Monday, November 28, 2016

Some Things I'll Never Understand

The 2016 Election Recounts
Donald Trump and his supporters are going ballistic over this. Why the fuss?

It was Trump himself who said he wouldn't accept the outcome if he felt it was rigged. Had things turned out the opposite you better believe he'd be screaming bloody murder. I think almost everyone agrees after the recount it's not likely there will be a change in it's outcome. If this is the case it will serve only to prove Trump was right, he's the legitimate winner.

Trump's tweet accused 3 million votes were illegal going toward Hillary. Then why doesn't he challenge those as a preventative measure in case this recount goes against him?

Laws have been put into place that make it both hard and expensive to request recounts. But they are there for a reason. To satisfy all parties the voting was done fairly and accurately. One of the things I don't understand is how everyone thinks it a great idea when questionable sports rulings come under review but are against something far more important to this nation then some football or baseball game. I mean really!

Trying To Sell Me Crap
Over the last week I've had over two dozen emails with faked addresses try to get me to click on their bait. Why would I click on anyone's email who lied about who they are? To my way of thinking it s surefire sign they're anything but honest and not someone to do business with.

While on the subject, let's talk about TV advertisements. Every night I'm barraged with dozens of ads for cars, lawsuits, investments and drugs I'll never buy. Here's a little experiment you might want to try. Every time one of these come on ask yourself which one you'd spend one nickel on. It makes no sense plastering TV screens up every 10 minutes with these car ads. There's no way I'm interested until I actually need one no matter many times they nag me. Nor am I going to take drugs for afflictions I don't have. And no I'm not going to join some ambulance chaser's lawsuit. Why these dopes are wasting their money I'll never understand.

What's With All The Rage?
Everyone's cranked up about everything. Whether it be customers in stores, politics, individual rights, other drivers or on social media few seem able to stifle it. Every one seems all hyped up these days. I'll never understand why when we have so many advantages today and modern conveniences unlike ever before.

I get around four or five a day. Of course with caller ID we ignore them but they don't seem to get the message. Some of these same users will call for weeks even though we never answered. Every robocaller hangs up on my answering machine. Hey if I need something I'll call you-- don't call me. These parasites, like those that spam my email, have a better chance winning the lottery then getting my business. Here's another bunch who waste their money and everyone's time. Something else I'll never understand.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Fidel Castro Not The Devil He's Made Out To Be

Since Castro's death there's been a lot of rhetoric making him out to be far worse then what he was. This post is an attempt to separate the over-the-top reactions that paint Castro as the devil himself. Certainly the man was no saint but the United States has good relations with others far more questionable then he. We still have dealings with Saudi Arabia and China who have and are still doing worse then what Castro has done in Cuba. Instead of placing embargos on them we instead negotiate trade deals and in the case of Saudi Arabia sell them billions of dollars of arms.

In my opinion the Shah of Iran and Saddam Hussein both at one time were on our good side. Either which could be considered far worse towards their people then Fidel Castro. It's with that in mind I post the following information-- you decide whether you agree.

On October 6, 1960 Senator John F. Kennedy, in the midst of his campaign for the U.S. Presidency, decried Batista's relationship with the U.S. government and criticized the Eisenhower administration for supporting him :"Fulgencio Batista murdered 20,000 Cubans in seven years ... and he turned Democratic Cuba into a complete police state—destroying every individual liberty. Yet our aid to his regime, and the ineptness of our policies, enabled Batista to invoke the name of the United States in support of his reign of terror. Administration spokesmen publicly praised Batista—hailed him as a staunch ally and a good friend—at a time when Batista was murdering thousands, destroying the last vestiges of freedom, and stealing hundreds of millions of dollars from the Cuban people, and we failed to press for free elections."
Barbara Walters Reflects On Her Interview With Castro

Fidel Castro's 2nd Interview With Barbara Walters On 20/20

Fidel Castro On "Face The Nation" (1959)

In My Opinion
There's an awful lot of dissemination of miss information most will accept as fact. For many of the Cuban people Fidel was the lesser of two evils. For others, who had their property seized, they most certainly hold a grudge. So too those who found themselves on the wrong side of Fidel fleeing hereto the United States. Much the same as it what was for those who fled Batista before Fidel.

