A Reporter's Notebook
Your inside scoop to the South Florida Jewish community

Archive for the ‘Blogs’ Category

Way to go Heat

Florida is wildly celebrating the Heat’s victory last night. It just goes to show … never say ‘die’!

Congratulations Heat! Way to go!!!

Marching backwards

I thought women had won the fight over their reproductive rights years ago with the ‘new’ birth control pill of the 60s, followed by Wade vs. Roe.

However, with the current controversy raging over the morning after pill, or “Plan B,” as it’s called, it looks like some are trying to turn the clock backwards.

The controversy erupted after a New York district judge ordered the FDA to make the emergency contraception available to females of any age, without a prescription. Prior to that, the FDA ruled the Plan B One-Step pill should only be available to females age 15 and older, and they needed a prescription. Meantime, the Justice Department has filed a notice saying it will appeal the judge’s ruling. As usual, the Obama Administration is waffling of this important issue.

The controversy is grist for the mill for all the TV ‘talking heads,’ who are making a federal case (no pun intended) out of it.

As a liberated female of the 60s who fought for women’s rights, the advent of the birth pill broke the chains of slavery for many of us, and gave women the opportunity to decide their own fate.

The morning after pill is just one more step towards freedom for women – no matter what age. Truth is – teens are going to have unprotected sex, something that’s been going on since Adam and Eve. Yes, it’s better if they wait or use protection, but it’s not always likely to work out that way.

You would think pro-life advocates would welcome the ‘pill,’ which would result in fewer abortions. But, apparently not. They are stridently against it, especially for teens – exactly the people who need it most.

Their argument is that parents should have the right to make the choice. But it’s not the parents who are having the unwanted pregnancy. And parents, for religious reasons or whatever, often force the teen to deliver the child.

I believe if a female is old enough to engage in sex, she’s old enough to decide what to do about an unwanted pregnancy.

Looks, youth, equal doubt

It’s becoming increasingly apparent that even though all the evidence is stacked against you – you’ve got more than a ‘reasonable’ chance of beating a murder rap if you’re a 20-something, pretty white female.

Casey Anthony comes to mind. And now, here comes Jodi Areas.

If you’ve been following the Areas trial (which is proving more popular than “Keeping Up with the Kardashians), it’s hard to think otherwise.

For openers: After shooting her ex-boyfriend in the head while he’s naked and vulnerable in the shower, then stabbing him 27 times – and finally delivering the ‘coup de grace’ by slitting his throat from ear to ear – how can anyone with more than a single-digit I.Q. buy this was “self defense” ???

Moreover – Areas unbelievably claims self defense although she exhibited no bruises, bloody injuries or broken bones to show she was in a fight for her life. And those ‘cuts’ to her finger, were certainly not from repeatedly plunging a knife into the poor victim, she tearfully claims – but came from her breaking a glass earlier that day. (Where have I heard that one before … oh, yeah, O.J. used the same line!)

And what about her being caught in lie, after lie, after lie? As with the Casey Anthony debacle – lying seems not to matter to a jury. It’s a wonder both of them aren’t walking around with noses 10 times longer than Pinocchio’s!

All the TV talking heads are debating whether she’ll get the jury’s sympathy with her demure ‘plain Jane’ appearance and testimony, and who may let her off easy – or even find her not guilty, as in the Anthony case.

Meantime, what about the victim? What about some sympathy for him? I’m sure his family would settle for some justice.

Update on Downton Abbey

After anxiously waiting many months for the return of Masterpiece Theater’s “Downton Abbey” on PBS, it took only two episodes to throw us into despair.

Last Sunday night, Lady Sybil died in childbirth!

Yes, during the third installment of Season 3, one of most liked and sympathetic characters living at the Crawley digs will be no more. How can the writers do this to the thousands of loyal Downton Abbey fans?

If that’s not bad enough, while doing some snooping, I discovered that Matthew Crawley is also going to kick the bucket. Poor Lady Mary! Wonder if she’ll get pregnant before his demise.

I also learned that Tom Branson (rebel husband of the late Lady Mary) will become agent for the Crawley estate and his brother Kieran Branson will be joining him. Another new character coming on board is the young Lady Rose – I smell romance – but with whom?

I admit to being hooked on Downton Abbey. It reminds me of “Upstairs, Downstairs” of many moons ago. Same with “Brideshead Revisited.” I’m one of the thousands (probably millions) who clear their evening schedule at 9 p.m. on Sunday night to learn what’s doing at the Crawley’s. I never saw an hour pass so fast.

There are some, however, who ask me what’s so great about Downton Abbey? I answer … story, story, and story. Not to mention the first class acting and script, interesting and three-dimensional characters that you care about, and the wonderful period costumes and, of course, the location. Did people really live like that?

The fact that the PBS show is a huge hit says something about the usual, moronic TV fare that’s thrown at us. We’re starved for some really good quality drama. Used to be a time when more quality programming wasn’t such an anomaly – but, unfortunately, that’s the way is.

I hope the powers that be are taking notice of just how profitable good TV can be.

Sandy Rockin Relief

If you didn’t tune in for the Rock ‘n Roll relief concert for Hurricane Sandy victims on Dec. 12 at New York’s Madison Square Garden, you missed one fantastic happening.

More than 37 television stations in the United States and 200 others worldwide carried the gathering of legendary rockers that included Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel and Paul McCartney. Other legendary performers such as Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi, Eric Clapton, the Who, and Alicia Keys also took to the stage.

The Sandy Aid concert also brought back nostalgic memories of the very first rock-aid Concert for Bangladesh in 1971, pioneered by former Beatle George Harrison, that turned out a veritable ‘Who’s Who’ in Rock ‘n Roll, and which set a precedent for all future aid concerts. The fact that the concert came just a day after the death of sitar impresario Ravi Shankar, a headliner at the 1971 concert, punctuated the poignancy.

Many of the performers are native to the area, and suffered hurricane damage themselves which they described to the audience. Joining the rockers were comedians Adam Sandler and Jon Stewart, both local natives. Sandler sang a parody of a Leonard Cohen song, while Stewart told the audience, “You can throw anything at us – terrorists, hurricanes. You can take away our giant sodas. It doesn’t matter. We’re coming back stronger every time.”

The concert raised more than $35 million in ticket sales alone, and the total tally for call-in donations will, no doubt, bring in many millions more. Judging from the montage of devastating Hurricane Sandy photos flashed on a big screen during the performances, the money is well needed and can’t arrive too soon.

To donate to the relief effort, visit: www.121212concert.org