The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It

Posts tagged ‘Eliot Spitzer’

A BIT MORE SPITZ-ER SPUTUM

Over the past several weeks, a number of my friends and I have discussed the moral bankruptcy which seems to abound in the America of 2013.  It doesn’t matter whether we turn to movie stars, professional athletes or politicians, it’s pretty much the same theme.

The good news is that I can (and do) ignore the movie stars and pro athletes who believe that they are God’s gift to mankind and refuse to patronize them by boycotting their product.  Let them carry on as they will – but they will not see a single cent of mine to support them by attending their films or going to or watching their games on television.  They are essentially irrelevant to me.

Now when it comes to politicians that is a horse of a different color – or in Mr. Spitzer’s case a whore of a different color.  This is not a statement of malevolence directed at those ladies of the evening – although one could certainly question their taste.  No this is directed personally toward Mr. Spitzer.

The genesis for this was a comment that I heard this evening at the dog park.  It was not specifically about Mr. Spitzer – in fact the conversation centered around a Hip Hop “artist” who had recently been arrested for a DUI.  But the principle is the same.

The commentator said, “Well, I still like his music.  I don’t care what he does in his personal life.  We shouldn’t worry about that because it’s none of our business.”  What a load of tripe!

I am going to ignore that in this case the fact that we have an impaired driver navigating a vehicle which causes about thirty-five thousand deaths each year in this country is or at least should be a concern for all of us – particularly for those who are in his vicinity.

And I am going to ignore the question of the morality of Mr. Spitzer’s hiring call girls.  I do not want to be part of the tribunal that determines standards of morality and tries to impose them on everyone else.  So my repulsion toward Mr. Spitzer strictly is a function of my view of his disregard for his office.

Whether or not prostitution is moral; whether or not it should be legalized; it is in virtually all jurisdictions currently illegal.  That’s the fact – plain and simple.

Because of my libertarian view, I might well be willing to sign a petition to change the status of that business.  But no one has yet presented me with one – so I believe that I will eschew the company of “escorts” (of either sex) and perhaps re-evaluate my position at a later date.

How a person could make the statement, as did the chap at the dog park, that “what a person does in his personal life is no one’s business” is beyond me, when the person in question happens to be a public servant.  And most especially, when that public servant happens to be the chief law enforcement officer of a state – as was Mr. Spitzer when he served as New York’s Attorney General.

It would be a remarkable thing if some of today’s total martial arts fighters left the ring and, to supplement their income until their next bout, taught a morning class in Origami and then spent their afternoons giving seminars in sensitivity training.  I don’t think that’s going to be happening anytime soon.

Over the years I have had the privilege of knowing several people in the business of politics who were men of great personal character and dignity and who took those qualities with them to work, representing their constituents in the most conscientious and ethical manner.  I would have expected no less from them.

It was, in fact, knowing them personally which convinced me that the same positive attributes they displayed as friends and neighbors would be the way in which they would discharge the positions to which the public had entrusted them.  I was not disappointed with my assessment in any of their cases.

Good character is hard to find.  If I could make one contribution to mankind it would be to invent a potion which, if taken regularly, would enable a person to acquire it.  If I were clever enough to invent such a tonic, I can think of several politicians including Mr. Spitzer to whom I would ship a free lifetime supply.

I only wonder if any of them would dare to try it.

WHAT, ME BOTHER?

My instructor in debating emphasized I don’t know how many times, that engaging in “ad hominem” arguments was a major no-no.  In other words, it was appropriate – even desirable – to make counter arguments to those your opponent set forth – but it was not acceptable to say something like, “Well, I’m not surprised to hear you say that.  That’s just the kind of thing I would expect from someone as ugly as you.”

Those instructions really stuck with me.  Therefore, it is difficult for me to “attack” someone without feeling at least a small quiver of guilt that I might be engaging in that sort of argumentation.  Fortunately, I have been able to resolve this dilemma by substituting an “ad hominid” argument in place of the tabooed “ad hominem” one.

As you know, the family “Hominidae” includes both man and our fossil ancestors.  I am not sure if the classification covers Neanderthals – but for my purposes I’m going to include them as well.  (This is a modern day and I feel fully entitled to mold the facts to my liking just in case I ever want to apply for a position on the staff of “The New York Times”).

So, speaking of Neanderthals, as you probably know, Eliot Spitzer is running for the position of Comptroller of my birthplace, New York City.  It’s been five years since he resigned his position as governor over some minor, habitual inappropriateness with a stable of high end hookers.  Amazingly, his wife Silda has stuck with him during what must have been an extremely difficult time for her.