I'm not going to pretend to be an international expert, but when we went to Aruba I was surprised how those people had to live away from the usual tourists spots. Homes had a PVC pipe laying on the ground alongside a dirt road supplying water for their homes. Three or four dogs chained outside their small homes to protect them. Mexico fared little better. Cuba by all measures is safer and has over all a better economy and provides better healthcare for the average citizen then those living in Jamaica, Haiti or the Dominican Republic.

We need to get off our high horse and quit politicizing every damn thing about how people live in other countries under whatever government ended up in rulership. These celebrations over Fidel's death disrespects many of the Cubans living on the island who feelings may run counter. United States is becoming not only ugly towards other nations but towards our own neighbors whom we disagree. I find it disgusting.

Not everyone's hearts are filled with such hatred

This post was not meant to be in defense of Fidel, rather one which criticizes the intolerances of what we become as a nation. One which seems to relish and celebrate our differences among ourselves and others over those ties which should instead bond us between we and the commonality among peoples of other nations.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Fidel Is Dead- "A History Primer On Cuba "

Reposted From December 18, 2014
With additional edited mateial

All the chatter about how Fidel & his brother are evil dictators doesn't take in account the overall history of Cuba. They had it far worse then they do now under these two. Let's put a little perspective on this by taking a brief look over the history of Cuba and how the Cuban people always seem to get the short end of the stick no matter who rules the joint.

Going back to 1492 when Christopher Columbus's three ships landed things really started to go downhill for the Cuban people. Columbus claimed the island for Spain. Cubans finally had enough and began fighting against Spain in 1895. Spain sent around 200,000 troops who overwhelmed the population rounded them up and put them into "reconcentrados" which were similar to concentration camps. The Red Cross estimated between 200,000-400,000 Cubans died while in these camps from disease and starvation.

By 1898 the United States Spainish-American war ended. Spain then sold the Philippines, Guam and Cuba to the United States for a sum of $20 million. Then in 1902 Cuba became a independent country. There were too many clashes and uprisings to mention here in this brief highlight. Suffice it to say Fulgencio Batista ended up being elected President in 1940. After being defeated for second term (1944) he came to the United States only to return to Cuba to become it's dictator for seven years (1952-1959) until Fidel's Cuban Revolution..

Yeah Sure He's A Dictator, But He's Our Dictator
Life Under Batista's Cuba became a police state when he returned in 1952. Nearly all the Cuban liberties were taken away under his corrupt regime. He aligned himself with the American Mafia bosses (Meyer Lansky and Lucky Luciano). Prostitution, gambling and drugs like marijuana or cocaine were as easy to come by as candy.

Brief Facts About Fulgencio Batista
* A Long Line Of Stinkers-- Batista was elected President of Cuba from 1940 to 1944. Prior to his election from 1933 up until his election in 1940 he appointed himself the head of armed forces and exercised complete control over five puppet presidents. Batista came to power after militarily ousting the previous repressive leader before him, Gerardo Machado who also overthrew the government before him militarily.

* After Batista lost his reelection in 1944 he came to the United States. In 1952 he set his sights on becoming Cuban President again. Knowing he would get his clock cleaned he decided instead to lead a military coup. Thereafter which the U.S. then recognized the Batista regime as Cuba's legitimate power.

* Shortly thereafter Batista cut shady deals with the American mafia. The mafia ran drug, gambling, and prostitution establishments. He also cut deals with U.S. corporations who ended up owning almost all the oil industry and 90% of the mines and mineral rights. 40% of the sugar plantation and almost all the cattle ranches. Then censored the media, ignored medical care, education, housing, infrastructure (only 1/3 had running water) and a justice system for his people.

* Needles to say the Cuban people were pissed off and started to rebel. The United States turned a blind eye as Batista killed between 1,000 to 20,000 of his people. The U.S. didn't intervene. Instead the U.S. supplied him with military aid up until 1958 after which the U.S. placed an embargo on them after March of that year. For years, up until the embargo, the U.S. supplied planes, ships, tanks, napalm and the latest technology which he used against Castro's growing insurgency.

