Tag Archives: Jack Hoffman

On the Arizona shootings

By Jack Hoffman

As soon as Jared Lee Loughner was captured, the media began its blame game: What was the motive? But as the smoke began to clear, a picture began to evolve of a madman gone wild.

The evidence so far has shown that Loughner takes on the description of a paranoid schizophrenic. Studies have shown less than 1% of paranoid schizophrenic will become violent. What we do know is that Jared Loughner listed on his own website some of his favorite books: Animal Farm, Brave New World, Through the Looking Glass, One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and The Communist Manifesto. David Brooks of The New York Times writes “that many of these books take on a common theme: individuals trying to control their own thoughts and governments, or some other force trying to take that control away.”

Certainly Jared’s behavior and tirades in his classroom, while brandishing the same gun used in his murderous nightmare, seem to lend lots of credence to mental instability. Behavior that many of his students, acquaintances and neighbors all knew and did nothing about. So where were the parents in all of this? Continue reading On the Arizona shootings

The big Wikileak (Or: “Don’t play that song for me – it brings back memories”)

By Jack Hoffman

What do Angela Bennett, The New York Times, Julian Assange, Dan Ellsberg and Bradley E. Manning have in common?

Recently, while reading the latest news on the theft of 91,000 pages of TOP SECRET memos on the Afghanistan War, published in part by the New York Times, The Guardian, and Der Spiegel, and simultaneously watching the 1995 movie, “The NET,” I began to get that Deja vu moment once again about the Viet Nam War.

That period of time never seems to go away – especially the part about the truth being withheld from American citizens by our own government. And the media joined in on this conspiracy of lies! Continue reading The big Wikileak (Or: “Don’t play that song for me – it brings back memories”)

Stupid, stupid Tea Baggers and our trough of stupidity

By Jack Hoffman

Not so long ago when the country and Congress were debating the health care bill InCity Times little TV group (Straight Talk on TV 13) was getting ready to tape our weekly show.

What angered me so much during that show was the stupidity vis a vis the new Health Care Reform bill that was being expressed by the opposition. I doubt if anyone doing the yelling ever took the time to read just a little of the bill. I doubt if many of the folks in Congress did, too. Oops! Sorry! They have congressional aides for that.

So I said to ICT editor and publisher Rose [Tirella]: let’s talk about this stupidity.

She said: Jack, this will never go over in Worcester.

I’ll bet the folks up there might be a little embarrassed about just how stupid we really are so I’m letting it ride … . Continue reading Stupid, stupid Tea Baggers and our trough of stupidity

It’s all over

By Jack Hoffman

Three things recently happened that may have put the final nail in the coffin of what was once known as America’s democracy.

It involved a Supreme Court case brought by an obscure conservative political group. The group versus The Federal Election Commission. Ironically, it involved the use of raising corporate money by showing a documentary that highlights Democrat Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential run. The conservative group believed that the use of corporate money fell within their First Amendment rights and freedom of speech.

The Supreme Court’s majority decision of 5 to 4 is easy to figure out. To quote the majority: “A corporation has the same rights as an individual.”

Wait a sec! Did I miss something in my reading of the First Amendment? A separate entity, yes, but the same rights as an individual?! You have got to be kidding me!!! Continue reading It’s all over

A failed bombing and: What are we doing in Afghanistan? Plus: My health-care crisis!

By Jack Hoffman

In just days since the abortive attempt by the 23-year-old Nigerian student Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to detonate an explosive device onboard Northwest Flight 253, information surfaced that indicated a quintessential, breakdown of our intelligence and security network. Evidence has shown it to be extraordinary and shocking but not surprising in both its character and scale – especially after the 9/11 debacle.

Should we be shocked?

So what has happened with the preliminary findings from the time of the bombing attempt and now? How Umar put this all together. The dildo detonator and explosive powder stitched in his underwear. A powder that should have been detected by the Amsterdam security police, what with the new body scanners supplied by the United States. And the frightening news Umar trained with another twenty jihadist ready to go. Continue reading A failed bombing and: What are we doing in Afghanistan? Plus: My health-care crisis!

