Monday, August 31, 2009

Missing Nixon?

Dysfunctional systems can be local or national. Corporate influence follows the same pattern.

As Paul Krugman notes:
Part of the answer is that the right-wing fringe, which has always been around — as an article by the historian Rick Perlstein puts it, “crazy is a pre-existing condition” — has now, in effect, taken over one of our two major parties. Moderate Republicans, the sort of people with whom one might have been able to negotiate a health care deal, have either been driven out of the party or intimidated into silence. Whom are Democrats supposed to reach out to, when Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, who was supposed to be the linchpin of any deal, helped feed the “death panel” lies?
Go and read the column in today's NYTimes.

And then there's Matt Bai, who takes a look at the political landscape and declares town hall meetings dead as a form of dialogue.

Labels: ,

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Curiouser and Curiouser

As Flounder said, "Oh Boy, This is Great!"

I just got a call from Rob Remus. You may remember Rob. He managed real estate for Sanjiv Jain's Legacy realty. Sanjiv tried to use him as muscle at some meetings, but it turned out that Rob was all talk. Rob got on the board when all those memberships were bought for out of state relatives and friends of people who worked for Sanjiv. Mr Patel, another employee, resigned from the board. Rob got to stay. No one knows why.

He tried to tell journalists how to run a newspaper, and used used some colorful language about a persons' sexuality to cover what I pecieved as an obvious attraction to him. ("The Love impulse in the Male often manifests itself in terms of Conflict" - Dr Fritz Lehman).

Yesterday, I was told that Rob had been given $3200.00 by the CHCA for something to do with the Local. To find out more about it, I called Rob. No answer. I didn't leave a message. But, follow-ups being the core of any businessman's trade, he Star69ed me-on a Sunday-to see if anyone wanted to pay him anything for anything.

I asked him about the money. He replied,"Hey Ed, want to talk to my Kids?- Hey kids-say hello to uncle Ed." I heard childrens voices and then then Rob returned. "Are you kidding, Ed, I would never let you talk to my kids." (I had said nothing) He then said "You know you're as smart as my kids." I continued to try and ask him about the money, and surprisingly, he hung up.

So Rob, who once told a gay man that he wanted to insert a body part into his body, now offers, then denies, access to his children to me for some reason. He dangled his kids in front of me for a reason that I can't even imagine.

Maybe someone should talk to Robs' wife about her husbands' interesting offers. Not me. I'll find out about the money, but I don't really want to know about the other stuff that goes on in that house.

Now that Rob has used his kids inappropriately, I guess I should be allowed to tell them all about their Daddy. But I'll let them find out on their own. The Odds Makers have Rob down as the next domino in the Chip Butler-John Capoferri-Frog Walk Parade.

Thanks Rob!

Labels: , , , ,

The Children's Hour

Hey kids, I just found out something I should have found out already that proves my point some more. Stupidly, I figured that when Mark resigned from being CHCA Treasurer to spend more time with his family, or at his job, or because the sun was in his eyes, he was resigning from the board as well. This is not the case.

It seems as if Mark has enough time with his family to stay on the board. Maybe he can be on some other committees so he won't be able to spend that family time he used as an excuse.
Mark, you idiot. The only way this fantasy had any credibility at all, enough to fool - well, I don't know who you people can fool any more - was if you booked from the whole damn thing.

Thank you for fortifying Theory #4 - You were patted on the head, told you could stay up late and watch the adults have their party, but you had to watch from the top of the stairs. Good Boy.

The reason I didn't report this was a failure that I, as a writer, feel badly about. I'm supposed to able to put myself in the the place of my subjects, in order to give life to actions and emotions that they are doing and feeling.

That I am sometimes unable to synthesize the depths of child-like stupidity that these people exhibit over and over again makes me feel a little embarrassed.

Mark, this resignation-but-not is akin to hiding your shitty underpants under the couch and thinking no grown-up will ever follow the smell.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, August 29, 2009

They Do Herd /The Morning Line

Territoriality Among the Chromosomally Engineered by Dr Benjamin (Benny Southstreet) Leakey

Mark Keintz may well be spending more time with his family, because I reached him at home at 11:30 A.M. on Saturday. I told him I wanted to help, but he politely declined.

But I do. Because his resignation was not an act of free will, and I thought I could offer him some.

So let's go through the possibilities. John Lombardi's conjectures serve well as a starting point.

Theory# 1 Mark's given Reason. Odds 100-1 Where have YOU been?

There is no way in hell Mark would have given up a post that he worked so hard for, licked so many nether reasons for, and lied so much to keep, for any reason approaching free will. If you saw him gamely defending the CHCA, the group that just took a shit on him, at the Chestnut Hill Residents' meeting, you might just cry for the little fella. Mark gave up that free will stuff long ago, to be able to escape the Dilbert Cubicle of the Eternally Ignored he has occupied since childhood.

He was finally allowed to play with the bigger kids. They even gave him a title. Treasurer. That Mark had no professional experience in any financial arena only increased his usefulness.
Although a charming personal experience may indicate his willingness, if not his expertise at budgetary exploration.

While teaching at Penn, I would occasionally observe Mark and a co-worker comparing prices at the food carts, searching for the best lunchtime deal. My criteria being culinary and service quality kept me loyal to two or three dispensers of Mobile Cuisine, Aluminum Clad Division.

I know the reason for this bargain based odyssey, because I asked him, and he told me. He was still speaking to me then. When I expressed my confusion on the subject, due to the fact that the lunch carts were the same ones every day, staked out at the same spots every day, with the same dishes and the same prices every day, he replied, "Well you know, something might change."

That response always indicated a kind of longing in Mark. His days of hunched computer genuflection, where nothing ever changes, his lunchtime freedom to hope for something to happen outside the bounds of zip code 00110111000110110.

