Buffalo BEAST - Buffalo's New Best Fiend
 

Sept 7-Sept 21, 2005
Issue #83

  ..Buffalo's Best Fiend
   
Brown Nose
Buffalo News Endorses Mediocrity
Allan Uthman

Occupational Hazard
Why They Hate Us
Alexander Zaitchik

Lie of the Storm
No one could've predicted this, or something
Kit Smith
Joltin' Bolton
UN Ambassador as bad as you thought
Jeff Dean
Beast Calling!
A Tele-prayer with the 700 Club
(includes audio)

Area Man Remembers 9-11 Twice Daily
Ian Murphy

Point/Counterpoint
A debate on withdrawal

The BEAST BLOG
Buffalo in Briefs
The Sports Blotter
The Week in Sports Crime
Matt Taibbi
Page 3
Bills Season Preview
Ronnie Roscoe
Separated at Birth?
Beast-O-Scopes
Kino Korner: Movies
Voicemails
[sic] - Letters
 Cover Page

COMIX:
Idiot Box
Perry Bible Fellowship
Bob the Angry Flower

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Kickin' Ass & Cashing Checks

Every once in a while, if you live in a deeply depressed and impoverished community, you’re lucky enough to wind up with a person with lots of political power who is completely off their rocker. If you live in Buffalo, you’re not new to this, and you may soon be able to enjoy the antics of one such individual in the person of Superintendent of Buffalo Public Schools James Williams.

Williams recently employed the threat of physical violence as a contract negotiation bargaining tool against Buffalo Teachers’ Federation President Phil Rumore. Williams called Rumore a liar, and then said he should take him outside and “kick his ass.” At that point, Rumore got up and walked away. There was no indication at press time as to whether Williams made chicken sounds or called Rumore a “wussy-boy” as he left.

Critics of Rumore and anti-union right-wingers, of course, heartily applauded Williams’ threat amongst themselves, but publicly the threat of physical violence – especially by a public official in a school system that has been plagued by physical violence against students and teachers such as the ones Rumore represents – must be deplored. Privately, many folks felt good about it, though. Maybe this is how all contract negotiations should be handled – it would certainly be a lot quicker.

What if Williams was really serious, though? What if this guy really is as sociopathic as he seemed to be when he was fired by the school board of Dayton, Ohio? If you look back at his term as superintendent of that school district, you’ll find that he openly scoffed at parents and the press when a twelve million dollar gap in the school district’s budget was uncovered. He laughed about it and made a guarantee to one reporter that he wouldn’t be going anywhere as a result of the scandal. In a way he was right; the school board bought out his contract and he simply moved up the food chain. All of which raises the question: if you’re rewarded for crazy or incompetent or irresponsible behavior, are you crazy, or is the society that encourages such behavior crazy?

Some observers have expressed concerns that Williams may not be just employing typical anti-union bullying tactics; he may quite simply be a bit off the wall. Rumore wasn’t taking any chances by walking away from Williams. Given Williams comments about Rumore’s “sixties mentality,” that was probably the right thing to do. We shall overcome? Give peace a chance? Those are not the anthems of Williams and his patron, M&T Bank Boss Bob Wilmers. What message does this send to kids in the Buffalo Public Schools? The same message they’re exposed to every day in countless different media: life is all about endless self-promotion and intimidation – and violence, if necessary.

More Briefs:
2. Seizin' Regan
3. Less is Mohr
4. The Dead Zone
5. Casino Paladino

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