Friday, June 06, 2008

Three New York Stories (and a happy addendum)

Mayor Bloomberg has been on a campaign to shut-down Off-Track Betting (OTB) parlours in New York City. I know this sounds like Giuliani's fake morality campaign to squeeze-out the porno parlours, but it isn't. (The anti-porn crusade was actually a real estate campaign, not a morality campaign.)

The Mayor has been closing-down OTB parlours in the city because the City is losing money on them. it costs the city millions of dollars to keep them open. Only the State and the New York Racing Commission actually profit from the business.

We are a city that is slashing its education budget. We should not be subsidizing gambling parlours (really crappy gambling parlours) that benefit only people far from the city who hate the people of the city.

I applaud Bloomberg for his efforts to kick-out OTB. Let them open new shops in Rensselaer County, preferably six or seven right in Brunswick. Let Joe Bruno and his buddies subsidize it for a while.

There is a patch of undeveloped land in Brooklyn, NY. If you can believe it.

Near the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues, in Prospect Heights, are rail yards with much open space. A developer wants to build an arena there, and rapper/mogul Jay-Z, an owner of the New Jersey Nets, wants to move the team to his hometown.

I understand and sympathize with the residents of the area who object to the development. The NIMBY culture is alive and well in urban America, especially among social groups least interested in sports. I wouldn't want a basketball arena in my neighborhood. But progress, like shit, happens. And I think the arena will eventually be built on that patch of ground, irrespective of the number of liberals who lay down in front of the bulldozers. This isn't the sixties anymore. Citizens are no longer allowed to halt progress.

So, we are going to have a new arena in Brooklyn eventually, and the developer will make a lot of money on it, as he should for making such a huge investment. Herein, lies the rub.

The developer expects the city and state to give him $300,000,000 towards the development.

New York City is looking to slash its school budget because there isn't enough money to go around. We should not spend one penny on a new arena, that is unwanted by its neighbors, when we have insufficient funds to pay for those neighbors' schools.

I hope the mayor and his successors see the folly of giving money to developers who give nothing in return.

And my third story today is about my junior senator, Hillary Clinton.

It was reported today that Senator Clinton met with the presumptive Democratic nominee for President, Barack Obama. The conversation is said to have been about uniting the party to beat John McCain in November.

There is only one thing that Hillary Clinton has to do, and because she is responsible for festering the problem in her campaign against Senator Obama, she is morally obligated to take this action. Any other action she takes is bullshit!

Senator Clinton must travel to every state she won in the primaries and tell all the voters there that racism is unacceptable, that her supporters must put race aside when considering what is best for the country, they must vote for Obama if they want any hope for the future and that she expects them to vote for him because she knows he is the best candidate.

Clinton and her campaign (including her husband) played the race card repeatedly in the past six months. She must atone for this sin. She must travel through America helping to destroy racism. To be considered a world leader, she must do this.

Anything less is unacceptable.

And as a closing note, my happy addendum: my Red Bulls won a hard-fought match against CD Chivas USA, last night at Giants Stadium. Thank you Juan Pablo Angel, and the entire team!

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