Monday, July 18, 2016

Why Do Bad People Win So Often In Sierra Madre?

We are stepping back to the Kersting Court Park / Christmas Crèche question today. Based on the huge response we have seen on this blog, there are quite a few people out there who are very concerned about this issue. Last week we had over 100 comments.

Then there are others who are unhappy about City Hall's passive-aggressive response to what is a severe challenge to yet another longstanding community tradition. One that is under a greater assault than many are aware. As I also hope to show, this is not at all unique to Sierra Madre.

Not that any of this is completely the city's fault, either. Instead it is the result of forces that are far larger than anything City Hall can muster. Small city governments have been significantly weakened over the last quarter century, and outside of overpaying the help there really isn't a whole lot that they can do any more. About much of anything. In many ways they're quickly becoming obsolete.

Here is a comment that was left yesterday to a post from last Thursday called "Kersting Court Art Attack: Taking The Creche Out Of Christmas?" (link).


Lucien Greaves
The author of this irksome bit of grimness refers to someone named "Lucient Greaves." The guy actually spells his assumed first name "Lucien," and he is a leader of something called "The Satanic Temple." Here is a brief description of this guy from Wikipedia (link).

Doug Mesner, known professionally as Lucien Greaves, is the spokesman for, and co-founder of, The Satanic Temple. He was born in Chicago, Illinois, and prior to the founding of the Satanic Temple in 2012, studied neuroscience at Harvard Extension School.

In 2012, Florida governor Rick Scott promoted a bill to allow student-led prayer at school assemblies, and Mesner responded by holding a mock rally outside the Florida State Capitol expressing how "Satanic children could pray to Satan in school."

You wouldn't ordinarily expect a resident here to be devoted to a fellow such as Lucien, or cheer him on should he decide to sue the City of Sierra Madre if it does fight to keep the Christmas Creche situated in Kersting Court Park. Apparently this disturbing character has successfully sued cities in other parts of the country over similar issues, and won. In the process changing the way the courts decide on such questions.

So if the City of Sierra Madre is now reacting to these kinds of courtroom decisions, done out of a desire to avoid being sued by the likes of Lucien Greaves, or even perhaps the fan person whose comment I reproduced above, are you really pleased to know that these are the kinds of people who are robbing this community of an important decades old Christmas tradition?

Are you also happy that City Hall cannot stand up to this in any way, and instead cooked up a park renovation strategy designed to hide the depth of their capitulation to such people?

Let me ask you this. How different is the legal strategy employed by Lucien Greaves from that of Janice Bellucci, the ACLU funded attorney who sued and won for Sierra Madre's various convicted sex offenders the right to hang around kiddy parks, or live in a house situated right next to an elementary school (link)?

What about the government and judicial forces that made it impossible for the City Council to do anything about controlling the ongoing Sober House expansion into this community?

Here is perhaps a bigger question. Why is it the forces of big government have enabled such things, and in the process taken away the ability of small cities to fend for themselves?

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

71 comments:

  1. Wow..good queston, John Crawford.
    I believe it is because our curent government is part of and supports the CULTURE OF CORRUPTION.

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    1. Tattler has chronicled the names of many evil people who have undermined the quality of life in Sierra Madre. Without Tattler I dread to think what would have happened. We did not win all battles. It saddens me that the current issue seems to added to our list of valiant failures :
      1. UUT - faol
      2. Elect Barry Gold - fail
      3. Dump Elaine & Bruce - fail
      Keep up the good fight !
      2.

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    2. Disagree 4:45. Our current council is one of the best we've had, on the whole, in years and years.
      They are, for the most part, honest people who are trying to make Sierra Madre secure.
      The disempowerment is a larger trend.

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    3. Your "BEST" ? Council wanted the higher UUT, didn't support Mr.Gold and continues to protect Elaine and Bruce.Forget trends.These are the facts and they are disgraceful. And Harabedian is the worst - just read Tattler more carefully.

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  2. Coincidental that you mention Janice Bellucci. She is actually an excellent attorney and a selfless, good-hearted person... my husband and I can vouch. Ms. Bellucci fights against the very same intellectually dishonest draconian laws that limit the People's rights passed by pandering politicians in state and federal government.

