May 5, 2008

Noo Yawk, Noo Yawk (Yay!), And A Few Other Items

I’ve been trying my best to stay away from politics the last few days while I enjoy becoming reacqainted with my home town.

It’s actually becoming quite fatiguing seeing “Obama this, Obama that, Wright this, Wright that” everywhere I go on the Internet. It’s like watching news sites, blogs and other media flogging the same dead horse over and over while ignoring stuff that is being pushed on us under the radar, using the Presidential campaign as a distraction.

By this time, anyone who, despite all the suffocating coverage, still believes that either Hussein Obama or Hillary Clinton belongs in the Oval Office is either profoundly obtuse, a “liberal-run government at any cost” Utopian, a jihadist, someone who despises either our Constitutional form of government and/or the American People, or a communist. I simply see no purpose in continuing to do what amounts to beating my head against a wall trying to prove a point that’s already been proven.

Especially when trying to convince liberals, who, when confronted with scientific fact or other indisputable evidence that runs contrary to their politically based “beliefs” will shrug it all off with, “That’s your opinion.”

By now, those folks out there in the middle of the road have more than enough evidence to make their own judgement as to the viability of either Obama or Clinton where the Presidency is concerned, as this time out, even the MSM has failed to hide the truth about the two Democratic candidates. All they can do is manage weak attempts at spin or try to divert public attention in what, just as Obama’s efforts to distance himself from Irreverend Wright, are proving transparent efforts, at best.

Face it, no matter which of the Democratic candidates gets the nomination, McCain will prevail in November. Any other outcome would be pure insanity.

Moving right along, on Wednesday evening I visited one of my old Little Italy favorites on Mulberry Street at Broome (they relocated about 12 years ago from a Hester Street location), Umberto’s Clam House. Since I was dining alone, I ate in the kitchen (a small counter from which you can see most of what’s going on and be served directly by the chef). I chatted with one of the owners and ate ala carte, a generous serving of linguini with white clam sauce (I watched the chef shucking a big pile of clams — yum, clams! — for my dinner, what a pro!), a basket of fresh, warm N.Y. Italian bread with butter…

Afterwards, I walked down to my new favorite N.Y. bar, an establishment that’s been in business since 1972, in a building that’s been around since before the last century, Kenn’s Broome Street Bar.

I must confess to a rather lengthy evening therein. It’s a very comfortable pub with a great staff and a good crowd of local regulars (though quite a number of European tourists also find their way there), a large menu of good food, including home-made chili con carne (one of the house dishes, for anyone who’s really hungry and reasonably gas resistant, is an open-faced knockwurst “chili dog” with cheese and a large pile of either crinkle cut potato chips or fries. Their burgers are intense and large, as are all the other items on their menu. They don’t skimp on anything. Daily specials can be anything from blackened fish to langosta and they have a more than admirable Saturday and Sunday brunch menu.

So, Thursday I was up and out early enough to meet a friend for a lunch date, and we headed for Mulberry Street. Mulberry is an Italian food lover’s heaven, more than three blocks lined with Italian restaurants, bakeries (Mmmmmm, fresh cannoli!) and cafes. We were both ready to eat at 11:30, and most of the eateries on that strip of culinary delight don’t start serving until noon.

However, La Mela seated us at an outdoor table at 11:40 and took our orders.

I had pasta in a white sauce with mussels that was awesome, and they were extremely generous with the mussels. If you’ve never had mussels in New York, you’ve never had mussels. Mmmmm, mussels! My companion had chicken scapariello, which I had a taste of and was pretty impressed. I’ll have to order it next time I go there.

Afterwards, we went down to the Broome Street Bar for a drink before parting company. Ah, Guinness!

It began to rain in the evening, so I returned to the hotel to visit my computer and catch up on some of my news reading and so forth.

Through the weekend, there was night clubbing on Bleeker Street in the west village, including a couple of hours of great Jazz at the Blue Note, wherein they serve a remarkably good lobster ravioli (all this eating, in New York, is easily offset by the amount of walking one does in the interests of really seeing the city).

A late Saturday evening dinner date found my companion and I at a neat little Italian joint at East 50th Street and 2nd Avenue called, very appropriately as they specialize in lasagna (17 different kinds, ranging from ground sirloin to prosciutto to lobster to veal and everything in between), Lasagna Ristorante. This was followed by a cab ride downtown to — where else? — Mulberry Street, for canolli and capucino at La Bella Ferrara.

