December 23, 2007

Boston Fined $376,000 for Inaccessible sidewalks

Boston Fined $376,000 for Inaccessible sidewalks

[This letter was published in the Boston Herald on December 31, 2007.]

The Rehabilitation Act was passed in 1973. It applies to Boston which gets
taxpayer funds. The $376,000 fine is chump change. (Marie Szaniszlo, "Judge
upholds fines vs. Hub, Boston Herald, December 23, 2007) The sidewalks have not
been accessible for 34 years violating the basic Right to Travel for all those
Where were all of the taxpayer funded lawyers who are
supposed to assert the rights of persons with disabilities? That includes the
Disability Law Center, the Mass Office on Disabilities, the MA Attorney
General's Disability Rights Division. What are they doing for their $100,000

Roy Bercaw, Editor ENOUGH ROOM

Judge upholds fines vs. Hub
$376G later, sidewalk still unfixed
By Marie Szaniszlo
Boston Herald
Sunday, December 23, 2007

A Superior Court judge has upheld a state agency’s $500-a-day fine against the
city of Boston for failing to make a sidewalk accessible to people with

The board has fined the Hub $500 a day since Nov. 30, 2005, for its failure to
correct the violation. Since then, the city has accruedmore than $376,000 in
fines, making the section of Huntington Avenue the city’s most expensive

“I’m really gratified the judge found the city’s arguments weak and easily
dismissable,” said John B. Kelly of the Neighborhood Access Group, who spent
yesterday trying to navigate the Hub’s icy byways. “The court’s decision exposes
the city as a two-year-long scofflaw.”

Dot Joyce, spokeswoman for Mayor Thomas M. Menino, yesterday said: “Our
Department of Public Works continues to work with Mr. Kelly and his group and we
continue to listen to them for guidance about which streets need to be fixed.”

In a recent 10-page decision, Justice Paul E. Troy found the city had failed to
show that a decision by the Architectural Access Board was “not based on
substantial evidence” that an uneven, sloping stretch of brick on Huntington
Avenue violates state law.

The horizontal slope of a sidewalk must not exceed 2 percent. But in some spots,
the slope of the 4-year-old Huntington Avenue sidewalk is 4.5 percent - enough
to send Kelly and others who use wheelchairs tipping over, he said, or sliding
into the street.

The city claimed that although it owns most of the sidewalk, the MBTA and
Massachusetts Highway Department oversaw its construction.

Earlier this year, all three agencies said they would work together to make the
sidewalk accessible but would not say when.

The sidewalk is part of what Kelly and other advocates for the disabled denounce
as a pattern of violations in the city that puts them at risk, particularly at
this time of year.

So many sidewalks have gone unshovelled, Kelly said, that he and other
wheelchair-users are forced to remain home or take their chances dodging cars in
the street.

“To be quarantined because we apparently don’t count is demoralizing,” Kelly
said. “What kind of city forces people to resign themselves to that?”
Article URL:

December 22, 2007

Fumento's Two Flaws

Fumento's Two Flaws

There are two flaws in Fumento's argument about homeless people. (MICHAEL
FUMENTO, "THE HOMELESS 'VETS' WHO AREN'T," New York Post, December 18, 2007)
He suggests that "money to expand the welfare state," motivates the Homeless
Research Institute (HRI). He ignores the lobbyists for the psychiatric industry
and drug companies who are greedier than HRI. They promote psychiatric illnesses
and drug treatment for no rational reason other than profits. Psychiatry is the
greatest boondoggle in the history of man.
Mental illnesses are created by consensus, not science. (Margaret Hagan,
"Whores of the Court") Psychiatry is personal opinion masquerading as science.
Fumento's focus is misguided.
It is cheaper to put homeless people in apartments and provide them with
the substances that they abuse than it costs to let them roam the streets
committing crimes and destroying the quality of life for others. Sane people
become disoriented when they have no place to sleep and to clean themselves.
Historically poor people are most likely to be diagnosed as mentally ill.
"Asylums in the nineteenth century served as poorhouses." (Robert Whitaker, "Mad
in America," page 173)

Roy Bercaw, Editor ENOUGH ROOM

New York Post

December 18, 2007 -- THE homeless-advocacy industry always puts the most
sympathetic face on its "clientele." It works desperately to divert attention
from alcoholics, drug users, schizophrenics, and fat panhandlers holding signs
reading: "Hungry."

And it doesn't talk about unpleasant truths like those reported by ABC's John
Stossel (viewable on YouTube) - who, after exhaustive efforts, managed to find
only one person with a sign reading "Will work for food" who would actually do

Instead, advocates focus (with the media's help) on unrepresentative but
heart-tugging cases - like veterans.

Eleven years ago, I debunked a "study" claiming a third of all men in homeless
shelters were vets - noting it was based entirely on the men's own claims, and
that claiming to be a vet is a favorite panhandler ploy.

But comes now a new "study" from the Homeless Research Institute (HRI), the
research arm of the National Alliance to End Homelessness. It claims government
data show that vets are more than twice as likely to be "homeless" as non-vets -
that is, that vets make up 11 percent of the adult US population, but 26 percent
of the labeled homeless.

The 29-page report also insists it's a myth that substance abuse and/or mental
illness is at the heart of the homelessness problem; rather, it's "lack of
affordable housing." And, naturally, it's the job of an expanded government to
make that housing affordable.

HRI's claims are false on both the "veteran disparity" and the causes of
homelessness. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development, for example,
says only 18 percent of homeless are veterans (albeit based on incomplete data),
and that's down from 23 percent in 1996.

That still leaves vets seeming to be disproportionately homeless. But you have
to account for two facts: the demographics of those in homeless shelters differ
vastly from those not homeless, as do demographics of veterans and non-vets.
Most important: Among adults in homeless shelters, males outnumber females by
three to one, while females outnumber males in the general adult population. And
93 percent of all veterans are male.

So HRI didn't really measure the disparate homeless rate of vets; at best it
restated the obvious - that men are a lot more likely to be homeless than women.

On to HRI's claim for the cause of vets' homelessness - namely, that it's mainly
the non-affordability of housing.

As HRI admits, veterans generally are more educated and more employed than those
with similar demographics in the general population; they earn more, too. That
doesn't exactly explain why vets are less able to afford housing . . .

In fact, to live or work near homeless populations is to sadly observe that many
won't even avail themselves of the shelters - you see them on cold winter nights
sleeping on heating vents and covered with blankets provided by city workers who
couldn't coax them inside.

And decades of empirical research support what those of us who regularly
encounter the homeless readily observe: They aren't just like you and me, minus
a home. Their major defining features are indeed alcohol and drug abuse, along
with mental illness.

According to the Veterans Administration, 70 percent of homeless vets suffer
from alcohol- or other substance-abuse, while 45 percent are mentally ill.
Obviously, there's overlap between those groups (since they add up to 115
percent), but between them there's little room for the "non-affordable housing"

Further, for the general homeless population, those sad figures are even higher.

Three years ago, researchers at Washington University of Medicine in St. Louis
published a paper in the American Journal of Public Health on the results of
three different studies conducted at homeless shelters (one each for 1980, 1990
and 2000). In the latest assessment, a stunning 84 percent of the homeless men
and 58 percent of the women suffered from substance abuse. Worse, 88 percent of
the men and 69 percent of the women had psychiatric disorders.

Note the far higher rates of both substance abuse and mental illness among the
men than among the women; then recall that homeless men outnumber women by three
to one. That's highly suggestive that it's the substance abuse and mental
illness that's tied to homelessness - and that men's greater rates of the former
explain why they make up most homeless.

HRI does admit that homeless vets have a high rate of psychiatric illness. But
it claims they have a special reason for mental illness: post-traumatic stress
disorder (PTSD) from their military service.

Obviously, there is some PTSD among homeless vets. Problem is, most vets served
only in peacetime. We've had 17 years of "hot wars" in the 62 years since 1945 -
and even most wartime vets never saw combat. (Another problem: Homeless vets
suffer mental illness at half the rate of the general homeless population -
strongly suggesting that PTSD is not a big factor.)

