Tag Archives: Pharaoh Bloomberg

No Money for Poor Children

Sorry Mr.Gingerbread Man, Pharaoh Bloomberg has rated you ineffective.

Sorry Mr.Gingerbread Man, Pharaoh Bloomberg has rated you ineffective.

A freshman student of mine sheepishly walked into class last week holding a box over which she draped a sweater. It was obvious she was hiding something nefarious. I asked her what was in the box and she revealed one of those giant fundraiser packages of chocolate. Apparently, she was trying to raise money for some after school club in which she was involved.

Her efforts to raise money that day fell far short of her goal. This is because she was told that she could not sell chocolate in the school. Apparently, chocolate is too fattening to be sold in Pharaoh Bloomberg’s Department of Education. This was the reason she was given at least.

However, a colleague in another school ran into a similar problem when they were trying to fundraise by selling bottles of water. The excuse given this time, which is the real reason why we cannot have fundraisers in our schools anymore, is that the water was not from a DOE-approved vendor.

This is the part of mayoral control that rarely gets spoken about. The school closings, co-locations and systematic harassment of teachers are only the most visible and disruptive manifestations of mayoral control of urban school systems. However, there are the countless day-to-day reminders that our system is under the sway of one man, a man who has never been in touch with those he is controlling. The banning of school fundraisers is one of the most insidious affects of mayoral control on our schools.

Bloomberg has turned our schools into little more than conduits of money for his corporate friends. When a Pharaoh/Mayor slashes funding to public schools every year, he leaves the schools with little choice but to fundraise to support the programs they need. Yet, since the products with which they fundraise, whether they be brand-name chocolates or homemade cookies, are not on the DOE’s list of “corporate friends of Bloomberg”, they cannot be sold on school property. This amounts to a corporate levy on poor people. The worst part about this levy is that it redirects money that the community would normally use to uplift itself into the pockets of billionaires. So children of NYC, you cannot have enrichment activities because the CEO of Pepsi needs your money to buy another few yachts.

Many years ago I was the senior advisor at my previous school. My job was to handle all of the senior activities: trips, prom, graduation and yearbook. Since the poverty rate of my seniors was exactly 100%, I made a vow that I would fundraise enough money so the kids would not have to pay for any of those things. I had worked up a good relationship with the owners of the bodega across the street. Throughout the year, they purchased all types of goodies for us at wholesale prices (for which we reimbursed them) and we made more money than I could have ever imagined.

I am not going to lie, what we were selling was horrible from a health standpoint. We sold cookies, airheads, jawbreakers, Sour Patches and even sugary sodas. This was back in the days before Bloomberg was trying to get NYC on a health kick. My principal had no problem with our operation. Then, one day, she came to me and said that our operation was cutting into the profits of the lunchroom staff who were selling cookies of their own. She asked me to work things out with the cafeteria’s supervisor.

The only thing I needed to know about the cookies they were selling was whether the profits went into the staff’s pockets. While I understood my seniors needed money, I also understood that it is tough to support a family working in a school cafeteria. When I was told that none of the money went into the pockets of the hardworking people in the lunchroom, I informed them that all bets were off. I was going to continue selling our goods. If the DOE wanted to make an issue out of poverty-stricken children trying to raise money for their senior year, I would ensure that every community group and civil rights organization would hear of it. Thankfully, nobody tried to bust up our operation and we had a tremendous year.

There is something wrong with the idea that we had to look over our shoulders while raising money. At times, I felt we were treated as if we were selling illegal drugs instead of junk food. There was a sense that the system did not want us to succeed. This was many years ago when the fundraising game was wide open. I cannot imagine what things are like now after Bloomberg’s war on sugary drinks and his compiled list of corporate cronies.

