Thursday, July 31, 2014

House Republicans Still Oppose Obamacare

They're just drilling down on it another way

Obamacare Dividends Pile Up for Hospitals as Patients Pay
By Alex Wayne and Shannon Pettypiece | Bloomberg
"HCA Holdings Inc. (HCA), the largest for-profit hospital chain, yesterday (06/29/2014) raised its forecast and reported a 6.6 percent drop in uninsured patients at its 165 hospitals, a reduction that grows to 48 percent in four states that expanded Medicaid ... Medicare spending rose by just $1 per beneficiary in 2013, the fourth year in a row that saw a slowdown."

The Washington Post reported in May, "The company also had a 29 percent decline in uninsured admissions in the expansion states, while non-expansion states experienced 5.9 percent growth in uninsured admissions."


My Comments About Those Articles Above
This is great news for anyone other then U.S. House Republicans who unsuccessfully tried to vote down Obamacare 40+ times. Having failed they've come up with a new strategy.

'The Hill.com' reports that on Wednesday, July 20, 2014 the House Voted To Sue Obama. "The lawsuit focuses on Obama’s decision to delay the healthcare law’s employer mandate, which requires employers with 50 or more workers to provide insurance coverage. The mandate was slated to originally take effect this year, but it has been pushed back for gradual implementation in 2015 and 2016. Republicans argued the employer mandate delay was part of a pattern in which the Obama administration has selectively enforced the law." The nutty part, this is what House Republicans wanted to do in the first place.

This is the first time in U.S. history that any chamber of Congress took such a action. Republicans are so blinded with their obsession with destroying the ACA they can't see the writing on the wall right before their eyes. TPM reported on July 10th, 2014, "74 percent of Republicans said they were very or somewhat satisfied with their new coverage. Overall, 78 percent of Americans said they were satisfied: 73 percent of those enrolled in a private plan and 84 percent of those enrolled in Medicaid."

Indications are this new federal healthcare plan is working even before it's full implementation by 2016. Perhaps that's why Republicans need to act fast (sue) before the elections and before the news comes out in a few years this plan actually works.

The 2014 Fall Elections
Ordinarily I'd predict the conservatives are headed for a disappointment. However there's nothing more unpredictable then elections outcomes. A lot depends on how well educated voters are. Whether the majority feel they directly benefit from the ACA or how well either side can present their case to the American people. Even then there will be those that will always be those diehards who put their dunce caps on and pull one or the other lever no matter what. So nothing either way would surprise me a great deal.

The Karl Rove and Sean Hannity types were gloating over having it made in 2012. After the elections they were shocked when Obama won a second term, But not nearly as much so as when House Majority Leader Eric Cantor got his clocked cleaned in the primaries this year. So never say never when it comes to election outcomes. Republicans could very well be barking up the wrong tree on this.

Most polls are showing Americans aren't thrilled with suing the President. A CNN/ORC poll conducted between July 18-20, 2014 found that 57% oppose the lawsuit. 65% oppose impeachment. Furthermore Breitbart.com is reporting critics of the lawsuit fear if Republicans lose in the courts it "could embolden Obama to enact more executive actions."


On A Personal Note
My wife has had three tests done so far this year which are now mandated to be fully paid for under the ACA. Each of these were paid 100% by my private medical insurance. All three would have not have been paid at all because we have not yet met our deductible this year. Even if it had, two would have been only partially paid at 80% and the other not at all.


Here's What Republicans Should Be Doing
(1) Stop wasting everyone's time with a lawsuit. Most legal beagles agree it will not be won after costing taxpayers $1-$2 million. (2) Stop trying to take down a healthcare bill most people seem to like. Even if certain members of congress hate it why not help fix the parts they think are broken. Nobody throws out the whole car if it has a couple of bad parts.(3) End this relentless pursuit. Even when they agree with some of Obama's ideas they try and spike the ball against him. All of this negative politicking isn't doing them much good nor the United States for that matter.

Come this fall voters will have a opportunity to end all of this bickering if they elect either one or the other parties allowing them to control both the house and senate Otherwise look indefinitely forward to more bickering and getting nothing resolved regarding immigration, the budget, entitlements, etc., etc., etc., etc., etc.....

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

College In Many Cases Is A Rip-off

"A Californian pastor is being mercilessly hounded for $200,000 in student loans he was saddled with when his 27-year-old daughter Lisa died suddenly of liver failure... Making the situation dramatically worse is the fact that the couple are now the guardians of daughter Lisa's three children, ages nine, 12 and 14, leaving their futures in the balance."

My Comments About The Article Above
There are few things that need to be pointed out before I comment. Even though this was not a government loan someone can't avoid paying by declaring bankruptcy. The amount borrowed started out at $100,000 her parents co-signed for.

I'm of the opinion that both hospitals colleges are one of the biggest most successful businesses going on in this country. I titled this post inferring many colleges are a rip-off. Here's why..* Many colleges will not allow students to purchase used textbooks for a number of their courses even if they are only one year old. These costs students annually between $850-$1,000 on average.

* In addition to tuition there are hidden fees for parking, lab and so forth. Required tools of the trade needed for specialized course work.

* Joining a Fraternity/sorority or professional society also help rack up costs. In some cases it's not an option, especially those pursuing a degree in medicine or engineering.

* More costs (beyond tuition) most students don't think about when they decide to go to college:Becoming a foreign exchange student, laptops (and other electronics), furnishings, laundry money, activity fees, personal items (clothes/sport, towels, lamps, etc.), food, dorm cable TV/internet fees, travel/transportation, tickets for special/sporting events.. The list goes on and on.
* The lost wages in not having a job while attending 4-6 years of college


As you can see tuition, room and board is only a beginning point. In this student's particular case she was pursuing a Bachelor Of Science Registered Nurse (BSRN) degree. From my own daughter's experience she was not allowed to use any text book that was not brand new. Each cost between $50-$300. She also had to join a nursing society. Purchase a stethoscope and a number of other pieces of required medical equipment She also incurred several lab fees. In addition take courses that had nothing-what-so-ever to do with medicine.

In most cases the average college student could easily be well educated within two years for their chosen profession. Colleges add additional course requirements so they can drag this out as long as possible. Some students only attend three or four one hour classes a week. Sometimes even less in their senior year.

Many are all too happy to exaggerate the earning potential for careers they already know will lead students to a dead end. Such as teaching, journalism, etc. This leads some students to spend a couple more thou$and dollars to change courses. Heaven help them if they switch colleges. Colleges will never give full credits for courses already taken elsewhere.

What A Racket!
Kids are told if they don't go to college they will end up losers. What they aren't telling them is credit card companies, food service providers, text book publishers, manufacturers of tools for the trade, a whole host of subcontractors and the college itself all get a cut before someone gets a piece of paper. A piece of paper that offers little to no guarantee anyone will land a job that pays enough for a return on their investment. On top of all of that, it traps students into paying banks back by disallowing bankruptcy no matter how desperate the circumstance. Yeah well I guess that's an education in of itself many are coming to realize for themselves.

Don't Be A Fool
(1) Pick a trade. Go to a one or two year trade school. Work for a couple of years first and save up the money for it. Never borrow money on a promise. No one should start out 10,000's in debt.

(2) Take only the essential courses needed to start up a business of your own that your good at.

(3) Find an employer willing to pick up part of your costs for education.

(4) Never ever listen to a college recruiter. They are nothing but sales people working for a college.