No, Marks' willingness to do whatever it took to be in the greatest, most prestigious job he ever had would not have been relinquished for anything as tired and overused as personal or professional reasons.

Theory #2: Investigation Fear. Odds 8-1. Don't Go near this

The ongoing investigation, springing from the findings of the oversight committee, duly constituted by the CHCA board during its' brief tenure of being run by folks who were not lining their pockets, padding their resume's, or feeding their pathology, has been the reason for a number of resignations.

The first to hide were the profession/political climbers. Their financial sights were set on larger amounts of fish than Hill business could ever provide. Big white shoe law firm/City money makes Hill lettuce comically small time. I chronicled the exodus of Jeremy Heep and his bourgeois treadmill partner Tia Burke as they went from the CHCA's prom King and Queen to undisclosed location dwellers, literally overnight.

Dropping off the face of the earth is not an overstated metaphor. No explanation in the Local, not even one blaming official "evil ones" (including me), or board disfunction, nothing. When you don't even have an official story, the only motive is one of self preservation, where every minute out of spotlight increases your chance of escape.

More recently we have the cheese eaters of the money and pathology groups who saw a duck and cover strategy as a way to not only wait out a potential legal shitstorm, but as deep cover for their real Darwinian reason.

Back to Mark. He knew about the investigation, but stayed all this time. He has no pipeline whatsover to any inside timetable that may tell him that the gettin' out time is now. And the longer he stayed, the more he did as he was told, the more he implicated himself. Even he knew that.

Since I know you read this Mark, let me say that even you know this move will not help you. That's a compliment, right? And here's another one. I don't think Mark stayed on to line his pockets. If you want to ascribe that non-action to a particular category of ethics, go ahead.

But as one who ascribes to instinct above intellect, I see it more plainly. If Mark ever tried to take a pencil home from work, he would have a diaper full of shit before he hit the parking lot. To be kind, I'll just say, "It's not in his nature."

No, as we now see on the board, the great partnership is the one between money and the balls you need to do anything to get it. It's what makes the world spin, and reek like garbage and decaying flesh. If people lied and died for principles like they do for money, we would all still be naked and avoiding One particular Tree.

Those that are left at the board are there for the money, or following inner demons that they can't control, or both. Along with a few innocent innocents who, I hope, are enjoying the Theater.

Theory #3. Punishment for Telling some version of the Truth. Odds 3-1 Place bet as part of the Daily Double

While this theory has its proponents, it's just part of the big bet. Mark's minor financial faux pas as smoking gun is overstated. The emperor has been naked at board meetings for so long we have given names to every one of his venereal warts.

Any truth, especially a bit as insignificant as the one Mark let slip, would have been acted on as aggressively as; two purchased elections and counting, one case of bank fraud, tax cheats as trustees, nonresidents as vice presidents, ( I get tired telling you this so often), and everything now controlled by a middle aged Village-of-the-the-Damned cast member who, if Mother Earth had boots, would lodge one so deep in a particular locale of his, three board members would have "Timberland" embossed on their foreheads.

Theory #4. Richie's House Cleaning. Odds-Even Money- Bet the Coal Mine

As I have stated on these electrons before, the exodus of those who saw the future was almost complete before the last "election." Stuart Graham, Man of Litmus, lead his Children out of the Library in silence, as he had so often during his tenure as Chestnut Hill's own Karl Rove. Hey, I know the comparison is easy, but it's worked so well, why stop now? Always the power behind everyone except the reformers, hogtied as a republican in Philadelphia, this was Stewey's power base, albeit one where the base was the only place on which he could assert any power. See, I told you it was a good comparison!

Stewey saw a little danger coming with badges, and he is a cautious type. But he has kept so many personal and professional secrets for so long, he could have toughed out any storm. So while his, Ned (proud of my racism) Mittinger, and Frau Becker's retreat have an element of line-of -fire to it, its' real reason was the Darwinism I mentioned earlier, with a healthy side of finance.

Stewey is not only an incredibly minor Pol, he's also owns real estate in the Hill. How he got it is another story and a pip. (Thanks Lloyd!) But any minor player knows who daddy is. And guess who Daddy is?

When Richard Snowden (start typing employees-but use grammar check this time) created Positively Chestnut Hill, with Zondercommando Greg Welsh as Dov Landau, Stewey knew it was time, and he gave his usual sage advice to those who had always followed him before.

But so much of the world functions like the children's board game, chutes and ladders. As one who has reached the top of certain area of endeavor, I saw that, in so many ways, how its' pinnacle was located directly under the ass end of another.

Politics, particularly city politics, has such a relationship with business, particularly business that has a stranglehold on the same district as the politician in question.

Frankly, that Richard had to see how another local realtor bought an election before he figured it out doesn't speak well for his intellect. But he's got it now.

Stewey and his people got out of the way, knew they couldn't win, Stewey hoping for later consideration, and there you have it. Velociraptors leave when T-Rex shows up. Of course the real players, the Ultrasaurus' in 19118 can't be bothered with Richie's obsession and, if they pay any attention at all, probably giggle just like I do.

But who was left? The fools like Kientz, the crazies like Dina, and the useful puppies, like Piatrowski. Dina is still the mystery. Has she made a deal, or does Richie just consider her Jane with an extra Y? To be privy the unspoken interplay between the two, I would give my leather bound copy of Krafft-Ebing's Psychopathia Sexualis.

But Treasurer is too important a job for someone not completely in Richie's pocket. All the other positions are window dressing, like the new Treasurer's business.

So someone gave Mark a choice. Like Rommel, only with a better retirement plan. Resign or we will toss you. Since Mark has always thought this childrens' play he was involved in had something to do with the world of duty and honor he has seen in old movies, he "took the honorable way out." A living parody 'til the end. The only thing left for him to do is dress up in his Treasurers' Uniform and get the Lugar out.

