Thursday, December 31, 2015

Times Square New Year's Eve .. Forget About It!

"Other chain restaurants in the area are even pricer

Bubba Gump Shrimp has a $799 price tag on its event and offers a somewhat better vantage point, and Ruby Tuesday has tickets ranging from $349 a head to $1,699, again, with no view of the ball dropping."

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Wanna Puke?

Coming Soon To An Amusement Park Near You

International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA)

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

World Getting More Stupid

I'm not getting older, the world is getting more stupid

Here's a few reasons why.*Medicare will only pay for IV infusions done in a hospital, not at home: Yeah why not pay several times more!

* We should be able to buy flu injections over the counter. My insurance was charged $25 + $35 for it's administration. Yeah like any idiot can't poke themself or spray a mist up their nose!

* Heaven forbid any of the 40 and under crowd should ever use a telephone. Instead they will only respond via text or on Facebook. One example-- Our 40 year old daughter passed along a data embedded text to a carpenter my wife was interested in. Instead of giving him our perfectly good home phone number she sent data embedded text which cost us $1.25 on our pay-as-you-go smartphone plan to respond giving him our home phone number. Hell knows whether he may ever use it to call?

* Too many cops (not all cops) who people used to call to calm down a situation now are shooting first before asking what the problem is. I'm not kidding when I say everyday I read about another police shooting. Any decent cop having to work with these trigger happy gun nuts are most likely disgusted as well. I suspect a lot of good police officers are fleeing the force not being able to cope with fellow officers who think (an apparently are) given immunity for their actions. I think we're seeing the results. Every cop who shoots erratically endangers the lives of fellow officers who have to deal sometime in the future with the public. There are many who no longer trust calling 911 that somehow it will end up with someone or a pet end up taking a bullet by one of the over eager boys in blue.

* Christmas Cards-- I mailed 20 Christmas cards year after year. This year I'm down to only receiving 7. Yeah this may seem like a corny tradition, but we always looked forward to displaying them as part of our decorations. It's a way of letting people know you're thinking about them at this time of the year whether or not you're in constant touch. It's another sign to me that people are becoming stupider to what should really matter.. staying connected with one another.

* The elections-- I've never seen a bunch of worse candidates for 2016. 95% of what they're spewing is nonsense bullshit divisional hatred toward a group of people or towards the other candidates. Whatever happened to inclusiveness and unification towards uniting this country. Instead each is pitting one against the other. None of them are worth spit.

* Speaking of politics-- Each year people espouse sweeping them all out and starting out fresh. Yeah good luck with that. Most are already pissed off having to pay politicians all this money while in office. Did you ever think about this. Three times more are receiving pensions after getting got voted out of office then those who are presently serving. If there's one thing worse then lining their pockets while in office it's to pay their silly asses to sit home after they've been voted out. The deck's stacked in their favor. Be careful what you wish for!

* Dumbing down the news-- In one half hour of any typical local news cast we will revisit the weather three times. Traffic once or twice with only three major news stories. Rarely on some channels once or twice a week a investigative report. Evening network news is no better. One weather related story. One political piece. Two or three international news stories with absolutely no investigative reporters reporting the background information. Followed up by closing out with the touchy feely story of the day. All which in-between there were over 10 minutes of advertisements for drugs (boner pills) and car ads. Talk about useless and stupid, you learn more on well written TV shows!

* Selfies are all the rage. Everybody's talking. Is anybody listening anymore?

* Go-Fund-Me's have replaced trying to do doing things for yourself first before begging for money.

* The #1 reason why I think the world is getting more stupid-- Nations and their peoples are killing now more then ever over the same dirt mankind has slaughtered each another for by the millions over the centuries. Shooting one another like it's some sort of game is disgusting. This applies to what's going on in our homes, malls and streets as well. There's no excuse for this in today's world considering all the information now readably to everyone. Hence the lessons we should have learned from history.


Monday, December 28, 2015

News Roundup & Commentary (12/28/2015)

The New York Times (12/29/2015)
T.S.A. Moves Closer to Rejecting Some State Driver’s Licenses for Travel
"The new standards also require that licenses be equipped with “machine readable” technology, like a chip or a magnetic strip, to store all that personal information.

Data from one state should also be made available electronically to all other states, and possibly also to federal authorities."

What's next.. requiring passports for air travel from one state to another or state border checkpoints for cars?

The Daily Mail (12/28/2015)
Just 300 ISIS jihadis held Ramadi for seven months against Iraqi force of 10,000
"The US-led coalition praised the performance of the Iraqi forces in retaking Ramadi, an operation in which it played a significant role, training local forces, arming them and carrying out what it said were 600 air strikes since July."

Pardon the pun but it doesn't seem we're getting the most bang for our buck with these Iraqi forces. I also noticed there's not much of a Ramadi left from what I'm seeing in the pictures. No electric, water, food nor houses. I'm not expecting any great rush of citizens wishing to return unless all this gets fixed up. Gee I wonder who's going pay for that, don't you?

