A danger to Black and brown New Yorkers

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We all have a right to be safe. Since being attacked at a July 21 campaign event in Perinton, Rep. Lee Zeldin, the Republican nominee for New York governor, has renewed his calls to roll back civil rights protections by allowing judges to decide who they think could be a danger in the future. The problem is, he doesn’t seem to understand—or maybe doesn’t care—about the real-world implications of such a policy change. It would do more harm than good to Black and brown New Yorkers.

Rosemary Rivera

The biggest and most glaring problem in Zeldin’s calls is simple: Bail does not keep people in jail based on the seriousness of the alleged crime—it keeps people in jail based on how much money they have, and that’s all. Calling his proposed policy change a “dangerousness” standard is intended to sound like it promotes public safety, but there’s no actual connection. 

Long story short, if Zeldin’s attacker had been charged with a violent felony, where bail was set, and he had the money to make bail, he would have walked free all the same. Somehow, I think Zeldin would have been suspiciously quiet had things played out that way. Right-wing extremists like Zeldin don’t speak up when wealthy people pay for their freedom.

Yet, his attacker was charged with a nonviolent felony–something that has raised eyebrows, given that Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley is closely tied to Zeldin’s campaign for governor. Nonviolent felonies are no longer eligible for bail, a civil rights victory that was won after a multiyear fight to end the mass incarceration of Black and brown New Yorkers.

Would Zeldin’s attacker even have been held to a dangerousness standard? It’s impossible to say, but it’s a serious question, given the clear presence of racial bias throughout our criminal legal system. New York’s bail law has never allowed for pretrial jailing based on predictions of future “dangerousness”—but our old pretrial system drove deep racial disparities.

According to the ACLU, Black men are given bail amounts that average 35 percent higher than those for white men, regardless of the offense. Before bail reform passed, Black New Yorkers charged with a crime were twice as likely as white New Yorkers to spend at least one night in jail pretrial because they were unable to pay bail. Due to delays from the courts, lawyers and law enforcement, it can take a year or more for many to ever see their day in court.

Bail reform was passed because every year, thousands upon thousands of Black and brown New Yorkers were essentially serving lengthy jail sentences without ever having been proven guilty of any crime—just because of their income status.

The consequences of incarceration have lifelong impacts for people, even if they are ultimately cleared of charges. It affects their employment, housing and family arrangements, as well as their mental health and physical wellbeing.

The case that broke our hearts across New York was that of Kalief Browder. Arrested without evidence for a petty theft he did not commit, the 16-year-old’s family could not afford the $3,000 bail set by the judge. Kalief’s mother, Venida Browder, cried herself to sleep most nights, according to her surviving children. Court delay after court delay caused the three years to pass, during which the teenager suffered every form of abuse imaginable on Rikers Island. Eventually, his case was dropped for a complete lack of evidence.

But the trauma of the experience eventually cost Kalief his life.

We should not have two justice systems: one if you’re rich and one if you’re poor. Poverty is not a crime. The so-called “dangerousness” standard is wrong and harmful, because it has nothing to do with dangerousness and everything to do with money.

The U.S. Constitution enshrined a right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, and New York has never allowed a judge to assign someone bail based on nothing more than a suspicion. Setting a “dangerousness” standard using bail still allows for people to be released—if they can make bail. The bail system punishes people for being poor when they are legally innocent.

Bail reform was a hard-won, grassroots effort, led by Black and brown people who’ve been disproportionately harmed by the system. Since going into effect, it has reunited families, while allowing judges to make decisions on what is actually needed to ensure a defendant’s return to court, including putting people in treatment programs, mental health services and other alternatives.

To play upon people’s sense of fear and vulnerability to gut bail reform is cynical at best—and downright racist at worst. We can create public safety without trapping people in a cycle of poverty—in fact, we create public safety precisely when we don’t. It’s time we start living our values of an equitable and just world.

Rosemary Rivera is co-executive director of Citizen Action of New York. The Rochester Beacon invited Rep. Lee Zeldin to submit an article about his proposed dangerousness standard; he did not respond.

33 thoughts on “A danger to Black and brown New Yorkers

  1. According to federal crime expert Heather McDonald and Black activist, Candace Owens, statistics show that police give Blacks much more leeway than whites given the huge propensity of Blacks commiting violent crimes. This explains in part the disparity of incarceration between whites and Blacks.

  2. You know I started reading this article and couldn’t finish it. The political bashing has to be toned down if not stopped. It appears that unless you are a Progressive Left individual, nothing,…nothing else has a say, opinion or value. If you don’t “comply” with their view point you are a hard core Conservative. There is no debate, just “their” politics and if you have something to say that is not in their line of thinking,…well you need to be shut down, bashed, demeaned, etc. If that requires a knife, so be it. I happen to be an Independent and registered as such. Being Independent means that I am not in either “camp”. I think and reason things out for myself with the facts. A sheep attitude and following is not in my make up. While that is respected by the conservative viewpoint, I am an individual looked down upon by the Left. Their way or the high way. That is not how the system was set up, or designed. I vote my conscience after reviewing, not just the word of the candidate, I look at his/her record, accomplishments and,…..and apply the ‘trust factor’. Can I trust the person to do his/her job in doing things right and most of all doing the right thing. Those who carry the party banner without question are the problem. Should a person come at me with a knife, there is no party consideration, just my ability to defend myself and the expectation that the attacker is dealt with to the letter of the law. I have lived my life by the book, have paid it forward and tried to do the right thing. I would expect that an individual whom attacks me in broad daylight in front of hundreds of people and in full view of the media would be detained, period. There is obviously something wrong with that persons mindset. Unless,….unless you feel that anyone,…anyone, who has a different point of view than yours, deserves to be attacked, knifed in broad daylight with every intent to kill. If the, now Governor of NYS was attacked the same way by a Conservative,….what would be your response? I know what it would be,…and that my friends is why this country is in a tail spin. As the President said, we’re on a path,….I don’t know where it will lead us, but the political division is deep and dangerous.
    Semper Fi. (I remain, always faithful)

  3. Rosemary Rivera makes great points on this issue, and her points are based on researched data in NY and many other states that have had bail reform for years. The core opposition to these reforms has not been backed up by real data , or confuses the issues of rehabilitation v. punishment, and/or the need for reform of the parole/probation system. Full disclosure, Rosemary is a friend who has been on many picket lines for workers, women/ miniorities, and for child advocacy. Those who know her would never doubt her passion or her research surrounding her advocacy.

