Author Archives: Jerry Mazza

Pope Francis asks forgiveness for child abuse by clergy

This is a story with which I can identify because I was nearly a victim of a young Catholic priest when I was in my early teens. Continue reading

We shall overcome—King and the birth of the nonviolent revolutionary movement in the US

Ever since it has been observed as a federal holiday in 1986, we celebrate Martin Luther King’s birthday every year on the third Monday of January. . Born January 15, 1929, he would now be 85 years old if not cut down by an assassin’s bullet on April 4, 1968. Yet in his 37 short, incredibly productive years, he gave birth to a movement both nonviolent and revolutionary that changed America irrevocably. To this day his singular voice cries out to our conscience for more: justice, equality, peace, prosperity for all. Will that we listen to overcome the obstacles we face. Continue reading

‘April is the cruellest month’—or is it?

One of America’s greatest poems and poets, The Wasteland by T.S. Eliot, seems to miss the full truth of this April, opening with its famous first line . . . Continue reading

Obama and pope find common ground

I’m a fly on the wall, really, bzzzzz, and I could hear the breaking news from Mama mia! Sharp differences over abortion and birth control surfaced as President Barack Obama held his first meeting Thursday with Pope Francis, even as the president sought to emphasize common ground issues like economic inequality during a much-anticipated Vatican visit. Continue reading

As nanotechnology progresses, will we be humans or humanoids?

I have read and reviewed several of Daniel Estulin’s books and found them challenging and revealing about the past, the present and now the future. Continue reading

Siren City—is it so bad?

I don’t need an alarm clock, even when we have to get up to catch a plane. The sounds of my Upper West Side neighborhood are filled with catastrophic siren sounds. We don’t need birds before the dawn has cleared away the night; we have ambulance sounds whose decibels scorch your ear drums. We also have police cars that make thumping sounds that are other worldly. And to top it off, we have screaming fire engines with honking horns that can wake the dead. For all this, New York City remains one of the most expensive cities to live in. Ah wilderness, Sleepy Hollow. Continue reading

Darkness hovers over the arrival of spring

According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, in 2014, spring began with the vernal equinox on March 20 at 12:57 P.M. EDT. This is the season that brings increasing daylight, warming temperatures, and the rebirth of flora and fauna. Continue reading

Perazzo’s, the family funeral parlor

I’ve been going to Perazzo’s all my life, from the time when it was family-owned and catered to Italian families, until a few years ago when it was privatized by a corporation. Continue reading

A gift from the past

It was Christmas of 1991 and my father was in St. Vincent’s Hospital diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. My daughter Stephanie who was at NYU film school at the time was charged with helping clean out his apartment. As luck would have it, she found a wooden box full of super-8 films that he had shot of my mother (who would tragically be gone at 38) leaving my uncles, aunts and grandfather in Brooklyn, NY. Continue reading

Big Pharma and its bad karma

The noted Peter C. Gotzsche, MD, wrote in September 2013, “There are many good books about the crimes in the drug industry and the widespread corruption of the profession to which I belong: doctors. I had therefore promised myself that I would not write one.” But two things in particular made the good doctor change his mind in the summer of 2012. The sins of Big Pharma and the bad karma it never ceases to emit. Continue reading

Curbing the diagnosis of ADHD

In the Feb. 23 The New York Times, Stephen P. Hinshaw and Richard M. Scheffler point to “the writing is on the chalkboard” with their op-ed Expand Pre-K, Not ADHD: “Over the next few years, America can count on a major expansion of early childhood education. We embrace this trend, but as health policy researchers, we want to raise a major caveat: Unless we’re careful, today’s preschool bandwagon could lead straight to an epidemic of 4- and 5-year-olds wrongfully being told that they have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.” Continue reading

Netanyahu warns world (again) about Iran ‘aggression’

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu opened his weekly Cabinet meeting Sunday with more words of warning to the West about Iran. Continue reading

Presidents’ Day: from 1885 to 2014

Presidents’ Day is an American holiday celebrated on the third Monday in February. Originally established in 1879 in recognition of President George Washington, it is still officially called “Washington’s Birthday” by the federal government. Continue reading

Tea Party longs for an America that never was

This book tells the story of the centuries-long struggle over the meaning of the nation’s founding, including the never-ending battle waged by the Tea Party, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and evangelical Christians to “take back America.” Continue reading

When did New York City start looking like a third world country?

