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Bloomberg evicts churches from using public schools, but allows labor unions
Human Events ^ | February 10, 2012 | Jason Mattera

Posted on 02/11/2012 10:26:17 AM PST by NYer

Should religious institutions be able to rent public property just like any other community group?

If you’re New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the answer is a resounding no, a decision that has angered local communities and is poised to kick out dozens churches from meeting in New York City public schools even though other groups, including labor unions, are granted full access.

“Houses of worship throughout the city consider this policy to be nothing short of discrimination, and we will make that known,” said Fernando Cabrera, a Democratic city councilman representing the Bronx. “Evicting [churches] hurts people and neighborhoods by denying them the social and spiritual services they desperately need, which in my district includes tutoring services, soup kitchens and more,” he added.

At issue is whether or not allowing religious organizations access to public schools during off-hours is an “endorsement” of that particular religion’s belief system. For the past 10 years an injunction issued by the U.S. District Court of New York said that churches can, in fact, rent out school facilities just like any other group. But a recent ruling by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals defied the lower court’s ruling, agreeing with the Department of Education that granting churches equal access to vacant government buildings amounts to a subsidy of religion. 

“When worship services are performed in a place, the nature of the site changes. The site is no longer simply a room in a school being used temporarily for some activity,” the majority opinion stated. “The church has made the school the place where it performs its rites, and might well appear to have established itself there. The place has, at least for a time, become the church.”

Such a ruling adheres to an “extreme version of the establishment clause and separation of church and state,” Jordan Lorence, a senior counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund, the legal firm representing the local churches, told HUMAN EVENTS. “It’s hard for the bureaucrats and judges to grasp the difference between government sponsored religion and government accommodating everybody to use an empty building.”

The idea that a school would morph into a church vis-à-vis a worship service taking place on non-school days makes no sense to NYC pastors who rent the space.

“The church is a people, not a building,” Pastor Chris Dito of International Christian Center in Staten Island told HUMAN EVENTS. “If we have a prayer meeting at Starbucks, it doesn’t magically transform into a church.” Dito said that International Christian Church caters to families who have children with special needs, and the New Dorp High School where they currently meet provides his church with the ability address those needs.  “The classrooms are a big help.”

And it’s not like the church is freeloading either. They pay $1,500 a month in maintenance costs.

In total, more than 70 churches are at risk of being evicted. A handful of Muslim, Buddhist and Hindu groups also had access to the school grounds, although they don't meet as frequently as the Christian groups.

What’s more, while Mayor Michael Bloomberg will forbid religious organizations from leasing out schools under the rubric of “separation of church and state,” it turns out that the Department of Education itself rents out religious facilities to house public schools. P.S. 133 in Park Slope, Brooklyn, for instance, leases a Catholic institution that is run by St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church.

“Talk about hypocrisy,” notes Lorence. “The kids in P.S. 133 go everyday to a building with crosses on it and that doesn’t bother them [Education bureaucrats]. But what bothers them is a three-hour stint on Sunday mornings of a church being there.”

Out of the 1,200 school buildings in New York City, there are at least 10,000 extracurricular community uses each year, ranging from dance recitals, Boy Scout meetings and even the filming of the popular television show “Law & Order.” And, as the Alliance Defense Fund points out in one of their many legal briefs, labor unions, including the Communications Workers of America, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Service Employees International Union and the United Federation of Teachers, all are allowed to meet in public school buildings.

But come Feb. 12, not churches.

Pastor Matt Brown of Park Slope Church has been meeting in John Jay High School in Brooklyn for the past eight years. He pays a fee of $3,200 a month to cover maintenance costs and is one of the clergymen being forced to relocate.

“Everyone loses with the mayor’s decision,” Pastor Brown told HUMAN EVENTS. “The janitors and guards at John Jay High School who will now be out of work on Sunday, the school itself, which uses part of the rent money for facilities; and the students at the high school who were the beneficiaries of our presence there.” Pastor Brown noted that he and his congregation has stocked the school’s library with academic books, tutored students for standardized tests, and even painted the hallways and classrooms voluntarily.

Mayor Bloomberg could single-handedly reverse the Education Department’s decision, as they report directly to him, but he’s refused to do so. In fact, the mayor’s office tells HUMAN EVENTS that the evictions will go through as planned. Legislation has been submitted by Bronx City Councilman Fernando Cabrera to block the mayor’s decision since the Supreme Court decided not to hear the case late last year, but that bill is currently being held up by the Council’s speaker, Christine Quinn.

