New York Closing Parks and Historic Sites Due to Budget Shortfalls

Gov. Paterson and parks Commissioner Carol Ash are planning to close dozens of parks and historic sites to help close the state’s $9.2 billion deficit. These sites include historic locations from the Revolutionary War as well as the cancellation of Fourth of July fireworks on Long Island. We continue this downward spiral across the country as we continue to spend billions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Moreover, many of these closures and cancellations will save a million dollars or less while the Obama administration is planning to pay for a short-range missile defense system for Israel of more than $200 million and increasing military aid to over $3.15 billion this year, here.

The Administration and Congress continues to gush money, including paying for the defense of foreign countries, as states are destroying their parks, educational systems, and public programs. This includes spending wildly on oil-rich countries like Iraq or affluent countries like Israel. Perhaps we can have tourists divert to Baghdad to see the olympic-sized swimming pool built at the demand of the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior (here) or to Israel to see the rocket defense system given to that country.

For the full story, click here.

54 thoughts on “New York Closing Parks and Historic Sites Due to Budget Shortfalls”

  1. puzzling,

    I remember 9/11 … everybody running out of the buildings and all the firefighters and police running into the buildings trying to save lives and help the civilians.

    Originally it was the very fact that in signing up for fire or police one knew it meant putting one’s life on the line and so to make the job more attractive good pensions and benefits were offered.

    As to the volunteer military … I’m sure they’re next on the “let’s cut their pensions” list. Hell, they already tried to cut their medical benefits. Quite a few generals, colonels, majors, captains, lieutenants, warrant officers, sergeants and their comparative ranks in the Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force, and Marines who lived long enough to enjoy their 20 and out are enjoying their retirement … undeserving wretches!

    Hey, how about CIA, DIA, DEA, and FBI … oh … U.S. Marshalls too … how about them? Think of all the tax dollars you could stuff in your pockets if you cut their retirements too.

    Good lord, puzz … you could gobble down a whole lot of tax savings and geez, even have enough to invest with your friendly Wall Street goon or Big Bank golfing buddy.

    You stated: “Pension plans are a mess not because of Wall Street losses, but because of unrealistic assumptions about future returns that have been made along the way in this giant ponzi scheme.” Yeah, right … that’s why Goldman bet against the derivatives … sold short … they made no unrealistic assumptions and thus pocketed billions. Aren’t they also involved in the mess with Greece and Spain? Oops … not supposed to talk about that are we?

    I understand you’ve bought the package … move on to some one else ’cause it’s a no sale with me.

  2. Puzzling:

    Is it the fault of the firefighters and police officers? They sign on to work for 20 or 25 years and be able to retire. Part of the job’s benefits and accepted by both parties. I would probably not have such a generous retirement but pay them more and let them invest their own money. I think a cop and a firefighter probably could not effectively work until 65 or 70 unless at a desk. The physical demands of both jobs are for younger men. So in some cases it makes sense for an individual who is not going to move into management to retire at between 40 and 50, after 25 or 30 years on the force.

    The system needs to be taken away from politicians and kept on a separate book that no one has access to. Had this been done from the beginning we would not be having a problem with pension and social security insolvency. Part of the reason that government tolerates illegal aliens is that a good many have SS cards that never get drawn on, it helps the solvency.

    The entire system is messed up from top to bottom and needs systemic restructuring, I leave it to your imagination to figure out what I envision as the “fix”.
    “Let it be” would be a good place to start, well actually that is the desired final state.

    Your thoughts on that ever happening? Mine is slim to none in my lifetime. I don’t think the Tea Party or the republicans have the intellectual ammunition to change anything more than a diaper.

  3. Sorry, Byron but while Toots may be happily married, I’m assuming to a like-minded individual, her posts tell a different story. IMHO, she’s a bigoted and angry, white “christian” woman who despises anyone and anything that differs outside of her wee bubble, especially those who are more educated than she is. And, being a “christian” you would think compassion for a fellow human would be present – I don’t think she would know what compassion was if it up and kicked her squarely in the behind.

    She consistently disparages minorities; she consistently disparages all Muslims based on the actions of a few; without any provocation, she consistently makes snide, uncalled for, and highly inflammatory statements against anyone whose views differs from hers, based on the assumption they are dirty leftists, murdering democrats, and other choice names. She consistently blames others for her lack of education, and is venomous and contemptuous towards those with higher educations, and those who believe in tangible evidence such as evolution, instead of her faith-based belief in creationism.

    She’s more than welcome to stay behind and long for days passed when blacks knew their place, homosexuality was firmly in the closet, religion trumped science, and when bleeding someone out was considered the height of medical technology. I, on the other hand, prefer to move forward, and evolve with the times, learn new things, and view the world in astonishment with new technologies, new findings and facts.

    You may equate her “balls” to courage; I equate her “balls” to cowardice – afraid of changes that have come, and will continue to come, to this country and this world.

  4. Blouise,

    By that “lives on the line” argument, military troops in all of our undeclared wars should be earning $250K+ as well.

    Do I begrudge a cop a “secure retirement” at age 40? Of course I do. That proposition is more like winning a lottery than working a lifetime to retirement.

    Do I think they put their lives on the line? Not any more so than many other lines of work. Neither police or firefighters are near the top of most dangerous professions. In fact, there are fewer police deaths now than there were in the 1950’s, and we easily have several times the number of LEO’s.

    Pension plans are a mess not because of Wall Street losses, but because of unrealistic assumptions about future returns that have been made along the way in this giant ponzi scheme. These assumptions were made so that taxpayers wouldn’t know how much they were really on the hook for as benefits and payouts ballooned. A lot of these pension plans were also the largest speculators in real estate and other bubble sectors.

    And to make up this risk, these plans are taking even more risk today. Why not? If they fail, taxpayers will be asked to make up the difference. If they succeed (which they won’t), benefits can be raised even further.

  5. puzzling,

    Sorry boyo, but until the thieves on Wall Street have to endure at least a wrist slapping for the billions in loses they caused pension plans and the billions in tax dollars they sucked out of our pockets to save themselves from their self induced economic chaos, I’m not going to join you in scapegoating a few safety forces workers.

    Police and Fire risk their lives to keep you safe and you begrudge them a secure retirement to the point that you blame them for the mess caused by greedy bankers and crooked politicians.

    It’s right-wing spin … an attempt to blame the little guy for the mistakes made by the big guys in government and on Wall Street. It worked with you … doesn’t work with me.

  6. Blouise,

    You wrote

    Puzz, Yeah, right … it’s all the average citizen, government worker, union member’s fault …. pure right-wing poppycock

    From today’s New York Times, above the fold:

    In Yonkers, more than 100 retired police officers and firefighters are collecting pensions greater than their pay when they were working. One of the youngest, Hugo Tassone, retired at 44 with a base pay of about $74,000 a year. His pension is now $101,333 a year…

    Public sector union contracts are bought from politicians and paid back with power. They will bankrupt hundred of municipalities unless the federal government takes over municipal pension obligations. Bankruptcy is the preferable option; these contracts by government for government are outright theft.

  7. Byron:

    “Tootie is, by her own admission, happily married and female.

    She has balls though,…”


    So does the African Wild Ass – and the commentary is remarkably similar.

  8. VLF2112:

    Tootie is, by her own admission, happily married and female.

    She has balls though, you may not agree with what she says but she takes a lickin and keeps on tickin.

    I actually think if people would not jump her she would respond differently. She and I are having a pleasant argument/disagreement over free trade. I don’t agree with her at all but she is cordial and she hasn’t called me a Marxist at least not yet. 🙂

  9. Are you one of those self-loathing homosexuals/lesbians, Toots? It’s okay if you’re honest with yourself. It can be quite freeing, actually. I know a couple of people who were in that situation, and they are now much better people for it.

    Well, whatever. It has no bearing on my life whatsoever.

  10. Tootie:

    I disagree with Paul Craig Roberts on trade. Look at what Ford is doing in China and India is a huge market as well. If you compete globally what should happen is that certain countries will do somethings more efficiently than others and the price of goods and services should fall. This is a boon to the consumer. The idea of falling wages in a healthy economy is a myth. Falling wages occur in poor economies, something has sent our factory production jobs overseas although there are many small factories that still remain.

    If you think about the American economy we don’t make cars in every state nor do we produce steel in every state. We produce steel and cars where they can be produced efficiently for whatever reason, inertia, large skilled labor pool, raw materials, location to transportation, etc. So why should America produce everything we consume? We don’t need to anymore and so some production is sent overseas where capital can be used more effectively for certain goods and services.

