Saturday, April 30, 2016

Bernie O'Hare Sets Off A Firestorm

Express-Times Easton
Blogger demands resignations over Nazareth mayor's theft charge

203 Mostly Hate Filled Comments And Still Counting
I don't care if I say this a million times... IT'S NOT WHO SAYS WHAT.. BUT WHAT'S BEING SAID.

No one has to like this guy nor do I myself seek new friends. This is why I'll never willingly give up my identity. I've never met Bernie and he's certainly no fan of mine (that's for sure). What most users abusers of the internet fail to realize is their inability to separate what's being said apart from the person who said them.

Irregardless of my own anonymity and how Bernie feels towards me I do respect Bernie's presentations. While they may not always be impartial (not too unlike my own), the guy puts himself in the line of fire. No one (I MEAN NO ONE) deserves the kind of disrespect he receives. Most of the idiots (including those on his own blog) post comments taking advantage of the guy posting pot shots via their anonymity. He and Molovinsky have endured more criticism then I could tolerate.

I'm of the old school. When this whole internet thing began users were advised to use caution over the dangers of internet usage. So I remain that which was recommended using a pseudonym identity to protect myself. Observing the kind of threatening hateful comments left at Express-Times, The Morning Call, WFMZ and on all these other internet sites over the years by those I have no idea whom or what dangers they may present, I think it be a prudent choice for me. I have a wife, kids and grand children and their jobs whom should not become a part of the drama for that which I choose to post.

My commitment is to never post anything that is untruthful and can't be backed up with the links I provide supporting my opinions. I truly believe both Molovinsky and Bernie have both done the same. Thus I fully support them both.

Those participating in character assassination should be disregarded whether it be of myself or anyone else.

Democracy In The Middle East FORGET ABOUT IT !

It Ain't Neva' Gonna' Happen

Picture Source: Twitter

The Inside of the Iraqi Parliament Is an Insane Mob Scene Right Now
Melissa Cronin |
"On Saturday, a swarm of protesters stormed the country’s parliament in Baghdad"

History 101
I don't understand why the United States (an offshoot of the Brits and Western Europeans) don't get it given this area's history up unto this present day. They're never going to become Democracies. Almost all the borders for these were drawn up by the old British forces having little to do with anything resembling their peoples. Every last one of these governments have always been (and always will be) based on various religions and/or local tribes.

Today Russia just like other nations (including ours) are slaughtering them wholesale somehow in the hopes they will come together under one banner be it a dictator, a religious leader or a forced Democracy more favorable to each of the invaders History says it ain't never going to happen. People will always defend their home turf over foreign invaders. If there's one thing about human nature I understand it's the enemy without is always hated greater then the one within.

What I Would Like To See
The rest of the world get out of their backyard. Let them have a go at themselves and just maybe after the dust settles they might have a more decent life even it's not the kind of governments all of us would have liked.

I don't think it takes a genius to see Baghdad once looked a hellva' lot better under Saddam then the rubble it's turned into today. Same goes for Libya, Syria and these other countries which have been turned into piles of uninhabitable rubble. People on all sides are enduring far more suffering in war then they did before under even the worse governments they once had to live under.

The proof is, unlike any other time in recent history, the amount of refugees flooding beyond these countries borders. They might have been hell holes under previous regimes but nothing like the numbers we now see fleeing.

Previous dictators and religious kooks would never have allowed ISIS to gain power threatening their governments. By eliminating who we named tyrants ISIS faces no strong single element they would have had to overcome under the Saddam or Gaddafi regimes to name two. Indeed they were evil leaders, but the lesser of two evils considering how many have died since they were eliminated.

The more we and others mess around in the middle east, the more they've become a threat. Not just the burdens of refugees fleeing but so too the terrorists that have arisen because of this interference. Not one of these prior leaders were a direct threat beyond their borders to other Western countries and Russia. That much can't be said now.

The Road Ahead
Butt out-- Forget about these phony borders. Allow these people to rebuild and form whatever governments may result. It would take decades before any of the emerging governments could be a direct threat to the United States, our allies or Russia. We took out Saddam's Air Force when it became a threat. We bombed terrorists camps in Afghanistan. We know very well how to eliminate strategic threats. What we (and other nations) are lousy at is 'Nation Building'. All of us need to get out of the business. None of us are good at it.

When it comes to dealing with ISIS: They've grown to power by recruiting suckers into the fight against the United States, Europe, Russia and their allies. Take our presences out of the equation and I'm certain they'd rot from within. The middle eastern people, like all peoples, are more concerned who they think is locally shafting them.

When you look at the destruction in these countries it's insane to think how decent people and families could be on anyone's side except to insure they're own safety and survival. So the question boils down to this... Do we continue bombing the crap out of these countries killing and turning cities into rubble for the next ten years OR back off and see what may become of them?

