Saturday, July 17, 2010

New York State of Mind

It is so hot here in NYC that you could probably fry an egg right on the sidewalk. As a matter of fact, I had to escape to the cool breezes of South Texas last week just to get away from this oven. But the heat is not the only news...

Sports: It has been a sad week for baseball and especially for the New York Yankees. On July 11, Bob Sheppard, long time Yankee announcer known as the Yankee's "Voice of God" passed away at the age of 99. He announced the play by play for all the home games from 1951 to 2007. For you baseball buffs, the first game he called in 1951 against the Boston Red Sox included baseball legends Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Johnny Mize, Yogi Berra, Phil Rizzuto and Bosox great Ted Williams.

Sadly, Mr. Sheppard was joined two days later by George Steinbrenner, long time owner of the Yankees who died suddenly of a heart attack at age 80. Steinbrenner built the Yankees into a winning-est team in baseball (while at the same time repeatedly firing and rehiring legendary manager Billy Martin) in the 37 years as owner. He had recently turned over the everyday operations to his son. Both of these great men will be missed.

Local: So, a few week ago I reported that the MTA was going to cut my bus line, but some free-enterprising young man with a small bus company was going to pick up the route privately for the same fare and everything. I think my exact words were "Take that you, Marxist scum". Well, this industrious young man did take over the bus route and, just as we were working out the kinks and barely two weeks in service, the City Legal Department filed an injunction to shut the operation down and with no real explanation as to why. The New York Daily News reported that the Transit workers' union was not happy that someone would get paid to drive a bus and they wouldn't get a cut of the action. A hearing was held this week on the injunction, but to my knowledege, the judge did not make any final decision on the fate of this new little busline. But, at this point, it really doesn't matter. Even if the judge were to rule for the bus line owner, the damage has already been done. The young entrepeneur's opportunity to slide right in and expand his business, hire additional employees, and with an already willing customer base has all but slipped away. The delay and uncertainty in service has already forced the would-be riders to make other, more concrete arrangements and are much less likely to want to change back. Once again, the small businessman is denied an opportunity because of stupid, short-sighted Government bureaucrats in cahoots with Big Union thugs.

Terrorist Updates - In November 2009, I reported about Lynne Stewart, former Civil Rights Defense attorney who was convicted of conspiracy for helping her client Egyptian cleric Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, had just lost her appeal and had been immediately remanded into the care of our state Penal system to await final disposition. The Appeals Court had upheld her conviction, but sent the case back down to the sentencing judge for reconsideration because they felt his original sentence of 28 months was too lenient for such a serious crime amongst other considerations. Well, this week the judge finally weilded that hammer of justice and sentenced Ms. Stewart to a hefty 10 years in prison. He attributed her arrogance and unrepentent attitude about her earlier sentence (for which she told the judge that she could do the time "standing on her head") to his new, much harsher decision. Needless to say she was shocked by her sudden change of fortune and threw herself on the mercy of the court boo-hooing that she was just too old to be in prison and wouldn't survive. The judge was unmoved and, well, the air in NYC got a little bit sweeter...

In other terrorist news - Protests continue around the proposed building of "Cordoba House", a new Islamic Cultural Center to be built two blocks from Ground Zero. Daisy Khan, executive director of the American Society of Muslim Advancement along with her husband, Feisel Abdul Rauf made an offer on a 100+ year old building damaged on 9/11 that they want to convert to a cultural outreach center where all will be welcomed and swear on a stack of Korans that it will not be a mosque. In May, they passed one of many hurdles by winning a ringing endorsement for the very liberal local Community Board. This week they presented their case to the Historical Preservation Board which has been stalling for years on an application to give the former coat factory building historical status. Depending on which way the Board decides, this could possibly be the last hurdle the Khan-Raufs have before they can actually become the owners of the property. Everyone waits with bated breath for the Board to render its decision and, as you can imagine, many people in NYC are upset by the prospect of an Islamic anything just 200 feet from the WTC site.