  4. Bail prevents release of crimals; repeat offenders are the primary perpetrators of the scourges of property crime and death that are disproportionately imposed on the minority community. Zeldin is right.

    • How do you reply to the point that bail releases criminals who can afford bail, regardless of the type of crime committed?

  5. The issue of judges setting bail is complicated. I don’t know if the race of the alleged perpetrator is a factor that should be considered. Many factors need to be considered no matter which side of the issue you are on. I won’t get into the issue of poverty and how the police work in specific neighborhoods. Perhaps there is some way to scrub data to see which crimes are committed first and then when the person’s race is considered to determine if the bail setting is racially biased. The question is, are more crimes committed by people of color in cities than white people in predominantly minority neighborhoods, and are the offenders treated equally? Do the district attorneys overcharge people of color more frequently than white people?

    The whole “bail reform” movement seemed problematic from the start. There is no doubt that in certain jurisdictions, DAs, Judges, and Corrections officers play a role in how some people awaiting trial for a minor misdemeanor are injured or die in custody. I believe that the state legislature reacted to the horrible management and conditions in New York City and the Rikers Island complex rather than the entire state when they approved the bail reform legislation. That doesn’t mean we throw the baby out with the bathwater. We are now seeing adverse consequences in communities of color when violent, recidivist individuals are released with no or a small amount of bail. I fear this could be a deliberate strategy to force legislative attention on the folly of their lawmaking.

    Our founders created the bail system to ensure individuals charged with a crime would be present for trial. They also enshrined speedy trials and protections for citizens accused of a crime. Our criminal justice system is in serious need of being updated and adequately funded, so suspects do not spend any more time in custody than is absolutely necessary. But, the evidence is clear that whatever the state legislature had in mind for enacting bail reform needs a complete reassessment and follow-up action.

    Perhaps we need detailed guidance for arraignment judges as to what crimes or suspect histories represent not only a flight risk but also a danger to the community for each individual brought before them. That would also require the community to have greater trust in the entire criminal justice process. We may even need jails that differentiate between violent offenders and suspects who are not violent or have mental health issues when housing inmates. There’s lots of work to do in a cautious and deliberative approach.

    Of course, if something is enshrined in the Constitution of the US, we would need to design updated bail laws on a national level or at least ensure that states have full authority for placing and keeping individuals in jail that doesn’t violate the rights of all citizens are guaranteed.

  6. Frank,…it’s education that’s missing, it’s relative education that’s missing. That is the foundational issue. Check the stats on kids that get into trouble. You don’t think they are walking the streets with Bachelor and master degrees do you. You don’t think a welder, electrician or carpenter is responsible for the mess? They have no skill. None. Think about what you would do all day as a kid with no education and skills. You can only watch so many reruns. The teenage pregnancy, kids having kids, the drugs and that profit center, the crime to get the things one wants but can’t afford, and on and on. ALL of it,…ALL of it due to an educational system that doesn’t, that won’t teach the way kids learn. Thee number one question asked by a drop out is, “what do I need this shit for anyway?” Answer that question and you have the solution to the education disaster. That said its not the kids who are at fault nor the teachers,…the SYSTEM. That has been pointed out in reports, that needs to be addressed by the mayors office. In a normal setting that would not be advised, but in Rochester it needs Mayoral attention. And they need it today, if not yesterday. When you have an educated community you don’t have the out of control youth. This is not rocket science, but one has to dig in and dedicate ones self to getting it done. It ant there!!

    • No argument from me that education is a significant root cause of many of society’s challenges. Along the lines of young people of color’s mindset is, why bother to get an education if there is so much discrimination that I won’t get a decent job or be treated as an equal even if I have a degree? Perhaps that’s an outdated trope, but I believe too many young people have that in their minds. Then there is the issue of culture. Whites prevented many generations of people of color from getting an education and severely punished them for trying to learn how to read. Severe childhood poverty limits the level of support kids get at home and in the community. Most of all, people of color need selfless leadership with politicians that can convey a vision and strategy for improving their circumstances. Some Black leaders are smart but naive. Some are just looking for the next political step up the ladder and want to make a name for themselves. Some want money and fame. Nationally there are a few potential visionary leaders, but I don’t see any locally. I know this thought is probably provocative, but in the past few years, the culture of grievance politics has also infiltrated communities of color. Some activists use anger shown by the media to gain momentum to get significant concessions from legislators with guilt baiting. There is also always the question of evolution vs. revolution. I don’t think the case has been made that Mayoral control of schools can improve educational outcomes. I think purging many of the members of the School Board with term limits would be helpful. I also believe that the school board is not adequately trained to do the needed job. The District is spending vast sums of money on things the community has no knowledge of, including personnel in the Central Office. It also strikes me that although I laud teachers and know they have a very difficult job, I have problems with how the District negotiates with the teachers union. I often wonder if eliminating all central office jobs not mandated by law and putting that money to provide in-school support for teachers wouldn’t make a huge difference. Again for me, it all boils down to strong leadership. Andrew Cuomo did this community a great disservice when he tapped Bob Duffy for Lt. Gov., just as Duffy’s effort to achieve Mayoral Control of Schools was gaining momentum. Undoubtedly communities of color need champions and top-notch leaders from within their ranks. Still, so far, I haven’t seen anyone that will be able to tackle the many severe challenges the community of Rochester is facing. Tragically, highly educated and skilled individuals of color are recruited by large corporations to help them with their long-standing diversity issues.

      • My father and mother had a right to hate, absolutely hate the Germans for what they did to them in WW II. It wiped out my mothers family bloodline. Does that mean that they hated todays German population? No,…and you know why, because they had enough intellect to realize that the hatred of yesterday is no longer the hatred of today. And as my parents used to say, at some point you forgive, never forget, but forgive and move on. Do better. Today, just like the Germany of yesterday who armed their governing services and implemented the Gestapo, our government is arming many of the government services. 87,000 new IRS agent armed with, not computers, but weapons and bullets. Who are the ones that will be approached with the gun in hand? Diversity is not on their list of concerns. Frank, when are you going to forgive yourself, move on and do better?
        Semper Fi.

