Thursday
Jul302009

JIM CROW vs. JAMES CROWLEY

POLICE BEAT vs. HARVARD ELITE

It had to happen eventually - all the break-ins occurring in the upscale Cambridge neighborhoods that serve as home to the Harvard elite - eventually one Cambridge police officer was going to ask one Harvard professor to produce identification paperwork - the story would become a major political circus as it contained the confluence of historical prejudice against the police as well as historical elements of racism against the alleged perpetrator.

It seems that Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates was caught up in the historical fear of racism - a case of mistaken identity between Jim Crow and Sergeant James Crowley. Flight fatigue may have overwhelmed the Harvard professor, yet clearly it would have served the protection of his household to produce the identification paperwork that the police officer requested - and respect for the law. Professor Gates could have dealt with other matters later on should suspicions of racism linger or prove to be true.

It is the generational experience of fighting Jim Crow that drove the Harvard professor - any middle-aged black man or woman might feel suspicious and outraged at being asked to present identification in order to secure the right to enter their own home in the middle of the day with luggage sitting on the porch. Jim Crow was not a person but a government system of laws that sanctioned racial oppression and segregation in the United States. Jim Crow affected millions of African Americans - any middle aged black man or woman will remember the fight of Martin Luther King to stand up against the Jim Crow laws that took away the rights granted to blacks in the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments - the end of slavery, the right to equal protection under the law, the right to due process, the right to site anywhere on the bus, and most importantly, the right to vote.

The separatist Jim Crow laws began in 1877 and continued right into the mid-1960s in numerous states throughout the country - Martin Luther King Jr. stands as a monumental figure in the Civil Rights struggle - the centerpiece of the Civil Rights movement was the negation of the Jim Crow laws.

Sergeant James Crowley is the police officer who taught racial sensitivity workshops over the years throughout the police department. Sergeant Crowley is also the police officer who gave mouth to mouth resusitation to a young black athlete of great promise - Reggis Lewis - as he lay dying on the gym floor in Brandeis. The history of the man as well as the picture of the police office trying to save Reggie Lewis' life conflicts with the image that James Crowley would be a man of racial prejudice.

Clearly, the call by Lucia Whalen, the Good Samaritan, was created by some impulse in an elderly witness who wanted help calling in the "crime in progress" - Generational prejudice held court in this scenario - the middle of the day, two older gentlemen with suitcases visible on the porch, the gentlemen dressed in neat middle-class wardrobe - some crime scene.

The testament to Officer James Crowley is that he did not know the name Henry Louis Gates - that was clear in the taped phone call with Whalen. Crowley was not aware of the political connections that would erupt with the arrest of the professor. Even with the scenario that the Harvard professor had gone wild with disrespect - the police officer should have known that arresting a Harvard professor would bring on the whirlwind of political and academic connections in the Harvard-centric state of Massachusetts.

Essentially, this was a testosterone battle of wills that has been left at a standstill......... between the Harvard Elite vs. Police Beat....... between those who believe an emotional connection to the past entitles them to rage against the symbol of the historical oppressor versus those who wear the badge, putting their lives at risk in the line of duty - who believe no one is above the law nor entitled to ignore the law and disrespect the badge. Perhaps Lucia Whalen should have been invited to the Beer Fest with the President and the Guys at the White House.

Tuesday
Jun092009

SAVING GOVERNOR PATRICK

SAVING THE STATE = SAVING THE GOVERNOR

Place your bets now - the Massachusetts Legislature are odds on favorites to raise the state sales tax, increase the tolls on Massachusetts highways, commuter bridges and tunnels, and resoundingly defeat the one genuine source of guaranteed new income for the state - casino gambling - due to an antiquated Puritanical vision of life that long ago bit the dust along with the dinosaurs - a vision Governor Deval Patrick must confront to save his governship and save the state.

The population exodus from the state of Massachusetts will continue as the state continues to batter its taxpayer base, the contributing members of society - unless Governor Deval Patrick finds his voice and stands up for the constituents who need his help as much as he needs their votes for reelection.

It is time for Governor Deval Patrick to grab the forefront of the battle to save this great state that leads the country in guaranteed healthcare benefits, gay rights, academic achievements in the competitive international scores, and protection of its best natural resource - the sea coast - with access guaranteed for everyone.