If NYC had more principals like Carol Burris, the Long Island principal who has been standing up against the excessive testing of our children, they could make a concerted effort to stand against Bloomberg’s ban on fundraising. If enough principals around the city openly defied Bloomberg’s ban on homemade brownies and brand-name chocolates; if they looked into television cameras and said they are forced to do this due to budget cuts; if they frame it as an issue of doing what is right by the children in their school, there is no way that they could fail. Bloomberg certainly cannot arrest them, although administrators being led out of their schools in handcuffs for selling chocolate sadly seems like a plausible scenario in today’s DOE. He cannot fire them all, even though he could certainly make things difficult for the defiant schools. At the end of the day, there would not be much that Bloomberg could do aside from watching his approval ratings plummet some more.

It might not be the right time for NYC principals to take a stand against the evaluations but it certainly is the right time for them to take a stand against the effective ban on fundraisers. A simple bake sale where parents and children bring all of the homemade sugary sweets they can concoct to school could turn into a real media event. It cannot lose. Bloomberg trying to shut down bake sales and fundraisers would make him look ridiculous and more heavy-handed than usual. If this can be done, it might fuel more acts of civil disobedience. It would be a fitting kick in the pants to Bloomberg on his way out of the door.

Unfortunately, this is all pie-in-the-sky talk. NYC principals by and large are all too eager to enforce every little mandate coming down from Tweed. That is the other part of mayoral control. The only way to survive and progress in the system is to support the Pharaoh’s policies without question. There will not be any resistance to Danielson or MOSL or bans on innocuous fundraisers made necessary by budget cuts. It will continue to be a mindless bureaucracy until there is a changing of the guard at the top of the pyramid.

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Occupy’s Two-Year Anniversary: It’s All in the Data

occupy

Occupy Wall Street was the first major event that I wrote about on this blog. Until this day I feel fortunate for working in such close proximity to Zuccotti Park. It afforded me an opportunity to be part of an event that I believe will eventually define the coming historical era. While the original occupations fizzled out due to general disorganization and authoritarian repression, that does not mean the movement itself will not resurface at some point in some form in the future, bigger than before. Yet, one would be hard-pressed to agree with this prediction if they were in downtown Manhattan a few days ago on the second anniversary of Occupy.

Walking past Zuccotti Park at seven-thirty in the AM on that day was a depressing sight. The entire perimeter was blocked off with metal police barricades, not to mention police. They were allowing the first trickle of protesters in as I was on my way to work. Seeing 5 or 6 young protesters in the middle of the square setting up shop while dozens of officers ringed the park was a far cry from what the place looked like two years ago. Back then a sea of humanity overflowed the benches, the floors and the sidewalks while the police tenuously occupied a sliver of the curb on Broadway, helplessly looking on as people exercised all types of freedoms right in front of them. Now it was the police who overflowed the park, firmly entrenched on all four sides while protesters sheepishly trickled in between the blue uniforms.

Later in the day, as I stepped out to grab lunch, I bore witness to a tame march of protesters circling the block of Zuccotti Park. They were relatively quiet, controlled in their movements and all held up signs with exactly the same size fonts and lettering. Each sign hearkened back to many of the messages of the original protest: “Stop Stop and Frisk”, “Get Money Out of Politics”, etc. But the spontaneity, the disorganization and the general exuberance were gone. The police looked on seemingly pleased at the good behavior of the young people who quietly passed through the narrow corridor of sidewalk they had left available. As the old police cliché goes, there was truly nothing to see here.

In fact, the real spectacle was on my side of Trinity Place across the street from the park. As I loitered by the phone booths smoking a post-lunch menthol, a different sea of humanity was passing by me as well. This humanity was much nosier and much less organized than the protesters across the street. Instead of holding signs with political messages, this sea of humanity was holding cameras and maps of Manhattan. That is right: it was a sea of tourists stopping to gawk at, and snap pictures of, the puny exercise in democracy taking place across the street. Ironically, this sea of unruly tourists did not have any NYPD officers circumscribing where they could walk.

It was at that point that I realized I was watching history unfold. On the Zuccotti side of the street, you had the protesters who stood against everything Pharaoh Bloomberg’s New York City had become. On my side of the street, you had the tourists who reveled in everything Pharaoh Bloomberg’s New York City had become. My side represented the era of repression and commercialism that is on its way out. The Zuccotti side represented the era of free association and community that is yet to be born.

To the tourists who pass through downtown Manhattan, everything is a spectacle. While Trinity Church, Federal Hall and even the giant-testicled bull at the foot of Broadway are nice photo opportunities, the tourists take things much further. Most of these out-of-towners are either coming from, or trying to get to, the 9/11 Memorial. They skip lightly with their children in tow, oftentimes herded down the street by tour guides with light blue 9/11 Memorial shirts on. “Let’s keep moving. We’re almost there” these tour guides can be heard saying to their pliant charges. They usually form a bottleneck along Cedar Street outside of the Ho Yip Chinese buffet as they shuffle along. Some of them even return the death glares that one lone history teacher throws them as they pass by, although they cannot return the menthol smoke he directs into their faces.

It is always a party atmosphere along Cedar Street. The only problem is that they are going to see two giant holes in the ground where nearly 3,000 people lost their lives 12 years ago. They will snap some pictures and then come back outside where they can stop at the 9/11 Memorial gift store to pick up World Trade Center memorabilia. The entire spectacle, from the obnoxious digital cameras to the pushy tour guides to the oblivious foreigners to the cackling children, is a giant Bloombergian farce.

One cannot totally blame the tourists for what downtown Manhattan has become. Thanks to Pharaoh Bloomberg, Larry Silverstein and the bloodsucking state politicians in Albany, what should be hallowed ground and a national reminder of our shared history is instead a hokey exercise in commercialism. Compare the 9/11 Memorial to the monuments in Washington, D.C. like the Lincoln or FDR or World War II memorials. Sure, those places can have floods of tourists too. However, at the end of the day, they are public spaces. They are shared spaces. They are civic spaces. There are no gift shops around them. There is not a constant parade of tour groups being led single-file by obnoxious guides who admonish them to keep up, monopolizing the small strips of public space that exist. Visitors to these places are not asked or guilted into making “donations” to the monument. One cannot buy a mug with an image of the D-Day invasion down the block from the World War II Memorial.

Even if there were all of those things around our national monuments in D.C., it would still be more tolerable than what has become of what used to be the World Trade Center area. Lincoln was killed 148 years ago. FDR died and World War II ended 68 years ago. There is a good chance that people involved in those events are not living and working in the D.C. area anymore. On the other hand, downtown Manhattan still has many residents and workers who were there in 2001. Some of them might have even narrowly escaped with their lives. Some of them might still suffer illnesses from breathing in the acrid smoke. Some of them, including police and firefighters, might have even saved people’s lives or lost friends that day. And yet, the survivors of this national tragedy have to look on each day as downtown Manhattan turns into a circus. While Bloomberg is not totally at fault for this, it is certainly in step with the Bloomberg plan for the city.

This is what I saw on the 2nd anniversary of Occupy Wall Street. To the tourists, the Occupy protesters were a curiosity and a spectacle much like the 9/11 Memorial. They did not expect to see democracy in action when they showed up that day with their maps and their cameras. Metaphorically speaking, the three-ring circus was featuring the dancing bear but the out-of-towners got the bearded lady as a bonus as well. They oohed and aahed throughout both acts, snapping pictures the entire time.

Bloomberg can say that downtown Manhattan has bounced back. The independent eateries and souvenir shops that were around before 9/11 are certainly crammed with tourists now, many of whom have American dollars burning holes in their pockets after converting from Euros. The Freedom Tower is more or less complete, all 1776 feet of it. Yet, just like Bloomberg’s “successes” with public schools and fighting crime, it is a success on the surface only. One only has to dig an inch deep to find the rot that Bloomberg’s gild conceals.

