Malice in Wonderland

Written By: Warren Gross

Surely it hasn’t escaped your notice that we live in a dysfunctional society and are surrounded by the echoes of our forebearers, our consciences saying “this is all wrong, this Union is not being preserved, it is being hacked away inch by inch and we seem powerless to impact this fact.

Look what is the point of attributing blame; we are each all too ready to throw the first stone, to state unequivocably that the other person is a racist, a femnazi, an old white man, an alien…. we have mastered the 120 word vocabulary of OMG and have disposed of perfectly good, innocent words like “niggardly” because it sounds like something so pronouncedly perverse that you need to go to the radio to hear it.

Well, ok, that will pass but will we survive the particular armeggedon we face concerning the raw evil intention that flows from our office seekers and their staffs daily, the “stacked decks” presented by the cable news media who drive the response they want depending on what station or channel you happen to be tuned to.

Oh it happens in the blogosphere as well, but up to now, this bastion of too many people with mean, ugly attention is almost a legal artifact. Bringing America;s favorite pastime the lawsuit, is expressedly difficult. So slander and libel find little need to identify a rock to crawl under.

Of course that is not the case with those caught in the public headlights or those who think they have been “wronged”. Look at the daily count of lawsuits filed, the damages collected, the lack of common sense meaning of what used to be matters we could no and understand.

who suffers? We all do, but mostly those who have been subjected to sexual harassment, racism, failure to indent the glass ceiling. We go on and create new groups of disgruntled and “victimized folks”. I am one, but since it makes me happy to be associated as an unintended member of a legitimate minority group (if numbers mean anything), I am happy to rest my case, prod the vain, kiss my wife and pet my cat.

But I am not at all happy or content when it bleaches or leeches into the political process. You might say what does the affairs of what is happening in Washingto or Albany have to do with you in New Rochelle? The answer is plenty …. there is not a dime’s worth of difference.

I dont’ know where it takes us to see a Ryan look alike wheeling an old woman off a cliff, or someone accusing Romney of killing his wife because he was fired some years earlier.

Neither do I know what we get out of by this stupid initiative to attemtp to show that Barack Obama was not dorn in the USA or somehow Obamacare is setting up death panels.

What crap on both sides and you can largely blame the stupidity of the Supreme Court for fostering a climate of anonymity on political donations. No one is accountable any longer. Justice, fair play, honest stewardship is thrown to the wolves. It really sucks and you are really powerless. the inmates are running the asylum and while our President campaigns for 12 months to be re-elected and his opponent tries to keep his foot out of his mouth and his pocket full of money, you see the job prospects plummet, neighbor against neigbhor, and you live in one of the most taxed and most expensive parts of the world. And you worry about some guys cutting up at park?

Save your anger, no better, your commitment to make New Rochelle better, a participatory community where there are no favorites, no exclusions, and no elected officials who rationalize service as “meeting the demands of their district.”

Hogwash! The City Charter is not correctly adhered to as it is so step up your game. Look around you and see what is wheat and what is chaff. You want a balanced budget, revenue enhancement, real diversity, well, say it directly. You cannot move a mountain in Washington or even Albany, but 515 North Avenue should be a no brainer.

If the Mayor or council opt for Echo Bay using a residential model, just say NO. This is a misuse of scarce funds, a lack of critical thinking and worse, it is cynical. We need money, much dinero, a hell of a lot of euros….. we need internal equity and a willingness to let everyone who has something to offer, offer it.

The Armory? Why hasn’t the City embraced it and stop looking at it as if it is a horse race. It is a potential binding of the community and an add to our trembling resource base. Get a grip…. let the two competing groups come up with an agreement brokered by someone like Ivar Hyden or even a skilled member of the administration. It needs partnering and it is needed NOW.

So, Noam cannot be allowed to act as if he is Barack, the majority in the Council cannot be allowed to act as if they are Harry Reid or John Beohner and the minority cannot be allowed to mirror Mitch McConnell or Nancy Pelosi. If we can do that much, we can bring the city closer to what our forebearers knew and expected to sustain for generations.

I don’t know what is worse; sophoristic bullshit language or the frequent facebook or tweet update. As we sit and see the drama play out, I cannot help but think that all of the aforementioned heads of state had the answer in their hands on December 2010. It is not necessary to argue that Bush created debt and Obama added to it. What is necessary is to see a bipartisan approach to solve our rock, our hard place. Simpson and Bowles, leaders of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, in a report called The Moment of Truth,” gave us an in-depth blueprint to begin the process of getting our government and society under control.

I cannot capture this in witing…. I likely have lost most of you at this point. But I can postulate why office holders are as they are and offer to share the report’s Guiding, Principle, Values, and Overview of major actions needed upon request.

But here is why I think we are where we are and the common vernacular kind of centers around our own sense of self, our “me first — I am worth it” society. It infests every level of our society and governance and always has although in uur beloved country, under some spectrum of control.

We are now out of control. When our elected officials in Washington or Albany talk about large versus small government, they literally are clueless about the conditional consequences of each. When a sitting president decides to campaign for a year and does not understand what this means to controlling the issues, he is clueless and anyone who throws it completely in the lap of hostile legislators is clueless…. that can be dealt with. Maybe Robert Cano can educate us on what Lyndon Johnson would do and what he did.

Now Echo Bay or Albanese become our Waterloos, not because they are unatractive, but because they are promulgated for all the wrong reasons including hubris, ego satisfacton and just plan wrong headedness. The parallels are clear and so are the remedies.

