Monthly Archives: March 2018

Students Lead the Way

Loudoun Valley High School walked out on March 14, 2018

Loudoun Valley High School walked out on March 14, 2018

Thousands of students from across Loudoun County walked out of class for 17 minutes, a minute of silent remembrance for each of the 17 students and staff killed in a Parkland, Florida High School, by an AR 15 wielded by 19-year-old Nikolas Jacob Cruz.

The students also assembled to protest automatic and semi-automatic weapons that, according to an organizer at the Seneca Ridge Middle School walkout, Lane Thimmesch, have no practical use, and can only be used to hunt people.

The students in Loudoun County joined a massive national protest, from New York to Seattle, and many small towns and communities in between, on March 14, 2017, one month after the Florida shooting.

The demonstrators permitted to speak or carry a sign said that they’d had “enough” of “hope and prayers” and wanted “action,” demanding that elected officials protect them from gunfire and death.

In Loudoun County, among the published Student’s Rights and Responsibilities, students have a right to “freedom of expression” through “speech, peaceful assembly, petition, and other lawful means provided such expression does not cause substantial disruption …”

Ironically, we instruct our students that the “Boston Tea Party,” throwing 342 chests of British East India Company tea into the harbor waters, that “cursed weed,” was a righteous protest. Continue reading

We Hurt Those We Claim to Help

Arguing that a chronic pain patient is not a criminal for taking his meds

Arguing that a chronic pain patient is not a criminal for taking his meds

I have argued for the right of patients with relentless and chronic pain to get relief – and that means pain killers including opioids.

I have represented pain doctors who are healing not dealing when they prescribe pain killers to chronic pain patients.

But we have a national campaign and citizens up in arms who are endangering those in pain –because there is no nuance in their anti-pain medication campaign.

There’s pain in America — and our government is making it worse certain that pain medication can only cause addiction, when dependence on medication is not the same thing as addiction, and relief from pain is all that stands between many people and suicide.

We have politicians across the nation, who know less about the medical science than my Jack Russells, arguing that we must withhold opioids from chronic pain patients, despite the fact that this medication allows these men and women to function.

I was a federal prosecutor in New York in the “war against drugs” in the 1970s, along with then AUSA Rudy Giuliani, and we fought the good fight against drugs.  We were chasing organized crime drug kingpins who were importing hundreds of kilos of pure heroin.  We thought we were doing more than just imprisoning bad guys.  We now know that taking these drug kingpins off the street did little to push back drug use in this nation.

Now we are chasing pain patients and their doctors. Continue reading

The black hero – NY Detective John Shaft

Samuel Jackson became John Shaft

Samuel Jackson became John Shaft

“Black Panther,” the movie, has been rightly heralded as a cultural shift and a praiseworthy change for featuring a black hero as the lead, celebrated by a widely diverse and enthusiastic audience, with many moviegoers going back to watch this flick again.

A noble and courageous African nation with special gifts in spirit, science, and a unique mineral resource, kept secret from the world for fear of the world beyond its shores, headed up by an enlightened warrior king, “the Black Panther,” realizes it must share its treasures in the hope of a closer world community.

The movie serves, in the telling of this mythical action story, as somewhat of an antidote to the pathogens of intolerance infecting our nation.

The KKK is presently emerging from history’s slimy dark shadows to recruit newly discovered bed-sheeted members to its hate-filled agenda of bigotry, lies and violence.

National “leaders” insist, in irresponsible reveries of indifference, that there’s nothing wrong with white supremacists waving lit torches, brandishing hand guns, crushing innocents who protest peacefully, or ranting unceasingly their hate-filled propaganda.

“Black Panther,” the movie, may fairly be said to invoke the Reverend Martin Luther King’s oft-repeated message that we are headed toward a better day in the long curving arc of history. Continue reading