Daily Archives: September 12, 2009

Presto shazaam! Banishing fear in New York

The Bovina Bloviator parses yesterday’s NYT piece of what happened to the fear New Yorkers felt on September 11th and discovers something odd: there’s no mention of why or how those fears didn’t materialize.

The New York Times has a piece today on the fears that gripped New Yorkers in the aftermath of the 9/11 attack; fears thatNew York would become a fortress city, choked by apprehension and resignation, forever patrolled by soldiers and submarines. Another attack was coming. And soon.

Miracle of miracles, it didn’t happen and the Times reporter gives us heartwarming vignettes of feisty New Yorkers who overcame those fears. Nowhere, however, in this feel-good Hallmark card is there an explanation just why none of those fears came to pass, nor of any actions taken that may have obviated them. Nope, in this story the gut-wrenching dread we all shared just one day went poof! and disappeared thanks to the grit and optimism of us plucky New Yorkers. If, by any chance, you suspect our armed forces just might have had at least something to do with those vanished fears, look no further than the quote you read above for any reference to them. That’s all there is.

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They’re tough, but are there enough of them?

rangersTexas Governor send Rangers to Mexican border


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The NYT sees “thousands” where others see a million or more

teapartyIt’s sort of like the paper’s coverage of that Van Jones fellow – the Times won’t sully its pages and disturb its readers with upsetting news. To be fair, the article itself describes “a sea of people” from all corners of the country come to Washington to protest an ever-growing government, but my liberal Times – reading friends ( a redundancy, surely) don’t read past headlines on ugly stories like this.


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Useful idiots

Hugo Chavez, Oliver Stone

Hugo Chavez, Oliver Stone

So I ask again – why does the left adore dictators and enemies of our country?


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Why think when I can stuff things into neatly labelled boxes?

Here’s a Stamford resident chiming in on the letters to the editor page at Greenwich Time. In just a few paragraphs, the man manages to conflate anti-Semitism, racism and opposition to Obama into one sordid mass of heaving hatred.

To the editor:

When I moved to this area 33 years ago, I was told not to look for housing in Darien, because Jews weren’t welcome. For many years, Darien had restricted private clubs; I don’t know if that’s changed.

Now I see that 62 years after the movie “Gentleman’s Agreement,” which highlighted bigotry in Darien, things apparently haven’t changed very much. Superintendent Donald Fiftal didn’t think it was “compelling” enough for the children of Darien to hear the president’s speech, although it was important a couple of years ago to listen to Clay Aiken, an American Idol. A 15-year-old student didn’t think younger students should be “indoctrinated.”

Liberals like me hesitate to say that the attitude towards President Obama evidenced by many on the right is colored by racism and bigotry. But if it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck.

Jay Riemer


Mr. Riemer keeps his world simple and his life in a thought-free zone by pasting labels on disagreeable ideas. Oppose Obama? On anything? Obama is black – you disagree with him, you are a racist, racists are bad people, I don’t need to trouble myself with you, you mean person you”. [By the way, if my thoughts are colored by both “racism and bigotry” am I committing two different wrongs? For tonight’s assignment, define and distinguish both terms].

The Reimers of the left don’t have to worry about how medical care, already outrageously expensive and out-of-control, can be extended to three times the present number of recipients and not cost “one dime more”. They don’t have to worry about the authoritarian implications of the central government issuing a lesson plan to be taught in conjunction with a leader’s speech to school children. They don’t have to think at all, in fact, so long as they dismiss all criticism of their beloved as racial bigotry. As Mr. Obama is unlikely to change skin color soon (unless Michael Jackson comes back from the grave with beauty tips), Mr. Reimer is assured a blissful, if ignorant, four more years. Enjoy!


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A rose by any other name

I have heard from David Ayers, listing agent for the Conyers Farm land I wrote about yesterday, pointing out that what was once #75 (and sold as such until now)  is now #65 Conyers Farm Road. Looks like the same piece of land to me, but whatever. David’s a great guy and an excellent agent and here’s his take on why the land is worth more today than it was when it last sold. Take it away, David:

If you looked at my listing, you may have seen that it is #65, not #75. That said, it is one and the same lot. It was originally one of two lots purchased by Luther Landross way back when. At the time that Joe Barbieri had the listing, (MLS 63558) the only thing included was a plot plan. There were no architectural drawings and no approvals. It now has a full set of plans that can be purchased with the land. Also, the current owner has architectural approval from the Conyers Farm Association, Wetlands approval, and P & Z approval. As you are certainly aware, Wetlands is an expensive and very time-consuming process, all of which is behind the next owner. Ken Nadler told me yesterday that the construction drawings will take about 4 weeks to put together and the building permit will be issued. A new owner, working quickly, could break ground this fall. A somewhat different animal than the raw land offered a few years ago.


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Boss Tweed still thrives in New York

Here’s a NYC Councilwoman who vacations in Puerto Rico with her daughter and daughter’s boy friend all at city taxpayer’s expense. The Times article focuses mainly on the lady’s poor attendance record (she’s gone half the time) but I was struck by the salaries she, her daughter and that boyfriend receive.

Ms. Baez said she went to Puerto Rico last year to meet with people important to her fund-raising efforts back home, though she said she could not recall whom she met. Campaign records list no contributions from Puerto Rico.

Her daughter, Carmen Baez, called in sick that week from her $90,000-a-year job as deputy city clerk for the Bronx, a job that the Bronx party under Mr. Rivera helped secure. Carmen’s former fiancé, Christopher Riley, who also worked as Ms. Baez’s Council spokesman, claimed to be on official duty that week and received his normal Council pay. Ms. Baez said she did not authorize his pay, but her signature appears on his time sheet. Mr. Riley said it was an honest mistake on his part.

Ms. Baez has said she played no role in Mr. Riley’s hiring in 2006. But a Council spokeswoman said that though he went through the normal application process, Ms. Baez recommended him. He became a $100,000-a-year special adviser to the Council’s communication director. Mr. Riley, who no longer works for the Council, had made $64,000 in his previous job as communications director for the Board of Elections.

Ms. Baez, who lost a home in the Poconos to foreclosure in her first Council term, keeps a fifth-floor walkup apartment on Davidson Avenue in her district. But she spends much of her time with her daughter in an apartment in New Rochelle, in Westchester. Both women are required to keep residences in the city, though the courts have generally said, as a matter of law, that elected officials do not have to reside within their district a majority of the time.

Ms. Baez says her stays in New Rochelle are only visits.

There are something like 51 City Councilmen, all receiving, like Ms. Baez, $112,000 in base pay, plus benefits, plus tens of thousands more for each committee they’re appointed to, and nothing about New York’s governance leads me to believe that they aren’t all like this Baez slug, appointing their friends and relatives to useless jobs. I understand the motive animating the politicians – Ms. Baez is a high school drop-out making far more than she could at a real job – but why do city residents and even more important, upstate residents who support the city, tolerate this? It’s not as though the loot is distributed evenly so most taxpayers aren’t in on the game. Whatever the reason, the next time I hear piteous cries from New York about the plight of the city and its budget woes, I’ll think of Ms. Baez and know that there is at least one source of readily available cash.


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