Saturday, March 30, 2013

Agorism Rises in Mexico as Corrupt Officials are Arrested by Militias

On Monday March 25th volunteer community forces took control of a town on a highway in the state of Guerrero, Mexico. Numbering in the hundreds, they arrested local police officers and searched homes after  one of their leaders was killed.

Civilian militiamen stand guard. (Photo: Keith Miller/Global Post)
Civilian militiamen stand guard. (Photo: Keith Miller/Global Post)
by Derrick Broze

March 29, 2013
The self-described “community police”  were stopping traffic Wednesday at improvised checkpoints in the town of Tierra Colorado. The Associated Press reported that several of these men opened fire on a car headed to the beach. They arrested 12 police and the former director of public security in response to the slain leader.
Corruption and violence have run rampant while the Mexican government has struggled to come up with solutions.
The President  of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, has promised to focus more on the robberies, extortion and violence that affect ordinary Mexicans. While the government is attempting to focus on local policing matter, the citizens are not sitting around waiting for help.
In El Mezon, a Mixtec indigenous village75 miles northeast of Acapulco, the people have taken to creating their own community protection. In an article on the GlobalPost, Evert Castro, a municipal councilman ,says:
“The federal and state governments haven’t been able to do anything, And we don’t have the capacity to fight these criminals. So the people got tired and decided to act on their own. We see this as a good thing.”
The  Tlachinollan human rights organization spoke positively of the rise in community protection agencies. According to the groups website, “The justice system is neither efficient nor trustworthy. This is one of the fundamental reasons why the strategy against organized crime has failed.”
The Tlachinollan continues:
“Today the organized people of the Costa Chica realized that the security forces and justice organs don’t do their job but on the contrary collaborate with the organized criminal bands. For that reason [the people] have decided to provide security and justice according to their own systems.”
The founder of one of the community forces, Placido Vaerio weighs in on the farmers situation, “We are going back to the fields but we are not going to give up our weapons. We are going to start building a system of justice.”
These types of situations are likely to increase, not only in Mexico but in the European Union where the economy continues to tumble. Whether it be Cyprus, Spain, Greece, or Mexico the formula will be the same.
The government wanes in influence and economic power.
Programs to band aid the failing economy are implemented, robbing the people little by little.
Basic services that many have relied upon began to be taken away.
Police forces are cut and the military grows in power.
At this point there is an opportunity to be seized. As we see in Mexico the people will create alternatives to keep their communities safe. When the government fails new strategies can arise in the free marketplace of ideas.
In the New Libertarian Manifesto Samuel Konkin III wrote about the demise of the Statist majority and the increase in Agorist pockets. Agorism involves creating alternatives to what the state offers.This includes the ideas of Counter-Economics and use of the black and gray markets.
 This also includes destroying the monopoly on force and violence that modern day police forces maintain. To do this Konkin imagined that technology could help increase the people’s access to freedom based solutions and create alternatives to compete with the State rather than fight within the system.
By providing a better alternative in the market you provide the community with a solution. This encourages competition and the eventual disruption of state monopolies of all kinds. In chapter 4 of the New Libertarian Manifesto Konkin outlines possible phases in the process of becoming an Agorist society. He describes phase 2 as follows:
“Most agorists are imbedded in the rest of society and associating with them are partially converted libertarians and counter economists. In order to reach this phase, the entier society has been contaminated by agorism to a degree. Thus it is now possible for the first “ghettoes” or districts of agorists to appear and count on the sympathy of the rest of society to restrain the State from a mass attack.”
Have we reached this crucial point? I believe Agorism is a transitional method towards a more free society and eliminating many of the problems we face in our world. This includes a failed government that engages in crime against it’s own people. By creating alternatives in the areas of food production, community protection, currency, and self-governance we become more free in our lives both now, and in the future.

^New Libertarian Manifesto, Samuel E.  Konkin III
Derrick Broze is a founding member of The Houston Free Thinkers.
He writes for a popular independent news website.
He can be heard on Orion Talk Radio, Local Live Houston and the upcoming Unbound Radio.
Find his work at and

With Policy Moves, Quinn Defuses de Blasio’s Attacks in Race for Mayor

Christine C. Quinn has been embracing more liberal positions, creating a problem for Bill de Blasio, whose mayoral campaign has been geared toward shaming her into such a shift.

