The confluence of three news stories - two national, one local - really hits home this week.
First, the final grim statistics on law enforcement line of duty deaths are out, and they show a sharp increase in overall deaths (135), death by gunshot (64) and ambush attacks (21).
The number of ambushes was particularly shocking, up from eight in 2015 to 21 in 2016, including five on one awful night in Dallas last summer.
Among the 64 to die from gunshots was of course the Valley's own Sgt. Steve Owen of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Lancaster Station. The popular and decorated cop was gunned down Oct. 5 responding to a burglary call.
Which brings us to the second story in the news this week - Owen's alleged killer appeared in court Monday to enter a not guilty plea.
Then the third story, from The Hill:
"A tug of war between Democrats and Republicans over a controversial painting escalated Tuesday, with lawmakers taking turns removing the painting and re-hanging it in a Capitol thoroughfare.
"Rep. Lacy Clay (D-Mo.) returned the controversial painting, depicting a confrontation between black protesters and police officers portrayed as feral pigs, to its original place in the Capitol complex on Tuesday after a Republican lawmaker personally removed it."
Yes, in the same week we're reading about a huge spike in coldblooded murder of cops, the same week we're reading again about the painful details of Sgt. Owen's murder, this person in Washington is insisting on hanging a painting depicting law enforcement officers as pigs in our nation's Capitol.
Let that sink in for a moment.
The story went on to say that Clay had the painting - the winner of his district's art contest - placed in the Capitol, and then Republican Duncan Hunter took it down and took it back to Clay's office.
Clay put it back up, and wants to file a complaint against Hunter for theft.
The news story went on to say that Clay, surrounded by fellow members of the Congressional Black Caucus, said taking down the painting violated the freedoms of speech and expression.
"This is really not about a student art competition anymore. This is about protecting the Constitution," Clay said.
Claptrap and balderdash. It's about simple human decency. In the nation's Capitol, you're going to denigrate the men and women who protect Americans every day, at great risk to their own lives?
Do the student and congressman have a right to do this? Of course. But a congressman from a southern state also has a right to display a painting depicting what he might perceive as the glory of the Confederacy, complete with the stars and bars of the Confederate flag, and, oh, just imagine the hue and cry that would elicit.
That would make Meryl Streep return to the stage for more commentary.
Having the right doesn't make it right.
Congressman Clay should show some common human decency and think of the families of our fallen officers. Get rid of the ugly painting.
The picture depicts Ferguson, by the way, the place where even the Obama Justice Department could find no wrongdoing on the part of the officer who shot Michael Brown.