  7. My comments on Ms. Rivera’s article were to emphasize that they are data driven in their nature. Bail reform is not new and has been the law in many states for years. The data fron these states does not show spikes in crime tied to such reforms. About 85% show up on their court date and most that do not are because the employer told them they could not be spared on that date. Since 80% or more are employees at will, they do not tell the Boss why they need the day off because they could then be fired. They cannot get a new job because most will not hire anyone with charges pending, at least until final disposition of charges. Most show up on a subsequent date. The spikes in crime nationwide since Covid are similar regardless of whether or not it is a state with bail reform or without bail reform. There is an opportunity to look at bail reform for possible tweeks for improvement. Should a non-violent felony be treated differently if there are multiple past convictions for violence or a long sheet of repeated criminal convictions ? Are judges given any leeway in such circumstances now? Though trained in Labor and Employment Discrimination law, I am not a lawyer.
    To say that people of color are not incarerated at higher bail, given prison sentences of longer duration for the same crimes, and are not subject to much more policing than white communities is just not factual based on the data. Whether right or left, we may have different opinions of the proper application of facts, but we all must start with credible data.
    Let us remove the data on race for arguments sake. Is the rule of law equal if a poor person cannot afford bail and spends many months in jail awaiting trial when a wealthy person on the same charge and same past record spends no time in jail because the cost of bail(and a good lawyer) is no financial hardship? The statement that bail prevents the release of criminals is meaningless, as in our system guilt has yet to be determined. If a Police arrest is the decision, than there is no need for probable cause, due process, evidence, or trials. Crime is part of the price of free will and freedom. Some will choose badly. Dictatorships, from Castro, Papa Doc, to Putin and China have low crime rates, and no freedom is the price.
    Back to bail. Even for a charge of a violent felony , if bail of $10,000 is out of reach for the poor person, what should the bail be of a multi-millionaire charged with the same crime?
    Now I will finish with my opinion based on the comments.
    Citing people like Heather McDonald does not add information to this or any debate. She has promoted policies found to be both racist as well as unconstituional , advocating stop and frisk, zero tolerance, and racial profiling. She has been caught in lies such as 95% of homicides were committed by new immigrants. Your Black activist Candace Owens was a progressive until 2017 when she decided to go where the money is. She became a star for Charlie Kirk’s Turning Point USA , a man who proudly proclaims he is a white supremacist and a religious bigot. Owens has denied the rise in hate crimes and claims Blacks where better off in the 100 years following the Civil War, the period known as Jim Crow, lynchings, Emmitt Till, MLK, Schwerner, Chaney, and Goodman, Medgar Evers, four little girls in church killed by a KKK bomb, and thousands more. Yes, let us ban history books and they will send money! You add nothing to any discussion.
    Criticizing elected officials for their actions and policies based on the record is not the left bashing everyone, it is free speech and democracy. Based on the record of the DA’s office, there is the legitimate question of whether or not Zeldin’s attacker would have been charged with a violent felony if this was not a campaign for office and the attacker was Black. We have all paid millions in taxes to pay for bad prosecutions, convictions, and unwarranted prison time due to DA Doorley’s withholding evidence from discovery, using a past perjurer to convict, and sending the innocent to jail. There will be more money going out with the case of a Black Teacher and coach falsely accused of rape with no evidence and an almost immediate innocent verdict from a mostly white jury. The attorney in the DA’s office, when asked about the verdict and lack of a credible case/ evidence responded , ” well we thought we would give it a shot”?!!
    The man’s career, reputation, and income ruined and that is the explanation of justice? For the poster who claims he is ” Independent ” I would hope it would concern you that Mr. Zeldin was found to have committed fraud to get on the “Independent” party line. I for one do not want to hear from him, or anyone else, who voted in Congress to CANCEL the votes of millions of Americans, and the electors they voted for, to install a President for life and kill democracy based on the Big lie. That makes him unfit for any office and he will lose by many votes. Just one man’s opinion.

  8. James: I am an independent and I will remain independent. NYS is a loss. It is bleeding good people to other states, period. I am no longer a NYS resident. I do give a Damn about the RCSD providing a relevant educational journey. I would come back implement an educational enhancement I have been trying to introduce for years now. Give up? Nah, but at the same time I don’t have much hope that the RCSD can provide for the next generation. They don’t seem to care. Semper Fi.

  9. There was a school that taught the trades and taught the academics. It was the crown jewel of Rochester. Edison technical and industrial High school. It graduated in the high nineties and employed the same. It also allowed one to go on the higher learning because you had All the required academics. That school was systematically destroyed by the intellects of the time. I have advocated for an educational enhancement that is much like that school. A program that connects kids with vocations. You know that welder that makes 150k and that electrician that makes over 100k. All kids have skills, innate skills and gifts. It’s up to the education journey for those gifts to be discovered. That is the mission. It has nothing to do with Black, white or red. It has to do with educating!
    Teach the way they learn! Very simple and achievable. I would love to introduce a program that does that. All it takes is a call.
    Semper Fi.

  10. Jim; You pointed out that Heather MacDonald supports racist policies, Black activist is a conservative for the money, and Kirk is a white supremacist. It sounds like you’re a disciple of the radical Saul Alinsky who dedicated his infamous book, Rules For Radicals, which he dedicated to Lucifer. You also mentioned Jim Crow, lynchings, MLK. KKK, etc. McDonald, Owens and Kirk are not members of your Democratic party. The Democratic party is noted as the party of slavery, KKK, Jim Crow, lynchings and Confederacy. The Republican party was founded on the basis of anti slavery, the antithesis of your party. Your demeaning remarks about Black activist, Candace Owens, may be a signal about your prejudice. PS MLK was a Republican.

  11. John:
    I don’t need to add anything to that reply,….other than,…bingo.
    Education is at the foundation and root of overcoming poverty. Education wins in life and those who refuse to teach (the RCSD) the way kids learn,..are selfish and ignorant.
    Take the responsibility to teach seriously and if you don’t buy into that,…be accountable for all their misery.