Paid Sick Leave And The 2013 Race For NYC Mayor: A Battle Of Optics

Time to circle back on two questions I raised in a night-owl post about the new City Council deal on paid sick leave: How might Speaker Chris Quinn retool today's announcement for campaign purposes? And how would her primary rivals, especially Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, recalibrate their attacks now that she's actually allowing the bill to the floor?
First, I have to hand it to our Anthony DelMundo for summing it up brilliantly in two pictures:
quinn sick leave presser.jpg
bdb presser sick leave.jpg
My previous item suggested Quinn's campaign -- as with her long-awaited support of a living wage bill -- would bright-side the three years she left paid sick leave in the waiting room and skip to the happy worker-and-labor-movement-friendly ending.
"The agreement is potentially more fodder for message-makers to portray Quinn not as having bowed to poll numbers or union pressure in an election year, but as a candidate who's empathetic AND a consensus builder," I wrote.
The campaign email hit my inbox at 1:14 p.m., around two hours after Quinn headlined a celebratory presser that had Council colleagues rubbing elbows with union honchos and sign-waving advocates.
"From passing living wage legislation to saving 4,100 teacher jobs and now guaranteeing paid sick leave, I will never stop bringing New Yorkers together to deliver for our city's middle class and those striving to get there," she said in the email, which included a link to a page featuring video of the event (and, of course, the obligatory "Contribute" button).
"Today marks a great victory for both workers and small business owners here in New York City.  I’m proud that we’ve reached agreement on a bill that will provide sick leave for nearly a million New Yorkers while at the same time offering key protections for small businesses," Quinn said, folding in a shoutout to 32BJ/SEIU.
"This bill will guarantee that all New Yorkers can take time to care for themselves and their families when  they are ill, without fear of losing employment.  And just as importantly, it will do so in the right way, at the right time, with the right protections for residents and small business owners."
(BTW: Lest you think I'm setting myself up as some sort of oracle with all this, I happily quote Hunter College's Ken Sherrill per a chat we had about 2013 issues today: “If you’re in a campaign and you cross the street, you’re going to package it as a victory.")
Quinn was wrapped and off the City Hall steps well before de Blasio arrived for his lonely-fights-are-the-most-important-ones-style rebuttal.
Sandwiched between the dueling pressers: Mayor Bloomberg's emailed vow to veto the "short-sighted" bill. (His statement showed up in my account at 11:31 p.m.)
Quinn's primary rivals, of course, are trying to make her alliances with Bloomberg the millstone of her campaign.
RACEforMAYOR_2013_print_logo_59K.jpgAs I wrote in that same late-night item, "De Blasio's repeatedly slammed Quinn as having turned her back on those everyday, outer-borough, working people his campaign sees as his potential base. The criticism has been a stump staple for de Blasio, who ran a petition in favor of the bill on his website and, not long before news of the deal broke, put out yet another video trashing Quinn as an obstructionist."
And de Blasio -- who's made Quinn's resistance to sick leave legislation a cornerstone of his attack strategy -- kept the ties between the two in sharp focus, even as he was forced to broaden his theme and aim his critiques directly at the speaker, not the Working Families Party, 32BJ or any other potential endorsers who on board with the new bill.
De Blasio clearly gets the optical value of standing alone in front of City Hall (save for the press corps) as a champion of "fairness" and "justice" for "everyday New Yorkers" -- including the 300,000 he said would not benefit from the weakened Quinn-approved bill.
“You can’t call yourself a doer when you obstruct a bill for three years. That’s ludicrous," he said this afternoon. "You know, I appreciate spin -- I’ve been around politics a long time -- but spin has to be somewhat grounded in reality. She single-handedly stopped this bill from coming to the floor for three full years. That’s not a doer. That’s an obstructionist.”
And he's still banking on the possibility of hamstringing Quinn by reminding the world of her role in allowing Bloomberg a shot at another four years in office.
In eight years on the Council and a term as public advocate, de Blasio said of the sick leave holdup, "I never saw something that had the support of 83% of the people undermined and stopped dead -- with one exception: The term limits vote, in which 87% of the people did not want to change term limits, but Christine Quinn made a deal with Michael Bloomberg to do that. So I think we see a pattern here of democracy interrupted in a way that is unheard of in most legislative bodies.”
De Blasio also worked in a reference to a March 21 Daily News story detailing the nearly $370,000 donated or bundled for Quinn's campaign by business leaders who openly opposed the legislation. (For the record, some of the same people gave to de Blasio's campaign too.)
The jury's still out on whether the outcome on paid sick leave means Quinn has solidified her progressive street-cred in the primary field and can start racking up labor endorsements that would rob de Blasio of a union-strong base and so his path to victory, or at least a runoff.
But de Blasio is recalculating, not renouncing, his argument. Next stop: Going hammer and tongs back at the sick leave issue tomorrow morning at the Rev. Al Sharpton's weekly meetup (an appearance which I am told does not constitute an endorsement).
“I think the question of leadership will be front and center in this election," he insisted today, "and I don’t think that question goes away because this compromise was struck."
As ever, stay tuned...

