Tag: crime

Feb 20

About Those Swedish Terror Attacks

It now seems that Donald Trump is relying of Fox news for international intelligence. At a rally on Saturday in Melbourne, Florida, he railed against immigration by citing a non-existent incident in Sweden. “We’ve got to keep our country safe. You look at what’s happening in Germany, you look at what’s happening last night in …

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Jan 16

Mutiny on the Hudson

The president of the New York City Police Benevolent Association, Patrick Lynch, has been publicly attacking Mayor William de Blasio over what he perceives as the mayor’s lack of support for the department. Mr. Lynch and what now appears to be a small group, having been throwing public temper tantrums since a grand jury on Staten Island refused to indict a police officer for the death of Eric Garner, a black man who died when the officer used the banned choke hold trying to arrest him for a misdemeanor. Since then the bad boys in blue have turned their backs on the mayor at the funerals for two police officers killed by a deranged man in the Brooklyn and booed him at police academy graduation ceremonies. If Mr, Lynch thinks these childish tactics gain sympathy from the public or the department’s rank and file, he is very mistaken.

In a new poll taken by Quinnipiac says that a large majority of New Yorkers disapprove of Mr. Lynch and his bullying:

New York City voters across racial lines disapprove of recent protests in which police officers turned their backs on de Blasio at the funeral of two police officers slain in the line of duty, a new Quinnipiac poll says.

Black, white and Hispanic voters disapprove of the decision by police officers to turn their backs 69 percent to 27 percent, the poll says.

New York voters of all races also disapprove of comments by police union leaders who said de Blasio had “blood on his hands” after two officers were shot and killed in Brooklyn while sitting in their patrol car in December. [..]

Voters said that those comments were “too extreme” by a margin of 77 percent to 17. The poll found that “there is no party, gender, racial, borough or age group which finds the comments ‘appropriate.'”

That’s not all. It appears that many of the PBA members are displeased with Mr. Lynch, as well:

Members of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association nearly came to blows on Tuesday during a meeting of delegates in Queens. There was pushing, shoving and lots of screaming at Patrick Lynch, president of the 23,000-member union. [..]

“This is what my members want!” a cop yelled near the end of the raucous meeting. “They want more cars, better vests, more manpower!”

And then the cop – one of about 350 in attendance – took a verbal jab at Lynch, who has called on de Blasio to offer a mea culpa for his continued lack of support for police.

“They don’t want an apology,” he said.

At the peak of the clash, about 100 cops were standing and screaming at Lynch, sources told the Daily News.[..]

The battle lines were clear when the meeting took an ugly turn. The Lynch supporters were generally from Manhattan and his detractors were delegates from Brooklyn and the Bronx, sources said.

New York Daily News columnist and a host of Democarcy Now!, Juan González thinks that Mr. Lynch needs to lose his job as head of the PBA for more reasons than his loud mouth and temper tantrums:

All these outbursts against de Blasio cannot obscure the fact that Lynch’s 15-year reign has been marked by bitter feuds with every mayor, by a rote defense of cops accused of unjustified use of lethal force, and by the repeated failure to win new contracts for his members except through state arbitration. [..]

Many police stationhouses in this city are in shameful disrepair, yet the PBA has done little to demand improvements.

More importantly, the union has gone five years without a contract. “Seventy-two percent of the unions settled in de Blasio’s first year and we missed the boat,” one PBA member said.

For the fourth time in the last five rounds of labor negotiations under Lynch, the PBA and the city are headed toward state arbitration. Lynch supporters say he’s gotten better raises than other city unions that way. But most labor leaders abhor arbitration because the results are generally unpredictable.

In 2008, for instance, arbitration saddled rookie cops with ridiculously low $25,000 starting pay. It took years for the PBA to undo the damage.

This time, Lynch can only hope for a two-year pact through arbitration. For thousands of cops hired since 2012, a settlement that only covers the two years before they joined the force will leave them with nothing.

