Friday, May 13, 2016

A Corrupt NY Politician Goes to Jail (but the More Things Change the More They Stay the Same)

Sheldon Silver

When foreign students ask me what the difference is between Republicans and Democrats, I tell them that this answer is easy: Republicans are evil and Democrats are corrupt.

What does corrupt mean? If someone is corrupt he/she is not ethical and does not act rightly. A corrupt politician might take bribes or use his/her position to make extra money or to help people he/she knows in return for favors from them.

Frankly, Republicans are evil. They believe that America is about strong individuals who can take care of themselves. They don't want to have any social programs and if you were starving (without food) a Republican would say, "Well, either get a job or starve. And if you do starve to death, be happy, you are helping to make sure that weak people like you die so strong people like us can survive." These "strong" Republicans usually come from families with lots of money.

It's funny because most Republicans don't believe in Darwin's theory of evolution (they are often super religious) but they refer to Darwinian survival principles when they explain their political philosophy.

Frankly, Democrats are corrupt. Super corrupt. I doubt there's even one honest Democratic politician. They are always doing favors, taking stuff for favors, doing all kinds of unethical things. The irony is that they like to present themselves as good people. They are always giving away free things. NY State has a Democratic Governor (leader) and now if you are poor and want a sex change (you are a guy and want to be a girl or vice versa) NY State will give you a FREE sex change. Isn't the Governor such a wonderful person! >_<  This is why NY State taxes are so high.

So here's an article about a guy (Sheldon Silver) who was corrupt for many years. He was one of the most powerful politicians in NY State. Everybody knew he was corrupt. The NY Post would publish articles basically saying: "Wow! This mother father is really corrupt!" (The NY Times supported the guy - they support all Democrats as long as they haven't been thrown in jail yet.) 

Nobody did anything. For 20 years nobody did anything. They worked with him because they were corrupt themselves. The Mayor of NY City (leader of NY City) even said that Silver was a "man of integrity" - a man of great honesty who never broke the law and cared about acting rightly.

What really irritates me is that the guy is an Orthodox Jewish guy. "Orthodox" means that they try to live according to the Bible. Where does it say in the Bible that you can be so corrupt as to help to destroy NY State government for generations? 

Any way, the Federal Government (Washington D.C.) finally arrested the guy and he'll be thrown in jail. 

The article:

http://nypost.com/2016/05/03/sheldon-silver-gets-12-years-in-prison-for-corruption/

Vocabulary from the article:

federal court - this is a court established by the US government. NY State government loved Silver and protected him. 

former Assembly Speaker - former means he used to hold this position. The Assembly is NY State's Congress - where the laws are made. Corrupt people can make a lot of money by getting into a Congress. He was the "Speaker" of the Assembly - the leader.

to be sentenced to - when someone is found guilty a judge will 'sentence' him/her to a punishment

a penitentiary - a jail

a judge -


scheming - someone who makes plans to do things that are illegal

to fork over - to hand over money (this is slang);to provide money

ill-gotten gains - money made illegally, gains would be money...the money was gotten (was received) in an 'ill' or wrong manner

disgraced - the opposite of honorable; to be disgraced means everyone looks down on you, you are ashamed, deeply embarrassed

ex-pol - ex politician (he used to be a politician - someone elected to a government office)

criminal counts - specific crimes

fraud - making money illegally

extortion- threatening people to get money, scaring people to make money

money laundering - getting illegal money but processing it to make it seem like legal money

concurrently - one after the other

hefty - big

capped - it is the very top of something

stellar run - an amazing number of successes (steallar means like the stars, a run is a series of events) 

Preet Bharara - an honest lawyer for the US government who has been throwing lots of corrupt politicians in jail.

justice meted out - the justice delivered

a stiff sentence - an extreme, harsh, punishment

humbled - no longer arrogant; very embarrassed

I let down my family - I disappointed my family

constituents - the people who voted for him (no...they elected one of his friends to take his place)

rendered - delivered

stoic - strong, not showing any emotional pain

lit into her husband - to light into someone is to verbally attack the person for something the person did that was wrong

extra-marital affairs - he had sex with women who wanted things from him

filings - extra papers to the judge

a lobbyist - someone who tries to influence politicians to make laws favorable to their clients

cushy - easy, a cushy job pays well and is easy

a minimum security camp - instead of a real jail, they are going to send him to a camp where he can play tennis every day and take classes,watch movies, eat nice food etc.

to impose on someone - to force on someone

a kick-back - when you help someone make money and he gives you a share

for one's better angels to take over - for one's better part of his/her nature to help the person make the right decision

put him on the straight and narrow - the straight and narrow refers to a life where you follow a narrow road of doing good things

legislator - someone who makes laws

slammed - criticized, attacked

the max - the maximum sentence

draconian - after Draco an ancient Greek leader who killed people for minor crimes. A guideline sentence is a sentence the Congress recommends for a criminal.

leniency - mercy, showing forgiveness, making the punishment lesser

home confinement - forcing someone to stay at home

a modest upbringing - growing up without much money

incarceration - to be thrown in jail

rendered - given

to weather a storm - to get through a difficult period of time

devastated - a feeling of being destroyed, shocked, 

an obituary - a notice that someone has died

deliberation - thinking, considering

cozy - comfortable

hooking them up -connecting them

to sustain each conviction - to preserve, to keep

an appeal - an attempt to g oto someone higher in a system to get a better decision
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