Greenwich Gossip

Friday, December 18, 2009

"Wha' Happened?"

For some reason, the local papers are suddenly rushing to fill up their otherwise empty (but still empty-headed) pages with stories about Lin-Lin Lavery, who ran one of the worst election campaigns this Town has ever seen (read "dirtiest"), shot herself in the foot (or perhaps both feet), and lost her supposedly "safe" seat on the Board of Selectmen. The latest paper to waste ink on Lin-Lin is the Greenwich Citizen, which in today's issue asks the question that heads this post.

Well, if you read the first sentence of this post, you already know what happened. Lin-Lin simply dug her own grave by her abrasiveness, her mendacity, and her total disregard for fact or truth. She took credit for herself where none was due, and broadsided the Town with vicious attacks on her opponent that contained not a shred of truth. "Wha' happened?" Lin-Lin let her true nature come to the fore, and that's all it took.

Over the course of the years, Lin-Lin has made many enemies for herself by her arrogant, self-aggrandizing behavior. Your scribe has talked with many women in this Town who have seen her in her various roles, and to a man - er, woman - they had nothing good to say about her. And lots of bad. "Wha' happened?" Lin-Lin simply sank her own ship.

But she had help, of course. Dave Robotson robotically parroted all her lies, pretending blithely that they were all Gospel truth, twisted and deformed by the evil Republicans in Town. No doubt he also blithely advised her that she was doing a great job, and to keep it up. So she did. "Wha' happened?" Lin-Lin's crew not only failed to do damage control, but also made the damage worse by compounding her lies. That's no way to save a sinking ship.

And yes, there was the small matter of her rude interruption of your scribe as he was doing his Times crossword puzzle that day back in July. Or her running after him on Calf Island loudly proclaiming that she had so been properly introduced to him, "at Christ Church," to hear her tell it. Your scribe is unable to find Lin-Lin's name in the church's directory, and he has no recollection of ever seeing her darken its doorstep.

There were plenty of witnesses to that incident on the island, but the irksome Robotson had the effrontery to call your scribe a liar at last Monday's RTM meeting, claiming it had never happened. Well, that pretty much encapsulates "Wha' happened": Lin-Lin simply couldn't tell the truth if her life depended on it. And her political life did depend on it, and she continued to lie, and thus she crashed and burned.

Oh, yes, there's one other piece to the answer to the question of "Wha' happened": the blogosphere happened. When she decided to make it her mission in life to annoy and harrass your scribe, he held up the mirror to Lin-Lin for all to see. In the several weeks before the election, it seemed just about everyone in Town was reading this blog, and reacting to it with glee and hearty approbation. Person after person came up to your scribe the night of the election to say how much they loved reading the blog, and how it had clearly made a significant difference in the election results. The implication was that without his posts, Lin-Lin might have managed to hold on to her seat on the Board of Selectman.

Ah, the power of the blogosphere! It allows one to put the truth out there for all to see, and to heap scorn on those who go about spreading lies. It apparently helped to knock Lin-Lin right out of the box. But don't look to see that part of the answer to the question "Wha' happened?" printed in the Greenwich Citizen, or Yellowwich Time. They seem to think that they are still the media of record in the 21st century, and that they can continue to print whatever they wish and get away with it. Well, there was a time when that may have been true, but as the kids around Greenwich are wont to say, "That is so last-century."

And thank Heaven for that!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Lin-Lin: the Walking Undead?

Just when you thought it was safe to walk the streets of Greenwich again, dear reader, the Not-So-Local Rag, aka Yellowwich Time, is scaring us all to death with an above-the-fold story about Lin-Lin purportedly coming back to life. Fortunately, like most of the sensationalism, muck-raking, and outright fiction which has become the staple of the NSLR, this story is one that needs to be taken with a grain of salt. It's important above all to keep in mind the old adage: consider the source.

Well, the primary source is, of course, the already discredited and shopworn NSLR. In a desperate attempt to fill their ever-shrinking pages, they will publish anything and everything to avoid putting out blank pages. Perhaps they'll even soon try the same trick used by the Greenwich (Dumb-as-a) Post, which will occasionally publish the same page twice to attempt to cover up their lack of fresh material.

But there are secondary sources to consider as well, such as the irksome Dave Robotson, who robotically spews the Democratic party line regardless of such minor inconveniences as truth or falsehood. In this, he shows himself to be Lin-Lin's right-hand man, capable of the very same form of mindless twaddle as she, to wit: "Whatever organization she gets involved in will be very lucky," he opines, blithely ignoring all the organizations that have been cursed with her high-handed arrogance in the past, and are hugely relieved to be rid of her.