* Finally he threw in the towel and on January 1st, 1959 flew to the Dominican Republic along with his cohorts, but not empty handed. They left the island with an estimated 3/4 billion dollars worth of art and cash. After being denied entry in the United States he flew on to Portugal.

The Mafia in Cuba

He took bribes which allowed American companies to own & control nearly 80% of all the oil & cattle ranches. 90% of the minerals and 40% of the sugar farmlands. When the Cuban people began to rebel he started doing executions in public. It was estimated up to 20,000 people were killed or tortured during his seven years in power. Witnesses said hundreds of those executed were hung on street lights or thrown into the streets. All this while still receiving military, logistical and financial support from the United States. No wonder the time was ripe for Fidel Castro's revolution in 1959.

Next Up, Fidel Castro
Over the next six years when the dust finally settled, up to 33,000 Cuban lives ended up dead. Still this was not the end of it. The Cuban people rose up again in 2003 in what is called "Black Spring". Fortunately instead of being killed 75 dissents were sent to prison. In 2010 all of them started being released by the Castro regime after the 'European Union' lifted it's sanctions. Cuba claimed they weren't arrested for disagreeing with the government but rather because of their links to the U.S. in trying to undermine Fidel's government.

The Way I See It
There's a hellva' lot of older investors in the United States who are still pissed they got their asses kicked out of Cuba. They along with individuals who had a vested interest with them. Also those who lost family in the fight against Fidel. It should be no wonder why then so many are opposed to normalizing anything with present day Cuba. You can say what you will but when you look over the entire history of Cuba, today's Cuban people deserve a chance at hope for all they've endured.

The Castros for all their blemishes are far less evil then what transpired over the Cuban people these past centuries. 'Normalizing relations' is more about helping the Cuban people then an endorsement for it's present government. Continued isolation of them only serves to punish those who had least to do with any of this and their extended families living here in the United States.

Obama's Handshake With RaĂșl Castro

Friday, November 25, 2016

Kraft Lehigh Valley Closed It's Doors For Good

On Friday November 18, 2016 Kraft has left the building for good here in the Lehigh Valley after 44 years.

The employees who made Grey Poupon are being replaced by workers in Holland, Michigan earning about $10,000 a year ($4.80 an hour) less.

Although it's unknown how much this building was sold for according to Lehigh County records it was appraised at $12,814,500. (Total taxes were $245,530 a year) No doubt a good portion could go towards the estimated $17.2 million Kraft-Heinz planned to spend on the mustard lines going to their new location.

Some of which those costs will be offset with the $500,000 they will receive over 3 years from the good folks in Michigan for coming there. In addition to a 12 year property tax abatement and another $50,000 going towards recruiting and training 50 new employees.

The coffee lines-- Although not all of the Kraft coffee lines are moving from the U.S. those in the Lehigh Valley were moved to Canada where the Canadian dollar is worth $.74 cents USD. Thus also gaining them an advantage over U.S. paid workers.

Although no mention was made where the A1 steak sauce lines went, given above I doubt it went to a higher salaried facility. Since Heinz plants rely on processing huge quantities of tomato paste I'd think it's safe to assume it went within one of their already established plants.

So Kids....
This isn't a matter of how hard employees worked. Nor how great a location this plant was in. How much any of us wanted them to stay. Nor Kraft shunning the Lehigh Valley. It's purely a move for economic reasons.

If Pennsylvania taxpayers were willing to blow off their property taxes, employees take a 20% cut in pay and offer Kraft-Heinz a half million dollar incentive to stay perhaps they might have considered it. The sad fact is Michigan right now is far more distressed then we are. The Canadian dollar is worth only three quarters of the U.S. dollar. This boils down to a number of reasons as to not why Kraft should stay but rather reasons far more why they shouldn't. This is the hard economic truth.

Throughout my 33 years working in this plant we were always made acutely aware how much we were in competition with other plants. We outperformed several which were shuttered over those years who's operations were then moved here. Margarine, salad dressings and process & natural cut cheese to name a few. As each became less profitable over time the Lehigh Valley plant was left only with coffee, A1 and Grey Poupon. In 1972 the only reason why the Lehigh Valley plant came into existence in the first was because of the high costs of manufacturing this stuff in New York state (just outside of New York city). So now it's our turn I suppose.

