Friday, October 21, 2005


UP FRONT News September 29, 2005
Published by Tom Weiss
Editorial Advisor: Willard Whittingham
“The paper that can’t be bought and can’t be sold.”
My trip into more than a decade of recurrent homelessness was started by a man named Thomas Berger, a resident of Forest Hills, Queens, who claims to be an Orthodox Jew, but who, particularly during business hours, treats The Ten Commandments and the teachings of the Talmud as toilet paper. Berger, a very politically connected (Koch) loft lord, after 25 years of trying everything – rent gauging, a 5 ½ year denial of heat and water, violence, the courts, perjury – to get me out of my home, a fifth floor loft at 190-A Duane Street in what is now Tribeca, he succeeded. With the help of a total Jezebel of a tenant named Alice Wexler, a high level member of a “Buddhist” religious cult that sought to expand its possessions, who testified for Mr. Berger at one of the longest Landlord and Tenant Court trials on record, and a corrupt, reportedly gender-biased judge named Marilyn Shafer, Berger got me evicted in July, 1993 for my having allowed someone to play a flute at a poetry reading at my home. Thomas Berger, one of the greediest people since Cain, defied his Rabbi, my Rabbi, and several letters from legislators including U.S. Congressman Jerrold Nadler, who urged him not to execute the eviction and did do it – all in the name of money.
Thomas Berger, by the way, is a man of sinister, but undeniable, power; he is the founder of the Association of Commercial Property Owners (ACPO), the loft lord wing of New York City’s real estate industry. He believes that any sort of rent protection for tenants is Bolshevism. He believes that landlords are victims of oppression.
His office is at 73 Warren Street, a short distance from both City Hall and from 190-Duane. He has a son named Robert who does much of his dirty work for him who lives on the top floor of another one of his buildings, at the corner of Reade and Greenwich Streets and who can easily be mistaken for a rodent that the city is fighting a stalemated battle with. During the next few years I had the dubious fortune of living for several years in a building run by the mob and in a series of furnished rooms that were essentially unfit for human habitation.
I wound up in places like Peter’s Place, a drop-in center (a euphemism for shelter where clients sleep in chairs rather then beds), where the abuse of the homeless by staff was so pervasive that I have dubbed the facility, run as a cash cow on tax dollars by a corrupt “non-profit” poverty pimping organization known as the Partnership for the Homeless, “Auschwitz Lite.” Although, as far as I am aware, there are no gas chambers or crematoria there, the racism and violations of human rights there justify the title I have given the place. I also did time in, among other places, the Hotel Richmond, in Staten Island, which seems to be essentially a money laundering operation owned by a character named Kanti Patel, who also runs the Ajanta Travel Agency on Lexington Avenue. While the rooms are generally, but not always, clean and reasonably priced, and certainly provide greater privacy than the barracks-like Peter’s place, the facility is basically a cash cow house of prostitution and drug abuse. The security is such that Osama bin Laden could walk in and, without difficulty, if he had the cash, rent a room.
The Hotel Richmond is a few hundred feet south of project Hospitality; another drop-in center where a de facto terrorist on payroll named “Maurice” supervises various forms of criminal activity. Maurice also has a sadistic notion of what “chillin” means. He was in the practice, on days when the outdoor temperature was, say, 10 degrees Fahrenheit, to force clients, often without outer clothing, to stand outside for prolonged periods of time while he supervised floor cleaning. These are among the activities that have over the years been covered up by people including Linda Gibbs, the N.Y.C. Commissioner of the Department of Homeless Services, Public Advocate Betsy (“CIA”) Gotbaum, State Senator Diane Savino and the State Assemblyman John Lavelle, both Democrats who claim to represent districts in Staten Island.
In 2003, experiencing a financial emergency because of a Social Security error in check delivery, I sought to get what is known as an expedited check from the Social Security Administration. Under a little known clause of the law, with documentation justifying the release of an expedited check being submitted to the Commissioner of the U.S. Social Security Administration, the Commissioner can authorize the release of an expedited check.
