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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Picking Up Pieces of the Past on a Wednesday Morning

The most important thing for me to do late on a Tuesday nite is to remember to move the garbage cans curbside for Wednesday morning pickup, but in the meantime..

I have joked recently in my blogs about how Bernie Madoff went to Hofstra College, my alma mater, and how weird it is that his class ring from 1960 was auctioned off by federal authorities Saturday in New York City. Never thought a class ring from the Harvard of Hempstead would be worth so much…then I spent yesterday afternoon reading about a Lawrence High School classmate I used to play stickball with at School #6 on Branch Boulevard when we were like ten years old. 40 years ago, in 1968, he was voted most likely to succeed by his classmates. But in 2008 what he succeeding in getting was a 20-year sentence for setting up a $400 million dollar hedge fund fraud, using his law firm as a tool. Hello, Scott Rothstein. Here is the article about Dreier, who also appeared on 60 minutes, about the brazen scam. Greed greed Greed. Kills ya'.

One passage in the article jumps out at me which could be a telling factor:
His epiphany, Dreier remembers, came in the summer of 2003, during a long walk he took on the beach near his vacation home, in Westhampton Beach, New York. He experienced a moment of clarity, he says, in which he saw the path he needed to take; unfortunately, it was a path that would lead to his downfall.

It happened one day when he found himself staring at a palatial beachfront home. His own house was inland. He had always wanted one right on the beach. It was at that moment, Dreier says, that he came to two conclusions. He would buy himself a big house on the beach. And he would get the money by dramatically expanding his firm, now renamed Dreier L.L.P. Dreier knows how ridiculous this sounds, that his criminal behavior can be traced to his yearning for a better beach house.

“I wanted to just, well, appease myself,” he says. “Well, not appease myself. Gratify myself … I was very, very caught up in seeing the criteria of success in terms of professional and financial achievement, which I think was a big part of the problem. But I thought it would make me happy. And I wanted to be happy again.”

Elsewhere, the news for the first amendment in Miami was not grand as the Supreme Court chose not to review the case of the book, Vamos a Cuba, banned by the School Board. I have written about it before, but here is the story on the front page of the Miami Herald:. Definitely my sentiments are with the ACLU and Howard Simon who commented that: ‘What the Supreme Court did was to give the School Board the power to cleanse the library shelves of various books `That sets a dangerous precedent.'’ Yup, it does. By the way, if you have any extra money to donate somewhere here at the end of the year, not that anyone does, the ACLU could use some.

Political correctness in schools, a very unhealthy thing. Speaking of which, it was nice to see Buddy Nevins- on his blog -back off of his totally unjustifiable criticism of Kevin Tynan. A lawyer who represents lawyers, with a passion for integrity and who served the Florida Bar as an Ethics Prosecutor, I think you can expect a new era of honesty on that school board, with a bulldog for fairness serving thereupon. And speaking of books, I have to get to writing a piece on my friend Tom Hayden, who I got to spend the day with in Miami after he lectured at the Miami Book Fair, catching up on politics and our mutual passion for baseball. It is hard to believe he is nearly 70, I am 60, and it has been 40 years since Grant Park and Chicago. Here is a link to Tom's new book, which, unfortunately, though hundreds showed up for his SRO talk, none of his books were shipped for him to sign- ouch;
Also at the festival, with a line out the door early Saturday morning, and overwhelming popular acclaim, some dude named Al Gore.

I also saw that a top DEA agent I have criticized in a blog about his drug war righteousness may soon be out of legal trouble. Magistrate Robin Rosenbaum has said the charges against him should be dismissed…Noticed also that the driver responsible for reckless driving and the fatal crash on I-95 Monday morning has tickets for careless and reckless driving from earlier this summer. How not surprising… So who is more of a threat to the public safety, that dude or the young San Francisco pitcher, Tim Lincecum, likely to win the Cy Young award again tomorrow for the second year in a row, busted for 3 grams of pot in Northern Washington. Hell, in northern California guys have that much residue in their carpet. Anyway, just did another legalization piece this week online for Counterpunch about how the American Medical Association has altered its stance on the rescheduling of marijuana from a Schedule 1 substance drug with no medical use to a lesser standard. Nice of them to catch up with the rest of the world.

Was asked yesterday how I feel about the collapse of the national gay media in local markets with the bankruptcy of the Blade newspaper chain. It means the paper I founded ten years ago this month, and sold to them in 2004, is now extinct. I feel devastated, is how I feel, and I am absolutely sure there needs to be credible GLBT journalism in the South Florida community. Though there was a nice piece in the South Florida Business Journal and the Miami Herald, I posted about it on another one of my blogs:
Later, and thanks for stopping by.

1 comment:

  1. You have very interesting friends Mr. Kent, and a very interesting life.