Jan. 10th, 2003

sisyphusshrugged: (Default)
...The whole Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, or Mr. Smith Goes to the OK Corral, or whatever it is schtick is getting pretty stale. It worked when the problem was medieval religious fanatic douche bags in Afghanistan who thought that they could deflect cluster bombs with old tires, but when dealing with the real problems of the world, your faux-regular guy bullshit act is not going to cut it. And you got a free ride for a while now because of extenuating circumstances, but if you think the Democrats are still going to be playing patty-cake with you in 2004 you're in for a surprise. If the war in Iraq doesn’t go like a picnic on a cloudless day (and it probably won’t, Sunshine), they’ll kill you with it. And it may not be fair at all, but that’s just too bad. And if you think that two years from now, when you have lowered taxes (on the rich), raised spending, the economy is going no where, and you’ve spent four years shitting on the environment, sucking up to the hard right wing, and embarrassing the country on the world stage, if you think that people are going to be satisfied with you gritting your teeth and telling people that you’re a man of conviction who says what he means or some John Wayne Hallmark card horseshit like that, well, you’ve got another fucking thing coming...
sisyphusshrugged: (Default)
with this:

Grover Norquist, the Bush adviser immortalized by Angela Lansbury in The Manchurian Candidate,

The rest is pretty good too.
sisyphusshrugged: (Default)
A former police officer and two former firefighters are suing the city for firing them after they wore blackface while riding on a Labor Day float in 1998, and mocked the vicious killing of a black man in Texas. The float was widely denounced, and now the three men are saying their First Amendment rights were violated, by - among others - Mr. Giuliani.

At the time, Mr. Giuliani called the float "a disgusting display of racism," and said that if the men were caught, they were "going to be fired immediately."

What Mr. Giuliani did not mention then - as lawyers for the plaintiffs reminded the court yesterday - was that only the police and fire commissioners have the power to dismiss police officers and firefighters, and only after due process. Mr. Giuliani did not go into those details.

If he had, "none of us would be here," said Judge John E. Sprizzo of Federal District Court in Manhattan. Of course Mr. Giuliani was never a fan of subtlety, especially on First Amendment matters.

"I wanted people to know the mayor's point of view," Mr. Giuliani said. "The reality is if you equivocate in circumstances like that, that creates the opening for people to exploit and create unrest and act out." He repeatedly maintained that he had not tried to influence his two commissioners and that he had expected them "to exercise independent judgment."

It is widely acknowledged that Mr. Giuliani did not prize independence in members of his administration...


Here's the problem.

I don't know how much the rest of the country knows about Rudy Giuliani. Well, lots of folks here in the city aren't terribly fond of him. He cost the city huge amounts of money in legal costs and settlements, appealed cases well into the justice denied zone on a regular basis, refused to release basic information about how his administration did business for the city to agencies that were entitled to it and was deliberately and unnecessarily adversarial to minority interests (presumably playing to the national press and the people of Staten Island). (Little known fact, outside New York - very few of the men and women of our police department and fire department actually live in the city. Unlike other city workers who are paid far less, they are entitled to commute from less - shall we say diverse? - locations outside the city's borders. There are those of us who believe that living with the people of the city might make our safety officers more likely to look at the people of the city with a friendly eye.)

Here's the thing. Giuliani was a wholly owned subsidiary of the small but thuggish group that make all the trouble for our police department since before day one. When the Dinkins administration (for those who don't follow the minutiae of New York mayoral politics, David Dinkins was our first african-american mayor) instituted the CCRB (Civilian Complaint Review Board) to deal with police misconduct toward citizens which was systematically being swept under the carpet by the police themselves, the Policeman's Benevolent Association held a rally against it. Rudy Giuliani spoke to that rally. He spoke rather heatedly to that rally. He used intemperate and vulgar language to the officers at that rally. And as the officers rioted, closed off the Brooklyn Bridge, stormed City Hall, assaulted an african-american elected official, hurled racial epithets at Mayor Dinkins, brandished signs with racial epithets on them and jumped on cars, the former prosecutor, beaming, had his picture taken with his arms around various rioters, beaming. They were in all the papers the next day.