Since Robotson is head of the Democratic Town Committee, one would have thought that he, too, might have been glad to be rid of her after her appallingly poor showing in the polls last month. Having run a loudly mendacious campaign, full of personal attacks and smears made up of whole cloth, she was roundly rejected by the voters of Greenwich, coming in a distant fourth out of four and losing her supposedly "safe" seat on the Board of Selectmen. But no: Lin-Lin is now apparently the Sarah Palin of the Democratic party, and the die-hard faithful are clinging to her skirts like the brainless lapdogs they are.

The mercurial Ed Krumeich is also quoted in this hard-hitting puff piece which attempts to refurbish Lin-Lin's badly-tarnished reputation: "As someone who has lost contested elections in the past, it's very hard to regroup afterwards," it says. The "it", of course, being Ed Krumeich, as that is apparently how he chooses to refer to, itself.

But the worst sins of puffery are committed by the NSLR itself, which describes Lin-Lin as a "rising star" (even though she's just been knocked out of orbit), who "burst on the scene two years ago" (and burst right back off again last month) to become "a driving force" (who has just engineered the worst election train wreck this Town has seen in years) but who now has "no regrets" and "doesn't believe the public's perception of her has changed" (can you spell d-e-l-u-s-i-o-n-a-l, dear reader?). Such partial and slanted reporting is altogether typical of the NSLR, which long ago abandoned any pretense of printing anything remotely resembling the truth.

And so, according to Yellowwich Time, we have our very own pet zombie rising again to walk the streets of our fair Town. Luckily, most of us don't believe these gruesome fairy tales, especially the fairy tales published in the Not-So-Local Rag. In fact, as most of us know, if it's printed in the NSLR, it's almost certainly not true. And thus it is only logical to conclude that Lin-Lin, far from being the walking undead, is most probably as dead as a doornail.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Kinda Makes You Wonder...

Our President has been given the Nobel Prize for Peace. Your scribe is not the only one to wonder why, especially given that he now wants to throw more troops into the quagmire known as Afghanistan. He seems totally oblivious to the fact that the British tried and failed to subdue the country in the 19th century, as did the then-mighty USSR in the 20th. What makes him think that he will fare any differently?

With all due respect to the office he holds, the man seems to live on some plantet of his own. He has managed to offend deeply the country of Norway by claiming to be too busy to meet with the committee that awarded him his prize, or any of the other groups, including schoolchildren, who traditionally spend time with the Laureate, and he even snubbed the King of Norway's luncheon invitation. Talk about a diplomatic tin ear!

Of course, this President has been doing this kind of thing almost from the day he took office (and even on that day, if memory seves, he made a hash of taking his oath of office, and had to be re-sworn later behind the scenes). One of his very first acts was to fire every single appointed ambassador, regardless of the situation in the countries involved. Charles Glazier, our fellow Greenwich townsman, was told, as he put it, "don't let the door hit you in the rear." Thus El Salvador, one of our few allies in our military misadventures around the globe, has been without an ambassador for nearly a year. In exasperation, they have recalled their own ambassador. Is this President trying to win friends and influence people to support the United States of America? He could hardly be doing a worse job if his intent were the direct opposite.

And of course, he has also offended our closest ally, Great Britain, by snubbing their Prime Minister when he came to Washington, and by returning the bust of Winston Churchill that had been in the Oval Office for years back to the Brits. As we all know, there are closets in which we can store Great-Aunt Gertrude's self-portrait in between her occasional visits, but the last thing we would ever do is to offend that good lady by telling her to take her painting back. Doesn't this President have even the remotest sense of social grace?

Apparently not. If your scribe were on the Nobel Committee, he would immediately move to rescind the unearned and undeserved honor from this ungrateful and ungracious militant who is bankrupting our country both financially and spiritually by his actions. And if your scribe were the King of Norway, he would have this socially inept bumbler declared persona non grata and have him deported forthwith, being sure only to reclaim the medal at the border and to stop payment on the prize money check.

And people wonder why we have increasingly fewer friends around the globe....

Update 12/11/09:

"US-Japan Rift Grows As Obama Snubs Prime Minister Hatoyama In Copenhagen," reads a headline in today's Japan Times. What in the sweet name of sanity is going on? Is our President trying single-handedly to destroy our country's reputation overseas? Well, whether he's actively attempting to do it, or passively bumbling all over the world, he's digging us into the deepest diplomatic hole the USA has ever been in.

Monday, December 07, 2009

The Greenwich Board of Non-Ethics

Probably relatively few people in Town have had much occasion to deal with the so-call Board of Ethics, but back in the day when the nutty ex-wife (NEW for short) was doing everything in her power to disrupt his life, your scribe once turned to this organization in a predictably futile effort to seek help. Unbeknownst to everyone in Greenwich at the time, the Board was itself violating every code of proper FOI ethics, including failure to calendar meetings, to keep minutes, or indeed to keep records of just about any kind. And then, of course, there was the perennial problem of the local Roman Catholic clergy to deal with....

