Category Archives: Violence

And Now, An Easter Message

Feeling pretty good. DJT has been indicted, arrested and arraigned. Rupert, is being slowly undone in court. Wisconsin, has a majority in its State Supreme Court for the first time in a decade, while MTG was ejected from New York City by native folk who let her know just how unwelcome she was on 5th Avenue. As the New York Intelligencer put it, “New York City Hates Your Guts’: MTG Drowned Out At Trump Rally.”

Then there’s Clarence Thomas, who isn’t worth our time. Beyond saying it’s past time for him to go. Stand by truth seekers, momentum is building. He went for years on the bench without asking a question, why would he start talking now? His wife probably told him he’d be just fine if he just kept his mouth shut.

Would love to see their tax statements, just how much their joint income has ballooned while Thomas was on the bench. Full disclosure of their finances is the only real way to keep any of our public officials honest, isn’t it? It would be a place to start at least. How else to fight all that “dark money” that’s out there since the supreme’s decision in the “Citizens United” case? We badly need a set of regulations, telling these guys what they can and can’t do, as apparently some of them aren’t smart enough to figure it out for themselves.

I recall a moment long, long ago, several decades at least, when a colleague in the news business, a former PoliSci Professor told me, “The conservatives are going after the Supreme Court….they’re gonna stack it with their own. After that, nothing’s gonna matter. They’ll own the country.” Since then, we have watched it happen, with the right holding an immoral majority on the court, trying to roll things back to the 1950’s.

Why would the Chief Justice John Roberts favor self-regulation for the justices, when it’s clear that something more is needed? Welcome to Neverland, where fantasy becomes reality and reality is whatever they think it should be. The absence of real regulation and oversight controlling our court of last resort, leaves us all at the mercy of avarice, with the uber-wealthy standing in line with their private jets and super yachts to influence the justice’s views on just how the country should be run.

This doesn’t mean there isn’t hope.

A report just out in the New York Times, indicates that Trump, Guiliani and their Republican pals down in Georgia, could end up facing RICO charges. Wouldn’t that be fun?

It feels like the planets are lining up, like things are coming back into balance after years of nonsense. Years of downright insanity, ignorance and immorality. Years without proper accountability.

Things are looking up despite the lopsided court. So take a deep breath. This is still a great country. Go bowling. Weather permitting, shoot a round of golf. Watch the Premier League on Peacock or the USA Channel instead of the NFL. The Premier League. That’s soccer. Like Ted Lasso on Apple TV. It’s still tribal warfare, but a more civilized version, without the bone crushing, blood letting, generic primal violence we’ve been programmed to watch each and every Sunday, which is what most of us have been doing instead of going to church. You’ll feel better. You’ll have a clearer head. You won’t feel like going out and assaulting somebody once the game ends. It might change your life. No resurrection story or egg-laying bunny necessary.

From Indy To Baltimore, It’s Like One Big Mob Is Out There

In Indianapolis, a Dutch military commando, in the United States for training, was shot outside a hotel. He has now died. Two of his buddies, two other Dutch commandos, remain hospitalized.

There were six shootings over the weekend in Baltimore, leaving one dead and six injured.

Just a bit earlier it was announced that the family of a man who was shot dead in downtown Baltimore, allegedly by a 15 year-old “squeegee kid,” is suing the City, for failing to provide adequate public safety. City officials and their “Federal partners” held the obligatory news conference saying the violence has to stop. Truth is, the violence won’t stop in Baltimore, until the people of Baltimore get so fed up that they start assisting the police in putting the bad guys in jail. To date, that hasn’t happened. Not enough to make any real difference. I suspect City leaders are afraid to call the City’s residents out for their negligence out of fear that they’ll lose what little cooperation the cops are currently getting. But enough about the long-term woes of Charm City. There is so much more.

