John Cartafalsa, 91, was relieved to get home to the Upper West Side after spending five months of the pandemic stranded in Florida.
But as he entered his apartment lobby, his eyes were drawn to a disturbing sight. Tucked at the feet of a neighbor waiting for the elevator was Cartafalsa’s precious Christopher Columbus statue, a gift from a Sicilian-born relative to honor his law school graduation in 1957.
For thirty years the 15-inch bronze has held pride of place in an alcove in the lobby of Cartafalsa’s Riverside Drive co-op.
There it remained, unmolested, until 5.55 pm June 29 when, in a stroke of fateful timing, Cartafalsa came across his 13th floor neighbor, Mount Sinai doctor Sean Morrison, trying to swipe it.
“That’s mine!” said a distressed Cartafalsa, shuffling forward on his walker. What was said next is in dispute, but the conversation ended when another neighbor told Cartafalsa she would restore his statue to its niche.
However, Morrison didn’t let go of his obsession.
At 7.23 the next morning, CCTV footage shows the palliative care specialist, hospital ID slung around his neck, walking through the lobby, into the alcove, where he tucks the statue under his arm, and walks briskly out onto the street.
George Floyd’s death in May at the hands of Minneapolis police, he later claimed, provoked his hostility to Columbus, the 15th century Italian explorer credited with discovering America.
Cartafalsa was devastated when he discovered the family heirloom missing two days later. He called police and soon the story spread through the building.
Cartafalsa now is in hospital with gall bladder problems, unable to speak.
But his son, attorney John Cartafalsa Jnr, 62, says he was told by the co-op board the statue was “destroyed”.
“This guy’s attitude is despicable,” he says. “Morrison claims he told my father the statue was objectionable, but my father had no discussion with him at all other than to tell him the statue was his and not to take it…
“In my father’s eyes the statue is priceless. It has a lot of family and emotional meaning.”
It took six weeks, and only after detectives retrieved the CCTV footage from the building lobby, for Morrison to acknowledge what he had done, in a letter dated August 8, on the letterhead of Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine.
“I am writing to apologize for the removal of your statue from our building lobby and for not discussing this with you more thoroughly than at our brief conversation when you returned from Florida.
“While not an excuse, I had had a particularly difficult day as we watched 10 patients die of COVID that afternoon on our palliative care unit and in the setting of George Floyd’s murder my emotions overcame my logical thought.”
The letter did not placate Cartafalsa. Nor did it dissuade the NYPD from charging Morrison last Thursday with petit larceny. He is due in court December 8.
The theft “has troubled my father greatly”, says Cartafalsa Jnr.
Morrison never explained what Christopher Columbus had to do with George Floyd. But destroying statues of historical figures is radical Antifa nonsense which has driven the senseless destruction which blighted summer.
When a privileged 55-year-old pillar of the medical establishment, who lives in a $4million double apartment with Hudson River views, indulges in the puerile politics of student anarchists, our society is in deep trouble.
Morrison’s attitude is all the more disturbing when you consider that he is a luminary of the palliative care industry, the Ellen and Howard Katz Chair of Mount Sinai’s Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine.
He and his wife, Dr Diane Meier, 68, also a Mount Sinai specialist, each have received grants from billionaire George Soros’ Open Society Institute, which stands accused by pro-life group LifeTree, of promoting palliative care as “euthanasia by stealth”, by providing “comfort” instead of treatment to very ill or elderly patients.
Morrison has authored a paper citing “strong fiscal incentives” for hospitals to expand palliative care, as a solution to the burden of an ageing population.
In an April webinar, Morrison and Meier explained how the pandemic ley palliative-care specialists to be inserted onto the frontlines of ICUs, at a time when family and priests were barred entry.
The final twist to the story is that Cartafalsa Snr is hospitalized at Mount Sinai, the employer of his tormenter.
“My dad is very much aware he is at the end of his life,” says Cartafalsa Jr.
“You can’t not know this when you are 91 in the ICU and the priest has given you the last rites”.
He doesn’t want Morrison near his father.
“Someone needs to question if this guy is in the right mind to be treating patients.”
Perhaps Morrison’s actions are out of character. Perhaps he suffered an emotional breakdown in June. But at the very least he needs counselling.
You also have to question the motives of a palliative care specialist who showed no respect for the dignity or wishes of his elderly neighbor. Morrison saw Cartafalsa’s distress, yet the next morning he allegedly stole his pride and joy.
That takes a weird callousness toward the elderly which medical authorities should examine.
Netflix’s pedophilia shame
Ignore the sophistry of movie critics trying to excuse Netflix’s descent into pedophile titillation.
“Cuties,” a French film about prematurely sexualized 11-year-old girls, is not a condemnation of the exploitation of children by social media, as its defenders pretend.
It actually is the exploitation, blatantly, unashamedly, shockingly.
Cuties features lingering, prurient closeups of the 11-year-olds’ crotches, buttocks and budding breasts, as they twerk and gyrate suggestively in skin-tight, barely-there costumes.
To say the scenes are disturbing is an understatement. No back story turns kiddie porn into respectable entertainment.
Apart from voyeuristic closeups of pubescent bodies and sexually suggestive dancing – complete with fingers in mouths and orgiastic crotch grabbing – there also is a scene in which a girl presses a used condom to her lips and blows into it.
Another scene has a girl trying to photograph an unsuspecting boy’s penis as he urinates in the school bathroom. At one point the 11-year-old lead character attempts to undress and offer sex to an adult relative to convince him to give back her cell phone, which she later uses to photograph her vagina and post the X-rated image online.
In another scene, the girls falsely accuse two security guards of groping them. Then they dance suggestively for the men, one of whom stares lasciviously at a twerking butt.
The movie dwells provocatively on the Muslim religion of the Senegalese lead character, Netflix thus offering corrosive proof of the debauchery of the West.
Who at Netflix greenlighted this production? Who chose the most sexually suggestive poster to promote it and then lied that it didn’t fairly represent the movie?
Shame on Netflix and its male-dominated board. Shame on the Obamas and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for not leveraging their lucrative contracts with Netflix to protest this child exploitation masquerading as art.
We have taboos about sexualizing children for a reason, but perverts, the porn industry, academics and the media keep defining down community standards to erode the special protections once afforded childhood.
Now they’ve circled the wagons around Netflix, mocking critics as hysterical prudes and conservative philistines.
Don’t be fooled. You either deplore Cuties or you are complicit in normalizing pedophilia.
New York Post
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