Cruz Robocall Reaches New Low

confed flagThere’s been shameful moments for candidates from both parties in the presidential campaign, but Thursday night’s Ted Cruz robocall attacking Donald Trump & Gov. Nikki Haley for taking down the Confederate battle flag in South Carolina is a disgrace. We can expect that Cruz campaign hacks will say they can’t control their friendly Super PACs, but that’s hard to believe. This incident proves that Cruz is not president material. Let’s be clear – South Carolina elected officials debated this sensitive issue and decided to take down the flag in a democratic and legislative manner. The issue is resolved. With Cruz making it an issue again, it just proves once again how divisive and extremist he truly is. The Cruz campaign is now manipulating the racial aspects of this issue and should be ashamed. See link on more about robocall.

Jim Maisano

(Jim serves as a Westchester County Legislator)

Let’s Honor Murdered Cops And Avoid Divisive War Of Words

nypdBy Jim Cavanaugh

The best thing our civic leaders – both elected and self-appointed — can do to honor the two New York City police officers who were murdered yesterday is to impose a self-moratorium on agenda-driven rhetoric while the City grieves and pays these officers the respect they deserve. They should focus on the officers and their sacrifice, and take time off from their increasingly divisive war of words.

But they can’t help themselves.

Today a local Congressman is on the air saying this is what happens when people start criticizing the police. A potential presidential candidate tweeted that the murder is the result of the atmosphere created by Mayor DeBlasio and the protesters.

Simple statements from politicians who want us to believe there are simple answers. There aren’t.

The gunman seems to be a career criminal of the type that should have been removed from the streets long ago. Before he murdered the police officers he also tried to kill a former girlfriend. He may have said the murder of the officers was in retribution for Michael Brown and Eric Garner, but the fact is that he was a repeat felon from way back. He didn’t need reasons to harm people. He just did.

At a time when one-third of all Americans have a documented brush with the law, we should be asking why this guy was still walking around when we spend so much time and effort to lock up non-violent offenders, drug addicts, and juveniles.  If our criminal justice was better focused, then police would be safer, along with the rest of us.

Those who use yesterday’s tragic murders to condemn those who have questioned police tactics in recent months are no more helpful than the Ferguson or Staten Island protesters who claim cops are institutionally racist. They might score points with their followers, but they lead us no closer to bridging the gap that still divides the races in America.

And what about the Eric Garner case? The public seems to have it right even if the headline-grabbers don’t. Sixty percent of New Yorkers think the police mishandled the Eric Garner incident – to the extent that they believe some sort of charges were warranted. But a majority is also sick of the protesters shutting down streets, and they don’t agree with demonizing the police department as racist. They have far more respect for the difficult job these men and women accomplish than do the protesters – or more importantly their headline-seeking leadership.

Yet those who advocate for police are also fanning the flames. The head of New York City’s police union is on the air claiming the City is back on a “war footing.” He’s wrong, as anyone who lived in New York during the eighties and early nineties knows. This kind of escalating rhetoric is exactly what we don’t need.

The anti-cop protest crowd has taken a momentary turn, scrambling over themselves to praise the police that they were so roundly condemning just last week. But as soon as there is another incident that jibes with their agenda, they’ll be back. Meanwhile, those who want to protest the protesters will use this tragedy to accuse them of collective responsibility for the act of a single murderous individual.

It is time to reject all of those who insist on casting our society as us and them. Let’s embrace those who only believe in us.

Jim Cavanaugh is former Supervisor of Town of Eastchester and former Chair of Westchester County Republican Committee.

It’s Time To Stand With Our Police


My community, New Rochelle, NY, has an excellent police department. My family is pleased with the safety we enjoy thanks to the brave men and women in blue. I serve as a Westchester County Legislator and am also impressed by the excellent work of the Westchester County police. The job of police officer is as difficult as any in our society. Each day when police officers leave their homes, they put their lives on the line to protect all of us. In their duties, the police deal with the most evil aspects of our society: murder, assault, human trafficking & prostitution, domestic violence, drugs and others, which must negatively impact them in various ways. And yet, they keep heading out there to protect us. Most police officers do their jobs very well. Yes, mistakes are made and it’s a tough job to perform perfectly all the time. And yes, there are some bad cops out there, as in any profession. The officers that make mistakes can be punished in a court of law or through internal discipline procedures, and we certainly hear about cops being punished in the media.