    Most people who have long ago committed a sex offense (and have not repeated since) will likely not repeat; this is a statistic empirically proven, but ignored somehow ignored by our police, judges, politicians, and the media. Awknowledging this fact does not help their excessive salaries and pensions or need for emotionally-charged publicity. We have seen the effect harsh penalties have had on our nephew who made a mistake when he was 23 years old. He is a good person who deserves to move on long after he paid his sentence, as he is now 28 years old.

    Ms. Bellucci does not deserve to be categorized into the same pile as the "Satanics" or even that vile, money-hungry sober living house down the street. They are all very unique.

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    1. Disagree. She's gone to bat for convicted sex offenders to live near St. Rita School and the library. Her soul is in peril.

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    2. Sorry 5:30, while your quote that sex offenders are unlikely to repeat is statistically true, a fact which has been mentioned by others on this blog, few here will care to believe you because they want to feel angry and scared. Coincidentally, when you feel threatened or 'robbed' or 'attacked' by the faux reportage here, the tattler's view counts go up. All part of the game.

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    3. The Federal Govt statistics do not support your unsupported claims here.
      "Nearly 4 out of every 10 (38.6 percent) sex offenders in the study were returned to prison within 3 years of their release due to the commission of a new crime or a technical violation of their release conditions."
      http://www.smart.gov/pdfs/RecidivismofAdultSexualOffenders.pdf

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    4. That is a high percentage when you figure in the amount of repeat offenders who are not caught.

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    5. 5:30, you may have it in you to forgive someone who hurts the most vulnerable people around them, who ruins a child's life for a moment of perversion, and good for you, you must be a saint, but it is too much to ask that society accept these damaged people living next to their potential victims.

      You might want to get some therapy.

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    6. Crazy!!
      Educate yourself with some real information, and stop listening to the man who has brain washed you!

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    7. Anyone who wants to know about child predators should read David Hothouse, who planned to kill his abuser.
      http://www.westword.com/news/stalking-the-bogeyman-5079302

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    8. Holthouse.
      You can listen to him in a cleaned up version on This American Life.
      http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/425/slow-to-react?act=1#play

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    9. @7:48 AM: On page 2 of your link, recidivism for sex offenders is stated as 5.3 percent. A bit misleading to cite the "new crime" and "technical violation" statistic, don't ya think?

      There is no registry for murderers, yet there is a registry for sex offenders. I don't know about you, but I'd rather be informed of a murderer living across the street than a sex offender. After all, "sex offender" is an over-inclusive term that can range from a first-time streaker or peeping tom (fairly minor in my book) to a repeat violent rapist or child molester (serious). The label lumps everyone in the same category. But politicians, with their demagoguery, do not seem to be concerned in creating common sense laws to help people who have made mistakes successfully reintegrate into society. In the end, their policies burden taxpayers more, as we've become a nation of mass incarceration.

      There are over 100,000 sex offenders in California (and I doubt most are as vile as law enforcement and the media wants us to believe). I have met a few... most are very decent and humble people who made mistakes years back. Just wanted to clear my perspective up. Thanks.

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    10. If you are convicted of murder it does go on your permanent record.

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    11. 2:22 AM, very true; but murderers, unlike sex offenders, are not required to register for life. Further, the profile of murderers are not published on websites akin to Megan's Law.

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    12. Most murderers serve far longer terms in prison. Many die there. Do you also find that to be unfair?

      Out of curiosity, why does this matter to you?

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    13. 11:40 mentions murderers. Well, the vast majority of murderers do not kill again, either in prison or once they're released. Yet 11:40 expresses a fear of living near a murderer, stating s/he would want to know if one is nearby.

      Basically such beliefs are selfish: 11:40 wants to restrict those who might harm 11:40, but does not want to restrict those who by definition will not harm 11:40, an adult, but have already shown a propensity to harming the most vulnerable, our children.

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  3. What about the permanent holiday tree? Will Lucien find that acceptable, and therefore we can have it?

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    1. What is a Holiday Tree? What does it represent?

