FBI STING OPERATION EXPOSES CORE OF CORRUPTION IN NY POLITICS

TIME TO CLEAN HOUSE:  Bribery & Fraud Scheme Is Emblematic of the Proliferation of Corruption Under Christine Quinn’s Leadership of the NYC Council & Quinnberg’s Three Terms at City Hall

Suzannah B. Troy Protests Christine Quinn

Suzannah B. Troy Protests Christine Quinn

“The arrests this morning point to a culture of corruption that permeates our city and state — corruption fueled by career politicians who put personal advancement before public service,”

- John Catsimatidis, Republican Candidate for Mayor

John Catsimatidis may be right when he points to the ‘Culture of Corruption’ being responsible for the latest bribery and fraud scandal involving the effort of Senator Malcolm Smith to get on the ballot in Queens and the Bronx in the 2013 Mayor’s election. The scandal may seem on the surface to be a Republican scandal, since it has  ensnared mostly Republicans, including a political operator  with ties to the Greek American super market magnate and philanthropist,  almost making ‘Slush Fund Queen’ and ‘Crony Capitalist’ enabler Boss Quinn, the woman who has had full time white collar criminal counsel seem clean in comparison. But New Yorker’s actually paying attention know better.

John Catsimatidis or simply ‘CATS’ is strong, earnest and sincere man a true New Yorker with a genuine heart and a love for New York City. Political party does not always matter when you are standing alone inside a voting booth trying to choose an honest leader. Despite my Democratic registration, I do believe that Cats might ultimately gain the respect of those who would take the time to sit down and break bread with him. Those who know Cats, know a warm, friendly and generous man with an open heart. He cannot be painted as a caricature of a politician. He is a man who made it here in New York City from humble roots and without a silver spoon in his mouth. Whether one supports him or not, it would be hard to argue that he is in earnest is running to try to lead New York City.  Catsimatidis is not a corrupt, malicious or bullying man. He has and continues to support thoughtful leaders on both sides of the aisle. And whether you agree with his vision or not or have another horse in the 2013 Mayor’s race,  his vision for the future of New York City is more inclusive than exclusive and more principally thought out than Quinn’s platitudes on the campaign trail which show a rather unsophisticated understanding of how to create economic growth and prosperity for a wider segment of the population throughout the city, including the Outer Boroughs.  QUINN IS NOT FOR QUEENS:  or the Bronx, Brooklyn, Staten Island or even Upper Manhattan.   Quinn’s  policies  [See: The Brooklyn Rail: The Quinning Strategy] seem to have a root in the politics of self enrichment or crony capitalism [where the singular purpose is to 'git r done' for her sponsors] more than they do in sound economic theory and actual capitalism; and/or in the belief that it actually leads society to the same place. It does not. Quinn’s special brand of crony capitalism undermines the fabric of society and confidence of the general public in their business and political leaders; the wheels of capitalism ought not to run through one politico’s sticky fingers.

There is simply no getting around the fact is that these emerging scandals and investigations, can and ultimately should be tied back to and reflect more on the character and fitness for office of  Speaker Quinn, who is far from detached from the existing political reality in New York City, than it should John Catsimatidis who was likely simply duped by an associate.   Christine Quinn is in the eyes of many observers, the embodiment of the culture of political corruption in New York City and thus very much the source of inspiration for the sea of corruption that has sprouted under her leadership as Speaker of the New York City Council. As a Registered Democrat I can better vouch for the character and integrity of the Republican John Catsimatidis than I can the Democrat, Christine Quinn.  It really is that simple.

THE QUINNBERG POLITICAL MACHINE has been in control of City Hall and the NY City Council for 12 years, not content with that legacy they are reaching for control of the next 12 years. This scandal is but a swamp in a sea of political corruption inspired by and during Boss Quinn’s corrupt reign of the New York City Council. As pointed out by the outspoken artist, activist and genuine New Yorker – Suzannah B. Troy, even the ‘NY Post Editors [who] Protect[ed] Bloomberg for Years Now Giving Him Hell’ in a recent headline (after this blog was initially published) pointed this out with the story: ‘The Price of Bloomberg Shortcuts.’

THE CULTURE OF CORRUPTION has been seeded and fueled by the persistent overreaching of Bloomberg and Quinn over the last 12 years and especially the last 5. They are now focused on effectively blocking and taking out any would be challengers to their rule over New York City.  The Bloomberg Machine may want and prefer an autocratic leader like CHRISTINE QUINN for her ability to BULLY people, including Democrats and those who express dissent into corners, even if it means skirting the law. For example, Bill Thompson is not autocratic but seen as more of a consensus builder and Bill De Blasio and John Liu are likewise thoughtful reasonable men who are not hostile to democratic principles of governance. BUT, the crony capitalists behind QUINNBERG want a BOSS or BULLY and QUINN, the self proclaimed ‘pushy broad’ is eager to suppress democratic principles and process to “get things done” for her sponsors.

From the Defeat Christine Quinn Facebook page:

“Quinn’s former “legislative researcher” was arrested this morning for taking bribes. Three of Quinn’s Council Members have been imprisoned, and another, Dan Halloran [See, NY Times: "Daniel J. Halloran III, a Queens councilman, boasting that he could extract tens of thousands of dollars from the City Council to be used as a bribe."], was arrested yesterday. And, even though Quinn’s “office” assigned millions in the Council budget to fake charities, which Quinn used as a slush fund, she has not been indicted and imprisoned with the others. Why is she being protected? Did Bloomberg call off the Department of Investigation’s probe [of Quinn] after Quinn overturned term limits?”

and pegging Boss Quinn to the core of corruption:

“Quinn shares blame for a system that all but begs pols to go rotten — namely, the “member item” game, which lets council members dole out public funds (i.e., pork) at their discretion. . . Member items are inherently corrupt. They let pols buy loyalty and votes. They also tempt them to steer taxpayer money to themselves and folks of their choosing. . . Quinn herself saw fit to grant Bronx Democrat Larry Seabrook $350,000 in pork, even as he faced federal charges of funneling it to phony groups he controlled.”

According to the New York Times:

“At issue is Ms. Quinn’s oversight of a pot of Council funds, worth nearly $400 million in 2012, that she doles out to lawmakers each year, to use largely at their own discretion to finance programs in their districts. The system has provided the speaker with leverage to reward and punish lawmakers as she sees fit; she chooses how much money each lawmaker gets to allocate. But at one period during her tenure, in 2008, misuse of the funds led to a federal investigation and the arrests of several council Members and aides.

The earmarks, often referred to as member items, have been criticized by civic groups, and Mr. Halloran’s suggestion that he could exploit the system was quickly seized on by Ms. Quinn’s opponents.

“This has reached an unsustainable point,”Bill de Blasio, the public advocate and a Democratic mayoral candidate, said at a news conference where he called for the earmarks to be eliminated. “The system is broken beyond the ability of small reforms to fix it.”

“These things happened on her watch,” Mr. de Blasio added

Feigning shock and dismay, deeply corrupt City Council Speaker and 2013 Candidate for Mayor stated:

“These allegations represent a reprehensible abuse of the public’s trust,” City Council Speaker and Democratic mayoral candidate Christine Quinn said in a statement. “If true, then the full weight of the legal system should be brought to bear on all parties implicated.”

Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s attempted defense of Quinn at this late hour is simply not enough. As posited on the Defeat Christine Quinn Campaign Facebook page:

“After trying for months to distance from Quinn because their close relationship could hurt her in the Democratic primary, Bloomberg publicly describes her as “a person of enormous integrity.” Taking a leaf out of Quinn’s book, Bloomberg is trying to have it both ways. If and when Quinn is indicted for corruption, will Bloomberg rescind the many public comments he has made about Quinn’s “honesty” and “integrity?” -

As stated further in the Perdido Street School blog:

“I don’t see how the billionaire mayor with the questionable integrity and his billion dollar slush fund/PAC coming in to defend the City Council speaker with the questionable integrity and the slush fund helps Christine Quinn in the Democratic primary.

Doesn’t it just remind people of how scummy Quinn has been with the slush fund and how scummy Quinn has been in overturning term limits?”

WHO THE FBI MAY HAVE MISSED IN THEIR POLITICAL STING OPERATION IN QUEENS: BILL RUDIN & CHRISTINE QUINN

CRONY CAPITALISM = INSURANCE AGAINST FREE MARKET FORCES PROVIDED BY POLITICIANS (Christine Quinn) WHO PROVIDE FAVORS FOR MONEY TO SELECT PEOPLE (Bill Rudin) TO INSURE ONE BUSINESS MAN’S SUCCESS (Bill Rudin) OVER HIS WOULD BE COMPETITORS (Other NY Real Estate Families)

There is a very real perception that a man who is a special friend of the outgoing Bloomberg Administration is working behind the scenes to install the next administration at City Hall. The man sponsoring the Slush Fund Queen to become the next Mayor of New York City may just be either one of the most coincidentally fortunate men, a highly effective lobbyist, developer and philanthropist or in the alternative one of the most corrupt men in city politics; or perhaps even all of the above. So who is political fixer Bill Rudin? And are he and his family guilty of ‘influence peddling’?

