Thursday, March 31, 2016

That Giant Sucking Sound Continues

"Approximately 170 manufacturing jobs will be relocated to facilities in Mexico and the Czech Republic..."

My Comments About The Article Above
Way back Ross Perot warned there would be a "giant sucking sound" of jobs leaving this county. Today Bernie Sanders echoes this same warning. Unfortunately I fear after this election American voters will once again ignore the only candidate that may be able to do something about it.



And so it goes, year after year, Americans are duped into electing candidates whom the power brokers brainwash them into believing only certain candidates stand a chance of getting elected. This election cycle is no different. As long as people are willing to believe what the media is telling them about Bernie's chances this election will not turn out much differently from those in year's past. I lived long enough to believe there will never come a day voters will wake up to what they're being fed. Thus, I suspect Sanders is not likely to win.

Bernie may not be perfect in his ideology but he sure beats the hell out of the what the other candidates are offering. I'd much rather support someone like Bernie then candidates who wish to expand middle eastern wars, cut our social needs funding, divide our nation's views along secular social values or along religious lines.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Lehigh Valley Schools Testing Drinking Water For Lead (LATEST UPDATES)



"A Lehigh University water expert, working with 69 News, says the drinking water in three public schools he tested for lead is not safe to drink. One sample found lead at three times the level the EPA considers acceptable, and nearly nine times greater than the level recommended by scientists studying the water in Flint, Michigan."

My Comments About The Article Above
First off, a great big salute goes out to WFMZ for it's investigative reporting. This is journalism at it's finest !

Whether these results prove erroneous or not, the important thing is we will have the question of water safety answered. Up this point the issue concerning lead found in children has been blown off as coming from lead based paints in older homes. Let's make sure before we conclude this is the only cause.

I understand how this could open a can of worms for already cash strapped school districts and why their reluctance. However this is something the school districts should have done to CYA themselves. Surely they must have anticipated the risks for not getting out in front of the issue before it could blow up on them. Especially in light of how this concern has now come to the forefront across the country.

There are a couple alternatives cheaper then replacing the entire plumbing within school buildings. Charcoal filters specifically designed to remove lead or osmosis units could be installed on drinking fountains as well as in food preparation areas. The number of fountains could be reduced to a few strategically placed drinking stations. Since skin has almost no ability to absorb lead from a shower they would be of little concern. In a worse case scenario not every pipe would have to be replaced.

If corrected properly parents will have more to worry about then school drinking fountains. According to the CDC artificial turf, candy, toys and jewelry may also be a source. "Lead has been found in the wrappers of some imported candies. The ink of these plastic or paper wrappers may contain lead that leaches into the candy.".


Just in case you need something else to worry about...

In September a Washington University study found, "The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency allows drinking water to contain no more than 10 parts per billion of arsenic... wine samples ranged from 10 to 76 parts per billion, with an average of 24 parts per billion.... a companion study concluded that the likely health risks from that naturally-occurring toxic element depend on how many other foods and beverages known to be high in arsenic, such as apple juice, rice, or cereal bars, an individual person eats. The highest risks from arsenic exposure stem from certain types of infant formulas, the study estimated."


In Summary
We shouldn't assume bottled water to be the complete alternate answer. The CDC says, "some bottled waters have not been tested and may not be appropriate for consumption."

On March 8, 2016 the Pa.DEP issued a public notice stating in September 2015 "Crystal Spring Water" (Berks County) sold in it's vending machines water that "contained a lead level of 16 parts per billion (ppb) which is above the maximum contaminant level of 5 ppb. According to the Safe Drinking Water Act." Although it wasn't it's bottled water it just goes to show lead can sometimes show up in the least likely places even with rigorous testing.

Let's not get over excited jumping down the throats of school officials. Yes we should exercise caution to be on the safe side, but when you factor in the dangers of arsenic from hand me down toys, jewelry, juices, snacks and infant formula these too should be factored into the whole equation. Unless a kid is going to drink a couple of gallons a day at school this may be the least of he or she's health concerns.


One Final Note Maybe Worth Mentioning
"A new study by the Center for Public Integrity, a nonpartisan, nonprofit investigative news organization founded in 1989, found that about 1,000 ingredients found in products on our grocery store shelves were not approved by the FDA. How can this be?

Since 1958, food manufacturers have been able to use a loophole, called the Food Additives Amendment, to sometimes get around FDA approval. With this amendment, companies can say a product’s ingredients are “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS), and thereby bypass the lengthy FDA approval process and any special package warnings that the agency might require."




UPDATE
WFMZ (10:31 PM): District: Water is safe at Northeast Middle School-- "Water samples were collected following a 69 News exclusive story showing high levels of lead in three Lehigh Valley schools."