I believe we should stand with our police when they are unfairly criticized – and that time is now. You cannot watch the protesters from Ferguson to New York City (“NYC”) and not see examples of hatred towards police. Not every protester is bashing cops, but many are. This past weekend in NYC, protesters were caught chanting: “What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want it? Now!” It’s impossible to understand how anyone could chant such hateful words.

We all must support freedom of speech and the right to peacefully assemble to protest about issues, and many people are doing so across the country. However, other protesters are crossing the line into violence and other illegal actions. In NYC this past weekend, we had a protester mob attack two police lieutenants.  The New York Post reported:

“The violence erupted shortly after the two lieutenants attempted to stop one of the angry agitators from hurling a garbage can at other cops standing in the walkway below, police said.

That’s when other demonstrators intervened and attacked the officers — knocking them to the ground and kicking and punching them before trying to steal their jackets and radios, according to police.”

Mayor DeBlasio recently stated, “People need to know that black lives and brown lives matter as much as white lives . . . The relationship between police and community has to change.” Is this based on empirical research? No, it’s not. It’s just his flawed opinion. His views are at odds with the fact that over the past 25 years the NYC police have made it the safest big city in our country (confirmed on and crime deceased in every neighborhood. And by the way Mr. Mayor, who wrongly stands with the protesters instead of the police, I personally don’t know a single person that is not fully aware that “black lives and brown lives matter as much as white lives.” As a Catholic, my faith has taught me this fundamental truth since I was a little boy. It’s never been in doubt to the vast majority of New Yorkers.

Like so many others, I’m troubled by the Eric Garner video. To me, Mr. Garner’s crime was minimal and he did not appear to be resisting arrest that much. But as an attorney, I respect the rule of law and recognize that those accused of a crime may rely on their constitutional rights in their defense. I and all the protesters were not on the grand jury, and we did not review all the evidence presented. Regardless of our opinion on the grand jury’s actions, we must accept the result of their deliberations, while being saddened by the death of Mr. Garner.

So while it appears mistakes were made by the police in the Garner death, I don’t believe their actions can be deemed racist in any way, and it does not appear they intended to kill Mr. Garner. I expect that the police officer who caused the death will face police discipline and sanctions. But I also noticed on the news another group of protesters chanting, “Hey hey, ho ho, these racists cops have got to go!” Who are the racist cops they are referring to? I don’t have an answer.

This cop bashing is wrong in the face of the facts and a slander of many brave police officers regularly placed in dangerous situations to protect us. It’s time to vocally stand with our police against reckless and erroneous attacks – stand with them on social media and when you hear someone slandering them, and also by saying “Thank You” when you see a police officer protecting our streets. I will do so right now – thank you to the New Rochelle and Westchester County police for protecting my community and my family so well.

Jim Maisano


Disheartening is about the only word I can think of to describe my feelings from the events of the past two weeks. One of my first posts on this site was about whether we were in a post racial society. It’s clear we are not judging by the reaction to the decisions.

In two weeks we’ve seen two police officers who have caused the death of two African-American males not be indicted for murder or a lessor charge. Each is problematic in its own right.

So much has been discussed about both these cases that there is nothing new I can add. However, is about sharing independent thoughts and ideas and I think this is a perfect forum to talk about what we can learn from both of these cases.


What’s disheartening about this case is not the lack of indictment but the response from the community. Rioting and looting serves no purpose and only feeds into the stereotypes some have of the African-American community. Social media was no help in the matter. I have friends, like most I hope, that span a wide political spectrum. Most were thoughtful, engaging, and truly inquisitive. Some unfortunately used it as an opportunity to spew the vile that only surfaces at times like these. To be clear, I’m talking about those on both sides.

In every race & ethnicity there are those that feel that they have to defend every member no matter what they do. While I empathize with the plight of the citizens of Ferguson, destroying the neighborhood only deepens the gulf between them and those who do not care about their future. If we truly care, actions and discussions would focus more on the future than wrongs of today or the past.

On the flip side, those that ignore that a community that has been neglected, at best, would react in such a dramatic and self destructive manner has never understood what true despair is. Chants of ‘thugs’ and ‘get a job’ show no regard for the situation in which folks in places like Ferguson find themselves.

Staten Island

What’s disheartening about this case IS the lack of indictment. First there is video record that clearly shows that Mr. Garner had his hands up. Second, unlike Ferguson, there were five cops there to subdue the suspect. Third, the hold placed on Mr. Garner was classified as illegal by the officer’s own police force. Lastly, the medical examiner classified Mr. Garner’s death as a homicide.