“The Left’s whole concept of equality goes right out the window when we’re talking about renting unused NYC classrooms on the weekends,” said Lorence. “'Churches lose’ is how the Left always interprets the First Amendment.”


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Front Page News; Government; US: New York
KEYWORDS: bloomberg; catholic; corruption; fascism; govtabuse; liberalfascism; moralabsolutes; pipsqueaktyrant; religion; tyranny

1 posted on 02/11/2012 10:26:21 AM PST by NYer
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To: Liz; Gerish; narses; The Mayor

One of Hannity’s guests brought this up last night. Bloomberg, like Obama, considers himself a god.


2 posted on 02/11/2012 10:27:53 AM PST by NYer ("Be kind to every person you meet. For every person is fighting a great battle." St. Ephraim)
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To: NYer

From Zero Hedge:

http://confoundedinterest.wordpress.com/2012/02/10/2012-federal-budget-obamas-grecian-formula-of-1-33-in-deficits/

In summary, this budget harkens back to the classic ’60s rock/country song by Joe South, Freddie Weller and others called “Games People Play.” Except that a new version should be recorded called “Games The Administration Play.” It would fit this budget proposal perfectly: its all games, not a serious effort to govern.

“Oh the games people The Administration play now
Every night and every day now
Never meaning what they say now
Never saying what they mean

And they wile away the hours
In their ivory towers (Cass Sunsteen, Austan Goolsbee, Larry Summers, Christina Romer, Elizabeth Warren, etc.)
Till they’re we’re covered up with flowers (cradle to grave entitlements)
In the back of a black limousine.

Chorus
La-da da da da da da da
La-da da da da da de
Talking ’bout you and me
And the games people The Administration play

Oh we make one another cry
Break a heart then we say goodbye
Cross our hearts and we hope to die
That the other was to blame (Congress and specifically House Republicans)

Neither one will give in
So we gaze at our eight by ten
Thinking ’bout the things that might have been
It’s a dirty rotten shame

Repeat Chorus

People walking up to you
Singing glory hallelulia
And they’re tryin to sock it to you (Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, EPA mandates, tax the “rich”, ignoring The Constitution)
In the name of the Lord (Jesus would want to raise taxes on the rich and give to the Romans – funny, I missed that part of The Bible!)

They’re gonna teach you how to meditate (or community organize)
Read your horoscope, cheat your faith (requiring Catholic organizations to fund contraceptives against their will)
And further more to hell with hate
Come on and get on board

Repeat Chorus

Look around tell me what you see
What’s happening to you and me
God grant me the serenity
To remember who I am (an individual, not part of a Utopian collective)

Cause you’ve given up your sanity (not to mention personal freedom)
For your pride and your vanity
Turns you sad on humanity
And you don’t give a da da da da da “

Hey, Joe South actually understood The Obama Administration back in the 1960s!


3 posted on 02/11/2012 10:30:05 AM PST by whitedog57
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To: NYer

Bloomberg is a sick communists pric$.


4 posted on 02/11/2012 10:31:55 AM PST by Logical me
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To: NYer

Fellow Christians: Learn to minister to yourselves. Learn to worship in small groups. If your church does not encourage small group ministries, demand it. The day is coming when the government will tax and regulate our large churches out of existence and we need to be prepared to go underground, as our Christian ancestors did and still do in other countries.


5 posted on 02/11/2012 10:34:15 AM PST by Bryanw92 (The solution to fix Congress: Nuke em from orbit. It's the only way to be sure!)
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To: NYer
The USSC did several religious freedom cases where they relied on the FREE SPEECH clause to allow religious people to do whatever it was they wanted to do.

This is too deep for New York's current Goober in Charge.

He just doesn't like Christians.

6 posted on 02/11/2012 10:34:23 AM PST by muawiyah
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To: NYer

I despise this little malevolent Napoleon more every day.


7 posted on 02/11/2012 10:34:45 AM PST by Inwoodian
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To: NYer

Isn’t that viewpoint discrimation? I think Jay Sekulow has won cases similar to this one in other states.


8 posted on 02/11/2012 10:34:53 AM PST by goldi
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To: NYer

Bloomberg is in some respect worse that Obama. When the Susan Kormen Foundation first cut off Planned Parenthood, he came forward with a $250,000 donation to more than make up for the cut. This guy is a radical liberal Democrats posing off as a Republican. Time to bring back “Truth in Labeling” laws.


