Sunday, March 31, 2013

Martin Solveig releases new single "Hey Now" featuring Kyle

Martin Solveig & The Cataracs "Hey Now" feat. Kyle

The global musical superstar Martin Solveig has released a new single featuring Kyle. The song, titled "Hey Now," is the first major global release in advance of the fun summer music season.

Kyle is the artist behind hit single, ''Keep It Real.''

Mr. Solveig wrote on his SoundCloud profile that he "discovered Kyle by accident," adding that he sought to collaborate with him after he saw his video for ''Keep It Real.''

Mr. Solveig is one of the producers behind Madonna's current album, MDNA. Judging from the beat and feel of "Hey Now," we can see why Mr. Solveig's sound is so infectious.

What's the difference between Christine Quinn and Ken Mehlman ?

Here's a devastating comparison between Christine Quinn and Ken Mehlman being made by Dan Fishback, via Queerty :

Queerty : One of the most interesting themes of the play is “proximity to power,” particularly how homosexuals in those positions – closeted or not – forsake the LGBT community, e.g. Ken Mehlman. Can you speak to that a bit?

Fishback : One of the worst culprits of this kind of betrayal is Christine Quinn. People support her because she’s a lesbian, but her actual policies are terrible for most queer people. She supported turning St. Vincent’s Hospital in the still-gay West Village into a luxury condo high rise, as if gay people need wealthy neighbors more than they need a hospital. She won’t pass paid sick leave, she’s supported our demonic Police Commissioner, the list goes on and on. But the thing is: queer people are everywhere. So when politicians like Quinn attack the poor, they attack the LGBT community. When they attack immigrants, they attack the LGBT community. When they attack people of color, they attack the LGBT community.

It happens over and over again – not just here, but in Western European countries too. When white homosexuals gain access to political power, they consolidate it by joining the white heterosexual elite in oppressing some “other” group – like immigrants, the poor, or people of color. This is being called “homonationalism,” which I think is a really helpful term, because it’s so widespread – the desperateness with which so many white homosexuals shit on whoever is beneath them in order to feel more secure in the power structure that, only a few years ago, would have eaten them alive.

After years of throwing the LGBTQ community under the bus, Ken Mehlman came out of the closet as having been a self-loathing gay man. What does Mr. Mehlman's episode of hate for his own community have to do with Christine Quinn ? For starters, watch how City Council Speaker Christine Quinn does nothing to help LGBTQ New Yorkers stand up to the Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, who in practise profiles, uses stop-and-frisk against, harasses, and falsely arrests LGBTQ New Yorkers :

Related : Christine Quinn betrays the LGBT community

Full Queerty story here :

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Christine Quinn Jeered At Redhook LICH Meeting

Christine Quinn Mayoral Forum Protested Condoms Democracy Hospital Closings Term Limits

"Christine Quinn is a sell-out !" was a common complaint by activists, who were locked out of the LGBT mayoral forum at Baruch College.

This video features a clandestine Christine Quinn campaign worker, who was pretending to be part of the private security. The woman, who did not want to identify herself, was ordering some of the activists around. Thankfully, the blogger and activist Suzannah B. Troy captured the woman in this video. Watch beginning at 1:15.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Quinn No Show At LGBTQ Rally Against Stop And Frisk Outside Floyd Trial

Christine Quinn Was A No-Show At LGBTQ Rally

At Thursday's rally by LGBTQ groups outside the U.S. District Courthouse at 500 Pearl Street, where the Floyd v. City of New York class-action, stop-and-frisk trial was in progress, only one mayoral candidate showed up to express solidarity -- and to renew a call for an end to stop-and-frisk. And it wasn't Christine Quinn.

Thank you, John Liu, for showing leadership, courage, and solidarity with the LGBTQ community.

Maybe New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has not been able to hear the pleas from the LGBTQ community, because her office is soundproofed ?

During Michael Bloomberg's three terms as mayor, over 5 million New Yorkers have been stopped and frisked. During the over-lapping time that Christine Quinn has been Speaker of the City Council, over 3.9 million New Yorkers have been stopped and frisked.

Many politicians act powerless in the face of the NYPD's use of brutality, discrimination, and excessive force, but the members of the City Council, which each year approve the NYPD budget, simply rubber stamp Mayor Michael Bloomberg's attack on due process, the Bill of Rights, other civil rights, and civil liberties. If the City Council actually stood up to the mayor in the budget process, then maybe the City Council could legislate change without having to use the court system, like what is happening right now in the Floyd trial, a lawsuit that is challenging the NYPD's unconstitutional stop-and-frisk practices.

The description at Thursday's rally by members of various LGBTQ groups of how the NYPD target, harass, and even falsely arrest LGBTQ New Yorkers was tragic, and the pleas for help were compelling. But one must wonder why Speaker Quinn was absent from the rally, why Speaker Quinn did not express solidarity with the LTGBQ community's efforts to end stop-and-frisk, and why the Floyd trial was being used as a backdrop for this demonstration ?

