Screw York City.

The Department of Homeland Security announced yesterday that it’s cutting New York City’s antiterrorism dollars by 40 percent. I would be speechless, but I am still gloating over the fact that my Nano survived a wash cycle, a spin cycle, a rinse cycle, and another spin cycle.

New York officials were given a one-page tally that explained, in part, how the region’s risk-based standing was calculated. The document said the region had no “national monuments or icons,” four banking or financial firms with assets of over $8 billion, 28 chemical or hazardous material sites, as well as nearly 7,000 other possible important, high-risk targets, like hospitals or major office buildings, a tally that some city officials said had major omissions or errors.

Are you kidding me? The Brooklyn Bridge isn’t an icon? The United Nations? Times Square? What in the hell?

“This is indefensible,” Mr. King said. “It’s a knife in the back to New York, and I’m going to do everything I can to make them very sorry they made this decision.”

I agree with Mr. King for the most part. But methinks that the NSA might want to put on the ol’ headphones and give Mr. King an eavesdrop.

Seriously though, Omaha? Really? Louisville?

Also, it’s a good thing this has become common knowledge don’t you think? That’s why the catcher always just yells to to the mound during a baseball game.

39 Comments

  1. No one ever brings population in this.. so just to add to the absurdity….

    about 1/30 of the entire US population lives in New York City

    about 1/15 of the entire US population lives in the New York City metro area ( surrounding 45 miles aka blast radius )

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  2. i wouldn’t call the UN a landmark other than its architectural significance…..i think it would be more useful as a museum or something that actually was a benefit to our culture.

    removing money from NYC is like patting old ladies down at the airport….it’s just plain silly nonsense!

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  3. Surely, you’d call it an icon, no? But yeah, the MET? Moma? Hell, David Blaine? hahha Central park?

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  4. sadly, i agree with greg on something

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  5. sadly? Greg is wonderful.

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  6. Never assume you know anything about someone because of what they write on the internet.

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  7. hey, i actually go and do some work for a change and look what happens!

    johnathan, you love me and you know it! but i wonder which half of my above post you actually agree with or both? the earth may start spinning backward afterall.

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  8. “Also, it’s a good thing this has become common knowledge don’t you think? That’s why the catcher always just yells to to the mound during a baseball game.”

    I don’t think this knowledge is a bad thing or in any way tips the scales towards any motivated and capable groups.

    In the security world, ‘security through obscurity’ is considered one of the weaker approaches.

    Less cash will come through for skimming. Big deal. It’s not like much of the dough was being used to produce measurable results.

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  9. So give it to the middle of America instead? What do they plan on doing with it? Putting cops (as we have seen on Subways and in Grand Central) at the local piggly wiggly 7-11?

    Why not redistribute the money elsewhere? Last I heard, there was a war going on.

    But the dudes from LA are happy.

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  10. The division should definitely consider population density, inherent cultural symbolism, proximity to other target areas, etc.

    It’s absurd that the cash has been redistributed like this, I agree.

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  11. greg-

    both parts of the post, but specifically the bit about the UN being pretty much worthless.

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  12. Maybe it’s because New York is full of Democrats and intellectuals.

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  13. Being one from ‘middle America’ – I can see how they would shout at their republican reps to get on the ball and get them some money. It appears that more Dem states are not getting money. Now we call the St. Louis Arch an icon but the Statue of Liberty gets left out. The voice that echos is that the NSA drives swiftly through NYC to ignore all the architecture and monuments. Do they get to ride in airplanes that have airbags?

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  14. They are cutting the blue states and giving it to the red ones. I KNEW IT!

    Seriously, I often wear the tinfoil hat, I know this, but my first thought was “Who works in these communities? Who bribed who with money to get some more?”

    I have become cynical.

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  15. I love government.

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  16. The article does state that part of the reason NYC had funding cut is that a great deal of it went to overtime for police officers.

    I guess the funding had to be cut because the evil, inherently corrupt, greedy police unions demanding extra pay for overtime. on principle, all workers who negotiate as a group are evil.

    Besides, if most of the cash is going towards overtime pay for city workers, it’s not adhering to a trickle-down model. It should be going to no-bid contracts instead.

    Seriously, though, extra police (especially uniforms) doesn’t seem like a very good plan for fighting terrorism.

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  17. Seriously, though, extra police (especially uniforms) doesn’t seem like a very good plan for fighting terrorism.

    I absolutely agree.

    But I am still wondering how then the money will be used by the other areas in America. Very curious about that. Not that I really care, if they’re gonna come, they’re gonna come. I can’t say I have that much faith in our current government. And all the money in the world isn’t going to change that. Really.

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  18. “Seriously, though, extra police (especially uniforms) doesn’t seem like a very good plan for fighting terrorism.”

    Very true, but I doubt that the money’s going to be put to better use wherever it’s been redirected.

    I believe it’s being used to win favor.

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  19. BEAT YOU! DONALD! BEAT YOU!.

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  20. i always thought Homeland Security was just gonna end up as another bureaucracy where 70% of the funding goes towards the sustaining of the bureaucracy and 30% goes to the actual reason the department was formed in the first place!….infuriating … the department of education is plagued with this problem and our kids are the ones who get the short end of the stick! who’s gonna get screwed with the homeland stuff? bring on the “real” phone tapping baby, now that’s a good use for the money!

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  21. think of all the money they spent writing that tally… and all the other absurd reports, tallies, and godknowswhat. talk about a waste of taxpayer dollars… all that freakin’ paperwork is where your 40% went…

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  22. When one looks at how a corporation is run one notices (and quickly) that things are run (generally speaking, especially with larger corporations) very inefficiently. A lot of people don’t actually work (take me for example. Just kidding. Really.) Most people get promoted without really ever continuing to learn or better themselves making them become lazier and lazier yet get paid more and more to micromanage those under them who do work. It’s always the case. I have seen it virtually every place I have ever worked (when looking at the larger places including the places that are totally liberal such as Gay.com)

    Anyway, when one looks at our present day government one can’t help but know that the same shit is taking place. The difference is, for some unknown reason, we’re the crackheads who are voting for them.

    I lose more and more faith in a potentially wonderful thing every day. Imagine introducing a conscience back into government? Imagine if they all worked hard. Imagine if they didn’t skim off the top. Imagine if we (and they) could fire the lazy.

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  23. On the intelligent side of the debate, LA , Chicago , Atlanta, JerseyCity/Newark all got more money – and they should have. They’re all giant metropolitan areas.

    The DHS cited that NYC planned to use the money for overtime instead of for infrastructure as a reason. Fine, thats valid—but they should have said that before decisions were made so NYC could have redone the grant proposal.

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  24. Perhaps they were just trying to redirect the paranoia. Give Omaha a chance for a while.

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  25. mihow, that would be the day my head exploded.

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  26. hey, on a side note… what’s the over/under on ol’ Eliot Spitzer? being an expatriate, i can only enjoy NY politics vicariously… but what’s the word on him for Gov?? For? Against?

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  27. ::makes room at the table for the new can of worms::

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  28. i’m torn…

    he’s made himself a name as the protector of the people on the whole ‘against big financial money’ stuff…

    but he’s known as the bitch for the developer lobby

    if he wins, i’d be surprised if 1/2 of brooklyn doesn’t burn overnight and the only affordable housing people in ny get require being bent over the governor’s desk with a giant bottle of lube nowhere in sight.

