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Local opinion columnists

Aggravation from several events

By From page A11 | March 07, 2014

There were so many stories that aggravated me this week that I couldn’t choose just one. I know, my wife Clare says that I live in a state of perpetual aggravation, so there was nothing unusual about the past six or seven days.

At the top of my list is the “command” from Tim Cook, successor to the late Steve Jobs at Apple. What Mr. Cook, now the head of the largest company in the world by stock value, had to say was truly unique.

At the Apple shareholders’ meeting, Cook was asked about the cost of supporting “green” projects not directly related to the company’s profitability. According to someone who was at the meeting, Cook was angrier than anyone remembered. His answer to the conservative’s question was, “If you’re a climate-change denier, sell your Apple stock.”

Whew! I think that Cook’s demeanor and his answer may have demonstrated a temper unsuited to a CEO. I believe it’s unusual for a senior executive at a major corporation to be so rude to a shareholder.

I’m not sure where to place the next one on the list, because it demonstrated either an insensitivity, or worse, a deliberate slap in the face to the nation’s police officers.

You may have heard that President Obama nominated attorney Debo P. Adegbile to head the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department. We have to go back to 1981, when a Philadelphia police officer, Daniel Faulkner, was murdered in cold blood by Mumia Abu Jamal. Abu Jamal fired five shots into Officer Faulkner, the last three into his face, which resulted in national headlines, a death sentence that became life imprisonment instead, and, hard as it is to believe, the elevation of the murderer to a celebrity.

I wish I could say that it was unbelievable that the likes of Norman Mailer, Maya Angelou and Salman Rushdie became Abu Jamal’s fervent supporters. I guess in the minds of some members of the extreme left, a Black Panther murdering a white police officer was justified by years of alleged police brutality and racism.

Let’s jump forward to 1989, when attorney Adegbile was successful in getting Abu Jamal’s death sentence reduced to life imprisonment. That branded Obama’s nominee an enemy of law enforcement, because, it was thought, Adegbile made the police the problem. Adegbile’s defense of Abu Jamal was so gratuitously insulting to police officers that many of them and their associations were shocked at his nomination. I’m glad to see that Adegbile was rejected by the Senate.

Next we have our own senator, Barbara Boxer, who vocally insisted that the Republican campaign against “Obamacare” was consistent with their “war on women.” Sen. Boxer said that because the Affordable Care Act would benefit women, perhaps more than men, the Republicans were trying to roll it back. I don’t know why Sen. Boxer drew that conclusion, because there’s no evidence to support it. Why do Californians keep re-electing her, anyway?

Last, but not least, is the latest move by New York’s new mayor, Bill de Blasio.

Over the past few years, 180 charter schools have opened in the city. The results have been significant. The schools have recruited students from the range of income groups, with an emphasis on minorities from poor families. Guess what? On the same standardized tests, charter school students have scored 7 percent higher than those in the public schools.

So what does de Blasio want to do? Close all the charter schools, that’s what.

Bud Stevenson, a retired stockbroker, lives in Fairfield. Reach him at [email protected]

Bud Stevenson

Bud Stevenson


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