20 January 2016

NO NEWS IS EMPOWERING NEWS…

0800 by Jeff Hess

Long before the Internet and Cable Television amplified the problem, I understood how news could become a debilitating burden. I learned the principle in my sophomore English class when I first read Henry David Thoreau’s Walden (the first hardback book I ever purchased). There Thoreau wrote:

I am sure that I never read any memorable news in a newspaper. If we read of one man robbed, or murdered, or killed by accident, or one house burned, or one vessel wrecked, or one steamboat blown up, or one cow run over on the Western Railroad, or one mad dog killed, or one lot of grasshoppers in the winter—we never need read of another. One is enough. If you are acquainted with the principle, what do you care for a myriad instances and applications?

In recent years the idea of a news fast or going offline has become fashionable. Last week Oliver Burkeman, in Is less news good news? wrote:

I just got grumbly about the world, like a walking embodiment of that bumper-sticker: “Where are we going, and why are we in this handbasket?”

One problem is that merely knowing that the news focuses disproportionately on negative and scary stories doesn’t mean you’ll adjust your emotions accordingly. People like me scorn Trump and the Daily Mail for sowing unwarranted fears. We know that the risk of dying in traffic is vastly greater than from terrorism. We may even know that US gun crime is in dramatic decline, that global economic inequality is decreasing, or that there’s not much evidence that police brutality is on the rise. (We just see more of it, thanks to smartphones.) But, apparently, the part of our minds that knows these facts isn’t the same part that decides whether to feel upbeat or despairing. It’s entirely possible to know things are pretty good, yet feel as if they’re terrible.

Where this leads is part of the problem:

..technology connects us to more and more of the world’s suffering, of which there’s an essentially infinite amount, until feeling steamrollered by it becomes structurally inevitable – not a sign that life’s getting worse. And the consequences go beyond glumness. They include “compassion fade”, the well-studied effect whereby our urge to help the unfortunate declines as their numbers increase.

Compassion, like Willpower, is a finite resource. Spread those resources too thinly and they fade away to nothing.

20 January 2016

THE WAY SCIENCE WORKS…

0700 by Jeff Hess

non sequitur 160120

That which will kill us is not what we don’t know, but what we believe we know that is false.

19 January 2016

WHY I NO LONGER IDENTIFY AS A DEMOCRAT…

1500 by Jeff Hess

I vote in the Democratic Party primaries. I’m supporting Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders with more money than I have any political candidate in the past; and I can’t imagine a bizarro world where I’d vote for a Republican, but I stopped self-identifying as a Democrat some six years ago after Barack Hussein Obama—a man I swore would be the last Democratic president I would ever vote for if he morphed the way Bill Clinton had—became just another tool of the billionaire class.

The Democratic Party has rotted from the top as Glenn Greenwald illustrates in Meet Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s First-Ever Primary Challenger: Tim Canova

In general, Wasserman Schultz is the living, breathing embodiment of everything rotted and corrupt about the Democratic Party: a corporatist who overwhelmingly relies on corporate money to keep her job, a hawk who supports the most bellicose aspects of U.S. foreign policy, a key member of the “centrist” and “moderate” pro-growth New Democrat coalition, a co-sponsor of the failed Stop Online Piracy Act, which was “heavily backed by D.C. favorites including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the music and motion picture industries” and which, if enacted, would have allowed extreme government and corporate control over the internet.

This little note is icing on the Democratic Party death cake.

18 January 2016

MCGINTY—O’MALLEY RACE BAD FOR ALL

2100 by Roldo Bartimole

roldo 160118

The danger in the Tim McGinty/Michael O’Malley race for County Prosecutor is the possibility of a return to the corrupt politics of the past.

The divisions are already apparent. Rep. Marcia Fudge and two black ministerial groups have refused to meet with County Prosecutor McGinty. This is counterproductive for the black community.