The rise of New York’s police unions

By David Firestone, The Gusrdian

Many cities have experienced occasional outbreaks of the “blue flu”. Police officers get angry over a contract dispute or an argument with the mayor, and for a few days, refuse to report for work or write fewer tickets.

But only New York City has ever experienced decades of sustained militancy by its police unions – from repeated work slowdowns like the one now taking place, to riotous mass rallies and public denunciations, political campaigns, and well-funded legislative pressure. [..]

New York’s uniformed force is nearly three times as large as the next biggest force (in Chicago), giving its five police unions a far stronger voice than elsewhere. But sheer size cannot explain the outsize role the unions have long played in the police policies of the city, one almost equal to that of the police brass and city hall. [..]

Their most important ally over nearly a century has been the New York state legislature, which has used its constitutional ability to micromanage the city’s laws and finances to reward the police unions in countless ways. Those unions control a large bloc of votes, can cripple a campaign by portraying a candidate as against law and order, and take generous advantage of the state’s high political contribution limits. According to an analysis of campaign filings by the Guardian, the five police unions (one each for patrol officers, sergeants, lieutenants, detectives, and captains) have contributed more than $1.4m to the campaigns of state officials since 2010.

Even now, the unions are using their sizeable political power in Albany to try to strip the police commissioner of his ability to discipline officers for misconduct, whether it is corruption, brutality or engaging in a slowdown. In the final hours of last year’s session, both legislative chambers overwhelmingly passed a bill that would turn over all disciplinary proceedings to an arbitrator controlled by the unions.

Despite its diversity, the NYPD leans conservative and Republican. So long as the the Republicans control the New York State Senate and Governor Andrew Cuomo panders to them, the police will continue to ride rough shod over the people who pay their salaries and who they are committed to “preserve and protect.”

Jan 14

NYPD: Over-Policing and Under-Disciplined

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

New York City’s first police inspector general released a scathing report on the use of chokeholds by the NYPD.

The city’s first inspector general for the NYPD issued a stinging report Sunday questioning whether cops unnecessarily resort to prohibited chokeholds as a “first act” when words could calm things down instead.

In his first report, Inspector General Philip Eure found that in 10 recent cases involving chokeholds – the same banned maneuver responsible for the July 2014 death of Eric Garner – the cops received little or no discipline from higher-ups.

Eure questioned why, in four of the 10 cases, cops wound up using chokeholds as a “first act” against citizens who’d only confronted them verbally, not physically. [..]

Though the report focuses only on the 10 cases, the IG said the pattern he discovered has inspired him to examine a broader sample of use-of-force cases “in order to ascertain whether police officers are escalating encounters and using force too quickly in a systemic manner.”

The other problem that the report revealed that despite the call for “serious punishment” from the Civilian Complaint Review Board, most of the officers received a “slap-on-the-wrist loss of vacation days, “instruction” about police policy or no punishment at all,” all approved by then Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.

One of the results of the massive slowdown by NYPD after the murders of Police Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos is that crime rates were not impacted, adding to the argument that “Broken Windows” may be broken policy.

CompStat data showed that summons for parking, moving and criminal violations for the previous week are still down about 74, 65, and 71 percent compared to numbers last year. But the drop from the week before that compared to last year was even greater: all three categories showed declines of 90 or more percent.

Year-to-date murder, rape, robbery and felony assault complaints are down across the, CompStat data shows. [..]

For the critics of “broken windows” theory policing, which stipulates that paying close attention to smaller, quality-of-life issues will prevent greater crime, the NYPD slowdown has inadvertently lent them ammunition. Critics believe the mode of policing, fully supported by Mr. Bratton, unfairly targets minorities and isn’t proven to prevent spikes in crime.

Current Police Commissioner William Bratton, the author of the “Broken Windows” policy, thinks differently

“The trending of that would take a period of time that can’t be measured in the space of a week or now in the space of almost two weeks,” Mr. Bratton said. “We have certainly, undoubtedly the residual benefit of 20 some odd years of changed behavior in the city and that’s not going to be undone in the space of a couple of weeks.”

