Thursday, December 30, 2010

Mayor Bloomberg Was Biggest Obstacle To Snow Removal

Inaction and Delays by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg as Deadly Blizzard Bore Down

The post-Christmas blizzard of 2010 stranded EMS, ambulances, and other rescue services in unplowed streets all across New York City, resulting in fire-related deaths and even the death of at least one baby.

Now comes The New York Times, which has reported that the Bloomberg administration did nothing to prepare for the deadly blizzard :

''At 3:58 a.m. on Christmas Day, the National Weather Service upgraded its alert about the snow headed to New York City, issuing a winter storm watch. By 3:55 p.m., it had declared a formal blizzard warning, a rare degree of alarm. But city officials opted not to declare a snow emergency — a significant mobilization that would have, among other things, aided initial snow plowing efforts.''

Finally, after a barrage of criticism, Mayor Bloomberg ''conceded that the city’s response to the blizzard had been inadequate,'' reported The New York Times.

What is the mayor going to do about all of the deaths that resulted from his gross neglect ?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Bloomberg Finds Himself Stuck In A Snowstorm of Criticism

''Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg admitted on Wednesday that his administration’s response to the blizzard that buried New York this week had been inadequate....''

Speaking at a hardware depot in Hunts Point, the Bronx, the mayor said he was “extremely dissatisfied” with the performance of the city’s emergency management system. He said the reaction to the snow as it accumulated was “a lot worse” than after other recent snowstorms and was not as efficient as “the city has a right to expect.”

Read the full article on The New York Times : Bloomberg Takes Blame for Response to Snowstorm.

Here are some critics of the Mayor's ''snow job'' in the aftermath of the post-Christmas blizzard :

Blizzard Destroys NYC Ambulance Readiness

With Ambulances Stuck in Snow, New York City Abandons Emergency Response ; Leaves Residents Open To Harm And Injury ; With No Ambulance, Baby Died In Crown Heights Following Delivery.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg defended the city’s response to the storm on Tuesday, and called the digging out of ambulances the city’s first priority. He said nearly 170 stranded ambulances had been dug out by emergency crews, with 40 more still stuck Tuesday morning. Still, the impassibility of many streets made routine ambulance runs into odysseys, sometimes with life-threatening or fatal consequences.

In East Midwood, volunteer ambulances managed to complete nine calls on Monday between getting stuck in drifts and between abandoned cars. One was to a 74-year-old woman on Lawrence Avenue who appeared to be having a stroke. Her home-health aide had called 911 at 9 a.m. on Monday, said Yakov Kornitzer, the chief of operations for the East Midwood Volunteer Ambulance company, and in the early afternoon, she finally ran to the local precinct station for help.

When the ambulance arrived at 3 p.m., it was unable to get closer than several blocks away. Two emergency workers, two paramedics and six police officers carried her on a stretcher through knee-deep snow, but by then she was unresponsive and her limbs were already flexed, indicating serious damage to her brain tissue.

“We did the best we could,” Mr. Kornitzer said. “If small cars wouldn’t have gotten stuck, we would have been able to get through.”

Source : The New York Times : Read the article, to learn about the outrageous story about the baby who died following delivery in Crown Heights : it took almost 9 hours from the time that the 911 emergency call was made until paramedics could show up to treat a woman in labor -- by the time they arrived, paramedics found that the baby had been delivered, but it was not breathing : Snow Blocks Hundreds of Ambulances From Patients

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Danny Dromm's Reaction To Lack Of NYC Snow Removal Plan

City Councilman Daniel Dromm, standing in front of his office on unplowed 75th Street (in front of stuck cab) in Jackson Heights.

From 1010 WINS Radio: By Juliet Papa

City Councilman Daniel Dromm shook his head and came short of stamping his feet on two feet of unplowed snow on 75th Street in Jackson Heights, Queens.

“The fact that there has been no plow in this neighborhood at all is a disaster,” Dromm said. “It’s hard to understand why the city was so unprepared for this storm because we knew for a long time that it was coming.”

“This is going on day three and usually what we see is a plow coming down the street on the day when the storm starts, then you see something coming the day after and basically the third day you expect it to be clear but that’s not what happened here,” he added.

Many are putting the blame on Bloomberg. “He is not doing what he is supposed to do,” one woman said. ”He’s not running the city, we’re wondering what is happening.”

“I think the Mayor must be living in another world if he thinks that the response to this has been satisfactory,” Dromm said.

Click here to hear Danny on Juliet Papa's report on 1010 WINS.

Please feel free to contact Council Member Dromm's Community Office at: 718-803-6373 if you need any assistance.

NYC Lacks Snow Removal Plan

Almost 2 days after Blizzard, Most of New York City Still in Need of Snow Removal.

New Yorkers are criticising New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Sanitation Commissioner John J. Doherty for failing to have a swift plan to help remove the snow following the Blizzard of December 26-27, 2010. Here are two examples of what commuting was like in New York City in the aftermath of the post-Christmas Blizzard of 2010 :

Subway commuters crawl up the unsafe stairs of a subway station.

Photo credit : Hiroko Masuike for The New York Times

A photographer for The New York Times documented an ambulance, which had become stuck in the snow on 98th Street near Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. East 98th Street definitely looks like it could have needed snow removal trucks to create safer driving conditions.

Photo credit : James Estrin/The New York Times

The Times reported added that critics of the snow removal are making charges that some neighborhoods are being favoured over others, whilst some of the unsafe conditions being created as a result of the slow snow removal could be a result of the mayor's draconian budget cuts.

