Gay Marriage

#1 – The Battle Over Gay Marriage

  1. The President is careful to avoid coarse language about gays and lesbians, but supports state recognition of some kind of “contract” for gay couples, which is a significant shift from the recent history of the gay-marriage debate.
  2. The debate over same-sex unions is likely to be a significant issue in the 2004 presidential campaign, with the likely Democratic nominee, John Kerry, hailing from Massachusetts where the court decision was made.
  3. Kerry opposes gay marriage but favors civil unions, and believes the matter should be left to the states. In contrast, President Bush’s position is that marriage should be between a man and a woman, which is held by a majority of Americans according to a TIME/CNN poll conducted last week.
  4. In May, gay couples will be able to wed for the first time in the U.S., following a ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court that it is unconstitutional to deny them marriage licenses.
  5. The ruling has been celebrated by many in the gay community, but it has also sparked opposition from conservative groups and politicians, who are pushing for a U.S. constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.
  6. Despite opposition, the trend towards greater recognition of gay rights has been steadily increasing, with more and more employers offering domestic-partner benefits and several states establishing statewide registries for gay couples.
  7. The Massachusetts ruling specifically rejected the idea of civil unions, arguing that “separate is seldom, if ever, equal” and that denying gay couples access to marriage was a form of discrimination.
  8. However, even if gay marriage becomes legal in Massachusetts, it will not be recognized in many other states or by the federal government, which limits the rights and protections available to same-sex couples.
  9. The push for gay marriage has not always been popular or widely supported within the gay community, but the issue has gained increasing visibility and support over time.
  10. After the Hawaii ruling, Lambda (an organization that advocates for the rights of LGBTQ+ people) reversed course and began promoting same-sex marriage.
  11. Evan Wolfson, one of Lambda’s top attorneys, traveled around the country to speak on gay marriage to both gay and straight audiences.
  12. Wolfson spoke in almost every state in the country, including in churches, gay organizations, and the Federalist Society, trying to convince people that same-sex marriage was not a distant fantasy.
  13. As Wolfson was promoting same-sex marriage, Matt Daniels, who runs the Alliance for Marriage, became convinced that it would damage the institution of the family.
  14. Daniels believes that the family, defined as built on the union of male and female, is the foundation of society.
  15. Daniels founded the Alliance for Marriage, which wrote the Federal Marriage Amendment that is now before Congress.
  16. The proposed amendment would limit marriage to opposite-sex couples but would not outlaw civil unions, which Daniels believes should be available to states.
  17. The Alliance for Marriage has a modest budget of $900,000 a year, but it has influence beyond its means.
  18. The proposed amendment got a big push last week, and it is likely to get another in May when pictures of lesbians kissing their brides will be broadcast round the world.
  19. Some 20 states have already introduced (or are expected to introduce) constitutional amendments to ban same-sex marriage.
  20. The gay-marriage debate can be brutal, as it touches the emotional and social fabric that makes up family.