Questions to consider:

  • Is “influence peddler” – Bill Rudin the Jack Abramoff of Democratic City Politics?
  • Has NYC replaced Chicago as the most corrupt city in America?  FBI investigation definitely leads us to think so.
  • Do NYC Democrats Understand the risk of the Appearance of Criminal Impropriety of the Rudin/Quinn Alliance? : Do Democrats know and understand that the Rudin/Quinn alliance of rigged schemes and blatant pay 4 play city politics creates the appearance of corruption that causes an erosion of the public trust and in the end may cause the collapse of the local Democratic Party? And as postulated by Suzannah B. Troy, possibly lead to an increase in anti-Semitism?
  • Have we ever elected a Mayor who had full time white collar criminal counsel from their activities in one office while running for higher office?

Bill Rudin is the leader of the Rudin Real Estate dynasty. He also leads a non-profit front organization called – Association For A Better New York,  ”a coalition of business, labor, non-profit and political leaders focused on exploring and implementing ideas that keep the city moving forward” and otherwise “dedicated to the constant growth and renewal of New York City’s people, businesses and communities” – according to the organization’s website.  Given its activities in recent years ABNY under Rudin has blurred the lines between advancing the interests of Bill Rudin and the Rudin Real Estate Family, its member organizations and that of all New Yorkers. How does a private business man’s influence peddling advance the interests of New York City if in uses this creative alliance with select politicians to create or solidify business opportunities for his own eroding empire? It does not. All it does is to thereby create the impression, in the wider public, of Rudin simply being a beneficiary of backroom deals and  rigged schemes that fortify his own clan’s financial fortunes at a time when the bottom is falling out for many of his fellow citizens. This is not capitalism, nor is it the purpose of non-profit organizations but instead it reeks of Crony Capitalism, which in effect undermines confidence in the system as a whole.

Witness the courage of artist, citizen and activist Suzannah B. Troy who confronted Bill Rudin about his St. Vincent’s Condos and perhaps even spooking him in reminding him to his face that the character exhibited by Rudin in his dealings with St. Vincent’s may lead to a rise in anti-Semitism.

You cannot consider the ‘Surreal Shutdown of St. Vincent’s’ without also considering the ethics and morality of those who  targeted, collapsed and ultimately gutted, via willful destruction no less,  St. Vincent’s Hospital Chapel along with St. Vincent’s Hospital. This seems to have been done all in the name of feeding one man’s Real Estate Empire in the face of widespread community opposition, and with the assistance of certain societal elites and politicians who turned a blind eye towards the community. In its hour of need, this man gained inside access to St. Vincent’s Hospital posing as a friend and business savior who would build a new mixed use residential/medical facility modernizing the hospital to make it more efficient and profitable while building a revenue generating luxury residential component on the property.

Simultaneously, however, through the creative use of PR, this same man and forces aligned with him waged a war against the character, integrity and continued necessity of  St. Vincent’s Hospital which led to its total collapse. Once collapsed,  through his cronies on local zoning board, Rudin was able to get a waiver so that ALL the land long zoned for community use,  could be converted to luxury condos against the will of the West Village community. Quinn’s Sponsor was thus perhaps able to insure a timely long term stream of revenue to the spendthrift Rudin clan which was rumored to be on the ropes financially, according to certain unnamed societal sources.

IF IT LOOKS LIKE A CROOK, SMELLS LIKE A CROOK….

The question is when will the FBI turn turn its investigation to Bill Rudin and Christine Quinn and not simply those swimming with her in the political swamp which is New York politics? Because you see: if it looks like a crook, smells like a crook, has white collar criminal counsel like a crook and her co-conspirators (whether Democrats or Republican) start dropping like flies – tell you what, I am pretty sure that she is a big fat freaking crook.

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EPILOGUE – AT WHAT PRICE: CHRISTINE QUINN

At what price are some establishment New York Democrats, Emily’s List and Human Rights Watch supporting Christine Quinn against overwhelming evidence of her total lack of character and integrity, corruption and abandonment of core democratic principles of equity, fairness and the Common Good in our society? Is there in fact a double standard if you are a GAY WOMAN? Is ‘Identity Politics above all else the motivating reason to ignore legitimate and principled grassroots opposition to Quinn’s candidacy from the LGBT Community, Good Government proponents and Animal Rights activists? Do we risk further destabilizing and making more volatile this city by putting in office a woman there is tremendous resistance to by rank and file New Yorkers? Are we unnecessarily seeding a combustible environment?

Few can or should be hoodwinked by Boss Quinn’s self serving agenda and sponsorship by influence peddlers. Or is it just that in your estimation, in the SEA OF CORRUPTION INSPIRED BY THE SPEAKER OF THE CITY COUNCIL DURING HER REIGN, even as indictments and prosecutions swirl about all her cronies, you will put your head in the sand to delude yourself that Christine Quinn must actually be honest and clean? Or is she in your estimation the least dirty in the CESSPOOL of NY Political Corruption? The Citizens of New York City deserve a damn answer or none of you stand for what you propose to stand for.

CHRISTINE QUINN – THE WORST NIGHTMARE FOR CITIZENS IN THE OUTER BOROUGHS

NYC’S EPICENTER IS IN THE HEART OF ITS CITIZENS: It Does Not Take the ‘King of Corona’ to See that a Five Borough Vision of New York City Eludes Long Island Girl Christine Quinn

I am what some might refer to as a so called REAL New Yorker. I grew up in Queens and Brooklyn and now live in Manhattan, something I long aspired to but have questioned the necessity of living in this borough in recent years, given the escalating cost of housing here. My parents made the move to Manhattan before leaving to retire in the warmth of Florida. My dream of the  ‘Bright Lights Big City’ may have been different than that of Jay McInerney’s character in the book of the same name but it was a dream nonetheless. Like it is for many, Manhattan remains a concept or an idea as much as anything else.

Yet, I am ‘B&T’ or bridge and tunnel all the way; and there is simply nothing getting around that fact  or that the basis for my dreams was formed in middle and working class neighborhoods in the Outer Boroughs of New York City.   I have never forgotten who I am,  where I came from, nor am I deaf to the dreams of those who remained from whence I came. That includes my own family, friends and fellow citizens who pursue their dreams still in those places, even if their success in life, in many cases, has often well eclipsed mine on many levels.   Even so, since my life is not over, maybe even the Bronx and Staten Island might still be in my future. Maybe it is even my destiny to be the five borough citizen. Who knows?  But if I have learned anything it is that the soul of New York City is well outside Times Square, Grand Central Station (Terminal) or City Hall. The epicenter of New York City is  in the hearts of its citizens.

ABOUT ME & THE BOROUGHS OF NYC: In Black & White with a little Color

Jamaica Hospital is my birth place. My early years were spent in this city of neigborhoods in several notable ones, including Kew Gardens, Rego Park and Corona, Queens before our family picked up and moved to Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. I grew up playing in the Forest Hills Little League, enjoying pick up games and otherwise exploring Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, the two time site of the World’s Fair, when it was even more of a wide open space and my mother Virginia Bernadette Saunig who grew up attending St. Columba in the Chelsea section of Manhattan while her parents worked for AT&T and the New York  Central Railroad,  even worked there along side Louis Armstrong of all people. But then again she was also a cocktail waitress at joints in Queens where Xavier Cugat practiced his craft. But I diverge, I recall also pending afternoons at the Corona Ice King and Spaghetti Park and playing Stickball at St. Paul the Apostle Roman Catholic Church parking lot on 99th Street.

But it was there at P.S. 14 where it was “me and Julio down by the school yard” trying to figure out how to impress Barbara Alman, the first girl that truly caught my eye. I got butterflies in my stomach just looking at her.  I could barely utter a coherent phrase to illustrate a more than passing interest in her, but some of my female classmate friends saw it clearly and often teased me about it. Those were the days, when the biggest challenge in life was to figure out if I was going to say hello to Barbara or something more.

After leaving Queens during the Saturday Night Fever era, I often found myself hanging out at Connie’s Pizza on Nostrand Avenue in Sheepshead Bay trying my best to look like one of the local punks. But how could we even think we were ‘gangsta’ in our shiny orange and white Sheepshead Bay High School Sharks Swimming Team jackets or even acting like we founded the joint.

I have memories and I still have friends and family who grew up live in the ‘Outer Boroughs’, the ones that Manhattan political elites only realize exist after a natural disaster or when they seek citywide elective office.  So yes, though I may live in Manhattan currently, my soul is ‘Bridge & Tunnel’. Words once used to disparage people of my ilk are now, for me, a source of pride.  When I found work in Manhattan and landed my first legal job in New York City at Weil, Gotshal & Manges on Fifth Avenue, I can recall some of those I first associated with in Manhattan, who perhaps saw themselves as somewhat higher on the human food chain,  snidely refer to those from the outer boroughs as ‘B&T’.   I got past some of  my friends in college at Boston University calling me  ’Brooklyn’  by improving my diction, getting higher grades than they did and then gaining acceptance to the University of Pennsylvania Law School.  Long before Joey from friends made “How you doin” famous for me that simple phrase got me snickers in some circles when I spoke, including from a young girl from the Town of Yardley in Bucks County, Pennsylvania who later became my college girlfriend.  I  would be lying, however, if I did not say it irked me when I overheard ‘young urban professionals’ or Manhattanites at happy hours at fancy bars and restaurants in Manhattan, denigrate the people on the other side of the bridges and tunnels leading to Manhattan. When I reminded them, in my Brooks Brother suit (the one my mom bought for me) that I was from Queens and Brooklyn too, they would quickly say ” but you are different.”  Ironically today on the other side of Manhattan’s bridges & tunnels you find trust fund kids and wealthy entrepreneurs and folks I knew who never received the education I did and never emigrated to Manhattan became millionaires on their own.  Some even have more than those who made it in Manhattan. And no, it is not because they or their families were “all mobbed up.”

