Edward W. Brooke Is Dead

3 01 2015

 By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

He is gone, and it is sad.  He was not a rock star or a celebrity in today’s terms; and most Americans have never heard of him.  But he should be remembered; and I will always remember him fondly.  He was a trailblazer.

Brooke was a black man, and I was a white man, more than 20 years his junior.  He hailed from Massachusetts, and my home was California, on the opposite sides of the continent—and seemingly worlds apart.  We were both lawyers, and we enjoyed laughing together; and perhaps this is what I will remember most about him.  He had a charming, infectious laugh; a wonderful smile; and a good sense of humor.  I believe he tried to do his best, and I did too; and our paths crossed purely by chance.

I was an Army captain—fresh out of the Pentagon during the Vietnam War—when I went job hunting on Capitol Hill.  Before the military, I had worked briefly for a prestigious law firm in San Francisco, after graduating from law school at Berkeley.  They had offered me a job when my two-year Army commitment was finished; and instead, I wanted to work on the Hill, which I thought would be more exciting and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, before I returned to California.

As chance would have it—after having “back-up” offers from the Justice Department and the SEC—I was not hired to work for Senator Alan Cranston of California, which is what I really wanted to do.  His staff was headed by someone from New York, who seemingly cared nothing about my love for California, or my connections and credentials, because apparently he wanted to propel Cranston into the foreign policy arena nationally.  I even offered to work free for a month, so I could demonstrate my talents and enthusiasm, but it came to naught.

In the process of “pounding the corridors” on the Hill, an acquaintance told me that Ed Brooke was looking for someone to staff him on the Senate Banking Committee, which seemed to be an ideal fit.  In college, I had worked two summers as a relief teller at lots of branches of a Southern California bank.  Also, I was in the midst of finishing a second law degree at Georgetown’s law school, the LLM, with emphasis on international trade law that related to the committee’s oversight responsibilities.  I never met the senator nor knew much about him before I was hired by his very talented and superb chief of staff—or “Administrative Assistant”—Dr. Alton Frye.  He and I hit it off; and the next thing I knew, I had been hired.

Officially, I was on the “minority” or Republican staff of the committee—because the Democrats controlled the Senate—and the senator was one of the committee’s ranking GOP members.  Unofficially, I worked for the senator on legislative matters and speeches and dealing with constituents.  It was heady work, and I enjoyed it immensely.  John Sparkman of Alabama was the committee’s chairman; and he had been the Democratic Party’s nominee for Vice President in 1952, running on the ticket of Adlai Stevenson, when Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon trounced them.

Also, Bill Proxmire of Wisconsin was on the committee, who turned out to be one of the finest public servants I have ever met.[2]  Other senators included Ed Muskie from Maine, who ran for the presidency; Walter “Fritz” Mondale from Minnesota, who became Jimmy Carter’s Vice President and ran for the presidency himself against Ronald Reagan in 1984; and Charles “Chuck” Percy of Illinois, who had been president of Bell & Howell before he entered the Senate, and whose daughter married Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia.

On the committee staff, where my official title was “Assistant Counsel,” the first thing that I did was staff the Presidential Commission on Mortgage Interest Rates, which was an education unto itself.  We met in a room off the Capitol rotunda; and it was a joint Senate-House commission, chaired by Sparkman and Congressman Wright Patman of Texas.  Sparkman was 70 and Patman was 76; and both legislators were wily and shrewd like few people whom I had met in my life, up to and including today.  Also, both were delightful human beings.

Ed Brooke had been elected to the Senate two years before I arrived, so he was still very junior in terms of seniority.  However, because he was the first black U.S. senator since Reconstruction after the Civil War—with Barack Obama being the third—he was afforded a certain amount of respect and responsibility.  He had been Massachusetts’ Attorney General, and he was smart and charming; and his colleagues in the Senate seemed to genuinely like him.

I was responsible for the senator’s legislative matters pertaining to banking, securities, international trade, and housing.  The committee’s jurisdiction included oversight of the Federal Reserve Board, the Treasury Department, HUD, the SEC, and the bank regulatory agencies such as the FDIC.  Among other things, I participated in drafting laws, in addition to assorted bills on various subjects such as Standby Letters of Credit.  Most importantly though, I authored the Anti-Tying Provision of the Bank Holding Company Act Amendments of 1970, which remains the only federal antitrust law enacted by Congress that deals specifically with predatory lending practices by banks and other financial institutions.[3]

Also, I authored two pieces of housing legislation as part of the Housing and Urban Development Acts of 1969 and 1970, with respect to which I will always be very proud: the “Brooke Amendment” relating to public housing; and the national “Housing Allowance” program, which morphed into the Section 8 housing program that has helped millions of Americans.  Unfortunately, there is scant mention of the first program in the senator’s book, “Bridging the Divide: My Life”—which is contained in one paragraph.[4]  No mention of the second program is made at all, yet both have helped enormous numbers of poor Americans, many of them elderly.

Others contributed to the writing of Ed’s book; I did not.  Presumably they had no idea about the origins of the Brooke Amendment, nor how many Americans were helped by it and Section 8.  The senator told me one day that he was concerned about the plight of public housing tenants in Massachusetts, especially the elderly.[5]  Hence, I went to work and tried to determine what could be done.  One person who was central to my efforts was a wonderful black man, the late Tony Henry, who headed a group called the National Tenants Organization.

Tony gave me the idea of capping the rents that public housing tenants paid at 25 percent of their incomes, with the federal government picking up the difference; and providing other financial assistance to the crime- and poverty-stricken projects.  This became the Brooke Amendment; and in turn, the Housing Allowance program was an outgrowth of that—without tying the government assistance to particular projects, but providing “vouchers” that allowed the poor to choose.  Literally millions of Americans have been helped; and without the senator, it never would have happened.  Indeed, I used to read handwritten thank you letters to Brooke from the elderly, which moved one to tears.

Members of his personal staff and I established a summer program for disadvantaged kids in Massachusetts—on behalf of the senator, in conjunction with the Pentagon—which involved underutilized military facilities in the State, such as the Boston Navy Yard and Otis Air Force Base.  This wonderful idea came to me from the late Bob Goralski of NBC News; and the program served approximately 100,000 kids during its first year alone, which was impressive.  The senator and I traveled to Massachusetts with then-Secretary of Defense Melvin R. Laird to review the program and its progress.

Prior to his reelection campaign in 1972, the senator asked me to head his Senate staff, as his Administrative Assistant, which I did—even though I was a Californian.  However, he never really had any serious challengers, so our elaborate campaign plans were truncated, and the job proved to be boring.  I was not happy, because I wanted to work on substantive matters; and it turned out to be a mistake.  The senator was gracious as always; and as we had agreed, I left the Senate in January of 1973 following his reelection, to join a Washington law firm as a partner.

Thereafter, I represented all of the banks in Massachusetts, the Prudential Insurance Company of America and other clients, and came in contact with the senator and his staff on a regular basis.  He was helpful and kind; and I always wanted the best for him.  He had been mentioned as a possible vice presidential candidate at times, but it never came to pass.  He divorced and remarried; and from all accounts, his second marriage was happy and fulfilling, to a wonderful woman, which pleased me greatly.

In the final analysis, how would I rate the man, based on my years with him—and being around other important figures in contemporary history?  He never reached his full potential politically, although he achieved a great deal.  Among other things, he was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal.  The courthouse in Boston bears his name; he is the only African-American reelected to the Senate; and a school was named in his honor.[6]

Perhaps the most important comparison might be to Barack Obama.  In a sense, Ed Brooke paved the way for Obama’s presidency.  There is no doubt about the intelligence of both politicians.  However, Obama was elected to the presidency when he was 47, while Brooke was elected to the Senate at the same age.  Obama shot into the stratosphere politically, while Brooke never had that chance.  I believe he knew it, although he was flattered when people mentioned him for the national ticket.

Brooke did not try to change America because of any hatred of whites or our capitalist system.  After reading Obama’s “Dreams from My Father,” most Americans will have few if any doubts why he associated with and befriended Weather Underground co-founder Bill Ayers and Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.  Their radical views seemed consistent with his.[7]  Ed Brooke was not a radical, or even close.  He grew up on the American mainland; whereas, Obama grew up in Hawaii and Indonesia, and never set foot on the American mainland until he attended Occidental College in Southern California.

Brooke was an American, and proud to be one.  He did not engage in class warfare like Obama has.  He did not have deep-seated racial anger, nor exacerbate racial tensions and violence.  And he was not a Narcissistic demagogue like Obama is.  Brooke grew up with a stable family life; Obama did not.  I have zero doubts that both men faced unbelievable discrimination because of their skin color, especially Brooke—because of the times when he grew up.  However, I never experienced any racism on his part.  Because he was a U.S. Army officer in Italy during World War II, where he saw combat, there was no anti-military hostility or prejudice like Obama has.

If Brooke had an Achilles’ heel or more than one, they involved women and possible links to the Mafia, which were unsettling.  His affairs with white women such as Barbara Walters have been documented.  However, most disturbing were his affairs with young white women on his Senate staff, before I arrived in his offices.[8]  Many of their lives were changed forever by the experiences.

The first links to the Mafia apparently arose during his tenure as Attorney General, and continued when he was in the Senate.  I met his “contact”—to whom I shall refer as “Norman”—when he visited the senator on numerous occasions in the Russell Senate Office Building.  Indeed, the man advised me against investing with the senator on the island of Saint Martin (also Sint Maarten) in the Caribbean, where the senator owned a home and came to know Anne, his lovely second wife and the mother of his son.  I always appreciated the advice, and knew it was for my protection and well being.

Perhaps it is these “skeletons” that prevented him from achieving more—or maybe it was simply the racism of the times.  No one may ever know.  Most of the senator’s professional staff was white; and the only black member who worked for him while I was involved became very dissatisfied because the senator was not more “active” on the issues that concerned their race.  However, I will never forget that a black man gave a young white man, me, a chance to work at the highest levels of American government; and I will always be deeply appreciative of this.

