08/13/03 Catchy beat, but you can't live
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
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.
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"
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!
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
I can't imagine why Lois Finkelman would approve of the Lipscomb
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
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"
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.
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?
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.
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
Lipscomb be model for ex-offenders
09:13 PM CDT
on Tuesday, August 12, 2003
. . 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
. . . there's an excellent reason to see Mr. Lipscomb restored to
. . . he's just one of thousands of ex-offenders who need a second
. . . 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.
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
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
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
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:
Shakedown Leo Chaney
Attorney Don Hill
Lois Finkelman *
Dr. Elba Garcia
* 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
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