Before Barack Obama was a United States senator and a presidential hopeful, he was a Harvard University law student living in Somerville who parked in bus stops and accumulated hundreds of dollars in parking tickets. And for nearly two decades those parking tickets went unpaid, until a representative of Obama’s settled all his outstanding debts with Cambridge’s Traffic, Parking and Transportation Department Jan. 26.One wonders if Barack Obama's previous encounters with Cambridge authorities predisposed him, in the Gates case, to speak out rashly, and by his own admission, without" knowing all the facts". Obama's propensity to flout the law manifests even today in his unwillingness to prove his eligibility to hold his office and his refusal to reveal much of anything about his past (i.e college records, early writings etc) except what he allows us to know from his published memoirs.
Obama attended Harvard Law School from 1988 to 1991. During his time at Harvard, Obama lived at 365 Broadway in Somerville, according to his parking tickets. Records from the Cambridge Traffic, Parking and Transportation office show that between Oct. 5, 1988 and Jan. 12, 1990 Obama was cited for 17 traffic violations, sometimes committing two in the same day. The abuses included parking in a resident permit area, parking in a bus stop and failing to pay the meter. Twelve of Obama’s 17 tickets were given to him on Massachusetts Avenue.
In one eight day stretch in 1988, Obama was cited seven times for parking violations and was fined $45. Thirteen of the 17 violations occurred within one month in 1988.
Obama’s disobedience of the rules of the road earned him $140 in fines from the City of Cambridge. The tickets went unpaid for over 17 years and $260 in late fees were added to the tab. On Jan. 26, the fines and late fees were paid in full. The final tally for Obama’s parking breaches was $400, according to Cambridge Traffic, Parking and Transportation.
Obama has described as "stupidity" the actions of Cambridge Police Sgt. James Crowley in the arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates. Prof. Gates, accompanied by a friend, was attempting to break into his own house, which activity a passerby interpreted as an attempted burglary prompting a call to the police. What happened next is described in the police report. (PDF)
In the video below Cambridge Police Commissioner Robert Haas supports Sgt Crowley and takes questions from the press:
At the website "The Root" where Gates is Editor-in-Chief, Gates is interviewed:
Henry Louis Gates Jr.: I’m outraged. I can’t believe that an individual policeman on the Cambridge police force would treat any African-American male this way, and I am astonished that this happened to me; and more importantly I’m astonished that it could happen to any citizen of the United States, no matter what their race. And I’m deeply resolved to do and say the right things so that this cannot happen again.
Of course, it will happen again, but … I want to do what I can so that every police officer will think twice before engaging in this kind of behavior.... (read more)
Perusing "The Root" you'll find it's pretty much all about race.Some recent articles: Seeing Black and Seeing Red; Please Professor Gates!; Why Obama Did Not, Should Not Apologize to Officer Crowley; Gates Says 'Yes' to Beer with Crowley.
As to settling the matter over a beer as proposed by Obama and agreed to apparently by Gates and Crowley, a commenter at The Root opines:
"I don't want to hear the rants and or ravings of an idiot like Skippy Gates or Obama and how either of them thinks they can teach me anything about racism. I stopped listening long ago. They are both out of touch completely. Obama needs to get back to trying to solve the country's real problems. And I am sorry but race isn't high on the list....Now we have to hear about how an insignificant nerd with an over indulgent opinion of self is going to sit down and drink alchohol to solve the world's racism problems. Can this country get anymore ludicrous? When has alchohol ever solved anything?...Here's a couple of guys who are so used to having a captive audience of yes men and now they're convinced the rest of the world works that way. Skippy.....if you want to change the world, you just blew your best opportunity to be a vehicle for that change. Public opinion just passed you by. Sarge......if you fall into this trap it will be one of the saddest days in American history. Sargeant.....you are being set up. Be the bigger man by TURNING DOWN the invitation to partake in this scam."Additional Video from Breitbart
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