Friday, December 19, 2014

Taking hostages: ISIS, Kim Jong-un, Norman Seabrook and Viral Bad Behavior

Seabrook – you'd better
read about him below
Dear Leader Kim fattens while his people starve
Let’s start with the firm premise that I have no use for any of the entities mentioned in the headline or depicted above. Each, in his own way, represents something disgraceful about the human race. 

But what I’ve noticed lately is that vile behavior is spreading like a virus, thanks to guys like these.

I don’t need to explain much about ISIS, the organization whose trademark outrage, among its many outrages, is capturing innocent strangers and cutting off their heads.

Nor do I have to explain Kim Jong-un, the fat North Korean dictator in a land of starving people. He’s the one who just made a name for himself by bringing Sony to its knees for daring to make a film that satirized him. In the course of it he threatened the lives of any person who dares – dares! – to see the movie. He’s threatening violence in the style of 9-11. 

The silence from Congress is deafening. Our lawmakers seem terrified to so much as speak a word against him. He may be the most powerful influence on Congress since the NRA. Sometimes I wonder if he has bought as many legislators as the NRA.

But unless you live in New York – in fact,  even if you live in New York but don’t read the papers closely, Norman Seabrook’s name may leave you scratching your head. Norman who?

Seabrook is head of something called COBA, a renegade union called the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association, and although his photograph makes him look affable enough, he is your worst nightmare. His sociopathic excuse for a labor union has demonstrated that he will shut down the city’s courts and criminal justice system if anyone dares challenge the brutality of the prison guards who form his union’s membership.

 They beat up teen-agers and allow or encourage others to do the same. They continence prison rape and sodomy and have been known to participate in it themselves. They smuggle contraband in to prisoners who pay off. They allow prisoners to bake to death. And then they lie, in incident after incident, to cover up the true facts.

And should anyone dare to bring individual officers up on charges, the union shuts down the courts by preventing the transport of prisoners from the Riker’s Island prison complex in the East River to any of the city’s courtrooms. The New York Times reports:
Last year, the same union effectively shut down the court system in the city for a day, an exercise in a different kind of power. Led by Norman Seabrook, the president of the union, correction officers claimed every single bus for transporting prisoners was unfit to drive or could not be moved. What were they up to? Well, the shutdown took place on the day a man being held at Rikers Island was supposed to be delivered to the Bronx courthouse to testify at the trial of two correction officers accused of assaulting him. The prisoner, and 750 other people due in courts throughout the city, were not able to go.
Each time brutal or justice-evading tactics are used – whether by ISIS, tinpot dictators, a corruption-tolerating union chief who is giving the many good unions a bad name, another stake is driven into the heart of civil society.

It’s all hostage-taking, whether you’re ISIS and you behead them, or you’re COBA and you take the entire criminal justice system hostage while you beat prisoners to death, some of them mere kids.

Hey, if they can get away with it, then why not me or my organization, too? And so brutal, thuggish, corrupt bad behavior grows viral.

Norman Seabrook is no better than Kim Jong-un, or the ISIS murderers. If he and his people get away with it, there will be another group perpetrating a new group of outrages, for sure.

A bill, egged on by Seabrook and Coba,  is coming before New York State Governor Cuomo. It will move the venue for cases brought against out-of-control brutal prison guards to Queens, from the historic and legal venue of The Bronx, where at least the distract attorney seems to have a spine. The question is, will Governor Cuomo also have spine – or at least spine enough to veto the bill? 

Or will he let the unions get away with it because they’re big campaign contributors – having “donated” $300,000 to state elected officials from both parties.

The New York Times reports:
The two prosecutors signed a letter stating their vigorous opposition to the bill’s purpose and language. 
“Remarkably, in one short sentence, this bill manages to be ambiguous as to its meaning, potentially unconstitutional and at odds with the surrounding provisions of Criminal Procedure Law,” they wrote. 
The state district attorneys association is opposed to it; the Legal Aid Society is opposed; Mayor Bill de Blasio is opposed; so is the New York Civil Liberties Union. 
“It’s rare that you’ll see those individuals and groups coming together on one side of an issue,” Mr. Brown said. 
Governor Cuomo’s office did not reply to a question about his intentions.
Eh, Governor Cuomo?

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