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Monday, December 6, 2004

eduardo delacruz: doing the right thing

once upon a time, a police officer refused a direct order from his sergeant to arrest a homeless man, and for that he was punished. of course, the punishment could’ve been worse. he literally put his job on the line because he wouldn’t arrest a homeless man in new york.

Conscientious Cop Punished Anyway [ap via abc news, october 29, 2004]

In a written decision finding Delacruz guilty, a department judge found that “by deciding which orders he would obey, the (officer) is treading on a slippery slope that would undermine the leadership and viability of the department, if unchecked.”

and this leaves us with the question… is following a questionable order what we expect of our law enforcement personnel, or do we demand the standard we have held others to: “i was just following orders” is no excuse.

it’s an old story, from 2002 – i picked up on it in october from the ap wire when the decision to suspend delacruz brought it back to life, but i did find some more contemporary material

so, a nod from me to eduardo delacruz. thanks for stepping up.

update: this just in from the new york post gazette. i guess i’m not the only one to revisit this story this week.

posted by roj at 3:26 am  

Wednesday, December 1, 2004

do all you can

“do all you can with what you have in the time you have in the place you are”

nkosi johnson

posted by roj at 7:39 pm  

Thursday, November 4, 2004

world on fire

in the vein of doing something, and, since blogs don’t actually do anything, but they can direct attention, i want to direct your attention here:

world on fire

posted by roj at 7:45 am  

Monday, October 4, 2004

congratulations brian binnie

… and all of the spaceship 1 team.

posted by roj at 5:00 pm  

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Gerardo Garcia Jr – a fellow hair guy

in another inspirational story of youth gone wild and letting no good deed go unpunished, i present for your momentary attention, one mister gerardo garcia junior.

gerardo got a wacky idea that he would grow his hair to donate to locks of love, to make pediatric chemo and burn patients feel a little better along a very rough journey.

this, as you may or may not be aware, is something i do myself, and something i support wholeheartedly. in fact, i’m overdue for a hair harvest myself – i’ll be sending matching sets of 16-inch braids here “any day now” when i come up with an appropriately dramatic publicity stunt.

so what brings gerardo to my attention? he’s not allowed to do it.

it seems that the school district in which mr. garcia attends high school has a dress code, and part of that dress code is that boys aren’t allowed to have hair past their shoulders or over their eyes.

School dress code sparks debate [the valley star, september 1, 2004]

Harlingen Superintendent Linda Wade, who had to enforce the school dress code, said she did find it difficult to order Garcia to cut his hair.

“This was certainly a difficult decision to make,” Wade said. “On one hand, we have this young man doing something that shows responsibility and enforcing everything we try and teach our kids in school.

“But my job is to enforce a criteria set forth to create the best atmosphere for learning that fosters respect for adults and rules and prepares students for the work place.”

so, congratulations, ms. wade, you have taught the lesson that enforcing arbitrary rules is more important that considering the circumstances of the issue at hand. and you have done so in great form.

but all that was weeks ago – the reason it came to me is that the ap wire carried the news [ab via abc news, september 16, 2004] that the school board denied gerardo garcia’s appeal.

instead, the school board decided that the dress code was more important than the inspired efforts of a teenager, and offered to buy out his good intentions with a $500 donation to the american cancer society and the laughable title of school liason.

the local paper’s editorial and letters to the editor on the subject is worth a quick read.

gerardo garcia

“They just can’t see that I want to make a difference,” he said. “There are already plenty of organizations that give money.

i see it. i applaud it.

posted by roj at 12:14 pm  

Thursday, August 26, 2004

beyond the 11th

created by two widows of september 11th, an organization to provide financial and emotional support to widows of terrorism and war worldwide: beyond the 11th.

