Copyright The Brooding Cynyx 2012 © All Rights Reserved
Saturday, September 29, 2012
CONGRESS SEEKS TO RAID ZADROGA ACT FUNDS
HYPOCRISY TRUMPS PRIORITIES
Detective James Zadroga
The Face of the Bill that bears his name and
Congress is determined to raid.
(September 29, 2012 – New York, NY) The commitment and focus was remarkably short lived. It did not take long before the federal, state and city governments all resorted to their typical methods of conducting business or, more accurately, not conducting business. The only people who never lost focus, commitment, determination and integrity were those who labored day in and day out, month after month, engaged in what for many had become a sacred obligation, a personal duty to be fulfilled.
The earliest of the missteps and errors in judgment could reasonably be attributed to the unprecedented nature of the challenges never before imagined let alone anticipated or planned for. It took several days after September 11th just to impose some logic and order to what were understandably frantic if not obsessive efforts of the Members Of Service (MOS) of FDNY and NYPD scouring the alien landscape searching for survivors, praying for signs of life. The maddeningly insistent bleating’s of hundreds of missing Fire Fighter location beacons from within the 16 acres of heaping wreckage became as so many monotonal disjointed voices pleading for salvation from within The Pile almost as a demonically twisted and bound to be futile game of hide and seek.
Once the realization that the continuing efforts would not be of a “rescue” nature but cruelly would now be a long, tedious often surreal “recovery” process, more order and structure brought a more methodical, systematic discipline to the efforts. The engineers, iron workers and small army of excavation, demolition, and debris removal contractors toiled in conjunction with those obligated to the recovery of human remains. The Pile became a 16 acre gridded crime scene where hand held GPS devices were as important as picks, shovels and buckets. The heat was intense as the towering wreckage smoldered and the ground itself cooked from unseen subterranean fires that would burn for months. The heat, dust and unmistakable scent of death and decay cast a hellish pall to the grisly tasks at hand. The atmosphere itself became an intrusive unneeded reminder of the primary purpose of those who carry that stench with them to this day and far too many who actually carry microscopic particulate matter in their lungs.
This is not about politics or money. It has nothing to do with special interests, activists or some disgruntled group with an axe to grind. It is about hypocrisy and politicians. It is about morality, responsibility and priorities. It is about simply doing the right thing and that appears to be an enormous challenge in today’s world, in the political and cultural climate of expediency, short memories, and sickeningly miscalculated priorities.
SEPTEMBER 12, 2001 ONWARD
There have been mistakes and missteps all along the way. There have been competing moneyed power brokers at odds with the City and State, and the Port Authority has shown, how far they have fallen since the tenure of Austin Tobin. There has been one miscalculation after another, one insensitive tone-deaf decision by one agency or another for over a decade. Some of these mistakes were, in the bigger scheme of issues, relatively trivial. However there have been enough obstacles and complications resulting from the inability of any agency involved to think through a decision factoring all the myriad variables, and arrive at a position from which action could be implemented with some sense of purpose if not urgency to fill a small library.
The litany of insensitive mishandled errors from the last decade have each individually strained the credibility of the powers that be at best; exposed their callous disregard and failure to do the people’s business. There is in our democracy, no matter how tattered and flimsy it has become, a set of social contracts that add cohesiveness to our increasingly complex society. Certainly there are long standing covenants between The City of New York, our citizenry and those who serve it. Perhaps it should not be surprising, although it has been, to witness the breakdown of one of the covenants that has allowed the men and women who serve our City a certain sense of security in that the City would, when push came to shove, have our backs. Those days and those in City Hall and Albany who had the character to honor that commitment have gone the way of the cobble-stoned streets and the subway token.
There is more than enough blame to go around. From day one, that infamous Tuesday morning in September 2001, the harbingers of the abandonment to come where floating across the smoldering sixteen acres that had been the World Trade Center. The most obvious failure was that our vast mufti-billion dollar budgeted National Security and Intelligence apparatus left us vulnerable in a way we could never have imagined. But that is another story.
