Monday, August 31, 2015

ASD Under Scrutiny

Allentown's charter school dealings part of auditor probe
By Sara K. Satullo | For
"State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale is headed to Allentown this afternoon (08/31/2015) to make an announcement about his plans to audit the city school district....

"Recent media accounts allege that Allentown School District may have violated the state Sunshine Act by not publicly disclosing what could be construed as a quid pro quo arrangement (with a developer)," DePasquale said in a news release July 21....

The district has confirmed that Allentown School Board members knew Atiyeh had promised not to open any new charter schools in the district the night they voted to lease an Atiyeh building and dropped their opposition to a new charter school."

My Comments About The Article Above
Hang on to your hats it's going to be a bumpy ride here in Allentown over the next few months.

Question is, was this "a quid pro quo arrangement" done behind closed doors or a good deal for taxpayers through some sort of legitimate bargaining agreement?

Would You Teach School For Less The $21,000 A Year?

PSD Looking For A Few Thousand Substitute Teachers
Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
"The firm hired to staff Philadelphia School District substitute-teaching jobs has a pressing need: hiring 5,000 qualified people, as soon as possible...

Source4Teachers is offering a daily rate of $75 to $90 for uncertified subs and $90 to $110 for certified subs, whether they are retired teachers or not. The company offers health-care and retirement benefits, which were not available to substitutes under district management."

My Comments About The Article Above
Although the minimum number of days Pennsylvania students need attend is 180, most teachers are required 187.5.

Doing The Math
At the $75 a day rate times 187.5 days this equals $14,062.50.
At the upper rate of $110 a day, it would equal $20,625.
      (That's assuming a substitute would work every one of them.. WHICH THEY WILL NOT)

So I Repeat....
Would You Teach School For Less The $21,000 A Year?

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Why I Support Pa. AG Kathleen Kane

08/28/2015 'The Philadelphia Daily News: Porngate: More than dirty pictures-- "KATHLEEN KANE may have broken the law when she leaked details from a grand jury.. "

Whether she's guilty or not there's a larger issue
She is the first female attorney general and the first Democrat to step into "The Good Ole' Boys Network" controlled by Republicans like in forever!

When one reads the article above we can readily see her contemporaries have little respect for women via their email exchanges. Also at play is how the all male Disciplinary Board is trying to get Kathleen Kane's law license suspended before she's even been convicted. Thus rendering her powerless and w/o a job.

I'm not supporting the argument whether she's innocent of what she's accused of. Rather the all-male team stripping her law license before she's even had a fair trial. Thus in my opinion these email exchanges tend to make her accusations more creditable on how men tend to treat women who try to break down the all male barriers which predominate the office she presently holds.

A Personal Experience
In the 70's the ex-wife, her mother and myself went down to the Lehigh County district attorney's office where we met with an assistant DA. He seated me and her mother to the left. The ex right in front of him where he stared up her dress for the entire 20 minutes we met with him. He also made a couple of obvious remarks I will not detail here which made her feel very uncomfortable and sorry we went in the first place to request assistance.

Her positions on gun control might also be a factor

The point is no one should jump too quick to conclusions that she either committed a crime nor she may not have a valid reason why she finds herself in the pickle she is today.

All too many times we tend to convict people before a fair argument can be heard in a court of law. Hence my support is based more on justice then in the world of politics controlled traditionally by males rather then what Kathleen Kane may or may have not done.

FAIRNESS: After all, shouldn't this be what we should all want?

Arenas Stadiums Lousy Ways To Do Urban Renewal

08/28/2015- Alternet:
Black Communities Destroyed By Publicly Funded Stadium...
"According to Deadspin, 61 percent of the billions of dollars spent on stadium construction between 1909 and 2012 came from public coffers....

Chester, Pennsylvania, a city where 33 percent of the population is below the poverty level but public funds were used to finance 97 percent of a $122 million soccer stadium that has yet to transform Chester... Or Detroit, whose government can’t pay public employee pensions or keep the street lights on but can somehow throw $261.5 million at a new hockey arena. The list goes on...

In Atlanta, four stadiums––two for baseball and two for football––have not only spurred virtually no economic development for the surrounding neighborhoods, they’ve actually contributed significantly to the de-development of what were once thriving middle and working class Black communities.."