Call me stupid but I don't see how bombing and killing is going to win friends and influence enemies.

Friday, April 29, 2016

New Pennsylvania Traffic Light

PennDOT claims it "can reduce left-turn crashes by as much as 20 percent"

(Nothing was mentioned about either a increase or decrease in honking horn usage)

If PennDot sincerely wants to help speed up traffic why not a 5th with a countdown timer?
You know, sorta like those lights you see at racing dragstrips.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

News Roundup & Commentary (04/28/2016)

Dignity, Honesty & Respect
Looks like the former speaker of the house is no fan of Ted Cruz. John Boehner Described Ted Cruz as ‘Lucifer in the Flesh’. He went even so far as to say he , "never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life." Hardly an endorsement, eh?

Ted Cruz responded saying "I’ve never worked with John Boehner… I’ve never known the man.”. Ted must have memory lost because according to a 1998 article in the Seattle Times Cruz was Boehner's attorney at the time.

Overshadowing the drama Satanists are furious that Boehner compared Ted Cruz to the Dark Lord. Sounds like a bunch of 5th graders. Then again 5th graders aren't expected to be leaders of government. THIS IS THE BEST WE CAN DO?

Literally Speaking You Missed The Boat
The Daily Mail reported BOTH parents missed a ship in Bahamas that sailed with their young children on board. There was another report of a missing couple who never reported back to their cruise ship in Jamaica and are missing. In the first, older siblings watched after the kids till they were reunited back in port. Alls well that ends well.

Despite these ships paying $1,000's an hour when they dock, this ship waited a half an hour inconveniencing 1,000's of other guests before pulling out. It isn't exactly like they can easily backup a 60,000-100,000 ton cruise ship either. No one should expect a subway, plane or bus to wait for someone till it suits them. As far as the missing couple in Jamaica.. my wife and I went there twice with no problems. No one should leave their hotel or ship wandering around. on their own whether it Mexico, the Philippines or anywhere else for that matter Leave that to the professional world travelers like Anthony Bourdain. Even he uses body guards when he feels the need. Hell I wouldn't wander around certain areas in this country little alone those.

Airplanes And Human Fallibility
I know this is something we don't like to think about but the other day a plane taking off at 140mph had to slam on it's brakes before hitting another plane on the runway. Kudos to the pilots, I'm not sure I could stop my van at that speed little alone a several hundred thousand ton aircraft.

FOX News reports, "Between 2010 and 2015, FAA records show 64 pilots were cited for violating the alcohol and drug provisions, and in 2015, some 1,546 personnel who must ensure airline safety, including 38 pilots, tested positive for one or more of five illegal drugs." Fortunately air travel is far more safe then being on the road with other intoxicated drivers perhaps because two people are in the cockpit. Perhaps the pilot who had to slam on the brakes at 140mmph might need a slug to calm his nerves. Never-the-less when it comes to trusting humans to always get things right it will be of concern.

Female Equality- Careful What You Wish For
The House Armed Services Committee approved a measure Wednesday (04/27/2016) requiring women to register for the military draft.. A few other countries require mandatory service, including women. The U.S. ended it's mandatory draft on January 27th, 1973. I wonder what would happen with today's youth if the United States ever tried to reinstate this again. I'm not at all confident this would go well. Yeah sure running around in the streets yelling and demonstrating is one thing, but....

GoFundMe Is a Great Way to Scam People
This was a headline from GIZMODO. It seems every time someone dies, has a medical emergency or is out of work they're looking for a handout. In the old days we'd be ticked off with street beggars looking for a handout. Indeed there are some legitimate causes but far too many suckers are taken in by appeals on the internet. I will not mention her name but for the last 10 years I followed a female singer who been claiming she'd being dying in the next few weeks. Since there's always fresh meat coming along on YouTube she's be able to raise $10,000's nearly every year and is still around begging for more. I must admit she has a very slick way of mincing her words. There's a difference between being compassionate and just plain stupid.

Vote, Why Do I Bother
Out of every vote I made in the last primary only two of my votes cast were in agreement with others. As far as I'm concerned when it comes to politics very few of the best ever stand a chance of winning. Take for example John Fetterman who was running for the U.S. Senate....


Why Fetterman Was The Better Candidate

But no, because Obama endorsed and the Democratic Party poured $111 million into Katie McGinty's campaign she won instead. Even if I'm stuck with either Trump or Hillary it would be nice knowing at least one or two of my selected delegates to the convention or congress would have won. It's enough for a person to say F&*k it. What's the point!

Kids Got Better Education 60 Years Ago

One of the reasons why was education didn't end on a Friday. For hours each and every Saturday youngsters would sit in front of the TV learning about the world around them.

You will see none of these same educational programs on TV these days.

No wonder why today's kids are so messed up :-)

We Learned About Firework safety

About The Dangers Of Terrorists Planting Roadside Bombs

The Problems Some Face With Disabilities

Social Values: How To Get Along With Other People

Animals In Their Natural Settings
Why Not Everyone Should Own Guns

We Learned About Gay Issues In The Black Community

The Joys Hunting Can Bring

BTW: Many kids still grew up to become hunters

Course those were the days we
didn't take everything so damned serious.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Target Shouldn't Have To Kiss Your Ass

The Target boycott is spiraling out of control
Hayley Peterson | Business Insider
"Nearly 700,000 people have signed a pledge to boycott the retailer after it announced last week that it would welcome transgender customers to use any bathroom or fitting room that matches their gender identity."

My Comments About The Article Above
Yeah alright everybody who visits Target came to use the bathrooms. I never have. Nor have I used the fitting rooms either. Suppose either you or I owned the store. Am I suppose to station a person to check everyone's genitalia. How do you suppose that would go? I suspect I'd be sued either way. What the hell do you want them to do !

We have laws on the books for perverts who behave badly. Despite reading over 600 headlines a day I have yet to see one person arrested violating any one of them concerning bathroom use. Talk about creating a problem where none exist!

Many moons ago when I worked in radio we took two buses up to Niagara Falls. I must admit I got pretty slopped up at a night club and had to take a wee.

I stood outside both bathrooms and saw men & women going from both of them. Damned if I could figure out which one to use. So I just went inside and did my business. When I came out of the toilet stall there was some chick combing her hair in front of a mirror who thought nothing of it .This was some 45 years ago. There's been other times since. Big f*&%ing deal.

Chances are you're not that appealing.. get over yourself

Unicorn Investments

These are highly speculative internet sites investors hope to make large profits from someday in the future, but aren't making a dime's worth of profits. As of January 2016 90% of the billion-dollar unicorn startups are in trouble according to 'Business Insider'.

I had a friend once invest over $2,000 with a company drilling for oil back in the 70's. His so-called financial advisor said it looked like a great investment in which he might see 100%-200% returns in the next year. Guess how that went. His financial advisor collected his commission incurring none of the risks. These "unicorn" internet start ups are a lot like that.

Currently the biggest broadcaster in the United States iHeart radio (formerly clear channel) is facing possible bankruptcy. YouTube nor Twitter didn't start turning a profit until last year either.

Without specifically naming names there are a number of owners of internet startups who walked away with 10's of million$ after issuing IPO's even though their internet companies never made a dime until this very day. Call it legalized fraud if you will.

Whom I feel sorry for are those have no direct control over their investments. People with 401k's and pension programs. Victims of those who control them having taken a portion of retirement funds and sometimes invested in such things.

Internet startups trading on wall street are not unlike the gold rush days. As they say there's a sucker born every minute. So too a fool and his money are soon parted. Anyone thinking they will become rich over night off of these might as well grab a pair of binoculars and go spotting for unicorns. About the only ones getting rich off of these are those who sell shares (IPO's) to the gullible.

Do it the old fashioned way. Investors should put their money away in a safe place like a FDIC insured account. They may not earn a lot on returns but sure as hell won't lose money either. There's no such thing as free money without having to work for it despite what these money brokers may say. That is... unless you're part of their insiders club.

Do We Exist ? (Part 2)

I'm following up on a post I made back on August 27, 2014 entitled "Do We Exist? Although a long time coming this a follow up to it. Mostly because I'm tired of political postings for the time being. The premise I'm building on is the possibly we and the universe could be nothing more then a simulation much like some of our computer driven software we humans have already devised.

"Descartes claimed that he could definitively prove he existed, by concluding. “I think therefore I am". I read a lot of his work but don't think this proves a thing.

Just what if we humans devised a sophisticated software program in which the computer too believed itself to be capable of independent thought? Given whatever was encoded it could well have concluded itself to be conscious of itself having no other references other then whatever limitations programmers had given it to work with.

But wait you say. How about I punch you in he mouth, will you not feel pain? Well yeah if that was part of the software program. Today's programmers could easily make a computer respond to pressure, heat or just about any stimuli we wanted it to. Which then the question arises, What is reality? Yeah good question!

Ray Kurzweil - Are We Living in a Simulation?

A whole lot more on this subject can be found here, "The Holographic Universe"

If a computer were programmed sophisticated enough it too might begin to question who was it's creator. Of course that would be impossible if it (or we) were programmed with limitations. Today's fear is one day artificial intelligence might supersede us. Our own creator might have had those same concerns. Therefore if we live in a simulation it would be impossible to discover what true reality is.

Anyone who visits regularly will see I'm all over the map. No I do not have ADD. I have many varied interests. Rather then limit myself to only a few topics, I seek to explore anything and everything that draws my attention. It's my hope readers will join me in this journey never knowing what they can expect next. To those who have I wish to express my appreciation. While I'm not a comment whore it's always nice to hear a little feedback now and then. (I only had 4 comments so far this year)

Monday, April 25, 2016

It's Election Time But Kudos To Schlossberg

Yes I know it's election time so it may not be a coincidence in the timing of state representative Schlossberg getting his House Bill 12- Protections for Victims of Domestic Violence in Divorce passed by Gov. Wolf.