And finally in State related news - Governor Patterson has been furiously vetoing 6000+ new bills that our worthless Legislature passed right before the summer break and against all common sense. Patterson stated that "...[r]ather than act in the interests of the people of New York state, they have engaged in legislation that is in self-interest and presented us with a series of bills that have the same gimmicks, chicanery and avoidant conduct that has characterized fiscal management in this state for far too long." He is making good on his promise to veto any bill that did not reduce the budget. And now he has until the middle of August to complete the veto process which includes reading and signing each and every bill personally. This job is made doubly difficult since Patterson is also legally blind, but he determined he will complete his task. As of July 4th weekend, I believe he was about a quarter of the way through. I can't wait to see what the Legislature will do next since who knows which legislator will be sent to prison next, but that is for the next installment.


AndrewPrice said...

Bev, What a mix of good and bad news.

I'm told that when I was 4-5, I met Steinbrenner in Tampa because someone we knew was a distant cousin or something like that. And I remember when Billy Martin died. . . that was a bit of a shock.

The bus company thing is so typical when we give the government the power intervene in things like this. If I were the judge, I'd award damages to the bus company for the frivolous suit. What an abuse of power.

I saw the article on Lynne Stewart. . . GREAT!! In the old days, they would have hung her, and they should consider it this time as well. She is a traitor, pure and simple. And any lawyer that defends her should be ashamed.

The Patterson thing sounds like a pretty good thing? Maybe all of our politicians should be disqualified for re-election, maybe that will get them to do the right thing?

BevfromNYC said...

Andrew - I am actually impressed with Patterson. I think a lesser person would just be coasting now, and counting the days until his pension kicks in, but he is doing just the opposite. He is not going away without a fight.

And yeah, to bad Stewart can't be hung for being a traitor. She still thinks she did nothing wrong and had no idea that she was carrying out messages to terrorists.

AndrewPrice said...


From what I've seen, Stewart knew exactly what she was doing. She was trying to play us all for suckers by hiding behind the "but I'm a lawyer and I need to be able to counsel my client" line. In fact, she seemed to revel in how smart she was compared to us stupid Americans who couldn't see what she was doing. So I have no doubt that she knew exactly what she was doing and that she was doing it happily.

By the way, for the record, the rules of ethics for attorneys are corrupt and designed to let dirty lawyers get away with a LOT. But there are still limits. Lawyers can't disclose clients secrets, but they also can't participate in crimes. That means they can't advise clients how to get away with a crime and they can't become a courier for them.

MegaTroll said...

Go Red Sox! Just kidding, I hate the Red Sox. Go Yankees!

I was glad to hear Stewart will probably end up dying in prison. She deserves it. It probably doesn't even bother her that she was participating in terrorism. All that bothers her is that she got caught.

Good for Patterson. Sounds like the legislature needs to be cleaned out.

MegaTroll said...

Oh, and did anyone notice that as soon as we had our first heat wave, the "global warming is real" stories all came out again. It's funny how they always bring these things out in summer, but never in winter. Tell me that's not public relations instead of science!

Joel Farnham said...


Interesting that Patterson actually has a backbone.

Even money the mosque goes ahead but gets bogged down in lawsuits.

Sorry about Steinbrenner. Didn't know Sheppard.

BevfromNYC said...

MegaTroll: Good point about the heat wave...Suddenly it's the hottest moment in all of human history, not weather changes! Actually, I think it has to do with the Icelandic volcano eruptions and all the ash in the upper atmosphere. The same thing happened after Mt. St. Helens blew in 1979-80.

And you are right about Stewart. That is exactly the impression I got when I read her pathetic statements to the court. I'm so old, jail is killing me, it's horrible in there. Maybe if she had said "I'm sorry", she might have gotten out in 28 months. I bet she's wishing that she hadn't appealled the case...

BevfromNYC said...

Joel: Okay, the jig is up...I didn't really know who Bob Sheppard was much for my fake sports knowledge. But man, they love this guy here.

BUT just wait until football season starts in a few short weeks!! Go Cowboys!! Go UT Longhorns!!

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, When I was young, we moved from Florida to Colorado -- military family. I made such a big deal about it, that my parents decided to stop at Texas Stadium just to appease me!