Sunday morning I was down at Duarte Square (Canal & 6th Avenue) to watch the start of a bicycle Tour of New York, wherein some 30,000 participants embarked on a 2-3 hour, 44ish mile ride around the boroughs, equipped with a continuous police escort to block cross traffic. It was a sight to see, every kind of bicycle in the universe, from regular 10 speeds to bicycles built for 3, several side by side 3 wheelers (two people in reclining high backed seats peddling from relaxed positions), some crazy configs wherein there was a small front wheel and a large rear one with the peddles right above the front wheel, a bicycle that was built to resemble a Harley chopper and one individual was pulling a small wooden cage-trailer that looked like it contained his cat.

One morning last week, I took a stroll down Bleeker Street above 8th Avenue (west village), and was totally impressed by the atmosphere of the neighborhood. It is simply beautiful, lots of trees and the view down nearly every side street was profoundly green, the shops all upscale without blaring the fact. I stopped at a local cafe for a chocolate almond croissant and a capucino, sat outside and enjoyed watching the people pass by, the bird sounds and the morning aroma of spring in New York…

…then several cloudy, rainy days arrived, today being the first clear, sunny day.

On a less pleasant note, as I said above, while so many of us make a major event of every word issuing forth from the mouth of Hussein Obama and every outrageous statement uttered by his “former” Pastor Wright, in my opinion doing little or nothing to change the minds of those wingnuts who view him as some sort of messiah (face it, friends, there are a lot of incorrigible boneheads in this country who believe America is the root cause of every problem of every kind, everywhere on earth, and that only the mighty Obama can save the world), we pay less attention to issues that we really need to focus on that amount, basically, to government encroachment on our free enterprise system and the price we pay for this wholly unconstitutional series of actions.

Issues such Congress’ decision to attempt to meddle in banks’ current credit and debit card management methods, the effect the ethanol production mandates are having on food prices across the board, including starvation and food riots in the same developing nations liberals claim to care so much about (this despite the fact that ethanol production and use produce more of the dreaded C02 than regular gasoline use), and still another dreadful bi-product of the government protecting us from ourselves.

Yes, all those high taxes local governments in states like Illinois and New York love to levy on cigarettes, purportedly to “help us”, have created a black market that directly finances terrorism. I ran across the above link at a security industry website, and, in as timely a manner as one could ask for, Walter Williams, one of the most “on-top-of-things” columnists in the business, penned a spot-on piece about it.

While it’s politically popular to impose confiscatory taxes on America’s 40 million tobacco smokers, there are a number of consequences one might consider, but let’s start out with a quiz. If a carton of cigarettes sells for $160 in New York City, and $35 in North Carolina, what do you predict will happen? If you answered tons of cigarettes will be going up I-95 from North Carolina to New York City, go to the head of the class.

Smuggling cigarettes is illegal; so the next quiz question is: Who is most likely to engage in cigarette smuggling? It’s a mixed answer, but for the most part, organized smugglers will be people with a high disregard for the law. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has found that Russian, Armenian, Ukrainian, Chinese, Taiwanese, and Middle Eastern (mainly Pakistani, Lebanese, and Syrian) organized crime groups are highly involved in the trafficking of contraband and counterfeit cigarettes. What’s worse is the ATF found that some of these groups use the money to provide material financial assistance to terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas.

Read on…

People who don’t spend a lot of time in major cities might easily miss this, but immigrants from Muslim countries have, over the last several years, established monopolies over certain retail-based industries that in some other sectors would easily inspire anti-trust lawsuits. Small markets selling, among other things, cigarettes are at the forefront of this phenomenon, with convenience stores and fast food restaurants not far behind. Here in New York, pizza shops are also on the menu to some extent, as are what I can’t help but think of as “jihadi wagons”, those stainless steel carts, towed daily to their respective curbside locations, from inside which Muslims serve hot grilled food (shish kebob, etc) through a window. Often one sees them joined within by fellow countrymen, deep in conversation, with others hanging around outside. When I lived here ten years ago, many of them were owned and manned by Russians, but this no longer seems to be the case.

Nice going, politicians — levy taxes, help finance jihad. Now the Bureau and the ATF have even more on their plates, so to speak, a tax-created homeland security issue.