The response in New York in contrast to Ferguson was civilized. This is due in large part to the economic opportunities afforded to all in NYC and to the work by NYPD in building relationships with those they police (and the police being more representative of the city demographics).

Grand Jury

It’s clear that we have a broken judicial system. The purpose of the grand jury is to be a check on the prosecutor in bringing charges at will on alleged perpetrators. In brining matters to a grand jury, the prosecutor relies on evidence gathered by the police. So when it’s time to convene a grand jury for a police shooting, police cooperation is not a factor. But pursuing an indictment against a police officer won’t help the prosecutor in future cases where their help will be needed.

In addition, a grand jury’s sole job is to determine whether there is a enough evidence to justify a trial, not to determine guilt or innocence. As an outsider who hasn’t seen what was presented to the grand juries in either case, it seems that the jury was focused on whether a conviction was possible. And it appears both prosecutors metaphorically had their thumbs on the scale. In Ferguson, there was enough inconsistencies in witness statements to justify a no indictment decision. However, I would suggest that shooting 18 rounds, 12 of which connect, would appear excessive. That would be enough for me to allow the case to proceed to trial.  Lack of indictment in Staten Island is absurd and doesn’t merit further conversation.

We need an independent prosecutor to specifically bring cases involving the police. As long as we continue with the system in place, we will never be able to hold the police (most of whom do the right thing), accountable.

And by the way, those body cameras, meaningless. Refer to the Staten Island case.

Talking Past Each Other – Ferguson, Garner and Race

King-Hands-Up-300x174By Noam Bramson

The deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown have stirred a heated national dialogue about racial disparities in law enforcement, the criminal justice system, and our society as a whole.  I don’t claim any special wisdom or originality on these difficult subjects, but as the mayor of a city that prides itself on diversity — and as someone accountable for the conduct of a Police force — I feel a duty to speak out.

Let me acknowledge up front that it is hard for me to grasp how these incidents do not warrant an indictment, especially in the case of Eric Garner . . . yet I am reluctant to pass harsh judgment on the grand juries.  By their very nature, grand juries are required to focus narrowly on the specifics of a case as presented to them, and to set aside broad social context.  Moreover, every detail, from the physical position of hands, to an officer’s state of mind, to the distinction between surrendering and charging, is filtered through human memory and perception, which are always fallible and subjective.  While each of us may be convinced of our opinions from afar, when you get deep into the weeds like a grand jury, things may look murky and ambiguous.

It is only when you zoom out that the murkiness disappears, revealing a picture that is crystal clear and deeply disturbing:

•  Black males are six times more likely to be incarcerated than white males; black drivers are three times as likely as white drivers to be searched during a stop; black offenders receive longer sentences than white offenders convicted of the same crime.

Then zoom out even further:

•  White households have a median income 72% higher than black households; the typical white family hassix times the wealth of the typical black family.

It starts almost immediately:

•  Black students are three times more likely than white students to be suspended or expelled from school; black students are four times more likely than white students to attend schools with under-qualified teachers.

And it shapes almost all of us:

•  A mountain of psychological research shows that subconscious racial bias is widespread, even among those who do not knowingly harbor any racist views.

These are stark and brutal facts.  And they pose a fundamental challenge to our nation’s core principles. Continue reading

Charles Barkley Doesn’t Speak For Me


I can’t decide whether it is Black leaders who feel they must speak for all of us or the media industry that is always looking for the one person to go to. As with everything, it is a little bit of both.

Recently, Charles Barkley stated in an interview to a Philadelphia radio station that successful Blacks biggest problem is unintelligent Blacks. This statement has so many problems on so many levels. First, is this only an issue for Black people? So successful White people, Latino people, Asian people, etc (fill in your favorite ethnicity) don’t have the same issue? Second, the statement assumes that successful people are intelligent and unsuccessful are not. Depending on how you define successful, there’s an argument to be made that intelligence or the lack thereof exists on both ends of the success stratum. Biggest problem? Not institutional racism, the economy, the effects of government policies, or anything else, just unintelligent Black people. In his quote, he states he tells his White friends this. Sounds to me he’s trying to be accepted by his White friends. I was alerted to his comments by my friend George Alexander who has a piece in Huffington Post about high-tech summit held at his alma mater, Morehouse College.