Because so many non-profits took part in Thursday's rally, one must wonder if an explanation of the lock-step could not be found in a demand for an election year political favour ? We know that how Mayor Bloomberg and Speaker Quinn manufacture political patronage support is by making private donations or distributing discretionary City Council funds, respectively. Were the members of the LGBTQ groups manipulated into showing up outside the Floyd trial in order to distract from the fact that Speaker Quinn supports stop-and-frisk and has expressed her desire to continue NYPD Commish Ray Kelly's policies of harassment, profiling, discrimination, and brutality ?

Christine Quinn 3.9 Million stop and frisks under Christine Quinn photo 2013-03-28Title-III-CRA-Stop-And-Frisk-Flyer_zpsc107fd2f.jpg

Indeed, last December, activists in Jackson Heights organised a demonstration to highlight Speaker Quinn's failure to end stop-and-frisk. Speaker Quinn is a high-profile LGBT leader, but she turns her back on LGBTQ New Yorkers, who are deliberately profiled and targeted for harassment and arrest by the NYPD, said activists during last December's demonstration.

Related : Christine Quinn Betrays The LGBTQ Community

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Lt. Dan Choi DADT Trial Update

Lt. Daniel Choi was found guilty in trial almost three years after DADT protest :

Update : Lt. Daniel Choi was found guilty and fined $100, which news reports indicate that Lt. Choi promises not to pay -- perhaps setting up another showdown with the Department of Justice, which seems intent on prosecutorial overreach as it is..

Demonstration In Front Of The White House Before Commencement Of Today's DADT Protest Trail Against Lt. Dan Choi :

Below are two pictures of the demonstration, which took place just minutes ago, with the White House in the background. In the first picture, dozens of activists demonstrated in support of Lt. Dan Choi, and, in the second, Lt. Dan Choi salutes the President of the United States, who resides in the White House.

 photo 2013-03-28-Dan-Choi-White-House-Protest-Photo_zpsdb6289ce.jpg

About three dozen supporters stood in solidarity on Thursday, March 28, 2013, with Lt. Dan Choi, a U.S. Army veteran, who faces an unjust prosecution by the U.S. Department of Justice for a protest in which he participated against the military's former policy of ''Don't Ask, Don't Tell.'' Legal observers describe the government's case against Lt. Choi as an instance of prosecutorial over-reach by the Department of Justice.

2013-03-28-Lt-Dan-Choi-Profile-In-Front-Of-White-House photo 2013-03-28-Dan-Choi-Profile-White-House-Protest-Photo_zpsb5f995ac.jpg

Three years after Lt. Choi's DADT protest, which triggered his arrest and the resulting prosecution, the U.S. Attorney's Office refuses to dismiss the charges against him. The Assistant U.S. Attorney Angela S. George has been accused with waging an over-zealous prosecution against Lt. Choi, who is a notable LGBT civil rights activist. Under the Obama administration, other notable activists have been being prosecuted under worrisome attacks on demonstrations, curbs on Freedom of Speech, and growing restrictions on Freedom of Expression.

Related : Lt. Dan Choi Still on Trial Over 2010 Military Gay Ban Protest

The above photos were posted to Facebook this morning by Robin GetEqual McGehee.

DADT Trail Update From Lt. Dan Choi :

lt-dan-choi-trial-poster photo dan-choi_zpsd07b2745.jpg

From Lt. Dan Choi :

On Thursday morning, March 28th in Federal Criminal Court, I stand trial for protesting back in 2010 against "Don't Ask Don't Tell."

The federal prosecutor has fiercely pushed this case for three years now, demanding the maximum punishment: 6 months in federal prison. To date, the government lost 5 of 6 protest cases against me, but they refuse to drop this one. Even after the repeal of "Don't Ask Don't Tell," this seldom-used criminal charge against me remains: "Failure to Obey." My applications to re-enlist in the army were denied solely because of this trial. Whether it is to "teach me a lesson," or prevent my reinstatement, or bully those who practice free speech, the prosecution will not give up.

Nor will we. I ask you to please stand with me on this final lap, Thursday morning, March 28th.

The government is smart, powerful, intimidating and well resourced. But I stand on the principles learned in Basic Training: Defend freedom. Tell the truth. Never give up. Please join me, my fellow freedom fighters, international LGBT civil rights activists and people from all across the country who are flying in to send a clear message to the government: We will never stop defending our freedom to speak, serve and love.

Please let me know if you'll be there! I'll keep you updated about special gatherings and organizing.

Facebook Event: RSVP for ''USA v Lt. Dan Choi, DADT'' on Facebook

Even if you can't, please spread the word and forward this message, or consider writing a letter to the judge !

USA v. Lt. Daniel Choi
E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse
United States District Court
333 Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

8:00 AM on Courthouse Lawn -
Yoga Meditation and Interfaith Prayer

9:00 AM in Courtroom 6, (Second Floor) -

Love is still worth fighting for.

Lt. Dan Choi

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Is this kind of how Christine Quinn scolds her staff ?

Monday, March 25, 2013

LICH Supporters -- Don't Vote On Budget Until "Gov. 1%" Cuomo Saves LICH !

After 10 NYC Hospital Closings Since 2006, Gov. 1% Wants To Close More Hospitals ! What ?

Long Island College Hospital supporters are sponsoring a petition to save LICH. The sponsored include these New York State legislators : Assemblywoman Joan Millman and State Senator Daniel Squadron.

In conjunction with State Senators Velmanette Montgomery, Kevin Parker, Martin Malave Dilan, Diane Savino, Martin Golden, John Sampson, and Eric Adams -- and State Assembly Members: Alan Maisel, Joseph R. Lentol, Peter J. Abbate Jr., James Brennan, Alec Brook-Krasny, and Felix Ortiz.

These LICH supporters should not vote on Gov. 1% Cuomo's state budget until he save LICH -- and until both legislative houses hold a full hearing on the single-payer bill. Even after the 10 hospital closings, which have taken place in New York City since 2006, this year's state budget put together by Gov. Cuomo behind closed doors does not include a bailout for SUNY Downstate.

Show your support of LICH by signing this petition : Governor Andrew Cuomo and NYS Health Department Commissioner Dr. Nirav Shah : Keep University Hospital Brooklyn at Long Island College Hospital open

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Life or Debt Single Payer YouTube video by Strike Debt

62% of bankruptcies are linked to medical debt. Over 75% of those driven to bankruptcy had health insurance when they incurred those bills.

How do we avoid medical debt?


It's time to occupy the healthcare crisis. It's a matter of life or debt.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Charles Pierce as Bette Davis (Part One)

An enthusiastic audience stamped their feet and clapped the moment they saw the wisps of cigarette smoke coming from off-stage at the 3,190-seat Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Many of them already knew most of the lines to Charles Pierces irreverent impression of Bette Davis. He had already regaled the mostly gay audience with Mae West (Warden, show me a hardened criminal.), Katharine Hepburn (You old poop) and the rhinestone-throwing Carol Channing (Im so cutesy-pie I could puke!). Pierce always saved the irreverent Davis impression for last. His devoted audiences would not let him off stage until he smoked at least one cigarette in the nervous and distinctive style of the temperamental star of All About Eve and Now, Voyager. There had to be at least three or four cutthroat remarks made about legendary rival Joan Crawford. Then there was the moment when he asked the audience to recite along with one of the campiest lines in Whatever Happened To Baby Jane. The musical director is Michael Biagi. Pierces life story, From Drags to Riches: The Untold Story of Charles Pierce was written by a former collaborator and friend, John Walraff. Haworth Gay & Lesbian Studies published it in 2002. Before his death, Pierce donated his papers to the Billy Rose Theatre Collection of the New York Public Library at Lincoln Center. For more tributes, go to

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Paul Ryan: 'We're not going to give up on destroying the health care system'

Paul Ryan: 'We're not going to give up on destroying the health care system for the American people.'

LICH is Open for Care

A Brooklyn judge prevented the closure of Long Island College Hospital, because officials from the State University of New York plotted in private to close the facility, according to court documents made public last Thursday, according to DNAinfo.

Michael Bloomberg Grumpy Cat Meme

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New York City mayoral candidate John Liu is the "only candidate who has called for eliminating the Police Department’s stop-and-frisk practice, and increasing the minimum wage to $11.50 per hour, significantly higher than the $9 supported by President Obama. He is also the harshest critic of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg ; he describes Mr. Bloomberg as a 'grumpy' man who 'checked out a long time ago,' ” reported The New York Times.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Strike Debt Rolling Jubilee Abolishes Over $1 Million in Medical Debt

2013-03-15-Strike-Debt-Healthcare-For-The-99-Percent-Times-Square-OWS photo HCF99-strikedebt-timessquare-20130315_zpsb8ec4307.jpg

Last night members of Strike Debt and the Healthcare for the 99 Per Cent. Working Group of Occupy Wall Street were advocating for healthcare as a human right. Their demonstration was coördinated with the announcement of a spectacular medical debt relief initiative by the Occupy Wall Street offshoot known as Strike Debt.

OWS offshoot buys and wipes out more than $1 million in medical debt

Over 1,000 randomly-selected patients in Kentucky and Indiana will receive letters in the mail stating that their emergency room debt has been forgiven by the OWS offshoot known as Strike Debt.

The purpose of the "debt buy" is to call attention to “predatory” lending aspects our debt-ridden healthcare system, according to their Web site. Strike Debt refers to its debt relief program as the "Rolling Jubilee," a reference to a Biblical era event in which all debts are cancelled and all those in bondage are set free.

