Fake News Galore!
Russian collusion, Trump not tough on Putin, treason!! The last week was full of such fake news, but the media purposely did not discuss the really important issues. Internally, Congressional committees are demanding more information from Justice Department and FBI about their using a phony Russian dossier as an excuse to illegally spy of the Trump campaign. Most of the culprits are still working for the government. Externally, 4 Political Islam terror organizations have declared war on the US and all of Western Civilization.
Having destroyed the ISIS caliphate, we are now focused on bankrupting Iran by 2019, but we need International help. Our competitors, Russia and China, can be helpful in this endeavor, but are still complicit with Iran. We have to give Russia and China deals that they can’t refuse! Meanwhile Turkey and Qatar, the 2 key funders of the Muslim Brotherhood, are also not helpful. They must also be pressured. There are lots of real enemies and competitors in the world. Let’s focus on them! Fake or minor issues simply take our eye off the ball.
Corruption in the Parks Dept???
Uh, I don’t really know what else to say about your article “Sex Offender Still Employed by Parks Department” other than what the heck is going on? How is this guy still employed, let alone on the public dollar, and let alone not imprisoned?
I love the parks, as I’m sure most New Yorkers do, or at least I hope so. But anyway, now I have to think about this disgusting man every time I step into one of the city’s fine parks. Why do we have to pay his salary, and why are we allowing him to continue terrorizing people at work and elsewhere? I would have hoped that especially during the #MeToo movement, we would be able to at least recognize that people like Michael Palamer, an ex-convict, should never be rewarded with positions of power, let alone allowed to be a part of society.
Is it that we still don’t believe women, still don’t believe victims? Are we really so afraid of a bad man “having his reputation and life ruined” at the same time that we ignore the lives he’s left shattered in his rear view mirror? We need to do better than this, so to see such a horrid man in a position of power makes me feel less optimistic about the future. How can we move forward when we keep rewarding such bad actors? And as an added bonus, while sexually harassing a female employee, he sprinkled in some racism by telling her that nobody would believe a black girl from the Bronx. Is this really the kind of person we want in charge of parks and working alongside people while he has power? His enablers must be held just as accountable too, and his victims need to be taken care of as appropriate, even though they will likely never recover from the emotional damage and possible career setbacks.
Thoughts on Violence in America
The opinion article in your paper, “Will Our Current Political Conflicts Turn Violent?” makes some compelling points and broaches a touchy subject that shouldn’t go ignored.
It’s a worry I’ve considered more recently. It’s not out of the realm of possibility when law enforcement agencies routinely warn about the dangers of homegrown white supremacy terrorism, powerful weapons are obtainable and owned by citizens, and some of these citizens strongly believe in so-called “Second Amendment remedies.” There’s no question that polarization is at an all-time high and tensions inflamed. I think we should expect some violence to break out, like it did in Charlottesville, and each and every time there is violence, everyone needs to stand together and loudly proclaim that you can stick to your beliefs but you cannot ever exert those beliefs violently.
On a grander scale, I don’t worry too much about the political atmosphere leading to widespread turmoil and violence. We do live in a modern society, one where we all more or less agree to a social contract. For most people, even if they can get angry from time to time, it’s pretty nonsensical for them to rise to the level of doing serious or fatal bodily harm to someone and having to face justice for it. I think most people know that such acts of violence aren’t productive and will lead to harsh consequences. I also think that even though people get passionate about politics, as they should because it’s all so important, most people have lives to life. It’s one thing to march and protest for something in which you believe, but all-out violence is an entirely different ballgame.
Upcoming MTA Hearing
The upcoming July 31st public hearing for the MTA–Federal Transit Administration joint proposed Supplemental Environmental Assessment update to support Phase 2 of the Second Avenue Subway is an important but not the only action needed to move forward. The current MTA financial commitment for Phase 2 stands at $1,735 billion to support preliminary environmental, design, engineering and utility relocation work for Phase Two north from 96th Street on to 125th Street.
There is still the need of $4.265 billion in total funding for actual construction of Phase 2. The MTA will have to find a minimum of $2.265 billion in local dollars in the next $30 billion plus MTA Five Year 2020–2024 Capital Program. This is necessary for the MTA to count on any chance of the Federal Transit Administration New Starts program providing $2 billion in additional federal funding for a total of $6 billion.
These dollars are necessary to fully fund Second Avenue Subway Phase 2. The project may have to compete against NYC Transit President Andy Byford’s request for $19 billion toward his proposed $37 billion subway system recovery plan for funding out of the same MTA Five Year 2020–2024 Capital Plan. Add $15 billion more in 2025 and beyond for Phases 3 & 4 to complete the full length of Second Avenue Subway south to Hanover Square.
(Larry Penner is a transportation historians, advocate and writer who previously worked 31 years for the US Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration Region 2 NY Office.)