Friday, March 29, 2013

Responding to newly announced paid sick leave legislation, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio today vowed to continue his push for strong and uncompromising paid sick leave protections that leave no New Yorker behind.

Video by Rafael Martínez Alequín



Tuesday, March 26, 2013


MVPD Officer John Damiano

As City officials continue to try to discredit news media outlets for reporting on newsworthy issues, Mount Vernon Exposed’s popularity continues to soar and has become the primary go to for whistle blowers. 

Last week a rally was held by various city officials to boycott local media.  As a result of the boycott, Mount Vernon Exposed’s is now experiencing in excess of 25,000 hits per week, making Mount Vernon Exposed, the official hometown paper of Mount Vernon.  Mount Vernon Exposed is a source trusted by all to report allegations of corruption.

Today, Mount Vernon Exposed received a tip that a gun was stolen from the locker room of the Mount Vernon Police Department on Friday, March 22, 2013.  The officer that had his gun stolen was John Damiano, a second veteran of the Mount Vernon Police Department.  According to John’s Facebook page, he attended the School of Hard Knocks.   It was his off duty 9mm that was stolen by what it appears to be, another police officer.   Sources told Mount Vernon Exposed that there is a security camera right outside of the locker room, so it should be easy to find the culprit or culprits.

When the tip was received, Mount Vernon Exposed immediately called Mayor Ernie Davis, who did not know about the incident and was very concerned and said he would look into the incident and launch an immediate investigation. 

After a few hours, Mayor Davis called Mount Vernon Exposed back and informed us that the tip about the stolen gun was indeed true.  Mayor Davis then asked “Where is my leak coming from in the Police Department”? 

Mount Vernon Exposed responded by stating that one need not be concerned with a leak but one should be concerned that a gun has been stolen and could possibly be on the street and could possibly be involved in the recent shooting occurring in Mount Vernon.  

According to a source, a cop stole the gun and sold it to gang members in Mount Vernon.  Over the last few weeks there has been a huge uprising in violent and gang related crimes in Mount Vernon.  Since Richard Burke took over the command at the MVPD there has been multiple shootings, the latest just yesterday, a few blocks from the MVPD.

Deputy Commissioner Burke said that he wants to break the “cycle of violence” in Mount Vernon but he has failed to implement a plan to address the “cycle of corruption” in the Mount Vernon Police Department. 

Could the gun stolen  be the same gun used in yesterday’s shooting just blocks away from City Hall and MVPD?  The gun used in yesterday’s crime was a 9mm and the stolen gun was a 9mm.  Is there a connection here?  Mount Vernon officials must not remain silent of this issue as this gun could be involved in serious crimes throughout the City of Mount Vernon.   

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Op-Ed Contributor
Justice in Guatemala
The trial of Gen. Efraín Ríos Montt gives Guatemala a chance to prove that it can hold up rule of law.
Bloomberg Welcomes Philip Banks 111 New NYPD Chief in the City Hall Bullpen. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly was there too.

Video by Rafael Martínez Alequín

New Police Chief Appointee Is Hailed as a ‘Bridge Builder’

Philip Banks III, who joined the New York Police Department in 1986 and was recently its chief of community affairs, has been appointed chief of department.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Offstage, a Proudly Brash Quinn Isn’t Afraid to Let Her Fury Fly
Christine C. Quinn, the City Council speaker, has promoted her boisterous personality, hoping that New Yorkers will embrace it.
Suzanne DeChillo/The New York Times
Christine C. Quinn, the City Council speaker, has promoted her boisterous personality, hoping that New Yorkers will embrace it.
Christine C. Quinn, the mayoral candidate and City Council speaker, is known for her boisterous personality, but colleagues say they are often stunned by her temper.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Lovett: Divided Albany Democrats tiff as liberals accuse party of accomplishing too little


At the heart of the rift is the failure to pass bills decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana and establishing a DREAM Act, which would offer tuition assistance to college-age children of undocumented immigrants. Several Hispanic officials boycotted a Friday reception at the governor's mansion because Gov. Cuomo has been silent on whether New York should pass a DREAM Act.

Updated: Monday, March 25, 2013, 1:17 AM

Sen. Jeff Klein, who leads a faction of Democrats that joined Republicans to control the Senate, is under fire from liberals despite pushing the minimum wage increase. An insider dismissed critics: “After leading the nation on marriage equality, guns, and minimum wage, there are just some on the far left who will never be happy.”

Mariela Lombard for New York Daily News

Sen. Jeff Klein, who leads a faction of Democrats that joined Republicans to control the Senate, is under fire from liberals despite pushing the minimum wage increase. An insider dismissed critics: “After leading the nation on marriage equality, guns, and minimum wage, there are just some on the far left who will never be happy.”