"The PP of the LRCC? Whatever can you mean, dear scribe?" Ah, dear reader, where to begin? The financial swindling of St. Michael the Archangel on North Street by Michael Moynihan? The sexual predations of Charlie Stubbs at St. Mary's on Greenwich Avenue, or Al McGoldrick at St. Paul's in Glenville? The cover-ups and transfers of abusive priests by William Genuario of St. Catherine's in Riverside? Perhaps these wolves in clerical clothing may suffice as a starting point.

Not that the Roman Catholic clergy have any kind of lock on misbehavior in Town. Two priests have been dismissed for cause at Christ Church in recent years, not to mention the unfortunate discovery of child pornography on choirmaster Robert Tate's computer, the aftermath of which got the church's then attorney, the notorious Phil Russell, branded as a felon. When Rebecca Spencer's illicit affair on church property with the son of her superior, Mert Rymph, at the Second Congregational Church became public knowledge, the members quickly gave her a standing ovation and arranged for her to find another job out of state. And then there were the serial adulteries at the local hot-sheets motel carried on by Dick Stearns, then Senior Pastor at the First Presbyterian Church. Dick also used a trust fund left to the church as his personal cash kitty. So no, sad to say, the Catholics do not have any denominational exclusivity on clerical misbehavior.

But back to the Board of Non-Ethics, our subject of the day. When the NEW abused her position as a Town of Greenwich employee by creating fake library "fines" to block your scribe's borrowing privileges, this appeared to violate a section of the Town's Code of Ethics that proscribed using one's Town employment to the detriment of others. And so your scribe called on Board member Bill Genuario at the rectory of St. Catherine's in hopes of finding redress.

Glib and smooth, Genuario pretended to listen. But something else was obviously going on behind his eyes, which were a little too shifty for your scribe's taste. No surprise, then, when it devolved that this grievance was deemed to be "outside the Board of Ethic's purview", or words to that effect.

Your scribe should have known better than to waste his time. The Diocese of Bridgeport documents recently unsealed by court order show that Genuario was part and parcel of the ongoing cover-up process of moving abusive priests from parish to parish rather than disclipining and defrocking them according to canon law.

Ah, canon law. Yes, indeed. Guess, dear reader, who is presently in charge of the diocese's Tribunal, its highest court of canon law, which is always ready to annul any marriage upon payment of a suitably serious sum, or to twist and turn "facts" so as to lay the blame for sexual abuse on the victims? Well, you probably don't have to guess. It is Bill Genuario, who admitted in a deposition writing a letter transferring a priest at Sacred Heart University who had performed oral sex on a male student and then bitten his penis, causing the student to seek medical aid. "A recurrence of hepatitus was to be feigned should anyone ask," said Genuario's letter - which, it turns out, he typed himself.

So why should he care a fig for a trumped-up library card fine? He dealt with real issues, serious issues, in a real and serious way. No wonder his eyes were so shifty.

And no wonder at the total lack of ethics on the Board of Ethics in those waning days of the 20th century. Are things any better today? Well, reportedly the paperwork is now more complete than it used to be. But can the citizens of Greenwich really sleep safely in their beds at night, knowing that this fearless bastion of high moral standards is keeping vigilant watch over the goings-on in our fair Town? Only in your dreams, dear reader...only in your dreams.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

The Not-So-Local Rag and Its Far-Out Math

Only in Greenwich, dear reader, can that laughingstock of an excuse for a newspaper known as Yellowwich Time, aka the Not-so-local Rag, try to add two plus two and come up with 150. And nobody says boo.

Well, except for your scribe, of course. This pitiful rag, staffed by illiterates and now, apparently, innumerates as well, has been sliding downhill faster and faster, losing money hand over fist, and perpetrating its pitiful pap on the poor public it seems to assume is its captive audience.

Friday's howler is the "Daily Poll", a silly attempt to engage readers through posing some inane question in hopes of hyping traffic to the NSLR's web site. The question: "Has Tiger Woods' image been permanently tarnished?" The answer: "Yes": 65%; "No": 85%. Your scribe's "undecided" vote was apparently not counted.

How can a newspaper have so little pride in the factual accuracy of what it publishes? The answer, apparently, is very simple: in this case, the few peons who still work there just don't have any pride left. They push their pencils, and tap their keyboards, and could care less whether what they write has any semblance of accuracy. They are living from paycheck to paycheck, hoping to avoid the fate that has befallen 90% of the quondam staff, and which, inevitably, awaits them as well. Only at that point will they look back and realize how foolish they were to sell themselves for a few paltry dollars to an organization which they would be well-advised to omit from their future resumes.

Meanwhile, the only person who may have gotten a boost from these preposterous poll results would be Tiger Woods himself. Except that he undoubtedly has more important things on his plate than reading hack journalism from the likes of Yellowwich Time. Fortunately for him, he's not stuck with the NSLR as his source for local "news". Unfortunately for us, we are.