(5) Joining the military service will not lead to an education you can use after duty.

True Personal First Hand Stories
(1) Brian joined the Air Force. He was told after leaving he would be fully qualified to become a jet mechanic. Brian spent 12 years in the AF. Each time he was that close to making the school. Never did.

(2) Tom had a job repairing electronic equipment at Lehigh University in the 60's. Rather then being drafted he joined the Army for electronics. #1 the army doesn't repair electronics, they replace it. So he learned nothing. Lehigh never held his original job after the Army, although they did offer another job to him as required. Tom also was assigned in Germany to repair large trailer mounted diesel generators. Something he had no idea about what to do when it broke down. He was disciplined!

(3) Since I wanted to work in radio broadcasting I too tried to avoid the draft by signing up in the 60's right after high school. The recruiter promised me I'd end up working at the 'Armed Forces Radio Network'. He made the mistake of driving me up to Wilkes-Barre before I signed papers. When I got there I was put with a bunch of draftees looking to get out by whatever means they could. In the waiting room one of them peed on some guy's head on the row in front of him.

When I was tested they claimed they were impressed and gave me an additional Army intelligence test which I passed. They said congratulations I'm qualified to be an advanced intelligence radio operator. WHOA! That's not 'AFRN' that's advanced ground operations in Vietnam. Radio operators are the first to be targeted. No F&*%ing way!!!

Here's the best part. My recruiter had to leave because my tests took longer then he could stay. So I was sent back to Allentown on a bus with the draftees. In the last two rows on the bus three guys were masturbating to see who could cum first. A half dozen others guys kept saying to the driver (grinding gears on a nearly broken down bus).. "grind another pound". The driver got pissed off stopped the bus and kicked them off in Lehighton. Screw that. I took my chances on the newly created lottery. I ended up with lottery number 285.. THANK GOD and never got called up. I swear everything I said is true.

The Point Is..
Neither colleges nor the military have anyone's best interests at heart. Look at what interests you and what your good at. Invest in only the kind of education necessary. If all else fails settle for what's available until a better opportunity comes along. Above all else don't go into debt starting out nor have faith in those who stand to gain a profit from you by doing so.

I've spent the last 33 years of my working life in a job that wasn't what I intended nor enjoyed very much, but it paid the bills. It also enabled me to retire at 59 1/2. My working life may have not been a perfect as I expected, but it wasn't all that bad ether.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Talk About A Child Support Hearing Going Bad!

Whenever I think of a child support case going really bad for someone I think of the character Alan Harper on '2 1/2 Men'. Even the writers of that show couldn't have written a crazier script then what happened for real to this poor sap!

The married judge had a sexual relationship with the mother of the defendant's child while presiding over his 2012 child support case. "According to the Detroit Free Press, **** sexted **** from the bench and gave her thousands of dollars... He is appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court for help in challenging the doctrine that judges can't be sued for their court decisions."
According to the 'Detroit Free Press', "... the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals concluded in a 24-page decision Monday, stating that while the judge's actions were “often reprehensible,” he is immune from lawsuits under the long-held doctrine of judicial immunity."

My Comments About The Article Above
Even though this guy couldn't sue the judge, the appeals court did suspend the gavel banger without pay for 6 years. However the article does not mention how much money it cost this guy for his lawyers through this process. Whether the judgment of support order still stands. Nor how much more this guy will have to spend if he needs to appeal the judgment for child support. We're not even told if the married judge will soon face his own support hearing shortly :-).

So what lessons have we learned kids?
     (1) One in the hand is better then having two in the bush.
     (2) Don't throw bricks while living in a glass house.
     (3) He who flies upside down, has big crack up.
     (4) Tip toeing between the two lips is never a good idea.
     (5) Only a blooming idiot would plant cucumbers in someone else's patch.
     (6) etc., etc., etc.

Sarah Palin Starts Her Own Channel

It'll only cost ya around 10 buck$ a month. ($1 more then 'Netflix')
Which would be your druthers?


Anyone find her voice soothing?
:-)


Lehigh Valley Transit- The Liberty Bell Route

This is a preview of LVT Volume 2- The Liberty Bell Route

This 67 minute DVD will be available soon @ John Pechulis Media

BTW: I have several other posts on this subject.
Do a search of this blog using the search term..
Lehigh Valley Transit Trolley

Anyone with a interest in the railroad can search using that word


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Wehr Mill Covered Bridge Closed

Wehr Mill Covered Bridge Closed
By Alyssa Passeggio | The Express-Times
"The Wehr Mill Covered Bridge was closed after a truck, neglecting a detour and the weight limit, drove over it"

Updated On
Friday, August 1, 2014

Wehr's Mill Bridge reopens with four-ton weight limit



My Comments About The Article Above
This comes on the heels of those who want to destroy the dam. Michael Molovinsky has been all over this. Although I've remained silent on this, it doesn't mean I don't support his viewpoint 100%.

I've personally witnessed the Jordan Creek below the dam dry up in times of drought. I've been waiting for dry weather, which so far has not occurred this year; If and when it does again I promise I will go there and take snapshots to prove this does happen. It may have been several years ago and may be several years again, but the fact is that dam holds the only water that can sustain water wildlife when it does.

There are dams that can be removed, but this is not one of them. There have been times the road was closed due to flooding. I personally witnessed a stranded motorist who fell victim when he/she tried to drive through it just before the covered bridge and became trapped in their vehicle and had to be rescued. With or without the dam the outcome would be the same.

With or without the dam doesn't mean there aren't any fish. That's another BS argument.

My daughter's husband owns farmland in Lehigh Township which has a pond on it. Water barely flows into it except for a small spring. Whenever we go up there we throw a handful of fish food and 100's of fish jump out of the water to feed on it. Oh sure they may not be trout, but still waters (whether they be pond or otherwise) fish flourish in them by the 100's. Just exactly what species thrives in still waters as opposed to running water doesn't mean certain other fish aren't present.

Although they are controlled dams should we also go el natural with 'Blue Marsh', 'Beltzville' and "Lake Wallenpaupack" too? They certainly have a larger impact on the environment then little ole Wehr's Dam.

There's another argument that Canadian geese congregate there. Yeah well so do they over the entire length of the fast flowing Lehigh, Schuylkill and Delaware rivers on the embankments all the way to Philadelphia. This is another BS argument. So called scientific geniuses can argue as the day is long, but what I've observed so too can anyone if they hike or bike along them. This is nothing more then a pissing contest between the so-called experts (powers that be) and what should be a common sense argument.

Wanna venture a guess who will win?

Stossel: Security Vs Liberty

Sometimes I'm not the biggest fan of John Stossel. Other times (as was the case last night) Stossel excels in what he does. Comments To Follow


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I checked out Stossels full episodes at FOX. So far it's not posted yet. If they ever do I urge readers to check out the entire program. Hopefully these videos won't be removed before FOX does post them.

COMMENTARY
I don't care whether someone is far right, far left or somewhere in-between, the militarization of the U.S. civilian police forces is far too reminiscent of people having to tolerate living like they are under a police state. Russia's KGB and Germany in the 1930's are two that come to mind.

Under United States law the military can't be used against it's own people. When police become militarized they tend to forget the reason they exist. To "protect and serve". Police departments are hiring more and more ex-soldiers. Soldiers who were trained to kill people and break things. While that is a admirable quality to be honored and respected in combat zones, it isn't under a civilian environment where there should be a presumption of innocence and individual rights.

