Questions, criticism and….facial hair?

Questions, rightfully, are being asked today about Washington, DC shooter Aaron Alexis, whose behavior in the months –and years- before this week’s massacre should have raised red flags. 

How did he obtain a Navy contractor’s job after he was discharged from the Navy, a discharge prompted in part by a series of run-ins with Navy officials and police?

How did he obtain a security clearance after he was charged with firing a gun at a car?

How did a man, whose bizarre actions prompted Newport police to contact federal officials one month ago, still maintain such security clearance?

The Washington Post, which has done superlative work in covering the events, attempts to answer some of those questions in today’s paper. 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/contractor-would-not-have-hired-aaron-alexis-if-past-brushes-with-law-had-been-known/2013/09/17/e5bc83da-1faa-11e3-8459-657e0c72fec8_story.html

The Providence Journal has a more in-depth look at last month’s incident in Newport. 

http://www.providencejournal.com/breaking-news/content/20130917-navy-yard-gunman-heard-voices-in-visit-to-newport.ece

After reading the description of Alexis’s actions in Newport, I couldn’t imagine what other steps the responding officers could have taken.  Alexis complained of hearing voices and alleged people were sending vibrations into his body by way of “…some sort of microwave machine.”  The officers, understandably, questioned Alexis about a possible history of mental illness.  They then left, after they suggested he stay away from the people he described.  A call to the on-duty officer at the Newport Naval Station to confirm Alexis’s status as a contractor with a warning about his well-being, should have been enough to prompt some sort of DOD, FBI, or Homeland Security action. 

It wasn’t. 

…and now thirteen people are dead. 

Criticism

Ceremonies across the country last week marked the twelfth anniversary of the September Eleventh attacks.  Wreaths were placed, prayers offered and Americans paused to contemplate the worst terror attack to strike us on our shores.  At Concord-Carlisle High School just outside of Boston, a poem written by a Muslim author was read over the school’s intercom to promote “cross-cultural understanding.”  Because of a mix-up with a student reader, the Pledge of Allegiance was not read that morning. 

Inquiries to the school were made, and after a bit of a delay, the principal of CCHS recognized the problem, accepted responsibility, and attempted to move forward. 

No such luck.

A forum called to address the issue was packed with students, parents, residents and CCHS faculty members Tuesday night.  The principal, Peter Badalament, called the 9/11 poem a “…gross oversight”, he sent parents a letter Sunday apologizing for the incident and called the decision to read it “inexcusable”. 

Yet that wasn’t enough for a handful of speakers at the forum who called for Badalament’s resignation. 

His resignation?! 

Are you kidding me?

What happened was wrong. 

Badalament’s response was honest, forthright and sincere. 

We all make mistakes – the manner in which we accept responsibility for those mistakes is the true measure of a human being.  By that account, Badalament measured up quite well.  His critics?

Not so much.

 http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/concord/2013/09/concord-carlisle_highs_parents_show_mixed_emotions_on_911_re.html

Facial Hair

Interested in catching the best team in MLB…

….for a dollar?

Grow a beard within the next few hours and you could capitalize on the Red Sox Dollar Beard night. 

Can’t grow a beard in a matter of hours? Get a fake one. 

Details here.

http://nesn.com/2013/09/red-sox-offering-1-tickets-to-bearded-fans-on-wednesday-for-dollar-beard-night/ 

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