At the end of the day, whether it is tourist dollars, test scores or crime stats, the only thing that has been accomplished under the reign of Pharaoh Bloomberg in NYC is an artful manipulation of numbers. Those numbers bear very little resemblance to reality. Tourist bucks are flowing in, yet downtown Manhattan still bears a national scar that has not been properly treated. Test scores are up (or at least they used to be), yet our students still have trouble making their way in the world after they graduate. Crime is down (or at least it used to be), yet many average New Yorkers are being robbed by a ridiculous cost of living. For the poorest New Yorkers, the NYPD has terrorized them in their own communities thanks to stop-and-frisk.

That is why when I was standing there between the Occupy protesters and the tourists, I was able to feel the tide of history wash over me. One side represented the dying Bloomberg era of optimistic data that continues to fool so many people. The other side represented the coming era of a mass awakening of what that data was always concealing.

CHRISTINE QUINN’S OPPORTUNISM

Remember when Christine Quinn flipped out on the guy who called Bloomberg "pharaoh"? We should always remember that.

Remember when Christine Quinn flipped out on the guy who called Bloomberg “pharaoh”? We should always remember that.

Christine Quinn is still the front-runner for the second toughest job in the United States according to a recent poll. Leading in the polls among the other Democratic candidates pretty much means leading in the polls overall here in NYC. The Republican Party will unlikely be a serious challenge for whomever the Democrats nominate and there are no Independents in the field with the type of name recognition Bloomberg had when he ran as one.

Make no mistake about it: Christine Quinn knows the game of politics. As City Council Speaker she paved the way for Pharaoh Bloomberg’s (illegal) third term. Her reward thus far has been a free hand in running her campaign from City Hall without interference from the Bloomberg smear machine, a machine still working on railroading John Liu.

Completely cognizant of the unpopularity of mayoral control of the school system and Bloomberg-style education reform, Quinn recently shared a vision for NYC schools which seemed to distance herself from the Bloomberg approach. For example:

“Instead of treating school closing like a goal in and of itself, we should see it as an ultimate last resort when all else has failed,” Ms. Quinn said, referring to Mr. Bloomberg’s policy of closing low-performing schools and replacing them with new ones. “And we should make fixing schools not just the responsibility of the principal and the teacher, but of all of city government and the entire community.”

Sounds good, especially if you’re one of those New Yorkers associated with a school Bloomberg has closed or is threatening to close.

Even better is Quinn’s promise to reduce the “emphasis on testing”, although this does not mean the same thing as reducing the amount of exams our students currently take. She would not have the power to do much in this area anyway.

In her peroration Quinn described how she would use the resources of municipal government to make up for some of the disadvantages of our neediest students:

Saying that students need more than just a good teacher to be in a position to learn, Ms. Quinn proposed that New York City imitate a Cincinnati program that has used Medicaid funds to establish medical clinics and even an eye clinic in schools, so that students can be treated for various ailments or get glasses without leaving the building.

Adopting that model, she said, would require better communication among city agencies. To coordinate programs across agencies that work with children — running after-school programs, providing health care and food stamps — Ms. Quinn proposed appointing a deputy mayor who would be responsible for both education and children.

This is an interesting idea, one reminiscent of the free breakfast programs the Black Panther Party funded during the 1960s. Politically speaking, this might end up backfiring on Quinn. She will get hammered as a “liberal” or even a “socialist” from the white, blue-collar part of the electorate. From the other side, it does not speak to any of the criticisms the United Federation of Teachers has had of Bloomberg’s school reform program. This just seems like a reallocation of Medicaid funds into a program where poor parents will physically see the benefits for their children.

Then there is her financially dubious proposal to save money by replacing textbooks with tablets. I smell a Bloomberg-esque no-bid contract in there somewhere.