Now a man who got his lovely house decorated for free, just 'cause he likes animals, is gonna figure out how to throw the final shovel full of dogshit on the Local. David Mansfield installs windows. Richard owns buildings that have windows. God bless America.

Pete, I told you. Doing what they want only makes them do it harder. You had a chance with Mark. Yet another sentence I never thought I would ever write. But as Boswell said, the more more you discover, the freakier it gets. Observing Snowden, it wouldn't surprise if his real punishment for you does not come in the form of termination, but in the humiliation of firing all of those who have been loyal to you, as you say nothing.

If I were what I perceive him to be, that is exactly what I would do. Exquisite sadism.

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, August 28, 2009

High Anxiety

Choking the Local
by John Lombardi

A few weeks ago, Mark Keintz, then the CHCA treasurer, published an Op Ed in the paper which was surprisingly frank about the state of the CHCA's finances -- the fact that the paper had turned a few thou profit -- wow! after 51 years in business; that Quita Horan was about to knock off her $40,000 annual stipend next year (presumably because she was sickened by the inchworm mentality of CHCA officials and their repeated errors of judgement); and about the state probe into CHCA financial records, still ongoing though unremarked by the scribes of the Local -- who've been "prevented" -- according to their defenders -- from writing anything serious about the behind-the-scenes atmosphere in CHCA .

But Thursday night, Keintzy, not exactly a Brave Heart when it comes to standing up in controversial situations, resigned his position, reportedly reading from a letter to Philip LeCalsey, and citing the need to spend more time with his family -- the usual rationale. Were the members of the Executive Committee angry with him for his truthful blat in the Local -- after all, they've succeeded in getting pretty much everything else in the weekly "news" hole closed down to happy "stories," like the recent one on the refurbishment of the Chestnut Hill Hotel --attagirl Jenny Katz! (And if you hang on long enough, you may get that "Editor's" job after all.) Or pieces about Snowden's success getting easements for his latest setback exception requests -- thrillorama!

Darker rumors have Keintz scuttering away before the State of Pennsylvania finally bestirs itself on bookkeeping peculiarities -- not that he was responsible, but just that he didn't want to be on the line defending them. Or, to give the man his due -- maybe he truly did disagree with the Choke the Local to Death mania that the new Exec regime seems to subscribe to. Knowing nothing at all about journalism and caring less, the Execs first emasculated editor and staff, and are now -- the word is -- turning to production. David Mansfield, who replaced Keintz Thursday, and who swept in last Spring with the Snowden forces, has reportedly been noising it around that the paper just costs too much, and could take a cut of $200,000! It's production department should be outsourced! A ludicrous idea, said to be born of Mansfield/ Larry Hochberger "business pragmatism."

Far from being "a full participant" in the running of the Local, as has been claimed by Walter Sullivan, the "Editor" is said to know so little about this that he is reduced to working back channels of source info -- just like a common blogger.

News flash for the Execs and their several staffs: Newspapers are groups, like teams or tribes. If you reduce them relentlessly to "efficient" blocs of workers, just in it for the money, like Walmart employees, and operating at minimum cred with the community -- you end up with a disaffected staff, indifferent readers, and a "McNewsburger". Or with a sale to a McNewsburger chain, like JRC.

Or you just close up.

The old rule was to hire a genius crew of reporters & editors, and killer squads of ad sales & circulation staff. And never let 'em near each other. Abandoning that notion has resulted in the kind of journalistic Mogadishu we have now.
For Michael Vick, the kindness of dog lovers among Local letter writers:

"This man who hanged them and shot them & held them under water until they were dead, should get the same treatment." (Frank Heffelfinger, Wyndham); "The only second chance Michael Vick should get should be . . . as a trash collector, picking up dog poop." (Lillian Rosen, Wyndham); "Dumb old Andy Reid has a soft spot for felons (his sons' drug troubles)." (Chris Bacheler. Drexel Hill); "[He] fell to the bottom of that fetid sewer known as dogfighting. He is a monster, completely without mercy. . . therefore, no mercy whatsoever can be shown toward him. Punitive guidelines are grossly insufficient." (Bridget Irons, Chestnut Hill).

Labels: , , ,

Dynastic Martyrdom

"dynastic martyrdom" is my new favorite thing.

it just feels so ... grand ... and dark but at the same time majestic.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Use the Tools You Have Been Given

Barack Obama now has his chance. He has the Altar of Ted Kennedy from which to demand single payer health care.

The swing demographic on this issue are Reagan democrats, who were Kennedy democrats before that. Their heartstrings can be plucked, but he must work quickly, and emotionally.
They trusted Ted. Would he have lied to them about health care? It was his life's work.

If he cannot use the Kennedy dynastic martyrdom to sell what the majority of Americans want, what a majority of the first worlds' citizens and a majority of America's old people enjoy and endorse, he is not the politician we thought he was, and deserves the failure in which his presidency will be viewed.

If he refuses to use the emotion of Kennedy's death and the unfinished business of his legislative life, then the fix was always in.

Mark Antony used a bier to gain an empire. This is about a fucking bill.

If he doesn't want to use emotion to sway the people, if he continues to view them as dispassionate college freshmen, then he is in the wrong business, or the wrong country.

Labels: ,

Friday, August 21, 2009

word on the street...

I heard this rumor that John Capoferri has moved down to Florida?
To Palm Beach I hear.
I wonder if he'll open a grocery market or invest in property.

I tried to make that a haiku but it's too early.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I wanted to take a second to acknowledge the life of Robert Zatzman, who passed away this past weekend. Almost everyone I have met in Chestnut Hill knew or knew of Bob. His shop's location kept changing and evolving (never more than 20 feet) but he was a staple on Germantown Ave for longer than most can remember.

Even musicians downtown would bring their stuff to Bob to repair, tweak, etc.