The Allentown School District published this press release on 03/28/2016. In part it said, "Since neither the station nor the professor were provided access to these two schools, we cannot verify that proper testing protocols have been followed. Therefore, today – Monday, March 28 – the District had water testing performed at these schools by certified professionals and results are expected quickly. Until we receive the results of this accurate analysis, both schools will refrain for using the water for consumption.

It should be noted that the ASD Facilities Plan had already included water testing in a number of ASD buildings this year and has expanded that to include testing all ASD buildings. A water testing timeframe will be set as quickly as possible."



FINAL UPDATE
(03/30/2016)

The Allentown School District further posted this update on Wednesday, March 30, 2016...
"The Allentown School District has received the results of water testing at both William Allen High School and Union Terrace Elementary School. We are pleased to announce that the water test results were well below EPA action levels. The water is safe for use in both schools.

Twenty water samples were collected by Element Environmental Solutions, Inc. by their licensed and certified sample professionals on Monday, March 28, after water in both schools sat unused for 4 days. The EPA guidelines recommend that water sit for at least a minimum of 6 hours before testing. All samples were collected in accordance with EPA testing protocols that incorporate the Federal Lead and Copper Rule.

All sample results were under the .015 EPA recommended action limit. However, one sample – an old water cooler with chiller unit at William Allen registered a .012. The District is acting with an abundance of caution and has removed this water cooler from service. Out of the remaining results 2 were at .004; 1 was at .003; 6 were at .002; 5 were at .001; and 6 were under .001."


Government Workers Pension Plans Rip-Off

This isn't only about taxpayers getting screwed.

Gawker.com, "we are talking about teachers and other thoroughly middle-class people who have worked for decades, and whose retirement money is being systematically plundered by Wall Street fees, thanks to bad pension fund management."

Rather then government pension plans controlled by financially ignorant beholden politicians, government workers should be allowed into the Social Security system, 401k plans or private savings like their private industry counterparts.


There's No Such Thing As Free Money
Workers should only invest in FDIC insured CD;s and savings accounts. Common sense should dictate if any of these phony baloney advisers could earn double digit returns for themselves without working for it, they wouldn't need to show up every day in the office kissing peoples' asses trying to get a hold of other suckers' money.



While these private investment charlatans may show investor's double digits returns they are less obvious about the five fees which knock down returns many could have gotten on their own savings w/o taking any of the risks.

The reason why so many taxpayers and current retirees are such dire straits can be attributed to these con artists.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

News Roundup & Commentary (03/27/2016)


What's Good For The Goose Is Good For The Gander?
Raw Story (03/27/2016): Pope slams rejection of immigrants in Easter message. The most logical question to then ask, How many did the Vatican take in?-- "According to The Guardian, a Vatican parish has taken ONE family of four refugees from Syria... The family is Christian of the Catholic Greek Melkite rite. And they might take in one more family." Not exactly leading by example is it?


Divorce Is Messy & Very Costly
Not getting one turns out to be a whole lot more expensive for this 45 year old man from Davenport, Iowa. The NY Daily News told of a guy who never bothered to get a divorce 17 years ago. His estranged wife (whom he hasn't seen) got knocked up about a year ago from a stranger. According to the laws in Iowa he's now on the hook for the next 18 years for child support payments to her.

Here's one of beefs I have with child support laws. Although this takes the cake, in nearly every state once the spouse writes out the checks, the person retaining custody doesn't have to account for the money. I read time and again about how so many fathers are likened unto scum for not making payments. I'm sure in more then a few of these cases they get sick of seeing their ex's spending it on themselves rather then on the child whom it was intended for. So too there's the matter of the ex getting remarried to a wealthy guy. While she & he may then be well off the father is still on the hook, no matter how dire his circumstances become.

Don't get me wrong, fathers should always be held accountable. However current laws are unmerciful in not taking these circumstances into account. Hence why, despite the figures, not every dad is an uncaring bastard as some would have you believe.


Issues Surrounding Minim Wage Increases
The Associated Press (03/27/2016): Deal reached to take California minimum wage to $15 an hour (by 2021). Initial thoughts by critics are it will drive business out. On the other hand workers having more money burn a hole in their pockets will spend more within the state. In others words it may be bad some large businesses can relocate elsewhere, but it should be a boom to others who's sole profits are made within the state. Let's not kid ourselves. The state of California would be it's largest benefactor due to increased tax revenues.


School Truancy In Camden, NJ
Philly.com (03/27/2016): Camden school district tries personal approach to decrease truancy -- " Home visits are nothing new for the more than 18 attendance officers in the state-run district.... But in recent years, truancy officials have started asking more questions when they knock on doors.."

