The MTA’s Financial Crisis
In the middle of a multi-billion dollar financial crises, why does the MTA continue hiring outside consultants? The latest waste of scarce funds is a contract for $91 million, bringing on board even more consultants. Their task is to assist the MTA’s Transformation Office to decide how to cut 2,700 jobs. One hundred twenty consultants will decide the fate of 2,700 current MTA employees. That comes to 1 consultant recommending the fate of 270 employees. MTA HQ, along with each operating agency including NYC Transit, Long Island Rail Road, Metro North Rail Road, MTA Bus and MTA Capital Construction has a Human Resources Office along with various legal. procurement, engineering, fiscal and other department directors. Why doesn’t MTA Chairman Pat Foye and the MTA Board assign this work to in-house resources already available? Or is this a lack of confidence in current management to make these decisions? There are better ways to spend $91 million than this.
(Larry Penner is a transportation historian, writer and advocate who previously worked 31 years for the Federal Transit Administration Region 2 New York Office. This included the development, review, approval and oversight for billions in capital projects and programs for the MTA, NYC Transit bus and subway, Staten Island Rail Road, Long Island and Metro North Rail Roads, MTA Bus, New Jersey Transit along with 30 other transit agencies in NY & NJ).
I’m Not an Antisemite, But…
Call me old fashioned, but I recall the days when we could easily detect the stench of Jew hate. Now, the new religious mantra is defined by muddy moral relativism where one is mandated to find the “good” in all things, and avoid legitimate criticism of anything, for fear of being called a ‘bigot.’
So today we have Sanders and Warren appointing staff who demonize Israel with outright lies, who support the Boycott and End to the Jewish state but deny they are antisemitic and get away with it. “Modern antisemitism says that Jews do not have the right to a state, and that the Jewish state is uniquely evil. The hate that animates this is the same as for all the other antisemitisms. Just because it is called “anti-Zionism” doesn’t mean it is different. It is simply the newest flavor. As in the previous antisemitisms…they are excuses to not feel like a bigot. And anti-Zionism is exactly the same.”
A colleague writes “Demonization of Israel is one of the key reasons for the uptick in anti-Semitic attacks. Perpetrated by the media, these lies and distortions often go unchecked by Jewish organizations and the result is the lies continue to spread, fueled by the media (and the UN).”
“So perhaps the question “Where are you?”—a question that so many asked God during the Holocaust, and which so many of us have been asking God ever since, is not a question for us to ask God, but a question for God to ask us. Where was the moral compass of the millions who simply looked the other way as the Nazis and their army of willing executioners perpetrated such monstrous evil. Rather than honestly confront this standing question, people instead tried to excuse their inaction. Too often, they justified their failure to accept our moral obligations to one another by hiding behind another question.”
“Progressives” are silent or worse, joining with those who are anti “Zionism”. When you lose your moral compass, you end up in this bottomless quagmire of doubt and impotence. Identifying and standing up to Jew hate, especially in this newest mutation is the kind of clear morally imperative choice I grew up with. But then again, those were the days when we learned to take a hit from playing dodge ball without cowering or blaming others for our own moral failures.
We Do Need New Jewish Leadership to Survive
Our present Jewish “leaders” are not leading American Jews of any age group. Most are silent with few exceptions. The ZOA courageously and consistently stands up to the growing normalization of anti Israel, anti Zionist Jew hating rhetoric. Mort Klein, “The Sanders squad of Jew-hating surrogates and senior campaign advisers includes Linda Sarsour; Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.); Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.); Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.); Amer Zahr; Faiz Shakir; and Sanders’s most recently appointed senior adviser, Phillip Agnew (aka Umi Selah).
No major presidential candidate in U.S. history has had this many overt anti-Semites working for him or her. It’s truly frightening.
Yet there has been a deafening silence from our leaders on this critical matter. If a presidential candidate surrounded him/herself with anti-black bigots, we’d all be screaming. Why are so many silent now?
Agnew/Selah co-founded the Jew-hating Israelophobic group “Dream Defenders.” He strongly supports the anti-Israel BDS movement and falsely wrote in Ebony magazine that Zionism is a “racist, exploitative, exclusionary, ethnic ideology.” He also falsely said, “Zion is hell on earth for millions” and falsely characterized the “occupation of Palestine” as “murderous.” He posted Dream Defenders’ common-core-compatible “rebellion curriculum” series for sixth- to 11th-graders, which glorifies the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a U.S. designated foreign terrorist organization. The “curriculum” calls all of Israel “occupied Palestine”; speaks of destroying Israel…“
Sanders’s campaign manager Faiz Shakir is a strong supporter of anti-Israel BDS, was involved in the ThinkProgress blog incident regarding staffers who used anti-Semitic tropes about Jewish dual loyalty and domination of money and politics.”
I hear the outrageously deafening silence of most Jewish “leaders”, organizations, federations, rabbis, who, by their silence, are enabling the spread of Sanders anti Israel, anti Jew poison to continue long after his campaign ends. Cancer spreads if not zapped immediately. We need leadership who have not yet lost their cajones or chutzpah to stand up, condemn, denounce, demand mainstream media publish Sanders’ appointments of these bigots.
Steven Randolph Prescott