ALBANY — Even after winning a minimum wage hike, Gov. Cuomo and Senate co-leader Jeff Klein are coming under fire from the liberal wing of the Democratic Party for not fighting harder for “progressive” issues in state budget talks.
Most of the legislature’s Hispanic members — including as many as nine out of 11 from the Assembly — boycotted a Friday reception at the governor’s mansion that Cuomo held.
The Latino lawmakers were angry that neither Cuomo nor Klein pushed to include in the upcoming budget the creation of a state DREAM Act, which would provide tuition assistance to college students whose parents are undocumented immigrants.
“I believe the governor has the power to put his foot down like he has done for so many other things like (gun control) and same-sex marriage,” said Assemblyman Nelson Castro, a Bronx Dem who boycotted the reception. “This is an equally important issue for us in the immigrant community.”
Another Hispanic lawmaker said the decision to boycott was made Wednesday night. “There’s a lot of discontent among the members,” he said.
Cuomo supports a federal DREAM Act, but has been silent on whether New York should adopt one.
A Cuomo official said none of the no-shows informed the administration they were boycotting the event.
Things are even hotter for Klein, who heads a breakaway group of five Democrats who chose to jointly run the Senate with the Republicans. He and Senate GOP leader Dean Skelos must agree on what bills move to the floor.
With the budget talks nearly done, many on the left are claiming that more of the party’s agenda would have passed if Klein’s group had sided with the Dems to give them the Senate majority.
They cite the DREAM Act and a push to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of pot.
But a top Cuomo source blamed the Senate Dems — not Klein — for the pot bill’s failure, saying they could not provide enough votes for it to pass.
The Dem-on-Dem frustration boiled over during a recent closed-door meeting Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver had with his members. Sources said several ripped the budget deal, with one telling Silver that “you are the only Democrat in the room” — a clear shot at Cuomo and Klein.
At an earlier meeting, a frustrated Silver told of the brevity of the DREAM Act talks. “I bring it up, Skelos says no, Klein is with him, and the governor doesn’t have to say anything,” several sources quoted him as saying.
Klein, who was involved in his first budget talks as a conference leader, has been criticized behind the scenes for rarely speaking up during the negotiations with Cuomo, Silver and Skelos.
Publicly, he pushed hard for the minimum wage hike to be in the budget — raising it from $7.25 to $9 over three years — but some liberals have complained the phase-in is too long and the measure should have included an indexing provision to provide automatic future hikes that are tied to inflation.
Klein defended the final budget, saying it provides a minimum wage hike he pushed, a $350 rebate check to families, $300 million in business tax cuts and a balanced plan that stays within the 2% spending cap. “How do you get better than that?” he said.
A Senate source said Klein is being unfairly vilified. Indexing the minimum wage in a volatile economy would actually slow its growth, he said.
Another insider sniffed: “After leading the nation on marriage equality, guns, and minimum wage, there are just some on the far left who will never be happy.”

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Bloomberg’s TV Blitz on Guns Puts Swing Senators on the Spot

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg spent $12 million on a national campaign that names senators he believes might be persuaded to support federal gun regulations.
            He Put His Money 
           Where His Mouth Is
                           By Rafael Martínez Alequín

I have written about Mayor Michael Bloomberg from the beginning of his tenure as mayor. Mostly critical and occasionally praising him. This time, "I have come to praise Cesar not to bury him."

Bloomberg's ban on smoking, trans fats and lately junk soda has been good decisions.  Unlike previous mayors, this is an instance where the mayor's office is not beholden to the political machine.  In other words, he is so rich, he cannot be bought by outside interest groups.
The obesity epidemic impacts the Black and Latino community disproportionately.  The allure of cheap, tasty food and beverage is partially to blame. The effect on society as a whole is an increase in health care costs and a diminished work force.  This is where Bloomberg has put his money where the consumer's mouth is. 

All of the above are important health  issues

Another issue is Mayor Bloomberg’s leading role  urging the United States Congress to implement and enact gun safety measures. According to national polls, Americans support this, without violating the second amendment of the Constitution. To many, particularly the National Rifle Association,   this may not be a health issue. But to the thousands of people who have lost their lives, it is.

We don’t have to look very far to see the devastating horror that a gun in the hand of a maniac can cause. Witness, Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut where 20 kids were murdered.

