Bass Player Extraodinaire and Vocalist for King Crimson and Asia.
This is going to come back to haunt him
New York, New York, New York
Mayor de Blasio proposed a $84.67 billion city budget Tuesday, pumping more money into streets, schools, and homelessness amid fears about federal funding cuts under President Trump. De Blasio said his spending plan does not factor in reductions in federal money, which are still widely unknown. Instead, the city has socked away more cash in reserves to prepare for the worst.
The financial plan contained few flashy new initiatives, but funded new projects to bolster street safety, education and the NYPD. There’s $317 million for projects in the Vision Zero push to cut traffic deaths — including street redesigns, new lighting, and traffic signal retiming — as well as another $12 million to repaint crosswalks. Meanwhile, spending on homelessness has surged — up $70 million in the current fiscal year and $150 million for next year as record numbers of homeless New Yorkers continue to pack shelters.
The city is also spending another $6 million more on outside lawyers, including to represent de Blasio’s administration in several corruption probes, on top of $6.5 million in legal costs added to the budget in November.
The NYPD is installing bullet-resistant window inserts in 3,813 cop cars — paying for the plan with $10.4 million in asset forfeiture funds. There’s $16.4 million to provide faster internet at city public schools, on top of plans for more school seats and summer classes. As the Daily News first reported, the city is also pledging $1 billion over 10 years to replace roofs at hundreds of NYCHA buildings.
The bill for defending Mayor Bill de Blasio and other city officials in state and federal criminal investigations into fund-raising practices has grown, with six city contracts for outside law firms now totaling more than $11.6 million. Taken together, the contracts contain a constellation of white-collar criminal defense and trial lawyers from law firms big and small, as well as the maximum they can bill the city: Debevoise & Plimpton, $10 million; Carter Ledyard & Millburn, $750,000; Walden Macht & Haran, $350,000; Lankler Siffert & Wohl, $250,000; Cunningham Levy Muse, $200,000; and Paul B. Bergman, P.C., $99,000.
Anything related to city employees — and I’m not talking about myself, I’m talking about all the other city employees who have been a part of this process — they need representation. It’s an American right,” Hizzoner said on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show. “Obviously they shouldn’t have to pay for it out of their own pockets in regards to their city responsibilities.”
The mayor also insisted the probes are a huge waste of time and money because everything his administration has done has been above board. The mayor raised $4.3 million for a political non-profit that backed his agenda — including six-figure donations from entities with business interests before the city — but he has maintained that no one got special treatment for their financial support. “A lot of money is going to end up being spent here and I wish it wasn’t because I’ve said 100 percent consistently, no one did anything wrong,” de Blasio said.
At one point in the 30-minute interview, de Blasio grew irritated when Lehrer suggested city funds were being used to defend the mayor’s political campaign work — which is also under law enforcement scrutiny. “That’s entirely inaccurate,” de Blasio shot back. “That’s just crazy.”
Is it now?
Crazy is precisely what this pay for play scheme was. And under the guise of a superficial
progressive fauxgressive agenda.
So in order for the constituency to get services due to the people, Mayor de Faustio and his confederacy of neoliberal dunces, through government and taxpayer largesse for their upscale defense teams, whom specialize in vast white collar criminal cases, insist that they remain in city hall. Apparently, the germane logic behind this is that because of loopholes in campaign fundraising along with the heinous Citizens United supreme court decision and the jolly good intentions of their programs justifies their unscrupulous actions. They think with all the cheap whoring they’ve done for the predatory developer cabal/pogrom of REBNY and even from strict conservative types, it would be prudent to just let them ride it out to a second term.
Never mind the gross and arrogant misallocation of funding of the city’s budget for their eventual day in court. Actually do mind it. It’s hard to overlook the hubris of Team Big Slow when the cost to defend these cretins is going to be more than the amount this year going to crucial fixes and improvements to NYCHA buildings suffering from persistent mold and rodent infestations, and mostly from their dilapidated and perilous roofs. And the sudden yet selective frugality in denying money for those struggling to keep pace with affordability with denying fare breaks for poor commuters, free school lunches (how Milton Friedman), and modest raises for younger and newer cops.
But maybe 11.5 million may not even be enough to properly defend this shitshow. For this has been going on since day one. And even though he won decisively in a low electoral turnout, he kept his campaign office open and moved it from Park Slope to Park Row. From the campaign for the mayoralty to the Campaign for One New York. Taking his prior experience campaign managing for Manifest Hillary’s initial senate run to consume his time neglecting his duties being elected to run the city.
And it started with Universal Pre-K. Mayor De Faustio and CONY spent a year fundraising for the implementation of that, even though it got the funding approved by his vindictive glory hogging rival Mario’s son Governor Andrew anyway. After that long slog, Mayor Big Slow decided to get affordable housing done (why he didn’t do that first seemed a mystery, considering the rise and now record high of the homeless population…or maybe isn’t much of a mystery at all now). There had to be a key to make it easier, to get state senate seats upstate to swing the ideological pendulum leftward, and get a majority rule in getting more money downstate from Albany for his plan to build and preserve 200,000 affordable units. So to assure victory and leverage in Albany under the guise to help the poor get proper shelter, the mayor, his aides and his crack farm team continued to use CONY to raise money through nefarious means like accepting donations over the limit caps of $4950 and from straw donors, and the recent revelations about the use of money laundering.