Credit due where's it's due despite whatever politics may be involved

One of the things I wasn't aware of courts could force couples into facing one another into counseling even when there's a PFA. How horrible. This bill changes that. Despite what naysayers may hold against him this was positive thing he accomplished. Kudos to Mike.


Ripa And Bradford Pissed Off

Kelly Ripa gets about $36,000 per day ($20 million annually).

Sam Bradford the Eagles quarterback has a 2 year, $35,000,000 contract ($11,000,000 signing bonus-$22,000,000 guaranteed).


Sunday, April 24, 2016

Judith Hill Ever Hear Of Her?

Prince did !

What may be my last post regarding the late artist known as Prince I thought this worth noting. He had a way of staying in the background. Because he never was outspoken in public I don't think he ever received the acclaim he should have for creating other great artists. Judith was one of his latest.

In 2015 he turned Judith Hill into a true artist. LA Weekly: Judith Hill Has a Grammy and a Prince-Produced Debut Album — But She Almost Quit Music

Wikipedia: Judith Hill-- "Her debut album "Back in Time" was recorded at Paisley Park, with Prince as co-producer... Prince did not discover Hill on “The Voice” or in the Michael Jackson movie “This Is It,” where she was featured as a backup singer in rehearsal for his upcoming tour. He learned about her when he saw a video clip of her being interviewed on a Revolt TV show and she mentioned that she’d like to work with Prince.

The following video (released in Fall 2015) came about as a result of Prince's interest in her

Outside of the music business I think few had any idea how relevant and active this guy was right up to the very end. As for Judith herself. She may turn out to be the best blues artist to come down the pike since Janis Joplin (who she reminds me of).

Prince really flew under my radar. It's a shame it took his death to bring him to mine and others attention. Here was a guy who seldom took credit for the artists he helped create. Nor exploited his philanthropy. A humble well spoken guy. Now I understand why all the fuss over his death.

Although this might be my last post about him, it won't be my last thoughts of him and all he's accomplished. My hopes are, because of Prince Rogers Nelson, others will be inspired whom were blessed to have known him. That's the legacy I think he would have liked.

Prince's Humanitarianism

CNN Tonight With Don Lemon

Who Knew?
I Certainly Didn't

Always Wear Pajamas To Bed

Saturday, April 23, 2016

A Few Facts About Prince Who Recently Died

Unless you're living under a rock, by now most of you know "Prince" died on Thursday April 21, 2016. This post is not about immortalizing him. Too many already covered that aspect. Rather my intention is to post as many facts as I can find all in one place along with a bit of opinion (like that should surprise anyone who comes here often).

He was found lifeless inside his Paisley Park complex. The $10 million 65,000 SqFt structures are located about 22 miles from Minneapolis. The buildings house two recording studios, a 12,400 foot sound stage, offices, a rehearsal room, costume making areas, Prince's apartment and a secretive vault. I'll speak more about that vault later.

The man was far more prolific then I had thought. Wikipedia list 155 songs he wrote. Among them were songs written for other artists who reaped hits from them. To name a few..
     "Manic Monday“ by The Bangles
     "When You Were Mine“ by Cyndi Lauper
     “Jungle Love“ by The Time
     “Stand Back“ by Stevie Nicks
     “I Feel For You“ by Chaka Khan
     “The Glamorous Life” by Sheila E.

Most are aware of his singing and composing talents. Not so well known is he could and did play 27 different instruments on his first album, "For You". He also accompanied a handful of other artists on their recordings.

Which brings us to that secret vault and what it might contain Wikipedia list many never released projects. Among them 50 fully finished music videos he never made available to the public.

In March 2015 'The Guardian' wrote-- Susan Rogers, Prince’s former sound engineer... "When I left in 87, it was nearly full. Row after row of everything we’d done. I can’t imagine what they’ve done since then.”

Brent Fischer is a composer who has helped add orchestration to Prince’s work for 30 years, beginning with 1985’s Parade album; his studio heaves with reams and reams of sheet music for his work with Prince. I recognize some of the titles, but others look like songs that must be sitting in the vault – The Streets of Panama and The Fat Lady Sings. “I think over 70% of the music we’ve worked on for Prince is yet to come out,"

Unimaginable Wealth
If these rumors ring true the Prince estate could set world records accumulating far more wealth then any of these other late artists could ever dream of. Since Elvis's death his estate tripled and Michael Jackson's doubled in their net worth.

