Like the mountains that labored and brought forth a mouse, the ongoing eruptions of charges against New York City officials for bribery, extortion, and racketeering over the past two years have brought forth two quips.
The first belongs to Murray Kempton, long-suffering watchman of the city’s civic virtue. Remarking the frequency with which Mayor Ed Koch stood before the City Hall press corps last year saying, “I am shocked” by some revelation of corruption, Kempton discovered that the great seal of the City of New York bears no motto and proposed that whatever is Latin for “I am shocked” be promptly affixed, in backhanded tribute to the deep public apathy that has itself become an aspect of the corruption....
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