At the end of this year the Mayor will be out of City Hall and become a private citizen again. However, he will remain a leading voice nationally in urging the President and particularly the Congress for a common sense Federal Gun Law.
See This Video From Mayor's Against Illegal Guns

Saturday, March 23, 2013


Rivals Fault Quinn’s Block of a Vote on Sick Time

Two Democratic candidates for mayor on Friday criticized Christine C. Quinn, the City Council speaker, for blocking a vote over paid sick-leave legislation.
Pope Francis celebrates his inaugural Mass with cardinals inside the Sistine Chapel, 03/14/13. (photo: CTV/AP)
Pope Francis celebrates his inaugural Mass with cardinals inside the Sistine Chapel, 03/14/13. (photo: CTV/AP)

Pope Francis and Argentina's Dirty War: Nine Questions He Needs to Answer

By Steve Weissman, Reader Supported News
22 March 13

ike Old Testament prophets, dogged journalists from Argentina and around the world have raised concern about the election of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio to become Pope Francis. Was he, they ask, complicit with the Argentine military that kidnapped, tortured, raped, killed, and "disappeared" tens of thousands of people starting even before the coup of March 1976? The victims included two bishops and as many as 150 priests and nuns, and the atrocities reached the absolute horror of stealing newborn babies from their mothers and throwing living prisoners from helicopters and airplanes into the South Atlantic.
The journalists are simply messengers. Most of their first-hand testimony come from sources within Argentina's divided Church and will not go away no matter how often Vatican spokesmen dismiss it as old smears spread by the anti-clerical left. We have heard this spin before, over both the Church's complicity with the Nazi Holocaust and early allegations of sexual abuse and cover-up. Pope Francis needs to do better than that. If he wants to put the dirty war behind him, he needs to provide full and convincing answers to nine deeply disturbing questions.
1. Gen. Jorge Rafael Videla, the imprisoned leader of the military junta, credits Papal Nuncio Pío Laghi, Archbishop Raul Francisco Primatesta, and other Church leaders with advising the military junta and helping handle the situation of the disappeared. "In some cases," the former dictator told Argentina's Revista El Sur, "the Church offered its good offices and told the relatives to give up searching for their child because he [or she] was dead." But the Church only did this, said Videla, "if it was certain that the relatives would not use the information politically" against the junta. How, Your Holiness, do you explain such close collaboration?
2. Church officials in Argentina have repeatedly asked forgiveness for their failure to speak out against the junta's human rights violations, and Bergoglio personally called for the Church to do public penance for the sins of the dirty war. The Church obviously lacked courage and moral clarity, but it was far from silent. It publicly supported the military junta. Cardinal Archbishop Juan Carlos Aramburu gave communion and his blessing to the newly installed dictator, Gen. Videla. Bishop José Miquel Medina, the head chaplain of the armed forces, and other church leaders justified torture, while providing chaplains to help the torturers overcome their moral qualms. In his visit to Buenos Aires in April 1982, Pope John II publicly embraced Videla's successor General Leopoldo Galtieri and refused to meet with the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, who were demanding justice for their disappeared relatives. When, Your Holiness, will the Church face up to the depth of its complicity?
3. In 2007, an Argentine court convicted Father Christian von Wernich, a police chaplain, for his complicity in seven murders, 42 abductions, and 31 cases of torture. According to BBC News, several former prisoners testified that he used his position as a priest to win their confidence and then passed what they told him to police torturers and killers. The former prisoners said that he attended several torture sessions and told the torturers that they were doing God's work. Von Wernich is now serving a life sentence. As archbishop, Bergoglio ruled against giving holy communion to politicians and health care workers who facilitate abortion, while allowing von Wernich to remain a priest and provide communion to his fellow prisoners. Does Your Holiness truly believe that Church doctrine on abortion and contraception is more important to uphold than prohibitions against torture and mass murder?
4. In a case directly involving Bergoglio when he was the top Jesuit in Argentina, the army kidnapped, drugged, tortured, and held captive two of his subordinates who had been living and doing social work in a Buenos Aires slum. The army held Fathers Orlando Yorio and the Hungarian-born Franz "Francisco" Jalics blindfolded and in chains for five months and then dumped them half-naked and drugged into a field on the outskirts of the city. Soon after, Father Yorio sent the Jesuit hierarchy in Rome a first-hand report in which he accused Bergoglio of promising to speak to people from the armed forces and assure them that the two priests were not working with the left-wing guerrillas. But, wrote Yorio, Bergoglio spread rumors that we were. "We began to suspect his honesty," wrote Yorio, who reportedly forgave Bergoglio, but never withdrew his charges. Would Your Holiness release the late Father Yorio's full report and your detailed response to it?
5. Father Jalics made similar charges and has never withdrawn them. Now at a monastery in Germany, he says he has forgiven Bergoglio and does not want to comment on the new pontiff's role in what happened. Would Your Holiness ask him, in the name of truth, to testify about what he knows?
6. In 1979, Father Jalics was living in Germany and asked Bergoglio to help him get his passport renewed. Bergoglio made the formal request, but The Guardian has published a typed note from the foreign ministry archives that "appears to prove that Bergoglio said one thing and did the opposite." The note records that Jalics and Yorio "lived in small communities that the Jesuit Superior [Bersiglio] disbanded in February 1976. They refused to obey, requesting that they be removed from the order." According to the note, the information came from Bergoglio, who recommended that the foreign ministry not renew Jalics' passport. How, Your Holiness, do you respond to this damning evidence?
7. Horacio Verbitsky, one of Argentina's best-known investigative journalists, uncovered the above document and interviewed many of the dissident voices within the Church, presenting their evidence in his left-leaning Peronist daily Pagina 12 and his best-selling "El Silencio: De Paulo VI a Bergoglio." He is also a direct participant in the story, having shown the courage after the coup to take up arms in the guerrilla war against the military dictators, and he is a staunch supporter of Argentine President Christina Kirshner, who fought against Bergoglio and the Church to legalize gay marriage and provide free contraception. But, whatever his politics, Verbitsky is an internationally respected journalist and human rights campaigner who interviewed and corresponded with Bergoglio, initially published the prelate's version of events, and still goes out of his way to defend the new pontiff where the evidence against him is lacking. Would Your Holiness ask your defenders to stop trying to kill the messenger and deal with the specific evidence Verbitsky offers?
8. Pope Francis has long talked of making the poor central to the Church, encouraging Christian charity toward them and criticizing inadequate government and even IMF policies. But, in line with John Paul II and Benedict XVI, he worked to suppress Liberation Theology, which called for helping the poor to organize to fight for their own rights. This appears to have been an underlying issue in his treatment of Fathers Yorio and Jalics and in the heated divisions within Argentina's Catholic Church. Will Your Holiness now reopen the debate and allow defenders of Liberation Theology to speak freely within the Church?
9. Horacio Verbitsky and other critics are quick to credit Bergoglio with helping many of the junta's opponents and even hiding them from arrest. "I know people he helped," said Father Yorio's brother Rodolfo. "That's exactly what reveals his two faces, and his closeness to the military powers. He was a master at ambiguity." Over the years, Your Holiness, you have been a reluctant, vague, and often evasive witness about your role – and the role of your fellow priests – in the dirty war. Would you now, in the spirit of truth and reconciliation, give independent journalists and historians access to Church archives, which – along with in-depth interviews and already available government archives – will allow them to set the record straight?