As the sun set casting long oddly shaped shadows on the gruesome wreckage, the hellish tomb of what was arguably inappropriately designated “Ground Zero” (“The Pile” is more fitting), the Federal EPA confidentially claimed that there was no inherent hazard or undo respiratory risk associated with the environs of The Pile and the adjacent neighborhoods. From that point on we have observed miserably bungled episodes regarding the handling and processing of human remains, bitter arguments about what would become of The Pile or, The "Site"; what would be an appropriate memorial, would a museum of some sort be fitting and other questions that needed to be considered and answered in a timely respectful manner. Yet, all these mistakes pale in comparison to what has become of the lives of those who survived the carnage, those who worked the rescue/recovery efforts for months, as well as the residents who live in the surrounding neighborhood. Conflicting and contentious reports began to surface from physicians treating people who had been exposed to the dust and debris emanating from The Site.
As the medical evidence mounted and more and more people were falling victim to a wide and often uncommon variety of malignant diseases the government on the federal, state and city level began a campaign of denial. Rather than accept the increasing concerns of the medical community treating these men and women they chose to be stubbornly obstinate and ignore the reality that was emerging. Then the deaths began. Police Officers, Fire Fighters, Steel Workers, civilian survivors, and area residents were succumbing to aggressive cancers, typical and atypical, at an alarming rate. The valuable time wasted in the process of ignorant, belligerent denial cost lives and that is a fact.
By 2006 there was a name and a face, a real life story representative of the plight of so many. James Zadroga (1971 – January 5, 2006) was a New York City Police Department (NYPD) officer who died of a respiratory disease that has been attributed to his participation in rescue and recovery operations in the rubble of the World Trade Center following the September 11 attacks. Zadroga was the first NYPD officer whose death was attributed to exposure to his contact with toxic chemicals at the attack site.
Zadroga had joined the New York City Police Department in 1992 and attained the rank of Detective. He was a healthy non-smoker and had no known history of asthma or other respiratory conditions before spending 450 hours participating in the recovery efforts at the 9/11 attack site. Weeks after his time at the World Trade Center site, Zadroga developed a persistent cough, and, as the months progressed, he developed shortness of breath and became unable to walk distances more than 100 feet without gasping for air.* Then-Governor of New York George Pataki signed legislation on August 14, 2006, to expand death benefits to Ground Zero workers who die from cancer or respiratory diseases, under the presumption that the cause was due to exposure during recovery efforts. Pataki mentioned Zadroga at the bill-signing ceremony, held at the World Trade Center site.**
THE FIGHT CONTINUES
Despite the federal legislation bearing Detective Zadroga’s name, the implementation, financing and allocation of the funds have become mired in the sordid legislative process of our inept, self-serving Congress. This is just the latest insult to the years of injury, a twisted heaping of Congressional salt in far too many wounds. But, perhaps that is just a broader statement on the state of our government and the quality of scumbags who occupy elected office.
No one is asking for something they are not entitled to. No individual or group takes any pleasure in the fights that have occupied an unacceptable amount of their time, strength and spirit over these last eleven years. Many of them have been more preoccupied with their health, with their own mortality, the survival of their families once they are gone and this harsh set of realities infuses the fights and machinations of the last decade with a streak of cruelty that has no doubt hastened more than one death and caused incalculable anguish, anger, frustration and insult to many hundreds of families.
The New York City Police Department (NYPD) and The Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) have and always will take care of our own. Each, respectively, the largest agency of its kind in the world stands as models for similar agencies throughout the world. Each is well steeped in history and tradition. Each has a proud and noble heritage. FDNY and NYPD have always been extended families that once sworn in you are never not a part of. It has been this way for generations and will continue to be so even as both agencies see ever more diversity in their membership. Members of each Service live by sets of rules of conduct, live by codes both written and unwritten each of equal potency and obligation. It could not be any other way. What the fine men and women of these two premier agencies do in the most complex urban environment packed into a mere 310 square miles requires a commitment to cause and to each other that create bonds and loyalty that may be difficult for the outsider to fully appreciate.
