How Stupid Can Metro Be

Reckless Metro.jpeg

While Metro has been touting its Get Back to Good (“Back2Good“) plan and campaign, unfortunately, it is still continuing to mess up big and stupid. 


Part of Metro’s hailed upgrades is to the new 7000-series trains. 


They look better than the old crappy and filthed up train cars from before–including the extremely worn and ripped icky orange seats and carpets.


In that respect, the stainless and more modern-looking replacement trains are most welcome.


However, check out the negligent and hazardous middle doors on many of these train cars. 


Do you see the absolutely stupid handle bars that jut out into the oft busy entry-exit passenger doors. 


Yesterday, I got caught in a mob racing out of one of the train cars, and my upper thigh got danged and good on these ridiculous and reckless handlebars in the doorway! 


Who would put these jutting out into a doorframe???


Anyway, my leg is red, swollen, painful, and I am limping good from this. 


Hey, is there a good personal injury lawyer out there on the web that works on commission (lol, I think)?


I am so grateful to G-d if this doesn’t end up messing with my hip replacement. 


What is it about Metro that they just seem to act brainless with the basics. 


This was supposed to the year of getting back to track safety and train reliability (getting the trains on time), but I guessed they seriously missed the train safety part!


Oh by the way, the reliability isn’t all that “good” either (forget great…they gave up on that a while ago)!  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

DISGRACEFUL United Airlines

To all decent human being out there…


Think twice about United Airlines. 


They overbooked a flight and then forcibly removed passengers that had paid for their seats. 


What right does anyone have to sell something that they in essence don’t have to sell?


And then treating their passengers like animals, smashing them and busting their lips, and dragging from from seats they paid for!


These passengers just wanted to go home. 


On top of it, the joke of a CEO of United Airlines, Mr. Oscar Munoz, defended this abhorrent violence against his paying passengers stating:

“Our employees followed established procedures for dealing with situations like this. While I deeply regret this situation arose [not that he regrets that they oversold seats and then beat the sh*t of this passenger], I also emphatically stand behind all of you, and I want to commend you for continuing to do above and beyond to ensure we fly right [this is what he “commends” and consider going “above and beyond” and doing what’s “right”–what a complete moral disgrace!].”


While Mr. Munoz had a heart transplant last year, apparently he truly has no heart at all–these are subhuman actions whose defense can only be considered to be the vacuum of any decency or morality in the leadership of United Airlines. 

If no passengers took their offer of $400 or even $1,000 to get bumped, then let them offer $10,000 or more–whatever the market price is to get the seat–but they have NO MORAL RIGHT to force this passenger out of a seat he legitimately paid for and was already sitting in. 


Either United Airlines should immediately apologize and extraordinarily compensate this harmed passenger, promise never to do this again, and fire their corrupt CEO or the public should boycott this disgraceful airline.


Where is the Federal Aviation Administration? 


Where is the board of directors of United Airlines?


Where is justice for this passenger and protection for airline customers?


Please G-d, justice will be done. 😉

DC Metro Is In Shambles

DC Metro.jpeg

So the latest this week from the crumbling infrastructure of the DC Metro train system, not withstanding the mess of Operation SafeTrack. 

While riding this morning, a large panel inside the train abruptly and widely swings open and smashes against the fabricated white and plastic wall adjacent to the seats. 

It made a loud bang and initially everyone on the train looked up with the deer in the headlights stare apparently thinking it was a gunshot on the train or something. 

Luckily, no one was in the 2 seats where the panel swung open like that, because their would’ve been some physical damage done to somebody there. 

The age and decrepitness of the train obvious from the incident and also looking at what’s behind door #1!

What is amazing is that this is the Capital of the United States, one of the wealthiest and most powerful nations on Earth.

We spend lavishly abroad and domestically on wasteful pork barrel politics, broken programs, and even money that goes completely unaccounted for (can anyone say pass a financial audit). 

Yet, we cannot provide a modern, clean, safe, and functional metro transportation system servicing the capital of our country or for that matter educate our young people properly or feed the hungry and shelter the homeless within our own borders. 

There is a lot broken here and Metro is just the tip of the leadership iceberg unbecoming who we are and what our potential for this world is. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

No More Flooding With Permeable Pavement

Very cool solution to flash flooding called Topmix Permeable by Tarmac (a U.K. sustainable building materials company). 


The concrete literally drinks up hundreds of gallons of water. 


Where the heck does all the water go? 


If you’re walking, no more soggy shoes and pant’s bottoms. 


If your driving, even more important is the potential life-saving element for about 75 people that die in vehicles every year when they try get caught in the vehicles in flash flood conditions. 


Also, many potential accidents, injuries, and deaths could be averted by people whose car’s go hydroplaning on wet road surfaces.


Finally, think how transportation would be faster and more efficient (with less traffic) from better road conditions with innovations like this.


With this new material on our roads and some added heat elements to prevent snow and ice, we got some darn good road-safety going on. 😉

Broken Arm, Broken Metro

Broken Arm

So I spoke to a lady on the D.C. Metro yesterday.


Not old, not young–she was sitting in a handicapped seat. 


What happened to her?


She told me how this last year as she was riding the train, it had suddenly and ferociously jerked forward, and then backwards.


The fierceness of jerking motion breaking the top of her arm–the humerus–vertically right down the middle in a horrible break. 


As she was talking her eyes glazed over remembering what happened.


She found herself on the floor of the train lying in excruciating pain.


One kind lady stayed with her as the paramedics were on their way.


She overheard others on the train actually complaining in earshot that they were being delayed “because of her!”


She was taken to the ER, and ended up spending 2 1/2 months in the hospital and rehabilitation center. 


As explained, they couldn’t cast this type of break, and she wasn’t allowed to sleep laying down–she had to sleep in a chair–again she said how the pain was so bad and unlike anything she ever experienced, incuding childbirth and bypass heart surgery. 


Professionally, she was a lawyer for the government, but ended up not suing Metro, shaking her head that it just wasn’t worth it. 


In her wallet, she showed me her Metro disability card that they gave her so she could sit in the special seats now and get a reduced rate riding the train.


Shaking her head, she exclaimed that even though she is mostly healed now, she never stands on a moving train anymore, always making sure she is sitting and nestled next to something.


I could see the emotional pain on her face as she told me her story, and she seemed generally afraid of ever going through anything like that again. 


At the same time that she was talking to me, in eyesight was a younger man hanging out by the center doors on the metro, overfident and not holding on–actually leaning way back on his backback against the doors, almost daydreaming. 


Not everyone heard this lady’s story…maybe they should. 


Overall, Metro seems chronically underfunded or mismanaged and in desperate need of major repairs and replacements–train, tracks, escalators, elevators, everything. 


The system is a mess and it needs urgent attention. 


Why does it always take a tragedy to finally get action? 


Coincidentally, I saw today that Metro (WMATA) is advertising in the Wall Street Journal for a new General Manager and Chief Executive Officer–yep, good luck to that person, they will definitely need it and a lot more!  😉


(Source Photo: here with attribution to Christian).

L@@king The Other Way

Metro Crowds

So recovering from surgery and with my cane in hand the last number of weeks, I’ve had a chance to see the worst and best of people. 


Especially on the Metro, I’ve had people who quite simply refused to let me sit down–can you say look the other way or ignorance is bliss?


One guy the other day saw me holding on to the overhead rail with one hand and the cane in the other, he looked me in the eye, and then looked back down again to work on whatever notes he was writing…certainly more important. 


And even early on a couple of times (this was when it was still hard to really stand up for long) when I asked for one of the special access seats from completely healthy people sitting there, I usually got the stone cold kvetchy faces like “You talking to me?”


At other times, waiting to get on the Metro, I’ve had people rush in front of me, try to push me aside, or even nearly trample me when they felt I just wasn’t moving my limp leg fast enough. 


I think this has been particularly disheartening especially when I see this behavior coming from people of different faiths who were clearly observant at least in other ways…uh, don’t we answer to an even higher authority?


When some empathic folks at work recently asked me, how people were treating me on the Metro (yes, they know how it is!), I said feeling frustrated one day that the only difference between DC and NY is that in NY there was probably a greater chance of someone trying to actually push me (G-d forbid) in front of an oncoming train–yeah, at times it seriously felt that way. 


I will say that thank G-d not everyone is such a you know what!


Although truly it’s been the exception and not the rule, there have been some very nice people that did offer me a seat, let me go first, or didn’t rush me on/off the moving escalator. 


One lady in particular was extraordinarily wonderful, and when I was crossing a very wide two-way street with lots of cars and the light was getting ready to change, she walked by my side–literally shielding me from the oncoming traffic, and she said “Don’t worry, they won’t hit both of us!”


I remember learning in yeshiva some very basics of human decency…get up before the aged, remove an obstacle from before a blind person, and to take off a heavy burden from even your enemy’s stumbling animal.


I think these and other lessons in school and at home sensitized me to people’s pain and suffering and where possible to try and help–not that I am a saint, I’m not, but at least I feel my conscience talks to me.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)