So my thoughts are with his family in this sad time. I will also keep this blog up to date on details of a memorial concert that is being organized.

And Bob: Keep playing.

Update: Information on a memorial service can be found in the comments.
From his nephew, Josh Zatzman:
It's Thursday August 20th, at 7 PM to 10 PM. Please bring your instruments we will be telling stories and playing music in his honor. We also plan to have a concert in his honor around October 3rd, anyone is welcome to come and perform. The address for the wake is: 234 East Church Road Elkins Park PA 19027

Germantown Unsettled ...

Ah, the Germantown Settlement situation; Germantown's cousin to the CHCA saga.

The Germantown Chronicle for August 23 isn't out yet, the story hasn't been read and Emanuel V. Freeman thinks he knows what will be revealed. The web was buzzing starting at 8 Wednesday morning.

"Much of their information is not accurate," sez Freeman. Freeman couldn't have read it, but he has his message flying all around the intertubes in Northwest Philly and is spinning his damage control as fast as he can. Take a look at who gets the e-mail sent this morning - Philadelphia politicians with toeholds in Harrisburg.

According to Freeman, the Chronicle follows the "negative editorial practices of the former Germantown Courier." Please. The Courier was fish wrap from JRC, suitable for burying dead guppies from the home aquarium. It had neither the time nor the staff to investigate what was going on with the Settlement outfit.

And Emanuel, what about those houses on the 200 block of Penn Street? How they holding up?

So, Emanuel, read the story and then critique it. It lends a little credibility to your arguments, however weak they may be.

You want to read the story, get this week's Germantown Chronicle (August 20). The piece is on the paper's web site today - Wednesday, August 19.

So here's this morning breathless spin from EVF of GS. In the e-mails below, non-government addresses have been redacted.

Unabashed Sunshine Policy Statement: I, Scott Alloway, work at the Chronicle in several capacities, not the least being web editor.
From: "Youngblood, Rosita"
Date: Wed, 19 Aug 2009 09:23:50 -0400
To: Tim S. Ries; RT Donovan; Wall, Cherise; Tolentino, David; Barabin, Rochelle
Subject: FW: Germantown Chronicle


From: McClure, Miriam
Sent: Wednesday, August 19, 2009 8:04 AM
To: Donna Reed Miller (;; Myers, John; Kinsey, Stephen; LeAnna Washington (; Evans, Dwight; Youngblood, Rosita; Curtis Jones;
Cc: Freeman, Emanuel V.
Subject: Germantown Chronicle
Importance: High

To Friends of Germantown Settlement:

The Germantown Chronicle is going to run an article on GS/GGHDC and it will likely attempt to paint a very negative picture. It will draw attention to the financial challenges we are facing, including payroll, city and state taxes (all of which we have secured payment agreements for), and any IRS issues (we have also addressed and have submitted a proposed agreement which has not yet been approved).

Much of their information is not accurate but nonetheless it will further damage our image as an organization. This is the primary purpose of such articles. I have attempted to address some of what they raised but do not think they are likely to print much, if anything, that I said. While GS and GGHDC do have some liens and judgments (some of which were paid off or are included in our 2006 refi of the Burgess Center and some of the appropriate adjustments have not yet been made), I suspect what we outlined will also not be updated.

We have secured financing commitments for the Germantown YWCA (and the city is allowing us the needed time to move forward on this project). Our loan on the Burgess Center has matured and we have identified the sources to refinance. We have a new venture, identified as Medical Adult Day Care, and have just submitted financing proposals for the development and it will replace aging services. Our properties at 324 East High Street and Waring House at 48 East Penn Street will be converted into Child Care Centers. Together, these projects will generate more than enough revenue to pay off all liens and bring current any taxes that may become due between now and the end of the year.

We have executed a partnership agreement with a for-profit firm to co-develop the GYWCA. This site will in fact become our new home and the GYWCA will be placed back into service as a viable community facility. Within the next few months, we will complete the leasing on Burgess Center.

Wendy’s is now under construction and we expect to lease out the space now occupied by GS and GGHDC staff. This will likely require us to relocate to another section of the Burgess Center. This move will be temporary until the GYWCA is completed.

While the Germantown Chronicle is a new paper, it continues to follow the negative editorial practices of the former Germantown Courier. In many ways these are the same people that we, and the elected officials that support us, feel have historically treated us unfairly.

Other organizations within this community have challenges, but no one seems to make it public and write articles about them. We are resolved to stay the course, address our issues and continue to serve our people the best we can with what we have.


Emanuel V Freeman

Labels: ,

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Lies, Damn Lies and the GOP ...

The lies and misinformation from the Right Wing on health care legislation continues, with Republican politicians leading the charge.

Check these two stories about the scare tactics Republicans use, including Killing Grandma and Death Panels - "Don't Talk to Me About Death Panels" and "Death Panels Are Already Here."

Steve Pearlstein at the Washington Post documents Republican lies on health care reform here.

Sen. Specter had a charming encounter with the lunatic fringe today in Lebanon, Pa. Birthers, deathers. Grand Old Party, ain't it. If you're confused about Birthers and Deathers, read below.

From Kos:

Deather, defined

Main entry: deather
Function: noun
Etymology: From birther, a related conspiracy theory which holds that President Obama is not a natural born U.S. citizen. Inspired by the teabaggers of April 15, 2009.
Date: Mid-2009
Definition: One who believes or spreads the false conspiracy theory that the health care reform legislation before Congress would create "death panels" or force seniors and sick people into euthanasia.
Examples: Sarah Palin is a deather. Glenn Beck is a deather. Rush Limbaugh is a deather.

Health care change needs our support. Do something to stop the Know-Nothings looking to stop change.

As a reminder, there's always Sarah Palin and her world view. Countdown takes her down in this clip.

