Saturday, September 22, 2007

The United Nations: NYPD's Burdern

New York, New York: It has been widely publicized in the press this week that the request made by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to lay a wreath at the site of the World Trade Center was denied by the New York Police Department. NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelley did in fact deny this absurd request citing valid security concerns. President Ahmadinejad’s presence in NYC alone will complicate the annual session of the United Nations General Assembly where high level delegations from virtually all 192 member nations will be in attendance. The Iranian President, a highly controversial figure will be speaking at the United Nation General Assembly and has also accepted an invitation to participate in a forum at Columbia University. His movements are expected to attract an increased number of protesters of every ilk and the tension his presence will cause has NYPD officials alarmed. Having him visit Ground Zero would have been a logistical nightmare as well as an insult.

No one in City government or the NYPD is publicly opposed to the Iranian President addressing the UN or, for that matter, speaking at Columbia University. We are a nation of free speech where as Iran is not.
The Iranian President may enjoy engaging in a Q&A session with the students as planned. The NYPD complications arise due to the burdens placed on the them both in terms of manpower and logistics to say nothing of the costs to the Department already suffering budget problems.

But, it is always the same old story. The NYPD is always at the forefront, in the line of fire and expected to police in circumstances and scenarios unique to the dynamics of New York City itself. The United Nations is just another burden, albeit, a very large and costly one. Despite the participation of other federal and state law enforcement agencies including the Secret Service, FBI and State Department security, NYPD will have a classified number of uniformed and plain clothes officers (estimated over 1100) detailed for this weeks activities. Inside sources have reported that it costs the NYPD $600,00 each time George W. Bush has had an overnight stay in the Big Apple. One can only imagine the whopping costs of General Assembly week.

The grand, noble vision of 1945 to replace the League of Nations was the genesis of the United Nations. With only 50 countries signing the original Charter, today 192 independent states are represented. New York City is the home for this international organization and as such plays host to all its members contingents on a permanent basis. Each member nation has a mission, consulate, embassy or some combination housed in New York City. Each of these facilities is staffed by a small diplomatic contingent up to a huge diplomatic, intelligence, security and support staff and their families in many cases. Each of a member nations facilities in the United States is considered under international law to be the “sovereign” territory of that nation. Any New Yorker knows the prevalence of the “diplomatic” license plate which appears to exempt the owner and / or operator of such a tagged vehicle as virtually immune from NYC traffic and parking laws.

Over the years their have been several high profile cases where a staff member attached to a nations UN contingent was involved in a crime. Some of these crimes were mundane while others included assault, rape and murder. In virtually each case the alleged perpetrator was granted diplomatic immunity and quickly flown out of JFK to their homeland usually evading prosecution. In other circumstances, members of a consulate or embassy would not even answer questions regarding a crime although when to have done so would have been in their best interest. Only in NYC can a simple fender bender rapidly escalate into an ‘international incident”.

This arrangement has placed an unusually heavy burden on the City of New York and the New York Police Department (NYPD) in particular. The estimates of the costs to NYC and the NYPD for playing host to the UN have ranged from the hundreds of millions to over a billion dollars annually.

The United States already subsidizes the UN by contributing approximately 22% of its total operating budget of $4.19 billion (in 2005) in the form of “membership dues”. The US is the single highest contributor with the majority of members contributing membership dues less than one percent of the total operating budget. Even prior to the enhanced security measures prompted by the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the costs to the NYPD for UN and UN related activities and facilities security was staggering. The federal government contributes what amounts to pennies for these expenses. No matter the event or circumstance, the burden has always and will always fall on the shoulders of the NYPD. And this is in addition to their mandated mission of regular policing duties in a city of 10 million. The combination of NYC residents, visitors, travelers and those who work there, on any given business day, approximately one twelfth of the entire population of the United states is in NYC limits.

The sobering fact each NYC cop, firefighter, EMS and resident, for that matter, lives with daily is that we are all in the center of the bull’s eye. We are the target of choice for terrorists of every stripe. Since the department of Homeland Security in thier infinite wisdom has allocated DHS funds using the same criteria in which states receive federal highway funds, perhpas it’s about time to move the United Nations and all their consulates, embassys, missions and perks to Crawford, Texas or Cheyenne, Wyoming. Maybe Boise, Idaho where Larry Craig might enjoy the international flavor such a move would bring.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Analysis of Federal Farm Bill due by September 30

Executive Summary will be released:
Report will Highlight Gross Mismanagement & Disparities in Federal Subsidies.

(Iowa City, IA, New York, New York, Gulfport, Mississippi) The Department of Agriculture’s Federal Farm Bill is due to expire on September 30, 2007. On that day the Analytics and Information Systems Divisions of BronxWest Consulting, in conjunction with the MRW1Group, will release the Executive Summary of their two year study and analysis of the farm subsidy program as it currently exists. Their extensive research has resulted in a White paper entitled “Unsalted Earth: The Unholy Alliances between the Federal Government, Agribusiness and the American Farmer”.

This Paper will present clear and concise data exposing the farm subsidy program for what it is - the largest federal welfare program ever devised. Aside from the billions of tax payers dollars that support American production agriculture, this Paper will bring attention to the unfair disparities regarding the allocation of funds, the gross waste, mismanagement and corruption within the system and expose the myth of the “family farm”.