#2 – Ten Arguments From Social Science Against Same-Sex Marriage

  1. Children hunger for their biological parents: The argument states that same-sex couples using in vitro fertilization (IVF) or surrogate mothers deliberately create a class of children who will live apart from their mother or father. Children of IVF often ask their single or lesbian mothers about their fathers, feeling the absence of their biological father in their lives, which can cause psychological problems.
    • The argument that children need their biological parents is often used to oppose same-sex marriage. While it is true that children may have questions about their biological origins, there is no evidence to suggest that they fare worse in same-sex parent households compared to opposite-sex parent households. Furthermore, same-sex couples can provide a loving and stable home for children through adoption, foster care, or other means.
  2. Children need fathers: The argument states that if same-sex civil marriage becomes common, most same-sex couples with children would be lesbian couples, meaning that children would be raised apart from fathers. Fathers provide a unique social and biological influence on their children and reduce antisocial behavior and delinquency in boys and sexual activity in girls.
    • The argument that children need fathers is based on studies that show a correlation between father absence and negative outcomes for children. However, these studies do not account for the quality of the relationship between the absent father and the child, nor do they compare same-sex parent households to opposite-sex parent households. It is important to note that many children grow up in single-parent households due to divorce, death, or other circumstances, and they can still thrive with the love and support of their remaining parent.
  3. Children need mothers: Although homosexual men are less likely to have children than lesbians, homosexual men are and will be raising children, which denies children a mother. Mothers excel in providing children with emotional security and reading the physical and emotional cues of infants. Mothers also give their daughters unique counsel as they confront the physical, emotional, and social challenges associated with puberty and adolescence.
    • The argument that children need mothers is also based on gender stereotypes and does not take into account the diversity of parenting styles and skills that exist among both men and women. Many same-sex couples have successfully raised well-adjusted children, and there is no evidence to suggest that a child’s gender identity or sexual orientation is determined by the gender of their parents.
  4. Evidence on parenting by same-sex couples is inadequate: A number of leading professional associations have asserted that there are “no differences” between children raised by homosexuals and those raised by heterosexuals. However, most of the studies are done by advocates and suffer from serious methodological problems.
    • The argument that evidence on parenting by same-sex couples is inadequate is partly true, as there is still a need for more research on this topic. However, the assertion that all studies done so far are flawed is misleading, as there have been well-designed studies that show no significant differences in child outcomes between same-sex and opposite-sex parent households.
  5. Evidence suggests children raised by homosexuals are more likely to experience gender and sexual disorders: Although the evidence on child outcomes is sketchy, it does suggest that children raised by lesbians or homosexual men are more likely to experience gender and sexual disorders.
    • The argument that children raised by homosexuals are more likely to experience gender and sexual disorders is based on outdated and biased views of homosexuality as a mental disorder. There is no evidence to support the claim that having same-sex parents increases the likelihood of children developing gender identity or sexual orientation issues.
  6. Same-sex “marriage” would undercut the norm of sexual fidelity within marriage: The argument suggests that same-sex “marriage” would probably undercut the norm of sexual fidelity in marriage, as homosexual couples are more likely to be accepting of extramarital outlets than heterosexual couples.
    • The argument that same-sex marriage would undercut the norm of sexual fidelity within marriage is based on assumptions about homosexual relationships that are not supported by evidence. There is no reason to believe that same-sex couples are more promiscuous or less committed than opposite-sex couples, and many same-sex couples value monogamy and fidelity in their relationships.
  7. Same-sex “marriage” would further isolate marriage from its procreative purpose: Traditionally, marriage and procreation have been tightly connected to one another. Same-sex marriage would only further undercut the procreative norm long associated with marriage insofar as it establishes that there is no necessary link between procreation and marriage.
    • The argument that same-sex marriage would isolate marriage from its procreative purpose is based on a narrow view of marriage as solely for procreation. Many couples choose to marry for reasons other than having children, and many same-sex couples are already raising children through adoption or other means. Marriage is a social institution that serves multiple purposes, including providing legal and social recognition for committed relationships.
  8. Same-sex “marriage” would further diminish the expectation of paternal commitment: Legal recognition of homosexual civil marriage would further destabilize the norm that adults should sacrifice to get and stay married for the sake of their children. Same-sex civil marriage would institutionalize the idea that children do not need both their mother and their father.
    • The argument that same-sex marriage would diminish the expectation of paternal commitment is based on stereotypes about men as being less interested in parenting than women. Many men are highly involved and committed parents, and the gender of the parent does not determine their ability to provide love and support to their children.
  9. Marriages thrive when spouses specialize in gender-typical roles: If same-sex civil marriage is institutionalized, our society would take yet another step down the road of de-gendering marriage. But marriages typically thrive when spouses specialize in gender-typical ways and are attentive to the gendered needs and aspirations of their husband or wife.
    • The argument that marriages thrive when spouses specialize in gender-typical roles is based on gender stereotypes that do not reflect the diversity of individual preferences and abilities. Many couples find success in sharing household and childcare responsibilities in a way that works for them, regardless of gender.
  10. Women and marriage domesticate men: Men who are married earn more, work harder, drink less, live longer, spend more time attending religious services, and are more sexually faithful. If the distinctive sexual patterns of “committed” gay couples are any indication, it is unlikely that homosexual marriage would domesticate men in the way that heterosexual marriage does.
    • The argument that women and marriage domesticate men is based on outdated views of gender roles and does not reflect the complexity of modern relationships. Marriage can have positive effects on all people.

Capital Punishment

#1 – The Death Penalty: An Eye for an Eye

  1. Death Row may soon lose more residents to the executioner, as public sentiment to get tough on violent criminals seems to be on the rise.
  2. The world’s oldest and most prodigious electric chair, nicknamed “Old Sparky,” is located in Green Haven prison in New York.
  3. The national death-row population is currently 1,137, with Florida, Texas, Georgia, and California having the largest numbers of death-row prisoners.
  4. The use of lethal anesthesia injections as a new method of killing could increase public acceptance of executions.
  5. Fear is behind the new advocacy of the death penalty, with the U.S. public feeling terrorized by murderers and thugs.
  6. The murder rate in the U.S. doubled between 1960 and 1973 and stands at 9.8 per 100,000 today.
  7. A Gallup poll from last fall shows that 72% of Americans now favor capital punishment, up from just 42% in 1966.
  8. Historically, American executions were public, with hanging being the standard method for 200 years.
  9. Judges and juries meted out death sentences at a ferocious clip during the ’30s, with as many as 200 people a year being legally executed.
  10. After World War II, executions became less popular, and the nation’s chairs, gallows, and gas chambers were temporarily retired partly because judicial standards became more scrupulous and as an extension of two centuries of penal reform.
  11. Capital punishment in the U.S. is in flux, with fewer executions occurring each year, but it is not a formal, statutory change.
  12. At any given time, no more than a third of the states have no death-penalty provision.
  13. Americans want the option to retain capital punishment but also the option not to use it.
  14. Last November’s elections saw capital punishment as a potent political issue, but it was not a decisive one.
  15. The uneasiness with capital punishment has led to an odd inventiveness in the U.S., with only a few states still calling for firing squads or hangings.
  16. Lethal injections are the most recent technical refinement and are viewed as more “humane” but remain strictly a U.S. practice.
  17. The idea of deterrence can be quickly reduced to very personal rudiments, but in real-life and real crime, deterrence is often very uncertain.
  18. Scholarly evidence does not make a strong case for deterrence, although one economist, Isaac Ehrlich, argued that capital punishment prevents more murders than prison sentences.
  19. Arguments for capital punishment are usually visceral or anecdotal, and in a sense, death’s deterrent power has never really been given a chance in the U.S.
  20. Prison is a far more manageable weapon than death, and the U.S. is not at all hesitant to put criminals behind bars.
  21. Opponents of capital punishment argue that life imprisonment without parole is as effective a deterrent as the death penalty because the likelihood of being caught and punished is what deters people from committing crimes.
  22. Proponents of the death penalty, on the other hand, believe in the principle of an eye for an eye and do not necessarily consider the deterrent effect.
  23. Some argue that execution is primarily a vengeance mechanism, and that a society that believes killing is a solution to any problem is deeply uncivilized.
  24. There is also the risk of executing an innocent person, but proponents argue that the judicial system provides an exhaustive review process, making the chances of such an error remote.
  25. A significant problem is the quality of legal representation for murder defendants, with many court-appointed lawyers lacking the resources and motivation to provide adequate defense.
  26. In some cases, prosecutors seek the death penalty more frequently for cases involving a black defendant and a white victim, suggesting racial bias.
  27. Great lawyering at the right time would save virtually everybody who is going to be executed, according to legal experts.
  28. Of the 2,000 death sentences imposed during the post-Furman decade, about half have been reversed or vacated by the courts due to errors in the legal process.
  29. The death penalty is argued to be more expensive than a life sentence. The New York State Defenders Association estimates that a typical capital-punishment case would cost $1.5 million before any appeal is filed.
  30. Imprisoning an inmate for 50 years would require less than $1 million in New York, and statistically, fewer than 1% of freed murderers kill again after their release from prison.
  31. There is political and emotional reluctance to impose bona fide life sentences, but it may be a compromise if capital punishment is abandoned.
  32. Inmates on death row exhibit high-strung limbo between hope and hopelessness. The 49 inmates on Illinois’s death row, for example, are alone in their cells for at least 21 hours a day and handcuffed when in transit.
  33. Mitchell Rutledge, a death-row inmate in Alabama, says being on death row is like “just sitting there waiting for somebody to come kill you, just like a dog out there in the dog pound.”
  34. Lawrence Bittaker, a death-row inmate at San Quentin, murdered five teen girls, raping, sodomizing, torturing, and recording his crimes. It’s argued that it is the existence of such monsters that prevents the capital punishment debate from being resolved in the abolitionists’ favor.

#2 – The Death Penalty :Revenge Is the Mother of Invention

  1. Until the Enlightenment, societies didn’t question the right of the state to kill. The only issue was finding the most creative and cruel methods of execution.
  2. Ancient methods of execution include boiling, burning, choking, beheading, impaling, crucifying, stoning, strangling, burying alive, and slow slicing.
  3. Murder and treason were almost always punished by death. Other capital offenses included gathering sticks on the Sabbath and picking pockets.
  4. In England, over 200 offenses were punishable by death. “Hanging days” were public holidays, and executions often took place in a drunken state.
  5. Death sentences were arbitrarily applied, with the social standing, sex, citizenship, or religion of the victim often determining the degree of horror they would suffer.
  6. The need for sacrifice, catharsis, and revenge likely underlies the rituals of execution.
  7. A reform movement took hold in Europe in the late 18th century. The death penalty has been abolished in many countries, including Canada, most of Western Europe, and much of Latin America.
  8. Albania is the only country in Eastern Europe to have abolished capital punishment. The death penalty remains in force throughout Asia and the Islamic world.
  9. Iran executed the most people in the world last year, with over 600 announced executions.

#3 – The Death of the Death Penalty

  1. Despite decades of effort, the US is not getting better at the death penalty.
  2. The crime rate has fallen back to levels unseen since the early 1960s, and this means public support for capital punishment has fallen.
  3. Capital punishment used to serve three kinds of purposes, and two have been discredited by time.
  4. The cost of the death penalty is now so high that some people who used to support it are calling for it to be abolished.
  5. Capital punishment runs counter to core conservative principles of life, fiscal responsibility and limited government, and its application in the US is seen as an expensive, wasteful and risky government programme.
  6. Governments across the country are struggling with tight budgets, which are likely to get tighter due to aging populations and rising demand for healthcare and retirement benefits.
  7. The cost of the death penalty system in the United States is far more expensive than the life-without-parole alternative due to a slow, inconsistent, and inefficient process.
  8. Rising pressure to cut wasteful spending will cause more and more legislators and law-enforcement officials to look hard at these findings, especially in a climate of low crime rates and secure prisons.
  9. Few issues have caused the U.S. Supreme Court more pain over the past half-century than the death penalty, and several justices have turned against the process after leaving the court.
  10. Death is different, and the main reason the court abolished the old death penalty was that there were no standards for deciding who would live or die. Even among murderers, the chance of being executed was as random as being struck by lightning.
  11. Judges are taking notice of the fact that capital punishment is still a matter of occasional lightning bolts, and the system produces bizarre and unpredictable results at a cost of billions of dollars.
  12. Actions of the legislatures, lower-court judges, and governors can all be read by the Supreme Court as signs of “evolving standards of decency” in society, which can be used to justify ending capital punishment for good.

#4 – Why the Death Penalty Should Die

  1. Murder is the ultimate disempowerment, for both the victim and the survivors.
  2. Every family responds differently to murder and its traumatic wounds.
  3. Finding the strength to get out of bed, figuring out what to do with the empty chair at the kitchen table, and working to understand–and avoid being crushed by–police investigations and court systems are some of the challenges faced by the survivors of murder victims.
  4. The needs of crime victims or their survivors are not met by killing the killers.
  5. Executions do not bring loved ones back from the dead.
  6. A system that purports to execute only those who commit heinous murders creates a hierarchy of victims.
  7. Families devastated by crime become revictimized by a system focused on criminals.
  8. Some victims’ survivors spend so much time focusing on how their cherished one died that they end up forgetting how the person lived.

#5 – Why the Death Penalty Should Live

Reasons for supporting the death penalty in the Boston Marathon bomber case:

  1. Justice: Many in the survivor community believe that the death penalty offers a sense of justice being done.
  2. Closure: For some, the death penalty brings closure to those who lost loved ones that day. The author also feels a sense of closure and will never have to see the killer again.
  3. Deterrence: The author hopes that the death penalty in this case sets a precedent and acts as a deterrent, sending a message that terrorism is not tolerated in Boston and America.
  4. Accountability: The killer used a weapon of mass destruction to intentionally harm and kill people. The author believes that if you use a weapon of mass destruction in the United States, you should expect to face a federal jury and the possibility of the death penalty.
  5. Precedent: The author hopes that the death penalty in this case sets a precedent for other potential terrorists to think twice before committing such heinous crimes.

#6 – Oklahoma Inmate Dies After Botched Execution

  1. Clayton Lockett’s execution was halted on April 29, 2014, in Oklahoma after the delivery of a new drug combination was botched.
  2. Lockett was given three drugs, but the execution was stopped about 20 minutes after the first drug was administered due to vein failure.
  3. Lockett began breathing heavily, writhing on the gurney, clenching his teeth, and straining to lift his head off the pillow.
  4. A doctor lifted the sheet to examine the injection site and found that the line had blown due to Lockett’s vein rupturing.
  5. The blinds were lowered by an official inside the death chamber, preventing those in the viewing room from seeing what was happening.
  6. The execution was halted after a series of phone calls by the Director of the State Department of Corrections, Robert Patton, who issued a 14-day postponement of another inmate, Charles Warner’s execution.
  7. Lockett died of a heart attack after all three drugs were administered.
  8. Lockett was convicted of shooting 19-year-old Stephanie Neiman with a sawed-off shotgun and watching as two accomplices buried her alive in rural Kay County in 1999 after Neiman and a friend arrived at a home the men were robbing.
  9. Warner was convicted of raping and killing his roommate’s 11-month-old daughter in 1997.
  10. Both inmates had sued the state for refusing to disclose details about the execution drugs, including where Oklahoma obtained them.
  11. Oklahoma’s two highest courts were at odds over the case, which placed them at the risk of impeachment after the court issued a rare stay of execution.
  12. The high court later dissolved its stay and dismissed the inmates’ claim that they were entitled to know the source of the drugs.
  13. Governor Mary Fallin had issued a one-week stay of execution, which resulted in both men being scheduled to die on the same day.

