Archive for September, 2014

“Aortic root enlargement in octogenarian patients allows for insertion of larger aortic valve prostheses without any apparent increase in operative morbidity or mortality. The larger prostheses demonstrate better hemodynamic performance and less patient prosthesis mismatch, but no apparent functional or survival advantage.”

“Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in octogenarian patients has been associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. This study aimed to assess acute and intermediate-term clinical outcomes among octogenarians undergoing PCI . These results show that clinically stable octogenarian patients undergoing PCI have favorable procedural and intermediate-term prognosis. In contrast, cardiogenic shock has a profound negative prognostic impact on octogenarians despite ‘aggressive’ PCI attempts.”

This is the kind of shit you look at when you pass 80 – that’s an octogenarian for the uninformed – and it’s the kind of shit you read about when you’ve survived three heart attacks, have five stents in your heart, lived through a blood clot in the lung, an aortic aneurism in your abdomen, and a bunch of other nasty crap you’d rather not re-experience (if there is such a word). The above two paragraphs are from the NIH US National Library of Medicine. If you have any tendency toward hypochondria, researching the web for your supposed illnesses could put you in the grave faster than any real illness that might kill you.

I remember reading over a decade ago that more than 100,000 pages per day were being added to this thing we call the Internet. If that was true then and Net content is being added exponentially, can you imagine how much information is being added daily a decade or so later. There was a coffee ad a few years ago where the husband comes staggering into the kitchen in a ragged bathrobe. His wife is sitting at the kitchen table, and he begins the process of pouring himself a ‘cuppa’ with a shaky hand. “I thought you were surfing the Internet?” she queries. Pausing before he takes a sip, he answers, “I finished!” He then adds some inane remark about how such-and-such coffee will revive him.

Today, if you began your research with “Association amicale des amateurs d’andouillette authentique» and ended with Zzzzz Mattress, you’d probably be bone dust in your casket by the time your descendants finished the project.

As unfortunate as it may be, we live in an age that is obsessed by youth. When Apple announced its new I-phone VI or whatever the hell it was, you didn’t see an octogenarians camping out a week ahead of time to ensure that they were among the first in line. There are several reasons for that: First, we enjoy our own beds too much; not hotel beds; not resort beds; not beds on some Caribbean island (unless it’s a really cold New England winter); and most assuredly not some friggin’ sidewalk covered with cigarette butts, old chewing gum or dried spit. There might have been a couple of septuagenarians in the crowd, but you know how those youngsters behave. I have learned that the greatest gift of all at this age is breathing, exercising, eating pretty much what I wish, and sleeping in comfort in my own bed beside a woman I love. Are there limitations to turning 80? Of course there are. Unlike one of the linemen on the Florida State University football team, I can no longer bench press 600 pounds…what am I saying? I could never bench press anything close to 600 pounds…ever! The loss of muscle mass begins at 40, so I guess at my age, I should be thankful that I can bench 50 pounds plus the bar!

“Age is only a number. You’re only as old as you feel. Life begins at 80.”  It’s all a bunch of jargon bullshit. As my friend, David Ellis, was so fond of saying, “It is what it is.” That is so true. There are days when I believe I can take on the world and win; then, there are other days when I feel as though the world has decided it’s payback time…and I’m in real trouble!

Life is life. There is no dress rehearsal. We can do things at 20 that we can’t do at 80. However, at 80, we generally have the common sense to realize we can’t do what we did at 20. One of my favorite Mark Twain quotes is, “I was gratified to be able to answer promptly, and I did. I said I didn’t know.” That is one thing that I’ve learned over the past several decades. However, it’s not until one ages and either doesn’t give a damn or is sufficiently honest to be able to say it. Of course, Twain also said, “Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen.” I’m not as certain of this one as I am of the former. Somehow, I get the feeling that, despite our accumulated wisdom from eighty on backwards, we would still find a way to experience the ignorance of the things we did at fifty, forty, thirty, and twenty…not to mention the agonies of those last two teenage years.

I leave you with the best advice that our friend, Mr. Twain, could possibly give, “Don’t part with your illusions. When they are gone, you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.

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When I was young, we used to play tackle football without pads and without helmets. A gang of us would get together on a Sunday morning on the high school field and go at it. We didn’t dislike each other; matter of fact, we were all friends…except when we were on opposite sides of the ball. Yes, ten yards gained you a first down, and you had four downs to do it. So far, everything – except the pads, of course – sound familiar? There were, however, some major differences. Our tackling techniques were not intended to hurt the ball carrier or to hurt ourselves. Oh, sure, we all got bloodied at some point, and perhaps there were a few twisted ankles, sprains, and once someone had to go for stitches. It had nothing to do with the game; some asshole had broken a bottle on the field and somebody fell on it with his arm…no big deal.

The point is that I don’t remember anyone ever getting knocked out in our games. We weren’t playing for blood; we were playing football for fun. Most of us were too skinny or too scared to put on pads and play football for our high schools. When I was a freshman, I played for the high school, but getting blocked once by Charlie Chalmes – his family owned the Greek restaurant in town – convinced me that pad, helmet, and high school varsity was something in which I would lose either interest or my life in a very short time. I opted for basketball, which at that time, was nothing like the contact sport it has become today.

While it may be difficult for younger people to understand, I’m not certain that soccer was even a word in our vocabulary. Oh, sure, there were hockey games at Reed’s Pond or in the flooded area down by Golleme’s Garage, but organized hockey at the high school level? What, are you nuts? Even in the pick-up games, rarely would someone be checked into a snow bank or intentionally tripped [wink, wink]. I remember George White telling the story of skating in one of those games and three times the same stranger – a bit older than George – stick handled the puck away from him. After the third time, when there was a break, George told this ‘man in black,’ that “You do that one more time you son-of-a-bitch, and I’m gonna shove my stick up your ass,” or words to that effect. Suffice it to say that George’s language was not that which could be used in mixed company. The man just smiled and skated away. Having overheard the comments, a couple of George’s friends came over. “Hey,” George, one of them said, “You shouldn’t talk like that to Father Heery.” Yes, George was embarrassed; yes, he skated over to the collarless man in black and apologized. The good Father responded that there were many times he felt as George did, but God was responsible for him keeping his cool. I have never forgotten that story, and while George and I talk or IM a bit, we don’t talk about that particular incident. Father Heery also coached the CYO basketball team on which this “Black Proddy,” as he called me, was allowed to play. Priests move from parish to parish, and the good Father was no different. He died in 1996 as The Very Reverend Cornelius J. Heery. He was a good person, and while I have digressed to speak of him, I will also tell you that I pray for his soul each evening

Getting back to the original point of this piece, I don’t recall any of the young men who played on the high school football team ever suffering ‘concussions.’ I don’t believe we knew what concussions were in those days. Of course, few schools had weight rooms or strength coaches. Today everything is different. Announcers talk about linemen who can bench 900 pounds, weigh 350, and can do the 40 in 4.5 seconds. The hits seem to be harder, more vicious and hurtful, and it appears that each play is viewed as an opportunity to put someone from the other side down and out for the rest of the game, the season, the career, or – with luck – in the ground permanently. You don’t have to agree or disagree; I’m merely telling you what it looks like to me. It used to be that, “kill the quarterback” was a figurative expression. From what I see today, it’s now used literally.

I wonder what would happen if we took away all of the pads that are used in football, hockey, soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, and any other sport that demands pads? How would the players react? How about the coaches; the alumni; the millions of viewers who tune in to vicariously participate in their favorite rock ‘em, sock ‘em, athletic adventure? At the very top of the collegiate level, fund raising would suffer tremendously. Winning teams mean development officers more easily get the $$$ that help them to keep their jobs. Raising money for academics is more difficult than raising it for athletics.

Our knowledge base has increased tremendously over the past fifty or sixty years. Somehow, when it comes to athletic competition, however, that knowledge has been used to teach us how to inflict greater pain and more violence than it has in improving actual skill level. We’ve learned that not everyone learns at the same rate, but we haven’t learned what happens to the human body and mind when it is subjected to repeated violent encounters on a regular basis…and that’s too bad.


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Respect is a two-way street. Respect is to be expected from the lowliest of lows to the highest of the highs. From the time that I began my second career in higher education, I learned that when respect is given by the head of the institution to those who are in subordinate positions, those subordinates tend to feel more empowered in their jobs. Respect up and respect down is a very simple concept.

