Thursday, October 27, 2011

Bloomberg Beats Dead Horse

From The New York Times :

Days after a carriage horse collapsed and died in Midtown, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg on Wednesday dismissed calls for a ban on the carriage industry, saying he could not imagine why “anybody wants to destroy something that is part of New York’s heritage and that tourists love.”

Paying Lip Service To St. Vincent's

Activists from and allies of #OccupyWallStreet participated in a march to St. Vincent’s Hospital to highlight the greed and corruption that lead to the hospital’s devastating closure in 2010.

''The whole planet pays homage to Ground Zero, but they pay lip service to the hospital that was on the front lines that day,'' said a man named Christopher, who spoke at a rally at the end of the march, at St. Vincent's Hospital. Because St. Vincent's was a Level 1 Trauma Center, it was the hospital designated to receive those injured by the September 11 attacks.

St. Vincent’s was a Catholic-run hospital, which had a charity mission to serve the under-insured and uninsured.  St. Vincent’s lacked the corporate clout to negotiate fair reimbursement rates from profit-driven insurance companies, leading to financial instability.  Moreover, the short-term focus of the highly-paid executives and consultants pushed St. Vincent’s into bankruptcy – leading to a public health emergency:  there is now no hospital on the Westside below 57th Street.

Politicians ranging from New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn to Manhattan Community Board 2 Chair Brad Hoylman to Mayor Michael Bloomberg did nothing to save St. Vincent's.

Two months ago, The New York Post reported that the Manhattan District Attorney was investigating whether hospital executives intentionally let St. Vincent’s fail, so that the Rudin Management Company could buy the hospital’s real estate as part of a controversial luxury condominium development project.

Rudin paid pennies on the dollar to buy the hospital’s real estate, and Rudin now stands to sell luxury condominiums and townhouses, once constructed, that are expected to have a combined fair-market value of over $1 billion.

Anger towards the Wall Street-controlled healthcare system inspired today’s march, which is set to also target Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield and WellCare.  The march was initiated by a working group of Occupy Wall Street called Healthcare for the 99%, which is composed of healthcare workers and people who seek to end inequality in our healthcare system and our society.  

Sunday, October 23, 2011

#OccupyWallStreet Police Brutality Protest and Term Limits Rally Invitation

YouTube video of #OWS protest against NYPD police brutality and use of excessive force, plus an invitation to the three-year anniversary of the term limits extension rammed through the City Council in 2008 by Speaker Christine Quinn.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Term Limits Anniversary Protest

Protest to mark the Third Anniversary of the Term Limits Extension

2011-10-23 Term Limits Protest - Third Anniversary

Bloomberg and Quinn sold the lie that they would save the economy. Have they helped you with the economy ?

Taxpayers and voters are gathering at City Hall Park on Sunday, Oct. 23, at 2 p.m., to commemorate the three-year anniversary of “The Day That Democracy Died” : when Speaker Christine Quinn strong-armed the City Council to extend term limits, allowing herself, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and others to run for a third term in office.

“Since they changed term limits, more people are living in poverty in New York City. Meanwhile, Mayor Bloomberg’s wealth has grown over three-fold while has been in office,” said Louis Flores. “With Christine Quinn’s help, Mayor Bloomberg has been laying off police, firefighters, and teachers ; closing senior citizen centers ; cutting childcare ; and closing hospitals – just basically shredding the social safety net. Also, how is Mayor Bloomberg allowed to make money from inside information through his new company called Bloomberg Government ?”

Protesters will hold a rally, make speeches, and distribute voter registration applications, so that Speaker Christine Quinn and other City Council Members, who passed the term limits extension, can be voted out of office in 2013.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Luxury Condos Won't Save Lives

The Rudin Luxury Condos won't save lives. Likewise, a new parking garage won't treat heart attacks.

One of the participants at last night's "mass civilian trauma exercise" at St. Vincent' Hospital asked, "Where is Christine Quinn ?"

