Sunday, August 31, 2014

Fire Prone Electric Meters

Pamela Sroka-Holzmann | The Express-Times , "Who's accountable and will pay for the $800 fix.. As the home settled, wires coming down the side of the home were stretched at the meter... A home with similarly stretched wires in Bath caught fire in 2005 after the connections came loose inside the meter and the two leads touched each other."

Commentary
My problem isn't so much as who is responsible as it is, why the freaking $800!

If the utility company would come out at no cost to isolate the power I could fix this myself in about 10 minutes. This really wasn't a big deal until all parties (government electrical inspectors, the utility company and the electrical contractors) made it so.

All one has to do is disconnect the wires. Lower the box, cut both the meter feed and box feeds down to size, re-strip the wires and reattach them. About 10 minutes worth of work.

     There's no way in hell this should cost $800!

It looks to me everyone involved is looking to make a fast buck off these homeowners' misfortunes. (Including lawyers who will no doubt litigate this)

     Should I be surprised?
      ABSOLUTELY NOT!

ISIS, Oil Or Slaughter Of Christians?

There's an awful lot of hyperbole over ISIS slaughtering innocent people and what kind of threat they pose to the world. Before we get our panties in a knot, let's take a look at a few facts.

'Fox News' reported back in January, "2,123 Christians killed last year due to their faith, compared to 1,201 in 2012. More than half of those reported killings (1,213) occurred in Syria, followed by Nigeria (612) and Pakistan (88)."

This number may seem alarming but it's only a drop in the bucket. Wikipedia-- "According to Pope Benedict XVI, Christians are the most persecuted group in the contemporary world. The Holy See has reported that over 100,000 Christians are violently killed annually because of some relation to their faith from 1989 to present." That may seem much higher a number then FOX reported because the Vatican says most of the deaths occurred in Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and some other African nations. Nations that the U.S. could give a hoot about when it comes to Christians getting slaughtered.

That same link in Wikipedia list the top ten offenders. I will list some of them along with their position regarding oil exports.#1 North Korea (ranked 110th in oil production)
#2 Somalia (ranked 111th in oil production)
#3 Syria (ranked 32nd in oil production)
#4 Iraq (ranked 7th in oil production)
#6 Saudi Arabia (ranked 2nd in oil production)
#9 Iran (ranked 4th in oil production)
To name a few. Oddly Wikipedia doesn't even mention Nigeria ranked 13th in oil production. Even though Boko Haram has slaughtered thousands since 9/11.


A Pattern Emerges
We tend to tone down the rhetoric on other nations when two things occur in those that aggrieve people of the Christian faith. (1) When those nations don't place high on the list of nations exporting oil. (2) As long as they are our oil partners we tend to overlook their transgressions.

Before I ask you a question, here are the top oil producing nations along with how they stand with United States Foreign Policies towards them. (F=Favorable) (U=Unfavorable)
1 Russia (U)
2 Saudi Arabia (F)
3 United States --
4 Iran (U)
5 China (F)
6 Canada (F)
7 Iraq Under ISIS (U)
8 United Arab Emirates (F)
9 Venezuela (U)
10 Mexico (F)
11 Kuwait (F)
12 Brazil (F)
13 Nigeria (F)
14 Norway (F)
15 Algeria (F)


Notice which ones we have either imposed sanctions or are actively engaged with militarily?

Generally speaking nations having poor human rights records and having oil they are willing to sell directly to the United States doesn't seem to be of concern when it comes to our relations with them.

I'm sure plenty of people will argue we shouldn't be sticking our nose in their affairs anyway. Others may insist we only stick our necks out when it's in our best interests to do so.

Here's The Point I'm Trying To Make..
Stop shoveling this kind of crap that somehow it's all about helping people in other countries or that we are somehow threatened if we don't. Don't go around spending our taxpayer dollars, the lives of our soldiers and pretend what we are doing is based on some noble cause if it were not for oil involved in all of this somehow. I have no problem helping suffering people throughout the world if that's what we decide to do. BUT.. it shouldn't be for those only who have fossil fuels in their backyards.

There's no justification for deceiving the American people, others throughout the world and the American soldier that he/she should die if what they were told was fabrication.

MSNBC: "Why We Did It"



How many people have to die and suffer before we wise up
It's no secret I've always maintained a very strong position when it comes to "alternative energy". This horrible gunk not only pollutes our air, but can never create energy independence the same way the sun and wind can. The sun shines and the winds blow everywhere. Not just in some nations but everywhere. Nobody has to conquer nor kill for them.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Going Down 4 A Few Days

I've just uploaded four posts, but will be gone for awhile.
      Will anyone miss Me?
      (I doubt it)

We're headed out for a few days. The wife has been covering 6 days a week since June for her boss (a small business owner) who is undergoing treatment for cancer.

This while the wife has been watching the daughter's twins three days a week while the daughter works, trips to CHOPS in Philadelphia and 'sign' classes for them.

I myself have been rather busy doing stuff that I haven't mentioned here, nor intend to.

We haven't taken a vacation in 6 years. Number one is we can't afford to. Number two is too many people depend on us not to be able to do so.

So my question is... Will anyone miss me while I'm gone?

There are only three or four bloggers in the Lehigh Valley who post regularly such as I. While I have several hundred visitors a day, has anything I posted resonated enough with anyone who would care to comment on rather then just read what I had to say?

Even though I've lined up a few posts for the next few days while I'm gone, I will not be spending my vacation monitoring the comments. I'll be gone for almost a week and people will have time (while I'm gone) to think about these. Bear with me. I'll check out these comments when I come back and delete those who took advantage of the opportunity to leave derogatory comments in my absence. I might even disable comments unless they are approved until I come back. See how it goes.

Thanks,
     LVCI

Scranton, Pa. Pension Funds Going Broke

'The Citizens Voice' is reporting Scranton pension funds will be broke in 3 to 5 years-- "Scranton could be bankrupt in three to five years because its pension funds are poised to run out of money... With a funding ratio of just 16.7 percent, the city’s firefighters fund is in the worst condition of any plan in the state, Mr. DePasquale said, and will be unable to pay benefits in less than 2½ years. The non-uniform fund isn’t much better, projected to be insolvent in 2.6 years, while the police fund has less than five years."

Commentary
We could argue unions demanded too much or that governments have underfunded their obligations. The real fact of the matter is there are several reasons.

One of them is there is a lesser population of young workers paying into these funds. Another is more jobs have become automated and/or gone overseas. One more reason is corporations have found all kinds of ways to avoid paying taxes (see my earlier posts).

As I view this there is a whole lot more finger pointing going on between people then finding solutions. We all tend to blame one another rather then actually getting together to resolve this problem. The answer is in corporate taxpayer reforms that close the loopholes. Bringing back and encouraging manufacturing in this country via bad trade agreements with China and other countries.

Currently we are pitting both the young against older retirees and blaming unions. Neither which will resolve the problems we now face. Until we address the fundamental issues regarding trade agreements and corporate tax loopholes we cannot begin to find a reasonable solution.

We can either continue to play the blame game or find the reasons why things have turned out as they did. At the end of the day we all need to work together. Poking one another in the eye resolves nothing.

School Prayer, Forget About It!

Florida pastor lashes out at atheists because he wants school prayer ‘like the Constitution says’, "A Florida chaplain on Thursday accused a secular group of trying to turn him into an atheist because he was no longer allowed to pray with students at high school football games."

Commentary
Ignoring his ignorance of what the constitution says... Christians don't hold a sacred right to be the only ones recognized. Even if this school chose to ignore the constitution and allow prayer imagine how this would open a 'Pandora's Box'.

