Al Sharpton, alleged snitch and shakedown artist

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You may notice this blog becoming more of a weblog in the purest sense of the word -- collections of links of interest, logged here mainly for my future reference. With that here are a collection of links and some pull quotes about Al Sharpton and the societal trends that have fueled his rise and sustain his continued clout.

New York Post reports "How Sharpton gets paid to not cry 'racism' at corporations":

"Al Sharpton has enriched himself and NAN for years by threatening companies with bad publicity if they didn't come to terms with him. Put simply, Sharpton specializes in shakedowns," said Ken Boehm, chairman of the National Legal & Policy Center, a Virginia-based watchdog group that has produced a book on Sharpton.

And Sharpton, who now boasts a close relationship with Obama and Mayor Bill de Blasio, is in a stronger negotiating position than ever.

"Once Sharpton's on board, he plays the race card all the way through," said a source who has worked with the Harlem preacher. "He just keeps asking for more and more money."...

NAN had repeatedly and without success asked GM for donations for six years beginning in August 2000, a GM spokesman told The Post. Then, in 2006, Sharpton threatened a boycott of GM over the planned closing of an African-American-owned dealership in The Bronx. He picketed outside GM's Fifth Avenue headquarters. GM wrote checks to NAN for $5,000 in 2007 and another $5,000 in 2008....

Sharpton landed a gig as a $25,000-a-year adviser to Pepsi after he threatened a consumer boycott of the soda company in 1998, saying its ads did not portray African-Americans. He held the position until 2007.

New York Daily News reported that Walmart, AT&T, and Verizon were among companies donating to Al Sharpton's non-profit at a fundraiser to get the National Action Network out of debt. The fundraiser brought in a projected $1 million.

Newsmax has the list of 16 Facts About Al Sharpton the Media Won't Tell You. It summarizes Sharpton's problems with unpaid taxes, inflammatory language, misuse of non-profit funds, among other issues.

Twitchy: 'Unembarrassable'? Why was Al Sharpton's Viagra prescription found in Sandy Rubenstein's home? The subhed in the New York Daily News:

The 70-year-old lawyer was accused of preying on an unconscious 42-year-old woman, a top official in Al Sharpton's National Action Network, in his Upper East Side apartment in October. During an investigation into Rubenstein's home, officials found a prescription for the sex pill Viagra issued in Sharpton's name, a police source told the Daily News.

The Smoking Gun investigates Al Sharpton's years as a confidential informant for the FBI in the agency's investigation of organized crime.

The OCTF investigation, which spanned more than two years, ended in June 1989 with the indictment of five Genovese crime family figures on enterprise corruption charges. But only the younger Pagano ended up in the dock. His father, who had been seriously ill during the course of the OCTF probe, died two months before a grand jury accused his son and other underlings of engaging in mob staples like loan sharking, extortion, and gambling.

Each defendant subsequently pleaded guilty to various criminal charges, so there was no public presentation of evidence against the men. Which meant that OCTF prosecutors did not have to further expound on the indictment's allegation that Daniel Pagano "solicited the use of a bank account of the National Youth Movement" to launder money.

Sharpton, who controlled that bank account, was not charged in connection with the Pagano investigation....

In return for the endorsements, [NY Sen. Alphonse] D'Amato--who was easily reelected--steered a $500,000 federal grant to Curington and Sharpton for the establishment of an anti-drug program in Brooklyn. According to a grant application, Curington, whose prior narcotics experience landed him on a DEA list of "Class 1" traffickers, was slated to serve as the program's executive director. Sharpton and Curington, the application noted, also planned to secure an additional $750,000 in "corporate support" from eight record labels.

The duo's plan foundered, however, when officials at a Brooklyn church changed their mind about allowing a drug treatment facility to operate from a church building. As a result, the $500,000 grant was later canceled.

RELATED:

After 15 years, Tawana Brawley has paid only 1% of what she owes the prosecutor she falsely accused of rape and hate crimes. Sharpton has no regrets:

Her story of being attacked, scrawled with racial slurs, smeared with feces and left beside a road wrapped in a plastic bag made front pages across the nation -- especially after the Rev. Al Sharpton took up her case....

Over the years, critics, politicians and news media have demanded that Sharpton apologize for his role and publicly condemn Brawley. But Sharpton has refused, perpetuating the ill will that many still hold for him.

John Hayward writes about the dependence of collectivism on the presumption of guilt:

This presumption of guilt is absolutely crucial to collectivism. The Left must teach its subjects to think of themselves as criminals. That's the only way law-abiding people will endure levels of coercive power that would normally require specific accusations, a fair trial, and the possibility of appeals. Social-justice "crimes" can be prosecuted without any of those things. There is no appeal from the sentence, and no statute of limitations on the crimes, as any left-winger who thinks today's American citizens need to suffer for the historical offense of slavery will be happy to explain to you. There's no evidence you can present in your defense, for the Left has read your mind, and knows better than you what demons lurk in its recesses....