Much of the displeasure with McGinty evolves rightly out of his suspect handling of the grand jury decision in the Tamir Rice case. He directed the decision exonerating two Cleveland police officers in the criminal shooting of the 12-year old boy. Film of the encounter showed Officer Timothy Loehmann gunning down the child within two seconds as a police car slid in front of the boy.

It has made McGinty vulnerable. But look who is taking advantage.

O’Malley candidacy is troubling. This is an attempt of a return of a power-hungry force in our local politics.

It’s difficult to divorce Michael from the past politics of former prosecutor Bill Mason and former County Recorder Pat O’Malley, his brother. Dangerous, too. Mason & O’Malley were long-time close allies. They have played an underhanded game of power politics.

Why go back to their brand of politicking.

I called Michael O’Malley a run-of-the-mill former Cleveland councilman. He was mild mannered compared to his brother Pat. (Pat spent time in jail on Continue Reading »

14 January 2016

HELPING MILITIAMEN GO FUCK THEMSELVES…

0700 by Jeff Hess

This is a brilliant piece of political theater and a perfect example of how to respond to objectionable speech.

Opponents of the men currently occupying a federal building in Oregon are using the weapon of humor and ridicule by sending dozens of dildos and other penis-shaped presents to the armed militants.

Calling it “hate mail”, “militia” organizer Jon Ritzheimer is refusing to bend over and take it, after posting a video on Facebook complaining about the special ‘packages’.

“They spend and waste their money on all this hateful stuff to send out here to us, and buy this ridiculous stuff, even this one was really funny, a bag of d**ks,” Ritzheimer said. “For the rest of you ‘patriots’ out there, twiddling your thumbs, wondering whether or not you should come out, well, now’s the time.”

I’m also fully in Judge Grasty’s camp:

An Oregon judge says that he will send the ranchers and anti-government activists the bill for security costs that have been piled up because of their standoff with the federal government.

Harney County Judge Steve Grasty said the cost of setting up security measures for Ammon Bundy and his militia is between $60,000 and $70,000 a day.

“We’re going to send Mr. Bundy the bill,” Grasty told KTVZ-TV.

The militia has been occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Preserve in eastern Oregon since January 2, and schools in the areas were closed until Monday due to security concerns. The protesters, many of whom are not from Oregon, claim that they are standing up for a pair of local ranchers who are serving five years in prison on what they believe are trumped up terrorism charges for starting a brush fire. They have also demanded the transfer of the federally owned land to the county, according to KTVZ-TV.

In addition to the costly increase in security that Bundy and company brought, Grasty said that the “bill” would be for the salaries of teachers and other public employees who didn’t go into work when schools and government buildings were closed due to the standoff.

Yall Qaeda needs to be held accountable for this childish tantrum.

13 January 2016

BUSINESS GLUTTON OF YEAR—SANDY!

1500 by Roldo Bartimole

roldo sandy cutler 160113

You may notice that publications just love to name their Business Executive of the Year. So much fun!

It’s so easy to do.

Publications love easy, quick stuff. Lazy too. I used to hate, when I was a young reporter, an editor telling, “Go look up the clip to see how we did it last year.” In other words, it is like a formula, nearly all you have to do is change the name and the year. Again, lazy.

The Best Executive wins you Brownie points with the people who run things. That’s important too. Publications love being loved by elites.

Well, I’d like to change the game a bit. I’d like to name the Business Glutton of the Year.
It goes hands down to Alexander “Sandy” (how cute) Cutler of Eaton Corp.

As of 2014 Cutler has earned $16,747,752 at Eaton. He was made boss in 2000. He’ll retire this year. Benefits will still flow.

It reminded me that one of my past Eaton Corp bosses was also a favorite to examine.
E. Mandel deWindt.

To show, however, how things have changed (rich getting richer) in 1971 in point of viǝw, a newsletter I wrote and published, I noted that deWindt earned a whopping $190,000 a year. A piker to Cutler.

He was a major business figure in the late 1960s & 1970s.

He was big in the United Way world, of course. I remember at a press conference asking him just how much HE gave to United Way. I wanted to compare it to the .6 percent expected from his employees. Did he give his “fair share,” as they call it?

