Janet Lee

Janet Lee
Photo:Janet Lee, injured by a taxi partition.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Both oligarch and tyrant  mistrust the people, and therefore deprive them of arms. - Aristotle

In the late sixties and early seventies, the question of cab drivers carrying guns, arose. After all, people were shooting at cab drivers, why shouldn’t cab drivers shoot back? The new liberal left urban governments said “No way, cab drivers in Boston, NYC etc., are not allowed to carry weapons while cab driving.”

If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.
Dalai Lama – Seattle Times 2001

Buddhist cultures, including Tibet, have not historically been pacifist. The previous dalai lama strove to develop a modern military. So the current one's dedication to nonviolence should not be taken as a matter of course. He was influenced by Gandhi, a British-trained lawyer whose pacifism was rooted in Thoreau's Civil Disobedience. His nonviolent approach is exceptional for a Buddhist political leader and integrates Indian and western concepts of nonviolent struggle. 

The exaggerated image of pacifism projected on Buddhism (and Hinduism) was embraced and promoted by natives, as it conveyed moral superiority over colonialist oppressors and missionaries. Getting the message fed back by natives reinforced the original misconceptions. 

But the ultimate source is Euro-Americans themselves, weary of a century of warfare and longing for a pacifist Shangri-La. Buddhist cultural values were never so simplistic and practically served rajas, khans, and daimyo for millennia. The main reason Buddhists' history does not match our expectations, aside from them being as human as the rest of us, is that our expectations have been mistaken. Some think that fantasies of a pacifist utopia benefit the Tibetan cause. It can also be argued that they encourage communists to contemptuously dismiss western support for Tibet and obstruct Buddhists from engaging their values. 

The Buddhist world is racked with violence and it has never been more important to understand Buddhist ethics. These include never acting in anger; exhausting alternatives such as negotiation; striving to capture the enemy alive; avoiding destruction of infrastructure and the environment; and taking responsibility for how one's actions and exploitation cause enemies to arise. They also emphasise the great psychic danger to those who act violently, something we see in the large number of suicides among youth sent to these wars. Above all, rather than "national self-interest", the guiding motivation should be compassion.
Read more at http://www.snopes.com/politics/guns/dalailama.asp#2ARsMpsf9zzxzQ1r.99

Taxi regulators in Boston and NY adopted a requirement for a device to be installed in all taxis. This was in response to the gun question. The regulators decided that they would try an experiment with a device that had never BEFORE been used for assault prevention. Automobile interior partitions were used in utility vans for cargo retention. They were used in limousines for privacy. They were used to keep frisked, disarmed, handcuffed prisoners from access to the front seat area of a police cruiser. But to keep people from shooting cab drivers, most were skeptical, with good reason. Without a partition, no gun is needed. With a partition, a gun works fine and more frequently.

"You should investigate something to see its benefit or harm, examine whether it is appropriate and suitable or not; then after that you may carry it out." - Caotang

When only cops have guns, it’s called a “police state”. Claire Wolfe – libertarian author

It was observed by a reporter that murders were continuing WITH taxis partitions in all cabs. The response from the regulators was; “Nothing’s perfect.” When reporters pointed to the increase in murder, the regulators replied “Just imagine how bad it would have been with no partition at all!”

There isn’t a cop or a taxi regulator out there who will do what they expect others to do. That is; drive a taxi while unarmed. Cops won’t do it (undercover) WITH a gun. Being labeled as ‘unarmed’ makes drivers more vulnerable. Being labeled as ‘unarmed and being forced to drive with an allegedly (not really) bullet-resistant partition’ is a taunt to an armed criminal. They shoot cab drivers like they are fish in a barrel.

'Never give up an idea simply because it is bad and doesn't work. Cling to it even when it is hopeless. Anyone can cut and run, but it takes a very special person to stay with something that is stupid and harmful.' 
P. 218 'Brain Droppings' "Rules to live by" #10 - George Carlin

 “The bullet-proof partitions between the front and back seats of most medallion taxis appear to have done wonders for New York's cab drivers.” EDITORIAL OBSERVER / By ERNEST TOLLERSON
Cabbies, Passengers and a Collision of Interests - NY Times

That is an outright lie.

"A man should never be ashamed to own he has been wrong, which is but
saying, in other words, that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.." - Alexander 

The taxi regulators first, carried out, and then never investigated for 27 years, then misconstrued the objective and results. This is an interesting study.
In the report on taxi partition effectiveness; Dr. John R. Stone,  North Carolina State University Urban Studies Prof. wrote;

“One of the most intuitively effective, yet controversial countermeasures is a taxi partition or shield. This study makes one implicit assumption. It is assumed that assaults on taxi drivers are a proxy measure of taxi driver homicides. Thus, if shields reduce assaults then it can be assumed that they will reduce homicides.”
That would mean… that if car alarms reduce the frequency of the theft of cars - out of folks’ driveways - then it can be assumed they will also reduce the frequency of car jackings (where many car theft victims have been killed). But that isn’t what happens with a rising popularity of car alarms. NOW, cars are stolen while people are IN them. We never saw car-jacking rates this high until car alarms became popular.
Dr. Stone evaluated taxi partition use based on assault rates instead of murder rates, which rose. If they stayed the same, it would be hard evidence that murders still happen despite partitions.
Who is counting the number of deaths from partitions or despite partitions? Who is quantifying the value of taxi partition use for murder prevention?  The USDOT funded the NCSU study done on this experiment. This is an experiment not with test dummies as they boast about in NYC these days. These test subjects are human and the testing has been back-firing for decades.

