February 28, 2007

Cambridge Fired 150 Workers

Cambridge Fired 150 Workers

Passing the order directly to the Planning Board, the City Council may have violated a state law. (Erin Smith, "City vows to stick up for 150 fired hotel workers," Cambridge Chronicle, December 28, 2006)
Mass General laws Chapter 43, Section 107 states, "Except for the purpose of inquiry, the city council and its members shall deal [...] solely through the city manager, and neither the city council nor any member thereof shall give orders to any subordinate of the city manager either publicly or privately."
The penalties are severe -- fines, prison, removal from office and never being eligible for public office. [full statute below] The current City Councilors do not know Robert's Rules of Order and they do not know their legal limitations.
They appear to be out of control regularly violating their oaths of office. They imitate the legislative leadership at the state house.

Roy Bercaw, Editor
Cambridge MA USA

Mass General Laws
Chapter 43: Section 107. Interference with city manager by council forbidden; penalty Section 107.
Neither the city council nor any of its committees or members shall direct or request the appointment of any person to, or his removal from, office by the city manager or any of his subordinates, or in any manner take part in the appointment or removal of officers and employees in that portion of the service of said city for whose administration the city manager is responsible.
Except for the purpose of inquiry, the city council and its members shall deal with that portion of the service of the city as aforesaid solely through the city manager, and neither the city council nor any member thereof shall give orders to any subordinate of the city manager either publicly or privately. Any member of the city council who violates, or participates in the violation of, any provision of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than six months, or both, and upon final conviction thereof his office in the city council shall thereby be vacated and he shall never again be eligible for any office or position, elective or otherwise, in the service of the city.

* * * * *
City vows to stick up for 150 fired hotel workers
By Erin Smith/
Cambridge Chronicle Staff
Thursday, December 28, 2006 - Updated: 05:31 AM EST
The Radisson Hotel closed last month for renovations, leaving about 150 hotel workers jobless and the City Council vowing for revenge. City councilors are hoping to stall condo construction plans at the hotel until the new owners agree to play nice with union workers. City councilors Anthony Galluccio and Marjorie Decker also asked the city’s law department to draft an ordinance that requires new hotel owners to rehire all workers after a hotel is sold. “The workers were told that the hotel was permanently closing down,” said Brian Lang, vice-president of Local 26, which represents the hotel workers.

Did Cambridge City Council Violate State Law?

Did Cambridge City Council violate state law?
At the Cambridge City Council meeting on December 18, 2006, the Council voted to direct the Planning Board to thwart any requests from Nordic properties, which purchased the Radisson Hotel (Fenway at 777 Memorial Drive). They also passed an order to draft a down zoning ordinance to designate the property near the Radission as open space.
Their action may be a violation of the below statute Mass Gen. Laws Ch. 43, Sec. 107. Violations carry fines, imprisonment, removal from office and prohibition from holding office in the city. All nine Councilors voted to do this.
Chapter 43: Section 107. Interference with city manager by council forbidden; penalty Section 107.
Neither the city council nor any of its committees or members shall direct or request the appointment of any person to, or his removal from, office by the city manager or any of his subordinates, or in any manner take part in the appointment or removal of officers and employees in that portion of the service of said city for whose administration the city manager is responsible. Except for the purpose of inquiry, the city council and its members shall deal with that portion of the service of the city as aforesaid solely through the city manager, and neither the city council nor any member thereof shall give orders to any subordinate of the city manager either publicly or privately.
Any member of the city council who violates, or participates in the violation of, any provision of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than six months, or both, and upon final conviction thereof his office in the city council shall thereby be vacated and he shall never again be eligible for any office or position, elective or otherwise, in the service of the city.

* * * * * * * * *
Order passed *
* * * * * * * * *
Cambridge has a Plan E form of government which gives all administrative power to the City Manager. Under the statute quoted above, "neither the city council nor any member thereof shall give orders to any subordinate of the city manager either publicly or privately." On December 18, 2006 the Council passed order # 10, below, and other orders regarding the employer who offends them.
December 18, 2006

RESOLVED: That the City Council convey to the Honorable Chair and Members of the Planning Board its strong opposition to Application #223 by Nordic Properties for a Special permit to construct 56 units of housing at 777 Memorial Drive;
and be it further RESOLVED: That the City Council oppose this special permit based on the applicant's demonstrated inability to conduct its business in either a humane or ethical manner. Nordic Properties has terminated their employees on the heels of this holiday season. This conduct alone leads one to a very strong conclusion that Nordic Properties should not and cannot be a decent neighbor to our city;
and be it further RESOLVED: That it is the strongest hope of the City Council that the Planning Board will deny this application.
In City Council December 18, 2006
Adopted by the affirmative vote of nine members.
Attest:- D. Margaret Drury, City Clerk
A true copy; ATTEST:- D. Margaret Drury, City Clerk

Roy Bercaw, Editor
Cambridge MA USA

Frontal Lobe Syndrome

Frontal Lobe Syndrome

First they claimed mental illness causes violence. Now they say mental illness makes violence impossible. "Defense psychiatrists also will argue that Odierno suffered from 'frontal lobe syndrome,' and so couldn't intentionally murder his wife." Huh? (LAURA ITALIANO, "E. SIDE NIGHTMARE," New York Post, January 8, 2007)
Who needs spin doctors when lawyers and psychiatrists make it up as they go?