Update: In fairness, the Teabaggers offer their contributions to civil discourse.

Update: Aug. 29: And Ted Kennedy has the final word about compromising - from beyond the grave.

Labels: ,

Monday, August 10, 2009

More on Goldman Sachs

This is a followup on the Goldman Sachs post seen below. Good conversation on the Goldman "conspiracy theory" at Balloon Juice.

Scott Alloway

Labels: ,

Goldman Sachs: Running the Country Since 1999

Ten months after an election that purportedly would usher in a major reversal of our national priorities, beginning with a financial empire in free-fall, the New York Times this (Sunday) morning presents an "expose" on the cozy relationship between the federal government and Wall Street's biggest power broker and the one closest to U.S. monetary policy since the late 1990s - - Goldman Sachs. Today's Inquirer editorial page also wades into this morass of insider dealings and using the largest expenditure of taxpayer money to prop up one industry in world history. Where were the Times' crack investigative reporters when this was first announced in the back pages of the national press last September? - - and even worse where were they as the Obama administration took this major scam on the citizenry to new heights?

Please skip whatever you are doing this morning, open this NY Times news story on Goldman Sachs/Treasury Secy Paulson, and then follow the rest of the trail as I tell you larger story.

These questions about former Treasury Secretary Paulson's relationship with Goldman Sachs and the bailouts surfaced when crises was unfolding, but now, almost eight months after a new administration is in place, we have a post-mortem article of this type finally making public what could have and should have been on front and financial pages while the deals were being done.

For the first time we learn that a long-term Republican representative, Cliff Stearns of Florida (frequent critic of his own party's policies) questioned the insider deal then. Would you not think that would have been a major story at the time, particularly with the conflict of interest issue widely known inside the financial sector?

Of course things were happening very fast from September to election day, but two months later a new president from the opposition party, and an entirely new administration were about to be installed to deal with these world-wide financial problems. Why not put this type of situation front and center and let a new broom really sweep clean?

But you see the Obama administration not only did nothing to reverse the involvement of Goldman Sachs types in the bailout process, as both direct and indirect recipients of the public money, they recruited more Goldman Sachs executives to run virtually every newly-created financial department that would oversee the distribution and direct of all those billions; pardon me trillions!

The New York Times newspaper, lapdog for the Obama administration and Democratic Party public relations tool, could not possibly run such a story then, as the public might learn that those very insider Wall Street types that Obama was appointing and delegating were not only some of the same ones the Bush administration used, but even more of them from the same institution were installed in key positions where they still serve. Investigative journalism, with timing when it counts, is no longer performed at the New York Times.

I think the Bush administration was largely a failure on many fronts, so don't jump to any conclusions about my point here. What you must know, and again only reported parenthetically at the time, is that the Obama election campaign received more private funding than any candidate in political history, and the largest bloc came from Wall Street. He was and is only returning the favor - - quid pro quo!

But you see Goldman Sachs has a long history in running our government as it began when another Goldman alumnus was Treasury Secretary. Robert Rubin, whom Clinton appointed was the mastermind of the financial deregulation bill that he and Clinton supported enthusiastically, with the full unquestioned participation of both parties in the congress in the form of the Graham-Leech bill. The Bill that undid all the safeguards on banking and speculation put in place during the Roosevelt years. Don't let the phony news stories fool you, deregulation of commercial enterprises begun during Regan years had nothing to do with financial deregulation. That came much, much later and was the brainchild of Rubin and Clinton after massive campaign contributions came from Wall Street insiders like Sanford Weil of Citibank; another Rubin creation.

For you see, the Democratic and Republican parties are identical in what they really do, and who they really answer to. There are as many fat-cat Democratic business leaders today as Republicans. What you witness daily is a smoke-screen that keeps the illusion alive that there is a dime's worth of difference between them when it comes down to it. If anything the Republicans are less hypocritical, as they make it clear that government money helping industry and management at the top will "trickle down" and benefit everyone. The Democrats claim to fund the needs of the people directly, but in point of fact, they are also using a "trickle down" program as they piss on your shoes.

Jim Foster
Germantown Newspapers Inc.
5275 Germantown Avenue
Philadelphia, Pa. 19144

Labels: ,

Saturday, August 08, 2009

High Anxiety: Dog Day Journalism

by John Lombardi

A cool blast of air-conditioning, like walking into Bill Kilian's place 10 years ago, out of the stifling August shmutz of Germantown Avenue. That's what it felt like to read Len Lear's "Get Over It" Op Ed on the Huntingdon Valley swim club flap a couple of weeks ago, in the Local. And then Jim Foster's "Where's the money going?" blog lede in this space the other day. Two guys of a certain age, with common sense and libertarian leanings, commenting on the goop of PC non-think that's becoming characteristic of American journalism exchanges from the Times, to the networks, to PBS & NPR, to the Local and Northwest Notebook, too.

One guy here says we can't criticize the exaggerators going for a couple of lucrative lawsuits against the swim club because the children of Creative Steps, Inc., who happened to be black, were "irreparably scarred" by being asked to leave the pool -- even though they got a trip to Disneyworld, all kinds of apologies, goodies and worldwide publicity, as a result. So why not let 'em back in the water, after the club operators relented? The sweating kids would have probably jumped right in. It's hot. But the media event was paying off better.

Foster's point is that the Obama administration isn't starting WPA-style "job stimulus" operations in massive road repair, bridge and tunnel upgrades, inner city clearing and rebuilding, or National Park refurbishment -- as promised back in January -- but instead is just giving billions to bankers who caused the problems in the first place -- Reagan's old "trickle down" nonsense. And of course O did this without having established any oversight structure to prevent repeat greedhead depredations -- as FDR once had the strength & foresight to do. And which still causes hisses of "That man!" among senior Republicans, and the rich generally. Nobody wants to talk about this, though, in the spirit of giving the nation's first black president "a chance."

The deal is, you can't take care of organic problems with P.R. solutions. Life isn't a matter of sound-bytes, camera angles and breathless star talk on Meet the Nation and Charlie Rose, or The McNeil/Lehrer Snoozehour. Anyone who believes Henry Louis Gates wasn't at least partly to blame for his own arrest in Cambridge by Sgt. Steve Lowrey , should check out the endless, smug, star-crossed chit-chat among Gates and a group of mostly white academics in the recent PBS documentary on Abraham Lincoln's "racism" in the 1850s, and during the Civil War. While the professors dined in period taverns on the Southern battlefields of yore, dragging out their musings over pheasant and Cote' de Beaune, Gates held sway, lecturing with raised eyebrows & querulous looks about Lincoln's plans to repatriate millions of former slaves to Africa. . ,

Marcus Garvey and some others seemed to feel it wasn't a bad notion at several points in U. S. history, and Gates condescended to leave the question of Lincoln's prejudice open -- after all, millions of blacks stood along the railroad tracks after he was shot, and not to curse him as a racist. But Gatesy makes a good living at Harvard now, and making documentaries on African-American subjects like Phillis Wheatley, America's first black poetess, forced to endure the prejudice of the founding fathers, and uplifting stuff like "From Great Zimbabwe to Kilomatinde," which isn't too harsh about that paragon of humanism, Robert Mugabe.

But PC/PR rules. Internationally and nationally, we're supposed to buy that Bill Clinton somehow snatched two minor reporters for Al Gore's TV stations, without White House involvement (except for an "attaboy"), on a couple of days turnaround , from Kim Jung Il's dire North Korean clutches; that an old Bush plan to assassinate the leaders of Al Qaeda and the Taliban was heroically dismantled by old Clinton hand Leon Panetta (the CIA kill teams were never operational, and the news broke just in time to counteract GOP propaganda against Health Care reform). But given all the Clintonites in the White House now, what are we seeing? . . . A demonstration that Bill, Hill and O are Chill? That if Hill had won, we'd be getting the same inchworm consensus media strategy instead of real policy? . . . Boring scoops for the long, hot summer.

Locally, we have Minibrain Keintz in for Foghorn Sullivan as Op Ed commentator this week, admitting how bad the CHCA financial picture is -- a 50 year-old weekly yielding a few thou profit, and calling that an upturn; a cockadoodle rooster scream because the Hitchcock gang has finally got a stranglehold on Local spending through Hochy, and a slightly more scary one because Quita's $40,000 annual grant only has a year to go . . . Let's see: strange speculations as to why the "editor" allegedly remarked before going on vacation that his Deputy News guy might be looking around; that either Walter or Hochy mentioned another "belt-tightening" was likely at the paper soon, because of an unexpected $20,000 loss in revenue (unconfirmed); that Lou "Ratso" Aiello was behind a push for Marie Lachat to head the Aesthetics Committee, a quid pro quo involving his little home repair business -- the "Chestnut Hill Way" of doing things.

And that numerous readers of the Local and the blog loved Lear's blasts in "Get Over It!". But were too chicken to say so.

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, August 07, 2009

Everybody's Guilty, But Some More Than Others

To honor my suggestion to Mssrs. Foster and Lombardi, I will change the subject. Besides, people get the leaders they deserve, and that goes double for the Hill. Eternal vigilance to ones self interest always ends badly. It's always easier to fool those who fool others for a living. They think they're the only ones who are playing the game. Roll the Maloumian-Capoferri video for instructional purposes here. Greg Welsh should watch the tape very closely.

So, as it turns out, the election of a black man to the presidency seems to have incited a race war, hasn't it? NOT what we expected. Remember when ecstatic black people were interviewed in the streets on election night? So many said, " I still can't believe it!-It still hasn't sunk in yet!"
It didn't sink in for some others until much later. They REALLY couldn't believe it . They still seem to have a hard time believing it. Mind you, most of this latter group doesn't know how a toaster works either, but that hasn't stopped them from being experts on health care, or birth certificates, or the history of black racism in America.

But when the idea of who was elected finally got through their Miracle Whip and Budweiser soaked thick skulls, they blinked their eyes and said what the citizens of Rock Ridge said when Sheriff Bart came to town.

Except they can't say it out loud. For what they want to say, what they want to call President Barry is forbidden to them. They can taste the word. They can feel the hard "double G" consonants between their tongue and the top of their mouth, the gutteral "R" at the end that literally turns the last half of the word into a growl. White people always like to pronounce the "R" sound in that word. The white Southerners just put it in front of their self invented "a" sound at the end. The word is stuck in their craw like Barry is stuck in their House.

It's the most important word in our culture today and they can't say it. It's the word that hangs in the air, like Ezekiel's Wheel. It's the word freighted with such importance that its very use is accorded to certain groups and forbidden to others, like a rare commodity rationed in times of national duress.

It's a word that has it's own official euphemism, one that takes its name from the first letter of the word itself. I refuse to use that euphemism, for the same reason I do not use the official term used to describe the Nazi Death Camps. Because facts are facts. As a kid , I knew some with the tattoos of the numbers, and they always just said, "the camps." The camps. The imagery was stark, not poetic. When PR types start to give official terms after those events have happened, it portends the marketing of those events. It signals the packaging of those events for the benefit of those who have named them. And sometimes packaging causes trouble. Any country that had two groups, one who called themselves the chosen people, and one who called themselves the master race, well, you knew there was gonna be trouble. Now the Israel Pac uses the word it helped invent to finance its own racial expansion.

Another example. As I watched the first tower smoke, and as I watched the plane hit the second tower, I counted down. I told my daughter, "Now it is real. Now we are all witnesses. As soon as they name it, the conjecture, the fill, the spin, the lies will begin." And when "America Under Attack" came up under the pictures, I knew that the marketing had begun. Some marketed that event to their own news show, others to their own war, others to their own fortune.

