Tag Archives: Washington Post

Why is America so Fascinated with Susan Boyle?

By now everyone on earth has heard the Susan Boyle story. She is the 47 year old single unemployed woman with the voice of an angel. We met her at her audition for the British show You’ve Got Talent”. We she told her story the audience hooted and the judges rolled their eyes, but when she sang everyone was transfixed. Her video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxPZh4AnWyk

has received over 20 million hits. Her voice is incredible but every time her story is told they somehow feel the need to use words like homely, plain or frump to describe her. It’s as if it impossible to imagine a plain woman with such a gift. Her looks have been the topic of everything from the network news to The View, but what does this say about us? Is America so shallow that only the beautiful should be expected to have talent? Judging from what is heard this week the answer is yes. How many beautiful singers with marginal voices can you name? I’m sure a number of names come to mind. They have the package, but not the pipes and that does not even matter. I applaud Ms. Boyle who put her dreams on hold to take care of her aged mother, but she never stopped singing or dreaming and today she is caught up in an incredible, unbelievable dream that has come true for plain ole Susan.

The High-Profile Chandra Levy Case Might Soon Be Solved, but What About the Other Cases?

In May of 2001 the world first heard of Chandra Levy. She was a young woman living in Washington who had become involved with a US congressman, and was mysteriously missing. Her case was headline news and her parents kept it in the public eye. If was eclipsed by the September 11th terrorists attacks, but yesterday we learned law enforcement have a break in this cold case and they are close to arresting a suspect.  This might provide just a little closure to her friends and loved ones, but one also wonders if this case can be solved why are there so many case in urban America that go unsolved forever?  Where is the zeal by law enforcement to make arrests in these cases?  In 2008 Chicago had 443 murders and 162 were cleared giving them a clearance rate of 36.6%, Baltimore had over 200 homicides and last year in Washington DC they had 186 murders. Sadly, in these cases if the killer is not caught with the smoking gun or the bloody knife at the scene of the crime that case goes unsolved and in all likelihood they will not find the killer ever. If only 50% of these cases could get the kind of coverage the Levy case generated more families would experience that needed closure.

The Bailout: We Need to Read the Fine Print

 “I didn’t buy a large home that I can’t afford. I’m not behind on any of my payments. I’m not sure I want the government to take my tax dollars and buy someone else’s house for them.” (Washington Post 9/22/08)

 

This morning while reading the Washington Post I was struck by an article that talked about the backlash that Main Street has in reference to the bailout. It was as if the writer had been in my own living room. There is something about this bailout that makes me mad. The executives who created this debacle are walking away with enough money to live more than comfortably for the rest of their lives. The people who have followed the rules and lived within their means and said no to the McMansions are now left holding the bag for both the lenders and the borrowers, and we are not being asked if this is okay. We are now being told it is check signing time and the pen in jammed into our hand and we are instructed to sign and just shut up. We have been told the sky is falling and we have got to act now. Tom Brokaw interviewed Treasury Secretary Paulson and his message was we need to act immediately, but we need to know all the facts. We can not be forced to simply sign a blank check. We need to act responsibly and we can not let the government simply paint the picture and railroad us into this incredible debt.  It reminds me of the build up to the Iraq War we had “the facts” laid out for us and we had to act aggressively and we had to act now. Now we know that our intelligence was questionable and in some cases simply not true. We entered into a war without an exit strategy and now we are stuck. We can not simply dive into this economic mess without all the facts and not just the ones they chose to share. We have to read this contract before we sign it.