Showing posts from July, 2011

Another One Hits the Wall Hard

I saw that controversial musical artist Amy Winehouse was found dead in her London apartment. One thing that struck me about it was that she died at 27, the same age as my oldest son. I really didn't pay attention to much of what she did except that she was extradordinarily popular and she did some crazy stuff in some of her concerts. This happened as I was polishing my latest webzine feature, yet another letter to a college student . I'd already written a few letters and published them, but I just haven't been pleased so far. I'm still not fully satisfied with the latest, even though I think this one hits closest to where young adults are. But I'm feeling much like most young adults do, which relates to why so many young adults are wrecklessly careening about with their lives, which is wrapped up in one profoundly insightful declaration I heard from one: "I want to keep talking until I know what I want to say." The reason I spend so much time bloggi

Codependent Charity

Today's Los Angeles Times featured an opinion piece from a Jesuit professor and community organizer who made the case that one of the best ways to douse the raging federal budget conflagration is to tax charities. As it is non-profits may register with the federal government to acquire a measure of legitimacy, and in return they are afforded tax-exempt status. The author of the piece makes his case, and closes by simply stating that everyone needs to make sacrifices, and he is willing to be the first to step up and lay on the altar. In the brief author bio at the end of the piece is a statement that rarely shows up: "The views expressed here are his own." I have a feeling these words were added in this instance because of the volatile nature of his argument. "Tax a non-profit?! That's just wrong ." And I further surmise that one reason it is considered so wrong is that the religious institutional infrastructure of this country would be the most viol


A week ago on this day, two notable individuals departed. No, they didn't "depart" as in the metaphor for dying. They just departed their place of note and went somewhere else. Both have some extraordinarily profound similarities. The first departure was that of Whitey Bulger, the notorious organized crime figure and FBI's most wanted, found holed up in an apartment in Santa Monica after 18 years on the lam. On this day, he was put on a plane and taken to Boston for prosecution. The funny thing is that apparently he was the individual upon which the 2006 Oscar-winning film The Departed was based. The other departure was that of Sheila Bair, the head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. She was stepping down, and on this day she gave her departure speech prominently containing some choice "what's-what" words for the banks. During her tenure she oversaw the -- well, I guess you'd call it "reorganization" of hundreds of banks thr