9 posted on 02/11/2012 10:34:53 AM PST by Steelfish (ui)
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To: NYer

The guy’s a bitter, liberal statist but he’s managing the security situation well.


10 posted on 02/11/2012 10:35:41 AM PST by Gene Eric (C'mon, Virginia -- are you with us or against us?!)
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To: Bryanw92

We make up about half or more of the nation’s voters and taxpayers. They can only do these things if we LET them.

Apathy is the killer. We need to push back and hard....

and we can start by pushing back against unions.


11 posted on 02/11/2012 10:39:39 AM PST by XenaLee (The only good commie is a dead commie.)
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To: NYer
Bloomberg makes pond scum look good. I get tired of hearing how great NYC is, it is a big festering insane asylum.

Everything Thomas Jefferson said about big cities is doubly true about NYC.

I'm sorry if this hurts your feelings, I don't want to hurt other Freepers. We just can't let this nation be dominated by the urban beehive mentality.

12 posted on 02/11/2012 10:43:38 AM PST by SWAMPSNIPER (The Second Amendment, a Matter of Fact, Not a Matter of Opinion)
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To: XenaLee

>>and we can start by pushing back against unions.

Apathy isn’t the killer. Bad priorities are!


13 posted on 02/11/2012 10:51:39 AM PST by Bryanw92 (The solution to fix Congress: Nuke em from orbit. It's the only way to be sure!)
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; Convert from ECUSA; ...

Thanks NYer.
Should religious institutions be able to rent public property just like any other community group? If you're New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the answer is a resounding no, a decision that has angered local communities and is poised to kick out dozens churches from meeting in New York City public schools even though other groups, including labor unions, are granted full access.
Bloomberg is ramping up anger against his adopted political party ahead of the fall election.


14 posted on 02/11/2012 10:51:50 AM PST by SunkenCiv (FReep this FReepathon!)
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To: NYer

Bloomberg can’t go swimming anymore because someone always throws toilet paper into the pool with him to make it look more natural.


15 posted on 02/11/2012 10:53:13 AM PST by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: NYer

is there anyway we can throw this guy out of the party?


16 posted on 02/11/2012 10:59:20 AM PST by utherdoul
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To: Bryanw92
"Fellow Christians: Learn to minister to yourselves. Learn to worship in small groups. If your church does not encourage small group ministries, demand it. The day is coming when the government will tax and regulate our large churches out of existence and we need to be prepared to go underground, as our Christian ancestors did and still do in other countries."

You nailed it Bryanw92! Yours is the Quote of the Day.

17 posted on 02/11/2012 11:01:59 AM PST by ArchAngel1983 (Arch Angel- on guard / Wenn Sie etwas sehen, sagen Sie etwas!)
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To: NYer

Can’t stand that lil’ nanny dictator. He has to weasel himself into everything concerning NYC like he’s its demigod. What a puke he is.


18 posted on 02/11/2012 11:01:59 AM PST by tflabo (Truth or tyranny)
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To: utherdoul

I think he is an Independent now. Was a life long Rat, then briefly an (R). He is the very definition of a political whore. . . er I mean opportunist!


19 posted on 02/11/2012 11:04:28 AM PST by ArchAngel1983 (Arch Angel- on guard / Wenn Sie etwas sehen, sagen Sie etwas!)
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To: SunkenCiv

At the Giants post SuperBowl parade he was onstage doing the MC duties with Michael Strahan. Like that twerp tyrant had ‘anything’ to do with the NY Giants success. Yet there he was onstage, getting attention and grabbing the spotlight on their victorious efforts as if he was so dang important to it.
Bloomer makes me ‘like’ ex-Mayor Dinkins a whole lot more compared to him and we know what an incompetent boob Dinkins was....


20 posted on 02/11/2012 11:09:17 AM PST by tflabo (Truth or tyranny)
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To: NYer

Bloomberg will fail in this. This kind of sleazy practice has been found unconsitutional at various levels.


21 posted on 02/11/2012 11:24:57 AM PST by righttackle44 (I may not be much, but I raised a United States Marine.)
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To: Bryanw92

"Learn to worship in small groups. If your church does not encourage small group ministries, demand it. The day is coming when the government will tax and regulate our large churches out of existence and we need to be prepared to go underground, as our Christian ancestors did and still do in other countries."