President Obama screwed up. He screwed up in a way that I’m not certain even he understands. Granted, the President of the United States is, arguably, the most powerful of all world leaders [It says so on page three of the Prexy Handbook]. He’s trying to serve out a term with a Congress that either doesn’t care for him very much or downright hates him and calls him “that uppity n…….r behind his back. He’s confronted daily by another asshole civilian who screws up and gets himself captured by ISIS or ISIL or al quaeda  or some other terrorist group. He’s got problems with America’s economy and the gold diggers on Wall Street, so, all-in-all, he has a few distractions on his mind.

IT DOESN’T MATTER. Tomorrow, he could be ordering those two US Marines, who saluted him as he left his helicopter,r to put on fatigues and go face some terrorists. They respected him enough to offer crisp and smart salutes. He disrespected them by giving them a toss-off with a right hand holding a coffee cup. They respected up; he didn’t respect down, and he was wrong. Leave the goddamned coffee on the helicopter; put it in your left hand. After all, you are left-handed; don’t salute at all; just nod to each of them. Is this all you think of our service men and women? If that’s the case, why the hell should they respect you?

Anyone who has served in the military for any length of time understands the importance of saluting a commissioned officer who is senior to you in rank. Inside, you may think that the person you are giving a salute is one to whom you’d rather be extending your middle finger. It’s the rank and the uniform that you are respecting. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the person wearing it.

I wore the uniform, on and off, for a period of 12 years. I’m proud of my service to our country. I can still offer up a pretty damned crisp salute. I expect no less of people who might, for whatever reason, offer one up to me.

MR. PRESIDENT…You owe those two Marines a public apology. Never forget that respect is a two-way street.

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No more commuting

I’ve had it with commuting!

Okay, so I’m 80 years old, don’t have a full-time job; hell, don’t even have a part-time job for that matter, but I’m still through with commuting…particularly right after Labor Day. All of those idiots who spent the summer on Cape Cod or somewhere in the back woods of Maine, New Hampshire or Vermont are back on the roads in the Greater Boston area. The majority of them don’t appear to know that they’re back in civilization where driving involves looking right and left on a constant basis; checking one’s rear view mirror every once in a while, and paying-fucking-attention-to-others!

Alright, I agree, no one wants to be back at work after spending time away during this past extraordinary summer. By and large, nights were cool; days were sunny and bright; temperatures were not excruciatingly hot; the red tide didn’t close all of the clam and oyster beds, and; even rare red, white, and blue lobsters were found. I mean, how frigging patriotic is that?

I have a theory that people are working longer to try and build up their retirement benefits, add to their 401Ks, or whatever. At the same time, we have unleashed an entire new crop of hell-bent college graduates with cars who don’t know how to take public transportation and save money, so this has added to the confusion and commuting woes. Add to this that the driver education class these young folks took in high school that has been co-opted in their brains by the four or more years of ‘higher’ education [the bulk of which will never be put to use], and one has the perfect recipe for the disasters – minor and major – that are taking place on, in my case, the Massachusetts highways.

Juli and I this morning went first to a large shopping mall and then to a supermarket. At the mall, we were nearly hit three times. In the first case, I was backing out of a spot as was a driver approximately a dozen cars away but in the same row. I began to make my turn toward him and he sped up, seemingly to prevent me from getting by. Had I stopped, he couldn’t have gotten by me because I hadn’t turned far enough yet to allow him to do so. That didn’t seem to matter to him. Had to hit me, he would have been at fault – and he was alone, without witnesses, aha. We managed to pass one another with me shaking my head and him looking confused. “Do you have the cloak of invisibility on the car?” Juli asked, in reference to one of the Klingon’s favorite ambush tactics. “Looks like it,” I said. This was proven when we stopped at the end of the exit row to allow an oncoming car to pass. As they were passing, a new Jeep, parked at right angles to us began to back out; no looking; just backing. Fortunately, the oncoming car passed us in time to allow us to avoid being rammed. It was crazy!

People don’t appear to care. “Me first and fuck you” seems to be the new motto in Massachusetts. I guess I just didn’t get the memo. That’s okay, however, because Jack Joyce was my driver’s ed instructor as well as my basketball coach. He taught us how to terrorize other drivers and, despite baccalaureate and master’s degrees, I have retained Jack’s lessons from high school in a small compartment in my brain…and I have every intention of bringing them to the forefront of my thinking. My POSBIR (piece of shit but it runs) is 15 years old so bring it on baby; this octogenarian is ready for some fun!