Being the old fart I remember a time if a truancy officer spotted a kid on the street during school days they'd drag his ass in. So while there may be excuses, one of them ain't running around the streets on a school day. Kids will sometimes be little shits. I should know. I was one. With that in mind I have three stories to tell. (1) When I worked part time in high school as a usher at the Rialto theater I decided one Saturday to call in sick so I could run around with fiends. Being I only lived a block away doesn't the manager (Max Silvers) show up at my door. Let's just say he put me on the right track :-)

(2) Then there was the time my buddy and me decided to skip William Allen HS for the day. Instead I drove over to Liberty HS so we could visit two chicks we were chasing. We had lunch with them in the cafeteria. Then after school had the nerve to get on the yellow school bus with them back to the South Side. No we didn't get caught. Not entirely a well thought out plan since we had to walk all the way back to where I left my car. Like I said "sometimes kids will be little shits".

(3) One of my former coworkers was fined over again for her kid not showing up. She was frustrated in several ways. At one point she called out from work and walked her kid into the principle's office so they'd verify his being there. Two hours later she got called and fined yet again. It seems her kid left the office, walked out the building and never showed up for his classes. She asked them what the hell was she suppose to do, skip work so she could walk him around all day to each of his classes!
The point is, it's not always the parents fault. We can't simply fine our way out of some of these truancy problems. Yes sometimes it's the parents fault, but not always. Let's hope Camden is on to something here.


Bigger Problem Then Drunks On The Road
Philly.com (03/27/2016): American Airlines pilot arrested after allegedly showing up drunk for flight to Philadelphia. There's thoughts I have on this (and yes as usual another story). I wonder how many aren't caught. Here's why. Many moons ago a fellow I knew was waiting for his brother to fly up from North Carolina in his small Cesssna. He left from a small private airport after having a few. He made it just fine into LVIA (ABE as it was called in those days), but there were concerns. When this same fellow left he tossed a 6 pack into the plane after having a few already. The way it was described to me this guy taxied down the runway and bounced two times on the tarmac before finally lifting off. All's well that ends well I suppose, but these can't be the only two times it's ever happened. Isn't its risky enough to be on the road with them? You're welcome. I knew you wanted something else to worry about.


They May Call It Gambling, But It Wasn't For New Jersey State
According to Philly.com (03/27/2016): Atlantic City is broke and headed for a shut down on April 8th. The short story is governor Christie says either let the state take over otherwise drop dead. The way I see the long story is Atlantic City was set up. For years the state of New Jersey lived off the casinos while Atlantic City got little more then a commission on them.

While there may be plenty of blame to go around I'm seeing more and more states taking over local governments every month, not only in New Jersey. It may or may not be, but it appears states are starving out local run governments and school districts then taking them over. If they run these like they do their own state operations we're headed for a world of hurt. Many of these same states are lashing out against what they claim to be the federal government's lack of funding and it's intrusions on them. They sure don't seem to have a problem when the ball's in their court, do they?


Will The GOP's Convention Be The Safest Ever?
The Daily Mail (03/27/2016): More than 29,000 sign petition for guns to be allowed at GOP convention that claims being unarmed makes people 'sitting ducks' and 'terrorist targets'.

Some 2,472 delegates will be in attendance. If these petitioners get their way I hope there's not one trigger happy screwball among them who will get pissed off with the way things are going in what is shaping up to be one of the most controversial convention in decades. Then on the other hand if they don't get their way let's hope things turn out better then they did in a town appropriately named Tombstone, Arizona Wikipedia: "To reduce crime in Tombstone, on April 19, 1881, Tombstone's city council passed ordinance requiring anyone carrying a bowie knife, dirk, pistol or rifle to deposit their weapons at a livery or saloon soon after entering town. The ordinance was the legal basis for City Marshal Virgil Earp's decision to confront the Cowboys that resulted in the shoot out."
Personally if I were a delegate I'd prefer to take my chances with the professionally trained secret service and properly screened security personnel sweeping the hall and at the front door. This rather then some knucklehead I don't know standing besides me packing heat. I'd resign in a heartbeat if it were the latter. I wouldn't want to bet my life in this instance testing the 'guns make us safer' theory Call me silly.

It looks like this is shaping up to be one hellva a rootin'-tootin' convention.

Friday, March 25, 2016

My Two Cents Worth




Even though I've never been offered "a penny for my thoughts"...

here they are anyway

:-)






Docs On School Property
It appears a bunch of people in the Easton Area are upset with Easton Hospital's plan to house a clinic in one of their schools next year. It's seems to me with the elimination of school nurses because of the costs, I'd think they'd be onboard. The hospital plans include numerous rotating specialists enclosed in a separate entrance area. And it won't cost taxpayers one thin dime. I'll admit I'm as NIMBY as the next person, but objections to this is NIMBYISM carried to extreme.

