Friday, July 24, 2009
Henry Louis Gates Jr. is a black man.
He is also a renowned Harvard scholar whose writings are published in many popular and obscure journals and newspapers.
He was arrested and handcuffed last week as he tried to break into his own home in leafy old Cambridge, Mass.
President Obama said in plain English that he thought the Cambridge police "acted stupidly."
Now, this forthright declaration on prime-time TV may not have been the most judicious or clever thing a sitting President has ever done.
But it sure is one of the sweetest.
The cop couldn't have asked Professor Gates to please identify himself as the owner of the house?
Race continues to be the core paralyzing reality at the heart of the American "dream."
The President is valiantly trying to push health care reform through the reluctant, resistant, often wicked corridors of power in Washington, and this side-show will not be of any particular help.
But it is so refreshing and wonderful to hear a President say what must be said and what is on the lips of millions of black and white Americans.
Posted by David Berner at 8:25 AM
The right to privacy is a concept that is central to and held dearly in most Western democracies, Canada included.
But as a ploy in a court case involving the questionable use of $1 Billion in public funds it is a cheesy cry of "Wolf!"
Such, in my opinion, is the case here in Vancouver in the Basi-Virk trial which held its last day of arguments yesterday before a recess until mid-August.
The lawyers for the defense want materials, including email exchanges, from the desk of Patrick Kinsella. Kinsella is both a central figure in this story and a phantom. He is a friend to the Premier and the head of CN Rail and he has so far managed to keep very much to himself.
The public - voters and taxpayers - have a right to know how BC Rail got sold to CN Rail and whether or not "the fix" was in.
Kinsella's lawyers may argue that the defense's request for their client's materials is some kind of "fishing expedition," but if it is, I'd like to don the pork pie hat, wading boots, safari vest with all the pockets and bring my new spinner along for the ride.
Posted by David Berner at 8:16 AM