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  29. “Most people get promoted without really ever continuing to learn or better themselves making them become lazier and lazier yet get paid more and more to micromanage those under them who do work.”

    i think they call this the “Peter Principle”……..when an employee succeeds, heshe gets promoted. if heshe excels, then on to the next promotion…..until heshe is promoted to a job that heshe is not particularly good at and hence gets stuck in that job where heshe’s not qualified. once this happens the person must make everyone around himher “think” they know what they’re doing so they don’t get fired….this doesn’t happen in unions(the fired part, unless they stop paying union dues)

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  30. See, getting fired doesn’t happen ANYWHERE anymore. It’s not just Unions. That’s been my finding. You literally need to freak out, threaten someone, or just stop coming to work entirely and even that doesn’t always warrant a firing.

    It’s in most larger corpations. I have found.

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  31. Speaking generally, unions don’t prevent firings. They help reinstate people who were unfairly fired. A good example is employees on a guaranteed pay-raise schedule who, at some point deep into their careers, are more expensive than a new hire would be. Many school districts have had teachers’ unions form in order to protect experienced teachers from being replaced by newbies earning 60% of their salaries.

    Michele is right that in lots of environments firing someone can be quite tricky unless they grossly violate their contract or the law.

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  32. By design, and at its best, unions exist to do what Toby spoke of. And that is both great , noble and necessary.

    But unions are increasingly being used to force time-based promotions and give an excess of benefits/raises to bad/awful/miserable employees just because they belong to a strong organized labor ‘cell’. Once a strong union makes a presence in a company or utility, it becomes damn near impossible to fire someone.

    A lot of states are ‘at will’ employment , which means people can be fired for just about anything other than their ethnicity or religion. From my experience, people are fired for no reason at all/bad performance based on their likelyhood to sue and claim discrimination/harassment.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that the theory and practice/implementation of organized labor have greatly differentiated themselves from one another over the past few years.

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  33. we agree again jonathan : )

    i am not against unions completely, but i am against their abuse of power and their legal right to that abuse.

    it bothers me to think that in pennsylvania, if a company with 100 employees has a meeting with a union sponser and votes 51-49 to unionize, then those 49 people “will” be fired or “forced” to join the union and pay union dues. this is not a negotiation, it’s the law! once unionised, the workers have given up their rights to the union and the rules governing that union.

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  34. I agree entirely that non-mixed shops are bullshit, greg.

    If an individual wants to negotiate their contract with their employer on their own, they should be able to. If they want to leverage the power of group negotiations, they should be able to.

    Mandating that either is required or impossible is a mistake.

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  35. the other thing that bothers me is that the labor unions have lobbied so hard in the federal government that they actually are above the law in some particular cases. if an organised labor ralley turns violent, it is the union member’s federally protected right to destroy property and essencially do whatever they want. it is out of the local police’s jurisdiction to stop any union dispute or union violence!

    because of this federal law’s over-reaching jurisdiction in favor of union memebers, we won’t see too many union/non-union employees working together at the same job. there will be friction and it has created a volitile working environment… not to mention it really puts the power of federal law behind the union member if violence were to break out.

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  36. Greg – I’m not challenging your last comment, but I’m VERY curious about the exemptions you’re mentioning.

    Can you pass along details about the particular statute(s) you’re referencing?

    I have to say, though, that reform is how you change laws with which you disagree. If lobbyists have influenced law, it’s not inherently an abuse or problematic. If legislators bend to the influence of lobbyists in a way that is negative, illegal, or inherently unfair, it’s up to us to lobby for the reverse. Lobbying the government is one of those wonderful rights we have, and though it’s abused almost constantly, the responsibility is entirely with the legislators and not with the lobbyists (even if many are scum, IMO).

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  37. wagner act (national labor relations act 1935) federal law allowing majority vote of employees to unionise, engage in collective bargaining and stkike.

    an amendment to the NLRA was called the Taft-Hartley Act. this is the one that gives the union the rights to overstep local law enforcement and make it illegal for the company owners to fire employees that are on strike even if the business is forced into bankruptcy.

    like they say, membership has its privledges……such as (taken from http://www.nrtw.org)

    Privilege #1: Exemption from prosecution for union violence.
    The most egregious example of organized labor’s special privileges and immunities is the 1973 United States v. Enmons decision. In it, the United States Supreme Court held that union violence is exempted from the Hobbs Act, which makes it a federal crime to obstruct interstate commerce by robbery or extortion. As a result, thousands of incidents of violent assaults (directed mostly against workers) by union militants have gone unpunished. Meanwhile, many states also restrict the authority of law enforcement to enforce laws during strikes.

