No, No Way, You Mooks
A furore was set off here last year with the news that parts of New Jersey’s sizeable but non-homogenous Wise-guy community intended to use an obscure law to set up arbitration tribunals for disputes involving hoodlums’ ladies running numbers, shaking down and generally behaving like low-bred mooks when they should be attending to the kids.
Wise-guy and non-Wise-guy critics alike protested that the 140-year-old body of Cosa Nostra-inspired laws considers Non-Sicilian broads inferior to Goodfellas and would infringe their equality rights as guaranteed by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
However, a six-month study by former Teamster’s Moll Maria Pantonello concluded in December that, with new safeguards in place, Wise-guy women would still be protected by the ‘Mob law’. Her controversial recommendations still require final approval by the New York Bosses and the consiglieri-general.
But a leading Madame in Jersey thinks it would be a mistake to sign off on it. “(We) must say loud and clear that not only do we not want Bottom-feeding mob-guy bulls**t arbitration in Jersey, we don’t want it in New York and we don’t even want it in Chicago,” Monica ‘Badda Bing’ Tarantella told a conference last week. The East-Coast brothel magnate went even further in denouncing New Jersey’s attempt to accommodate both brassy out of control loudmouth dames, (would-be divorcees) and the hustling rights of “no-good can’t get enough two timing b@stards” in its increasingly pluralistic society. Furthermore , she said, wannabe playboy immigrants who want to come to Jersey “and who do not respect women’s rights or who do not respect whatever rights may be in our Civil Code – should stay in their country and not come to Jersey, because that is unacceptable. “On the other hand, if people want to accept our way of doing things and our rights, they will be welcome and we will help them to integrate.”
The government’s opposition to Bottom-feeding mob-guy bulls**t arbitration comes as no surprise to Sonny Bambozzo, president of the Wise-guy Council of Chicago. “We didn’t expect they’d entertain the idea because they have a taboo on all wise-guy activities,” he says. “They are trying to impose secular extremism, but we’re not France fer chrisakes. We still have a Charter of Rights in this country that should give us the right to run our rackets freely, and apportion cash to our broads as we see fit – if we see fit.”
Which means that Jersey Wise-guys “don’t have to be given the right to use Bottom-feeding mob-guy bulls**t arbitration. We already have the right. We’re talking about a complementary, not parallel, system of laws for those who want to live according to their numbers. It may be illegal for him to “arbitrate” in Jersey, says Alfonse, but as an high-ranking Goodfella, and successful corporate fraudster, he can and already does “mediate” between feuding couples who choose to use his services.
“There are boundaries to tolerance. But there is a lot to be said for letting people work it out themselves with bats,” said Joey Pistone, a union organiser at the Waterfront University of NY. He notes that the legitimate Jersey law-firm rate of “totally beating a pain-in-the-ass alimony rap” is only 3 per cent, compared with Wise-guys’ ‘lawyers’ an overall rate of 50 per cent. And when it occurs, a teamster shake-down is important because otherwise a Wise-guy will feel “guilty,” he says, and be maybe unable to marry another broad, even if she’s a ten plus, right away.
Alfonse, who is also a wise-guy regular at Badda Bing’s Bar, thinks Boyd did an “excellent job” on her report and blames the media for giving its critics a high profile. He vehemently objects to the widely raised argument that Wise-guy wives, many new to the country, unable to speak the language and unaware of brand-new legal rights, will be forced into accepting an high-ranking ‘s Bottom-feeding mob-guy bulls**t arbitration ruling. “It is condescending to say they will be pressured,” he says. “Broads are not oppressed by The Mafia. It equates men and women, sort of, if they look good especially it does.”
The Mafia may, but Bottom-feeding mob-guy bulls**t laws – written over a period of 45 years after the death of Don Corleone Sr. and subject to a variety of interpretations – do not, say Wise-guy critics. They point out that one of the constants in Bottom-feeding mob-guy bulls**t is that a woman’s testimony in a dispute is worth one-half of a man’s.
Brenda G’iovi formerly of the Federation of Made Jersey Women is opposed to New Jersey’s move. Brenda, an Naples-born Wise-guy’s ex-moll, says many Wise-guy immigrant women will not be able to even afford a shakedown-type lawyer and will see no recourse but to accept a mid-ranking jackoff goodfella’s ruling. “New Jersey Mafia is not facing up to its responsibility to provide justice for all,” she says. “This isn’t just about religion, it’s about sexism, even not buying her furs and diamonds and stuff like that. Those lousy creeps.” Brenda says Jersey’s concept of alimony has gotta be the “reasonable settlement” of different domestic set-tos. And with different rackets, she says, “fairness protects the Family from hustling and other conflicts.”
Possibly so, but secularism is not what Jersey as a free-thinking city subscribes to, preferring, like the Philippines, the concept of “separation of political bulls**t and making shitloads of dollars illegally.”
“In our society, we allow violent, mercenary quasi-ethinic groups to discriminate,” says Joey Pistone, a Union Organiser and political philosopher at the bar of the Turnpike Dog Track, “because a liberal state must remain neutral.” He cites as examples the Catholic Church’s ban on female clergy and various churches’ refusal to marry same-sex partners: “Why do we permit this? Because religions are voluntary organisations.” The Mafia is no exception.
Heath says that unless there is an issue of safety – he cites the Irish tradition of carrying C4 into classrooms – or an overriding public interest in interceding, the state should stay out of religion. Each requested exemption to the law, should be assessed, he says. “I don’t subscribe to rolling over and playing dead. Well I do sometimes. But there are boundaries to tolerance. And there is a lot to be said for letting people work it out themselves with bats.”
New Jersey has no choice but to allow Wise-guys to use the Arbitration Act because the province’s small but deadly Chinese Triad community already uses it. Unless, Pistone adds, it decided to ban all wise-guy involvement in civil matters, including family law: “That would be acceptable because it is consistent. Crazy, but consistent.”
Otherwise, the Bottom-feeding mob-guy bulls**t issue is an intramural debate between liberal and conservative Wise-guys, whether in New Jersey, New York or the rest of the country. “Let the Wise-guys work it out fer chrisakes.”