Roy Bercaw, Editor
Cambridge MA USA

New York Post
January 8, 2007

A woman was screaming inside 422 E. 84th St. The first cop dispatched to the three-story brownstone near York Avenue on April 24, 2005, peered through the mail slot. He saw a chair topple over. He heard moans. The cop pounded the front door with his fist. No answer. Just then, the two brothers who shared the brownstone with their parents came home from getting a bite to eat, and unlocked the front door for the officers.
In a scene that will be described this week for a Manhattan Supreme Court murder jury, they found Ben Odierno, then 71, a commercial and residential landlord, on the blood-splattered kitchen floor, knife in hand. His legs were draped over the petite body of his still-breathing wife, Christine, 57. More than two-dozen stab wounds, cuts and bruises marked her pale skin. The auburn-haired, hazel-eyed beauty spoke her final words - telling officers her husband had stabbed her in the heart.

February 26, 2007

Elected Officials are Tyrants

Elected Officials are Tyrants
Indicating again that the public discourse is polluted beyond recognition, Rep. Wolf and Rep. Rushing call same sex marriage a civil right. Not only is it not a constitutional or civil right it is not a right at all. It is a privilege.
MA Gov. Deval Patrick said he brings change. The most obvious change is that the public discourse has degraded further. Supporters of same sex marriage call people who disagree "right-wing nuts." Educated persons with no sense of free speech or democracy say there is no issue regarding same sex marriage.
The active opposition to permitting a citizen initiative to go to the voters shows how anti democratic Wolf and Rushing are. They have no shame in proposing such an anti democratic amendment. It is a part of the definition of a psychopath.
Same sex marriage proponents demand that the majority should not vote on the rights of the minority. But they vote over and over again on the rights of persons with disabilities, real rights not privileges.
The same sex marriage crowd is loudly silent on disability rights showing their bigotry. One Cambridge activist told me that if you have a majority you get your rights. If not you don't.
In Cambridge the majority supports same sex marriage. Why are they allowed to vote? The majority of the Convention opposed putting the petition on the ballot. Why were they allowed to vote.
The depravity of the same sex marriage crowd exhibits support for democracy when it goes their way, but opposition to democracy when it does not. That is not the democratic method. It is the method of tyrants.

-- Roy Bercaw, Editor
Cambridge MA USA

By Priscilla Yeon
State House News Service
Cambridge Chronicle
Tuesday, January 09, 2007 - Updated: 06:44 PM EST

Two lawmakers who are strong backers of same-sex marriage plan to file legislation that would amend the constitution by prohibiting initiative petitions that limit civil rights. According to Rep. Alice Wolf (D-Cambridge), she plans to file the proposal with Rep. Byron Rushing (D-Boston).

Journalists Share Negative Bias on Disabilities

Journalists Share Negative Bias on Disabilities
Emily Rooney "said she and Severin aren’t exactly polar opposites. 'You’d be surprised.'” (Jessica Heslam, "Sparring Severin, Rooney team up," Boston Herald, January 26, 2007) Both media personalities agree that racial discrimination is worse than disability based discrimination. For conservative Severin it is a matter of spending his money to pay for equal access to persons with disabilities. For liberal Rooney it is simple bigotry. They join the Massachusetts political establishment serving wealthy and politically connected interest groups while ignoring vulnerable persons. Nothing new here.

-- Roy Bercaw, Editor
Cambridge MA USA

Sparring Severin, Rooney team up
By Jessica Heslam
Boston Herald Media Reporter
Friday, January 26, 2007 - Updated: 12:44 AM EST

She’s the queen of public television - a serious, respected journalist who was the news director at WCVB Channel 5 and the former executive producer of ABC “World News Tonight.” He’s a self-described “sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll libertarian-libertine” who has called Hillary Clinton “a lying (expletive)” and says she has a “big, fat (expletive).” It’s a match made . . . for radio.