As part of the "mass civilian trauma exercise," many participants wore surgical masks and paper signs around their neck. The signs indicated what accidents, diseases, or emergencies they "have." Then, the "sick" participants "waited" for emergency medical treatment on the sidewalks outside St. Vincent's. No emergency help ever came, precisely because there is no longer a hospital in the Lower West Side. Some participants did not "make it." After the "mass civilian trauma exercise" came to an end, team of "survivors" marched to Grace Church, 86 Fourth Avenue, Tuttle Hall, to ask for help from Jason Mansfield, the chair of CB2's Environmental, Public Safety & Public Health Committee.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

NYPD Rush Horses Against #OWS Protesters in Times Square

NYPD charge horses into peaceful #OccupyWallStreet protesters in Times Square.

At many times, protesters can be heard saying to the horse-mounted police officers : ''Get those animals off those horses.''

This is not the first time that NYPD have used horses against protesters. During the mass protests against President's Bush deadly mistake to invade Iraq after the September 11 attacks, police officers from NYPD also used horses to intimidate peaceful protesters.

"HOW can the NYPD even FATHOM bringing horses into this mess? Not only is this an enormous safety hazard for ALL involved, but this is the exact opposite of conditions that are safe for a horse," wrote an animal rights activist on his Facebook page.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Rudin Family #OccupyCB2 YouTube Documentary

Michael Bloomberg #OccupyCB2

2011 10 17 RE ACT OccupyCB2 Flyer
2011-10-17 Stop the Rezoning of St. Vincent's Hospital Flyer #OccupyCB2

Friday, October 7, 2011

672 School Lay Offs

Bloomberg Lays Off 672 School Employees in Largest Firing in Three Terms

The school employees, who were laid off today by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, had worked as school aides, parent coordinators, family workers, and other support positions at roughly 350 schools, The New York Times reported.

The union representing the workers, District Council 37, had ''made three proposals to the city that included giving up paid holidays and reducing the maximum number of hours school aides were allowed to work as ways to save money,'' The NYTimes reported. Mayor Bloomberg rejected each of the union's proposals.

Mayor Bloomberg is on a rampage to bust all of the municipal workers' unions before his third term is up.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Bloomberg Official Is Arrested For Taking Bribes

New York City Housing Official Is Accused of Taking Bribes

'' ... Wendell B. Walters, the assistant commissioner at the Department of Housing Preservation and Development responsible for new construction, was arrested on charges that he took money from developers involved in building about $22 million in moderately priced housing overseen by the agency in the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn since 2002,'' reported The New York Times.

It was alleged that Mr. Walters awarded contracts to developers in exchange for cash. He was charged with racketeering conspiracy, extortion, bribery, wire fraud, and money laundering, according to The NYTimes.

The charges against Mr. Walters further calls into question the pattern of corruption under the Bloomberg administration. Under Mayor Michael Bloomberg, we have seen multiple cases of fraud and corruption, from the overbilling of several high tech deals, most notably in connection with CityTime, in addition to the investigations and indictments under the City Council slush fund scandal.

Not only that, but The NYTimes reported that the charges against Mr. Walters ... ''represented another black eye for the administration of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, whose third term has been clouded by controversies involving senior officials. They include the tumultuous tenure of Cathleen P. Black as schools chancellor and the abrupt departure of Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith, who said in August that he was leaving to work in municipal finance, but had been arrested in Washington on a domestic violence charge days earlier, a fact that neither he nor the mayor had mentioned in their announcements.''

After all these cases of corruption or official misconduct, you would think that we would need to protect the progressive era reforms, not roll them back, the way that Mayor Bloomberg has been trying, ever since he came into power.

Like Putin, Like Bloomberg

From The New York Times :

Like Putin, Like Bloomberg

October 4, 2011, 8:44 AM

Political ploys under way in Russia could almost serve as an instruction manual for the leadership at either end of New York’s City Hall. You have to slap your forehead in wonder that the New Yorkers didn’t think up comparable high jinks for themselves.

In case your idea of foreign news is a revised menu at the International House of Pancakes, allow us to explain.

Dmitri A. Medvedev, who is Russia’s president but not the guy in charge, plans to step aside so that his place can be taken by Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin, Mr. Medvedev’s predecessor and still the true power. Once Mr. Putin is installed anew as president, Mr. Medvedev will move in as prime minister. In some countries, leaders swap political favors. In Russia, it seems, they swap jobs.

The reason for this folderol is that Mr. Putin, though not thrilled with the idea, yielded the presidency three years ago in accordance with a constitutional provision limiting him to two consecutive terms.

In other words, this former K.G.B. man, known for strong-arm tactics, was more scrupulous about observing the niceties of term limits than were New York’s political leaders: Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and his Medvedev equivalent, Christine C. Quinn, the City Council speaker.

You will recall that Mr. Bloomberg and Ms. Quinn could not bother themselves with observing the letter, let alone the spirit, of a voter-imposed city law limiting them to two terms. With the help of complaisant council members, they simply changed the law to reward themselves with third terms. Generally speaking, it’s not a good idea to look less faithful to democratic formalities than Vladimir Putin.

There is no need to belabor the wobbly nature of this third term. Names and phrases like Cathleen P. Black, the 2010 blizzard, Stephen Goldsmith and the CityTime scandal tell you at a glance how things have often gone.

For the privilege of presiding over all that, Mr. Bloomberg distorted campaign financing beyond all recognition — yet again — by spending $108 million in 2009.On Monday, he was forced to testify at the trial of a political consultant accused of stealing $1.1 million from that campaign. Theft, if proved, is bad, of course. But Mr. Bloomberg tosses around money so freely that his losing a million dollars is like an average person’s having coins slip between the sofa cushions.

Nor are finances the only area of distortion. The normal balance between the executive and legislative branches in this city has been knocked askew in the Bloomberg-Quinn era. Theirs is not quite the Putin-Medvedev relationship, but it bears a certain resemblance, sort of a second-rate Moscow on the Hudson. Not unlike the Russians, Mr. Bloomberg and Ms. Quinn are trying to make sure that power remains within their alliance.

He leaves no doubt that he wants her to take his place after 2013. His administration goes out of its way to include her in news conferences even when the Council’s role is close to nonexistent, whether the issue is Hurricane Irene or, as was the case last week, an announcement that New Yorkers were eating more fruits and vegetables.

In turn, Ms. Quinn often acts as if she were not the Council speaker but, rather, the deputy mayor for legislative affairs. The latest example came a week ago when she bottled up a bill loathed by the mayor. It would have required mayors, including the wandering, Bermuda-loving Mr. Bloomberg, to let the rest of us know when he strays far from the city — certainly when he leaves the country, as he did before the 2010 blizzard. Ms. Quinn made sure that the Council would not even debate this proposal.

There is, however, such a thing as excessive coziness. A NY1-Marist College poll last week confirmed that, for now anyway, Ms. Quinn is the Democratic front-runner in the 2013 mayoral election. But it also showed that nearly half of Democratic voters would be less likely to vote for a candidate who had Mr. Bloomberg’s support.

How does that aphorism go about being careful what you wish for?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Bloomberg Administration Oversaw Wasteful NYCAPS Tech Deal

The New York Times exposes another failed tech deal under the Bloomberg administration's mismanagement of large taxpayer-financed tech deals.

The New York Times reporter David Halbfinger spoke with Brian Lehrer from WNYC about Mr. Halbfinger's recent article about the New York City Automated Personnel System (NYCAPS) and the problems with the Bloomberg administration's wildly over-budget personnel tracking system. Nine years after work began, the Bloomberg administration has spent $363 million on the NYCAPS tech deal — and the work is far from done.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Bloomberg Carries Out Mass Arrests -- Again

Live Mass Arrests on the Brooklyn Bridge #occupywallstreet - Streaming Video by We are Change

In a flashback to the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City, >police rounded up and arrested over 700 activists on the Brooklyn Bridge during a political demonstration.

Police said that those activists, who impeded vehicular traffic on the bridge were were arrested. But The New York Times reported that "many protesters said they believed the police had tricked them, allowing them onto the bridge, and even escorting them partway across, only to trap them in orange netting after hundreds had entered." Look at this independent video :

Some of the activists, who were arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge, had their hands bound with plastic ties that the NYPD has used at other mass demonstration. Separately, the NYPD admitted that they police force had taken their own videos of the protesters, who had taken part in the demonstration, deliberately and intentionally tracking and monitoring the peaceful activists.

Attorney Wylie Stecklow, whose law firm represents many of the activists, who were arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge, said that the pattern of the NYPD's behaviour toward the Occupy Wall Street protesters was reminiscent of the mass arrests that police made during the 2004 Republican National Convention.