  12. Mr. Rynne,
    My experience with the Beacon, to their credit, is that it is not a publication for discourse in obvious lies and disinformation. Let me commend you for the courage to publically state your beliefs. Most posting/commentary sites allow anonymity resulting in the most horriffic
    and vile comments and lies, so thank you to “The Beacon” for your policy.
    I was a history major and regularly brought in to area colleges as a guest lecturer in American History, specifically for Labor and Civil Rights history. I have been published many times, including a chapter in a book, “Working Stories,” that is required reading at The Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies, SUNY Empire State College. I was never a member of any political party until into my 30’s (1984) so I could vote in Democratic primaries in NY. The Right loves to use the fact the Dems were pro-slavery prior to the Civil War, and Jackie Robinson and MLK were Republicans, as that was the party of Lincoln. They never mention than prior to the Civil War the Dems were the extreme consevatives and the Republicans were the liberals who also passed the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, known as the anti-slavery statutes. The process of Republicans becoming conservatives and Dems becoming more liberal involved generations and a number of factors that had to do with the Industrial Revolution, and both economic and racial justice, the same struggle. MLK was no longer a Republican in the 1960’s and Jackie Robinson withdrew his support from Nixon when Nixon’s pro-Jim Crow Southern Strategy was revealed. Even before Nixon’s 1968 campaign, Truman introduced a Civil Rights Bill which caused his fellow Democrat, Strom Thurman, to form a third party, the Segregationist Party, to run for President in 1948. This split with New Deal and Civil Rights Dems would result in all the Southern Dems moving to the Republican Party, beginning even before Nixon. The accurate description of our history would be the difference in Conservatives and Liberals, regardless of party affiliation at the time. You are correct that I hold Saul Alinsky in high regard. He enhanced the movements for economic justice, civil rights, and later the anti-Vietnam war efforts. If you have never read the book it might be prudent to withhold judgement. He was also called upon by Rochester’s FIGHT organization for help to fight racist employment policies in Rochester, with the emphasis on Kodak, then Xerox. Fight had huge successes.
    How I described MacDonald, Candace Owen, and Charles Kirk is accurate. Charley Kirk loudly proclaims his white supremacy and anyone who claims Blacks were better off during 100 years of Jim Crow/aparthied compared to after Civil Rights laws has made a very ignorant statement. Unlike my younger days, one does not have to go to a public or college library and the Dewey Decimal system for research. Fact Check websites, and their exact statements, can be found, in print, sound, and video, and are easily Googled.
    It is just my view, but I am hard pressed to think of anything Conservatives were right about.
    They were the rich Tories who were against the American Revolution. Many were wealthy plantation owners getting richer because of slave labor, in order to supply the English textile industry, which was supplying much of the world’s clothing. Conservatives were pro-slavery and child labor. They were against the 40 hour week, a minimum wage, rights for workers, equal rights for miniorities, women, Native Americans, and universal suffrage. Conservatives opposed immigrants, unless they were northern European Christians (not Catholics), and supported the racist phony science of Eugenics. They opposed all Civil Rights legislation and progressive taxes for the extremely wealthy, and they opposed Social Security and Medicare. Most, especially Business groups, supported Hitler and Mussolini and how they were the first out of the Depression. Of course they did it by destroying their unions and cheaper labor, later Germany used slave labor, and made their industrialists richer and created jobs with their own Military Industrial complex and the building of infrastructure. They needed the roads and bridges so their men and weapons could invade their neighbors. After Pearl Harbor of course, the Conservatives and their Business advocates had to shut up. Funny thing is Conservatives (and neo-liberals) have no problem with socialism ( for the rich), they just have a problem with Democratic Socialism. Giving money to the rich that have not earned it, such as Inheritance tax reductions, tax subsidies, bank bailouts, and no one goes to jail for massive financial fraud or tax fraud. The Conservatives socialism job program is just the Military and the Military Industrial complex. I have certainly been wrong at times on certain specific policies/legislation and whether they would solve a problem, but not too often on justice.
    There really are truths and there are lies, there is justice and injustice, and we really can often can figure out the difference betweeen right and wrong. PS Jesus Christ was a Socialist.

    • tI have replied for many articles written buy I’m going to make an exception in your case,….I cannot find the energy to debate you. You are so entrenched in your beliefs, it would take another volume the size of War and Piece to do it justice. Your wall has to be plastered with the secrets our education system keeps from our youth,…diplomas and certificates.
      I believe in TODAY. What are we doing with our RCSD education system to make thing better for the K-12 journey. Again,…TODAY.
      Do we learn from History? Nah, just look at WW II and now the Ukraine. Butchery at it “best”. Does socialism work? Possibly for you, for you might be part of the very, very few, that reside at the top at the expense of the masses.
      Semper Fi.

  13. The violence plaguing Rochester is something new. The pandemic reduced or eliminated many social interactions we would have considered normal before March 2020. I can’t get into the minds of the many young men, primarily Black, involved in the spate of killings.
    But I doubt redoubling anti-violence efforts based on what may have previously worked is a waste of money and time. Policymakers and elected officials need to reset their approach entirely. These challenges are not unique to our city. The violence plaque is global. In addition to isolation, we have untethered politicians who publicly flaunt the law without any consequence. This apparent behavior is compounded by opposing forces demanding social justice and almost constant vocalization that there will be a new civil war. Throw in a chaotic implementation of bail and criminal justice reform as a reaction to the historically conservative trend in jailing poor people. I also suspect older people don’t fully understand the emotional and psychological impact the constant and frenzied climate change news has on younger people. We have an all-encompassing negative environment. We have an unprecedented moral vacuum in which young people and violence are adrift. Compounding the problem is that our traditional institutions are not equipped to deal with these challenges and are also coping with the disruptive factors impacting their viability.

    It may seem simplistic, but perhaps we need to flood all media with messages of hope and moral guidance that killing is wrong. Maybe we need to realign our youth morally. Although most cases of socially aimless youth don’t end in violence, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that kids in school need to be grounded and focused on success. I’m deeply concerned that the Rochester City School District must fill 350 classroom jobs about a month before school opens. We also don’t have a permanent superintendent to help guide the district. There is also evidence of discord within the ranks of the school board. Maybe we need to consider freezing the grade in which students were during the pandemic and redo the year, but with a much greater emphasis on healing, structure, support, and socialization efforts. If we don’t do something drastic, we will have students that are the equivalent of walking wounded soldiers trying to function with PTSD.

    We must recognize that gun violence is just a symptom of a weakened social fabric, and focusing only on one symptom won’t solve the underlying disease.

  14. Some of us are so good, so eloquent, so dedicated in citing history. We are supposed to learn from that. And then, no sooner said than done, we repeat that history. We can’t seem to get any traction toward change, toward looking ahead, toward making things better. We know that getting a solid education is important (especially those who so beautifully sum up their thoughts on the past) but we are not really willing to embrace that, nor give it credit, nor are we very good in recognizing the value of that education. It appears that education is a secret that belongs to those who have discovered it, but let someone step up and actually teach the way kids learn? Forget it. Digging up the past is much more fun. Complaining and whining is the path too many of us embrace. Education, todays education, takes a back seat to yesterdays wrongs, yesterdays tragedies, etc. We all have a past that includes items that can be learned from, but we don’t seem to be able to move forward. We are stalled in this finger pointing with no end.