In my teens, my mom moved us to Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn where I literally became a man. It was was the first place I laid down with a woman, got mugged, got my ass kicked and put myself on a path to realize my dreams or at least some of them. After all the clock has not yet run out on my life.  OK, I must confess, living in Brooklyn in the hey day of Saturday Night Fever, I never owned a Members Only jacket. Instead fashion was nary a concern, because I was hoisting iron at Bath Beach Bodybuilding with some of my dorky friends, some of whom walked around full time as if they were on stage doing a lat spread. If any of you are reading this I hope you crack up but you know it is true!  Leaving the gym, I was often dressed in engineer boots and Lee Jeans. And if you know Bensonhurst, you would know I stuck out like a sore thumb.  I was ok that I never totally fit in. But then again that is what we wore to school in Queens at I.S. 61 and later at John Bowne in Queens and I spent more time listening to Rock and even got a job  at Harry M. Stevens, the concessionaire at Madison Square Garden, where I was able to work rock concerts in the 70’s.  I liked the movie Saturday Night Fever but starting out in Queens, for me, people like that were characters. That is until my first day at Sheepshead Bay High School where I saw folks dressed like Tony Manero and his friends in my class.

THE ED KOCH BRIDGE? – Nobody Calls it that!

REAL New Yorkers, those in the outer boroughs know that Long Island girl Christine Quinn is not one of us.  Maybe she should become Mayor of a nice town in Long Island?  I do not have an axe to grind with the deceased Mayor Edward Irving Koch other than to take issue with elements of the public relations burnished legacy that attempted to make him more than he was and gloss over selected elements of his actual legacy.  There is no doubt that Ed Koch deserves his props, St. Christopher, however,  he was not. Nevertheless, Quinn should know that her backroom deal to name the Queensboro Bridge the Ed Koch Bridge while he was ’still alive’ so she could bank an endorsement from him, won’t mean much to folks in Queens. We don’t call the 59th Street Bridge or the Queensboro Bridge the Ed Koch Bridge; in fact ‘Nobody Calls It The Ed Koch Bridge.’ Giving the city to Ed Koch and Bill Rudin so she can herself become Mayor is not impressive; its political patronage at best and at worst, something else entirely.

Furthermore, if Quinn hopes to have the Queens Democratic Machine rig the vote for her maybe she can win Queens but I believe that if the voters Queens have their say,  Christine Quinn will be repudiated at the ballot box. Quinn’s best hope is to have her campaign and the mainstream media lure voters into thinking that the Mayoralty is already the bag for her.  It is not. Once the voters realize it is not, Quinn’s candidacy will implode like a house of cards. All politics is local and the Democrats in Chelsea, at least those who participate and watch what leaders actually do, have already walked away from Christine Quinn. The campaign to Defeat Christine Quinn is growing at the grassroots level across this city, among Democrats and within the LGBT Community. Quinn’s ‘identity politics’ are not a good enough reason to vote for her. That should tell any Democrat paying attention to the truth of what Christine Quinn represents. They know Quinn does not represent the working men and women of New York City. Fact is that this ought to and just might be the “Twilight of the Elite Christine Quinn” if the media campaign to wash over her record does not fool a majority of voters.

DOES QUINN HOPE TO BE THE WIZARD OF OZ?

Voters in Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Staten Island as well as the enlightened in Manhattan will come to realize, if they have not already, that Christine Quinn is the plutocracy’s wind up toy.  But, especially, if you live along the LIE, the BQE or take the MTA into the city or near the city for work, you will recognize that via Bloomberg and Quinn Manhattan is becoming more like the Emerald City in the fictional Land of OZ, a place so far out of reach for the forgotten working men and women who grew up in New York City and more an urban playgroundfor the global jet setting elite only ; a place with a skyrocketing real estate and stock market with a plummeting middle class.

THE FUTURE OF NEW YORK CITY – QUINN & RUDIN’S LIMITED VISION

New York City was once to the rest of the world, a beacon of urban possibility, a place of dreams for artists and the iconoclastic; a place where Governor Mario Cuomo, also a product of Jamaica, Queens,challenged the vision of elites who were looking past the plight of the every man and woman in this country. Cuomo cut his teeth at the local level – representing “The Corona Fighting 69″ and then at the national level in a historic speech at the 1984 Democratic National Convention challenging Ronald Reagan’s vision of America as a “Shining City on the Hill”. In his speech, Cuomo outlined how America had become “Tale of Two Cities” illustrating in vivid detail the emergence of a less compassionate society, the plight of the increasingly forgotten and eroding middle class and vulnerability of the elderly, the sick and the poor. Cuomo referenced the folks behind the Norman Rockwell like paintings of America that all too often some politicians seek to craft at election time to brush over the uncomfortable externalities of their policy. Now our city is becoming as empty and soul less as Hollywood on the Hudson and the words of Mario Cuomo’s historic speech in 1984 even more relevant today then they were back then.

ARE RUDIN/QUINN – OFFERING TO BUILD ‘A BETTER NEW YORK’?

‘The Surreal Shutdown of St. Vincent’s’ awakened many of us in this town to the reality that there is in fact something very wrong going on.  The Rudin Real Estate Family may think they are building ‘A Better New York’ or building some ‘Shining City on the Hill’ by knocking down this city’s history to install similar and soul less high rise glass towers and shopping malls in place of hospitals, educational institutions, public parks and community centers across this city so a handful of Real Estate Insiders can profit from creating 3rd and 4th homes or real estate investment properties for people who live in Manhattan barely 20% of the time while they screw the people who have to live and work here 100% of the time.  Whether it is the destruction of St. Vincent’s Hospital, the over development of Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the planned waste transfer facility in family neighborhood on the Upper East Side and tearing down schools for more glass high rises, we ought to stop and asking what the hell is going on?

One must ask Quinn and Rudin:

Am I missing something?  Do Rudin and Quinn have any grander vision for the future of New York? Or is all that they can imagine for the future of this once proud metropolis is that its citizens should be working wage slave servants to those they hope come to populate the similar glass high rises that they continue to build?  Is the only vision you have for New Yorker’s that they should serve the food and drinks, clean the apartments and drive the limousines in this New- New York?  Have certain  Manhattan elites forgotten the true import of New York City’s rich history, the lessons of Jane Jacobs and the ‘Future of New York’ she imagined – a place of hope and expectation? I wonder about this because all they seem able to imagine is condo’s for the global elite while they rip apart the ties that bind our community of citizens.  We all need to go on a Jane Jacobs Walk if we want to avoid the complete and total cultural collapse of our metropolis and avoid a “Dark Age Ahead.”

Christine Quinn is unacceptable. I hope and expect that the chorus will be amplified my fellow citizens in that regard in the months ahead.  Quinn’s ‘identity politics’ must lose at the polls if we are to preserve New York as a place of hope and expectation for future generations.

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REFERENCE LINKS - The Anti-Quinn Grassroots Movement

Key Websites: Vote Quinn Out | Facebook: Defeat Christine Quinn | Facebook: Queers Against Christine QuinnThe Campaign to Be Mayor of NYC in 2013 | Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club – Chelsea Democratic Club | Facebook: The Outer Boroughs of New York City Against Christine QuinnSave Flushing Meadow Park: from developer friends of Bloomberg and Quinn

Constituent Abandonment: A Democratic Club (Jim Owles Club) Continues its War on Christine QuinnCapital New York: Actress Cynthia Nixon endorses Bill de Blasio, Criticizes Quinn over Paid Sick Leave | Anybody But Quinn | City & State NY | Citizens Union: Council Politics Taint Discretionary Funding

Quinn Slush Fund Scandal – NY Magazine: Quinn in the Slush | NY Times: NYC Council Speaker Presides Over $4.5 Million Slush Fund | Pauline Park: Christine Quinn the NYC Slush Fund Scandal | Christine Quinn Sold Out: Quinn Slush Fund Lawsuit Update | NY Times: Christine Quinn Uses NYC Council Funds to Reward Allies | Bronx Chatter: Quinn, Seabrook & the Slush Fund Scandal

RUDIN Family Blood Condos – SATANIC LUXURY: Rudin Family Blood Condos |St. Vincent’s Hospital to Close in Manhattan | NY Times: The Decline of St. Vincent’s Hospital | Norman Siegel Calls to Mayor to Open Investigation to City Council Hospital Hearing St. Vincent’s Site |  Tom Allon Slams Quinn For St. Vincent’s Closure | Suzannah B. Troy (NY Artist):NY Post Christine Quinn our Belladonna Porn Queen [Killed] St. Vincent’s Hospital | The Surreal Shutdown of St. Vincent’s

