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Author Topic: At last, a politician you can vote for: Dear piece of trash.  (Read 5315 times)

paul.fr

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JULY 19--Incensed by the most recent arrest of an alleged drug dealer, a Cleveland politician wrote the perp a scathing, profanity-filled letter that referred to the man as a "crack dealing piece of trash" who should "go to jail or the cemetery soon." In a July 12 letter, a copy of which you'll find below, Councilman Michael Polensek, 57, tore into Arsenio Winston, 18, after learning of the teenager's arrest earlier this month on a felony drug trafficking rap. The letter's writer and its recipient are pictured above. Winston's bust came in Cleveland's 11th Ward, which Polensek has represented since 1982. Writing that jail or a funeral home would be Winston's next stop, Polensek noted, "Quite frankly, I don't care which one you get to first as long as your dumb stupid ass is out of my neighborhood." While Polensek defended the confrontational letter in an interview with the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Winston's mother said she considered the missive a threat to her son and was conferring with her lawyer. (1 page)

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2007/0719071cleveland1.html


 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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At last, a politician you can vote for: Dear piece of trash.
« Reply #1 on: 21/07/2007 21:39:53 »
 

another_someone

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At last, a politician you can vote for: Dear piece of trash.
« Reply #2 on: 22/07/2007 01:07:41 »
So what happened to due process?

There are judges and juries that are meant to convict people, and not politicians who try and be vigilantes.
 

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At last, a politician you can vote for: Dear piece of trash.
« Reply #3 on: 22/07/2007 05:29:50 »
Screw political correctness. If you have had to live among the trash that does these things, AND happen to survive, you can say anything.

We have become too complacent about these inroads into society. It is time for people to take a stand against the local terror of drugs, violence, beatings and robbery by assault and all other societal ills that are beginning to plague us. YES, he is guilty only if proven guilty, but that is a rather good chance.

IT IS ESPECIALLY A GOOD BET HE DID IT AS HE HAS PRIOR CONVICTIONS FOR DEALING DRUGS, THE REASON HE WAS ARRESTED.

YOU ARE NOT TALKING ABO8UT A CHOIR BOY HERE, GEORGE.
 

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At last, a politician you can vote for: Dear piece of trash.
« Reply #4 on: 22/07/2007 05:32:21 »
OH, AND i CONSIDER MYSELF A LIBERAL DEMOCRAT, A HIPPY FROM THE ORIGINAL CLASS OF '62, AND A SUPPORTER OF OBAMA
 

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At last, a politician you can vote for: Dear piece of trash.
« Reply #5 on: 22/07/2007 05:41:37 »
this was on the news. most of ohio has gone crazy lately... at least the authority figures... google jessie davis murder and see what comes up
 

another_someone

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At last, a politician you can vote for: Dear piece of trash.
« Reply #6 on: 22/07/2007 07:40:54 »
Screw political correctness. If you have had to live among the trash that does these things, AND happen to survive, you can say anything.

We have become too complacent about these inroads into society. It is time for people to take a stand against the local terror of drugs, violence, beatings and robbery by assault and all other societal ills that are beginning to plague us. YES, he is guilty only if proven guilty, but that is a rather good chance.

IT IS ESPECIALLY A GOOD BET HE DID IT AS HE HAS PRIOR CONVICTIONS FOR DEALING DRUGS, THE REASON HE WAS ARRESTED.

YOU ARE NOT TALKING ABO8UT A CHOIR BOY HERE, GEORGE.


I have heard of too many people who were beaten to death because they were mistakenly identified as paedophiles to have any faith in mob rule or punishment because of mere suspicion.

And what exactly was the letter supposed to achieve?  The most that could be argued was that it was intended (although doubtful if it succeeded) to move the guy onto someone else's patch - so it shifts the problem, but it scarcely solves.

You say he is probably guilty because he has prior convictions.  So the question is, what was the consequence of those prior convictions?  If he is released back into the community before he is judged to be safe, then the problem that needs to be addressed is how you judge someone safe to go back into the community (and what remedial action needs to be taken to make them safe); or if he is safe to go back into the community, then you you have to give him a change to become a functioning member of society.

