Reason of Voice
Tuesday, June 17, 2003
LEAVING!Thanks to XRLQ and Kathy Kinsley, "Reason of Voice" has a new home. Our new URL is: http://reasonofvoice.com/ (what else?). If you are not redirected there shortly, please use the link.
So, reset your bookmarks.........and wave stinkin' Blogspot goodbye!
Monday, June 16, 2003
Bloomberg sinks lowerIn a recent NYTimes poll, NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg recorded an approval rating of only 24%, 'besting' his own record of 32% recorded in the Quinnipiac poll of early May. No other New York mayor has ever polled lower, according to the Times. The NYPost, on the absolute opposite end of the political spectrum, jumped on the pile in its full blast editorial today, comparing the mayor (of course, unfavorably) to previous mayor Giuliani. Quote:
What can he do?
* He might take aim a the true root cause of the crisis: A health-care system that squanders billions on unnecessary hospital beds simply to employ legions of redundant health-care "workers."
* He might confront the municipal work force in a coherent way, targeting unneeded functions, as opposed to empty or marginal civil-service job items. There are 280,000 bodies on the city's payroll - unaffordable, even in good times.
* He might attack the lush benefit structure enjoyed by municipal employees - no-contribution health insurance and fat pensions, to note just two.
But he won't.
That is to say, Hizzoner wants an omelet - but he won't crack eggs.
What a simplistic approach. FIND THE WASTE, Mike, bleats the NYPost, a stalwart normally of any Republican.........but not Bloomberg.
On the contrary, Bloomberg has attacked the problem of a destitute city budget with all the aplomb that a multi-billionaire businessman should; just like a business. He has approached Pataki and the State Legislature for more funds and made a plea to the Federal government as well. Both Pataki and Joe Bruno have barely given Bloomberg lip service, and certainly no money.
Bloomberg has increased taxes, both personal and property, while aggresively attempting to reinstitute the commuter tax, a fully fair tax that was wrongly recinded. On the services end, Bloomberg has, without favoritism, slashed the budget in every area, including Fire, Police and Sanitation. He's cut in after-school programs and in the drug addiction programs, he's even cut staffing out of his own office. He's taken on Weingarten in the Teacher's union and the PBA while witnessing an outrageous increase in the MTA union package, which is NY State's responsibility to (mis)negotiate. No matter, Bloomberg has gotten the blame. Of course, such across-the-board cutting has made Bloomberg NO friends, despite being the most responsible mayor, (and that INCLUDES Giuliani), that this city has ever seen. Perhaps the pressures of a budget deficit this large has goaded the Mayor to apply more aggressive directives to his police and building supervisors to raise money with citations of petty offenses. Stories of bad tickets seem to crop up on the DailyNews regularily. (including this recent goofy loitering story.)
Even if true, these stories strike me as an easy attempt to sell papers at the expense of a Mayor in the public opinion basement. Is this the best attack on Bloomberg that can be reasonably made? Although giving out tickets to increase revenue strikes me as shallow, it's a tactic I'm apt to forgive, considering the economic dire straits of the City.
Does this prove once and for all that you can't do what's right and succeed in politics??? Do we need to be so cynical? Looks like Bloomberg is going to continue to act like a leader, despite what any poll says........good for him.
Mideast back-and-forthDavid Adesnik at Oxblog has been among the few to show dismay at Sharon and support of the NYTimes editorial that got Michael Totten so steamed.
Among the few, that is, except for Greg Djerejian. I read a number of his recent posts on the issue and felt the need to reply. Here's a reprint of the email I sent him:
Came to you through Oxblog where I had a recent link from David Adesnik. First, I love your blog although I don't always agree with it. It is, however, always well argued, documented and written. But can I suggest a possibility you might not have considered? In your post on 13/6 you quote Alpher: (a mideast analyst)
"The attack on Rantisi was a mistake any way you cut it," said Alpher. "You can't have it both ways. If you sign on to the road map process and agree to give [Abbas] a chance, then you have to show restraint. If, on the other hand, you think it's all a sham and that he is impotent, then don't sign on in the first place."
I initially thought that the assassination attempt on Rantisi was monumentally ill-timed, for all the reasons you've stated. But I also believe that the Palestinian people will have to undergo a limited Civil war before any peace process will have any chance of success. Mahmoud Abbas has made it clear that he is unwilling to confront the terrorist organizations among him. If those terrorist organizations cannot be coopted into agreeing to any two-state solution, and I believe that such a plan goes against every fiber of their being, then the influence of those organizations will have to be weakened if Abbas is to GAIN control of his state and their policies. Even the speech that Abbas gave at Aqaba was enough to incite the terrorists to violence.........they hardly needed the Rantissi assassination attempt.
Is it possible that the Israelis are somewhat strangely helping Abbas by eviscerating Hamas, enabling a positive decision of Palestinian policy toward Israel? Alpher's statement could just as easily be applied to the Palestinians: If you sign on to the roadmap, you have to show the willingness to deliver on the end of violence. If you're not willing (or you just can't) deliver on this, don't sign on. Abbas may not be able to take on Hamas and Islamic Jihad publicly, but the Israelis can.
Go read Greg here and tell him what you think.
Sunday, June 15, 2003
Happy Father's DayI'd like to wish everyone a happy Father's day. I am also the father of 2 wonderful children just entering puberty (eek!). I'm taking some time out to write because I've always felt ambiguous about Father's day. What man feels so confident about their fatherhood that they're entirely comfortable having it celebrated? I know I don't. There are the obvious characteristics that we all look at, financial and moral support and a general willingness to sacrifice one's own needs for the sake of one's children. I've always felt a bit short here...........not neurotically so, but enough that Father's day has represented a chance for me to rededicate myself to my kids and to try to emulate the ideal: MY FATHER!