Angry New Yorker

Tuesday, April 27, 2004
At least someone sees through the New York Times' and Mayor Bloomberg's financial smoke screen...


"April 27, 2004 -- Even as the economic outlook brightens, New York City's long-term budget picture is deteriorating. And, aside from pointing fingers at Albany, Mayor Bloomberg seems to have few new ideas for dealing with the problem.
Bloomberg presented his proposed 2004-05 city budget yesterday. As expected, it features increased revenue estimates based on the nation's strong GDP growth, Wall Street's rebound and recent up-ticks in the city's private-sector job count.

The good news: The mayor now expects taxes over the next two years to come in $867 million above his January estimate.

The bad news: City government expenses during the same period are now projected to rise by another $3.2 billion - roughly three times as fast as the adjustment in revenues.

The result: While next year's proposed budget is balanced, New York's budget shortfall for the fiscal year after next - 2005-06 - is now projected at $3.8 billion, well over double the $1.4 billion gap Bloomberg had forecast just a year ago (see chart)."

Read the entire article here.

The New York Times Puts On Its "Don't Worry Be Happy" Rose-Colored Glasses
Read this article, In Budget Plan, Bloomberg Proclaims Healthy Surplus that ledes:

"Declaring that the city's economic recession is over, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg released a $46.9 billion budget proposal yesterday that foresees a surplus of $1.3 billion this year to help finance tax breaks for homeowners and wage increases for all city workers."

Then, actually watch the news conferences (links in posting below), or skim the budget presentations. The contrast with the New Times' article is stark. New York City faces a looming financial precipice as non-discretionary and entitlement spending grows inexorable and much, much faster than wages in the city. Yet, from the Times' article you'd think, that's it, party on dude!! Far from it. Not only do we face budget gaps for the next several years, but the budget is growing in virtually every facet as the spend-happy city council pumps up costs while state-imposed and union hammered contracts siphon ever larger amounts from the budget.

It can't continue for ever. And Bloomberg isn't letting New Yorkers' know that a financial disaster awaits us in the future. But, hey, party on dudes!!

More Spending From Mayor Bloomberg -- Up... up... and away!

"Bloomberg’s $46.9 billion executive budget plan for the 2005 fiscal year includes $652 million for raises granted last week to workers in the largest municipal union, District Council 37; $4.6 million for higher Medicaid costs; $302 million in extra agency spending; $159 million in subsidies as part of the MTA’s takeover of private bus lines; and a $200 million subsidy for the Health and Hospitals Corporation."

And from the Mayor's

Fiscal Year 2005 Executive Budget
Mayor Bloomberg presented the Fiscal Year 2005 Executive Budget, at 12 Noon, in the Blue Room, City Hall.
Monday, April 26, 2004

Read the press release
Watch budget presentation in 56k or 300k.
Read budget publications.
View budget presentation slideshow.

Read the entire story here.

Monday, April 26, 2004
Whoopi's War on Women?

What is Whoopi talking about? Really. A war on women? The population of the U.S. today is more than 51% female. Women have the right to vote -- whether they exercise that right is another matter. So, therefore, not only are women as a group not disadvangated at the present, they are extremely powerful. (Women previously have been disadvanted no doubt -- but that historical fact is a different matter, as are situations where women are discriminated against individually for various fact-specific reasons.)

Yet, listen to the level of rhetoric from speakers at the Anti-Life, err, "Pro-Choice" rally in Washington, D.C. this weekend and you'd think armed mobs were hunting women down in the streets. Indeed, that happened where Islamacists in the Taliban and related sects held sway -- and. oh yeah, it just so happens we are at war with them.

A bit of perspective is in order. You want to see a real war on women, Whoopi? Take a gander at this article "The Enemy is Not America" by Pamela Bone at, an exerpt of which notes:

"I am sent a newsletter from a women's rights group in Pakistan, which lists items from Pakistani newspapers. The following is a recent selection (I checked the items on the newspapers' websites):

Lahore: A girl, Kauser, 17, was strangled by her elder brother because she had married of her own will. She returned home and asked her family to forgive her but her brother strangled her with a piece of cloth. - The Daily Times.

Ghotki district: Two women were killed over Karo-Kari (honour killing). One Nihar Jatoi tied his wife to a bed and electrocuted her. One Bachal axed his wife Salma to death and fled. No arrests were reported. - The News.

Sargodha: A woman is in hospital after having both legs amputated because of severe injuries inflicted by her brother-in-law and mother-in-law, who clubbed her for her alleged illicit affairs. The woman, who was fighting for life, said the real reason was that her brother-in-law was trying to force her to arrange his marriage to her younger sister, but her sister had instead eloped with her paramour. - Dawn.

What chance of this woman becoming an international symbol, as has the boy who so tragically lost his arms during the invasion of Iraq?

Why is international public opinion not outraged at the treatment of women in Islamic fundamentalist societies? Why is it easier for millions of people around the world to see America as the great evil, rather than the countries in which governments ignore such horrific abuses of women?