On Monday, Peter F. Vallone Jr., a City Council member who represents Astoria, Queens, said his neighborhood was being treated poorly.

“The only plow I saw all day was the one that crashed into the corner near my house,” said Mr. Vallone, who added that the Council’s public safety committee, which he leads, would hold a hearing on the city’s handling of the storm.

“We need an explanation,” Mr. Vallone said. “Is it budget cuts? Is it a lack of planning? What caused this storm to be different from every other one we’ve lived through?”

Monday, December 27, 2010

Snow Removal FAIL Viral YouTube

NYC Sanitation Workers Destroy an SUV - SNOW REMOVAL FAIL #Snowpocalypse

New York City workers destroy a Ford Explorer trying to free a snowbound front-loader in Brooklyn Heights, New York, after the post-Christmas Blizzard of 2010.

Somebody in City Hall has to take accountability for each of this accident and for the larger failure of the city to be prepared to clear the snow from the streets following the blizzard.

Snowpocalypse NYC Mayor Bloomberg

#Snowpocalypse #SnowRemoval

Nobody is answering at 311, and the streets of Queens are not being cleaned. There is no snow removal following the December 2010 Blizzard.

Dave Hogarty said, ''His congestion pricing plan thwarted, Mayor Bloomberg moves on to Plan B to discourage car use in NYC.''

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

DiNapoli Rejects SAIC MTA Contract

SAIC $80 Million CityTime Fraud Spreads To MTA ; State Comptroller Rejects SAIC Contract With Transit Authority.

From Capital Tonight is only on YNN:

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli just announced he has rejected a $118 million contract between the NYC Transit Authority and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), the firm that designed the scandal-plagued CityTime payroll system, saying the firm’s role in the mess “remains unclear.”

The contract was for an upgrade to the Transit Authority’s VHF radio system in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx was the first contract submitted to DiNapoli’s office under the Public Authority Reform Act passed earlier this year.

Read the full article on Capital Tonight about DiNapoli Rejects $118M SAIC Contract. Meanwhile, you can read the Office of the State Controller official rejection letter to the MTA below :


CityTime Mayoral Control Freak

Michael Bloomberg Has Been Advocating Mayoral Control Over Everything, Including Espousing An End To Progressive Era Reforms, But Mayor Bloomberg Accepts No Responsibility That Comes With Being A Control Freak.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has asserted mayoral control over the public education system, trans fats, and even sugary sodas.

We have even reached a state, where the famous photographer Clayton Patterson has described how citizens need protection from Mayor Bloomberg's out-of-control need to control (aka ''destroy'') everything that is good about New York City.

AND YET, in the aftermath of the theft of what may turn out to be over $100 million in taxpayer money connected to fraudulent consulting fees (Investigators and prosecutors can only now prove that $80 million was stolen, but the scandalous CityTime project is $650 million over budget, so the investigations and audits are not yet done.), Mayor Bloomberg claims he was caught unaware of the corruption. According to an editorial, The New York Post holds that Mayor Bloomberg is responsible for the ''breakdown'' that lead to the CityTime scandal.

Mayor Bloomberg, and his deputy mayor, Stephen Goldsmith, have been arguing that we need to end many progressive era reforms, which were enacted to put a check on this very kind of corruption, because, in their ideological worldview, they want city managers to have more discretion over the business of New York City.

City Councilmember Letitia James, who is acting more and more like a public advocate, is criticising Mayor Bloomberg for his negligence. Did the mayor and his deputy mayor not know that when you give city managers, including mayors and deputy mayors, unchecked discretion over running the business of the city, that you lay the groundwork for spectacular corruptions to take place ?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

NYC Protest Against Smithsonian Censorship of David Wojnarowicz Video

Hundreds of artists, patrons of the arts, free speech activists, and others gathered for a protest in New York City on Sunday, December 19, 2010, to demonstrate against what activists are calling an act of censorship by the Smithsonian Institution.

An exhibit called Hide/Seek, currently showing at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, has attracted controversy, because the Secretary of the Smithsonian ordered the removal of a video from the exhibit,

The video that was removed, entitled, A Fire In My Belly, is described as having an AIDS theme ; it was made by David Wojnarowicz. The video has garnered attention for its provocative images, including one scene where ants are shown to be crawling over a crucifix.

Since the video uses religious imagery in such a provocative manner, among other things, the Catholic League and Congressional Republicans have denounced the video, leading to a decision by G. Wayne Clough, the Smithsonian Secretary, to remove the video from the exhibit.

In response to the video's removal, other museums, foundations, and artists have decried the Smithsonian's decision. Today's protest in New York City was a demonstration against the video's removal, which activists described to be an act of censorship.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Of Benazir Bhutto #LeakSpin

After The WikiLeaks Publications, What Needs To Be Explained About The Assassination Of Benazir Bhutto

Benazir Bhutto returned to Karachi on 18 October 2007 to prepare for the 2008 Pakistan national elections ; the BBC reported that Ms. Bhutto's return was the result of a ''power-sharing agreement with President Musharraf.'' She was assassinated on 27 December 2007. One day after the assassination of Ms. Bhutto, Hana Levi Julian published a report in that the governments of each of Israel, the U.S., and Great Britain had ignored Ms. Bhutto's appeals for protection. Yet, after the publication by WikiLeaks of U.S. State department diplomatic cables, the exact role of the U.S. in Ms. Bhutto's October 2007 return to Pakistan, and her obvious need for protection, needs to be explained. For, in one of the cables, Asif Zardari, Ms. Bhutto's widower, recounted how Ms. Bhutto ''had returned despite the threats against her because of support and 'clearance' from the U.S.''