Not that HRI cares about any of this. Substance abuse and mental illness isn't
its shtick; raising "awareness" - and hence money to expand the welfare state
with more subsidized housing - is. You can count on the advocates to keep on
pursuing that agenda no matter how much it harms the homeless by removing the
focus from their real problems.

Michael Fumento is a former paratrooper who has been embedded three times in
Iraq and once in Afghanistan.

December 3, 2007

Letter to Council About Noise

Letter to Cambridge City Council November 29, 2007

Cambridge City Council November 29, 2007
City Hall
795 Mass Avenue
Cambridge MA 02139 Cambridge Conformist Party

Honorable City Councilors,

Cambridge Conformist Party

The Boston office of the FBI is an unofficial member of the Conformist Party. They ensure that no party members are ever prosecuted for malfeasance or any criminal abuses. The Boston FBI works closely with the ACLUeless and the high psychiatric priests. In order to maintain access to their sources the Boston Globe, Conformist Party organ, does not publish negative stories about the Boston FBI, no matter how difficult that is.
Citizens have rights guaranteed by the US and the MA Constitution. The Right to Petition, the Right to Redress, and the Right to Access are all parts of the First Amendment to the US Constitution.
Being a citizen has little meaning in Cambridge where limousine liberals grant rights to illegal aliens and give special privileges to members of special interest groups.
The Conformist Party that rules Cambridge and much of Eastern Massachusetts is not a registered political party. It is part of the shadow government, which rules the area. The puppets that run Cambridge City government, and other elected and appointed officials in Eastern MA are members of the Conformist Party.
The puppeteers at Harvard University and at MIT dictate policy and determine what laws will be enforced (and not enforced), and who will be permitted to enjoy the rights enumerated in the Constitutions.
The Conformist party shares a propaganda machine with the Democratic Party, using the Boston Globe to promote the Party Line. The Conformist Party has some members at the Globe who promote the interests of Harvard and MIT and keep unpleasant news about Cambridge from print.

Cambridge Minister of Information

The Minister of Information for Cambridge is Robert Winters who maintains the City propaganda organ online, The Cambridge Conformist Journal. Winters and his fellow Conformist hacks ridicule deviants from Conformist party policies. Winters is also Chief of the Hackerama for Ridicule in Cambridge.
He dutifully reprints propaganda, which he copies from the City websites and from other government publications. Conformist Party members prefer to get their government documents from Winters. They believe with some justification that his site is more reliable than the government information.

Conformist Media Mogul Priests

Former Cambridge City Councilor Jim Braude, charter member of the Cambridge Conformist Party is a high priest of Broadcast Information Technology (BIT). He hosts a daily Cable TV show and co-hosts a daily radio talk show. Like his former Council colleagues he promotes the same interest groups as the career politicians.
Another high media priest of the Conformist Party is Emily Rooney, daughter of 60 Minutes super star Andy Rooney. From her regal perch on taxpayer-funded WGBH-TV the local PBS station, she hosts Conformist Party members who promote themselves and the shadow government of the Party. Rooney ignores discrimination against persons with disabilities. Braude’s guests make hateful comments about persons with disabilities.
Rooney was news director at Boston commercial TV station WCVB-TV for many years. That is where she solidified her prejudice against persons with disabilities. She believes they are clients for Human Services Corporations, the Psychiatric Industry, the Drug Companies and the Academic Research Industry. She frequently has corporate leaders and members of the academic community on her show promoting these ideas.

Anonymous Conformist Soldiers

Conformist soldiers use anonymous handles on blogs promoting Conformist puppets in Cambridge government. They use the First Amendment for government officials to harass, to ridicule and to discredit their critics and to silence victims of government abuses of power.
This was raised to an extreme level when James Bulger ran the Boston FBI office. When a citizen tried to expose the real Special Agent-In-Charge in Boston, Bulger and his gang murdered the 19 potential leaks. Bulger is now allegedly a fugitive. But his criminal empire continues to function silencing critics of the puppets.

Deviants: Useless Eaters Need Treatment

Psychiatry is based upon conformist principles. Mental illness is speech and behavior, which is unacceptable to the high priests of Psychiatry, who rule the Conformist Party. Anyone who deviates from what psychiatrists like or from what they understand, are declared mentally ill. They are not only deviants from the Conformist Party principles, but they are also deviants from proper psychiatric behavior and speech.
Mental illnesses are created as fast as critics are found who deviate from the Conformist Party Line. Criticism of Party officials is a mental illness. Non conformists are mentally ill. In Massachusetts being a New York Yankee fan is a mental illness.
Approved peaceful spokesman for the Conformist Party says “Cambridge people are not intolerant. We are diverse. We love people from El Salvador, from Guatemala, from Haiti and from Iran. Everyone knows that heterosexual men of no color are deviants. We’re trying to weed them out of here to purge the population of useless eaters.”

Role of ACLUeless Conformists

The Cambridge Conformist Party puppets obey the ACLUeless strategists. When the ACLUeless condemned the Commander-in-Chief of US military forces, the Cambridge puppets did the same. The Conformist City Councilors declared Cambridge a Sanctuary City for illegal aliens to support the War on Terror for the other side.
The Cambridge Chapter of the Conformist Party demanded the repeal of the USA PATRIOT Act. They claimed it violated conformist rights. Nonetheless Cambridge Conformists want a policeman on every block to stop city violence some of which is committed by illegal aliens. Contradictions of the Conformist Party are too many to be discussed in this letter.

Cambridge Police Priorities

Cambridge police are much too busy to address violent street crime. They have higher priorities. Cambridge police enforce discrimination laws protecting the five divisions of the Conformist Party.
Jokes are not for everybody. Many jokes do not carry over and across cultural boundaries. I encounter many visitors from other states and from other countries in Cambridge. I offer to help people who are looking at maps. I ask, “What are you looking for?” Then I show them where they want to go. One day I was looking at Harvard’s Memorial Hall. A man from Africa approached me and asked, “What are you looking for?” I looked at him and wondered if he was making fun of me. I live near Memorial Hall.
I said to him, “I’m looking for love, money and power.”
He laughed and said to me “That’s funny.” as he walked away smiling and looking back at me.

P-Whipped Cambridge Cops

This joke is not always received as well. On Friday August 24, 2007 I went to the Fresh Pond Whole Foods store at about 9:30 PM. It was the second time I was in that store since it was the Bread and Circus.
A woman employee was placing containers of fruit into a shopping cart. As I passed her she said to me, “Can I help you?” I ignored her because I did not need any help. I also do not like when police approach a person in a store they want to arrest saying, “Can I help you?”
She asked me again, “Can I help you? I saw you walking around and looking.”
I said to her, “I’m looking for love, fame and power.” I paused. Then I asked “You can’t help me with that can you?”
She looked at me. When I passed the customer service desk walking to the checkout lanes, I saw a uniformed Cambridge police officer, who used to work details at the Porter Square Star Market.
While waiting in the checkout lane, the officer moved to the front of the lane in which I was standing. I thought nothing of it at first. Then I recalled my comment to the women in the produce section. I wondered, “Did she complain about what I said?”
The officer walked away from the line. I thought I was being paranoid thinking he was standing there for me.
After I paid for my items I walked out of the store. The officer was standing outside of the store keeping late arrivals from entering the store, which had closed.
The officer asked me, “Can I speak with you?” I was wrong. He was standing at the checkout for me.
He asked me if I said anything to a woman in the store. I told him what I said. I told the officer I’m from New York. I tell jokes. Sometimes they don’t carry over into other cultures. The woman was from Central or South America. She is not a fashion model.
I discussed this event at length with the officer. I asked him “What’s the crime, harassment?” He said it was. I asked, “She was alarmed?” I did not add “rationally?”
He stated he knew I had no intent to cause her alarm. He said that he too is or was a wise ass. I inquired about the fact that as an immigrant, whether legal or illegal it was suspicious that she was aware of the discrimination laws. I mentioned how some immigrants come to the US and want to kill us but they are well versed in the discrimination laws and claim they are victims.
I said, “I’m a citizen.” I did not mention 35 years of harassment from organized crime families about which the City of Cambridge ignored my complaints. I told about a Harvard lawyer who complained about my criticism of Harvard. I said I told the lawyer I thought I was being civilized considering what Harvard did to me. I told the officer “I respond with pen and paper, not weapons.”
I noted that the woman was not attractive to me. She may have an exaggerated self-image thinking that all men wanted to bed her. I also wondered how this was an issue.
I asked the officer how my alleged pass at her was an issue for the police. Was it a crime to ask a woman to go to bed? He declared that she was entitled to be free from a hostile work environment.
This raised a further issue. Are the Cambridge police enforcing private corporations’ work rules? Isn’t that an issue for the MCAD or the EEOC? I told the officer I did not think that hostile work environment applied to customers. It is for a employee’s superiors. He disagreed. I told the officer of my experiences at CCTV where women harassed me and that the management laughed at me when I complained. I did not tell him about homosexuals who rubbed up against me (sexual assault) in work places.
Assuming that the officer was being truthful, why did he respond to the complaint? He said that he knew me. He knew the name of my television show which I used to do on CCTV. He did not know the law and misapplied it in any case.
Moreover, if the Cambridge police were now enforcing discrimination laws, why do they openly harass persons with disabilities contrary to city policy, state and US laws?
The officer’s response to the alleged crime shows that the Cambridge Police are p-whipped by the Women’s Lobby. A feminist runs Harvard. A feminist runs MIT. It appears feminists run the Cambridge Police and the City Manager’s office too. The standard for speech and conduct is not law but what the loudest whiners want?
I did not argue with him because I know police love to arrest people. I recalled vividly how in 1990 when I complained about police harassment, the Cambridge police arrested me and held me for 78 days. The seven lawyers assigned all worked for the police and put on no defense. That police frame-up is still being used to scare people. In August 2007 Harvard police and the tenant of record tried to repeat the event of 1990.
I told the officer about another incident with women. I asked him if these were all lesbians or man-hating women. He said they were all kinds. He revealed that he was aware that the pendulum has swung too far with this ability of women to complain about men for minor incidents, which do not rise to level of being a crime.
We discussed the many murders of women by their boyfriends and husbands. I asked, “Why don’t they just kill themselves? Why do they need to kill the women first?” I lamented the murder of young babies by boyfriends and stepfathers.
Another Cambridge citizen told me that a Cambridge police officer called him to tell him that it was illegal to discriminate against illegal aliens.

ACLUeless and Psychiatry

ACLUeless is unaware of psychiatric abuses. They do not believe that psychiatrists employed by organized crime families would enter an apartment to place drugs into foods ingested by critics of the Conformist Party. ACLUeless believes that if a person complains about such criminal abuses by police and psychiatrists that the person is mentally ill. The ACLUeless believes that if a person is mentally ill then the Conformist Party should ignore everything the person says. That’s how the ACLUeless complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ACLUeless believes that psychiatrists have genes cleansed of greed, mendacity and sadism. They stand beside the Cambridge puppets that strictly follow ACLUeless policies.

Is the ADL Conformist?

The Anti Defamation League of B’nai B’rith is the most successful fighter of hate speech and discrimination in the country. They are better than the Civil Rights Division of the US Department of Justice, whose main function is writing letters to public officials explaining the law. Beginning with hate speech against Jews the ADL expanded its focus to include the same four divisions of the Conformist Party as the Cambridge City Council’s focus. Like the City Council and the Conformist Party and the ACLUeless the ADL excludes persons with disabilities from their interest groups. The question is, “Has the ADL joined the ACLUeless as a division of the Conformist Party?”

El Poo-Bah

The Cambridge Conformist-in-Chief (el Poo-Bah) City Manager brought workers from El Salvador and Guatemala to Cambridge to complain about US military abuses. “The people of El Salvador need love,” they shouted. The Conformist Party ignored the needs of vulnerable Cambridge citizens and showered the visitors with love.
Cambridge Conformist policy condones abusing vulnerable citizens who have no rights under Conformist policies. Conformist policy approves using persons with disabilities for medical research experiments without consent. They protect animals from research abuses. “It is a matter of priorities,” their website says.
In November 2007 the City Manager (el Poo-Bah) puppet held a public teach-in to reveal why Conformist members love Iranians. The President of Iran wants to kill all Americans and Jews, and wants to eliminate Israel. Conformists say “No problem.”

Conformist Boy Scout Policy

Boy Scout troop (# 45?) ignored Conformist Party policies. They sought and were granted permission to place collection boxes for US soldiers at polling places on Election Day November 6, 2007. 24 percent of eligible voters came to the polls on Election Day 2007. The Boy Scouts thought some voters would make a contribution to help the soldiers fighting for the rights of the Conformist Party members.
One member of the Conformist Party Central Committee (allegedly the Homosexual Division) objected. The Chief Legal Theorist of the Cambridge Conformist Party ordered the collection boxes removed. Ordinary citizens rallied by FOX News (considered to be a deceptive lying and criminal corporation by the Conformist Party), expressed outrage. The Conformist Party Central Committee official claimed that the Boy Scouts promoted the war.
The Homosexual Lobby controls the Cambridge Conformist Party. The Lobby condemns the Boy Scouts because they refuse to allow homosexuals to be troop leaders. The Homosexual Lobby says that the Boy Scouts are warmongers.
Responding to national outrage that the Conformist Party thwarted the efforts of the Boy Scouts, the Cambridge City puppets declared they are misunderstood. They say they oppose the war and the Commander-in-Chief. But they say they support the troops. Why they even violated state law to pay some city employees their full city salary and their military pay. They got state approval to pay others both full salaries while they work for the Commander-in-Chief.
The Cambridge elected puppets of the Conformist Party asked the Chief Conformist City Manager (el Poo-Bah) to allow the Boy Scouts to collect contributions at fire stations, libraries and City Hall. They want to show the world how much they love the Boy Scouts. The Homosexual Lobby remains silent.
The voters are happy because they are the real conformists in Cambridge, re-electing the same people over and over again and again. The Conformist Party moved one member from the City Council to the state house (he supports young people). Now they have nine Conformist Party members on the City Council. They all support housing, the environment and education. How can you not love them all? They all conform to the party priorities designed by Harvard and MIT.

Conformist Divisions

There are five divisions of the Conformist Party in Cambridge. The Feminist Caucus accuses men of sex crimes. The Persons of Color Caucus accuses white men of racism. The Illegal Alien Caucus accuses white citizens of racism. The Business Caucus (formerly called Organized Crime families) takes turns threatening, disturbing the sleep and slandering critics of the Conformist Party. The Homosexual Caucus stalks the Boy Scouts to prevent them from recruiting on the Harvard and MIT campuses.
Robert Winters is not only the Minister of Information for the Cambridge Chapter of the Conformist Party he is also the approved Conformist pundit for commentary on local government for the Cambridge Chronicle and the Harvard Crimson. Other Central Committee approved conformist commentators include Glenn Koocher and John Moot.
The Business Caucus, which runs Eastern Mass is unable to get permission to permanently silence one of the few remaining critics of Cambridge Conformists. They are reduced to preventing him from sleeping, threatening him, slandering him, tampering with newspapers he gets delivered, and having him repeatedly evaluated by Conformist (is that redundant) psychiatrists. They tap his phone intercept snail mail, email and FedEx deliveries. Conformity has its priorities.

Progressive Conformists

Though the Conformist Party controls the regular Democratic Party mechanism in Cambridge there are some Conformists who want to be different. AH-hem! They created the Progressive Democratic Party of Cambridge to make their distinctive mark on local policies. The current Chairman is Lesley Phillips who is also a Ward Committeeman for the Regular Democratic Party. This wing of the Conformist Party just elected Sam Seidel as a City Councilor to firm up their lack of conformity on that government body. This non-conformist division of the Conformist Party adamantly derides persons with disabilities citing Robert Winters’ ridicule on his Conformist Central Committee approved web pages.
One unifying policy of the Conformist Party is intolerance of non-conformists. Conformists and regular Democrats alike designate non–conformists mentally ill. Republicans who are scarce in Cambridge agree that non-conformists are a threat to the well being of Cambridge. That explains the solid support among Conformists for psychiatry. Most psychiatrists are card-carrying members of the Conformist Party. They write the rules for conformity -- what is acceptable thought, speech and behavior, and what is not. It was natural for them to become conformists because they share interests and views of reality with the politicians in Cambridge where the Conformist Party was founded.