Indignation! Why that’s a private matter, he huffed. But, of course, employees were pressured to give and the boss knew just how much they pledged.

But for deWindt, it was a private matter.

I digressed.

Eaton moved from downtown Cleveland to Beachwood. It took advantage of the open, virgin land of Chagrin Highlands and some other goodies.

Land opened for the late developer Dick Jacobs by Mayor George Voinovich and Council President George Forbes. They played Give it Away just before they left office. Voinovich aided his former law partner and both served to grease the biggest land deal here in nearly a century. Cleveland, thanks to former Mayor Tom Johnson, owned that land in its suburbs. Very valuable land.

Voinovich gave more assistance as Governor causing the state spend more than $130 million on I-271 to make sure Chagrin Highlands had convenient roads and exits.

Eaton, under Cutler, took 53 clean acres to build a 600,000 square foot office headquarters.

Eaton and Cutler also took advantage of the goodies that our local officials always give to those who don’t need it. Beachwood gave the company a $10 million tax credit on its local income taxes. The Cuyahoga-Cleveland Port Authority issued $170 million in tax free bonds, allowing dodging of federal taxes.

It doesn’t end there.

It didn’t stop there.

As I previously wrote of the goodies given Eaton to transfer more than 400 jobs from Cleveland:

Eaton Corp.—Some portion of a TIF (form of abatement by diverting property taxes from Cuyahoga County) value of $141,338,100. In addition, the Eaton project on land opened by the Chagrin Highland deal in 1989 between Cleveland and various suburbs got $15.5 million in state loans, tax credits worth some $53 million; $1.25 million in new road work to its project, some $10 million in tax credits, according to the Plain Dealer.

Whopping generosity to the already wealthy corporation and its bosses.

And how did Sandy reward taxpayers. He built his headquarter building in Beachwood, leaving the city behind. But he also moved his headquarter address for tax purposes—to Ireland. In other words, he dodges federal taxes and you and I pay.

That should save Eaton (and help Sandy’s next bonus) $160 million. Every year. From the U. S. treasury.

That’s the kind of piggish guy Sandy and Eaton are.

That’s why he earned the 2016 Gluttonous Businessman of the Year award.
He truly deserves it.

By Roldo Bartimole…

12 January 2016

MOVEON ENDORSES BERNIE OVER HILLARY: 79:15…

0800 by Jeff Hess

bernie and moveon

I’m no fan of Moveon, but this news is welcome.

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday welcomed the endorsement of MoveOn.org Political Action. Sanders won an overwhelming 78.6 percent of the 340,665 votes cast by members, a record number of votes and the largest margin of victory in a presidential endorsement in MoveOn history.

“I’m proud to have MoveOn and its community of millions of members join our people-powered campaign,” Sanders said. “MoveOn has spent more than 17 years bringing people together to fight for progressive change and stand up against big money interests. MoveOn’s fight to give the American people a voice in our political system was reflected in the group’s internal democratic process. I’m humbled by their support and welcome MoveOn’s members to the political revolution.”

“This is a massive vote in favor of Bernie Sanders, showing that grassroots progressives across the country are excited and inspired by his message and track record of standing up to big money and corporate interests to reclaim our democracy for the American people,” said Ilya Sheyman, MoveOn.org political action executive director. “MoveOn members are feeling the Bern. We will mobilize aggressively to add our collective people power to the growing movement behind the Sanders campaign.”

Why did MoveOn members vote the way they did? Ilya Sheyman explains in The Top 5 Reasons MoveOn Members Voted to Endorse Bernie (with the Most Votes and Widest Margin in Our History).

10 January 2016

THE PROBLEM BERNIE SANDERS DOESN’T HAVE…

0800 by Jeff Hess

non sequitur 160110

7 January 2016

YALL QAEDA OCCUPIES A BIRD SANCTUARY…

1500 by Jeff Hess

please send snacks

In his essay England Your England, George Orwell explained why British soldiers don’t goose-step.

