Saturday, November 03, 2018


When I was a kid in the Garden State, we would sometimes drive at night along the legendary Route 3.  As we approached Secaucus -- this was long before it was graced by Giants Stadium, where the New York football teams play for some reason -- my mother would say, "Roll up the windows."  This was because Secaucus had a distinctive aroma which we attributed to pig farms, or possibly slaughterhouses.  Whatever it was, I have never forgotten it.

I've been smelling old Secaucus quite a lot lately.  Some would say "That's fishy," or "I call bullshit," and it's all the same thing.  The old familiar funk was generated by the death of Whitey Bulger in the federal prison at Hazelton, West Virginia.  Bulger was an unmournable piece of garbage.  He was also 89 years old and had just arrived after a five-year tour of the federal prison system.  Hazelton is notoriously violent, underfinanced and understaffed, and less than 24 hours after he checked in, Bulger checked out, beaten unrecognizable by persons unknown.  In his cell.  The media said he had been "brutally murdered," although no one has yet been tenderly murdered to my knowledge.  The authorities have fixed the blame on a lifer employed by the Mafia (Bulger was also a rat for the FBI), so case closed.  This leaves unanswered questions like "Who knew he was coming?" and "Who left his cell door open?" and of course, "What did Bulger know and when did he know it?"  Apparently one of the many things the government can't do is guarantee the safety of people in its custody.

Far more troubling are the deaths of the Farea sisters, Tala (16) and Rotana (22), citizens of Saudi Arabia whose bodies were found on a bank of the Hudson River.  They were duck-taped together facing each other and, according to the medical examiner, were still alive when they went into the water.  And yet no less a personage than Dermot Shea, Chief of Detectives of the NYPD, says "there is nothing pointing to a crime."  Nothing except the fact that they had applied for asylum, and the Saudi government had ordered them to return to their country.  And the reach of Trump's favorite Arab regime, as we have seen, is extremely long.  Like Jamal Khashoggi, the sisters were legal residents of Virginia.  Can you think of thirty or forty easier ways to commit suicide?  I can.

The alleged MAGAbomber Cesar Sayoc was arrested in Florida on October 26, charged with mailing explosive devices to people and organizations Trump hates.  Yesterday a package described as similar to those was spotted at a mail sorting facility in Burlingame, California, addressed to Tom Steyer, the billionaire who started NeedToImpeach.  Is it normal for a package to take over a week to go from Florida to California with first-class postage on it?  Or does Sayoc have a friend?

I smell Secaucus.



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