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MAY 11, 2022

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – OVERNIGHT:

DEATH OF AN ICON – FROM THE NEW YORK POST:  Apple said Tuesday that it will discontinue sales of its iPod Touch, ending a two-decade run for the music device that was once a headlining part of its product lineup.  The tech giant said it would continue selling iPod Touch devices in its own stores and through verified resellers “while supplies last,” but would not produce more or unveil new versions.  The iPod gradually became obsolete as Apple added music streaming capabilities to its other devices and faced outside competitors, such as streaming platform Spotify and Amazon Music.  “Today, the spirit of iPod lives on,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.  “We’ve integrated an incredible music experience across all of our products, from the iPhone to the Apple Watch to HomePod mini, and across Mac, iPad, and Apple TV,” he added.  The original iPod changed the stereo equipment industry.  Kids got hooked on listening to music through headphones rather than speakers.  Many stores dedicated to stereo equipment, including some famous ones, went out of business.  Indeed, Lyric Hi-Fi in New York, possibly the most prestigious stereo store in the country, closed just last year.  The demand for full systems has declined substantially.

May 11, 2022       Permalink 

 

A MAYOR'S LAMENT – OVERNIGHT:  When Eric Adams became mayor New York City in January, our enthusiasm was limited.  The Republicans, as usual, had barely put up a fight for the mayoralty, preferring golf and dinner at the club.  Of the Democratic candidates, Adams was the least bad.  He'd been a cop, and he'd made it clear that he was a moderate Dem, not a blazing revolutionary dedicated to tearing down the Statue of Liberty for fun. 

It's now more than four months from inauguration day, and Adams is in trouble.  He can't seem to get much going on the major issue facing New Yorkers – crime.  The left, which controls his party, sees criminals as an oppressed sort, misunderstood and essentially angelic.  The lefties have put up a STOP sign in the mayor's path.  The mayor has just expressed his frustration, and what he said is worth reporting, for it applies around the country.  From the New York Post:   

In an impassioned defense of the NYPD, Mayor Adams called for more help from the federal government, and New Yorkers themselves, to help crack down on what he called the city’s latest crime scourge – ghost guns.

“I feel like I’m in an alternate reality. We’re probably the only civilized country that sends their troops into battle and we criticize them every day. That’s what we do,” a frustrated Adams told reporters Wednesday at the NYPD’s headquarters in Lower Manhattan, referring to 131 firearms on the table in front of him.

“That father and son-in-law, future son-in-law, in spite of all that we say about them, they go out there again with the uncertainty of coming home. And all we do is criticize them!

That’s all we do. I don’t hear any good stories about men and women who are protecting us from the bad people. No one is talking about that,” Adams said of the rank and file cops.

Adams also slammed the “extreme left” for failing to have the backs of officers and promoting the Defund the Police movement. He didn’t mention defund proponents like socialist Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez by name, but in the past he’s blamed the city’s soft-on-crime stance in part on his predecessor, left-leaning ex-Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Mayor Eric Adams is fed up with rising crime rates, the treatment of NYPD officers and ghost guns.

“We’ve had this battle before, but you know, we won it before because everyone was with us – we were operating as a team, we weren’t solo.”

COMMENT:   We can understand the mayor's frustration.  I think he's fundamentally a good man, who knows what must be done, but doesn't have the power or the sheer influence to do it.  I think he now realizes that the Democratic Party in New York is not a liberal party, but a socialist party, and that ideology, not street conditions, govern it.

Adams is black, but is not part of the black establishment.  And he is not part of the liberal establishment either.  The black establishment has never been interested in solving the crime problem, and wasn't even consulted when Mayor Giuliani went on his successful anti-crime crusade in the mid 1990s.  The liberal establishment feels deeply about rubbing shoulders with other cultures, speaking an African language, and having a space in a parking garage.  Oh, and finishing The New York Times crossword puzzle. 

We wish the mayor well.  Optimism is another story.

May 11, 2022       Permalink

 

 

 

 

MAY 10, 2022

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – OVERNIGHT: 

NEW YORK CITY, OR THE WILD WEST?  FROM THE NEW YORK POST:   An NYPD cop was shot in the arm Tuesday night during an exchange of gunfire with a suspect who was freed ahead of a sentencing date connected to a past gun bust.  The shootout unfolded after Officer Dennis Vargas, who works for the Bronx Borough public safety team, and his partner spotted the suspect walking near 3rd Avenue and Claremont Parkway at around 10:45 p.m., according to Chief of Detectives James Essig.  After Vargas, 32, and his partner, who were in uniform, exited their unmarked car, the suspect, identified as Rameek Smith, 25, fled on foot, officials said.  The two cops gave chase and after a block-and-a-half pursuit, Smith turned around on Bathgate Avenue and allegedly fired two shots at the cops, striking Vargas. The officers returned fire, hitting Smith in the head, police and sources said.  Sources said Smith was initially stopped because it appeared he was carrying a weapon.  A 9mm Glock that was reported stolen out of Virginia last June was recovered from the shooting scene, Essig said at a Wednesday morning press conference.  A daily occurrence in very woke New York City.  Not long ago, under the Republican leadership of Rudy Giuliani, New York was the safest large city in the United States.  No more. 

May 10, 2022       Permalink

 

DRAMATIC INCREASE IN AID TO UKRAINE – OVERNIGHT: I personally favor the aid package, but we must be careful about how deeply we become involved in Ukraine.  What happens if Ukraine starts losing, and American troops are needed?  From Fox: 

The House of Representatives has passed a nearly $40 billion bill that will aid Ukraine in its war with Russia.

The bill, which includes military, economic and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine, cleared the chamber 368 to 57. No Democrats opposed the bill.
House approves nearly $40 billion in aid for Ukraine. 

The vote was 368-57. 

All nay votes came from Republicans. 

The bill now goes to the Senate. But the Senate may not vote on the plan until next week.

On Monday, Biden urged the chamber to "immediately" consider his proposed bill as it could provide additional weapons and funds for humanitarian services in Ukraine.
"The plan was substantial in size, because the need is substantial: We must stand by Ukraine as it defends itself from Russian aggression," Biden said Monday. "The need is also urgent: I have nearly exhausted the resources given to me by a bipartisan majority in Congress to support Ukraine’s fighters."

The president said the aid "has been critical to Ukraine's success on the battlefield."

In a unique move, Biden said he did not wish the Ukraine aid to be tied up with any other packages, such as coronavirus relief, or any other agenda items that could prevent its passage.

"We cannot afford delay in this vital war effort," Biden added.

COMMENT:  Who hasn't been inspired by Ukraine's heroic defenders, and sickened by the Russian invasion, with its brutality and indiscriminate killing?  At the same time, we are now an open military ally of Ukraine.  If the Ukrainians lose, it will be a blow to our prestige that dwarfs Afghanistan.  And other allies will question the value of an alliance with the United States.  Putin knows that, and it's entirely possible that he will make the humiliation of this country his prime objective.  Will he use battlefield nuclear weapons?  Will he send the Red Army into other countries, to test us further?  These are no longer academic questions.  America is walking a fine line – to defeat the Russian invasion, yet not fall into a military trap. 

There is a familiar Chinese curse that says, "May you live in interesting times."  We are living in interesting times.

May 10, 2022     Permalink

 

 

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