Saturday, June 2, 2012

New York State of Mind


What a week we’ve had in New York City. It is so scary here that I do not want to go outside anymore! I know, you think that it might be terrorist threats or crime, but it is worse. Smoking, salty snacks, sugary drinks, oh, my! Yes, Mayor Bloomberg is up to his old tricks again and our State Republican Senators have just gone off the rails, but before we get to that…

Sports: Well, forgetaboutit! After waiting almost forevah, the Mets finally have their first “No –Hitter” last night. Yea…

Local: Okay, let’s just get this out of the way. No doubt you have heard that Emperor….er… Mayor Benito Bloomberg has decided that it is his right and/or job to save us poor schmucks from ourselves. Now he is waging a war on large sugary beverages and the schmucks are not pleased. I think he just can’t help himself. First it was a smoking ban. Then it was his war on transfats in our French fries and salt content in our prepared foods, and now it’s Big Gulps. His new cause would ban the sale of any sugar-laden beverages over 16 ounces sold at any establishment that gets a grade from the NY Health Department. These “establishments” include local corner delis, restaurants, movie theatres, sports venues, and food carts and would include fountain drinks as well as bottled drinks. So, now that would mean no more liter bottles of Coke or Snapple, no salt on your popcorn, and none of that “butter flavor” either. The good news is that those establishments that are designated as grocery stores would be exempt. Of course, the irony is that the new 7-11’s cropping up all over the place – the inventors of the 64-ounce Big Gulp, Super Big Gulp and the Slurpee - would be exempt because they are designated as “grocery stores”.

But, on a positive note, Mayor Bloomberg did one good thing this week! He vetoed the City Council’s misguided “Living Wage” bill. The bill would have raised our local minimum wage from $7.25 to $10 an hour with benefits and $11.50 without benefits for any business that gets any city subsidies or tax breaks over $1million. The Council just does not get that one of the reasons we have so much empty commercial space in our city (and higher than average unemployment), is not because of the lack of businesses wanting to open. It is the high cost of doing business in the city that keeps potential businesses from opening.

But, then came the bike lanes. Yes, our Dept. of Transportation Commissioner Janet Sadik-Khan, one of the most loathed members of the Bloomberg Administration, decided that there should be less motor traffic and more bike traffic around our fair city. And to that, she has systematically shut down large swathes of New York City for the use of…well, no one knows exactly. To date, 250 miles of bike lanes have sprouted up like weeds around the city since 2008, but no one has been consulted. It has gotten so that you could go to sleep at night and without any warning, you could wake up to a new “Pedestrian Plaza” permanently closing down your street, or new bike lanes that block off parking. It’s a pedestrian’s nightmare. It has gotten so bad that the City Council had to pass a bill that the DOT now has to give a presentation to the Council and get Community Board approval before they can install or remove (hah!) any new bike lanes or pedestrian plazas. Let Freedom ring or at least walk down the street without getting hit by something...

The end is in sight though. Our Mayoral elections are coming up in November of 2013. With the newest round of “bans” from His Majesty, the collective “Enough!” has been shouted, and the countdown clock for the end of Bloomberg administration has begun to tick – 19 months to go and counting. But I have to go on record to say that the only thing I fear more than “Mayor Bloomberg” is a “Private Citizen Bloomberg”.

State - The State of New York made it to the top of yet another list! Yes, we rank #1 above all other states in population decline! Yea…oh, wait, maybe that is not a good list to lead, but according to the 2010 Census report, New York has lost 3.4 million residents in the last ten years. That accounts for the loss of about $45.6 billion in gross income. It could be related to the other list in which New York leads – Highest taxes of any other State! Some attribute the decline to seeking “better weather” since many of our citizens have moved to Florida. Of course, “more favorable taxes” are probably a better reason. For the record, California is second on the list losing their population to more favorable “climate” in Texas. I can personally attest to this since my brother whined a few years ago about all the “foreigners” moving into Texas. When I asked how he could tell, his response was “Well, all I see are California license plates everywhere!”.

And we’ve already discussed this early this week, but it bears repeating over and over. Perhaps our Republican State Senators should concentrate on ways to keep people in New York rather than introducing bills that would require full disclosure to comment on blogs – the “Internet Protection Act”. Just when you think that Republicans “get it” they go and do something that is just stupid.

