Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Quintin Cross Saga

At 7:46 p.m. today, the Register-Star posted on updated story about the break-in at City Hall: "Quintin Cross named suspect in City Hall break-in." Gossips was mistaken in reporting earlier today that Cross been arrested and arraigned. According to sources, he was indicted by a grand jury yesterday and was supposed to turn himself in. Instead, he and his accomplice, Jamont McClendon, did a bunk. 

Sam Pratt has a summary of the situation on his blog: "Stations of the Cross: HPD searching for former Alderman." 

And to think, day after tomorrow Cross was going to China to teach English and earn some money so he could make restitution to the City of Hudson.  


  1. Do we know if Mr. Cross is even fluent in Chinese??????????? You must be able to speak THEIR language to teach them English.

  2. Wasn't Cross a protege of Mussman's? I seem to recall that she had hand-picked and groomed the fellow.

    If true, then why are people so rarely expected to pay a consequence for their own poor character evaluations?

    It's too easy to explain away in terms of either a hidden sociopathy or the more universal excuse that we are fundamentally defined by our autonomous wills, and thus are completely unaccountable to any obligations that might precede our freedom to choose the next action.

    That is the argument that gives priority to rights over any collective sense of what is good.

    In this story it's a really important distinction, because we're forever hearing both messages from that camp - in despicably demagogic fashion - depending on context and usefulness.

    On the one hand, we're meant to respect people's lavish freedoms to choose their own ends and values, which is the rights-based assumption we all take for granted.

    On the other hand we hear a great deal about the shared goals (read: values) of this or that specific community or sub-culture, which by definition encumbers its participants with obligations towards one another (and thus incurs a shared cost when somebody goes "off the reservation").

    The same tension can be shown to exist within the "architectural" sub-culture, with some feeling an obligation to history, usually by degrees, while others want to exercise their freedom to revise the past - their personal property - as they see fit.

    When making the case for what is supposedly "good," people will often employ guilt techniques. Leveraging guilt has become an industry in America, and there seems no end in sight of demagogues who make it a business to leverage class and race guilt.

    We should challenge one another more often to explain which argument we're making at any one time in this or that context, and the broader implications of our arguments.

  3. HPC has Laws ,not a sub culture.Environmental Laws exist ,whether broken or not ,they are not a sub culture. Stealing form the City and being caught is against the Law, breaking probation is against the Law and will put you back inside.Breaking and entering are against the Law,then Stealing again is against the LAW ,not a sub culture issue.
    Being of Scottish and American Indian decent and sub-culture
    I dislike the expression " going off the reservation "as I do not like the expression "some one, say a convicted ex Alderman, got off Scot free"
    Mr UnHiemlich ,whats going on with you?
    I think you should return to your old moniker,I miss SBTF

  4. PA, what precludes laws and rights from becoming identities when nothing precludes anything from becoming an identity!

    It's sad when a subculture is whittled down to little else. Our near continuous obsession with "rights" adds less and less to our cultural fabric.

    While our rights are certainly not unimportant, the obsession with them runs the risk of contributing more viciousness to communal life in the long run, and too often in the name of this or that assumed virtue. The momentum for it comes from our nascent puritanism, pure and simple.

    You have turned my point on its head. Stealing from the city is in no way the result of being a part of any culture! (Geez, thanks for putting that disgusting thought into the air!)

    But not feeling a sense of shame for someone who one originally championed as a representative of a group identity is something that all of this rights-fostering madness easily brings about. There is something to the vetting process, and so who vetted this guy?

    My critique was aimed at anyone who plays both sides of the argument, depending on which delivers the greatest ease and the easiest way to duck personal responsibility.

    There's less of a sense of consequence anymore for things that are extra-legal, bigotry being among them. (Leaving racial bigotry aside, I'm just speaking about political bigotry!)

    Ironically we lose the prerequisites for being free and useful citizens the more we focus on our expectations about rights.

    In fact there is plenty of leeway within most of our laws the minute you get beyond the simplistic level of mere rights.

    Concerning historical preservation laws, what would prevent legislators from codifying absolutely everything concerning any change whatsoever? There must be give and take if we're not to suffer "the slow atrophy of a life stifled by useless shadows."

    At least this is so in common law, where prudence is a central feature. If you want to codify everything, Europe is the better society for those experiments. Talk about useless shadows!

    Speaking of which, perhaps I should have written "beyond the pale," which would offend my own cultural heritage at absolutely no cost.

    Figures of speech, all.

    1. Mr Unheimlich,
      Don't worry about any legislature codifying
      absolutely everything
      It is next to impossible to protect our architecture
      or our environment with the few hard fought laws we have.
      You can't possibly think what urban renewal did to Hudson,
      before there was HPC, was just removing stifled shadows?
      That what is now Penn Station is advancement,
      pre Historic Landmarks,from the beauty that was there, that was destroyed.
      Same with the environment and South Bay.
      What was done to South Bay was done before environmental laws exsisted and after.
      I do not get what you are talking about
      Jackie Kennedy ,pretty much single handily
      saved Grand Central Station from progress/destruction,
      even after there were Landmark Laws
      and had to take it to the Supreme Court in DC
      Did she save a useless shadow?
      Do you think the leeway in the environmental protection Laws
      that corporations and City Officials
      find,are what? Explain please.Simply.
      By the by, Mr. Unheimlich ,it was many of your 14th century Irish ancestors
      living beyond the English fences(the pale)
      that centuries later came here &
      put my ancestors on reservations
      and they mostly became 'useless shadows'
      and it was no "slow atrophy"
      But, not before we took some of your red headed Scalps!Paleface.
      SBTF ,can you please try to say what it is you are talking about ,in more laymen terms???
      Thanks.I mean it. You have interesting things to say,but I get lost sometimes.
      OH,Who vetted Richard Nixon?(don't answer that!)

  5. My apologies. I was quoting something I had posted earlier from the philosopher Alfred North Whitehead, and hoped you had already seen:

    "It is the first step in sociological wisdom to recognize that the major advances in civilisation are processes which all but wreck the societies in which they occur: like unto an arrow in the hand of a child. The art of free society consists first in the maintenance of the symbolic code; and secondly in fearlessness of revision, to secure that the code serves those purposes which satisfy an enlightened reason. Those societies which cannot combine reverence to their symbols with freedom of revision, must ultimately decay either from anarchy, or from the slow atrophy of a life stifled by useless shadows."

    From "Symbolism, its Meaning and Effect."

  6. Good Lord. All I thought was that Quintin Cross appears to be a serial criminal. Has he been arrested, by the way?

    -- Jock Spivy

  7. A serial criminal who sees himself as the victim raises many questions. Some discover what they feel is a teachable moment.

    The same man is brought in for questioning - presumably because he is seen committing a crime on surveillance camera - but is subsequently released and promptly disappears. More questions and an additional teachable moment!

    As soon as he returns to Hudson, which is somewhere in the neighborhood of a certainty, he will be re-arrested. We all await the next teachable moment.