Most Vulnerable Conformists

Conformist Councilors in Cambridge earn $100,000 in salary and benefits for a part time job. This puts them in an upper level economic class. Most Cambridge Conformist party members (the ones that vote) in Cambridge share their economic status.
Would that explain why City Councilors refer to upper class women as “some of the most vulnerable?” During the discussion of the decision of the Cambridge Health Alliance to end OB-GYN services at the Windsor Street Clinic, two Councilors referred to the women as “some of the most vulnerable.” At the Council meeting were women with PhDs., women who worked as medical professionals, and women city officials.
Some Conformist politicians grew up poor. Bill Clinton began life in a modest home. Deval Patrick claims an underprivileged start to his life as a Harvard corporate lawyer. Marjorie Decker boasts of her young life in “public housing.” But like the two multi millionaire politicians she forgot where she came from. She now has an MA Degree from Harvard’s JFK (“Life is not fair.”) School of Government.
In November 2007 during discussion of amending the Noise Ordinance to regulate leaf blowers, Conformist City Councilor Brian Murphy, a Harvard lawyer (redundant?) referred to the leaf blower operators as “Some of the most vulnerable.” The citizens who demand an end to leaf blower noise cannot understand why the men and women who operate these annoying machines are getting consideration from the Conformist Party. Does el Poo-Bah have anything to do with that?
When the Conformist Party wants to regulate an activity they are unconcerned whether they have jurisdiction to do so. In the case of noise at work that is definitely an issue for the US Government Department of OSHA. But never let it be said that the Conformist Party abstained from pandering when they had an opportunity.
Why are snow blowers not included in this ordinance? And what about wet vacs? They all make as much noise. Are there too many items for a conformist to consider at once? Are the Conformists confused?

November 23, 2007

Neighborhood Crime Task Force Final Report November 19, 2007

Neighborhood Crime Task Force Final Report November 19, 2007

From the Executive Summary of the Crime Task Force Final Report Nov. 19,
2007. "The recommendations for action described in this report represent the
consensus opinion of the Task Force members that resulted from this intensive
and comprehensive process."
"Consensus: Collective opinion. General agreement or accord." (American
heritage Dictionary, 2nd Ed. 1982)
Task Force Membership: Co-chairs are Mayor Reeves, and City Manager Robert
Healy. Four City Councilors, Kelley, Simmons, Galluccio, and Reeves. Two School
Committee Members, Harding and Grassi.
Ellen Semenoff, a lawyer, is Assistant City Manager for Human Services, and
the supervisor of the Americans with Disabilities Act Coordinator for Cambridge.
Cambridge Police Commissioner and two Deputy Superintendents. The Chief of
MIT police. 50 members total.
On page 25, Chapter 4: "Crime has a variety of causes, not least among
which are mental health . . .”
This is irrational. Studies prove that withdrawal from psychiatric drugs
cause violence. The Task Force members are clueless about that. Task Force Final
Report demonstrates irrational prejudice, which indicates unlawful denial of
rights to persons with disabilities.
Recommendations, page 30: “experts on mental health to be on call as
appropriate if the situation involves crime in which mental health might be a
There is no causal connection between crime and disability. Task Force
again shows its irrational prejudices toward persons with disabilities. Task
Force is unable to distinguish between crime and disability.
They would never suggest that persons of color commit crimes because of
their race, that homosexuals commit crimes due to their sexual preferences, or
that women commit crime because of their gender. They openly state in a formal
city report that persons with disabilities commit crimes due to their
disability. That is an outrage.
The Task Force boasted the “distinguished group represented each segment of
the community called for in the policy order.” Once again persons with
disabilities were excluded from a city project. The City Manager and the Mayor
chose the members. How many times do these public officials need to be told that
they violate city, state and US laws regarding persons with disabilities? They
refuse to extend civic participation to persons with disabilities. They need to
be removed from office. This is a bigoted report.
A statement on each City Council agenda says "City of Cambridge does not
discriminate on the basis of disability." Huh?

Roy Bercaw, Editor ENOUGH ROOM

What Laws are being Enforced?

What Laws are being Enforced?

Police officers on warrant-less searches who see drugs will not prosecute
but only seize the drugs. Who gets the drugs? (Maria Cramer, "Police to search
for guns in homes," Boston Globe, November 17, 2007) If they see abused children
will they ignore that also? What crimes will these searches apply to and which
ones will be overlooked? Is this selective enforcement of the laws in the name
of good?
This is a band aid solution attacking symptoms of the decline of morality
and obedience to law. There is no recognition by the spineless politicians that
their policies created the pervasive malaise in society, especially in
Massachusetts. Their failed policies dividing people into groups and ignoring
the most vulnerable citizens forced them to remain dependent on government and
destroyed hopes and dreams, and any reason to respect the laws and others.

Roy Bercaw, Editor ENOUGH ROOM

Police to search for guns in homes
City program depends on parental consent
By Maria Cramer
Boston Globe Staff
November 17, 2007

Boston police are launching a program that will call upon parents in high-crime
neighborhoods to allow detectives into their homes, without a warrant, to search
for guns in their children's bedrooms.
more stories like this

The program, which is already raising questions about civil liberties, is based
on the premise that parents are so fearful of gun violence and the possibility
that their own teenagers will be caught up in it that they will turn to police
for help, even in their own households.

In the next two weeks, Boston police officers who are assigned to schools will
begin going to homes where they believe teenagers might have guns. The officers
will travel in groups of three, dress in plainclothes to avoid attracting
negative attention, and ask the teenager's parent or legal guardian for
permission to search. If the parents say no, police said, the officers will

If officers find a gun, police said, they will not charge the teenager with
unlawful gun possession, unless the firearm is linked to a shooting or homicide.

The program was unveiled yesterday by Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis in a
meeting with several community leaders.
globe graphic Pilot neighborhoods in search program

"I just have a queasy feeling anytime the police try to do an end run around the
Constitution," said Thomas Nolan, a former Boston police lieutenant who now
teaches criminology at Boston University. "The police have restrictions on their
authority and ability to conduct searches. The Constitution was written with a
very specific intent, and that was to keep the law out of private homes unless
there is a written document signed by a judge and based on probable cause. Here,
you don't have that."

Critics said they worry that some residents will be too intimidated by a police
presence on their doorstep to say no to a search.

"Our biggest concern is the notion of informed consent," said Amy Reichbach, a
racial justice advocate at the American Civil Liberties Union. "People might not
understand the implications of weapons being tested or any contraband being

But Davis said the point of the program, dubbed Safe Homes, is to make streets
safer, not to incarcerate people.

"This isn't evidence that we're going to present in a criminal case," said
Davis, who met with community leaders yesterday to get feedback on the program.
"This is a seizing of a very dangerous object. . . .

"I understand people's concerns about this, but the mothers of the young men who
have been arrested with firearms that I've talked to are in a quandary," he
said. "They don't know what to do when faced with the problem of dealing with a
teenage boy in possession of a firearm. We're giving them an option in that

But some activists questioned whether the program would reduce the number of
weapons on the street.

A criminal whose gun is seized can quickly obtain another, said Jorge Martinez,
executive director of Project Right, who Davis briefed on the program earlier
this week.

"There is still an individual who is an impact player who is not going to change
because you've taken the gun from the household," he said.

The program will focus on juveniles 17 and younger and is modeled on an effort
started in 1994 by the St. Louis Police Department, which stopped the program in
1999 partly because funding ran out.

Police said they will not search the homes of teenagers they suspect have been
involved in shootings or homicides and who investigators are trying to

"In a case where we have investigative leads or there is an impact player that
we know has been involved in serious criminal activity, we will pursue
investigative leads against them and attempt to get into that house with a
search warrant, so we can hold them accountable," Davis said.

Police will rely primarily on tips from neighbors. They will also follow tips
from the department's anonymous hot line and investigators' own intelligence to
decide what doors to knock on. A team of about 12 officers will visit homes in
four Dorchester and Roxbury neighborhoods: Grove Hall, Bowdoin Street and Geneva
Avenue, Franklin Hill and Franklin Field, and Egleston Square.