Critics Germaphobes are citing concerns over the spreading of germs into the school from the clinic Here's my thoughts on that. My daughter, along with hundreds of other mothers & fathers in the medical field work in area hospitals and medical buildings. If they all thought like you guys...


Jesus.. The Meaning Of Easter, Forgiveness.. Not For this Lady
Another story that took wings is the Bethlehem chocolate shop owner who didn't choose wisely her response on social media to a customer's very public complaint. There's a couple of thoughts here. I think it's a really bad idea for any business to use Facebook. Over the last several months several businesses made this same fatal mistake. In those instances were threatened and driven out of business in other areas of this country. Why oh why wouldn't a business take advantage of several providers' free offerings for websites where comments would have to be preapproved is beyond me.

The store owner's complaint was why she shouldn't be allowed to defend herself when people bad mouthed her business. Well she was allowed. She just did a lousy job of it. Then there's the person herself who first complained. Both exhibited knee-jerk reactions Such is the nature of social media Hence why Facebook is a lousy choice. Just as easily as Facebook can build your business it can take it out in a flash. Poor choices all the way around.


The Latest On Obamacare
Yeah it still hasn't been voted out. So how's it going? Not too bad really. According to the AP, "an official study released Thursday... the measure more than pays for itself."

The study was put out by the Congressional Budget Office. In part it says, "Compared with the projection made by CBO and JCT in March 2010, just before the ACA was enacted, the current estimate of the net cost of the insurance coverage provisions over the 2016–2019 period (the final years of the 10-year budget window used in the original report) is lower by $157 billion, or 25 percent."

Some will always hate Obamacare. Some will always like it. While arguments remain being either for or against, this new information should eliminate those which are based on the financing of it.


How We Can Fix The Refuge Crisis
I'm certain nearly 100% won't bother watching the following eighteen minute video where Alexander Betts offers four solutions. So let me give you a few of the highlights. (1) Give Them Something To Do In These Camps: "They're human beings with skills, talents, aspirations, with the ability to make contributions — if we let them."

(2) Create Economic Zones: One camp is 15 minutes away from a where government in one country spent $100 million to create an 'economic zone'. Yet lacks labor to make it work. Why can't refugees be shuttled to and from so they can support their families? These are the job skills that will be needed to rebuild their countries when they eventually go home.

(3) Preference Matching: Which country would a refugee wish to go matched up with a country which lacks their particular skills along with those businesses applying for employment of them.

(4) Humanitarian Visas: Rather then refugees fleeing dangerously all willy nilly into countries, why not a processing center in these receiving camps? In short let's get organized.





Hat Tip To Police In The Lehigh Valley
We all bellyache about drugs and shootings. One thing I've noticed over the last few months is most of these perpetrators were caught in less then 48 hours. The latest shooting in South Allentown was solved and the shooter(s) caught in less then 24 hours. There's been numerous successful drug raids as well.

I'm not certain if it's because citizens are getting involved more then they have in the past. Whether police are getting better at it or there's so much more crime creating these greater number of arrests. One thing is for certain, the time between a crime being reported and the apprehensions for them has gotten shorter. This is a hopeful sign.


A Few Thoughts About Allentown In General
I was born here. Raised her and spent my whole life in Allentown. Here are a few things I've observed * Nearly every mill and factory building is abandoned, unsellable and ready to crumble. These were places where once thousands in Allentown worked. If they been around for over 20 years and remained empty they need to go. They're expensive relics to a bygone era. We're kidding ourselves if anyone thinks federal or state funds can entice developers lo these many years later. The only purpose they serve is enable tax supported planners to make a bunch of money over their promises for the future. Indeed, they need to go as well!

* Year after year and excuse after excuse is made for the reasons why many of the homes block after block looks like they do. It's not impossible for a city to follow up on citations then move to foreclose on owners for unpaid penalties or repairs. Same goes for unpaid property taxes. What Allentown did instead is tear down business properties along Hamilton for the NIZ which were up to code and paying their property taxes. Had we focused on the already abandoned 'Riverfront' area perhaps we'd still have enough revenue coming in from the former Hamilton Street properties to do something about the crappy housing situation nor consider leasing the water department. In my eyes what we've done instead is create more problems just so we have more problems to solve. I see little sense in that!

* Trains to/from Allentown, another example of inventing a problem that doesn't need solving. Pave over all the tracks spending $100,000 of taxpayers' money for the trails then bitch about needing them. This is some really crazy stuff. First off we need to understand how the rail system got started. People either needed to be transported or goods on them. Shares were offered on the open market due to the demand. Many profited. Some became extremely wealthy off of them. What we're seeing today is billions of dollars spent for trains that in no possible way pay for themselves. There are over 5.6 million who ride New York's subways every day. Yet the MTA's Debt Is Greater Than Combined Debt Of 30 Other Nations' ($34.1 billion as of 02/2015).