Sports fans would have to wait for every prayer requested by dozens of religions who then would also be held the same rights. It's a ball game, not a freaking religious rally. Nobody came to the ball game to be converted. Who knows how long a prayer could last or what it would entail.

This is the very reason why the constitution says what it says. This guy needs to find his own venue elsewhere. Guys like him are the reasons why people are killing each other all over the world in the name of religion. Frankly we'd be all better off if religion never existed with aholes like him.

All religions (in their true form) abhor public displays. Anyone who imposes outwardly their beliefs on others are evil in nature and have nothing to do with the true divine. Anyone who follows such a doctrine is not only ignorant and dangerous unto themselves, but others as well.

Should Bangor School District Taxpayers Play Ball?

Lynn Ondrusek | Lehigh Valley Live, "A Bangor Area School District study recommends spending between $7 million and $9 million on a new stadium and athletics fields... School Director Mike Goffredo said problems with the parking and traffic could drive the total cost up to $20 million."

Commentary
I'm all for kids playing sports, but is this the wisest use of taxpayers' dollars intended for funding education?

I also question how many of the people who own homes in Bangor are planning on attending these games or whether they're interesting in them in the first place. Unless some of these young athletes earn a spot in the NFL or on some other high paying sports team and build a McMansion in Bangor I hardly think investing several million dollar$ seems worth that kind of investment.

I don't know where all this began to go off the rails, but the goal of K-12 should have always been to provide kids with a primary fundamental education. Preparing students for a field in sports, the arts, entertainment and all that kind of stuff is all fine and dandy, but the likelihood of one earning a decent living from them are like a thousands in one shot. Strapping homeowners and forcing them to pay for things beyond giving students a basic education goes beyond what was originally intended.


UPDATED
September 07, 2014

Bangor Area School District could save $65,000 a year by not building a stadium


The Relentless Pursuit For LV Rail Passenger Service

Unbelievable! Here we go again
This will be my 4th posting on this.
Last July I said, "Great googly moogly, it's easier trying to kill a zombie!"

Aug 28 2014 - Lou Gombocz, Jr. | WFMZ-- "Bethlehem City Council Community Development Committee members Wednesday evening unanimously passed a motion to recommend to city council to enact legislation for the creation of a railway authority in the Lehigh Valley... Callahan, Karen Dolan, and Adam Waldron gave their approval for the formation of the Suburban Metropolitan Agency for Rail Transit (SMART) proposed and currently spearheaded by Kirk Raup of Bethlehem."

Before I comment further here's a brief collection of past articles regarding this.March 26, 2010- Dan Hartzell | The Morning Call-- "Lehigh Valley-to-New York City rail line would cost almost $700 million, study finds... Trains to New York, though popular in the public imagination, would cost nearly $15 million per year to operate, 22 percent of which would be covered by passenger fares, according to the study commissioned by Lehigh and Northampton counties and the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp."

June 07, 2010 - Douglas B. Brill| The Express-Times-- " Easton Mayor Sal Panto Jr. says rail study 'has holes,' plans own task force... A regional transportation study released in April said passenger rail from High Bridge to Allentown would cost $659 million to build and might run an $11.7 million annual deficit."

Jul 18 2013- Randy Kraft | WFMZ.com -- "ALLENTOWN, Pa. - In a surprise move, council unanimously voted to support feasibility and marketing studies on rail service in the Lehigh Valley and to request state and/or federal funding to pay for such studies."

Proponents have been shopping this around since 2008 to anyone who'd listen. Every time I think I heard that last of it, up it pops again. I'm not going to go into a long spiel. Instead, if anyone's truly interested they can check out my prior posts' links below. However I will mention the points I made in them.* Between Bieber & Trans-Bridge there are about 24 buses shuttling back and forth to New York daily.
      No way in hell 24 trains will.

* Bus companies alrady have a couple hundred spaces of free parking for cars.
      None of the proposed train terminals do.

* Beiber bus on average takes about 1 1/3 hours with one stop between Allentown & NYC. They both go to the port authority. One block from Times Square.
     Rail passengers would have to get off in High Bridge, NJ (at a closed terminal). Wait outside in all kinds of weather. Where hopefully there would be a train waiting. Then have to disembark again to catch a 3rd train for the final leg of their journey into NYC. After arriving at the train station passengers would then have to take a subway train from there if someone's destination were Times Square. I'm 100% this could not be done in the same amount of time as taking current buses.

* We're talking about spending million$ of taxpayers dollar$.
     Whereas it doesn't cost taxpayer$ one thin dime for what is already available.


This makes about much sense as bringing back canal barges for anything other then a expensive tourist attraction. Anyone who wants to read in greater detail how I arrived at my conclusions can click on the following links.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Rail Transportation Study (Mine) II

Friday, July 19, 2013
Rail Feasibility Study HERE WE GO AGAIN!!

Saturday, January 18, 2014
Passenger Rail Doesn't Make Financial Sense


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Do We Exist?

René Descartes once declared, ""Cogito ergo sum" (I think, therefore I am), Based on today's scientific research it may be equally plausible to state "I am because I think"

Check out today's article "Experiment begins to see if the universe is a 2D hologram"

Here's a short video that may explain this more clearly



My Take On This
This opens up a lot of possibilities. The foremost being the assumption the universe is infinite may be incorrect. Experiments in quantum physics suggests objects can be in two places at the same time. That is until we try to measure them. That is when one of them will seemingly disappear.

Rather then go into a super long explanation, let me put it this way. The eye cannot see itself. What can be observed is it's implied reflection. Let me expand on that. The essence of human thought cannot be measured either, only reflected on.

In a nutshell, there is no way possible we can state unequivocally we exist other then as a reflection of how our mind (whatever that is) interprets things or itself. Emphasis on "interprets".

Just what if "itself" is actually a projection in of itself just as the observable universe around us?

If everything we understand is nothing more then a dimensional projection the mind "interprets" as three, it means there is no actual time nor distance. All that exists is in one place at the same time, just as quantum theory suggests. No end. No beginning. Only the now. Even the illusion of the individual I am would be part of this hologram. In short what we consider being real or not real is only an interpretation in-of-itself which may or may not exist. Hence the eye cannot see the eye.

Meet BabyX, the virtual TODDLER that learns like a human-- "The artificial baby girl is being developed by the Auckland Bioengineering Institute Laboratory for Animate Technologies in New Zealand... Her ‘brain’ is in the form of a computer algorithms."



So Just What If?
All of us are nothing more then a higher species' software design. This takes us right back to the false assumption just because we "think" doesn't mean we actually are. It's then possible to conceive the universe is neither infinite nor anything we observe (including ourselves) actually exist as we may assume it does.

This all leads back to, if this be so, then who created them? Well maybe that's what they are trying to find out. If indeed we solve this riddle will they unplug us? Or shall they (if they exist) and us have achieved the true purpose of the first who set this in motion and have no further need of either?

In Conclusion
     (1) Self awareness doesn't prove a damn thing if that which has been created has been programmed sophisticated enough to "think" it is.

     (2) If indeed we are a product of whatever goes on, will we be allowed to go beyond indefinitely what we may have been created for?

     (3) Will it turn out what we think of God as our "creator" be far different then what the human mind could have ever imagined?

Before anyone blows off this theory of us existing in a so-called holographic world, we need to somehow prove otherwise. Ignorance and denial this is possible doesn't make it so.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

DWB (Driving While Black)

Curtis Shannon says "On December 26th 2013 at 9:30pm, I was driving home from work. I purchaced a pizza pie from a local pizzaria so my wife wouldn't have to cook. She was still adjusting to the mother's life, our only son was only 5 months old at the time. Just before I got home, a police cruiser pulled behind my car...
I urge people to follow that link for the rest of his accounting of what happened next.