Speaking of no-bid contracts:

The Council speaker also suggested finding savings in the $1.2 billion the department spends each year on consulting and contracts. (Her spokesman, Jamie McShane, pointed to computer services contracts, which he said in fiscal year 2013 will cost roughly $40 million, and contracts for infrastructure maintenance, which he said will cost nearly $60 million, as examples of areas where Ms. Quinn saw bloat.)

Any teacher will tell you that this is where the bulk of education funds end up going. However, the numbers her office cited barely make a dent in the overall education budget. These seem like symbolic gestures designed to placate critics of the increasing waste of Bloomberg-era education contracts.

Her stance on charter schools is that they are on a “good level” now, meaning that Bloomberg has opened a sufficient number over the past 10 years. Does this mean she promises a containment policy of sorts for charters?

So, when we take stock of what Christine Quinn is actually promising we see it is not a major divergence from Bloomberg at all. The tone of her words are certainly designed to put some distance between her and the unpopular mayor, not to mention to woo Mulgrew and the UFT, but the substance of it all is limited to say the least.

Today Quinn distanced herself even more from Bloomberg in a press conference where she touched upon the failure of the mayor and UFT to work out a new teacher evaluation deal:

“I don’t have a problem with the idea of a sunset. Most pieces of significant legislation have a sunset in them.”

The sunset clause was what sunk negotiations with the UFT last week. Michael Mulgrew was willing to agree to the longest-term evaluation deal in the entire state. This wasn’t enough for Bloomberg who said any type of sunset clause would make the evaluations “a sham”.

Smartly, Christine Quinn is verbally distancing herself from Bloomberg. However, there is little evidence that she would do much other than solidify most of Bloomberg’s failed education programs.

Although critical of school closures she never promised to end them. Although aware of the need to support schools with better resources, no plan to do so was outlined other than a reallocation of Medicaid funds. Although aware of the waste and corruption of no-bid contracts, her changes in this regard would be largely cosmetic. Claiming that charter schools were at a “good level” right now is a start but allows her the loophole that charters might need to be increased in the future.

Not to mention that she accepts the assumptions of the wider movement of education reform and the quest to tie teacher evaluations to test scores. She has continuously said that the new evaluations are “too important” for our students (they are not) and the loss of funds will hurt our schools (which they shouldn’t).

While obviously trying to pander, tepidly, to the UFT she is also attempting to pander to other elements by promising to keep Ray Kelly on as police commissioner. Kelly’s NYPD “stop-and-frisk” policy has alienated minority communities, although it plays well to the white blue-collar bloc of New York City’s electorate. Maybe Quinn is hoping to snatch the liberal bloc with education policy and the conservative bloc with law enforcement policy?

Candidates angling for public office should only be half-believed. By that equation, the half-measures she has proposed for the school system at this stage means an actual “change factor” of absolute zero if she gets elected.

Nobody can blame Quinn for playing the game. She wants power. She reads the polls. What she says and does over the next few months will be determined by these two factors.

A candidate we can believe in? Hardly.

A cookie-cutter political opportunist who embodies politics-as-usual in NYC? Absolutely.

Pyongyang in New York City

Most Glorious Leader Kim Il Sung brings the people of the DPRK much success from beyond the grave.

I think comparisons to Nazi Germany are overused. Comparisons to North Korea, however, are still fair game.

Pyongyang is North Korea’s capital. It is a city located towards the center of a country mired in famine, propaganda and gulags. Foreigners who visit North Korea are given a “guided tour” by state-employed handlers who take you around to see the most glittering parts of the city: the giant statue of Kim Il Sung, the underground rail system, the beautiful traffic ladies and the cooperative farms on the outskirts that are greener than all the other farms in the land.

Those who live in Pyongyang are the elite living a relatively privileged life due to the largesse of the “Dear Leader”, or whatever Kim Jong Un is called. Although these elites still have limited food and frequent power outages, it beats the hell out of starving in the countryside or eating rats in a forced labor camp.