If a hospital is unable to get patients to pay their medical debts, the hospital usually sells this debt to a collection agency. And since the chances of a collection agency actually receiving payment in full are pretty low at that point, the collection agency is able to snatch up the bad medical debt for a much lower price than the original amount on a patient’s bill. The collection agency then begins hounding the debtor for money non-stop in often abusive and predatory methods.

Strike Debt funded their Rolling Jubilee campaign through donations, reported The New Daily News.

2012-04-01-Occupy-Wall-Street-Healthcare-For-The-99-Percent-Brooklyn-Bridge-March-Hospital-Closings photo HCF99-debt17n-2-web-strikedebt20132012-photo_zpsdb787d0d.jpg

On April 1, 2012, members of the Healthcare for the 99 Per Cent. Working Group of Occupy Wall Street participated in a six month anniversary of the first OWS Brooklyn Bridge march. The theme of the April 1 march was likewise planned around healthcare issues and efforts to stop hospital closings.

A year ago, healthcare and Occupy activists were concerned about the direction of healthcare under Gov. Andrew Cuomo, according to The Brooklyn Daily Eagle report.

Spirits were high and the music was spirited, but the theme of the anniversary march was sobering -- the dire state of health care for Brooklyn residents, especially those served by five hospitals in crisis: Brooklyn Hospital Center, Interfaith Medical Center, Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center, and Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center.

Wall Street financier Stephen Berger, appointed by Gov. Cuomo to be in charge of restructuring health care in Brooklyn, is recommending that New York change its laws “to allow for-profit investors to invest in financially-distressed public hospitals.”

In spite of the protests and opposition during the year that has passed, Gov. Cuomo and Mr. Berger remain as obsessed as ever with their shady plans for the introduction of for-profit healthcare in New York City.

We collectively pay billions in healthcare premiums to insurance companies, but their profit motive denies our community hospitals of resources, forcing hospitals to treat patients as debtors.

Strike Debt has planned a week of actions in connection with debt relief. One affinity action will focus on how our market-driven, debt-ridden healthcare system drives hospitals to closure.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Queens Crap Exposes New Yorkers For Parks As Shady Co-Opted Group

How phony park groups, the press and elected officials are conspiring to develop FMCP (QUEENS CRAP)

From Queens Crap :

You may have read in various articles that representatives from New Yorkers for Parks have been testifying at Community Board meetings against the USTA plan to expand inside Flushing Meadows-Corona Park and have been working with Council Member Julissa Ferreras and other elected officials to come up with "concessions" from the USTA in exchange for their alienation of public parkland.  Who are "New Yorkers for Parks" and should we trust them?
Holly Leicht
Holly Leicht:
Before becoming Executive Director of NY4P in March 2011, Holly served under Bloomberg as Deputy Commissioner for Development at the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), Prior to joining HPD, she was a Director at the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, another so called public/private slush fund.
Up until now, this community/advocacy group associated with FMCP has not been going after some of the key people who are hurting the efforts to protect the park.  Let's examine why. READ MORE

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Fake Christine Quinn Web Site Pushes for Paid Sick Leave

Fake Quinn Web Site Pushes for Paid Sick Leave

From True News From Change NYC :

At 11:28 a.m., an email from "Christine C. Quinn" was sent from an email address linked to a The email and that .org site are fakes. You can tell because both of them argue for passing the Paid Sick Leave bill, which the real-life Quinn is blocking from being voted on in the City Council, even though it has more than enough supporters to override a mayoral veto.(Capital New York) * Rival Campaign Capitalizes on Internet Prank Mocking Christine Quinn (NYO) * "It's not clear who was behind the fake site." [Dan Hirschhorn and Tina Moore] * In the WNYC article, the hyperlinks to both the real and fake Web site point to the fake Web site. (Fake Website Mocks Christine Quinn’s Paid Sick Leave Stance)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Christine Quinn Looks Other Way As NYPD Arrests LGBT New Yorkers With Condoms

Are NYPD violating Griswold v. Connecticut ?

Please sign our petition : Commish Kelly : Stop arresting people for carrying condoms !

Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965), is a landmark case in which the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the Constitution protected a right to privacy. The case involved a Connecticut law that prohibited the use of contraceptives. (Wikipedia) This case overturned the 1879, Victorian era law in Connecticut that banned the use of prophylactics by couples. Fast-forward to 2013, and we find the NYPD is arresting people for carrying prophylactics. What's going on here ?

Discriminated Against and "Profiled" by NYPD, Transgenders in New York Fear Carrying Condoms. Would Heterosexual New Yorkers be Arrested for Carrying Birth Control ?

Please sign our petition : Commish Kelly : Stop arresting people for carrying condoms !

The NYPD profiles average law-abiding New Yorkers based on age, gender, race, religion, and sexual orientation. That's nothing new.

