As the Horror Hits Closer to Home
When yet another man with a gun entered the office of the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland, on Thursday, June 28, you can bet all those who work in the newspaper business (from large dailies to small alt papers like us) were horrified, if not terrified. Of course, the general public here in the U S of A has seen so much gun violence in recent years that we hardly know the most effective way to respond.
Obviously, there is a huge problem with the preponderance of guns in nation, as well as what seems to be an uptick in mental illness (although, at this writing, your superior correspondents do not know if mental illness played a role in this particular incident). There is also the fact that our nation’s current president has been fanning the flames of hatred and resentment toward the press, with no apparent understanding or appreciation for the importance of the First Amendment in the country’s history and culture.
All we can do is encourage our readers to continue to believe in love and community. Because yes, it can happen here. Years ago, when the Cool, Cool, World was being written for the now defunct Providence Phoenix, we once got a call from someone in Boston who took umbrage with an item in one of our columns and threatened to bomb our offices. The Providence police were notified and found the call to be from some random drunk guy. We quickly forgot about it.
P&J will continue to voice our opinions here and carry on speaking truth to power. We just can’t fathom what is happening in our country and this world. Peace to you all, and let’s be vigilant and embrace the beauty in life.
The Supreme Court and What it Means
When US Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement, there was much speculation on what will happen if the current president gets to choose another nominee. If that choice is confirmed, most of us have little doubt it will mean the highest court in the land will tilt further to the right politically (despite the fact that the SCOTUS is not supposed to be a political body).
Here in the Biggest Little, the first concern among the politically astute was the possibility that a newly constituted court could overturn the Roe v. Wade decision on the reproductive rights of women. Numerous voices in our General Assembly announced their intention to re-introduce a bill that was blocked from reaching the floor for a vote in 2017: the Reproductive Health Care Act. This year, Speaker of the House Mattiello stated that the bill was not needed because the concept of Roe v. Wade being overturned was not “reality-based.” Since a lot of what is going on in our country today does not seem reality-based to P&J (unless you mean reality TV), we urge Big Nick to take another look.
Your superior correspondents are old enough to remember what life was like prior to Roe v. Wade and we want to voice our full support for the Reproductive Health Care Act. Let’s march on the state house and get this done. Now is the time to be more active in public discourse than you’ve ever been.
Another Weird Tale from the Cybersphere
Remember, this commentary is coming from a couple of old geezers who started writing this column in the days before personal computers and the Internet. All this dependence on cell phones and computers in our daily lives has certainly made things more convenient and picked up the pace of everything (some might say to a dizzying degree), but it sure does have its down side, like entities hacking into our elections and cyber-criminals getting into our bank accounts.
Hence, the story from a couple weeks back when a few employees at Flint Audio Video (with offices in Middletown and South Kingstown) were busted for illegally accessing and sharing nude images of a number of customers that the store employees found on those customers’ cell phones and other devices. Yes, sometimes the Cool, Cool World can turn into a Cold, Cold and Embarrassing World in the matter of minutes. It seems that the offending employees have been dealt with and are no longer employees.
P&J cannot tell you where the best place is to get your cell phones and other digital devices serviced without having your naked videos and pictures (or even your non-bare assed ones) shared by a group of gawking trolls. But (butt?) this is the world we live in. Since your superior correspondents have no au naturel images of us or anyone else on any of our devices, with the exception of the device we like to call memory, we figure we’re safe for now. Thankfully, the trolls have yet to figure out how to access the images in our minds. But we’re sure that’s coming.