If drugs are found, it will be up to the officers' discretion whether to make an
arrest, but police said modest amounts of drugs like marijuana will simply be
confiscated and will not lead to charges.

"A kilo of cocaine would not be considered modest," said Elaine Driscoll,
Davis's spokeswoman. "The officers that have been trained have been taught

The program will target young people whose parents are either afraid to confront
them or unaware that they might be stashing weapons, said Davis, who has been
trying to gain support from community leaders for the past several weeks.

One of the first to back him was the Rev. Jeffrey L. Brown, cofounder of the
Boston TenPoint Coalition, who attended yesterday's meeting.

"What I like about this program is it really is a tool to empower the parent,"
he said. "It's a way in which they can get a hold of the household and say, 'I
don't want that in my house.' "

Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley, whose support was crucial for police
to guarantee there would be no prosecution, also agreed to back the initiative.
"To me it's a preventive tool," he said.

Boston police officials touted the success of the St. Louis program's first
year, when 98 percent of people approached gave consent and St. Louis police
seized guns from about half of the homes they searched.

St. Louis police reassured skeptics by letting them observe searches, said
Robert Heimberger, a retired St. Louis police sergeant who was part of the

"We had parents that invited us back, and a couple of them nearly insisted that
we take keys to their house and come back anytime we wanted," he said.

But the number of people who gave consent plunged in the next four years, as the
police chief who spearheaded the effort left and department support fell,
according to a report published by the National Institute of Justice.

Support might also have flagged because over time police began to rely more on
their own intelligence than on neighborhood tips, the report said.

Heimberger said the program also suffered after clergy leaders who were supposed
to offer help to parents never appeared.

"I became frustrated when I'd get the second, or third, or fourth phone call
from someone who said, 'No one has come to talk to me,' " he said. Residents
"lost faith in the program and that hurt us."

Boston police plan to hold neighborhood meetings to inform the public about the
program. Police are also promising follow-up visits from clergy or social
workers, and they plan to allow the same scrutiny that St. Louis did.

"We want the community to know what we're doing," Driscoll said.

Ronald Odom - whose son, Steven, 13, was fatally shot last month as he walked
home from basketball practice - was at yesterday's meeting and said the program
is a step in the right direction. "Everyone talks about curbing violence," he
said, following the meeting. ". . . This is definitely a head start."

Maria Cramer can be reached at

Globe PR for the Drug Companies?

Globe PR for the Drug Companies?

Bugansky tells only that he took pills. (Tim Bugansky, "I miss my
Boston Globe, November 20, 2007) He does not reveal what else he changed besides
geography that contributed to his improved perspective. Did he end a love
affair? Did he get a new job he enjoyed? Did he have plastic surgery? We only
know that he took pills. Was he paid any money by a drug company as two-thirds
of medical school teachers are paid? He didn't say.
The Boston Globe seldom writes any negative stories about the drug
companies or the psychiatric industry. Does the Globe promote psychiatry and
drug treatment for any rational reason? When will the Globe publish a story
about the adverse effects of psychiatric drugs?

Roy Bercaw, Editor ENOUGH ROOM

I miss my depression
By Tim Bugansky
Boston Globe
November 20, 2007

AUTUMN visited Israel recently. The temperature sank, chilly rain spattered the
streets, the wind tossed the trees to and fro. As I sat outside on the porch one
night, I found my mind yanked back to Ohio, and I was struck by a familiar pang
of sadness - and I missed, achingly, the decade when I was clinically depressed.
more stories like this

The irony of depression - for me, at least - was that it made me feel a
pervasive sadness that pierced my heart like frigid, jagged glass, but it also
made me feel supremely alive. Depression isolated me within myself, yet through
its ever-present melancholy, it also made me feel completely connected to the

Anything had the potential to envelop me in tentacles of despondency: a parking
lot at dusk; illuminated living rooms on dark city streets with families moving
about inside; an elderly man hobbling through a store all by himself; train
tracks disappearing into the distance.

These were amplified by the gracefully turbulent decay that accompanies autumn
in Ohio, where I have spent most of my life. Brisk breezes bore reminders that
life is fleeting. The moon hung morosely above cornfields. Brittle leaves
crunched resoundingly like fragile hearts underfoot.

Amidst the crushing poignancy, I was also more creative, more perceptive, more
in tune with the world. I can remember entire weeks when I was depressed more
clearly than I can remember the particulars of any one day last week. Although
days were interminable back then, they were also alive and palpable, bursting
with beautiful futility.

It's been four years now since I began a course of treatment, swallowing daily a
white pill that changes not only my brain chemistry, but also the very ways I
perceive the world, the ways the world affects me. Besides all the questions
antidepressants raise about reality and perception, "mental illness" and
normalcy, my personal reality is that I am different now. Antidepressants
altered my existence.

I eat and sleep more regularly. I can now get sad without venturing into the
borderlands of despair. I can get happy without that happiness seeming like the
gleaming tip of an iceberg - full of splendor at the surface, but dwarfed by the
hulking dark mass of potential disappointment beneath.

I don't mean to glorify depression. Had I not taken those little white pills, I
would probably have become seriously ill, more and more troubled, increasingly
incapable of living in a world constructed by and for the "normal." There is no
question that depression can and does hurt people, both the depressed and those
around them.

But while depression is often portrayed or understood in simple terms, it is
more than just an affliction. Its complexity is all the more apparent to me now
that it is absent from my life; yet the memory of it can still transport me from
the edge of the Middle Eastern desert to the American heartland.

And I wonder - as I sit outside on quiet nights and sense the seasons shifting
and wish that I could "feel" the phenomenon like I used to - I wonder how many
others like me are out there in the world, wandering through their own private
autumns, fortunate to be alive today yet missing the brilliant sadness of the

Tim Bugansky, a writer and teacher in Israel, is author of "Anywhere But Here."
He wrote this column for the International Herald Tribune.

US Judge Faults FBI

US Judge Faults FBI

Once again the taxpayer loses twice. (Jonathan Saltzman, "US judge faults
FBI in 1982 slayings," Boston Globe, November 20, 2007) Citizens did not get
what they paid these criminal FBI agents to do. Now the taxpayer must pay for
their malfeasance. Taxpayers paid while they broke the law and violated their
oaths of office.
No supervising agent has been held personally liable for his negligence.
None of the agents have been held personally liable for their crimes.
There is still no incentive for FBI agents to obey the laws. As a creature
of statute the FBI violates the Constitution wherein there is no mention of the

Roy Bercaw, Editor ENOUGH ROOM

US judge faults FBI in 1982 slayings
Tells prosecutors to settle mob cases; Ex-agent's role taints argument

By Jonathan Saltzman,
Boston Globe Staff
November 20, 2007

A federal judge in Boston ruled yesterday that the FBI was responsible for the
1982 execution-style deaths of two men who were allegedly slain by members of
the Winter Hill gang and urged prosecutors to settle for damages with the

In unusual comments from the bench, US District Judge Reginald C. Lindsay
pointed out that the government itself had argued in several high-profile
criminal prosecutions that Edward Brian Halloran and Michael Donahue were slain
because a rogue FBI agent tipped off fugitive mobster James "Whitey" Bulger that
Halloran was an informant.

As a result, Lindsay said, a trial was not necessary in the families' wrongful
death civil suits to determine whether the government was liable. The judge said
he will hold a trial next year to decide what damages the government owes the
families of Halloran and Donahue

In a stern rebuke to the government, Lindsay also urged the prosecutor, Andrew
Kaplan, to relay a message to US Department of Justice officials: Avoid a trial
by settling the Halloran and Donahue lawsuits and at least four others filed by
families of other people allegedly killed because of the FBI's mishandling of
Bulger and other criminal informants.

"Mr. Kaplan, please take back to Washington my suggestion that now is the time
to settle this case and, indeed, all of them," Lindsay said. He added that he
has made similar entreaties to the Justice Department in the past that "fell on
deaf ears."

Kaplan declined comment after leaving the courtroom, referring inquires to a
Justice Department spokesman, who did not return calls for comment.

