Friday, October 30, 2015

Ferguson Effect had no effect on Ben Fields

Some big city mayors and even FBI head Jim Comey theorize the Ferguson Effect, passerby videos of cops behaving badly, including murder, has inhibited arrests in high crime areas, spiking crime rates. The data is mixed; some big city crime rates are up; some are down, with no definitive connection between videotaping and crime rates possible. But if there is a Ferguson Effect, it certainly didn't inhibit high school cop Ben Field from going violent with a teen girl in Columbia, SC, flipping the chair bound troublemaker upside down before tossing her across the room. The lesson here is that when bad cops go berserk, their rage makes them oblivious to the ubiquitous cell cameras recording their violent outbursts. The vast majority of cops who are capable of controlling their non professional emotions or character flaws, likely view the taping of their citizen interactions positively; they damn the unruly citizen, not the professional gendarme. But seeing the near weekly stomach turning videos of brutal cops traumatizing, injuring and sometimes killing unarmed, not violent citizens, makes one wonder how many thousands, millions maybe, have been victimized without any means of redress whatsoever before the video revolution. 
I revere and respect the police who have helped me several times including once preventing an imminent mugging while sitting on a Chicago park bench with a friend decades ago. But being white and affluent, I neither experienced nor fretted once about being victimized by a renegade cop. The solutions are many, including weeding out psychologically unfit applicants, promptly dumping the unfit once they demonstrate incompetence or worse, and alleviating the joblessness, despair, blight and institutional racism which continue to plague our minority and poor communities. And how about if the vast majority of good cops stop following the 'blue code' which prevents them rating out the bad cops whose disgusting conduct jeopardize the safety of the citizenry they're sworn to protect, and well as making the good cops' work much tougher and dangerous?

Daily Herald's false equivalency between old and new COD Board's governance

The Daily Herald October 27 editorial 'It's leaders' responsibility to 'move forward' at College of DuPage' is misleading as to the extent of wrongdoing that led to the firing of President Robert Breuder and two financial officers. If one wasn't cognizant of the rampant waste of millions of dollars in corruption, mismanagement, ego mania and fraud that has plagued the College of DuPage during the 2009-2015 Breuder administration, one would gather from the Herald that the new 'Clean Slate' Board is just as responsible for COD's current stained reputation as the old Board that enabled all the shenanigans. Nothing could be further from the truth. The primary complaint from community folks opposing the Clean Slate majority correcting unconscionable abuses of power and citizen tax money, is that they are 'Tea Partiers' using the governing crisis to take over COD, privatize it, wrecking havoc on the educational process. I've heard that directly from old Board members and their dwindling supporters in the community. The Herald almost totally glosses over the abuses that led to the citizens' retiring two old Board members in April, and the new Board's prompt and dramatic reforms that have swept away the Waterleaf Restaurant and the House accounts used by President Breuder and his enablers to gorge at the public trough, among other abuses. My wife and I have attended every Board meeting since the Breuder gravy train was derailed by his own hubris in sending a damning email to the Board revealing his cynical 'pay to pay' hustle to grab millions in tax dollars for his Xanadu edifice. Never has the new Board wavered from a laser like focus on substantive reforms. Divisive interaction indeed occurred, but considering the 100% stonewalling of reforms by the three holdover members, we're surprised the acrimony was not significantly greater.

For the Herald to say "the impression any reasonable observer of COD's recent affairs would have -- is that the college cannot continue to be run the way it has been for the past several years, up to and including the present day" demeans the hard and sometimes contentious process of reform. An overwhelming majority of the faculty and the COD taxpayers would certainly disagree with that conclusion. Regarding COD, the Daily Herald is simply not a reasonable observer.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Creative punishment for Triple B means no prison time

Convicted bribe taker Barbara Byrd Bennett faces up to seven years in prison for her scheme to enrich herself at the public education trough. But spending a single dime on her incarceration is a waste of public money. Bennett's criminal career is over; she's non-violent and no longer a danger to society. How bout a punishment that will weigh on her every one of those 2,555 days much more than the slammer? I'm referring to home confinement with the stipulation that she spend every school day tutoring needy kids in the schools she sold out to the fake principal consulting company.

She could spend each month in a different school, starting off with a public apology to the entire student body, before setting up in her own classroom tutoring and mentoring the neediest students one on one. It would save we taxpayers a hunk of loot; offer help where it's sorely needed; and allow Bennett to expiate her societal transgressions in a uniquely constructive manner. She should also be paid for this valuable work at the nominal rate for any convict doing prison work. If we do this, everybody wins except the hard time dead-enders who think nothing of adding to our No. 1 world wide ranking of incarcerating our citizenry.