Archive for July 2022

Roe Reversal a Victory for Human Rights, Not Catholic Theology – By George J. Marlin

July 29, 2022

This article I wrote appeared on the web site on Friday, July 29, 2022.

Gov. Hochul’s pork barrel spending – By George J. Marlin

July 29, 2022

The following appeared on Monday, July 25, 2022, in the Blank Slate Media newspaper chain and on its website,

Recent disclosures indicate that Gov. Kathy Hochul is expending billions in our tax dollars to pave the road to a gubernatorial victory in November.

In a last minute “message of necessity” before the state Legislature closed down for the summer, according to The New York Times, Hochul pushed through legislation approving “billions of dollars in corporate subsidiaries to lure semiconductor plants to New York.”

The $10 billion was authorized without a debate or a public hearing.

One Democrat state senator, James Skoufis, said, “Sunlight did not exist in the room where this program was cooked up.”

Another Democrat senator, Liz Krueger, who voted against the chip proposal, complained that it is “the biggest economic development tax give away the state has ever seen—maybe any state has ever seen.”

She continued, “We did try to negotiate some structure and transparency into the language and some limits. I lost on that.”

This is not the first financial boondoggle the governor persuaded the Legislature to approve in the darkness of night.

Let’s not forget the $600 million of state funds she secured to build in her hometown of Buffalo, a new Bills football stadium.

There’s more—

On July 14, the New York Post reported that “a company headed by a big donor to Gov. Hochul is in line for up to $1.2 billion in tax breaks under an opaque plan to overhaul Penn Station.”

A “Reinvent Albany” report prepared by the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis at the New School, reveals that this tax break would be given despite the fact that “the state has not made public the necessary information to determine if the [financing plan] can be successful, including projections of costs and revenues.”

The Penn Station project, which is expected to cost between $7.5 billion and $10 billion could have a shortfall of $3 billion. “In that case,” The Times reports, “New York taxpayers might have to fill the gap….”

Sounds like a great deal for Hochul’s campaign contributors but not for taxpayers.

There’s still more—

To get her dubious spending programs through the Legislature, Hochul greased the way by handing out more than $68 million in pork barrel projects between November 2021 and March 2022 to finance 276 projects.

Those dollars were expended from proceeds of bonded debt issued by the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York. As an independent agency, DASNY is able to issue debt and award grants without voter approval.

Thanks to a FOIL request by the Empire Center for Public Policy, the grants are listed on its web site.

Here’s a few of the awards handpicked by the governor and her allies in the state Legislature:

  • $1 million for renovations to the Cazenovia pool in the City of Buffalo;
  • $500,000 for improvements to the year-round farmer’s market in the Town of Brighton in the Finger Lakes region;
  • $275,000 for the construction of a splash pad at Veterans’ Memorial Park in the Town of Orangetown in the Mid-Hudson region;
  • $100,000 for the purchase of an electrofishing boat for Cazenovia College in Central New York;
  • $50,000 for the installation of structural bike racks in the City of Newburgh in the Mid-Hudson region;
  • $50,000 for the construction of a dog park in the Town of Parma in the Finger Lakes region.

Pork grants in Nassau include:

  • $150,000 for renovations to the Library’s Children’s Room in the Village of Garden City;
  • $100,000 for Creation of a Free Play learning area in Nassau County;
  • $500,000 for improvements to the Ice Arena bathrooms and locker rooms in the City of Long Beach;
  • $325,000 for park improvements to Williston Park in the Village of Mineola.

And there’s more to come.

The state budget department expects another $260 million in pork barrel grants to be distributed in the present fiscal year.

My guess is most of the money will be distributed between now and Election Day to entice voters to re-elect Democrats.

It is my hope that voters will reject attempts to buy them off and will punish incumbent pols at the ballot box for squandering their hard-earned tax dollars.


New York’s lost a working-class champion with the death of Mike Long, who helped depose Mario Cuomo – By George J. Marlin

July 26, 2022

This Op-ed piece I wrote appeared in the New York Post on July 26, 2022.

