Thursday, June 30, 2016

A Few Beefs I Have

The first I have concerns driving. Although I may not be on the road too often I've come across situations the other day that ticked me off.

I had to take the cat to the vet. The drive was 15 minutes both ways and less then 10 miles yet I encountered two jerks. The first was out on route 100 when I had to turn into the driveway at the vet's office. It is a shared one lane driveway. Coming up behind me was a tractor trailer driver who continued accelerating behind me despite having my turn signal and brake lights on. Lucky for me no one was coming out of the driveway which would have forced me to stop. Fortunately I was able to complete my turn Without a doubt if I would have been forced to stop this asshole would have crashed into me, my wife and the cat I had in my back seat.

The second occurred after leaving the vet. I was at a three way intersection waiting to pull out. The other drivers had no stop sign and had their directional signals on to turn. I don't know about anyone else but turn signals are no guarantee. The late father in law was famous for forgetting to his off. I never pull out until I'm sure they're actually turning. My delay meant no more then 10 or 20 seconds passed before the ahole behind me started laying on their horn.

So in essence I spent no more then 30 minutes total on the road and ran across two idiots. It's one thing to practice defensive driving. Another to be victimized. No wonder area highways are shutdown while people are killed and injured everyday throughout the Lehigh Valley. Far too many idiots behind the wheel thinking they'll be saving a few seconds end up spending far more time, money all the while risking physical injury unto themselves is one thing but involving other drivers just pisses me off.

The other beef I have is with people turning everything and anything into a political argument. Honestly some people can take clothes hanging out on a wash line as a matter for political argument. Can we knock it off already !!!

The same crazy kind of stuff going on between people worldwide regarding "They" and "Us". No one seems to want to accept anyone. People seem to group behind one cause or another opposed in some tribal manner against anything or anyone they've attached themselves to over another. What the hell's with that?

Is there, was there or will there ever come a time people will ever come to realize their commonality?

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Nobody Here But Us Earthlings

I went down this path before. Thought I'd do a revisit on this subject. Yeah I know.. it ain't healthy to think this much :-)

It's been estimated by some there are 300 billion stars in our Milky Way with some 30 billion planets orbiting around some of them with another estimated 100 billion galaxies for lo these many billions of years.

So where the hell is everybody !

Some theories are: (1) Technological advances made it possible to wipe themselves out in warfare before reaching into space. (2) Religious dogma or government over lords prevented their advancements into the sciences. (3) Their planets might have made life unsustainable before they were able to evolve. (4) We're more evolutionary advanced then any other planet for some reason despite these billions of years and the number of them. (5) They're so advanced they've been able to evolve beyond the physical limitations we're mired in and consider us not worth associating with..

Whatever the reasons one thing's for sure.. if they's around ain't nobody's got evidence of em'. Yeah sure some claim to have seen, been abducted or photographed space visitors. I'm calling bullshit on this. Show me one piece of physical hard evidence. All these years and there's not one piece of alien space junk. Don't even try and tell me about a government cover up. Governments are lousy at keeping secrets. Too many people with big mouths. It can't be done. We've had satellite radio and visual telescopes searching high and wide for decades yet nada..

Face it we are like guppies living in this fish bowl. A few miles beyond this Earth's our body's bone structures w/o gravity begin to deteriorate. Radiation begins to take it's toll no matter how well a capsule's design. The time factor to get from here to anywhere is impossible as far as we know in a person's lifetime. All these would have to be overcome for they just as it would for us. So far it appears nobody's been able to pull off this stunt.

Even If We Were Recognized
Civilization far advanced beyond our own could go one of three ways. (1) They are far more civilized then our own making them consider us barbarians unworthy of participating or sharing in their knowledge. This would be similar to star trek in nature in following the prime directive thus ignoring us. (2) Their culture was ruled under a total 100% complete totalitarian state which disallowed any dissention. (3) Robotic machines replaced their creators having no need any longer of food, water oxygen or other essentials required of flesh Woe be to us if it were the latter two.

Here's What I Concluded
Whoever/whatever the originator of intelligence is finds it's place in whatever is available merely as a reflection of itself whatever he/she/it may be. Hence has no need for mirror images to communicate among itself. If some wish to refer to this creative intelligence as God so-be-it. Hence there may never come a time we'll ever experience other beings.

There's no evidence anyone from our distant future was able to bridge time either. Since intelligence is a function beyond the constraints of physical time which is unto itself may very well be merely a reflection within whatever exist would also account for the lack of necessity for this intelligence to communicate unto itself in this way either.

If someone has a better explanation why no one's around I'd be interested in their explanation as to why not.

It's Impossible To Date The Age Of The Universe

Presently scientists assume our universe began with a big bang around 13.8 billion years ago. This assumption can be quite easily disproven in several ways.

First we need to understand this figure is entirely based on the "observable universe". This is where questions begin to arise. Whichever direction we on Earth look the farthest light and packets of energy reaching us today are no older then 13.8 billion light years away. This is how long it took for them to get here.

Discarding the big bang "theory" for purposes of this discussion, just what if we on Earth existed several billion years earlier. This would have allowed light and energy the time necessary for it to reach us from far greater distances. Thus the "observable universe" would be far larger and older then what is presently assumed.

There some rather peculiar scientific evidence which supports this. The oldest quasar we can observe in the universe dates back to nearly 13.5 billion years ago. Observations determined it contains many times the amount of iron then that in our own solar system. Here's the rub. It's takes quasars many generations of supernovas over billions of years to form iron. Meaning it had to be around a whole lot longer then 13.5 billion years.

One must also take into account another proven scientific fact. The universe is expanding at an ever increasing rate. Assuming some undiscovered super clusters emitting light were born far earlier then 13.8 billion years ago their continued acceleration would place them near the speed of light. Thus it would take a much greater time to reach here. Quite possibly billions and billions more then 13.8 billion light years. Indeed close to never for some.