So I don't use official euphemisms. But some people are allowed to use the word itself. Yes, it turns out that black people are given some rights in America that white people do not have. They have explicit permission to use that word to describe each other. They also have permission to describe black females as bodies for hire or as animals. How thoughtful of white America to have accorded the special privilege of demeaning yourselves to all of you. You owe thanks. And to those who make millions on the unending, repeated imagery of the killing of black men and the demeaning of black women, I think I can speak for the whites who once owned you. Thanks for doing our work for us. And if doing the massa's work for him isn't the definition of an Uncle Tom, I don't know what is. So I just called all the gangsta rappers Uncle Toms. That makes Len Lear and Rush Limbaugh seem like a couple of Pussies, doesn't it?

I would here illustrate the time line between rap music's beginnings, when it sprung out of black nationalism, the forceful and proper responses to police brutality, followed by senate investigations, followed by industry pressure, followed immediately by a change in the direction of the bullets mentioned by rappers from their real oppressors to their brothers, followed by no more senate investigations or industry pressure, but it's been done already and anyway, I just said it.

The difference here is that rappers use their anti-black imagery to make money, and most whites just use it to "get off'. Except for Rush. He has that in common with fifty cent.

But to the whites who can't use the word it must be hell. They need to use that word. Not being able to use it is driving them crazy. Not figuratively crazy, but literally, demonstrably crazy. That's why Rush, who, without question, gets fan letters from members of the Aryan Nation, is calling the president a Nazi. People who celebrate Hitlers birthay, and who wear brown shirt uniforms and march around their shit kicker compounds, who do they listen to? It ain't Rachel Maddow.

And that's why they want to see the certificate. They don't really want to see it. What they want is for a black man to have to "come to them" and give them something that they have asked for. It's the ACT they want, not the item. Perhaps the certificate could be on a little silver tray, accompanied by a glass and a pitcher of iced tea. And the president could wear a uniform and have white hair. The proper response to anyone with such a request would rightfully be, "And just who the fuck are you?"

And now the town hall disruptions. What kind of a person disrupts meetings? Hey wait a minute, you thought I was gonna trap myself! But my little boy's dream is for me to find out that Bill McGuckin, who was so offended by my manners that he almost had a heart attack right in the OP-Ed section of the Local, is being bussed to one of these events by Dick Armey. Then I can show up and beat the livin' shit out of him. Better stay home, Bill. I can guess whose side you're on. Isn't your business tied to Papa Med-Pharma?

I think we should let this trash say the word. It may calm them down. I often say it over and over as I listen to Fox News. Like Tourettes. It drowns them out and it conveys their real meaning so much better. Try it. A charming personal reminiscence. I used to get to say it a lot, with love, when I shared an apartment with three black guys. We all were in the same situation, all living the high life and having sex with black and white women who we NEVER called any bad names EVER. Why would you ever want to call any woman a bad name who you got to fuck, weren't married to, and who had girlfriends with the same attributes? I respect the shit out women like that. Still do.

Did I leave anyone out? See, I never even mentioned Richard. Anonymous, I'm ready for your comment now. Bitch.

Little Eddie Feldman

Labels: , , ,

To All My Readers

Note to Jim F. and John L. This blog should be used to do what the Local has been pressured into not doing, reporting the movements of a small group of greedy Hill business people, power addicted suburban psychopaths, and their one or two manipulators, whose profiles fall into both categories, as their shenanigans are too entertaining to miss.

To be reasonable, let's compromise. For every piece about evil Obama or Crazy Pop stars, you write one about what's going on in our favorite chintz appointed halfway house. How's that?
Now back to my delightful obsession.

The desperate ones, the ones who - by their own admission - are losing money in this economy, have followed the lazy way to stop the bleeding. They believed a messiah. Rather than change their own failing business models, read the marketplace, improve their mediocre product or just pack up, they believed someone who, up 'til now, has treated them with the same regard he has for all the "help." The same regard he showed for them when he put up signs that, while in his foot-stamping-spoiled-rich-kid mind punished the Local and others, hurt the businesses of the Avenue more than anyone.

I'm talking to you Richie. I see you read this blog most every day. I know because people you trust tell me so. They also tell me that your attorneys read it. And also your Mother. So you must all be interested in what I have to say.

I have exposed your plans to pack the board with employees, tenants, friends and ass lickers to get control for your upcoming zoning and for your continued revenge on the neighborhood that does not give you the love you deserve.

Don't get me wrong, Richie, my darling, for Ass Licking, as I have said before, is something that, both figuratively and literally, is weird at first, and then, when you get used it, quite pleasant. It only becomes unsavory when you come to expect it, and demand it, as you do.

But what can we expect from someone whose fortune is built on the ravaged bodies of West Virginia coal miners, tricked out of their land by your ancestors, their mountaintops ripped to expose your fortune below, while the debris pollutes their steams for generations unborn. And all it takes for the Williamson, WV, newspaper to take your picture and thank you is a $40,000.00 scholarship for some local college students. Extrapolating that out for the early death and misery caused by the strip mining you finance, no wonder you hate the Hill. Fran O'Donnell, Greg Welsh, and the board are much more expensive, per capita, than those simple mountain folk you play tricks on.

Fashion note: Richie wore a pink shirt for one of the Mingo county photo op's. What WERE you thinking? Them thar folk ain't as broad minded as we'uns concernin' our sartorial symbolizin'.
But more about Richie later. Much more. Because I have been doing my research. On Cotiga, Tigaco, and other companies Richie uses to line his pockets with green, while lining other peoples' lungs with black. Tales of the sewing machine "salesman" - a key player in obtaining mineral rights from West Virginia Hill People, and of the King Coal Highway, of a desperate visit to the EPA in Philly, by the Governor of West Virginia, to allow mountain top removal, attempting to beat a moratorium by the pesky Obama people. That Richie's two groups of victims are both identified as "Hill People," yet separated by hundreds of miles and thousands of dollars of per capita earning is an irony that may earn it a place in a book title someday. Soon.

