ESPN had excellent story about homeless star

ESPN had excellent segment about homeless basketball player

ESPN’s E-60 had an excellent segment by reporter Shelley Smith July 30, 2017 about a woman who went from college basketball star to a schizophrenic homeless person.  In 2000, Schuye  LaRue was ACC Rookie of the Year at the University of Virginia. After her sophomore year she abruptly decided to turn pro and ended up going to Italy to play. After a brief time, she returns home to the Washington DC area to live with her mother. Continue reading

Focus on Citizens not on Congress

I changed the background of this blog from a panoramic view of the U.S. Capitol to George Caleb Bingham’s County Election painted in 1852. Bingham (1811-1879) is well-known in Missouri for his depictions of ordinary life in the mid-1800. He served in the Missouri House of Representatives in 1848. It is an era piece for it shows only white males participating in elections. If all citizens had been paying attention to their responsibilities the past couple decades maybe we would not be in today’s chaos.


Looking for Faith and Fellowship at Chautauqua 2017

Looking for Faith and Fellowship at Chautauqua 2017

                I spent July 8-15, 2017 at the Chautauqua Institution listening to first-class lectures and discussions examining “Is there a Crisis in Faith?”  Chautauqua is a beautiful 740 acres on a lake in western New York, isolated from social reality, opened for nine weeks a year with a different theme each week. It was founded in 1874 to train Methodist Sunday school teachers and has been non-denominational since 1890. It was nationally known before World War II and has hosted several presidential speeches. President Theodore Roosevelt supposedly said that Chautauqua “is the most American thing in America.” One speaker this week said “it is a little slice of heaven” to which someone replied “Heaven will certainly be more diverse.” Alas, the more than 5,000 participants were Christian or Jewish, highly educated, mostly over 50, and . . . white. The speakers were much more diverse. Take a look here: or Continue reading

Carl Update: I found him after three months

Carl Update: I found Carl after three months

After three months of casual looking, I finally happened upon a homeless guy I call Carl. I was happy to see him. A week ago, his daughter had told me where to look.
I first met Carl last February 1 when he was dropped off by a taxi from the hospital at closing time at a soup kitchen where I volunteer once a week. I did not know what to do that cold night and dropped him off at the bus station that was due to close in 30 minutes. I was disappointed in myself, the hospital, and almost everyone who I spoke with about what I should do. I described this in a March 10, 2017 op ed essay in the Columbia TRIBUNE

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Beyond reasonable doubt is misunderstood

The Pennsylvania jury in the Bill Cosby trial has been deadlocked for five days and asked the judge for the meaning of the term “reasonable doubt” as in “beyond reasonable doubt.”  Based on my service on four juries, I suggest that lawyers and legal observers misunderstand how the typical citizen-juror thinks about the concept. Two years ago while a juror in a “criminally negligent manslaughter” case, a single juror held out over the concept “beyond a reasonable doubt.” He said “I think the defendant is guilty but I always have “reasonable doubt” about serious questions. Therefore, if the test is “beyond that point,” I vote “not guilty.”  To him, the key term seemed to be BEYOND not “reasonable” in the phrase “beyond reasonable doubt.”  Yet, whenever I’ve heard judges and lawyers talk about the concept they focus on “reasonable” not on “beyond.” Continue reading

My Visit to National Museum of African American History and Culture

On May 23, 2017 I visited the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the newest part of the Smithsonian Museums in Washington, DC.

Despite what I had heard about the impossibility of getting admission tickets for less than three months in advance, I was able to get a same-day ticket online at 6:30 AM that morning. They were all gone by 8:30 that morning. There are also “walk up tickets” available at 1:00 PM until they are gone. Continue reading