Moreover, several months following Ms. Bhutto's assassination, Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, had kicked the proverbial hornet's nest after it came to light that Mr. Khalilzad was providing advice and counsel (in some form or another) to Mr. Zardari. In the diplomatic confusion that played out in the news article published in The New York Times, it was reported that :

''Officially, the United States has remained neutral in the contest to succeed Mr. Musharraf, and there is concern within the State Department that the discussions between Mr. Khalilzad and Mr. Zardari, the widower of Benazir Bhutto, a former prime minister, could leave the impression that the United States is taking sides in Pakistan’s already chaotic internal politics.''

If the U.S. was, indeed, remaining ''neutral,'' as The Times had reported, then what did Mr. Zardari mean when he said that his late wife ''had returned despite the threats against her because of support and 'clearance' from the U.S.?''

The foreign policy in play by the U.S. during the time leading up to, and following, Ms. Bhutto's return to Pakistan, and her subsequent assassination, reveal the doomed U.S. strategy in Pakistan, and, to some extent, in Afghanistan. After having invested billions of dollars in planning a strategy of the war in Afghanistan on an expectation of a partnership with Pakistan, and in particular with then-President of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf, the Bush administration was surely already ''taking sides in Pakistan’s already chaotic internal politics.''

Militants Set The Agenda

Following the coördinated terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush became obsessed with causing regime change in Iraq, even though Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. After it became apparent that the president did not believe that diplomacy alone was going to lead to regime change in Iraq, the president mobilised a unilateral first-strike in March 2003 against Iraq, in spite of opposition from the United Nations. This, and other belligerent examples of U.S. foreign policy under the Bush administration, would leave no cause to doubt that the Bush administration wanted to single-handedly ''control'' the circumstances of individual countries, during the prosecution of the war on terror. So, naturally, in August 2008, when John D. Negroponte, the deputy secretary of state, and Richard A. Boucher, the assistant secretary of state for South Asia, became ''angry'' over news that the U.S. United Nations Ambassador Khalilzad was offering counsel to Mr. Zardari in the time leading up to the Pakistan national elections, it was precisely because the aim of U.S. involvement in Pakistan was never to promote democratic elections, but to reserve the channels of communication and assistance between Pakistan and the U.S. solely at the hands of Mr. Negroponte, Mr. Boucher, Anne W. Patterson, the American ambassador to Pakistan, and Condoleezza Rice, the U.S. Secretary of State.

Notwithstanding Ambassador Patterson's remarks to Mr. Zardari, wherein she said that, ''we continue to support the [Pakistan People's Party] and our shared struggle against extremism and in favor of the democratic process in Pakistan,'' the U.S. couldn't even tolerate any kind of assistance or counsel that was being provided to Mr. Zardari or to the Pakistan People's Party, as evidenced by the backlash faced by Ambassador Khalilzad.

On the one hand, the U.S. wanted regime change in Iraq, but it could not, on the other hand, support democracy-building in Pakistan.

A Limited Strategy Of Containment

Many members of the U.S. Congress maintained close relations with Ms. Bhutto, according to one of the cables. Not only that, but three unnamed U.S. Senators also interceded on behalf of Ms. Bhutto's safety, when she requested President Musharraf for '' 'basic security,' including vehicles with tinted windows and private guards in addition to police guards. '' What is more, even as Ms. Bhutto's life was in danger, the CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer was in possession of information about the danger Ms. Bhutto was in, but he chose not to report about it until after she was killed.

If it was true that the Bush administration did not want any non-State Department channels of communication or support to be involved in the Pakistan national elections, then how did the Bush administration react, officially or unofficially, with the 3 U.S. Senators and the reporter, Mr. Blitzer ?

Beyond that, now that we are in the midst of the Cablegate news cycle, will the Obama administration deal with Julian Assange's role in the publication of the State Department cables the same way that the Bush administration dealt with the trading of sensitive information regarding Ms. Bhutto's safety, which would no doubt have risen to be considered, at the very least, sensitive State Department information, by the 3 U.S. Senators and the reporter, Mr. Blitzer ? Whatever the approach that the Obama administration takes in respect of Mr. Assange, it will look like a selective and arbitrary application of restrictions that would apply to Mr. Assange, but not to Mr. Blitzer.

The Predictable Election Cycle Offensive

Even though the Bush administration was conveying, through The New York Times article about Ambassador Khalilzad, that the Bush administration did want to be seen being involved in the Pakistan national elections, in one of the State Department cables, we find that Mr. Zardari was thanking the visiting Congressional Delegation of U.S. Representatives Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Allyson Schwartz (D-PA) for U.S. government ''support of credible national elections'' in Pakistan. Further, the U.S. government should have reasonably expected, even without Mr. Zardari's mentioning, that ''what happens in Pakistan has a spillover effect in Afghanistan, Iran, and India.''

Indeed, not only was Mr. Zardari requesting ''U.S. blessing for his leadership,'' but, at the time of his meeting with the U.S. Congressional delegation, Mr. Zardari was also ''struggling'' with how to explain to ''rank and file'' of the Pakistan People's Party the ''idea of continuing to work with a superpower which supported Musharraf.''