Repeal of Term Limits – Term Limits & Christine Quinn | Christine Quinn Wants to be Mayor of NYC | WSJ: City Council Speaker Defends Power to Overrule Voters on Term Limits | Boss Quinn Will Do Anything to Win to Become First Gay Mayor: insults constituent in her own district by referring to him as a no-name blogger. | NPR: Christine Quinn Never Supported Term Limits | Facebook -The Day Democracy Died: 3rd Anniversary of Quinn’s Repeal of Term Limits | NY Magazine: How Bill DeBlasio Can Defeat Christine Quinn

Character, Integrity & Temperament – The New Corrupt Adventures of Old Christine | Christine Quinn: Corrupt Democrat of the Week |  The Epoch Times: Challenging Quinn A Risk For NYC Council Members | Why Quinn Must Go | The Voice of the West Village | Politicker: Christine Quinn Storms Out of Living Wage Rally

Twitter: Stop Christine Quinn | Christine Quinn |

**HISTORICAL FOOTNOTES**

1. St. Vincent’s Hospital – Epicenter of AIDS Crisis
St. Vincent’s Hospital | AIDS Memorial Park: St. Vincent’s Hospital did not turn its back on the LGBT Community during the AIDS Crisis, quite the opposite in fact. St. Vincent’s was the epicenter of the AIDS Crisis. I am pretty sure that the entity’s compassionate policies exemplified for its care for those that nobody else would care for, destroyed its balance sheet. Yet, the humanity of the institution was not reciprocated by the liberal elites from Boss Quinn to Bette Midler of New York Restoration ProjectLandmarks Preservation Commission, Susan Sarandon, Rosie O’Donnell et al etc.  Perhaps they would rather have a luxury condo and toast in restoring the Continental Baths at the Ansonia or Studio 54 than fighting for a Catholic Hospital. You see, it is truly important to put in the Mayor’s Mansion, a woman who enables the corruption of NYC Insiders in backroom deals. Enabling her sponsorBill Rudin of the ABNY – Association For A Better New York to build luxury condos over the corpse of a Landmark medical treatment facility is critical, because its not like we have enough of them already in this town. The physicians, nurses and staff were there for the West Village Community during the AIDS Epidemic but the politically corrupt, grandstanding and annoyingly verbose, self serving and pontificating windbagTom Duane and his protege Christine Quinn turned their back on St. Vincent’s in its hour of need. History will show that those running St. Vincent’s Catholic Medical Center made a huge mistake in letting in the vultures: Rudin Management Company, Inc. For years leading up to its 2010 closing, St. Vincent’s was the target of a controversial billion-dollar luxury condo conversion plan by the Rudin real estate dynasty. Quinn’s Sponsor, Crony Capitalist Vulture Bill Rudin long had plans to develop Luxury Condo’s on the landmark site of the 160 year old hospital and chapel. With the assistance of Speaker Quinn, State Senator Tom Duane and a media campaign hatched and waged by societal elites in the shadows of society, the true vampires pulled the strings to enable Quinn’s sponsors: the Rudin clan to shutter a historic humanitarian medical institution and acquire for pennies on the dollar a landmark property of the 160 year old medical treatment facility and leaving the Lower West Side of Manhattan without a trauma hospital.  Maybe someone should ask Bill Rudin who leads the Association For a Better New York whether more luxury condos for celebrities is preferable for a better New York than a critical hospital to treat its citizens in a vulnerable part of Manhattan.

2. QUINN & DUANE – LGBT Elites & Media Campaign Assisted Rudin Family in Acquiring/Stealing St. Vincent’s Hospital

Background: St. Vincent’s Catholic Medical Center (wiki)

The Vultures Gain Access: St. Vincent’s ‘Let’s in the Vultures’ (Rudin Management Company, Inc): For years leading up to its 2010 closing, St. Vincent’s was the target of a controversial billion-dollar luxury condo conversion plan by the Rudin real estate dynasty. As noted by the following article, the vultures initially promised something quite different then before commencing construction decided that a hospital was impractical. See:  The Villager: St. Vincent’s and Rudin unveil elliptical hospital, condo tower: St. Vincent’s Hospital and the Rudin Organization last week revealed their preliminary plans for a new state-of-the-art hospital building on the west side of Seventh Ave. and for the residential redevelopment on the east side of the present hospital complex.

Orchestrated Media Campaign Leading to Closure: St. Vincent’s Hospital to Close in Manhattan | NY Times: The Decline of St. Vincent’s Hospital

The Plan: DNAinfo.com: Rudin’s St. Vincents Plan Debated at City Planning Hearing | Curbed: Plans Filed For Latest Aspect of St. Vincent’s Redevelopment | Observer: Rudin’s St. Vincent Project Gets Green Light From Planning Commission | CRAINS: Last Minute Deal Saves St. Vinnie’s Redevelopment | SATANIC LUXURY: Rudin Family Blood Condos with an AIDS Memorial Park

The Luxury Condos: 130 West 12th Street

Community Outrage: Coalition For A New Village Hospital | Hospital Now: Coalition Calling for Re-establishment of a Medical Center for Lower West Side of Manhattan | Video: Community Outrage at Rudin Family, Mayor & Quinn | Senator Tom Duane Shamed on St. Vincent’s Hospital Closing | Norman Siegel Calls to Mayor to Open Investigation to City Council Hospital Hearing St. Vincent’s Site |  Tom Allon Slams Quinn For St. Vincent’s Closure | Rudin Family Blood Condos

On The MemorialNYC AIDS Memorial Park CompetitionQueerty: St. Vincent’s Hospital NYC Epicenter of AIDS Crisis to Become [Rudin Built] Luxury CondosThe Villager: Should AIDS Be Part or All of Park Triangle Memorial?

AIDS History (selected): Avert: History of AIDS up to 1986AIDS & Politics – 1980 to 1989PBS: 10 Films that Address the Aids CrisisContrarian View: Virus Myth: HIV & AIDS – In 80’s, Fear Spread Faster Than AIDSThe Changing Face of Gay Men’s Sexuality in Response to AIDS

On Toasting the Elite Crony Capitalists: Oh yes,  I am sure we will have a nice little Memorial and a cute fundraiser or cocktail party hosted by the Rudin’s, Quinn and all their elite friends but it will not make up for the elimination of this critical and vital NY institution.

PAUL RYAN: The New “Emily Post” or a Satanic Munster?

Philanthropic Propagandist Tutors in Manners

Emily Post must be rolling over in her grave for Paul Ryan’s interpretation of proper etiquette. After his faux pose as a friend of the poor at a soup kitchen in Youngstown, Ohio was followed by a head spin, questioning the Vice President’s manners in laughing at his blatant lies is their recent televised debate, that would have left in awe the head turning star of the Exorcist, Linda Blair. Likewise, Mitt Romney who ‘could be the biggest hypocrite in the history of hypocrisy’, must be proud of his little brother in fraud (on the GOP’s national ticket) for his recent shape-shifting on issues related to the poor, in an effort to be seen as “a man of the people – rich people” that is – rather than just another opportunistic speculator. Romney’s Mormon Cult teaches that Satan was Jesus brother. Since the Romney Con sees himself as America’s ‘White Horse’ or savior, an extension of Joseph Smith, it is thus only appropriate that his little brother in arms, Paul Ryan, who worships at the alter of “the Satanic Bible”, be his Lucifer or Little Munster. Hell, even Dick Cheney “worships the ground he walks on.” And in that regard, Ryan is living up to his role in this campaign season.

As reported by the Washington Post:

GOP vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan said Friday that he was expecting Vice President Biden to interrupt him at last week’s debate, but he wasn’t prepared for other parts of the vice president’s performance, including his frequent laughing and smiling while Ryan was speaking.

“I expected the interruptions. I guess I can’t say I expected the other stuff you mentioned,” Ryan told conservative radio host Charlie Sykes in an interview Friday morning. He added: “Look, they had a bad first debate, so I knew he’d be coming at me. … I think if two guys just start getting in an interruption shouting match, that doesn’t do anybody any good.”

He told Sykes that he thought it was “important to be respectful of one another’s time” and said of Biden’s frequent interruptions: “It’s not our manners, where we come from.”

I would ask Paul Ryan that if Joe Biden’s interruptions [at the debate] are ‘not our manners’ then as a voice of America’s middle class, what kind of manners are reflected by your barging into a closed soup kitchen run by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul -Mahoning County District in Youngstown, Ohio, without permission, after hours with your own film crew, for an arranged photo op of you cleaning already clean dishes and pans? What was that all about other than an attempt to create ‘Philanthropic Propaganda’? And then after you were exposed, Republicans in Ohio supporting you retaliate against this soup kitchen by launching an offensive to restrict donations to the St. Vincent de Paul Society which runs the soup kitchen? Are those your manners Paul? Are those Republican manners or those of the new right? Why won’t you say anything or tell Republicans to stand down and not defend you? Is this some satanic idea of how to be a friend of the poor? In these times, one wonders  will Catholics in Ohio be duped by the mask you wear?