As is the way of the world, life and karma, the diminished returns of high expectations, and just plain skullduggery / douchebaggery from fucking amateurs, all of these efforts went to naught. Those senate candidates lost. Pre-K is an abysmal failure. And affordable housing is still unachievable for the majority of citizens in need of it. The ugly obvious irony about both of those programs is that they are detrimental to the poor and they are being staffed on the cheap. Universal Pre-K pays it’s teachers low salaries, is centers are located in richer areas which leaves poor working families to rely on unregistered day care centers, and the labor for the 80-20 buildings are non-union, which has led to a disturbing uptick in worker injuries and deaths and as previously mentioned the amount of units reserved is not commensurate with the consensus amount of lower and even middle class people that populate the areas they are built in.
Of course there are the deed flips and plunder of medical centers, Rivington House on the lower east side and the LICH in Brooklyn (otherwise known as Crooklyn). This where the deputy mayors and a certain wormtongue lobbyist come in. A combination of brazen obfuscation and deceit and willful defiant ignorance made these deals possible, done with the morals of a mobster and the deftness of an oaf. The Rivington plunder was so obvious that even Alicia “The Fixer” Glen realized it was a huge mistake and pathetically attempted to undo it by giving the seller, the Allure Group, it’s money back for the original deed, which was officially and legislatively dead. Both predatory developer deals were arranged by James Capalino, a fundraiser and long-time friend to our corrupt mayor.
James Capalino, Super Lobbyist from his humbler activist times.
Needless to say, Capalino, has seen a lot of good fortune along with his peers like Berlin/Rosen, assisting in the stratospheric and super dense hyper-development of this city and enriching himself in the process. And why wouldn’t our Mayor and his minions trust him, considering his prior dalliance of turning the St. Vincent’s Hospital into a luxury multi-million dollar condo/ pied a terre off shore bank deposit box complex. That’s some progress made there since a certain historic tragic and somber day of our nation.
This progress has also seen the expansion of the city’s skylines, continued unabated from the prior Mayor “fun size” Bloomberg’s blitzkreig signing of rezoning and upzoning permits, the out of scale suffocating tower development in northeast Brooklyn and Queens, the odious rise of app driven business ventures like Airbnb, Uber and the cult-like We Work and the bland and marked up costs of cultural outputs of designer fast food, faux speakeasies and beer gardens. All of which contributed to this slush fund farce monikered for and have made the cost of living grossly overblown for the majority of residents of this fraudulently proclaimed One New York. And has led to the plain sight integration of the real estate market and government depicted here as the Gentrification Industrial Complex.
So now they are going to have to convince the federal courts of their persistent claims of innocence and not the most craven and insidious abuse of the use of government office since the city for sale days of Donald Manes and Stanley Friedman, and probably an equal to the days of Boss Tweed and Tammany Hall a century ago. It’s a bit of a disappointment and discouraging that the Blaz is meeting with D.A. Bharara without being frogmarched out of city hall in plasticuffs like he did for the vote pandering show at the hospital he sold out the medics, nurses and the future sick and injured for (hmmm, that’s were that 11.5 million can go to also, funding non-invested hospitals), but here’s hoping these are just formalities like when Lenny Briscoe and Rey Curtis from Law And Order confronts a skel for info.
Other than that, it will be either the establishment, a temporary halt to or the end of Honest Graft.
Groundbreaking Actress and Producer of her namesake show about the fourth estate.
President Trump. Throwing his gunz in the air.
Washington D.C, America
That was some speech he wrote and gave. Well, not really. Outstanding speech. The greatest speech with the greatest words ever to emit from the greatest and now most important mouth. The nation should be ever so grateful that President Donald Trump didn’t waste those promises and bromides on his twitter feed, maybe for the only reason is that some paragraphs of it exceeded 140 characters.
Now that I got the sarcasm (don’t call it snark, ever) out of the way, which is wont to do thanks to pervasive social media’s message and comment boards, it’s time to break it down to brass tacks.
Today’s ceremony, however, has very special meaning because, today, we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another or from one party to another, but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C., and giving it back to you, the people.
That bold line got a lot of play somehow
Maybe the president thought it would have better context on the inaugural podium than some super villain pulling off a prison break.
For too long, a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have born the cost. Washington flourished, but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered, but the jobs left and the factories closed. The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country. Their victories have not been your victories. Their triumphs have not been your triumphs and, while they celebrated in our nation’s capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land.
What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people. January 20th, 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again. The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.
Everyone is listening to you now. You came by the tens of millions to become part of an historic movement, the likes of which the world has never seen before. At the center of this movement is a crucial conviction that a nation exists to serve its citizens. Americans want great schools for their children, safe neighborhoods for their families, and good jobs for themselves. These are just and reasonable demands of righteous people and a righteous public, but for too many of our citizens, a different reality exists.
