Why should the Port Authority and MTA be allowed to expire fixed amount trip cards? When I by a 30 trip Path Card there is no reason that the card should expire after a 60 or 90 days. In the old analog and token days, you bought 30 tokens and you could use them six months or six years later. For the infrequent traveller or perhaps telecomutuer who wants to invest in public transportation, the value of that investment is summarily rendered void for customers in the new age or digitally expired service. Obviously, this would make sense in the case of a weekly or monthly pass but when a consumer pays for trips they should not be rendered void after some arbitrary deadline of which the consumer has no say.
Its not just digital systeme that have done this. Likewise the NJWaterways ferry service expires ferry tickets. The complent seems petty but flip the equation around and you wil quickly realize the scale of monies taken from consumers/citizens with out the purchased services being rendered.
In many cities in America, you now see digital meters. Pretty snazzy until you notice that they end the era of riding a fortuitous meter with extra time. The new meters can sense when a car pulls away and automatically reset to zero. Even more audacious was when i was about to ride a meter in Hoboken, NJ, I was told by a police officer that I couldn't do so even when i had nanaged to pull in right behind the vacating driver thereby tricking the system.
Its for this reason that I warn all of you out there to also stay away from Gift Cards, Certificates or whatever they want to call the scam... Give Cash!!! In the fine print of just about all of those gift certificates is an expiration date that effectively will give the store your money for free if your gift recipient hasnt spent it by the deadline. Beyond that seldom will a gift certificate get fully used with out the expenditure of some additonal money as the final bill almost never exactly matches the amount of the certificate.
This was sent 12/13/2004 folowing Andrew Sullivan's appearance on the Bill Maher show.
You are a remarkably blind individual. Do you simply work from an idealized truth you believe in unfettered by the pesky details and facts. You managed to completely avoid responding to D.L Hughley's multiple significant confrontations to the blind belief in America always being right (or you would offer a weak concession of the point?). How do you reconcile your idea of federalism against egregious human rights violations of slavery, racism or homophobic legislation rife throughout American history. You seem to believe that no matter what the methods as long as you can show some positive outcome America is just. You believe this in the face of COINTELPRO, the Trail of Tears, countless broken treaties with Native People, the Oliver North Scandal, the selling of crack cocaine to primarily African Americans to fund illegal activities, the training of "freedom fighter" insurgencies to destabilize other nations and our own populace, Sino American internment during WWII (I guess in that sense we have returned to traditional American Values, huh?),the assassination of foreign government heads of state? was as it when my grandfather an African American soldier in WWII along with all the rest of Blacks in military were provided lower services and treated with greater inequality than German soldiers captured as Prisoners of war? The fact that the combinations of our inner city and rural schools along with much of the after the fact quota systems perpetuate the institutionalized racism, bias, and crime endangering all of us personally and the viability of our nation (And the solution is not no child left behind.. our systems needs to keep the kids back until they learn the material and develop specialized classes to deal with the key learning gaps like ESL, Reading, and Mathematics) When was this idyllic period of American moral values.. we still have a long way to go before get any where near having true moral values on a national level. Where we will have a national policy that respects the private rights of an individual while maintaining an impartiality.
There is a belief among a significant number of Christians that the difference between heaven and hell is the acceptance of Christ as your personal savior. it masquerades as being socially permissive but belies a true ongoing crusade mentality.. which i believe also fuels support for "regime change", "democratization" in the middle east. People say this country was founded out of religious persecutions but the founding was funded based on capitalist and imperial aims. Talk to native Americans about democracy (American reeducation schools, land theft broken treaties and other social warfare) .. the Iroquois confederacy provided the foundation for our constitution not European tradition no matter what the revisions of the white slave masters try to perpetrate. If we want to truly embody the lessons of the puritans and other religious persecuted we need eliminate the idea that we are a Christian country and embrace the religious diversity of our nation. Otherwise we are on the road to recreating the exact same persecution which drove our early immigrants from their homelands.
The double standard is very clear, Allegedly we have a zero tolerance for harboring terrorist group, yet even after McVeigh a multitude of Racist and/or Militantly religious groups which just so happen to be primarily of White constituency continue to operate in the country. Compare this to the virulent way in which violent and non violent groups organized around people of color are eradicated and demonized ala the Black Panther, AIM , Leonard Peltier.
You refuse to acknowledge the role either our government officials or American corporate interests played in providing strategic support to groups that now are our sworn enemies. We seem to forget the way that we used the Middle East, Eastern Europe, South America, Asia and Africa as the ongoing killing fields and dumping grounds in our sparring against the communist threat.
You also seem to disregard the numerous testimonies by pentagon insiders on the use of 9/11 as an expedient way move to regime change in Iraq. You said that we could have just taken the oil wells. First that wouldn't play in the media spin that the White House was using. Secondly, it would be much harder to hold oil wells (which were the first thing we locked down.. even over the 380 tons of explosives which were known about even then) while Saddam was still in power and ridiculous to think that the neo con thinkers currently influencing the White House would even consider such a half measure. Also, I am curious if you just discount the numerous documented ties between our administration and the Iraq i.e. Rumsfield's position with ABB during the period its subsidiaries sold missile guidance systems to Iraq and Halliburton's long track record of doing business with enemy states via subsidiaries.
It is very suspicious that despite strong mandate from the local residence and a unanimous vote of the city council, that the Jersey City Mayor's Office cant seem to remember who they represent. Or perhpas they do: thier campaign funders and big money and coporate interests. In the case of Healy, he sat quietly by like a porch monkey watching the not so quiet dismantling of the the Arts District brick by brick. He did so even though there were legal tools at his disposal to defend the heart and soul of the Jersey City Arts District and Studio Tour, 111 First St. For instance, the landlord of the building owes over $7million dollars in fines to the city yet no liens have been placed on the property. I would like to see the average tax paying,property-owning citizen of JC get away with this. Hell, for those of you who dont know if you fail to pay a parking ticket on time the state will suspend your license and we are talking about under $100. Moreover, it is our citizenry who will have to eventually make up the revenue shortfalls for all this coporate welfare and debt forgiveness. It is our citizenry who will feel the cut from the loss of the entertainment revenue that could have been realized by a strong plan to implement the Arts District. If you live in Jersey City or own a retail business here, then you are aware of how much of a percentage of discretionary entertainment spending is funnelled right out of Jersey City and into the grateful hands of NY merchants (.. and i dont hate them for making money). A true Arts District with an attention to fine arts, performing arts, and entertainment venues would round out the development of all the residential, commercial and existing retail spaces while attracting a new york crossover audience in addition to our local people. If this were done with the conversion of the Powerhouse to an NJPAC style perfomrnace space with with galleries and a rooftop restaurant it could even help to revitalize the waning NJ Waterways business. To those who think that Jersey City can not be that type of entertainment draw one need only look to the success of the waterfront hotels and migration of formerly NY based business offices as proof that JC is not an ugly step sister to Manhattan.
So what is the value that Healy sees Lloyd Goldman and his company Devon Management aka BLDG Management? The company is based in NY so there arent huge tax contributions. If anything Goldman has been riding the ecomonic development policies, lax residential housing enforcement (as he and his staff as well as city officials had been personally aware of individuals living in the building), and tax and utilitiy abatements. One wonders why Jersey City bends so far over to help a coporation that brings so little to the area to profit so greatly. Ah,, but i forget that Lloyd Goldman is a near billionaire and unfortuantley the stringency of law seems to be statistacally inversely proportional to the amount of money the potential defendant has. I find it disgusting that these fines are being swept under the rug when all were hear about is the tightness of the budget for education, quality of life and the general improvement of Jersey City.
What we need in NJ is a way to cut through the coruption that undercuts altruistic progress and allows the old boy network to continue to function with impunity. Fortunatley, the seeds of this much needed reform is in the constitution of just about every township in NJ. All Citys and towns in Nj were founded under either the Faulkner Act or the Home Rule Act. Both of these provide for public referendum. Following the starategies used by those concerned about illegal immigration in AZ where they were able to pass the Protect AZ Now referendum. We the concenred citizens of Jersey City could take back some control from the corporate money changers overriding our democratic process.
What i propose is a refernedum that would allow citizens to file a civil suit against government employees who are found to not implment the Law with personal liability and with the power to force the city or state to implement its Laws.
Some might say why do we need this. And the answer is that way too oftern the politicians will sing a happy song until the y are elected and then its is the whispers from the back room that are felt. We need to enforce a higher level of accountability from the individuals who chose to act as a part of the engine of our democracy.
If you are a lawyer and want to get involved on the legal steps of sucha process or any one else who believes we should take back our government please reach out to me.