I am sad that Ed Brooke is gone.  He is missed.  He was not perfect; no one is.  Yet, he made a difference—in Massachusetts, Washington, D.C., and in American politics and life.  He was an American leader before Barack Obama was even born; and he was a conciliator, not a rabble-rouser or racist.  And I will always remember his wonderful smile and laugh.[9]

© 2015, Timothy D. Naegele

Ed Brooke

[1] Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass).  He practices law in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles with his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, which specializes in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and http://www.naegele.com/naegele_resume.html).  He has an undergraduate degree in economics from UCLA, as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University.  He is a member of the District of Columbia and California bars.  He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal.  Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g.,www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com; see also Google search:Timothy D. Naegele

[2] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/washington-is-sick-and-the-american-people-know-it/#comment-1799 (“When A Giant Named Senator Bill Walked Through Washington”)

[3] See 12 U.S.C. § 1972; see also Timothy D. Naegele, “The Bank Holding Company Act’s Anti-Tying Provision: 35 Years Later,” 122 Banking Law Journal 195 (March 2005); “The Anti-Tying Provision: Its Potential Is Still There,” 100 Banking Law Journal 138 (1983); and “Are All Bank Tie-Ins Illegal?” 154 Bankers Magazine 46 (1971) (http://www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles).

[4] See Edward W. Brooke, “Bridging the Divide: My Life,” p. 177.

[5] Many of these elderly were black; and they were preyed on and intimidated by young black thugs and hoods in the public housing projects and elsewhere.  Tragically, this happens all too often today; and Ed Brooke wanted to put a stop to it.

[6] See, e.g.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Brooke

[7] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/

On most issues, I was politically in tune with Ed Brooke; I am not with Barack Obama.

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2013/03/01/is-obama-the-new-nixon/ (see also the footnotes and comments beneath the article)

[8] One of the women told me that her goal was to bed the senator, which was consummated later—many years before he and Anne were married.

See also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/#comment-2830 (“The Truth About Martin Luther King, Jr. Emerges . . . Finally”)

[9]  See also https://www.c-span.org/video/?324750-1/memorial-service-senator-edward-brooke (CSPAN: “Funeral Service for Former Senator Edward Brooke”)



19 responses

4 01 2015

Amazing story ! Timothy, you are the greatest ! Well written and very informative….nice going Timothy….

Liked by 1 person

29 04 2015
Timothy D. Naegele

Rioting, Looting And Killing By Thugs And Hoods In American Cities [UPDATED]

Rioting in Baltimore

The UK’s Daily Mail has reported:

President Barack Obama broke his silence this afternoon on the riots that devoured Baltimore last night and led to more than 200 arrests, shaming looters and saying they should be treated as ‘criminals’ and ‘thugs.’

‘There is no excuse for the kind of violence we saw yesterday,’ Obama said during a joint presser with Japan’s Prime Minister. ‘It is counter productive when individuals get crow bars and start prying open doors to loot.’

‘They’re not protesting. They’re not making a statement. They’re stealing,’ he said. ‘When they burn down a building they’re committing arson.’

The comments were the first Obama had made publicly addressing last night’s mayhem in Maryland’s largest city, located roughly an hour northeast of Washington, D.C., following the funeral of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, a black youth who died of spinal injuries while in police custody earlier this month.

The White House said yesterday that its new attorney general, Loretta Lynch, was monitoring the situation, and the Department of Justice released a statement on her behalf condemning ‘the senseless acts of violence’ that ran rampant in the city, including the lighting of some 150 fires.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan last night said that the president called him and urged him to exercise ‘due restraint’ but agreed with his decision to issue a state of emergency and call up the National Guard, 500 of whom have been deployed to protect the city’s streets.

The president, Hogan said, told him the state needed ‘to get control of our streets, and he endorsed the action taken tonight.’

‘I assured him that we were. The last thing we want to do is escalate violence. I assured him we would not stand by and allow our city of Baltimore to be taken over by thugs,’ Hogan said.

Obama said today he told Hogan and Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake it was ‘entirely appropriate’ for them to ‘work to stop that kind of senseless violence and disruption.’

Repeating his earlier statement, the U.S. president described rioters ‘a handful of people taking advantage of a situation for their own purposes, and they need to be treated as criminals.’

The president warned violent demonstrators that ‘one burning building’ will make headlines and the thousands of peaceful protesters will be ignored.

The White House sent three of its own emissaries to Gray’s funeral on Monday, two of whom represented the president in Ferguson, Missouri, after the killing of Michael Brown.

Broderick Johnson, a native of the Baltimore and the chairman of the president’s My Brother’s Keeper Task Force, and Heather Foster, an adviser in the White House Office of Public Engagement, both of whom were in Ferguson, as well as Elias Alcantara, the associate director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, were dispatched to Baltimore yesterday.

The White House gave reporters a ‘readout’ summary after Obama’s first official meeting with Lynch, an occasion it barred reporters from observing.

The president’s press team said the administration’s new top cop ‘assured the President that she would continue to monitor events in Baltimore’ and told him her department ‘stands ready to provide any assistance that might be helpful there.’

The White House also acknowledged that the president spoke over the phone that afternoon to Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and that Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett talked to Hogan.

Amid the violence and looting that claimed a CVS pharmacy, a $16 million nursing home and a shopping mall and left at least six police officers in the hospital, Obama called Hogan himself, the Maryland governor revealed.

Lynch said in a statement on Monday evening issued by the Justice Department: ‘I condemn the senseless acts of violence by some individuals in Baltimore that have resulted in harm to law enforcement officers, destruction of property and a shattering of the peace in the city of Baltimore.

‘Those who commit violent actions, ostensibly in protest of the death of Freddie Gray, do a disservice to his family, to his loved ones, and to legitimate peaceful protestors who are working to improve their community for all its residents.’

Lynch reiterated that the FBI and Justice Departments ‘have an ongoing, independent criminal civil rights investigation into the tragic death of Mr. Gray.’

‘We will continue our careful and deliberate examination of the facts in the coming days and weeks.’

‘As our investigative process continues, I strongly urge every member of the Baltimore community to adhere to the principles of nonviolence,’ she said.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest kept his cards close to his vest on Monday, telling reporters that ‘there is an active – well, let me say it this way – the Department of Justice is currently gathering information as it relates specifically to Mr. Gray’s case.’

‘And I don’t want to say anything specifically about the case that might be construed as interference in that independent law enforcement investigation.’

See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3059336/Obama-shames-Baltimore-looters-condemns-riots-streets.html (“Obama shames Baltimore looters and condemns ‘riots in the streets’: ‘They’re not protesting. They’re not making a statement.’ They’re ‘criminals’ and ‘thugs'”)

The pattern has been the same since the Watts Riots in Los Angeles during the summer of 1965. Hoods, thugs and criminals have burned, looted and killed innocent people, and destroyed their businesses; and launched a war against the police.

Nothing has changed except the faces.

Blacks constitute approximately 13.2% of the U.S. population. Hispanics are not rioting. Asians are not rioting. Jews are not rioting. Only the blacks are rioting . . . and then only a small portion of them: the hoods, thugs and criminals—who must not be coddled.

America has no sympathy for them; and the backlash may be horrendous. Far too often, their targets include elderly blacks and other inner-city poor.

One black commentator has written:

[T]he main thing that keeps black America feeling alienated in its own land is the police.

This is utter nonsense. Just another excuse why so many black Americans remain at the bottom of the totem pole, while newer Americans (e.g., Hispanics, Asians) climb the ladder to success.

More than 150 years after Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, little seems to have changed.

The writer added:

[T]here is a genuine conversation about the cops and black people going on these days in America, and that wouldn’t be true if there hadn’t been riots in Ferguson.

This is utter nonsense too. Such conversations began after the Watts Riots, but certain elements within black America have not progressed very far since then. They keep seeking scapegoats, just as the writer does.

See http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/05/01/progressives-miss-the-point-of-baltimore.html; see also http://www.naegele.com/documents/Naegele-CivilianComplaintsAgainstthePoliceInLosAngeles.pdf (“Civilian Complaints Against the Police in Los Angeles”) and http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2015/04/28/social-media-analysis-suggests-links-between-baltimore-and-ferguson-violence/ (“Social media analysis suggests links between Baltimore and Ferguson violence”—”An analysis of social media traffic in downtown Baltimore Monday has unearthed striking connections to the protests in Ferguson, Mo. last year . . . suggest[ing] the presence of ‘professional protesters’ or anarchists taking advantage of Freddie Gray’s death to incite more violence” and http://www.breitbart.com/video/2015/05/01/clarke-freddie-gray-charges-duke-lacrosse-case-all-over-again/) (“[T]hese cops are political prisoners, offered up as human sacrifices, thrown like red meat to an angry mob”) and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3066224/Lawyer-Charges-against-officers-Freddie-Gray-Case-outrageous.html (“[T]op criminal lawyer blasts charges against six cops as ‘outrageous and irresponsible'”) and http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2015/05/04/cbs-news-poll-race-relations/ (“CBS News/New York Times Poll: Race Relations Worst In Over 2 Decades”) and http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-new-nationwide-crime-wave-1432938425 (“The New Nationwide Crime Wave”—”Arrests in black communities are even more fraught than usual, with hostile, jeering crowds pressing in on officers and spreading lies about the encounter. Acquittals of police officers for the use of deadly force against black suspects are now automatically presented as a miscarriage of justice”—”Cops are disengaging from discretionary enforcement activity and the ‘criminal element is feeling empowered'”—”‘Any cop who uses his gun now has to worry about being indicted and losing his job and family'”) and http://www.wmal.com/2015/06/24/listen/ (Louis Farrakhan: “[W]hite folks march with you because they don’t want you upsetting the city”) and http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2015/07/horror-black-youths-mock-and-laugh-at-unconscious-and-bloody-white-male-victim-after-july-4th-beatdown-video/ (“HORROR! Black Youths Mock and Laugh at Unconscious and Bloody Victim After July 4th Beatdown (VIDEO)“) and http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-garcetti-beck-crime-increase-20150708-story.html (“Surge in L.A. crime in first 6 months ends more than decade of declines“) and http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2015/07/17/report-couple-ambushed-by-6-men-while-walking-down-detroit-street-stripped-of-clothes-and-sexually-assaulted/ (“Two Couples Ambushed By Group Of Men While Walking Down Detroit Street, Stripped Of Clothes And Sexually Assaulted”—”The hunt is on for a group of men in Detroit who . . . attacked two couples while they were walking down the street, forcing the male victim to watch as his female companion is gang raped”) and http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2015/12/23/black-lives-matter-protest-at-moa-expected-to-draw-hundreds/ (“Black Lives Matter Protesters Leave [Mall of America], Attempt To Shut Down [Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport]”) and http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/lifestyle/general_lifestyle/january_2016/50_say_race_relations_in_america_getting_worse (Rasmussen Reports: “50% Say Race Relations in America Getting Worse”—”Interestingly, unlike most questions related to race, there isn’t a wide difference of opinion on these questions between blacks and whites”—”Men and women are in general agreement about race relations in America and what the future holds. Adults of all ages agree about the current state of race relations”); compare https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/ (“Is Barack Obama A Racist?”) with https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/01/03/edward-w-brooke-is-dead/ (“Edward W. Brooke Is Dead”)

Barack Obama does not care at all.

