Big Smoke

'cause it's hard to see from where I'm standin'

Tea Party Holds Nation Hostage, Gets Concessions

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Apparently we do negotiate with terrorists.

Thanks, But No Thanks

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I am a biker and I use the Riverside Park bike path daily.

Even I think this cute little diversion was a total misappropriation of funds.

We’re laying off teachers and closing down libraries. We’re pulling cops off the beat and taking trains off the tracks.

And we spent $15.7 million so I don’t have to take a tiny detour?


  • Author:
  • Published: May 13th, 2010
  • Category: Society
  • Comments: 1

I’m Too Young For This

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I’m still twenty-something, still running the starter motor on a career – any career. I can’t already be in the “what is this world coming to” mode yet. Not for another thirty years more at least.

In times of boon more government subsidies are given to the middle class: Highway construction and maintenance, tax breaks for homeowners, etc. But whenever we’re in the red, the poor must pay – mass transit gets cut. State unions get double pressure from the state and from public opinion, as low-paid private sector workers inevitably fall upon their public sector brethren in a lamentable divide-and-conquer scenario.

But what strikes me as truly unconscionable is that public schools and libraries are almost always the first to go. The NYCDoE is running for another round of thousands of layoffs (I was laid off last October), and now Queens Library stands to lose 14 branch libraries. Where can society go without education? Even during the Great Depression, these things remained sacrosanct. It reminds me of that term floating about the blogosphere: “Epistemic Closure.”

We’re Rome circa 400AD. All the great thinkers are dead and new ones are not replacing them.* The societal zeitgeist is more in tune with marketing rather than message. One political party is more interested in winning elections than governing, the other is stuck in an endless loop of second-guessing if any one necessary, life-saving act is even politically feasible, and they’re both bought, paid for and essentially wholly-owned subsidiaries of corporations who bleed society at large and whose only products of note are rich ex-CEOs.

Yeah, yeah, “we all have to tighten our belts.” Why, however, are the belts wrapped around our heads?

I know Obama’s plate is more than full, but he seriously needs to consider bailing out the states. The feds can run a debt. The states can’t, and apparently Paterson (and others) are too stupid to understand what it means to cut education.

*Consequently, I hate Augustine of Hippo, hypocritical charlatan that he was.

There Are No Words

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The Philadelphia Library System is closing.

All of it.

I don’t know if I could live in a place where that is allowed to happen. It’s one of the most disturbing civic and cultural losses I’ve heard in my lifetime.

The thing about the city is this: You could have nothing but four walls and a mattress, yet you still have access to the intellectual and cultural vigor of your surroundings, free of charge, just for being there. It’s a cornerstone of the elevation of the common man. It’s one of the pillars of true democracy; arguably the pillar of democracy, for nothing else matters so much to the health of a free nation than education.

This is a travesty. An utter travesty. And for what? A budget crunch! I’ll bet the highways are still getting funds…

God Dayamn.

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Even with the stimulus, Obama hasn’t managed to outspend Bush for the timeframe.

And I really ought to backdate these posts. This is getting ridiculous.

How stupid do I think the Republicans are?

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<                                                                          This stupid.                                                                               >

The budget is a “job killer,” says Congressional Republicans, because it increases taxes. On the top 2%.

I could have sworn we went over that in the campaign, and I’m pretty sure we know how that turned out.

Meanwhile the NYCDoE is singing hallelujah that they might not have to lay off 1500 teachers after all – and might even have a capital budget for some nice overhauls. Who knows? After eight years of the darkness of the Bush regime, even a bare bulb is blinding in its luminance.

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