Whereas the ''official'' narrative of the U.S. State Department was that the U.S. had ''remained neutral in the contest to succeed Mr. Musharraf,'' in reality, the fingerprints of the U.S. government were all over Ms. Bhutto's return to Pakistan -- and on the meetings Mr. Zardari had, in an effort to build support for his campaign.

The ''official'' U.S. State Department narrative was a sham.

Scenesetter For The Rest Of The World

One day after Ms. Bhutto was killed, Ambassador Patterson filed a cable in which the U.S. was assessing the qualifications of Chaudhry Pervais Elahi, the Pakistan Muslim League's presumed candidate for Prime Minister. About one month later, on January 25, 2008, Mr. Zardari, Ms. Bhutto's widower, met with Ambassador Patterson. During the meeting, Mr. Zardari described the US as Pakistan's ''our safety blanket.''

But this meeting of 25 January 2008, and the intelligence and requests that were being gleamed from it, were coming too late, if one were to believe that the U.S. would be taking action to support democracy and a stable government in Pakistan. Otherwise, this meeting was coming right on time, if one were to believe that the U.S. would remain ''neutral,'' meaning that the U.S. would be taking no action to support democracy and a stable government in Pakistan.

Little more than one week later, Ambassador Patterson dispatched a cable to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen. In the cable, Ambassador Patterson expressed a need for Adm. Mullen's help with setting the scene for ''necessary reforms'' in Pakistan's military. She added :

''A year ago, Musharraf's popularity was high; we were working together to support a smooth transition to a civilian government. Beginning with his decision to fire the Chief Justice in March 2007, Musharraf has made repeated political blunders culminating in a state of emergency (SOE) and temporary suspension of the constitution. He is increasingly isolated after firing long-time advisors who disagreed with some of these decisions.''

After all of the hemming and hawing, we find out from Ambassador Patterson that, ''We can work with any of the likely candidates for Prime Minister. But it may take weeks or even months after the election before a new Prime Minister is chosen and Pakistan again has a functional government that can focus on tackling extremism and necessary economic reform.'' Too bad that Ms. Bhutto and Mr. Zardari believed, during the time that it mattered to Ms. Bhutto's safety and to the integrity of the Pakistan national elections, that Ms. Bhutto had returned to Pakistan with any real '' 'clearance' from the U.S.''

In his meeting with the Congressional Delegation, Mr. Zardari expressed the motivating fear of the Pakistani people : '' Zardari described the general distrust of the U.S. by the public and in political circles, 'fearing you will leave us again.' '' To the detriment of the democratic elections of our partners in the war on terror, the U.S. was playing both sides of the involvement coin. And this would not have been known, either officially or unofficially, by U.S. taxpayers, some of whom are paying the ultimate price for the war on terror, until Mr. Assange published the State Department cables.

#CableGate, #LeakSpin, #10ISLAMABAD416, #07ISLAMABAD5388, #08ISLAMABAD405, #08ISLAMABAD525, #08ISLAMABAD1998, #09ISLAMABAD236, #09ISLAMABAD1438

Author's Notes

This analysis is the first edition of research, based on a review of cables released as of 17 December 2010, which originated from Islamabad. A future edition may be published, provided that further releases of related cables are made. Please check here for a link to the publication of any subsequent editions : (placeholder intentionally left blank ; no updated edition is yet available). If no updates are yet available, you will not yet see a hyperlink in the immediately-preceeding placeholder. Not all of the listed cables are referred to in this analysis, but they were considered in the composition of this analysis.

This analysis and research is published under the constitutional right of freedom of the press, which allows for communication and expression of ideas and thoughts. As a blog that operates as a form of social media journalism, this blog posting is made under the rights and freedoms afforded under the First Amendment.

Christine Quinn's CityTime Scandal Dishonesty

Best Little Sidestep in NY City Council : ''No one, even in the Daily News, would have thought this was happening,'' said City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. Really ?

Last week, a giant scandal of theft of possibly over $100 million dollars in taxpayer money began to break wide open, exposing Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a self-described financial Wizard of Oz who argued his experience in funneling money should earn him a controversial third term in office, to criticism that he was no wizard at all. Joel Bondy, the executive director of the Office of Payroll Administration, was suspended after investigators alleged that city contractors used fraud to rob the city of at least $80 million under the CityTime automated payroll system that, contrary to Speaker Quinn's denial, has been under intense scrutiny for several years as a result of the system's runaway, costly over-runs.

Here is the text of the shocking statement, made in total denial by Speaker Quinn, after details of the first $80 million of theft was exposed by a joint investigation team :

''No one, even in the Daily News, would have thought this was happening. ... The Council's had a number of oversight hearings on CityTime. I think we're all anxiously awaiting the results of what the deputy mayor will find. You know, everyone was very unhappy I think across the city to hear this yesterday. But I was grateful to the mayor that he reacted quickly and thoroughly and that he's putting the deputy mayor in charge. ... I don't know that he could have done anything more quickly than as soon as he found out yesterday. You know, you can't, sometimes these investigations start and you can't, you may even know about them, and you can't do anything. They have to play their course out to get to the point where law enforcement can make the arrest. So really, the mayor could not have done anything until after yesterday. He didn't let any grass grow under his feet.''

The $80 million theft led to the emergency announcement that Mr. Bondy would be suspended. It was separately reported by NY1 that,''In the wake of Bondy's suspension, Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith will have direct oversight of the CityTime payroll system.''

