Just one week ago I used this space to note a BBC report on the epidemic of child abuse in America which stressed the fact that only vigilance and reporting by the public can help stop the cycle of violence against children. Our child protection services caseworkers and police investigators do a spectacular job of investigating abuse after it has occurred but we perpetuate that abuse if we see the signs of it and fail to report it.
You know that you have a substantial domestic problem when news agencies an ocean away take note of it. It caught my attention, therefore, when the British Broadcasting Corporation recently completed a report titled, “Major Epidemic: The Untold Story of Child Abuse in the U.S.”
By all accounts, what happened Tuesday night and Wednesday in Muskingum County was the largest exotic animal escape in American history. Some 56 animals, most of them large cats, bears and wolves, escaped from a private farm near Zanesville shortly before dark on Tuesday when their owner released them from their cages, cut the cage wires to prevent the cages from being reclosed and then committed suicide.
This past Saturday night found me in one of my favorite places — Gray Chapel — on the evening of a Central Ohio Symphony concert. On the long list of things I love about my adopted hometown of Delaware, the symphony is right up at the top. In particular, I was looking forward to the performance of Igor Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite, which would close the performance, and is one of my favorite pieces of music.
Since 1949 George Orwell’s Big Brother has been watching you. Today, the thing watching you may be right in your living room, office or briefcase. Already taking heat over their most recent site redesign, Facebook has now been sued, not over their site operation, but with a claim that the site violates federal wiretapping laws.
My profession is much maligned. Attorneys have a public approval rating right up there with that of telemarketers, door to door salesman and Congress. I don’t dispute that there are unethical attorneys just, as there are unethical accountants, unethical doctors or unethical automobile mechanics, etc. I also don’t dispute that the maligning of attorneys is not a new phenomenon.
The world is full of great rivalries. There’s the Yankees and the Red Sox, Ohio State and Michigan, Microsoft vs. Apple, Rome vs. Carthage or the Hatfields and the McCoys. When it comes to the legal world, however, one doesn’t typically think of great rivalries. Yet in the field of constitutional law lies a great rivalry that has the potential to have a major impact on the lives of all Americans.
On May 5, 1993 three eight year-old boys went missing in an Arkansas suburb. Relatives, friends and neighbors searched for them throughout the evening and overnight. In the morning, under the light of day, law enforcement teams expanded the search. By mid-afternoon the bodies of the three boys had been located in a drainage ditch. One of the boys died of extensive blood loss. The other two had drowned. They had committed no crime, done no wrong. They were the innocent victim of the most heinous crime.