It's very convenient to declare that you don't have to engage with dissenting ideas because they all drip from forked tongues, but there's more to the liberal presumption of social guilt than that. It also flatters their egos - the Anointed Ones are the only members of society who aren't guilty of prejudice, even when they display the most corrosive prejudice towards the groups they don't like. Most importantly, it illuminates their vision of a righteous elite exercising vast power to force virtue upon miserable, unworthy citizens, who cannot be left unregulated to indulge their monstrous impulses. If you think micro-regulators should be running society, and government should be taxing money away from the proletariat before they hurt themselves with it, then by definition you don't think very much of the people you're planning to tax and regulate. You must see them as thieves, exploiters, and haters... their vision too short, and too clouded with bigotry, to make important decisions about the fate of the nation. Leftists have a boundless appetite for stories that reinforce their low opinion of the people they dominate... and to be honest, some of the dominated are hungry for reassurance that they did the right thing by ceding control of their lives, and the lives of their neighbors, to the Left. People who have relinquished their freedom must learn to think poorly of themselves, if they are to sleep well at night.

Thomas Sowell of the Hoover Institution writes about the "'Equality' Racket":

It doesn't matter how much evidence there is that some groups work harder in school, perform better, and spend more postgraduate years studying to acquire valuable skills in medicine, science, or engineering. If the economic end results are unequal, that is treated as a grievance against those with better outcomes, and a sign of an "unfair" society.

The rhetoric of clever people often confuses the undeniable fact that life is unfair with the claim that a given institution or society is unfair.

Children born into families that raise them with love and with care to see that they acquire knowledge, values, and discipline that will make them valuable members of society have far more chances of economic and other success in adulthood than children raised in families that lack these qualities....

What is a problem for children raised in families and communities that do not prepare them for productive lives can be a bonanza for politicians, lawyers, and assorted social messiahs who are ready to lead fierce crusades, if the price is right.

Many in the media and among the intelligentsia are all too ready to go along, in the name of seeking equality. But equality of what?

Equality before the law is a fundamental value in a decent society. But equality of treatment in no way guarantees equality of outcomes....

Regardless of the actual causes of different capabilities and rewards in different individuals and groups, political crusades require a villain to attack -- a villain far removed from the voter or the voter's family or community. Lawyers must likewise have a villain to sue. The media and the intelligentsia are also attracted to crusades against the forces of evil.

But whether as a crusade or a racket, a confused conception of equality is a formula for never-ending strife that can tear a whole society apart -- and has already done so in many countries.

Glenn Reynolds examines the appeal of tribalism despite the advantages of civil society:

Tribalism is the default state of humanity: The tendency to defend our own tribe even when we think it's wrong, and to attack other tribes even when they're right, just because they're other. Societies that give in to the temptations of tribalism -- which are always present -- wind up spending a lot of their energy on internal strife, and are prone to disintegrate into spectacular factionalism and infighting, often to the point of self-destruction.

Societies that temper those tribal tendencies, replacing them with the mechanisms of civil society, do much better. But there is much opportunity for political empire-building in tribalism, and if the benefits of stoking tribal fires exceed the costs for political actors, then expect political actors to pour gasoline on even the smallest spark.

That's pretty much what's happened in the last few months, and the results haven't been good. In America, we have both a police culture that is too quick to escalate force, and an aggressive victim culture, embodied by the loathsome Al Sharpton, that seeks to portray every police use of force, at least against members of the wrong racial and ethnic groups, as excessive.

A healthy society would stigmatize, marginalize and shun the tribalizers. Sharpton, who has incited racial violencein the past, would not have a network TV show (even on MSNBC), and would not be treated as a legitimate civil rights spokesman....

In a healthy civil society, people can deal with others without worrying about tribalism, confident that disputes will be settled by neutral and reasonably fair procedures overseen by neutral and fair people. In a tribalized society, what matters is what tribe you belong to, and who is on top at the moment.

Healthy civil societies are a lot better places to live. They're richer, safer and more peaceful. But healthy civil societies don't provide the opportunity for political power grabs, for payoffs and for extortion that tribalized societies do. It's no wonder that so many political figures favor tribalism. The question is, how long will the rest of us allow them to get away with it?

John Hayward on the scandal double-standard, contrasting Congressman Michael Grimm, who is resigning in disgrace, with Al Sharpton:

So Grimm under-reported a million in wages and receipts, and he's being purged from the circles of power, quite possibly en route to the pokey. Al Sharpton owes over four and a half million dollars in actual taxes, and it's no big deal. He can stroll into the White House for countless visits without having to worry about the bloated, politicized Internal Revenue Service nabbing him at the door.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on January 8, 2015 10:19 PM.

Boehner and the stalking horses was the previous entry in this blog.

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