A cautionary tale from Mick and the boys:
(CNN) — New York cab driver Ahmed Sharif cannot bring himself to talk about the young man who allegedly cut his throat and nearly killed him last week, a taxi union representative said Sunday.
“Ahmed is a strong man, but mentally he has limits,” said Bhairavi Desai of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance. “The trauma he’s experienced will last for a long time.”
Desai spent time this weekend with Sharif. She said his most pressing worry is how he’ll provide for his wife and four children — including a 10-month-old –without a job. Sharif is receiving 2/3 of his salary, about $30,000 a year, in workers’ compensation. Union members do not get health insurance or disability payments, Desai said.
“My guess is that he’ll be unable to work for at least four months,” Desai said. “He can’t even pick up his baby because of the wounds to his arms. He can’t turn his neck.”
There’s been so little money raised over the past few days for Sharif that it would “barely cover baby formula,” said Desai who, along with Sharif, held a widely publicized press conference Friday announcing the union was creating a fund for the family. The union’s website indicates how to mail a donation or give online.
“We’re pretty shocked that it’s been such a low amount,” Desai said.
At the press conference, stitches running along the deep gash in his neck, Sharif implored taxi drivers to look out for each other. A Bangladeshi who emigrated to the United States 25 years ago, Sharif told reporters, “I feel like I belong here, [like] I was born here.”
His household’s sole breadwinner, Sharif, his wife and children, ages 10 months, 5, 9 and 11, live in a small apartment, Desai said.
I’m surprised that NYC residents haven’t stepped up. I’d love to see the blogosphere help.
1952 Vincent Black Lightning (Live), Richard Thompson.
Can’t Find My Way Home, Ellen McIlwaine. She’s not well known anymore, but whew!
Rock and Roll Girl, The Beat’s power pop classic.
Out of My Mind, former folk hunk John Gorka.
A Fine Romance, Billie Holiday.
Looks like the Obama administration is going to punt (in the form of a ten-year “peace” plan) over the Palestinian-Israel issues. I’d really hoped for better, but I can’t say I’m surprised. (How does someone that tall stay upright without a spine?)
Years from now, they’ll be telling us, “Who could have known that refusing to deal with this would have the potential to bite us in the ass later?” Spencer Ackerman:
What do Palestinians gain from a declared state in 12 months without, say, a determination of its borders? Control over water rights? Its electromagnetic spectrum? Its airspace? Its access to foreign markets? Does the State of Palestinian get to end the Israeli blockade of Gaza? Does it get to evict the IDF from the West Bank? Does it ensure territorial contiguity between the WB and G? What happens to the refugees? Do the roadblocks and the checkpoints in the West Bank disappear? Will Israel get to keep building settlements in Palestine? How does fictive statehood, without any such exercise of sovereignty, end the immiseration of over a million people in Gaza?
It’s easy enough to forecast the political dynamic that can take shape if this is the direction of the 2010-era peace process. Hamas and other Palestinian extremists, who already have an interest in seeing Fatah fail, will be able to argue that Fatah is giving up the vital Palestinian trump card of ending the struggle for national liberation for a bunch of vague promises that do nothing to change the reality on the ground of an occupied West Bank and a brutalized Gaza. Fatah grows weak and searches for deliverance from the Quartet and from Israel to make statehood real. But Israel will be reluctant to make substantial compromises when it sees Hamas resurgent. The cycle continues, as it did in the 1990s when well-meaning diplomats took a similar approach.
Except notice one thing: Hamas was not one of the dominant Palestinian political actors in the 1990s. Now, obviously, it is. The complicated path that brought Hamas to power in Gaza has many origins, but among them is the failure of the peace process to deliver substantially for Palestinians. No one should believe that either Palestinian domestic politics or Israeli politics has reached the outer limits of extremism. Another failure to deliver on peace in a manner that Palestinians can tangibly experience will be a dramatically radicalizing experience.
The Chiffons meet psychedelia (h/t PowerPop):
This song always reminds me of Travers, this seedy little bar that was a hangout for illegal Irish immigrants. My friend’s band played there a lot, and the place was wild — you never knew what would happen next. Drunken fistfights, chairs tossed through the air, INS agents coming in one door while the patrons escaped through the other. Drunken patrons wandered up on stage whenever the band played a U2 song to grab a mike and sing along lustily, if not in tune. It was so much fun. Anyway, they always used to play this song and sometimes I’d sing backup:
The boys cover the Marvelettes: