Sunday, May 28, 2017

Computer Advice- Back It Up



You may blow off this advice, but anyone who's been a victim of a computer failure should heed my advice..


BACK IT UP!



If you bought a computer with a preinstalled OEM (original equipment manufacturer) software, they urge you to create a reinstall backup disk. This will only take you back to the day you bought your computer. It will not re-create everything you worked on since. That includes both your files and settings.

As someone who's been there (several times) I can tell you how miserable restoration can be. I've spent up to 40 hours getting my stuff all back.

Here's What I recommend.
I've bought a second 931GB internal hard drive for around eighty buck$. I also bought a Maxtor external hard drive and yet one more Seagate 465GB external hard drive.

Once a month I use the second internal hard drive to make an "image" of my entire C drive. This feature is available in Windows 7, 8 and 10. It allows you to make an exact replication of everything you have. In the event your computer crashes, it's just a matter of a few steps and your back in business.

In between I do a 3x's weekly backup to that Maxtor USB connected external drive. I use FREE software to back up my files to the Maxtor.

Once a month I use that same software to back up many more files to the external Seagate 465 GB drive.

In addition I use a FREE version of Winzip to compress my most important files with password protection. I attach them in eMail to myself. And save them in my Hotmail account. This would be just in case someone would swipe all my equipment, I still have a means online to recover my stuff.

Fortunately for me I saved copies of the older version of WinZip when it was free. NOW THEY CHARGE for the software.


Now you don't have to do everything I do, but here's a basic recommendation.
(1) Purchase a second internal HDD or use a external HDD
(2) Use Win7, 8 or 10 to make a "system image backup" of your C: drive

It's quite simple!

PS: I also used Symantec's Norton Virus software which encrypts and stores all my passwords so I never have to remember my logins. Just click on the site and Norton fills it all in. It too is also password protected.


Updated Repost From January 27, 2013
NOTE: Though the video describes Windows 7 systems --the same procedure still applies to the Windows 8 & 10 systems in use today.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Another Problem The Homeless Deal With


One of my pet peeves is with the lack of empathy, morals and ethics with many in today's world.

The video below shouldn't be about judging this homeless couple. Rather the focus should be on the pricks who tried to take advantage of them.



As you can see all this couple needed was a 'idler belt tensioner'. While the video didn't indicate whether they just needed a pulley or the entire assembly--the thing that ticks me off is-- an entire assembly only cost around $30.

While it's great to learn that a small business owner was honest and caring, far too many in this nation are not. I remain adamant that no nation can survive if it's peoples are not honest, caring and operate ethically. No government can ever legislate morality. Thank goodness there are enough still remaining (for now). These are the ones holding this country together. I am a strong believer that the whole of a country is a sum of it's parts (individuals).

Repost From January 29, 2013

Friday, May 26, 2017

Trump's Budget Proposal & CBO Score On The AHCA

Senator Van Hollen (D) Maryland on the Trump Budget



Rep. Mark Sanford (R) South Carolina







CBO report on the Republican health-care bill currently under Senate consideration

It appears neither Democrats nor Republicans are planning on rubber stamping either of the proposals.

No Need For College


James Altucher writes...
"Seven Reasons Not To Send Your Kids To College"

A couple things he didn't mention:
Students will have 4 or 5 working years less in lifetime earnings while they are attending school.

'Return On Investment': Some courses that cost $100,000 upwards for degrees in certain professions will likely see less then $40,000 a year in earnings. Many trade schools offer a much higher R.O.I.

Times are tough to get the money together for many wanting to attend college. Therefore I Submit For your consideration.
.




Here are a few of my non college career
suggestions that offer a good R.O.I.


Lehigh Career & Technical Institute
(Video Uploaded: November 2009)



MTI is the only school in the nation to offer a
two-year Associate degree Satellite Communications



West Side Technical Institute CNC Machine Tool Training (Chicago)


Repost From: August 5, 2010

Thursday, May 25, 2017

ID Theft Tips

1. The next time you order checks have only your initials (instead of first name) and last name put on them. If someone takes your checkbook, they will not know if you sign your checks with just your initials or your first name, but your bank will know how you sign your checks.

2. Do not sign the back of your credit cards. Instead, put "PHOTO ID REQUIRED" in the signature space.

3. When you are writing checks to pay on your credit card accounts, DO NOT put the complete account number on the "For" line. Instead, just put the last four numbers. The credit card company knows the rest of the number, and anyone who might be handling your check as it passes through all the check-processing channels will not have access to it.

4. Put your work phone # on your checks instead of your home phone. If you have a PO Box, use that instead of your home address. If you do not have a PO Box, use your work address. Never have your SS# printed on your checks, (DUH!). You can add it if it is necessary. However, if you have it printed, anyone can get it.

5. Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine. Do both sides of each license, credit card, etc. You will know what you had in your wallet and all of the account numbers and phone numbers to call and cancel. Keep the photocopy in a safe place. Also carry a photocopy of your passport when traveling either here or abroad. We have all heard horror stories about fraud that is committed on us in stealing a name, address, Social Security number, credit cards, etc.

6. When you check out of a hotel that uses cards for keys (and they all seem to do that now), do not turn the "keys" in. Take them with you and destroy them. Those little cards have on them all of the information you gave the hotel, including address and credit card numbers and expiration dates. Someone with a card reader, or employee of the hotel, can access all that information with no problem whatsoever.

- - - - -


Here is some critical information to limit the damage in case ID theft happens to you or someone you know:

1. You should cancel your credit cards immediately. The key is having the toll free numbers and your card numbers handy so you know whom to call. Keep those where you can find them.

2. File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where your credit cards, etc., were stolen. This proves to credit providers you were diligent, and this is a first step toward an investigation (if there ever is one). However, here is what is perhaps most important of all.

3. Call the three national credit reporting organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name and Social Security Number. The alert means any company that checks your credit knows your information was stolen, and they have to contact you by phone to authorize new credit.

Here are the numbers you always need to contact about your wallet and contents being stolen:
1.) Equifax: 1-800-525-6285
2.) Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742
3.) TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289
4.) Social Security Administration (fraud line): 1-800-269-0271

Repost From January 30, 2013

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

U.S. 1st In Technological Advancement: FALSE!


American pride leads us to believe we have become the most scientifically advanced nation solely in every way via our superior educational system and intellectual prowess. Really?

Here's a few things to ponder. While our space program is bar none the tops, it didn't come out of thin air. After the war many German rocket scientist fled/recruited/forced to join The United States space program. Giving us a leg up over the Russians.

Wernher von Braun although best known, was not the only one who became part of what became known as 'Operation Paperclip'. So without the boost by German scientists we would not be where we are today.

Many of us are aware of this. However, few are aware that our current "stealth fighters" came about as a direct result of 1944 German ingenuity. The picture you see above is actually a 1944 Horten Ho 2-29 designed by the Nazis some 30+ years before we Americans developed flying wing type of radar-invisible stealth technology!

Fortunately for us the carbon fiber composites, required by today's F-117A Nighthawk stealth aircraft, were not yet invented. However it was able to fly almost undetected by radar from Berlin to NYC and back without refueling. The Ho 2-29 was to be powered by BMW 003 jet engines invented by Hans Von Ohain of Germany.

Hey if it makes you feel better Sir Frank Whittle was an English aviation engineer who was credited with co-inventing the jet engine even though he wasn't aware of Hans's work. Course on the other hand neither of those were Americans either!

So it's quite apparent today's stealth evolved as a result of German engineering. Here's a brief video excerpt from National Geographic's Special- "Hitler's Stealth Fighter"
-----


A few more technological items we may have perfected but did not invent..
The Steam Engine- Thomas Savery was an English military engineer and inventor who in 1698, patented the first crude steam engine. Thomas Newcomen was an English blacksmith who made an improvement over Thomas Slavery's.

In 1765 James Watt,
Scottish inventor and mechanical engineer, improved the steam engine.(A unit of power called the Watt was named after James Watt. The Watt symbol is W, and it is equal to 1/746 of a horsepower, or one Volt times one Amp.)

Electricity- English scientist William Gilbert in 1600.

Nuclear Energy- Enrico Fermi is considered a major figure in the discovery of nuclear energy. Born in Rome, he was the first scientist to split the atom and his research later led to nuclear power generation. Leo Szilard & Fermi discovered the first nuclear reactor that caused nuclear chain reactions.

Then there was Einstein .. enough said!

You get the idea. We Americans have many wonders based on great minds from all over the globe, but we certainly don't have a monopoly on superior technology. The challenge going forward is, will we remain on top of the scientific technology game? He who has the most toys wins.

Kind of knocks ya down a couple of blocks doesn't it?


Repost from January 30, 2013

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Love That Bette Midler

It's Sunday. The day I usually feature my favorite performers. This week I'm featuring --71 year old Bette Midler. A woman who never seems to age. She's as good today as ever.


Video Courtesy: CBS Sunday Morning


Curtain Call, Opening Night


What I like about Bette is her range of talent. She performed so many characters I've enjoyed over the years. Some displayed her serious acting skills. Others her comedic talents mixed with music. She's done nearly every kind of genre of music. At least one of them is certain to appeal no matter what someone's tastes may be. Some are heart wrenching. Some are rock favorites. Still others are quite bawdy. I like them all.








.


Friday, May 19, 2017

Lehigh Valley Growth. Bah Humbug



I say bah humbug to the explosive development going on throughout the Lehigh Valley. Who needs it. I sure don't.

The 'Morning Call' published some developer wants to "..include more than 700 single family homes, twin homes and apartment units as well as commercial space on Cedar Crest between Walbert Avenue and Huckleberry Road."


More people means they need more jobs. More jobs more people. More, more, more of everything means.. Less fertile fields available for planting.
More schools means more taxes.
Less surplus water available.
With more people comes more crime.
With more crime comes more police funding that will be needed.
Increased driver aggravation with bottlnecks and accidents
I could list so many more issues but those would be my top six peeves. I have so much more to say but I wanted to make my point short as possible. I'd be happy to expand on this in the comment section if there's a interest.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Brief Opinion On Allentown Election Results (Follow Up)

A few hours ago I did a post about the Allentown primaries. Also about something FOX News talked about. I'm not getting any feedback. Since I don't do this for profit--the only payoff for me is to hear back once and a while. I'm certainly no fan of getting a bunch of responses. Still it's nice to hear from some of my readers as to what they think about some of the things I've brought up.

Years ago my boss once explained to me when I worked on country radio--before it became popular--lots of people listen, but they don't want others to know it. Seems kind of fitting since I know the number of people who read this blog daily Yet it's something I have a tough time accepting for some reason. Not like I haven't mentioned this numerous times over these last eight years :-)

Perhaps I should think in terms of this being a personal diary of my thoughts that people sometimes like to snoop occasionally but they too don't want to admit it.

With that said and the election behind--I'm ready to move on to other things I enjoy...





