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08/13/03  Catchy beat, but you can't live with it!

It's a never ending novella at City Hall.  Laura Miller is the central diva and looks great in the part.  Lean, handsomely pretty, perfectly dressed, well spoken with good intentions.  Other, recurring characters step in and out of the scene at random points with good and bad intentions.  Some are outrageously bad guys, some are weak and indecisive and back-biting and a couple are straight and honest.   

Like with any novella, the plot lines are convoluted and implausible.  Heavy drama!  Breast beating!  Under the table deals!  

Some weeks good guys do bad things for a good cause.  Less frequently, the bad guys have a moment of human decency and do something good to the bewilderment of all.

Wednesday, I listened to the council meeting for the first time in weeks.  The person who should be Mayor Pro Tem is Bill Blaydes, such a force.  He has spent so much time around the horseshoe serving on various boards that it's not intimidating to him at all.   There was a dumb request for a 40 ft. pole sign on Central to advertise a storage facility.  Councilman Blaydes weighed in and made great points even though it was not his district.  

Central Expressway is a major gateway to the city.  Blaydes was looking out for the entire city's best interest and ignored ward politics.

Ed Oakley did the same thing on a case near my neighborhood outside his District 3 (although he represented this part of District 6 last year).  Before he went on the council, Ed served on the DISD's Real Estate Advisory Board.  The Catholic Diocese approached the DISD several years ago to unload this landlocked site to the DISD.  There have been all sorts of pipe dreams of stuff the Diocese would do with the land (that has inadequate access), but a school is the best use for the property.  

Now, that the DISD is ready to look at the land, the Diocese tried to get it rezoned to cemetery to get more of our tax DISD money on land with ingress/egress problems.  

Ed Oakley called the Diocese lawyer out and held his feet to the fire.  Oakley defied ward politics to do what is right for DISD taxpayers and my neighborhood.  We desperately need that new school.  Our little Burnett Elementary is overwhelmed with kids from the over-populated apartment houses around us.  Hopefully, our councilman will follow Oakley's lead in this.

Two good moves, but the Al Lipscomb PRB nomination looms on the horizon.  It doesn't look like Beat that Indictment Fantroy will pull the nomination.  

Bill Blaydes has absolutely committed to opposing Old Al for the Police Review Board (PRB) even if he is the sole vote against.  The Mayor has confirmed she will vote against Lipscomb's nomination, so Blaydes will not be hung out to dry.  

Here's hoping Ed Oakley  and Mitch Rasansky are two more "NO" votes.
RAD FIELD:
  When the DPD hires an applicant for the job of policeman, the applicant should have an impeccable background.  
   When the Police Review Board has a new member applicant, the applicant's background should be impeccable. 
   Failure on the part of either interviewing parties to determine if they are placing a criminal, or indicted individual in a high position of trust for our citizens is an atrocity.
    Such an action would shame the City of Dallas more than it has sustained during the previous year.  
  This ludicrous action would be looked upon by the FBI and U.S. Attorney's Office as absurd.  The local and national press would pick up on the issue and laugh at the ignorance of Dallas City Council

 

Several people tried to convince me it's not a big deal having a confessed bribe-taker on a city board.  It's not a powerful board.  It's an obscure little waste of time board.  That's baloney! Tim Dickey:
   You've convinced me. This is no laughing matter.  It's simply too momentous a choice to be shrugged off with cynicism and ridicule.  You're just plain right. 
   This is one of those linchpin, "defining" moments for our city, and those who feel deeply that this is wrong should speak out.  I'm going to call council members Griffith and Finkelman's office tomorrow and tell them how I feel. 
  At one time, Gary Griffith worked very actively on behalf of the Bachman neighborhood -- the very neighborhood Al Lipscomb sold down the river when he took that $7,700 from Nick Rizos and pressured the  still unknown "high-ranking  police official above the rank of Lieutenant" to stop enforcement in Northwest Highway clubs.  Gary Griffith should hold the line on this one. 
  I can't imagine why Lois Finkelman would approve of the Lipscomb nomination.