Immigration Policy

#1 – Arizona’s Tough New Law Against Illegal Immigrants

  1. The Arizona legislature passed a bill that is considered to be the toughest anti-illegal-immigrant measure in a generation.
  2. The bill is expected to be signed by Republican governor Jan Brewer, which will give local police sweeping new powers regarding undocumented workers.
  3. Currently, immigration offenses are violations of federal law and local police officers can only inquire about a person’s immigration status if that person is suspected of another crime.
  4. Under SB1070, Arizona police will have the right to stop anyone on “reasonable suspicion” that they may be an illegal immigrant and can arrest them if they are not carrying a valid driver’s license or identity papers.
  5. Arizona is a point of entry for thousands of undocumented workers going to the U.S. from Mexico, and tensions were heightened by the recent murder of a rancher in a remote border area where illegal crossings are rampant.
  6. Both proponents and opponents of the law are vociferous.
  7. Immigrant advocates are promising court challenges to the bill’s harsh sweep, and the ACLU of Arizona executive director Alessandra Meetze says that it turns the presumption of innocence on its head.
  8. Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, believes that the bill will give police officers an extra tool in their tool kit and that the rhetoric that the bill will create a police state is ridiculous.
  9. The bill passed the state senate earlier, and law enforcement in the state is split over the legislation.
  10. All 35 Republicans in the lower Arizona house voted for the bill, while 21 Democrats voted against it.
  11. The bill does four things: criminalizes undocumented status, enlists local police in illegal-immigration enforcement, allows citizens to sue police departments if citizens think the police are not being sufficiently vigilant in enforcement and forbids any city from ignoring the state law and becoming a so-called sanctuary zone.
  12. State senator Russell Pearce, a Republican, says his bill “will not change a thing for lawful citizens” and “Our legal citizens have a constitutional right to expect protection of federal law against noncitizens. When those laws are not enforced, our citizens are denied equal protection.”

#2 – Arizona Gears Up for a Protracted Immigration Fight

  1. Arizona’s governor, Jan Brewer, signed the most aggressive anti-illegal immigration law in the US, known as SB1070.
  2. The law will come into effect 90 days after the current legislative session ends, probably in July or August.
  3. There is uncertainty surrounding the impact the law will have on the streets, as there is no requirement that makes a police officer check immigration status unless there is suspicion.
  4. The law’s broad instruction to police on reasonable suspicion that a person is an illegal immigrant could lead to ethnic profiling, damaging relations between police and the Latino community.
  5. Provisions that allow citizens to sue any agency or official who limits or restricts the enforcement of federal immigration laws may lead to court cases against cops and elected officials.
  6. The law’s broad language could help mount a legal challenge that claims it is unconstitutional due to civil rights being violated and the vagueness of the statute.
  7. President Obama has ordered the Justice Department to look into the legislation, and some experts claim that only Congress has the right to set immigration law.
  8. The law does little to address border crime and cartel violence.
  9. Polls show a wide majority of Arizona’s voters backed SB1070, with little turnout from the Latino electorate.
  10. The legislation looks certain to increase the divide between Hispanics and non-Hispanics in Arizona.
  11. Protests against the bill in Phoenix featured many Latino students, who likened the bill to apartheid laws and the Japanese internment act.

#3 – Judge Blocks Arizona’s Immigration Law

  1. On Wednesday, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction against sections of Arizona’s immigration enforcement law that were scheduled to take effect the following day.
  2. The law required police officers to check a person’s immigration status while enforcing other laws and demanded immigrants to prove their authorization to be in the country, or risk state charges.
  3. The injunction was in response to a legal challenge brought against the law by the Obama administration.
  4. Judge Susan Bolton of Federal District Court allowed some provisions of the law to go into effect, including one that bans cities from refusing to cooperate with federal immigration agents.
  5. She largely sided with arguments in a lawsuit by the Obama administration that the law interferes with longstanding federal authority over immigration and could lead to harassment of citizens and legal immigrants.
  6. Governor Jan Brewer, a Republican who signed the law and has campaigned on it for election to a full term, said that she would appeal the injunction on Thursday and ask for a speedy review. Legal experts predicted that the case could end up before the Supreme Court.
  7. The law had provoked intense debate from coast to coast, drawing support in several polls but generating boycotts of the state by major civil rights groups and several cities and towns.
  8. The ruling came four days before 1,200 National Guard members were scheduled to report to the Southwest border to assist federal and local law enforcement agencies there, part of the Obama administration’s response to growing anxiety over the border and immigration that has fed support for the law.
  9. The Mexican government, joined by seven other Latin American nations, supported one of the lawsuits against the law; the attorneys general of several states backed Arizona.
  10. The ruling is not the final word on the case. In granting the injunction, the judge simply indicated that the Justice Department was likely, but not certain, to prevail on those points at a later trial in federal court. She made no ruling on the six other suits that also challenged the law.
  11. The law, adopted in April, coincided with economic anxiety and followed a number of high-profile crimes attributed to illegal immigrants and smuggling. It has become an issue in Congressional and local campaigns across the country.