Have A Great Day

FOX News Comes Up With Extremely Flawed Logic

The Daily Beast
‘Fox & Friends’: James Comey Might Be a Criminal
"Former FBI Director James Comey could well be criminally liable for keeping notes on—but not immediately reporting—President Trump’s alleged request to quash the Mike Flynn investigation... by withholding his memo to self about his private Oval Office chat with Trump the day after National Security Adviser Flynn was fired, “If you don’t report it immediately, then that’s against the law."

COMMENTARY
Now that that right there is some really flawed logic. It appears they are implying Comey either ignored or participated in some sort of cover up in Trump's alleged illegal activity. Something akin to aiding and abetting a criminal. Going by these guys' kind of logic, wouldn't this imply Trump is a criminal?

DUH !
Sorry I misunderstood. I thought you guys were on Trumps's side.

With (FOX &) friends like you--who needs enemies.

Brief Opinion On Allentown Election Results

In one phrase.. "Same ole stuff".
In what could be historically the most important election in Allentown only around 6% turned out to vote for next mayor. Only about 15% of those who are registered voted across all races in total.

Obviously a whole bunch don't give a flying fig. There's nearly 120,000 who live within the limits of the city. This breaks down to less then 15% of the population who participated in this election. This is pretty much what I expected. Even though I'm not surprised doesn't mean I don't continue to be disappointed.

What I did find interesting of those who did bother to vote, more then half chose not to vote for any of the candidates running for mayor.

It only takes two words to sum up this election primary...
Pathetic Apathy

Monday, May 15, 2017

Sanitizing The News

I just did a post about some of the local radio of yester year. This reminded me how some of the stories never get told. Never mind who, but years ago when I worked in radio I reported on an attempted suicide from someone who jumped off a bridge back in the 70's. I left out a few of the details The true back story was this guy had a fight with his girlfriend who bit off his penis. He was in such pain he attempted to end his life a few blocks away by jumping off a bridge into the Little Lehigh (he survived). The apartment where this took place was blood splattered after this guy ran around in excruciating pain.

I doubt whether any reporter is going to report on everything they come to learn. Nor are some of the crimes in Allentown more gruesome then they were back then. During my short career in radio I experienced local mob leaders who tried to influence my news stories when I worked in radio at a young age. This is why I'm a lot more careful about what I post here and my identity.

The point is this. Whether it be local news reporters or the companies they work for--none are worth taking the risk in reporting everything they come across. Something to keep in mind when people read these various reports in the news. Not only are there legal financial risks involved but sometimes physical ones as well. Hence why not what everyone sees reported in the media may be the entire story. After all there's only so much to expect from people and companies trying to make a living off of reporting the news.

Remember Uncle Bob At WEEX?

This goes back to 1998 when Uncle Bob (Pagani) hosted a morning show on 1230AM WEEX in Easton when LV radio was still at the top of their game. I use to listen to this clown every morning when I could on my way to work. Of course this was before he was fired (as expected he would be eventually).

He pulled off some of the greatest stunts. One of them was when he supposedly locked himself inside WEEX supposedly taking it hostage for the better part of the day. On another occasion scientists in Switzerland claimed to have discovered cold fusion. Doesn't Bob call them in the middle of their night to ask, "how do we know you're not full of shit". It eventually turned out they were.

The Morning Call did a write up of him--for those not familiar.

Talk about fake news...
After he left he turned up in 2006 pulling off this Powerball Hoax..

I still follow his YouTube videos


He like other radio personalities of their days did some crazy stuff. At one time Joey Reynolds after getting fired at WKBW in Buffalo, NY turned up at WFIL (famous 56 radio) in Philadelphia. He managed to get himself fired there after pretending to be a DJ from WIP giving away WIP's $1,000 prize.

I'll share one more story I heard second hand. Take it for what it's worth. "Uncle Tom" (Livesley) once worked at WKAP when it was 1320AM in the 50's. He constantly harassed Allentown city hall. Who knows if half his stories were true, but he did get fired only to turn up at WHOL a few years later. Before WHOL could fire him for the numerous lawsuits he kept bringing on them I was told he managed to piss off Allentown detectives so much so they took him for a ride after his show one day to show him where bodies turned up down by the canal at the Lehigh River. Tom quit and left for Florida the same day. Maybe it was a fake story. Who knows, but that's what I was told.

Damn those were the days :-)

Importance Of Local Elections

It never ceases to amaze how people will wait in line--sometimes for hours--to cast their vote in national elections. Yet come time to elect local officials only a fraction show up.

Things like streets, water, trash, policing property taxes, emergency services, parking, zoning and a who host of others that impact us directly all occur at the local level. Few ever will directly affected by what the scrum does in Washington, that's for certain. I can't tell you the number of complaints I heard about what goes on Washington and how people can't wait to vote them out. Yet little more then a handful ever turn out for local elections. Why is that?

People need to start asking themselves what ticks them off the most. I'd suggest making a list of the top five pet peeves they have. Nine out of tern times it something only local leaders can do something about. Then go out and vote for the candidates they feel will address them.

The Washington bunch aren't going to address property taxes, parking problems, who gets to build what where, how the parks look, how well streets are plowed/maintained or enact local ordnances specific to each municipality--to name a few.

So now get out there and vote !
Do something about these things..


One of my pet peeves is those who complain why I'm not out there hammering away at meetings. Here's how I feel. After being on countless committees frustrating myself where I once worked, I came to realize management stacked the deck. They already had a predetermined outcome they expected. Much is the same with how these politicians form their committees and commissions. Even if such a group were to oppose management (in this case elected officials) they always have the final say. In the past I've been subject to what happens when someone opposes those in power. I'm not going to repeat those same costly and emotionally draining mistakes on neither my family or myself again. Been there done that.

