As we speculated here a couple of weeks ago, David Ead's testimony in the
Plunder Dome trial was a huge wash. Can you say, "Reasonable doubt?" The Bud-I
was beaming after the human pit bull, Richard Egbert, sank his teeth into Ead.
And, of course, the acquisition of the casino records illuminating Ead's
gambling was quite a coup for the defense. We wonder, what do you have to do to
get records like that?
* With cameras banned from the courtroom (and see past columns for our
comments on the quality of the less-than-realistic artist's renderings that
have been produced from the hearings), hats off to the Urinal photographers for
their wonderfully graphic outside photos. In classic BeloJo fashion, it appears
that the majority of shots of the defendants and their supporters look like
they were done with a telephoto lens.
This is the same sort of candid camera work that readers associate with
undercover photography. The series of shots featuring Frank Corrente, his wife,
Thelma, co-defendant Joseph Voccola and other hangers-on as they awaited
sessions or rides home, give the impression of having captured all the
seediness of the scandal. The grim, gray look of downtown Providence at its
pre-Renaissance best, adds an early '60s feel. One could almost imagine using
Photoshop to insert the image of the late Raymond L.S. Patriarca into the
photos, Zelig-style, and not raise an eyebrow.
* Many in government circles anxiously await the testimony of Angelo "Jerry"
Mosca, the State House insider who has pleaded guilty to corruption charges.
Ead invoked his name on the witness stand on Friday, April 26, claiming that
Mosca had told him that he'd provided bribes to House Speaker John "Pucky"
Harwood and former Senate Majority Leader Paul "Slappy" Kelly. Of course,
there's absolutely no evidence that any such thing happened, and if Mosca
appears and says it's not true, this would make Ead's testimony for the
prosecution so worthless as to be actually helpful to the defense. If Mosca
says that he did make the comments to Ead, his testimony will look like that of
just another big mouth braggart.
Pucky and Slappy vociferously deny these allegations, and while there is no
love lost between these two and your superior correspondents, we can empathize
with them for what appears to be an egregious smear.
* We also wonder what's up with the John DePetro subpoena. What could he
possibly add for the defense? Is he actually going to be called to testify? Or
is his exclusion from the courtroom (partially rectified in a conference
between Judge Torres and the
defense team) just a little slap on the wrist
from the Bud-I? We'll see.
* And while we don't agree with Judge Torres's decision disallowing the media
from showing excerpts from the surveillance videos after they've been displayed
in court. The inconvenience and expense in doing this is far outweighed by the
public's right to see the evidence. Certainly, no local case in recent memory
has sparked as much fascination and discussion on the streets of the Biggest
* As deadline approaches, information on a fire at David Ead's vending
business is being reported. Conspiracy theorists will undoubtedly have a field
day with this one. First indications are that the fire was suspiciuous. But we
would caution those with suspicious minds that, in the view of Casa Diablo at
least, Ead's testimony has been, at best, worthless to the prosecution and
maybe even helpful to the defense.
Rewrite on Fountain Street
Scott MacKay's prose rarely requires additional polishing at the Other Paper,
and such was the case with his Sunday piece of April 28, which chronicled the
Bud-I's pursuit of reelection while also facing trial in federal court. There
were some typical MacKay touches: the nice turns of phrase, the keen eye for
detail, the rich knowledge of the city's political life. But the reference
about Cianci joining an unspecified party on Federal Hill in which "yuppies"
were sipping wine seemed uncharacteristically bland, not to mention off the
It turns out, surprise, surprise, that a Urinal editor supplanted the facts
with this description to enforce ideological hegemony, keeping with the policy
of almost never naming the Providence Phoenix in print. The editor, you
see, didn't want BeloJo readers to know that hizzoner had stopped by a
Phoenix/FNX Radio Network bash at Mediterraneo. Never let the facts get
in the way of a good tweak, eh? Well, at least don't call us yuppies.
Balls and strikes
Isn't it nice that the American bishops and cardinals, our big boys in the
elegant frocks, got a nice little trip to Rome to meet with Mr. Pope, and then
came out of the Vatican mouthing more empty platitudes and displaying more
denial than O.J. Simpson? And didn't it take the biggest set of blessed balls
in the world for them to announce they were all set to adopt the
one-strike-and-you're-out policy when it comes to pedophile priests? One strike
and you're out? How about one strike and you're IN . . . prison, that is.