Meanwhile, many people believe that the $80 million that prosecutors alleged has been stolen, is only the tip of the iceberg. As early as March 2008, questions were being raised around a shady government contract that was awarded to Science Applications International Corporation (''SAIC''). SAIC is the main contractor for the CityTime automated payroll system ; at the time the contract was awarded, it was reported to be worth only $68 million. As of March 2008, that contract had been inflated by an additional $280 million and was, at that time, worth a total of $348 million. So far, prosecutors can prove that $80 million has been stolen.

In a separate analysis of the CityTime scandal, the newsroom of WNYC radio has estimated that, to date, New York City has spent ''more than $630 million on CityTime, which was supposed to cost just $63 million.''

More and more, $80 million looks like just the tip of the iceberg.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Accountability Needed Over 200,000 Missing Votes Scandal

One Month after November Midterm Election, 200,000 Missing Votes Are Found in NYC

New York voters held Mayor John Lindsay accountable for not plowing the streets of snow after a severe winter storm in 1969 dumped 15 inches of snow. But what do you do with a mayor, who's administration misplaces 200,000 votes ?

Just like voters held Mayor Lindsay accountable for snow removal, voters need to hold Mayor Bloomberg accountable for voting irregularities and potentially tainted election results.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Job Blocker Sues NY State Over Cathie Black's Appointment

Cathleen Black's Education Waiver Challenged in a Lawsuit by Students' Parent

The father of two New York City public school students filed a lawsuit against state education officials on Friday to stop Cathleen P. Black, a celebrity, from becoming the next New York City schools chancellor, reported The New York Times.

The lawsuit, which The Times described as an Article 78 proceeding, is a legal action intended for a court to perform a speedy review of governmental actions. The lawsuit was filed by Eric J. Snyder of Park Slope, and it was the first formal legal challenge to Ms. Black’s controversial appointment. The Times report added that more lawsuits are expected.

Meanwhile, it was separately reported last week that Mayor Michael Bloomberg personally ordered the removal of a teacher, Melissa Petro, who had blogged about her past sexual experiences. City officials, it was reported, believe that Ms. Petro's past love life constitutes ''conduct unbecoming a teacher.''

For her part, Ms. Black, the incoming New York City schools chancellor, also has a sordid past. One month before Ms. Petro blogged about her sex life, Ms. Black herself gave a radio interview in which Ms. Black was promoting a sex app, which Ms. Black described as, ''cheaper than a hooker.''

No word yet on whether Ms. Black's hot sex app constitutes ''conduct unbecoming a chancellor.''

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Bloomberg AIDS Protesters Arrested

People with AIDS under attack. What do we do ? Act up, fight back !

Nine protesters were arrested during the morning of December 1 for blocking traffic outside Mayor Michael Bloomberg's World AIDS Day Bagel Breakfast at the Brooklyn Public Library, reported The New York Times.

World AIDS Day Bloomberg Bagel Boycott Protest from Housing Works on Vimeo.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Mike Bloomberg Says Crow Tastes Like Chicken ; Schools Chancellor Deal is an ''Illusion of Concession''

David Steiner first opposed the Cathleen Black nomination, and Mr. Steiner made Mayor Bloomberg eat some crow. Nonplussed, Mayor Bloomberg said, ''Tastes like chicken.''

Mayor Michael Bloomberg reached a face-saving deal to rescue his tottering nomination of Cathleen Black to become the next New York City Schools Chancellor. In reaching his compromise, Mayor Bloomberg has agreed to appoint a career educator to serve as Ms. Black's second in command.

The New York Daily News is calling the Bloomberg-Black-Steiner deal an ''illusion of a concession.''

Ms. Black's new underling, who will hold the title of chief academic officer, is more qualified than Ms. Black herself, not only to overcome the judgment by the state education commission that Ms. Black lacks any qualification to be the next schools chancellor. But even The New York Times has reported that the duties of Ms. Black's new chief academic officer are actually the duties of the school chancellor. Who's your manager ?

From The Times report :

After several days of talks with state officials, Mr. Bloomberg agreed to create the position of chief academic officer to oversee curriculum and testing at the city’s Department of Education. Under the deal, that job would go to Shael Polakow-Suransky, a former principal of a Bronx high school who is a top official at the city’s Department of Education.

But exactly how much authority Mr. Polakow-Suransky, 38, will wield is unclear. A job description prepared by the city said he would have “the broadest scope for the exercise of independent initiative and judgment” and listed 25 duties, including many that would normally fall to the head of a school system. But Mr. Polakow-Suransky will still report to Ms. Black, who is accustomed to setting the agenda in the rough-and-tumble world of corporate culture.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Delta Jet Makes Emergency Landing At JFK Airport

Airplane Lands Safely at Kennedy Airport After Engine Problem, reported The New York Times.

An airplane reported to be operated by Delta Airlines made an emergency landing Sunday night at JFK Airport in New York City after the jet experienced engine trouble.

"A spokesman for the Port Authority said the pilot complained of an unspecified engine problem and determined that the plane needed to return immediately to the airport," reported The Times.

Officials determined that the plane was not on fire after it had made its landing. The Times report added that the pilots were able to taxi the troubled jet from the runway "without incident."

The plane was carrying approximately 200 people, reported The Times.

NYTimes Interviews Cher Before National Release Of ''Burlesque''

Cher Stars In ''Burlesque'' and Confronts Her Age

In an intimate interview conducted in her suite at the Four Seasons Hotel in New York, the superstar Cher spoke with Frank Bruni from The New York Times.

