Today was a rather exciting (or not depending on your world views) day. All sources are from the NY Times.
Internationally, the bizarre Libyan dictator Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi died today in what seems to be by rebel hands. He was 69. The NY Times reported that in one video clip he seemed to be wounded but alive, and the next clip dead by rebel hands. No matter what, Libyans rejoiced today. Hopefully with despots being deposed, it signals a change in the Middle East for the better.
Nationally, with the end of the “mature, yet aggressive” animals-on-the-rampage over in Ohio, citizens can now take a deep breath and go about their lives in safety and peace once more. Terry Thompson, the preserve’s co-owner had released the animals before committing suicide in what seems to be a action of spite to both his wife as well as perhaps the authorities, who had convicted him on charges of animal cruelty back in 2005. Out of the 56 animals that the Thompsons had owned, 49 were put down. The remaining animals were placed in the Columbus Zoo. With this sad story coming to an end, it should serve as a precedent to Governors in both Ohio and other states as well to enact bans on owning wildlife by ordinary citizens. The fact that Mr. Thompson released his animals with the knowledge that it would cause widespread panic and the subsequent murders of the animals should be a good reason for lawmakers to pass laws that protect wild animals from being owned by people who do not care for them correctly. [As much as I would love to be unbiased in this story, there’s a special place somewhere for people like Terry Thompson. His animals did not deserve the fate that they had; it was a shame that this happened at all due to emotional problems stemming from a relationship estrangement.]
Locally, there is a new sheriff in town for the M.T.A. Joseph J. Lhota has been named the new interim Head of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. He has little to no background in transportation management but has experience in financial matters (as well as being politically connected as an ex-Budget Director/Deputy Mayor to ex-Mayor Giuliani). Gleaming the article, Mr. Lhota seems to be one that is deft in finances, and he has expertise in red tape navigation. Is it too soon to criticize him? Sure. Remember just how long ago we were handed a hometown hero who had expertise in transit matters (Jay Walder) who left just after 2 years into the job because he could not deal with bureaucracy. What I would look in Mr. Lhota is that hopefully he will be able to manage the finances of the M.T.A. so that they can finish their projects or continue on without much of cost overrun (a rampant problem in the Transit agency in regards to hiring outside with contractors who bid low and then overbill for services). Also, not having a fare hike within the next year of his tenure (if approved by the State Senate) would quickly get him on the good side of New Yorkers. Best of luck Mr. Lhota!
Addendum: Also was in the running for transit head was Neil Peterson. Mr. Peterson would have been a breath of fresh air (read: he dances for fun) to the transit agency, although it is unsure how he would clash with people who are stuck in bureaucratic ways. For the semi-abled citizens, he would have been a great advocate to their needs as well, had he been head. As a person who suffers from dyslexia, ADHD, as well as having a glass eye, perhaps he would have helped enforce the Americans with Disabilities Act (A.D.A.) in order to service disabled riders better (eg: escalators that are fixed on time, and elevators that are clean and run efficiently). However, one would have to wonder if it’s whom you know, in this instance of why Mr. Peterson was a close contender, but not quite bureaucratic enough for the M.T.A.’s taste.
Now for something light hearted. Overheard on the (B) train today:
Male teenager: Yo, so she said to me this guy gave her $60 for head.
Female teenager: What?
Male teenager: Yeah, I told her she a prostitute.
Female teenager: Nah! She ain’t no prostitute!
Male teenager: What’s a prostitute? Someone who gives services for money. She got paid for it, she a prostitute!