To those with greater courage--may you have greater resources and stamina then I to pursue your ideas. As for me--over the years I've concluded although I couldn't choose those unelected corporate management leaders, when it comes to local issues by electing political leaders I certainly can. By voting for those who seem to hold the same views is where I feel I can be most effective.

At this point in my life I'll just stick to this blog and voting in all the elections as my way of making my voice heard.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Trump Holding Up Allentown's FBI Investigation Results

Indications are the FBI has likely concluded it's investigation into Allentown's city hall and may have handed the results over to the U.S. Dept. Of Justice. So what's the hold up?

In short, Donald Trump is gumming up the works.

When Trump first took office he ordered 46 Dept of Justice heads to resign. Pennsylvania's lost two of them previously but are still awaiting appointments. Currently Louis D. Lappen is the Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania has three jurisdictional areas. Out of those three only one was appointed by the previous administration and left in place and it wasn't ours.

Pennsylvania is not alone. As of April 28, 2017 according to the DOJ there's nearly 60 Donald still hasn't filled since assuming office.

Of course what good would attorneys be without judges to hear cases. According to U.S. Courts.gov there are 129 judicial vacancies with only 8 nominees pending as of May 14, 2017. Things came to a grinding halt after January 13th. The date the Allentown city controller was charged in the conspiracy. Could it be for the lack of judges?


The Blaze (12/26/2016)
"Republicans on Capitol Hill have, for nearly two years, pulled out every stop to block or delay many of President Barack Obama’s federal judge appointees from receiving senate confirmation. Now, it appears as though that obstruction is paying off for the GOP and President-elect Donald Trump.

Upon taking office on January 20, Trump is set to inherit dozens of vacant federal judgeships: 103 of them, to be exact. That’s in addition to the Supreme Court seat left open by the late conservative justice Antonin Scalia, the Washington Post reported.

The number is nearly twice the judiciary vacancies Obama inherited from President George W. Bush in 2009. When Obama assumed the role of president, there were just 54 federal judgeships to be filled.

Here Is The Complete Confirmation List So Far

Good Job Donald!



My Closing Remarks
No one can say with certainty whether this FBI probe of Allentown will or will not move forward. One thing could be said--for someone(s) who could be charged--the timing couldn't be better. Yes it may still happen--just a bit later then planned. On the other hand, the way Trump's going with his appointees the "statute of limitations" could expire not only on this case but on thousands of others throughout the country.

I'm not certain of my facts but I believe it to be 8 years for official misconduct in Pennsylvania. The clock starts ticking from when the crime was allegedly committed. According to this "Morning Call" timeline the FBI raided city hall on July 2, 2015 after more then a two year investigation. While we have no information as to what crimes or when we only can assume by that timeline at least 4 years have lapsed already. TICK TOCK!

They say all politics are local. Now more then ever has this proven true especially in this case with the election of Donald Trump.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Eugene McDuffie Running For Allentown City Council & More

I must admit until this election I wasn't familiar with Eugene McDuffie. After doing some research he was my number one choice for city council. This was even before these videos surfaced which reinforced my determination to cast my vote for him.

Eugene McDuffie press conference 5-12-17 part 1



Eugene McDuffie press conference 5-12-17 part 2

Both Videos Courtesy The Lehigh Valley Coffee Party


UPDATE (05/15/2017)
Why the hell did they remove these videos!!!?


I must state I'm no big fan of the local "Coffee Party", but their national objectives I do agree with. I also think the videos the local movement post on YouTube are of great service. That said... For whatever my opinions are worth the people running for city council I recommend are; Eugene McDuffie, Daryl Hendricks, Ed Zucal, Julio Guridy and Louis Hershman << In that order

For Mayor; Ray O'Connell or Luiz Garcia << In that order


Talking Points
It doesn't matter whether my choices have an "R" or "D" after their name. So too what's more important to me then their experience is the kind of person they are. The kind that have integrity and passion to serve. Certainly Eugene would be at the top of that list when it comes to city council.

The Mayor's Race
I'm not going to jump on the bandwagon bashing Ed Pawlowski. What I will say he's had his turn and there's been a number of people who have dealt directly with him speaking negatively towards him. This great a number can't all be haters. So he has to go (nothing personal).

There's been some negative comments made toward Ray O'Connell. I'd like to address a few. Some accuse Ray's lack of opposition to the mayor in the past. First off I think Ray was new to city council and being a reasonable man tried to deal with the mayor less aggressively. As time passed as he had more experiences with how the mayor operates he became more frustrated. This reached a peak when he became President of city council enabling him to do more opposition to Pawlowski then before. As low key and reasonable as Ray is, it surprised me how vocal he could be when the mayor started turning ugly at the city council meeting at the budget hearings in 2016. It showed me Ray certainly is no shrinking violet when confronted. Ray also understands city residents' ASD property taxes are directly impacted by what decisions are made at the city level. He understands the city cannot succeed in it's goals if the schools are keeping future residents from moving here. Something the current mayor has all too often ignored.

City Council
Under Allentown's charter, city council is relegated to the whims of the mayor. However strong voices can make a difference. That's why it's extremely important NOT to elect future puppets to council for the mayor. Eugene obviously wouldn't be one of them Neither is the very outspoken Daryl Hendricks who currently has a seat on council. Unlike in the past Julio has stepped up to the plate recently. I also favor Lou Hershman. I think he would be an asset. Even though sometimes he can be a pain in the ass, there isn't another man who spent more time and energy questioning some of the very things we also wondered when it came to things like the water deal, incinerator project and a whole host of other questionable decisions. Lou has shown (even not being on council) he spends more time then those who do.