The interview, which reminds us of some of Cher's greatest film hits, was published a few days before the national release of her new movie, ''Burlesque.''

The article has a favourable review of a torch song, “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me,” that Cher sings in the new movie.

''Burlesque'' will be released nationwide in the United States on November 24, 2010.

Veterans Protest Mercer Hotel

Veterans-Sidewalk Vendors Protest Unfair Treatment By Mercer Hotel in SoHo, NYC

Veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces and activists gathered outside the Mercer Hotel in the SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan to protest what they call unfair treatment by the hotel's management.

Some veterans earn a living by working as sidewalk vendors, selling arts and crafts from tables along the historic streets of SoHo, much like the way artists do in Montmartre in Paris.

The artistic tradition and tourist attraction in the chic neighborhood of Manhattan's SoHo is drawing the ill will of management of the Mercer Hotel, some veterans and activists say. At noon on Saturday, Nov. 20, 2010, over a dozen veterans and activists turned up to protest what they call the Mercer Hotel's hostile treatment of veterans. Among the protesters was New York City artist and political blogger Suzannah B. Troy.

Veterans and activists were protesting what they allege is the practice of Michael Rawson, the manager of the Mercer Hotel, who calls the police to ticket or arrest veteran and art vendors.

During the protest, Ms. Troy cited an example of how the Mercer Hotel has questionably used the loading and unloading zone along Mercer Street for what has been alleged to be private or valet parking. Veterans and activists question why the Mercer Hotel harasses U.S. Veterans ; meanwhile, the hotel might be breaking traffic laws by misusing the loading zone along Mercer Street.

During the planned 20 minute protest on Saturday, police showed up in the final two minutes of the demonstration, blowing an unnecessary siren and trying to disperse the already-concluding protest.

Mercer Hotel Harasses Veterans, Who Work As Sidewalk Vendors : Activists

Suzannah B. Troy's Speech Supporting Veterans - Mercer Hotel Protest

New York City artist and political blogger Suzannah B. Troy gave an impassioned public speech outside the Mercer Hotel to protest what she called unfair treatment by the Mercer Hotel of Armed Forces Veterans, who work as sidewalk vendors in New York City.

In the area around the Mercer Hotel, located in the SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan, many sidewalk vendors set up tables on sidewalks to sell arts and crafts. Many vendors complain that the Mercer Hotel calls the police to give citations or tickets to the sidewalk vendors in a systematic program to rid the block of sidewalk vendors outside the chic boutique hotel.

In her speech, Ms. Troy cited an example of how the Mercer Hotel has questionably used the loading and unloading zone along Mercer Street for what has been alleged to be private or valet parking.

Following her speech, over one dozen protesters gathered to demonstrate against the perceived injustice by the Mercer Hotel. Activists blame the hotel's manager, Michael Rawson, for the systematic mistreatment of Veterans, who work as sidewalk vendors, while the hotel has allegedly made use of the loading zone for questionable hotel parking.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Oui Mais Non Music Video Review

Mylène Farmer : Music Video Review : ''Oui Mais ... Non'' ; ''The new music video for ''Oui Mais ... Non'' is more of a ''mainstream'' music video for Mylène Farmer.''

The new music video for ''Oui Mais ... Non'' is more of a ''mainstream'' music video for Mylène Farmer. Yes, there are qualities about this video that are similar to Lady Gaga's video for ''Bad Romance.'' In ''Oui Mais ... Non,'' Ms. Farmer is not collaborating with Laurent Boutonnat, her longtime co-song writer/artistic director, for this video (and song), so her latest presentation is very different. But Ms. Farmer was already moving to more commercial, dance house-friendly music/videos in her last CD ; I love the concert video of ''C'est Dans L'air'' ). That is not to say that her choice of musique, ballads sometimes dark and controversial (''Cest Une Belle Journée'')(''Crier La Vie'' avec Moby), were never dance or remix-friendly. On the contrary, many of her greatest hits have all the elements of great dance tracks. While some of her past videos were highly dramatic mini-fims, complete with plots and sometimes running 10 minutes long (I'm thinking of ''Désenchantée'' here), she has also experimented with more ''traditional'' music videos (''Je T'aime Mélancolie'').

Ms. Farmer is undoubtedly very talented, so it is great to see her continue to experiment across a wide artistic range. J'adore !

''Oui Mais ... Non'' - Music Video

Mlyène Farmer - ''Oui Mais ... Non'' - The Music Video

The official music video for Mylène Farmer's latest hit single, "Oui mais... non," has been released.

It was reported that Ms. Farmer RedOne, known for his work with Lady Gaga to produce and write the music for the single. Ms. Farmer's new album, entitled Bleu Noir, is set to release on 6 December 2010.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Cathie Black Nomination Doomed

Opposition Grows to Mayor Bloomberg’s Pick for NYC Schools Chancellor

In The New York Daily News, the President of United Federation of Teachers, Michael Mulgrew, expressed criticisms of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's appointment of Cathleen Black to succeed Joel Klein as the next schools chancellor.

The appointment has created a public outrage that proves to expose growing voter anger at Mayor Bloomberg's misuse of mayoral powers, especially in the aftermath of the term limits scandal.

The same Daily News article reported that Chairman of the City Council's Education Committee, Robert Jackson, disputed the mayor's claim that the mayor had engaged in a public process in making the nomination. Councilman Jackson called the mayor's insinuation a, "lie," and Councilman Jackson added that he would hold hearings on the appointment.