It's alarming that we've grown acceptance to skirting around the laws that are suppose to protect citizens from it's own military being used against them by enabling certain police units to look no different. Having access to the same equipment used by the military and coming down on American civilians as they would in a foreign war zone.


No post would be complete without a personal story. Years ago my wife's former boss's brother was holed up in an apartment at a complex on the East side of Allentown. Police received a report that her brother kidnapped his girlfriend and was holding her hostage. A nosy neighbor called 911 after hearing his girlfriend's screams. Actually they were having loud sex. What followed was a two hour standoff and police breaking down to the door, pointing their multiple weapons, cuffing and charging him. Several months later this was all sorted out in front of a courtroom. This is one example how things can go South really fast.

The point I'm trying to make is ex-soldiers do not make great peace officers. They are trained in entirely another way with how to deal with things. They've seen action in combat zones which have been engrained on their minds after serving multiple tours. They tend to want to equip themselves with military gear that suggest they are going to war with street criminals which in many cases these thugs could be subdued without all that over-the-top kind of firepower.

While I support good policing 100% they must also realize in many cases what separates them from the bad guys becomes less and less everyday in their treatment of people who fall under suspicion. Indeed in some cases it's only the badge or the lettering on their jackets they wear that one can tell them apart these days.

Another personal story
A story difficult to tell without revealing who and what police department was involved. Let's just say it was one either in Allentown, Bethlehem or Easton. I'll refer to her as "R". "R" was married to a cop. When she was pregnant he would try and trip her coming down the stairs so she'd lose their baby. The first night they got their own place he beat her up and trashed all her belongings. She was absolutely 100% scared to call the local police because they were his buddies. So she endured for several months. To make a long story short. She in the end moved out of the Lehigh Valley. Got her doctorate degree and ended up in a top level position in school administration elsewhere. Alls well that ends well.

This post is not about trashing all the good cops that work their asses off to make this a better world. BUT, cops are human like the rest of us. If civilians did to cops what some cops get away they'd be doomed to a life behind bars (or worse) if they tried to defend themselves. No good can come from further escalating the armament or police using force beyond what is necessary. The direction we're heading is not good.

More and more we see what's being reported almost everyday in the news. Cops having paramilitary like units is not something I envision for having a better future for the United States. The days of the friendly cop on the street corner have since passed. Is this what we want for our kids growing up?

Penn State's $13,500+ A Week Athletic Director

"Barbour's compensation package is about double that of her predecessor... Barbour will make a base salary of $700,000 and will receive a yearly retention bonus of $100,000. She also has a $100,000-a-year payout for meeting performance goals based on graduation rates, post-season appearances and more."

My Comments About The Article Above
Two words... "Economic Inequality". No one will ever convince me anyone is worth $13,500+ a week (in the private sector or otherwise). Under the rules of sanity if someone were to try and justify this kind of salary their only argument could be such a person brings in more money then they take out. Does the position of 'athletic director' do that?

Penn State Quick Facts:* Penn State has over 98,000 students
* Penn State’s total operating budget for 2014-15 is $4,638,774,000
* In the year ending on June 30, 2013: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania appropriations were $272,431,000 and United States government grants and contracts totaled another $503,517,000

That's a lot of simoleons!


Saturday, July 26, 2014

My Top 10 Posts Of All Time

Since 2008- Listed In Order

(1) Posted Saturday, October 29, 2011- Bolshoi Theater Back In Business
(2) Posted Monday, January 20, 2014- Dealing With Parking During A Snow Emergency
(3) Posted Friday, December 27, 2013- Why We Can't Afford Cedarbrook Or Gracedale
(4) Posted Monday, September 26, 2011- On This Day: 1st Debate On TV
(5) Posted Monday, April 15, 2013- On This Day The Titanic Sank
(6) Posted on Monday, September 28, 2009- Pennsylvania Sales Tax- Everything You Need To Know
(7) Posted Friday, October 25, 2013- Les Trésors Allentown
(8) Posted Sunday, January 27, 2013- VIDEOS Dorney Park's History
(9) Posted Monday, February 18, 2013- HUMOR: Older Men Scam
(10) Posted Monday, November 25, 2013- JFK On The Issues


Analysis
60% of the top read posts were historical or informative in nature.
40% of the top read posts are humorous or about entertainment.

60% were posted in 2013
30% were posted before 2013
Only one of the top 10 was from this year (2014)

Upon Review..
From that information It's not clear what posts appeal to people the most. However when I look over all of 1,105 posts, political posts seem have the fewest readers. Perhaps this is because we have several blogs here locally who's main focus is on politics. Not to even mention cable news burnout from their endless political pundits 24/7/365.

I think it's safe to say the majority who visit this blog come for mainly two things. Information that has historical or entertainment value and/or for humor. I find it a bit hard to limit myself to those since I have so many opinions about so many things. It's a shame because that is what I enjoy most about blogging. However I've come to realize even when I post something that should set people off.. it doesn't. And yes, I have done that deliberately on occasion. While I never sought out to have the most readers it's important that I remember it takes as much effort to compose hot topics as it does to write about other stuff.

I'm A Slow Learner
So after 6 years of blogging and publishing web pages 3 years before this, upon review, I'm going to try and limit myself to humor, information, entertainment and historical material. With a dash from time to time the sharing of personal stuff. Oh I'm sure I will still throw my opinions in the mix, but I will try and limit myself from now on to those four categories.

As always, if you have something to add, feel free to leave a comment or two.

My Most Viewed Posts This Past Week

Posted: Wednesday, July 23, 2014- About Allentown NIZ Jobs
Posted: Thursday, January 17, 2013- Allentown Circa 1828 to 1985
Posted: Tuesday, July 15, 2014- Save A Sale.. Cable Disconnect Problems
Posted: Tuesday, June 10, 2014- 2014 Tony Award Show Stoppers
Posted: Sunday, January 20, 2013- A Bunch Of Historical Allentown Photos

Missing Persons- "Words"


Friday, July 25, 2014

Why Are People So Damned Nasty!

I was inspired to write this after reading so many nasty comments left at various social sites on the internet

I Got Mine, So The Hell With You
I'm not talking about the majority of people, but it only takes a much smaller number to mucky this world up. Especially if they are high profile people in Congress, the media or cooperate management. These are the folks who exert the most influence over sheepeoples' who are far too predominate in this world today.Fallacy #1: I deserve great healthcare coverage because I earned it by working my ass off. Anyone who doesn't have coverage are uneducated and/or too lazy. Everyone knows medical treatment should only be available for those deemed worthy of it. So The Hell With You.

Fallacy #2: No one coming into this country illegally has a legitimate reason for doing so. I don't want to listen to your pathetic little stories. Not my problem. Tough. Go back where you came from. So The Hell With You.

Fallacy #3: Only good guys with guns can ... So The Hell With You.
Is there some sort of test for who's a 'good guy' ?

Fallacy #4: Everybody knows if you didn't do anything wrong you have nothing to fear from the law. You must have done something. So The Hell With You.

Fallacy #5: Government regulations. Don't need no stinking regulations. Companies always end up doing right by their customers. So The Hell With You.

Fallacy #6: Entitlements is nothing but code for those who think they deserve things just because... So The Hell With You.

Fallacy #7: All conservatives/liberals are alike. So The Hell With You.


