@MJN, don't you remember Sam Palermo's and the right wing's outrage at the Reagan, Bush I and Bush II recess appointments? Or just 10 years ago, the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Rice/Powell lying to us getting us into a ruinous war? Or their other war criminal behavior thereafter? Me, neither.
Sam Palermo - Some day some Rightist will have to explain whether there is ANY action which Obama has taken which they don't claim to be unconstitutional.
But luckily for America, the Framers left that determination up to the courts and not in the hands of panderin g politicians or uneducated members of the public. The Obama administration is appealing the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit relating to his recess appointments . Until that appeal process is completed and a final decision rendered by the Supreme Court (or the lower court decision allowed to stand by the SC refusing to hear an appeal) Obama is not required to remove his appointees.
The rule of law is alive and well in America !
Luc de Nord - Auroras appear in the north, never in the east. And the Saturady displays never made it south of cental Canada.
Hey, nothing to do with any of the topics above, but did anyone else see the aurora on Saturday night? From 7 - 8 before the clouds rolled in, saw it due East from a light-unpolluted part of Webster. No luck finding any mention in the regular news. Anyone else see or hear about it?
Troll Whisperer - j.a.m.'s headline is found in the same newspaper that carries stories about Newtown being a government plot, and stories about Obama turning the US over to the UN, and of his being a Muslim, a communist, a fascist and being born in Kenya.
@j.a.m.: Where exactly is that headline?
Headline: "Meteor strikes Russia; Liberals blame global warming and law-abiding gun owners"
@bernstein -- LOL. In case you haven't noticed, rational people have been voting with their feet for at least a generation.
I gather you intend to be the last one out. I'd remind you to switch off the lights, but by that time New York State probably will have outlawed all forms of energy.
yo - j.a.m.
You sound very progressive - if you hate NY so much, you'll probably like Mississippi - no "union goons" as you call them, not many labor laws to speak of, few workers' rights - sounds like your version of paradise. And they're really business friendly - they would let them pay less then minimum wage if the nasty feds would let them get away with it.
If you agree to move down there , I will pay your one-way bus fare. Think about it and get back to me.
@bernstein @TOPEL: What hampers a "strong and sustained economic recovery" in the former-Empire State is an ideology that ties up employers with red tape and union goons, while giving free rein to Luddite ignoramuses whose only goal is to stifle innovation and emerging industries.
"Keep America free! Free to choose what we do with our own bodies and free to choose our associations!"
Free to work for nothing -volunteer for everything.
Please help Charles and David Koch remain on their yachts, while we work three jobs!!!!!
Mr. Bertolone writes with an "upstanding moral" tone about the rights of workers and at will employment being an evil system. How convenient to point out slavery as it's basis, as anyone who may disagree , could be called a "Racist" as many do that disagree with our President. Does his morality include the freedom to choose who we associate with, and what we do with our own bodies? Using "laws" that are all enforced by government guns, to force someone to retain an employee is immoral! But what does he care, since he is involved in Law Enforcement and can take the moral high ground as the one wielding the government gun that would be pointed at employers, if his proposal were adopted. Keep America free! Free to choose what we do with our own bodies and free to choose our associations!
With regard to supplying a head count of supporters, I cannot give you verifiable figures for the simple reason that we have been prevented from participating in a fair election. However, there is ample evidence that we command considerable support. For example, on January 10th we publicly announced a press conference at which Arild Remmereit was to speak and we made no attempt to selecte the people who attended. There was standing room only for the 225 people who showed up and it was obvious to all that a substantial majority of those present were opposed to the RPO Board. Maestro Remmereit received an enthusiastic standing ovation and as speaker after speaker made points in his favor, the spontaneous applause was ample proof that an overwhelming majority of those in the room felt that we were representing their opinions. In essence, our position was endorsed by a voice vote!
A further indication of our strong following was at the annual meeting of members held on January 23rd in Hatch Hall. Severa times during this meeting, there was an opportunity for the members to express their pleasure or displeasure at what they heard and once again, there was no doubt that the supporters of our position far outnumbered those who approved of the Board's actions.
I draw your attention, by the way, to the fact that the Board didn't announce Remmereit's firing until the day AFTER the annual meeting. Some interesting conclusions can be drawn from this which are beyond the scope of our current discussion.
