Staten Island’s Horrible Home Developments

aka How to Pack in Too Many People in a Limited Geographic Area

Time to write this.

In the time I have spent outside my home area of Staten Island, New York, USA I have seen various types of homes. Decent homes with decent yards, both privately and government built; apartment complexes ranging from decent to horrible; military barracks; trailer parks; areas for motor homes; run down areas with shoddy housing standards; but I have never seen anything outside Staten Island like the housing developments built here for some decades now. I am not saying they don’t exist, I just have never seen any in another location so it seems unique to Staten Island for me.

I first encountered them in the 1980s when my family looked for their first home to own and bought one. Then some were getting built in the Arden Heights neighborhood in several developments. Compared to traditional housing, they seemed rather odd only having enough of a driveway for 1 car and limited parking on the street. You could get a garage but certain homes allowed an alternate option where you could have an apartment by giving up the garage and a lot of people took that. It seemed like someone was making an attempt at building homes similar to those found in other boroughs but out of less durable materials and with horrible planning. They also built them in neighborhoods similar to those found in other places across the country, it was just the quality of the homes and design were (and still are) completely different. As families grew in these neighborhoods along with tenants, more cars were brought in for spouses, kids and tenants. Recall I said these homes had driveways usually big enough for 1 car with barely enough parking for a second, now you have families with 2-4 cars and tenants with 1-2 themselves, that is 3-6 cars per home on average in neighborhoods designed for 1-2 cars per home. End result, a lot of people wind up to this day parking all over the place in areas no one expects usually several blocks away, not to visit, just because they cannot find decent parking where they live. Add in trying to have family or guests over and parking becomes a complete mess.

During the time when I was in the Army between 1995-1999, one of the things I noticed in several places I went to is that somehow, these locations appear to plan new construction including homes, neighborhoods and commercial areas better than back in Staten Island. Places I went to included Fort Jackson, South Carolina; Fort Gordon, Georgia; Fort Hood, Texas; Euless, Texas; Taos, New Mexico; Las Cruces, New Mexico. I have been to some other locations also from different times such as Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; a few other locations in Pennsylvania; several in New Jersey; Worcester, Massachusetts; Baltimore, Maryland; Washington, D.C.; Raleigh, North Carolina.  Homes are given enough of a driveway and curbside parking space for more than 2 vehicles either for family growth or visits. Maybe there are some places like the horrible Staten Island developments but I never saw them in my time throughout this country. I should also note part of this must be because of geography, most cities are surrounded partially if not completely by land so they have room to grow outward. While New York City is a metropolitan area with room to grow out, certain areas such as Staten Island and Manhattan are islands with a limited geography. Once you hit to water all around, either you accept you cannot grow more including homes and population or you have to grow buildings up and design infrastructure (roads, rail, etc.) to accommodate this growth.

It seems however there is no acknowledgement of this by designers and builders of homes, if there is they are flat out ignoring it. Since my return until now, I along with other residents have noticed how developments since the ones I mentioned before have become worse. The homes have gotten skinnier in width and more of them are attached to pack more people into a smaller area. The parking conditions have gotten even worse, some of the current worst examples have driveways barely big enough for a Mini or Smart car. Curbside parking is almost non-existent, even areas of other boroughs now have more curbside parking than these new developments do.

The qualities of the materials to build these homes, the methods of how they are built and the various systems in them also show how bad things have gotten. Since the 1980s, the electrical systems of some if not all are not built to any of the usual industry standards. I have heard stories and seen people try to do work in these homes, they have no choice but to buy following either guides that come with the new products to replace bad ones or do-it-yourself manuals, nothing in the homes measures up to what the instructions say. Electrical work, there are times these homes have no ground wires in the electrical systems (switches, outlets, light fixtures, etc.) and the color of wires such as hot and neutral don’t match. Instructions for new outlets, switches, etc., will tell you how to put wiring on them but the wiring in the home doesn’t match what the instructions say so you have to play guessing games to get things working. Sometimes there are more wires than you can fit on a new item. I knew one who had to replace the furnace that used to blow exhaust all the way up to a stack on the roof but the new furnace couldn’t do that so they had to make a new exhaust on the side of the house, problem is in the winter a good snow will cover it up and endanger everyone inside with carbon monoxide if it is not watched.