The problem is that no one person can speak for an entire ethnic group. Every group has a wide range of expectations, desires, beliefs, and philosophies. I’m sure Mr. Barkley represents a segment of the Black community, so too Dr. Cornell West, or Jesse Jackson, or Tavis Smiley, or Dr. Thomas Sowell. In the Latino, I’m sure there are equivalents.

As much as I would like for the media industry to provide balanced coverage to issues in matters of race, I know it won’t happen. All I can ask is that we as thoughtful citizens be mindful that what we are hearing is one person’s view and not that of an entire community. As with any politically expressed viewpoint, seek out the opposing view. That’s what Free Voter readers are all about.

Jeffrey Hastie

When A Boy Is Raped

There’s a shocking story in the national headlines involving rape and the NFL. But it’s not what most people presume when reading “rape” and “NFL” in the same sentence. This time it involves a 47-year-old, former NFL cheerleader and her sexual acts with a 15-year-old boy (Google for details). While we will let the judicial system determine guilt or innocence, we don’t have to wait on the court of public opinion. And that is just as shocking and sickening as the allegations themselves.

Overwhelmingly, from the articles in The Washington Post and Baltimore Sun to TMZ and People, comments include mind-numbing musings like:

  • “Where was she when I was 15?”
  • “luckiest kid in america [sic] —sex with this wild thing!!”
  • “No 15 year old boy has ever been raped by a woman. He got lucky. Real lucky. He’ll have fond memories the rest of his life.”

Those are just three examples of the type of (disgusting) comments that are prevalent in the stories. Some commentators state that the only reason a 15-year-old boy would come forward after being the “lucky” recipient of the lust of a “MILF” is that his own mother must be jealous. Clearly, the big, mean mom forced him to go to the police because every 15-year-old boy should appreciate what transpired. Some comments are far worse.

Let’s do a little exercise in word substitution. Let’s rewrite the headlines to include a 47-year-old priest and a 15-year-old boy. When these stories are in the news, do people post: “Where was this priest when I was 15?” Or, let’s make it about a 47-year-old-former linebacker and a 15-year-old girl. Still the luckiest kid in America?

No, in these situations, there is a massive public outcry against the alleged attacker and support groups are formed for the alleged victim. But not here, as we see suggestions that there is something wrong with the boy. Would we ever do the same to a young girl? Would anyone dare say that a young girl would be “lucky” to have a 47-year-old man perform a sexual act on her?

Discrimination against boys and young men can be blatant in area of sexual abuse, especially as it pertains to a situation where the female is the aggressor. None of this is about desire or attraction. Sexual assault is about power, dominance and control, regardless if the predator is male or female.

Anyone raising a teenager knows their emotions are an ever-changing spectrum. One minute making mature decisions, the next doing things that leave us, as parents, scratching our heads and wondering if their brain is developing at all. Add this to the implications of comments like those cited above, and we are left with one boy who, regardless of the outcome of the criminal trial, is forever scarred. Not only by what the alleged predator did, but also by people he doesn’t even know who have, out of ignorance and bravado, trivialized his situation simply because this is about a boy.  Let’s be clear: rape is rape.

Jean Maisano

A thousand words and then some

A picture is worth a thousand words as the saying goes. The entertainment and media industry knows that well. That’s why when I came across this image in my Facebook feed, I was disheartened. If it is not readily apparent what is concerning about this, unfortunately you are in the majority. Take a closer look and you will see the distinction. The African American mother is by herself while the Caucasian mother is with what is presumed to be her husband.

Pardon me while I check my calendar to make sure it’s 2014, not 1814.

Apparently, the Mad Men of today are no different than the ones depicted in the hit AMC series. Speaking of television, it’s no better. Matter of fact, it’s worse. Predominantly black tv shows were in either one of two categories: the poor family trying to get by (e.g. Good Times, Sanford and Son) or the pompous, showboat black male (e.g. The Jeffersons). In my view, The Cosby Show was successful mainly for the fact that it portrayed a black family dealing with issues that middle class families all deal with, regardless of race. Sure, it had its episodes that dealt with race, but that was not the basis of the program.

And if you don’t think images matter in entertainment or advertising and people aren’t paying attention, think back to the backlash Cheerios experienced over its ad with a biracial couple last year.

Image is a powerful medium. It’s how we judge others and others judge us before one word is uttered.

So, yes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Let’s be careful as to which thousand words they are.

jeffrey hastie

What do Jellyfish and politicians have in common?

polls_mike03112008_0337_300605_answer_1_xlargeTwitter is such a useful tool. Great source of information and fun facts. As one social media consultant said in a presentation “Facebook is for hugs, Twitter is for news.” A recent tweet made me chuckle but think. Uberfacts tweeted:

The opening for the mouth and the anus on a jellyfish is the same.