A letter from my minister, Rev. Dr. Timothy P. Mitchell, pastor of the Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church in Flushing, Queens to the then commissioner, quickly got me my check. On a later occasion, an amergency left me penniless and, with the assistance of a staffer in the office of N.Y.S. Assemblyman Adam Clayton Powell IV (with whom I had been talking about Free Tibet resolutions), whose wife Yajaira Yapez was (and presumably still is) employed by U.S. Senator Hillary Rodman Clinton, I got an expedited check, followed up by two totally unsolicited friendly letters, signed by Sen. Clinton, offering further assistance should I need it. I did need it; a number of months later, after I was robbed of my hotel rent money. I contacted Sen. Clinton. No response. I tried again. No response. After several more unanswered messages, my final call went to Washington and was answered by a man identifying himself as “Mr. Zimmerman, investigator for the Democratic Party.”
Mr. Zimmerman opened by stating that, “Mrs. Clinton has asked me to take all your calls.” He proceeded to interrogate me and, after a long pause during which I was kept on hold, referring to a computer-generated date base, read me back my political history going back to 1977 when I was involved in breaking up a cover-up of budget cut-caused patient deaths at City-operated Queens Hospital Center. The last thing he said was, “You better not call here again.” It seems that Assemblyman Powell’s man, chief of Staff Daniel Perrano via his wife, had made Senator Clinton aware of my activities in unsuccessfully trying to get Mrs. And Mr. Clinton to do something about the Genocide in Tibet. And so Hillary went to the FBI. That’s why I call it the Matriot Act. My subsequent efforts to get the assistance of State Assemblyman John Lavelle and State Senator Diane Savino came to nothing.
Both legislators were aware that any correspondence relating to an expedited check must go to the Social Security Administration Commissioner in Washington, not to a local or regional official. They opted to write to the local people instead and received predictable rejections. Lavelle`s office, was staffed by an almost total know-nothing named Dorothy Crimmins (who did not know who Linda Gibbs, the Commissioner of the N.Y.C. Department of Homeless services, was, and who had absolutely no knowledge as to how to deal with the Social Security Administration.) Ms. Crimmins supervisor, Lavelle chief of staff Keith Pascandarola didn’t know much more than Crimmins. And so, you can imagine the knowledge base of John Lavelle himself. Savino`s office is run in fascist-like fashion by a guy sure(ly)-named Cataldo, who is sorely in need of an intense regimen of an inpatient anger management program. This character responded to my request for emergency help with the Social Security matter by ordering me from his tax payer-financed office under threat of calling the police. (When I subsequently spoke to Savino personally over the phone, she said, “don’t worry about Cataldo”, and then proceeded to mishandle the Social Security matter anyway.) Lavelle and Savino are Democrats.
These two hacks may, at least to a degree, explain why Staten Island has so many Republicans. Getting no help from my Democratic Party elected representatives (I was a “resident” of Staten Island at the time), I called the N.Y.C. office of State Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno and spoke with staffer Judy Stupp, whom I have found, over the years, despite the fact that out party affiliations are different, to be responsive and helpful with matters brought to her attention. I described the problem and she suggested that I contact U.S. congressman Vito Fossela. Although I am quite certain that Ms. Stupp made her referral in good faith, she needn`t have bothered. Despite being made fully aware of the fact that a request for an expedited check must go directly to the Social Security Commissioner in Washington, Fossella staffer Rosemary Licciardello contacted, and had me speak to, a regional official in Brooklyn.
His rejection of the request was a foregone conclusion. And then she said that there was nothing more that the Congressman could do. Oh yes there is. He could, for one thing, resign, for not having done the job that he swore on a Bible he would do. And for being Dick Cheney’s man in New York.
Although I intend, at least for the time being, to remain a registered Democrat – the Party of, among others, progressive folks like Congressman Jerrold Nadler, Anthony Weiner, and John Conyers – my experience with duopoly in Staten Island suggests that third party politics may be relevant after all (and, to be sure, after neo-fascist Lenora Fulani).Vito Fossella, Diane Savino, and John Lavelle really ought to resign. And as far as Hillary Clinton is concerned, considering her aiding and abetting of war crimes, both international and domestic, not to speak of her involvement, along with her sometimes wandering spouse, in the cover-up of the Genocide in Tibet, since, far from resigning, she is contemplating becoming the first Empress of the United States, impeachment would seem to be the most ethical option.

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