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June ’13 Pink Slips: Dolan, Fogle, Rana – You’re Fired!
Of course it was fun while it lasted but it was doomed to fail, admit it. As long as James “Guitar Hero” Dolan is in charge of both the Knicks and the Rangers, New York sports fans—who deserve a break from this bombastic blowhard—will have to pay the price. And pay they must—through the nose. So the Knicks are back in their “rebuilding” mode (but with the constraint of killer contracts Dolan approved), the Rangers face another postseason upheaval, and the strongman at the top who should be sent to the showers or somewhere south where ice hockey is a rare phenomenon continues to trample on our dreams. How telling that after the Knicks lost to the Pacers in Indianapolis, when the aging Knickerbockers ran out of gas for good as we knew they would (but dared not admit it to ourselves), Dolan didn’t deign to speak to the fans, let alone duh media, but boarded his jet to watch the Rangers skate to a losing season. No, his time was too precious. But come season-ticket renewal deadline, you can bet we’ll hear from the mouth of that megalomaniac again until somebody stuffs a basketball in it—or a puck.
This unscrupulous 22-year-old unlicensed tow-truck driver from Franklin Square faced grand larceny charges after police arrested him for allegedly scamming legally parked motorists in Nassau County by taking their vehicles and holding them for ransom. Capurso called his company Bumble Bee Towing, but he stung drivers again and again, police say, by posting fraudulent no-parking signs in commercial areas that read: “Customer/Tenant Parking Only 24 Hours—7 Days a Week. Unauthorized Vehicles Will Be Towed at Owner’s Expense…. Cars released by appointment only.” The cops called it extortion. Capurso probably called it easy money—allegedly taking advantage of drivers’ desperation by making them fork over hundreds of bucks to get their cars back when they did nothing wrong.
Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto needs to restudy his history of World War II and learn the truth—not the deceptively self-serving propaganda dished out by hard-line Japanese revisionists like those in his own Japan Restoration Party. First, he denied that the imperial Japanese military had used sex slaves in the 1930s and 1940s—dubbed “comfort women” by the Japanese soldiers for what they provided them (without admission of what it cost the women who were forced to comply or die). Not so, Hashimoto! Then he defended the practice as an honorable way to enforce discipline among the Japanese troops fighting in China and on the Korean peninsula. Wrong! He also suggested that GIs stationed in Osaka these days should visit commercial sex establishments in order to reduce the number of rapes and sexual assaults outraging his residents. Wrong again! Rape should not be condoned—it should be prosecuted. And if Americans in uniform are the perpetrators of these despicable acts against Osaka citizens, they should do serious time in jail—not in a brothel.
Taking a backhoe and a bulldozer to one of Belize’s most significant sites of Mayan civilization is so stupid, so outrageous, so egregious that Denny Grijalva, owner of D-Mar Construction whose heavy equipment did the dirty deed, owes the world an apology. The landowner who let Grijalva’s idiotic work-crew turn the Mayan pyramid on his property in Noh Mul into road fill should be severely punished. But it’s Grijalva who didn’t instruct his workers to respect their heritage. This archaeological site was the ceremonial center for a community that once numbered 40,000 people living there between 500 and 250 B.C. As Dr. Jaime Awe, director of Belize’s Institute of Archeology pointed out, the ancient Mayans used stone tools to erect these buildings. Grijalva should be forced to rebuild this pyramid by hand.
Ryan C. Fogle
The tabloids called Ryan C. Fogle “James Blond” because Russians nabbed him wearing a very cheesy blond wig and busted the diplomat for being a U.S. spy. Russian officials said that Fogle, who was a secretary at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, was in reality a CIA agent attempting to recruit a Russian counterterrorism officer reportedly specializing in the Caucasus. Russian state TV showed security forces pinning Fogle to the ground. He was busted wearing a baseball cap attached to an unconvincing blond wig with another brown one in his knapsack. Fogle looks like an amateur. If our country can’t provide better undercover disguises for our intelligence agencies than that, the federal-budget-busting Sequester has to end because we’re in worse shape than we thought.