The blogger, artist, and political commentator Suzannah B. Troy has even created a YouTube video in which she criticises Ms. Black.

Meanwhile, in a separate article in The New York Times, the mayor's office is described to be in serious damage control. The public ''uproar'' has ''frustrated City Hall aides, who feel as if they have lost control of the story line and who are looking for ways to beat back accusations that Ms. Black is unqualified, said an individual close to the process who requested anonymity for fear of upsetting the mayor,'' wrote the reporter Javier C. Hernandez in The Times.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Alan Bounville is Fasting for LGBT Civil Rights

Call Sen. Gillibrand : 1-212-688-6262

A link to this new YouTube video has been added to the link list at the bottom of the Civil Rights page on The Huffington Post.

Mr. Bounville began a water-only fast on Election Day, November 2, 2010, and he has said that he will continue fasting until Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) or another member of Congress introduced the American Equality Bill, or similar legislation, that would extend civil rights to LGBT Americans and thereby end most major forms of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Mr. Bounville, Iana Di Bona, Joe Birdsong, and other activists kept a vigil for 36 consecutive days outside Sen. Gillibrand's New York City campaign office before Mr. Bounville began his fast. During that time, the Honourable Senator did not acknowledge the LGBT activists.

For more information, please visit :

Saturday, October 30, 2010

''Where is Kirsten ?'' asks new gay rights blog

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand must make good on her support of LGBT civil rights by filing the American Equality Bill.

Kirsten Gillibrand,American Equality Bill,gay rights,Civil Rights Act of 1964,LGBT

A new blog called Where is Kirsten ? is asking people to record yourselves using a camera phone or digital camera when you try calling the Honourable Senator's office, just like Lady Gaga did in her famous Don't Ask, Don't Tell YouTube video. Only this time, ask Sen. Gillibrand when is she going to file the American Equality Bill, legislation that would add ''sexual orientation'' and ''gender identity'' to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Then, send your video or YouTube link to : Help us find find where Sen. Gillibrand stands on the American Equality Bill.

Call Sen. Gillibrand. Ask her to introduce the American Equality Bill. Call : 1-212-688-6262..

Monday, October 25, 2010

Chalking Gillibrand American Equality Bill

Adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the Civil Rights Act of 1964

American Equality Bill,Kirsten Gillibrand,QueerSOS,Chalking Party,15 West 26 Street,Alan Bounville,Iana Di Bona

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE : Please contact: Louis Flores (646) 400-1168

October 24, 2010 -- New York, NY – On Tuesday, October 26, at 6 p.m., LGBT New Yorkers and allies will gather outside 780 Third Avenue in Manhattan, to write chalk messages on the sidewalk outside Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s legislative offices.

Date : Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Time : 6:00 p.m.
Location : 780 Third Avenue, btwn. 48th / 49th Streets

Register to attend at :

Bring Your Own Chalk.

October 26 will mark the 30th day that a vigil called QueerSOS! has been continually held outside Sen. Gillibrand’s campaign office at 15 West 26th Street. In the month that has passed, the Honourable Senator has not said when she will introduce the American Equality Bill. Tuesday night’s chalking party at 780 Third Avenue is to encourage Sen. Gillibrand, who supports the extension of civil rights to LGBT Americans, to introduce the American Equality Bill.

Other actions sprouting up in support of the American Equality Bill :

* Since September 27, 2010, a vigil called QueerSOS! has been held outside Sen. Gillibrand’s campaign office at 15 West 26th Street in Manhattan. The vigil participants have been requesting that the Honourable Senator file the American Equality Bill. For more information, please visit :

* The East Village blog of The New York Times published photographs of the activist, Iana Di Bona, writing chalk messages in support of the American Equality Bill on St. Mark’s and First Avenue. See :

* LGBT Americans are turning to social media power of FaceBook and have created a group, which people are joining to learn more about the American Equality Bill. See :

* Another American Equality Bill group has been organized in San Francisco. See :

* A group of LGBT Americans in Ohio has been formed, and they have created a page on FaceBook to organize support for the American Equality Bill. See :

About the American Equality Bill :

The American Equality Bill would amend all existing civil rights laws, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964, to include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.” It would end de jure discrimination in vast areas of life, such as : employment, housing, credit, public places and facilities, and all programs operating with federal funding. It would also cover school discrimination and bullying, adoption, and all federal health programs.

About Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand :

Sen. Gillibrand has said that she supports the inclusion of sexual orientation into the 1964 Act. To view Sen. Gillibrand's statement on this topic, listen to the following video at minute 7:43 :

# # #

American Equality Bill,Kirsten Gillibrand,QueerSOS,Chalking Party,15 West 26 Street,Alan Bounville,Iana Di Bona

Friday, October 22, 2010

Wear Purple Day DIE-IN at Sen. Gillibrand's Campaign Office

Oct. 20 Wear Purple Day HOMOPHOBIA KILLS DIE-IN Outside Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's Campaign Office

Alan Bounville and Iana Di Bona hold a DIE-IN demonstration on West 26th Street, across the street from Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's campaign office. Alan and Iana read some of the names of LGBT Americans, who have died because of hate, bullying, and discrimination.

Call Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. Ask her to introduce the American Equality Bill. The American Equality Bill will add sexual orientation and gender identity to the Civil Rights Act. Call : 1 (212) 688-6262.

