Saturday September 05, 2015
May 7th, 2015
Last week, Baltimore's chief prosecutor, Marilyn J. Mosby, charged six officers in the death of Freddie Gray. The charges included second-degree murder, manslaughter, assault, misconduct in office and false imprisonment.
(These were only charges. There will be a defense and a trial. The officers remain innocent until and unless proven guilty.)
Every time you're tempted to say that America is moving forward on race - that prejudice is no longer as important as it used to be - along comes an atrocity to puncture your complacency. Almost everyone realizes, I hope, that the Freddie Gray affair wasn't an isolated incident, that it's unique only to the extent that for once there seems to be a real possibility that justice may be done.
Today's topic is toxic substances and the appalling gaps in the current law that is supposed to protect the public from dangerous chemicals.
For example, before a new chemical enters the market, the manufacturer must demonstrate its safety and the substance must win approval from federal regulators, right?
Not even close.
Our topic today is: Bernie Sanders for president?
"My fifteen minutes of fame," the Vermont senator said gruffly over the phone.
Gruff is pretty much his normal way of speaking, but Sanders was actually in a good mood at this point in the conversation. Later, the volume would escalate.
Up to now, most talk in Democratic Party circles about the 2016 primaries has been about whether a challenge would be good or bad for the clear frontrunner, Hillary Clinton. But now comes Bernie Sanders, making the case that it will be good for the party and the country.
Unlike my own parents, I normally do not condone lifting a hand to spank, slap or whip misbehaving children. Yet I salute Toya Graham, now known widely known as Baltimore's Angry Mom, for making corporal punishment look like high art.
In a normal year, no one in California looks twice at a neighbor's lawn, that mane of bluegrass thriving in a sun-blasted desert. Or casts a scornful gaze at a fresh-planted almond grove, saplings that now stand accused of future water crimes. Or wonders why your car is conspicuously clean, or whether a fish deserves to live when a cherry tree will die.
The thing that's easy to miss about Tara is how competitive she is.
In a big Irish family of gabby, argumentative people, my niece is a lovely, willowy brunette with an easy laugh and quiet manner.
The eruptions in Baltimore have been tied, in complex ways, to frustrations at American inequality, and a new measure of the economic gaps arrived earlier this year:
It turns out that the Wall Street bonus pool in 2014 was roughly twice the total annual earnings of all Americans working full time at the federal minimum wage.