JFK gets flipped there. Ask not what you can do for your country, ask what you’re country can do for you. (This was from a comment by Helen Steeply on Gothamist)
Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities, rusted out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation, an education system flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge and the crime and the gangs and the drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential. This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.
American carnage is a bit much, but the President loves hyperbole, he wouldn’t be here there right now without it. And American Carnage would be a great name for a death metal band. It’s very encouraging that he finds all students beautiful now, because he used to have very high standards of beauty
We are one nation and their pain is our pain. Their dreams are our dreams and their success will be our success. We share one heart, one home and one glorious destiny. The oath of office I take today is an oath of allegiance to all Americans. For many decades, we’ve enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry, subsidized the armies of other countries, while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military.
He also would not be there without resorting to exaggeration. Our military is still the hugest in the world, and it only got huger thanks to the war on
an idea terror.
We’ve defended other nations’ borders, while refusing to defend our own, and spent trillions and trillions of dollars overseas, while America’s infrastructure has fallen into disrepair and decay. We’ve made other countries rich while the wealth, strength and confidence of our country has dissipated over the horizon. One by one, the factories shuttered and left our shores with not even a thought about the millions and millions of American workers that were left behind. The wealth of our middle class has been ripped from their homes and then redistributed all across the world.
No argument there at all, this is why he won. It shows how damn lucky he was that Manifest Hillary and the DNC infiltrated the news media to malign Bernie Sanders. Because this paragraph reads like something pulled from his campaign platform.
But, that is the past and now we are looking only to the future. We assembled here today, are issuing a new decree to be heard in every city, in every foreign capital, and in every hall of power. From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first. America first. Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families.
We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies and destroying our jobs. Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength. I will fight for you with every breath in my body and I will never, ever let you down.
Those last lines loosely sound like songs by the Police and Taylor Swift. Prosperity and strength almost sounds Orwellian. Considering that Trump, his senior advisor son-in-law, and his plutocabinet themselves got strength through prosperity.
America will start winning again. Winning like never before. We will bring back our jobs. We will bring back our borders. We will bring back our wealth. And we will bring back our dreams. We will build new roads and highways and bridges and airports and tunnels and railways all across our wonderful nation. We will get our people off of welfare and back to work rebuilding our country with American hands and American labor. We will follow two simple rules: buy American and hire American. We will seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world, but we do so with the understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their own interests first.
Trump is either too reliant on or prefers the use of repetition and even redundancy to get his message and narrative across. And this part almost sounds like a classic rally fight but a misunderstood mockery of fascists Queen song. And when did we lose our dreams? To whom? Does that mean Trump will order the Pentagon to assemble a unit of Dream Warriors? And what’s with getting the people off welfare, doesn’t he and his plutocabinet know that 67,891,000 citizens of different races who bleed the same blood are on it. Certainly a lot of the people that voted for him are using it, and they most certainly are employed, and they have a right to use it, because it’s a benefit provided to the people of this country which negates his contradictory promise in spades.
We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example. We will shine for everyone to follow. We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones and unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the earth. At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America and, through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other. When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.
This is where it gets dicey. It takes a little sting off any subtle hints of fascism with the mentioning of a political bedrock buttressed by total and certainly unquestioning allegiance by prefacing not to impose. No doubt about the fight against radical religious terrorists, but the ways Trump and his advisors want to do it is just going to put gas on the fire by re-legalizing torture and supporting dictators like Assad. This has been suggested before.
The bible tells us how good and pleasant it is when god’s people live together in unity. We must speak our minds openly, debate our disagreements honestly, but always pursue solidarity. When America is united, America is totally unstoppable. There should be no fear. We are protected and we will always be protected. We will be protected by the great men and women of our military and law enforcement and most importantly, we will be protected by God.
Uh Oh. There’s the G word. Looks like Pence’s influence in the White House is strong here. It’s sad that the efforts of our military and cops across the nation have to be diminished by an omnipresent entity or theory.
Finally, we must think big and dream even bigger. In America, we understand that a nation is only living as long as it is striving. We will no longer accept politicians who are all talk and no action constantly complaining, but never doing anything about it. The time for empty talk is over. Now arrives the hour of action. Do not allow anyone to tell you that it cannot be done. No challenge can match the heart and fight and spirit of America. We will not fail. Our country will thrive and prosper again.
Very good point about spineless two-face officials, but people keep electing them over and over again. And if he thinks Obama couldn’t get shit done because of his party affiliations or possibly race, wait till he gets to deal with all the people he pissed off in the primary.
We stand at the birth of a new millennium ready to unlock the histories of space, to free the earth from the miseries of disease and to harness the energies, industries, and technologies of tomorrow. A new national pride will lift our sights and heal our divisions. It’s time to remember that old wisdom our soldiers will never forget, that whether we are black or brown or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots. We all enjoy the same glorious freedoms, and we all salute the same great American flag.