Schools, Journalists Show Ignorance

Schools, Journalists Show Ignorance
The ignorance among school administrators and journalists regarding abuses of psychiatry is frightening. (Peter Reuell, "Scientologists’ protest riles Sudbury: Rip alleged killer’s Rx as stab victim buried," MetroWest Daily News, January 25, 2007)
The animosity toward the Human Rights protest of psychiatric abuses indicates how thoroughly the drug industry controls the public discourse. School Committee Chairman Mark Collins said, "'This is not a serious request by a serious group,' demand[ing] that Odgren’s medical records be made public."
State statute prohibits revealing medical records without consent. That does not stop defense lawyers, journalists and prosecutors from alleging that a mental illness causes crime. Privacy is used by medical professionals to hide their negligence.
Clinical studies prove that psychiatric drugs cause violence. American journalists and medical professionals are unaware of these studies. John Ritchie, Lincoln-Sudbury’s principal and superintendent said "the group’s protest was 'bizarre' and bordering on cruel."
What is cruel is the negligence of school administrators permitting psychiatry into the schools to harm students in the name of good. George Bernard Shaw said "The road to hell is paved with good intentions." The Nazis medicalized social problems.

-- Roy Bercaw, Editor
Cambridge MA USA
Scientologists’ protest riles Sudbury: Rip alleged killer’s Rx as stab victim buried
By Peter Reuell
MetroWest Daily News
Thursday, January 25, 2007 - Updated: 02:17 AM EST

A group tied to the Church of Scientology was met with obscene gestures and outrage for staging a protest in Sudbury yesterday to highlight the dangers of anti-depressants, five days after a student at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School was stabbed to death, allegedly by a classmate who was on several prescription drugs. Staged on the same day that 15-year-old James Alenson was laid to rest, the group’s protest was “bizarre” and bordering on cruel, said John Ritchie, Lincoln-Sudbury’s principal and superintendent.
“The message I’m trying to convey is we are busy taking care of much more important things than Tom Cruise and Scientology,” Ritchie said. During the hour-long noon protest, several passing motorists simply shook their heads at the scene. Others expressed their disgust by flashing obscene gestures.

Psychiatric Abuses Cause Violence

Psychiatric Abuses Cause Violence
Lamenting the free exercise of speech the Boston Herald ridicules a protest of psychiatric abuses by a human rights group. (Editorial, "Church makes matters worse," Boston Herald, January 25, 2007)
Calling them "zealots, blinded by ideology," the Herald editors show their own ignorance. Clinical studies prove that psychiatric drugs cause violence. American journalists remain blissfully ignorant.
Calling opposition to destroying young brains "pitiful propaganda" shows how thoroughly the public discourse is controlled by the drug industry. If the Herald editors would take the time to view the DVD published by the Citizen's Commission on Human Rights they might learn some facts instead of the industry propaganda they so fervently believe without the slightest skepticism.
Ridiculing Kevin Hall "as a total stranger [who] know[s] better than John Odgren’s parents and doctors how his condition was being treated." shows the myopia of the editors. Why do police encourage strangers to report child abuse? Parents know better what their children need? Ahem!
This is corporate institutionalized child abuse by drug companies in the public schools. Instead of "The phrase 'get a life'" the editors might consider the phrase "Save some lives, stop the drugging."

-- Roy Bercaw, Editor
Cambridge MA USA
Church makes matters worse
By Boston Herald Editorial Staff
Thursday, January 25, 2007

No Tom Cruise in sight, but a collection of his fellow zealots, blinded by ideology, yesterday deepened the pain of every person connected to the tragic killing of a 15-year-old boy at Lincoln-Sudbury High School, disrupting a community’s grief to spread their pitiful propaganda. Members of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, a wing of the Church of Scientology, held a banner near the school to condemn the practice of psychiatry and demanded information about any medications the suspected killer - an autistic 16-year-old - might have been taking. “These doctors shouldn’t be prescribing willy-nilly,” said Kevin Hall, the group’s New England director. Ah, yes, Mr. Hall - surely you as a total stranger know better than John Odgren’s parents and doctors how his condition was being treated. The phrase “get a life” comes to mind.

February 25, 2007

Human Experimentataion Abuses Continue

Human Experimentation Abuses Continue

Reviewer Ludmerer says, "the ethical problems in medical research pertain not to race alone but to the power relations of scientific medicine." He mentions "immigrants, Catholics, Jews, and others [...] even medical students," [and] the powerless and voiceless, whoever they might be." (Kenneth M. Ludmerer, "Mad science," Boston Globe, January 21, 2007)
Most prominent of the "other" category are mental patients. Chief psychiatrists and Presidents of the APA openly promote using in-patients for medical research. They say the patients have lucid moments when they are capable of giving informed consent. When they are outpatients they are ignored as unworthy of human status. This is today not 100 years ago.
Why are persons accused of this disability marginalized by journalists, politicians and human rights ethicists today? Public school students continue to be a easy source of human subjects, with or without consent. The administrators see an opportunity to free up teacher time, and give access to the students to psychiatric researchers. This is an abuse that is seldom addressed or recognized as such.

-- Roy Bercaw, Editor
Cambridge MA USA

Mad science A horrifying catalog of the centuries-long medical exploitation of African-Americans
By Kenneth M. Ludmerer
Boston Globe
January 21, 2007

Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans From Colonial Times to the Present By Harriet A. Washington Doubleday, 501 pp., illustrated, $27.95

I vividly remember how I was taught to perform a rectal examination as a second-year medical student in the early 1970s. Our instructor, a respected surgeon, described the technique to a group of eight of us, then took us to a surgical ward to perform the examination for the first time. He found a middle-aged black man, whom he then ordered to submit to examinations from all eight of us.

February 22, 2007

Open Meetings Law Violation Avoided, Cambridge, MA

Open Meetings Law Violation Avoided, Cambridge, MA

At the Cambridge City Council meeting on February 12, 2007 Mayor Ken Reeves said that the Neighborhood Safety Committee, is a non governmental body, and its meetings do not need to be open to the public. This is a recurring problem in Cambridge. The policy order from August 2, 2007, for the creation of the Neighborhood Safety Committee is below.
At the February 5, 2007 meeting Reeves said that the Council asked him and the Manager to appoint people and that is what they did. Councilor Simmons wants more appointees. Reeves talks of the committee as if it can be kept private.
Councilor Galluccio said on Feb. 12, 2007 "We have all taken an active role in creating this." He also said, "The mayor initiated this committee."
Reeves said, "We put 4 members of the Council but not a majority so that we can have the kinds of meetings we want to have. [...] I'm not sure that everybody understands how sensitive this is in terms of us really getting to the bottom of things. Because as it has evolved a lot of the problems that we have in the city are related to various circles of people [...] But there's some sensitive actualities in our midst [...] sometimes things are done away because there's a rationale that will not necessarily benefit from being publicized."
Reeves is pleading privacy without any reference to legal exceptions provided in the Open Meetings law. We are expected to trust his discretion because he knows better than the legislature. Ahem!
Controlling Massachusetts case law is General Electric vs. Dept. of Environmental Protection, 711 NE2d 589 (1999) where it is stated, "exceptions are not to be implied." Under Massachusetts case law on the Open Meetings law, if a committee is appointed under direction of a governmental body it is a governmental body and must be open to the public. The controlling case is Connelly vs. School Committee of Hanover, 565 NE2d 449 (1991). In that case the School committee created a screening committee. Both the School Committee and the Screening Committee are governmental bodies within the meaning of the Open Meetings law.
At the Feb. 12, 2007 Council meeting Councilor Simmons announced the meeting is for Wednesday Feb. 14, 2007. But no meeting is listed on the City calendar. Reliable sources say that the meeting will be held on Thursday February 15, 2007 at noon at the Mayor's office. [The meeting was cancelled.]
Reeves said, "We do have a first meeting scheduled. It is not a public meeting." Simmons said, "Which is problematic, but go ahead [meaning keep talking about it]."
Reeves continued: "And the reason it is not a public meeting is we have some very confidential statistics that have to be a part of this meeting." (On camera showed a frown by Simmons while he said that.)
Reeves: "There will be many public opportunities I'm sure from time to time, but every meeting of the committee will not be a public meeting." Decker asked for a recess but it was not called.
Simmons said, "This is not the City Manager's Committee. It is not the Mayor's Committee. It is the City Council's committee." There was more discussion about it being the people's committee. This committee is clearly a committee created by the Council. The meeting scheduled for Wednesday Feb. 14, 2007 will violate the Open Meetings law unless it is open to the public and a notice is posted outside of the clerk's office.
During the meeting the Clerk cringed when Reeves said it was not a public meeting. There were several emergency mini-meetings of the Journalism Committee by Decker and Reeves to bash the Cambridge Chronicle some more, but that is to be expected.

-- Roy Bercaw, Editor
Cambridge MA USA

Policy Order Resolution O-1
August 2, 2006

ORDERED: That the City Manager and Mayor be requested to convene a special task force on neighborhood safety;

and be it further ORDERED: That the task force include members from, but not limited to: Police and Crime Prevention Organizations; Business Community; Churches and community-based organizations; Cambridge Health Alliance; School Department; Youth; Court Representatives; and Educational Institutions.

and be it further ORDERED: That the goals for the task force include: Analysis of causes and effects of violent crimes in Cambridge; Plan for peaceful summers including proposing park and youth center activities and police coverage for next summer; Address issues of jobless young people in their twenties; Analyze the impact of CORI law and regulations; Improve police and community relations and communications; Analysis of impact of older young people in our community on young teens.