    I would like to propose that the current leadership of the RCSD actually embrace their mission,….teach the way kids learn. All kids,….ALL kids have innate skills and gifts and it is up the the SYSTEM to create a pathway that helps them discover it. The teachers are capable and the students ought to be shown profession and careers form grade on up. Let them discover a clear pathway toward their interest. Boring them and almost forcing them to call it quits is what we currently have. That Mr. Bertolone is what you and our current education system ought to focus on. I could show you where you are wrong and agree where you are right. What does that do for our youth struggling to avoid falling into generational poverty today? I have been pounding the keys on my computer for over 13 years now. My two fingers racing over those keys and telling the Rochester Community, the politicians and the RCSD that their current pathway, the K-12 journey, is not getting the job done. That aint my opinion,…that is simply fact. I could debate your historical opinion, but that gets NOTHING accomplished.
    I’ll give you just a little history, my history. I came here at age 12 from The Netherlands. My parents lived through WW II. My mothers home was bombed in Amsterdam and two of the 9 kids were killed. Their home demolished. It wiped out the family blood line. The Germans did that, period. We didn’t learn from that WW II either. Zero, nada, nothing. Why? Because we are butchering people once again in the Ukraine. Enough said about learning from history.
    How about addressing the pathetic RCSD’s system that hasn’t been able to do its job, nor fulfill its mission in decades. Doing the same thing over and over,…expecting different results. How about addressing the issues of TODAY. Education is thee way out of poverty. I believe you most likely have some certificate hanging on your wall that reminds you of your educational success. Why not give the kids in the Rochester City a chance to get out and claim their piece of the American dream. Get a vocation, education, enter a certificate program, etc. And just in case you think the plumber, the electrician and welder occupations are for the dummies, for those can’t learn,….next time you toilet plugs up, your power goes down, etc., you let me know about those trades and how demeaning they are. It’s time the RCSD gets out of their comfort zone and starts doing their damn job,…educate!!
    My final thought,….Socialism has never worked anywhere, ever, for the good of the masses. It usually is a very lucrative “career or profession” for the very few at the top. Period.
    The very last item, freedom isn’t free. Lots of good people gave their all for this nation. Ask my father who at age 100 received a medal he was owed. (Mobilization War Cross) Ask him (he passed a year later because of the Cuomo “leadership” with infection control) about the 2nd Amendement and what will happen the day it gets erased,….We’re done. That comes from a man who never fired a weapon again in his 101 years on this planet. You might, though, with a little luck find yourself at the top in some capacity where you can live a comfortable life at the expense of the masses.
    Semper Fi. (Always Faithful)

  15. Jim; I also commend you for the courage to publicly state your beliefs. Although, I hope you’re not a fan of Lucifer like Saul Alinsky who you view in high regard. Besides demeaning Black activist Candace Owens and national crime expert Heather McDonald, you insulted Charlie Kirk by stating he proudly proclaims his white supremacy. You owe Ms. Owens, Ms. McDonald and Mr. Kirk an apology. By the way Democrat racist Woodrow Wilson reversed the progress of Blacks in post Civil War America by substantially removing them from the federal work force. Hitler and Mussolini used the 1920’s KKK laden Democratic party platform, to plan their ostracization of the Jews and other minority groups. In fact, FDR was an admirer of early part of Mussolini’s reign. The KKK member and Democrat Robert Byrd was a mentor to Joe Biden. Segregationist Senator J. William Fulbright was a mentor to Bill Clinton. Racists Byrd and Fulbright were also the impediments to the Civil Rights Bills presented under the Eisenhower and the JFK administrations. By the way, the only notable Southern Democrat who became a Republican was Strom Thurmond. Today, many in Democratic party support the anti-Semitic BDS movement. Keith Ellison who was second in charge of the Democratic party was a confidant of the anti-Semitic and racist Luis Farrakhan. The head of the Democratic party, Tom Perez, is a supporter of “La Raza” or in english “The Race”. That sounds racist to me. If Jefferson, Lincoln, Washington, etc statues and landmarks are removed, let’s remove the same for Woodrow Wilson, Robert Byrd, J. William Fulbright, and other Democrats.

  16. John:

    When you write this well on the subject, you leave me with nothing more to say than,….BINGO!

    That said, well said.
    Semper Fi.