We already know that the NYPD targets transgenders for stop-and-frisks at more than double the rate of rest of the population in some neighborhood.

The harassment of innocent people carrying condoms has now reached absurd levels that some claim that the NYPD's discriminatory use of stop and frisk and arrests over the carrying of birth control may pose a risk to public health.

"Those who have been targeted by the police, or who know people who have, are so afraid of carrying condoms that they often don't," The Village Voice has reported.

NYPD arrest LGBT New Yorkers if they are found carrying condoms photo NYC_condom-in-handcuffs_zps66258bf1.jpg

"In a 2012 study by the Sex Workers Project and the PROS Network, a New York City coalition of sex workers, organizers, and service providers, close to half of the participants reported not carrying condoms at some point out of fear of police repercussions. Among participants who identified as either transgender female or another gender identity besides male or female, the rate was a staggering 75 percent," The Village Voice has reported.

"The New York City Department of Health has been giving away free condoms since 1971, and has made condom distribution a centerpiece of its public-health program over the past six years," added The Village Voice.

"The Department of Health is flooding the city with free condoms, and the police department is using those very condoms to make the quality-of-life arrests that are clogging the courts. It is difficult to avoid the impression that the NYPD is deliberately seeking to increase quality-of-life arrests—perhaps even meet quotas—with arrests that are blatantly at odds with the city’s own public-health policy," The Village Voice has reported.

New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn looks the other way, because she wants to stay in good standing with Police Commish Raymond Kelly. She puts political expediency over privacy and civil rights.

Related : SCOTUS justice Antonin Scalia suggests women have no right to contraception

Read more : Christine Quinn Betrays LGBT New Yorkers

Demonstration against hospital closings on Palm Sunday - St. John's Queens Hospital

Healthcare activists are holding a demonstration and speak-out against the debt-ridden healthcare system that drives hospitals to closure on Palm Sunday at the former site of St. John's Queens Hospital in Elmhurst. RSVP at the official Facebook event for the St. John's Queens Hospital demonstration against hospital and medical debt.

The spree of hospital closings has become an issue in this year's campaign to be New York City next mayor.

Last year, the newspaper publisher Tom Allon made news when he took out a full-page newspaper advertisement questioning the leadership of New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn during the closing of St. Vincent's Hospital.

But for all the discussion about the need to save hospitals, the conversation never seems to lead to the underlying issue of how the market-driven healthcare system leaves hospitals debt-ridden, thereby driving hospitals into bankruptcy.

Join us for a protest to stop hospital closings : 1 p.m., Sunday, March 24, 2013, at the former site of St. John's Hospital Queens : 90-02 Queens Blvd.

Subway Directions : Take the R train to Woodhaven Blvd.

This is a demonstration in affinity with #strikedebt. Fore more information about Strike Debt, please visit :

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Christine Quinn no longer advocates for LGBT liberation from de jure discrimination

Man who claimed cops beat him during gay pride party says police made multiple return visits to his home and conducted illegal searches of his apartment.

Christine Quinn, the openly lesbian Speaker of the New York City Council, used to be the director of the Anti-Violence Project. Back when she was head of AVP, Ms. Quinn used to advocate on behalf of victims of violence.

But now that Speaker Quinn is running for mayor, she is afraid to aggravate her close relationship with Raymond Kelly, the commish of the NYPD.

If LGBT New Yorkers get beat up by haters, you can count on Speaker Quinn to elbow her way in for photo opportunities. But if the haters are NYPD officers, you can count on Speaker Quinn to look the other way.

From The New York Daily News :

Jabbar Campbell — a Crown Heights man who claimed cops disabled his apartment’s security camera before beating him during his gay pride party in January now says 77th Precinct cops have since made multiple return visits to his home.

Campbell, who had already filed a notice of intent to sue the city, said plainclothes cops illegally searched his place last week. Campbell said he turned over the footage to investigators.

The Internal Affairs Bureau is investigating both incidents, police said.

Related : Crown Heights man : Cops raided my pride party and assaulted me with fists and anti-gay epithets (NYDN) * Jabbar Campbell files paperwork to sue the city for what he says was a hate crime at his gay pride party Sunday (NYDN)

Read more : Christine Quinn Betrays LGBT New Yorkers

St. John's Queens Hospital - Protest Flyer

2013-03-24 St. John's Queens Hospital - Flyer

Shane Koyczan : "To This Day" ... for the bullied and beautiful

By turn hilarious and haunting, poet Shane Koyczan puts his finger on the pulse of what it's like to be young and ... different. "To This Day," his spoken-word poem about bullying, captivated millions as a viral video (created, crowd-source style, by 80 animators). Here, he gives a glorious, live reprise with backstory and violin accompaniment by Hannah Epperson.

Shane Koyczan makes spoken-word poetry and music. His poem "To This Day" is a powerful story of bullying and survival, illustrated by animators from around the world.

