ON THE QT
Everything You Always Suspected
Carola Von Hoffmannstahl-Solomonoff
Publisher and Editor
to On The QT #10. Back from vacation. Focused on
REFORM. The genuine, nonpartisan kind. As opposed to
the kind both political parties says the other party
needs. While snout deep
in the same trough. Think
ALL PURPOSE HUD.
The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development
trough keeps getting deeper and muddier. HUD floats
the real estate investments of the politically
connected, funds influence peddling on a grand scale
and performs ill conceived social experiments on the
lives of its dependents. Like the late, unlamented
BUYA THUGA GUN!
Across the USA, HUD bought back guns in public housing
projects. No questions asked. Claiming the program
would reduce gun violence. The program was recently
deep sixed. Gun control advocates made little protest;
acknowledging gun buybacks were funding gun upgrades.
How many public housing residents were shot with new,
improved HUD guns? How was the program tested before
being implemented? Was it tested? Oversight at HUD has
repeatedly been deemed inadequate by the agency's
independent Inspector General. Plus assorted government
watchdog committees. But it doesn't take a bureaucrat
to realize that with HUD, oversight is a
Imagine vast amounts of money, sucked from the
paychecks of hundreds of millions of faceless citizens,
dispensed locally by politicians with local ambitions
and local cronies. With local financial institutions
and local housing and business and what-have-you groups
channeling the funds. With local building departments
overseeing construction and safety standards of HUD
housing, preservation and development projects. Local
HUD officials aren't kept in hermetically sealed boxes
either. And how well can federal HUD inspectors spot
overly cozy local connections? After all, HUD spelled
Just how much interest HUD has in exposing its own
mistakes is open to question. The agency has cut back
on inspectors. But even without cutbacks, HUD's ever
expanding involvements would require a standing army
of fraud detectors to even approach genuine oversight.
Due to inherent unaccountability, HUD acts as a fraud
addiction enabler; corrupting politicians, financial
institutions and entire communities. Particularly in
areas with weak economies. Does HUD do some good? Sure.
Even John Gotti blessed his nabe with the occasional
picnic and firework extravaganza. Speaking of the
CRIME FAMILY GAMBINO--
They've allegedly been working hand in soiled glove
with Jamaican drug gangs, laundering dirty money at
several New York State race tracks, including upstate's
Saratoga. According to the DEA, Jamaican drug gangs,
after years of bloody mayhem in the crack trade, have
refocused on their original specialty, marijuana. A
much more potent and lucrative product than it used to
be. Must be hot work hauling all those
DRUG DOLLARS UPSTATE.
In mid August two drug house landlords in West Utica
were targeted in lawsuits filed by New York State
Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. Acting with the
support of Utica Mayor Tim Julien and neighborhood
groups, using an initiative announced in Albany several
years ago. "We have children growing up around here"
said a Utica neighborhood rep "We need to hold
absentee landlords accountable". Downtown Utica has
a still functioning, grand old movie temple, The
Stanley on Genesee Avenue. Attention New Urbanites--
upstate New York is chock-a-block with beautiful
small and medium sized cities. Such as Utica, Rome,
Rochester, Schenectady, Albany, Troy. All struggle
with similar problems: shrinking populations, low
paying jobs, a mired
is how some see the small city of Hudson in Columbia
County, New York. Its main drag, Warren Street, is an
antique mecca for affluent New York City tourists and
second homers. Restaurants and art galleries cater to
the same. But behind the Tiffany facade lie slums
where the aimless young hang on doorsteps. Drug trade
flourishes. The poverty industry hums. When a cement
plant was slated to open down the highway, antique
gentrifiers blocked the move, fearing smokestacks
would impact the antique and art biz. "Stop The Plant"
signs bloomed on restored Victorians and in ye old
shoppe windows. "Support the Plant" signs popped up
on cottage and trailer lawns and multi families and
diners and corner grocery stores. Long time blue collar
residents and the shipped upstate, downstate poor
can't afford Hudson homes; not on busboy and ye old
shoppe worker wages. But pundits promise techtopia
will cure upstate underemployment blues. And there's
always HUD. Always. Just like the
of Vermont. From whence activist attorney and QT
columnist Sandy Baird dishes the dirt on a
class/culture war in the town of Burlington on lovely
Lake Champlain. On one side, righteous, well connected
Progressives. On the other, poor whites with a love
of flashing Christmas lights. As Ms. Baird puts it
"Little did the Strongs realize they had moved into a
viper's nest." Snakes alive! Click here & gasp!
PUBLIC SAFETY LAST
Albany, New York: Check those crazy metal spears
projecting from the charred awning of a landmark burnt
out dry cleaner on a major downtown corner. The ones
overhanging the sidewalk in a nabe where children play.
With a high school across the street. Also check the
broken glass guillotine window in an abandoned store
near Pizza Corners: a crucial intersection in the
student-- soon to be all purpose-- ghetto. Question:
Does Albany's perennially umber Mayor Jerry Jennings
parachute into City Hall? Or are his eyes damaged
from gazing into sunlamps? Perhaps der Burgermeister
should blow the tanning booth and hit the streets:
Lark & Jay? New Scotland? Flee Muggers Flee!
NEXT QT ASKS:
Will gubernatorial candidate & beastie boy Bret
Schundler slouch into already blighted Trenton, New
Jersey? Will Techtopia lift all ships? Is there a
drug dealer in your basement? Does HUD hope to rule the
world? Is the Pope Catholic?
Electronic Frontier Foundation, http://www.eff.org
"The Electronic Frontier Foundation was created to
defend our rights to think, speak, and share our ideas,
thoughts, and needs using new technologies, such as
the Internet and the World Wide Web." EFF has fought
repressive legislation, defended individual rights in
court cases, launched world wide campaigns, published
influential position papers and organized educational
events. EFF also maintains a huge archive of digital
civil liberties information. One of the most linked
websites in the world. Real pioneers who've
consistently understood and defended the political
freedom potential of the Internet.
Skeleton Closet, http://www.realchange.org
A real fun site. An honestly non partisan, well
researched round up of political scandals. The
subjects covered tend to be politicians who've run
for major office and are known on the national level.
But Skeleton Closet does have a section for lesser
known political figures and is soliciting material.
So send the Skel the skinny on your favorite local
corruptoid. It'll be a gift that keeps on giving.
"There's a lot of HUD money out there..."
Jacky Greene, From Convent to Condo: A Grifter's Tale
"Tonight I'll hide in the cellar and see for myself
goes on there!"
Nancy Drew, The Clue of the Tapping Heels
ON THE QT is online at
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