Saturday, April 17, 2004
The Holy City of New York

Sounds kind of strange, doesn't it? But then again why not? Frankly, I've about had it up to here with "The Holy City of Najaf" or the "Holy City of Kut" or the "Holy City of The House Where my Cousin Lefty Lives." Enough already! Basta. No mas! Am I the only one who thinks this "holy city" labeling is a getting way out of hand? Saddam, curiously, had no problem sending his goons into "holy cities" to grab poor schmucks and send them to the afterlife. Why didn't the "miltias" or the holy army of cleric so-and-so do something then if it was such a fundamental outrage?

But apparently it's only when those from the west, that is primarily non-Muslims, come in to put the strong-arm on a wanted fugitive that entry with guns for the ultimate purpose of arresting someone blossoms into an unspeakable outrage. Not that I'm comparing the coalition forces to Saddam's goons -- far, far from it.

Look "cultural sensitivity" is one thing; discrimination against other religions is a very different kettle of fish. Could we file a discrimnation claim under the new Iraqi administrative law (nee temp. constitution) against the sheiks who say can we can't go into Najaf to execute a warrant?

On a practical level, what do you do with a "holy city"? Can you re-zone a section from, say, "low-intensity worship" to "full pilgrimages permitted", or is a city once deemed "holy" in stasis forever -- sort of like landmarking here in NYC? Really, I'm curious how this actually works on the ground.

Who's in charge of dubbing a city "holy"? Is there a spiritual zoning commission somewhere? Can you get a variance for special hardship? Are there special tax incentives, a-kin to "Empire Zones" here in NY, to attract development? Perhaps an "allah comtemplative zone" where marketeering is banning, or say, a special "infidel only crossings"?

It seems to me that we need a lot more info about just why cities are holy and what that means to marines ready to step in and kick some unholy ass.

Thursday, April 15, 2004
City Journal
New York’s Fiscal Equity Follies
by Sol Stern
Spring 2004

In May 1993, attorney Michael Rebell filed a class action lawsuit against the state of New York, charging—incontestably, you’d think—that New York City schoolchildren were not receiving the “sound basic education” that the state’s constitution guarantees. But what makes Campaign for Fiscal Equity v. State of New York such a historic case isn’t its premise, but its outcome. After more than a decade of litigation, the New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest, agreed with the trial judge’s original ruling: lack of state funds was the reason for the miseducation of the city’s children—and the state had better find some way to solve the money problem, fast.

Too bad both courts waved aside a mountain of evidence that shows that money isn’t the culprit. Gotham’s schools should be Exhibit A—dismal, even though they spend more per pupil than all but two states in the union and than 90 percent of New York State’s districts. The real problem with Gotham’s public schools is the city’s dysfunctional and unaccountable school system. Simply providing that system with more money, as the Campaign for Fiscal Equity decision calls for, without changing where that money goes, won’t improve things, but will only entrench the problems more deeply. Worse, the court ruling threatens to place the city’s education policy in the hands of judges and lawyers—a recipe for disaster, as precedents amply suggest.

[read the entire article here.]

Sunday, April 11, 2004
N.Y. Times bias shows through yet again.

At the New York Times, virtually any religion can be praised, except Catholicism. In fact, the more far removed from mainstream America, the more the religion is highlighted favorably. This is a broad generalization of the Times' conduct, to be sure, but the double-standard is glaring. Whereas "faithful" Muslims are portrayed in a flattering light, conversely only Catholics who ignore or defy Catholic teaching are held up as exemplars.

In New Jersey, Shia Finds Its Voice
Published: April 10, 2004

"Powerful clerics are said to know his work.


NATIONAL | April 11, 2004
Abuse Board Head Defends Priest Friendship

WASHINGTON / CAMPAIGN 2004 | April 11, 2004
Kerry Ignores Reproaches of Some Bishops

EDUCATION | April 11, 2004
Secrecy at Catholic Schools Frustrates Parents and Teachers

NATIONAL | April 7, 2004
Women Excluded From Atlanta Foot Washing

Ten Years After Horror, Rwandans Turn to Islam

NATIONAL | April 6, 2004
Four More Who Charged Abuse Settle With Boston Archdiocese

NATIONAL DESK | April 2, 2004, Friday $
Kerry, Candidate and Catholic, Creates Uneasiness for Church
By LAURIE GOODSTEIN; Jason Horowitz contributed reporting from Rome for this article. (NYT) 1254 words

NATIONAL DESK | March 27, 2004, Saturday $
Bishop Spared Prison for Leaving Crash Scene
By NICK MADIGAN (NYT) 707 words

METROPOLITAN DESK | March 25, 2004, Thursday $
Accountant's Report Accuses L.I. Diocese of Hoarding Funds
By BRUCE LAMBERT (NYT) 641 words

Saturday, April 10, 2004
Want to vote? Become a citizen says Mayor Bloomberg.

