By David Pambianchi
The Mark of Greatness - The Mark of Infamous
Prelude: As New York City's Bloomberg Administration exposes itself, at last the people see. At last they know as corporate America reveals itself, not as the provider of opportunity, progress, free enterprise and the promise of the American Dream, but a warped entity of human failing and degradation, a corruption so contrary to the fabric of the American conscience and the vision of the founding fathers that it sickens the body and soul and makes a mockery of everything wholesome and good.
Dollar after dollar flows into the media and into politics, drummed into the ears of our citizens attempting to deafen hope, brainwash and convince the people that we must distrust our neighbors, question our friends, keep our place, and obey those who usurped our financial security. We shall not. All the golden lies spread across the land by billionaires cannot make the people believe in their hearts that teachers fundamentally do not care about children or that police and fireman fundamentally do not care to protect us and prefer to make a buck.
The people begin to sense the truth, see the truth and understand that our children will pay for the corruption and greed of the few. The children of the middle class will watch the birthright left to them by generations of working ancestors crumble, and the children of the poor will pay with thicker chains of poverty. And while they pull the wool over our eyes, the audacious position of the Bloomberg Administration that pounds at our doors, inundates us with messages from a Yellow Press with hate, threats and fear, is that the wealthy must save us from ourselves.
Since Billionaire Mayor Mike Bloomberg fancies himself the greatest mayor of all time, a brief comparison is in order between him and who many "thought" was the greatest mayor, War Hero Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia.
Billionaire Mayor Mike Bloomberg vs. War Hero Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia
Illustration: Ekaterina "Katie" Aksenova
LaGuardia lived modestly in East Harlem with his family, had no major campaign contributions for his election and after his death left only his legacy.
Bloomberg bought and coerced a third mayoral term and "somehow" managed to triple his billions, while the country went through one of the greatest market crashes since The Great Depression.
Where LaGuardia and Bloomberg stand on Unions
Who is the Union?
The union is the police, fireman, teachers, sanitation, transit, communications, garments, electricians, painters and carpenters, auto workers, teamsters and represents every other trade in New York. Workers and their families, for the people, by the people, this is the Union. And the Union delegates have a basic responsibility: to collective bargain for fair wages and hiring practices, health benefits and workplace safety, pension after years of faithful service and the like.
LaGuardia supported the people and as Dr. Martin Luther King later understood, Unions were one of the best ways to fight racism and nepotism in the work place. The Norris-LaGuardia Act outlawed yellow-dog contracts that prevented workers from joining unions. While LaGuardia promoted Unions in the private sector, he feared the striking power of Public Unions, however (for better or worse depending on your point of view); this concern is moot as the Taylor Law of 1967 paralyzed Public Unions by making it illegal for municipal employees to strike. In out-of-time context, the NY Post still quoted LaGuardia concerning, "keeping young teachers during a layoff," for a false comparison with Bloomberg. They would never print what LaGuardia also professed, "...let all the money of the taxpayers go into schools instead of politicians." Then, he opened and modernized schools.
"I think the reporter should get his facts straight before he distorts them." - Fiorello LaGuardia
Bloomberg diverts funds to strangle and close schools. First the Puritans, then Thomas Jefferson, and then Benjamin Franklin gave America the concepts of free education. When the Bloomberg administration has exhausted all funding, Elementary and Secondary school will no longer be free. Likewise, Freedom of the Press has become a farce and an anathema with the majority of the media already under Bloomberg influence and control.
Day after day, the papers still mock public intelligence and knowledge, relentless in their attack on the "Bad" Union Teachers. History repeatedly teaches the imperative need for unionization. March 25th 2011 marks the Centennial Memorial of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, the worst industrial disaster in U.S. history with 146 workers that burned, asphyxiated or jumped to their deaths. (No one was found guilty of negligence, but a later lawsuit won compensation in the amount of $75 for each deceased person.) New York was full of low-wage sweatshops with horrendous working conditions and still the corporate powers stymied safety laws and kept employers safe from punishment. It took this tragic disaster to bring about the expansion of the International Ladies' Garment Union (Now, a merger of unions called UNITE HERE).