     08/14/2015- NYT: Bucks’ Owners Win, at Wisconsin’s Expense
     08/13/2015- Sacramento Bee: Sacramento closes deal for Kings arena financing
     'Field Of Schemes' << A compilation site dedicated to such machinations.

In each and every one of these taxpayers footed a large portion of the bill to make millionaires even more wealthy. This might be acceptable had taxpayers seen at least some portion of a return on their investment thus helping to make city coffers flush with cash. However in each and every case it has never happened.

I challenge anyone to show me an example where it turned out otherwise

Friday, August 28, 2015

New Orleans: Katrina- A Look Back

Ten years ago on August 29, 2005 hurricane 'Katrina' made landfall in Louisiana and hit New Orleans hard

FOX News Hurricane Coverage At The Time

CNN: Anderson Cooper biatching out Mary Landrieu

A Video Tribute I Created

Little Old Naysayer Me

Some of today's items in the news

In my opinion a puff video posted by 'Promise Neighborhoods Of The Lehigh Valley'
(A subsidiary of United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley)

Video Created for "Upside Allentown' by 'Digital Feast'

Aljazeera America: Milwaukee Bucks Arena to cost taxpayers over $250 million-- "It’s being called a disastrous deal by some critics and yet another example of corporate welfare. On Aug. 12, Republican presidential candidate Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin approved $250 million of public funding to build a $500 million arena for the Milwaukee Bucks basketball team." Camden Changing Skyline: It's what makes Subaru a tax dodge-- "Thanks to the N.J. state Economic Development Authority, Subaru will receive $118 million in tax credits over the next decade to move 3.9 miles down the road from its existing building. The project happens to cost $118 million, meaning Subaru gets a brand-new headquarters practically free. On top of that, Camden has to forgo property taxes for at least a decade - possibly two." More Americans killed by guns since 1968 than in all U.S. wars..-- "In a column published shortly after the on-air slayings of two TV journalists in southwestern Virginia, the New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof offered some "data points" about the pervasiveness of gun violence in the United States... We rated the claim True."

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Allentown Fair (2015)

Once again it's that time of year for "The Great Allentown Fair". It runs from September 1-7, 2015. Everyone gets in FREE from Noon-2 PM on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday – September 2, 3, 4. Regular admission $8.00 Kids 12 & under ALWAYS FREE

ONSITE PARKING-- Each vehicle $8 - Enter Tunnel Gate 7, on Liberty Street.

To get everyone in the mood I'm posting a few videos from yesteryear

I posted this once before. It's documentary entitled "Behind The Colored Lights. It was made several years ago. It gives a up close and personal look at carnival life. Check it out.

Video Courtesy of 'Powers Midways'

Before you watch the following video don't kvetch about the crappy shakiness. I didn't want to drag the regular camera along so threw the flip cam in my pocket. While the video is all jittery, it does give you a good sense of our walk through when I shot it back in 2009.

* The 'Decap' band organ you hear comes from Allentown
* It's the largest traveling concert band organ in United States
* It weighs 8,000lbs
* 500+ pipes
* 2 accordions
* 2 Drums
* Glockenspiel
* Plays over 3,000 tunes
* Check out Dennis Robinson's site Grand Master Band Organ Rentals HERE

Allentown Fair on Friday afternoon Sept. 04, 2009 posted this fair highlight video back in 2013

The best part of the fair is free to watch!
(August 30, 2012)

Video Courtesy "Trina Minnich"

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Allentown's New Budget Director

Express-Times: Detroit Budget Director Picked 4 Allentown Finance Director, "Mayor Ed Pawlowski on Monday announced his nomination of Brent Hartzell, who served as Detroit's interim budget director from May 2012 through December 2013... City Council President Ray O'Connell said council will consider Hartzell's appointment Sept. 2. He said he didn't know what his salary might be. "He looks like he has great qualifications," O'Connell said."

RU Freaking Kidding Me!

You mean to tell me out of over 150,000 people living in the Lehigh Valley not one is more qualified!

We've brought in police chiefs, recreation directors, school directors, a mayor and others who have little to no roots and little knowledge of this area. Ask the FBI in it's current investigation how this has worked out for us.