America’s black cities are crime infested, and descending into “third-world countries.” They will only get far worse. No one will come to their aid. They and their residents are drowning, and there will not be any life rings thrown.

Obama has been too busy meeting in Paris with the world’s “elites,” involving “global warming” and the greatest wealth redistribution in human history, to the tune of $34 trillion or more.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/11/30/a-34-trillion-swindle-the-shame-of-global-warming/ (“A $34 Trillion Swindle: The Shame Of Global Warming“)

But no money is going to the black cities anymore. They are “no fly zones.” This is Obama’s legacy. No one cares, least of all him.

There is a “Perfect Storm” gathering globally, with respect to the world’s economy, which will make things far far worse for America’s blacks and their cities. They may become nothing more than “killing zones,” into which no police or whites will go.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/#comment-7614 (“Doomsday Clock For Global Market Crash Strikes One Minute To Midnight As Central Banks Lose Control“)

A war against the police is underway, fostered in large part by the hoods, thugs and criminals who have burned, looted and killed innocent people, destroyed their businesses, and engaged in hate crimes. When the police are gone, who will protect the elderly and inner-city blacks?

Also, no businesses are going to hire the hoods and thugs; and illegal immigration is taking away other jobs that might have gone to blacks.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/01/03/edward-w-brooke-is-dead/#comment-7434 (“Disappointment In Obama Leads Some Blacks To Ask Whether Voting Is Worth It“)

Hoods in Baltimore


5 06 2015
Jonathan Buttall

In the summer of 1967 my father was victimized by race rioters. The nationwide race riots of 1967 and 1968 were a major historic event (a negative one, obviously) that destroyed parts of almost every major American city and killed over 100 people each. It seems that no media or historic source ever mentions this, it’s been covered up except by us older boomers that remember it.

In Newark, New Jersey, where it started, my father owned a meat market in the ghetto; all of these businesses were owned for many years by people in the suburbs and provided jobs for the people there. No locals started such businesses and for decades, this was considered perfectly safe and accepted.

When the riots occurred, however, my father was present while his store was looted by rioters. He had to stand there and watch. There was a gun behind his cash register, but of course if he used it, he would never have lived a minute longer. He went bankrupt and his business, along with every other business in every ghetto neighborhood in Newark and many other cities, was destroyed. Those jobs never came back nor did the neighborhoods. The population of Newark and Detroit dropped in half. The lessons were not learned as these events are not taught in history classes today.

I have some progressive political opinions but not about riots and looting. Our soldiers should not be used to take sides in other countries’ religious civil wars. They need to be home defending our cities from the real enemies; many of our own citizens.

Liked by 1 person

5 06 2015
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you, Jonathan, for your comments.

Needless to say, they are among the most important comments that have been printed here since this blog began. What your father and family lived through were why Senator Brooke wanted to deal with the problems facing our inner cities and other communities from coast to coast.

He knew that elderly blacks, other innocent blacks, and people like your family were being victimized. Not only was it tragic when it happened, but it is even more tragic that it keeps happening again and again, with no end in sight. Now the police are being marginalized and victimized; and it is small wonder that they do not want to respond.

This will lead to even greater chaos. To his credit, Rudy Giuliani and those around him cleaned up New York City, when many Americans thought it could not be done. This can happen again across the country where there is the will and leadership to do so.


5 06 2015
Jonathan Buttall

Thank you very much for your kind words and thoughtful insight, Timothy (I was going to give your reply an upvote, but the system wouldn’t let me).

Liked by 1 person

5 06 2015
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you again, Jonathan.

The “systems” have “minds” of the own sometimes, as you know. 🙂


10 06 2015
Timothy D. Naegele

Disappointment In Obama Leads Some Blacks To Ask Whether Voting Is Worth It [UPDATED]

Obama, Brooke and Lincoln

This is the subject of a Washington Post article by Robert Samuels, which states:

During those two electric Novembers, the chance to elect a black president, and then keep him in office, seized Regenia Motley’s neighborhood.

Nightclubs were registering voters. Churches held fish fries after loading buses that ferried parishioners to the polls. A truck hoisted a big sign that said “Obama.” And residents waited in long lines at precincts across the community.

But as Motley and some friends sought shade recently under a mulberry tree and looked across the landscape of empty lots and abandoned houses that has persisted here, they wondered whether they would ever bother voting again.

“What was the point?” asked Motley, 23, a grocery store clerk. “We made history, but I don’t see change.”

On Jacksonville’s north side and in other struggling urban neighborhoods across the country, where Barack Obama mobilized large numbers of new African American voters who were inspired partly by the emotional draw of his biography, high hopes have turned to frustration: Even a black president was unable to heal places still gripped by violence, drugs and joblessness.

The dynamic, made prominent in recent months after unrest in Baltimore and Ferguson, Mo., sets up a stark challenge for Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Democratic presidential front-runner.

While supporting Obama became a cause for many here rather than a typical campaign, Clinton faces a higher bar in making a case that she, too, can be a transformative figure.

Her campaign is planning to build on the multiethnic coalition that turned out to support Obama. Running to be the first female president, Clinton will also try to generate Obama-like enthusiasm among new voters — those who were too young to turn out for Obama or have not previously been engaged with politics.

Yet as her allies prepare to register voters and expand the black electorate, her candidacy presents residents here with a question: If Obama’s presidency didn’t do more to help African Americans, then how could hers?

“She is focusing on exactly the right issues,” said the Rev. Lee Harris of Mount Olive Primitive Baptist Church on the north side. “But here in Jacksonville, the issues won’t be enough.”

Clinton has shown in recent weeks that she intends to put high-priority issues for African Americans, particularly those who live in impoverished urban areas, at the top of her campaign agenda.

In her first major policy speech, in April, amid the Baltimore protests that followed the death of Freddie Gray, Clinton lamented how the incarcerations of hundreds of thousands of black men affected communities. She vowed to “deliver real reforms that can be felt on our streets, in our courthouses, and our jails and prisons, in communities too long neglected.”

And last week, she called for universal voter registration, tapping into frustration among many minority advocates who say that Republican-backed voter-ID laws have served to squelch black and Hispanic voting.

Clinton’s early moves are designed to signal that she can speak out and act more boldly than Obama, who felt political pressure as a candidate to tread lightly around race issues. Her campaign officials say she has enlisted a number of African Americans in top positions and plans on finding local leaders in cities who will advocate for her.

Still, polls show a gap between the positive feelings black voters have for Clinton and those they hold for Obama.

A Washington Post-ABC News poll released last week found that 75 percent of African Americans thought that Clinton understood the problems of “people like you,” as opposed to 91 percent who felt that way about Obama in a survey last fall.

“At least with Obama, he gave pride to our young men and was a good role model,” said Daniel “Happy Jack” Cobb Jr., 73, the owner of Happy Jack’s Grocery and Market on Jacksonville’s north side. “Hillary needs to prove to us that she’s genuine and really true. And I’m not even sure that would help. We’ve been snakebitten too many times before.”

Far from the palm-tree-lined, trendy corridors of this sprawling city in the northeast corner of Florida, some roads on the north side have no sidewalks. The major thoroughfares are home to Family Dollar stores and bail bondsmen and crab shacks that sit between large, fenced-in lots full of shaggy grass. In one area, contaminated soil from a trash incinerator put off plans for a redevelopment project.

Before 2008, many here felt singed by the contentious 2000 presidential election, when thousands of votes cast in the city’s black neighborhoods were among those nullified amid the legal battle that led to Republican George W. Bush’s narrow victory in the state.

Obama campaign aides studied the numbers and saw that tens of thousands of eligible black voters here had not turned out in 2004, when Republicans again won Florida. While Obama’s team knew that winning the majority in Duval County was unlikely — Bush won the county, whose seat is Jacksonville, by 61,000 votes in 2004 — strategists concluded that aggressively targeting black voters here could narrow the gap and boost statewide totals.

So the Obama team hit the north side hard. It signed up hundreds of volunteers, made thousands of phone calls and animated voters who had never before trusted the political process.

And there was so much swag. Residents kept buttons and door hangers as keepsakes — even squares of toilet paper with Obama’s face on them.

At the end of the 2008 campaign, Jacksonville was one of the last places Obama visited. When the voting was done, that 61,000-vote gap between the Democratic and Republican nominees in Duval County had been reduced to 8,000 — and Obama had won Florida.

“It became more about a personal duty to elect Obama than a civic duty to vote,” said Mone Holder, the northern Florida regional director for Florida New Majority, a liberal voting rights group. “There’s been a lot of talk in the state about how to transform that enthusiasm into a black and brown agenda. No one has fully figured it out yet.”

There was a newfound fascination with politics on the north side, a sense that black officials could be elected to jobs that were once unfathomable. The community that once felt disenfranchised had become a political force, making a statement to the country and to themselves.

That feeling carried over into 2011, when the city elected its first black mayor, Alvin Brown, who won with support from an energized black community as well as backing from whites and parts of the business establishment. Obama cinched Florida again in 2012, in part by once again mobilizing blacks and keeping the margins low in Duval County.