No hard feelings towards Kraft. I understand all things must move on no matter how much we'd rather they didn't. Such is life.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving (Video)

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

After 2016 Elections- U.S. Hasn't Swung To The Right

At the present time (11/23/2016) although Hillary Clinton lost in the electoral counts she has about 2 million more individual voters' support then Donald Trump. While Republicans still retain control of congress Democrats picked up 6 seats in the House and 2 in the Senate.

To hear the way media and a bunch of others speak you'd thing the America voters made a major shift to the right. It simply isn't so. If it weren't for gerrymandering these congressional seats may not be as widely split as they appear either.

Taking into account the individual votes along with 8 more Democrats elected to congress-- conservatives haven't been given a mandate. Statistically speaking (and for all practical proposes) this country is almost evenly split between either party's ideologies. As such a tenuous situation exist..

While it may be true "to the victor goes the spoils"-- by appointing top leaders who may be tempted to run roughshod over the other half of the American peoples' who beliefs differ is not going to turn out well for anyone.

Liberals Are Blah, Blah- Conservatives Are Blah, Blah

Ever notice how conservatives say liberals are blah, blah, blah...?
Ever notice how liberals say conservatives are blah, blah, blah...?

Neither has the right to define the other!
It's amusing how conservatives think themselves experts on liberals. Just as it for liberals who seek to define what conservatives believe. Both seem to think they know more about the other guy then the person does him or her self. Generally speaking the world isn't so simple as people being 100% aligned with either ideology on either side.

Over the last few months I've observed on social media, local blogs and in mainstream media far too much pandering given to those who divide us. I'm disappointed this has become the norm. It's should be everyone's responsibility-- including mine-- to reject such divisiveness.

Anyone who participates in journalism or on social media sites (such as this) each bears responsibility in seeking those things which unites us rather then those which further divide us from one and other. There's too much trash talking and not enough people speaking towards our common bonds.

I really truly hope this isn't the nation we've become.-- or have we?

Monday, November 21, 2016

Climate Change Argument The Yin And The Yang

The Yin
Those against belief in climate change and all it applies are dead set against taking any measures for what they consider voodoo science. These are on the side any changes in the earth's climate would have happened anyway-- without or without man's influence. Because neither side is willing it has become a political football.

The Yang
I'd rather take another approach. Let's say supporters of climate change are wrong. What's the worse that could happen if we took on global warming?* We'd all breath cleaner air.
* Tons of environmental engineering jobs would be created.
* Dozens of new alternative energy manufacturing jobs would follow.
* New technologies could be researched & advanced.

So in essence we have one group of people (The Yin) who could be wrong placing us in peril. The other a group of people (The Yang) who by getting their way would cause no harm if they were wrong.

Some would argue against taking measures because it would be economically negative. History has proven with each advancement in technology greater good became of it both on economic and job levels. Not for everyone, but overall it most certainly did.

Some Examples
Airlines replaced passenger trains as the preferred method for long distance travel. As a result the airline industry became a giant economic driver. When airlines replaced most of the train passenger traffic far more jobs were created then lost. Airlines not only require flight crews but so too a whole host of airport jobs in addition to those who manufacture, maintain & further advance their design.

The same would apply to the change over to alternative energies. Indeed while jobs would be (and are being) lost in the coal industry a whole crop of new jobs are springing forth. Jobs in manufacturing, installation and design. There are several economic advantages beyond those. By the use of solar and wind driven energies consumers will pay less then they do now for fossil fuels used in our nation's generators. These require drilling, fracking and mining for radioactive materials to drive them. All of which are more polluting before they are even used. Many of which these scarred sites having the need of money for superfund cleanups. Or drilling in our oceans where, after a accident, they can never be restored. Some even claimed to create earthquakes. Yeah they too create lots of jobs, but I don't think that's the kind of jobs we want. Ones which place not only the oceans and land at risk but workers too.