But like today's teachers, the laborers are still under fire from Corporate America, and still there is no punishment for destroying livelihoods or the economy by stealing and defrauding the American people. One name is recognizable, Bernie Madoff, punished for stealing from the rich. Senior company partners continue to collect billions in bonus checks, which included the public's "Bailout" money under the concept we cannot tamper with "Contracts," and in the next breath demand an end to Union Collective Bargaining Contracts lest a laborer needs to go to the dentist. We must continue to fight for community and solidarity, the decency of job security, medical insurance and something other than a "gold watch" as we are "sent out to pasture," or the "glue factory."
Nonsense in newspapers continues to blame unions for any industry's failure, negating factors such as a company's poor judgments and direction and lack of vision concerning foreign competition. A Television commercial pressures the public to become anti-union because union members get paid more and have medical benefits over non-union workers. The Robber Barons think people are so shallow that this logic will upset the segment of the American people they already hold down into turning against unions when many will think, "We need more unionization." One hack writer for the N.Y. Post stooped so low as to do the unthinkable: refer to the coal mining union as an example of "siphoning wealth" from businesses. The old mining industry conjures the quintessential images of horror that includes horrendous and dangerous working conditions, The Company Store, cave-ins, Black Lung disease, long work hours, child labor and death. In essence, the writer then comes to the "unique" conclusion that since government employees are paid from tax dollars rather than private, the taxpayers are providing them with a "Free Lunch."
"We must close union offices, confiscate their money and put their leaders in prison. We must reduce workers salaries and take away their right to strike"
- Adolf Hitler, May 2, 1933
Bloomberg despises anyone or anything he cannot control, the teachers' union in particular. He would spend a hundred trillion tax dollars of an education budget on consultants, private contractors and cronies' programs (and privatization that would eventually bring profits back to him), before he let an extra nickel of "good" slip into a classroom, all the while professing that the Union and its members greedily seek benefits like medical insurance, job security, modest pensions, and non-hostile work environments. We watch as Wisconsin and Rhode Island teeter on the brink of descending back to the turn of the century coal mining days and the Bloomberg "Company Store." Something out of Star Wars's Intergalactic Empire "for a more safe and secure society," Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has started the process to toss away Democracy and the U.S. Constitution altogether dissolving laws, elections, contracts and unions under the guise of "Emergency Management" based upon his "discretionary" budget predictions. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42115121/ns/politics-more_politics/
Compromise year after year, take piece by piece until nothing is left. New York is next. Bloomberg first stuck the STOP Last In First Out bull-ring in Long Island's Senator John Flanagan's nose who is pulling the "Band Wagon" trying to make a name for himself. Since Governor Cuomo hopped onto the cart, Union members fear another Union compromise will be the "Final Sellout."
"In Washington DC, former Chancellor Michelle Rhee, announced a budget crisis, laid off vets and then "unannounced" a budget crisis and hired newbie TFAers....It is interesting to note, that despite a lingering recession, budget crises and widespread teacher hiring slowdown, TFA teachers are being hired at a steady pace. The growth is often times coming at the expense of veteran teachers who are losing their jobs- in some cases to make room for TFA teachers who typically are hired at much lower salary levels. Remember the 266 mostly veteran teachers who were laid off in 2009 subsequent to the hiring of hundreds of TFA'ers? A recent study from the Education and the Public Interest Center report titled: "Teach For America: A Review of the Evidence" found that the learning curve and turnover rate of TFA teachers does harm to vulnerable students who are in need of highly trained and highly skilled teachers." http://thewashingtonteacher.blogspot.com/2011/03/veteran-teachers-need-not-apply.html
Bloomberg future quote:
"Ask not what your mayor can do for you, but what you can do for your mayor."