“I am not a crook!”

“I am not a crook!” Cambridge City Council Journalism Committee Meets

Immediately after closing public comment, at the January 22, 2007 meeting Councilor and Mayor Reeves suspended the rules and convened an emergency meeting of the Journalism Committee. In his best imitation of President Richard Nixon Reeves gave a 13-minute “I am not a crook.” speech.
In the Boston Globe obituary of E. Howard Hunt, by Patricia Sullivan (January 24, 2007, page B8) it is reported, “As the CIA station chief in Mexico City, he planted false newspaper stories about politicians.” Is it possible that the CIA is planting false stories about Mayor Reeves in 2007 in the Cambridge Chronicle?
Reeves said that he cannot rely on the Cambridge Chronicle to print truthful stories about the City. He explained all of the important functions that he attended on behalf of the City. He referred to Hillary Clinton and Harry Belafonte as “Really profound people.”
Reeves explained that most of his travels were spent for the children and to improve the education of the children of Cambridge. One might wonder why the City Council approved more funds if his travel was for the Schools in his capacity as Chairman of the School Committee.
When Councilor Craig Kelley questioned the way that the schools were teaching, Reeves reminded him that it was the School Committee that had jurisdiction over that. So why was the City Council funding travel for the schools?
The Boston area has at least eight education colleges. Included are Boston College Chestnut Hill, MA, Boston University Boston, MA, Cambridge College Cambridge, MA, Fitchburg State College Fitchburg, MA, Framingham State College Framingham, MA, Harvard University Cambridge, MA, Lesley University, Cambridge MA, and Northeastern University Boston, MA. Are all of these colleges unaware of what is going on in Rochester and New York City?
None of the Councilors asked why Reeves or his Education aide was unable to do research on teaching methods on the internet? Why did Reeves and his education czar have to travel to Rochester and New York City and Chicago to meet with the experts? Are they keeping some of their knowledge secret?
Reeves said he met with U.S. Senator Kerry in Washington, D.C. Does Kerry not have an office in Boston? He justified his commandeering City Council time to explain himself and to answer the accusation of the Chronicle by saying, “We don’t own a newspaper.” Well, Duh!
Here he was speaking before the voters and all who are interested in government with no restrictions on what he said. The City spends many thousands of dollars each year printing flyers, brochures, and pamphlets sent to all city residents at taxpayer expense. Who needs a newspaper?
More people get those City propaganda sheets than read the Chronicle. The members of the Journalism Committee expressed their unanimous support for the Mayor against the Chronicle. Councilors Kelley, Decker and Galluccio all spoke affirming what Reeves said.
None of the Councilors admitted that they are trying to find a way to suspend the First Amendment as easily as they suspend the council rules at each meeting. Decker said, “I try not to read the Chronicle, because it makes me so crazy.” So that explains it!
Decker said, “We do this job because we love public service.” Is that what they call it? It used to be serving the public. Now it means being served by the public. No wonder they love it.
U.S. Senator Everett Dickson once explained why he decided to run for office. He said, “When I learned that they call you Honorable and invite you to dinner, that was for me.”
Contrary to state law, on January 8, 2007 Councilor Sullivan voted while he was out of the meeting room. This happens often. The Councilors like to hide out of camera view and stay in the buffet room. But when a roll is called they often shout out their vote contrary to state law. This is not important to Mayor Reeves or the other councilors. Only the three-minute rule and speaking to an agenda item matters to all of them.

Roy Bercaw, Editor ENOUGH ROOM

February 20, 2007

Hyper-Hypocrisy in Print

Hyper-Hypocrisy in Print
Polyxane Cobb founder of a disability advocacy organization laments anti homosexual bias. ("Same-sex marriage debate should be left to the law," Cambridge Chronicle, February 8, 2007, page 10) I've wondered why the Cambridge Chronicle did not publish my letters [e.g., Dec. 8, 2006 below] and essay saying much of the same things she says.
Cobb omits a major fact i.e., the Mass Constitution clearly states that matters regarding marriage are to left to the Governor and to the legislature. That means that the courts do not have "subject matter jurisdiction" as the lawyers call it. One Mass statute prevents some persons with disabilities from marrying. That too is ignored by the homosexual lobby (which pleads for equal marriage for all), as well as Cobb, an alleged advocate for legal rights of persons with disabilities.
Cobb errs when she says, "the SJC doesn't pick the cases that are brought before them (sic)." Au contraire. The SJC and the US Supreme Court have no obligation to hear any case. They pick and chose among the many submitted.
Saying the "job of the Supreme Judicial Court is to rule on the constitutionality of laws in Massachusetts," is not the same as their oath to uphold the Mass Constitution. In the Goodridge case they failed to do that by hearing the case. She laments selective support for the court, while doing the same. She supports Goodridge but opposes the declaration that the legislature has a duty to permit a vote on a citizen petition initiative. That is hyper-hypocrisy usually found only in politicians.
Oh, Cobb is a politician -- the chair of a Democratic party ward. Politics as usual, saying one thing and doing another.