Zombie Industries CEO and marketing director Roger Davis must be one sick dude. The California entrepreneur showed his wares at the recent National Rifle Association convention in Houston. One of his “products” was a life-sized shooting target called “The Ex,” which featured a busty mannequin in a skimpy bra who “bled” when shot, presumably by bullets fired from wounded former boyfriends with some serious rejection issues to work through. Because the damsel dummy drew the wrath of anti-violence groups, Zombie changed the name to “Alexa.” Davis had to do a total recall of a mannequin target that was even more offensive and disturbing. Called “Rocky Zombie” but referred to as “Barry” by one of the company’s vendors at the NRA trade show who was quoted in BuzzFeed, this torso looks like President Obama, with an open bleeding mouth, short cropped hair and green skin. It was on display for two days until the NRA asked the vendor to remove it. Judging from his reaction to all the negative publicity, Davis loves the attention but we wonder how he’d feel if he had to watch a replica of himself blown to bits. It’s nut jobs like him who give gun ownership a bad rap.
Ariel Castro & Michael McGrath
Neighbors of Ariel Castro say Cleveland Police knocked on his door “20 times but they didn’t take it seriously.” What had the neighbors seen over the years? Naked women on dog leashes crawling in the dirt; a lady holding an infant and pounding on a window begging for help. Castro allegedly kidnapped three women between 2002 and 2004, and held them hostage until finally Amanda Berry, 27, who’d been kept in captivity for almost a decade, managed to break through the front door and flee in pajamas and flip-flops. Castro, 52, a former bus driver, has signed a 10-page confession detailing the horrors he subjected those women to, officials said. Michael McGrath was sworn in as Cleveland’s 39th police chief in 2005. Maybe it’s not fair to make him take the fall for his department’s long-running failure to find these women but the buck must stop somewhere. And it’s probably revealing that none of the women was a wealthy white girl from the suburbs. Still, we hear you can get a search warrant for anything these days. Surely, the Cleveland brass should have encouraged the officers on the beat to snoop around 2207 Seymour Avenue a little more, especially if neighbors were on record begging them to follow up their complaints. Castro is a bad man, and the cops in command did a bad job.
Called “the most hated Bangladeshi,” Sohel Rana is the irresponsible owner of a garment factory building that collapsed in a cloud of dust and calamity in a gritty suburb outside the southeast Asian nation’s capital. The Rana Plaza, as the hellhole was officially called, killed more than 600 workers who had no choice but to stay on the job despite the warnings of a frantic engineer who saw a dangerous crack in the unsafe structure the day before the catastrophe. The factory employees knew that if they didn’t show up, they wouldn’t get paid. Tragically, these workers wound up paying with their lives instead, crushed under tons of steel and concrete. Bangladesh has some of the lowest wages in the world, luring corporations like Benetton, the Gap, the Children’s Place and even the Walt Disney Company to the impoverished country. Rana, who rode around on a motorcycle with a gang of bikers riding behind him for protection, has also been implicated as an illegal drug kingpin. He reportedly used his muscle to acquire the property by force, obtain inspection permits despite blatant problems, and reap the profits from exploiting the defenseless. After the collapse, Rana fled to the Indian border, where he was arrested. Demonstrators in Bangladesh say there are many other factory owners just like him, so let his trial serve as an example, and may he be sentenced to sew warning labels on apparel until his fingers fall off.
Robert Rector & Jason Richwine
Economists Robert Rector and Jason Richwine at the ultra-conservative Heritage Foundation did a hatchet job on immigration reform by coming up with a scary study that says granting a path to citizenship for America’s 11 million undocumented residents would cost the public some $6.3 trillion. As the Daily News put it, “their distortions are breathtaking.” And their false conclusion deliberately damages the hopes and dreams of generations of people who work hard and deserve better—and are counting on Congress to finally come through for them. Rector and Richwine supposedly added up the costs of services these immigrants would use if they came out of the shadows and compared that with how much taxes they would pay; in other words, Heritage considers them all takers and deadbeats, not the founders of future startups and entrepreneurs. Granting work permits to the undocumented puts them on the road to prosperity. Many reports from think tanks that don’t have an axe to grind have documented how the U.S. will prosper if these people can get the green light. We think Rector and Richwine should switch jobs with some of these undocumented workers for a week at least and file a new study based on their actual experience. Maybe then these two privileged white men wouldn’t be so quick to condemn much-needed immigration reform as that dreaded word “amnesty.”