Elvis earned $100 million over his lifetime. Almost 40 years after his death the estate is reported to have a net worth of $300 million. When Michael Jackson died his estate was reportedly $500 million in debt. Some six years after his death in 2015 said to have a net worth $450 million on the plus side. Prince's estate is currently worth an estimated $300 million.

Neither Elvis or Michael left much behind in the way of unreleased projects. If it's true what they say is stored in Prince's secret vault his estate could end up being worth many more times then that of Michael's and Elvis's combined.

Let the fighting begin. Who's going to end up owning and controlling how much of what or when any of the material may be released (if it ever will) is anyone's guess. I wonder what Prince would have wanted?

Larry King: December 10, 1999

Most artists in real life little resemble the kind of self assured we assume them to be when they perform

Friday, April 22, 2016

Wehr's Dam Future To Be Determined By Referendum

Photo Credit: WFMZ

WFMZ is reporting Wehr's Dam rehab will go to referendum. "A rehabilitation project that would cost the township $588,500 and suggested a five-year timeline to complete it. Another costlier option would be for the township to tear the damn[sic] down and replace it at a cost of $1.9 million."

Let me stare into my crystal ball to see how this might play out in South Whitehall, Pennsylvania.

Even though there were promises made this wouldn't increase taxes I'd think it doesn't bode well for the dam. In almost every circumstance whenever things like these come up for a public vote on them voters reject spending money on nearly anything. Since I feel most of these politicos are in favor of the dam's removal this was the perfect route of escape for them.

Although I'm a proponent of public referendums I'm also a realist

South Whitehall voters were never consulted in the investment to the soccer or baseball fields nor the $10 million public safety center at Parkway and Broadway. But just you watch what may happen to the dam which could cost just 1/20th of that amount when left up to voters.

Hope I'm wrong. Maybe South Whitehall voters in fall will surprise me, but I doubt it.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Anyone Who Criticizes The Phantoms Or Arena Is Clueless

That was a comment left somewhere on another site somewhere which I forgot. I'm not going to criticize "The Phantoms". The arena itself is another matter Although not directed at me I hardly consider myself "clueless" when it comes to criticism of this project. Neither should anyone else who's been critical of it.

I'll begin by using this article published in "The Morning Call" as my source along with some of my own math.

The costs involved with the parking deck, two attached buildings and the arena itself totaled $282 million. Two to three times more then any other minor team hockey arena in the country. The arena is expected to generate $16 million a year towards it's debt over 30 years. For 30 years taxpayers in Pennsylvania will have to make up the estimated $16 million a year in revenue redirected into this loan. $16m x 30 years translates to nearly 1/2 a billion dollars.

Most arenas require updating every ten years or so.
Who's going to come up with that money?

Part of the costs of clearing and purchasing the 37 property for the arena came in at around $25.7 million alone. Unlike the arena most of the 37 properties were paying state and local property taxes. Therefore I would think it not unreasonable to assume the actual costs to taxpayers would be near 3/4 a billion dollars in tax loses over 30 years for the entire arena project. Far more then what's being widely quoted.

"The Phantoms" signed a 29 year lease. Which is considered the life expectancy for the average arena. Better hope the team stays solvent, we have a lot of events and some spillover dollars to neighboring businesses. Otherwise we will have nothing to show for it in the end.

If you want to talk "clueless" this person has to be it's very definition. If this was such a hot investment why wouldn't the team get together with a bunch of investors and build it to line their pockets?

Hope this person and others are enjoying the seats paid for by taxpayers like myself who are forced to supplement the costs for them. I can think of better uses for my tax dollars. Entertainment wouldn't be one of them. You know dumb stuff like only the essential services government was first intended to provide.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Radio The Way It Use To Be

Once upon a time listening to radio was a fun uplifting experience. Unlike today's talking heads radio once brought fun, silliness and joy. They've been replaced by a bunch of sour pusses endlessly stuffing our heads with negativity they take all too seriously.

I for shall forever believe radio should be a fun place full of goofy entertainment where one can escape. Too bad all that's changed.

Radio Greats Weekend (2007)

Dick Biondi WJMK Radio Chicago 1987

Ron Lundy WCBS-FM Radio New York 1991

Wolfman Jack WSM Radio Nashville 1990

The Day AM Radio Died: WABC Radio's last day of music
At noon on May 10, 1982 the "Musicradio" format ended and WABC became a news-talk station

AM Radio has never been the same since

Which You'd Rather?

Radio Caroline

A Repost From March 26, 2013 With Edited Updates & Links

Pirated Music.. It's as old as I am

In 2006 the headlines shouted,
"RIAA seeks to shut down entire internet by criminalizing all file sharing"

What many of my younger readers may not realize this battle has been raging since Friday, March 27, 1964 when 'Radio Caroline' first signed on the air 50,000 watts strong.

Which also happens to be the strongest transmission power allowed in U.S. on the AM band.