    Privilege #2: Exemption from anti-monopoly laws.
    The Clayton Act of 1914 exempts unions from anti-monopoly laws, enabling union officials to forcibly drive out independent or alternative employee bargaining groups.

    Privilege #3: Power to force employees to accept unwanted union representation.
    Monopoly bargaining, or “exclusive representation,” which is embedded in most of the country’s labor relations statutes, enables union officials to act as the exclusive bargaining agents of all employees at a unionized workplace, thereby depriving employees of the right to make their own employment contracts. For example, the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) of 1935, the Federal Labor Relations Act (FLRA) of 1978, and the Railway Labor Act (RLA) of 1926 prohibit employees from negotiating their own contracts with their employers or choosing their own workplace representatives.

    Privilege #4: Power to collect forced union dues.
    Unlike other private organizations, unions can compel individuals to support them financially. In 28 states under the NLRA (those that have not passed Right to Work laws), all states under the RLA, on “exclusive federal enclaves,” and in many states under public sector labor relations acts, employees may be forced to pay union dues as a condition of employment, even if they reject union affiliation.

    Privilege #5: Unlimited, undisclosed electioneering.
    The Federal Election Campaign Act exempts unions from its limits on campaign contributions and expenditures, as well as some of its reporting requirements. Union bigwigs can spend unlimited amounts on communications to members and their families in support of, or opposition to, candidates for federal office, and they need not report these expenditures if they successfully claim that union publications are primarily devoted to other subjects. For years, the politically active National Education Association (NEA) teacher union has gotten away with claiming zero political expenditures on its IRS tax forms!

    Privilege #6: Ability to strong-arm employers into negotiations.
    Unlike all other parties in the economic marketplace, union officials can compel employers to bargain with them. The NLRA, FLRA, and RLA make it illegal for employers to resist a union’s collective bargaining efforts and difficult for them to counter aggressive and deceptive campaigns waged by union organizers.

    Privilege #7: Right to trespass on an employer’s private property.
    The Norris-LaGuardia Act of 1932 (and state anti-injunction acts) give union activists immunity from injunctions against trespass on an employer’s property.

    Privilege #8: Ability of strikers to keep jobs despite refusing to work.
    Unlike other employees, unionized employees in the private sector have the right to strike; that is, to refuse to work while keeping their job. In some cases, it is illegal for employers to hire replacement workers, even to avert bankruptcy. Meanwhile, union officials demonize replacement workers as “scabs” to set them up for retaliation.

    Privilege #9: Union-only cartels on construction projects.
    Under so-called project labor agreements, governments (local, state, or federal) award contracts for construction on major projects such as highways, airports, and stadiums exclusively to unionized firms. Such practices effectively lock-out qualified contractors and employees who refuse to submit to exclusive union bargaining, forced union dues, and wasteful union work rules. So far, just three states have outlawed these discriminatory and costly union-only pacts.

    Privilege #10: Government funding of forced unionism.
    On top of all of the special powers and immunities granted to organized labor, politicians even pour taxpayer money straight into union coffers. Union groups receive upwards of $160 million annually in direct federal grants. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. In 2001, the federal Department of Labor doled out $148 million for “international labor programs” overwhelmingly controlled by an AFL-CIO front group. Federal bureaucrats spend approximately $2.6 billion per year on “job training programs” that, under the Workforce Investment Act, must be administered by boards filled with union officials. Union bosses also benefit from a plethora of state and local government giveaways.

    food for thought, unions are here to stay, but they need to be more willing to accept another way and work with them.

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