[ed. note - While at various times and in various states non-citizens have been granted to the right to vote, we agree completely with Mayor Bloomberg's view on this issue. Councilman John Liu, who we hope to unseat, and Councilman William Perkins., are simply wrong on this matter. While we understand their motivation, that doesn't change anything. NYC has an estimated HUGE number of 1 million non-citizens out of a population of nearly nine million, with 3.5 million registered voters. To grant the right of suffrage to legal non-citizens here would completely skew the political landscape, with no guarantee that these non-citizens have the best long-term interests of New York in mind. Again, we strongly support Mayor Bloomberg's position on this issue. You can listen to his statements during the John Gambling weekly interview here -]

Bloomberg Speaks Out Against Giving Non-Citizens Right To Vote - APRIL 10TH, 2004

Mayor Michael Bloomberg says he disagrees with proposed legislation that would give non-citizens the right to vote. The legislation being proposed by city council members John Liu and Bill Perkins would apply only to legal immigrants.

New York has an estimated 1 million non-citizens, and about 3.5 million registered voters. Similar legislation was introduced in the early nineties, but it was repeatedly turned down by the state legislature. Since then lawyers have ruled that the city could change the law without state approval, but Bloomberg says voting rights should be reserved for citizens.

“I’m sympathetic to people who would like to vote,” said Bloomberg. “My answer is become a citizen. It is the essence of what America is all about.”

To become citizens, immigrants have to lived in the United States legally for five years, pass a test on the constitution and U.S. history, and recite the pledge of allegiance.

Thursday, April 08, 2004
Outside of New York City...

Pardon the interruption, but the ongoing put-down of militant Islamist forces in Iraq has been weighing on me these past few days, and the ongoing hand-wringing has gone over the top in my opinion. Put aside Senator Kennedy's shameful and incidendiary comments -- if any one had any doubt it's time for him to retire, his recent conduct should convince otherwise -- the sheer magnitude of pitious bleatings from both the press and others who should know better is not a reflection of the best of America.

No one said Iraq was going to be easy. No one said it was going to smooth sailing. But we need to lance the boil the Middle East has become and Iraq is the starting point. I'll say no more at this point. But I highly recommend reading "The Mirror of Fallujah - No more passes and excuses for the Middle East" and "We Are Finishing the War - Anatomy of our struggle against the Islamicists," two recent essays by Victor David Hanson. He sums up well the Middle East's current pathology, and why our actions are both necessary and right.

And on a parting note, everyone should read the briefing transcript from April 7 with General Mark Kimmitt, Deputy Director for Coalition Operations. The response to a question/statement from Jennifer Glass of the "The World" [a joint BBC-NPR program] was classic. Glass said "it seems that the more the [coalition]forces fight, the more people -- these are just the Iraqis that I speak to -- the more Iraqis want to fight. And it seems to inflame things. I mean, everyone I've spoken to has said, watching what's going on Al-Jazeera, Al-Arabiya, with the fight in Fallujah and pictures coming out, it seems to be creating more fighters."

General Kimmit responded [transcript available here, and streaming Real video here]:
"In answer to your first question, they want to fight; fight for what? Fight for a return to an authoritarian regime? Fight to bring in an extremist regime? Fight to promote civil war? No, the fact is that the fight is for democracy. The fight should be for democracy. The fight should be for a united Iraq. The fight should be for individual liberties, for freedom of the press, for self-governance, for sovereignty. That is the fight that is important.
* * *
So it is important for the majority of people in Iraq to understand that their aspirations -- which is for democracy, sovereignty, liberty and
independence -- is the same fight that the coalition is fighting for. And while it may seem somewhat glamorous to the young every once in a while to pick up the arms and fight against the occupier, ask the furthest -- the next question: Fight for what? What you should be fighting for is for your children, so your children can grow up in a country of liberty, can grow up in a country of democracy, can grow up
in a country where freedom of the press is honored, freedom of expression is honored, freedom of religion is honored. That's the fight that we should be fighting. That's the fight that the Iraqi security forces and the coalition is fighting. And that's the fight we're going to continue to fight until the voices of extremism and the voices of authoritarianism are wiped out from this country."

Now *that's* the American viewpoint, not the sad caterwailing of Senator Kennedy or Senator Byrd, who are both far past their sell-by dates.

Thursday, April 01, 2004
[ed. note - Bloomberg's approach here is essentially "may a thousand budgets bloom. Yet no where in the mantra of 'more money, more money, more money' is there even token nod that parents need to do more to instill hard work and an appreciation for education in their children. Children are born learners, but, like most of us, need to be channeled." ]

Bloomberg's Plan for Utopia in Early Education May Be Just That

N.Y. Times, April 1, 2004, at

In its face, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's detailed plans for spending $5.3 billion a year in additional state education aid is a dreamy blueprint for an ideal urban school system that would meet the needs of the city's 1.1 million students, providing everything from a new prekindergarten program for 3-year-olds to enhanced college counseling for high school students.


Mayor Wants $5.3 Billion From State for Schools
N.Y. Times, April 1, 2004

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg made an audacious play yesterday for billions of dollars in state money that he proclaimed is owed to New York City to pay for the improvement of its public schools, laying out exactly how much he expects and precisely what he would do with the money.

Two days after a commission appointed by Gov. George E. Pataki found that properly educating children statewide would cost $2.5 billion to $5.6 billion a year in new spending, Mr. Bloomberg said the city should receive $5.3 billion of that money.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?