JT's Blog

Politics

Monkeys on a ladder

by on Jul.27, 2014, under Personal, Politics

A group of scientists placed five monkeys in a cage and in the middle, a ladder with bananas on top.

Every time a monkey went up the ladder, the scientists soaked the rest of the monkeys with cold water.

After a while, every time a monkey went up the ladder, the other ones beat up the one on the ladder.

After some time, no monkey dared to go up the ladder regardless of the temptation.

Scientists then substituted one of the monkeys.  The first thing this new monkey did was to go up the ladder.  Immediately, the other monkeys beat it up.

After several beatings, the new member learned not to climb the ladder even though it never knew why.

The second monkey was substituted and the same occurred; the first substituted monkey also participated on the beating of the second monkey.  A third monkey was changed and the pattern was repeated.  The fourth was substituted and the beating was repeated.  Finally the fifth monkey was replaced.

Now, there is a group of 5 monkeys, none of which ever received a cold shower. Yet they continue to beat up any monkey that attempts to climb the ladder.

If it were possible to ask the monkeys why they beat up those who attempt to climb the ladder, no doubt their answer would be: “I don’t know.  That’s how things are done around here.”

Does that sound familiar?

In our lives, is there a way other than the status quo?

 

 

Source: some post on FB full of grammatical and spelling errors.

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Misappropriation of resources?

by on Nov.05, 2012, under Politics, WTF?

Several years ago, the City of New York went around digging up and replacing sidewalks.  I’m not talking about the ramps that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, I’m talking about the city determining that your sidewalk is in a state of disrepair, and showing up one day with jackhammers, digging it up and replacing it before you have a chance to complain about the noise.  Of course, a very costly invoice arrives shortly thereafter.  This invoice is generally two to three times what such work would cost in the private sector and failure to pay results in the usual collections and seizure tactics.

While the public-safety motivation behind this policy is obvious, the simple fact is that landlords, not the City are liable for slip and fall accidents and the extremely subjective and unpublished criteria by that determines whose sidewalk gets dug up makes the process suspect.  Universally, landlords and supers see this as another form of taxation: a cash-grab by the New York City.

Sidewalk Replacement in NYC on 11/5/12

And now, the point of today’s post: this morning, I saw the sidewalk being dug up on 111th Street and Broadway, in front of the Citibank.  I stopped in to joke with a friend who works there.  He informed me that the city is replacing the sidewalk, pursuant to the policy I’ve just described.

My question: could these work crews not be more useful helping clear debris in the communities ravaged by the hurricane?

Oh, and for the record, this sidewalk was absolutely fine and did not need replacement.  What qualifies me to say this?  Simple: I walk on it every day.  Unlike the sidewalk on the opposite side of Broadway, where I’ve twisted my ankle several times along the uneven surfaces.

 

Look for yourself:

View Larger Map

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The Politics of the Finance Industry

by on Oct.05, 2011, under Politics

I saw this on Facebook today.  Had to grab it and keep it.

This makes it clear what’s wrong with the financial industry: lack of govt oversight has allowed the runaway consolidation of small banks, in favor of large corporations who off-shore customer service to call-centers and who charge usurious fees.  Add to that the undisciplined financial management that caused the initial recession two years ago and we can see what trusting industry to “police itself” has done.  It has screwed you and me, again and again.

Click on this image to see it full-size.

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Bin Laden is dead.

by on May.01, 2011, under Politics

Today we learned that Osama Bin Laden is dead.

Osama Bin Laden

Osama Bin Laden

As a patriot I’m happy there is closure.

As a New Yorker I’m elated the murderer of thousands has been taken down.

As a strategist I hope this demoralizes Al Qaeda.

As a realist I know someone else will assume his leadership position.

As a human, the revenge killing of a fanatic is a hollow victory in an ideological war that is unfortunately far from over.

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The Bloomberg Dynasty Lives On

by on Nov.07, 2009, under Politics

So Mayor Mike bought himself another 4 years at the helm of NYC.

The margin of victory was slim and every pundit is saying how people resented the deluge of direct mail and the fact that Bloomy thumbed the New York electorate in the eye by single handedly overturning term limits – read: negating a law that stood in the way of him doing what he wanted to do, which was to run for a 3rd term.

All that is a crock of sh*t because he’s in office again, and the sheeple who elected him didn’t realize that a democracy does not function based on “I will change the law because I know what’s best for you”.  And everyone did not vote against Bloomberg basically accepted the significant erosion of voting power purpetrated by Bloomy.

Is the city better than before, I’m not sure.  I do know that the city definitely lives off of me and does not serve me, a life long resident.  There are double-standards and selective law enforcement everywhere.  I find that summonses and fines are used to generate revenue and not to enforce (or promote) quality of life.

  • Man pulls over to pick up his wife (who is waiting at curbside), and during the 30 seconds he is there, a traffic cop issues a ticket for blocking the bicycle lane.  Never mind the fact that no bicycles were inconvenienced, never mind the fact that city buses or city vehicles can park for extended periods blocking the same lanes.  The city’s official response: he broke the law.
  • Placards on the dashboard indicating an affiliation with the police or any city agency are a free pass to park anywhere and not get a ticket: less than 5 feet from a hydrant, encroaching in a crosswalk, in a no parking during certain times zone… but should I pull in to drop off groceries, I get a ticket in less time than it takes to take bags from the trunk to the curb.
  • Sanitation runs around issuing fines to buildings if the recycling or rubbish is placed curbside 15 minutes before a certain time, or if a homeless person tears open the bag and makes a mess, the building receives the fine.

This way of using law to generate revenue was started during the Giuliani administration and perfected by Bloomberg.  Both are clearly out of touch with a day in the life of the masses they claim to represent.  This sort of municipal abuse is the result of a top-down policy that uses fines to generate revenue and not the threat of a fine as a deterrent for misbehavior.

And now Bloomberg says he’s going to go after the Metropolitan Transit Authority.  Whatever.  There’s a hollow campaign promise if ever I heard one.  The MTA is a private agency that has refused to open its books or show an ounce of transparency despite receiving public funds and demonstrating gross mismanagement of funds and increasing costs to the public at a rate outpacing inflation by more than 10 to 1.  And after 8 years in office, now Mike thinks to do something? You only now decide to say something in the interest of the masses of New Yorkers?  Is it because you just allowed a new tax on all New Yorkers to subsidize the MTA?  That’s pretty socialist for a Republican.  Bull.  I’ll believe it when I see it.  And 4 years from now, good riddance, hopefully.

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