With the announced resignation of Secretary of Agriculture, Mike Johanns yesterday, we felt compelled to call attention to the imminent release of our Paper. Mr. Johanns’ departure from Washington DC comes prior to the legislative battles to be waged to renew the already bloated, unjust Farm Bill. Our paper will show that he has been the most unremarkable, if not ignorant , Secretary of Agriculture in our history. Considering his predecessors, that is saying a lot.

For far too long the American tax payer has subsidized production agriculture under the auspices of “aiding the family farmer”. Our evidence will reveal the truth behind that fallacy and detail the sordid facts behind all the untruths and myths.

We expect our paper to generate a great deal of controversy in the mid west, among the goliath international agribusiness's, chemical and seed companies and we welcome any and all detractors.

It is our intention to shed light on this poorly understood program of largesse and initiate debate that is sorely needed.

We will be posting the Executive Summary on this site and encourage all of our readers to take the time to learn about one of the greatest tax payer rip-offs our federal government participates in.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Banality saves the day was Tuesday. The masses, normally sluggish and unmotivated after a fall weekend can be excused - partially. Our friends, neighbors and fellow Americans at large, not the most curious or engaged population, seem to have little interest in some of the daunting challenges facing us collectively. Granted, some of this lethargic disconnect is attributable to the war that grinds on in Iraq while our Dork in Chief continues to deny reality and lie.

True, we are still far removed from the nitty and gritty of the 2008 presidential campaign although it has been in full swing for several months. This fact reflects the unprecedented eagerness of a majority of politicians, engaged activists and concerned citizens to see the end of this administration. Poll numbers tell only a partial story of the anger and frustration among the majority of Americans regarding George W. Bush, his war, his policies and the shame he has brought to our country, our discourse and our global reputation.

So, perhaps it was inevitable that a day would dawn where the media as a whole decided that there was an ample supply of crap that they could pass off as news and that we were ready for it. Yes, in their generously and journalistic integrity, they decided we were entitled to much deserved reprieve from death and destruction, the failures of our government to actually do anything about anything, the early signs that do not escape the average citizens radar indicating economic troubles on the horizon, record high prices for crude oil and the looming foreclosure crisis in the housing lending market that could make the Saving and Loan debacle look like a nickel and dime back alley loan from a bookie with a heart. Yesterday turned out to be that day and then some. What made the headlines and lead stories yesterday:

While the Pentagon released yet another internal report virtually refuting everything George W. blathered about during his televised address to the nation last Thursday, that was not the main story nor, in most media outlets, did it even merit more than cursory coverage. Instead, our TV and cable networks reverted to their standard tactics and devoted extensive coverage to other items of national interest such as:

The arrest of O.J. Simpson. Will we have to suffer through yet another saga where he is the star? We prove our collective metal by being able to look at this narcissistic sociopath without vomiting. A murderer still capable of earning millions of dollars annually on sports memorabilia? Indeed, a great American, an icon, an arrogant gomp. Who buys his crap? Probably the same folks who mourned the day Mike Tyson went to prison after a rape conviction.

Yesterday there was a veritable media frenzy as staunch conservative Larry Craig of Idaho returned to the Senate for the first time since his wide stance provoked arrest in an airport men’s room. Boy, it was sure good to see that hypocritical, sexually confused, deceptive stalwart of the Senate back in the hollowed chambers. Insiders anonymously reported Senator Craig received an enthusiastic greeting from whore mongering Senator David Vitter of Louisiana. In a show of true bipartisanship, openly , flamingly gay Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts invited Craig to “an intimate candle lit dinner at his Georgetown townhouse to discuss “exactly how wide a guy Craig really is”

These hard-hitting news items would have been incomplete without the dramatic footage of a young, boisterous Florida college student being removed from a speaking event featuring John Kerry. The nation was transfixed as dozens of highly trained and skilled campus police officers wrestled the pencil necked activists to the ground where they were then able to blast 50,000 volts into him from a taser gun. A fine example of the nuanced approaches campus security is so adept with. Too bad such aggressive law enforcement tactics and zeal are painfully absent at our southern border.

Somewhere along the way we have lost the original, historic definition of what does and does not constitute national news. Our culture and society cannot seem to get enough of the sort of tripe that was once the bailiwick of dimwitted supermarket tabloid and TV news magazines the ilk's of which have given us Billy O’Reilly . Yet we should all be grateful to “Inside Edition” and “A Current Affair” for paving the way for the legion of talent deprived, rabid, pathetically misinformed, incoherent, blowhards and buffoons given platforms from which to spew their own twisted and grossly inaccurate views of the world, current events and serious matters of public policy. Talk radio was even more influential and creative by identifying the tactics they have long ago perfected. Shout long and loud enough, incessantly deny reality and the truth, insert jaundiced, bigoted, biased almost asinine interpretations of current events to largely captive audiences spending hours commuting in the privacy of their cars, with no desire to question the bilge being pumped into their air-conditioned confined spaces and, lo and behold, an army of combative, hostile, borderline paranoid sycophants emerged more than willing to ridicule anyone deranged enough to question their positions, spend 10%of their gross earings on NRA, NASCAR and HOOTERS bumper stickers and knock the tar out of a Little league coach now and then.

If we are half as fortunate today as we were yesterday we will awake to the news that Paris Hilton was seen at a bar, that Brittany Spears engaged in oral sex with a homeless man on Wiltshire Boulevard, that Mike Vick participated in a midget tossing contest in a bar in Hapeville, Georgia and startling new evidence has proven that Princess Diana is alive, well and cohabiting with James Dean and Elvis.