These are progressive plans which will be very challenging to accomplish since he’s planning to cut funding to NASA, health and energy departments. Or maybe he already did. As he already went back on his promise to start work on Monday. Nice sentiment there on uniting the races, but it sounds inspired by Michael Jackson. Bleed the same red blood. How cornpoke.
And whether a child is born in the urban sprawl of Detroit or the windswept plains of Nebraska, they look up at the same night sky. They fill their heart with the same dreams and they are infused with the breath of life by the same almighty creator. So, to all Americans in every city near and far, small and large, from mountain to mountain, from ocean to ocean, hear these words: You will never be ignored again. Your voice, your hopes and your dreams will define our American destiny. And your courage and goodness and love will forever guide us along the way.
There’s the C word, not courage, Creator.
Together we will make America strong again. We will make America wealthy again. We will make America proud again. We will make America safe again. And, yes, together, we will make America great again. Thank you. God bless you and god bless America. Thank you. God bless America.”
Isn’t it grand how he got to use his catchphrase at the end. Just like in the movies. Yippie kay yay motherfucker!
For a professional, and more thorough and astute analysis, read the one assembled by the staff at NPR. Better hurry fucking up, because President Trump is going to cut funding of that too, and will leave it open (more like vulnerable) to privitization. Which will lead to more dismissive tantrum lectures disguised as press conferences like that soulless patsy press secretary Sean Silver gave yesterday:
What makes this administration think they are going to get away with this? More importantly, what makes them think this obfuscation is justified?
President Trump, through his petulant pissant proxy, is bawling about someone using their social media account made an observation about a huge (yuge is dead) contrast of the inauguration turnouts in 2009 and Friday. Which the new staff tried to correct by shutting down the twitter account the Dept. of the Interior from where it originated from.
Trump’s Turnout Friday.
Obama’s Turnout 2009. Doh.
But thanks to National Parks, a shrewd journalist , the internets and the natural proclivity of millions of users to copy and paste, everybody in the world saw it and distributed it. Yet whiny Seanny Spice pathetically tried to dervishly spin it, using the rubric of fake news to point out the tarp and security measures, made it look smaller than 2009’s historic turnout for the first African American president. These fools are confusing grass with bodies.
Sean also found time to tell the press, thinking his position in Trump’s cabinet makes him the universal editor in chief and executive producer of print and TV journalism, to admonish them for neglecting to diligently cover the cabinet confirmation hearings in the senate which
Trump Sean thinks is taking too long. Maybe if they were available for the initial provisional ethics reviews and their testimonial obtuse responses and abject refusals to answer questions in the hearings, this wouldn’t be a problem would it.
The biggest standout of these hearings, in terms of pop culture history because that’s where I am a viking, is when Billionaire Betsy “The Destroyer” Devos was questioned about the proposal of dropping gun zone restrictions around schools:
Grizzly bears. So Ms. Davos, Amway Heiress, is using the same rationale that Ralphie used to subtly hint his parents in getting him a Red Rider Rifle in “A Christmas Story”
If there is any bright side to the arrival of this demented legion excuse of an administration, is that they are the stupidest bunch of grifters ever to attempt to take advantage of system and government largesse. Let’s hope all of the people of this nation notice it, and all those in Congress, the believers, the hacks if they still have a conscience, refuse and resist them. President Trump, according to the speech he let Bannon write, should empathize and do a serious and thorough enema of his atrocious picks. Unless the motive all along is just to waste taxpayer time.
That’s not a prudent way to drain the swamp. When you try to absorb it with bags of dead dicks and shit.
Wayne Barrett, 71, Muckraking Journalist of The Village Voice and Author, Inspiration
The city is still for sale and Trump is the President of the United States. Wayne Barrett wrote for those who listened, even if future leaders refused to.
Consider Mr. Barrett’s determination and dogged pursuit for social justice of the notorious predatory developer that’s now boss of the nation:
Barrett’s “Trump: The Deals and the Downfalls,” published in 1992, uncovered Trump’s ties to various unsavory characters involved with the construction of Trump Tower, investigated claims of bias against prospective black tenants in Trump buildings and prompted gaming officials in New Jersey to probe various Trump associations
“Atlantic City cops who doubled as part-time Trump security even confiscated my pocket tape recorder,” he wrote. “When I was chained to the wall in an Atlantic City holding pen for hours that night – also by cops who were moonlight for Donald – I began to get the point: Trump had decided not to cooperate with this book.
To the fourth estate of today, don’t make this man’s contributions go in vain.
In 24 hours, Queens native Donald Trump will be, like it or don’t like it, the President of the United States of America.
The transition of powers has been rife with petty bickering by both parties. Combined outlandish and salient accusations of the president-elect’s financial ties to foreign leaders and Putin and election legitimacy. Contentious mass protests and emboldened attacks on religions, nationalities and races. A farcical confirmation process of a cabal of smug and arrogant billionaires who don’t need the jobs and would prefer to have these posts and departments obliterated. Palpable and overwhelming yet justified fears of the further transmitting of wealth to the avaricious oligarch class and the dooming threat to checks and balances. The dismantling of already diminishing safety net programs like social security, health care and affordable housing. And most recently the slow destruction of the fourth estate of government, the journalists.