That, however, is a direct contradiction to his statement on the slowdown at a press conference , when he stated that “911 calls were being responded to, arrests were continuing to be made, and crime has continued to go down.”

He can’t have it both ways. Since 2012, the numbers support the latter. In an article at Salon by Blake Zeff, there were two factors that are proving the critics right.

Ironically, it was Kelly and Bloomberg who would help disprove their own argument. Amid increasing dissatisfaction and public protest, Kelly reportedly ordered precinct executive officers in 2012 to “audit the stop activity to assure better quality.” In 2013, the use of the tactic fell dramatically, which a law enforcement source tells Salon also derived from two additional pressures. First, then-candidate de Blasio spent much of his campaign attacking the practice, arguing that it was racially discriminatory (in the famous “Dante ad” featuring his teenage son, the younger de Blasio said his father would be “the only candidate to end a stop and frisk era that targets minorities”). As the issue got more attention and de Blasio’s campaign surged (largely on the popularity of this argument), this source says, cops were less inclined to pursue the tactic.

The second factor was a federal judge finding the practice unconstitutional, and ruling that, as implemented, it discriminated against minorities. The result was that in 2013, Bloomberg and Kelly (while unsuccessfully appealing that federal ruling) would oversee a massive decrease in the tactic’s implementation, with under 200,000 stops recorded – less than a third the number from just two years before. The result: crime continued to fall.

Could it happen again? That was the big question heading into this year, as de Blasio promised to scale back the practice even further (though not eliminate it), while maintaining strong safety numbers. A verdict was returned this week, with the city announcing that amid a 79 percent drop in stops from last year, crime continued to fall by 4.6 percent, reaching a record low in modern city history.

Blake Zeff joined Lawrence O’Donnell, host of MSNBC’s “Last Word,” to discuss the controversial policy.

At Vox.com, contributor Dara Lind thinks that both sides have gotten this wrong and presents a radical idea

Now, it appears that the NYPD is returning to its usual policy: interacting with residents, but mostly by calling them out for quality-of-life violations. That’s certainly how Bratton believes the NYPD can keep New York safe. But both the slowdown policy and the aggressive “speedup” going on now aren’t effective ways to reduce crime without antagonizing communities.

In fact, evidence suggests the most important thing police can do to reduce crime is to be physically present in neighborhoods – not whizzing by in squad cars, but out on the street interacting with residents. That’s the thesis of “hotspot policing,” a more recent trend in policing strategy.

The premise of “hotspot policing” is that when police focus their efforts on places – not people – who are most susceptible to crime, they’re most able to deter criminals from operating out in the open. (You’d think that criminals would simply shift their bases of operations, but that’s not what happens.)

What makes hotspot policing work, according to a series of studies from criminologists and case studies from police departments like Minneapolis, is police being out of their cars and physically in neighborhoods alongside residents for a certain amount of time. To be most effective, police need to engage with residents in friendly ways, like cleaning up graffiti, rather than writing up the people who painted it. When both of those conditions are met, crime doesn’t just go down when police are around, or even right after they leave – a month of regular hotspot policing can reduce crime in the area for weeks afterward.

It’s past time that the leadership of the police unions stop sniping at the De Blasio administration and sit down to talk about departmental discipline, better police tactics and healing the rift with the people of NYC.

Jan 07

Crime Rates Dropped In NYC & Around the Country Last Year

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Homicide rates are falling in most major cities across the US, especially in cities like New York, Detroit and Chicago. What is most notable in NYC is that the overall crime rate has fallen in 2014, the first year of the de Balsio administration, despite the end of “stop and frisk,” which was declared unconstitutional as carried out by the NYPD.