During Spitzer’s tenure as Attorney General, he mercilessly attacked both the New York Stock Exchange and the financial industry for their outrageous behavior.  (This, of course, included something that was really not his business – executive compensation).  Now considering his personal habit of dropping twenty grand for a night of pleasure with his sex partners, one has to wonder how he defines “excessive”.

But there is one thing that Mr. Spitzer has not done excessively.  That is take the time and exercise his responsibility to vote.  Yes, he was “so busy” last year around election time – flying to California to do a TV show – that he neither got around to procuring an absentee ballot nor did he show up personally on Election Day.

We all make mistakes and certainly an important public figure must have many demands on his time.  I presume that explains his similar failure to get out to vote on two previous occasions – in 2007 and 2003.  In his defense, he did cast a ballot in each election in which he was running for orifice office.

With what might be called a “checkered career,” it is hard to imagine what line of work Mr. Spitzer might next pursue should his bid to return to public office fail this November.  Perhaps he might want to team up with sexting star, Anthony Wiener, whose run for Mayor seems to have taken an abrupt turn for the worse with the revelation that long after he was “cured of his bad behavior,” new photos and messages have started to surface.

I can see the two of them working together as a comedy team, perhaps calling themselves, “Latke and Hamentash”.  I’m sure that the duo would play well to OWS – or any other group that includes Neanderthals in its membership.

alfredeneuman

THERE’S SOMETHING IN THE WATER

If you are even one tenth as much an aficionado of great pizza as I you have no doubt your favorite version of this sublime delicacy.  Of course, growing up in New York, I still prefer the version that is produced there.  Even a bad New York pizza is better than a great pizza from anywhere else.

Living for many years in Chicago I became acclimated to the deep dish thick crust pizza that is the signature trademark of Uno’s and Due’s – started by an Irishman, Ike Sewell.  In fact I make a very good version of it.  It’s filling and satisfying and brings back memories of sitting in Ike’s restaurants with good friends and a pitcher of beer.

In Las Vegas there are a number of pizzerias all of which throw New York somewhere in their name to entice the unwary into thinking that they’re about to get the real McCoy.  Some of them do a reasonable impersonation of the genuine article.  They carry that off almost as successfully as I would doing an impersonation of Mae West.

A new pizzeria, Dom DeMarco’s came to town last fall.  It is only about a five mile drive from the house and people talked it up as the authentic thing – coming as they do from Brooklyn.  I stopped by one day and picked up a menu.  I thought it was pricey but ordered one the next night.  I got there ten minutes early as my salivary glands were in overdrive and found that my pizza beat me to the pick up station by some time.  There was no heat lamp so I had to reheat it when I got home and there were so few toppings I wondered if I had been given someone else’s order for a plain cheese.  All this for $28.00 for a 16” pizza.

I happened to mention this the next morning at the dog park and one of the other morning regulars said he had the same experience – no toppings and overpriced.  He also mentioned that when President Obama had been in town on a fundraiser he had ordered seven or eight pizzas for his entourage from Dom DeMarco’s.  Had I known that I would have realized that I was going to get gypped and not patronized the place.  I won’t make that mistake again.

I did find a pizzeria in North Las Vegas at Uncle Angelo’s Pizza Joint in Jerry’s Nugget Casino which is as close to the real New York experience as I have come.  When I ordered one I swooned.  Great crust, plentiful fresh toppings, excellent sauce, the right amount of cheese and baked to perfection.  A 17” pizza for $17 and that included a free pitcher of beer.   I was by myself so I passed on the beer and took home six wonderful slices to enjoy over the next three evenings.

So what is it about New York pizza that makes it different?  Everyone tells me that the secret ingredient is the water.  New York reportedly has some of the finest water flowing from the tap of any city in the country.  I can believe it – and I think the water has properties that go far beyond allowing for the creation of fantastic pizza.

I say this because I read a story the other day that former Rep. Anthony Wiener (D), NY is considering a return to politics, perhaps running for Mayor of New York City.  The former Congressional Representative resigned last year because of the flap over his posting semi-clad photos of himself on the internet.  He is apparently sitting on $4.5 million in campaign contributions which could be used to facilitate that bid.

Apparently the former congressman’s incipient career as a model for men’s undergarments didn’t work out.

I have a theory that New York City water increases libido and diminishes any sense of propriety.  It is possible that this may only affect politicians.  I have a call in to former Governor Eliot Spitzer to see if I can get some confirmation of this.  I will keep you posted as developments warrant.

Until then, I would suggest that politicians who either live in or are visiting the Big Apple take caution and make sure that they only consume water that has been bottled elsewhere.

There’s something in the water.

BmprStck65692

Tag Cloud