2012-01-27 / Columnists

The Rockaway Beat

Rubbing Up The Old Crystal Ball (June To December)
Commentary By Howard Schwach

I finally found the old crystal ball, packed up with a box full of old Wave issues at the bottom of a carton I moved seven years ago and forgot about, in the back of the hall closet.

When I rubbed it up, however, it popped to life as if I had used it only yesterday.

Here’s what it told me about the second half of 2012.


With Mitt Romney way ahead in the Republican primary race, June 5, with its primaries in large states such as California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota brought a shocker. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that he had been on the ground in those states for a month, setting fueling a write-in program that he hopes will give him the win. Bloomberg promises $1,000 “stipend” to every voter who writes in his name. He wins the 299 delegates going away and is now the front runner for the nomination. “I found the secret of campaigning, money,” he said, telling reporters he had learned that lesson in the fight over term limits in New York, when he bought a sufficient number of city councilmen to give him the win. “Having billions is not everything,” he said, “but it sure helps in winning elections.”

Nearly 500,000 students begin the summer vacation with no idea of where they will go to school in September due to the mayor’s school-closing program. Governor Cuomo and Bloomberg get together to say that they had increased education ten-fold by getting rid of all the bad teachers and failing schools.


Although Iranian leaders refuse to meet with President Obama and its armed forces have sunk several American support ships and oil tankers, Obama continues to look to “conciliation” with the rogue nation. On July 4, Iran announces that it now has a nuclear missile and will destroy Israel on Christmas Day if Obama does not pull all forces from the Middle East. Obama announces that his policies have brought democracy to the region and that he contemplates bringing all American forces home, including the ships that protect oil tankers in the Gulf.


Former Congressman Anthony Weiner announces his run for mayor in the 2013 election. Democrats all over the city cheer. He promises never to use social media again should he be elected.

Judge Nicholas Garaufis, angered that the city has challenged his rulings, does away with the New York City Fire Department, arguing that volunteers can do the job much better. He sets quotas for the new volunteer units, arguing that they must be at least 50 percent minority. “Diversity is more important that competency,” the judge says.


The first day of school comes with thousands of parents vying to get into the doors of the three Rockaway schools that remain open. They are turned away. “We will be opening new schools any day now, as soon as we can find some good teachers,” a DOE spokesperson says. “We can’t have kids going to failing schools with poor teachers.”

Although Mike Bloomberg has become the darling of the Republicans and is running far ahead in the primaries, a poll in New York City shows that Ming-Ming, the Wonder Pet is running far ahead of the mayor in the latest presidential polls.

Tony Weiner continues to draw strength from his former constituents. They begin to ask, “What did he ever do that was illegal in the first place?”


In the wake of the French Airbus guilty decision, the NTSB reopens its investigation into the 2001 crash of AA 587 into Rockaway. They quickly absolve the first officer, saying there was lots of evidence all along that hydraulic fluid disbanded the tail and it fell off, causing the crash.

Bloomberg appears at a Rockaway town hall meeting. He is booed and locals throw tomatoes and rotten potatoes at the mayor.

He leaves, cursing the crowd and threatening them that when he becomes president, he will abolish Rockaway.


With no American ships in the gulf, Hamas and Hezbollah once again begin shelling Israel. Iranian officials again say they will destroy that nation on Christmas Day.

President Obama says that he will “take stern sanctions” if that happens. All the other nations of the world chuckle.

Several hundred students sit home each day awaiting assignment to a public school. “They are better off home than in the failing schools we closed,” the mayor says, announcing that he is suspending the testing program for all those students who have not yet found a school.


Bloomberg gets enough delegates to win the Republican nomination for president. He once again extols the importance of money in winning the campaign, saying that “everybody should try it for themselves.”

The DOE promises that every student will be in a school seat by February at the latest.

On Christmas Day, Iran uses nuclear weapons on Israel, destroying much of the nation.

In retaliation, Israel destroys much of the Muslim world be-fore it suffers its last breath. President Obama says,” good riddance to all of them.

The world will be safer without them around.”

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