While this is good news, the NYPD has continued to throw its prolonged temper tantrum. Again on Sunday at the funeral for slain NYC Police Officer Wenjian Liu, a group of thin skinned members turned their backs to the screen as the mayor spoke. Since the slaying of the two officers on December 20, arrests and ticketing had fallen dramatically in all five boroughs

Police union leaders have denied the declines represent any organized work action, though they have urged their members to put their own safety first, which could curb enforcement in all but the clearest situations that called for an arrest.

The sustained declines, however, suggest something of a coordinated effort, even if it was not sanctioned by union leaders.

“People are talking to each other,” Edward D. Mullins, president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, said on Sunday. “It became contagious.”

Even though both the mayor and his police commissioner William Bratton are touting  “Broken Windows” and a modified “stop and frisk,” declaring the policies are “here to stay,” the slow down may prove that the policies are broken. Civil rights attorney and former Brooklyn, N.Y., prosecutor, Charles F, Coleman, Jr. believes “Broken Windows” is a failure and it’s time to drop it.

At this point, there has been no significant impact to public safety because of the slowdown-during which tickets and summons for minor offenses have dropped more than 90 percent-and we’ve seen anything but the doomsday crime spree that Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch seemed to hope might cause widespread fear among New Yorkers.

Lynch, who leads the NYPD’s largest and most influential union, has been very critical of de Blasio in past weeks, accusing him of expressing anti-policing sentiments in his remarks after the Staten Island grand jury’s nonindictment in the Eric Garner choke hold case. [..]

In many ways, the slowdown is backfiring terribly and should force a bigger discussion about not only the need to revisit the “broken windows” approach to law enforcement in urban communities but also the age-old trend of funding America’s cities on the backs of the poor.

The broken-windows approach to law enforcement, which de Blasio endorsed during the early days of his tenure, is essentially Reaganomics’ trickle-down theory of policing. (Remember how well that worked out?) The idea is essentially that focusing on strict policing of smaller offenses will deter larger crimes from happening. However, the notion that police, by cracking down on low-level crimes like selling loose cigarettes and open containers, are going to deter hardened criminals is a dubious theory at best. This is, in part, because economics drives most real crime more than any other factor. [..]

So what is the real takeaway from the NYPD slowdown where “broken windows” is concerned? We already knew that it was flawed in theory, and we have seen it fail miserably in application. One wild and crazy idea is that this approach to policing and the slowdown are both about little more than power and economics. The Police Department is attempting to flex its muscles to remind de Blasio and the thousands of nonviolent protesters who have dared to speak out against NYPD practices that the city needs them. The message is essentially that, even beyond the prevention of crime, police are still needed to help generate critical amounts of revenue for the city’s operating budget.

These silly games aren’t limited to the Big Apple, however. From as far away as Ferguson, Mo., we’ve witnessed how municipalities balance their budgets on the backs of the poor through the financial windfall created by excessive fines and tickets (which, as an aside, invalidates the claim that there’s no such thing as police quotas). The same thing can be said forWashington, D.C., Philadelphia, Los Angeles and scores of other cities across the country. Pat Lynch is no doubt aware of this, and beyond any ineffective fear tactics, his real play here may very well be an intentional swipe at the city’s pocketbook, which could threaten to hijack next year’s budget.

If anything, that seems like a real crime worth policing.

Chris Hayes, host of MSNBC’s “All In,” addressed the massive drop in crime, the slow down and “Broken Windows” with author and former NYC police officer Pater Moskos.

It’s time for the end of this discriminatory policy and focus on the real concerns of our communities, jobs and education.

Aug 09

So much hate, so little reason…Laverne Cox explains it

On July 30 a 15-year old trans girl boarded a Metro green line train in the District of Columbia with a couple of her friends.  One might assume that was a peaceful act.

But when 24-year old Reginald Anthony Klaiber of Greenbelt, MD boarded the same car on that train, he reacted to the trans girl violently.  At first he disliked her hair color (the girl was wearing a red wig).  Then he questioned her clothing.  When the girl asked him to leave her alone, her friends say he asked her, “Are you a boy?  Are you a boy?  …Why are you looking like a girl?”