He also posted a video


Commentary
I truly really tried to ignore all the crazy ass stuff cops are doing. I'm sure it doesn't speak for the majority who consider themselves "peace officers". However more and more everyday we're seeing ever increasing reports of cops behaving badly. I don't know who the hell is training these guys, but once they were taught how to "deescalate" rather then "escalate" in these situations. It's as though too many have a "it's us versus them" attitude. This needs to stop!

If this trend continues we're going to have a problem. Maybe we already do. Choke holds, tasers and the firing of bullets have become all too common place. Respect is a two way street. Good policing depends on the public's help and trust. It only takes a few to spoil it for all the good police work that is done otherwise.

It's a sad day when citizens fear cops almost as much as the criminals. Sometimes, in some cases, it's hard to separate which are the bigger threat.

It's not enough people are now recording these violations on their cell phones. I'm calling for a federal law that would require all police and their patrol cars be equipped with video cameras. There's no better way to keep everybody honest. That day cannot come soon enough.

A Few True Stories (from separate cities)
My ex wife use to clean several banks at night. I will not mention the city, but she noticed a disturbance outside. It seems two cops had a guy cuffed out front. While she didn't see what led up to it, she did notice them slamming his head down onto the hood of the patrol car several times which left him bleeding. When she banged on the bank window they both looked up. It was at that point they both gently took the man to the back seat of their patrol car holding his head down as if they didn't want him to bump it on the way in.

At another bank a cop used to park out in front and stare at her for long periods while she worked over several nights. He even had the balls to knock on the front door and asked to come in to "talk". He would not go away after she told him to go away. She eventually called the Pa, state police who then came out and told this cop to bug off. When she talked to the bank manager (a female) the next day she was told this same cop use to come in and try and hit on her tellers.

Then there was the time I managed apartments at a rather large complex. One of my more troublesome tenants already occupying one apartment, his parents and sister another wanted his brother (a cop) to move into yet one more. That would make it four apartments who were making my life hell. After his brother (cop) was denied I was threatened by him and found a used condom full of semen stretched around my outside door knob the next day. A few weeks later this cop was fired and wouldn't have had a job to pay the rent anyway.

I have several other cop stories that I will leave for another time. The point is several of these cowboys need to be sent packing before the public loses trust in them. If it's not too late already.

Sometimes the only thing that separates a bad guy from the good one is a badge. I certain about the first, but not entirely convinced about the other.

See Also:
Georgia county refuses to pay medical bills after SWAT tosses grenade into baby’s crib

Video shows police shot Ohio man ‘on sight’ as he leaned on toy gun in Walmart

Philadelphia cops break innocent family's door, then bolt

"On top of that, police returned to his house two times later that night"


Burger King Moving Into Canada

By AP Published August 26, 2014, "Burger King says it struck a deal to buy Tim Hortons Inc....The deal would create the world's third largest fast-food company with about $23 billion in sales... The corporate headquarters of the new company will be in Canada, which stands to help lower Burger King's corporate taxes...

3G Capital, the investment firm that owns Burger King... Last year.. teamed up with Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway to buy ketchup maker Heinz as well."


Commentary
During the Vietnam war a whole bunch of kids escaped the draft by moving to Canada. They were labeled cowards and traitors. Where's this same outage when companies do it?

It's a damn shame when companies like these enjoy the same rights, privileges and economic wealth that comes with being in the United States, but refuse to help pay for it. Even though "Burger King will still operate out of Miami".



Monday, August 25, 2014

Companies Making A Jackass Out Of Taxpayers

Congressional Research Service Data Shows, "47 U.S. corporations have reincorporated overseas through corporate inversions in the last 10 years, far more than during the previous 20 years combined, according to new data compiled by the Congressional Research Service. In total, 75 U.S. corporations have inverted since 1994 – with one other inversion occurring in 1983."

Microsoft Admits Keeping $92 Billion Offshore to Avoid Paying $29 Billion in U.S. Taxes

Cash Abroad Rises $206 Billion as Apple to IBM Avoid Tax , "The multinational companies have accumulated $1.95 trillion outside the U.S."

Everything You Need to Know About Corporate Inversions


Commentary
Don't expect to see this in the main stream media since it's owned by some of the very corporations gaming the system.

Nearly each and every day we are told how government can't afford education, social security or healthcare (including those for our veterans). How increasing the minimum wage will hurt businesses. Well I'm here to tell ya, none of that is so.

I don't intend to make this post too long so I will give one example of another way how we're being conned. It concerns our 401k's. Most workers can contribute up to $17,500 in 2014. Up to about 15% of their income.

These 401k's are nothing more then returning our pay back to the very corporations from which we were paid in the hopes we could make a couple of buck$ for our retirement. So not only are all too many corporations not paying taxes, receiving taxpayer subsidies but also taking a portion of what they pay their employees sent right back to them.

What if Social Security were redesigned that all this money was going to it instead?

Well I'll tell ya.
Everybody would end up getting the same amount of money (or more) after they retired they once did while working.

I tried to find a link listing the companies who (unlike us) aren't paying taxes, but have been unsuccessful. About the best advice I can offer is buy goods and services from local small owners whenever possible.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

10 Companies Avoided Paying $60.5b Federal Taxes

According to Bill Moyers one company even got $535 million in tax rebates though it paid no income tax at all!

According to a 'Americans For Tax Fairness 2013 report, "America’s 35% tax rate is the highest among industrialized nations, but very few companies pay anything like those rates. Total corporate federal taxes paid fell to 12.1% of U.S. profits in 2011, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The average profitable company in the Fortune 500 paid just 18.5% of its profits in federal income taxes between 2008 and 2010, according to Citizens for Tax Justice, a nonpartisan tax research organization. Dozens of large and profitable companies paid nothing in recent years..

.. In 1952, under Republican President Dwight D Eisenhower, corporate income taxes were nearly a third of the federal government’s receipts but had declined to less than 10% by 2012. This is due to a corporate tax code riddled with loopholes, perks and preferences won by corporate lobbyists and backed by millions of dollars of campaign gifts to Members of Congress."


Commentary
Among just those 10 companies federal taxpayers are on the hook for $60,500,000,000 more on the national debt along with it's accompanying interest. Overall it cost the U.S. Treasury about $90b a year in lost revenue.

An argument can be made companies don't pull this money out of a hat. They'd instead pass it along to it's customers. Indeed they do. However a very large chunk of these profits now come from their international operations overseas. In other words the entire amount wouldn't be passed down to American consumers alone.

Another gigantic tax loophole concerns how CEO's are paid.

According to the AFTF report, because of congressional legislation passed back in 1993, they are exempt from having to pay taxes on any of their 'performance based' earnings. This is why you see the largest portion of their compensation coming from being issued massive shares of stock. According to the report this tax loss amounts to about $8b a year.

There are a couple of other things you should be aware of. They only have to pay taxes on them when they cash them and only on any gains made from the time they were issued. They are taxed at whatever the current 'capital gains tax' is at that time. Obviously one which is a much lower rate then they would have to pay otherwise if it were considered salaried income.

WAIT DON"T GO AWAY. That's not all there is. Get this, the companies that issued shares of stock to them get to deduct the value of them from their taxes. It's like printing your own money!

I SAID DON'T GO AWAY. Let me run this little scenario past you. Suppose a CEO is looking to getting out. I'm not saying this has happened, but it can. This CEO begins to do a lousy job. The board fires him. Usually these honchos, unlike you or I, are given extremely large severance packages. Thus rewarding someone for doing a lousy job.

