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You Are Dumb, which is not a blog, posts new columns every weekday, except for a couple of days each month when it doesn't. It is also a Twitter feed, @youaredumb, with content in a similar vein but much shorter. My spinoff food site, Forkbastard, can be found easily enough by the clever.
Archive - Mar 29, 2012
Memo to Michael Bloomberg: SHIT, YOU REALLY ARE AWFUL, AREN'T YOU?
New York mayor Michael Bloomberg has been labeled a centrist darling by the kind of shitheads for whom a "centrist darling" seems like an awesome idea. Basically, a bunch of highly paid DC columnists who just wish all the fighting would stop so that there aren't any more uncomfortable, you know. "political" moments at cocktail parties.
Why is Bloomberg a centrist darling? Well, you see, he's got the two things any centrist darling requires. He's obscenely wealthy, and he doesn't have any super-strong religious convictions. That's really all you need. It's why people still pay attention to Donald Trump, but aren't super-excited about Mitt Romney. And it doesn't hurt that Bloomberg is a rigid, authoritarian daddy figure, the kind of borderline fascist the pundit class have been swooning over since George W. Bush landed on that aircraft carrier codpiece-first.
Make no mistake about it, the dude is fucking awful. He doesn't even make the trains run on time. He just looks good in a suit and insists very strongly that the trains are running on time. Let's take a look at some recent revelations about the guy who bought himself a third term in charge of the Big Apple, shall we?
Under Bloomberg's direction, the post/9-11 NYPD has been spying on Muslims. Monitoring Internet traffic, sending undercover agents into mosques, photographing mosques, compiling lists of Muslim businesses, and paying special attention to Muslims who Americanized their names.
Now, this would be a shitty thing to do if it were just happening in New York City, the city Mayor Bloomberg actually runs and the city the New York City police department has jurisdiction over. But Bloomberg has, for the public good, felt it necessary to invade neighboring territories, including New Jersey and Connecticut. The NYPD was keeping track of Muslim student groups at YALE, for fuck's sake.
And when Yale objected, this was Bloomberg's response. Ready to be transported back to the glory days of 2002? Me neither. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!
"I don't know why keeping the country safe is antithetical to the values of Yale. Of course we're going to look at anything that's publicly available in the public domain. We have an obligation to do so, and it is to protect the very things that let Yale survive... We have to keep this country safe."
No, seriously. That's the attitude. The ongoing attitude. If we don't closely monitor Muslim students at Yale, AMERICA ITSELF IS IN DANGER.
But hey, why let the Muslims be the only ones reveling in police state nostalgia? Again, at least as recently as 2008, Bloomberg's NYPD has also been keeping tabs on... liberals! I mean, we knew they were pulling some devious shit around the time of the 2004 GOP convention that year, but they actually sent a cop to New Orleans to the People's Summit, which was mainly talking about trade deals. What did they get out of this trip, other than hurricanes, beignets, and hookers with a different accent? I'm betting jack and shit. But hey, as long as you feel safe knowing no brown people or hippies will bother you at the Times Square Applebee's, it's all worth it, right?
I probably should have started with this, since compared to the rest it's unsurprising, but Bloomberg also came to the defense of Goldman-Sachs' right to be money-grubbing bastards.
You see, a couple of weeks ago, a guy who worked for Goldman-Sachs resigned, and wrote an op-ed for the New York Times explaining that he left Goldman-Sachs because they were money-grubbing bastards, and not the customer-focused, profit-averse angels they were when he started with them twelve years ago. In this op-ed, he revealed that fund managers are enormous, sociopathic pricks, and people gazed upon this startling revelation with shock and horror.
Bloomberg was asked about this, of course, the way any famous member of a cultural group (rich, sociopathic pricks, in this case) is called upon to comment on news relating to their cultural group:
"I thought the news coverage was — ‘ridiculous’ isn’t even quite the right word — I thought it was not up to what we should do. They’re a company that’s here to make money, that’s what they do.”
Exactly! What matters isn't how they go about making money, what matters is that they do. This is actually surprisingly consistent for Bloomberg. After all, he's not concerned with how various Muslims go about being Muslims, he just cares that they're Muslims. He's not concerned whether liberals are opposed to trade pacts, showing films at a festival, or thinking about protesting in New York City, all that matters is that they're hippies.
In other words, the ends justify the means, unless there are no ends, in which case any potential ends Michael Bloomberg can imagine will step forward and justify the means instead. Nice work, if you can convince people to keep letting you do it after your term expires.