He came to my friend and said you have red hair.  My friend said ok, and then he said, ‘Oh, you’re a man!’

Then he started bothering my friend.  My friend got up out of her seat to go by the door while the train was moving and told him to please leave her alone.  He faced her and said I will stab you up and blow your brains out.

Jae-la White, friend of the victim

Jun 29

The Double Standard of “Castle Doctrine” and “Stand Your Ground”

So-called “castle doctrine” and “stand your ground” laws, better labeled “shoot Black and Brown people with virtual impunity”, have always been inherently contradictory, because their application is decided not by rational, objective, independent arbitors of justice, but by white supremacists in what passes for America’s legal system.

Consider the most recent example:  A S.W.A.T. officer was shot and killed during a so-called “no-knock” raid in Texas in which officers failed to identify themselves to their intended target, one Marvin Guy, aged fifty.  Guy apparently heard commotion outside his window in the dead of night and, as is allowed for white people in most states, but almost never Black and Brown people, shot first and asked questions later.  Detective Charles Dinwiddie took one to the face and died two days later of his injuries.  Mr. Guy has been charged with three counts of attempted capital murder, and sits in prison with a three million dollar bond, a ridiculously high amount he cannot possibly pay in order to secure his release from prison while he awaits his trial.

By contrast, a Texas white man will not face charges for killing a police officer.  Henry Magee was asleep in his home at night when, similarly to Marvin Guy’s case, police decided to conduct a no-knock raid.  Magee, like Guy, did not wait before firing at who he thought were intruders breaking and entering his home.  Police sergeant Adam Sowders was killed.

Unlike Marvin Guy, however, Henry Magee will not face charges.  His status as a white man entitles him to virtual immunity from prosecution for the same act for which Marvin Guy now faces three counts of attempted murder – an offense that, if he is convicted, could net him the death penalty or life in prison.

In that regard, Magee enjoys some rather dubious company: George Zimmerman, who got away with the murder of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teenager, in Florida, Joe Horn, a Texas boy who shot and killed two unarmed would-be robbers as they fled from a neighbor’s home, and Michael Dunn, who murdered unarmed teen Jordan Davis in a confrontation over loud music and escaped a murder conviction (and has yet to be sentenced for his attempted murder verdict).

In all the cases mentioned above, the victims were Black or Hispanic, and the shooters were white*.

Similar to Marvin Guy, Marissa Alexander, a Black woman, was convicted and sentenced to twenty years in prison in Florida for firing a warning shot to ward off an assailant, her ex-husband, who was trying to beat her up.  That case has, thankfully, prompted a new trial and a temporary release, and her attorneys are seeking to have the conviction overturned. Since then, Florida has extended its “stand your ground” law to include warning shots, but this is an illusory “reform” at best, because the hideous and racist double standards remain untouched.  White folk are still free to shoot unarmed Black and Brown people with almost no consequences, if any at all, while Black and Brown people face prison for defending themselves.

Such a double standard is reminiscent of the Jim Crow era, where in spite of slavery having officially ended in the South, Blacks nevertheless continued to be subjugated, attacked, and murdered by whites at their whim, with no punishment for the perpetrators.  Sadly, the era of New Jim Crow ensures that such terrorism against minorities will continue unabated, unless something is finally done about it.

*:Zimmerman is, according to some sources, half white and half Latino, but his treatment is indicative of the preferential variety traditionally given to white criminals compared to Black and Hispanic suspects.

Mar 13

We’re not dead, we’re just resting

I’ve often said the left is essentially dead–or moribund (I love the word). Certainly the old left looks dead very much like Polly Parrot in the Dead Parrot sketch.

But there’s something simmering below the surface that those of us who are veterans of the old left can take heart in–massive numbers of people are unhappy and disillusioned. They lack any framework for their disillusion other than things like buying guns but I think we have a chance to step into an opening.