#4 – The Other Border

  1. Brooks County in South Texas is a deadly area for undocumented immigrants trying to cross the US border
  2. Over 400 bodies have been found in Brooks County in the past six years
  3. The area is not actually on the border, but is where many migrants try to bypass the US Customs and Border Protection checkpoint on U.S. 281 by trekking through private ranches
  4. The checkpoint has pushed undocumented immigrants onto the ranches, where they face harsh conditions, extreme heat, and dehydration
  5. Many migrants carry little food or water, and those who fall behind are left behind by their guides
  6. In these rural areas, recovering, identifying, and burying the dead carry significant costs
  7. Humanitarian groups and some ranchers have installed water stations to reduce fatalities
  8. The border patrol has positioned rescue beacons on private land so migrants can call for help
  9. Agents use ground sensors, cameras, and blimps to surveil the area
  10. Brooks County is affected by the shift in migration patterns, as smuggling routes moved to the Rio Grande Valley and the increase in refugees from Central America looking for a path to the US
  11. Deaths in Brooks County are down from their peak in 2012, but the impact still hits hard

The Killing of Lisa Steinberg

  1. Officer Vincent Daluise arrived at a building in Greenwich Village on November 2, 1987, in response to a report of a child not breathing. The building was a classical brownstone, previously owned by Mark Twain.
  2. The woman who answered the door had a bruised, mangled, and swollen face. The man who came out of another darkened room was carrying an unconscious, bruised, and blue little girl in his arms, who had vomited after eating something. The cops saw additional bruising and welts on her back, and her feet were coal-black.
  3. The little girl was identified as Elizabeth Steinberg, known as “Lisa.” She was six years old, allegedly adopted by Joel Steinberg, an attorney, and Hedda Nussbaum, a former editor and writer of children’s books for Random House. They had overseen her anguished life for six years.
  4. Joel Steinberg was born in the Bronx, grew up in Yonkers, and attended Gorton High School. He graduated from Fordham University with a political science degree in 1962 and attended New York University Law School until dropping out in 1964.
  5. He joined the Air Force the next year, served overseas, and was honorably discharged as a lieutenant in March 1968. He resumed law school and eventually graduated in 1970, and his grades were less than average.
  6. Steinberg concentrated on criminal law, including many drug cases, during his early career in the 1970s. He was described as warm, fatherly, and generous but also withdrawn and sometimes hostile. Some friends described him as verbally abusive to women.
  7. Hedda Nussbaum graduated from Hunter College in the early 1970s and later became a public school teacher. She got a job with Random House in September 1974 and wrote two children’s books, both of which were published by Random House. She met Joel Steinberg in 1975 and became romantically involved with him.
  8. Steinberg first hit her in 1978, and the abuse escalated over the next few years. Hedda suffered through black eyes, broken bones, broken teeth, a fractured nose, burns, beatings, and other acts that were detailed during Steinberg’s murder trial. By 1981, she was fired from her job because of repeated absences due to her physical condition.
  9. On November 2, 1987, when Hedda was brought to the hospital, she had cuts on her lip, broken cheekbones, a broken nose, a large bruise on her right buttock, multiple broken ribs, and ulcers on her legs so widespread that they were life-threatening. She was physically as badly injured as any battered woman the social worker had ever seen, short of those who were killed.
