Nov 14, 2007

NY1: Transit

NY1: Transit
The city's taxi & limousine commission has voted to extend handicap accessible taxis from 80 to 143 as well as allowing those needing the service to be able to call 311 to find the closest handicap accessible taxi to their location. One has to ask oneself how in the world would the 311 operator know where these 143 taxis? These 143 obviously will have GPS/credit-card terminals that cause this year's 2 taxi strikes.

So is the Taxi Worker's Alliance ultimately anti-handicap? It is just might lowly opinion that Taxi Worker's Alliance attempt to organize the city's taxi driver flailing, in large part because the premise of protesting against GPS devices instead the economics of it (ie. let the TLC or advertising company pay for the equipment and installation).

Nov 11, 2007

Democrats: Colleges must police copyright, or else | CNET

Democrats: Colleges must police copyright, or else | CNET
Ridiculous! Democrats can not find the huevos to stop Bush breaking the law regarding American's right to privacy and from illegal searches, but they can crack down on peer-to-peer networks (not the individuals who participate mind you but the colleges that may have only one student illegally downloading music and movies). The Democratic Congress is threaten to withdraw all federal finacial aid and benefits to institutions of higher learning that will not name-names of students who download copyrighted material. The Congressional Democrats cannot get it together stop the Iraq War which they were given the majority last November for, but they twiddle their thumbs and do the bidding of copyright holders! American universities and colleges do not have anything better to do that track every move their students make online? Really!?! Because I remember in 2004 Kerry, and the Democratic platform had nothing but bad things to say about unfunded mandates regarding education... what happened to that old saw? It is not the government's job insure the movie and music industries' profits. It is not the government's job to be the movie and music industries' thug to scare individuals. We do not have the FBI or local cops standing in the doorway of Wal-Marts to prevent Wal-Mart customers from shoplifting. Our government does not pull up the roads that lead to the Wal-Mart to punish the shoplifters.

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) are throwing a temper tantrum over the fact that their industries are changing. Despite the legal concept of safe harbor (ie media hosting services such as who pull copyrighted material after notified or internet service providers not being culpable of their customers' actions online) the media industries cannot seem to get over the fact they are going to have start suing all of their potentional customers or deal with the fact that they will always have some of their copyrighted media loose on the net.

Oct 23, 2007

Direct Democracy for People-Powered Politics

MyDD :: Direct Democracy for People-Powered Politics

This blog post really hits it on the nose. Edwards campaign being so focused on economic justice is the greatest crisis that is facing this country. While the Hillary Clinton campaign seems determined with only one crisis, her own personal electoral victory, and Barack Obama's campaign is centrally focused on changing the nature of politics. Out of every candidate that is running for president only Rep. Ron Paul and Senator John Edwards seem to be running a campaign that is solution and results centered, (Rep. Paul solution being eliminating 90% of what the federal government does, while Sen. Edwards' solution is cure our economic ills.) The fear of the current economic trends are leading our country is not just a fear for us lefties, Billionaire and ardent fiscal conservative Warren Buffet has been heard to say "Class war, of course there is a class war going on right now and my side is winning."

New York Times columnist and class-warfare apologist Thomas Friedman often writes in his column and books about how it is good that our economy holds no protection from competition (and I would postulate no protection from bad luck.) The prevailing corporatized common wisdom is that we the consumer or employee for all intensive purposes and for all future generations shall hold all economic risks while the elite of the investing class shall retain all the benefits in some sort of ass-backwards Adam-Smith-envisioned capitalism.

Sep 5, 2007

Taxi Strike

The Village Voice: Runnin' Scared

Ed Ott is a good man, but my observation of Grand Central at 9:00PM this morning showed a 3-taxi-line out in front at the taxi stand. It was less than usual but was not harmful to the commuters, or tourists. Taxis are by nature a luxury good, but there really could not be legit complaints about adding credit card terminals, GPS maps for customers (though not useful to the driver), and advertising to taxis. The payment of the devices and any service fees should be paid by the advertising delivered by the devices but Ms. Desai of the Taxi Worker Alliance have never even come close to such an argument. If privacy while off duty is the problem the few striking taxi drivers should push forward that when the meter is turned to off duty the GPS is off, but that has not been put forward giving the perception that they do not want anyone even from distance to be looking over their shoulders while working. The fear of taxi drivers loosing their privacy while on the clock, I've got one response... welcome to the real world. Whenever I'm working I'm accountable to my boss to actually work, if anyone is ashamed of what they do while on the job they should probably find another job.

Last week we saw the MTA roll out over a 100 buses equiped with GPS devices tracking the locations of the buses being instantly communicated to bus stops and a website. The effectively militant Transport Workers Union (TWU) had no problem with their members being tracked while on the job, but the disorganized, non-unionized taxi cab drivers some how do and get the support of NYC AFL-CIO Executive Director Ed Ott. Sorry cabbies, no more driving tourists and clueless pigeon passengers around in cirlces. Sorry , no more refusing fares to the outer boroughs. Sorry, you guys just have to suck it up.

Aug 27, 2007

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales Resigns

AG Gonzalez will of course continue to work for the duration of Bush's Presidency since he will not be able to recall his own resignation.

A goldfish is being proposed by the Bush administration to replace the first Hispanic Attorney General, White House spokesman Tony Snow made the statement "since it is widely known that goldfish have only a 3 second memory making them perfectly suited for top prosecutor for the United States in the eyes of the President."

Jul 18, 2007

Steam explosion causes scare in NYC

Steam explosion causes scare in NYC - Yahoo! News

The specter of 9/11 appeared in Mid-town this evening as a plum of steam/smoke rose above the skyline from 41st Street and Lexington Avenue. I can not overcome the skepticism by the instant response that it had nothing to do with terrorism. Last Fall when Yankees pitcher crashed his airplane into an apartment building, there were news commenters who stated "we do not know much other than this is not an act of terrorism." Back in the summer 2005 before Hurricane Katrina there were several refineries that had explosions, again we were immediately given the response that it had nothing to do with terrorism.

My general problem is that everyone in authority without knowing anything have gained the reflex to denounce any emergency has any connection with terrorism. It does not help the NYPD, FBI, Homeland Security, or anyone else to constantly speak as if they know before anything happens that they are certain the event has nothing to do with terrorism. This sort of behavior, though may have the intentions of calming the public, does not build confidence in the integrity and honesty of authority figures. Worse this behavior gives the conspiracy theorists red meat for the belief that terrorism is all pre-determined, or that those who are responsible for protecting us always has foreknowledge of terrorist incidents.

In October of 2001 a flight from JFK to the Dominican Republic which crashed in the Rockaways. The immediate response of New York City officials was to act as if was part of terrorist attack, closing the subways, closing bridges and tunnels, and generally preparing the city for the worse. Though not as calming as pavlovianly stating with confidence yet without any evidence that it had no terrorism connection, this reaction of preparing for the worse was truly the more cautious reaction. Closing the transit, airports, and river crossings certainly inconvenienced tens of thousands of New Yorkers but was the best course of action.

Jul 9, 2007

New York's City Hall to Move to Brooklyn -

New York's City Hall to Move to Brooklyn -

There's really nothing interesting here, just thought it would be weird for the Mayor to have short reverse commute from Manhattan to an outer borough.

New York’s Antiterror Funds Disappoint, Officials Say - New York Times

New York’s Antiterror Funds Disappoint, Officials Say - New York Times

{sarcasm alert!}
Indiana's World's Largest Ball of Twine needs to be protected!

There really is nothing surprising that this administration is making funding decision and government responses based upon political calculations. Democratic Governor's tend to get screwed by FEMA's decisions when responding to natural disasters (Kathleen Sibelius Kansas' Tornadoes this past spring; Kathleen Blanco Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana; etc) while Republican governors get rapid response from FEMA ( Jeb Bush 2004 Florida Hurricanes; Rick Perry 2005 Hurricane Rita through Texas;
Haley Barbour of Louisana during Hurricane Katrina; George Pataki of New York during the winter of 2006 flooding upstate)

Jul 5, 2007

Blast the Right PodCast #100

Blast the Right host, Jack Clark, really puts together a great legalistic argument why immigrants who are working at incredibly low wages have reasonable expectations that they would be able to continue their new lives that they have started here in America.

Equitable estoppel is the excellent new term that I learned. The example of the legal premise that was given on the podcast was that if someone signs a lease that says that you will be charged a penalty fee or evicted if you pay the rent more than 3-4 days but in fact pay the first 6 months paying the rent 10 days late then one could not expect that the seventh month would be the month that your landlord would evict you. In the same manner when the U.S. has Fortune 500 companies seeking out undocumented immigrants to pay them less than the US standard for minimum wage but a greater wage than the average Latin American would be paid in their home countries, that there could be no expectation that undocumented immigrants staying past their visas (which a vast majority of undocumented immigrants do, not jumping the fence) would be prosecuted years after entering the country and putting in 1,000s of hour of hard work into our economy. With a such a strong encouragement to break the letter of the law from supposedly law abiding good corporate citizens like Wal-Mart, Archer-Daniels- Midland Company, Con-Agra, Manpower Inc., and any other company that depends on cheap manual labor why would their be anyone who has to chose between abject-starving poverty and simply being the bottom rung on the American economic ladder chose the former rather than the latter.

Obviously we cannot have anyone who is a violent criminal roaming over the border or taking a flight into our country, but the right-wing doesn't want to implement anything to stopping them. Mohammed Atta, and Richard Reid were on no-fly lists and were able to fly any way (9/11 ringleader and the shoe bomber respectively). The undocumented workers in the houses of right-wing nutjobs (like Rush Limbugh's maid who scored him all those prescription drugs) are the only people the wealthy class warriors want to get rid of, if the right wingers didn't like their own undocumented workers they should have the guts let them go and hire a legal resident (except at $7.25/hour instead of $3-$4/hr).

Sorry its been so long since a post

I had technical issues with blogger website so for the past couple of months had problems and couldn't update my blog.

Feb 7, 2007

1 Seat Closer

Craig Johnson Won Tuesday's Special election putting the Democrats 2 seats away from taking power in State Senate for the first time since 1965. I suspect that Spitzer and State Senate Minority leader are not going to push too hard to persuade GOP senators that hard because having a boogieman Republican Majority around is helpful. 2008 will be the election that the Democrats take the majority, Serph Maltese will certainly be an out going Senator,