I’m not trying to steal Joe Biden’s thunder when he landed at LaGuardia and saw frozen planes, unplowed runways and shortage of underpaid personnel. Of course, Governor Cuomo and newly elected Mayor Bill deBlasio jumped to get the money to redo the 75-year-old LaGuardia, including some minimum wages. But I’m not talking about architecture or wages. I’m talking about people decaying before my eyes as I walk down Broadway on a 20-degree, gray, Saturday morning; decaying along with the unpicked-up mounds of frozen snow and lingering garbage. Continue reading

American men worried about their low-T?

It took the New York Times to take a look at a serious symptom befalling men all over the United States in the last few decades. Men’s average testosterone levels have been dropping, it noted, by at least 1 percent a year, according to a 2006 study in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. Continue reading

Super Bowl, Schmuperbowl

The 2013 NFL season has come to a close, and, after all the hype ending in a way that no one was expecting. Super Bowl XLVIII was expected to be an incredibly close game between the league’s best defense in the Seattle Seahawks and the NFl’s best offense in the Denver Broncos. Instead, the Seahawks completely dominated the game in almost every positional battle, winning 43–8. Continue reading

To bee or not to bee

A friend of mine from advertising, Richard Tucker, now working as a freelance producer, sent me a funny email the other morning with a huge bee on it. The headline reads “If I Die You Die,” which in advertising generally means, “Duck, a blood bath is coming;” or perhaps it’s a metaphor for the world of people. Richard is a very clever fellow. Continue reading

Folk legend and activist Pete Seeger dies at 94

The banjo-playing troubadour was blacklisted during the McCarthy era for his political views. But Seeger continued being an activist and folk singer all of his life. He died at a New York hospital Monday night at age 94. His grandson, Kitama Cahill-Jackson said the American musical legend passed after six days in the hospital. Continue reading

There’s cold and then there’s the Polar Vortex

I’ve just come back from a walk in the 7-degree temperature of New York City. I walked uptown ten blocks and then back downtown and I feel frozen, literally. Continue reading

A taste of the segregated South

A long time ago, 1958, ’57, when I was a young accordionist, 16 or 17, I got a road job with a quintet of dance musicians. I was recommended by my teacher, an excellent musician himself. It seems a friend of his and his band leader, Ted Huston, just had his accordionist quit cold on him. They didn’t get along. I spoke to Huston on the phone, he seemed okay. He said he’d send me the band’s book of arrangements to study. He played piano and wrote the arrangements and would be willing to take a chance on me based on my teacher’s recommendation. Huston said he’f send me a plane ticket to Birmingham, Alabama, where the band was headed. Continue reading

Will doping strike out baseball?

Wikipedia notes, “The use of banned performance-enhancing drugs in sports is commonly referred to as doping, particularly by the organizations that regulate sporting competitions. The use of drugs to enhance performance is considered unethical by most international sports organizations, including the International Olympic Committee, although ethicists have argued that it is not different from the use of new materials in the construction of suits and sporting equipment, which can also aid performance and give competitors an unfair advantage. The reasons for the ban are mainly the health risks of performance-enhancing drugs, the equality of opportunity for athletes, and the exemplary effect of drug-free sport for the public. Anti-doping authorities state that using performance-enhancing drugs goes against the “spirit of sport”. Continue reading

