there.” But he

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What a world we live in.

Can you imagine a clothing style where women … especially fat women…wear low rise pants and skirts so their guts can hang over for all to admire?

Can you imagine a dress style in America where young men walk around with their pants hanging under the cheeks of their ass, so their underwear is completely exposed? And parents say it’s okay?

Can you imagine youngsters on a dance floor doing nothing other than dry sex with clothes on? Welcome to 2009, folks.

Can you imagine admiring performers like Frankie Avalon, Frank Sinatra or Ray Charles singing lyrics about raping women, killing cops and using drugs…and our kids make them rich by buying millions of their records? Welcome to gangsta rap. And these guys win Grammy awards. Well…after all, Elvis wiggled his pelvis, right?

Can you imagine school officials strip searching a 13 year-old girl, because she was caught with an Advil? Or suspending a 9 year-old for giving a Cert mint to a friend? Again, welcome to 2009. It just happened in Manassas, Va.

Can you imagine arresting a 19 year-old for having consensual sex with a 17 year-old girl, then sentencing him to

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Jews, Unite!

It’s time to go after the Egyptians and make them cough up reparation for the slavery your ancestors endured 3,500 years ago. And while you’re at it, might as well tap the Spanish, Arabs and Germans and see what you can hustle.

Why not?

Then, let’s fork over a couple hundred billion of America’s tax dollars to African-Americans as payment due for the years of slavery their ancestors suffered from 1619 to 1865. Good reason to hustle more freebees off the taxpayer.

Recession? Trillion dollar debt? So what.

Some eight years ago, it was the Reparations Assessment Group who convened to punish white America for crimes of yore. Lawyers Johnnie Cochran and Alexander J. Pires Jr. filed that lawsuit but it never went anywhere.

Now, we have the honorable (pardon the expression) Representative John Conyers, (D) of Michigan, who is sponsoring H.R. 40, The “Commission to Study Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act.” The whole idea is to muscle through a bill that will force descendents of slave owners to apologize and pay up kazillions for the dastardly crimes of their ancestors.

Excuse me? Ancestors? My mother’s grandparents immigrated from Norway in 1880. My father’s parents came over

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This post was published in November of 2007.  Reposted on this date, with comments included.


Posted on November 30th, 2007 by Marshall Frank in Criminal Justice, Edit

The War on Drugs is lost. Our nation has spent nearly a trillion dollars since the 1970’s trying to enforce unenforceable laws, which have only served to fuel the black market and incarcerate millions of otherwise non-violent offenders.

If a football coach sends in a losing play, game after game, and never gains ground, he must either change the strategy or find another job. Lawmakers in America continue with the same losing strategy, year after year, while we pay for it with billions in tax dollars and human life. Tell me please, how much sense that makes.

The drug laws are in dire need of revision. Sitting atop the list: Marijuana.

In an open letter to the president, congress, governors and state legislatures, Harvard Economist Professor Jeffrey A. Miron called for the legalization of marijuana and replacing it with a system of taxation and regulation. More than five hundred distinguished economists from around the nation signed off on that letter, including the most notable, Milt Friedman.

In …

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Not everything is as it seems, as many of us have learned during our lives.

Here’s a famous quote by Abraham Lincoln:

“As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy. Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference, is no democracy.”

Certainly a profound statement by a political leader who has been lionized over the last 144 years as the greatest president in American history and certainly, the beacon for establishing equal rights among the races.

But, is this all true, or simply an image? Was Lincoln that much ahead of his time? Did he really feel that blacks deserved parity with whites?

There is always more to the story, as we have learned about many idolized people of history. Many idols have been worshiped and adored only for us to learn later there was another side to him, or her. May we start with Bill Clinton? Rep. William Jefferson? Mayor Marion Barry? Men of the cloth, like Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart. Sports: O.J. They all have one thing in common: Another side people didn’t see because they were blinded by awe.

We all need

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On a summer afternoon in Portland, Oregon, 68 year-old Margaret Sutherland kissed her five grown children one by one, listened to her son read the 23rd Psalm, gazed out the window toward the Williamette River a final time then hoisted a glass of water to help her swallow ten, 100 milligram capsules of Seconal. Within five minutes, she was unconscious. In fifteen minutes, she was dead…as she wished.

Cancer had already claimed one of her lungs and eaten her ribs. She had lost control of her bowels and coughed blood constantly. The pain was so intense, she could hardly walk.

Doomed to two, three or four more months of suffering before arriving at death, she also considered the hardships being imposed upon her loved ones. Sutherland decided to take advantage of Oregon’s Death With Dignity law, received confirmation of her doom from two doctors and asked for the needed prescription to end her life. When the day arrived, she put on a dress, a little make-up and said her last goodbyes to friends and family. Love abounded, suffering ended. Everyone was at peace, including Mrs. Sutherland.

How can anyone argue with that?

Obscured amid major political issues this year …

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