Dear Jack Hoffman …

Hi, Jack.

Hopefully, my e-mail will reach you. Absolutely, accidentally I read your ‘Our healthcare boondoggle’ article in the ‘InCity Times’ paper.

I am really impressed. Maybe the reason for that is that not so often I see an objective, honest and ‘cool’ analysis of the social, etc. situation in the US. We came to the US in 1999. Not from Belorussia (Belarus) but from Lithuania : I would never believe that the health insurance, working conditions, social structure, etc are in such bad condition. This country is on the bottom of the civilized countries in the world. And it is going down. Even during these 9 years – I see that. And people even don’t know how tough is life here. Continue reading Dear Jack Hoffman …

Farewell to the late, great Ted Kennedy!

By Jack Hoffman

The late US Senator Edward Moore Kennedy was a true, stalwart liberal. He defined the meaning of liberal in its truest sense: a philosophy of the people and for the people. Whether it was protecting unions, jobs, education or health care, he stood for those whose voices were silent among the corporate and congressional power brokers who cared more about the bottom line and the slush funds they garnished.

He was there against an unconstitutional war in Vietnam, a trumped up war in a country no one hardly knew, Granada and an invasion in Iraq to save the despots of Kuwait and sanctioned by our own government. Most importantly, the greatest blunder in this nation’s recent history – Iraq. Continue reading Farewell to the late, great Ted Kennedy!

Happy 8’th Birthday, InCity Times!

(editor’s note: While our website (this website!) is a year old, we’ve been publishing InCity Times, the newspaper, for more than 8 years. (It’ll be 8 1/2 this December!) Jack Hoffman, our columnist, wrote this piece for our 8’th anniversary issue.)

By Jack Hoffman

It’s Wednesday and seven days before deadline, and the call I didn’t want to get arrived as anticipated. It’s a call I’ve gotten every two weeks, about 20 times a year, for at least the last five years. It shows up “restricted” so I refuse to answer and just let the answer machine lessen the pain. Sure enough, it’s Rose, our C.E.O. (Chairwoman of Everything Officer) here at InCity Times.

“Jack, how’s your column going?” she asks. I tell her: “Rose, you won’t believe this! I got a hamstring pull from falling through a pallet. I just got home and I’m filthy, blood still pouring down my leg from the fall and I haven’t eaten a thing.”

She asks again: “So how’s the column going, Jack?” Continue reading Happy 8’th Birthday, InCity Times!

Can President Obama deliver the goods?

By Jack Hoffman

At first glance I got the feeling I was at some local Odd Fellows group. The difference being the audience was not made up of worshipers singing Onward Christian Soldiers. These people were the soldiers of peace and social change. These folks were the veterans, the vanguard of change that drove in freedom buses through the South in the 1960s, registering black voters, marching in the main streets of America protesting an illegal war. And in a last bit of breath they marched again against an invasion of Iraq. We were gathered to hear the words of famous anti-Iraq War protester Cindy Sheehan, an inspirational leader of the movement that refuses to give up the good fight. The big difference was that at this lecture, there were only three people out of 150 under the age of 25. Continue reading Can President Obama deliver the goods?

Intolerance

By Jack Hoffman

When I heard the news of the fatal shooting of the security guard at The Holocaust Museum in Washington DC, it wasn’t a question of “why.” It was a question of “when.” Angry? Surely. But surprised? Hardly.

The museum directors, and just about every law enforcement agency, knew the museum, like no other in the Washington area, was a prime target for the misguided: especially for people who could play out their anger in real time.

In the words of its architect, James Freed, “The building is not meant to be intellectually understood. Its architecture of sensibility is intended to engage the visitor and stir the emotions, allow for horror and sadness, ultimately to disturb.”

But to many others, its meaning is clear and definable: its meaning waves the red flag of intolerance that existed and still does today. Let’s not be naïve. Intolerance has existed for centuries. It’s alive and killing every day of our lives. Continue reading Intolerance