Well, fellow New Yorkers, the era of stop and frisk is over for now. The touchy-feely mayor and the equally touchy-feely police commissioner have decided that too many frisks yielded too few felons during the previous administration.
Not to mention who got stopped and frisked.
But fellow fans of Big Brother, fear not. The de Blasio City Hall has an alternative sure to warm your conspiracy- addled heart.
They’re going to issue ID cards. City ID cards. Presumably with a picture. Maybe with a picture and a thumbprint.
Why not? Worked pretty well in some of the world’s great democracies like Germany and South Africa.
News dispatches from The Wizard of Downtown say this will help the undocumented. There’s high probability that it also will help the INS, the Immigration Police.
What’s next, bar code tattoos? Much snazzier looking than old fashioned numbers, but still very 1937.
How about armbands. Yellow goes with everything. Make a fashion statement!
This latest cuteness from mayor Cloud-head comes with a wonderful incentive. Discounts and freebies.
Sign up for the card and you get a free one year membership to the Bronx Zoo. (A $79 value! says the press release with that zeal that only Jihadists, telemarketers and infomercials for the latest “as seen on TV gizmo” can muster.
Helps new New Yorkers get involved in the city’s marvelous, brilliant, wonderful, extraordinary, highly touted, robust, transparent, unrivaled, unique, premium cultural scene.
So who goes to the Bronx Zoo more than once a decade, if that?
And then, there are museums. Free admission! Well, people, admission already is free even though every one from the Met to Staten Island’s legendary Museum of Thimbles and Pincushions tries to con you into paying ridiculous “suggested” donations.
And for some reason Cloud-head seems not to realize that those museums and many if not most of those cultural magnets are here to attract Iowans.
Many of us who were born and lived and worked a lifetime in New York brag about how few Broadway shows we’ve attended. (Mine is one. “Oklahoma.” In 1948. The Threepenny Opera doesn’t count, because the Theatre DeLyse had only eleven chairs and was too far downtown.)
Most new immigrants are so busy working three jobs they don’t have time or energy for the Thea-ter. And they couldn’t afford tickets -- even from TKTS -- if they did. Even with the ID cards.
When Pashir the cabbie gets home to the Bronx after his sixth 12 hour shift this week, all he wants is a meal and his mattress. Same with Wing Fung at the sewing sweatshop. Or Bubbles from Buttock, Minnesota, on the stroll on the Eastern foot of the Ed Koch 59th St. Bridge. (Am I the only one who calls it that?)
And the museum folks are all atwitter, fearing non- paying New Yorkers will bankrupt them.
Don’t worry, girls, we’ll never run out of tourists from Ohio and Indiana. And they won’t have those ID cards, barcode tats or yellow armbands.
-- We report with sadness and irony the death of Guinter Kahn MD, 80, inventor of Rogaine, the hair grow medicine. Dr. Kahn was mostly bald. He was allergic to his invention.
I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2014