The way we express time in the physical universe is the comparison of two "things" in relation to one another. Science has proven the states of physical matter and energy can transform into one or the other and does so all the time. No one need look no further then experiments with these supercolliders to accept this as fact. Energy itself functions beyond physical matter therefore outside of how we measure time. Because of the universe's continuous transmutations between energy and matter it's therefore impossible to express the universe's true age or if it even has one.

Monday, June 27, 2016

We Need To Update The Bill Of Rights

The "Bill of Rights" was written on September 25, 1789 and ratified December 15, 1791 at which time they became amendments to the United States Constitution. A lot has changed since then.

Even our forefathers recognized it was important to make updates when necessary.

I'm not the first to question a need to update the Bill Of Rights.

FDR January 11, 1944

Roosevelt and Corporations

Thus began the partisan bickering over government regulations and where each political party stands unto this day.

Just recently a renter in Frisco had his rent raised from $1,800 to $8,000 a month forcing him out. Who but the government would be able to intervene?

In the 1700's there were no such things as corporations. The business sector was almost entirely composed of individual shop owners. One shot flint musket ball rifles were all they had. A shooter would be lucky if they could hit their target from ten feet away. Hence the need for affixed bayonets..

Recently a federal judge declared "The original Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the post–Civil War amendments (including the 14th), do not speak to today."

No matter how well written or intended our forefathers had no way of conceiving the kind of changes that lay ahead over the next 200+ years. The kind of changes they made were astronomical in their day. They had both the courage and conviction to do what they felt needed to be done at the time. If they were alive today I'm certain they'd want to add amendments when necessary. They're long gone and dead. Now it's up to us to do the same.

Just as the laws of the old testament were meant to bring order, they no longer applied to the 1700's, So it is today. The constitution along with the bill of rights need to both reflect our current social values, technology and nation's place in the world to achieve what our forefathers intended.

There will still be those who oppose government regulations. I'm here to tell ya there was a hellva lot of blood spilled when these patriots first came out with these documents. It could be said they were the first radical progressive ideologists in their day who called for regulations beyond anything known up until that time in the colonies.

I'm not saying we should erase these documents. Rather build upon them greater things. Our fore founders most certainly would never have wanted us to remain frozen in time. These guys didn't transfix themselves on laws and ideologies 200 years before their time. Neither should we.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

I'm Against Minimum Wage Of $15 An Hour Nationally

Here's why.

No One Size Fits All
According to Wikipedia the average per capita income in Connecticut is $39,373 while in Mississippi workers earn just 53% of those living in Connecticut ($21,036). This works out to almost $19 an hour in Connecticut and just over $10 an hour in Mississippi.

The way we go about setting this at a federal level is done all wrong. Rather then taking a hard number and applying it to all fifty states it should be percentage based instead.

Let's take for example using 90% of a state's per capita income as a goal for our minimum wage. In Mississippi that figure would come in at $9.10 an hour. In Connecticut it would be $17.04 an hour. Here in Pennsylvania it would be $12.64 and hour. All the figures I used were based on a 40 hour work week for 52 weeks out of the year.

As you can see the $15 an hour would place unreasonable burdens on business owners in Mississippi while short changing minimum wage earners in Connecticut. Going with the 90% figure it would help bridge the gap between the lowest paid and those with average incomes. At the same time creating parity between all fifty states.

Keep in mind Per Capita income is the average of all workers from the highest to the lowest paid. This doesn't mean someone earning the minimum wage still isn't at the bottom nor that they may be able to live on this hourly wage. What it does mean employers in each area wouldn't go bankrupt trying to pay the same wages as other states whose standard of living costs are twice theirs.

Using a percentage based system state by state is a lot fairer to both employers and employees. That said, I'd tend to think more federal legislators from various states are far more likely to get onboard with this plan. Meaning there's a greater chance of it's success in congress then a straight across the board 'one size fits all' type of increase.

Other Real Quick Brexit Thoughts

* Britain as part of the European Union has trade agreements with 58 other foreign nations. If/when they pull out they will all have to be renegotiated separate and apart from those agreed to previously as a member of the European Union since none of these will no longer apply.

* 40% of the food in Britain's grocery stores is imported. Wholesale prices will have to be paid for with the differences between the British pound and the Euro currency when this withdrawal fully takes affect.

* There could be an exodus. For many investors, workers, manufacturers and shoppers it would be much like leaving New Jersey to work and live in Pennsylvania only a few miles away if the economy begins to tank in Britain.

* I had no idea Britain had it's own Donald Trump in the form of New York City born native Boris Johnson who has designs on becoming the next prime minister. Something the American media totally ignored in it's reporting.

* Donald Trump bragged it would be 30% cheaper to visit his British resorts. Yeah but that means he'd also be earning 30% less too... duh!

* Airlines travel fees are based on being able to fly into Britain onto their next destination as part of their itinerary under European agreements. This no longer applies. Expect higher costs and separate screening requirements. Same goes for rail travel as well.

All Euro's sports teams and it's players will be rocked beyond belief in so many ways.

* Angela Lansbury, Bob Hope, Elizabeth Taylor, Peter Frampton, Kiefer Sutherland, Elton John, John Lennon and a whole host of others born British made the United States home. Yeah you heard it right even Bob Hope (London Born) arrived in the United States when he was only 4 years old!

This whole thing about making Britain great again like it once was is total scam. What they're going through will be a precursor to the disaster which could befall the United States. I can only hope this year after the U.S. elections we not suffer the same fate as those who are living in England are about to endure in the days ahead.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Food For Thought From Two TV Series

There's lots of junk on TV. Here are some brief clips I've edited down from two outstanding TV series programs which once aired , 'The West Wing' And 'The Newsroom'. Much is as relevant with today's issues as they were when they first aired.

Other then 'Madam Secretary' which recently ended it's current season and '60 Minutes' this type of well researched quality written programming has all but disappeared.


Friday, June 24, 2016

ASD Superintendent Leaving For Sabbatical

"It granted Mayo a sabbatical for all of 2016-17 and agreed to pay him 60 percent of his salary, or $114,000. "I have been under a doctor's care for several years now," the 68-year-old said...."