This usually happens when a company's earnings stays flat or even loses money. What follows is the value of shares in such a company also remain flat or fall. Like I said it may have or not happened, but there's a huge incentive for a CEO looking to get out for a number of reasons. Remember what I said about them only having to pay taxes on their shares when they gain value. Why wouldn't a CEO be tempted to do a lousy job?

Here's what could happen. (1) He or she could be offered an over the top 'severance package" up front. (2) The CEO could conceivably keep share prices down while he/she is still at the helm. Which would make it a fantastic time to unload his/her shares (they never paid for in the first place) with no tax consequences.

This explains how some wealthy people pay lower rates then you or I. Our current tax laws on corporations and those who run them are filled with more loopholes then a block of Swiss cheese.

This also explains why tax rates for most individuals are the way they are. It's because few at the top are paying their share. Yet, many of the very same people are advocating for even greater tax reductions for they and their corporations. Some companies aren't paying anything at all. The way I understand math, nothing from nothing is still nothing. How can anyone give them a bigger break then that?

Never mind. Sorry I asked. This is how..
     "The Average American Families Pays $6K a Year in Big Business Subsidies""The Cato Institute estimates that the US federal government spends $100 billion a year on corporate welfare. That’s an average of $870 for each one of America’s 115 million families..

It does include payments to 374 individuals on the plush Upper East Side of New York City and others who own farms, including Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi and Ted Turner. Wealthy heir Mark Rockefeller received $342,000 to NOT farm, to allow his Idaho land to return to its natural state.

It also includes fossil fuel subsidies, which could be anywhere from $10 billion to $41 billion per year for research and development. Yet this may be substantially underestimated. The IMF reports US fossil fuel subsidies of $502 billion, which would be almost $4,400 per U.S. family..."


In Conclusion
All of this is like a board game we're all forced to play in which only dumb criminals go to jail. Smart crooks seldom do. They get elected, entrenched in commerce and set the rules.

When players get wise there's little they can do other then becoming like them or be the kind of person we hope never to become. As for me, I choose the latter.

NFL Has Lost It's Mind!

By Chris Morran | Consumerist.com, "According to the Wall Street Journal, the NFL has asked its final three contenders for the show — Coldplay, Katy Perry, and Rihanna — to consider paying the league, perhaps by contributing some of their post-event earnings."

Commentary
     Are you kidding me!

2015 Super Bowl ads will cost $4.5 million apiece for 30 seconds!

As far as I'm concerned I could care less who performs at the half time. If I wanted to watch a rock concert I would. This is about football. Second I'm not thrilled with either Coldplay, Katy Perry or Rihanna. Any performer who gives them a nickel is setting a terrible trend for the future. Not only that, how desperate are they?

In 2012 the super bowl brought in $470 million. A player in 2014 who was a "division winner that played in a wild-card game and went on to win the Super Bowl received $180,000 (or $45,000 per game), the largest possible share".

Why should any performer pay the NFL in 2015 when there's over a half a billion dollar$ dived up amongst TV networks, players and the NFL?

In my opinion any performer who pays the NFL is desperate. They may not be worthy of watching in the first place. Which is why my time would be better spent grabbing a snack, beer and talking about the first half among my house guests or at a bar.

If performers think half time is about them they are deluding themselves. Therefore deserve to pay whatever the NFL can take them for. Have I made myself clear?

Friday, August 22, 2014

My Stuff- I Can't Give It Away (UPDATE)

     (Originally posted on Wednesday, August 20, 2014)


It's pathetic when I can't give my stuff away free




Two pieces of furniture I wanted to donate


I was under the mistaken impression if I called a couple of local charities they would swing by and pick up my donations It appears my stuff is so crappy it's not good enough for the so-called needy.

I have a wooden crib, high chair and playpen in near perfect condition. I've been told local agencies neither accept upholstered furniture nor baby stuff more then five years old. The wife also wanted to give away 22 VHS exercise tapes. That's a no-go too. However I did find one that will accept my 2 DVD players, 1 DVR, TV Stand and 23 audio CD's.. well la-di-dah for me!

As for the sofa-bed and loveseat, it's still in my finished basement. I will continue to use it every day for many more years just as I have been.

My Take On This Is...
So-called Lehigh Valley agencies for the poor would prefer perfectly good furniture end up in the dump rather then give it away. What's good enough for us (living in the West End) doesn't measure up to the standards of those living amongst Allentown's impoverished.



If this stuff is good enough for our asses, tell your clients to go get a job and work for this stuff like we had to. So much for us wanting to help out what I thought were people less fortunate then ourselves It now makes me wonder who really are the less fortunate. We or they?



UPDATE
FREAKING UNBELIEVABLE!

One of the charities finally came out. I called 3 of them (this one twice). When I explained this stuff was in the basement and they should pull around back for easy loading they told me they aren't allowed to either pull in back or enter my basement. Are you F*&KING ME!!!!

So now the hell with all of them. The crib, playpen, high chair, 2 perfectly good DVD players, DVR recorder 22 VHS exercise tapes, 23 audio CD's, clothing items, stacked snack trays, TV Stand, shoes/clothing and the outdoor motion display projector are all going to the dump. I figure this stuff is worth a couple of hundred buck$.

I don't want to ever hear again about the good work these Lehigh Valley charities supposedly do. Yeah I get it now. If I was giving them cash they'd be banging down my door. It's a damned shame I should have to kiss their ass rather then contribute to the already overflowing dumps.

I've never felt so insulted that I should have to crawl up their behinds to give away good quality (slightly used) stuff that I worked hard for and thought someone else could use. I learned my lesson. I'm not going to jump through hoops to give this stuff away when they act like they're doing me some kind of favor.

Nobody else cares if we fill up the dumps. Now I don't either. Congratulations for bringing this 66 year old up to speed on how the generations after mine now do things. From now on everything goes into the trash.. END OF STORY.

      Damned right I'm pissed!

Unlike people from my generation and those before, unless there's money to made by the people running these organizations they could give a damn less about their so-called missions to help the poor. A bunch of phonies.. the lot of them. I'm so done with my concerns over filling the dumps and the phony baloney bullshit about recycling items that others could use.

I tried. I know when to give up. I'm not going to frustrate myself another couple more weeks trying to do something nice for others when the deck is stacked against me. They say you're never to old to learn. Boy have I learned!

Cedarbrook Nursing Home Controversy

By Colin McEvoy | The Express-Times, "County commissioners voted 7-2 across party lines last week to eliminate $3 million set aside in a capital plan for building improvements at the South Whitehall Township nursing home... The nursing home operated at a loss of $4.7 million in 2013."

David Robinson Reporter- Albany Business Review reports, "Nursing homes are basically losing money because Medicaid doesn't pay enough money to cover the amount of care delivered... Of the nearly 15,700 total nursing homes in the U.S., just 912 were public in 2012."


Commentary
As usual I have more questions then answers. Here's a few of them..* Has this whole funding shortage been contrived by the for-profit nursing home industry's lobbyists at both the federal and state level?

* Defying logic, how is it possible private nursing homes can do things cheaper, provide the same level of care and still make a profit?

* Should nursing homes be the responsibility of government? If so at what level? City, county, state or federal?

Here's How I Feel
George H.W. Bush rallied under the banner "a thousand points of light". The Clintons, "it takes a village". While I feel both value merit, what happens when families are either incapable or blow off their elders in their most desperate final days of need?

There will come a time for nearly all of us when we become incapacitated near our final days. Few will be fortunate enough to "die healthy" in our sleep.