Say what you want about the letter of the law, I tend to agree with Williams’ opinion that,

Some smugglers are good people who differ little from the founders of our nation such as John Hancock, whose flamboyant signature graces our Declaration of Independence. The British had levied confiscatory taxes on molasses, and John Hancock smuggled an estimated 1.5 million gallons a year. His smuggling practices financed much of the resistance to British authority — so much so that the joke of the time was that “Sam Adams writes the letters (to newspapers) and John Hancock pays the postage.” Like Hancock, some of today’s cigarette smugglers are providing a service to their fellow man caught in the grip of confiscatory taxation.

In my book, the Hancock-type smuggler is a hero of sorts. Let’s look at it. During the days of the Soviet Union, Swiss watches were illegal. During our Prohibition era, the sale, manufacture and the importation of intoxicating liquor was illegal. Britain’s Navigation Acts imposed high tariffs and restrictions on goods sold to the American colonies that ultimately led to our 1776 War of Independence. The common theme in all of these acts is government seeking to interfere with, regulate or outlaw peaceable voluntary exchange between individuals.


It has occurred to me on numerous occasions and I have mentioned a time or two in previous posts that for some time, our government, and I’m talking about both parties, has been betraying us, treacherously so and purely in the interests of individual political careers by gradually reintroducing the very same governance that our founding fathers saw fit to rebel against and in so doing break away from Great Britain, and found the United States of America.

However, rather than fight it, we collectively permit this regression to pre-Revolutionary War conditions. We continue to reelect politicians who could give a rat’s backside about We, The People or about our great country — to these scumbags, the only thing America means is realizing their own personal political ambitions, getting reelected at any cost, and I have come to realize that no matter how we elevate one above the other in our esteem, you can count all the politicians in this country who entertain even an iota of patriotism on one hand.

That said, two of my upcoming activities will be to catch Clarence Spady live, and also to attend a musical play called Street Dreams (an excitedly upbeat young actress, or aspirant thereof, handed me a hand-out for the play, billed “an inner city musical”, presented by the Rosetta Lenoir Musical Theatre Academy — never heard of it — and it looks like fun) at the ATA Theatre on West 54th.

New York, YAY!!!!

by @ 6:42 am. Filed under New York, Opinion, Politicians
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6 Responses to “Noo Yawk, Noo Yawk (Yay!), And A Few Other Items”

  1. Always On Watch Says:

    If I remember correctly, Hezbollah was operating a cigarette-smuggling ring in North Carolina. That ring was broken up, but I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that another one has taken its place.


    Sooner or later, one of those “jihadi wagons” is bound to be a security threat. The police can’t possibly monitor all of them.

  2. Seth Says:

    AOW –

    Probably more like several someones, between terrorist groups and other groups that support them.

    There are so many of those jihadi wagons in Manhattan that they are as innocuous as yellow cabs here.

    It’s also virtually impossible, in the busier, more crowded parts of the city, to look in any direction without seeing numerous Muslims. Their population continues to grow and one has to wonder if they are, collectively, waiting for something…

  3. Angel Says:

    so glad u had fun in my favorite city my friend..heh :)..
    to heck with politicians..did u catch Nobama’s wife?.another
    ideologue tool!

  4. Seth Says:

    Angel –

    Had fun, hell, I’m most likely here to stay. I missed my home town all these years I was away, and am having an awesome time. :-)

    Michelle Obama is a prime example of why being well educated has nothing whatever to do with either intelligence or charactar.

  5. Gayle Says:

    Glad you’re enjoying being back in your home town, Seth, although I think it’s a stretch to call NYC a town!

    I agree with your assessment of politicians in this country. I think we need another revolution! I cannot believe that the American people are putting up with all the BS! Seems to me most Americans have become so apathetic and selfish they don’t care about anything but themselves. It’s a crying shame!

  6. Seth Says:

    Gayle –

    Well, a very BIG town. :-)

    We’ve come into a narcissistic era, one in which all too many people are living in a Utopian dream world, everything revolving around themselves, in which there is little if any room for reality. The fact that the likes of Hussein Obama has come as far as he has more than affirms this.

    That our own politicians have sold us down the river is, indeed, a crying shame.

    Reagan’s comment about the world’s 2nd oldest profession (politics) being very much like the 1st is definitely bearing itself out.