As this recent disgraceful event as shown, we as a nation have still not learned a thing and have not found our collective balls or ovaries. The press there had a grand opportunity to shame and expose this motherfucker for the living breathing fraud that he is if they would have demanded to see those
props files on stage alleging to contain all of his businesses he divested from, maybe one of the reporters could have accidentally knocked it over, and should have walked out of the room when he initially refused. For they are not even labeled or even have printed type on it. Even late late night show us Seth Myers noticed it. But that would leave just Steve Bannon’s minions from Breitbart and their imitators, the sniveling sycophants applauding and laughing at Don Worthless quips, his kin, and his lawyer, what I think may be an unprecedented act of a president-elect to defend his hoodwinking divestment scheme, which should portend more doom about how he will shape policy and maybe how court cases will proceed ( why bother with evidence, when you can show kinds of evidence).
This past week alone has seen some stupid behavior with the feud Donald, with his social media account, engaged with civil rights leader Congressman John Lewis, on the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. Which led to more damning coverage to the shameless president-elect, again the media failing to cover more important issues, say the confirmation hearings, and covering instead digital shit talking. All because Congressman Lewis had the temerity to refuse to accept, as with millions of others who voted 3 months ago and major newspapers and websites, Trump’s victory. Which is his divine right. But Congressman Lewis is another one who doesn’t have an actual say in this, because when he had a chance to back someone legitimate, Bernie Sanders, he maligned him for not being much of an advocate for civil rights like he did and claimed he never saw him at protests and rallies, which possibly influenced his district to pull for his pandering opponent. Who knows why he would disparage and undermine a like-minded thinker and fellow progressive politician, because Bernie was marching in civil rights protests. Maybe he didn’t get his skull cracked or was in Selma but there was no doubt about his bonafides. If him and all his colleagues, peers, and those 465 superdelegates didn’t jump the gun at the start of the primary and backed Manifest Hillary, we wouldn’t all be living in existential fear and dread right now.
But at the matter at hand, this inauguration is going to have as many protesters as spectators. And the security deployed is going to be as militaristic and invasive as anything written in all the dystopian novels written in the past century. But it’s for everyone’s good and well-being in this big and dangerous world we are constantly
browbeated reminded about. Besides, Americans today need more paternalism, more patriot acts, and the minds of billionaires to keep us in a kind of semblance of security. Hopefully having an amalgam of an oligarchy, kleptocracy, and kakistrocracy will work for everyone Trump deems worthy, all those who voted for him, and even the losers he text-derides who won’t kiss his ring and ass.
This is not an exit
I can’t ever change it
Cause this is not an exit
Be dangerous and unpredictable
And make a lot of noise
Fort Leavenworth, KS
Washington (CNN)President Barack Obama on Tuesday commuted the sentence of Chelsea Manning, who was convicted of stealing and disseminating 750,000 pages of documents and videos to WikiLeaks.
Congratulations to Chelsea Manning. After enduring torture by her own troops and 2 suicide attempts, she finally gets vindicated for the shrewd and heroic work exposing the demented systemic wanton corruption, brutality and pillaging during the occupation of Iraq and all those who profited at the expense of thousands of troops killed and maimed, millions of citizens slaughtered, disenfranchised and displaced and the subsequent and inevitable rise of the resurgency which led to the religious zealot gangsters that is ISIS.
Once she gets out in May, she should get a parade down the Canyon of Heroes here in NY for the duty she served and for her love of this country by releasing these damning files to Wikileaks. The way she did it was almost comical but totally natural considering the hubris of her commanders in the Pentagon, Congress and the White House for continuing this retarded quagmire, she put it on a cd-rw labeled for Lady Gaga and a measly 1.6 gb thumb drive.
And what a massive amount of disgraceful data it held, enough that will ruin the credibility of this nation for a lifetime.
- During the Iraq War, U.S. authorities failed to investigate hundreds of reports of abuse, torture, rape, and murder by Iraqi police and soldiers, according to thousands of field reports.
- There were 109,032 “violent deaths” recorded in Iraq between 2004 and 2009, including 66,081 civilians. Leaked records from the Afghan War separately revealed coalition troops’ alleged role in killing at least 195 civilians in unreported incidents, one reportedly involving U.S. service members machine-gunning a bus, wounding or killing 15 passengers.
- The U.S. Embassy in Paris advised Washington to start a military-style trade war against any European Union country that opposed genetically modified crops, with U.S. diplomats effectively working directly for GM companies such as Monsanto.
- British and American officials colluded in a plan to mislead the British Parliament over a proposed ban on cluster bombs.
- In Baghdad in 2007, a U.S. Army helicopter gunned down a group of civilians, including two Reuters news staff
- U.S. special operations forces were conducting offensive operations inside Pakistan despite sustained public denials and statements to the contrary by U.S. officials.