The studio & transmitters were installed on a ship 3 miles off the coast of England. It was just out of range of legal authorities (or so they believed).

Before then Britain's kids had nearly no exposure to Rock & Roll like we here in America since the early 50's. They were hungry for this. Therefore the ship broadcasts of 'Radio Caroline' thrived on and off for 25 years.

The ship you see above is the MV Ross Revenge. It played host to 'Radio Caroline' starting in 1983. It was a converted fishing trawler. They used this ship after it's original ship, the Mi Amigo, sank in 1980 nearly drowning all those aboard. It was the last ship they broadcasted from.

The ships of 'Radio Caroline' were around from 1964 until the second ship was boarded. The equipment was either smashed or confiscated in 1989 by authorities.

'Radio Caroline' has been off the air and back on several times since that time. Currently they can be no longer found on the satellite SKY CHANNEL 0199, but still remain broadcasting to this day via streaming audio on their website Other streaming formats can be found HERE.

Will there ever be an end of 'Radio Caroline'?

Maybe, maybe not. They are like the mythical bird of the Greeks, 'the phoenix' ever returning.

Now here's a few clips that showcase this legendary radio station.

A Sad Tribute Song To The Orginal Ship That 'Radio Caroline' Broadcasted From

The 'Radio Caroline' Story

The Johnnie Walker Show- Radio Caroline 1968

Radio Caroline is Silenced - August 1989

See Wikipedia: "Radio Caroline"
Pictures of 'Radio Caroline' (1983-1989)

So you see music piracy is not something new. The legal battle between the recording industry and those who pirate musical recordings rages on to this very day.

But there never will be a battle the likes of the legendary 'Radio Caroline'.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Millennials Not Eager To Own Homes Or Cars

I've read the 'Lehigh Valley Live' article headlined How some carpet stains, missing bulbs could stall Easton's momentum. It reminded me of just one more reason if I were their age I wouldn't buy a home either.

It's Not Just About The Lack Of Money
A case can be made millennials face greater financial difficulties then previous generations because of college debt and less then great prospects to land a well paying job. However even if that were not the situation there are greater reasons why younger workers aren't as eager to buy as their parents.

Transportation: Unless somebody's going to buy used, new car prices are insane. The payments go on for up to six years. By that time the vehicle is worn out and a owner would need another. So if someone were looking to keep up with cars less then five or six years old, it would be cheaper to lease. Something I'm sure banks and car manufacturers are well aware of so fix the prices to keep it that way. Hence why a millennial may be more inclined to rent rather then purchase.

Home Ownership: If I were thirty some years old I wouldn't even think of buying a home either. Most jobs today only last five or ten years before a company moves. Either I'd have to go with it or find another one. Anchored down in mortgage payments would make moving to a better job location nearly impossible. Why?

Because buying or selling a home today has become a legal con. There's too many hands in the pot. City inspectors, independent inspections, bank appraisals, realtor fees, title fees/insurance. exterminators, radon requirements, lawyer fees and sometimes ground & water testing. All of which could be only the tip of the iceberg. Failing any of these inspections could involve $10,000's of repairs involving carpenters, plumbers, electricians, roofers and who knows what else. Most of which these costs would be borne by both buyers and sellers alike.

After a young couple buys a home not only can unexpected repairs become a problem but so too homeowner's insurance and taxes which might go up faster then expected along with utilities in a particular area.

Being of child bearing age is another factor. When a couple buys a home it's neighborhood and schools can change a lot over five years and beyond. Perhaps making it no longer attractive for raising children as it once was when they purchased it.

Gone are the days pop got a job at a factory where he could expect work to last a lifetime. Gone are the days when buying or selling a home wasn't a complicated expensive matter. Gone are the days where the same neighbors remained throughout their lives. Gone are the days where one medical illness wouldn't cost a lifetime's savings possibly one's home. Gone are the days of a relatively cheap repairman coming to the home. Gone are the days where you wouldn't need a permit and a licensed person for practically everything. In today's highly litigious society one lawsuit and your done. Property assets can't be attached if you don't own any

Renters face few of these downfalls. Anything bad comes along like a job loss, changing neighborhood, monthly costs become too unbearable and the ever increasing requirements by law making it hard to sell it becomes a much simpler matter to pack up and leave for a renter. In today's fast changing world the risks all too many times outweigh the advantages. The question isn't why, but why would a young couple purchase a car or home?