I'm Up To My Ass In All Of This Nonsense
I'm sick & disappointed with Ray O'Connell.
"He said he didn't know what his salary might be."
Well find out!
What the hell kind of statement is that!
I thought he'd be a better councilor.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Vacation The Good/The Bad

Last week I didn't post for a few days because we were on vacation. An electronics free-zone even though the hotel had wi-fi available.

For twenty years or so we always went to Wildwood Crest when our kids were older. However Ocean City, New Jersey is a lot more kid friendly for the twin granddaughters at their age.

It also has 10x's the number of food options.

Much more family oriented too w/o the bars and drinking that is associated with Wildwood.

The Downside
Getting there and back in August

Normally we went on vacation in September when rates were cheaper and things were less crowded. However these girls like their kiddie rides. Most amusement piers/parks close up operations on weekdays after August. So this was not an option. Thus we were subject to the horrible traffic getting to and from.

Going down wasn't too bad but coming back was another story. We lost 20 minutes on the Garden State Parkway and another 40 minutes on the insane Sure-Kill Expressway.

A two hour seventeen minute trip took us over three and one half hours. Most of it spent inching a foot at a time (stop & go) between center city and the blue route exit. Thank God for car air conditioning, but not so much when you have two anxious 22 month old girls strapped in their car seats.

My complaint is the more we pay in tolls and taxes, the more construction, the worse the travel experience. Forget those proponents of mass transit. Ain't no way in hell there ever will be service between Ocean City New Jersey and Allentown, Pa. Even if there were can you imagine trying to pack strollers, travel bags and other items onto a bus or train and making several change overs?

Without a car forget about it!

DJ Drops 1000 Points on Opening Bell.. So What!

"The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped an astonishing 1000 points in the minutes following Monday’s opening bell. 30 minutes later, the market index rebounded to around -500, before dropping back down to -700. The record for all-time greatest drop by the day’s end was a 777 point drop in August 2008"

If one is fortunate enough to have an employer match contributions most likely they are still ahead on their 401k. On the other hand if one invested on their own they more likely would have had their clock cleaned without that sort of match.

Here's the way I see it
All too many times these days we expect money to earn money in of itself rather then providing some sort of labor for our services or goods in exchange.

Way back when there were small self owned businesses. Some would provide dry cleaning, shoe, appliance repairs, other services or manufactured goods. Each were entirely dependant on the amount of effort or the need for them. Owners would then bank their money in savings accounts untouched by what went on in the stock market. A couple of percentage points earned in interest to keep up with inflation was all that was needed.

These days far too many people take these earnings investing them with promises of double digit returns which never seem to pan out over the long haul. In other words, slow and steady wins the race.

The more someone is not dependent on wall street or the global economy the better off the average smuck is for it.

There's No Such Thing As Free Money w/o Having To Work For It
No matter what the money changers would have you believe otherwise

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Interview With Man Arrested For Singing In Allentown

The following two videos were published Aug. 22, 2015 on YouTube by 'Lehigh Valley Copblock'

"LV Copblock interviews James "Jim" Osche, 62. He is the man who was assaulted by Allentown PD officer Robert Busch on August 14, 2015 at 7:05pm. The officer tackled Osche to the ground & arrested him for the "crime" of singing in the public walkway outside of Strata High Rise in Allentown, PA."

'Lehigh Valley Copblock' Founder Severin Freeman Addresses Allentown City Council

Apparently the Allentown Police Facebook Page is taking a lot of heat over this incident. In part they posted, "Several recent incidents have compelled some to post their opinions (with extreme bias) within this Forum. Although Public, this is not the place for it.... We ask for patience while Due Process is afforded to ALL involved parties. Your consideration is greatly appreciated."

They received over 350 comments.

Monday, August 17, 2015

When Singing In Public Can Get You Arrested :-)

Iranian Youths Arrested For Singing 'Happy' (05/2014)

Not exactly the impressions we American's have of Iranian citizens is it?

NYPD Arrest Musician (10/2014)

Note: The officer didn't perform a physical take down (the right way to handle this situation)

Wisconsin State Capitol (08/2013)

Food For Thought
There's a time and place for everything I suppose. Looks like these were neither the right times nor right places to break into song. Something to think about before someone gets the irresistible urge to belt out a song. Not everyone's going to be onboard with it.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Allentown Cop Behaving Badly

By now some of you may have or may not have seen on the local blog 'Lehigh Valley With Love' a video in a post entitled :"Allentown Cop Smashes Singer to the Ground". Here's my thoughts..

