EIGHT IS ENOUGH PART
EIGHT IS ENOUGH
By Gloria Dulan-Wilson
It is interesting how so often the most simple, miniscule things sometimes are instrumental in being the means by which the most clever disguises are exposed.
This was the case for me last week when I went to the movies to get some respite from the never ending barrage of bad news on TV, in our newspapers, and from friends.
Interestingly enough I decided to go see "Astro Boy"© at the Regal on 42nd Street. What appeared to be typical, juvenile fluff loosely based on a highly technolized Pinocchio, was a real lesson in democracy, leadership, and the basic moral fibre and principles which determine the make up of a society.
Wow! Now how did I get all that from an animated feature length movie? My insight turned on the very nefarious, despotic character of "Mayor Stone", who's power and tendency toward dictatorship, with the capacity to crush all those who stand in his way, was such a parallel to our current mayor, Mike Bloomberg, it was like a modern day parable in animated form.
The mayor Stone character was running for re-election. His slogan was: "IT'S NOT TIME FOR A CHANGE." He rolled through his city with seemingly unlimited power. If he couldn't get you to cooperate, he'd destroy you. His favorite thing to do was throw money or hollow promises at someone who had something he wanted or needed, with an aside to his minions to incarcerate or deal with them once he got what he wanted. He operated through trickery, lies, distortions, deceits, and, of course, bribery.
When he finally got what he wanted he went through the city wreaking havoc, destroying everything in his wake, seemingly oblivious to everything he trampled on while he pursued his objective. His efforts nearly brought down the entire city. While those around him could truly see him as the monster he was, he was totally unaware and unconcerned.
Well, like the Astro Boy © cartoon, the Bloomberg administration has been monstrous in its effects on the communities that he's touched. Like Hobbes' Leviathan, his tentacles have reached into every corner to accomplish his will, without any concern for the effects it has on the people who live there, who love New York, who raise families. I defy you to go see that cartoon and not come away with the same graphic parallels between Astro Boy's© "Mayor Stone" character and Mayor Bloomberg.
Those of us who consider ourselves part of the middle class must question the New York Times statement that New York City is indeed better because of Bloomberg. Really? Take a look at whose writing the article. Most of them do not live in the middle class communities that are being affected by this administration. Of course, if you're in the $250,000+ a year income bracket, of course things are better.
According to Bill Thompson in the recently held debate, the middle class income for New York really ranges from $50,000 to $170,000 by New York self definition. If you live in Manhattan this may be more the case than not. But if you live in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens or Staten Island it's more between the range of $37,500 and $80,000.
However, the higher income index has often been used to justify the unconscionable increases in rental rates, housing costs, and utility service increases. It is the unrealistically higher rate that has been artificially imposed on the other boroughs that has put affordable housing and other services out of reach, because the assumption is that since we make more we can/must pay more. It is that median income that has been used as an index for rationalizing the higher costs in practically everything in NYC -- from the $4.00 cup of coffee to the $35.00 bounced check fee. From the higher taxi fares to the increasingly higher transit fares. Most of the people sitting on these boards making these decisions were appointed by Bloomberg, but have absolutely nothing to do with the people they're making the decisions about -- in much the same way the Mayor has no relation to the middle class that continues to flee New York.
Realistically speaking, even that median income is no longer viable, with so many no longer gainfully employed. With nearly 40,000 jobs no longer available. With Bloomberg's policy of privatization of so many jobs that righteously belong to New Yorkers going to outside sources.
And the Wall Streeters who have lost their jobs must deal with the fact that they who swore by the Bloomberg Report have to ask how accurate the report is when it did not portend the upcoming downturn and what to do to stem the tide. Interestingly enough, Bloomberg's cronies have tried to find ways to keep their ill gotten bonuses, and there has been absolute silence from Bloomberg in having them put those monies in a fund for those New Yorkers who have lost or are losing their homes and livelihood because of their callous, impersonal, nefarious practices that have put so many of us in jeopardy.
Where is his righteous indignation against the banks that drag out procedures that might just help save a home or a business in New York in time of crisis.
"It's so easy to hurt others when you can't feel pain." Bloomberg makes no connection to the misery the people feel, and the trauma they face as they are foreclosed upon, forced out into the streets. He can't help them because his cronies are part of the problem not part of the solution.
The new formula of mass mind group think utilized by the media totally ignores or evades these facts. The Chief and Leader (Reluctantly) endorsed Bloomberg. What does that mean? It means that they have no principles. It means that they are afraid to take a real stand for the truth for all those people who depend upon them to provide information on the continuously dwindling jobs that has kept this city running for centuries.
Consider the fact that his whim to put seating areas in the middle of 34th Street and 42nd Street, backing up traffic for blocks, in order to slow down the city, and at the same time blocking the flow of New York, had less to do with greening New York, and more to do with whether or not he could get the city to bend to his will.
The fact that two baseball stadiums were built in low and moderate income communities while nothing has been done for the surrounding community, including the failure to hire locally skilled labor for the construction of the stadiums. A seat could very well equal a day's salary. By the way, there are some beautiful old buildings slated to go on the chopping block that are nearly a century old -- look fast the New York skyline will soon be classless glass boxes sitting vacant, staring down on you while you sit on the sidewalk, homeless shelter or whatever and wherever is left after New York is filled with Bloomberg's version of affordable housing.
The D- grade Bill Thompson was relatively generous considering that Bloomberg has flown low under the radar of detection during the Wall Street vs. Mainstreet debacle. He appears to not have been called into account for how it is that Mainstreet is suffering on his watch.
D- is an appropriate grade given the betrayal of the public trust. Given the callous manner in which he went about dismantling the Term Limits law while people protested, as though they (we) not only did not exist, but did not count. The my way or the highway attitude and behavior negates everything else he may have accomplished. New York City is part of a democracy, not a dictatorship. A "D-" is appropriate for the despotic behavior that is evident in the Bloomberg administration.
Bloomberg the Republican, Giuliani the Republican, Bush the Republican have all had devastating effects on New York City. Let's go three for three and relieve New York from further deprivation and downturn. It's time to put New Yorkers back on top, and not the mayor on top of New York.
We cannot afford four more years of Bloomberg. EIGHT IS ENOUGH. VOTE November 3rd 2009 for Bill Thompson the next mayor of New York City.
Stay Blessed and Eclectically Black,