Pyongyang is the showcase city. This is what happens when a dictator with absolute control runs a small, isolated nation.

And here we have Michael Bloomberg, the Kim Jong Un of New York City’s Department of Education. He abolished the democratically-elected Board of Education to replace it with his Politburo, er, I mean Panel for Educational Policy whose members only answer to him.  He has ravaged the countryside, er, I mean schools under his control through indiscriminate “restructurings” and “turnarounds”, leaving husks of institutions in their wake.

As the Daily News points out today, there is also Bloomberg’s version of Pyongyang:

New schools founded in the last three years get more money per student than schools the city began shutting down this year, a Daily News analysis finds.

Under a reform — ironically called Fair Student Funding — the city distributes the bulk of school funding based on the enrollment and demographics of each school.

The reform introduced in 2007 hasn’t been fully funded because of budget cuts in recent years, but all 30 new schools opening this year get their full share of the money to which they’re entitled while the struggling schools remain badly underfunded.

“These are the mayor’s showcase schools. He wants to show they’re doing well,” said Gregg Lundahl, a social studies teacher and teachers union chapter leader at a closing school — Manhattan’s Washington Irving High School. “It’s very unfair.”

“Showcase schools”, that says it all.

This is “Fair Student Funding”. It reminds me of the “Great Leap Forward” in China where millions died of famine.

That is exactly what it is too: famine. In order to fatten up the schools with loyal administrators and younger (see: cheaper) teachers, the schools in the countryside with more veteran staffs get nothing. They starve for resources, having to nurse a piece of chalk for days or limit the copies they make to save paper. Those who speak against his regime, or just plain make too much money, are disappeared, charged with phony crimes, hounded by his education police and put through a kangaroo show trial.

Of course, like all dictators, Bloomberg takes no credit for these disparities in funding. This despite the fact that he claimed he would have “all the accountability” for what went on in schools once he seized control of them.

See how Bloomberg holds himself accountable:

“Efforts to raise all schools to 100% of the Fair Student Funding formula continue to be implemented gradually, and have been hampered by the five successive years of budget cuts during the recession,” said Education Department spokesman Connie Pankratz.

Adding to the budgetary slight, the turnaround schools were supposed to receive an additional $31 million in federal school improvement grants. City officials said in August they would provide the schools $18 million to help offset the loss of the grant.

That is right, it is not his fault. It is the state and federal government not putting up the cash. That is Pharaoh Bloomberg’s way of being “accountable”.

When millions of people died of starvation in North Korea during the 1990s, Dear Leader Kim Jong Il never took responsibility either. It was not his bungled agricultural plan or that he failed to account for the fact that the Soviet Union was dead and would no longer be able to artificially prop up his odious regime. No way. He told his people it was because of an “embargo” by the United States and Japan. For some reason, one day, the U.S. and Japan said “you know what, we should cause the horrible death of millions of innocent people today. Let us create an embargo.”

It is an “embargo” from the state and federal governments that Bloomberg blames. If you buy that excuse, there is an isolated dictatorship in east Asia waiting for you to move there.

When the historians finally get to work on the Bloomberg regime, they will see that his policies have meant desolation for the students, teachers and parents of New York City.

Christine Quinn Doesn’t Know What Democracy Means

Christine Quinn loves democracy, just not for the people.

For those not familiar with the lay of New York City politics, Christine Quinn is the Speaker of the City Council. She hopes to run for mayor after Michael (“Pharaoh”) Bloomberg’s term ends, if his term ends.

See, Quinn was instrumental in lifting the mayoral term limits that would have prevented him from being mayor right now. On top of that, she supports mayoral control of the public school system, which will be responsible for the closing of 24 public schools this year. In essence, the people of New York City know that Mayor Quinn would mean Bloomberg’s fourth term.

Lately, she has been trying to distance herself from Mayor (Pharaoh) Bloomberg. There has been much wrangling between the two over the Living Wage bill, which would require contractors with whom the city does business to pay their workers at least $11.50 an hour or $10 with benefits. Bloomberg vetoed the bill and Quinn is angling to get it overridden.