To which a follower replied:

Hey Uberfacts, you spelled politician wrong.

It used to be that running for public office was pursued by those of noble cause. Now it’s seen with such disdain that the trust in a politician is lower than a used car salesman. Running for office is no longer about governing as it is about the constant chase for donations. No sooner is a member voted into the House of Representatives than he or she is back on the trail looking for money for the next campaign.Their constant chase for the almighty dollar has caused most, not all, politicians to say whatever it takes to separate a donor from his/her money.

Besides chasing dollars, many chase polls. The prevalence and prominence that polls take these days is mind blowing. The proliferation is so great that now we have polls that aggregate polls. Andrew Cuomo was on WNYC Friday morning and when asked by Brian Lehrer about whether he struck the right balance between public safety and civil liberties with his latest quarantine policy, he started his answer by quoting a recent poll stating that 84% of New Yorkers agreed with him. Don’t know about you, but I look to my leaders to lead, not follow. Let’s take an example from the business world about leadership. Apple is famous for developing products that consumers didn’t know they needed (okay, wanted). They recently have lost their way in that regard as evidenced by the ridicule Samsung first received for their big screen phone, now Apple has copied them due to Samsung’s suggest. If Apple and Samsung were strictly guided by what consumers say they wanted, we’d all still be caring flip phones.

Shows like The West Wing and Madame Secretary are popular not because of the political stance they take, but because of the moral stance they take. We desperately long for leaders that lead from their gut and not from a poll. Click on this link from The West Wing to see an example of moral character.

Jeffrey Hastie

Our Language Does Truly S*CK

Either I must be getting old or being a father has impacted my view. I’d have to agree with my fellow blogger, Jean Maisano, that our tolerance for inappropriate language has significantly increased. Television is where we see this the most.

An article in the New York Post, “Family Extinct” as sitcoms get more vulgar, highlights this trend. I’ll add an example from a show I happened to watch the Tuesday night.

My wife, teenager daughter, and I love to watch TheVoice. The only reality show I like (except for Amazing Race, but I don’t watch regularly. I digress). The show went off at 9 pm and Marry Me started. Fortunately, my daughter turned to her homework, while I continued to watch. It was a Halloween episode and centered around kids trick or treating in the apartment building the central characters reside in. What totally shocked me was two things. The language of the characters was so bad that they bleeped the sound and pixelated their mouths. Mind you, this is a RECORDED show, not live. Second, one of the main characters’ friends decided to wear an inappropriate costume to a Halloween party. So inappropriate that when she appeared in the costume, pixelation was over her private parts. I have never seen anything like that during prime time.

It’s unfortunate, but my children won’t have memories like I have of watching the CBS Saturday night lineup of All in the Family, M*A*S*H, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show, and The Carol Burnett Show with my entire family. Those were good (and clean) times.

Jeffrey Hastie

The Monster of Youth Sports

Parent on sidelines

The Race to Nowhere in Youth Sports is a great article that points out what most parents already know – youth sports are completely and totally out of control. From the time, to the money, to the pressure, to the travel, to the stress on young bodies that are still growing and developing, it’s a bunch of insanity . The realistic among us know that none of this will result in a college scholarship (ironically, there are more scholarships available for academics than athletics, but let’s not get bogged down in that little fact). Yet, who will be the one to pull their kid from the summer program?  No one. Because as the author of the article points out, we’re all afraid of making the choice that will ultimately leave our kid out. Out socially or out athletically. It’s out either way.

There are no more seasons for sports. There’s spring baseball and fall ball (and championships for both, of course). Lacrosse has literally become a year-round sport. CYO basketball isn’t where all the “real” players go – they’re all on AAU teams. Wanna play soccer? There’s rec, travel and then ELITE teams.  Soccer, too, isn’t just for fall – it’s spring and fall with winter indoor practices. Think summer is a time to take off? NO! There are summer leagues for everything including ice hockey (nothing says “summer” quite like being on an ice rink).  And if your kid wants to have fun on a club swim team, be prepared to be disappointed because all the “serious” swimmers are in the pool all year long. Even writing about it is exhausting and annoying.