  17. Sorry John, you win no arguements with me with right wing talking points and cherry picking half truths in history. If you think I demeaned Candace Owens and Heather McDonald because I was accurate , so be it. The quote from Owens , among many horrible statements, are on video tape. McDonald claimed in a legislative hearing on crime that 85% of violent crime was due to hispanic immigrants which was easily proved a lie . Her advocacy of “Broken Windows” and “Stop and Frisk” were found unconstitutional, not only because the were found to be predicated on racism, but because they violated probable cause. Charles Kirk was and is the leader of attacking Critical Race Theory (CRT) being taught in schools, though it really is taught in college and law schools. His leadership ignited the movement against teaching the truth in history and banning books from Baldwin to Vonnegut. His leadership in using state power to exclude Black history follows his hard line against any immigration that is not white northern European Christian, “diminishing and decreasing white demographics (power)”. Well if it talks like a duck, and you know the rest. I have no idea why you bring up Woodrow Wilson and the rest. Evidently you missed the history of the falseness of GOP talking points about political parties. Wilson screened “The Birth of Nations” in the White House glorifying the KKK and thought it great. As President of Princeton he made sure his was the only college in the North that did not admit Blacks as students or teachers. I was never a supporter of Neo-liberals ( Bill Clinton and Senator Biden) who claimed to be socially and culturally liberal but were all about and beholden to Big Business and big corporate and Wall St. sectors. See Senators Manchin and Sinema today, among other Dems. Sometimes in a two party system the choice is the lesser of two evils. My national Union, and I, did not support Biden in the democratic primaries. Please see what I previously wrote about political parties, your diatribe is nothing but GOP talking points trying to use the history of a pro-slavery and pro Jim Crow racist state’s rights conservatives, who now use party histories to justify and claim their postions on immigration, gutting the Voting Rights Act, voter suppression, criminal justice reform, and the safety net and more, and have nothing to do with racism. Fun fact, the last time the majority of white voters voted for a Democrat for President was Lyndon Johnson.
    The only references to FDR and Mussolini I have is in H.W. Brands biography of FDR, ” A Traitor to his Class”. Shortly after his first election Huey Long called FDR and was screaming on the telephone. When he hung up FDR said to his aids that Long was the second most dangerous man in America. Naturally they asked who was the first most dangerous. FDR said,” Douglass MacArthur, look at him, he even struts like Mussolini “. Of course MacArthur had fired on his own WW I soldiers in Washington DC, the Bonus Marchers, sealing FDR’s victory over Hoover.” The Daily Caller” tried to claim FDR was a fan of Mussolini, but that claim was common among FDR’s opponents, the charge that he wanted to be a dictator because of the New Deal, expanding or packing the Supreme Court, and especially when running for a third and fourth term, breaking the two term tradition. The obvious difference was the voters supported FDR by huge margins and no such democratic elections were held in Italy. By the way, I see the ” Daily Caller” was founded by Tucker Carlson and Neil Patel, who was the policy advisor to Darth Vader, I mean Lucifer, I mean VP Dick Cheney.
    Mussolini started fascism in Italy in 1919 and Italians knew little about it except it was anti-RED, thus supported by Landowners and the wealthy, and WW I grievances. Benito, a WW I Vet, and fellow soldiers, were angry that they fought on the winning side but got very little in the Treaty of Versailles.
    Seriously John, I do not know or understand what the Hail Mary what-aboutisms have to do with the original discussion on Bail Reform and Lee Zeldon’s position and actions. Yes Farrakhan is an anti-semite and does not hide it. In addition there is a back story on Farrakhan and his possible connection with the assassination of Malcolm X. Malcolm’s widow and daughter believed it so. La Raza, yes,” the race” is the literal translation but they call it the community, first of Chicanos back to the 19th century, and today of the broader Hispanic community. They advocate for equal rights and worker rights and are an ally of the AFL-CIO. I have discussed Raza and Farrakhan with my Hispanic and Black friends and Hispanic, Black, and White relatives. When it comes to statues, buildings, and the rest there is a majority opinion on this. Most are not talking about the ones you named, but about those that committed treason by attacking America in our bloodiest war. War is not a first grade soccer game where everyone gets a trophy so they do not feel bad. The slaver seditionists LOST. In Germany the Nazi flag is illegal, yet they have free speech. There are no government buildings named for Hitler, no Himmler highways , no Goering Airports, and no Mengele Medical Centers. They lost and caused much death due to their hate. Game over. I am proud to say at that at the last Political action picnic rally of the AFL-CIO before I retired, I burned the flag. Politicians from both parties were there and the controversy over the Confederate flag and statues was raging. The flag I proudly burned was the CONFEDERATE FLAG. I think we won because I cannot find confederate flags anymore. I wish I could so I could keep publically burning them.
    I guess you can keep throwing everything on the wall all you can think of, but there are credible journalists and historians and there are phonies with an agenda. There is truth and there are lies. I fault no one for not having the interest in real history or studying it like I have. It was always one of my passions. I do find it troubling that so many do not know the history they actually lived through. Good Night and Good Luck.

  18. By the way, Democratic Socialism in high income countries has resulted in the highest standard of living in the world. The most powerful miltiary in the world is on the people’s collective dime. Semper Fi. So are police, firefighters, public schools, postal services, water & sewers, roads, bridges, Social Security, Medicare, and so much more . Privitized, for profit fire companies, police services, drinking water,and more were all tried and failed. We have had it for farmers since the 1930’s. The harder farmers worked and more they produced, the lower the price went for what the produced because of more supply. When I was a school kid every year they were bulldozing grain into the harbor at New Orleans to get the price of grain up before they lost the farm. What could be more like socialism than the Fair Labor Standard Act ? The government dictating to the private sector a minimum wage they had to pay, regardless of the wage set by the market, no more use of child labor, and cut the standard work week by a third, from 60 hours to 40 hours, with time and a half pay over 40 hours. Some capitalists took it all the way to the Supreme Court. Martin Luther King spoke and published so much more than ” I Have a Dream”, including why he was a Democratic Socialist and an Anti-Communist. That should be mandatory reading in our schools before some states ban or burn it.

    • Semper Fi? Maybe we ought to make joining the USMC compulsory. Well,…actually just bringing back the draft is good enough. It’s service to your country and learning some personal a social responsibility. I can’t hear you,…James!!

  19. People should really stop with the QANON, Newsmax, Breitbart, and FOX. There are not 87,000 new IRS agents and no more armed than before, very few. Think Elliot Ness and Al Capone. It covers 10 years of implementation and will increase the IRS staffing to what it was under George H.W. Bush in 1990, a conservative Republican. It will update ancient computer systems. They might even one day now get to audit over 700 billionaires, most who pay a lower tax rate that the teacher and the cop. Facts matter.

  20. James, there is one thing that rears its ugly head throughout your historical fact/opinion and that is,….. hate. It appears in every other sentence. It’s almost like you enjoy “sharing” the misery of the past. You brag about burning a flag, wow. Why don’t you “deep six” the hate and get on the ‘here and now bandwagon’. You know, something like addressing the decades long education disaster in Rochester’s City School District. There is so much to be done NOW. Don’t even start with the WW II history. I have heard enough from my father and grandfather to fill a book. I could go toe to toe with you on your historical knowledge. I immigrated here. But that doesn’t get the job of educating our RCSD kids accomplished. it does zip, zero, nada for their future. If you would like to attach a Party to that,….it’s 100% Democrats. That includes the city politicians and the teachers union,…100%. That 100% has managed to graduate about 50% of the student population, calculated with a five year run. The East High effort costs approximately $37,000.00 per student! Apparently they are not very proud of their efforts/accomplishments at East High, because it has not been replicated in the rest of the district. That, James, is called inequality. That’s pathetic and will not,…absolutely will not give the kids in the RCSD an opportunity to avoid generational poverty. Come up with a solution for the K-12 educational journey. Your historical rant, whether factual or debatable doesn’t help those kids TODAY. I have challenged the RCSD for 13 years to, at the very least, adopt an educational enhancement to help keep kids in school, butts in seats and learning. An education, relevant education, that will give all of them an opportunity to learn, to graduate and to take advantage of the higher education and or trade certification programs. Do you think for one second that there is one child that cares about your historical knowledge and assessment, fact or fiction? They don’t care about that history, they care (and rightfully so) about today and tomorrow. So, come up with some positive ideas, some creativity, some intellect that will support the youth of TODAY. I’ll be waiting for that rant. I currently live in SC, which is a breath of fresh air. I life very comfortably with appreciation. I look out my window and see pine trees, pine needles, flowers and a fairway impeccably maintained. That said, I have volunteered to come back to Rochester to implement an educational enhancement. An enhancement I submitted a decade ago. I’m still waiting for the call. Maybe the (D) Party is a bit put off with an Independent volunteering to rescue the RCSD educational effort. None the less, I’m here.

