Forgive Us for Intruding, But ...
Tiny Town, USA – A simple fact about finding missing cats is that many times, they are found with the help of others.
So we are surprised that a call we placed for details about a missing cat named Harlow on the city's Northside, have not been returned to us. Our Missing Animal Search Unit (MASU) depends on the cooperation of owners of missing animals. As a rule we are armed with a camera and note pad; on the two occasions we passed the Harlow poster our team was otherwise engaged and unarmed. But we did call. It would be nice to get a call back.
Is it so weird to offer a community service whereby we use Facebook and tinytowntimes.com to spread the word about a missing animal? Perhaps it strikes some that way. We don't know; maybe Harlow is back now. Glad tidings that would be, and if so, take your posters down.
When Idiots Need to Bleed
We recently reported a madcap effort to positively identify a missing cat and we then returned it to its owner, who apparently didn't give a rat's ass. Because we since have learned that said owner vacated his dwelling place a day or so later, and the same cat has again been seen in that area. For people like this, we have but one thing to say: Shoot yourself in the head with a nail gun, please. Several times if necessary, to get rid of yourself or sustain an insult to your self-centered brain that might restore your sense of responsibility.
From the "It's All Obama's Fault" Department
Late on Christmas Eve a friend and I stopped at Fastrac gas station at the corner of Meadow and W. Buffalo. They sell cheap gas cheaper than most in Tiny Town. I needed window washing fluid, said friend a pack of smokes. As the "sales associate" tallied my items with an electronic laser gun, I asked if her shift ended soon as it was getting past 11. She said she escaped at 11.30. Ah! Said I, then the owner closes down for the night?
"No. Then the next person comes on shift." It's a 24-7 kinda place.
I said it seemed wrong to me that anyone would have to work a convenience gas mart the whole of Christmas night, even if they were Mohammedan. She shrugged. No, I said, it's wrong. For what? Someone who forgot to fill a stocking with care full of lite beer or Snickers bars and Stig-o-Beefs? A 30-ish man in a military cap that indicated he had served in the Naval forces, echoed my sentiments. "Corporate America. Goddamn them." He was full of holiday cheer, the noticeably fragrant kind, and was getting a 30-pack of some watery lager. It was a low brow brand, I suppose, the kind that keeps OTC anti-diarrhea and heartburn medication stocks robust.
Then the man said something that made no sense. He said "Obamaration" – meaning that the all-night hours of the Fastrac store was the fall-out from a failed presidential policy that served the rich and demeaned the poor. It was so patently stupid a thing to say I was glad it stopped me from launching into this verbal fusillade: "You sir, no doubt are proud of having served in the armed services for your country, and it appears you did so recently by the numbers on your hat. Did you engage in conflict that in any way had to do with the current president's tenure in office? Did you, upon your return, find all was dandy with your GI Bill, military pay and insurance? Were all promises made by the Bush Administration to attend to your welfare upon your return from service met with honor? If so, I salute you! You are an exception to a series of war crimes and economic hooliganism that has brought this country to the brink of dissolution. Drink well, and drink deep, lucky man."
Such rants serve little purpose but to create hostility and are lost on such a man who was clearly drunk and should not have been allowed to purchase alcohol nor drive on the streets of the country he put his life on the line to protect.
About That There Occupation Thing
That leads neatly to this: The occupiers of DeWitt Park. I bet our man above thinks they are commie traitors. Just a guess based on cues we journalists develop over the course of eight or 10 lifetimes of watching and reporting on people at their best and worst.
Item One: I am still confused by the Occupation here. However, I have changed my attitude and now support these worthies. Especially after watching the yellow presses go after the meager scraps of bad news about them in Zuccotti Park. The swineherds of the Fox-media types had thin gruel to work with but they made the best of it. Also, a sign these Occupiers might be right is the lack of real support any media idols, of the Hollywood to pro-sports ilk. Where's Sean Penn when you need his snarly self-righteous lip? He was all too eager to "embed" as a totally spoiled "civilian reporter" in the Green Zone following the apocalyptic desecration of life and civilization called Shock and Awe. His contributions, intended to generate sales for the San Francisco Chronicle whose publisher must've had a bad clam the day he signed Penn on for the series. The paper never regained its credibility as a serious place to find out what the hell is going on in the world.
My problem with the Occupiers -- and I concede a little ignorance here, not having done all my homework -- is their agenda still seems too broad, its fabric loose and ill-defined. "Stop corporate greed?" "End police brutality?" "All hail Democracy?" "Make Wall Street Pay?"
Great, guys and gals. But how about something more like this: A list of the names of the specific individuals associated with perpetrating and making money off of the subprime mortgage scandal. How about drawing up, with some help from legal advocates, a set of indictments and charges against each and everyone of these crooks (Including Cornell's hallowed Sandy Weill, ex-Citigroup CEO, one of the major evildoers among the Megalithic Finanical Service Corps deemed too large to fail?).
Weill stepped down as Citigroup CEO in 2003 and left its chairmanship in 2006. You can bet his retirement parachute more resembled a gimungus hot air balloon with a gondola laden with enough gold to pave Ho Plaza. But give the devil his due: Consider Weill's wiliness, protean Cornell philanthropist, think about this item paraphrased from Business Week's July 2008 issue titled "How Wall Street Ate the Economy: " ... In 2009, when the Treasury Department conducted stress tests of leading financial institutions, Citigroup was identified as the most overextended of all. As the federal government poured billions of dollars into rescuing Citigroup, Sanford Weill's contributions to philanthropy were weighed against the damage done to the world economy by the uncontrolled expansion of Citigroup and its competitors."
HA! Think of it! It takes some of the shine off his wonders to behold: Consider: As Chairman of Carnegie Hall in New York City, he raised $60 million for renovation of its facilities; one of the concert halls is named for him. In 1998, the year of the Citigroup merger, he endowed the medical school at his alma mater, Cornell. In 2006, the year of Sanford Weill's retirement, the Weills donated $8 million to the University of Michigan, to construct the hall that houses the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and to endow the position of the school's dean. The following year, he endowed the Life Science Technology building at Cornell. While serving as Chairman of the Board of Overseers of Weill Cornell Medical College, he organized a $400 million capital campaign for Cornell; Sanford and Joan Weill personally contributed $250 million. You can read more about this big swinging dick of a corporate mobster in a biography written and edited by a publisher with a deep sense of irony, because it is found in the Academy of Achievement "A Museum of Living History http://www.achievement.org/autodoc/page/wei0bio-1.
The dood's "Gifts" are more than a tax write-off: They are part of a well-orchestrated bribe. This is the dark side, wide and deep as the River Styx, of Cornell's successful fundraising campaigns. It's another reason why EduCorp's cries of poverty and cutbacks ring hollow. For as they slash units and departments staffed by hardworking grunts, EduCorps swells its ranks of middling managers, vice provosts of redundancy, directors of directors of directors who plan meetings to keep track of the meetings they plan.
Mayor-elect Svante Myrick, if you do not hold EduCorp hostage and demand The Ezra Weill Corporation contribute another million at the very least for city services this tax-free land trust goes through like so much toilet paper, then I propose we start to auction off its structures for the public trust: Bidding for McGraw Tower say, might start at $250 Million. A steal! Sandy Weill could get it and name it after himself and maybe then he'd really start paying it forward for his crimes.
Those are just some ideas I have for the Occupiers of DeWitt Park and everywhere. Noble beings you be, but let's put the evolution into this so far peaceful Revolution.You have so far brought the discussion into the open, forced politicians to take you seriously and in some cases, made the rank and file police officer question whose peace they are keeping. After all, are they not vulnerable to 401K meltdowns and the highway robbery of the financial services systems?
Move on from there to indicting George W. Bush and his gang of murderers for War Crimes. Including Colin Powell and especially Condoleeza Rice? Ah, then boys and girls, have we got a movement going on.
Finally: We Beg of You, Spare Sopa and Pipa
On the side of the rotunda of the former public library, visible from the intersection of Court Street and N. Cayuga, this grave declaration caught my attention:
"SOPA AND PIPA must die."
This seems horribly misdirected and grossly unfair. It is also places us in a fraught state that all deadline-oriented scribblers are familiar with: The Need to Know. NOW!
Because, honestly, when last I visited the bathroom sink to wash, Sopa was athwart its seahorse dish. And trusty Pipa – his burled and burnished walnut bowl so wise so useful – was in his brass tray, ready for a plug of Whiskey Cavendish and some flame, smoke rising as from a pyre in co-concentric curls of reverential question marks, encouraging thought and marking the way toward a Spanish Port we no longer pour, but savor in memory as a child might dream of cherry coke.
Please spare Sopa and Pipa.
– Franklin Crawford, who has never been to the Golden Horn, but feels as though it certainly could've happened in a previous birth