With regard to representative democracy, you say that we know that the RPO board was elected by a majority of the ballots cast by eligible voters. I think that any fair-minded person would conclude that the election you refer to was far from fair. First of all, the ballot contained only names of nominees chosen by the board's Governance Committee which meant that the membership had no chance to vote for people that supported our position. Even if a substantial majority had chosen to express disapproval by leaving their ballot blank, it would have had no effect on the outcome. The Board's candidates had to win! There is a striking resemblance of this situation to that of "elections" held in countries ruled by dictators!
So you might ask why we didn't put up our own candidates. The answer to this is very simple. The deadline for submitting alternate candidates is fixed by the bylaws at October 31st. Our desire to submit an alternative slate arose only after Remmereit's contract was summariarly terminated and this didn't occur until November 28th, well past the deadline.
The only thing that the RPO Community Supporters group is asking is to be able to face the membership with a fair election in which there is a competing slate of candidates. Such an election would be a referendum on the current board's actions and qualifications to lead. I am quite certain that if this occurred, we would win by an overwhelming majority. It escapes me why the current leadership is so stridently opposed to holding a new election in which competing visions for the RPO can be submitted to the membership for a fair vote. This is really all that we are asking!
You say any information I can provide that sheds light on the validity of our claim to represent anyone other than ourselves will be most welcome. I take it that you're saying that we represent no one but ourselves. If this is what you mean, all I have to do is to find one person who claims we represent him or her and you should be satisfied. I feel confident that we can do much, much better than that and I'm confident that in a fair election, we would come up with a substantial majority of members who would vote to make a significant change in the current RPO Board. Why can't we try?
Since the self-styled RPO Community Supporters group censors any poster to its website who dares to suggest that supporting the RPO does not necessitate supporting Remmereit, or who asks embarrassing questions, perhaps you can supply a verifiable headcount of Supporters so that the public can determine for itself whether that membership is large or small.
On the topic of "representative democracy", we know that the RPO board was elected by a majority of the ballots cast by eligible voters to represent the competing interests of their constituency, i.e. all RPO members. As someone once said, “that’s how representative democracy works".
What we do NOT know is just what constituency elected the RPO Community Supporters to represent them and how that election took place. Again, any information you can provide that sheds light on the validity of the RPO Community Supporters’ claim to represent anyone other than themselves will be most welcome.
"Henrik Ibsen observed (in "An Enemy of the People") that "a minority may be right; a majority is always wrong."
Mr Fass - So what you're saying is, had the alternative slate of candidates for the RPO Board been permitted on the ballot and received a majority of the votes, those electing them would have been wrong?
Cellist Ingrid Bock's letter is eloquent in its description of musical excellence found and lost. Finally! An RPO musician speaking about musical values! This is what over 1300 petition signers are talking about - the music, which is the point.
A response to Doug Prosser (originally posted in response to his post on the RPO Facebook page)
The “trust me, if you knew what I knew, you’d agree with me” attitude of your letter does not present information that is helpful in making an informed opinion, and presents the same patronizing tone that the management has consistently used in its statements. Where is the evidence on which we can build our reasoning?
However, you will recall that you and I spoke at great length on Dec. 23, 2012. You told me details which you are reluctant to reveal in your letter. I was able to investigate several of problematic situations that you recounted in our conversation, and was able to find sources of information that contradict your views.
You will recall that one statement you made was that Betty Strasenburgh’s boyfriend is Remmereit’s attorney. Well, I set you right on that one then and there.
Another statement you made is that there were never problems with the staff until Remmereit became music director (Board member Mark Siwiec has made the same statement). That statement can be contradicted – Stuart Low in the D & C and Gil French in _Musical America_ have observed the flight of unhappy staff, coinciding with Charlie Owens’ installment as CEO in 2007. And these former RPO staff members are themselves eager to talk about the serious and painful problems of Charlie Owens’ management style – but fearing retribution (or having been forced to sign non-disclosure agreements), they will only do so off record. As Attorney Eileen Buholtz said in the Jan. 10 meeting, (about 40 minutes in) there are some things that really need to be known, but it will take litigation, discovery, subpoena power, and even court orders to bring those materials to light.
Further, some anti-Remmereit rumors have been propagated by management (presumably at the instigation of Owens) specifically to undermine Remmereit’s relationship with the orchestra.
