There’s lot’s to talk about, so let’s jump right in:
He was wrong!
After reporting on what looked like a great human interest story, Michigan man John Barnes’ contention that he was in reality a boy who had been kidnapped more than fifty years ago turned out to be a dud! Though I had reported that the DNA tests being conducted by the FBI could take months (that came directly from LI Newsday, my source!), the test results were made public late Friday and they proved that Mr. Barnes was not Steven Dammon, the toddler who disappeared in front of a Long Island storefront never to be seen again.
Upon first glance, this one had all the makings of a once in a lifetime feel good miracle. Family reunions are great stories, especially one with the potential that this one had. Mr. Barnes had long harbored doubts about kinship with his family. He didn’t feel like he belonged. He claimed his mother had mentioned something about kidnapping on her deathbed and soon his thoughts began to wander. He discovered the Dammon case, and eventually contacted Dammon’s sister, Pamela Sue Horn, who now lives in Kansas City and shared his thoughts with her. The pair submitted DNA samples to find out if Mr. Barnes’ suspicions could possibly be true. They weren’t!
I was hoping for a different outcome, having found the story so potentially interesting and worthy enough to cover, but I can’t help but think that Mr. Barnes is a little loony and I can only imagine the stress his little investigative venture has placed on both the Dammon and the Barnes families. I feel sad for all of them. This one needs to be put to rest!
African American man attacks gays in “hate crime”
On Friday morning in Central Islip, NY, Wenzola Rountree allegedly assaulted three men as he yelled anti-gay epithets at them. Two of the men were hospitalized in the attack. He was charged with assault as a hate crime for the incident and pleaded not guilty. The specifics of the story are not relevant here, because whether or not Mr. Rountree is guilty of this crime, I see this kind of thing too often: minorities committing hate crimes, and I find it pretty disturbing.
I’ve been gay all my life, just as Mr. Rountree has been African American. I’m rather masculine in appearance and demeanor and I don’t give off my “scent” as evidently as some of my gay brethren. But even I have experienced harassment at least a few times, and often it has been at the hands of someone in another minority group. I think that the terms ‘hate crimes’ and ‘minorities’ uttered in the same sentence is oxymoronic. After all, all minorities have taken their licks from members of the majority class at one time or another. So one would believe that they’d be extra sensitive to harassing or harming others solely based on the fact that their victim is a member of another minority group, but it happens. Seemingly, these days it’s still widely accepted to bash gays in one form or another. We’re the last of the oppressed, I guess and I’m just getting really sick of it!
Thank you, thank you
I think I may have finally had one of my ideas actually acted upon by someone that could. A few weeks ago, I penned an article, “Stop taxing my vice”, in which I bemoaned yet another tax on cigarettes proposed by the county in which I live. Upon opening up my Sunday edition of Long Island Newsday, I thought that maybe someone in a high place must’ve read my article. In it, I had suggested that governments find money in other people’s vices to earn revenue, for a change. I suggested a “Big Mac” tax.
The front cover of Newsday today was a photo of the upper and lower buns of a Big Mac with the words, “you want tax with that” in place of the hamburger(s). The story reports on a proposal within the Nassau County government to place a 2% tax on fast food items. The idea is far from becoming reality, but sponsors say it could raise over $11 billion for the county in 2010. The newspaper interviewed fast food customers across the county and already the complaints are flowing like an angry river!
As I reported earlier, fast food is assuredly a health problem for many and it, like smoking, does have some affect on the overall health system. It makes much sense to me to tax other people’s addictions and not only mine. And two-percent is nothing compared to the ridiculous amount of monies they’ve already levied against cigarette smokers. I say it’s about time! Thanks.
The situation in Iran is still brewing strong. A day after the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khameni, warned protesting Iranians to cease their demonstrations and accept the results of the election, thousands of people still showed themselves en masse in the streets of Iranian cities in defiance of their all powerful, unelected Supreme Leader. Lines of police awaited them, though the clashes were more peaceful than they had been. President Obama, in his strongest statement to date, sent a message to Iran’s leaders to “stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people.”
Obama had been pressured lately into making a statement on the Iranian situation for some time by members of Congress. With the situation still unsettled, this was his first attempt to weigh in and enter the discourse without exerting the bravado that’s fed anti-Americanism in Iran all of these years. It was the right approach for now, though what will happen next no one knows. We’ll just have to wait and see…
Chang, Sophia, and MacGowan, Carl. “Man’s attack on gays a hate crime, cops say.” LI Newsday 20 June 2009 A14. Print.
Dhareini, Ali Akbar, Murphy, Brian. “defying supreme leader.” LI Newsday 21 June 2009 A8. Print.
Hadrick, Celeste. “Nassau tax plan is a whopper.” LI Newsday 21 June 2009: A7. Print.
Harrington, Mark. “Back into oblivion.” LI Newsday 20 June 2009: A7. Print.