In Conclusion
Imagine 90 years ago if people argued to maintain things as they always were over fears of job loses and economic drivers at the time. Why we'd all be riding around for days on dirty steam engines and horses to get where we needed to go. We'd still have to shovel our dirty coal furnaces in the basement. We'd certainly have no highly efficient LED or fluorescent bulbs, instead still be lighting our kerosene lamps. All of which are a hellva lot dirtier and polluting then what we have now.

This whole issue boils down to two groups of people. Those who refuse to progress and those who do not. When we consider it in this way global warming shouldn't even be a consideration. So kids, do we move forward or not?

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Up For A Little More Reading?

Yesterday I posted information for my readers on "The Federal Register" whereby folks could learn all about what's going on with our federal agencies.

However in order to be fully informed citizens should also take pleasure in reading about what's going on in our hallowed halls of congress. This is where the legislative sausage gets made. Fortunately for us the U.S. Congress is kind enough to provide us with this information almost daily. It's bundled into a PDF newsletter format entitled "The Congressional Record". Here you'll find all the exciting work our congressional leaders are doing.

Each are from ten to two hundred pages. Enjoy reading :-)

If you still find yourself with a little time left stop by The White House too

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Up For A Little Reading?

I know a lot of folks like to keep up with all the things the federal government is doing. There's no finer way then by reading the "Federal Register". Here's your opportunity to see all the latest goings-ons with our federal agencies on a daily basis. This way you'll never miss anything.

Wikipedia-- The Federal Register, abbreviated FR or sometimes Fed. Reg., is the official journal of the federal government of the United States that contains government agency rules, proposed rules, and public notices. It is published daily, except on federal holidays."

Have fun kids :-)

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Things I've Noticed About Social Media

Most people visiting websites don't take the time to study issues nor the links provided. Instead choosing to bloviate about their own ideology over what is presented. Facts no longer seem to matter. It seems as though most facts have gone by the wayside as if many views' taken on a religious nature of their own over that of reality.

Most people seem to prefer leaving comments with bloggers on Facebook and other social media websites which allow them to disseminate their views going unchecked. Hence become the most popular even if lacking the dissemination of truthful information.

It's thereby incumbent to each and every one of us to separate and determine for ourselves wherein there is truth and that which is not. So too with comments left on many of these sites.

It doesn't matter to this blogger whether 10 or a 1,000 visit this blog daily. What matters to me is not my popularity nor the number of comments but only the truth be told.

This is my mission.

Dismantling Medicare

I'm not going into all the details (I've done that on other posts). The short and long of it is Republicans (House Speaker Ryan) wants to privatize Medicare making it much like Obamacare with vouchers.

Medicare- John F. Kennedy vs Ronald Reagan

Anyone have any thoughts?

I Have One Quick Statement

We need to stop all this BS labeling one side or the other as being on the left or right. It's long past due we start thinking we are one nation with differing views. This goes for either side.

I for one am sick and tired of this constant bickering, name calling and childish nonsense.

All of us want the same things
Security, good Jobs, healthcare, education and a reasonable incomes in our retirement. I don't see what good it does to have each other hands on each other's throats in trying to achieve these goals. I'm exhausted hearing labels of others like "those on the right" or "those on the left". in both the media and in comments on social sites.

If we fail to recognize this, we deserve neither to succeed as a nation nor in the generations which should follow ours who are led by such an example.

Lets Talk About Supreme Court Appointees

Some Things You May Not Have Known (TED-Ed)

I found a few things rather surprising

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Follow Up On My Previous Post Next To This One

It's that holly jolly time of year again. Time to figure out how my wife will be least screwed next year by my former employer's healthcare plan.

As I was composing the previous post next to this one my wife received a letter....

Of course we didn't receive any such letter. No big surprise there.

Apparently I've been X'd out. It now becomes a struggle between my wife and what they will now offer her

In other words pick the least plan that sucks.

I do understand it shouldn't be my previous employer's responsibility to the day both of us die. BUT it once again exemplifies why we need a national healthcare system. I can't imagine how much more these array of confusing plans will cost. She already has to spend a $1,000 before the plan kicks in and another $3,000 before insurance supposedly pays 100%. A plan where I paid over $2,300 for this year (2016). In other words $6,300 out of pocket for her alone !

