Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Potpourri

There was a lot in the news this week:

1. Planner of Rwandan massacres convicted of genocide (Sukhdev Chhatbar And Donna Bryson, Associated Press, 18 Dec '08)

"A former Rwandan army colonel was convicted Thursday of genocide and crimes against humanity for masterminding the killings of more than half a million people in a 100-day slaughter in 1994. Survivors in Rwanda welcomed the watershed moment in a long search for justice."

2. Regulators adopt new credit card rules (Marcy Gordon, Ap Business, 18 Dec '08)

"Federal regulators on Thursday adopted sweeping new rules for the credit card industry that will shield consumers from increases in interest rates on existing account balances among other changes."

3. Gay leaders furious with Obama (Ben Smith, Nia-Malika Henderson, 17 Dec '08)

“'I have many gay friends, I’ve eaten dinner in gay homes. No church has probably done more for people with AIDS than Saddleback Church,' [Rick Warren] said in a recent interview with BeliefNet.

"In the same interview, he compared the 'redefiniton of a marrige' to include gay marriage to legitimizing incest, child abuse, and polygamy."

Note: It's that last sentence that stands out to me. I've heard this jump before, and it bothers me. Where does this fear come from?

4. Fla. police close books on '81 Walsh killing (, AP, 16 Dec '08)

The news:

"A serial killer who died more than a decade ago is the person who decapitated the 6-year-old son of 'America's Most Wanted' host John Walsh in 1981, police in Florida said Tuesday. The announcement brought to a close a case that has vexed the Walsh family for more than two decades, launched the television show about the nation's most notorious criminals and inspired changes in how authorities search for missing children."

The good news:

"Adam's death, and his father's activism on his behalf, helped put faces on milk cartons, shopping bags and mailbox flyers, started fingerprinting programs and increased security at schools and stores. It spurred the creation of missing persons units at every large police department.

"'In 1981, when a child disappeared, you couldn't enter information about a child into the FBI database. You could enter information about stolen cars, stolen guns but not stolen children,' said Ernie Allen, president of the Center for Missing and Exploited Children, co-founded by John Walsh. 'Those things have all changed.'

"The case also prompted national legislation to create a national database and toll-free line devoted to missing children, and led to the start of 'America's Most Wanted,' which brought those cases into millions of homes."

The not-so-good news:

"What it also did, said Mount Holyoke College sociologist and criminologist Richard Moran, is make children and adults alike exponentially more afraid."


Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster, LAPD (ret.), MPA said...

Moran's comment must be out of context - how did walsh's actions make people more afraid? Or, perhaps, did it make them realize the world is more dangerous that they thought?

Jeff said...

That's my understanding--awareness of darker realities brought fear.

I wonder if there's another way to approach reality than either ignorance or fear. Any thoughts?

Thanks for stopping by, Lieutenant.

Peace, Jeff

Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster, LAPD (ret.), MPA said...

I would only suggest: education for perspective and preparation for something to do.

Jeff said...

Well said. These comments lead me to believe that your books are thoughtful and succinct. Thanks for the contribution.