* There are a few ways Allentown's appearance can be improved even if it's faking it a just a bit. This should take about 1/100th of the cost spent on the NIZ (around a million dollars). Round up a bunch of workers who need jobs to go around cleaning up the streets, alleyways and sidewalks on a regular basis. A crew of painters to paint over these abandoned factory buildings and even the outside of houses of home owners who can't afford or refuse to do it for themselves. Perhaps too some citizen crime watchers keeping an eye on things.

I realize people should be doing these things for themselves, but that's not working out so well no matter how much we may yell and scream Sometimes it's better to take care of these things rather then frustrate ourselves trying to force other people who will never ever change into taking care of the things that frustrate us. Either that or we can continue to bang our heads complaining about things that will never ever change no matter how much we may wish things would.


Monday, March 21, 2016

Wall Near Our Border In Anticipation Of Fleeing Refugees Next Year


This was a brief excerpt.
Visit "The Canada Party's Headquarters" to view the entire clip.


Do Good Walls Make Good Neighbors ?


What Made A Monk Go Ape

Not The Monk In The Story
This One Belongs To A Different Order
He's  A "Chimp Monk"
 

A young monk arrives at the monastery. He is assigned to helping the other monks in copying the old canons and laws of the church, by hand.

He notices, however, that all of the monks are copying from copies, not from the original manuscript. So, the new monk goes to the Old Abbot to question this, pointing out that if someone made even a small error in the first copy, it would never be picked up. In fact, that error would be continued in all of the subsequent copies.

The head monk, says, "We have been copying from the copies for centuries, but you make a good point, my son."

He goes down into the dark caves underneath the monastery where the original manuscripts are held as archives, in a locked vault that hasn't been opened for hundreds of years.

Hours go by and nobody sees the Old Abbot.

So, the young monk gets worried and goes down to look for him. He sees him banging his head against the wall and wailing. "We missed the R!... We missed the R... We missed the freaking bloody R!"

His forehead is all bloody and bruised and he is crying uncontrollably. The young monk asks the old Abbot, "What's wrong, father?"

With a choking voice, the old Abbot replies, "The word was .... CELEBRATE!"

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Sunday, March 20, 2016

Why Congress Shouldn't Block Obama's SCOTUS Nominee

Photo Courtesy: "Freaking News"


Main stream Republicans controlling congress are not thinking clearly.

If congress waits for the next president's nomination whose would they prefer, Donald Trump's or Hillary Clinton's?

Careful what you wish for!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

A Few Music Videos




From time to time I post music videos which strike me as above and beyond the rest.

Hope you enjoy these three as much as I do.



Liberty High School Pipes and Drums played with the Red Hot Chilli Pipers
Easton State Theater- March 11, 2016



Don't need an orchestra when this young girl sits down to play "Jurassic Park"



Evolution of the Disney Princess - Evynne Hollens
A medley of 14 Disney Princesses from 1937 until 2013


Friday, March 18, 2016

News Regarding Nuclear Material Disconcerting

"The coked-up airmen in question are, reassuringly, not the people who have their fingers on the literal button required to begin a nuclear war. But they are, scarily, the people tasked with defending the 150 Minuteman III ICBMs (each with an explosive yield roughly eight times greater than the bomb that leveled Hiroshima)... they’re crucial to the operation and safety of America’s vast nuclear stockpile:"

My Comments About The Article Above
I certainly hope they've been replaced. I not sure how they are suppose to "defend" our ICBMs, but apparently the gates to the hen house have been compromised by these dopers. Anyone who assumes this kind of responsibly and does this deserves to be punished to the max. There's no excuse for it.




"Some 730 pounds of plutonium will be sent by 'an armed British nuclear transport ship... under armed escort to the United States."


My Comments About The Article Above
It was stated, "The material will be disposed of in the United States." Yeah Ok, what exactly does "disposed of" mean?

Alls I knows is if or until we find a way to render the radioactivity inactive it will remain a threat for thousands of years, It's too dangerous to try and launch it into space or bury it in a hole somewhere in one of our states. Mankind on this Earth can find more ways to annihilate themselves...
As if the universe doesn't pose enough of a threat!





Thursday, March 17, 2016

Local Education Forget About It



The Lehigh Career & Technical Institute was evacuated Thursday morning after receiving a bomb threat.

So were William Allen High students sent home after one of their own.



Between study halls, snow days, teachers' workshops, teacher strikes and school holidays I'm amazed there's any time left for instruction. Charter schools aren't the answer either given their track records.