Yesterday's ruling came 14 months after Lindsay found that the FBI was liable in
the 1984 killing of Quincy fisherman John McIntyre. In that case, the judge
ordered the government to pay more than $3 million to McIntyre's mother and

In the McIntyre case, the first ruling on a lawsuit brought against the
government by victims of Bulger and mob associates, Lindsay ruled only after
presiding over an 18-day bench trial. In a 110-page decision, Lindsay found that
the FBI had failed to properly supervise former agent John J. Connolly Jr. and
failed to investigate numerous allegations that Bulger and informant Stephen
"The Rifleman" Flemmi were involved in drug trafficking, murder, and other

Lindsay's ruling heartened some lawyers for families of alleged victims of
Bulger who have lawsuits pending against the government.

"What you saw happen today is that Judge Lindsay told the government he will not
conduct another trial unless they can demonstrate that the evidence will be any
different than in the McIntyre case," said Robert George, a lawyer for Donahue's
family. "For a judge to make a decision that basically preempts a trial and puts
not only the government's feet to the fire but throws them in the flames is an
extraordinary legal development."

Edward Berkin, who represents the widow of Louis R. Litif in a lawsuit,
expressed hope "that the government accepts the recommendation of Judge Lindsay
that it should seriously consider settling the remaining cases beyond McIntyre."

But he added that he had seen little sign that the government would act on the
judge's recommendation.

According to the suit filed by Litif's widow, the South Boston bookmaker was
killed in 1980 because he had offered the FBI incriminating evidence about
Bulger and Flemmi.

On April 12, 1980, prosecutors say, Bulger shot Litif in the head and put the
body in the trunk of Litif's car.

Yesterday, Lindsay scheduled a hearing for Feb. 7 to discuss the schedule for a
trial to determine damages in the lawsuits by the families of Halloran and

William Christie, a lawyer for Halloran and the McIntyre family, applauded the
judge's ruling, which caught several seasoned lawyers by surprise.

He said the evidence was overwhelming that Connolly had leaked to Bulger and
Flemmi that Halloran was cooperating with the FBI about their role in the murder
of Roger Wheeler.

As a result of that disclosure, he said Halloran was shot to death on Northern
Avenue along with Donahue, who was driving Halloran.

Lindsay said that in the federal prosecution of Connolly and other associates of
Bulger, the government had admitted that Halloran and Donahue died as a direct
result of information Connolly had leaked to Bulger and Flemmi.

Lindsay told federal prosecutors they had to reconcile their position in the
criminal cases with their stance in the civil suits.

In the civil suits, the government argued that it was not liable for the deaths
because Connolly was not acting within the scope of his authority as an FBI
agent when he leaked the information.

Connolly was sentenced to 10 years in prison following his conviction on charges
of racketeering, obstruction of justice, and lying to an FBI agent about his
dealings with Bulger and Flemmi.

He is in custody in Miami, where he is scheduled to stand trial in March on
state charges that he helped Bulger and Flemmi to orchestrate the gangland
slaying of a Boston businessman with ties to Bulger's gang.

Jonathan Saltzman can be reached at

What Taxpayers are for

What Taxpayers are for

[This letter was published in the Boston Herald on Friday November 23, 2007, page 26]

Once again the taxpayer loses twice. (Laurel J. Sweet, "Sweet ‘victory’ for
Bulger victims’ kin," Boston Herald, November 20, 2007) Citizens did not get
what they paid these criminal FBI agents to do. Now the taxpayer must pay for
their malfeasance. Taxpayers paid while they broke the law and violated their
oaths of office.
No supervising agent has been held personally liable for his negligence.
None of the agents have been held personally liable for their crimes.
There is still no incentive for FBI agents to obey the laws. As a creature
of statute the FBI violates the Constitution wherein there is no mention of the

Roy Bercaw, Editor ENOUGH ROOM

Sweet ‘victory’ for Bulger victims’ kin
Judge calls for Whitey reparations
By Laurel J. Sweet
Tuesday, November 20, 2007 |

A fed-up federal judge told the U.S. Department of Justice yesterday it’s time
to own up and pay the anguished families of a half-dozen alleged victims of
fugitive gangland serial killer James “Whitey” Bulger.

U.S. District Court Judge Reginald C. Lindsay called for creating a reparation
pool similar to what was afforded the casualties of 9/11.

Lindsay said it’s “time to think about settling these cases.” He delivered his
stern message to near-speechless DOJ prosecutor Andrew Kaplan.

The bold suggestion followed an exasperated Lindsay’s decision to forgo trials
for the estates of alleged Bulger victims Edward Brian Halloran and Michael
Donahue because he already believes former rogue Boston FBI Special Agent John
“Zip” Connolly’s unseemly friendship with the South Boston mob boss and his
partner, Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi, was responsible for getting the two men
shot to death on Northern Avenue on May 11, 1982.

Still to be decided by Lindsay is how much money the DOJ owes their
long-suffering families. Lindsay last year ordered the DOJ to pay $3.1 million
to the Quincy mother of John McIntyre, a government informant Bulger allegedly

“The judge didn’t just put the government’s feet to the fire today, he threw
them in,” said Robert George, one of the attorneys representing Donahue’s widow
and three sons.

William Christie, attorney for Halloran’s widow, said the feds were already
guilty of “a sad history of denial.”

Although it’s been the DOJ’s position all along that Halloran and Donahue were
killed because Connolly tipped-off Bulger that Halloran was going to implicate
him in the 1981 murder of World Jai Alai owner Roger Wheeler of Oklahoma, Kaplan
attempted to persuade Lindsay that the families wouldn’t be able to prove it.
This was done despite the fact the feds used the same information to convict
Connolly of racketeering in 2002.

Kaplan yesterday attempted to dismiss the chain of events as “street talk,”
citing the words of Flemmi in McIntyre’s wrongful-death case.

Lindsay repeatedly warned Kaplan to tell him what evidence the DOJ had for its
about-face, but Kaplan would only proffer, “I can’t commit to the entire trial
strategy at this point.”

Halloran, 41, and a small-time hood, was living in an FBI “safe house” when he
was shot to death. Donahue, a 32-year-old Teamster and family man, was merely a
neighborhood acquaintance who was giving him a lift home from a bar.

Thomas Donahue, who was 8 when his father was gunned down, was overwhelmed by
yesterday’s court proceeding.“This makes our holidays a lot sweeter,” he said.
“It’s a mental victory, a moral victory.”
Article URL:

Selective Hate Crimes?

Selective Hate Crimes?

Why are only some kinds of hate crimes counted and reported? (Jessica
Heslam, "Hate crime rate up, FBI says," Boston Herald, November 20, 2007)
Persons with disabilities are excluded from all efforts to end hatred and
unlawful discrimination. City human rights commissions, state commissions
against discrimination, US Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division all focus on
racism, homophobia, gender and ethnicity. Let me guess, "It never entered their
Human services corporations, the psychiatric industry, the drug companies,
and the academic research industry are grateful that persons with disabilities
are only clients and human subjects, not citizens with rights. It helps the
bottom line. Thank you journalism schools.

Roy Bercaw, Editor ENOUGH ROOM

Hate crime rate up, FBI says
Jessica Heslam By Jessica Heslam
Tuesday, November 20, 2007 - Updated 21h ago
Boston Herald Media Reporter
Reporter Jessica Heslam covers the media for the Boston Herald.

Hate crimes crept up slightly in the Bay State last year but shot up nearly 8
percent nationwide, with more than half the victims targeted because of their
race, according to a new FBI report.

Massachusetts law enforcement officials reported 379 hate crime incidents last
year, a slight increase from the 372 the year before.

The report comes amid escalating racial tension at the MBTA, the state’s largest
transit authority. The Herald last week reported two incidents involving nooses,
including one in which a black train conductor found a hangman’s rope on the
floor of his cab.

The Herald also reported last week that the T has been the subject of more than
a dozen racial discrimination complaints in the past two years, including one
from a Kenyan woman who said a bus driver did nothing as she was attacked by two
women, called the N-word and told to sit in the back of the bus.

Nationwide, law enforcement officials reported 7,722 hate crime incidents in
2006, up 7.8 percent from the 7,163 incidents reported in 2005.

One of the year’s most disturbing string of hate crimes took place in Jena, La.,
but those incidents weren’t included in yesterday’s findings because the local
agencies didn’t report them to the FBI. Only 12,600 of the country’s 17,000
police agencies participated in the 2006 reporting. In Massachusetts, only 85 of
328 statewide agencies reported incidents.