It is time for Saving Governor Patrick - to find his soldiers in arms within the legislature and fight the battle to govern this state with intention to protect its citizenry and not destroy them - against all odds.

Tough Karma for Massachusetts tax grunts.

The film Saving Private Ryan depicts the invasion of Normandy in gut wrenching realism with an assault on Omaha beach on June 1944.  The film follows Tom Hanks as captain leading a team of of rangers searching for one man amid the hell of World War II, the lone brother to survive a family of four brothers - now a paratrooper in the US 101st Airborne Division.

Against this backdrop, the perseverance and gut wrenching fight to save this man's life despite the odds is gripping, due to amazing film work of Steven Spielberg who won five Ocars but also because the story itself is gripping, the men pursue the freedom of the paratrooper because it is the right thing to do.

It is time for the governor to step into gear and pronounce his disappointment with the behind the scene wheeling and dealing of the insulated bubble heads in the Massachusetts legislature....... to chase the Hollywood version of the Oscars and save the Commonwealth. 

After all, saving the state of Massachusetts is the same as Saving Governor Patrick.

 

 

Thursday
May072009

PREDATORS GONE WILD!!!

HUMANS ROAM THE EARTH

Recent University of California study shows that humans are forcing changes to the geographical waters and atmosphere that will erupt the natural scientific order on the planet earth. The changes are dramatic and survival of the species is in question. In other words, we are a unique species of Super-Predators - destroying ourselves on two fronts........... with the spiral pace of human influence on the environment and with the predatory lending that will destroy our economic base. .

It seems only New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo cares to fight for the little people as he disrobes these soulless emperors without any clothes on in the courtroom. The case is People of the State of New York v. Thain, 400381/2009, New York State Supreme Court.

From the Bloomberg News:

Attorney General Cuomo won the right to identify Merrill Lynch employees who received $3.6 billion in bonuses in December 2008, Bank of America lost the right to keep secret the company bonuses due to Cuomo's vigilance in the courtroom - Bank of America managers approved the buyout of Merrill Lynch hiding the bonuses in a firm knowing the ship would sink.

From Bloomberg News:

"Cuomo said in a Feb. 10 letter that Merrill “chose to make millionaires out of a select group of 700 employees,” and that a smaller group was awarded “gigantic bonuses.” After the top four recipients received $121 million, the next four received a combined $62 million, he said, and the next six got a combined $66 million.

Overall, the top 149 people who got bonuses received a total of $858 million, according to Cuomo's letter. He said 696 people got bonuses of $1 million or more.Thain was dismissed in January by Bank of America chief executive officer Kenneth Lewis. The move came after disclosure of the bonuses and Merrill’s unexpectedly large fourth-quarter loss."

Finally this past week, tax cheat US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner warned that "heads may roll" at America's largest banks if further government funding is required. The proclamation was clearly in response to the fallout from the forced walk down the plank of General Motors chairman Rick Wagoner who had to take leave of his chairmanship in exchange for the US government support to the debt-driven behemoth car manufacturer.

Geithner's warning is a transparent move to squash the growing criticism of the administration that has not forced any of the major banks to oust their chief executives in return for receiving billions of dollars in funding. It seems the banks and Geithner do not understand what the American taxpayers know, that handcuffs are in order for these white collar criminals.

Politics may be entering a new millenium wherein the Human Super-Predators have all gone wild.

Sunday
Mar292009

HAVES vs. HAVE NOTS = POLITICS ARE IRRELEVANT 

FINANCIAL WAR TRUMPS CULTURAL WAR

It seems that Republicans are dysfunctional - unclear how to learn any lessons from the Democratic Presidential whopping in 2008 that gave Barack Obama his claim to the presidency.

The Republicans were wrong on everything: wrong messages - the endless Iraq war, the economy, the environment; outdated cultural riffs; and the wrong messengers - grumpy old grandpa candidate and his staff who undervalued the role of the web in communications across the generational divide; adding an unprepared and incompetent vice-presidential candidate who simply galvanized the left. 

Most important, the Republicans refused to look at the American weary eyes regarding the ill conceived war in Iraq that was draining our energies and finances without capture or arrest of the Sept. 11th terrorists combined with the daily bloodshed within Iraq tribal warfare meant coping with the meaning of the loss for our country of our men and women in uniform.

When the traditional media and online political pundits declared the Democratic race over, and that Barack Obama would be the nominee of the Democratic party - the campaign strategy for the younger, more techno savvy Democratic team incorporated utilization of the internet to reach out across the generational divide.  The younger, more savvy political Democrat team working behind the scenes for Barack Obama - brilliantly engineered political events, contributions, communication and activism.

Red States versus Blue States = Divide No Longer Exists

Speaking to voters in both the blue and red states, Obama spoke in even-tempered tone on financial and national security concerns while grumpy old grandpa held irritated court. Obama's team construed the political stratosphere in an inclusive general election campaign promising bipartisan efforts in the future administration.  Then the economic crash thundered across the nation's praries and cities.

Tough Karma Obama.

Before the collapse of the economy, the class issue was ignored.   Republicans had the wrong economic message encompassed the path of deregulation that allowed white collar criminals to run amok freely for a decade without any government oversight.

President Obama introduced himself as the defender of the people as a candidate - yet his appointment of tax cheat Geithner represents an alliance with the upper class.  The entitled class ignores the  beleagured middle class, pressured working class, worried American homeowners whose home values have plummeted, stressed-out single income households, most likely renters who will never be rewarded in the bailout, and responsible mortgage owners who ponder whether to pay the monthly bill.

Society has become the battleground between the haves and have nots irrelevant of politics or party affiliation, the red states or blue states divide no longer exists. 

The Financial War has trumped the Cultural War. 

Thursday
Mar122009

YEAR OF THE OX 2009 vs. YEAR OF THE RAT 2008

BARACK OBAMA - TEMPERED OX LEADER vs.  RESTLESS RAT VICTOR

It is 2009, when the Chinese New Year celebrates the Year of the Ox..... when the fortitude of people who are dependable and steadfast should prevail - as opposed to 2008, the Year of the Rat, destined to serve people who were ambitious, charming and sociable - yet, stingy when it comes to sharing their wealth. 

The Chinese names for the Lunar Year Cycles depict disparate personality traits that dominate during the varied 12 year moon cycles. 

Here are the descriptions...........

"The Ox works hard, patiently, and methodically, with original intelligence and reflective thought. Behind this tenacious, laboring, and self- sacrificing exterior lies an active mind. While their balance and strength inspire confidence, Oxen can seem rigid, obstinate, and slow. They impress others as leaders, fearing neither responsibility nor risk."

That's Barack.............. he loves risk............... risk motivates him...........

"The Rat........ those born within this category like to be first, pioneers, at the forefront of the action. Because of this, they tend to see themselves as a cut above the others. Restless and inquisitive, those born under the influence of the Rat are active, both physically and mentally, and tend to lead busy lives. Challenge is essential to them for they love the thrill of living dangerously, adapting easily to different environments and surviving against all odds."

That's Barack...........he loves the challenge........ the busy life..........  the game of survival.

The problem is that Obama's leadership comes at this time when our nation faces enormous challenges..... his presidency begins amongst the foreign policy damages and economically devastating record of George W. Bush. 

Obama's compulsive personality needs to take big dramatic steps........ now with daunting risks and challenges...........that could make or break the survival of this country.

"The Ox works hard, patiently, and methodically, with original intelligence and reflective thought...... Behind this tenacious, laboring, and self-sacrificing exterior lies an active mind..... Rats are able to control their feelings and will generally present a cool facade to the outside world, regardless of whatever volcanic emotions they may be feeling inside. .....These are passionate creatures whose feelings can be deeply stirred and though able to control them as a rule, when the volcano does erupt, watch out!"

 We can only hope that the Ox steadfast values overwhelm the Rat victorious clever energies of Barack Obama, whose intelligence and intensity is needed within his cool demeanor.  Meanwhile his volcanic need to remake history time and time again, may cause us all to go bankrupt in the end.

Guess what? 2008 was the year that Bernie Madoff's ambitious, charming and socially-connected Ponzi scheme came to light under the glare of global repugnant greed. It was also the year that Barack Obama won the Democratic nomination of his party for President.  2009 has seen the Mortgage Manipulators ruin our economy. Remember, to the Victor belongs the spoils.

Tough Karma for Barack Obama.

The Question: Ox Leader in 2009 or Rat Victor in 2008