I now have an arrangement with all of my doctors. If they can’t see me at seven o’clock in the morning, I don’t want to see them until eleven. By that time, most of the idiots will have made their commute and the roads will be somewhat safer…I hope.

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There was a time when the President of the United States had to seek the approval of Congress to declare war. In theory, that holds true today. Things, however, have changed, among these are the definition of an enemy; the location of an enemy; the objectives of an enemy; how battles are fought; how the enemy receives aid, including equipment and money; the manner in which intelligence is gathered by agencies from both sides. Now Congress will tell you that this doesn’t matter a damn, but Congress is not involved in the fluidity of individual situations; the President is involved as part of his job, ie, commander-in-chief of the armed forces.

No one in America wants a dictator as their leader. We all want checks and balances of some kind or another. It seems to me, however, that it’s time for us to take a hard look at the roles of the President and of Congress when it comes to going to war. Member of Congress will tell you that that body did in fact support President Bush in going to war against Iraq. If you take the time to read the congressional resolution, however, it is so much gobbledygook that it’s really difficult to tell what was being supported and what was “wait until the United Nations tells us what they’re going to do.” While that’s not an exact quote, I figured I’d better cover my ass. In any event, that was against another nation and not a group of crazy people such as ISIS.

The actual wording that allowed President Bush to invade Iraq read, in part, like this. “President pro tempore of the Senate his determination that– (1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic or other peaceful means alone either (A) will not adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq or (B) is not likely to lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq; and(2) acting pursuant to this joint resolution is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorist and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.” I mean, come on; speak English for God sake! When it comes to killing, you can’t be a namby-pamby. We’re talking about dropping very powerful bombs and, most important, we are talking about the cost in human lives. If Congress has to go into committee, draft a recommendation of war for the President, take it to the floors of the House and Senate and get it voted up or down, Hell could freeze over before anything gets done.

We hope that we are electing leaders who have some sense of right and wrong. There have been many times when I have questioned this, e.g., the Affordable Health Care Bill which was jammed through Congress without being thoroughly examined for flaws, and invading Iraq without any proof whatsoever that there were weapons of mass destruction anywhere. But, by and large, these people are reasonably intelligent and have people around them who are even more intelligent – always hire people who are smarter than you; they make you look good and won’t let you make yourself look like a horse’s ass for fear you’ll turn around and fire them – and they can keep the leader on track. As a consequence of this and in today’s world, I don’t believe that Congress should be able to tell the President what to do about rebels in Somalia, or ISIS in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, or any other country where people who have vowed to kill Americans are holed up. This is not declaring war on a nation; this is a different type of warfare.

Perhaps Prime Minister David Cameron put it best when he said, “Islam is a religion of peace. These are not Muslims; they are monsters.” And it doesn’t take congressional approval for America to kill monsters. What it does take is an understanding on the part of those in Congress to understand exactly how far the monsters are willing to go to satisfy their blood lust.

The jihadist leaders say that they wish to establish an independent Islamic state. That’s a lie; let me repeat; THAT-IS-A-LIE! What they actually want is a base from which they can terrorize the rest of the world and be free from attacks upon them. It cannot be allowed to happen. The days of religious wars are over. People such as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, considered the leader of ISIS, cannot be allowed to flourish on today’s world stage. The venom of hatred that is being spewed by him and his kind must be stopped by any means possible. Cutting off the head of innocents is indicative of their disrespect for human life.

To my friends in Congress I say, “You do your job for the country and let the President do his. Yes, you may ask your party leaders to ask for a military briefing, but if we are to avoid another 911, don’t go getting all prissy about ‘formal approval.’ It becomes no one and makes you all look like a bunch of whining children.

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This is what I would like to do…First, I would like to take every single politician in Washington and each member of their office staff assigned to someone from their state who is as dissatisfied with their performance as I am with all politicians and their staffs. I would like the people from each of the 50 states to sit on one of the steps behind the Capitol, take the Senator, Representative, and each member of their staff, individually, over their collective knees, pull down their pants or pull up their skirts and paddle their collective butts until they promised to stop lying to America and do something for the country that does not involve getting something, e.g., money, into their pockets.

