You’ve no doubt heard by now that Larry Lawrence’s body will be removed from Arlington National Cemetery because he didn’t really serve in the Merchant Marines. He really was, however, a very big donor to the Democratic Party.
You may not know about an honor being conferred on another Lawrence after death — the naming of Major Robert Lawrence Jr. as America’s first black astronaut. (See the New Jersey Online story). The only problem with this is that Lawrence was not an astronaut — he never flew the fifty miles above earth to earn the Air Force’s astronaut wings.
The Air Force decided that Lawrence really was an astronaut after Representative Bobby Rush, D-Ill, played the infallible race card and accused the Astronaut’s Memorial Foundation of “institutional racism.” No word yet on whether Robert Lawrence’s body will be moved to a new vacancy at Arlington National.
The most recent Outrage focused on the Glory of Sport. On Sunday we told you about San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown’s defense of hoops star Latrell Sprewell, who was suspended for assaulting his coach.
Brown apparently loves sports, and devotes a great deal of time to them. For instance, in addition to his defense of exploited basketball stars, Brown was also a big supporter of the plan to publicly finance the local football team’s new stadium.
We’ve never quite understood the rationale for public financing of sports facilities. Taxi cab drivers, software designers and history teachers pay taxes so that billionaire team owners can pay young men several million dollars a year to play children’s games. Hmmm….
The voters of San Francisco, with Brown’s vigorous encouragement, approved $100 million in public financing for the 49ers new stadium. Brown even encouraged city workers to take a vacation day to work in support of the stadium issue.
But did voters really approve the public financing? A lawsuit just filed alleges ballot tampering, voter intimidation and coercion during the election , which was decided by the razor thin margin of 1,500 votes.
Officials of the City of San Francisco and the State of California acknowledge that some of the alleged violations did, in fact, occur. Paul Manfuso, spokesman for the San Francisco Voter Registrar, says, “A couple of things were done that shouldn’t have been done….”
Mayor Willie Brown is named in the suit, as is San Francisco 49ers owner, Edward J. DeBartolo. The DeBartolo family spent $2.5 million to win the public financing, which may now be overturned. However, DeBartolo has other problems — he may be indicted for the methods he used to obtain a riverboat gambling license in Louisiana. We’ve always said sports build character.
Speaking of character, do you remember Lorena Bobbitt? She became the heroine of feminists after cutting off her husband’s genitals. She justified the atrocity by alleging that she had been sexually abused by her husband, with whom she remained, over a period of years. She was found not guilty by reason of insanity.
The former Mrs. Bobbitt is back in court, this time for attacking her mother (See the CNN story). Let’s see — the first time it was all the fault of the husband — this time we’re sure that her mama made her do it.