As a result residents no longer have vested interest in government they once had. Not a good thing for anyone. The consequences of what cities and states are experiencing today is a lack of providing a long term outlook to our younger generation. This whole thing ties into federal, state and local policies and regulations that impede ownership and long term jobs. Too many to detail here. Suffice to say something like I read (above) isn't helping. Here's a partial copy and paste of one of the comments.. "Having experienced this first-hand as a buyer, I must agree... I was told that I could not legally move into the house until every item on a three-page list of "code violations" was fixed. The code enforcement office insisted that I needed permits for all the repairs (some of which were unnecessary, I found out later). These were all items that I had observed when I inspected the house myself as a potential buyer, most of which I figured I could repair over a longer period of time. Many of the items on the list were cosmetic, and others downright trivial, like ivy growing up the walls of a small garden shed more than thirty feet away from the house itself (just one of several examples).... I am all for insuring the safety of tenants in rental properties, and holding landlords accountable, but many of the items in my experience (as a home-buyer, not a rental property buyer) had nothing to do with safety..."
I know. I for one, would bag it and go rent instead. Who needs the grief !

Chart Courtesy 'The Atlantic"
Homeownership in America Has Collapsed—Don't Blame Millennials

Sunday, April 17, 2016

More Reliable Renewable Energy Idea

One of the downsides to wind and solar generated power is they cannot be relied on for constant output 24/7/365.

The following device overcomes this problem as well as the need to store electricity. Both of which critics have long held belief as to why alternative energy isn't a practical solution

The wind may not blow everyday. The sun may not make it's appearance in daytime either. Both of these vary in intensity throughout the globe making one or the other more suitable to a given area but not all. However the oceans slish slosh day and night all over the Earth. Because they do this device being developed overcomes those problems.

Oscilla Power's Triton

The really great thing, it's being researched and developed right here in the United States. Funding came about as part of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Wave Energy Prize..

'Oscilla Power' is a privately held company based in Seattle, Washington. It's main focus is on developing alternative energy solutions. More details of the contest itself can be found at the prize team's website.

A Bit Of Political Fodder
In today's extreme political climate it's hard not to include a word about it. Capitalism may be a great thing, but sometimes it needs a nudge or two in the right direction. This especially when it comes to highly speculative costly research investors may not be too eager to engage in. Not all government funding for universities and companies may be a wise investment. On this I think we can both agree. However in this particular case if it should succeed this will produce huge returns for the environment, on jobs, taxes and the economy.

Not every government run program is evil as some believe and want defunded. Government itself is the only thing big and powerful enough to change things for either the better or worse. The challenge is for us to accept or reject choosing wisely rather then eliminating these kind of programs in their entirety without due consideration.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

House Could Pick Our Next President

'The Daily Beast'- "If no general election candidate receives a majority of the electoral votes—270—the Constitution requires that the House of Representatives will elect the president.. each state would receive one vote regardless of population.. Thirty-two state delegations are controlled by Republicans, 15 by Democrats,"

I almost found this too hard to believe until I verified it. ''-- "In the case of an Electoral College deadlock or if no candidate receives the majority of votes, a “contingent election” is held. The election of the President goes to the House of Representatives. Each state delegation casts one vote for one of the top three contenders to determine a winner. Only two Presidential elections (1800 and 1824) have been decided in the House."

What if Donald Trump got the boot and ran as a independent. Then suppose Bernie Sanders got a number of write in votes if he was not the nominee. It would be possible then it could pave the way for members of the house to appoint our next president. Even if two out of three were Democrats or had higher vote counts a Republican could still be appointed.

This falls under The 12th Amendment. It goes on to say, "If the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President."

I Did Not Know This
I wonder how many other voters didn't know this either. If you think people are already ticked off with delegate and electoral counts imagine how this would play out with today's crowd.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Airlines Why Do People Put Up With Them!

I've just read another frustrated traveler's story. I can understand mechanical problems and bad weather play a part. The main beef seems to be the lack of communication and the 'I don't give a hoot' kind of attitude airlines have. From my own experience they don't give a flying leap if your ship leaves port without you.

In many instances I see no reason why many take planes in the first place. Passengers are required arrive an hour or two before their flight. In that same amount of time someone could have driven 50 to 100 miles on their own. Assuming a flight isn't delayed and it takes two hours in the air add another 30 minutes at the airport once someone arrives, there's another 250+ miles one could have driven. Plus however long it takes to get to the final destination from the airport. Unless there's heavy traffic or no direct route flying less then 300 or 400 miles is foolish. Air travel is not only expensive but travelers could avoid the presumption of guilt at the TSA screening check points as well as what items they were allowed to take with them.

Personal Experience
When we took a plane to Puerto Rico, the couple sitting next to us paid less then 1/2 of what we did. On the return trip we were bumped because of the airline overbooking the flight. This after scheduling our flight 6 months in advance. We already had to wait five hours after leaving the cruise ship we were on. To make matters worse this caused us to miss our connecting flight. Instead of arrived home around 8:00 PM we didn't arrive until near 1:00 AM. This not only inconvenienced us, but our daughter who was suppose to pick us up and had to work the next morning. I wasn't about to pay for parking at the airport for the nearly two weeks we were gone. As a result we never took a cruise since.