If the argument is that jail sentences do not make habitual criminals safe, because prison does not reform people, then we need another solution to prison - maybe more emphasis on stricter parole structures.



 

paul.fr

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At last, a politician you can vote for: Dear piece of trash.
« Reply #7 on: 22/07/2007 08:14:21 »
But we are not talking about a person being mistaken for a pedophile, we are talking about an habitual drug dealer.
 

another_someone

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At last, a politician you can vote for: Dear piece of trash.
« Reply #8 on: 22/07/2007 14:17:19 »
But we are not talking about a person being mistaken for a pedophile, we are talking about an habitual drug dealer.

We are talking about members of the public who have only a superficial understanding of the evidence, not having had the evidence put before a court of law, making summary judgements upon another person.

You still have not answered what you believe the letter was supposed to have achieved?  Nothing, I would guess - it just makes good PR, and makes the job of those who are trying to tackle the wider issues more difficult.
 

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At last, a politician you can vote for: Dear piece of trash.
« Reply #9 on: 22/07/2007 20:30:10 »
I'm rather amused that he copied the letter to 4 other people.
If this bloke turns out not to have been dealing then I trust he will sue the man who defamed him for damage to his reputation.
Here in the UK that's all he would get- due recompense for the damage done. In the US he might get "punitive damages". Some huge sum calculated not to be comensurate with the insult but to be large enough to convince him not to do it again. I can see some merit in that but here it would just mean that he suddenly became one of the richest dealers on the block.

As for "But we are not talking about a person being mistaken for a pedophile, we are talking about an habitual drug dealer" Oh, that's OK then, we can bring back the lynch mob. Don't forget that one day you might be the one depending on "due process".
I suspect that the original purpose of the letter was to show the electorate that this politician was "tough on the drugs issue". I wonder if he put as much effort into researching the real issues as he did into compiling the letter.
 

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« Reply #10 on: 22/07/2007 20:46:15 »
Well I think it's high time more people spoke out against criminal activity instead of making excuses for thugs & killers. Or would that be against their human rights?
 

another_someone

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At last, a politician you can vote for: Dear piece of trash.
« Reply #11 on: 22/07/2007 21:29:23 »
Well I think it's high time more people spoke out against criminal activity instead of making excuses for thugs & killers. Or would that be against their human rights?

Speaking out against criminal activity is one thing, judging an individual in the absence of proper evidence is another.

Nobody is making excuses for what the guy may or may not have done, we are just condemning the rather cavalier way in which you judge who did what.

What you seem to ignore is that if you are indiscriminate in who you condemn, that works both ways - it means the innocent may be condemned upon suspicion, but equally that those who are genuinely guilty become overlooked because if you already believe you have the gut who did it, you have no need to look further.

But in any case, as I said above, apart from beating his own chest, what is Polensek actually achieving.  At a superficial level, he may be condoning random acts of murder (i.e. he might be interpreted as inciting someone to murder Winston), but if one assumes that this was not the genuine intent of the letter, then what practically has he done.

If Polensek had said he was going to put more resources into detecting and gaining genuine convictions for drug dealers (naming no particular individual - that is for the courts to do), then that might be argued to be doing something effective; but simply sending a letter to an unconvicted suspect is merely grandstanding without any real action.
 

paul.fr

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At last, a politician you can vote for: Dear piece of trash.
« Reply #12 on: 22/07/2007 22:11:32 »
So many questions, so little time.

Due process, is there such a thing? How many people are tried by the media? How many jurors are influenced by what they have read or heard on the news? Any court case that is newsworthy, is splashed across the front page, with the persons sex life and so called friends coming out of the woodwork to unduly influence the general public and jurors.

Ever done jury service? I have. Sure the judge tells you not to read reports in the media, but human instinct and the thirst for gossip are powerful things to leave behind.

George, you asked what i believe the letter was supposed to have achieved. Without knowing who leaked the letter (or did i miss that part?), we can not say that Polensek was out to make political gains in writing the letter. My personal opinion is that we have a politician dead sick of the drug dealers in his neighbourhood / ward, a politician so incised by the repeated offences of one particular drug dealer, that he took it upon himself to inform this person that he and his kind were not welcome.