Face it our educational system is a mess. Taxpayers are now suppose to pay for security, nursery schools, (pre-K), free breakfast and lunches, nursery care for single mothers while in high school and for the after school programs. Throw in the pension plans, school administration executives' salaries and it begins to make you wonder how much is left towards providing a fundamental education of our children.

It should be noted many countries (China, in the Caribbean and throughout Europe) require English as a second language. Hell, many of our kids can't speak and write fluently in English. Of course between these many distractions (including fight clubs) is it any wonder?

Life's a Bitch: How I'd Fix This
Start an entirely new second shadow school system anew from our present one. No free meals with zero tolerance for failure or bad behavior. Only those serious about their education and well behaved would be allowed to attend in entirely separate areas apart from our present public school buildings. These would receive my prioritized funding.

I'd be happy to discuss this via comments with anyone who wishes to pursue this further, Otherwise I see no point in expanding this post any longer then it is if no one has an interest.

War On Drugs 43 Years & Still Counting (Videos)

Nancy Reagan's plea for Americans to join the fight against drugs (7/1/1973)



President Bush Speech on Drugs/Democratic Response- Senator Biden (10/1/1999)


Which Do You Prefer Opera or Rock?




Christina Ramos Says, Why Not Both?


Forget You Saw This


Try And Put It Out Of Your Mind


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Mogahed, What Do You Think Of Me

TED Talks




Muhammad Ali Interview About Islam Muslim (England 1977)



Muhammad Ali On Trump’s Anti-Muslim Comments (December 2015)





Monday, March 14, 2016

Allentown's NIZ Tax Revenues Shoot Up



According to 'The Morning Call, "Allentown's unique but controversial downtown tax zone is now generating triple the amount of state and local taxes it was estimated to have been producing before the Neighborhood Improvement Zone was created."

Yeah, Happy Days Are Here Again!
When can I look forward to my city income, school and property taxes going down?

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Random Humor- One Liners



I changed my car horn to gunshot sounds.
People get out of the way much faster now.

Gone are the days when girls used to cook like their mothers.
Now they drink like their fathers.

You know that tingly little feeling you get when you really like someone?
That's common sense leaving your body.

I didn't make it to the gym today.
That makes five years in a row.

Last year I joined a support group for procrastinators.
We haven't met yet.

Old age is coming at a really bad time for me.

"I need to write things down, so I'll remember them."
(I wrote that one down a week ago to remind myself , but forget where I put it.)

At my age "Getting lucky" means walking into a room and remembering what I came in for.

Why do I have to press one for English when you're just gonna transfer me to someone I can't understand anyway?

Friday, March 11, 2016

Allentown Government Gets Dumber Every Day!

"Allentown voters may be asked to fund universal pre-Kindergarten and a long-awaited scholarship program for all city students if a ballot question from Mayor Ed Pawlowski makes it on the ballot this fall."


"Make no mistake we are in dire straits," Superintendent C. Russell Mayo, said. “We are now in a crisis." The district will run out of money in April, according to district chief financial officer Jack Clark."



My Comments About The Articles Above

As if it weren't enough for the mayor to go on a spending spree with his own city and state's money it now appears he's looking to spend the Allentown School District's as well.

Funding is not the only problem I have with this.





PRE-KINDERGARTEN
Let's take away the pretense by use of the word "pre-K". This is nothing more then creating a new buzz word calling them something different then what they really are... "Day Care Nurseries". Two things concern me.(1) In one scenario I can see it further encouraging high school teenage girls to become mothers. The high school already provides daycare while they are in high school. This taxpayer supported program would further extend daycare to them beyond graduation.

Besides the fact the government would be raising their kids, these mothers would still be eligible (under the right financial circumstances) to collect Medicaid, welfare and what not. Programs that were designed to help them stay home raise and feed their kids. In other words they'd still get paid government support for not actually mothering six hours more out of the day.


(2) Will the school district take over daycare entirely or will they be allowed/forced to outsource similar to what's taking place with charter schools? Currently a number of churches rely on daycare to keep them going. Either they'd go under or legislation would allow/force taxpayer money be used to fund religious institutions. If it's the later which religions? So too a number of nonprofits also provide daycare. If they'd also be factored into the mix it would equate to taxpayers being forced to donate to a nonprofit whether they wish to support a particular one or not.



FREE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
When is a enough, enough-- Each taxpayer through their local school district is already contributing through their taxes to support community college. These colleges were first started to offer low tuition. Like everything else it seems once they got their foot in the door some only saw it only as a first step. While free education is something to be pursued it should not be considered by any means at the local level. If the state or federal government can't support what's already in place let's not go writing checks we can't cash.

Then there's the matter of the associates degree itself. It and another $50,000+ for a four year degree might prove useful. Granted some partial credits could go towards a four year degree, other then that a associates degree by itself is worth little more then the paper it's printed on.