The second thing that I would like to do is short-circuit Dick Cheney’s pacemaker to get him to shut up about how the Democrats and Obama are so terrible. It sends the wrong message to other world leaders Mr. I-can’t-shoot-straight, so as we say in the old country, “Shut your goddamned pie-hole.” It’s not what you say Mr. Former Vice President – catch that one Dick? Former; it’s past tense. You were in office and now you’re out on your ass. Obama didn’t start the war in Iraq; you and the kid did that, and it was a huge mistake. Sure, Saddam was an asshole of a dictator. However, bin Laden’s people were trained in Saudi Arabia and bin Laden himself was from Saudi Arabia…anything but the truth seemed to be your motto, but I won’t go on from there. Just take a long vacation…oh, and take Limbaugh with you. It would make for a fun time.

The third thing would be to take know-it-all’s, me included, to meet some of the captives we have in wherever. If we’re not convinced that these people really hate us by the end of our conversations, maybe we, too, should shut up. However, I for one do not have to be convinced that somewhere in some Middle Eastern country, there is a plot afoot to attack the United States in a manner that will dwarf 911 in scope. Perhaps I am a conspiracy theorist, but someone has set a course to “degrade and destroy” America. The reasons are many. Jihadists have been convinced that we, as a nation, are evil incarnate and that unless we are destroyed once and for all, we will attempt to take over the world and dictate how it should be run. No amount of denial; no amount of foreign aid; no amount of help in any form will ever convince the extremists that our goals are honorable. Of course, if President Obama now or if George Bush before him had come out and said, “America has a single goal; we wish to conquer the world and tell every country how it should be run,” every country in the world would, today, be a nuclear wasteland…not a particularly good ‘thang.’

The fourth thing, and this is something I’d like to see rather than do, is to elect an administration where the President in his inaugural address states, “Before the end of my second term, we will reduce fossil fuel emissions by 90 percent. We will no longer be dependent on foreign oil because oil, in any form, will become a minor commodity in fueling our cities, towns, vehicles and farms.” If Kennedy could say that we would put a man on the moon inside of ten years, why can’t we find an alternative form of energy to move our country? The answer is out there. Let us not be bullied by lobbies and big business within our own borders. As my popular saying goes, “Let’s get an administration that has a pair and doesn’t struggle to grow a pair.”

It seems that after Harry Truman, our leaders have been somewhat wishy-washey. Each has done something. Eisenhower built an interstate transportation system second to none. Future administrations have allowed it to fall into disrepair. Kennedy’s contributions included NASA and averting a nuclear war by solving the Cuban missile crisis.  Johnson managed to get an historic Civil Rights bill passed. He appointed the first African-American justice to the Supreme Court. He established the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts to support “humanists and artists,” and he “Created programs to tackle poverty such as Head Start, food stamps, Work Study, Medicare and Medicaid.” Nixon ended the Vietnam War and for that alone, he should be commended; however, his other contributions, including the opening of trade with China must be viewed in the light of a Democratic Congress that nearly forced his signature on the Environmental Protection Act. Nixon’s was, perhaps, one of the most complex of presidencies we have seen in modern times. It would be a simple matter to go on, but you get the idea. Our presidents since good old Harry who didn’t give a damn about doing anything but what was right, seem to have found themselves bogged down by petty details and forced into micromanaging situations. Their visions have not been clear nor have they always followed their visions to completion.

Am I just being curmudgeonly about where America has been and where it’s going? Perhaps, but then, I’m just another octogenarian who can do little but cast a single vote…or bitch and wail, piss and moan, and write small essays that will be read by few. Perhaps, somewhere out there, there is another Abraham Lincoln or George Washington, a child who can see the greatness that we can achieve and will lead us in achieving that greatness. I sure hope so. By the time that happens, I will be fish food for a few bluefish and stripers in Cape Cod Bay. That doesn’t mean that I won’t be looking…up or down…to see what’s going on. I have high hopes…so kid, you damn well better be out there…cuz I’m dependin’ on ya!