A veteran of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement and the New Left monthly Ramparts, Steve Weissman lived for many years in London, working as a magazine writer and television producer. He now lives and works in France, where he writes on international affairs.
Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

Friday, March 22, 2013


Just when you thought you had to go to Manhattan for quality beer, along comes the Bronx Ale House.  This has become my new favorite watering hole beyond Manhattan.  Located at  216 W.238th St. in Kingsbridge, it is the gourmet haunt of beer lovers.  The food is good too.
Conveniently located next to the #1 train, it is open until 4:00am.  It boasts a lively crowd of under 40's and tv monitors that broadcast sports.

Service is excellent. You never wait for a table here.  Friendly staff gets a thumbs up. You name the beer, they have it. If you don't believe me, believe Zagat's .
bronx ale.jpg
 So go eat, be merry and drink responsibly.
Mayor Bloomberg and Vice President Biden and Families From Newtown, Connecticut Discuss Need For common-Sense Federal Gun Laws(Video 1)

video by Rafael Martínez Alequín

Vice President Joe Biden with Mayor Bloomberg and Families From Newtown, Connecticut (video 2)

Video by Rafael Martínez Alequín

City business leaders opposing paid sick leave are sending Speaker Christine Quinn big checks

More than 180 people signed a letter saying a mandate for paid sick leave would be costly for small business last summer, and many of them are Quinn donors. Her campaign finance chair, Sally Susman, is one of them.

Comments (18)
Updated: Friday, March 22, 2013, 2:30 AM




NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi

Marcus Santos /for the New York daily News

Council Speaker Christine Quinn is lining her pockets with money from business owners who opposed paid sick leave legislation. She has so far stopped the bill from making it to a vote.

Business leaders opposing paid sick leave legislation have raised or given nearly $370,000 to the mayoral campaign of the person who has blocked a vote on the bill: City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, the Daily News has learned.
The business leaders were among the 180 people who penned an open letter to Quinn last summer arguing that mandating paid sick leave would be prohibitively costly for small businesses. They called themselves the “Coalition for a Healthy Economy.”
At the time, the Daily News reported that several of the letter’s signatories were major Quinn donors, including her campaign finance chair, Sally Susman.
But a review of the latest campaign finance reports reveals just how much money those donors have pumped into Quinn’s mayoral campaign.
Susman, an executive at Estee Lauder, had raised more than $126,000 for Quinn through last week. And Christine Taylor, of the holding company MacAndrews & Forbes, has raised more than $48,000 for the speaker.
Quinn says that while she supports the concept of paid sick days she believes the city should wait until the economy is stronger before requiring it.
Although a majority of Council members support the bill, Quinn has refused to allow a vote. Instead, she scheduled a hearing on the issue on Friday that will likely grow contentious.