But we have no one but ourselves to blame. After all, our peers are the coaches that are pushing for this specialization. We’re the ones posting the “championship” photos on Facebook and chronicling each and every pitch, tackle, kick or stroke out for the world to see. So how much of this is about the kid vs. being about us?  Is it about our kid being “great” or about showing the world how “great” of a kid we made? (This may be the subject of another blog, another day.)

And let’s not forget the money. Summer leagues, travel teams, elite clubs all cost — a lot. And then you and your family have to travel, stay at a hotel, eat in restaurants, buy from the vendors and visit the amusement parks that are all conveniently located near the site of the tournaments.  It all keeps the economy rolling. Youth sports, for better or worse, are big money for a multitude of reasons. So, I don’t see this going away anytime soon.

The one exception I will take with the author is that I think a lot of kids end up dropping out of sports BY high school, not in high school. Burn out. Injury. Yes, maybe. But at the end of the day, kids who are truly athletic will rise to the top because they have talent. Let’s face it, not all travel teams are created equal. Some are in place to merely capitalize on keeping kids playing (see the above paragraph on money).  Locally, we see this with boys lacrosse.  Football players, talented athletes who have never in their lives picked up a lax stick, go out for the team. Why? Because it’s great off-season conditioning for football, and they are talented athletes who can run fast and catch a ball (be it in their hands or in the mesh at the end of a stick). It’s not unfair. It’s reality. Coaches are going to put the best athletes on the team whether or not the kid has been playing since five years old.

Maybe all these different travel teams and specialty leagues are only putting off the inevitable. They’re like participation medals. The shiny treat that makes us all feel good. But let’s face it: all of our kids aren’t going to make the high school team.

And it makes me sad to think that my son may not play a sport in high school. My husband and I both have fond memories of being involved with our school beyond academics. But it won’t be the end of the world if he doesn’t – maybe he can find another group that’s of interest to him.  There doesn’t seem to be a lot of pressure to have been in elementary Model Congress in order to be on the high school club (or, wait, maybe there is, and we’re already behind!).

Until then, though, we’ll continue to run on the hamster wheel in the race to nowhere — because not running in that race is too lonely a spot.

Jean Maisano

Our Language S*cks.

bad lang

I’m not a prude. I’ve been known to drop an “occasional” f-bomb. But, I’m struck by how words which used to be considered, if not profane,  at least not acceptable for proper conversation pop up now in every day language.  The one that gets me the most is “s*cks.”  When did this become acceptable in casual conversation or for use on family television programming?

First, there was the TIDE commercial. You know the one with the two hipster parents of triplets folding laundry and the woman looks at the man and says, “You s*ck at folding.” The husband proceeds to give a good hearty laugh.  What was the purpose of using the word s*cks in that ad? Would people NOT buy TIDE if the woman simply gave an eye roll and said, “You’re really terrible at folding.”  Or, “Augh, just give me that” as she takes the toddler shirt from the husband. How much product did the word s*cks move? Was it critical to the ad? I don’t think so. In fact, and my Grammy Barno would be proud, I wrote Procter & Gamble to express my dislike of their ad. Not that they cared. They didn’t even send me a coupon.

Then there’s a company called “Your Marketing S*cks.” I hear ads for it on ESPN Radio when driving my son to school, and I see ads for it on television as well. Certainly, hearing off color language is not new to my almost-14-year-old son. And there are plenty of times when I’m driving a group of boys around town that I need to remind them all that the word s*cks is banned in my car.  But I question the marketing skills of a company that can’t come up with a better name than “Your Marketing S*cks.” The best this guy has to offer is using “shock” language? I’ll pass, thanks.

But Wednesday night sent me over the edge.  We like to watch “The Middle” on ABC.  Generally, the show is good, 8 PM fun about a quirky family struggling to make ends meet; they’re not beautiful; they’re not perfect; they’re not rich; their house is a mess; they know how to laugh and move on from the every day battles that many families face.  So, I was wildly disappointed when Patricia Heaton’s character described some customer service representatives as “a bunch of d-bags.” But she didn’t say “d-bags” she said the whole phrase. Ick. This is now a phrase that families should incorporate into their every day vernacular?

How is this OK during a prime-time show on a major network? When did we lower our decency standards so much that this is considered humor?  You can argue freedom of speech on this, and you’re right.  The writers of these shows and commercials have the right to use whatever language they want.

But just because we can do something, doesn’t mean we should. Let’s get back to respect. Let’s get back to using words that we would say in front of our grandmothers. Ones that can make us laugh without making parents cringe in front of their kids.

Jean Maisano