Not if, but when that time comes should our amount of suffering be determined by our financial resources?

No one should value one's life over another's.

It's my view everyone deserves the same kind of care in our final days on this Earth. If families refuse to help or individuals can't afford nursing care on their own then government needs to step in to provide it. To do otherwise negates why governments exist in the first place. Which is to provide for the needs of it's peoples.

In my eyes any government that exist only to sustain itself over that of the needs of it's people isn't worthy of it's continued existence. Anyone got a problem with that?

Thursday, August 21, 2014

NIZ Finances Already On Shaky Ground?

PPL is spinning off its PPL Energy Supply unit.-- "The PPL unit is being rolled into the power generation business of energy investment firm Riverstone Holdings LLC, and it will become an independent and public corporation called Talen Energy, traded on the New York Stock Exchange... Talen Energy will be based in Pennsylvania, but a specific location has yet to be determined."

By Scott Kraus, Of The Morning Call-- "Allentown is engaged in a high-stakes effort to keep PPL Corp.'s soon-to-be-created power generation and marketing spinoff company Talen Energy in its Neighborhood Improvement Zone.... Losing roughly 600 PPL Energy Supply employees and the tax revenue the company contributes to support payments on the arena complex's $235 million bond issue would be a serious blow... PPL Energy Supply parent company PPL Corp. is listed in the authority's bond financing documents as one of five large taxpayers that together produce 72 percent of the tax revenue swept up in the zone to cover debt payments... If that were to happen, new revenues produced by Talen, over and above current amounts committed to covering arena debt service by PPL Energy Supply, could be used with ANIZDA's permission to help finance construction of its new offices, Browne said."


Commentary
So let me get this straight. (1) It might cost taxpayers another large chunk of change to entice Talon to stay here by constructing yet another building? (2) There will be less employees paying taxes towards the NIZ then we now have even if they do? (3) Rather then bring in more taxes from outside Pennsylvania we might lose more then we already had in Allentown? (4) PPL will need less office space?

While this may all be conjecture for the moment, even a optimum outcome will produce less tax revenue and the promised increase in jobs then what we had before the NIZ. Sure this sale might have happened with or without the NIZ, but the question is, after spending nearly $1B will the net result leave taxpayers' in Pennsylvania better off?

There is room for argument that at least we here in Allentown will offset the loss. However, Pennsylvania taxpayers were promised more jobs and businesses would come in from out of state. That has not happened so far The bottom line in all of this is while Allentown may be better off will Pennsylvania taxpayers be (as a whole) when all is said and done?

In my opinion the answer is obvious, they will not.

One Final Thought
     Bend over. I don't see how this will benefit electrical consumers either.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Ferguson, Missouri Who Benefits?

That may seem kind of a odd question since it appears on the surface no one does. However, advertently or inadvertently several players financially benefit by continually fanning the flames of discontent. * First off it's the police themselves. Police are not salaried. They are paid by the hour. No doubt it will cost taxpayers $100,000's in overtime pay.

* 10's of TV reporters have descended on Ferguson. Everyone knows when they do there is a huge spike in ratings. The more they excite their audience the greater the ratings. The greater the ratings the more advertisers have to pay per minute/per viewer.

* Then there's the suppliers for tools of the trade. Tear gas canisters, rubber bullets, flash bangs, vests, shields, batons and even fuel suppliers for the vehicles.
It seems just about everybody makes out except the protestors. Let's talk about the protestors. I'm confused how so many have the time to run around in the streets all day into the night. Don't they have a job to go to? Apparently not.

Parents shouldn't be dragging their kids into the protest now that schools have been shut down. I know I wouldn't want my kids witnessing both adults and police behaving badly. I know I wouldn't let my kids grow up under the impression this is the way to act in society when people disagree.

There are no good guys here. Both sides are wrong. Police need to start acting like police and not a military force like it were some war zone. In many cases instead of calmly quelling a situation they are escalating it. So too are protestors who engage police when they do. It seems both police and the angry crowds are both chumming each other hoping to gain some sort of win in a no-win situation for either side. When crowds act up against police they lose the empathy and support more rational thinking people may have for them. Same goes with the police.

This constant media attention on every little thing goats both sides to become more confrontational. At this point media has now become part of the story rather then reporting on it. They've given this way too much over the top coverage. Live streaming minute by minute both day and night. Sticking a mic or camera into the face of every bad actor whether it be cops or some protestor is irresponsible journalism.

Hell reporters even managed to get in the action themselves by being where they don't need to be barking into their microphones. None of them would have been picked up by police had they set their cameras to photo or video the situations from balconies or on rooftops. By doing so they would be observing the situation rather then becoming participant in it.

The victim of the police shooting was no innocent. But he certainly didn't deserve to be shot six times and executed over a petty theft. On the other hand no cop (especially this one) would have taken out his gun had the suspect complied. If the suspect in the theft had a beef, take it up with his lawyer and a judge in court. Both were wrong.

Apparently blacks in Ferguson feel they've been treated unfairly by heavy handed cops. Perhaps it may or may not be so, but allowing some individuals to get up in cops faces, looting stores and screaming out in the streets into reporters cameras is just feeding the bears < pardon my pun

As far as I'm concerned everyone from protestors to police, including the media are an embarrassment. Nobody's acted responsibly from the get go. The suspect for what he did. The cop squeezing off six shots. Not the riot police nor people out in the streets screaming both day and night about what might have or not happened. They weren't there.


The country is going off it's rocker
I don't know whether it's the food, water or what it is, but people have become way too aggressive. We see it with the militarization of our police. More people having road rage. Others getting physical with cops in almost every encounter.

Shootings of every kind-- Random shootings. Firing a gun at a perceived home intruder which in too many cases ends up being unnecessary. In some cases even a member of their own family who came home late or got up to use the toilet ends up shot. Shootings in schools, work places and movie theaters.

Teenagers, both boys and girls, video taping fights (sometimes encouraged by their own parents).

The latest fad of going around and sucker punching complete strangers for no reason.

It seems too people are losing more and more self control. Teachers who can't keep their hands off of students. Even if it weren't legally speaking "consensual" sex in all too many cases we learn some teen students themselves agreed to it. In some instances even instigating it.

More and more of both our young and adults are acting up against authority even after doing something wrong. Thereby refusing to accept responsibility for their own actions.


In Conclusion
What's going on in Ferguson is symptomatic of changes going on in our society. The breaking down of self discipline and increasing aggressions towards one another.

So too the exploitation of it by media seeking advertising dollars spread thinner by more competitions to them then ever before.

Ferguson (with it's single death) is far less a concern then these others we face. If it weren't for media hype most of use wouldn't even be speaking of it (including me).

Each of us should reflect, act responsibly, hold ourselves accountable for each our own actions and hope we not fall victim to those who do not. That's all we can do.

Monday, August 18, 2014

On This Day Woodstock Wrapped Up

August 18, 1969: CBS Evening News


Too bad I couldn't go. I had to work. Imagine that!
     That and I prefer indoor toilets and my women not to smell like one.

A Few Of My Less Then Spectacular Concert Experiences
On one of my many trips to Spectrum concerts I stood in a line of about 20 people waiting about 20 minutes to use a urinal. Imagine my surprise when I got up to the front of the line and saw there was nothing but a wall in front of me. No urinal. Just wall tiles with a yellow river running down it.

But that was not nearly as disappointing as driving down, waiting a hour to get in only to end up sitting (festival style) behind the stage for a Aerosmith concert back in the 70's. The warm up band not only sucked, we couldn't hear any of the vocals because the speakers were not pointed back there. Finally nearly 4 hours after leaving home Aerosmith came to the stage to play. They weren't even finished with their first song when some asshole threw a beer bottle and it hit Steven Tyler bullseye in the head!