The time has come for Federal Investigators and Prosecutors to take an interest in the Intentional Fraudulent Misrepresentation and Deceit of the above and the likewise dealings of the Bloomberg Administration to include his Patronage and the accountability of Federal, State and City funds in the public and private sectors.
In Vision and Character
LaGuardia denounced Germany's Nazi Party and warned America of impending danger.
As Bloomberg decimates the school system and irrevocably mars the teaching profession, his education representative Chancellor Cathie Black compares her "decisions" to the movie "Sophie's Choice," where a woman is forced to choose which of her children is carried off to a Nazi death camp. Bloomberg emphasizes, "It's just a joke. Let's move on."
Mayor LaGuardia championed Women's Suffrage.
Mayor Bloomberg settled many sexual harassment lawsuits.
Parks and Recreation
LaGuardia read the comics to children over the radio, built playgrounds, opened the 1939 Worlds Fair and renovated the Zoo.
At the Zoo, Bloomberg gets bit by Chuck the Groundhog and calls him a "Son of a bitch."
During World War I, LaGuardia insists on flying dangerous bomber missions through enemy cross-fire. He becomes Unit Commander.
During the Vietnam War draft, Bloomberg receives multiple Student Deferments and years later at the Zoo, gets bit by Chuck the Groundhog and calls him a "Son of a bitch."
LaGuardia worked for the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and campaigned against Child Labor. He fought organized crime and government corruption.
Bloomberg makes charitable donations to hedge his reputation, reminiscent of the Robber Barons of the early 1900s, except they did not use public funding to make amends the way the mayor plans to renovate the Manhattan shoreline.
LaGuardia built 2 airports, Floyd Bennett Field and the other named after him, bridges, tunnels, highways and much of the infrastructure we know today.
Bloomberg puts in bike lanes doubling traffic and auto exhaust pollution. Perhaps a dozen bicycles used the Bronx bike lanes since September and during the infamous snow storm a few lay buried tied to trees at the Prospect Avenue unemployment center. So that Elites can sit along Broadway sidewalks sipping tea, traffic and truck deliveries are backed up and down the streets along with angry cab drivers who must buy and maintain a GPS system they cannot use. Bloomberg calls it an improvement in the quality of life.
(A NY Post spin claims park crime is up because people are not watching their belongings. As if it is your fault that criminals rob you and not the Bloomberg administration's fault for not hiring enough police. New Yorkers should be pleased to know that so far in 2011, crime is down, "except" for a rise in murder, rape, robbery and felony assaults. The number of parking and traffic violation tickets has skyrocketed.)
LaGuardia opened fire houses.
Bloomberg closes them or shrinks crews endangering the public.
LaGuardia opened hospitals and medical centers.
Bloomberg closes them.
LaGuardia unified the transit system and reorganized the Police department.
Bloomberg demoralizes every agency in New York.
LaGuardia brought NY out of the great depression, revitalized the city, provided quality low-rent housing and restored the faith of the people. Bloomberg brings us back into depression, destroying the people's faith in just government and the press.
We can surmise that Bloomberg "profits" not merely in monetary terms. He and his cronies have spent enough funds on a slander campaign against educators that by now could have quadrupled the number of city teachers. The most likely explanation is that Bloomberg believes someone with 20 Billion dollars must be 20 Billion dollars happier. Bloomberg and his type cannot tolerate the idea that a bus driver at the beach watching his children play in the sand or a cab driver working the family grill on a summer day can be more satisfied with life than he. So he must make them suffer, reduce their wages and insurance benefits and make their families beholding to his majesty, never understanding that these actions cannot lift the shadow of his miserable existence and the reality that like us all, he cannot escape his mortality.
"When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fall - think of it, ALWAYS." - Mahatma Gandhi
There is no happy ending to any comparison for our Greatest Mayor is from a time gone bye. LaGuardia will forever be cherished and remembered as "The Little Flower." Bloomberg will forever be despised and referred to as, "The Little Despot."
Illustration by Ekaterina "Katie" AksenovaVisit David's Website: "Writer's Edge"