I surmise these future offerings will exceed those amounts.

What A Country !

Dismantling Obamacare A Better Alterative

What dismantling It Does
A 2015 report from the Congressional Budget Office showed a $137 billion net increase to the deficit over the next 10 years if it goes away. There could be up to 24 million being uninsured by 2024. Businesses with less than 25 full-time employees won’t get tax breaks of up to 50% for the cost of their employees health insurance. Funding for Medicare was extended another 12 years-- that would go away.

A Better Alternative; National Healthcare For Everyone
The problem with Medicare are the elderly which incur the most expenses at their age. Mostly the groups who signed up for Obamacare are the ones who would spend more then they have to for paying the fines for not doing so because they are young. Expanding Medicare into becoming a national healthcare system seems like it could be a win-win for everyone. I have a few ideas how this could work.* I don't think there is an employer who wouldn't be thrilled to unload the costs they pay for healthcare insurance and the headaches it causes them providing these for their employees. Relieving them of this burden would mean they could either reduce their administrative benefits staffing or having to pay for an outside firm to administer them. In return.. suppose we fund national healthcare by increasing employers taxes by fifty cents for every dollar they will save. This puts money both in the fund and company's pockets. A win-win for both.

* I don't care how young and healthy anyone is there will come a time either because of a car accident, a tumble on a ski slope or whatever they will need medical services. I don't think it would be unreasonable to require a certain percentage of their paychecks go towards a national program (much like it already does). The current withholding rate is 1.45% for employee and another 1.45% by the employer. I see two problems with this under the current system. (1) The employers are being hit double. One for current healthcare costs. The other long after an employee may have left their employment. (2) The worker is paying but will not begin to receive benefits unless he lives past 65.

What I propose instead the employee withholding be increased to 5% with the employer paying nothing. I don't think it unfair to ask a worker being paid $50,000 contributing $208 a month since Medicare picks up 80%. Currently deductibles on most present healthcare policies in most cases already exceed the $2,500 they'd being paying yearly. Another win-win.

* Under my plan healthcare insurance companies would also come out ahead. Presently they employ thousand of workers to deal with thousands of separate contracts with providers they negotiated under a whole host of confusing plans. Instead all this would be simplified by setting the rates all under one national healthcare plan for each area.. The insurance companies would be paid a commission for every check they wrote. The more checks they write the more they could earn. Cost containment would be made possible by each insurance company bidding against the other how much commission they'd be willing accept . Another win-win

* I'd even go so far as to expand this program into Part D for prescription drugs. I would make this completely voluntary. If enough people signed up it would put pressure on the pharmaceutical companies. Suppose 70% or 80% enrolled. Pharmaceuticals aren't going to be able to live off the 20% or 30% who did not. They'd be forced to compromise or lose sales.
At present Congress is poised to return to the good old days before Obamacare even going so far as to expand Medicare into a voucher system on the open market. Ask anyone presently on Medicare and you will see they are much more satisfied with it then they ever were with their previous employer based plans. Why shouldn't we extend this same opportunity to every one?

Medicare isn't broken. It just needs fixing.

Bernie Sanders On Medicare For All

Monday, November 14, 2016

2016 Election Over Everybody Take A Chill Pill

According to the latest figures even though there still remains 7 million votes to be counted not all of them will go towards Clinton. That being said Hillary currently received almost 6 million less then Obama in 2012. At present Trump has 60,250,241. Even though Hillary has more popular votes, had the same 6 million turned out for her Trump would have been history

So Who's Fault Is That?
Not the electoral college nor the people who voted for Trump. This lies squarely on the backs of American voters and Hillary herself for not being able to drum the kind of support Obama did in 2012.

Time To Move On
Curb your outrage. Get on with your life. It's time to accept Trump as our next President. Save your anger and protests for the many political battles which lay ahead. I'm sure there will be many. Stomping around the streets whining over spilt milk will diminish the importance of future protests. People will grow tired and start to ignore them if they become an everyday occurrence. These current demonstrations over the outcome of the 2016 elections make you all look like a bunch of babies when things didn't go your way. Apparently your candidate had 6 million less voters' support this go round. This is why things turned out the way they did. Get over it.