Over the last several months I've become increasingly angry with these type of Rambo policing methods. There's a right way and a wrong way police should deal with loud mouth resisters. I'll give you four videos of how a good cop should behave in far more difficult scenarios then this street singer, then discuss more of this after you watch them.

First Up Dealing With Protestors Looking For Confrontation

Dealing With Traffic Stops

Confronting Open Carry Activists

Another Open Carry Confrontation

Increasingly police departments are hiring from former military members. Many who don't understand the difference between "escalating" and "deescalating" a situation. Wouldn't it been a whole lot better if the cop said, "come on James these guys don't want you here, let me walk you out of this area, OK buddy?" I know it sounds like appeasement, but in this guy's case what's the point of escalating this guy's anxiety with a WWE smack down? How does that help him or reduce the negative impressions of diners who may or may not want him around when they visit Allentown?

In the 60's when I walked to high school in Allentown we had such characters as "Uptown Susie", "Uptown Tony" and "Downtown Tony" as we called them. They spent their entire days wandering back and forth on Hamilton Street. Police knew them and somewhat patronized them understanding they had issues. On occasion they were more disruptive then this guy. No one ever on the police force back then would ever think of taking them down like this. We've closed the state hospital and Weaversville which once could provide the care they needed. Now police are punishing them on the streets instead of understanding some of the problems these people have.

As always I have a personal story. When the father-in-law was still alive he did crossing guard at 19th & Hamilton after he retired. Across the street was a home for outpatients. So he not only helped kids across the street but some of those as well. One day one of the women came to his corner and waited lunch box in hand for the bus to take her to her outpatient job. Howard (my father-in-law) said to her, "Did you forget something this morning?". There she stood completely naked. She said oops I forgot to get dressed and went back into the home. She wasn't arrested nor hauled in. She simply had issues. A few minutes later she reemerged dressed and ready for work. Something I doubt this cop would understand in today's world.

Good police work isn't about seeing how many people someone can throw into the back of a police car. It's also about looking out for the welfare of those incapable of understanding how their actions may irritate others or unable to meet what we consider the social norms. With that in mind I ask would this cop do this to his father or brother given the same circumstance?

These people aren't vermin and shouldn't be treated that way. Where's the compassion? Where's the understanding. Good lord what have we become!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Why It's Important To Honor Your Debts (A Fairy Tale)

Once upon a time there lived a beautiful Queen with large breasts. Nick the Dragon Slayer obsessed over the Queen for this reason. He knew that the penalty for his desire would be death should he try to touch them, but he had to try.

One day Nick revealed his secret desire to his colleague, Horatio the Physician, the King's chief doctor. Horatio thought about this and said that he could arrange for Nick to more than satisfy his desire, but it would cost him 1000 gold coins to arrange it. Without pause Nick readily agreed to the scheme.

The next day, Horatio made a batch of itching powder and poured a little bit into the Queen's bra while she bathed. Soon after she dressed, the itching commenced and grew intense. Upon being summoned to the Royal Chambers to address this incident, Horatio informed the King and Queen that only a special saliva, if applied for four hours, would cure this type of itch, and that tests had shown that only the saliva of Nick would work as the antidote to cure the itch.

The King, eager to help his Queen quickly summoned Nick to their chambers. Horatio then slipped Nick the antidote for the itching powder, which he put into his mouth, and for the next four hours, Nick worked passionately on the Queen's large and magnificent breasts. The Queen's itching was eventually relieved, and Nick left satisfied and hailed as a hero.

Upon returning to his chamber, Nick found Horatio demanding his payment of 1,000 gold coins. with his obsession now satisfied, Nick couldn't have cared less and, knowing that Horatio could never report this matter to the King, and with a laugh told him to get lost.

The next day, Horatio slipped a massive dose of the same itching powder into the King's underwear. The King immediately summoned Nick.

The moral of the story...?
Always honor your debts.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Tianjin, China Explosion What Went Wrong?