There are two issues only a new revivified left can work with: 1) massive criminality of all the major actors in the political economy; and 2) the lying mainstream media. That’s the only issues we need. We don’t need to talk about the debt or the deficit or “entitlements” or imperialism or any of that. Yes those are issues that are important, more or less, but not as important as the fact our society is run, at the top, by criminals. And it is not that this is hard to determine. The evidence is overwhelming and we don’t even have to go to the assassinations of the sixties or 9/11 or anything like that. No just the simple facts as they are The government and the media allowed massive fraud to occur in both Democratic and Republican administrations.

In 2006 one third of all lending were “liar’s loans” meaning that these loans were deliberately created out of falsified income statements and property appraisals. Washington Mutual, Andrew Cuomo (when he was AG of NY) found out, had created a blacklist of honest appraisers that were never to be used. Regulators, the FBI and many others consistently warned that there would be a financial crisis because of massive fraud going on. I knew it, though I’m hardly that well-connected I just happened to know a Wall Street guy who tole me in 2005 that the whole thing was going to blow in the next few years because Wall Street was creating fraudulent instruments.

In the S & L crisis there were 1000 FBI agents investigating criminals at the top and there were over 1000 convictions even though many particularly high profile suspects got away due to political influence. But in the more recent crisis that was 70 times greater only 120 agents were assigned to mortgage fraud!!!! On the surface this looks like massive criminality and I can assure you that a clear case with loads of evidence beyond anything that I’m indicating here can prove that the basis of our current political economy is naked criminality in almost every sphere, to be sure, but particularly prevalent in the financial industry. I’m also confident that there is no possible counter-argument.

The fact this is so obvious has to automatically indict the mainstream media from Fox News to PBS for covering up and refusing to cover the truth about the financial crisis which, as I said, is stunningly obvious. It will then quickly be seen how corrupt the media is. Not the reporters who do what they can but who have editors that continually and systematically discourage them to pursue stories that might make powerful people look bad (other than celebs, but they are toys of powerful people so they don’t count). When people understand that, for the most part, they are being fed a pile of turds everyday that they then have to pretend to eat–man, no wonder people are stressed and the U.S. leads the world in mental illness.

All we have to do is hammer away at those two issues ONLY and then the unassailable wall around the imperial court will break. We don’t have to talk about income inequality just criminality–not about class-struggle just criminality–not about the environment just criminality. We don’t have to argue with Tea Baggers about anything–just say that crime is a bad thing dontcha think? No argument. Sure a few will say, but it was Acorn that caused the crash, gov’t bureaucrats who wanted to put people in homes–you say sure AND those banks made a lot of money falsifying information, corrupting appraisers, originators. There’s no absence of proof and no possible counter-argument to the central fact that our problem is not Republicans or Democrats or private enterprise of the government our problem is criminal gangs have taken over–over and out.

Oct 18

Comprehensive failure

Another three-ton object hurtles from its decaying orbit towards Earth, so today must be another day ending in “y”.  Dying in the brimstone of space junk, however, is not our most pressing matter by a long shot.  Not that space junk crashing into other space junk is a minor concern, given our dependence on global communications that the fragile “junk-o-sphere” makes possible.  A critical mass of fragment-generating collisions could be a real game changer, and is yet just another reminder of our seemingly infinite human ability to err on the side heedlessness.

Jun 21

Gender, Nuance, and Truth: Our Flawed Criminal Justice System

We often talk about the problems of the criminal justice system, particularly as pertains to unfair treatment towards minorities and marginalized groups. I sympathize with the plight of those for whom this is a daily reality, but I admit I cannot completely understand. Many times, violence against women goes unreported or is sloppily prosecuted. And it is for this reason that I share my own story, though one needs to reverse the gender in this circumstance. The system is designed to prosecute men who harass, physically injure, or otherwise harm women. When the reverse is true, the existing framework of laws and statutes is not easily able to respond. Men are supposed to be able to handle their own problems, but women are supposed to be sheltered from them. This doesn’t mean that women aren’t vulnerable in all sorts of ways, but that it’s just as condescending to imply that women don’t harm men.