Below I will show some pictures of bad development in Staten Island. These are not the limit of what can be found and they can be found almost all over.

My first example is Mazza Court in the Arden Heights area. I could not get pictures of the homes, the one time I was able to shoot photos there some people were in the way and watching me. People sometimes do not like to be photographed so unless I have permission, I try to avoid people shots (unless I am goofing with people I know). However, I can show pictures of the area around it. Mazza Court is on the inside of a curve of Arthur Kill Road, a busy street, so when people try to get out, they have a hard time seeing traffic approaching from either direction and drivers on Arthur Kill Road cannot see Mazza Court until it is too late. Add in how people drive above the speed limit on Arthur Kill, you have an accident waiting to happen and it has.

Mazza Facing East

Here above is a view facing East with Arthur Kill Road in plain view (go to 1869 Arthur Kill Road in a map program for a closer view). That area I outlined in red is Mazza Court and the street sign for it. I am off to the side of Arthur Kill some, if you were on the street, you would not see Mazza Court until the last minute including anyone trying to pull out of it. Find it in Google Maps if you are not sure.

Mazza Facing West

A view of Arthur Kill heading West some distance from Mazza Court (go east from last location and look back), it is not viewable and roughly where the red arrow points around the second right turn. Bad visibility from this direction as well as the other seen previously.

Mazza Facing West Sign

A bit further from the last shot still looking west (near 1886 Arthur Kill Road in a map program), there is that sign warning people to slow down but it is for the hidden driveway outlined in red. Once past that, some people would probably speed up again before getting to Mazza Court, presuming they did slow down, some Staten Island drivers would not and then there is the next picture.

Mazza Facing West Sign Distance

A little more east from the last photo(near 1880 Arthur Kill Road in a map program), the top of the sign is outlined in red. Clearly any driver cannot see the rest of it so would probably NOT slow down as the sign says if they felt inclined to do so.

Unknown off Arden Avenue

I really short type of street off Arden Avenue near where it meets Arthur Kill Road (near 15 Arden Avenue in a map program). I describe it this way because maps don’t mark this as a street, not even Google Maps. You can see it, it is just not marked. About 8 homes all joined together crammed into a space so some builder could get the most money possible.

Ilyssa Way 1

This is Ilyssa Way off Arthur Kill Road further east of the last photos. (near 1401 Arthur Kill Road in a map program) These homes are in a development that was originally built for Navy personnel when there were plans for a Navy port on Staten Island. The port never happened so these went to private sale. Streets in this development have little zigzags in them, homes are packed together and you are lucky to have anything like a driveway. Notice the blue SUV in the middle sticking out into the street because the so called driveway is not long enough to fit it. I had a friend who lived in one of these, they are very narrow on the inside, New York City brownstones have more width inside them than these homes do.

Ilyssa Way 2

Same as last photo, just showing the other side of Ilyssa Way and the cream colored car also with not enough driveway to fit it. You may think they can park in the garage but usually home owners will have a second vehicle if not more so they cannot. You cannot grow a family in these homes.

Ilyssa Way 3

This is what the Ilyssa Way homes call a backyard. There isn’t one, just a path linking them together. The woodland on the right is not part of the home property, it is protected parkland. Other homes built to these crap standards barely have backyards. I said these were Navy homes, compare them to other military homes and you wonder who built these. For comparison, find Killeen, TX then go to the west end of US Highway Business 190 near where it meets US Highway 190. Along there is a small area including Venable Road. Put the little figure from Google Maps on US Highway Business 190 then in the photo view, face south towards Venable Road and the homes, notice how they are done. When I served in the Army, I was in this area once, the homes are nice and wide single story structures, you cannot see them but the driveways and curbside have plenty of room for parking. You compare those nice homes to the Staten Island ones built for the Navy and you wonder who screwed up what since I was told military homes had standards to be built to.