Besides, according to The New York Times, "Although he declared the city “fully liberated,” another military commander, Maj. Gen. Ismail al-Mahlawi, later said that pockets of resistance remained in about 30 percent of the city."

The New York Times (12/28/2015)
$250,000 a Year Is Not Middle Class
"Mrs. Clinton is using a definition of middle class that has long been popular among Democratic policy makers, from her husband to Barack Obama when he was a candidate: any household that makes $250,000 or less a year. Yet this definition is completely out of touch with reality. It also boxes her in. The most recent Census Bureau data showed that median household income — what people in the exact middle of the American spectrum earn — is $53,657."

She's only off by about $3,846 a week. According to her I'm not middle class by any means. Not even lower class. Hell it appears I don't have any class at all!

The Daily Mail (12/27/2015)
Christmas brawl shuts down Kentucky mall: 2,000 unruly youths cause havoc
"The chaos came just a day after another brawl at a mall in Florida saw scores of teenagers - including dozens of girls - lash out at each other in the street. There were also minor disturbances on Saturday at shopping centers in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and Long Island, New York."

Must be the school districts fault for not raising these kids the right way, eh?

It seems these malls have one thing in common. They all are indoor malls. Maybe developers ought to consider ripping the roofs off of them and converting them to outdoor ones.

A common thread among kids is they love to fight. Maybe we shouldn't have ended the 'Selective Service' draft system back in '72'. How about this instead. We send the ones caught fighting to boot camp for 12 weeks then classify them 1A. That way if we need extra military members in the future they would be given first priority and an opportunity to fulfill their passions. I'll give them free clothing, food, lodging and hell even three hundreds bucks a month spending money. Sure beats what taxpayers are now paying for detention faculties to house these little bravehearts. At least they'd being doing something useful before going off to college wreaking further havoc.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

I've Always Been Somewhat A Naval-Gazer

Merriam-Webster: navel–gazing
useless or excessive self-contemplation

I'm not sure a agree with this definition's negative connotations.

Although I may be accused of over thinking I'm sure there are many others who may be considered in the same camp as I.

Recently I enjoyed watching the six hour miniseries entitled "Childhood's End" on the 'SyFy' channel. As a result I've developed an interest in the words of Arthur C. Clarke who also wrote the four "2001: A Space Odyssey" series of novels.

Below are quotations from the mind of A.C. Clarke from within his various novels that resonated with me and have given me further food for thought.

~ ~ ~
“Before you become too entranced with gorgeous gadgets and mesmerizing video displays, let me remind you that information is not knowledge, knowledge is not wisdom, and wisdom is not foresight. Each grows out of the other, and we need them all.”

“Imagine that you're an intelligent extraterrestrial, concerned only with verifiable truths. You discover a species that has divided itself into thousands - no, by now millions - of tribal groups holding an incredible variety of beliefs about the origin of the universe and the way to behave in it. Although many of them have ideas in common, even when there's 99% overlap, the remaining one percent's enough to set them killing and torturing each other, over trivial points of doctrine, utterly meaningless to outsiders. "How to account for such irrational behavior?

“There is no reason to assume that the universe has the slightest interest in intelligence—or even in life. Both may be random accidental by-products of its operations like the beautiful patterns on a butterfly's wings. The insect would fly just as well without them.”

“It may be that our role on this planet is not to worship God--but to create him.”

“man’s beliefs were his own affair, so long as they did not interfere with the liberty of others.”

Sooner or later, as their scientific knowledge progressed, they would get rid of the fragile, disease-and-accident-prone homes that Nature had given them, and which doomed them to inevitable death. They would replace their natural bodies as they wore out—or perhaps even before that—by constructions of metal and plastic, and would thus achieve immortality.”

To expect the universe to be benevolent was like imagining one could always win at a game of pure chance.”

“The world’s now placid, featureless, and culturally dead: nothing really new has been created since the Overlords came. The reason’s obvious. There’s nothing left to struggle for, and there are too many distractions and entertainments. Do you realize that every day something like five hundred hours of radio and TV pour out over the various channels? If you went without sleep and did nothing else, you could follow less than a twentieth of the entertainment that’s available at the turn of a switch! No wonder that people are becoming passive sponges—absorbing but never creating.

“Naturally, the system would have to be rigidly closed, recycling all food, air, and other expendables. But, of course, that’s just how the Earth operates—on a slightly larger scale.”

“Long ago it had been discovered that without some crime or disorder, Utopia soon became unbearably dull.”

“The universe is full of energy, but much of it is at equilibrium. At equilibrium no energy can flow, and therefore it cannot be used for work, any more than the level waters of a pond can be used to drive a water-wheel. It is on the flow of energy out of equilibrium—the small fraction of “useful” energy, “exergy”—that life depends.”

“They had not yet attained the stupefying boredom of absolute omnipotence;”

“You can’t have action without reaction.”

Further Thoughts From Some Of Our Greatest Minds (1988)
Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking and Arthur C. Clarke

I hardly believe these not to be 'Naval-Gazers" (such as I) either

Re-quoting, "They had not yet attained the stupefying boredom of absolute omnipotence”--- In short all this makes me wonder if all this was created because GOD (whatever/whoever that is) was bored as hell in whatever state it/he/she were in?

If that is so, there are two possibilities either (1) this is one big game of hide and seek to escape boredom OR (2) this creator is increasing itself through the use of planting the seeds of that which it created to further expand itself.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Music Videos

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Why So Many Syrians Are Seeking Refuge

Why haven't we seen the following video on American news?

Drone footage shows destruction in Jobar, Damascus
A municipality of the Syrian capital Damascus

Uploaded Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Time Magazine (November 2015):
Pope Francis: Christmas a ‘Charade’ This Year
"It’s all a charade. The world has not understood the way of peace. The whole world is at war,” Pope Francis said. “A war can be justified, so to speak, with many, many reasons, but when all the world as it is today, at war, piecemeal though that war may be—a little here, a little there—there is no justification.”

“What shall remain in the wake of this war, in the midst of which we are living now?” Pope Francis asked. “What shall remain? Ruins, thousands of children without education, so many innocent victims, and lots of money in the pockets of arms dealers.”

It really doesn't matter whether it's the military forces of Russia, Britain, France, Iran, The United States, Assad, ISIS or anyone else (in this free for all) who are bombing the shit out of the Syrian people. Each have contributed to making this place a Hell on Earth. Because of this Syrians (or what's left of them) are fleeing the place where they were born in droves.

Those leaving are not "immigrants" as some would have you call them. Rather most are innocent refugees fleeing hatred, violence and almost complete destruction of anything that makes life bearable.

Sorry if I'm sounding grim this Christmas, but in light of all the negativity coming from our cold hearted political candidates, those who support them and the never ending wars I'm finding it very difficult to be of Christmas cheer.

I once believed somewhere deep down inside there was some goodness in each person. Also the overall majority of mankind has goodness in their hearts. Each year that goes past there seems to be fewer and fewer left of those who seek commonality, empathy and understanding of others. I now question if there are enough peaceable good hearted people left on this Earth to allow it to remain livable for so many who want nothing to do with any of this.

Stevie Wonder
Someday At Christmas

Released in 1967
(Nothing Much Changed)

Current State Of Social Security

As of December 16, 2015 according to The Congressional Budget Office's Long Term Outlook for Social Security.. "In fiscal year 2015, spending for Social Security benefits totaled $877 billion, or almost one-quarter of federal spending."

"Social Security is funded by dedicated tax revenues from two sources: payroll taxes and income taxes on benefits. Today, 96 percent of that tax revenue comes from the payroll tax—generally, 12.4 percent of people’s earnings that are subject to the Social Security tax. Workers and their employers each pay half; self-employed people pay the entire amount. Earnings up to a maximum annual amount—now $118,500—are subject to the payroll tax. The remaining share of tax revenues for the program—about 4 percent—is collected from income taxes on Social Security benefits. The tax revenues that funded the program totaled $786 billion in fiscal year 2015.

According to CBO’s extended baseline projections, the DI trust fund will be exhausted in fiscal year 2021, the OASI trust fund will be exhausted in calendar year 2030, and the combined OASDI trust funds will be exhausted in calendar year 2029. If a trust fund’s balance declined to zero and current revenues were insufficient to cover benefits specified in law, the Social Security Administration would no longer be permitted to pay full benefits when they were due. In the years after a trust fund was exhausted, annual outlays would be limited to annual revenues:"

It appears Social Security is doing quite well and would continue to do so with a few adjustments in combination with either one or more of these simple fixes. (1) Raise the rate by one of two percentage points. (2) Raise the minimum wage (thus increasing the contributions going into it). (3) Raise the maximum annual earnings amount.

As far as critics of SS...
In the private sector if a company is coming up short over what they pay out, they would increase their billing and/or enroll wealthier clients (larger wage earners). I fail to see how Social Security should be run any different. Utmost to keep in mind "the government" is not contributing one damned nickel towards this program no matter what some would otherwise have us believe.

I appalls me some have no problem volunteering to risk gambling their hard earned incomes trusting the crooks on wall street with their 401K contributions up to $24,000 in 2016 (with no guaranteed results). Yet oppose SS benefits which could vastly out perform what they ever hoped to see monthly coming in at retirement age from their 401k's. Often SS contributions are a fraction of that many risk playing the stock market only to end up disappointed. If there's anyone to be less trusted then the government it just has to be these money changers. Some folks need to learn that this hard way I suppose.

If people want to spend another pile of money outside SS, do that on your own dime. As for me, I support long term viable solutions keeping SS strong for the rest of us who aren't thinking along those lines.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Consumer Product Safety Recalls. Guns A No Go

Defective Guns Outside US Government's Reach
By Catherine Dunn | International Business Times
"Unlike virtually any other consumer product sold in the United States — from toasters to cars to medical devices — the federal government has no authority to force the recall of potentially defective firearms."

Apparently none of the "defective" ones who carry them either!

FBI Christmas Stocking Stuffer For Former Allentown Official

"The FBI's investigation into a pay-to-play scheme allegedly involving Allentown's mayor has snared the city's former finance director..,"

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Lehigh Valley Growth.. So What!

We constantly hear about building more apartments and houses so as to encourage more people to relocate here as if this were a good thing. That's not the way I see it.

Bigger Isn't Better
We already have way too many here in the Lehigh Valley unable to find work. This especially in light of Rodale, Air Products, Mack Trucks and Kraft announcing layoffs of over a 1,000 of well paying jobs that can never be replaced.

If bigger were better why are the New York City & Philly schools broke along with MTA & SEPTA as just two examples?

To my way of thinking we are heading in the wrong direction. Instead of crowded highways as a result of over development we should be focused on how we should deal with people who are already here.

How about this instead?
(1) Preserve what little farmland is left and utilize the older vacant properties we already have.
(2) Focus on quality over quantity when it comes to future taxpayer investments.
(3) Provide for the needs of those already living here for decades before assuming people coming here from outside will have a vested interest in what lies ahead in the future of the Lehigh Valley over the long term. Most of these will just be passing through.

I have nothing against change, but when changes are made I have a problem with crowding every possible person within every square inch as if it were an improvement in the quality of life. I absolutely cannot understand how putting people into chicken coops (apartments) and having to slave away at minimum wages to pay for them should be a goal. Neither should we try and pack people (and their kids) like sardines onto public transportation to cart grocery bags home nor go to/from work. Yet that seems what will be the outcome if we continue to head in this direction.

The continued goal of growing this area (as I see it) is NOT a good thing. People leaving New York City or other areas are wishing to escape that sort of thing. Yet they are creating the very same conditions down the road they sought to leave behind. Therefore I see no good reason to pursue the path we seem to be headed on here in the Lehigh Valley.

There will be those who say "if you don't like it... leave".
My response...
     "Why should I?"
     "You're the ones...."

Friday, December 11, 2015

Spotlight On Shannon O'Brien

One of my favorite YouTube performers of all time
Shannon hasn't been active since September 2013. I've tried to contact her. Unfortunately I've not heard back. It seems as though she disappeared on all her other social media sites as well. I hope she is ok.

YouTube has changed their algorithms which pretty much excluded her and others like her with the kind of tremendous talents they possess. What a shame. Be that as it may, I wish to present to you one of the most talented young ladies I've ever had the privilege of listening to

Shannon (from upstate NY) once uploaded 172 videos. What follows are 57 of my favorite videos representing almost 3 hours of my favorite tunes she has performed over the five years she was on YouTube joining it June 26th, 2008

The first video in the playlist was uploaded in April 2010

I wonder how many more talented people have gone unrecognized and have given up on their dreams. I consider that a loss for both listeners and the industry. Both could have benefited otherwise. In a few days I intend to post such another playlist of various other performers. It's my hope you'll take the time to view and enjoy these musical artists.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Allentown's Waste To Energy Foolishness (REPOST)

I originally posted this on December 19, 2013. Now that the Morning Call is reporting the FBI is expanding it's investigation into controversial Delta Thermo Energy contract I feel this might help explain as to why.
~ ~ ~

On December 19, 2013 'Molovinsky On Allentown' brought up the subject of Allentown's waste to energy project. The post features a comment by Rich Fegley submitted to an earlier post. In response I shall repost earlier articles I once published here, but had since removed.

Reposted From 03/08/2012
According to the vote, 4 to 2 came in around 1:01 AM in what was apparently a packed meeting. Attending was nearly double the capacity of council's chambers. The two dissenting votes were those of Jeanette Eichenwald and Councilman Ray O'Connell. Concannon finally did attend a council meeting, but left early w/o voting.

Those who regularly read this blog will note that Mr. Van Rainey (CBES Global, LLC ) who was the competitor for this project said on this blog.."I came across the financial analysis conducted for the City of Allentown comparing Delta Thermo’s offering to what is projected for costs of operating under current conditions. I borrowed the values for current projected costing and compared that to what we have to offer. Making all of the same assumptions as the most conservative estimate and allowing for the City to share the same level of income for processing outside sources of MSW (even though the profits would be greater with us). Over a twenty year period we would save the City of Allentown nearly $94,000,000 vs DTE which would save at most a little over $4,000,000 in the same period.

I simply don’t understand why the administration has chosen to take such an inferior deal. When you also take into account that they offer an unproven technology while we have proven on a commercial scale to have cleaner and more financially viable technology. We don’t need $6,000,000 in grants to make our program work. We can generate as many jobs but still save the City substantial sums."

About the project itself.. "This test project is barely at proof of concept and is permitted only at that level and could not qualify for permit to construct because they are not measuring emissions from the autoclave chamber, the effluent from the microbial water treatment system and they have no version of the combustion chamber with scrubber to test. To jump from there to a full scale commercial facility is in the least imprudent and very questionable on so many fronts to mention, and to tie the city to a 35 year agreement is patently foolish.

Any other City would be demanding that they prove at a commercial scale the viability of such a project before making commitments to go forward. To say they are at no risk defies tort and civil law stipulating reasonable reliance on those commitments that would subject the City to litigation if they did not do everything to assure the "success" of the project.

There are better and more proven technologies available and this project should be tabled until they can better demonstrate its viability or until some technology is found that is."

See Also:
"Waste-to-energy plant talks resume"

"A bidder for Allentown's waste-to-energy plant says his company overlooked"

Ok, something stinks here.* First off I agree with Van Rainey's point that the city would not be left off the legal hook for anything that happens. Like he said, it "defies tort and civil law". This is much like a homeowner who has a contractor build a incinerator in your backyard. It doesn't matter at the state and federal level what agreements you have with your contractor or the city. State and federal laws and regulations trump all agreements. You as a property owner are ultimately held accountable. Even if the city were trying to be slick and sold the land to this developer, the city is still a partner in it.

* We have a competitor who wasn't allowed to present his alternate proposals in a public forum.

* Nobody commented on any of online sites. Apathy was abound. All in a sudden tons and tons of union workers members show up for the council meeting supporting this. How many of these "union" members were from Allentown? Where they brought in from elsewhere? Why should the council chambers be overfilled beyond capacity with people from outside the city who pay no city taxes or are not vested in Allentown's future. People who have everything to gain and nothing to lose. Why wasn't this put on a non binding referendum in the upcoming elections? In this manner only genuine certified eligible bona fide residents would have a say on this matter. Instead what we had last night were a bunch of people whom we have no idea as to who they were.

* Questionable phone calls were made to council members or one of their acquaintances who voted against this.

* The mayor's friend and supporter coincidentally is the same attorney for the energy company.
In Short: Once again the public's input was negated. Only one proposal was accepted without doing due diligence to alternative proven trash to energy successes elsewhere. The financial aspects are highly speculative. Most of the background going into this project was already done far from public and council's scrutiny.

All in all, politics in Allentown has once again triumphed over careful scientific and sound financial methodology and public review.

To those folks who say, "well you voted for them".
Neither the incinerator project, the sale of Queen City Airport or the arena project was ever brought up in the election campaigns. How in the world is anybody supposed to base a vote on anything and everything imaginable when voters weren't told of such things in the first place? This whole thing is like getting on a plane where you have no idea where's it's going.. and you can't get off!

Does anyone still wonder why people in Allentown get (a) frustrated. (b) Angry. (c) Feel it's pointless to give a crap?Or Is it all of the above?

Monday, December 7, 2015

Americans And Dem Dar Guns..

What Would Ronnie Do?

If you agree with Charles Manson on gun control it should be
a strong indication you pitched your tent on the wrong side of the river.

Sounds an awful lot alike the same things these GOP candidates are saying.
Maybe they can use it in one of their campaign advertisements?

Any idiot should be able to buy one,
simply because they're way too much fun!

Besides they make us all safer

Prerequisite firearm safety training requirement.
Don't need no stinking none of that.
I cans learn as I goes

A strong reason for background check requirements

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Posthumously Elect Geo. Carlin President In 2016

I'm not impressed with any of the current candidates. If I had my druthers...

WARNING: Strong Language

Friday, December 4, 2015

Want To Become A Musician?

Forget About It,
Unless you've been born with a whole bunch of
neurons connected just right in the brain

TruthSurge uploaded this video...

Truthfully, 'TruthSurge' is no slackard either

This little ditty comes from the game "Call Of Duty: Black Ops"

Pareidolia: A psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus (often an image or sound) being perceived as significant. Common examples include seeing images of animals or faces in clouds."

TruthSurge says,
"Since early 2008 I've been doing voice acting and this is my primary source of income. I've done almost 100 video games and over 300 characters."

Pretty cool, eh?

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Philadelphia Eagles In Freefall

Video Originally Posted 10/11/2015

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

News Roundup (11/18/2015)

Today's Students, Tomorrow's Future
The Morning Call: Allentown Teachers Disruptive Students Run the schools
Lehigh Valley Live: DA, Allentown police chief stand by officers following melee with students
WFMZ: Allentown School District superintendent speaks out in wake of recent violence

Texas Doesn't Want Syrian Refugees. They Endanger The Lives Of Texans.
U.S. Uncut: 550 People Have Died in Police Custody This Year — Just in Texas

Johnny Thinks Taxpayer Funded Missionaries A Good Idea
TPM: Ohio Gov. John Kasich Proposes Govt Agency To Espouse Judeo-Christian Values Abroad (VIDEO)

Painted Into A Corner Despite Paying Blackmailers $10 Million... 'West Wing' actor Martin Sheen praises son Charlie's courage

Yesterday's Butter Fingered Dutchmen Weren't Into This Stuff
Lehigh Valley Live: Man aims gun at Allentown cop, pulls trigger, police say

Unlike Today's Youth We Used To Whip Out An Insurance Card Instead Of A Knife
Lehigh Valley Live: Woman jailed after hitting woman's car, assaulting her, police say

A Cold Weather Reminder

Syrian Refugee Videos

Senator Elizabeth Warren on the Syrian Refugee Crisis (11/17/2015)

Syrian Refugee speaks out about call to ban US resettlement (11/17/2015)

The European Refugee Crisis and Syria Explained

Any thoughts?

Christmas Gift Suggestion

From The 50's

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Syrian Refugees: United States Repeating Same Mistake?

"A year later, after the events of Kristallnacht [The Night of Broken Glass], in which more than 15,000 Jews were expelled from Germany to concentration camps by boxcar, a survey conducted by the American Institute of Public Opinion [01/20/1939] found that more than 60% of Americans were opposed to accepting Jewish refugee children, who were the most in need of asylum."

My Comments About The Article Above
ISIS is winning physiologically by a landside because they've succeeded in creating fear and animosity dividing this country up against one another far beyond what they are capable of inflicting militarily.

In 2013 highway accidents accounted for 32,719 deaths in the United States.

More than 30,000 people are killed by firearms each year in this country. More than 30 people are shot and murdered each day.

Allentown in 2013 had 12 murders. 15 in the year before that.

Let's Be Realistic
What happened in Paris was tragic, but seriously anyone's death in Allentown is far more likely to come about as a result of bad driving or at the hands of a fellow citizen already here rather then a dozen or so foreigners who seek to escape violence by relocating here. The problem is we've allowed ISIS to take control of our fears and using them against us to drive ourselves apart to the point of paranoia. There's no doubt Allentown already has enough problems, but I'm not buying into this hysteria.

Let's not repeat the same mistakes in allowing these few assholes to gain victory over us by allowing them the allocation of power to cower fear amongst ourselves.

We might have screwed up when it came to the Jews in 1939. Let us not repeat this same mistake again. The time has come to show the world we are a better and stronger nation who can learn from it's mistakes by not repeating them. A nation brave enough and bold enough to face whatever challenges there may be to set things right.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Muslim Haters Got It Wrong

Muslims Hate ISIS Most of All
Dean Obeidallah | The Daily Beast
"The number one victim of this barbaric terror group is Muslims. That’s undisputed. ISIS has killed thousands of Muslims across the Middle East, including beheading Sunni Muslims in Iraq for failing to pledge loyalty to them, executing Imams for not submitting to them, and even killing an Imam in Iraq for simply denouncing them.

... My emotions soon moved from fear to anger. Anger at ISIS for once again killing people in the name of my religion... what must be clear to all is that we can’t allow ISIS to achieve its goal of framing this as a fight pitting Islam against the West. It’s not. It’s all of us versus ISIS."

My Comments About The Article Above
Ignorance Abounds

Not just from the ignorant mouths of politicians, but those in the media as well. Last night two idiot news readers on CNN went after a Muslim representive insisting he needs to apologize for these wackos who attacked in Paris. His response was much like what you see above saying, "Sir, the Muslim community has nothing to do with these guys, Nothing. We cannot justify ourselves for the actions of someone who claims to be Muslim.".

They in turn insisted "Why not? What is the responsibility within the Muslim community to identify people within their own ranks when it comes to people who are obviously training and preparing to carry out mass murder.".

His response in return... "“Sir, they were not from our ranks!"

I as a white person refuse as well to apologize for the actions other assholes have committed against blacks in which I played no part. Same goes for blacks not having to apologize for every bad actor in the black community. This applies as well for all the good cops not having to apologize for other cops acting like assholes. So too those who blame poverty or happenstance as the reasons for why they act like they do.

Satan Disguises Itself In Many Forms
No individual, religion or segment of our society owes an explanation nor apology except the bad actors themselves. These are they who should be solely held accountable.

Evil feeds on this kind of hatred. Anyone who promotes such generalities I consider either ignorant or in a willing partnership to promote further hatred and division. They are to be less trusted even then those who commit such atrocities openly because of their deceptiveness no matter their stature.

Each of us need to educate ourselves enabling us to identify and sort out those who'd have us destroy each and other from those who understand each person is to be valued for whatever acts they have or may not have committed individually towards another.

I expect this kind of behavior on the internet. Not major media.

Shame on them 10x's over.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Attacks In Paris Afterthoughts

The brother of a Paris victim is worried France will repeat the same mistakes United States did with it's knee jerk reaction to an attack on the twin towers on 9/11. Rather then think smart the U.S. went into these countries guns blazing. As a result what we ended up with today are the terrorists known as ISIS and a Middle East muddle in where there is no end in sight which cost us over 4,500 soldiers' and 210,000 civilians lives in these nations as well as trillions of dollars.

A Road Previously Traveled
You'd think after losing 58,000 lives in Vietnam only for it to end up a communist nation (and now a trade partner) we'd give a little more thought before we sent troops back into combat. Apparently not. No one can deny people both in the Middle East and the rest of the world are no better off for it. Bombing the crap out of other peoples' countries doesn't exactly win hearts and minds no matter how well intended.

Work Smarter, Not Harder
That's a phrase I grew up with. This certainly should apply here as well. First off let's apply a little perspective here...

I admit I don't have exact figures. However I think similar comparisons could be made between the number of radical nut jobs living in these Middle Eastern countries with those who are not. Going whole hog blasting everything in sight may destroy some of them, but is far from a cure. What has taken place for almost the last 15 years is similar to removing an entire foot in order to remove an ingrown toenail. I agree with this victims brother that striking out in vengeance without a well thought out plan is a horrible idea. One that hasn't worked so far. Indeed made matters only worse for everyone.

What isn't needed is a bunch of loud mouths arguing these animals are in anyway affiliated with religion. Evil sick delusional individuals like these will fly any banner to proclaim justifications for doing the things they do. Throughout history whole populations were wiped out by the bloodthirsty under the guise of religion, the king, emperor, their pirate captain or what have you. We always had and always will be those who evil walks within. As soon as one is struck down, another takes it place as sure as the day is long. These are no different. How we go about defeating these and those come after for once and for all is not possible. Evil will always be with us. How we deal with it has to change for the sake of the innocents caught up in this time after time again.

Eight of the known attackers are dead (including one that was born in France). What's needed now is some really good police work to find everyone else involved. After that going into the future everyone in every country, not just France, need not risk their lives intervening in those foreign nations' problems. People living in those need to resolve these matters for themselves.

Every measure necessary should be taken to contain these atrocities within those nations. This includes prohibiting refuges from leaving. Arm them when they arrive and send them back if that becomes necessary. The United States fought long and hard as well as other Asian and European nations to have what they have. It cost untold amounts of spilled blood and suffering, but they defended their countries. I am asking no less of these people. If they will not do it for themselves I find it extremely disingenuous of them to expect the Western world to spill blood in their place.

The Road To Hell Is Paved With Good Intentions
No nation or group of nations on this Earth can solve other nations' problems no matter how well intended. Each has cultural, religious and historic background differences none are able to come to full agreement with irregardless of the efforts made. It's important that each respects the others'. If that includes isolating one from the other under certain conditions when necessary so-be-it. These kind of problems always arise when one nation or the other tries to exert it's influence over another.

Simply stated.. sometimes there are boundaries where people need to stay in their own backyards. If they won't, then it may become necessary to keep them there. That goes for them as well as us. Too many noses into somebody else's business is creating far too many problems as far as I'm concerned.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Can You Sue Yourself?

AlterNet posted the following...

'In 2011, Barbara Bagley was involved in a tragic accident that killed her husband.

Driving their Range Rover in Nevada, she struck some sagebrush, flipped the car, and her husband was thrown from the vehicle, later dying of his injuries.

This year, Bagley found a novel way to avoid paying off her husband’s creditors with money that would come from her husband’s estate (which she inherited). She’s suing herself for wrongful death, claiming negligence while driving.

If she wins her suit against herself, and finds herself legally negligent, then her insurance company will pay the creditors, instead of payment coming from the estate. If she wins, in essence, Bagley will collect money from herself for her own negligence."

World Going Bonkers

People sure are becoming aggressive to say the very least.

On A Local Level
In just the first few months of school there have been several high profile fights among ASD students. Many are familiar with the threats towards Emmaus High School several weeks ago. There are other supposed incidents that haven't received the media's attention.

I've noticed on Facebook postings of someone claiming a bottle was thrown narrowly missing a crossing guard in Allentown. Another which claimed there was a incident at Whitehall H.S. which involved a police presence on Friday (11/13/2015).

On A National & International level
College students throughout the country are staging protests against what they claim are ethnic attacks. This while some of these same groups shut down invited guests including shouting down an Asian woman who tried to explain discrimination can come from any ethnic group outside their own. Black students drove her off the podium arguing it doesn't have to do with their cause.

Then there were those horrible attacks in Paris.

What each and everyone of them have in common is they all are itching for a fight. I don't know if it's the water, radio waves or Earth traveling through some cosmic force. One thing is for sure, things are picking up. Kind of makes me wonder if human nature is predisposed every so many years to fight world wars.

If so, the next world war will be nothing like we've ever experienced before. In the past each and every one consisted of a nation peoples or government who fought against one another. What we're seeing today has no such defined borders. Alarmingly the next world war will be fought within each nation's borders. It's groups of people unmercifully identifying themselves with race, social or religious ideologies against another's both within and without of the lands where they live.

As far as the United States goes, it can be argued other then for 9/11 we've never ever suffered an attack on American soil. This because of our location left other nations unable to send bombers far enough or able to get ships close enough. With today's weapon technology that's no longer an obstacle.

Today now more then ever people need to unite under the flags of the nation's wherein they reside. What we're seeing these days is a fracturing creating increased threats within each and every nation. It may very well be the future may hold a anarchy filled 'free for all' unlike any other seen before.

I really truly hope I'm wrong, but what I'm seeing with kids in our schools, these racists underpinnings, strong political divisions, cops against civilians/civilians against police, money greed and religious differences none of this bodes well. If these continue to the extreme in the direction we appear to be headed the enemy we should be looking out for may very well reside within ourselves.

There's no amount of physical force police nor the military can use to solve these problems. These serve only to escalate the bad situation we find ourselves in. The way I see it, the universe doesn't give a rats ass whether humans continue to exist or not. One need no other then to look towards the stars as evidence. That alone should be reason enough for humankind to change it's ways. You'd think with so much at stake and having such scientific evidence we'd all wise the hell up. The universe will go on with or without us. I for one prefer it not being the latter. Some may call me a wingnut, alarmist or philosophical wacko for saying this stuff. Believe when I say I'd find it much more preferable then to be eventually proven right.

The Simple Solution
Each and every one needs to kick it down a notch. We're all living in this fishbowl together. Each and everyone of us is along for the ride whether we like it or not. The old adage of either someone contributes to the problems or refuses lies within each person's prerogative is now more applicable then ever. Be it said of true honor, if someone so perishes they had no hand in these evil deeds what-so-ever.

The debate whether there is a life beyond this one matters little. What should concern us is the things we know of that are of immediate concern. The safety and well being of each other enabling each to live out whatever allotment of time they've been given in this life. Those who'd do otherwise are the enemies of all mankind.

Simply stated, no one should further contribute to the evil created via some sort of imaginary justification for what other atrocities someone else committed by becoming as they.

Which Would You Rather More Weapons Or Education?

"$1.45 trillion is a lot of money. That’s the estimated total cost of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which can’t even fire its own gun until 2019 due to software issues. It’s also the estimated cost of providing tuition-free public higher education for every student in the US until 2039. Which one would you choose?

... Along with weapons issues, the F-35 can’t even fly — its fleet was grounded for month in June of 2014 after engine malfunctions resulting in the jet catching fire before takeoff. Since 2007, the F-35 has been grounded 13 times due to takeoff issues. In 2008, the RAND corporation tested the F-35 in a simulated air battle with China, and graded the F-35’s performance as “double-inferior,” warning in its report that the F-35 “can’t turn, can’t climb, can’t run."

My Comments About The Article Above

I'm not certain I would rather spend it on "free" education.

What I am certain of is we already have more weapons then we need to kill each and other several times over again.

As far as the free education angle... Nobody appreciates what they supposedly get "free" w/o having to work for it. One need look no further then all the stuff going on in this nation's high schools. Students acting up in the k-12 public schools who then go on to college carrying with them the same baggage. Garbage in, garbage out.

There's no divine decree that requires $1.5 trillion be spent on either one. I'd rather the money go towards paying down our nation's debts for money already spent before figuring out new ways to piss money away.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Sandusky Gets His Pension Restored

Emily Babay @ reports courts have ordered Sandusky's Penn State pension be restored.

Although I believe this hateful jerk's Penn State pension is wildly excessive this shouldn't be the focus. When it comes to pensions they are supposedly based on what someone earned and on the agreed amounts they are entitled to collect one day.

This money should be eligible irregardless of what someone has or has not done as far as I'm concerned.

The company I worked for also gave itself the right to terminate my pension if I should be fired for whatever reason before becoming eligible for retirement. Although this is a common legal practice I don't believe one should have anything to do with the other,

Sandusky, other then paying for lawyers, isn't going to enjoy spending the money anyway. Although some question what his family knew or didn't know shouldn't be financially punished since they weren't charged nor convicted of having knowledge of his atrocities.

Imagine if one day a worker's Social Security benefits were denied because they committed a crime. Either someone earned the benefits they were promised or they did not no matter how hateful the SOB they may be.

A Couple Of Show Tunes

The first comes from 'Ellen's Stardust Diner' at 51st & Broadway, New York City. This is the place many high schools take their students for lunch before attending a theatre performance. Although I don't consider the food any great shakes, the wait staff are first class performers.

This second video features Nick Petera singing a medley from 'Into To Woods'.

Wikipedia: "Nicholas Joseph Pitera (born March 7, 1986) is an American vocal artist who gained his popularity by the release of his YouTube videos, several of which have gone viral. As of May 2011, Pitera also works as an animator at Pixar Studios."

What makes Nick special is his vocal abilities. He doesn't just sing within a male's vocal range but also the female's as well. In this video he sings all the harmony background vocals as well as the solos.

Nick Pitera's One-Man Tribute to Aladdin on Broadway
Published June 11, 2014

Nick can be found on iTunes, Twitter, Facebook and five others