IRS is wrong: No email intercepts without court order

It is hard to believe, but if the Internal Revenue Service is claiming the right to intercept emails without court order because citizens have no expectation of privacy with email, nothing could be more outrageous and wrong and unacceptable.


5-year-olds victims of identity theft

Identity thieves will stop at nothing to pawn others' identities for their own personal gain. But you know the newest trend in identity theft has reached an ultimate low when identity thieves start to target innocent children for their own personal gain.


Gun manufacturers are scapegoats

Imagine a city where the citizens have come to feel so victimized by gun violence that they give up trying to stop criminals. Instead, they choose the most easily identifiable symbol of their problem — gun manufacturers — and start yelling at them.

To these frightened souls, it feels good to yell at gun manufacturers. It feels good to vent their fears. A mainstream media, both TV and in print, are now telling sad and compelling stories about how innocent citizens are gunned down across our nation, to convince we the people that the solution is more gun control legislation.


The paradox of bail reform

The Chief Judge of the New York court system, Jonathan Lippman, was correct in his State of the Judiciary speech last week that the bail system is both unfair to the poor and unsafe for the public. That paradox is not new; there was a pass at bail reform in the 1960s, pushed by then Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. Time has not cured the problem.

The paradox then and now is that poor defendants are jailed because they cannot afford bail, and dangerous defendants are freed because they can.


If we don’t listen to Gabby Giffords, who should we listen to?

I have to confess I watched not only former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’s short, moving testimony Wednesday but also watched her making her way into the hearing room and leaving after she spoke.  

Accompanied by her husband, Capt. Mike Kelly, she walked carefully and deliberately, step by step, working her way past senators and staff who watched as she smiled at them, gave some hugs, gave others a kiss on the cheek. Silence does not begin to describe that room.


Gun issue could decide midterm elections

Only six votes truly matter in the fight over gun control. Five are vulnerable Senate Democrats from deeply red states.
The five senators (with Obama 2012 vote percentages) are Mark Begich of Alaska (40.8 percent), Max Baucus of Montana (41.7 percent), Tim Johnson of South Dakota (39.9 percent), Mark Pryor of Arkansas (36.9 percent) and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana (40.6 percent).


NRA brags about money from mass murder of children; Piers Morgan stands tall with Alex Jones

In my last column I suggested New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie could be the GOP Winston Churchill for warning Republicans about the direction of their party. Now, in one of the most crass, craven, ghoulish and insensitive acts in lobbying history, the National Rifle Association is gloating with glee about how much dues money it is raking in from the mass murder of the children in Newtown.

Meanwhile, Piers Morgan should be given a presidential medal of freedom for his leadership on guns while the nut wing of the right calls for him to be deported. The weird and bizarre performance by Alex Jones on Morgan's show is a great advertisement for banning military-style assault weapons, and a great example of attitudes that Republicans and conservatives should denounce and deplore.


The right lesson

Mass murders, as distinguished from smaller incidents, are all the same in one regard: They pit one armed man against many unarmed people. How did the Newtown shooting end? When Lanza saw the police, he killed himself. It was in direct response to force that the shooting ended.
Stupid gun laws don’t become smart because an incident so horrifying and unlikely as the Newtown shooting has happened. These suggestions are the wrong lesson to take from this harrowing incident. The right lesson? Those parents hugging their children — and not just their children but their spouses, their friends, their parents — even tighter.


Sen. Boxer idea for National Guard protecting kids a good start!

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) is someone with whom I rarely — if ever — agree. But I applaud her move to protect kids in schools by at least coming up with some potential solutions that can work, even if some on the left and the right might disagree with her. I, for one, at least want to take a listen.
While there are details about her overall proposal to have the National Guard protecting schools around the country that are problematic, she is on the right track with the notion of armed, trained protection on location at schools. My concern now, however, is that because the NRA is proposing something somewhat similar by way of armed security at each school, Boxer might back off in deference to politics, with solutions to protect kids becoming prey to pressure from the heavy hand of the left. It has been noted that she did not specifically mention this part of the proposal in an appearance on Rachel Maddow's show on MSNBC.


Mayor Bloomberg should give $100 million to support gun-control advocates

My last column, “The NRA and the USA,” was an olive branch I, for one, extended with respect and hope that the National Rifle Association would follow through on its promise to help protect the children of America from more mass murders as our outraged nation witnessed in Newtown, Conn. Today the NRA answered with hostility to those of us who wished it would join in a serious attempt to protect the innocents of America.

Today we heard more of the same rhetoric of intransigence, hostility, irresponsibility and neglect. Today the NRA's hostility to hope sold short our children, our parents and our nation.