May 12

Movies: West Side Story vs. The Town:

Hey, folks:   Here’s hoping that you can bear with me while I write yet another essay on a couple of movies that I’ve been thinking about lately, involving their differences (of which there are many) and their similarities.  

Please note:  This  thread is cross-posted in firefly-dreaming.com, and part of this post (about West Side Story) is posted on the new leonardbernstein.com blog, in the West Side Story section.  This, too, is my very own writing, and nobody else’s.

Here goes

Hey, all…can you stand more on West Side Story?

I’ve got that on my mind as well.  Here goes:

Pretty much everybody knows that West Side Story is my alltime favorite movie, hands down,  and that I’m a devout fan of this great classic film  who  always feels like I’m seeing West Side Story for the first time.  Inotherwords, it’s still fresh, imho.   Although West Side Story is loosely based on Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, this particular musical is still relevant, imho, because, although it’s fiction, it’s closer to reality in many respects;  people from “opposite sides of the track” falling in love amid conflict on both sides, dating and even marrying, racial, ethnic and religious tensions, urban gang warfare, all of which still frequently gets played out in real life.  People can and do even fall in love at first sight in real life, although in real life, even that takes time to grow and develop into something where mutual trust and love enable the love to mushroom into something really substantial, if one gets the drift.

Yet, I’m aware of the fact that in real life, gangs don’t go dancing through the streets, nor do they dance their way through street fights and all-out rumbles, which have now evolved into dangerous drive-by shootings and shootings on street corners in many neighborhoods, and gangs today are even more vicious than they were in times  gone past.  It used to be that gangs would stake out and protect their territory, in real life, but  racial/ ethnic tensions and hostilities lent that protection of turf an even more vicious edge.  

Since I’ve also seen several very good stage productions of West Side Story, I kind of have to say that West Side Story is my favorite stage musical, as well.  In addition to the two screenings of the film version of WSS that I will be going to see;  one at the Emerson College-owned Paramount Theatre in downtown Boston this coming Saturday night, and the other at the Coolidge Corner Theatre, in Brookline, in mid-November (I’ve already got tickets for both of those screenings), I will be taking my youngest nephew and my niece to a matinee show of the latest Broadway stage revival of West Side Story here in Boston.  I’ve read a number of reviews on this latest WSS Broadway revival;  some good, some not so good.  I really wasn’t sure I wanted to see this particular production of the stage version of West Side Story, but some other people’s suggestion, I went down to the Colonial Theatre here on Boston’s Boylston Street, and purchased some rather expensive mezzanine tickets.  It’s well that I did, since they’re going fast, and there weren’t many mezzanine tickets left, and I didn’t want the balcony, because that would’ve been too far away.  

Apr 04

Need a Reason for “We Are One” today-60min’s Report

AFL-CIO blog site about rallies-link in graphic

If you thought you didn’t have a reason to participate in the April 4th “We Are One” {face book page link} rallies around the country this report will certainly plant that needed seed as they continue trying to destroy what America once was building successfully, through it’s workers!

6omin. 3 April 2011, if you missed this it’s a must watch and or read!  

Sep 10

‘bin Laden’s Christian counterpart’

This was being heavily reported locally yesterday, but didn’t see any national news then or today, wonder why, especially with all the related news as to possible domestic criminal activity that’s coming.

Hmmm, wonder if this will help Marko’s book sales on his new book, might want to put a sub-title on it now “American al Qaeda”, this extremist might really enjoy that fame add!

By the way, for those who might not know, Concord is just north of Charlotte, home of Charlotte Motor Speedway.

N.C. man, self-described as ‘bin Laden’s Christian counterpart,’ charged in abortion clinic bomb plot

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