After an attempt to stifle free speech, by provacateurs unnamed, we may be back soon.
Dear Readers, we appreciate all of you who read us regularly. As you all know, rain or shine, whenever we have an entry to post (Including most holidays) we post them. We are taking a well earned 11 day vacation. Sakharov will begin posting again on January 3, 2006. We wish you all health, happiness, intrigue and a prosperous New Year. See you again on January 3rd.
Here is today's entry:
Erin keeps calling the cell. I've told her a million times not to do that. She says she's worried bout me. I know that, but I may be in over my head and I don't want her to drown with me.
I can go to my house again. Cops have about the same attention span as the American public. Either that or they have bigger fish to fry. I called Erin from home.
"Please stop calling the cell," I said.
"You’re in trouble. Are you taking your pills?" I could hear her voice crack a little.
The truth is, I have been taking my pills. I haven't had tremors in days. Now it is equally true that I haven't seen my doctor in a long time and I take some stuff with wicked side effects. But I can't go see him now, he could really mess up my life tweaking stuff.
"I'm fine, Erin," I said.
"You don’t sound fine and you didn’t look fine."
"How are you?" I asked.
"Don't try to change the subject. You need to see a doctor."
"I can’t," I said.
"Look, you know what happened last time."
"Erin," I said, "You know I care about you and you know I appreciate your help, but you need to stay away from me for a while."
I was surprised when she hung up. But we've been through this before. I shouldn't expect her to understand. I can't quit now.
As promised, here's the rundown on the extortion game. The "local authorities" got word of some doings with the feds. I'm being obscure because I don't know all of the facts. Remember I was talking about the paperwork I found in the dumpster?
So the local "organized crime" interest has a cut in city contracts. Their only organized in a loose sense. It's not the Italians or the Asians, it's the Russians. These guys basically muscled their way into the waste business. And they do have muscle.
Now their ties with the boys in blue are built on the fact that the boys in blue can only work in their neighborhoods safely with their permission. And the Russians skipped out on the union stuff in favor of preferred "no bid" contracts on the sly. Why mess around with pseudo democratic organizations when you can skim the till in the accounting room, right?
Turns out that a Russian had one of his boys - who also owed several thousand to a Russian boss - working in the city's accounting office. The deals were coming through and were being disguised as "contributions to health care." That's an interesting way to describe potential hazmat contracts. The trouble for the city was that some idiot had scribbled all over one document. It was sort of the same thing I got, only in more detail.
The city's mistake was that they were passing the money along to a New York firm. That had something to do with an attorney, though I don't have all of those details yet. Well, the Russians own two reporters and at least one elected official. They were planning a grand leak of everything. It was sort of like "If I don’t get my cut, everyone loses."
They got their cut. Now they've got several contracts to do basically nothing. The question on my mind is this: If the Russians are getting paid to do nothing and the city might actually need a hazmat response, what happens when the emergency strikes? We'll all be in the same mess that happened to New Orleans after Katrina.
But why do we need a hazmat response? That's the million dollar question.
Three days and change should have been enough time to do what a man has to do. It wasn’t. I spent a full day going over papers with Dostoyevsky. He insists that I should follow up on things that don’t make much sense to me.
He got his start as a radical back in the Vietnam era. He was one of those “Ho Chi Minh’s gonna win, win, win types.” Then he woke up and saw that everyone was basically screwed by corporate interests. I mean, you want to talk about welfare queens? Have a look at the U.S. tax code. Corporations have more public assistance doled out than anyone else.
I’m off point. We were looking at some paperwork that a reporter down in Washington had dug up. He’s not with the Post or the Times. He’s a guy working for a little alternative rag. Anyway, this guy was all over the domestic spying story long before it broke in the national media.
It seems that there is more to everything going on at city hall than meets the eye. First I thought the body bag thing was bad. Then came the hazmat stuff, which to my mind is more dreadful.Toss in the extortion and you’ve got a Trifecta.
By the way, I still haven’t gotten into the corruption yet. I’ll do that tomorrow. I have to go now.
The sky starts to crash the rain on the roof starts to drumming Full
I spent the whole damned night on a rooftop looking at city hall. It was about 35 degrees and raining. I'm wet and freezing. But I have to collect this information before everyone starts leaving for the holidays.
I'm going to be out of town for a couple of days. I have to go south. Dostoyevsky has a contact I should meet.
Till I reach my highest ground, No one's gonna bring me down Full
Erin's sister is in the ICU. I stopped by to visit today. It was cold and I was bundled up. In fact, I was roasting. No camera can see through that much winter clothing.
We hugged for a little while. I didn't have a clue what to say. I doubt she held that against me. It isn't like her to be easily offended.
I told her that all was ok. I think she could see my nerves. My hands weren't shaking. I grind my teeth when she asks me if I've eaten. I can feel the enamel on my teeth as though it were sandpaper. I lied and told her that I was eating plenty and that my new exercise regimen was keeping the weight low.
I hugged her again when I was ready to leave. It felt odd. I think she could tell what I was thinking and she didn't object. I don't know if it was resignation or exhaustion that made her remain silent. Maybe it was shock.
It isn't often a person hugs a friend goodbye forever. That's the nature of things, though. Life isn't fair. Those body bags are proof.
The house still isn't safe. That's not a good thing to have going on when you're trying to be supportive to a friend. I went in, grabbed a few things and rented a room a few blocks away. The old man who owned the house only glanced at my ID. I didn't have any of the good forgeries on me.
Anyway, I'm still checking out the logistics on city hall. I needed a safer place to be while I did that. One night at home with everything turned off was too much. I need a clear mind to do this work. I'm off for now. This hot spot isn't so good.
I make my living off the evening news - Just give me something, something I can use Full
Let's go back to that hiding out in public view idea. Powerful interests use secrecy to do their business, right? Think about it. One little person is no threat when they disappear or "accidentally" step in front of a slow moving truck. One little person who's wired in to one million people, like a blog - only with high credibility, can't be silenced so easily.
So then the issue becomes mathematical. Who's already wired in? How much credibility do they have? How do you get someone like that to become interested in what you've discovered? How do you get them the information in a simple, believable way?
Who is the easy part. Use your imagination and you'll follow me. Now the credibility thing is critical. A bad choice here and you'll be hiding out altogether, never mind in public. Some people just don't do well with sensitive information and even when some do, they don't know how to disseminate it properly.
Getting them interested is also tough. Think about how many nut jobs swear up and down that they have "top secret" material that the world should see. Conspiracy theorists run the spectrum of society. To get "someone in the know" really into the know, they need to get their spark from a credible source. So you get an unsuspecting mule to do your dirty work. Even that isn't so tough.
Lining up the dots so that the person you need to connect them can connect them is the toughest part. I have to go. Time's up.
The exodus is here, The happy ones are near Full
Dostoyevsky intercepted me at Penn Station. We spent three hours in the car, discussing our situation. He doesn't have a clue what's going on. The last he heard, the people involved in this city hall scandal were all subjects of Federal probes. The Feds have city hall completely miked up. It's like a giant recording studio in there. Everyone's a target.
He doesn't know who's at the center of it all. We concluded that it would be best if I got more specific information about the flow in and out of the building. If we knew who was moving with whom, we'd be able to triangulate on the main players. I have a small tape recorder, so I said I'd tape my notes and drop the cassettes off with another guy, who I won't even give a codename for.
We'll call him nameless. I guess that's a codename in and of itself. It's hard keeping a sense of what's real and not real - in terms of names and places - even in a blognovel.
I'm on my way to see Erin. I wish that I had more time to spend with her. I know all of this sounds crazy, maybe I am, but I do know what's real. What's real is that something rotten is happening and I'm going to get it out to people who can do something about it.
That's it for now.
So never judge a book by it's cover, Or who you're going to love by your lover,Love put me wise to her love in disguise, She had the body of a venus - Lord imagine my surprise Full
I woke up when my friend came home last night. It was about 10PM. Things became odd. But it was a good kind of odd, I think.
There's no way to say this right, so I'll just spill it. I spent the evening in drag.
I, Sakharov, the dissident, looked like an Anastasia.
What does one say once that is revealed? "I'm not gay" comes to mind. My friend, whom I shall refer to as "Walensa," is gay. He's a transvestite.
A transvestite knows more about being a woman than a woman knows about being a woman. He took me to several clubs. We spent the evening dancing and being hit on by all sorts of men. I make an ugly woman, but Walensa said it doesn't matter that much. If I work at it, I'll look perfect to a man that likes that sort of thing.
So what does this have to do with anything?
The man in charge of employee records at city hall likes his transvestites. My source is unimpeachable on that one. Useful tools aren't always conventional. See you on Monday.
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