Arthur Kill & Amanda Court

This is a view from Arthur Kill Road looking up Amada Court (near 1320 Arthur Kill Road in a map program). Notice how much of the cars fit in the driveway. The space from the garage door to the curb is not big enough for average vehicles. If someone argues about putting them in the garage, very likely they already have a car there given how many 2+ vehicle families live on Staten Island. This is one of many development neighborhoods with not enough curbside parking to accommodate all the vehicles.

Arthur Kill & Bianca Court

Here in a nearby spot we look from Arthur Kill Road onto Bianca Court (near 1310 Arthur Kill Road in a map program). At least, I THINK it is Bianca Court, maps and map websites do not even have this ‘street’ marked as a street. I call it Bianca Court because that is the closest nearby street connected to it. These are similar to the homes from the last picture except the driveways are even shorter, not even enough room for Minis, Smart cars or anything similar. I would consider it a miracle if they could fit a Big Wheel or something similar.

Parking Wars

Just one of many examples of what people on Staten Island do to ‘find’ parking. Through the broken bottom of this garbage can, you can see the top of a fire hydrant. Yes, this is illegal yet also done on Staten Island. Other methods include putting parking cones and/or sawhorses in legal spots people try to ‘reserve’ as theirs, putting signs on any car that parks in a spot considered to ‘be owned’ by someone and even physically damaging vehicles that park in someone’s ‘spot’ despite the spot being public parking for anyone. One of the problems Staten Islanders have been living with for years due to poor planning in the construction of these developments.

Main Street Parking 1

Main Street Parking 2

The above two photos are examples of a situation caused by the developments (on Huguenot Avenue near Avon Green in a map program). Due to there not being enough parking in the development, this major road winds up becoming the extra parking lot of vehicles owned by the people in the development. During the day, there is hardly anything in this area and others like it unless there is an Express bus stop nearby.

This type of nonsense is all over Staten Island. People talk about it, demand they want the situation fixed, politicians make promises that never happen and yet more developments keep going up. Sometimes builders and whoever else are involved do stunts like this.

New Construction

This is one development still being built. What is relevant is that this one and some others have been built partially on land that was supposed to have been preserved for one or more environmental reasons. Despite that, the ‘protected land’ got acquired for more home building, not even decent homes but these crappy developments. This is how come Staten Island is still growing in population, packing people in like sardines in a geographically limited land mass. At least Manhattan built some buildings up, I am not sure how well that would go over in Staten Island but there is hardly any attempt to consider it!

In conclusion, I am leaving you with links to a few stories from the local news site, SILive, on other crappy home building.

Here’s a recent one of several where people tried (a bit late) to fight a new development.

A fire in one home winds up in several since they were built attached so close together. Near here, put Churchill Avenue, Staten Island, NY into a map program and you will see a tiny street dead ending in a north direction from it. That tiny street was built just to pack in one more home into a spot where they could and give access.

A story on a home built on a real tiny plot of land with a poll taken by some residents. They do this sometimes, get so desperate to build, they build junk like this on any tiny parcel they can find.

This type of crappy home building needs to go. If you know of any ways to stop this, feel free to contact politicians and the news site of Staten Island with the information.

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Why people should ask Congress to pass S.967 – Military Justice Improvement Act of 2013

Back in June, 2011, I put up a letter I sent to Congresspeople about a bad military law and how it caused phony sexual assault cases to get too much attention, allowed potential real cases to get no attention and caused suicide of innocent people presumed guilty. Today I am going to add onto that more details because of bills before Congress that relate to what I wrote.

One bill that has been introduced in the Senate by one of my Senators, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand D-NY, called S.967 – Military Justice Improvement Act of 2013. A similar bill in the House is H.R.2016 – Military Justice Improvement Act of 2013. Both aim to change the military justice system so commanders do not have to handle all of it. There have been people such as top level leadership in the military and some Congresspeople who disagree and believe commanders should still handle military justice.