My Comments About The Article Above
The sabbatical will end on the same day his contract. Careful what you wish for. Although he had supporters the union, several board directors and student walkouts called for his dismissal. I don't see how this is a good thing. Taxpayers will now be paying as much as $30,000 to a head hunter for his replacement. Once one is appointed no doubt that person's salary will be well north of $100,000+. Mayo will receive salary plus benefits while on sabbatical. All this will cost taxpayers in the neighborhood of 1/2 million dollars over the next twelve months.

Someone worth their salt would take into account the lack of support from students, the teachers union and certain school board members Mayo received before considering taking on these huge challenges. At the end of the day, same teachers, same students, same tax base and same budget woes made even worse by this. I'm not too hopeful a hero at the top of their game will sweep in saving the day.

The whole is made up of it's parts. These problems began long before Mayo took charge and they will for a long time after he leaves. Until parents, students and the union come to realize they are part of the problems challenging this school district nothing is going to change.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Supreme Court Judges Receive Sponsored Trips

"Justice Scalia was an enthusiastic traveler, taking more than 250 privately funded trips from 2004 to 2014... According to records obtained under an Australian freedom of information law, the University of Adelaide paid more than $38,000 for Justice Scalia, his wife and another couple to fly business class to a 2011 conference... Justice Stephen G. Breyer was the most active traveler last year, taking 19 paid trips... Justice Sonia Sotomayor was next, with 16 paid trips."

My Comments About The Article Above
Each earn a salary of $244,000 a year. This doesn't consider the extra loot they earn from speaking and teaching at universities, books sales and some from their stock investments. While they are not making as much as many congress members, it ain't chump change either.

Their 2015 financial disclosure forms can be found HERE. From what I see these reimbursed trips were for what you'd expect them to be. Speaking at universities and legal forums and the like. However I'm quite sure there was also time available to enjoy hospitalities, local activities and rub elbows with those who sponsored the trips.

Indeed many professionals go on paid business trips all the time. A company (sponsors) pays for them because they hope to benefit in some way. Questions naturally follow. What were the motives behind these invites? Where they all for the pursuit of academic knowledge and goodwill?

Perhaps, but I tend to think it raises the eyebrows of most who can only hope to be given just one all expense paid trip with absolutely no expectations nor strings attached. Given human nature I can't help but think there wasn't at least some self interest on the part of these sponsors no matter how well intended.

Of course the same criticism could be made against any public official receiving freebies.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Social Security Will Screw Retirees Again In 2017

"The projected 0.2 percent increase in Social Security payments would come a year after beneficiaries received no increase... The average monthly payment is about $1,232, so the average increase would be a little less than $2.50"

My Comments About The Article Above
This reminds me of the wife's 82 year old grandmother when she was still alive a few years ago. She received a $2 increase in her monthly SS benefits while living at Gross Towers for seniors. Because she got the $2 her monthly rent was increased by $1. That would be funny if it weren't so sad.

Yeah I hadn't gotten a increase in Social Security last year but that didn't stop my monthly Medicare payment from going up. For some next year as much as $27 !

I think we all know where this country's priorities are.

Yeah sure, love you both right back !

Should Major Contributors To 501(c)'s ID Themselves?

Federal bill H.R.5053 was passed in the house on June 14th 2016. Shortly it's expected to go before the Senate. Obama is expected to veto the measure.

What the bill intends to do is "prohibit the Internal Revenue Service from requiring a tax-exempt organization to include in annual returns the name, address, or other identifying information of any contributor."

This bill's pass or fail falls between party lines. According to "" Democratic opponents of the measure say "What this bill does, to put it simply, is to solidify the secrecy around the role of big money in campaigns.... Republicans counter that this is opposition is entirely motivated by politics, since about 85 percent of this money is spent on conservative causes.

In my opinion for the sake of transparency both the IRS and the public should have the right to know who's behind what. This all goes back to the brew haha over the Tea Party. It seems to me whenever we see ads or organizing efforts from any organization (liberal or conservative) a fully informed public needs to see who's hiding behind them. To me this falls in line with not knowing who paid for a study or some poll. It's bad enough lobbyists hide behind labels swaying our officials without another bunch of more groups screwing with us when it comes to forming our opinions and voting.

At this point here's what I've come to believe...* Smart guns or registration requirements for online and/or at guns shows sales will never ever happen. Not in a million years. Any legislator fool enough to step out of line will receive zero campaign money and lobbied into the ground. Forget about it. It ain't never gonna happen.

* There never ever will be a candidate that ever gets elected purely at a grassroots level. It will always be what's best for either party over that of the nation. They both have a monopoly and will fiercely protect their control against all comers. If God appeared with his angels in the skies he himself couldn't get elected as a third party candidate.

* Anyone trying to schedule a appointment with a house or senate member having a petition with 10,000 signatures is not near likely to score one as someone with a $10,000 campaign check in hand.

* Any new congressional member who is sucker enough to believe for one second he/she will be appointed to a committee and have their legislation passed beyond it w/o a quid pro quo to other standing members is deluding themselves.

* There never ever will be any meaningful campaign finance reform period. Lobbyists and other power brokers will crush anyone who even dare peak of such heresy.

It amuses me when I hear people worldwide speak of "taking their country back". Forget about it. All governments throughout the world expect only two things. People to pay their taxes and join their militaries to maintain their power. Anything else is of secondary benefit. If someone is able to earn a few bucks retiring comfortably and avoid tangling with any governments' legal systems it would be a life well led.

Point Is..
Whether it be someone living here or any other place on this planet no government nor organization is or ever was capable of looking beyond it's own interests before those of the individuals they claim to represent. It's up to each person to avoid becoming too involved in the drama and live their lives as best they can remaining emotionally unattached to anyone or anything that differs with one's own beliefs.