That's where any one of us would be if we sexually molested a child, or went
to the lengths the bishops did to avoid having priests caught for their role in
abominable crimes. And remember, you self-important, hypocritical control
freaks, you're as guilty as your perverted pals. For the way you abetted their
abhorrent behavior, you might have as well have been there holding the kids
down while they got assaulted. Our final words to the criminal cardinal of the
Boston Archdiocese are simple: Bugger off, Bernie. (Geddit?)
Phillipe & Jorge believe that those in the press who have advanced the
theory that there will be substantial (albeit, in classic Vatican fashion,
exceedingly slow) changes in the Church's posture on a number of issues
involving gender, celibacy, and the priesthood after this Pope has passed on
are about right. The damage done by these crimes, compounded by the way the
powers that be have dealt (or failed to deal) with them has many in the Church
truly and rightfully scared. You can bet this will be one of the foremost
things in the mind when it comes time to select the next pontiff.
The Spaccone State
Like a big spender who gaudily high-hands and plays the big man when he's
totally lacking in prestige and class and doesn't have a pot to piss in, Rhode
Island essentially became the spaccone of states in hosting the National
Governor's Convention last August. While event organizers were spending money
like drunken sailors, letting Bigfoot's counterparts gorge themselves on
swordfish at the Breakers (Boy, that's what we need -- more overweight
politicians), they didn't notice they had maxed out their credit card, and are
now slipping the "Overdue, Please Remit" bill of $558,000 to the public. Anyone
out there get a bite of that swordfish?
We wouldn't begrudge the Missing Linc's office for wanting to stage a great
dog-and-pony for the heads of state, had they not tried to surreptitiously slip
the check in front of the public while we were otherwise preoccupied. The
secretive response by Bigfoot's office, and ducking of public comment by
then-Convention Center chair Jimmy Bennett and CC exec director James
McCarvill, about who stayed at the state-owned Westin Hotel on our nickel and
why we needed to lease the CC at anything less than cut rates, runs up the flag
that someone is screwing the pooch here.
Sure, it's great to be able to play Flash Harry for one and all, but when the
time comes to pay the piper, don't pass the buck and duck out the back door.
Trust us, Bigfoot, we will find out the names of the 29 people who stayed at
the Westin on our tab, and one hopes that none of them answers to the name
Trixie. Oh, and it's our round again?
Dubya goes down
Has there been a darker day in American history than when Dubya the Dumb stood
there on his hind legs and was lectured by Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Abdullah
about how America should be behaving, never mind getting slapped around in his
It's enough to make you puke that some date-chewing, terrorist-funding,
camel-riding, eyeball-eating, hookah-smoking, women-abusing, closet-drinking,
slave-owning, eunuch-buggering, sour-smelling son of the desert can come to
America and go toddling around the White House and presidential ranch in his
bathrobe with his entourage of faux royal slimeballs, all the while poking
Junior in the chest and making him wet his Dockers because the Saudi and his
goateed butt boys are threatening to cut off our oil supply.
Never mind these manicured mullahs haven't worked a day in their lives, their
whole society is corrupt and indecent, above and beyond slavery and treating
women like animals. To wit, P&J note a recent article in World
Soccer, which shows that even the Saudi professional sports are more
crooked than the crown prince's nose.
Saudi correspondent Alan Moore writes that all the teams are owned by these
hereditary heirs to power -- and the more power, the better the team: "Apart
from the cost of living (for the poverty-stricken general public, including the
women who are not allowed to attend games) the main problem lies with the club
owners, high-ranking princes, who see the game as an extension of their own
power and prestige, own the top teams in the country . . . It is the owners'
right to choose who should play, the tactics used and whether the team needs to
win or not."
We know that final bit as "fixing games," sports fans. And yet they're giving
us lessons in morality, and Georgie Boy lets them get away with it. As long as
they'll publicly commit to preserving our fuel supply unless a big vote for
drilling in ANWAR is coming up, right, Big Time?
And just to show you that Dubya doesn't care what he does, or who he screws so
his friends in Big Energy get what they want, Junior's bogus clean air
proposal, "Clear Skies," was viewed by the head of the National Environmental
Trust thusly: "[T]he current president decided to undo his father's biggest
environmental accomplishment and let the utilities off the (regulatory) hook."
That's OK, Poppy's used to it now, after Dubya gave a BJ to another BJ, Bob
Jones, during the GOP primary, the son of the man who called Daddy "The
Antichrist." That's my boy!
Send cocktail shakers and Pulitzer-grade tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Issue Date: May 3 - 9, 2002