Generally Speaking...
The NIZ was a state funded project having little anything to do with what was done at city hall. It would have happened no matter who was in city office. Shiny buildings and whatever new jobs are taking place are not the result of city hall. Crime, status of the fire department, improving poverty and restoring housing are all distinctly separate from the new development taking place within the NIZ areas. Voters must ask themselves what did city hall do to make streets safer, the schools better or has our city housing stock improved?

Allentown needs a change. Police are overburdened. So are the schools (financial and otherwise). We need people like Eugene on council and Ray who understands the interrelationships and how important it is to bring everyone to the table. Is there anyone who can truthfully say Allentown doesn't need to make a drastic change in leadership?

Not that it matters to most people what I think but if Allentown voters reelect this mayor and reject all the candidates I mentioned I will never speak of this again. Others have given up on Allentown. I don't want to do that. However I'm not one to endlessly drain my energies on such as a fool's errand. Come on Allentown, don't disappoint me. Not this time!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

News Headlines (05/10/2017)

Talking Points Memo
Texas House OKs Letting Adoption Groups Deny Non-Christian, Gay, Unmarried Applicants
"South Dakota passed similar legislation in March but it’s too soon to measure its practical effects"

A QUICK COMMENT:
Does this mean Jews and Muslims our out of luck too?




NY Daily News
McConnell ignores calls for special prosecutor after Comey firing
"But the Senate Intelligence Committee doesn't have subpoena power, and has relied on information provided by the FBI "

A QUICK COMMENT:
In other news, the FBI director was fired.




The Washington Post
Trump to inherit more than 100 court vacancies, plans to reshape judiciary
"The estimated 103 judicial vacancies that President Obama is expected to hand over to Trump in the Jan. 20 transition of power is nearly double the 54 openings Obama found eight years ago following George W. Bush’s presidency... Confirmation of Obama’s judicial nominees slowed to a crawl after Republicans took control of the Senate in 2015... Twenty-five of Obama’s court nominees were pending on the Senate floor, after having been approved out of the committee with bipartisan support, but did not get a vote before the Senate"

A QUICK COMMENT:
Good job McConnell. To the victor goes the spoils. Forget about the good of the country. Party 1st !!




Mediaite
Rep. Cummings on Comey Firing: ‘If This Were Hillary’ GOP Would Call for Impeachment
"If this were Hillary Clinton, the Republicans would be trying to impeach her right now,” the Democratic lawmaker exclaimed."

A QUICK COMMENT:
Oh Ye of so little faith.




NY POST
Frat kicked off campus after bros threaten to kill hazing ‘rats’
"University officials announced Tuesday that they pulled the fraternity’s university recognition through May 31, 2021, as a result of the investigation."

A QUICK COMMENT:
Sounds like a bunch of future leaders in Washington to me.




NY Post
United flight attendants forced me to pee in a cup
"The flight attendants treated me like I had committed a crime, stating they would be filing a report, calling in the hazmat team to clean the entire row (let me mention there was no mess involved) and told me I would need to talk with the pilot after the flight!” [she] wrote on Facebook."

A QUICK COMMENT:
Other then that, how was the trip?




HuffPost
Russian State Media Gets Access To White House Meeting While U.S. Press Kept Out
" The White House declared the meeting with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to be closed press, meaning that reporters couldn’t attend and cover independently. But one outlet did get in: TASS, a Russian state media organization... On MSNBC, Andrea Mitchell expressed disbelief over the White House giving Russian state-run media access to a meeting that was closed to U.S. press."

A QUICK COMMENT:
This is how strong leaders operate in certain countries. Putting democracy aside--Donald's on a path of his own when it comes to the press. Calm down. Nothing to see here. Stand down. Everything's just fine




The Mood I Find Myself In
Enough already. We have five cable news channels, network late night shows and "Saturday Night Live" all doing about the same schtick. I suppose I could be called out for doing the same thing with this post, but sometimes it's pretty hard for me to ignore. However it's my intention to do fewer focusing on this kind of stuff. If I be accused of failing in my mission to do less of them in the past--let it be known my intentions are to do less of them in the coming days.

What's happening right now in politics are in complete opposite to the things I believe in. Regular visitors to this blog already understand this. Therefore there's no sense dwelling on them unendingly (like it would matter anyway). There's enough negativity in the world I don't see a point in adding to it Hence I intend to lighten up a bit in the coming days.

One other thing I have on my mind is the lack of response this blog gets in comments. I'm of the mind I want them, but not really. I post something here and a few days later on other blogs they post on the same issue and get a whole bunch of comments. Most which would only serve to piss me off anyway. So I suppose I should consider it a blessing. Obviously I'm not good at dealing with people.



Some might say if I need a friend, get a dog.

Actually I prefer cats.

They only eat, shit, sleep and never answer when you call.
Yeah--THAT'S ME EXACTLY !

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Street Performers Check Em' Out

I just addd a bunch of these musical street performers to my playlist. These street musicians never cease to amaze me with their talents.


Check out my other numerous playlist HERE.
I update them nearly every week.

Ye Olde Allentown




Monday, May 8, 2017

My Response To "Lower Mac News & Issues"

The blog "Lower Mac News & Issues" posted this today--
Lehigh County is not a “Sanctuary City”


Unfortunately the operator of that blog (Ron Beitler a Lower Macungie Commissioner) only allows comments for registered users of FaceBook. Since I refuse to join FaceBook I will respond here instead.. Couple Points As I Understand Them.

