Friday, August 04, 2006

Mike Bloomberg for President on the Democrat ticket? Gimme a break! The guy’s civil rights record could make you vomit

According to the New York Times, New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg is considering a run for President.

It’s not yet clear whether he’s planning to run as an independent, which would make him a perfect spoiler splitting the Democrat vote in support of the next George Bush clone; or as a far right Republican, which he most certainly is despite his image; or as a Democrat. But if it’s a last of those three choices, Democrats around the country had better be warned.

Bloomberg’s record on civil rights would do a 1960s Mississippi sheriff proud. Take it from a New Yorker who’s been watching him for a while.

No, I’m not talking about racism (although his sexist attitudes toward women at Bloomberg News were notorious prior to his election.) I’m talking about First Amendment stuff like the right to assemble to seek redress.

It all begins with the last Republican presidential convention, which was held here in New York, and an arguably unruly (and often unkempt-looking) group called Times Up, which demonstrates with noisy mass bicycle rides, sometimes deliberately blocking traffic with a sea of rolling protestors as it rides through intersections.


When the scruffy Times-Uppers tried to demonstrate during the Republican Conventionm there was a a major scuffle and a considerable number of police busts. Even bicycles got busted – uh, confiscated – by the New York Police Department.

This led to some courtroom confrontations, during which the city attorney got his nose rubbed in the First Amendment.

You’d think enough would be enough, sort of like a mass duel in which everybody fires his blunderbuss in the air and then goes home grumpily claiming satisfaction. But no.

The Mayor’s anti-civil rights proxy, Deputy Police Commissioner Bruce Smolka, has begun coming down on virtually anybody on a bicycle (except for messengers and delivery boys who routinely ride the wrong way on one way streets, or tear along sidewalks nearly mowing down passsers-by.)


So that Bloomberg won’t appear discriminatory against cyclists, the Mayor’s little minions have been pressing for a law that would prohibit any group of three or more people to “parade” without a permit. "Paraders," for example, might include a group of friends going for a bike ride. Or even for a walk.

Technically, walkers or riders in groups of three or more can be busted and hauled into a city jail holding cell overnight and then into court – where no doubt, after they post bail and go to considerable legal expense, the case will get thrown out.

Besides, since when to American citizens need the permission of their government to protest against the government?

Well, the sotto voce word getting whispered by political operatives around town is that this law would only be applied against you-know-who – those political demonstrators the mayor doesn’t like.

Folks, that’s how communist and fascist dictators work. They pass a law that lets them arrest anybody, and then arrest only the people they don’t like. Siberia’s economy was built on laws like that. Students got mowed down by tanks in Peking for that.


So far, Mayor Bloomberg has been letting the cops take the heat, while he hides under Bruce Smolka’s skirts. But Smoka reports to New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, who serves at the Mayor’s pleasure.

So if Bloomberg wanted the totalitarianism to stop, it would stop in ten seconds. But don't hold your breath.

Pass it on. E-mail this story to your friends. Get the word out. Other blogs: feel free to copy or link.

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