THE REAL PROBLEM LIES...
At the federal level via these poor trade agreements and other policies which took away many of the jobs in the first place. Using local money is like trying to make it possible for each person to catch a fish in a very large pond where few if any remain. The most we can do at a local level is have our politicians ban together with state leaders to put pressure on Washington. Outside of that I don't care if every kid is walking around with a doctorate it's not going to make a difference if the job outlook remains as it is. Neither will encouraging daycare for every one including those who aren't working therefore having no pressing need for it.

Ever see a kid run before they can walk?
Already local government is having trouble administering and paying for "essential services". Facing these existing problems I don't see why offering babysitting services and handing out degrees should even be considered.

Government's Job To Provide Cheap Diapers?

According to 'Money Talks' the Whitehouse is floating a plan to enable the poor get cheaper more affordable diapers.

I understand anyone can fall into hard times, but there are ways around this diaper problem. Before imposing on society to help pay for them consider this. Both my parents and I used cloth diapers which cost only a tiny fraction of what these paper diapers cost which are filling up our dumps.


THE WAY THINGS ARE TODAY
On one side of the political spectrum you have those who don't want to spend a single nickel to prevent pregnancy. On the other side are the ones who want to give away the ranch. Both ideologies are getting have gotten nuts. There was once a time when pregnancy prevention wasn't much of an option. Now both men, women and taxpayers have a choice. Either pay a couple of bucks for a pill or spend tens of times more having them. If someone(s) can't afford to live under present circumstance they shouldn't be bearing children. It's selfish.

Today both parents think they are forced to work to support kids. By the time one of them pays for a second car's payments, insurance, gas, repairs, parking, lunch meals and day care it could end up costing them more then if one parent were to stay home. Often times because both work dinnertime meals are bought out costing several times that of a home cooked meal. Work clothing is another factor.

Which brings us to one other great big problem "the way things are today". The problem of too many becoming a single parent who then feel it's proper their ex or society should help bail them out. We all make choices. Some good, some bad. No matter the case it shouldn't become an encumbrance upon the rest of society to depend on making things whole again. No society can solve nor support all the bad things that can happen. Anyone who thinks it can or relies on it doing so is greatly mistaken. No government nor society can guarantee people will ever be able to find resolutions for these kind of predicaments. Anyone thinking otherwise better hope they can find them if there's a next life because they sure won't find them in this one.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Some Mind Blowing Scientific Stuff

All the a articles below are from 'Extreme Tech.com'


Is our universe a hologram?-- "Basically, if true, this means that the universe as we know it may be the result of processes happening on some other surface or plane."

COMMENT:
I always kind of thought the whole world was full of shit.
Looks like I may have vastly underestimated.




Is there a ocean 400 miles beneath our feet that could fill our oceans three times over?-- "This discovery suggests that Earth’s surface water actually came from within, as part of a “whole-Earth water cycle,” rather than the prevailing theory of icy comets striking Earth billions of years ago... We’re not talking about some kind of water reserve that can be reached in the same way as an oil well. The deepest a human borehole has ever gone is just 12km, about half way through the Earth’s crust , and we had to stop because geothermal energy was melting the drill bit."

COMMENT:
Pssst.. don't tell 'Nestle Waters'.



Astronauts find living organisms clinging to the International Space Station-- "During a spacewalk intended to clean the International Space Station, Russian astronauts took samples from the exterior of the station for a routine analysis... they found that living organisms were clinging to outside of the ISS. The astronauts identified the organisms as sea plankton that likely originated from Earth, but the team couldn’t find a concrete explanation as to how these organisms made it all the way up to the space station or how they managed to survive."

COMMENT:
Damn hitch hikers free loading on taxpayers' dime !



IBM cracks open a new era of computing with brain-like chip: 4096 cores, 1 million neurons, 5.4 billion transistors-- "The chip, called TrueNorth, consists of 1 million programmable neurons and 256 million programmable synapses across 4096 individual neurosynaptic cores... the human brain.. total power consumption is around 20 watts. A modern silicon chip, despite having features that are almost on the same tiny scale as biological neurons and synapses, can consume thousands or millions times more energy to perform the same task as a human brain."

COMMENT:
Looks like there's still hope for me after all.



Scientists work out how create matter from light-- "Physicists in England claim they have discovered how to create matter from light, by smashing together individual massless photons."

COMMENT:
Hope they never figure out a weapon making matter work in reverse. Biblically speaking it also reminds me how many times it was stated "God" is light. It also seems to support the theory matter can never been created nor destroyed. Transformed perhaps?