One rapid but fairly sure guide to the social atmosphere of a country is the parade-step of its army. A military parade is really a kind of ritual dance, something like a ballet, expressing a certain philosophy of life. The goose-step, for instance, is one of the most horrible sights in the world, far more terrifying than a dive-bomber. It is simply an affirmation of naked power; contained in it, quite consciously and intentionally, is the vision of a boot crashing down on a face. Its ugliness is part of its essence, for what it is saying is ‘Yes, I am ugly, and you daren’t laugh at me’, like the bully who makes faces at his victim. Why is the goose-step not used in England? There are, heaven knows, plenty of army officers who would be only too glad to introduce some such thing. It is not used because the people in the street would laugh. Beyond a certain point, military display is only possible in countries where the common people dare not laugh at the army. The Italians adopted the goose-step at about the time when Italy passed definitely under German control, and, as one would expect, they do it less well than the Germans. The Vichy government, if it survives, is bound to introduce a stiffer parade-ground discipline into what is left of the French army. In the British army the drill is rigid and complicated, full of memories of the eighteenth century, but without definite swagger; the march is merely a formalized walk. It belongs to a society which is ruled by the sword, no doubt, but a sword which must never be taken out of the scabbard.

The rationale holds for the United States as well and the well-groomed cowboys occupying the Malheur federal wildlife preserve in Oregon are getting a richly deserved lesson in the proper response to offensive speech: more speech. Stephen Colbert is sending cookies, Alison Headley created the Snacksden Flag and Matt Taibbi is all over the weepy men of Yall Qaeda.

Every time these people open their mouths, it’s comedy. Earlier this week Bundy gave an interview to CNN in which he tried to play up the “We come in peace” meme they’ve been pushing from the start. Like the “nobody’s wearing camo except the camo I’m wearing” line, “It’s a peaceful protest, except for the rifles which we won’t use unless we have to” is also high comedy, although not a single person in the group seems to realize it.

Sounding exquisitely reasonable Wednesday, Bundy said, “There is a time to go home. We recognize that. We don’t feel it’s quite time yet.”

Except Bundy will not be going home, after all. His next stop, if it’s not the afterlife, will almost certainly be in a cell next to serial poisoner Michael Swango, or Richard Reid the shoe bomber, in the supermax in Florence, Colorado. There will be no snack shortage there, although he’ll be getting them through a slit in a door. Maybe they’ll let him take up macramé?

Bundy seems not to get this, however. He’s convinced that this will all get worked out, as soon as the federal government releases the Hammonds from prison (what is this, a list of demands from Hezbollah?) and hands over a healthy swath of federal land to private ranchers. “We need to make sure that there is some teeth in these land transfers,” he said confidently.

It has been suggested that it’s somehow wrong to laugh at the Y’all Qaeda/Vanilla ISIS movement. “The idea that satire… can serve as a bulwark against far-right ideas is provably false,” writes Natasha Lennard at AlJazeera.com. She goes on to point out that the paranoia and xenophobic racism of people like Bundy are not funny, and neither are the redneck caricatures that have spilled across the Internet in the last week as this “siege” played itself out.

“Satire that deploys classism to skewer racists and conservatives is certainly such a worst case,” she says. “Why not focus on their very real, very frightening beliefs?”

There’s no doubt that these people are dangerous, but their ridiculousness is a huge part of who they are.

I’m going grocery shopping tomorrow. I must remember to stock up on munchies so that I can snack while I enjoy the comedy.

6 January 2016

FEELING THE BERN ON THE NIGHTLY SHOW…

0700 by Jeff Hess

4 January 2016

COMEDIANS PRESIDENTS IN CARS GETTING COFFEE…

1100 by Jeff Hess

3 January 2016

RUMBLE, RUMBLE, RUMBLE…*

1000 by Jeff Hess

Anger works.

Rage works.

Being mad as hell and vowing not to take it anymore works.

Rebellion works.

Revolution works.

Revenge works.

