Breathtaking developments…

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“NEW YORK’S VERDICT: WE CAN’T BREATHE!” – headline in a tabloid… It’s simple enough, what happened. Eric Garner bought himself some untaxed – that is, packs of tailor-made Carolina cigarettes unstamped by the New York Department of Revenue – from the Mafia, and he was peddling them on the sidewalk in an upscale shopping district of Staten Island – the quietest, almost countrified, borough of the Big Apple. Wrong, wrong. wrong. Someone, probably a merchant, got uptight and let the finest know. They warned the big man. He weighed nearly 400 pounds, all flab and phlegmatic, asthmatic, and arrogant difficulty packed onto a massive and lofty frame, outfitted with an enlarged heart. Then they warned him, again. And again. He said so. You saw the video. When they came to arrest him, he got loud, raised hell, and a certain wiry little Italian cop with generations of the black hand etched in his family name – Pantaleo – saw and accurately sized up what he perceived as a giant piece of cake, a bird’s nest sitting on the ground. He grabbed him in a choke hold, his buds chimed in and someone put a knee on Garner’s back so he couldn’t gasp for breath as he slowly died from asphyxiation, his lungs compressed by the cops’ weight and the massive tub of guts and rolls of flab on his abdomen. Anyone can see that. Anyone with any common sense knows that the downtown connection, the folks who make it off rents and taxes and graft and good time Charlie’s blues, aren’t going to change a damn thing they do – ever – over this kind of dispute. After all, let’s all act our age. Don’t be ridiculous. Murder is murder. Common sense is common sense. Come on. There is a difference, you know. One more thing. In terms of true cost accounting, what is the markup on that quick, untaxed trip to Marlboro Country? Add in cost at the distributor’s, freight, bribes, and all, versus, city, borough and state sales taxes, federal and state excise taxes, and the peripheral gouges they pile on top of that? It’s like asking the CIA how much is the true cost of putting boots, beans, bullets and band-aids in the hands of “insurgents” or “freedom fighters” – they’re both for sale, you know – a machine gun in the hands, rounds in the chamber, boots on the ground. Their answer? You don’t know; you don’t want to know, not really. Why? Aw, shucks, man. You can’t afford it. What else you got? – The Legendary

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