Think of this as the ultimate 'Big Bang Cannon'. Apparently there was huge amount of calcium carbide being stored there. A quick check with Wikipedia indicates "These toys operate by introducing a little carbide into a chamber containing some water where it reacts immediately to release acetylene gas".

Unfortunately the first thing fire fighters did unknowingly was to spray water on the fire which led to creating huge amounts of highly explosive acetylene gas. It also was reported fertilizer was being stored along side in nearby proximity to this storage area. Fertilizers which contained ammonium nitrates creating a secondary bomb like condition. A recipe for certain disaster.

I tend to think of this as a cautionary tale for our own fire fighters arriving on scene who may not be fully aware of all the hazards they may face. One fella I knew who volunteered with Tamaqua was alarmed when he found out the water cannon he was operating was spraying across a hot 8,000 volt electric line he thought was deactivated. but was not. Another who sawed through a roof (standard procedure) to discover the roof he was standing on could have collapsed beneath any given second.

I salute firefighters everywhere. Unlike police whom may be able to engage in negotiations with those they come across fire has no such consciousness. It kills indiscriminately all those it engages. Police may have the time or other alternatives to resolve a situation whereas fire fighters have none other then to destroy their adversary or succumb to it in whatever time the fire itself dictates.

Gasoline May Be Cheap But Not For You Oil's Worst-Ever Summer Signals Price Rout Is Nowhere Near Done-- "Crude could fall to $10 a barrel as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries engages in a "price war'' with rival producers, testing who will cut output first, Gary Shilling, president of A. Gary Shilling Co., said in an interview on Bloomberg Television on Friday."

No Soup For You!
For those who just fell off the turnip truck yesterday let me explain.

These prices will never be reflected at the pump. Whenever prices drop big oil takes their refineries offline for whatever excuses they can come up with. Thus consumers will never see the benefits of these drop in oil prices.

Don't Believe Me?
08/13/2015- Indiana: Indiana Refinery Offline; Midwest Gas Prices On The Way Up
08/13/2015- Oklahoma: Perfect storm squeezes Oklahomans as gasoline prices soar despite low cost of crude
08/13/2015- Michigan-- Refinery outage fueling gas price jump
07/14/2015- California: "Southern California motorists are grappling with spiking gas prices yet again as a result of tight inventories and ongoing problems at the ExxonMobil refinery in Torrance."

I don't care if oil went to a buck a barrel we're still not going to see these prices reflected at the pump. These oil companies are pocketing not only the money made from cheap oil prices, but not having to spend on what refineries cost to produce it.

The long and short of this is. They have it.. drivers need it. You'll pay whatever they want you to pay.. PERIOD. And there ain't anything anyone can do about it. Forget about supply and demand economics. It doesn't apply here. So much for the arguments of those in support for unbridled 'free capitalism'.

Dallas Cowboys Fan (Humor)

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Are Blogs So Yesterday?

I noticed on Easton's Facebook page they received literally thousands of comments on Pump Park. Mainstream media sources such as Express Times also received hundreds of comments on this as well.

Questions Are (Even Though A Bunch Follow Blogs)
Are people more concerned about picnic parks over larger issues?
Is it more important people get their name out there then what's being discussed?
Has Facebook become the new social norm over creditable blogger sites.. why?

From what I've seen most people seem to give less a crap learning about the issues before commenting on them. That in of itself may explain the uptick in their popularity. I don't want to be mean spirited but countless times I see people commenting without doing the due diligence I (and other bloggers) tried very hard to present.

As each day passes it seems most people are more concerned about egotistically complaining rather then educating themselves then offering solutions. That's very frustrating.

Teacher Shortage I'm Not Buying It

The New York Times says, Teacher Shortages Spur a Nationwide Hiring Scramble (Credentials Optional)-- "Across the country, districts are struggling with shortages of teachers, particularly in math, science and special education."

I'm Calling "Bullshit" On This
I have a couple of stories to relate. My daughter received her BSRN degree specializing in critical care This while a couple of her friends pursued other degrees. Unlike her their careers went nowhere. My daughter found a job within weeks after graduation and has worked steady ever since after passing her certifications comfortably in the first go round.

