When I was a senior at St. Andrew’s Priory in Honolulu I was selected by my high school government class to spend a week at the Hawaii state capitol observing the legislature. My assignment was to select one bill under consideration, research it and follow it through the session. I chose the effort to legalize prostitution. At the time, Hawaii had a very active sex … Continue reading Prostitution in Perspective
He told us his name was Ray Casados but on the street they called him Rah-Rah. He was a young tatted up heroin addict who was spending 90 days at the Hoy Recovery Program in Velarde, New Mexico, hoping he could finally kick the habit that had him by the balls, and move forward with a new life as a barber. He hailed from nearby … Continue reading My Week in Detox
Correspondent Ron Allen of NBC News was standing in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt when the news broke that Hosni Mubarak had stepped down. He was in the thick of it and handed the microphone to men standing near him in the crowd for their reactions. They shouted and screamed in triumph. When he retrieved the mic he said “this is what freedom looks like.” … Continue reading “This Is What Freedom Looks Like”
Just returned from San Angelo, Texas where reporter Carol McKinley and our crew worked on a story for HDNet’s World Report about the FLDS and how the polygamous fundamentalist Mormon sect is integrating into the local economy. If you recall, members of the FLDS picked up in 2004 and left their homes in Utah to relocate to Eldorado, Texas. They built a huge compound and … Continue reading Fear and Loathing in West Texas
So inspiring to be among the press last night at the University of Arizona’s McKale Center when President Barack Obama addressed the crowd in the aftermath of the shooting in Tucson that killed six and injured 14 others, including Congressman Gabrielle Giffords. The President really struck a chord with his comments and there were many teary eyes when he announced the miraculous news that Gabby … Continue reading Barack Obama: Unity Amidst Tragedy
My conversation between Ben Coker, Jr. is getting more interesting as we dig deeper into issues. We come from very different points of view but we’re finding common ground. Hi Ben, I hope you and your family are doing well. Sorry it took me a while to get back to you. I have been quite busy and wanted to give your note adequate thought. Your … Continue reading War and Remembrance 6
A couple of years ago I read a book called “The Faith Club” where three women got together regularly to talk about faith. They were a Christian, a Muslim and a Jew. The experience and friendship was transformative as they worked through their differences and came to realize their similarities. I am having a dialogue with a man named Ben Coker, Jr. in South Carolina who responded to a blog I wrote on Veterans Day. We are politically miles apart but we are finding common ground and having an inspired conversation. It continues here.
Vicky, please call me by my first name. I am also enjoying this dialogue with you. I fully agree with your assessment about our not being able to run to every segment of the world. I vividly remember Mogadishu. That was an absolute fiasco. We went over there for humanitarian reasons. There was no functioning government to control the population. Reagan sent the military as a part of the contingency to provide this assistance. The radicals have taken over that area. Of course we exited that area in disarray. We should have never been there.
How do we differentiate between the areas we should try to help and those we should not. I agree with you about our being able to win the friendship through creating conditions that enrich the lives of the people and promoting quality of life. Do you remember the Marshall Plan that was utilized to rebuild Europe in an effort to develop and cultivate friendship and to improve the lives of the people as well as international commerce? This was a very successful operation. However, it was successful because the Allied Armies and the Nazis destroyed all the infrastructure throughout Europe. The Allied Armies had beaten the adversaries into submission. They had nothing left. The military leaders were allowed to conduct a very aggressive battle plan that left them helpless. The adversaries could not resist the USA’s and other’s plan to resuscitate the economy of the world. The enabled the nations to develop a resurgent economy conducive for ALL citizens.
As a journalist I’m used to working long days. Adrenaline keeps you in the game for 16 to 20 hours during breaking news and disaster coverage. You sleep for three hours then you’re back at it. But nothing prepared me for how exhausted I would be after just a couple of hours of listening to the painful testimonies of young Ugandan men and women who … Continue reading Uganda’s Child Soldiers on PBS
Part 4 in the dialogue between me and Ben Coker, Jr. of South Carolina following my Veterans Day post. Hi Mr. Coker, I’m enjoying our dialogue. I am not the student of history that you are but as a television news producer and international traveler I think I’ve got a pretty good handle on current events. I would like to address your question on whether … Continue reading War and Remembrance 4
My conversation with Ben Coker, Jr. of South Carolina continues following my Veterans Day post.
In response to your letter to me, I very respectfully offer the following:
I agree with you on the point you made about unity going into WWII. We had been seriously violated by Japan’s blatant and flagrant attack on us at Pearl Harbor. However before I discuss that issue, let’s examine the time at which these events occurred. In 1929 the Stock Market crashed and left a nation in disarray and financially devastated. My father was born in 1910, my mother 1917. They told us children of the difficulty they had suffered through the ensuing years to the conclusion of the war. The American people’s endurance of these traumatic years prepared them to face the difficult years of WWII. They were united and had resolved to defeat the tyrants who had inflicted so much devastation.
This unity persisted throughout WWII; However Churchill had made repeated requests of President Roosevelt to enter the war as ally to England and France without fruition. Our leadership had taken the position that “We did not have a dog in the fight” which seems to be the attitude of most people about so many issues that so immensely impact our lives. Nevertheless, coming out of WWII our nation remained united and we enjoyed much growth and financial advancement during the fifties. Nonetheless, there was an effort by the Communist nations after WWII to spread communism throughout the world. Russia and China were asserting themselves in the effort to spread communism to other nations even if this had to be achieved through hostile action as it had been done in so many other instances.