The letter also served as a warning that the offender would either, by his actions, end up dead or in prison. "real men go to school or work every day to take care of their family", is this not showing what society expects? Society does not expect people to support themselves through the sale and distribution of drugs.

Where did i state that we should bring back the rule of the mob? Simply, this letter is not talking about a person being mistaken for a pedophile, but talking about an habitual drug dealer. By George raising the issue that he has heard of too many people who were beaten to death because they were mistakenly identified as paedophiles, only serves to cloud the issue of the post on the letter. I have heard of Muslims being attacked because of the London bombings, but it has nothing to do with the letter written by Polensek.

Personally, i could not give a damn what Polensek's reasons for writing the letter were. If you have a politician willing to stand up and say enough is enough, no, not only stand up and say it, but to act on it. He gets my vote.

Tough on crime, tough on the causes or crime. Don't make me laugh.

If i may, i would like to share some local goings on. It is often said in the media that counterfeit DVD's serve the proceeds of terrorism and drug barons. My local sunday market in across the road from the police station, guess what every other stall sells? erm...counterfeit DVD's. I have yet to see a policeman, let alone the anti-terrorist / drug squad raiding the place.

VOTE Polensek
 

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At last, a politician you can vote for: Dear piece of trash.
« Reply #13 on: 22/07/2007 23:16:03 »
Well I think it's high time more people spoke out against criminal activity instead of making excuses for thugs & killers. Or would that be against their human rights?



...But in any case, as I said above, apart from beating his own chest, what is Polensek actually achieving. 

I think what he is achieving is the airing of a view held by the majority of society. He was telling that guy exactly what he thinks of him.

I note with interest that the blurb at the top of the page (the page with the letter, not this page) refers to it as "...profanity-filled". Really? I counted the word "ass" 3 times & 1 of those was in a quote by Arsenio Winston himself. If there are any other even slightly naughty words there, would somebody be so kind as to point them out to me?
 

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« Reply #14 on: 23/07/2007 04:18:48 »
I am sure the "PC" brigade will soon have the drug dealer free and sent on a cruise and then a safari and set up for life as society has traumatised the little fella !
« Last Edit: 23/07/2007 04:21:11 by neilep »
 

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« Reply #15 on: 23/07/2007 04:41:44 »
I am sure the "PC" brigade will soon have the drug dealer free and sent on a cruise and then a safari and set up for life as society has traumatised the little fella !

With, of course, Cherie Blair in the vanguard.
 

another_someone

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At last, a politician you can vote for: Dear piece of trash.
« Reply #16 on: 23/07/2007 05:16:05 »
George, you asked what i believe the letter was supposed to have achieved. Without knowing who leaked the letter (or did i miss that part?), we can not say that Polensek was out to make political gains in writing the letter. My personal opinion is that we have a politician dead sick of the drug dealers in his neighbourhood / ward, a politician so incised by the repeated offences of one particular drug dealer, that he took it upon himself to inform this person that he and his kind were not welcome.

The letter also served as a warning that the offender would either, by his actions, end up dead or in prison. "real men go to school or work every day to take care of their family", is this not showing what society expects? Society does not expect people to support themselves through the sale and distribution of drugs.

Given that apparently the two men had met previously in person, and there was clearly no love lost between them in person, this kind of advice is clearly not advice that is ever reasonably expected to be headed - so what is the point of it.  It will not change anything.

Personally, i could not give a damn what Polensek's reasons for writing the letter were. If you have a politician willing to stand up and say enough is enough, no, not only stand up and say it, but to act on it. He gets my vote.

The guy has been councillor for his ward since 1979 - if he was going to act on the problem, he has had just a little short of 30 years (longer that Arsenio Winston's entire  lifetime) to do something about it.  The letter is more an exclamation about Polensek's own impotence than any indication of action.  This is emphasised by the language used in the letter, the language of impotent anger, not the language of a man with a plan.

Maybe you say that the sense of impotent anger is something you can empathise with - but that does not mean that you necessarily want to elect into office someone who merely shares your own impotent anger.