The downside of warp drives-- "NASA researchers recently revisited the Alcubierre warp drive and concluded that its power requirements were not as impossible as once thought. However, a new analysis from the University of Sydney claims that using a warp drive of this design comes with a drawback. Specifically, it could cause cataclysmic explosions at your destination... To see how the Alcubierre drive could devastate an entire star system, you have to know a little about how it would work.."

COMMENT:
Are your sure?
That's not how it played out in 'Star-Trek'. Maybe their dilithium crystal warp drives weren't based on the "Alcubierre warp drive".

* Star-Trek's talking computer seems so yesterday
* "Phasers" are today's lasers as well.
* Star-Trek's "transponders" were nothing more then flip phones far less capable of what's possible with our everyday use of smartphones today.


If scientists today support the theory they can now "create matter from light, by smashing together individual massless photons" I wouldn't count out Star-Trek's' "Photon Torpedoes" either.

Therefore neither should we be too quick to dismiss the possibility of "warp drives" coming into existence one day w/o devastating an entire star system as assumed by today's scientists.

What seemed to be yesterday's science fiction has become in many ways today's reality. Who's to say what may be possible?


Friday, March 4, 2016

Paperless Ticketing I'm All For It



"The lawsuit says, it makes it “impossible for ticket holders to list the tickets on a secondary marketplace or platform such as StubHub or Ticketmaster, or even to physically sell or transfer them in a hand-to-hand transaction.”... With the new system, ticket buyers use an app on their mobile device or scan a credit card or ID to claim their seats once they’ve arrived at Target Center."

My Comments About The Article Above
Anyone who has ever tried to score tickets for a concert event ten minutes after tickets go on sale can tell you what a scam it has become. Screw the robo-hacked scalpers who make it nearly impossible and too expensive for the average event attendee. Screw the individual people too who buy tickets knowing full well they intend to resell them.

My wife is a huge fan of Springsteen and I can't tell you the dozens of times over the last 20 years I've tried to score tickets within ten minutes only to find them all sold out. Yet 100's of bastards are selling them on "stubhub", "craigslist" or elsewhere at many more times their original price via the use of robo software. If I had my way I'd require purchasers to fully identify themselves and limit their purchases. Then they, and only they, present that same identity when they arrive for the event.

I'm sure there's more then a few entertainers or organizers who don't care if they have a couple of hundred empty seats as long as they are paid for. This attitude towards their fans needs to change. It's long past due. My hat goes off to the 'Timberwolves" for finally trying to do something about this.

As far as someone changing their mind or not being able to attend.. what if the shoe were on the other foot and the performer cancelled?

I'm sure ticket holders would scream like hell for their money back. You see both entered into an agreement. The purchaser agreed to attend as well as the performer. If either party fails to live up to the agreement there should be financial consequences. Both should be binding on either party. It's as simple as that.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

South Bethlehem Doesn't Need A Parking Garage

Lehigh Valley Live:
South Bethlehem Parking Garage A 'Concrete Elephant' ?
"A proposed 626-space parking garage in South Bethlehem will cost more than $1 million annually...
on the $17.7 million garage,"




The Short Answer Is, Yes It Is
Despite there being about the same number of homes and business for decades there also once were 13,055 workers (over 4,000 per shift) employed at the Bethlehem Steel plant who most needed parking at that time.

In it's heyday (1943) there were 31,523 employees working there.



If they didn't need a deck parking garage back then in South Bethlehem somebody explain to me why they'd need one now ?




Even If There Were A Need Sometime In The Future...
Could it be planners turned too many of the steel's former surface lots into pocket parks and trails?
AND/OR
Allowed for overdevelopment on them w/o requiring developers to provide proper parking for their projects?

It seems to me planners created an artificial problem that didn't need to exist. Perhaps I should just accept the fact this is how these planning people earn their money by creating job security for themselves. Problem is it's costing taxpayers tons of money for greening these areas only to end up costing us even more for parking decks as a consequence.


One Bone Of Contention I Always Had
At one time 10,000's of employees once earned a living taking home a paycheck for their families on this the very same land ArtsQuest, The Sands and others now occupy. Instead of million$ at one time going into peoples pockets from this exact area million$ are now pouring into it. Am I the only one or does anyone else see what's wrong with this picture?

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

It Makes You Wonder Who's Being More Dishonest?

Olympus of Lehigh Valley who admitted paying kickbacks and bribes?
Or
The U.S. government who will let Olympus off the hook if they pay them $646 million to end the U.S. probes?
(Make it go away)

It doesn't look like anyone's going to prison either.

In the end all this boils down to is nothing more then the costs of doing business in my opinion. That and the two forms of justice. One for businesses. The other imposed on you or I if we as individuals dared commit the same offense.



Is this really what we want of our American justice system!
It seems to me the ones getting punished are the consumers who will end up taking it in the wazoo to pay for this.