Indeed all the problems in the world come about as a result of people concentrating too much of their efforts in trying to bridge differences rather then relinquishing and acknowledging some things in this world were never meant to be. In other words everyone needs to clam it. Try to stay out of each others way. People need to mind their own business much as possible so long as nobody's minding theirs. We'd all be better off for it. This applies to religions, governments' international relations as well to our immediate neighbors.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Saturday Morning TV Was For Kids (Videos)

Once upon a time when network execs had a minimal amount of brains they figured out there was a lot of loot to be made from programming for kids. If it was true then, why wouldn't it be now ?


Video Courtesy: Johnnyboy792

Hey while I'm taking a look back... wouldn't it be great to see these kind of ads from a few year ago. You know the ones that weren't trying to kill ya with side effects from the meds they're pimping these days or why you should go broke leasing a car. Many might have been more entertaining then the shows we were watching in which they appeared..

T-Mobile's Royal Wedding Dance celebrates the marriage of William and Kate (April 2011)


Sound Medical Advice

Finally there's no reason why pop has to leave the bar after work
to cart the little lady around picking up dinner supplies.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Mass Shootings, Reality Is...

All were done by mentally unstable white guys with guns. I can't think of one done by a black, Hispanic nor someone born outside this country. The badmouthing of Muslims going on by far too many jerks in the public spotlight needs to stop.

I really don't want to take my talking points down to the level of 'Godwin's law', but on this matter I feel an exception should be made. Back in the holly jolly days of Germany under Hitler no matter where people of the Jewish faith came from eradication of them were considered a solution to all that ailed Germany. To hear Trump, Palin, Hannity and a host of other ignorant blowhards speak they want the United States to travel down the same path when it comes to Muslims.

When some white guy shot up the kids in Sandy Hook or the white guy shot up black worshippers in Charleston along with many dozens of other shootings each of the shooters were touched in the head throughout much of their lives. About the only two things these mass murders have in common is they were mostly white wackos born in this country using either guns or homemade bombs.

There are two problems we face. The first is until someone actually does something our constitutional rights protect them. The second is what we can do to take away some of the tools of the trade. In the first instance we can't detain every wacko who shoots off their mouth. But in the second instance we can make it harder for them to get their hands on bomb making materials and weapons designed for the military capable of firing off a 20 round clip in less then a minute.

No country in their right mind allows civilians to possess land mines, rocket propelled grenade launchers and other military grade hardware. and yes folks that's the category these assault rifles should fall under. Any fool who thinks it will protect them from the government coming after them if it so had a mind to has a rude awaking coming. Between Drones, ultrasonic, laser and microwave projectors in the event of an uprising your assault rifle might as well be a bow and arrow. If we really care about our fellow citizens and police officers safety these type of firearms must be taken off the civilian market.

Orlando Shootings
Donald Trump thought it a "beautiful" idea that if a bunch drinking club goers were armed to the teeth so much of this could have been prevented. So OK the club calls 911 and a bunch of cops show up to the club where 10 or 20 people are shooting it out like it were the OK Coral. In this case there was one shooter. What if there were two, three or who knows how many more. Which and how many are the bad guys police need to kill?

Same goes for the theatre shooting in Aurora. Suppose the bad guy starts shooting. One of the movie goers pulls out his piece to take him down. Another theatre patron in the theatre only sees this person ready to shoot someone and starts firing away at the innocent guy. Now a third and a fourth in the confusion starts blasting away like Yosemite Sam the others.

The Bottom Line Is This
Irrational people are just that. Psychiatrists and law enforcement try as hard as they may cannot find rationality or a common pattern where none exist. These people are by their very definition irrational in nature and none predictable from one day or minute to the next. Evil existed from the very beginning of recorded history when Cain wacked his brother Able over the head with a rock killing him.

The best we can hope for is not to let Cain get his hands on rocks or in today's world people like him access to anything as deadly as assault rifles with 20 round clips. Will it stop all mass murders, no. Even if it prevents a dozen or two it's far better then pretending these assault rifles play no part in them. It most certainly is at least some sort of rational response to disallowing some radically insane man to gain access to these weapons capable of mass destruction.

Ronald Reagan- 02/12/1989

G.W. Bush 2004 Presidential Debate



Further Resources:
There Is No Such Thing as a Motive for Mass Killings
When It Comes to Mass Shootings, Motive Doesn't Really Matter
Radical Islam Not Responsible For Vast Majority Of Mass Shootings In America, Says Report
6 Things Americans Should Know About Mass Shootings

Friday, June 17, 2016

Philly's Soda Tax Swindle Philly's soda tax: How it's playing nationwide

Up until the very day it was voted on nobody knew 20% was going into Philly's general budget debt rather then just for the funding of pre-k classes.


This was a classic case of bait and switch where anyone in the private sector would be prosecuted for it. Now that the cat's out of the bag just wait and see how many other cities will jump on the bandwagon.

I'm far from a believer in the TEA Party but this kind of chicanery could make a convert out of anyone concerning this particular political scam. What's next.. donuts, candy and snacks?

Who knows what grocery departments could be next?

Why Everything Is Going Down The Crapper

I've embedded two videos Before we get to them I have a few words.

Not everyone is born to be a rocket scientist. There are plenty of people who want to work but are accused of being too lazy, dumb or unskilled to earn a decent living. Still others complain there aren't enough being educated in the work needed for today's skilled manufacturing jobs. A few thoughts occur to me. (1) You mean to tell me every job we've shipped to third world countries had better skilled people.. absolutely not. (2) At one time companies took it upon themselves to take both time and money to help train people. Now they want them to be fully educated and ready to go w/o helping in some of the indebtedness we expect young workers to assume on their own. (3) If it were true we are a nation of unskilled workers then why the hell do we have 1,000's of educational institutions (both private and public) picking the pockets of our young and not giving both them and industry the skills this nation claims to lack?

There's no reason why anyone can't be trained to perform the repetitive tasks of a assembly line or running a production machine. If underage kids and the uneducated in third world countries can do these jobs anybody can. Difference is nobody's gonna be exploited to work for $2 or $3 an hour.