Waiting for Sen. Gillibrand's Leadership on LGBT Civil Rights

American Equality Bill Message to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and to all LGBT People and Allies

Our message to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand : file the American Equality Bill to add ''sexual orientation and gender identity'' to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. File it today -- so we can start organizing to pass it tomorrow.

Call Sen. Gillibrand. Ask her to introduce the American Equality Bill. The American Equality Bill will add sexual orientation and gender identity to the Civil Rights Act. Call : 1 (212) 688-6262.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sen. Gillibrand Ducking the American Equality Bill

Solemn LGBT Civil Rights Message to Sen. Gillibrand - Introduce American Equality Bill

Alan Bounville talks about his plan to begin a water fast, set to begin on Election Day. Alan's demand, which he is making on behalf of QueerSOS and on behalf of LGBT persons, is that Sen. Gillibrand introduce the American Equality Bill or similar legislation, that will add sexual orientation and gender identity to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Sen. Gillibrand - Vigil for LGBT Civil Rights

Vigil outside Kirsten Gillibrand's Office in NYC for LGBT Civil Rights - QueerSOS

Call Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. Ask her to introduce the American Equality Bill. The American Equality Bill will add sexual orientation and gender identity to the Civil Rights Act. Call : 1 (212) 688-6262.

In this video, made on October 18, 2010, Alan Bounville was celebrating his birthday by continuing a vigil for LGBT civil rights.Three days before this video was made, Mr. Bounville, was arrested for holding vigil outside Sen. Gillibrand's campaign office. All Alan was doing was holding a vigil for LGBT civil rights. Please call Sen. Gillibrand, and ask her to introduce the American Equality Bill. Dial : 1 (212) 688-6262.

Kirsten Gillibrand's LGBT Rights Records

Vigil outside Kirsten Gillibrand's Office in NYC for LGBT Civil Rights - QueerSOS

On Sunday, Oct. 17, Iana Di Bona, was holding a vigil across the street from Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's campaign office, demanding that Senator Gillibrand file an LGBTQ civil rights bill that would add sexual orientation and gender identity into the Civil Rights Act of 1964. For more information, visit :

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Gay Activist Arrested Outside Sen. Gillibrand's Office

LGBTQ Activist Arrested Outside Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's Campaign Office


October 16, 2010
Media Contact: Iana Di Bona: (718) 309-8598

New York, NY – LGBTQ activist Alan Bounville was arrested on the evening of Friday, October 15 at Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's campaign office on 15 W 26 Street.

Bounville and fellow activist Iana Di Bona have been holding a vigil there since September 27. The vigil, entitled QueerSOS!, demands that Senator Gillibrand file an LGBTQ civil rights bill that would add sexual orientation and gender identity into the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Bounville was arrested on the charge of erecting a structure in relation to two fabric banners used to communicate the vigil's message: "How long do LGBTQI people have to wait for civil rights?" and: "It's time to extend every basic right and freedom to every member of America's LGBT community," quoting the Senator's own words one year ago.

Di Bona and Bounville have sat vigil outside of Senator Gillibrand's office for 19 days, the most recent four of which have extended into 24 hour vigils. While this work is exhausting, Di Bona said, "Our sacrifice is nothing compared to 30 million LGBTQI people not having their rights. Being out here is an honor. We demand full equality now and wait out here only until the Senator files an LGBTQ civil rights bill."

Bounville is slated to be arraigned in the morning at 100 Centre Street.

For more information regarding the vigil, please visit

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Belgrade Pride Parade Solidarity Video Draws Gay Bashing Comments

YouTube Video about New York LGBT Demonstration at the Serbian Mission Triggers Degrading, Threatening Comments

Over the last 48 hours, YouTube users have been posting harassing comments on the video about the LGBT demonstration at the Serbian Mission in New York City in support of today's Belgrade Pride Parade.

Based on these comments and sentiments, it is no wonder why there are constant reports about hate crimes, bias attacks, bullying treatment, and violent threats and injuries made against gays, lesbians, bi-sexuals, and transgenders -- as well as against LGBT events, like the Parada Ponosa 2010 (the ''Belgrade Pride Parade'').

Here are some recent examples :

dead gay is good gay

  • fuck off americans... i hope that bin laden will sucses to enter with nuclear bomb and fucking kill half of new york next time
  • SERBIA!!!!!!!!!!
  • Stay the fuck out of serbia you bunch of freaks, no1 made you the police of the world... Why do you have to butt in everywhere? Gays in Serbia are not discriminated against as long as they do what they do behind their 4 walls. Stop trying to force your stupid morals on us...
  • This has been flagged as spam   hide

Here are some earlier examples :

Nobody would give a damn about queers if they weren't so fucking annoyingly neurotic and screechy. They insist on whining in everybody's face about how tough their lives are. Nobody cares about your dirty habits. Just keep them to yourselves.
And it is nothing to be ''proud'' of that you enjoy being a queer. What has ''pride'' got to do with where you like putting your cock?
The notion is fucking ridiculous.

Fat fuck doesn't even know what's going on. The gay pride march in Belgrade went uninterupted and was protected by 6000 police officers. The rioters didn't manage to break through the police barricades. So now go back to your own fucking problems you moron and stop protesting against things you know nothing about in countries you couldn't point out in a map.

why the fuck do american faggots care what's going on in serbia, you have enough problems in your own country

This has been flagged as spam   hide
keep your faggot agenda out of serbia

Go fuck youself!

The above are an example of some of the hateful comments I've been getting. I've flagged, blocked, deleted, and reported other comments.