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?