Friday, March 17, 2017





(Friday March 17, 2017 Boston Rd., The Bronx, NYC) Just south of the intersection of Boston Road and 169th Street here in The Bronx sits the FDNY EMS Station 26.  The EMTs and Paramedics working out of this House serve the people of the Central Bronx including the Soundview neighborhood.  It was while responding to a call for assistance from a pregnant woman in Soundview that FDNY EMT, 44-year-old Yadira Arroyo, a mother of five sons, had her life taken in the Line of Duty.  In this day and age as well as in our City it is easy to become calloused, inured to the senseless violence we coexist with.  While NYC has the lowest crime rates by any metrics employed and is easily the Safest Big City in the USA, the circumstances and happenstances of random acts of heinousness can never be eradicated.  There will always remain among us blackened, evil souls with murderous intent, completely devoid of any shred of regard for life.  A few blocks from here last night two polar opposite lives intersected leaving Ms. Arroyo dead in the street, just one of the many streets she knew so well both as a Bronx resident and a 14 year veteran of FDNY EMT. 

We’ll spend no time here nor waste the space to make any mention of her alleged murderer.  His is a story no one among us should have any interest in.  The legal/judicial process will play out in its infamously snail-like pace, and he will be afforded a defense pursuant to our criminal justice laws.  No, this is not about him.  This is about a public servant, a dedicated mom known widely among friends, neighbors, and coworkers as a shining soul of decency, compassion, and love.  Yadira Arroyo will forever be honored, remembered, and respected for her service and sacrifice. 


We live in an unquiet City; a densely populated highly diverse urban landscape home to over 8.7 million residents.  The acoustics of our building lined streets, broad avenues and arterial boulevards do not absorb sound as much as they deflect it outward and upward to be carried through our concrete canyons.  Brick and mortar, concrete and asphalt, stone, steel and glass are solid and do not absorb the elements of the omnipresent cacophony that is the soundtrack of our City.  The din is familiar and variable; it ebbs and flows with the cycle of days turned to nights, in our City that famously never sleeps.  The low-grade collective pulse we’re so attuned to that we don’t even always hear it is regularly punctuated by the wail of sirens; NYPD and FDNY responding with haste to whatever scenario prompted a 911 caller to request emergency help.  

Over 30,000 calls are made to the 911 system every day in NYC; yes, 11 million times a year calls are placed and the appropriate Department is dispatched to respond.  Typically, we give little thought to what seem to be an incessant Doppler effected screech of sirens moving to and fro.  Each of those sirens represent an event, from the mundane to the epic that transpire within the confines of our Five Boroughs with regularity akin to the tides that rise and fall around us. Often a serious, very real human crisis has prompted a call to 911, the nature of the call determines which Department is initially dispatched to the scene. 

Each warble of a moving siren represents a drama playing out for someone somewhere within hearing distance.  We can pause our thoughts to imagine what might be going on and, even if we do, the minutia of that which takes up the most space in our consciousness comes flooding back.  Perhaps whatever the sirens were responding to would be sufficiently newsworthy to make the papers or the TV news the next day.  Typically, it is not.  The jagged edged truth of the matter is that each of these dramas requiring NYPD or FDNY are but one-act plays; circumscribed incidents unfolding in front of a small number of bystanders, observers and witnesses and an even smaller number of actors.  We can be forgiven our rapid dismissal of what may be unfolding; our City is too crowded, our pace too fast, our lives too hurried to ponder that occurring out of sight.  It quickly becomes an item out of mind.


The NYPD and FDNY have very well defined missions.  Each is the  hands down, indisputable premier Department of its kind in the USA; the Police Department that other cities can only hope to emulate and the Fire Department that over the last 150 years has literally written the books on urban firefighting; all the methods, tactics, strategy, and ancillary duties of fire science as applied to our unique urban topography.  Emergency Medical Services were once an unwieldy hodgepodge of ambulance services provided by municipal and private hospitals under the purview of the HHS.  In 1996 all such services were disbanded and the EMS Division of the FDNY was officially formed. In retrospect It was, one of the best decisions to have come out of City Hall in many years.  To call it a success would be an understatement.

Too often it seems our EMS and EMTs receive less public attention than FDNY and NYPD.  In reality they are as close to more often being “first responders” to a 911 call.  They wade into bloody, messy scenes of brutality and carnage, murder and mayhem often ahead of Cops and Firemen. They charge into active crime scenes out of reflex; they are aggressive in their approach to aiding the suffering. These men and women MOS are highly trained in all manner of life saving, injury treatment, emergency medical procedures and practices; they are our urban medics who often know little of the scenario they are about to walk in to.  Their bravery is second to none, their ability to function competently, professionally, and coolly amid the chaos of crisis, the shear noise in small apartments and narrow corridors, on dark streets and darker alleys where violence had just visited is remarkable.  In fact, they are so good collectively that we take them for granted; so exceptional individually that we rely on them without question or doubt.

And now the proud ranks of the EMS and FDNY will bury one of their own.  Her sons will bury their Mom, friends, neighbors, and many others will continue to mourn her shocking passing while remembering her glowing life.  The Bible teaches that there is “no greater love” expressed than when one gives one’s own life for another.  Yadira Arroyo did just that.  She is now in the warm light and embrace of the Lord, Safely Home…


Copyright The Brooding Cynyx 2017 © All Rights Reserved

Copyright Brooding Cynyc 2017 © All Rights Reserved

Sunday, February 12, 2017



President Trump in the Oval Office last week.