As other members helped a bleeding Tyler off the stage one of the members ran to Tyler's mic and yelled "Fuck you! Something always happens when we come to Philly" After about 20 minutes of waiting, as the crowd grew increasingly restless, some guy came to the front of the stage and said don't bother raising hell it won't do anybody any good because the band has left the building. After a few minutes more of hell raising by the crowd, we were told we'd all get a refund.

Well, I'm still waiting?
:-)



A few more things I learned after that experience...* Never ever buy tickets unless it's reserved seating. Not unless you enjoy watching roadies working behind the stage and bask in bass without hearing any of the vocals.

* Never buy floor level tickets unless you wanted to get squashed by those behind you forming human waves. Caution: If there was seating, folding chairs can become projectiles.

* Never buy tickets for 3rd level if you're the designated driver. The thick rising cloud of pot smoke would do you in.

* Never ever let your retina get burnt in the 70's by Blue Oyster Cult's lasers in the early days before they were regulated.

* Never ever turn around and confront someone behind you when they grab your wife's ass repeatedly. Turns out they usually have several friends with them. (It didn't go well).

* Don't expect a lot of support when some guy is throwing up in front of you drunk out of his mind. The only help we got from security was they slipped a paper bag over his head for the remaining last hour of the concert after he passed out. For me the odor was rather distracting and made my concert experience somewhat less delightful.

* Ted Nugent's sound people were torture specialists. After 20 minutes of standing I began to experience ringing ears and started to get a headache from the treble. I kneeled down. It only provided temporary relief because it was then I started to feel nausea as every organ in my body started vibrating from the bass. Up & down. Up & down.. when is this damn thing going to end! (Maybe this helps explain why Nugent is the way he is, eh?)

* Entertainers should never ever toss oranges off the stage into the crowd no matter how well intended. Hundreds of oranges tossed around is nothing like one fly ball going into the stands at a baseball park. Anyone ever get hit by a 50mph orange? Hey, I'm just happy they weren't apples!

Ah the good old days
So many memories

NOT!


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Obama On Vacation Again

To listen to some pundits critical of the President they'd have you believe Barack Obama spends more time on vacation then any other President in history. Let's set the record straight.

Who Took How Many Vacations?
According to CBS News Correspondent Mark Knoller, at this same point in time of both their presidencies to date Obama has had 129 days compared to George W. Bush's 381. He also reports Obama has taken only a third as many trips compared to Bush's 58.

According to the August 9th, 2007 edition of the 'Houston Chronicle' -- "On Thursday, Bush left for a weekend in Kennebunkport, Maine, and his family's summer compound, Walker's Point. On Monday, he heads to his Crawford retreat, where he has spent all or part of 418 days of his presidency, according to Mark Knoller, a CBS News White House correspondent and meticulous record-keeper."... The presidential vacation-time record holder is the late Ronald Reagan, who tallied 436 days in his two terms. At 418 days, and with 17 months to go in his presidency, Bush is going to beat that easily."


Who spent more of the taxpayers money vacationing?
According to this letter to the editor published by the 'Midland Daily News' back in February a reader pointed out, "Not only did Bush spend more days on vacation than any other president, but he used Air Force One more often while on vacation than any other president. In response to growing criticism that the president was on vacation too much, the Bush administration adopted the Rovian tactic of scheduling, “work events” while the president was in Crawford so that they could claim that President Bush’s vacations were working vacations...

Media Matters calculated that each trip to Crawford cost taxpayers $259,687 and $20 million total for Bush’s ranch flights... but there is more, much more.. Bush’s numbers only include the cost of flying the president to Crawford. The cost of transporting and accommodating staff, media, friends and family is not included in Bush’s vacation numbers."


Scott Farris at 'The Washington Post' wrote an interesting story about the "Five myths about presidential vacations". In it he pointed out, "Presidents pay for their own and their families’ lodging, food and incidentals while on vacation, which may be why they generally prefer to stay at properties they own, as guests of wealthy friends or at the official presidential retreat at Camp David."


Taxpayers' Expenses Don't End After They Leave Office
'The Dallas News' reported last year what it cost taxpayers for ex-presidents in 2012.
     George W. Bush- $1.3 million
     Bill Clinton- just under $1 million
     George H.W. Bush- nearly $850,000
     Jimmy Carter- about $500,000

"The cost totals for ex-presidents don't include what the Secret Service spends protecting them, their spouses and children. Those costs are part of a separate budget that isn't made public."


So What Have We Learned Kids?
* Geo. W used AF1 more then any other President ($20m just the trips to/from Crawford)
* Geo. W. called his visits to his ranch "work events" (aren't they all)
* President Obama has taken less vacations to date then either Geo. W or R. Reagan
* Taxpayers don't pick up the tab for "for their own and their families’ lodging, food and incidentals while on vacation."


In Conclusion
(1) Just about everything you read and hear in the media regarding this is politically driven. Both sides point fingers in every direction except their own. Taxpayers are being played like a fiddle by those seeking to bash whoever's is in the oval office that is not a member of their own political party.

(2) Every president throughout history left the Whitehouse often while holding office. Perhaps too often. Criticism of Presidents taking vacations goes back as far as Washington, D.C. itself. "When John Adams [1797-1801] spent seven months at his Quincy, Mass. farm in 1798, he was accused of abdicating his office."

(3) There never was, nor ever will be a president who gets actual time off. They're all working vacations.

(4) I wish all the bullshit coming out of Washington, D.C. were roses instead. Perhaps then we wouldn't having so many blooming idiots.

Well at long last I now know what 'blooming idiots' smell like.
(I always wondered about that)
:-)


Friday, August 15, 2014

Philly Landlords Responsible For Unpaid Gas Bills

Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer-- "The city has hired an outside lawyer to defend itself from a federal class-action lawsuit alleging its policy of filing liens against landlords for their tenants' delinquent utility bills violates due process... The landlords can keep the gas bill in their own name and pass the cost on to their tenants in a monthly bill.."

Commentary
This is not too dissimilar to landlords being ultimately responsible for the municipal owned water company bills on their properties in this area. In Philly PGW is owned by the city itself unlike the investor owned gas companies in the Lehigh Valley.

Now one would think PGW being owned by the city would be cheaper then the price I now pay to a investor owned company. That's not the case. Currently PGW's residential price to compare is $.69067 per Ccf . My price to compare on my last bill from UGI was $.66159. If I was paying for gas last February to PGW instead of UGI it would have cost me $10.15 more. Seems kind of screwed up considering landlords in Philly have been forced to pony up for unpaid bills and you'd think being city owned gas would be cheaper. Something UGI does not have the advantage of.

Essentially landlords in Philly have become unpaid collection agents for the publicly owned utility. About the only hope rental property owners have is that the city will sell PGW.

It's not that there isn't an interested buyer. According to NBC 10 as of July 14th, 2014 "Energy Co. Still Wants to Buy PGW" for around $1.86 billion. The city is seriously considering it in hopes of having around $500 million left over to put towards the city's underfunded pension obligations.

I'm sure for landlords that day can't come soon enough. It also would save both the city and landlords the costs of a protracted legal battle with the current class action suit. Although I'm fairly certain natural gas customers will only see the price going up even higher then they are now. For them it a lose/lose situation no matter the outcome.

In addition to the high cost to park and live in Philadelphia there is..* The city's 3.924% tax on residents wages,
* The soon to be $2 a pack cigarette tax,
* A school tax of 3.924% on unearned income,
* It's 1.34% real estate taxes,
* 4% reality transfer tax,
* It's own 2% city sales tax
* It's water rates due to go up 17.6% over the next 3 years (currently about $67 a month- More then double what I pay).
.