"This Agency has no records which count the number of deaths which may have occurred in New York City involving a taxi cab which contained a partition." Thank you. Mimi C. Mairs, Special Counsel, Forensic Biology, Office of Chief Medical Examiner, Legal Department
421 East 26th Street, New York, New York 10016

One time, New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission revealed statistics that state the N.Y.C. medallion cab driver murder total, from 1986-1995, was 273.

Even though Boston kept scant records, it is known that every robbery and assault in a Boston taxi from 1970 present happened with a partition in the cab.

"Who has no faults? To err and yet be able to correct it is best of all." - Yuan Wu

This taxi partition requirement is a cruel experiment in survival. The problem is; survival is less likely in assaults and also less likely in collisions too.

"Discovery consists in seeing what everybody else has seen and thinking
what nobody else has thought." - Albert Szent-Gyoryi

 Dr. John Sherman - Assistant Clinical Professor of Surgery, New York Hospital, New York City - "The results are uniformly disastrous: patients with head wounds from dividers, fractured noses, lacerations and worse.  Last month I saw two patients die from taxi-related injuries.”

"Where the spirit does not work with the hand - there is no art." - Leonardo DaVinci

ON A FRIDAY NIGHT IN 1983, I was in a taxi in New York riding home from dinner with friends. A drunk driver ran a red light and hit the cab, and I was thrown toward the glass partition. I tried to duck, but my face hit the glass, and the impact fractured my cheekbone, my eye socket, my collarbone, and several ribs.            Iman (supermodel married to David Bowie)

I have been bringing these problems to the attention of the authorities for over 30 years.

Novelist Betsy Carter broke her upper and lower jawbones and lost almost all her teeth when she slammed into a partition in a taxi accident in the tunnel under Park Avenue in Midtown.

"My lips were ‘filleted' — that was the word my doctor used," she said of the accident, which she wrote about in her 2002 memoir, "Nothing to Fall Back On."

There is a moment when you stop letting life just happen to you. Mine came at 10:15 on a cold morning in 1983. I was in the back seat of a taxicab on my way to ESQUIRE  after an appointment at the dentist.  Smudges of snow lined the streets as the cab dipped into a tunnel  under Park Avenue. Engrossed in a New York Times story about David Bowie, I barely noticed the light go from sun-shine white, to chapel gray. Something about the instant dimness, a jerky turn of the wheel, I don’t know what - made my heart race. The cab rushed into the darkness. There was a wall of something solid, not moving in front of us. A stalled Chevy. Did the driver see what I saw? Shouldn’t he slam on the brakes? Why couldn’t I find the words to warn him?
In a slow horrifying, motion, every second took its own eternity. Hold on, hold on… but there was nothing to hold on to. The world was going sideways. I was hurtled forward. Launched was more like it. Shrieking tires, grinding metal. My body slammed into the partition in front of me. I heard the sound of a belly-flop from a high dive. I didn’t scream. I watched. And then there was silence; as terrifying as the commotion that preceded it. There was blood. I saw a hand I recognized as my own, shaking. My  teeth. They’d come undone. This had to be a dream, like dreams I’d had so often. I’m getting up to speak in front of a crowd, and all my teeth fall out. I’m opening the front door to greet a date; all my teeth fall out. I thought about my parents and what they’d suffered and that this is what that must feel like. A voice in an accent I can only describe as frantic, broke the silence. “Get out of my cab! You, get out now!”                    Betsy Carter (Esquire Mag. Editor)

Tom Glavin (NY Mets Pitcher) speaks about his partition impact injury in a taxi
"I guess it's a hard lesson to learn. I know probably every one of us are guilty at some point of time of getting in a cab in particular and not putting on a seat belt, but I will say I'm always diligent about it when I'm driving my own car, or in my own car, but probably neglectful like everybody else when I get in a cab."
The driver of the taxi, George Kovalonoks, 54, of Brooklyn, and the other vehicle, John Struble, 40, of West Milford, N.J., were both uninjured, police said.
Glavine's wife called him back immediately after the crash, and he called the Mets to tell them what happened. He was taken by ambulance to NYU Medical Center in Manhattan. He hopes to be fitted for temporary front teeth Friday and have the stitches removed Monday or Tuesday. It will be at least eight months before his mouth heals enough for him to get permanent replacement teeth.
"I actually kept the one that had fallen in my hand," he said. "The other one was halfway back in my mouth, I left it in there until I got to the hospital. They looked at it, tried to assess whether or not I could keep them. All the bone and whatnot I guess up there was battered and broken, so that's why they didn't keep the teeth."

Duaner Sanchez
  • Sanchez, 26, who was 5-1 with a 2.60 ERA in 49 games, Dawin and 30-year-old Milagros Rodriguez were riding a taxi south on I-95 near Northwest 79th Street in Miami at 1:44 a.m. Monday. The cab was hit by a Ford Crown Victoria, spun out of control and struck a concrete barrier, the Florida Highway Patrol said last night.
Sanchez, who was riding in the rear seat, apparently used his pitching arm to shield his head during a collision with the cab's bullet-proof partition, Dawin said in a phone interview. "He put his arm up so he wouldn't hurt his head." Minaya said doctors decided to operate immediately.
"He woke up [yesterday] and he was really in pain," Minaya said. "The doctors realized the ligaments in the area were torn. It was just a severe injury."
Dawin said his brother was taken in for surgery about 3:30 p.m. yesterday and hadn't come out by 7 p.m.
"He was feeling a little down because he's out for the rest of the season, but at least he knows he'll pitch again," Dawin said. Duaner Sanchez's cab accident in the early morning hours on Interstate 95 in Miami. Sanchez, out for a late-night food run, seperated his shoulder when a drunk driver slammed into the cab in which he was riding.
"It isn't that they can't see the solution. It is that they can't see the problem." - G.K.Chesterton
Keith Lockheart
Boston Pops conductor led with his chin
One day following an accident in a New York taxi, Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart was smiling and showing off the numerous stitches in his chin, the only part of his body injured in a dramatic two-vehicle collision.
"I'm very lucky," he said. "If you saw the taxi, you'd have sworn everyone in it died. I could have been carried away in a body bag.
His face was crushed. The television personality Marc Summers broke almost every bone in his face.
“I’m lucky to be alive according to the doctors,” said Marc. You probably remember him from “Double Dare”, Marc now hosts and produces shows on the Food Network. He was in a Philadelphia taxi accident in August. He smashed into the credit card machine that’s mounted on the protective shield.

Barbara Windsor
The 65-year-old (UK) soap star, who plays Queen Vic landlady Peggy Mitchell, was treated for head injuries at University College Hospital in central London on Tuesday night after a taxi she was in crashed into a van.
Husband Scott Mitchell, 37, said the actress had been thrown against the glass partition of the cab and was "very lucky" not to have suffered more severe injuries.

I solved all of the drawbacks of using dangerous, illegal partitions with a better design. Why would I build a partition if they aren’t viable in taxis? I build partitions for police cruisers. It has always been my contention that partitions are not viable assault or robbery rate reduction devices. I expect to see no sales of even legal, safe partitions to cab owners who know that partitions just mean the robbery WITH a partition will most likely, be done with a gun. It is too easy, at any time, to point a gun through, or around the partition.

"There is nothing harder than the softness of indifference." Jaun Montalvo (1832-1889)

In the whole arena of automobile interior partitions there are some other sinister angles (besides trading off occupant safety in collisions for increased driver risk of murder in an unethical experiment with the lives of the unwitting public and the witting cab drivers involved), there are numerous incidents where prisoners have been thrust face-first into the steel grid of the police cruiser partition. There are too many cases where it was alleged by the police that the injuries from such contact were “self-inflicted”.

After much research I find it odd that cruiser partitions are the only thing most of these allegedly self-abusing prisoners ever strike their heads on.

Tim Ray - a Monee, Illinois police officer



Tim Ray

"Industry without art, is brutality" Ananda Coomaraswamy

"There is no security in life, only opportunity."- Mark Twain

"The only real valuable thing is intuition." - Albert Einstein
"Compared to what we ought to be, we are half awake." - William James

"It's motive alone that gives character to the actions of men." - Jean De La Bruyere

"The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not
expect to sit." - Nelson Henderson

"A mans’ value to the community primarily depends on how far his feelings,
thoughts and actions are directed towards promoting the good of his fellows." 
- Albert Einstein

"There are costs and risks to a program of action, but they are far less
than the long range risks and costs of comfortable inaction." - John F. 

"Just as we look to government and experts, we also look to technology for
solutions to our problems, but you will see that your personal solution to
violence will not come from technology. It will come from an even grander
resource that was there all the while, within you. That resource is

"Weak security improvements - including those you might make in your own
life - are sometimes worse than doing nothing because they give false peace
of mind and convince people that safety is being addressed when it is not.
Poorly designed security fools everyone...except the attacker."
- Gavin DeBecker

"Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anyone else expects
of you. Never excuse yourself." 
- Henry Ward Beecher

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