For instance at one point Remmereit gave the musicians' Personnel Manager a list of several musicians who Remmereit wished to meet with individually in order to discuss aspects of their technique that he felt needed improvement. This is entirely within the union regulations and also accepted convention. Remmereit can meet individually with a musician and the musician can have both the Personnel Manager and the Musicians Union rep. there at the meeting; the Music Director has every right to do this to try to try and improve the level of musicianship among the players. But the Personnel Manager did not keep Remmereit's wishes confidential, and the story somehow was twisted and spread by management into the claim that Remmereit had a “hit-list”, a list of 15 musicians that Remmereit wanted fired. That version of the story (which, I heard from you, Mr. Prosser) of course created great anxiety and hostility among the musicians and defensiveness from the section leaders. Not only is the story wrong, but it also assumes that Remmereit is stupid and doesn't know how the Union works! *I* know how the Union works and *I* have never been a professional musician -- you can't just fire anyone!!
So here is an instance of Remmereit doing everything correctly, of wanting to work with the musicians individually to build the orchestra into a stronger ensemble; instead his actions were distorted and used against him, used to destroy the loyalty of the musicians.
If management was on Remmereit’s side, working with him instead of trying to subvert his vision, the occasional and inevitable conflicts with the musicians could be worked out instead of being inflamed or even created. As Betty Strasenburg has repeatedly stated, Charlie Owens was out to fire Remmereit before he ever picked up the baton as Music Director. Owens is the source of the problems, and there will continue to be problems of this nature as long as he is in power. Sincerely, Liane Curtis
(Ph.D., Musicology, and President of Women's Philharmonic Advocacy, who presented Arild Remmereit and the RPO with the AMY Award on May 31, 2013. http://www.wophil.org/2012/more-on-the-pre… )
“Justice deferred is justice denied,” wrote Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1963. As we examine Dr. King’s legacy, can we claim that his beloved dream of justice has come true?
• Segregation: By many measures, America is more segregated now that it was Dr. King’s day. Shameful economic discrimination and income inequality have replaced legal Jim Crow. Here in our region, Buffalo and Syracuse have been in the top 10 most segregated cities by neighborhood in the country, and Rochester itself was ranked number 23 in 2009. Monroe County’s population is about 27% people of color, and yet the Rochester City School District is over 50% African-American, Latino, Asian and Native American.
• Economic injustice: Dr. King fought not only for integration, but also for jobs and housing justice for the poor, working class, and especially for people of color. Yet today less than 50% of African-Americans or Latinos are homeowners, as compared to over 70% of European-Americans. In December 2012, 14% of African-Americans and 10% of Latinos were jobless, as compared to 7% of European-Americans. In 2011, 37% of African-American children and 34% of Latino children lived in poverty; 12% of European-Americans are poor. And as the Occupy movement has highlighted, the gap between rich and poor has widened into a gulf in recent decades while the middle class continues to shrink.
• Peace and violence: Dr. King spoke out in 1967 against the “madness” of war in Vietnam, and urged the country to choose “nonviolent coexistence [over] violent co-annihilation.” Today, nearly five decades later, America’s ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have racked up charges of more than $1 trillion, not to mention claiming the lives of thousands of our brave soldiers and countless innocent children, women and men. Domestically, we reel from 61 mass shootings in the last 20 years, mourning our children murdered in schools, our friends and families gunned down in movie theaters, shopping malls, and on college campuses.
What else can we conclude but that Dr. King’s dream is still merely a dream?
@BILL AND SALLY MCCOY: "I earned every benefit I get and then some. "
No, you did not. For that statement to be remotely true for the average recipient, we'd have to cut benefits immediately by at least 80%.
If you're really willing to live with the benefits actually funded by your own personal contributions, we could solve our fiscal problems overnight — problems that are all too real, notwithstanding your head-in-sand denials. (Thanks!!!)
And no, the answer is NOT to demonize the most productive members of society and concentrate even more power in the hands of useless politicians and bureaucrats — not in this America, pal.
Check this out below:
"This is one of the most powerful statements you will read about the lack of national, particularly presidential, outcry and pain when the children butchered are non-white Americans. Read and weep for the Black and Brown children who are slaughtered daily all over the world."
"There will never be an appropriate time to say that this nation only stands at attention when the majority of victims are white Americans, as was the case at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut, so I might as well say it today." --- December 17, 2012 , Kirsten West Savali.
Race and Violence In America: We Are All Newtown.
December 17, 2012 by Kirsten West Savali.
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