Saturday, March 04, 2006

Maybe there is hope after all

In reference to this, let me add that maybe our new mayor is slowly--slowly--starting to wake up to what government is really supposed to be doing:

Lucas Piatt said longer abatements would not make or break the Lazarus-Macy's development or any other the firm might pursue but "would only make it stronger."

"I'd like to see some form of tax abatement if it's in the cards," Jack Piatt said.

Mr. O'Connor, who also spoke at yesterday's breakfast, said incentives would be a problem given the city's budget situation.

"The trouble is I've got to be very careful with incentives because I'm worried that if people don't pay their taxes, I can't have a cop on the street and I can't have a clean, safe street. So I'm not saying no, but I'm very cautious about if we bring people in and no one's paying the bill, how do we make our city better?"

To quote Nancy Reagan, just say no, Mr. Mayor.


Blogger Sean McDaniel said...

I notice from your archives that your an Al Pacino you watch the Sopranos?

12:44 PM

Blogger Jonathan Potts said...

But of course. March 12 is going to be like Christmas for me.

9:04 PM

Blogger Sean McDaniel said...

According to Entertainment Weekly, the last three mintues of the first episode hold a real shocker, even by Soprano standards. The suspense is killing me. Trying to figure out that shocker is torture. Only six days to go. But I think Artie Bucco gets bumped off. Or maybe it's one of Bobby Bacala's kids. Or ...

9:00 AM

Blogger Jonathan Potts said...

I've read there is a shocking shooting in the episode, though the review I read did not specify whether it is a fatal shooting. I also know from reading a New Yorker profile of Steve Buscemi--who as usual will be directing some episodes this season--that Tony suffers some kind of injury but recovers. I don't know if the two are related--I seem to recall from the New Yorker article that it was a facial injury.

12:39 PM

Blogger Sean McDaniel said...

Damn if I can figure it out. I mean you know Tony can't die, so what's the point of a "cliffhanger" ending for the first episode? But if you watch the trailer at, you'll notice that Tony is attending a funeral. Unlike other Sopranos funerals, everyone seems genuinely mournful. There doesn't seem to be any back of the room business talk.

I know I'm spending way too much time thinking about all this — I've watched the online preview about 40 times — but the show is still five days away. Seriously, it's killing me. I'm down to my last baked ziti in the freezer and will thaw it in time for Sunday's show.

A salute!

P.S. I must admit that you bloggers intrique me. In general, you (as a group) seem to question government and authority at all levels. However, I don't see many options offered in return. (You know, like that bottle law discussion on Cope's site). But at least you and Antirust are open to people who disagree with you — and neither of you is insulting or arrogant. By the way, is your blog title a reference to the movie? Which stars one of my all time favorite actors, Gene Hackman.

8:11 PM

Blogger Jonathan Potts said...

I'll answer your last question first--no, it is not an allusion to that film, but I have seen it and like it immensely. It is a very interesting cast--Harrison Ford, Cindy Williams, and the late John Cazale, who played Fredo in "The Godfather" films. (Incidentally, every film in which Cazale appeared was nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards.)

I think that from time to time I have suggested alternatives to the policies I criticized, and sometimes I actually agree with politicians. I don't feel any obligation to offer alternatives, however, because a.) I am not a public official and b.) I think government should adopt the Hippocratic Oath--first, do no harm. That means that sometimes it's merely sufficient to end a bad policy before thinking up a better one to put in its place.

8:21 PM

Blogger Sean McDaniel said...

Fair enough on the "alternatives" question. I agree that sometimes you just have to stop the bleeding before you heal the patient.

Though your blog doesn 't allude to the movie of the same name, it does indeed invite conversation on the topics you explore. And, yes, you do respond in a thoughtful and respectful manner — even when a reader holds a differing opinion.

Cazale was a wonder at playing basically harmless, naive characters who somehow ended up badly as the result of others' actions (especially when Pacino was involved). On screen and in life, the end for him was usually a devastating and perhaps avoidable tragedy.

8:08 AM

Blogger Jonathan Potts said...

By the way...

1:48 PM

Blogger Sean McDaniel said...

Actually, I like all the movies mentioned in that Slate article. But Syriana seems more frighteningly possible than the situations in The Conversation and Blow Out. Robert Baer's books, the basis for the movie, show pervasively our government —Republicans and Democrats — is in bed with the Saudis.For a discouraging example, check out this story about Hillary Clinton not knowing about her husband's ties with Dubai. And then try to be hopeful.

8:42 AM


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