Ralph Nader writes in The Rumble from the People Can Work that:

If only the people who engage in “road rage” would engage in “corporate rage” when they are harmed by cover-ups or hazardous products and gouging services, aloof CEOs would start getting serious about safety and fair play. With press report after press report documenting how big business stiffs millions of its consumers and workers, why is it that more of these victims do not externalize some of their inner agonies by channeling them into civic outrage?

It has happened on occasion and with good results. After Candy Lightner lost her daughter to a drunk driver, she founded Mothers Against Drunk Driving in 1980 as the only way she could deal with her intense grief. Asked what her principal motivation was in building a national movement to put homicide-producing drunk drivers behind bars, she replied: “Revenge.”

I recently had a conversation about mass shootings and gun control and I commented that not until someone like Ms. Lightner got monumentally pissed off, people would continue to talk about gun violence and people would be injured, maimed and slain by firearms in the United States. Please note that I’m not making any judgment about our Second Amendment or the ownership of guns in our country, I’m simply saying that change only happens when someone gets mad.

As one of my personal heroes once wrote: Good ideas are not adopted automatically. They must be driven into practice with courageous impatience.

Want to make a change in 2016? Get mad.

*Thank you Mr. Freberg.

2 January 2016

DONALD TRUMP IS BRILLIANT…

0800 by Jeff Hess

Cartoonist Scott Adams pointed me to his video. He wrote:

Donald Trump, graduate of Wharton’s business school, builder of empires, master of several different domains, and probably the next President of the United States is “not smart” based on the evidence that his intentional speaking pattern is more effective than the competition.

Did you see it?

In the old days you would have concluded that the author of the video is an idiot. But clearly he is not, because his work shows both talent and high intelligence. This is as clear a case of cognitive dissonance as you will ever see. And it is a totally normal process for a normal brain. You and I are not excluded. So don’t get cocky :-)

Time and time again we make the mistake of calling people whose world views don’t match our own stupid. That’s a mistake. I cringed every times someone called President George W. Bush stupid. I feel the same way about Trump. To call him stupid, or even to say that he’s not smart, is a tragic mistake because that view dismisses him as a non-threat. Trump is smart, he is very smart, and he knows exactly what he is doing. We ignore that reality at our peril.

There was a famous line from National Lampoon regarding President Richard Nixon: Would you buy a used war from this man?

The answer, of course, was, yes. We did buy Nixon’s used war. Twice.

What are we buying from Donald Trump?

1 January 2016

HERE’S TO A GOOD 2015 AND A BETTER 2016…

0000 by Jeff Hess

stats for 2015

For the first few years of blogging I was obsessive about my reader statistics. I think we all were. That changed with time and not until Roldo Bartimole began publishing his essays here did I begin to regularly watch the number again.

The past 12 months have been pretty good, as the numbers above indicate, for Have Coffee Will Write. I’ve done better in the past, but still I must be publishing enough interesting posts to keep readers coming back for more.

To everyone who visited HCWW during 2015, I say thank you.

31 December 2015

WE HONOR A NATIONAL TREASURE…

1300 by Jeff Hess

Simon Hattenstone had this to say in The Guardian:

It wasn’t even Aretha’s night. Oh no. This ceremony was to award, among others, Rita Moreno, George Lucas and Carole King. Then up steps Aretha to sing the King/Goffin/Wexler 1967 classic (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.

Look at King, open-mouthed in shock and awe (the right kind of shock and awe)—and this is before Aretha’s even opened hers. Everything about Aretha is astonishing—the range, depth, control in her voice, the phrasing, the passion, the playing, the floor-length fur, the sparkling clutch purse. The more Aretha sings, the harder it is to believe that King is not going to die and go to heaven. President Obama is wiping away tears before Aretha’s even done with the first verse. Aretha is 73, looks wonderful, and might just be singing better than ever.

She wrung the same emotions from me.

After watching the performance for the third time I rolled the clock back to the summer after I was discharged from the Navy.

