Expatriate Owl

A politically-incorrect perspective that does not necessarily tow the party line, on various matters including but not limited to taxation, academia, government and religion.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

New York City's Endurance






Though running is my physical workout mode of  primary choice, I have never had occasion or desire to run in a marathon (though several years ago I did do a solo run of 30 miles in what was initially intended as a 4-mile excursion).  It has been a number of years since I have run competitively, mostly in the 5 - 10 km range.  It nevertheless pleases me that there are many organized marathons.

The New York City Marathon is a very worthwhile event.  It is good for the economic and physical health of the population, notwithstanding the significant but temporary transportation irregularities from road closures.  Having stated this, I unequivocally endorse the decision to completely cancel the 2012 running of the New York City Marathon.

NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg had initially asserted that, notwithstanding the devastation wreaked by Hurricane Sandy, the 2012 Marathon would go forward.  Bloomie cited the decision of his predecessor, Rudy Giuliani, to hold the 2001 Marathon notwithstanding the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.  But the two situations are inapposite for several reasons:


A.  In 2001, the only people who could not return to their homes (temporarily or permanently) were those who lived in the vicinity of the World Trade Center, at the lower tip of Manhattan.  The 2012 hurricane has displaced people -- many more in total than were displaced from Lower Manhattan in 2001 --  in geographically diverse New York City neighborhoods.  I will venture to conservatively estimate that in excess of 80% of the population of New York City and Long Island has at least one friend who has been made homeless by Hurricane Sandy (and though my home incurred but minor damage, my wife and I know at least two homeless co-workers or colleagues).

  Many services -- transportation, electric power, gas and water utilities, gasoline for automobiles -- are simply unavailable to many New Yorkers (and, for that matter, many on Long Island and in other suburbs).

Expending resources for the Marathon -- including electrical generators which could be used to power the darkened homes of many New Yorkers -- is not in the City's best interests.  And running the Marathon on its route through several afflicted neighborhoods only adds insult to the injury incurred by the residents.

B.  Many of the 100,000 + entrants in the New York City Marathon are from out of town, and therefore ensconce themselves in New York City hotels for the event.   Under normal circumstances, this would be good for the economics of the city.  But, unlike the statutes and ordinances enacted by the New York City Council, the New York State Legislature or the United States Congress, the laws of supply and demand, like the laws of gravity, are inviolate.  If large numbers of out-of-towners bed down in New York City's hotels, then the cost of shelter for those displaced by Sandy cannot help but rise. 

C.  [This is the reason which the Main Stream Media will not report (and will take affirmative measures to censor from its content)]:  In 2001, there was a need to show the Muslim world that their attack on New York City did not break the New Yorkers' spirits.  Running the 2001 New York City Marathon was an important element of that.

And to those of you sob sisters who sing the "Not All Muslims Are Terrorists" song, I will reiterate that in 2001, there was a need to show the Muslim world that their attack on New York City did not break the New Yorkers' spirits.  Muslims in America, particularly the Muslim youth, needed to see that New York City was not a vanquished loser, that New York City had a fighting survival spirit, and that there were viable alternatives to Islamic terrorism available for them.  It is because of these alternatives that not all Muslims in America are terrorists.  And the alternatives had to be demonstrated definitively and expeditiously.  Running the 2001 New York City Marathon did just that.

For Hurricane Sandy, the Islamic terrorist factor does not present itself -- at least not in the same manner as it did in 2001.


Mayor Bloomberg  realizes that he called this one wrong, and he accordingly reversed himself.  But then again, Bloomie has been calling many things wrong of late.

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