Michael Bouldin's blog
Thursday, May 10th. 6:30-9:30pm.
Location: The DCTV Firehouse, 87 Lafayette St
Food provided by Eating Liberally & Jimmy's No. 43
Open bar (beer, wine, liquor).
Beer and specialty drinks provided by by Six Point Craft Ales; Bitters, Old Men; and Bluecoat, American Dry Gin
Meet this year's honorees, enjoy the company of fellow Liberals from across our network, raise a glass to our successes and help support our continued expansion.
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A few years after I moved to the City, maybe a decade ago, I was walking up Sixth Avenue in the twenties. It was around two in the morning. I was on my way to an after-hours club. Wasn't wearing anything particularly flashy or noteworthy; the club was one of those places where you take your clothes off, so it didn't really matter all that much.
I had, maybe, a hundred dollars in cash in my wallet, an American Express card, and probably my ATM card as well.
For some reason, the street was deserted, except for two young black men heading in the opposite direction from me. Now mind you, this was Chelsea before Giuliani, Bloomberg and rampant gentrification turned it into the sterile apartment forest it is now.
When the two young men and I crossed paths, one of them grabbed me, shoved something concealed under his jacket into my rib cage, said it was a gun, and demanded my money. I was being mugged.
It's a cliché, but time really does slow down in a stress situation, and I acted completely without thinking. I took out my wallet, gave the guy two bills - $30, if memory serves - and put the wallet back in my pocket. He took the money, sneered something about faggots, whacked me over the head - no big deal, more of an expression of contempt, I suppose - and walked off with his friend.
When they were half a block away, I took out my cell and called 911. The cops were there within minutes. Since the muggers were nowhere in sight, but a subway station was, they suggested we go underground and look for them.
In the process, they must have stopped every single young black man within a ten block radius. And believe me, I've never, in my entire life, seen terror as abject as I saw in the faces of every one of those young men. All of them without exception, gay, straight, no matter what they were wearing, no matter what status or class; all were suspects, because of the color of their skin.
My little tag-along with New York's Finest didn't result in anything; we never found the two muggers.
And believe it or not, I was actually quite glad of that. I don't even want to know what would have happened to those two young toughs if they had been found. Nor do I even want to contemplate how many of those young men my two friends in blue stopped would have gladly paid a trifling thirty dollars to avoid the experience.
Occupy Wall Street is calling for a General Strike in New York City on May 1st, the traditional day of the labor movement. And because this is a people's movement, not something dreamed up in glam K Street offices, and New York is the cultural and creative epicenter of the known universe, they're asking for ideas on how to get that message out, here.
ON MAY 1ST, 2012
Millions of people throughout the world — workers, students, immigrants, professionals, houseworkers — employed and unemployed alike — will take to the streets to unite in a General Strike against a system that does not work for us.
Don't go to work. Don't go to school. Don't shop. Take the streets!
Our system is broken. So let's fix it. We sent a man to the moon, we should be able to create a country where everyone who wants work can find it, where a medical emergency does not translate into inevitable bankruptcy, and where we can actually do things together, instead of in spite of one another.
Via the Daily News (found via the Facebook stream of a State Senator) comes this disturbing development:
Republicans in the state Senate, led by Sen. Dean Skelos, show clear symptoms of Obamacare Derangement Syndrome — a form of hysteria in which victims lose the ability to think clearly about health care.
Confirming this diagnosis is their opposition to establishing a health insurance exchange for New York State — an organization with the utterly unobjectionable function of helping the uninsured find coverage they can afford.
The Senate GOP’s position makes so little sense, it can only be the result of ODS — the same ailment that has been raging for months among the presidential candidates.
The details of the story are for another time, but one observation needs to be made: it's always been a truism, as far back as I can remember, that Northeastern Republicans are at least not as outright deranged as their cousins down South or over the river (yes, Chris Christie, I'm looking at you). The problem is that it's just not true. And this is what the current spat in Albany illustrates with a pleasant vividness. In the alternate universe of the contemporary Republican Party, facts don't matter as much as the entirely unacceptable fact that there's a black man in the White House who, like, does stuff.