 

There are no degrees of right and wrong!  
A former friend thinks the World should be seen in shades of gray, that it's judgmental to draw lines between right and wrong.  Of course, being judgmental in our modern world is very bad, very politically incorrect. 
Citizen D:
Toothless tiger or not, it is the principle of the thing!
It's like in our own families ...  
Yes, we are related to Uncle Charlie, but we don't loan him any money!  He won't pay it back!  
We know this and act accordingly because we "know better"!
Who knew that we would live to see a day like this?


I am sick of the politically correct making excuses for wrong doing and letting bad guys "redeem" themselves.  

A former minister who once served as a missionary in Korea told me villages there are very harsh on wrong doers.  He said villages take great pride in their sports teams, and wrong doers are banned for life from participating.  They can come back into society after their punishment, but only to a certain level.  They don't see punishment as a time for rehabilitating the bad guy.  Rather, PUNISHMENT is as much a WARNING to potential bad guys as it is PUNISHMENT to those who did not heed the WARNING.

Past good deeds are of no consequence when you break the law.  Bad deeds cancel out the good.  Why  not take shortcuts or bribes or break the law if there are no negative consequences for bad deeds? Chip Northrup:
The Council has to show some spine regarding law enforcement. 
Approving Al Lipscomb to the Police Review Board would not be a good place to start.

 

Mind you, we are not talking about some misguided youth.  Lipscomb was way past old enough to know better when he took those bribes.  He uses the name of Jesus Christ like some kind of weapon to protect himself from scrutiny.  

Al Lipscomb is no man of God.  He is a former drug pusher.  He is a former pimp -- not just in California.  He was a well known provider of female flesh to rich white guys who have been very generous to him over the years.  That makes him a slave trader not a civil rights leader, unless it's the rights of the Johns who used his services.

Lipscomb has had his THREE STRIKES, and he should be OUT.
Rad Field:
Al Lipscomb nudges out Larry Flint for slot on Dallas Police Review Board   Flint's court record just can not compete with that of the former council member.


Steve Blow's DMN column justifying Old Al being on the Police Review Board is sickening:
Let Lipscomb be model for ex-offenders
09:13 PM CDT on Tuesday, August 12, 2003
By STEVE BLOW / The Dallas Morning News
. . . of all the people he could have nominated to the Dallas Citizens Police Review Board, you can't help feeling a little spite was involved in naming Al Lipscomb.
   You don't normally think of a federal bribery conviction as a stepping-stone to law-enforcement oversight.
 . . .  The battle lines are already being drawn by those who enjoy drawing battle lines.
. . . 
my first reaction was simply that Mr. Lipscomb doesn't deserve to sit in judgment of police officers.  . . . the more I think about his nomination, the more I say, "Why not?"
. . .  is it worth a nasty fight to keep Mr. Lipscomb off a nearly powerless board? 
. . .  there's an excellent reason to see Mr. Lipscomb restored to public life.
. . .  he's just one of thousands of ex-offenders who need a second chance.
. . .  I would hope that Mr. Lipscomb quits trying to portray himself as vindicated. On the contrary, I would hope he becomes a model of contrition, a model of taking personal responsibility for both past mistakes and future successes.
. . . Our society makes it nearly impossible for ex-offenders to succeed.
. . .  He has changed society before, helping transform Dallas into a place of greater opportunity and fairness for minorities.
   Here's hoping he might do the same for ex-offenders ? and serve as a role model in the process.

 

Blow's reasoning is how Dallas got into our financial mess and state of lawlessness.  

A little wink or snicker at a time!  You don't put a confessed bribe-taker on any city board, much less promote him as a "role model" for crooks who want another shot at the brass ring.  
James Northrup:
Steve Blow's column effectively sets the stage for the DMN to waffle on Lipscomb, white washing him as an opportunity to be a role model.


Here's another question for my friends who think this is no big deal:

If Old Al is to be a role model for convicted crooks, he is also a role model for young men and women who have not crossed the line between right and wrong YET.  If he can do what he did (drug dealing, pimping, bribe-taking) and be lauded and exalted, why should anyone follow the rules?  

Why should your son or daughter not go ahead and push drugs?  
Why worry about getting caught for shoplifting.  
Why expect your lawn furniture to be in your yard when you get home from work? 
Why arrest a burglar or car thief?  