As a former military serviceman in the Army, I have at times talked to people about military subjects and noticed either they don’t know, or worse, don’t care about what goes on in it including how their justice system works. I have also noticed high level military leaders tend not to tell people what some aspects of military life are like for unknown reasons. These things convince me there is a serious gap in understanding between soldiers and civilians of military life and everything that goes along with it. I am going to apply a piece of advice I once got when transitioning out to civilian life, I will convert military life into civilian terms comparing it civilian life so it may be easier understood by others.

Civilian justice is known and considered to have faults but for the most part thought of as doing well a majority of the time. I am sure those who read this know how it works. Military justice, some may think it works like shown in media such as the film A Few Good Men. Problem is, this is not completely true. Some aspects of military justice are handled under a different system. The Judge position is occupied by the unit commander the ‘crime’ is assigned to, Company, Battalion, Brigade, Division, Corps. The Plaintiff might be another soldier or someone in the Chain of Command between the commander (Judge) and Defendant. The Defendant is the soldier whatever ‘crime’ is being accused of who has to represent himself. Now I will clarify the bigger problem.

In civilian justice, the positions of Judge, Prosecution and Defense Lawyer are usually occupied by people who have studied the law a lot including laws the average person does not know about. In military justice as I described above, the same positions are occupied by people with different levels of understanding of military regulations (laws) and, in my view, not to the same degree as a civilian lawyer/judge. Think of a civilian justice system where the three positions are occupied by average people instead of those who spent years studying and practicing law. Also, in the civilian justice system people can represent themselves but have the choice of getting a lawyer or being provided one for free. In the military, most crimes the Defendant has no choice but to represent themselves.

Next add in the branch (industry) performing the justice. I served in the Signal branch, similar to civilian telecom technicians and phone operators. So in Signal, the Judge is a Senior Telecom Manager, the Plaintiff a lower level Telecom Manager and the Defendant a Telecom Tech or lower level Manager. If it were the Transportation branch, the Judge is a Manager of Truck Drivers, the Plaintiff a lower level Manager and the Defendant and Driver or even lower level Manager. Now I am sure you see where this is going.

Add onto that the Military Police. The MPs have somewhat similar duties to a civilian police officer, however some ‘crimes’ are not investigated or looked at by MPs, instead they are looked into by the Chain of Command. Converting to civilian again, in Signal you have various levels of Telecom Managers doing some police duties, Transportation has Managers doing these same police duties and so on throughout the branches.

Does this sound like Justice? This is one of many reasons why soldiers have to spend time adjusting to military life when joining and then readjusting to civilian life when leaving. In addition, I spent 3 years working in a Company and 6 months at Battalion, from what I lived I saw people in the Chain of Command who wished they did not have to do this. They do their best to perform the duties assigned to them but they do not like being assigned to positions as judges, lawyers and police. At Battalion, I knew officers and non-commissioned officers who wished someone else handled these duties, probably people specialized in the law much like in civilian life. They would rather spend their time focused on the branch they are in be it Signal (Telecom), Transportation (Trucking) or some other one. They don’t admit such beliefs/feelings to higher level leadership due to the American military being under drawdowns so much over the past several decades, drawdown being the same as a civilian recession. This is from a similar thing that happens in a civilian recession, people will sometimes not speak out about problems due to fear of losing their jobs. It is wrong to repress that way but that is what has been happening and explains why higher level leadership does not see it as a problem. Despite what they claim, it is actually detrimental to morale, it does not benefit it.

This is also one of the areas that divides people in military and civilian life that I believe should be improved. I hope this clarifies a few things and possibly get some people to back the bills mentioned. Changing military justice in ways to make it more like civilian justice allows for members of the Chain of Command to focus more on the job field they joined, gives a better justice system to the entire military and helps bring both sides, military and civilian, closer together so they have less misunderstanding between them. In addition, it will hopefully reduce or better eliminate the sexual assaults/harassments and, though it is not mentioned in the news and should be, suicides caused by such wrongful laws as the one I wrote Congress and blogged about here. If you are an American and reading this, I cannot choose for you but would like the believe you will tell your Congresspeople to support the bills I mentioned at the beginning. There are other bills such as S.538 – A bill to amend title 10, United States Code, to modify the authorities and responsibilities of convening authorities in taking actions on the findings and sentences of courts-martial. While commendable an effort was made, these bills make the Chain of Command keep in some ways doing what they have been doing and I like to think I explained why that should stop.