    Just because a job goes overseas does not mean a net loss of jobs in America. What about the resellers of those products and the consumers? For example a small steel fab shop in the states makes sound walls from steel plate. They purchase the plate overseas and mill it here. They cannot afford to buy American because of the cost of plate steel produced here. If they had to buy American (which is what Bush tried to do a few years ago) they would be forced out of business and jobs would be lost. USX is the company that pushed Bush to do this because they said it would protect US jobs, only problem was it only would protect USX jobs and there were far more small companies that depended on less expensive foreign steel. The net result of that “experiment” would have been a loss of American jobs.

    This type of thing occurs daily and that is why markets should remain free across international borders. Free markets work if allowed to work. Human intervention causes problems because no human being is able to predict the unintended consequences of market intervention/manipulation.

    And please stop with the all progressives/leftists are murderers. It isn’t correct. The thought of Mespo or Gyges or Slartibartfast or Buddha as stone cold killers is laughable at best. Other than that I welcome your posts and your thoughts on various issues. I am still laughing about you thinking me a Marxist. Although I am definitely not opposed to workers having an ownership position in a company, that actually makes good sense-an owner has skin in the game while an employee does not.

  11. vlf2112: opening sentence “My, you are so attracted to me”*

    I reread it three times. Sorry. The pork-rind crumbs on my monitor must have gotten in the way of my editing.

    (digging my toe into the shag rug)

  12. vlf2112:

    I you are so attracted to me. I’m blushing. Look at all the little bunny trails I send you on too. It’s charming. If I didn’t know better, I’d think you were smitten.

    Oh, wait. I forgot. You hate me.

    Never mind (in my best Edith Ann voice)

    If Bill Gates was doing much great work here with his fabulous wealth (as you seem to imply) we would notice it. But, not only is he not making any substantial impact with his money, he is actually throwing his money away and perhaps doing harm.

    One example of that is is Microsoft’s High-Tech High School. it’s likely a waste of money and another tragic thing to do to high-risk students. Instead of investing in proven methods of educating high-risk students he pours his money into another unproven experimental education scheme. Another in a long line of such guinea pig experiments.

    Here is an article about the school

    I don’t find any current references about it online so I don’t have any substantial information about its success or the test scores of these kids. Have they risen or fallen? What is the graduation rate from that school? What kind of grades are they getting in math or science? Is the school even still open?

    I fear that men like Bill Gates do this kind of stuff so that people like Chris Matthews and people at the Huffington Post won’t call for their executions.

    Leftists are a murderous bunch.

    Still there are more effective ways and people like Gates ought to be smart enough to find them. For example, Johns Hopkins did a study in the late eighties or nineties (I cannot remember exactly when, but if you need something more specific I can dig the book out from the muck in my outhouse for you later after I’ve shut down the whiskey still, slaughtered the pig, and pulled my last tooth out.)

    The study was at a Baltimore Maryland inner city school and, if I recall correctly, (it has been so long since I read the book and honkies like me are prone to mix things up so much with our inferior minds, I’m just not 100 percent sure it was Baltimore. But I am 99 percent sure. Gee, I wonder what 99 from a 100 is?

    Let me get my fingers out and count. Okay, I’ll do that later.

    Anyway, the disadvantaged kids used a curriculum tried and tested from a distinguished private (and correspondence) school called Calvert. Nothing changed in the lives of these children but the curriculum. And their test scores rose. They were learning. It worked. It proved that curriculum was the likely key to good education. And I’d say it goes a long way to proving that success doesn’t come from fancy expensive school buildings, new parents, fancy computers, or eye-popping technology from rich fat cats who want to avoid the fate of the French aristocracy during the French Revolution.

    Oh oh. Did I just say French aristocracy? How the hell did a dumb hick like myself knowed about dem dare French arist-O-Cats gettin their heads lobbed off?

    No matter.

    The JHU and Calvert study is the sort of proven success people like Bill Gates won’t apply themselves. Gate’s High School is now about four years old. I doubt that these kids have achieved any real “learning”. Certainly NOT like the learning Gates was provided.

    Your puny little list really highlights my point: he isn’t doing much for Americans, could be doing some harm, AND he is throwing money down the drain in foreign countries where the money would be effective ONLY if Gates was running things.

    You cannot help these countries from the outside, they have to help themselves. This has been proven time and again. He is wasting his wealth, the wealth he gathered because America is great, because Christians (and other groups too, but mostly Christians) built for themselves a country in which great things could be achieved, and in which later generations of Christians are being punished for, especially by those who handle the law.

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