31 December 2015

CLEVELAND—MORE THAN ONE TERRIBLE STAIN

1200 by Roldo Bartimole

The New York Times spanked Cleveland hard this week with an editorial entitled, Cleveland’s Terrible Stain. The starkness of those words contain an assessment that really calls for much more than the one incident—the senseless killing of a 12-year old Tamir Rice by police.

Cleveland’s “stains” go far beyond what the Times finally acknowledged on Wednesday. The newspaper didn’t touch more than the surface.

The paper really misses the dreadfulness of Cleveland’s status and its neglect of public need.

Maybe this should apply to all American cities at this time.

City leaders—and this includes African-Americans—have for decades paid little attention to the staggering needs of its low economic people, especially minorities.

Publication after publication has sent reporters into Cleveland to cheer its resurgence. And plenty more will come as the Republican Party holds its 2016 presidential convention here next June. Hip hip hooray!

But the Times only touches the surface of this sad city’s story.

No doubt there have been some improvements in Cleveland. They deserve some attention and applause.

However, praise should not come to the exclusion of observing deep problems and the neglect of most of its inhabitants. Despair prevails for many.

Cleveland’s civic attention for years has been diverted to “improvements” mainly sought by its business leaders. Fortune magazine in 1989 crowed, How Business Bosses Saved a Sick City.

It was more how they took over a city. With what right?

The attention to the cravings of a small band of elites trumped the dire needs of its lower economic thousands in this shrinking city.

Downtown has been the center of elites thoughts and rewards. The city’s former great wealth, much of it concentrated in its powerful foundations, has steered investment by the public sector where it decided. There is always abundant seed money for Continue Reading »

30 December 2015

I’M HAV’N A LYNYRD SKYNYRD MORNING…

1000 by Jeff Hess

Lynyrd Skynyrd

Anyone who has seen my album and CD collection knows, thanks to my father, that my music tastes range far and wide, but if I could only listen to one band for the rest of my life, I’d pick Lynyrd Skynyrd. I’ve never been able to listen to the music recorded post 1977. I’m not taking anything away from the band members who survived that crash, and I wish them all well, but if some believe the music died in 1959 or cried when they heard the King was dead, I’ll always remember how I felt when read about 20 October 1977.

29 December 2015

TAMIR GRAND JURY RULING HARD TO SWALLOW

1200 by Roldo Bartimole

It’s difficult to determine if County Prosecutor Tim McGinty’s handling of the Tamir Rice grand jury was a fix, or just badly botched.

But the smell isn’t pleasant in this holiday-conveniently released decision.

The prosecution was marked by paid but seemingly biased “reports” to McGinty’s unprecedented allowance of the police officers to read statements to the jury yet avoid any questioning. It leaves a distasteful flavor to anyone who has watched trial movies or congressional hearings involving those who take the Fifth Amendment as a dodge to answering questions. They don’t get both choices.

McGinty also recommended to the jury that there be no charges. He really directed the verdict.

It’s clear that the shooting of the 12-year old, less than two seconds after the skidding arrival of a Cleveland police car, and all caught on tape, cried out for more than a clear bill of no offense. The tape was an indictment and put a lie to the declaration of the police.

(Mayor Frank Jackson didn’t give us any confidence in what the city might do. In a short press conference the mayor, in his typical nonsensical manner, promised not just a process to examine the tragedy but a “due process.” His emphasis was silly. What other kind of process would such an exam entail? Undue process? And more than a year after the fact?)

You have to wonder why McGinty, who brought indictment charges against officer Michael Brelo in the 137-bullet, absurd 60 or more Cleveland police car chase that led to the death of two fleeing blacks, didn’t do the same with the tragically flawed officer, Timothy Loehmann. And then let a jury or judge determine the result. Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams were killed in the car chase. Brelo almost manically fired numerous shots Continue Reading »

25 December 2015

THE KEY TO CHANGE IS FINDING OUR WHYS

0500 by Jeff Hess

The why we must seek, however, is not why we want to change, but rather why we do what we want to change.