There is a huge difference here: people of faith make up the overwhelming majority in America. Folks need to stand up now to the left's attempts to turn this country into another Soviet Union with their attacks on organized religion.

22 posted on 02/11/2012 11:25:27 AM PST by Qbert ("The best defense against usurpatory government is an assertive citizenry" - William F. Buckley, Jr.)
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To: ArchAngel1983

Thank you. This is the hardest message to get across to American Christians. We complain about the temperature and lighting in our elaborate sanctuaries. We complain that the pastor’s message was “confusing”. We want someone to clean the bathrooms in the church for us.

I think that being driven from our church buildings would be greatest spiritual awakening the world has seen since the first Pentacost—but only if we are prepared. If the loss of our buildings only generates a response like, “Oh well. I guess I’ll be sleeping in on Sunday now”, then we are doomed.


23 posted on 02/11/2012 11:32:57 AM PST by Bryanw92 (The solution to fix Congress: Nuke em from orbit. It's the only way to be sure!)
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To: Qbert

All I’m saying is to prepare for the worst as the ruler of this world will beat the Church down before Christ’s final victory.


24 posted on 02/11/2012 11:57:00 AM PST by Bryanw92 (The solution to fix Congress: Nuke em from orbit. It's the only way to be sure!)
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To: Bryanw92
" If the loss of our buildings only generates a response like, “Oh well. I guess I’ll be sleeping in on Sunday now”, then we are doomed.

Take heart my friend and know this : If history is any indicator of future events, Christians are always at their best when persecuted.

I have a feeling that this administration will provide ample opportunity for us to be at our best.

25 posted on 02/11/2012 12:54:35 PM PST by ArchAngel1983 (Arch Angel- on guard / Wenn Sie etwas sehen, sagen Sie etwas!)
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All contributions are for the Current Quarter Expenses.


26 posted on 02/11/2012 1:29:36 PM PST by RedMDer (Forward With Confidence!)
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To: NYer
“When worship services are performed in a place, the nature of the site changes. The site is no longer simply a room in a school being used temporarily for some activity,” the majority opinion stated. “The church has made the school the place where it performs its rites, and might well appear to have established itself there. The place has, at least for a time, become the church.”
You don't have an established religion unless you have compulsion, at least in the sense of taxpayer subsidy. Here, you have governmental refusal to engage in an arm's length transaction with a church on the same basis as secular organizations.

This is an effort to extend the definition of "an establishment of religion" clause of the First Amendment so far as to moot the "free exercise" clause of the First Amendment.

For the past 10 years an injunction issued by the U.S. District Court of New York said that churches can, in fact, rent out school facilities just like any other group. But a recent ruling by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals defied the lower court’s ruling, agreeing with the Department of Education that granting churches equal access to vacant government buildings amounts to a subsidy of religion.
My recollection was that there as a case called Lamb's Chapel vs. (the Center Moriches School Board, IIRC). I remember that the chapel won the case, tho I thought that it had gone to SCOTUS. Maybe not. IINAL, but my interest in the case included not only the legal import but the fact that Lamb's Chapel was then a walkable distance from my house.

27 posted on 02/11/2012 2:02:30 PM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion (DRAFT PALIN)
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To: NYer
“When worship services are performed in a place, the nature of the site changes. The site is no longer simply a room in a school being used temporarily for some activity,” the majority opinion stated. “The church has made the school the place where it performs its rites, and might well appear to have established itself there. The place has, at least for a time, become the church.”
You don't have an established religion unless you have compulsion, at least in the sense of taxpayer subsidy. Here, you have governmental refusal to engage in an arm's length transaction with a church on the same basis as secular organizations.

This is an effort to extend the definition of "an establishment of religion" clause of the First Amendment so far as to moot the "free exercise" clause of the First Amendment.

For the past 10 years an injunction issued by the U.S. District Court of New York said that churches can, in fact, rent out school facilities just like any other group. But a recent ruling by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals defied the lower court’s ruling, agreeing with the Department of Education that granting churches equal access to vacant government buildings amounts to a subsidy of religion.
My recollection was that there as a case called Lamb's Chapel vs. (the Center Moriches School Board, IIRC). I remember that the chapel won the case, tho I thought that it had gone to SCOTUS. Maybe not. IINAL, but my interest in the case included not only the legal import but the fact that Lamb's Chapel was then a walkable distance from my house.