Music works to soothe the savage beast in Syria

Monday night, I went to Carnegie Hall for one of the most amazing concerts I’ve ever heard in my entire life. The concert was titled “Shostakovich for the Children of Syria” and all the proceeds will go to Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Fronteres (MSF) to aid the ongoing debacle of violence going on there, which is encapsulated by Ramsy Baroud’s article, Assessing the conflict in Syria and Egypt, particularly in the first two pages, which will give you a feel for the chaos going on there. Continue reading

Sequestration means deadly cuts to Native American Treaty Programs

In hearing and seeing about sequester cuts from Native American elders on Abby Martin’s “Breaking the Set” (RT-com, Parts 1 &2), I was shocked to find these cuts seem to be an existential threat to the Sioux. They are living now on an underfunded Indian Health Service (IHS) that all Americans, particularly South Dakotans, should know is in serious danger. Thus, education is the alternative to Indian elders to the intense damage done in their communities by alcohol, drugs, overcrowding, high suicide rates and unemployment, and leaving aged grandparents to raise and educate children. Read on . . . Continue reading

“Knockout Game” hurts/kills innocent victims

Picture this. You’re a young guy in his 20s, an elderly woman in her 70s, a vet in his 40s down on his luck and some guy walks up to you and POW! He “roundhouses” you with a right or left and you’re down for the count or maybe for good. Knockout! That’s the new urban blight game gangs and solo thugs are playing with innocent people of all ages and genders, representing a new low in civility and a disregard for law and the safety of others. Continue reading

Father of “stop-and-frisk” takes charge of NYPD again

William Bratton was sworn in last Thursday as commissioner of the New York City Police Department, the largest in the nation, heralding a second term at the helm of the NYPD and his first under progressive new mayor Bill de Blasio. Continue reading

Flying the unfriendly skies of United

December 22, pre-dawn, 6 A.M. the black town car appears at our door to whisk my wife, son, and me to Newark Liberty International Airport. We were flying to Sioux Falls for Christmas with our family. Continue reading

Watching C-SPAN with tears in my eyes

While news and condolences were streaming into my local NY-1 channel over the loss of the political giant Nelson Mandela last Thursday evening, they reviewed his life as a boxer, young lawyer, and activist, the man who ‘singlehandedly’ roused his people to take down the South African Apartheid state after he had been imprisoned for nearly 28 years. Yet, despite his glorious life, I felt a shock of grief at his death. Continue reading

Limbaugh’s rush to lambast Pope Francis’ statement as “pure Marxism”

Motor-mouth Rush Limbaugh, America’s most popular radio fascist, calls the pontiff’s 50,000-word statement, “pure Marxism,” calling for church reforms, and says he thinks it’s “sad how wrong Pope Francis is,” reports CNN. Well, I think of how wrong and wrecked the prescription-drugged and addled-brain of Limbaugh’s is. I don’t value his intellect or his spiritual leanings. Continue reading

Netanyahu calls a nuclear pact with Iran “a terrible mistake”

Once more, on Nov. 24, 2013, Israeli PM Benjamin Bibi Netanyahu made the terrible mistake of mouthing Israel’s deep-rooted hypocrisy on nuclear weapons. I’m surprised the seasoned investigative journalist Pepe Escobar didn’t mention it. So I thought I’d slip into this dialogue and fill in a few facts in Escobar’s otherwise excellent interview. Continue reading

Privatization and the Affordable Care Act

One of the main problems with the Affordable Care Act web site began with the Reagan administration, which has adversely affected government performance since then. At that time, the management habit of concentrating on your core capabilities and contracting out other processes was applied to government. Government, it was decided, should contract out such non-core capabilities as logistics, food services and information technology (IT). Continue reading

FDR’s legacy comes alive in stone

The upbeat song identified with President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, “Happy Days Are Here Again,” wafted across the city’s waters at the recent dedication of the stunning F.D.R. memorial honoring his vision of a world founded on four essential freedoms, articulated during World War II. A bell tolled as the four were cited—freedom of speech and worship and freedom from want and fear—at the new four-acre park gleaming at the southern tip of Roosevelt Island. Continue reading