Sexual assault stats
Danny Masterson, 47, was convicted of raping two women more than 20 years ago and was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison. He will not be eligible for parole for 25½ years.
The fact that these incidents happened so long ago, and that there are no uniform/national standards for reporting rape, and no uniform guidelines for sentencing is troubling. I feel like he is being scapegoated. And I, like one in five American women, have been the victim of attempted or completed rape. Further statistics reveal that 652,676 women were raped in the U.S. in 2019, including more than 19,000 in the military. Every 98 seconds there is a sexual assault in the U.S.
These statistics are alarming. Why should one man spend most of the rest of his life behind bars when there are hundreds of thousands of other men who rape and go free?
I certainly do not condone Danny Masterson's behavior; I do feel his punishment is excessive. What is the answer?
Serious climate crisis
We Americans are truly blessed to have freedom of movement and modern comforts and conveniences. But with some of our freedoms there can be damaging consequences, especially as we continue wearing blinders, going about daily routines and habits that ultimately contribute to our own decline. Examples are plentiful and painfully visible.
For instance, our freedom allows us to knock down life-sustaining trees, expand suburban sprawl, increase commuting distance to work places and schools, and neglect inner-city housing and amenities.
We even have the freedom to inch forward in drive-through lines so we can conveniently get a $7 coffee, and later in the day, line up again for a sack of salty chicken.
Freedom allows us to park alongside other fast-food connoisseurs in the comfort of an air-conditioned SUV, waiting for bacon burgers, Styrofoam drink cups and plastic utensils at America's drive-ins.
Then there are those (recently seen) who sit comfortably and wait on an asphalt parking lot in August, engine revving with AC chugging, while a family member does grocery shopping. No law against that!
There are numerous other similar activities that may seem only mildly disturbing, until multiplied by millions on a daily national scale. Squandering expensive fuel (thereby increasing demand and price) for the sake of comfort and convenience and frivolous outings is lunacy.
Vehicles are America's biggest air-quality compromisers, producing about one-third of all U.S. pollution, adding greatly to the greenhouse gas emissions blanketing the Earth and trapping the sun's heat.
Whether or not everyone is willing to admit it, we are in a very serious climate crisis, and mitigation will require unity. Small individual conscious efforts can collectively produce amazing results and improve everyone's health and hope for the future.