(1) Federal laws don't protect (exonerate from liability) states, counties nor municipalities if they should detain someone 1 day beyond incarceration for something someone committed within these jurisdictions of law.

(2) Nor provide compensation to them for enforcement of federal laws.

In my opinion--local jurisdictions have neither the authority nor obligation to enforce federal laws. Especially being uncompensated for them. I'm further of the opinion these have only a obligation to notify federal officials of someone they have in their custody up until the time of their release. At which time federal agents can either show up at the time of their release or not.

Neither do I feel state nor local enforcement has the obligation to question and report those they come across from time to time in their regular police duties unless they choose to do so.

Sen. McCain What Kind Country Have We Become?

New York Times (05/08/2017)
Why We Must Support Human Rights
"Secretary Tillerson sent a message to oppressed people everywhere: Don’t look to the United States for hope. Our values make us sympathetic to your plight, and, when it’s convenient, we might officially express that sympathy. But we make policy to serve our interests, which are not related to our values. So, if you happen to be in the way of our forging relationships with your oppressors that could serve our security and economic interests, good luck to you. You’re on your own....

We have long believed moral concerns must be an essential part of our foreign policy, not a departure from it. "


I urge people to read the entire OP-ED piece. Thank God there are some like Senator John McCain still left in congress to remind us of what we should stand for.

Understanding The Immigrant And Refugee Problem


What inspired me to write this post was something I watched on CBS's "60 Minutes". CBS news reported a story entitled, Deported man's wife and friends rethink voting for Trump.

The '60 Minutes' Video

So here we have a guy who came here many years ago not to take American jobs away or mooch off the government, but rather to seek a better life. He ended up paying taxes and creating 20 new jobs at the restaurant he owned. His only sin was coming here undocumented. Then marrying and raising three kids (now left behind on their own). Not one of the "bad hombres" Trump spoke of.

Most certainly no nation can survive without the rule of law. However laws alone--without commonsense justice being applied is not safe for anyone. Including it's own people. Germany under Hitler allowed laws making it legal to exterminate anyone not of pure Caucasian decent. Much like radical Islamic fundamentalists' against Christians today. Proving laws alone don't make for humane conditions. Laws alone without individual considerations can be detrimental to the very ideologies they claim to represent. As such those policies need to be scrutinized no matter who's in power.

Donald Trump was right--the "bad hombres" need to go. Unfortunately what I'm seeing carried out is something far different from his words.

No I don't enjoy jobs going to Mexico. But either some of these jobs go there or else some will continue coming here seeking them. Which would you prefer?


Here's Something Else To Think About
Maybe if the U.S. weren't bombing the crap out Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, cities in Iraq and a half dozen other places these people wouldn't be forced to scatter like ants. Same goes with our meddling with South American governments. Seems to me in our attempt to bring so called better lives to these people we made life a living hell for them instead. Can anyone prove we were directly threatened by any one of them?

If we really truly want to end our refugee problems we need to stop producing them.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

LVCI Exclusive Podcasts

A Brief One I Did Today About The LVCI Blog
video


Here's A bunch of others where I'm playing DJ for endless hours. Starting off with two I haven't uploaded before..
Some Country Music Stuff
video


Another one with "Off The Chart Oldies"
video



Check Out My 14 Others.
These took over 100 hours to complete. A lot more effort then my regular posts--but I'm willing to do more of them if you're interested. Let me know if you want more of them musical in nature or otherwise.

Thanks in advance

Health Insurance Before Obamacare Came Along

Pre-Existing Conditions
FreeAdvice Legal (09/03/2007)
Limitations and Waiting Periods
"...there is a reasonably good chance that the insurance company would be successful in denying coverage for treatment of your brain tumor under the pre-existing condition exclusion because the condition first manifested itself in the twelve months immediately preceding the effective date of your coverage."

MedSave (11/04/2005)
Finding Health Insurance to Cover Pre-existing Medical Conditions
"Insurance that covers the full cost of pre-existing medical conditions is available but is usually not a financially viable option for individuals who purchase their own coverage... There may be a waiting period, a high deductible, or a high premium cost that is either unmanageable or may outweigh the likely policy benefits over the short term... The best immediate options are to use a lower cost insurance for protection other than the pre-existing medical condition and then manage the immediate medical costs outside of an insurance plan"


Existing Policy Cancellations/Reductions
FreeAdvice Legal (02/01/2001)
Reduction or Elimination of Benefits
"A limited form of cancellation can occur involving reduction or elimination of health insurance benefits. Other than a requirement of reasonable notice, insurers and plans may reduce or eliminate benefits, unless the contract or health service plan prohibits it or limits it."

NBC News (08/15/2007)
Protect Yourself From Loopholes & Lapses
"A surprising number of patients have been in the middle of costly treatment for a serious disease only to have their policies canceled, sometimes even retroactively, and found themselves responsible for astronomical bills. It’s called rescission.... “Preapproval is often what triggers the rescission review,” says Shernoff. “If it’s for hip surgery, that’s an expensive item that they’ll look at and see if you’re a candidate for rescission."


Cost Of Today's Plans
eHealth (10/10/2016)
How Much Does Health Insurance Cost Without A Subsidy?
"Premiums for individual coverage averaged $321 per month while premiums for family plans averaged $833 per month.

The average annual deductible for individual plans was $4,358 and the average deductible for family plans was $7,983."


Healthcare.gov
2017 health insurance plans & prices (Obamacare)
I went on that link here's what I came up with. I used Lehigh County as my area. Under one scenario I used a 30 year old couple with 2 kids having an income of $40,000. Obamacare would subsidize whatever plan I picked with $742 a month. I ran the same scenario without the kids. The subsidy in this case was $628 a month.