To call $11.50 an hour a “living wage” in New York City is a joke. Maybe one can live on that salary if they shack up with 3 other people in a two-bedroom apartment out in Jamaica, Queens while working 50 hours a week. Otherwise, there is nothing livable about it. The entire debate has the air of farce, as does the following clip from a press conference at which Quinn was supposed to speak.

Apparently, someone from the crowd called out and referred to Bloomberg as “pharaoh”. This prompted Quinn to go off on the following uninformed and demagogic rant:

“Now, look. That’s not appropriate. You stand here talking about democracy and wanting people to listen. In democracy, people have the right to have different views and they do not, we do not have the right to then call them names. So I would just ask, if that’s what this press conference is about then I’ll go right back inside and continue the work of business. But this is not democracy — calling people names who don’t agree with you. So whoever said I’d ask that you apologize.”

Where to begin?

First, we actually do have that right. It says it right there in the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. I know that ever since Rudy Giuliani was mayor, New York’s leaders have tended to think that they are above the Constitution. Yet, people like me would like to think it still applies.

Second, what is “inappropriate” about this comment? Pharaohs were the most revered leaders of the ancient world. Their people looked up to them as gods. They have given modern man some of the greatest lasting monuments built by any civilization. Of course, those monuments were built by slave labor. Considering that Bloomberg thinks it is perfectly fine for corporations to pay no taxes while allowing their workers to make starvation wages, you would think that the “pharaoh” comment was totally appropriate.

You think this could have been what the gentleman who made the comment was getting at?

People speaking out against laws and leaders they oppose is the very essence of democracy, Ms. Quinn. You would not know that, obviously, since you were the one responsible for handing Bloomberg his third term.

Bloomberg comes from the world where money lords over all. He has expressed many times that the democratic process is a thorn in his side, an inconvenience to be sidestepped. Check out what he said in Singapore a few weeks ago:

“We are basically having a referendum on every single thing that we do every day.. And it’s very hard for people to stand up to that and say, ‘No, no, this is what we’re going to do,’ when there’s constant criticism, and an election process that you have to look forward to and face periodically.”… Later, Mr. Bloomberg noted that long-term urban planning “requires leadership, and standing up, and saying, ‘You know, you elected me, this is what we’re going to do,’ and not take a referendum on every single thing.”

That pesky “election process” really gets in the way of ruling us like a king. We elected Bloomberg, for life apparently, and he is going to tell us to our faces “no, no, this is what we’re going to do.” This explains a lot. This explains why the Panel for Educational Policy is set up to vote for every single thing he has ever wanted. Teachers, parents and students protest the closing of a school? No, no, this is what we are going to do. We are going to close your school, fire your teachers and shuffle you around, again.

There is no room for “democracy” in Bloomberg’s world. It is little wonder that the folks in Singapore, a country that bashes people’s buttocks with bamboo canes for littering, sympathize with his concerns. If it was up to him, everyone’s buttocks would be smashed with canes.

Christine Quinn is absolutely clueless about what democracy is. Her petulant, childish and ignorant rant directed at a concerned citizen who was speaking his mind highlights this fact. We actually do have a right to speak freely, especially at political rallies. We should not be subject to venom from the bully pulpit every time someone says something that our glorious, dictatorial leaders do not like. Where is the democracy in berating a man in the crowd when you have the floor, a microphone and the attention?

This just shows that Christine Quinn is not fit to be mayor. Not only is she firmly attached to Bloomberg’s expensive coattails, she does not have the dignity or the poise to lead the biggest city in the United States. If you refuse to take criticism, especially when the criticism is not directed at you, how will you lead New York City of all places?

Do not give up on John Liu. He is the only one who has spoken any sense and, as you can see, he did not storm off the stage like a brat.