So What Have We Learned Kids?
(1) Just because a bunch of people are packed together in a dense urban area doesn't mean things will be either cheaper or more efficient. No matter how large the money pool per square block is.

(2) Investor owned companies apparently can provide cheaper utilities and still manage to turn a profit. PGW is in the hole for around $1.3 billion. See above after sale $500 million left

(3) You need to earn a boatload of money if you want the so-called convenience and quality of life Philadelphia claims to offer it's urban dwellers.

(4) Perhaps we've even learned why the highways are clogged going in and out of Philadelphia everyday!


In Conclusion
While it seems like local governments should be able to provide services like water, gas, trash removal, etc. cheaper, it hasn't panned out. Local government authorities have been given the unfair advantage by not having to compete to provide these services. This coupled with the legal authority to place liens on properties has not benefited it's citizens historically. It's a shame it hasn't because for-profit businesses will step in and do it cheaper for a while, but eventually they too will take advantage.

(1) There's little a person can do other then move to another area and commute from where commercial utilities don't have the ready option of putting liens on homeowners and are cheaper.(2) Bend over and take it.

Further Information:
Philadelphia's "Landlord Cooperation Program"
"Property owners who provide full and complete cooperation and compliance
with LCP are not subjected to the placement of liens on registered properties"


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Allentown Plans New Parking Deck

Randy Kraft , WFMZ.com Reporter-- "The Allentown Parking Authority plans to build a 1,000-space parking garage on the northeast corner of Sixth and Walnut streets in Allentown... Sketch plans for the seven-level garage, which will cost about $22 million."

Here I go again. I'm sure I'll sound as repetitive as hell, but who do you think is going to pay for this? You only get one guess.

The other questions I always ask is, does anyone seriously believe taxpayers are going to see a return on their investment and who actually benefits?

I'll add one more. If Allentown taxpayers are going to front the money for this, shouldn't they get free or at least reduced fees for parking?

The way I understood it a firm out of Boston was holding meetings to see what people wanted. Apparently this has been in the works before any of those meetings were announced. Imagine that!

Speaking of which I tend to think these meetings are more of a Q&A informational nature rather then actual input from Allentown taxpayers. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Don't get me wrong, Allentown seems to be on a roll, but all of this is hardly coming from a grassroots movement. So I put together my own little questionnaire. You only get two choices. No essay answers allowed.(1) How long have you supported the NIZ?
     (a) 1 Year
     (b) 2 or more.

(2) How do you feel about part of your taxes going toward gentrification?
     (a) Well pleased.
     (b) Want more used for it.

(3) How well is the city listening to your concerns?
     (a) A whole lot.
     (b) More then enough.

(4) Should city council...
     (a) Have less power.
     (b) The mayor more

(5) I want more parking.
     (a) Use more of my taxes to pay for it.
     (b) Charge me more when I use it

(6) I lived here all my life because..
     (a) There's no other place I want to be.
     (b) I've earned my fortune here.

(7) Crime reduction.
     (a) Put up more new shiny buildings.
     (b) Put up even more new shiny buildings.

(8) I enjoy the parks more now because...
     (a) They now have no mow zones.
     (b) The dams have been removed.

(9) I will now come downtown because..
     (a) Because my job moved there.
     (b) I can't find decent restaurants.

(10) I will now buy a house downtown because..
     (a) Of the great schools.
     (b) I'll be closer to all my friends now moving there.


Yeah I know
Just being satirical

But you get my point don't you?


Sing At Your Own Risk

By Molly Eichel | Philly.com: "FORMER Philadelphian Collette McLafferty has been forced to turn to the crowdsourcing website Indiegogo to finance her legal fees after she was sued for $10 million. Her alleged offense: Earning $75 to sing in a tribute band to Doylestown's homegrown pop star, Pink."

About all I can say is she'll have to sing something else 13,333 times at $75 a pop to come up with this chunk of change.

I mean.. really?
I do understand it's rare for someone to hit it big in the music business and the need to protect their act. BUT, most of these knockoff tribute bands will never be booked for more then a couple hundred bucks at local weddings and gigs having few in the audience.

One of the things I admired about Bruce Springsteen is he's always allowed people to perform his music. Never once asked for video take downs of his performances. Nor filed copywrite claims against anyone ever. That's the difference between real superstars and superstar wanna-be's.

That's all I have to say about this.

Illegal Drugs: Everybody, Take A Chill Pill

Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer"Homeowners sue Philly D.A. over seizure of property: Across Pennsylvania, Philadelphia is a clear leader in the forfeiture front, accounting for nearly half of all money and property seized across the state between 2002 and 2012..

.. Philadelphia has brought in more than $64 million in seized property during the last decade - almost twice the amount raised by similar programs in Brooklyn, N.Y., and Los Angeles County combined."


A acquaintance of mine who served in Afghanistan said to me a few years ago when we were discussing torture. "Oh come on, who would you rather be tortured by? The good guys or the bad guys? This illegal drug issue is a whole lot like that. If Philly is exploiting this by legally stealing from someone I see little difference between those who are supposed to be the good guys from the bad guys.

Law enforcement was given certain tools to seize the property of those who patronize illegal drug dealers. It's a good way to cut off this crime at it's roots. However, if it should be proven true law enforcement itself is victimizing innocents, I see little difference between someone stealing whether it be legally or illegally. Stealing is stealing.

Which brings us to the constant drum beat of some for the legalization of drugs. They are deluded into believing this will somehow make both sides of this issue go away. How wrong could someone be!

First off people are busted for heroin, bath salts, crack, ecstasy, meth, synthetic marijuana and dozens of more substances. Why would anyone in their right mind want these drugs to become street legal? That's plain crazy. Do these drug legalization supporters not realize no matter what we'd make legal, dealers will move on the next. It's absolutely ludicrous that we can legalize them all and not expect users who become addicted not add even more to the growing crime problem. Desperate for a fix and not having the money will only worsen what already is.

What Needs To Be Done
(1) At this point marijuana has been proven less harmful then alcohol. Legalizing it will make a large chunk of this problem go away. Not only those who deal in it, but over zealous law enforcement as well.

(2) The real guilt lies with legislators who need to get off their asses and rewrite laws that will stop law enforcement from legally stealing peoples possessions.

(3) More importantly anyone who chooses to ignore what can happen by their illegal substance use need to wise the hell up. Don't do it in someone else's boat, house or car. Especially mom and pop's. It's obvious law enforcement doesn't give a shit when they do. In my book by legally stealing from someone who wasn't aware some jerk was using his/her property to party is just as big a jerk and does nothing to neither eliminate crime nor make any of us safer for it.

Good Job Smokie
Taking a parent's $300,000 home for their kid smoking weed on the lawn benefits no one. It all goes back to the basics every lawyer (future prosecutor) is trained to do in law school. Always sue or go after the one with money and don't waste your time on those without.

Atlantic City Going Down The Crapper

Wednesday, August 6, 2014: STEVEN LEMONGELLO Staff Writer| Press Of Atlantic City--"Atlantic City Council approves budget with 29% tax increase: A standing room only crowd at the City Council meeting Wednesday did not stick around to see council giving final approval to a 2014 municipal budget that includes a tax increase of 29 percent."
My Comments About The Article Above
For years New Jersey and Atlantic City could have taken advantage of the gambling revenue by creating family friendly go-to beach shore communities. Instead they squandered it away. Didn't they anticipate that other states would one day get into this racket business?

