For freedom lovers, EZ Pass is one of the big compromises of modern life. On the one hand, by using it we forfeit our anonymity and allow Big Bubba to track our whereabouts on the highways and byways. In exchange, we’re supposed to get modest discounts on tolls, allowing us to keep just a little bit more of our money from a government that takes far too much as it is.
So it is disconcerting to learn that New York’s various toll authorities aren’t holding up their end of the bargain for travelers coming from out-of-state. According to AAA’s Car & Travel magazine, only drivers who purchased their EZ Pass from a New York EZ Pass Customer Service Center (i.e., the MTA Bridges & Tunnel Authority, the New York State Bridge Authority, the Thruway Authority or the Port Authority) receive the EZ Pass discount on tolls. Anyone who got their EZ Pass in another state pays the cash rate, regardless of signs posted to the contrary.
Travelers are already wary about getting ripped off when they come to the Big Apple. It turns out the ripoffs begin literally the second they cross through the tollbooth.
Not wanting new U.S. military interventions to outpace our publishing schedule, we are planning a new print issue of Serf City for this spring. The due date for all articles, photos, illustrations and advertisements is Monday, April 11.
Editorial guidelines: Your article should provide insight on a political topic or current event from a libertarian perspective. Priority is given to New York-related topics. A photo or illustration to accompany your article is always appreciated.
Advertising guidelines: $500 for a full page, $250 for a half page, $125 for a quarter page, $75 for 1/8 page (business card). Ad specs can be found here:
Please send all submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Julian Heicklen, freedom-fighter extraordinaire and the most bad-ass senior citizen you will ever meet, was arrested at his home at 6:00 a.m. this morning by officers of Teaneck police department and the federal protective service. The arrest is presumably related to his indictment for jury tampering and his failure to appear at the arraignment. More details are available at Tyranny Fighters.
Definitely NSFW! Soon to be a holiday season favorite:
Once again, the NYC Board of Elections has mixed up my write-in votes in ways that make me question whether any of the votes get counted correctly. Immediately after submitting my ballot last election day, I reported the following write-in votes on my Facebook page: “Also wrote in all 3 of my kids for supreme court judges, my wife, Mark Axinn and Ron Moore for civil court judges, John Tringle for state senate, and myself for assembly.”
The final official votes are now tallied and reported on the NYC BOE’s website, and this is what they show:
For supreme court judge, my son Benjamin Lesczynski and daughter Sara Lesczynski each got one vote (their names got badly misspelled in the transcription, but otherwise okay), but my daughter Alana Lesczynski somehow got 4 write-in votes! In order to believe that is reported accurately, we would have to believe that three other voters in New York County, unknown to me, also thought it would be a good or at least funny idea to vote for my 8-year-old daughter for supreme court justice.
For civil court judge, they report my 1 vote for my wife Dawn Fox, but also 2 votes for Mark Axinn (I only voted for him once), 2 votes for Ron Moore (ditto), and also a vote for me (I voted for myself assembly not judge) and for John Triangle [sic] (I voted for John Tringle for state senate, not judge). The extra votes for Mark, Ron and me are possibly legit, because I think Mark and Ron may have cast joke votes for each other and me in various races, but I don’t know anyone else who would have voted for my friend John Tringle.
For assembly district 64, they report 1 vote for me that I did cast, but also one vote for John Tringle that I did not cast.
Likewise, for state senate district 25, they report the one for John Tringle that I did cast, but also one vote for me that I did not cast. Ron and Mark do not live in my assembly district, so they could not have voted for me in this race.
I’ve blogged previously about one of the more insane aspects of New York’s recycling law, which among other things makes it illegal to “steal” garbage once it’s been left curbside. What I didn’t realize is just how draconian the penalties are for this phony crime. Take, for example, the Middle Village, Queens, man who saw one of his neighbors disposing of an old air conditioner:
“As far as I knew it was a piece of garbage sitting on the curb,” Paul Lawrence said.
But what Lawrence didn’t know when he decided to pick up a discarded air conditioner sitting on the sidewalk in Middle Village, Queens is that once trash hits the curb, it’s technically city property.
And he was breaking the law.
“There was a lady here. I asked the lady can I take the air conditioner. She said go ahead take it. It’s garbage,” Lawrence said.
But not only was he fined $2,000 by a sanitation officer who watched him do it, the car he was driving was impounded.
And its owner — Lawrence’s Aunt, 73-year-old Margaret Colavita, was also slapped with a $2,000 fine.
“I said what is this and she said well we have to serve you with this. You’re the owner of the car and it says I gave him permission,” Colavita said.
I know jobs are hard to come by and these sanitation officers are probably decent enough folks around their friends and family. But honestly, if I had to fine someone $2,000 for picking garbage and then impound the car belonging to whoever was nice enough to lend it to the first victim, and then fine the second victim $2,000, I would not be able to look myself in the mirror.
All New Yorkers with any sense of decency should make it as hard as possible for these government parasites to function. Next time, instead of taking your used stuff to the curb to be recycled, save yourself the labor and post it on the “free” section of craigslist or on freecycle.com. Someone will gratefully come to your home and take it away for you.
UPDATE: A judge has thrown out the fines.