Ayn Rand Wanker’s Sense of Etiquette: Bizarre, Improper & Ironic

Ayn Rand acolytePaul Ryan, a so called Catholic has so inspired Catholics United that Nuns [have gotten]on the Bus and have gone on tour across America’s heartland to highlight and reject his problematic interpretation of Catholic teaching and values. You see Ryan seems to have mastered the Un-Christian values of Satan (Lucifer) or Ayn Rand, rather than Jesus Christ, not just for The Ryan Budget: “The Path to Prosperity, Restoring America’s Promise” for its targeting of the middle class, the poor, the vulnerable and elderly, but for his repeated hypocrisy. Jay Rockefeller called the Ryan Budget ‘a profile in cowardice’ and ex-Reagan Budget Director, David Stockman even referred to the ‘budget flimflam’ as a ‘Fairy Tale Budget Plan.’

Does anyone else find the idea of Luciferian Eddie Munster offering anyone lessons on “manners” ridiculous? So, let’s see, Joe Biden interrupted a fraudulent Republican Vice-Presidential candidate lying through every pore of his body at a debate on the most significant issues facing the middle class and the people of this country, and for that Biden was rude, rather than shrewd?    BUT Atlas’ wanker – Paul Ryan (the Romney campaign) and a film crew “ramrodded themselves in there” – into a Youngstown, Ohio soup kitchen for a photo-op without permission, after hours, long after poor people were served and the kitchen was clean to “pretend to clean dishes and pans” to solidify their ethical and moral standing and ‘philanthropic street cred’ among voters in a battleground state on the eve of the election and that illustrates proper etiquette? According to whose moral code is that proper etiquette? Paul Ryan’s unique way of “giving back” is posing like he cares.  Posing is not policy, therein lies the key difference.

Poverty Sucks: Publicity Stunts are better


“Jesus washed the feet of the poor. The Republican vice presidential nominee re-washed their clean pots and pans.” - Paul Ryan’s Bogus Soup Kitchen Photo Op”, Rolling Stone byTim Dickinson, October 16, 2012

Poverty Sucks. But then again Plutocracy Sucks too. Seeing economic strife up close, the soul ripped out of communities, the spirit of men and women demoralized and then committing to work with the best minds available to come up with the proper policy prescriptions to make society more equitable and sustainable is maybe too complex for men of limited intellectual means but of lofty political ambition. Perhaps thus one might understand Paul Ryan’s reluctance to get his hands dirty actually dealing with the poor or having to be up too close to the human externalities from the economic destruction of America and the gutting of its industrial core via a decades long policies that supported wealth extraction by some ‘Greedy Bastards’ who ’siphon off wealth created elsewhere in the economy’, at the expense of wealth creation. Given the foregoing and the current state of our nation, maybe you could even try to level with the folks in battleground states in America’s heartland than than try to deceive them and level our nation entirely with a budget plan that is like ‘math on meth’, but that might be asking too much of a plutocratic puppet hell bent on serving his masters and selling out his countrymen. Rest assured, however, that some of us in America are actually watching. And there is nothing that quite illustrates that you are an opportunistic and soul less piece of cow dung, than having your photo taken pretending to clean dirty pots and pans that are actually already clean at a soup kitchen which has already finished serving meals to homeless men and women, at the end of the day when the facility is closed, after all meals have long been served, no less, when you were not invited to or authorized to attend and when there are no poor people to get in the way of your photo op. Maybe you could have brought a check? Or come during working hours? Would you have come at all if you were up several points in battleground Ohio or there were no election pending? That is a rhetorical question. Most reasonably enlightened Americans know the answer.

RYAN’S REPUBLICANS: “Men of the People” RETALIATE AGAINST A SOUP KITCHEN (the Society of St. Vincent de Paul)

Despite Ryan’s horrific manners being exposed for the chicanery in staging a photo-op to highlight his philanthropic soul, instead of manning up for the attempted deception, writing a check to the charity etc., his fellow angry republicans in Ohio decide that it is better to retaliate by targeting said soup kitchen and withdrawing donations from a charitable entity that feeds the poor and a Society that aspires to “End Poverty through systematic change.” Yes, that is really how they roll. It is actually not so unbelievable that creatures exhibiting these kinds of ethics would not actually starve granny or push grandma down the stairs to limit social security payouts.

PAUL RYAN’S HUNGER GAMES: An Insult to Anti-Hunger Movement & the Legacy of George McGovern

Paul Ryan still has not written a check, admitted wrong doing or even encouraged fellow Republicans not to be so mean spirited towards this Society which feeds the hungry in Youngstown, Ohio and end the fallout over his visit. But instead he ignores doing the right thing and decides to lecture Americans on Joe Biden’s manners at the debate for dismissing and exposing him as a pseudo intellectual fraud? This is from a guy who has even separately raised $5 million for his congressional campaign in Wisconsin; just in case the Romney/Ryan ticket loses the election. In all the years that I attended religious instruction at St. Paul the Apostle Roman Catholic Church I never learned what the Catholic poseur learned about humanity. Neither are these the values that I have learned in my hometown from listening to and witnessing the efforts of Joel Berg of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger (NYCCAH) in his fight against hunger. Nor are they the values of the late great Statesman and ‘liberal stalwart’- George McGovern (In Memoriam: 1922-2012) in his anti-hunger crusade, which I witnessed first hand. Frankly, not even Ayn Rand is this cold-hearted. But I am sure Anton Lavey, the founder of the Church of Satan, would have applauded Mr. Ryan and his efforts to manipulate and deceive the poor and leverage his reputation as a man concerned for the hungry in America.

Donate: St. Vincent De Paul Society – Mahoning County District serves 98,000 meals to the poor annually with 200 to 250 people served lunch every weekday and about 150 served breakfast on Saturdays. The hall is closed Sundays. Those wanting to donate to the society can do so at P.O. Box 224, Youngstown, OH 44501 or at any First Place Bank or by clicking here. Facebook.

THIS GENERATION IS ON – Leading America’s March Forward

Celebrating America’s Evolution On Independence Day

Independence Day is a time of relaxation, reflection and indulgence. We build to a crescendo in our celebration much like an evening of fireworks commences first by the calm of setting up, finding a comfortable vantage point, laying down a blanket or lawn chair as you begin to think to yourself how lucky you are to be in this country and to have the time for this experience. Just as you begin to reflect on the history of our country, the sacrifices made to enable your life, it begins. The glimmer in the sky is broken first with a streaking burst of light, followed by a building but steadying flurry of sparks of various sizes to a colorful snap, crackle and pop over head leading ultimately to an unrelenting and perpetual multicolored blast in the sky that bedazzles your eyes and makes your head spin until a final crescendo leaves you with your mouth agape.

Regardless of what activities we choose to partake in individually and collectively, they are often preceded by thoughtful introspection about the history of our country, the meaning and responsibility of citizenship as well as solemn recognition for the citizens who have and will sacrifice to preserve and defend American ideals, on the battle field and in the market place of ideas, past, present and future.

Sustaining America is an ongoing process; a process which is reflected by the deliberate philanthropic acts of our societal, community and business leaders and children who dream without limitation on the possible. This is the fuel that perpetuates and turns the most noble of dreams into reality. This generation is engaged because of the forces of nature that remind us of the responsibility of our shared heritage as American citizens.

There are folks that have infused in me not only a greater sense of civic responsibility and an awareness of the interconnectedness of life on this planet. Many individuals of diverse perspectives and stations in life have made me realize that I am part of something far greater than me. From an existential standpoint that is certainly useful.

My sources of inspiration in this life have been both men and women.  Hillary Rodham Clinton was right in her instruction that ‘It Takes a Village’. I have and continue to be nurtured by a village of influential women who fill the blind spots in my life, mostly perhaps because I was open to their guidance. Women who continue to influence me now include photographer Donna Ferrato, founder of The Common Good, Patricia Duff as well as Mary Sliwa, a former corporate media executive and  the long time Executive Director of the Guardian Angels who is now a strategist with the Moldaver-Chrebet Group at Morgan Stanley, a Barons 2012 top ranked financial advisor in this region of the country.   But it was my very first my feminine hero, my mother born into this world as Virginia Bernadette Saunig who reminded me to channel my feminine side as much as the masculine and not allow the testosterone which would come to fill my veins to foreclose the possibility of reason and forging greater understanding and humanity.  As a New Yorker, long before I knew what a Clinton was, I knew the eloquent New York Governor Mario Cuomo. His sense of fairness and calls for greater equity and a more humanistic society resonated with me as they did with my father. But how do we get there? This is the crux of the intellectual battle between liberals and conservatives, including those in my own family. Government cannot do it all, nor should it.

Who can forget the clarion call of John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address when he stated “ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country”? President George H. W. Bush’s inaugural address invoking the vision of a “thousand points of light,” however truly laid down the gauntlet for service in clear terms: 

“We can find meaning and reward by serving some higher purpose than ourselves, a shining purpose, the illumination of a Thousand Points of Light…We all have something to give.”

President George H. W. Bush, 1989 Inaugural Address

Points of Light Institute which was formed during “41’s” term as President is now the largest non-profit volunteer network in the world, led by visionary CEO Michelle Nunn, a true pioneer in the service movement. Under the Points of Light umbrella is the Hands on Network comprising the  largest volunteer network in America.    As the face of volunteerism in America, the CEO, the daughter of a prominent U.S. Senator, who emerged from the shadows of volunteering in soup kitchens, seems to have a Zen thing when it comes to the role of giving back as central to a more holistic and balanced life.  In her words “Being of service to others and making a difference, being connected in the community, is one of the best ways that you can have a meaningful life.”

GenerationOn Gala Benefit

On Thursday, May 31 at 583 Park Avenue, GenerationOn, an organization now under the Points of Light umbrella,celebrated the work of young American volunteers and civic and corporate leaders – for their exceptional dedication to bringing positive change to their communities. GenerationOn was led by Board Co-Chairs, Kevin Arquit, Esq., widely recognized as one of the world’s top antitrust attorneys and a Partner in New York based Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLPDave Barger, CEO of JetBlueBrian Goldner, CEO of Hasbro and wife Barbara GoldnerKathy Lacey of Edelman, and Silda Wall Spitzer of the female led financial firm, Metropolitan Capital Advisors.

The youth services volunteer enterprise honored Gary Knell, President and CEO of National Public Radio (NPR) and Lauren Bush Lauren, Co-Founder and CEO of FEED Projects, for their outstanding leadership in youth service.  Lauren Bush Lauren impressed with a, dare I say it, Kennedy’esque speech on the import of giving back. Nuni Montaigne and Sonya Bernstein were presented with the Inaugural Silda Wall Spitzer Children for Children Award by John Hays of Christie’s. The Hasbro Community Action Hero Award was given to Zachary Certner, Nina Mahalingam, Maryam Farooq, William Lourcey, Nimansha Jain, Cassandra Lin, five inspiring young people for their exemplary service to their communities.

GenerationOn’s Executive Director, Concetta Bencivenga, who recently joined the organization after years in Philadelphia at the Please Touch Museum and an adjunct professor at my alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania, along with Rachel Shuster closed out remarks to the gathering before master thespian Stephen Lang served as auctioneer in place of long time generationON supporter John Hays of Christies who had other duties this evening

Kevin Arquit and Silda Wall Spitzer reflected on the mission of generationOn in the greater context of America’s future:

“Our view, first articulated by Silda Wall Spitzer when she started our predecessor organization, Children For Children, is that if you instill youth service at a very young age, it is far more likely to take hold and be a large part of what children are, and what they become”, stated Kevin Arquit before quickly adding, “Our view is not that children should volunteer and engage simply because they have to, or because it is the “right thing to do.”   The success of our organization is found when a child volunteers simply because it is a large part of who they are.  And the ultimate payoff that results from having an engaged, motivated population of children is virtually limitless.”

Silda Wall Spitzer emphasizes that instilling a greater spirit of societal participation does not just lead to healthy well adjusted children but creates better citizens as studies show that:

“these children vote more and become more responsible, productive and collaborative members of the communities in which they live and work”.

Speaking of a man who knows a little something about growth and value, in the words of Arquit’s generationOn Board Co-Chair, Dave Barger CEO of JetBlue, one of America’s most revered brands:

“At its heart, GenerationOn is about educating youth to be part of the community.  Being involved with such an organization is incredibly rewarding, but we do it because it’s part of our DNA and we want to build a better society.”

Barger who supports  PENCIL in leading the fight to transform education, and whose face adorns ads at local MTA bus stop in my own neighborhood, adds:

“For kids, Independence Day means summer vacation and being away from school.  In reality, summer is an important time to get ready for the school year.  Organizations like GenerationOn and PENCIL are hard at work when students are away, essentially preparing the theater for the curtain to go up in the fall.”

JetBlue’s DNA exemplified in Barger’s leadership, vision and execution, has led the airline to achieve a unique stature and brand in the marketplace. New York’s Hometown Airline™, known for value-added amenities like free TVs, comfy leather seats with lots of legroom and a free first-checked bag, recently earned an all-time high score among traveling public. For the eighth consecutive year, the airline received a J.D. Power and Associates Honor for customer satisfaction. Now if I seem impartial, truth is I am, I am an unabashed fan of New York’s Hometown Airline™.  I am forever TrueBlue for JetBlue because their devotion to the customer experience in travel makes it my preferred way to travel. Fact is that I get as excited by boarding a JetBlue plane as I do with landing at my vacation destination. And if you listen and watch Barger speak, it is clear that he is as evolved a CEO as you will find in America. He knows that “you can never be too human”.

Dr. Jock Percy, CEO of Perseus Telecom states:

“Giving back to the community in which we operate is important for us culturally. Supporting Play Rugby USA in directly enables me as CEO of Perseus to support the community in which we operate by developing youth through rugby. It reminds us that what we do is important for our customers and within our industry, but we can have a direct impact locally. Our business operates globally and youth development is a global objective of Play Rugby USA in tune with the game of rugby played in 160 countries around the world. Rugby has given me many opportunities at a personal level and naturally I want to see the next generation of young Americans develop skills in leadership, team-work, discipline and community.”

VOICES OF SEPTEMBER 11th

My eyes were glued to the screen at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers the Voices of September 11th  Fifth Annual Always Remember Gala for the New York Premiere of  ‘Voices’ of 9/11 by Take Part. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton in a video greeting that preceded the screening praised the humanistic work of the organization. Kathy Lee Gifford of NBC’s Today Show, delivered the Keynote Address in a heroic voice. Joe Daniels, President of the 9/11 Memorial & Museum was warmly received for providing an update on the 9/11 Museum.

Event chair Bonnie McEneaney, author of the book: “Messages: Signs, Visits, and Premonitions from Loved Ones Lost on 9/11” was there among friends and family, including Debby Sands McEneaney of Sag Harbor, organizer of the East End tradition, the Artists & Writers Charity Softball Game, who attended with her husband Kevin McEneaney and their children Peter McEneaney and Ian McEneaney. Among the notables in attendance were honorary chair Governor Thomas Kean, Monica Iken of September’s Mission and 9/11 Memorial & Museum Director, Alice M. Greenwald.

Mary Fetchet, the co-founder of Voices of September 11th, offered earnestly how she and her team at Voices have been “Building Bridges” since tragedy struck on 9/11:

“After the death of my son on 9/11, I co-founded Voices of September 11th to support all those affected, commemorate the nearly 3,000 lives lost and promote reforms to make our country safer.  Despite an unimaginable loss, the 9/11 families have demonstrated great strength, resiliency and compassion, creating philanthropic efforts in memory of their loved ones that benefit others. As Americans we are fortunate to live in a democratic society that provides an opportunity for each of us to make a difference in our communities and the world.”

Fetchet and the team of thoughtful and earnest patriots she leads at Voices of September 11th are “Building Bridges” 365 24/7 so it is rather ironic that they give awards of a similar name. Honored for their principled and yeoman work on the 9/11 Memorial & Museum were Christopher Del Pozzo and Kevin P. Murphy of Lend Lease, one of the world’s leading project management and construction companies. Composer, David Friedman and soloists Amanda Nisenson, Joan Carlo and Matt Thomas along with Cellist Nada Radulovich provided a spirited evening of entertainment that was literally transcendent.

FINANCIAL SERVICES CARES GALA – AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY

7th Annual Financial Services Cares Gala to Benefit American Cancer Society was held on Monday, June 18th at Cipriani 42nd Street in Manhattan. The American Cancer Society honored John W. Thiel, the head of U.S. Wealth Management and Private Banking and Investment Group for Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management with the Eugene D. O’Kelly Award and Black Rock with the 2012 Financial Services Cares Distinguished Services Award. Robert S. Kapito, President and a Director of BlackRock accepted the award.

BATMAN & ROBIN: Distasio & Thiel

Don Distasio, CEO of American Cancer Society, Eastern Division, has developed a reputation as one of the most effective CEO’s in the charitable arena. Under the leadership  of the cancer survivor, cancer rates have dropped dramatically.  Due to his implementation of a plan to fight cancer through research, education, advocacy and services to patients and families, “the American Cancer Society is now the most comprehensive cancer fighting organization in the world. It is the only full service 24/7 around the clock Cancer resource available to those battling any kind of cancer” reminds the man who has spent the last 40 years working to build the character and effectiveness of the only employer he has ever known. “Your journey begins by going online to Cancer.org or just call 1-800-227-2345.”

If Distasio’s reputation as a cancer fighter make him Batman, then in John Thiel he has clearly found Robin. Thiel is as respected in the Cancer Community as he is a leader at Merrill Lynch/Bank of America. When I asked Thiel about America’s birthday, Thiel who had many of his firms competitors in the house, by his own invitation, reminded me that the “American Cancer Society is in the business of birthdays –“We are here tonight to create a world with less cancer and more birthdays.” Distasio took a moment to add that “we are very proud of our mantra of saving more lives and creating more birthdays. The simplicity of that is amazing but also quite true.”

ACE 20th ANNIVERSARY

ACE celebrated 20 years of empowering the homeless and improving communities with a festive gala at world famous auction house Sotheby’s on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. ACE founder, artist, community builder and model of urban heroism, Henry Buhl, along with ACE Executive Director Jim Martin took the stage at Sotheby’s to highlight the progress of the program over its 20 year history.  Nothing could be more “Fresco by Scotto” than Emcee and Good Day NY co-host Rosanna Scotto who notably serves as President of “Schmoozing” at her aptly named family restaurant. Socialite Tinsley Mortimer and Mary Sliwa, the former corporate media executive and long time Executive Director of New York based Guardian Angels and now a strategist with the Moldaver-Chrebet Group at Morgan Stanley, a Barron’s #1 ranked Financial Advisor in New Jersey, were among the guests.

Jessye Norman’s rendition of God Bless America literally brought forth tears.2012 honorees were Jessye Norman, Russell Simmons and Newmark Grubb Knight Frank – Retail. ACE also honored supporters Tony Goldman Steven Tanger (CEO of Tanger Outlets),Cynthia Wainwright and Denise Rich.

Countess Luann de Lesseps from The Real Housewives of New York City was joined by bombshell cast mates Heather Thomson, who is more Berkshires than Hamptons, and glamorous, Aviva Drescher. The trio provided rather stunning evidence of a range of diversity in elegant and sophisticated feminine beauty that turned heads all night. Talented Vietnamese concert pianist Chau-Giang Thi Nguyen (Cho-San),who is embraced widely by the creative community for the purity of her spirit and her immense talent, seemed to be comfortable back in familiar surroundings having relocated back to Manhattan from her frolic out west where she collaborated with Hollywood royalty.

WOMEN IN CONSERVATION

National Audubon Society members, chairmen, supporters as well as members of “Women Greening the City” gathered at the ninth annual Women in Conservation Luncheon at The Plaza Hotel on Central Park South. Women of the earth, the cloth along with environmental entrepreneurs made clear the synergy between conservation and a vibrant healthy economy.  Over $1 million was raised by Conservationists  while honoring three exceptional women with the Rachel Carson Award. Honored for their notable work in the environmental and conservation movement were: The Rev. Canon Sally Bingham – President of The Regeneration Project / Interfaith Power and LightL. Hunter Lovins – President of Natural Capitalism SolutionsJanette Sadik-Khan – Commissioner of New York City Department of Transportation.

Allison Whipple Rockefeller, National Audubon’s Women In Conservation, Founding Chair; New York State Parks Commission Member, confers her perspective on Independence Day:

“The Fourth of July means so much to me because it brings floods of American families and friends together- outside- in parks across the country. The Fourth reminds me that no other nation on earth had given its most beautiful places, its national parks, forests and wilderness, to its citizens. These, in Europe and elsewhere, were preserved for the king and the aristocracy. Here, the nation’s most beautiful places belong to the American people. Citizen ownership of parkland was an uniquely American concept and it has served as a model to the rest of the world. Parks owned by the people: another great American idea.”

Sara Hobel, Executive Director, Horticultural Society of New York provides a history lesson:

“Horticulture is tied up with the entire history of the US—think of the farmers who opened the western frontier, Jefferson’s adoption at Monticello of viniculture, the Victory Gardens that helped win WWII.  Urban farmers, green roofs, and sustainable, small-scale agriculture informed by organizations like the Horticultural Society of New York is the next chapter in that history of growing American independence, and American interdependence.”

CITYMEALS ON WHEELS 27TH ANNUAL CHEF’S TRIBUTE

Legendary chefs gathered at Rockefeller Center on June 4th for the 27th Annual Chefs’ Tribute to Citymeals. This film-themed food fest featured a reunion of  Michael Douglas and long time Citymeals supporter Kathleen Turner, who paired famously in “War of the Roses” and “Romancing the Stone”. The event raised over $826,000 for the preparation and delivery of more than 128,000 nutritious meals delivered to frail homebound elderly New Yorkers. White House Executive Pastry ChefWilliam “Bill” Yosses was among a cast of culinary artisans that included Daniel Boulud, Eric Rippert, Marcus Samuelsson, Larry Forgione, David Burke , Cesare Casella, Alfred Portale , Jean-Georges Vongerichten and restaurateur, Drew Nieporent. Renowned architect David Rockwell was responsible for the event design. Nick Valenti, CEO of Patina Restaurant Group, was Grand Host. The event was chaired by Ninah & Michael Lynne; Laura & John Pomerantz; Randi & Dennis Riese; and Lizzie & Jonathan Tisch. The Beverage Committee was headed up by Audrey Saunders of The Pegu Club. Wine Chair was Daniel Johnnes of the Dinex Group. Events of this magnitude do not happen without sponsors. American Airlines and FIJI Water were Official sponsors of Citymeals-on-Wheels.

How do we celebrate? In the words of Billy Joel“A bottle of red, a bottle of white, perhaps a bottle of [Wolffer Estate] Rose instead? We’ll get a table near the street, in our old familiar place, you and I face to face” in Sag Harbor, South or East Hampton or Bridge whether at 75 Main, Savanna’s, The Palm or  I will meet you any time you want at Wolffer’s Estate Restaurant.  From the vineyards in Sagaponack I will lift a premium glass of Long Island wine and salute those of you who make being an American and a New Yorker, and in the summer months, dare I say it a New York [Long] Islander, simply the greatest thing I will ever be in this life.

To be a Point of Light in America’s evolution, you need not be an electrician to help illuminate the bulb to keep us moving forward in “the light.”

*NOTE: An edited version of this post appears in Social Life Magazine (Hamptons) July issue in my Society column.

Social Life Magazine - July 4th Independence Day Issue

Social Life Magazine - July 4th Independence Day Issue

AMERICA 2.0: Forward & Beyond Wedge Issues Dividing America

The Economic & Spiritual Drain of Bigotry


“The Road to the gates of Heaven is not paved with the dishonor of creating further injustice through self righteousness here on earth about god’s will with respect to the gay community. Bigotry is furthermore an economic drain on society, unless you think the work of gay capitalists, entrepreneurs, blue collar workers, professionals and creatives is not part of the GDP, so please do not try to tell me that the economy and gay marriage are separate issues. The civil rights of all of our citizens and all of god’s children are relevant to the progress of our nation.”    – Christopher London (2012)


Equal Rights For Gays Do Not Undermine the Rights of Non-Gays

This past week, the President of the United States of America, for the first time stated publicly and unequivocally, directly from the White House, his support of marriage equality for same sex couples. This was truly a watershed event in the civil rights movement for the LGBT Community that traces its rise to the Stonewall Riots in New York City in 1969.    Opponents of marriage equality, traditionalists and those guided by traditional family values ought to relax, recognize and comprehend that gay marriage has not bee mandated upon straight people. I am pretty sure that straight folks are still free to be straight, marry and procreate with members of the opposite sex. Those who are not gay certainly remain free to live their own lives in accordance to their interpretation of biblical law. Even those of us who are of the belief that gay pairings fly in the face of God’s natural law must recognize and understand that no where in scripture or elsewhere has God licensed individual citizens to enforce the power and judgment of God upon individual citizens.  To do so would also be in further contravention of equal rights under the law under the U.S. Constitution, which is actually the ruling document of this nation.

God’s Law Should be Enforced by God not Moralists who Claim to Speak for God

If gays are truly living unholy lives not in accordance with God’s law, and God is to render any kind of judgment therefor, he or she can do it in his or or her own time. You and I both are alleviated of performing God’s role here on this earth and should thus be  liberated to focus on your own life, and not the private life of your neighbor. The exercise and pursuit of  so called traditional family values ought not to stand in defiance of exhibiting humanity towards our fellow citizens. With all due respect to the eloquent Tony Perkins,  a conservative politician who heads the Family Research Council, I respect those among us who fight to insure that families and children of this nation receive their rightful priority in our national agenda both in terms of sustaining our civilization and working towards creating more humane environments for our nation’s children and their parents.  Your role in that regard is valid to a point.  You are not God. God has not licensed you to determine how our citizens should be treated under the law of the land which is the U.S. Constitution.  When you thus take things a step further to prevent gay people from marrying and committing to one another, challenging their individual liberty, that is a manipulative distraction and definitely not the key to vaulting America into leading the world.  Doing so will not further stabilize traditional families but only lead to greater tension and societal instability.   Am I my brother’s keeper? Yes I am, but I am certainly not his overlord. Nevertheless, I must love him as I would myself. Forward and onward my fellow Americans.

FORWARD: Weaving & Mending the Tapestry of American Life

The political debate in America ought to be about how to get business thriving, how our country can compete better in a more competitive global economy, how we can elevate the forgotten pockets in the Appalachian region where our countrymen are hurting from the impact of globalization, how we can repair urban blight and social decay while building the security of the middle class and luring the elite of the world who live in more oppressive environments in other countries to come get their educations and fulfill their entrepreneurial dreams here in America.

Rebuild America, Rebuild the Dream & Reform Immigration Policy

In the words of Mike Bloomberg, “The American dream cannot survive if we keep telling the dreamers to go elsewhere.”  Bloomberg is right. We can rebuild America, rebuild the Dream and ‘Drive America Forward’ by luring the top talent from around the world to build their dreams in our nation.  We should invite and allow the world’s elite minds and souls to weave themselves in and become part of America’s tapestry. Bloomberg’s calls for immediate immigration reform should not go unheeded. Bloomberg is right that we can boost the economy through immigration reform.  I refer you  to:  “6 Ways to Boost Our Economy Through Immigration Reform” by Mike Bloomberg.

New York City is a model city for the best and brightest the world over. It can  serve as a shining example to the rest of the country that differences among people are not to be feared but celebrated. The challenges we face as a nation are different ones in some respects than we faced before.  Now is not the time to turn inward, embrace fears and and close the doors to the brightest minds the world over.

New York is where it is in 2012, regardless of one’s critique of the Mayor on individual issues because he was forward thinking on a grand scale and he also ultimately came to embrace aspects of the Giuliani legacy, even in times where the cities coffers were less flush with cash than they were in the 1990’s. That post 9/11 New York City did not slip into a 1970’s abyss is testament to New York City’s political leadership. Consider that the Mayor has as many critics on the right and on the left and I would say that when you infuriate folks on all sides you are in all likelihood striving to do what is best for the whole of society. To that I say Mazel Tov. Do I agree with every decision made by every leader? Hardly, but I see merit often in the grander mosaic and vision. We are all human and we all fail and succeed.  I am a New Yorker, I have seen the best and the worst in my lifetime over the last 50 years and was informed by those in my family who were here at the turn of the last century. Frankly, I think we are lucky to have had the Mayoral leadership that we have had for the last 20 years. That is just New York.

On a national level, we ought not fighting about how to prevent some folks who relate to the same sex differently than the majority of us do from partnering with one another, so that they too can be liberated to fight the fights that matter and also be focused in elevating our society. The LGBT Community and immigrants to America alike contribute to the economic vitality, prosperity and spiritual core of this country whether you like it or not and whether you respect how they live. And truthfully, why should we be at all concerned or shall I say be pre-occupied with denying the LGBT Community equality? How will it advance America to remove from the team certain folks by reclassifying them as lesser Americans?

BIGOTRY = An Economic Drain on Society

Is the American way ‘truth and justice for all’ or only for some?  Liberty is for everyone, not just for certain people who are more American, heterosexual, white or male. We can no longer stand for political equivocation on anyone’s individual rights. Anti-woman, anti-gay and anti-minority is no way for this nation to move forward beyond these wedge issues that divide us as a people and only provide a platform for politicians to morally pontificate and posture for votes based upon some interpretation of biblical law rather than constitutional law.

Please do not try to tell me that the economy and gay marriage are separate issues, (see:  the position taken by GOP: ‘GOP: Economy tops gay marriage as campaign issue’) for  I would argue that they are intertwined. A divided society is less productive ultimately. Bigotry is thus an economic drain on society. Intolerance and injustice are very much tied to the economy because it unsettles otherwise productive members of society from their pursuits in life that drive the economy to defend their station as citizens of this land.

As we seek to move this nation forward, it is important and perhaps critical to consider that economically speaking, the LGBT Community is a somewhat vital contributor to the nation’s economy and our Gross National Product (GNP). Not only is it a civil rights issue but you may want to consider that the LGBT Community consists of American capitalists, entrepreneurs, workers, shoppers et al etc.

Unless you think that the work of gay capitalists, entrepreneurs, professionals and creatives is not part of the GNP or GDP, you might want to consider that gays make steady contributions to society by working in Science, Technology, Venture Capital & Finance, Manufacturing, Entertainment, Medicine, Law, Academia, Publishing, the Arts, Theater, Fashion etc. Many members of the LGBT Community own enterprises that employ gays and non-gays alike. And many are significant philanthropists funding causes near and dear to many of us who seem to be less sympathetic to their shared desire for equal standing.  Don’t believe me? Ask the owners of restaurants and hotels, wedding planners, florists, photographers in your own community whether gay marriage is useful for their business.

Think twice before you condone the idea of treating members of the LGBT Community as lesser Americans. Maybe if you do, then all those “homo’s” will move overseas and build the economy of other nations and America can be a productive “gay free” nation like……. IRAN.  Productive members of society should not have to expend time and effort defending their sexuality and the manner in which they love from citizens who believe that God has given them license to discriminate. If they do, we all lose.

Rational Discourse vs. Dehumanization Tactics

This is why regardless of whether you are a Democrat, Republican or Independent you have to appreciate that Barack Obama, the sitting  President of the United States has finally stated public support for marriage equality.  Obama has evolved like many of us, myself included, continue to on this issue.  This does not mean that there are not thoughtful and rational arguments to challenge any candidate for high office or his or her re-election effort.  President Obama is not above reproach as a leader and like any sitting leader deserves to be challenged.  There is nothing wrong with having a legitimate policy debate and bringing it to the American people. The case against the Obama Presidency all to often has been made on false terms and via use of dehumanizing code words and divisive and ridiculous rhetoric that appeals to our fears and not to our intellect. Andrew Sullivan in the Daily Beast, makes some valid points in a piece wherein he postures that Obama’s long game may end up out smarting all of his critics:

“The right calls him a socialist, the left says he sucks up to Wall Street, and independents think he’s a wimp. The attacks from both the right and the left on the man and his policies aren’t out of bounds. They’re simply—empirically—wrong.”

Where  I take further issue is when that debate degenerates into blaming this President for every misfortune befallen to the people of this land, as if we were in such a stellar place in 2008, and then further attempt to  radicalize a President who inherited a country in the verge or in the midst of economic collapse and at a major crossroads,  by dehumanizing him and referring to him as a radical socialist, terrorist Muslim sympathizer, a thug and not cut of the same American cloth but different and then further when all else fails, through the use of angry white male’s rhetoric of last resort….gay bashing and inferences of ‘you’re so gay’.  A perfect example of gay bashing is yesterday’s cheap shot at President Obama by Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), whose testicles I would personally like to stuff down his down throat, for playing to his own ignorance and those listening to him with his cheap shot on the President. Then again that is just me as I usually find that men of such ilk don’t have the balls to truly refer to themselves as “Men”.

As reported in the LA Times: U.S. Senator Rand Paul remarked on President Obama’s decision to publicly support same-sex marriage by saying, “Call me cynical, but I wasn’t sure his views on marriage could get any gayer.”

Senator Paul’s juvenile remark only illustrated for the wider public the depth of the man’s ignorance and undermined the stature he was building in wider society, at least in my eyes, by effectively dismissing the President with all the veiled disrespect of calling someone a silly or “stupid homo.”

The Road to Heaven is Not Paved by Injustice & Self Righteousness

We ought not, however, to be engaged in these unproductive battles to differentiate rights between citizens based on their sexual preference. We need to move beyond unproductive and divisive dialoque’s on these wedge issues so that the entire country is charging forward in all cylinders. That is the America I want to live in. My values may in many cases be far more traditional but nevertheless should not traditional values embody loving all those that are different than you or me? Are we not all God’s children? I do not profess to know what is God’s plan or the path to heaven, if it exists, or what kind of life  is the most holy, and I have and will continue to make every conceivable mistake there is to make in the remainder of my time here on earth, but I do not think that the road to the gates of heaven is paved with the dishonor of creating further injustice through one’s own self anointed self righteousness and judgment exhibited thereby, here on this earth, towards the gay community – and about what other consenting adults should be doing or not doing behind closed doors and who they cannot help loving. And yes that is an evolution for me as well.

Forward:  With More Humanity, Love,  Sanity & Tolerance

As stated to me by another one of my enlightened female role models: “We groom our generations to want more, do less, take as much as you can and give as little as possible.” So instead maybe we should come to be happy with preserving our health, taking responsibility for ourselves and the community we live in and commit to loving and supporting family units of all kinds and commit to building a more humane society over all and at least figure out what we can do to make our society more humane and just and spread our love to more and more of our fellow citizens. I think only great things can come from spending more time loving our fellow man than judging him.

It seems so simple on so many levels and so utterly achievable if we as Americans appeal to our better angels rather than fermenting politics of division.

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See also

-Building America’s Future

-Rebuild the Dream

-Appalachian Voices: Rebuilding the American Dream

-Rebuilding America’s Infrastructure

-The True Colors Fund: The True Colors Fund was co-founded by Cyndi Lauper to inspire and engage everyone, especially straight people, to become active participants in the advancement of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality and to raise awareness about and bring an end to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth homelessness. For more information please visit: http://www.truecolorsfund.org

-Andrew Sullivan, The Daily Beast – Barack Obama’s Gay Marriage Evolution

-NPR Interviews Andrew Sullivan on Obama’s Support of Gay Marriage: Obama’s ‘Marriage’ Move Is ‘Conservative’ and He ‘Let Go Of The Fear’

-Andrew Sullivan, The Daily Beast – How Obama’s Long Game Will Outsmart His Critics

-Bruce Gottlieb, The Atlantic – Of Course Obama’s Gay Marriage Stance Is Political—So What?

-Michele Weiser, Boston.com – OPINION: Obama Supports Gay Marriage… So What?

-Politico, Cyndi Lauper Loves Obama’s True Colors

-NY Times, P. Baker & R Swarns – After Obama’s Decision on Marriage, a Call to Pastors

-Daily Kos: An open letter to the people who hate Obama more than they love America

-Obama’s Stance on Gay Marriage Affecting American Attitudes