But now, as the Obama era draws to a close, that excitement has dimmed.

On the north side, gang violence and drug use have surged. In April, 33 Jacksonville residents were shot, including seven who were killed. A group of pastors held a news conference and declared the city a “war zone.”

For the friends who gathered recently to hang out in the shade of the mulberry tree, it will be hard to justify the effort of turning out and voting next year when so little has changed — and some things feel worse.

“We got the president his job,” Motley said. “But did he help us get any good jobs? I still need a raise.”

“It’s not his fault,” interrupted Louis Wilson, 65, a retired airport maintenance worker. “We did all the work to get him in, but when it came time to vote in people to support him, all the [black people] stayed home. That’s what happens when you don’t vote.”

The conversation became heated. Another said he’d love to vote but could not because of his felony conviction. Another complained that she couldn’t get a raise in eight years.

“We all struggling,” said another. One man became so uncomfortable, he removed his T-shirt, wrapped it around his head and walked away. The shirt read “Obama ’08.”

Last month, when Mayor Brown was up for reelection, pastors and voting advocates considered the race a test of whether Jacksonville’s black electorate remained politically engaged. Republicans rallied around a former state party chairman, Lenny Curry, as their candidate. GOP presidential hopefuls Marco Rubio and Rick Perry visited, and Jeb Bush made a video in support of Curry.

On the night of the election, after the pastor at St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church on the north side encouraged his flock to trust God’s plans, a group of young black parishioners reminisced about the wonders of the past two presidential elections. And they wondered about the next one.

“It’s not just because Obama was black, but it was because you knew he had a sense of empathy with your struggle,” said Sherrod Brown, a 26-year-old gospel singer. “The people of Jacksonville are fair. We’d vote for Hillary, but she has to prove she’s down.”

Simia Richardson, 31, a teacher, said she was unsure whom to support. “I’m all about [Clinton] being a woman, but it will be a problem for a lot of people,” she said. “And there are some other people who might be interesting. Ben Carson, he’s running.”

The mention of Carson, the famous black neurosurgeon running as a Republican, caused some to perk up.

“The ‘Gifted Hands’ dude?” asked James Sneed, 18, referring to Carson’s popular autobiography.

“Yeah, and he’s a Republican,” Richardson said. “And there’s another one who thinks he can get black votes. Rand Paul?”

Then Brown’s cellphone buzzed.

“Alvin Brown is going to lose the election,” he announced.

There was a pause. Richardson tried to reassure the group, but soon shook her head and expressed disbelief.

“I know, right?” Sherrod Brown replied. “Just when we thought things were about to change.”

Sneed, who remembered voting for the winning candidate in every major election since a mock vote for Obama in middle school, pulled out his phone to read the news. He encountered a word that was unfamiliar to his political life. He looked up and asked:

“What does concede mean?”

See http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/disappointment-in-obama-leads-some-blacks-to-ask-is-voting-even-worth-it/2015/06/09/5922363c-052b-11e5-bc72-f3e16bf50bb6_story.html (“Disappointment in Obama leads some African Americans to ask: Is voting even worth it?”) (emphasis added)

The answer, of course, is emphatically yes. All of us who are legally entitled to vote should do so, certainly when a candidate reflects our point of view.

First, realistically, politics is cruel. Dreams are given wings, and then deflated, often with an deafening thud. It is even crueler on the national level.

Second, those who have said that violence, drugs and joblessness have not been addressed—and are getting worse—are correct.

A war against the police is underway, fostered in large part by the hoods, thugs and criminals who have burned, looted and killed innocent people, destroyed their businesses, and engaged in hate crimes. When the police are gone, who will protect the elderly and inner-city blacks?

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/#comment-7288 (“Rioting, Looting And Killing By Thugs And Hoods In American Cities”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/01/03/edward-w-brooke-is-dead/#comment-7419; see also http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/confederate-flag-racist-symbol/2015/07/02/id/653178/ (“CNN Poll: 57 Percent Say Confederate Flag Not Racist”—”Among African-Americans, . . . 72 percent said the flag is a sign of racism, but only 25 percent of the whites surveyed by CNN agreed. And in the South, the racial divide was even wider, with 75 percent of Southern whites saying the flag symbolizes pride and 18 percent saying it was a sign of racism. The figures were reversed among the Southern African-Americans polled, with 11 percent seeing it as a sign of pride and 75 percent as racism”)

Also, no businesses are going to hire the hoods and thugs; and illegal immigration is taking away other jobs that might have gone to blacks.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/07/30/illegal-immigration-the-solution-is-simple/ (“Illegal Immigration: The Solution Is Simple”)

Third, American blacks have come a very long way; however, there is little question that many are still at the very bottom of the American totem pole, while other newer arrivals (e.g., Hispanics or Latinos, Asians) keep rising up it.

Even blacks from the continent of Africa, or those who have grown up in the UK, often look down on many American blacks who are uneducated and hoods. This has been true for decades.

It is evident in cities like Washington, D.C. where educated foreign-born blacks attend Howard and other universities. Many are ashamed of what American blacks have become, more than 150 years after Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

Fourth, I voted against Barack Obama twice, in 2008 and 2012. And I have written many scathing articles and comments about him, at this blog and elsewhere. However, I believe he has tried to do his best. I do not agree with his approach regarding many if not most issues, but perhaps I have mellowed, because I like him.

However, it must be remembered that there is not one drop of black American blood in Barack Obama’s body. His father was born and raised in Africa, and his mother was white. Indeed, Barack Obama grew up in Hawaii and Indonesia, and never lived on the American mainland until he attended Occidental College in Los Angeles.

The origins of his racist beliefs are described in great detail in his book, “Dreams from My Father”:

The transformation seems to have started when young “Barry” Obama returned to Hawaii from Indonesia, where he had been living with his mother and her second husband, to live with her parents and enroll at Honolulu’s elite, ethnically and culturally diverse Punahou School—where his sense that he “didn’t belong continued to grow.” He began hanging around and identifying with the few black Punahou students and other black teenagers “whose confusion and anger would help shape [his] own.”

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/ (“Is Barack Obama A Racist?”)

Fifth, what is “American black culture” today?

The hoods, thugs and criminals who have burned, looted and killed innocent people, destroyed their businesses, and engaged in hate crimes? Those who have savaged our police? Those who have targeted defenseless elderly blacks, and instilled fear in them? The gangsta rappers?

Is there an American black culture today?

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/01/03/edward-w-brooke-is-dead/ (“Edward W. Brooke Is Dead”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2013/03/01/is-obama-the-new-nixon/ (“Is Obama The New Nixon?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/ (“Barack Obama Is A Lame-Duck President Who Will Not Be Reelected”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/09/are-afghanistan-iraq-and-pakistan-hopeless-and-is-the-spread-of-radical-islam-inevitable-and-is-barack-obama-finished-as-americas-president/ (“Are Afghanistan, Iraq And Pakistan Hopeless, And Is The Spread Of Radical Islam Inevitable, And Is Barack Obama Finished As America’s President?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/01/the-speech—is-barack-obama-smoking-pot-again/ (“The Speech—Is Barack Obama Smoking Pot Again?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/the-end-of-barack-obama/ (“The End Of Barack Obama”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/01/barack-obama-america’s-second-emperor/ (“Barack Obama: America’s Second Emperor?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/26/obama-in-afghanistan-doomed-from-the-start/ (“Obama In Afghanistan: Doomed From The Start?” and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/ (“Is Barack Obama A Racist?”); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/poverty-in-america/ (“Poverty In America”) and http://nypost.com/2015/07/18/obama-has-been-collecting-personal-data-for-a-secret-race-database/ (“Obama collecting personal data for a secret race database”) and http://www.theamericanmirror.com/shock-more-black-babies-aborted-than-born-in-new-york-city/ (“More black babies aborted than born in New York City”)

Barack Obama is not Edward W. Brooke, nor is he Abraham Lincoln . . .

Obama became a “transformative” or revolutionary president, which is not what the majority of Americans wanted. Perhaps because he was born and raised in Hawaii and Indonesia, his perspective is not that of most Americans . . . even blacks.

See http://www.wsj.com/articles/obamas-tragic-legacy-for-black-americans-1444776773 (“Obama’s Tragic Legacy for Black Americans“); see also http://theamericanmirror.com/video-milwaukee-police-fold-american-flag-burned-by-protesters/ (“Black Lives Matter” protesters burn American flag outside GOP debate) and http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2016/01/tavis-smiley-on-every-leading-economic-issue-black-americans-have-lost-ground-under-obama-video/ (“Tavis Smiley: On Every Leading Economic Issue Black Americans Have Lost Ground Under Obama”) and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3419140/The-50-violent-cities-world-revealed-21-Brazil.html (St. Louis, Baltimore, Detroit and New Orleans named on list of 50 most violent cities in the world)



28 06 2015
Jim Parks

I think it’s very interesting that you note how Asians and Latinos are not only surviving but thriving here in America. Even though many are newly-arrived and many have to deal with the disadvantages of being here illegally they are still somehow able to succeed.

What does this say about white racism being the cause when non-whites fail to make it?

Liked by 1 person

28 06 2015
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you, Jim, for your comments.

First, as I have written above:

More than 150 years after Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, little seems to have changed.

Second, those blacks who have succeeded and flourished have generally come from stable families, like Ed Brooke did.

Third, it must be truly depressing for other blacks when they know that (1) “many are still at the very bottom of the American totem pole, while other newer arrivals (e.g., Hispanics or Latinos, Asians) keep rising up it”; (2) “no businesses are going to hire the hoods and thugs”; and (3) “illegal immigration is taking away other jobs that might have gone to blacks.”

Fourth, I believe “white racism” is a factor, but it is not the controlling factor. Otherwise, Asians and Hispanics would not be rising the ladder of success, and leaving their black counterparts behind.

Fifth, I would be remiss if I did not mention Barack Obama, and his book, “Dreams from My Father”:

[H]is mother died of cancer right after the book was first published; and in retrospect, he might not have written the same book about an “absent parent,” his father, but instead might have celebrated her life.

. . .