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There we were, having one of our after breakfast “He said; she said,” conversations about what is bad and what is…what, you don’t know what a “he said, she said” conversations is? You’re kidding, right? Oh, okay, this is the type of conversation where you begin with a fact…in this case, “Can something or someone be bad without being evil?” Once you run out of facts to justify your position, you then begin pulling things out of your ass for which there is absolutely no foundation in truth. It’s at this point that it becomes a “he said, she said,” and you are free to use glass hammers and sky hooks, along with left-handed paint brushes to prove your case. Since there is no or are no judge or judges, this discussion can go on until someone decides that one more word and they will pee their pants. At this point, both contestants storm off into walls [that weren’t supposed to be there] and the discussion reaches its conclusion.

Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion about any subject [until it differs from my own], even whether or not Oscar Pistorius intentionally murdered his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, or whether the Ray Rice elevator video was actually an outtake of a Mike Tyson confrontation with a reporter. Neither of these cases is subject to be discussed with humor. Both are horrific crimes. How Pistorius has gotten away with murder and why Rice is not sitting in a jail cell are both beyond my comprehension, but I guess that’s the manner in which people with big names and big reputations can get away with things for which the average citizen would find himself doing hard time in a lockup.

Given the circumstances, are these two men bad or are they evil? Anyone in their right mind must conclude that their actions were those of an evil belief, ie, that it is acceptable to murder someone, even through a closed door [did she scream after being hit by the first bullet?} or that it is acceptable to coldcock a woman because she spits at you. Can we say that these evil beliefs are individual behavior or are they, in fact, the beliefs of the tribe to which these two men belong. Think about it for a moment. O.J. got away with murder. The Green River killer, the Zodiac killer, BTK, and even Whitey got away with murder for decades before they were caught. Pistorius is a hero in South Africa. Why shouldn’t he believe that he can do anything and not be severely punished? Ray Rice is engaged in a profession that encourages violence; demands violence as part of the road to success. If I can drive you into the ground hard enough that they have to carry you off the field on a stretcher, which provides a greater opportunity for our team to win and for me to make more money. Is it so difficult to understand the transition from opponent to someone who is being aggressive toward you anywhere else? Lacking a degree of maturity, I can certainly see it happening. Do I agree with it? Hell, no, I think it’s appalling but that is not to say that I don’t see where it comes from.

Domestic violence of any kind, whether it’s by gun or knife, or by foot, fist, or elbow has no place in a civilized society…and the excuse of “she pushed my buttons,” is no excuse at all. Every 9 seconds, a woman is abused somewhere in the world. In America, I believe it’s every 15 seconds. What does that say about us? Basically, it says that we should not be allowed to call ourselves “civilized,” because civilized people don’t do that. Here are a few facts from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

  • One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.
  • An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year.
  • 85% of domestic violence victims are women.
  • Most cases of domestic violence are never reported to the police.
  • Almost one-third of female homicide victims that are reported in police records are killed by an intimate partner.
  • Boys who witness domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their own partners and children when they become adults.
  • Approximately one-half of the orders obtained by women against intimate partners who physically assaulted them were violated. More than two-thirds of the restraining orders against intimate partners who raped or stalked the victim were violated.

The facts and figures go on and on. Children, particularly males, are twice as likely to abuse their partners when they become adults. Kids are also at risk of being abused if they live in a household where abuse is a fact of reality.

There is an unprecedented opportunity in the courtroom in South Africa and in the offices of the National Football League to make a genuine impact on domestic violence. Judge Thokozile Masipa may have cleared Pistorius of murder but she can still nail his hide to the wall with a charge of culpable homicide, discharging a firearm, and being in possession of ammunition, all of which carry serious jail time for this defendant. The NFL can ban Ray Rice for life, thereby sending a message that his type of behavior will not be tolerated under any circumstances. Is this taking away his livelihood? Yes, it is, but in theory he earned a college degree. Let him use it. If not, let him spend some of that money he’s received from the Baltimore Ravens to educate himself for another line of work.

Domestic violence is indefensible, no matter the reason. It’s indefensible for husband against wife or vice versa – yes, men are also victims of domestic violence – or whether it’s same sex violence, or violence of any kind against a partner, friend, or acquaintance. Crime of any kind is unacceptable, but, just like domestic violence, it will continue, and people like me will rail against it by our writing, take classes to become counselors and attempt to help in that way…but it will go on. It will go on because in some form, in same way, in some dark recess of our minds, we make it acceptable and we allow it to happen…and we should ashamed of ourselves.

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