Wednesday, November 9, 2011

SOME RANDOM THOUGHTS FROM MY SCRAMBLED BRAIN: ON THE FUTURE OF “ROOM EIGHT NEW YORK POLITICS (www.r8ny.com)” AND BLOGGING IN NYC

Note from yourfreepress.blogspot.com You all are welcome on this site.

I am quite aware that I do not write as often as I used to, but I did put you all on notice. I also gave some of the many reasons why I have chosen to decrease my output. Now it looks as though another writer/blogger is probably going the same route. That’s not good for NYC political-blogging. Over the years we have lost many political-bloggers in this city: or have we already forgotten Maurice Gumbs?

Recently, another columnist on Room Eight New York Politics (Dominic Carter) decided -like I did months ago- to close the comment section in two consecutive columns he produced. I have no idea if this is a permanent move since I haven’t discussed it with him. Aside from the irritating spam that we have been subjected to here, there have always been questions around how to handle the disrespectful trolls who try to disguise their ad hominem attacks, behind some freedom of speech rights they claim to possess. To suspect that Howard “Gatemouth” Graubard has been fooled by these silly attempts at pseudo-justification for almost six years now leaves me to conclude that his brain is probably as scrambled as mine (maybe/lol).

Anyway, it is up to the editors/founders of this site (Gur Tsbar/New York Times; and Ben Smith/Politico) to do something about the continuing deterioration of this site; since lately, the spam has been worse than the trolls. A few years ago I wrote about our need to recruit young writers to NYC blog sites (including “Room Eight” and the “Daily Gotham” by implication). I am starting to wonder if Tony Weiner was correct when he said that people will “eventually” catch up with me.

Even the “VillageVoice” is now echoing that need.

Recently the “Voice” did a piece about “Room Eight” wherein they seem to be predicting our eventual demise. They also claim that I have left (for good?). They are incorrect on one count at least: I am still here. And that’s mainly because I wrote some checks with my mouth that my ass keeps cashing. I promised quite a few people (whom I truly love and respect) that I will try to write at least one column a week -since they swear they love to read my work so much. (Shoot! I guess flattery can always get you some ass still.) Plus, I am just totally not-ready to ride off into the sunset (a la Maurice Gumbs/Florida); no matter how much politics depresses me nowadays.

I am still puzzled as to why people like Chris Owens, Reggie Bowman, David Miller, David “Mole” Michaelson, Michael Bouldin, Errol Louis, and quite a few others (mainly activists from Brooklyn/some of whom I have spoken to about writing here), refused to become prolific contributors over the years. Michaelson’s rationale (“the clique/club over there”) was personally disappointing. This has always been an open site. It was never a clique.

I have always hoped folks from the other boroughs would write here about the political goings-on in their respective neighborhoods and communities. Recently, Room Eight lost an articulate Puerto Rican/Hispanic voice in Manny Burgos and that was a quiet blow to this site. We need more diversity, in race, ethnicity and political philosophy. In that regard, I believe that Gur Tsbar and Ben Smith were erroneous in taking away the front-page privileges of Vincent Nunes (a regular contributor to Room Eight). It should be restored: immediately. Contrary to what has been written by a couple people here, I don’t believe that Vincent is anti-Semitic. He tends to be suspicious of near every damn thing; but so what? That’s the beauty of a site like this: having people with different views and dispositions. I think the editors made a “boo boo” on this one. FREE VINCENT NUNES.

There were times in the past when we attracted elected officials and prominent activists, but lately it appears as though folks are scared to write about things they feel. That is so sad. Informing the general public as to what’s going on -especially in places where mainstream media fails to thread- is an honorable way to go fellas. Remember that as you sip on your post-dinner Drambuie; okay?

Look; I have said many times here that “politics is the only game in town”. I meant that more figuratively than literally; but I meant it none the less: and all the same. As a person who can trace his family’s continual involvement in politics, community-activism and public service, back for over two hundred years, let me say that we are at a critical juncture in US political development. Capitalism is being challenged at its very core. The rest of the world is no longer asleep to the excesses (and abuses) of US foreign policy. Remember this when you contemplate some heady discussion at your next cocktail sip.