  10. Lisa was born on May 14, 1981, in Manhattan. Her birth mother, Michele Launders, was 19 and unable to provide financial support. She wanted the baby to have a comfortable life, so she arranged for the baby to be adopted through a doctor she met.
  11. Joel Steinberg, who was introduced to Michele as a lawyer who handled many adoptions, took the baby home and kept her, instead of arranging a legal adoption. Lisa grew up with Steinberg as her father and Hedda Nussbaum as her mother.
  12. The abuse allegations against Lisa began in 1983 when one of Hedda’s colleagues called a hotline to report suspected abuse of Lisa. The complaints were investigated in 1984, but no signs of child abuse were found.
  13. Lisa attended New York City Public School 41, where teachers remembered her as a wonderful and loving child who had a way with adults that did not go unnoticed.
  14. On the morning of November 2, 1987, Lisa was found with severe injuries on her body and was taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital. Doctors discovered that she had cuts, bruises, and trauma marks all over her body, and her brain was hemorrhaging. Lisa never regained consciousness and was removed from life support on November 5.
  15. Prosecutors had to conclusively establish the cause of Lisa’s death to sustain a charge of murder. Dr. Douglas C. Miller of the New York University Medical Center testified that Lisa’s brain damage was “blunt head trauma, and nothing else.” He made the comparison with the head blows suffered by professional boxers, and said the fatal blow would have to be one of sufficient force.
  16. The Steinbergs had come to the city’s attention repeatedly. Child Protective Services personnel had visited the apartment a total of three times in 1983 and 1984. Each visit stemmed from reports of child abuse. The police had also been to the Steinberg’s apartment on October 6, just weeks before Lisa was killed, on an anonymous complaint of a family dispute.
  17. Lisa’s death caused a public outrage and raised questions about the city’s bureaucratic bungling. Critics pointed out that New York City’s municipal government is larger than that of many nations and has a sprawling, diverse, and incomprehensible network of bureaucracy.
  18. Despite the vast empire of social programs, child protective groups, and agencies all dedicated to the welfare of its citizens, a defenseless woman was beaten, apparently for years with little or no intervention, and two kids were grossly mistreated.
  19. During the trial, Steinberg’s attorney, Ira D. London, was concerned about Hedda Nussabum’s testimony and Steinberg was terrified of it.
  20. Steinberg did not testify to avoid making any incriminating statements or giving the prosecution another chance to retell the crime.
  21. Steinberg wrote a letter to Newsday, expressing his love for Lisa and his concern about Hedda’s testimony.
  22. Hedda was expected to testify soon, and she was hospitalized and received psychiatric care at the Four Winds Hospital. She had no contact with Steinberg since November 2, 1987.
  23. Hedda took the stand on December 1, 1988, and spoke slowly and deliberately.
  24. She revealed that Steinberg had abused her for years and forced her to sleep in the bathtub or on the floor.
  25. Steinberg had a compulsive, masochistic relationship with Hedda Nussbaum, and she suffered 31 specific instances of alleged abuse by him.
  26. Despite years of beatings and mistreatment, Hedda never succeeded in breaking away from Joel.
  27. Hedda also revealed that she had been using cocaine for about seven years and freebased cocaine with Joel on many occasions and with friends as well.
  28. On the second day of her testimony, Hedda told the jury about bizarre cults, child pornography, and hypnotic powers.
  29. Hedda also said that she believed Lisa was sexually abused, and Lisa was involved to some extent when she was about two and a half years old.