The Jena incident was sparked when three white students hung nooses from a tree.
The white students were suspended from school but never criminally charged. Six
black students were later charged with attempted second-degree murder for
beating a white student unconscious. Those charges have since been reduced.

The Justice Department is investigating a number of noose incidents at schools,
workplaces and neighborhoods around the country.

Nearly 52 percent of last year’s hate crimes were racially motivated, the report
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.

In The Name of Good

In The Name of Good

Having police do child rearing will lead to worse abuses. ("Search for a
fix to Hub crime woes," Boston Herald, editorial, November 20, 2007) The longer
the absence of fathers in the home is ignored the longer this out-of-control
youth violence will continue.
Until lawyers, doctors, police and politicians begin snitching on their
colleagues the amount of violence will only increase. Young people are no longer
fooled about equal protection of the laws. They believe their own eyes over the
propaganda of the government and PR firms.
This is an instance of what George Bernard Shaw recognized as "The road to
Hell is paved with good intentions." Pre-Homeric Philosopher Cleobulous said,
"The Chief source of evil among men is excessive good." This is a clear example
of that.
If police see a 2-year-old with bruises will they ignore that? Who will own
the confiscated but not prosecuted drugs found by police searching for illegal

Roy Bercaw, Editor ENOUGH ROOM

Search for a fix to Hub crime woes
By Boston Herald editorial staff
Tuesday, November 20, 2007 - Updated 22h ago

We treasure our civil liberties in this country, but a proposal by police and
prosecutors to search for guns in the bedrooms of Boston teens - with explicit
permission from their parents - is not the privacy infringement that some
critics are suggesting.

It is instead a return to old-fashioned crime prevention - when worried parents
could trust a cop to step in and help, without fear the kid will be tossed in

“We have conversations with single mothers who express frustration in dealing
with teenagers who are uncontrollable,” said Boston Police Commissioner Ed
Davis. “In a community policing context, knocking on a door and asking . . . if
they would allow us to check their kids’ rooms for firearms may give them an

Davis and Suffolk District Attorney Dan Conley announced the new “Safe Homes”
program, in which police, accompanied by clergy, will seek consent from parents
(in writing) to search the home if their children are suspected of gang or gun

Police will act on tips from the community, which Davis points out, they already
have the option to do. The difference here is that if a gun is found, the DA
agrees not to prosecute unless it’s later determined the weapon was used in a
crime. Police will, of course, continue to seek warrants when they do suspect a
youth of involvement in a shooting.

There are those who say searching a home without a warrant (even with consent)
is wrong. Yes, it must be awfully nice to sit in an ivory tower and wax academic
about the “right thing” for parents in crime-torn neighborhoods who are
terrified for their kids. Saying no is an option, and Davis wants parents to
know it.

The Safe Homes initiative is an out-of-the-box approach to tackling Boston’s
youth violence problem. Let’s let it work.

Causes of Crime

If this man is guilty of a crime sobeit. But trying to connect a history of
mental illness to crime is irrational and slurs all persons accused of mental
illness. ("Ex-psych patient pleads not guilty in Uma stalking," Boston Herald
wire services, November 17, 2007) Journalists and police need to learn how to
distinguish between crime and disability.

[URL missing]

Ex-psych patient pleads not guilty in Uma stalking
By Boston Herald wire services
Saturday, November 17, 2007

Cambridge or New York?

Cambridge or New York?

Senator Galluccio says a home rule petition by Cambridge to pay City
employees their city salary and their military pay is a "historic action."
("Cambridge does get it," Letter, Boston herald, November 23, 2007, page 26)
Historic for Cambridge perhaps.
Martha K. Hirst, New York City Commissioner for the Department of Citywide
Administrative Services says NYC employees "have an option no other city offers
-- they can choose to receive their regular city salary and benefits along with
their military pay." ("Vet bills," Letter, New York Post November 18, 2007, page
42) So which came first? The New York or the Cambridge benefit?

Roy Bercaw, Editor ENOUGH ROOM

Do You Know Who I Am?

Do You Know Who I Am?

Diane Clark says of Joan Kennedy, "She has a disease. If someone had
cancer, would you (the Herald) splash that headline across your front page? Why
humiliate her and her family?" ("Go easy on Joan K," Letter, Boston Herald,
November 23, 2007, page 26) Why should Joan Kennedy get preferential treatment
over ordinary persons accused of mental illness? Whenever a person is arrested
his alleged mental illness is "splashed across the [front pages]" of the Herald
and other newspapers humiliating him and his family. And he cannot say, "Do you
know who I am?"

Roy Bercaw, Editor ENOUGH ROOM

Not The Only City

Not The Only City

Councilor Toomey says removing Boy Scout collection boxes "had nothing to
do with politics; this event was politicized by the media, not by the city."
Imitating Bill Clinton Toomey suggests it depends on what the meaning of
"politics" is. (Tim Toomey, "Soldier on, Boy Scouts," Boston Herald, November
20, 2007)
He says, "I must remind those who are bashing Cambridge that we are the
first city in the state - and to my knowledge the country - that is offering
full salary and benefits to city employees who are overseas serving our country.
NYC provides full salary and benefits along with their military pay to city
employees. But they must repay (with hardship exceptions) the lower of the
military pay or the City salary when they return.
Councilor Toomey says removing Boy Scout collection boxes was "caused by an
apparent lack of communication." (His resolution (October 22, 2007; Resolution
36 "Urge all residents to participate in the Cambridge Boy Scouts Troop 45 and
Ship 45's Care Package Donation Drive to support our troops overseas.") carries
no power.
What was not communicated? It was not a City Council policy order.
Toomey states "Cambridge always has and will continue to support the men
and women from our city . . ." That allows them to ignore men and women for
other communities as far way as Somerville who fight for freedoms for the
moonbats in Cambridge.
Councilor Decker reads the names of the Killed In Action to oppose the war.
She exploits the deaths of men and women from other cities and states who fight
for her freedoms.
The City Council opposes the war because most of the Cambridge voters
oppose the war. The Councilors pander to whoever and whatever the cause, solely
to get re-elected. They have no beliefs other than getting re-elected.

Roy Bercaw, Editor ENOUGH ROOM

Soldier on, Boy Scouts
Donation drive OK in Cambridge
By Tim Toomey
Boston Herald
Tuesday, November 20, 2007 - Updated 18h ago

In light of recent events on Election Day in which Boy Scouts Troop 45 was asked
to remove donation boxes it had placed in Cambridge polling locations to collect
essential goods for local troops serving overseas, I think it is only
appropriate to clarify a few matters.

First, it is important to note that although over the past five years there has
been heated debate about the wars themselves, Cambridge always has and will
continue to support the men and women from our city who have bravely put their
lives on the line for our country.

On Oct. 22, I sponsored a City Council resolution in support of Troop 45 and its
effort to support the Cambridge military deployed overseas. The City Council
unanimously approved the resolution and went on record commending the Boy Scouts
on organizing the donation drive and urging all citizens to support the effort.

Resolutions like this one reflect the deep support Cambridge has for its
soldiers fighting abroad. The people of Cambridge understand that supporting our
troops and supporting the war those troops are fighting in are often two very
different things.

While this is an extremely unfortunate event, it was caused by an apparent lack
of communication and understanding rather than the malicious intent of any of
the parties involved.

Although the Scouts had informed the Election Commission of their intent and
received encouragement from the City Council, the individual polling locations
had not been notified in time and therefore had not granted the necessary
permissions to Troop 45. The decision had nothing to do with politics; this
event was politicized by the media, not by the city.

I must remind those who are bashing Cambridge that we are the first city in the
state - and to my knowledge the country - that is offering full salary and
benefits to city employees who are overseas serving our country. To say that we
do not care about the well-being of our troops is preposterous. The Home Rule
Petition that I sponsored on behalf of the City Council is one of the most
comprehensive benefit plans for our brave men and women.

Since the beginning of the military involvement in Afghanistan, City Councilor
Marjorie Decker has read the names of fallen soldiers from around the country
released by the Pentagon that week at each of our meetings. We do this to honor
and recognize the supreme sacrifice these heroes have made on behalf of our

I encourage all those cities and towns looking down on Cambridge to examine
their own policies and see if they are on par with Cambridge.