28 posted on 02/11/2012 2:03:01 PM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion (DRAFT PALIN)
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To: Steelfish

I wish Bloomberg would evict his live-in girlfriend.

He has no morals at all, not on marriage, not on schools and churches.


29 posted on 02/11/2012 2:30:55 PM PST by heye2monn
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To: heye2monn; Liz
I wish Bloomberg would evict his live-in girlfriend.

He is a hypocrite, as is Diana Taylor, who served under the Pataki Administration. My suggestion is that you not lose sleep over this. Every institution, not governed by God, eventually collapses, even Bloomberg's.

30 posted on 02/11/2012 3:25:07 PM PST by NYer ("Be kind to every person you meet. For every person is fighting a great battle." St. Ephraim)
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To: NYer

Bloomberg’s utter contempt for religion and the faithful was never more obvious.


31 posted on 02/11/2012 3:39:35 PM PST by Liz
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To: XenaLee

I think it’s time that Christian’s start learning from the left. A nationwide strike by all Christians and other religious people who are angry with the anti-religious dictatorial actions of the government.


32 posted on 02/11/2012 7:47:11 PM PST by Betty Jane
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To: NYer; All
Another person here has cited the Lamb's Chapel case. The underlying case involves Bronx Household of Faith, a member church of the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference, and dates back to the 1990s.

This went up and down the court system for years. The legal issues are complex but the basic question is equality of access to public facilities.

The short-term solution probably requires a change in presidents and a change in the federal Department of Justice. The long-term solution is a religious revival, but that is not an easy thing to ask for in New York City.

The nice thing is that decisions like this are politically stupid. The churches renting public schools are typically inner-city congregations, often composed mostly of ethnic minorities, and are theologically evangelical but demographically inclined to support Democrats.

This could end up being a huge victory for Republicans by waking up inner-city evangelical minority pastors.

If I didn't know better, I'd think somebody in the liberal world was deliberately trying to take a dump on their own supporters and drive them into the Republican Party. First Roman Catholics, and now poor inner-city blacks and Hispanics? And what about the Orthodox Jews in a different part of New York City who recently voted for their first Republican Congressman in nobody knows how long because of Obama’s anti-Israel stances?

I feel bad for the inner-city pastors whose churches are getting evicted, but long-term, this could end up being helpful in getting rid of President Obama as well as Mayor Bloomberg. Maybe a future mayor will welcome the churches back in after Obama is defeated and his Justice Department gets defanged.

33 posted on 02/11/2012 8:54:36 PM PST by darrellmaurina
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To: NYer; Liz

It’s more than just a problem of hypocrisy. Our entire civilization is at stake.

It used to be that our lower classes imitated the upper classes. Poor people worked their way up the ladder through the noble virtues of integrity and self-restraint.

Now it’s the other way around. Our leaders — Bloomberg and Andrew Cuomo shack up with girlfriends like drug addicts or prostitutes.

The disdain for marriage now reaches from the top to bottom of society. 40 percent of babies are born out of wedlock. Our future is at risk. Something to lose sleep over.


34 posted on 02/12/2012 5:21:08 AM PST by heye2monn
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To: SWAMPSNIPER

I’m sorry if this hurts your feelings, I don’t want to hurt other Freepers. We just can’t let this nation be dominated by the urban beehive mentality.

There’s no hurt from this statement at all. I used to live in NYC myself, although trying to move back now would be a real pain in the employment for me now given that I have a job, don’t want to try leaving my current one in this economy, and so on. I have had my disappointments, and some of them are pretty big seeing how NYC has become since I left. It’s pretty pathetic, the mayor needs to retire or something because his ego has gone to his head, and so on.


35 posted on 02/13/2012 2:36:43 PM PST by Morpheus2009
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To: SWAMPSNIPER

I’m sorry if this hurts your feelings, I don’t want to hurt other Freepers. We just can’t let this nation be dominated by the urban beehive mentality.

There’s no hurt from this statement at all. I used to live in NYC myself, although trying to move back now would be a real pain in the employment for me now given that I have a job, don’t want to try leaving my current one in this economy, and so on. I have had my disappointments, and some of them are pretty big seeing how NYC has become since I left. It’s pretty pathetic, the mayor needs to retire or something because his ego has gone to his head, and so on.


36 posted on 02/13/2012 2:37:02 PM PST by Morpheus2009
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