Trump's Not The Larger Issue
Electors also voted in favor of keeping both sides of congress under Republican control. As such voters have given Donald Trump and his campaign promises further sway. Republicans have always stood for certain key issues. Such as privatization of Medicare, entitlement cuts and defunding a large segment of social need programs over favor of the budget for defense.

If these protestors don't like Trump being elected they will have far more to protest about in the coming days. I don't know how much time they have on their hands but they will need plenty more then this worrying about Trump being elected. I imagine they will be joined by more then a few former Trump supporters as well if things don't go the way they expected either.

As Always I Have A Video In Mind For This

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Allentown Residents Wage Tax Increasing By 30+%

Details of the proposed 2017 Allentown city budget are posted online

The mayor's letter says, "Supplemental revenues are needed to balance the 2017 Proposed Budget and maintain proper fund balances into the future. To address this issue, the earned income tax collected by the city will be increased from 1.15 percent to 1.50 percent, which will provide $6.2 million in additional revenue annually. The increase will cost a $50,000 wage earner $175 annually.."

The way he puts it doesn't sound too bad, but if you do the math this is almost a 31% increase. This brings into question where are the increased revenues from all these people that were to have moved into Allentown's new NIZ funded apartments? The thing we're left to assume they must hold jobs outside the newly created ones within the NIZ.

While I do appreciate not increasing property taxes it still remains as to why the working taxpayers have to bear the increases required to make up shortages in the general fund. We were left with the impression properties within the NIZ should able to generate enough increased revenues for the general fund. Apparently not.

Something else to consider going forward regarding sewage upgrades.
While it's still too early to predict, because Allentown is appealing a EPA ruling, Allentown taxpayers could be facing many million of dollars the city will need to spend for these upgrades. Most likely they will come in the form of increased Capital Cost on future county water bills in some sort of combination with increased taxes to generate the revenue Allentown would need to borrow.

In my opinion neither the water deal nor the NIZ in the long run will be a godsend when it comes to future taxes in Allentown. Maybe I'm all wrong. If anybody can steer me in another direction telling me why I'd love to hear from you.

No Cost Too Much To Keep Us Safe?

"The warship is the most expensive destroyer in the history of the Navy, costing about $4.4 billion.... the ship’s guns, reported to fire ammunition costing $800,000 a round."

A Matter Of Priorities
There's no way I wanna hear we can't afford Social Security or Medicare while we piss away this kind of money enabling defense contractors to get rich.

Sunday Services Music Videos

All as true then as now.. timeless

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Be Truthful Isn't This Every HS Kid's Wet Dream ?

"Nicole ****** 45, was arrested in Port Barre, Louisiana, on Wednesday. She admitted having sex with two teenage boys aged between 17 and 18... She is facing three counts of prohibited sexual misconduct as an educator to a student. Because the boys are all over 17, the legal age of consent in Louisiana, she will not face child rape charges."

My Comments About The Article Above
I hope the day never comes that I'm so old as to not remember what I was like as a young pup. Is she a fool-- yes. Did she screw up her life-- yes. Was it wrong-- hell yeah !

I've read a bunch of articles where these female teachers are behaving worse then male teachers. These 17 & 18 year olds are no innocents either. What I'm confused about with these teachers, priests and politicians is why they can't seem to keep it in their pants. What's going on?

That and where were all these hot teachers when I was growing up :-)

I Just Bought A Bunch OF LED Bulbs

In 2011 I bought three LED bulbs for my front porch. They each cost me $15. My how the cost come down. I just bought a bunch of LED bulbs which cost me around $2.50 each delivered to my door.

These lights are equivalent to 60 watts yet consume just 8 watts. The 100 watt equivalent LED's burn just 11 watts. I used them to replace my curly fluorescent bulbs which were consuming 13 watts and 23 watts which had less lumens. They are supposed to last about 10 years.