Did Polensek write a letter to every suspected drug dealer in the ward?  No he did not - because this is not about looking at the bigger picture, it is a personal feud between Polensek and Winston that follows on from an exchange of words they had when Polensek visited Winston's school.  Polensek  has no plan to tackle drugs crime, he just has a personal animosity to one individual, and has allowed that to get the better of him.  Does that really make him a good councillor?
« Last Edit: 23/07/2007 05:46:22 by another_someone »
 

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At last, a politician you can vote for: Dear piece of trash.
« Reply #17 on: 23/07/2007 08:01:25 »
Personal feud or not, it makes a nice change for a politician to say what he thinks rather than being just a load of waffle that means neither 1 thing nor another.

There are those who have made a career (Paxman, Walden etc) out of trying to elicit from politicians what exactly they meant when they said something that was so couched in ambiguity that it could have meant just about anything.

I find it rather ironic that, considering how many lawyers move into politics and who spend their legal lives nailing down every last little detail, politico-speak is invariably deliberately left open to many interpretations so no-one can turn round at a later date and say "Ah, but you said...".
 

another_someone

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At last, a politician you can vote for: Dear piece of trash.
« Reply #18 on: 23/07/2007 14:11:27 »
Personal feud or not, it makes a nice change for a politician to say what he thinks rather than being just a load of waffle that means neither 1 thing nor another.

But using one's office in the furtherance of a personal feud is unprofessional in the extreme.

There are those who have made a career (Paxman, Walden etc) out of trying to elicit from politicians what exactly they meant when they said something that was so couched in ambiguity that it could have meant just about anything.

I have little sympathy for the likes of Paxman either - he is more interested in antagonising than eliciting real information.

Yes, I wish politicians would be more honest in what they say, insofar as it pertains to the responsibilities of their office, and the actions they have or will take in their office.  This guy has given not the least hint of what action he will take, nor any indication that in the last 28 years he has taken any meaningful action on the matter.

I don't care about politicians being honest about matters that do not pertain to their responsibilities of office (like who they went to bed with last night - that is none of my business).
 

paul.fr

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At last, a politician you can vote for: Dear piece of trash.
« Reply #19 on: 23/07/2007 20:35:21 »
How do you make those statements with such certainty?

How do you know that there was no love lost between the councillor and Morris? This was their second meeting, but what was the first meeting about? Polensek first met 17-year-old Arsenio Winston last year, when he met with the (then) teen and his mother to try to get the boy to turn his life around. That may well have been a confrontational meeting, but (it's fair to assume)Polensek went there with good intentions.

A councillor, trying to help a young man change his life around, how scandalous obviously he was there just for the confrontation and media coverage.

From reading one letter you make the assumption that the man has done nothing for near on 30 years, and that he is impotent. How does that figure? Impotent, he could well be. he is but one councillor, do you know for a fact that he never made proposals and tried to get local laws enacted or enforced? One man can make strides and inroads, but he needs the backing of others to get them to fruition.

So what is Polensek's record as a councillor? We already know that he went out of his way to try and get one teen back on the straight and narrow, but what else has he done?

Quote
During his time in Council, he has served on numerous committees as member and chairperson. Currently, he serves on the Employment, Affirmative Action
and Training, Health & Human Services, Public Service and Public Utilities committees. In November 1999, he was unanimously elected as President of Cleveland City Council and worked diligently for his neighborhood as well as to create a legislative body that provided the same proven leadership for all of Cleveland's neighborhoods. Through his leadership, Council created the Neighborhood Equity Fund, which targeted funds for neighborhood development projects. He served as Council President until January 2002.

It would seem that he is quite a proactive councillor.

How do you get "Maybe you say that the sense of impotent anger is something you can empathise with - but that does not mean that you necessarily want to elect into office someone who merely shares your own impotent anger." from anything i have said?

And how do you know that Polensek has not sent other letters, to other criminals in his ward? how do you know that "Polensek has no plan to tackle drugs crime"

 

another_someone

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At last, a politician you can vote for: Dear piece of trash.
« Reply #20 on: 23/07/2007 22:32:10 »
How do you make those statements with such certainty?

I did a web search on Arsenio Winston.

How do you know that there was no love lost between the councillor and Morris? This was their second meeting, but what was the first meeting about? Polensek first met 17-year-old Arsenio Winston last year, when he met with the (then) teen and his mother to try to get the boy to turn his life around. That may well have been a confrontational meeting, but (it's fair to assume)Polensek went there with good intentions.

