A Discussion of Criminal Justice Issues and Other Things

Monday, June 30, 2008

Times Have Changed

My kids got a new Monopoly game the other day. In looking through it I thought to myself how the game reflects how things have changed over the last 20 years. When I played Monopoly as a kid, I always fancied those $100o bills. In the new game the old bills are gone. The smallest bill is now $10,000 and the largest bill is $5,000,000.

Park Place is now Fenway Park in Boston and is worth $3,500,000.

Oh, how things change!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Berlin Air Lift

June 27th holds a significant date in history. I was browsing through a reference guide that reminded me that June 27, 1948 started the Berlin Air Lift. The event is considered by some historians as the beginning of the defining moments of the Cold War. In short, the Soviet Union didn't want to give up control of their part of Germany taken after World War II. The other allies, US, France, and Britain were ready to consolidate the country back into a central government. The break between capitalism and communism began.

Good reference material can be found here.

Ironically, President John F. Kennedy gave his famous speech on June 26, 1963, proclaiming the whole world stood with the Berliners - "Ich bin ein Berliner". Kennedy continued what President Harry Truman had started in 1948 by continuing to support the Germans toward reunification. Many years passed when President Ronald Reagan stood by the Berlin Wall and told General Secretary Gorbachev to "Tear Down the Wall" on June 12,1987. The Berlin Wall "fell" on Tuesday November 9, 1989. It was a memorable day that symbolized the defeat of communism and the end of the cold war.

So as we gear up for the celebration of our July 4th holiday. Take a moment to remember the many men and women who have sacrificed their lives in the name of freedom over the many years to make the impossible possible. After years of oppression, freedom arrived at the doorstep of Berliners.

The independence our forebears gained is still the light in the darkness for freedom and basic human rights. Just as our beginning took many years to achieve and just as the defeat of the Cold War took many years, the challenge goes forward.

May you all have a save and enjoyable July 4th.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Not So Friendly Fkies

I'm posting this entry from Chicago O'Hare International Airport. I'm composing on my Palm so please bear with me. This is another post in the saga of the agony of commercial air travel. It's never been great to fly but now you get to pay twice as much for double the aggravation. On Tuesday I arrived at the Wichita, KS airport to depart at 10:30 am for Chicago .The flight finally left at 1:30 PM. We never really learned why it was so late but we got to walk out on the tarmac in pouring rain, ridiculed by United ground crews for not walking a straight line. Pity the older woman with a cane trying to mount the wet stairs of the baby jet. By the way those small jets are great if you are under 5' tall and weigh less than 50 pounds.

Today - we wound up 90 minutes late...so far because the first officer is stuck in Rochester, NY. Glad to know United strands their employees as well as paying customers. An associate told me how United left them stuck on the runway in DC on Tuesday for over 4 hours only to cancel the flight because the flight attendant had exceeded her work hours. Hmmmmmm.

For this aggravation - we paid $700.

I think I'll take the train or drive next time.