In Memorium –

The man who invented the creamy center of the Oreo cookie passed away this week at the age of 76 in Toms River, New Jersey. Sam J. “Mr. Oreo” Porcello worked as the chief food scientist for Nabisco for 34 years and is credited with inventing the filling for the Oreo, the Double Stuf’ Oreo, chocolate-covered, and white chocolate-covered Oreos too. As a matter of fact, Mr. Porcello held five patents related to the Oreo cookie. Rest in Peace, Mr. Oreo and thank you for all the sweet and tasty treats. However, Mayor Bloomberg, mortal enemy to all fun and tasty foods, most likely will not send flowers…

And finally, it is worth noting this week marks the first anniversary of the beginning of the end Anthony Weiner's political career - One year ago this week, Anthony "The Weiner" Weiner decided to display his Wee Willie Winky on Twitter. After a newspaper's headline writer's field day, he resigned. Fast forward to today and he's pushing a baby carriage and having a hard time deciding what to do next. Maybe he can get a talk show on MSNBC like Al Sharpton or CurrentTV like Eliot "Client #9" Spitzer. One thing is for sure, no one is knocking at his door just yet. Thank goodness his wife is so forgiving and still has a job.

31 comments:

Kit said...

Mayor Bloomberg needs to know that Coca Cola is good for the world, it makes the world a better place to live in.
Here is proof: LINK

Why? Because Coca Cola itself comes from a magical place of wonder: LINK

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: What a bunch of pikers you New Yorkers are. As of January 1, San Francisco's minimum wage for anyone working over two hours per week went to $10.24. Every business employing more than two employees must provide medical, vacation and retirement benefits for each employee working more than 15 hours per week. Currently, the Board of Supervisors is studying why the city unemployment rate among those under the age of 25 is pushing 35%. They don't see any connection. The rate in certain minority neighborhoods is 50% or higher. Likewise, the Stupidvisors are clueless as to why the crime rates in those neighborhoods are soaring.

BevfromNYC said...

Kit - If you around in the '70's - Coke did all sorts of good thing!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ib-Qiyklq-Q

BevfromNYC said...

Well, Lawhawk, your "Stupidvisors" don't have Billionaire Playboy slash Mayor Bloomberg! We can sell him to SF for the low, low price of pretty much anything you want to pay. As a matter of fact, we would all LOVE it and would probably pay SF or any other place to take him. And since SF has no problem with banning all sorts of stuff, Bloomie would fit right in (or is that fit "left" in?).

BevfromNYC said...

I just read that they sentenced Hosni Mubarek to life in prison. I guess that is kind of a hopeful sign of some civility that he wasn't just taken out and shot.

T-Rav said...

I would have something nice to say about the Mets and their no-hitter, except that it came against the Cardinals. Grrr....

obiwan2009 said...

Lawhawk, it almost sounds like people forget about the dangers that unemployed people can pose, such as their good ol' Hollywood film character named John Rambo. As for Coca-Cola, So long as people treat the drink as a party commodity rather than something you drink everyday, there isn't really going to be a problem.

Kit, those ads were hillarious, kudos to you for finding them.

obiwan2009 said...

And please, the stupidity above stupidity is if Gatorade gets classified as a soft drink...

K said...

Bev, your brother is correct in being worried about the "foreigners" coming into Texas. California was once a conservative state. It changed during the mid 80s when the state was booming due to lower taxes, great weather and the Reagan defense build up. Suddenly, the place was overrun with license plates from the east and unionized industrial midwest.

Within five years of that particular immigration, the state went centrist in line with the leftist slant of the job hunting locus's from the east - and then far left with the massive Mexican and central american colonization.

So your brother should be afraid, be very afraid.

ScottDS said...

Since I no longer live up north, I don't have a dog in the soda fight. However, for an art class project, I decided to do a little political satire: I'm going to line up a bunch of cups in a row, as if they're waiting in the immigration line at Ellis Island. Among the cups will be one large Big Gulp-size cup, looking very out of place.

I also made sign on Photoshop.

Seriously, this is my art project - it needs to be one color and out of the classroom!

BevfromNYC said...

Scott - That is hilarious!!! I can't wait to see your Big Gulp project! It should go viral!

ScottDS said...

Bev - I just Tweeted the image with the appropriate hash tags (or something like that)... we'll see!

BevfromNYC said...

obiwan - Unemployment is a problem here, but no one wants minimum wage jobs. Yes, you cannot live in NYC on minimum wage, but you've got to start somewhere. There are too many young people here who believe that working for MW is beneath them and too many Council members who agree - so no incentive to open Gaps and Old Navy's for those starter jobs...

obiwan2009 said...

Bev, here's my story, I started out doing lawn and garden care out of college. Trust me, the whole thing was nerve-racking, after all, why should some guy be hiring himself out to work at something so low as being self-employed after he graduated with the bachelor's degree? The good news is, being self-employed for something as low as 11.50 to 12.00 per hour, depending on my wages, was a good show of career skill, that got me into better work, i.e. a corporate consultant at a registered agent company known as CSC, Inc.

Which leads me to stating the problem in today's world: plenty of people aren't willing to connect the dots, and find that even though low-wage work isn't great, it's a stepping stone to something better. That's the problem at least I have found in my age group of 25-35, a lack of long-term perspective.

Although on a side note, I would invite people to visit PA for some Pennsylvania Dutch Birch Beer, which IMO, is better than Root Beer. At least PA hasn't gone nuts enough to ban birch beer yet! And if they do, well, I'll have plenty of my own and I'll do some soft-drink bootlegging for ya!