“It was into my father’s image, the black man, son of Africa, that I’d packed all the attributes I sought in myself. . . . Now, . . . that image had suddenly vanished. Replaced by . . . what? A bitter drunk? An abusive husband? A defeated, lonely bureaucrat? To think that all my life I had been wrestling with nothing more than a ghost! . . . Whatever I do, it seems, I won’t do much worse than he did.”

. . .

[H]is father’s absence from his life—as well as his mother’s absences—contributed to his sense of abandonment and anger.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/ (“Is Barack Obama A Racist?”)


11 07 2015
Timothy D. Naegele

The Thought Police Are At It Again

Confederate Flag

The Wall Street Journal has published an article entitled, “The Right Way to Remember the Confederacy,” which is not worth reading but it is nevertheless mentioned here.

See http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-right-way-to-remember-the-confederacy-1436568855

There is NO right or wrong way to remember the Confederacy—which is why the Journal article is so absurd and should not have been published.

It is another example of the Putinesque “thought police” trying to dictate to Americans how to think about racism, global warming and a whole host of other issues.

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-7486 (“Putin Meets Economic Collapse With Purges, Broken Promises“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/#comment-3036 (“The Global Warming Hoax, And The Great Green Con, Revisited“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/#comment-7356 (“The Global Green Energy Fad“)

The so-called “progressives”—which they are not—or far-Left Democrats want to shove their beliefs down our throats, which is not working and is falling on deaf ears. More importantly, it is apt to be remembered and reflected in next year’s election results.

Their efforts are the fulfillment of George Orwell’s “Animal Farm,” where all of the animals were equal until the pigs reigned supreme.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_Farm (“https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_Farm”)

My first paternal ancestor arrived here from Rottweil, Germany in 1849; and 11 years later, he began serving with the Union Army. I never thought that I would be defending the Confederacy, much less its flag.

However, the Confederacy should be remembered, and its flags should fly proudly—because this is a right that every American has. Indeed, lots of us who have never put up a Confederate flag may do so now.

See http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/07/11/confederate-flag-treated-like-fallen-hero.html (“Confederate Flag Treated Like Fallen Hero“) and https://ca.news.yahoo.com/confederate-flag-supporters-rise-defend-embattled-symbol-222059682.html (“Confederate flag supporters rise up to defend embattled symbol“)

The Leftists and their politicians are trying to mask the fact, and deflect attention from the fact that Hispanics are not rioting. Asians are not rioting. Jews are not rioting. Only the blacks are rioting . . . and then only a small portion of them: the hoods, thugs and criminals who also target elderly and inner-city blacks—and our police.

Racial tensions, hostility and outright hatred exist in America today, in the faces and actions of such hoods, thugs and criminals; and it is creating a reaction of equal or greater magnitude on the part of other Americans.

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/01/03/edward-w-brooke-is-dead/#comment-7434 (“Disappointment In Obama Leads Some Blacks To Ask Whether Voting Is Worth It“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/#comment-7288 (“Rioting, Looting And Killing By Thugs And Hoods In American Cities“)



13 07 2015
Jonathan Buttall

Timothy; It is interesting that about two generations after the Civil Rights movement achieved all it’s goals, we still have ghettos, race riots, children taught to fear and hate police (with the inevitable and sad result this leads to) and a life based on the blame game. The media eats it all up, stirring the pot.

We have a Black president, yet racial relations haven’t changed in the cities. It sometimes feels like we’re still in the 60s or 90s, both terrible periods for racial trouble.

I married into a very large Hispanic family and thus learned about a different culture (my grandparents all came from Russia or Eastern Europe during the Czars).

My new extended family all consist of hard workers all their lives, both male and female. I never hear them blame the “system” for any problems, and they have prospered in Mexico, The United States and Spain, mostly as small business owners. Asians and other immigrants have seen the US as opportunity and done very well here. I’m a retired professional in the psychology field and knew many professionals from Japan, China, Africa (very, very different than African Americans in attitude). Mexico, Cuba, etc. They all came and prospered, and took advantage of opportunity, never expecting a hand out. America is like one’s life itself; that is, it’s what you choose to make of it. Personal responsibility for ones outcome is the key.

Liked by 1 person

13 07 2015
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you, Jonathan, for your comments and sharing your experiences.

Growing up in Southern California, I had similar experiences; and over the years, I have found Hispanics to be wonderful, hard-working Americans, who are only trying to better themselves and embrace our culture.

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/07/30/illegal-immigration-the-solution-is-simple/#comment-6752 (“The Emerging Latino Divide In America”)

Having worked in and with Washington, D.C. for so many years, I have found the same thing to be true of most American blacks. However, there is a group that are at the bottom of America’s totem pole and may always stay there, tragically.

Perhaps it is they, and America’s media, who define race relations in this country—and hurt so many other blacks.


22 08 2015
Timothy D. Naegele

Heroes . . . And Three Friends

Three friends

This photo shows three American childhood friends who attended the same Christian high school in California, and who were touring Europe when they stopped a Kalashnikov-wielding terrorist on a train, and instantly became global heroes.

They are, left to right: Oregon National Guard member Alek Skarlatos from Roseburg, Oregon, who had been deployed in Afghanistan; U.S. Air Force Airman First Class Spencer Stone (standing) of Carmichael, California; and Anthony Sadler, a senior at Sacramento State University in California.

Their heroics are described in numerous articles, too many to cite. However, two in the UK’s Daily Mail stand out, which should be read and the videos viewed. An emotional video interview with Sadler’s father, a Baptist pastor, in the second Daily Mail article is especially worth watching.

See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3207243/True-American-hero-airman-tackled-beat-disarmed-Kalashnikov-wielding-terrorist-French-train-treated-tending-stab-wounds-emerges-hospital-humble-wave.html (“A humble wave from a hero: Wounded US airman who took down AK47-wielding terrorist on French train, then treated others before tending to his own stab wounds emerges from hospital with a smile“) and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3206977/Spencer-airman-charged-Kalashnikov-wielding-terrorist-Paris-bound-train-hearing-load-gun-toilet.html (“‘Let’s go!’ How hero American airman charged Kalashnikov-wielding terrorist on French train, tackled him and beat him unconscious with the help of his comrade in arms and a friend”); see also http://apnews.myway.com/article/20150822/eu–france-train_attack-5be2fb37d9.html (“3 Americans praised for subduing gunman on European train“) and http://www.wsj.com/articles/two-u-s-soldiers-help-subdue-attacker-on-french-train-1440238328 (“[President] Obama spoke with the three Americans and expressed his gratitude”) and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3208541/Passenger-wrestled-Paris-train-terrorist-servicemen-Briton-disarmed-revealed-American-professor-Hollande-thanks-preventing-carnage.html (“Three Americans and a British grandfather who tackled Paris train terrorist are awarded France’s highest honour for bravery for preventing ‘carnage’ – as first hero passenger is revealed to be a U.S. professor [Mark Moogalian]“)


25 09 2015
Timothy D. Naegele

Self-Immolation By The GOP


The Wall Street Journal has reported:

House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio), long under fire from conservatives within his own party, said Friday he will resign from Congress at the end of October.

Mr. Boehner announced his plans to step down as speaker and resign from Congress at a closed-door meeting of House Republicans Friday morning, and later at a news conference.

Perhaps John McCain’s praise of Boehner described him best:

He is an outstanding leader and a wonderful man.

See http://www.wsj.com/articles/house-speaker-boehner-plans-to-resign-1443188407 (“John Boehner Says Fears of ‘Leadership Turmoil’ Contributed to Resignation“)

This is sad.

The Republicans in Congress are ungovernable, and essentially “Neanderthals.” This did not just happen; it has been true for decades.

Now the worst elements of the GOP will rise to the top; and Mitch McConnell will remain in place—in the Senate—who should not have been reelected in Kentucky.

It may signal attempts by the so-called “establishment” to deny Donald Trump the nomination, even though he is head and shoulders above any other GOP candidate.

This is why many of us left the GOP, after first leaving the Dem. Party; and why a growing number of us are Independents, and spurn both parties.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/the-rise-of-independents/#comment-3244 (“Record-High 42 Percent Of Americans Identify As Independents“)

John Boehner was not perfect; no one is. But at least he was able to lead an unruly bunch.

Needless to say, there will be articles and books galore written about what happened today to Boehner.

Perhaps John Avlon said it best in his initial post-mortem.

See http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/09/25/john-boehner-folds-in-the-face-of-the-kamikaze-caucus.html (“GOP’s Kamikaze Caucus Takes Out John Boehner“)


5 01 2017
Timothy D. Naegele

Obama Is Trying To Delegitimize Trump [UPDATED]


The Hill has reported:

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says there’s an “obvious” reason the Obama administration has focused on Russia’s alleged role in Democratic hacks leading up to Donald Trump’s electoral win.

“They’re trying to delegitimize the Trump administration as it goes into the White House,” Assange said during an interview with Fox News’s Sean Hannity airing Tuesday night, according to a transcript of excerpts from the network.

“They are trying to say that President-elect Trump is not a legitimate president,” Assange said during the interview, which was conducted at the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he has been staying.

“Our publications had wide uptake by the American people, they’re all true,” Assange continued. “But that’s not the allegation that’s being presented by the Obama White House.”

Assange reiterated the group’s denial that Russia was the source of the Democratic documents released over the summer.

“Our source is not a state party, so the answer for our interactions is no,” he said.

In December, Assange told Hannity that the documents the anti-secrecy group received looked “very much like they’re from the Russians” but said his source was not them.

When asked if he thought WikiLeaks influenced the 2016 election, Assange pointed to private comments from members of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton’s campaign in documents published by the group.

“Did [WikiLeaks] change the outcome of the election? Who knows, it’s impossible to tell,” Assange said.

“But if it did, the accusation is that the true statements of Hillary Clinton and her campaign manager, John Podesta, and the DNC head Debbie Wasserman Schultz, their true statements is what changed the election.”

See http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/312431-wikileaks-founder-obama-admin-trying-to-delegitimize-trump (“WikiLeaks founder: Obama admin trying to ‘delegitimize’ Trump“) (emphasis added); see also http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2017/01/02/assange_to_hannity_our_source_was_not_the_russian_government.html (“Assange To Hannity: Our Source Was Not The Russian Government“)

Whatever happened to the smooth transition that Obama promised, which George W. Bush afforded to him?

See, e.g., http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/article124204569.html (“Whatever happened to that smooth presidential transition Obama vowed?“)

What is abundantly clear is that Obama has no class. He never had any to begin with, and he has none now. He is a petty, failed “community organizer” and a black racist.

When this blog began on December 5, 2009, more than seven years ago, I asked in the first article:

In the final analysis, will he be viewed as a fad and a feckless naïf, and a tragic Shakespearean figure who is forgotten and consigned to the dustheap of history? Will his naïveté have been matched by his overarching narcissism, and will he be considered more starry-eyed and “dangerous” than Jimmy Carter? Will his presidency be considered a sad watershed in history? Or will he succeed and prove his detractors wrong, and be viewed as the “anointed one” and a true political “messiah”? Even Abraham Lincoln was never accorded such accolades, much less during his lifetime. And Barack Obama’s core beliefs are light years away from those of Ronald Reagan.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/

While God is the final “arbiter,” history will judge the man and his presidency.

He has not come remotely close to Lincoln or Reagan; he is “a tragic Shakespearean figure who [may be] forgotten and consigned to the dustheap of history”; and “his presidency [may be] considered a sad watershed in history.”

See also http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/jan/2/the-obama-years-stumble-to-a-cheesy-climax/ (“The Obama years stumble to a cheesy climax”—”President Obama arrived in Washington on the wings of his promise to cool the rancor between the races, the nation’s saddest and most enduring inheritance of slavery, and he leaves Pennsylvania Avenue having only made things worse”—”The new president will bring to office an agenda with radically different priorities — which is why the people of the 50 states elected him — and Mr. Obama is doing everything he can to lay traps and land mines in the Donald’s paths, few of which he would have dared earlier”—”Rarely if ever since the Nazi era has there been such blatant public spite taken against Jews”—”[H]e’s acting, in the words of one pundit, as if ‘Obama and John Kerry are tenants who trash the place as they are being evicted'”)


13 10 2017
Timothy D. Naegele

Shame On The NFL Players And Despicable Race Hustlers!

NFL players taking knee

Valerie Richardson has written in the Washington Times:

Lost in the uproar over the NFL sideline protests against police brutality are newly released statistics showing that the threat to black men is skyrocketing — not from trigger-happy or racist cops, but from crime.

More than any other demographic group, black men are paying the price with their lives with a surging violent crime rate over the past two years, including a 20 percent jump in the overall homicide rate, even as the number of blacks killed by police declines.

Using homicide figures from the 2016 FBI Uniform Crime Report released Sept. 25, Manhattan Institute fellow Heather Mac Donald found that the number of black homicide victims has jumped by nearly 900 per year since the Black Lives Matter movement took root in 2014.

“The majority of victims of that homicide surge have been black,” Ms. Mac Donald said in an email. “They were killed overwhelmingly by black criminals, not by the police and not by whites.”

Meanwhile, the number of blacks killed by police dipped from 259 in 2015 to 233 in 2016, with 2017 so far coming in below both years with 175 deaths as of Oct. 12, according to The Washington Post’s Fatal Force database.

Crime statistics are notoriously slippery: The FBI Uniform Crime Report depends on local departments to report their statistics voluntarily, and the figures tracked by sites such as the Killed by Police page on Facebook differ from those of The Post.

In addition, the percentage of blacks killed by police has long been more than double blacks’ percentage of the population — about 13.3 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Likewise was the percentage of blacks involved in violent crime.

Still, the dramatic increase in black homicide victims has raised questions over whether NFL players taking a knee in a statement against racially motivated police violence are missing the larger problem.

“If these wealthy football players really cared about saving black lives, they would support proactive policing and denounce criminality,” said Ms. Mac Donald, author of “The War on Cops” (Encounter Books, 2017). “When the police back off of proactive policing in high-crime areas, black lives are lost.”

The FBI reported that violent crime jumped in 2016 by 3.4 percent nationwide, the largest single-year increase in 25 years, which “reaffirms that the worrying violent crime increase that began in 2015 after many years of decline was not an isolated incident.”
In addition, the number of homicides rose by 7.9 percent “for a total increase of more than 20 percent in the nationwide homicide rate since 2014.”

Ms. Mac Donald and others have blamed the increasingly hands-off approach of police officers who are worried about running afoul of the Black Lives Matter movement after the 2014 shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. She dubbed it “the Ferguson effect.”

Peter Moskos, associate professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, tracked the same phenomenon in Baltimore after the April 2015 rioting over the death of a black man in police custody. He calls it “the Freddie Gray effect.”

He found a spike in homicides and shootings after the riots, which were followed by Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s decision to charge six officers in Gray’s death. Three of the officers were acquitted in non-jury trials, and charges against the other three were dismissed.

“Police were instructed — both by city leaders and then in the odd DOJ report city leaders asked for — to be less proactive since such policing will disproportionately affect minorities,” Mr. Moskos said in a Sept. 4 post. “Few seem to care that minorities are disproportionately affected by the rise in murder.”

Yet such statistics can’t compete for headlines with high-profile officer shootings such as the February 2016 barrage of bullets that killed a black couple — Kisha Michael and Marquintan Sandlin — reportedly unconscious at the time in their car in Inglewood, California.

Black Lives Matter has called for the five officers involved to be charged, while protests are continuing in St. Louis after a white police officer was acquitted of murder last month in the 2011 death of Anthony Lamar Smith.

Why the lack of focus on black-on-black crime? Those involved with Black Lives Matter have said in the past that prosecuting such killings is easier than cases involving police force against civilians.

While the NFL kneeling began as a protest against police brutality, those involved have increasingly expanded the point to encompass what San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid described as “systemic oppression that has been rampant in this country for decades and decades.”

Rashad Robinson, senior campaign director at Color of Change, said President Trump’s recent suggestion that owners should fire players who refuse to stand for the national anthem represents a view within sports that “black people serve at the pleasure of white people.”

“Almost every NFL owner is white. Nearly 70% of players are Black,” Mr. Robinson said in a written statement. “Yet for Donald Trump this power imbalance is not enough — he wants to be sure that players who exercise their right to protest social injustice can be fired with impunity. This is what it means to advance a white supremacist worldview.”

The latest crime figures support what rank-and-file officers are witnessing in terms of street violence, said Bill Johnson, executive director of the National Association of Police Organizations, which represents 241,000 cops.

“It jibes with what our members are telling us,” said Mr. Johnson. “Violence in general is up in the sense that whether it leads to reported crime or arrests. Just the situation in our communities and our streets is worse than it was three years ago, certainly before the agitation from Black Lives Matter.”

Officers also have been hit: Ms. Mac Donald said there was a 53 percent increase in 2016 in the shooting deaths of cops, while The Washington Post database found that only 16 of the 233 black men killed by police in 2016 were unarmed.

“A police officer is 18 times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male is to be killed by a police officer,” Ms. Mac Donald said. “Black males have made up 42 percent of all cop killers over the past decade, though they are only 6 percent of the population.”

The worst part is that those suffering from the higher crime rate are those who can least afford it, Mr. Johnson said.

“It’s the communities themselves — people who are being victimized, people who are being murdered, families who are losing loved ones, kids who are afraid to go to schools, business people who won’t open up a business because the neighborhood is too rough — that’s who’s suffering,” he said.

Not all neighborhoods are hit equally.

“It tends to be poor communities, communities of color,” Mr. Johnson said. “Communities that are already suffering from higher crime rates than their neighbors who need safe, effective, thorough law enforcement.”

See http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/oct/12/nfl-protests-overlook-black-homicide-rise/ (“Black Lives Matter, police-focused NFL protests overlook rising black-on-black homicides“) (emphasis added); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/#comment-10895 (“Race Hustlers Like The NAACP, Colin Kaepernick And Barack Obama“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/#comment-10782 (“Boycott The Democrats, Completely“)

Black-on-black crimes have been rampant for decades, especially targeting defenseless elderly blacks. It is a tragedy that is not discussed, but it is real.

Needless to say, the NFL players—and owners—are doing nothing to prevent it, which is among the many reasons why they must be boycotted.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/#comment-10786 (“BOYCOTT THE NFL!“)

Protecting the elderly—and enhancing their lives—was the primary reason why the late Senator Edward W. Brooke and I wrote the “Brooke Amendment” relating to public housing nationally; and why we followed its enactment with the national “Housing Allowance” program, which morphed into the Section 8 housing program that has helped millions of Americans.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/01/03/edward-w-brooke-is-dead/ (“Edward W. Brooke Is Dead“)

Someone commented recently on the work that Senator Brooke and I had done:

Tim: Section 8 has perpetuated blacks dependency on government. As a wise man once said, teaching a man to fish is better than giving him a fish. That translates to providing the means to learn a trade and get out of poverty.

All in all, government has done quite little to help the plight of the black. Liberal policies are the cornerstone of this failure.

We never set out to create another welfare program, or to enhance any existing welfare programs. Our primary goal was to help the elderly who were being victimized and priced out of their existing federal-housing units. But the commenter may be correct: all we did was create another layer of welfare—and yes, dependency.

Perhaps in the final analysis, we were naïve in not realizing that our best intentions would be perverted and twisted, and cheapened and sullied.


31 01 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

Senate Ethics Committee Gives Sen. Cory Booker a Pass, Which Is Outrageous [UPDATED]

Cory Booker

It has been reported:

Judicial Watch announced today that the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Ethics has refused to take action against Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), who admitted to willfully violating Senate rules by releasing confidential records regarding then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s time as a White House counsel. The documents were marked “Committee confidential,” meaning they were not for public distribution.

Judicial Watch’s September 2018 complaint to the chairman and co-chairman of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Ethics called for an investigation after Sen. Booker admitted to violating Senate rules in releasing the confidential material. Ethics Committee Chief Counsel and Staff Director Deborah Sue Mayer responded last week:

The Select Committee on Ethics (the Committee) has reviewed the complaint you filed against Senator Cory A. Booker, dated September 12, 2018. The Committee carefully evaluated the allegations in the complaint and, based on all the information before it, determined that no further action is appropriate. Thank you for your correspondence with the Committee.

Sen. Booker admitted breaking Senate rules when he issued a tweet on Friday, September 7 saying:

Weds—I broke committee rules by reading from “Committee confidential” docs.

Also, Sen. Booker then posted the following entry on his Facebook account on Sunday, September 9:

And the classification of many documents as “Committee confidential” is a sham… I willfully violate these sham rules. I fully accept any consequences that might arise from my actions including expulsion.

Judicial Watch noted in its complaint that Sen. Booker also uploaded “Committee confidential” records to a publicly accessible Dropbox account with the heading “Booker Confidential – Kavanaugh Hearing Documents”.

By violating the rules in releasing Committee confidential records, Sen. Booker appeared to have violated provisions 5 and/or 6 of Rule 29 of the Standing Rules of the Senate (Rev. Jan. 24, 2013), which stipulate that he should be subject to expulsion from the Senate:

5. Any Senator, officer or employee of the Senate who shall disclose the secret or confidential business or proceedings of the Senate, including the business and proceedings of the committees, subcommittees and offices of the Senate shall be liable, if a Senator, to suffer expulsion from the body; and if an officer or employee, to dismissal from the service of the Senate, and to punishment for contempt.

6. Whenever, by the request of the Senate or any committee thereof, any documents or papers shall be communicated to the Senate by the President or the head of any department relating to any matter pending in the Senate, the proceedings in regard to which are secret or confidential under the rules, said documents and papers shall be considered as confidential, and shall not be disclosed without leave of the Senate.

(See pp. 48-49: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CDOC-113sdoc18/pdf/CDOC-113sdoc18.pdf )

The Senate Ethics Committee is evenly split, with three Republicans and three Democrats. The Committee members are Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Christopher A. Coons (D-DE), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Brian Schatz (D-HI), James Risch (R-ID), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH).

“It is an absolute disgrace that the Senate Ethics Committee is giving Senator Booker a pass for willfully violating Senate rules by leaking confidential information to smear Justice Kavanaugh,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The Senate continues the abuse of Kavanaugh and his family by refusing to act against a Senator who, pretending to be Spartacus, violated the rule of law and our Constitution in trying to destroy him.”

See https://www.judicialwatch.org/press-room/press-releases/judicial-watch-senate-ethics-committee-gives-sen-cory-booker-a-pass-for-purposely-violating-rules-to-try-to-torpedo-kavanaugh-nomination/ (“Senate Ethics Committee Gives Sen. Cory Booker a Pass for Purposely Violating Rules to Try to Torpedo Kavanaugh Nomination“) (emphasis added)

There is only one reason why Booker was given a pass: he is black. No other reason . . . which is outrageous. It is the same reason why the black racist, Barack Obama, was given passes throughout his career, which continues to this day.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/ (“Is Barack Obama A Racist?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/20/the-real-russian-conspiracy-barack-obama-the-clintons-and-the-sale-of-americas-uranium-to-russias-killer-putin/ (“The Real Russian Conspiracy: Barack Obama, The Clintons, And The Sale Of America’s Uranium To Russia’s Killer Putin”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/24/should-barack-obama-be-executed-for-treason/ (“Should Barack Obama Be Executed For Treason?“); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/24/should-barack-obama-be-executed-for-treason/#comment-15252 (“How Barack Obama Secretly Feared His Surveillance Abuse Would Be Exposed By Trump“)

Booker should be expelled from the Senate, now and forever. End of story.

See also https://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/cory-booker-bigotries-constitution-2020/2019/03/08/id/906034/ (“Booker Says Founders Wrote ‘Bigotries’ Into Constitution”) and http://www.dickmorris.com/cory-booker-dead-in-the-water-because-theres-lead-in-the-water-2020-election-alert/ (“Cory Booker: Dead In The Water Because There’s Lead In The Water“)


20 02 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

Even With A Section 8 Subsidy, A Nearly 70 Percent Rent Increase Is An Impossible Jump

Ed Brooke

Jenifer McKim and Alejandro Serrano have written for the Boston Globe:

THE THURSDAY VIBE at the sprawling Edward W. Brooke Courthouse on New Chardon Street in downtown Boston has a jittery, jagged edge to it. Thursday is trial day for eviction cases at Eastern Housing Court, where landlords and tenants from Boston, Cambridge, Chelsea, and eight other cities and towns square off. The busy hallway outside Courtroom 10 looks like an anxiety fair, with attorneys from legal aid clinics at tables surrounded by tenants with the desperate air of people who know that they might soon find themselves homeless.

Among these is Jerome Stanley, a 64-year-old Boston school bus driver, who is trying to stay in the two-bedroom Roxbury apartment he’s lived in for 27 years. Stanley’s dressed in a leather jacket, his gray hair pulled back into a ponytail. He’s here because he got a notice that movers were coming to pack up his stuff, even though he’d appealed his original eviction order. His new landlords wanted to raise his rent by nearly 70 percent, and even with the Section 8 subsidy he receives via the city, it’s an impossible jump for a man who makes less than $40,000 a year.

Stanley argues, for starters, that the landlords are breaking his lease terms early. But he tried this argument in housing court earlier in the year and lost, and also had a reconsideration claim denied. He appealed the judge’s ruling and thinks he can’t be evicted until the court has heard him.

Stanley’s case isn’t scheduled until noon, but he’s here before 10 to check in at one of the legal aid tables and discuss strategy. Stanley, who’s also a union steward, will represent himself, like more than 90 percent of Massachusetts renters facing eviction. He cracks a joke, then confesses, “I’m laughing to keep from crying.” If he loses today, he says, “I have nowhere to go.”

Eviction initiations in Massachusetts spiked in 2008, following the Great Recession. Each year since then, landlords have sued about 40,000 heads of household across the state seeking to evict them, according to data gathered by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting. The state doesn’t track how many of these have resulted in actual evictions, but the Eviction Lab at Princeton University found that in 2016, there were roughly 15,708 forced removals in Massachusetts — an average of nearly 43 a day. That’s about double the number of evictions in 2005, before the housing bubble burst, and it probably does not reflect how many people are displaced, since it does not include the number of renters who leave once they get their notice, and those who strike deals with their landlords to stay temporarily. Some legislators and activists say that evictions disproportionately affect the poorest, most vulnerable members of our society, who, like Stanley, end up in court without legal representation.

“It is David versus Goliath,’’ says Sal DiDomenico, a state senator from Everett. “People who are low income don’t have the resources to compete.” DiDomenico introduced a bill in January, an act to ensure right to counsel in eviction proceedings, to provide legal counsel to low-income tenants — part of a package of bills supported by Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh to reduce displacement and help low-income residents.

DiDomenico filed similar legislation in 2017, and that bill died in committee. But New York City and San Francisco — the two most expensive rental markets in the United States — recently established right to counsel for low-income tenants fighting eviction. In New York between July 2017 and July 2018, 84 percent of those assigned attorneys to represent them were able to stay in their homes. Advocates hope that now Massachusetts will step up as well, given that Boston has the fourth-highest rents in the country. DiDomenico says reducing eviction rates would also benefit taxpayers, who shoulder costs and consequences related to the aftermath of evictions, such as homelessness, foster care, and crime. A 2014 Boston Bar Association report estimated that limiting evictions could save the state millions. “Our shelters are bursting at the seams,’’ DiDomenico says.

On a practical level, providing tenants with attorneys could defuse some of the raw emotion of eviction court, says Framingham real estate attorney Richard Vetstein, who says, “I’ve been chased down by many a tenant, threatened in the parking lot, threatened in the hallway.” But many landlords are skeptical. While landlords have the right to evict tenants without cause and take back their properties, state laws already provide numerous defenses to renters to help ensure fair treatment. “The playing field from the landlord’s point of view is already skewed in favor of the tenant,’’ says Peter Vickery, a lawyer for the Cambridge-based MassLandlords.net, which represents thousands of smaller property owners. Vickery wrote a blog post in January linking the right-to-counsel movement to the Democratic Socialists of America, which among other things wants to eliminate evictions entirely. He says that if low-income tenants get free attorneys, so should small landlords.

For longtime renters like Stanley, the booming real estate market has made it hard to find someplace new. Boston-area rents reached a new high during the fourth quarter of 2018, according to the real estate market researcher Reis Inc., averaging $2,223 a month. Meanwhile, the state would need 162,286 additional homes just to meet the needs of residents who are at or below the poverty line, according to a 2018 national study. Some property owners understandably are looking to profit from the record market, either by raising rents or selling their properties. Records show that Wendy Desabaye and Artnel Champagnie, who bought the three-decker Stanley lives in in January 2018, have purchased more than a dozen residential properties in Boston neighborhoods since 2012, and resold more than half.

Flipping buildings is not illegal. But it can exacerbate the area’s housing crisis, especially when occupants of entire buildings enter the market.

THE GAP BETWEEN THOSE with attorneys and those without is clear to the eye on Thursdays at 9 a.m. in Courtroom 10 at the Brooke Courthouse, when eviction cases are called. The room is about the size of three school buses parked side-by-side. On one side a sea of renters — mostly people of color, women with children, seniors, and people with disabilities — wait for their names to be called to set a time for trial or to negotiate a settlement to avoid being forced from their homes. It’s often standing-room only. Across the room a smaller group of mostly white, mostly male attorneys representing landlords waits in suits and ties for the same cases to be heard so they can seek out a payment plan or demand eviction. Some stand, others sit in an area blocked off for attorneys.

When Stanley’s case is called, he stands before Judge MaryLou Muirhead, first justice of the Eastern Housing Court. In court he stutters and speaks in a soft voice. He explains he filed an appeal and shows his paperwork when asked. “I still need time,’’ he says. “Tomorrow is a little bit too soon.”

Muirhead is a no-nonsense judge with a busy docket. On this day, there are more than 160 cases called in her courtroom alone. She explains to Stanley that he has made a procedural mistake — he needed to file a new appeal after the court ruled against him earlier in the year. “You didn’t perfect your appeal and you didn’t pursue your request for review of orders,’’ she says. “I am not in a position to stay the levy today.”

