Friday, January 26, 2007

Shabbat Shalom 7 Shvat 5767

Parent Relives Nightmare
Paroled Murderer Strikes Again

As a father it's very hard to read horrific stories about another dad's child being murdered. What makes it worse is when a convicted murderer gets sentence to life in prison and gets paroled only to kill again. After 26 years in prison a Minnesota parole board released Danny Rouse for reasons that are sealed. Rouse murdered a 5 year old Jason Learst in 1979, cutting his throat while he slept. The day after last Halloween, Jason's father received a phone call from an Indianapolis reporter, "There's a girl gone missing here in Indiana," she said. "They've picked up Danny Rouse."

16 year old Stephanie Wagner live about 80 miles north of Indianapolis in the small town of Royal Center. She worked with Rouse in a restaurant. The owner knew that Rouse was a paroled murderer, but gave him a job as a favor to a waitress, who's mother was dating him. I won't go into the gruesome details, but Rouse came into work the morning after Wagner disappeared and eventually confessed to stabbing her to death after strangling her was unsuccessful. He showed the police how to find her body with a drawn map.

I'll never understand how a judge cannot sentence a murderer to life without parole if the act was of a completely senseless nature and furthermore of a child. This type of act is a blatant sign of psychopathic behavior as it is defined, "having no concerns for the feelings of others and a complete disregard for any sense of social obligation. Emotions are thought to be superficial and shallow, if they exist at all." Why a judge and later a parole board could ever think such a person could be released back into society is beyond my comprehension. I don't claim to be an psychology expert, but anyone who took Psych 101 and Abnormal Psych classes in high school or college knows this.

This incident reminded me of another horrific mistake by our justice system. This past November a manager of a North suburban Chicago Burger King was murdered by a man who had been convicted of 4 brutal killings including 3 children and raping a three-year-old boy. James Ealy was 17 in 1982 and was arrested and eventually confessed to the murders. The victim was his girlfriend and her three kids. At the time he was out on bond for rape charges. An obvious suspect, but an appellate court reversed the conviction claiming that no probable cause existed when arrested, therefore throwing out the confession and obtained evidence during the searches.

Sad fact: In the state of Illinois, murderers on average serve about eight years for their first killing.

The Abandonment of Hillary

If you are committed to selling 20 tickets at $2300 a piece fora Barack Obama fundraiser, you can have dinner with movie mogul David Geffen at his Beverly Hills home. Geffen along with Steven Spielberg and Jefrey Katzenberg are throwing the Illinois Senator and Presidential candidate a fundraiser at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 20Th.

With these three big wigs behind his candidacy as well as Oprah Winfrey and George Clooney, it's hard to say that Hollywood is torn between who they are supporting for the Democratic nomination. Clooney does state that he is not planning on campaigning for Obama. George is a huge supporter and fan of Barack, as well as a friend," said Clooney's publicist, Stan Rosenfield. He stressed that Clooney is unlikely to campaign for Obama, though, because the actor feels support from liberal Hollywood can be a detriment to the candidate. "You lose the heartland." Clooney may be a liberal, but he isn't a dummy.

Right now Hillary's camp is trying to play-up a recent Time magazine poll that has her up 19 points over Obama. However, when analyzing the poll, the numbers for the New York Senator are not reassuring. Her negatives are very high with over 90% of Americans with formulated opinions about her. Obama has huge positives with about half the country still gathering an opinion. Obama can easily overcome the deficit, while it is hard for Hillary to improve at all.

Most political pundits, hacks and whores I know, don't believe Obama is for real. "Wait for his baggage to come out," they all say regardless of political affiliation. I believe he is a serious contender for very simple reasons...Charisma and Charm.

President Kennedy, Reagan, Clinton and to and to an extent Dubya, had an appeal to the common voter that arguably made political ideas and positions secondary. After Obama was elected in 2004 , he stated that most people aren't ideologues, they want to know how a candidate can help them. He is right. Knowing that means he knows what to say and he already has proven that people flock to him for whatever reason. Clinton simply put, comes off as a cold person. That alone is why nobody can discard his candidacy.

Paulies dropping pounds

I wasn't going to discuss this matter until after my doctor's appointment this upcoming Thursday, but I'm in titled to change my mind. The day after Christmas my wife and I decided to jump start the new year with a lifestyle change. I don't like the word diet because it is synonymous with failure. Simply put we are eating healthy and abiding by the weight loss points system created by Weight Watchers.

For those who do not know me personally, I am significantly overweight. I accept the fact that I eat more than I should and have been fighting this all my life. I don't blame my metabolism or those skinny bastards who eat like pigs and have had a 32 inch waist all their life. I do have bad genes and that does contribute to my weight problems, but that is not an excuse to not try to maintain a healthy weight. More important, I got two young sons and a wife who want me to be around for those big moments in life. First lost tooth, first little league home run, Bar-Mitzvah, teach them how to drive and who can forget , "dad, my girlfriend hasn't gotten her period yet." How can I miss any of these events.

The facts: 30 days into my change of lifestyle, I have dropped 11 pounds and feel great. Next week I will learn where my blood pressure and cholesterol levels are at and hopefully see improvements. I have slightly elevated levels of both.

A few changes I have made include incorporating Green Tea, low sugar Cranberry Juice, whole grain cereal/pasta and more fruits and vegetables into my daily life. I also have another major change, which I will discuss within the next week or so after my doctor's visit. Some of you are aware of it or you can figure it out by looking at this blog. I will talk about it in detail when I have my medical test results.

Additional exercise has been limited due to my work schedule, but that changes today with my work schedule back to normal.

Does this mean I don't eat any bad foods? No, I am incapable of eating like a perfect angel. Two weeks ago my wife and I went out with another couple for Mexican food and I ate terribly. However, I knew I would and therefore compensated my eating earlier that day and the next day. Everything in moderation. Having a bad meal once in while won't hurt you and in my case keep me sane.

Anyone want to talk about losing weight can send me an email or post a comment. However, I will not make this subject the focus of my life. I believe that if you are trying to loose weight, quit smoking or make any major change in your life, the more you talk about it and allow it to run your life, the better chance you will fail.



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