US economic (domestic and foreign) policy will be continually challenged over the coming decades. I predict that before this century ends we are going to see another 1789-style event in one of the major countries of this world. It might just be right here in the good ole US of Amnesia. We need folks writing on the blogs. We need different views being expressed. We shouldn’t have to be suffocated by the views of corporate-American-interests: being continually projected via mainstream media and their compromised editorial boards. We need a diversity of opinions and views. We need to challenge people to open up their minds to alternative ways of organizing societies politically, economically and culturally. Writing is one of the many ways we can pushback against corporate greed and control.

Moving to another topic: let me predict that Barack Obama will win re-election. I know it is over a year out, but I am willing to bet on this. In fact, I am willing to lay odds. I am at the point where I now see him as the least of many evils. I still maintain that the Republican’s best hopes of unseating BO lie in the hands of either Chris Christie or Jon Huntsman. Christie is a reluctant warrior, and Huntsman is as boring as watching a freshly painted living-room-wall dry. I am still quite surprised that Rick Santorum hasn’t taken off in this Republican primary (not that I agree with his core political positions/I don’t).

Let me give it to you straight with no chaser: Mitt Romney will not defeat Barack Obama. I can’t wait for that match-up so I can bet a few dollars on the outcome. But I don’t think it will happen. My suspicion is that too many republicans know he won’t beat BO.

As I recently predicted, Herman Cain is self-destructing right before our very eyes. Mr. Cain epitomizes what often happens on all three levels of US politics: too many unqualified and unprepared people run for high office when they should be running for cover instead. You know what makes it even worse; too many of them are successfully backed by unions and other interest-groups. And further: too many of them are black. There: I said it.

Too many of them lack sophistication, imagination, compassion, common-sense, creativity, decency, humanity and intelligence. Too many of them lack a moral compass. Too many aren’t educated enough. Too many aren’t qualified enough. These are facts. This is part of the many reasons why we are where we are (politically-speaking). We elect too many duds to office. Herman Cain is a dud. The man didn’t even know that China has nuclear weapons. They have had a nuclear-capability since the 1960’s.

I recently found out that over the past three months, the average total shows that over 381,000 computers logged-on to Room Eight New York Politics. For those who love to rag this site (the trolls), let me proudly state that there are independent countries in the world with less than three hundred and eighty one thousand people. I can also say that each computer could have brought in more than one person as a visitor: thus the number of visitors is most likely much higher than that.

I have to hand it to folks who have been here from Jump-Street; folks like Howard “Gatemouth” Graubard, Larry Littlefield, Jerry Skurnik, Ben Smith, Gur Tsbar, Yoda and others. Plus all those others (like Mary Alice Miller and Manny Burgos) who later came in and contributed tremendously over the years, in building this site to such blog-prominence. And yet, we are in trouble. We have to take this site to even greater heights: otherwise we run the risk of this site slipping further and eventually failing.

Maybe one day Howard will stop nitpicking my columns and let “Rock be Rock”. There have been times when I really felt like just going upsides his head so he would submit to the Ronald Reagan rule which dictates that “you don’t attack the people on the same team you are on”. We need a team meeting fellas. We need a retreat for maybe half a day. We need to start thinking strategically relative to the future of what we have developed here.

One other thing: the fix is in to make Christine Quinn our next mayor. Mainstream (lame-stream) media is complicit. They are highly involved. The edict might have been handed down from Michael Bloomberg. Have you observed the New York Times, New York Daily News and New York Post lately? They are attacking Quinn’s potential mayoral opponents regularly now; as they try to build her up. We cannot allow New Yorkers to forget her role in overturning term-limits. We have to punish her for what she did. A council-speaker who subverts and undermines democracy (and the people’s will) doesn’t deserve to be mayor of this great city. Join me in a “STOP-QUINN” movement. Let’s start early. It’s time to stand up for the people’s will and honor.
Don’t let mainstream media manipulate us again.

STAND UP and stay tuned-in folks.

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