While I am saddened by the disappointing outcome of the Boy Scouts’ donation
drive, I have also been extremely impressed by their resilience. While adults
have become entangled by the perceived politics of the situation, these Scouts
have served as impressive role models to us all by pushing forward unencumbered.
If any good has come of this, it has been the enormous outpouring of support
they have received from across the country.

I’m glad this incident has brought their admirable mission into the public eye,
and I encourage everyone to continue to show their support in this season of
giving by donating to the Boy Scouts of America.
Tim Toomey is vice mayor of Cambridge and a state representative.

November 15, 2007

Who causes violence?

Who causes violence?

Denise Owens, reported her son "had a history of mental problems and took
anti-depressants and anti-psychotic medications." (PHILIP MESSING, JOHN DOYLE
and DOUGLAS MONTERO, "MA'S FRANTIC CALL," New York Post, November 14, 2007)
These statements often lead to the irrational conclusion that mental illness
causes crime. Studies show that withdrawal from the anti depressants are often
the cause of violent behavior and suicides. The psychiatric industry and the
drug companies vigorously oppose reporting that fact.

Roy Bercaw, Editor ENOUGH ROOM

New York Post

November 14, 2007 -- The shooting of a Brooklyn teen cops believed was
brandishing a gun - but who was carrying only a hairbrush - appeared to fall
"within department guidelines," Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said yesterday.

"As we know the facts now, this shooting appears to be within department
guidelines as they faced someone they reasonably believed was about to use
deadly physical force," Kelly said.

Khiel Coppin, 18, was shot 10 times in a hail of 20 bullets Monday when police
responded to his Bedford-Stuyvesant home after receiving a 911 call from his
mother, in which the teen was heard cursing in the background and saying he had
a gun.

"I've got a [expletive] gun," Coppin said, according to the 911 transcript.

The violence unfolded when Coppin's mother, Denise Owens, called for help just
after 7 p.m. because she feared her son - who had a history of mental problems
and took anti-depressants and anti-psychotic medications - might try to hurt her
or himself, police said.

"I'm prepared to die," he allegedly told his mother before she called cops.

Coppin had an extensive juvenile record, including multiple arrests for armed
robbery and assault dating to when he was 15. He served at least one stint in a
juvenile facility upstate.

"This kid is a problem. You can even hear him," his mother told the 911

"Who is that?" the operator asked.

"That's supposed to be my son!" Owens responded.

"I've got a [expletive] gun!" the teen screamed in the background.

But minutes later, Owens told a police operator in a second call that her son
did not have a gun.

"He does not . . . hmm . . . Who says . . . he does not have a firearm," she
said, according to a second transcript released by police.

Kelly laid out details of the evening - including the recordings of the 911
calls - in an extensive press briefing, aimed at quelling public anger at the

But Paul Wooten, an attorney for Coppin's family, called Kelly's explanation
"very disappointing."

"The police commissioner has decided to rush to judgment. Somehow, within 24
hours of this tremendous tragedy, this egregious act, they have decided it was
within department guidelines," he said. "There are very, very few facts that are
actually clear. We hope we get a fair and just investigation by the District
Attorney's Office and the Police Department."

When police arrived at the family's first-floor apartment at 590 Gates Ave.,
Coppin barricaded himself inside a bedroom, officials said.

"He's going to kill us," sources said Owens told the responding officers, who
evacuated the mother from the apartment and huddled for safety behind furniture
and tried to talk Coppin into coming out and surrendering peacefully.

But Coppin just taunted them and periodically cracked the door open, and the
officers saw him holding two butcher's knives, sources said.

Then, as the ranking officer on the scene, Capt. Charles McEvoy, called for a
hostage-negotiation unit, Coppin hopped out of the bedroom window and into a

As he walked out onto Gates Avenue, he encountered five cops: two officers and a
sergeant from the housing unit, and a detective and sergeant from the 79th

The officers repeatedly told Coppin, "Stop! Lay down! Show us your hands!" but
"he was ignoring multiple, continuous orders to stop," Kelly said.

Police said Coppin kept coming toward them and then reached beneath his gray
hooded sweatshirt in a manner that made them believe he was about to pull out a
gun. They opened fire.

But Coppin was not carrying a gun, and had only an 8-inch hairbrush in his

The two officers fired six and four shots, the sergeants fired four and five,
and the detective fired only once, police sources said.

Coppin was struck in the chest, right hip, left forearm, and seven times in both
legs. He was taken to Woodhull Hospital, where he died.

Investigators found four pieces of paper containing rambling writings in
Coppin's pocket.

"Happyness [sic] is sadness," read part of one, in which sadness is crossed out
and replaced with the word "death."

"Those closest 2 death iz closer to happyness [sic]. Truly that's why more bums
smile than millionaires," read another. "The devil tried 2 get me."

Additional reporting by Larry Celona, Murray Weiss and Lukas I. Alpert

Bulger Corruption Continues

Bulger Corruption Continues

The Editorial refers to "prior corruption problems in the Boston Police
Department." (Editorial, "Blight on the Boston police," Boston Globe, November
14, 2007) In 1995 US Judge Mark Wolf exposed FBI corruption which festered for
many previous years. The gangster leaders, Weeks and Bulger, boasted of their
corruption of state and local police.
Since then there was no wholesale cleansing of any police agency in the
state. The FBI office remains questionable. Neither the staties nor any local
departments were scrutinized. The alleged Internal Affairs divisions do nothing.
Cambridge's Police Review Board is toothless and is run by the police
department. There is no oversight.
Most troubling is the loud silence of elected officials who ignore the
serious threats to public safety. The relaxed moral rectitude and arrogance of a
one-party system keeps the state drifting further and further from the rule of

Roy Bercaw, Editor ENOUGH ROOM

Blight on the Boston police
Boston Globe
November 14, 2007

BOSTON POLICE Commissioner Edward Davis still subscribes to the "few rotten
apples" theory of police corruption. He used it yesterday to explain the
activities of three officers who pleaded guilty in recent weeks to cocaine
trafficking after getting caught in an FBI sting operation. But cases of
drug-related police corruption in New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, and
elsewhere suggest that the barrel itself may be moldy.

The three-year investigation of disgraced former officers Roberto Pulido, Nelson
Carrasquillo, and Carlos Pizarro provide the department's internal affairs
investigators with numerous leads. Pulido has been linked to allegations of
steroid sales, identity fraud schemes related to traffic stops, immigrant
smuggling, and protection services for after-hours parties where officers
consorted with known drug dealers and prostitutes. Davis predicts that the
number of additional officers connected to Pulido or his corrupt crew will not
be large. But the department's history doesn't warrant such confidence.

The convicted officers were boastful and contemptuous of their oaths, which
played into the hands of the FBI. It will be harder for Davis to uncover how
many officers are poised on what criminologists call the "invitational edge of
corruption." Drug-related police corruption usually involves just a small number
of hands-on officers. But the larger and potentially more destabilizing problem
stems from officers who know about criminal activity on the part of fellow
officers but fail to report it.

That tarnished sense of loyalty has infected the Boston Police Department
before, notably in 1995 when dozens of officers fled behind a blue wall of
silence rather than testify against colleagues who had nearly beaten a fellow
officer to death after mistaking him for a fleeing suspect.

Some signs are encouraging. Davis says the department displayed its capacity for
self-policing by bringing the Pulido crew to the attention of the FBI in the
first place. And two officers, he says, reported the illicit activities
allegedly taking place at the Hyde Park after-hours club to their superiors.

Other signs point in the wrong direction. Pulido tested positive for cocaine
back in 1999 under the department's mandatory drug testing policy. But overly
lenient accountability measures gave him a chance to return to duty after a
45-day suspension. In New York or Los Angeles, he would have been out on the
street, where he belonged.

An underlying corrosion of standards - weak control of evidence lockers, sloppy
documentation by detectives, poor recruitment practices - has been linked to
prior corruption problems in the Boston Police Department. This case is likely
to be no different. Maybe Pulido and his crew are rotten apples. But the public
still needs to know how the decay got in them in the first place.