Tuesday, March 4, 2008

March 4: Renewed gun control campaign needed

*And another victim of gun violence.....

Palm Beach County paramedic Rafael Vazquez died yesterday and four people were wounded when a gunman fired a 9 mm Glock handgun in a West Palm Beach Wendy's restaurant.

It seems the gunman, Alburn Edward Blake, who also killed himself, had violence in his past:


Once again, people are dying, and once again, most national leaders, their pockets rife with National Rifle Association money, don't seem to care.

Do the people who care so much about their interpretation of the Second Amendment give a damn about the lives of the people who have been the victims of handguns and automatic weapons? Apparently not, and politicians have followed. This should be a national issue. It should be an issue for the presidential election, but so far it hasn't gotten beyond the local level.

Reminder: The majority of Americans FAVOR stricter gun control laws.

*Hillary Clinton and sexism, continued....

Another article:


I would never say another woman will never come along. More women will and should run for president. Eventually, there will be other female presidential candidates taken seriously. But women young and old need to unite to encourage it.

I've said I know the goal will be reached when more men are interested in what a female presidential candidate has to say than in the women in a Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.

From what I regarded as an era of some enlightenment beginning during the 1970s, I think the movement toward equality has gone backwards, even as women have taken on more roles in public, corporate and military life. As a whole, the mass media (including television and film) treats women with less respect and lacks top female executives. As an example, all one has to do is look at the actresses who are nominated for Oscars and Emmys today and the roles they play, as compared to 20 or 30 years ago. In addition, in budget-cutting mode, colleges and high schools have been cutting back on both mens' and womens' sports programs as a way of getting around Title IX.

Today's younger female generation has never experienced the overt discrimination grandmothers, and some mothers, had to experience, but young women should become aware of it and the problems that still exist, with unequal pay for equal work topping the list. Even if a female president gets elected, this fight ain't over. Women will always have to battle for equal treatment.

*Does the media need a "bad guy" (or gal)?

There is the question of whether media coverage of Sen. Barack Obama will turn more negative/hard hitting if he is the Democratic presidential nominee, or whether Sen. John McCain will receive rougher coverage as well.

They, and anyone who runs for office, should always be given critical coverage of their records and policy views. That's been true in some cases during this election season. For the most part, however, there has been a "good guy/bad guy (or gal)" slant to a lot of stories and commentaries involving candidates in both parties. It won't get any better whether the nominees are decided today or not.

*Was embargo on Prince Harry story right?

Bob Steele of the Poynter Institute doesn't think so:


Read the responses, which are just as interesting as Steele's column. I don't agree with Steele for the same reason a couple of the responders mention: Minimizing harm (which is also part of the Society of Professional Journalists' Code of Ethics). Prince Harry is a bigger target because of who he is. From what I've seen of him, he seems to want very much to do a duty bigger than that to the British crown.

I also think Steele's comments about the prince not having any special abilities, etc. that require him to be in Afghanistan are a cheap shot. At a time when the privileged duck civic, military and other duties, it's good to see someone who doesn't.

*Link to Martin Fletcher interview

TV Newser has an interview with NBC correspondent Martin Fletcher, one of the truly skilled foreign correspondents of the last few decades. He has a new book:


It's not easy to cover the Middle East, and he does so with true professionalism.

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