For the first Beyond the 11th fundraiser, Patti and Susan will ride from Ground Zero, in NYC, to the newly dedicated Massachusetts 9/11 Memorial in the Boston Public Garden.

information on participating in this first event is here

beyond the 11th gets my nod for thinking globally and forward, and for playing some role in fixing some of the damage we’ve done since 2001.

posted by roj at 12:14 pm  

Thursday, August 12, 2004

brandon is outbid

this isn’t a terribly inspiring thing to write, but it seems that brandon was outbid in his effort to acquire the fun manufacturer that made the weapon that changed his life.

see the press release for details.

posted by roj at 11:54 pm  

Saturday, July 31, 2004

the 9/11 commission tour

i have to imagine this is unprecedented, but i don’t know enough history to make that call with confidence.

the members of the 9/11 commission, having issued their final report [pdf], made their last statement [pdf] and generally wrapped up their business, have apparently decided that their work is not yet complete.

i admit, particularly given the opposition to creating this commission, that i had very low expectations of both the sorts of people that would participate and the results. i figured this was a “bury it in bureaucracy” compromise by the time everything was done.

i was wrong.

so, i’m going to take some of my time, some of my space, and thank the members of the commission: Thomas H. Kean, Lee H. Hamilton, Richard Ben-Veniste, Fred F. Fielding, Jamie S. Gorelick, Slade Gorton, Bob Kerrey, John F. Lehman, Timothy J. Roemer, and James R. Thompson.

i’m also going to mention the staff – the people that undoubtedly did the heavy lifting on this job: Joanne Accolla, Alexis Albion, Scott Allan, John Azzarello, Caroline Barnes, Warren Bass, Ann Bennett, Mark Bittinger, Madeleine Blot, Antwion Blount, Geoff Brown, Daniel Byman, Dianna Campagna, Sam Caspersen, Melissa Coffey, Lance Cole, Marquittia Coleman, Marco Cordero, Raj De, George Delgrosso, Gerald L. Dillingham, Thomas Dowling, Steven Dunne, Thomas Eldridge, John Farmer, Alvin Felzenberg, Lorry Fenner, Susan Ginsburg, T. Graham Giusti, Nicole Grandrimo, Doug Greenburg, Barbara Grewe, Elinore Hartz, Len Hawley, Christine Healey, Karen Heitkotter, Walt Hempel, Michael Hurley, Dana Hyde, Michael Jacobson, Bonnie Jenkins, Reginald Johnson, William Johnstone, Stephanie Kaplan, Miles Kara, Janice Kephart-Roberts, Hyon Kim, Christopher Kojm, Katarzyna (Kasia) Kozaczuk, Gordon Lederman, Daniel Leopold, Sarah Linden, Douglas MacEachin, Daniel Marcus, Ernest May, James Miller, Kelly Moore, Charles Pereira, John Raidt, John Roth, Peter Rundlet, Lloyd Salvetti, Kevin Scheid, Kevin Shaeffer, Tracy Shycoff, Dietrich Snell, Jonathan Stull, Lisa Sullivan, John Tamm, Cate Taylor, Yoel Tobin, Emily Walker, Garth Wermter, Serena Wille and Philip Zelikow.

why would i make such a statement?

because these commissioners haven’t just done their bureaucratic paper-wrangling job, packed up and gone home with an impressive line-item on their fresh resume.

Timothy Roemer

We want to continue this helpful and encouraging momentum not only with education, but with results, so commission members will be traveling around the country talking to the American people to try and make sure we not only read the report, but implement it.

they have established a goal of producing legislation by october 1, which, it is probably worth noting, is eerily similar to the usa patriot act rollout after september 11. the difference, i think, is that this new law will have been well-vetted, both by the congress and by ordinary americans, between now and then. there won’t be any “i voted for it, but i didn’t know what i was voting for” excuses this time.

the commission officially dissolves on august 26, but the commissioners are seeking private funding to continue their work after the plug is officially pulled.

so thank you, commission-members and staff, for taking this task seriously, and for going beyond the production of paper to make a difference.

posted by roj at 1:19 am  

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

north koreans find freedom

the largest group of north koreans to make it across the border and to south korea. arrive today and tomorrow….

“We believe there are about 230 people arriving today, ” said Chun Ki-won, who heads a group of missionaries helping North Korean defectors. “We expect about the same number tomorrow.”

welcome, refugees. i hope we feed you well.

update: probably also worth noting that july 27 is the day the korean armistice was signed.

posted by roj at 2:17 am  

Sunday, July 25, 2004

congratulations, lance

6th win

posted by roj at 2:55 pm  
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