We who live here become serfs in our own town, forced to postpone or curtail our activities for the convenience of the UN’s pooh-bas. Cops swarm and swagger, kowtowing to these leeches while abusing citizens who involuntarily foot the bills as though we’re suspects — and mangy ones at that.
Among the General Assembly’s many crimes against New Yorkers are the street closures. Manhattan is an island measuring about 24 square miles with a population of 1,611,581 — though that number swells during the day as employees from the surrounding “tri-state area” (Connecticut, New Jersey, and other parts of New York, including the City’s four remaining boroughs [Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Staten Island], Long Island, and points north of the Bronx) wend their way to work.
The logistics of this daily migration explain Manhattan’s legendary traffic: too many people using too few streets. And since incompetent government monopolizes transportation’s planning, infrastructure, and construction, those roads aren’t likely to increase in number or accommodation. Every inch of pavement on this densely packed island bears its load; closing even one street, especially in the heavily commercial districts south of Central Park where the UN’s ugly quarters sprawl, can jam traffic for a mile or more in all directions.
But the UN doesn’t close just one street; it closes several of the most heavily travelled, “intermittently” shuts others, and swipes “dedicated lanes” from still more. The city prohibits trucks from whole neighborhoods without concern for the restaurants, supermarkets, and other businesses that rely on daily deliveries. While the UN’s blowhards glide by in the limousines we buy them, we mere taxpayers are “highly encouraged” to patronize New York’s dirty, dangerous, crowded, and notoriously unreliable “public transportation.”
You can walk instead, but wear earplugs: even with the streets cleared for them, the UN’s thugs merit police escorts with sirens blaring. No matter that the city’s Administrative Code prattles, “It is hereby declared to be the public policy of the city to reduce the ambient [noise] sound level in the city…”; private citizens who violate any of the absurdly extensive strictures that follow pay hefty fines and can even go to jail. The Code also prohibits gratuitous sirens: “No person shall operate ... any emergency signal device, except on an authorized emergency vehicle when such vehicle is in the act of responding to an emergency; provided that such device shall not be operated ... longer than is necessary to respond to such emergency.” I have yet to see any of the UN motorcades screech to a halt so a paramedic can hop out and assist victims gassed by Hu Jintao’s hot air on global warming.
The “emergency signal devices” aren’t only gratuitous, they’re ear-splitting, too. That’s because the city controls their number of decibels — so long as you or I own them. But when it comes to the government’s “devices” (which account for the majority, of course), legislators explicitly exempt them: the regulations “shall not apply to authorized emergency vehicles of the police department, fire department or authorized emergency vehicles responding to medical emergencies.” Leviathan’s fleet deafens us year-round, but the sirens are especially cacophonous and infuriating during the General Assembly.
Pedestrians must also push their way through the clutch of cops at intersections. One or two “direct traffic” (state-speak for “hopelessly snarl everyone’s commute by waving cars, particularly those of other cops and politicians, through intersections against the light”) while another three or four yuk it up together on the sidewalks for at least seven blocks north and south of the UN, as well as a varying number to the west. This racks up huge amounts of overtime. And all Americans pay, not just New Yorkers, thanks to a grant from the U.S. State Department. The largesse amounted to at least $7 million in 2003: who knows what heights it will scale this year?
Cops insulate the UN’s tinhorns from the backlash of their plotting against us, just as the Secret Service does politicians. Why do we permit either group to gather, whether in Congress or the General Assembly, and legislate against our interests while robbing us? Worse, they hire bullies with some of what they loot from us to guard and protect them from our wrath. Let these cowards walk among us without a phalanx: their arrogance and aggression would shrivel overnight. Meanwhile, ironically enough, the NYPD fretted about “31 separate protest groups” outside the UN, not the mass killers, thieves, and liars inside: “Commissioner [of the NYPD, Ray] Kelly says their causes will be literally all over the world map. KELLY: And it means we have to do research, and finding out exactly what’s happening in some of these other countries. So it's not easy.” Tyranny seldom is.
Thank God, this year’s General Assembly has wound down, with the despots strutting back to their respective dens. And luxurious dens at that — townhouses worth $15 or $17 million in Manhattan’s toniest neighborhoods house “The Permanent Mission to the UN” for one dictatorship after another. These swank embassies infuriate even more than the unnecessary sirens: taxpayers back home suffer unimaginable poverty while their masters live it up in New York City.
Our parting shot comes from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whose vacuity actually exceeds her profound dishonesty. "As President Obama leads our U.S. delegation at this year's general assembly,” she blathered, “I hope we can demonstrate that the United Nations does not have to be just a diplomatic talkshop on First Avenue."
Yep, you certainly have.
— Photo: AP Images