Further Info
No wonder Republicans are having such a tough time coming up with a better plan. Obamacare coverage is compatible in costs and deductibles with those you find on the open market. The thing that's makes it so much better there are these subsidies enabling people to afford coverage.

The only argument for eliminating Obamacare are the costs to government--not the policy holders as they'd have you believe. Let's have a look at that.

According to the "Committee For a responsible Federal Budget" (10/19/2016)--"By FY 2026, the latest year that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) makes projections for specific programs, Obamacare would still be sixth at $252 billion, behind Social Security ($1.6 trillion), Medicare ($1.1 trillion), defense ($719 billion), interest ($712 billion), and non-ACA Medicaid ($477 billion). Thus, over the next decade, Obamacare will fall further behind the fifth largest program both in dollar terms and, to a lesser extent, as a percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP)."

The thing to keep in mind the budgeted amount is covered by premiums, higher taxes on those earning above $200,000 and penalties on those refusing to buy insurance for themselves.

How much you say will it cost to eliminate Obamacare completely? Well according to CNN Money--"Fully repealing Obamacare will cost $350 billion over the next 10 years. Obamacare was carefully crafted in 2010 so that it didn't add to the federal deficit -- in fact, it boosted revenues slightly. The law affects the federal budget in three ways: coverage provisions, taxes and fees, and Medicare components."


Talking Points
(1) If conservatives in congress didn't previously mess with the plan undermining some of it's provisions it would be in better shape.

(2) As you can see from the actual facts Obamacare is not bankrupting the government. In fact it does the opposite. It nearly (if not all) pays for itself.

(3) Opponents point out how high the deductibles are. I provided one link showing they are just as high as those currently in the private sector. I urge readers to do similar research. They will find the same thing I'm certain.

(4) Some miscellaneous downsides in changing Obamacare. Lifetime coverage caps could return. Preexisting conditions could be treated the way they were before Obamacare making them highly unaffordable. Many plans employers were required to provide will cease to exist.

(5) Recall the good old days before Obamacare was enacted on March 23, 2010? Bet everyone has a tale of woe.

Some Alternatives
(1) Expand current Medicare.
(2) Tweak the shortcomings in the current plan.
(3) Force the Congress members to take the same plan they wanna give us.


Final Thoughts
Market competition is a fantasy. Prior to Obamacare nearly every company followed the same policies and costs. If anyone thinks it will be different this time around they're going to be extremely disappointed. Obamacare has it's problems. The alternatives will be far worse.

For every dollar not budgeted for Obamacare each will be shifted somewhere else. Everyone should think long and hard how those redistributions will affect each of us in some way.


Republican Rep. Raul Labrador (Idaho) at a town hall (05/05/2017)
video

The hell they don't. Take for example someone undergoing cancer treatment. No drug company or hospital is going to give away $35,000-$100,000 a month treatments and services.. PERIOD!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Rainy Friday (05/05/2017)

It's a rainy Friday. Here's a copula' live streams I checked out around 1:00 PM

For some reason Times Square is empty




I also checked out the Ocean City, New Jersey Boardwalk

View NORTH
Personally I'd like to take a stroll on the boardwalk on such a day


View SOUTH


I find it interesting on snowy days people were still walking in both these locations. When it comes to rain people seem to be more squeamish. Why is that?

House Passes Healthcare Bill--SO WHAT!

Take a look at the celebration.
What I see is a bunch of foolish old white men in premature celebration cozying up to Donald.

The reasons I held off posting about this drama.
It's totally meaningless until it passes in the Senate. It's too early for a victory celebration. The Senate plans to either make amendments or write one of their own. Which means all this goes back to the house where likely it will collapse yet again. If it does this means Obamacare remains as is.

No matter who says what this bill is far from a done deal. Nobody needs to panic just yet over what's included or not. What will become significant is how Republicans are going to deal with this after there's a failure to pass another bill.

I highly doubt there will come about a change in the current healthcare legislation. With all the misrepresentations coming from both sides... that may be a good thing.

In the unlikely scenario a new healthcare bill should come to pass I will have plenty to say.




As for now--everyone can take a...

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Hillary Clinton's Blame Game

The Washington Post
Clinton blames Russia, FBI chief for 2016 election loss
"If the election had been on October 27, I would be your president,” Clinton told moderator Christiane Amanpour, the CNN anchor, at a Women for Women International event in New York..."

First The Background Story
On October 2016 the FBI was conducting a investigation of Anthony Wiener's laptop when they came across thousands of his wife's (Huma Abedin) emails from Hillary Clinton. Huma was Hillary's campaign vice chair at the time. According to Comey's testimony he said he had no choice but to make this known. The reason he gave was because prior he informed congress the investigation of her emails was complete. With the new discovery of these he felt compelled to notify them the FBI needed to look further into this.

After a huge number investigators poured over them the FBI realized none of these contained any that they haven't read before. Hence on November 6, 2015 he notified congress there was nothing to indicate a further need for investigation. As Comey explained to the senate--had he not reported this information before the election and something was found after he'd be accused of a cover up.



After watching a portion of FBI director James Comey's testimony to the Senate I'd say Hillary had only herself and her team to blame. Here's why. (1) By not storing her emails in one single secure place she put Comey between a rock and a hard place. What did she expect him to do? If the emails were where they were supposed to be the FBI never would have found them on a 3rd party's laptop in the first place.