Handschuh, David, New York Daily

Mary Ann Tighe, CEO of CB Richard Ellis, has raised $33,500 for Quinn and given the maximum personal contribution of $4,950.

Her campaign denied that her refusal to bring the legislation to a vote was motivated by the wishes of her big-money donors.
“The speaker has made crystal clear she supports mandatory paid sick leave and that its not a matter of if paid sick leave is enacted, but a matter of when,” said campaign spokesman Mike Morey.
“The only thing that guides the speaker’s stance on this, or any other piece of legislation, is how it impacts small businesses, a struggling local economy and middle class New Yorkers.”
Quinn has long been in a quandary over the paid sick legislation.
She needs the support of some of the bill’s advocates, including several large labor unions, in her mayoral bid. But she also has courted the city’s business elite, who view her as the candidate most likely to continue Mayor Bloomberg’s pro-business policies.
Two Democratic rivals for mayor — Controller John Liu and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio — have repeatedly slammed her refusal to allow a vote on the bill. Former Controller William Thompson supports a compromise bill with a one-year delay before businesses are forced to comply.
“With a million New Yorkers working without paid sick days, Speaker Quinn should have allowed a vote on this bill years ago,” said de Blasio. “No one should have to worry about losing their job or their paycheck every time they get sick."

Graphics by Isaac Lopez/New York Daily News

And Thompson said, “I hope Speaker Quinn will finally do the right thing and stop blocking paid sick leave so mothers and fathers no longer have to choose between earning a living and taking care of their children.”
Some of the business leaders who signed the letter opposing the mandatory sick leave legislation and supported Quinn’s campaign have hedged their bets by also making donations to candidates who support the paid sick leave bill.
Mary Ann Tighe, the chief executive officer at developer CB Richard Ellis, has raised $33,550 for Quinn and made the personal maximum contribution of $4,950 to her campaign.
But she also donated $2,000 to de Blasio and $500 to Thompson. And Stephen Nislick, head of Edison Properties, raised more than $26,000 for Quinn but also donated $4,000 to de Blasio.
Quinn has not said if Friday’s hearing could lead to a vote on a future date.
Big donors to Quinn
$126,000 Sally susman
$48,000 Christine taylor
$26,000 Stephen Nislick
$33,550 Mary Ann Tighe

Biden, Bloomberg and Newtown parents team up to demand Congress act on new gun laws: 'I'm really ashamed ... Congress doesn't have the guts to stand up and make a change,' says a bereft dad

The resolute mood was influenced heavily by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's decision two days ago to drop an assault weapons ban from advancing gun control legislation. The Obama administration, Bloomberg and families of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in Newtown, Conn., are pressing Congress to push for the ban.

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Updated: Friday, March 22, 2013, 12:54 AM




The City Hall meeting with Vice President Joe Biden and Mayor Bloomberg was planned a month ago, long before they were aware the assault weapons ban would be struck.

David Handschuh/New York Daily News

The City Hall meeting with Vice President Joe Biden and Mayor Bloomberg was planned a month ago, long before they were aware the assault weapons ban would be struck. The officials meet Thursday with grieving families of the Newtown, Conn., tragedy.

Refusing to accept defeat, Vice President Biden and Mayor Bloomberg joined with three grieving Newtown families at City Hall Thursday to demand that Washington lawmakers do the right thing on gun control.
Senate leaders in Washington caved to pressure from the gun lobby this week and gave up on a proposed assault weapons ban, but there were no white flags waving at City Hall.
“Quite honestly, I’m really ashamed to see that Congress doesn’t have the guts to stand up and make a change,” said Neil Heslin, whose son Jesse Lewis was among the 20 tiny victims of the Dec. 14 Connecticut massacre.
In a poignant, emotional speech with Biden and Bloomberg by his side, Heslin, 50, recalled the morning of Dec. 14, 2012, when he saw his 6-year-old son for the last time.
He doesn’t wish that moment on any parent and challenged legislative leaders to prevent a recurrence.

howiewolf/via Twitter

Bloomberg and Biden talk strategy in the City Hall bullpen. It was the first time a sitting Vice President had appeared at City Hall in more than 30 years.