Roy Bercaw, Editor ENOUGH ROOM

[Sent Dec. 8, 2006]
Three letters indicate polluted public discourse regarding same sex marriage. (Darren Brannon, "Romney attacks hateful," Rachel Culley, "Marriage should not be put up to a vote," and Margaret Barusch, "Leave my friends alone," Cambridge Chronicle, December 7, 2006, page 13) The MA Constitution states clearly that matters regarding marriage are to be left to the Governor and to the legislature.
The Marshal Court ignored that part of the Constitution regarding jurisdiction. Romney's suit asks the court, not for judicial activism as Brannon calls it, but for a writ to force the legislature to fulfill its constitutional duty. The refusal of two Senate presidents (first Birmingham then Travaligni) to allow a vote are violations of the Constitution as well.
A Writ of Mandamus is an old action, not a new legal path. Culley says, "the Legislature dismissed [an] effort to put gay marriage on a statewide ballot." The Constitution says the convention "shall" vote on a citizen petition. It does not say "may." The legislature did not vote on the merits of same sex marriage or even on whether to place the citizen petition for a ballot question on the ballot. That is the issue.
It is a violation of the Due Process rights of 170,000 citizens. A vote to recess is not a vote on the merits. It is a stalling tactic by spineless politicians. Culley and Barusch use the term "right" referring to marriage. There is no right to marry. Barusch sees a conspiracy of right wingers. Many supporters of same sex marriage oppose the unconstitutional tactics.
The same sex petition is one of several that are stalled. Barusch thinks that nonfeasance by elected officials is not a pressing matter. Corruption is the most pressing matter. Ignoring corruption of the courts and the legislature is an outrage. Culley and Barusch see "no harm done" by this contempt for law. That is a shortsighted.
Until same sex marriage is approved by the voters or their representatives the court decision will remain vulnerable. Rights of black Americans were enforced only after the Civil Rights Act became law enacted by the U.S. Congress. Shortcuts for one group can as easily be used by other groups for offensive laws that can destroy all freedoms not only the freedom to marry.

* * * * *

The Massachusetts state constitution says that matters of marriage are to be left to the Governor and to the legislature. The state supreme judicial court ignored that constitutional provision. All of the petitioners for a citizen initiative for a constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriage had their rights to due process violated. I hear silence from the homosexual lobby about this rights violation.
The Senate Presidents (Birmingham and Traviligni) had a constitutional duty to allow a vote at the state constitutional convention on the previous petition for an amendment to be placed before the voters. But this constitutional violation is also ignored by the homosexual lobby.
These legal zealots prefer selective enforcement of the laws. If they like the law they support it. If not they ignore it. This is troublesome but accepted as normal among the renegade state of Massachusetts.
Now the homosexual lobby intimidates the signers of the petition by calling them to ask if their signature was stolen. This is a violation of the state Civil Rights statute, Chapter 265 Sec. 37 of the Mass General Laws. It is a crime. It prohibits intimidating a person from the free exercise of a constitutionally protected right. But again laws are to be enforced only with the approval of the homosexual elites that run the Mass state government.

-- Roy Bercaw, Editor
Cambridge MA USA

Legislature Enables Psychiatric Abuses, Violence

Legislature Enables Psychiatric Abuses, Violence

NAMI's letter ("Tolman does good job for mentally ill," Letter, Cambridge Chronicle, February 14, 2007) is an example of why I asked twice to speak with the new editor of the Chronicle. It is a recurring problem with new editors. Few journalists are aware of the role of NAMI, and how many serious psychiatric abuses are accepted.
NAMI gets a few million each year from drug companies to promote drug treatment. For evidence of NAMI's drug funding, see here:
and for a story on the funding see here:
NAMI says, "The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Massachusetts, [is] a family-based advocacy and support group." That sounds as if they are concerned with protecting patients from abuses. NAMI promotes treatment. They work for the drug companies as a corporate "grass-roots" lobbyist. It is the most successful deception by corporations in the US.
Sen. Tolman gets awards from NAMI because he delivers for their campaign contributions to promote more taxpayer funds for more treatment. We see over and over again and again the results of the over-drugging of young people, most recently at Lincoln-Sudbury High School where a young man on psychiatric drugs killed another student.
Edel Quinn's anger ("Appalled at DSS," Letter, Cambridge Chronicle, February 14, 2007) should be directed at the legislature, which wrote the laws permitting the drug abuses of young people. Clonidine, the drug Riley overdosed on, is a hypertension drug approved for adults, but not for children. Rather than honoring NAMI and Tolman they should be exposed as the cause of much violence in this country.
US journalists and politicians remain ignorant of the clinical studies in England proving that psychiatric drugs cause violence. It is time to expose the abuses of NAMI and the drug companies, and to stop them.

Roy Bercaw, Editor ENOUGH ROOM

Letter: Tolman does good job for mentally ill
Cambridge Chronicle
Wednesday, February 14, 2007 - Updated: 12:38 PM EST

Boston, Cambridge, Belmont and Watertown should be grateful they have a legislator such as Chairman Steven Tolman, who has taken an active and committed interest in the well-being of those in the commonwealth who suffer from a mental illness. He has filed legislation that will ensure that the restricting of access to effective and/or innovative medications, especially those for acute mental illness, will not occur without public input.
As the Senate assistant vice chairman on Ways and Means, and the past chairman of the Joint Committee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse, Chairman Steven Tolman has worked tirelessly on behalf of the mentally ill so that they can receive the proper treatment that they deserve and need.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Massachusetts, a family-based advocacy and support group, is proud to support Chairman Tolman’s mission to protect the quality of care provided to those citizens of Massachusetts with mental illnesses.

Executive Director NAMI-Mass.

Letter: Appalled at DSS
Cambridge Chronicle
Wednesday, February 14, 2007 - Updated: 12:42 PM EST
I am appalled again to see the mistakes made by DSS in the case of the death of little Rebecca Riley, RIP. The last time I was so appalled was when Haleigh Poutre’s case was shown on television. The then-governor of the state of Massachusetts requested a report on her case to be prepared by an independent panel, but it seems the mistakes made then are being repeated again and again by DSS.
Is there no accountability in this state? How many more children in this state have to suffer at the hands of their parents — the ones who are supposed to be taking care of them? When they fail, then the state must provide a better home for them. We do not want to read about the death of another child. Please, Lord.
Huron Avenue
[Cambridge, MA]

February 18, 2007

Help People With Disabilites Run for Office

Help People With Disabilities Run for Office

Below is an article from the weekly local paper in Cambridge MA about an effort to help minorities participate in elections, and run for office. The program is for 16 weeks on Mondays beginning on April 2, 2007. The deadline to apply is March 5, 2007. Avi Green agreed to be the contact person for persons with disabilities.
His email is agreen (at) massvote.org
his phone is (617) 542-8683

Giovanna Negretti is at the Oiste group at gnegretti (at) oiste.net

Two Suffolk University professors are partners for this effort:
John C. Berg, Professor, Chairperson
Office: 203
Office Hours: TTH 4-5pm, W 3-4pm (walk in hours) and by appointment
Phone: 617-573-8126 (office) 617-899-7324 (mobile) Fax: 617-367-5762
Email: jberg (at) suffolk.edu

Teri Fair, Assistant Professor
Office: 211
Office Hours: M 12-1pm, W 12-2pm, and by appointment
Phone: 617-573-8569 Fax: 617-367-4623
Email: tfair (at) suffolk.edu

[My letter responding to the article]
An overdue evaluation of the diversity of Cambridge government reveals some absent minorities. The large group of persons with disabilities (20 percent of the general population) remains absent from the discussion, political parties, and city government. (Erin Smith, "Latinos and Asians left out of city government," Cambridge Chronicle, February 15, 2007) What will it take to have journalists and diversity promoters include persons with disabilities in their efforts? Members of all racial groups, all ethnic groups, all gender groups and all sexual orientation groups have persons with disabilities among them. Even some white heterosexual males have disabilities. What is the problem?
* * * * *
[Avi Green's reply to my letter, copied to him]
You make an excellent point. In our voting rights work, I have been working quite a bit with Bob Hachey, who is very active with the Bay State Council of the Blind and the Disability Policy Consortium. I will be sure that we reach out to him and others as we recruit potential participants for this program. Though we have received a lot of press so far, the new initiative will be small -- just 20 to 30 people in the first year, if things go as currently planned. Still, I hope that this group is well represented. If you know anyone who is disabled who might be interested in the program, please encourage them to contact me to apply. I can be reached at this email address or at (617) 542-8683.

