Thursday, January 5, 2012

Papers, please! Transit of Trust

Thursday, January 05, 2012

I took a short cut on the Light Rail this morning through Hoboken, hoping to avoid being forced to stand all the way from the 9th Street station to Jersey City stops near Pavonia and Exchange Place.
Hundreds hop on the Jersey City bound train at 9th Street and leave us shoulder to shoulder through Exchange Place until people jump off to take the PATH to Wall Street in New York.
Since I would have to change trains at Liberty State Park anyway, I figured I would just go to the Hoboken terminal and get on the Bayonne bound station there where I would likely get a seat and not have to wait for another train at the usually breezy Liberty State Park station.
It was a good plan except for the rush of others, who had a similar scheme for getting to Pavonia station quicker, and I was immediately pushed and shoved by commuters rushing to make the second train and I still didn’t get a seat until after they jumped off again at Pavonia.
What I didn’t expect was the heavy level of security – as NJ Transit cops greeted the crowd in Hoboken for sight of our ticket stubs.
Yesterday, when taking the train, a troop of Jersey City cops had bordered the train near Pavonia, making passengers cough up tickets. One poor black kid had a student pass, but not his student ID and had to suffer being issued a ticket. During that stop, I had to show my ticket to three different officers before they left the train near Jersey Avenue.
Even after we escaped Hoboken this morning, the cops came on board in Jersey City, escorting one poor black fool with a bicycle off, to no doubt give him a ticket and check for criminal records.
Then, when we reached the Bayonne boarder, Bayonne police bordered the train, and we had to produce tickets for the third time.
This concept of a transit system based on trust looks more and more like a police state.
I guess I’m just paranoid.
Yesterday, a friend of mine said Obama was worse than Bush when it comes to national security and invasion of personal privacy. Certainly, Obama’s foreign policy resembles an Orwellian warlord.
My friend and I both agreed that neither of us will vote for Obama or any Democrat who recently agreed to let the military detain Americans indefinitely – the last act of Obama’s four years of selling out to the so called intelligence community.
But even Obama’s domestic agenda is questionable.
Democrats were up in arms when Bush decided to make insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies wealthy by modifying the retirement medical system. Democrats kept screaming “donut hole! Donut hole!”
Well, Obama came on to rescue us, giving us universal healthcare. What he meant is that he would make the insurance companies even richer by forcing the rest of America to buy insurance. This did not reduce the cost of insurance or improve coverage – except for kids going to college. It simply expanded the number of victims insurance companies got to suck blood from. And guess what, even with a Democratic president, we still have the donut hole.
Banks ruined the world economy by fostering bad loans on everybody, then trying to hide these behind good loans. Under Bush, these banks gave poor people false hope that we could afford to live the American Dream by owning a home of our own.
Then the bubble burst, and these same banks started to foreclose.
Off course, the banks were too big to fail – even if their victims weren’t, and Obama gave them a generous rescue package. He did the same for Wall Street, while working people lost their jobs, homes, insurance (oh, I’m sorry, we’re forced to buy that anyway) and watch as top executives get hundreds of millions for guiding their companies into disaster.
Obama did hold out to get a tax cut for working people – holding it off only to make sure that his anti-American detention legislation was included in it – but to get a tax cut, anyone buying a new home has to pay a new mortgage fee. I guess Obama sees this as a win-win. Most banks he bailed out aren’t giving loans to us anyway, so who on earth will actually get the fee.
If we’re lucky, we’ll still have a roof over our head – if we can somehow find a way for the military to detain us.

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