Nanny Bloomberg Taiwanese animation satire viral YouTube video

Published on Mar 7, 2013

Michael Bloomberg nanny state: when will the mayor of New York City stop his madness?

At first Michael Bloomberg came for the trans fats. But we didn't eat at fast food restaurants, so we didn't say anything.

Then Michael Bloomberg came for the salt. But we only use pepper, so we didn't say anything.

Then Michael Bloomberg banned food donations to city homeless shelters. But we are not homeless, so we didn't say anything.

Then Michael Bloomberg came for the baby formula because he wants moms to breast feed. But we are not newborn babies, so we didn't say anything.

Then Michael Bloomberg restricted painkillers at city hospitals. The poor will just have to suffer a bit, he said.

Then he came for our 16-ounce sodas, forcing everyone to buy two. What a jerk!

What's next Michael Bloomberg? Let's ban all cars from the street. After all, walking is healthier than driving.

Twitter @nmatv

Friday, March 8, 2013

Protest against debt-ridden healthcare system at St. John's Queens Hospital

Join us for a protest to stop hospital closings : 1 p.m., Sunday, March 24, 2013, at the former site of St. John's Queens Hospital : 90-02 Queens Blvd.

RSVP on Facebook :

Subway Directions : Take the R train to Woodhaven Blvd.

This is a demonstration in affinity with #strikedebt. Fore more information about Strike Debt, please visit :

St. John's Queens Hospital has been closed for about 4 years now ; it is an example of how our debt-ridden healthcare system drives hospitals to closure. At the time of its closing, St. John's and its sister hospital had debts and losses in excess of $110 million. The healthcare infrastructure at the former St. John's Queens Hospital was lost, and it was not replaced. Meanwhile, the Emergency Room of nearby Elmhurst Hospital is overwhelmed.

Our debt-ridden healthcare system drives hospitals into closure.

Join us on Sunday, March 24 at 1 p.m., to demand that healthcare, hospital, and medical debt be absolved, so that medical emergencies stop driving hospitals -- and people -- into bankruptcy.

Please support a single-payer healthcare system, which would be a stable way to fund hospitals and healthcare.

Follow these hashtags on Twitter : #lifeordebt #strikedebt

Follow us on Twitter : @StopNYMRT

Thursday, March 7, 2013

FBI ''secretly spying'' on Google users

The FBI used National Security Letters -- a form of surveillance that privacy watchdogs call “frightening and invasive” -- to surreptitiously seek information on Google users, the web giant has just revealed. (FOX News)

Bloomberg funnels tax money to Hudson Yards project with no oversight

The Bloomberg administration secretly funneled more than $9 million in city property taxes to the Hudson Yards project in Manhattan on top of the $234 million the city already gave to the project, without informing the City Council, The New York Daily News’ Juan Gonzalez reports: (via City & State).

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Looking to create a Progressive political blogging network in New York City

Are you a -- or do you know any -- Progressive political bloggers interested in being a part of a network of online activists in New York City ?

The activist and blogger Louis Flores and the journalist Gary Tilzer are looking for bloggers to be a part of a collective of online activists. Members of this network will blog about citizen issues in New York City, while helping us to establish an online network of Progressive activists.

Description : Bloggers and online activists -- who care about Progressive issues, government transparency, and improving direct Democratic participation in our own governance -- can enhance their civic participation by forming an online network. Because of the 2013 mayoral election in New York City, our network can play an important role in voter education and mobilisation.

What We’re Looking For : We want someone with passion and expertise in an area of civic issues. If you have a perspective to share, we want you to join us !

Requirements :

  • You should have experience with online writing
  • You should have a unique interest in an area of New York City civic issues
  • You are eager to engage with voters and can commit to blogging regularly
  • You are eager to expand your online activism beyond blogging and into areas, such as producing original YouTube videos that educate and mobilise the public
  • You have an Adsense-like account (but not limited to Google platform), so that you can monetize your own blogging and YouTube videos, if possible

What You're Looking For : As a blogger and an online activist, you want to stop the neoliberal political doctrine of standard flim-flam politicians in New York City.

  • You will be an online activist in the resistance movement fighting the dangerous neoliberalism doctrines of New York City politicians
  • You will be inspired to develop your online activism skills
  • Our network will offer you an expanded platform to expand your online reach
  • You will be making a difference

Get in touch with us today ! If you would like to join our network, please send us the following information via email to: stopchrisquinn (at) gmail (dot) com :

  • A brief description about your background, your experience with writing for activism, and any special skills that you may have
  • Link to your existing blog
  • Describe your interests in activism (what issues do you care about most and why)

Thank you for all that you do.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

How Stephen Berger merges hospitals into closure

Berger-Quinn-del-Arroyo-Pataki photo Berger-Quinn-del-Arroyo-Pataki-Hospital-Closings_zpse1562609.png

Hospitals can be counted on to fail and close in the vicious market-based financing model that depends on decreasing insurance company reimbursement rates. Hospitals can also be counted on to fail and close if Stephen Berger ever mentions the word, "merger."

In 2000, Saint Vincent's Catholic Medical Centers of New York (SVCMCNY) was then a "newly merged enterprise of seven acute care hospitals with services that include a wide spectrum of health care. The system includes 2,600 acute medical/surgical beds, 61 primary care, behavioral health and ambulatory care sites, 800 long-term care beds, 1 million home care visits, approximately 2,000 physicians, and 15,000 associates. SVCMCNY serves communities in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, and Westchester." (Source 1 ; Source 2)

The hospitals in the network included St. Vincent's Hospital in Greenwich Village, St. Vincent's Hospital (Staten Island), Mary Immaculate Hospital in Queens, St. John's Queens Hospital, Saint Joseph's Hospital in Queens, St. Mary's Hospital of Brooklyn, and Bayley Seton Hospital in Staten Island.

The New York Times later reported that St. Vincent's began to immediately struggle from this large-scale merger

"The merger was seen as a way of consolidating costs and allowing the Catholic hospitals wrapped into the system to continue their mission of providing care for the poor and uninsured. But the landscape soon changed, and hospitals found themselves with too many beds, too few patients and less reimbursement from public and private insurers. At the same time, medical costs - from equipment to malpractice insurance - were skyrocketing." (Source 3)

By 2005, the combined losses and debts of the hospital chain were too much bear ; the hospital system filed for bankruptcy. The 2005 bankruptcy filing was described at the time as the largest hospital bankruptcy in New York. (Source 4)

What first began as a noble purpose to help the poor and uninsured, the hospital mega merger began to become unhinged due to losses and debts. Saint Vincent's Catholic Medical Centers of New York (SVCMCNY) began to unravel its huge mega merger, because the economics of the market-based hospital financing system was just too vicious to bear.

Two hospitals, in particular, had to be spun-off. After St. Vincent's incurred untold millions of dollars in debt to keep St. John's and Mary Immaculate operational, $25 million is debt had to be absolved when the two hospitals were packaged off to Wyckoff Heights in Brooklyn under a new umbrella company named Caritas Health Care. Combined, the two Queens hospitals lost $60 million in 2008, and the two hospitals began 2009 with another $27 million in debt. (Source 5a)

At each step, smaller community hospitals kept being shuffled between parent holding companies. Along with the hospital assets, each transaction also shoveled along all the hospitals' debts.

The investment banker Stephen Berger, who has been tasked with closing hospitals by a series of neo-con and neo-lib governors, learned that mergers or spin-offs turned out to be a sinister, backdoor way to destroy public hospitals or hospitals with charitable missions. Mr. Berger has a die-hard, profit-driven ethics, which is to say, he willingly subverts public health if there is a way to try to squeeze profits out of somebody else's medical suffering.

Hospitals set up as a public charity, with noble missions to serve the poor, like St. Vincent's, was an affront to Mr. Berger's mission to wage a scorched earth campaign against hospitals that served the uninsured : Mr. Berger has been wanting to set up more market-driven, profit driven hospital systems, so that profit-centered care could win over patient-centered care.

The sad tale of St. Vincent's turned from tragedy into insult in 2010, when it filed for bankruptcy a second time. "In a filing with the U.S. bankruptcy court in Manhattan, St. Vincent's said it has between $100 million and $500 million of assets, more than $1 billion of liabilities, and between 25,000 and 50,000 creditors. The hospital was founded in 1849 to serve the poor." (Source 5b) Its bankruptcy, this time, was partly caused by the Rudin family, who held mortgages on some of the hospital's real estate, as a backdoor way to take ownership of the hospital's valuable real estate in the trendy West Village section of Manhattan.

Because hospitals are treated as a business, they are left to fend for themselves in a vicious market-based financing model that keeps hospitals getting squeezed from all sides.

Dr. James Satterfield, president of the Medical Society for the County of Queens and vice chairperson of surgery for Caritas, began to see that there was a very fundamental financial challenge facing community hospitals. Dr. Satterfield suggested that state and federal officials help draft a "comprehensive plan" to assess how best to save hospitals from closing. "We must salvage these hospitals. We cannot continue to cripple the health care of Queens," Dr. Satterfield said, referring to the impending closing of St. John's Hospital Queens and Mary Immaculate Hospital -- the two hospitals that St. Vincent's had to cast off, after its first bankruptcy filing. "Physicians are losing their practices. Hospitals are dying essentially. We cannot let this start here and let the domino effect take place," Dr. Satterfield said. (Source 5c)

After having lost millions of dollars and incurred millions more in debts, and then bankruptcy spin-offs, St. John's Hospital Queens is now being prepared to be transformed into a mixed-use retail-apartment complex. (Source 5d) Meanwhile, St. Vincent's is being transformed into a billion-dollar luxury condominium and townhouse complex.