The following seems to be the most complete (cannot say how accurate, since I have not found independent corroberatoin) account of events I have yet found (I had not found this when I replied earlier):

http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2007/07/family_fumes_over_councilmans.html
Quote
Polensek said Winston has been causing problems in his neighborhood for a couple of years.

Winston lives with his mother in another part of the city, but stayed with a friend in Polensek's ward previously, Lewis said.

The councilman said he confronted the teenager and his friends in a park about a year ago after residents complained the group was trashing the playground. He asked them to clean up after themselves and claims Winston responded with a profane comment, which Polensek recounted in the letter.

Lewis said she heard her son was disrespectful to the councilman and set up a meeting so Winston could apologize.

"I'm from the old school," she said. "You get smart with an adult, you've got to apologize."

Polensek said the three met and Winston apologized.

Court records show Winston was charged with aggravated assault in May 2005 and spent three months in an Ohio Department of Youth Services detention center.

Lewis said her lawyer advised her not to discuss any legal matters involving her son, but said she does not condone criminal behavior.

"If he did the crime, he has to do the time," she said. "If he has to go to jail or probation, then that's what he has to do."

But she said it's not Polensek's place to tell him to "go to jail or the cemetery soon," as he did in his letter.

"It's not acceptable," she said.

From reading one letter you make the assumption that the man has done nothing for near on 30 years, and that he is impotent. How does that figure? Impotent, he could well be. he is but one councillor, do you know for a fact that he never made proposals and tried to get local laws enacted or enforced? One man can make strides and inroads, but he needs the backing of others to get them to fruition.

I agree that it is difficult for a counsellor to be doing much in the wider scheme of things, but the point was that you commended him for taking action, and I suggested that no action was taken.  If you are now saying that there was no meaningful action that could be taken by him, then that is another matter; but that is very different from commending him for taking meaningful action.

So what is Polensek's record as a councillor? We already know that he went out of his way to try and get one teen back on the straight and narrow, but what else has he done?

Where do you get that impression.  Calling a young lad a loser, and telling him he has no future, is scarcely trying to get him back on the straight and narrow.  Many of these guys know they are losers, and don't see any alternative to being losers - so reinforcing that self image is scarcely going to help matters.

Quote
During his time in Council, he has served on numerous committees as member and chairperson. Currently, he serves on the Employment, Affirmative Action
and Training, Health & Human Services, Public Service and Public Utilities committees. In November 1999, he was unanimously elected as President of Cleveland City Council and worked diligently for his neighborhood as well as to create a legislative body that provided the same proven leadership for all of Cleveland's neighborhoods. Through his leadership, Council created the Neighborhood Equity Fund, which targeted funds for neighborhood development projects. He served as Council President until January 2002.

You don't mention where you quote from, although it looks like it was lifted from teh Cleveland City Council website (http://www.clevelandcitycouncil.org/Home/CouncilMembers/Ward11MichaelDPolensek/MichaelDPolensekBiography/tabid/147/Default.aspx), which is scarcely going to be critical of its own councillors.

And how do you know that Polensek has not sent other letters, to other criminals in his ward?

It seems, after further investigation, that Polensek has a habit of writing confrontational letters to a range of people he considers anti-social (not only criminal).

The trouble is that while this kind of policy may seem attractive in a wild west sort of way, it is the same sort of attitude that George Bush has brought to the White House, and as we have seen, it not so much solves problems as makes them.

how do you know that "Polensek has no plan to tackle drugs crime"

It does not seem that this really has much to do specifically with drugs crime as anti-social behaviour (it just so happened that this guy was recently arrested on a drugs charge - and so the reference to drugs was made).

If he had a plan, he would be implementing it, and be seeing results (assuming it is a worthwhile plan) rather than sending ad hoc letters.  The one or two recipients of these letters, even if they were to take note, will not change the underlying structural issues.  The reality, starting from a confrontational approach rarely gets people to do as you desire (which is why I have never liked Paxman either).  I am not saying you should not be firm, but firmness and confrontation are different things.
 

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At last, a politician you can vote for: Dear piece of trash.
« Reply #20 on: 23/07/2007 22:32:10 »

 

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