Easter 2013 — And The Old Soft Shoe

Easter 2013
Easter 2013

Up to 1582 all Christianity followed the Julian calendar in celebrating Easter which is the time Christians believe Christ who was crucified and died on Good Friday came back to life. In that year Pope Gregory decided that the calendar had become out of kilter with the spring equinox so he moved it back 10 days.  Most of the world follows what is known as the Gregorian calendar. However the Eastern Orthodox churches decided to stick with the Julian calendar.

Easter is figured somewhat like Passover. In the churches it comes on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox. Since the equinox in the Julian and Gregorian calendar differ, often Easter will be on different Sundays. I’m not exactly sure how Passover is figure so I’m not going to venture into explaining it. I tried to read up on it but after reading this article I became totally confused.

I’m wishing those Christians who follow the Gregorian calendar as I do a Happy Easter; those Christians who follow the Julian calendar as my wife does will have to bide their time. To those of the Jewish faith who are in the Passover season Happy Passover. To others have a happy and restful day.

A couple of thoughts. Think of how wise it was for those who set up this country to recognize that the state should stay out of a person’s religious beliefs; and, that we should all be tolerant of what other people believe.

Another thought relates to the Boston Globe Spotlight Report today on the Boston Taxi cab business. It reminds me of what used to happen in my neighborhood when I was young. If you wanted to work on the docks, you’d line up and get picked to unload a ship by a person designated to do this. Favoritism was always in play as to who would earn a day’s pay. If you were from the same neighborhood or did favors for the picker your chances were better than the others. We see it at restaurants when you are waiting in line and a gal walks in, hands the maitre d’ a fifty and gets quickly seated.

The Globe’s series talks about guys wanting to work as a cab driver giving the dispatcher a little gratuity to get a cab. It ranges from $20 to $5 and I’m sure, although it isn’t mentioned some down on the pecking order don’t pay anything. Then the articles talk about other ways it seems the cab drivers are squeezed out of a little of their pay or are unhappy quoting a few disgruntled drivers.  The Globe apparently put one of its reporters in an undercover capacity as a taxi driver for eight nights to come up with some of the complaints.

Here’s a chance for us to see the old soft shoe act of the Globe and the Feds. The spotlight team files a report and the feds jump on it and make RICO cases out of things that really are state crimes, if they are crimes at all.

Here’s what is reported in the article: Officials told the Spotlight Team the [Boston police] commissioner has sought the assistance of federal prosecutors to explore the allegations of taxi industry corruption. And federal authorities have in fact opened an investigation into allegations of systemic overcharging of drivers and bribery at Boston Cab, the Globe has learned. One source familiar with the investigation said it began after two drivers for Boston Cab told authorities that employees there were walking around with pockets stuffed with ill-gotten cash.”

Read that quote carefully. We are told about “officials,” “federal prosecutors,” “federal authorities” “[o]ne source” and “authorities.” None of those people are identified. They could be anyone and what is attributed to them could be  totally invented.  How can we judge the truthfulness of things when such vague terms are used?

Here’s what I don’t get. Why doesn’t the police commissioner investigate the matter himself? He has the powers or did Boston do away with detectives? Why is he going to the feds instead of the AG or the DA? Is he too in bed with the Globe seeking to turn a city matter into a federal case.

Here’s the sense I get of the new Spotlight Report. The Globe seems intent on having some medallion owners lose their medallions worth over a half a million dollars (I wonder who gets them?), some for some minor criminal involvement in the past. They’ve got a willing US Attorney — remember her action against the Caswell Motel.

The Globe is also playing up the “two America” idea — the rich owner and the poor workers. We’ll read more about the rich owner Edward J. Tutunjian as if it’s news that the owner of a private company, or the CEO of a public company, makes a bundle while the worker ants scrape by. But that’s what America has always been about except for the time when unions in the private sector were strong.

Bottom line, the Globe will keep the pressure on the Boston US Attorney’s office to bring cases against some of these people. Grand juries will investigate. RICO indictments will result. What is forgotten is we have a state system that can fully handle these matters and if there have been crime committed that’s where it should be.