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    2. Only if it's a cell tower.

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    3. I think the permanent holiday tree is to religion what artificial grass is to lawns.

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  4. The new drawings have room for the crèche, menorah, etc and to the person who has been here 5 years and will challenge it, Please find somewhere else to live. The hundreds of people that come out the week before Christmas to sing as one marching down Baldwin to Kersting Court will continue to do so. It's your right to not believe; just as it's ours to believe.

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    1. Yes indeed. Goose step exactly how we tell you to or you are not a long term resident or even a real american

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    2. 7:46 - have your parents gone to work yet?

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    3. New drawings are nice, especially when you consider that the original ones had no room for anything seasonal. However, a statement from the city about their intentions would mean a lot more. So far they have been very quiet.

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    4. The new drawings came out after this story broke. The timing is suspicious.

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  5. Can't we all get along?

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  6. Bad People just tell a better story (lies) than honest people. In the long run take a close look at these Bad People after a few years God gets even with them by making them a total physical wreck of a person.

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  7. So are you a Bad People telling better stories or an honest people cursing Bad People with the wrath of your God who wants a free advertisement on public property and hates sinners?

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    1. Trolls have a high recidivism rate when it comes to inane posting.

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  8. Struggling to understand existence of life and how "we"are here; is a personal journey. Each being will follow the pathway shown to them.
    The Creche, along with each representation of being will co-exist with a place given for Void.
    "We" all should "work" on creating fair and just laws; more so if you understand the system.
    "We"all are works in progress, without shape or form or existence; but we; are in the making.
    On being kind and generous of spirt/self; attempt to follow this path.

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    1. There are many paths to God. Respect all.

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  9. Fear is NOT from Christ, it is from the devil.

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    1. If you buy into that myth

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  10. Unambiguous legal precedents? I think our local legal genius needs to take a constitutional law course. See Lynch v. Donnelly, 465 U.S. 668 (1984).

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    1. "The Supreme Court reversed previous rulings in a vote of 5-4, ruling that the display was not an effort to advocate a particular religious message and had "legitimate secular purposes.""

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    2. Does our illustrious and highly compensated City Attorney know about this?

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  11. That the City is involved in a scheme to get rid of the Cheche is ridiculous and just another hand wringing of those who find diabolical plots in government. The City had nothing to do with the current plan that was brought to them by a citizen and sponsored by the Foundation.

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  12. Fight law with law. Satan worshippers are not known for respectful behavior, to themselves as well as to others. Disturbing the Peace is a real offense, as are Drunk and Disorderly, and other behavior restrictions. Age limits are always important. So if this sadly misguided individual comes and puts up something offensive, the law will take it, and him, down. If this tragically lost person comes and does some respectful act of worship, be it to Baal, well that's okay, because we do honor religious freedom in this country. Thank God.

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    1. I don't think you have an understanding of what the Satanic Temple is, or what they represent. There is no worship of 'Satan', and most don't believe in any sort of deity at all. They work to ensure true religious freedom and separation of Church and State. That means freedom to worship whatever god you want, or no god if you so choose, and to keep religion out of government. It also means that your religious believes cannot be imposed on anyone else. However you may feel about the subject, religious displays on publicly owned property is government involvement in religion, and can be seen as government sanctioning of one religion over another, especially if displays are limited to one particular religion. A little more detail on what the Satanic Temple is all about. Also, check out their FAQ's page. http://thesatanictemple.com/faq/
      The mission of The Satanic Temple is to encourage benevolence and empathy among all people, reject tyrannical authority, advocate practical common sense and justice, and be directed by the human conscience to undertake noble pursuits guided by the individual will. Civic-minded, The Satanic Temple has been involved in a number of good works including taking a stand against the controversial and extremist Westboro Baptist Church, working on behalf of children in public school who have been subject to corporal punishment and more.

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    2. Yeah, sure. You're really going to impress the world with your beneficial work by calling your organization "The Satanic Temple." Good Lord.

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    3. ooooh 12:36, good going.
      The devil's biggest trick is to make people think he doesn't exist.