If you at least read this far, thanks for reading.

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Cultural Truths About Staten Island Relating to Recent News

With all the recent flap about Representative Michael Grimm for his threat against NY1 reporter Michael Scotto, I figure this is a good time to clear up something about Staten Island, its culture and some of its people and I do not just mean the GOP, Democrats are guilty too.

There has always been an attitude of hostility on SI. It seems different on the surface depending on what area you live in. As I grew up here from the 1970s until today, I have seen the various geographical forms it has taken.

Racism on the North Shore (not just from whites).
Hyped up rages on the South Shore over who is the tough guy.
Fights over women that, years later, seemed stupid to the participants.
Alcohol & drug incited anger.

It does not matter what race, gender or political party a person who does such activities is. It is dishonest to claim it comes from only one group defined by any division. Therefore, Rep. Grimm was doing what some other Staten Islanders do but are too proud and egotistical to admit to.

This has even been reflected in media about Staten Island and New York City. Various TV shows and films that make such behavior look glamorous and an expected part of the culture. Jersey Shore, Mob Wives, self titled Staten Island films, films showing, “the good ol’ days of the mob.”

Sometime soon, I will expand on this with specific information from my own history showing what life on Staten Island has and is still like, I already have one story up at this link:
http://rogue1618.wordpress.com/2011/08/04/before-i-have-to-shoot-someone/

With teenagers like this running around threatening people simply because they are bored and looking for kicks, I don’t see how anyone could expect different from their representatives.

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Some Truth About Staten Island and Politics

Woke up today to hear about the incident regarding Representative Michael Grimm and a reporter from NY1, Mr. Michael Scotto. If you have not heard of it, it is easy to find a story on it by searching though the NY1 website has the best video with caption of what was said that is, for some, hard to hear. In response, I sent the following news agencies the correspondence that follows the list.

NY1 – Inside City Hall
MSNBC FB
Fox News FB
CNN
Daily Mail
USA today
LA Times
NY Times
NY Post
Daily News

Dear (news service),

Since a lot of demands are going around, I DEMAND issues I mention in this comment be mentioned on (news service) and affiliates where I am sure they will discuss the story of Representative Grimm’s actions last night towards Mr. Scotto.

First, let’s be honest. We know this story will be claimed by some as the attitude of Republicans. We also know this is completely false. I am not condoning Mr. Grimm’s behavior but in any discussion, it NEEDS to be mentioned this is the behavior of some people in New York City including Democrats. It has become, in the country’s view, the ‘New York City attitude.” People across the country expect this behavior from New Yorkers and we have done nothing to dissuade it. We have even embraced it in many ways, film, books, the conduct of citizens here.

So given this is a cultural issue, the REAL question is what our response is to that. Do we want to keep this image that is NOT limited to Republicans? Look at various media about Staten Island and New York City. Jersey Shore, Mob Wives, various films such as the self-titled Staten Island film in 2009 starring Ethan Hawke and Vincent D’Onofrio, also the 2007 film of the same name.

I have, in my 35+ years on Staten Island, known and been treated by Democrats the very same way Grimm behaved and they never received any punishment because of the cultural issue mentioned. Will they be held accountable for their actions? If not, then stop claiming this is Republican only. I also encountered this outside New York City, one example is what happened when I joined my full time unit in the Army in July 1995. Like anywhere people go when they are the ‘new guy,’ I was asked some ‘get to know you’ questions including where I was from. I said, ‘Staten Island,’ that prompted the next question, ‘Where is that?’ When I responded, ‘One of the 5 boroughs in New York City,’ I was told I was lying because I did not have the typical rudeness of a NYC resident.

