I'm an amateur photographer, I travel a lot so some years ago and I noticed that everywhere I went there was someone taking a photo of someone else. It's part of the human condition and I think it’s fun so I started snapping pictures of people taking pictures.
WHY THE WORLD NEEDS EDITORS.....................
Excerpt from my book "No Time to Say Goodbye: Memoirs of a Life in Foster Care.
I sat for hours on the steps of the wooden porch in front of the apartment and watched darkness fall, and it felt like old times, waiting for my mother to stagger home, except now I was alone. The other kids were scattered all over. Bridget had married and moved to New York and had two children off her own. Paulie had joined the Air Force. Christian was living in a foster home somewhere and Denny had been tossed out of the Wozniaks’ home for a series of infractions and rebellions, and was living with the family of a high-school friend. Remarkably, the state placed another child with the Wozniaks, a girl from Waterbury, also half-Irish and half-Jewish, and I wonder what the odds were of that? Walter threw her out after a few years after learning she had dated a black kid.
My mother came home at about nine that night. I spotted her walking up the street, the ever-present Pall Mall cigarette, stained with red lipstick, dangling from the side of her mouth. Her hair was still dyed bright orange. She was much heavier than I had ever seen her before, but the bright print dress she was wearing was too loose on her hefty body, and on her swollen feet she wore white sneakers. She looked like what she was, a dirt-poor and overweight woman on welfare who was barely hanging on. Walking beside her and holding her hand was my half-sister Kathleen. About five years old, she looked like a miniature version of my mother.
Both were happy and excited to have me move in, and we sat on the porch, Kathleen resting on my lap, and I told them what had happened at St. John’s and my father’s and at Kevin Johnston’s and at the group home in Hartford.
After an hour or so, we went into the apartment. It was on the ground floor and was spacious, if worn out. There were stamped copper ceilings, plenty of long windows without drapes or blinds, and the floor of every room had linoleum that carried the faint odor of roach spray. The four rooms contained almost no furniture, only an odd assortment of junk from the Goodwill store.
“Ain’t it a nice place though, huh, Johnny?” Mom asked. She was proud of it, and I was happy for her.
“Yeah, Ma,” I lied. “It’s really nice.”
We ate a late-night meal of pork and potatoes, and it tasted better than it probably was because I was still feeling elated that my journey had ended.
“I’m gonna move Kathleen’s stuff into my bedroom and you can have her room,” she told me.
“No, Ma,” I protested. “Don’t do that, please.”
“Naw,” she said. “A teenager should have things.”
For a while after I arrived, my mother managed to avoid her manic-depressive mood swings. She kept the house clean, prepared full meals and, although I don’t know how she did it, she managed to save a few extra dollars to give me as pocket money, no matter how much I protested. I didn’t need the money because I had nothing to spend it on. School wouldn’t start for another two months, so I didn’t know anybody to spend it with. I used the money to go to the movies at the Palace Theater, and, as I had all those years ago, lost myself in film. Black-and-white television was our other main source of entertainment. It was a long, hot summer.
My mother talked about moving to a larger apartment in a better part of town, but that wasn’t going to happen. She was on welfare and food stamps and didn’t have the income to support herself and Kathleen, much less a growing teenager. We walked everywhere, just as we had done years before. I had a driver’s license but no car and no hope of owning one. Nothing was going to happen.
After a few weeks, my elation turned to sadness, and then to depression, and then to hopelessness. I felt as if I had reached the end. When the food stamps ran out, we had to cut back on meals, and I was gaining weight from all of the starches we used as fillers. The clothes I wore were from the church donation box and looked it. My best shirt was a skin-tight polyester long sleeve with a cigarette burn on the back. My affliction, which had left me alone for a while, came back. I screamed inside my head, “I don’t belong here!” but I was there, in the middle of poverty, pain, defeat, and drudgery once again, a place where men stumbled home drunk, raped their daughters, and fought with their sons over the last beer in the broken refrigerators. I didn’t belong here with these angry people, with the rats, and the rat poison. But I got along. I wandered the streets that summer, looking for something to do when I found the city library, and that was where I escaped from hell into paradise.
The Silas Bronson Library was a sleek, modern glass building settled into an expansive park, a popular cruising area for homosexuals on the prowl and teenage hustlers willing to help them out for a fee. One afternoon I was sitting on a park bench, reading, oddly enough, Moby-Dick, when I was approached by a very respectable-looking man in his late sixties.
“I’m sixteen, under age,” I snapped. “Go away, or I will call the police.”
He was outraged, and snapped back, “Then why are you here?”
“To read,” I said, holding up my copy of Moby-Dick, although in retrospect that probably wasn’t a good idea.
The library had a respectable book collection and I spent most of my days haunting its aisles, scanning the shelves for titles by the great American novelists. I found most of them, and I usually devoured them in a day, lying on the bench in the park with my book and one of my mother’s massive brown-bag lunches.
I dissolved into the books I found at the library, which could take me places, answer my questions, and leave me with more questions. I learned the great truths and common principles from those works, mostly because I had no one else to teach me those things. Books are great teachers and they teach with ease for those hungry to learn. And I was learning. I was learning to live with poverty, the toughest teacher of all because it gives you the test first and the lesson later. The ancient Greeks called it pathemata mathemata—to learn, eventually, by suffering.
One day at the library I found a stack of record albums. I was hoping I’d find ta Beatles album, but it was all classical music so I reached for the first name I knew, Beethoven. I checked it out his Sixth Symphony and walked home. I didn’t own a record player and I don’t know why I took it out. I had Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony but nothing to play it on.
At home the unique smell of the Mad River in the summer wafted into our apartment and glided unopposed into every corner, because we had no air conditioning and every door and window was open. When dark approached, we had to close and lock them all— it was a dangerous neighborhood—and let the stale, humid air get pushed around by a small fan.
Behind the smell of the river came the scent of beer that the neighbors were drinking on kitchen chairs they had carried out onto the sidewalk. And behind that came the low pulse of salsa music played from a transistor radio.
I sat at the kitchen table, stared out the open back door, and soaked in the mildly warm breeze and the street music.
“Are you hungry, Johnny?” my mother asked as she came in from the near-empty parlor. It was pointless to say no, because she always made something for me anyway.
“No, Ma, I’m okay, thank you,” I said.
She pulled liverwurst and Polish mustard from the refrigerator and started to make me a sandwich.
“I got this at the library,” I said, showing her the album. “Beethoven. This is his Sixth Symphony, so he wrote six of them. I think he wrote more, I don’t know. You know what this is about?”
“No,” she said as she piled the meat high onto black bread and slathered it in the spicy mustard. “But I heard a him. Is he dead?”
“Yeah,” I said. “He died like a million years ago, but when he was alive, he would go for walks in the woods and then write down in music the way he felt about walking in the woods and all that. He was deaf.”
She handed me my sandwich with a glass of ice water and sat down at the table with me.
“Deaf? They should have got him a different job, the poor bastard.”
I handed her the album cover. She looked at the drawing of Beethoven on the front and said, “He needs a haircut. ” She added, “He looks like he could have been a boxer.”
“I don’t think so,” I said.
“Well, he coulda been,” she said. “Maybe that’s how he went deaf, he got hit too many times in the head.”
I took the album and read the back: “As the composer said, the Sixth Symphony is ‘more the expression of feeling than painting’.” I looked up at her and said, “It has five movements.” The smile was already on her face before I finished the sentence. “Go ahead,” I said. “Say it and get it out of your system.”
“Five movements,” she laughed. “What’s this guy eatin’ he gotta go five times?”
“Okay, Chuckles,” I said. “Are we done with that?”
“Can I continue?”
“Yeah,” she said, and then whispered, “Movements.”
“This is known,” I said, “as the Pastoral Symphony, Ma, because Beethoven, the guy who wrote this, he liked to go out into the woods and write about the way he thought a cloud would sound like, or a tree bending in the wind or even what a blade of grass would sound like on a sunny day. How wild is that?” I paused and said, “Each of the movements—I’ll wait while you giggle, go ahead,” I said, and waited.
“No,” she said, giggling. “I won’t laugh; go ahead.”
“Each movement is like a journal of what he saw and then turned into a song.” I rested for a second and added, “He’s even got a storm in here, you know. What a storm would sound like.”
I looked at her and awaited her response.
“He got a girl, this guy?” she asked
“Beethoven?” I said “I dunno, Ma. Yeah, probably. He went deaf later on.”
“Some of the deaf got girls,” she said. “I don’t know what they talk about, but they got ’em.”
She stood up to make me another sandwich “You know, Johnny, you ever meet a nice girl, you want to bring her around, don’t be ashamed, I’ll clean the house up good.”
“I know, Ma, but I’m not looking for a nice girl, I’m looking for a bad girl,” I said. “Please don’t make me another sandwich. I still got this one.”
She didn’t listen. Minutes had passed without my eating something, and God forbid I should collapse from starvation.
“Why don’t you play it?” “We don’t have a record player,” I said. “But some day, I will. Someday I’ll listen to it.”
The next day, when I came home from the library, there was a small, used red record player in my room. I found my mother in the kitchen and spotted a bandage taped to her arm.
“Ma,” I asked. “Where did you get the money for the record player?”
“I had it saved,” she lied.
My father lived well, had a large house and an expensive imported car, wanted for little, and gave nothing. My mother lived on welfare in a slum and sold her blood to the Red Cross to get me a record player.
“Education is everything, Johnny,” she said, as she headed for the refrigerator to get me food. “You get smart like regular people and you don’t have to live like this no more.”
She and I were not hugging types, but I put my hand on her shoulder as she washed the dishes with her back to me and she said, in best Brooklynese, “So go and enjoy, already.” My father always said I was my mother’s son and I was proud of that. On her good days, she was a good and noble thing to be a part of.
That evening, I plugged in the red record player and placed it by the window. My mother and I took the kitchen chairs out to the porch and listened to Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony from beginning to end, as we watched the oil-stained waters of the Mad River roll by. It was a good night, another good night, one of many that have blessed my life.
In September, I enrolled in Wilby High School in Waterbury as a sophomore, the fourth high school I had attended in three years, and the last.
In 1962, six year old John Tuohy, his two brothers and two sisters entered Connecticut’s foster care system and were promptly split apart. Over the next ten years, John would live in more than ten foster homes, group homes and state schools, from his native Waterbury to Ansonia, New Haven, West Haven, Deep River and Hartford. In the end, a decade later, the state returned him to the same home and the same parents they had taken him from. As tragic as is funny compelling story will make you cry and laugh as you journey with this child to overcome the obstacles of the foster care system and find his dreams.
John William Tuohy is a writer who lives in Washington DC. He holds an MFA in writing from Lindenwood University. He is the author of numerous non-fiction on the history of organized crime including the ground break biography of bootlegger Roger Tuohy "When Capone's Mob Murdered Touhy" and "Guns and Glamour: A History of Organized Crime in Chicago."
His non-fiction crime short stories have appeared in The New Criminologist, American Mafia and other publications. John won the City of Chicago's Celtic Playfest for his work The Hannigan's of Beverly, and his short story fiction work, Karma Finds Franny Glass, appeared in AdmitTwo Magazine in October of 2008.
His play, Cyberdate.Com, was chosen for a public performance at the Actors Chapel in Manhattan in February of 2007 as part of the groups Reading Series for New York project. In June of 2008, the play won the Virginia Theater of The First Amendment Award for best new play.
Me when I was about 15 years old
This is my First Holy Communion picture (We wear all white at the first communion)
My cub scout troop, I'm the second kid in the second line
GOOD WORDS TO HAVE………………..
Deholden \bih-HOHL-dun\ being under obligation for a favor or gift : indebted. Beholden was first recorded in writing in the 14th century poem "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight." Indebted, which entered English through Anglo-French, is even older, first appearing in the 13th century. English speakers in the 14th century would also have had another synonym of beholden to choose from: bounden. That word, though obscure, is still in use with the meaning "made obligatory" or "binding" (as in "our bounden duty"), but its "beholden" sense is now obsolete.
August: marked by majestic dignity or grandeur. August comes from the Latin word augustus, meaning "consecrated" or "venerable," which in turn is related to the Latin augur, meaning "consecrated by augury" or "auspicious." In 8 B.C. the Roman Senate honored Augustus Caesar, the first Roman emperor, by changing the name of their month Sextilis to Augustus. Old English speakers inherited the name of the month of August, but it wasn't until the late 1500s that august came to be used generically in English, more or less as augustus was in Latin, to refer to someone with imperial qualities.
Grog: alcoholic liquor; especially: liquor (such as rum) cut with water and now often served hot with lemon juice and sometimes sugar. Eighteenth-century English admiral Edward Vernon reputedly earned the nickname "Old Grog" because he often wore a cloak made from grogram (a coarse, loosely woven fabric made of silk or silk blended with mohair or wool). In Old Grog's day, sailors in the Royal Navy were customarily given a daily ration of rum, but in 1740 the admiral, concerned about the health of his men, ordered that the rum should be diluted with water. The decision wasn't very popular with the sailors, who supposedly dubbed the mixture grog after Vernon. Today, grog can be used as a general term for any liquor, even undiluted, and someone who acts drunk or shaky can be called groggy.
Finding happiness is not a secret
There is no secret to living a happy and fulfilled life, or if there is, it's the worst kept secret ever.
Advice on how to be happy screams at us from drink coasters, pop songs and fridge magnets. It might all sound like a big, fat cliché, but it's also the truth.
Stop and smell the roses; don't believe the grass is always greener; just be yourself. That's sage advice. It's free to receive and doesn't cost anything to follow.
I recognise I have been very lucky with my life, my family and my friends.
There were times when I was younger when I wanted more than I needed and, like others around me, didn't want to wait to get it.
We live in a world where everyone wants too much, does too much and judges too much. We know we shouldn't care about being prettier, thinner, richer, whatever, but still we do care.
We know we have to be strong, but don't always know how to be. The sensitive ones get crushed easily and others get left behind altogether.
It's taken me until my forties to realise I am content, and I believe contentment is altogether greater than happiness.
It is solid, permanent and includes an appreciation for so much more in life. It requires knowing yourself, then finding the confidence and belief to live the life you want.
I love my home, I am blessed with an amazing family and life is good.
I don't want any more than I have and I appreciate everything I have been given. I hope I am bringing up my children to be the same.
I tell them sometimes life sucks, things happen, earthquakes are sent to try us and this is how we learn resilience, patience, kindness.
We learn to look on the bright side of life and, if we sometimes forget, or when we feel a little down and we reach for a chilled bottle, we just need to stop and read the fridge magnet.
HERE'S PLEASANT POEM FOR YOU TO ENJOY................
One of the major inspirations of Beethoven’s famed Ninth Symphony was poet Friedrich Schiller’s poem “Ode to Joy,” which he’d been meaning to put to music since his youth.
Joy, thou beauteous godly lighting,
Daughter of Elysium,
Fire drunken we are ent'ring
Heavenly, thy holy home!
Thy enchantments bind together,
What did custom's sword divide,*
Beggars are a prince's brother,*
Where thy gentle wings abide.
Be embrac'd, ye millions yonder!
Take this kiss throughout the world!
Brothers—o'er the stars unfurl'd
Must reside a loving father.
*Reworked by Schiller in the 1803 edition of his works to the more familiar:
What did custom stern divide;
Every man becomes a brother,
Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller (November 10 1759 – May 9 1805) was a German poet, philosopher, historian, and playwright. During the last seventeen years of his life, Schiller struck up a productive, if complicated, friendship with already famous and influential Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. They frequently discussed issues concerning aesthetics, and Schiller encouraged Goethe to finish works he left as sketches. This relationship and these discussions led to a period now referred to as Weimar Classicism. They also worked together on Xenien, a collection of short satirical poems in which both Schiller and Goethe challenge opponents to their philosophical vision.
Report: Boosting Child Tax Credit would lift poor black children out of poverty
By Freddie Allen
Senior Washington Correspondent
WASHINGTON (NNPA)–Reforms proposed to the Child Tax Credit by the Center for American Progress could help to reduce poverty in children younger than three years old in the black community by nearly 22 percent, according to a recent report.
The plans to enhance the credit are laid out in the report by the progressive think tank.
According to the report, childhood poverty costs the United States $672 billion every year “due to higher health costs, lower educational outcomes, and increased spending on criminal justice.”
In the press release about the report, Melissa Boteach, the vice president of the Poverty to Prosperity Program at CAP and a co-author of the report, said that young parents are often forced juggle student loans, spells of unemployment, and other financial shocks at the exact moment they are facing the new financial responsibilities that come with raising a young child.
“We know from an abundance of research that family income strongly affects children’s long-term success, including academic achievement, employment, earnings, and health,” said Boteach. “Our proposal both addresses families’ and children’s immediate needs and promotes families’ long-term strength and economic mobility.”
More than a decade has passed since the tax credit was increased to $1,000 and CAP researchers note that credit would be worth $1,340 today if it had kept pace with inflation.
If lawmakers allowed the Child Tax Credit to keep pace with inflation it would ensure that the tool is a better investment for low- and moderate-income families with children. These updates to the credit would have a significant impact on black children who live in poverty at higher rates than white children.
The report said that eliminating the minimum earnings requirement and making the credit fully refundable would also make the Child Tax Credit more effective.
“Given that research has shown that boosting poor children’s family income early in life has long-term effects on education, health, and earnings, this investment also would likely have positive effects on children’s long-term economic mobility,” the report said.
The report also compared the costs associated with spending on tax breaks on the wealthy to funding the Child Tax Credit.
“In 2015, for example, an estimated $49.7 billion will fund just one of the many tax expenditures for the wealthy—the step-up in basis for capital gains, which protects large sums of wealth from taxation when it is passed down to inheritors,” the report said. “Spending on this single item that benefits primarily adult children of the wealthy exceeds by nearly $3 billion per year all current spending on our nation’s 74 million children through the CTC.”
Adopting the new policies proposed by CAP would not only help more than two-and-a-half times as many young children as the current policy, they would also cut overall childhood poverty in the U.S by more 13.2 percent.
“The price tag of middle-class American economic security has been rising particularly rapidly for families with children, leaving these families increasingly hard-pressed to meet the costs of childrearing,” the report said. “The Child Tax Credit offers a powerful tool for making much-needed investments in the country’s next generation.”
The report continued: “By making the credit fully refundable and eliminating the minimum earnings requirement, lawmakers can ensure that the CTC reaches all low- and moderate-income children. By indexing the credit to inflation, policymakers can ensure that it keeps pace with the rising cost of raising a child.”
Excerpt from my book "When Capone’s Mob Murdered Touhy.”
Henrichsen reached Schwabauer at his mother's house where he was living with his children (his wife having left him a few months before) and told him "a guy with money, a rich guy...needs to disappear for a while. You interested? There's money in it for you."
Schwabauer, who was perpetually broke, said he was interested...very interested. Henrichsen asked if he could put Factor up at Schwabauer's mother's house for a few days and Schwabauer said "Sure, why not?" Before they parted, Henrichsen told Schwabauer to be sure and not say anything to Roger Touhy about it.
Later that same night Jake the Barber and a party of seven, including his wife and his son Jerome, spent the evening in a casino, The Dells,
the same place where Roger's men had murdered a syndicate hood a few months before. Factor and his guests drank and gambled until about 1:00 A.M., then piled into Jake's Deusenberg to return to Chicago. As they drove down a narrow, darkened stretch of road, two cars roared up behind them and forced Factor's Deusenberg off the road.
Buck Henrichsen, Eddie Schwabauer, Jimmy Tribbles and "Ice Wagon" Conners-all Touhy men-surrounded Factor's car. With their guns drawn, they dragged Factor from the Deusenberg, tossed him into one of the waiting cars and sped away. An hour later Jake arrived safely at the house of Eddie Schwabauer's mother, where he issued some orders to Henrichsen to get in touch with his family in Chicago and then asked Schwabauer's mother to leave the kitchen while he made several phone calls. Afterward he asked for something to eat and then went to bed about 5:00 A.M.
The next morning, Schwabauer's mother went shopping and saw Factor's picture on the front page of several newspapers. The headlines screamed that Factor had been kidnapped at gunpoint while the British government's representative in Chicago was calling it all a hoax. Outraged and scared, she rushed home and went into her son's room and shook him awake "You tell that Buck Henrichsen that I want that man out of this house. I won't have any part of this!"
An hour later, Henrichsen came to the house with Ice Wagon Connors. They collected Factor and drove him to a rented house in Bangs Lake, Illinois, where Henrichsen and several other Touhy gunmen took turns keeping Factor company. When Jake tired of them, Henrichsen hired the comedic vaudeville team of Harry Geils and Frankie Brown to entertain Jake who spent the rest of his free time drinking and playing cards.
On July 12, 1933, Jake the Barber Factor showed up in La Grange, Illinois, flagged down a passing police car and announced, Tm Jake Factor, I was kidnapped!"
Framing Roger Touhy for the kidnapping began the very day that Jake the Barber reappeared. The Chicago newspapers were already quoting Captain Daniel Tubbo Gilbert, the powerful and notoriously corrupt chief investigator for the Cook County States Attorney's Office who, without evidence was already accusing the Touhy gang of having kidnapped Factor.
Gilbert's accusation didn't surprise Roger Touhy in the least; he knew Gilbert hated him. At one time, Gilbert, who was slightly older than Roger, had been close friends with Tommy Touhy. Gilbert and Tommy had known each other since their childhood in the Valley. There Gilbert's upbringing was just as harsh as Tommy's. At age eleven, Gilbert left grammar school and went to work as a wagon-boy at the train depot that once dominated the Valley's center. Within a few years, Gilbert was elected Secretary of the Baggage and Parcel Delivery Union, local 725, when his opponent in the race withdrew after being shot between the legs in mid-election.
Ambitious, Gilbert went on to the governing council of the Chicago Teamsters Union and was then appointed to the Chicago police force on the day the United States entered the first World War. While on the force, Gilbert pursued a separate career in union politics, keeping his position as the Secretary Treasurer of the Baggage and Parcel Drivers Union which he ruled by brute force, fear and intimidation.
During one strike, called by the membership without his authority, Gilbert was so enraged he beat the strike leader so badly that he was indicted for assault with intent to kill. The indictment was later suspended with leave to reinstate. Mysteriously though the records disappeared from the criminal courts building when the Kefauver committee arrived in Chicago in 1951.
On the force, Tubbo earned a reputation as a cop on the make, a thick-necked bully, quick with his fist. He rose through the ranks with lightning speed because he openly engaged in city politics. He was smart enough to surround himself with capable and bright underlings. But in 1923 Gilbert was still a beat cop supplementing his income by shaking down small time bootleggers like Roger Touhy.
One afternoon Gilbert called Roger into the station and told him he wanted $5 for every barrel that rolled through his district even if it was near beer, because the city's biggest bootlegger, Johnny Torrio, had his breweries closed by federal order. As a result, payoff money had gotten tight. Roger told Gilbert that he assumed his friendship with his brother Tommy had taken care of finances but Gilbert made it clear that friendship and money were two different issues.
Roger, as cocky as ever, told Gilbert that he expected to pay for protection but that Gilbert's asking price was exorbitant since a single barrel cost Roger $12. If he had to pay Gilbert $5 on every barrel plus an additional $5 to his drivers, then he would have to go out of business. Gilbert held tight to his asking price and Roger refused to budge, so Gilbert had all of his trucks impounded. Roger walked over to the 27th Ward Democratic Club where he knew he would find Gilbert, and told him that the trucks he impounded were loaded with near beer and therefore legal, and that he wanted the trucks released.
Gilbert said he didn't care if it was near beer or the real thing. He wanted $5 a barrel to release the trucks but again Roger refused to pay and, being on the right side of the law for once, threatened to take his complaint to Gilbert's superiors.
Gilbert relented and accompanied Roger back to the police impound yard and while others watched and listened, Gilbert made a loud apology for what he termed "this unfortunate oversight"and assigned several policemen to reload the trucks. When the trucks were reloaded, Gilbert pulled Roger aside, his face red with fury, and said, "I don't care what kind of beer comes into this district it's a fin a barrel or no beer comes into the district at all."
Roger told Gilbert he would pay $1.50 a barrel for protection, the going rate, and that was all that he would pay. The argument went around and around and for the next six months. Gilbert continued to stop every Touhy truck that he could find and Touhy still refused to pay. Thus the lifelong feud between Tubbo Gilbert and Roger Touhy continued.
Now, in 1933, Tubbo Gilbert was sitting comfortably in the syndicate's palm and was part of the conspiracy to frame Roger Touhy for John Factor's kidnapping. But, no matter how much Gilbert and the mob tried to build up the kidnapping tale, by the end of the summer of 1933, the story was starting to unravel. As more and more of the seamy details of his criminal career came out in the newspapers, the public was beginning to doubt that Factor had been abducted at all.
As the wall closed in on him, Factor's only choice was to bring the public's sympathies back to his side, while at the same time building a better case against Roger Touhy. Through his contacts within Touhy's gang, Factor was able to get in touch with a Tennessee moonshiner turned mail bandit, Isaac Costner, who was loosely associated with one of Touhy's top men, Basil Hugh Banghart.
Factor told Costner that he had kidnapped himself to avoid extradition and that he needed to build up his story and that he would pay Costner a $25,000 fee to make the kidnapping look real. For this fee Factor insisted Costner would have to bring Basil Banghart into the deal. Costner assured him that he would.
Basil Hugh Banghart had been born in Berryville, Michigan in 1900 and finished one year of college before he became a professional car thief, stealing some 100 autos in Detroit in three months in 1926 before he was arrested and imprisoned. Sociologists rated him as "a professional, sophisticated criminal, who is astute, well poised, alert, but without social conscience or scruples. He used his I. Q. of 117 to learn to drive a train and fly an airplane...and steal cars."
Assigned to a window-washing detail in Atlanta Federal Prison, Banghart made his first escape by leaping some twenty-five feet from a window into a marsh on the other side of the prison's walls. He eventually made his way to Montana, but was recaptured and sent back to Atlanta.
His second escape from Atlanta was with the legendary mail robber Gerald Chapman in 1927, but again, he was re-captured. Banghart was escorted back to prison by a U.S. Marshal with a stop over at the Federal building in Baltimore where Banghart was left in an office alone for several minutes. Banghart used the time to call the local police, telling them he was an FBI agent who had been overpowered and handcuffed by the prisoner he was escorting back to prison, "a dangerous, armed felon and a police imposter" he said. The police rushed to the building, arrested the marshal and released Banghart who was re-captured once again in Knoxville a year later and returned to Atlanta.
He escaped yet again and was arrested in Detroit for armed robbery and was being held in the South Bend, Indiana jail when he escaped one more time by throwing pepper in a guard's face, grabbing his machine gun and shooting his way to freedom. This time Banghart successfully made his way to Chicago and went to work for Roger Touhy as a gunner and mail robber.
Now, in the summer of 1933 Basil Banghart and Isaac Costner met Jake the Barber in suburban Maywood, Illinois to discuss Factor's kidnapping. Banghart was suspicious, so Factor explained that there were too many holes in his kidnapping story and that too many people were starting to doubt the whole thing. The British government wouldn't let up on its demands to have him extradited. He said he was willing to pay them $25,000 in cash if they would call him and demand more money while the FBI and police listened in on the line.
After a few demands from them, Factor said he would arrange a time and place for the additional ransom money, $25,000, to be paid. Then Factor gave Costner $5,000 as a down payment and Banghart agreed to go into the deal. A day later, Costner placed the call to Factor's hotel suite while Tubbo Gilbert and Special Agent Melvin Purvis of the FBI listened in on the call. Costner identified himself as one of the kidnappers and demanded to know when the second half of the ransom would be paid. Factor replied that he was having difficulty raising the money and that Costner should call back in a day or two.
Then, to the absolute horror of police professionals, after the call had ended Factor called a press conference and said that he had received a telephone demand for more money from the kidnappers and that Chief of States Attorney's Investigators Tubbo Gilbert and Special Agent Melvin Purvis were listening in on the line at the time. The papers ran with the story and suddenly Jake the Barber's kidnapping story was credible again.
Eventually Costner and Banghart arranged to pick up the additional ransom on the corner of Wolf and Ogden Roads, just outside the forest preserves.
In preparation, Chicago Chief of Detectives William Shoemaker rounded up 250 heavily armed policemen, police cadets, sheriffs, deputies and FBI agents, two airplanes and sixty-two squad cars, ten machine guns and a dozen drop bombs and then huddled with Melvin Purvis and Tubbo Gilbert for three days to plan the kidnappers' capture.
It had been agreed that the money would be dropped off by a messenger in a taxi cab and the police commandeered a cab that they filled with two officers, armed with machine guns and pistols, drove to the pick up point and waited. Banghart was late picking up the money and sped onto the road where the cab was waiting and pulled up to the taxi's fender, screeching to a halt, just barely avoiding an accident. He stepped out and walked over to the cab and looked at plainclothes officer Patrick McKenna in the back seat.
"You got a package, a package for Smith?" he asked.
McKenna nodded "Yes. It's here." At that,
McKenna climbed out of the car, looked up at the two police airplanes circling above them and waved his arms to signal that the pickup had been made.
Banghart saw the set up, if in fact he hadn't already been told about it by Gilbert, and floored his car down the road only to find it blocked by a dozen squad cars. Throwing the car in reverse, he raced down to the other end of the road to find another road block. He threw the car in reverse again and dodged back and forth between the roadblocks looking for an opening. At one point the two cops in the taxi, McKenna and Meyers, drove up behind Banghart's car and fired a machine gun at the gangster, missing every shot. In frustration, Meyers pulled the cab up alongside Banghart's car to give McKenna a better target. McKenna let a burst go from the Tommy gun but missed again. This time, Banghart drove straight at the roadblock in front of him and the cops, not really sure if he would stop or not, moved out of his way. Banghart drove into the forest preserve to get out of the view of the airplanes above him. With the police only yards behind him, Banghart leaped out of the car, let it smash into a tree and ran away on foot into a rain gully that led to a state highway. From there, he hitchhiked back to Chicago, $25,000 richer, or so he thought. When Banghart opened the package, he found only $500 and stacks of cut up newspapers.
Basil Banghart, Roger Touhy's second in command
John "Jake the barber" Factor
Detectives search for clues after the Touhy killing
Roger (center) on his way to court
Roger Touhy, dead
The Touhy Brothers
Albert Sharky, the Touhy gangs killer
Tubbo Gilbert, the worlds richest cop
Excerpt from my book “On the Waterfront: The Making of a Great American Film”
THE AMBIGUOUS END
The films ending has left generations of viewers perplexed. If nothing else, the ending fits to the Hollywood dictate that a film must end with dramatic action, in this case a fistfight between a former prizefighter and a gangster. From the scenes prior to the required Hollywood fistfight scene, it is obvious that Terry has won.
He has ruined Johnny Friendly. We see a shot of a tabloid-style newspaper with news that Johnny Friendly will be indicted for murder. Then, just after the hearings, we see a "Mr. Big" watching the hearings on television and instructing his servant not to take calls from Johnny Friendly. This is followed by a scene inside the gangster’s waterfront shack where Johnny Friendly takes the guns from his thugs and says, "I’m on the hot seat. We’re a law abiding union.” It is obvious his power is diminishing. In fact, Johnny Friendly is only true loser in the film overall. Like Father Barry and Joey Doyle and even Terry’s brother, in the end, the characters are pure of soul and essentially good.
While Friendly is the films real loser, the longshoremen are not portrayed as empowered by Johnny Friendly’s loss. In the final shot, a gigantic steel gray door shuts as the workers march in to the cargo bay, led by a beaten and bloody Terry. He carries a hook over his shoulder as Christ carries a cross and he is wearing Joey Doyle’s jacket, the now sacred jacket of morality. Terry is bleeding from the head reminiscent of a Christ’s bleeding from the crown of thorns. In a broad overhead shot, they, the work crews and Terry, enter a warehouse and are seemingly devoured by the building while the giant doors, like the gates of heaven, slams down in the face of a defeated Johnny Friendly. (most of the final scene was shot at 7:00 PM, in the dark)
The films theme suggests that Kazan felt a need to assert the right of the individual’s conscience over the body of the whole. There is no ambiguity in what Terry Malloy did, in testifying about Johnny Friendly or facing him down on the docks, it was clearly the right thing to do. In the end Terry win’s the girl and the respect of the Priest and his fellow workers. Informing has elevated him to a new status. It also helps that those on his side include a Catholic priest and a kind-hearted teacher trainee, winning over the audience’s sympathy.
Kazan’s interpretation of ending is based on the Longshoremen’s plight at that point in time. He knew that the mob still ran the unions and little had changed. "The workers” he said, “gather around Terry, as if they were going to continue their struggle. They have to work for a living they're not going into some intellectual state of withdrawal from it. It was as close as I could get to what actually happened on the waterfront."
Kazan followed the allegory to the bitter end of the film with Terry's final walk to work. The walk has suggestions of religious symbolism (The hook slung across the bloodied shoulder etc) following his fight with Johnny Friendly, was seen by the British film director Lindsay Anderson as fascist, involving a sudden transfer of loyalty to a new leader by the watching, apathetic crowd. There has not been a real change on the Waterfront. Terry Malloy is hardly a leader. He is in it for himself. He does not want to change things. He simply wants to get along and go along, much like the conformity of the times. Terry/ Brando act out Kazan's conformity in the very last scene when Terry enters the warmth of the warehouse with the other longshoremen; he is coming in from the cold, just as Kazan had done. For him, the workers are easily pulled around the docks like sheep at the whim of the next powerful leader because they have little else on their mind except their own well-being, which was, on the waterfront of 1954, essentially true. (Beaten and battered, Terry Malloy makes the long walk from the docks to the warehouse, the Kazan version of Christ’s long walk to Calvary, his loading hood and all it symbolizes as his cross)
Kazan said that he was being true to what the reality of the moment was "What we intended to show at the end was that the workers there had found, or thought they'd found, a new potential leader. He had almost been killed remember? And very often, in the labor movement, a new movement starts with the death of a person, through the memory of a martyr." 68 However, it is doubtful that the beating Terry takes in the final scene inspired the workers to overthrow a corrupt union leader.
In the film, nothing is resolved in the end. Kenneth Hey, in his analysis of Leonard Bernstein’s score for the film, points out that on the soundtrack the climatic image of Terry reporting for work, the music is indeterminate by not resolving the final chords.
HERE IS AN EXCEPT FROM MY BOOK "THE BOOK OF AMERICAN-JEWISH GANGSTERS"
(Max Zellner is a pen name, it was my grandfather's born name. During World War 1 he changed it to the less German sounding Paul Selner)
Berman, David: Las Vegas Casino Boss. FAKA Davie the Jew: Born 1903. Died 1957. Berman was born in Odessa, the Ukraine, the son of a former rabbinical student. Berman would remain steadfastly religious throughout his life, even helping Bugsy Siegel to fiancé the first synagogue in Las Vegas. (A four-bedroom house) When Berman was still a child, the family moved to South Dakota, as part of a Jewish resettlement program funded by Baron Maurice de Hirsch. From there the Berman’s moved to Iowa.
By 1916, Berman was running his own gang in Sioux City and eventually moved to Minneapolis where he developed a working relationship with the New York based Genovese Crime family. Berman prospered with prohibition and gambling. Working with him, in those days and throughout his entire criminal career was his brother Chickie and Israel Alderman AKA Ice Pick Willie. Berman enlisted in the Canadian army in World War 2 (He was rejected by the US Army based on his felony record) and served in an elite reconnaissance ranger’s outfit.
After the war, Minneapolis elected a young racket busting Hubert Humprey as mayor. Humprey effectively pushed Berman, now a wealthy man, out of the city and into the waiting arms of Meyer Lansky and Bugsy Siegel in Las Vegas. Reportedly, the Genovese family in New York, which had investment money with Siegel, insisted that Berman and his men, be included in Siegel’s dealings in Vegas.
Before leaving Minnesota, Berman married a former dancer named Gladys Ewald, a German –American who converted to Judaism. She took her own life, at age 39, shortly after her husband’s death, by an overdose of sleeping pills. Her daughter Susan believed that she was murdered for refusing to give up her late husband’s shares in casinos.
It was Berman and his manager, Gus Greenbaum who walked into the Flamingo Hotel on June 21, 1947, only hours after Bugsy Siegel was shot dead and announced “We’re taking over” (Contrary to film legend, Berman did not shout the news. Rather he spoke the words softly)
By the early 1950s, Berman, his brother and Ice Pick Willie Alderman were either owners or, or partner’s in the Riveria and was involved with the Flamingo, the El Cortez and the El Dorado casinos. Berman died in 1957 after entering the hospital for a simple surgery. Susan Berman also believed her father’s death was also under mysterious circumstances. Susan later wrote a book, Easy Street, about her father and growing up as what she termed “A Jewish Mafia princess in Las Vegas” Susan Berman was a troubled woman whom friends described as “smart, intense, and complex woman who challenged the boundaries of friendships and relationships. She was also the victim of many phobias, including crossing bridges, riding in elevators, and staying above the third floor in hotels; and at one point, she rashly attempted to kill herself.” A gifted writer who was in and out of mental asylums throughout most of her adults life, she was murdered in her home Las Angeles on December 24, 2000.
Bernstein, Sholem: Member of Murder Inc.. AKA Sol. Killer for Murder Inc.. Turned informant. Bernstein sent to LA on several occasions by Harry Strauss to murder Irving “Big Gangi” Cohen but never followed through on the contract. Cohn, a part time actor, had killed Walter Sage in Sullivan County New York in 1937 and then fled the state.
Gurah Shapiro, the baddest bad ass of them all
Mickey Cohen of LA
Bugsy Seigel (center)
Waxy Gordon, an early drug dealer
HERE'S SOME NICE ART FOR YOU TO LOOK AT....ENJOY!
Gari Melchers, The Communicant, c. 1900
Georg Nicolaj Achen 1901
Gertrude Abercrombie - White Cat
Courage charms us because it indicates that a man loves an idea better than all things in the world that he is thinking neither of his bed nor his dinner nor his money but will venture all to put in act the invisible thought of his mind.
300 quotes from Emerson
To view more Emerson quotes or read a life background on Emerson please visit the books blog spot. We update the blog bi-monthly emersonsaidit.blogspot.com
What is love………….
This love is silent. T. S. Eliot
A peace is of the nature of a conquest; for then both parties nobly are subdued, and neither party loser.
Visit our Shakespeare Blog at the address below
Sculpture this, sculpture that.........................
My old and trusted friend, Ludwig Van Beethoven, in Central Park, New York
Beethoven often dipped his head in cold water before composing
Beethoven loved cooking, so much so that he named one of his pieces "Christ! On the Mount of Olives"
He was jealous that Rimsky-Korsakov wrote an opera called "Mozart and Salieri" instead of "Mozart and Beethoven"
He designed one of his piano sonatas to be played with building implements and called it the "Hammer-Klavier Sonata"
He wrote another of his sonatas entirely at night and so called it the "Moonlight Sonata"
Beethoven's father was an alcoholic and emotionally abusive to Beethoven when Beethoven was growing up;
Beethoven's height was 5' 3"
Beethoven had unusually bad skin;
Beethoven was very temperamental and would end performances if he became aware of anyone in the audience talking;
When Beethoven's brother died, Beethoven bribed officials to obtain custody of his brother's son, thus taking his nephew away from his brother's wife;
Beethoven's deafness was the result of lead poisoning, and lead poisoning was also the cause of Beethoven's death.
Beethoven was actually the third Ludwig van Beethoven in his family. The first was his grandfather, a noted musician in Bonn, and the second was Beethoven’s older brother, who passed six days after his birth.
Beethoven’s father noticed early on the boy’s penchant for playing. He set his sights on creating a prodigy as Mozart was just years before, and Johann beat music into Ludwig, forcing him to practice day and night to reach the same level of genius. Neighbors of
Beethoven remembered the small boy standing on a bench to reach the keyboard, crying, his father looming over him.
Having left school at age 11 to help with household income, Beethoven never learned how to multiply or divide. To his last day if he had to multiply, say, 60 x 52, he’d lay out 60 52 times over and add them up.
Among his friends, Beethoven was a notorious space cadet. Once, while speaking to family friend Cacilie, she noticed him zoning out. When she demanded a reply to what she’d said, his answer was, “I was just occupied with such a lovely, deep thought, I couldn’t bear to be disturbed.”
On his first visit to Vienna, 17-year-old Beethoven was scheduled to perform for Mozart. The latter was generally unimpressed with other musicians, having been so far ahead of his peers in talent and accomplishments. No one really knows what happened in that fateful meeting, but myth has it that Mozart walked out of the room saying, “Keep your eyes on him—someday he’ll give the world something to talk about.”
Beethoven was known for his improvising (before he lost his hearing). One contemporary of his, composer Johann Baptist Cramer, told his students that if you haven’t heard Beethoven improvise, you haven’t heard improvisation.
After moving to Vienna in his early 20s, Beethoven took lessons from Joseph Haydn, father of the symphony. As per Beethoven’s habit with teachers, the two often got frustrated and ultimately didn’t like each other very much.
When Beethoven had been composing for some years, the piano began to come into its own. Whereas his predecessors had composed for harpsichord, Beethoven decided he would focus his efforts on the instrument no one had yet written comprehensive work for.
Beethoven had varying luck with women. Some admired him for his genius while others found him repulsive. A woman he courted once called him “ugly and half crazy.”
Beethoven was a sick kid to his dying day. Throughout his life he would suffer from deafness, colitis, rheumatism, rheumatic fever, typhus, skin disorders, abscesses, a variety of infections, ophthalmia, inflammatory degeneration of the arteries, jaundice, chronic hepatitis, and cirrhosis of the liver.
Though he attributed the beginning of his deafness to an instance in which he was startled and fell, the foundation would have probably been a disease he had suffered from as a child like typhus, smallpox, etc. He began to hear constant buzzing at age 27.
The Moonlight Sonata was a hit from the start, dedicated to Beethoven’s pupil and love interest Julie Guicciardi.
Beethoven hated giving piano lessons unless they were for exceptionally talented students or attractive young women of whatever talent.
He was instrumental in setting the tone of critiques of his work in the leading music journal of the day, AMZ, telling the editor to back off with negative comments if he wanted to receive copies of the musician’s work.
His Symphony no. 3, called Eroica, was dedicated to Napoleon (before he’d disappointed Beethoven and crowned himself absolute monarch, as opposed to being a symbol of revolution and new era in Europe) and written at a time when Beethoven considered moving to Paris. The move never happened, but the symphony would be a defining artistic work of the German enlightenment.
Despite his acclaim, Beethoven always had to work hard to ensure a comfortable living by giving piano lessons, writing work commissioned by wealthy Viennese residents, and, of course, publishing his own music.
He died during a thunderstorm at age 56, his friend comparing the occasion to the composer’s symphonies with “crashes that sound like hammering on the portals of Fate.”
Thousands joined the procession at his burial. His monument said, simply, “BEETHOVEN
Half the lies they tell about me aren't true.”
THE BOOK OF FUNNY, ODD AND INTERESTING THINGS THAT PEOPLE SAY
John William Tuohy
"I'm too fat to get into my work pants."
"I accidentally flushed my keys down the toilet."
"I had to help deliver a baby on my way to work."
"I cut my fingernails too short, they're bleeding and I have to go to the doctor."
One of the walls in the employee's home fell off the night before.
My wheelchair broke down.
"God didn't wake me."
"It's way too cold outside to leave the house."
"It's way too nice outside to be in the office."
"I had race tickets for Sunday's race, which was rained out, so they are running it today."
"My house lock jammed, and I'm locked in."
I forgot to come back to work after lunch.
I couldn't find my shoes.
I hurt myself bowling.
A hit man was looking for me.
"The ghosts in my house kept me up all night."
My curlers burned my hair and I had to go to the hairdresser.
"I accidentally drove through the automatic garage door before it opened."
My brain went to sleep and I couldn't wake it up.
"I was watching a guy fixing a septic pump, fell in the hole and hurt myself."
"I was walking my dog and slipped on a toad in my driveway and hurt my back."
I had to be there for my husband's grand jury trial.
I forgot what day of the week it was.
"I forgot I was getting married today."
Someone slipped drugs in my drink last night.
A tree fell on my car.
"I'm too drunk to drive to work."
"My son accidentally fell asleep next to wet cement in our backyard. His foot fell in and we can't get it out."
My head injuries have created a permanent increase in libido which has led to two affairs and has ruined my marriage.
I got my right hand first finger in the saw while helping Mike and staying out of his way.
My finger bled and it affected my mind.
I chipped my tooth on a cookie while visiting a customer.
While on duty, I was hit in the face by a hand. My glasses were broke and something hit my eye. No one believes I was hit but it hurt!
Hot grease splashed on me and fried my thumb.
I was working on my job and got a pain at the the end of the week.
Accident unnecessarily occurred on account of a misjudgment.
I ran down the steps and when I got to the end, my feet wouldn't stop.
I had my hand in the machine while the air was off. Someone turned on switches and folded my hand.
I was assaulted and attacked by a vicious employee because he didn't like me and I know it.
The patient was going to fall for me. I could not let this happen. In so preventing this, I caused myself damage to my knee.
In performing the job of which I am capable, I didn't know the machine was on and was showing my new helper what not to do and did.
I was proving that I could carry an air compressor and I strained my back.
I looked into the hose to see why the water did not come out. It came.
I sprained my ankle the same way I sprained my ankle before.
That night I done something I shouldn't-a done and now my back hurts.
A gate hit my foot while my back was turned, closing the other side.
Customer thought she needed the brakes adjusted. She drove the car into the station, could not stop the car, came through the door and pinned claimant against the cash register.
I was removing a blouse for a customer and which time I injured my back.
I inherited this occupational disease.
Acting on behalf of my employer, I hit another automobile.
In order to avoid a person, Betty lost her balance and fell down. In one hand she had a ketchup botttle which broke on impact, cutting her hand. In the other hand she had her thumb.
I overasserted myself and got a hernia.
The doctor gave me a disease for my occupation and said I must change jobs.
Gears smashed thumb while holding air cleaner, while putting nipple on with right hand, while balancing air cleaner with left hand, while holding end with left hand away from right hand. Gears were not covered.
I didn't know water was where I fell.
I fell down in the Fotomat booth while dislocating my knee.
Sustained back injury due to car accident which is part of his job.
Falling off the truck, I dislocated my pelvis and other male organs.
I slipped and fell and hurt everything in me.
I dropped my head on my foot when someone pushed their guts across the table without calling out (from a slaughterhouse employee).
The fumes were so bad I was taken by them and went to bed with the doctor.
The guy I work with went ape s**t. He hauled off and punched me in the jaw and then tried to rip my throat out.
Carrying roll roofing, I caught my toe on a piece of tin that was froze in the ground. The tin flipped against me causing me to trip, letting the roofing fall into the bucket of tar.
Tar splashed out, burning my arm, and causing me to jump back into the ladder which fell against me, knocking me into the building, breaking my tooth. Thus I burned, bumped, and broke me.
More Dutch Cities to Experiment With Universal Basic Income
Posted on Aug 14, 2015
The Dutch city of Tilburg. (Roborgh / CC BY-SA 3.0)
Taking the lead from the city of Utrecht, other Dutch cities are considering social experiments with basic income—an income unconditionally granted to all its residents on an individual basis, without a means test or work requirement.
As the Basic Income Earth Network explains, basic income is “a form of minimum income guarantee that differs from those that now exist in various European countries in three important ways: it is paid to individuals rather than households; it is paid irrespective of any income from other sources; and it is paid without requiring the performance of any work or the willingness to accept a job if offered.”
Tilburg, a city of 200,000 habitants close to the border with Belgium, will follow Utrecht’s initiative, and the cities of Groningen, Maastricht, Gouda, Enschede, Nijmegen and Wageningen are also considering it.
Supporters of basic income say it is a good mechanism to alleviate poverty and social exclusion. A recent study conducted in 18 European countries concluded that generous welfare benefits make people likely to want to work more, not less.
Ralf Embrechts, director of the Social Development Association of Tilburg and one of the promotors of the program, said that’s the theory the program is designed to test.
“We want to discover, if you trust people and give them a basic income without any rules or obligations—so, unconditionally—that they will do the right thing,” he explained in an email to Quartz.
If Tilburg’s basic income project gets the green light from Netherland’s state secretary of social affairs, the town will provide an extra paycheck to a pilot group of 250 people starting in January 2016, said Tillburg officials said. The city has not confirmed the amount of the stipend, but in Utrecht checks will range from around €900 ($1,000) for one adult to €1,300 ($1,450).
Although the classic basic income theory proposes universal payments across the population, the two Dutch experiments will only focus on residents who are already recipients of social assistance. Those in the program will be exempt from the severe job-seeking requirements and penalties in Dutch law.
Authorities aim to test how citizens react without that sword of Damocles over their heads. Will the money encourage them to find a job or will they sit in their couches comfortably?
Several cities across the world have experimented with basic income, from India to Canada, where the famous Mincome program took place in the 1970s, in the town of Dauphin, Manitob
Detractors say that such schemes are expensive and harmful to the economy, since they don’t stimulate people’s initiative to work. And some complain that these programs just feel unfair.
“It would be outright unjust if in this way welfare recipients would be getting more money than employees that have been doing full-time low-paid work for years,” asserted the economic daily Het Financieele Dagblad in an op-ed piece (paywall) on Tilburg’s initiative.
Bail System Should Be Based On Risk, Not Resources
Stuck In Jail
The cash bail system used in criminal courts in Connecticut and most other states discriminates against the poor, doesn't always ensure public safety and costs the state more than it needs to.
Consider. Today, in Connecticut, there are about 3,250 people sitting in jail not because they've been found guilty of a crime, but because they cannot post bond. Of these people in what is called pretrial detention, about 560 have bonds of less than $20,000, and 520 people have bonds set at between $20,000 and $50,000.
Bonds of $50,000 or less are considered low bonds, because most people can come up with the 7 percent fee, even if they have to finance it, to pay a bail bondsman to secure their release. Those who can't — often people who are often homeless or suffering from a mental disorder and with little family support — sit in jail, sometimes for many months, awaiting trial.
As Nick Pinto reported in The New York Times Magazine on Sunday, three quarters of a million people are sitting in city, county or state jails, with another 1.45 million in state and federal prisons. About 60 percent of the people in jails haven't been convicted of anything. Some are in jail because they are dangerous; many because they can't afford bail. Many pose no danger to the public; they are simply poor.
Ironically, some more dangerous individuals, such as those affiliated with gangs, have access to money and often can get bonded out of jail.
Also, some people faced with sitting in jail will take a plea deal — even if they aren't guilty — for a short sentence or lesser punishment to get out of jail. They often have little choice. A 2012 study by the Justice Policy Institute found that pretrial detention causes some people to lose their jobs and their housing, and adversely affects their families.
The state has taken some steps to alleviate this problem. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's Second Chance initiative lessens the penalties for nonviolent drug offenses, which should reduce the pretrial population. A 2011 law reformed certain questionable bonding practices. The state has several pretrial diversion programs aimed at keeping low-level first-time offenders, substance abusers and some who suffer from psychiatric disorders out of prison.
These help, to be sure, but more changes are needed.
Several states, most recently New Jersey, have dramatically reformed their bail systems. Last fall New Jersey voters approved an amendment to the state constitution that allows prosecutors to deny bail to dangerous individuals, on a showing of clear and convincing evidence. This was linked to a bail reform law already signed by Gov. Chris Christie that creates a pretrial release system based on risk rather than a person's resources. The law creates non-monetary release options for poor people. It uses risk assessment for suspects so judges can make individual decisions about release, and creates a unit to monitor and counsel those awaiting trial. The bail reform had the support of prosecutors as well as the NAACP and the ACLU.
Connecticut has a heaven-sent chance to reform its bail system.
In May the state was one of 20 jurisdictions to receive a $150,000 grant "to reduce over-incarceration by changing the way America thinks about and uses jails." From this group, 10 will be selected for a second round of funding next year to implement their plans. State officials are considering bail reform, said Michael P. Lawlor, the state's top criminal justice planner. And so they should.
A system that blatantly discriminates against the poor, that keeps less dangerous people in jail while letting gangbangers out and encourages innocent people to plead guilty is a system in need of repair.
Why South Africa needs a sugar tax
By Staff Writer
Heart disease. Cancer. Type 2 diabetes. These are all common diseases linked with the high consumption of sugar and many governments are turning to tax to help cut the sweet and promote healthier lifestyles.
In South Africa, the institution of a sugar tax is an idea that needs to be taken far more seriously as sugar-related illnesses continue to rise, impacting the economy and the tax base.
Mexico implemented a soft drink tax in 2013, Norway has had an excise tax on refined sugar products for a while, and in the United Kingdom, George Freeman, the life sciences minister, as well as well-known chef Jamie Oliver, openly backed a sugar tax earlier this year.
“A recent study has presented interesting data with South Africa at the second highest ranking, ahead of the USA, with regards to the number of deaths attributed to sugar,” said Ettiene Retief, chairperson of the National Tax and SARS Stakeholders Committee at The South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA).
“In 2014 a sugar tax was proposed, but not implemented. Will a sugar tax work here? Perhaps the most important question is – can we really afford not to take it seriously and make sure it is implemented?”
The introduction of a one peso per litre tax on soda and other sugary drinks by the Mexican government has had some interesting results. While it is still early on in the process, their findings have shown that in 2014 the purchase of soda and other similarly taxed drinks had dropped by 10% compared with the same period the previous year. In addition, the purchase of bottled water rose by 13%, showing that people were substituting the unhealthy with the healthy.
“Traditionally we have thought of sin taxes as not having any significant kind of impact on changing people’s behaviours and habits,” said Retief.
“Empirical evidence suggests that people won’t stop smoking because of a tax, but will stop or reduce consumption due to health risks or when they have decided it’s time to stop. When you’re at a social event, you don’t think about the increased sin tax. However, sugar taxation in other countries has shown positive results and this could potentially transform many issues prevalent in South Africa.”
Sugar is seen as far more socially acceptable than cigarettes. There is no stigma associated with it and it is easily available to anyone, regardless of wealth or station. However, it is conclusively linked to health issues that have a knock-on effect when it comes to working, medical aid, healthcare and the economy. Government’s plans for national health care is hindered by the high costs, and the high incidents of sugar related illnesses has a direct impact on those costs.
“The diseases caused by the over consumption of sugar have a massive economic impact,” said Retief. “Parents can’t work for as long or care for their families, children fall ill quicker and this impacts economic growth. It is a vicious circle, but is it one that can possibly be broken by taxation and consumer awareness?”
A foolish mistake
“We cannot compare traditional sin taxes with the sugar tax,” said Retief. “We can’t simply apply a sugar tax to make the high-sugar products more expensive, we need to also focus on consumer awareness and the comparative pricing of alternatives, and the sugar taxes collected should be used to fund aggressive education campaigns on healthier alternatives.”
Marketing, advertising and packaging practices could be regulated, with an introduction of warnings about the levels of sugar in certain foods and drinks, and the health risks, similar to the warnings on tobacco products. In the United Kingdom, the traffic light food rating system clearly shows exactly how much sugar is in any given item and allows for the consumer to make an informed choice on purchase.
A system like this would be enormously beneficial in South Africa where levels of education impact on understanding around how sugar can damage health and well-being. It will also ensure that the taxpayer of today is around to pay their taxes and boost the economy of tomorrow.
“The future workforce is under threat of serious illnesses due to the overconsumption of sugar,” said Retief.
“SAIPA is worried about the economy as a whole and the health of the tax base. The impact on companies thanks to increasingly high levels of illness, the taxpayer spend on healthcare instead of other areas means limited economic growth and then there are the concerns around how long a workforce can be economically active. Now is the time to implement robust change and a sugar tax is the right way to go, as long as it is done well.”
This article was published on SAIPA
The Real War on Families: Why the U.S. Needs Paid Leave Now
In These Times
Reprinted with permission from In These Times magazine. This reporting was supported by the Leonard C. Goodman Institute for Investigative Reporting.
By Sharon Lerner
Leigh Benrahou began laying plans to have a second child almost as soon as she had her first, a daughter named Johara, in 2011. Benrahou, 32, wanted to time the next birth so that when she returned to work, her mother, who works at an elementary school and has summers off, could babysit. Most importantly, Benrahou wanted to spend as much time as she could with her new baby while also keeping her relatively new job as the registrar at a small college.
While her husband, Rachid, 38, earns enough at a carpet cleaning company to cover their mortgage and food, without her paycheck they’d be forced to live close to the bone. And if she quit her job, Benrahou, who has a masters in nonprofit management, would take a big step backward in what she hoped would be a long career in higher education.
So Benrahou, who has wavy dark blond hair, blue eyes and a tendency to smile even through difficult moments, set about what may be the least romantic aspect of family planning in the United States: figuring out how to maximize time with a newborn while staying solvent, employed and, ideally, sane.
Only in America
Most people are aware that Americans have a raw deal when it comes to maternity leave. Perhaps they’ve heard about Sweden, with its drool-inducing 16 months of paid parental leave, or Finland, where, after about 9 months of paid leave, the mother or father can take—or split—additional paid “child care leave” until the child’s third birthday.
But most Americans don’t realize quite how out of step we are. It’s not just wealthy, social democratic Nordic countries that make us look bad. With the exception of a few small countries like Papua New Guinea and Suriname, every other nation in the world—rich or poor—now requires paid maternity leave.
Paid parental leave frees mothers and fathers from choosing between their careers and time with their infants. For women, still most often the primary caregivers of young children, this results in higher employment rates, which in turn translates to lower poverty rates among mothers and their children.
Research shows that paid leave can also be a matter of life and death for children. By charting the correlation between death rates and paid leave in 16 European countries, Christopher Ruhm, a professor of public policy and economics at the University of Virginia, found that a 50-week extension in paid leave was associated with a 20 percent dip in infant deaths. (The biggest drop was in deaths of babies between 1 month and 1 year old, though mortality of children between 1 and 5 years also decreased as paid leave went up.)
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only about 13 percent of U.S. workers have access to any form of paid family leave, which includes parental leave and other time off to care for a family member. The highest-paid workers are most likely to have it, according to BLS numbers, with more than 1 in 5 of the top 10 percent of earners getting paid family leave, compared to 1 in 20 in the bottom quartile. Unionized workers are more likely to get benefits than nonunionized workers.
What do the rest of American women do without a law that guarantees this basic support? Some new mothers who don’t get paid leave quit their jobs, which can leave them desperate for income and have serious consequences in terms of work opportunities and lifetime earnings. Others may choose not to have children (though it’s impossible to definitively quantify how the difficulty of integrating work and childbirth factors into those decisions). And some try to stitch together their own paid leaves through accumulated vacation time and personal days, or through independently purchased insurance policies.
Though her employer doesn’t offer paid leave, Benrahou figured she’d create her own, taking time away from work through the Family and Medical Leave Act, which entitles new parents to up to 12 weeks off, unpaid. She knew all about the law’s loopholes—that, for instance, it only applies to workplaces that have at least 50 employees. Hers did; she wouldn’t have taken the job if it hadn’t. She knew, too, that she had to have worked for her employer for at least 12 months to qualify. That part was trickier.
FROM LLR BOOKS. COM
Litchfield Literary Books. A really small company run by writers.
The Day Nixon Met Elvis
Paperback 46 pages
Theodore Roosevelt: Letters to his Children. 1903-1918
Paperback 194 pages
THE ANCIENT GREEKS AND CIVILIZATIONS
The Works of Horace
Paperback 174 pages
The Quotable Greeks
Paperback 234 pages
The Quotable Epictetus
Paperback 142 pages
Quo Vadis: A narrative of the time of Nero
Paperback 420 pages
The Porchless Pumpkin: A Halloween Story for Children
A Halloween play for young children. By consent of the author, this play may be performed, at no charge, by educational institutions, neighborhood organizations and other not-for-profit-organizations.
A fun story with a moral
“I believe that Denny O'Day is an American treasure and this little book proves it. Jack is a pumpkin who happens to be very small, by pumpkins standards and as a result he goes unbought in the pumpkin patch on Halloween eve, but at the last moment he is given his chance to prove that just because you're small doesn't mean you can't be brave. Here is the point that I found so wonderful, the book stresses that while size doesn't matter when it comes to courage...ITS OKAY TO BE SCARED....as well. I think children need to hear that, that's its okay to be unsure because life is a ongoing lesson isn't it?”
Paperback: 42 pages
BOOKS ON FOSTER CARE
It's Not All Right to be a Foster Kid....no matter what they tell you: Tweet the books contents
Paperback 94 pages
From the Author
I spent my childhood, from age seven through seventeen, in foster care. Over the course of those ten years, many decent, well-meaning, and concerned people told me, "It's okay to be foster kid."
In saying that, those very good people meant to encourage me, and I appreciated their kindness then, and all these many decades later, I still appreciate their good intentions. But as I was tossed around the foster care system, it began to dawn on me that they were wrong. It was not all right to be a foster kid.
During my time in the system, I was bounced every eighteen months from three foster homes to an orphanage to a boy's school and to a group home before I left on my own accord at age seventeen.
In the course of my stay in foster care, I was severely beaten in two homes by my "care givers" and separated from my four siblings who were also in care, sometimes only blocks away from where I was living.
I left the system rather than to wait to age out, although the effects of leaving the system without any family, means, or safety net of any kind, were the same as if I had aged out. I lived in poverty for the first part of my life, dropped out of high school, and had continuous problems with the law.
Today, almost nothing about foster care has changed. Exactly what happened to me is happening to some other child, somewhere in America, right now. The system, corrupt, bloated, and inefficient, goes on, unchanging and secretive.
Something has gone wrong in a system that was originally a compassionate social policy built to improve lives but is now a definitive cause in ruining lives. Due to gross negligence, mismanagement, apathy, and greed, mostly what the foster care system builds are dangerous consequences. Truly, foster care has become our epic national disgrace and a nightmare for those of us who have lived through it.
Yet there is a suspicion among some Americans that foster care costs too much, undermines the work ethic, and is at odds with a satisfying life. Others see foster care as a part of the welfare system, as legal plunder of the public treasuries.
None of that is true; in fact, all that sort of thinking does is to blame the victims. There is not a single child in the system who wants to be there or asked to be there. Foster kids are in foster care because they had nowhere else to go. It's that simple. And believe me, if those kids could get out of the system and be reunited with their parents and lead normal, healthy lives, they would. And if foster care is a sort of legal plunder of the public treasuries, it's not the kids in the system who are doing the plundering.
We need to end this needless suffering. We need to end it because it is morally and ethically wrong and because the generations to come will not judge us on the might of our armed forces or our technological advancements or on our fabulous wealth.
Rather, they will judge us, I am certain, on our compassion for those who are friendless, on our decency to those who have nothing and on our efforts, successful or not, to make our nation and our world a better place. And if we cannot accomplish those things in the short time allotted to us, then let them say of us "at least they tried."
You can change the tragedy of foster care and here's how to do it. We have created this book so that almost all of it can be tweeted out by you to the world. You have the power to improve the lives of those in our society who are least able to defend themselves. All you need is the will to do it.
If the American people, as good, decent and generous as they are, knew what was going on in foster care, in their name and with their money, they would stop it. But, generally speaking, although the public has a vague notion that foster care is a mess, they don't have the complete picture. They are not aware of the human, economic and social cost that the mismanagement of the foster care system puts on our nation.
By tweeting the facts laid out in this work, you can help to change all of that. You can make a difference. You can change things for the better.
We can always change the future for a foster kid; to make it better ...you have the power to do that. Speak up (or tweet out) because it's your country. Don't depend on the "The other guy" to speak up for these kids, because you are the other guy.
We cannot build a future for foster children, but we can build foster children for the future and the time to start that change is today.
No time to say Goodbye: Memoirs of a life in foster
Paperbook 440 Books
BOOKS ABOUT FILM
On the Waterfront: The Making of a Great American Film
Paperback: 416 pages
BOOKS ABOUT GHOSTS AND THE SUPERNATUAL
Scotish Ghost Stories
Paperback 186 pages
The Book of funny odd and interesting things people say
Paperback: 278 pages
The Wee Book of Irish Jokes
Perfect Behavior: A guide for Ladies and Gentlemen in all Social Crises
BOOKS ABOUT THE 1960s
You Don’t Need a Weatherman. Underground 1969
Paperback 122 pages
Baby Boomers Guide to the Beatles Songs of the Sixties
Baby Boomers Guide to Songs of the 1960s
The Connecticut Irish
Paper back 140 pages
The Wee Book of Irish Jokes
The Wee Book of Irish Recipes
The Wee Book of the American-Irish Gangsters
The Wee book of Irish Blessings...
The Wee Book of the American Irish in Their Own Words
Everything you need to know about St. Patrick
Paperback 26 pages
A Reading Book in Ancient Irish History
The Book of Things Irish
Poets and Dreamer; Stories translated from the Irish
Paperback 158 pages
The History of the Great Irish Famine: Abridged and Illustrated
Paperback 356 pages
BOOKS ABOUT NEW ENGLAND
The New England Mafia
Wicked Good New England Recipes
The Connecticut Irish
Paper back 140 pages
The Twenty-Fifth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers
Paperback 64 pages
The Life of James Mars
Paperback 54 pages
Stories of Colonial Connecticut
Paperback 116 pages
What they Say in Old New England
Paperback 194 pages
BOOK ABOUT ORGANIZED CRIME
Chicago Organized Crime
The Mob Files: It Happened Here: Places of Note in Chicago gangland 1900-2000
An Illustrated Chronological History of the Chicago Mob. Time Line 1837-2000
Mob Buster: Report of Special Agent Virgil Peterson to the Kefauver Committee
The Mob Files. Guns and Glamour: The Chicago Mob. A History. 1900-2000
Shooting the Mob: Organized crime in photos. Crime Boss Tony Accardo
Shooting the Mob: Organized Crime in Photos: The Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre.
The Life and World of Al Capone in Photos
AL CAPONE: The Biography of a Self-Made Man.: Revised from the 0riginal 1930 edition.Over 200 new photographs
Paperback: 340 pages
Whacked. One Hundred Years Murder and Mayhem in the Chicago Outfit
Paperback: 172 pages
Las Vegas Organized Crime
The Mob in Vegas
Bugsy & His Flamingo: The Testimony of Virginia Hill
Testimony by Mobsters Lewis McWillie, Joseph Campisi and Irwin Weiner (The Mob Files Series)
Rattling the Cup on Chicago Crime.
Paperback 264 pages
The Life and Times of Terrible Tommy O’Connor.
Paperback 94 pages
The Mob, Sam Giancana and the overthrow of the Black Policy Racket in Chicago
Paperback 200 pages
When Capone’s Mob Murdered Roger Touhy. In Photos
Paperback 234 pages
Organized Crime in Hollywood
The Mob in Hollywood
The Bioff Scandal
Paperback 54 pages
Organized Crime in New York
Joe Pistone’s war on the mafia
Mob Testimony: Joe Pistone, Michael Scars DiLeonardo, Angelo Lonardo and others
The New York Mafia: The Origins of the New York Mob
The New York Mob: The Bosses
Organized Crime 25 Years after Valachi. Hearings before the US Senate
Shooting the mob: Dutch Schultz
Gangland Gaslight: The Killing of Rosy Rosenthal. (Illustrated)
Early Street Gangs and Gangsters of New York City
Paperback 382 pages
THE RUSSIAN MOBS
The Russian Mafia in America
The Threat of Russian Organzied Crime
Paperback 192 pages
Best of Mob Stories
Best of Mob Stories Part 2
Mob Recipes to Die For. Meals and Mobsters in Photos
More Mob Recipes to Die For. Meals and Mobs
The New England Mafia
Shooting the mob. Organized crime in photos. Dead Mobsters, Gangsters and Hoods.
The Salerno Report: The Mafia and the Murder of President John F. Kennedy
The Mob Files: Mob Wars. "We only kill each other"
The Mob across America
The US Government’s Time Line of Organzied Crime 1920-1987
Early Street Gangs and Gangsters of New York City: 1800-1919. Illustrated
The Mob Files: Mob Cops, Lawyers and Informants and Fronts
Gangster Quotes: Mobsters in their own words. Illustrated
Paperback: 128 pages
The Book of American-Jewish Gangsters: A Pictorial History.
Paperback: 436 pages
The Mob and the Kennedy Assassination
Paperback 414 pages
BOOKS ABOUT THE OLD WEST
The Last Outlaw: The story of Cole Younger, by Himself
Paperback 152 pages
BOOKS ON PHOTOGRAPHY
Chicago: A photographic essay.
Paperback: 200 pages
Boomers on a train: A ten minute play
Paperback 22 pages
Four Short Plays
By John William Tuohy
Four More Short Plays
By John William Tuohy
High and Goodbye: Everybody gets the Timothy Leary they deserve. A full length play
By John William Tuohy
Cyberdate. An Everyday Love Story about Everyday People
By John William Tuohy
The Dutchman's Soliloquy: A one Act Play based on the factual last words of Gangster Dutch Schultz.
By John William Tuohy
Fishbowling on The Last Words of Dutch Schultz: Or William S. Burroughs intersects with Dutch Schultz
Print Length: 57 pages
American Shakespeare: August Wilson in his own words. A One Act Play
By John William Tuohy
She Stoops to Conquer
The Seven Deadly Sins of Gilligan’s Island: A ten minute play
Print Length: 14 pages
BOOKS ABOUT VIRGINIA
OUT OF CONTROL: An Informal History of the Fairfax County Police
McLean Virginia. A short informal history
THE QUOTABLE SERIES
The Quotable Emerson: Life lessons from the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson: Over 300 quotes
The Quotable John F. Kennedy
The Quotable Oscar Wilde
The Quotable Machiavelli
The Quotable Confucius: Life Lesson from the Chinese Master
The Quotable Henry David Thoreau
The Quotable Robert F. Kennedy
The Quotable Writer: Writers on the Writers Life
The words of Walt Whitman: An American Poet
Paperback: 162 pages
Gangster Quotes: Mobsters in their own words. Illustrated
Paperback: 128 pages
The Quotable Popes
Paperback 66 pages
The Quotable Kahlil Gibran with Artwork from Kahlil Gibran
Paperback 52 pages
Kahlil Gibran, an artist, poet, and writer was born on January 6, 1883 n the north of modern-day Lebanon and in what was then part of Ottoman Empire. He had no formal schooling in Lebanon. In 1895, the family immigrated to the United States when Kahlil was a young man and settled in South Boston. Gibran enrolled in an art school and was soon a member of the avant-garde community and became especially close to Boston artist, photographer, and publisher Fred Holland Day who encouraged and supported Gibran’s creative projects. An accomplished artist in drawing and watercolor, Kahlil attended art school in Paris from 1908 to 1910, pursuing a symbolist and romantic style. He held his first art exhibition of his drawings in 1904 in Boston, at Day's studio. It was at this exhibition, that Gibran met Mary Elizabeth Haskell, who ten years his senior. The two formed an important friendship and love affair that lasted the rest of Gibran’s short life. Haskell influenced every aspect of Gibran’s personal life and career. She became his editor when he began to write and ushered his first book into publication in 1918, The Madman, a slim volume of aphorisms and parables written in biblical cadence somewhere between poetry and prose. Gibran died in New York City on April 10, 1931, at the age of 48 from cirrhosis of the liver and tuberculosis.
The Quotable Dorothy Parker
Paperback 86 pages
The Quotable Machiavelli
Paperback 36 pages
The Quotable Greeks
Paperback 230 pages
The Quotabe Oscar Wilde
Paperback 24 pages
The Quotable Helen Keller
Paperback 66 pages
The Art of War: Sun Tzu
Paperback 60 pages
The Quotable Shakespeare
Paperback 54 pages
The Quotable Groucho Marx
Paperback 46 pages