Living In A World Of Black And White (Simple Minds)
Anyone who truly believes the world is made up of only one thing or the other lacks comprehension. No not all Israelis are saints anymore then the Palestinians. No not all cops, priests, teachers, politicians, neighbors and so forth are whom we perceive them to be. Even our best friends can surprise us.

Money is an invention of mankind as another means of separating one persons worth as opposed to another. Laws, religion and opinions also serve three other ways to divide humanity from itself. All these serve to separate and divide These and more can be said to serve as tools for the devil. All of which are divisive and tend to divide the world into being either black or white depending how ones measures worth.

How Is True Worth Measured?
It's beyond thinking the world is either this way or that. Each and every person has a story. Each and every person should not be measured by where they were born. How much they've attained in wealth or stature. Rather a true person's worth should be measured in understanding and having empathy towards another person who may not have had as good a fortune in this life to enjoy the wealth, health or family as another was born into.

Sure their are some who have evil in the hearts, but there are far too many of us who refuse to accept weaker people then ourselves who truly have good intentions but fall along the way. As a result, because of our lack of patience and understanding having written them off, causing them to lash out in a most negative way. What do you think happens when someone keeps telling these kind of people they are worthless?

No one is truly 100% either this and that. There's some good and bad in everyone. No one's perfect. Neither is the world made up of only one kind of person or another. Nothing is either just this or that (B&W). Bottom feeders in the media are laughing all the way to bank over fools who listen to them.

It's Been Said...
Wherever there is conflict in this world the devil comes to feed. Without it, the devil starves. So the question becomes are you feeding the devil or nourishing your soul through compassion and understanding?

The devil or God is mankind's choice. Let each be accountable to oneself for the choice they make.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

About Allentown NIZ Jobs

" Nancy Dischinat, executive director of the Lehigh Valley Investment Board, said she expects the number to increase drastically in the next few weeks, especially as even more jobs become available. She said 1,023 people attended the residents-only job fair on Thursday alone."

My Comments About The Article Above
I'm not surprised that only 16 have landed jobs. Hold your horses it's early yet. It also should be pointed out that all Pennsylvania taxpayers had a portion of their money go into this project. Therefore everyone should have an equal shot whether they live in Allentown or not.

For a very long time I've stated repeatedly the majority of people living downtown aren't a bunch of lazy welfare money grabbers living off government's teat if they had a choice. Although people have argued with me about this, I will state once again, what we need are blue collar jobs. Most are never going to pursue a master's degree. It may be because many are not born to become scholars either because they don't have the brains or decided they want to do less complex work. Things such as manufacturing, installers, repair or in the building trades.

For every engineer we need dozens of workers to carry out their designs. For every boss we need tens of workers for them to oversee in the first place.

Face it, when 1,023 people lined up in the first round for these (crappy) minimum wage mostly part time jobs there's a huge need for the kind of jobs I've described. Until not only Allentown but in every city these jobs are made available things will never improve.

The fallacy that Allentown residents are a bunch of lazy people who don't want to work has been completely disproved by the sheer numbers who stood in line on that day.

I'll give you another couple of examples from my own personal observations. There is a bus that leaves Allentown everyday early in the morning headed to the warehouses in Upper Macungie. I've seen this bus at times so packed there was standing room only and it required a second bus be pressed in service to haul them all. In addition (although it's illegal) two or three gypsy vans loaded to the hilt also made the trek. They would pull up to certain warehouses where people would get out and stand in the rain, cold or hot sun in large groups of 20 or more. Warehouse managers would then come out and round up whatever number of workers they needed that day. The rest had to go back to Allentown empty handed.

So don't even try and tell me people from Allentown aren't desperate for work!

Here's The Kicker
Allentown's NIZ(ones) are going to end up costing Pennsylvania taxpayers up to $1 billion dollars. So far none of these brought in business from outside of the state. These warehouses (which pay $10 on up) were built almost entirely by private investors. Not only that but they have brought in dozens and dozens of huge businesses far beyond the borders of this state from which they came. Such names as Ocean Spray, Sam Adams, Coca Cola, Nestle and many others.

In other words these warehouses have provided LANTA with passengers and many from Allentown with good paying jobs. Allentown workers may not be the only ones working out there, but in the end both Pennsylvania and Allentown are getting far more bang for the buck.

About The NIZ
I'm not going to sit here and try to tell you that Allentown won't look prettier or draw people into the city. BUT I can say as far as a return on investment it's not the cat's meow for either these new jobs or for taxpayers in Pennsylvania if the NIZ can't bring in out of state businesses.

All the restaurants, hotels and office owners and occupiers so far come from just beyond the city's limits. This (so far) only benefits local investors who already are here in Pennsylvania and possibly Allentown itself. It does little to improve the finances for the majority of residents who will land minimum wage part time jobs. Nor will Pennsylvania's overall tax revenues increase unless out of state businesses start relocating to it. Other then the Phantoms, so far that isn't happening.

No I'm not against revitalizing Allentown. There's nothing more I'd like to see. My opposition against the NIZ was never ever about that. I'm not a naysayer. What concerns me is forcing Pennsylvania taxpayers to invest in a strategy that has little hope of providing a profitable return for the state. Nor creating the kind of jobs which will support a family.

Yes the city government of Allentown itself will greatly benefit. However it may be the only one.* Property owners could see an increase in taxes because of increased appraisal values if they pull this off (also causing rents to go up).

* Surrounding burbs lost some of their businesses to the NIZ. We've even seen some businesses relocating from within the city itself causing hardships for landlords located outside the NIZ.

* So far no out of state businesses have come here. Therefore the number of new high paying fulltime jobs have not increased significantly. Allentown has a population of 118,974 (2012). Allentown has over a 10% unemployment rate (11,897 people) <<< This is a incorrect number. There are about half as few or less.-- See Comments Below

After we invest nearly $1 billion there will be few more then 700 part time minimum wage jobs available. At that rate we could have given them each a million dollars and still have $200-$300 million left over!


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

COT Illegals Entering The Country

The more things change, the more they remain the same...




Just like problems with illegal immigration,
Cheech & Chong are still going strong after all these years.



Vina Robles Amphitheatre in Paso Robles, California (May 31, 2014)
The "War 2014" Tour

I wonder if they'll be invited to perform this at either of the political conventions?


I find it amusing that since 1985 (when the original song was first recorded) very little has changed. They were also ahead of their time regarding marijuana playing a part in almost all their movies. Despite Cheeh & Chong getting older their act never will. Their 'stick' is relevant today as it was back then over 30 years ago.


History Has A Way Of Repeating Itself Time And Again.
Same Situations, just different names & faces
That is... except for C & C
::-)


Monday, July 21, 2014

Immigration Debate Raged For long Time

IT'S ANOTHER BIGGIE!

I realize this is a long post with lots of videos, the kind of thing I'm known for, but I hope you will bear with me.

Over the last few days every news media outlet and other blogs received a huge amount of comments. What I'm witnessing most arguments have little substance and consists of opinion and ignorant attacks on one another that run along misconstrued party lines. This immigration issue has become like a combatant sport between one another. How unfortunate as it has a very real impact on peoples lives to whom it affects greatly.

What I'm about to present probably will bore about 90% of the people. Be that as it may (never stopped me before) my hope is the following information will prove useful to those who have sincere interests in not only the lives of those coming across the border and American citizens living here, but anyone who is sincerely interested in research regarding immigration reform.