Meanwhile one of her friends pursued a degree in special education (as mentioned in the article). After a year of not finding a job she decided to go back to college and received a master's degree in it. Still another year passed w/o being able to land a job. Being the ever determined person she is went back to school yet again and now has a PhD in 'special education. Three years have passed since and now she is only able to find work at a non profit agency that pays less then $30,000 a year specializing in social services.

Another relative of ours received her teaching degree a few years ago in the Bucks, Philadelphia area. I must admit I don't know what her specialty was. However I do know her story was the same as above. At this point in time she now holds two different master's degrees in education and is only able to secure part time work at a charter school. Her mother (also a teacher) was dropped down to part time substitution and then finally left go.

I'm not sure where the NYT comes up with this stuff, but speaking from personal knowledge this story seems to be hogwash.

Seeking Input
     Did you yourself or someone you know find a job in education?
     Would you recommend a friend or your offspring to pursue a degree in education?
     In your area school district is there a surplus or shortage of teachers?
     What about the work environment regarding having to put up with today's student rights opposed to 20 years ago?

I tend to think Huffington Post has got it right. The How To Create A Teacher Shortage Recipe

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

A Black Man In Whitopia

"As America becomes more and more multicultural, Rich Benjamin noticed a phenomenon: Some communities were actually getting less diverse. So he got out a map, found the whitest towns in the USA — and moved in."

Rich Benjamin

The video trailer for his book-
"Searching for Whitopia: An Improbable Journey to the Heart of White America"

Official Website For Rich Benjamin

Although this book was written in 2009 it has become even more relevant in this election cycle as it ever was. Think in terms of Trump's ranting on immigration. So too the problems with the gentrification of our cities disguised as urban renewal in such places as Allentown or Brooklyn to name two. Then there's what's going on the in news right now in places like Detroit, Baltimore and Ferguson where the opposite is true.

In many of our cities the former majorities have become today's minorities. This is going continue whether anyone likes it or not. I think it's best to try and take a look at this as Rich has done. See if we can learn anything from his travels and try and resolve these problems festering in our communities. Either that or things are going to get really ugly rather fast over the next few years for everybody all the way around. I posted these videos because as we can see since 2009 the divide has gotten worse.

Monday, August 10, 2015

OMG LV Choo Choos Here We Go Again

I'm both hesitant and frustrated to post yet again after hearing this utterly stupid idea once again rearing it's ugly head. It's like a zombie that can't be killed no matter how many times one tries to drive a stake into it's heart through the use of well known facts and logic. GIVE IT UP ALREADY!; Lehigh Valley mayors restarting push to get regional train service-- "Rail service would require significant federal funding but U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Lehigh Valley, said he believes an even greater obstacle would be getting New Jersey's support."

I've posted time and again why this is a stupid idea. Here are a few highlights from my previous posts..The Relentless Pursuit For LV Rail Passenger Service. In that post I mentioned Bieber Bus has free parking for it's 24 daily runs into NYC. No way in hell trains will make 24 runs. I mentioned people would have to board 3 separate trains from unheated outdoor platforms. I also mentioned Bieber pays taxes rather then using millions in taxpayer's money to do so.

In this post I provided an old LVRR schedule which indicated it took over 2 1/2 hours to make the trip w/o even changing trains (9). This compared to buses which can make the trip in one hour less time.

In this post I pointed out, "(1) If New York's MTA can't operate at a profit with over 10 million riders a week traveling uptown and downtown in a single city, why would anybody in their right mind consider 1,400 riders traveling 87 miles from Allentown to New York across three states a good idea?

(2) Not only does the Bieber Bus make it to NYC from Wescosville in as little as 1 hour 15 minutes, it does so at a profit and takes you right into 42nd street. It has 13 different departure times in the morning and another 6 more in the afternoon. Bieber's Charcoal Dtive-in location has parking for nearly 200 cars. Allentown's proposed rail service can't possibly provide this kind of service."
PLUS 8 more talking points.

One of the other arguments I provided was "(5) The station in High Bridge is closed. Arriving passengers would have to wait in the cold or inclement weather for the High Bridge Line. Of greater concern is the fact that New Jersey Transit (which operates the rail service) had considered reducing or ending the service to High Bridge (which is the end of the line for that branch). Would not NJT, knowing how dependent our LVRR service would be on the High Bridge station, be so inclined to shake us down for a couple of bucks to keep the service running?

I also pointed out in this other post why Passenger Rail Doesn't Make Financial Sense-- "Despite 85,000 passengers a day riding Amtrak's 300 trains in 2012 taxpayers still had to kick in another $1.3 billion on top of the fares... Amtrak's 85,000 passengers a day represent only a teeny tiny fraction of America's daily travelers. The Schuylkill Expressway in Philadelphia alone handles 163,000 vehicles a day which contain multiple passengers. Common sense dictates here we have a highway that handles well over twice the number people and in no way conceivable cost us $1.3 billion a year to operate."
If these three amigos want to ride a train so much, go to Knoebels or Dorney Park. Leave us taxpayers out of it. Trains are like canal boats, they were nice in their day but, 100 years later it's time to move on irregardless of TMC's Paul Carpenter's cheerleading for them in March 2013. Which I said in my opposition against them, "It not only saves the taxpayers $649 million to create local rail service in the first place, but another $11.7 million yearly to maintain it."

I'd rather see the money spent on creating mass transit only lanes between cities. It makes more sense then choo choos.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

I Feel So Much Safer

That's what one guy I know says all the time about some of this policing stuff.

Phila. judge overturns 158 convictions tied to rogue narcotics cops-- "Public defender Bradley S. Bridge estimated that Friday's total brings to 560 the convictions involving the seven officers that have been vacated since they were indicted by a federal grand jury in July 2014... Woods-Skipper set another hearing for Oct. 30, at which an additional 40 convictions are expected to be reversed."

The War On Drugs
Untold millions of dollars in property has been seized by government who then spent or enjoyed the booty taken thereof. Homes have been broken into and people killed for having less then a few grams.

These are not the only clowns who've taken advantage of the war on drugs. It's absolutely necessary to stem the flow, but it's getting really tough to distinguish between who the bad guys are from the good.

If a bunch of idiots want to abuse drugs are they more dangerous to our freedoms then those who are suppose to protect us from them?

We really need to revisit these vice issues concerning low level drugs, prostitution and illegal gambling. Which ones make us safer and those which do not.

Arrests for marijuana are just plain stupid. Doesn't make us or police safer

Revenge Parking (Humor)

Dedicated to all those who don't have the nerve, but would love to see this.

The Higher Education Racket reports, "This Student Debt Relief Program Will Cost Taxpayers at Least $39 Billion... Borrowers hold $1.2 trillion in federal student loans, the second-biggest category of consumer debt, after mortgages.."

As If Local Taxpayers Aren't Already Enough On The Hook For K-12
There are a number ways colleges and universities can supersize the cost of education. SEE MY PREVIOUS POST: "Going To College? Better Have a Fat Checkbook!"

If we were to be truly honest with ourselves most degrees could be done in 2-3 years instead of 4. College kids have lots of free time which could be put to better use. This would cost them from 25% to 50% less then dragging this out over four years. We could also eliminate the number of required unnecessary courses that may have little to do with their chosen course of study.

Indeed some do double their course load, but colleges still require a number of unnecessary courses adding to the expense as well as undo pressure.

I'd favor a more al la carte type of approach that could still lead to degree.

It makes little sense to take basket weaving in order to accumulate the necessary credits needed to graduate in the fields science, medicine, etc.

Every year spent in college is one more year someone isn't earning money. This would benefit society as well. For one or two more years workers would be paying taxes into government programs at all levels. This at the same time reducing the costs related to student borrowing to not only those going to school but taxpayers as well.

In my view higher education has become somewhat of a racket. Colleges and universities tend to drag education on as long as possible. So too relying more and more on government (taxpayers) support.

Free Education For Those That Deserve It
If we really are serious about fostering greater education we need to educate those who are the most serious and ambitious. Colleges should make education cheaper (if not free) for those who maintain the highest grade levels.

For those who are just there to camp out on campus for the sake of doing so, let them pay for it themselves w/o mercy. We need to change the way we do things. Higher education has become an industry unto itself. This needs to change if the United States is to outdo our competition coming from the rest of the world.

College should not be a four year camp away from home. It should be is a opportunity for the best, brightest and most ambitious among us to enter the work field as quickly in the most economically way possible. Does anyone truly believe under the present system higher education meets these goals?