Roy Bercaw, Editor
Cambridge MA USA

[Article from the Cambridge Chronicle February 15, 2007]
Report: Latinos and Asians left out of city government
By Erin Smith
Cambridge Chronicle staff
Thursday, February 15, 2007 - Updated: 09:00 AM EST

Cambridge may resemble a colorful rainbow of heritages, but inside the City Council chambers and at commission meetings, the picture is decidedly black and white. Latinos and Asians are underrepresented in Cambridge government, according to a report released last week by the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy at UMass-Boston. The report on minorities in government notes that blacks — which make up about 11.5 percent of the city’s population — are represented on Cambridge’s two elected boards.
Two city councilors, Ken Reeves and Denise Simmons, and one of the elected School Committee members, Richard Harding, are black. As mayor, Reeves also serves on the School Committee. “On the other hand, there are no Asians or Latinos/as represented on either governing body — despite the fact that Asians make up 11.9 percent of the population and Latinos/as are 7.4 percent,” the report states.
The picture isn’t much more diverse on the city’s major boards and commissions. Of the 87 appointed officials, only 18 are minorities. Three appointed commission members are Latinos and four are Asian, according to the report. “The system itself is a very closed, old-boy network that we have to fight against,” said Giovanna Negretti, executive director of Oiste?, an organization that promotes Latino political participation across the state. “One of the reasons Latinos — and particularly people of color in general — don’t run for office is money,” said Negretti. “Culturally we [Latinos] don’t ask for money.”
Politics often involves fund raising for campaign donations, which can become a daunting task for inexperienced candidates skittish about asking for money. “Pre-Deval Patrick, you wouldn’t see many campaigns with people of color,” said Negretti. “We were always as volunteers — unpaid volunteers.”
Negretti is hoping to change the political landscape in greater Boston. Oiste?, MassVote and Suffolk University have teamed up to offer a 16-week, intensive crash course for minorities looking to enter politics. The course is expected to teach everything from political training to networking. Negretti hopes to offer the class twice a year starting next year. The application process for the class is likely to be selective; Negretti has already received 40 inquiries about the class, and there are only about 25 slots available.
The UMass-Boston study included a poll of members on city commissions for zoning appeals, assessors, conservation, health, human rights, licensing, parks and recreation, planning and cultural matters. The Human Rights Commission, which oversees fair housing laws in the city, has only two black members and no other minorities, the report states. Meanwhile, the commissions overseeing conservation and licensing are entirely white, according to the report. The Election Commission has just one black member, with a vacancy on the commission.
The city’s newest commission — a task force set up to combat gun and gang violence across the city — does not have any Asian or Latino representatives. There are eight black members and 16 white members on the task force, according to City Manager Bob Healy. — esmith@cnc.com Are you interested in running for office? Just in time for the city’s November elections, Oiste?, MassVote and Suffolk University are offering intensive, political training classes for minorities interested in running for office. The classes start April 2 and run every Monday night for 16 weeks.
To find the registration application, go to oiste.net
or e-mail Giovanna Negretti at gnegretti (at) oiste.net.
The application deadline is March 5.

Who's Watching the ACLU Watchdogs?

The ACLU has an ongoing dispute within its ranks for a few years. I learned about it in February, 2007. Others told me that they were unaware of it as well, including one member of the ACLU.
Here is a link to a story from The Nation February 5, 2007, followed by a link to a story in New York Magazine dated February 19, 2007.

The Nation
February 5, 2007

Last September a group of civil libertarians launched a website, savetheaclu.org, on which they declared: "We come together now, reluctantly but resolutely, not to injure the ACLU but to restore its integrity." Only a "change in leadership," they insisted, "will preserve the ACLU." That website, and those words, marked a new phase in a lengthy campaign to unseat Anthony Romero, the ACLU's executive director. The website contained a surprise: a pithy and combative declaration from Romero's retired predecessor, Ira Glasser, who recruited Romero for the top job six years earlier.

Tension at the upper echelons of the ACLU has been evident for some time. On April 22 of last year, the ACLU national board converged on the Princeton Club in Manhattan for its quarterly meeting. A few weeks earlier, in an interview with the conservative New York Sun, board member Wendy Kaminer had criticized a statement by the ACLU's Washington legislative director. What Kaminer did was hardly unusual: For more than two years she has been an indefatigable critic of the ACLU leadership.

* * *

Anthony Romero


Freedom to Backstab
Anthony Romero, head of the ACLU, America’s most important free-speech organization, has been accused of lying, among other transgressions—by his own mentor. Who said liberties had to be civil?
New York Magazine
February 19, 2007
By David France

Anthony Romero is weary of scrutiny. In dozens of lawsuits, the head of the American Civil Liberties Union inveighs against the Bush administration for peering into Americans’ letters, e-mails, and phone calls without court orders. Last month, he denounced the Pentagon for monitoring 186 antiwar protests and keeping files on pacifist groups, from Veterans for Peace to the Catholic Worker Movement. If Romero has learned one thing after five years at the ACLU’s helm, it is the cleansing power of shining a light into an institution’s darkest corners.