The way I figure it, if you already got this far that leaves about one or two of you who will actually read this any further. Oh the hell with it anyways... here I go :-)
* * * * *



The debate over immigration has been going on almost since this nation began. What follows are several videos mostly coming from traditional conservatives and their views on immigration reform in recent years. These were from a time before 'Tea Party' radicals set the Republican agenda we are witnessing today. When cooler heads prevailed.

Reagan On Immigration Reform

(Even Moses left with his people to seek greater opportunities)


Reagan and Bush Sr. debate illegal immigration (1980)



Mitt Romney Said What!
(May 25, 2007)



Romney, Perry Spar Over Immigration (2012)



Newt Gingrich Says What He Would Do (2012 Debate)



Jeb Bush, Illegal Immigration is "An Act Of Love" (2014)



I want to present one more video I hope you'll take the time to watch, even if you didn't watch any of those above. It's about 25 minutes long. It puts a human face on this issue."VICE News travels to Guatemala to meet a deportee named Ray Jesus, who lives apart from his American wife and 5 American children.

When Ray lived in the U.S., he was the family's breadwinner. Now they rely on welfare to get by. It turns out that deporting parents costs much more than the price of a one-way ticket home."

The High Cost Of Deporting Parents



COMMENTARY
No one's saying we should send invites and open the floodgates to them. However whatever immigration policy we come up with has to be a realistic one. I've mention it before and will again. Perhaps the first time in recorded history this happened was when Moses led his people out of where they were born seeking a better life. His followers endured 40 years to make the trek to the land promised to them. Anyone believing Latinos from South America aren't willing to put up with a few weeks of travel to their so-called land of promise are delusional.

No matter what taunting the 'Tea Party' comes up with or the American border guards treatment of them is far less then the treatment they receive in their home country. Anything we come up with regarding a immigration policy has to recognize that fact as a starting point.

Which brings me to the local Tea Party's demonstration Sunday (July 20, 2014). Talk about coming late to the party!

The headline read, "KidsPeace to shelter Central American children who tried to cross border looking for their families, " KidsPeace will house as many as 72 children — most of them older than 14 — on its Broadway Campus in Salisbury Township. Most will spend an average of 45 to 60 days before being returned to their families."

Do you know when that article was written in the Morning Call?
It was on April 24, 2013


So why now?
Because the 'Tea Party' members (not one known to think for themselves) got their marching orders by those who lead them around by the nose including FOX News. You didn't really think the local Tea Party came up with this idea on their own did you? If they had, they would have taken to their protest 14 months ago when the local news first came out.


Talk about drinking the kool-aid!
'Tea Party.org quoting a FOX News article clearly shows this was part of a organized national demonstration in 321 cities-- "Rallies strong despite ‘media blackout’ from CNN, CBS, NBC" Gee I wonder why that is? Could it be because they see it for what it is? A contrived steaming pile of horse manure. In March 2014 a New York Times/CBS News poll found that 56 percent of Americans thought illegal immigrants should be allowed to apply for legal status.

The 'Tea Party' Doesn't Exist
There are only Republicans and Democrats listed on voting ballots. One things for certain, they are by no means an actual political party unto themselves. It is mostly made up of people who can't think for themselves functioning as unpaid lobbyists doing the will of those who are beyond themselves. Not knowing and taking action on what was happening over a year ago here locally clearly demonstrates that.

I am 100% convinced if these folks became an actual political party (listed on voting ballots) and weren't leeching onto Republicans they'd look like what they are... a foolish bunch.


About The Videos Above
They clearly demonstrate true Republicans are reasonable people whom on a number of issues I can agree. The sooner they distance themselves from the likes of Ted Cruz and the bullshit artists like Limbaugh and Sarah Palin the better off they will be for it. Now whether they have the courage to do that is another matter.

I'm 100% certain we can solve this immigration problem by working together, but not so long as the Republican party tolerates knuckle draggers Time to stand up and cut the cord!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

My Top 5 Posts Of The Week

Are They Illegal Immigrants Or Refugees?
     We used to call them "refugees".

Northampton County's $20k Turtle Problem
     Hey this calls for a turtle surveyor!.

Bigger Controversy Then XL Pipeline
     King Midas wasn't a fish eater either.

Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski Interview
     Happy days are here again; The skies above are clear again; Let us sing a song of cheer again

Save A Sale.. Cable Disconnect Problems
     Welcome to the roach hotel; but you can't check out.


And there you have my top 5 previous posts of the week. With those in mind, the time has now come to sing-along with my favorite music video of the week...



Saturday, July 19, 2014

Are They Illegal Immigrants Or Refugees?

"Youths freed from a refuse-strewn boarding house by Mexican federal police were sexually abused and held to ransom by staff, say relatives and officials... Mainly poor parents and other relatives gathered outside the home last night as a truck hauled away about 20 tons of rubbish from what authorities said was an insect-infested shelter that had housed 607 adults and children."

Murder rates are much higher today in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras then civilian causalities were at the height of the Iraq war. "In both El Salvador and Honduras, there are numerous, credible reports that the police are responsible for hundreds of "social cleansing" killings, including the murders of youths they suspect to be gang members. The Salvadoran national police "specializ[es] in obstructing justice and guaranteeing impunity for those with sufficient amounts of money,"


My Comments About The Articles Above

Americans always took a dim view of anyone coming here. We've been taught in school for those seeking refuge we'd make a place for them. But let's take a look about what really happened.

When the Irish came off the boat in New York they were about as welcome as a a black man at a KKK rally. Same goes for the Chinese, Italians and so forth. Each were seen as a threat to jobs and the way people lived their daily lives. Hence why new arrivals huddled together in ethnic neighborhoods for their own protection

Let's take one example. The Chinese. In the early days many Chinese slaved building our nation's railroads. They were rewarded by the United States passing "The Chinese Exclusion Act" in 1882 lasting for the next 10 long years. In 1892 it was renewed again for another 10."Those on the West Coast were especially prone to attribute declining wages and economic ills on the despised Chinese workers. Although the Chinese composed only .002 percent of the nation’s population, Congress passed the exclusion act to placate worker demands and assuage prevalent concerns about maintaining white “racial purity.”

Rather then go through each nationality one by one suffice to say, legal or not legal, refugees coming to the United States were never welcomed with open arms by the average Joe Blow on the street. While the United States government at the same time tried to reassure the rest of the world we were a nation of kind heart. Just as it is doing today.

I guess what I'm trying to say is whether people are called refugees or illegal immigrants. Whether it was 132 years ago or now, little has changed. I'm constantly trying to point out that when we study history the very same issues we faced then are the same as we do today. We all like to think that we've progressed as a nation. I'm not seeing that.

There's another thing I'd like to talk about... Ignorance.
There are many now shouting that we should protect our borders. Yeah well, just exactly how are we going to do that?

I could line up armed military soldiers every 10 feet with rifles. What happens when these kids, mothers and others keep walking towards those protecting the border hoping to escape the horrors they came from? Shall we mow them down in a stream of bullets?

Should we build another Great Wall of China or Berlin Wall for the 8,000 miles around our northern and southern borders? Has anyone learned from history how well that worked out?

Some big mouths say on TV if someone comes into your home uninvited you shoot them. Oh really. I'd call a cop. That is exactly what the government is doing. Border agents round them up. process them and send back as many as they can after due process. They tell them in their home countries they're not invited guests. That's what a civilized society does. That's about all we can do.