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    4. The Satanists mostly exist, I think, to troll the religious right. You want to hand out free bibles at a public school? OK, but you also have to let the Satanists pass out their literature too. Most school boards, when faced with that possibility, decide to disallow all religious handouts, which is what those people were really after in the first place.

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    5. 2:52, there are good things and there are bad things. You flirt with the bad while claiming to be good.
      There is no access to new information for you just now. Maybe later.

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    6. Sierra Madre is built upon an ancient spiritual vortex. Good and evil both exist here in the highest possible concentrations.

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    7. 3:08, I'm not sure what you're really trying to say. No access to new information? How do you figure?

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  13. Instead of worrying about something that is not even a problem, why hasn't anyone mentioned the bizarre behavior of one of our council members who was so concerned about being pc that he wasn't listening to the public. The neighbors on Algeria. went out of their way to emphasize that they wanted new owners to mive in and be part of the neighborhood, while Harabedian heard that they were afraid of having someone of a different culture moving in.

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    1. Hey 10:50, you could be that someone. Explain what happened.

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    2. Accusations of racism is the standard political machine response to people trying to protect their neighborhoods from things such as sober houses. Harabedian is owned by the LA County Democratic Party. Everything he says is done with their wants in mind.

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  14. I'm not sure I buy the "5 year resident" thinking Kersting Court was private property.

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  15. The legal situation isn't as clear as 5-year-resident says, but it is likely that an explicitly religious display like a creche, placed in a high-traffic area that is city owned, would fail the no-government-endorsement-of-religion test unless there were lots of other displays of differing faiths in the same area, which is probably impractical because of the small size of the Kersting Court area. Greaves and the so-called Satanists are a sideshow. The basic "threat" that this person made was to hold the city strictly to the principle of church-state separation. If you think that's a problem, I seriously question your idea of who a "bad" person is.

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    1. Stupidest argument today.

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  16. Move it to private property. Problem solved. It's silly to get worked up about where you put a creche. As a Christian, I like seeing the display but don't think it has to be on public property, and I can understand intellectually why non-Christians would be annoyed. For example, I would not want to see an Islamic display in Kersting Court. But if I want freedom of religion for myself, I have to give it to everyone else. I would be a hypocrite if I opposed that Islamic display while supporting one for my own religion. But why even go there in the first place? It isn't just atheists who want the government to stay totally out of religion, even small things like a creche.

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    1. The creche is the culmination of one of the biggest events of the Christmas season here, the candlelight procession. Many churches participate and this event is deeply woven into the Sierra Madre experience. I suspect you don't know this because you don't live here.

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    2. 4:07, I live here. Just because it's always been done doesn't make it right.

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    3. 4:07, so you're saying that "the Sierra Madre experience" is the Christian one? How very ecumenical of you.

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    4. How hyper-sensitive of you.

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    5. Yeah about as deeply woven as the Elvis impersonator

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  17. In contrast to some other religions, the separation of Church and State is endorsed by Christianity.

    Mark 12:17:

    "Then Jesus said to them, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”

    And they were amazed at him."

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  18. Kersting Court was the old turn around for the Red Car. It should be historical, but City officials don't want to designate it as such. On going argument for years. Not sure why the Historical group dosn't care.
    The Art group could design an Artsy Red Car with benches; that would certainly be the talk of the town. And no I'm not kidding.

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  19. So many today have spoken about excluding. Can't do this, can't do that. Whatever happened to inclusivity?

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  20. I suggest the city sell the space that the crèche occupies to the mayor for $1. Every year, the current mayor would sell it to the new mayor for $1. Then it would be private property.

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    1. I believe that the city would have to sell it to the highest bidder though.

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    2. one small detail, it's a park.

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    3. Everything is for sale in Sierra Madre.

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  21. For a dollar? Not if you were Bart Doyle. He would form a LLC, then there would be a zone change. The Council would ok the change as long as it was not Institutional.

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    1. All paid for with redevelopment funds.

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  22. Parks can be sold. The city is still paying off on the expensive Greenberg orGoldberg park that was purchased for full price. When the family was told they could not build two large apartments on that site.

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  23. Beware If I see this human being around town, I will break his face..

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