2013-10-18 / Columnists

School Scope

Where’s The Outrage?
Commentary By Norman Scott


Norman Scott Norman Scott Perusing The Wave, there seems more than enough outrage to go around. No boardwalk yet. Flood insurance too high. Biggert Waters Act is really BIG. Boyle boiling over the lack of response to serious topics while there is enormous interest in anything related to alcohol (Kevin, replace my photo with a bottle of scotch). Ulrich wants more casinos in NY State. The gaming industry’s $59 million in lobbying and political contributions in NY State is working out well – Eric, let us know exactly how much you got.

And when is that casino coming to Rockaway? How useful would that money have been if it went to Rockaway recovery? Gregory Meeks is outraged over the government shutdown while national polls show enough outrage to want Meeks and his entire cohort out of office. Lots of outrage about 115th Street. Beth Hanning is not happy about the use of “chicks” to describe women.

There’s lots of outrage directed at Bill de Blasio – for not paying enough attention to Rockaway (“He hasn’t been to Rockaway enough… and we’re calling him on it”). Some seem particularly irked that he didn’t visit the West End. Poor deprived West Enders (I am one).

Joe Lhota focuses his attacks on de Blasio for wanting to charge rent to rich charters like Eva Moskowitz’s Success Charter network, which somehow manages to scrape up enough to pay her a half a million dollars a year to run 20 schools. Lhota doesn’t seem to care that the state charter law includes a provision for charters to pay rent. If Bill gets even a nickel out of Eva I will be a supporter for life. But since I don’t expect all that much, I have picked a favorite hat to eat if de Blasio sticks to his guns.

Former congressman Bob Turner jumped on de Blasio:

• Crime scares: “In de Blasio’s New York - the New York Police Department is a barbaric force plundering our neighborhoods with no regard for the law.” Bob seems to have missed the stuff about Stop and Frisk quotas for police, the federal courts ruling against the excess, etc. What would keep crime down? Stopping and frisking masses of mostly innocent people or higher employment in areas that need them, something pointed out by de Blasio in his recent Rockaway visit where he advocated using some Sandy funds to create jobs? Rumors are that de Blasio’s police commissioner will be Bill Bratton, who pioneered many crime reducing procedures. Bratton was getting so much credit, ego-maniac Giuliani pushed him out. Bratton and de Blasio think more cops on the street working in communities they get to know supports the cop on the beat and communities they serve. Bloomberg reduced police presence on the street, using Stop and Frisk as a cost saving device to pad stats. As we know from education, Bloomberg data is about juking the stats.

• Taxes – “In de Blasio’s New York…the answer is increasing taxes. Raising taxes on any New Yorker is counterintuitive to what our city needs”. Oh boo hoo, that poor 1%. Turner disparages de Blasio’s concept of a “Tale of Two Cities.” Turner says ANY taxes on ANYONE are bad even if on the very wealthy to cover pre-k programs for those who cannot afford day care – a key point in the Tale of Two Cities. As we know, poverty really counts and poor kids are significantly further behind when they enter schools. (A 30 million word gap between wealthy and poor kids by the age of five.) No outrage from Turner.

• Classic red-scare tactics (the Cold War is over Bob): “Enter stage left... while Mr. de Blasio was supporting Sandinistas and honeymooning in Cuba.” Sorry Bob, I supported the Sandinistas against US backed death squads. And also went to Cuba, which has a lower infant mortality rate and a better school system than we do. We know that Cuba doesn’t have a democracy. Check out how Bloomberg has scuttled democracy in our city by shutting out all voices other than his own. Or how Turner’s Republican colleagues, a minority, have held the nation hostage? Compare the West and East ends of Rockaway – income, level of health, general living conditions, education services, etc. and prove to me we are a prime example of a Tale of Two Cities, a Tale being played out all over the city. A Tale that has always existed but somehow under the generalship of the last two mayors over the past 20 years has grown significantly worse.

Am I an out and out de Blasio supporter? Frankly, I don’t trust his supposed leftism. In case you haven’t noticed, I am to the left of de Blasio. Given his recent meetings to reassure the big muck a mucks from the 1% that Lhota and Turner seem to care so much about, I am skeptical that Bill de Blasio is not engaging in his own brand of rhetoric. But I will vote for him anyway. The very idea of voting Republican makes me break out in hives. Voting for a Democrat only makes me nauseous.

Norm blogs at ednotesonline.org

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