The Great Stupid And Seattle Transit

In Michael Crichton’s”The Lost World,” a “Jurassic Park” follow-up not to be confused with the “Jurassic Park” film sequel of the same name and not one of the writer’s best, there is an interesting discussion of how some species of dinosaurs may have caused their own eventual extinction by developing toxic habits, like not caring for their young. It was the first thing I thought of when I read about the ridiculous transit system crisis in Seattle.

Oh-oh.

It shouldn’t be surprising, I suppose, that the city that encouraged woke support for the destructive George Floyd riots in 2020 has adopted other unethical policies that make the Left’s anointed feel good even though the policies can’t possible work and constitute irresponsible leaps onto ruinous slippery slopes. 

The Seattle light rail public transit system has no turnstiles: passengers are supposed to  buy a ticket or tap their pre-paid card. It’s an honor system, but in woke Seattle, the ideal purpose of government is to for almost everything, so 70%—Seventy per cent!!—of the riders are freeloaders. This means that fares cover just 5% of the system’s operating costs. 40% was the minimum Sound Transit set as a requirement.

All public transit systems lose money (though they are approved after estimates that routinely overstate likely ridership), but they will help us avoid death by climate change, see, so they are essential and wonderful per se. However, if a city just lets riders cheat, such systems cause wider problems in the social contract.

(Do we really have to keep explaining this?)

Seattle’s Sound Transit stopped even minimal enforcement of fare requirements after a study revealed that blacks were disproportionately getting fined. Ah HA! The system was racist then! How far a jump is it to apply the same logic to other laws? It is how San Francisco. ended up legalizing shop-lifting.

I’m sorry: my tone is snarkier than usual this morning. But this is all so infuriating. And unethical. And stupid. Continue reading

Saturday Ethics Warm-Up, 4/4/2020: Letting The Perfect Be The Enemy Of The Good, And Other Blunders

Why is today unlike any other day?

1. What’s wrong with this picture? This, courtesy of ABC News, was the scene on a New York City subway yesterday:

My question is this: how can everyone be cheering Governor Cuomo’s leadership during the pandemic crisis when this is still going on? I heard Cuomo say, in one of his briefings, “You can’t stop public transportation. You just can’t.” Yet if you are going to allow the above scene all day, every day in your state’s largest city, why bother with the rest of the measures? Just wall off the Big Apple and let everyone get sick.

2. And speaking of New York…and while we’re justly bashing China for all the lies and disinformation,  this blogger finds the charts , models and projections showing how the health care system will be overwhelmed by April 15 puzzling, and asks, Continue reading

“Keeping It” in Seattle: Flunking the Duty To Stand Up To Anti-Speech Bullies

Could it be time for an “Everybody Beat on Israel Day”?

Count me out. Still, there is finally an instructive example of bullies who don’t embrace radical Islam causing First Amendment timidity, and raising ethical issues too.

Seattle’s Department of Transportation sells advertising on city buses. When the “Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign” bought space to condemn Israel’s policies with ads headlined,‘Israeli War Crimes: Your Tax Dollars at Work’ featuring a picture of children next to a bomb-damaged building,” the Department was flooded with protests by Jews and Israel supporters. Most of them were stern, indignant or argumentative, but about 25 conveyed an intention to disrupt or vandalize buses,take violent measures, or suggested that bus riders would soon be at risk.” Some examples:

  • “If you want to see how tough Jews can be, then go ahead and run those despicable ads and we’ll see who has the last word on this. If you run these ads, we will work together with our Jewish friends and others to shut Metro down.”

Why Public Flossing IS Our Business

In today’s Sunday New York Times, the City Room column is devoted to the increasingly common topic of public grooming, specifically flossing one’s teeth in public. Lion Calandra recounts an exchange with a young woman doing her dental hygeine on the subway, who finished by throwing her used floss to the subway car floor.

“Maybe you should do that at home,” Calandra suggested. “Maybe you should mind your own business,” the woman sneered. Continue reading