Sunday night in Phoenix, three people were killed, including a “suspect” and two police officers were injured following some kind of shootout. Apparently the suspect was wearing a bullet-proof vest and there was a molotov cocktail involved.

Earlier on Sunday, in Houston, four people were killed after a suspect set several homes on fire and then shot the occupants as they ran outside trying to escape the flames.

And this just in: An off-duty Harris County Texas Deputy Constable was shot and killed last night while driving home from a restaurant, where he had gone to pick up dinner for his family.

I apologize if I missed any of the weekend shootings but there are so many on any given weekend, that it’s difficult to keep up.

Some ninety percent of America thinks the country should enforce national background checks for firearms purchases, a position that’s opposed by Republicans and the gun lobby. For this one issue alone, you need to vote for Democrats in the upcoming election. This Republican supported madness opposing common sense gun safety legislation has to stop.

In a very real sense, opposing Republicans supports the police, and right now, they need our help. Big time. Before long, people will be afraid of traveling to America, out of fear of being gunned down on our streets. We are nearly there. Or, maybe we’re already at that point but most of us got so used to all the mass-shootings that we simply missed it?

Ozzy Osbourne, didn’t. On Sunday it was announced that he and his family are fed up with the violence here in the U.S. and are moving back to the U.K. A move Rod Stewart made some years ago, after he was mugged at gunpoint in Los Angeles back in 1982. Stewart had his 3-year old daughter with him at the time.

Schools Close Early Because Of The Heat

WJZ-TV is reporting, “Schools in Baltimore without air conditioning will release early Tuesday in anticipation of sweltering heat.”

Apart from the questionable grammar of “release early,” there is a question that needs to be answered.

Why are there schools without air conditioning in Baltimore, a City with the nation’s second highest per-capita murder rate and a terrible gang problem, with kids doing donuts in their cars on city streets, running circles around a police department that seems helpless to do anything about the flood of street crime?

And the schools have no air conditioning? Has it occurred to anyone, any of these geniuses in local government, that neglecting their youth will negatively impact the future?

Maybe Jeff Bezos or the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, or any one of the many American billionaires out there, can give the City an HVAC makeover? Baltimore City officials seem incapable of getting anything done.

Carnage: Our New Normal


This is our new normal. It has been more than two decades since Steve Allen wrote in his book, “Vulgarians At The Gate”-

“As recently as 1992 the American Psychological Association concluded that forty years of research on the link between TV and real life violence has been ignored, stating that the “scientific debate is over” and calling for federal policy to protect society. The American Academy of Pediatrics has said, in a January 5, 1999, formal report, “Children don’t naturally kill. It is a learned skill and they learn it most pervasively, from violence as entertainment in television, the movies, and interactive video-games.”

Are You Kidding?

17 injured at a mass shooting near an NBA playoff game in Milwaukee, Friday night. Reports of ten dead at another mass shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, NY today, while gigantic dust clouds blow across Nebraska and So. Dakota and California suffers from a “megadrought” with fire in Laguna Nigel while a plane crashes into a bridge near Miami. This is starting to feel almost biblical. What else? Frogs falling from the sky? Think I’ll just stay in tonight.

Some Notes On Russia

by Paul Paolicelli

In 1975, as a Senate staffer, I was able to make an unusual trek for that time and spend a couple of weeks in the Soviet Union; specifically Russia; Moscow, Kalinin and what was then Leningrad. It was an eye-opener to say the least. Just a few years before this trip I’d been a soldier in Germany so, while hardly qualifying as a military expert, I was quickly able to see that we were far better equipped than our Russian counterparts. Our uniforms for cold weather were clearly better, the Russian soldiers wore cheap and thin wool and seemed to always be under the hood of some stalled or broken-down vehicle. It struck me that much of their military bluster was really a paper tiger and, absent their nuclear capability, they really weren’t a threat. Another major takeaway was the reaction of the Russian “man on the street.” We were treated with curiosity and kindness, it was clear that the people weren’t our enemy but they were timid in approaching us as we knew we were under constant surveillance. During a train ride to Leningrad, one older man made a point of cornering me between cars and, in our mutually bad German, thanked me and the U.S. for having provided him with an airplane in World War Two to fight the Germans. And memories of that war absolutely haunted and permeated every public arena with monuments and memorials. Watching the current events in Ukraine I can’t help but feel sorry for those millions of Russians who have consistently been manipulated and mis-lead by their own government. I truly believe that if it were up to the average Russian, they’d never send their sons into needless harm’s way for political dominance of a country they consider their cousin. The Russian people deserved better than the Soviets, they deserve better than Putin. We need to find a way to help them….