In Conclusion
As long as humans exist they will always flee famine and danger seeking a better life. Moses did it way back then just as today we see it in Syria, throughout the rest of Africa and countless nations who have a far greater humanitarian crises on their hands then our own.

The crises this nation faces isn't about refugees coming here. It's about finding a resolution of what do to about them. I suppose they'll always be those who will remain ignorant of the root cause and think all problems can be solved at the point of a gun. In other words they want to act like bigger terrorists along the border then those where these people came from. Now isn't that just peachy!

Friday, July 18, 2014

What Is Consciousness ?

Sometimes, as many of you know, I like to play around with philosophical thoughts. This be one of those times.

At the root of all consciousness is awareness. However to be aware of something it must be compared to something else. If that be the case then all consciousness/awareness must be outside the true core of whom we are. It matters not whether it be self awareness of that of another object. Both require a comparison between one thing and another.

I'm assuming we are looking far something greater. An explanation of our true nature whether there is a comparison available or not. Is it even possible for us to have an understanding beyond metaphorical explanations?

One such example would be, "the eye cannot see itself". The only way would be able to view one's eye is in a mirror or in some such reflective manner (physically or otherwise). So be it with thought(s) as well.

Another way of saying this is "all things", mentally or physically speaking, bear witness to our existence, but only bear a limited reflection of whom all we are in our entirety. Think of this another way. Your in a dark cave. When you shine a light on some THING you become aware of it's existence, but only in a limited way. You cannot see all the surroundings at once little alone your own self within the darkness. If one were to focus the flash light entirely on only oneself there'd be even less perception of the what lies outside oneself. Many go through this life in such a manner. But that's a whole other discussion I won't go into here.

This whole matter is like a dog chasing it's own tail.

There are two other things one might consider. There are all those things that exist and those that not yet exist. It may be possible that awareness may come to know what exist (in part), but what has yet to exist lies within awareness itself. It follows then that if time exist only within the world of existence (a world of comparisons) , it doesn't necessarily outside of it. If we remove time from the equation it follows all that is or isn't lies within. So in other words, beyond our human brain's capabilities

Quite the dilemma if we ever hope to understand the paradox that confronts our human understanding of exactly what awareness is (our true being). Hence most people just throw up their hands and go with spiritual religious beliefs. A cop out if you will. It's just easier that way.

It's been said by some who had near death experiences that humans are taking a vacation from the blissfulness that exists beyond this life and looking for adventure. Well that might explain that, but it still doesn't answer the question of whom we truly are at our core, does it? We might be a chip off the old block (God/the creator), but I can't help wonder if God (whatever/whoever that be) is just as inquisitive as we to what's going on?

Even God (he/she/it) understands awareness cannot be born from unawareness. This all has to start somewhere whether time exists or not. Hence I'm led to believe all that exist was created by the first in the hopes of solving this riddle. The impression of an all-knowing God may very well be a false doctrine. Even he/she/it may not know everything either when it comes to he/she/it self. If that be the case one may come to understand the reasons for all things and the creation of things yet to come in the pursuit of such knowledge.

Is there such a thing as eternity or just the illusion of it?
If my speedometer only goes up to 100mph am I going, 200mph or 1,000mph?
If I have a foot ruler how do I measure the miles?
To an insect who's life span is 24 hours a year is an eternity.
We have no way of knowing how fast or how far if we don't have a means to measure such.

Now excuse me while I go have a couple of beers and a nap.

What the hell?
You think I had all the answers?
     Didn't learn anything did ya!

After reading this.. that's about 10 minutes you'll never get back.
:-)


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Northampton County's $20k Turtle Problem

"A discovery of the continent's rarest turtles in Plainfield Township will set Northampton County back by five figures and could potentially delay a bridge project for weeks."

My Comments About The Article Above
I'm not surprised at all. Rather I'd be surprised if the bridge weren't held up for a bog turtle survey. Here's why. I posted on this very subject back on July 22, 2011. I had taken it down but re-post it below once again in it's entirety.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~




Bog Turtles- Enough Already!

Throughout a number of states here in the northeast a whole bunch of projects are being held up by the endangered Bog Turtle.

     ENOUGH ALREADY!

Here's just three of them:* Yeakels Mill Road Bridge (East Macungie Road) in 2011

* Main Street bridge (Coopersburg) in 2011- They didn't find any in a survey before they tore the old bridge down (shutting down the highway to motorist), BUT the government told them to do another one again anyway.

* PPL's 138/69KV Line Reconstruction (Coopersburg) in 2007- I particularly like the part that stated, "..surveys were completed along the right-of-way and potential Bog Turtle habitat was found, but no Bog Turtles." I wonder how much that survey report cost PPL (us bill payers)?
The way it works is the feds won't allow any work to be done during the Bog turtle's mating season (April-October). Ain't that a hoot? It also happens to be the best time for construction. The time when winter snow or spring thaws could hamper construction.

Face it most bridges are built over streams and wetlands. So that pretty much makes all of these small projects susceptible to becoming great big expen$ive ones.

Apparently there's more to this. I hadn't realized a whole bunch of people who call themselves "turtle surveyors" get paid to do this kind of thing. Here's another list of them along with the required permit. I'd file this under "creating job security." Government's good at that.

If this turtle is costing tens of thousands of dollar$ in each instance (a lot more when you put them all together) and is causing delay$, why not just spend half as much raising them on a turtle farm? You could raise these little guys then take them to the so-called threatened areas after construction is completed. Too simple, eh?

Government stupidity in action-- "In May, 1995, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) conducted an *ARMED* raid on a man's home. His crime was breeding an "endangered species" of turtles without the blessing of NJDEP...

"She said the family has spent nearly $35,000 in legal fees to try to get the turtles returned to the natural habitat that the (name redacted) constructed on their property. She said she was told by a state bureaucrat not to fight them in court "because we have 450 lawyers."...

.. officers from the Division of Fish, Game and Wildlife of the state's Department of Environmental Protection raided the home... seized 26 bog turtles, which are on the endangered species list in this state... The officers who conducted the raid were armed and even wore flak jackets."
If there were such a turtle farm dedicated to breeding and raising these endangered species there'd be no need for bridge builders having to tie up these expensive, and inconvenient projects for years?

Nah, I guess that would make too much sense!

The state already funds private individuals to raise pheasants for hunting. Counties to raise fish in hatcheries. Neither of them are even endangered.

“Do not be bullied out of your common sense by the specialist;
two to one, he is a pedant”

~Oliver Wendell Holmes~


Bigger Controversy Then XL Pipeline

"Buried in the hills of southwest Alaska is a treasure worth as much as half a trillion dollars. This deposit of minerals and metals, known simply as Pebble, contains the largest untouched reserve of copper in the world — some 80 billion pounds of it — along with thousands of tons of gold...

The mine — along with billions of tons of potentially toxic waste — would sit at the headwaters of one of world’s most important salmon spawning grounds...

the most prolific salmon fishery in the world. About 2,000 boats work the waters off the bay, catching half a billion dollars worth of fish each year."


My Comments About The Article Above
Two videos and lots more details can be found on the link I provided. The way I understand it this fight has been going on for years. Back in 2011 the "Wilderness Society" put out the following video.



So what this all boils down to, can the mining be done safely? One side says yes. The other no. There's a lot money at stake. Two thoughts come to mind. If we didn't mine we'd be no better or worse off then we are today (financially or environmentally). On the other hand ...

