Posts Tagged ‘Bloomberg’

The Dingo and the Madam …

Saturday, June 9th, 2012

A dingo, like this one, ate the lady's baby in the Outback. It's official.

 

… with a touch of zombie fever

(A Bob and Bob encounter)

By Bob Gaydos

“So, did you hear that the dingo really did eat her baby?”

“What?”

“The woman in Australia, 30 years ago or so. Her baby went missing and she said a dingo stole it and ate it. Right out of the crib.”

“A dingo?”

“Yeah, you know, those wild dogs running around Australia with the koalas and kangaroos and jackrabbits and stuff. Geez, what a continent. They made a movie about it. Meryl Streep played the woman. The famous line in the movie was, ‘The dingo ate my baby.’ Elaine made it more famous on Seinfeld. ‘The dingo ate my baby. The dingo ate my baby.’ … Don’t you keep up with culture?”

“So what about the dingo?”

“Well, somehow no one believed the woman that a dingo snatched her baby from their camp in the Outback — and don’t you think the restaurant guys might have picked a name not linked with wild dogs? Actually, at first, they did believe her. An inquest cleared her and blamed a dingo. Then they held another inquest and convicted her of murder. Got her husband as an accomplice. Then they held a third inquest and decided they couldn’t decide what happened. And now, finally, a coroner’s court or something has decided the dingo did it.”

“Why now?”

“Good question. Apparently, the dingos have been busy in recent years killing kids in Australia. I think it’s because the jackrabbits have gotten too big.”

… “Well, good for her. But you want to talk about injustice — I see the ‘Monroe Madam’ finally got her bail reduced.”

“Slashed. Talk about abuse of power. Two million bucks bail on one prostitution charge because she wouldn’t give them names?

“For something done between consenting adults.”

“That’s legal in Nevada. … and, I guess, Colombia — which I didn’t know until the Secret Service guys tried to stiff one of the working women. I think this is just the Manhattan DA trying to repair his reputation after messing up some big cases. Cyrus Vance’s kid. He replaced Morgenthau who had the job forever and must have been like 93 or something.”

”Well, you know 90 is the new 85.”

“Yeah, right. Anyway, they had no business setting a punitive bail on her for what they charged her with. She’s sitting in jail in Manhattan for weeks and all the time telling them she’s got wild pigs to rescue in Monroe. It’s not right.’’

“Right. … There aren’t any dingos in Monroe, are there?”

“No. And another thing — why does Bloomberg think people won’t just buy two, 16-ounce sodas? I get it that smoking is harmful to people whether they smoke or not and the state has a stake in regulating it. But I don’t get fat if you have a Big Gulp every day. If you’re 18, you’re on your own.”

“Yeah, but I’ll tell you what’s worse! (The speaker is not a Bob, but another patron of the establishment who has obviously been eavesdropping and has some strongly held opinions of his own.) Governor Cuomo,” he continues, “wants to legalize marijuana. How’d you like somebody driving while they’re smoking a doogie, never mind drinking a large soda?”

As this has taken the conversation in a direction neither Bob was eager to follow, they both just smiled and nodded “Uh huh” in unison.

“You know something really weird though if you’re talking about government controlling our lives (which they really weren’t talking about, but were now in smiling and nodding mode)? You heard about that case in Florida in May? The guy eating another guy’s face?”

(Oh, thought one Bob, here comes the zombie conspiracy theory.)

“They blamed it on bath salts. But there was another guy in Maryland who ate his roommate’s intestines (thankfully the Bobs‘ bagels had been finished). One guy came from South America, the other guy came from Africa. They both came into this country through the airport in Miami. Coincidence? (Wild guess: Yes?) If the government is trying to find out how we react to certain substances (so they can, what, control us?) they could put it in the water someplace and see what happens.”

(So no zombie conspiracy? So what then? Banning big sodas, “legalizing“ pot and field-testing bath salts. What‘s the hook? Where’s he going with this?)

“It’s the beginning of communism.”

(Of course it is. Should have known.)

“Hey, (one Bob to the other) where you going?”

“Gottta go, man. I’m late. See you next week.”

“Yeah, right. Thanks, pal. Watch out for the dingos out there.”

“You watch out for the dingos in here.”

(This is virtually all true.)

bob@zestoforange.com

 

 

 

NBA Players Too Occupied with Greed

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

By Bob Gaydos

Having spent most of five decades tracking, reporting and commenting on the news of the day, I have developed a routine, a defense mechanism actually, for dealing with those days when the news is just too damn depressing. I turn to the sports page.

Of course, in the past couple of decades, sports news has been far from the guaranteed escape from the real world it once was. Some of that is probably due to my evolution as a human being (leaving behind childish things, etc.), but most of it I am sure has to do with the devolution of sports from fun and games to law and order. Hue and cry. Sturm und drang. Sue or be sued. Pick your couplet.

Monday was one of those days. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for some reason decided to go Big Brother on the Occupy Wall Street protestors, sending in hundreds of police before dawn to break up the Zuccotti Park encampment while preventing legitimate news media from covering the action and even arresting several reporters. Instead of trying to talk to protestors and resolve complaints about the occupation, the mayor and police used the oldest and lamest of excuses for their illegal actions against the press — it was for their safety. Right. Just like tossing the protestors belongings into dumpsters was for their health and well-being.

What with police on the West Coast dealing with Occupy movements by beating Iraq War veterans and college students and using tear gas as if they had a quota to meet, I needed a break.

I turned to sports.

Thanks for nothing, NBA players union.

On that very Monday that thousands of Americans across the country, ranging from college students to retirees, union and non-union, encompassing all census classifications — the truly average Americans — were being manhandled for protesting against the profound economic inequities that have turned so many of their dreams into nightmares and bullied a once model political system into becoming an obedient servant of wealthy masters, the very talented, privileged and self-absorbed players of the National Basketball Association rejected an offer from team owners to share half the income derived from playing basketball.

That’s a long sentence; let it sink in.

Not only did the players reject the latest offer from the owners, but they also decided to decertify their union and sue the league under anti-trust laws. We can start with how dumb this is by noting that, with no union, the owners say there are no contracts and, thus, no pay checks. For most Americans, this is considered a powerful incentive to work out a deal, but apparently not for pro basketball players.

That may have to do with the fact that the average salary of an NBA player is about $5.5 million a year. That’s an average, which means even the guy who only gets to play when the game is out of hand, is a borderline millionaire.

What the players did not consider, however, was the impact of their decision on all the other people — the 99% that the Occupiers are demonstrating for — who will also lose their jobs if there is no NBA season. No games means no need for concessions, no maintenance crew, no security, no ticket sellers, no locker room employees, no trainers, maybe even no office personnel for teams with smaller bankrolls. And of course, no games.

The irony of their action, taking place in Manhattan not far from the OWS crackdown, was lost on these young millionaires, locked in a struggle with billionaires over how to divvy up the loot from their overpriced tickets. I will go out on a limb here and state that probably not one of the NBA players — multi-millionaires to borderline millionaires — was part of that 1% of wealthiest Americans before signing a contract to play professional basketball. I don’t ever remember reading a story about some really rich kid deciding to play pro ball. If someone else has, please let me know. No, they were, I feel secure in saying, rock solid members of the 99%. And not long ago, either.

Instead of arguing with the team owners — who will survive a lost season but who do after all have a right to try to control their product and get a fair return on their considerable investments — the NBA players could have taken a cue from other labor unions and marched with the Occupy Wall Street protestors. Imagine Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James walking with the OWS throng and speaking out for the need to regulate the way large financial institutions deal with other people’s money. Calling for a lessening of the power rich corporations have over politicians. Demanding that those who caused the worldwide economic crisis be prevented from continuing to profit on it while others pay the price in lost jobs and homes.

“Hello 99 per centers! We stand with you! We have been fortunate to become successful and be rewarded financially for God-given talents, but we came from you and we understand your frustration and anger with the inequities in our society. It is time for our elected leaders to work for the benefit of the 99%, as well as for the 1% who finance their campaigns. Indeed, it is time for all of us to set aside selfish demands and begin to work for the common good. We are going back to playing basketball, which is what we do, so that others can go back to doing what they do. And we told the team owners we would take a smaller percentage of the profits if they reduced the price of tickets. Whaddya say, owners?”

Can you imagine the response? The players would be real heroes. Unfortunately, for the players at least, that didn’t happen. They’re still looking for more money and are not playing basketball. Fortunately, for the rest of us in the 99%, the Occupiers understand the situation and are committed to fighting for a larger goal — a more equitable society for everyone, whether they can dunk a basketball or not.

bob@zestoforange.com