Paul Paolicelli, is a veteran broadcast journalist and the author of two books on the Italian-American experience, “Dances with Luigi: A Grandson’s Search for His Italian Roots,” and “Under The Southern Sun: Stories of the Real Italy and the Americans it Created.”

Our Violent Society – Why Is Anybody Surprised?

After years of celebrating violence and ignorance we now live in a violent and increasingly ignorant society. Why is anybody surprised?

Steve Allen, wrote about what were then the country’s creeping cultural woes in his books “Dumbth” and “Vulgarians At The Gate.” Too few listened.

Even now, it’s easier to cut funding for education than to ban the flood of assault weapons on our streets as so many of our politicians continue to complain about the effect while doing next to nothing about the cause.

The violent hi-tech entertainment being pumped out of Hollywood has become so commonplace that most of us are numb to its existence. Do you suppose constant exposure to people cutting one-another to shreds with semi-auto and automatic firearms has anything to do with turning it into a reality on our streets?

Increasingly, Americans have abandoned their cars for “urban assault vehicles.” Giant trucks and SUV’s which make them feel empowered, a phenomenon that got its start following the Los Angeles Riots in 1992. I was there and I watched it happen, as high-end sports cars and other smaller vehicles disappeared from the freeways to be replaced by giant SUV’s. It happened almost overnight and spread across the country.

And even the NFL. Yes, God help me, I am going to say something about the untouchable NFL, which is nothing more than contemporary gladiatorial combat held in coliseums modeled after the original in Rome.

Full-contact American football, is all about violence. It teaches violence and makes it acceptable. And we love it, because we have been conditioned to love it. Not to mention its appeal to our apparently primordial lust for watching combatants, in this case mostly African-American combatants, smash one-another to bits in a fight over a relatively small plot of land. This love comes with a price tag we happily accept. According to Statista, in 2020, the 32 teams of the NFL generated 12.2 billion dollars, making pro football the most profitable sport in the United States.

As of Saturday, February 12, the average price for one seat at the Superbowl was $8,733.

In movies, on tv, with video games and through sports, we continue to be conditioned to accept and even love violence. At the same time, the average cost for one year in college is now up to $36-thousand. That’s for just one year. Who can afford that? Who are the wealthy trying to hold back by not making the great equalizer of a good education available to all?

How many times must people be told that it’s more cost-effective to pay for a child’s education than for a lifetime in prison?

It all ties together, but Steve Allen, is no longer here to preach the gospel of common sense. One man who was brave enough to try and save us from ourselves. Alas, he is gone, mowed down by an urban assault vehicle, leaving us alone to ponder the possibility that our ongoing approval of violence and ignorance may have something to do with our increasingly violent and ignorant culture.

You don’t think so? According to USA Today, in 2020 there were 611 mass shootings in the U.S., taking 513 lives and injuring 2,543 others. That’s up 47% from the year before.

Some, including Representative Adam Kinzinger, one of only a few Republicans with the courage to speak out against the insanity, are talking about the possibility of another civil war as a disinformed and misinformed American public goes mad trying to untangle themselves from the tangled mess they’re in using the tools they’ve been taught to use – ignorance and the violence it spawns.

Steve Allen 1921-2000 RIP