Another advantage: This house was built in 1927 so the strain on the electrical wiring is far less problematic. I also noticed they give off practically no heat which can make my fixture's wiring last longer. My security cameras seem to respond better too.

Just thought I'd pass this tip along if your planning to buy replacement bulbs in the future.

Democrats Deserved To Lose Here's Why

I've made it no secret I was a Bernie Sanders supporter. Before the campaign even began the DNC was in the bag for Hillary. They did everything in their power to make sure his supporters couldn't gain a foothold. Here's what they got instead.* A woman who was less active on the campaign trail.
* Someone who avoided the press while Bernie did the opposite.
* Low energy-- Bernie publicly exhibited more stamina
* Hillary attempted to dodge the big money speeches she made. Bernie on the other hand did none.
* Several issues dogged Hillary her the entire campaign whereas no dirt could be found on Bernie.
They say you gotta dance with the one that brung ya. Well the DNC brought Hillary and look where it got them. There's no telling whether Bernie could have won but there's one thing for sure. Donald Trump tapped into the very frustrations and anger that Bernie's campaign championed.

There were three things going against Bernie besides the Democratic party. (1) Every time the press wrote about him they prefixed him with the label of socialist. (2) The big money was riding on either Hillary or Trump being elected. (3) The cool factor. Bernie didn't have the TV and Hollywood star power these two had going for them.

The American voters were played by both candidates who ended up after the primaries. Hillary promising a continuation of the status quo left voters the only other option, Donald Trump who wrote checks he can't cash. In this election had the DNC not stacked the deck perhaps we could have had a real choice for the changes voters hungered for.

There was fear Bernie Sanders might be too extreme a liberal. Now the opposite. Donald might be too right wing for many peoples taste.

Here's What I Think
In the end Trump is going to end up doing pretty much the same as what Hillary might have done.

Bernie Sanders is no stranger to politics. From his past experience in the Senate he knew he would have been traveling a tough road uphill. I suspect he knew only a few of his ideas would come to pass making him more a realist then the other two.

At the end of the day what voters were left with was a woman promising little in the way of change who had more baggage then an airport could handle or someone who promised more changes then Aladdin and his magic lamp could provide.

Call it karma or pay back is a bitch, but the DNC got exactly what it deserved. Say what you will but because the RNC stayed out of messing with it's 17 candidates they've won the brass ring. As bad or good as their candidate may be they left it up to the will of the people. A lesson the DNC needs to learn.

While I fully accept the outcome of Trump being our next president I still can't help wonder what might have been had not the DNC screwed things up.

Bernie Sanders On Donald Trump Winning Election

Friday, November 11, 2016

Who's Accountable For Loss Of USA Jobs?

The short answer isn't bad trade deals but rather American consumers themselves.

In spring of 2016 a poll was conducted which showed Americans prefer low prices to items 'Made in the USA' . Oh wow, who would have guessed !

Who Needs A Poll?
I can tell you from the many years my wife once worked in retail this is absolute fact. Among the many departments she once worked in at the former Wanamaker's department store was costume & fine jewelry. Clothing was another. In each and every case she'd ring up many more sales on the cheaper imported items then those higher priced American goods. So which one do you think the store was more likely to reorder stock from?

We can complain as the day is long, but fact is supply and demand will always reign king. Back in the days when Toyota and Honda were selling their cars for $2,500 Chevy, Chrysler and Ford were selling theirs for upwards of $4,000. Because Americans took the cheapest route shouldn't be any wonder why the Detroit motor industry has eventually become what it is today.

We Vote With Our Wallets
We can scream, holler and demand of our politicians to mess with these trade deals all we want, but the fact is none of us would be in this mess if it weren't for we ourselves and our buying habits. Americans rather fill their walk in closets with cheap clothes they only wear three or four times rather then American made clothes they could wear numerous times over many years. Even though smartphones can last for years most buy a new one every year. Our dumps are filled with items we've thrown out although they could have been used much longer.

If we really are sincere about bringing jobs back to the United States it first has to start with us being willing to pay for higher priced American goods. No politician can change this reality if Americans aren't willing themselves. As far as I'm concerned unless/until consumers are willing American jobs are not coming back like they once were. Dream on.