For years, I had a poster of the 1978 Cowboys on my wall and I knew every single name on the roster. My favorite team is still Tampa (though they are trying my patience), but the Cowboys are a close second.

Anonymous said...

Before I forget, two cool links:

The real George Steinbrenner on Seinfeld

18th-Century Ship Exhumed at World Trade Center Site

Oh God, it's been so hot here! That's the one thing I failed to take into account when I moved up here - not being able to simply walk ten feet to my car and blast the A/C.

I'm taking a voice-over class as well as a Writing for SNL class at the Peoples Improv Theater which is on 29th St. between 6th and 7th. The VO class is cool - I've got a good voice for sports stuff and this time next month, I'll have a reel which I can use for auditions. I'm sick of temping - if there's a way to use my talents for good ($$$), then I have to try it!

As for the SNL class, you guys will dig this. Next week is monologues... anything with one person. I am attempting my first bit of political satire. Both parties are in my crosshairs but for this assignment, I will be writing an Obama speech about the methods used to cap the BP oil spill - they start off normal and get weirder and weirder (astral projection and stuff like that). :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, If you can, why not share the speech with us. If it's written -- send it to us!

Anonymous said...

I knew you'd say that, Andrew! If I send it, it'll be later in the week. Class is on Wednesday.

But I'm hesitant since I might end up using it for portfolio material of some kind and I don't know the rule about posting stuff like that online beforehand (or if there's a rule at all).

I might e-mail it to you for a second opinion. :-) It's not very political; it's simply a matter of building - starting small and getting more outlandish.

Anonymous said...

Bev: It is ridiculous of them to tout global warming because of a heat wave. In fact, it's global cooling. Why, it dropped to 105 at the hacienda here in Caliente today, so I have actual proof that global warming is a hoax. I had to dig out my winter clothes it was so chilly.

AndrewPrice said...

Sure Scott, I'd be happy to see it. And if you can't post it, that's ok too, but I'm pretty sure people would like to see it!

This could be the first bit of Obama-fun-poking anyone has seen from an independent! That makes it a pretty big curiosity if you ask me! :-)

BevfromNYC said...

Andrew: I was just in Dallas last week. I grew up about 5 minutes from Texas Stadium and it so sad now. There's just this giant empty space where the Stadium used to be. It's kind of sad.

BevfromNYC said...

Scott - just for the record, this heat is kind of unusual. It is usually not this hot for this long a stretch. BTW, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is a great place to beat the heat...and it's open late on Fridays.

BevfromNYC said...

Scott - I was going to write about the ship at Ground Zero, just ran out of time.

it's really cool. Unfortunately they won't really be able to salvage any of it, but they are finding all sorts of interesting artifacts. I knew they had reclaimed land in lower Manhattan because Fort Clinton in Battery Park used to in surrounded by water. But I'm surprised that they have gone down so deep. I would think they would have discovered this kind of stuff when they put up the WTC in the late '60's.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I like the new stadium, though I do miss the old one -- it was one of the unique "characters" of the NFL that's been replaced with uniform gloss and glitz.

Other than that, don't get me started on stadiums. The NFL has enough money to buy it's own stadiums, but most teams manage to blackmail stupid town councils into putting up money they don't have and can't afford to build new stadiums when the older ones remain in great shape -- or could be renovated easily.

Pat Bowlen in Denver killed off Mile High Stadium because he wanted to break the concessions contract and because he wanted more luxury boxes. And Denver fell for it.

Anonymous said...

Our unions are just as bad in California. If they can't make money on it, they don't want anyone else making money on it. They would rather have nobody working than have non-union labor working.

StanH said...

Like him or not, there is no question George Steinbrenner, instilled winning back into the Yankee’s organization, he’ll be missed. Same goes for Bob Sheppard.

Unions are the bane of society.

It’s good to see that traitorous Stewart, get her comings up.

Islamic Cultural Center, a couple blocks from Ground Zero…only in NYC…just wow!

It sounds as if Patterson doesn’t want to be remembered as a complete party stooge.

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