That said, my regular readers know I'm both a fan of music and of history. The following brings both of those together.


It's certainly not the first time seekers of great wealth headed to Alaska


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski Interview

Uploaded: July 15, 2014

(Next year Allentown will host the 2015 Pennsylvania Municipal League Convention)


Working For Local Hospital Not So Great

Here's my daughter's story. Years ago she got a BS degree and became a registered nurse. She's been working in one of the critical care units at a local hospital. I'm not going to go into all the accreditations she's received since then, but I will say this.. she's made herself too valuable.

Since she started she now has twins who are less then a year old. She worked 12 hour night shifts for years, but wants to go days so she can properly care for them assisted by my wife. I tried to tell her working for a hospital is no different from any other job. I being a former blue collar worker in manufacturing tried to share with her my own experiences which she didn't believe, but is coming around to conclude the same thing. She made herself too valuable to be released to another department..

I won't bore you with all the details about the numerous positions she applied for within the hospital over several months. Suffice to say, she isn't going anywhere. As a matter of fact one of the nurses she works with did get a day job, but that was over a year ago and still hasn't been moved.

The hospital calls my daughter rather regularly from week to week asking her if she wants to work for a 25% bonus in hourly pay because they are short. Duh, anywhere else OT is paid 1 1/2 times the hourly rate.

This hospital (whom I shall not mention) claims they are having trouble finding nurses yet have not placed advertisements or sent representatives to area campuses. Anyone remember when the old 'Allentown Hospital' trained their own nurses at a school across the street from 17th & Chew?

Point Is...
Whether someone is a grunt working in manufacturing or a professional in any other line of work... they are all treated the same. Make yourself too valuable and your going no where fast. Make yourself replaceable and they'll move you. Is this the best outcome regarding the bottom line of any business or patients for that matter either?

Frustrating employees, to my way of thinking (not just because she's my daughter), is not a great business model. This especially when it comes to medical care. I've known dozens of former workers at this particular hospital (including doctors) who became frustrated and left because of this who found jobs elsewhere.

This is another matter of cutting staff so they can open and spread out their investments by buying up practices, opening additional buildings dedicated to more lucrative centers for exercise, diagnostic and therapy centers that receive federal government and private insurance payments. In short, medical treatment has become more about making a profit over concerns for what's best for either the patients or their employees.

Anyone who thinks hospitals are different then any other kind of business (for profit or otherwise) are deluding themselves.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Save A Sale.. Cable Disconnect Problems

My wife once worked over 20 years in a major department chain store. Over the years customers eventually became known as clients and in the end "guests". From being a department store clerk the job she did evolved into her being defined as a "Sales Associate/Representative". She bagged this store several years ago after it changed hands for the 4th time and all the aggravation that went along with it.

Her pay raises were based on rather complicated store evaluations. Some of this included meeting goals set by her individual performance over the year earlier. This involved not only the number of 'units' she moved, but the amount of dollars she earned for the store broken down to annually, quarterly, monthly and on a daily basis. In addition how well she did on each particular recurring annual sale event.

Other particulars included how many clients she called from her 'clientele list' and how many of those bought something. The evaluation also included comments from both her department manager and divisional in store manager. Also how many times she had overages and underages as well as closing the register on time. The number of sick days or days she requested off were also another factor as well as any complaints from her customers clients "guests".

By and large one of the most aggravating things she was responsible for was to 'Save A Sale'. Apparently this whole save-a-sale idea has been taken to new heights I would have never dreamed possible.

A Must Hear For Yourself--
CHECK OUT THIS AUDIO RECORDING LINK
A cable customer trying to get his service disconnected


If you think this guy had a problem, you haven't seen nothing yet!
Uploaded on June 28, 2014




COMMENTARY
Here I thought calling for a service problem with my local cable company was bad. I woke up Sunday morning to find my internet, TV and cable modem telephone was out. Over the next 24 hours, until Monday afternoon I tried calling 4 times from my cell phone.

On the first call (after dancing around the menu selections and being on hold for 10 minutes) I finally got a representative who somehow has the impression that I'm calling from the "Borough of Allentown". She also insisted that w/o a contact number she could not process my request. I tried to tell her my "contact number" is my home phone, which is out of service, hence why I'm calling in the first place.

Keep in mind I have a pay-as-you-go plan that cost me 25 cents a minute. I tried to explain it does not work inside the house and I'm not intending to spend my day in the backyard. In fact I always have it turned off. I bought the thing for emergency use only. None-the-less she stuck to her guns so I ended up giving her my cell phone number. Which no one ever called back anyway!

Call number two was around late Sunday afternoon. I wanted to know the progress. I was greeted with an entirely different menu selection. I remained on the line for 10 minutes listening to advertisements about how great they are. What other services I could buy. How much they value me as a customer (apparently I'm not a guest). I surrendered and hung up. So now I'm up to about $5.00 on my cell phone charges.

Call number three was about one hour later. Same as call number two. Mix stir, repeat. That's $7.50. Lucky for me I have DVD's and a bunch of recordings on my DVR and computer in which to amuse ourselves through Sunday night.

Monday morning I wake up. Surprise! I still had nothing. I waited till 9:30 AM and called the 4th time. You know the drill Mix stir, repeat same as call number two and three. That's $10.00 I wasted on my cell phone. Well we had to go grocery shopping and I figured the hell with it I give up. Finally around noon it came back on. I knew I wasn't the only one because I spoke to a few neighbors.

Here in Allentown we have several choices. You would think a cable company knowing this wouldn't want to lose someone to another provider. I now completely understand the frustration with a couple of people I know who live in towns or in housing developments where there are no other providers other then the one chosen for them.

This isn't like the old days when someone lost their TV cable or even their internet services. Back then it was no big deal. This now involves telephones which are vital in emergencies. Bell Telephone was heavily regulated and forced to provide and maintain services 24/7/365. What we have now is the wonderful world of deregulation where anything goes. It's a damn shame I have to pay two phone companies just to have sustained service.

Internet service has become far more important then it was a few years ago. The internet is not just for fun and games anymore. You see I was already waiting 10 days for the routing number to clear my 401k account (based in Chicago) so I could move money over to my checking account. Sunday was that day. I needed the money really bad because I had a unexpected $2,400 bill to pay. Tick tock before I'm penalized.

People now depend on reliable internet service for things like stocks trades, banking and so forth. This especially being so now that the post office has either screwed up my mail delivering it to the wrong house (several times) or not at all in some cases. I'm not blaming the postal delivery people .Speaking with some of the carriers they can no longer pick a permanent assigned route. The post office now forces carriers to switch from route to route. They used to know peoples names that went with their addresses. Because of all this switching around that's become impossible.


Yeah I Know...
I got long winded. I felt it was necessary to explain how all this fits together. For most people bad service all the way around has become the norm.

The point I'm trying to make is rather then things getting better they are getting worse. Yeah things may not have been perfect years back, but they sure as hell aren't getting better. The goal of technology was to improve our lives and reduce our stress. In the end we must ask ourselves... Have today's companies fulfilled that goal?

