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Commentary Last Updated: Sep 25th, 2007 - 01:26:03

Ripe gripes from the Big Apple
By Jerry Mazza
Online Journal Associate Editor

Sep 25, 2007, 01:24

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Well, homelessness is up in the Big Apple, but not as much as the cops� $400 million plus in overtime. I�m not implying they�re connected, but it�s kind of lame for the city that should be named the Appluent Apple to spend so much on �law enforcement� and so little on the down and out. Actually, the really big jump in NYPD overtime came in November 2001 when it shot up 15-fold to $1.7 billion from $340,000,000 and terror became a huge growth industry.

Returning to the homeless, today our billionaire Mayor Mike Bloomberg�s Report showed, �Families entering the shelter system increased by almost 11 percent during fiscal year 2007 to 10,165 from 9,184 the previous year.� Now you might say, big deal, 11 percent. But you wouldn�t say it if you were on the street with a kid or two and/or your old lady, living in a dead car, or dining from a dumpster; or worse, if you were a female single parent, trying to keep the wolves from the no-door.

Mayor Mike promises his plan to reduce family homelessness will do the trick, but the Coalition for the Homeless say, no way, your approach isn�t working. More affordable housing for homeless families is what needs to be built. So when, Mike?

Even Donald Trump got a bogus permit to build a 38-story �hotel� of condominiums, about three times as high as the low-level and historic West Village and Soho areas. But Mike can�t seem to get it up for the down and out. BTW, the �hotel� is the angle to get the permit, even though nobody�s going to check up and see if the fat cats are going to live in their condos too many days a year to qualify for �hotel� status.

Returning to the cops, our general terror insanity, coded alerts, and constant bombardment by Homeland Insecurity messages has sent battalions of them out to cover a Granny Protest against the war, loading those vicious old ladies into the paddy wagons. In full battle gear, the cops look like centurions from Star Wars, black helmets and coordinated black cargo pants and flak vests to match.

On the other hand, you wouldn�t think that with all the well-paid cops double-teaming the invisible Osama-types that gang-motivated crimes would have jumped up 29 percent. Ah, but it did, bro. And study this, authors of the Bloomberg Report: these are our home-grown dissidents. And once they wise up it�s not themselves they should be bopping, you�re going to need an army, not just 37,838 cops, to deal with that wave of rage. Wait. That is an army.

And speaking of inverted rage, �reported child abuse and neglect cases reached a record high.� The Administration for Children�s Services says that�s because of heightened awareness steaming from the death and raping of 7-year old Nixmary Brown in 2006, that is by her animal step-father sexual molesting and beating her while her biological mother threw in the last punch or two.

Heightened awareness of this heinous crime means people may be waking up to those screams upstairs or those heads banging against the wall next door. It�s not like the added complaints are all about the implied �paranoia� or overreaction.

More likely, adding cordons of cops to cover every fart of protest, every constitutionally-guaranteed right to gather, every shout that �9-11 was an inside job� at the World Trade Center�s 6th Ground Zero anniversary, was paranoia, the fear of the dark ones pulling the strings at the top, err, like Larry Silverstein (Tower 7 owner, former WTC-lese-holder) and his good friend, our ex-mayor and would be President Giuliani.

And by the way, Bloomberg�s Report also mentioned that syphilis is up 37 percent, which the Health Department blames on more unsafe sex. So let�s make sure to cut monies for birth control wherever we can. Right. President Bush? And what about Rudy, in the middle of all this unsafe sex, changing his original pro-choice stance to a no-choice stance?

Yet how is it I keep hearing Satchmo singing �Oh what a beautiful world� in the background. Is this just my mind throwing up a fence for all the ripe gripes? Can�t a tough old bird like me take it; or that Goldman Sachs doubled its profits since last year? Jeez, am I losing my sense of humor? Is the love for my immediate and extended family of New Yorkers failing me? Should I try writing condolence cards for Hallmark? Ah, who knows? The Shadow do; he knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men and women and like a worm in the Big Apple.

But that�s enough gripes for now, enough worm. Here�s some good news. The overtime for the fire department actually went down about 8 percent. But actually that can be attributed to a number of firehouse closings around the city. Well, maybe the cops could put out the extra fires. Maybe they�ll give us a few extra freebies.

Hey, what do you want, everything? Move to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. It�s been declared one of the 10 nicest cities in America in which to live. Even though it�s a red state, has banned a woman�s right to chose and the Indians are drying up in the nearby Black Hills like the winter�s snow.

Look, no matter where you go, it won�t be gripe-free, right. You can�t have everything, you and all your sixties bohuck, draft-dodging, card-burning friends. No matter where you are, you gotta pay your dues; unless you�re rich and Republican and than you get the tax cuts. And you can get everything else, except maybe a good�s night sleep or a good look at yourself in the mirror. It�s all a matter of trade-offs, all a matter of homeless people, screaming kids, barracudas at the helm, and a cosmic decay of conscience. That�s all. No biggie. Have a Bud, the king of bears. Let�s see what�s on TV. Relax, man. You�re thinking way too hard.

Jerry Mazza is a free-lance writer living in New York. Reach him at

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