  21. Jim; I noticed that you like to use not only half truths but one quarter or no truth’s in a long and winding word filibuster. Your projection of left wing talking points is something your idol, Saul Alinsky, would be proud of. It follows the textbook Rules For Radicals perfectly. You should really educate yourself with more than that.

    • John:
      I think it’s too late for that. You have any idea what it would take for a person with that view point on life,…to admit, to change course? They would rather face the “squad”. SF.

  22. Sorry John and Josh if my views of history, and occassional satire, from the perspective of myself and many that believe we can all do better, and for all people, is upsetting in any way. Anyway, I can take comfort you two have found a kinship. Speaking is better than not speaking. I hope any efforts made to improve education are successful.
    No Mas.

    • I have just one more for you and then I will abide by your “no mas”. I heard a recording of a mother who lost her son last year, to date. She was not shy about calling it the way it was. Two Marines in dress Blues knocked on her door (one year ago today) at 4:00 AM. They were there to give her the news that her son was killed in the “withdrawal” from Afghanistan. A military withdrawal that will go down in history, all time history, as the worst military action ever. To be exact 13 died as a direct result of Joe Biden, Commander in Chief. While even his Chief of Staff advised against it, he did it regardless. He caused the death of that Marine (a well trained sniper) and 12 others. His time was apparently extremely valuable when he couldn’t bother to honor those that died coming of the plane. His glance at his watch was telling. It was, and will always be remembered, as despicable, period. Many others were left behind. Good and honorable people. They are still being hunted today and when discovered will be eliminated in the most creative ways. That’s 100% on President Joe Biden. It will never be forgotten. It has wrecked the recruiting efforts and is leaving our military short on people power. As a Marine, we NEVER left anyone behind, ever. Dead or wounded. What we as Marines do for others is apparently not in President Bidens book of military courtesy. It hasn’t mattered to me what he has done since, good, bad or indifferent. He’s not worth emptying the garbage can of the Oval Office, let alone reside there.
      Now, James Bertolone, I will abide by your request of “no mas”.

      • Yes, a botched exit. Sadly that is war and it is not the first time, nor will it be the last time, a commander at the top, or lower will cost lives. Since Trump’s peace agreement dictated the timeline, our Generals said it was going good for 20 years,, and Trump’s peace deal released Taliban terrorists, there were contributors. Unlike Trumpers, Biden took responsibility. We never saw that with Nixon sabotaging the Paris Peace talks in 1968, then buying the same deal 5 years and 28,000 American lives later. We never saw it from George W and his boys for fixing the Intelligence and invading a country that had nothing to do with 911, that created ISIS and caused tens of thousands of deaths. And we never saw it with Trump when the Kurds lost 13,000 soldiers standing in for our Marines beating ISIS, and Trump abandoned them to his buddy in Turkey who promptly ethnically cleansed the Kurds from the homes, killing many. Sadly we have many had too many mothers who have lost sons, many in wars we may have not needed to fight.
        However, the real cause of those deaths were the people that killed them, extremists that do not believe in equality or democracy, and fascists who impose their will on these people with the barrel of a gun, the Taliban. As I said, elections are often the choice of the lesser of two evils, and the majority of the American people voted against Trump, Twice.

  23. Josh and John,
    Trolling and projection are not facts. I have seen zero credible references to dispute facts I put forth, though everyone has a right to an opinion on what those facts mean for good policy. It is not hate to burn Confederate or Nazi flags, but in fact the burning of recognized world wide symbols of hate. Actually, I completed the maximum number of hours allowed in a History major needed to teach school in NYS and many students are interested in factual history, political history, and great literature. Tucker Carlson and his “Daily Caller” , Candace Owens and Newsmax, and Charlie Kirk’s lies about race, CRT, and Civil Rights history would not be taught in any decent school, nor would one pass any state history exam using their so-called facts. You may claim I am spreading hate, but my criticisms of them are taken from their quotes and their writings, not mine.
    I know a number of teachers , most, but not all, retired. One must complete a Master’s Degree in History within a specified time to qualify to teach history in this state and I doubt you two have such credentials. Labor, under me and many others, also does such seminars and speakers here via our Saturday Labor Lyceum, Labor’s Education Committee, Labor’s Anti-Racism Committee, and Labor’s partnership and scholarships with the Cornell School of Labor & Industrial Relations. Cornell also always had a Managemennt school for management theory, as well as learning employment law. Funding to pay for Cornell Labor courses for workers comes from Labor and is administered locally by our friends at the Rochester Community Foundation. Our Labor Education Committee is led by two former history teachers and includes a history professor at RIT. It is also recognized that the best pre-apprenticeship programs and apprenticeship programs are taught by the 17 Building and Construction Trades. As a member of the Board of Directors of the Workforce Development Institute, AFL-CIO (WDI) until I retired, we funded, here and throughout the state, pre-apprenticeship programs, mostly, but not exclusively, for poor kids so they could pass the qualifications and exams to become apprentices. We also bring as much as we can get, about $2 million a year to fund child care for working parents, on a sliding scale based on income. Six or seven years ago the Building Trades and WDI funded a program for students from Edison, working with construction journeymen, which built two new homes in the city that sold for the average home price in that neighborhood. It was headed by my friend, now retired after years as the leader of the local Laborer’s Union, Bob Brown. That program, located at 655 Colfax St, is now part of the Rochester City School District and called ” The Robert Brown High School of Construction and Design”. One can see the name on the building. As an aside, my late kid brother went to Edison Tech, with the current head of the Laborer’s Union. He went to become a printer, via Edison and with a few courses at RIT, and did well in his craft. As the second generation born in this country and my Mother , one of 15 children, most of my extended family made a living in both skilled and unskilled labor end today still, including a number a number of truck drivers. In spite of such a large family, I was the first to go to college on my father’s side, and second on my Mother’s side. The only way I could go to state college in 1969 was a 50% academic scholarship which made my tuition $200 a semester beginning in 1969.
    I am sure there are some poor teachers, though I can not remember having any at any level, and generally I am in awe of teachers and the job they do. I did not student teach in college and become a teacher, the normal route for a history major, because it was too hard and required extreme passion and dedication to the profession. The teachers union does not run RCSD, Central Administration does. The teachers in our best school districts, Brighton, Fairport, Pittsford to name a few, among the best in the state and nation, by and large went to the same colleges and belong to the same union as those in the RCSD. Other factors in some RCSD schools, such as English not being the primary language, disabilities, poverty, and crime, all hurt the effort to educate and are not the primary responsibility of teachers. In the matter of East High, it is under the teacher’s Collective Bargaining Agreement and the methods there had to be incorporated into the Labor Agreement and they were. In fact, it was the National Teacher’s Union great Albert Shanker, their leader from the early 1960’s until his death in the late 1990’s, that came up with the concept of Charter Schools as public schools. It was his hope, not that they would compete for resources, but that they could be used as incubators to experiment and then migrate successful methods and programs into the other public schools. As in my previous posts, these are facts the best I can verify, and you do not get to dismiss facts , untruthfully, and call them hate and lies with any credibility. As for my ” Hate filled ” views, they were mostly shaped by me Father, some great teachers at all levels, my own experiences, and great books. I’ve stated before, my father and three uncles were WW II Vets. My father was the youngest, going in the service at age 18 in 1945. Serving near the end of the war he also saw more of the refugees, the dead and mass burials. He saw the result of hate and bigotry and its lust for power, and the mass death did not originate from liberals. The academics, union leaders, journalists, and political oppsition were the first ones imprisoned or killed. It is why he supported JFK, and his Civil Rights and Medicare Bills that he introduced. It is why there was a picture on the wall of Martin Luther King, in the same manner as his father had a picture on the wall, like many workers, of FDR. The N word was an obscenity and not to be used, though it was used all the time by others and MLK was the most hated man in America by white people during his time. I just don’t see standing up to and attacking hate groups, the KKK, Birchers, Proud Boys, American Nazi party, Skinheads, or others as being a Hater, but as opposing hate and injustice. Though such hate and injustice always made me angry, I believe in democracy and non-violence. My criticism of Lee Zelden was because he supports the Big lie, knows it is a lie, and voted to overturn an election for Trump. His vote is not my hate, but a matter of the factual record. It is why I do not own a gun and never will.
    I do find an area of possible agreement based on what has happened since the end of the military draft, because I believe democracies are supposed to solve problems fairly and if a policy fails, then you try something else. I believe we should have compulsory government service. It does not have to be solely military and JFK’s Peace Corp was a good idea. Young people can learn about work, service, and being exposed to others different than they are. As FDR put people to work building infrastructue and such great things as TVA, electrifying a large area of the nation, we certainly have work to be done and that is needed. Homelessness, natural diasters, climate, medical services and so much more. Maybe after the service it could even help fund, like the GI Bill, higher education and/or training.
    What we do not need, and I do not need in these strange cult like times, is more Projection.