(2) As for the Wikileaks. Those emails were stolen from John Podesta's (her campaign chair) Gmail account. The IT department at Google forwarded him an email a employee marked as "legitimate" when he meant to type "illegitimate". In the forwarded email Podesta being unaware clicked the link in the email which then went to a phony site where he proceeded to login. Hence hackers where able to take over control of his account. This occurred in March 2016. Anyone--especially he--should know you never click on links in emails no matter how legitimate they appear. Again it could be said this is more their own faults then anybody else's. I'd be kicking myself rather then pointing fingers.
That Said...
Yes she lost the election, but not the popular vote. This is something the present administration and congress has to factor in their decision making processes. By no means were Republicans nor Donald Trump given a overwhelming mandate by the voters despite Hillary and her team's screw ups.

Another factor must be considered. It goes by the name of Bernie Sanders. It's almost ironic how the Democratic Party shot itself in the foot by screwing over Bernie supporters. No doubt a number voted for Trump because they were pissed off how they were treated by the party in it's eagerness to get Hillary elected. Conservatives also might want to keep that in the back of their minds as well.

Is she a sore loser? I don't know. But I do know there's a hellva' lot of people who aren't onboard with everything going on. If Republicans want to keep a hold on congress they shouldn't ignore over half of the voters who didn't vote for this President. They aren't going to magically disappear and go away come the November 2018 elections.

Another point worth mentioning
In the 2015 elections there were less then 139 million voters out of a population of over 321 million people. This is about 43% of the entire population The president and congress are suppose to represent all the people. Even the ones who didn't vote--the aged, those too young and yes even those too lazy to vote but somehow turn up shouting in street protests.

No matter whether Hillary or Donald would have won--either would only have 20% of the population behind them. Something none of these politicians or partisans should forget before they get a head of steam on them thinking they have the world on a string.





Hillary not being the only one--there's plenty more sore losers to go around in this and every election.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

My View Of Political Party Differences


Before I begin, here is NOT what I'm referring to. Local party affiliations. In state and local elections many candidates will pick either party in an attempt to run unopposed in the primaries. Neither am I talking about extremists claiming to represent either party. We all know some of the things a few wackos say from time to time. One or two screwballs with their outlandish claims and behaviors--while they may get attention--are not representative of either party as a whole.

Falsehoods
"The Left" has gone off the deep end and has become too extreme.
Here's the way I think of it. Most everyone should be able to relate. Every year we go to the shore The family walks to the beach directly behind the hotel for a swim in the ocean. After about a half hour or hour in the water you look up say "what the hell" the hotel now looks like it's four blocks up the shoreline from where we entered the water. As everyone knows the motel didn't move. We have--by being unaware how far we drifted from where we started.

As I see it this is where the Republican party stands today. Somehow believing "The Left" is far away from where it always stood. Democrats always believed in labor unions, national healthcare (Medicare was suppose to be the first step), Social Security/Pensions, social and art programs to name a few. Conservatives act as if this was some shocking new development. Could it be they drifted further away from their original beliefs instead?

"The Right" are representative of Donald Trump Ideologies
I don't believe that for one minute. Most mainstream supporters on "the right" are no where near holding many of the ever changing extreme views of Trump. Nor are conservatives well represented by FOX news and some of their own party leaders in the House and Senate. The problem is too many hardliners with selfish motives infiltrated not holding the party's best interest nor it's traditional ideologies in mind.

Here's what I believe
Both parties need to do some weeding out. Both sides have to denounce other members of their own party who are too extreme not representing their party's core values. The divisiveness coming from both sides is not helpful for either one to fulfill their objectives. Well spoken major players from both parties need to speak together side by side at the same time making themselves more available both on TV and appearances in public events. What we have today is one side, then the other holding rallies and town hall meetings trashing the other. I don't think it's too much to ask someone from the other side to sit down together to discuss their differences in public in a calm and respectful manner. I understand how the squeaky wheel gets the most attention, but this finger pointing serves no one well.

None of this means there always has to be compromise. There is such a thing as common ground which can be found if one's willing. I'm certain conservatives would agree to a national healthcare plan if it would mean the medical industry would benefit. The answer lies in listening to those running these companies not influenced by insincere players trying to game the system. So too Democrats have to acknowledge Republicans' need for more conservative values. Those such as for less dependency on federal government to solve all the social needs of those unwilling to help themselves. Certain individuals pumping out babies knowing they can't afford them (despite free birth control) or pretending everyone deserves a free education if they're not willing to do the hard work it takes to maintain a certain level of proficiency.

I truly believe both parties are not as far apart as they think they are for the most part if each are willing to ignore the radicals in them both. Which brings me to..

Donald Trump
A divider. Not A Uniter
I truly mean this in the sincerest way possible--something's wrong. This is not a criticism. He's angry with any one, organization or any rule of law that stands in his way including the constitution and rules in congress. I really don't think he wants to become a ruler, but there's something about him making him unable to comprehend what most understand. Sooner or later both parties will have to acknowledge we may have a leader who suffers issues. I'm not stating this in a mean spirited way but one rather out of concern.

If this is so--we need both parties now more then ever to come together like never before. I see many people mean tweeting and on the media bashing him. There's greater concerns at risk here. Too many are treating this as some sort of game. Others who are assuming the guy can handle the stress of being president. I'm leaning towards a leader who needs more understanding rather then someone who should be antagonized for what may be a human condition we're assuming he can handle. The United States may be traveling down a path we never had to face before. Believe me when I say I truly hope it isn't so, but we need to consider the possibility Donald may suffer from issues yet to be disclosed.

Jimmy Kimmel Gives His Best Monolog Ever