TBC Commentary

(Sunday February 12, 2017 NYC) With all the raging force of a wildfire fueled by high winds and dry vegetation the firestorm that has been blazing since January 20, 2017, shows no sign of either abating or being contained.  Despite the efforts of the once revered, now chastened Washington “establishment” including long-tenured career politicians, the media, professional political operatives, pundits, pollsters, prognosticators, to say nothing about the entire Democrat Party our new President is forging ahead with a distinctive “damn the torpedoes” belligerence and resolve.  Unlike any other President, the 45th did not enjoy so much as a 15 minute “honeymoon” as the press has customarily granted.  No, there was to be no honeymoon of any sort nor would there be the institutional respect always afforded to the man in the Oval Office irrespective of political Party. 

Let’s concede upfront that President Trump has largely been his own worst enemy; from reckless Tweets and verbal gaffes, from his admitted disdain for briefings, reading, and processing the avalanche of raw data and material churned out for his consumption daily, he has played into the hands of some of his most vociferous critics.  At the moment President Trump is running the sprawling federal apparatus with a meager skeleton crew as thousands of primarily bureaucratic vacancies have rendered many Cabinet departments dysfunctional.  As he has been forced to steer the Ship of State with a small cadre of loyal advisors and only eight of his Cabinet Secretaries thus far voted on by the childish minority in the Senate led by the Minority Leader Chuckie Schmuck Schumer, he has conducted business in the manner he’s most accustomed to.  Obviously the “nonpolitician” candidate now President is bringing his own particularly unique talents and attributes to the highest Office in the United States.

Since taking Office a scant four weeks ago the Trump Administration, such as it is, has often appeared grossly amateurish, overwhelmed while reeling from one blunder to the next.  That the Trump Administration has not sought establishment Republicans to fill the vacancies in his Cabinet and the host of federal agencies positions that he is obliged to appoint has given rise to varying degrees of consternation throughout the corridors of power and influence long accustomed to having their way.  Perhaps they should have paid more attention to candidate Trump who consistently lambasted such people as political hacks who made “stupid deals” and abandoned the “regular” people for decades and his repeated promise to appoint intelligent successful businessmen to the positions of prominence in his Administration.

President Trump’s nascent Administration has gotten off to a rocky start to say the least.  However, as weeks go by and more vacancies are filled the pistons of governing will become better lubricated; the machinery of governance will once again be up and running.  The ceaselessness of the news cycle has the mass media trapped in the single minded effort to dissect every decision the President makes, parsing every word from his inner circle, spokespeople, surrogates, and supporters – supporters who have been thrust into the difficult position of defenders.  No Administration has been under the gun from the outset as has Trump’s and the media’s insatiable lust for criticism devoid of objectivity, the opposition Party’s determination to act as obstructionists, as well as leaks that appear to have been sprung from within the White House, have severely handicapped the President’s efforts to conduct the nation’s business.

It is difficult to attempt to explain the President’s penchant for lying, harboring deep-rooted conspiracy theories, for being notoriously thin-skinned yet it is also, apparently, as difficult for those within the confines of the Beltway to accept that the 65 million Americans who voted this flawed man into the Presidency remain staunchly in his corner.  The campaign talk was more than rhetoric to them; he spoke in a language they understood and he connected with their concerns and fears.  They have little regard for the “Establishment” and the media; they view the daily, blistering assault on the President as proof-positive of how he characterized the media during his campaign.  Yes, if he is unable to deliver on some of his most controversial campaign promises he will be “one and done”, a single term President whose rise and fall (that is if he fails) will be studied by political scientists, academics, historian and the like for decades to come.


Legitimate as a benchmark or not, since the election of FDR in 1933, the “First 100 days” of a first term Presidency has been employed as an indicator of how effective a new President will be.  This rather arbitrary timeframe is both antiquated and ill-legitimate.  The world has become a vastly more complex web of intersecting domestic and foreign policy issues, increasingly globalized, with issues from national security, trade and fiscal policy, defense, and the myriad of concerns of these times.  Given these and all the many other broad and deep issues an American President must confront there needs to be a realignment, a large scale review of all our commitment and relations around the world, every facet of domestic governance, every so many years.  This is shaping up to be such a time for reassessment of many of these concerns.

Our federal government in all its multi-layered inherent complexity needs to be closely examined and streamlined where ever possible.  Our government has become an unwieldy behemoth the likes of which require the full attention of the President, his Cabinet, and closest advisors and counselors.  Candidate Trump often alluded to this concept and he should be granted a fair opportunity to address the issues in all their details.  President Trump awoke this morning in the White House on his 24th day in Office.  He is being held to an unprecedented level of scrutiny, media bias and criticism, and standards that serve only to undermine his efforts.  Given the scale and scope of the responsibilities of his Office, 24 days is hardly sufficient or even a fair amount of time for the media to be so aggressively hostile.  His critics are many and varied some blatantly determined to challenge him on every decision. 

One need not travel too far back in our history to find similar though not identical Administrations that have been knocked off their stride and suffered very taxing, trying First Hundred days.  Both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama found themselves caught up in the cross currents of Republican obstinance, conservative obstructionism, and a press corps not always friendly despite their liberal bent.  Both endured their tumultuous First 100 Days and went on to be successful two-term Presidents with their successes being measured by the public’s approval of them as they left Office.  Perhaps President Trump’s harshest critics and the clamoring naysayers should take a breath here on day 24 and wait to see how this next 76 day unfolds.

Copyright The Brooding Cynyx 2017 © All Rights Reserved

Copyright Brooding Cynyc 2017 © All Rights Reserved