Instead American workers are left to load and unload these cheap foreign goods at the ever increasing number of warehouses (through temp agencies) in this country. Others to service other service workers who earn little more then themselves. This is not only insulting but is rotting our country from the inside out at the same time it's demoralizing anyone who truly wants to work for a decent compensation.

Yes there's as still a good buck to made in the medical field and other top level positions, but face it... 2/3rds or more have been left behind. People who are willing to work hard. People who will not ever become scholars or have the means to invest 10,000's of dollar$ on a hope and a prayer that whatever their educational choice was will pay off.

Somehow we can find the money to pay 100's of million$ to sports figures, money changers and those in the entertainment industry yet deny the vast majority of Americans who want to work a means whereby they can earn a decent wage. Without providing jobs for the vast majority who wish to make a living by actually making things people want and need we're not only demoralizing people but taking away their very incentives to even try and hope for a decent paying job.

Industrial leaders can blow hot air all day long but as far as I'm concerned unless we provide these most basic jobs for the majority who walk among us this country is doomed. No country can succeed when it leaves 2/3rds of it's main labor resources out in the cold to struggle on their own. They say "idle hands are a devil's tool". Perhaps that explains the violence and ambivalence towards others we are witnessing.

That said, please watch these videos and comment your thoughts.

Both videos posted in 2012

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Allentown's New Parks And Recreation Director Comes Up With A Doozy

Allentown City Council rejects administration proposal
City wanted to hire engineer to study erecting maintenance building in flood plain
Randy Kraft ,
"The building is indeed in a flood plain and has “some water issues,” but it’s not ready to fall down, responded Lindsay Taylor, the city’s parks and recreation director.... “I’m not an expert, but I know what a flood plain is,” said O’Connell. “I would say we probably shouldn’t build there.”... “It doesn’t make any sense,” said city resident Glenn Hunsicker. “They wouldn’t let any one of us build on a flood plain."

My Comments About The Article Above
The administration wanted to spend just shy of $4,000 to do this engineering study. Hell for fifty buck$ I'd tell them if they want to store equipment they'd best anchor a floating barge to put them on.

Some suggested the area being turned into an extension of Cedar Beach instead. Oh great more riparian buffers weeds! Why not a parking lot for the stadium. Nobody's going to the stadium on a stormy day anyway.

I know a great place. The newly acquired Basin Street lot down by the old incinerator plant. It has a central location easily accessible to the North, South, West or East sides one and all.

Instead of throwing away almost $4,000 on a needless study to tell us what we already know why not take care of Bogart's bridge instead of begging for handouts. Maybe help pay something towards the insecticides needed for the weeds we allow to grow along our creeks and rivers.

The real problem is "common sense" isn't so "common" these days as it once was.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Orlando Shooter Wasn't A ISIS Terrorist

In the coming days we will endure pundits trying to make hay of this event. The guy wasn't an ISIS operative. What he was is a mentally ill asshole. Nothing more then that. An endless array of talking heads (who have no clue) will offer their bias bullshit. You'd be hard pressed to find anyone who knew him better then his ex-wife.

June 12, 2016

People are gonna believe what they wanna believe, but the fact is this man was nothing more then a mentally ill person who latched onto a cause as some sort of justification for his insane actions.

So far this year (2016) there have been 136 mass shootings. There's little commonality among them except for one thing. Most used an assault rifle.

The New York Daily news had this interesting article which said-- "For a decade, from 1994 to 2004, this country rightly prohibited these weapons under the federal Assault Weapons Ban. During the decade of the ban, there were half as many casualties in mass shootings as the decade before, and a third as many casualties in mass shootings as the decade after."

We can point fingers endlessly in denial but the fact is not one of these killed their multiple victims with strangulation, a rock or knife. They used a gun. I'd even go so far as to say none of these killed anyone.. their GUNS DID. Without guns none could have caused the mass casualties and injuries they have.

We can argue day and night about treatment for the mentally ill or law enforcement's failures. But the fact remains as long as there is a proliferation of guns these wingnuts will surface from time to time. We all will screech and howl for a few days, then it's back to business as usual without anyone taking the initiative to remove assault rifles. These assault rifles are called that for a reason. They are not used for hunting. They were designed for one thing and one thing only.. for military style assaults to kill people.

No doubt over the next few days or weeks the NRA, political pundits and talking heads will blab on and on about every reason on God's green Earth why everything and everyone is to blame except the guns themselves. Anyone who dare speak against them will be labeled a bleeding heart liberal or idiot to even think guns are at the source of this problem. Now either we take some form of action or everyone just needs to shut up and accept another 136 mass shootings will happen again before the end of this year.

Freedom to own guns is a right. What about the rights of those who fell victim to them. The 2nd amendment is quite clear irregardless of what the supreme court says. It served us well at the time it was written but no longer applies exactly as written. It says, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State... " In those days we didn't have a national defense department. Each state formed it's own contingent of soldiers. They had to be well armed to protect this nation. This no longer applies as was the intentions when written.

There's nothing wrong with people owning a rifle for hunting or a pistol with 6 bullets in it defend themselves. The problem comes in when people are able to buy readily reloaded numerous rounds of clips and weapons capable of squeezing off 4 and 5 rounds a second. These aren't necessary for hunting or self protection. Guns capable of mass killings should have no place in our society. Good lord it's bad enough people have to die at the hands of a simple revolver in the wrong person's hands.

Evil will always be with us in this world. No one can eliminate it. Evil will always find an excuse to kill. Be it religion, mental illness, someone hopped on drugs or just plain hatred. It will never go away. Let's not make it any easier for it to flourish then it has to be. If there's anything we can do against evil guns surely should be part of the equation.

Gun Crazy Americans

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Gun Nuts

New York Daily News: Man in wheelchair shot dead in the Bronx, two others killed in violent night across city -- "Eric Oliver was shot once in the head...Oliver became paralyzed after he was shot in 2006, a police source said.... Two hours earlier, a 32-year-old man was shot multiple times... He was rushed to Bronx Lebanon Hospital, but he could not be saved... Early Sunday, a 22-year-old man was shot multiple times in the gut and a 32-year-old man was shot once in the left hand outside a home "

Orlando nightclub worst mass shooting in U.S. history. 50 killed, 53 hospitalized. Most in critical condition. NBC News-- "The incident is being investigated as an act of terrorism. Mir Seddique, Mateen's father, told NBC News, "this has nothing to do with religion." Seddique said his son got angry when he saw two men kissing in Miami a couple of months ago and thinks that may be related to the shooting... The law enforcement sources told NBC News that Mateen was born in New York in 1986... Mateen had active security officer and firearm licenses, according to Florida records, and his family said he worked in security."

(1) There are more then 300 million guns in the United States. If more guns will make us safer, how many more will it take.. 600 million, a billion???

(2) "The thing that will stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun". Yeah well this greatest mass murderer ever in Orlando had "active security officer and firearm licenses". According to NBC his father said he "attended Indian River State College, where he got an associate's degree in criminal justice". Kind of blows that theory doesn't it!

(3) As of May 1, 2016 according to the Washington Post Toddlers have shot at least 23 people this year.

Here's My Theory
No one's talking about taking away a person gun rights. (1) If you need to be tested and examined to drive a motorized vehicle, someone owning a gun should be at least tested and be determined not to be a wacko. (2) If four or five guns can't protect you I don't see what good owning a dozen more will do ya. After all you only have two hands to use at a time. (3) Rapid fire 20 round clips aren't necessary for hunting (animals aren't armed to fire back). Nor it necessary to sink 20 rounds into an intruder. One or two will do the job. (4) Guns were never designed for anything other then target shooting or killing living things. They shouldn't be considered collectable toys.

I don't care how calm or rational someone is, anyone can lose it and grab the first thing available. Flipping the bird and yelling out the window is one thing, blowing a hole in somebody else in a fit of road rage is entirely another. Same goes with being pissed off at your friend or wife/girlfriend.

As far as I'm concerned the more guns, the more possibilities. It takes more balls to stick a knife in somebody, wrap your arms around to choke them or try and slam their head into the ground then standing 10 yards away cowardly squeezing a trigger. Most assuredly no one can take out a dozen victims with a rock, knife or their bare hands. So NO, there's no way guns will make anyone safer.

Common sense dictates the more flammables around the greater the danger of fire. Just as it so with firearms. Why then do people insist otherwise?

Still there are those who stubbornly insist by restricting firearms the bad guys will still get their hands on them. Absolutely not. Most bad guys set up straw buyers which properly restrictive gun control measures would help control through current loopholes as wide as the grand canyon. For those that acquire lost or stolen guns they are minuscule in number. Even if this were so, there most certainly would be far fewer able to come across them then there are now through these gun show and online purchase loopholes we've seem to have accepted as a way of life.

The Final Word
More guns mean more killings. Either we continue with the greater proliferation of guns in our society or do not. Either we agree or disagree more guns have made us safer or do not. What do the statistics tell us? Chicago, Detroit and some other cities have more guns then elsewhere. You'd think with all those guns they'd be the safest cities. Come on folks... use a little common sense !

June 02, 2016

RIP Christina Grimmie

Enews: Christina Grimmie Dead at 22 After Being Shot at Concert
FOX News: Florida authorities say Christina Grimmie killer showed up at concert to attack her

I've followed Christina's progress on YouTube for a long time. She like many other innocents are killed everyday at the hands of crazed people. If I live to be a hundred I'll never come to understand or cease to be saddened by so much evil that exists in this world. YouTube user Ric Stigh put together this tribute video.

Christina Grimmie singing "I Bet You Don't Curse God"

Ecclesiastes 7:1
"A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of death better than the day of birth. "

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Kraft Foods Plant Shutdown MY TAKE

The following consists 100% of my opinion. This may not be factual in content other then from my own prospective

Back in 1972 when Kraft foods first opened the Fogelsville plant there was large disagreement among board members who were strongly opposed. Rumors where there were board members who were concerned Kraft was putting too many eggs in one basket. After all it was to the second largest production facility ever outside of Champaign. The Lehigh Valley plant began packaging all of Kraft's varieties of sliced natural cut cheeses. These included Cracker Barrel stick lines and wedges.

The processed cheese department used the left over pieces from the natural cuts department to produce it's Deluxe, Single Slices and Velveeta loafs. Another department produced Parkay sticks, squeeze containers and it's whipped margarines cups. The Salads Department produced Miracle Whip, Mayo and all the pourable dressings. All of these supplied these product lines everything East of the Mississippi.

All and all 100's of tractor trailers daily would come and go transporting supplies into the plant as well as finished product. Literally 100's of tons per hour were produced in Fogelsville. The building itself held about 20 rail cars under roof. There were five huge receiving coolers and even two larger ones in distribution and one 10 below freezer. Three cafeteria break areas with hot food. Almost a city unto itself.

The bloom came off the rose when the union came in and took the plant out on strike for six months after a few short years of the plant's opening. This gave ammo to the board directors who were against the plant before it was even put to paper. Because of it a blow was suffered that it never quite recovered from. Although I have no way of knowing I suspect any future plans presented were met with skepticism at the top in it's Chicago headquarters. Much of what was allowed I figure was balanced with the fact they had so much invested in the building and it's production dependency it would be unwise to pull the plug and a let's make the best of it attitude was adopted.

Still there were those who I felt set us up to fail. One example was Champaign was our largest competitor for production of mayo. It was they who got brand new CP equipment to produce the product. Again this is only my opinion and what I heard... supposedly that new equipment would enable them to overtake our facility. Turns out they shot themselves in the foot. Every time they fired it up all they got was broken emulsions. (CP's are similar to blenders that mix eggs and the base ingredients to form the final a viscous product). Frustrated they crated up two of them and sent them to the Lehigh Valley figuring we'd get hamstrung with them. Instead we made them work. What the hell! They sent teams several times to Lehigh Valley to see what we were doing and every time they went back to Champaign they couldn't get theirs to work.

