Posts Tagged ‘Outrage’

The Scariest Bathrooms in New York City

March 23, 2009

Everybody is familiar with the “gas station bathroom” nightmare– the gross, in-house outhouses that desperate commuters are expected to settle for on road trips.

For New York City Yellow Cab Drivers, such horrific bathrooms are the daily reality.

Behold, the disgusting world of the bathrooms designated for Taxi Drivers at the Central Taxi Stand at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Most of the sinks have either broken faucets or broken soap dispensers. Some, like the sink pictured below, have both broken faucets and broken soap dispensers.
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Many of the toilets, such as the one below, do not have toilet seats.
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In fact, many of the bathroom stalls are broken as well. Damage to these bathroom stalls includes:

Bathroom Stall Doors Falling off the Hinges:
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Bathroom Stalls Held Together By String (I believe that it is packing string)
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Bathroom Stalls which, having lost anchor with the wall and floor, are being supported only by a milk crate:
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And of course, as if this should be a surprise, most of the bathroom stalls, like the one pictured below, do not have working locks.
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The City of New York is however, kind enough to supply its Taxi Drivers with working XCelerator Automated Hand Dryers (not pictured).

Incidentally, look at the below picture. Notice that there are no signs designating “Mens” and Women’s” Bathrooms. That’s because 0318090550bathrooms are not provided for women at JFK International Airport’s Central Taxi Stand. Those who wanted to make a guess about the demographics of Taxi Drivers based on the empirical evidence gathered at the Central Taxi Stand would wrongly assume that all the Taxi Drivers in New York City are Men. They aren’t.

There is a conspicuous lack of women at The Central Taxi Stand because The City of New York does not provide facilities for its female Taxi Drivers. Given that a fare from JFK International Airport (which requires Taxi Drivers to queue at the Central Taxi Stand) can pay off almost half of a Taxi Driver’s daily lease, this deprives female taxi drivers of an opportunity afforded to their male counterparts.

As you can see from these photos, the condition of the bathrooms at the JFK International Airport Central Taxi Stand are deplorable, even by mens’ standards.

Why does the city of New York show such disregard for its Taxi Drivers?

Is it because most of New Yorks Taxi Drivers are immigrants? (Or come from immigrant families?)

Is it because most of New York’s Taxi Drivers possess less than a college education?

Maybe it’s because New York City Taxi Drivers depend on the Central Taxi Stand for their livelihood and as a consequence, do not have the luxury of opportunities to boycott a businesses that has such filthy, disgusting bathrooms.

If you could like to join me in complaining to the City of New York, here is what you can do:

Email Mayor Bloomberg by clicking here

Email Matthew W. Daus, the Commissioner of the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) by clicking here

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Now that we can ban “A Visit to Cuba”, let’s ban Sesame Street too!

February 12, 2009

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals should be applauded for upholding the Miami-Day School District’s ban on the K-2 Social Studies Book A Visit to Cuba.

A Visit to Cuba, which attempts to teach 5-7 year old children about the culture, geography, and lives of children in Cuba, was rightfully banned because it “presents an inaccurate view of life in Cuba” by failing to address the atrocities wrought by the Cuban Dictatorship.

Concerned parents should take this decision to push for a ban on Sesame Street as well. Like A Visit to Cuba, Sesame Street presents an inaccurate view of life by failing to address adult politics.

Below is a breakdown of how many of the characters on Sesame Street represents a failure to provide our young children with the correct political education:

Bert and Ernie: As flagrantly homosexual domestic partners, Bert and Ernie should be used to educate young children on the complex issues of gay rights and sexual identity.
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Big Bird: As a gigantic bird, Big Bird should be used to educate children about the dangers of Avian Flu.
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Oscar the Grouch: As a perpetually angry monster who lives in a trash can, Oscar the Grouch should be used to educate children about the issue of homelessness, the benefits of Prozac,  and the shortcomings of unionized waste management.
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Miami’s ban on “A Visit to Cuba” doesn’t go far enough…

February 11, 2009

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the Miami-Dade County School District’s right to purge a book titled “A Visit to Cuba” from its libraries. A Visit to Cuba is one of many childrens’ book in the A Visit to series published by Heinemann-Raintree Library.

The A Visit To book series aims to increase childhood literacy and provide Kindergarten through Second Grade students with basic information about the geography, culture, and lives of children living within countries all across the world. This series also includes books on Brazil, Cambodia, China, Columbia, Costa Rica, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Puerto Rico,  The United Kindom, and Vietnam.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the ban on A Visit to Cuba because it presents an “inaccurate view of Cuba” by not exposing its  readers to horrors inflicted by Cuba’s Dictatorship. In upholding the ban on A Visit to Cuba, the 11th U.S. Court of Appeals has implied that the focus of childhood education should not be on basic social studies, but on the complex politics of atrocity.

This ban does not go far enough. Concerned parents should push for a ban on the entire “A Visit To Series”, because too many of these books fail to address the catastrophic conditions of the countries about which they are trying to education children.

For example:

A Visit to Columbia:
This book does not address the influence of international drug cartels and paramilitary terrorists.

A Visit to China: This book does not address the rampant abuse of the death penalty, the suppression of free speech, the destruction of the Falun Gong exercise movement, or the horrors of the One-Child population control policy.

A Visit to Egypt: Does not address the poor human rights under the authorian rule of President Hosni Mubarak

A Visit to India: This book does not address the rampant poverty felt by nearly 30% of the population.

A Visit to Vietnam: This book does not address the issues of Child Prostitution and Exploitation.