This is also what happens when we subscribe to the failed belief that Politicians should be held to a higher standard than citizens. Never forget the famous sayings such as, ‘You reap what you sow,’ ‘You get what you paid for,’ and similar. New York residents have supported this image of New Yorkers for a long time. What did they expect?

Sincerely,
Eric Stork

Hate to say it, it is not so much the Republicans fault, some residents behavior brought this on themselves along with media slant from movies and TV. Not everyone in Staten Island is like this but I would be dishonest to say everyone was innocent.

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Full Details on Why I am Petitioning the White House on Public Transit

Well, typed all this up in a word processor for a White House petition only to find they don’t have enough room for it. So I add it here and will link to it on the petition site and also on my CNN iReport account, links at end.

The recent issue involving Governor Christie’s former staffer is just one of many issues tied to a larger problem at the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey (PANYNJ or PA), possibly involving other mass transit agencies. (I know there are some similar issues at the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) in New York.)

There needs to be a national discussion on the public transit agency issues. While some may question why the federal government should get involved in what looks to be state and city issues, I am not asking for any kind of federal crackdown. Rather, a national movement to look at the various problems and get them fixed for real as they clearly need to be in the best interests of the state and city areas. Further, there is a federal connection in that these public agencies get to toll federal interstates, manage assets on federal interstates (bridges, tunnels), manage assets such as airports that affects air traffic nationally, overpay their workers compared to similar workers in both private and public sectors questioning how valid that pay is and effect various locations throughout the nation thus effecting the national economy and livelihood.

Specifically about the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, there have been various stories over several years in a local news source, SILive.com, about the following issues:

1A – The toll raises that have put the PA toll rates on bridges and tunnels in direct competition to the MTA who had the highest toll in the nation at locations such as the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. For my local area of Staten Island, NY, these create an effect of making Staten Island feel like Prison Island since the only ways on and off the Island are the 4 bridges, 3 run by the PANYNJ (Goethals Bridge, Outerbridge Crossing, Bayonne Bridge) and 1 by the MTA (Verrazano-Narrows Bridge). The only other option off the Island is 1 ferry, the Staten Island Ferry, that does not allow cars on it and will be getting increased ridership through this new wheel project being built the Staten Island Ferry terminal. With the 4 bridges having the highest tolls in the nation, it creates the effect local residents are trapped and discourages things many other locations in the United States have such as travel, shopping, business and socializing with other areas.

1B – The same toll rates, among businesses hit, affected the New York Container Terminal (NYCT) in Staten Island. NYCT already contracts the land from the PA who, in turn, lease it from New York City. The toll rates are as if the PA is doubling down on what the NYCT has to pay them in addition to using the site. There is also the valid question of why the PA is a middleman in this arrangement (NYCT -> PA -> NYC) that would seem better served if the NYCT just dealt with the city government directly.

2 – Recently it was said by Governor Cuomo that LaGuardia and Kennedy airports would be modernized by the government. The question though is, once changed, what will happen to these airports? In the time they have had to run them, the PA has failed to handle them properly along with Newark airport, all three rank among the worst in the nation. This also asks why the PA was given control over other airports (Stewart International in NY, Teterboro and Atlantic City in NJ). Since the PA cannot handle major airports, perhaps they should not handle any airports at all.

3 – PA Police get a much higher pay than a lot of other police across the nation. Top PA police pay is in the mid-$80s per hour, about $175K a year. Compare that to NYPD, top pay is near $60 an hour, about $123K a year. I know a few states have higher than NYPD but have yet to hear of anyone beating the PA police. I am not discrediting them, I am sure they do a tough job and all, however I have to ask honestly comparing their job to other police departments if they do more than any other police across the country to deserve the higher pay.

4 – There was an audit of the PA around the time between Fall 2011 to Spring 2012. Part of this audit revealed various problems at the agency but the rest of it was never revealed publicly failing to clarify what was wrong. Since then issues have continued with people getting no answer at all regarding what went on and may still be going on. You do not reveal problems then close the curtain without letting people see the rest of the picture.