Oliver Burkeman’s column The truth about inefficiency reminded me of Thomas Moore’s Dark Eros: The Imagination of Sadism. While Moore focused specifically on Sadism, the principle involved is that we take actions—that to outside observers (and often ourselves)—seem madness, yet we follow that path for a reason and in discovering that reason, that payoff in Burkeman’s parlance, we may find answers.

Burkeman concludes:

In terms of personal psychology, the key concept here is the “payoff”. You don’t procrastinate, or miss appointments, or fail to communicate with your spouse because you’re an idiot who doesn’t realise there’s a better way. You do it because there’s a hidden benefit you’re getting. And just as you’ll never understand the persistence of voicemail’s awfulness without asking who benefits, you’ll never solve the procrastination problem, or the meetings problem, or whatever, until you figure out what that hidden something is.

There are always hidden benefits.

23 December 2015

CLEVELAND SPORTS TEAMS GRAB 34,000
HOURS OF POLICE PROTECTION TO DATE

1800 by Roldo Bartimole

If Cleveland and the U. S. Justice department are truly interested in providing safety to Cleveland residents they had better look carefully at the use of the city’s police force. Where and who gets served.

It looks badly skewed to me. Toward the rich and their playthings. Naturally.

Records show Mayor Frank Jackson provided 34,173.5 hours of police service to our three sports teams.

Nearly 35,000 hours to date.

Police regular duty provides 26,385.5 hours to the Cleveland Indians, the Cavaliers and the Cleveland Browns.

In addition, the city provided 7,788 hours of overtime police protection to the three team owners, including non-game events at Quicken Arena.

Dan Gilbert, Larry Dolan and Jimmy Haslam—among our most wealthy—obviously rate more security than the city’s poorer neighborhoods where crime is growing and murders are not rare.

Those figures come via a request for the city’s statistics on use of police resources for sports events.

Never enough for our sports teams.

(When Gateway opened former Mayor Michael White and City Council made promises by legislation for a certain number of police officers for traffic and safety based on game attendance. So the deal for special attention came with all the other freebies provided sport team owners in a disgusting display of squandering city resources.)

Not only do and did we provide hundreds of millions of dollars for facilities to these billionaire owners and multi-million dollar players but it appears they get a huge amount of safety at the city’s tax expense. And we throw in free property taxes for their facilities.

That’s criminal, folks.

In my request for overtime for sporting events the city provided a breakdown of police force use for events in total hours expended by the Cleveland police force.

For the Cleveland Cavaliers the city reports 6,412 hours of regular safety service plus 1,124.5 hours of overtime. That’s a total of 7,536.5 hours of police protection for the Cavs and owner.

Would you call that special attention and protection? I would.

The Cleveland Browns received 2,095 regular hours of police protection and 3,303 hours of overtime protection for a total of 5,398 hours. How many games have they played?

The Cleveland Indians received 8,906 hours of regular police coverage and 2,233.5 police overtime hours for a total expenditure of 11,139.5 hours of police protection. Real low attendance.

In addition, the year-to-date hours revealed a “miscellaneous” use of police protection at 8,972.5 regular coverage and 1,127 hours of overtime for 10,099.5 additional hours of police coverage.

Quicken Arena, where Gilbert rakes in all the receipts for extra events, accounts for the entire “miscellaneous” category.

In total hours, the city provides 26,385.5 regular hours of police coverage and 7,788 hours of overtime for a total police protection of 34,173.5 hours of police coverage.

That’s a hell of a lot of protection.

You have to wonder if there are any police left for all city neighborhoods after sports events, arena gigs and the rest of downtown gets its city police protection. Downtown figures are not included.

Inequality isn’t just represented by all the earnings going to the top 1 percent but in the gifts of special services they automatically receive from our city politicians.

The business/civic/philanthropic/political leadership in town makes sure those with great needs go to the end of the line.

Don’t expect any change from politicians who bow to the powerful and the news media, which provides incredible amounts of free publicity. And no real critical coverage.

And expect next year to be much worse with the Republican National Convention in town.

We indeed are a sick society.

By Roldo Bartimole…

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