BevfromNYC said...

obiwan - My first job out of college was for $125 a week at a small theatre in Dallas - I worked at least 80 hours a week and loved every minute of it. I was so busy I didn't have time to spend money anyway! I got tons of experience, met people who would lead me to other people and better jobs and on and on. I thought that is the way it was supposed to work too. As you say - connecting the dots.

Oh and I will have to try birch beer. I think I can get it in NYC. Not being a soda drinker myself, I wouldn't really be subjected to the Bloombergian edict. But it just galls me that we've progressed from public service announcements/propaganda to laws banning behavior. And none of it makes us a better society as a whole.

T-Rav said...

Clearly, the problem is not that businesses can't afford to hire people at $11.50 an hour, it's that these business owners are hateful evil capitalists, too tight-fisted to help the poor man. Right?

BevfromNYC said...

T-Rav - that is true. And it's "Wall Street" that keeps the hateful evil capitalist business owners in furs and caviar and advises who they should hire and fire.

BevfromNYC said...

Wow, Thaddeus McCotter isn't seeking a 6th term because of some screw up with signatures to get on the Michigan primary ballot. That's a big loss to conservatives.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I saw that about McCotter. Apparently, his team failed to get enough signatures for him to end up on the ballot. They considered doing a write-in campaign, but I guess they aren't going to do it. What a shame.

AndrewPrice said...

As for banning the large soft drinks, I think it's time we banned Bloomberg. Or how about imposing a 100% asset tax on billionaires who happen to be mayors?

Individualist said...

Ok so what if I make a one liter bottle that has three compartments. Each compartment is a triangle that has round edge like a pie slice. The neck of the bottles curve in and form a round neck that has a round open cap the bottle is taped together and if the customer wanted each compatment could be separtated into three separate containers.

Someone there should do this and start selling it and then openly advertize that this is to purposely thwart the law and even send a case of the drinks to MAyor Bllombergs office.

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, Have you figured out the environmental impact of the creation of triangular objects? ;)

How about, buy 16 oz. get another 16 oz. glass free?

tryanmax said...

How is it that anybody over the age of 20 has to work minimum wage, anyway? By the time I graduated college, I had enough work experience to land an assistant manager position at any retail outlet just walking in the door. And that was without flashing my shiny, new BS.



Degree, that is.



BS degree.



In case there was any confusion.

BevfromNYC said...

Tryanmax, minimum wage jobs are for people with no experience in the work force, but are not meant to be "career" jobs either. They are for training first time workers on the responsibility of working - being on time, organizing your work, etc. I have worked with many recent college grads who have no work experience and have no real work ethic either. I imagine that you already had a real resume by the time you got that BS degree which meant you didn't need to start at the bottom.

Working in the theatre is a different beast entirely. Everyone starts at the bottom! It's the very well established "paying your dues" portion of one's career. It is also why so many "theatre people" have an annoyingly high work ethic.

tryanmax said...

Well, I've been known to dabble in the theatrical arts, as well. :)

Individualist said...

Andrew

Since no one is ever going to break the bottles apart no....

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, Don't try to use logic to escape this. Your best bet is just to contribute to Charlie Rangel's slush fund and then you can do anything you want. :)

Individualist said...

Well Andrew

I will agree with you on the point that contributing to Charlie Rangel's slush fund has nothing to do with logic....

obiwan2009 said...

Well Indi, hearing your three-compartment bottle almost sounds like you would make a good partner in crime for homemaid, bottlegged, soft drinks, now to find the dry ice....

Individualist said...

Obiwan2009

Amen

Individualist said...

You know there is one pain in the butt thing about this law in New York. Although they don't have any sway in other states these things can cause changes in how a company like Coca Cola operates.

I remember that there was a huge flak over lead minitures for historical and role playing games. Minitures used to be made of lead becasue the metal was heavy and strudy and would not break if man handled but malleable enough that you could pose the figure. Change the height the sheild was held the direction of a sword or gun etc. Someone in New York decided this was a problem and started a law suit.

It did not matter that the figures were sold as not toys, only for those 14 and up, and if you used them as instructed (for modeling) there was no risk of being harmed. The fact that some child should not bite into lead started a crusade.

The city of New York tried to enact a law banning lead from prodcuts until someone pointed out that people would not be able to have car batteries which had to have lead.

Still the damage was done, the game companies and modeling companies switched to a type of pewter which was lighter and brittle. You were limited in being able to move the limbs of the model. I have even heard the pewter used is more poisonous than the lead but I am not sure.

Fact of the matter is if the Cola companies stop making large bottles then we won't be able to buy them anymore. Since the biggest expense in a soft drink is the ice and the container this will be more expensive.

This kind of thing really is infuriating in its own way. Who put some elitist busy bodies in NYC in charge of peoples lives.

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