- A leaked diplomatic cable provided evidence that during an incident in 2006, U.S. troops in Iraq executed at least 10 Iraqi civilians, including a woman in her 70s and a 5-month-old, then called in an airstrike to destroy the evidence. The disclosure of this cable was later a significant factor in the Iraqi government’s refusal to grant U.S. troops immunity from prosecution beyond 2011, which led to U.S. troops withdrawing from the country.
- A NATO coalition in Afghanistan was using an undisclosed “black” unit of special operations forces to hunt down targets for death or detention without trial. The unit was revealed to have had a kill-or-capture list featuring details of more than 2,000 senior figures from the Taliban and al-Qaida, but it had in some cases mistakenly killed men, women, children, and Afghan police officers.
- The U.S. threatened the Italian government in an attempt to influence a court case involving the indictment of CIA agents over the kidnapping of an Egyptian cleric. Separately, U.S. officials were revealed to have pressured Spanish prosecutors to dissuade them from investigating U.S. torture allegations, secret “extraordinary rendition” flights, and the killing of a Spanish journalist by U.S. troops in Iraq.
- In apparent violation of a 1946 U.N. convention, Washington initiated a spying campaign in 2009 that targeted the leadership of the U.N. by seeking to gather top officials’ private encryption keys, credit card details, and biometric data.
So raise whatever you’re holding, a beer, a shot, a fist, or take a pull from a joint, bong, pipe or blunt for the soon to be released from an unjustified, spiteful and stupid conviction of Ms. Chelsea Manning.
This is for you babe.
That guy on the left is either ashamed of the dubious success of Vision Zero or is a new sports mascot.
The Department of Transportation on Wednesday touted a record low for overall traffic deaths last year, amid an uptick in pedestrian and cyclist fatalities.
Still, in the race to zero street deaths, 141 pedestrians and 18 cyclists died in 2016, up from 139 pedestrian and 14 cyclist fatalities in 2015.
The new year is also off to a grim start, with
10 11 people dying in traffic crashes — including seven pedestrians and a cyclist. By comparison, there were five traffic fatalities in the first 10 days of 2016.Since it’s start, the Vision Zero program has seen almost mixed success and failure in preventing injury and fatalities. But overlooked since it’s implementation is the societal and behavioral impacts, the shoddy unrealistic redesigning of the streets and an utter lack of enforcement, with the exception of the usual arbitrary quota traps. And now, in what can be like the chickens coming home to roost for traffic programs, there has been an alarming rise in vehicular manslaughter in the last few weeks.
All this hostile and callous behavior is pervasive despite that more bike lanes and pedestrian plazas have been painted and constructed to apparently no avail, except as a marketing ploy for higher rates in the new towers and renovated old apt. buildings in the trendy hot areas of Brooklyn/Queens. As these lanes have caused the streets to be less ample and has produced more gridlock. Although it provides a commuting alternative for more enlightened, hip or athletic types or for those who need to save 27.50 a week, it has robbed a lot of parking spaces for car owners and commercial deliveries. Most notably on Queens Blvd. which was tyrannically decided by the mayor despite the objections of the residents and even the community board.
The seething reaction to this was clearly in the air when I saw this riding up the newly painted lane last spring:
Despite the installation of wider sidewalks and pedestrian plazas, people are jaywalking more than ever, none worse than midtown Manhattan, as the areas are so crowded during the rush hours in the morning and evening people are walking in the streets, literally taking up 2 lanes of traffic. Compounding this problem is the defiant stupidity of being distracted by their phones.
Despite the lowering of the speed limit, there has been a dramatic rise in reckless driving and hit-and-runs. The running of stop signs has become the norm in residential areas. Areas with perennial traffic problems at major intersections in all the boroughs have got seemingly worse. Exacerbated mostly by the president-elect’s demented intent to use his midtown lair during the transition of power, keeping his wife and kid there for the rest of the school year and possibly to still use it during his term, and the ludicrous Bruce Ratner/ Chinese oligarch funded metropolis being built in downtown Brooklyn.
But all is sunny in the Blaz’s New York as his press release states:
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that under the Vision Zero plan, New York City had its safest-ever year in 2016 with the fewest traffic fatalities ever recorded: 229, improving on the record of 234 set in 2015. Traffic fatalities have declined for three consecutive years, and are down 23 percentage overall since before Vision Zero began. With national trends showing traffic fatalities increasing over the last two years, the Mayor noted several other positive trends in 2016, including the success of street redesigns and a record-low number of fatalities among school-age children.
Mayor Big Slow thinks 5 less deaths is an improvement and then takes statistical liberties with the fact that fatalities went down 23% since the program began, which shows that deaths have been going down in slight increments, like the tally of the last year, which is nothing much to brag about, which only went down 2%. Although as much as I want to believe in our elected officials, even someone as immoral with no credibility on anything like the Blaz, there is something a tad bogus about these stats from their PDF. It doesn’t reveal the sources. Not the DMV, not the NYPD. This piqued my curiosity and also my constant skepticism of anything that comes from City Hall. So I went on an excursion, by using a very popular and lucrative search engine, to find out what were the NYC fatality stats from 2013 and I found something of interest.