Richie, do you array your toy soldiers in dress rehearsals for these real life maneuvers? If so, who plays me? And do I stay erect, and if so, for how long?

This is the stuff the Local should cover. It's the stuff that gets you readers, recognition, and awards. But I guess paychecks are important too. So just be quiet, Local folks. Cash your paychecks, use your health care. And lose your souls.

Me, I ain't got no soul, so full speed ahead.

Jim Albrecht, who used to live next door to me, and who was warned by me about the weak DNA strain that governs Hill ethics, mentioned a "circle" that closed with the arrest of John Capoferri. John was part of the consortium of Hill "players" who helped get Richie his committee to mediate his dispute with the Local. John's buddy Richard Maloumian was involved too. John and Maloumian were joined at the hip back then. They used to go into the Local's office together and tell Pete how to run his newspaper, as a Real estate goniff and a rug salesman who married well have a right to do. Dick Doyle was part of the "let's get Richie his apology and he'll thank us somehow" club too. Hey fellas, what exactly did Richie do for you in return?

Now Maloumian and Capoferri aren't friends anymore. I've never known whether I should be happy or sad about the phrase "There is no honor among Thieves." Maybe I'm ambivalent about it 'cause I ain't got no soul.

Will Richie be a character witness at Johns' trial? Is it something that a call to Donna Reed can fix? Do you think he'll make that call for a guy who tried to be such a good friend to him in the past? If you can hold your breath that long, you should go work in one of the mines leased out by Richie and his Momma.

Was Richie a character witness after they led Chip Butler away? After all, Chip did sell the CHCA property to Richie, contrary to the boards' instructions. How did Richie repay that favor?
See, Richie doesn't pay back, he only leaves you the change, and he deducts the change. Coal dust kill your husband? I'll send six kids to community college, with my tax breaks included. Mountain rubble in your drinking water? I'll build a road with what's left, again with deductions, so my product can be transported. I'll screw the ungrateful Hillers by not renting my properties, and deduct those losses off my taxes too. Do any of you Keanu-bright pawns see The Matrix yet?

So Wendy, Art and the Missus, Greg and Fran, do you really think that you can trust him? I know Greg thinks he can outsmart Richie, that's in Greg's DNA. But you're stepping way up in class here kids. Greg, this guy and his family were screwing Americans out of their land and then sending them to their doom beneath that land when your people were still ducking cossacks. And Fran, your people were digging potatoes when Richie's forefathers had their hand up the back of the Irish maids' uniform while she served them Au Gratin. So read up Richie. You'll never guess who told me about your interest in my work. But try.

I. F. (Izzy) Feldman

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Trickle Down Economics, Obama Style

The major irony in what the Obama administration has done with the financial world is that its the ultimate in "Trickle Down Economics." I guess Ronald Reagan would be proud.

The major difference between the financial rescue programs of Roosevelt "New Deal" economists is in who were the intended beneficiaries and what the spent government money would create.

The New Dealers did not bail out the bankers and the banks wholesale as Obama did, just the opposite, they gave security to the bank's depositors in federal insurance on their money, not the bank's capital. They gave credibility back to banks by making sure no one confused an insured bank with an uninsured stockbroker, or insurance company. Now, some may not have agreed with the approach, but the Democrats in those days did target the common folks first, not the big players.

Where they did make big deals, the deals were so big and so comprehensive that their was no way they would not have long-term positive effects and benefit the largest possible number with visibility. The dam projects, the TVA, the massive federal buildings and courthouses that are still in use to this day in their original configuration were most often masterpieces of planning and execution and kept many employed for years doing things no one could deny were having a long-run impact on society. In some cases the federal government quietly backed loans to private industry if the project would have enough long-term public use and keep unemployment down in specific areas. The electrification of the Pennsylvania Railroad from New York to Washington and west to Harrisburg was such a private industry project with a public benefit. The Roosevelt administration kept its participation in that one fairly quiet as the Railroad was run by Republicans, the banks whose loans they guaranteed in Philadelphia were run by Republicans, and a significant number of workers who benefited were Republicans, as Philadelphia at that time was blue-collar Republican town.

Obama and his folks gave your big tax money to the reckless bankers and hope it will "trickle down" to John Q Public. They spread stimulus money around in the dark in projects of little permanent significance, and now put Frankford Avenue used car salesmen to shame. "Cash for Clunkers" is the most wrongheaded, environmentally unfriendly, class-demeaning piece of federal nonsense since prohibition.

Jim Foster
Philadelphia, Pa. 19119

Labels: ,


Northwest Notebook,
Chestnut Hill Notebook,
Pointed Observations,
and NADAWeb.

The Crew

Look for the signature at the end of the post.

We accept donations in support of our work.
E-mail us at Northwest Notebook.

Readership since
January 28, 2006

Powered by Blogger

Rules on Posting

To make comments on a post, hit comments. Don't be a wanker, though. No name, no play. Ain't life a bitch when you can't hide behind something?

Save the Internet

Keep an eye on legislation affecting the Internet.
Go to Save the Internet

Visit the West Mt. Airy Neighbors.
Check Out Adult Education Classes Philadelphia.

Northwest Notebook (formerly Chestnut Hill Notebook)
This site is part of the
Philly Future community.
Don't forget Germantown Radio.
Check out other Philadelphia weblogs in our region.

Blogtalk Radio br Site Feed

Earlier posts are in the Archives by Month.

Powered by Blogger