the cost of Gotti's business

Ok, I'll admit to a certain interest in the creative out-sized flower arangements (the cigar, the martini, the poker hand, the race horse, etc.), and where else is there a demand for those retro flower car limos (yikes, the very latest model Cadillacs!) we saw in the photographs?

But let's try to put this into proportion. The Daily News let Thomas Hackett try today, but for whatever reason the paper fails to include the story in its online site. I will manually enter the complete text here:

It was sometimes hard to remember John Gotti had been convicted of killing six men and was believed to have had a hand in dozens more deaths in his storied career as New York's most famous mob boss. The Catholic Church refused Gotti a funeral Mass, citing canon law that forbids holy services for a "manifest sinner." But its verdict on Gotti's immorality did nothing to dampen in some cases fawning media coverage of his death in a federal prison hospital from cancer at age 61. Before spending the last 10 years in prison, Gotti had reveled in his celebrity. "This is my public," he once told his right-hand man about the gawkers who stared everywnere he went in New York. "They love me." It didn't matter that he was a thug from first to last, graduating from petty street crimes to hijacking to murder; or that extorting millions of dollars from unions and manufacturers drove business from New York; or that his reckless vanity invited the FBI scrutiny that left his organization in shambles.

The last clause about the FBI seems out of place in a litany of sins against society, but I can vouch for the comment about the impact of his extortions, having had some experience with the "cost of doing business," even very conservative and legitimate business, here in New York. Gotti and "celebrities" like him hurt all of us more than we know.