#1 – Millennials: The Next Greatest Generation?

  1. Millennials, born roughly between 1980 and 2000, are often described as narcissistic, lazy, coddled, and delusional.
  2. This negative stereotype is supported by a decade of sociological research, which found that Narcissistic Personality Disorder is three times higher in people in their 20s than in those aged 65 or older.
  3. In 1992, 80% of people under 23 wanted a job with greater responsibility; 10 years later, only 60% did.
  4. Due to growing up with participation trophies, 40% of Millennials believe they should be promoted every two years, regardless of performance.
  5. However, TIME’s Joel Stein argues that rather than being inherently self-centered or overconfident, Millennials are adapting quickly to a world undergoing rapid technological change.
  6. They are optimistic, confident, and pragmatic, despite the challenges of the Great Recession and other economic issues.
  7. While Millennials spend a lot of time on their phones, their adaptability to technological change is a valuable quality to have in today’s world.

#2 – Millennials: The Me Me Me Generation

  1. According to the National Institutes of Health, the incidence of narcissistic personality disorder is nearly three times as high for people in their 20s as for the generation that’s now 65 or older.
  2. 58% more college students scored higher on a narcissism scale in 2009 than in 1982.
  3. A recent study showed that 40% of millennials believe they should be promoted every two years, regardless of performance.
  4. The National Study of Youth and Religion found the guiding morality of 60% of millennials in any situation is that they’ll just be able to feel what’s right.
  5. More people aged 18 to 29 live with their parents than with a spouse, according to the 2012 Clark University Poll of Emerging Adults.
  6. Poor millennials have even higher rates of narcissism, materialism, and technology addiction in their lives.
  7. Millennials consist of people born from 1980 to 2000 and are 80 million strong, the biggest age grouping in American history.
  8. Millennials are similar to one another worldwide due to globalization, social media, the exporting of Western culture, and the speed of change.
  9. Millennials are stunted, having prolonged a life stage between teenager and adult.
  10. Millennials lack empathy and have trouble understanding others’ points of view.
  11. Millennials turn themselves into brands, with “friend” and “follower” tallies that serve as sales figures.
  12. Millennials grew up watching reality-TV shows, most of which are basically documentaries about narcissists.
  13. Millennials’ self-involvement is more a continuation of a trend than a revolutionary break from previous generations.
  14. Millennials’ perceived entitlement isn’t a result of overprotection but an adaptation to a world of abundance.
  15. Millennials have a lot of career options and can connect with people internationally, so they don’t have to marry someone from their high school class or even their home country.
  16. A lot of what counts as typical millennial behavior is how rich kids have always behaved.
  17. The Internet has democratized opportunity for many young people, giving them access and information that once belonged mostly to the wealthy.
  18. Millennials don’t rebel against authority and often outsource their decision-making to their parents.
  19. Many parents of millennials engage in “peer-enting,” negotiating daily with their children.
  20. Millennials have confidence and are going after what they want.
  21. Millennials are more accepting of differences among everyone, not just gays, women, and minorities.
  22. Millennials are nice and lack the David Letterman irony and Gen X ennui.
  23. Millennials are constantly seeking approval and have a massive fear of missing out.
  24. Millennials are financially responsible and have less household and credit-card debt than previous generations.
  25. Millennials love their phones but hate talking on them.
  26. Millennials are informed but inactive.
  27. The rising micro-generations within the millennial group horrify their siblings.
  28. The group after millennials is likely to be even more empowered.

#3 – Are Millennials really the ‘Me’ generation?

  1. Many twentysomethings hop from job to job, create start-ups.
  2. Millennials emphasize individual over community.
  3. Experts say young people should emphasize what they can do for a company.
  4. Pinning the “me, me, me” label on Gen Y, millennials, or whatever you want to call them, has become so ubiquitous.
  5. Twentysomethings aren’t apologizing. They say it’s a good thing.
  6. The biggest criticisms are that they give off a sense of entitlement.
  7. Baby boomers are the ones who raised this generation.
  8. Steve Fagan, a life coach whose clients tend to be 40 and over, said one of his key exercises is getting people to reconnect with themselves and figure out exactly what made them happy.
  9. That generational gap plays out in very distinct ways.
  10. “Baby boomers wanted stability for their family. Gen Yers want growth.”
  11. Many 20-somethings today seem to be lacking in tact.
  12. College career counselors are actively doing all they can to prepare students to tone down the “me me me,” “I want” business and focus on showing hiring managers what they can offer the company.
  13. A recent study shows the “ME ME ME” generation didn’t just spring up overnight.
  14. Patricia Greenfield, a psychological scientist at the University of California in Los Angeles, used the Google Ngram Viewer to scan more than 1 million books.
  15. Her findings showed that there has been a distinct rise in more individualistic words.
  16. Before you go pointing your finger at these kids today, remember, it’s you, too.

Gen Z

  1. One-in-ten eligible voters in the 2020 electorate will be part of Generation Z, born after 1996.
  2. Half of the oldest Gen Zers (ages 18 to 23) reported that they or someone in their household had lost a job or taken a cut in pay because of the outbreak.
  3. Gen Z is different from previous generations, but similar in many ways to the Millennial generation that came before it.
  4. Members of Gen Z are more racially and ethnically diverse than any previous generation.
  5. They are also digital natives who have little or no memory of the world as it existed before smartphones.
  6. Gen Zers are progressive and pro-government, most see the country’s growing racial and ethnic diversity as a good thing.
  7. Gen Z is more racially and ethnically diverse than previous generations, with only 52% being non-Hispanic white.
  8. Gen Zers are slightly less likely than Millennials to be immigrants, but more likely to be the children of immigrants.
  9. This generation is projected to become majority nonwhite by 2026, according to Census Bureau projections.
  10. Gen Z is on track to be the most well-educated generation yet.
  11. Generation Z is less likely to drop out of high school and more likely to be enrolled in college than previous generations, especially among Hispanic youth.
  12. Gen Zers are less likely to be employed than previous generations when they were teens and young adults, possibly due to being more engaged in educational endeavors.
  13. Gen Z and Millennials have similar viewpoints on many major issues, but Gen Z is more likely to look to the government to solve problems.
  14. Among Republicans and those who lean to the Republican Party, there are striking differences between Generation Z and older generations on social and political issues.
  15. Gen Zers and Millennials stand out from older generations in their views of family and societal change.
  16. Gen Z is at the front end of changes in gender identity, being much more likely to personally know someone who prefers gender-neutral pronouns.
  17. American teens have access to smartphones and use social media frequently, with mixed views on its effects on their generation.
  18. These findings are based on surveys conducted by Pew Research Center.