It’s been just over five minutes. The grandfather and part-time musician is told he can seek redress in appeals court, which later that day also denies him a reprieve. For the first time in his life, Stanley faces homelessness. He heads to his apartment to organize his things. He doesn’t respond to an afternoon text checking in until 2:33 the next morning, when he writes “Packing. Not in a good space right now.”

If Stanley had worked from the beginning with an attorney, he likely would have been able to find a way to stay, or at least gained more time to move, says Zoe Cronin, managing attorney of the housing unit at Greater Boston Legal Services, which offers free legal help to low-income tenants. Stanley came to them after he lost the first time, and the group helped him file court documents to seek a reconsideration of the decision, which he lost, and his appeal. As the judge noted, losing the reconsideration bid nullified the initial appeal, and he would have had to file a second appeal. The lawyers who volunteer at legal aid services often can only provide brief advice to people who approach them while they’re at the housing court; DiDomenico’s bill would give tenants full representation, similar to a public defender in criminal court.

Stanley believes his landlords want to flip the building he lives in. But owner Wendy Desabaye says an attorney would at best have only delayed the inevitable — she and her husband want this building for family members, including her mother, and are living in one of the units themselves. Desabaye, a 49-year-old immigrant from St. Thomas, says Stanley is trying to obstruct her from living the American dream. “Everyone makes the landlord out to be the big, bad people,” she says. “I worked really hard, there were no grants, no subsidies . . . . It was a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. Is someone saying I don’t have a right to what I’ve paid for? How is that fair?”

Desabaye and Champagnie own small properties, often just a few units each. Evictions are also happening on a much larger scale. “What we are seeing are building-wide clear outs, where everyone in the building receives a no-fault eviction notice” from landlords who want to flip the property, says Helen Matthews, a spokeswoman for City Life/Vida Urbana, a nonprofit tenants’ right organization in Jamaica Plain. Matthews says that in the past five years, the organization has worked with residents in 75 buildings, mostly in Boston, including women over 50 fighting eviction from a Fenway rooming house owned by an order of nuns and senior men being forced out of a Dorchester apartment building. “Seniors are one of the most disproportionately impacted groups,” Matthews says.

Juliana Williams, a 68-year-old retired Boston public school teacher, sits on a bench outside of Courtroom 10 one day late last year. As she waits for the judge to call her case, she has plenty of company: yellow-shirted activists from City Life, there to show support. Also there is Nicole Summers, a lawyer who works for the WilmerHale Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School, as well as a law student who is helping with her case. Williams wants to stay in the one-bedroom apartment in Mattapan where she’s lived for 40 years and raised her son, who has a job and a place of his own. She suffers from a debilitating foot injury she says happened outside her apartment. Her landlord, she says, wants to push her out because she is refusing to pay a roughly 33 percent rent increase, $400 more than her $1,184 monthly rent, and she had the nerve to complain about conditions at the property. The battle to save her home has left her feeling dehumanized. “I’ve always been a hard worker, I’ve worked for what I’ve gotten,’’ she says, voice quivering. “It seems like all that didn’t matter.”

The landlord, Advanced Property Management, tried to evict Williams in 2016, after her son was arrested as part of a drug bust at a nearby apartment. But Williams’s son said he was not involved, and the charges were dismissed, after which APM dropped its case. Then, in 2018, an APM affiliate, GBM Portfolio Owner, wanted to increase the rent and filed a new eviction proceeding, claiming Williams wouldn’t pay up. Robert Russo, a Boston real estate attorney who represents both APM and GBM, says too many seniors in the city haven’t properly planned for the future. “She says it’s too much,” Russo says. “What’s a landlord supposed to do? Should you pay whatever you want?”

Williams says she never received notification of the rent increase, and is not opposed to a “reasonable” if unspecified bump in her rent. But she also wants to see the landlord make repairs — detailing in court records problems with leaking windows, inadequate heating, and defective plumbing. “They don’t want to do nothing, but they want money, money, money,’’ she says. Oleg Uritsky, who runs both APM and GBM, declined to comment via a spokesperson, citing the ongoing litigation with Williams. Advocates from City Life recently held a protest claiming Uritsky and APM are pushing older, low-income tenants out of their homes.

Uritsky’s spokesperson, Regan Communications’ Sean Martin, issued a statement saying the real estate company is focused on providing “well maintained, secure, and affordable housing.” He pointed to the dismissed drug charges from 2016 and declined to comment on new eviction proceedings related to a rise in rent. In December in housing court, Williams’s lawyer argues that her client did not receive the original summons to court and the eviction order should be reversed. Judge Muirhead says she’ll consider the request, and a day later stays the eviction, scheduling a new hearing for February 26.

Williams may be able to work out an accord with GBM. Housing court judges often encourage renters and landlords, or their attorneys, to head down to the third floor of the courthouse, where court mediators try to broker deals that can involve a reduction in what is owed, a payment plan, or a move-out date. Having access to an attorney can be particularly helpful in this part of the process, housing advocates say, because desperate renters often agree to terms they don’t actually understand or can’t honor.

That’s what Siobhan O’Connor says happened to her. O’Connor is 56, suffers from diabetes, depression, and arthritis, and is embroiled in an eviction fight with the nuns who own her dwelling. O’Connor has lived for about five years in the 130-unit Our Lady’s Guild House, a few blocks from Kenmore Square. The house is owned by the Daughters of Mary of the Immaculate Conception, an order based in New Britain, Connecticut, which in 2013 hired a for-profit real estate company, MRR Management, to manage it. In 2014, O’Connor and other residents were given notice that stays in the transitional housing would be capped at four years.

O’Connor in 2017 went to court to block her eviction, and represented herself. She wound up entering mediation, and signed a contract provided by Guild House counsel promising to move out of her $765-a-month room in nine months, and waiving any defense against eviction. “I thought it was the only option I had,’’ she says.

Margaret Turner, an attorney with Greater Boston Legal Services, is attempting to stave off O’Connor’s eviction. She says that if O’Connor had had a lawyer, she would have never signed the agreement to leave. Turner says she would have known she had legal defenses, including alleged age and disability discrimination. Court records note the Guild House’s website at one point included language saying that housing was meant for women ages 18 to 50, which O’Connor says discriminates against older people. The website currently states it serves women who work, and/or attend school or internships in the area, which Turner alleges discriminates against people with disabilities, court records show.

Don Martelli, a spokesman for the Guild House, says the age limit was an employee error and was removed once discovered. He denies that the Guild House’s practices are discriminatory, and says it provides affordable housing for women regardless of race, religion, or other factors. He says the issue is that the nuns never meant for the property “to be a long-term or forever housing.”

But Turner says the result has been “evicting scores of women who are older and disabled. They have a right to housing.”

When tenants like O’Connor have legal assistance, housing advocates say, it improves their chances of remaining in their homes. But legal aid attorneys say they are overwhelmed with requests for help. Sheila Dillon, Boston’s housing chief, says the city is working with a coalition of nonprofits and tenants organizations to support several bills, including one prohibiting no-fault evictions for tenants older than 75. Landlords have called this bill a form of rent control, a practice abolished in Massachusetts via a 1994 ballot measure. The city is also working to boost DiDomenico’s right-to-counsel bill. Since the bill was filed, 17 other lawmakers have signed on, giving it momentum.

Whatever the outcome, it will be too late for Stanley. The day after his hearing, a moving truck rolls up to his home on Highland Street in Roxbury. He watches stoically as movers pack his life into boxes — his dishes, his drum set, and furniture — and haul it away to storage he’s secured. Stanley looks exhausted, not the same man who had walked into court the day before. He says he’ll likely sleep on couches at the homes of friends and family. “What are the options? If you come up with a zero, that’s me,” he says.

Elderly renters looking for apartments in Massachusetts already have few options, given that they typically live on fixed, small incomes. Even someone like Stanley, who has a job, may not have the savings to put down a deposit. Worse, eviction notices are public record, easily available online, serving as a kind of scarlet letter for tenants vying for affordable homes.

It’s been about four months since Stanley watched his belongings carted off. Since then, he has declined to meet in person for this story, and has become difficult to reach. In late November, he wrote an e-mail from a Boston city school bus yard saying he is no longer an optimistic man. He is fighting for survival, he says. He is now one of about 20,000 people experiencing homelessness in Massachusetts, an increase of nearly 33 percent since a decade ago.

“Close your eyes and imagine the joy you have with your work, look at your home and imagine the time you have with your children . . . then tomorrow suddenly after 30 years its gone,’’ he writes. “I would imagine it would be difficult to talk about while trying to figure out how to put the pieces back together for you and the people you love and depend on you. It would be easy to doubt at this age if it’s even possible.”

See https://www.bostonglobe.com/magazine/2019/02/19/rents-soar-boston-low-income-tenants-try-stave-off-eviction/QddCq1bLrV3JQhaFTzYnGP/story.html (“As rents soar in Boston, low-income tenants try to stave off eviction“) (emphasis added)

So so sad. And this is happening in the courthouse named after the late Senator Brooke, whose Brooke Amendment and “Experimental Housing Allowance Program”—which morphed into Section 8 housing—have helped millions of Americans.

To say that the senator would be saddened is an understatement.

. . .

Coincidentally, today I completed an article entitled, “THE BROOKE AMENDMENT AND SECTION 8 HOUSING: REVISITED, which will be published later this year—and deals with the state of low-income housing nationwide.

Compare https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/01/03/edward-w-brooke-is-dead/ (“Edward W. Brooke Is Dead“) with https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/ (“Is Barack Obama A Racist?“)


26 02 2023
Timothy D. Naegele

Is This Person Correct?

See https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11793295/Newspaper-comic-strip-Dilbert-canceled-creators-racist-tirade.html (“Newspaper comic strip Dilbert gets canceled after its creator is branded racist for warning white people to ‘get the f**k away’ from black people – before doubling down on his beliefs”)

What it would mean is that the racist and anti-Semite Barack Obama has won, and has successfully divided the USA, and the true American Edward W. Brooke has lost.


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