Dante, were he alive today, might want to revisit his levels of hell to place those who commit both direct and collateral damage, to the higher rings and that would be self interested, hubris driven people who do not do what is required to build a community. Echo Bay, yeah maybe tomorrow; the patient is still in IC needing stringent palliative care.

But, not to worry! I learned that current Mayan culture scholars are indicating that the winter solstice in 2012 will not, repeat not, end our world. They say it is a message designed to get people worldwide to build communities; places for the common good, where all can thrive and play a role. Selfishness will end its day.

Hope this is the case. Perhaps the road to Damascus for Noam and others of the democratic ilk or to Tampa for those of the republican persuasion, might lead to an insight larger than their self interest. Maybe we can help through a Code of Ethics or a more explcit mode of governance.

4 thoughts on “Malice in Wonderland”

  1. Wouldn’t be…

    It wouldn’t be a bad idea if the Mayan calender for the end of the world in December becomes a reality. After all, this world and the people in it have had it!!!!

    Never say never. It just might happen!

  2. Hey Warren…
    How’s that positivity working out for you?

    New Rochelle improving?

    No, didn’t think so.

    1. Look at the Faces of Your Children n Fact or Memory
      There is a difference between not working and cannot work. Neither you, others here, or me was born to lose all hope and you have very real and compelling reasons to feel that at this point.

      So I often feel your despair, resignation and it is possible to be sure that I am denying my own self and reality by saying otherwise.

      You read what I say and can draw what appears to be a safe conclusion from my words that knowing or feeling what I sense puts me on the path of insanity, or at least hypocrisy.

      But, I have to think there is some wax in the candle and always a way to light it. If I am wrong I deny every good man and woman, every laughing child the chance to be and to make a difference.

      It is not easy but I truly believe in Paul Tillich’s command to us that we must have “the courage to be.”

      I believe that change is possible; not hope and change because it is too easy to slip back into hope which is ephemeral or simpler, a wish, instead of workin as some do, for change which is tangible.

      The problem from my viewpoint is that those who are implementers of such change lack vision, compassion or, as others have observed, serve the writer of the check or the dispenser of the equal to the 30 pieces of silver.

      I know both of you through your work on TOTS and respect your persons and views.

      But my coin has to be placed on those througout this City who want more be they comfortably sitting in a norht end den or crowded into a single room on the west side.

      But, it is the generosity of the ‘want” — meaning whether it serves the greater good of the community that I will try to be and see.

      In boxing, you are taught to lead with a jab to close in…. in today’s world, I truly believe the analogy to the jab is the positive word and deed.

      Maybe, since it is their generation to come, we should have the equivalent of a 21st Century “childrens crusade” and begin here in New Rochelle. The difference to me is that we all should see whith clear eyes as a child does, what is truly before us and challenge and change what denies us the community I deeply believe you want as well as I.

  3. Time to clean the looking glass and clear the table!
    Warren, NewRo and Used,

    How’s that positivity working out for you?
    New Rochelle improving?
    No, didn’t think so!

    I to believe that change is also possible, it will take time but possible still the same. There needs to a continued belief and hope for change as you say? In your words, “It is too easy to slip back into hope which is ephemeral or simpler, a wish, instead of working as some do, for change which is tangible.” It is like a child’s allowance and respect; it is earned, not just given. There have been way too many City Councils, Mayors, City Managers and City Staff that believe New Rochelle owes them something. We owe them nothing until they earn it. Right now their value is becoming less and less. They continue to show this time and again. Some of this is changing. Our words are not going un noticed and un heard. The people are becoming more informed and yes involved.

    Thanks to the internet, other technologies and sites like TOTS, voices are being heard regardless of point of view. Unlike our local media which for years was under the strict eye and yes control of the people that were supposed to represent the Citizens of New Rochelle. Not their political careers, friends, cronies, benefactors and yes, campaign donators. In your words, “Those who are implementers of such change lack vision, compassion or, as others have observed, serve the writer of the check or the dispenser of the equal to the 30 pieces of silver.”

    Change does not happen magically with one word or phrase like,”Abra Kadabra”. A lot of wrong must be righted. Many old illusions, smoke and mirrors need to be cleaned. Many bad habits and attitude need to be changed. It won’t happen overnight. The place we are in is the product of many years of egos, selfishness, political games, abuse and poor planning. I for one think there has been some movement just over the last several weeks. We now have two proposals for the re-use of the Armory and some of the tone of conversation has changed on City Council with some new members and fresh ideas.

    All movements and creations of new governments and countries start with a few voices and grow into many. We need to start our own little Huguenot Revolution and take out city back for the people and families that have stayed and want to stay even if they can’t afford to. I stay and speak up because I was born here and love New Rochelle. I believe there is still time to change. Now is the right time to create a vision and a time to clean up this once beautiful city and bring it back to life. The times have changed and so must the members of New Rochelle City Council, Mayor, City Manager and City Staff. I don’t single any one person out for blame; we are all to blame for letting business as usual continue for so long. We have a voice and need to speak a little louder if we aren’t being heard. I hear this from the people I meet in the street and at the store. However I get the same blank look when I say, “When was the last time you spoke to your council member, wrote an e-mail or attended a Citizens to be Heard?” Many people don’t even realize we have this platform to be heard. It is time for all of the New Rochelle City Council, Mayor, City Manager and City Staff to get out and meet with the people. Not just at election and fundraiser time, all of the time.

    Our 325th Anniversary present to The City of New Rochelle and the Huguenots should be a fresh canvas so we can paint a new and beautiful picture for the future of New Rochelle. If not as you have said, “All Is Lost.”

    “Common Sense for the Common Good”

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