Common Sense: Bill Cosby cancelled

Fifty five different women have accused Bill Cosby of some form of sexual assault. Yet, he gets arrested on essentially the last day before the statute of limitations goes into effect in Pennsylvania on a 12-year-old case because just a few months earlier, during testimony in a civil suit regarding the same matter, he made a statement that provided the state’s attorney with new information.

It may turn out, if he is convicted, that he came within a hair of getting away with that assault and possibly all the terrible things he is accused of doing. I am not one to rush to judgment, but I think a rational person might conclude that Bill Cosby used his wealth, position and power to, at a minimal, abuse many women and in all likelihood to drug and rape several. And he may have done it repeatedly over a 40-year period, which would make him a serial sex offender. Criminals of this sort spend many years behind bars and often spend the rest of their lives in civil confinement.

Among the details to have emerged is a pattern of law enforcement in multiple localities and in numerous states failing to follow up. The reasons vary, but at their core, they do reflect the advantages that money and celebrity provide.

Even now, legal experts are saying that this criminal trial will not be a slam dunk for the prosecution. But, now maybe the book will begin to close on a sordid saga.

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My wife Janet and I were in Lake Charles, Louisiana and New Orleans over the Christmas holiday visiting her family. Lake Charles is a city of some 70,000, 30 miles from the Texas border. In one of those internet polls, its citizens were voted the nicest in the nation.

Christmas in Lake Charles is different from Christmas in New York City in many ways. For one, no one and I mean no one, says Happy Holiday. It’s Merry Christmas in all the stores and certainly from anyone you should meet.

Another thing that is different is that the city literally shuts down from around 4 p.m. Christmas Eve until the morning of December 26. And I mean shuts down. Even essential services are at a bare minimum. Hospitals, and I am talking about big,200 and 300-bed hospitals, actually clear out all but critical care patients and have only two or three doctors on the premises. The focus is on family and the birth of Christ. Churches are crowded even with extra services often added.

New Orleans, which is a regular three-day stop-over after Christmas for us when we go south, can be essentially anything you want it to be. It has history, art, music, incredible antique shopping, a wide range of food from the simple to the extravagant, bars galore, gambling, and it goes on and on. It also has a lot of crime. It is a city in which you get to use the street smarts you developed growing up in Brooklyn in the 1970s.

Another interesting feature is the well-known fact that New Orleans is below sea level and prone to flooding. In fact, the flooding along the Mississippi River that has been in the news recently is not contained to the midwest. The river was cresting in downtown New Orleans, and off the French Quarter and on the outskirts of town, we saw large patches of shore under water. This puts the river cresting about two months ahead of schedule and forebodes badly for New Orleans in the upcoming weeks.

We had a wonderful Christmas holiday and are looking forward to the new year. We wish you a happy and safe one too!

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