Another example was new equipment to manufacture process cheese slices. These were called Hot Packs. From what I was told they weren't meant for us. However it turned out we were the only plant who had enough refrigeration capacity to run them without spending a couple of million more somewhere else to upgrade their refrigeration. Again I'm not sure how cheerleaders for our demise felt. Our other competitor an older plant in Decatur Georgia got zapped with bad labor and a number of recalls. The plant was closed and were able to pick up some of their production only because of our size and capability having no place else to go with their stuff.

Over the years Kraft sold off it's Parkay margarine. There was less demand for salad products. Kraft bought up A1 and Grey Poupon and since we had two large empty production areas this where they put them. Eventually they took out the process cheese department and replaced it with the coffee lines. There's lots more to discuss but trying to encapsulate my 33 years with Kraft would require way too much explanation to fit here.

My Overall Synopsis
There are a number of factors for this plant's closing (1) Companies today really do more so today then yesterday not like having too may eggs in one basket. (2) They don't like owning large buildings tending rather to lease. (3) Selling owned buildings is like cashing in on static assets which no longer produce tax advantages . (4) The longer a plant stays open the more it costs in aging workers benefits and pensions. (4) Corporations' loyalties today lean far greater towards it's investors then community or it's workers.

It's been my experience management was more concerned about themselves and their careers over Kraft Lehigh Valley plant's success. Generally speaking us grunts were more concerned knowing this plant existence depended on it's efficiency and profitability if we were to have a job 10 years down the road. Management on the other hand usually came from some other plant on their way to somewhere else. In short we were in for the long haul. They were not.

My Message To Those Who About To Lose Your Jobs
My thoughts go out to you knowing the history of this production facility I've seen automation replace hundreds of jobs. I've seen workers asked more of them over fears of this happening. I've seen entire product lines come and go due to no fault of those who worked on them. To you I say there is nothing you could have done. If there's a fault in which to place blame it is on those fail to realize greater profits don't necessarily have to be made in simply rearranging the deck chairs every few years. Closing Kraft Lehigh Valley (it seems to me) was someone's idea of making a change so as to look like something was being accomplished by some new latest and greatest management team.

With five coolers, rail services, a huge warehouse, endless truck docks and it's location in the Northeast corridor along with it's access to a huge labor pool who've struck down labor unions three times somebody(s) got this wrong to the determent of Kraft-Heinz itself.

You know what this also says to me. There's no point in anyone caring nor working hard. I once had a Kraft supervisor say at a meeting (he was with them for 30 years). We paid you for today's labor. We're even. We're not your mother or brother. The company owes you nothing beyond that. Might be harsh but turns out he was right!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Telling Tales (REPOST FROM 07/22/2009)

Since I'm on a bit of a nostalgia kick today, I thought I relay a couple of the late father-in-law's experiences as a ice cream delivery driver. Good ole' Howard.

Wasn't anyone who knew him that wasn't blessed with a couple of containers of Breyers in their freezers. In the old days it wasn't forbidden to hand out a few of the returns from stores.

Each Friday night for years we gathered around the ole Beer Meister and Howard would share of his Breyers ice cream box truck delivery days after retiring a few years earlier. Here are just a few of those...

* Weekly as he made his rounds in the Bangor area he was once pulled over by a state cop by a bridge. No big deal. The trooper said he was just doing a routine truck inspection.

Yeah right. Howard knew he wanted... to hit him up for a couple. Well he offered up two half gallons for him to share with the boys at the barracks.

Faithfully each and every week he would get to the bridge and the trooper would be waiting. Howard would stop and pull up to the trooper's car. Dutifully he offered his two half gallons for the barracks. This went on for month after month for many months.

Then one day he was pulled up to the state police car and offer up his bounty. However this time the trooper was not the same one. Turns out the trooper was replacing the prior one while he was vacation.

The guy looked back to see the ice cream truck pull up and out step the driver. The trooper got out of his car before Howard reached the back of the truck and asked what was he doing? Howard introduced himself and said, "why I'm giving you ice cream" and introduced himself to the new enforcer of the law.

The cop replied, "it's about time"! "What do you mean", said Howard. "Well you drive all around Bangor and never once offered us any".

WHAT! I've been handing out almost a dozen of these every month to that buddy of yours. That was news to this trooper, he nor any of his partners ever got any.

Well a least we know there was one guy who cared about the troopers & their brethren... Howard!

Certainly not the trooper who so graciously accepted the gallons of ice cream. Gives another meaning to the 'Blue Code of Silence' doesn't it?

* An angry store owner (in the 50's) demanded that Howard take back that damn 3 gallon drum of cherry ice cream. All it has in it is cherries NO ICE CREAM!

NO PROBLEM. Here's your replacement!

Dispatch said just get rid of it. And so the whole neighborhood had cherries enough to last a lifetime. Can you imagine how much more that store owner could have made just selling the cherries?

* In the old days, drivers collected strictly cash. Howard had to drive back down to Philly.. ice cream gone with a metal box full of lots of cash. One return trip down University Ave. to the plant some poor fella was stuck in the middle of the street with a car broken down.

Being a good representative for the company he pulled over to see if he could use the truck to somehow help.

Yeah you guessed it. He was clubbed and the lights went out along with three days worth of collections.

* As I said, he picked up three days worth of deliveries in Philly. At night he'd plug the trucks refrigeration into a 220 volt line out by Rt 309 & 22 at a dealer.

After he arrived late afternoon back in town, he decided to start his three days worth of deliveries early the following morning.

When he plugged it in... something just didn't sound right with the refrigeration unit.

He went into the truck repair dealership and expressed his concern. Howard your all wet, said the man who should know. Well Ok, but you should check it. Yeah I will, says the guy.

So early the next morning Howard pulls up to his truck with intentions to hop in and make his deliveries. However when he was just several feet from his ride... there was a river of melted ice cream running down the length of the lot. Along with a compliment of many anxious and curious bees.

It appeared that one side of the 220 was out

"Oooohhhh how he hated to call dispatch"!

* Speaking of calling dispatch. Sometimes that is just so unnecessary.

One afternoon after picking up his full load and heading up the Schuylkill Expressway towards home. There was some kind of racket coming out of the back of the truck's box. Gee, Howard hoped no one was pranked and locked in there. Well you certainly can't pull over can you?

Pulling the grade just North of the Vine St. exit... THUMP! CRASH! What the....???

Looking out the rearview mirrors.. OH NO! The racks were most likely not secured and broke through the back doors. Hundreds of ice cream containers of all sizes all over the Schuylkill!!!

Despite what you hear, Philly people are the greatest people in the world. A huge traffic jam occurred and dozens of motorists stopped and picked up almost all the containers within minutes. Problem is they threw them in their cars and drove off around him.

Now Howard was so screwed. He would need to call dispatch. Oh No NOT AGAIN!

Well dispatch picked up the phone and said we already know all about it. We heard it on 'Go Patrol' on KYW.

The biggest thing wasn't that it happened, but rather who would win the bets. Was it Howard or some other driver?

BTW: Most bets were it was Howard!

* Howard, The professional driver: One day after Breyer's was bought out by a huge corporation, upper management experts felt drivers weren't educated enough. So they sent driving experts to conduct driver training seminars.

One bird absolutely insisted that Howard was 100% wrong as to when your truck's air brakes catastrophically begin to fail you must 'ease' on your emergency brake handle slowly.

Howard on a occasion was a thorn in management and simply wouldn't let it go. He insisted all the drivers come outside so he and the 'driving expert' could hop in his truck to apply this theory into actual practice.

So there stood 10 or 20 drivers on the sidelines as Howard sped across the parking lot instructing the expert to "EASE" the emergency brake lever on (knowing how this would turn out, braced himself)

Luckily in those days they still had a plant nurse to apply cold compresses to the 'experts' thick noggin while a bunch of drivers tried to hold back their giggles.

* One last one. And this concerns unions. Howard was a proud union member of the old ways unions should be. He wasn't always on the wrong side of managment.

There was a strike vote coming up and Howard stood up before the membership and said, "Hey guys the company wants to give us a 50 cent an hour raise. The union demands a $.75.

Think about this... If you guys go out on strike if only for a week and even if you do get the $.25 more... It will take us months to make up the $10 more a week then the $.50 they are offering". Not to even mention the hardships of you younger guys just starting out with mortgages.

The vote was for NO STRIKE.

He did much the same thing at another union meeting. Guys with seniority wanted all 3 weeks of their vacations in the summer.

Howard said, "come on guys". Most all of you senior guys (like me) have kids all grown up. These young new guys with little seniority have young kids they'd like to take to the shore like we did when we were their age.

Why not take 1 or 2 weeks while school's out and there would be enough weeks left over for each of the young guys to get at least one week with their families in the summer?


Howard was not only a good father-in-law, but one hell'va a good human being.

He may not have been the most highly known in stature , but to all who had known him.. he was most highly regarded as a person of character.

And for that, I'm better to have known him.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

LVCI: I Haven't Lost Interest In Blogging

But, people have lost interest in LVCI. That's why I haven't been posting as frequently. Just as well I suppose because I'm not feeling too great lately.

Back in February doctors determined I have COPD. So I've been sucking on the nebulizer three or four times a day so I can breath. Everyday tasks have become a challenge.

When I look back over 35 years of production labor and all the projects I did here at the house it's hard to imagine how I managed to do these rather physical projects on the house.

For hours after work I tore down walls, studded out, put insulation and 4x10 sheet rock on two floors entirely by myself, so I'm no slacker. One time I rooted out our entire property replacing the grass after a thorough raking. Dug holes after uprooting a jungle along our property line and planted 20 Arborvitae. Did countless repairs on my van. All of this would be impossible for me today.

Yeah I kind of thought this sucked enough already until last week when neurology was kind enough to inform me I have early stages of Parkinson's. The MRI scan is next week to determine how much. As if all that wasn't a hoot and a holler for the last 5 days I can't seem to stay awake, have even more trouble breathing (the nebulizer doesn't seem effective as it was only a few weeks ago). Chills and sweats that only a constant supply of Ibuprofen seems to help control. I'll try and tough it out and hope it goes away. If not I hate to think what the next shoe may be that is going to drop.

Up until February except for the broken wrist I never went to a doctor or dentist in 40 years. There was no reason everything was fine. I'm not a complainer. I've never taken a prescription except when I had the broken wrist either. Hell I waited 7 days after I broke it to see a doctor hoping it would heal itself. Yeah well :-)

Here all along I always thought I'd die healthy. Not looking like that's going to happen. What the hell went wrong!

At any rate at least I'm still able to blog. However far fewer things seem important to me these days as they once did. Nor do I feel compelled to post once or twice a day especially about those things which I hoped would cause people to change their views. One of the things I've concluded over these last eight years it ain't never going to happen. Hell it would be easier to move the PPL building brick by brick then change anyone's mind. Something I've got to keep in mind in future posts.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Came Across This Inspirational Project

All too often we are surrounded by negativity. Seldom are we exposed to the generous and kind acts going on in this world. This gentleman introduces us to everyday people despite having so little are grateful and honest almost to a fault. I linked these two videos as examples. The video's creator Varun Pruthi has many more featuring persons who's integrity matters more then wealth. Thank goodness someone like he shows us there are indeed good people still left in this world. Something I thought worth sharing.

"Bringing Humanity Back is An Initiative by Actor Varun Pruthi to bring Happiness and Difference in the Lives of Under Privileged... Through this Cause we help Under Privileged kids / Adults / Blind Schools / Disabled homes / Old age homes / Charity Schools / Orphanages."

Many more inspirational videos on YouTube by Actor Varun Pruthi
Actor Varun Pruthi On FaceBook
Bringing Humanity Back Official Web Site