Friday, August 07, 2009

Why I find it easy to be cynical about government
Part 5: City Politics and local bureaucrats

OK - Chicago is an easy target. So we start with Chicago.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/chi-0605220165may22,0,7022476.story

This was one of those things that stick with you... the shear gall of the crooks running Chicago. And this is nicely snarky.
Who but a bunch of Chicago aldermen would throw dirt on the idea of prosecuting people accused of fraudulently ripping off taxpayers by denying them the right to have their money spent on qualified city workers? Yet, here they come whining about how U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald supposedly is stepping over some imaginary line by prosecuting city administrators who participated in an alleged scheme to ladle out jobs and promotions to political toilers for City Hall and other Democratic organization candidates.

People are afraid to talk to them, the aldermen complained to Tribune reporters last week. What the defendants are accused of doing is just politics, not really a crime, some suggest. It's merely a violation of a civil agreement sanctioned by a federal court to limit patronage hiring. No one should have to go to jail for that! The agreement and the prosecution amount to federal micromanaging of city affairs, they say, as if left to their own devices the aldermen wouldn't sell every job in sight.
I have some exposure to local politics - not Chicago - and while Chicago may be brazen about it, I don't think it is unique. Your mileage may vary.



Schools are wonderful places sometimes, but they are very much becoming instruments of the state... with all of the worst connotations.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2003681580_essay26.html
Your creative writing assignment "disturbs" a teacher. It contains no threats against anyone. Contains some violence. You are arrested. No - that isn't scary or anything. (I guess none of the teachers/DAs/Cops have ever read a Frank Miller graphic novel (or seen the movies based on them - "Sin City" "300") or a David Lloyd graphic novel like "V for Vendetta." Their heads would explode if they ever saw a Quentin Tarrantino film - or read the script.

Colleges are worse of course.
http://wheelgun.blogspot.com/2009/07/do-you-think-he-understands-irony.html The irony in this story is wonderful.
http://wheelgun.blogspot.com/2006/04/express-your-beliefs-on-campus-get.html step outside the orthodoxy, and get arrested.


Some of you may remember the Robert Mapplethorpe kerfuffle in Cincinnati. Mapplethorpe's exhibit "The Perfect Moment" had been touring the country - with some protest, but mostly without incident. When the exhibit reached Cincinnati, all hell broke lose. http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2000/05/21/loc_mapplethorpe_battle.html
Dennis Barrie and the Contemporary Arts Center were indicted for pandering obscenity hours after the opening of the photography exhibit, Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Moment.
There is even a movie (made for TV?) called "Dirty Pictures" about this. (The Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center couldn't have purchased the kind of publicity they got. When will they learn?)

The person doing the arresting? The sheriff of Hamilton County. The same gentleman who arrested Larry Flint of Penthouse fame. (See the very entertaining movie "The People vs. Larry Flint." for that one) Sheriff Simon Lies, rhymes with fleece. (He has now been portrayed in 2 movies. I wonder if there will be a third?)

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