This should be a lesson in many ways. Sate by state we see others not only getting addicted to the revenues from gambling but soon from the sale of marijuana. It started state by state with lottery drawings (alongside off track betting). Then national lottery drawings. Next it was slots. Followed by table games in buildings of brick and mortar. Online gambling followed after that in some states. Next is marijuana.

Obviously catering to peoples vices, prostitution is likely next to follow. States who fail to jump on board fear residents from their state will gamble, buy pot or one day rent women by the hour in the neighboring states surrounding them.

As each vice was added the benefits over the long term never materialized as promised. What each have in common is they failed to plan for the long term after diminishing returns started to evaporate.

What Have We Learned, Kids?
(1) We learned that politicians are short sighted. Whatever gets them through next year's budget or until the next election is all that matters.

(2) Any extra money is spend on lollipops rather then building towards the future with the extra income.

(3) Gambling, drugs and (soon to be) prostitution is (or shortly will be) better left in government hands then that of criminal thugs. Anyone remember a time when all this was once illegal activity?

(4) There a bunch of suckers people willing to blow their hard earned money on this kind of crap all-the-while complaining about government wasting their money.

(5) Government can make anything legal if it is the beneficiary. When it's your football, you get to make the rules.


My Final Thoughts
An honest day's pay for honest work done should be an honest dollar well spent. This applies to individuals' as well to our government. Can anyone truly say we've met those expectations?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

An Old Dopey Duncan Song

Uploaded By Rick Guyton
"Mule Train" (Pa. Dutch Version)


School Cafeteria Food

The wife came across this on 'Mind Body Green.com "What French Kids Eat For School Lunch" . "There are many theories as to why the French, and French children in particular, do not suffer from weight problems, obesity, diabetes, and hypertension like their American counterparts. Eating moderate quantities of fresh and freshly prepared food at set times of the day is definitely one of the most convincing reasons why they stay lean. Daily exercise, in the form of three recess periods (two 15-minute and one 60-minute recess every day) and walking or biking to and from school, is another...

... As the children come streaming into the cantine, they sit down at tables of four that are already set
[with silverware, silver bread basket, off-white ceramic plates, cloth napkins, clear glasses, water pitchers] and wait for older student volunteers to bring the first course to their table"

The writer, Rebeca Plantier, featured a typical week's menu while she was researching why French kids aren't fat..

MONDAY

Photo Source: 'Mind Body Green.com'

"First course: Cucumber and tomato salad
Main course: Veal marinated with mushrooms, broccoli\Cheese
Dessert: Apple tart"


She spoke further on their exercise programs in school. Check out the article. I think you'll find it interesting.

Other quick facts from 'Info Please.com' * The school day in France is 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a half day on Saturday
* Lunch last two hours
* Average class size is 23
* Religious dress of any kind is banned.
* School year is August-June (4-7 week terms) with one to two weeks of vacation.

* From Wikipedia- "The price of a meal is based on family income; students pay for half of the meal, while the school pays for the rest of it. For example, a typical meal may cost $6, with the family paying $3 instead of the full price."


Monday, August 11, 2014

Soldiers Are Willing To Die For Their Country

However notice how few are ever quoted as saying they are willing to kill for their country?

All battles come from hell.
Nobody wins except those who take delight in suffering and destruction of others..


It changes people on both sides forever



Real War Is Not A Video Game!
Uploaded on Dec 21, 2008



Published on Sep 2, 2013



ENOUGH ALREADY!
Published on Jul 15, 2014


What's Really Going On In Ukraine & The Middle East?

Many would have you believe all the turmoil going on in the Middle East & Ukraine right now is over religious and political differences. Let me call it what it is.... BULLSHIT!

by Anna Nemtsova | Al Jazeera America: "The people of the Donbass, the country’s gritty industrial region in the east, were not naive. They realized that gas pipelines crossing the border with Russia and the shale gas fields near Slovyansk — with a potential reserve of about 3 trillion cubic meters of gas — were the cause of constant tension between Russia and Ukraine...

... Kiev’s plan was to set up a joint venture with Shell and drill for shale gas around Slovyansk to eventually produce 8 billion to 11 billion cubic meters of gas yearly — nearly 20 percent of what Ukrainian consumers need. (Later that year, a similar $10 billion deal was reached with Chevron for exploration in western Ukraine.)"


Published on July 5, 2014



Nigel Wilson | International Business Times "Militants from the Islamic State have captured seven oilfields and two refineries in northern Iraq since they invaded the region in June. In a recent offensive into areas long held by Iraq's Kurds, the group seized the Ain Zalah oilfield, adding to a series of oilfields that they have taken in the oil-rich country. The militants also control a vast stretch of an oil pipeline that connects the Kirkuk oilfields to Turkish port of Ceyhan, according to Bewar Khinsi of the Kurdistan Protection agency."

August 3, 2014: by Abdelhak Mamoun | Iraq News "Mosul (IraqiNews.com) On Saturday, North Oil Company source revealed that the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant has taken control of 3 oil fields in the area of Zammar in Nineveh province, indicating that these fields produce 20,000 barrels per day while warning that the organization of ISIL will load the shipments of produced crude oil in these fields and sell them."



Commentary
The violence in several other countries also have less to do with ideology then the plain old greedy grab for oil money.

The world’s sixteenth-largest oil producer in 2009 was Libya. As of 2010 Syria's state budget derived 25.1% of it's money from oil. More importantly Syria's location makes it ideal for future pipelines distributing oil from Iraq into Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, Turkey and the loading of oil tankers along the Mediterranean Sea.

Which brings us to the latest "humanitarian" relief effort to save trapped Christians in Erbil, Iraq (the capital of the oil-endowed Kurdish Regional Government)..

Steve Coll at 'The New Yorker' had this to say . "Of course, it is President Obama’s duty to defend American lives and interests, in Erbil and elsewhere, oil or no. Rather than an evacuation of citizens, however, he has ordered a months-long aerial campaign to defend Kurdistan’s status quo, on the grounds, presumably, that it is essential to a unified Iraq capable of isolating ISIS. Yet the status quo in Kurdistan also includes oil production by international firms."

Check out this site... erbilcompanies.com. It lists dozens and dozens of oil companies headquartered there.

It's my conclusion that a whole lot of ignorant terrorist are being played for a sucker by extremely wealthy special interests. I'm not sure who all the players are, but I'm certain when they are done using these losers, they will be gotten rid of when they no longer serve a purpose. As far as a threat to the United States, I doubt it. These clowns are relying on money and stolen arms, both which will dry up when those pulling the strings no longer have a use for them. Those who's main goal is to control the oil and gas fields, not to go to war with United States after the dust settles. Where would the profit be in that?

IN CONCLUSION
Strip away the bullshit that this is about political and/or religious differences. As is the usual case, it's all about certain of the greedy and powerful making a grab for oil.. period. It's about using idiots to fight, die and kill innocent people to achieve their goals. When whoever's involved get what they want these fool terrorists (dupes) will disappear as fast as they came. It's about exploiting fears and misdirecting peoples attention from what is really going on.

This is the very reason why I strongly support alternative energy. How long must people needlessly suffer and die, the Earth be polluted and the ground beneath our feet made unstable because of this carcinogenetic gunk?

My conclusion is we may not be able to do anything directly about this, but at least we will now know what's going on for what it really is. Let each us vow to not contribute further to all this hatred in words, deeds and killing. That's about all we can do. If each and everybody did this throughout the world these puppet masters couldn't get away with this.

Not that I expect that to happen, but one can always hold out the hope that eventually people will come to their senses. Otherwise the darkness of evil will spread until it consumes us all.