Saturday, July 12, 2014

My Top 5 This Month + Survey

The top five pages viewed so far this month according to StatCounter are.. Bunch Of Historical Allentown Photos
Chief Jay Strongbow Dead
Island Park Easton, Pa.
King Arthur's Untold Tale
Knoebels Has A Brand New Ride!
According to Google blogger stats they are.. 2014 Tony Award Show Stoppers
Liquor Privatization In Pennsylvania
Should Local Police Be Allowed To Use Radar Guns in Pennsylvania?
A Bunch Of Historical Allentown Photos
Why The Public Distrusts Government
My own personnel favorites this month so far are.. Where's The Space Aliens?
New York City Buskers
Voter ID And The Good Old Days
Space: Will The U.S. Be Left Behind?
Congressional Junkets

If I have to chose the most significant post I made last month in June it would be this one..



There's been talk the last few days about who has the most popular blog. My response would be.. "quality over quantity". I'm trying my damnedest to post not only what interests me the most but also stuff that largely isn't be reported, talked about or blogged elsewhere. I have way too many interests other then just local issues and the kind of trash talking that seems to be permeating around here these days. That doesn't mean I'm not open to suggestions that might make this blog better place to visit.

What would you most be interested in reading or changing about this blog? (1) Strictly local stuff.
     (a) Opinion pieces?
     (b) Informational?
     (c) Only local news w/o opinion?
     (d) Historical?
     (e) OR Should I continue (inter)national news & issues as well?
     (f) Post pictures taken around the Lehigh Valley?

(2) Humor
     (a) Jokes?
     (b) Real life funny items?
     (c) Pixs/cartoons?
     (d) Things that occur(ed) in my life?

(3) Celebrity/Entertainment related gossip, news or upcoming performances
     (a) Only locally?
     (b) Anywhere?

(4) 'How to', tips and other informational stuff only?

(5) Only the stuff that goes on in my personal life (past and present)?

(6) Only the weird whacky stuff people do?

(7) Only post links and a short synopsis to other blogs and news stories?
     (a) Just those here locally?
     (b) Nationally? If so limited to what kind?

(8) Formatting
     (a) Include/Exclude videos?
     (b) Include/Exclude pictures?
     (c) Limit the posts on the landing page to how many?
     (d) Increase the blog roll (to the right) to beyond local bloggers?
     (e) Strictly text only (w/o any pixs humorous or otherwise)?
     (f) How big should each post be?
     (g) Include videos or just links to them?
     (h) How frequent should I post and how often do you visit?
     (i) Should I only stick to one of the topics above include several? Which ones in what priority?

If anyone has something to add I would appreciate it. If not so be that too. No one can say that I didn't ask. As far as I know no other blogger has ever solicited your input as I have now done.

If no one responds..
I will continue to post from time to time as I'm so inclined to do, with or without the feedback I seek. It would be better if I had feedback, but if not this will remain the way it is an outlet for me to express myself about things that I know more then a few people read when I do.

My continued thanks go out in appreciation to each of you who are reading these words and come back from time to time to read them.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Immigration Issue- Political Gamesmanship

This whole immigration issue has become a game of political football for both parties. Republicans fear the 'Tea Party' voters will revolt against them in November if Speaker Boehner were to allow a vote on the already passed Senate measure and it became law. On the other hand if the Republican controlled U.S. House voted down the measure they fear the loss of minority voters' in November (already in short supply). In other words it's a lose/lose for U.S. House Republicans either way.

Democrats (including Obama) see this as an opportunity to take back the House in November. Hence President Obama's several speeches over the last few days are sounding far more like campaign speeches rallying against Republicans rather then coming from a frustrated President. Face it Obama's strong suit has always been campaigning rather then speaking from the oval office as President.

Who's Really The 'Lame Duck'?

The president basically has been laughing at them in his speeches by saying he's has nothing to lose. He's pointed out on several occasions he's not running again. Republicans in the U.S. House on the other hand are facing fall elections and want nothing more then to retain their seats. So no matter how you slice and dice this it's the Republicans who are at a disadvantage in the game of political brinkmanship. For that reason they absolutely will not take up the matter of immigration. They are left with no other course to take but 'the best defense is an offense' kind of strategy.

While most of the general public has been so embroiled over the issue of immigration they've missed what's actually going on. This isn't about concerns over illegal border crossings. It's about political gasbags getting (re)elected.

Illegal immigration has only slightly increased off and on over the past 10 years. Because of changing circumstances almost beyond our control in South America only recently over the last several months have we seen a spike.


Illegal Immigration- Whose Fault Is It Really?
Look in the mirror. It's not Washington's immigration policies. It's all the goofballs shooting up and ingesting these drugs coming in from South America. If there were no demand for these toxic poisons here in the United States there'd be no drug lords and cartels. Therefore no reason for these people to take their kids and risk their lives bringing them here to avoid gangs and killings. For people illegally coming into this country the risks of staying home are greater then those in getting here. Until we eliminate the root cause illegal immigration will continue.

Politicians on both sides are continuing to play the blame game. Both sides spend most of their time trying to hold their seats in Congress without actually solving the problem. This at the same time our own U.S. citizens are buying illicit street drugs at a record pace. As result both the innocent American people and those escaping from South America suffer the consequences of both their (in)actions.

Sometimes it's said the people (not all) get the kind of government they deserve. Washington can't enact enough laws or put enough military on the border to overcome this so long as we have so many drug users creating these favorable market conditions for drug peddlers.

Wise up. It all starts with people themselves. If drug users weren't acting like such jackasses there'd be no need for either laws on immigration or against drug abuse. Therefore the whole thing wouldn't even be a problem in the first place. We wouldn't have to endure all this political hogwash either. The real victims of this entire mess are the good people who are fleeing their home country and the rest of us who aren't contributing to the problem by using illegal substances.

This whole damned finger pointing is a disgusting needless waste of time. It serves only to divide people against one another rather then bringing people together united as one against the true culprits. Those who use drugs. Drug users are not victims, they are people who became addicted for their own selfish reasons. Lock em up. Dry them out. So long as we tolerate drug use as a disease rather then what it is, both those around them and we as a nation suffer more consequences of their actions then they. I have little tolerance for them and the problems they cause.

I know I may sound harsh, but we all been told what drugs can do and how easily we can become addicted. If someone makes a choice to do otherwise after being fully educated (as we now do in schools and on the streets), let them suffer the consequences thereof. It's not only a matter of survival for both they (to be forced to clean up) but also for the greater part we a nation. We can't have people coming here illegally because of them nor suffer the crimes committed in their pursuit of a fix. Enough is enough already !

Oh and by-the-way.. drinking the Kool-Aid from either party can be just as big an addiction and nearly as divisive to the welfare of this nation and it's people.



Death and Drugs on the Border:
Demand and Illegal Immigration (2005)
"Analysts estimate that wholesale earnings from illicit drug sales
range from $13.6 billion to $49.4 billion annually."



The Raw Story:
Migrant kids better vaccinated than U.S. kids, but Fox News stokes ‘germ’ fears anyway
"Fox News commentator Cal Thomas demanded to know whether these undocumented children had papers proving that they had been vaccinated for “mumps, measles, rubella, polio, tetanus and diphtheria.”

The Texas Observer‘s Rachel Pearson noted, children from Guatemala — where vaccines are provided free of charge by the government’s universal health care system — are more likely to be vaccinated against those diseases than children in Texas, where the rate of parents who “opt out” of vaccinations citing “reasons of conscience” has increased every year since 2003...

... According to the World Health Organization, there have been no reported cases of measles in Guatemala or Honduras since 1990, whereas anti-vaccination efforts in the United States have led to multiple outbreaks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention"