Friday, April 22, 2005

Some Big Apple news

On my way home from Manhattan, I picked up a copy of the New York Post. While I've criticized it several times for supporting the West Side Stadium and Chuck Schumer, it does have a lot of news (not necessarily tabloid-ish, either) that the major newspapers won't print.

How much did "Rev." Sharpton know? You won't find this in the New York Times. The Post has a very, very interesting article on two of Al's top fund-raisers. Wiretapes show that they apparently wanted to make a deal with him: they would have raised even more money for his presidential campaign if he used his connections to set up meetings with Pepsi executives and powerful union leaders.

Last month I wrote about a Girl Scout whose father was ticketed for allegedly helping her sell cookies from the sidewalk. The charges are now dismissed, thank God. What really warmed my heart was an investment banker who bought 1000 boxes and donated them to a food program. (Not to toot my own horn, since I didn't go through with it, but I myself had the idea of buying some to donate to a food pantry or homeless shelter.)

Richard Smith, the former Staten Island ferry pilot who blacked out and caused the deaths of 11 ferry passengers in October 2003, might get only 21 to 27 months in jail. He killed 11 people and might not even serve two years behind bars? His defense lawyers claim that "He is the only person charged in this case to accept any responsibility," which forgets that he had no choice. The evidence was so obvious and incontrovertible, so he plead guilty to get a deal. In other words, the prosecutor wanted to save a few bucks and the cost of a long trial, so 11 people are dead while their killer will walk away after two years. At least, the article concludes with, "Under new rules implemented in November 2004, Smith would have faced up to 63 months behind bars, prosecutors said." BIG DEAL! Five years in prison is still nothing for the level of his crime.

Finally, an NYC judge who's truly tough on crime. A Queens man had confessed to hanging his 2-year-old son with an electrical cord. Good heavens, could there be more heinous a crime? The judge on Wednesday still sentenced him to 22-years-to-life. "You hung a 2-year-old baby. I hope they never let you out, Mr. Batista. Take him away."

This NYC "computer operator" doesn't need "schooling," but to be fired. The City Comptroller's office has been issuing checks sometimes 100 times larger than they should have been. As the Comptroller's spokesman said, "Now you can understand how the Department of Education was $156 million over budget last fiscal year." A private business would have fired an employee for making such grievous errors. Government, though, just "trains" the employee and still doesn't have to care about anything but looking good. After all, the errors cost government nothing -- they cost the taxpayers, but not the government employees.

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