Every man and woman who has ever served the City as an MOS of FDNY or NYPD accepted privately the risks involved with their specific jobs. Those occupations are rarely sought by people who are naïve about the realities of what it means to be a Fire Fighter or Police Officer in The City of New York. There is not an MOS from either agency that has left the Job completely unscathed. Some bear more serious physical scars and disabilities than others. Some have some war stories to tell and can count the number of stiches, broken bones, and burns incurred over their careers. Some, arguably all, carry with them the sights, sounds, smells and memories of all they had witnessed, of all the years of seeing people at their worst, in their most dire straits, in their most profound anger, grief, and frustration. The innocents, the babies crying in the apartment next door, the little girl cradled in the arms of a Fire Fighter clutching a filthy baldheaded doll as her building blazes behind her, the mother of the 16 year old thug who crossed a more belligerent and better armed 15 year old, her grief as profound as any parent's. Those are just some of the take a ways from the Job. This aspect of that social contract is largely unknown and certainly unappreciated by the public, that covenant entered into voluntarily yet never fully exited.
Now the Congress is intent on “borrowing” from the Zardoga funds to make payments on the national debt. How convenient. How insulting. Just the latest episode of disrespect for those who sacrificed without question or hesitation.
** Excerpt from Wikipedia
To all who served, to all those we lost, we will never forget
your service and sacrifices to The people of The City of New York
will always be remembered, respected, and honored.
TAGS: ZADROGA BILL, WORLD TRADE CENTER RECOVERY, FDNY, NYPD, SEPTEMBER 11, 2001, PORT AUTHORITY NY/NJ,
Copyright The Brooding Cynyx 2012 © All Rights Reserved
Friday, September 28, 2012
IRANIAN, ISRAELI DELEGATIONS CONFRONT EACH OTHER
Bibi Netanyahu and BB King had a tense encounter with the Iranian delegation
as the United Nations General Assembly concluded today.
(Sept.28, 2012 NY, NY: AP, UPI, SOB, BLT, TKO, DOA, CNN, SRO, NY1, MTV, FTS) In what could have sparked a major international crisis with dire repercussion, the ready forces of NYPD were on hand to intervene in what could have been the catalyst for a wide spread war in the already volatile Middle East. According to one UN security official who needs to remain anonymous for fear of losing his job, as members of the Iranian and Israeli delegations were departing from the UN, they crossed paths at the First Avenue carport and exchanged words. Quickly the situation escalated and if not for the rapid response of NYPD Officers from the UN detail, Intelligence Unit and the Emergency Services Unit, the confrontation could have become a physical altercation the echoes of which could have ignited conflagration between the two hostile nations.
The ground for this hostility had been set on Thursday when Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu berated the General Assembly for their “failure” to act with urgency to derail Iran’s “nuclear ambitions”. Shortly after Bibi Netanyahu challenged the G.A. to initiate tougher sanctions on Iran, the Israeli Ambassador for Rhythm and Blues, BB King, appealed to the gathered delegates by way of singing a song. Some of the delegates appeared a bit confused as to why BB King was representing Bibi Netanyahu and the state of Israel since BB King is an African American without any Jewish ancestry. Apparently BB King took the Israeli job after Barbra Streisand turned it down. Sources say that Ms. Streisand was looking for a "higher level" position in the Israeli government but does serve as an "unofficial adviser" to BB to help him become informed about Israeli politics and Jewish issues.
Speaking for the Israeli’s, Spokesman Ezekiel Moshe Platz noted, “BB speaks for and stands with Bibi. If some of our enemies have a problem with that, all I can say is that the Blues is a universal language apparently not understood by radical Islamists.” Platz continued, “If any people on the face of the earth know the Blues and can relate to the Blues, it is surely us Jews.” In a terse response the Communications Director of the Iranian delegation, Shali Wali Bingbang commented, “We too know the Blues. We have known the Blues since the infidels corrupted the Muslim world. We would have issued a fatwa on Elvis Presley but the Shah was still in charge of our nation before Elvis died.” Delegate Bingbang later commented while appearing on the FOX-News program, The O’Reilly Factor, saying, “We have lost all respect for Bibi and BB. We will not even permit BB guns in our country. We are officially banning all BB King music, CD's or other forms of media. We might ban all R&B music but we must first consult with the Ayatollah who is partial to Celine Dion and Ethel Merman. And, let me be clear, we will defend ourselves against any Israeli aggression with the greatest amount of military force we can muster.”
According to NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Brown it was a “logistical error” that the Iranians and Israelis met at the carport. “We had, as always, planned every aspect of the general assembly down to the last detail. We had factored in all matters of diplomatic protocol, political correctness and safety for the delegations, the public and the press. What appears to have happened is that one of the UN security officers assigned to monitor the order in which the delegates left the UN building abandoned his post to purchase a gyro, a bottle of Snapple, a pack of Zig Zag Rolling papers, and a lottery ticket across the street. Currently his conduct is under investigation and he is being held on Riker’s Island awaiting transport to Guantanamo Base, Cuba. We are confident we will get to the bottom of this, one way or the other.”
New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomburg, himself a semi-observant Jew, spoke to the press from Katz’ s Deli. The Mayor said, “We take very seriously our duty to protect the world leaders who come to our City. We are acutely aware of the threats, risks and complexity of having the leaders of 192 sovereign nations assembled here at the same time. I work closely with NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly to assure that every contingency has been anticipated, that all our resources are deployed accordingly. I’m just thankful that Barbra Streisand did not insist in singing with BB King. It could have been far worse than it was.”
NYPD Deputy Commissioner and Commander of the highly regarded Intelligence Unit, David Cohen, a former CIA official, spoke to the press while the Mayor finished off his borscht and pastrami, adding, “Frankly, one of my biggest concerns was the safety of the Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. We knew his presence here in New York City would, as always, present formidable security challenges. We assigned him the code name “Aqua Velva” so as not to have our personnel waste time trying to say his name correctly. So, as I monitored events from One Police Plaza and heard Officers on the scene reporting that ‘Bibi and BB were about to run into Aqua Velva’ I knew I had to send the orders to my people in the field to do whatever was necessary to avoid what could have been a stinky collision.” Cohen continued, “I am very proud of the quick and poised reaction of the members of NYPD at the UN and actually quite disappointed that Ms. Streisand could not attend. She has always been a favorite of mine. I also like Mel Torme and Tony Bennett but they were never in the mix to begin with.”
As the dramatic and tense altercation played out at the UN carport, many pedestrians passing by took out their cell phones and other devices to capture the unfolding drama. Within minutes videos were posted to YouTube, Facebook and other social media sites. One passerby, Hector Labia, an unemployed pest control technician from the Bronx, was able to record the entire scene. Labia later told Pablo Guzman of WPIX News, “ Ehhh, I’m goin’ downtown to see this beach…ehhh this lady fren of mines and I walkin by the UN and see this old black dude with a guitar gonna smack this odda little dude in de head. So, I stop and take out my Android and start to record. Den, I realize the little dude is tha guy from Iran, ehhh…I think hees name is Imadinnerjacket.. I knows this stuff because I watch Telemundo. Anyhoze, I know it is heem because he look like a guy I know, Skunky, from Sedgwick Avenue who is doin’ 7 to 15 for armed robbery or sum sheet.” (Commissioner Kelly later informed the press that Mr. Labia was being held on several outstanding warrants and may be sent to Gitmo just for the hell of it).
After those few tense moments all members of both the Iranian and Israeli delegations departed safely from the UN premises. Bibi Netanyahu was later to appear as the keynote speaker at the annual conference of the political action committee, Jewish Americans For Justice And Peace (JAFJAP) at the famed Borscht Belt resort Grossinger’s. Prior to delivering his speech to the 1300 member audience, he commented on the events earlier in the day. “I have nothing but the highest respect for the NYPD, the UN Officers, as well the US State Department Security Service. Also, I always travel a several members of the Mossad who act as our personal body guards. They are very well trained in all the black arts and would do well in the world of the MMA. We have invited WFC president Dana White to come to Israel several times. But that is beside the point. I admit that I was troubled that we had to encounter the vile, evil Iranians who are intent to wipe the state of Israel off the map but, I was proud when BB King started swinging his guitar at Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. BB would be a good Jew. I just wish he could play chords.” Netanyahu continued, “I am here now at Grossinger’s to speak to the loyal members of JAFJAP because JAFJAP has always been A-Okay with me. The Jews of JAFJAP are all good Jews; they are Jew’s Jews who respond ASAP anytime we need their support.”
At the same time many miles from the Catskills, BB King was partying in the famous Greenwich Village establishment, The Blue Note. As he sipped on a glass of straight gin he seemed to be somewhat amused by the afternoon’s happenings. “Hell, I had a blast. I put on a good show, met some real nice fellas from all over the world and almost had a crack at that crazy guy from Idaho…Iowa…I mean Iran, yeah, Iran. Hell, I almost ran my Fender right into his head!”
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spent the rest of the night in his hotel suite playing Grand Theft Auto on an X-Box, eating food from McDonalds, and enjoying the company of several highly regarded, alluring employees from Ahmed’s Escort Service in Jackson Heights Queens. Several other members of his contingent were seen shopping at the Odd Lots Discount Store on Malcolm X Boulevard. Iranian delegations spokesman Shali Wali Bingbang spoke to reporters as he perused the Health and Beauty Aids aisles. Bingbang seemed in a good mood despite the tension of the afternoon. “I love this about America! Look at all these choices! There must be 30 different toothpastes, 20 deodorants, many, many bath soaps and oh, so many laxatives, stool softeners, and gas medications!! I must stock up and bring these treasures home to my family. I will purchase a large supply of Beano since my Mother-in-Law will be visiting next week. She does not tolerate hummus and lamb like she once did and tends to eat too many dates when she stays with us.”
Other members who accompanied Bingbang on his bargain shopping spree were seen purchasing underwear, socks, condoms, over the counter pain medications, light bulbs, Saran Wrap, AAA batteries, Silly Putty, Preparation-H as well as a bizarre assortment of canned goods such as Vienna Sausage, Corn Beef Hash, Pork and Beans, Chili con Carne, sardines (in oil), tuna, Spaghetti-O's, chipped beef, creamed corn, Brussels Sprouts, and Spam. Cashier LaShawanda Monique Phipps-Ellis Green reported that the Iranians also, ""purchased all kinds of shit. They bought alot of Lysol, aluminum foil, Skittles, Draino, baby wipes, and them sneakers with the velcro ties.They justa weird bunch of motherfuckas and one of them tried to grab my ass. I smacked him upside his Iranian head but, I really couldn't blame him cause I do have one super fine thick booty."
There was yet another small segment of the Iranian delegation shopping in others stores in Midtown. Plain cloths Officers from the Intelligence and Counterterrorism Units assigned to follow this group of bargain hunters reported some of the items these men purchased. One NYPD Detective speaking not for attribution commented, “The three Iranian individuals my partner and I were assigned to monitor spent many hours in the usual tourists’ shops from 38th Street and Sixth Avenue up to the side streets between 7th and 8th Avenues south of 42nd Street. They bought a number of NY Yankee caps, hip-hop CD’s, iPods, postcards, pornographic DVD’s and, oddly enough, a lot of FDNY Tee shirts. At one point they entered the Blarney Stone on 6th Avenue and drank a fair amount of beer and cheap scotch, ate corned beef sandwiches and, according to the manager, Eamonn O’Halloran, stiffed the bartender. “They didn’t leave him a foockin’ dime as a tip the dirty bastards”, said a semi-intoxicated O’Halloran. “For fucks sake, even the Koreans leave a tip”, O’Halloran noted as he went off to break up a fight between a groups of tourists from Manure Springs, Iowa and 3 NYC Sanitation Department workers. The surviving Iowans were later airlifted to a hospital somewhere in the swamps of Jersey and remain in critical condition.
Tags: Political Satire, Parody, Political Humor, United Nations General Assembly, Bibi Netanyahu, BB King, NYPD, mayor Bloomberg, Grossinger’s, Odd Lots, Nuclear Iran, JAFJAP, You Gotta Laugh
Copyright The Brooding Cynyx 2012 © All Rights Reserved