Thursday, May 26, 2011

Neighborhood Crime Wave - We're Just Never Safe

Despite the Mayor saying that violent crime in NYC had fallen since 2001, similar to the nationwide fall, there has been a spike in the past 2 years in NYC, such as in Queens - NYTimes: Steady Decline in Major Crime Baffles Experts

The following is my eyewitness account.  Times are based on approximate durations.

2:10 A.M.: Earlier this morning, I awoke to some loud sounds, as if people were hitting garbage cans and yelling.  I then heard a car alarm - sounding like our car's - and lurched out of my bed and peered through my window blinds, looking for signs that it was our car.  Indeed it was.  The car lights flashed and I saw one person running to the right, another next to the side of our car.  In retrospect, I probably should have waited to see the perps' clothing, but my fight or flight response made me turn on my and another room's lights.  I yelled out to my parents that it was our car and that there were people outside.  Running back to my window, I saw that the criminals had now ran off.

2:12 A.M.: Dad went outside to take a look - front windshield was badly damaged from their using a neighbor's bundle of cut tree trunks wooden fence slats waiting to be thrown out by the garbage truck later that day; the bundle was still sitting on the front hood.  Worker across the street came out but said did not see anything.  Several neighbors from the left side of the block came over - they said that some of their cars had been similarly vandalized.  The first one had already called police.

2:14 A.M.: An SUV charges down to the right side of the street (against the one-way); I thought it was the perps' vehicle.

2:16 A.M.: SUV comes back; driver actually lives at the end of the block and heard the commotion and attempted to give chase as soon as the goons started running away.  He said that he saw some teens at the gas station.

2:20 A.M.: One police car arrives.  Hearing about the gas station, they go down

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Healthcare Reform: Sept. 2009

"Postcard from Canada: Why I Missed Obama’s Speech" - Single Payer Westerchester. 9/13/09.  After President Obama's speech on his push for healthcare reform in Fall of 2009, this blogger remarks on the benefits of a single-payer healthcare system based on their experiences in the Canadian system.  An interesting first-hand account that many naysayers often hide.

"Class Warfare"  - Tim Allen Journal. 9/21/09.  When I first read this I was amazed that Tim Allen wasn't only a funny man, but also someone who is able to understand certain economic ideas that some politicians and people just refuse to accept or think about.  He makes a good point about how social programs such as a public option in the healthcare reform package are intended to be subsidized for the good of all, and profit-making isn't a primary goal.  Only point is that the USPS is not directly subsidized by tax money.
"What’s the fuss with a public option?
Well, the post office for one...As a business it’s hard to defend sometimes with lines and spotty service. As a ‘social’ program it’s a wonderful place to assure a reasonable fee to get written or printed material and packages anywhere. If you asked FedEx or UPS to mail a letter, the carrier would scan it and you would wonder why you are paying $12.96 to send something when you could use the Post Office and mail it for under 50 cents. That’s the cost advantage provided by a ‘public option’. We are taxed to keep the price ‘fixed’, the fix augments the price of