Periodically - in the case of Amadou Diallo, in the case of Abner Louima, in the case of an african-american undercover cop shot by his "brothers in blue," in the death of a young man who refused to buy drugs from an undercover cop and was shot by him (although he was, at first blush, "no altar boy" according to Giuliani - except, woops, he was) - Giuliani pandered to the worst fringe elements of the police department and encouraged by his actions the blue wall of silence that leads to crimes by the worst element of the police department being covered up by their fellows. Everyone in New York knew that if you pissed Giuliani off, he would get you. Legal or not, right or not, you did not go up against Giuliani in His City (although, of course, he's from Long Island).

Now, are the cops from Broad Channel knuckledragging mouthbreathers who in a perfect world would be out walking a beat on the windiest beach in the northern Bronx? For fair. Are they an embarassment to a police department that also contained the men who died trying to save people from the twin towers? Damn straight. Could any reasonably decent defense attorney get a conviction overturned against a minority defendant who was arrested by these bozos? Ayup.

Was any of that cause for firing in the New York City police department under Rudy Giuliani?

As if.

Would Rudy have dismissed this whole thing if it hadn't been for his higher political aspirations?

No doubt at all.

Did he, for all intents and purposes, fire those men?

Yep.

Did he have a right to do that?

Nope.

Should those men be cops in the world's most polyglot city?

Not a great idea.

Should the cops who protect the city have a right to due process?

If they don't, the blue wall of silence just put on a teflon vest.

Do I want them rehired?

Nope.

Do I want them to win their case?

Yes, sadly, I do. I want them to win a $1 settlement, and I want Rudy Giuliani to pay court costs.

And again, America, I keep hearing that he's really Your Mayor.

We'll ship. Overnight if you want.
sisyphusshrugged: (Default)
The Bush administration asked a federal judge in New York last night to reverse his decision allowing a Jose Padilla, the man suspected in a plot to detonate a radioactive bomb, access to a lawyer to challenge his detention as an enemy combatant.

Mr. Padilla is one of only two American citizens known to be held since the Sept. 11 attacks without being formally charged. Mr. Padilla, a native of Chicago, has been held since June in a Navy brig in Charleston, S.C.

In a new court filing, the government disclosed that Mr. Padilla has been under interrogation by military personnel for several months. The government said letting a lawyer into the process "would threaten permanently to undermine the military's efforts to develop a relationship of trust and dependency that is essential to effective interrogation." That could "set back his interrogations by months, if not derail the process permanently.
sisyphusshrugged: (Default)
Nathan Newman reprints in toto (of course, in toto it's really too dark to read) the honorable Mr. Pickering's "anti-Klan" testimony. (Did you know it was a case of the Klan going after white people? Me neither).

Don't worry, it won't take long.
sisyphusshrugged: (Default)
Increasingly concerned about an oil shortage as a possible war with Iraq approaches, the Bush administration has overcome its reluctance to become involved in Venezuela's escalating political conflict...
sisyphusshrugged: (Default)
AND THE CIVIL WAR goes on. In Richmond, various sons and daughters of the lost cause are raising a fuss over a statue of Abraham Lincoln that will commemorate his visit to the conquered Confederate capital in the final days of the war. They are abetted by Del. Richard H. Black of Loudoun County, who is not even sure there should be a statue of the 16th president anywhere in Virginia. The major objection is that Lincoln came to gloat over Richmond's fall. "He sat at Jefferson Davis's desk and propped his feet up on the desk," said one angry son of the Confederacy.

Heavens, bring the smelling salts. Mr. Lincoln is not remembered as a gloating man, but maybe it could be regarded as insensitive of him to have descended as he did into the midst of a sullen and defeated population. Except that not everybody was all that sullen and defeated. Jay Winik, in his book "April 1865," describes the scene as Mr. Lincoln walked from his boat:

"Out came a sound. 'Glory to God!' It was a black man working by the dock. Then again: 'Glory to God! Glory! Glory! Glory!' Leaving their squalid houses and their tar-paper shacks, an impenetrable cordon of newly freed blacks followed Lincoln down the rubble-strewn streets, starting with a handful and swelling into a thousand. 'Bless the Lord!' they shouted. . . . 'Glory hallelujah.' "

Surely many of those celebrators have descendants who live in Richmond to this day but who haven't been much consulted over the past 138 years on the themes of the city's many monuments. As Mr. Black's colleague Del. Viola O. Baskerville of Richmond observes, perhaps it's time some people learned "the complete story of the Civil War."
Page generated Oct. 18th, 2017 12:18 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios