The Boston Schools Becoming Resegregated: Is It Surprising – The Solution 1/2

Some black parents came up with a solution for avoiding the poor education in the schools their children would have been sent to by opting to send their children into the METCO program. That program made arrangements with schools outside of the city who would be willing to accept some black students from the city. They would be bused out to those schools where they would receive a better education. It was hard on the black kids. who had to suffer through long bus rides to get a chance at a decent education.

There are no programs busing children into the Boston Public schools. If there were, unlike the METCO program where there are waiting lists to get into it, there would be few if any applicants. Why would anyone go into the Boston Public schools when those who are there who have the chance flee?

Boston cannot fix the problem. It cannot force the white families who live there to take their children out of the schools they attend outside the system and put them into the public school system. They are stuck with a population of 14% white students a great number of whom attend either exam schools or the six local neighborhood schools that are majority white. It seems unable to improve the education of black students in the “intensively segregated” schools.

The Boston Schools Becoming Resegregated: Is It Surprising – The Lament 1/2

I’ve been away from the desegregation battles of the Boston School System since the 1970s. I was one of the attorneys representing the Boston School Committee before federal judge J. Arthur Garrity who I believe most fair-minded people agree caused immense damage to the Boston Public School system with his sledgehammer approach to the problem of equal educational opportunity for all, yes that was the basis of the suit that minority students were not receiving the same educational opportunities as whites, by numbly thinking shifting around the black and white children on buses to achieve some number balance would improve their education.

Garrity refused to consider the real world consequences of his draconian imposed orders which was the prospect of chasing whites out of the public schools in Boston into private, parochial and school districts of other cities and towns. How obtuse does one have to be to understand that white parents did not want their children bused to schools in other neighborhoods where the education was just plainly awful? How lacking in understanding were those who did not understand that black parents did not want their children transported into hostile areas fearing for their safety? Did it take more than a minimum understanding of education that little could be accomplished when heavily armed police patrolled the corridors of the school trying to keep order?

What Makes America Great: It Isn’t Trump: It is the People He Openly Opposes. 2/2

One of my favorite poems is Thomas Gray’s “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard.”

The poem speaks to the plight of the farmer on his little plot of land who works for his daily bread. The lines that are pertinent to this post are:

Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid
Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire,
Hands, that the rod of empire might have swayed,
Or waked to ecstasy the living lyre.

But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page
Rich with the spoils of time did ne’er unroll;
Chill Penury repressed their noble rage,
And froze the genial current of the soul

These high school students the sons and daughters of immigrants deprived of a chance to live in America very well may not have had the opportunity to achieve the level of knowledge they gained. Like most immigrants from Eastern Europe during the great wave of immigration that took place around the end of the 19th century their parents were ill-educated, non-English speaking immigrants, who came here poor and desperate. They were desperate to escape from the land of their birth; desperate to give their children the offerings in America.

What Makes America Great: It Isn’t Trump: It is the People He Openly Opposes. 1/2

Two recent articles are worth considering. One in the Boston Globe on August 1 titled: “Can the US stop the scientific brain drain to China?” written by Arthur W. Lambert a postdoctoral fellow at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. He tells us “Recently, I was having lunch with a prominent US-based cancer scientist.  We . . . spent most of the lunch talking about China. He was in the process of securing a green card, looking for a second academic appointment in the country, and working on starting a company in Beijing. “Everything is happening there,” he said. “You have to go!”

He pointed out: The Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine has been awarded to 97 scientists in the United States and only one in China, . . .”  He also noted: As more promising young Chinese scientists elect to start their laboratories back home — instead of in the United States — the next generation of insights and innovations will increasingly emerge from China. Perhaps most important, China is also working to become a more attractive place for non-Chinese scientists to immigrate.” 

As America under the Trump administration continues its hostility to science and foreign born citizens it is making America an unwelcoming host.

Manafort’s Great Evil: Undermining the Ukrainian People’s Quest for Freedom

Paul Manafort is on trial for various criminal offenses. The outcome of a trial is never certain. The evidence against him seems strong but how strong will be judged by the twelve jurors who listen to it and make a finding. Having been in that business most of my life I never banked on a win, whether a defense attorney or prosecutor, until I heard it from the jury. That’s why the time between the judge’s charge and the jury’s verdict for me was always stomach wrenching. I’d tell myself I did the best so relax. It didn’t work. I’d always dwell on other things like some evidence I left out, some cross-examination question I did not frame correctly, or the things I omitted in final argument.

That’s why the Manafort outcome is not important to me. No matter what he is convicted of doing, or if he is not convicted at all, his biggest evil was working with Putin and Viktor Yanukovych in an attempt to take freedom away  from the Ukrainian people. Naively I thought Americans were supposed to support liberty and justice for all throughout the world but Manafort was attempting to subvert that of a whole nation. Sadly it wasn’t something that was a Republican problem. Democratic operatives too were working along the same line trying to destroy democracy in Ukraine.  The Podesta Group which was founded by Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager John Podesta and whose brother operated it also represented Yanukovych. Leaving no stone upturned, Yanukovych emptied the Ukrainian treasury of money to turn America against the Ukrainian people. Manafort by some reports received over 60 million dollars.

A Book About Whitey Bulger: Juror Janet Uhlar’s View of American Justice: 2/2

A month or so ago Janet Uhlar posted a comment on my blog telling me that she had written and published a book. I was keenly interested in getting it. I hoped it would give Whitey’s perspective on certain happenings. Reading it I found some of my prior thinking on certain issues was reinforced or clarified. It got the juices in my mind stirred so that I recalled there was much I had to say about the matter which remains to be said despite the plethora of information put out to this date. Much of that was copy and paste with one following the other without any real analysis.

The one problem I found with the book was it was fiction. She thinly disguises the characters in the Saga. It is easy to figure out who she is talking about. What she writes about them has a ring of truth but how can one rely on it. She wrote: “the reader should determine through his or her own investigation where fiction ends and the truth begins”

A Book About Whitey Bulger: Juror Janet Uhlar’s View of American Justice: 1/2

Janet Uhlar was a juror that sat in judgment of James “Whitey” Bulger during the penultimate act in the Whitey Saga. She sets out her experience from the first day she arrives at the federal court-house in Boston. She takes us through the early days of the trial going in, her mind a tabula rasa, we read along as she listens to the evidence and starts filling the empty slate based on what she is hearing.

It is an interesting trip to take with her. She would start to feel shocked at what she was experiencing the evidence as it came in. There were contradiction in what was being suggested; there were unexplained gaps. The trial bothered her so much she felt compelled not to let it go. It ran contrary to her idea of what in American justice was supposed to be about. She sought to understand more. What was she missing or was there something missing. She sought to talk with the parties involved. She would contact them by writing. Where possible she met with them to try to get a better understanding. She would eventually get in touch with Whitey and befriend him.

A Backward Glance at the Trump Clinton Election: Things To Remember

Trump is president because of two things: the disaffection of the  many with the perceived increasing movement of the Democratic Party away from values the people are comfortable with but mostly because of the candidate the Democratic Party offered as his opponent. Both candidates had disapproval percentage in the sixty percent range. I was unable to vote for either for I did not see which one would able to maintain the America I knew and loved.

If I could go back to the 2016 election having seen what Trump has wrought would I have voted for Hillary? I believe not. Because Trump has been a disaster does not mean Hillary would not have been as bad or worse.  There was a reason both had such negative ratings and it was they were awful people who were basically untrustworthy. A person with a tainted character like tainted milk can’t be made better and should be thrown out.

The subsets of this election that bore on Trump’s win are a few. There is the James Comey announcement of the re-opening of the FBI investigations into Hillary’s emails a fortnight before the election. She had been cleared by a hair of any wrongdoing in her handling of those emails earlier by Comey so one imagined it was not going to  take much to push her over the edge.