If there are no bad consequences for breaking the law or taking a bribe or slave-trading (which is what pimps do), then what's the point of having laws?  

Are rules just for good people to follow?  

Are good people supposed to step out of their homes every morning and tell the bad guys they are ready to be exploited that day?

Another question for Blow and those who think Al Lipscomb changed society in Dallas:

Been to Arcadia Park lately?  
Driven the back streets of South Dallas lately?  

Al Lipscomb changed nothing for the better.  The old crook is responsible for our city being divided into political wards based on race rather than natural geography or historic communities of interest.  The only people who prosper with the city divided on racial lines are a few political opportunists and their comrades.  Most people in District 8 (Lipscomb's old district, Fantroy's current fiefdom) cannot point to much improvement in their community over how it looked 30 years ago.

I am sick of those who SIDE-STEP the reality of how wrong it is for Al Lipscomb to be out of jail, much less serving on a city board.

When people live together, we must have rules.  The most primitive tribe has rules -- very stringent rules.  When a tribe member breaks the rules, they are cast out and shunned.  We are so determined to be modern and with-it and politically correct, that we ignore the most basic rules that any primitive tribesman sees clearly.

In Dallas, Our Downtown Betters (the ODB) and their daily paper,
The Dallas Managed News, attack anyone who speaks out against wrong doing.  We must not talk about our problems in public.  It's the same logic used by Chief TB to blame our horrible crime stats on you and me for reporting too many crimes.  If we would just keep our problems to ourselves, the city's crime rate would go down.

I am not unhappy to be a private citizen and not serving on the city council.  Something happens to most people once they sit down at that horse show.  It may be something in the water.  Very few can resist the siren song of "go along to get along".  Too few!

Here's the vote so far on Lipscomb to the Police Review Board:

DEFINITELY YES LIKELY YES DEFINITELY  NO LIKELY NO
Beat that Indictment Fantroy
Brain-Dead Thornton-Reese
Shakedown Leo Chaney
Attorney Don Hill
Gary Griffith*
Lois Finkelman *
Dr. Elba Garcia
Ed Oakley* 
John Loza
Steve Salazar
Mayor Miller
Bill Blaydes
Mitch Rasansky

Veletta Lill
Sandy Greyson

* They know better and are doing it for political reasons.  
Can't claim it's the right thing to do.  
That means they condone a council member taking bribes.


If you have any influence with Griffith or Finkelman, beat them over the head to do the right thing and make this not happen.  They both know it is very wrong, but both have been very wrong in the past.  Griffith's part in the Epic Health Care scandal has never been covered in the local press.  It was Finkelman who diverted the first $50,000 Laura Miller raised to fix three pools used by some of the poorest children in Dallas.  Both are subject to pressure from their constituents.  

Dr. Garcia knows better, but she's tight with Tony Garrett who has been a conduit between Old Al and the ODB for decades.  John Loza knows better, but may be afraid to cross the African-Americans.  This would be an opportunity for him to step out and be the person he was in the early 90's.  
 
Please do not fall into the trap of excusing little crimes and wrongs, hoping it will keep the bad guys appeased.  It did not work in Europe in the 30's.  It will not work in Dallas in 2003.

I'm not asking you to walk in a lock step.  Just stay inside the lines of right and decent.  Condoning someone who SIDE-STEPS that line, makes you part of his crime.

People have accidents.  Breaking the law is not an accident.  Stealing from others is not a mistake.  They are crimes -- just like taking a bribe.

Al Lipscomb has spent his whole life doing the Dallas Side-Step.  

Are you going to dirty dance with him?

If we are to live together without anarchy, we must have rules and punish those who break the rules.  If you think it's cute that a 78-year old crook can pull off another Phoenix-like rise from the depth of shame, think again!

Unless you are ready to live in complete chaos or ready to pack your bags for a safer town, you better let your voice be heard in opposing Al Lipscomb for any city board.

 

                                        

    





                            

 

  Ward politics is the Devil's key to the soul of the city council.  It is how some council members got themselves in trouble in the past.  It is the bait that will get others in trouble in the future. 4/6/8