If air travelers had chutzpah they'd declare a two day national boycott refusing to fly. This would send a clear message. As long as the American traveling public puts up with being treated like crap airlines will continue treating them as such. Somewhere over the years Americans have lost the kind of unity they once had to coalesce. As a result customer courtesy and respect has become meaningless to airlines and airports on what they both can now get away with.

Who's To Blame?
Passengers accepting cramped seating, lousy meals, being bumped, sitting on runways and air terminals for hours?
Airlines/Airports who know customers will always wait in long lines with wallets open no matter how bad the service?

Here's The Way I Feel
If you don't like the way some business treats it's customers, don't continue using them. It will be a cold day in hell before we fly again the way we were treated. If we decide to book a cruise ship, we'll drive to it's port. OR take a another cruise ship to the final destination cruise ship. Yes it can be done. I see no point in punishing the cruise ship industry for what they do well because of these airlines. Not as though cruise ships are entirely innocent when it comes to differentiating cruise offering$ either !

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Funniest Show We've Ever Seen On Broadway

Shows like this don't come along very often. I was fortunate to score tickets while "The Drowsy Chaperone" was still in previews (2006). It's hard to imagine except for two or three shows since then there will be another show like it since comedy musicals usually don't take off. The main theme was acting corny. Worked for me.

Clips From The Original Production
"Cold Feet"

"Toledo Surprise "

Opening After Intermission


None of the high schools are recreating this in 2016, but Southern Lehigh H.S. did in 2015
video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

One Of The Best Musical Dance Numbers Ever

"Catch Me If You Can" was a Broadway musical in 2011. It was performed 32 times in previews and another 170 times shutting down just shy of six months on September 4th of that year. It would be impossible for me say which musical number or actor had the best performance. If I had to pick one surely it would have to be Norbert Leo Butz's exhaustingly over the top sing and dance number from his 2011 Tony Awards performance. I didn't think anyone had this kind of stamina to dance and still be able to sing.

As long as I'm on this Broadway kick... the most exciting show we've seen was "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" back in 2005. It was one of absolute best shows for kids and grown up kids like myself. Unlike most performances this cast encouraged the audience to get loud and involved.

It would be tough for me to imagine how they made money on this show. The complex huge props had to be extremely expensive. The car itself was estimated to be the most expensive stage prop ever used. It was rumored to have cost over one million dollars. Perhaps they recovered some of the cost after the show closed because someone bought the car and the rights to use it here in the United States it in 2014.

I'm really hoping after the granddaughters age in a few years it will come back to Broadway. In the meantime here is a clip I found of the finale performed at the London Palladium theatre where the car flies over the audience. When we first saw this both of us were stunned. I don't know whether any stage prop this big or heavy had ever done this before or since.

"Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" (Finale/ Chitty Flies Home)

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Not Many Watch Traditional TV

Television Is Overrated

As of 2013, there were an estimated 115.6 million television households in the United States.
This out of 133,957,180 households numbering 2.6 persons each as of 2014

You'd think with that many households individual programs on television would have many more viewers then they actually do. Take for example in March 2016 the highest cable TV news show was the 'O'Reilly Factor'. It came in with an average of only 3.9 million viewers nightly. That's only a little over 1% of U.S. population of 318.9 million (as of 2014)

Of the top ten prime time shows airing the week of March 28, 2016 'The Big bang Theory' had 14.238 million viewers. About 4.5% of the U.S. population.

This country's largest TV viewing audience ever was the 2015 Super Bowl. It had 114.4 million viewers. Still under 36%.

Wikipedia lists the most watched television broadcasts in history. Most were before 2005 and even they averaged less then 50 million (16%) viewers per program. A few specials did better. They had 33% at the most.

A few days ago the 'American Idol' finale pulled in around 13.4 million viwers (about 6%).

According to 'Nielsen' "With the convenience and personalized benefits offered by on-demand program viewing, it’s no surprise that VOD is fast becoming a part of daily viewing habits for many around the world, regardless of age." Over the air TV is hamstrung. If a program was on at eight, unless it was recorded viewers missed it. VOD is forever. Hence why many networks are offering VOD on their websites.

As more and more people focus their activities online traditional TV broadcasting is headed the way of the dodo bird, much like the newspapers.

People are getting more entertainment and information online without having to wait for it. Nor spoon fed by TV executives who determine what will broadcast.

Currently we see TV trying to play catch up by limited airings of videos and reports coming in from the internet. Both which all too often are edited down and/or censored if aired at all.

Unless main stream media can find a way to produce enough income it will lead to further reductions in quality programs, news reporting and their staffs resulting in even less viewers. This will create more competition on the internet allowing more low budget directors, documentary producers, entertainers and news reporters to get in on the act.

In the future major media will hold less sway over public opinion, what's being reported, how much cable companies are forced to pay and who gets to succeed. Up to now newspapers and TV had a monopoly on what we were exposed to. Now everyone gets to participate.