    • So James, the teachers union represents all,…..so why,…why, when you take one step into the RCSD the education wheels come off. You can live one house from getting a good education to a failing one. Are the kids in the city uneducable? Where is the equality there? Thousands drop out along the K-12 journey. Why? You’re right about the teachers NOT being the problem, it’s the system. The system that resides in the City of Rochester and they are either inept or could care less, or even both. There is no other answer, no other diagnosis. If you would like to inject some politics,…the City of Rochester is and has been for decades,…run by the Democratic machine. At what point does one say, or even just think about it, and come up with,….maybe we should give someone else an opportunity. Someone or ones who make promises and keep their word. Kids drop out by the thousands and you know what their reason is,…thee number one reason? “what do I need this shit for anyway.” Now when you answer that question,….guess what, results. This aint rocket science. That said there has to be a will, creativity, ideas and the like. The RCSD has forgotten what their mission is, they just collect a paycheck and if that paycheck was based on their contribution, their responsibility of educating and sending kids to higher education,…they would owe us. At some point look into the mirror and clearly identify the individual who cannot get the job done. If the city was Republican, you would spout off about the political direction. But it’s not, it Democratically run and I’m sure your answer is,…education is not political. I’m an Independent and registered as such. I’m sure that still makes me the bad guy. But I am concerned, absolutely concerned about the education aspect. I don’t reside in Fairport anymore and I lived in the city when we first came here. I know this city, its politics and they have been on the downslide for decades now. No one has the guts to tackle, to address the education disaster because it’s to damn hard. I have an educational enhancement on the Mayors desk. I have not only criticized the powers to be, but provided them with a solution. If they were to take it to heart, I wouldn’t see the “promised land”, but it would be in full swing. My recommendation to you is stop burning things to get your point across and start building!! Ok, enough said,…back to my view of the golf course in Aiken, SC.
      Semper Fi.

  24. Problems in education , to me, are too numerous to list, and in my view mirror the problems of extreme poverty, whether in urban or rural areas show this. We can see it in graduation statisics in rural areas around the country too. The Mayor does not run the RCSD and cannot dictate. My personal view is changes need to be closer to the ground, with actual educators, not politicians. About a decade ago we got our hands on the RCSD budget. I don’t know how much it has changed, but nearly a third of the budget went to Central Administration, only the Yonkers school budget was worse in that respect. Though Central Admin may be needed for some things, but these people are not teaching. No projection please. I burn nothing and have advocated and built all my life. I was never appointed to anything, but elected by working people of all races and incomes, to speak for and fight for them. Sometimes I helped move the ball, sometimes I could not.
    You should go look at my original post. It was four sentences long on bail reform and what the data showed in other states that had many of these reforms for years. There was no statement on race, politics, or education. Evidently with some people, though retired for over 5 years, I am still a lightening rod. It was you and others that brought up conservative v. liberal, race, education, Zeldon, history, Charlie Kirk and the like, and everything else. I am just the type that cannot let things go that are not true, and easily proved to be not true, slide.
    Like so much else, Bail Reform, is made political in a campaign. It should not be so. Data driven solutions that are just, consistent with due process, and protect the community should be the goal. Where any policy fails on any of these is where we modify policy and try to improve it. That is why I admire FDR so much, he would be called a flip flopper today. With a team of sometime rivals, he would ask for a program to put people to work where they were needed.The program had 90 days to work. If it did not, then he wanted modifications, and if that was not successful enough he scrapped it and asked for something different until it helped people.
    Lastly, some people who have worn a watch for decades check it frequently out of habit, like those of us who stroke their jaw before they speak. Sometimes a watch is just a watch.
    Enjoy your vacation and the golf. Though I do not golf that is a beautiful area I have spent some time in because of my work. Enjoy.

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