178. Which if is this actually correct, because the link to the files for these tabulations is eerily not available so it’s hard to tell if it was updated or underestimated by the NYPD, that would mean that since the start of Vision Zero in 2014, deaths went up 22%. It’s hard to tell where they got 299, which would mean 121 of the fatalities were passengers and drivers. Something stinks from the (giant dope) head about this.
One thing the PDF touts that our mayor and his crack p.r. farm team modestly didn’t is the meteoric rise in summonses. The amount of tickets being distributed clearly has not deterred scofflaw driving habits. Most intriguing is the amount of automated ticketing for speeding has went up 66 % in 2 years, while it has no record of the amount before Vision Zero started.
This is not lost on the citizenry, most of all to the sister of Hermanda Booker, 29, Rhondelle, of the latest casualty of a reckless selfish shithead:
Rhondelle believes that the city, rather than overinvesting in red light and speed enforcement cameras, should install surveillance cameras near dangerous intersections like the one where her sister was killed. “I feel that the city is more interested in generating money than protecting pedestrians,” she said.
It might be an easy bet that it’s the former. Especially with the amount of spending going on for superficial infrastructure improvements for transients and tourists, extra lucre for the developers while 421a gets restructured for their benefit, police OT for surveillance of protests by Trump Tower (this will not stop), and staff for the mayor’s re-election campaign. Everyone else just better be aware of their surroundings to the point of extreme paranoia for the time being.
Update: As for the amount of summonses distributed, it’s readily apparent that it has not deterred reckless driving:
The woman was rushed to Kings County Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to an NYPD spokesperson who confirmed today that the driver, who remained at the scene, has not been arrested or issued any summons. The spokesperson also said that the NYPD’s specialized Collision Investigation Squad [CIS] had not been assigned to the case, speculating this was because the pedestrian’s injuries were “non-life threatening.”
So it’s demostrably clear that the NYPD’s handling of preventable incidents like these is not being treated with the severity it warrants, or perhaps a refusal too similar to the way that commanding officer in Greenpoint distinguished not so bad rapes from bad rapes. Which can only further enable more acts of reckless stupidity behind the wheel.
Nat Hentoff, 91, Village Voice Journalist and Music Critic, U.S. Constitution and Jazz Expert
New York, New York
Chief Peter Rose of the 94th Precinct in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Reportedly has never been raped or sexually assaulted in his life.
A Brooklyn precinct commander said date rapes are “not a trend that we’re too worried about” compared to stranger rapes — drawing fury from City Hall and his bosses at the NYPD.
Capt. Peter Rose, commander of Greenpoint’s 94th Precinct, scoffed that most of the alarming 62 percent jump in sex attacks in his jurisdiction over the last year were date rapes. Rose admitted to DNA Info that he gives priority to catching the perverts who randomly rape strangers, not those who attack dates or other acquaintances.
“Some of them were Tinder, some of them were hookup sites, some of them were actually coworker — it’s not a trend that we’re too worried about because out of 13 [sex attacks], only two were true stranger rapes,” he told the news website. “If there’s a true stranger rape — a random guy picks up a stranger off the street — those are the troubling ones,” he blathered. “That person has, like no moral standards,” he said. At a meeting of the precinct’s community council on Wednesday night, Rose stuck his foot further down his throat. “They’re not total abomination rapes where strangers are being dragged off the street,” he said of Greenpoint’s hike in acquaintance rapes, DNAinfo reported.
Public Advocate Letitia James joined Friday in condemning Rose’s remarks, saying in a statement that she was “extremely disturbed and concerned by comments suggesting that stranger rapes are ‘the troubling ones.’ “Too often, victims of rape and sexual crimes do not come forward because of fear that their claims won’t be taken seriously, and these comments perpetuate those concerns,” she said.
Either this guy is taking orders from the top (Mayor Big Slow, REBNY?) to underplay a trend in violent crime, or just stopped giving a shit and is trying to get fired. Either/or, this observation from someone from the higher echelon of the NYPD in a niche trendy area in Brooklyn™ is a bit of a shock, and its callousness has the semblance of an soulless ad-man or marketer’s research study for rufinol. It doesn’t help that Capt. Rose referenced Tinder to minimize such worrisome reports.
A lot of mitigating factors has to obviously come up. Like these women are mothers, daughters and grandmothers, and they have the right to walk anywhere they want to, dress how they want without fear of being violated, verbally harassed and sexually assaulted. And to mention again what could be the motivation to make him utter ignorant nonsense, and how he will comment on other criminal acts. It is distressing to think if there are other commanders with the same mindset as this oblivious jerk. But this tone-deaf jack-shit approach to evaluating the seriousness of upticks in crime might be more widespread among the city’s top officials than anyone can imagine.
Especially, though not a crime of intent, the recent LIRR train wreck:
As CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported, the mayor said the incident did not demand his presence.
“It’s a magnitude question,” de Blasio said.
Kramer asked de Blasio why he did not think the LIRR derailment was of sufficient “magnitude.”
Kramer: “I wonder if you were briefed about it, and at what point you decided it wasn’t of the magnitude that would require (your presence).”
De Blasio: “Yeah, I was briefed about it right after it happened. Given that, as you heard from (NYPD) Chief (of Transit Joseph) Fox, the most serious injury that we know of to date, thank God, was a broken leg, that just did not, again, seem like the kind of incident we talked about, for example, years ago because there was a horrible tragedy.”
On Wednesday, however, de Blasio said going to the LIRR derailment scene was not his job.
“The Long Island Rail Road, obviously, is the purview of the governor,” he said.
The buck stops at the top for this pissant and his dismissive non-responses. Although this prevailing attitude is par for the course for Mayor Big Slow. The truly egregious reason Billy D B did not see the magnitude and worth the time to cajole the injured and show respect for the emergency services at the scene was that him and some NYPD higher-ups arranged a”pop-up” photo exhibition and a rare press conference at the Brooklyn Museum a short distance away to celebrate the yearly low crime rate and how today’s city is a glowing disparity from the bad old days. And the cops assigned there couldn’t be spared for they had to hastily take down the exhibit when the Blaz got done condescending to the reporters lucky and honored enough to be there.
Here it is citizenry, this is the only time you will see this exhibit. The woman is pointing to the mayor how the city didn’t see the magnitude in preserving law and order back then. By the way, this is not electioneering.
All is not lost in meting out justice and restoring the quality of life and safety for the people of NYC, from those that have resided here 24/7/365 for generations, to the transients lured by the hipness and status, and the utter human body count oversaturation of billions and billions of tourists coming here, it’s good to know the major threats to these things we take for granted are being proactively dealt with:
This show of arbitrary force comes on the heels of a recent court settlement of an incident a year ago of 3 homeless men being pushed out of a warm abandoned place by cops with sanitation guys in hazmat suits (!!!) throwing all their personal belongings including crucial items like personal info and medication into a garbage truck and subsequently destroyed, all along with what remained of their self-worth and dignity. Total cost-$1515 of our tax dollars, not from the check of the asshole who ordered this rousting. The total cost of the amount of time that Mayor De Faustio’s crack legal team fought those poor guys lawsuit might have been exceedingly more, for the case ended last week. That’s over a fucking year of court fees over a night trying to keep warm and dry from the freezing rain.It might be an understatement that there is a prevailing sense of cruelty when it comes to the vulnerable and disadvantaged in this city as the women in Greenpoint and this poor man illustrates. Even with those that were almost killed on the train. But they all share the fact that the people responsible for their safety and well-being see them as expendable. But, optically, with the city as rich, populous and safe these days, the mayor and certain elite brass members of the NYPD would care for you to overlook such minor inconveniences like threats to your safety and personal possessions. Besides, certain folks, you had it coming.
It’s been a week since Mario’s sons’ New Years Eve underground Gatsby party christened phase I of the Q line 4-stop multi-billion uptown extension after a near decade long behind schedule wait. I haven’t been there yet, but so far so good, it’s working fine and looks like a Whitney Museum expansion, and it’s gave a lot of breathing room on the Lexington Avenue Trains.
Not so good though that in the week of it’s debut, a LIRR Brooklyn bound train went off the rails a few days ago, injuring hundreds, which can be due yet again to overlook neglect of other transit infrastructure and service in favor of tonier projects like the stylish subway shopping mall in Columbus Circle and the installation of free wi-fi. For the latter, one hopes it won’t be used by radical religious zealots or habitual criminals, and Andy’s little baby on the upper east side.
I was wondering, now that those new trains are running, with some delays and grievances naturally, it’s only right that other parts of our transit system will finally get overdue attention and improvements it is due to the tax paying commuters. Particularly the one that’s been an apparently painstakingly arduous process that is the Lefferts Blvd. entrance at the end of the A, a line that has been dubiously honored with being one of the two worst performing trains in the city.
Well worry no longer…
The station has been endowed with a vibrant new sign! Extolling the awesomeness of the second avenue line! Now more destinational than ever! More travel options for residents bored of their humdrum surroundings of Southeast Queens!
Destinational. Is 96th st. really a pinnacle destination like the top of the Fiji mount? Is that even a fucking word? Like embiggen or cromulent? The MTA is now resorting to making words up to promote it’s achievements. And using travel options as a selling point? People take travel options everyday on the Q31 and Q10 buses on the boulevard. It’s a daily routine. How embarrassing.
But a semblance of normalcy still remains at least. There is still one set of stairs and the morning and evening bottlenecks continue. And the two most discouraging and depressing sights are being maintained.
The area still awaits. The MTA needs to embiggen it’s maintenance and cleaning crews. Most of all, the return of cromulent contractors to finally finish that station on schedule. Just make sure they ignore the typo.