“Congress, step up and make a change,” he exhorted. “There needs to be a ban on assault weapons, weapons of war, and high-capacity magazines. These weapons have no place, no use, on our streets or in our schools.”
Biden and Bloomberg started planning the Vice President’s historic visit to City Hall — the first by a Vice President in 34 years — a month ago.
The event wasn’t timed to respond to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s Tuesday announcement that the main gun control bill advancing in the Senate would not include a proposed ban on assault weapons and high-capacity gun magazines.
But the setback did not seem to affect the mood — or the resolve — of the anti-gun forces in City Hall’s Blue Room.
Bloomberg Presser

James Keivom/New York Daily News

Bloomberg greets Chris McDonnell, left, and Neil Heslin, second from left, as Biden hugs family members of the victims from the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn. “We really need national leadership in Washington if we’re going to stop this scourge,” Bloomberg said.

“We really need national leadership in Washington if we’re going to stop this scourge,” Bloomberg said.
“The only question is whether Congress will have the courage to do the right thing — or whether they will allow more innocent people, including innocent children, to be gunned down.”
Biden called on Congress to put the nation’s safety above partisan politics.
“It must be awful, being in public office and concluding that even though you might believe you should take action you can’t take action because of the political consequence you face,” Biden said.

David Handschuh/New York Daily News

“All those who say we can’t ban assault weapons, for all those who say politics is too hard, how can they say that?” says Vice President Biden.

“What a heckuva way to make a living. What a heckuva way to have to act.”
An emotional Heslin was joined by Chris and Lynn McDonnell, whose daughter Grace was killed in the Connecticut carnage, and by the family of murdered teacher Lauren Rousseau.
“What matters is people, leaders with moral courage,” said Chris McDonnell, praising Bloomberg and Biden before his wife called on Congress to follow their example.
“We’d ask everyone who has power to influence legislation in this area, and of course those whose job it is to vote on the legislation, to ask themselves if they are doing enough,” said Lynn McDonnell.
“And if they are not, to ask themselves why.

David Handschuh/New York Daily News

Chris and Lynn McDonnell, who's 7-year-old daughter, Grace, was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Lynn said, "We'd ask everyone who has power to influence legislation ... to ask themselves if they are doing enough to bring about real and meaningful change, and if they are not to ask themselves why."

"Why shouldn’t we be doing everything we can to bring about change?”
Reid said Thursday that the gun control bill will head to the Senate floor some time after the politicians return from a two-week recess on April 9.
It will include measures to tighten background checks on gun buyers, to crack down on gun traffickers and to fund school safety improvements,  but the assault weapons ban was stripped out because Senate leaders feared the opposition to the ban would doom the rest of the bill.
But even without the ban in the legislation, it still faces a tough climb.

Getty Images

"A weapon of war has no place on American streets," Biden said, "and taking it off American streets would have no impact on one's constitutional rights."

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is still gathering support for the effort to require better background checks for gun buyers.
Bloomberg has used his vast wealth to press the case for new national gun restrictions, and he encouraged the nation’s voters to oust politicians who follow the lure of lobbyists over the will of the people.
“Congress has to get some courage,” he said. “It’s up to us as Americans and as fellow human beings to sort of give them that courage.”
The mayor went to Washington last month to huddle with several top senators and with Biden, the point man on gun control for President Obama.


Neil Heslin (c.), father of Sandy Hook victim Jesse Lewis, said, "I ask everybody to stand up and speak out. Congress, step up and make a change."

Bloomberg and Biden discussed holding a joint New York event during the Feb. 27 get-together. Their staffs meet weekly about gun control efforts, and City Hall keeps in touch with several Newtown families.
The three Connecticut families invited to City Hall immediately accepted the offer to appear with Bloomberg and Biden, according to an insider.
The White House launched the nation’s biggest push for new gun laws in two decades barely one month after the Newtown killings.
Biden emphasized the importance of limiting the number of bullets in an ammunition clip. The Sandy Hook shooter carried a 30-shot magazine and fired about 150 bullets in less than two minutes.

Getty Images

“In the end, what Congress has to decide is if it’s politically popular, or if what’s in their hearts is the right thing,” Bloomberg said.

“Think about Newtown,” Biden said. “Think of how many of these children and teachers might be alive today had (the shooter) had to reload three times as many times as he did.”
Biden argued that the proposed restrictions on weapons do not infringe on the Second Amendment right to bear arms.
“All those who say we can’t ban assault weapons, for all those who say politics is too hard, how can they say that?” asked Biden.
Bloomberg said the decision on gun control, a complicated and contentious subject, comes down to a very simple issue.
“In the end, what Congress has to decide is if it’s politically popular, or if what’s in their hearts is the right thing,” Bloomberg said.

Thursday's Daily News front page calls out Congress. 

The mayor then referenced the family members standing behind him and the losses they suffered at the hands of a madman with an assault rifle.
“What we can do as fellow human beings is try to make sure that it doesn’t happen again,” he said. “We can’t bring back their loved ones, but we can certainly do something in their memory.”
With Jonathan Lemire, and