But the financial stretch that the 2000 St. Vincent's mega merger caused, the 2005 bankruptcy, and the 2007 reörganization that lead to the spin-off of St. John's Hospital Queens and Mary Immaculate Hospital never lead to a greater examination of Dr. Satterfield's concerns about the inadequacies in the market-based financing model for hospitals.

Instead, it would seem that the Department of Health, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and Stephen Berger seem to wield hospital mergers or spin-offs as a backdoor way to close down hospitals.

Weaker hospitals are enticed with the assets of struggling hospitals to agree to a merger, on the one hand, but, on the other, crushing debts and steep financial losses are always part of hospital mergers.

Thus, the newly combined parent holding company are saddled with larger financial stresses, just like the 2000 St. Vincent's mega merger and the 2007 Caritas spin-off to Wyckoff.

Knowing how the mergers amongst the hospital components in the former Saint Vincent's Catholic Medical Centers of New York (SVCMCNY) have fared, is it any wonder why Stephen Berger advocates mergers for the hospitals that he really wants to target for closure ?

Witness how the Long Island College Hospital and SUNY Downstate Medical Center merger is now playing out ?

Witness the pressure by Stephen Berger for Interfaith Medical Center to merge with Wyckoff Heights Medical Center and Brooklyn Hospital.

When it filed for bankruptcy, Interfaith officials told The New York Times that turning over operational control to Brooklyn Hospital without the state’s first promising the financing needed to keep Interfaith going would be tantamount to a covert plan to close Interfaith in a year and a half or so.

Witness, too, the "buy-out" of Westchester Square Medical Center by Montefiore Medical Center. Westerchester Square is expected to be "downsized" into an urgent care center, which, in Stephen Berger's greedy little mind, is one step away from financial failure.

All these hospital closings are making it dangerous for patients in life-or-death medical emergencies. "Patients seeking care at New York hospitals spend nearly five hours in emergency rooms -- among the worst rates in the country. New York state hospitals rank 46th in the nation for the length of time in e.r.s, tied with Mississippi. (Source 6)

"The longer wait times may be due to recent closures of health facilities, such as St. Vincent's Hospital...." (Source 7)

Not only that, but all of the hospital closings compounded the damage to hospital infrastructure following the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy.

“If the Times Square bomber had actually blown up his car, injured victims able to walk would have found the doors of nearby St. Vincent's closed and locked,” said Dr. Angela Gardner, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians. (Source 8)

And in all this time, has New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn or New York City Council Health Committee Chair Maria del Carmen Arroyo ever held a hearing to find a way to fundamentally alter the way that hospitals are funded, the way that Dr. Satterfield has been seeking ?

Already, there is talk that Long Island College Hospital will be transformed into luxury condominiums, too.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Christine Quinn Takes More Heat Over Blocking Of Paid Sick Leave

Christine Quinn takes heat at mayoral forum for blocking vote on paid-sick-leave bill; Controller John Liu was consistently applauded by Harlem crowd.

From The New York Daily News :

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, seated next to Quinn during a lively forum in Harlem on poverty issues, also ripped into the Council Speaker for helping pass a “watered-down” living-wage bill.

Controller John Liu consistently drew the loudest cheers from the largely minority audience, as he went further on several issues than his Democratic rivals – Quinn, de Blasio, ex-City Controller William Thompson and former Councilman Sal Albanese. For one, he called for the minimum wage to be raised to $11.50 — the current rate is $7.25 in New York — while his opponents said they favored President Obama’s preferred figure of $9.

Liu also repeated a previous demand to have the NYPD’s controversial stop-and-frisk policy halted. “It makes everybody less safe,” he said. The other candidates argued to keep the practice but reform the way it is applied.

Publisher Tom Allon was the only GOP candidate to attend ; three others, including former MTA boss Joe Lhota, declined invitations.

Friday, March 1, 2013

NYPD lied under oath in Occupy Wall Street trial

Jury Finds Occupy Wall Street Protester Innocent After Video Contradicts Police Testimony [Updated: VIDEO]

Occupy Wall Street - D17 Arrest from Jon Gerberg on Vimeo.

Michael Premo was found innocent of all charges this week in regards to a case that stems from a December 17, 2011 Occupy Wall Street demonstration in Lower Manhattan. For over a year, prosecutors working on behalf of the New York Police Department have insisted that Premo, a known artist and activist, tackled an NYPD officer during a protest and in doing so inflicted enough damage to break a bone. (NYPD lied under oath in Occupy Wall Street trial :

In the first jury trial stemming from an Occupy Wall Street protest, Michael Premo was found innocent of all charges yesterday after his lawyers presented video evidence directly contradicting the version of events offered by police and prosecutors. (Jury Finds Occupy Wall Street Protester Innocent After Video Contradicts Police Testimony : Village Voice)