Is the Social Security System Going Broke? You Bet It Is. – By George J. Marlin

July 15, 2022

This article I wrote appeared on the web site on Friday, July 15, 2022.

Summer 2022 Reading for Political Junkies – By George J. Marlin

July 13, 2022

The following appeared on Monday, July 11, 2022, in the Blank Slate Media newspaper chain and on its website,

Here are books I recommend political junkies read while vacationing:

Team America: Patton, MacArthur, Marshall, Eisenhower and the World They Forged by Robert O’Connell.

In Team America, Dr. Robert O’Connell, a military historian and former professor at the Naval postgraduate school, has written an informative overview of the lives of the nation’s greatest World War II leaders. What I found most interesting is how these four men interacted with one another during military careers that began in the early 20th century. Needless to say, there were ego clashes—over war-time strategy, over promotions.

But, as O’Connell concludes, the key ingredients to the success of Team America was “mental agility, a gravitas that masked their intensity, and an almost intuitive understanding of how armies in the millions actually functioned and fought.” Were it not for their leadership in time of war and peace—“the world we know would be vastly different.”

The War on the West by Douglas Murray.

The associate editor of the British journal, The Spectator is an accomplished commentator on the human condition. He argues that the collapse of religion and political philosophy as guides for our day-to-day existence has been replaced with identity politics whose aim is to “politicize absolutely everything … to turn every human relationship into a political power celebration.”

The result, “in public and private, both online and off, people are behaving in ways that are increasingly irrational, feverish, herd-like and simply unpleasant.”

Murray laments in The War on the West that students “are offered a story of the West’s failings without spending anything like a corresponding time on its glories.”

They will never understand, he concludes, that it is Western culture “that gave the world life-saving advances in science and medicine and a free market that has raised billions of people around the world out of poverty and offered the greatest glowing of thought anywhere in the world….”

Campaign of the Century: Kennedy, Nixon and the Election of 1960 by Dr. Irwin F. Gellman.

The presidential campaign of 1960 between Sen. John F. Kennedy and Vice President Nixon was one of the most exciting in the nation’s history. The two candidates, both World War II Navy veterans and in their 40s, vied to be the first leader of the nation born in the 20th century.

The coverage of that campaign and the subsequent Pulitzer Prize winning book, The Making of the President 1960 by Theodore H. White, cast Kennedy as a knight in shining armor and Nixon as a black knight.

That narrative, which has been perpetuated for over 60 years, has been challenged by Gellman.

His outstanding work is based on previous unused sources. The result, Kennedy does not “come out as a saint” because “his campaign was far more corrupt and ruthless than has been presented.” And Nixon does not “come out as the villain or the foil; he ran a far cleaner operation than has been described.”

The First Populist: The Defiant Life of Andrew Jackson by David S. Brown.

For most of its history, the Democratic Party revered its founder, Andrew Jackson. But not anymore. He has been dismissed by the WOKE crowd as a white supremacist. Brown, the author of an excellent biography of historian Richard Hofstadter, attempts to place the nation’s seventh president in the context of his times—something contemporary leftists are incapable of doing.

Jackson was the nation’s first populist president. His political code could be summed up in four words: honor, self-reliance, equality and individualism.

Living by that code in the early 19th century, Brown points out Jackson “became the defining figure of his era, variously a hero, a sometime scoundrel, and to his enemies, a second Caesar.”

Blood and Ruins: The Last Imperial War 1931-1945 by Richard Overy.

This distinguished British military historian attempts to recast the origins of the Second World War. He postulates that the conflict was “the last imperial war, with almost a century-long lead-up of global imperial expansion, which reached its peak in the territorial ambitions of Italy, Germany and Japan in the 1930s and early 1940s, before descending into the largest and costliest war in human history—and the end, after 1945, of all territorial empires.

Blood and Ruins, at 1,000 pages, is a long read—but worth the effort.

Happy reading on your vacations this summer.