It Rings Hollow


In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way. Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical. Our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness.

Charlie Chaplin, The great dictator

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Viddy of the day, part I: AP reporting on Charlie Rangel, talking about his upcoming ethics trial.

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Thursday’s links:

Rep. Charles Rangel broke ethics rule, House Pane finds

U.S. house panel says Rangel broke ethics rules

Rangel trial looms after secret talks break down

House Panel: Rangel violated ethics rules

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Charles Rangel, you have been charged with:

Accepting payment from corporations for reimbursement for travel to conferences in the Caribbean. 

Living in multiple rent stabilized apartments in New York City, while claiming Washington D.C. as your primary residence for tax purposes. 

Using your office to raise money improperly for a public policy institute in your name at CCNY.

Failing to disclose income from an apartment in the Dominican Republic.

I hope you own some asbestos shorts, brother, because they are going to roast your ass for this.  

If you think, even for an instant, Rep. Rangel, that you could be found guilty, It is my advice to you to step down.  Just walk away.  You can walk away with dignity now, you won’t be able to if they find you guilty.   I vaguely remember you saying some time ago, when this first surfaced, that you weren’t aware of some rule or other that made it an ethics violation to not report income from your house in D.R., or that you didn’t realize there was income. Some silliness like that.   In court they say that ignorance of the law is no excuse.

The same rule applies here.  Malfeasance is malfeasance, regardless of your knowledge of the subject matter. And as former head of the ways and meas committee, it rings hollow that you could be so ignorant of the ethics violations you were accused of.  Once I could see, if it happened once, but these four put together… No.  Just no.

I am a liberal, sir.  I do not want to see you go down like this, but if you are this unethical a person, then go you must.  Don’t think of the party you are clearly going to damage by defending the indefensible.  Don’t think of the people you let down by being this unethical.  Think of yourself, be true to who you are, think only of yourself.  And of how much easier it will be for you if you don’t have to explain, for the remainder of your life, being booted unceremoniously out of the house of representatives for clear ethics breaches.

Step down, sir. 

If you are innocent sir, I apologize, but this does not feel like innocence.  These people do not hound innocents, not that I have ever seen, and I have watched for a long time, sir.  I would prefer not to wait until you are found guilty, until the facts come out in the front of the house panel.  Don’t subject yourself, your friends, your lifelong supporters, the democratic party, the world to this. We all deserve better.

Step down, sir.

A quote from the movie “the great dictator” started this article.  Part of it reads “Greed has poisoned men’s souls”  It seems to have poisoned yours, so many of the violations you have been accused of revolve around money. A man in your position should never have allowed that to happen.  You were supposed to have been better than that. We trusted you, and it seems you have betrayed that trust.

Don’t let the poison that infected you affect those around you any further. 

Step down, sir.

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Viddy of the day, part II: A short excerpt from the film, the rink, by Charlie Chaplin.  Great film. The music is clearly not written for the film, but it works. 

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That’s it from here.  You may have noticed I added a new page, 12 notes. This is going to be my guitar music page.  Feel free to drop by and check out the offerings.  The current installment is a 5 note minor arpeggio exercise. 

Have a good night, America!

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