For years, various people affected by this agency have had to listen to a non-stop litany of problems with it that never seem to get fixed. The recent airport issue mentioned in item #2 is one of many steps that needs to be taken to ensure things get better but only one, there are many other steps needing to be looked at. Personally, I think some things the PA has control over should be removed and given to one or more new agencies with a more focused direction on a smaller scale. You could:

A – Put all bridges and tunnels under one agency focused on maintaining and operating them.

B – Turn the PATH train over to someone else, maybe NJ Transit who handles a lot of local NJ <-> NYC rail passenger traffic anyway.

C – Remove all airports from the PA and never let them handle another.

This would leave the PA with port operations and real estate, the second may also be questionable regarding their handling. Plus there should be strong consideration regarding salaries at agencies like the PA.

The MTA has roughly similar issues and possibly other public agencies involved in several areas. I would like to think we learned from past failures such as the Penn Central (PC). The PC was formed from 2 other railroads in a merger that should never have happened and went bankrupt in 2 years due to, in part, being involved in too many areas. They had success in real estate but tried using some profits there to cover the failing railroad and it still failed. The PC had to be taken over by the federal government along with other Northeast railroads because of how bad it was. I look at some things these public agencies do today and it is as if they learned nothing from past mistakes such as the PC. We need to stop this behavior now and actually fix what is broken.

The PANYNJ was authorized by the US Congress along with handling areas affecting the greater nation and therefore Congress should have at least some voice in it.

Thanks for reading if you got this far.

Link to White House petition.

Link to CNN iReport.

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I Feel Blessed Some Gamers Don’t Do the Same Real Life Jobs

Yeah, I have played computer games for a long time, since the 1980s. I have done console games from the Atari 2600 days but over time let those go. Only so much time and one person cannot do everything. I chose to focus on computer games because some can be modified, they are more flexible for me, downloading is a lot easier and I do not like the controls of today’s consoles.

One thing I am very grateful for is how some players I run into do things in games that I am sure they cannot do in real life, a prime example is what was called in the Army Buddy Fucking. I am sure you know what it means, doing something that screws over one or more of your teammates whether intentional (worst kind) or unintentional (could be forgiven but might take time). Consequences in real life vary from minor inconvenience to, in extreme cases, severe harm, maybe even death. It all depends on the details.

I have done a few blogs before about one game I play, Mechwarrior Online. Well, recently in the past few weeks, I got Buddy Fucked for the first time in a game.

A few things to explain.

Currently, there are 3 types of matches but one is recent so there were only 2 when this happened. We were playing one called Assault, winning is done by either destroying the enemy team, capping their base (occupy an area around the base over time) or the match times out in a draw. Assault games had 2 types of players, one focused on destroying the other team and nothing else the kind of player that likes to go out in a blaze of glory. The other, such as myself, tends to be objective oriented, we do fight but we also consider other goals that can be accomplished and will do so if it is deemed necessary. Most matches are random players assigned to a team so you get teams with both types on the same team, this leads to one type getting annoyed by the other, a frustration usually argued on the forums but in rare cases like this one leading to Buddy Fucking.

This particular match reached one point where all on my team were dead except me and 4 of the enemy 12 were left, so they had numbers in their favor and the equipment they had also gave them an advantage.

Since I am objective oriented and I tend to play certain games like this according to what the military taught me, I decided to seek a sheltered spot in a manner that made it hard to detect me. This would force the enemy to win by cap else risk a timeout and is considered an acceptable strategy except by the first type of player I described. Sure enough, there were some of those on my team and then the screwing happened.

Now the first type can be split into two sub-types. The first, if he dies in his blaze of glory, will either leave the match or watch his other teammates play, no problems happen from this one. The smaller group however tend to be trouble, if they die, they hang around to watch and if you do not play by their style they sell you out. There were 3 of these this time and sure enough they told the opposing team through chat where to find me apparently thinking they had some kind of right to impose their play style on me and others.

The company that runs this game does so by rules, some similar to others and one of those is that players who engage in bad conduct cannot be publicly named on the game forums but, for certain situations, can be reported. Unfortunately this situation is not one of those listed for reporting thus leaving me no resolution but to tell my story here. No way am I letting them think they get to force anyone, not just me, into doing everything their way. Good games are designed to accommodate several play styles and let people play the one they like, not have other players force their style down everyone else’s throat. So here I name the three Buddy Fuckers by their game User IDs (one seems to be a variation of a different one he uses on the forums) that sold me out.

AMCraine, HM Murdock and Looney200.

I use this post to immortalize these three as untrustworthy and unable to play using team tactics with any sense of good conduct regarding their teammates. Congrats Buddy Fuckers, you will be remembered.

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Comment on the Atheist digital billboard in Times Square

It has just been too stupid.

For reference, I am not a practicing Christian, I have not been for years and don’t even consider myself one. I tend to think of my religious beliefs as personal and just plain mine without pushing them on others.

That said, I have gotten quite tired over time of, “the usual,” arguments when one religion bashes another. This includes the constant Christian bashing I have had to listen and read for decades.

Yeah, me and a lot of others, “get it,” in this case being Atheists have a hard on for Christians. Oh sure, Atheists will try to lamely pass it off as humor and sarcasm. Well, I spent years watching a lot of good comedians in their performances. Robin Williams, Eddie Murphy. George Carlin, the list goes on. Comedians of various ethnic groups, religions and backgrounds. Want to know something obvious you learn from watching the greats of comedy? They almost never repeat the same jokes over several years. Even if fans plead, beg, whatever, they almost always look for new material to keep things fresh. So the Christian bashing (and similar religion bashing done by other groups), it just plain isn’t comedy, not when you go on about it for freakin’ DECADES.

Let it go already. Get new material. Pick a different subject. You have no sense of humor if your comedy record is stuck on, “Let’s bash this religion again for the 1537th time!” It is old, tiresome, boring and flat out annoying. You do not help people celebrate the holidays, you ruin it with bad comedy and a tired old message. Remember, I am not a Christian, just a guy who is fed up with the religion bashing including yours. Don’t cite your rights, there is no such right as the Right to Aggravate/Annoy/Harass/etc. People, check the law yourself, it does not exist.

If you do not know what billboard ad I refer to, here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBjHWij5HWY

While I am on about it, regarding this particular billboard, here are some fair questions for the arrogant Atheists designed in the same manner as the beginning of the video. At about 0:10 in the video, there is a list of things Atheists say to celebrate during Christmas. What if someone cannot do one? Will we suffer for it? A few examples, what if someone is too poor to contribute to a charity and cannot do free charity due to commitments? What if they cannot afford to see a Rockettes show? How about those who spend a quiet Christmas at home leaving a bunch of your list out? Chinese food? WTF DOES CHINESE FOOD HAVE TO DO WITH CHRISTMAS????? Sometimes at Christmas there is no snow in Times Square. Will New York City burn to the ground if snow is not available? Will anyone suffer eternal damnation for missing an item on your list? Verbal harassment, annoying Internet posts, dumb phone texts and stupid email?

These questions are fair given how long you have wasted people’s time with your annoyance about how mad you are towards Christians. If you get to annoy people with your obsessive and clear ego stroking and e-peen measurements, expect it back including from non-Christians like me. After all, if you were, “so much better than Christians,” then you would have designed a campaign that would not offend people including those of the non-Christian faith so we can celebrate our beliefs without being harassed by yours, a harassment toward non-Atheists that is VERY MUCH LIKE WHAT YOU COMPLAIN CHRISTIANS DO TO YOU. Stop imitating behavior you claim to be against, it doesn’t make you better, just one of many stupid beliefs that want to fight over whose religion has the biggest ego/e-peen.

You failed. Get over it and while you are at it, as the English say, sod off wanker.

Posted in Computers and Internet, News and politics, Random Thoughts, Socializing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments